AWD #163: Unknown Variables
Unknown Variables
Summary: James, Ygraine, and Bennett ponder Pallas.
Date: 18/06/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
James Ygraine Bennett 
Air Wing Ready Room
Capable of seating every member of the wing with space to spare in its stadium organization, the Ready Room has more than two hundred seats and is the largest room on the ship dedicated to single briefings. Sections of desks were manufactured specifically for this and wrap the width of each level of seating, rolling leather seats positioned at even points through each row. The walls have the tenant squadrons' patches painted on individual panels as well as a Kill Board up to the left side of the dais and podium, the Training Board on the other side to log progress. At the rear hatch, on a barren section of wall, is the framed and cased photo of 'Bad Dog' Ruegger.
AWD #163

There is something rewarding about paper. It's like a low-tech tablet computer, free of the burden of batteries, crashes, reboots, or software updates. You don't have to print it either. It also plays home to Cato's equations and speculations, as he scratches out suppositions and brief notes in his mind's wanderings from a front row desktop. The chickenscratch includes many very technical equations and little rough sketches serving as frameworks for those.

There are a lot of question marks. A lot of unknown variables.

Ygraine makes her way into the ready room with an inquisitive air of someone seeking other. "Torch." she says, showing teeth in a gamin grin of greeting. "Been lookin' for ya. Been rollin' Pallas over in my brain and ya seem like th'person who's got th'reins on it. Can I borrow ya?"

"Absolutely." he says without looking up at first. His voice is a little distracted but when he does look up Ygraine can be sure she has all of Cato's attention at that moment. He's just very focused that way. "I don't know really how much of this idea is under my control but I've found it helps to come up with all the ideas you can from the start and let the brass do the naysaying."

Ygraine takes a seat, kicking up her foot so the sole rests against the edge of her chair. "Well first off, we ain't been t'Pallas in months. So first thing we need is a recon. They've likely run outta supplies, and a population of three thousand may have diminished." Her tone is grim. "Significantly."

"That's true. It's not something I'm able to calculate for but…" It's obvious Cato's thought of it, from his tone. "I expect you and Butch will probably take care of that soon, or at least request to."

Ygraine taps her chin, points at him. "And then we gotta try and figure out how often the Cylons do a drive by. We don't know how close they're monitorin' th'domes. But once we figure out their recon pattern, we can work in the blind spot, yeah?"

"If they are putting hands on the facility it's probable that they've already executed the remaining persons there. If so then this is all for nothing." Very neutrally said, really. Cato is slow to bestow these people with the personalized acknowledgement of living persons he is able to actually help. "I think a recon's absolutely necessary but we have to operate under a few assumptions or else we'd just be abandoning Pallas altogether."

Ygraine shakes her head. "They destroyed the landin' pads. I imagine they wanted t'keep everyone put, starve 'em out, exactly what's happenin'. If they wanted t'be able t'go down there and kill people, why would they destroy the landin' pads?"

"Ease. Low effort for identical net effect. Disable the facility's connection to civilization so that its naturally hostile environment does the work for the Cylons. They're machines; what do they care if humans die from a nuke or from starvation? Dead's dead. Either that or the Cylons have developed a taste for cruelty." He sighs in mild resignation to that last thought. Cato's ideas clearly account for it, as ugly as it is. "Actually we already know that's true. They've learned how to copy everything humans do now."

"Still. We need another recon. And we should see if the Cylons are still monitorin' them, and sendin' patrols." Ygraine insists. "Once we have more updated intel, we can adjust plans accordingly, yeah?"

The response doesn't take long coming. Cato says simply, "Agreed. We just need to get Major Franklin to sign off on it, then she can bounce it up and what happens happens. And we can't plan a real rescue until we know what we'd be rescuing."

Ygraine cocks her head to th'side. "Alright, then. Ain't gonna be no thing. She'll say yes." Yggy seems fairly confident of this. "Y'all came from th'same boat previous. Yeah?"

"We did. Well. Just prior to here. Task Force Blackjack was our only assignment together but I'd say that was a big one." Cato almost grins, but the hint is all that shows. He keeps a fairly neutral expression for the most part. "You about to ask me what she was like?"

Ygraine makes a pfffft noise. "Don't matter what she was like. Only matters is what she is now. She talks like she went t'boardin' school, but she don't coddle us and while she may not like gettin' her hands dirty, but she'd do it and she wouldn't complain. I'm a'ight with that."

"Good. You seem to know her pretty well." There's a bit of approval in that retort but also a helping of finality, like Cato's quite happy to let people discover Atalanta themselves. "This your first duty station?"

"Yep." Yggy says, craning her neck to look at him like she's expecting some judgement for that. "Academy on Leonis and flight school on Caprica."

"It shows," is all he says, and somehow it doesn't sound entirely bad. Maybe part of him thinks she's young and naive, but probably at least part of him envies her. "Where's your partner?"

She lets out a laugh. "Our partners tend t'vary, we don't stick with one. Sometimes I'm with Centerfold, sometimes with Butch. I was Buzzkill's ECO for a mission or two, and I may wind up yours on a coupla missions. That ain't a bad thing." She smirks. "Ya won't find better." Cocky, much?

Bennett arrives from the Air Wing Corridors.

"I've been assigned to ECO duty for now." replies Cato simply, implying that's a temporary state of affairs. Or perhaps he's just very determined that it be temporary. He sits in a front row seat here speaking to Ygraine, who's telling him cocky things.

