PHD #114: Give Peace a Chance
Give Peace a Chance
Summary: All Jase is saying is 'give peace a chance' … Psyche? Just won't.
Date: 20 Jun 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Jase Psyche Evandreus Cora 
Hangar Deck - Starboard - Midship - Battlestar Cerberus
This Hangar Bay is filled with boxes, crates and other various supplies that are needed throughout the ship. Most have been moved to one end and lashed with tarps to keep them out of the way. The place has gone from extra ship storage on one end and the ability to house over 450 people on the other end. Whatever could be made into cots has been set up like a huge barracks. Some areas have been made more presentable with a few items that belong to the person holding onto their small area in this world. Marines guard this area 24/7 and food is brought in cafeteria style, feeding people out of vats and buckets as they line up with their plates. One area has been tarped off to the side, that holds canvas showers and sinks. The 'Head' in this area has to be cleaned daily since it is a temporary military bathroom setup, due to there is no way to flush it out through pipes.
Post-Holocaust Day: #114

The dinner hour has just come and gone and the cramped quarters of the makeshift refugee holding area is as calm and sedate as it gets. Most of the civilians have retreated to the few precious meters of deck space they can call their own and even the guards look a bit bored. Jase is sitting on one of the tarp-covered crates at the end of the bay, playing something classical, intricate and peaceful on a battered guitar. His eyes are half-closed, as though he's seeing better times and while he's aware that a few people are listening, he's generally playing for himself at the moment.

"Hey, cool. This is perfect. Thanks…" There's a little blonde navy type circulating among the civilians, at present, an extra-tall navy duffle in tow… and it looks like Solstice has come early this year, because she's got stuff to trade. Small stuff, comfort items like candy and cigarettes, but they're popular and she lets them go easily. Strange little geegaws, a pitch pipe, a deck of pornographic triad cards — these are the treasures she's acquired thus far. Just now, she's traded some smokes to one of Aquarian Pete's girls for a bottle of five-alarm-red nail varnish, and she's shaking it vigorously. Wandering on, she's naturally drawn by the music and pauses by the boy with the guitar.

Jase watches the young man circulate as he plays, fingers flying through the intricate fingering of the Tauron guitar piece with the ease of an oft-practiced performance. As she draws near, he winds down, diminishing and lowering the key so the end effect turns the last few bars from a pastoral memory to a low dirge and then stills the strings with the flat of his hand. His voice is quiet as he says, "Evening." And then, with a hint of sardonic amusement, "Looks like business is booming."

Psyche wrinkles her nose a little, a smirk tugging at the corner of her mouth. "I'm not profiting," she points out, still shaking the bottle of nail polish. "I'm redistributing." She eyeshifts, weightshifts, and clears her throat. "I don't smoke." Apparently in reference to the majority of her stock being tobacco. As if that somehow makes her a great philanthropist. "That was nice. The music." She unscrews the cap, glancing around to make sure the coast is clear before applying a little dab of red to a nearby metal beam.

Evandreus doesn't smoke, but is down here volunteering his time and some of his recently augmented candy stash to the civilian cause, helping out getting the rations distributed and making sure there's a little something sweet for the small ones to have if they finish up the 'yucky' military fare, commiserating with them about it in wrinkled-nosed dialogue and producing jujubes from up nostrils and behind ears.

Jase grins a bit wider. "Weird isn't it? Taurons have such a reputation for being brutish and tough but their music? It's all above love. Either of the land, honor or each other." He arches his eyebrows at that dab of war paint and says, "Are you quite sure that doesn't violate some anal retentive regulation? I'm pretty sure anything cheerful is disallowed by military standards. Why do you think there are no curtains on a war ship?" That tone definitely suggests he's teasing Psyche. He pauses a moment and says, "Um, it's a long shot, but if you run across any guitar strings, I'll try to work out some trade for them." He watches Evandreus work the crowd amongst his diminutive flock and grins again. "Looks like 'regulation' isn't the order of the day."

