PHD #336: A Whale of a Tale
A Whale of a Tale
Summary: Leyla and Marko read Cidra, Cora, Kartharsi, and Trask in on the events of their recon mission to nowhere. The sextet discuss what was found, what it might all mean, and what to do about it.
Date: 28 Jan 2042 AE
Related Logs: Quest for the Holy Whale
Cidra Cora Karthasi Leyla Marko Trask 
CAG's Office - Deck 10 - Battlestar Cerberus
Post-Holocaust Day: #336
Though it's not much bigger than the average ship supply closet, the office of the commander of Cerberus' air group has as much luxury as one can hope for aboard a battlestar: a hatch that locks. It is dominated by a blocky gray metal desk straight out of standard Navy supply. Behind it is the room's single indulgence, a high-backed rolling chair of almost comfortable-looking brown leather. That one, the CAG probably had to import herself. A few other chairs are shoved against the wall, able to be rolled over should visitors to the lair require one, though those are of the standard not-terribly-comfortable Navy offices variety.

The aforementioned desk contains a computer that looks rarely touched and an ashtray of greenish glass that is obviously frequently used, as well as the standard office supplies. The surface is usually cluttered with files, squadron reports, flight schedules and other aerial bureaucratic sundry of the day. A metal carafe, filled with water or coffee or tea depending on the CAG's whim, is usually at hand on the desk's corner. The rest of the office is packed with filing cabinets and wall shelves, the latter of which hold various flight manuals and military and historical books.

Any decorations on the walls are limited to professional awards and mementos from Major Hahn's past tours of service. It is largely devoid of the personal, save for one item: upon the shelf just behind and above her desk, serving as one side of a bookend to a collection of Raptor manuals, is a wooden statue of a small brown owl with very large eyes. A person might get the feeling of those eyes following him around this confined space.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear

The ancient ship discovered by Sweet Pea and Flasher on their recon into the unknown has been at the forefront of Cidra's mind this day. And so, at the earliest opportunity when she could snag both of them, she's asked Trask and Marko to report to her office. She's in there now, smoking a cigarette as she waits. The hatch is slightly ajar.

Marko doesn't seem terribly surprised at this summons from Cidra, though he had no idea she and Leyla had already discussed the matter beforehand. In fact, if anything, he's surprised it took Cid this long to get around to sending for him, he'd half expected her to be waiting on deck when they landed. Would it seem disrespectful to mention that he'd been perhaps a bit relieved?

"You don't make a very good door, Flasher," is the simple greeting from Bootstrap, who arrives with a folder tucked under his right arm and his thermos of Deck coffee in his left hand. No cigarette for him. In fact, for those keeping track of such things, he hasn't lit up these past few days. Something about post-Ta Moko care and healing. No number of nicotine patches and sucking on hard mints has eased the edginess of his unfulfilled oral fixation for smokes, though. To his credit, he's yet to crack, either by lighting up or tearing off someone's head. Unlike the other ECO, however, he doesn't knock. He just walks right on in. "Toast."

It's Leyla who's last to the party. But it's not for lack of trying, as she follows, not far in the wake of her ECO, coming up from the stairs, or down from the stairs, depending on how one counts decks and their approximate direction.Regardless, in she comes, at least dressed in her duty greens, "Sorry, I'm here," that to Flasher, Boots getting a, well, "Boots." And once she's inside the office, "Toast."

"Bootstrap." Cidra actually puts her cigarette out when she spots Trask at her entrance and stands. Carefully. She can still smoke that one later. There's a folder on her desk, closed at the moment. "Come in, please, all of you. And close the hatch behind you. I have been reviewing the reconnaissance photos Sweet Pea and Flasher recovered from their reconnaissance work. I trust you have read the after-action report? It is… most astounding."

"Heh, yes, sir, because JayGees just barge on into the CAG's office without knocking." Marko chuckles to Boots as he waits for Leyla to enter and closes the hatch firmly behind them. "Yes, sir, 'astounding' is one of the adjectives one could use." he replies, nodding slowly, his face taking on that certain, confused, dumbstruck look it had all the way back to the Cerberus last night.

