PHD #089: Paranoid
Summary: Coll wanted to talk to Quinn. It didn't end up how either of them wanted it to.
Date: 26 May 2041 AE
Related Logs: The Hard Choices
Coll Quinn 
Hangar Deck
The single largest rooms on the Cerberus are the hangar decks. Each flight pod consists of two stacked landing bays with adjoined decks and hangars, which along with computer-assisted landings results in a faster Viper recovery rate. Mirror images of each other, these two huge areas are located on the flight pods. The inboard sides of the deck, closest to the ship's main hull, are lined with parking and maintenance bays for Vipers and Raptors based aboard the battlestar. The outboard side of the deck contains the launch tubes used by the Vipers for standard deployment. Huge blast doors seal the deck into four sections, each one containing an elevator that leads up to the flight deck directly overhead. The fore-most section contains an elevator system that leads towards Aerospace Fabrication.
Post-Holocaust Day: #89

Its late into the afternoon shift. The Deck's morning crew has already kicked-off for the day and most of the maintenance around now has to do with preparing ordnance for the next day's operations. One of the Raptor group's avionics techies, Coll, is sitting on an in-flight refueling pod that's on a small munitions cart. She's uploading ammunition into a gun drum that sits on the bird's number two hardpoint and looking a bit aloof.

Quinn swore she was going to find Lt Coll the moment she got up but… getting up was a bit of a challenge. She really could sleep just about 20 hours a day if she let herself. And then there was the morning fight with her stomach, but some tea and galley crackers later she's up and att'em. And, still off duty, she's not set to any time clock so being late into mid shift is no issue of embarrassment but in her own personal mind. Still, here she comes, her crutches clicking metal and rubber all the way from the midship staircase to the comings and goings on deck. Her muddy green eyes are searching for the elusive woman.

Spotting Quinn with her crutches, Coll straightens a little. She clears her throat and stands from her seat on the tanker pod. "Uhm, Cap'n?" The younger woman takes off her helmet and holds it in front of her by the straps. "Sorry I haven't been able to find you." A couple Petty Officers glance at her then look away. Its clear they're not fond of the Specialist and they don't bother hiding it. "Been meanin' to come speak to ya about what happened, sir." She clears her throat. This is obviously something she's nervous about.

Quinn gives the woman a bit of a smile, but her sunburnt features are all business for the time being. "Specialist Coll, is it? Yes, I heard you were looking for me. Sorry that I've not been able to find you sooner, you should have just come visit in sickbay. Anyway… shall we speak? Is this something to be talked of in private?" Maggie asks smoothly, trying to keep any paranoia out of her lilting voice, but it's still there, just slightly tense, behind her expression.

One of the Petty Officers snorts at something Quinn says and how Coll shakes her head. The man and his buddy just walk off and leave them alone. The Specialist looks a bit beside herself as her gaze resettles on Quinn. "No, sir. It's not private. I just wanted to know that I'm really sorry about you losing your crew a few days ago on Raptor three-oh-five. A lot of us heard the radio calls and what happened to Lieutenant Emerson."

Quinn seems a bit surprised by that, a frown crossing her lips. "Yes… well… yes. We've lost… so many. And the LT was a phenomenal officer." Maggie almost doesn't know what to say in response at all, having expected business and having gotten something far, far different.

Coll nods her head a few times. She looks around, hands almost wringing at the straps of her helmet in front of her. "Look, sir. I wanted to tell you I'm sorry about the loss. I was the tech assigned to Raptor three-oh-five. I was overhauling the ECO boards and cleared the job right before it went out with the Lieutenant. Wanted to say that its- Well, that you've got my condolences. I feel awful about the whole thing. Lotta guys down here on the Deck don't even want to look at me anymore."

Quinn frowns a bit more, looking across the deck, a touch of coldness brushing her eyes as she hears the thought that some of the men and women might dare be shunning the woman…"Well, they're wrong about that. Are we doing to frakking turn our backs on our own people the moment any operation goes wrong? Everyone in the fleet will hate each other within a month at that rate." Maggie sighs, her eyes darkening just a heartbeat or two as she looks back to Coll, her voice dropping a hint. "…Besides, we've…had a lot of… ship issues lately… more than routine break downs and damage."

