PHD #025: Made In Our Likeness
Made In Our Likeness
Summary: Laundry-room chatter turns to Cylon philosophy.
Date: 2041.03.23
Related Logs: None.
Bannik Cadmus Noelani Oberlin Tisiphone 
Laundry Room - Deck 3 - Battlestar Cerberus
Post Holocaust Day: #25
Industrial washers and dryers line each side of this elongated room, which typically has personnel moving in and out all day and night. These front-loading systems are designed to withstand the rigors of a military beating and still function as expected. A sturdy set of counters run the length of the room for crewmembers to fold their own laundry and dress and pins or patches before and after the process.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear

Tisiphone sits cross-legged on a folding table next to a bank of washing machines. There's an open book in her lap, and a smouldering cigarette dangling from her casted fingers.

Noelani arrives from Deck 3.
Noelani has arrived.

Noelani enters with a bag thrown over her shoulder, striding toward an unused set of washing machines. She smiles and lifts a hand to Tisiphone, then opens the washer lid and starts dumping clothing into it.

Tisiphone glances up, mid-drag, as the hatch opens. She watches Noelani enter with a flat and somewhat tired stare, responding to the wave with a mute nod. A glance away, blowing the smoke out at the ceiling, before her eyes drop back to the book in her lap.

Noelani keeps quiet as she finishes loading the machine and starts on a second. Not everyone wants to talk to a Sister, so she only offers to help in places where they don't feel cornered. Or if they clearly want it.

Cadmus arrives from the Deck 3.
Cadmus has arrived.

Carrying a medium-sized bindle of clothes over one shoulder, Cadmus scurries into the laundry room with a near-trip on the hatch's edge. Despite the fact that he's only carrying a small load, the marine looks overburdened. Part of that is the clothes, but the majority is due to the donut in his mouth, the coffee in one hand, and book tucked under one arm: "Modern Arms and Free Colonies". Judging by the utterly bland cover, it's probably one of those tiresome political books he keeps in his bunk.

Again, Tisiphone's eyes lift tiredly from her book. This time, the flat stare flickers toward recognition as she sees Cadmus there. "Breakfast of champions?" she calls, the corner of her mouth twitching. She untangles her legs, one left to hang, the other tucked beneath, the loose-laced boot dangling precariously at the end of her foot. "Oughtta put washing machines in the library and be done with it."

Noelani finishes loading the machines, turning them both on, then hops up on top of one to sit. "Well, I'm not sure those using the library would appreciate the noise," she observes to Tis. "Some of these machines make a lot of it."

"Yuhhbuhurr!" Cadmus murmurs enthusiastically, making his way directly toward one of the washers. Tossing his burdens down in order of sturdiness - laundry, book, coffee, donut - he coughs, stray bits of cinnamon sugar playing havok on his throat. "You betcha," he says, repeating his earlier greeting, "But I never read in the library anyway. Never have time for it. How's the arm?" Noelani is offered a nod and a raised hand, but his blank expression tells volumes: he goes to the chapel about as often as he visits the hangar deck, and while recognition might tickle around the edges of his consciousness, he certainly doesn't know her name or rank.

"Background noise. It's comforting," Tisiphone reasons, with a light shrug. Her shoulders are doing a good impression of regular, functioning shoulders, today. She looks down to her book for a moment, folding over one of the corners before closing it. "Hurts like a bitch," she replies to Cadmus, matter-of-factly. There's a moment of pensiveness that starts to gather about her, until she determinedly presses on: "Folks were talking in the berths, you're starting the training this week?"

Noelani lifts a hand to wave to Cadmus as she sees the look of recognition. However, she lets the two converse for now, since if it's the training she thinks, she doesn't take part in it.

Nodding, Cadmus continues to load the washing machine; he gives the occasional look back over his shoulder at the other two. "Correct. Basics first: muzzle discipline, stack order, stack roles, proper suppression, that kind of thing," he says. In go a plethora of duty uniforms, sweat pants, t-shirts, and finally one solitary brown three-piece suit - apparently the only civilian clothing he owns. "Feel free to come watch, if you have time. I expect it will be educational even for people not hefting rifles."

