AWD #332: He's Going to Download
He's Going to Download
Summary: Fairfax and Amos share some unhappy truths, then Perry sticks her head in.
Date: 15/05/2016
Related Logs: Chronologically right before Should You Fall
Amos Fairfax Perry 
Battalion HQ - Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
The headquarters room is the primary command location for all Marines associated with the battlestar or accompanying fleet ships. The walls and desks are covered with maps, photos, and satellite imagery - as well as clocks indicating the current time in each colonial capital city. Secure phones are bolted to each bulkhead, and for added insurance, each desk possesses its own encrypted wireless unit with its own independent wiring. The small room is always manned by a wireless operator and a duty sergeant, at a minimum, though it tends to be a hive of activity during duty hours.
AWD #332

It's about twenty past MOUT training and Amos is once again making his way back into Battalion HQ in his instructor's greens with a clipboard of paperwork under his arm. First things first, the notes are dumped on his desk, then he takes his mug and heads for the coffee. By the look on his face the it didn't go well, but then that is what training is for. Once he's filled the mug he adds milk, then returns to his desk, there is paperwork to do after all.

Fairfax is sitting at his desk, with a coffee mug that is mostly empty. He's also finishing up paperwork it seems, and looks up when Amos enters. He doesn't speak until the other man settles at his desk, and then says "Captain. Got a few?"

Amos gets as far as picking up his pen before the XO gets his attention. "A few Captain," he replies, setting it back down again and replacing it with his mug, "just writing up the exercise, but it can wait."

"Well, why don't we wander into one of the side offices?" Fairfax suggests, standing with his own mug. "I want to catch you up on some things, and let you know about a conversation I had with Intel yesterday…but it's probably not something we want to talk about with others around."

Amos raises an eyebrow faintly at Fairfax's words, thentilts his head slightly to one side to signal agreement. Taking a mouthful of coffee he pushes himself back to his feet then heads towards the CO's office, Rand himself being off shift and not expected back for hours. "Did they grace you with a personal visit?" he asks at the Intel reference, "or did you ahve to go upstairs?"

Fairfax joins Amos in that office, shaking his head. "Major Gray was kind enough to bless us with his presence." He answers, which right away suggests the gravity of the matter. "We've got a big MP operation coming up. Simultaneous arrests across multiple ships. 15 or so NCOs and junior officers."

Once Fairfax is through the hatch Amos closes it and spins the handle closed, that should keep the conversation quiet. "He came down himself? We are blessed," Amos replies with a wry smile, before he quietens to listen. "Any on Orion?" is his first question, "and any of them amongst the MPs we can call on for this?" So 3/8th or 1/8th. He considers then for a few moments before stating, "if it needs to be simultaneous then we'll need some form of cover story, and maybe a way to block communications depending on how organised they are."

"No. We're clear. Two of the names are MPs, but not among our lot." Fairfax explains, nodding agreement. "Major Gray already had that figured out. Apparently Command is arranging for a personnel review for new personnel, and we'll make the snatches at these reviews. I raised the question of communications. They don't believe they're communicating ship to ship. These men and women, Captain…are cylon collaborators. Their ultimate goal is apparently to gain acess to nuclear weapons."

"Jacks?" is Amos' first question, the idea of straight up collaborators not being something he wants to contemplate at all. "If they're after the nukes, are any in a position to to be close to that goal yet? If so then we're going to ned to move sooner rather than later, although I suppose the good major has that in hand too?"

"I don't think so. The Major said something about brainwashing, though." Fairfax offers that out comfortingly, having had the same reaction. "The two MPs do guard nukes, yes. We're looking at four days or so. And yes, indeed. You're asking all the same questions I did, and the Major was usually a step ahead of me." A pause. "There's another thing we have to consider, too. Detention."

Amos is not sure if he's happier that they might be jacks, or might not, but thats something that isn't going to change the plan, so he puts it to the side for now. Considering the last quandry he notes as he thinks outload, "we don't have space in the brig, and if we've collaborators I'd not want them anywhere near the twelve anyway. There's the barracks down on P? We can move some of the 1/8th out for a short time. Get them out at the new ruins, or posted to cover the guys we pull in until more perminant arrangements can be made."

"That's the thought, yes. It's gonna have to be P." Fairfax nods. "I know we can throw detainee facilities pretty damn quick, but I don't want to begin work till we've made the sting to avoid word getting around. Your plan for the barracks is perfect. That's where we'll keep them while we throw up permenant arrangements."

"Very good then," Amos replies with a faint nod, "just let me known you want to brief the MP's and I'll commendeer the pilot's ready room. We'll need a space that big. If you can give me a lift of names and assignments of the targets I'll work on team assignments. I take it we're authorised to bring in manpower form the 1/8th?" Then, with all the question she can think of now asked he adds, "while I have your undivided attention Captain, I was meaning to ask if you had had any luck tracking down our missing J-TAC?"