"Sir, its more than that. No point in denyin' that." Her own accent is plain as day and unhindered. That country drawl that lacks the twang that so many others from small towns in the country take. Probably someplace with money - just far from the money itself. "Everyone heard that radio call, Cap'n. Everyone knows it was a bomb. Plus the explosions? I heard a Viper stick's bird went up just after he left the tubes. An Captain Sitka's ride? People're lookin' at me like I done something wrong. I mean, I can understand why. But-" She trails off, mouth twisting down as she doesn't really know where to go with this. "I want you to know I'm sorry. I didn't want it to be a shock if you looked at the maintenance records and my name was at the top. I've had my hands on that ship plenty of times."

"And plenty of ships that haven't gone up, right? I'm certain your name isn't the only name on any of these 'defective' ships…is it?" Maggie pauses now, not exactly looking suspicious, but a hint surprised that the woman would bring this up at all. Perhaps it was in guilt? The captain stands a bit taller on her crutches, as best she can on her left leg and injured knee, but her expression doesn't change. The business is back again in full force.

The Specialist shakes her head. "I hardly ever get to touch the Viper's, sir. All I really know is Raptors. Its all my schooling really got to. I can do some basic stuff on them but I'm pretty limited." She looks apologetic as she glances to a Viper in a nearby bay. "But anyway, sir. Again, my condolences on your losses. Having someone go like that is never easy to have to hear."

Quinn nods curtly, "Well, then tell anyone who is giving you issues to shove it up their asses and move on because you work just as frakking hard as anyone else on this deck, aye?" Maggie states coldly, giving another hard eyed look to anyone else who might dare be watching them in disdain.

At least that gets Coll to smile a little. "Thanks, Cap'n. Just trying to do my part. Like I told one of your Ensigns, though, its gettin' sporty with the accusations around here. We all know one of us is killing pilots. And that a bomb down here? It could take out the whole damned ship, sir. Paranoia's runnin' high. Nobody wants to let me touch ordnance unless people're watchin. Nothin' official but its unnerving." Another clear of her throat. "Sorry sir. Not tryin' to dump on you, just want you to know that the pressure is on. I won't screw up again."

Quinn smirks quietly, "No one should be touching any ordinance without double marine back up. End of story. We are having issues. The sergeant at arms has access to that and no one else, and they should always be with another marine just to double check ourselves. Make it so that no one CAN slip a fast one, no matter who they are. Should I speak with the chief about this?" Maggie inquires smoothly, eager to do the sort of work she can still accomplish, it seems.

"No, sir, I don't mean the Arms Lockers. I mean the big ordnance storage facility we have below decks. Where we keep all the missiles, bombs, guns, 'n stuff for the Raptors and Vipers." She motions towards the uploading ammunition that gives a quiet -click-click-click- as it disappears inside the drum. "But no, I don't think you need to involve the Chief. It'd probably just make people more suspicious if suddenly he's gotta tell people to leave me alone. Just-" She stops herself, fidgeting. She's not too comfortable with this, apparently, but feels it needs to be said. "Just let me know if there's anything else I can help you with, Cap'n. I love you guys. Last thing I wanna do is let ya'll down."

Quinn shakes her head quietly. "Not about you. They should be watching -everyone- when things are loaded in. Double checks, as I said… even if it's just the deck down below. We gotta crack down on the whole deck until we fight out what this is. It's idiotic of them to just be blaming you. I'll speak with him when he is free." Maggie gazes off in his office's direction, as if to see if she could see if he's around, but she knows the man is usually running about like a chicken without a head.

Suddenly, Coll looks a little more scared and nervous. "Sir, please don't. I don't wanna make waves more than I already have. That's bad business. I'd rather just deal with it. Please don't. That really isn't what I was intendin' by what I was saying. All I wanna do is just get up in the morning and go to work. I don't need trouble or people thinkin' I'm pulling on the Raptor Lead to get my own battles won." She's not quite pleading but its close.

Quinn cocks a single brow, looking back in Coll's direction. She frowns quietly…"Very well, specialist. Though… I want you to come see me when you have some free time. easiest to find me in the pilot bunks…" With that, she doesn't push it any more, but clearly she has more to say. Just not here. She leans a bit heavier on her crutches, getting ready to turn and limp away.

Coll glances to the minigun mounted on the wingtip of the Raptor and then back to Quinn. "I'll- I'll be off in about twenty minutes, sir. I need to finish this upload, sign the paperwork, and put in a work order for some missile uploading. Want me to just head up there afterwards?" The woman fingers teh strap on her helmet, still. She's guarded, not really sure of what to think about all this. But she's got the fortitude to face it, whatever it is.

