PHD #043: Principle of the Matter
Principle of the Matter
Summary: Pallas brings an accusation against Tisiphone to Cidra, along with two signed witness statements from the Deck crew.
Date: 11 Apr 2041 AE
Related Logs: Gone and There Again
Cidra Pallas 
Naval Offices - Deck 10 - Battlestar Cerberus
Post Holocaust Day: #43
This area is set-up much like any standard office building. Cubicles have been constructed using cheap waist-high walls, their contents left neutral for whoever needs to use them. Inside each cubicle is a desk with a laptop and chair. Simple overhead lights bring dull illumination to the room except over the back wall where each one of the colonies twelve flags hangs from its own pole. Fake, potted plants dot the room and seem to be standard issue along with the water cooler and coffee machines. Off the main room are a few private offices such as that of the JAG or CAG.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear

Cidra is technically off-duty. By the clock. You won't find her in the berthings, though. She's back in her office, going over the day's reports, sitting at her desk. Slim frown on her face and cigarette between her fingers, on which she takes liberal puffs. The hatch to her lair is ajar, though. It generally is, unless she has someone in there with her.

Pallas is also technically off-duty. But he strides into the CAG's office with purpose. Notably, the man is no longer wearing his sling, having been released from light duties a few days back. More noticeable, however, is the bruise on his jaw and his lips, which are split open bottom and top. The blood hasn't completely dried yet, either. He carries with him a folder which he lays down on Toast's desk. Inside are two pieces of paper, each written by two members of the Deck crew. Witness statements, the titles say.

Up come Cidra's eyes from her daily reports. To Pallas. And his lip. She stands. "Lieutenant Ellinon. My gods. What is all this?" She takes the folder and opens it, skimming before he actually gives her an answer.

The first sheet is a short and sweet report by Specialist Nikolai Ganas. The second is a tad bit longer, written by Petty Officer Third Class Petra Timon. Both describe the incident dated 10 April 2041 AE at roughly 2045 hours on the hangar bay floor. "Major," he says, nodding to the folder. He has a way of speaking a rank as though it meant nothing. Like a label, not a paid respect. "This - " he points to his face - "is the handiwork of Ensign Apostolos using her cast like a club."

Cidra sighs. Heavily. Particularly after skimming the preliminaries. "Sit." It's somewhere between an offer and an order, with a motion of the fingertips holding her cigarette to the chair across from her. "You had her brigged, yes?" It's one of those questions where her tone clearly assumes the answer is 'Yes' and the asking is a formality. "Tell me what happened."

Surprisingly, perhaps, the answer given is, "No." Before explaining any further, he takes a seat as offered - or ordered, whichever - and lights a crumpled cigarette. "I went down to the deck to check on the status of my bird to make sure it was flight-ready," he says, his words chasing a lazy trail of smoke drifting up from his lips. "The Ensign was by the Chief's office." He pauses for a bit, long enough to take two drags of his cigarette at leisure, before shifting gears a bit. "Look, Major, I'm not gonna frak you around. I said shit to deliberately get on her nerves and yank her chain. But she was out of line to frakkin' backhand me on the deck in front of all the knuckledraggers and whoever the frak else was down there, spit at my feet, and storm off. If it'd been in the bunks, I wouldn't even be here."

Cidra might be surprised. It's always a little hard to tell with the her. Brows arch a notch and she drags on her cigarette. But that's the extent of any outward reaction, beyond a deepening frown as she listens to Pallas' story. "I am sure you did. But. You are her superior officer. And striking a superior officer - no matter how much of an ass you may think they are - is far out of bounds. Particularly, as you say, in front of enlisted personnel. Yet. You did not brig her. Why?"

Pallas purses lips lips. Hard. "The list she had was of the crew who'd gone over on some mission to that ship that disappeared and came back. The Ei-something, I wasn't paying attention to the Admiral's broadcasts." He doesn't seem particularly embarrassed of that fact. Then again, when does he ever seen embarrassed of anything? "This was before it came back. She thought the people on that list were dead." Lips curling a bit, he puffs from his cigarette again, ashing onto the floor. "I'm not a frakkin' lawyer, I know there's, what do they call it, extenuating circumstances," he gives air-quotes to those words, "when you're under some bullshit called 'emotional duress'. Whatever the flying frak that means."

