PHD #420: Visions of Saratoga
Visions of Saratoga
Summary: Marko has the revelations of the Gemenon recon op revealed.
Date: 22 Apr 2042 AE
Related Logs: {$related}
Marko Vandenberg 
Map Room
The one object that dominates this room is the one it is named for: the giant plotting table in the center of the room. Bottom-lit like the plot in CIC, this one is twenty feet across and about the same distance wide. The maps, which are rolled and kept in a locker at the side of the room, provide much more detail than most of the charts in CIC and are especially useful in planning tactical operations. Unscaled models of ships are available to be situated on the surface of the table and risers on each side of the room allow for a small audience to watch or be briefed. A single large LCD screen is built into the wall at the far end to display reconnaissance or other supplemental material.
Post-Holocaust Day: #420

Vandenberg has signed out the Map Room and been given the leeway to get things done. She hasn't even been out of Sickbay twenty-four hours and she's back at work. Any discussion with Leyla would tell Marko that she's been back on the job before she was even released. Currently she's sitting next to the Map Table with everything turned off for now. The Marine seems to be reviewing notes, her feet kicked up to rest on the edge of the table as she does so.

Marko raps his knuckles on the hatchcombing to announce his presence before slipping inside. "Evening, LT." he says, nodding politely to the fiesty Marine. "Heard you were back in harness." he comments, smiling a little. "Didn't believe it, so I came to see for myself." he adds with a chuckle. "You guys must all be gluttons for punishment."

Vandenberg leans her head back to take a look at the ECO and she smirks. There's still fresh marks where the stitching was removed from the right side of her face. Her arms and upper body probably don't look much better. There's a particularly nasty scar on her left hand. Between the Aerion and the ECM Basestar, Van looks like she's been physically wrecked by the war. But her spirits have apparently not. "Scaurus, you dog," she greets easily. "Pull up a chair. Just sittin' here reviewing my notes on something. I can take a break, though." She tosses the legal pad onto the table and it skids a bit as it moves a currently dark map. No illumination underneath always makes them hard to read. That's done on purpose.

Marko drags a chair over and does this that, propping his feet up on the map table the same as Vandenberg. "So, guess what I did yesterday?" he says, pulling his water bottle out from a pocket of his pants and offering it to Van. "Remember that Eleven that we picked up? I sat in on her autopsy." he says, pulling a face.

Vandenberg watches the ECO idling, smirking over the table at him. She quirks her brow in silence as the man offers for her to guess. She doesn't bother, knowing it was going to come anyway. "Ahhhh yeah. The one that Averies and that knuckledragger from the Deck brought home from Gemenon. So this was worth mentioning for a reason. What's kickin?"

"Well, as you can probably guess, we didn't learn a frakking thing we didn't already know." Marko sighs, taking a swig from the bottle and leaving it on the table. "Whatever it is the Cylons have done, they've done it on a level we can't spot it with the naked eye, or even most of our instruments." he says.

"Well, as you can probably guess, we didn't learn a frakking thing we didn't already know." Marko sighs, taking a swig from the bottle and leaving it on the table. "Whatever it is the Cylons have done, they've done it on a level we can't spot it with the naked eye, or even most of our instruments." he says. "She poisoned herself, too, whatever it was she ingested was loaded with cyanide. No idea why, naturally." he grumps. "Oh, and I know it's technically none of my business, but maybe someone could put an arm around the shoulder of that young female Corporal that was there?" he intones gently. "She was just a little bit out of control."

"Yeah, I'd heard that. The humanoid models, apart from being identical, look just like us down to some very base levels. I'm not a Doc so I don't know the parlance for it, but I'll trust them to know what's what." Vandenberg cracks her neck, itching at the burn scars on the left side of her face. "Yeah. Lady. She's a real piece of work. A bit of a loose canon. She isn't someone I want within miles of a skinjob.. unless its in battle. Once there, its like opening a tome of asswhooping and reading the unabridged teachings."

