PHD #268: EVENT - Enter C-27
Enter C-27
Summary: The Cylons left something behind on Tauron.
Date: 21 Nov 2041 AE
Related Logs: Rodents of Unusual Size; Don't Shoot the Messenger (aka the Five's first appearance)
Vandenberg Constin Damon Cameron Sofia Eddie Five NPC Hydra 
Arid, nuked, dotted in this area with vacant Cylon architecture.
Post-Holocaust Day: #268

Post-reconnaissance analysis of the photographs from Tauron tagged it 'CYLON BASE 27, MINOA.' One of many facilities the Cylons constructed - and apparently abandoned - on the planet of Tauron. A near-perfect copy of those on Sagittaron and Aerilon, not to mention the rest on Tauron itself. Save for a few details. Namely, there were signs of actual habitation in this one, and it was covered in Tauron graffitti. A curiousity.

That mystery was easily solved - on the face of it - by the Tauron youth, a skinny, dirty nineteen-year-old who gave his name as Eddie Cortaz. A faction of survivors called the Raupatu, for whom he apparently functions as a runner/scout/envoy of sorts, has moved in. They did not provide too many details over the wireless channel as to what they found there, save that the place was deserted of Cylons and as abandoned as the rest of the planet. And, curious as the Fleet troops were about the place, the Raupatu is also curious about the Colonials. And a small group of them were invited over for an exchange of information.

And that is where we begin, Raptor in flight, coming into airspace over C-27 in Tauron's Minoa province. Touchdown estimated in less than five minutes. Eddie sits in the back, chatty to the point of being annoyingly talkative if anyone wants to converse with him, trying his damndest to bum cigarettes off one of the Marines in the group.

Vandenberg is decked out in her combat gear, the combat vest packed with extra magazines and other equipment. Sitting in the jump seat, the rifle is stood on end between her knees. Her eyes drift between Sofia, Damon, and Cameron, motioning them to listen. "Hey. I want you guys to be real careful and do not venture off away from at least one Marine at all times. Do not turn your back to anyone armed if you can help it. Watch body language, too. The Sergeant and I will likely make some tense, but watch for glances and eye movements between overly tense individuals." The little blond Marine looks quite serious about this under her helmet. Their security is her responsibility. She doesn't seem too concerned about whether or not Eddie has overheard what she has to say, either. She then looks to the young man and lifts her chin. "What can you tell me about Mister Taim?"

Constin sits near the back of the bird, prepped for a rapid disembark. Kitted out in battledress blacks, the big sergeant eyes chatterbox Eddie and drawls, "Don't smoke m'self. I drink, but you don't look twenty-one." The sergeant cuts off his bone-dry commentary as Vandenberg speaks up, turning eye toward the Lieutenant and nodding once.

Damon, being from Tauron, should probably be the one chatting with Eddie. But he's sitting the farthest away from the man; his quick annoyed glances at the fellow Taurian are barely concealed. He's ditched the bright orange coveralls for a standard Navy uniform, a toolbelt worn over it. Between his legs sits the same toolbox he brought down on the Aerilon scavenge run, the same toolbox that put his right hand out of commission for quite a few days. Seems like the fingers are healed now, since he's not wearing the splint anymore. There's also a pistol resting against his leg, but it doesn't even have a clip loaded into it. "He talks too much," he answers dryly to Vandenberg.

Cameron is the only civilian on board the ship, and as such he is dressed casually in a black sweater and cargo pants, his usual medkit pack resting by his feet as he waits for the Raptor to land. For the most part he spends more time listening to Eddie than actually talking to the young Tauron absorbing everything said and how it is said. The impression that he's gotten so far is that no one is actively injured, but he also gets the sense that theirs is a complicated culture of honor and rituals. In short, he wouldn't put it past them to be in greater need of medical assistance than they have let on so far. And apparently someone higher up thought the same, or why else would he be here? Okay, well, Cameron can think of one other reason why they might bring him along, but that's one that he doesn't care to dwell on too much. Still no weapon for the doctor, but he's honestly fine with that. They have enough armed individuals as it is. Probably better that the one medical person be unarmed and harmless, right?

Aquarian in the middlle! Sofia is in gear and looks to Vandenberg. She nods, but smiles at Eddie. She looks amused by Constin. She'll happily chatter back with Eddie, somewhat amused by his attempts to bum cigs. "I give most of mine away as soon as I get them… They make me sneeze anyway," She wrinkles her nose. For her part she looks to Damon too and settles quiet when not spoken too. She glances to Cameron and ponders something.

"I got an ID that says I'm twenty-five if you want to be a stickler about it," Eddie says to Constin, speech rapid-fire and with a heavy accent that gives his words a clipped, somewhat whiney edge. "So you guys got moonshine?" This interests him. And it takes him sec to actually respond to Vandenberg's question. Which he does with a cheeky grin. "I'll watch your body language if you want, Blondie." He appears to think that was charming. But he does answer her question. "Not bad for an ex-pig. He used to be a cop in Minos. Seriously, the Boss is frakkin' solid. Kept us together after the toasters blew the frak out of…everything. Took a lot of lead fighting them. They coming back?" The Cylons, he probably means. Not that this stops him from responding to Sofia and questioning Damon in his next breath. "So, you got any to give away today, Sweets? Cigs, I mean. Don't suppose you've got any?" That last question to Damon, who he is hopefully not calling 'Sweets.' "You sound like a native. Where you from, pal?"

The pilot and ECO studiously avoid interacting at all with Eddie as they bring the Raptor in for a landing. The base is in an arid, flat area, whch makes it a relatively ideal landing zone.

