PHD #023: Official Unofficial Favors
Official Unofficial Favors
Summary: Sawyer is summoned to Abbot's office to discuss the death of Sarkis.
Date: 21 Mar 2041 (PHD 23)
Related Logs: The Test of Gold.
Abbot Sawyer 

The Admiral's Quarters are as stately as can be expected. One of the few rooms on the ship to get carpeting, it has numerous other small amenities that only few can ever dream of having. A personal bathroom has a privacy door to the side with its own shower and sink. The bunk has a queen size mattress which is set deep into the wall. Overhead of the bunk is personal storage while the rest of the room is lined with bookshelves and pictures from various points in the CO's life or noteworthy occasions. Above the Admiral's large oak desk is a set of displays the read-off various status reports throughout the day and night. A seating area with overstuffed chairs and a coffee table, is located nearer to the entrance hatch.

Word had been sent to Sawyer, via runner, that Michael wished a few moments of her time and in preparation of their meeting, the Admiral had taken a bottle of whiskey and two glasses from within the desk and set them upon the table that is settled in the seating area. Next to the glasses, a small file folder sits, with the word 'CLASSIFIED' stamped on the front of it in big, bold lettering. Now, Michael finds himself seated in one of the chairs, semi-leaning forward as he begins to open the bottle and fill the two glasses while he waits.

There's a rap on the door, and instead of an aide sticking his head in this time, it's Sawyer opening the hatch without a proper welcome and sticking her head inside. He was expecting her, after all. "Sorry, Michael, I hope I didn't keep you waiting. I was right in the middle of developing some photos and the process is….finicky." She leads off while striding into the sitting area instead of his office area this time. Interesting. Reaching up to tuck a fringe of blonde hair behind her ear, then the same hand is offered over warmly for a hand shake.

Only when the knock arrives does Michael rise from his spot in the seating area, eyes flitting in the direction of the door. When Sawyer enters, the man is giving a quick smile as a hand motions towards one of the chairs, "Didn't keep me waiting at all, Sawyer. Plus, there's enough that I could do to fill the time." When she moves closer and offers her hand, he's accepting it for a quick hand shake before moving back to claim his seat, "I took the liberate of pouring you a whiskey. If that doesn't suit your palette, I can get you something else."

Dressed again in suit pants, this time she's wearing a pale pink blouse with a ruffle at the throat. Sawyer's at least professional in appearance, if not always in her mannerism. On a ship full of crew who don't stand out as individuals, the Reporter tends to stand out in her choice of attire and her meticulously applied makeup. As she takes a seat, she smooths her trousers out over her thighs and offers the man a faint smile. "I'll drink what you drink, Admiral. I can at least pretend to go toe to toe with you. So! To what do I owe this honor?"

Her answer draws a soft chuckle from Michael and after a moment, he's simply lifting a glass and extending it in her direction. "No need to go toe to toe with me, Sawyer." When the glass is finally accepted, the very same hand makes a motion towards the file folder on the table. "I promised to keep you informed of things and I thought you'd like to hear the details of how Colonel Sarkis died and what transpired that evening. I thought you might like to do up an announcement on it, with the caveat that some details can't be released."

Sawyer touches the glass to her lips with a slight pause before she sips. "You can imagine what the rumor mill has already conjured up. If you give me the full truth, then I will happily publish what is fit for mass consumption, though I hope the two are closely connected. Start me off from the beginning of the evening. I understand he had a dinner of some sort? And then all of a sudden he's dead. I'm certainly missing some details in the middle." She shifts, pulling a small notebook out of her back pocket.

Michael claims his own glass before settling back into his chair, "They are." The glass is lifted to his lips, a small sip taken before the glass is lowered and settled atop his knee, "To start with, you should know that a couple of days before this 'dinner', I had Colonel Sarkis removed from his position as Executive Officer. The trauma of the events at Picon Anchorage and the subsequent findings seemed to weigh more heavily on him and I was concerned for his mental welfare. So, he was relieved and ordered to an appointment with Medical, which was to happen a day after his dinner." A pause, "Now, the issue of the dinner is correct. He invited Captain Gabrieli, the Chief Engineer and Master Sergeant Barclay, the Master At Arms, up for dinner." Another pause, fingers idly tapping against his glass, "Captain Gabrieli reported that upon entry, he noticed the smell of alcohol. Seems the Colonel had 'spilled' some Ambrosia."