Tisiphone's eyes brighten at Cadmus's words. She even sits up a little straighter. Interested. "Seriously?" she asks. "I won't be in the way?" A twinge of hopefulness; she's hoping for a 'no'. A glance down for just a second, to her cigarette, which she ashes on the floor. Everyone else seems to use the laundry-room floor as an ashtray. Just adding her contribution.

Bannik arrives from the Deck 3.
Bannik has arrived.

There are certain constants in life. Death — for sure. Taxes — well, perhaps not. And laundry. Definitely. Tyr Bannik is lugging in his standard-issue canvas sack with undershirts and trousers, a vaguely pained expression on his face. "Last time I let the laundry pile up like this," he grumbles as he enters. Then, more thoughtfully. "…Until the next time, at least."

Noelani definitely isn't interested in the training, now that it's been described. She continues to sit back on the washing machine, pulling a well worn copy of the scriptures from a cargo pocket and opening it up.

"Not at all. There are catwalks about fifteen feet up, for instructors to walk overhead on. Gives you a bird's-eye view of the training floor. Observers will be up above, so you can watch from up there," Cadmus says, seating himself on a bench and shuffling "Modern Arms and Free Colonies" off to one side. For now, he's primarily interested in his coffee and that donut. "It's an interesting perspective. Combined with the record-keeping system, you get a very accurate portrayal of how people will perform in the field."

Laundry stops for no man, woman, or maybe even Cylon. They might have little chainmail socks. You never know. Tisiphone's attention moves to the door as it opens again, watching Bannik struggle in with his mountain of clothes. "Tyr. Hey," she calls. It's a little tentative. Eyes skitter away, back to Cadmus. "Yeah. You bet I'll be there, then. Nearly screamed when I saw your posts go up the day after-" Vague, uncomfortable gesture, involving her cast. "-this."

Bannik glances up when he hears someone call his name. "Oh. Hey, sir. How's it going?" Apparently Tyr has not yet found out the reason for the hesitation. A funeral kept that particular sword from falling on his head. He stops in front of one of the open washers and begins shoveling his dirty laundry into it unceremoniously. But he then seems curious, glancing towards the discussion with Cadmus.

Tucking his legs underneath on the bench, Cadmus leans over onto one knee. Savoring his coffee for a moment, he says, "Mmmmm. Yeah, that's gotta be rough. Don't worry, though. It's an ongoing training project, not a one-time thing. I'm sure you'll get a chance to participate." He belatedly lifts a hand in greeting toward Bannik, but again, seems unfamiliar with the man. After a moment, he ventures, "Ah… Do you… really think that's all gonna fit?"

Crisis averted. For now. It doesn't seem to make Tisiphone any less skittish about holding Bannik's gaze for long, though. "Tisiphone," she insists to Bannik, with a wry ghost of a grin. "Thought we went over this. I'm not much of a 'sir' with this thing on me." The thing — the cast — is brooded over as she drags on her cigarette. She's startled out of it by the sound of her washing machine's bell, which pulls her to her feet and leaves the smoke balanced precariously on the edge of the folding table.

Noelani looks over at Bannik and smirks a little. "I agree," the sister notes. "You're allowed to use more than one, but if you cram them all in, they're not going to get clean."

"Yes, sir, Tisiphone." Bannik doesn't miss a beat. Hey, he's a crewman. It's a very hard habit to break when everyone on the ship pretty much out ranks you. He then turns and looks around the room as his laundry becomes the subject of committee deliberation and vote. "Oh. Well." He glances to the washer next to him. It's open. But he's already stuffed the one washer full. Now it becomes a balancing test: Better washed clothes or hassle of reloading other washer?

There is a slight snicker from Cadmus's direction, which he quickly attempts to disguise as coughing on some mis-swallowed coffee. "Gods. Even *I* can't bring myself to call you sir, unless you were wearing dress grays or something. It just doesn't seem to fit," he comments. After a moment, he glances over his shoulder toward Bannik. "And you know what? I could have sworn that aside from Sofia and marine grunts like Silas, I was the lowest-ranking slob on this whole battlestar. I'm Cadmus." No, he doesn't give a rank. Maybe it's safer that way.

