AWD #014: Calling The Bluff
Calling The Bluff
Summary: Petra takes a huge gamble and goes all in on an offsuit…Cylon?
Date: 21/01/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Petra Afton Knox 
Map Room - Deck 2 - Battlestar Orion
Dominating the room is the large bottom-lit map table in the very center. Ten feet across and eight feet the other way, the table can gather a large number of people around it while still accommodating enlisted and support personnel in the small riser seating behind the table. The risers are done in single-piece desk sections that run the width of the seating area and have small reporting displays built into them along with communications ports for headphones. At the head of the room are two very large LED displays that can have almost anything put on them, including projections of what is on the map table. A single computer at the support seating controls this and in the rear of the room is a large, locked case that holds maps and table models.
21/01/2005

Its afternoon. Petra's long done with watch and been running this particular little meeting through his head for the last couple of hours before sending word to have Afton and Knox make the trek up here. He thought about sending for each one individually, but no, let them send each other Meaningful Looks on the walk up to Deck 2 together.

So when everyone actually gets to the map room, its empty save for the Lt.Colonel himself. The map table is empty, and the ever-present stack of reports he's usually perusing. Just him, arms folded, leaning back against the table, waiting.

Meaningful Glances were shared, in fact quite a few before they get to the deck level of the map room Afton does not even look at Knox. She slips into the rooma head of him and smooths her green duty fatigues a moment, just a few small specks of blood. A day in medical is not always pretty. "Lieutenant Colonel." She makes sure to emphasize the rank as she steps off to the side and then hold his gaze.

Knox wanders up in sweatpants and a dark green CMC t-shirt. He's about as off-duty as he gets unless he came from the shower. The guy enters into the map room and glances around before settling on Petra as he steps in. "Sir." A look to Afton and back as he takes another step forward and folds his hands behind him.

Petra watches the hatch as it opens, offering a friendly enough smile to the two when they step in. He waits until the hatch is completely closed before he speaks, however, "Afton. Cooper. Thanks for coming. Why don't you to come have a seat. We need to talk for a little bit about a request Afton made to me a couple of days ago. Okay?" The smile warms up a bit, one brow raised in question, while he remains standing there, leaning back against the table, arms still folded.

First names. Afton attempts to ease herself out of her tension with a smile, "Thank you, Marcus." She does move forward, touching the back of her chair to come around it when he mentions her request. A brow lofts slowly and she finally casts a glance to Knox before taking her seat. She's curious now though and perches at the edge of it. "I will not lie about being curious, Marcus."

Knox quirks a brow and glances to Afton. Its one of those 'Oh Lords, what have you done now?' that is more humor-filled than holding any kind of severity. He smirks and heads on over to a chair and settles down to wait without a word.

Petra slowly walks around the table to the side facing the seats and hops up onto it, where he can lean forward and place his elbows on his knees and let his feet swing free while he watches the two, "So Afton wants to go back to Caprica. And she wants you to be part of the team that goes with her, Coop." He lets that hang for a moment and looks between the two of them, "I know you two love each other. Honestly, a lot more than I gave you both credit for, and that's fantastic."

The higher position takem, Afton is forced to look up as a brief, wry smile paints her lips for the TACCO's dangling lets. She eyes them a moment and looks up when he finally speaks. That smile fades and the expression the PO takes is somber and focused. A slow nod of her head and she then follows her glance towards Coop, that smile faintly returning. "I am somehat hurt, Marcus, that you had such little faith." But its met with some levity.

Knox crosses his legs and settles back to listen, though whatever he was going to hear… the sure was /not/ it. "I'm sorry, what? You want to-" Okay, this is bizarrely confusing. "Sir, if you want me to work up tac air on Caprica, its going to be more than a simple off-duty request." And how love comes into play? A glance back to Afton and he looks even more confused. WTF?

Petra mmms softly at Afton, "No slight against either of you. IM just used to love taking a little longer to really grab ya by the short and curlies. Like I said, it warms my old heart to hear it." He turns his gaze and his attention on to Knox, "And I know what you're like, Coop. You're a protector. The smudged around the edges white knight that WILL step in front of that bullet to save the woman he loves, because that is what a Marine does, and that is what you do when you love someone. Am I on target so far?"

