MD #100: This Has All Happened Before
MD #100: This Has All Happened Before
Summary: The Scout Raptor team returns, and familiar bad news surfaces.
Date: Mon 17/Jul/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Adeliza Jimenez Niko Mara 
Palermo Petra Lleufer Latif 
Map Room - Deck 2 - Battlestar Orion
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 table has the most updated holographic capability and can project the largest displays on the ship. The risers to the sides are done in single-piece desk sections that run the width of the seating area and have large LCD touch displays built into them along with communications ports for headphones. At the head of the room are two very large LED touch displays that can have almost anything put on them, including projections of what is on the map table. In the rear of the room is a large, locked case that holds updated maps and table models.
1/Feb/2029 (IC Date)

As people arrive, the central map table is already lit up with a hologram of the Cyrannus systems and Piraeus, with little tag markers floating next to each celestial marker. Petra already has the obligatory huge mug of coffee smouldering close to where he's leaning, watching some data scroll past on his datapad. When people begin slipping in, he straightens up and offers small nods of recognition, but stays relatively quiet for the moment, guesturing to the coffee while he waits for the department heads, their seconds, the Raptor team, and a few others to make their way in. Its when a majority of the people are finally present that he takes in a deep breath and clears his throat, "Thank you for coming on short notice. I'm going to cover a lot of information, some of which a few of you already know - this is an effort to bring Command staff up to speed on our situation before we break the news to the fleet, because we are going to need your help. With that said, we'll start from the beginning:"

"As you are aware, on our exit from Calumet, we suffered a coordinated sabotage attack across the fleet. That matter is still under investigation, so I wont be making any conclusions in this meeting, other than to say the Marines and Sergeant Ynyr are working on the matter and I have extreme confidence in his and his team's ability to find out the details. This act of sabotage caused our wormhole drive to cut out mid-jump, and dumped us out very very close to the galactic core, dead in the middle of Skath space. We worked quickly to give the Fleet time to fix the immediate problems and get drives back online, but the Skath found us before everyone was ready and we ultimately had to jump out before every ship could do so. We subsequently lost the Oleander, the Marentz, and the Valeho in combat action.

"We completed a wormhole jump immediately after that escape FTL, and are now very close to Colonial space…a 3/4 max jump distance, more or less, to Piraeus. However, most of the remaining fleet have suffered massive damage at this point and cannot make further FTL travel. Short answer: We are stuck, right here, for the next 2 weeks." He gives that a moment to sink in, while panning his gaze around the room, then continues, "The next problem: Our unfortunate pit stop in the core means that approximately twenty years has passed on Piraeus and the Cyrannus systems since we last left to head back to Calumet. Two full decades."

Fingers tap on the corner of the table, 'And there's more. Immediately after we completed the jump, the first thing CIC did was perform a long range scan, and in the intervening time we have been gone…the Skath have reached Piraeus. We detected a Skath destroyer in orbit, and a Raptor scout sent to jump in confirmed the planet appeared occupied. So I authorized a second Raptor with a Marine landing team to covertly put boots on the ground and find out just what the hell happened, and when. We will be reviewing that information now. Understand that what I've just told you is the sum and extent of everything we know at this moment, so with that in mind, are there any questions before we ask the Marines to proceed?"

Lleufer has arrived.

Niko attends in his blues, giving a quick greeting by rank to the other officers and crew present. Then he takes a seat and folds his arms, tapping his foot absently as he waits for the Commander to kick things off. The CAG doesn't seem surprised by any of this summation, and he shakes his head to indicate no questions. His gaze swings to the indicated Marines, giving them his full and focused attention.

It may be a blessing to have her aboard. Or a curse for her. Its hard to say yet. Doctor Becks Jimenez, retired Vice Admiral of the Arpay Fleet, enters the room. Her attachment to the Diplomatic Corps is probably also a good reason for her to be here. As one of the few, and likely the only, Arpay on board, she should probably be briefed on what's happening. Her past service directly to the Colonial Fleet has also given her some appreciation as well. Seeing the group assembled, though, she stands off to the side by the risers and desks. The longer she listens, the more stricken she looks. Given that she schools her expression well, the fact that it shows on her face at all says something. Becks ends up needing to press a palm to the desk to steady herself. Twenty years for the Colonies. Skath at Piraeus. She'll have questions but none at the moment. She can't. Those knuckles turn white with the pressure her fingers press down with, anger starting to come to a low simmer as those eyes look back to the TACCO.

