AWD #472: Where She Went
Where She Went
Summary: Kelsey briefs a new working group on the Galactica situation.
Date: 06/10/2016
Related Logs: Discovering the Galactica
Elena Gray Pearson Niamh Bennett Kelsey 
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 head of the room has a small dais with a podium for the briefer and on the wall behind it are a pair of large LCD screens. 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.
AWD #472

Its rare air for enlisted to be in this hall. Bennett got a memo letting her know that Kelsey would be briefing in the new project group on the Galactica and what time it would be there. Niamh got a note from a runner about showing up at the Ready Room at a specific time and a clearance letter to her supervisor and a badge to wear to clear her to be wandering the halls reserved for officers only. Gray got the same thing, but it might have been more of a surprise considering the run-in the night before. Elena's, less-so surprising. When they walk in, Kelsey is standing on the dais at the front. There are a couple of corkboards on rollers that have been moved to flank the person standing up front, but the JG is in her blues. The mass of hair is tied up in a tight bun and held in place with two chopsticks, each painted a gloss black with 'Raptors' one one and 'Weasels' on the other in gold lettering. The boards show a large map of the four unexplored sectors surrounding the Cygness system, to a particular direction 'north' of the galactic core. The other has various photos up that look like camera stills that are hard to make out until getting closer. The pilot up front is mostly looking them over, as well as the ones on the table.

Working a yo-yo with one hand as she walks the corridors, Pearson is carrying a stack of maintenance specs and engineering manuals tucked under one arm with a thin folder of incomplete reports stacked on top as she hunts up a place to finish those reports. The maintenance specs are just her down-time reading. She has a boxy looking MP3 player in the front pocket of her jacket, day-glow orange headset looped over her ears, and is humming more or less on-key as she strolls into the Ready Room and rocks to a halt just inside the door. She blinks a startled look then pauses the music and slides the headset off, "Sorry. Didn't mean to . ." and she ambles forward, curious. "What are you working on, LT?"

Looking a little wary and weary, Ensign Heron walks in and takes a seat as far back as she can reasonably dare without seeming entirely rude. Rethinking this, and her curiosity getting the better of her, she gets up and makes her way down to take a look at the photos on the table.

Gray turns up…perhaps slightly toasted from the party downstairs. He's not totally smashed, mind you, but he's had a couple of drinks in celebration of the "management reshuffle" in his unit. The 'invite' caught him a bit off-guard and the party had already been set, so he found himself stuck splitting the baby on this one. Still, he's back in uniform, badge on giving him access, when he knocks. "Permission to enter?"

Niamh enters the Ready room look just a little bit uncomfortable. Despite the passes and the waivers and stuff. She knows she shouldn't be here. The Deckie gives a sort of futile attempt to tidy her messy ponytail, green eyes shifting as she slips into the room, standing out like a sore thumb in her greasy orange coveralls. Gloved fingers fiddle with the edge of her notepad, and she stands quietly off to the side, keeping well clear of the other Officers. No, she doesn't wait for permission, she was summoned, so she just eases carefully past the Marine - though he does get a cautiously curious look.

Kelsey turns to see Pearson first and waves her in. "Room is free, but I'm giving a brief to some volunteers that want to work on the Galactica situation. Figuring out what happened. You're welcome to sit in and listen. Or get involved. Or just do your paperwork." She then looks to Gray's appearance and she waves him down. "Get your butt down here, Lance. Take a seat or stand. This is informal and more of a bull session." Though she's still in her blues so she's still 'sir.' A nod to Elena, then Niamh who she gestures down also. "Welcome, all of you. You each know why you're here: Galactica. This isn't going to me standing up here firing information while you listen. This is a discussion forum. Take notes, ask questions, but keep in mind I may answer some of them as we go."