Knox confusion just rolls right off of Afton as Petra does a better job of explaining what he means. But even the woman furrows her brows a bit. Lapsing into silence, she glances between the two and then smooths her hands idly to her pants and then goes still as well save for that flit of her green eyes.

Knox crosses his arms and fixes Petra with a look that is somewhere between confusion and ../total/ confusion. "Damned right I am, sir." First names or not, Coop is a Marine. 'Sir' is in his vocabulary. "I'd do it for more than her, though, sir. I don't doubt Afton knows what I mean about giving your life to protect someone, either. You do whatever you have to. Marines are lovely, idealistic hereos, sir. But it doesn't take a person in combat arms to leap on a grenade, Colonel."

Petra mmhmms, and turns his gaze back to Afton, "So. I haven't said anything to Wake. He doesn't even know Im having this meeting with you two, and he doesn't know you came to talk to me earlier, Afton. And depending on how you two handle this…its possible I may continue to not say anything. To anyone." To Knox, he offers, "It occured to me, while Afton was making her request, that you said, you had never lied to me. And I believe you. But…you never actually said YOU were a Cylon."

He's quiet for a good several seconds, and then addresses Afton, "At some point, you had a change of heart. It might have been when you realized you were fond of Coop. Maybe not. Maybe you arrived here already having chosen. Moot point. But…you told a Marine that you loved, because you didn't want him to die. And between the two of you, you came up with a plan."

Afton sucks in a deep breath, a moment lost as well til she nods and keeps her gaze trained on Petra. "Perhaps it was both, Marcus. Maybe the spirit of the people on Orion too, the different lives and souls, perhaps I didn't want you all to die either." She says as she sits at the edge of her chair offer a light smile to the TACCO. "But yes, I hatched a plan…Cooper just didn't want me to do it alone." She says evenly, her eyes remaining fast upon Petra.

Knox's face goes from confusion to disbelief, mouth hanging open. That just happened. It turns on Afton, then and his eyes go wide. "Af. Af, don't. You can't handle this," he warns and slowly rises out of his chair. "Sir, I warned Wake to leave Afton alone. Leave her out of this. It does not involve her, Colonel." The frustration builds suddenly.

"Coop, its okay. I need to do this," She says to him, casting a brief glance up at him as he takes a stand and she remains calmly composed at the edge of her own before looking once more to the colonel. Both are now standing or sitting above her eye-line.

Petra takes in a slow, deep breath and lets it go, nodding at Afton and murmuring, "I appreciate that sentiment." Then Knox gets agitated and rises to his feet. Petra keeps his voice down, "Coop, sit your ass down, please. We're having a talk. You don't see me reaching for a sidearm, do you? Sit." He gives that a moment, then adds, "At least your reaction confirms what I was going to say…that she wanted to come forward, but you told her that was a dangerous idea. After all. You're a Marine. You know what the armed forces do to traitors, and then we might not even take what she said seriously, right? And then the woman you loved would be dead and armageddon would still happen."

Knox stabs a finger in the air towards Petra. "Damned right I do, sir. That's why nobody should be admitting or providing evidence of anything until more trust is established." He snorts out abullish breath. "Don't frakking do this, sir. That's all I'm asking." He looks at Afton, then, as he sits. "Af, I'm asking you to please sit down and say nothing else. One last time. Please, with all my heart, don't. These people will cook you alive. Think of who we talked about. People are depending on you."

His last words bring a tightening to her jaw and Afton shakes her head, "Coop, I can hope all I want but Riley and Timmy are dead..gone. Like so many others." Her eyes flicker to his and she meets them, still sitting where she was before. "Let me do this." She says softly, her mask of certainty wavering a moment before she dips her head and clears her throat. She once more looks up at Petra. "Cooper Knox is a good marine, a loyal man to this Fleet and is a great asset in every way. You will promise that he won't be harmed for any of his attempts to aid me. Yes?" She asks Petra and then a bit more firmly. "Yes?"

Petra shifts his arms off of his knees, grasping at the edge of the table to either side of where he sits, instead, and watches the interaction between the two. When he answers, he lightly shakes his head, "I haven't done a damned thing, Coop. I told you both when I started, that I haven't said anything to anyone, and I dont necessarily have to either, but that depends on you two. Im putting my nuts in the fire right now." A pause of maybe a second or two as he shifts his attention to Afton, "My concern is keeping this task force and everyone down on that planet alive, and saving as many Colonial citizens as we can with what we have. Along the way, we're going to kill any Cylons that try to stop us from doing exactly that. My impression is that it will be as effective as stomping on an ant, three feet from an ant hill, but we're going to do it. Now, that little speech you gave me about wanting to give Cooper a chance to speak to 'his people' was all about you, right?"