The Junior Tactical officer has left her crutch against the wall, and is standing with her clipboard off to Petra's left side, back a little from the table. From there she can either back up to lean against a tier, or step forward to lean on the table if needs be, but for now, Lt. Wynn seems to be holding steady. She looks around the table at those assembled to guage reactions to the news, and then prepares herself to hear the news from Piraeus. Her face is set, curious, perhaps, and maybe a little resigned, trying to keep her concerns at bay until the worst or not so worst is confirmed by the Marines.

Latif is…not his usual self right now. He's in a much better position than he was, mentally, right after the jumps went awry…but it's also clear that this is a generally Bad Day all around. He's got a frak-load of questions, but… "Since I'm pretty sure we're coming in blind as to the situation on Piraeus…no, sir, nothing relevant. Not until they get back."

Penta looks grim. For the first time in many a year, his neutral expression has turned sad as he looks over the map table. He doesn't even bother to hide it, he looks like someone took his dog, shot it, ran it over, and shot it again, in front of him. A very lonely, sad look.

Mara is present and correct, as always. Dressed sharply in a crisp blue uniform. She's silent and has her mask of emotionless detachment firmly in place. She might have a lot to say, but none of that will be coming out any time soon and the little Intel Officer hugs the darkest corner of the map room she can find. Her dark eyes skim from one face to the next, but eventually settle on Petra, for the most part. She too, has a cup of coffee close to hand, though hers is long since gone cold.

Latif is…not his usual self right now. He's in a much better position than he was, mentally, right after the jumps went awry…but it's also clear that this is a generally Bad Day all around. He's got a frak-load of questions, but… "Not yet." He shakes his head, awaiting the report…well, eagerly isn't the right word, but his breath is baited. He's /not/ looking forward to this.

Lleufer is still in his combat ground fatigues though the Master-At-Arms has taken the time to check his rifle and grenades in at the Security Hub before coming to the Map Room. And very likely check on several other things before he came, but didn't waste time changing out of his fatigues. Ynyr yet retains his sidearm and otherwise stands at parade rest as he listens. His gaze slips to Jimenez as she enters but doesn't say anything while Petra asks for any questions before they begin. Slowly, Lleu's gaze travels around the Map Room to each face quietly, his own displaying no particular emotion. No, no questions so far.

Petra surveys the room with his eyes and when no questions seem to be coming, he shifts his attention to Lleufer and Palermo, clearing his throat, "In that case, I know a few members of your team are on the way up here still, so whichever of you is prepared to begin reviewing the situation?" (OOC This is timed so Palermo's pose can lead it off, I swear Im not posejumping her)

Sometimes low-tech is best and Palermo clears her throat quietly after sharing a glance with Lt Flynn then steps forward and unfolds a map that has been marked most recently with precise x's and some short hand notations to go along with. "Sirs," the marine begins by using this as a general address then squares her shoulders and keeps going. "The Raptor touched down on the other side of the ridge to the west of Sheridan," tapping the map to indicate the valley through which the marines moved, "and took up position here," another tap to indicate position, "from which we were able to do some initial recon into the base proper."

Palermo glances up before she continues: "There's some sort of animal stockyard where the firebase stood. The walls that were there have been pulled down and replaced, and the concrete pad upon which equipment and vehicles, the usual load out, would have been is also no longer in place. Beyond that," she paces her words to not talk like a chipmunk on caffeine, " the rest of the town looks mostly as it used to. A few of the buildings look like they have been rebuilt. That said, there are obvious pieces of real estate that are no longer in place. The small apartment buildings, hotel and barracks are gone. Powerplant's cooling tower is gone, the power plant as well, most likely. That said, the gray concrete structure of the old CIDSR outpost is there, looks like it weathered one hell of a fire storm, but it's still standing."

Another pause then she continues, "What isn't there? Vehicles. Obvious tech that would be colonial, for starters." This said she leans slightly forward to tap a specific X past the stockade, "I've marked the map where a CDG-93R 'Forge' tactical air defense system is parked. It's painted black, so it blends in pretty well, but it's bigger by a scale of like 20, and by just eye-balling it, it looks like one of the Skath variants, and it's just parked there."

