AWD #450: No More Favours
No More Favours
Summary: Kelsey speaks to Toby after the discovery of the Bunker.
Date: 24/09/2016
Related Logs: Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers
Kelsey Toby 
Deck Storage - Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
Taking any one of five elevators down to the below decks brings the individual to a heavily armored storage area. There are not any sprinklers here, though. Large, ominous vent shafts travel to the side of the pod and will open once the call is made from Damage Control in CIC or by the Deck Chief. The reason is that this area serves as the munitions and ordnance storage for the Vipers, Raptors, and Predators. Pallets of bombs, missiles, guns, bullets, and every type of deliverable munition in between is stored below decks, as well as the extra parts of all the aircraft aboard. Cameras monitor this area and the only access, outside the elevators, are sets of hatchways which are guarded at all hours by Marines.
AWD #450

Kelsey looks a little shellshocked. When she is seen walking around, she looks like she's in a daze. Seen what lies beyond the grave. She's a little more pale than usual and her face is drawn. Walking around, seemingly aimlessly, she heads for Toby's work area on the deck. Dressed in jeans and a thin grey hoodie, she has slim satchel over her shoulder and resting on her left hip. Approaching from behind, her feet stop her about 15 feet away. The first attempt to speak his name has her voice crack badly before trying once more, "To- Toby." When he looks at her he can tell that something serious has happened. Its been a long time since he's seen her look like this and she's grown up a lot since then.

Toby is actually back at work properly now, after his three day enforced observation period. Since that didn't exactly endear him to his colleagues he's found himself somewhere out of the way that he can just get his head down and crack on without interuption. Well, that was the plan anyway. The little thundercloud that's been following him around for the past 4 or 5 days is still present, and while Kelsey might be approaching from behind, the hunch of his shoulders is likely enough to be broadcasting 'frak off and leave me alone' even if she can't see the scowl that's become a perminant fixture on his forehead. "Busy," is his blunt reply, offered without even turning round, although after a slight delay for it to register in his head just who's voice it is he does pause and turn his head slightly. One eyebrow does raise a little at her appearance, but his head is too far up his own posterior to do anything other than steal himself a fraction and turn back to his work.

Kelsey watches him while he turns around to steal a glance. The girl doesn't say anything for several seconds, mostly just figuring out what to do at this point, likely. She then walks up beside him and looks up at him. "I don't give a shit why you're in such a foul mood, Toby, but I'm not in the mood for you to act like this. I did your massive favor, risked my career as it turns out, and flew that mission to those coordinates." If he looks at her from this distance he can tell that, no, she really is not okay. Not in the teenage angst sort of way, either. Her voice is quiet and on edge, but sad. Deeply sad. "What we found really, really frakked me up Toby so the least you can do is give me the time of day."

Toby's shoulders tense as he hears her footsteps approach, but he makes no further move to disuade her of her continued presense. He doesn't say anything, nor indeed look at her until she's finished, and then he just snatches a glance. Noting her general state he looks over her rather than at her, making sure they really are out of the way and unobserved, then, finally, leans forward to rest his arms on the workbench infront of him. With their heads much more on a level he considers her for a moment, then simply gestures for her to continue, not trusting himself to sound at all civil were he to vocalise any request for further information.

Waiting for him, she doesn't look like she will be going anywhere, either. Once he leans to her level and nods, she.. looks like she is about to start. Then nothing. A second later after the false start, "We found a command bunker, Toby. Not ours. Theirs. Piraean." The words are still spoken sadly, but the ashen tone of her skin says that its not pretty. "There were bodies everywhere. It had been sealed airtight for thousands of years." There's a hard swallow and her eyes glass, threatening a tear. "Toby-" it cracks a little. "Toby they fired their weapons empty. All of them. Something slaughtered them. We found where they made their last stand. One of the Marines found a sealed safe. …Somehow it still has power to the locking pad. No idea what's inside it."

Even with a scowl and a guarded expression, it's likely clear that Toby hadn't been expecting the find to be a bunker. The reaction is gone as quickly as it arrives though and he listens in silence to the report. There's a deepening of hte scowl, another furtive glance round, before he lifts the arm closest to her and lowers his hand onto her shoulder in an awkward attempt at a comforting gesture. "Any idea what it was?" he asks, voice still gruff and abrasive given how little he's used it since their last conversation, "I mean, is the place safe." Then, after another thought hits, "what about the bodies. They're not going to let the Temple bury them are they?"

The touch to her seems welcome and he can feel the tension in her. She's wound up like a spring and probably hasn't slept. The tear rolls off her cheek and she swipes it off and away quickly. "I think that whatever is in that safe is going to tell us what we want to know. Whatever killed all of them- either they couldn't kill one or they carried off their dead and wounded." That's when he can really see it. It isn't just that she was diturbed by what they found, she looks genuinely scared. "They never had a chance." A calming breath is taken and tried on for effect. It only works marginally well. "No idea if its safe. We explored to the command deck and then got the hell out of there. I've already reported it in to Captain St Clair. She's going to brief Tactical. …The AAR is going out and will have my notes. I'm filing to declare the site a War Grave. Legally that means nobody is supposed to touch the bodies. It would declare that they are already interred. …The way these people died. Gods, Toby, I couldn't imagine asking anyone to go down there and remove them. There's hundreds of them."

