PHD #154: Loud and Clear
Loud and Clear
Summary: Tillman talks at Tisi about her charges.
Date: 30 July 2041 AE
Related Logs: Anything with Tisi tryin to cap some Cylon Hoe.
Tisiphone Tillman 
Executive Officer's Quarters
A decent-sized room for a personal quarters, the XO's cabin has few of the plush amenities of the Admiral's but still retains a few more touches than would normally be found elsewhere. There are bookshelves that are stacked neatly beside a line of lockers. The standard-sized bunk is built into the wall with a few cabinets overhead for storage. The desk is a standard issue piece of furniture and so is the chair that comes with it, but there is a plain blue couch against the wall near the door and a respectably-sized blue rug lain out in front of it. This room also has a personal bathroom that holds a cramped shower, toilet, and sink area that is separated by a thin wooden door painted to the same color as the walls.
Post-Holocaust Day: #154

The court-martial wasn't bad enough, nor was the demotion — it was the parting gift of one (1) private meeting with the Cerberus's XO that really did it. It's about a day and a half after the whole proceedings before Ensign Apostolos has all her ducks in a tidy enough row that she can make her requested appearance.

In she comes, boots agleam, duty blues pressed and perfectly aligned. The very model of a picture-perfect pilot…if you disregard the reason she's here. Or the hell-warmed-over flatness in her eyes. Or the dishpan-reddened hands, one of them currently raised in a stiff salute. "Sir."

Tillman looks up as Tisiphone enters and doesn't stand. He stays at the desk and tosses his pen down onto the paperwork. The man's face steels over, looking over her appearance with a critical eye for at least ten or so seconds before he finally taps his temple. "Stay at attention, Ensign," he gruffs. "I imagine the CAG already had a few choice words for you, didn't she?" That familiar and friendly tone he might normally use to speak with her is completely absent.

Not a hair out of place — of course, she doesn't really have any hair at all, currently, having shaved it off just before her hot hot (and failed) date with the Eleven. Tisiphone's shoulders shift slightly into 'saluting for the long haul' configuration. "Yessir," she says — to the far wall, apparently, for she doesn't look directly /at/ the Major. "She's very good at peeling the skin off your back without raising her voice, Sir."

"Yeah. I know she is." Tillman doesn't take his eyes off Tis, staring right at her face. He lets the words hang for a moment before taking a long breath like a dragon might before spewing fire. "Ensign, did the CAG explain to you the significance of that Eleven? Or why I had issued specific 'Do Not Harm' orders to every individual who had physical access to it?"

Tisiphone's mouth prims slightly as she considers those questions. Uncertainty — but of the answer, or whether to answer or not at all? "No, sir. Not specifically. Only that- people-" 'People' is a nice, vague way of phrasing it. "-seem to believe it's giving trustworthy information, Sir."

"Yes. It was apparently giving us trustworthy information. Until it died to deliver us intelligence, destroy a Cylon research facility, and deliver us a massive naval victory over eight Cylon basestars and a couple hundred Raiders." Tillman deadpans all of it, each word clipped and hard. "You and I may not believe that this Eleven was a person, but it had emotions and beliefs. Feelings. That means that regardless of what it is, when you interrogate it, you use the same techniques to extract information. Those techniques to not involve killing it. Especially when its barfing up valuable intelligence like beer in a teenage girl at her first kegger."

"Eight Basestars against how many hundred, Sir? The time it took for that little feel-good victory it probably created another ten. It told us- told /you/ whatever it wanted to, and the next time we find one, we'll be that much more willing to trust it because-" Tisiphone's mouth twitches, nostrils flaring as her words come to an abrupt stop — whoa, there, girl. Despite the fact she wasn't slouching, she somehow finds a way to straighten further. "Sorry. Sir."

"Considering that we had only managed to kill a few up until then?" Tillman keeps his eyes locked on her. "Also, are you an expert on Cylon production, Ensign? Do you know something that Command does not about how quickly they are able to produce basestars? Maybe you've gleaned something we don't know about how many of those ships are out there." His voice is just dripping with sarcasm. "Fact of the matter is, you have no idea what's true about what it told us and what it was lying about. Well? I'll tell you: Not a single damned thing it told us has proven false yet. Despite approaching the intel from many angles, it seems as solid as we could hope for. As for trusting Cylons down the road, who the hell said anything about that? Think we just woke up one day and decided that maybe we can cut it some slack? Do you have any idea what we found on that station and the ramifications of leaving it intact were?"

