PHD #277: Brainstorming is a Bitch
Brainstorming is a Bitch
Summary: Sawyer and Cora meet up again to discuss the present puzzle, this time the reporter is more lucid.
Date: 30 Nov 2041 AE
Related Logs: Signs, Skepticism and Sanity (Sawyer first meets with Cora after the 'vision'), Driven (Sawyer talks to Kincaid about the dream), The Bull And the Sparrow (The shared dream) & Do You Know God (Kincaid's run in with the Five). Search tag _serpent.
Cora Sawyer 
TACCO's Office
Post-Holocaust Day: #277

"Come in," Cora calls at the knock on her door, looking up only once Sawyer has actually swung the hatch open and entered. The books and papers that were left here yesterday are no longer blanketing the floor, but have been neatly piled on the chair in front of the captain's desk. Her own documents are neatly stacked as well, except for a few spread at her elbows, around her computer. She doesn't shut it this time, even as she waves Sawyer to the chair.

There's a tentative smile on the Reporter's lips, as if this first few moments may be the deciding factor for Sawyer's mood for the rest of the evening. It looks as if she's properly showered, has on a clean set of clothes, and - more importantly - she looks a lot more lucid and rested. "About yesterday…" There's an apology possibly forthcoming, it's just tripped up in Sawyer's mouth.

Cora looks Sawyer over, and though it's a fairly subtle appraisal just out of habit, she doesn't exactly try to hide it. About yesterday, she just shakes her head a little, dismissing the need for an apology, and replies, "You look like you got some rest, I'm glad. Let's start with my interview with the prisoner and then we can circle back around?"

Well that makes things much less awkward, especially seeming how Sawyer only has a vague recollection of what happened in Cora's office. Smoothly, she pulls the stack out of the chair so she can sit, and then settles the materials back at her feet. "I'm all ears." A pad of paper is pulled out of her materials, and a pen snagged from amidst Cora's stash.

"Cigarette?" Cora offers, tapping the pack against the inside of her wrist three times before opening it and lighting one up. "So, it wasn't a very long conversation. She's nothing like the 11, obviously, as I'm sure Kincaid informed you. Not chatty in the least, but she does occasionally go off mumbling to herself, or ranting a bit. To begin with the parts that are familiar, she said "the sparrows do not nest here," and she sounded afraid when I brought them up. I asked where they had gone and got no answer. I asked about the tenth sparrow and she repeated what Karthasi said on the tape, the tenth of then, seventh of seven, twelfth of twelve, and then began to pray. When I continued Karthasi's verse, and mentioned the bits about the son who will marry the mother and become the serpent and continue the cycle, etc. she shut up immediately, and refused to say another word, just glared daggers at me."

Sawyer seems all too happy to occupy her lips with smoking a cigarette, so she stays true to her promise about being all ears. She accepts the nicotine stick from the TACCO, lighting it with her own lighter and drawing deeply on that first hit. It cycles back out her nose as the first scratches are made of pen to paper. "Seven. Ten. Twelve. Sparrow. Serpent." Sawyer repeats, writing each word in a column down her paper. The journalist looks up for Cora to continue.

Cora nods, letting Sawyer take her notes before going on, "When she said that the sparrows do not nest here, she then continued 'That is why I did not see… God forgive me… I shall find the key… I must find the key' and then went on to the tenth of ten bit," she says, the quotes taken verbatim from what must be a transcript or notes on her laptop. "There were many references to her being late, and not having seen what God wanted her to do when she had the chance to do it, but this one seemed to me most interesting."

"After Molgen, I had originally thought the serpent was meant to be the weapon against the Cylons, something they feared. Now I'm not entirely certain. This repeated usage of the word 'late' is making me nervous and paranoid." Sawyer says in an off-handed manner, though it's clear that even properly rested, she's still plagued by this riddle. "Unless this so called 'vision' was somehow triggered by your prisoner and therein the references to stopping the serpent are actually some sort of ploy they are trying to subconsciously implant for us to /help/ their effort." Smiling wanly around another drag from her cigarette, Sawyer mutters. "Maybe I am off my rocker, but I sure as Hades am lacking concrete fact, and that's driving me batty."