Is that gratitude (and perhaps a pained bit of longing) in Trask's eyes when Cidra sets aside her own addiction for his benefit? Why, yes. Yes, it is. "Sweet Pea," is offered to the latest arrival. With the closing of the hatch, he inquires, "The Sister can't make it?" The CAG's own question goes unanswered. He surely read and reviewed everything.

She's cleaned up and made herself look presentable, but it certainly doesn't look as though Leyla's gotten much rest since she got back. There's simply been too much to do. So it's no wonder she props herself up sort of behind and to the left of Marko, the better to use his back as a hard surface to lean against, if the urge to fall asleep on her feet becomes too much for her. For the nonce, she's awake enough, "I'm certain between Engineering and the Deck, we can find a way to free that transport from the asteroid it crashed on." Yes, she knows their attention's on the ancient ship, but clearly, the transport is important to her too.

"Unknown at present whether the chaplain's duties shall allow her to or not," Cidra replies to Trask. "She keeps rather odder hours than the lot of us. Sit, please." Since Leyla brought up the matter of the transport, she'll deal with that first. "I would not speak in certainties, Aydin, but if nothing else the photographs of it suggest it is intact enough to be useful to take a second look at for supplies, even if it cannot be retrieved completely. I am also very curious what interest whoever laid the points on those locations had in it. As the second destination yielded something quite… astounding." She comes back to the word, but it is the one that best seems to fit. "Coordinate with our technical departments and we shall see what we can salvage from it. But Command is more interested in the other ship you located last night." The CAG has called a meeting in her office to jaw over the findings of Marko and Leyla's recon into the unknown. The Air Wing folks are all here, settling in and getting down to business. The hatch is closed, but any knock will be readily answered.

Marko gives a little smile as he takes a seat and looks over to Leyla, nodding faintly. "As long as the space frame's intact, it should work fine." Marko reports. "LAMPS detected that her core was still hot and there wasn't any sign of rad leakage or anything like that."

For the time being, Bootstrap is content to remain on his boots and instead opts to lean against a filing cabinet. The folder he brought is subsequently set atop it. Perhaps he's keeping his distance from Ground Zero, aka the ashtray. The amount of coffee he starts to gulp lends credence to the notion. Meanwhile, his now free left hand — for he transferred the thermos to the right — reaches into one of many pockets and fishes out a PDA. Southpaw that he is, this is the best way for one-handed typing.

And there it is, fortunately before things get rolling too far along. It's hard to hear, though. A tapping on the hatch, a gentle rap of knuckles trying far too hard not to be intrusive and finding their own fault on the opposite side of the spectrum.

"Come in," Cidra summons simply in response to the tapping.

Karthasi does come in, stepping about as timidly as she tapped. "Major. Captain. Lieutenants." That's everybody, isn't it? She closes the door once more behind her, and, folding her hands at the small of her back, she stands like a caryatid, back straight as though the roof would collapse were she to slouch. And then she's quiet, asking for no explanation but listening in order to catch onto the gist of the meeting.

"Thank you." Leyla sits, as required, though she still keeps her chair close to Marko's. What's an ECO for if not to cover for a sleeping pilot? Settled, before she nods, "Yes, I thought that as well. I can't help feeling that we missed something at the smuggling run, some reason it ended up on the trip from Tauron to Gemenon, when it could easily have been done away with." A nod, as she's given her orders. Try to salvage transport. Moving on, "Yes, about that." Leyla pull out a small datapad from her pocket, probably the reason she hasn't gotten not a lick of sleep, "This is why I was late. I just came back from Engineering. They've prepped the samples we brought back, and they'll be able to verify or refute," she is allowing for good news or bad, "the readings and approximate dates we churned out on the ship." Clearly, there aren't any answers on the datapad as it stands, just the distilled numbers from all the information Bertha brought back.

A nod to Karthasi. "Sister." Then Kal resumes listening and consuming more coffee.

