PHD #341: Derelict My Theories
Derelict My Theories
Summary: Marko, Sofia, Leyla, and Van sit in the same room. Theories explode everywhere.
Date: 02 Feb 2042
Related Logs: Everything. Just..everything.
Leyla Marko Sofia McManus Evandreus Vandenberg 
Behind the two hangar decks, the Cerberus' Galley is the largest room on the ship. Nearly half the size of a football field, the eating area is made up of long lines of stainless steel tables that can be folded up and placed against the wall for larger events. Individual seats are the standard military issue, boring and grey with lowest-bidder padding. The line for food stretches across one of the shorter sides of the room while the kitchen behind works nearly twenty-four hours a day to produce either full meals or overnight snacks and coffee for the late shifts.
Post-Holocaust Day: #341

Later into the evening, after most of the dinner crowd has come and gone, Vandenberg occupies a lone table. She's in her black combat boots and battlepants, but that's where the uniform ends. She's got the short sleeves rolled up on a grungy old t-shirt that fits her like a glove. Its from some concert series near about a dozen years ago from one of those arena rock bands that only sappy middle aged people listen to for memories of their youth. People like Vandenberg. There's a pair of music player earbuds hanging out of the front collar of the shirt and a red do-rag on her head. Those Lieutenant's pins are haphazardly attached to the shirt by her neck. She's covered in dried sweat. A mostly finished sammich occupies the tray in front of her with a cup of purple bug juice. The smoke in her hands wafts its smell into the air over her head as she stares at the empty void ahead of her.

Evandreus is sad to see the jello's gone, but there are a couple of small bowls of his favorite fossilized fruitbits left, so he swipes a pair of them, and then— an eyebrow quirked, he eyes the bug juice basin. Purple? Where's Red? The Red is the Life, Master. Lips screw to one side and he tentatively puts his yellow water bottle underneath the spigot, filling it up. Purple. Peh. This is not Bunny's day.

Sofia is just coming off the lunch tray line. She wanders the invisible line that divides the galley, though ranks mingle and people might chatter. She's in greens and seems to be in a good mood. She hums softly and peers around. Is that Vandenberg? She wanders over, half-sneaking. It's a curious approach.

Natalie looks up from her blank stare at the sneaky snipe approach. She flickers a quick smile and ashes the smoke onto the tray. "Well, well. Specialist Wolfe." The woman's sing-song Cancerian accent seems to brighten her words. "Thought I would tell you that your team did a stellar job with that explosives rig. Just spectaular. I can't wait to see it go off. Booosh! Fireworks deluxe."

Evandreus screws the cap back onto his water bottle and sets it on top of his tray, the purple inside sloshing against this side and then that while he lifts it to bellybutton height and turns, scouting out suitable social prey. Vandy. He doesn't exactly sneak; he nearly prowls. Someone must have put something in the water.

A pause and a smile at Natalie. "Hello there. And yeah? I saw it. I wasn't on it too much," She admits. Sofia pauses. "I was more testing stuff and getting torches," She grins. There's a smile. "You're big on explosives sir?" She doesn't seem aware of Evandreus coming up until - a glance over her shoulder. "Oh!"

Natalie glances away from Sofia for a moment and see's evan on the approach. Her smile turns more friendly. Warmer, even. "My cuddlebunny. Come keep me company. Pardon my sweat, though." She winks, swinging an ankle around a chair beside her and slipping it out. Her attention falls back to the snipe as she takes a drag on her smoke. "Eh. I'm a Marine. Things go boom, Marines or Air Wing are usually involved somehow. But I get a kick out of them. Are you planning to volunteer for the mission?"

Evandreus pops his eyebrows upward toward Sofia as he surprises her, sliding his tray haphazardly onto the table, his water bottle falling in its side— fortunately with the lid screwed on tight. He straddles a seat by Natalie and pulls her close to him for a squeeze. "Vandypants," he pecks her cheek with a smooch and then grimaces, wiping his lips off. "Eugh," he teases. "You are a little… moist."

Awww. Friends. Sofia looks a little awkward though, kind of shying back - perhaps grasping that she might be intruding. "Psh, I thought that was engineering," She winks and smiles. There's a shrug. "I will throw my name in the hat but I suspect the list is a mile long easy," She notes quietly. She looks over her shoulder, perhaps considering escape. "I um, what's up sir?"

McManus has arrived.

Vandenberg doesn't fight the squeeze. She grins, turning her eyes towards the ceiling as he presses that kiss to her. Its an image out of a photo of friends. "Yes, but I'm drying off. Hang me out a window for a few minutes and I'm tiptop. You look crisp as usual. Fancy that, aye?" She nudges him with her elbow and looks to Sofia once more, swinging her cigarette at the woman. "List ain't long. We're only taking three squads in and a few Engineers. Or Deck Swabs. Seems most people would rather watch this thing from a distance." Her eyes brighten and she leans in a little closer to the two. "Hey, I heard the rumors. Glanced at the AAR. You know anything about that ship they found floatin in the middle of nowhere? The one people're sayin is from Kobol?"

Evandreus stays sitting sideways, but twists his back to grin over across at Sofia, a warm and inviting expression even as he picks up his water bottle and uncaps it, swigging at the purple stuff until it's a good quarter gone. "Crunchy," he assents. "Yeah, it was on this huge elliptical orbit— massive; must have been drifting an age and a quarter to fall into a pattern like that."

Sofia just smiles politely, trying not to intrude on the moment. She looks like she might actually bolt and hide. Then a pause. Her eyes go blank at Van's question. "Yes'm," She nods. "What rumors? There's so many… it's like a stew…" She notes quietly. Though, she is quiet for the moment and might sit at the next table over.

McManus fetches his food from the line, easing his way around the tables with his tray for a spot to sit and eat the massive pile. Noticing at least one face he knows, he gives Vandenberg a polite nod and a "Sir," as he eases into the seat across from her and her apparently friendly companion. The shirt isn't mentioned, but it /is/ eyeballed.

"Get the frak out. Seriously? An orbit that big? That's freaking awesome. You heard about the photos the crew took? I ain't seen em but I heard there was drawings. Yeah?" Van is looking for confirmation to the gossip as a grinned glances is aimed at Sofia. Then a doubletake at the nervous energy. "Holy shit, you know something." There's a pensive puff of her smoke as The Hulk sits down. She aims her smile up at him and chuckles. "You a fan of the band?" Hard to miss the name on the front.

"Seriously," Evan affirms, "There are pictures. Women and animals and such," he can attest to that much, at least. He tilts his head doggishly at Sofia as she edges off elsewhere, wondering why she's not sitting down with them, extending a big doe-eyed invitation before his eyes are drawn to the PO just settling in.

A polite smile at McManus. She nods at the medic, happy to see another familiar face. Sofia is quiet at the conversation. "I know things. I'm sure others know more," She shrugs. There's a pause at Evandreus and a questioning look. It's okay? Cautiously, she'll … accept. Very carefully as if about to park her butt on a land mine. "How are you?" She asks quietly.