Tisiphone's a new enough Ensign that she still occasionally looks over her shoulder when someone calls her Sir. Looking for the officer obviously standing behind her, and all. "It's funny," she says, starting the slow process of unloading her washing machine with one hand. "My little world in Air Wing, I'm the bottom chicken. Your little world, you are." She doesn't look over to anyone to pin the sentence specifically on them, attention on her clothes. Nothing but Air Wing's drab colours, with the noted exception of several pairs of crimson- and gold-striped kneesocks.

Noelani smiles a little at the discussion, laying her scriptures on her thigh. "Well, I don't even have a rank when I'm on duty," she observes. "Or rather, I'm the rank of whoever I'm talking to. It makes things both convenient and awkward."

Bannik seems to decide that he'll reload the other washer, especially with so many eyes on him now. So he shifts some of his clothes from one to the other, taking the soiled clothes in heavy bundles. "Yeah. Well. A lot of people figure that. But you know, folks between E1 and E3 are most of this Battlestar. People just in for a tour and then looking to get out and go to college or get jobs or something." He seems to be referencing himself without quite saying it. "Not all lifers."

Cadmus actually recoils in surprise when he hears Noelani's statement. "Seriously? You're rank adjusted to fit with whoever you're talking to? Wow. That would confuse me right down to the bone…" he murmurs, absently turning away from Bannik. After the massive wave of confusion has passed, he turns back to Bannik - still eyeballing Noelani occasionally, with an expression of confused worry - and shrugs. "Sure, I know that, factually. But none of them ever want to talk to the police. We make everyone nervous, I think." Plus, there's that kind of creepy aloof body language he's almost always got on, which makes it apparent he *is* one of those lifers, and not someone looking for a GI bill or doing his duty and returning to civilian life.

"Great if you're giving penance to the Admiral and a Captain you've always hated strolls in, though…" Tisiphone comments with a smoky snort. She's paused in her unloading duties for another drag of her cigarette, expression a little pained. "Shit, man. Comes with the territory, I guess?" she points out to Cadmus, gesturing at him with her ciggie before she balances it on the edge of the folding table again. "I mean- if I hadn't run into you at the firing range first, I'd probably still be minding my distance."

Tisiphone adds in a mutter, "Shit, nearly all the Marines aren't what I expected. At all."

Noelani smirks a little and shakes her head to Cadmus. "Well, not quite rank adjusted, but we speak as if we are the same rank. It's hard to confide in someone who you have to call Sir, or who has to call you Sir."

"Cops aren't so bad. I mean, as long as you're not doing anything wrong." Bannik shrugs. "My life isn't that interesting. MP's can toss my locker any time, as long as they don't mess up my keyboard." He dumps the detergent into the washer and then starts it off, settling back now to wait.

"Well. I guess that makes sense. I suppose that also helps in terms of proceedure - a Captain tells you something confidential, a Sergeant can't order you to tell them all about it…" Cadmus muses, laying down on the bench with his legs hanging over the end. Rolling his head to one side and then the other, he smiles a very slight amount. "Marines are strange animals. The way I see it, you get three classes of individual. First, you get the types who are there because they like the attitude. They're in it because they like feeling like the elite. They like the adrenaline and aggression. The second type end up marines because they feel like they have something to prove. They want everyone to see they can hack it in a tough gig. And the third type end up there because they figure they want a jumping off point to a career in the service, and everybody likes an officer who was in the Marines as an NCO. Usually the first type doesn't pass much above Sergeant, if at all, unless they change their outlook."

Tisiphone lifts pale brows at Bannik in a sort of 'did you really just say that?' gesture, making the stitches at her eyesocket twist a bit. Absently, she reaches up and begins scratching the skin near them. She finally finishes the washer-to-drier transfer and fires the machine up, then crosses back to her folding table perch. Her cigarette has long since turned to a dead stub of ash. "Pfft," she mutters at it, flicking it toward the garbage can, and missing. While lighting a fresh ciggie, she looks over at Cadmus and says, simply, "Explains a lot." There goes the wry grin again.

Noelani hears the machines she's sitting on turn off, and hops down, setting her book aside. "Well, I'm a Lieutenant for the purposes of orders," she replies. "Mostly, I'm rankless during my duties just to make the conversations easier, not so I can skip around outside the CoC." She opens up one washer, then begins tossing its contents into the dryer.

