PWD #05: Brace for Impact
Brace for Impact
Summary: Jameson and Petra discuss the letter from 7th Fleet and the implications. It is the final contact the Orion has with Command Authority.
Date: 31/Dec/2012
Related Logs: The Letters
Petra Jameson 
CO Stateroom
The largest solitary berthing on the ship, the quarters of the ship's Admiral is warm and plush in ways that the rest of the ship is not. Just inside the door is a large wooden table with seating for eight, the walls that flank it holding plexiglass display cases. The interior of the cases are filled with lovingly and carefully built models of Colonial fleet ships as well as classic Cylon examples from their own fleet and air defenses. Farther in it opens up with a small personal bar used as a room divider. On one side is a large, plush leather couch that is built into the curve of the wall, books lining the shelf behind it and a few stacked on the table in front of it. Most of the books seem to be geared towards the 'old west' genres of cowboys in rough situations. On the other side of the room is access to a personal bathroom as well as the desk, the latter being stacked with several reports and folders stamped 'Classified'. There is a model of a Predator sitting on the desk and a heavily worn and faded brown stetson is hung on the wall beside it. The bed, easily large enough for two, is built into the wall behind the desk with a blanket that very obviously is not fleet issue — thick felt running the length of it.
PWD #05

Early on the 31st, most of the crew is still talking about getting excited for their mail to be distributed. Perks of being an Admiral, you don't generally have to wait very long. But when the Lieutenant flying the Raptor is told to get the Admirals signature for a letter, things are a little more serious. It was handed off in CIC and then Jameson handed off the Watch while he went to the stateroom. Half an hour later, Jameson is in his blues but the tunic is unbuttoned down the front. Seated on the couch, he's leaned forward and bouncing a pencil on the end of the table absently. There's a stack of mail but only one of the letters is opened — the one he had to sign for.

Petra closes the hatch behind him once he gets called in, arching a brow in curiosity, but dropping it when he sees the stack of mail. Ohhhh. He straightens up out of habit and nods his head at the stack on Jameson's desk, "Considering what you told me last, I'll be assuming one of those is from Fleet. Should I ask?" Slowly that brow is going back up, but there's no trace of amusement on the Major's face this time.

Jameson just looks at Petra with that serious gaze that he has when he has either eaten something disagreeable or he's got bad news. The inevitably dry sense of humor to follow. He doesn't disappoint this time. "I dunno, Marc. Feel like getting a kick in the John Thomas? Because that's the sort of wake-up I've got this morning." He nods to the letter. "Loytrall's response. I thought it would be a good idea for you to hear this. Hope you wore your shit-waders to work today, son." He clears his throat, taking up the papers with a gentle shake while he watches Petra.

Petra winces a little at the comment, 'wading in' as it were, to find a seat to drop himself into. With a small sigh, he shakes his head and smirks just a little, "I /have/ mentioned before how Im not frakking jealous of the administration crap you have to deal from, from Fleet, right? Alright…what did the man have to say? We're all full of crap and should stop doing Intel's work and if we're so bored we're entertaining jokes, he'll give us something to do?"

Jameson holds the letter up and the silence lingers for a full seven-count after the words fade from the air. "Quite the opposite, son." He lets his own words hand before he turns her gaze to the letters. "Damned kids," he grumbles, then starts.

"'Lou, glad we're on the same page. Our people at Naval Intel don't like what the Reese signaled either. I've been consulting with Reggie Butler from 6th, Julie Thomlassen at 8th, and Delmarr at Perkinston and we all were paying attention to the Reese and reading your after action reports over and over'." Jameson glances up, "That's Deputy Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Felton Delmarr and Admirals Butler and Thomlassen from 6th and 8th Fleets." Highest levels. The CO lets that settle before he continues. "'The day you all jumped out, Delmarr called a meeting with us three. He brought in a young hotshot from intel and had him talk to us for a bit about what he thought. Well the guy said something that caught our attention. He mentioned that our strike group that replaced the Reese and yourselves found the Reese's emergency buoy. Lou, it had been hit with a missile and destroyed.'" Jameson lifts his eyes, pausing again as that information is brought home.

