PHD #386: Art is Hard
Art is Hard
Summary: It is for Rejn, at least. The other folks are there for different reasons.
Date: 19 Mar 2042 AE
Related Logs: None
Cidra Circe Rejn Madilyn Devlin Wade 
Ancient Ship - Midship - Battlestar Cerberus
Stored in the Starboard Hangar deck is a transport vessel - smaller than a craft like the Elpis but clearly designed for long-term travel. It takes up a good portion of the hangar by itself, and its entry is under guard 24/7 by Marine personnel. It's oddly shaped - seemingly built along more curves and gentle lines than standard ship design, and has a decidedly 'alien' quality to it. Neither much like any comparable human ship, or anything the Cylons traffic in. It's shape calls to mind a whale more than anything else, a curved 'tail' at one end and round 'head' at the other, elongated body with a fat 'belly' of a mid-section. There's an entrance of sorts in the 'tail' section with a walk-way rigged to make going in easy enough. From its size, it was originally made for small ships such as shuttles - not people - to walk through.

The room one enters into is more a 'foyer,' or some other communal gathering place, than a traditional hangar. The ceiling is domed and rounded over head. The curve of the 'whale's' 'tail.' A large entry foyer, or common area. The 'floor' is bare, though there are openings in the walls. Alcoves. Thirteen of them. While there is an arched doorway at the opposite end of the room, this one made for people, but it's likewise guarded and those without clearance aren't allowed to pass.

The walls are covered in thirteen large mural-like paintings. Almost more akin to cave paintings than anything else. Each positioned over the thirteen small alcoves with benches where one could sit. Twelve of those might be familiar to those learned in Colonial scripture, or just the lore of their own colony. A thirteenth, however, would not be a thing any of them have encountered before in any recognizable way.
Post-Holocaust Day: #386

Since being delivered back to Cerberus, the ancient ship has seen a small but increasingly constant amount of traffic by the crew. Many technical and medical personnel with actual reasons to be here, analyzing the skeletons and relic equipment on the vessel. But others merely come here to sit in the great foyer, to look at the ancient paints, to be in the presence of a place that - supposedly - may come from Kobol itself. Cidra Hahn is one such. She sits in one of the alcoves in her flight gear, quiet and still, toying with her olive wood prayer beads between her long fingers. She's not alone. A few others in the crew, and some civilians as well, haunt the place, for whatever reason of their own.

Dressed in med-blues, Circe is kneeling next to one said skeleton, her curled hair slicked back and held in a small bun. Gloved fingers hold a pair of long nosed tweezers as she adjusts the small magnifine glass that curls down over her eye. Holding her breath, she reaches forward with the small plastic bottle beneath the upper arm bone. Scraping against it, she pulls at the sliver and manuvers it free to place carefully in the waiting container. Shaking it free, she caps it with a soft sound. Turning, she sets the small bottle down amongst three others before taking up one more.

One of those civilians is a fair bit larger than the others. In his spotless beige suit and bright red tie, Allan Rejn cuts a distinctive figure as he trundles from one alcove to another, examining the paintings in each one with his discerning blue eyes. Yellow notepad in hand, he sometimes pauses to scribble something down, doing his best to replicate each of the primitive murals in miniature. It's a task at which he's failing utterly, judging from the awkward stick figures and indecipherable annotations on his blue-lined paper.

It's a fairly well-documented fact that Madilyn is not one of the more religious members of the crew. She's one of those Capricans with a passing familiarity and a connection to the gods that is skin-deep. She seems to have made one of the thirteen alcoves her very own, quite like Cidra, though instead of prayer beads, it's her service sidearm that she holds in her hands. It's still safetied, but she turns the familiar weight over and over in her hands, ostensibly inspecting the surface. Maybe that's why she's got an alcove to herself.

Devlin doesn't exactly broadcast his religious opinions as some in the crew might, but neither does he hide that he is a believer, and he's seen often enough in the chapel to make clear he's no atheist. Not that a visit to this ship requires a worshipful bent, since curiosity would surely suffice. That seems the primary motive behind the ensign's presence, as he wanders in, flightsuit-stuffed bag slung over one shoulder. His head is tipped back to take the place in, gaze directed at the murals as he moves slowly into the 'room'.

