AWD #346: Expectations
Expectations
Summary: Intel meets and discuses the Twelve and Libran.
Date: 02/06/2016 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Tahiti
Elias Skyler 
Map Room
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.
Sun Dec 18 2005 (AWD #346)

Major Gray asks Skyler to meet him in the Map Room shortly after the Twelve's eventful trip to Piraeus. He's certainly had time to go over the video of the excursion, possibly extensively given that he was asking to see it immediately after they returned. But there's no obvious agitation in Elias's demeanor. He sits beside the map table, reading from several sheets of paper, his mouth pressed into a thin line of concentration. His clipboard and ashtray rest atop the table, near at hand, along with a small audio recording device.

The chat between the Twelve and Naomi wasn't long. Nor was Skyler's time in the brig after the Eleven had left. Whatever happened on Piraeus had disturbed their guest deeply enough that he simply wanted to be left alone. It gave the jig enough time to grab a meal before heading up to the Map Room. She's moving a bit slowly; that fall to the ground on the beach when the MP began firing at (ultimately) nothing did not do her leg well. The woman doesn't bother to knock before entering; she's been summoned. She does, however, have her clipboard with her. "Sir." It's a simple greeting as she heads straight for a chair.

"Lieutenant," is Elias' equally simple response. He doesn't bother with any sort of formality, starting off the discussion even as she's finding a seat. "Looks like you've had a busy day. I've been over the video." Yes, that definitely sounds like more than once. "Care to run through it for me?"

Rubbing her hand across her jaw, Skyler settles into her seat. Good and bad to dive right in and she looks from Elias to the papers before him. At least there isn't a running feed of the video this time. "We went out to the island chosen. The Twelve was compliant throughout. We spoke, I suppose you could say of inconsequential things, but I'm seeing what I can glean from him in more casual conversation. Things he might give up if he doesn't feel he's being grilled." It's also easier for her. She shifts a bit, reaching down to aid her right leg in adjustment to a more comfortable position.

"He… changed. It was almost immediate, upon reaching the surface. Where before, I personally witnessed little by way of what I'd call human behavior-" She waves a hand, lightly, leaning back. "Emotions and the like… He displayed a lot more on the planet. I'm not positive, obviously, but I think he may have gone from being just a Twelve in his line to being his own individual."

"Yes," Elias agrees with her first observation, adding a small nod. "It's clear he is not going to answer questions unrelated to his own goals." He sets his papers aside, looking a bit skeptical as the Lieutenant explains the changes in the Twelve's behavior. "Mmm." But the Major doesn't try to press this point now, moving on to later events instead. "I nearly didn't catch the two figures in the distance. They're only on the video for one shot, despite the fact that you still seem to see them later while the camera shows nothing. There's no indication at all what the Marine was firing at. Do you know what he saw?"

"I'm surprised they appeared on the video at all," Skyler admits, eyebrows arching a bit. She sits up a bit straighter as she considers it. "They barely appeared at the ruins and they were much closer." She presses hands to thighs, palms smoothing over to her knees. "They wore the same uniforms that I saw on those at the ruins, but they weren't the same people. That I could tell." Her brow furrows at the latter question and she shakes her head. "I was looking at the two in the distance. It's why I hit the ground as fast as I did. The marine indicated he saw another, but if it's not on the video…" She gives a sort of helpless shrug. There's a glance to the table, then back. "What I found interesting, honestly, was the Twelve's reaction. It's was as if he's been imprisoned before… The way he hit the ground and what he was saying. Nothing like that has happened since he's been here, that I'm aware of."

"They're visible in the distance in that one shot," Elias confirms. "But the camera is panning across to the Twelve after looking away. It doesn't appear the Marine even noticed them at that point." He flips a sheet and looks over some notes, providing Skyler the time index for this. "Twenty six minutes, ten seconds." There's another moment of tight-lipped consternation for their lack of a target when the Marine fired, but it's not a point he plans to dwell on now. "The fear?" he asks when she mentions the Twelve's reaction. "Possibly. If I had to guess, I would say it's more likely the opposite. I doubt he's ever feared for his life before, and as far as we know there's no chance of a download out here."

"Mmm… It was the way he landed," Skyler explains, leaning forward to look over the sheet. She pulls out a pen and jots a couple notes onto her own clipboard. Reference point for herself. "It's how prisoners are generally taught to respond. Limbs splayed. The shout of 'Not a threat.' That's very specific wording. It went beyond fear. It was… it came out as a trained reaction." One shoulder twitches upward in a shrug. "I wanted to ask him about it, but as you saw… He couldn't be reasoned with. Too much fear. I agree, he may have never feared for his life in quite that way before, but there was something else to it." She finishes writing and settles back again. "I'd like to speak to him again in a day or two. I want to see if any of those… changes stuck, or if he'll revert to being his reticent asshole self."