Gray nods and jogs down to grab a seat. "Thank you, sir." Taking a seat, he pulls out a small pad of paper and a pen and focuses on te situation at hand. "Roger." He nods and sits back in what is…well, an unusually comfortable chair compared to what he's used to. Let the show begin…

"I'll stay and listen," Pearson decides as she moves to take a seat, angling a nod as other people trickle in. She sets the specs down, then the folder, fishes a pen out of one pocket, tucks a spare one above the curve of one ear and opens the notebook she carries to a blank page and clicks the pen, ready to work.

Hands clasped behind her back, Elena eyes the photographs, her expression growing more solemn, before heading back and taking a seat. "I'm surprised there's so much of it left, frankly," she remarks after a moment, indicating the photos on the table with a tilt of her head.

Kelsey nods to Pearson and then looks back to the group as they sit down. Only a glance to Elena and a slowwww, sagenod. "Alright. You're here because you're interested in finding out what happened to Galactica. There's very low support on this end from command due to reasons that I will get to, but you will constitute the working group tasked with this. You're diverse and there isn't a lot of rank here, but don't let that stop you." She slices a hand to each of them in turn. "Vipers. Raptors. Deck. Marines." The hand folds behind her. "What you can't figure out on your own, I'm willing to be someone else in the group knows someone who can help them out. I'll be of little support but I will be turning this all over to the group leader when we finish. You all will have to tell me who that is." She takes a breath. "Let's get to it." There isn't a lot of official decorum the jig stands on, but she clearly knows what she is talking about.

Taking a step back, the girl points a laser at and circles the Cyrannus System. The Colonies. A tiny dot. "We are here. About three and a half months ago myself and Captain Saint Claire flew a recon of Ragnar Anchorage in the accompaniment of Marines for potential boarding. When we arrived, we found the Galactica in dock at the Anchorage. For those that do not know, Ragnar is the Fleet's primary naval weapons depot and kept in place in case of war. On Warday there was enough munitions there to resupply eight fleets. The Navy had seven. …Given this, it is the obvious choice of location for a ship seeking resupply. Galactica, as it turns out, was in very bad need of it." She looks back to the group. "We boarded the station and found the munitions stockpiles intact. We also found a dead model One as well as a member of the Galactica crew. The crewmember was alive. Tags identified him as Hoshi, he was wearing Captain's pins. He was starved, barely conscious, and completely insane. He's been in a coma since we brought him back and as of today, he still has not woken up. He said nothing that can be made any sense of, but I will get you all the transcripts. …We did not explore the rest of the anchorage, but life support systems are operational and it does not appear to have been trapped in the areas that we saw around the munitions storage area."

Niamh nods to Kelsey and works her way down into a seat. Her notepad is already out, so she pulls a pencil from the mess of her ponytail and gets ready to start taking any notes. As Kelsey starts the dissemination of info, the Deckie is quiet, scrawling a few notes on the blank page she has the notebook opened to. She may have questions, but for the time being keeps them to herself.

Gray is jotting down notes as he gets the initial briefing on Galactica. "So…I just first heard of this last night. To be clear, Galactica showed up at Ragnar but never seems to have touched the munitions there. Did Ragnar have food supplies as well, or just munitions? Nobody was found onboard except Hoshi…but as I understand it, the place was a bloody mess. No puns intended with that, sir." Sigh. "Other than the missing pod, was there any evidence of combat? Other than blood, that is. Wreckage in the area, for example? Other ships that might have tried to rendezvous with her?" He jots down another note. "Oh, and any evidence of anything wacky in the atmosphere? Drugs, toxins…" Sigh. "…or helium. Not that /that/ would make people /this/ version of psychotic."

"Correct." The jig nods to Gray. "They never touched the munitions that we can tell. There are some food supplies, but they are minimal. Mostly there to supply a working combat crew for the station. Roughly five hundred people for a couple months, by my guess." She nods to the question of combat, though. "Quite a lot of evidence to combat. But no wreckage in the area around the station, no. There's no evidence of it, either. As far as life support is concerned, the whole system has shut down. The reactor cores are completely cold. There's zero power aboard, not even emergency except for a few battery systems."

