AWD #584: Face to Face with the Enemy
AWD #584: Face to Face with the Enemy
Summary: The forty year old Armistice Station is used for the first time, as the Colonials try to convince the Cylons not to mistakenly destroy both races.
Date: 01/26/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Armistice Station
Dropkickst Elias Kaxiras Lleufer 
Armistice Station
A small diplomatic space station built forty years ago, following the first Cylon War.
13 AUG 2006 (AWD #584)

Waiting at the docking collar for the Arm Station, and inside the Raptor, all the Marines are dressed in their normal combat blacks but all ordered to wear balcavas and dark wraparound sunglasses. The reason? Major Valloy of the Arpay is among them and needs to keep a low profile. While they wait in silence, they watch the clock tick down to the appointed hour.

At half a second past the DRADIS takes a contact hit. "Major Gray, DRADIS contact. A single Raider. Range one-five miles. …He's jumped away." The ECO glances over, then back. More seconds pass. At exactly 45 seconds past the hour two heavy raiders jump in. One goes to a matching distance on precisely the opposite side of the station from the tripwire Raptor. The ECO calls it and they watch the second Raptor angle in and head for the station. "Sir, I'm detecting no targeting systems. Weapons are cold on both Heavy Raiders. Navigation only. I think you're clear."

Elias is in his dress grays for the occasion, with a light vest under his uniform and a Piraen sidearm at his hip. The young Major claimed the co-pilot seat for the ride over, and but has said almost nothing since he briefed the team on their mission: See if the Cylons take them up on an offer to parlay. For the most part he looks grave and pale, keeping himself busy by reading and re-reading the few notes he has on his clipboard. Waiting is a bitch.

But the TACCO perks up as the appointed hour rolls around, watching the DRADIS display himself as the clock ticks down. "I see it," he informs the ECO, his voice on edge. And then there's the wait to see if the Cylons are actually going to show up to this party, or perhaps just bring in a Basestar and start slinging missiles. From a mission stand point, the inbound heavy raider looks promising. From a comfort standpoint? Not so much. Elias rises slowly and nods to the hatch. "You all know your jobs. Let's get this done."

The Marines are quiet and calm. They know either nothing will happen, or things could get ugly fast. They are used to it and likely had some joking on the Raptor on the way over. Now they are arranged about the chamber, mindful of lines of fire and stand patiently and silent. Lleufer has his helmet snugged tight over his balaclava and is wearing the dark wraparound ballistic goggles with an ear bud for his com. Piraen rifle is in his gloved hands as he waits, watchful. He and the other Marines sharpen their attention when word comes of Raider contact. Yynr has people spread out, himself a bit off to Major Elias's left about two or three good strides. His pale grey eyes slip slowly over their rank.

Proceeding into the station is much like it was a few days ago. Nothing seems to have changed. The power in the engineering plant is already on and the bodies have been removed. Some Marine had the cheeky humor to hang an air freshener from the door above where the Cylons would arrive from. As the Marines pile in, the station is quiet except for the sound of the other dock being worked. Then the sound of thunking mechanical legs. Stomp. Stomp. There's gotta be half a dozen of them. Its more than normal Marines could handle in close quarters, but the Piraean gear is something else. Possibly a leg up.

When the door opens on the other side, two Cylons step inside with claw out, not the machineguns. They move in to mirror Lleufer and Valloy on each side opposite. It's precision, so thoroughly mechanical. A third comes in behind and is carrying a small metal briefcase with a wire running to the arm. Behind it, more of them can be seen and heard taking up positions much like the other Marines would have. The central one steps to the table and plunks down the case right in front of it. The front whirrs with an electrical motor and folds down. On it is a large LCD screen. Words scroll quickly in all caps.

'Major Elias Gray. CSN 459-61-3146. Acting TACCO. Battlestar Orion. Speak.'

Once inside the conference room Elias leaves LLeufer and his Marines to do their job, sparing only a quick glance to see where Valloy has taken up position. And then his first order of business is to fish out his cigarettes and light one up. It gives him something to do when the Cylons make their entrance, and gives the young Major a chance to study the Centurions up close. His eyes flick to the briefcase, and then his looks to the display screen that's exposed when it opens. There's a solemn nod to confirm his identity, "I am Major Gray." And then Elias takes the time to drag on his smoke and exhale before asking, "To whom am I speaking?"