Vandenberg smirks at Damon, the dry expression holding little humor. "Chatty ain't always a bad thing, Chief. I get worried when people clam up or dodge around more'n a Pyramid forward." She then looks back at Eddie and seems non-plussed by the remark about her body language. She just stares at him as if waiting for a useful reply. Witness Natalie in uniform. "Ex cop, eh? Huh. So you all were involved in guerrilla actions against them?" As for the Cylons: "Not sure. I don't think they're going away, though." She keeps her voice studiously even. A hand reaches into her cargo pockets on her pants and produces a pack of smokes while she stands, taking up her rifle with her other hand. The Lieutenant shakes a cigarette out for Eddie as if an offering of peace. "Light it when we get outside. Not before."

Constin sniffs dryly once, naming himself to Eddie as one of the "Military Police," just after the little fellow mentioned that bit about his boss being an 'ex-pig'. "Worst of the sticklers." The sergeant's narrow regard passes around the cabin as the bird comes in for a landing and the big marine rises, taking hold of a hand rail for stability.

"Hey, you're preaching to the choir, El-Tee," Damon says with a laugh. "I'm usually cheerful and talkative. And a Pyramid forward to boot. He just rubs me the wrong way for some reason." Of course, that's said quietly so Eddie hopefully can't overhear - but Damon's known for having a louder-than-appropriate voice due to his hearing damage. "I'm from Mycenaedd," he says to Eddie. His tone's friendly enough, even if he's annoyed by the man. "I got smokes back on the ship, but I didn't bring any. I'm not a smoker - I just keep 'em around as bargaining chips."

One brow lifts at the mention of moonshine, Cameron wondering silently to himself what Cillusia ever did with that still they found back on Aerilon. But his lips quirk into a wry grin as Eddie calls Vandenberg 'Blondie' and offers to check out her body language. Smooooooooth. Very smooth. His lips curl up even more when she gives the kid a deadpan look and no response. "You should meet Shiner," he offers obliquely to the young Tauron. "The two of you have a lot in common…." It's too bad for Eddie that Shiner isn't here… but good for the rest of them. It would be nothing but crude and rude fast trash talk allllllllll the way down to the base and back again otherwise. His gaze shifts to the rest of the group. Van was the first person he met off of the Cerberus. Constin, the most recent. Which leaves Sofia as the unknown crewmember. Offering her his hand, the doctor notes, "Hey, Cameron. Just so you don't have to say, 'hey you' should you need to get my attention…" he offers with a friendly smile.

Sofia looks through her pockets a moment. "Umm. I only have a couple. SLightly squished… was keeping them to swap for juice, but eh." Then a shrug and a smile. She is quiet otherwise then pauses. "Oh, she's faster." A beam at Vandenberg. "Sorry about that." She blinks at being called sweets though and turns a bit red. She looks to Constin. "There's a stickler ranking and I haven't charted it yet?" For shame!She glances to Cameron. "Hello Cameron."

"I came up in Minos," Eddie says to Damon, engaging the CPO in conversation despite his best efforts. This may've been obvious to Damon, as the slightly whiny accent is common in the boroughs there. And is usually not associated with the highest class of people.

The question about guerilla actions, or at least the way Vandenberg puts it, makes Eddie shrug and actually give a less-than-rapid response. "You could put it that way, I guess. After the bombs fell they were everywhere. The Boss…we did what we could. He can tell you better than me." No more information about that is volunteered, and the whole line of conversation makes him less smirky. Though he does manage a quipped, "This Shiner got smokes?" in reply to Cameron.

Not that he has much more time to try and grift the team. The doors are open and he stands with the rest of them to hop out of the bird. The facility is within short walking distance. It's construction is a strange mix of mundane and alien. There are fewer straight lines than human architecture favors. More curves and domes. But it's made from gray stone that's common in this area of the planet. And it's big. Big enough to hold thousands given the outside view. Of people, of Centurions, of whatever it once held before the Cylons left this world and it a husk.

"Hey, Chief. No problem with me. Trust your gut and it'll keep you alive. Helped me and my team out on Aerilon for seven months." Vandenberg gives Damon a firm nod with the quiet words. Before stepping off, she calls over her shoulder to the pilot: "Give me a call on Tac One if anything disturbs. We'll check in every half hour. If we miss one and don't respond to your call right away, get out of here." She climbs out of the Raptor and chambers a round in the rifle, slinging it up around her shoulder to hang across her chest, hands on it at all times. She looks around carefully before settling on the facility, letting off a low whistle. "Damn. They don't do anything small, do they?" the Lieutenant asks to nobody in particular.

"Been there a couple times," Damon responds to Eddie. And that's the end of their Taurian heart-to-heart. He gets up after the Raptor touches down and mutters something under his breath. Maybe it's a silent prayer of thanks for another successful Raptor ride, for setting foot on his home planet again, or not having to converse with Eddie at length. "Look at that frakking thing…" he says in an awed voice, gaping at the facility. "Let's go see what this sleeping titan of a building has to reveal to us."

Since Sofia didn't take his hand, Cameron lets it drop away once more, his attention shifting to the others, mostly focusing on the conversation between Van and Eddie. He knows virtually nothing about Tauron and Taurians, other than a little bit about tautau. A very little bit. Chuckling a little at the single-minded focus of the young man, Cameron's shoulders shrug as he replies, "Probably, but I was thinking more just your general personalities would probably click." If Cameron had any, he'd give them to the young man. Not a smoker himself, but in this day and age he really isn't going to get on anyone's case for wanting one. "Overall, though, your groups is alright? I heard that you had enough anti-rads to keep yourselves relatively protected from the radiation? No serious injuries or illnesses in your group?" But as the doors open, Cameron lets the topic drop, swining his medpack onto his back and following after the rest. He studies their surroundings silently, a small wrinkle of his nose the any indication that he finds Aerilon infinitely preferable. But the massive building is something of a mystery to Cameron who asks mildly, "Why build something this huge just to abandon it…?"

