PHD #422: They're Counting on Us
Log Title
Summary: Bannik's AWOL debriefing.
Date: 24 Apr 2042 AE
Related Logs: With Friends Like These, And Eleven Makes Three
Bannik Constin Cora 
Main Brig - Deck 6
Tiny and cramped, the Main Brig seems designed to be claustrophobic. The steel bars lining the three cells have been set into the steel bulkheads on each side. Inside each cell is a stainless steel toilet and a bunk that might be too short for some of the taller crewmembers. The dreary conditions don't seem to be helped by the presence of a Marine guard who is there twenty-four hours a day, as long as a prisoner is in custody. The whole room is under surveillance via camera system in the Security Hub and every visitor must sign-in and abide by the rules.
Post-Holocaust Day: #422

Constin enters the brig in his duty tans, presenting a clipboard to the MP on duty, and signing his name on the proper line with a right hand decorated by a small patch of gauze and medical tape. Itching briefly at a similar patch on the side of his neck, the ship's Master-at-Arms turns toward Tyr's cell. "Specialist Bannik," he greets evenly.

Tyr is seated on his bunk slash bed with a writing pad and pencil in his hand. According to the marines on watch, except for sleep, prayer, and visitors, he's been just writing and erasing and writing some more in it ever since he was allowed the implements yesterday. He gets to his feet when Constin approaches his cell, though, settling into a parade rest. "Gunnery Sergeant. What can I do for you?" His voice, too, is even.

"You can describe for me the circumstances under which you departed from this vessel on the day of fifteen April of this year, beginning with your arrival at the Port Hangar bay, Specialist," Elf instructs, letting his boots go to shoulder width, while one wrist is clasped in the opposite hand at the back of his belt.

"So — you want me to tell you what happened when I left with McQueen the Friday before last?" Bannik furrows his brow. He takes a deep breath and begins: "Okay. Well. It all started when I was called out of the CIC to go repair a router down in one of the repair bays. It had stopped signaling, and we needed to make sure it was online. Sawyer Averies was dispatched with me as were two Marines. Since, you know, there was concern about saboteurs."

Constin nods once at the beginning of Bannik's account, otherwise doing nothing to interrupt the younger man's answer until a point requires clarification. He listens with the same stern expression familiar to the big marine.

"Do you need to take notes or something?" Bannik furrows his brow from behind his glasses. But he presses on: "When we got there, we saw two deckhands with two Marine escorts standing over Lieutenant McQueen. They claimed that he was an intruder, but they hadn't raised a bandit alarm, so I was suspicious. Meanwhile, McQueen claimed that they were the intruders and that they were claiming he was an intruder because he stumbled across them in the act."

Constin turns his eye from Tyr briefly to the camera which surveys the cell as Tyr asks about notes. That brief look is the extent of his answer on the issue. He nods again. "Continue, Specialist."

Bannik takes a deep breath. "Everything happened sort of quickly after that. Uhm. Basically, the Marines with the deckhands turned on us. They shot the Petty Officer that was assigned to come with me to check on the router, and then my escorts started shooting at them. I tried to grab the wireless to raise the alarm, but they had disconnected it." He seems fuzzy on this point, as if trying to really dig back and recall what happened.

Constin nods at two points in this chunk of Tyr's account. "Take your time if it's needed, Specialist," he instructs in an even drawl. Otherwise, the big man stands there and waits.

Bannik takes a deep breath. "Then Jelly showed up; the Raptor pilot. He was in league with the deckhands, who really were saboteurs in league with Areion by the way. He shot one of the Marines with us and then — I guess I tried to run and Sawyer grabbed a sidearm off of one of our Marines. And McQueen jumped one of the saboteur Marines and Sawyer shot Jelly. And I tried to run, but I got socked by the deckhands …" His voice is faint, as if he's thinking real hard. "They knocked the wind out of me."