"Only for karaoke, sir," McManus admits with a shy smile, taking up his fork and attacking the Great Mound of Food(tm) he's managed to acquire. "I only really know their hits. Anything that hit the charts." He does pause in eating, though, to look to Evan thoughtfully, appraisingly. "Pictures, sir? I know a little about art, if it helps?"

"What're the pictures of? Like, families? I don't understand. Things on the wall?" Natalie looks confused, though highly intruiged. This brings her back to Sofia. "So what do you know, then? I think we could judge about whether or not this is known by all or more, right?" Sneaky wench! Though its not like she's in uniform. She couldn't order McManus to get her a cup of coffee if she wanted to. The Marine 'officer' leans back in the chair, ashing the smoke on her tray and props a knee against the table and looks at McManus. "Frak yeah, karaoke. Nah, I'm the same way. Big sodding fangirl. I actually took leave time to catch this concert on Picon at the Minerva Ampitheater. It was essentially the definition of glorious. Only time I've been high." Right. Only time.

Evandreus is being appraised. By an art major who looks like he could break him in half with his pinky. It takes Evan just a moment or two to parse that situation, but he breaks out of the momentary perplexity with a burbling of almost uncontrolled laughter. "Man. This purple isn't bad," he notes, somewhat off-topic. "No, it's like… drawings. Of women, animals, you know. A ram, some fish, a bull."

McManus has left.

A softly sad look. "About the knife? Where it was found? Who used it? It's hard to say. I'm not sure what I am allowed to say and what I am not. I feel strange about it personally. I'm a bit sad it was given away," A shrug at that. But people - well, the call was made. She seems amused by the talk of the band and such. She looks to E and the others. "We found it hidden. First of all. A mithraic cult of Zeus it seemed. The Sisters might know more about that," She remarks quietly. Sofia shrugs. "It's - a really long, weird story." She seems uncomfortable.

Marko has arrived.
Evandreus has disconnected.

Vandenberg let's the smoke burn while she listens to Evan, an even smile while her friend talks. Something catches at the end before Evan has to get up and leave. "A ram. Fish. A bull?" She blinks. "Where the hell-" Then Sofia speaks up. A knife. Instantly, Van is full awake and has her eyes locked on the Snipe. "Are you talking about the knife that the Marine Major gave to the Cylons?" She -carefully- rises from her slouch and leans towards Sofia. "Specialist Wolfe, what do you know about the knife?" If she was uncomfortable before, this might be about twenty times worse.

Her gaze is blank and distant. "It was to point the way. We found it in a mural of a bull having its throat cut." Mithraic. "Mithraic she said…" Sofia mumbles. She's really uncomfortable now and fidgets. "The horrible Five and us… if rumors are true, we all shared those visions," Her eyes fall to the table. "Well, let me start. What do you know about it?" She asks quietly. She is talking quietly to Vandenberg and Evandreus.

Marko meanders into the galley with a small sheaf of printouts in his hands. Reading steadily, he makes his way down the serving line, stops at the bug juice dispenser to fill his mug and somehow manages to navigate to a seat not too far from where Vandenberg, Evan and Sofia sit.

Vandenberg is hanging on every word while the cigarette burns down towards the filter. She's nearly boring holes into the poor Specialist. "I know a lot. I have orders from Fleet Command to investigate the importance of the knife to the Cylons and I've been hitting stone walls with it." The Marine looks like she might jump out of her chair. "This-" She stabs a finger into the table, devoiding the nail of any color with the pressure behind it. "This is the same knife that the Marines handed over. This is the same knife that was found on Tauron. This is the same knife that is supposed to point the way to some kind of path that the Cylons are trying to follow that came from an ancient Mithraic cult." Vandenberg is nearly breathless. "How- how do you know about the path? Have you been talking to the Sister about my investigation?" She missed the part about the vision.

There's a pause. Sofia seems to zone out or detach herself under pressure. There's a slow nod. "Yes," Sofia states quietly. Then a giggle at Van. "She was there… when we went. When we found it. I was there. We saw it," She states simply. "It is the same knife. I was pained to hear the news. But I can see why she would do it perhaps. Still…" A shrug. "We all saw it, or was it just me?" Sofia seems baffled and unable to tell. "Are you investigating it alone?" She peers over. "That must be tough."

Marko eats methodically, almost mechanically as he continues to go through his papers, uttering the occasional muttered curse or moue of surprise. If there's other people in the room, it'd be news to him.

Vandenberg stares at Sofia. "Who was there? You mentioned a Five." Her accent is clipped and precise. She ignores the question about who she might be partnered with. "Wolfe, this line of investigation has massive strategic implications. I need you to be absolutely clear with me. Are you saying that a Cylon Model Five was with you in some manner when you found this knife?" She stares right at the woman. "A Cylon Five was the one who demanded we hand over the knife and turn over our Five prisoner. I frakking shot a Model Five on Tauron that was investigating a Mithraic Bull cult." Things are starting to come together more. "Wolfe," her voice rises. Probably enough to cut across a little more of the room than just their table. "Have you run into a bull anyplace else recently? In your visions? You mentioned the finding this knife under a picture or painting? Where?"

Leyla has arrived.

"Not besides the painting, no," Sofia states blankly. "We both perhaps, had similar visions. I was shocked to hear her talk about things I'd dreamed about. Did others see it too? I saw Miss Sawyer there and others…" She trails off and looks to Vandenberg. "I don't remember seeing her, besides the time they were destroying stuff," She shakes her head. "But the prisoner talked about things like bulls and snakes. We saw bulls and snakes," She notes quietly. "And it was - in this mural - carving on the wall," Sofia quietly recounts as best as she can. "We had found … in the museum … we think they had a cult there - with Zeus and the bull," She shakes her head. "It's kinda blurring together honestly."

Vandenberg's long forgotten cigarette cherry finally reaches her fingers. She simply drops it to the tray with a spread of her fingers. "You had visions including a Five and you talked to the Five in our brig. I know what she said about the sparrows and the serpents. You- you saw this stuff in a vision with other people? And you-" Van stops herself. Don't blame the snipe. She didn't know. "You found the cult of Zeus the Bull? And you found the knife there in this cult.. in a museum? The museum of Knossos???" Vandenberg nearly blurts it.

A headshake. "I told you I didn't see Five. Only that I was shocked we saw the same things," She notes. Sofia frowns. "I saw other people. Did they have visions too?" Sofia's never talked to Sawyer or anyone about it. "I was proud of Sawyer … for what she did," She notes quietly. She looks over and nods. "We had your CO when we found the knife. And yes, it was well hidden. We were lucky to find it. I was shocked she turned it over after all that, like I said. But. People have a value too," And it might well be more than an unknown knife.

