PHD #112: Midrats and Intel
Midrats and Intel
Summary: A few hours after the escape from Leonis, Cora meets with Tillman in the Map Room to hear more about all that she's been missing while trapped in Kythera.
Date: 18 June, 2041
Related Logs: None
Cora Rime Tillman 
Map Room
The one object that dominates this room is the one it is named for: the giant plotting table in the center of the room. Bottom-lit like the plot in CIC, this one is twenty feet across and about the same distance wide. The maps, which are rolled and kept in a locker at the side of the room, provide much more detail than most of the charts in CIC and are especially useful in planning tactical operations. Unscaled models of ships are available to be situated on the surface of the table and risers on each side of the room allow for a small audience to watch or be briefed. A single large LCD screen is built into the wall at the far end to display reconnaissance or other supplemental material.
Post-Holocaust Day: #112

Entering the Map Room, its obvious that this place was brand new before the war started. Half the chairs don't even look like anyone has found the comfort of them even once. However, its obvious that the map table and the desking area immediately near it have gotten HEAVY use in the last few months. Its a striking contrast. Currently, Tillman is standing over the map table with the bottom-light on. There's a stack of reports in front of him and a thick folder off to the side. That sidearm apparently doesn't leave him.

MP Lance Corporal Scott sticks his head in to make sure Tillman is present, saying, "Sir," before stepping back to take up a post outside the door as Cora enters. She's clearly showered, acquired a uniform, and had her right hand wrapped and splinted. She salutes with it anyhow, "Major Tillman, sir."

Tillman looks to Scott as the man enters, though he doesn't stand from his lean over the table. Seeing Cora enter after him, the XO nods. "At ease, Lieutenant." He motions for her to come closer as he looks around her. "Go ahead and stand a post outside, son. You don't have to wait around in here." The man responds with a simple 'Aye, Skipper' and steps out. The hatch is wheeled shut behind him. Tillman looks back to Cora once more. "For things like this, I prefer to keep it informal. My command style is the same way. You'll probably get used to it pretty quick." The man stands from his lean and extends a rough hand. "Major Clive Tillman. Sorry I wasn't able to do that earlier. Just how it goes, sometimes."

Cora glances briefly at the marine as he exits and then back to Tillman, relaxing her stance somewhat when he announces that he prefers informality. "I'm sure I will, sir," she agrees, stepping forward and reaching to extend her left hand to shake his, lifting the splinted right hand and apologizing, "I'd hate to bleed on you, sir." He gets a firm if slightly awkward shake, and then she asks, "Do you mind if I sit?"

Tillman smirks with the handshake's awkwardness and extends the other towards the rows of desks. "By all means, Lieutenant. I can't begin to imagine what you went through down there so please, make yourself comfortable. If you'd like something to drink or eat? Speak up. I'll have the galley run it over." He settles a lean against the map table and crosses his arms, facing her. "So, let's start with what you'd like to know. We'll go from there and build on it. Got charts, recon photos, and datafiles on about twenty different topics. Where would you like to start? Fleet dispositions? Colonial destruction? Our situation?"

Cora moves towards the nearest of those new-looking chairs, sinking into it with barely-disguised relief. At the mention of drink she begins to shake her head but then he mentions food, and she hesitates, but after a second says, "Actually, if I could get something to eat, Major, I'd appreciate it." Really appreciate it, from that flicker in her expression, though she manages not to sound too desperate and starving. She sits back a little, injured hand in her lap, and considers her options only briefly before replying, "Well… I suppose our situation? Some of the personnel on Leonis described the colonial destruction in… broad terms. If I could have a chance to look those files over a bit later, I'd appreciate that as well, but I can do that on my own time, I think, if that's alright."

