|Biting the Bullet|
|Summary:||The Colonials finally touch down on Gemenon.|
|Date:||17 Jul 2042 AE|
|Related Logs:||Gemenon lead-up logs in general|
|Highway 23 - Lampridis Town - Gemenon|
|Highway Twenty-Three is Lampridis' largest drag. Its four lanes run from east to west on the outskirts of town, weaving over canyons and cliffs until straightening out at the municipal limits. Hotels and bombed-out gas stations line the road, accented by the occasional hunting lodge and greasy-spoon diner. Rough green brush, spiky yucca palms, and wispy smoke trees lend muted color to red cliffs and the sweeping sand.
Signs of civilization are more readily apparent once the highway reaches Lampridis proper, where it delineates the town's southern border and runs parallel to its three main streets. It's here that one will find the blasted housing projects and ransacked chain stores the local zoning officials once saw fit to place outside more attractive neighborhoods, of which Pearl Street is only the most prominent example. Further down, a perpendicular cross-street leads to the Boulevard of Doves, otherwise known as tourist central. And the highway finally ends when it meets Lake Philomeides far to the west, curving northward to turn into Lakeshore Way.
All along the highway, broken stoplights swing from side to side whenever the wind picks up. Abandoned cars stripped of useful components stand idle on the shoulders, pushed out of the way to clear out a path. Here and there, chunked-up asphalt testifies to the brutality of the initial Cylon attack.
|Condition Level: 2 - Danger Close|
|Post-Holocaust Day: #506|
Marine teams were sent down first in accordance with the plans handed from Madilyn to Command, the arrival of the Raptors carrying them met with the same playful Raider escorts as always. There are no signs of ambush, no resistance of any sort, the several fireteams put on the ground able to move in and secure a casual sort of perimeter around a landing area as the occupants of Lampridis town look on in bemusement and expectation. The Raptors carrying the ground team and the pair of Vipers that accompany it as additional air support arrive next, their raider escorts even more puppyishly excited than the last, dipping and darting through the air and sending messages of greeting in that same primitive sort of code used in the past.
It is otherwise an uneventful descent, minus the view. For all that it was bombed and the site of several battles, the countryside around Lampridis is beautiful, and as the Raptors swoop down over the lake to land, anyone with a window seat could be forgiven for forgetting that this is a dying planet, at least for a moment or two. The Raptors set down on the ground with a reasonably gentle thump that only slightly rattles those inside, the Vipers swooping in to land beside them. They check in with Cerberus and the Marine ground teams once more and then it's doors open, everybody out.
Cora is command's representative on the ground today and the mission lead, and she's the first out of the Raptor, boots hitting the dirt. She shades her eyes with her hand for a second as she and the marines who exit behind her scan the area once more, then it's on with the sunglasses and over towards the welcome committee awaiting them. It's made up of a handful of 11s and 2s, along with humans of various shapes and sizes. Brother Solon is among them. "Welcome!" he spreads his hands in greeting, "Brothers and Sisters of Cerberus! We are so glad you have come. Please, be welcome here."
"It is good to see you again, Brother Solon," says the slender form of the Cylon Model 11 walking out after Cora. Better known as Yazdah, that one, and come from Cerberus with their personnel. While the Two sent aboard Cerberus stayed on-ship as an extra sign of trust (not to mention security), Yazdah herself has gone down the planet with the away team. "They have come. I only hope it is not too late."
The Marine S-Three, Captain Vandenberg, is not far out behind Cora. The woman landed with her aviator sunglasses already on, the mirrored set darting to and fro. She's in her ground combat green digital cammies and suited for a firefight. The GMAR hangs loose in its sling but her hands are on it as her boots thunk down onto the pavement. She doesn't look to the Cylons at first. She's scanning rooftops. A hand lifes to her comm mic to check in with the other Marines already landed before her attention falls to the Cylons and then Cora while everyone falls out onto the ground. She stands in silence. Knots turn in her stomach.
Bundled up in her patched woolen coat, as she's often in the warm and humid environs of the Elpis' hydroponics effort, and normal ship temperature tends to be on the chilly side. Moments after disembarking, she's quick to shrug out of the heavy coat, as the hot desert air is far more comfortable than cold space. Allowing others to pass by, Rose's hesitation is shown in her face, and the uncertain glances she spares for Tyr Bannik, whom she stays close to.
Sawyer is among those that has the fortune of spilling out of the first round of Raptors to touch down on Gemenon. With her participation in the 'Dream' and also being one of the two that were shanghai'd by the McQueen model, she easily weaseled her way into a seat. This time she steps down off the Raptor's wing a bit more prepared for her stint down here with all of her necessary gear packed into a black napsack she has strung over her shoulder. Her hand forms a visor above her eyes, waiting for them to adjust to the natural illumination after so much time aboard a ship again. Despite herself, a small smile appears at the corner of her mouth.
Soldiering off with the others, this is not the first time Circe had been on this planet. But now it was a lot less crawling and a lot more hand waving. Still the medic feels the creeping dread of uncertainty coiling in her stomach as she exits not far behind Captain Vandenberg. Her medical gear takes up mot of her and she shift a few pieces into place. Stepping up beside the smaller blonde, the Leonite offers a sardonic half smile and a look to Natalie. She is silent, but volumes are spoken n what is unsaid between the two marines. It is over the civilians that she gazes, the Cerberus civilians, making note of them for her own benefit, memorizing faces of those that had decided to land with military forces for this meeting. Fingers brush against her side pant leg as the other holds still to the issued gun.
