Leap: The Challenge
The Challenge
Summary: Fencer talks to Robin about what is coming.
Date: 8 months prior to Mission Day
Related Logs: If there are no related logs, put 'None' — please, don't leave blank!)
Fencer Robin 
CO's Stateroom
8 Months to Leap

Its six months to the Orion scheduled to be out of drydock and the massive 'upgrade', which really does none of the work any justice. The ship is still being re-assembled but its coming along well. There's still a lot of work being done everywhere and there's almost no military personnel aboard except The Flag, Robin, and the engineering personnel. She's already been named the CO when it is finished and she's needed aboard the ship to sign off and check on the modifications as they come down. Its a major undertaking and as much as it might be boring, Robin gets to watch The Hunter be reborn. She came to it late and is now seeing this ship come into its own in a whole new way. But Fencer has interrupted the mild hum-drum of daily activity and said he needs to speak with her right away.

Fencer has done a very fine job of keeping his distance. Strike Group Nineteen has become a friendly presence but they keep to the outside of the system and only draw closer at the request of Colonial Fleet Command. He flies to meet people rather than requesting they come to him. Fencer has been a well-chosen commander over the last twenty-one years. He keeps his fleet in check and makes his people work hard to work /with/ the Colonial Fleet. So when he requests a meeting very suddenly, there must be something afoot. Robin is notified when he arrives and his typical escort stands outside the CO's quarters while he knocks and enters, grays and sidearm.

Robin has taken to her duties without complaint as the new CO. It's a strange thing to watch the ship be reborn after all this time, after so much history in war and peace, but it's time. The news that Fencer has arrived travels quickly. It gives her enough time to stand up and button up her blues and make sure she's presentable. By the time he arrives, Robin is standing back behind her desk. She turns to see him in his grays. The sidearms are something she got used to quickly. "Come, please sit." She gestures to one of the chairs as she sits down.

"Robin," he greets with a friendly smile. Over the years they've come to know each other well. In settings like this it has become a personal working relationship that is also professional. He heds to her desk with a tablet in his left hand. There's a doubletap to his chest, a respectful one, and he offers his hand to shake. "Good to see you. Sorry about the short notice but we just got an intelligence report and I've been instructed to brief you. You're, ah, going to want to sit for this one." Mike learned his Colonial the hard way. He refused to razer and spent a lot of hours studying. Thus, he understands the nuances a little better for the individual planets and their speakers.

Robin shares a warm smile with Fencer and dips her head in deference when he does the doubletap to his chest. She takes his hand with both of hers to give a hearty single shake. "It's quite alright. Circumstances." She's still brisk in communications, though this time out of respect for the urgentness in Fencer's tone. Robin still has her Virgon accent, a dialect of a time and people gone. "Please. Go on." She grabs a legal pad from nearby and reaches up to pluck a pencil from behind her ear. An old habit of hers.

Mike takes a seat and settles in, crossing an ankle over a knee. The pad drops to his lap and he looks to Robin. "It came sooner than we'd hoped. My Fleet, and I mean the command, not the Strike Group, was hoping this wouldn't happen this soon. But here it is. We're looking for Colonial help. We're looking for you all to dig deep and bring out the Erfriki." He takes a breath, looking serious. "We've got confirmed intelligence reports that One - yes, that One - has made contact with the Sheens and given up your position. Along with intelligence about the Cylons and their surrender. We don't know how, but he knows everything about the end to the last war. The Machines, Charlies as we're referring to them, are aware." With barely 250 million evacuated, its a small fraction of humanity left at the Colonies.

"That bloody son of a bitch," Robin grits out. She was there when they let One slip through their fingers. Through all his utter bullshit. "I was rather hoping he had died somehow," she says as if it were a pity. She sighs. "Well it was bound to happen at some point. He probably had spies," she says as if it would have been the most natural thing in the world for One to do. "What happens to those we haven't been able to evacuate yet?" Even as she says it, Robin already knows their best bet for anyone is to bring the fight to the Machines. "How old is this intel?…" She turns in her chair, thinking through all the implications. Without waiting for an answer she thinks aloud, "I'm going to have to recall everyone."

"He does have spies. He's got a hundred million of them here on the Colonies. Libran is their headquarters." Its no secret that Mike had wanted to dust the whole planet but had held his tongue expertly. When the fleet asked his opinion, he simply told them 'Colonials should deal with Colonials.' Too many missed the subtext. "If the Charlies show up here in force? We'll fight. I'll call the whole damned fleet." And he's serious. "But it won't hold them off. You've got too many people here. They need manpower and slaves. They won't glass the Colonies, they'll take them. And a lot of people will die trying just to get more out." The words are direct and quiet. "Yeah, you're going to want to dig deep for the recall. Not just because of what I've told you. It gets worse." He looks to his tablet. "And better." He presses his hand to the face of the tablet then she can watch it scan his eyes. Typical, even Robin has that kind of security on her tablet. He taps a few more times afterwards and a hologram pops. He gestures it to the side so they can both look at it. His left, her right. Its against the wall. Robin is looking at something that might make her heart sink. "Yep. That's a Nine." Next photo. "That's a Six and a Two." Net photo. "Five and a Seven." The worlds and dress are foreign, but there's no mistaking what they are looking at. Lines. On occupied worlds. Armed and oppressing. "Fleet Intel says these photos are between one and three years old. He's using them again. And its causing a real shitstorm where they are on the ground."