Bannik pulls himself up on top of his washer to join in the cool kids who sit atop machines while laundry is being done. He shrugs his shoulders at Tisiphone as if to say, 'what can you say'? But he does smile. "Well, Sister, you'll always just be 'sister' to me. I promise."

"Well, in that case, Sister, I have a question for you. Or any of you, really." Cadmus rolls his head to one side again, not bothering to sit up. "What do you and Captain Karthasi think about the current state of affairs? What guidance do you figure the Gods have for all of us down here, in terms of what do to?" There's a subtle shift in his tone - respectful, but he certainly views ths current conversation as entirely academic, at the moment.

Tisiphone is pointedly silent. At least for now. The Sister gets the first crack at this egg, it seems. She sets her black, unmarked book off to the side of her crossed legs and turns a bit so she can look at Noelani as she smokes.

Clothes are flying from the washer into the dryer at first. Pants, socks, shirts, more socks, unmentionables, at least until Cadmus drops the bombshell. With the last thing she grabbed still in her hand, Noelani pauses for a moment before responding, "Survive." She drops the garment into the dryer and adds, "First we need to survive before the Gods can guide us in moving forward."

"Well, shiiiiii," Cadmus responds, chuckling a bit. "I can't say I was intending anything different in that regard." Placing the coffee cup down on the floor by the bench, he folds his hands up on his chest. Slowly but surely, he begins to grin - it's a mischevious grin, of all things. He lifts one finger up into the air. "All right, in the spirit of academic debate, I've got a better question. Is the decimation of all human life an act of fear or hate on the part of the Cylons, or a mechanical response? Latent programming?"

Pale brows slowly crawl up Tisiphone's forehead at Noelani's answer. Her expression starts out somewhere around disbelief and, over the span of a few seconds, ends up closer to contemptuous. "Survive?" she echoes, the word a little muffled against her cigarette. She plucks it out of her mouth, starts to point it at Noelani to add to her question, then just gives her head a sharp shake and turns her attention to Cadmus, instead. "The only difference between fear and hate is what direction you're approaching from," she replies, disbelief still clinging to her features. "Neither of which we can know without finding a Cylon willing to talk."

Noelani focuses on moving her clothing from washer to dryer. "I am an ordained Sister, not a programmer," the woman replies without looking up. "You're asking the wrong person about the motives of a robot."

"Of course. I know there's no *scriptural* basis for answering the question. It's a matter of philosophy and opinion, though. I don't think you need to be a programmer - or have a talking Cylon - to attempt an answer to the question," Cadmus says, waving his hand in a gesture of vague indifferance - probably indifferance toward qualifications. "I'd also stress there is a difference between hate and fear. Fear implies the hostility of hate, but with the complication of feeling the hate is justified in the interests of self-preservation."

Tisiphone's eyes grow hooded for a moment as she settles herself back on the folding table, one leg tucked beneath her, the other dangling free as before. She drags harshly on her cigarette, exhaling in a snort at her lightly-swinging boot. "Right, but do you want opinion, or are you trying to be thinky and academic about this?" she asks Cadmus. A difference between the two for her, apparently. "If we're trying to be academic- there's no way for us to say without discovering their motives. It's just a guess. It could have been any of the reasons you gave- except latent programming, I think. They're sentient. It's looking like they've… evolved." The word is used uneasily. "Species annihilation because of programmed reflex? Unlikely."

"I doubt it was programmed in them originally," Noelani replies. "As for the rest of it, I don't know why they did it. If I did, I'd probably be in the brig getting roughed up right now."

"What. What the frak?" Bannik looks between the others in the room, his eyes going really wide behind his glasses. "Really? I mean, really? Cylons just nuked the Colonies — at least seven that we know of for certain — and we're going to be ALL ACADEMIC about something? Who cares why they did it? They did it. I mean — we can't just THINK about it. I'm —" His voice trails off, a mixture of shock and disgust. "We're not some debating club."

