PHD #139: Stupid Odds
Stupid Odds
Summary: Tillman wrestles with what the Eleven has told him. Cidra finds clarity about the abomination in fundamentalism.
Date: 15 Jul 2041 AE
Related Logs: Total War
Tillman Cidra 
Ready Room - Deck 7 - Battlestar Cerberus
With the hatches at the rear of the room, the walkways on both sides slope down towards the dais at the front of the room. The stadium seating forms a partial semi-circle around the speaking podium and provides enough seats for all three hundred members of the Air Wing. The walls are adorned with the patches of each squadron aboard and their mottos stenciled in white lettering above each one. Behind the podium is a set of large LCD screens that can display any matter of material from reconnaissance to maps to gun camera footage.
Post-Holocaust Day: #139

As the second video ends, they are offering parting pleasantries on the screen. Tillman sits stone-faced in a chair in the front row, the man in his blues. Those eyes are locked on the screen. When it flickers off, he drums his hands on the armrest. "And there you have it. More unverifiable information than I have any idea what to do with. Some of it adds up very well. Other parts?" He shrugs. "She can claim it. We have no way to prove any of it."

Cidra is settled back in a chair. A little slouched. Smoking for this one. And watching intently. As always, it's hard to read much of her face. Beyond a growing sense of unease throughout. She blows a long stream of smoke at the screen as it stops. "I am not sure how much aid I can be to you in this, Clive. I fly Raptors passing well. The rest of my duties I manage to the best of my abilities. Intelligence, I thank all gods that is not my department."

The man nods. "And that's why I hate this job sometimes." He deflates, still staring at the screen. "I have no idea what to do, Cid. On one hand, she is handing us intelligence faster than we can process it. Huge volumes. We're giving her nothing and she is filling in gaps that only make sense in the insane ways she is describing it. I mean, resurrection? Another of her model saved a lot of lives on Leonis." He shakes his head. "On the other hand, we have an admitted enemy agent whose race is responsible for a genocide. She claims that loyalty is always to the race." A hand lifts to rub at his temple. "And she's offering us strike information."

"I have told you I put no trust in this abomination," Cidra says coldly. Her hatred, and fear, of the things seems to run even deeper than that she holds for Raiders or Centurions. "In my marrow, I feel no good can come of it. If you are planning an operation based upon what it is telling you, I will want it independently verified before I will send a single one of my people out upon it. This I vow, Clive."

"Yeah. That's the problem. Even if I wanted this op to come off, which I still haven't made a choice on, she says we can't recon the damned thing without alerting the Cylons to our presence. If that happens, it'll make an attack much harder." Tillman is still rubbing at his temple. This is just one giant headache for him. "To me, right now, this screams 'trap' like nothing else we've come across. The limitations on recon, the strike zone being above Saggie, the easy access to which we have gotten this information." He leans forward, resting his elbows on his knees. "I want to believe that everything she is telling us is real. That's the problem. Its why I'm having other people talk to her. Its why I wanted you to see this." Both his hands rub at his eyes. "I'm looking for a way to confirm that this station could be a target. What would do it for you? These are your people what would be flying. What would ensure that this is something you would want to hit?"

"How very convenient that it says that," Cidra deadpans. The sarcasm is palpable. "I can see no reason this is anything but a trap. Honestly, Clive? What would make this worth doing - to my mind - was that it would have some purpose. I speak not of giving the enemy a bloody lip. I speak not of *morale*." Her lips twist around that word in pure scorn. "I speak of a greater purpose. Is this something that will carry us forward, aid in our survival, or is it not? Because if it is not, I can see little value in anything these days."

Tillman looks to her with the last remarks. He holds her for a few quiet seconds and looks to the floor between his feet. That wasn't something he was expecting to hear, obviously. Apparently he'll touch on that later. "She says that this facility is another bioweapons plant. They're working on something there that will kill us all and pretty horribly. But? She doesn't have details on what this weapon is. Just speculation. If.. and that's a huge 'if'.. what she says is true, then its not a target we could afford to skip. They're machines. Eventually they are going to finish it. Eventually they are going to deploy it. When they do?" He shakes his head. "We could run. We've got a head start because we've been on the offensive. A sudden change would take them awhile to realize, probably. Unless one of their agents aboard informs them. But its more than likely that down the road, they will find us. And when they do, they will kill us. It might take hundreds of years…but a genocide isn't a light decision. They won't get tired like we will."

"They did a nearly complete job of genocide already," Cidra mutters. "Speculation." The word, again, is said with a certain amount of scorn. "I suspect you will hear little from me that you like, Clive. I have no trust in this creature. The only motive of its that makes sense to me is some cruel trick upon us all. It is an abomination against all I believe, its existence is an evil, and if I had it within my power I would toss it bodily out of an airlock with my own bare hands." She smokes, deep and long. It is a beat before she says anything else. "You, however, I trust. Our Intelligence personnel, I have to trust. If you come to the conclusion this operation is worth the risk, I shall follow orders and do my utmost to carry it out. But do endeavor to send me and mine on more than the word of this…Eleven."

