PHD #086: Pulling Cards
Pulling Cards
Summary: Tillman pulls cards on Alessandra in mid-conversation; tension builds.
Date: 24 May 2041 AE
Related Logs: Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity-Jig & Keeping It Mum
Tillman Alessandra 
Ready Room
(Scene took place in TP room, will snag room desc later)
Post-Holocaust Day: #86

Its quiet when Allie enters. But the smell of cigarettes lingers in the air with the smoke by the ceiling of this large room. Tillman is sitting at the back of the stadium seating with a grand view of the whole room. He's leaned back in the chair, both arms hanging limply by his side while a cigarette dangles from his fingers. There's a bottle of whiskey on the desk in front of him with his gun - which has been unloaded and the magazine left out beside it.

It has been only a few hours since the two last spoke but with events being the way they are, and with the news one Specialist Coll mentioned, Allie has found herself pretty much loathed to be without Tillman's company tonight. A note was left for him to meet her here but of course he seems to have beaten her here, the fact that he has been drinking and has his weapon unholstered, loaded or not, has her concerned. "Clive?" The XO is approached warily as not to startle him, that pistol of his giving her quite a reason to treat him and the moment with kid gloves, Allie smart enough to not risk getting shot by him for accidentally scaring him.

Tillman lolls his head to the side and nods. "Lieutenant. Decided I could use a drink." His uniform jacket is off and on the chair behind him. Though her glance to the gun gets a smile. "Don't worry. I'm not about to kill anyone. Just didn't think it'd be a good idea to be wearing the damned thing if I'm drinking. Mag is out anyway." He shrugs. "What's up?" He lifts the cigarette and takes a drag.

Alessandra reaches over to play with Tillman's hair some, a playful tussle rather than one of the more romantic running of fingers through it. "I understand. But, just the same…" Not that Allie doesn't trust Clive but he's been drinking and accidents are known to happen when one's impaired, it compelling her to take the gun and check the chamber, nodding once she see it is indeed empty. "I couldn't sleep," she starts by saying, that a not-unfamiliar phrase but it's followed up by something new entirely, "I have been thinking. I can't let you do this alone. Not just the jump but everything. I…I have your six, sir. Consider me your wing man." Pursing her lips, she watches Tillman and then looks longingly at the bottle, the amber liquid it holds calling to her.

Tillman doesn't care are the tussle. He just closes his eyes momentarily and looks back towards the front of the room as her takes another swig from the bottle. "Yeah. Lotta that going around," he comments to her lack of sleep. But the last -should- get a reaction from him…but it doesn't. Not right away. He just slides her the bottle. "Best case scenario, Allie, Abbot is innocent. And I hope to the Gods he is. If that's the case, I'll be assigned a firing squad. Anyone who accompanies me to do something like you're talking about will join me. And that's the best case scenario." The Major lifts the cigarette, rolling the tip gently in the tray to get the ashes off. "Worst case scenario? It incites a ship-wide mutiny and people die and we never get to rescue our people off Leonis. And that will be on your head, as well. That's not including the idea that Praetorian and Corsair don't fire on us for being traitors. Because Allie?" He finally looks back to her. "That's exactly what you would be. A traitor. A mutineer. In another other situation, I would shoot someone personally for this."

"There's another worse case scenario," Allie points out. "That's being we're right but don't do a frakking thing about it because we're frakking more concerned with our own necks than the wel lbeing of those here on the ship and those who are still stranded and the Cylons come frakking smokejack us all. I think I'll take my chances with being proven wrong while maybe getting a message out there to the Cylon." The bottle's brought up and tilted up, the liquor going straight to her head thanks to the narcotics she still has flowing throughout her system, it making for quite the potent brew. "Look…" she gets out, it mangled with a hissed exhale as the whiskey burns its way down to her belly, "I get that there's a risk. That we're putting ourselves out for a whole frakking can of trouble if this entire thing winds up being a hoax or something. But I'd rather take a risk and be wrong than not take one and us getting a whole lot of people killed." Is she making sense? That's debatable. She can only hope she's not talking circles and that Clive's sober enough to make heads or tails of all of what is leaving her mouth.

Tillman just smokes while she talks, watching the cherry on the end of his cigarette. "That scenario isn't even plausible. Its not an option. Inaction kills as much as action. You know what the biggest frak-up in all of combat is? 'Too late.'" The Major shakes his head. "Its not that there is a risk, Allie. It is a sure thing. If this turns out to be a hoax? I'm turning myself over to the Marines for custody as soon as Abbot is out of the brig. I will be shot. It -cannot- be allowed to stand that a mutineer is allowed to stay put. It sends the message that mutiny is okay. And if Abbot really is..whatever he is? I won't even be taking command of this ship. I'm outranked by three other people in this battlegroup. You think any one of those commanders would want a mutineering XO? Whatever happens?" Tillman shakes his head. "I'm done. You've still got a promising career. You can do a lot. You can still fight. Why the hell would you want to jeopardize that? I don't even want Major Hahn apart of this."

