AWD #072: Picon Revisited
Picon Revisited
Summary: Petra and Zachary pay Spree a visit to get Orion updated on everything Bancroft was holding out on.
Date: 19/03/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: A follow up to the recent events on Picon, FAR too many to list here.
Petra Zachary Spree 
Picon - ANVIL Command Post
CMDR Spree's updated command post. Hey, she's decorated!
AWD #72

The return to Picon is uneventful and the young man, with his camera full of approved photos and videos, has been in with Spree for the last half hour, discussing and reporting in. Standing outside the Command Post, its a lot of boring waiting. But when the man finally emerges, he smiles to the two senior officers and heads on back towards the Raptor. The Master Sergeant leans out of the newly installed hatch and gestures to the two officers. "The Commander will see you now, sirs," he says curtly and moves back inside. Once in, the CP seems to have taken on a new look. Previously it was just a blasted-out hole in the mine. Now, it has deck plating welded together on the floor, proper walls with structural support, and a ceiling that doesn't drip. Spree is wearing her set of surplus cammies, as is the whole of the CP staff. They actually look like a fighting unit and there is a whole lot of more high-end gear here now. SCAMP sat terminals are lined against one wall and there are maps of every surviving colony tacked up across the walls. The place is significantly busier, too. All eyes on the two officers as they enter, but Spree in particular looks rather pleased. Sidearm, combat vest, hands folded behind her vest, the Marine stands there with a small smile.

Petra made a point of wearing some of the heavier combat armor this time, cause gods damnit, every single time he comes down to this planet… Regardless, he nods and gives Zachary a curious look before heading in with the Major. Slowing to a stop a few steps inside the CP, he does at least a passable job of stifling the amusement, and actually flashes a salute at Spree, "Congratulations, Commander. We're assuming everything your scout reviewed with you met your approval?"

"After you, Colonel." the Major offers as Zachary rises to his feet, still in his flight suit, hands set in his pockets as he looks around. "Looks like they've gotten things cleaned up around here." he comments casually as he puts his hands to the side and follows Marcus in. He does offer a salute to Spree, since unlike Orion, he isn't on the first name basis with her like he is with the TACCO.

Spree returns the salutes. "Gentlemen," she greets. "At ease. I might have taken a promotion, but I'm not going to change my style so lets keep things relaxed. I don't want anything missed or lost in proper military bearing." She reaches across the map table for a stack of thick yellow messenger envelopes and sticks them under an arm. "He reported that you've got what I saw. Gave an extensive report on your medical facilities, readiness posture, and operations. I'm impressed." She gestures back out of the room. "Mister Lawrence, you have the CP." The order is repeated by a Major and the Commander leads Petra and Zach out of the CP and back through the tunnels. "Colonel, Major." She glances to them both over her shoulder. "Down to brass tacks while we walk. I want to begin full evacuations of our civilians and non-combatants as soon as you all think you can handle it. Whatever numbers you can handle, I want to move them ASAP. You've got my faith. You've also got a lot of people in my command clamboring to get their families out of here. Hope you're up for it." She continues leading them down the passages and turns into her private quarters, which now /also/ has a functional door. "Make yourselves comfortable and we'll begin." Sleeping bag, sawhorse desk, a couple chairs, and a secure phone. A set of impeccably clean dress greys are hung in plastic from a bolt stuck into the wall. Spree moves to sit on the sleeping bag. Apparently all the creature comforts she brought back went to other people.

Petra listens quietly while she explains, turning to follow her lead back to her personal space. Yanking the top button or two of his vest open so he can stretch his neck, Petra finally claims one of the chairs after she sits down, leaning forward to place his elbows on his knees, "We have a plan in place, but you have millions of people, and until we get the basestars out of the way, we're going to have to do this by the raptor load." He glances over at Zachary, then back to Spree, "We've already worked out a plan to have one massive airlift to the hospital ship, and after that, we'll just keep sending back a raptor a day to grab more folks, until we can clear the air and bring in larger ships. So at first, you'll have to prioritize who goes. We can work it out."