Sofia blinks. He was offering his hand to her. "OH! I'm sorry!" She apologizes to the doctor, turning red. "I thought you were offering it to hi," She looks sheepish, and rubs the back of her head. "I'll make it up later," She shrugs and smiles. She'll go quiet and follow along. "Sometimes," This to Eddie. She looks amused. But the amusement fades as she sees the facility. She blinks owlishly. "Whoa." And then goes quiet, to follow the others.

"Frakkin' is right," Eddie mutters in sorta-response to Damon. And, despite having come from here, he doesn't look entirely thrilled to be home. The cheeky kid is almost solemn as he goes on. "The toasters started building them after they razed the towns. The ones they didn't just flat nuke, they came through with tin cans after. They didn't kill everybody, though. Some of them they…took. Nobody ever came out. We thought we might find some still in after the toasters bugged out but…nobody…" He shrugs in a twitchy sort of way. "…Boss can explain better than me." And, again, it's a subject he's less than chatty about. He motions them forward, taking the lead next to Vandenberg without waiting for any invitation to do so.

A couple of sentries, a man in his fifties and woman in her thirties, are waiting outside the complex's door. They look nothing like Eddie, save being similarly dirty and underfed. And both are armed. Her with a handgun like Eddie was packing, the man with what looks like a hunting rifle. The entry they guard is composed of two massive doors. Opened fully, they could easily accomodate a Heavy Raider or three. Shaped in a truncated and fat A-shape, they look similarish to the openings on Cerberus' landing pods. Only one stands open at the moment, crooked and almost haphazardly left ajar. Neither of the Taurons seem alarmed at the Raptor's approach. They knew the troops were coming.

Vandenberg just listens in silence to Eddie's words, her own mind chewing over what the young man is saying. She doesn't appear to hesitate at the view of the guards, either. Instead she gives them a simple smile and "Afternoon," in greeting. "I'm looking for a Mister Ezra Taim if he's around, please?" The Lieutenant keeps it polite but short as she looks between the guards and then finally to Eddie. Its obvious she is here on business - if the rifle and combat gear didn't say that loudly enough.

Damon looks to be equal parts astonished and tense as he approaches the facility. The enormity of the structure combined with the gravity of being back on Tauron again send him into a pensive silence. He just follows along near the back of the group, letting the Marines take point since he's just coming along to provide his knowledge on mechanical subjects if required. "Keep your eyes sharp, Sofie," he murmurs to the Engineer, falling into step beside her. "Can never be too sure, yeah?"

"No worries," Cameron offers once Sofia realizes his intentions, his own attention now on the building and their surroundings. Rolling his shoulders and resettling the pack on his back, he moves forward with the rest. Ocean blue eyes shift to Eddie disconcertedly at his information, which is news to Cameron, and not good news. His gaze returns to the building as he asks, "They leave anything behind? Equipment?" He nearly asks what the inside looks like before he realizes that he's going to find out soon enough. What did they do with the humans they captured? Cameron only saw them destroying and killing. The only logical reason for capturing would be either to torture for information or, more likely, experimentation? Perhaps, once they are inside, they will find some answers…

A smile at Cameron for just a second. She's quiet as Eddie speaks, now deferring to the Marines. She follows alongside Damon and nods. Sofia replies softly, "Yeah, I know." She points to the small bruise on her nose. "Tripped on stares yesterday." She is soft spoken, but walks neatly beside Damon, seeming to trust the Deckie. Her green eyes are wide and alert though.

"Still alive, huh, kid?" is the Tauron woman's deadpan greeting to Eddie. He replies right back, "Last time I checked," with a smirk. It has the sound of a familiar exchange.

To Vandenberg the woman nods. Looking the Marine up and down. Like she's sizing her up. But there's a wide-eyed look about her she's trying hard not to show. Like she's just realized she's taking in the sight of another human again. "Taim's inside. Eddie can take you to him. How's their group look?" That question to Eddie, with an edge of caution to it.

His oblique reply is, "Human, so far, at least the ones I saw." And with that, he leads them inside, if they're going on, replying to Cameron finally. "No equipment. I mean, there are rooms where it looks like they were building something but there weren't any toasters - walking or flying - left. We think they were holding the people they brought here in this…frak, I don't know what to call it. Cells, I guess. But big, like a pen. But those were cleaned out, too. It was frakked up. Why bother to build something like this if you're just going to leave it?" The sentries remain at their posts as he ventures inside.

Vandenberg doesn't outwardly respond to the other woman looking her up and down. The Marine is as cool as a cucumber for now, her own eyes moving over the guns and conditions of the sentries. As Eddie moves inside she keeps just behind him, hands still on her rifle. Her attention seems to move through the walls and corridors as they move, Eddie's voice drifting into her mind while he speaks. "The fleet has rescued people that were being held in prison-like situations before. I wouldn't be surprised if this was something similar."

"Maybe because they got the answers they wanted," Damon says darkly, jumping into the conversation uninvited with an answer to Eddie's question. He lapses back into his skeptical silence as they continue in, looking all around him as they go. Every single time he takes a visual sweep around, he begins and ends with Eddie.

Cameron's lips quirk, but not in a smile, as Eddie echoes his own words. Why indeed build something like this only to abandon it? "Either they are so well off that they can afford such an extravagant waste, or the answer is simple. They haven't abandoned it… they are coming back." Either way, it bodes nothing but ill for the human survivors.

Sofia watches the exchange a moment. She winces at Damon's response. There's a polite smile at Eddie, but she takes a moment to consider the place, lingering near Damon. Her eyes are the most active part of her.