"I totally made sure the Fun Police weren't looking," Psyche assures Jase with aplomb. "Trust me. I'm a professional." The blonde flashes a smile, re-capping her newly acquired cosmetics. "I'm actually just checking to see how it'll look on the nose of my Viper." She blows on her little act of vandalism, coaxing the varnish to dry more quickly. "But you are correct — someone would undoubtedly get their panties in a wad. You'd think, now that the actual end of the world has come and gone, people would loosen the frak up." Her eyes flick towards Evandreus, her face lighting with a smile at the confectionary sleight-of-hand on display. "That's Bunny," she indicates the presdigitator and his little crowd. "I'm Psyche."

Evandreus is a little busy dragging a long green gummy worm snotbooger from his nose, to the mingled disgust and delight of the little one he'd bonded with on the way out of the Raptor. But then, tipping his chin up, he waves in Bubbles' direction and leaves the kiddies to their gnosh, standing up and ruffling the girl's hair in parting before wandering over. "Painting the roses red, Bubbles?" he asks her, once he spots the droplet she's blowing on. "Hi," he adds, for Guy With Guitar.

Jase blinks and gives the male officer another look before turning back to Psyche. "Bunny?" His tone is a bit amused at that. "We're just shattering all kinds of preconceptions today, aren't we?" After a moment, he holds out his hand to her, "Jase. Jase Hylas. I was, um, out of it, when whoever it was pulled us off Leonis. In fact, you could kind of say that I'm just now getting back in my right mind. But since you're here and available, I'll just thank you in their stead. Thanks." His eyebrows arch as Evandreus makes his way over and he recognizes that faint accent, heart suddenly giving a bit of a lurch before he represses any thoughts of home ruthlessly. He nods, smiling and lifting his hand from the guitar for a casual, quick wave. "Hey there. Jase."

Psyche tilts her head, a plaintive frown crossing her features at the musician's thanks. "I didn't do anything," she shakes her head emphatically. "But I'll pass it on." There's an awkward pause then, the blonde's eyes darting about for a subject change. She seizes on the distraction of Evan's arrival. "Sort of," Psyche responds, eyeballing the now mostly dry dot of red. "Second coat," she decides, applying another dot atop the first. As she works, she explains, "It's for my plane. I got distracted by Jase's playing and then decided I couldn't wait the 48 seconds it'd take to walk over to the port side — it's an ADD thing." She blows and waves a hand over the second coat, suddenly blinking and looking up at Jase. "Oh! Frak! Right — talk about short attention-span theater. Guitar strings!" She nods amiably. "I have 'em. I'll swing by tomorrow before CAP."

"You did get permission to mark up your nose, right?" Evan frets half-heartedly after Psyche. He's not a stickler for rules, but, "They'll just wash it off and you'll waste the paint if you don't get it OKed first, eh?" he expounds upon the reason for his concern. "Hey, Jase. It's nice, some music in here. I should bring up the squeeze box, sometime," he slides into a slightly more pronounced Leontinian lilt in the vicinity of the similarly-accented fellow. Like you do.

Jase gives Psyche a surprised look and says, "Really? Awesome." He pauses a moment, "What's CAP?" He nods at Evandreus and says, enthusiastically, "You should! It would be nice to have somebody to jam with a little. And my guitar here is the only instrument I woke up with." He slides his hand over the smooth finish of the top of the instrument with the soft, possessive touch of a man tracing line of a lover's hip. "Not that I'm complaining but … yea. Variety would be good."

"I hate asking permission," Psyche complains in the face of Evan's gentle reason. She makes a face, obviously of the Better to Beg Forgiveness Than school. Still, she sighs and assents, "I'll ask Toast. When she's feeling better." She glances down at her dot-o'-red, blinking and breaking into a broad smile. "Ooo! See? Look how pretty it'll be!" The varnish does indeed, with the requisite two coats, dry very red. And very, very shiny. She turns her smile on Jase, tucking her polish away, experiment satisfied. "No problem. I came by a guitar a couple of months ago, came with strings — extras, I mean. I'm sort of learning? But the spare strings should go to the real musician." She wraps her arms around Evandreus and nestles comfortably against his side. "CAP's like… uhm…" she shrugs. "Air patrol? Like neighborhood watch, but with planes." And a slightly higher casualty rate. But hey.

