Another Man's Poison
Another Man's Poison
Summary: Zaharis and Rhea pursue the cylon mercury discovery, and Rhea digs up another disturbing connection. Fotilas is brought up to speed. Shem is sicced on a civilian.
Date: 58-59 ACH
Related Logs: Raising the Stakes

Classified Lab Genesis - Deck 13
58 ACH 23817 Souls

OOC Note: This area is Classified. It is guarded from casual entry by keypad and monitored by cameras as well as under guard. If you have not been ICly cleared for access to this area, you do not have sccess.

This Lab is a large, open area set up for modular scientific study. Currently there are cold storage unite here and the location has been prepared as an autopsy and biological analysis lab.

It takes two separate sets of whoosing doors to admit Rhea to the lab. After she passes security and thumbprint check with the Marines ourside. The lab is chilly, the temperature low enough to cause slight goosebumps on the skin. Stainless steel surrounds the large lab, counters covered in medical equipment and lab machines. Though even more eerie than the temperature is the silence. Nothing lives or moves in here except the lone researcher - Zaharis, sitting at a counter looking through a microscope. Other than that, not even a whisper, not a footstep, not a pin drop.

Rhea has acquired a lab coat to huddle in, though she notes the cold in spite of it. She passes briskly through security and heads back to meet up with Zaharis. Her rather clompy stride sounding almost jarringly in the silence. "Hey. What've you got?" she asks, without any preliminaries.

The light over the second set of doors flashes green briefly, announcing someone's impending entrance. Still, it never fails to startle Zaharis, his shoulders tensing even though he'd been expecting her. He scoots the stool back and rolls his shoulders. "I believe one of the cylons may have been poisoning or trying to poison those ships with mercury chromide." No preamble there either. He goes BAM and will work backwards from there. "Maybe in the water supply."

The slight widening of Rhea's eyes, and the tensing of her jaw, is the only sign of alarm she shows. Though she has to take a beat to ponder the full implications. She nods shortly. "I'll get crews onto the new ships to collect water samples. And shut off the taps, in the meantime."

Zaharis nods once, standing up from the stool. "Just…tell them it's some standard maintenance or something, you know how to make that sound believable. It could be nothing at all, I don't know. But I'm not taking any chances. People could be dying if I'm right."

Rhea nods at that. "Absolutely. We've been fiddling plenty with the water system on the Destiny as it is, and the other ships are all in need of repairs. Except the Hera, but she's our territory now, anyway. I'll employ all my subtlety." She adds, in case that's not encouraging, "I'll keep it light until there's reason to worry the populace."

"Alright." Zaharis brushes his hands together. "The Nebula too. That's where they found them, that's where they may have been trying to hit. Be a bitch tracking down their personnel if there is medical cause for worry." He paces a few steps, rubbing his fingers across his lips. "May do it anyway, even if there's no traces left. By now it may have filtered out. But that shit hangs around."

Rhea nods again. "We're doing work on the Nebula as well. Which is a touchy situation, but it won't look too strange if we stick our hands in their water supply. Might not be easy getting the Nebula personnel to get tested anyway, even if you do track them down. They aren't too fond of uniforms at the moment."

"I'll get the Destiny's doctor to do it if I have to," Zaharis shakes his head. "It doesn't matter, Rhea. I'd rather be spit on a hundred times than have their crew suffer as I know they will if this is true."

Rhea nods in firm agreement on that, expression grave. "There was an accident on Scorpia with the desulfurization processing when I was a lieutenant there. Three techs died of mercury poisoning." She says it starkly, but the memory clearly chills her still.

Zaharis nods and glances over towards the wall, where a number of large steel drawers are built in. Each one has a keypad entry and a red light glowing nearby. Then back to her. "You should go."

Another nod from Rhea and she's on her way out the door, stride quick.

Rhea leaves for Corridor 13C [O].
Rhea has left.