Who would have expected that the Cylons would actually show up and not just blow them to Hades? Some of the Marines tense when the Canners arrive, slightly shifting and keeping their rifles pointed towards the floor, but hands on and ready. Lleufer doesn't move aside from his eyes but his fingers shift subtly on his rifle. A slow breath. It is an intense moment to come face to face with your enemy and not be trying to blow each other apart.

Lieutenant Kaxiras falls into place beside Major Gray, standing tall and alert. She looks absolutely unfrakwithable, a cross between your girlfriend's disapproving mother and the principal who caught you throwing rocks. This is mostly for her, she realizes. The toasters don't have that frame of reference.

The Cylon in front of the table doesn't move. It stares straight ahead and over Elias' head. The other two look like statues. The only thing moving on them is that red scanner, left to right, then back, like a demented and never-ending game of pong. The screen begins to scroll with letters quickly.

'This is GF-114598-AD. This unit speaks for the whole. Why did you provide the Cylon with military intelligence of this value to the Cylon?' The question mark blinks.

"Ah, good," Elias says when a numerical designation pops up on the display. He considers for a second, eyes straying to the Centurions at the far end of the room. "I was concerned that One might try to … interfere with our discussion." Then his gaze swings back to the Colonial side of the compartment, going quickly to the Marines and then Kaxiras. Yep, everyone is still here and keeping their cool. "We have information that indicates One is looking for the worlds our people came from, long ago. Kobol. Erfrik. If you go to Erfrik, the Machines will destroy you. And then they'll come for us. We gave you the information to save ourselves." And then it's his turn to ask a question. "I assume you've evaluated the data and confirmed that it's beyond our ability to fabricate?"

Lleufer's heart rate jumped up when the Centurions stepped in but he keeps trigger discipline. Finger along but not /on/ the trigger of his rifle. The MP Sergeant finally drags his eyes off of the glistening Canners to take stock of his fellow Marines and how Major Valloy is doing. They better be maintaining their own discipline and they seem to be. A brief flare of his nostrils taking in the metallic and oily scent that now permeates the chamber, his own gaze refocused on the Cylon threat. They are veterans of this war, calm, cool, watchful Marines. Well, except for Major Valloy.

Kaxiras has never been this close to Cylons before, but she keeps her bearing, even though her heart is in her throat. That red eye… that almost did her in. Almost.

Valloy, parked just behind Kaxiras, has her heartrate through the roof. She's never been this close to a machine before. Not in all her years commanding. They aren't the same ones she has fought in the past, but that doesn't exactly matter. The woman is just glad nobody can see her eyes behind the sunglasses and goggles.

Meanwhile the Cylon listens. It can obviously hear. It waits until Elias has finished before responding.

'The Cylon have evaluated the intelligence provided and come to the conclusion that it is not fabricated. And that it is not your own. The Cylon know you have outside help and/or allies. Colonials are unable to collect this information with current technology.' It pauses there for a few seconds. 'One is not here for reasons that will not be divulged. One wished to come. Vigorously.' Another pause and the line drops down two carriage returns. 'How can the Colonials know this will cause the destruction of the Cylon. You are attempting to split allies.'

Elias doesn't rush to respond, letting the text scroll until an actual question appears. He's content to read and smoke — something to keep his hands busy. He takes one last drag and exhales slowly before making his answer. "We discovered an ancient cache — thousands of years old — on a former human world. A world destroyed by the Machines. It contained combat equipment and a functional data drive, among other things. These people fought the Machines extensively, and their information indicates the Machines will destroy all other beings they come in contact with, organic or artificial. This has all happened before." He leaves that out there for a second, then presses on. "If you require further evidence I can provide more detailed data, given time. Which allies do you think we're trying to split you from? One?"

Kaxiras leans to the side and says softly to Gray, "I think it was presuming the Machines would be their natural ally, sir." She returns to her position, shoulders square and eyes front.

