AWD #016: Think of the Children
Think of the Children
Summary: Iphigenia approaches Zachary with a question about the evacuations.
Date: 25/Jan/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Iphigenia Zachary 
CAG's Office - Battlestar Orion
25 January 2005

It's a day like any other, people are working, doing what they need to do. Just another day on Orion. But today in the midst of his paperwork, Zachary is interrupted. Iphigenia Arden's figure appears in the open doorway, and she leans inside to rap on the other side of the hatch. "Zachary? May I have a few moments of your time?" Gen tends to be slightly informal, but in her capacity as chaplain, she can get away with it within certain boundaries.

It's not his office yet, but Zachary needs the extra space, as he has briefings tagged to the wall, and a large map of an area of some world. If Geni is nosy, it reads 'Promethea Air Map'. Areas are marked in red, some in green, and in the harbor is a large marked X with a heading 'Heavy Cruiser Adrastea'.

The rap on his door draws his attention as the DCAG looks over his shoulder before turning around to study the figure in his doorway. "Iphigenia." Despite a recent talk, he's willing to accept a first name basis. "Please come in. Forgive the mess, I needed the space."

Iphigenia takes a seat. "I realize you've got a lot on your plate, but I'm looking into some areas of concern and I believe it would be good to line up support for the project proposals I want to present to the admiral when they're ready. May I bend your ear for a tick?"

"Sure." Zachary says, letting out his breath as he steps back from the map and goes to sit on the edge of the CAG's desk. "What can I do for you, sister?" he asks as he folds his hands over his forward facing knee.

"I've been thinking a great deal about what Piraeus is going to mean for the future, especially with the prospect of surviving, if not winning this war. Do you think we're going to start seeing a great many refugees? Particularly children?" she asks curiously.

The question hits home, and she knows it. His recent talk of starting a family is forefont in the list of priorities as he considers the Chaplain. "If the mission to evacuate Picon goes as plan, I would assume we would have some children, yes." he asks. "They are being used as runners and medical assistants down on the surface at the moment." Which means they'll probably be very damaged goods when and if they are rescued. "Why do you ask?"

"Well, first I think Piraeus needs to start preparing for the influx in general. I want to propose a salvage project if we find civilian ships, along with the natural resources of Piraeus, to start taking care of housing, but that's long term. Those children - I can certainly understand them wanting to do their part. But there's…a limit to the exposure they should be inflicted with. I'd like to develop a protocol of standards by which your raptors may elect to take on children as rescues and bring them back here, to wait out the war in safety on Piraeus. Not all of them will want to go, and the older children will want to help with the war effort…but the truly little ones. They deserve a chance."

"I am already running salvage operations, Geni. It's been hard - those that rabbited and lived will not be easy to find." he admits with a sigh as he studies the woman for a moment, and shakes his head a little. "I wish it was so easy to give children the priority. But children can't fly a Viper or a Raptor, or take to orders. To take to the notion of making children a priority means that we are giving up on those that may still be willing to help us in a fight." he comments. "I know eventually we will have to start considering families, but at the moment, we are still trying to regroup before we discuss surviving."

"I'm not suggesting that they be incorporated into the Colonial defense. I'm suggesting they be taken to Piraeus. Where they can learn and grow and thrive with only a shadow of the war over their heads rather than being in the thick of it." Iphigenia insists, not backing down. "And that's why I'm suggesting protocols rather than an intentional operation. A sort of 'what to do if this situation occurs'. When and how children can and should be rescued if there is means and opportunity."

"I didn't say I disagreed, Geni, but it's my position that we try to save as many as possible. Children, adults.. anyone that is willing to still stand against the Cylons." he comments as Zachary lets out a breath. "The current protocol is that any survivors from here own out will be taken to Piraeus and quarantined until we're sure that they are not suffering any ill effects from combat." he comments. "So it should work well with your plan?" It's offered in a suggestion.

"The circumstances of any war are to try and save as many as possible." Gen counters. "But we can't, not broadly, not yet. I want our pilots and our marines to be able to know with certainty under what circumstances they can bring a child or children back with them from a mission. I understand how you want to save everyone equally, but quite frankly," Gen takes a breath, "We can't. Not now, not yet. We can do this, though. And save the generation that is our future, if we're to have one."

