PHD #053: Necessity
Summary: Haeleah follows the Ananke trail back to Gabrieli, and more ghosts of the past.
Date: 20 Apr 2041 AE
Related Logs: Sic Semper Tyrannis; Inescapable; Fear the Reaper; Probably others
Haeleah Gabrieli 
Engineering - Deck 11 - Battlestar Cerberus
Pipes, conduits, and cramped passageways. Heat and the smells of sweat and machine oil. Engineering is a maze of hallways that run deep into the aft of the Cerberus. Dotted with a few storage rooms, offices, and workshops, this section of the ship is constantly staffed by a huge team of professionals. From the main fuel tank feeds to the massive FTL drive room, no other part of the ship is more important than this section that provides propulsion and life support to every section of the battlestar.
Post-Holocaust Day: #53

Haeleah has just come off one of the long string of repair shifts in Sickbay. She hauls herself and her toolkit back to this particular chunk of the bowels of the ship, sweaty and grimey and generally in proper snipe-wear. Her kit is put away but, though likely near off-shift, she lingers. Eyes scanning, in search of ChEng.

Gabrieli has been in and out all day, switching attention from repair team to repair team. The ChEng's all greasy himself, wearing the coveralls of one of his own rather than the blues of an officer; he doen't have his complete range of motion back but what he's been able to do he's done. Hands-on. Returning with two seprate clipboards in arm and a slight frown on his face, he heads towards the corner of the batcave he normally occupies, green eye spotting Haeleah right away. "Lieutenant."

"Sir." Haeleah trots over to approach Gabrieli properly. A quick salute is offered. It's brisk as a wink. She doesn't dwell on such things overly long. "Just finished a round up in Medical country. Still isn't pretty, but it's coming along." That does not seem to be why she was hunting for him, however. "Do you have a moment, sir? I know everything madness right now but I was hoping we could go over some particulars. It's about that information we took off the Parnassus computers."

Gabrieli returns the salute in exactly the same fashion, almot offhanded. The clipboards are slotted into their correct places, and he nods to the JG. "I do. I have exactly forty minutes, so let's." He motions for Haeleah to come on along towards that same secure office that the Parnassis work's been sequestered away in. "We'll talk in here."

Haeleah follows alongside Gabrieli. Step quick. She has to walk a little faster than him for her shorter legs to keep up. But, now that she's got him, she seems almost hesitant. Into the secure office she ducks. "I…got some new information. But I don't know exactly what to do with it," she begins. Then dithers a little. Finally opening with the cryptic, "Does the name Ananke mean anything to you, sir?"

Gabrieli turns around once the door's shut, settling into one of the rolling chairs. It's still quite tough for him to be on his feet all day, even if no member of Engineering will ever hear him admit to pain. His light eyes watch Haeleah from under the brim of the cap he wears, one of his brows going up slightly. "Ananke?" A slight pause. "In a professional sense or a religious one, Lieutenant?"

"Both," Haeleah replies. "I…I'd been more focused on other parts of the puzzled we pulled before. Names. Companies. But…I get the feeling it's important." She gets the feeling. It's unusual for the younger snipe to speak in such fuzzy terms about something.

In the question game of Who Trumps Who, Haeleah unfortunately loses to Gabrieli. His tone doesn't have /suspicion/, per se, but nor does he sound entirely surprised she's brought this up. "Why do you say that?" Perhaps rhetorical, as he then partly answers himself: "The names on that list, from the computer."

"I guess because they jumped out at me more, were easier for me to get my head around," Haeleah says. "Admirals and corporate drones mean more to mean then spiritual stuff. I mean…I'm sorry, sir. I've just…never been much of a temple-goer, so I don't know much about it. It is something religious, then?"

"Necessity," Gabrieli replies. His lips thin, then drift back open before he speaks again. "She is of the double-edged bond, compulsion, fate. Compelling power." His fingertips lift, rubbing his chin. "Often they speak of her as the goddess of fate, as she's said to be the mother of the fates herself."

Haeleah nods. "That's what the pilot said…" she says softly. "Do you have any idea what something like that would be doing in the middle of the rest of that? I mean, a lot of that looked like official orders. I wonder if it's a code of some kind. Not one I grok, I'll admit." *RE*

"It was…" Gabrieli pauses, having to think for a long while now. He's about to give one answer and then something stops him. "It was a project. I think. I remember." His index finger lifts, the side of it touching against the end of his nose. "I honestly don't know /what/ it was, but I remember the paperwork. And only reason I do remember that is because I saw it come up once on the computer and I was trying to get the files, and the ChEng at the time pulled me off it."