"I've been doing some digging as well, sir." Marko adds. "I spent most of my downtime this morning pouring through the records in the map room. Think I've got the… derelict's apsis and perhilion figured out, at least in rough terms." he reports. "It's a weird orbit, sir, highly elliptical. Can't think of a single reason for it to be that way, either, and I'm a little loath to speculate." he says, then turns to give Karthasi a polite nod.

"Sister Karthasi. A good eve upon you," Cidra says, passing the priestess the folder on her desk. The actual coordinate numeric points are blacked out, but otherwise it contains the photographs and information gathered by Marko and Leyla on their jaunt. "I trust you have read the after action report on my Lieutenants Aydin and Scaurus' reconnaissance efforts? In any case, Sweet Pea. Flasher. If you could go over for the Sister the broadstrokes of what you saw out there, on the second 'point' you visited. The ancient ship. And for me as well. I have read the information, but I always find the personal account far more telling." A pause and she adds, "Command is planning a return mission to investigate this ship further. I shall want you all involved in the planning efforts, of course. You as well, Sister. There is much of the mystical about this that I do not… quite expect Command to fully comprehend."

Contrary to popular belief, for all that he runs his mouth, Trask is perfectly capable of being quiet when he doesn't have something to add. Whatever questions he may have — and, surely, he must have questions — they can wait. This is Sweet Pea's and Flasher's show. As such, he continues being an attentive audience, taking any pertinent notes.

Karthasi takes the folder, "And upon you," she replies, with the formal-formulaic tone of a blessing, if without any of the gestures or other et-cetera generally attached thereto. "Hm," the question on the AAR gets that noise in conjunction with a curt nod, and then she's opening up the folder to peruse its contents while she listens.

"The second ship was found in an area of deadspace far on the outer, outer edge of what could remotely be called Gemenon-space. When we arrived at the coordinates we found in the notebook, the ship was barely a contact on our DRADIS. Approximately 6000 klicks away. Though its orbit might account for the spatial drift. None of our scans revealed anything that correlated to colonial or known cylon manufacture. And as you can see," Leyla says, "the design itself is more… organic, for lack of a better word, than anything in our current databases. A whale, was the first image that came to mind, when we saw it. And it doesn't seem to have been a ship intended for war. It is my impression that it was meant to be some sort of passenger liner. Even the hangar, for lack of a better word, that we landed in, the door being pried open before we got there, had no visible ship storage or launch bays. It looked like… well, like we landed in the living room."

Cora knocks and is let in, and so enters. She seems to have come straight off duty, judging by her blues, which may explain her not having been present for the entirety of the meeting. Or maybe she just didn't feel like being here the whole time. Who knows. In any case, she nods to Cidra, and then leans against the wall beside the hatch, silent.

"Yes, sir." Marko continues, clearing his throat. "Well, needless to say, after finding something like that, we weren't about to just jump away without taking a further look around." he begins. "So, we landed in what we're calling, for lack of a better term the 'docking bay', even though, as Sweet Pea says, it looked less like a docking bay than some kind of meeting hall." he notes. "Once we got Bertha, er, the Raptor blown down and equalized, we grabbed all the portable recording units we could get and started taking as many pictures as we could of the area. We've already turned those in, and I believe you were CC'd on them, sir." he says for Cidra's benefit. "Once inside, we discovered a series of thirteen alcoves. Twelve of them clearly represented the Twelve Colonies, with the symbology for Caprica, Aerilon, Gemenon, Virgon, Picon, Libron, so forth." he adds. "Along with the symbols, we discovered entirely foreign script, totally unlike modern Colonial script in every way. This is just my observation, or, really, my take on it, but that writing looked very much like some of the writings I would see on my Mom's scrolls back in Delphi." he says, nodding slowly. "However, the thing that really mystified us both was a the thirteenth alcove." he says, then explains the mandala-cum-bullseye arrangement they discovered. "I grew up with a priestess, sirs, and I have _never_ seen any symbology remotely like it in any temple or scroll I've ever laid eyes on."

