PHD #257: Loose Lips Sink Ships
Loose Lips Sink Ships
Summary: Marines from Areion and Cerberus have a first sit-down.
Date: 10 Nov 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Constin Madilyn Oren 
Small Office - Deck 6
This smallish styled office has been occupied by the Master-at-Arms to conduct his business and oversee the MP's. Mismatched filing cabinets hint at the volume of paperwork contained within. To the side of the large desk is a secured cabinet, opposite a table with a neglected coffee pot. Across from the desk, two simple chairs are present for those who visit, while behind the desk, a matching seat can be seen.
Post-Holocaust Day: #257

The Raptor from Areion landed without incident a few minutes prior. Waiting on the deck to meet his counterpart was Constin, who promptly informed the brass that, "Master Sergeant Oren is aboard and on the way up, Major." A short walk later and the two sergeants step into the designated office.

Master Sergeant Thom Oren was gruffly polite to Constin upon exiting the Raptor, but he kept the conversation to a minimum on the walk up. The Master-at-Arms from the Areion is an older man than his Cerberus counterpart, a little smaller size but still with a stocky strength and no-nonsense manner about him. "Big ship you got to look after here, Sarge," he observes, in a tone that's neutral on the size of it. "I like working smaller vessels, myself. Assaultstars, escort carriers. Fewer nooks and shadows you've got, less trouble you're liable to find."

"You have no idea the types of trouble our top-of-line ship has managed to get us into," Madilyn says to the pair as they enter the small offices of the SecHub. She'd been waiting, wanting to sit in on this info swap. "But I'm sure that will all be discussed in due time," she states while she stands up, motioning to the chairs at either side of the desk, set out to let them sit on three different sides. "Major Madilyn Willows-Cavanaugh…and you must be MAster Segeant Oren. Welcome aboard. Please have a seat and let's get to the details, so as not to waste a single moment."

"Every boat's got her good and bad, Master Sergeant," Constin drawls back evenly in answer. He goes quiet as the Company CO makes her introductions. And as easy as that it's down to business.

Oren straightens his spine and pops a crisp salute off to Madilyn, but he eases quick enough when offered the chair. Which he plants his stocky frame in comfortably. "Pleasure, sir. Master Sergeant Thom Oren. I keep order aboard the CEX Areion. Not that the crew is too difficult to keep in line. Kepner runs a damn tight ship." There's a fierce note of respect for his commander in his tone. "Yeah, let's get to it. I must admit, I've been damned curious to get a better feel for you folks. Never can tell much about a boat until you look its crew in the eye, that what I say."

"Agreed. Unfortunately, the…secrecy of the Areion is making that difficult. From our side, at the very least." When it comes to running a tight ship, Madilyn can't offer much of a rebuttal to that, as Cerberus hasn't exactly had a stellar record when it comes to commanding officers and internal security. She seats herself and looks between both of the MaAs, letting them run the show when it comes to security matters to be discussed.

"With the Major's permission?" Constin prompts from his own seat, waiting for Madilyn's look before starting in. "How much information on the skinjobs are you folks on Areion operating with, Master Sergeant? We've had close contact with four confirmed Humaoid Cylon Agents- including a whole lot of chatter- and we wanted to get our data cross referenced with yours Ay-sap."

"Our contact with them up close has been more limited than yours, from the rumors I've heard," Oren says. "You've found four aboard this boat so far, as I understand it? If you count your Admiral Abbot." From the sound of things, he sure as hell counts Abbot. "We did discover one operating aboard our ship. Was masquerading as one of our Engineering techs." He sets a folder down on the table for them to take. "Found her out when she tried to sabotage our FTL system. Lost some good people because of that frak-stain. We dealt with her, though." Madilyn's comment gets a blunt chuckle out of him. "Have to forgive us, sir. Force of habit. Special operations ain't exactly trained to share and share alike. But, given our situation, I think we all understand the need to work together. If we're going to have any chance of fighting these things."