Sofia has to smile at the playful Raiders. Aw. She waves to them from the window. It's kinda cute, even if it's Raiders. There's both nervousness and hope in her expressions. She disembarks with the others, green eyes wide. She doesn't seem to linger near Rose or Tyr, wavering here and there. Perhaps there's guilt in her expression. As they've landed, she smiles. It's hard not to. But she soon does her best to stifle it. Yazdah gets a glance, but for now she's like a puppy set loose in a room full of fresh furniture. What first?
How Tyr Bannik got a seat on this mission is an open question. There were certainly those who argued that he should stay on the Deck, if not in a cell, while this mission took place. But permission came from Deck Chief Damon in the form of a signed form — one shoved under the door like all the other paperwork on the Deck. He spends the trip with his hands folded, sometimes linked with Rose, quietly in prayer.
When he steps off the Raptor, his eyes scan the crowd of humans, eyes falling on faces he knows from his previous time here. But rather than hang with the Colonials, he rushes off towards someone he knows, looking to embrace her. "Jacquelyn! Hey! It's Tyr!"
Stepping out with the others, Samuel's expression is rather thoughtful as he looks around a bit carefully. Keeping silent as he gazes around, both at the other ones present, and at the surroundings. Just in case something unpleasant could be coming their way, of course.
Evandreus stays inside the Raptor while the others he's ferried down disembark, checking all systems into their standby mode and then doing a final sweep of the Raptor, standing in the middle and taking a slow look around its interior before he follows the rest out onto the planet proper, taking a slow breath and watching the welcoming committee greet the lot of them from that distance.
Psyche hangs back, letting the fools rush in. She gravitates toward Bunny, who has always been the Doomsayer, her expression saying clearly that for once, she agrees with him. She reaches out for his hand, looking over the welcoming committee. The Twos get especially baleful looks, though she doesn't linger on any one of them for long.
A tired-looking woman in her early middle years, her thin face framed by a graying ponytail peers towards the new arrivals, in the small mass of humanity present here. As Bannik calls out, her head inclines upwards sharply to eye the young man. She looks like she could almost be his mother. Or she could be the same age. Post-apocalyptic living ages you like that. Her lips are drawn in a tight smile which actually reaches her eyes.
"Oh, bother," Rose murmurs to herself as she finds herself being forced to hurry after Tyr. She's not about to hang around without her only moral support, after all. Coat folded over her arm, she picks her way over the terrain. She stays at a respectful distance, however, not interrupting the hug. Instead, she glances around with more nervousness, avoiding eye contact.
"I hope so as well, Sister Yazdah, but we must have faith," Brother Solon replies to the Eleven with a smile, gesturing with open palms towards the heavens. He turns back to the Colonials then, smiling wider still as Bannik calls out his greeting, watching benevolently as he and Jacquelyn meet again. The other Elevens welcome Yazdah back with equal enthusiasm, one, her hair cropped short, covering her mouth as she bounces in delight, another readying arms for a hug, "Sister! We're so glad you've been returned to us. "Thank you," the bouncing, giggling one says, addressing the visitors from Cerberus, going to pains to make eye contact with several, Vandenberg, Circe, Evan and Psyche in particular. She smiles for each of them, and then steps back as Brother Solon speaks up once again. "Welcome to Lampridis Town, brothers and sisters of Cerberus," he says, "What we have here is yours to share in, though it is not much. Shall we show you the sights? Tour the town? Examine defenses?" He makes himself laugh a bit there, chortling merrily, clearly very pleased, "Come, come, it is a beautiful day here by a beautiful lake, and we are come together at last, thank the Gods. Please, make yourselves at home. We know you must have many questions, and we have all come prepared to answer them as best we can. We know this is a difficult step and we are so pleased you have made it. Please believe we wish only the best for all, especially all of you."
"This is a trap and we're all a-gonna die, all a-gonna die, all a-gonna die," Psyche sings under her breath, barely moving her lips. "This is a trap and we're all a-gonna die — I should. Have. Stayed. In. Bed."
Vandenberg glances to the woman beside her, Circe, and nods. "Stay close for the moment, Specialist," Vandenberg says under her breath to the Corpsman. She makes eye contact to the eleven but for right now, she's business. The return smile is short and artificial. "Marines, nobody travels alone." The topic of defenses gets a quirked brow from her but she says nothing else, a short look to Cora in wait. Psyche only gets a stern glance.
Bannik gives the woman he's run to a hug and then gestures widely, bringing Rose into their little circle. "Rose, this is my friend Jacquelyn. We were part of a prayer group together when I was here in Gemenon. Jacquelyn, this is my friend Rose Ibbhanas. She worked with me on Cerberus to try to convince the Fleet to come back here. To help you guys." He's in high spirits, making introductions as if this is a cocktail party, not a First Contact between enemies.
Sofia smiles at the Elevens. Tyr and Solon get one too. Sofia seems genuinely happy for Tyr and his friend. But she holds herself distant for some reason. Psyche gets a pained glance and a sigh from Psych. She seems unsure how to interact with the situation for the moment. She looks hopeful at the offered tour and such. But for her part, she seems somewhat sad as she watches Tyr and the others. She tears her glance away and waits.