"I'll be looking into whether there were any sorts of signals or transmissions to or from the cell that we can detect," Cora replies, "Regardless of the origins of your dream, the fact that the prisoner is acting as if she has just learned something despite her being in the cell is concerning." She exhales smoke at the ceiling and nods, shrugging, "The whole business is difficult. It's all insinuation and supposition and guesswork based on enigmatic references. It's like a giant puzzle, which I suppose I enjoy, but I can't shake the feeling that it's far more important than your average jigsaw." Another lungful of smoke, and then she refocuses and continues, "I believe, however, that the references to her being late and not seeing tie in to the bit about the key. The way she said 'I must find the key'… it sounded more like a physical object than the answer to a riddle."

Sawyer looks down to her page, starting to draw a grid around the words she has written there. "Not enough room." She mutters, then spies Cora's whiteboard. Getting to her feet, she makes a beeline for the eraser, and starts clearing a spot for some serious brainstorming. "If there is such a physical object, it may be at this Knossos we keep circling around back to, 'the ancient ground of the Bull." She starts to write out the trigger words on the board. "Do you think it would help to list out where all these references have been? Maybe we can start slapping some of these pieces together. Even if you're blindly doing a jigsaw, once in a while the pieces are going to connect."

"Knossos claims to be the oldest town on Tauron but it's not clear that that's actually true," Cora points out as Sawyer mentions it, "They sound history-centric, but that could as easily be a tourist trap. And 'the bull' could refer to the entire planet. In fact, the Five also described her goal on Tauron as the preparation of the colony for their coming, and added 'the knife set to the throat of the bull', which seems to correlate. It could also be a reference to Zeus." As Sawyer writes on her whiteboard she frowns, but only very briefly, shrugging, "I suppose we could list them, it isn't all that many, really."

"Well. Take for instance the number twelve. We know there are twelve colonies. Twelve cylon models. Thirteen could be Kobol. It also could be their God." Sawyer pauses after writing 'God' under the number thirteen, turning back to Cora. "You know, the strange thing is, the Eleven? She seemed to regard 'Thirteen' with pity, I believe the word she used was clumsy, but I'd have to check my notes. That doesn't exactly bode well of a God. Hmm, alright, what else do we have?"

"Inelegant," Cora supplies, "And also 'ill-conceived'. That's how she referred to thirteen that I think you're referring to. In terms of the thirteenth being the cylon God, however, she also referred to it as 'the thirteenth' explicitly and as 'he'. In this context she also called the thirteenth 'the one', 'the all, the beginning and the end', and 'inclusive rather than separate'

Sawyer grins wickedly over her shoulder at Cora. "You have a better memory than I do. This is why I write everything down." After 'God', Sawyer writes (he) (one) (beginning & end). She takes a half step back to admire her handiwork, pausing long enough to take a drag of her cigarette. "Alright, now where have we seen or heard about the serpent? There was the 's' pattern of the teacups on Molgen that we assume poisoned the scientists. There was the Tuata reference. This damnable vision. Five mentioned it…did the Eleven?"

"I don't believe she did," Cora replies with a shake of her head, though she must have notes of some sort on her computer as she appears to scan then quickly at the question, and then shake her head. "The scientist on Molgen, the one in the Centurion, there was a serpent mentioned then as well, you said." She rests her chin in her hand, head tilting a little to one side, thoughtfully. "This doesn't quite make sense," she prefaces, "But the story about the sparrow. There are only nine, but it's the tenth that's important. It seems similar. There are only twelve, but it's the thirteenth that's important."

Sawyer adds the rest of the incidents to the board, the cigarette hanging from her lips like a little waggling flag as she works the filter in thought. "Something about the tenth being the father. Then the tenth becoming the serpent. But the son marries the mother and becomes the serpent? That's where I get completely lost. We really need to tie down Sister Greje, but she's probably in some sort of…religious coma with all this going on."