Quinn nods quietly, "That would work for me. I will see you then, specialist." She murmurs the last bit quieter, not really wanting to draw the attention of everyone on deck if the woman is having all those issues. She doesn't linger on the deck to draw attention to it all, but instead starts her limping away.

Quinn has left.


The battlestar's pilots call this place home. Bunks line the walls with grey curtains to cover their sleeping areas. Lockers sit between each pair of bunks and a round metal table sits in the center, furnished with simple but comfortable steel chairs. A hatch at the rear of the room leads to a communal head.

It was actually more like thirty minutes than twenty. Apparently there was something else to take care of. Coll didn't even bother to change or shower before heading up here - she just moved to follow orders. But being in a place like this? It makes one acutely aware of your rank. Its easier on the Deck where everyone is enlisted and the officers are the outnumbered. Its a little less comfortable here. It might have been at one point in her life but as Coll enters, that helmet is back in front of her as if she's going to have to use it for defense against something. But at the moment she looks about as threatening as a mouse. "Cap'n Quinn?" She calls to the bunks, unsure if the woman is even here still. "Specialist Coll, reportin as ordered."

Quinn is here, in her bunk, settled down on her back with an old magazine in her hands. She hears the voice and blinks, waving off the woman almost emphatically…"Shh… not reporting… this isn't duty. You could walk out if you wished. I just wanted to talk with you. Come, sit down, relax. You want coffee? There might be some on." But, of course, she's didn't make it no matter how much she wants some. Damn lack of caffeine. That's something to drive a woman nutto.

Coll doesn't look like she knows how to respond to the idea that she isn't reporting. "..Sir?" She blinks a few times and looks around to the bunks. "Uhm. I guess? What- what's going on, Captain? I'm free to walk out?" Lauren looks like she just might. Working nine hour shifts like she has apparently had to put up might make anyone paranoid. Her steps further into the berthings are slow but progress is being made after some hesitation. After all, shes the one being whispered about with killing pilots. And this is their lair.

Quinn frowns quietly, studying the woman's features…"Sit, if you want…or leave. That's your choice. I'd like to talk to you… about things on deck. Not in a… accusing way. I'm just curious about some things… and about yourself." Maggie admits quietly, her raspy, lilting voice with that motherly gentleness to it she has almost perfected.

"Thank you, sir. I'll- sit." The helmet is finally settled someplace other than tight in her grasp and left in front of her on the table as she sits in the metal chair. Hands fold in her lap. It doesn't look like there's much hope of her relaxing anytime soon. She keeps looking over her shoulder towards the door. "Curious about me, sir? Why? I mean, I guess I can understand why with the bombing and all but.. but I'm not a very interesting person. I just fix your Raptors, sir."

Quinn props herself up in her bed, leaning against the far back wall, her broken leg stretched out against the interior of her bunk. She's got photos all around, a whole crop of family photos, all of them as wildly red haired as Maggie, and then a finger painting and a drawing of a bunch of flowers that says 'Get Well Soon!' on it. Clearly, she's loved, and not just by her ginger family. She makes room for Coll on the opposite end of the bed, or a chair near the big table, though it seems the woman chooses the table. "…Well…I read a bit of your file. All of your transfer information was lost in the attacks, wasn't it?" She asks gently, no accusations, just curious it seems.

Coll is going to keep her distance. Quinn could be faking. She knows the Raptor Captain by reputation but nothing factual. Certainly not like this. Any more skittish and she might be mistaken for a stray cat. "My- Yessir." Uh oh. "Everything about me was lost when Picon Station went down. They had all my files. The Marines almost didn't want to let me on the Deck because I couldn't prove a lick of anything. Not many people wanna trust a thirty-one year old Specialist, anyway. I know I wouldn't." There's an impish shrug and she glances over that shoulder again.

Quinn nods quietly, "But… they did let you on. And you are doing the work. And you're decent at what you do, right?" Maggie asks gently, a bit of that pep-talk vibe in her voice now, as much as she can give with the rather lacking energy herself.

"Yeah. I had to beg to be let on to the Deck. Sitting around the civilians, dwelling on what happened to our families?" Not a comfortable topic. "I needed to do something, Cap'n. I was going to lose my mind if I just sat there. I saw the Marines open fire on the people trying to get aboard. I wasn't in a good place." She looks back to the helmet and takes it off the table and settles it in her lap. A fingernail absently starts scraping off a rubber scuff. "I guess I'm okay at my job. I'm not the best. I missed something on three-oh-five that got people killed, though. Think on that as you will, sir." She still doesn't want to look at Quinn.