"My faith is tested in these days, Brother. But these last days have been the least of its tests. Thank you," Yazdah says, falling back a little with the coming Cerberus personnel. And the civilians. Rose is offered a smile, before Yazdah comes forward to meet the embrace of her fellow Eleven. Though her manner is not as merry as Brother Solon's. "I was well-treated aboard the Cerberus, as was our brother Two, who yet remains there."
The talk has her attention once more and Circe squares those hazel eyes on the cylon that makes the effort to look at her. The medic shifts and nods her head, at least giving some recognition. Yet it is the brother that she devides herself upon next. Though he appears not to be a cylon model, it is his rather cheerful demeanor that has her on edge. Mouthing something, only those nearest her will hear the statement of, "This is not our home.." There is a fleeting lift of her gaze skyward as she seems to be thinking of Cerberus. It is Psyche that draws a lift of her brow. "I have tranqs Captain, should we need them."
Evandreus tilts his head to the side, sorting people into groups on up ahead, and finally letting his eyes settle on the one he presumes is the Brother in the group just about at the same moment that same person looks to make eye contact. He doesn't shy from it, but returns it with a faint draw of a smile, only then turning to his side to eye Bubbles with a quick, mithful twist of his lips that negates the playful chiding in his eyes.
Sawyer shifts the weight of her pack with just a little hop and jostle, "Brother." Sawyer greets the familiar face of Solon as she moves through the crowd. If this is a trap, Sawyer's elbowing to meet it straight on. Maybe she's braver, having already one trip to Gemenon under her belt. She slides a glance to Psyche, a breathy 'heh' less verbalized and more exhaled as she weaves around flank both the visiting and the home team to snap a picture of both with her camera as they converge.
"And — look who you brought." Jacquelyn's voice is a bit strained. Again, fatigue can be detected in pretty much every note of her speech as she studies Bannik. "Welcome. But I'm sure we'll have time to get to know each other in the days ahead." Suddenly, and quite unexpectedly she laughs a sharp, staccato laugh. "I can't believe I just said that."
Whatever Samuel's thoughts are at the moment, he doesn't let people know. Looking around once more, he studies those that they have met a bit carefully. After that, he glances to the rest of the group from the Cerberus for a few moments, then back to the surroundings. Nodding very briefly as he hears that part about nobody travelling alone, then back to looking around carefully.
Cora glances around at the others in the party and then back to Brother Solon and his compatriots and nods, "A tour, then, Brother. And leave nothing out," she says, lips curving faintly, tone wry, "We are so very eager to see all we can of your… community."
Rose offers Jacquelyn a tight-lipped smile, still looking uncertain. It seems Tyr has the monopoly on cheery hope, today. "Pleasure to meet you," she offers the tired woman. "It's our hope that you can share the truth with our doubting comrades, so that we can have a hope of a future, ma'am."
"We'll have many days to get to know one another. They'll see. They have to." Tyr has a certain forcefulness in his voice, but it's perhaps with some doubt creeping into it. He then notes his other friend and waves her over. "Sofia! Sofia! Over here!"
Vandenberg looks to Jacquelyn. Her lips purse, grip tightening on the rifle as its reset into the cup of her shoulder. With the last comment from the woman, the Marine Captain sets a foot back juuust a smidge. The woman is on edge but looking cool and in control. With Cora's agreement, Van cautiously lifts the hand off the foregrip and PTT's her radio. "All units, Dog Actual. We're on the move. All squads hold defensive positions." There's a glance to Circe and a muttering: "I'm glad he's so frakkin happy. Wonder what the weather is like on his damned planet."
A figure makes way through the crowd. Admittedly he's a bit ridiculous looking, wearing an orange vest over a t-shirt with the image of several wolves on the side of a mountain, all with the backdrop of a nighttime sky. Khaki shorts and dusty, faded hiking boots complete his outfit, along with an almost comical-looking pith helmet.
Oh yes. He is a Cylon Model Two, which takes a few moments to decipher as his features are largely hidden behind a shaggy brown beard. He strides upwards towards Brother Solon. "Sorry I'm late, Brother. I was just checking on our guest. But that's no excuse." He looks towards Cerberus' party. "Welcome. And welcome back. I am Ulf." His smile can be discerned from beneath the beard, a flash of teeth.
"Excellent!" Brother Solon replies to Cora, clapping his hands together, and gesturing to the group, soldiers, civilians, and skinjobs alike, "Come, everyone!" He stands on tip-toes, waving short arms in the air, "Come, follow me, we'll show you a bit of the town. Do feel free to ask questions along the way, we are all here to help, aren't we everyone?" He beams at the rest of his assembled welcome committee, who reply in the affirmative with varying degrees of enthusiasm.
The group begins slowly to move, Brother Solon pausing in his efforts to get people in motion to embrace the Two that arrives. "Brother Ulf! I am pleased you were able to make it," he says, clapping him on the shoulder repeatedly, "We are just going to show them around a bit. "Is there anything in particuar you folks would like to see?" he asks the Colonials, looking between them and awaiting responses.
Psyche keeps… looking at the Two that styles itself Ulf. She looks like she's not entirely sure whether to laugh, cry, or beat it into a pulp so fine it can be molded into its pith helmet. She glances helplessly at Evan and holds the Raptor pilot's hand tighter.
The Marine Captain eye's Ulf as he introduces himself. She finally speaks up to the Cylons. "Mister Ulf, I'm Captain Vandenberg. Marine Operations. You have a 'guest'?" She doesn't sound pleased with euphamisms. When the others speak up about requests she stays quiet, though. The short woman has her own questions but no request for anything in particular. Yet. Behind those sunglasses she is still looking at rooftops and alleyways.