Sawyer shifts aside her whiskey after another quick nip, needing her hands to take notes for the time being. One holds the pad of paper still, while the other pokes the nub pencil out of the spiral and starts jotting down the names and facts he starts spouting off. "Any indication why he chose those two particular people? And you're using 'spilled' with some hint of skepticism."

"No, I do not know why they were chosen. Nor, do I think they really know, either." The glass is lifted back to Michael's lips, another sip taken before he's lowering it back down. "You'll understand why I used it in that fashion, in a moment." There's a collection of thoughts, a frown, and then he's continuing. "Sarkis proceeded to talk about the men we'd lost to electrical fires and stairs. Mentioned something about evolution and how we all get here. At this point, Captain Gabrieli and and Sergeant Barclay got up to leave. Captain Gabrieli mentions hearing Sarkis say something about a timer and the hatch, but can't recall exactly. The next thing he knows, there's an explosion and he finds himself being flung back, while noticing the Master at Arms knocked out."

Sawyer takes furious notes in that strange short-hand of hers, how she even makes heads or tails of it when she goes to write the actual story is anyone's guess. "The electrical fires. Interesting how that should come up. Any indication as to what's been causing all of them? Faulty wiring or was it sabotage?" Sure, she seems to go a little bit off topic, but as they seem to be intertwined, there's no reason not to include it in this conversation and tie up another one of her loose ends.

There's a shake of his head, followed by a quick smile, before Michael is offering, "Still an on-going investigation into that, so I can't really offer any information. You can speak with the Engineers or the Military Police in reference to it, though." It's then that the Admiral rises from his seat, angling over to move towards one of the bookshelves. "Captain Gabrieli managed to call Damage Control. At this point, Sarkis lit a cigarette and told the two men to appreciate what he was doing." There's an audible sigh now, followed by a moments silence. Turning back, he settles his eyes back on Sawyer, "Then, the Colonel dropped his lighter into the Ambrosia soaked carpet. Said something about 'Now let me choose a death glorious' before pouring a bottle of the stuff on himself."

"I have. I did. That's gotten me precisely what you've just said: on-going investigation. Not at liberty do discuss the details." Sawyer responds to the first, but grows silent as he dives back into the meat of their conversation. The scritch scratch of the pencil halts for a moment as the Admiral recounts the details he was undoubtedly given by Gabrieli. There's a slight exhale through her nose, and then she restarts her note taking. "So he blows the hatch. Trapping himself and two men inside a veritable death trap, then ensures at least he will get engulfed by the flames."

"That's pretty much what happened, Sawyer. Thankfully, Captain Gabrieli survived. Unfortunately, we lost someone during the rescue attempt, as well as the fact that Master Sergeant Barclay perished in the fire." Michael doesn't move to take a seat, choosing to simply pace back and forth across the floor. "I'd prefer if you don't release the full details of this, but I thought it important that you should know. So that you had a better insight into the events that happened. It's also important that we get this out so that the crew, military and civilian, know that Colonel Sarkis was suffering a mental breakdown." The glass is once more lifted to the Admiral's lips, though this time he's draining the contents. "I'll see that you get access into investigations, Sawyer, so long as the details of them aren't reported until the investigating officer gives the OK. I'm sure I don't need to state that an investigation could be harmed by the premature release of information."

As the Admiral finishes his glass of whiskey, she motions to pour them both a refill. She's only really topping off her glass, so much for keeping toe to toe. Even though she's the guest, perhaps she's compelled by some womanly duty to tend to his drink. "I'll get a draft together in the next few days. Try and paint him in the best light as possible while not diminishing the the loss of lives by his hands. I'll need to speak with the Chief Engineer, with your permission, as well as be given the name of the other person who lost his life in the line of duty."

Moving back towards his seat, Michael settles his glass on the table before lowering himself down to sit. "Thanks." Then, he's giving a quick nod of his head, "Sounds good. You have permission to speak with Captain Gabrieli. As for the other individual, he was Chief Petty Officer Micah Twitch." Hands move to his lap, clasping together before he's leaning back into the chair, "Any other questions you might have on this, Sawyer?"

Sawyer jots down Micah's name, then pulls the notepad into her lap and leans over it. "I do. Just one question. At least for now. What's your unofficial, take-the-pins-off-your-shoulder stance on this?" She asks, her eyebrows quirked expectantly as she reaches for another sip of the whiskey, touching the liquid to her tongue instead of taking a long draw off the liquor.