"I'm not sure that the son marrying the mother part is the important bit," Cora opines, smoking thoughtfully, "The marriage part in particular… it's too specific. But the bit about the tenth being one of the…progeny," she clearly does not love the choice of word but goes with it anyway, continuing, "But then killing the rest of his siblings and essentially creates a new set. That seems like the key. He was one of them, but then he changed, and he devoured his fellows and made them part of him and in their place created new life. It sounds more godly like that, doesn't it?"

"This has all happened once, and it will happen again." Sawyer sounds as if she's repeating something, focusing at the board with her eyes having a far away look to them. "Maybe they are scraping their twelve models and trying something new? And have done it before?" The reporter finds Cora with her eyes, "Brainstorming is a bitch."

"Before," Cora corrects, without looking up, "This has all happened before. Not just once." She yawns, and then goes back to smoking, running a hand over her hair and turning back to the board. "They're creating a new world," she says after a beat, as her brain clicks back into gear, "The Five said something like that." She checks her notes, scrolling briefly, and then reading, "We are the heirs to the universe, and we shall render it unto God in His image, and clean it of the undeserving filth who turned from Him… It shall be as a grand pyre upon which our age will rise, like a phoenix from the ashes….. I asked what they would do with it then, she answered that they would 'create a new world. Immortal. In God's image, in the promised land."

"Before." Sawyer repeats, standing corrected. "Undeserving filth who turned from Him? Odd." Backing up until she's on the other end of the room, she stares long and hard at the whiteboard with the words that all seem to jumble together. "Really odd."

"Yes," Cora agrees, chin still propped on her palm, fingers spread across her cheek as she eyes the whiteboard a little sideways. "I intend to ask her about that next time. That we actively turned away from their God seems new, and different."

"To turn away from him would imply that we knew of him at all, which we didn't until recently. Maybe there is a bit of in-fighting? The Eleven /did/ seem to be viewed as a weaker model. More given to…human sympathies." Sawyer's lips pucker around her cigarette, which she takes a short drag from then finally leans over ash it.

"Right," Cora nods, in agreement again, "Unless we did know of him," she adds confusingly. She's silent for a moment, cigarette rolled back and forth between the pads of thumb and forefinger before she goes on, "Unless it was someone or… some god we did know. The twelfth of twelve, now trying to destroy them and replace them?" she suggests. Pale brows furrow and she rubs the heel of her hand between and shrugs, moving on, "There may be divisions. The prisoner Eleven made it sound as though the models do not always agree. She claimed hers was somewhat more sympathetic, while the Fives and Twelves were particularly vehement."

Sawyer exhales a huff of air, dragging her hair back from her forehead and holding a clump of it at the crown of her head. "I'm just saying if I ever see an actual sparrow or serpent? I'm going to pluck every feather or scale, spit it, and roast it. And if that turns out to be some blasphemous, then so be it. You know whatever key this Five is referring to…we have to find it first, right?"

Cora snorts, the sound half laughter and she nods, "I've never had much interest in wild game, but I think I might just join you in that." She scrubs a hand over her face and into her hair, sitting up straight so that she can lean down to open a drawer and pull out a bottle, which she wiggles in offer as she reaches for a coffee cup. "Yes, we do," she replies of the Five's key, "And we need to keep it as quiet as we can."

"You don't have any argument from me there. I'm steadily learning that not every truth needs to be known by everybody. Not when there are this many lives at stake. All of this, this is a far cry from covering a drug ring or a serial murder." Sawyer releases her hair to fall in a wave around her face and neck again. "So where are we going to look?" Yes, we. The journalist is in this neck deep, and seems to lump herself right along with any decision Cora intends endorse and lob up to Command. Alcohol is not ignored, in fact it's a lure that draws her back to the TACCO's desk.

