AWD #601: Working Relationship
AWD #601: Working Relationship
Summary: Doctor Jimenez and Major Gray discuss her upcoming assignment on the Orion and future cooperation with the Arpay.
Date: 12/02/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Elias Jimenez 
The Map Room
A place with stuff.
Wed Aug 30 2006 (AWD #601)

Elias is already present in the Map Room at the agreed meeting time, doing paperwork. The TACCO has installed himself at the central map table, with clipboard, pen, and stacks of reports and communications at hand. That and an ashtray that already contains the scant remains of a few cigarettes, while the most recent is still alive, and propped between his lips. The effort made to clean up for the medal ceremony has not carried over into daily routine, and the young Major is back to rumpled blues and a bit of five o'clock shadow.

The Arpay are precise. Jimenez enters the Map Room only a few seconds 'late' and shuts the hatch behind her. She's as-always in her gray duty gear of the Arpay Fleet, including the loaded sidearm that's seen a lot of use. She has a tablet computer held at her hip on the left side and a mug of coffee in her right hand. She smiles to Elias as she moves closer. The mug is set on the table and there's a light doubletap to her heart. "Major Grey? I want to thank you for clearing some time for this. I know you're busy. I will hopefully not waste it. May I sit?"

Elias glances up as Jimenez enters, takes a quick drag from his cigarette, and then rises slowly to his feet to greet the Arpay officer, offering a quick salute to acknowledge her chest-tapping gesture. "Hello, Doctor," he says in Arpayan. There's a quick nod towards a second chair for her to sit down. "By all means." And while the TACCO doesn't return her smile, his expression isn't unfriendly, just terribly business-like. Then he waits for her to sit before he too returns to his chair. "What can I do for you?" Yep, straight to the point.

Jimenez takes the offered seat nearby and scoots up to the table, crossing her legs. The tablet gets placed down and she swaps it for the coffee, taking the mug up. "To be blunt, Major, I'm going to be taking over Medical in just under a week if Doctor Nadir passes her certification testing in hand to hand combat. This could be five weeks, or it could be forever. I thought it would be prudent to sit down with you and create an open dialogue before that happens. First point, I would like to ask if there are any questions you have in regards to this or if you have any requests or wish to convey anything. I'm charged with looking after your people's health. This is no small task or undertaking."

"Mmmm," is Elias' rather guarded response. There's a thoughtful pause while he takes another drag from his smoke and exhale aside. "My understanding is that you'll be serving with the Colonial Fleet in Doctor Nadir's place. I assume you've considered the possibility that you this could … put you at odds with Arpay regulations?"

"Yes," she says flatly. "I'm going to be required to take an oath of service in your fleet on a temporary basis and assume the rank of Major. Considering that I am a Rear Admiral in my own fleet, this isn't something I'm terribly pleased with. However, I will do it." She takes a breath. "My fleet will not be happy about this. Commander Chapman and Major Valloy are incredibly displeased and think that I should rescind the offer to Doctor Nadir. They do not think she warrants the risk of losing me to the Colonial Fleet. I have had to make it well understood that she is, firstly, worth every bit of the risk. Second, I am only being 'lost' to the Colonial Fleet if our two peoples go to war — a situation that I consider to be incredibly unlikely. We have too much understanding and too many common goals. Neither of us are beholden to hotheads, either."

Elias listens closely to Jimenez' answer, studying the woman. Then he gives a slow nod. "Understood." It seems to (mostly) satisfy the young Major, though he offers no opinion of his own on the arrangement. "The decision has been made," he says simply. "I want to see it go as smoothly as possible. For all concerned." There's a brief pause as he mulls things over, then Elias asks, "Who will be heading the Arpay delegation while you're serving with us?"

"I will be maintaining my position as head of the delegation unless Doctor Nadir does not return. If I am required to stay on with the Colonial Fleet, then the Weller Hill will return to Arpay to get a new Doctor to head the delegation. I will likely know the individual and could brief you as-needed." Becks relaxes into the chair, sipping her coffee. by her wording and inflection, this seems to indicate that if she is required to stay then she will be throwing in her whole lot with the Fleet. That's a helluva thing to consider. "If Doctor Nadir returns, I will retire my commission and resume duties." She frowns. "I am loathe to remove this uniform. I have worn it for sixty years, Major. Nearly as long as your Admiral been alive. I will wear the Colonial one if I am required but I will make no promises about my demeanor or attitude."

