PHD #412: Some Common Ground
Some Common Ground
Summary: Cidra attempts to find it with Baer.
Date: 14 Apr 2042 AE
Related Logs: Gemenon and detainment related logs.
Cidra Baer 
Cidra's Office
It's an office. It no long has an owl statue that is always. watching. :(
Post-Holocaust Day: #412

Lieutenant Colonel Baer arrives in a timely fashion, approaching Cidra's office and knocking on the open door with the back of his hand. "Major Hahn," he greets her with a smile, letting himself in. He doffs his fedora as he enters, and holds it in both hands as he helps himself to a seat. "I'm pleased we were finally able to find a time to meet in person. How are you, Cidra?"

"I am pleased as well, Skiron." Cidra was seated at her desk, smoking on one of those cheap Picon-brand cigarettes she favors. A faint smile is offered to him, though her expression on the whole is inscrutable. "Close the hatch, please. I am…much occupied these days. And much disturbed by certain matters, as I am sure you are as well. I thank you for taking the time to do this. There is much we must get on the same page about, if we are to present a properly united front to Command in the coming days."

Baer obligingly shuts the hatch with one hand as he's removing his hat with the other, and then listens with an interested expression as Cidra speaks. "You are all business today," he replies with a deep chuckle and another of those smile. He nods, tone vaguely indulgent as he gestures with his fedora, "Go on, then, please. I am always in favor of cooperation between us and our wings, as I know you are as well."

"There is much business to be about, Skiron. And I do think we must move swiftly if we are to head off any foolishness from above us. I know you are. You ever have been, and for this I am most appreciative. I have always found us to be much alike in this and other matters, and it has made things…far more pleasant." Cidra does not seem to notice the indulgance in his tone. Or, if she does, it's ignored in favor of plowing ahead with her business. "I take it you are fully versed in the reports from the Gemenon recon? Albeit, it does seem the entire Fleet is at this juncture."

Baer's brows tick upwards slightly at the words 'foolishness from above us' but he says nothing just yet, content to allow Cidra to plow ahead as she desires. She speaks, he listens, and then nods at the question. "I am, of course," he replies, "Full copies of those reports were made available to my office. Even before they became available to the Fleet at large," he distinguishes, lips twisting in a brief, sour expression. Then he goes on, "What of them?"

"What do you make of them, first and foremost?" Cidra says, a touch of puzzlement creeping into her tone at his sour expression. But on she goes. "For my part I know not quite what the import of what is going on upon that planet is, but it clearly must be investigated further. When our Intelligence personnel complete their analysis of the data we have received - whatever they are able to make of it - to my mind we should return to the planet promptly. Covertly if possible, though I would be curious to see what more communication with the forces on that planet bring, even if it is only electronically."

"Interesting reading," Baer replies, shoulders lifting in a languid sort of shrug. Elbows rest on chair arms, and fingers steeple before his chest as he listens. "Communication with the forces on that planet?" he echoes, and his head shakes, "I think I misunderstood you, Cidra, surely you're not proposing we get the Cylons on the wireless for a chat?"

"I am surely not ruling it out, Skiron," Cidra replies, posture growing a touch less relaxed now. . "I do not think any options can be ruled out at this juncture, given the strangeness of what is going on upon Gemenon. If we can find out the condition of those humans left alive down there without bloodshed, keeping in mind anything the enemy tells us may be trickery, why not take it? And this is yet another sign of some strange manner of division within the Cylon factions. The Eleven we had captive on this ship so long ago hinted at such. The Cylon interest in religion, the differences the Eleven spoke of…even the strange visions some in the Fleet have been visited with. Whatever is going on down upon Gemenon could hold the key to it all."