"Godsdamnit, Af," Coop growls. "You don't know that! They didn't nuke the hell out of Cap. There are probably survivors! You've gotta hold out hope," he breathes. But trying to have two conversations at once and the frustration mounts once more and he rises suddenly out of his chair to walk a few steps away, hands running through his hair. "Afton, /DON'T/. I didn't- you-" He swings a leg back and kicks at a metal locker for the maps. There's a sizeable dent left in it. But he listens with his back turned before he hears that last question… and he sloooowly turns back to Afton. "Oh holy shit," he breathes, wide-eyed. More disbelief. "NO! She sure as hell was not, sir!" He clenches her jaw watching.

"Perhaps not as effective as you want, Marcus. But effective enough. You are putting yourself at risk by keeping this quiet, I know." Afton continues, slowly rising from her chair. Composed still in the face of Knox anger. Her eyes flit to him and she offers him a smile. "Faith, Coop. Faith." She repeats his word to him. Her eyes search him and then she swallows at that last bout the people and then she draws in a breath. "Yes. Allowing me to help you, allow me to do it through Knox here. I trust him implicitly. With my life." This is said firmly before her gaze settles on Cooper.

Petra nods, blinking slowly and turning his gaze back to Knox, "Cooper Knox. Sitthefrakdown. Now. Afton is being calm, I am being calm. I know you're better than a hysterical teenager, so stop acting like one. We've talked before, I've cut you a break before and extended an act of faith to you. Before the war began, I had a couple of very focused dreams, where Ares told me that faith was going to become crucial to our existence. At the time, I didn't know what the frak it was supposed to mean, but here we are. So have a little faith, even if it makes you uncomfortable. I sure as frak am."

Knox stares at the both of them. "This is totally unreal. I cannot believe this is happening." He looks to Af, then Marc, then Af again. "I'm not letting you do this. You won't do this to yourself nor are you going to implicate yourself in something like this. Its complete bullshit. I- I'm- How the frak does this happen?" He blinks, the mention of the dreams getting him to throw his hands in the air and then gesture to Marcus. "Sir, ask Afton who the fourth letter was addressed to. The one that Wake showed me. It was to a Marine. Which Marine, Afton?" Time to go at this another way.

"Knox, please, just let it rest." Afton says as he continues to look upset by the unfolding events. She exhales slowly and runs a hand over her hair to smooth it back. The gesture to Petra has her go still and she watches Knox closely before she looks to Petra. Slowly she steps towards the JTAC. Drawing closer, she offers him a soft smile. "Faith, Cooper. Its my Faith in you that made this decision. The TACCO had dreams about Faith…will you let this be? Work with me and calm down? Please?" She asks him in a hushed tone.

Petra takes in a deep breath and decides to be quiet for a moment, and let Afton try to talk to Cooper rather than come at him in two directions at once. Instead? He shifts his attention to Afton's face and watches her while she advances on the Marine not moving or saying a word to interrupt beyond the movement of his head.

Coop steps over towards Afton slowly and quirks his brow. "You have no idea what Wake is capable of, Afton. If he finds out you tried to cop to this, he'll come after you. And you and I both know I won't let that get far. And next time I head it off, it won't be with words because he will have ignored my warnings." His words are low and very quiet. A look to Petra, then, "Faith, sir. Don't reset what has been built. You can both use them as buzzwords and make up stories about dreams, but I won't see the idea bandied about and dangled like a banner word of the day. Sir, if she had anything to do with this, she knows the contents of all the letters, who they were addressed to, and how to verify the identity." A look back to Afton and he shakes his head. "I love you too much to let you do this. I'm sorry. I'll be outside when you decide you are finished." He steps off towards the hatch, over his shoulder, "She's a born and bred hero, sir. Go easy on her."

"Perhaps I don't, but thats if he finds out and the Colonel has all but guaranteed the safety of both of us. He's trusting us." Her eyes never lave his, but then he's stepping away. The PJ straightens up and tenses as he means to leave. Exhaling sharply, she doesn't look away from the hatch even after it closes. "Does it matter if I know those contents or not? It was part of the ploy, after all." A faint smile on her lips and she slowly turns to face the TACCO again. "He won't let me do this…you must allow us to work together. You understand."

