PHD #149: Captive Audience: Pt. I
Captive Audience: Pt. I
Summary: Tisiphone has visitors of varying temperaments while in the brig.
Date: I'll need to check this. I put off posting these too long. Durr.
Related Logs: Captive Audience Pt. II, Pt. III, Pt. IV.
Coll Tisiphone 
Officer's Brig — Deck 6 — Battlestar Cerberus
Post-Holocaust Day: #149
These pair of cells are roomier than one might expect. Each one is provided individual access by a door at the front, located on the other side of the room from the hatch. Each one essentially an armored glass cage, this area is walked and guarded by Marines day and night. Privacy not being a huge concern for prisoners, inside the cell is a single bunk and toilet in full view with nothing else. All visitors must sign-in with the Marine at the desk. Cameras are located at the entrance and on the cell itself, everything recorded onto disk in the Security Hub.
Condition Level: 3 — All Clear

Junior Lieutenant Apostolos's current situation may well be proof that the God(dess/let) of Irony exists — not only is she housed beside a suspected skinjob, but her cell is the same one she tried to shoot through, not days before.

The skinjob cooties linger. This she knows. KNOWS.

The bullet-cracked panel has yet to be replaced, though the other panels provide more than enough view of the prisoner within. She's stretched out on the cell bunk in her fatigues, her tank-top pushed up on her pale stomach as she absently scratches near the swath of bandages over her healing bullet-wound. Her other arm's folded under her head, attention fixed on some remote point through the ceiling.

Coll doesn't have a gun to tote around so checking through security is a pretty straightforward issue. Even with the New and Improved QuickPatdown(tm)! She's in her duty greens but that nasty Y-shaped red scar across her neck is new since the last time Tisiphone probably saw her. That must've hurt. She approaches the glass and nods to the woman within as she stops at one of the little hamster-style breathing holes in the glass enclosure. "Sir. …" The Crewman seems like she hesitates before continuing. "I'm not here to fight, sir. Wanted to talk for a few minutes if that's acceptable?"

The commotion of a guest — for with two 'guests' of the Officer's Brig as well-behaved as these two are acting, currently, nearly everything counts as a commotion — brings Tisiphone's attention down and over, head tipping a bit to the side so she can see more clearly over her arm. Pale brows lift in wary surprise. "Sure as shit not doing anything else," she says, after a few seconds of appraisal. With a pained grunt she swings her legs off the bunk and sits up, hands curled at the edge of the thin mattress. "Don't think you need to 'sir' me. Not sure I /am/ one, anymore."

Coll gives it a little shrug. "Its something I need to practice anyway, sir." Ain't that the truth. She comes to a relaxed parade rest and takes a deep breath. "Sir, I wanted to ask you about why you shot at the Cylon." There's a glances to the cameras. "I mean, as much as you're willing to say. I don't want to get you in any more trouble, sir." There seems to be more to say but she holds it back for now.

There are a pair of crutches stacked next to the bunk, which Tisiphone grabs and levers herself up with. She hobbles over the few steps to the edge of the cell, stacks the crutches against the corner, then leans her shoulder against the glass. Now and again she'll gingerly flex her wounded leg, eyelids flinching at the corners when she does. "Man, if they're gonna put me up against the wall for trying to kill a Cylon, there's /nothing/ those cameras are gonna pick up that will do me any worse." She flips an almost light-hearted middle finger at the nearest one before her hand drops back to her pocket. "I don't even- what's there to say? It shouldn't have been alive in the first place. Not- tucked in with nice sheets like some kind of- /honoured guest/. It needed to be done. And I-" Her mouth curls, sourly, as she stares at the useless bulletholes in the glass. "And I cocked it up."

Lauren listens in silence, watching Tis move about the cell. She even gives a weak smile to the middle finger for the camera. "For what its worth, sir, I agree with you. It sounds like maybe you've got more religious motivations, though." She looks away and drops her eyes to the space between them. "I know you didn't do it for me or anywhere near such a rediculous reason, but I wanted to say 'thank you' for trying. It needed to happen." Her eyes lift once more to glance at the brigged officer.