Wade is one of the many around the ship, and he is just sitting them, staring at the paintings with a blank expression. This goes on for quite a bit actually and it only ends with him taking a deep breath and blinking as he looks around. He finds Cidra and he offers a silent nod to her, just moving his attention back to those paintings. The man places his elbows on his knees and leans his head forward, placing his palms over his forehead and just closing his eyes afterward. Dum Dee Dum…

Moving down the skeleton, Circe lifts the next empty bottle, scrawling on it quickly with a black marker to indicate bone sample and subject matter. Capping the marker, she lifts the tweezers and then grabs for a small scalpel to scrape at the long thigh bone, working at it slowly to break a sliver free.

She edges a piece free and tilts her head, looking down to the bottle before the scalpel is set aside.

"Might want to put a bullet in your brain out there instead of in here, Minivan." Rejn's thin tenor echoes oddly as it bounces off the ship's rounded curves, which lend his voice an unaccustomed richness as he approaches Madilyn and her gun. "This shit's historic. Wouldn't do to get your bodily fluids all over these frakking fingerpaintings, unless you want to confuse the poor little detective over there." His slightly-less-belly-shaking-than-usual guffaw sends shivers of amusement up his not insubstantial jowls. The fact that he might be disturbing others' worship doesn't seem to bother him in the least.

Cidra's eyes drift out of the opening she occupies. She spots Madilyn in one not far off and offers the Marine major a small nod. What that is meant to convey is unclear, perhaps even to Madilyn herself. Her gaze moves on, Wade's nod returned, the man himself getting a look touched with faint concern. Though, as her gaze is drifting, and it's Rejn it settles on. "Are you a student of history, Mister…Rejn, yes?" Her question is neutral, no real note of mockery in it. Or any other inflection, for that matter. It's an inscrutable question.

"It's my solemn vow that if I were to commit suicide, it would be in a manner convenient to the greatest number of individuals," Madilyn replies to the…man mountain. "You know those support staffers; puke, blood, and other fluids are their job, as little as they like it." She takes advantage of Cidra's distraction to holster the weapon given the suddenly crowded foyer space.

Wade pays little to no attention to what Rejn is saying, or to whatever is going on at the moment. He remains in that position for a few more minutes and then leans his back against a wall, lightly tapping on his knees as he looks at the paintings as if wanting to learn something from them. He looks pretty tired at the moment, but then again, that could potentially be everyone's look at the moment.

Grabbing for the tweezers, Circe begins to pluck at the bone fiber. Setting it into the bottle, she caps it and then is done. As the medic rises she smooths down her jacket and closes up her tools as the tweezers and scalpel are deposited. Not distracted by her work, she slowly comes to consider those about the ship as she turns. Her eyes settle on Wade and she smiles faintly to him.

"She seems to like it just fine." Rejn jerks his thumb in Circe's direction." Though if you do decide to leave other fluids around these parts, do let me know so I can bring a camera. And — as a matter of fact, I am." This last bit is spoken to the CAG, who doesn't end up receiving one of his trademark nicknames (though not for lack of thought on his part to come up with the right one). Pushing his fogged-up glasses up on his nose, the man lumbers over to a nearby bench and plants himself next to the two middle-aged women with a satisfied sigh. The smell of generic minty aftershave hangs heavily on his neck and face, mixing with the still-musty air. "I wrote a book about those cocksuckers on Leonis and why they started the Great Civil War way back in another life. Though this, I'll admit — all of this is a fair bit older than what I'm used to looking at. Maybe 'historic' wasn't the right word." The man pauses to brush a few stray crumbs from his moustache. "'Mythological,' maybe. Part of me wants to think this is one great big Cylon prank."

'Tired' is certainly part of Devlin's look, at least around the eyes, faint circles and lines lingering there now that the Swarm is back, or maybe hold-overs from before its most recent absence. Still, his gaze as he takes in the ship's interior is clear enough, and curious, and it flicks quickly around at the others present. As he catches sight of Madilyn and hears Cidra's voice he straightens up a little, and then watches Rejn address the women and move towards them. He nods politely to both, though the former QUODEL delegate is included as well by virtue of his placement. "Majors," he offers, and after a brief pause, "Mr…Rejn, right? Evening."