Pushing himself up off the bench, Cadmus shrugs at Bannik. "Maybe that's good enough for you, but it isn't good enough for me. You can't outmanouver an enemy unless you can begin to understand how they will make decisions, what their goals are, and how they have arrived at those goals," he says calmly. "My job is to figure out how to frak up the enemy's plan, how to put them down, and how to make them slip up. If it's off the table to think about it, and we just have to go in and do, then we're all gonna end up a mess on some bulkhead somewhere. Sergeant Demos thinks they're just programmed to kill. I think that's a gross understimation of their capacity. So I ask. And think. Academically, yes. Abstractly is perhaps the better term."

Tisiphone turns sleet-blue eyes from Cadmus to Bannik as he speaks, stitches twitching as her brows shuffle skyward once more. "Can't just think about it?" she asks him. It's puzzled and disbelieving, though without the contempt her voice carried with Noelani's clarification. "Tyr. What are we supposed to do, then?" She gestures at him with her cigarette. "Stimulus-response, like an amoeba? Throw tantrums like a kid? Sit on our asses and survive-" Scornfully, that. "-until the Cylons roll in and we're all sucking vacuum? We're thinking beasts. We can't get through this without thinking about it."

Noelani nods, shooting a look to Tisiphone. "We need to survive for long enough to determine what drives them forward, what makes them do things like what they did. If we act before that, without information, it will probably end exactly like the battle over Picon ended."

"But it's not like you can psychoanalyze them," Bannik protests. "If you want to figure out how to kill them better? Fine. If you want to figure out how to avoid them? Okay. I can get behind them. But to ask if they hate us? I mean. It's not frakking theology we're doing. It's war." He turns to Noelani. "No offense, Sister."

"By definition, no, we cannot psychoanlyze them, for we are unsure of they possess a psyche at all. Do they network their cognitive functions? Are the Centurions merely frames with wirelessly broadcast commands, such as we might use a drone or sparrow? We have no idea. But intelligence guides them, and by inductive reasoning, we can arrive from what we do know to a working hypothesis of how to set them off balance." Cadmus stands, beginning to shift his modest amount of laundry from washer to dryer. "That hypothesis - the general framework of understanding the enemy - provides a doctrinal basis for engagement, manouver, feint, misdirection. We certainly need more information, but in order to provide for defense, we must understand *what* we are fighting, at a very base level. 'In ignorance, nothing right nor judicious can be done.'"

Tisiphone looks up at the ceiling as she blows out a lungful of smoke as she listens to Noelani speak. It poorly conceals an eye-roll. Ashing her cigarette at the floor, she points it again at Bannik. "Tyr." She repeats his name again, perhaps as a little mantra for patience. "Have you ever picked up a book on military history, or tactics? Books on how to adapt and overcome? All of it's about knowing your goddamn enemy." Her words are quick and forceful, but not heated. "Which brings us right back to, y'know, what we were just talking about. Motives."

Noelani closes the dryer and turns it on, then hops up to sit on top of it. She grabs her book from where she left it, then goes back to reading, pointedly trying to ignore what seems to have turned from a discussion to an argument.

Bannik begins to move his wash from the washer to the dryer, tossing the wet clothes into it in a large sort of heap slash ball. "Well. It seems pretty easy to me," says the crewman. "You find one of the Cylons, break them open, rip out the frame board, and start working out the programming. I may not be some sort of deep military theorist, but I was trained in basic programming. Seems like I ought to be the one getting a crack at the problem."

Cadmus glances up from his dryer, and proceeds to pull out the three-piece suit. After eyeballing it critically for a moment, he sets it aside for hang-drying. "Well, then by all means. There's a modern Centurion frame on board. Chief Atreus has it at the moment. So if you want to take a look at the works, knock yourself out. I'd be glad for the technical input, because it's all so much guts to me," he says, still speaking in that easy tone. He's definitely not the kind of Marine with a swift temper.

Oberlin arrives from the Deck 3.
Oberlin has arrived.

Whistling a bit, laundry bag slung over his shoulder, Lt. Oberlin slips inside the somewhat-crowded laundry facility, as the whistle trills high and low and then starts to pretty much die altogether. He's generally short on commentary as he looks from person to person, making some sort of silent analysis of the conversation as he slings his bag upwards atop the closest vacant washer to the exit with a 'thump.' "Huh? Oh, don't mind me."