"Eidolon," Cidra supplies. "Lieutenant Trask and Ensign O'Sullivan, along with the technical and Marine personnel. The Admiral did tell me they could well be KIA." Those lines are the corners of her eyes are particularly deep tonight. Make it back through they did. She takes another drag. "She is not the first hot-headed rook to come to blows with a superior in a moment of idiocy, whatever the circumstances. That does not excuse it. What did you say to her?"

"Before or after she hit me?" Pallas asks dryly. "I remarked - jokingly, of course - that she must've made her way through the ship fast if her to-frak list had gotten down to just one page. After she struck me and lost it on me about having respect for the dead - of course, they weren't dead, but who's counting? - I said her standards must've dropped if she was resorting to frakking the dead. Then she spat and left." All this is said flatly, and the expression on his face shows that he fully expects the Major to be outraged by his comments. But to him, that's all beside the point. "The basic gist of that is in the second report. The PO heard most of what happened, the Specialist just heard the yelling and saw the backhand. I told 'em to write up the witness reports, and went up to Sickbay to get the lip and my chipped tooth looked at."

Cidra regards Pallas steadily across the desk, blue eyes unreadable. Par for the course with her. Smoke. "She'll need to be reprimanded, of course. But, as you seem to have no inclination to take it up with to the JAG, I've certainly no wish to waste my time doing so." Outraged? Again, hard to say. She frowns and stares at him, but beyond that her inscrutable expression doesn't crack much. "I thank you for bringing this matter to my attention without me having to hear it through the daily memos, Lieutenant. And for your honesty." Tone cool, despite the politeness of the words. She's quiet for a beat, dragging again. Just watching him.

If Pallas is frustrated at Cidra's complete unreadability, it doesn't show. Maybe he just expects it now. "I'd rather get hit in the face again than have to go through the frakkin' bureaucracy," he all but snarls. Paperwork is anathema to him. "And I have no reason to be dishonest. I know what I am. So there's no need to thank me for it. Major." Taking that as dismissal, he stands up - though his eyes stay on the CAG's all the while. She watches him, he watches her. Then, some time later, he turn to leave, saying nothing more.

"I did not dismiss you, Lieutenant," Cidra says mildly. Though she does not make him sit again. "Turn around."

Pallas stops, pauses, and turns. His head tilts a bit, and it's clear that he's slightly confused by this. But nothing is said.

Cidra holds her cigarette lightly between her fingertips, watching Pallas from behind the slight haze of smoke it trails up. "What are you, Spiral?" The question, again, is asked mildly. "You say you know. So tell me. What are you?"

"What am I?" Pallas repeats, though it's more for the effect of exposition. "I'm a son of a whore, a bitter old man, a dead-end career Lieutenant, a mediocre pilot, a drunken shit-disturber, and generally insufferable. Mix and match or take your pick." It's always good to have such a high opinion of yourself. The list is rattled off with candor, not rancor. The remainder of his neglected cigarette burns away down to the filter in his hand.

"Ah." It's exhaled shortly by Cidra as Pallas is done with that. "Those, also, Lieutenant, are also not excuses. You provoked an emotionally distraught junior officer and squad-mate. Her actions were reprehensible. So were yours. But you, as her superior, are expected to know better. You think…what? Because you think so poorly of yourself that I am expected to hold you to the same low standards? I do not think so. If you were truly nothing but an ass you'd have brigged Ensign Apostolos, which you were technically within your rights as an officer to do. So. I can only presume you are properly ashamed of this incident and take that as a sign that you at least *know* better. Even if you seem hades-bent on trying to convince me otherwise. Now, you are dismissed."

Pallas stands there a moment even after he's dismissed, like he's about to say something more. To refute something that Cidra says, or maybe acknowledge it, or to explain or excuse his behavior. Whatever it is, his eyes flare for a moment, thoughts racing behind them. But it passes. He offers only a salute in reply before turning away again and stalking out of her office, leaving the folder behind. Let her construe his actions as she will - silence has so many meanings. And none of them ever offer real answers to any questions.

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