"Hearing things I don't like isn't a bad thing, Cid," he says calmly. He keeps his words slow, but it lacks the lecturing tone some might carry. Tillman is more thoughtful. "Its called the 'analysis of competing hypothesis'. You take as many theories as you can that fit and examine them for possibility. You apply the one that seems most likely, not the one that you favor. However, it only works if you have people talk at you about what they think. Smart, clear minds. Like your own." Clive looks back to her, nodding once. "I appreciate the trust, but as it stands right now? I won't order anything remotely approaching a strike on this facility. The word of an enemy isn't enough. However, I believe that the truth may lie somewhere between us. I want to believe that she seems herself as a diplomat with the intention of seeing hostilities cease. Peace, as they say. Whether or not that is even possible is beyond me. However, I want to believe that's her motivation. The problem is that I know, deep down, she wants something. There's something else driving this thing. So please.. give me your honest thoughts, Cid."

"I have told you I think *it* likely a spy or agent on some sort of dark mission of the Cylon's own purposes," Cidra says. "Those Raiders who jump in upon us do not seem to be in the mood to ask for peace. Or perhaps it wants something else entirely. The creature of its kind our people encountered down on Leonis did seem to be playing a game of its own, from the reports. Whatever *it* wants, whether for itself or for the Cylons, I see little good for us coming from it."

The man nods a few times. "She says that there is a division in the ranks. There was an implication that some of her kind won't order the baseships to engage us. If that's the case, then there could be something else at work." He takes a long breath. "Cid, we're facing stupid odds. The engagements we've seen? If they really wanted to they could drop thirty baseships on top of us. We'd be screwed. She might be full of shit and playing at something, but if she isn't telling the truth then there is a larger strategic application we aren't seeing." Hands lift to his face and rub at it. Tillman isn't sleeping much. All that information is taking a toll. "But I won't commit until I'm convinced. For now?" He shakes his head. "Anything else strike you about what you saw? Other than all of it?"

"Stupid odds?" Cidra repeats the words incredulously. "Clive. We are over-whelmed. The Cylons destroyed everything. They outnumber us by the *millions*, if not more. We fight for our survival." As for the rest, a shake of her head. "No. I find it strange these creatures have adopted the blasphemy of monotheism. But it is not an area I know much about. The main of my studies in theology at the Kobol Colleges dealt with the split between Caprica and Gemenon. My scholarship on even the Sagittaron practices, another arm that still remains *our* faith, is not particularly versed."

"That's exactly what I'm getting at, Cid. We're fiting for our survival when we should be dead. The amount of firepower that they could bring to bear on us if they really wanted to? Damned right we're fighting for our survival but aren't you curious as to how we're still able to do that? There's something going on here that is larger than what we are seeing. You and you pilots have done incredible things. So have the Marines. But like you said..possibly millions of them. A few thousand of us?" Clive shakes his head, still looking at the floor. "The Sister will be speaking to the Eleven in regards to religion. It was also fleeting but she mentioned that their God has commanded them to be fruitful. I would imagine that means to procreate. Its a damned scary thought."

"We have been running to remote corners of space since the attacks. And we are hunted, Clive. If you think we are not, I shall stop running patrols because clearly there is no need." Cidra sighs. "What puzzles me is Leonis. That is, the people there. The survivors. A goodly number of them. I shall admit, this is an oddity." As for procreation, she shudders. "It is an abomination." That is the Alpha and Omega of her opinion on the Eleven.

"If I thought we were safe, Cid, we'd have jumped back to Caprica and fired every nuke we had at them while they sat around." Clive let's out another long breath. The sarcasm doesn't seem to either effect him or he's just too tired to care. "That bothers the hell out of me. Leonis. Not only did this 'Yazdah' inform our people about the survivors, she got the Centurians to evacuate and led our people right to the front door. I guess she even wore a wire for it. She would also have had to have known what we would find inside. And more importantly? Bigger than all that? That Yazdah knew their position. She didn't give them up. All it would have taken was a simple artillery strike and they would have been gone. Instead? It saves human lives? Call it an abomination all day, but there is something to be said for that. There may be and very likely are ulterior motives but..She didn't ask them for anything in return. Just to shut it down and save lives. Now she said if they didn't, she would have them killed. But?" Godsdamn, what a mess.

Cidra has a dry sense of humor lurking beneath her inscrutable-seeming exterior. And it is at times a pointed one. "That Yazdah knew a great deal, if the reports from even this Eleven are true, and to my mind the question is 'Why?' This creature seems to know a great deal as well, and is most free with it. It *is* an abomination, Clive, and I do not think its motive so pure as diplomacy." Her own views on the skinjobs seem clear-eyed and simple. Fundamentalism has its comforts at times. A shrug. "This I cannot help you any more with. I pray you can make use of this thing. Though its very existence puts the fear of all gods into me."

"Yeah. That's what's got me losing sleep. Yazdah helped our people. This Eleven in our brig accessed the memories of Yazdah because she was interested in our history and who we are as a people. She may have that same understanding and desire to see some of our people saved. Self-professed that she won't stand for the eradication of any sentient beings. Too bad everything is frakkin' suspected." Clive, growls the last and slowly rises from his chair. "Look, Cid. I gotta take the tapes with me for now. But if you need to watch them again, let me know. And if something occurs to you, please don't hesitate to ask, alright? Even if it has nothing to do with the Eleven. Like I said - wanna talk about family, I'm up for it anytime." He gives her a warm smile and stuffs his hands in his pockets, seemingly ready to part ways.

Cidra inclines her head to Tillman but the smile is not returned. "Good hunting, Clive," she tells him simply. She does not envy him. She'll stay settled in her chair in the semi-darkened room. Smoking.

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