"If all of this could be figured out by what's on their circuitboards, there'd be catalogues of their psychological makeup on record somewhere," Tisiphone comments, flicking more ash toward the floor. She shifts her position on the folding table, pulling both legs up cross-legged, her left hand fidgeting idly with her loose bootlaces. "It's like- neurosurgeons-" The word is spoken with visible distaste. "-trying to find the part of the brain that explains why you like poetry or not." Scornful, again. "Reflexes? Instinct? Sure. But motives? Figuring out why they did this? I dunno you'll ever find that there."

Noelani is definitely not paying attention, pointedly reading her book as the conversation continues. She doesn't even look up, keeping her head buried in the scriptures to avoid the discussion.

Bannik glances towards Cadmus and arches his brow. But he simply says: "Well. We'll have to see what the Chief wants me to do." It's a slightly more cagey response, one that takes some of the fight out of him. He then only re-engages with: "I think it's just a whole lot of rationalizing. Trying to retreat from feelings to 'academics' to cut out the hurt. But maybe that's just me."

"Well, of course it is. Though I wouldn't call it rationalization, per se." Cadmus gives a very plain answer, lifting one hand with his palm upwards, as if to indicate that such a statement is true on the face of itself. "Everyone deals with it in their own way. I like to find answers - the 'why' matters, because it lets me know in what context I can begin to make sense of the nonsensical. And I also work more if I'm worried. But I figure the best way to work is to figure out how to maximize our chances of success while minimizing all possible losses. I'm looking for every advantage, every possible scrap of information, because we need it. I think that it's more constructive to question the motives of an enemy than to dwell upon an event, no matter how tragic it is."

"There's only so much we can dwell on what's happened before we're all eating our Five-seveNs," is Tisiphone's take on it. Spoken carefully, keeping it very non-specific. She dwells on that for a moment, sleety eyes hooded again as she draws in a lungful of smoke, then doggedly presses on. "You really figure they're networked?" Said to Cadmus, chin lifting slightly as she fixes him with an intent look. "I'm not so sure. There's none of that… flock of birds, school of fish sort of movement, you know? Not dogfighting them, at least. They're individuals."

"It's possible to have a very emotional and humane response while still looking for all the pertinent facts. It's just hard, that's all. Sometimes I wondered how paramedics and rescue workers, homocide cops, ER medics all were able to do their jobs after seeing some sick, sick shit. Some of the worst stuff life had to offer. Then I joined the military." Oberlin just sort of barges into the conversation like the metaphorical Tauron Bull as he swings the front of the washer open and begins to dump an uninteresting assortment of dirty clothing in, piece by piece. "Oh. Afternoon." He adds, pensively, glancing back over his shoulder. "Don't mind me, as I said. I haven't really a good idea what you're talking about. Crewman Bannik? If you're interested in what Engineering may be have under guard, something could be made happen. It'd probably be outside your normal rotation, but you can tell Lt. Parres I recommended you. She's not like me. She's actually nice."

"Uh. Yeah. Lieutenant. Let me talk to the Chief and I'll see if I can get some time free or something." Bannik furrows up his brow, trying his best to navigate the minefield left in front of him as far as assignments. "Thanks for the offer, though. I mean, I'm more of a bird guy than a straight-up programmer, but maybe I can help."

Fussing with his suit, Cadmus raises a brief hand toward Oberlin without actually looking away from what he's doing. His frown is consummate: there are wrinkles *everywhere*. "Afternoon, Lieutenant," he murmurs. "Bearing in mind anything I say is the opinion of a guy who doesn't know a hex key from a hex editor except insofar as it relates to the statement itself, I think they *must* network some portions of their awareness. The battlefield advantages are too great. But by the same token, they can't network everything - the first echo with any capacity at wireless jamming could turn them all into useless hulks. Anything further would just be the way I'd do it. But I sure as shit know they don't *talk* out loud, and that's gotta be one of the most uncanny things I've ever witnessed."