((OOC Skip to next day ICly. Rhea memos both Fotilas and Zaharis that there's news))

Chief Medical Officers Office Genesis - Deck 13
59 ACH 23817 Souls

The office of the Chief Medical Officer is a small room, used mostly for consultations and review of sensitive patient materials than the paperwork of the Medical department, which goes through the Naval Administrative offices. Still somehow it has file cabinets along one wall stuffed full of papers, two chairs in front of a desk behind which a large leather chair is set. On the desk sits a computer terminal.
Sitting on the file cabinet is a Rod of Asclepius carved from two different types of wood. The rod is made from lighter wood, while the snake is darker. The eye of the snake is inlayed with tiny crystals so that it sparkles in the light. It stands on a smallish pedestal with a legend: Do no harm to thyself nor to others.

In the CMO's office, its primary resident is busy working. Zaharis is at his desk, staring at his computer. His elbows are braced on the desk, fingers laced behind his neck and his eyes rolled up to be able to read the screen as he waits for Rhea and Fotilas.

Fotilas appears in the doorway of the Office with his usual large-caliber companion on his hip. He looks about as tired as usual, which has become the norm for him. The man lifts a hand to rap on the doorstop. "Evenin, Major. Heard you all needed me for something?" Brow raised, he seems a bit curious.

Rhea is buzzed in and admitted to the CMO's office. She has the grubby look of an engineer who's been working all day, though that's hardly unusual for her. And she's brought along her clipboard. "Doctor. Colonel." Fotilas is saluted. "Thought it'd be best to brief you on our adventures in mercury chromide now, while all the data is still fresh. Besides, command briefings tend to get weighed down in tangents. I prefer not to wait for them."

Zaharis sits up as the two get buzzed in, scratching a hand through the back of his hair. "Come on in. Have a seat." He picks up his cigarettes, shaking one out into his fingers. "Heard this is about our mercury problem. Colonel, you been keeping up with the memos on that?"

Fotilas just offers her a tired smile. "At ease, Zimmermann. Besides, I'm agreement." He sketches her a salute and motions her in before him. The Colonel takes a seat and glances between the two before falling back on Zaharis. "Ah, somewhat. I've only been able to scan my memo's with how busy I've been."

Rhea eases and takes a seat, nodding to Fotilas. "I thought it might be best to bring you up to speed on this whole thing personally, anyhow, sir. Memos give me a headache, myself." She smirks, though she's serious enough as she motions to Zaharis. "The whole thing was touched off by something the doctor and his medical research staff discovered in the…humanoid Cylons." She still can't say those words without a touch of awe.

Zaharis pushes two mugs over, gesturing to the carafe on his desk. "Coffee. Help yourselves." He pauses for a second to light a cigarette, already talking again as the smoke blooms. "We found mercury in the urine of clone A, Colonel. Mercury is highly toxic to humans, and considering their physiology apart from the silica is textbook human it should've had a visible effect on her system. It didn't. She was filtering and secreting it with a clearly abnormal tolerance to it. We ran the mercury for specifics and found it was mercury chromide, which is a common waste byproduct from gas desulfurization on ships. Highly toxic, highly dangerous. I called Zimmermann in on it." He pauses and motions to Rhea. She gets to continue.

The Colonel dips his head. "Aye. Memo's are a one-way street on communication. I'm with you there." He takes a deep breath and nods once at the end. "Yeah, I caught that memo and had to read it three times before I realized what the content was saying. The implications are.. still occuring to me." Apparently he hasn't been able to see anyone about it. But the man reaches for the carafe, pouring Rhea a cup then himself. His attention lifts to Zaharis as he does-so. Clearly this stuff is odd. He won't state or ask the obvious, though. "Any idea how it might have ended up in cylon's digestive tract??" He then glances to Rhea.

"Highly toxic but not uncommon," Rhea adds, as she's motioned on. "It's something engineers are trained to deal with through standard decon procedures. But if it gets somewhere it's not supposed to be, like the food or water supply…well. You can imagine the dangers." She smiles in thanks as Fotilas pours her coffee. Taking a moment to drink. "The doctor was concerned this…creature might've been attempting some sort of sabotage. The most likely avenue for that would be the water supply. That's why my techs shut down the water systems on our new civilian ships today. For testing. And for 'better safe than sorry' purposes." As for the digestive tract, she shrugs. The Cylon is humanoid. Biology is not her thing.