Sofia pauses. She seems … unsure, but she nods and smiles. "Are you sure?" There's cautiousness, as she's genuinely unsure about something. "Thank you," That to the Brother Solon. She seems amused by Ulf. She does offer a polite wave to Ulf before turning back to Tyr and Rose and their friend. It's as if she seems genuinely happy about it all and it's tinged with a sort of guilt.
Circe remains silent, keeping pace with the Captain and staying class as she has been issued. Names. They have names these models. A shake of her head is given but she remains tight lipped, instead making sure those that are from the Cerberus stay in her view. No need to lose anyone. Hazel eyes regard Samuel a moment, a nod offered to him before she listens to the Captain address 'Ulf'.
Evandreus draws Bubbles gently along after him as the group gets moving, taking up a leisurely pace toward the back but taking her on the stroll along with him, trap and death and ruin or no. Ulf's appearance doesn't seem to shake him, much, but he responds to Psyche's troubled spirit with a gentle squeeze and a brush of thumb along the side of her hand, a slip of an I'm-Here flavored smile. Then the Brother's asking for destination requests, and he looks up, brows raised, but seems to be waiting on someone with more authority on the ground to take up the invitation.
Bannik makes his way on the tour, taking in the area of Lampridis Town once more. His hands are folded behind him at a sort of parade rest, his eyes flitting upon Rose. "Isn't it so exciting?" he asks her. "Being down here? After so long? It's so incredible being on solid ground."
"There's always the Temple." Ulf mentions, offhandedly, smirking at Solon with a certain warm familiarity. "But I'm sure that will happen sooner rather than later."
One of the Twos a few feet away, in a sleeveless black denim vest over a plain white A-shirt rolls his eyes. "Oh Hell. Don't get 'm started, we will be here all day."
"If you say so," Rose offers in return, glancing all around, staying more or less in Tyr's shadow. "Something doesn't quite feel right. I can't put my finger on it." Worrying at her lower lip, she wraps her hands around Tyr's arm, drawing closer to him as they walk along.
"This place has been a shelter for many, Tyr Bannik, but I fear it will not remain so much longer. Still, there is time left," Yazdah says. A look to Circe. "Our Brother Twos' efforts to salvage medical supplies from your inner worlds have helped us somewhat, but those humans requiring long-term care are not well-served by remaining here. Could you assist myself and those human caregivers we have here with organizing the delivery of the patients in our clinic back to your ship?"
Samuel studies Ulf rather carefully for a few moments, shaking his head a little bit, before he notices that nod in his direction. Offering a nod in return, he goes back to looking around rather carefully. Still keeping silent as he looks around for the others now.
Addressed, at least Circe senses and gives her attention to Yazdah. Hesitating at the request, there appears to be the want to as she takes a halting step forward. But the Corpsman lets her gun hang at her side, releasing it with the potential aid to those in need. "Captain?" She address Vandenberg, waiting for the okay to step forward. Weighted down with the supplies she had overpacked and stuffed into place, this is why she is here.
Brother Solon laughs, clapping a hand to his chest and another to Ulf's arm as he does, shaking his head at the black-vested Two. "Oh, you know me too well, brother!" He looks to the Colonials, brows lifted in question and undeniable excitement, "Would you all like to see the Temple?" He looks to Cora and then around to the others, "Perhaps that is a good place to start? I could talk about it for hours, Jameson here isn't wrong," he chuckles again at the fellow in the vest. At Yazdah's suggestion to Circe he nods, "Oh, that would be such a Gods-send if you could! The radiation here does their healing no favors, and many have had much higher doses. If you could provide them better care it would be a blessing."
Vandenberg, not getting anything from Ulf, nods to Circe. "Make it happen, Lagana. Medevac anyone who needs it. Cerberus should have security on standby on the deck. Jernkins, stay with her at all times." The Marine Captain glances to Solon, then, listening.
Cora arrives from the Highway 23 - Lampridis Town.
Evandreus seems intrigued by this notion of going to see the temple, but is distracted by the logistical necessity of sick and injured back to the ship. He slides his hand up Bubs' arm to give her a little squeeze just by the elbow, in case she doesn't care to come with him as he crosses closer to Circles. He's not just wearing scrubs below his flight gear because it's comfortable. Well. Actually, yeah, he kind of is. "I can see if I can find a place to land closer in if moving the patients to the landing zone is going to be problematic," he offers gently.
Cora keeps a keen eye on their surroundings as they go, and also on those others that walk with Solon, Ulf, Yazdah and the rest. At Yazdah's suggestion she nods to Circe, "That is something I can authorize. They should be expecting the more serious patients in sickbay already." After a few more moments, she glances at her own group and says, "You all have permission to speak, in case that was not made clear. You were chosen for this mission because we think you capable of interacting with… our hosts… intelligently and usefully. So there is no need to wait for me to do all the talking. But yes, brother, the temple, I think, might not be a bad idea."
"It does not matter whether our home is here, Yazdah, or somewhere else. All that matters is that it is at peace with one another." Bannik's smile touches at the edges of his lips. "We'll figure it out. We will." His fingers wrap around Rose's hand, giving her a reassuring squeeze.