There's a slow nod as Elias absorbs Jimenez's words and considers the implications. There's a brief tightening of his mouth, but all he says is, "I see." The question of uniform is met with indifference from the TACCO. Not a detail he is going to quibble over. "I'll get you permission to wear your Arpay uniform." He carefully ashes his cigarette before taking another drag. "As for your attitude and demeanor … as long as you're fulfilling your duties, that's not really my problem, Doctor."

"That would be highly appreciated, Major. Thank you." About the uniform. It would seem Becks really is sort of attached to her own. "No it isn't your problem unless you're a patient. I'd rather not be sour with the people who seek me out for help." She sips her mug again. "I also wanted to see you about something in particular in terms of our relations." She turns the tablet and pulls it closer. She taps it a few times and a hologram appears overhead. Its text, in Arpay. It runs into her head so she pushes the tablet closer to him. "Use your hand to scroll down by touching the hologram." She moves around to sit closer to him so they may both read it. "This is a memorandum of understanding. We don't have a treaty or official partnership to sign. It has become our custom to avoid treaties as they often trap their participants and do not allow freedom of action that may be required." She continues on, explaining what he can also read. "This, essentially, says that the Arpay recognize the Colonial Fleet as a legitimate military body engaged in combat operations against an artificial intelligence that has invaded their home worlds. Further, we recognize that the Lines are an emerging race that may be artificial but are endeavoring to shed that distinction. Per my ruling, we recognize their right to survive and live as independent beings and will treat them as we do the Colonials. This also outlines that we are engaged in peaceful relations and intend to continue with the ope of forming military partnerships to combined operations." She will reach up to scroll to that portion. "As you can see, this part is left vague. This is to protect both the Colonials and the Arpay. We have stated intent but no committment. This way you are under no obligation to fight with us or have your ships modified to do-so, nor are we under obligation to do-so with you. Freedom of movement, Major. We can remain tactical to circumstances." She flickers a smile over, then back to the holorgram. "There's more here about trade. Standard stuff. It basically says we are open to it but recognizes that we will be challenged to perform trade due to distances and technological differences. Emergency relief, et cetera."

"Mmm," Elias recognizes her point about bedside manner. But then he hopes not to need to visit the doctor either, so. The tablet gets a curious look, and then he tries out the gesture she indicates, scrolling the text up and down a few times experimentally. The young Major starts to scan the document, but is just as happy to turn and listen to Jimenez's summary instead. He glances back at the device when she's finished, smoking and skimming the document for a few seconds as he thinks it over. The section about the Lines is given a bit of extra scrutiny. "We'll agree, of course." As if that needed to be said. "What we need is actual assistance. Now. Is that going to happen, Doctor?" It's not a demand, but the urgency is obvious. A war is happening, right here, right now. And Elias has decisions to make.

Jimenez nods. "Feel free to write your own document as well. I'll have this printed and sign the paper copy. It will be delivered to your Admiral before the day is out." Another sip of the coffee and she looks back to him with the urgent request. "That depends on what you are requesting. If you want one hundred thousand troops, that's going to be a problem. If you'd like a hospital ship, that is a little easier."

"Thank you," Elias gives a quick nod for her promise to deliver the document to Jameson. One bit of paperwork he gets to leave to the Admiral at least. The answer to his more immediate question earns a level look, and then a slow nod. "I see." He finishes off his smoke and carefully taps it out in the ashtray. "There isn't anything we don't need at this point: Food. Medical supplies. Small arms and ammunition. Transport craft. Combat aircraft and ordnance. Capital ships. So … I suspect it's more a question of what you're able to provide." Which leads him onto an even more urgent requirement. "What I need, right this moment, is information. Your Commander Chapman mentioned that the Machines have destroyed other artificial races in the past. I need to convince our Cylons not to make contact with the Machines. So I need all the data you can give me to prove this point."

