PHD #313: Preparations
Summary: Quinn and Cidra talk on the birth of Quinn's impending child but the conversation turns to issues of larger import.
Date: 05 Jan 2042 AE
Related Logs: You Can't Always Get What You Want; Lost in the Flood
Cidra Quinn 
Map Room - Deck 7 - Battlestar Cerberus
The one object that dominates this room is the one it is named for: the giant plotting table in the center of the room. Bottom-lit like the plot in CIC, this one is twenty feet across and about the same distance wide. The maps, which are rolled and kept in a locker at the side of the room, provide much more detail than most of the charts in CIC and are especially useful in planning tactical operations. Unscaled models of ships are available to be situated on the surface of the table and risers on each side of the room allow for a small audience to watch or be briefed. A single large LCD screen is built into the wall at the far end to display reconnaissance or other supplemental material.
Post-Holocaust Day: #313

Cidra has been getting some of her 'paper work' done in the Map Room, with her own office still out of commission. She's bent over a table, making some alterations to the ever-running CAP rotation. The hatch is ajar. She'd requested a meet at Quinn's earliest convenience and is in here by herself now, waiting. Not smoking at the moment, which may be a concession to the expected pregnant LSO. The CAG is rarely not smoking.

Quinn knocks on the outside frame of the door, but it doesn't take her too long to duck her head in, knowing the CAG is expecting her. "Sir?" She calls into the room, clearly breathless, but then there really wasn't much room for her lungs these days and just heading up the midship stairway was enough to wind her for a good few minutes. She's in her sweats, all she can wear these days comfortably, but her hair is pulled back professionally and she's trying to look business ready.

"Jugs. Pull up a chair." Indeed, there are some available around the table, though Cidra herself is standing. She looks the other pilot up and down, in that mild way she has of looking at things. "Nearly time, yes? There are many matters we should sort."

Quinn steps over towards the desk, giving a thankful smile at the offer of a seat even though she would have stood if necessary. Maggie's done her very best to make certain this pregnancy didn't change anything — well, other than the fact it really had changed everything. She walks over and lowers herself gingerly down into the chair, breath almost held as she does it, but then she's down and getting comfortable. "…Yes… too close. Hopefully a few more weeks, but…" Really, with her age, she knew it was any day. "And I suppose there are. Guess pull out your list and we'll start from there?" She lilts out quietly.

"First and foremost, simple logistics. Where do you intend to board the child once it is born?" Cidra asks. "I have some suggestions, but if you have already made accommodations outside the berthings I am quite open to attempting to accommodate them."

Quinn frowns a moment, shaking her head to Cidra, "I… I hadn't. I figured, I guess worried a bit, they'd make me send the baby down with the rest of the civilians. I… " Maggie's expression falls a bit, considering that. "It wouldn't be ideal, but whatever the boss orders, I guess." She looks to Cidra, worried and hopeful, waiting to hear what Cidra's ideas are.

"If you intend to return to flight status, no. It would not be ideal," is Cidra's response. "And you cannot keep the child in the berthings. If there is someone among the civilians you trust to care for it, that might be the best for it. Alternatively. The guest quarters formerly occupied by the civilians who came aboard with the QUODEL are presently vacant. My intention was to propose a space in it be converted for the use of you and yours. You would still need to work out how to care for your child yourself when you are on duty. If you intend to leave the service, the Colonel may grant you a discharge, even in wartime. Your circumstances are extraordinary."

Quinn shakes her head slowly, "I… did not wish to leave the service, no. I'm still needed out there, if you'll have me back. JiG Bran and I have… well, he'd like to help care for the child, it seems… there are many willing to baby sit, if I'm permitted back to duty and the child can stay on board." Maggie admits with a slightly warmer smile, her fingertips protectively stretching across her distended, round belly. "The guest quarters would be… Perfect… if command would permit." She seems shocked that it's offered at all.