The tired, flat eyes flare with a moment of sullen defensiveness as Tisiphone's called on… well, a lot of words with little backing (see also: bullshit). She's been called pigheaded more than once, and she's living up to it tonight as well. "I have no idea of the ramifications, Sir. I can't read the AARs from the Brig. I know it killed itself in the back of the CAG's Raptor and that there was a skeet-shoot for the Knights afterward. And-" Wait. There WAS more. For a moment she looks like she wishes she didn't remember it at all. "There was a Cylon with Colonial tags that turned against the other Cylons, Sir."

"Consider this your AAR," Tillman growls, slowly rising from the chair. He takes a folder off the desk, opens it, and tosses it to the other side. There's pictures of vivisected bodies that spill out. "Look familiar? Think you saw some of this on Leonis. Turns out that Leonis' house of horrors may have been in direct support of this station that Eleven just helped us destroy. That one without a face? That's the Battlestar Atlas' Tactical Officer." Just for her own digestion. "There's been a few with Colonial tags that have turned against the Cylons. You remember Shaker, Ensign? If that Eleven is to be believed, his model is among the most violently anti-human models. His particular self? The one that served with you all? He doesn't exist anymore because he refused to turn on us. We've also got two more Cylons on this ship right now, neither of which we can identify. At least one of them wants desperately to stay and fight with us. So in regards to your comment about Cylons wearing tags - yeah. It has happened. And they paid or are paying the price like you and I would." He stops for just the briefest of seconds. "They ain't human. They're machines. But they don't toe the line. Unless we want to go down that road and assume all of them are." The man's tone seems to indicate a dare to challenge that.

Sleet-blue eyes drop to the glossy, horrific pictures. She can't get much paler than she already is, but her face tries to blanch, nonetheless. "Yessir. Rutger Tower, Sir. It- makes sense-" What a wretched thing to say, about /any/ of this. "-I mean, it follows from what the… version of Salt on Leonis was saying." Again, Tisiphone's mouth prims into a bloodless line as she struggles over whether or not to speak — and again she blurts, "We don't /know/ they're paying the price. That's what they're telling us. That's what they're leading us to believe. All we can do is trust a- these things on their word. What sort of-" Deep breath. Careful exhalation. "It's madness. Sir."

"Yeah. It does. Everything she told us tracks on all of our combat operations. Including our experience at Parnassus. And what our people brought back from MolGen." Tillman's iron-hard expression doesn't even flinch at her comments, though. "We know that since Morgenfield's model was suicided, we've stopped having terrorist action brought against us. If there are two more models on here, Gods forbid they are in a ranked or sensitive position, we could all be frakking dead. You want madness, Ensign? How about trying to kill something that is giving us all that intelligence? That was straight godsdamned reckless! This is the same model that led you all straight to Rutger Tower and asked for nothing in return. Now you may not trust these things and I'm not about to bark at you and tell you to hold frakking hands, but you might stop for a second and think that -maybe- someone a bit higher up has a better idea of the picture. You read me, Ensign?"

"I read you, Sir. Loud and clear." Tisiphone's weight adjusts fractionally, shoulders shifting a sliver of an inch to give a different bit of her arm-muscles their turn at salute-holding. She seems decently good at this. It would not be hard to imagine she had a tongue-lashing session or twelve, back in flight school. And then, finally, after all those words, her eyes flick to the XO's face. "It won't happen again. Sir. I. It was. It won't happen again."

"Damned right it won't, Ensign. The idea of bringing attempted murder charges was floated. Next time we grab one of these, I will make it clear that any attempts will carry that charge. Period. I hear one whiff of you even talking about popping another prisoner, I'll have your ass working as a Crewman Apprentice on the Deck for the rest of your natural life." The Major's voice is severe, probably leaving little doubt to how serious he really is about what he just said. "Message ends, Tisiphone. You're dismissed."

The thought of being put up to a firing squad barely fazed her. The thought of being grounded for the rest of her life? Working /on/ the ships she can't fly anymore? /That/ gets Tisiphone's attention in a whole new way than it had already been riveted upon the XO and his words. She doesn't even seem to register the dismissal until several seconds later. Then, with a faint start: "Sir. Yessir." Again, she finds some way to straighten further from her ramrod-straight stance, salute held a second longer before it drops, and she takes her (very hasty) leave.

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