PHD #406: Strife and Paranoia
Strife and Paranoia
Summary: Marine S3 Briefs the CAG on the situation.
Date: 08 Apr 2042 AE
Related Logs: Anything with the Cylon Hunt.
Cidra Vandenberg 
CAG's Office
Though it's not much bigger than the average ship supply closet, the office of the commander of Cerberus' air group has as much luxury as one can hope for aboard a battlestar: privacy. It is dominated by a blocky gray metal desk straight out of standard Navy supply with an equally standard-issue rolling chair behind it. A few other chairs are shoved against one wall, for those who drop by for whatever business they have with the CAG. The surface of the desk is covered by a computer and stacks of files and octagonal papers covering whatever bit of aerial bureaucracy she's mussing with that day. A few heavy books on air mechanics - mostly devoted to Raptors - occupy the shelves.
Post-Holocaust Day: #406

Rather than let themselves into the CAGs office, a trio of Marines are standing outside of it. At this late hour its anyone's guess how long they have been standing there. There are two on each side of the Major's door, fully kitted out in their combat blacks. The familiar face, Vandenberg, is there as well and dressed similarly. Odd enough to find Marines in the Naval offices. Very odd to find armed ones just standing around. The Lieutenant is talking quietly with the two men, hoping to keep the noise level down for anyone who may be working.

Cidra returns to the Navy Offices, and heads toward her own office, kitted up in flight gear. Albeit with the suit unzipped in front to give her some breathing room, and her helmet and gloves tucked under her arm. She looks fresh from the cockpit in some regard, though she's stopped to wash her hands and face prior to returning to the offices. The Marines in front of her office give her pause. "Lieutenant. All. Have you some business here with me?" While her tone is not impolite - the woman is nothing if not impeccable about her manners - armed Marines in front of her office is not a thing she's particularly welcoming about.

One of the MP's by the door notices before Vandenberg does and nods to the Major on the approach. They all straighten, as does Vandenberg. "Aye, sir. I'm afraid we do and its unpleasant business. Though I apologize for the armed guards. We are not here to take anyone into custody. Quite the opposite, actually. If you have some time, sir, I'd like to speak privately with you on behalf of Marine S-Two." She still keeps her voice low and quiet. The Marine seems quite subdued.

"All right." Cidra says no more until she's slipped into her office, allowed the Marines in behind her, and closed the hatch. "Sit, if you like." She does, at her desk, beneath the prayer beads that hang above it on a hook. The little owl hanging over her head. "Out with it at your leisure, Lieutenant. This is clearly a matter of some urgency."

The two Marines with Van stay outside, apparently guarding what's being discussed inside. She doesn't take the seat, though. The Lieutenant is all business as soon as the hatch is closed. When the Major gives the nod, Vandenberg begins. "In the last thirty-six hours we've had several illegal detainments performed by Areion Marines who have come aboard the Cerberus and taken custody of two confirmed crew members and possibly a third civilian. Currently Marine S-Two believes that Cerberus Command was unaware of these actions and did not approve them. As of fouteen twenty hours this afternoon, Marines have orders from Lieutenant O'Hare to use lethal force to prevent any further members of this crew to be taken without express orders and/or permission from Command Staff on this ship." She delivers it all flatly. Its obvious the S-Three has had to tell a few people this already.

Cidra does not immediately reply to that, blue eyes widening a notch, actual surprise registering on her generally inscrutable face. "Illegal…? For what purpose? I know there has been some debate in the echelons of Command over how to react to the news received from Gemenon, but I did not imagine it had turned to real infighting. Does this concern the leak of the AAR, and other details gathered from it?"

"We believe that the reasoning has something to do with each of these individuals being suspected of being humanoid Cylons, sir. However, others have indicated that they believe Commander Kepner is using this as an excuse to go after people who he feels are a threat to him either personally or professionally. I can't speak to the truth of that matter, Major, but the idea has been floated more than once." Vandenberg rests her arms behind her bank. She's sans her rifle for the time being, though kitted out otherwise. "If this has something to do with the AAR from Gemenon, sir, I'd be shocked. Not one of the individuals currently missing has access to that document." She pauses as if mentally moving to continue on her path. "These arrests were ordered by both Commanders Laughlin and Kepner. We have no indication that Cerberus Command knows of the orders, as I said. This leads us to conclude that Staff Level on this ship would not approve of the arrests and deny the requests. We are taking precautions to guard airlocks and the hangar decks, sir. But it may be prudent to take precautions against them coming for you as well, Major. That's why I have the two Marines with me. I'm here to offer them as personal escorts if you want them. You may decline them if you wish."