"That certainly sounds like the most prudent, plan, yes," Madilyn states. She doesn't ask to take ahold of the folder laid upon the desk, and simply grabs it, spinning it roughly so that both she and Constin can see the contents (especially the picture of the perp, if any). The comment about having 'dealt' with her gets a little brow raise from Madilyn. "You mean you executed her, correct?"

"Two were confirmed as having been posted aboard the Cerb at launch," Constin begins simply. "Presently unconfirmed allegations place one more on the boat at launch, but that's from a suspect source: namely one of the cylons we picked up at Audumbla Anchorage." A freshly drawn breath. "We got two sorts of data, Master-Sergeant: the proven facts and the still-unconfirmed. Before I spend any more breath, how much of that second type are you and yours wanting a look at?" Madilyn's clarification of execution doesn't even bat the sergeant's eye as he directs it at the file. "You both keep using that word 'her'," he drawls idly, before looking aside to start drawing out the prepared files on the known cylons for Oren's eventual perusal.

There is, indeed, a picture of the perp inside. Much of it is, in fact, composed of a personnel file of a woman calling herself LTJG Deima Fields. Fairly standard stuff for a Navy bio, though the picture is instantly recognizable. This one is sporting a short, choppy blonde bob, but it's unmistakably the same face as worn by the one who called herself Lessa Morgenfield.

Oren lets them paw at the file all they like. That's what he brought it for. A short, sharp nod and grunt to Madilyn. "Damn right, sir. After we extracted what information we could from her, but we dealt with that thing the way it deserved as quickly as possible. I don't see any good coming from letting problems linger." A nod to Constin. "Habit. The Cylons appear to have learned how to manufacture a pair of breasts that look like the real thing. I'll say that for them. Gods know what these creatures really are underneath the flesh, though. And it's the second type I'm particularly curious about, Sergeant. My training is as an MP, but I've done more Intel work than most of the spooks back at Fleet Headquarters. Before it got cripsed by the toasters. I find its the rumors, the half-truths, the speculation, where things come together. Maybe not right away, but it's the unconfirmed reports that raise the red flags you should pay most careful attention to."

The folder is brought closer to Madilyn, then presented for Constin. "This is why he's saying it's a her…Morgenfield. The saboteur from our deck. Present on their boat as well. If she was posted there from the time Areion was…commissioned on recommissioned or however you're viewing the new designation, there could be a whole host of problems. Do you know if she had access to any of the, ah, distinguishing characteristics of your vessel?" If he's dealing in speculation, let's speculate a bit!

Constin nods once at the photo, frowning, but unsurprised. there is a dry sniff at the talk of mimicked breasts, but it doesn't last long. "Well then, Master Sergeant- what I'm gonna say ought to be considered suspect, but all available data either supports or fails to disprove it.." A stack of folders are handed to Oren, "The other confirmed cylons.." he asides, before drawing a fresh breath and making with the bad news. "Cylons download to some kinda central computer upon being put offline. This process has been confirmed in one specific case, but is alleged to apply to all cylon models." Another breath drawn in. "This allows memory storage and transfer, the implications of which should be pretty clear for the sake of your own boat's security. This is why the Major was asking about Areion's most top of secrets."

"Resurrection, they call it," Oren says grimly. "We got that much from the thing before we put it out our airlock. Firing squad's too good for these fraks. Waste of valuable bullets. That's why it was frakking with our engines, we suspect. There'd been some…incidents aboard. Small accidents, but it was starting to look like sabotage, and it was starting to lead right to her door…" A fat finger is tapped thrice on the picture - so like Lessa Morgenfield - in the folder. "…we think she was attempting to force the ship to a portion of space where she could commit suicide by Colonial Fleet. Or just off herself. Download all her precious memories back to her little friends. We'd been skirting out near the Red Line, pretty quiet piece of space, when we got wise to her. Beyond their reach, from what we can tell." If he lacks confidence about that, he doesn't show it.

