MD #061: Not exactly a brief summary

Ensign Diaz interrupts a holo lecture that the CAG is observing in order to give him a not-exactly brief summary of her request and the situation surrounding the request.

MD #061: Not exactly a brief summary
Summary: Ensign Diaz interrupts a holo lecture that the CAG is observing in order to give him a not-exactly brief summary of her request and the situation surrounding the request. The lack of a call sign is discussed, as are fleet protocols and tattoos.
Date: Thu 08/Jun/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs:
Niko Diaz 
CAG's Office - Deck 2 - Battlestar Orion
This nine by nine space is largely dominated by filing cabinets and a desk. A coffee maker is perched atop one cabinet, but the others are rather barren of decor or personal items. There are a pair of uncomfortable, molded plastic chairs facing the desk. The last vestige of open space is occupied by a lounge chair. It's one of those old, well-loved beasts that was likely pulled off of somewhere on Piraeus.
Sun 24/Dec/2028 (IC Date)

Traditionally the CAG keeps his office door wide open, with the hatch all the way back against the bulkhead. The office tends to be more of a shared workspace for both Niko and Elena, or even the squadrons commanders on occassion. So it's likely no surprise that the doors is open today, though Niko is alone behind his desk at the moment. He's in a flight suit, which means flight and/or sim time is on his schedule for the shift. But for now he's working on his data pad, watching a holographic lecture. "… and even though the vessel is no longer in 'normal' space-time, the transit to the destination is not instantaneous. Even at hyper-relativistic velocities …" the voice of the uniformed woman giving the lecture drones on, and Niko looks like he's less than thrilled as he tries to follow all this.

Making her way along the Air Wing corridors towards the CAG's office, ensign Diaz where's an expression that is both carefully contained and more than mildly nervous at the same time. The sound of a lecture drifts through the open door of the CAG's office and gives her pause for just a moment. While normally she would prefer not interrupt the CAG unless it was absolutely important the 10 has no real alternative but to continue this course and, with a calming breath, the Viper pilot raps her Knuckles on the hatch of the office and lean slightly forward. " sir, sorry to interrupt," and she eyes the holo recording for a moment, " may I have a word with you if you have a few minutes to spare?"

Niko looks up when Diaz knocks, and his expression is one of profound relief. An interruption! Thank gods. "Hey Diaz." He beckons the Viper jock to step into the office while tapping is tablet to stop the playback. "You know what? You need a callsign," the CAG is suddenly reminded. "But there's no time for a formal court before we ship out again. Sorry." After which he waves towards the chairs across the desk from him. "What can I do for you? Besides making 'jaws of life' standard issue in the Viper cockpit."

Seeing the expression on Niko's face makes Diaz pause for a moment and almost reconsider the reason that she came to his office in the first place. "Actually sir, my name is short enough it's one syllable anyway so a call sign would almost be longer than my name is to begin with. Plus I don't think I've done anything embarrassing enough, or memorable enough, to have earned a call-sign in the first place. It doesn't really bother me that I don't have one, so I can wait it out," this is said as she moves towards one of the seats that face his desk and eases down into it. Her hands grip together for just a moment then relax as she scrubs her palms against the knees of her trousers. At his reminder of the jaws of life she looks just a wee bit chagrined, "I'm still sorry for wrecking that Predator, it really was not my intention, but I'm glad I didn't crash it into the deck," she pauses and clarifies, "okay I didn't crash it into the deck too badly." with a slow exhale Diaz looks up again. "The other lines and I just had a informal meeting, we felt the need to discuss the challenges that returning to calumet will bring to us along with everyone else, specifically what will our may happen when we run into the clerics that are being used on planet."

"Bullshit," Niko says good naturedly, "You need a callsign." His grin makes it clear he's not serious as he adds, "Never back talk your CAG, Ensign." Then he waves off the apology for bringing back a damaged Predator. "Are you kidding me? That was a serious flak situation. We all took some hits. Didn't see stuff that heavy in the last war more than once or twice." There's a moment of hestiation when Diaz gets around to the real subject at hand, and then Niko's humor fades into a frown of concern. "A meeting. Okay. And …?"