Spray paint was apparently considered a necessary salvage item, along with anti-rads and canned food. The outer walls are covered in graffitti - much of it scrawled in Tauron's native language - though there's a healthy amount of 'Frak the toasters' and the like to go with it. Mostly, however, it's composed of names. Hundreds of Tauron names. Memorials to the dead, perhaps. It has a similar look to the wall on Cerberus' own recreation deck, sprayed names in place of photographs. Eddie snorts at Damon. "Maybe. Or maybe…yeah." Grim agreement with Cameron. "When we first saw your ships we thought they were back. She keeps saying…" He abruptly stops talking. Swallowing, and leading them on.

They enter into a dim room, cavernously large and roughly circular. A forum of sorts. A hatch on the far side of ahead of them leads deeper into the facility, but the humans who've coopted this place appear to be sticking to the living room. There are maybe twenty of them in all. Like Eddie and the sentries outside, they're extremely grimy and could use several good meals, but they aren't in nearly as poor health as might be expected. They really must have a cache of anti-rads here somewhere. "Boss! I envoyed for you," Eddie hollers.

"Yeah, so I see," comes the reply from one of the men in the group. In his forties, balding, with a stocky figure that's probably been thinned of flab from months on post-apocalypic Tauron. He comes forward to meet the Colonials. That same appraising, vaguely disbelieving look in his eyes that the female sentry held. "Ezra Taim. Welcome to our humble abode." A hand is extended, to be taken by whoever grasps it first.

In silence, Natalie's eyes continue moving over the names and 'art' on the walls. Small things noted. The layout of the facility and the way back out in particular. As Eddie calls out to the man, Vandenberg steps forward to take his hand. She meets his eyes, looking past them to get a sense of the man. Her grasp is firm and rough. "Thank you, Mister Taim. Lieutenant Natalie Vandenberg, Colonial Marines. This is Chief Petty Officer Damon, Crewman Wolfe, and Doctor Cameron Adair. Good to meet you, sir." Van's voice is still low and stoic. "How many are you currently and other than food, is there anything that you all require on the double?"

So many names. Damon's eyes go from graffiti to graffiti. It's not just names, either. There's little messages left to friends, family, lovers, and the countless unknown people now dead. His eyes tear up as he reads, and he's so lost in the art on the walls that he doesn't even realize he's been introduced. Taim is given a greeting in his native tongue, which sounds halting and strange to his own lips. It's been years since he even attempted to speak Taurian. There are so many questions that burn in the Chief's eyes alongside the overwhelming emotions already present, but he stays silent for now.

At Eddie's dour response, Cameron nods and offers, "Let's hope for the former then…. and some other shiny solar system to catch their eyes and draw their shiny metal asses outta here…" Not that that is terribly likely, but at this point any hope is better than no hope. The cut off words do catch the doctor's attention, one brow lifting, but the moment for asking Eddie what he meant passes out of range once they are inside and being introduced. Cameron's attention shifts to the people, studying their conditions and coming to the conclusion that they most likely need a bath, a few decent meals, and clean water." As his name is proffered, Cameron inclines his head politely to the leader of this Tauron enclave.

Ooh, art. Sofia considers it a moment. "Pleased to meet you, sir." She goes quiet after that. She asks quietly, a whisper to Damon, "What does it say?" Sadly, Aquarian isn't really a useful language these days. But … still. She does seem worried seeing Damon's eyes tear up a bit. She smiles politely at Taim though after aa bit.

Taim shakes Vandenberg's hand firmly. "Marines, huh? Took your sweet time getting here." His manner's still personable, but it's said with no small amount of bitterness. "When we first saw ships in the air again we figured they were back from…frak-me if I know where they went, but they've been clear of this planet for four months gone. Mostly." A grim snort. "So, what the frak is going on with the toasters? That's what we need to know, double-time." His eyes narrow curiously at Cameron. "You don't look like a Marine." A polite nod to Sofia and Damon. Damon gets a closer, narrow-eyed look, but the main of his attention is on Van for now.

Taim adds, "Got twenty-three left here with us. There were a couple hundred of us who managed to get out of Minos but…well, you can see real good from up high what they did to the cities. Attrition's a bitch."

"They pulled me off Aerilon near-abouts three or four weeks back, Mister Taim. The fleet is doing what it can. Rescue operations are underway as they can be. The Cylons have abandoned Aerilon, Tauron, and Sagittaron. For now. They've consilidated their forces around a few other colonies like Picon and Caprica. They pulled-out from here at the same time as the two other colonies." Vandenberg keeps it to the point as if she were reporting a situation to another officer. She's going the professional respect route before trying anything else. There's a short pause, her eyes never leaving his. "They hit every colony, Mister Taim. Some worse than others. Tauron wasn't hit too badly in comparison to some of the others." She finally looks away and over towards Cameron, motioning to him. "If its alright with Mister Taim, want to take a look at everyone here?" Her attention moves back to the leader. "If that's okay? Taking heavy losses like that.. I know how it feels." But the look in her eyes, she very likely does.

"Names of families… titles and ranks, their accomplishments, their dreams, their…" Damon's voice chokes up a bit as he tries to explain to Sofia. "It's… it's like they gave the fallen tatau on the walls." A quiet, bitter chuckle escapes his throat. "I wanted nothing more than to get off this corrupt, flowerless world when I was growing up, but now… coming back and seeing this, I feel naked without tatau on my body. Like I turned my back on my heritage." He's silent again for a while, then he asks Taim, "I know this is a long shot, but… any survivors from Mycenaedd Province make it here? From Pylos spefically?"