"Yeah…" Marko sighs. "So, any word on what's going on with Bannik and Averies?" he inquires, frowning thoughtfully. "Haven't had time to go down and talk to any of them. Not sure Averies would even _want_ to talk to me."

Vandenberg shakes her head. "Sorry, Marko. That's an open investigation. I can't comment on it." At least she sounds sincere with the apology. "But I need to talk to the both of them myself. I need to know what they know. You done something in particular to piss off Averies? Other than be military of course." She ventures another playful smirk.

"Heh, no, but after the other night, that'd probably be more than enough to do it." Marko chuckles ruefully. "Was telling the CAG that I'd give it better than fifty to one odds they went to Gemenon." he notes. "And that Bannik was probably a willing member of the team. The question is, why'd they take it on themselves to do it, and why bring the Eleven back here?"

"You'd make a lot of money on that bet," is all Van says about Gemenon. Its not quite a smile that sits on her face after wards, but its close. She keeps those green on him long enough for it to set in what she's saying. "As to the rest, I don't know who was willing and who wasn't. I'm not interested in that. That's a job for the Master at Arms. Though you had better believe they are in some deep shit. Forget eyeballs.. They couldn't poke an arm all the way up to break the surface. As for the Eleven? Who knows. I'm more than a little pissed its dead."

"Yeah, likewise." Marko replies, giving Van a knowing little smile as he inclines his head in a kind of 'message recieved' way. "Heh, an arm? They're in a frakkin' submarine bottomed on the bed of the Sea of Bad Shit, and they just lost their propeller." he chuckles. "Makes me glad we never had to…." he says, voice trailing off as he shrugs a little.

"Pretty much. I can't comment about more than that, though. Again, Constin's business. When I talk to them its not going to be an interrogation. I've got no malice towards them right now. Until we know what happened, there's no sense speculating on anything except the trouble they are in a a blanket rule." Leaving during a battle like that? Yeesh. Van's just glad she wasn't around for that mess they got drawn into. "IF they went to Gemenon, they have valuable intel for me. I'll need to square what they have to say with what I know. Though your dangling has me a little perplexed. What's up? Glad we never did what?"
"Cowboy." Marko intones quietly, again offering Van the water bottle. "I just…I dunno, Van. I've got so many questions that desperately need answers and the ones who have 'em can't give 'em, and the ones than can give 'em don't have 'em. This tunnel vision is starting to get old." he sighs.

Vandenberg hears that word and chuckles, head tilting back as it becomes a little more throaty. "Uh huh. Sure would've been fun, though. Risk it all to find out the truth?" When she comes back down to look at him, she's grinning. "So you haven't been talkin' to your pilot much. Guess she's good with secrets." She lifts an arm, finger pointing towards the ground and moving in a circle. She wants him to turn around. "You want answers? So does Command. I give you Operation Saratoga. ..In its unapproved form." The Marine doesn't even get up. She just leans to hit the power strip on the table. One switch at a time, the table lights up followed by the other end of it. Then both the huge LCD screens. The table has star charts and recon video stills blown up and spread out, various post-it notes attached to indicate locations and points of interest. On one screen at the head of the room is Gemenon with a distinct flightpath sketched out right over Lampridis. The next over is a set listing of mission objectives. "When it absolutely, positively, has to be reconned in a covert way, call 1-800-Marines. Buy two and the third is free."

Marko gives a long, sliding whistle as he's suddenly presented with an op plan that, at first blush, at least, looks pretty damned plausible. "Wow, you guys do good work." he grins admiringly, sitting up straight to start to examine some of the pre-war satellite photos. "Buy two, get one free?" he asks, then jokingly reaches for his wallet. "Lemme find my credit card."