"I already have several missions slates cleared out for airlifts from here. I also have a secondary airlift from Pallas to plan as well." Zachary admits as he reaches into his side pocket to open it and withdraws a notebook so he can start keeping notes.

"Pregnant women, intellectuals too old to fight, then kids. We've got a couple college professors in hiding we want out of here and someplace safe, with their collections of literature. Everyone else is going to be done by lottery." Spree is direct with it, looking between them. She sits back against the dirt wall and unloads the manilla envelopes to her side. "Good. Pallas was going to be my next recommendation. Those people are some of the best minds we've got left alive. Get them the hell out of there." She takes a breath and takes up the first envelope, the name 'Aquaria' written across it. "I'm giving over what we've got. I raided Bancroft's intelligence team. I'm sickened, appalled, and damned glad we did. That man was parked on vital intel that could save lives." she doesn't hand over the envelope yet. "Let's just get one thing straight: My priority is and always will be Picon. I've got overall command, but my focus is here. That's why we've got designated command assets on each colony left." Spree looks between them. "There are resistance operations underway on every single colony that didn't get glassed. Some are in worse shape than others. I still consider Picon's to be the most strategically dire. Any questions before we get rolling?"

Petra sits there listening to what Spree has to say, nodding along with Zachary's assessment of what he has ready to go. When she picks up the envelope, his attention focuses on it like a kid that is being taunted by a present from Santa, though he DOES glance back up at her face from time to time while she speaks. At the final question, he clears his throat, "As long as we know what the actual situation is on each of the colonies, we'll do what we can. If a situation is just hopeless, then we'll try to get them airlifted off…fighting to the last man is a noble cause, but we'd rather people lived and fought another day, and we can come back and kick the Cylons back off the colony later. But no questions so far."
<Public> Phin has connected.

Zachary nods his agreement to what Petra says. "I don't mind airdropping Marines down here.. or even some of my own pilots if you have extra Predators or Vipers that need handlers, but I also want to know that they'll be taken care of while they're with you." he admits.
<Public> Phin has disconnected.

Spree shakes her head to Petra. "Negative. Tough decisions are going ot have to be made, but I understand that. As stated, I want Picon because we're keeping the heat off Aerilon for now. They're holding out and fighting like hell. Once you all can start getting consistent air support here, we can start pushing back." To Zach, she nods. "I can put your people to work right away. I've got radio frequencies for my JTACs, unit allotments, and target packages in the folder for Picon. While they're here, they will be roughing it, but that's no difference from anywhere else on the colonies. You guys donate the air support, we'll put priority on them. Trained Marines are going to have some heavy work, too." She hands over the folder to them for Aquaria. Inside are recon photos, pilot reports, contact lists and a general overview of the situation. Everything is handwritten. "Aquaria is doing pretty well. The canners aren't frakking with them too badly. They're killing most of the patrols that come into the towns and stations. We think the Cylons have gotten the hint that they aren't welcome. Our last contact with Aquaria said its been quiet. Bancroft's intel corps was suggesting that the Cylons aren't going to put more war materiele onto the planet until places like Picon are secured. they could grab it anytime they wanted to, but why should they? They're got bigger fish to fry."
<Public> Holtz has connected.

Petra reaches out to take the envelope, drawing the material out and scooting his chair closer to Zachary so the two men can glance over the information while they listen to Spree's briefing of it, "So it sounds like their supply pipeline isnt quite as unlimited as I was afraid it might be. They can't just attack everything at once. So we CAN bleed them. That's…inspiring, I suppose you could say."

"Means that Dolly's plan might have more merit." Zachary admits as he looks over the information as well. "At least this will make Eden's day." he murmurs absently as he considers the intel, and lets out a low whistle. "What about that ship graveyard that the Cylons supposedly have here. Any new info on that?"