The 'mythological' draws a small chuckle from Madilyn. "Ensign," she replies to Devlin as he approaches this particular alcove. But mostly, she just sits there in the booth, boots up on the edge, and legs drawn toward her chest, compact as can be. "I take it by your description of Leonisians that you're not very fond of them, Mr. Rejn?"

Cidra's brows arch at Rejn. Perhaps she's waiting for her nickname. C'mon. She dares you. Nose twitches at his aftershave. Sniff, sniff. Again, whether she approves of it or not is unclear. Another look is shared with Madilyn, with one accompanied by another inch-up of her brows. "Mythological is an inaccurate statement, Mister Rejn. This vessel cannot be a myth. It is…here. We are upon it. It is a thing to see and touch. And sketch." She leans to try and get a look at Rejn's artistic renderings. "There is a…sense of peace here. I come here often." Though with a look over at Circe's work she adds, "Honors to those spirits who may still remain in these walls, I pray I offend them not."

Silent at the mention of Leonis and the jerk of a thumb her way, the medic lifts a brow as she regards Rejn. It is then Madilyn's comment that causes her to regard the woman. "I pray every time I enter and leave, asking for forgiveness and favor in my work." Her dogtags are not the only metallic medallions at her neck, no. Two metal pounded shapes of the symbols of the God's hang from her neck. She holds the small case with the bone samples. "Mysteries need to be solved if we are to live on. This ship has some answers, though they may not be to the questions we have."

"Gods. I get clean and everybody suddenly starts calling me 'Mister.' Hera's saggy tits, it almost makes up for not being able to drink." Rejn offers Devlin his usual canny stare, blue eyes sharp and sparkling with a ferocious intelligence that he doesn't often show. But not recognizing the ensign — or Wade, for that matter — he returns his attention to the issue at hand. Namely: "Anyway, far be it from making any generalizations about the Leonisian people. What is it I'm supposed to say now? I love the people of Colony X. I have many close friends who came from Colony X. I would never willingly seek to offend anybody from Colony X. But that doesn't meant the Colony didn't try to shove everybody else into its godsdamned gaping maw during the War like a pedophile shoves little kids into his van."

So much for religious reverence or a sense of peace.

Though she wouldn't come right out and say it, there's something a little nice about making him squirm a little just to defend his statements. "I'm Caprican, let the record state. Though now I feel compelled, masochist that I am, to ask you about your political views of Capricans. Involvement in the Great Civil War included or not, your discretion…such as it might be." Asking that, Madilyn uncurls there on the booth and stretches her legs out a bit.

Cidra's hands tighten around her beads at Rejn's less-than-reverent words, thumb pausing on the little owl charm strung on her olive-wood beads as she *looks* at him. "The Twelve Worlds abused one another in countless ways when they were whole, *Mister* Rejn. Our ancestors were none of them without sin. The Cylons are evidence enough of that. Do you presume your forefathers were faultless on…what world were you from, again?" It's unclear if she actually doesn't know, or is just making some subtle point by making him speak to it. A pause and she adds, "I am of Gemenon, for my part. I am *certain* you hold interesting views of me and mine."

"And I am from Leonis and will take my leave." Circe says, holding the samples to her side for the lab. The medic nods her head to Madilyn and then towards Cidra before she shifts past the observers with her gear. The thunk of her boots echo softly in the ship. She pauses and then adds, "There are no lines anymore. I do hope you think on that. We are one, colonies are of of no matter. If we linger on our faults amongst ourselves, we will weaken who we are. That gets us no where." She says, centering her hazel eyes on Rejn before she turns back about and exits the ship.

"Oh, hey," Devlin doesn't seem to've recognized Circe until she rises, but then he smiles, and gives a friendly wave, either not registering that she's said she's leaving or just ignoring it. He glances back at the others and shrugs, "I'm from Libran. Nobody ever really has an opinion about Libran. I guess maybe that was the point." To Rejn more directly, he asks, "What did they call you before?" Before they started calling him 'mister', presumably.