"Gemenon…" Cidra murmurs the name of her home colony low and thoughtful. She clears her throat soft. "If this truly was an ancient ship from the Exodus, a passenger liner would fit. I would say I am surprised it was not discovered before, but I am honestly not. Given the drift Lieutenant Scaurus described, as well as the geography of that area itself. I would be lying if I said my homeworld was the sharpest with their space patrols, and there is nothing there either the Colonial government or Gemenon herself would pay attention to. No valuable resources, no shipping routes. Just much nothing. Save for this, apparently. Captain Nikephoros." An inclination of her head to the Tactical Officer. "I am most glad you could join us. Sweet Pea and Flasher were just recapping their trip. For the Sister, in particular, as I suspect her input will be of much use on this."

Time for a bit of Q&A… just after brown eyes flick to acknowledge the arrival of Cora. "The assessments Engineering is doing, do they include dating? It strikes me as odd that, if Cylons were the ones to pry it open, they would just leave it there. Yeah, it could be a ruse. Bait, as it were, but it's not like something simpler and effective couldn't be concocted. We've investigated far less." MV Eidolon, anyone? Trask certainly remembers /that/ mini clusterfrak involving a randomly jumping FTL drive. He was among those stranded. That said, "I'd be interested in an estimate as to when it actually happened and what tools were used. If this dates back to the Exodus, it's possible another migratory ship was involved."

"Well, sir, as Sweet Pea said, we took some scrapings from the walls for carbon-dating purposes." Marko replies, nodding a little. "As for the Cylons leaving it there, I have no idea, sir. It could very well be the first stage of some kind of trap, I sure wouldn't past the Toasters to pull some kind of a stunt like that."

Karthasi's thoughts are whirring along at breakneck pace as she looks through the materials, taking a moment to mentally transliterate a little bit of the language, though it's definitely a manuscript hand she's never seen before. Not too odd— she doesn't have every hand memorized, and nearly all of them have significant variations, so it'll take some time. "It's a variation on Scriptural Beta," she gives the Academic name for Old Gemenese. "I may be able to transcribe it, but it'll take some time," she reports gentle-voiced as she looks through the images, nodding faintly at the description of them as emblematic of the colonies. That, they are. "It's interesting that Ganymede is depicted as a woman," she does speak up, "That narrows the images' origin to a particular subset of scriptural traditions." She squints at the image. Yes, it does look like a woman. And then she flips to the unusual thirteenth emblem. "Interesting," is her primary comment, brows raised.

"I'm not sure if what we brought back would allow them to do so, Boots," Leyla replies. "We have full scans, from all the raptor's systems, plus visuals, but I don't know if that would be possible. That's more in your field of expertise and Flasher's, than mine." She just flies the bus, yo. "But, if we were able to get a team on the ground, as seems to be the plan, I believe they could make a better go of it." A nod to Marko, "One thing we did note, of interest, is that whomever, or whatever entered the ship, did not proceed past the area with the alcoves. There was no sign of further forced entry into the ship itself. This isn't the first time they've left information behind. Whether it's carelessness, that had them leave the coordinates in the first place, and then leave this ship where we found it, or over confidence, I do not know."

"No, no, I got that," Trask replies to Marko, evidently having not explained himself as well as he could've — and ordinarily would've. Perhaps his recent lack of smoking is affecting more than his mood. Who knew that carcinogens led to clearer expression? "I was speaking, specifically, of the breach points and not the entirely of the sh— Y'know what? Never mind." He doesn't sound defensive. His question was answered and he simply finds it pointless to carry on with this train of thought.

