Midnight in the Observation Lounge
Location: Observation Deck
Timeline: PCH-16 0000 Hours
Persephone continued to write numbers in a notebook in the Battlestar's forward lounge. All sorts of numbers. Tyllium fuel reserves, food stocks, strategic assessments, her mind absorbed it all like a mental sponge. Every statistic reminded her how hopeless their situation was. The food and water problem was beginning to rear its ugly head. So many problems... no solutions.
She finally scribbled wildly in her notebook and shut it, throwing it to the floor.
"Reality biting, Doctor?" a voice called out from behind her. Eventually, the form of the fleet Commander appeared and took a seat near to the scientist silently.
"Imagine Commander. Having the ability to constantly crunch numbers. You see them in your sleep, when you eat, you think about how they should have engineered this room, for example." Persephone noted. "Or how someone starts yammering about Earth? The thing about religious leaders is they're always so vague in their writings. There is no earth, is there?"
"I guess it is all about what you believe," the man spoke with a wrinkled nose and a deep breath. "If you believe in the teachings of the different religious texts then yes, there may be an Earth," the Commander confirmed. "I do not have the luxury to follow my beliefs, I have to do what is right for the human race and, if that means I have to, I will do all I can to find this mythical home of the thirteenth tribe. Who knows, they may be there, ready to help us re-establish our species," he remarked with folded arms across his chest.
"And when we tell them about the enemy we created? I wouldn't blame them at all if they told us to leave, hoping we'd distract the cylons away from their world. Which brings me to the social problem we are going to have." Persephone lowered her voice. "There are fifteen thousand frightened people here, and frightened people do foolish things. For me, I have the remarkable intelligence to see the big picture which is why I am at your service. The common man and woman sees only their needs and wants. They were content in their comfortable lives on the colonies, knowing that they were fed by colonies and protected by the military, with an illusion of freedom. That layer is gone now. You will have riots."
"If we have riots, we'll deal with them. We have no choice but to try Doctor. There has to be something out there to fight for," the Commander sighed, staring out of the large bay windows into the abyss of open space.
Persephone spoke again. "We need an actual plan here, Commander. If we're going to chase myths and legends, that's good enough to get people motivated and working together. Bottom-line, we need to keep on jumping until we cannot see another Cylon raider anymore. Then we'll need to get busy making more humans."
"We've plotted Galactica's most likely course following the discovery of the Olympic Carrier debris. We will follow that course until such a time as I feel that we are safe from the Cylons or we meet up with Galactica," the Commander informed in a sterner voice. He didn't approve of her tone, but he had come to expect nothing less from civilians aboard military vessels, especially those that felt like they had some sort of power or role in the grand scheme of things. "Your job is to keep me updated on what the people of this fleet need to survive. Leave the how to me and my people," he instructed as he stood and prepared to leave.
She kept silent her eyes narrowing. She was going to have to find some way to put a leash on the military. And soon. "Understood."
The doors to the back of the of room parted, letting light into the observation Lounge as four men marched in to the room and towards the Commander and Doctor. The lead man spoke out, drawing their attention. “Commander Hanson, Doctor Arrius,” the Master at Arms spoke.
Hanson turned and looked at the two marines that were joined by their Chief Engineer, Captain Kenly. “Gentlemen, what can we do for you?” The Commander asked.
“We have conducted our investigation,” DeVos declared.
"Investigation?" Arrius looked at Hanson.
“In our last engagement with the enemy, several of our birds were rendered useless once again, in the same way they were during the early engagements,” Captain Kenly spoke out. Usually he would not be involved in any work on the Vipers as his domain was exclusively the maintenance of the Solaria itself, but on this occassion, things were different. “We discovered several hidden subroutines, different to the ones initially used, coded within the Viper software. It wasn’t easy to find, but we managed to. They were activated by the Cylons in the same way as before, only this time the affects lasted for a limited time,” the engineer revealed as he looked at the Commander. It was then that he shifted from foot to foot uncomfortably.
“Spit it out Captain. What else did you find?” Hanson queried.
“The only conclusion we could come to was that this was sabotage sir,” he handed some papers he had been carrying to his commander. “The subroutines have been installed in the last forty-eight hours,” he revealed before turning and looking at Arrius. “By you, Doctor Arrius. It took some searching but we discovered your security codes had been used,” Kenly concluded.
"Impossible. I share my access codes with no one, and what reason would I have to betray us to the Cylons." Persephone mentioned.
Hanson turned to the Doctor, somewhat in shock. He had trusted her to work on some of the key issues of the fleet ever since she had turned up. But then, he colleague Gaius Baltar had betrayed their species, should he have been so surprised? "Doctor..." was all he could say.
"Wait..." She thought a moment. "'Keep your friends close and your enemies closer...'" She looked at Hanson. "You son of a Frak. Controlling the Civilians was not enough for you military fraks. Now you have to control its leaders. How many hostages are you taking to keep rebellions from breaking out across the fleet, Hanson?" Arrius reached in her pocket and began typing on a cordless phone. Finally the phone spoke. "Corporate access codes accepted. Athena's Grace corporate lockout engaged."
"Marines!" Hanson called out and the two marines marched up to the woman and took a grip of her arms. "Doctor you will release that telephone and instruct us how to release that lockout or I'll have no choice but to destroy your ship," the Commander instructed. "Your actions hardly scream innocence," he added.
"I'll release it when you tell me you do not actually believe I am a cylon collaborator. What would I gain from destroying the Colonies, Hanson? Ridiculous. The Cylons would show no more mercy to me than they would you." Persephone mentioned.
"Sergeant DeVos," the Commander nodded reluctantly.
"Persephone Arrius. Under article 9 of the Colonial Fleet Articles of War, you are hereby detained on suspicion of treason," the Master at Arms declared. "All of your work will be impounded, your security codes revoked and you will be detained until further notice."
"Come on Doctor," Hanson implored. "Release the lockout. Let us investigate and we might be able to clear this mess up. But if you don't, you are going to leave me with no choice," the Commander spoke quietly. He didn't want to believe she was guilty, but why would she prevent them access to her ship if she was innocent?
"Okay, I'll give you one gesture that I am not a frakking traitor, Hanson. Without the Grace, we're just that much closer to extermination. The Release Code is 8041231" Persephone stated. "But know this. Whoever set me up has much to gain now that I am in a cell."
Hanson nodded to Captain Kenly to take the phone and input the code.
The phone started the process of unlocking. "Corporate Lockouts Engaged. Enter Corporate Override code," and once Captain Kenly had input the code as given by the Doctor, the phone continued. "Override Code Accepted. Welcome Doctor Arrius."
The the Athena's Grace now unlocked, the Commander looked at the Marines. "Gunny. Take the Doctor to secure quarters and put her under house arrest," the Commander ordered. Malik was about to argue the case that the traitor should be taken to the brig, but a glare from the Commander let it be known that he was not to be trifled with on this occasion, so the Master at Arms acquiesced to his request.
"Good lords of Kobol. The worlds have gone to felgercarb." Persephone began to walk with the marines.