MD #153: Do We Have The Right?
Do We Have The Right?
Summary: What starts off as a technical request for help ends up with a philosophical debate with no clear answer.
Date: Fri 08/Sep/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: P-267-2 Recon
Jimenez Toby 
Hangar Bay - Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
Each hangar deck is divided into five one-hundred yard sections, each divided from the others by massive blast doors that close vertically from the floor and overhead. Each hangar section houses all of the Vipers, Raptors, and Predators that the wing operates as well as the vital work areas to support and maintain these fighting platforms. Each bay is large enough to accommodate one of these frames and still get heavy work done, though the fore- and aft-most sections are dedicated to overhauls and major work to be done. The bays along the center section are located across from launch tubes and elevators in order to provide scramble and Alert-Five capabilities. The second-to-aft bay provides major elevator and transport access to the starboard bay as well as the major manufacturing facility. Above each bay and within are a trio of small red firefighting balls that will explode on too much heat being exposed. Due to the nature of the work, the hangar decks are major hubs of activity at all hours of the day and all but four hours overnight.
26/Mar/2049 (IC Date)

It's been awkward for Toby on deck ever since he told Niamh he was planning on transfering. Not that it's widely known yet, nor does he intend to start broadcasting it all and sundry, but it still feels wierd. Having completed the paperwork that Lleu sent over he's now in a kind of limbo while wheels turn elsewhere. Still, there's plenty to be done, so he keeps busy, not letting his thoughts stray from teh task at hand, which in this case is fire locker inspections. Not highup on most peoples wishlist of jobs, but one he takes particularly seriously. Finishing off at Bravo he checks the torches attached to each suit still light, ticks it off as the last item on his list, then starts closing he locker down.

Its rare to see the Arpay Doctor down on the Deck, but there she is. Normal Arpay uniform and sidearm to boot. She makes her way down the deck looking for someone in particular. There's a few questions asked and arms directed. Eventually Jimenez finds her way down. She's carrying a large duffel with her and it doesn't look too heavy but there's bulky things in it. Spying Toby, she stops ten or so feet from him. "Mister Shackleton." The last time she spoke to him was probably twenty years ago and she still seems to remember him on sight. "I was hoping to get your help with something. That Raptor that came back from the last planet, I was hoping you could help me with the air filters that were used."

Toby remembers Jimenez too, although these days it's a lot easier to puck her out from the crowds and crowds of other Arpay. Doctor he replies as he turns and finds her waiting, yes, thats me. Hios accent is terrible, and his grasp of the grammatic structure even worse, but he does at least try. What about the.. he searches his memory for a moment then has to switch back into colonial for reasons of vocabulary, "what about the filters? I assume they've been checked for bio-hazrds? Some other tests need running, or do they just need a good clean before we put them back into service?"

Jimenez does appreciate the attempt and gives him a smile for it, not a fake one either. She takes a few steps closer, "Please, I think Colonial will work. I regret I do not speak Tauran for you. I would attempt afford the same courtesy, Mister Shackleton." There's something very different about her. Before when they met she was bright eyed and bushy tailed. Now? More somber. Serious. There's been a fundamental shift. Its something he might recognize. Her whole planet and people are dead. "They have but I need to see if there's some resistant bacteria still living in them. Something that might lend clues if its there. One of the crew was exposed on the planet. You were on the recon, if I recall correctly?" Which seems to be why she's approaching him rather than someone else. Anyone could do the job.

Toby does note a difference in the Arpay, but then it's been 40 years, technially, so he doesn't make a big scnee of it. "Yeah, I was there," he answers easily enough, "Lieutenant Rook managed to get her faceplate smasheed and her helmet torn off. Not heard of any ill effects though?" Yeah, he's fishing with that last one, but hey, why not. "Just let me know what help you need, although if it's going to take me away from here when I'm on shift then you'll need to run it past the Chief as well." Hmmm, he's not sure how Niamh would react to that, probably fine, but he's already upset her once this week, and doesn't want to have to start keeping a tally.

"She's still in quarantine. I wish I could say more but she's a patient." Becks is polite about it. Its the sort of thing no Doctor could say more on. "I already talked to the Chief. If you'll lead the way. Though I'm not sure what's in there or still hanging around so I've got some masks for us. Just a precaution." Her hand shakes the duffel a little. "I also wanted to pick your brain, if you'll excuse the term. About the planet, I mean." Her accent is still a little hard on the consonants, but she's easily understandable. "I was hoping to hear what you thought about it."