What Karthasi offers gets a bland look, as though she were actually speaking in any version of Scriptural Beta. So, the SL simply goes back to something he /can/ fathom. "The alcoves… I can't tell from the images, but what are the dust patterns looking like? The one for Tauron… I'm wonderin' if it might have something to do with that knife we had." Eyes flick to Cidra. "Back on Aerilon… wasn't there something about a missing fleece?" It's been a while and the detail really didn't concern the man back then. "Maybe the Cylons are looking to find the missing items. Maybe that's why the ship has been left where it has been. Who knows what the status of the nav records is? Moving the thing could potentially screw with calculations. Still doesn't explain why it would be left unattended… Arrogance, maybe…"

"It looked much like the tongue I did read as a child, Sister. My mother was a holder to the speaking of Old Gemenese," Cidra says to Karthasi. "But I could not makes heads or tails of it. It has been many years since I studied theology properly. Do you think it really *could* be a ship of the Exodus?" There's an almost naively searching quality in the question as the CAG puts it to Karthasi. She's an authoritative woman by nature, but in manners of the Faiths she's a supplicant. And right now, she's unsure what precisely the gods are trying to tell her. She nods, almost sidelong, to Marko. "Engineering shall make what they can of the photos and findings you retrieved. That will give us as good an idea of the age of this, and what has perhaps been done to it, as we can get. As for the Cylons…whatever we found on Tauron - and I cannot say I understand it - leads me to believe they somehow pinpointed that location. And yet…they left it whole for us to find. It is very fearful strange, I cannot deny, and it may well be a trap. And yet…it is astounding…" She keeps repeating that, voice all of soft awe. A shrug to Trask about Aerilon. "Missing fleece? I cannot say I recall, though perhaps. I would have to check our findings from there again. The image of the bull… Zeus the bull, with his lightning bolt… it is suggestive. It cannot be denied."

"What if we're looking at this from the wrong perspective?" Marko asks suddenly, his expression thoughtful. "I mean, we're obviously looking at one of the greatest insights, or potentially, greatest insights as to our pre-history we've ever found, yes?" he asks rhetorically. "Let's try looking at it from the Cylons' point of view, sirs." he suggests. "What is this thing to them, really?"

"Data." That's Leyla's answer to Marko's question. "They seem to be searching for something. On Tauron, on Wreath of Roses, and if the recon of Gememon is to be believed, on that colony as well. They are gathering information. Pieces to some sort of puzzle perhaps, that only they can see the whole of. This ship, if it was the cylons who found it before we did, would just see it as another piece of information, a puzzle piece in their jigsaw. They are not human, they are not the descendants of those people who migrated from Kobol. They are not connected to this thing the way we are, if this is indeed an exodus craft. They are machines, and I do not think they would have the sort of emotional connection to this ship as we might. If I were to put my mind into the frame of mind of what I believe a machine would think like, I would see it as a piece of data, that once what was relevant was retrieved, could be left behind. They entered this ship, either saw what they were looking for, or took it, and left the rest, once its usefulness was exhausted."

"Well, logically, there must have been some manner of exodus ship in reality," Greje points out. "After all, human life did come to all the colonies. Assuming that one must have existed somewhere, and understanding the facility with which a cylon fleet may make a study of vast expanses of space, combined with the recognition of the Cylon's evident interest in our religious past," Greje winds her way in a manner most Academic toward an answer, "I don't see it as as large an improbability as it would seem at the outset," she concludes. "And if they're looking for the ancestral home of humanity, they seem much closer to finding it than we ever were. Which, again, stands to reason. Our ability to search is all but dwarfed by theirs."

"That makes no sense." That's Trask's opinion of Leyla's proposed scenario, anyway. "When have they ever not destroyed something that might've been of worth to us once it ceased being of use to them?" Slightly but adamantly, he shakes his head. "Nah," is the emphatic conclusion, "If they left it there, it's because they have a reason. I don't know if it's 'cuz they /need/ us to find it 'cuz they don't know what the frak it means and they hope that /we/ somehow might… or…" Again, his head shakes, words not coming with his usual crude eloquence. "…something." More coffee and some minor fidgeting with his PDA. Odds are he will smoke an entire carton of cigarettes in one sitting when he finally permits his post-ritually mutilated self to again light up. Recalling his previous comment. "I'm not sure it was in an AAR." The bit about the Fleece, that is. "Hells, maybe I just imagined it, but I recall something about it." Beat. "Colchis, was it, maybe?" Again, frakked if he really knows. Then, mentally bouncing all over the place more than usual, he asks Karthasi, "In your estimation, is it plausible they might think that Kobol is an affront to their singular God?"