There's a soft grunt and Michael's giving a shake of his head, "Unofficial?" He pauses after that, perhaps to even consider his answer. "Sarkis lost his mind. Whether the result of the events that happened at Anchorage or due to something else, he lost his mind. I may not have known the man very long, but there's no way he would have done this if he was sane. That, and it concerns me just how others might be reacting to things."

"You're sitting on a house of cards, Commander, and you just lost an integral piece of the structure. Whether or not it comes crumbling down rests on your shoulders and now Tillman's as he rises up to try and fill in the blank. But it's been twenty odd days since the end of the Colonies, and the incident rate seems to be low. People just may be stronger than we give them credit for, at times." Sawyer smiles and tucks her notepad between her thigh on the edge of the chair, done with business or at least the appearance of it for now. "What about you, Michael. How are you holding up?"

"I hope that you are right, Sawyer. I really do. I would hate to think that we've survived for some reason, only to have people taking their own lives because they were unable to cope with things." Hand's unclasp now and his shoulders lift into a slight shrug before he's leaning forward to claim his glass, "Myself? As well as one could expect. Nothing an entire day's worth of sleep and an old fashioned Picon bar couldn't fix up." There's a hint of a smile, at that. "Which translates into a couple hours of sleep and a glass of whiskey in my quarters. How about yourself? How are things down in the civilian quarter?"

Sawyer shifts with mild discomfort in her seat. "Actually, I've been living in the Viper Squadron berthings since my assignment aboard the Cerberus. One of those 'blend in and take notes' assignments when the QUODEL was still concerned with budgetary spending. Seems rather silly now, the money concerns. I suppose me staying there is no longer prudent?" Even if there is a slight pout to her bottom lip, as she's no doubt settled in nicely down there.

There's an arch of a brow as Michael gives a soft laugh before shaking his head, "Lucky you." Settling back into his chair, fingertips tap idly against the side of his glass now, "Not exactly the place I'd want to be spending my time and I don't think it's really prudent for you to remain there." The glass is lifted to his lips with half the contents being drained before he's lowering it to the arm of the chair, "Though if Major Hahn has no issues you with you being there and you don't mind, I see no reason for you to relocate then."

Sawyer gives a little tug to the material of her pants legs, smoothing out an imaginary wrinkle. "To tell you the truth, I think I've happily fallen through the cracks in that regard. She likely assumes Command has just left her stuck with me, and you leave it in her hands. I'm quite happy where I am, though. So if there are no objections, I'll stay until such a time as it no longer is appropriate. What can I say, I enjoy the scenery." The last said with a touch of laughter in her voice.

There's a faint chuckle as Michael gives another quick shrug, "Then consider yourself stuck there, Sawyer. I don't see any particular reason why you should be moved. Pilots haven't complained about you being there and Major Hahn hasn't broached the subject, so we'll just leave it as it is." Then, he's offering a smirk. "And the shows, no doubt. I quite remember the antics that transpire in the Pilot Berthings. Can make for quite an .. entertaining time on occasion."

Sawyer toys with her glass, her fingers fidgeting by turning the glass around and around in circles as it sits propped on her knee. "Oh? Were you a pilot, then? Once upon a time, before the pressures of Command, when the world was a simpler place full of Picon bars?" Its easy to fall into this pattern of casual conversation.

Michael lifts his glass slightly as that question is posed, almost as if he's given a salute to times passed. "Started my career as a Raptor pilot, actually." The glass shifts to his lips and he's draining the last of the whiskey before settling the glass in his lap, both hands moving to clasp around it, "Still miss climbing into the cockpit of one of them and going out for a mission. Got moved into command more by mistake, then anything. XO on one of my postings was killed and I was moved into the spot. Apparently, I was good enough that they left me." There's a quick grin at something. "Ended the piloting career, though. Still try and sneak out in a Raptor once and awhile. Or .. I did, anyways." Now, he's nodding in her direction, "How about you? Were you enjoying the life of a Reporter?"

Sawyer gives a faint smile that's not entirely mirthful. "I imagine being a reporter is a bit like being the CO of a Battlestar. You're respected, if only because they know you can smear them from one end of the ship to the other if they cross you. You have few friends, because everyone's afraid to talk to you. And you're treated as an outsider, no matter how long you've been in the mix. I'm still called 'Ms. Averies', for Zeus' sake." And /that/ causes her to take a bigger gulp of her drink, now that she doesn't have to be precisely on her toes now that business is more or less concluded.

