PHD #047: No Lies
No Lies
Summary: Tisiphone brings Kulko more news she shouldn't have.
Date: 2041.04.15
Related Logs: Most recently, Fear The Reaper. Also of note, Cassandra.
Kulko Tisiphone 
Deck 9 — Recreation — Battlestar Cerberus
Post Holocaust Day: #47
The floorplating along the corridors of the Cerberus are standard military. Their forged steel plates are welded seamlessly together to run nearly the entire length of each hallway. The hallways themselves are the typical load-bearing structural design of the angled quadrilateral. Oxygen scrubbers and lighting recesses are found at nearly perfect intervals throughout the angled passageways.
Condition Level: 2 — Danger Close

Kulko is emerging from the galley, not in any hint of a hurry. He pauses at the first corridor junction outside the hatch, and loosens the belt on his duty blues a notch. A contented sigh escapes him. Chow never tasted so good.

Scuff. Scuff-scuff. Scuff. Galley, Chapel, Rec Room aka Temporary Sickbay. There's a lot on Deck Nine to keep Tisiphone's attention. It's Option B that seems to have been on her dance card most recently — she heads out of the chapel, takes the dog-leg toward the Galley on autopilot as she starts unwinding her coil of prayer-beads from their perch on her left wrist. Looking down at them, rather than her destination, she's on a slow collision course for either Kulko or the corner nearest him.

"Ought to watch where you're goin'," Kulko admonishes the Viper jock as he comes within potential collision distance. "Unless zombie-walkin 'round the corridors is your way of sayin' howdy." He sidles up along the bulkhead, leaning back with arms folded and one foot flat against the wall.

Bra-a-ains. Tisiphone could stand for a booster-shot. Command-sorts must be full of them, too. Tisiphone's steps do a little shuffle-hop as she straightens and rears back from the collision that never comes with a tired sway. "Sorry, Si-" she starts automatically, before she realizes who it is she's looking at. "-oh. Stephen." Another blink, some lightbulb firing up excitedly in sleety eyes. "Stephen. How are you?" The prayer-beads get slipped down into her pocket with a chorus of bony clicks as she steps over to him.

Kulko gives Tisiphone a looking-over. Shrugs. "Can't complain. Pullin' some double-shifts to get everything ready for this weekend - just came off a break, now back to the salt mines." From his hip pocket comes the soft-pack of cigarettes, which is inverted, and two tapped out. "Yourself? They gotta be ready to cut that puppy offa you soon, right?"

Tisiphone looks like she's running on about half an hour of shitty sleep. Wan-faced, tired bruises under reddened eyes. Her left forearm's covered in a maze of light red gouges, just starting to puff up slightly. Like kitten-scratches, almost, except they're too long, and too ordered. "Uh," she murmurs. "Yeah. Soon as the Sickbay has time for me. You got a minute?" She looks from the cigarettes being tapped out, to the corridor. Restless. She steps in closer, conspiratorially.

"For you, darlin', I got two." He replaces the cigarette pack from whence it came and lights both, passing one along. Apox on the poor crewman who has to sweep the floors of all the ashes. "What's on your mind?"

When the mutiny comes, the cleanup crews will be leading it. Tisiphone's mouth quirks up at one corner, sleety eyes thawing. "Thanks," she murmurs, stealing the cigarette away and immediately filling her lungs like a near-drowned person on their first breath of air. She leans shoulder and hip against the bulkhead, right next to Kulko's arm, and takes a few beats before speaking again. "I need you to do something," she begins. "It's important."

Kulko opens his mouth as if to crack wise, then thinks better of it. Takes a slightly less desperate drag, and exhales politely, if unnecessarily, away from the pilot. "All this buildup, you'd think you wanted me to sneak a nuke into your quarters or sommat. Out with it, Tis."

"Would you? If I asked you?" Tisiphone suddenly looks up at Kulko, all glittery eyes and intent, feral grin. Like sneaking a nuke into Viper Berths would be the most excellent thing /ever/. There's a soft, scratchy peal of laughter before she looks out to the corridor. Another drag and exhale before she looks back. "The logfiles, e-mails, whatever you guys have been pulling from the Anchorage." Which she should, of course, know /nothing/ about. "You need to go through them again. You're missing something."