"It is a find of utmost importance, Flasher," Cidra agrees with Marko. "If it is legitimate." She's still speaking in pragmatic 'ifs', but there's still that barely-contained awe about her manner. She might've been praying to those photographs before they all arrived. "If they have an interest in it, we have an interest in denying them their use of it. If it is what it appears, it is a sacred thing." And she's not high on allowing the Cylons to pervert it. She falls quiet, head tilted to Karthasi, curious as to the answer to that.

Marko likewise waits for Karthasi's take on the Cylons' possible reaction to the existence of Kobol, looking thoughtful as he starts to put his own theories together.

"Actually, to me it makes perfectly good sense. You're assuming they knew we would eventually find it. And why would they assume that? The thing has been in orbit near Gemenon, passing close enough to be found for, if the numbers are right, 3000 years, and we never found it before. The only reason we did find it, was a fluke. We have no way of knowing if they as a group knew the information we did use to find it was left on Wreath of Roses. I'm sorry, Boots, you know I have a fondness for your suspicious mind, but in this case, I really don't see anything that points emphatically to some meta-conspiracy. Nothing that screams 'kill all humans!'. Frankly, the fact that we are still alive today is more than evidence enough that they don't really see us as much more than an annoyance at best." And with that, Leyla seems content to be quiet. Maybe the woman is just used to being called stupid by her SL.

Karthasi lifts a forefinger to rub at one of her eyes and then looks to Cidra, trying to piece together whatever of that last bit of what she said is bothering her, exactly. But something in there isn't sitting right. But she clears her throat and looks to Trask, instead. "I shouldn't think so. From my brief discussion with the Eleven, they seem to be looking for answers as much as we are," she remarks calmly. "In fact, their monotheistic deity may well be attested, albeit obliquely, in the scriptures as we know them."

"How so, Sister?" Marko asks, cocking his head curiously as a new piece of the puzzle slots into place. It's clear that hamster wheel he calls a brain is starting to spin big time right about now, but he's keeping his own counsel for the time being.

Cidra frowns, deeply, when Karthasi speaks of any sort of relation between their faith and the Cylons'. She does not *say* anything to argue it. She just sits there, frowning. Though it turns thoughtful at mention of the Eleven. That's an abomination the CAG can't so easily categorize, and it bothers her. "I think Sweet Pea makes a point that is worth considering," she says. "The Cylons could have destroyed us many times over. Over Aerilon, certainly over Tauron when we were crippled. Yet they do not. They either do not fear us enough to bother or… have some other strange purpose, a purpose we have not yet discerned."

"/When/ did I say this was part of some metaplot to kill us all? Oh, right. /Never/," Trask snorts. This is not his usual snark. It's more snappish than sarcastic. Withdrawal is a bitch. "Look, after all this time, we've never had any inkling as to /why/ they haven't bothered to wipe us out. Face it, if they know where we are — and they've demonstrated they can find out — and if they actually /bothered/ to hit us with /everything/ they have, we wouldn't be having this conversation 'cuz we'd all be dead. But this? /This/ actually kinda makes some sense. All this weirdness about the Falls. What if they /need/ us to get what they want? Even those Fives were a bit less rabid when last encountered. The one called Poole. Back on Leonis, they would've taken what they wanted and made sure to take us out in the process. They didn't even make an attempt. At the very least, we wouldn't have gotten our people back alive, let alone non-maimed."

The agitation caused by unsatisfied addiction certainly sends Bootstrap's mind whirring, for he then posits to Karthasi, "Okay, how 'bout this? What if they think the great travesty lost to history that supposedly spurred the exodus from Kobol… what if they somehow think this is linked to their singular God? What if the alleged offenses of Man… what if they think that's an offense to their God?" Yeah, he's a bit more manic than usual. Nothing alarming, but still evident to those who know him. "/OR/…" Pause for emphasis. "Or /maybe/ that Eleven was frakking with you." Hmm? How 'bout them apples? The question is solely in the look he levels at the Sister.