As Tyr mentions saboteurs and Areion, the big MP wonders, "Is their conspiracy with Areion your deduction, or something that came out during the altercation?" As Bannik goes on, Elf draws and lets out another breath through the nose. "Where did you try to run, Specialist?" Constin prompts in the same level tone he has used throughout the interview. "Where did you want to get to?"

"It came out. Prince — I think — yeah, it was Prince. He told me that Kepner had a plan and he thought that Pewter was going to sell us out. So that's why he had thrown in with Kepner." Bannik has to crunch up his brow to answer the question, but answer it he does. "I tried to run — just away. Jelly was on one side of me with a gun. The Prince and the other guy was on the other side and they seemed less threatening so I ran that way, trying to raise the alarm. I really didn't care which way. I wasn't really thinking tactically."

A nod to the former answer, and a second nod to the latter answer. "And what happened next, Specialist?" Constin inquires.

"So I got socked and the wind taken out of me. And McQueen beat up the Marine and took his sidearm and shot Prince in the shoulder. So then I broke free and — Sawyer, I think it is, pistol whipped the two deckhands and knocked them down. And then McQueen led us to the hangar bay. Oh, and somewhere in there I reset that router that was down. And when we got to the hangar bay, there were shouts. Someone saying that 'he escaped' and then someone shot at us. I think it was at McQueen, but I'm not sure." It's all coming out as a rush now, Bannik telling the story.

"You effected repairs on the downed Dradis router," Constin states for the record as the rush of Bannik's story gets moving. Another slowly drawn breath through the nose, and the Gunnery Sergeant inquires, "Why then did you proceed to the Hangar Bay, Specialist?"

"I. I don't know. Everything was just going really fast, Gunnery Sergeant. And McQueen was leading us and he led me right on into the Raptor that he took. I remember asking some sort of question, but it was all just a blur. You have to understand, it happened really fast. Next thing I knew, the door was closed and we were off the deck." Bannik sighs.

Constin hears out the answer with his stern stoneface unflinching. "You don't know? You were within your faculties enough to effect repairs on a sabotaged Dradis router, Specialist. With confirmation that a mutiny was underway, why did you board the Raptor?"

"It wasn't much of a repair, Gunnery Sergeant." Bannik's defensive now. "It was just resetting the router. I could do it without thinking. Same way that you can do — you know, Marine things without thinking about them. And I told you. I don't know. It was all just happening really fast and I just got the wind knocked out of me. I'm not some Marine that can — do that thing."

Constin's naturally narrow eyes tick a bit more narrow briefly as he hears out Tyr's response. "You had said 'the next thing you knew, you were off the deck'," he drawls. "After launch, what function did you fill aboard the Raptor, Specialist? Detail for me your actions to the best of your recollection, prior to the bird's jump away from Cerberus."

"I was sitting in the co-pilot's seat. Uhm. Queenie said that he could use the missiles to hurt Kepner, to stop him. So he said he had pre-programmed a jump and had locked in the missiles and all I had to do was hit the red button. So I did. The Raptor was pinging as an Areion craft, so it sort of let us get in a bit under the DRADIS." Bannik's story continues along in its way. "I don't know why I did it, why I trusted him. But I did. And so I did it. I don't even know if those missiles hit anything."

"So you, as co-pilot, were aware of Lieutenant McQueen's intention to jump away from the Cerberus Battlegroup, and enabled this action because you trusted him," Constin re-states, again for the record. Drawing a fresh breath, the MaA goes on: At any point following your boarding of the Raptor in question, did you voice protests or objections regarding this course of action, Specialist?"

"I asked him at one point what he was doing, what, you know, what was going on. I guess that's when he said I should just trust him and that he had a plan to stop Kepner." Bannik pauses. "You know, Gunnery Sergeant, I had just seen, like, six people get killed right in front of me and another one shot. So you have to keep in mind what sort of state of mind I was in."