"If it was Eden or I, Iphigenia, I am sure we would give up our seat to a child." Zachary responds. But if there was the room, I would send her as well. I understand that you want to save the next generation, but we also need the current generation if we are to even consider repopulation." he points out to her. "Otherwise, what happens we become older and unable to fight as well anymore?"

"The current generation is fighting. I'm not suggesting we rip them away from their families unbidden, or remove members of the fighting force. Again, that's why I want to develop protocols." There's a cock of her head. "Should I assume that you will not assist me in developing this?"

"I didn't say that, Geni." Zachary says, "Just seems like a big leap to concentrate so heavily on the kids. But if command says it's for the best, then I'll pass the orders to the rest of my group. Fair?" he asks her.

"So you won't help me, but you won't stop me." she nods. "I suppose that's fair."

"What I'm saying, is that if there's a chance to save someone that can be mission critical to us, then I will put them ahead of a child, Iphigenia. I hope you understand that. I appreciate your passion and want on this, but I have to consider the whole current as well as the future." Zachary points out.

Iphigenia gains a frustrated look, her lips pursing tightly and her brows cinching together. It makes her look like a schoolmarm. "Perhaps I'm not making myself clear. I am not suggesting a mission specifically for the accrual of underage survivors. I am suggesting a protocol, a set of guidelines under which personnel will know they may take on underage survivors. Part of those protocols, should, for example, include placing mission critical personnel as priority. The reason I want your help is to develop the guidelines."

"Ohh." It finally dawns on Zachary. He lets out a breath. "My apologies." he says as he looks towards her. "I have had to make a lot of decisions I am not a fan of the last few days." he comments. He settles his hands down. "Yes, I will help you with the rescue guidelines."

The wrinkles in her brow uncinch, and she lets out a relieved breath. "Ah, good. I apologize if I wasn't being clear. It is a very tetchy subject."

"Do you have a rough draft made yet?" Zachary asks as he smirks. Must look up tetchy later. "Or are you just at the start of this?"

Now Gen smiles, with that knowing air that someday, a man's going to paint a very similar portrait of and people will wonder for ages what his subject was smiling about. "I'm just starting this. But I have thoughts. Concerning age, whether their parents are alive, their state of health and the like."

Maybe he'll make it a cake portrait. Zachary nods slowly as he considers her. "So, orphans will have the priority? Will you make a pilot ask if a parent will surrender their child if they want it to survive?" he asks in mild confusion. Now they can start hashing this out.

"I didn't say that." Gen points out mildly. "But children with no guardians don't have anyone to speak for them generally, save for themselves. I don't want to force anyone to leave anywhere, but if the choice is between a child with no one and a child with a guardian, than yes, the odds are that an orphan would need us more. Ideally, we'd take both, if the guardian permits. I think rather a lot of them may."

"I see." Zachary says with a slow nod of his head as he looks Iphigenia over. "What else do you have? What if it is someone that can help? A doctor? A medic?"

"All possibilities." she says. "As well as mothers-to-be, or nursing mothers. There's a lot of detail to hash out, but now that I have initial support from you, I'll develop a document for your review. Would that be acceptable? I still need to speak to Beckett, and possibly Petra."

"That is fine, Chaplain. I look forward to seeing your proposal." Zachary comments to her with a slow nod of his head. "Good luck, I'm probably the softest target of the three, seeing as I want a family myself."

Iphigenia chuckles at that. "I think you may underestimate my rapport with Lieutenant Colonal Petra, but we'll see."

"Perhaps I do.." Zachary says. "When Jumper St James requested the Picon mission, she asked for a smiliar load set. It did not work out that way, but perhaps you can talk to her about it?"

"In the heat of the moment I can see why that might not be the best idea at the time." Iphigenia murmurs. "I think that's an excellent idea. Afton St. James and I get on quite well. I'll speak to her. Thank you, Major." She rises. "Now let me get out of your way so you can do your work. Convey my best to Eden?"

"Indeed, I will, Geni. Have a good evening, and good luck with your endeavor." Zachary says, a little secret smile coming to his lips at the mention of Eden.

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