Hush Hush
Hush Hush
Summary: Zaharis brings Reighner onto the skinjob team.
Date: 57 ACH
Related Logs: What You Don't Know (Command Meeting)

Corridor 13C Genesis - Deck 13
57 ACH 23817 Souls

This corridor runs Fore and Aft, or front and back. The corridors curve with the ship structure and are low-lit with halogen. Crew and personnel of the Genesis move along on their daily routes and duties around the ship.

Reighner comes in from Corridor 13D.
Reighner has arrived.

The hallway outside the biochem lab is quiet. The door to the labs itself awaits, but that's not where Zaharis is standing. He's a little further up, near a set of doors that have two Marine guards planted firmly in place on either side. Restricted zone.

It takes a couple of minutes, but Reighner eventually arrives from down the hall. He furrows his eyebrows as he spies Zaharis further down. He passes by the lab doors and goes to the classified one. "What is it?" he asks, not sounding very thrilled.

"Tell you inside." Zaharis has a small white card in his pocket, which he shows the Marines as he turns to the door. One of them steps aside to give him access to a keypad. A code punched in, and it asks for a fingerprint. He rolls his thumb across the plate and Reighner to do the same as the doors whoosh. And in they go.

Classified Lab Genesis - Deck 13
57 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.

Zaharis lets the doors slide shut behind them, going ahead into the antechambe and picking up one of the white coats hanging on hooks there. Then through the second set of keypadded doors into the lab itself. The silence is eerie, the temperature in here chilly against the skin. He waits until the second set of doors has whooshed shut, the small green light above them turning back to red. Then he speaks. "I'm sure you've heard all the rumours off the Hera of the cylons using humanoid agents, and the Commander's speech addressing it."

Reighner seems a bit surprised as he steps through the door. He cautiously follows Zaharis in, opting to switch his personal white coat for a generic one. His forehead tenses up. "Surely you're kidding."

Zaharis looks at Reighner's face for a moment. "I wish I were." His boots make a muffled echo as he crosses the room to the large metal 'filing cabinet' in one wall. It too requires keypad access that he puts in; they're not playing around with security in here. "We recovered two bodies from the Hera. Identical females. Identical down to the exact copies of their genes, and identical fingerprints."

The scientist follows Zaharis in. He waits over his right shoulder. It's the last point that he keys in to. "Identical fingerprints?"

"Yes." Zaharis waits for the code to run, and a small light comes on. Grasping the handle of the large drawer, he slides it out from the cooling chamber in the wall. The body lying on it is a young woman, pretty. Dark hair. The autopsy marks are visible. He then grasps the handle of the drawer directly next to her, sliding out a second body - her exact mirror image. "The fingerprints match a raptor pilot on the Galactica named Sharon Valerii. Lieutenant."

Reighner falls into a stunned silence. He stares at the women, as if entranced, unmoving.

Unfortunately, Zaharis isn't done. He lets that sink in for a moment, then goes on. "Autopsies show them to be completely human, except for one thing. Their neural pathways through the spine are made of silica. The same silica used in cylon hardware AI in the first war."

Reighner feels the hairs in his arms stand on end. It doesn't look like he's blinking. He looks up at Zaharis for a three or four seconds, then back down at the Cylons.

Zaharis again lets Reighner process that. At least, as much as he can process in three seconds. His voice is low and controlled when he speaks again. "That's where we are right now. A full autopsy report is on the system in this room, which is not connected to the battlestar's mainframe. Engineering's received a sample of the silica. We are to form a team and work on this until we have answers. I want you on the team."

Reighner presses down on the patch of skin between his eyebrows. He closes his eyes and swallows saliva.

Zaharis watches Reighner for a second more, his dark eyes unreadable. Then he turns, leaving Reighner near the bodies, and crosses the few steps to the computer terminal on the lab counter. A password screen awaits, and the code he enters is very long.

Reighner opens his eyes, slowly, as if confirming that he hasn't hallucinated the last minute of his life. He looks from one body to the other before releasing a soft, almost defeated sigh. "These women? Where were they? How were they?" His voice is quieter. He stays with the bodies.

"Both on the Hera." From his belt, Zaharis pulls a card identical to the one he'd flashed at the Marines earlier, sliding it into a slot in the terminal. A program boots, asking for a load of security information which he starts to input. "They were shot while trying to escape, according to Mr. Fulton. The Pegasus were the ones that identified what they were, along with identifying a completely different woman they claimed was also a cylon. When they left they took all their information with them. And the other woman."

