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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:52 am 
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With GoldWolf, PG-13

Luxury Starliner Nimbus
Quarters of Luther Bragg
Day 284 2100 Hours


"Luuutherrr, come back!" the young girl whined from the doorway to Bragg's bedroom, drawing his name out plaintively. She stood in the portal, naked except for a pair of black high heels, holding a half-empty champagne glass. Bragg didn't answer immediately, and when a second girl grabbed her arm and pulled, the first spun around and disappeared back into the room. A chorus of giggles followed.

Bragg had remained with his back turned to the bedroom, ignoring his carnal guests. He was shirtless and barefoot, clad only in a pair of brown leather breeches that hid little of his physique. He held a champagne glass casually, its golden-tan contents still swirling. Toni Seda stood across the main compartment of his quarters, having just arrived. Though she was far more clothed than the girls in his bedroom, Bragg found her infinitely more intriguing.

Toni raised an elegantly arched eyebrow in the direction of the bedroom, her expression amused. She walked across the room to Luther, taking the glass from his hand and sipping, then she returned the glass to him. "Luuutherrr..." she mimicked the girl's intonation, but her tone was far lower and much more sultry. She chuckled, then, and said, "If you're bored with those, Luther, I can find you different ones."

Luther shrugged, the motion not reaching his arms. "They will suffice," he stated resignedly, "though if you have no further commitments tonight..." His words trailed off and he gave Toni a deferential smile, then took a sip of champagne, clearly expecting her to decline - or ignore - his insinuated suggestion.

She affected an interested expression for a moment; then, growing serious, she said, "I haven't been successful with our current project." Lowering her voice with a glance toward the bedroom, she said, "The fleeties are keeping our captured cylons under very tight control. I haven't been able to get anywhere near any of them--I haven't even been able to get a wireless interview, let alone access to one in person."

"Our lack of a military asset does present a problem here," Bragg observed.

Toni nodded agreement. "The only military assets I've been able to cultivate are on the Colonial Fueler," she sighed. "Unfortunately, none of those have led to any connections closer to the cylons." She paused and added thoughtfully, "I may have a source in Taurus' medical group. I'm sure they have done extensive blood work on the pregnant one they have in custody there."

Bragg sipped his champagne while Seda spoke, then regarded her with a thoughtful scowl. "Continue to work the Taurus angle, dear, but I have another possibility I'd like to to look into. My sources tell me that Kalrk outed himself to the President and the V. P. - as a Cylon." Bragg paused for a moment as Seda processed this new information. "Evidently he has not yet been incarcerated, leaving him much more accessible than any of the others." When Bragg finished, he was looking at her with a raised eyebrow.

The blonde absorbed Luther's news with surprise and growing understanding. "Oh, what an interesting development," she murmured, scores of possibilities flitting through her mind. She gave Bragg a look of respectful admiration. "You have some excellent sources, my dear," she told him. "Do you want me to go after him?"

Bragg regarded her intently. "Look into it, and if the opportunity presents itself, take it," he replied. "Be careful with this one, Toni. If Kalrk is actually just human, he's a remarkably intelligent one, and if he's a cylon..." If he's a cylon, he's far more intelligent and deceitful than you could know, Luther concluded silently.

"It doesn't matter if he's human or cylon," she said with a lazy smile. "If he's male, I can get what we need."

A dark look ghosted across Bragg's face, and he almost involuntarily glanced over his shoulder toward his bedroom. "We're not Gaea cultists, collecting seed to impregnate some willing acolyte. We'll need full chromosome pairs."

Oh, but to get the chance to lead a cylon around by the cock... such an intriguing possibility! "Of course, Luther," she reassured him. "If your sources can get us an idea of his schedule, I could easily bump into him somewhere."

He up-ended his glass, draining the last of the champagne, then pressed the empty vessel into Toni's hand. "I'll have it to you tomorrow," he said, then turned to the short hall that led to the bedroom.

Oh, Luther my dear boy, do my strategies dismay you? Toni thought. It's often the easiest way to get what we need. She put her lips on the rim of the champagne glass, leaving the imprint of her lipstick, then put the glass on an end table and left.


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:40 pm 
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Battlestar Libra
High Security Brig
Day 284 Approximately 2200 Hours


Though the hour was somewhat late, Major David Dedrick had no trouble gaining entry to the Libra's high-security brig where Leoben Conoy was held. He'd been there a number of times previously, enough so that the guards knew of his conversations with the cylon, whether they'd been present for the previous visits or not. This visit was recorded, and he was processed through.

As the guards departed, cylon and human stood for long moments regarding one another through a clear polymer wall. Dedrick broke the silence, clearing his throat in preparation to speak, but Leoben preempted him.

"I did not expect that I would speak with you again, David," the cylon stated, a trace of curiosity in his voice.

His intended opening words forgotten, David Dedrick looked askance at Leoben for a moment. "You thought I would not face you, given the duplicity of my statements at our last meeting?", the MILINT chief asked. Dedrick gave a soft snort, and a smile turned up just one corner of his mouth. "Duplicity is what I do, my friend. I feel no compunction for lying to you, no guilt."

Leoben nodded slightly, then focused an inquisitive look upon Dedrick. "Are we friends, David?"

"More like friendly adversaries," Dedrick replied. "A friend would have told me what I needed to know. There would have been no need for deceit. No need of even asking." He met Leoben's gaze and tipped his head slightly. "Addressing you in that way was simply a gesture of good will."

"Good will?" the cylon echoed. "My brothers and sisters attempted genocide against you humans. You will excuse me if I doubt the truth of your good will."

Dedrick paced a few steps along the clear partition, pivoted and paced back. Stopping, he looked intently at Leoben. "I do not think that you... all of you, all of your line, Leoben... I do not think that you favored the decision to eradicate humankind. I think that goes against your spiritual nature."

Leoben held Dedrick's stare for long moments without blinking, then asked, "Why are you here, David? What secret have you come to wrest from me this time?" The cylon crossed his arms briefly, though he kept his right hand raised a bit, index finger extended as though to make a point. "I know we fought recently. You and I. Human and cylon." Taking a step toward the glass wall that separated them, Leo clasped his hands. "I felt it in these bones," he said, then spread his arms wide. "In the bones of this ship, as well."

Dedrick did not reply, and his thoughts spun wildly through the events of the days since the Libra had reached Oasis. He felt defeated, crushed. In the window of his mind he saw Pan Galactic 402 as it was destroyed, watched a nuclear warhead bloom brightly against the hull of the Douglas J. Griffyn. So many had died, and it was all his fault, for placing the Search for Earth above all else.

Leoben had not spoken further, and now he stepped forward again and placed a hand upon the clear cell wall. "What have you done, David?" The cylon's brow crinkled as he tried to understand Dedrick's reticence.

"I have become like you," the human answered vehemently. "I have become death, a destroyer of worlds." With that Dedrick wheeled and strode toward the door.

Before he reached the exit the room rang with the sound of laughter. Dedrick stopped in his tracks, turning slowly to face the cylon but not stepping from his position. The cylon displayed no humor, no mirth. His laugh was deliberate, a slow derisive sound that came from the back of his throat. The sound faded and Leoben's lips parted into a smile that revealed gritted teeth. His eyes never left Dedrick's face.