Continuing, "'That was enough for Delmarr. We got out the whiskey and drank for several hours. Gamed our options. We decided to put our dice on it. We penned the orders that night to pull the Union Bay-class Baker Bay, Merom Gulf, and Black Harbor out of mothballs.'" Another pause. "'We also agreed to individual pull three old flak boats out from our respective yards and get them staffed and on the line. All three of the battleships and five of the flak boats were put out to space in ad hoc strike groups as of this penning at 0445 on 31 DEC.'" Yes, the Admiralty is losing sleep.

"'Getting the information from you two weeks ago set it in stone. That letter went to our people in counterintelligence. Everything. They think its legitimate just like your boy Petra does. We put the battleships to space that afternoon. They're armed and we've got them lurking someplace in reserve while they're doing last-minute repairs. But what has us concerned more than your letters is something else. In the last eight days we have been getting electronic traffic across the Arm Line. Naval Intel says we can forget trying to crack the encryption, but something on their side is beaming highly encrypted signals to the colonies. Nothing for forty years, then the Reese, then that?'

"'Adar is aware. He's refusing to leave Cap despite Delmarr's recommendations. SECDEF is holing up with him. 'Election Year'. They don't think this is a big deal. Adar was still shitting his pants when Cimtar was signed. SECDEF wasn't even born. I wish we had the luxury of denying facts.'"

Jameson settles the letter on the table and sits back. "'You find this person writing letters, you put them on a Raptor to the anchorage as soon as possible. Regards, Admiral Loytrall.'" Apparently he's read the letter a few times. "So, Marc, got any leaks in them shit-waders?"

Petra looks serious enough as Jameson starts reading, but right about the time he gets to 'signals across the Arm Line' and a mention of the encryption comment from Intel, the look darkens. After all, that was something he did for three years before transferring. If INTEL saif 'frak' it, he knows how bad it is. He's silent for several seconds after the question, then just slowly shakes his head. His mouth slowly opens as if he's considering something, and then its as if he finally found his voice, "If its really the Cylons…they've had forty frakking years to prepare. President Adar's a frakking moron."

"That's the beauty of politics, Marc. All you have to do is run for office. Admiralty gets blamed for everything when things don't go the President's way." He settles back on the couch and shakes a finger at the letter. "That was written eight hours ago. We're pretty isolated out here. But forty years is a long time. Noooo getting around that." He taps the pencil on the couch. "Tell me whatcha think. Beyond your political opinions of the President, obviously."

Petra sighs again and lets his gaze drop to the floor, considering, "Going on the assumption that its the Cylons planning an attack, assume they know everything we used up to the end of the war and have taken all of that into account and been planning strategy on that for four decades. If they've been in contact with spies…which I can't really think of any OTHER reason for the signals, then assume anything we've developed in the meantime, they know about too. Assume they've gained a technological advantage in the last 40 years. Noone just comes back and tries again without improving, especially a machine. So they either have better equipment, or MUCH better numbers. The Admiralty hiding where some things are, like the battleships and us? Might be the only advantage we have."

Jameson nods along. "These signals aren't just coming out of nowhere, Marc. Space is vast. How long ago were these things sent? How long has this been planned-for? I think your worst case scenario idea may be our consideration moving forward. But if the Cylons are coming at us, you can bet they will have the advantage. Unlimited networks they control? Precision numbers to account for whatever they prioritize. Weapons. Capabilities developed from unrestrained or questioned growth." He lets off a long breath, eyeing the man across from him. "When I left War College, we were still talking about fighting them. Everyone. It was mostly the jay-gees and Ensigns that hadn't been in the fleet, but everyone remembered. We used to talk about ideas like this. Postulate." He clears his throat. "How dangerous is it that we just let them walk away without any monitoring?" Jameson looks towards a DRADIS readout on his wall and back. "Got any ideas, son?"