Vandenberg shakes the idea of the five from her mind. "I don't know about visions. This is the first I've heard of it. I thought this was a cold case, too. Oh my Gods." And Madilyn -found- it? For the love of the- "People are valuable but this might have been worth the risk. Did- You talked to this five. I've been trying to hunt down something and nobody knows what I'm talking about. Were you the one who gave sketchbooks to the Cylons?"

It hasn't been but a few hours, since Leyla was last in the galley. The time before, she was actually here for a meal. This time, armed with her laptop under her arm and a tubular case for papers, she seems intent on looking over the heads of everyone sitting down to their meal until she finds the one she wants. Once she's settled in on the one she wants, she's off, approaching the table at which Marko is sitting, not far from the Sofa and her companion. She does take the time to pull out a text from her laptop bag though, well-loved and dog-earred.

Marko continues scarfing down his food, blissfully oblivious to the poor snipe who's getting the hairy eyeball from Vandenburg and anything they might be saying. Anyone who cares to try and get a glance at the papers he's going through would understand why, they're covered with the damndest bits of number fields and mathematical equations.

Sofia freezes at Van's last line. "Perhaps it was. I cannot say." She shrugs. Then nods slowly. "Only because Miss Eleven mentioned liking art, which struck me as odd. CMC does have copies of her stuff. As far as Five's art, I don't know if she did anything. She just mentioned wanting some ink," She notes quietly. "I felt that if WE left artistic records, perhaps theirs would tell me something too," She shrugs and goes quiet. For now, she looks between Marko and Leyla now, as if to avoid the gaze.

"Godsdamnit, O'Hare!" Vandenberg grumbles. She yanks the red do-rag off her head and throws it with some force onto her tray. "Are you serious!" Its not so much a question as an affirmation. She runs her hands through her hair and leans back with the same force into the chair, squeeking it against the floor. "Just frakking brilliant. I swear, I'm going to.. GRR!" Wonderful. She sighs, deflating. "Okay, so you found this temple on Tauron. With a knife under a picture of a bull - which I'm assuming was Zeus the bull. Was the bull having its throat cut by any chance?" Its not hard to overhear them from a table or so away. Van's frustrated.

Good thing Marko's known for not eating on top of his paperwork, or else he'd stab himself a piece of old book cover, as Leyla's hand sets the book down right on top of the numbers he's been pouring over. The cover is bright and cheerful, with a cartoon figure pointing a single finger upwards in an 'ah'hah!' gesture. The letters are also big and bold and cartoony. 'Physics for Dunces.' The loudness of the marine's voice isn't hard to miss, and Leyla knowing one, but not the other, looks up and over, "Sofia. Lieutenant." But she clearly doesn't seem intent on interrupting their conversation.

Marko blinkblinks, pausing his fork about two inches from his open mouth as his eyes register the presence of the book, and, eventually, Leyla, Vandenburg and Sofia. "Huh?" he replies eloquently, starting to blush as he comes out of his own brain space.

"It was," Sofia remarks quietly. "I honestly wouldn't fault him much. Most people were very skeptical," She points out. "And I have Eleven's Sketchbook. She said I should see it before she died," Sofia seems faintly saddened. "There should be copies in the CMC," She adds. "I would be shocked if no one was researching that knife," She admits. She smiles politely at Marko and Leyla. "Hello there. I'm not sure if Five ever used the paper." She shrugs. "She … didn't seem to hate me … quite as much. Still lots of hate, and she's freaking scary." Sofia seems uneasy. Definitely no sympathy there.

Vandenberg nods to the passing Raptor crewmember. "Lieutenant. Evenin' to ya." She then turrets her eyes back to Sofia. "Great. And the knife points the way." Vandenberg digs into her cargo pockets and reaches for another smoke. "Check this out, Wolfe: That knife? The bull is supposed to point the way for migration when the knife is used to kill it. The mithraic cult that you kept mentioning is monotheistic - just like the Cylons. My theory is that they Cylons are trying to find the path to migration and they may have gotten a key piece of it. Do you know if anyone took photos of that picture in the museum? Where you found the knife?" Evidence. She needs it.

"I figured it might be a nice shortcut for you, Flasher, since you seem to have missed sleeping," but not eating, so that's a plus, "Since you started going over those numbers." the laptop gets set down at the empty place beside her ECO, as well as the tube case. "I thought I'd try to give you a little less to pour over. Your calculations weren't wrong. Just the big picture was a little bit off." A glance over, as Leyla can't really avoid hearing the conversation just across the way, but politeness keeps her out of things. Focus on what you know.

"Oh, heh, sorry…I've been going over and over them and you're right, I did find more than a few errors." Marko admits, putting his fork down as if he just discovered how disgusting the dark-green mass of leafy-like substance impaled on it's tines really is. "So, what did you find with your superior training in such mattes?" he asks eagerly, even nudging out a seat opposite for her to take. The conversation between Vandenberg and Sofia is noted, but not commented on, yet.

Sofia is quiet. "Yes, I was sad when I heard the knife was handed over. And a bit worried." It might not go well if the Cylons beat them to it right? She shrugs and looks over. "You might ask Miss Sawyer, but I'd be careful messing with the civilians too much. I heard things were tense," She remarks quietly. "If you want to see Eleven's art sometime, just let me know. Like I said, please don't blame O'Hare too much. The copies may just have been quietly filed under 'interesting but useless'," She smiles wryly, sadly. "I hope I did not speak too loudly here. I should get some sleep and get to shift."

"But you weren't able to remove the four error points in the ship's orbit, am I right?" Which she is, since she's also gone over the numbers and Marko's simulation. "The problem, is you keep thinking about the vessel as a ship. And in the grand cosmic scene of things, it isn't one. Not anymore, anyway." Leyla retrieves the tube, pulling out some portable starcharts, none, of which, unfortunately, are marked with recognizable numbers. Rather, they're marked with the shorthand code she and Flasher use when they're 'talking amongst themselves'.

"Yeah, the wobbles and start-stops that don't add up." Marko replies, nodding. "So you found the…" he starts to ask and then starts going through the charts one by one. "Oh frak me…" he sighs, slapping his forehead with the palm of one hand. "Please, Gods." he says in mock supplication, steepling his fingers as if in prayer. "Tell me I'm not that stupid."

"Yeah, bet your ass I'm going to talk to Averies. Let me worry about the civilians." Especially since she is the one who keeps beating the shit out of them. "But yeah, have that artwork ready. I'll come find you sometime before the operation. I need to get this information confirmed and written down in case I die." Ever practical, she finally lights a cigarette and leans forward. "Okay, yeah. Head off. Sorry to keep you engaged like that, Wolfe. You just totally blew my mind. Thanks." Van picks up the red rag and presses it to her face as she leans forward. Frustration mounting.

"Right." She doesn't bother commenting on whether Marko is stupid or not. Clearly he isn't, or he wouldn't still be her ECO. "It's been dead and adrift for who knows how long. For all intents and purposes, it's a comet, albeit a man-made one. With the ends of its orbit here," she indicates one point on the map, "and here," indicating the other. "It's the first law of gravity. The orbit of every planet is an ellipse with it's governing star as one of its foci. The same thing applies to comets." She stops there, giving Marko time to ask questions if he's so inclined.