"Lieutenant Bran, and all the others in the Air Wing, all have duties of their own," Cidra says. "I trust you to work it out so it does not become an inconvenience, but it may be best if you seek out a civilian to hire to…baby sit?" She seems unsure if that is the correct term or not. "In any case, I trust you will handle it and not allow it to become a problem." A nod to the the convenience of guest quarters. And a faint trace of relief about her. "Good. We have missed you on the flight line, Jugs. You are by far the best Raptor pilot on this ship, at the top of your game. While I am sure you will have to undergo some recovery and adjustment, I do hope it is not long before you shall fly with us again."

Quinn nods curtly in approval and agreement, eyes eager and clear to return to the flight line as soon as she can. "I've been doing my best to keep up in simulations, sir, so… hopefully I won't be too rusty. I'm looking forward to coming back. And no, we will not let this get in the way of our duties. I promise." She affirms, "Though…if it's permitted to bring a civilian aboard to… Nanny, I suppose, I shall start looking into who might work then. If that would be preferable." She'd gotten very comfortable with calling Cidra Toast, or her first name even, but this conversation is all business.

"It is all very well and good for one to make promises to help, but we are a military unit in a time of war, Jugs, and it may be an unfair burden to impose upon them when our duties start to press us," Cidra says. "Work it out. As for when precisely you are ready to fly again, I leave that up to you and Medical to determine. Keep me apprised. Clear eyes and steady hands, and we shall grace the vacuum together again." She does smile as she says it. Toast is never happier than when in a Raptor cockpit.

Quinn nods curtly, not mentioning Bran again. That might not have been the best thing to bring up, but she always was honest with Cidra. "I will work it out, sir." She nods curtly, the echoing clearly an acknowledgement of an order and she doesn't worry about it again.

"I have no doubt," Cidra says simply. "And I truly do not, that you shall be able to fly again after only some adjustment. The only matter left to settle is that of the Harriers as a squadron. It has been many months since you flew their leader."

Quinn nods in understanding, "Yes, it has… I wouldn't ever ask for my command back, not this quickly… Possibly never again. I've still been out of practice, they've gotten used to flying under someone else. I wouldn't wish to hurt things with my return. I only wish to help." Of course, it made her heart ache to say that, the quiet grief at losing the job she loved probably permanently was there, but Maggie stood by her squad. She'd never do anything unhealthy for them.

Cidra nods in agreement with that. "I am still unsure how precisely you will manage to parent while serving, but your time with that alone shall be stretched too much to give the squadron its proper attention, I do suspect. How do you feel Bootstrap has handled them? I admit, I am at times tempted to put my hands around his neck and strangle him." Said wryly. She's joking. Probably. Toast's wit is a dry, and usually rooted in some truth. "But he knows his business. I will not say he does not."

Quinn nods quietly, trying to swallow back that tightness in her throat. She knew that was coming, it's no shock. It still doesn't make it much easier to hear things. "I think Bootstrap would be perfect, if he's willing to keep the position. He's as good a pilot and leader as I am, if not better. He's done very well by this squad and this ship." Maggie affirms, though her voice is a touch more rasping as she says it.

"Perfect." Cidra snorts wryly. It is not a descriptor she quite agrees with, clearly. But she smirks faintly as she snorts it. "He is no more perfect than I am. Or you are, for that matter. But, we do what we can with the pieces we have, and we are the pieces each other got, like it or not. Do not misunderstand me, Jugs. I was always most satisfied with your performance as squadron leader. The job is yours again if you can manage it. And if you wish it."

Quinn shakes her head quietly, "Even if I could manage it, you do not think I can. The squadron probably does not think I could either. I will not take a position where people doubt me and it might hurt their performance." She reassures the woman quietly, even if it hurts to admit it. She clearly cares far, far more about the Squadron than she does herself.

"I think it would require additional accommodations," is Cidra's response. "Otherwise, I know not. I would like to hear from you what you think you can and cannot manage, Captain. Not only in terms of the squadron, but of your child as well."