"If there's one silver lining…" Madilyn mumbles to nobody in particular, unable to finish the statement any better than that. "I take it there have been no further efforts to sabotage any part of your vessel then?" Madilyn asks of the man. "Aside from crimes perpetrated by civilians, our own internal problems have dissipated with the discovery of these Cylon elements. Also…how's the interior skin of your ship?"

"Yeah," Constin confirms to the mention of resurrection. "Supposedly, that same process applies to all their Centurions and Raiders, too. Every one we put down, it reloads, learns and gets rebuilt unless blocked by either distance-" he adds in concession to Oran's theory about the Red Line, "Or interference. Filed under Audumbla, when you have the time." Another breath drawn and released. "Would like file photos of your boat's crew, Master-Sergeant. We can return the favor, but without access to Fleet records.." the obvious difficulty of operating isn't voiced.

"I don't go looking for silver linings, sir," Oren says to Madilyn. "Expect the worst, then any surprises are pleasant. That's a hell of a thing, ain't it?" This about the Centurions and Raiders. "Imagine that. An army of soldiers that's not only immortal, but learns from every frak-up it makes in the field that gets it shot in the face. If the CMC was capable of that, we'd be the smartest damned sons of bitches - excuse me, sir, and daughters - in all the worlds." He finishes Constin's thought for him. "…without access, who knows if we've got another of those fleshjobs you might've encountered crawling on our boat or not. File photos I can give you, along with name, rank and serial numbers. I think I can avoid redacting too much from that." It's a joke, but barely. "Our crew runs smaller than yours, so I expect ours getting that together will take less time than your efforts here."

"We'd tossed around the idea of opening a networked operation to allow for the local personnel databases to be shared among each of the four ships we now have traveling with us. But given the apparent ability of Cylons to take advantage of any networked computer systems - both in the past and more recently - we've decided against it. A manual exchange of records is in order, but it clearly will take us quite some time. We will share information, however, the real problem is in the civilian population. The only records we have of them is self-provided."

"Can have the rest of the Fleet personnel data copied out and ready for transfer inside forty-eight hours," Constin nods to the notion of needing time to duplicate the titanic store of information on the Cerberus' crew. "That can include photos of the civilians and reclaimed Fleet folks, but as the Major says-" no proof but what they're told. Another slowly drawn breath, before the big marine posits aloud, "You mentioned Kepner runs a tight ship. You have any.. disciplinary issues after the fact of the skinjobs got around, Master-Sergeant?"

"Our weapons system makes use of a limited system of ECM networking with our Raptors," Oren says. "We understand the security risk but - given the security safeguards built into the Areion - it's a chance we're willing to take. Granted, that's blood and guns. For paper-pushing, I still prefer octagons and dead trees. There's only so much you can frak with a hard-copy. Once you put information into a computer, you can manipulate it any damn way you please if you know how to massage it right. Agreed on a manual exchange." Mention of the civilians makes him snort, and frown. "You don't mind my saying so, sir, I'm surprised you're giving them such free run on your boat. Given what we know about the enemy's ability to mimic human form. And we all know, any ability to conduct a real security check was blown to Hades when the toasters hit the colonies. If it ever existed at all. If the Cylons could get an agent on the Areion - and maybe into the admiralty if your Abbot is a fleshjob - I'd well believe they can melt in and out of the walls at this point." The question about disciplinary issues makes him turn his full attention to Constin. "How do you mean, Sergeant?" He snorts a laugh. "Had some who were eager to get their hands on the creature for a little one-on-one application of justice, but the commander and I made sure to leave the…extraction to the professionals. Interrogation's more art than science. Don't want some hot-headed pilot frakking up good Intel."

"Real problem with civilians ain't so much the liability as it is discipline," Constin opines. "As in, they ain't got none, and that gets contagious." Oran wins another short sniff of dry humor for the 'dead trees and octagons' line, along with a nod of agreement. "One more thing we could use, Master-Sergeant: if you got anybody on your boat with the knowhow or ..hell, even a hunch as to how we might be able to tell a skinjob from a human, would really like to get them working with our folks on the question. We're getting a nasty run of paranoia," he adds in belated detail of the sort of problems he had referred to.