What little trace of humor Allie might have held in her expression melds, her face taking on a tense, serious look, her body stiffening. "Do you want to know why, sir," she queries darkly while holding Clive's booze out to him. "It's because I'm tired. I'm frakking tired of sitting here, feeling like I can't do frak-all to make it stop. And maybe…just maybe…if standing up with you, regardless of the outcome, means that we might make some kind of…difference, then so be it. I'm willing to lay down what life I have to support you." Alcohol plus stress plus fatigue has rendered Alessandra unable to keep a hold on her emotions and she finds herself having to wipe her cheeks dry. "Why am I willing to forfeit my career? I dunno, Tillman. But I'm doing it. And I'd appreciate it if you didn't try to talk me out of this."

Tillman takes the bottle back and sips at it as he looks back to the front of the room. "None of us can do much. At least you're allowed to get out there and physically fight. I'd give anything to be back in the Corps. Run missions. Fight for it. Instead?" He lofts a brow as if it were mildly amusing. "Instead, my idea of being loyal is pointing a gun at my Commanding Officer." He nods a few times and sips again. "I can understand where you are coming from Allie. I do. But you don't want to be worried about me talking you out of this." He looks to her again. "I'll brig you if I have to. You really got some crazy notion of backing me up, then you clear it with Major Hahn. I'm -not- taking one of her pilots down with me. I've already deprived her of a Raptor Captain. You want this? You fight her for it."

Remember the subordination Tillman praised Alessandra for the other day while she was laid up in sickbay? It's back and this time it's not the result of too much time spent stranded on Leonis or the drugs talking, this being nothing but Allie speaking. "Fine, sir. Then frakking brig me." She's hovering a bit closer to the Major when she says this, her hands balled up into fists, that giving her a rather challenging look. "And frak fighting Major Hahn over it. Come on, Major. How about you and me, right the frak now? Drop the rank…" Her eyes gleam darkly, the light brown just about black, the mood of the moment showing itself. "Or are you afraid of getting your ass kicked by a godsdammed pilot?"

Tillman just looks to her as she gets angry, leaning closer. He takes a sip of the bottle and looks away. Another drag of the smoke. He takes his time replying. Even though it really isn't a reply. Its just a statement. A statement that might put a little more gravity into the idea of what Tillman is giving up by going ahead with his plans. He just looks at the table in front of him. "Quinn is pregnant, Allie."

Alessandra's eyes shoot wide in surprise, that being something that is meant to happen often recently, it seems, the ire deflating as if it was a balloon being relieved of its air, complete with the 'ppfft' sound. "You….wait. Her? Uh…" Comprehension and speech are so not Alessandra's strong points right now, all she being able to do is sputter and stare. "I..see." Well, that has her all confused now and she looks away, her hands finding purchase on the arms of the chair Clive's sitting upon, that done because her legs sure as hell are not going to support her anymore. "Please forgive me for being unable to congratulate you under the circumstances, sir."

The Major shrugs again. "I thought Cid was going to knock me the hell down. She just kind of sputtered until she left to go talk to Mags, herself. Don't feel bad. But it kinda puts a new angle on all this, doesn't it? Get to be a dad again..But nah. The Gods have different plans." A heavy sigh and he swigs at the bottle before handing it off to her. "Cheers." Another drag of the smoke and he stubs it out. "You could have that, too, you know? Survive all this. Find a guy that makes you happy. Have a family or something. If I'm shot for this? I just hope I was wrong and the Sister is right. Maybe I'll see my family again soon."

Alessandra rolls her eyes. "Could have. Could have. But I don't and I won't. Not unlike some people who can be with the one they want despite the frakking hypocrisy of it all." This has been a subject that has been niggling at Lucky for a while but has gone left unsaid, it being pushed away as being something that really doesn't matter in the long run, but with the tension in the air, the rawness of her frayed nerves and the subject being what it is pulling the words and the hurt right out of her. There's the instant regret over having said it but, for as much as she hates the words and the tone they're spoken in, Allie's also enjoyed for having said it as it helps her to feel better as far as that goes at least. "Don't get me wrong, Clive. I'm happy for the both of you but you'll have to excuse me if I allow myself to be bitter as well." Gods, this is a good time for another drink and she's floundering, trying to snatch the bottle for her own. Just for a bit.

Tillman glances to her as she makes her feelings known and just lets her take the bottle. "Being bitter usually implies some kinda lingering resentment. Not such a great childhood, eh?" He looks back towards the front of the room. "It ain't about whether or not you like someone. Its just letting it happen. Being closed off can get pretty cold n' lonely, so I've heard. But I'm not a shrink. Just a drunk guy with delusions of morality. But regardless, you're going to have to talk to Major Hahn, Allie. I can't take someone else from her. I understand what you want and why you want to do it. But you need to tell her yourself. And I won't make the case for you. If this really is something you want to fight for then you first have to convince your allies that you're right."