The fact that it's Bennett that Kelsey has reported too is a slight load iff Toby's mind, he trusts the raptor captain to some degree, enough at least that he doesn't think she'll kick up a stink at the unorthodox actions that lead to the discovery. "War grave," Toby repeats, "I suspect that might be the best option. If not though, it needs to be discussed with the Captain beforethe priests dive in. This is nothing to do with them." That he seems firm on, almost angry at the mere idea of it, but he lets it drop, and give the bile time to leave his tone. "At least whatever got them is long gone," he manages eventually, it's not much, but he figures it's better than nothing, and there's not a vast amount of comfort he can give her, even if he was of a sunnier disposition. "You're going back I take it?" he asks, "I'd go with you if I could, you know that?" He thinks she does, but wants to check. "Just.." he fails at articulation for a moment, "just don't let anyone piss about with them. Priests, medics… intel officers. Stuff fine, but not them."

"Toby, they're probably going to have to test some of the bodies to establish certain things. Make sure that they aren't toxic to us. But I made sure we resealed the site when we left." Kelsey's voice still sounds far away as she looks up at him. "I don't know if I can go back. Others will. I just know that that place frakked me up badly, Toby. You- you can't imagine what its like down there." His hand can feel her core tremble. It isn't cold. Its the memory. "You can feel them down there. You can feel their eyes. You can feel their presence. The sorrow. Their support for you. You can feel their touch. Their solidarity." Another tear runs down her cheek, but he can tell the light has left her eyes. That bright spot on her soul. Its had a blackout curtain thrown over it. After a moment, she turns and opens the narrow satchel. "We wore helmet cams. I have the videos in the secured lock-up. I'm the only one with the code." She removes two glossy printout photos. The first one is handed over and shows a very long tunnel ahead of them, the camera looking out of the Raptor's cockpit. The floodlights on the Raptor seem to have illuminated the tunny but if he looks closer, he can see the outline of people. The deeper he looks at the photo, he can can pick up more detail. Facial features on a few. Combat gear. Camo patterns. He knows damned well who it is, the group standing there like guards, The Captain in the center and looking as if she were waiting. …The second photo shows a the individual walking between two long lines of computer workstations. The light on the rifle is aimed around, but it still looks very dark down there. Darker than it should. But at the top of the frame he can make it out: shadows. Silhouettes of heads and shoulders. Dozens of them, almost impossible to notice. The light is casting shadows against people that aren't in the frame. Some are clearly male, others female, just by the build. Considering everything, its no shock nobody noticed it while they were down there.

Toby lifts his hand from her shoulders but leaveshis arm slightly elevated incase she wants to lean on him for support. Or you know, a hug, but eitherway, the silent offer is there. "We could feel them at the first site we found too," he notes quietly as she passes the photos. They're set out on the workbench infront of him as he looks, pointing with one hand to the Captain. "Thats her, incase no one told you yet," then, almost as an afterthought, "did she say anything?" He's not expectingher to have, or atleast, for her to have and Kelsey not mention it, but he's still curious. "You see why we called them ghosts though. I don't think standard has another word that fits closer, and I know sure as frak that Tauran doesn't."

The first real sign that something is actually wrong with her is that she doesn't try to hug him. Normally she would have just fallen right into that invitation. Instead she just stares at the photos as if being able to see past them. He eyes only focus on the Captain for a moment, then go back looking blank. "No. None of them spoke to us but they were there. They didn't have to speak. We knew what they felt. They'd been waiting for us." Those eyes seem stuck on the photo with the silhouettes on the command deck. "They're ghosts. Those are souls. We felt them. We touched them. I can't help wondering who is going to find me in three thousand years. Will I have died alone. Will I be alone after I die? Will something else happen like to them?" Her eyes draw away and down. The Kelsey at the start of the war was a wreck of emotions she couldn't get a hold on. Trying to grow up and be a pilot. The way the words come out slowly, these are adult concerns and voice calmly, rationally. Joyless.

Toby lets his arm drop to his side as he flicks a glance to Kelsey to silently ask ifhe can keep the photos. "They'll be at rest," he starts quietly, "as soon as their deaths are avenged." Good old Tauran logic. "We're working on that, maybe the information in that safe will allow us to, but know that if you do die, your death will be avenged, and you will get your rest. I will see to it." They're meant to be comoforting words, but he's still pretty joyless himself.

Kelsey barely notices the glance to the photos. "I'm not sure it works that way," she whispers. "It didn't feel like they were angry or outraged. It was calm. Just incredibly sad. They all died in a dark pit, nobody came for them. We all just stood there and cried." Her eyes drift away towards the deck, then back to him. "Everyone dies, Toby. I just don't want to die forgotten in a dark pit, alone, nobody wondering if I'm okay or trying to come for me." Hopeless. She takes a step to the side and stops. "Keep the photos. But don't show them to anyone. If I suspect you have I'll wipe the video drives… No more favors for awhile. I think I'm about to have a nervous breakdown after this one." It isn't worded for humor, either. Kelsey just walks away after that.

There are perhaps a couple of things Toby would like to say in reply to that, but Kelsey is long gone before he can actually formulate them into coherant words and sentences. Having watched her go he lets his gaze drop to the images again and studies them for a few moments before tucking them under his worklist. With nothing else for it, he uses one had to briefly try and rub some of the tension out of his neck, then knuckles back down to work, his scowl now miced with more complex emotions.

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