"Yes, definitely authorized for additional manpower. I'll get you that list when we go back out there. Let me know when you've got assignments and such and we'll go from there." Fairfax pauses at the latter question, looking to the door briefly. His coffee is sipped at. Finally he nods slowly. "Sergeant Knox…is very likely dead by now. He went on a highly classified mission, of his own choosing, to spread his insights to the rest of his line. Given the excessively high stakes involved, once I found out I covered it up with fake transfer paperwork given to our most gossipy personnel clerk to copy."

Amos nods once, only remembering his own coffee when Fairfax drinks from his. His expression darkens as Knox's situation is explained and after a moment he asks, "he's not planning on speaking to them individually is he? He's going to download?" Where download in this case requires dying first. No, the S3 does not look happy, but he does nod his understanding about the transfer papers, "and our new J-TAC? If she didn't transfer in, what's her story?"

"Correct, Captain. He's going to download." Fairfax's face is unreadable. It's hard to tell if he's made his peace with it or not. There's a shake of his head then. "Another highly classified story I'm covering up. She's a parting gift from Knox. They know each other, back when. He showed up, on his way out, told her to come here. Highly irregular. She's not a jack, though. I've checked. Spree promoted her, so she must have thought she was worth a damn. We're keeping her."

Amos loses interest in his coffee, opting instead to clench his jaw and give Fairfax a single, solumn nod. "Thats the thing about command isn't it," he notes as he braces up, "sometimes the men you kill are your own." Taking a moment to breathe he then asks, "is there anything else?"

"I learned in OCS that a very wise man once said to be a good marine, you must love the Corps. To be a good Officer, you must be willing to order the destruction of the thing you love." Fairfax muses. "I've never forgotten it. And this next one…well, these men and women are to be considered armed and dangerous. And quite probably suicidal. Even with the cover story, I don't think this is going to go cleanly. I'm going to go with one of the teams. You're welcome to do so as well, if you think it's a good idea." A shake of his head then. "Nothing else, Captain. Do you have anything else for me?"

"I'll let you know once I've seen the list," Amos replies, all business again as his hand clenches around his mug. The additional information is noted and then he shakes his head, "not that I can think of right now," and that said he moves back towards the hatch.

"Very good." Fairfax nods, and follows Amos quietly, staring down at his own mug. Sometimes command meetings go like this.

Stepping out of Rand's office with a rapidly cooling mug in his hands, Amos heads straight for his desk. His expression is best described as grim, and possibly not just because he's got a pile of paperwork waiting for him.

Fairfax exits shortly behind Amos, making sure the door is closed. His expression is also dark, and there's a heavy atmosphere in the HQ as the two Captains return to their various tasks.

One of the Marines steps out to the SecHub to give a nod to someone out there. When the unknown appears in the doorway, it's Staff Sergeant Perry. She left early yesterday for a trip to the Dig Site where apparently people are hallucinating battles and something about ghostly figures. Likely some kind of gas they had inhaled. Perry looks a little tired, though, but she's in her full gear with the rifle left to dange at the center front of her armor. The mottled camo somehow works with the plain green of her plate carrier. She looks towards Captain Fairfax, then Amos, and clears her throat. "Ah, sirs. Thought you might want a report about the Dig Site. Something off the record that won't go in an AAR." She glances around at the other Marines and looks back at the XO and S3.

Amos glances up at Perry's arrival, pasuing to give her a long, appraising look before he nods once and picks up his pen. Reports won't write themselves, and Fairfax is here, so he can handle any dig site business. The S3 has other things on his mind.

"You must have come here straight away, Staff Sergeant." Fairfax observes, since she's in full gear complete with rifle. "Something off the record. Intriguing. Do we need to go somewhere more private?"

"Yes,sir," it is intriguing. But she's supposed to be gone for four days, not 36 hours. At least she isn't blood-spattered or looking frantic. If there were an emergency, she would have just called for close air. Not in this case. "Here is fine, sir. Figure others are going to know soon enough." She glances to Amos, then to Fairfax. "Sir, this is my first time to this planet. I have no idea what's normal, but given how the others reacted then I'm guessing this isn't a regular thing. The last AAR to the dig site mentioned hallucinating. Sir, these aren't hallucinations. If it were just in our minds, we'd see different things. Feel them. This isn't gas, sir. And they can't be pre-made recordings. Something else is happening down there, Captain."

Amos doesn't particularly want to deal with another new problem right now, but damn it if Perry isn't giving him one. Putting his pen down, again, he reaches for his coffee, drinks most of it in one, then leans back in his chair and listens. He's not been down to the new ruins himself, nor is it terribly high up on his priority list so he's playing catchup somewhat, but there is one thing he does recall from the reports that have crossed his desk. "I believe Sergeant, that the first team reported that these.." he pauses while he tries to conjure the correct word ".. these apparitions, spoke about Colonel Sheperd when first encountered. That would seem to rule out pre-recordings well enough."