Gunnery Sergeant Lleufer Ynyr doesn't step up and crowd around the map. He hangs back to let the officers who didn't go on the recon to do so. Besides, he's taller than a few people here so he can quietly step up behind and simply look over a shoulder. Palermo is doing an excellent job and Ynyr doesn't seem to be inclined to add anything. He is content to listen. Lleu's Arpay eyes study the map briefly, then slip to watching the faces of those gathered about the table.

As the map is spread out, Adeliza waits a moment for the more senior folks in the room to close around it before she takes a step forward to watch as her cousin points out what's there, and what's not. A brief crease at the corner of her mouth when she hears a word, but then it's gone, all seriousness as she brings her clipboard to bear. The movement reveals the side arm she is now wearing religiously whenever on duty. She takes notes as she listens to Palermo's report, and then her hand lowers, that is still between her fingers tapping very lightly as she wiggles her fingers in thought. The tap silences when she lifts her hand to tuck her hair behind her ear.

Jimenez looks a bit unsteady as she takes a few steps away from the side. The woman isn't old by most concerns, but this is staggering for her in many different ways. Standing there, she stares at the table and lifts a hand to her mouth, covering her lips as she listens. For the look on her face, this is painful to hear.

Niko rises and moves forward so he can see the map, but he doesn't crowd in. Looking over someone's shoulder is fine. And though Palermo's news is bad and worse, it's not really that unexpected. Looks like the CAG wasn't getting his hopes up. He listens with a grimace, then speaks up at the mention of the Forge site. "Any photos of that Forge? Air would like copies. Maybe a chat with your team off-line about the details." But that can wait until later. He doesn't want to sidetrack this meeting with enemy air defense intel.

If there's a bright side to all of this, it's that Latif had his freak-out session earlier, with his parents. The information hitting here is /bad/, but it's at least not a "fresh" shock. "I presume we don't, but do we have any idea how they found their way here?" Tracing the wormhole versus extracting coordinates…it all comes down to how frakked they likely are.

Petra slowly folds his arms across his chest while he listens to the reporting. His expression grows taut, lips pursed, and his brow furrowing while he listens. One might could even imagine a bit of smoke trailing out of his ears, with as hard as the aging Commander is thinking, just taking in the other's reactions while the thoughts roam through his own head. He makes no effort to interrupt any of the Marines, however, just stays quiet.

There's other differences to make note of, but I can make a longer report on the salients, Sirs, to save time. Short version, however, is that there's a visible age gap between the observed civilians, something along the lines of a generation mission between the twenty something age group and the late thirties and up age group. There's a reason for that," Palermo adds, "which I will get to momentarily. It vital to note, at this point, that for those who have been on Piraeus before know that there's another population center that is NOT as easily glimpsed at the surface of things. Sirs," she glances toward Petra as she continues, "Captain al Yamoha made contact with us before we'd made the initial attempt to infiltrate Sheridan and imparted a great deal of vital intel that needs to be covered."

Turning back to the map that she's spread out on the .. well it's the map table for a reason isn't it? "First, the captain advised against going into Sheridan, explaining why and the dangers that would be inherent with doing so. Primarily to the civilians that we might interact with and later ramifications to same." She indicates three more X-marks on the map, "In total there are 4 Forge sites around the town. They shut down about a year ago and haven't come back on since, though the Skath do regular maintenance on them and shut them down again." She indicates the next set of X-marks, "There's a patrol about three hundred miles in this general direction that is observed to be drilling for mineral deposits, petroleum in particular. The civilian base are comprised of loyalists, not APF. As we know, the Captain and her people don't leave Piraeus," there's a pause then Palermo pushes on, not making a point of or allowing herself to get sidetracked on this point, "but a apparently after we'd all been declared lost - all hands - ships from the Colonies stopped arriving. Those who went to check out colonial conditions never came back. A week or so after we'd all been declared, the Skath jumped into orbit and conducted a massive invasion of the Lines city on the other side of the planet. The captain relayed that it only took a day and a half to get the whole city. Lines are no longer allowed on planet. Even with the fight that they put up, it sounds like the fight was lost. What resistance effort there was lingered for a lot of years but not much anymore."