The XO nods once and moves to a phone on the wall. He picks it up and punches a few numbers. "Tillman. Could you have two plates of midrats and some coffee brought up to the Map Room?" A pause. "Thank you." He rehangs the receiver and moves back over to the table and his previous stance. "Well, the raw data will have to wait until you're cleared. Once Cavanaugh gives that green light, I'll open it up. As for our situation?" He takes a long breath. "Alright, we're essentially an understrength colonial battlegroup. The Praetorian Class' flagship, you probably heard about it, is with us." Basically a ship designed to fling ungodly amounts of missiles at anything - even over long range. "The Corsair is an old Flak Frig that's proven to be one helluvan asset. We'd finished our shakedown cruise and wargames out in Uram Sector and were at our commissioning ceremony at the attacks hit us at Picon Anchorage. We left drydock with full supplies of food and munitions - enough to keep us going for a good while. We've got enough Tylium to let us run for about five or six years. Food for about twenty months right now - which turns into three years once we go on rations. Munitions? We can run about six to eight weeks of non-stop combat operations before it gets dangerous. We've been at it since the attacks came and have barely put a dent in that supply."

"Understood," Cora replies with a rancor-less nod when Tillman postpones her access to the data she requests. She listens as the major details the supply situation on-board, and nods, "Not bad, all things considered. What's the personnel situation look like? Numbers? Pilots?"

"We lost about one hundred fifty aircrew in the opening attacks. Most due to a hackjob the Cylons did on the entire CNP. They cut right through most of the Viper Mark Sevens like they weren't even there. The Mark Deuces faired a lot better. Lost about two dozen Raptors in the initial. Four squadrons of Vipers and two of Raptors were completely destroyed. Our Viper plant is up and operating, though. We've taken a few losses recently but we're still very combat capable." There's a knock at the door and when it opens, a Specialist is bringing in a tray of food. Tillman just points to Cora. Its a pair of roast beef sandwiches and a side of cold carrots. "Eat up." The Major just reaches for the cup of coffee. "Engineering has taken some bad losses. A Senior Chief, and a lot of junior enlisted. Lost our XO to a suicide about three or four weeks into this mess. I used to be the Tactical Officer and Abbot put me in here. Our CMO was killed in a boarding operation about a month or so ago. Its been bad, but we're holding strong. Can't say I know of a single person who has wanted to up and quit."

Cora continues to listen, with the sort of keen attention that implies she is filing all of this away in her mind. She frowns faintly at the major's explanation, but any question she might have asked is lost as food arrives, and she sets to eating, deliberately taking her time. "So a fair number of losses at the top," she summarizes his data, and then swallows a mouthful of food and asks, "How is it that the group survived the attack on Picon, exactly? I gather that the rest of the fleet didn't even have a chance to find out if their raiders would be effective or not?"

"Fair number of losses all around. We've got a pilot training squadron up and operating. After this op on Leonis, we've more than doubled our effective numbers of Vipers. Problem is getting new people to fill the slots that our losses leave. There's been some scuttle around the ship with Abbot wanting to institute a draft. Ain't happening. Not as long as I'm XO of this boat." The man says that with the same determination of someoen who is willing to get violent about it. "As for surviving? We never installed our CNP. Shakedown cruises are done on the barebones. The Corsair's EXLORAD," EXtreme LOng RAnge DRADIS "system eats up most of their computing power so they never bothered to install it. We put up one helluva fight at Picon, though." He sips at his coffee and reaches for the thick folder behind him. He removes two photos and sets them down. One shows a massive wreckage area - hundreds of miles long - in space. The other is much smaller. "First one is in Virgon's orbit. Lost over fifty percent of the fleet there. About another twenty-five in Picon's orbit where we slugged it out, which is the second photo. We estimate ten percent destroyed and deorbited into various stellar bodies or colonies. Fifteen percent of the fleet is currently unaccounted for."

"And with Abbot in the brig, I assume it's off the table for the forseeable future," Cora supplies with a nod. She listens as Tillman goes on to explain how the Cerberus managed to escape the fate of the rest of the fleet… and then leans forward to look at the images of that fate he slides across the table. She draws them towards her with fingertips, pushing her food off to the side so she can line them up in front of her and look at them, head bent so that her face is nearly out of sight. Her eyes remain on the photos while he provides their captions, and remains that way, silent and unmoving, even after the major has finished. It's at least a full minute, maybe more, before she lifts her head, expression blankly neutral except for the creeping exhaustion providing faint lines around her eyes. "What about civilian craft?" she asks, "Many would not likely have had comparable CNP. Do we think pockets could have escaped the attack?"