Cidra's brows arch. "Do you have reason to think I would be suspected of being a humanoid Cylon, Lieutenant?" The question is quite dry and shows no trace of offense. But who knows with her, really. She can't help but sigh heavy. "I had wondered how long it would be before it came to something like this. I am surprised it has not sooner. We know there are Cylon agents among us, likely still perpetrating acts of sabotage in ways which chill me to think of. Many do think this 'virus' introduced into the ship may be a biological agent from the enemy of some variety." Whether she believes that is unclear, but she puts it out there. "Your offer is most appreciated, Lieutenant, but I would decline it. If someone wants to question my loyalty and my humanity…" The barest hint of a smile, albeit not one with any warmth. "…I invite them to do so. But nor do I intend to leave this ship without letting my CO know where I am going, like some criminal in the night. Nor shall I allow such to happen to my people. I shall make it known any 'order' to report for such questioning must be verified with Marine Security aboard, or they are to consider it illegal and shall not be obliged to follow it."

Vandenberg is quick with the reply. "Yes, sir, I do. I know for a fact you were at one point considered a suspect due to some kind of knowledge. The document I saw was nearly a year old, though, but I am concerned they may find old suspect lists and use them." Its obvious the Marine doesn't believe Cid is a skinjob, though. She doesn't comment on the idea of skinjobs committing further acts of sabotage, either. "Understood, sir. You are declining the escort of Marine rifle." Probably something she has to confirm verbally. "Its not enough to refuse compliance, sir. At least, we don't think so. We have no evidence to support this as yet but resisting arrest from these Marines may not be possible. The ship's Master at Arms, Gunnery Sergeant Constin, has been taken. I'd think it would be easier to take a Centurion into custody, sir." If that is a joke, she isn't smiling. "Crewman Circe Lagana, a Navy Corpsman, was confirmed taken. As well Captain Trask reported to me personally that Miss Sawyer Averies is missing. We have zero confirmation on her whereabouts as of this time."

Cidra blinks at that. Real surprise registering. "I…" The CAG draws her posture up straight. She is a tall woman, and tends to slouch if she's not watching herself. This gets her shoulders up. "Some knowledge, Lieutenant? Do you have any more specific information as to why I might be considered suspect of enemy agency?" Though after a moment's thought, eyes widening slightly, she waves a hand dismissive. "Never mind. It is…of no moment." She considers it a moment, looking less sure now, but finally nods short. "I am declining Marine rifle escort, yes. The Master at Arms? And Miss Averies?" That last part in particular worries her, clearly.

Vandenberg shakes her head as if urging the CAG to delay concern. "No, sir, its fine. As I said, I saw the document and still don't believe you were considered a serious suspect given the context. Besides, Major, if you were an agent I doubt this ship would have made it very far at all. Let alone as far as it has." There's a definite tone of respect there. "The document in question was a list of suspects sent to Major Cavanaugh from Major Tillman. It was, from what I could tell, drawn up from a list of individuals who knew the location of some kind of meeting that resulted in an ambush in relation to the Leonis operations. Tillman also included himself on this list. I believe this list was simply just inclusive." She explains it all easily as if unconcerned. Van feels quite sure the Major is safe. "Aye. Supposedly Crewman Lagana is to be returned to us this morning. We'll see if that pans out. Constin has no defined return time. We can't even confirm Averies."

"Ah…" Cidra nods some at Vandenberg's explanation for her possible appearance on any such list. She doesn't question it further, and looks more thoughtful and perturbed than offended now. "Yes. Well. It is of no moment. For their safe return, I of course pray. Perhaps there is some logical explanation for this. Perhaps. There is enough strife and paranoia in this Fleet without adding to it."