"I see it now. You poor, miserable human, You think you're responsible for feeding their world to your enemies. Hah!" Leoben stood shaking his head. "You cannot take that onus from us. We are the destroyers, the bringers of genocide. We are the ones who commit sin by continuing this... this atrocity." Leoben's voice dropped, becoming barely audible. "I have warned my siblings of the cost of this."

Dedrick slowly approached the cell once more. "What was your plan, the cylon plan?" He whispered the question, watching Leoben's face as the sound system carried it beyond the wall.

"To kill you all," the cylon responded. After a moment he added, "Things did not proceed quite as Brother Cavil had envisioned."

"All the more now, I would suppose," Dedrick said, and Leoben afforded him a puzzled look. "Your connection doesn't exactly bring you the daily news does it?"

"I sense the stream, David," the cylon replied, understanding dawning on his face. "I see the intertwining of lives, the possibilities, the future, the past. I felt my brothers' and sisters' deaths..." Leoben paused, meeting Dedrick's watching eyes with a steady gaze. "I interpret what I can, such as realizing that a resurrection ship was destroyed. Similarly, I can surmise from your words that something has changed among the cylons."

"It has," Dedrick affirmed. "A Six brought a message, that cylons and humans would now go their separate ways." He paused as Leoben absorbed his statement. "She stated that the planet Oasis was under her - your - protection."

"As you know, I've been away for some time," Leoben observed, "but there has always been an undercurrent of opinion that we could coexist with humans. A return to our post-armistice separation would be the easiest way to effect that coexistence."

"Six said our war was over, but that is a difficult idea for our leadership to accept, given our history. Placing Oasis under cylon protection... that amounts to an occupation, in my eyes. It seems to me that at best we're two fighters withdrawing to our corners, but the fight could easily resume."

"Such a decision would have been reached only by a consensus of the lines," Leoben stated. "Some shift must have occurred, for One would not abandon his Plan willingly. There most certainly would have been dissension among us." Leoben met Dedrick's eyes, holding his gaze once more. "You can trust this message for now, but the currents and eddies within the stream may sweep another direction in time."

Dedrick nodded. Walking slowly toward the exit, he was halted by Leoben's voice. "David, do not blame yourself for the fate of Oasis. Our discovery of that world would have come, with your involvement or without." Leoben chuckled darkly as he continued, "So dispense with the melodrama, and stop blaming yourself. You're simply not that important."


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 5:14 pm 
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Cloud Nine Class Luxury Liner Nimbus
Stateroom Suite 1C
Day 285, 0930 Hours


Toni Seda toyed with the end of a strand of blonde hair as she waited for the wireless connection to be completed. The purpose for her call was two-fold, and she smiled to herself with satisfaction, thinking of her goals.

Several minutes passed before a seemingly disinterested voice came on the line saying, "Hold one moment for Captain Kalrk." When Kalrk spoke a moment later, his voice sounded stiffly regal. [This is Kalrk,] he said simply.

“Captain Kalrk, my name is Toni Seda, and I’m a resident of the Nimbus. I run a small business here, providing natural and herbal remedies for the citizens of our Fleet.” She made her voice informal and friendly, but with just enough of a business-like tone so that the former head of K Industries would take her seriously.

[Miss Seda,] Kalrk responded, [what can I do for you?]

“I did manage to trade for some essential oils while we were at Oasis, but frankly, the demand for minor medications is much greater than the Fleet medical personnel can provide. I’m hoping that the Harvest Moon’s crops can provide a continuing source of herbs, spices, and medicinal plants to serve our fellow humans.” Inwardly, Toni was highly amused at the irony; she knew that Kalrk was a cylon, but that fact wasn’t public knowledge. None of her humor was evident in her words.

[That is a high-minded goal, Miss Seda, but one that you are not alone in pursuing.] Kalrk's voice was dismissive, and he seemed to be preparing to cut the wireless call short. [It may be possible, though, for me to provide you with a portion of what we produce,] he continued.

“If it wouldn’t be too great an imposition, I’d like to visit the Harvest Moon… perhaps you could show me some of your crops? I have a special interest in lavender, any variety of mint, cinnamon, clove, and lemongrass, if you currently grow any of those,” she told him. Her litany wasn’t fiction; she did have a small side business trading essential oils and medicinal plants, but that wasn’t, of course, her major source of income.

[A visit, Miss Seda?] A trace of surprise crept into Kalrk's reply. After a second's pause he went on, [I could arrange for a tour with one of my agriculture techs. Those specific crops may be available, either in a current planting or in the seed archive, but the answer to that is beyond my direct knowledge.]

Toni let her voice soften slightly, adding the faintest hint of feminine desire, replying, "I was hoping that I could meet you in person, Captain. You've done so much for the Fleet... it would really be quite an honor to accompany you on an informal tour." She paused and added deferentially, "Of course the details of any business specifics I would arrange with one of your technicians."

The wireless was silent for a moment, and when Kalrk's voice returned it held a hint of reluctant acceptance. [Very well, Miss Seda,] he acquiesced, [I shall make myself available briefly during your visit. I will hand you off now to my assistant, Miss Wayton. She can find you a place in my schedule.]

"Thank you very much, Captain," Toni responded with both confidence and appreciation. "I am looking forward to meeting you."

She smiled complacently to herself as she scheduled the visit with Kalrk's assistant. She'd done her research on Kalrk of K Industries, and cylon or not, he was a man.

Toni Seda was very good at manipulating men.


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 9:04 pm 
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Day 285

Fingernails on a chalkboard... the brakes of a well-worn bike... screeches intruded on the man's dormant consciousness, bringing him back from a dreamland where he'd been fleeing down an endless road. Light impinged upon his eyes, though he believed them to be closed. A cool breeze caressed his skin, bringing with it the scent of rain. He was hot, though, burning hot...

The man opened his eyes but the brilliance of the room forced them closed again. He squinted, opening them again though only a narrow slit. Viewing the room through a haze caused by his own eyelashes he saw off-white walls split by tall, narrow windows and a high ceiling with florescent lights suspended on chains. The entire ceiling was grey with cobwebs.

He turned his head to one side, finding that it lay upon a pillow that crinkled stiffly when he moved. He lay in a bed, his upper torso inclined slightly. Beside the bed stood a simple padded chair, its green vinyl covering cracked with age. Between the chair and his bed was a metal stand, an empty fluid bag depending from one of a cluster of hooks at its top. His eyes followed the tube that led from it down to the back of his left hand where an intravenous needle was inserted in a vein.

A surge of fear passed through him and though his other arm was much weaker than he thought it should be, he reached across and tore the tape away from the needle, then drew the needle out. The tape pulled sharply at the hairs on the back of his hand, and the removal of the needle left a dull ache. A droplet of blood welled up, marking the wound.

Now his gaze focused further out, his chin pressed to his chest. His body lay under white sheets, his feet marking two peaks at the end of the bed. A footrail rose just beyond them and he could make out the top of a clipboard hanging there. Further yet a doorway was visible across the room, looking diminutive beneath the high ceiling. The door stood open; beyond it stretched an empty hallway. Both the room and the hall were tiled in a chessboard pattern of black and white.