Kelsey stops there for a moment. "Of mention on the point of the insane officer before I move on. Hoshi said something important: 'It'll follow us back.' We have no idea to what he was referring or the threat, but we'll come back to that so hold questions on that point." She then moves over to grab a photo from the table and hand it over to Gray to pass around. "The hatchway to Galactica was heavily pock-marked from weapons fire. When we opened Galactica's hatch, this is what we saw." It's a photo from a helmet cam. "The air aboard is stale and smells like rotten blood." The picture shows a completely unlit corridor except where the flashlights are aimed. In the shot they can clearly make out chunks of biological matter splattered on the walls at head level. The dried blood has rotted and become a darker black against the grey walls. The lights glint up a small sea of shell casings on the floor. Not a single body. "You'll notice that there aren't bodies on the floor. There isn't a single one anywhere on the ship that we saw. A large part of what we saw looks like this. A lot of people died there."

She then reaches for another photo from the table and hands it over. "We proceeded direct to CIC in an effort to make contact with any leadership personnel left alive. This is what we found." CIC is a complete warzone. "The door had been blasted open, possibly from the inside. Potential last stand." The consoles look to have been blasted and shot to hell. But there also look to have been repairs made. Several of them. "We're pretty sure that the door was blown off the hinges before the repairs were made, judging by the intensity of the fight and work that had been done." Which asks a whole lot of questions right there. "Three of the tactical displays over the map table had the words 'Repent Your Sins' scrawled across it in blood. We're not sure how to apply the word 'sin' here since it doesn't really apply in a lot of Colonial religion. Unless it does in a way we can't figure out."

Elena looks horrified. "Clarification — what exactly does 'sin' mean?" she asks, raising her hand. "Also… do we know what happened to the bodies?"

Bennett is here, and standing somewhere off by the hatch in the semi-darkened room. She's in her duty blues for once, rather than her flight suit, perhaps an attempt to appear more officer-ly.

"Well, the only other definition I recall from school involved trigonometry, and somehow I doubt they fell out over the shapes of triangles." Gray offers that reply wryly. Then he pauses in thought. "Any chance the survivors…I'm presuming more than one…carried out a space burial of some sort?" Either that or his next instinct is to check the freezers…and after last week, that is /not/ a fun thought.

Niamh pales slightly at the images, but doesn't say anything. She scrawls down a few more notes, glancing up at the screen, then down again. Her pencil moves, like she's drawing quick little sketches. The Crewman chews on her lip, a small frown creasing her brow as she shifts turning her attention to the other people in the room, listening to their observations and questions, but making none of her own, for now.

"No idea in the context of 'sin', Ensign. We have no idea what it means. It could be anything. Best we could find were references in monotheist religions. As for the bodies?" She glances to Gray, then back to Elena. "No sign of the bodies. Given the order of magnitude of the combat, I don't think it owuld have been possible for burials at sea. Besides, there's no sign of floating debris."

She takes a breath before saying more. "There were charts on the map table. Some of them hand-drawn. They were turned over to astrophysics. Some of them make absolutely no sense. Some even depict impossible systems as we know it. However, they did pick out a location they think the Galactica has been to, at one of the extremes, but its way the hell out there." Looong way judging by the look on her face. She hesitate on the next, though, and looks to the table, then to the chart. Her eyes close a moment before turning back onto the team. "We found a recording in the log. Last entry. I'll play it for you now." Kelsey moves over to the table. A button is pressed on a remote.

The sound comes from the speakers around them. There is a lot of degradation to the recording, but the words at the beginning are clear. "Colonel Tigh, Excecutive Officer and acting Commander of the Galactica. We are crippled and limping back to Ragnar in the hopes of finding any other element of Fleet that has survived this holocaust and to warn them not to follow the reports of Earth. There is no Earth. I only hope.' and then garbles again for a few more seconds, then stops.

