PHD #433: Nothing Actionable
Nothing Actionable
Summary: Cidra goes to the Master at Arms to talk of McQueen's past deeds, but the two do not hit on anything conclusive.
Date: 05 May 2042 AE
Related Logs: The Public Weal and other events are referenced
Constin Cidra 
MaA's Office - Deck 6 - Battlestar Cerberus
This smallish styled office is typically made use of by the Master-at-Arms to conduct his business and oversee the MP's. A large desk sits in the center of the room, to which a secured cabinet can be seen immediately to the left of it. Across form the desk, two simple chairs are present for those who visit, while behind the desk, a much larger and more comfortable chair can be seen.
Post-Holocaust Day: #433

Constin had punched in the access code to unseal the converted storage space that serves as the MAster-at-Arms' office. Within are the hard copies of sensitive documents which were kept off the network, occupying filing cabinets which line the back wall. Hauling the hatch back closed after Cidra has entered, Elf drawls, "Take a seat as you like, Colonel."

"Thank you," Cidra says, going over to do just that. And take a seat. Legs crossed. "Do you mind if I smoke?" She slips her omnipresent pack out of her uniform pocket. The cheap Picon cigarettes she fancies. But she does wait for the MaA's word before she'll light up. "As I did say, I have been going over the activities of the creature that called itself Lieutenant Trevor Cairn McQueen in my mind." 'The creature' is apparently a permanent part of his name now. "This is all long-over, and I know not if it means anything. But I had wanted to bring it to your attention. A few matters. But one I cannot get of my head, even though it seems the least actionable." A pause. "You remember the night Tillman arrested Admiral Abbot. Outside the chapel." It's not a question. She knows he remembers. From her somber tone, her own memory of that night is all too clear.

Constin shakes his head to the question, stepping around the side of his desk to place a tin coffee mug on the tabletop within Cidra's easy reach. A relic from his predecessor as MaA, the mug has 'Once you go Marine..' etched onto the outside and already contains several spent cigarette butts. Nodding to Cidra's words, he voices, "Yes sir, I do. The humanoid cylon agent offered a protest at the detainment, if I recall correctly."

Cidra nods to that. "He…it did." The correction is firm, even if it comes a moment late. "McQueen went beyond protesting the mutiny itself. It argued Abbot could not be a Cylon. 'You never, ever, ever, /ever/ put a plant at the top,' it said to me. 'If you want to subvert an enemy force, you place someone just below the DRADIS. Someone they don't notice.'" She snorts. "I suppose the McQueen Creature suited that part well enough."

Constin shakes his head. "With respect, sir, I do not think McQueen did suit that part," Constin voices as he leans back in his own seat to face Cidra. "Insufficient ability to influence Command level decisions. Without considering the thing friendly, still seems a reasonable conclusion that the McQueen didn't like what was percieved as a non-cylon getting detained."

Cidra frowns as to McQueen and the value of his placement as an agent, but she makes no answer to it. "I was just wondering, Gunnery Sergeant, if there might be some…deeper message in the way he…it, reacted that night to the taking of Abbot. Though if it intended to stop the removal of a higher-placed 'Model', it did little good."

Constin leans back and considers how to answer the CAG's question. "For purposes of assisting you in judging the motives of your people, sir.." he prefaces the answer. Ah, the byzantine protocols governing ongoing investigations. "It is presently my observation that the agent designated McQueen weren't lying in the statement that it knew its nature all along. It is entirely possible that- without considering it friendly- the agent didn't want what resulted from Lieutenant Rime's actions. As for any other deeper message?" he voices, "I'd be interested to hear out any speculation youmight have on the subject, Colonel."

"I honestly…gods I do not even know where to begin speculating," Cidra says. "McQueen did not seem to set in motion what Lieutenant Rime did. Though they were the only ones in the chapel that night that took such forceful action against the taking of Abbot. Well. And the Marines you and the others encountered later on." Her head bows, somber. "I do not know, Gunnery Sergeant. McQueen spent more than a year lying to us. Perhaps that was all part of a larger lie. And yet…there is so much about Abbot's execution that sits ill with me. Commander Pewter said the Areion commanders did not even propose using the Gun as a Cylon detector when we had him in custody. Did not even mention to us its abilities to do that. If it in even could. I do not know. And yet…it is all just so fearful strange, on a matter that should be said and done."

"If it helps, Colonel?" Constin states plainly, upon a question he has long since considered and come to terms with. "Abbott weren't executed for being a cylon. He were executed for treason and failure to abide by the Uniform Code of Military Justice. There is no doubt in my mind he were guilty of that. From where I'm sitting his status as human or cylon is irrelevent to the fact that he betrayed his command. Nothing- not Areion, not Pewter, not McQueen- changes that fact." A freshly drawn breath. "Having said that, it is my recommendation that everything that McQueen said may or may not be a lie. Same as anybody else. I've cross checked McQueen's whereabouts during every instance of sabotage aboard this boat and still havn't found anything to indicate awareness or compliance. It's entirely possible that agent's only agenda were to disable any mass device of cylon destruction, which would be consistant with it's behavior."

"It did use its final payload of Raptor missiles to launch them at the Areion. Crippling its Gun. Though it saved us all that day, perhaps that *was* its mission. Apart from that, and its strange behavior regarding Abbot, only two occasions come to my mind." Cidra takes a moment to collect her thoughts. "The first was in the development of the 'IFF Transponder Project.' It was initiated just before the mission to Leonis went off. It was a transponder that was supposed to make the signatures of the ships we sent to that planet look like Cylon vessels. McQueen had a good deal of background wireless skill and was involved in it." A pause. "As you know from Leonis, those transponders did not do much to mask our presence. Though that mission might have been compromised a dozen different ways. Including from Abbot, if he was a Cylon." Despite that last addition, the late Admiral is a 'he', not an 'it'.