The man relaxed and let his head fall back onto the pillow. His arms slipped off his stomach to lie at his sides. Blood dripped from his left hand to leave a bright red stain on the sheets, nearly the only color in the room besides the dull green of the chair. He closed his eyes again, listening to the sounds around him.

He became aware of the screeching once more, against a background of wind noise. A storm is coming, he thought. He twisted his head around against the pillow, struggling to see what lay beyond the head of the bed. Another window, tall and narrow with dark metal strips that divided it, criss-cross. The panes of glass were dirty, the grout on the outer side hanging in loose curls.

The tips of a tree branch scraped against the glass, adding to a zigzag trail of marks in the grime. The branch was nearly bare, graced by only a scattering of leaf buds. Above it, a pane of glass was missing, providing the source of the breeze he felt. Beyond, thunderheads scudded across a grey-blue sky. A near-subliminal rumble sounded then, adding to his conviction of a coming storm. Spring showers, the thought came. Then he frowned in consternation. Wasn't it early winter?

He struggled to raise himself onto his elbows, only to collapse back on the bed. Still puzzled by his apparent weakness, he slid his covers off and rolled onto his right side. He bent his knees and struggled to raise his upper body, pushing as best he could with both hands against the mattress. When he was mostly upright, he shifted his legs off the bed. His left foot felt oddly heavy, and it struck the floor with a solid thump. His eyebrows knit in confusion, he leaned forward to look at his foot but a wave of nausea washed over him.

Pushing himself more upright he rolled his head back onto his neck, closing his eyes and waiting for the nausea to pass. When it did he relaxed, and that's when he noticed the table. Stainless steel, it stood on a stand that supported it from the side, apparently to allow it to be positioned across the bed. Now it stood to one side. On it was a glass of water, a medication bottle and a syringe.

He reached out and lifted the glass, his eyes narrowing as he noted the shaking in his hand. Concentrating, he brought the glass to his lips. The water was room temperature and tasted of dust, but it still slaked his thirst. He drained it in a series of gulps then returned it to the table, allowing his arm to drop onto the cold metal surface. The simple act of drinking had nearly drained him of energy.

Forcing his arm to move again, he picked up the medicine bottle. It was glass with a rubber seal held in place by a metal ring. Several puncture marks were visible on the seal, although the nature of the material had closed them up. He rotated the bottle until he could see the label. Quinolone, it read, and somewhere in the back of his mind the word evoked a response. A broad-spectrum antibiotic.

He dropped the bottle onto the table, the metallic clang seeming overly loud. He eased himself forward, placing his hands on the edge of the mattress and feeling the floor beneath his feet. No, just beneath his right foot - he still felt a sense of heaviness from his left foot, and it seemed as though it were asleep. He dipped his head forward, trying to see. Then he froze.

His right foot seemed normal enough, its nails neatly trimmed, but that was not his focus. His left foot, however, was missing... actually, his left leg was gone, replaced from just below the knee with a metal prosthesis. The replacement limb was a dull chrome color, more or less the same dimensions as his right leg, but constructed of articulated segments of metal. Unconsciously he flexed the toes of his right foot, and the chrome replicas on his left mirrored the action.

He stood, testing the response of the artificial foot. Except for the feeling that he still had a flesh and bone lower leg, and that the foot at the end of it was constantly tingling, it felt almost normal. His sense of balance seemed unaffected and he had no difficulty standing. He resolved to walk, and cast his eyes about the room for a destination.

Across the checkerboard floor a steel cabinet stood against one wall. He took a step toward it, pivoting on his false foot and stepping out with his right. He completed the first step without falling, and so he attempted a second. He immediately realized that his earlier impression was right - the prosthesis was heavier than the limb it had replaced - and he managed only to drag it forward a half step. He stooped, catching himself on the bed with his left arm, and then stood upright again. He took a deep breath and let it out, then tried again.

He accomplished a series of halting steps that brought him to the steel cabinet. Like walking with one ankle weight strapped on, he thought. Outside, the thunder rumbled again, louder this time. He opened the cabinet door to find a few clothes hung there. He glanced down at what he currently wore, realizing he'd not paid any attention to the garment thus far. A patterned hospital gown fell to just above his knees, tiny blue flowers on white cotton.

He marked the collar of an olive-drab shirt among the hangers and he reached to separate it from the rest of the items. Pulling it aside, he studied its front. It was well-worn and smelled like wet leaves. On the points of the collar were two rank insignia shaped like diamonds with an extended upper tip, overlaid with a single chevron. His mind identified them, the word coming to the forefront of his consciousness - Lieutenant. He pulled the shirt from the cabinet, lifting it before him so it hung in full view. His eyes sought the name plate, stark white letters on black.

LT MARCUS ALON, it read. Someone had scratched at it with a penknife, making the 'O' into a smiley face.

Marcus cradled his head in his left hand, his fingers pressing on both temples. His right arm dropped to his side, the shirt brushing the floor. A barrage of images flooded his mind, memories of events that had been somehow suppressed. He sank to his knees, the numb sensation from his missing left foot barely registering.

To be continued...


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:07 pm 
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Day 285

Marcus pushed against his knee with both hands, his right foot planted on the floor. He rose unsteadily, dragging his left leg upright. His uniform shirt lay on the tiles beside his feet, but he ignored it. Looking around, his eyes settled on the clipboard which hung at the foot of the hospital bed. He lurched towards it, taking several rapid steps before faltering and dropping again to his knees. He stretched out a hand, curling his fingers around the cool metal of the bed frame and managed to pull himself closer to the bed. He sagged against the frame, sweating.

After a moment he reached across his chest and fumbled with the clipboard, finally slipping it from its hook. He laid it across his thighs and looked at the top page, but the words were unfocused. He laid his head back, eyes closed, and touched his forehead with his other hand.

He was hot, and the effort of crossing the room had exhausted him. Outside the storm was building, and the air was beginning to whistle as it forced its way through the missing pane of glass behind and above him. A gust of wind sent raindrops spattering across the windows, each one leaving a trail in the patina of dust. Thunder rumbled in the distance.

Marcus opened his eyes again and struggled to focus on the clipboard. He squinted at the words scrawled there, and his head pounded with the effort. With one hand he rubbed at his eyes, then tried again. Though the image seemed to swim in his vision, he could make out some of what was written.

Marcus had basic survival training which included emergency first aid, but much of the clipboard's contents surpassed his knowledge. There were several mentions of infection, and quinilone. He flipped up the top page and scanned a second, then flipped it and discovered a third. There he found mention of injuries sustained in a crash. He pulled his gown aside, looking at his side. A long scar trailed from below his ribs to his hip, the suture marks still visible. He realized he'd been here for some time, enough time for an abdominal wound to heal.

Wherever here was.

He laid the clipboard aside, clutching the rails of the bed to help him to his feet. He was weak and feverish, and apparently had been given quinolone to fight an infection. The bottle on the metal stand beside the bed confirmed what sense he could make of the clipboard notes. He worked his way around and eased himself back into the bed. Slowly and with some difficulty he pushed the syringe into the bottle of quinolone, drawing out what he thought was an appropriate dose. He flexed his arm several times, then slapped the inside of his elbow to bring up a vein. Marcus clenched his teeth and inserted the needle, wincing at the momentary bite of pain. He pressed the plunger, then removed the needle.