"I was sure the AP rounds would do it. Even bullet-proof glass isn't perfect. They were cracking the windshields on the APCs during- back home all the time." So much for THAT, Tisiphone's sour twist of mouth says. She rests her head against the glass with a soft THUMP, eyes lifted to Coll's. "'Religious motivations'?" she echoes, with a sudden, feral, humourless grin. "Yeah," she says. "Yeah. You could say that. It's a frakking abomination. It's- man, I can't even /explain/ it, if you don't understand it already. If you don't feel it in the pit of your heart every time you have to look at one. Every time we- coddle one. It has secrets? Twist its frakking fingers off until it gives them, don't frakking /ask it nicely/." Ethical treatment of imprisoned combatants, wot? "But. You're right." She sighs. "You're right. It needed to happen. And if- if the price was me for it, then so be it."

"I think we have our own reasons. I'd guess most of those funnel back to what they've done to our families and people. Seeing them like that just makes it all the worse." Lauren's distracted by something. And its something that is disturbing her down deep. Very deep. "I..don't know how to deal with prisoners. But apparently it all worked. Whatever they did. I just feel bad because you shouldn't have to sit here when that thing killed itself last night. For good. It said it would die permanantly where it was."

"Down on Leonis, you know? The first- Eleven we saw. There were three of us- Sagittarans there. It took our accent, named itself like one of us. Wore a headscarf like it was back on the homeworld. It knew what it was doing. And it worked- we stood here talking to it, until we were surrounded. And then?" Tisiphone snaps her fingers, loudly and sharply. "Accent? Gone. Kind little words? Gone. Leave now or I kill you. Danced around like frakking puppets to exactly where it wanted us." Disgust is written plain and clear across the pilots face, as is disappointment and scorn. "Whatever it told us, while it was here. It won't be any different. We're doing the dirty work of something that destroyed us."

She would have made a good suicide bomber, once upon an Insurgency ago. Then again, considering the Air Wing's recent luck, they're /all/ suicide bombers, just waiting to happen.

"You were there when it said that?" Tisiphone straightens a little to look at Coll more directly, and much more intently. "That's what it said? Why permanently?"

Lauren listens to the officer talk about Leonis. There's no sadness or sympathy there. Coll was there for forty-eight hours and an important part of her died on that planet. "Whatever dirty work it has us doing, it certainly had no qualms about destroying its own. Whatever it did? Words spreading, sir. Rumor has it the fleet took down eight basestars. Didn't see it personally myself. Something about a turkeyshoot for the air wing, too. Hundreds of Raiders. Bought us enough time to put an assault team onto this weird station they had. We got into a big firefight. Found.." She looks like she might twitch but shakes the feeling away. "We eventually ran into that thing. It was hooked up to a bathtub or something. It said a lot of things. Namely, it blew up the whole station after we got off. Gave Engineering something to bring home."

"Bathtub?" Tisiphone looks down for a moment, rubbing slowly at her injured leg as she flexes it up, holds it a few seconds, then straightens it again. "Like- a… frak, I don't even know how to- like a clone farm? Like- spare parts. Vats of organs? Vivisected bodies? Like- that? We found something like that on Leonis. It was…" She trails off to a helpless shrug, much the same as Coll did. There aren't any words for it, other than wrong. "Eight Basestars out of how many? It doesn't-" She stops herself with another shrug, more tense than the one before. "Maybe destroying the station will be worth it. I guess it's all you can hope for."

"Most of the tubs were empty. She was the only one in this big room full of them. It looks like a CIC or something, sir. It was pretty weird." The part about vivisected bodies gets a very stone expression from Lauren, though. But her skin loses its color. Even that nasty red scar fades a touch. "You found something like that on Leonis?" she deadpans. Her breath quickens for a moment. Whatever she saw scared the hell out of her. "We found something like that, too, sir." Distracted again for a moment, her attention drops to her hip as she reaches in to remove a set of dogtags, holding them open for Tisiphone to read in her palm. "I found these around the neck of a Centurian. A Centurian that warned us about incoming Centurians. And then engaged the enemy on our behalf. I- Sir." She looks up from the dogtags to Tisiphone. This is what has her so disturbed.