Somewhere between hundreds of millions of spies and lots of people dying, Robin starts to rub her forehead. She can feel a headache coming on and it's all One's fault…maybe a little Mike's. As he shows her the photos, she just shakes her head. "Do we know anything about how he got them?" There's a limpness to the question, a sadness. Robin has spent a large part of her time helping integrating the fleet. No one told her to. It's something she spearheaded herself, though it's not like she was probably the only person who thought it was needed. To see a Nine, and other Lines subjugated like that again is clearly painful. She shakes her head.

"Yeah, we think we know." Mike takes down the photos and looks back to her. "When the Colonial fleet intercepted the Cylons looking for Erfriki, One jumped away with three resurrection ships. Given time to build more, and unlimited tech, yeah this is going to be a frakker of non-surprise." Mike shakes his head. "He already knew where you all were, but how he got the intel on the cease fire is probably due to the spies. Now-" He takes a long breath "-Charlies move at a slow rate. They could show up here next year, next week, or fifty years from now. All One knew was that a ship jumped in near them. That might have tipped him off to our involvement. If it did, they'll come sooner. But I think the luxury of time and anonymity may be over." He keeps his eyes on her. "I'm here talking to you because you've faught AI before. I'm not talking to the fleet Admirals and the political animals for a reason. You and I both have a better appreciation for what this means. You ready for the good news? …Its good news. Sort of."

"Yes. I remember." Unfortunately. Robin's replayed that moment when the Ones got away a few times over in her head since. "Yeah my bet is your involvement isn't a kept secret by now. It's not worth gambling on that either." Robin reaches for her coffee that's on its way to lukewarm by now. "Please. Don't say sort of. That just makes it all bullocks. What is it?" She's a bit more informal with him than when they first met. It's taken /time/.

"That's our estimation. Plan for the worst and hope for the best. Assuming they know we are here, they are going to come gunning unless we can get them focused elsewhere." Mike looks at her. "The Lines are involved heavily on several worlds. They're subverting and hunting down dissenters. They're acting as something like clerics. They're using projection as a weapon and its really screwing things up. But-" Fencer holds up finger. "They're moving too fast. The populations are seeing the divisions between those who have been exposed and who has not. Now, unchecked, this will propogate across the planets and leave them all hard-locked to the Machines. But as we stand right now, for the next five and a half years, we are standing at a tipping point." He brings up a star chart of the galaxy. Its thrown against the wall again and he highlights where the worlds are. Half-way points between the rim and the core. "They are trying to lock down their communication hubs. These planets are the locations where they take commo from the outter planets and process it to be shipped to command sections at the core. These Lines are causing a major stink. Half these planets are close to rebellion and they are flooding these locations. They didn't expect the Lines to cause this big of a problem. The Machines are in a containment scenario." He looks back to Robin. "If we can cause enough problems for them, we can distract and potentially screw them." He leans forward, putting the tablet on her desk. "We can't go in there. One or two people doing Diplomatic Corps is easy enough to hide. But we look different. But you? Erfriki? The Colonials? You can get in there. Are you tracking?"

"Wait they're using it as a weapon?" Robin takes a sip of her coffee and sets it aside. "Are they using it to brainwash directly somehow?" It's that Fencer mentions the divisions and how people who have been exposed must be different somehow for those left to notice. It's not critical to what she knows they must need to go over, so the Admiral doesn't press it at the moment. She squints at the star chart as Fencer splashes it up against the wall. "Yeah that's because they're Machines. We go in and disrupt communications. Maybe work with the local populace if possible to amplify operations." She glances back to Fencer after thinking some to herself. "We draw heat away from the Colonies while they evacuate the rest while jabbing them in the throat at the same time. It could potentially shorten the time we have to evacuate, but we're in a gamble whichever way we move right now anyways."

Fencer nods slowly. "Yeah. They're using projection as a weapon. And damned effectively. They are working in all the worst ways. Direct brainwashing to all avenues. We lost a lot of operatives to get this intel back here." He keeps his focus on her. In 21 years the guy seems to have only aged three or four. Maybe a blessing to go gray earlier. "That's what my Fleet Command is thinking. Go in, stir the pot. It'll get people killed, Robin. But its going to keep the Machines off the Colonies. We are talking a lot of thousands versus the billions here on the Colonies. This is a pure numbers game." He glances to the hologram. "Oh, it'll stir the hornets nest with them, but thats the clutch of long ball operations. Even if they sack the colonies, you're still out here. And if they learn that you're Erfriki, they aren't going to be after the colonies. They're going to be after your strike force." Fencer looks back to Robin. "If I recall, from reading your history, the Orion is The Hunter. How would you feel about leaking the information that the Erfriki are alive and well across the galaxy… and making your battlegroup the target?"

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