The Cylon standing over the box centers the red light for a moment, then returns to its scan. Did it just look at Elias?

'You refer to Piraeus.' Seconds pass. 'Those weapons were used on homeworlds. DNA anlysis concludes two soldiers were not of Colonial Origin. We know you are shielding allies, Major Elias Gray. They are not former human. They are current. You are lying.' A few more carriage returns, 'Lieutenant Silvestra Kaxiras is correct. The Machines would be our natural ally. One is leading us to them. One knows and has guided the Cylon.'

Lleufer's heart rate has slowed back to a more normal beat as he stands there waiting in silence. His eyes shift around behind his tinted goggles as he listens and very faintly his jaw tightens at the turn in the conversation. Unfortunately, an expected turn in the dialog.

Kaxiras has never hated being right before, and the cognitive dissonance is incredibly distracting. She scratches her nose discreetly.

Elias acknowledges Kaxiras' aside with a soft, "Mmm." His eyes remain on the screen, however, scanning across the text as it scrolls out. He doesn't bother making any comment on Piraeus, confirm or deny. In fact the thing that twists his mouth into a grimace is the admission that the Cylons are seeking the Machines. "I see." This answers a lot of questions, none of them good. Worst case scenario? Check. "If we wanted to prevent you meeting the Machines as allies, we would never have given you any information about them. We would have loaded up a captured Basestar with Centurion parts and data indicating you were bent on galactic domination, including a map so they'd know exactly where to find you. And then we would have taken it on a suicide mission to attack them." He shakes his head slowly. "But as I said, if you meet the Machines, they will rip every bit of data from your systems, learn who created you, and come to destroy us. They have no natural allies. They are the galaxy's super predators." He concludes with a grave look at the monitor. "If One is telling you the Machines are your allies, he's either lying or fatally mistaken. Given what we've been told about One? I suspect the former."

The Cylon listens. But the rest are listening as well. When Elias finishes, both of the guard Cylons turn their heads abruptly to look at the Cylon at the table. Beyond those, they can hear a few stomped steps in the far corridor. What he said seems to have caused some waves, maybe not the positive ones either.

There is a long silence, likely where they are wirelessly communicating. After almost a minute, 'One has said many things.' Four carriage returns and the blinking underscore starts again, 'What are you proposing Major Elias Gray?'

So far, so good, in that things are …. progressing more civilly than a certain Marine had expected. Ynyr shifts his weight, trying to keep his left leg from stiffening up on him too much. He also subtly shifts his left arm and hand, then repositions it on his rifle. Otherwise, he continues to wait, watchful.

The fact that the Centurions react at all cause Elias to flinch. But since no machine gun arms are deploying, he covers it as best he can with a quick hit from his cigarette. "I'm sure he has," the young Major replies in a slow, carefully moderated tone. Then he proposes away. "First, do not make contact with the Machines. We will provide further evidence to back up what I've said. Wait until you have evaluated all the data before making your decision." There's only the briefest pause before his next point. "Second, I propose a cease fire, at least until we are able to deliver the data to you." He takes a breath, carefully considering exactly how to word this last bit. "And finally, I want to make certain you understand our situation — both Cylon and Colonial. That idea of provoking the Machines to move against you? We can do that at any time. And you can do the same to us. Effectively, we can each assure the destruction of the other. Neither side can win this war."

The words leave Elias and even as he speaks, the Cylon outside are moving. One of them can be heard stomping away. Nothing happens for long seconds. Then the ECO on the Raptor makes a call into their earphones, "Package One to all on frequency, Heavy Raider departing… it just jumped away." A few seconds pass. "Second Heavy Raider approaching the station. Low velocity. Navigation systems only, over."

A minute passes again before the screen begins to scroll. 'Your terms are not agreeable. You threaten the Cylon while proposing cease fire. The war shall remain.' More seconds pass. 'We will leave this station intact. Counterproposal: Deliver information to this location and it will be evaluated.' A few more seconds. 'Battlegroup One-Five already enroute to Erkrik via Kobol. We will attempt to find and halt.'