"Truth of war is that it requires resources. Nothing is unlimited, not even space. I'll get to the graveyard when I hit Picon, though." Spree takes up the folder for Capirca and its a thick one, unlike the thin contents for Aquaria. Dozens of high-altitude recon photos, even more AARs written by Marines. "Caprica," Spree sighs. "They've surrendered. They want no part of the war. Bancroft had Raptors running back and forth to there getting steady reports up until two weeks ago. He'd been keeping steady contact with the Fifty-fifth Mobile Command and Control Squadron. They're an outfit that was designed to go road-mobile if the balloon ever went up. They're apart of the nuclear defense forces but reported directly to Colonial Command Authority. They're running the highest-end gear and are escorted by the seven-ninety-first Security Forces group. They're a special warfare unit dedicated to ground-side convoy escort. All Marines and private military contractors. These guys are as good as they get. But the fifty-fifth has been coordinating low-intensity resistance operations planetwide through their commo suite. Their contact protocols are in the packet. But the problem is that with Caprica capitulating, humanity has turned on itself in some sick ways. Human infiltrators are getting into the resistance groups and giving them up. So far it looks like these people are getting large rewards and positions of cylon-backed authority within their communities. Its created a culture of fear where people are informing on each other according to reports. But there are an estimated two billion survivors on Caprica. However, an interesting report, is that some people are going missing. Cylons raid their homes and take them in the middle of the night. They're never seen again, but there's no indications they are being murdered or executed. And, one last thing gentlemen…" Spree stares between them. "Our last report off Caprica says the President is alive."

Petra listens to the rather grim report with narrowing eyes, his gaze shifting back and forth between the photos and Spree's face. At the mention of the President, he mutters, "Frakking Adar. We warned him and he just sat there." He takes a moment and clears his throat, "We'll go over what we have and see if we can sneak someone onto the planet to talk to them. Beyond that, it's a 'we'll have to see what we can do' kind of thing." He glances at Zachary curiously for a moment, then back to Spree, "We're still working on figuring out just what the hell the Cylons are doing with the internment camps. We have some ideas, and they arent…good."

Zachary gets a look on his face, and it draws into a tight frown as he considers. "We may just have to mark Caprica as off limits enemy territory." he says finally. "Even if we could evacuate the unit, who's to say they won't be bringing in a saboteur as well." The expression darkens for a moment as he considers and shakes his head finally.

"You can lead a horse to water, Marc. Bancroft knew that Loytrall had been warned by someone and actually disobeyed orders with two other fleet admirals and began spinning up their reserves. Election year, though." Spree sighs again. "But Adar… may need to be eliminated. He's a mouthpiece for the cylons. He's been encouraging people to not just surrender but inform on each other. There's some pretty vile rhetoric coming from him. I don't think it sounds like him, honestly, but the guy is dangerous. So… I can't make the call, but you may seriously need to consider taking him out." Looking back to Zach, she shrugs. "Possible. But the fifity-fifth is made-up of hand-selected individuals. I doubt that in that atmosphere they would be letting anyone into their fold. Most of these people are chosen because they don't even have close family ties. They live, eat, and breathe the military. If you want to write off Cap, though, that's your call." She looks between them. "I would recommend at least getting someone out there to talk to them. I've send a Raptor to report in to them about the change of command, plus an Eyes Only report to their CO in regards to the fleet not being out of the fight. Got something quick on these camps, though?" She takes up the folder for Leonis.

Petra nods slightly at the exchange, "We'll run all of this past our own Intel folks as well and see if they come up with any brilliant ideas…we have a couple of sharp cookies left in our jar." He offers a bit of a wan smile at that, "I think we can arrange getting a marine down there to talk to them. Beyond that, I dont know. The Major might be right…there are more places like Picon where we can do more damage and do more help right now. We'll see." When she holds up the Leonis folder, one brow goes up, "Now, if you have something interesting on THAT, Carolyn, I might have to kiss you in front of your command."

"I'll see about getting someone besides our TACCO on the ground to talk to the five five, then." Zachary says after a moment's thought on the matter as he considers and folds his hands into his lap finally and falls quiet to let the briefing continue. He'll draw up his plans later, that's how it usually goes.

