PHD #419: Long Live The Queen
PHD #419: Long Live The Queen
Summary: Cidra summons Khloe to talk about Queenie. Khloe isn't mad at Queenie's betrayal, but rather Cidra's short-sightedness. Khloe is a meanie.
Date: 21 Apr 2042 AE
Related Logs: And Eleven Makes Three, Uncomplicated, Major I'd Like To Fly With
Cidra Khloe 
CAG's Office - Deck 10 - Battlestar Cerberus
Though it's not much bigger than the average ship supply closet, the office of the commander of Cerberus' air group has as much luxury as one can hope for aboard a battlestar: privacy. It is dominated by a blocky gray metal desk straight out of standard Navy supply with an equally standard-issue rolling chair behind it. A few other chairs are shoved against one wall, for those who drop by for whatever business they have with the CAG. The surface of the desk is covered by a computer and stacks of files and octagonal papers covering whatever bit of aerial bureaucracy she's mussing with that day. A few heavy books on air mechanics - mostly devoted to Raptors - occupy the shelves.
The room is largely devoid of decoration, save one item hanging on a hook on the shelf direct above her desk: a set of prayer beads, well-worn olive wood and strung with a single, crudely-carved owl charm.
Post-Holocaust Day: #419

It has been six days since LT Trevor McQueen's Raptor jumped away from the field of battle as the forces of the Cerberus and the Areion clashed over Ophion. And one day since that Raptor returned. Minus McQueen himself, but carrying Sawyer Averies, Tyr Bannik, and a Cylon copy of the Model Eleven, so the word has quickly spread. That Eleven is dead now, the details on precisely how that occurred sketchy, and Bannik and Sawyer still held by Marine Security. But the CAG has apparently gotten something out of someone concerning still-MIA LT McQueen, and thus has summoned the Knights SL to her office.

Cidra waits there now. Hatch to her office slightly ajar, sitting at her desk and smoking heavily, dark hair down, a very tired look about her. There are still faint traces of the blackened eye she returned from her captivity on the Areion with, but it's mostly faded by now.

As though she knew exactly when the hands on the clock click into position signifying the time set for their meeting, Khloe comes a-knockin' at the CAG's office. Bang bang, and then the tall pilot steps inside and pushes the hatch closed behind her - not throwing the wheel. This shouldn't be too sensitive a meeting. Dressed in her uniform blues, Khloe is still on light duty, although she's no longer walking with a cane, and only barely perceptible limp in her left leg. "Major," she says, not bothering with a salute, but she does come to a parade rest in front of the CAG's desk. Grey eyes briefly flick over the woman's face, but then return to staring neutrally ahead - Poppy's not one to make mention of appearances, unless it's a junior officer who looks sloppy.

"As you were, Poppy. Close the hatch and come in, please." The tiredness in Cidra's appearance is reflected in her tone, which is decidedly weary. "Sit down." A pause, and she picks something up off the top of her desk. Dog tags. Just holding them for a moment, expression carefully inscrutable. "You have heard, I trust, that the Raptor on which Lieutenant McQueen fled Cerberus has been recovered. Minus Lieutenant McQueen."

She slips into her usual chair, directly across from Cidra. "I've heard, yes. Rumors abound, of course." She crosses her legs, resting her ankle on her knee - carefully, mind you, and rubbing her thigh as she does - with an irritable sigh. "I take it Specialist Bannik and that reporter, what'shername, Averies. They're locked up and being interrogated?"

Cidra nods to that. "The Marines still have them in custody. It is unclear, thus far, how wrapped up they were in the thing we called McQueen's escapade with that Raptor." A bite comes into her tone, and she drops the dog tags on the table in front of Khloe. "After he fled the field of battle, McQueen apparently jumped to Gemenon. I still know not the details of what transpired there. Security and Intelligence are sorting that out, and still I do not think have answers themselves. But what I have been told is…" She pauses a beat. A grimness about her. "McQueen was a Cylon agent. A skinjob."

Khloe is quick to say, "If Averies and Bannik were aware of this fact, and complacent in that knowledge, they should be immediately tried in a court martial and sentenced just like Abbot was." Her steely gaze drops to the clattering tags, and for the moment, she lets them sit there. "Do we know what model number McQueen represents? Also, with your permission, I'd like to approach SecHub and retrieve information regarding his most frequent associates." Strangely enough, Khloe is not showing more irritation than usual; she seems to have moved past the betrayal and is already lighting torches and brandishing pitchforks.

"Just like Abbot was." That's repeated with a certain rueful grimness by Cidra as well. But she does not speak on this. The lack of surprise earns an arch of her brow. The query just gets a nod. "The Master at Arms is already well on top of the investigation. Give him all cooperation you can, as should all the Knights and the rest McQueen flew with. Its locker and bunk…" By 'it' she means McQueen's. "…shall be searched and their contents confiscated by the Marines. You seem less taken aback than I had anticipated, if you do not mind me saying."