He tossed the syringe aside, onto the metal stand where he'd set the vial of quinolone. Collapsing back onto the pillow, he listened to the whistle of the wind through the missing glass pane and the growing rumble of thunder.

Then he lost consciousness.


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:11 pm 
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Battlestar Libra
Maintenance Deck, Bay A
Day 285, Mid-morning


“There, Ollie, see?” Mac said to the knuckledragger at her side. They were looking at a maintenance display screen on the laptop computer that was hooked into the ship they stood by.

“It’s barely a blip, Mac, well within parameters for a small craft FTL,” PO1 Jorgensen replied calmly.

“Maybe so, but this is the Illustrious,” Chief Alexandra MacLean replied with emphasis. She rubbed her forehead, leaving a smear of grease. “Colonel Riley and his team depend on this ship to take care of them. I don’t want any blip at all.”

Libra’s Deck Chief and the Engineering FTL expert had the Illustrious’ engine compartment open; they were working together on the craft’s engines. Jorgensen gave Mac an amused sideways glance. “What have you checked so far?” he asked.

“All the electronics,” she listed, “the spoolers. The fermion cone/node containment crystals. The—,”

Another orange-suited mechanic came trotting up to them. “Uh, Chief,” she said hesitantly, glancing over her shoulder and coming to an abrupt halt next to MacLean.

“What is it, Nura?” Mac asked, puzzled at Morrigan’s odd behavior.

“Corporal Laffitte is looking for you,” Morrigan blurted, but her voice was quiet.

Mac blinked, then in a flat voice said, “Frak.” She sighed. “Where is he?”

“He was headed to your office,” the knuckledragger said.

“Thanks, Nura,” Mac was already moving, and said over her shoulder, “Keep working on it, Ollie!”

She hurried out of the bay, seeing Frankie just as she turned the corner. She stopped, trying to gauge his mood as he marched toward her.

“Where’s my knife?” he asked, coming to a stop in front of her.

“Your what?” Mac asked, the sudden question taking her off guard. “Your combat knife?”

“Yes,” Frankie said impatiently. “It was in our quarters and now I can’t find it. Where did you put it?”

Mac shook her head slowly. “I haven’t seen it, Frankie. I didn’t put it anywhere.”

“It was there,” he insisted. A loud bang came from across the deck and he jumped. “What the frak was that?” he demanded, swinging around and looking across the deck. It was a whirl of activity, mechanics working and rushing back and forth, Vipers and Raptors being towed, an organized chaos.

“Sounded like someone dropped a cover panel,” Mac said, trying to sound calm and reasonable.

Frankie snapped his head around to glare at her. “Don’t condescend me!” he snapped.

“I wasn’t—,” she began, but he interrupted.

“You’ve got grease on your face,” he accused.

She sighed. “Won’t be the first time,” she said, making no move to wipe it off. “Where did you last have your knife?”

“It was in our quarters this morning,” he growled. “I looked all over for it but it’s not there now.”

Mac frowned. “Umm… weren’t you on duty last night? You didn’t come home, at least not before I left to come on duty.” She wrinkled her nose slightly. She doubted he’d been on duty; he smelled of booze and his uniform was wrinkled.

“It. Was. There. This morning,” he said through gritted teeth. “Where did you put it?”

“I didn’t see it and I haven’t put it anywhere, Frankie,” she repeated. “Have you checked the armory?”

“Why the frak would it be in the armory?” he retorted.

Helplessly, she responded, “I don’t know… I’m just trying to help you figure out where it could be.”

He stared at her with narrowed eyes. “You’re lying to me,” he said in a low, hard voice. “I know you hid it somewhere.”

“Why would I hide it, Frankie?” she began to get exasperated. “I haven’t seen it at all.”

“I bet you hid it in your office,” he snarled, hands on his hips.

Wearily, she said, “Go look there, then. I have to get back to work.”

He stared at her silently a moment, his face dark with anger, then without another word turned on his heel and strode away.

Mac watched him go, not moving. Nura Morrigan came up and stopped next to her cautiously. “Are you all right, Chief?” she asked uncertainly.

“Yes,” Mac replied automatically, then, “No! I’m… angry and worried and and… I don’t know what.” She sighed. “Thanks for asking, Nura.”

Nura gazed after Frankie. “He used to be such a nice guy,” she murmured.

Mac nodded. “Yeah, he was,” she agreed with sorrow.

_________________
Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, about budget cuts for the US’s intelligence agencies: "We're not going to do more with less and all these other clichés. . . . We will just simply have less capability."


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:47 pm 
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Refinery vessel Necromancer, Rolling Mill Maintenance Compartment
Day 285, 1000 Hours


“Still working on that, Smitty?” Abel Perazzo asked the lean, dark-haired man.

Kasan Smith glanced up from the collection of small parts he had spread out on the table’s surface, and gave his shift supervisor a calm nod. Both men were off duty, but neither cared to participate in the usual leisure time activities of card playing and drinking homemade rot-gut that most of the other steel mill workers enjoyed.

“The cleansing unit is back online,” Perazzo pulled out a chair from under the table, its steel feet scraping on the deck, and sat opposite Smith, watching as he meticulously examined and cleaned each piece.

“We only have two spare spray valves left,” Smith said. He used a small cylindrical brush to clean out a steel tube, holding the tube up to the light to inspect its interior when he was done. After a moment, he added, “We can’t exactly order up new ones.”

Perazzo snorted with amusement. “That’s for damn sure,” he commented. He watched as Smith slid a threaded collar onto the tube and made sure that it fit snugly against the flange at the end of the tube. Unsatisfied, he tipped the tube up and let the collar fall onto the table’s surface.

“You’re pretty good at fixing things,” Perazzo said. “You go to school for that?”

Smith glanced up at him, then back down at the tube, running his thumb and forefinger around the flanged end of the tube. “I went to school, but not for fixing these kinds of things,” he replied. He picked up the threaded collar and felt along the threads with a fingertip.

When Smith didn’t elaborate, Perazzo dared to ask, “What did you go to school for, then?”

Again Smith looked up at him, for a few seconds longer this time, and finally answered, “Gunsmithing.”

Perazzo gave a surprised ‘hah!’, then said, “Don’t know why I’m surprised. You’re from Scorpia, aren’t you?”

With amusement, Smith asked, “Everyone from Scorpia is a gunsmith?”

“No,” Perazzo grinned. “I just meant… ah… well, y’know, there’s alotta fighting on Scorpia. Those nomads and all.” He stopped short, suddenly realizing that he may not have chosen his words too wisely.

Smith’s dark eyes held a hint of humor and he nodded, unperturbed.

Perazzo looked as if he would ask another question, but thought better of it, and closed his mouth with a snap.