Cora arrives, nodding silently to the marine who directs her to Bannik's cell. She doesn't step right up beside Constin, instead taking up a place against the opposite wall of the corridor. Arms crossed against her chest, she listens, positioned so that she can see the Specialist's face as he responds.

Constin turns his head sharply aside as the hatch opens and another individual enters. Spotting Cora with arms crossed behind him, the MaA says nothing and returns his eye to Tyr Bannik. "Your state of mind has been noted, but does not change the facts, Specialist. My job right here and now is to gather facts. If you would like to speak with a therapist after this interview in concluded, that can be arranged." A drawn breath. "Were there any intermediate jumps between that in which the Raptor departed the Battlegroup, and when it arrived at Gemenon?"

Bannik shakes his head. "No intermediate jumps," confirms the Specialist. "We jumped right to Gemenon."

Constin nods once to the succinct answer. "Summarize your recollections after arrival at Gemenon, specialist," he instructs with simplicity disproportionate to the question.

"Uh. Well." Bannik frowns. He's quiet. "It's sort of hard to sum it all up. You're asking about several days. But we jumped to Gemenon and McQueen told us that the Twos and Elevens wanted to meet with 'two of humanity's finest specimens' that promised us that we would return us unharmed after we met with them. We landed and met with them. They told us that they wanted us to convey a deal to the Fleet; that if we would help them decipher what was in that Temple, decipher the messages there, that they would try to help us broker an end to the War. An end where humans and Cylons and go their own way and live in their own places and not have to fight any longer."

"Uh-huh," Constin grunts eloquently to the account. "Did you interact with, or speak to any humans while on Gemenon, Specialist?" the Gunnery Sergeant wonders, temporarily leaving aside the matter of the paradigm shifting cylon offer.

"Sure. Of course." Bannik nods. "We met adults. And kids. And lots of people. People are scared, of course. There's some scarcity. There's some grumbling. They're scared of what the future holds. But it's not like they're brainwashed. It's not like they're slaves. They're actually living together with the Twos and the Elevens. In some sort of harmony." His voice is more passionate now; he clearly believes this.

Cora has kept silent thus far, but she speaks up now, asking: "Were you accompanied by Cylons the entirety of your time on Gemenon, or were you allowed to explore freely?"

Constin nods at two points in Bannik's answer, before drawing a breath to query further, "Did you observe any uniformity of religious practice among the humans, Specialist? Was any human presented as their leader in this enclave?" With that last question, he begins to go further, when Cora speaks up, and the MaA cuts off his words, again turning a look over his shoulder to regard the TACCO.

Now, there are lots of questions coming. Bannik frowns, thinking back on his trip. "Well, there was Brother Solon. I guess that he's the closest thing that the humans had to a 'leader' there. We were escorted by Cylons the whole time, but, it's not like we were under armed guard or anything." He looks between cop and intel officer, as if hoping that answered their questions.

Cora ignores Constin, watching Bannik for his reply and then nodding as it it confirms what she already had suspected. She does not follow up with another query, remaining silent and watching once again.

When Cora has nothing further to say, Constin's eye shifts back from the TACCO to the Bannik. "Did you speak at length with any humans, this Solon in particular, and if so, what was the nature of your supervised conversations?" A moment later, he tacks on, "Beyond the expressions of fear you had communicated earlier."

"Uhm." Bannik lifts his shoulders. "I talked to lots of people. Not about anything in particular. They just told me about life down there. What sorts of things that were scarce. That sort of thing. There is thing, though." He pauses. "Cerberus is talked about with a certain sort of reverence. They know us. They're waiting for us. They expect us to be the ones who help them. Not just any Colonials. Cerberus in particular."

"Huh," Constin comments flatly. "Were you able to learn how it was they had heard of Cerberus in particular, Specialist? What they had been told regarding this ship?" Idly shifting weight between his planted boots until balanced again, hands remain clasped at the small of his back.