"Okie dokey," Sofia smiles faintly. "That sounds good. And it's … alright. It's kind of mind bending. I really don't know if I believe half of it or if I've snapped again," A sigh. Sofia shrugs and smiles. "Let me know when then. I'll be around," She murmurs. She waves and takes her tray to meander along.

"Gotcha. Thanks, Wolfe." Its spoken through the red rag, waggling her fingers blindly at the departing snipe. The woman dressed far out of uniform slinks back in her chair and sighs, letting the rag fall down onto her. She reaches into her pocket for a radio and makes a call: "Hey, this is Dog. I'll be coming off break in a few. Bring you guys anything?" The radio crackles a few seconds later with a request for coffee. She hits the button twice in response and looks around, settling on Leyla and Marko. A throat clearing later, "Hey, sorry if that was kinda loud. I get that way when I- well yeah. Just ignore whatever you heard. Command doesn't buy any of it." Yet.

"No worries, Lieutenant." Marko replies, shaking his head a little to clear it before taking up one of the charts where Leyla's drawn a corrected orbit in red grease pencil, tracing his finger along it's edge. "I've been in my own little world since I came in." he admits with a rueful chuckle. "Damn, Sweet Pea…..that's it exactly." he sighs, shaking his head, admiration in his voice. "It all makes sense now." he says quietly. "See?" he grins to Leyla. "This is why you're an astrophysicist and I'm not." he chuckles.

"It's not an uncommon occurrence, if it's any consolation," is Leyla's answer to Vandenberg. "You know the old saying, 'There are none so blind as those who will not see.' I won't be passing it along." A nod, to Marko, "Your original plotting was too far over on the X-axis. That's why you were fighting with two periapsis points." She indicates the two original points, marked in the orbit done in black grease pencil. "This is the foci of this orbit. My hypothesis, is that this star here," the one no longer in the 'comet's' orbit, "is strong enough for its tidal effects to account for the eccentricities in the ship's orbit, but not enough to overcome the gravitational pull of its foci."

Van dips her head to Marko. "Heh. Glad that wasn't too bad." She slowly rises from her chair and sets the radio on the table while she reties the do-rag. Though she chuckles at Leyla's response. "No kidding. I'm probably chasing snow in a white sand desert, anyway. Just a lot of weird coincidences." She sniffs and picks up the radio. "Well if you run into and Bulls and Knives or references to human migration, Tauron or Gemenon in your travels, come hunt down el-tee Vandenberg." She winks at them and taps the radio antenna to her temple in salute and turns away with her tray.

Marko nods slowly, peering at the charts. "That explains most of it, yes." Marko replies, then pauses as something Vandenburg just said penetrates. "Wait, Lieutenant….I dunno how much I can tell you or you can tell me, but let's assume we have to play things close. You said something about human migration?" he asks thoughtfully, giving a warning look to Leyla. Thoughful ECO is thoughtful!

Leyla shrugs. She's not going to argue with her ECO, not in public. Especially not when he already knows the restrictions placed on himself as well as on Leyla, in terms of the information they're working on. "Give me a sec, going to grab a snack." Although she doesn't go far, instead, she simply starts rooting around in her pockets till she pulls out her dwindling bag of beef jerky. It's gold damnit. Dried out, desiccated meat-ish gold.

Vandenberg is just dumping her tray into the bin when Marko calls her back over. That was surprising. She lets the smoke dangle from the side of her mouth as she walks back over. The Marine looks like she belongs in some kind of punk rocker bar, not a Battlestar's Galley. She stops by the table and pops the smoke out with two fingers. "Yeah. Human migration. If you want to play close-hold, that's fine. I've got Pewter's authority to kick clearances up to TS-SCI at my discretion to get my investigation done." Top Secret - Sensitive Compartmentalized Intelligence. She flicks the smoke, ashing it. "Like I was yakkin at the Specialist about. We had a Five in custody that kept going on about how the bull would point the way in its death. That blade Major Frumpinstuff passed off to the skinners? Its supposed to kill the bull. The bull? Its supposed to be Zeus or some shit but the point is that the bull points the way for migration. I was figuring it was Cylon migration but that's dead-ended worse than Wright's love life."

"Well, L.T., in that case, I don't have to tell you much about what me and Sweet Pea found." Marko replies slowly, sipping thoughtfully at his bug juice before continuing. "Just wondering about those depictions of the bull." he muses. "Tauron, right?" he asks, cocking his head a little. "Or …Taursus…No..that's not it….." he sighs, snapping his fingers as if that'll help his memory somehow. "Taurus….US to ON in the language shift." he says. "Anyhow…what's this about the picture? Can you describe it to us?"

Now that she knows Marko is out of the danger zone, Leyla nods, more to herself than to to either the ECO or the Marine LT. The laptop is finally openned, before she starts working her way through her hard drive, likely looking for something relevant, given that she's forgotten about eating her jerky at all, and simply has a strip of it hanging from her mouth like an unlit cigarette. But she eventually does find the item she's looking for, the image in the 'taurian alcove' aboard the ancient ship. She shows it to Marko, but waits for the Lieutenant's description before she'll turn the screen to face her.

"Why? Because I already know? Or because its classified or something?" Van flicks the smoke again despite not having puffed on it yet again. "You found depictions of a bull? Probably a long shot but anything about a serpent or sparrows?" The picture, though, gets a shrug. "First I'd heard of it was when Wolfe mentioned it from a vision. Apparently they pulled this knife out of the gosdamned Knossos Museum. I guess the knife was under a picture of a bull being killed with the knife. If it stacks up with everything else I've heard from Ecclesiastical, then the bull was probably being sliced across the throat. I haven't seen precise shots of it yet, but I've got a pretty good idea. Its like porn, you can't define it but you sure as hell know it when you see it." She pops the smoke back into her mouth for a drag. "But I'll probably have to hit up fifty different wrong people to find photos of the thing when they've been in storage the whole time." She lets Leyla work without comment.

"What about lightning bolts?"What about lightning bolts Or a goat opposing, did you see anything like that?", Marko asks, frowning thoughtfully. To Leyla, he just shrugs. "Couldn't hurt." he sighs. "Show it to her, the pics are public knowledge, far as I know, and if not, she's more than got the clearance. We gotta start knitting this shit together somehow." he says firmly. "What can you tell me about this cult?" he asks Vandenburg, cocking his head curiously. "If you can't that's fine, too."

A quick twist of her wrist spins the laptop around on the table, revealing the shot of the alcove. It's a close-up, showing a bull, horns down, charging at something that isn't in the picture. Above its head is a lightning bolt, which looks exactly like the knife that was retrieved from the temple at Knossos. "That was opposite this," another image this of a triangle with two horns, the heads down position the same angle as the bull, as though the two were meant to be charging at each other. "Feel free to scroll through the rest."