Karthasi puts on her Professor Voice, standing up straight and closing the folder for the time being: "The theological benefit of a polytheistic system is that the Lords may each stand in their own right without fear of contradiction," she begins to expound. "But the grander question of what is loved by All The Gods or what is hated by All The Gods is a more difficult question to answer, since what is dear to Apollo is not dear to Dionysus, and what is dear to Artemis is not dear to Aphrodite," she gives a few examples. "All of our pantheistic systems of morality are in that way fundamentally flowed: there is nothing that is not dear to -some- one of the countless spirits and daimones, and so it is difficult to found a common morality. Now, in any monotheistic tradition, all these contradictions must -need- be encapsulated in the singular figure of the deity— or else the universe itself would cease to make any logical sense. A Good God who is the Only God, after all, would result in a universe in which All is Good, when we know that Bad exists. Therefore in any monotheistic system, God must be Good and Bad in one, Male and Female in one, Lust and Chastity in one. All contradictions in one being. Now, if you look at the figure of Zeus in our earliest scriptures, you can indeed see two distinct and separate figures. You have Zeus the Light, the Sky, The Bountiful and Good," she continues to explain, "This Zeus can be tricked by his wife and seduced by Love and blinded by hate, and has all the foibles one would expect from one deity in a polytheistic tradition. BUT there is another Zeus, an omnipotent Zeus, the Zeus of Stasis who devoured his wife and assumed the Female as half of his being, who supports the Good but assents to the Bad, and measures BOTH out for human beings, who spawns ALL OTHER GODS, and claims them all as part of his being. Aspects of the One Zeus, rather than individual spirits." She takes a deep breath, "And by the time you've configured your pantheon in such a manner… all aspects of one god or all separate gods making up one Pantheon— well, quite honestly, what's the difference between the two?"

And around and around they go until poor Marko can take no more. "Sirs, with respect." he says, his tone more of a sigh than a snap. "We could go around and around about this for the next twenty years and be no closer to finding out the truth." he says simply. "And until we get a survey team aboard the derelict and give it the full hairy eyeball, we're just spinning our wheels here." he adds, trying, in his own limited way, to veer the conversation to a more constructive vector. "Sister, the thirteenth symbol." he says, nodding to the aforementioned symbol's picture. "If we are correct that the other symbols represent the Colonies, is it too far of a leap of logic to suggest the thirteenth symbol could be related to Earth?" he asks respectfully. "Because, if so, then it might explain a few things."

Seeing two Taurians go head to head is never a good thing. And certainly on a day like today, not at all useful. Perhaps it's for that reason that Leyla chooses the high road, pushing aside any desire to verbally lash out at the SL who clearly is having issues with his post-medical care and treatment. Or perhaps Leyla, having as much experience in the rituals Boots has undergone to understand where the man is coming from, chooses not to press him. Whichever the answer is, she clearly doesn't seem inclined to press the SL any further than she already has. "I am not a religious woman by nature, nor have I ever given credence to religion as a useful endeavor. But looking at it as someone who has no emotional investment in religion, Sister, I would say that logically, there is no difference between the two. The only difference lies in the minds of those who do have faith. Those who do believe." And with that, she turns to Marko's comment, "I am not sure about Earth, Flasher. But it is possible. The stories say, that the tribes of Kobol left to find a new home. Perhaps they painted the alcoves to represent their tribes and left the last as a memorial to the tribe that did not follow them to what we now know as the colonies. But if that is the case, why such specific symbols for 12 of the tribes and something so vague for the last?"

"Oh, yes, it's quite probable," Greje answers Marko readily enough. "The sign of the kentros, the goad or the wasp's sting that sent Io on her travels… doubles as the sign of the omphalos-centros… the 'center' stone. Which was fashioned by Ge, whose other name was Earth, and whose body is said to have formed a planet so-named."