Toby nods once at the confirmation that he's cleared to switch tasks, then tucks his tablet under his arm and leads the wya towards the back of the hanger where that particular raptor is being kept. "Ask me anything you want Doc, and I'll do my best to answer, in short though it was fraking wierd. Wish we could've brought back one of the birds or something, to get a better idea, but we figured bringing back live things would just be contamination waiting to happen." Hopping up onto the wing he releases the hatch, then pivots and reaches down for one of the masks, "best not forget that eh?"

Becks walks with him and unzips the bag. The masks were prepared and already have filters on them. "Do me a favor, once we are inside, seal us back up? We'll have to flush everything back out and cycle it." A mask is handed up and she pulls her own over her head, giving her voice a muffled sound behind the plastic. Once up and inside, she sits on a jumpseat and begins looking through the duffel. "I heard about the birds. Did they sound large? I ask because if they were large, they may be carrion birds. They may have eaten flesh." She removes a couple scraping tools and some pea tree dishes. "Is it true you say no sign of bodies anywhere? Was there any sign of blood on the ground by uniforms?"

Toby enters once he's placed his mask, then does as requested and seals the hatch behind them. "Got to admit Dod, birds aren't my thing. I kept a look out for feathers to grab, but I don't recall finding any I'm afraid. They'd be with teh other samples if I did," it was rather a hectic end to the mission after all. "Given the distance the sound had to carry then they couldn't have been tiny, but maybe gull sized or larger?" Leaning against the bulkhead to the cockpit he waits to see what Jimenez needs him to do, while thinking back. "Not that I recall no. No blood. But then everything was so old I have no idea if it would be preserved. The uniforms we did see were basically disintergrating before our eyes."

Jimenez nods in her mask while she pulls items out and sets the bag aside. "I'd love to get samples of everything, but to be realistic? We don't have the time or resources to test much. A year ago I'd be going bonkers, to borrow the term, at someone being so cavalier. But at this rate we don't have the time to fuck around." She doesn't use the Colonial term. She stands in the Raptor and is luckily short enough that she doesn't need to stoop too much, just duck her head. "That's actually an astute generalization. That does help. Birds that size will usually eat whatever is available." She waits for him to move towards the filters. "Blood would be obvious from humans. The iron in the blood will stain almost anything, including concrete. It has to be ground out. The combination of carbon and bacteria usually means it rots in place and stains even further. But you saw nothing to indicate that anywhere?"

Grabbing the appropriate tool to loose the interior panels with Toby makes a start on retrieving those filters, although a healthy dose of caution does mean he makes sure he's wearing gloves first. Just in case. "Not that I recall no," he replies as he passes the first one over, "I think the sergeant may have had his bodycam running if you want to be certain, but all I recall was the uniforms on the ground." As he retireves another he pauses and looks abck to her, "one thing I did notice was absent though, and I don't know how important it may or may not be, but there was no sign of Mithras symbology on their uniforms, nor anywhere else." So post Kobol perhaps? He doesn't know the suspected origins of the planet, but that doesn't mean he can't speculate.

Becks stands back to let the man work. He knows how to do what he's doing and doesn't need her mucking it up. "Body cameras are all well and good. They provide plenty of good things to watch a cold recording of." She looks up to the panel while he works. "Camera's also dull the senses. People get used to them, unconsciously rely on them to record. They stop paying attention to their other senses. That's why I wanted to ask you how it felt. No camera." She looks back to him. "You're also someone who is well acquainted with death. I know the Colonials. I don't know you or how you interpret it. And I suspect you don't dispute the difference." Her eyes stay on him. "I've seen your file, but I don't know you. To you, Tobias, does it feel like this planet was attacked? Or did the inhabitants just meet some fate?" She does adjust her gear and steps back as the panel comes loose. "Mithras. This is not a subject I was going to broach, but I will admit you have my attention. What are your thoughts?"