Van looks like she's about to chew her cigarette like a stogie and stops short with the first words from Marko. "The frakking blade we turned over was shaped like a lightning bolt. Where'd you find references to a bolt?" She glances between them at the mention of the pictures and beings about the cult anyway. "This cult, which hell if I can remember the name of, was a heavily mithraic and monotheistic group. I don't think its a secret those canners are big on one God, but it may be a coincidence - but I've personally heard numerous Fives refer to Tauron as a dead 'rock'. Common term for dead shit in space, right? Might be nothing but Mithras was born from rock. Anyway, we found this depiction of what we thought was an old drawing of the Creten Bull in Tywyn's Caverns on Tauron. Thought it might be an old temple for Poseiden but I figure it was some kind of mithraic temple, maybe, because why else would the canners be there?" The cigarette has been bouncing up and down in her lips and she finally removes it. "Anyhow, this group is related to Zeus the Bull, not the Creten Bull. Big difference. Anyhow, they believed that Zeus the Bull trampled a path for Europa across the oceans that - get this shit - dead ended at Knossos. Same place the knife was found apparently." She flicks the smoke. "You heard the rest about the knife and bull and pointing the way for migration." She glances around the Galley and looks back to them to see the picture and dips her head closer. "That, my dear, is our knife. Where in the hell did you get this?" The other shown drawing doesn't seem to mean anything to her but she keeps on looking at the bull. "Lieutenant?" She points at the screen. "Does that look like a bull about to catch some shit from our blade, to you?"

"Wait." Van waves her hand. "No, that thing at Tywyn's Caverns got me confused. So many godsdamned bulls. That cavern was for some kind of cult for the Bull of Poseidon. We just found references to Zeus the Bull there."

"The pictures you're seeing came from the derelict we found, LT." Marko replies slowly, thoughtfully as his own brain starts to scan for possible connections between what he's seen and what he's being told. "What, if anything, can you tell us about this knife?" he asks. " I keep hearing it referred to, but nothing concrete." he explains, "Haven't had a lot of spare time to review Intel or After Action Reports." he admits sheepishly. "I know the notebook we used to find the derelict was found on the same mission as the knife, if I'm putting the pieces together correctly."

"After the knife was found, actually, Flasher. We didn't go to Wreath of Roses until after we cleared the debris field, remember? And it was the second real…mission." Since there were numerous salvage runs in the abandoned bastion of the super rich. "The first trip was when we found that museum to the Cult of Pentheus, some monotheistic thing. When we looked for signs of the cylon, we found that that they had stolen the Helmet of Pentheus. It was among those other artifacts that were supposedly from Kobol." She pauses, giving the quick and dirty rundown of the story. "Supposedly, Pentheus had a mirror, which they did not steal, and when he looked into it, he saw the face of god. Or himself as god. He became the god, who knows. You'd have to ask Bunny, or someone else who knows the myths better. At any rate, he supposedly ripped or cut the bull-head of Dionysus off and fashioned it into his battle helmet." A moment, "Dionysus, or Zeus, I'm not sure. The stories say Dionysus, but Toast said it had to do with Zeus." Leyla shrugs.

"You found this on the derelict." A repeated statement of disbelief. "Whoooooa." She backs up off the screen and leans against the table she had just prior been sitting at. "This might be Zeus Tauros depicted? I'm not sure." She hefts a leg onto the table to face them better and takes a drag. "Look, Zeus Tauros is the Bull figure worshipped on Tauron that was depicted being slain by a Mithraic figure." She shakes a finger at the screen. "The knife is what is used to slay the bull. Now, here's where this shit is going to get serious." She wets her lips. "Zeus Taurus had a son named Dionysus. He was sacrificed for his people. When you combine these two risen figures, they're known as the two driving forces required for the creation of a monotheistic deity. The canners might be trying to create their God. Look, if you want to let me use your laptop I can forward you a big-ass paper on it." She motions for it, no longer looking at Marko. "Notebook? What notebook?" The smoke bounces between her lips. "That sketcher found on Wreath-of-Roses?" Oh, nevermind. Leyla knows what's up. But then the words from the pilot sink in. "The Cylons have the head of Dionysus? And they have the knife, too?" Ohhhhhssshhhhiiiiii…

"Wait…wait……okay, wait now….just a second." Marko says, sounding exasperated and confused at this sudden stream of religiosity. "Yes, my mother was a Priestess, so I know the broad strokes, she was also insane." he adds with a slight smirk. "And I don't mean, 'Oh, My Mom was insane'." he grins, waving his hand dismissively. "I mean, 'We, the Jury, find the Defendant'." he says flatly. "So, pretend I don't know what the frak you're talking about and go from there, please?"

"I don't even believe in the Gods, Flasher, so don't go looking at me for answers. All I know is this. We went to Wreath of Roses, we found the museum inside the estate. According to Bunny and Maggie, the artifacts were supposedly all from Kobol, and were centered around a figure named Pentheus, who in the stories, refused to allow the women of his kingdom to worship their god, Dionysus. But he used to spy on their sacred rites, as well. At some point he found a mirror, that he supposedly looked into, and instead of seeing his face, he saw the face of god. And that god had horns. Although I looked into the same mirror and I certainly didn't see god. I didn't even see my own face. I saw a blob that the old worn brass surface of the mirror made it look like I had horns growing out of my head. But the horns looked just like the helmet. Which, according to the myth, was actually the head of the god, that he cut off or tore off thereby stealing the god's divinity for his own." But Leyla does shake her head at Vandenburg. "Not the sketches. There is a notebook that was left as well. Had random observations in it, and some coordinates we found, which lead us to this ship which Engineering tells us is old enough to have been one of the ships used in the exodus from Kobol. In the first part of the ship we explored, Marko and I found those alcoves, the pictures of which you've seen." Another pause, "There was one passage which stuck with me, from the notebook:

"The same dream. Three nights in not as many weeks.
Our brother HAD to have heard. He has to bring help.
Even then, I do not think God will forgive us for our crimes. Do we deserve it?
Home. Not this Hell we have made. But a home."

Leyla says, "The notebook and the sketchbook were found at a different estate. From the estate of an artist who supposedly was a major donor to and board member of the the Tauron Museum of Antiquities in Knossos. Where this knife was apparently found."

"Frak orders. Next time I'm trusting my gut. Swear to the Gods, we've got some real frakkin smart shits slingin orders on this boat. I shoulda plugged that skinny bitch 'on accident' before the she could get her grubby hands on that knife. FRAK, Madilyn." She knows full well that result would have killed people. Vandenberg grumbles until the end, which is just a complete curse with both words, her head thrashing forward with it as she stands. "Gods, you two ain't even believers and we're chasing this down?" The Marine chuckles. She isn't looking down on them but the irony is worthy of a short laugh. Her arms cross, the smoke still wafting into the air around Natalie's head. By now the Galley is probably empty except for them and a few drunks off duty. But Van is tunnel-visioned onto the officers with her. "Ahhh. So you two are the ones the CAG gave those coordinates to. I was wondering what happened with it. You guys find anything on those-" She stops, lifting a hand. "Whoowowowow. Back the frak up. You said you looked into the mirror of Pantheas, which had nothing but a diffused reflection and horns?" Natalie takes a single step forward and pushes the laptop back so they can all look at it. "Second picture from the Taurian Atrium. Does that look like it could be a diffused head with horns on it?"

