PWD #09: No More Games
No More Games
Summary: Jameson and Petra talk over the current situation. Bennett joins and gets a read-in.
Date: 26/12/2012 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Anything with the letters or the Reese.
Petra Bennett Jameson 
The Combat Information Center is the tactical heart of the Orion. This CIC is designed in a circular formation, the Admiral apparently a fan of the classical set-up. Dead center are a set of large monitors suspended from the ceiling with DRADIS readings as well as other vital shipboard information. Under this is a small map table outlining current plots and positions. The table has a built-in phone as well as smaller displays as to critical damage reports. Both port and starboard other watch stations are set at all times, in two rows of tiers like stadium seating, one above the other. Each station has a purpose — Helm, Weapons, Communications, Electronic Warfare, Damage Control, and further tactical monitoring. More displays and banks of computer monitors line the walls. This area is heavily guarded by Marines at all hours of the day and night.
PWD #09

Second shift is not usually what you would consider a beacon of activity, especially after the Orion arrived and settled in around P. So while Petra doesn't exactly look BORED while he's on Watch, per se, he's not the picture of OMG Something's Going To Happen alertness either. In fact, at this particular moment, he's finishing signing some paper on a clipboard and handing it back to an Ensign to take off with, while glancing up and watching the latest bus for P take off, the little blue dot streaming down towards the planet.

"Its about as exciting as watching cows shit, ain't it?" Jameson drawls it from the hatch as he heads farther into the center of the room. The Admiral is in his blues as usual and steps lazily over towards the center table. "What's happenin, Marc? Anything exciting goin on?" he offers, sliding over a few maps on the table. Man looks like he's trying to find something.

Purely out of habit, when the Admiral pipes up and steps into CIC, Petra straightens up and snaps, "Admiral on deck!" though his eyes don't quite come unglued from the DRADIS yet. Amusement creeps into his voice as the man makes it to the table, relaxing his stance, "I'm pretty sure paint drying might have more highlight moments, sir, but its the 10 minutes of interesting buried in that 8 hours of nothing that makes it worth it."

Jameson chuckles darkly and glances up. "Ten minutes? I think you're givin this ol girl more life than she's meant to be havin at her age, son. Ten minutes. Shit," he laughs and lifts up another map and looks underneath. "Godsdamnit. Swear to my horse, I lose more things than any man is meant to. Startin to think my sanity walked off with everything else. Or nothing else." He lets off a long sigh and claps his hands on the map table. "Ah well." The Admiral looks around to check and see who is around before coming back to Petra. "So Marc, what's the story? How's your line comin on your secret admirer?" He doesn't ask it loud enough to be overheard by anyone else but Lou can't help but get his digs in. Coming up on retirement? Who can blame him?

Petra mmms softly, tilting his head a bit at the question, then lowering his voice while he reaches out to grab a couple papers off of the map table and stack them up, "Well, you saw the second one. Still waiting on the MPs/Marines to tell me what they could lift off of both of them, but Lt. Wake's been a starving hound on it. We're supposed to have a little chat this evening - with that last list and the work he did the day before, sounds like he has a better suspect list than he did before. Don't know who they are yet, though."

Jameson plops his chin down in his palm, leaning over the table as he stares at Petra. Petra knows this look. Its the 'Tell Me No Bullshit' look. "Good. Wake is a good guy." He makes a deep glutteral sound as he considers this, still staring at Petra. "Don't frak around with me, Marc. Faulkner ain't here. Nobody is holdin you to this. Tell me what you think about this. Unofficially, off the books, off the record. You losin any sleep over this, son?"

Bennett has arrived.

Petra takes a slow breath and stares at Jameson's face for a moment, then glances back at the Tactical station, trying to make it look more like he was looking at the terminal, but more making sure there isn't someone RIGHT behind him. Only then does he scoot the papers out of the way, and lean a little more heavily on the table, lowering his voice a little more, "I think we're getting set up, sir. Whoever this is is upset we haven't done anything visible in, what, a week? Something's gonna happen SOON. Not months down the road. And I TOLD you what I saw on the Reese's security screen. That was no frakking coincidence."