"Urine, not digestive tract," Zaharis corrects Fotilas, taking a quick drag on the cigarette. "Just means her body was processing it in unusually tolerant fashion. Didn't damage her kidneys or liver at all, as it would in a normal human. As for where it actually entered her system, we can't tell. There's no signs." Then he goes quiet again, looking at Rhea. She's the one who had news.

"Excellent call, Rhea." Fotilas nods once more to her. "Especially the cover announcement. Well-played, Major." Fots lifts the mug, sipping it as she continues. He glances to Zaharis with the correction and sighs. "Well how would something get into her bladder or urine otherwise? I'm not patronizing, Doctor, I'm genuinely curious. Can a human body simply take-on mercury chromide by osmosis?" The rest has him thinking hard, but his attnetion falls once more to Rhea.

Rhea knows not of bladders and digestive tracts and these human-fangled systems. She semi-toasts her coffee at Fotilas as she sips it again, nodding. "My techs have been running all over those ships, so a few more weren't out of the ordinary. No sense panicking folks before there's something to panic about. There's not, by the way, at least as far as the water is concerned. All the tests came back clean from Medical." She pauses a moment. "Though I did run into something interesting on the Destiny. Not in the water. The former Hera captain - Fulton - button-holed me when I was there with a tech team. I didn't tell him what we were doing. Used the maintenance testing cover. But he asked me, himself, unprompted, if we were looking for mercury chromide. Seems there'd been one case of it - only one - he'd come across before we hooked up with these ships. A technician on the Nebula, by the name of Mark Jeffries."

Zaharis doesn't jump in to claim any credit on getting the water tested. He just looks at Fotilas. "Mercury can be absorbed through skin or through inhalation. It gets into the body very easily." Then he nods to Rhea. "Really, Jeffries? How interesting. That's the same name he gave me when I went over asking him who the one was that supposedly saw the cylons doing…something in the ship. I passed it to Gaelan and the S2, they're supposed to be tracking him down as we speak. He said the man was showing signs of chromide poisoning?"

"Aye, that was one memo that I was sure I read. Glad to hear everything checked-out. Thanks for the quick work - both of you." With the rest, its obvious that Fots is still trying to play catchup on which ship is which. Anyone's guess what he's been doing the past week. The mention of the ship's Captain asking about that, though, gets a furrowed brow as Zaharis shares his info as well. "That's not exactly something someone would randomly ask about, is it?" He's pretty sure he knows the answer. Who the frak is this guy?! "Did this Captain say how exactly he figured to ask your team about that, Major?" That's to Rhea. But before that, he looks towards Zaharis. Dear Gods, he's WAAAY out of the loop.

Rhea makes a soft "Huh" sound into her coffee, as to that bit about Jeffries Zaharis provides. "It could be just a coincidence. Service technicians work every day in situations where they could be exposed to mercury. If they aren't sharp with their decon, it happens. But I've never been one to trust coincidences. I'll pass a note along to Gaelan and his S2." To Fotilas, she shrugs. "He didn't, but I can't fault him for putting two-and-two together. We had water testing gear along with our standard maintenance kits, and the chief of engineering doesn't go on every routine maintenance run. There are only so many reasons to shut down access to the water supply. If he was familiar with mercury chromide contamination, it wouldn't be a hard leap to make. I didn't confirm anything for him."

Zaharis nods at Rhea's words, looking back at Fotilas. "There have been numerous cases over the years of this kind of accident. Mercury chromide poisoning is something any sickbay on any ship knows to watch for." He gets in a drag off his cigarette. "I think we need the S2 in here, and I think then we need his ass tracking down this Jeffries guy. This is twice that name's come up, and normally I wouldn't be so paranoid. But it's an understatement to say this is a special situation."

Fots has no idea what goes into testing water supplies. He's not about ot pretend. He drops his eyes to the mug of coffee, looking into the liquid absently. "Well then if he's putting two and two together for that, then it would track that this Jefferies fellow got his mercury poisoning from some sort of water, right? Otherwise I feel like this Captain stinks of knowing something he isn't sharing." He lifts his eyes to look between the two. Maybe he missed the memo that talked about that. To Zaharis' comment, Fotilas nods. "Agreed. Especially if this guy saw the cylons messing around before he was poisoned. Doctor, if you had the body, think you might be able to figure out how Jefferies was poisoned? If its even still available?"