Jimenez pulls the tablet back to her and dismisses the scrollable document. She brings up something else and places her palm to the face of the computer while she listens. It scans and then runs a laser over her eye. She looks casual about it. "Yes. Valloy mentioned that the Cylons were being cooperative. We aren't sure what to make of that. We've also not seen that before. She was sure you were going to be killed at your meeting." Fingers move rapidly through menu options, a dizzying maze and probably designed that way. The user and owner will know where they are going. Someone unfamiliar would get lost in a second. "I can provide that information. A lot of it, actually. Two primarily come to mind. They attempted to ally themselves with the Machines. The Machines executed with prejudice. See, the Machines few other AI as a raw threat because they are, themselves, AI and understand what they are capable of. Humans can be controlled and serve useful purposes. We are fleshy and easy to harm, comparatively. They show zero interest in ignoring other mechanical beings." She seems to find what she is looking for and slows down. It looks like a large list. "When do you need the information? I can have it printed in Medical and run up here now, if you want?" Its a list of ships. There must be hundreds of them. "I would have to return to Arpay to request deployments and this list will have changed since then, but you say you need everything. I can tell you right now that food will be a problem. That's going to take awhile. Arpay only produces enough to sustain itself and our fleet. The planets beyond evac can produce it for delivery here but it will take months for the turnaround on the request. Medical supplies will be a little easier. Everything else is a little easier, however I am leery of bringing too much here at once. I understand your needs but perceptions are important. You and I understand what is happening and why. We are discussing these topics as adults. Not everyone will have the same understanding. Your people may feel very threatened. Our ships are large, heavily armed, and armored. It will look like we intend to invade if I bring many ships."

There's a flicker of interest for the laser-security-scan, then Elias waits to see what information Jiminez can bring up. As for Valloy's thoughts on meeting the Cylons, he offers only a thin, strained sort of smile. "I wouldn't have bet against her." However there is a clear sense of relief from the TACCO for the concrete data the Arpay are willing to provide, and a quick nod. "Thank you. I will send someone down to Medical to collect the hard copy when we're done here? Having medical personnel looking at them might … start the wrong sort of rumor." And once the list of ships is displayed, Elias leans across the study it himself. "Mmm." The point about appearances doesn't seem to make much of an impression on the young Major, however. "Doctor … our civilization is in ruins with ninety percent of the population dead. Tens of thousands more are dying every day. If it's a question of living with some uncertainty and fear of the Arpay or dying? I think I'd prefer the former."

"You should talk to Valloy more. She fancies you." Jimenez glances over at him with the same sort of smile a doting mother would give to her son to tease him about being single. Hell, Becks might even be messing with him. The woman winks and looks back to the pad. Its held a little easier so that he can see it. Then, hesitation. "Where's my head?" she sighs, shaking it. The woman places her fingertips to the screen and flits them off. The screen goes to a hologram again and she places it on the table so they can both read it easier. Yes, this is definitely a list of ships. "This is what we had available when I left. We are in the middle of a deployment cycle and most of these crews are back for a few years to recharge, have children, do all the things people need to do to sustain themselves. So any crews we can get here will have to be volunteers. The Weller Hill is all volunteer, but people pulled favors to be here since you are a new race to us. That may work in your favor to getting what you ask." She says this as she looks over to him, reaching for her mug as she rises from the seat. She uses one finger on each hand to expand the hologram, spreading it to about five feet across. "I am nearly positive I can get you a hospital ship and a couple cruisers and likely two more munitions ships. The problem is that your ships do not shoot the same ordnance that we do. So most of what we deliver will be small arms. If you want ordnance for your naval batteries then we have something else we need to discuss."

Elias' face goes hard as stone at the teasing. Is he annoyed? Angry? It's difficult to tell behind the steely mask he presents, but a nerve was definitely touched there. There's a long moment of silence before he makes a terse reply, "I don't have a great deal of free time, Doctor." Which is to say, none at all. The tension remains as they get back to business, but at least he's able to focus on that. There's a grim nod for the volunteer issue, but no complaints. Beggars can't be choosers. "Every combat ships that can take a defensive role against the Cylons is one of our vessels that can assist with relief and evac. As for the muntions problem, unless you have some way to retrofit our vessels with Arpay weaponry, we'll have to make do. I doubt many of our ships would survive a jump to the Rally Point."

Becks see's the expression and hears the reply and lifts her hands. "Sorry. Not trying to start an incident." She looks back to the list and scrolls down. Cruisers, Destroyers, Battleships, Carriers, Corvettes.. the list goes on from the major capital frontline ships to command ships, amphibious landers, communications, cargo, expeditionary, tankers. Its larger than the Colonial Fleet was before the war. And this is just what they had at home. "Correct. I will ask that you not attempt to jump any ships except the Erol back to Arpay. However, if we retrofit your own ships to use our ordnance, that will leave you all totally dependant upon us for arms. All of your own ordnance you have in stockpiles would essentially be worthless. But this is possible." She stops the list and aims fingers at two ships, "Bowditch and Henson. These are spacedocks. We use them for ship repairs in forward areas when the fleet vessels cannot make the jump home. They can install new gun systems and upgrade your ships. Of course, that's if fleet command approves it. They should, but that caveat is there. You're clearly fighting a war, not asking for new toys to beat up on a different planet of humans." Fingers tap each one for selection, then she continues. "I will advise that we stay away from requesting ground troops for now. That's a significant step for us because it implies a lot. When I return to Arpay with Doctor Nadir next weekend I will make the requests. I do not expect it will be taken lightly. How many ships do you expect the Cylons to have?"