Jameson is leaned forward on the map table in the middle of the room. One arm is under him and the other has his palm propping up his chin as he stares through Petra on the other side of the table. Even Bennett would know the 'Tell Me No Bullshit' look. The Admiral has nothing else that resembles it and its a deadly look. Lieutenants and a few Captains have met the end of their cruise for defying it. But as Petra finishes, the silence between them lingers and the sounds of CIC lingers. A comms officer calls for him and Jameson throws a finger up. "Take a message." He gruffs out a breath, eyes never leaving Petra. "Marc, I'm unhappy. Something stinks worse than chickenshit with this thing. But I'm glad I'm not the only one who think it stinks. And what you said was on that screen doesn't improve my mood." A pause lingers. "I sent that copy to Loytrall. I put your name down on this one that you thought it stank bad, too. I told him that I agreed. In five days time we are going to have our answer from him. In the meantime, other than your investigation, what have you got goin for readiness?"

Bennett isn't a terribly frequent visitor up in CIC, but there is sometimes occasion for her to visit. In this case, for some meterological report printouts that a petty officer hasn't had time to hand deliver to her for the evening block of combat air patrols. The flight-suited pilot jogs up the few steps into the nerve centre proper, and stops dead when she spots the Admiral himself giving the poor JTACCO a staredown. She is just a lowly captain, after all; the Fleet's middle management if there ever was one. Blue eyes travel slowly from one man to the other, her fingertips resting lightly upon the railing at the top of the steps.

Petra nods his head once at Jameson's description of what went to Loytrall, "Thank you sir. I really hope I'm wrong about this, but what, 25 years in the Navy? Bullshit. This isn't a joke. Air Wing's already conducting more drills…onea the POs in Deck is getting her team to take some of the Predators out of mothball, should be ready for flight by the end of the week. Marines haven't responded, but sounds like they're having some confusion about who's in charge over there…I have longer conversations with Sergeant Knox than I do his commanding officers. Medica's ready to add some PJs to any boarding party drills we want to run." He doesn't quite see Bennett yet, but then if you had Jameson staring at you, well…

Jameson looks over at the Captain who has entered and his stare lingers on her. The man looks her up and down, but its not the lecherous gaze of an old pervert. He's looking at her uniform and those flight wings. Gears are turning while he listens to Petra. "Yeah, I've 'bout had it up to my nose with the Marines," he mutters. His gaze slides back to Petra for a moment. "It don't feel like a joke to me, either. I told Loytrall as much. I told him I thought there might be a real problem. Added in my own two cents about the Reese." He then looks back to Bennett and extends an arm towards her, hand gesturing for her to join. "Cap'n. Get yer butt over here. Need to talk to you about a few things." A look to Petra. "Let's find out where we stand with the wing."

Bennett's reaction, when the old man looks her way, is pure reflex: she straightens to her full five feet and nine inches, and delivers a crisp salute while meeting his gaze unflinchingly. Some might call her way of staring down superior officers disrespectful; others would just call her direct. "Sir," she intones, soft but audible. "Yes, sir." The PO3 with her reports is asked to set the reports aside for the time being with a small smile and a nod toward the table near her station, and St. Clair strides over to where Petra and Jameson are conversing. Her hands clasp behind her back as she listens and waits to be called upon.

Petra glances over when Jameson looks and straightens back up, nodding his head and murmuring, "Captain." He glances up at the DRADIS screens for just a moment, then nods in the affirmative with Jameson, "Absolutely. I think out of everything, Air Wing is the group that has their asses together the best. Haven't had to worry about them at all." With that last bit contributed, he falls quiet, waiting to hear where the Admiral wants to start with her.

Jameson looks dubious at Petra. He stares at the man for a few seconds before turning his eyes back on Bennett. His hand creeps around his chin and over his mouth as he looks over the Captain's uniform once more. He lets them sweat a moment while he gathers his thoughts. "Captain Saint Clair," he suddenly remarks and his eyes lift. "You have thirty minutes to assemble an armed strike group of six Raptors, and you need to hit the Colonial Federal Building with a full load of mark eighty-two bombs. No planning time. You know the strike location and you need bombs on target ASAP." He stares at and damned nearly right through her. "You bullshit me, Captain, I'll bury you out here. Could you make it happen? Yes or no, I want an answer in five seconds."