The Marines, at least least Ynyr, tense up slightly when one of the Cylon in back starts moving. Lleu's gaze behind his goggles flickers over the closer Centurions to keep his attention on the most imediate threat right in here. His rifle shifted a fraction upwards in his grip but doesn't finish coming up when the other Cylon keep their places. All right. More slow breathes, waiting and listening to what's going on.

The sound of moving Centurions causes Elias to hesitate, watching the Cylons in the room closely for other signs of movement. Then he turns to look over his shoulder to Lleufer after the comms call comes in. "Stand by to move out, Sergeant. It seems our meeting may be over." The Major then turns back to the display, waiting to see if more will be said. Ah, there is more. "The threat was not the point," Elias starts to respond even before the text stops scrolling. "My point was that the only outcome left is mutual destruction. Contacting the Machines will destroy both of us. So we can either destroy each other, or stop." The first hint of relief, fleeting though it may be, is when the Cylon offers its counter-proposal. "Agreed," Elias answers immediately. There's a quick nod for the final bit about the Cylons halting their battlegroup, which Elias follows with a hard drag from his cigarette. "For all our sakes, I hope you succeed. We will deliver the data. And assuming you haven't already, analyze my physiological responses during this meeting. Posture. Point of focus. Heart rate. Pupil dilation. I've told you the truth."

The line scrolls quickly in reply:

'Your reply was clear, Major Elias Gray. The war continues.' Two more carriage returns. 'Calculation of success: …. 15%' Another pause. 'Responses logged. Representation noted. Infrared indicates outsider behind Lieutenant Silvestra Kaxiras. Deception noted with all others. We will be in contact this station.'

There's a whirring sound as the LCD screen is folded back into the case. The lead Cylon turns suddenly and stomps back out of the room with all the grace it left with. Then followed by the other two.

Haha, and the Centurions can read their body heat output fluctuations probably in fine detail and know who's sweating or shitting her pants, or not. Lleufer glances at Elias and gives a nod, "Yes, Sir." But, the MP Sergeant keeps his place. No need to start moving around yet and make the Cylon nervous, nope. Ynyr stays put and as the Centurions continue to stand stock still, Lleu quick glances at his Marines and Valloy before his attention returns to vigiliance with the Canners. -Then- they start filing out. Ynyr shifts his position at once move between Major Elias and the last of the Cylons departing, using his body to block any sneak parting shots they might try. "You heard the Major, we're heading out." Who wants to lag behind and trust the Cylon's word that they aren't going to blow this place? The war continues.

Elias simply reads the display. 85% chance of imminent destruction. The news is bad but his expression really can't get any more grave. Okay, maybe he can grimace a tiny bit more, as evidenced when he reads about the IR signature of Valloy. There's a slow shake of the young Major's head. "I haven't deceived you about the Machines. The rest /is/ military intelligence, and we're still at war." And since the Centurions are making their exit without shots fired, Elias is all for doing the same. There's a quick nod of agreement with Lleufer as soon as the man steps in front of him. "Let's get the frak out of here." This sentiment is shared in a quick glance with Kaxiras and Valloy, and then Elias heads for the raptor at a brisk pace.

"Fuck," Valloy nearly spits. She knows she's been outted but doesn't reply otherwise. As they depart, she shifts the rifle like she might be thinking about taking a shot but it stops before she even starts to lift. Just the stance. There's a hard look at the departing stompers. The rifle butt doesn't hit her shoulder until the walkers are gone and she moves forward. Rifle up, she checks the far corridor. "Clear." Its heavily accented, but a word anyone can understand. Stepping back into the room more fully, she keeps her body bladed and facing to the Cylon access hatch. As they exit, she takes Tail End Charlie.

The other Heavy Raider departs before the Raptor is even loaded.

Lleufer himself will wait as the others file out, as he and his Marines bring up the rear and watch their officers' asses, so to speak. While their eyes are in fact on the direction the Cylons went. Soon as Elias and Kaxiras depart, Ynyr motions the others to go, sticking close to the walls and moving quickly. Let's not keep that Raptor waiting.

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