"Some shit I can't repeat in polite — oh, and here I thought it'd be Minivan who'd start spouting banalities first." Rejn flutters his fingers in mocking farewell as Circe steps out, rearranging the fit of his substantial thighs on the bench. "Gemenon never did much, to be honest. During the War they were mostly content to stay at home and strum their owls, which rendered them conveniently irrelevant." One hopes that's not a euphemism for anything. "As for Caprica, it's not like they come out of the War smelling like roses, no matter what the textbooks might say. If they'd intervened sooner — or even signalled that they were going to intervene in the first place — we might've been spared a metric shitload of deaths. And as for us Librans?" Rejn jabs his doughy elbow in Devlin's direction. "We banked for both sides and made a tidy profit. Loans for all, interest from all. Thank the gods everybody forgot about that."

Cidra's thumb stops its literal strumming of her owl at Rejn's remark. "Blood on all hands all around. Most human," she says coolly, watching Circe go. "Banalities? I think not. The girl has the right of it. The distinctions have been obliterated. If we hold to old grudges we shall all of us be destroyed. Sagittaron should have taught us that, if the rending of our worlds by the abominations did not. Why do you come here this day, Mister Rejn? Why do you bother with these drawings?"

"You know how it goes. We have to analyze a situation, then reanalyze it, then double check our work," Madilyn says with a bit of a sigh to her voice. "Or maybe that's just me." When it comes to religious artifacts and Cylon prisoners. To Cidra, Madilyn simply nods in agreement. As for the Caprican involvement in the Great Civil War, Madilyn can't speak to the issue with any sense of expertise, so she doesn't comment.

"Sentimentalist bullshit. You want to know what makes us human? The fact that we've got to construct ourselves as opposed to something to live. You'd think it'd be easy, these days, since we've got the Cylons to kick around and all, but we've still got people buying into the us-and-them business. Just look at that asshole with the scarf. Or these poor fraks entombed in a flying steel death trap running from gods know what. Sounds pretty familiar, from where I sit." Rejn wipes a bead of sweat from his high and balding forehead. "But you know what I think when I come down here and look at all these damned skeletons and all those incomprehensible scrawls on the wall of a ship this old? I think to myself, I think 'Allan, these guys didn't make it. But enough of them did.' So here we are, two millennia later, standing right where they stood, talking like we've changed. That humanity's managed to overcome all the old bullshit. News flash: we haven't."

With a grunt, he pushes himself to his feet, his dress shoes falling heavily on the dusty ground. And then, gruffly: "Yet somehow we're still here despite it all."

"Speak for yourself," Devlin replies to Rejn, though not without a bit of a smile, "My family wasn't there during the first war, and if they had been they wouldn't've been working in any of those banks anyhow." He shrugs and then listens as the others speak, leaning against the wall and glancing between them and the symbols all around. He frowns a little through Rejn's speech, confused more than angered, from the looks of it. "I can't decide if that was meant to be hopeful or the opposite," he finally admits aloud.

"Pay him little mind, Decoy," Cidra advises the ensign, though the gaze she directs at Rejn is more curious than reproachful. "Mister Rejn seems eager to dredge up old ills today." She rises from the alcove, ducking out of it. "And I am due on Alert in not so long. Madilyn. Decoy. *Mister* Rejn. I bid you a good day." As starts to stride out but pauses, adding, "Indeed. Enough crossed from the Exodus to give birth to our worlds. There is hope in that. And peace." And off she goes.

"I think he was attempting to be eye-opening, rather than hopeful or disheartening. A reminder that, while the ages have changed, we likely have not, as evidenced by the nearly identical circumstances in which we now find ourselves. Circumstances identical to these religious pilgrims, tempered thought they may be by our own infighting." Madilyn nods to the CAG on her way out, watching as people rise to leave.

"Listen to that. What a frakking pedant." Rejn allows himself an ironic little snort as he jabs the Marine in the arm with a balled-up fist. Then, fiddling inside his voluminous pockets for a pen, he returns to his sketches without another word, stumping toward the wall and rubbing one large thumb against the back of his ear. Thinking about how to make his squiggles look like a pair of fish entwined, no doubt.

Art is hard.

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