Quinn is quiet for a few moments, not really having expected that question. She considers it silently, wanting to give Cidra and honest response, not a fast or defensive one. She rubs one hand against her stomach before she murmurs…"It would depend if there is a civilian willing to nanny or not. If so, I could keep easily to a shift schedule, do my extra paper work in the quarters when needed, and I think I could handle it all. if it's just me… " Because Tillman has not raised a hand to help with this baby for months…"Well, sleep will be an issue, clearly… and feeding the child. I will be pressed hard to keep shifts, much less do extra work."

Cidra's mouth settles into a thin frown at mention of Tillman and lack of attention to parental responsibilities. "I am of the opinion that, as the father of his baby, it is his paternal duty as XO to give you his quarters for its rearing. But, I do not think Command would agree with me on that." It's probably some old Gemenese tribal view of obligations. A nod to all Quinn says last. "Indeed it shall. If you need time to consider the issue I can grant you it. You shall need time to recover after the baby is born, so it is not as if you could even return to piloting right away."

"Do you think that command would approve a civilian staying on board to help care for the child?" Maggie inquires, straight out, since that is looking like the wisest idea so far. She winces, just a touch then, the child moving and her stomach tightening just a bit, but she's used to all the little tweaks and pains, so it doesn't quite show on her face.

"I think it is worth asking," Cidra says. "Not full-time, perhaps, but we have contractors working here for other duties. They could take the child to the civilian ship to care for while you stay here, of course. It is an option if you are willing to be apart from your baby." Her tone is neutral on that score. It's not her child, after all.

Quinn looks hesitant, not really seeming like she could make the decision that easily. She frowns…"I.. I don't think I could give the baby up like that, Cidra… Only seeing her during leave? I couldn't go over there between shifts, that'd just take me away more often and distract me worse. It'd be like i'd given her up almost entirely… I don't think I could do that." Maggie admits, her hand hugging instinctively a bit tighter against her stomach.

Cidra nods to that. It seems to have been the answer she suspected. "All right, then. That much is settled. As I did say, there is more time to sort out precisely how you intend to handle this. I shall make the inquiry to Command about converting space in the guest quarters. Honestly, it may be something that can be applied for my couples as well, like Flasher and his bride. That lovely Marine girl. They have both been mature enough about separate billets, but I do know it is hard for them."

Quinn nods in affirmation, "Family quarters, so to speak. It…it might not be a bad idea, Toast, all things considered. The fleet isn't getting younger…" And they're all adjusting to living their lives — full lives — on this ship as best they can. "…Thank you for understanding."

"We are all that remains," Cidra murmurs. Clearing her throat. "I can give you some additional time to decide about the squadron leader spot. Speak with Bootstrap if you like. I have time to make arrangements as they need to be made. Then it is just a matter of waiting for your babe to come, I do suppose."

Quinn smirks just a touch, "I suspect I know what Bootstrap will say… but yes, I should speak with him… and then we wait for the baby. I mean, hopefully… all these plans are necessary… but…" Maggie doesn't dare say it, but for her, the knowledge hangs in the air. With her age, her blood pressure issues… everything that's happened, there's a small part of her that is worried she's not even going to survive that.

"We have good doctors aboard. Let them concern themselves with it. Simply follow their orders and you shall manage." Cidra says, with the clear-eyed confidence she shows when ordering pilots into battle against the Cylons. She can usually manage to *seem* confident. How genuine it is is an open question, but she bluffs well. "That is all for now. Anything further, Jugs? I would not keep you."

Quinn is quiet a few moments, her jaw resting into a touch of a line. Especially now that official business is over, her expression is a touch more worried. She finally admits, "I… I had a dream, Toast… about Lampridis Falls." She studies the slightly older woman's features quite closely as she admits that.

Now this seems to drive all thoughts of business from Cidra's mind. Though her manner, if possible, grows more serious. She intakes a sharp breath, steadying herself against the table. "Again…? What was the dream? This is…you are not the first to dream of mention of this place. You know this, I think."