Rhea shrugs to Fotilas. "Mister Fulton's had more time than us to adjust to this whole 'skinjob' notion. He may well know something useful, though I get the feeling he wouldn't be opposed to sharing it. If he hasn't been debriefed, I'd submit it might be a good idea. As for the S2, I quite agree. Mister Jeffries has earned himself an interview, at the very least."

Zaharis is looking at Fotilas, not quite understanding. "The…body, sir? You mean Jeffries? Mercury poisoning isn't immediately fatal unless it's a very high dose, so hopefully he's alive. He'd better be, or pardon my Libran but we're frakked." He exhales through his teeth, ashing his cigarette. "It's difficult to tell exactly how someone was poisoned just from a corpse. Depends on the concentration in various organs. If he's dead we'll do our best."

Fotilas lifts his free hand to the bridge of his nose, pinching it for a moment. "Nobody has debriefed Fulton on this mess with the cylons?" What the frak are the Marines doing? Home-administered colonoscopies with their thumbs? But he looks back between Rhea and Zaharis. "Wait, okay. So this guy Jefferies isn't even dead? Okay yes, absolutely! He needs to be spoken to right away." The only question? Is he going ot have to do this as well. "But Doctor, you said that even small doses would damage specific organs, correct? But these cylons didn't show any? Despite having it in their body. After your exam, do you think they have some sort of immunity or that the chemical ended up in their urine some other way?"

Rhea shrugs at that. "I haven't a clue if he's been debriefed or not, sir. I didn't press him about it. Might be something to look into, though." As to Jeffires, she shrugs again. "I go the impression from Fulton that he'd at least undergone treatment and, as far as the captain knew at least, he was alive. This type of poisoning doesn't have to be fatal if it's caught early enough and treated. If it was, we'd have some zombie technicians on this very ship."

Zaharis shakes his head in 'I don't know' fashion at the question about Fulton. Not his area. Then he nods to Fotilas. "Usually as mercury chromide metabolises, it causes damage to the central nervous system, endocrine system, kidneys, brain, and affects the mouth, gums, and teeth. The cylon showed no damage at all. Her kidneys /did/ show that they had been filtering mercury, but there was no damage due to it. Only one cylon had signs of it, Cylon A as we call her. B didn't. So either the immunity is particular to A, or they just weren't both exposed. The latter's more likely given as how their makeup is exactly identical in every other way so far."

Fotilas listens closely to Rhea. "Really? So this is something common enough that treatments are readily available?" He quirks a brow. "I think I still might need to work that shift or two I volunteered for two months ago. Apparently I have a lot to learn about Engineering." The tone isn't upbeat, but more somber about the dangers of her department. "Can you find out from Fulton is maybe they've had unusual problems with mercury leaks in the past? I mean in the last few months?" Something isn't adding up. But his attention falls back to the CMO. "So these two examples are completely identical down to the very basic levels? Then yes, I'll go with you on this one. It wouldn't track that 'machine-people' would be individual." This is wracking his brain. People cylons. Mercury poisoning. He sips at his coffee. "Is there any way we can guess at the extent of dosing Cylon A took? I mean, in comparison to what the effects might have been on a human?"

Rhea offers Fotilas a faintly crooked smile. She doesn't give a second thought to the dangers of electrocution, fire, mechanical failure and/or chemical poisoning she and hers face on a daily basis. But it's nice when someone else groks it. "Just a days work, sir. You're always welcome in my shop. I'll get my techs to get you your own set of cover-alls." But, back to business. "I can ask Mister Fulton about it, if you like, though that'd necessitate giving him some idea of why I was asking. I'm not sure how much information he's given command or the Marines at this point." She turns to Zaharis, as to the anatomy portion of this show.

"Treatments are available," Zaharis says, sitting back. "As I said, it's a high enough danger on a ship that any good sickbay is prepared for it. Problem is that mercury is so toxic that it can easily cause permanent damage before someone gets treatment." He stubs out the cigarette and immediately reaches for another. "They're identical to the genes, sir. They have identical fingerprints, which is a human impossibility. These are not natural 'twins' by any means. As for the dosage, I could tell you in figures but it wouldn't mean much to you. It wasn't a dose that would normally be lethal to a human, but it was significant. Like I mentioned, we should have seen damage at that level." He glances between them. "Are we ready to talk to the S2? The longer this Jeffries guy is running around somewhere, the longer we go without answers here."