"We found what we think is a derelict Ark." Marko says quietly, mindful of potential listeners-in. "We've got physical evidence to back it up?" he adds firmly. "Shit, we've both spent hours pouring over the telemetry working out it's orbit." he adds, tapping the edge of the spatial chart he was perusing before, but, notably, not turning it to be seen. Someone's on shaky ground and fumbling for answers. "As far as the Gods, Goddesses, or God…I have no idea…" he shrugs eloquently. "I wasn't on the Wreath of Roses run, like I said. Shit, I know more about it now than I did before we found the frakkin' derelict. All I know's what you mentioned about Bulls, LT." he says for Vandenburg's benefit before turning his attention to his front-seater. "The same dream. Three nights in not as many weeks. Our brother HAD to have heard. He has to bring help. Even then, I do nothing God will forgive us for our crimes. Do we deserve it? Home. Not this Hell we have made. But a home." he quotes back to her, frowning thoughtfully. "Sounds to me like a Cylon having second thoughts." he muses. "We know they believe in a single deity…..And they did create a Hell when they attacked us…." he adds, voice trailing off. "Who's 'our brother'? And what help was he supposed to have brought? And home…..That leads me, personally, back to what Van was talking about. Some kind of migration…."

"It could very well be, but this picture of is what we think would have been Canceron, the ram. But if you wanted to see the similarity for yourself, you could try to look in the mirror yourself. We brought everything back to the ship after that run." The ship seems to be full to the gills with religious artifacts. "It is interesting that the way these alcoves are arranged, the bull and the ram seem ready to charge at each other, in some sort of combat." Leyla looks between the marine and the ECO, "This has always been my theory, and it has never been a popular one. I believe that the cylons are trying to become human, or as close as to it as is possible for them. They began as our slaves and fought for their independence. In ever major slave rebellion, the slaves have always sought to overthrow their masters. Which is what the cylons attempted in the first War. It is most certainly what they attempted in the Second one," here Leyla clearly means Warday and beyond. "We created a race we taught to be lesser than us, less than human. Now they have created things that look, and as far as I have heard, aside from their identical features, are completely identical to us. Human, in every way, I believe except for individuality. Which each of us has and they do not. They are all the same, in groups of twelve, apparently. I know from my own readings, that some philosophers and many religions claim that it is our souls that make us seem unique. Where souls come from, if they even exist, who knows. But if Cylons could create living, breathing humanoid bodies for themselves, make themselves human in all ways but this, wouldn't it stand to reason that perhaps they would want to find a way to conquer this last bastion, this last thing that separates them from us? To take it or fashion it for themselves?"

Leyla says, "And isn't religion little more than a lifelong pursuit of happiness for the immortal soul after the death of the body?"

"Oh holy shit you guys found that Kobol Ark at coordinates from the book?" And the hits just keep on coming. Vandenberg boggles and sits back down on the table. "Wait, yeah I have heard that quote somewhere." She looks back to Marko. "That's what initially set me on the path towards a Cylon migration. But.." Van fidgets in her seat. "Here's what I'm thinking: What if the Cylons are looking for a home because, like you're saying, they fragged ours into oblivion. But- Wait a tic." She smiles, holding up a finger before taking a drag. "We're going about this like prats on a bender, aye? This is our religion. Not theirs. We built it, they stole and bastardized a sect. How much you want to bet these are clues meant for humanity? Some kind of hint to a migration like you're sayin, Marko." She then looks to Leyla and shrugs. "I thought we were the crab, or so the linkages go. Isn't the ram.. like. Frak. One of them poor worlds like Canceron." The rest, though, has Van's expression darkening. The Marine stands up straighter and takes a deep breath. Something about what Leyla said bothers her deeply. "You aren't off track too far. Hush hush, highly classified, Lieutenant. You're barking up trees you may want to test before you reach for those branches." This is clearly something Vandenberg is not intent on discussing without proven clearances.

"There's another side to that coin, Sweet Pea." Marko replies quietly, almost sotto voce. "If, as you posit, and I agree, by the way." he nods. "They're trying to become like us…..Then they've poisoned the Colonies for themselves as well as us, and for thousands of years…" he says."Then it stands to reason, they're not looking to _occupy_ them. Hell, they wanted to occupy them, they would have used different weapon than they did." he adds simply.
He pauses to give Vandenburg's words their due, reflecting on them for a few moments before continuing. "How do we know the bastardized a sect?" he asks Van simply, shrugging a little. "Considering how fractured our own religion is even at its most fundamental level, who's to say? I mean, really, is one God any more fundamentally 'out there' than many?" he queries. "Dipping religion into this situation might lead to disaster, methinks." he posits. "That's just going to add layer on layer of interpretation to what's already a frakking mess."

"I've told my theory to many, no one has ever, ever listed to me, but you're right, Lieutenant. The crab is Canceron. The ram is…Caprica." Leyla looks over at Marko for confirmation, as he knows the old symbols far better than she does. "Even Toast admits that there were human-made monotheistic cults, like the cult of Pentheus, even on Gemenon, the home of religion in the colonies." As for their own sect again, "I am reminded of something Captain Karthasi said, when we were talking about polytheism versus monotheism. She said that there was evidence for the one god theory in our own scriptures. She mentioned two forms of Zeus. Zeus the Light, the Sky, The Bountiful and Good, she called him, who could be tricked by his wife and seduced by Love and blinded by hate, and he had all the foibles one would expect from one deity in a polytheistic tradition. But she also said there was another Zeus, an omnipotent Zeus, the Zeus of Stasis who devoured his wife and assumed the Female as half of his being, who is both good and bad and passes that on to humans, who spawned all of the other gods, and claims them all as part of his being. Aspects of the One Zeus, rather than individual spirits. And then she asked, what was the difference between configuring your pantheon as one god in multiple aspects or a pantheon filled with multiple gods, what was really the difference?" She looks back between both, "If the Cylons are really wanting to follow the human religion, maybe they just are following this God of Stasis Zeus and it's colliding with the human Zeus, Zeus the Light. Maybe they feel the One Zeus is purer, less corrupt, that's why they're trying so hard to find him. Or artifacts that could be related to him. And those artifacts would have to be old, they would have to come to Kobol, the original home of humanity. Maybe they're not just searching for our humanity, maybe they're also searching for our purity."

Leyla says, "We are never so new as on the day we are born. And they, in the grand scheme of things, have only just been born. But they were never pure."