Bennett's gaze goes to Petra for a few moments as the Major speaks of Orion's Air Wing. Then back to Jameson again. The woman is bizarrely calm, or so one would judge by her appearance, given that the ship's chief commander is looking right at her and asking a question. Her chin lifts a fraction, blue eyes unblinking as he frames the situation, and the gears are already turning in his head before he's finished speaking. A second passes in silence, just the blip-blip of someone's dashboard, the weight of a goodly few stares on her. Two seconds. She speaks on three: "Yes, sir. I could make it happen." A tick. "But." There is always a but. "But, we'd be better off with mark eighty-threes and a JDAM guidance kit, if it's a single, low-lying target like that, and you want nothing left of it." She doesn't ask why. Gods be good, she doesn't ask why.

Petra arches one brow, not at the look Jameson gives him, but the situation he levels at Bennett. However, the Major knows better than to make a SOUND right now, unless the Cylon fleet shows up on DRADIS. He's seen this scene before. Hell, he's been in Bennett's place in this scene before. And when she answers, he does smile, just a faint little touch of one at the corners of his mouth, then fights to put an impassive look back on his face, linking his hands behind his back while his gaze dances from Admiral to Captain and back.

Jameson just stares at her. The silence hangs. Phones ring, papers are shuffling. CIC moves along. Meanwhile its getting a little stuffy between these three. While Petra smiles, Jameson isn't. "You're telling me that if I go down to the Deck, right now," oh Gods and he might just do exactly that, "-then I'll find bombs staged and ready to go with munitions racks and the techs having installed the units? That you've got six Raptors fueled, hot, and ready to go? That we've got people on the Deck who can get these birds locked and loaded?" He turns his wrist to look at his watch and then back to her. "That at this time of night you can pull six crew members from your squadron who can fly the mission?" Another long pause. "Keep in mind it takes ten minutes flight time and the target needs to be hit in thirty." He might just ask her to do it. Jameson turns his eyes to Petra. Then back to Bennett. "Last chance to revise, Captain, then we're going to go on a field trip."

"Thirty minutes to assemble an armed strike group, sir," Bennett answers evenly, not budging on her position. Not second guessing, not panicking. Because for all she knows, that is the actual test going on here. "That was what you said. Nothing about mission time." She fights the urge to smile, because one does not smirk at the admiral when arguing one's point. "And yes, if I can't find six raptor crews who could fly this mission in thirty minutes, and if the Chief can't get six airframes staged with the payload in thirty minutes, then I don't know what the frak we're doing out here, because we should be back in Fleet Academy doing drills." She rolls her jaw slightly. "Now, if we're talking mission time as well, then no, sir. I could not do it in the timeframe allotted. Not a chance."

Petra glances down at Bennett's boots for a second, then back up past her to an Ensign walking in with another clipoard. He waves the young man around the Admiral and Captain, holding his hand out for the paper so he can read it, sign it quickly, and hand it back with a soft, "Thanks," then turn his attention back to Bennett and the Admiral. Digesting her response, he chews thoughtfully on the corner of his mouth and tilts his head just a little, shifting his gaze to Jameson. As close as he's going to get to 'she has you there, sir' as he's going to get in front of other officers.

Jameson stares at Bennett some more. He doesn't look happy. Farther and farther down his mood goes. The Admiral's eyes don't even drift to Petra. "Cap, you wanna play quibblin games with me, I'll find a Captain that won't. You copy that? You better be accounting for hitting a target in thirty minutes if I ask you to assemble and hit. You hear a timeframe, I want to hear you answer based on that." He finally looks back at Petra. "Marc, I want a full godsdamned readiness check on every single department." The Admiral does not sound happy. "And I want it by zero seven hundred. You personally wake up every frakkin Department Head by banging on doors if you have to. You find any of them drunk, I want their names, a BAC level, and an exact time of their next shift start and last shift end." He slowly turrets to look at Bennett and a stern finger is lightly waggled at her. "This ain't bullshit, Captain. You been followin rumors, you probably heard about Major Petra's admirer and the letters floatin around. Academy days are over. I hope your boys and girls are up to snuff because there may be cause for a strike like I just mentioned. Understand what I'm telling you?"