Evandreus, community pillow. He takes the snugging with a good grace, even lifting his arm to drape about the other pilot and hold her there, tipping his cheek down against the top of her head. "Combat Air Patrol," he fills in the C of the CAP for Jase. "We keep birds in the air at all times, just in case the Cylons come to pay us a visit. Keeps us in good practice, the meanwhile," he adds, then cranes his neck to look at the red spot. "That'll either come out really nice, or Cerberus is breaking out in chicken pox, eh? I don't know how well it'll keep up, though, during launch and landing. It's not meant to withstand that sort of ruckus. It's meant to withstand, like, typing, and cups of tea."

Jase nods and says, "I'll try to figure out what I have to trade. It isn't going to be a lot, I'm afraid. I wasn't exactly in the, um, lap of luxury there towards when we were rescued." He pauses at the explanations and nods again, albeit with a hint of sadness to his expression and in his eyes for some reason. After a moment, he chimes in with, "What you need is some kind of heat and impact resistant transparent lacquer to go on over the color. Or some kind of acrylic resin."

"Aww. Hey! You don't have to give me anything, y'know? I don't always do trades," Psyche shakes her head. "Seriously. Especially with civilians, it's just… sometimes trading's easier than giving. I mean…" she digs into her pockets, pulling out a deck of cards with a lewd design prominently featured on the box. "Like I really wanted a deck of dirty triad cards. But it made someone feel better to give them to me." She wrinkles her nose. "Does that make sense? But the strings will be a gift — really. You make beautiful music. You should have them."

Evandreus seems contented enough to hear that Bubbles isn't gouging the civvies of their stuff. But before he can say anything one way or the other, someone from over in the walkway between the two sections of the deck calls out with the monosyllable, 'DOE!' which must be the Bunny's last name, from the way he twists his neck up and around, then gives a nod, disengaging gently from Psyche. "I gotta get. Be good, Bubbles," he tells her, voice not animated enough to be seriously chiding. "It was nice to meet you, Jase. I'll be around," he pledges, then heads on off.

Jase smiles at Psyche and then arches one eyebrow at the cards. "You never know. I've learned to never assume I know what another person might like just by looking at them." He grins at that. "The hazard of being from the most progressive province on the planet." He shakes his head once and then adds, "But … yea. Thanks. At least let me repay you by -using- them. I'm a professional musician. Among other things. Maybe I could entertain you and some friends?" He gives Bunny a wave and smile as the man departs and says, wonderingly, "Bunny Doe. And he's in the military. He's either the scariest guy the Gods ever breathed life into or just hopeless."

"Bye, Bun-Bun!" Psyche waves to the departing Doe. She snorts mirthfully at Jase, re-pocketing her cards. "They're not my style. But they ARE Bootsie's style. And Spiral's. And a few other guys in the wing — guys who smoke, and might be willing to trade a pack or two for them. And cigarettes," she holds up a finger to the point, "are the coin of the realm." She claps her hands and rubs them together, satisfied with scheme. Her ADD brain back-skip-jumps over the conversation, alighting on, "You're a professional? I mean, you sounded pretty professional to me? But what do I know. Have you done anything I might have heard?"

Jase pauses at the question, looking a little hesitant for a moment but he's apparently not the type to prevaricate. He meets Psyche's eyes as he says, "Mostly I did various rallies and festivals and political fundraisers for peace groups back on Leonis. I was starting to get some planet-wide airplay though. And yea, I've been pretty much exclusively a singer, musician and songwriter since …shortly after college." Ok, maybe he is a -little- willing to prevaricate, as he skips over a certain six months that he's not sure anybody onboard this ship would know about.

Psyche shakes her head, looking apologetic. "I mostly used to listen to pop and club music. Maybe a little punk. I was Caprica City girl — with all the shallow, privileged pageantry that implies." Her shoulders lift and she smiles wryly. "Basically, it sounds like your music was both good and meant something — even if you'd gone inter-colonial, it wouldn't have been my thing." She turns and lifts herself onto a crate adjacent to Jase, apparently intent on sitting for a spell. "But things change, right? Peace was a really nice idea, once upon a time."