Baer laughs softly, and shakes his head, "Your…optimism is endearing, Cidra," he tells her, "Keeping all options open, seeing patterns in dreams and answers in religion? Truth in Cylon babbling?" He shakes his head again, dark hair shifting across his brow and back, "If we can find out their condition without bloodshed, that would be useful intelligence, certainly, but even the gathering of more information is an extremely risky prospect. Any mission beyond that would be… unthinkably dangerous. A Cylon force ready and waiting for our arrival, possibly with assistance from human traitors?" He shakes his head once more, "I would hesitate to ask any of my people to venture down there, as I am sure you would as well, I know you hold them very dear.

"It is more than just dreams and babbling, Skiron. The Cylons put some stock in it, that much is clear. We cannot afford to ignore it." Cidra's tone turns a touch more level and his soft laughter at her. "And we know not that those people are 'traitors.' They are human beings, still alive, perhaps even being held and used in some Cylon plot. What do we exist for anymore if not to at least see if they can be helped?" A touch of heat creeps into her tone but, after a breath, she moderates it. "Clearly, this cannot simply be ignored. Particularly if Gemenon is being used in some way in the enemy's larger mission. Particularly if it could some clue to the motives, and divisions, within the Cylon ranks. We risked far more on our return to Leonis. How do *you* propose we react to this?"

"Or the Cylons wish you to believe they put some stock in it," Baer replies, tone even, reasonable, "So that you will as well, and walk right into their hands on Gemenon." He listens as she goes on, but does not seem to grow any more convinced, pointing out in that same steady tone, "If Gemenon is being used, if it could be some clue to motives that might be useful, divisions that may exist. This is, from the files I have read, Leonis all over again. Chasing mysteries and shadows and a handful of survivors, and risking dozens of lives and significant resources in the bargain. What is there to show for Leonis, in the end? A few rescued, some intelligence no one understands, and a few planes." He shakes his head, and goes on, "There are targets out there that we know are of importance to the enemy, places we can say with absolute certainty are key in their larger plan. Those are the sorts of targets that merit risking the lives of our men and women, ones that we know will have a positive impact on the direction of this war."

"More than a few rescued, Skiron, and a good deal of intelligence. I shall not claim Operation Cobra Talon was an unqualified success, but it was far from fruitless. Albeit, not all the intelligence was related to the Cylons. We brought back much about Mol-Gen, and Ananke. Though I suppose you lot knew of that already." There's a slight edge in her tone as she mentions MolGen. "These targets you speak of. There is no hope of recovering surviving humans from them. It is only more lives of our own personnel lost, when we should be salvaging what we can and seeking…something more. A new path. A new home. Perhaps on Gemenon we may still be able to salvage some remnant of humanity. If not, then all the Colonies are truly lost, and it is time to seek a new future for ourselves. Or at least some clue of where we might find one."

"And has that intelligence led to the revelation of any additional Cylon agents in the Fleet?" Baer asks, "To the destruction of any additional Cylon targets, to any edge over the Cylon forces? Did it even aid in the rescue of any additional civilians?" He shakes his head, tone faintly indulgent yet again, smoothly spreading his hands, open palms down, in a sort of soothing gesture, "A new path and a new home are… a lovely dream, Cidra. But not one that can be realized as long as the Cylons remain at work within this Fleet and within this galaxy. Wherever we go, they will hunt us. Wherever we settle, they will find us. Surely you have seen the truth of this? Whenever we begin to think we are safe, they find us again, they strike in some new way. That will not stop until we eliminate them. Every day we spend not moving against the Cylons is another day that we risk the utter destructiong of the small remnant of humanity we have already saved. Wouldn't you rather risk them to definitely increase the chances of their survival by injuring the Cylon than risk them on the slim chance of finding some help in relics or brainwashed partygoers on Gemenon?"

"We cannot continue throwing ourselves into the teeth of the enemy, Skiron. Such is death by small cuts as much as the Swarms were. We will never retake the colonies," Cidra says. "Given the choice, I would rather take my chances moving forward and make them regret chasing us, spend our blood for some future, than engaged in a futile 'war' upon dead worlds. We are mere thousands. The Cylons are countless, and continue to make more of themselves with our own resources. Where does it *end*, Skiron? One more installation? One more production facility? One more relay? I know not if Gemenon holds anything that might drive us forward, but it at least presents a different path than being whittled down again and again." She reaches across the desk to place a hand on his arm now. "I have lost half the personnel this ship launched with. You have lost scarcely less. Surely you see it cannot continue this way indefinitely."

