Ship-wide Address
Ship-wide Address
Summary: Commander Sheridan addresses the Kharon personnel with news of the Holocaust. A small service follows.
Date: PHD003 (21 Apr 2009)
Related Logs: Colonial Couriers.

Cargo Bay - Deck 3
This expansive room beneath Main Engineering has a ceiling hidden somewhere behind the masses of pipes high above. On the Port side, a large airlock door can be accessed with docking collar controls located from a small panel to the side. Other than that, this huge room is clean and empty for the moment.

[Intercom] Sheridan says, "Attention All Hands! All personnel that are not on essential duty are to report to the cargo bay in fifteen minutes. All hands to cargo bay in fifteen. That is all."

The Kharon's XO, Colonel Mark Cortez stands off to the side of a wooden podium that has been set up for the address. The flags of the twelve colonies have been brought down from Ward Room, propped up in their brass basses at solemn attention. A microphone for the intercoms has been set up on the podium, so that even though the Commander's address is taking place in the cargo bay, his voice will carry throughout the ship to every hand at every station. When Sheridan enters through the hatch, Cortez steps forward, calling crisply, "Commander on deck!"

Castaine had been lingering up by the podium but when the call comes, she snaps too coming to attention. The position is held as her gaze swivels a bit to rest on Cortez. Around her other crewmen follow suit. Then she waits, her expression closed off.

Along one wall, Trip pushes forward and stands at attention as the Commander is announced. His eyes already move to the front podium waiting for the CO of the ship to make his way there for the planned announcement. A wave of tense energy hits Kale even standing away from the cente rof the room.

Instead of falling into rank with the other junior officers, Cygnus takes up a position slightly behind and off to the side of the podium. While his posture is strait and proper, the traditional 'attention' pose is made fairly impossible by the red velvet covered object that's borne in front of him, resting in the palms of his upturned hands.

Kai files into the cargo bay along with most of the air wing. He's zipped and buttoned into crisp dress greys, with a glint of silver and brass pinned to his sash. When the Commander's presence is announced, he snaps sharply to attention, eyes forward.

John is present, moving to attention as fast as he can. Glancing around at the others nearby, without moving more of himself than the eyes, keeping absolutely silent for the moment.

Eddie files in with the rest of the pilot late brigade. Maybe they were all up playing naked twister, or more likely something less exciting. She's crisp and formal in her Dress Greys, even going so far as to actually do something with her mess of hair. When Commander on deck is called, her normally lazy salute has even cleaned up well for the occasion.

Roubani arrives at the hangar bay from the hatch, grays on and neatly pressed. He moves through the huge crowd in silence towards a cluster of Air Wing, taking a spot and straightening his posture with a finely-tuned sense of decorum. At the call of Commander on Deck, the snap to attention is lost in the rush of other sound as hundreds of others do the exact same.

Yuuri is right behind Eddie, smoothing out his dress suit and standing at sharp attention to the right off the Ensign.

Having been ready and smongst some of the other Marine group, Ashe is standing straight at attention in dress. The nice dutiful, straight laced Marine with the etchings of eyes that haven't seen sleep in some time.

"At ease, ladies and gentleman." The long face of the Commander is pulled even more severely down in a frown. Sheridan's solemn voice held for a moment as his weary eyes travel over the faces of those assembled. "As you all may know, on Mission Day Fifty-Seven, at approximately fourteen hundred hours, the CEC Kharon answered a Krypter distress call for a freighter class ship known to us as the Constantine. Our air-wing encountered an unknown class of fighter ships, and our marine detachment was deployed to assess the condition of the freighter ship which was considered a loss. It was determined that there were no survivors aboard the Constantine and it was destroyed to contain the hostile threat still aboard." At this point, he gives a glance to Cygnus. "Lieutenant Cygnus will be offering a small service following my address for the fallen."

Castaine's features pale a touch as the Commander begins to speak. Slowly, very slowly, she relaxes into an at ease position. Taking a deep break, her raises her gaze to watch the Commander.

No outright acknowlegement is shown by Cygnus to the Commander's words. Ashen faced, his expression is stony and unreadable, his eyes trained on some indecipherable spot in front of him. The aura that clings to him is heavy and tense, as if feeling a large weight pressing down upon his shoulders.