"How I felt?" Toby replies as he cracks on again, "mostly it felt wierd. I mena, if we could have pinpointed what happened then less so, but that odd mystery kept everything just a little tense. Especially once we found the uniforms. The city wasn't too bad, but inside the port had a very odd feeling." He's unsure for a moment how to take the comment about being acquainted with death, but then figures that they're both using second languages (at best) so to not think too much on it. "How I interpret death, or that planet in particular?" he asks, guessing the latter, but it's always goo dto check. "Best guess, and let me stress the guess here, something very quick acting. Might have been an attack, might have been an accident. Glass was broken all voer the place, but if that was blown out from a pressurewave I couldn't tell you. Maybe?" He shrugs, "if theres nothing on the servers we grabbed to give a clue, then I suspect we'd need to go back maybe to another city, to see what was he same or what was different, so as to compare." With one set of filters removed he shifts positionand starts loosening another panel. "No sign of the symbol anywhere. Was only keepinghalf an eye on the city, but no sign in the port either. Oh, that reminds me, I get a bottle of sealed water from before whatever happened, that might be worth analysing. Anyway, like I said, no symbol, so I figured maybe they lost the faith, like the Colonials. Maybe there's another step between P and Kobol, or Kobol and the Colonies and these guys branched off somewhere? Frak, maybe they even just felt no need to display it. Best bet though I reckon is they were from one of the other ships sent out, not al Lilahs."

Jimenez is thoughtful, just looking to the ECO panel at this point. Nothing particular, just in her own head. "Blasts leave other damage. The problem is that over twenty or forty or sixty years that weather systems can look a lot like blast damage. Gale winds…" She sighs. "I've seen a lot of it. Overpressure works the same way. Just atmospheric physics." Her hand moves to hand from her neck while she thinks. "Quick-acting sounds like it makes sense. "The problem with the suggestion is that we don't have time, Mister Shackleton. We need to put the livestock down or they will die. Very soon. They need real Vitamin D and they need fresh grazing." Back to the symbols, she looks to him once more. "I'd definitely like the sealed water. I should turn it over to Ambrose. But.." She looks don again. "I've seen so many populations out there without that symbol, Mister Shackleton. Very, very few have it. The symbol first came known to us by the Erfriki. It was from them. It was one of the few things that clued me in, but it was something I could never have said publicly. If I had, it would have upset the entire religious order. And…" Her eyes look right to him. "It would have cast an unfair glance upon people who want to stay hidden. That is for your people to work out, not for me to throw out like a plate of food." There's a reverent respect for relgion there, even if her own people don't necessarily carry their own.

"Well, if Rook survives, and the samples come back clean, then there certainly seemed to be a lot of open land," Toby notes as he retireves the last filter, "but those are a big pair of ifs." He can not immediately think of anything else of use to add on that topic, so drops quiet for a moment or two to think, then, when he still can't think of anything he moves back to the symbols. He's clearly dispointed to be back in the minority, he'd been hopingthat the Colonals were the odd ones out. "Say it," he says eventually, "it might upset things, but it's best for people to know the truth then to shelter them because it might make them feel uncomfortable. Foesn't have to be a big thing, just broach it with a few of the higher-ups. I'd recomment Major Grey, but he's long gone sadly. One of the few people I actually ever talked about all that stuff with, maybe a year before he disappeared? We basically figured that if we used to be like Lilah and her people, then somewhere along the line we lost those abilties, and so presumably the Lords and Ladies were those who kept them longest. Shame he disappeared really, not many people I can discuss that sort of thing with and not be accused of being insane."

Jimenez watches the filters come down carefully and she kneels beside them, removing the caps from the petri dishes (OOC: My autocorrect is going nuts) as she leans in. "If everyone on the planet is dead then it's a pre-set world for us. My concerns vary and run deep, but are mostly minor considering the path before us, Mister Shackleton. The Erfriki need a home." Spoken by anyone else, it might seem off-hand. But there's a very subtle urgency to it. Something deep that goes beyond professional. Its personal. While the thoughts linger she removes a scalpel and begins brushing off edges into the dishes, one at a time. "When it comes to religion, truth is subjective. Religion ultimately comes back to our deepest fears about death. Nothing can be proven… except for the blood results of the Ys'rali soldiers before the end of the Second War. For some you could present every shred and they will just resist violently. Its not about who is right." She closes a dish, sealing it with wax tape. "Its about those who are left." She scarpes a few more times and looks at him. "And I don't mean just the living people here. Do you know why the ghosts scare me, Mister Shackleton?"

