PHD #291: Before Everything Fell
Before Everything Fell
Summary: Cidra and Devlin run into each other at the Tauron base camp, and discuss Knossos, heretical cults, and his family.
Date: 14 December 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Cidra Devlin 
Taeryth Concrete Plant - Grounds
The yard is large enough for more than a couple Raptors and Vipers to land comfortably, and surrounded on all sides by either buildings or a tall chain-link fence topped with loops of rusting razor wire. Concrete pavement extends from the gate to the warehouse entrance, cracked and crumbling in places, split by tufts of dry grass. The rest of the space is packed dirt and scattered gravel, with chunks of cement spattered here and there. Wheelbarrows, spades, and various odds and ends of equipment sit about the yard, all broken down and rusted out. One whole side of the yard is bordered by the enormous main warehouse, and a path along the side of it leads to the loading dock.
Post-Holocaust Day: #291

Day's turning to night on Tauron. A cold snap in the air. This season is not a warm one in this area of the planet, though there's no trace of snow. Just cold. Perhaps this is why Cidra's taken to wearing her flight suit so much during her time down here, despite its arguable utility in atmosphere. Something vacuum sealed is also good against wind chill. She's just emerged from the warehouse 'command area' set up down here. For a smoke, which she lights up under the doorframe.

Devlin has never been much of a fan of wearing flight suits when not required, especially when not actually flying, so… he brought a jacket. It is not, admittedly, a regulation military jacket, but it does look warm, thrown on over his off-duty uniform. He's hanging about in the unofficial 'smoking area' though he's cigarette-free, just reading over some paperwork on a clip-board and occasionally glancing around.

Cidra's blue eyes tick up. Spotting Devlin. Watching him. In that mild, inscrutable way she has of just watching things. "Decoy." The greeting is left simply at that for the moment. Though she does lift the pack of cigarettes she has clutched in her off-hand. "Smoke?"

Devlin has a pencil balanced on that clipboard, and he picks it up and writes a little every now and then. His head pops up when Cidra addresses him, getting used to answering to that callsign, it seems. He shakes his head at the offer, "No thanks, major. I found some gum." He pats a pocket and smiles, and then offers, just in case, "Want some?"

"I will take a piece for later, thank you," Cidra says. "It does not mix well with tobacco. Do you smoke?" Asked in a half-amused sort of way, as if she just realized after offering that she doesn't actually know if he partakes or not.

Devlin shifts the pencil and clipboard into one hand and digs the pack of gum out of his coat pocket with the other, offering it over. Cinnamon-flavored, and yet promising to help whiten teeth as a bonus. "No," he says with another shake of his head, and then a bit of a shrug, "Not really. Used to every now and then, like at bars and stuff, but… eh. Never really seemed worth it if it wasn't pot, to be honest," he admits, with a sheepish sort of smile.

Something in that makes Cidra smile. Ever so slightly. And inscrutably. "Nicotine is not so good for the nerves as that. But better if one has to fly. Good for you, though. Nasty habit." Not that she stops smoking. Another drag is taken right after saying that, in fact. The gum is taken, but she'll save it for later. The clipboard is eyed. "On what are you working?"

"Yeah, I figure I probably get enough nicotine just living with pilots anyway, you know?" Devlin says, smiling crookedly, "I'm half smoking already." He tucks the pack of gum away again, chewing on his piece and lifting the clipboard again, glancing at it and gesturing at the same time. "One of the survivors filled out a form in Taurian, somebody asked me to translate it. And then just my post-flight stuff I've got, too."

"I did not really recall that you spoke Taurian until the subject of Knossos came up," Cidra says. "Your personnel file said you were Libran, and I looked not much deeper than that."

Devlin scratches at his temple with the end of his pen and smiles crookedly, nodding, "Yeah, everybody seems surprised all the time. I guess I seem like the kinda guy who'd get a fake tatau or something." He seems a little rueful about the last, but goes on with a nod, "But yeah, my family's from Tauron originally, Knossos, like I said. My parents moved to Libran just before I was born."

"What was it like, Knossos? Before everything fell?" Cidra asks, very curious about this. "I know there has been…interest in the place, but I have not walked upon it myself. I know little of the Tauron faiths. Or what the spirits might have made of it since the Cylons came."

Devlin scratches at his cheek again, and shrugs a little. "We used to come in the summer for a week or two," he says, "To stay with family. It wasn't very big, or, like…modern, at least compared to cities on Libran. No tall buildings or big offices or anything. There's a whole neighborhood that's all real old stone buildings, and stone-paved streets and stuff. It was all temples and shrines and shops selling rugs and antiques and jewelry and stuff and little restaurants down windy narrow alleys. Lots of tourists, in the summer. The museum was famous," he explains, lips twisting slightly, shaking his head, "It had all kinds of stuff. Sculpture and big wall-rugs and vases and stuff, and some old coins, and awesome weapons… all sorts of things. Cylons destroyed most all of it," he says sadly.