"I'm not," offers Cameron simply and directly to Taim's observation. "I'm a civilian doctor and surgeon. I was only just recently rescued from Aerilon. I asked to help in whatever way I could, both for the rescued civilian populations and the military ones. Didn't know anything about what had really happened until just a month ago. Never thought I'd see another human being other than those of us who'd banded together. Much like yourselves, I would guess, though I suspect you've gone through much worse." Cameron's eyes have deliberately not lingered on the names and sentiments, though blessedly it's doubtful he could read them even if he did. Wincing slightly at their losses, Cameron turns as Van motions toward him, nodding as he asks, "Is there anyone here that is need of medical attention?"

Sofia is quiet, tilting her head and listening. She winces. "Oh…" A sad look. "I'm sorry," She admits quietly. She reaches over and gently pats Damon on the shoulder. "Hey… no you didn't. You never forgot your mother tongue. I don't know how tatau works but…" She's sure he deserves it at least. Her voice during this exchange is a whisper. She's sympathetic at least. She takes a deep breath and nods. "I think a few people know it on board?" She considers. But after that, silence lingers. She looks to be at a loss. But the snipe is /there/.

"Mycenaedd? We had a few…" Taim is about to answer Damon when suddenly, screaming echoes through the forum from beyond the bent hatch. A woman from the voice, husky and cracked in places, but still loud enough to project the gibberish to the main room from down the darkened hallway.

"~And they did hold the knife to the throat of the bull, and they cut it deep with the holy dagger, and bloor poured down upon the heads of the initiates like blessed rain, and o for they did glory in its sacrifice…AAARRRGRL.~" The last an abrupt scream of pain, and it cuts off.

"Shut her up, for the frak's sake!" Taim yells over his shoulder, red-faced and angry. Silence follows after the scream, but he keeps his eye on the hatch, like he's waiting for another erruption. Tense, he seems to have almost forgotten the Colonials are there.

Vandenberg's face sharpens as she looks towards the hatch during the screaming and flashes back to Taim. She's instantly on guard, adjusting her rifle a touch. "Who is that and what the hell is going on, Mister Taim?" She's already moving past him for the doorway. There's a pointed glance to Cameron. She also looks towards Damon and his sidearm but continues on.

"Thanks, Sofie," Damon says quietly to the Engineer with a sad smile. "I think I might just have to talk to some of those people and maybe do some catching up on Tauron." He listens to the other conversations with half an ear; it's clear that his mind is elsewhere. When Taim confirms survivors from Mycenaedd, Damon starts to ask, "What families - " But he, too, is cut off by the seemingly crazy woman. The change in him is clearly visible: he goes from bittersweet nostalgia to nervous tension in the blink of an eye. But rather than putting his toolbox down and reaching for his pistol, his grip tightens on the handle of the beat-up case until his knuckles look ready to pop out of his skin.

Ahhhh. The 'she' Eddie referred to earlier perhaps? Or at least that would be Cameron'r reaction if he were a heartless Cylon perhaps. As it is, the sudden screaming causes him to jolt in surprise, more perturbed by the cry of pain than the mad words that were uttered before she was silenced. His eyes flash first to Eddie, who seemed more inclined to acknowledge this woman, but fearful of doing so. Cameron is not to bold as to push on past Taim, but his eyes do lift to the man's as he notes, "There is no need to hurt her. If she's a danger to herself or others, I can help?" His eyes narrow thoughtfully as he asks, "Is it old age dementia, madness, or something… else?" Perhaps the woman is a seeress or an oracle? Not that Cameron holds much faith in such things, but it's not his place to judge.

Sofia nods at Damon. She looks pleased at the news and then freezes hearing the scream. She tenses, eyes widening. Her mouth opens, closes. She is silent, fearful and lingering beside Damon.

"Should just cap her, Boss," Eddie inserts his opinion from where he's taken to skulking on the sidelines as Taim talks to Van & Co. None of the people in the forum seem exactly surprised by the sudden crazy rambling and subsequent screaming. Tension, definitely, at the reaction from those from Cerberus. But no surprise. This is, it seems, a frequent occurrence.

Taim frowns at Eddie. "Tried that once, kid. You saw how that turned out." It's said darkly. "Relax, Lieutenant. We've got it under control. That was one of the things I wanted to show you, come to it. We caught a straggler when the toasters were bugging out. You had much experience with those toasters that look human?" Cameron earns a hard look. "That thing don't need your help, Doctor. She's just frakking with us. Pushing us. It's not going to work. We're smart to her. That one don't die right."

Vandenberg, already on her way, wheels partially and looks at Taim once more. "Yeah, we've had some experience. But we also haven't identified all of them yet. Its high priority to the fleet and its integrity." The Lieutenant points a finger at the hatch. "Show me. Now."

Cameron freezes as Taim's words jumble about in his head for a moment and then coalesce into comprehension. He'd heard rumors of course. Stories. But the reality? This he has neither seen nor heard. He blurts out harshly, "Don't kill her! If what you say is true, she's more valuable to us alive then dead!" Blinking then, he takes a few steps forward, hefting his medical bag as he asks, "What do you mean, she don't die right? You've tried to kill her before and she…. doesn't die?" His gaze flickers to Vandenberg, torn between demanding to see this 'thing' and waiting for her to order him to.

There's a pause. Sofia is straining to listen. "Ummm. It's not Miss Eleven and I'm pretty sure it's not the one that was on Deck. The really horny one I think," Sofia closes an eye, "But don't quote me on the second." She taps her chin. She stays near Damon though.

There are very few proper doors left in the former Cylon enclave. The hatch at the end of the hall was torn roughly from its hinges and is hanging askew. Either the toasters were rough on the place when they exited, or the Taurons who've moved in did some damage themselves. "Follow me," Taim says, heading across the room and through the askew hatch. A nod to Cameron. "Kill her? Frak no, Doctor. That's what she wants. For some stupid frakker to snap so her brain can go back to her friends. I'm not that stupid. Not again." He doesn't answer Cameron's question about 'trying' to kill her before. Not directly. He's on the move.