Haeleah crosses her arms along her chest, head tilting as she listens to Gabrieli. "A project? W…when, sir?" The idea of him having a ChEng of his own no doubt brings to mind times long past. Before man walked upright.

"Back on the Chimaera." Gabrieli frowns slightly, settling back in the chair and drawing his right ankle up over his left knee. "Would have been something like five or six years ago. Closer to six." He considers his own statement before nodding in support of it. "It was about six. It was right around the time we got audited. QUODEL precusor, giant pains in the ass. I was going through the records at that time and I remember very well…our numbers were frakked. Things just didn't add up in places, like sloppy bookkeeping just out of the blue."

Haeleah frowns at mention of the Chimaera. The place brings up more than a few ghosts for all the members of the Engineering section. "Frakked?" She frowns. "Overruns? Those seem pretty standard when it comes to military projects. Unfortunately. I was surprised Cerberus got out of dock more or less on schedule."

"This wasn't the Cerberus though, Lieutenant." Gabrieli shakes his head, lips thinning into a harsh line that moves some of the scar tissue on his cheek. "The Chimaera was a tight ship. She wasn't new. Not the boat, not the crew." His arms fold, not in defensive manner but just to rest them against his chest. "Engineering's records had glitches as well, and I'd have been flayed alive for mistakes like that. But…" His mouth drifts open, then closed again. Memory. "…but they said 'don't worry about it'. Just like that. And not a thing ever happened."

Haeleah frowns some more, but it's with confusion this time. "During an audit? That's…well, *that* doesn't add up, sir. If I may say. You're talking like these mistakes just suddenly appeared. I mean, this wasn't just something you didn't notice before?"

"No." Gabrieli glances at the dark computer screens that started this avalanche of recollection, then his light eyes return to his subordinate. "My CO ran things her way, and her way was very compartmentalized. /Very/. I rarely saw most of the inventory records myself; she had people who she'd handpicked to handle that. I got my nose into it because of the audit, and it hit me then."

Haeleah makes a low "Huh" sound. Not entirely approving of the 'compartmentalized' way Gabrieli describes. "So this Ananke…thing is a project. Something to do with the Chimaera. Or…maybe. Frak me sideways." Err. A little shrug. "Sorry. It's just…it's so strange." A pause. "Sir…do you…believe in…things?" She doesn't even sound like she knows quite what she's asking him.

"I'm from Gemenon, what do you think?" Gabrieli's dryness is goodnatured enough towards his old home's ways. "There are many 'things' I believe in." The answer's slightly distracted, his eyes turning down and flickering leftward. The sign of someone scraping their memory for something, perhaps.

"I don't," Haeleah says very quietly. "Or…I didn't. I…don't really know what to think now. I just…something's telling me this Ananke thing's important and it's not…natural. I mean, it doesn't make sense but…I know it's really important." She runs a hand over her curly hair, shrugging helplessly. "Sometimes I think I'm going crazy." She chuckles a little as she says it, but it's clearly not at all a joke.

Gabrieli shifts his arms on his chest. "I've known some crazy people in my life, Parres. And I do mean 'batshit'." The word choice may be glib, but the ChEng's tone is anything but as he says it. "You, I would place money still retain your sanity." A slight pause, a slight frown. "These are not ordinary times…and unordinary times don't just come up from nowhere."

Haeleah's dark eyes go to Gabrieli's for a moment. As if she'd like to ask more about his not-so-glib tone. But she doesn't. She just shifts a little, nodding. "If nothing else it's collective crazy," she murmurs. "Where should we go with this from here, sir? I admit, I'm stumped. I just…I know it's important and I know somehow that if we miss it…well, we'll be frakked. I just…don't know how."

Gabrieli has nothing to say for a few moments. Or perhaps he does, and he's just trying to find the right words. Something's going on his expression anyway, and eventually his chin lifts. Inch at a time. "Have you" Casually. "come across any mentions of Leonis in all this?"

"Leonis?" Haeleah purses her lips, as if trying to physically turn some information up and over in her brain. "Not that I noticed. I could cross-check the names against the computer files or the information in the library. Why Leonis, sir?"

"We were attached to Leonis Station. The Chimaera, I mean." One of Gabrieli's hands unsnakes from its perch inside the crook of his elbow, making some vague gesture. "We were there an awful lot during that whole period…little milk runs between there and some of the anchorages. Wasn't odd at the time. Might not be odd now. I just remember these two scientists from Leonis were /always/ there."