Eddie eases into parade rest, her feet widening to shoulder width. Her chin lifts at the mention of the Constantine, an indication that she's listening, though her eyes seem a bit distant.

Roubani's eyes lower for a few moments, watching the floor in front of him. His jaw tenses a little and he looks back up at the Commander, keeping his attention there.

Kai keeps his eyes forward, stalwart and steady upon the Commander. One would be hard-pressed to even find him blinking; though the slight rise and fall of his shoulders attests to the fact that he, at least, breathes.

Yuuri lowers his head after clasping a hand around his wrist behind him. After a moment he looks back up to the speaker and gives his full attention.

John moves into a position of ease now, all his attention on the Commander for the moment. He frowns a little at what's being said, very momentarily glancing over at Cygnus as the man's mentioned.

Drarelle keeps his normal grim face as he moves into an at ease position, his attention is to the Commander, and he does not show any sudden emotions to the news but a simple nod at the mention of the service for the fallen.

Kale listens as he inches over slowly to the rest of the Air Wing. Eyes seem to narrow as the mention of the freighter comes up, but otherwise, no outward reaction.

Sheridan props his hands on the podium, his face downcast for a moment in the lull before he finds his voice again. His chin raises, and his jaw sets with determination before he continues. "The purpose of this address is not to tell you what you already know." A brief pause, "Ladies and gentlemen, following the suspicious attack of the Constantine, we deployed a Raptor crew to return to the colonies to report the AAR back to Colonial HQ on Picon. This is what they discovered. Lower the lights." The lights in the cargo bay dim, and off to the side where a projection screen has been set up images start to flash on the screen, changed by a little remote the Commander palms. It's slide after slide of still pictures captured from by the ECO on the mission. Slide after slide of the decimation of the colonies. The atmospheres are clouded by ash, the red glow of widespread fire apparent. It's nuclear destruction at it's worst, and it's nuclear destruction on a massive scale.

Yuuri's jaw drops as he watches the images change on the screen, but the picture really staying the same. Thoughts of his family on Picon and his previous youth rolls through his mind. He can't tear away from the screen and stands there with so many questions wanting to be answered, "This can't be pirates" its so quiet that maybe those around him can hear it, but no one else.

"Frak me…" Trip's lack of reaction takes a sudden reverse course as his eyes widen at the visual proof of the colonial destruction. He tries to look away, to disbelieve it, but his mind will not let him turn his gaze away from the pictures as they change, click by ominous click. Each one worse than the last and each one like a hammer pounding through his heart and his soul. The cloak of arrogance he normally wears as a shield to the world is tirn off of him and shredded at his feet as the true impact of it all burns him to the core. "What the frak did this?"

Cygnus can't bring himself to look at the images displayed. After all, for the last one hundred and more nights, those very images had splashed through his mind behind his eyelids in frighteningly gory detail. He can easily guess what those pictures hold. The weight of emotion that he feels wash over him and through the room is nothing short of oppressive, and understandably so.

Kai's face has taken on a somewhat unpleasant pallor, by the time the Commander's finished speaking. His fingers tighten in their clasp as the lights dim, and the images start to flicker across the projection screen; maybe someone standing close to him might notice his breath is shallow, his eyes somewhat unfocused. But he doesn't move a single muscle nor breathe a single word. A Captain must set an example for his squadron, after all, even if it's a fabricated calm.

With every image that flips and changes, Eddie's eyes get wider until they look as big as dinner plates. There's a strangled sound in her throat, as if she's forgotten how to breath and now her lungs are screaming for air. A shaking hand raises, covering the gap of a mouth gone slack jawed with unabashed horror.

Roubani turns his eyes to the screen as the lights dim. As the first slides pass by they take quite a long time to actually register, slowly freezing his shoulders and turning his breathing to silent sips of air through his nose. His throat forces down a dry, tense swallow, his teeth pressed together behind closed lips.

A shudder, perhaps a silent gasp, passes through Ashe as he stands there watching the images. The momentary loss of stature being quickly caught and he straightens once more with a steely forced look about his features as he continues to look at the display.