"And no previous entries, I'm presuming." If there were, Gray is operating under the assumption that they would be mentioned. "Did…did the last entry come with a date on it?" Other than that, he's sitting back and thinking over possible answers to this puzzle…and he's not liking what little he comes back with. Actually, though his face doesn't show it, a knot is forming in his stomach alongside a desire for a strong drink.

"Is there still power running?" Niamh eventually pipes up, head tilting as she listens to the recording, glancing down to her notepad then back up again.

Kelsey shakes her head. "No other entries we could find. We got this one by chance, Lance. No date, either." She then looks to Niamh, "The last battery power went to that log, which is why the end went to static. The ship has no power at all." Kelsey moves to lean on the podium, forearms propping her. "The batteries are used to power the systems to bring the reactors online. The batteries are completely dead according to the damage control board in CIC. I can personally verify this. There is nothing there. I wouldn't even know how to power her up."

She lifts a finger then reclasps her hands. "Two more points and we'll go to questions." She glances over her shoulder to the photos of the ship, then back. "There are still a few shot-up ships on the Deck. A few Vipers and Raptors. I had no chance to look at them. We had to evac due to the air conditions. They are all battle-damaged and there aren't many left." Second point? "The photos up here show it. The ship went through one nasty battle. Or several of them. Most of the dorsal gun batteries are gone. Let me make one other thing clear, Niamh, I think you'll understand this best…" Kelsey aims a finger at a larger photo of the ship. The port flight pod is gone. Missing. The retraction struts are visible. "That cannot happen. The fuel lines that run between the primary tanks and the Deck go through those arms. If the pod had been blown off by an explosion, especially a sudden one, it would have continued down the lines and detonated the primary tanks with something approximating a five megaton nuclear warhead - depending on the fuel load." She keeps her eyes on them. "The only way this could happen is if they saw something coming and dumped the fuel lines. Even if they saw missiles incoming, the lines wouldn't have time to shutter and drain. It takes a few minutes." Kelsey lets that settle. "That flight pod wasn't blown off by enemy fire. Its missing. I hope the understanding there is clear."

Niamh blinks a bit as that is pointed out. She stares at it long and hard. "There's someone out there. Maybe. It had to have gone somewhere." She frowns and looks down at her notes. "If there are materials on board, we might be able to get those birds fixed up enough and bring them back here. If we could get pilots and Deck on there to get them fixed. "I wonder if there's a way to get power up and running, at least a little. If only to help in salvaging what we can."

Gray takes a few moments to let everything settle in. "Ok, first thought is that there's /half/ of a Battlestar there, with a few Vipers and Raptors. That's worth salvaging. Second thought: Ragnar itself. If it's still loaded…enough munitions for eight fleets, you said? /How/ long would that cover us for? Even if the Galactica had /nothing/ on it, if there's no evidence of the Cylons taking stuff from there it's probably worth a run as well." Gray sighs. "So…there's /something/ out there. Something strange, something that we probably don't want to meet. But there seems to be no sign that it actually made it to Ragnar. Right?" And then he pauses for a moment and sighs again. "I hate to ask, but if we could actually pull the computers, what are the chances of hooking them up to power and getting something from them?" Another note. "Finally…do we have /any/ evidence of the attackers? I'm asking because this frakking /reeks/ of that base out here. No bodies on Galactica, so that's a difference, but attackers who don't seem to leave much of a physical trace?" Pause. "Where Galactica went, which direction is it compared to Piraeus?"

The jig running the meet nods slowly to Niamh. "They found someone or something out there. Pretty sure a couple deck members could get the birds operational, if they aren't already. As for the ship's power? I have no idea. Repair work was a lifetime ago for me." Nearly literal in some respects.