Cora pours a generous measure of liquor into each mug and forgoes a toast to take a long sip from hers. Her lips curve into a faint, crooked smile at the journalist's words and she nods, "Unfortunately true. Transparency is all well and good when you don't have to worry about undercover genocidal robots." She takes another drink, and sits back in her chair, stretching her legs out beneath her desk, slouching. "Well…we have no idea what this thing could be, if I'm even right in guessing that it is a thing at all. But it seems likely to be of religious significance somehow. We've got it being babbled about by a zealot amidst religious references and bits of prayer, at least… so that's where we have to begin, I think."

"So we look in places of religious significance? But it's difficult what to say is religiously significant to these monotheistic bastards." Sawyer drops bodily back into her chair, ruefully looking over at her haphazard lists on the whiteboard while reaching for her mug. Her fingers knock the side before they find their grip around the handle, and she draws it to her lips. There's a wince at the potency, but she swallows the liquor anyways. "Where do sparrows nest?"

"True," Cora concedes, "But at least we can narrow it down somewhat. It's most likely on Tauron, and probably has something to do with a bull, or sparrows. Maybe." She takes another swig, and shakes her head a little, "That may not narrow it much, or it may narrow it to zero. I don't know that we have other options, though." She sips, and seems to drift out of focus for a moment, gaze set in the middle-distance, and it returns only lazily to Sawyer so she can empty her glass and shrug, leaning forward to refill, "I don't know. Trees?"

Sawyer gives a coarse little laugh, her throat raw from the fresh burn of alcohol. "Well, not much of Tauron is known for that. Not a terribly hospitable Colony. There was a tree in my vision though, just outside Knossos. What was it the Five said again about sparrows not nesting here? Maybe we're in the wrong spot all together. The Falls?" She shakes her head, clearly having trouble focusing, the way they're bouncing around all the possibilities. "Tomorrow first thing I'm going to scour Airwing for those two pilots, see if they've had the same experience yet. I think Sofia's been down on the planet, but I'll find her too."

Cora seems more or less immune to the alcohol's effects, taking another gulp from her refilled mug without appearing to even register the burn. She considers, and then nods, "Do that. Recon of Knossos should be completed within a day or two. We'll see what they find. I need to head down to the planet myself at some point soon, but I'll be in touch. I may try to speak with the prisoner again before that as well," she adds, as if just remembering and reminding herself.

"Right. After thirteen hours of sleep, I can't believe how tired I still am. I suppose that's enough for tonight then, hmm?" Sawyer tosses back what's left of her drink before sliding the empty mug back on the desk. She hoists herself from her chair, then leans over without thinking to deposit a kiss on Cora's cheek. Been spending too much time around Cidra, perhaps. "Would you like me to leave these books?"

"Yeah, that'll do," Cora agrees with a nod, smiling crookedly, "I'm glad you're sleeping again. It suits you." She seems surprised by the kiss to her cheek, but doesn't attempt to dodge, just joking lightly, "I didn't know I was your type." Another sip and she straightens up just enough to eye the books and then shrugs, "Sure, unless you need them they can stay."

"I've photocopied the sections on Knossos and the Falls, they're plastered to the wall in the News Room right now. I have what I need, I'll spread the knowledge." She does lean over to collect her handwritten notes, however, as those are the only copy at the moment. "Suits me how? You mean the fact that I can actually string two sentences together now?" There's a flash of a wink, that may just be in answer to the question of Sawyer's 'type', and then she's headed towards the hatch, her own queries back to Cora apparently hypothetical. "Good night, Cora."

"Coherent sentences, even, and you haven't dropped a single piece of paper on my floor yet," Cora replies with a teasing smirk, "It's like a whole new you." She snickers lightly at the wink and feigns a sulk just for the briefest flash of a second, retorting, "Tease." Then her mug is lifted in farewell and she replies, "Good night, Sawyer."

Just for that? Sawyer sheds a piece of notebook paper on her way out. Tease indeed.

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