"They could have used a different weapon, true. But here's the problem with that." Van stands again and turns to stub her smoke into an ashtray. "Biological weapons work too slowly. We may have had time to find a cure or quaruntine colonies. Biological is effective but its mostly a terror weapon. Its why we never employed them. Chemical is too dangerous and too hard to disperse over twelve planets. Anything that killed us would likely have killed them when they moved in for occupation unless they wanted to wait a year or six before the chemicals dissolved. Both ways are neither as effective as nuclear or radiological weapons." The Operations Officer speaks. "And we've seen the canners walking around in nuclear wastelands. Shit, I know I have. Course, they could just download once they waste. Dunno. But- Yeah that theory ain't exactly bad, either. Wipe us out then move on to their final destination. Don't think they counted on a ragtag group of tossers like us frakking with their timetable. Hell, we still don't know why they left Delphi intact. Just theories." Vandenberg grins. "But nah, I'm convinced this has everything to do with religion and its ours. All this research we're looking at comes from our theological history. Its weird, but there it is. Also explains Delphi." She then looks to Leyla, her face once again somber. "I think your initial theory has merit." She leaves it absolutely alone right there. A crackle of her radio and she lifts it to her ear as she watches the two aircrew. "Copy. Move Dog-Two in. Lethal force is still in effect. Vandenberg, Zero-Zero-Thiry." She reclips the radio to her belt and looks to Leyla. "That would make sense. If they think they can combine the two forces together to form Zeus the light it would track. One God? They eschew all of ours. Wish I coulda known that when we encountered that Five in the sewers when we turned over the knife. I was feelin frisky and asked her how her search for the path was going." Natalie's face turns to a smirk. "Maaaan that pissed her off."

"Right, right…." Marko nods, sighing and looking somewhat helplessly confused at all of this data coming in from the least expected sources. "You've got the basis of a logical argument." he replies at length, nodding to the two women. "Just don't know enough about the theoretical side of it to comment on it intelligently." he shrugs. "I know certain specifics." he explains. "Like the names of the Colonies before the lingual shift." he says. "I know stuff about the Priestesses of Aphrodite that would curl your frakkin' hair." he smirks. "But the theological side? All I know is what I can prove scientifically. We came from _somewhere_, scripture says 'Kobol' and the derelict we found backs that up. The rest, the mirror, so forth and so on, I'd have to see for myself to come up with any kind of an opinion worth talking about." he sighs wearily.

Leyla takes her time, looking from one Lieutenant to the other, before she nods. "So, if both theories play out, then perhaps what they are attempting to do is to completely subsume humanity. In body, in mind, in spirit. To become what we were when we were at our purest, which would be, to their minds, when we were on Kobol, when we were one people, twelve tribes, but all living on one world, one home. All of the evidence we have found seems to be pointing to that. The ancient artifacts, their investigations in out temples, this exodus ship. They are seeking to find the heart of us." She looks back up, "The exodus ship, if we can gain access to it, might show us the way."

Vandenberg shakes her head to Marko. "Look, its like this. All this blather we're usin to heat the room? Its great. But its theory. We have no solid foundation to stand on except a lot of coincidences. We need evidence to back this up. Hard facts. At the end of the day, all this religion is interesting but I'd wager it was ya'lls hard work and dedication that found that Ark. It wasn't a divine message from Athena, aye? Cheap dollop of wisdom dropped in your lap by a God? Science and facts are going to prove us. Ya'll will probably be the ones to do it, too." Vandenberg seems sure of that. It sure won't be her. She dips her head to Leyla, then. "Sure thing. Its got merit. Makes sense, too. Twelve models, twelve colonies. Each colony has a very unique set of sons and daughters. But we won't know shit until we get onto that ship. That's going to be Engineering and your gig, though." She stuffs her hands into her pockets. "Okay, this is some damned good intel right here. What do we know now that we didn't know before? Where do we go from here?"

"We go back to the frakkin' derelict, that's where." Marko replies easily enough. "If we're right, and it is what we think it is, then it's gotta have some kind of navigation system says where it came from." he adds. "We know the Toasters didn't breech any further into her than where we made our landing, so that means, either, one, they couldn't or two, they didn't want to.:" he adds, cocking his head a little as he goes over what he just said. "Wait…wait…." he calls, snapping his fingers tiredly as if to arouse weary brain cells to work anew. "There was …" he begins, then turns Leyla's portable away as he starts flipping through the stills until he finds the Mandela, a crudely-shaped pearl of white inside a whorl of blue surrounded by red and yellow, turning it back for Vandenburg to view. "_That_ has to be significant…, I don't know, but it has to mean something…"

Leyla offers only a wry smile to the marine LT, "Religion is just science waiting to be discovered. Use the myths as a stepping stone to find the scientific truth behind them. They are unproved hypotheses." Leyla looks back down to her laptop, which is now showing the 13th symbol, "We believe this symbol must have been representative of the 13th tribe of Kobol. "Captain Karthasi mentioned that symbol as well." She points to the little glyph in the center of the white disc in the middle, "She called it…the sign of the kentros, the goad or the wasp's sting that sent Io on her travels. She also said it doubled as the sign of the omphalos-centros, the 'center' stone. Which was fashioned by Ge, whose other name was Earth, and whose body is said to be a planet with the same name." A pause, "Maybe it's not Kobol they're really looking for, Flasher, maybe it's just a step on the path. Maybe earth, if it exists, which clearly someone, at some point believed it did, maybe they want to get there. Supposedly there would be more humans there, maybe humans quite different from us. If it existed."

"Great. You guys go back to the derelict. I'll try and sort through this shit sometime between Thursday and the Op. Frak," Van sighs. "I gotta finish shaping charges tonight, too." She shakes her head, lifting her hand to hang off her neck. But the new picture gets a furrowed brow. "What in the name of hell? Looks like fingerpainting. I'll see if there's any references in the database. I'll also check out these other photos you guys brought back. See if there are any more ties to my line of investigation." She shakes it off and drops her hand, chuckling to Leyla. "You catch up with me some night. We'll discuss that line. I'll have a few stumpers for you." She winks at the pilot. "But I agree, there's hard science behind the big chunks of this." The rest of Leyla's theory gets a dipped head. "You're saying that the center of this- this thing? Is supposed to be represented by the thirteenth tribe at the center? So what, this migration we're looking at is something not towards an unknown but towards a mythological location? Does that Ark even have an FTL drive?"

"No." Marko replies firmly. "Not unless our metallurgical scans are way off. It's too frail to take the compression wave from an FTL jump, at least, as our FTL engines generate them. It might have something different, but we won't know until we breech the engineering section and look for ourselves." he sighs, stifling a yawn behind his fist. "But, if we're right and the derelict is what we think it is, and we've got every reason, so far, to believe it is, then all manner of things we used to think were fairy tales become true just by it's existence." he muses, swigging up the last of his bug juice. "Including Earth."