Jase carefully sets his guitar aside and organizes his thoughts before he replies to that. His voice is soft as he replies, "It's still a really nice idea. It's just a really nice idea that might seem unobtainable because of the way we're responding to things." He pauses a second and adds, "Kind of like how a psychiatrist is always going to suggest drugs or a psychologist is going to want to look at the emotional roots of your problems or a neurologist is going to look for physical problems in the structure of the brain. All of them are looking at the same problem, they just approach it with different tools and frames of reference."

"Uhm…" is all Psyche says at first, after a long space of silence. She opens her mouth a few times, about to speak… then discarding the words in favor of deeper pondering. Finally, she asks, "Okay. I'll bite — how do YOU think we should respond to a limitless army of machines with no other purpose than to exterminate our species?"

Jase smiles a bit wryly, "The first step is maybe thinking of them as something other 'a limitless army of machines with no other purpose than to exterminate our species'. That makes no sense. They have to have more complex goals than that. If for no other reason than we created them in our image, at least the image of our minds, and -we're- more complex than that. There had to be a cause. A reason. Some stessor that preceded this horror. We should talk to them and find out what it is. And then maybe there will be a chance for a real and lasting peace."

Psyche blinks slowly. Once more, she's at a loss for quite some time. She shakes her head slightly, breathing a laugh. "Wow…" she murmurs. "You're really…" Searching… searching… searching… "Really… different?" She ventures. "And sweet." A beat. "But you seriously don't have a frakking clue what you're talking about." And that, folks is spoken flat. And cold. "Cylons are machines. Seriously complex frakking machines? Surely. But they're not just… misguided metal people, dude. They're machines programmed to kill you. Me." She points over to the children some distance away, still innocently enjoying the treats Bunny Doe brought them. "Them. Without question and without mercy." She stares at Jase. "They don't want anything from us. It's day 114, babe — where are their demands? Why aren't they talking? Where was their warning before they destroyed everything, and everyone? 'Cause babe, it's all gone. There's nothing to go back to. They took it ALL."

Jase doesn't seem to mind the implication that he's crazy or stupid. He's heard it before apparently. He shakes his head, still smiling faintly, "Not all of it. We're still here." He looks towards the children and then back to Psyche, "And it's because of -them- that we should think about talking to the Cylons. Ok, they didn't issue demands. They didn't make threats. They just -did- something. Something horrible and awful and unforgivable. But that's the past. And who knows why they did it. Maybe they thought we were about to do it to them. I don't know. And neither do you. Or anybody else." He pauses and says, "As for being mindless, even if that were true of individual cylons, you said 'they're machines programmed to kill you'. Programmed by whom? A higher intelligence? Somebody who could be reasoned with? Obviously, somebody in the military thought so when we made peace with them, all those years ago." He sighs and runs his hands back through his shaggy hair. "Inexplicable and alien, yes. Inhuman? Yes. But totally lacking in common ground? We don't know. Because we haven't -tried- to reach it."

Psyche laughs outright, incredulously. "How do you try to reach common ground with something that shoots to kill on sight? We're not waging war, Jase, we're running for our lives. We have CAP out there the clock-round because we're being frakking hunted. And when they find us, they attack, and the only thing we can do is pray to the Gods we can defend ourselves long enough to spool and jump. We run away, Jase. That's our big frakking military strategy — RUN THE FRAK AWAY. GTFO. Explain to me how, in your world, we're supposed to even open a dialog here?" She pauses for breath, clearly upset. "And besides that, who the frak are you, that you know what we have and have not tried?"

Jase sighs quietly and says, "And we -don't- shoot to kill on sight?" He leans forward a little and says, "Some people get hostile when they're scared, Psyche. Who's to say what they are thinking? And as for me, I'm nobody. I'm just a guy with a guitar. And I'm alive because people like -you- saved my life. And I'm more grateful than I can ever tell you. -But- that doesn't mean that I have to think that the military mindset and way of doing things is always right. Or believe that we shouldn't explore other options. Can you honestly tell me that your leaders have sued for peace? Acting in good faith?"