Bannik lifts his shoulders into an expansive shrug. "I don't know," says the Specialist. "But they did know of us. I know that much. Our renown has spread. And they're counting on us." He comes back to his Theme here.

"So for five days you just.. accepted that you were one of the two best specimens of the human race who had come from the famous Battlestar Cerberus to save humanity?" The dry inflection of the words carries more sarcasm than the flat cadence otherwise would. "How often in the course of these five days were you separated from Miss Averies, Specialist?"

"Well, when you consider the alternatives we've got here, it wasn't too far-fetched to think we might be among the best options they had to talk to." Bannik takes the sarcasm and returns it in kind. "Sawyer and I didn't sleep together and things like that, but we generally stuck together."

"If, for example, the Sawyer Averies you departed with was not the same Sawyer Averies you returned with, there was sufficient opportunity to enact such a change, is that correct?" Constin drawls on, giving no reaction to Tyr's own sarcasm.

Cora's gaze flicks to Constin at that question from the Master at Arms, but she still remains silent for the time being, observing.

"Oh my gods, Gunnery Sergeant." Bannik goes from sarcastic to exasperated. It's a shift of gears for him. "Perhaps they did it while she was in the toilet; perhaps they did it while she was asleep; perhaps they did it when I rounded the corner ahead of her and she was behind me. Or perhaps, just perhaps, this is all what we say it is. Maybe just perhaps the Twos and the Elevens are genuinely reaching out to us and want us to come help us."

"Specialist," Constin returns, more sharply, "I am not interested in your expert analysis of cylon operations. I am not interested in your Gods and I am DAMN sure not interested in your lip. My one and only concern in this matter is the safety and security of this ship and it's crew. Now you can either assist in that by answering my questions directly, or you can obstruct that, as you are. You hear me, Bannik?"

Bannik takes a deep breath and draws himself up, squaring his shoulders. "Maybe there's a reason, then, Gunnery Sergeant, that they picked me to present this offer to rather than you. I'll answer your questions as I have all throughout this interview, but you're also going to get my analysis, because I'm more than a tape recorder in the corner. I'm a person and I'm going to tell you what I think so Command hears that." He pauses. "So what's your next question?"

Constin doesn't even blink at Bannik's verbal dig, already moving on with his own words, "Under whose initiative did you return to this Battlegroup, and how is it that you became aware of the Cerberus' location, Specialist?"

"I don't know how they found out Cerberus's location. We stayed a few days, talked to them, and decided it was time to go home. We loaded up in the Raptor with Sarah and she did the piloting." Bannik doesn't call her 'the Eleven.' He calls her Sarah.

"And at no point did you consider it relevant to the safety of this boat that cylon agents were able to locate us after multiple Eff-Tee-El jumps, Specialist?" Constin prompts, with one scar-gapped blond brow slightly raised. "Who in particular 'decided it was time to go home'?" he adds in the next breath.

"I had no way of knowing how many FTL jumps the Fleet had made since we departed, Gunnery Sergeant, given that I wasn't here when those jumps were made." A beat from Bannik. "So no, it didn't occur to me. And no one in particular decided. It was just — a decision. It's not like we were getting ordered around down there."

"Uh-huh," Constin grunts to the answer he is given. "That will be all for now, Specialist." The third look Cora has received from the marine since her entry is leveled on the TACCO. "He's all yours, sir."

"All right. You need anything, you just let me know. I've got —" Bannik gestures around his cell. "Literally nowhere to go. Will I be freed any time soon?" He turns his head towards Cora.

Cora meets Constin's gaze this time and nods, "Thank you, Gunnery Sergeant. I think I'll hold off for the time being; I've a meeting to get to just at the moment." To Bannik, she shrugs, straightening up off the wall. "I'm afraid I can't say, specialist," she admits, "That isn't really up to me. I would point out that the chances of it being soon go up if you cut the attitude, but I would have thought you'd be smart enough to figure that out yourself. I'll be back."

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