Petra shakes his head slowly at Knox, "No she doesn't have to. Thats how you helped her, Cooper. You knew the best people to send the messages to. You had an idea who would listen and who wouldn't, and you wrote them so that her fingerprints wouldn't show up on the letters and so the handwriting, if we went that far, would be traced to you and not her. Now, if you WANT to walk out, then go ahead. But with what you know of me, do you really think I called you both in here so I could just call Afton out and then hand you over to Lieutenant Subtle As A Brick?" He looks back at Afton, pursing his lips for a moment, "You're asking me to trust you both with something that could potentially doom the last hope the colonies have. Someone else looking at this could say you both are playing me for a fool, and this request to go to Caprica is to get you and the man you love back to Cylon territory so a couple of raiders can jump in here and nuke us all into oblivion. I dont know what kind of trust you think you dont have with me, but I've already extended it to both of you."

Knox stops at the hatch, hand on the handle. He turns to look at them both. "Sir, the Cylons knew there was a traitor on Warday. They had to. The Orion making an appearance just confirmed which cell had turned. You think the Cylons would let that traitor return to Caprica and walk around in the light of day? They signed their own death warrant when that first letter found its way to you. The letter-writer might as well just walk around Cap City with a sign that reads 'Enemy'." He looks between them. "You want my trust, don't make light of Faith or dreams. Af, you know what they can be. We both know." Eyes slip to Petra. "Occam's Razor. Go ahead. Ask her for a couple numbers. Or anything that might identify her. See what you get, sir." He opens the hatch and steps outside.

Afton just stays quiet for a time, watching the both of them and glancing over her shoulder to catch Knox. "I know well what they can be, Coop." Swallowing heavily, she exhales and then rubs a hand to her neck. That last request from the JTAC does not get acknowledged, in fact the Jumper is staring just slightly past Petra to that table, steadying her attention there if distantly. "I think I should go speak with him."

Petra takes a deep breath and lets it go in a sigh, shaking his head at Afton, "This is not where I want to leave things. I didn't come here to go 'Aha!' and then everyone walk away." He purses his lips and guesticulates at the hatch with one hand, "Fine. Yes, go." He purses his lips and looks down at the floor, for the moment, still sitting on the edge of the map table.

Knox leaves, heading toward the Fore Corridor [FC].
Knox has left.

Hesitating, the Jumper steps closer and if allowed, touches Petra's arm and squeezes it. Green eyes find his and she nods her head. "Thank you for the vote of confidence in us both." She glances to the hatch and lets her hand fall away to step towards it. Her stride is brisk, long and purposeful as she pulls it open and slips outside once more, letting it close without the click to signify it catched.

Afton leaves, heading toward the Fore Corridor [FC].
Afton has left.

Knox arrives from the Fore Corridor.
Knox has arrived.

Afton arrives from the Fore Corridor.
Afton has arrived.

Petra probably hears the sound of another heavy kick to metal, then Afton calling out Cooper's name as he shoves back through the hatch. The Marine Sergeant is pissed and its plain on his face. "I'm not playing godsdamned kids games here, Petra," he says as he heads over towards the officer. "Afton is covering for me. This bullshit ends here and so does a lot of other stuff." He doesn't even glances backwards. "Do you know my MOS number, sir?" Coop doesn't give him a chance to respond. "7242. Air Support Operations Operator. Do those numbers sound familiar, sir?" His anger doesn't show any sign of abating.

True to the play out from the hall, Afton is soon inside as well and slamming the hatch shut to cut off the conversation from leaving the room. Her eyes bore holes into the back of his head and her gaze flickers from the JTAC up to Petra before she starts towards them both. Slowly. Collected as she can be even if she looks a bit more off balance. She doesn't say a word, rather grinds her teeth together before coming to a stop and hovering a good fifteen feet away.

Petra would still be sitting on the edge of the table, staring at the floor with a dark frown on his face whenever the hatch is shoved back open. He's already halfway through opening his mouth to bark an annoyed order for whoever was unfortunate enough to walk in, to turn back around and walk out, when he sees who it is coming back in. Instead, he shuts his mouth and waits until Knox asks his question before he states evenly, "Since I just accused you of being the one that wrote the letters, and you both of working together, I fail to see how that is supposed to convince me that it means you are a Cylon. Now, are you going to storm out of the room again and waste all of our times, or are you both going to sit down so we can talk?"