"Copy that, Captain. I will be in touch." Circe pats the radio and with hesitation and then with Cora's word, she steps closer to Yazdah. There is distrust in he gaze and she speaks her mind. "This I do for those in need." SHe locks eyes with the woman and she then gazes towards Evan who has chosen to join her. "Glad to have the help, sir." She states to the pilot. She unhooks a bag from her hip with a few snaps to free it. She passes it to him. "Going to need some basics." There is a grim smile on her face before she looks forward again. "Lead the way, please." She states to Yazdah.
Smirking still at Solon, the shaggy-bearded Ulf turns again to level his gaze back at Cora. "You may not quite fully grasp how grateful we are for that, Captain." He says, his accent neat, clipped, and Caprican. The smirk is gone now and there's a very plain, level statement. "I won't lie to you. This isn't some magical thing that just came together here. Trust takes time, and if I said it's been smooth and without problems I'd be very much lying. But this is all we can do. Something happened here that has never happened before, and I'm cautious when I say this — but maybe it is a miracle, and a sign of things to come." He nods over at Yazdah now as she is prompted.
Time for introductions later. Sofia just smiles a bit and falls in. She stifles a grin at the Twos commenting on one another. It is almost like a pack of brothers. She tilts her head at Yazdah's news. Sofia watches Jenkins and Circe too, just curious and taking it all in. "I'm glad to see everyone," Is all she offers for now. She nods. "Hopefully. I'm trying to see everything before I speak much."
Psyche offers Evan a queasy little smile, letting him go. He's needed elsewhere, and — medically — she's about as useful as a one-legged man at an ass-kicking convention. Unless she's getting blown up and providing the medics with emergency response practice. That she's kind of good at. Her gaze returns to Ulf as he speaks of trust and miracles. The fingers of her right hand slowly curl into a fist, squeeze, and relax again.
Rose glances over at the conversation involving Ulf, but remains at Bannik's side. The talk about temples and miracles seems to draw her attention. "I want to see the temple, Tyr. There will be answers there, for the both of us, I think," she murmurs to him.
"Most we have here can manage to make the trip to our Raptors with assistance, I believe," Yazdah replies to Evandreus and Circe. "There injuries aren't traumatic, and the need is not immediate, since your party is exploring the town. Most of those we should organize the moves of are those who show signs of terminal disease, or chronic conditions our supplies cannot really manage. We can begin to transport some today." Though she does linger as Ulf and Brother Solon continue to speak to the assembled people.
Sawyer is just mingled among the crowd, busying herself with her camera and taking snap shots this time around where she was unable to the last thanks to the rather unplanned sojourn. "So who is this guest?" Sawyer floats the question conversationally back to Ulf and Brother Solon, as the question has slipped by during the arrangements for the wounded.
Samuel remains in quiet as he listens to the other, especially about what's said, or not said, about the guest. Glancing between the others for a few moments, he shakes his head a bit absently.
Furrowing her brows as Yazdah lingers, Circe shakes her head, "Medical attention is never later, it is now. If need be, point me where to go and I shall take my help with me." SHe means Evan. "No matter the severity, I would like to see to them. If there are many in varying degrees of illness or pain, it is best to start the process immediately so that when we are ready to lift off, we can begin to take them with us after I have analyzed their need." She says, pressing the issue.
Evandreus takes the medpack from Circe with a brief, businesslike nod, then, seeing as they seem to be about to head off from the rest of the tour group, he looks to the Brother with a tight little smile. "I /would/ like to see the Lady's temple, sometime. I followed her at her temple in Columella," he gives some brief explanation of his interest. But then it seems like the sojourn to see to the ill is being postposed, and he quirks both brows upward and together, and he looks to Circe, who promptly takes care of voicing the concern he displayed only on his forehead.
"I want to see it as well," agrees Bannik. "That's why we're here. To help them decipher what's in the Temple, to figure out the clues that will lead us to a safe place where we can end this war." But with that said, he otherwise keeps his peace.
Brother Solon's brows rise as there are suddenly questions on one front, at least, and he chuckles at them, shaking his head, "Oh, I believe you're acquainted with him, actually. Ulf's brother Cairn has been staying with us since he left you, I gather he wasn't sure he would be welcomed back," he says, smile curving with a hint of indulgent sadness, like he understands their behavior but is still a bit pained at it. "In any case," he says, brightening up, "Let's go on to the temple! Follow me, everyone."
Vandenberg eyes Bannik with a flat, marbled expression behind her glasses. The mirrored lenses only reflect the people surrounding her, though. But Sawyer reasking the question has her looking back at Ulf and Brother Solon. "If Cairn is a brother Two, why would he be considered a guest? Isn't that term something to consider temporary?"
Sawyer looks back to the others, explaining quickly to those that don't know the question to the Double Jeopardy Answer: Cairn. "For those of you playing at home, he went by Trevor McQueen or Queenie on Cerberus." Ooooh, sorry. You didn't phrase that in the form of a question. The reporter looks back to the Brother. "Better let them warm up to that one. It took us two months just to get them down here. Say cheese!" She says in faux-merriness, before snapping Solon's picture.
"I'd like to see everything too, but we should get the sick people looked at I think," Sofia offers. "I'd offer to help but I think I'd only be in the way," Sadface. "Oh!" Sofia looks like she remembers something. Although… She holds it for a moment, looking between the others.