"No, sir, I don't play quibbling games." Was that a rhetorical question? Because Bennett answers it straight up. She does nod firmly, though, at the punitive turn his words take. "Yes, sir, understood." It's only after the admiral turns away that she swallows. Petra likely spots it, as well as the fleeting glance she sends him, like, who pissed in his cornflakes this morning? By the time Jameson turns back to her, she's even found a small, serene smile for the man however. Her expression sobers once she speaks, though her voice never wavers from that mellow, almost musical intonation, "We will be, sir. I already have a strike mission training scenario lined up for the raptor group, just waiting on the CAG's go ahead. We will be running fire drills in the hangar bay, and.. numbers aside, sir, you raise a very valid point that we need to be able to be ready at a moment's notice. Peacetime is only peacetime until the shit hits the fan." Blink. "Sir." Not that he asked for her to wax poetic on anything, but there is a certain earnestness to her speech.

Petra bobs his head quickly at the request - any sign of amusement is gone at this point, "Yessir. I'll be knocking on your door by ten till." What was that comment he made earlier about 10 minutes of excitement in the middle of 8 boring hours? When Bennett does glance his way, he flashes a tight lipped look with a scrunched nose, and waits for Jameson to turn back before he offers in a softer voice, "There's a few wierd things going on right now, Captain, and I think you're aware of some of it. I'm not particularly one to believe in odd coincidences and I think the Admiral is of the same opinion."

The Admiral holds Bennett's gaze. This man isn't to be trifled with. "Good. You play games with me I'll stick you on the next Raptor home, Captain." He holds her gaze another moment and looks back down at the map table. Standing up off his lean, he takes up a grease pencil and begins jotting down some numbers on the tabletop. "Peacetime may already be over with, Captain. We just might be too godsdamned stupid to admit it to ourselves yet." There doesn't seem to be any objection to what Petra says, either. In fact, "Marc, tell Captain Saint Clair exactly what it was you saw on that monitor on the Reese." Meanwhile, he stops jotting numbers down and leans back to look for a binder under the table. A look along the length and he spots what he's looking for. Its a small blue binder with a read outline, meaning its classified material. "Give this a read, too, then tell me you know exactly what I'm talking about with me wanting our birds and crews ready." Jameson licks a finger and turns several pages before opening to one in particular. He slides it over to Bennett and goes back to jotting down numbers.

Bennett nods again fractionally, meeting Jameson's stare pound for pound when he turns to look at her. There's nothing at all intimidating about the woman, in contrast; the grizzled old admiral could probably stomp her into a captain pancake. "Crystal clear, sir," she answers softly. When finally he relinquishes her from his gaze, she surreptitiously dries off her palms on the thighs of her flight suit, and steps in closer to accept the binder he hands her. Her hip's rested against the map table, and with a furrowed brow she begins to read. Seconds tick by, and with them her curiosity turns slowly to reproach, and then outright fear. "Gods," is uttered nearsilently. She even begins scanning it again, while awaiting the story from Petra.

Petra mms softly, giving one of the Weapons Officers a Look (tm) before turning his attention back on Bennett and lowering his voice, "When we boarded the Reese, and found that film…" He nods at the page the Admiral opened for her, "SecOps had been raided. All of the security hard drives had been fried, like someone was deliberately destroying evidence of what had happened. But there was still one terminal left that had locked up and frozen on its camera view. Showed CIC reacting to an attack, and while the XO looked like he was already dead on the floor, the Weapons Officers and the Commander herself were ordering fire on a large, red dot on DRADIS that was on top of them. So close DRADIS couldn't separate the Reese and it. Just as big as that big red dot that showed up way out in Cylon space when we came by. I already told you I don't believe in coincidences, ESPECIALLY where machines are concerned. Now, you can see from that report that its something that would have to be made and physically introduced into the life support system, and I can assure you the Reese didn't have any of that in its inventory when it left Anchorage last, which means someone on board made it." He sucks on a tooth for a moment, then adds in a low, grumbling murmur, "And Im starting to wonder if, whoever this letter writer is, if they weren't supposed to do the same thing to us." At her comment, he nods his head once, "Yeah."