They're all allowed to follow if they choose. Eddie tags along, though no one else particularly wants to. The ravings have depressed the already not-particularly-cheery mood in the forum. Taim lead them down the hall to yet another room, this one a smaller, cell-like chamber. The hatch leading in here as also been ripped off the wall. Two men, twentysomethings Taurons, are inside. One standing by the door with a gun. They let Taim pass, though. The room is bare, save for a makeshift cage. It actually looks like it used to be a horse trailer that's been repurposed. It's door is presently open. Probably so the second guard could make use of the Taser he's holding, adn still has aimed at the interior. And inside…

Well, it looks like a woman. In her late forties or early fifties, long dark hair and eyes, absolutely filthy, dressed in rags, signs of old bruising on her face and a nose that's been broken at least once. She's handcuffed to a post on the trailer wall. And yet, for all that, the look she gives Taim and those entering with him is almost regal. And disdainful. And then, eyes falling upon Vandenberg, she starts laughing. A husky, deep, mocking laugh.

Vandenberg nods to Cameron as they walk. "The skinjobs download. Or upload. Or something. When the body dies their data goes off to some other location and they're reborn. Makes 'em hard as frak to actually kill permanantly." Stepping into the room first, she moves to the side so the others can see this as well. "Been torturing the Cylon, Mister Taim? What all has she told you about this place?" she asks evenly before settling her eyes on the Five once more. "Keep yuckin', Chuckles. I ain't the one covered in shit or about to get tazed. Unless you got something to say."

"Morgenfield," Damon says, clarifying who Sofia means by 'the really horny one'. The name is spoken with distaste. He follows along to see the imprisoned woman, goosebumps visible on what little skin he has exposed in that uniform. When the woman laughs, though, he finally drops the toolbox and instinctively reaches for his pistol with a shaking hand. At least he has enough sense not to draw the weapon, though it's unloaded. "That's the creepiest Gods-damned laugh I've ever heard," he says, clearly shaken. "So she's… I mean, this… old woman… is one of them?"

"Right," Sofia doesn't seem to like the name anymore. She wrinkles her nose. She rubs the back of her head. There's a polte smile at the Tauronians, but it fades fast. "She's unpleasant," Sofia remarks quietly. She does pat Damon on the shoulder again, and whisper, "Hey… it's okay. She's just- being creepy." She does pick up his toolbox for him at least.

He follows. What else can he do? Cameron listens to Taim, to Van, his brow deeply creased as he processes the information thoughtfully, the question upon his lips hovering there uncertainly before he asks, "Ahhhh, not to be a moron or anything, how do you know she's a Cylon? How can we be sure?" Cameron blinks as the woman, or Cylon, in questions starts laughing at Vandenberg, his eyes flickering to the Marine bemusedly before shifting back. "She's not that old…" Cameron notes quietly, calm in the face of the disquieting laughter.

"The wounds of the flesh do not pain me," the woman(?) speaks. Husky voice low now. Dark eyes focused on Vandenberg with a burning intensity. "My God shields my soul from harm. These roaches, this refuse of this garbage world, cannot touch me. As they wither, so shall I rise." Those intense eyes flash to Sofia when the little snipe speaks. "Have you come to pick over the carcass of this dead bull, little child of blasphemy? Ha! Idiots. There is nothing left here. They were wrong. But their kind were a line of idiots." The guard with the Taser raises it again, looking questioning at Taim, but Taim shakes his head. Not just yet.

Taim gives Cameron a hard look. "I know because I saw that bitch die six months ago. Buried her with my own two hands. Then I see her, and copies of her, walking the streets good as new. Torture?" A shrug at the word from Vandenberg. He doesn't deny it. "We haven't gotten much out of her we could use. She did some bragging - bitch likes to brag - about this place. But mostly it's just…raving, blasphemous bile. Like you heard. A couple of jolts usually shuts her up for a few hours."

Vandenberg nods to Damon's question, letting Taim finish. "Spot on with what Mister Taim said. Marines on the Cerb have her listed as a number five. Apparently this one gets her jollies by hurting humans. I recognize the face from a screencap from a security feed." There's a glance to Cameron, then. "Give it an ask. There won't be a lot of actual humans admitting to being a Cylon." A long breath leaves her as the Lieutenant's attention settles back to the five. "What's she say about this place, Mister Taim?" comes the question as she takes a step closer to the trailer but keeps her distance. Her own eyes match the Cylon's, slitting as she bores her own eyes right back. "They? You mean your buddies who retreated and left you to die at our hands? Or you talking about the other kinds like yours that think you're a stark-raving frakkin loon?"

"I don't think her age is the important thing here, Doc," Damon says. Slowly, he unwraps his fingers from the grip of his pistol one at a time. "This place makes me frakking jumpy," he says to Sofia. As if that weren't evident already. "And she is frakking disconcerting. First thing I woulda done is gag her. Or, y'know, cauterize her mouth shut." He takes the toolbox back from Sofia which leads to his hand covering hers for a brief moment - it's cold and sweaty. Seems like he's mostly regained his composure, even if he's still tense and breathing heavy.

His mouth opens in a silent 'oh' of understanding before shutting once more into a thin and narrow line. Cameron's a doctor. Raised by doctors. He's a kind man. A gentle man. And so he actually surprises himself as he counters the prisoner coolly, "Wounds of the flesh do not pain you? Good. Then I won't waste any anesthetic when I dissect you while you're alive and awake to see just what makes you tick…." Lifting his eyes to Taim, the doctor notes, "You could always just gag her to keep her quiet… but I'm guessing you enjoy tasering her more. No condemnation in those words. After what they've all been through, Cameron can't honestly blame them. The chuckle that escapes him is wry and sardonic as he replies to Damon, "Oh, you might be surprised. Her 'age' could be very relevant indeed. But I won't know till I have her under the knife and under the microscope, as it were."

