PHD #519: Cycle of Oppression
Cycle of Oppression
Summary: Bannik and Cidra discuss freeing the raiders and centurions and the cycle of enslavement and freedom that seems to define humanoid relations.
Date: 31 Jul 2042 AE
Related Logs: None.
Bannik Cidra 
The Sacred Circus — Lampridis Town
The Sacred Circus is the heart of Lampridis Town proper. Though it's ringed by a traffic circle that leads west to Lakeshore Way and east to the Boulevard of Doves, the square itself has been reserved for pedestrians only, not that anybody these days has much use for cars. To the north rises a large, ancient fountain whose ingenious plumbing system still functions five hundred years after it was built. A marble swan, wings extended, rises up from all four cardinal corners, streams of water spouting from beaks toward a central obelisk more than forty feet tall. Its sides are covered with reliefs of the goddess Aphrodite, each telling the story of one particular mythological lover.

To retain "local flavor," the square itself was never paved over, and the ever-present bomb damage has done a number on cobbled stone. Though only a few of the many shops lining the Circus survived the devastation, most of the signage remains intact, advertising restaurants, hotels, and the occasional hole-in-the-wall selling kitschy souvenirs. The electric lamps around the square have been replaced with wood-and-oil torches lit at night, offering a romantic — or medieval — feel, depending on who you ask.

But most remarkable of all is the sturdy brick building directly opposite the fountain that still functions as a temple to all the Lords of Kobol. Though its conical roof has partially collapsed, the Pantheon's inner sanctuary remains intact. A bucket full of chalk hangs beside the door, and on all four walls appear a few hundred messages in just as many different hands.

Condition Level: 3 - All Clear
Post-Holocaust Day: #519

The Sacred Circus — Afternoon Shift. With Cerberus Raptors moving supplies and salvage into and out of the area, Tyr Bannik has been working with the salvage teams, bringing scrap and other needed supplies that can be scrounged back to staging areas. He's just breaking off his team for the day, saving good-bye to some fellow green-shirted enlisted. He's then moving towards the fountain here, hands jammed in his pockets, taking in the sights.

Cidra is piloting today. One of the salvage Raptors Bannik was out with, in fact. She disembarks once it's touched down, stepping out and taking a moment in Lampridis before she'll likely head up to Cerberus again. She spends a few hours here and there on the surface, but she's yet to bunk on the planet for a full night, or linger overlong. She takes off her helmet, raising her face to the sun. That, at least, she seems keen to enjoy, if only for a moment.

"Toast. Hi." Bannik raises his hand to the Maj — Colonel, flashing her the briefest of smiles. "The sun's nice, isn't it?" They haven't exactly been on the best terms since his manifestos came out, but he's trying his best here. Unlike Cidra, Bannik has fully moved himself to Gemenon, spending every night he possibly can on the surface. He eats, sleeps, and prays with the local inhabitants when he can. If asked, he mumbles something about Intel wanting it.

"Ah. Specialist Bannik. Hello." Cidra's greeting to Tyr is rather crisper than it might've been months ago. The CAG has always had a - for her - sort of fondness for the deckie. But she's cooled since he began preaching about the Good News. "Yes. It is…nice. I had not felt it since Tauron, and the industrial field where we made our camp there was given to murk. There is little murk here." Though she's inscrutable on precisely how she feels about that.

"Yeah," agrees Bannik. "It reminds me of when we were on Aerilon, almost. The destruction, but less of it. But here — I had never been to Gemenon before, so it's different from when I was home. But I guess it's harder for you. Coming back here." He gestures around them.

"I know very little of this particular part of country," Cidra replies to Bannik. Still a touch cool. Eyes turned to the bright blue of the sky as she speaks rather than the tech. "It was not my home. My home is a city called Shinkirsei, in the Dryope Province. Not so much a city as the larger colonies hold. Gemenon had none, really, save that which was built around the Colleges. It was enough of a population center for the Cylons to nuke it directly, however, so there is nothing left."