The XO nods. "I said I wanted to two months ago, Major. I stand by my word. I just need to catch up on my paperwork before I can swing a shift down there." He then thinks on her words and takes a deep breath. "Tell you what Rhea, I'll leave it to your discretion. You both seem to know a helluva lot more about this than I do and I trust you to be discreet." Fots then looks back to Zaharis. "Godsdamn, no kidding. The same fingerprints?" He sighs. "Alright, yeah this is pretty scary and intruiging all at the same time. And yes, call Shem down here. Lets get this settled."

[Intercom] Pass the word! Lt. Jang Shem to the Chief Medical Officer's Office. Lt. Shem to the CMO's office.

Shem comes in from Sickbay.
Shem has arrived.

There is a knock at the door.

Rhea simply nods to Fotilas, eyes getting sparkley at the idea of a command-type grubbing in her Engineering lair. But she tables working out the details of that for now. Awaiting the S2. Sipping her coffee.

Zaharis nods to Fotilas. He gets the front desk on the wireless, letting them do the dirty work of paging the S2. When the knock comes he calls out, "Yeah, come in."

Zaharis is burning a fresh smoke between his fingers, a still smoldering one just stubbing into the ashtray. Both Rhea and Fots are seated in front of Zaharis' desk, a caraffe of coffee idly waiting to be consumed explaced upon the surface. The Colonel and ChEng both have a mug. The man chuckles to Rhea and shakes his head. "Relax, Major. I wouldn't be going into your department as a Colonel. My goal is to learn, not cause problems for you. Unless you'd rather me stay out? I'm not going to get offended if you'd rather me keep away."

The door swings open, admitting the S2, armed and looking suspicious as he's tending to do lately. His eyes flick between the back of the two heads and then up to Zaharis. The marine takes a couple of long steps, leather flexing in boots, to stand three feet behind the two chairs. "Sirs." He salutes. "Lieutenant Shem, reporting as instructed."

Rhea just smiles at Fotilas. "You want to work a few shifts, Colonel, I won't say anything against it. I always welcome an extra hand." She turns when Shem enters, acknowledging him in proper military fashion. "Lieutenant. I'm glad you could join us. Something we were discussing nosed up against a matter I believe you're working on, so we thought it best to bring you into the loop." She leaves it to the boys to explain further.

Zaharis exhales smoke towards the ceiling as Shem comes in. "Evening, Lieutenant. Have a seat and join us." He scratches his thumb along his neck. "Gaelan told me he passed along the Mark Jeffries matter to you, is that correct?"

The Colonel turns as Shem enters, simply nodding to the Lieutenant. He motions to the empty chair, waiting for the Marine to answer the question. Nobody can be quite sure these days whats getting passed in a timely manner.

Shem right eyebrow moves upward a centimeter. He assumes a seat so that Fotilas is at the center. "Yes, sir, just the name." He directs his answers across the colonel's body.

"The name Jeffries came up again today, when I was supervising the temporary shut-down of the water system on the Destiny," Rhea informs Shem. "Mister Fulton - the former captain of the Hera - mentioned Mister Jeffries was recently afflicted with mercury chromide poisoning. That just happened to be what we were testing the water for. Those tests came back negative, by the way. The water's fine. But the fact that Jeffries came down with this poisoning is rather suspect. Given what prompted our concern about this substance in the first place." She tilts her head to Zaharis. He can elaborate.

Zaharis draws a breath, glancing at Fot and then at Shem, nodding. "Medical found that one of the cylons had mercury chromide in her urine. It's a compound that's a hazardous waste product on most every model of ship. Highly toxic and a common agent in waste accidents. Now this Jeffries pops up again as someone with exactly that poisoning as well…plus what I gave Gaelan on him supposedly having been the one to have seen the cylons in action. We need this guy."

Fotilas is content to let the two Majors explain things from their respective ends. Once Zaharis finishes, the Colonel speaks up. "Have you had a chance to get involved in this investigation yet, Lieutenant?" He quirks a brow, curiously.