Jameson just lets the two talk, and in one case, read. He keeps jotting down numbers and reaches below for another binder, this one outlining encryption protocols. Its opened and he goes through it, turning back to an appendix marked 'SLOCs'. "Either someone on board made it, or they had it brought aboard by someone outside the crew. That's not clear. No assumptions." Jameson glances up to Petra, then to Bennett, and back down to the numbers. "We have no idea. Careful about speculation. But that is a concern. But there's more effective ways to take down a Battlestar. Depends on access, but there's a few ways." Not that he's about to outline what he knows, either. "Probably another dozen the fleet hasn't identified."

"Sabotage is a pretty serious word," Bennett opines, low-voiced, once Petra's spoken. "So is treason. I agree, sir, that we would be wise not to jump to conclusions; in my experience, it's a great way to blind oneself to the facts." She scans the page in front of her again, fingertip resting under the second paragraph of the section entitled 'initial analytical conclusions'. "Judging by what you've mentioned of the Reese's camera footage, sir," she tells Petra, "some, but not all of the crew were incapacitated at the time of the.. attack. Which makes me suspect they both happened simultaenously. From within and without." Her gaze slides back to Jameson. "If this were to happen, sir, we would need to have a plan in place. Quarantine, hopefully. Airframes warm and ready to go." She nods. "I understand where you're coming from now. I.." She takes a steadying breath. "This all feels a little surreal."

Petra mmms softly, conceding Jameson's point, "Well, take us down SOME way." At the rest of the caution about speculation, the Major rolls his shoulder and nods his head, "I can't PROVE there's a connection, no. So there's that, and believe me, I'd LOVE to be frakking wrong, and if I am, when we catch this little snot, I'm going to find a nice dark hole to forget about him in." The Orion's pretty much what Petra calls home and family now. Grrr. He does, at least nod at Bennett's comment, "If it did indeed happen at the same time, it was likely done to soften the ship up…but the Reese was a Flak frigate, no Viper or attack Raptor compliment to speak of, really, beyond maybe a small squadron. Definitely not like a Battlestar. So yes, we need to be ready…whatever is going to happen, its probably going to be soon. So if a big red dot shows up on OUR DRADIS, I for damned sure do not plan on being caught with all our birds in the bay and everyone flatfooted."

"If that were to happen on this ship, there's nothing we could do. We can't ask everyone to live in flight suits. Its not only not feasible, we don't have enough suits to keep essential personnel safe." Jameson still doesn't look up, he's still jotting numbers. "Its either going to happen or its not. I suspect that's already been decided outside of our control. I don't know of Petra agrees." There's a questioning glance up to him and then back down. Once Petra speaks his piece, "Captain Saint Clair, do you fully understand how important it is that we are not bullshitting ourselves about readiness and what sounds good?" He sets the grease pencil down and looks back at Bennett. "Like he said, this might be nothing. If its not?" A flat palm is place on the map table and his voice calms. "Gentlemen," because everyone is 'male', "-this is no longer about readiness reports. This is not about what looks good in our files. This is our job. Thirty billion people depend on us to do our jobs and protect them. That number includes our families and the families of those in this battlegroup. So when I ask about readiness, your answer had better be 'No' unless you are one hundred and fifty percent sure and you would bet your family's lives on it." Its not stern, but the man is very serious. "Out here, we are isolated. An attack may have already happened. We won't know for another five days when that Raptor is supposed to show. In the meantime, I want live ordnance being dropped. I want practice runs. Nobody squeeks about this being a real threat. But we plan for the worst and hope for the best, correct?"

Bennett glances up when Petra speaks again, though doesn't quite manage to summon a smile for his words about the 'little snot'. There's nothing at all funny about this. "I agree, sir." About it happening soon. She might be terrified on the inside, but her demeanor reflects nothing but calm, cool professionalism. "Yes, sir, I do," she tells Jameson, closing the folder he'd given her, and holding it out to him in return. "On Andross, we'd regularly run what my CO called a Circle William drill." She doesn't waste the admiral's time explaining something he undoubtedly already knows. "I also suggest we get our ordnance in shape. You're right, sir, that we don't have enough configured gunships ready to fly. With your permission, I'd like to bring up with the CAG the possibility of doing some strafing runs and IRBM drills. I know several of the pilots haven't even worked on anything but a B since flight training." That is, a raptor-B, the basic configuration of the bus.