Quinn nods in affirmation, "I know… from what you and a few others said… it's actually been fairly common.." Maggie admits, worried and just a bit perplexed. She takes a slow breath in and starts from the beginning. "We were at my home… the farmstead on Aerilon… Kallistei, the baby.. she was there, calling for me. Probably about five years old. But it was definitely her. She kept telling me she wanted to go -home-… And it was storming like nothing else out side."

Cidra does not ask how Quinn knew it was her daughter in the dream. She merely accepts it with nod. "It is very strange…I know the name of the place. Lampridis Falls." Her Gemenese accent, so awkward with many standard words, wraps easily around it. "It is a spot on Gemenon. But…it is not a holy place. Not truly. It is a very lovely natural spot, but there are shrines and temples of far more importance on the planet. When Lieutenant Doe and I spoke of these things he described it as a 'tourist trap.'" She snorts. "That fits as well as anything. And yet, it does keep coming back again and again…"

Quinn nods quietly before she continues, confusion on her own face, "There was a large serpent curled up beside the hearth, like the family dog would be. And then there was a knock on the door. An older couple who called each other Tom and Cass briefly asked for a place to get out of the rain and asked if I knew God. Just God. Singular. I said I knew the gods, then they insisted they had to go, they had to get home. Kallistei wanted to go with them, she was crying and squirming and reaching for them. They left into the rain, into the flood waters, to go home.. to Lampridis Falls, they said… to reunion with god, it felt like, I don't know. I tried to follow, but the flood was too high, then the serpents were eating me, then… then I woke." Maggie finishes, breathless a touch again, just remembering it. "It was a very… vivid dream."

Cidra's mouth settles into a frown at mention of the word 'God.' "Monotheism. Blasphemy." She all but spits it. "The abominations speak of one 'God.' It is a queer omen." And one she does not care for, clearly. "But that also recurs. In the dream Drips and Hosedown described to me. And Bunny before them. I believe in visions, Maggie, and their power. And I do believe someone is trying to tell us something through this…though what I cannot say…"

Quinn frowns deeply, her hand still protectively stretched across her belly as she thinks back through the disturbing dream. "Perhaps… like the things we found on the moon… Lampridis Falls was home to some sort of monotheist cult that few knew about but had power? Maybe they'd managed to gather something important there… something we need to find again…" She throws out, still trying to find some sort of hope in the queer vision…"But I was eaten, when I tried to go…"

Cidra intakes another deep breath and exhales is slow. "Our reconnaissance footage from Gemenon was very…strange. The Cylons still occupy it, yes. It is the only one of the outer colonies they have not abandoned, which I find very odd. Tauron, and even Sagittaron, had more 'value' in terms of raw materials they could use if they were thinking strategically. Gemenon…it was a poor world, even when the worlds were whole. Little there to export but the Faiths…" Another long sigh. "…they are not amassing there as they are on the other worlds, either. The footage we got shows signs of…excavations. Digging. Humanoids as well as Centurions, though we could not get close enough to see if they were the abomination skinjobs of….human slaves…" Her voice chokes at the idea.

Quinn bites her lower lip quietly, her eyes dropping down to the desk, "Well…we do know they've kidnapped humans, for whatever reason…" Namely, her whole family, but they've found humans missing from other places too. "Perhaps the Cylons are searching for the gods…or… God…" Maggie finally voices to the room, jsut syaing it sending a shiver through her.