"On Gemenon the Cylons nuked the holy places specific," Cidra says. A deep sadness in her tone, but there's an edge of cold anger there as well. "Or so the reconnaissance said, at least. The hatred that must be there to strike at our very souls, the gods themselves…" A swift puff is taken, followed by a beat of silence. Then her gaze goes back to Devlin. "I wish I could have seen your Knossos when the worlds were whole, Decoy."

"Yeah, I don't get it," Devlin admits, "Somebody said they were monotheists, and I guess… well, the sister seemed really excited about the place in the museum where we found the dagger, which was some room for some other monotheist cult, I guess…" he shrugs a little, "It's all kind of over my head, you know? But yeah. It's awful now, everything all smashed." He leans back against the wall and nods, looking back at Cidra. "I liked it," he says, "Especially as a kid. Lots of cool places to run around and explore. I'd like to go back, if I could?" he asks, "See if there's anything in the museum to… salvage, you know? Do you think I could maybe do that?"

"Monotheists?" Cidra's eyes narrow. Disapproving CAG is disapproving of blasphemy. She mutters something under her breath. In something *decidedly* not Colonial Standard. It's hard to tell if it's a curse or a prayer, but it's practically spit between her teeth. She clears her throat. "Well, there are heretics hiding in the woodwork everywhere. I am sure it does not reflect poorly on you or your parents." A pause at his request, but she nods. "Command has sanctioned additional salvage there. There is no reason you could not take part. It would be a shame if our antiquities were all just lost."

"Yeah," Devlin says, a little reluctantly, given that disapproving look, he shrugs a little and admits, "There are lots of cults in Knossos. All different kinds, but most real secret, so… I don't know what they are, really, I guess. But the cult of Zeus the Bull people always, like, whispered about. But yeah, my family wasn't that," he clarifies quickly, "It's not like everybody in Knossos was, or anything. At all." He taps his pen against the clipboard in a vaguely nervous sort of gesture and then bobs his head in a nod at her permission. "Thanks," he says, "Yeah… I'd like to save something, at least, even if it's just bits and pieces."

"Ah." Cidra exhales it shortly and leaves it at that, as to what she might think of those cults in Knossos. They would, assuredly, be banned on Gemenon. Done with her cigarette, she drops what little remains and grind it under her heel. Now she tries the gum. Chew, chew, chew. "Ah. Cinnamon." She generally approves. "Well, there are many strange traditions that linger among families in old places. Why did your family not stay here? On Tauron, I mean. What drove them to Libran."

Devlin seems faintly uncomfortable with this turn in the conversation, and he tucks the clipboard under his arm after a glance and shoves his hands deep in his pockets, exhaling a breath that is almost for a moment visible in the cool and cooling air. He says nothing more of strange traditions among families in old places and shrugs a little. "I think there was some trouble in the region around then," he says, "And… they just thought I'd be better off on Libran? Better schools, more stable, less crime… stuff like that. Better chance I'd go to college and be a doctor or a lawyer or banker or something, you know? I think that's what they were hoping." He shrugs a little, smiles, rueful once more, "Didn't really come through on that one for them."

"You did not turn out so badly, I do think," Cidra observes, fixing Devlin with that long, level look with which she often fixes things. Brows arch curiously at his discomfort. But she does not press the subject. "What were they like, your parents? If I may ask. I have not heard you speak overmuch of your family." Not that they often talk of such things.

"I only went to college to play pyramid and dropped out when I couldn't anymore, and the only job I ever had for more than a couple months after that was mostly letting people take pictures of me in ugly underwear," Devlin says dryly, "Not really what people leave their homes to give their kids a better life for, you know?" He shrugs, and then again, leaning into the wall once more, shoulders hunched to accommodate the hands still shoved deep into pockets. "My dad was an auto mechanic," he says, "My mom worked in the local bank. They were…" He shrugs again, flushing just a little, eyes seeking the ground, "They were great, really. I was really lucky. My dad was kind of quiet. Taught me about cars and stuff. How to drive as soon as I could reach the peddles," he smiles briefly at the memory, "He died just before I left college. My mom was fun. She'd sing show-tunes around the house while she made snacks for my friends after practice, stuff like that. She died almost two years ago."

Cidra smiles, ever so slight. She lets Devlin avoid her gaze. "I am quite sure they were." A pause. "They would be proud of you, I do think. I am."

Devlin glances up, and flushes faintly. "Thanks," he replies, lifting a hand to scrub at the back of his neck and shrug again. "I mean… yeah. Think they might be now. Just too bad it took til after they and a couple billion more died before I figured things out, you know?" His mouth slips into crooked line, not quite a smile, "Too bad I never got to introduce them to Psyche." He shrugs some more, adding, "But I'm lucky I haven't got to wonder, at least. You know, what happened to them after the bombs."

"From what we saw of even Aerilon, there is little reason for any to hope their kin are among the few hundreds left," Cidra says. "Still…well. It is human nature to hope such things, I suppose." She clears her throat. "I should be about my…business. Much to do. Ever much to do. Clear eyes and steady hands, Ensign."

"Yeah, I meant—" He cuts himself off and shakes his head, "Nevermind. But yeah." His hand goes back into his pocket and he nods. "Course," he says quickly, "You too, Toast."

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