"Like I said, your call. My contact with the fifty-fifth has been to tell them to maintain posture and await orders. If you all need me to yank the plug on Caprica, that might be one helluva political decision. But we aren't talking about politics anymore. This is the survival of our species." The last from Petra gets a laugh, though. "You tease." To Zach, she nods. "Exactly. I don't think they are too concerned with rank so much as they are having solid info and contact." The folder is handed over again, with much the same contents. However in this packets are detailed shots of some of the cities. There is a very visible fenceline and perimeter built around them. "This. Frakking Leonis." She clicks her teeth. "That's Halstrom. Its one of fifteen cities across the colony that look like that. They're being used as prisons." A pause. "They are using whole cities as prisons. Between those and the several dozen prison camps set up, reports from the resistance there estimate there are between twenty and twenty-five million people in prison camps. There are hourly arrivals of ships adding and removing prisoners. Those egressing are being taken to unconfirmed destinations. Right now there is a huge resistance operation underway there, too. They're not actively engaging the Cylons so much as they are trying to protect and move the non-combatants around. Towns are no-go zones and patrolled regularly. There's a large concentration of surviving military that make up the core of the operation, but most of their fighters are men and women of military age and know-how. Lots of survivalists and people who know how to handle themselves. tough bastards, the lot. I've got a Captain there organizing the whole planet who is damned good but he comes from Logistics. Honestly, I'm not in any frame of mind to argue with him. The man is doing a godsdamned fantastic job considering his situation. But the Cylons capture anyone they find and detain them in the facilities. They've liberated a few camps, but they take heavy losses doing-so. Leonis is, for all intents and purposes, a prison colony."

Petra purses his lips as he listens, slowly getting lost in thought before something registers, "As best as you can tell, do you have ANY idea where the people are going? OUr own scouts reported liners full of folks, under Raider escort, travelling there, but if they are leaving as well, I'm wondering if they have some sort of research station or..well, something worse. Are they docking with the basestars?"

Zachary pays rapt attention at this point, making notes on his paper as he listens to the briefing. "Or are they just keeping them there, for now?" he wonders aloud as he chews on his bottom lip.

"We're not sure. We've got that kind of traffic report coming from Scorpia, Leonis, Caprica, Aerilon, the Guerrilla Zone here on Picon… We have no idea and no way to track them," she replies to Petra. Zach gets a shrug. "Sorry, I can't say. I'm hesitant to even guess. We've got some solid info, but I'm only passing on what I know. If I were passing on rumors and possibilities, we'd be here all night. And sorry boys, but I've got canners to kill." She ghosts a smirk. "Libran." The folder is handed over but its pitifully thin. Just high altitude recon shots and a few vague AARs. "Damned near nothing. The boots we've been able to put on the ground there haven't found out anything and nobody will talk to them. Lots of fear. The descriptions are that the place has become nearly medieval. Torches, people using chamberpots, real crazy. The Cylons EMP'd the shit out of it and are jamming all communications heavily. There's a lot of them on the ground, too, and actively patrolling. Whatever they have going on there is important, but damned if we know what it is."

Petra murmurs, "And with no electronics, we cant scout very effectively or bring back pictures or intel about it, either. Well, we'll have to keep a close eye on it then." He licks his lips slowly, then gives Zachary a questioning look, "You know. Could we rig a probe with an extended power cell and a passive scanner? The Cylons went and destroyed everything in orbit around all of the colonies, leaving all of these convenient debris fields. We could send raptors out to each one, leave a couple of these probes, and then come back and collect them later and have an awfully convenient list of what specifically comes and goes from each system…"

Zachary rubs his chin and glances over at Petra as he considers the idea. "We could." he admits finally. "It wouldn't be as good as the intel we'd get with boots on the ground, but it would at least give us something to start off with." he admits as he lets out a slow exhale of breath.