She then looks to Gray, "Worth salvaging, assuming there's no threat to the operation. Why would the Cylons leave it intact? If its intact and untrapped?" She shrugs. "We could fight for decades on whats there, maybe? But no, there's no sign that whatever they ran into were able to follow it back. No idea on the computers end. That's beyond my ken. Ask me about Raptor computers." Just the limits on what she knows. "But it looks like a lot of it was shot to hell on purpose. The nav station had a full magazine emptied into it." But the mention of the bunker on Piraeus has her stop and look away. Anyone in the room can tell she's made the connection, but isn't voicing it. "I can't tell you the location of Piraeus. I don't even know it. But the last verifiable jump coordinates are here." Kelsey turns off her lean and aims the laser pointer at a location deep into uncharted space. There's a large hydrogen gas cloud there between the colonies and deeper space, showing up as a red blob on the map. "Here. In a Raptor, its four days of jumps just to get out there. By cruiser, weeks." Non-stop jumps to each charge to max distance.

"Keep something in mind: Tigh knew about the attack on the Colonies. He called it a holocaust. They went looking for Earth and probably did with a good reason. They found something." Kelsey holds their gaze. "They found it and came back to warn any survivors of the attacks. Anyone. The first place they went was to re-arm. A place with minimal food." Kelsey takes a breath, looking down. "Command doesn't want to look into it. I think you can see why. But there's been no mandate against the working group. Some people think this is important. A lot don't want to pull the yarn." She looks back. "If you want out right now, I don't blame you. But otherwise this is mission tasking to a working group. You'll be pulled from your main jobs for two hours out of every day for this."

"Hmph…" Niamh grunts softly and mumbles something under her breath in her native language. She shakes her head slightly and scribbles a few more notes. "When do we go out there?" She asks after a couple moments of thought. "It's always easier to assess things when we can be there in person. I…" Here she pauses, a faint blush staining her cheeks. "I -uh… I'm not really good at learning from books. I'm more hands on…"

"Yeah, but if he knew about the attack and came back to warn everyone, why start trashing the computers?" Gray shrugs. "A one in a million chance of an ally after Warday would've been a good enough reason. At least in my book." He pauses, thinking further. "None of it adds up right. We're missing too much information. Alright, I'm in as much as my training with Coop lets me. I'll let you know if I think I'm in over my head, but…" He fidgets with his pencil in thought. "Even if all we come out is a pitch for a smash-and-grab at Ragnar that's a frak-load of munitions worth grabbing. That's worth it on its own."

"Where?" Kelsey asks with a dark, humorless chuckle. "You want to jump out of here to the last known location? Or go see Galactica?" She then looks back to Gray and shakes her head. "My guess is that they didn't want anyone else going and looking. But here's the kicker: They would need the nav computers to get back home. Whomever killed the station did-so after arriving back here. If they were being assaulted off Ragnar, by Cylons, then what does that tell us?" She leaves the question hanging. "Clearing each munitions stack will take hours. Days, maybe. But I understand where you are coming from. But I'm just a Jay-Gee, I can't give you permission for anything. You need to come up with solid theories. Put the puzzle together and get something you can present. Have your group leader let me know. If it sounds workable, I'll kick you up."

Kelsey looks at them. "They went looking for Earth. Tigh said it doesn't exist. They found something else, it looks like. How do we know they simply didn't find it? Start digging. Its a long shot, but it might help us figure out what else is out there." She looks around. "Any last questions?"

Gray thinks for a moment. "One final question: They were shooting at something. Do we have any evidence it was Cylons?" He leans back. "Beyond that, I'd like to sleep on this, work up some ideas. Maybe I'll get lucky and dream up some answers?" As mirthful as that line might sound it's delivered totally deadpan.

"We have no evidence of anything. Best guess at the anchorage is that, yes, they were shooting at Cylons. Beyond that?" Kelsey has no answers. She also doesn't make promises. But the idea is there that she just cannot officially. "You're dismissed, though. I'll clear you for full access to the helmet cam footage. It is not to be shared, though discussion of the topic is fine."

Gray nods and closes his notepad. As he slips out the door, his only thought is how many different reasons he's getting to have sleepless nights.

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