The tightening of her jaw is the only outward sign Castaine gives of the horror flashing across the screen before her. She says nothing but each imagine is burned into her mind. The Marine stands tall and straight as the horror washes through the room and she almost seems to be .. waiting.

How does one react to being informed of destruction on this scale? For John, that would be clear shock at the moment, as he just stares at the pictures on the screen, mouth opening and closing with no words or other sounds coming out. He's breathing deeply while watching it, brain working very hard to process all of this.

Drarelle's face becomes a mixed look of disbelief, shock and then anger. He almost loses his composure as the weight of the pictures bears down on him and he quickly tries to regain his posture as his face becomes tense and full of anger as he mumbles quietly to himself, "Innocen..t..un..armed.."

Sheridan's voice rises above the ebb and flow of murmured voices, "Picon, Aerilon, Tauron, Saggitaron, Libran, Leonis, Gemenon, Canceron, Aquarion, and Caprica. What you're looking at is a direct violation of the Armistice Line. The Cylons have orchestrated a system wide nuclear attack on the colonies. What you are looking at isn't War, ladies and gentlemen. It's the annihilation of what you have known. Of what you have loved. Look around, this is your family now. From what we know at this point, this may be all that is left of civilization."

Unable to stop his voice before it escapes his lips, Trip asks in a loud, unbelieving tone. "Cylons?"

Roubani remains very still during the recitation of their home colonies. When the commander reaches Sagittaron his shoulders make a slight draw upwards, as if the word itself had curled its fist and hit him in the chest. Hands still behind his back, his fingers lock tightly.

It's the true measure of a man's selfishness, that the word 'Sagittaron' coming out of the CO's mouth, is what nearly breaks Kai. Who knows how much else he actually hears, how much he actually processes. He's aware of his pilots nearby, and little else. Steeling his posture, he inches his chin up and wills himself to remain steady through the remainder of this.

It's the last colony listed by the Commander that has Eddie's shoulders giving a sudden shake in a silent sob. She's not crying, to her credit, but the normally strong woman looks on the brink of breaking.

The destruction, the loss of all things. There is temptation that floats across the mind, an urge, a desire. Grab the firearm, pull it, point it … join those that have gone before. Ashe's hand twitches but remains at his side. Instead he swallows and blinks looking towards the others around momentarily then back straight ahead.

Jason is among the crowd, in his dress grays, listening to Sheridan speak. Silently, though his expression is one of numb shock, and grief he can't conceal. Mention of 'Picon' makes him particularly flinch.

From his position near the podium, Cygnus' view is close to what the Commander's must be, and he's privy to the expressions of shock, distress, and anger of his fellow crew members. A family now, in the most important sense of the word. His eyes drift across the crowd, resting here and there upon those he's come to know and consider friends, shaken to his core by their grief.

John shakes his head a bit as he listens, as if working on clearing his head a bit. Eyes narrowing at the mention of the second of the colonies mentioned. Glancing around for a few moments to see how those nearby are reacting to what's being revealed.

Drarelle lowers his head, staring into an abyss of pain, he holds his hands tightly around his back as they turn white from his grip. He starts to rub his chin for no apparent reason as his eyes find their way back to the Commander and stare blankly.

A name put to the faces of the monsters the Marines encountered on the Constantine. Castaine sucks in a sudden breath as the names begins to roll out. Hart and home .. gone. The Marine's breathing is coming a bit faster but she's forcing herself to stand tall through the announcments being made. Her fingers are white knuckled behind her back as some emotions brings bright red spots to her pale cheeks.

Yuuri's left hand rises and gives Eddie's shoulder a tender squeeze. Most of his family were in the military and stationed throughout the fleet, which the Commander hasn't spoken of yet, but Typhys feels it. He doesn't say anything to Eddie and removes his hand quickly. Cylons, the word just eats at him and he swollows hard.

Kale bites back his awkward exclamation and lowers his head silently. Aft er a few slow breaths, ge straightens himself up, ramrod stiff at attention, the earlier tension intensified throughout his posture and the look that grows on his face. Every stage of grief passing over his features, one by one. Anger, Denial and all of their friends, leaving just one white-hot glare of retribution behind.