Spree doesn't say anything while the two discuss options. Her eyes drift between them as she takes up three folders at once. Every one of them is labeled for Picon. Once they finish, she hands off all three to the pair. Each one is thick with recon shots, AARs, and everything needed to conduct heavy operations. "That's not even everything, but its most. I've still got people working through Bancroft's list. You'll find thirty pages of targets in there, though, Major." She looks at Zach as she says it. "You asked about the graveyard? That's CFAB Crandall down at Marlin City. Home of the thirty-third Tactical Fighter Wing. But the main storage facility is home to the Aircraft Maintenance and Regeneration Group. Sat shots are.." She leans a bit to point them out in the packet. "There. thousands of Predators, Vipers, and Raptors. Plus there are several old fleet ships with landing capability there. Last reports said that the Cylons had landed there and were using slave labor from our naval personnel there to reassemble some of the older transport ships. Its officially behind the lines and defended by a Saber site. Its tough getting close. Gentlemen, you push back the cylons out of that area and put down an effort, you've got enough tac air to put some serious hurt on the Cylons. Questions on that? There's some more, including some rather significant information you'll both be interested in." - - -"

Petra takes a closer look at some of the pictures, trading them around with Zachary, "We'll have to get the Marines on the boat to take a look at this, and might be able to work out a ground and air assault, if they think they can handle it, and if Zach's Air Wing is confident they can wild weasel the SAMs. This is too big of a target to let it sit there and let them recover more from it, really. And from the looks of what they have around it, I suppose they know it. Anything you have, we're happy to get. From what I heard, you have more pilots than aircraft right now, so you probably have folks that would be able to use some of this immediately."

"If we can get some Marines and JTAC support in there, we can definetly do some damage." Zachary admits with a nod of his head. "Been a while since we ran a joint exercise, I might need to run a couple of ghost ops on the P to knock the cobwebs off."

"Officially, I've got seven thousand active and retired military pilots that I know about who just want an aircraft to fly, and that's across all active resistance operations. Twelve-hundred of them are here on Picon. But I'm in agreement. Major, you get some strike pilots together, you'll some people with balls of steel. The only terrain-masked approach to that site is up a canyon about four to seven hundred feet wide, then you're in the open for the last twenty miles on the approach up to the ridgeline this is on. I'd suggest that if you guys want some training time, you get in altitudes low enough that you're going to be starting grass fires from the exhaust temps." No, she's not kidding. The Commander then reaches into her pocket and produces a small MP3 player. "Here's the big news. This was recorded February 12th and coincided with a massive stoppage of Cylon offensive operations and confirmed reports of baseship arms and sectionals falling into orbit and impacting Picon." A very wicked smile flashes across her face. She presses a button and a grunted, gravelly voice comes on the other end. It starts a bit static-y but clears fast. "Testing the systems. In the Green. Conducting downgrades on CNP systems. Hold strong. We will not abandon you. This is Lieutenant Colonel Galloway, Task Force Blackjack, Out." The recording ends and Spree holds that grin. "We had five basestars in orbit that day. Bancroft sent up a recon Raptor after this was intercepted. There was only exploded remains of cylon ships in orbit."

Petra glances at Zachary as she talks about trial runs, making sure his CAG seems to be agreeable to that before the conversation moves on. He looks significantly more curious when she brandishes the recording, leaning in a little unnecessarily to listen as she plays. His eyes narrow a bit, then when it finishes and she describes, he levels his gaze at her face, "I'd have to ask Jameson to confirm if he heard it from the Admiralty or not, but is Blackjack what I think it is?" It would figure that the Navy would come up with a name like that for an last minute ace in the hole.

Zachary nods in his agreement for the runs. He trusts Spree to know the terrain that they will be dealing with. Tough at the announcement from the MP3 player, his brows arch, and he looks attentively up to the Commander.

"Unless you know of something else capable of standing toe to toe with five basestars or at least scaring them off, I suspect it is. The Raptor detected no unknown traces of radiation. Whatever hit them did it with conventional weapons. Good news is that I've got a list of all the pilots that came out of the Baker Bay group and stayed here to fight. The bad news is, all of the ones I've tried to reach are dead or missing. There's four more names on the list. One of them was shot down yesterday in the Guerrilla Zone and ejected over a concentration of enemy Centurions. His wingman reported that he survived and was on the ground intact and captured." She holds up a finger. "Two hours later, DRADIS contact had a heavy raider depart that area and fly to that facility that Bancroft allowed to be built. Its heavily defended, but I think they took him there. If he's there, he's your guy. Lieutenant Eugene Lassater is his name, Tauron native. I can get you strike information about his location if you can stick around an extra twenty minutes after this or I can try to contact the other three pilots who are unknowns. Your call."