Quinn looks quietly over Coll for a few moments, studying the woman, trying to see the thing she's missing. She frowns thoughtfully…"Specialist… you're hiding something. I don't know what the frak it is. I don't -think- that it's that you're a cylon sympathizer or a terrorist or something. I think it's something else… but it's making you look guilty as hell to almost everyone. What's going on? Off the record, off the books… if I want to trust you on my deck, with my ship and my people… talk to me. What's going on." Maggie murmurs quietly, her voice not exactly demanding, but there is a certain motherly sternness there which wasn't before. One of those 'this is for your own good' talks.

That finger stops scratching and the helmet and her head dips further as she looks up towards the bunks. Looking for faces. Anyone who might be ready to jump out at her. "I'm not hiding anything, sir. I just look guilty." She clears her throat again, the sound dry and raspy. "I work long hours, sir. I volunteer for the overnights a lot because I like the alone time. I can work faster that way. I deal with a lot of the ships' ordnance and know how to get the systems apart and fixed. I'm not apart of this crew. I've got no verifiable past. Nobody knows who I am. I'm just here, bein' me. I didn't volunteer for Leonis so that makes people wonder, too, because I sorta seem like I might be the type." Her leg is bouncing rapidly fro mthe ball of her boot. Yeah, she's nervous. "I wanna be trusted, sir. I used to be a long time ago. Before all this. But its all shit, anyway because that's me telling someone to trust me without any proof of action in the past. Sucks. Sir."

"I get that it sucks, Specialist… but you also won't let me help when I try to. If it's not you, and I don't think it's you, then it is someone. We should be stationing watches on all the ordinance. We should be extra careful with EVERYONE. Then hopefully it -will- stop, because I can't afford to keep losing men or ships. So why push help away when it comes?" Maggie inquires softly, still not entirely believing, but she doesn't take her eyes off the woman for one second.

"We already have security on the Ordnance Deck. But whoever hit your Raptor, sir, knew how to damage a Raptor but good. I mean, anyone can blow one up. But it sounded like they intended to capture. That's tough to do. Hafta know those systems pretty well." Coll seems to even fit the profile. She still doesn't want to look at Quinn, though. That knee keeps bouncing a thousand times a minute. "But I push help away, sir, because its who I am. I fight my own battles. I had to fight for everything I've ever had. I even had to fight to get on board this ship. I can't make people accept me, sir. The best thing I can do is just try and fight to make people believe me. If I've got a senior officer looking after me then it looks really bad. It'll isolate me. And as much as I like alone time, sir?" She ventures a glance to Quinn. "I -do- like people. Nobody likes being lonely. Its a shitty way to spend the rest of our lives."

Quinn sighs quietly, shaking her head. "I get that, and I don't want to be lookin' in on you… but I do want to make certain every last thing is being done on that deck to make it secure. Not for you. For everyone. Can you honestly say that every security precaution possible is being taken?"

Coll shrugs gently, the gesture looking like her head might turtle in between her shoulders. She keeps her eyes anywhere but on Quinn. "I don't know, sir. I don't know much about security or what kinda precautions are supposed to be taken." Another glance over her shoulder. "Look, Captain. I've never done deck work on a Battlestar. I'd been in this job six months when the Cylons attacked. But training was abbreviated. I'd barely started makin' friends on Picon Anchorage when it went. I don't really know how things work. You'd have to ask the Marines if there's anything else that can be done, sir."

Quinn nods quietly, "Fair enough. I will talk to the Marines. And it's not about you… it's just about not a single other dead pilot or ECO because our eyes weren't open wide enough." Maggie admits almost fiercely. She then forces herself to take in a deep breath, swallowing back some emotion. "What did you do before you enlisted? Might I ask?"

When Quinn gets emotional about the dead crews, Coll cowers a bit and looks away slightly. She rubs her unseen cheek against the shoulder of her coveralls which smudges some carbon trade on her face. The woman swallows hard and stares at the helmet. "I'm sorry, sir," she whispers through the shame. Her jaw trembles a bit as she tries to speak those words. It's a little longer before she finally replies to Quinn's last question. "I was an officer, sir. Lieutenant. I was an ECO with an attack squadron on the Battlestar Mars."