“I went to gunsmithing school on Caprica,” Smith said. He didn’t look up from his work, but he sensed Perazzo’s relief. The man was rough and uneducated, but he knew steel, worked alongside the people he supervised, and was a fair leader. Smith had known worse… and better. He had no complaints about the man. The job was hard, dangerous, and dirty, but Smith had known worse… and better. He was patient. If he did his work, stayed anonymous, his time would come. He knew how to lay wait in the sand until his prey was close.

He was patient.

_________________
Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, about budget cuts for the US’s intelligence agencies: "We're not going to do more with less and all these other clichés. . . . We will just simply have less capability."


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 2:02 pm 
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Hospital Ship Chiron
Crew Quarters, Stateroom 314
Day 285 1138 Hours


David Dedrick laid his duffel bag on the bed and then put his hands on his hips, surveying the compartment. It was modest in size, which was to say it was one of the smaller quarters aboard the hospital ship. Perhaps that explained why it was empty. Only a limited number of staterooms were occupied by current crew, but many of the compartments still contained the effects of personnel that had been on shore leave when the Chiron left Scorpia, only hours before the cylon attacks. It seemed to David the right thing to do, to respect the dead and the things they had left behind. He did not expect to spend a great deal of time aboard Chiron, and little of that in his quarters. This small, empty room would suffice.

He was interrupted by a knock on the bulkhead behind him and he turned to face the open door. "Ah, Lieutenant Nara," David said, recognizing the Chiron's Executive Officer from when he'd initiated the Ophiuchus computer - the day the Chiron's FTL drives went runaway. He'd worked with her, too, during Operation Haystack when the Chiron had located the first of the beacons toward Earth. Nara was an Islander, a native of Aquaria - slender, dark-haired and pretty.

"Major Dedrick," Nara replied, smiling. "I thought I'd stop by and welcome you aboard." Nara stepped into the compartment. skipping the courtesy of asking if she might come in. Her smile persisted, and she watched David intently. "Are you here to inject more excitement into my day?"

David regarded her for a moment with one eyebrow raised, then gave a soft snort. "I suppose my earlier visits were a bit out of the ordinary. Sorry about that."

"I'm not complaining," she said, stepping closer to stand beside him. Nara glanced at the small duffel that lay on the bed, then looked back to Dedrick. "You didn't bring much gear," she observed.

"I'm not staying long," he replied. Her expression hinted at trace of disappointment, and he began to view her behavior in a different light. He canted his head slightly to one side and stated, "I'll be back, though, each time we encounter a beacon."

Nara brightened at that news. Dedrick smiled in return, but it was tinged with embarrassment. He quickly looked away, picking the duffel up and setting it back down on another part of the bed. He seemed to no longer know what to do with his hands. He glanced at them and dropped them to his sides, gave Nara a perfunctory smile and turned to exit the room. "I need to see the captain," he said as he stepped into the passageway. "I need to arrange for some office space."

Nara laughed, the sound light and feminine. "I've seen to that already, David." When he turned back to face her, she explained, "I have a steward stowing the Chief Engineer's personal things. His office is forward on this deck, and just a quick trip up a ladderwell to CIC."

"I'd have preferred an empty office." Dedrick stood in the passageway, Nara remained in his quarters. He regarded her from under a furrowed brow, a bit vexed by her solicitousness.

"There were none close to the bridge," she explained. "Lieutenant Wilkinson spent all his time in Engineering - he hardly used the office. It probably still smells new." As she spoke, Nara stepped to the doorway and placed one hand on the frame.

Dedrick knew very little about Wilkinson, though he recalled that the Chief Engineer had been executed by Black Jack Mayer. He realized that he was facing someone who had actually known the man. Nara had been one of the fifty or so junior officers that had been aboard the Chiron when Mayer had taken over the hospital ship's escort, the Bellerophon. DesChamps had interviewed her aboard the Tauranian Titan before she had returned to the hospital ship.

"You're Scorpian, aren't you?" Nara observed, still standing in the doorway. Dedrick was not expecting their conversation to take this turn, and so he remained silent so she would continue. "The Colonels didn't like Scorpians, especially Colonel Bisby. That made it bad for us, since we had all those mercenaries on board."

Dedrick stepped back closer to the doorway, his attention captured by Nara's mention of the Belle's history. On some level he recognized this was probably her goal - to engage him in conversation - but his interest in the matter overrode his earlier embarrassment. "Bisby was Aquarian," Dedrick noted. "There's a history of distrust between the two Colonies." Dedrick raised an eyebrow, certain that Nara knew he'd marked her as Aquarian.

Again her lilting laugh came. "Those relations have softened," she said, smiling. "Though perhaps we can improve upon them further?" Her eyes held his, but he looked away after a moment. "Bisby was vile and cross," Nara continued, shedding some of her flirtatious demeanor when she sensed Dedrick becoming uncomfortable again. "Major Davenport didn't like having them aboard, but at least he acknowledged that they were people. Bisby, and Mast too, treated them like dogs."

Dedrick's curiosity was rising further. "There were incidents, though, with the mercenaries and the Chiron crew," he said.

Nara laughed softly. "To be sure," she admitted. "They were a salacious lot, men and women alike, and there were those in the crew that found that fascinating." As she spoke, Dedrick wondered if she'd been among the fascinated crew members. "Rough sex wasn't the issue, though," she added, seeming unabashed at the reference. "The mercs were always threatening to take over the ship. Major Davenport didn't think they could fly her if they did, but he wasn't inclined to find out for certain."

At that moment a repeating chirp began sounding from the breast pocket of Dedrick's uniform jacket. Frowning slightly he withdrew his PDA and silenced the alarm. "Lieutenant Nara," he said formally, inclining his head toward her, "I'm due in a meeting. If you would excuse me?"

She smiled, taking a more formal tone. "Of course, Major. I look forward to continuing our conversation."

"Um, yes," Dedrick replied, faltering for a moment. Then he turned away and strode forward on the deck, toward the ladderwell. Already he was wondering how he was going to work with Nara, given her apparent interest. Or had he misread her? He shook his head as he began to climb toward the top deck, and Chiron's bridge.

I'll have to call Ferdie tonight, he thought. That should clear my head.


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2015 3:25 pm 
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Battlestar Libra CIC
Day 285 1300 Hours


"Captain DesChamps, thank you for joining us," Admiral Rodrigues said.

The black-haired MILINT officer saluted, then stood at ease. "Admiral Rodrigues, Colonel Wilson," DesChamps greeted them, his dark eyes intent and curious.

The Admiral stood at the tactical plot table in the center of Libra's Combat Information Center, Colonel Wilson beside him. The Libra's CIC was large, with its operational stations arrayed in an arc around the plot table. It was a design drawn from the older battlestar classes, a design that had been replaced by a much smaller CIC on ships like the Pegasus.

"We have a task for you, Captain," Colonel WIlson began. "One that must be completed quickly, since it affects our next FTL jump."

DesChamps took on a questioning expression. "Major Dedrick is aboard Chiron, verifying our jump vector toward the next Earth beacon."

Wilson nodded. "Yes, Captain. This matter is shorter range, though. We need to resolve it so that we can combine this nearby target with our long-range goal."

"Understood, sir," DesChamps replied.