"Sorry sir, didn't mean to talk back," Diaz replies with a quick glimpse of a good-natured smile. The normally ebullient Viper pilot usually has a smile if not a amiable expression on her face, and while she does muster up a pretty good smile to go with her words her expression is more serious than not. " our biggest concern is that nearly every model type has been seen on planet thus far save for the threes. Which means that we're going to see more and more of models that look like myself or Gunnery Sergeant Knox or dr. Galen. And while the idea of having a code word of the day it is a good interim measure, the reality is that we don't know the full range of capabilities of the clerics and or what they have possibly perverted in their use of weaponized projection. We're well aware that the fleet has very cut-and-dry regulations regarding the use of projection and more importantly the fact that it is absolutely not allowed within the fleet. The reality however is that the clerics are using it and most of us either have used it in a long time or have absolutely not used it while in uniform or well in service. The problem is is that the clerics are using it, and we're not sure how exactly they are, except for the fact that we know if they managed to lay hands on us or any of you whatever the end result is it's going to be catastrophic. So to that end, we're asking permission to attempt to refine our own skills so that we can better defend against what may be used against us or you. And we're asking specifically for permission and making you and all others and command aware that we feel that this is a vital and imminent threat that we have to defend against and we do not want to do this in secrecy or, worse lie about doing it."

Niko's expression grows uncharacteristically serious as he listens to Diaz's explanation, and there's no further banter from the CAG. It takes him a few seconds to absorb it all before he can form a response. "Here's the thing — what I know about Projection is from reading a two page intel summary over twenty years ago. So that's basically jack and shit, you know?" He gives the Ten a level look. "Lay it out for me. Let's say you get permission to do this. Are you going off flight status? What's the worst case scenario here?"

"Sir I would guess that the two-page until summary that you read 20-plus years ago would have given you a barebones explanation and very little more than that. To be fair it's like trying to describe a sunset to someone who has no sense of sight and can't really imagine what the Sun looks like in the first place let alone any of the colors that go with it, or let alone what color is in the first place," Diaz says all this in a quiet voice, deeply serious and visibly troubled at the serious nature of the topic being discussed. "I can tell you that I'm absolutely not being pulled off of flight status," her voice is adamant, "I love to fly, it's one of the main reasons I joined in the first place, it's the only thing I've done since resurrecting that makes me feel both free and as though I have an actual purpose or focus or reason for being," Diaz sighs and glances down at our hands for a moment trying to find the words so that this makes sense.

"Projection is our way of using our imagination and the depth and range and texture that goes with it to create an image that is so immersive that we can interact with it in a way that feels real, looks real, sounds real, even tastes real; every aspect of the image that we create if we fully form it, can be interacted with. When we project that construct to someone else, it is almost like being there, except you know it's not real, it's just an image. Think of it as a virtual reality immersion. The difference between projection that is done knowingly - so that you have the experience without having it forced upon you - and what we think the clerics are doing? is that one is done knowingly so that you're aware that it is a projection, and the other is - in theory - done in a manner that is so Twisted and real that you don't know the difference between reality and projection."

She pauses again, trying to pace her words, trying not to do this as a data dump, "Ideally what we want to do is refine our skill set to defend against having a projection forced upon us that either steals Intel or over rights our own sense of right and wrong. Worst case scenario is that we all walk around with nasty headaches while we try to interact with each other when we have time to practice. Best case scenario is that we can somehow figure out a way to defend against a weaponized projection. Ultimately we will have absolutely no way of knowing whether or not this will work, whether or not we can even identify when a projection is being forced on us or any of you, or whether or not it will help at all in any sort of Defense. We know that we absolutely cannot let any of the Enemy Lines lay hands on us or you, any of you. If we can't defend against it, if all of our hopeful practice times can't help us build a resistance of some sort, then what hope do any of you have against this either? All we're asking for is permission to practice to try to refine our skills, and to do so with your knowledge and permission. Those that have this ability need to practice it so that they are not weaponized unknowingly."

