AWD #192: A Question Of Ethics
A Question Of Ethics
Summary: Bennett has a thorny topic to discuss with the DCAG.
Date: 17/07/2013
Related Logs: Return to Persephone
Atalanta Bennett 
Battlestar Orion — Deck 1 — Offices
Except when the gun batteries are firing, the offices aboard the Orion tend to be a quiet area where clerks can get their work done as needed. However, there are several closed-door offices, with small windows, lining the walls in addition to unclaimed cubicles that run down the center of the long room. However, this is not just a place for clerks. Anyone who has paperwork that they need to do and would prefer to do it someplace quiet can come here at all hours of the day or night to accomplish what they require space and peace to complete.
AWD #192

Though Franklin shares in the CAG's duties, she has no right to a share of his office. As such, she's been forced into the offices on Deck 1 the offices that are supposed to be shared, though that's done absolutely nothing to halt her invasion into the area she's selected for herself. It isn't a cubicle or a cubby. Ohh, no. She's gone and got herself something with a hatch. One that closes and everything. Apparently, she has no intention of sharing it, either. Judging by the way the local denizens lingering around this late in the evening direct her to which one is the DCAG's, she barely stopped herself short of painting her name right on the damned door — a door which is currently closed.

Fortunately — or unfortunately, depending on your point of view — closed doors never were much of a deterrent to Captain Saint Clair. Once she's directed to the appropriate hatch, she raps on it thrice, firmly.

"Open!," comes the swift reply. It seems that, for once, Franklin has elected to discard any tendency toward verbosity in favor of the shortest and most efficient response possible. It's easy to see why as soon as the door's opened. She's sitting at her desk, working.

The hatch cranks open dutifully, and the mostly-familiar face of one of Franklin's raptor pilots comes into view. She, herself, is dressed in her duty blues and looks to be recently off a shift. "Good evening, sir," is her soft, and perhaps slightly hesitant greeting. "May I speak with you for a few minutes?" She, too, can cut to the chase.

"Of course," she says, though it takes her a moment to tear her eyes away from the octagonal page which she's reading. One hand reaches up to rub at her green eyes before she stands, indicating the chair across from her desk with a simple wave of her hand. "Please, have a seat. Can I get you something to drink? I'm afraid I only have bottled water and tea at the moment, and if you're not a purist, the cream for the tea is powdered."

Is she a purist? The look on her face says she is, but politesse would never permit her to say so. "Black is fine, thank you, sir," she murmurs instead. The seat is not taken until it's offered, and then she tucks her knees together and crosses her ankles beneath the chair, with her fingers laced on her lap. "I am fairly certain that promotions around here generally equate to double the paperwork." It is fairly widely known she was a Major for a while, until she fell severely ill and was pulled from the flight line.

"That's grossly inaccurate, Captain," Franklin says as she slips around the edge of her desk. She has a makeshift set-up, which is the best that can be expected in the midst of the apocalypse — a few mugs, a hot plate she likely confiscated from someone in the berths, and several packets of sugar, tea, and powdered cream. She sets about fixing two cups, emptying the contents of a water bottle into both with a soft glug-glug-glug. "It increases exponentally with every new stripe on your uniform."

Makeshift or no, Bennett watches the tea preparation with a hazy, contented sort of half-smile at the corners of her lips. A half-smile that shifts to a full one at the other woman's last words. "I am an optimist. Glass half full and all that." She draws a breath. "Sir, I wanted to ask you about Persephone Station." Bright blue eyes seek Atalanta's calmly.

Both of her brows, which border on being pale brown instead of matching the warm blonde shade of her hair, arch upwards at that. The first cup is set down on the hot-plate, the glowing orange switch flicked on. It's going to take longer than a kettle, unfortunately. She turns back towards Bennett, wearing that mildly surprised expression. "If you're concerned about the skeleton crew we left behind, I do intend to pull them off the station as soon as we can drain it of its remaining fuel. Pertwii estimated that they had enough fuel for the entire Seventh Fleet — more than enough for our little motley of ships, and something we can't really replace with the Cylons regularly patrolling Troy."

Bennett does not interrupt, and shows little reaction to the DCAG's look of surprise, other than the tiniest tip of her chin upward. Stubbornness? Maybe. She seems the sort to stay the course, once she's dug her heels in. "No, sir, it isn't your orders I am questioning. I think the skeleton crew is a sound decision." Her voice retains its soft, almost singsong quality, and her eyes continue to track the other woman with a diligence bordering on predatory.