Knox shrugs. "Maybe you've got a conspiracy on the brain," he says with exasperation. "Look, this has gone far enough. I was waiting for more trust to be built. FAITH. I wanted to make sure this was done carefully and properly because we aren't makin breakfast here. We are talking about the potential destruction of humanity in the Cyannus system through psychotic robot genocide." A pause while he gathers his breath. "You can play this however you want, sir, but you've trusted me to never lie to you before? I stand here in front of you with the same claim. Though if you've got your heart set on Afton being your cell leader?" He shakes his head. "Fair enough, sir. But if anyone comes after Afton for this? I will not stop at harsh words. I will not make threats. People will be prevented for harming her. Are we crystal clear, Colonel?" He stares at Marcus with wide, fire-held eyes. "Are you willing to bet that massive stack of chips there?"

Quiet. Afton is oddly quiet as Knox becomes bold and calls the shots. Her eyes center on him before she glances to Petra for his answer. Fingers flex against her side, unfurling and then coming together again. Chewing on her lip she calmly begins to draw closer and take her position once more on her earlier seat.

Petra takes a deep breath and sighs, "Cooper, maybe you aren't listening to me. I know Afton was, because she got it before you stormed out of the room. I'm not telling anyone, and just by saying that? I've hitched my little red wagon to both of yours. If one of us gets 'discovered', we're ALL getting thrown up against the wall and shot. Is that a big enough frakking stack of chips for you? Now sit the frak down. I have questions and right now? I dont give two shits which of you is the Cylon. Frak, it could be a third person that you both have Dionysius daisy chains of pleasure with every Saturday night. The point is, you are BOTH in this up to your necks to the point that IT DOESNT MATTER which of you is the Cylon anymore. Understand me now?"

Coop listens and eventually lifts his hands again and sighs. "Okay." He heads back over towards the seat and finally looks at Afton. "You remember what I said in the hall, Af. I hope you are prepared to live with that decision for the rest of your life." He's deadly serious as he stares at Afton, sitting down. He then looks back at Petra and waits.

"Cooper, just shut it." Afton says, a low breath released before she glances back up at Petra. A nod of her head is given to him. "In this together, so what do you want from us, Colonel?" She asks. "You mentioned Caprica but obviously Knox thinks that is a suicide mission."

Petra mms, "And in my opinion, he's right. Clearly the 'rest' of the Cylons are quite happily working on exterminating the human race in most cases. Both of you have one key piece of information they obviously dont have…where we are. If I were to let you go back to Caprica…either one of you..whats to stop them from grabbing you and mindraping you to get this information? Why are you SO SURE they will just 'talk' to you?"

Knox doesn't look at Afton. He hears everything, though. "The answer, sir, is 'zero'. That's exactly what will happen. If your cell leader goes back there, they will kill the individual if they are spotted. Trust me, its almost happened here. You don't simply talk to these people. Contextual experience, ingrained knowledge, and logical connections are the only thing that will convince them." He pauses. "On the other hand, neither one of us actually know where the hell we are except a planet. In space. And the universe, or even just this galaxy, are massive."

"They know the Orion exists, but it will take them a time to get here. Its the pilots you have to worry about, sir. Those with coordinates." She explains. A nod of her head and she looks bewteen them a moment, even if Knox does not look at her. The PJ is focused on their task. "We need information though instead of moving off of just recon. Is there anyway to retrieve that safely?

Petra purses his lips for a moment, "Anyone that's been in a bus and paid enough attention to the consoles could probably figure out the jump coordinates, Im not going to make that assumption just yet. You two know how they operate better than I do in this regard. Tell me what I can do to put us in a position to get information from them directly? What if we captured a raider or centurion?"

Knox holds Petra's eyes if he looks to the Marine. "The problem is that you aren't going to get strategic information our of a Raider or a Centurion, sir. Why would you? All you can do is get information about their capabilities. Or best case scenario, possible orders if you have interpretive software." A pause. "And that's assuming that you or anyone or anything else aboard can crack the encryption. You're talking about hacking encryption that was designed by a computer."