Elias falls silent, listening thoughtfully as Skyler explains in detail. "That is … interesting. You may be right. There's precious little we know about their collective history, let alone the various lines." Which reminds him of something, and the young Major slides the sheets he had been reading over toward Skyler. "Here's a transcript of some questions I put to the Six, before he left. I try to get background information about the lines whenever possible, but none of the skinjobs aboard the Orion had those memories. The latest Six declined to answer, because he thinks their memories may be … altered." Her suggestion of speaking with the Twelve earns an easy nod of agreement from Elias. "By all means. But remember this, Lieutenant — he's not human. He's one of the Twelve's. He may be changing, and he may not. For now, we need to tolerate his behavior." There's a small, wry smile. "Try not to take it personally."

The sheet is accepted and Skyler leans back, starting to read it over. She skims some things, zeroes in on others. There's a pause, to look up at Elias. "Altered? Mind if I pose that to the Twelve? I don't have to mention the Six specifically. The Twelve told me that… the data transfer the Six used, he could use on a human, and he could even make things up. I could use that as a method to inquire if their own memories, not shared, could be modified." She looks back to the paper, lips pressing into a sort of line. "Sometimes, it's difficult not to take certain things personally." It's a quiet sort of admission and she turns towards the map table to start making a few other notes. There's a waggle of pen at the transcript. "If Dr. Tamsin is unable to revive the Nine, do you plan to follow the Six's suggestion of taking her down to Piraeus?"

Elias gives Skyler the time needed to read over the brief transcript, then nods assent to her request. "Feel free, though I doubt he'll give a useful answer." The subject of the 'data transfer' causes the Major to frown faintly, and that part requires more consideration before he responds. "Mmm. Projection. It's an ability we were trying to keep quiet. But that cat is out of the bag with the surveillance tape leak." Still it could be a possible conversation topic for the Twelve. "I doubt he'll want to go down that road, wondering if any of his memories are truly his own. But you could try." And while there is an understanding look from Elias, he has no further advice to offer about not letting the Twelve get under her skin. The change of subject to the Nine is made without pause. "I plan to recommend that, yes. If the Doctor can't reach her." Another topic the man doesn't want to spend much time on however. The comatose can wait, at least a little while. "I understand the mission to Ragnar is likely to go off soon? I may have stepped on your toes a bit there, Lieutenant." It's an admission, but not really an apology. "I talked to the Chief Engineer about her containment ship, and … revised her priorities somewhat. Hopefully we'll have somewhere to put that object, if we can bring it back."

"We discussed the ability a bit. I wondered if perhaps he could show me the events on the Pulse High. He declined, explaining how they can… falsify things if they wish and his concern that I might be considered compromised after." Skyler says this, easily enough, as she adds more notes. "Which makes sense. I was unaware of how it worked or that it worked on humans, after what happened with him and the Six. It's not intel we were specifically after, but at least he offered it as honestly as he did." There's a glance to the Major. "It's part of why I wonder if he'll be more… willing to work with us now, perhaps. That came after we reached the planet. It was the first I've seen him honestly view another, rather than just his own desires."

She passes the transcript back after a couple more notes, shoulder shifting in a shrug. "I'd like to know what's in that… container found near Ragnar. But I was going to request the Captain up her timetable anyway. I'd like to steal one of those satellites over Libran sooner rather than later, if possible."

"Yes…" Elias' response to the mention of her conversation with the Twelve regarding projection sort of hangs there for a second before he decides how to continue. "It would have been problematic." And while he still seems unconvinced that the Twelve has really begun some fundamental change, he does admit the possibility. "He may have declined to avoid compromising his own goals. It's impossible to say for certain." There's a quick nod for the Ragnar object, but nothing further to say about it. Libran? That's another story. Elias' expression hardens again when this comes up. "It doesn't sound like we have the time to finesse the satellites at this point. There are other options, but from what I overheard, we can't expect any actual help from Twelve."