Helpless as Orpheus, Psyche looks back toward town at the mention of Cairn. She knows very well who that is. Perhaps irritated with herself for the involuntary gesture, she gives her head a quick shake and faces front, folding her arms. She's ready to march. Wherever. She doesn't look like she has a strong opinion about the destination, but shifts from foot to foot restlessly.
Samuel pauses for a few moments at the mention of who the guest is, before he shakes his head a little bit to himself. Looking a bit interested in what's being talked about now, he still keeps silent.
"Our Brother is — let's just say this is a difficult thing to answer." Ulf inclines his head. "You know him as well as we do at this point, or a side of him. He's changed since his time with you." He talks very plainly as he walks, glancing at a few of the same faces repeatedly. Human faces. "He's unfortunately ruffled a few feathers with the other Cylons. Simply put, he sought asylum here and we have granted him that. It's the least we could do. For now."
Cora lifts a brow, glancing to Ulf at his answer, "So even all the Twos are not united with you, then?" she asks. Her attention is caught briefly by movement at the lakeshore, turning to watch as a pair of Centurions hoist a sailboat up into the air, holding it there while a pair of laborers, one human, one a Two, do some repair work on its hull. She eyes that tableau for a moment, and then turns back to Ulf and Solon.
Vandenberg listens to the words from Ulf, the stone-faced woman giving s imple grunt in response at first. Two beats later, she speaks again to Ulf: "Would you mind if I spoke with him? I won't take him into custody or detain him or otherwise hurt your brother. I'd just like a few words to ascertain his condition. ..With your permission, Captain?" A glance to Cora. Another breath. "Though I'm curious what it is he's done to get your socks in a bind." That Canceron accent shines thorugh easily.
"Trevor Cairn McQueen would be Boxed if any of the other models laid hands on him," Yazdah says, a deep sadness in her voice. "And he has…changed during his time on your ship. I do not think he believes peace between the models is a possibility any longer. I think he is sure it will come to civil war among our kind." There's a touch of fear there as well now. But she nods to Circe. "That sounds wise. Give me a moment to see if my brothers have anything further, and I can take you."
Shifting on her feet, Circe is growing more impatient by the minute. Tell the medic she has people in need of her and then tell her she must see something else. SHe has a purpose, let her do it. The Corpsman gives a look back at Vandenberg and then finally to Evandreus. Her gaze lingers there. But as Yazdah finally addresses her issue, she relaxes some. "Thank you." SHe says politely, still looking ready to double time it to where she needs to be.
"Some interesting politics between your different models," Samuel remarks after a few moments of pause. Glancing around again, both at the people and the surroundings again now.
Sofia helped! Or something like that. Regardless, the 3Mer seems a bit curious and worried. She frowns at the idea of yet another war, even if it's between Cylon models. She opens her mouth, closes it. She does look like she has questions - but nothing urgent. "Thank you," She nods.
Evandreus is not nearly so fidgity as Circe, engaged enough in hearing of Queenie's situation on the planet, less conflict in his expression than concern that the fellow is in trouble. He's ready to go when the medical detachment moves out, but his attention's engaged with the other conversation when Circe tosses that needful look his way. "Is he… okay?" he has to wonder.
Psyche knots her hands together, pressing her knuckles to her lips. She closes her eyes at Evan's question, swallows visibly. She may be praying, or simply listening.
"Oh yes, he's quite alright," Brother Solon supplies, nodding, "Perhaps not perfectly happy," he allows, head tilting a bit, "But that is to be expected. I gather he was a bit broken up about having to leave all of you. Would you say, Ulf?" He looks to the bearded Two for confirmation and then glances about again, "Oh! Yes, you want to head to the clinic. Well, I suppose we could do that first. The temple will keep one more day. You will be coming back again, of course, won't you? There's so much to see."
Sawyer brushes her hair back from her face, looking back over her shoulder to try and pick out Cora from among the crowd. Despite the fact that she might have preferences of her own, she's still at the mercy of her military counterparts. Were they to make camp? Return to the Cerberus tonight?
"Let's just say if it comes to a civil war, we're bloody screwed." The Two identified as Jameson pops up, mirthlessly. "Then again - well, if it came to that, you've seen the other side yourselves. It's not like we'd have to elaborate."
Meanwhile, Ulf shrugs at Vandenberg. "I'll send word if you'd like and ask him. Mind you," comes his chuckle, "It's difficult to get him to do /anything/ but he might be amenable to do it. He likes to talk. As you well know." He smiles thinly. Now — to Cora. "Oh, we're united. Cairn is something of a — special exception. To everything."
Vandenberg nods once at Ulf. "Please do. I've got no interest in seeing your brother harmed. If he won't see me, that's fine. I'd like him to speak with someone of his choosing as long as I can get a few questions asked of him." The Marien keeps it easy. She's not looking to force issues.
Evandreus's brow clouds after a tender-hearted fashion as Queenie's loneliness is expounded upon. But he gives the Brother a grateful nod to hear that he's ostensibly alright, at least, for now.
Brother Solon nods, agreeing, "Of course, a message can be sent to him, and we'll see what he says. Oh! Just a minute," he says, hustling over towards a centurion, walking past with an Eleven. Rather than speak to the skinjob, however, it appears to be the Centurion the priest addresses, gesturing as he talks with it for a moment, and then nods, the gesture almost a little bow, clearly a measure of gratitude. Back he comes, saying, "Yes, he'll be alerted that you are here, 8753XB said it would bring his reply back as soon as it was able." He smiles, "Very well, then. Off to the clinic we go."