As Coll explains further, Tisiphone frowns, not seeming as convinced their horrific discoveries were one and the same. "Rutger Tower was- full of bodies," she says. "Floors and floors of them. Maybe it was- different. But…" She trails off at the soft jangle of dogtags, looking from them, to Coll, and back again at the story surrounding them. "On a Centurion." It has to be repeated, simply to try and fathom what it is that's being said. "It- spoke? You know-" Without thinking, she reaches for the tags. Her fingers are jarred against the glass and she shakes her hand sharply with a snort, dropping her hand back down to her pocket. "There was a facility- a human research facility- on Leonis. MolGen Labs. They were trying to… upload?… human minds into Centurions. Supposedly to figure out how best to destroy them." Her mouth twists as she runs her tongue around her teeth and prods thoughtfully at one tooth. "Whose idea was it first?" she asks Coll. Rhetorical question time.

If the Crewman on the other side of the glass looked a little unnerved by the line of discussion, she's near terrified when Tisi finishes. Something just made a little too much sense in her mind. She's breathing heavily, wide eyes suddenly looking around the floor - searching in vain for something that can't be found: safety. "My Gods," she gasps. Fingers curl around those tags while the chain dangles free in her weak, nerve-damaged fist. Lauren tries to go on but she can't as her eyes meet Tis' once more. She's seen something that couldn't be explained or confirmed until now. "Gods help us all.." she breathes, backing away from the glass.

And just /where/ does one find safety when you know there is none? The only option becomes to make your own — to claw it out like a beast making its burrow. Starting, perhaps, with the death of one (1) abomination. The irony of Tisiphone's situation continues with Coll standing there before her, the two of them understanding all too well just how profoundly messed-up everything is. "We're so frakked, man," she says, smiling that wide, hopeless, mirthless smile again. "We're. So. Frakked. Until someone besides us- us useless frakking cogs that can't do anything but what we're told to do- gets it into their heads it's time to turn and /leave/. We're just gonna find more and more of this- nightmare. It's all that's left for us here."

Coll just -stares- at Tisiphone, barely understanding what she is saying while her own thoughts and horrific ideas about the future manifest in her imagination. Wide eyes travel back to the dog tags as she backs into the wall on accident. Frakked. The Jig is right. Oh Gods. "The Cylon I took these off of. The Centurian? It killed the last enemy Centurian with its own machinegun fire. Then it looked at me. I- I was sighting it down with my Karlstov but I didn't fire." Those wide, scared eyes look back to Tis. "It put its gun arm to its head. I shouted the name on the tags and I swear to the Gods, it recognized the name. Told it to drop the gun. It- Gods, sir," she gasps. "It shook its head like it just couldn't live with itself anymore. It just killed itself right there."

And Tisiphone just stares. No real expression to think of, just those wide, pale eyes absorbing the deckie's words, intonations, and reactions. Finally, she looks down at the ground, shaking her head oh-so-faintly. "Maybe all the Centurions we've fought have been, y'know, the minds of the survivors from whatever planet they're on. Wouldn't /that/ be a frakking trip." She snorts softly, and wincingly lowers herself to the ground, wounded leg stretched in front of her, the other drawn to her chest, arms wrapped around her shin. "Were you able to bring that one back?" she wonders at length.

That's another horrible thought. "They mean to enslave us to them," she breathes. Trapped in a Centurian body, the mind free to think? Actions are uncontrolled? Coll looks like she is going to be sick. "To kill more of our own. To work for them." Lauren bends a bit at the knees, looking weak. To Tisiphone's last, there's just a gentle shake of her head as she stares at the floor, then the tags in her hand.