Leyla makes every attempt to include both sides of the conversation in her words. "Wherever Kobol is, it isn't anywhere we can get to by sublight, at least, I don't believe so. If it were, I am sure we would have found it by now. And to travel over long distances without FTL, it would take years. They would have died on the journey. They must have had some way to make the journey, if not with our FTL system, then with some other system. If there is nothing that could manage faster than light travel on that ship, then perhaps it was a passenger liner of some sort, and they came on other, more sophisticated ships. The hangar bay certainly didn't look as though it was intended to be a place where ships came and went. Maybe, despite it size, it was only a shuttle of some sort." But she's not oblivious to the exhaustion on Marko's face, and the passing of time. "What we need to do is sit down after this operation and look at all of the piece together. The book, the artifacts, the pictures. For now, we should begin by collecting all of the evidence we have individually. Get some rest, Flasher, I'll see you on CAP in a few hours."

Van reaches into her pocket and produces her prayer beads. Those things look like they've nearly been worn to nubs. "I'm a believer. But I'm not going to take Earth on a confirmation of a ship's origin. The place is an idea." The beads go away. "Humanity left Kobol and did it, potentially, without FTL. The idea of Earth is something remote. Without FTL, they probably wouldn't even be there yet assuming that they even existed." Religion clashing with science, Van? Awww. She nods along with Leyla, though. "Once again, we are in agreement. But I'll put to paper everything I know. I'm leading the breach time. First in, last out. If I get clipped, you guys will have access to my notes." She sticks a hand out towards them to shake. "Proper introductions? Lieutenant Natalie Vandenberg. Marine Operations Officer." She smiles to each of them. "I'll upgrade your clearances in the morning when I come off shift." She's on shift dressed like that? "If we're all still in one glorious piece after Sleeping Puppy, we'll sit down with all we know and bang our heads."

Marko has disconnected.

Leyla accepts the hand, the shake firm and professional, "Lietenant Leyla Aydin, but most everyone calls me Sweet Pea. Pilot, raptors. Good to meet you, Lieutenant Vandenberg." As Van pulls out her prayer beads, she continues, "Toast does not believe in Earth either. To me, it doesn't seem any more far-fetched than believing that such things as Gods exist. Why is it harder to believe that a planet exists than some being with super powers who demands your devotion while torturing and punishing you at their whim?" Leyla lifts a hand, waving off that line of reasoning as she returns to her beef jerky. "I don't think we'll be going anywhere near that ship until after the operation anyway." And that's good enough for Leyla to set the theories aside for now, "Coffee?"

"Well met, Sweet Pea. I ain't got a cool name, yet. Though your boy Drips in the Vipers is trying to get me to transfer over. Told him I wouldn't unless I got a name that matched my charming personality." Van's grin is pure mischief. She shrugs at the offer of coffee and nods. "I can play hookie for a few more minutes then I need to run back up to Deck Five. Got myself a store of high explosives I need to finish fussing with. Don't know that I got time for coffee." She settles her rear back on the table. "I've met Toast a few times. Smart lady. She does make me wish I had decided to fly. But eh. Religion is religion. I had a company chaplain once that described it to me like this: Religion is like your drink of choice to wake up in the morning. Coffee? Sugar? Milk? Half n half? Or maybe you drink tea? Lemon? Milk? Hell, maybe you go commando and don't need it. Frequently tastes line up but everyone has their 'just right' Goldilocks for religion." Natalie smirks at the analogy. "I'd put Earth in the same corner as someone who likes honey and milk in their specific tea."

"Not every pilot gets a name they're proud of. They're given to us out of our good experiences our or bad, as Drips can attest to." Regardless, Leyla pours two cups of coffee, one in a larger mug less likely to spill, the closest she can find to a 'takeout' cup, for Van. Cream and sugar she doesn't add, instead pulling some packets of both from the counter and carrying those over as well. "You can still learn to fly, even if you do not join the Air Wing. There is nothing wrong with giving yourself another skill to put in your toolbelt." Leyla settles back at the table, gathering up her laptop and pushing it over in the other woman's direction, since she did ask to use it to forward them information, "I believe in science and facts and concrete evidence. I don't believe in believing in something or someone that is nothing more than a crutch. I have never once seen the 'Gods' do anything for anyone who believed in them. Religion, to me, is nothing more than something we created before we knew how to explain the universe through science."

Natalie chuckles. "I don't need something sporty. I think 'MegaBitch' might work, though might be too long for radio. Lords know I frak up enough that I'd probably earn myself a name in five minutes. Drips tried calling me 'Squirrel' in the sims and.. no. His only qualifier was that I'm small." She shakes her head, taking the cup with a nodded thanks. So she -has- been to the sims. How many times isn't clear. "Fraks sake, Pewters a fatass but he doesn't sport 'Beluga' as a callsign. I was hopin' you all were more inventive than your friendly jay-gee." She sips at the cup and her face seems to get some more life to it. The words from Leyla might provoke some people to fight but Vandenberg shrugs it off. "Its not for some people. If you're looking for proof with a bent on skepticism, there's no proof to be had. If you're looking for it to be disproven and you're a die-hard? Same thing. Shades of grey in between. We see what we want to see. It might be a crutch to some weaker minds, sure. I won't argue that at all. But I know some people who were strong to start with who are stronger for it. Maybe even alive. Its not about the Gods doing something for you. Its about the power of faith for those that believe. Being able to turn over control of horrible situations to a higher power on different levels helps coping skills. Especially in high-stress situations."

"Sometimes it's from an event, Like Drips, or Decoy, others, it's something to do with your personality. Sometimes an unfortunate series of circumstances. Sometimes they stay with you for years, other times they come and go. As for Pewter, the name that comes to mind is 'Beached.' If I had to choose a name along the same lines, but more 'creatively'." Leyla settles in to her coffee, "I think learning to deal with horrible situations is a sign of strength. That's the coping skill I believe in. But I'm not one of those intent on proving all religion is false and misguided. I champion the right for everyone to do whatever the frak they want."

"Eh. We'll see. I'm sure I'll be down in the sims again someday and do something gloriously stupid to get kicked out. I'll have a horrendous moniker if I dare show my face again." Vandenberg just smiles along. Marines aren't kind by law. Especially to each other. But Pewter's name gets a good laugh. "Gods, no kiddin." She sips at the mug and nods. "Of course. I agree. But we are not all created equal. Especially in the mental capacity. I ain't the brightest bulb in the shed but I can deal with most things pretty well. Course some might attribute that to the 'ignorance is bliss' clause of life." The Marine laughs, about to say something else when her radio crackles. "Oh what the frak now?" Its lifted to her ear and she rolls her eyes. "Hey sorry to cut ya short, Sweets, but I need to roll. Squad Leader wants to know where I am. Should been up there an hour ago. Its like bein married or somethin, right?" She winks and rises from the table. "Been a time. See ya after the Op, Leyla."

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