"Including a cylon leak with access to Cee-Eye-Cee, sir, that is one way the compromise could have occurred. That, in addition to the fact that there were confirmed, actively hostile cylon agents aboard Cerberus, suce as the agent Morgenfield, sir," Constin adds. He frowns in thought (his usual thoughtful expression) as he considers Cidra's description of the IFF transponder. "Huh. One thing about the humanoid agents: they're all really good with computers. Must be cousins or some such," he quips, deadpan. "What was the second 'strange incident', Colonel?"

"They are machines, Gunnery Sergeant. They may look like us, but at their marrow they are as Cylon as a Centurion toaster or Raider." That cheery pronouncement out of the way, Cidra goes on. "The second is more recent. The analysis of the footage and transmission we received from the recons over Gemenon. The first transmission we picked up months ago, when we did the initial reconnaissance of the outer colonies. When we found the survivors on Sagittaron. We could make no sense of it, despite our code-breakers best efforts." A pause. "McQueen somehow managed to insert himself in the decrypting of that data, along with that received from the second reconnaissance. And, lo and behold, this time it broke."

Constin doesn't so much as blink at the initial statement. He voices simply, "Preaching to the choir, sir." The word of McQueen inserting himself into the cracking code brings a short sniff. "No surprise there, sir. The agent designated Rejn did something similar on the bridge during the Areion standoff. One thing that can be stated conclusively, I think, is that when our goals line up with their goals, the agents are not adverse to ensuring our success. Also, cylons can handle cylon code- the Colonel may recall that Areion was running fragmentary cylon encryption when they comandeered our network during the mutiny. Rejn didn't want the ship destroyed, so put a freeze on the nukes. McQueen wanted to know the status of Gemenon and clearly wanted to draw the Cerberus there, so we broke the code and found out."

"And he…it…" Again with the faint stumbling over McQueen. "The McQueen creature help decrypt that message in a way that seems highly useful to the goals of the Cylons down there. A call for aid. A lure of shared goals. Perhaps a trap. Perhaps some game its model and the Eleven are playing, all we have seen hints at divisions within their ranks." She lets out a hiss of a breath. "That is all, Gunnery Sergeant. The rest, I cannot make sense of. The Cylons kept finding us day after day *somehow* during the Swarms, but a Viper pilot would be not the best-placed mole for that sort of lure, so I can do no more but feel unease over it."

Constin nods once. "Zactly, sir. Plain fact at the end of the day is this: we do not know what the various cylon agents fully intend. It is my observation through several various actions that some or all models wish us to be taken alive. The possibility also exists that there is a division of purpose within cylon ranks- again I do not specify friendly intent- simply a division of purpose. The possibility also exists that it's all some elaborate ruse, but at that point we're getting to some of that 'circular logic'." A drawn breath taken in and let out. "From where I sit, there are only two types of folk, sir: them that help and them that don't. I'm still looking real hard to put McQueen into that 'don't help' category, but alls I'm coming up with is with holding information so far."

Cidra nods to that. "Division of purpose. I like that phrasing. The motives of the various models we have encountered make no sense unless you consider that factor." As for McQueen, she frowns. And nods. "I cannot either." It's admitted very softly. Like she's unwilling to say it. "I think I nearly drove myself mad trying to find similar 'do not help' reasonings for Ryan 'Salt' Shaker, who died with so many of my flight on Picon. For the Eleven copies we have encountered. I cannot make sense of their motives as simple traps. Yet they are Cylons, Gunnery Sergeant. They still killed our family, our friends, our planets, burnt our holy places…I cannot trust them, even if I cannot stop wondering why they would help us."

"Colonel," Constin voices, following a short sigh. "M'gonna tell you something that might worry you, some." A drawn breath, "Cylons are the enemy until I get told otherwise. You know plenty well that Lauren Coll is considered suspect as a humanoid cylon agent. Me and a lot of others have looked real hard into her case. Personally, I think it's a load of paranoia, spiked with horse shit," he notes with a shrug. "But between service while aboard this ship.. and between that Hammerfall business Makinen is so fired up about? If she was a cylon, there's no damn way I can account for that, sir. If she was a cylon, she was on our side, sir. Apart from anything else," he is non specific as to what else there might be, "She was on our side."

"Lauren Coll may have just been a human woman who fell victim to a madman on Sagittaron. I lost a husband, Gunnery Sergeant. So I shall not tell you not to dwell on it. But sometimes there is no deeper reason one is lost other than they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the subject of awful luck." Cidra clears her throat, voice showing a bit more emotion than she probably intended. "Well. I should leave you now. My talk is getting circular again. Machines we cannot trust, warnings we cannot ignore…drive us all mad more than days of Swarms, it shall."

"Yeah, well. I got a job that forces me to examine that question on a pretty regular basis, sir," Constin notes with a wry twist to his lip as Cidra's advice regarding deeper reasons, or lack thereof. "Still, obliged to you for the saying, and obliged again for sharing this information." He nods once, conclusively. "Enough to make me wish for a phalanx of Centurions some days, like you said Colonel. Clear eyes, steady hands, yeah?"

"I find the Raiders far preferable to the skinjobs, Gunnery Sergeant. At least I know why they are shooting me, and they do not muss with my head." Cidra offers Constin the slimmest of smiles. "Clear eyes and steady hands. Aye. And good hunting to you." She stands, on that note. And leaves the MaA to his office

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