Cidra nods, in mute agreement to that first part she can't give voice to. Not an maintain any shred of inscrutability. "They are searching for something there. This we know. And it is calling to us, too. Perhaps through the voice of the gods themselves…" She closes her eyes for a moment, swallowing hard. "All my career, Maggie, I have fought against being called a Gemenese fanatic. I have tried to be…pragmatic in how I go about my duties. And yet…there *is* something there. I feel it. And yet…I do not know if it is just selfishness telling me this…just my own heart wanting to go fight for my home…"

Quinn reaches out, across the desk, for Cidra's hand if the elder woman permits. She squeezes it gently, her fingertips wrapping soft around Cidra's palm with a small, tight squeeze. "It's not just you… not just your home. Many of us are feeling the call. We -do- need to go back. If we could get information from some cylon prisoner, it might help. Figure out what they're doing… but… we will go back. We must."

Cidra, for all her outer reserve, is not actually averse to touching. She takes Maggie's hand, clasping it in her own. "There is something there I want another look at." Quinn's words seem to reassure her, at least, that this is something beyond a selfish whim. "The Cylons still hold the place. Returning in force would be…unwise. Especially with Pewter's planned assault on that Cylon facility. There is little time. But perhaps another recon…a Raptor, maybe two…" Not that the first one ended in much more than the Raptor surrounded with Raiders. But it might be easier to pitch to Command than a mass possible-suicide trip. "…I would see what might be at the Falls. We *should* see that, at the very least."

Quinn nods in affirmation, almost immediately, her fingertips clinging close around Cidra's, warm, almost feverish skin reassuring against the other woman's cooler touch. "A planned raptor mission to jump in, get photos or recordings of Lampridis and then jump out again would not be an unwise idea… i think that's very acceptable a risk."

"Acceptable risk. Quite." Cidra still sounds half like she's trying to convince herself, but she does nod. "Well, we shall have more than enough to occupy us in the coming days. Even when the ship is repaired, with the planned upgrades to our birds, it may have to be tabled for a few weeks." Faintest of smiles to Quinn. "Perhaps you shall be able to help me plan the flying of it."

Quinn smiles a bit more back to Cidra, "I'd… be very happy to do that, if not help fly it myself, depending on the timing. But… I definitely want to assist with the plans, if you'll let me. If we can get some sort of old photos of Lampridis falls to start, maybe I can remember something else from the dream. Who knows…"

"Perhaps Hosedown and Drips can as well. And Bunny and Splash apparently had one earlier. And others. It is very queer, Maggie. Very queer…" So much unease in her voice. Mixed with an eagerness she's clearly fighting. Cidra clears her throat. With a squeeze, she releases the other woman's hand. "Well. I am off duty, technically, and should take advantage of some rack time. While it is there to take. I…thank you, for telling me this. I wish I…I have never been one to dream like that and…I can do the rituals perfectly, inhale all the chamalla I like, but it just…does not touch me. I do not know why."

Quinn lets go of the hand in turn, standing up as smoothly as her pregnant form can manage. She looks over Cidra, considering the woman's worries. "Maybe you're… too good to touch. We're the tainted ones. You said… it is an ill omen. Perhaps you are pure. Or perhaps… perhaps they're saving you for something bigger." Maggie admits, not actually all that reassurign with those words, but she honestly feels them.

Cidra shakes her head to that. Firmly. Not meeting Quinn's eyes, and she is all about eye contact usually. "I know my crimes, Maggie. And my sins. I have atoned for them as best I can but…" She purses her lips. "…the gods will judge me in the end. If they think me unworthy now, they have their reasons. I am…not pure." A pause and she starts to head out of the room. Though she does turn back to add, "I shall pray for the safe delivery for you and your babe. It is…you are brave in many ways. For seeing this through, whatever comes of it."

Quinn looks back up towards Cidra as they jointly leave the room, both of them going in different directions. There is a quiet sadness in her eyes for the woman as she admits that there are crimes in her past. "The Gods do forgive, eventually…it just takes time…" She whispers, the best assurance she can manage, then she's looking down to her belly again. "…Thank you. I'm not brave… just blessed… in strange ways." She admits, rubbing her hand over her belly before she turns to go down the hall.

Cidra exits as well, though she splits off from Quinn promptly. To frequent the chapel, perhaps. Who knows, really?

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