Charlie finds herself summoned before Lieutenant Olson in regards to what Abigail and Gage had discovered.
Location: Marine HQ
Scene Number: 1547
"Please, sit down."
The voice was more firm than Charlie expected. Likely because Lieutenant Olson had repeated the request twice over. He stared at her from across the desk, displeasure showing in the lines in his features. Wagner barely knew the man. She knew less why he had summoned her here.
"Wagner, Marine HQ. El-Tee wants to see you," the Private had said after pulling her off a Raptor about to ship planetside; orders in hand. Everyone had stared to see her go and some tossed schoolyard jibes at her departing figure.
The Private led her through the ship, though they both knew she knew the way. He tried to strike up small talk, but she wans't in the mood. What had she done? What happened? All manner of scenario mingled with confusion and no small hint of fear in her mind. It settled in her stomach like sour milk.
Olson's voice had the ring of a drill sergeant this time and Charlie snapped back to present, dropping herself into the hard chair. It was made worse by the fact that she was still in battle dress. "Sir," she answered, stiffly, finally looking the man over. Her gaze traced down from his uniform to the desk itself. There sat the singed, torn magazine: the cover story apparently concern over the state of Pyramid on Picon.
Her eyes squinched up in confusion. It was an odd thing to have on display and surely, if Olson was a fan, he could have found a magazine in better shape.
The Lieutenant cleared his throat and Charlie looked up sharply, sitting upright once more.
"Wagner," Olson repeated, picking up a file and opening it. He clicked a pen, leaning forward in preparation to write. "Wagner..." The name was drawn out this time, in thought.
"Not an uncommon name, but also not as common as, say, Jones on Caprica, is it?"
She stared at him in confusion. "No, sir, I guess not."
"Tell me, Wagner, have you had any contact with the locals while on Sagittaron?"
"You mean the Royal Marines?" Is this part of the inquiry? She wasn't involved in any of those situations.
"No. The locals." The stress he put on the word had the force of intent (and annoyance) behind it. Realization sunk in and Charlie gave a small shake of her head.
"No, sir. All of my missions were in the field. Guard or patrol, mostly." Recon had seen little of such work on this particular campaign. At least she had. "The only, uh... interaction I had with the locals was when they were shooting at us."
"Mmmhmm," Olson said, jotting down a few notes. "And tell me about those."
"Sir?" Charlie stared at him. "Don't you have it in the reports?"
"Yes, Wagner, but I'd like to hear it in your own words."
She took a deep breath, shifting and finding herself wishing she'd had a chance to change out of her armor. The chair wasn't deep enough to lean back properly and the office was too warm.
"Well, during one incident, we were guarding a mine site. Most of the unit went on patrol, at which point a rocket struck the hillside. Siska and I went to check on them, only for the insurgents to try planting mines at the site."
"And why did you remain behind?"
Charlie frowned, "Well, someone had to, sir. Siska and I volunteered."
"But then you left the site. Abandoned it." There was accusation in his tone and Charlie blanched.
"We thought they might be hurt, sir. A rocket is no laughing matter."
"Nor, Wager, is allowing insurgents to plant bombs."
"We... we stopped them before they could finish," Charlie stammered. "It's all in the reports."
"Mmm." The Lieutenant was quiet for a time, making more notes.
"And what about this most recent encounter?" Before Charlie could begin, he reached out to tap the magazine. "This was recovered from one of the insurgents. Why do you think a Sagittaron insurgent had a Picon magazine?"
"Maybe he was bored, sir?"
Olson gave her a long, unamused look. "I would expect you to take this seriously, Wagner."
"Sorry, sir," she answered quickly. "But I'm not sure what this has to do with me. The insurgents attacked us and we defended ourselves and the target."
"Right. But your squadron mates clearly overheard one of the opposing force place a radio call to a 'Wagner,'" Olson explained, leaning forward on his forearms to look at Charlie more closely. She squirmed in her seat.
No one enjoys being grilled by the brass.
"I think if it were me, everyone would have noticed."
"Right. Of course." Olson's smile was almost a cruel thing. "But you see, then I began looking into Wagners from Picon and I came across an interesting bit of intel-"
Something sank in Charlie's stomach. Alarm bells were going off in the back of her head. She licked lips gone suddenly dry.
"It turns out your brother had been in an in-patient facility for some time, had he not?"
"Well," Charlie squirmed slightly. "Sir, to be frank... My parents don't keep me abreast of the specifics, but yes. I knew he had been committed a few years ago."
"Committed," Olson repeated, leaning back and lacing his fingers -- pen tangled up in them -- acrsoss his abdomen. "You see, during a Cylon attack, the facility was evacuated and your brother got away."
Charlie's blood ran cold. She didn't move. She knew her mother had been hiding something when she visited. Why hadn't either of her parents said anything?
Olson's gaze bore into her. "There's been no word of him save rumor. Former friends, paients, who all began going off the radar, too. Then a report of him at the spaceport one day."
He didn't wait for a response this time, he just continued. "Did you know, Corporal, that your brother expressed extensive anti-Cee Eff sentiments? That he's loudly blamed Caprica for the war? Or-" he leans forward, jabbing at the desk with a finger, "that he had even told his doctors that the genocide by Cylons is deserved?"
She knew her brother had his issues. She knew the sorts of things he'd say and do growing up. But Charlie had never imagined anything like this. She fights the urge to argue with the Lieutenant and finds herself swallowing bile.
"No," she whispers, finally, as Olson stares expectantly at her.
He's silent for a time and reaches for a mug of coffee, taking a long drink. Charlie finds herself feeling more ill by the moment.
"Charlotte Wagner," Olson says, sitting straighter and staring down at her. "Have you had any contact with or from your brother, Nicholas Wagner?"
"No, sir," Charlie said, quickly.
"Are you absolutely certain?" There was threat in his voice. Warning. The lingering insinuation of 'If you are lying...'
"Yes, sir," Charlie said a touch more slowly, firmly.
"Has anyone in your family had contact with your brother?"
"Not that I know of, sir." Charlie says slowly. Not that she was told. Of course her parents wouldn't have said. Nicky had been an issue for as long as Charlie could remember. And they're all cut from the same cloth. Charlie's infrequent communications with them go both ways. The whole family tends to be rather reticent about personal issues.
"I see." Olson picked up his pen and jotted a few more notes. "Just one more thing before you go, Corporal."
"Should you hear anything -- anything at all -- about your brother, you are to report it to one of your superiors immediately. You got that?"
Charlie gave a quick, sharp nod, before leaning forward to stand.
Olson picks up the magazine, tucking it into the file. He's slow about things, but finally says the magic word without looking up: "Dismissed."
Charlie's sigh is a shuddering one as she straightens from the chair and makes for a swift exit from the marine HQ.
"Nicky, what the frak have you done now?"