AWD #367: Nostalgia
Nostalgia
Summary: Halena brings Elias the most up-to-date information on the coffin, but, nearly a year after War Day, something else is on her mind.
Date: 23 June 2016
Related Logs: All Coffin Logs
Halena Elias 
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.
AWD #367

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The Tactical officers live in the Map Room, subsisting on strong coffee and cigarettes — at least that's the running joke. The funny part is that Elias has not been present there for some twenty-four hours, though whether Halena noticed that or not is an open question. Today he's back again, looking much the same as ever — seated at the central table and wearing clean uniform blues, he has a stack of papers on the clipboard in his hands and a smouldering cigarette propped between his lips. Perhaps the only unusual thing is his apparent lack of focus: rather than reading the papers he has in hand, Elias stares off into space, seemingly lost in thought.

Rap rap rap. Knuckles on the bulkhead at the door, the exact same rap she gave last time to herald her arrival. This time, however, Halena doesn't appear quite so forlorn. In fact, she seems almost calm. Content. She wears her usual clean jumpsuit, red hair up in a ponytail with bangs brushing her forehead. There's a file in her hand. Still she pauses for just a moment after announcing her arrival, seeming to note Elias' far off look. Her brows twitch once in the direction of a curious furrow, but that's all. "Major," she says, pleasantly but professionally. "I apologize if I'm intruding. I can come back, if the timing is inopportune." Apparently she survived the taking apart of the coffin, after all.

Blink. Elias' focus snaps back to the here and now, and shifts to the Engineer at the hatch. "Sorry?" he says. Despite the question he does seem to have heard Halena, as the he immediately adds, "No need. Come in Captain." The clipboard is set aside and an invitation is gestured toward the nearest available chair. Then Elias takes a drag on his cigarette before asking, "What can I do for you, Captain?"

"My apologies for interrupting your reverie," Halena says in her slightly posh Caprican accent, which may seem out-of-place with that simple jumpsuit and the ever-present limp as she accepts his invitation to enter. When she moves in, however, she sets the file in front of him, glancing down once at the man before she continues to move past toward the seat. "I'll not take up too terribly much of your time. I did wish to let you know that we were able to open the coffin, and wanted to get your thoughts on how we ought to proceed." She seems to relax, once again, as she settles into the chair, sliding into the seat and sitting with a straight back.

"That's what we in intelligence call 'working,'" Elias says with a hint of dry humor. The file folder gets a curious look, and once it's in front of him, he opens it to flip through the contents. "I see." The Intel officer's eyes narrow and his mouth tightens as he reads over the information. There is a guarded "Mmm." Then he leans back to consider. "Yes … I would assume the Cylons have tampered with it, at the very least. If it's not just another level of bait. Is it a Colonial model?"

"That so? I'll have to bring a wrench up with me, next time," Halena says, tilting her head to the side a bit as she easily regards the man. Her pale hands fold comfortably on her lap, and she shakes her head. "I'm afraid I wouldn't know the difference. I was going to pass it off to an ECO for study, with your permission of course." Because Major. Intelligence. All that. Her hazel eyes remain settled on him, waiting to see what he thinks of that particular idea.

"Mmm," Elias says for Halena's remark about the wrench, a faintly amused smile curving his lips, ever so briefly. He weights the idea of having an ECO study the communications dish, using the time to puff on his cigarette, but finally gives a small nod. "I'd recommend we keep it inside the Iron Pilgrim. Piraeus is a long way from the Colonies here but a transmission would still reach them, eventually." After some decades, given the it takes multiple jumps to cross that distance in a ship. "You might also want to include a Marine jay-tac. They handle ground to space communications, and might be familiar with the model if it is Colonial."

Halena looks briefly amused or perhaps pleased at the Major's momentarly lip-curl. But then she nods at his words. "Oh, of course. It stays on the Pilgrim where it can't transmit. My reference was to passing off the work, rather than the physical item," she says with a touch of an uptick in her mouth. "It's naval tradition, after all. And I'll be sure to reach out to Major Fairfax as well, to see who he might recommend for the business. You expect it to be Colonial, then? If I may ask, of course."

"Ah," Elias says as Halena clarifies. "Good." There's a nod of agreement for bringing in the Marine CO, and then a quirk of his brow for the Engineer's final question. "It's only a guess, Captain. If originally was a Colonial Fleet Intel cache, or designed to look like one, I would expect Colonial equipment. In either case, perhaps we can get frequency information off of it, or something else useful."

"Of course. I defer to your expertise on these things. It seems like a bit of a coin-toss, however. Raiders defending equipment in a Colonial box similar to one found before War Day, according to your redacted report." She smiles a little, seeming a touch amused. "As I've said before, Intelligence is not my game," she says, speaking more conversationally now. "I really ought to believe my own words, and stop trying to guess so much. We stokers are simple people."