"Some of that stuff we pulled obviously referred to contractor projects," Haeleah says. "I wonder if those two scientists were tied to the…whatever Ananke was. And maybe more of them. Harpyiae…Pnoiai…Eosphoros…" She dredges up the names from that data list, but speaks them as one puzzling through the pronunciation without real knowledge of the meaning. A shrug. "I don't know, sir. Wasn't much about Parnassus that wasn't odd, you want my opinion."

"You want to know why a place is odd, have a look at its commander," Gabrieli mutters, raising an eyebrow. "That trick never fails. Di you ever hear of Admiral Hauck in your day, Lieutenant?"

"I've heard her name bandied around a couple times," Haeleah says. "After we landed on Parnassus. I asked Lieutenant Oberlin about her. I guess he knew her. He said she was a hard-ass. Well, that's probably an understatement. Close to shit-house crazy paranoid. Though I guess she doesn't look so much paranoid now. You know her?"

Rather than sounding offended at the characterization of an Admiral that way, Gabrieli gives a harsh-sounding snort. "He's not wrong." The ChEng sniffs, once. "I didn't know her that well personally, but Guiloff did. Our CO. She went to his wedding. They were both very…I'd say 'anti-cylon' but that's too sanitary. Add in some frothing at the mouth and you're closer." He runs his tongue along the underside of his top teeth. "Guiloff would sometimes say things…just. The 'end of the problem'. That's how he put it."

Haeleah shrugs. "Kind of too bad they didn't succeed," she murmurs under her breath. "You think that's what this Ananke thing might've been about? Ending the…problem?"

"I don't know," Gabrieli says, at length. "Like I said, the one time I did try to have a look at the files, that…didn't work out." Euphemism for a command cockblock. "Guiloff was like that way before I saw anything pop up about Ananke. It could have been anything."

Haeleah grins. An amused little grin at the euphemism, though she manages not to chuckle. "Well, I'm glad you're less about…compartmentalizing us than your old superiors were, sir. I…I think that's it. Unless there's anything else you can tell me. I'm still not sure where to go with this next. I feel like I'm putting together a puzzle without the picture of what it's supposed to look like at the end."

"Hard learning curve," Gabrieli answers her wryly. As to not compartmentalizing his own playground. "But it made it easy to have everyone's heads up their own asses for a long, long time." Now that he's laying out these tiny pieces, even he sounds disturbed at how they're fitting together. Sort of. "And I know the feeling, Parres. I want you to go back to Oberlin. You can talk to him about anything I just told you, and send him to m if he has more questions. Ask him if they've found anything off concerning Leonis in all this…especially anything funky connecting Leonis to any of the anchorages that the Chimaera used to frak off to all the time. He should have those records — if he doesn't I can give him what I remember. Work with him on that."

"Will do, sir," Haeleah says. She nearly turns to go but stops. One more thing seemingly pressing on her mind. "Sir…you said you believed in…things. What do you believe about…the dead? I mean. Ghosts I guess. I don't know." She doesn't even seem to know what she's asking, but something about it clearly spooks her in a way she's trying to hide. And failing.

Gabrieli's eyes had turned to the dark computer screens when she got up, lingering there. A brow goes up slightly as he tears his attention back to the Lieutenant. "Ghosts?" Left field, that one. He seems to consider his answer before he gives it. "Don't go running to the shrink on me, but I believe in them. As spirits pass to the underworld, surely there are some that manage to find a way back."

"I…I guess I believe in them, too." Haeleah says it very quietly. Her dark skin a shade more ashen as she talks of this. "I…what would you tell me if I said I saw one?"

Gabrieli's mouth opens, but a second goes by before he actually says anything. There's an Official Answer and then there's /his/ answer. "I…would ask if you recognized it."

Haeleah nods and says, even more quiet, almost to the point where she's inaudible, "I did." Deep breath. She blinks rapidly, to keep the tears that are now standing in her eyes from doing anything more than just standing there.

Gabrieli's eyes slowly untense at the corners. Compassion, perhaps, or…who knows. He's literally starting to speak when the PA system goes off, paging him for an 'emergency' out front. He clears his throat, moving to stand up in that stiff manner he now permanently has. "I'm sorry, Parres. Listen, I'll be around after shift. If you want to…" His hand makes some motion. 'Want to talk', presumably.

"Uh, yeah. Right. Later, sir." It's hard to say if that's a sign Haeleah will take him up on the invitation or not. Either way she lets him go, lingering in the office for a bit herself.

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