"There are only two logical reasons why someone would take a Raptor and jump away from the fleet," Khloe states, apparently having put much thought to this already. "Either they were suicidal and wanting to run away, or they were jumping with a purpose. And in the latter case, what would that purpose be? Collaboration with the enemy." She shrugs lightly. "There's no point in shrieking and gnashing teeth. Normally I would be concerned for the credibility of my squadron, but with all the ripe shit that's been stinking the place up, like Drips' monotheistic proclaimation, I'm already resigned to the fact that we're all hip-deep in it, and flailing just gets more on everyone around you." There's a certain quality to Khloe's tone; she's not quite aggravated or exasperated, but she's got a tightness in her jaw, and those grey eyes are practically boring holes through Cidra as she speaks. Perhaps the stink goes beyond her squadron? She's certainly not telling.

"You seem to have something to say to me, Poppy. Out with it, please," Cidra says, taking a drag on her cigarette. "Queenie was well-liked in the Wing by many. This will be taken hard. Word will get out very soon, and we should take firm control of how the pilots discover this."

Khloe shrugs lightly. "They'll hear about it first through rumors and heresay, and then through an official announcement from the brass that either confirms their fears, or smothers their fears with some 'toeing the line' speech," she says flatly. "And it would not be appropriate for me to express dissatisfaction with my Major's choices that are not duty-related, sir." Poppy is a statue, sitting completely still, with that tense jaw and carefully controlled alto. "I mean, frakking Baer got you a concussion and a black eye. Frakking Spiral can't possibly bite you in the ass."

Cidra's posture stiffens at mention of Baer, blue eyes flashing. Then hardening. She takes a breath, exhales long, eyes fixed on Khloe across the desk. "Skiron Baer was a grave misjudgment on my part. I thought us alike. I was very wrong. And however you judge me for it, I can assure you have no conception of how I measure myself over it. As I was very wrong about Trevor McQueen. As for Spiral…I hope, Captain, that you agree that we have far more important matters facing us at present than my very inebriated dalliance with Pallas Ellinon. It is not a matter either of us intend to repeat and I am sorry if I have not been a 'gymnastic virgin' to your satisfaction, but in the grand scheme it is far lower on my tall of mistakes than either 'Papa' Baer or my blindness over 'Queenie' McQueen."

Khloe arches a thin eyebrow. "You don't get it, do you, Cidra?" Rare does Khloe use her CAG's first name, and when she does, it means she's about to be frank. And possibly hurtful and self-deprecating. But in this case, her target is fixed externally. "None of us could have seen Queenie coming. Not one of us. Even that blubbering failure of a man Allan Rejn, a skinjob? Really?" This causes a bitter, breathy laugh from the Canceran woman. "No way in all the special hells would I have pegged either of them as the enemy. And yet, here we are. You asked me why I seemed so calm regarding the revelation surrounding Queenie, because there's nothing to get angry about. We were duped, and we're now past it." She uncrosses her legs, placing the one boot on the ground, and she leans forward a touch. "What's to get mad about is that your judgment seems to be lacking as of late. You slip up with distractions like these, and you get smashed in the face and don't see Baer for the man that he truly was. You get smashed - literally - and don't see Spiral for what he is: an abuser. And I'm not just talking about alcohol."

"I am not *involved* with Spiral," Cidra replies rather tersely. "I did lay with him. Once. And if you are really interested, I shall have you know I was a good deal less impaired than he was at the time." A pause. "I know perfectly well what Pallas Ellinon is." Whether she quite agrees with Khloe's characterization is…inscrutable. "Allan Rejn…my gods, I thought him just a fat fool. It never even occurred to me. McQueen…he flew and fought with us for months. Him, I thought I knew. I should have known…" She sighs heavy. "…but it does not matter now. Trevor McQueen is dead. Whatever fled this ship is the enemy, and we shall met it as such if we encounter it again."

Khloe nods affirmatively at that last part. "It's good to see that you've still got some sense left in you." She clears her throat, and straightens up in her chair. Her tone changes, shifting towards the more formal again. "Either I can filter down a notice to my squadron, or I can wait for an official document from your office, sir. I'm amenable to either, and I'm certain the squad will take it in stride." Toeing the line. Regardless of what she thinks of Cidra's dalliances, Khloe will always do what's necessary when it comes to duty. To friendship? Who knows if that's even on her DRADIS any more.

"If they take it in stride they are taking it better than I," Cidra says, with no small touch of bitterness. "I shall inform the Wing as a whole. McQueen kept confidence with more than just the Viper pilots. It should be distributed widely and quickly, as I want anyone with information about what that *thing* may have done in this Wing and aboard this ship to report it to the Master at Arms and Intelligence promptly." Much as she spits about the 'thing',' there's a sadness behind her eyes she does her best to conceal. A look down at the dog tags. "Take those. Do with them what you please. Trevor McQueen is dead to me, and I want to remember his name no longer."

Khloe's brow creases. She was not expecting that. But, rather than argue with her superior, she reaches over and takes the tags up, balling it up so that it disappears into her fist. "Is there anything else, Major?" Asks the Captain, rising to her feet.

"No, Poppy. Dismissed," Cidra says, a bit softer. She lights another cigarette, sinking into her chair, eyes faraway. Deep into her own head, she likely won't even watch Khloe go.

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