"Damned hard to tell, Sergeant. That's the bitch of it. The bastards got smart. This is how you run a war. Infiltration. Sabotage. Hell of a lot easier to stab your enemy in the back than it is to shoot them in the face. We'll give you what we have but I'll admit right now we haven't gotten far with telling flesh and blood from Cylon in skin." Oren just grunts at his comment about the civilians. "I wouldn't have them on my boat, Sergeant. I'll tell you that right now. It's a liability I wouldn't want to play with, given all the other factors we're dealing with right now." The comment about paranoia just earns a shrug. "Might not be so bad to look over your shoulder. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you."

"It's a blessing and a curse, I suppose, to have civilians aboard. Now that they have their own running water supplies in the starboard hangar bay, their need to travel with MP escort to other ares of the ship is greatly reduced. At the same time, however, provisions have been made to move a great deal of them off of this vessel and better restore it to its intended function. There's not much choice, though, as I see it. We're in it for the species, now." Madilyn takes a dry, serious tone…maybe that's a view Oren's CO doesn't share.

"It's mighty bad when folks start thinking vigilante shit, Master-Sergeant," Constin returns plainly to Oran. "Had a rumor go around about a Crewman, and it's getting bloody. Abbott sure as hell did us no favors with that arrest," he adds tersely. A breath drawn through flared nostrils. "Anyhow, it ain't my call who does or don't get on the boat. Command makes the calls, the rest of us do what we can with what we've got."

Indeed, maybe it's not the view of the Areion CO. Oren's expression is impassive at the talk about civilians and he doesn't disagree. Still, he doesn't rush to agree with Madilyn, either. Make of that what you will. "I'm real curious to see how those civvies you picked up will do on their own boat, sir," he says simply. Likely 'planning for the worst' on that front as well. Though he doesn't go so far as to say that, either. "You so sure those rumors about your crewman weren't true, Sergeant? The case against your Abbot's pretty strong, as I hear it." Though the question's almost rhetorical. "Paranoid doesn't mean wrong. Any case. I shouldn't linger too long here. I'll organize those file photos for you. Can likely have them ready within twenty four hours. I'll keep it quiet as I can, given the implications if one of us does turn up something. I can run real light. Even on a spook ship."

"Much appreciated, Master Sergeant," replies Madilyn with a nod at Oren's last statement. Behind the desk there, she stands up and offers a hand. "Good to finally meet some of the Marines from Areion, given how tight-lipped everyone's been. I was starting to think that there weren't any, and the ship was just a playground for Viper jocks. Keep in contact…and we'll have those personnel files to you before you know it."

A willfully slow breath is drawn in before Constin answers Oran's rhetorical question. "It's in the files, under 'Coll, Lauren'. You'll have them in forty-eight." As Madilyn rises, so too does the younger of the sergeants. The Major's joke about the playground of Viper jocks doesn't even threaten to warm his manner.

"Loose lips sink ships, Major," Oren says as he stands, grasping her hand and shaking it firmly. It's said with a smile but, again, it's not exactly a joke. "And old habits die hard. I'll admit, good to be in proper Marine country again. The Areion was built to run in space, and lean at that, so our contingent's small. It's a tight ship, though, so I don't complain. I'll touch base in forty-eight, if not before." Hand out to Constin as well, when he's done glad-handing Madilyn. "'Coll, Lauren', eh? Should make for interesting reading, Sergeant. Like I said. You run with the hard facts, but listen to all the speculation. Speculation is where you fill in what you can't see."

"Yeah," Constin returns, bone dry to Oren's parting advice as he accepts the man's offered handshake. "How'd you put it just now, Master-Sergeant? Loose lips sink ships? All speculation, on its own, ain't anything more than a whole lotta loose lips, on a ship I'm working at bailing out." A moment later, he adds deadpan, "Somehow, I never got slotted for Intel."

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