The talk is halted for a good five seconds, it being spent guzzling down more whiskey, the bottle returned quite a bit more empty than it was when Clive gave up possession of it. When she does manage to speak again her voice is hoarse, made raw from drink and emotion. "My childhood was frakking fine, Major, thank you." It's the time since then that Alessandra has come to regret, it seems. "I don't get you," she ventures forth, then, "why you'd be willing to ask me to jump out of a plane at one hundred thousand feet yet you hesitate on this." The fight has left her, her condition still making it hard for her to keep up that level of energy for long and she's sagging, her body slumping until her ass meets floor. "Godsdammit," she sneers angrily at herself. "Fine. You win. You want to do this on your own then okay. I'll stay back. But you better frakking brig me before you do anything because I can't promise I won't come to help if I hear about it, sir."

"Because its one thing to launch a rescue mission that saves the lives of our friends and family. Its another to walk into the line of fire where your chances of being killed were unacceptably high." The man doesn't look at her. "I believe in what I'm doing. I believe in this crew. But?" He shakes his head. "I wouldn't ever approve a mission with this sort of survival rate. I wouldn't ask anyone else to do it. Nor would I allow it. And having said that? Never issue an order for a mission that you aren't willing to do yourself." The man clasps his hands in his lap and looks to them. "The op will come as a surprise and be coordinated with another investigation. Cid won't even know when it will happen. I told her this afternoon and that'll probably be the last she hears of it until I make the address to the crew. I won't fight you coming, Allie. But if you convince the CAG, then that's fine. You'll accompany myself and the Marines."

There's no sign of Allie agreeing with the Major now and her listening is even questionable as she just stares straight at Clive's left knee, taking great pain in watching it almost as if she is expecting it to do a trick or something. When his voice drops she blinks, snapped out of her trance, and she is quick to nod. "Yes'ir. I'll be sure to talk with the CAG as soon as possible." Alessandra smiles as she says that but there's something about how she does so that could be described as suspicious, it given too easily.

Tillman looks back to her smile. Its not returned. "If you tell me that she approved it, I will ask her for confirmation, Lieutenant. If Major Hahn says no conversation as such took place, I will brig you. And you will sit out the rescue operation." If it comes off. Assuming they don't have to deal with a ship-wide mutiny. He stares at her for a few long seconds. "What happened, Allie?" His voice takes a turn down and personal. "I know that you want to go and its good reasons but..what's got you in this mindset?"

Alessandra's teeth grind loudly, Tillman pulling the one card that she was hoping he'd leave the frak alone, it smacking of the parental 'if you don't eat all your vegetables you won't get to go outside and play Pryamid with your friends' threat she heard a lot as a kid. "Damnit! Clive, do not do that to me." It gives her away, undoubtedly, her intention to fudge the truth announced with that wail. Defeated, she bends from the waist and mutters, that coinciding with placing her forehead against his knees. "I don't know," she mutters after a second. "Maybe I have a death wish or something." The pilot shrugs her shoulders and chuckles, a dry, emotionaless chuckle that shakes her body more than it makes any real kind of sound. "No. Seriously? It's what I feel I should do, Major. Just like doing the jump even if I'm not too certain of the odds. It's for the family. To protect them. To protect you and the civilians and…everyone." Save for herself, perhaps.

Tillman looks stern with the wail. "I am doing this by the book, Lieutenant. Period. End of story. Anyone who joins me is going to have legal standing and going around their department head is -not- standing. This will be done honorably." Honor in a mutiny. Its almost funny. Almost. When she leans and speaks, he nods. His hand drops and rests on her head. "Then that's what you need to tell the CAG, Allie. I sure wouldn't mind having someone like you there. Especially with what you know. But you have to come clean to Cidra."

Alessandra nods, causing Tillman's hand to ruffle her hair. "I'll talk with her as soon as I can." At least she's finally done being stubborn about the entire affair although she's still quite a bit tense across the back of her shoulders and down along either side of her spine, her hackles still raised. "I am sorry for being such a shithead about this, Major. I just dislike being told I am not allowed to stand up for what I believe in." Sniffling, she sits upright and wraps her arms about her, it being hard to tell if she's in pain or if she's seeking to comfort herself in a self-given hug. "So yeah. Guess I should go and prepare my speech to the CAG." Twisting her mouth in as much of a grin as she can, Allie quips, "Betcha twenty cubits she'll send me to the shrink instead of letting me go," that semi-bitter tone back in her voice.
GAME: Save complete.

"You're allowed to stand up for what you believe in, Alessandra. We all are. If we weren't, we wouldn't be here. But you just have to ask the CAG for permission to join an operation like this." Tillman's voice is relaxed and calm. But he's drunk. The hand moves back to his lap. "Talk to the Marine CO. Tell her what you know. Don't talk to -anyone else- over there. Just her. If she decides you're a witness, like I believe you are, then that's ammo to take to the CAG." Did he just help her? He did say 'legal standing', right? "I'll take that bet." Not like he'll ever be able to collect.

The slow raise up onto her feet leaves Allie upright once completed. "Yes, sir." The Major's given a salute unlike the last time they parted company, Allie's enthusiasm curbed. "With your permission, sir. I think it's about time I tried to sleep before I do anything."

Tillman picks up the bottle and taps the lip to his temple. "Get some sleep, Lieutenant. Do like I asked and come find me again. If you get approval, we have planning to do. Sleep well." He takes another swig and looks back towards the front of the room. Tillman isn't going to be sleeping any day soon.

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