PHD #078: Ghosts
Summary: Haeleah and Oberlin discuss the "dead" woman they spotted at the Kythera cafe, and other things non-corporeal.
Date: 15 May 2041 AE
Related Logs: Don't Shoot the Messenger
Haeleah Oberlin 
Kythera General Hospital - Leonis
A giant sign, a white Asklepian staff on a field of navy blue, marks the entrance to the low-slung frame of Kythera General Hospital. Front sliding doors no longer function, now having to be pried open with a crowbar — assuming one goes in that way and not through the gaping holes in the crumbling walls. The front desk in this reception area used to be an elegantly curved white affair, in front of a long glass panel with the words Kythera General frosted boldly on the front. An intense array of spidery cracks now render the words nearly illegible, the entire panel one vibration away from shattering into pieces. Bulletholes and shrapnel gouges pockmark the walls, paint in cracked pieces and furniture shredded. The lights overhead are long dead, many of the glass domes in shattered pieces on the floor. Exposed beams and columns cast shadows through the large room, the sagging ceiling bulging and cracking in dangerously dark spots. The complex may not have much time left.
Post-Holocaust Day: #78

Haeleah spent the night comfortably, more or less, in the hospital. She's now up and crawling around it. Making conversation with Kythera's denizens as she can, though right now she's more interested in examining the building than the odd mix of thugs who have taken it over. She's currently stationed over by a wall, examining a crack running up it toward the ceiling.

"Bo-reah borvo neh!" There's a sort of frantic series of high-pitched yells coming from another room in a language that is clearly some kind of backwoods Gemenese dialect. The conversation is joined by another voice, clearly more familiar. Clearly Virgon-accented while still speaking that unfamiliar language slowly and haltingly, like he's puzzling through it. Some time passes, and the man stops yelling, pacified on some level. A rumpled Lt. Oberlin ducks out from the doorway and shakes his head, looking back over his shoulder as he comments, "Just — let me know when he wakes up and remember what I told you. I /think/ he'll listen. I think." He shrugs haphazardly.

Haeleah looks up and over her shoulder toward the sound of funky yelling. She clearly understands not a word of it but, like everything else in this place, it gets her attention. Never know what's going to be important, or potentially lethal, with these people. "Hey, L-T," she calls to Oberlin. Looking not a little relieved to see another of their party.

"Sorry. Had a refugee here who sounds like he rolled out of the back of a cave somewhere near Gemenon's southern polar region, I'm guessing. He thought they were going to cut him up when they were trying to treat an infection. At least, that's what I can /gather./" Another shrug of the helpless variety as he bounds on over towards Haelah, sighing as his head shakes. Ambling down the hallway towards her, he knocks his hand into a damaged section of the wall. "Kind of surprised this place is even /standing./"

"It doesn't look like it will be for much longer," Haeleah says, standing, brushing some dust off the knees of her fatigues. "I mean, not like it's immediately dangerous, but structurally whatever hit Kythera took its tole. Some of those cracks are nasty. But, I guess if it's held together this long it'll hold up a little longer." She crosses her arms along her chest, eyes flitting around the hospital environs. "How many people you figure they got here, sir?"

"Don't think /we'll/ be here much longer." The Lieutenant smiles mirthlessly and gives a little shake of his head, continuing to lean against the wall, exhaustion clear in his features. "Less than a hundred. Around fifty, from what I recall. Not a lot but enough to escape notice?"

"Yeah…" Haeleah kind of draws it out at that first from the lieutenant. That can be taken a few ways. She does not follow up as to which direction she's going with it. "At least it's something. I mean, somebody's still kicking down here. That's…I mean, I guess I'd just told myself everybody back home was dead. Made it easier."

"Considering — we came up on the labs too late. There were /life signs/ in there. Before all that went down." Oberlin declares sourly. "Maybe a more cogent explanation would have been possible."

"If we *were* too late," Haeleah mutters. "The initial readings picked up heat signatures. Captain Gabrieli wasn't sure *what* the frak they were. Maybe they were just some trick of that…that…frak, sir, I don't know what the hell to call it."

"At this point, I don't know why. Or what. That was before that security camera footage of the ghost." He simply says 'ghost,' at this point, Oberlin does, in a voice that is /entirely/ too casual, it would seem.

"Maybe it was a ghost…" Haeleah murmurs very softly. More to herself than Oberlin. A little shake of her head, and a shrug. She clears her throat. "Sir…do you think they really did it? Figured out some way to use radiation against the Cylons? Is that what all this was about?"

"I haven't exactly had a record in seeing them. I don't know. We all saw her, right?" Oberlin finally broaches the subject as he walks along, bunching his hands in his pockets. "I don't know. I really don't. I've — We need to analyze that data. At this point, the Cylons seem to view it as a threat. We might be able to use it as a coercive bargaining chip. Maybe."

Haeleah sucks one cheek in when Oberlin talks about seeing ghosts. "Maybe…" she mutters. For a moment it seems like that's all she's going to say. But then, very hesitantly, she adds, "What if I told you I had? Seen a ghost, I mean." Her voice drops, not exactly to a whisper, but this ain't something she particularly wants to share with anyone else. "Not here, I mean, I saw that woman but that's not what I mean…on the Cerberus. Back on ship."

"I think you sort of — hinted at that. I don't know anymore." Oberlin says a little quickly and dismissively, shrugging his shoulders in a classic, tense, 'I don't wanna deal with this' posture. "I seriously don't. That woman knew my name. Knew the names of our dead. The one we /all/ saw, that is. Maybe I should have shot her. At least then we'd know she bleeds." His regret only seems half-genuine, though.