Quinn blinks quietly as she hears that, definitely surprise. "…What in the worlds happened?" Maggie straight out asks, almost going to apologize for the question but then she bites her tongue and legs it hang. If she's to trust this woman, she needs to know. So her muddy green eyes watch Coll gently, waiting.

"It was stupid, sir. I beat up a Marine with a trashcan lid while I was really drunk. Also walked out on a two hundred cubit bar tab." So basically like a $1000 bar bill. "Navy wanted me out. I petitioned to be allowed to stay on as Deck detail. Stipulations said that I could never be an officer again. That'd include bein a Petty Officer." Its a long fall all the way to the bottom. "CAG told me he wantd me to be a squad leader. Said he'd had plans for me. Frakked that up but good." She tries to swallow and ends up coughing, hands finally leaving her helmet. But its over fast and she goes back to staring at it.

Quinn nods quietly, hearing that… She sighs, "Well… keep your head up. Do good work, try not to act suspicious…if you're up nights? Get permission to brush up in the sims… keep to the schedule the chief gives you. Little things like that. And… all the rules have changed so, who knows. Maybe you'll end up back in a bird anyway. We keep losin' pilots the way we are…" Maggie sighs down to her leg, looking it over for a moment, her implication of being out of the flight seat herself clear.

Coll tries to smile. It doesn't really work. "I'm up almost all night, every night. Don't sleep much anymore." She might even be too scared to. The bags under her eyes seem to indicate that she's telling the truth, at least. "Don't think I need permission. Free time is still free time. But you know, I appreciate the offer, Captain." Her knee stops bouncing so rapidly. "But I don't think people in this group will want to hang around me much. Not after three-oh-five, anyway. But tell them I'm available if they want. Been around the block a few times. Still have more'n a few tricks. Doubtful I'll end up back in aircrew even with attrition, but its a nice dream, sir." She still can't bring herself to smile. That knee is back bouncing at full force once she finishes.

Quinn frowns a bit more, looking Coll straight in the eyes, "I ain't heard one word against you from my pilots, frankly. we all know shite is going down and it ain't your fault. So stop the victim act, Coll. You can either pick up, move on, and get ready to do the work or dwell on it. Yes, I'm sure as hell sorry we lost those people. You don't see me shooting myself in the foot because I couldn't be there to see them off or didn't check over every raptor before I sent my people on them, do you? This is war. We have to move on." She sighs a bit, searching the younger woman's eyes…"Have you thought of talking to one of the doctors? This is hitting you harder than it should."

"Really, sir? Do you all really know its not my fault? To a degree of certainty?" She looks back to Quinn finally. Her voice finally rises. "What if I really did this shit!? What if I blew up your frakking Raptor and got those two aircrew captured?! Then what? Are you sure I'm innocent?! I don't buy that you believe me and more than I believe you to actually know I'm innocent!" The Specialist's jaw shakes during the pauses, tears filling her eyes while she hovers between despair and anger. "I show up every godsdamned day and I'm expected to do my frakking job like everyone else. Instead my dedication and position is looked on with suspicion and hate. I'm -trryyyyying- to move on, sir." She stands from the chair, clutching her helmet to her like a security blanket. "But instead I'm not allowed to. When we frak up, people die. Your crews blindly trust us to make sure that we do our jobs properly." She's openly crying now, the anger taking more control. "And instead someone is killing you all. Some of you think its me. Fine. You have good reasons. But I'm not seeing a damned Doctor. Sir." She looks like she's done, staring Quinn down with flushed cheeks and a shaking jaw. It all slowly softens and fades away though. "Can I go now, sir?"

Quinn stares quietly at the woman, dead calm, a frown crossing her lips. Finally, she states calmly, "I think your emotional reaction proves, more than anything, that talking to someone about all of this would be a very, very wise idea, specialist. None of us have accused you of anything but yourself…" She shakes her head quietly, not saying anything else, just a quiet motion of dismissal.

Coll's head tilts a bit as she stares back at Quinn. She's still angry. "How could you possibly know what I'm going through in order to gauge that, sir? Because until you're suspected and made paranoid like I have been? You couldn't -possibly- understand, sir." The last is nearly hissed as if the betrayal was Quinn's own, a side effect of her paranoia most likely. She just stares at the Captain for a moment longer before backing slowly off towards the hatch and quasi-freedom.

Quinn stares after the woman, just looking saddened by it all. Not angry, but sad. She doesn't distrust her, strangely… but she doesn't know how to help either.

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