Listening, Michael gives a soft chuckle that he follows up with a shake of his head, "Interesting perspective, Sawyer. I hadn't actually thought of it like that, but I suppose that actually makes perfect sense." Fingers resume their tapping on the glass as he cants his head to the side, "Pilots must be calling you by your name, if you're living in their area, I'd assume?"

Sawyer throws back the last of her drink at his words, a crinkle of skin at the corner of her eyes. With a slight wince, she nudges the empty vessel back onto the little table. "Still Ms. Averies." Her voice sounds a little hoarse from the recent burn of alcohol. "Even the one pilot who I considered I was on 'friendly' terms with, didn't know my first name until recently. He just called me 'Mags', which I assume is short for Magazine."

Another chuckle and another shake of Michael's head shows that he finds a mild humor in that statement. "Well, such as the way it works, I suppose. They probably view you as an outsider, someone who is there to air their dirty laundry." Leaning forward, his own glass is settled on the table before he's lifting the bottle. "They'll get over it, I imagine. Remember, pilots are known for not being the brightest of the bunch. You may need to stick little notes on each of their pillows to help." Tilting the bottle, he refills his glass before shifting to hers, though he doesn't fill it yet. "And, as nicknames go, Mags isn't all that bad. Would you like another?"

"Another nickname or another drink?" Sawyer smirks, then nudges her glass in his direction. "Yes please, to both really, though I really only have control over the latter. I think lifting the drinking ban has improved morale throughout the ship, if only because they feel better knowing that Command thinks they are mature enough to handle their booze. Odd that you say the XO's room smelled of spilled Ambrosia. Isn't he the one that instituted the rule?"

Refilling his glass, Michael settles the bottle back on the table and then claims his glass so that he can lean back in his chair, "Well, we could find you a new nickname, I'm sure. Whisper it around and start it's rumor. It'd take after awhile." There's a flash of a smile before it fade and he's giving a shake of his head, "No, Sarkis didn't. The order was issued by a then Captain Tillman, on behalf of myself and Colonel Sarkis as the result of a discussion. The Colonel, like myself, had bottles of alcohol in his room."

Sawyer drags her glass back towards her after he's refilled it, pulling it back into her lap where it rests in her fingers. "You sneaky little devil, I bet you were nipping in the dead of night after a long day. So why /was/ the ban put in place, initially? Just wanted the crew on their best behavior for the dog and pony show of having QUODEL aboard?"

There's a soft laugh and Michael gives a nod of his head, "Oh, I was. But then again, I wasn't aboard for part of that. I had the pleasure of observing most of the events from Fleet Headquarters, rather then my spot in CIC. A .. 'privilege' to mingle with the politicians and Fleet Command, it was called." Now, his hand holding the glass begins to rotate at the wrist, swirling the liquid within, "Pretty much. We didn't want the QUODEL running into a bunch of drunken individuals who were off duty and thinking bad things. Had to put on the proper show."

"And now that you're stuck with us for the foreseeable future, there's no longer any need to keep up pretenses. Besides, not like there's anyone we can report to anymore. For all intents and purposes, the civilians are at your mercy, Commander. That's quite a lot of power for one man, so try not to let it go to your head." With a grin that's no doubt warmed with alcohol, Sawyer touches the glass back to her lips and sips.

A flash of a smirk dances across the Admiral's lips as he gives a shake of his head, "I don't stuck is the most appropriate word. Graced with your presence for an indefinite period of time, might be better suited." His glass lifts in a little salute before it returns to his lips, a small sip of the alcohol taken before it's lowered again and he continues, "I don't view them as being at mercy, in all honesty. Not unless it -absolutely- affects the survival of this Battlestar. My intent is to try and involve them in things. I know some might have interest in signing up in various departments, since there's not much to be done. The rest? We'll make no demands of them, shy of enlisting their help from time to time if we can."

"I think you'll find most of them ready and willing to help. Having a purpose in their lives will help them adjust to the catastrophic loss they've suffered. Give them a reason to roll off that cot every morning. In fact, I'd suggest you start up some volunteer programs." Sawyer seems to nod at her own idea. "It might even alleviate some of the strain of your crew."

Michael's giving a quick nod of his head, followed by only the hints of a smile, "Thankfully, we haven't reached a breaking point in terms of crew. We were fully staffed when we left and while the Air Wing took the hardest hit, we haven't hit a shortage of available crew." A pause and a frown, now. "My concern is the losses if we continue along and are forced to fight. It's then that the strain and fatigue begins to slip in." The glass comes back to his lips, a quick sip taken before it's lowered. "We plan to have each department head approach the civilian populace with something along those lines, actually."