Shem looks among the officers in turn as they speak. The story seem to be more incredible with every word. He wets his lips and answers Fotilas. "Not on Mr. Jeffries, sir, this person was brought to my attention yesterday." He directs a question — perhaps the first of many, from the looks of it — to Zaharis. "Excuse me, sir, if I'm following you right, are you saying that these Cylons can store hazardous waste products in urine?"

"We haven't a clue how it got in its urine at this point," Rhea answers Shem. "At least I don't. I'm not a doctor."

Zaharis shakes his head to Shem's question. "I don't believe that's the case. Her kidneys showed evidence that she was able to filter it. So best guess right now is she was exposed to it, took it in through lungs or skin, and was excreting it. It didn't damage her system at all though, which in a normal human it would have. We're still looking into it."

The Colonel nods to Shem's answer. "From Command's end, we'd like you to interview Mister Jefferies about all of this. I'd like you to work with Majors Zimmermann and Zaharis, here, to find out specifically what they want answers to as far as this puzzle goes. I'd personally be interested to know what it is Jefferies witnessed with these Cylons."

Shem looks down and scratches his eyebrow with a ring finger, considering Rhea and Zaharis's words. He looks up and sidelong to Fotilas. "Aye, sir."

"From a technical end, what I'd most like to know is how he contracted mercury chromide poisoning," Rhea says. "He was apparently a service technician on the Nebula. There are plenty of ways he could have been exposed to it in the course of his job. But I don't like the coincidence, him being associated with the Cylons, and turning up with the same poison we found in the skinjob. Depending on what he says, we might be able to corroborate it with the Nebula service logs. If they were kept well by their engineers. And if they're still intact, given the damage that ship took. If not, we might be able to speak to his co-workers as well."

Shem nods slowly. "Yes, sir, I'll see to finding him." There's a pregnant pause, during which his eyebrows crease. He asks the question of Fotilas. "Would you like this done with or without the JAG, sir?" Informing of a right to legal advice versus putting in a dark room with darker corners. It's a carefully-phrased question, and one not asked loosely.

Rhea's eyebrows shoot up. "We don't know that this man has done anything other than contract a disease at this point, Colonel," she says to Fotilas. Though the reminder isn't too pointed. She deals with blinky and clanky machines. Not legal niceties and interrogations.

Waiting for Rhea to speak, he dips his head in agreement. "The man in question isn't under arrest and as far as I am concerned and he's not under suspicion of anything. I see no reason for interrogation or other measures. However, if he is uncooperative, then find me about how to proceed and advise Major Altair." Fotilas is crystal clear about this. "But he is not to be treated as hostile unless you hear from myself or the Commander or there are extenuating circumstances that require immeadiate action. We've got enough enemies in this fleet. At the very least, I do not want anyone giving the civilians a reason to circulate rumors. Any questions in that regard, Lieutenant? Any at all?"

"No, sir, sounds good," Shem answers easily. He glances at Rhea but says nothing to her. It doesn't look like he was banking on one answer or another. With a slightly lowered voice to illustrate the secretive nature of his original question, he explains, "It had to be offered, sir." Top brass privilege, it seems.

The discussion of it being done with or without JAG gets no change of expression from Zaharis. He's been silent for a while after his two cubits were thrown in, just watching and listening. As they iron that one out he takes a slow drag off his cigarette, exhaling through his nose.

Rhea says nothing more on the matter of interrogation. It's really not her purview.

Fotilas nods to Shem. "Good. I won't want to take over an interrogation, but I do expect to be kept in the loop closely. Especially so if the man in question doesn't want to talk. We'll discuss our options with Altair at that juncture - if it even comes up." He then looks to Zaharis. "Doctor, what specifically would you like the Lieutenant to ask Jefferies about - if anything."

"Yes, sir." Shem turns from Fotilas to Zaharis.

"At this point there's not much absolutely specific to medical, sir," Zaharis replies to Fot and, peripherally, to Shem. "How he was exposed to the mercury chromide and who treated him, in case we need to speak to his doctor." He pauses a second. "I'd appreciate being kept in the loop with all of Jeffries' answers, though. He might have some information that could further help our end of things, without us having known to ask."