Psyche shakes her head emphatically. "I don't… I don't know if anyone's 'sued for peace' — that's above my paygrade. I fly a frakking viper, y'know? I just try to make sure we're not blown out of the frakking sky, and that my fellow pilots get home in one piece." There are tears brimming in her eyes, now — she swallows hard. "No, actually. Guess what? We don't shoot to kill on sight. Because we don't want them to find us. You don't have any frakking idea, do you, how bad we're out-numbered, out-gunned — it's a frakking slaughter, any time we try to stand. We are so frakked…!" She takes a shuddering breath, blinking at her swimming vision — which breaks the surface tension holding back the tears. They fall. "It wasn't enough that they killed everything any of us ever knew or loved… parents and wives and children… burned…" she hiccups on a sob. "These people here, now… they're all that's left… and the second we dare to… to care about each other again, they kill someone else. We m-make these fragile bonds, despite all the scars, and they kill them, too. It's like a nightmare, and there's no waking up."

Jase sighs and reaches out to gingerly rest a hand on Psyche's shoulder if she lets him. Not invading her personal space or inappropriately intimate. Just one human being trying to reassure another by touch in an ancient, simian instinct. "Everybody's lost people. Way, way too many people. And I can't imagine what life has been like for you, Psyche. I won't insult you by claiming I can. And maybe I don't have a clue. But this way of doing things … it's not working, is it? I mean, really working. There's no future in it. Not for us." He tilts his head towards the playing children and says, in a quieter voice, "Not for them. So maybe I'm crazy. Maybe I'm stupid. But maybe, one chance in a million, we should start thinking about moving away from military approaches to the problem when they -manifestly- don't -work-. Despite good people like you doing everything humanly possible and more. There's no failure there. It's just the wrong skillset for the problem."

Cora arrives from the Dual Stairway.

"Don't t-touch me, you smug, arrogant, condes-scending, unGRATEful motherfrakker," Psyche jerks away from that well-meaning gesture of compassion, the force of her grief and anger creating stammering sobs in her speech. "This wrong skillset saved your frakking L-LIFE; my friends DIED to get your ass off Leonis. You're sitting here alive so you can play your stupid guitar and write poetry about how frakking misunderstood the Cylons are, and Captain Anton Laskaris, my squad leader and a fine frakking p-pilot and friend and human being… is in a f-frakking BOX…" She stands and wrestles her duffle bag onto her shoulder, coughing on sobs and snot. "Don't you sit there alive and tell me what we d-do doesn't frakking work. Don't. You. DARE."

Cora enters the starboard hanger with an armed marine wearing the MP band around his arm. He leaves her when she moves into the area more or less converted into barracks, wandering through the rows of cots. Presumably she has one in particular in mind, but she does not appear in a hurry to get to it. Her right hand is bandaged and splinted, and she limps very slightly. There are thin scrapes and cuts on her face and neck, none serious, all healing. Her head turns at Psyche's angry words, and she heads that way, stopping near the pilot and Jase and asking, "Excuse me. Is there a problem?"

Jase shrugs and pulls back his hand. "And I've thanked you, repeatedly, for doing that. I'm not attacking you, Psyche. Or anybody who serves. You all have my respect and admiration. But that doesn't mean that I think that the way you've trained to think and handle conflict is the best way for every situation. Or even this one." He pauses a moment and says, "I'm not a martyr. I'm not going to pretend I'm not happy to be alive or tell you to go ahead and hit me if it makes you feel better. But I'm also not going to lie or pretend that I don't believe what I believe. I'm sorry it upsets you." He looks up as Cora enters and shakes his head, his expression a little sad and tired. "Nothing that we're going to solve tonight."

Psyche turns stiffly away from Jase, shaking and wiping her eyes on the back of her forearm. "No. There's no problem," she states flatly. "Excuse me, please." And with that, the little pilot stalks from the hangar.

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