Cocky things like how awesome she is. "Well then you get th'best job on th'bus, didn't ya." says Ygraine cheerfully. She's seated in one of the chairs, leg bent at the knee as she braces her foot on the edge of the seat.

Bennett strolls into the ready room fresh from duty, by the looks of her. Flight suited still, the Captain's got her hair unwound from its habitual sloppy bun, and tumbled somewhat sweatily down her back. She's got a couple of reports tucked under one arm, and is sipping from a mug of still-steaming tea as she crosses the threshold and nudges the hatch shut.

Just Cato's eyes shift up to look in the direction of Bennett as she enters. Then they go back to Ygraine as he says unconvincingly, "Yeah. I guess it's not so bad." A completely put-on lifeless smile follows that, showing that he's doing his best to play the cards he's been dealt without bitching about it.

Ygraine snorts. Cato may have just lost a point with her by even inferring the ECO seat is less than awesome. "Hey, Butch." she calls out in greeting. "Ya game t'go back t'Pallas?"

Bennett catches the look from James, and quirks a brow ever so slightly. After pausing for a sip of her piping hot tea, she drifts closer to the pair in the front row, not at all stealthy in her approach. "Has something got you down, Torch?" she enquires, sliding into a seat next to Ygraine. "Actually," she tells the blonde, "I was just thinking about that on my way over. How is the planning coming?"

"We were just discussing it. Milkshake and I agree that we need up to date intel on Pallas before we can actually plan anything meaningful." Cato sits back in his seat, tapping the pencil in his hand against some of the papers he's been scratching out notes and doodles on. He doesn't really vocalize an answer to Butch's first question, though.

"He thinks he's too good for the ECO chair." says Ygraine with wry, one shouldered shrug. "That's why we need t'go back, yeah?"

As to the matter of Cato's pique, as it were, St. Clair does not press; her blue eyes linger on the man perhaps a moment more as if taking note of something, then withdraw to the file folders on her lap. Homework, ostensibly. "I will try to put some pressure on Lt. Col. Petra and the rest of Command, if it will help," she answers instead. "I don't want you both getting caught up in administrative hoops." Nothing is said of Ygraine's elucidation. Yet.

"That's much appreciated, ma'am. I frakking Hate administrative hoops." In spite of his choice of words Cato says that with an amused tone that for some reason seems also directed toward Ygraine. It's like he's waiting her out to see what other things she'll say.

"Teatime's been wantin' someone t'get on Pallas so I doubt we'll get a stop sign." Ygraine already put what she had to say out there regarding his enthusiasm.

"Lords of frakking Kobol, Torch, please don't call me ma'am," Bennett murmurs over the rim of her mug. She sips and swallows, then glances across to him again. "Sir, if you absolutely must. Otherwise, it's Butch." A smile, warm if a little bit chastising, curves her lips. "And I'm sure you're right, Vashti. It sounds like it's a top priority, from what I've been hearing."

That makes Cato grin fully. "Bad habit where I come from. Momma raised me respectful-like. I'll have to address that problem someday with personal introspection and soul searching." He goes back to scratching out the general shape of a Predator on his paper. "You're probably right about Major Franklin, by the way. If it gets stopped it'll come from above her head."

"Everybody's sir if they're higher ranked than ya on this boat." Ygraine says with a grin. "Don't matter what kinda package they're carrying."

Bennett tries not to smile, and utterly fails, when Ygraine mentions packages. At least she stops short of tittering like a schoolgirl. "Anyway, what's this about being too good for the ECO chair?" she asks quite casually.

"I assure you it is not my intent to discuss anybody's package." Cato continues filling out the Predator sketch as he offers gently, "I seem to recall saying that it's not so bad."

"With about as much enthusiasm as the prospect of eatin' a bug." Yggy says.

"It's not everyone's cup of tea," Bennett opines, resting her own cup atop one knee and shooting Ygraine a conciliatory smile. "May I ask what necessitated this, Torch?"

"I think it's that Milkshake here is justifiably proud of what she does and perhaps trying to pry me open with a little teasing. I don't mind it. She should be proud of what she does. I've done a lot worse jobs than run ECM." Cato's manner is completely mild here, but he's smirking some at Ygraine.

Ygraine grins a wolf's smile at Cato. "Your eyes turn brown from all that shit?" She's smirking right back. To Bennett. "Don't worry, it's friendly ribbin' under a veneer of hostility underlaid by groundwork of what will eventually be tight bonded camraderie."

Bennett looks back and forth between the pair, as if somehow she's dubious of Cato's choice of words. She grins, too, when Ygraine speaks, and clarifies, "What I meant was, why are you backseating?" She can wield tact with the best of them, but some situations call for cutting to the chase.

"Because that's how I was assigned. The line I was fed was we need ECO's and it's my fault for being qualified. Don't worry, I'll be on stick again." Brief pause and Cato offers Ygraine, "You deserved that, you know."

"Deserved what?" asks Yggy, genuinely curious.

Bennett raises a brow slightly at the explanation, but says nothing. Another sip of tea as her gaze shifts to Ygraine, and then back again.

"The shit. You wanna tease? I can spew it all year." says Cato with a chuckle.

"Sounds like a plan. I was raised on a dairy farm, so I'm used t'the run-off." Ygraine says cheerily.

And that sounds like St. Clair's cue to exit, stage left. Stifling a grin, she shifts to her feet and heads over to the log book to scrawl a few notes inside. Then, pen slid back into her flight suit pocket, she turns back for the hatch. "Good niiiiight," is called back in a soft, singsong voice.

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