The Commander lets that sit in for a moment not taking any question for the time being, then, "Virgon and Scorpia are the only two colonies we could not confirm in the initial sweep. But no Colonial Military signals were detected. We have been unable to make contact with anyone at this point. At the moment, our plan of action is simple. The CEC Kharon will be jumping out of immediate range of the colonies to a distance considered safe for our crew. At that point, we will be sending in small missions to do reconnaissance of the remaining two colonies. I urge you now to lift your heads above the grieving, lift your hearts above this treacherous news. The CEC Kharon has a new mission: protect the rest of human kind. At all costs. So say we all."

Charles remains quiet. Maybe he knew, maybe he deduced it, his expression remains one of a consummate processor of information, no attempt to make a joke or a double entendre. Our gang and theirs, that is what he had said in the Sickbay the previous night. Now it takes on a whole new literal, terrible tone.

"So say we all," Kai repeats clearly, with a bare flicker of his eyes to the pilots standing at attention near him. It's brief, but there's no mistaking the glint in their surface as he reins in his emotion.

John's gaze moves over to Cygnus again for a few moments, studying the man rather carefully. Then looking back to the others nearby, just in time to join in that repeat of the last four words, "So say we all!"

Roubani's lips barely move, repeating the 'So say we all', without realising he's doing it without any actual sound. His eyes lower, looking at the piping on the shoulder of the officer in front of him. His posture remains absolutely straight.

"So Say We All!" comes from Castaine, her words beginning softly but ending with all the rage churning within her small body. It's terrible how your life changes with a few words. Deeper breaths are taken again, allowing the Marine to remain before the Commander, shoulders stiff back straight.

Samantha remains standing in the back, listening to this all… and all of the colour slowly drains from her face. She doesn't allow another drop of emotion to cross her eyes but she does huskily whisper a quiet: "So say we all…" to echo her voice within the rest of the crowd.

"So say we all!" Trip spits out the words as if they were a battle-cry, or a curse to those that caused this destruction.

"So say we All." Ashe's voice echoing right next to the rest of the crew that have spoken. Not with the enthusiasm of some, but speaking it nonetheless.

"So say we all," Rumbles out of Cygnus, the words terse, yet heartfelt. Right now, strength is demanded of him, for those offices which he must still perform. Only after will he be able to allow his own emotions to swirl around the events that have unfolded. Only then will he be able to begin to process what has occured.

Eddie's gaze has fallen to the deck through the last of Sheridan's speech, her eyes shadowed with inner thought. Yuuri's hand on her shoulder barely registers, the numbness threatening to over take her until the Commanders final words echo in her ears. Late on the uptake, she finally lifts her face proudly again, "So say we all." The words barely tipping over her lips which are wet with silent tears.

Drarelle doesn't make a show of his dedication, simply speaking to himself, "So say we all." He says quietly, knowing that the near and far future will bring violence and death to the people around him that he trusts most, his family.

"So say we…" Jason's voice breaks before he can finish that, but it's soft enough that it's lost in the crowd of voices. It's unclear how much of what's going on around him he actually registers. He still looks stunned.

Yuuri remains quiet, he has nothing left for goals, his whole famly presumably dead, and his faithless ego keeps him silent even when everyone around is responding to the Commander. He's been trained for war, though it was a far shot from ever expecting more than pirate raids and rioting civilians, and now it is upon them - the entire crew of the Kharon.

"So say we all." Another prayer thrown upon the wind, for the dead, for the living, the chorus of souls that may yet be. Charles, like the Kharon herself, does not know how to go gently into the good night.

Nine just swallows, black eyes staring from her patch of cargo bay.

Sheridan runs a hand over the bald dome of his head, the only indication his entire speech long that he's affected too. "I've already asked the that the following service for the Constantine fallen include our thoughts and prayers for those lost on the colonies. For those of you that would grieve in solitude, you are dismissed." He then turns to Cygnus after the bomb has been dropped on the crew, no pun intended. "Lieutenant." It seems the Chaplain's aide has already been briefed on what to expect and the floor is turned over to Cygnus. It seems any questions will have to go up the chain of command, Sheridan and Cortez are stepping away from the podium, having a jump to coordinate and a ship to keep safe.