"It isn't about trying to retake the colonies," Baer shakes his head, "You are right, we will never be able to do that. But with their countless resources they can chase us forever. But if we eliminate even one more of their production facilities, we can cripple them, and buy ourselves if not safety, then at least the time to escape to it." She touches his arm, and he smiles, and touches her forearm in return, nodding in silence for a moment or two as if taking her points to heart. "You mentioned fearing foolishness from above," he reminds her after that thoughtful-seeming pause, "Your fellow department heads, and Cerberus Command, have you not been able to persuade them like this?"

"I was not referring to my own chain of command, Skiron," Cidra says, though her mood moderates again now. Outwardly, at least. "I had hoped to secure your aid in persuading Commander Kepner that further investigation on the ground in Gemenon was worth pursuing. My own personnel are quite willing to undertake the risk, as I am. If your air personnel shall not assist our efforts, I am at least open to going forward with it in the most covert way possible. But there is much foolishness in these times, and it goes beyond Gemenon. These detainments spread much dissention in the Fleet, and hammer at morale. I hope it has not strained the cooperation we have managed to forge - with some difficulty - between our Air personnel."

Baer nods his understanding, his expression understanding as well as he continues to listen. "I see," he nods, and then smiles, touching her arm again, "I can't promise results, but I can promise I will speak with Commander Kepner about this issue, Cidra," he assures her, "If you are all decided that this is the best course, then what can we do but consider how best to help?" He shakes his head at the last, "On our side it has not, at least. I hope it has not on yours. I regret that things have gone as they have, but it is not my business, really."

"Much about the matter of these detainments concerns me, Skiron," Cidra says. "My thoughts turn to Admiral Abbot." Her gaze sharpens some upon him now. "Was this technique used upon him during the trial? We heard none of it in the Fleet? And if not, why?"

Baer lifts a brow, "Abbot?" He shakes his head, and shrugs, "I don't know, Cidra, I'm sorry. The trial was Cerberus business, I did not involve myself in it. But I believe The Gun required quite a bit of testing before our technicians were certain how to use it. We were not all tested right away, at least." He shrugs. "You would have to speak to someone involved in that project. My job is seeing to our pilots and ECOs, it leaves me little time to concern myself with other matters, as I'm sure you understand."

"I shall, at the earliest opportunity," Cidra replies. Tone a little clipped. Perhaps suspecting she's being put off. But the matter's not pressed with him. "Yes. Well. That latter I do understand. I shall not keep you much longer. I admit I had hoped we might find more common ground on the matter of Gemenon, but we shall move forward as we can. And I am glad we can still work together ammicably, Skiron. I regret that we have not spoken on a particularly personal level since…Tauron." And since sleeping together. Not that she puts it like that.

"We shall move forward as we can," Baer replies, smiling once again, "And as we must. I have taken what you've said to heart, Cidra, I promise you that. I will think on it." He begins to rise, and then stops, fingers steepled on her desktop as his opposite number goes on. "I regret it as well," he replies, and reaches out to touch her upper arm, hand lingering as he smiles, "Soon, perhaps, we can take some time to speak more personally. I know I would like that. But for now, I ought to be getting back."

"Perhaps." Cidra is inscrutable, and a little cool, to the prospect of 'speaking more personally' at some future juncture. "We shall both but much occupied in the coming days, I am sure. I appreciate you taking the time to meet with me, Skiron."

"We shall, of course," Baer replies with a nod. He turns his hat in his hand, rolling it carefully up the inside of his forearm and onto his head. He smiles, and bows his head faintly in farewell. "And you, Cidra. Good evening."

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