"Yeah. Its off the table. Even before Abbot was placed into custody, he announced that the memo he sent out about it was simply for informational purposes." By the tone of his voice, its still something he would get violent about. "I elected to serve a government that does not oppress the civilian population. I won't serve one that does." Nevermind the lack of functional government. While she's studying the photos, Tillman sips his coffee and takes a moment to ligh up a cigarette, setting the pack down on the table in front of her. Its a buffet line! "We think the Cylons cleaned-out the shipping and travel lanes rapidly. With no way to fight back? Most not having an FTL capability? They could do it at their choosing after the fleet was annihilated. There -could- very well be pockets of civilian ships out there. But after three months? Almost four? Its not likely. We aren't actively looking for survivors at the moment though we are running recon missions of various sectors."

Cora's eyes wander back down to those photos as Tillman speaks of non-existant governments, but they flick away as the cigarettes are set down, leaning forward to take one with a murmured, "Thank you, sir." She lights it, another gaze glancing off the images of almost-total defeat before she looks back up with a nod. "If survivors are not expected can I ask what the purpose of the recon missions is, sir?"

"We've geen some damned strange Cylon activity." The XO takes a drag off his cigarette. "Once we get you cert'd, Lieutenant, I'll go into detail about what we know. But for now, suffice to say that we are scouting to find out what they are up to. Tracking their movements. That sort of thing. If we happen to find anything during a recon, then its mapped and reported. So far its been pretty bleak. We're hoping to find something - anything - but nothing much. We did find a civilian ship quite on accident, though. We expended that on our trip to Leonis, though." The coffee is sipped while he ashes the smoke. "We're hoping to find survivors or part of that unaccounted-for fifteen percent of the fleet. Marine Landing Ships, supply rigs, refuelers, Fleet Mining Operations.. Stuff that wasn't heavily armed."

"I think I've heard a little about that," Cora nods, turning her head to exhale a burst of smoke off to the side. "Which planets have been reconned already?" she asks, lifting her glass of water for a sip and then setting it down, using her bad hand to shuffle those photos together and push them back across the table.

"We've scouted every colony. Did a low-level recon of Virgon and Leonis - which is probably obvious. Virgon was pretty badly hit. Our Raptor took heavy fire there and we almost lost the crew." Tillman sips at his mug once more. Gonna be a late night for him, though he probably doesn't get much sleep as it is. "There's a heavy presence around almost all of them, though. The Cylons have some kind of operation on Caprica, too. Last reports said there is heavy transport traffic between the Cylon baseships and the surface. They also didn't nuke the major cities there."

"So they're occupying, not just destroying and moving on," Cora summarizes, making a faint 'huh' sort of noise in the back of her throat. Another sip of water, another drag from her own cigarette, and then blue eyes flick up towards the major, surprise, confusion, and a very discreet, very tentative hope in her expression, just for a moment at that news of Caprica, obviously her home from that cut-glass accent, "They didn't? Is it possible the civilian population there is at all intact, if, obviously, captive?"

"Some of the planets were just outright nuked and destroyed. All the major cities are gone. Caprica and I believe Libran appear to be occupied. There's Cylon mining operations, we think, on a few others. As for the civilian populace?" Tillman shakes his head. "Its more than likely they are dead. We can't even get close enough to either one to make a solid assessment, though. Oberlin told me when I saw him on the deck about some building you all liberated down there. Experimenting on people? I'm not sure I'd want to hope they are alive or captive. Their goal was genocide. I don't think they give a shit about the welfare of anyone who survived. The cities still got nuked, but they were high altitude bursts. Blast damage to smaller structures. Things like cars would have been destroyed. Glass blown out of all the buildings. Wooden structures? Gone."