Petra chews on the corner of his mouth, nodding along in agreement, until a thought hits him and his eyes squint, "Crap. Did he say one of the signals was coming from OUR system?" A small pause, then an offer, "We need to start sending a bus back to the nearest outpost every day. Just jump back there, look, make sure everything is intact, and LEAVE. The Fleet could be getting wiped out right now, and we won't even know anything is wrong until the next mail bus is overdue. I'm supposed to talk to Medical today, and I can go back and corner Augie as well and review, specifically, radiation protocol. If its the Cylons? They're going to use nukes. If I was them, I'd hop in, saturate the planet with cruise missles, fire three at every capital ship I see, and send in fighters to mop up the Vipers and Raptors, so we better be ready for that."

The CO shakes his head. "I've had our ELINT people watching out own emissions. We've got nothing going outbound that isn't expected. Even if we were? It'd several hundred years before anyone back at the colonies got that message. As for your Raptor idea?" Jameson shakes his head. "Can't do it. Orders are that we are to have minimal contact with home. No Raptors outbound that are not requested specifically by NAVCOM Seventh or higher. We're out here on pen and paper in case something ever happened. This isn't a new colony, Marc. We can bloat our egos all day over this, but it isn't. Pireaus is a fallback location for the government and fleet. Its been intended to be a last stand if something really bad every happened on a system-wide scale. That's why we are stockpiling munitions like a fat kid with jelly donuts. What do you intend to do about preparation, then?"

Petra swears under his breath and mutters, "I hate sitting here blind like this when it looks like something's gonna explode, but…yeah, I got it. Well, if we do suddenly get an influx of government folks fleeing, can we tell Adar we frakkin' told him so?" He smiles wryly for just a moment, then lets it go, "Right before I get court martialed and shot, that is." Another thoughtful sigh, then a roll of his shoulders, "Nothing we don't already do, but recommend Medical and Engineering go over radiation containment and treatment again with all of their folks. Major Duke's kicking the Air Wing in the ass right now and Deck and Engineering are getting him everything he needs. Im already hearing whispers and looks about loaded birds on the floor, but were both ofthe opinion that frak it. If we have any stragglers from Fleet fall back here if things go very, very badly…we'll work out a plan with whatever we get. Anything special you want to see working?"

"Trust me, I don't like it either. We've all got family back there. But if something happens, we owe it to them to stay alive and keep this place intact. For them." The Admiral looks away and wags the pencil again, tapping the eraser on the backrest. Anything special. "I don't figure me barking at you about things is going to do anything except put unneeded pressure on you." Eyes turn back. "Just get the crew ready. Fleet thinks this might be a problem. Evidence is starting to tell us it might be. But there's no reason for panic yet. Demand readiness. Do whatever you need to, but remember what I said: When I ask you about it, you give me a 'Yes' you are better your family's life on that answer. Just do your best to get me green lights."

Petra mmms, "You know I'm horrible at shovelling bullshit. We're not there, but fires are lighted under the right asses at this point, and I'm on it." He sits there for a moment longer, then slowly rises to his feet, murmuring, "Hell of a new year we're gonna have. I'll be in CIC for second watch if you need anything, after I make a couple rounds." He offers a faint, wan smile and straightens back up, "Unless you have anything else I need to know about?"

"I'll take your word for it. You know the stakes." Jameson leans forward again to rest his elbows on his knees while he scans the letter again. "Yeah, I do," he breathes before looking up. "Marc, this person writing letters? If they are the real deal, we might have a defector — not a threat. But this person needs to be found regardless. If this attack happens, then time is running down and we can't see the clock. If they cross the Arm and we haven't found this person?" The implication is there. "Might be worth asking yourself who might be working with a bunch of canners and bulletheads." There's a nod. "Dismissed at your leisure."

Petra nods. "Understood. I think Lt. Wake sent you his latest list, we're already crossing names off of that and working every angle we can come up with." With the dismissal, he nods his head once and stpes back to open the hatch and head his way back to CIC.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License