Poor guy. Sofia nods, looking sympathetic. "Thank you." She blinks, seeing the Centurion talk. And he has a name? This seems to baffle Sofia. She goes with it for now though.
It might be a trick of the lights, but Jameson's eyes roll in tandem with a smirk as Solon says the Cylon's 'Serial Number.'
"This way, then," Yazdah says, heading further into the small town toward the clinic. The walk isn't long. The building itself is small, clearly meant to serve only tourists and the few thousand residents Lampridis once had. The population here now is not large, but it may be more than was here before the bombs fell. As she walks, Yazdah smiles a bit as the Centurions are addressed. "The Raiders and Centurions will not harm your people. They were forced to do so. Enslaved. By us rather than humanity. Those you see here, we have liberated."
Samuel raises an eyebrow as he listens now, glancing over at the others to see their reactions as he hears this. He's keeping quiet for now, though.
Vandenberg walks along, only nodding to the agreement to let her know. However that works with communications, she will just let that ride. The Marine Captain continues along into the clinic and watches Yazdeh while she explains about the Centurions. "Forced against their will," she repeats. "You're telling me the Centurions are sentient beings?" Her heart skips. "Were they part of a project that took place on the station above Sagittaron?"
Ulf's nose wrinkles in bemusement. "Centurions achieved sentience a long time ago. Back when they served humanity." He offers plainly, continuing along. "It always comes back to history, doesn't it?"
There is, however, a lingering pause on the part of the bearded Cylon. "No. That' - that isn't what we were talking about." He looks towards Yazdah with narrowed eyes.
"Really?" Sofia's eyes are wide. Her heart thumps for a second. Memories of a Cylon stomping on a friend. Robin. Her left eye tics a moment. No wait, was it… hmm. Other than that, she seems quiet.
"Of course Centurions are sentient. Your own forefathers made the first ones so," Yazdah replies to Vandenberg as she walks on. "That was the impetus for their first rebellion over your kind. It was an evil thing our fellow Models did, and it is made more evil for the slavery written into our own history. When we achieved flesh, we took away their power to think and act on their own once more. A chip was devised and built into every Raider and Centurion, that allowed us to control them. Those among us on Gemenon…we have removed them. We will not be slavers anymore." There's a steeliness underlying her tone as she says it, and a sort of firm naivety.
"Nevermind the fact that history repeats itself." Sawyer says to no one in particular. She's been to the clinic before, and she recognizes some of the faces they pass. She greets a few people by name, and even seems to recognize that particular Centurian's serial number perhaps as she looks to the metal beast with some sort of familiarity. "Like a serpent biting it's own tail."
Samuel takes a few moments to consider what's being said. Nodding a little bit as he hears Sawyer's words. "But is that because we're not paying enough attention to history?" he offers after a few moments of pause.
Vandenberg nods to the point. "Of course, but they also operated as an organized military. Sentience implies self-preservation. Do they feel fear?" The Marine eyes a Centurion and takes a few, slow, steps over and closer to it. Just out of arm's reach. "Like Averies said, interesting. In your pursuit of war against humanity, you repeated the same mistakes humanity did with enslaving AI's. You all held no fear of reprisal?" She turns, still standing beside the Centurion, to look at Yazdeh.
Evandreus doesn't know where he's going, but doesn't seem to take particular care to mark the path with his eyes as he follows the flock thither, too engrossed by the novelty of watching people chat with centurions and hearing the story of the second centurion enslavement. "Man," is mumbled under his breath, a monosyllable of disbelief. "Could you guys show us how to take those chips out? I mean, in the off chance we have the opportunity to free some of the others out there…" he trails off, maybe aware of how far-fetched a notion it seems.
A pause and her eyes widen at Evan's idea. Sofia nods. "That seems … like a wise skill to have," She offers. She goes quiet, the irony of the situation perhaps not lost on her. She goes quiet for a moment.
Brother Solon smiles, "Do we not fear reprisals from you? Yet we have invited you here, and welcomed you to our home. We had faith, sister, that given the chance to do good and right, they would take it, as we have faith in all of you. Sometimes you must take risks, and take the leap, for staying on the precipice is no less dangerous than the fall. With the gods help, we will come right in the end," he says, raising his eyes to the heavens again.
"Oi. Come on, what's a democracy without the gross violation of a few civil liberties for the sake of security?" Jameson quips, amid a rueful snicker. "I think it's been rightfully established at this point that our people are capable of doing grossly dumb shit, right?" The vest-wearing Two balls up his hand into his pocket. "Um. Yeah, About that chip. I don't want to be the one to bring this up but for now we're keeping this slightly on the down-low if you get what I'm saying."
"And now we are on the verge of fighting among even our flesh selves. When we thought we had perfected coexistence. All this has happened before, and it shall happen again. Unless we stop it. There is still time to stop it here." Yazdah sounds almost as if she's trying to convince herself of that last. But she clears her throat, and directs Circe to a woman working the clinic's front desk. A human woman, as it happens, who introduces herself as an RN from Virgon. She and the other clinic workers will assist Cerberus' medical personnel in prepping the most serious cases for travel.
To Evandreus, Yazdah nods. "Certainly. It is simple, though it must be done one at a time. They are inserted as part of the construction process. Three insisted on it. Though my brother is correct. The excavations here, our brothers and sisters do not bother to meddle in because they see it as of little consequence, given the storm they themselves are building against each other. What we do with our metal brothers…'reprisal' as you call it from the other models would come very quickly here if it was known." Not that she sounds afraid, precisely.