For whatever reason, Trask doesn't add anything further about the topic at hand. Instead, he consumes the last of his coffee, sets aside his thermos, and rummages a pocket for a hard mint that he proceeds to suck on like a black hole does stars.

"Or perhaps the Eleven was not… frakking with us after all…" It's not an argument really, save one Cidra is having with herself. It's muttered soft beneath her breath. She clears her throat. Saying nothing to the continued talk of monotheism, though it makes her jaw clench. "Whatever the case. We shall see soon enough. Command is preparing to send a larger team back to explore the relic in more detail. Perhaps even see if it is moveable." Her attention locks on Karthasi as the priestess continues. "The myth of Earth…" Even Fundy CAG calls that one a myth. "…but that would fit as well as anything else."

"Then maybe that's what they were looking for." Marko says, completing his thought. "Not Kobol, but Earth. If the myths are true, and I'm not going to guess one way or another. But if I were the Cylons and I was determined to wipe out the human race, I sure wouldn't want to leave a potentially huge pocket of humans left to come back and bite me in the a….backside." he ventures, correcting himself before he swears in front of the Sister.

Leyla tilts her head, looking back to Marko, then following to Cidra, the Sister and then to the SL and the TACCO, "Or perhaps they are looking for a new home, just like those who made the exodus were." Leyla's voice is soft, as she recites from memory. Yes, she's spent a hell of a lot of time studying the things brought back from Wreath of Roses.

"The same dream. Three nights in not as many weeks.
Our brother HAD to have heard. He has to bring help.
Even then, I do not think God will forgive us for our crimes. Do we deserve it?
Home. Not this Hell we have made. But a home."

"They must have had a home somewhere these last forty years," Cora offers when Leyla has finished, "They have been somewhere, building these ships, developing this technology. I've suggested we try to locate it but I am not sure that command thinks it worthwhile."

Marko nods. "That's only logical." Marko muses, frowning thoughtfully. "So, any idea when we go back, sir?" he asks. "I'm going to keep crunching the numbers on the derelict's orbit." he adds. "Maybe we can come up with some answers that way. Worth a shot at least."

For a moment, Trask looks as though he were going to respond to Cora. Instead, he just keeps sucking on that mint, eyes keenly regarding the TACCO before shifting his attention to Cidra, awaiting the answer to Marko's question.

It's Cora that Cidra looks to for an answer to Marko's question. The TACCO having a closer ear to command. But reply she does. "Days, I would say. Captain Nikephoros and I intend to push for it soon, even with preparations for Silent Mastiff underway. It depends on when we get those findings on the metal back from Engineering, but I would say as little as three days hence perhaps? No more than a week."

Cora nods in reply to Cidra and Marko, confirming, "As soon as the necessary preparations can be made. I hope no more than a few days, as the major says. A week at the outside. I consider this a priority."

"Even if we were able to find their homebase, there is little hope that we could win any sort of engagement with them in their home field. We have already seen their military superiority both on Warday and after. And I doubt that it would give us very many answers as to why they are doing what they are doing. Certainly, we have no chance to infiltrate such a place. The problem with all of their humanoid models looking alike, is that none of us will be able to blend in." Clearly, Leyla is in the not going to the Cylon home-whatever camp. And, as if it does bear reiteration, "Flasher and I submit our request to be allowed to return to the ship."

Marko nodnods, smiling a little. "What she said, sir." he grins. "I still can't get over the fact that we found the thing to start with." he marvels. "It just blows my mind."

"Most certainly, Sweet Pea," Cidra says to Leyla. "You and Lieutenant Scaurus would know it better than any human being living. It will likely require multiple Raptors. We are still assembling teams. It shall certainly require those skilled in EVA work to get deeper into the body of it. And see what we may find." The barest hint of a smile to Marko. "I would call it a miracle, did part of my mind not still tell me it is a Cylon trap. Well. We shall see what we shall see soon enough."

"I don't mind if you kids tag along," Trask simply says, a bit cheekily. Because he is so going.

"You can ride our coattails, Boots." No matter whether or not the SL comes along, she and Flasher found it first. So there.

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