Rhea nods to Fotilas. "I'd appreciate the same, sir. I'll keep it close. No reason this matter needs to go beyond my desk at this point. And, as Doctor Zaharis said, it might further our research ventures into the skinjob mess."

Fotilas glances between the two. "Fair enough. I can't see any reason to compartmentalize this information. That could only hurt the investigation." He looks back to Shem. "As they've requested, CC all information to the three of us. I'm not going to be directly involved, though." Still not a fan of micromanagement. "I'll file reports to Regas as neccessary." He looks to the others. "Anything else on the docket?"

Shem contributes an agreeable-sounding, "Aye, sir."

Zaharis shakes his head to Fotilas. "Not from me, sir."

Rhea has nothing more. She shakes her head, finishing off her coffee. It's gone cold by now, but she still chugs it down.

The XO nods. "Sounds good." He turns to Zaharis and Rhea in turn. "Majors. Thank you for the information and the meeting. And the coffee as well." He rises from the chair and nods to Shem. "Lieutenant. Best of luck and good hunting." He turns to move for the door.

Shem stands a split second after the XO does. He salutes professionally. "Thank you, sir."

Zaharis also stands. Reflex. He fires off a salute to the departing Fotilas. "Goodnight, Colonel."

Rhea stands, getting any necessary salutes to the XO done with. "I've never been one to deal through paperwork, sir. Seemed the easiest way to get us all on the same page. And I'll keep those cover-alls ready for you in Engineering." She's not forgetting that, Fots. Fear.

Fotilas leaves for Sickbay [o].
Fotilas has left.

Shem drops the salute and turns to face Zaharis across the desk. He remains standing.

Zaharis sets his hands on the desk once Fotilas is gone, sitting back down and looking at Shem. "If you have no further questions or there's nothing else from Major Zimmermann, you're dismissed." He glances at Rhea to see if there is indeed anything else for the S2.

Rhea shakes her head, having nothing more for the S2 on her end. "Unless there's anything else you need from us, Lieutenant?"

"There is, sir," Shem answers to Zaharis. "I'd kindly appreciate flash traffic my or Major Gaelan's way if there's anything new with your research on these human-looking Cylons. We're putting together a list of recommendations of, let's say, procedural changes to tighten up security, and any information, whether or not its short of a genuine Cylon detector, might very well be helpful."

"Of course, El-Tee." Zaharis nods to that. "You'll be getting a full medical report on this heavy metals incident within the next half-day. It may not be immediately helpful but it may lead us to something that is. And if there's anything else found, you'll know about it."

Rhea nods to Shem. "Medical'll be able to give you the best information on the humanoid Cylons at this point. But we'll forward you what Engineering turns up from the silica sample Doctor Zaharis gave us. And anything else we turn up."

Shem nods to both and salutes to Zaharis. "Sir." Another one for Rhea. "Sir." He turns to the door, takes a step to the side to avoid the chair, and leaves.

Shem has left.

Zaharis returns Shem's salute from his seat. His lips make a buzzing sound as he blows out a breath of air between them, and he reaches for his cigarettes. "Frakking hell," he mutters once the S2 is gone.

Rhea watches Shem go, then turns back to Zaharis. She lacks the comforting fixation of a cigarette. "That about sums it up. Anyhow. At least the drinking water's safe. Small favors and all that."

"Thank the gods." Zaharis lights up and tosses the lighter onto a stack of files. "I can't even begin to speculate on what actually happened. Shem better find this Jeffries guy and hope he was on our side."

"I'll be content if he finds him at all. And gets some answers out of him. One way or another. There's so much about all this I can't even begin to understand…" Rhea trails off, shrugging. "Anyhow. I'll leave you to it. I'm going to go try and rearrange my schedule for the next couple days. I was supposed to grab some shore leave tonight. Take Reece over to the Destiny. He's been wanting to see it. That kind of got upended."

"Yeah. Have a good time." Zaharis pauses before he adds, "Be…careful, okay?"

"Always. Take care of yourself, Jesse." And with that, off Rhea goes.

And Zaharis goes back to work, flicking his mouse with his fingers to wake his computer back up.

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