Cora smokes and listens, half-eaten food forgotten for the moment. "I see," she replies simply, taking a long drag and holding her breath for a while before letting it slip out her nose as she says, "So you don't have definitive intelligence on that point, basically. Or would the radiation from the high altitude nukes have been sufficient?" To annihilate the population, she implies but does not say. Rewinding briefly to the matter of the experimental facility on Leonis, she explains, "I wasn't present during that action, but it sounds gruesome, and worrying."

"Every colony was hit hard enough to be blanketed by a lethal dose of radiation. Some were closer to the threshold than others. Gemenon, Sagittaron, Aerilon…. Those were some of the lightest hit. There was a possibility of survivors for a few weeks after the initial attacks. Northern and Southern areas near the poles. Hamlets that didn't get a lot of wind. But they was only a matter of a few extra weeks. By now, they are blanketed. Those three colonies might be habitable in a generation or two. Places like Aquaria? They're so toxic that survival on the ground, in a protective suit, would still be measured in minutes. Maybe an hour. Its really bad." Tillman sounds about as grim as the results. "The action was bad. That's all I can really say. But we've been picking our fights since then. Playing our hands where we know we can win. They aren't close to crumbling but I think we just might have broken their nose at Leonis. Maybe a kidney shot."

Rime arrives from Deck 7 Corridor.
Rime has arrived.

It is late in the evening, not long after the escape from Leonis, and Cora sits across from where Tillman leans, frowning faintly as she listens to the XO's words. "I see," she says again, as simply as before. As for Leonis… "The destruction of the basestar, you mean?" she asks, nodding slightly, shifting cigarette between her fingers so she can lift that water glass again, "How many do they have, approximately?"

Tillman smirks. "You probably saw the one basestar go down. That was part of a larger operation. We used a series of nuclear strikes to blast holes in their defenses and we used more than a few fifty megaton nukes to blast away at what could be roughly referred to as an anchorage. Just a cluster of their ships, really." The man sips his coffee once again. "But as for their total number? No idea. Its probably impossible to really know considering that they are all identical. We would try tracking them individually but it comes down to danger involved. Unless you happen to have a friend who could get on board?" Its an easy smile with the joke.

The double doors slide open to the sound of brisk, firm footfalls. Lieutenant Rime strides in, her duty blues only slightly rumpled from a long shift in CIC, with a clipboard tucked under her arm. She pauses for a moment to look around the room, then detours toward the Major. Stopping two paces from him, she pulls herself into the very model of a perfect salute. "Sir." She holds it there, unwavering and expressionless, her eyes focussed on a spot on the distant wall, a few inches over from Tillman's face.

"Ah, so it was not just the one, then? I see," Cora nods approvingly, setting her glass back on the table again. At the joke, her brows inch together briefly, as if confused, but she replies with a faint smile, "No, I'm afraid not, sir. Unfortunately." She turns as Rime enters, but does not rise, or salute, just nodding in greeting and waiting silently.

Tillman glances to the hatch as it opens and that easy smile slides away. His arms drop from the cross on his chest, probably so one can rest near the sidearm he hasn't removed in some time. He looks to Cora before responding to Rime. "Negative. We've been actively engaged and taken out a few basestars. Today was just bad losses for them. The first time we saw one after the attacks was at Parnassus Anchorage." Way out in the middle of nowhere. "Took that bastard out. Shoulda seen the pride on the faces around this ship. Not a one of us wouldn't have chewed nails and still grinned." The XO finally looks back to Rime and returns the salute. "What is it, Lieutenant?"

Lieutenant Rime doesn't move, barring blinking and breathing, until her salute's return. Once it is, she offers the clipboard out toward him with a swift gesture. Once it's accepted, she settles into a rigid parade rest, her eyes returning to that spot near, but not upon, the XO. "End-of-shift. Nothing to report. I'll need your signature before staff rotation can commence. Sir." Her mouth purses slightly, then smooths back to an unreadable line.

"I see," Cora says to Tillman, the words becoming a refrain from the lieutenant, thought this time they're delivered a touch more slowly, most likely as a result of the mention of the undoubtedly-unfamiliar Parnassus Anchorage. Rime's tense formality prevents additional speech from the newcomer, who just waits for the major to complete that bit of business.