Fairfax listens intently, nodding at various points. "No pre-recordings. No gas. No hallucinations." He echoes thoughtfully. "So what are you are telling me, Staff Sergeant, is that you believe you have all experienced…a religous experience?"

Perry shrugs a little. "Uknown, Captain Ommanney. I recall someone mentioning they might be holograms that were activated. That maybe interactions with Colonel Sheperd may have messed with the programming of a VR system. But this isn't gas, either. I've been gased before." The Virgon accent remains clean and without haste. What she is saying seems very cool and controlled, even if the topic is a bit bizarre. Looking back at Fairfax, she takes a long breath, clearly not sure if she wants to confirm that. "I would not leap to that conclusion, sir. But it certainly feels that way. Most of the time when we look directly at the apparitions, they vanish. At one point there was an oppressive feeling in the air we could not ignore. It very, very much felt the presence of a God, sir. That was when one of them spoke to us. She identified herself as Captain Kha'lila al Yamoha. She was not speaking Colonial, sir, but we understood every word of what she said." Fingers reach into a pouch on her vest and produce two small memory chips. "Mallas and I were both wearing GoPro's, sir. I don't know what's on these but the night vision was turned on. I haven't looked at them yet." She sets both down on the desk. One is marked JP and the other AM for their initials. "When the vids start, Private Mallas was on point. That's all I know."
<Marines> Lleufer has connected.

Amos leaves the chips for Fairfax to deal with, he is senior after all. For now he contents himself with merely leaning back in his chair and listening. He'll speak up if there's any questions that spring to mind.

Fairfax takes the chips thoughtfully, turning them over and looking at them. Then he's casting around for something to play them on, to see what if anything has been recorded. "You would not leap to that conclusion, Staff Sergeant. So what /is/ your conclusion? Since you

Fairfax takes the chips thoughtfully, turning them over and looking at them. Then he's casting around for something to play them on, to see what if anything has been recorded. "You would not leap to that conclusion, Staff Sergeant. So what /is/ your conclusion? Since you've ruled out most ways of inducing something like this…what do you believe you saw?"
<Marines> Lleufer says, "Miscriants! Yay!"

Perry doesn't mind direct questions. She's a staff sergeant. She didn't get past E4 without being put in a hot seat. "My conclusion to myself, and without telling anyone else on the dig or in my platoon, is that we're legitimately speaking and interacting with people who used to live here. I don't know if they are dead or somehow still alive. They know too much to be alive, but who's to say what a dead person knows." Perry's gaze is on Fairfax's desk, but distant. "They said they're evaluating us. That they have asked us to be respectful of what we touch and learn. There's concern for us and the future." Her eyes lift to look back at him. "I've never been a religious woman, Captain. Never had cause to question my beliefs. Not before yesterday. I thought you should know that we aren't crazy. In your position, I'd be worried about me if I were scared. …I've never felt so at peace in my life."

Amos quitely, in an attempt to shuffle things on his desk without disrupting the conversation, Amos moves his post-exercise paperwork to one side an dreaches for a fresh piece of paper and his much abused pen. Needless to say, notes are taken, not extensive ones, but wnough that he'll remember this conversation when he has the time and brainpower to revisit it.

"I see." Fairfax takes a deep breath. The quest for something to watch the videos with is temporarily abandoned, as he meets Perry's eyes. "I've always been one to trust my NCOs, Staff Sergeant. If this is what you say, then I believe you. But I also have to consider what Command is going to say about all of this. And I'd better have some answers for them, when they ask." He seems to come to a decision. "That's why I'm going to go down to this site and experience what you and the other team have seen."

Amos glances sideways to Fairfax and raises an eyebrow as the XO states his intent, but says nothing. The glance only lasts a moment though and then he's back to evaluating Perry and note taking.

Perry nods slowly when the Captain finishes. "I wouldn't ask you to do that and cannot recommend it until we have completed air sample testing, but I'll escort you down if you intend to examine the site." There's no heavy protest or a hint that she seems to want to hide anything. Just the recommendation that might come from any NCO who is fairly sire of what they have seen and experienced. "But I'm not sure this will get you the answers you want. It may only provoke more questions." Julia steps back from the desk. "I was going to stop by the Chapel real fast before I returned to the surface. If you want the escort down and up to the site, I can meet you in the hangar, sir. You'll want gear and a rifle, Cap. The things we see aren't a threat but I don't like the noises I hear in the distance at night. Never know what might attack." Alien world and all that.

"Good to know, Staff Sergeant." Apparently Fairfax is still going, air sample testing or not. It's hard to say exactly what he's thinking. "Gear and a rifle. Outstanding. I'll meet you in the hangar, then." There's a glance to Amos, having noticed that eyebrow raise. "Do you have anything to add?"

"Take care of him Sergeant," Amos notes to Perry as it looks like Fairfax is going, then, shaking his head to the XO he replies, "not at this time. Just remember that if you're late back, no one else is going to do your paperwork for you." That last is said with a hint of a smile before he finishes with, "if you could get me that list we discussed before you go though it'll speed things up."

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