Palermo straightens slightly, one hand braced against the edge of the table as she surveys the map while speaking. "As to Colonial conditions, they hear so again, I'm going to summarize here. There was supposedly a war. Considering what happened in their backyard, literally, they didn't go out looking for more intel to come back with. The captain said that the Skath went in with EMP's, like they did to Piraeus way back when. On the one hand, the Skath pretty much leave Sheridan alone, but it's populated by Loyalists, so I'd presume they don't need to worry about some sort of uprising when the people are spending most of their energy just trying to survive year after year."

She glances around the room then and back down at the Map, "So about the missing generation, Sirs. The Captain says that they took in all the kids that were there before the final hammer hit. The kids that were on planet are safe. They're sort of.. Well I don't really understand that part, I'm not any kind of scientist, but I gather that those that were took to keep them safe are kept safe per their word but I think their aging doesn't apply," and Palermo shrugs, because - again - not scientist, and she tries hard not to get sidetracked. "So, to numbers." She tips her head to the side to read her own handwriting, "There's ah… 3,138 skath walkers on Piraeus at the moment. They maintain the Forges every six months but come thorough Sheridan every couple weeks. They usually move in a single eight-member patrol that make thorough rounds through town. They don't have an established pattern, never taking the same route twice and double back at random points. IT's been like that for about a decade now, so my read is that they're not encountering resistance to force a change of established pattern, but that's my speculation, sirs," she clarifies. "Round about the time the Forges shut down the Skath moved a couple bigger ships into orbit, but it's been quite since then for about the last year or so." She pauses then taps another X-mark, "There's a large landing area on what used to be the Lines city, but it's nothing concrete or permanent. The big sapcedock in orbit," and she makes the approximate mark as her best guess, "Transports swap out Skath every few years, replacement troops or what not. But no nuclear events to report."

Latif takes a deep breath. "I never thought I'd ask this, but does anyone know what the status of the Cylons is?" This actually seems like an elephant in the room. "If I recall correctly, they were worried about the Skath as much as getting hosed by the Arpay."

Lleufer waits for Palermo to finish the over all summary and then he'll step forward and slip his ruck pack off. Opening it up, he starts pulling out discs, "Lt. Colonel," he looks to Niko, "Here's our footage from our helmet cams, as well as film stills Lieutenant Flynn shot with a zoom lens. I'll add that Captain al Yamoha said, to clarify," Ynyr gives Palermo a nod, "That /some/ of the people in Sheridan are Loyalists but not all. Also, the missing generation of children are only composed of those who's parents and care givers /asked/ the Ys'rali to take and keep safe. So there are a few still around who were not taken." The Gunnery Sergeant draws a slow breath before he adds low in his baritone, "My youngest son, Llewellyn, is among them." All of the footage unloaded from his ruck, Lleu sets it on the floor beneath the table. Lleu quietly loads up the discs into the display so that they can all see the images of the Forges, the town, and all the footage for Petra or whoever to scroll through. "Also, we don't know what the Skath are mining 300 miles from Sheridan. Petrolium was Captain al Yamoha's best guess, but we haven't confirmation."

Lt. Wynn's fingers grip her pen tightly when the mention of loyalists is made, and her jaw clenches, but she swallows down whatever she would like to say, which probably is a good thing. She writes a few more notes in her indecipherable short hand, pausing, then making some corrections as Ynyr speaks. When she's finished, she chances a look up to Palermo's face, and then picks up her clipboard again, taking her spot a little back

Grim news gets grimmer, but Niko's expression remains flat and hard as he watches over Lt. Wynn's shoulder. Other than chiming in about the Forge, he listens and doesn't have anything more to say. Latif's mention of the Cylons finally draws a sharp and pointed look from the CAG, however. He doesn't even need to say it — he hopes they are all rusting scrap. Then he turns when Lleufer offers up the recon footage, receving the discs with a nod. "Thanks, Gunnery Sergeant."

Jimenez holds her post, standing there like a statue. When Palermo mentions a war, her head suddenly turns to stare at Palermo. There's recognition there in what is being said to the room. Her hand doesn't move. The longer this goes on, the more recognition there is. Almost all of this is new to her, but so much seems familiar. She stares down at the table eventually in silence as her hand falls to her side. The shock is starting to wear off as she stands a little more firmly. Maybe there's ground to stand on.