Tillman eyes the woman offering the clipboard with some undisguised animosity. Its clear he doesn't have much love for her. He takes the clipboard and looks it over. "I want a complete and updated damage report from tonight's repairs by zero six hundred, Rime." He takes a pen up and signs the bottom. The clipboard is offered to her once more to take. "Lieutenant Rime, this is Lieutenant Nikephoros. She's an Intel Officer from Atlas and our newest crewmember after Major Cavanaugh finishes her background investigation. This woman has been telling me some interesting things about the activities on Leonis. Things we will be discussing quite soon." He keeps his eyes levelled at the visiting Tac Officer. "You're dismissed for now, though."

Lieutenant Rime has yet to look directly at the XO, and seems determined to keep up that course of action. If Picon Fleet HQ were good at anything, it seems they were good at pumping out unflappable officers. Accepting the clipboard back, it's tucked under her arm as she says, "Zero six hundred. Understood. Sir." Always with that tiny, /tiny/ beat before she deigns to add the 'Sir'. It's barely there. It would be hard to prove it's deliberately done. That's surely the point, though, isn't it? After giving the Major another by-the-book salute, she turns her parade rest toward Cora, and dips a curt nod to the other woman. "Privy to classified information before the security vetting's done? How lucky for you." Her thin smile is anything but friendly, and gone in a blink. "Welcome aboard the Cerberus, Lieutenant." Her eyes slide around Tillman without crossing his face as she turns and takes her leave, long legs carrying her briskly for the door.

Cora spends a long moment reaching for an ashtray and knocking the butt of her cigarette against it in a deliberate fashion, eyes focused on that carefully comprehensive task. She looks up when she is named and introduced, looking from the major to Rime and greeting her with a nod and an answering, "Lieutenant." Her expression isn't cold, or unfriendly, just neutral and businesslike, and she takes that instant ill-will in stride, it seems, offering nothing further until the other blonde has exited.

Tillman drills holes into Rime's back with his eyes. The man looks like he's tempted to just shoot her as she moves away. His jaw clenched, chin out, those eyes thin until she is out of the hatch and gone. He takes a long moment to calm himself, too. "Rime was the officer, during the arrest, who called the Marines and sewed confusion into the situation. Damned nearly attacked us during the relief. She was in the brig for it until Pewter granted her a pardon." He's still staring at teh door but the anger seems to be fading.

Rime leaves, heading towards the Deck 7 [Out].
Rime has left.

Cora watches Rime exit, and then turns back to listen to Tillman's explanation, nodding simply and repeating (shocker), "I see." This time she follows it up after moment: "Sir, can I ask you a question?" Her tone implies it won't be another 'so, what's Tauron looking like these days?' sort of query.

Tillman finally turns and grabs up his smoke from the ashtray as he turns to look back towards Cora. The man dips his head. "Depending on the answer, you may not get something just yet. But please, ask anything you like." The XO probably doesn't seem like he's the kind of guy to keep information away from people without a damned good reason.

Cora nods, seeming content with that response. Her question, delivered in a professional tone tinged with curiosity and perhaps the faintest tint of wariness: "Sir, why did you tell Lieutenant Rime that I've been telling you interesting things about cylon activity on Leonis? Are you attempting to use me to threaten her position in CIC?"

"Counterintelligence, Lieutenant." Tillman states it flatly. "I won't use an officer like you're suspecting. But I need to direct the source away from Lieutenant Oberlin for right now." He crosses his arms, narrowing his eyes at Cora in a fairly intesive gaze through her eyes. "We have reason to believe there are either those human-cylon things aboard our ship or Cylon collaborators. I've narrowed one of the lists of suspects to Tactical. A few key individuals. Rime is one and not helping her situation. I don't think she is violent but I know she is smart. You're an unknown factor in this situation. And so you are aware? I included myself on the list of suspects. And if what Oberlin says is true? You will be on there as well." Tillman let's that hang. And she thought Leonis was a bad place. "Its shitty, but that's the way of the world. Until I get unflappable proof otherwise? An Intel Officer has access to a lot. I need to be careful. Copy that?"

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