"If I were going to make a mutli-layered trap for the Colonial fleet," Elias explains. "I would put a Fleet communications system inside, and not a Cylon one." He makes a vague gesture with one hand. "But there's too little information to be certain. That's simply my guess. And there's no harm in using your imagination, Captain."

Halena smiles gently. "Perhaps not. But it's not my strong suite all the same. Perhaps I just need to practice more." She glances away a moment, thoughtfully, but then turns her eyes back to the man seated nearby. She looks curuios, inquisitive. "May I ask what it is you were imagining, Major, when I first arrived? If it's not prying too much to ask."

"Perhaps," Elias agrees, and then he gives the Engineer a bit of an odd look for her question. The Intel officer spends a few seconds enjoying his cigarette before ashing it on his personal ashtray, near at hand on the table. "Nothing personal," he assures Halena in a matter of fact tone. "We have upcoming operations and I need to give a briefing for the Colonel and the Admiral. I was … considering the likely scenarios."

"Ah. Well I certainly wish you luck on that. I never much was one for public speaking, though I daresay that's part of your education for an intelligence role. Hopefully, at least, the likely scenarios are positive enough to allow you to present at least some good news to such a crowd." She smiles then, a bit more natural of a smile, a bit more social of a smile.

"I meant the likely scenarios within the briefing," Elias says. "What sort of questions they might have. Which way the Colonel or the Admiral might lean on any given point." Again he takes a drag on his smoke, then makes a sort of shrugging gesture. "The situation is what it is. In terms of a conventional war, we were defeated on War Day." He studies Halena for a second, then adds, "We're the resistance now, Captain."

Halena bites gently on her lower lip, just on the corner, at the thought of what he presents. "I suppose I can't find any way to disagree with you," she admits. "It's rather hard to fathom a time when we won't be at war. Even if we do manage to scrape out a place here, or a place there. From my history, I understand resistances tend to overtake and overthrow exisiting institutions. I don't know that I can recall many instances where a resistance entirely destroys something else, something more powerful." She turns her hazel eyes back to him. "Does it become overwealming sometimes, to think like that?"

Elias listens attentively to what Halena has to say on the history of resistance fights, and then studies the thin ribbon of smoke rising from his cigarette for a moment. "Mmm," is all he has to say on that score — careful agreement with reasoning, but otherwise, no comment. The more personal question draws his attention back to the woman, and the young Major considers it for a moment, lips pressed together. "No," he says cautiously. "I was on Picon on War Day, and eventually found my way to Spree's headquarters at Anvil. Those days were overwhelming. But finding out the fleet still existed, and being transferred to the Orion? That was a … singular opportunity to make a difference."

"Halena leans back in her chair a bit, setting an elbow on the arm to allow her hand to cup her cheek when she tilts her head in that direction. "Hmmm," she says, as this time it is her turn to make little noncommittal noises. "How interestingly you phrase that," she muses. "A singular opportunity to make a difference. I said just that almost ver batium to someone recently." She lifts her head and lowers her hands to her lap, fingers on the right hand playing over the left. Perhaps even pinching herself at one point. "Ive heard the situation on Picon was … challenging at beat." Then she smiles and looks down, almost embarrassed, and shakes her head. "Im a bit chatty tonight, Major, I apologize. A year since …" Halena looks up again. "Well, apparently it has made me chatty."

"Did you?" Elias gives the Engineer a quizzical look, takes a short draw on his cigarette, and exhales the smoke aside. "Great minds, and all that." But the conditions on Picon cause his mouth to bow into a faint frown, whatever humor he may have managed, gone. "Picon was … simple survival." He seems to consider saying more, but hesitates long enough that Halena is able to offer her apology. Elias waves it off with his free hand. "Not to worry, Captain. I don't think there's any point in comparing tragedies. We've all … had our losses."

"No," Halena says, frowning. "No of course, I'd never dream of it. I only meant to imply that the thought of it made me … nostalgic. Curious." Her frown remains as she shakes her head once more. She pinches her opposite hand again. "At any rate … I wish you luck, Major, on your presentation — on the delivery and the results of it." She slides to the front of her seat, taking a moment to prepare to put weight on that leg again. "And thank you for indulging me a little, this evening."

"Ah," Elias gives a nod of understanding, his expression shifting a carefully neutral one. "I see." There's a moment of quiet study as Halena frowns to herself and repeats that pinching gesture, but the Major doesn't remark upon her apparent distress. "Thank you," he says for her well-wishes, mustering a small and tight sort of smile. And then with a bit of effort, the movement of someone who's been sitting too long, he stands. "Of course. Good luck with the communications dish, Captain. If I come across any other potential death traps out there, I'll be certain to let you know."

"Well, that's very kind of you, Major," Halena says, once she's on her feet. Foot, rather, though her bad leg bears some of the weight. "Though really, don't feel obliged. Truly." She is able to muster up her own soft touch of a polite smile, and then she turns to make her way out.

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