Sofia takes a deep breath and nods. She doesn't seem to mind the cold, sweaty hand and stays near Damon. "Yeah… she's kind of an itchy B," Sofia agrees quietly. Then a pause at Cameron. "Um." She looks perturbed by the idea of vivisection. She doesn't comment or protest though. "Yeah." She agrees with Damon and just stays quiet.

"Your voice has the sound of a cockroach, too…" the dark woman's gaze rolls to Damon. Smiling at him, laughing as she sees the gun in his hand. It's a very smug sort of laugh, beaten and chained though she is. "Have you come home to die, godless roach? We told them to cleanse these husks before we moved on. Out voted. Poor expenditure of time, it was deemed. They will listen to us now. We will burn the insects when we have finished with our prey. And then we…" *BZZT*. After a nod from Taim, the guard hits her with the Taser again. A scream, and she flops and writhes on the trailer floor. Her screams of pain sound human enough.

Though they don't appear to bother the Taurons. Taim shakes his head when they mention a gag. "Thing still has to eat. And drink. And we won't want to touch her anymore than we can. Sorry to disappoint you, Doctor. Nothing I'd like more than to cut her into strips, but that's what she wants. These things don't die. Oh, they look like they die. But their memories or…whatever…they come back in new bodies that know everything their old one did."

Vandenberg watches the Cylon but speaks over her shoulder to Ezra. "Mister Taim, would you mind terribly if we took this thing off your hands? We've got some interrogators who might like to talk to this thing. See what kind of intel we can get from it? Specifically what they were doing here. Would you also mind if we had some of our people come down and look over this facility?" She then looks to Damon. "Chief? Given that hangar we walked in through, how many of those big Raiders you think they could park here?"

Damon looks disturbed when the Five addresses him directly, but not too much more than he already did. He doesn't bother to respond, though he does look relieved when she gets tazed. Not that her screaming is much more soothing, but at least they aren't creepy, crazy words. "That has to be a digital transfer of some sort," he muses aloud about the 'downloading' of Cylon memories upon death. "I wonder… if we might be able to jam that signal, if it is a signal, with our Raptors' ECM capabilities. Or if not, with the Areion's technology. Or trace the signal, if it's a directional broadcast, to where it's being transmitted." Technical thoughts will keep him grounded in sanity. "Uh… that hangar's pretty massive." He tries to think back to its size and makes an estimated guess. "That's a pretty rough estimate, though, El-Tee. If we can get the one we took in there, I'll be able to visualize the proportions better and give you a more accurate estimate."

"I'm a surgeon," Cameron points out calmly, his gaze still fixed on the Cylon, clinically studying her. "I'm very very good at cutting things open and keeping them alive at the same time. I have no intention of giving her freedom by killing her. Doesn't mean we can't cut her up and study her nonetheless." It's hard to say where this cold-hearted, clinical man has been hiding all this time, but he's risen to the surface it would seem and appears to be willing to do whatever is necessary to find out the answer behind these 'skinjobs'. He watches as she collapses, a part of him shivering as she screams, the 'good' doctor as it were, but his eyes remain cool and dispassionate.

Sofia tries to be reassuring to Damon. Then a nod at him. "They have a weird system of belief," She considers. The concept boggles her. She winces at Cameron's statement. "Um." She doesn't seem fond of the idea. "I - don't know that CIC would let you do that, but …" She just trails off. The disturbing words and concepts just leave the snipe in a sea of illnesss.

The skinjob, for that's precisely what she is, lies on the floor. Twitching. Tased into silence for now. Taim glares down at her, frowning thoughtfully at Vandenberg's request. "We've had her for four months, Lieutenant. She knows just about every damn thing about my people here. That's how she got us the first time. She was with those that came out of Minos with us. Helped us find hiding spots, tended to our wounded like she gave a frak. Though she took a bullet for us. Not two days after she dies, Centurions come down on us like a frakking hammer. That's what she wants. To get back to the other Cylons, one way or another. Down here, at least I know she's tied up."

Van nods to Damon's assessment and looks back to Ezra. "I've heard they can weasel in and even do a lot of good to help maintain their cover, sir. If we take her? We choose when and where she goes. Apparently they've got a range on their downloading. Just jump far enough away." The smile that flicker's on her face is anything but friendly. "Gone for good. Also? We can take you all with us if you want. Civilian accomodations with the fleet. We certainly won't make anyone leave who doesn't want to, though. It'd protect you in case of her death and get you three hot meals a day, showers, and warm beds. We've got survivors from quite a few places. Everyone will be subject to a background investigation, though. Not sure how you feel about that but its what we've got."

Turning around, Cameron stares at Sofia as if she were soft in the head or something. Van's words to the Taurian's is mere buzzing in his ears. "These things destroyed whole planets. Killed my family. Your family. EVERYBODY'S frakkin' family! We need answers. She has them. Not just what she knows, but in her body, in her cells, in her DNA or whatever the frak it is inside of her that makes her look like one of us and yet not be one of us. It's not a question of 'letting' it's a question of what must be done. And I, for one, have no pity for them. Not after what they've done to us. If you do? Then there is something very, very wrong with you."