Petra mms softly and nods at the Admiral, "Assuming we aren't getting hit in a similar fashion. I just want to be able to immediately scramble if a hostile shows up, and do it like a well-oiled machine." He falls quiet again and nods at Bennett's words, "If it helps, Sergeant Knox and the Marines just recently replotted the bombing range down on P…I dont know if Major Wilson had a chance to trickle that down to the Wing before he got called away or not. You come up short on anything and Major Duke is having trouble getting collaboration from the other Departments, you let me know. Looks like I'll be talking to him in a few minutes anyway…" reflecting on Jameson's earlier readiness order.

Jameson takes the binder back and slips it back into the mess under the table. "That all sounds very good, Captain Saint Clair. Make it so. Just remember, I can handle hearing 'No, we're not ready however these are the steps we are taking', but I will not tolerate hearing 'Yes' when the answer is actually 'No'. Demand that from your people, as well. Get your people sitting in birds. Get them firing ordnance. …and spin-up the Predators. All of them." The last line alone is enough to warrant concern. When the strike aircraft come out, its serious. "If this turns out to be bullshit, I'll take the heat for the resources expenditure on this." His career is over after this deployment regardless. He's talking to both of them by now, though. "If you want scramble capability, talk to Duke. He's either working this angle or he isn't. But Petra, you brief Duke fully if you haven't already. If this shitbird on our ship is for real, and all this is adding up the way we don't like, we can't afford to have him in the dark." A breath is taken. "On the subject of the Corps: If they can't find their ass with a toilet, get someone down there who you believe will. I don't care who. I'd prefer to know at least one of the officers on Deck Two isn't pissin himself for fun. But do whatever you have to. Everything clear and understood? Saint Clair? You understand why we can't have people yappin about this?"

Bennett runs the tip of her tongue along her lower lip while she listens to both men speak. "I hadn't heard, sir," she tells Petra, regarding the trickle-down from Major Wilson. "But I'll talk to the CAG, and help him get things straightened out with that." Gents they may all be, but she is very much a woman, and has her own way of doing things. Blue eyes shift back to Jameson, and she listens carefully before giving him a nod of assent. "Yes, sir. We've been running training on the simulators up until now. I'll see if Major Duke wants me to coordinate with the Chief to get those armaments dusted off and hauled out of storage." Where they are most assuredly sitting. "Clear as day, sir," she offers finally. And there is one very obvious reason not to have people talking: the saboteur could come from one of their ranks. Hell, it could be her. The captain's gaze holds Jameson's until he breaks contact.

Petra nods once, sharply, at the question from Jameson, "Yes, sir. Got it." There's no discussion left now that things have been passed around and the direction made clear. TACCO gonna go annoy some Marines and Engineers and Deck Crew, oh my! He's already glancing over at the Lt. that's taking over Watch after his, though his attention returns to Jameson, "I'll get an update from Lt. Wake before I come by your stateroom with the report, as well, sir."

Jameson seems satisfied. "Friday night I know people will be drinking for the New Year. Let them. After that? Start making examples. You catch people high or drunk on duty? Zero tolerance. If I need to make examples personally and publicly, I will. Lock it down. For the next two months, starting Saturday, I want senior staff and all combatant commanders living on Condition Two." He taps his palm twice on the table. "Any questions?"

Bennett eases out of her lean against the map table as well, hands clasping behind her back as the admiral issues his final edicts. "No, sir." Well, nothing for him, anyway. Plenty of questions about what lies in wait for them over the next few months.

Petra shakes his head slowly, "Might have a discussion needs to happen in the morning, but right now, no, sir." Yeah, translate that to: GET THE COFFEE GOIN IN THE MORNING, Admiral! He softly clears his throat, reaching out for the clipboard he left on the map table, crooking a finger at the Lt. he was eyeing earlier, apparently going to hand the Watch over tohim for third shift.

Jameson nods to the two and taps his hand twice more. "Get to it. Pull on your waders and say plenty of prayers before bed. Dismissed." He glances down to the numbers once more. "Leave those," he mutters and heads off back towards the hatch in search of Faulkner.

Bennett blows a breath out from between pursed lips once she's given her crisp salute, and the admiral's gone in search of the XO, or whomever's next on his war path. She shares a look with Petra, then turns to fetch that meteorological report she came here for.

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