Petra lets his gaze follow to the pictures Lleu is spreading out, but seems fine for the moment looking at them from afar, finally offering, "If you can make sure a copy of all of that ends up on a drive I can hand around to Intel and a copy to Lieutenant Piers? The entirety of Colonial Intelligence is now essentially about five people." He glances at Palermo, then at Lleufer, and sighs softly before asking, "Have we covered the meat of what you've been able to dig up, or is there more we need to go over?"

Palermo clears her throat, a nervous tell that the marine hasn't quite managed to stop doing. "Er, just as a side note. The Captain, al Yamoha, mentioned something in an aside that," and she flicks a glance toward the gunnery sergeant then back, "the Gunny confirmed as well. The one and only time I'd made the acquaintance of the Captain, prior to today, she told me that my aunt is among those on Piraeus. Ah, that's.. sirs, you knew her as Sgt. Kapali, I mean," nerves makes the marine stumble over her words before pressing on. "The Gunny mentioned that she'd tried to warn him, before the jump was sabotaged, and that he'd heard another Marine before, I think he said Mallas?" she glances at Lleu for confirmation, then back. "The Captain made a remark, present tense, regarding my aunt being a badass. Which I'd like to interpret as she's still doing something that needs doing. I don't know what bearing it has, but I think it was worth mentioning, that's all," and tucks the pencil she was using as a pointer back into the pocket she'd taken it out from, and the slightly grubby looking marine steps back away from the map table.

Lleufer gives a nod to what Palermo adds about the ghosts of their former friends, "It's true. PFC Mallas was a good friend of mine in the first war, and so was Sergeant Kapali. Several times now they've warned me of danger right before things happened." Ynyr looks right at Petra, "Right before the hangar bombing here on the Orion, Mallas put his hand to my shoulder and told me to get my ass down. Then the bomb blew. Right before the worm hole collapsted, Kapali told me there was danger, her voice urgent. But … I'm afraid that's all she told me. There wasn't time to clarify or try to warn you, Sir."

"Oh, and no one actually .. thought to ask, about the Cylons, I mean," Palermo adds from where she's made a tactical retreat way from the map table. "The machinery on planet was Skath, not cylon. But there's no way to know what it looks like on any other planet, until we get there and figure it out," said in the tone of eternal volunteer optimism.

Jimenez doesn't seem to have a reaction to that. Any of it. But her eyes are moving over the table as if seeing beyond it. She's eight decades into her life and has seen a lot. Memories? Tough to say. She ends by looking to Lleufer, then Palermo. Those bright, hunter green eyes look to Petra and she waits.

She can't help it, Adeliza smirks proudly at mention of the aunt that she never really knew, but she's family. Her hand slips into her pocket, but then goes back go holding her clipboard. She cranes her neck slightly to get an idea of the photographs laid out, but she doesn't step forward again, or try to reach for them. When Lleufer mentions Kapali warning him, she chews at her lower lip, her eyelids dropping slightly.

Latif nods in response to the answer to his question. It's not an answer but he's filing it in a corner of his mind. "I don't care about them for their sake, but…I'd at least like to know what's on the map board." The mention of the dead talking gets a slightly raised eyebrow…he'd /heard/ of this happening in the last war and they do seem to be pretty reliable, but it's still a bit of a surprise.

Petra shakes his head lightly at Lleu and slowly unfolds his arms, "You aren't superhuman, Gunny, as much as you might think you are. The enemy caught us off-guard, and if anyone needs to catch blame for it, its in the rarified air of Command, so don't blame yourself." With that said, he looks around the room again, "Again, this is the current state of what we know. As soon as we are dismissed, I am going down to Deck 3 and I am going to have a talk with the Admiral, and then we are broadcasting to the Fleet to break the bad news. We are assuming for the moment, that the rest of the Colonies are under Skath occupation or worse, and we will be tasking Raptors to take Intel Officers for scout runs to each system to gather information on the status of each. As I said before, we are stuck where we are for at least two weeks, so we have to do what we can with what we have. We've been here before, about 24 years ago, and we are here right now because we stuck to our guns and we did our jobs, and we are going to do that now. I am depending on you, as the upper portion of the chain of command, to keep your people focused. They all had families back home and this is going to hit everyone in the heart. I need you to remind them that their families DEPEND on them being strong and doing their jobs right now. This is probably going to get worse before it gets better, but we are NOT giving up and we are NOT losing our people. Agreed?"