Van lifts a hand and shakes a finger at him. "Nuh uh. I can only take credit for part of this. Your pilot had a lot of input also. This is a team effort." She slowly rises from the chair to stand at the table. "As soon as the Raptor completes its jump into low altitude over Gemenon, the door opens and we all jump out. It'll be an airborne drop since there are too many complications to landing. Once the Marine Chalk is out the door, the Raptor continues on straight and level to fly another recon of Lampridis. Meanwhile my team climbs and humps to these cliffs here." She reaches for a topographic map and places her finger on a location north of the town. The cliffs surround almost an entire side of the town - the other side dominated by the large lake. "From here we should be able to see into most of Lampridis. Our extraction will by at the water's edge. No need for our escape to be covert since the mission will be peacefully accomplished."

"Pretty slick, slick." Marko replies, dragging his finger across the map room screen to flick through the individual steps of the mission one by one. "Oh yeah, this is definitely Leyla's work." he smirks fondly. "All the i's are dotted and all the t's are crossed." he nods approvingly. "Same gear load out as before?" he inquires, cocking his head curiously before closing his eyes to review the fuel loads he'd planned for the original, HALO version.

"Heh, yeah. Leyla wrote up these potential flight paths. Everything was there. All I had to do was plug it into the computer and it worked like a charm." Vandenberg glances idly over the photos. "No. We're not doing a HALO. Far too risky for an operation that doesn't require it. We'll be going in with minimal loadouts and jumping at low speed, low altitude. Jump gear, cameras, weapons, ammo, food, weapons, and climbing gear. Radio, too, but eh. All in all, it should work fairly well unless we jump into a pair of Raiders right where we drop."

"Looks like it will at that." Marko replies, nodding slowly as he goes over the mission plans once more. "How long from insertion to extraction?" he asks. "Sweet Pea rocks when it comes to flight paths." he says, smiling a little. "You ever read the after action from our…Oh Gods…." he says, snapping his fingers and swearing under his breath. "Frakked if I can remember the Colony now." he chuckles, blushing slightly. "Anyway, we pulled a complete dead stick. Toasters never even knew we were in the universe."

Vandenberg listens, looking over the recon material still. "I have no idea what a dead stick is, Marko. Ya got me stumped." She nods a few times before looking up at him. "No idea how long we'll be on the ground. I recommended seventy-two hours to Command. They will have their own ideas I'll have to modify for that. If we get into hostile action, chances are good we'll be killed down there. If we're discovered? Who knows. There's a lot of unknowns in this op. Primary among these will be our unit's make-up. Calm individuals with even temperaments who understand what this mission means. I will be imposing snap judgment on anyone who fraks with this operation." Likely meaning that she will kill.

"Hey, you're preaching to the choir here." Marko replies, holding a hand up. palm facing out. "The last Godsdamned thing you're gonna need down there's somebody can't hold their wad." he says firmly. "If it's a choice between them and the whole damn squad, there is no choice." he shrugs. "Blam, and a cap in their ass for ever doubting it." he smirks, though his tone is deadly serious. "And a 'dead stick' is where you use your ship's stored kinetic energy to coast for long stretches, with nothing but minimal life support and your RCS. They're kinda fun, at least, in hindsight."

The Marine keeps her steeled eyes on Marko. "We're not talking about squad integrity. We all know what was on those recon tapes. The pleas for help. The offering of some kind of temporary truce." She slides over the recon photo of the party at the temple. "We know what they did to our families, Marko. Ain't a person alive that's happy about it. But imagine, for one minute, that this isn't a ruse. What if its real? What if this is the beginning of something much larger? A lot of strange shit has been happening that is pushing us to Lampridis. I'll be frakked if some pecker wood can't control his or her temper or trigger finger and blows a hole in a Cylon of any kind. We've heard the saying 'Would you take the life of an innocent to save ten?' A hundred? A thousand? How about the population of this fleet and the remainder of humanity's future?" Gods, she looks like she'd do it in an instant. Its probably the coldest, most heartless look he's ever seen on her at the least. Maybe in a long time. "I don't politic. That's not my job. Pewter can do that. But Pewter is going to get good Intel come hell or high water, no matter the cost."