Reighner asks, still sounding mighty stunned, "This other woman." He looks down at one of the Boomers. "We don't know what she looks like?"

"We have a picture. It's on the system here." Zaharis keeps typing and then hits enter, the computer doing its imprinting. "Fulton is checking if they have her fingerprint record."

Reighner looks up, almost reflexively, to Zaharis's back when he says that they have a picture. But, he seems confused, unable to process this information. His eyes fall back to the two women. "What did they… what did they do? How did they act?" He takes a slow and perilous step forward, bringing him closer.

"There was too much chaos the night we went over there to get straight answers on that." Zaharis replies. His voice is calm but there's nothing relaxed about it. The calm has a tension in its undertone. "I'm going back over tonight to get his full statement." He reaches down and slides the card from its slot.

It seems as though Reighner's going to reach out and touch one. But he doesn't. He looks up. "You mentioned a team?"

Zaharis leaves the computer on, straightening his back. He turns back to the bodies, coming back over to where the drawers remain out. "Yes. Engineering and medical are working together. Major Zimmermann is selecting her people now. It has to stay small. This is a security risk beyond anything we could ever have imagined."

"Yeah," is all Reighner can manage. He looks back down at the bodies.

Zaharis holds out the card. "This will give you access to this lab. Put it into the computer and it will generate keycode access numbers to the outer doors, to these autopsy drawers, and to the computer system in here with the information we have now. Memorize them, and don't write them down. Anywhere."

Reighner looks back up. It's a modern-day see-saw. He slowly takes the card, testing its weight. "Do I… can I take tissue?"

Zaharis nods. "You can do whatever you feel necessary. Use this lab, nothing leaves it. Log every test and result on the system. If you don't have equipment that you need, notify me and I'll get it."

"Can I… can I discuss things with Zimmermann?" Reighner doesn't seem like he knows how to handle this type of ultra-secret work.

"Yes." Zaharis isn't used to explaining ultra-secret work, but he takes a stab. "Major Zimmermann and I are the project heads. You report directly to me, but feel free to speak with her on what you need to. When she finishes choosing her team you'll all be notified of who each other are and can use both this lab and the Robotics lab on deck 8 for your work. There's going to be a lot of cross-cooperation, them up here and us down there. No information goes outside this team, not even a hint that skinjobs actually exist. Outside us, Regas' statement stands."

Reighner nods, mutedly.

"If you aren't sure if you can do or discuss something, or if you have a concern, ask me. Any time of day or night." Zaharis glances down at the bodies. "Your rotations in Sickbay are secondary to this until otherwise notified. We have reason to believe we may have other biotechnology to be looking at soon, as well." His lips purse tightly, eyes flickering back and forth between the perfect twins.

Suddenly, Reighner feels a bit out of his depth. He clenches the card and carefully, very carefully, places it into a pocket. "I think Dr. Pike would be very helpful here."

"Bringing a civilian into this opens up risk that at the moment we are unprepared to take," Zaharis says in a detached voice. "We will consider it phase by phase."

Reighner doesn't seem prepared to argue, and he just nods.

Zaharis keeps his eyes on the bodies for a moment more, then lifts his chin and looks back at Reighner. "Get your codes from the computer. You can use tonight to review the autopsy notes and prepare."

Reighner nods again. He shuffles to the computer and does the stuff necessary to bring up the codes. He stares at them, slowly commiting them to memory.

Zaharis pushes the drawers shut, first the left and then the right. The sliding and clicking of the locks sound like muted roars in the silence, the 'locked' red light reflecting on the cold metal and the smooth floor.

Reighner glances over his shoulder, startled by the noises. He turns around, stares at the screen for a few more seconds, and pulls out his card. "Okay."

Zaharis still has his hand on the flat front of the stainless steel drawer. He draws a breath before he turns back around, and nods. "You have the access you need, then. Go in and out as you need to. Nothing leaves with you, and if you forget your codes, I'll get you new ones. We'll start the cooperative work as soon as Major Zimmermann is ready." He points to the wireless on the wall. "That's a secure frequency, if you need to call. Do you need anything before I go?"

Reighner shakes his head. He rubs the back of his neck. "Damn it," he mumbles.

Zaharis' expression rather concurs, but he says nothing more. He turns on his heel, the sound of his boots following as he heads for the doors.

Reighner gets to work.

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