Admiral Rodrigues placed a finger on the plot table, over the representation of the planet Oasis. "We found a third Colonial vessel on Oasis, Captain," the Admiral said, eliciting a raised eyebrow from DesChamps. "On the far side of the planet from Oasis City there is a crash site, a Colonial shuttle. There were no survivors."

Now DesChamps nodded, understanding his task without the need for explanation. "You want to find the mother ship," he stated.

"Yes, Captain," Admiral Rodrigues affirmed. He withdrew a data card from a pocket and held it out to DesChamps. "Here you will find everything I have on the Cortina, the ship to which the shuttle belonged. Also on that card is every bit of data we could salvage from the crash site. Full specs on the shuttle as well, including range and an estimate of remaining fuel when she crashed."

DesChamps accepted the data card, his mind already cataloging the factors he'd have to take into account to determine a likely search range. "How long do I have, Admiral?"

"Our current jump is on hold while we assess damage and begin repairs. Have a preliminary report for me by 0800 tomorrow. I would be good if we could conduct the physical search before the Griffyn has been prepared to jump."


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:00 pm 
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Luxury Starliner Nimbus
Day 285 Early Evening

Theron Kyklades had met Toni Seda a week before, and he’d gone looking for her every night since. Well, except for a couple nights right after the Nimbus had gotten hit by the cylons. Things had been really crazy, then, and a lot of people had gotten hurt and killed. He was sure that Toni hadn’t been killed. She was too smart for that.

Toni Seda was a survivor, Theron was certain, and he was determined to be a survivor, too. The chaos after the ship had been damaged had given him the opportunity to… collect some things he needed. He’d staked out the crew’s quarters, taking note of several that weren’t visited for several days, and then with careful, casual-seeming questions, had learned who had lived in them. “Had” being the operational word, because he’d discovered that the crewmember who’d lived in one of those quarters was dead, killed in the attack.

He’d then traded some personal services for a crew access card, and moved right in. The quarters were tiny, not much more than a bunk, an all-in-one bathroom, and just enough room to walk from the bunk to the bathroom. It suited him just fine, though, and was lots better than finding a corner somewhere to sleep.

He sat cross-legged on the bunk and contemplated the nature of the personal services that had gotten him this cabin. One of his older brothers had done all kinds of things to him, plenty of times, and his father had that “hidden” collection of porno vids, so he knew exactly what people wanted. Trying to find the right customer had been a bit of a problem, though, and the first person he’d approached had threatened to turn him in to security. He definitely needed Toni Seda to help him out. He was sure that they could work out a deal that would benefit them both.

With that thought in mind, he went into the cramped bathroom and regarded himself in the mirror. He was fourteen, and thought maybe he looked younger than that, but he wasn’t sure. He didn’t care. He knew there were people who preferred young boys. He practiced a few I’m-young-and-innocent expressions, then nodded to himself and went looking for Toni again. He wouldn’t be able to fool her, but that wasn’t the point.

He went to the Solar Flare club first, the place he’d met Toni. Since he’d met Toni there, he’d discovered that the club had a lot of private booths, tables behind frosted glass or curtains, so he knew to shift around where he sat in the club, and he watched everywhere. He could see feet underneath curtains, and indistinct blobs behind frosted glass, and he was certain he could recognize Toni by the shoes she wore or the way she moved.

He knew to move around, not sit in the same place the whole time, because when he’d been looking for Toni before, one of the servers had told him to order up or get out. So he’d put a cap on and then take it off; change where he sat; he’d take off his jacket and put it back on; he’d sit at tables that hadn’t been cleared yet and get the added benefit of eating some of the leftovers from previous customers.

When he saw Toni come in, every nerve in his body vibrated. He didn’t move, though, just casually watched her as she chatted with a couple customers, then went to talk with the bartender. He thought maybe she’d seen him, but he wasn’t sure.

Toni had seen Theron. She’d actually come to the Solar Flare specifically to see if he was there. Antoly, the bartender, had told her about the blonde-headed kid that had been hanging around, and Antoly knew that Toni employed a diverse group of workers. And Antoly knew that Toni would reward him, if she had a use for the kid.

“He’s pretty slick,” Antoly told Toni, serving her a soda water with the good whiskey in it. “Moves around, changes how he looks, without making it obvious.” He polished a glass, his eyes roving the dimly lit room and sliding past Theron. “Young, but I expect you can use all types.” He gave Toni a slight leer.

Toni smiled slightly, looking down into her drink. She stirred it with a perfectly manicured pink fingernail. “Everyone in the fleet has certain needs,” she said. “I just find the right fulfillment for each need.” She had already learned much about Theron… where he’d come from, where he was quartered and how he’d gotten the cabin. She looked up from her drink and told Antoly, “If the young man turns out to be a fulfillment I can supply for others, you’ll get the appropriate thanks from me.”

Antoly nodded with satisfaction. “Know you will,” he grunted, and went to serve another customer.

Toni sat quietly at the bar for a moment, enjoying her drink and the sights and sounds of the club. The band wasn’t bad, and the flashing lights from the dance floor made the place look a bit festive. The booze was flowing faster than usual, the atmosphere one of desperate forced enjoyment. The result, Toni knew, of the ship’s near-brush with destruction, death just a heartbeat away. She didn’t mind—she’d faced death herself in other varied circumstances, and her philosophy was to enjoy the present moment without worry because you never knew if it would be your last. Besides, that forced enjoyment was good for business.

She picked up her glass and made her way toward Theron, her knee-length blue silk skirt gleaming in the subdued lighting. She didn’t go directly to Theron, stopping at a table to sit a minute and chat with the two women sitting there; then she side-tracked to speak with a man sitting alone.

When she appeared at Theron’s table, it seemed unplanned, but Theron had been watching her the whole time. She sat facing him with the greeting, “Good evening, Tony.”

With an inner jolt, he remembered that he’d given her a fake name. He was Tony Keller. He kept his expression calmly pleasant, though, replying, “Hello, Toni. It’s nice to see you again.” Toni was much higher class than the actors he’d seen in his father’s porno vids, so he was careful with his words. He had to proceed cautiously with Toni Seda.

“Aren’t you a bit young for this crowd?” Toni asked him, making it sound like the others there was doddering ancients.

Theron flashed her a grin that was part boyish mischief and part age-old wisdom. “Well, the playground got shot up by the cylons, so I figured this was second best.”

Toni chuckled. “You do seem a bit mature for playgrounds,” she responded.

He gave her a knowing look devoid of young innocence. “It does depend on the… type of playground.”

The elegant blonde looked down with hooded eyes, her smile one of private amusement. “Indeed it does,” she agreed. “Did you see the two girls I was talking to before I came to your table?”

Theron nodded. “A thin dark-haired woman in a purple shirt, and a redhead wearing a green dress.”

Toni’s smile at him was one of a pleased teacher at a bright student. “Lizzy, the redhead, is feeling bored tonight. Do you think you could amuse her?”

“I can try,” Theron offered with confidence.

“Good,” Toni nodded with satisfaction and stood. “I’ll talk to you later, then.”

Theron gave her a bright smile. “Sure thing, Toni.”

He waited until Toni disappeared around the frosted glass wall, then got up and went to talk to Lizzy. He wasn’t experienced, but he knew that whatever sort of amusement she wanted, he could supply it.