"Then what is it that you'd like to know, Captain? I'm afraid that I didn't take the time to pull their full logs — only their personnel files, which were easily packed." She circles around her desk once more, sinking back into her chair and leaning slightly back into the hard wooden slats. It seems she can move her spine after all, however slight the change in usually stick-straight posture.

Bennett finally drags her eyes away, and examines the chipping blue polish decorating her nails with a studious expression. "You said something to Ensign Pertwii, when we were exfiltrating the civilians. Something about.." Her brows knit slightly. "..'keeping him from shooting down our entire flight'." A blink, and she's studying Atalanta once more. "I remember you used those exact words. I haven't stopped thinking about it since that night."

There's a faint tic that appears at the corner of Franklin's mouth. It would seem that the events which occurred aboard the fueling station are not a subject which she finds particularly enjoyable. "When we initially returned to the station, we weren't sure if it was under the control of the Fleet, civilian refugees, or the Cylons. Initial radio contact was ignored and the automated guns trained on us. Eventually, a man identifying himself as Captain Aldridge replied and confirmed the station was under his control. He was convinced we were either Cylons or pirates looking to steal their fuel and informed us that unless we left, he'd be shooting down our entire flight, as he had done with a Raptor claiming to be under the command of Spree, on Picon. Apparently, the stresses of war were too much for him and he'd gone mad, shooting down our own forces and inflicting those horrible conditions on his crew. They relieved him of his command." Which is certainly one way to describe putting a bullet in him. "And saved our lives in the process."

"They effectively committed treason," is the captain's deadpan answer. There's no trace of emotion on her face; no anger, no outrage, no censure or disapproval. Just.. nothing, for the time being.

"I'm aware of that, Captain," she replies crisply. "I'm also aware of the fact that Captain Aldridge was deliberately starving his men and effectively raping his women, under the misguided belief that they were all that was left of humanity and needed to ensure the repopulation of humanity aboard that station. He billed the former as a voluntary sacrifice made to guarantee enough food for the women and their eventual children, when really, they had enough food to last the eight of them a decade if carefully planned, and it was really a tool used for punishment and control, to ensure his own authority. In any other circumstances, he would've been tried for what he did." Franklin frowns, severely. "But these are extraordinary circumstances, and as far as I'm concerned, that crew saved our lives. And spared me the trouble of having to write a discharge report and replace a few missing rounds from my sidearm."

Bennett smiles slightly, which might seem.. inappropriate in light of such a grisly tale. But she does seem faintly amused by something. "Yes, sir," is answered quietly when Atalanta is finished. "It is probably well that you had not explained this to me at the time, and that I was not in a position to face him in light of it. I would have shot him myself." Despite the lingering smile, her disgust is plain. Then, "Why was the wing not informed of this? I understand our squadron commander has been all but derelict in his duties of late, but do you not think your pilots would wish to know the truth?"

"I do think they would like to know," she says as she reaches for her pen, which she begins to twirl idly through her fingers. It's better than clicking it endlessly, at least, as far as preferred methods of fidgeting go. "I also think that by broadcasting the full extent of the events that occurred there, I would trigger an investigation into which crew member was the one to shoot him, and force those women to relive their harrowing experiences on the stand, under the scrutiny of either a jury or a tribunal. I'm convinced their actions would ultimately be deemed legal, but how much pain would I cause them in the process? I swore an oath to protect the citizens of the Colonies; it doesn't apply to civilians only, and I mean to keep it." Her lips press together, forming a thin line that slowly drains of color. "You're free to report my actions to my commanding officer, if you see fit."

"As I said, sir, I find no fault with your orders, nor your judgement calls." She draws another soft breath, and adds quietly, "Save that I would have liked to have known." The water just seems to be getting to a rolling boil, but she moves to stand with an apologetic smile. "That was all, sir. I'm afraid I will have to take a raincheck on the tea; I've got a report to finish and some training schedules to.. well, schedule."

Franklin pushes herself up from her chair as Bennett does — a courtesy usually reserved for Majors, and conducted by lower-ranking personnel. Of course, given her Caprican origins, and her upperclass upbringing, she may simply be trying to be polite. "Of course, Captain. My apologies; I cannot possibly expect my crew to trust me, if I'm not willing to extend the same consideration to them. I'll be certain to remember it in the future." There's the faint hint of a smile, though it vanishes almost as quickly as it appeared. "Please don't let me keep you."

The gesture does not go unnoticed. It's reciprocated in a somewhat more military manner— with a crisp salute from the captain. "Thank you, sir." For what, she does not say, but the words do seem sincere beyond mere lip service. "Hermes speed your flight," she offers, a blessing and parting not often used these days. Then she smiles once more, and turns to slip back out as soft-footed as she entered.

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