Petra mms, "How about we do both? We'll stick around a little longer to get that information, and you keep trying to find the other three. I don't have to tell you what a massive thing it will be if we can find those guys and merge forces with them. It would be worth the time investment now, even if that takes a couple people off of other projects of yours for a little while."

"Get us that information and then we'll work on the three unknowns." Zachary decides finally. "It's not quite tea time back on the Orion yet." he says with a small chuckle.

"Sounds good. I'll try over the next few days." Spree hands over a single piece of paper. "That's Sagittaron. Apparently there are people there trapped under the nuclear clouds. Tens of thousands in bunkers and nuclear bomb shelters. We have no idea how to get to them, but there has sporadic radio contact with survivors. I don't think we can get to them. Sag is still burning, like Tauron." Then another packet is handed over. Not terribly thick, but its decent. "Scorpia. The southern hemisphere is a mess after the shipyards crashed, but the northern is mostly clear. There's confirmed contact with resistance forces there conducting jungle warfare against the Cylons. There are also some recon shots in that packet of some recent construction projects, but nothing that matches anything else we have seen. Some of the shots show transports on the ground at these facilities, too. Probably some of your civilians off Leonis, but we aren't positive. There's contact information in the packet for their resistance commander, a Major Angela Fuentes. She's a Marine officer I was in special warfare with and someone I trust."

Petra chews on the corner of his mouth as he listens and looks over the paper, then hands it to Zachary. He leans back in the chair and folds his arms over the armor vest, "There has to be some way to get the people out without frying everyone. We'll try to establish contact again." Talking about Scorpia, he slowly nods and glances at Zachary again before offering, "We're rather exceptionally blind about Scorpia. If we can reach out to this Major Fuentes and get a better sitrep from her, that would be a big help. Alright."

Zachary accepts the files, looking them over as he lets out a slow breath, and nods his agreement. "We'll just have to figure it out." he admits as he frowns at the reports a little more.

Spree nods a few times. "Contact info in each packet will let you know how to get a hold of each commander I have there. They've all been notified of the change of command. Not everyone is happy about it, but they're in line. That's all I have, though. Aerilon is a huge mess that I'm still getting organized on. I'm still trying to sort out conflicting reports I've got coming out of our own Guerrilla Zone, too." The Commander slowly stands from the seated position against the wall. "Alright. Any questions?"

Petra murmurs, "I think they'll be more in line when they see what benefits your command is bringing with it." There's a bit of a terse smile at that statement, then he looks over at Zachary, before tidying up the folders and tucking them under an arm, "I think you just handed us a huge Saturnalia present. Its going to take us a little to decide what other options is gives us, but right now? I dont think I have any questions. Major?"

"Don't be surprised if I come back in a week or so with information or a ton of questions." Zachary admits with a laugh. "I'm gonna need a few days to digest all of this - you just gave me an all you can eat buffet of information, after all, sir."

Spree shakes her head. "No problem. You guys are welcome here in my CP anytime. You need more info, just swing by. We'll do what we can to help you out. Oh, and Major?" Spree stops as she turns towards the door. "Lieutenant Colonel Ecchavaria was killed four days ago flying his Viper. He got bounced by Raiders, we think. As far as we know, you're now the ranking air group commander. Congrats." She opens the door to the hatch. "C'mon. I'll get you the intel on that facility."

Petra lifts one brow at the news about the LTC, turning his gaze back on Zachary. As the two start out after Spree, he murmurs, "And you thought you didnt have enough to do…" There IS just the faint hint of a wry smile, but it fades quickly. After all, they ARE talking about a pilot dying.

"Can I trade it all for a Baker Bay?" Zachary says with a lift of his brow and a shake of his head. "Frak me." he murmurs with a glance at all of his papers. "Duty is heavy, Marcus, death, light as a feather."

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