"Sit down if you're going to faint," comes a bit of pragmaticism from Tisiphone. "Less of a drop that way." Any bets on whether the pilot would catch Coll or watch her fall remain off the table due to the panels of bulletproof glass between them. "I had my fits about this on Leonis," she says, resting the edge of her shorn scalp against the glass. "It's down so deep now that I can't even- barely explain it anymore. Either you get it or you don't. If it doesn't already sicken you, it never will." She looks over after a time and asks, out of no where, "What happened to your neck?"

Coll does as she's told, the woman operating on autopilot. She sinks to her rear, sliding down the wall. The implications are staggering. It looks like Coll has taken peer over the edge and into the abyss. Except this time what stares back is hell itself. She only nods in understanding with Tis' comments. She gets it. More than she ever wanted to. Its enough to drive someone to..well. Murder. If one can even murder a machine. Lauren finally blinks a few times and looks up to the Jig. Her free hand lifts to her neck a bit self-conciously. "Uh, wounded, sir." Duh. "Station assault when I guess we captured that Eleven. Her drones shot me when I was trying to drag Crewman Wolfe out of the gunfire. Clipped a few nerve clusters and nearly killed me. Three days from flight qualification finals, sir. That thing ended any potential flight career I had left in me." Ouch. Dreams shattered. Another casualty to the war.

"One frak of a scar." Tisiphone brings her free hand up and scrubs back and forth at her scalp before leaving her hand curled loosely against the back of her neck. "She wasn't so interested in helping us out when /that/ happened to you, was she?" she points out with a touch of bitterness. It's not too strong, though; she knows she's preaching to the choir. "Three days out from quals? Think I'd spend a long day dying to get my hands around its neck, too." Her eyes close for a moment, expression wan and drawn.

Lauren looks to the side. The scar is probably not something she is proud of. Probably a point of embarassment. "Look in the mirror every day and it reminds me that I'm not flying," she says quietly. "Yeah. Frakking bitch never gave a good explanation why that I heard about. She tried to apologize last night. There's nothing that will ever make me forgive it for what it did to me." She lifts those eyes once more back to Tis. Its the anger that the officer is probably used to seeing from her - though this time not directed at Tisiphone. "If our boarding team hadn't been standing over its damned bathtub I would have blown it up myself. Even had a rifle in my face for the threat of it." Coll looks like a ticking timebomb at this point, face contorted with anger. Gods know what the hell is going to happen when she hits zero.

Tisiphone, perverse Saggie that she is, probably sees scars as badges of honour. Then again, maybe she'd think differently if she had one staring at her every time she looked in the mirror. "Cold comfort for it to blow the station up around it, rather than getting to do it yourself, too." Some things are just so much better, done with your own hands, after all. She rubs at her leg for a moment, then coughs once, tightly. "I think I need to lay down again," she says, and starts pulling herself back up to her feet. "I wish-" she says as she does, sounding like her teeth are set, "-there was something- mmf." That hurt. "Something to say here. But we- both know there's frakking nothing to say that'll- make things better."

"Nothing would have made me happier than to turn my fingers around its frakking neck and squeeze till the bolts popped out," she growls. "Too bad one of my hands wouldn't be up to the task thanks to that particular eleven." Lauren is righteously pissed off. This is probably a topic she tries to avoid on purpose, but can't once its taken its hold. Watching Tisiphone move back to bed, Coll rises from her seat. "Nothing to say. Just do." The 31-year old Crewman wants blood. Synthetic blood. And lots of it. "Well at least we found something we can agree on, sir." She takes one last breath and looks towards the hatch. "Anyhow, I've said what I needed to. Here's hoping you're back in the cockpit soon, sir." Lauren tucks a quick salute to the woman in parting.

"I'll try to- remember this next time we're- out for eachother's throats," Tisiphone says, managing a wry snort as she grabs her crutches and hobbles herself back toward her bunk. Easing herself back down onto the thin mattress, she looks over. "Here's hoping they let me, man." Her mouth tightens as one corner twists up. It's not an optimistic expression. "Here's hoping." She raises her knuckles to her temple in a return salute-of-sorts, before wincingly stretching out again.

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