Sofia winces at Cameron's words. But she stares at him quietly, evenly. "Hi. I'm from Aquaria. My planet is pretty much frakked sideways for a few hundred thousand years. Nice to meet you." She replies quietly. "You'll have to forgive me if I find vivisection distasteful, whatever the target is. Especially without anesthetic. There are some lines that should not be crossed. I will not let my anger and hatred consume me, or turn me into a frothing animal. But I'd like to point out that I did not openly object to your venting or ideas. As if they'd let you cut up a prisoner just for vengeance." She states simply. "I find that helping my fellow humans is far more constructive than wishing live dissection on someone. Sorry." She states simply. "And we've already looked at dead ones and recently dead. Like, the civilian freighter is going to be an immense floating garden where they can live and work and tend crops. That seems like something worth caring for, more than hoping we catch a skinjob to torture." A shrug. "You have no idea what I've seen or been through," There's a long moment where Sofia stares blankly through Cameron. "I can't even remember at least one night. Except … for the smell of burning flesh. I don't know why," She admits to that. "So don't act as if I've never suffered." And after that? She promptly goes silent.

"The have booze, Boss," Eddie pipes up. He looks enthused, in his twitchy sort of way, about the idea of leaving.

Taim frowns. At Eddie, at the skinjob in a cage, at Vandenberg. "Range, eh?" He snorts. "That's what the frakkers want you to think. But we can't stay here…" He mutters that more to himself than the others. He grunts. "…we…scrouged…as many anti-rads as we could, but they won't last more than another month or so. Showers and meals don't sound too bad. But where are we going, Lieutenant? You said the other colonies were nuked, too. Where do we go?" The exchange between Sofia and Cameron gets a hard look from him. He doesn't interject anything between the two of them, though.

Vandenberg nods towards Eddie and looks to Taim. "Booze. Cigarettes. All the exquisite vices of home. As Crewman Wolfe has indicated, we have a civilian freighter which is being outfitted for use. Currently all civilians are housed on one of the military ships. That should change soon. You also won't have to listen to this canner wax ecclesiastical at you every few hours. As for where we are going?" The woman shrugs. "Beyond my paygrade, sir. We're at war. I'm a Marine. I fight. But I know parts of the colonies are still habitable for a stretch. Its a big universe, too. We're good on firepower, food, and fuel. As I said, though, we are not here to enforce anything. Purely rescue operations for those that wish to leave with us."

Cameron smiles, but it is utterly unlike anything that has ever crossed his lips before. It can't really be called a smile, for there is nothing kind or friendly about the curving of his lips. "Do I seem consumed to you?" he replies in a voice that is terribly calm. "Not in the slightest. I am no frothing animal, though the Cylon behind me is acting like one. Normally I put those things down and out of their misery. But this one is too valuable, and honestly I will not waste precious drugs needed for our wounded, Marines and crew and civilians shot in battle against these machines." His head tilts to one side as he notes, "I also said nothing about cutting her up just for vengeance. Far from it. I am a doctor. A surgeon. A scientist. A neurologist. She? She is a disease that I must study in order to help save the human race. I have done a great deal to help my fellow huamns. I just have the stomach to do what apparently some people can't." And here, for a moment, Cameron's eyes flicker over toward Vandenberg. How ironic, that in this moment they can, perhaps, relate more than before. Or she can at least understand him where Sofia cannot. "Living tissue is a far different thing than dead tissue. I do not put it past them to have the ability to destroy or diffuse important physical and chemical markers upon death, if they have the ability to ship their minds off to some central data point." He eyes her, unphased by her confessions of suffering. Who hasn't suffered? He doesn't even bother tossing down his own gauntlet on that ground. "You don't know me either, so don't presume to judge my intentions or reasons either." And with that Cameron turns, having better things to do with his time than argue with a Cylon sympathizer, crossing over toward Taim and Vandenberg, noting, "Regardless of whether you come with us or stay, my services are at your disposal," Cameron offers to the Tauron.

A pout. Sofia is NOT a cylon sympathizer. She just kind of stares at Cameron. "You're a /monster/. You've made up your mind on me, so it's pointless to argue. But let me state for the record, I hold no sympathy for the Cylons. Besides. For a /doctor/, you seem kinda happy to start hacking things up. Quite frankly, I'd rather /not/ know someone like you. I hope I don't get hurt when you're on shift or I might end up duct taped as example to others." She states simply, though her sympathy DOES seem to extend to Miss Eleven. She takes a deep breath and turns away. "I'm sorry sir," She apologizes to the Tauronian. She /listens/ to Cameron, but it's apparent she's going to get nowhere. She just kind of folds her arms across her chest.

"She's right about one thing. We're dying down here," Taim says. Not looking at Vandenberg, but shifting a long glare back to the skinjob. The Tauron man shakes his head. "What choice do we have? Wait around for the toasters to come back? Wait until the meds are gone and we die of radiation poisoning? I'm not an idiot, Lieutenant. I'll come with, and my people will, too. If only to keep tabs on this thing. She's my prisoner. I go where she goes."

The skinjob has largely regained her senses from her latest bout of Tasing, though she doesn't speak again. She props herself up against the side of her cage. That regal smile back on her lips as she regards Taim and Vandenberg. Sofia and Cameron. Damon and Eddie and the guards in her room. There's a flash in her eyes, and a soft, husky chuckle of pure contempt escapes her. Bruised, filthy, half-starved, she looks nothing but smugly victorious.

"All I can say, sir, is that she will be placed into the brig and dealt with by Command. Beyond that, I make no promises. But I'm glad to see you taking the smart route." Vandenberg dips her head to Taim and turns to look back towards the number five, eyes staring right back at it. She presses the button on her radio and begin transmitting: "Cerberus, Dog Actual." She only pauses long enough to get a response. "Cerberus, we will need a Marine squad down here at my location for high value asset prisoner transport. Tell them to bring tranquilizer darts if we've got 'em. Further, we'll need a couple of Raptors to lift some civilians back to basecamp. Dog, out." The Lieutenant drops her hands back to her rifle. "Keep smiling. We'll see who is grinning this time tomorrow."

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