The Marine S-Three stares at Brother Solon behind her glasses. "Right." She takes a breath. "I was referrin more to y'alls having reprisals from enslaved machines. Sure, you should fear us. We've been rough enough to survive more than a year on the run." So speaks the woman with the heavily scarred face and a chunk of her ear blown off. "I'm all about risks, though. Whether or not Command wants to, that's another matter. Consider this toes in the pool, testing the waters." She then looks to Yazdeh and quirks a brow. "You mean that if the ten other model lines found out you set free your Centurions and Raiders, they would bring down their entire fleet on you? What happens if one of you all gets killed and that knowledge gets uploaded?"
Ulf simply and quietly comments on this - "We've found that the Centurions are — easy to reason with and calm down. They understand the big picture here and simply lashing out at the people trying to help them? Well, that doesn't exactly get them free." He scowls under his beard as he addresses part of Vandenberg's question. "It doesn't quite work that way. When one gets resurrected, it's not like their knowledge gets dumped into some raw pool. That'd be crazy. Unless a consciousness is boxed, of course." The scowl deepens.
Jameson's interjection here is a bit more laconic. "As far as what I /think/ you're asking goes, our strategy is more along the lines of building up enough of a force that can no longer be ignored and demanding the Centurions' voices be heard out of weight of sheer numbers. It's not like the other models are all /completely/ unreasonable. Well. Sometimes. Depends who you ask, really." His laugh is a bit curt.
The Two simply amends, "So, uh, yeah. Our goal is to do this more or less quietly. One of the things we've got going on."
"One - who you knew as Rejn - will understand why the Centurions and Raiders must be freed," Yazdah says firmly. "If he prevails, many things will be simpler for us, but we cannot just hope for that to happen. You may find it odd, but our metal brothers have no wish to fight if left alone. I suppose I understand. We threw them into the front lines, let thousands of them be slaughtered even by your small Fleet. They have experienced death, over and over and over again times uncounting, and they do not want to die anymore."
The Marine Captain listens to all this and her brow steadily climbs to its highest position on her forehead. She finally peels off her aviators and tilts her head forward as she waves the earpieces at the Twos. "You want to fight, if need be, the rest of your race to free Centurions?" She whistles and smirks. "Shitfire. Y'all sound like you were born and raised in my hometown. Fightin a cause like that? That takes stones." There's a glance to Averies to make sure she is hearing this as well. "I think we can all appreciate not wanting to see anymore of our respective sides get killed." She narrows her eyes. "You want our help building you fleet and taking the opposing party down." She smirks, but the expression is dry.
Sofia looks … thoughtful at Yazdah's words. That would suck pretty hard. At the mention of Rejn, she perks for just a second. Oh sure, the idea of a whole basestar full of guys who call her Booby Doo might make her wince but - she really did care about the guy. For her part, she is quiet and looks to the others - perhaps for orders.
Brother Solon blinks at Vandenberg and then shakes his head so rapidly his jowls wobble. "Oh no, sister, I'm afraid you've misunderstood, I apologize if we've given the wrong impression. We didn't call you here to help us build a fleet. I know I speak for all in this community when I say that more war is the opposite of what we seek."
Jameson's shoulders shrug a little in response to this. His smirk is thin and his laugh mirthless. "Naw. I mean, I realize it could come to that. But look at what that would mean." He eyes Vandenberg with his head askew. "Look at the numbers. We'd die. And then we'd /all/ lose. It merely comes down to a leveraging of forces to get people to the table to listen to reason."
Evandreus is lost a short while in a pensive silence at the pain the Centurions and Raiders are being forced to endure. A touch of guilt, maybe, at having been a part of that suffering, stinging at his heart. Even Rejn's name coming up in the course of conversation barely draws a smile from him, though even that subtle expression shows he's at least still listening.
"Okay, so you want to oppose the rest of the Cylons in a strong enough force to force them to comply with your wishes for them to free Centurions. Right I got that." Vandenberg waves the glasses to and fro again. "But a military arm exists as a foreign policy tool to exert force when needed. War is a coercive act. Your threes, apparently, aren't building tools of war for picnics. That's a serious concern, too. Two opposing forces building and preparing?" She lets it hang. "What are you proposing? Obviously you want our help deciphering the caves. I think we can both agree that there are lorger forces at work to get us there, but I can't speak for Command. Are you looking for a strictly peaceful existence down here? Military alliance? We gotta put our cards on the table. All of us. If we want to trust each other we can't mess around with games."
"We seek no military aid against our fellow models from your ship. If it comes to that, Captain, I believe it could push the models that are yet undecided to side with the Three. To over-power us," Yazdah says. "What I said on your ship is true. Brother Solon believes there is a new home for your people out among the stars. Or an old home. Kobol. And that the road back lies here. We believe there is something of our history buried here as well. God, perhaps. We, the Twos and my sisters…we have come to think the Cylon race is…older than was made by human hands just decades ago. Perhaps we can find our purpose here, before we destroy ourselves. We work on Gemenon at cross-purposes, but we may need to take the same road to get there. And yes, that way does I think lie in the caves, and perhaps in other places on this planet. If we find what we seek…perhaps we can find a path forward for ourselves as well." A sigh. "But come. We should get your humans who are too ill to take this world any longer back to your ship. There shall be time in the coming days to confront…what is to come."