Sawyer lofts her drink in the air in a bit of a salute. "Very nice, Commander. It seems I'm a bit behind the game, then. But even if it's just filing paperwork or mopping the floor, people like to have a purpose in life. Though, I'll admit, mopping the floor isn't for everyone. In fact, I'll stick what I do if you don't mind."

Another laugh is offered as Michael bobs his head slightly, "I'm not heartless or unsympathetic to the civilians plight. I just want to avoid the pretense that we're -forcing- them to participate, when they might not want to. It's a careful line to walk. The last thing I want is a civilian revolt." Then, a smile is given, "You sure you don't want to take up a role as a janitor? We have a couple of extra mops in storage, Sawyer."

Sawyer eases back into her seat, even pulling one of her feet up in the chair to rest her high heel on the edge of it. Alcohol has no doubt eased some of the tension and pretension in her frame. "Can I get one of those nifty sets of coveralls with 'SAWYER' embroidered on a patch above the breast pocket? Maybe then, at least, people would use my first name. Present and pleasant company excluded, of course."

There's an almost quiet chuckle as Michael gives a brief shake of his head, "Certainly, but it would have your last name above the breast pocket. That's how we operate on a Battlestar, after all. So, you'd forever be dubbed 'Averies' rather then 'Sawyer'." His glass lifts again in a silent salute to her before he's lowering it, "In time, people will call you by your first name. Most of the people on board this vessel aren't used to having civilians running around or staying in their berthings. And since we typically operate by rank or last name, it can be a hard habit to break. Even worse for the pilots, who typically use call-signs most of the time." He's pausing now, brow lifting slightly, "You spend any time with the pilots while they are relaxing or having fun? If not, that'll be a good way to get them to become on a first name basis with you."

"It just hasn't worked out thus far. Not for lack of trying, mind you. But I am, and perhaps forever will be, on the outside looking in on things." With a little sigh, Sawyer leans forward to ease her now empty glass back on the table, holding her hand above it in the universally recognized signal for 'I'm done'. "I've had more luck being integrated into the penal system than your crew. But then again, criminals are happy to talk if it gets them enough press for an appeal. I should…um…go." She drops her foot back to the deck, as if realizing that she's perhaps gotten a little too comfortable.

"Interesting. We should get you setup for a Raptor sortie. Follow the crew along on one of their recon runs or something. Might help to gap that bridge between outsider and being one of them." When she begins to raise, his brow lifts before giving a nod of his head. "Alright." His glass is lifted back to his lips, the last of the whiskey drained before he's settling the empty aside and rising himself. A step around the table is taken and a hand is extended in her direction, "Thank you for staying past the business portion of things and indulging in casual conversation. It was a refreshing change to things."

Sawyer rises back to her feet, offering her hand which she easily slips within his. Instead of initiating a shake, she merely gives his fingers a warm squeeze. "The pleasure was all mine. It seems we both rather needed it. Journalist and Admiral. Who knew?" Her second hand covers their joined ones for a brief moment, then fall away. "Oh. My notebook. I'm certainly not on my game. See what happens when you ply me with alcohol?" She asks, almost rhetorically, as she turns back to collect it from the crook of the chair.

The squeeze is returned and when her free hand covers the pair, he's offering a smile. "Indeed, who would have thought." Then, when the hands are released, he's moving his to clasp behind his back before a warm laugh escapes his lips, "My apologies, Sawyer. Next time, I will remember not to force the alcohol on you." Eyes follow her movements for a moment before he's turning to gather up the empty glasses, no doubt to set them aside for cleaning, "And because I am such a gentleman, who shall not force his alcohol on you, we shall meet in an area of your choosing next time, with the drink of your choice."

Sawyer's head bobs in a little nod. "That's a deal. And maybe next time, no business at all. Even though I can't help but ask a question or two, of course." There's smile, a hint of hesitation, and then she's moving towards the exit. "Have a good evening, Michael."

Another laugh and Michael simply gives a nod of his head "No business? Careful, or I might hold you to that the next time we meet, with the exception of the odd question. It is, after all, nature." There's a slight lift of his brow before it's lowered and he's giving a nod of his head and a warm smile "And to you, Sawyer." With that said, he's angling off to one side of the door, to a tray that sits there. No doubt, one that his yeoman collects each day.

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