A curt nod is offered in response to Jimenez's apology. "I understand." And Elias does not seem to be taking it personally, or is at least able to put it aside to continue with the task at hand. He scans the list, each of those vessels weighed against the number of Colonial lives they could save. "Mmm," the TACCO acknowledges her point about ordnance dependence, nodding again. "The Cylons primarily use guided missiles and small fighters, so point defense and ECM upgrades for at least some of our vessels would be a good step. And if we can outfit more of our ships with your jump drives, the mobility advantage alone may be enough to keep the Cylons on the defensive." The question of ground troops is more troubling, but Elias doesn't fault her for her caution there. "I see. Would the Arpay be willing to move some of our people back to Rally Point, for ground combat training? We could use the time differential to quickly field trained troops … rather than throwing more armed civilians at the Cylons." The question of how many ships the enemy has is met with a thoughtful look. "Minimum of Twenty-eight Basestars — their capital ships, each with two hundred fighters. But we have indications that they have a reserve fleet uncommitted, strength unknown. My guess would be another thirty to eighty Basestars. Possibly more."

"Point defence is easy. ECM, less-so. Your ships don't use computer networks in the same number that ours do, while ours are reliant upon them. I'll see what we can install but, to be honest, I'm not sure what we can do there. Unless you want us to start overhauling everything. That's a different conversation also because at that point you're effectively joining the Arpay Fleet. That amount of work means we would, in essence, be building you ships. That's commitment. Command would want control of the ships. I don't advise that. No offense, Major, but you don't know well enough and we don't know you well enough. The Erol was a gift and proof of concept for you all to use as you see fit." Becks keeps it pretty honest. At least she isn't nattering at him, showing him pictures of her little elf-children or something. "I suppose its possible to train your troops. We do similar things and have done that for cultures in the past. It would depend heavily on the quality of your people sent. If there are many unruly or troublesome individuals then the offer would likely be revoked." Clearly the Arpay value their own time about as highly as the Colonial military does. But the number of basestars has her nod slowly and look back to the display, thinking. "Fewer than I expected."

"Then point defense upgrades will have to do," Elias agrees. "Our biggest tactical problem is being swarmed by Cylon raiders. Their fighters. We don't have nearly enough vipers or flak ships to deal with them all. Anything we can do to gain an edge there is useful." Then a thought occurs. "Unless we can rebuild some of our Raptors as effective ECM platforms … and your Command would agree to allow that." And there's no sign that he minds the bluntness. The situation is what it is, and there's no sense wasting time. "As for training, I was thinking we would send our own instructors, officers, and NCOs to handle that. But we would still need transport, facilities, and equipment. Anyone causing trouble would be … dealt with. And of course your people could terminate the arrangement at any time. I do understand we're nothing but a drain on your resources, Doctor."

"I'll make a note of it for the gun systems. The Machines use similar tactics on us. I do find it interesting that the Cylon do not use guns on their ships. That's very arrogant. The Machines certainly do. They're bloody effective, too." She drags the hologram back to the pad and sips her mug before looking back to Elias. "It is possible we could rebuild some of your Raptors, yes. Redesigning the ECO console would be a start. I honestly could not tell you how or what could be done, though. That end of warfighting is not my forte. I think that.." Becks considers, looking at her pad. "I think that if we redesigned the console and then sent you the instructions and needed parts, that would probably be okay. The Arpay are less interested in doing things for people rather than teaching them to do them for themselves. It makes us more effective with our time. Obviously we will need a Raptor of yours to cannibalize and likely an ECO who speaks Arpay. They will probably experience several months back on my homeworld." The last has her lift a finger. "That is actually an incorrect assumption. You are not a drain. You are an investment. We view it like this:" She takes a long breath. "You have a problem with AI. So do we. Being that we descended from the same people originally, we have our automatic alliance right there. But you are fighting a war. Not only that, you're actually not even running. All things considered, you're doing remarkably well, which is something we have never had the chance to see. The Arpay invest their resources into your people to help you fight and make you more effective. This gives you a better chance to have something nobody else has had - victory. At least until the Machines take over the galaxy." Details, details. "We learn from you and explore the idea that maybe you have done something we have not. If there is victory, in time we will trade with your people. We will exchange many things and share our cultures. We will all be richer for it. We hope that, in time, you will be interested in joining us in our fight. And when it comes time for your evacuation from this galaxy, we hope to transplant your people to a location that the Arpay might also find shelter and welcome when we must go." She holds her easy smile. "Investment, Major. We are not thinking about short-term with the Colonials, nor any other people we run across. We mean long term. Thousands and thousands of years."