"I'm in agreement, Major. As it stands right now I've been in consultation with Lieutenant Aydin about returning to Gemenon. I know what I saw. I know you've read the reports. I'd like to believe we can go there peacefully." Vandenberg, The Violent. Always ready to throw down the gauntlet actually seems as though she wants to go and talk. "Maybe there we can start to ease our paranoia." She actually sounds hopeful. "But sir, I would like to make a request of the Air Wing if I could? We're Marines. We've got the reputation as dumb trigger pullers with most. We're okay with that. But the idea of people being taken out from under us? It hurts, sir. A lot. We're here to protect you all. I'd like to see if my Marines could work with your crews to get some kind of early warning if there are any Areion personnel being brought aboard the Cerberus."

Cidra does arch her brows at Vandenbeg's words about Gemenon. "My own people are planning scenarios for our return at present. I would be ready to go at a moment's notice." Whether the mission's been authorized or not, she clearly proceeding on the assumption it shall be. "Early warning? I am not going to start treating their pilots like criminals if they need land upon this ship. We often take each other's injured or repair work after engagements, and perform joint patrols for Fleet safety. But, I would not have personnel taken from this ship without cause or proper respect to their rights. But I can have my LSO keep Security informed of all traffic to and from the Areion. There is none slated for this day in the flight schedules." Which strikes her as odd, as she says it, clearly.

"Good to know, sir. Marine Command has already approved proceeding with early planning. We're developing our own scenarios. None of them involve rolling in with guns blazing." At least not yet. Vandenberg is all business, though. Her accent is clipped off easily to make sure none of what she is saying is missed. The only thing out of sorts with her is probably the blast damage and burns across the left side of her head. "These arrests are likely done in teams, sir. We'd just appreciate knowing about groups larger than Raptor crews that are uniformed and potentially armed. The last thing I want to have happen is for one of our fireteams to get into a running gunbattle that ends in a Raptor - potentially one of ours." She did say lethal force was authorized. Probably not something the Marines take lightly.

"We know precious little about precisely why those people down there have fallen in with the Cylons, Lieutenant. But we know there are humans alive. Our top priority must be to preserve that. We do them no good whatsoever if we do nothing more than incite violence and lead to their harm." That is Cidra's flat statement about Gemenon. A nod to Vandenberg. "Understood. Viper traffic between ships is actually more common in our regular work. We trade refueling and repairs at times, and their technicians have been assisting us with some specific modifications to a few of our Vipers. Raptor travel between Cerberus and Areion generally has a more specific mission than day-to-day air cooperation. You shall receive foreknowledge of any flight plans for Raptors from the Areion, and notification from flight control should any land outside the filed flight plans. Do you require anything else?" The idea of a 'running gun battle' makes her blue eyes widen again. "I pray that is hyperbole, Lieutenant. I would like to think us all on the same side. But these are dark tidings. We shall do as we can for our people on this ship."

"We also know precious little about why the Cylons may have fallen in with the humans. There's two angles to this, sir. Both sides will need their own motivations for action. I'd like to believe that if we might actually be able to talk to some humanoid models rather than shoot at them? We could accomplish a lot more." Cidra is well-aware of Van's investigation. The Marine probably has quite a few interesting questions for an eleven willing to talk. "Thank you, though, sir. That should be enough to help us head off any kind of incident. We're all on the same side until someone kidnaps your crew. S-Two and I consider these to be hostile boarding actions, sir. Piracy. We'd prefer anything to be resolved without having to kill each other, but that's not a decision for us to make anymore. That's in the hands of anyone looking to take our crew illegally." Maybe that wasn't hyperbole.

"Understood." Cidra's tone is serious and carefully removed of whatever her own thoughts might be on the matter. This is outside her purview, in many ways. "Do let me know if there is anything more required of me, Lieutenant. Is there anything further?"

Vandenberg shakes her head easily. "No, sir. Lieutenant O'Hare will be informing Cerberus Command as soon as possible. I just wanted you to be aware of this personally and inform your crews as you think necessary. Captain Trask is already aware of the situation. If there is nothing for me, Major, I will take your leave, sir." She dips her head slightly with it.

Cidra returns the dip with a nod of her own. "My thanks, Lieutenant. Clear eyes and steady hands out there."

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