"I'm not the only one who did, sir," Haeleah says, clearly at the point where she can no longer /not/ deal with it. "The chaplain saw her, too. The Caprican one. Karthasi. And that pilot…the bald girl." Tisiphone's name escapes her just now. "We all saw it…her…Robin. Robin Merrell. Our old chief, who I saw blown to space dust with my own two eyes. And…maybe it would've been better if we'd shot her. That thing by the cafe. *Can* you kill something like that, though?"

"Apostolos and Sister Greje." Oberlin chews on his lower lip after considering. "Well, at least /you're/ level headed. That blows my hypothesis." He stumbles over a laugh and shakes his head. "Ah, well. The other thing? The thing wearing the dead woman's face? I don't know. Looks like she already died once. Maybe that would just make her mad."

"She could just have a twin. The old razor adage. Simplest explanation is usually the correct one," Haeleah suggests. Not that she sounds terribly confident. She's the one talking about seeing dead people, after all. "And…yeah. Merrell actually mentioned this to me. I mean…Ananke. That it was significant. She didn't say how but…maybe I should've told you and Gabrieli sooner. Frak, sir, I'm sorry. I was hoping it'd just…stop, though. I thought I was going insane. Some days I still think I might be."

"Right. What am I kidding. Who am I kidding? And honestly? Parres. Really, let's just look at this situation here." Oberlin leans back against the wall and folds his arms. "I'm CONI. You tell me about a compromising agent in our midst, the presence of some kind of enemy tech? A new tactical maneuver to get a leg up on spinning up our FTL's? I'm there." He waves a hand, "You tell me you see a ghost, I'm backing the frak out of that conversation and calling a doctor." He smiles thinly. "No offense. But yeah, maybe she's a twin. Doesn't explain her knowledge, though."

"I guess I'm wondering now if she *is* a compromising agent of some kind," Haeleah says. "Or…yeah. Maybe I am finally losing it…" It's said with no humor whatsoever. She just kind of trails off for a bit before continuing on a different track. "I wonder if the people here know anything about her. Or about what was going on at MolGen. Most of them don't…uh…look like the science club types."

"I'm not quite an expert on cults, you see. But I guess, uh, I can sort of smell one." Oberlin's statement is vague and just appears wary. Unsure. He holds up his hands, once more.

Haeleah shifts her dark eyes back and forth. Back and forth. Making sure there aren't any hospital denizens too close to them. "Cults? Frak. Is this whole city filled with religious loons? Between the killer owls and mirrors and these people…you think that Baron cat's their leader? I mean, in the Holy Freak Father Cult sense."

"Nah. They seem pretty normal. For the most part." Oberlin says, shifting his head to one side. "A little rough — um, have you noticed something?" He strolls down a bit further as he shares some knowledge which, if Haeleah has been poking around, should be public. "Dr. Barron seemed to be a former member of the City Council. Seems straight - up. How he collected these people? I don't know. They seem to be a little less ritzy. Ever been in a bar on the 'wrong side of town?' Sketchy. But other than that, normal as I'd expect."

He shrugs slightly as he amends, "Between you and me, I'd rather be here than at Molgen."

"They look like the neutron bombs blew a whole in a prison somewhere and they just kinda filed out," Haeleah mutters. Part of it's sarcasm. Partly it's totally serious. "City council, huh? I wonder if that makes him the highest ranking politician left alive?" Again, it's sarcasm only it's not. "Well, they didn't shoot us in the face. That's something."

"Eh. Scuttlebutt says he was something of a populist, the Doctor. A proponent of criminal reform. And who's to say?" Oberlin asks. "I mean, really. When all is said and done, what happens to people society frowns on when society stops functioning? The fact that these people aren't looting, raping and murdering when apparently those types are out there should tell you something." He's strangely earnest at this hour. Must be everything he's seen.

Haeleah leans - carefully - back against the wall, arms crossed along her chest as she regards Oberlin. The place still has enough intact stucco to support her weight without tumbling down on their heads, at least. "I guess they could've been worse to us. Sir…will we be taking them with us? If…when…I mean…" She finally settles on, "…if the ship comes back for us."

"If they want to go, and they work with us, I say we move to bring every damn person who wants to join us back to the Cerberus. Even if it just involves cleaning toilets, mopping floors, or holding a rifle." Oberlin states. "Loading Flak on the Corsair. I know what I'd choose if /I/ were a civilian down here at this point. There's nothing left down here." Shaking his head, he steps away from the wall. "Or, soon there won't be."

"Me, too," Haeleah says softly. "When they come back for us." She'll land on 'when' for now, then. Taking whatever confidence she can from her commander-in-field. Such as he is. A little nod is offered to Oberlin, and then she kneels again. to return to eyeing the crack in the wall. Not that there's much she can do for it structurally. One or two snipes ain't much against all the neutron bombs this city has taken.

"We'll see them again." Oberlin says, plainly. "Given all the frakked-up, bizarre, impossible shit we're seeing, how do you think /that/ is out of the bounds of possibility?" Just then, that backwoods Gemenese guy starts yelling in his impossible language. "Oh, shit. I shouldn't have told them I can work as a translator. I'll be back shortly. See what you can find out?" He attempts a reassuring smile.

"Chin up, sir," Haeleah assures Oberlin. Trying to smile. It comes off fake and with a lot of teeth. But she tries. Got to keep the bosses' spirits up.

"Oh, it's up, Parres. It's up." Oberlin dashes off to that room and disappears.

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