Niko listens as Diaz lays it out, his expression thoughtful but a little overwhelmed. This is not his area of expertise. Well, except for that part about how the Ensign loves to fly. That he seems to understand perfectly well. The CAG grins and nods, momentarily upbeat again. "Yeah. That same feeling has kept me at this for twenty years, Diaz. Go on." The full details of Projection may be a bit much for him to take in all once, and the CAG grimaces to himself as he tries to follow along. The bullet points at the conclusion are more Niko's style. "Okay. Let me see if I've got this straight," he says after a long pause. "I mean, you think the clerics can make shit up and we'll believe it's happening — or that it did happen. Whichever. And you guys want to try and figure out if you can stop that from happening to you. Worst case you expect is to get a headache from trying it. Best case you find some way to defend against it. That right?"

Following Niko's words very carefully as he summarizes and then boils down her very long explanation into much more coherent bullet points, Diaz nods emphatically. " yes exactly that's what I mean. Worst case scenario, we just have headaches and get nowhere. The other thing is that while a code word of the day makes sense if it was just a simple challenge and counter challenge Exchange but it may not be that simple. We're going to have to make sure that the four of us have identifying marks that everyone recognizes. Gunnery Sergeant Knox has his tattoos. And he and Lieutenant Piers definitely look older than the usual 6 or 3. However Dr. Galen and I are still relatively young in comparison to others of our model lines. Dr. Galen will be having a tattoo Inked in a visible location and having it marked in his medical record and then making sure that those that He interact with know what the mark looks like. And while I am personally hesitant to just pick a random tattoo and have an Inked into my flesh," she exhales a minor sound that is almost a sigh but not quite, " far be it for me to be the only holdout in this, so I'll get a tattoo and make sure that you guys all know what it is."

There's a wry grin from Niko when the Ten confirms he's gotten the gist of it, and then he shakes his head to himself. "Okay. Glad we got that cleared up." Then he sobers again. "Honestly, it seems like it's worth trying. It's no secret that you guys can Project, and everybody knows how the clerics are using it. We'll have to get it cleared with the Admiral, but I think that reasoning will fly. People may want reports and checkups and stuff — you guys willing to do that?" Then he listens to the tale of the tattoos, and Niko has to laugh. "Sorry, Diaz. I mean, it sounds like it's a big deal to you. So maybe don't pick something random? Pick something that means 'I did this because I had to.'"

Diaz grins faintly just just for a moment shaking her head, "sir as far as I can tell the entire military, all of it, breeds and thrives, exclusively on paperwork. If there isn't a form or a file or a report or something done in triplicates it didn't happen. So I imagine that we will have to either compile a report or stand for some sort of checkup or something, so that's not unexpected, and it's also very fair and reasonable considering what we're asking." she musters up another of those almost-smiles and nods at the same time. "it is a big deal to me because it's my skin and it's my body and being able to say that I have the right to decide what does and does not happen to my body is a big deal to me. So I'll pick a tattoo that I don't hate and live with it."

"Yeah, that's life in the Fleet for you," Niko agrees. It's common knowledge that the CAG abhors paperwork, and that Major Heron often gets stuck with more than her share of the red tape. Then he gives a nod for her concerns about the body-art. "Yeah, I guess I can understand that. It's not like you can't get it removed some day, if you really don't like it." Then he pauses, thinks, and finally shrugs. "So what's your next move? If you want my advice, you guys should meet with Command all together. I can come along, if you like. But in the end it's Ioke or Commander Petra you'll have to convince. Both of them were around for the last war. They know the Lines."

With a look on her face that conveys both relief and genuine appreciation in the face of how many ways this conversation could have gone badly, "Honestly, sir, that is the best possible next option that is even remotely realistic," Diaz replies. "I think that our individual goals were to speak with our individual commanding officers explain the situation, and if all of you agree with the plan of action then all of us speaking to Commander Petra and or the Admiral as a group should be sufficient as a demonstration of intent. Also, by not doing this behind closed doors not doing this in secret, by not concealing or lying about any of this, has to weigh in as a factor in a good way. I don't know yet whether or not the Gunnery Sergeant or the lieutenant have had a chance to speak with their Commander, or whether or not Dr. Galen has had a chance to speak with Colonel Stone, but presuming that everybody does take immediate action? Hopefully we can speak with command as a group as soon as possible."

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