"Actually, I understand _exactly_ what you're talking about." Marko replies, nodding slowly and taking a long pull from his water bottle. "The fact is, the war is over. The fact is, like it or not, for good, bad or ill, right, wrong and Godsdamned indifferent, we _lost_." he says, a bit of real heat coloring his tone. "Do I like the Cylons? Gods, no! I hate the bastards for what they've done, and am not ashamed to admit it." he says, matching her steely eyed look nearly erg for erg. "However, comma, I'm not so stupid as to let that hate blind me to the fact that we can't float around sniffing for scraps from the Colonies like so many stray pets." he bites out. "We've found and _Ark_, Van. A frakking _ARK_, underline that one for me please, just as a favor, even in your own mind, underline that." he says. "Which means we've got a chance at credible co-ordinates for Kobol. Which might just mean, if we're all _very_ lucky, there's a chance, one in fifty thousand, maybe, of finding some kind of road map to the Thirteenth Tribe."

Vandenberg holds his eyes, watching the man with her own gaze. She keeps her focus to his own ferocity and nods once as he seems to finish. "You sound like you've been reading my investigation." A long breath later, she looks back to Lampridis. "Marko," she begins quietly, "these dreams and experiences and all the weird things that have happened aboard this ship? Its guiding us somewhere. I don't think Gemenon is it, either. I suspect you're right about the ultimate destination - even if our way of arriving there is Dubious in a cardboard box, in metal crate, wrapped in black paper." Impossible ot see right now. "I don't think things are going to get better just yet, either. Not with the dreams, not with our situation. Something stinks like someone stepping in a fresh pile of dog shit. I don't like one basestar guarding a whole planet. That's rotten. These elevens and twos are hiding something bid. I don't think we can afford to miss what it is, either."

"Hah!" Marko chuckles, seeming to deflate in a good way as he laughs for a few moments. "LT, I was one of the first people to set foot on that damned tub." he chortles, hanging his head for a few moments in a silent fit of laughter. "What the frak else was I supposed to come up with?" he asks with a teasing wink. The mention of the dreams silences him for a moment. "Yeah, I don't know what to make of all that." he sighs, shaking his head a little as if to clear it. "Is there any kind of protocol about them?" he asks curiously. "I mean, I haven't been having any revelations from the mists, but say, a couple of nights from now, I did. Is there someone to report it to?"

Vandenberg shakes her head. "Nah, I've been over to that ship, too. Looked it over. Its part of what I'm looking into but its like a big puzzle piece assembled and all I have assembled are little blocks in other places." She sighs. "Protocol? Yeah. I would say that you should report it first to Hahn, then come find me. If you have a dream or something odd that just seems very vivid, like you're actually there, when you wake up write down every detail. Then do what I'm talkin' about. So far I've got quite a few assembled. Weird stuff."

"Good." Marko replies, nodding. "I was wondering about that. If we can keep track of what everyone's 'seeing' and 'dreaming', then maybe we could have a shot at putting some kind of picture together." he says. "Alas, I don't have any dreams worth reporting." he adds, then chuckles. "Unless you wanna know about the one where I'm standing naked on top of some kind of pyramid in a kind of 'Sun God' pose while thousands of young women throw little pickles at me."

Vandenberg nods a few times. "I've been doing that. I've got massive files on all of it that I keep hidden away in certain places. Like a squirrel buryin' acorns. Some of the dreams seem a little innocuous until the context is put into place." She reaches over to turn off the lights for the table and the large display screens. "Heh, that sounds like a problem for you and your wife to sort, Mister Scaurus. Women throwing small pickes? Man. Heh."

"Heh, I'd prefer it if you kind of forgot I mentioned that one." Marko chuckles, blushing a little. "She doesn't think it's quite as funny as I do." he admits, shrugging a little. "Ah well, the subconscious is a bitch on a good day, never mind whatever magic faerie dust might've been sprinkled over us in the past few months." he sighs. "Any notions you care to share with me?" he asks.

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