"Copy, sir." The words are quiet from Jimenez. The words may be a surprise coming from someone of her former status, but she says them easily. The unnerved look is missing. There's a sense of cam that's descended. She can freak out later.

"Copy that, sir." Latif sighs. He wasn't there, then, but he's heard stories. He looks a strange mix of angry, frustrated, and exhausted. It's a lot to process, and while he was somewhat braced for what hit here, he's got a /lot/ piling on over the last few days and it's clearly taking a bit of a toll. That said…he also knows how lucky he is: He's at least got family to fall back on.

Niko's expression remains uncharacteristically hard as he hears the rest of the debrief. Then he shifts his attention to Petra, listening to the TACCO and giving a few pointed nods to what the man says. "Yes sir," he answers back. It's not quite a shout, but he does raise his voice and put some steel in it. The CAG is showing a different side today. But he's been here before too, and he knows what needs to be done.

"No, Sir. I'm definitely not superhuman. Do the best I can." Lleufer replies quite low, then adds, "Understood, Sir." Ynyr glances aside to Jimenez who has seemed rather shaken. Quietly he puts a hand lightly to her shoulder but doesn't say anything to her. To Petra, he adds, "Captain al Yamoha did say that they'd return the children to us when we were ready, but that the Ys'rali will keep them safe until then. They can't return only a few, it's all of them or none of them. And she wouldn't tell us where they are, Sir. Not sure how many there are either."

Mara doesn't say anything. She's still lurking in her corner, watching and listening and gives no more than a silent nod to Petra's words. If she has things to add, or conclusions drawn, she'll wait for another time and place to offer them. For now, she just sips on her cold coffee and finally swipes the screen of her tablet to life, idly flicking through documents and folders.

"Understood, sir." Penta's voice is steady, even as his eyes seem to have lost their light. To be quite simple about it, he looks lost. Not defeated, but damn close to it. A brief look at his hands is the only moment of contemplation he seems to allow himself.

Palermo shares a nod with Adeliza, it's subtle but it's there, and for a moment there's almost a smile on the marine's face but it's gone almost before it fully forms. "Aye, sir," and while her voice is quiet is absolutely level and resolute. It's not just a marine thing, it's not just about being a die hard volunteer, it's about being human and unwilling to give even a second of contemplation for anything less than being boots first into any ass kicking from here on out.

Standing back at her place, her lips drawn a little thin, and her eyes slightly narrowed, Adeliza tucks her hair behind her ear. She doesn't respond verbally, only gives a firm nod that the others can see, if Petra isn't currently facing her to see it.

Petra takes in a deep breath and nods slowly, first to Lleu, "We're in no shape to take anyone on when we're dead in the water, so as long as they are safe with her, then we will be in her debt if they can remain with her for the immediate future. You *pointing to Latif*, you *pointing to Mara*, you *pointing to Adeliza*, and *to Penta* if you can inform Lieutenant Piers, I need all four of them to touch base with Colonel Janik for Raptor scout assignments. Colonel?" to Niko, "I need a schedule of Scout Raptor crews to each of the Cyrannus systems. Each flight takes at least one of the four people I just called out. No landings, no enemy contact. Hop in, scan everything, hop the hell out, and double hop so they aren't tracked back here. I need that information to determine just what the hell we can do now." He pauses and glances around the room, "If there are no questions, Dismissed. Ares be with you."

Lleufer nods, "Yes, Sir." about not being able to do anything about a bunch of kids at this juncture. He understands, then gathers up his ruck to shoulder it, leaving all of the cam footage and photo discs so copies can be made and distributed accordingly to everyone who requires them. Then the Master-At-Arms will head on out to be back to his investigations.

Jimenez watches, fingers pointing. Her eyes follow. After the dismissal, though, she stays in place and looks back to Petra. "Commander. A few moments before you head below?" she requests quietly.

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