As Cygnus steps up into place behind the Commander his mood is subdued and serious, as befitting the nature of the services which he is about to perform. With infinite care, he carefully undswaddles a length of elaborately embroidered red velvet from the object in his hands and sets it aside, and slowly unrolls the old, illuminated scroll it reveals, holding out before him as he awaits Sheridan's command to begin with his head bowed.

Kale turns around in place and starts walking out the rear door of the cargo bay. His expression blank, emotions masked now, he gives solemn nods to the people he brushes past on his way out.

As Sheridan steps away from the podium, Roubani closes his eyes tensely enough to bring out lines at the corners. When they reopen there's a glint on his right eyelashes and he licks his lips, pressing them into a thin, straight line.

Rather than keep his eyes upon the podium, once Cygnus ascends with the roll of vellum, Kai drops his gaze to the floor and bows his head. His hands remain clasped behind him tightly, white-knuckled, his frame rigid as the Lieutenant prepares to begin his service.

"I guess this means no country practice…" John's words is just at the sound of a whisper, meant for himself only. Looking to the front again, taking a few deep breaths, as he waits to hear what's being said now.

Drarelle uneasily shuffles, his face back to a simply grim mask as the initial shock of news still thrums within his being, he lowers his head and moves to attention, to respect the fallen.

A deep breath is drawn inward, and a soft tenor voice rises out of Cygnus, the words sung in ancient Gemonese. His voice cracks a bit at first from the weight of the emotions swirling through the hanger bay.

"Dei Kobol
una apita uthoukarana
Ukthea mavatha gaman kerimuta
Dei Kobol

The volume and strength of his voice rises as he continues the verse, his tone turning slightly impassioned and imploring.

"Dei Kobol
una apita uthoukarana
Ukthea mavatha gaman kerimuta
Obe satharane mua osavathamanabanta
Api obata yagnya karama
Dei Kobol

Having finished the ancient scriptural passage, he speaks the words in Colonial standard.

"Help us Lords of Kobol
Let us walk the path of righteousness
And lift our faces unto Your goodness
We offer this prayer.

The opening prayer having been made, Cygnus falls quiet, preparing himself to speak words he wishes he didn't have to.

Eddie drags a hand down her face once the word 'dismissed' as if that gives her permission to wipe away the trails of grieving that her tears have left on her face. As Cygnus approaches to give his service, a little set of prayer beads are pulled out of her pocket. They're nothing fancy, just plain wooden beads that she slips over her knuckles and rests in her palm.

Sheridan has retreated to a safe distance, speaking lowly with an aide and the XO for a moment, before the trio look back to the song of prayer as it raises. He assumes a respectful, if slightly too rigid stance.

Samantha watches this all numbly, not speaking with the prayer. There is a strangely sort of defiant hate in her eyes as the sacred words are spoken, her jaw tighter, more angry… Heretical might be the best way to describe her expression.

Yuuri slips between crew members, already unbuttoning his dress greys. He's on CAP after the jump, no time to listen to prayers, ateast for him. His hand lifts to Kai's shoulder, brushing it as he passes the Captain. No other words are spoken as he continues towards the hatchway.

Castaine snaps to attention as Mac comes forward to begin the prayer. Silently, she gives the prayer as Mac speaks it aloud, her head bowed a touch, eyes closed.

Charles moves to join Samantha, as if sensing her fury. He does not touch, merely stands close enough that she can hear his words, letting the man tasked with the impossible task say his peace.

Kai's features are all hard lines and sharp angles, the burden of what's been spoken here tonight adding years to his hooded eyes and slightly cowed shoulders. His mouth moves silently to form the words to the prayer, barely a flicker of notice given the departing Yuuri— but the acknowledgement is there, in an almost imperceptible nod. His eyes remain resolutely lowered.

John listens rather quietly for now, expression a bit empty as he listens to the words. Glancing around at the others for a few moments, he frowns a bit.

Samantha blinks slightly, leaning over to Charles, listening with that slightly vibrating tension in her whole body. She shakes her head to something, whispering very quietly to the man at her side. At least it seems he's stopped her from walking out.