"They are small players, really." Afton agrees with Knox, drawing a breath as she rubs her fingers to her neck. "I think we may need to find a way onto a basestar." But how? She doesn't seem to have those details even. Her eyes flicker to Knox then, as if waiting for his further suggestion. Covering or not, she is following his lead. A breath is let loose and she leans her head into her hand perched on the arm of the chair, rubbing at her face.

Petra considers both of them for a moment, "The only basestar we've attacked so far…we've blown to pieces. A raid on a basestar isn't something I think we can pull off, without some very fortunate circumstances coming up, so that may not be something we can do right now, unless either of you have some other insight Im not aware of. Now, if circumstances DO present themselves, I can move quickly and have you both as part of the assault team, but thats a big frakking if and when."

Knox lifts a leg and puts his foot down on the bar in front of him. "Getting onto a basestar is a tactical nightmare. I can think of a few ways, none of which are feasible right now. I don't even know how to fly a Heavy Raider. I'd need weeks with one in operational condition." His voice is flat and unemotional. "Even then, what do you hope to accomplish? You'd need to get past the army of Centurions to go talk to the humanoids. Assuming they wanted to talk. If not, the ones who know anything will just learn to kill themselves. Which, honestly, isn't a huge deal for them. You're probably better off just killing baseships unless there is a very strategic purpose to boarding one."

A vexated sigh and she finally states the obvious but likely truth they all need to hear, "We can't sit here, damn it. We can't sit on this ship at Piraeus and make small attacks. We can't. They will find us eventually if they want to. It will be an easy thing for them if Adar spills some information, if they find others that will give them the information. I don't care what we do, but we have to do something if we ever plan to continue living..anywhere."

Petra nods slightly, "Probably not. So right now, like I said, unless a very unique opportunity presents itself, we have to rely on what we've observed so far. Do either of you know of any reason why they would be indiscriminately wiping one colony clean of all life, and then going out of their way to shuttle prisoners from one colony to another to keep at a prison camp? They dont seem to be acting consistently, and that seems rather odd behavior." He pauses for a moment to listen to Afton, "We know. And now that the initial scouting runs are done, there are a few things we are going to try. But lets be very clear. They have the upper hand. They have the numbers to, if they want right now, wipe out every bit of resistance on the colonies that still have life left, and the war will be over this evening. What I need to know, desperately, is why they havent. Because that might be the key to whatever will save all of us."

"If Adar is alive and he knew where this task force was, they would have been here by now. I suspect they killed everyone who knew how to get here, inadvertently. But that's just my suspicion. But eventually they will find this place. They are machines. Systematically, they will search every star. This is a more dangerous proposition than either of you fathom." Coop keeps the same cold, emotionless voice. "But you are wrong, sir. The war is already over. The colonial government is gone as far as we know. Organized resistance won't last forever. They will piecemeal the rest of humanity in this system to whatever ends they want. Why they are moving as they are, I don't know. Attack cells aren't told anything of strategic value incase they are compromised or, in this case, defect. However, whatever their intent is, I'm sure there is a system to it. Machines, sir. For the most part."

The war is already over. That has Afton up this time, drawing a sharp breath. "It is not over. Not as long as we and the Fleet remains. Those letters, they saved a portion of the Fleet. We need to get in contact with them. An organized tactical return fire will be something they don't expect, not this soon. Which is why we need to move. Perhaps its not attacking them so much as determining where they hid the rest of the Colonial Fleet that is not amongst the destroyed. That, is what we need, no?" She asks them both, looking between them now.

Petra sighs and rolls one shoulder, "I suppose I'm not surprised, but it was worth asking anyway. So it sounds like the best thing we can do right now is…" He trails off and nods at Afton, "…save who we can, collect whatever we can find of the fleet…military or civilian, and continue to pay close attention to what they ARE doing, in the hopes we can figure out their plan. If we cant, then we need to be prepared to uproot and run if they show up at P. I'm not too keen on doing that, but its my job to make sure we survive however we have to survive, so it has to be on the whiteboard, even if it is all the way down at the bottom. If we can find enough of a fighting force, then we become the guerillas and pick off the fringes while we work on saving more of our people, until there are none left to save."