There is swift agreement for the proposal of sparing a raptor and ECO to see what sort of upgrades the Arpay might be able to make. "I'll see if we can scrounge up raptor, or at least the electronic warfare components and someone who understands them." There's a thoughtful nod for the notion of teaching rather than doing-for, which in his mind merges somewhat with her clarification about investment in the future. "Mmmm," he acknowledges her point. "Sorry. I understand your point, Doctor, and I hope we pay off. But long term for me is what we'll be doing next month, assuming we're still alive. I have to deal with today and tomorrow first."

"Perfect. I'll bring them with me back to Arpay next weekend. I can tell you that our own engineers love taking apart alien technology, looking at what other races of humanity have developed and their own linear thought processes. They'll be quite excited to get to work on the project. I do hope they can find something that will work well for you. I would be surprised if they did not." Becks is quite cordial about all this. For her this is just effortless diplomacy. There's an understanding smile for his definition of long-term as well. "That is too often the case, Major. But you are already paying off. Your Marines and aircrew that found us? They surprised us. Their aggression and willingness to put it all on the line to fight?" Her smile is a little more fond. "We knew your ancestors. We moved them to Erfrik. You have no idea how proud they would be of you. To run into your branch of humanity again has been a fresh breath for my people. It means we are not alone in the fight. All too common the worlds we run across are people who are desperate and seeking a hand-out and up, eager to get off their planet and be swept to a new home where they do not face annihilation or enslavement." She crosses her arms. "And here you are. If you were anyone else we would probably not even be discussing what ships I could get out here or the improvements we could make to upgrading your current vessels. That's just fact, Major."

Elias pauses to make a note for himself, scratching out some shorthand via pen and paper. Now to try and convince the CAG they can part with a Raptor, let alone a trained ECO. The idea of tech-types excited about taking apart alien technology causes him to pause and reconsider. "I can throw in some recovered Cylon Centurions as well, if you think they'd be of interest." Then there's an understanding nod for her assessment of their contact team. "The people who volunteer for that mission knew what was at stake, and they knew the risks. I wouldn't have expected anything less." The mention of Erfrik has Elias thinking again, but it's a thought he is quick to shelve. "Some day, when I have the time, I'd like to review what your people know of our ancestors. Ancient history has become … unpleasantly relevant of late. As for being swept off to a new home …" He weighs this thought and manages another faint smile. "Given that we can't evacuate the Colonies anytime soon, I'll settle for a fighting chance."

"Anything you'd like to send back with us would be useful. If you think Jacob could part with a Heavy Raider and one of his Line members that would probably help. Any data you have on their air defense systems and electronic warfare of their capital ships." Becks seems to have a very large breadth of understanding of their military and what is needed. Or would be. But then again, sixty years in uniform and the Arpay probably don't promote idiots to their Admiralty. The point about ancient history his her pop her brows a few times with a smile. "Its all happened before and it will all happen again. But yes, I'd be happy to do that sometime. I brought most of the records with me. We even have video interviews with some of the citizens and photos. Art. Hundreds of millions of documents. We rarely throw anything away when it comes to data of other cultures. Nobody should be erased. I'm sure you'd agree." The last has her hold the smile. "Then a fighting chance is what you may get. Two billion people on Caprica alone? The colonies, in my opinion, are worth fighting for. You're not a waning civilization of a few million scraping by after centuries of inner-species conflicts."

"Yes," Elias agrees with the suggestion. "I will see what I can do." The idea is a good one, even if it means losing one more precious resource for the short term. Her use of that phrase, however, causes the TACCO's lips to compress in a tight line. "I've never cared much for that phrase myself. I would hope, at some point, we stop repeating our mistakes." Not that the Colonials have room to talk. "Mmm," he makes a noise of agreement for the value of their Colonies, or what's left of them. "First things first. I need to get that information to the Cylons. See if we can't keep the Machines from showing up before we even get the chance to induct you into the Fleet, Doctor."

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