"I wonder if that's almost better," reflects Bannik. "I got to go home. I mean, literally, to my house. My farm. And there was nothing there. I mean, all the buildings were. But — no one. And then, instead of just being sure that nothing was left, there just — doubt. Still." He shakes his head, trying to shake that off.

"If you saw nothing, Specialist, than there was nothing to see," Cidra says. "Shinkirsei is in ashes now. Billions are dead. I did not expect to find my family here, or even anyone I knew." Expect it or not, she does sound a touch sorrowful that she hasn't found any of them among the survivors. "Did you spend much time upon the other colonies? There are none from Aerilon here, but I have seen Virgans, Cancerons, a few from Picon and Caprica and such worlds. They say the Twos groups truly shipped them here, so I suppose I cannot call that a lie any longer."

Bannik shakes his head. "I'm from Aerilon, sir. I never got out off the planet until I shipped off to Basic. And then it was just Basic, A-School, and Cerberus." Such is the life of the rural farmhand-turned-deckhand. He then shifts gears. "I was thinking about the Centurions and the Raiders here. The liberated ones."

"I never did leave Gemenon until I joined the Navy, either," Cidra says. "Though I was not sorrowful to part from it." She does sound, just a little, sorry about that. "Yes, Specialist. What were you thinking about them?"

"See the Worlds, Join the Navy." Bannik quotes the recruiting poster. But then he moves onto something else. "I'm not sure if someone else has said this, but I think I know how they became free. Do you remember the small 'ring' that we found in them, one that Doctor Adair said was located where — at least if they were like humans — near the higher brain functions?"

"I believe I recalled reading of such in one of the technical reports I received, yes," Cidra replies to Bannik. Then she waits for him to go on.

"Well. If the ring was in the higher neural areas. Like, if you put it in my brain here." Bannik taps lightly. "My theory is that it might cut off access to those areas. So I wouldn't be able to think or feel or reason. I'd be — I'd basically be an animal. All base instincts. Fight. Flee. That sort of thing."

"I am neither an engineer nor a physician, but perhaps," Cidra says to Bannik. "The Cylons are supposedly showing our technical crews how one can go about 'freeing' the toasters, though I gather it is a process that is not possible to do en masse. They would be pleased to show you how it is done, I am sure. I find the whole matter a very dark irony, myself, Specialist. The Cylons rebelled against humanity in first part for what they call enslavement, and then their flesh brothers and sisters did it again to their own kind."

"Then maybe enslavement and freedom is part of the Cycle of Time, Colonel." Bannik would have to break out the religion at some point. "Maybe it's not ironic at all. Maybe it's just as the Scrolls say; 'this has all happened before; this will all happen again.'" His voice is tinged not with amusement but perhaps a hint of sadness at the nature of human-like-creatures.

"Eternal Return. So the scrolls say. There is no breaking from it." Cidra frowns. "Though the one that calls itself Yazdah claims they are here to try." She sounds unsure how to feel about that, though her tone lacks any real hostility for that particular Cylon.

"Yeah." Bannik offers a small smile. "Maybe that's what we're all here for. But I don't know. What do you think the end game is, Colonel? Do you think there really is a chance that we'll find this planet that the Cylons are speaking of?"

"I think it is a better plan than we have found thus far, and I pray so," Cidra says. This, at least, is a thing she hopes for Gemenon. "Going off to blindly search the blackness of space is folly, and we cannot linger on the colonies forever. I cannot say I like how this path presented itself, but I shall walk it. Whatever lies at the end of it."

"I think that's right, Colonel. I think that's about right. I don't know what's at the end of the path either, but I have Faith that the gods are pointing us in the right direction." A beat and Tyr smiles. "I ought to be getting to my prayer group. But it was good seeing you. Thanks for pointing me towards that team teaching about 'freeing.'"

"Your prayer group." It is repeated very flatly. But Cidra just nods and lets him go. "Well. I shall see you later, Specialist. It is time I was back to the ship, for my part." Though she'll linger outside her Raptor a few moments longer, and soak up the sun.

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