_________________
Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, about budget cuts for the US’s intelligence agencies: "We're not going to do more with less and all these other clichés. . . . We will just simply have less capability."


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:36 pm 
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Luxury Starliner Nimbus
Compartment 7075-M
Day 285 Evening


A single light burned within the room, a vertical florescent bar just to one side of the hatchway. It cast an antiseptic blue glow that mostly failed to penetrate the shadows of the storage compartment. To the room's lone occupant, it made the space seem like a night-wrapped street painted by the neon sign of a bar or a pawn shop.

Luther Bragg's face was illuminated by a blue glow as well, but the source was not the single lamp by the hatch. He held a tablet computer in one hand as he paced deliberately around the compartment. A tangle of cables surrounded him, some snaking across the deck while others depended from the ceiling. Bragg's slow pace was dictated by this web of wires and tubes which in the half light threatened to ensnare him.

"Doctor Ekstrom, good evening," Bragg spoke toward the tablet, addressing the man whose image was displayed on the portable computer. "We need to discuss the biofeedback gel."

"You picked an interesting time to call." Ekstrom replied. "I just got my boss and the last of the assistants out of my office. The door is locked... let's talk now that Dr. Dunnivan is gone."

On board the Discovery, David Ekstrom's office could best be described as an 'organized' mess. There were several folders on his desk and even more inside an open drawer. The walls were unadorned and off-white, like most offices on the science ship. Dr. Ekstrom's lab jacket was draped across an empty chair in front of his desk. Blindly, Ekstrom opened another drawer and grabbed a file entitled 'OPTOELECTRONICS'. He paused and looked back into the tablet computer, waiting for Bragg to speak.

"Fortunate timing, then, on my part," Bragg said, his face expressionless on Ekstrom's display. "Have you reviewed the parameters I sent you?"

Ekstrom looked for yet another folder on his desk, "Yes, yes... I have some preliminary results. I've been able to work through most issues. There is the challenge we discussed earlier and I'm working on that."

"You are confident that your design will overcome the problem of epidermal impedance?" Bragg asked.

"I had to step out of the box to make it... easier and faster, especially considering our circumstances." The doctor rubbed his eyes for a moment, "The electronic interface and time are the biggest problems. When we go from theory to actual operation, we have to be fast. I have found a very suitable way to get around this problem: I've redesigned the electronics to include an optical interface. It'll be almost real time... many times faster that the old design. I'm confident that you will find this far more than acceptable."

"Interesting, Doctor Ekstrom," Bragg drawled, as one eyebrow crept upward. "I don't recall you discussing such a radical design change with me..."

"Well remember, the Discovery is a government ship. To make our continued contact possible I've had to bury this link. And I have conducted this entire project on my downtime." Dr. Ekstrom paused and looked directly into the camera, "Also, there are those who will not like what we are doing. I would imagine neither one of us wants to take a long walk out a short airlock. Don't worry, this major redesign will work better than planned. Trust me on this one."

Bragg was silent for a long moment, regarding Ekstrom with a measuring look. "Very well then," he replied finally, "We will see how this works out. Send your design to the secure e-note account."

"You will have it within the hour." David said plainly. "I need to go before the folks in Comms get bored and do a bandwidth check. I'll call you in a few days."

With that, the screen at Dr. Ekstroms' desk went black. He leaned back in his chair with a slight smile, In the end, this will all be worth it. My prize will be well worth the time and energy spent.


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:23 pm 
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Cylon-occupied Picon
Day 285


Marcus awoke to the sound of wind. He was on a boat, fighting a storm at night, spray striking his face as waves broke over the bow.

He wasn't on a boat, though. That had been a dream.

Outside the wind howled. Tree limbs whipped against the dirty glass windows, thrashing branches that were illuminated by irregular flashes of lightning. Rain drummed on the roof overhead and beat against the tall narrow windows, a scattering of cold droplets finding their way through the broken pane. Marcus put a hand to his face, his fingers coming away wet.

The room was dark, a deep jet-black darkness that seemed unnatural. Marcus sat upright in the bed where he'd passed out. With the next lightning flash he began getting his bearings, but he realized he really had nowhere to go. Beyond this room and the stretch of hallway he'd observed this morning through the door, he had no knowledge of where he was. It was too dark to wander about, dragging his heavy prosthetic foot. Also, he had no light other than the storm.

He was also exhausted and weak. His mouth was dry, and his stomach was an aching pit that seemed intent upon consuming itself. He was so hungry that it hurt. He lay there on his side and drew his knees up toward his chest. Putting his hands up, he interlaced his fingers behind his head. A few rain drops still hit him. He focused on the sound of the rain on the roof, on the wind in the trees, and tried to forget his hunger.

Sleep seemed far away, but there was little else he could do in this strange place, in the dark.


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 10:59 am 
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Hospital Ship Chiron
CMO's Office
Day 286 Early


Nate Santana stood in the office of the Chief Medical Officer, reviewing e-notes and requisitions from his staff. Beside him, atop a filing cabinet, sat a steaming cup of coffee. This was a part of his daily routine that Santana wished he could do without. He was serving as both the commander of the Chiron and it's CMO and so paperwork was a fact of life. Nate scowled as he signed another page on the tablet computer, then swiped it aside to review the next.

Doctor Armas Lyisti smiled as he entered the office, "Good morning, Dr. Santana... I see you found my note. Do you have a moment or two to spare?"

"Good morning, Dr. Lyisti," he replied. Santana remained standing, telegraphing his intent to be brief. For a moment his gaze wandered across the desk between them, its contents seeming foreign to him. This was Bertrand Lemonde's office, and though Lemonde had been relieved of his position as CMO of the Chiron and was currently serving aboard the Libra, Santana still felt this was the other man's office. Santana hoped to secure Doctor Lemonde's return to the Chiron, eventually.

Returning his attention to Doctor Lyisti, Santana afforded him a questioning look. "Yes, I have a few moments."

"Sorry it took me a bit to find your office...one of the guards pointed this one out to me. I passed by it twice looking for your name, Dr. Santana." Lyisti paused for a moment, "I wanted to talk to you about Dane Burke., and perhaps pass on my experiences with him. He can be rather, ahem, interesting as a medical comrade."

"Interesting is a topic for another time, Doctor," Santana replied. "If there's a reason for me to be concerned, immediately, then I would expect you to be forthcoming."

Detecting his need to get to the point, Lyisti moved forward, "Although he is a great doctor, Dane can be arrogant and at times a bit brutish. He can be a handful to work with. When he's in the O.R., he's the best you have ever seen. Out of it he can be cocky. He'll do things your way, but if he has a better idea, he'll fight for it. One other thing...."

As Doctor Lyisti spoke, Santana found himself nodding as the Oasian made his points. Arrogant and cocky, Santana mused. That agrees with my assessment of Burke. When Lyisti paused, Santana met his gaze with a questioning look. "Go on," he said simply.

"When he has that idea, listen to him. Ninety-nine percent of the time, Dane is right."