Cygnus's voice is hushed, reverent and thick with emotion as he begins to speak again, "Lords of Kobol, we are what remains of Your creation. We walk upon the paths You have set out for us. Many of us have been lost this day." Despite a valiant effort to remain composed, his voice breaks the tiniest bit as he speaks that last. "We pray to You and to Your servant Charon to take their souls safely across the Styx to dwell in paradise everlasting. May our families and loved ones know true peace and an end to all suffering." Here the words pause for a moment before he continues, "Lords of Kobol, bless those of us that remain with strength and determination. We that stand here are humanity's remnants, we ask for the fortitude to carry on upon Your righteous path."

Roubani watches Cygnus in silence. His hands remain clasped behind his back and his eyes stay focused on the man as though looking anywhere else were simply not an option. There's tension in his forehead and jaw, and his breathing is quiet.

Ashe looks to be paying attention, a lot of it. But his vacant look would quickly indicate that he is simply there physically, the mind having long checked out.

Kai is silent as the chaplain's aide speaks, heart pounding, palms sweating in all likelihood. Outwardly? He's the picture of calm and control, and a steely resolve to keep his composure at all costs. There's a brief glance toward Samantha, then back to the deck plating at his feet.

Drarelle gives another simple nod, he reaches around his neck for a moment, then retrieves a thin line of gold necklace, kissing a small object at the end which is obscured by his hands, he replaces it reverently and turns to leave the room, glancing around the room for anyone who needs serious comforting.

What is offered next is what remains of an acient lament, and while the scriptural passage may be somewhat obscure, the words are moving and appropriate, and Cygnus delivers them with a mixture of reverence, strength and clarity of voice.

"A distant and familiar sadness calls to us
As if carried on the wind, like burning sand
Brothers and Sisters, away, you endure
Stranded on our own land

A memory etched into soul and skin
Leaves a scar that never heals
Our family is strong, but scattered
Across the stars and fields

We will not abandon you
We will not forget you
We will return for you.

When the final word is spoken Cygnus gives Commander Sheridan an almost imperceptable nod to signal that the prayer is finished.

Samantha offers her arm to Charles, the defiant straightness still to her back. She doesn't watch Cygnus at all any longer as she heads for the door at Charles' side, only lingering to be certain the man is joining her. She catches Kai's eyes briefly on her way out, but there is nothing but simple disregard in her gaze. It seems more towards the Gods than the news about the colonies.

Jason shows little outward reaction to the prayer, either positive or negative. It's still unclear how much of it, exactly, he's coherently processing.

Eddie takes a deep breath, her face falling into a sullen facade. The tears dry up with the Chaplain Aide's words, her throat constricting with a hard forced swallow. His last words echo in her head. We will return for you.

Sheridan steps forward at the end of Cygnus' words, repeating the last three lines. "We will not abandon you. We will not forget you. We will return for you." He looks out at the faces that remain. "So say we all."

Roubani remains respectfully silent through the prayer, looking at nothing besides Cygnus. His face is ashen, even despite the slightly dusky tone of his skin.

John stays quiet, listening without really noticing the words at the moment. Looking quite lost in thought as well.

The Commander's words are echoed like a call to arms, Kai's voice boulstered by willpower not to break. "So say we all." It isn't anger in his eyes yet, but a severe disbelief, as if he too hasn't quite processed yet everything he's heard.

"So say we all," Cygnus' words echo the Commanders as he carefully rerolls the sacred scroll in his hands and reaches to replace its cover with care before stepping away from the podium. Only then do his shoulders begin to sag, the blue of his eyes glittering moistly with held back grief.

"So say we all," is the words from Castaine near the front of the cargo bay. She remains at attention, her gaze now on the Comamnder. The bright spots on her cheeks are even brighter now as she holds her own emotions tightly in check.

Eddie chokes out a second, "So say we all," Before she turns with a shake of her head. Like in a numb sort of trance, she starts meandering for the stairwell, not really paying attention to who she bumps on the way out.

Sheridan has already dismissed the personnel, so a second one isn't necessary once Cygnus is finished. He merely clamps a hand on the Chaplain's Aide's shoulder before nodding to a few near him and disappearing up the stairs with his contingent to go plan their series of jumps that will pull them further away from the dying Colonies.

Castaine turns on her heel and begins to make her way out of the cargo bay. She pauses beside Drarelle briefly before she continues on her way out through the hatchway.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License