"Well, if avoiding compromising his own goals means he's taking us into the equation, that's still a step forward. He's starting to see us as allies rather than tools, at the very least." Skyler doesn't push it further, but the woman is a bit frustrated. It comes through in the terse quality of her words and a slight rise in color in her features. She takes a deep breath and looks to her own notes. "I think he's willing to help us in the capacities we allow, but he doesn't have anything to offer. He did say, early on, that One has kept his line in the dark about Libran. I'd say offer to find him a way onto the planet, but he'd probably decline for his own timetable. He's due back in less than a month, from what I gathered. And at this point," Skyler shrugs, rubbing palm against thigh. "I think he may be leaning towards a favorable opinion. Especially after Piraeus." If the being shot at part doesn't change it. "But if he misses his window and doesn't download, I think the opinion defaults to negative."

"Mmm." This is clearly a verbal placeholder, as Elias needs a moment to assess Skyler's tense reaction. "Possibly," is as much agreement as he is willing to make. "At first I assumed he was much the same as the other skinjobs I've dealt with. That was a mistake. He is far less human in his thinking. You may be right, Lieutenant. Hopefully you are. But I still intended to proceed … cautiously." Then he settles down to listen to her thoughts on Libran, and what the Twelve has said he'd be willing to do, and when. "Whether or not we can afford to let him download is going to be key, yes. Be thinking in terms of making a case to the Admiral, because I expect that is where we'll end up." There's a somewhat pained expression on the young Major's face, and then he exhales slowly. "We can give him a fairly good idea of /what/ the Ones are doing on Libran right now. What we don't know is /why/. And that seems to be what he wants to know. At the moment, I think we can offer him two options — we clear the skies over Libran and land Marines on he ground for a short time; The other is to try and acquire a Heavy Raider, and land covertly. I think using the Fleet is the far more certain of the two, but there will be losses."

"I'll gladly make the case. As far as I can tell, except in the case of the Six, who we trust, the knowledge given to the Twelve hasn't compromised us. Yes, I showed him that we know of the satellites, but that does not put us at risk. I think Aerilon proves enough that we are continuing to do recon and fighting to retake the colonies." Skyler shifts, slightly, biting at her lip as she considers. "He's asked for reports about Libran, as we have them. Perhaps we could provide him the report from the recon, with any intel we can't share yet scrubbed." There's a moment of quiet, tilt of head. "Do you mean to propose those two plans to the Admiral or the Twelve? I think the Fleet is a better option, as well. If we went in with the Vipers, they could take out most of the net in short order. I had wanted one of the satellites to study, but-" She shrugs. "It'd be worth it to learn more. Especially if the Twelve was right in his warning that Leonis might see the same treatment."

"I won't send you in to convince the Admiral by yourself," Elias says with a faint smile. "But yes, that is the correct approach, I think. Lay out your argument. The pros and cons. If he asks questions, tell him what you really think. I don't /think/ it will be a tough sell, unless the Twelve has learned something he shouldn't have." Then he weighs the information about Libran for a time, finally giving a reluctant nod. "Doctor Tamsin downloaded some time ago, to influence the Elevens. When she returned, she had memories from her line. One of them was on Libran. That's our only 'first hand' intelligence on conditions there. We can give him the information, but not the source. Not unless the Doctor agrees." And then he turns to her question. "The Twelve. I want to see how many human lives he thinks this information is worth."

"Considering I make it a point of pride to avoid the Admiral as best I can, I appreciate that," Skyler responds, corners of lips twitching upward a measure. "However, from what I've seen… I don't disagree that it would be a hard sell." She does arch brows a measure at mention that the Eleven has details about Libran. "Ah, well then. I suppose we can ask her if she wants to share in much the same way the Six did or we can just provide the information." At his last, her brow furrows. There's a tightness to her jaw as she considers and the woman finally exhales slowly. "We spoke, to an extent, about his regard for human life. I put Virgon and much of the war on him and, well, it rather upset him. When we spoke of it on the beach, he views… it as a loss of potential. For the very fact that we cannot download as they do." She lifts a hand, rubbing at the side of her neck. "It would be interesting to see how he answers. I'd be disappointed, honestly, if he could put a number to it." She reaches for her clipboard, glancing over her notes. "I'll see if he's willing to see me in a few days. I can test how much he's changed and… present possible options to Libran to him. If there's anything further, like Dr. Tamsin's knowledge, let me know. Or if she'd rather deliver it herself, we can schedule around that."

"Let's give him the intelligence on Libran," Elias decides after a moment of thought, "and see if he asks the source. You can tell him you'll verify and we can bring the Doctor in later, if need be." Discussion of the cost of getting more detailed information causes the Major to frown thoughtfully. "Yes, it will be interesting to see what he has to say. I'll forward you the report on Libran. Anything else you need, let me know."

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