"Of course we're missing something," Kulko replies almost immediately, ignoring the nuke commentary. "Every third letter is missing. We're piecing the intel together with best guesses and correlations, and it's slower'n shit. Between the bullets and the rads those computers took, I'm surprised we got anything off 'em at all." Finally the implication of Tisiphone's asking about all this sinks in. "What's it to ya, anyway? You got - had family there? Old flame?"

"My family never left Sagittaron, Stephen." It's only mildly chastising. "And my old flames were ash before the Cylons came along for the double-tap." Tisiphone looks at Kulko's near arm for a few seconds, head canted slightly, her cigarette bobbing in her mouth as she considers her next words. "No, I mean. You're /missing/ something." Like /her/ missing and the man's /missing/ is different, somehow. "The Cylons were there because of-" She hesitates, changes her words. "There was something on that Anchorage they were afraid of. Seriously afraid of."

"Makes sense," Kulko follows along. "The top few decks were irradiated so bad we couldn't even get in. There are a bunch of references to some top secret project being carried out. But look here," he pauses, pulling a drag off the cigarette to choose his words just as carefully. "We can't go /find/ it, cause the toasters got to it already, and the data just isn't there. Engineering's ready to rip my throat out cause I keep askin' em to make somethin' out of nothin'."

"There's nothing in those top decks but ash. You're not making something out of nothing, you're showing them the nothing is /something/." Tisiphone's words speed up a little, more intent. "Ananke," she says. "They were there for her. Because of her. In some way. There's something-" The word is tense, like she's trying to brute-force answers out of it, and failing. "-about her that's the answer to all this. Project Ananke? Was there an Admiral Ananke? A password? I don't know. But you need to go over those records again and try to fit it together."

"Hold the phone," Kulko raises his smoke-hand, palm forward, to slow Tisiphone down. "I classified the hell out of every bit of data we got off that station. Who's leaking this stuff to you? Parres? Ter Avest?"

There was a Look that Tisiphone had, the last time a conversation like this played out — back when she was trying to convince Kulko to, somehow, keep the Cerberus from jumping in to the Anchorage altogether. Unwavering certainty in something that is, or ought to be, utterly uncertain. That Look is back, lifted up to Kulko's face and held there for a few long seconds. "No. Nobody on board is leaking anything to me, Stephen. I'm just- passing the message along, as it was told to me." Her brows suddenly furrow; the Look splinters to simple frustration. "You need to do this."

There was a Look Kulko had, too, and it repeats itself as well for a few moments. Finally Stephen breaks the eye contact and raises his free hand to press his temples between thumb and forefinger. "Right." He stays that way for a few moments, then looks back to Tisiphone wearily. "Alright. In between trying to coordinate a long range strike mission, and making sure CIC gets put back together in order, I'll see if I can't squeeze some more water out of these rocks."

Tisiphone doesn't look away. It's her only way to try and impress this point upon Kulko — let him look in and, possibly maybe, see for himself how serious she is about this. Then again, maybe it's the same 'I'm not crazy, honest' look every nutter everywhere is capable of giving. When he breaks eye contact, she swallows hard and looks up toward the ceiling, another harsh drag and lungful of smoke aimed that-a-way. After clearing her throat, she looks back, resting casted fingertips on his upper arm for a moment. "I know it sounds frakked. Just- please. See if there's anything there."

"I said I'd do it," Kulko repeats, resting his free hand on top of Tisiphone's. "An' that means it's gonna get done, unless'n until there's a bullet in my head." A pause, and he finds refuge in the cigarette for a long few seconds before his next words. Quieter, they come: "But you're scarin' the frak outta me, here, Tis. No lies."

"I'm scaring the frak outta me, too." Tisiphone leans her head forward, giving Kulko's shoulder a bump, and his arm a twitchy little squeeze, before she looks up. There's a wry grin — or what might pass for one — mustered, before she tucks her cigarette back into the corner of her mouth. "No lies."

"Alright. I've got work to do, seems like." Kulko takes a last drag off his cigarette and tosses it to the deck, giving it a quick twist under the toe of his boot. Sucks to be that crewman, true enough. "I'll let you know if anything turns up."

"Thanks, Stephen. I mean it." Tisiphone squeezes his arm again, then takes a step back. "It's all- classified, like you said. I know there's not a lot you can tell me. Let's just…" She trails off for a deep breath which hitches at its apex. On the exhale: "…hope I'm right." Her gaze lingers on him a moment longer before she pushes off the bulkhead and makes her exit, as well.

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