"Not pushing it as a matter of right and wrong," Toby replies as he resumes his lean until the filters need replacing, "more a historical perspective. I'm not a Pater, I don't have all the understand that was available to us before the cylons hit, but people should be allowed to see wher ehtey come from. Show them the Erfriki, the good and, thats how we understand who we are and where we're from." He's still using the term for Mithrain holy-men, even if the APF have apparently bastardised and wraped it into something horrendus. "Becuase they can materialise at will and shoot people? That scared a lot of people when I found Shepard. Theres a frak ton we don't know about them, they're dead but they're also not, thats all pretty scary for some. For me though? Nah, given the choice I'd be with them on P now. Frak whatever collaborators are left, I'd take my chances against them, but the Ghosts are just about the only people who've everjust accepted me as me." Doubly so now Kelsey is dead. "I can forgive a lot of metaphysical bollocks for simply being treated like a real person."

Jimenez brushes more of the edges off without cutting into the filters. It’s very careful work, but she seems to have an ease about it. "I agree, Tobias." Her eyes flit to him, then back. "I really do. And as much as I want to throw it out there, this Fleet is potentially the last of the Erfriki — the only race that actually scares the Skath. Do you or I have the right to throw it into disarray with something so disruptive? No." She continues working while he talks, maybe not even looking like she's listening. "Their ability to do what they do does not bother me. And I understand your empathy to a certain extent. My people have recorded long odds working out for us for millenia. The explanations eluded my people. We eventually just settled on the idea that we have a purpose." She seals the last petri dish and sits back on the jumpseat, cataloguing it. "Had a purpose." He can see a tear running down her cheek inside the mask. "We never encountered ghosts of our people like this. …And of all of them that have been encountered by your own, none of them are Arpay. ..And I think about my family and where they might be, even in death."

Jimenez brushes more of the edges off without cutting into the filters. Its very careful work, but she seems to have an ease about it. "I agree, Tobias." Her eyes flit to him, then back. "I really do. And as much as I want to throw it out there, this Fleet is potentially the last of the Erfriki — the only race that actually scares the Skath. Do you or I have the right to throw it into disarray with something so disruptive? No." She continues working while he talks, maybe not even looking like she's listening. "Their ability to do what they do does not bother me. And I understand your empathy to a certain extent. My people have recorded long odds working out for us for millennia. The explanations eluded my people. We eventually just settled on the idea that we have a purpose." She seals the last petri dish and sits back on the jumpseat, cataloguing it. "Had a purpose." He can see a tear running down her cheek inside the mask. "We never encountered ghosts of our people like this. …And of all of them that have been encountered by your own, none of them are Arpay. ..And I think about my family and where they might be, even in death."

"Do you or I have the right to deliberately hold back information that might lead to a greater understanding of the situation at hand?" Toby replies conversationally. He's not judging her response, merely making the opposite case. "If we found the a cornerstone of your people's history and deliberately hid it from you 'just in case', would you ever be able to forgive us? They might have lost the way religion wise, but they're a resilient bunch. They coped with the Lines turning out to be friendly, frak, the coped with the cylons reappearing after so long, they';; cope with this. Or.." and he pauses here to give her a pointed look, "at the very least, it has to go to Commander Petra and his Intelligence people. There might be something they can gleam that'd be of use to the war effort." Politely ignoring the tear he considers her words on the Ghosts for a few moments, then is forced to shrug. "I've a list that’s only getting longer of things to talk to Lilah about, I'll add the question of your People to it, for when I next see her. In the grand scheme of things though it hasn't been that long since they revealed themselves, and we had millennia of not having that reassurance, so I would suspect that it’s the same with yours. I certainly have n o evidence to say otherwise." That’s sort of reassuring? Right?

Once Jimenez has finished with the filters Toby moves to bag them. "Let me know if anything comes back from these, so I can make sure they're disposed of safely. For now I'll just swap them out for clean ones in case." As for the philosophical debate, well, he doesn't look entirely convinced, but he does offer the compromise of "tell Intel at least, In case there's anything there they can use. Pick just one if you want, but someone needs to check what you have and, if you're willing, I'd like to talk to you more about it, for my own understanding, given there's not exactly any Paters about to point you at."

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