Santana looked at Lyisti silently for a long moment, then placed his tablet computer on the desk. "That may be, Doctor," he said evenly, "and I would like to think I'm a good enough physician to recognize when an associate is right. It remains, though, that this is a military hospital and I am an officer... and though you and Doctor Burke and Doctor Praver are civilians you are still under my command. If... If Burke ever disagrees with me I'll allow him one shot at convincing me otherwise." Santana shook his head, continuing, "After that, I expect my orders to be followed."

Santana watched for the older man's reaction, knowing that while he'd made reference specifically to Doctor Burke, Doctor Lyisti would realize that Santana's expectations applied to all the Oasians.

Dr. Lyisiti raised an eyebrow. "Understood," he said, then after a moment's pause added, "Generally, he only needs one chance to convince you."


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:47 pm 
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Cylon-occupied Picon
Day 286, Dawn


Marcus Alon awoke at first light. Outside the wind was still and the tree branch did not squeak against the window. Its leaves glistened wetly when his eyes sought it, remnants of the overnight rain shining in the first rays of sunlight. Bird songs carried faintly though the missing pane of glass.

He was ravenous. His hunger added to his weakness, but he seemed to longer burn with fever. He fought his way to his feet, then struggled across the room once more to the place where his uniform hung. He found that he did not have the strength to raise his prosthetic foot off the floor so he dragged it along, the step-scrape step-scrape sound seeming unnaturally loud in the near-quiet of early morning.

He shrugged out of the hospital gown and cast it aside, then began to dress. A stark wooden chair had stood beside the cabinet where his clothes were and he worked it away from the wall to face the cabinet. He pulled on a t-shirt, then sat to pull on his boxers, slipping them easily over his right foot. He could not raise his left, though, and he reached down to lift it with his hand.

The metal was cool, the sensation a jolt to his awareness. Yesterday, feverish, he had not connected the few facts he knew. Now it struck him like a hammer blow. The artificial foot wasn't Colonial technology, it was cylon. He let go, the artificial limb dropping to thunk solidly against the tile floor.

Revolted, Marcus felt as though he would be sick, though there was nothing in his stomach. He slumped forward, off the chair and onto his knees. Reaching forward, he rummaged frantically among the items in the bottom of the cabinet, tossing his boots aside. He'd had a knife, hadn't he? He thought so, desperately, though he was not certain. He'd find the knife and hack the cylon atrocity from his leg before it tainted him. Before he became like them, one of them.

Fool, his father said. Marcus looked around, his head twitching from one direction to the next. Fool, his father's voice repeated. You'll bleed to death.

“You're not here,” he ground out between clenched teeth. “You're dead.” Marcus looked again at the cabinet, but could not find a knife. He slammed a hand against the metal door. The noise was loud, and the door swung away, vibrating.

Tool, his father said. Use it, it's a tool. Marcus squeezed his eyes shut, trying to shut out the dead man's voice. Use it. Walk.

“Shut UP!” Marcus raged.

He pushed back from the cabinet, rocking back onto his heels. When his butt cheek contact the smooth coolness of the prosthetic foot he startled. Twisting, he rolled sideways into a seated position, still on the floor. The black-and-white checkered tiles were cool as well, but with a familiar gritty sensation, unlike the smooth metal of his foot and lower leg. Cylon metal.

His boxers were still looped around his right ankle. The real one, he thought. He pulled the garment over his left foot, watching as the cylon construct moved exactly as his mind willed. Assisted by the wooden chair he struggled once more to his feet, drawing the boxers to his waist as he did. It was something of an accomplishment in his weakened state.

He put on the rest of his uniform, sitting and then standing again to don the trousers, then taking a seat again to put on his boots. Once the cylon prosthetic was hidden from sight, covered by sock, boot and trousers, Marcus felt relieved. His hunger demanded his attention. He stood, unsteadily, and with a step-slide gait he walked out of the room.


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 37: Loose Ends/Derelict
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 8:59 pm 
Site Gunslinger
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Battlestar Libra
Production Line
Day 286, Morning


The production line on the Libra was like that of any Mercury class battlestar. The final assembly of Viper Mark VIIs and Raptors was done in a large central compartment, with manufacturing and construction of various sub-assemblies completed in smaller adjoining compartments. The central compartment was called a hangar; and harking back to planet-side manufacturing, the smaller compartments were called back shops. The back shops also performed more intensive repairs on components that couldn’t be completed on the flight deck.

Under normal circumstances, military personnel specifically trained to make and build Colonial planes staffed the production line, and the manufacturing process was supervised by a fleet officer. These were far from normal times, though, and Chief MacLean found herself called on more and more often to help resolve problems on the line. Many of the personnel who used to work the line had been pulled to work as flight deck mechanics, or engineering specialists… and military personnel in both areas had been killed. Now, 286 days after the attacks on the Colonies, the majority of production workers were civilians from passenger ships who’d volunteered to live and work aboard the Libra.

Admiral Rodrigues hadn’t liked the idea of having any civilians work on his ship. Mac understood that, and agreed; civilians didn’t belong aboard a warship. But normal circumstances no longer existed. The only way to replace the Vipers and Raptors lost in combat was to use civilian workers to build them.

Mac looked at the three civilians who grouped around her. Two younger women, kids she thought to herself, although they were probably about the same age she was; and an older man.

“Look at the illustrated parts breakdown from the tech manual,” she patiently explained to the new workers, pointing to the precisely-drawn plan tacked up on a board above the work surface. “It shows exactly how to put together this part of the landing gear.” She hefted a tubular rod. “Here’s the oleo strut, see there on the IPB? And this is the scissor cap. They fit together just like it shows on the drawing.” She demonstrated. “All the parts you need at this station you can find in the bins behind us.”

The group turned to look at the components on the neatly labeled bins and shelves. “We need to put together everything that shows on the… IPB?” one of the women asked.

“Yes,” Mac confirmed. “It’s the basic structure of a Viper’s landing skids. After you’ve got it put together, take it down to the next station. If you get stuck, see if the people on the next station can help you, they worked here before they moved down the line. If you get really stuck, find one of the production leads and they can help, too.”

All three nodded.

“Any questions?” Mac asked.

“Uh…” one of the women said.

“We’ll probably figure out questions as we go,” the man shrugged.

The other woman nodded concurrence and added, “I used to work on air handling equipment, so I’m used to following schematics. I think we can figure it out.”

“Thanks for volunteering to help out here,” Mac said to all three of them, knowing they could as easily have stayed on their passenger ships and done little, if any, work.

“I’m just glad to have something to do,” the first woman said, and got agreement from the other two.

“There’s plenty of work here,” Mac sighed, and left them to their first assignment.

In her office two decks above, Mac composed a short message and sent it off to the civilian ships in the fleet. The Libra needed at least two dozen more production line workers… more, if she couldn’t find any people with manufacturing or maintenance experience. She appreciated any help they could get, but one trained mechanic was worth three untrained workers.

At least I’m so busy here, I don’t have to spend much time with Frankie in our quarters, she thought, then felt a twinge of guilt. She rested her elbow on her desk, putting her forehead into her palm. After a moment she sighed, and got up and went back out to the deck.

_________________
Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, about budget cuts for the US’s intelligence agencies: "We're not going to do more with less and all these other clichés. . . . We will just simply have less capability."


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