"The war is over Afton. Unless there is an organized resistance and another side to this battle, its done. Humanity is, as usual, just too stubborn to know when its been beaten. Does that mean quitting? No. Absolutely not. But this is a rather fluid situation with factors I don't think anyone was counting on." Knox scratches his nose. "Piraeus is an unaccounted for variable. Perhaps an impossible to consider variable. It destroys equations. Abandoning this site is not an option, sir. In fact, it may be something solidifying. A tangible weapon that is more powerful than any gun or nucleic splitting. You all may be willing to pull up stakes, sir. That's your right. But with what I know and have experienced? And what I am? I'll draw my line in the sand here. If you all leave, I just ask for a rifle, a radio, and plenty of ammo."

Something that Knox says takes the edge off her urgency and draws a breath, "Cooper is right, we need Piraeus. Not everyone we save will be military or have the ability to fight. We need a place for those who can not fight, who need a place on that planet. That is our advantage. We have a place to bring them, its a risk, but its hope. Hope is what is going to give us strength. We have to go through extremem measures to make sure it stays hidden…but other than that?" She shakes her head. "I am not going to leave either…what we have is too precious. Think. The colonies? We can't go back there, not for years. The fall out on those planets that are still in one piece? It will be bad enough."

Petra nods slowly, "I know we need it. And it may be that, if they show up here, we make the decision that the last stand of humanity happens here. BUT…that is hopefully something we only need to talk about in theory. Right now we have people dying that can be saved, on worlds that have a low enough enemy presence we can risk hopping in and punching them in the nose while we save people, so that's what we're going to look at first."

Cooper finally looks over at Afton. "Years, at least. Gemenon, Canceron, Tauron… millenia. You will all be long dead before they are habitable again, and even then they will likely be lifeless rocks. Some others will be slow death for many. Piraeus is your true lifeboat." He slides his eyes back to Petra. "Humanity's last stand will not be made at Piraeus. That, I can assure you. But I agree about saving those lives that can be saved. Or that want to be saved. Individuals like Staff Sergeant Hall? I doubt they will ever accept a life here while there is an enemy out there who has done such things."

"But there are those who need Piraeus more than those like Hall..and yes, we need to pull them off. But we should not risk Orion unnecessarily. Caprica..was a lucky shot." Afton admits and then glances to Cooper. She draws a long breath and seems to ease a little. "Recovery, more recon, I suppose that is our best choice of action at this point. We have to take advantag when they spread themselves too thin in some places. That is when we hit them, and run. But I leave that to command, I just want the chance to drop and give them hell."

Petra smiles tersely at them both, "I know. I majored in Military History…Im very aware of when a tactical situation should be exploited. We ARE working on it. Alright..I suppose that's all we can do in this room right now. I'll leave you both to the rest of your off duty time, and Im sure we're going to be talking again soon. Okay?"

"Individuals like Staff Sergeant Hall may not outwardly need Piraeus, Afton, but Piraeus needs them. The same way that the rest of the Cyrannus System does. Piraeus needs people that will fight for it. I'd suggest that whatever course of action Command takes, it be with the eye towards advancing the position here. They do not need to know what they are fighting for if it is still an honorable cause." Coop settles on Petra and nods. "Fair enough, sir." Knox stands slowly and steps down off the seats in preparation to leave.

A slow nod is all Afton gives to them both. She's already out of her chair. "Sir, til we speak again." The PJ looks to both and decides its enough without lingering for further partings before she aims for the hatch, intent on leaving such a tense awkward situation that it all has become. Long legs help aid her in this conquest as she yanks the hatch open and slips outside.

Petra finally slides off of the table to his feet, "Some people would rather die than give up their homes, and they don't really care what happens to anyone else. Im going to try to talk to Hall again, but she's committed. I dont think Im going to be able to convince her. The best I can hope for is that she points me to others in her group that DO want to go. We'll see what we come up with." And with that said, he straightens up to watch the two go, pursing his lips and breathing quietly.

Knox watches Afton leave and he turns his hard eyes on Petra. "You and I both know she has nothing to do with this. My warning stands, sir. If anyone touches her because of this, I won't hold back. Don't make me put a black mark on our understanding, Colonel." Only then does he actually head off towards the hatch.

Afton leaves, heading toward the Fore Corridor [FC].
Afton has left.

Knox leaves, heading toward the Fore Corridor [FC].
Knox has left.

Petra sighs and starts for the hatch several seconds after the other two leave, muttering, "There are easier ways to get yourself shot, Marcus."

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