As the chaplain leaves with her laundry, Tisiphone lets the hatch swing shut again, waits a silent count of three longer, then says at the closed door, "Survive? What the frak, man? Useless-" Her mouth curls up, as if she's about to spit. Luckily for those left, she manages to drag her inner llama away before it manifests any further. Several drags off her cigarette are taken, the first ones harsh, subsequent ones smoother. Give her an unlimited supply of smokes, and she'd be serene as a monk — and dead of lung cancer within the year. "Not sure I'll ever see one outside of the cockpit," she says at length. "If we ever get our hands on an intact ship- man, I'd give fingers to see how they work it. Must be like hang-gliding, or something."

"It can't be like hang-gliding," points out the Viper tech, Bannik, somewhat pedantically. "I mean, the whole point of hang gliding is that air comes up underneath of the hang-glider and that's how you fly. In space, no air, poof." He shrugs. "It's got to be something else." And then his dryer stops and he begins to pull out his clothes.

As Noelani leaves, Oberlin barely gives her a glance in notice before returning to what he's doing, fiddling with the detergent and setting up the wash cycle with a few choice button-presses. "Ever wonder why they don't just have 'fatigues' settings? Would save a whole lot of time, considering that that's generally all we're washing here anyway." He muses aloud, sighing a little as he attempts to inject some facetious humor into the situation. He lets it drop, though, as he starts weighing the ebb and flow of the conversation. "Survive's exactly what we're doing, Ensign. For how long and doing what is up in the air but that's always out of our hands anyway. I could have bought it in a train wreck a week before the attack. At least, that's what I try to tell myself." He admits with a rueful shrug and a slight twitch of his mouth.

Then, back to Bannik. "Cylon tech still uses some kind of electronic impulse movement. I wouldn't say your knowledge would be useless. You're not exactly in my chain of command, so I'm just tossing that out there. I know the Chief was pretty pleased with what you've been doing so far. And we have that other project to finish going over. That'll probably have to wait until the next operation's over." He smiles thinly and continues. "Hey L.C." To Cadmus.

"I think if we treat Cylons like simple machines, we do so at our own peril. You don't have to be a neuroscientist," taking a cue from the earlier mention, "to understand how a person functions, after all. I think the Cylons are imitative, to some degree."

"You find me a way to get into a Cylon airbase, I'll work on bringing you back a raider. No promises, though. But I'm gonna need you to fill out all the paperwork that authorizes the ordnance I'll need," Cadmus states, finally hanging up his suit to drip-dry over a sink. "You want my guess?" he continues, and continues before anyone can really protest they don't: "If I were a Cylon commander, I'd rig vision, sound, inertial guideance, and wireless traffic to network with a central command post, and set up overwatch posts to direct and share that info. Any time a Cylon is downed, all the other cylons know when, where, and how. Then I'd link up their targetting systems so that each one has as much tactical awareness as the sum of the group. Make for a right deadly force, but each Cylon would in essence be an individual soldier. But that's just hypothesis."

"Yeah, well- yeah, of course, there's no air," Tisiphone replies to Bannik. There's a hint of 'don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs' in the tone of her voice, though the look accompanying it isn't hostile. "I meant the fit, their positioning. The cockpit's completely different- it's not shaped for a seat at all." She drops it there, though, shifting from a cross-legged position to drawing her knees up toward her chest, arms wincingly folded across her knees. Her eyes move between Oberlin and Cadmus as they speak; the former receives a more cautious scrutiny as she worries a well-gnawed spot on her bottom lip. "Damn, man," she finally says to Cadmus. "Glad you're on our side."

"Well. Just trying to do what I can, sir," says Bannik, his cheeks vaguely coloring at the praise from the Intelligence officer. He folds his clothes over, one by one, putting them back in the laundry bag in a much neater form than they came out. He trails off at the discussion going on around him, not opining much more on Cylon tactics.

There's a shrug to Bannik, first, as if it's 'no big thing,' and it clearly isn't. "Cylon armor ablated most rifle fire and all pistol fire, unless the rounds struck the Centurion's head." Oberlin lifts his head high in the air and closes his eyes briefly, as if searching his own memory. "I think that's how it went." Flashing a flat, pointed glance at Cadmus, he smirks slightly as he hefts the laundry bag atop the machine and turns around, leaning against it and crossing his arms. "He does his homework. There's something about them though, that strikes me as odd. They clearly have human-pattern-limitations that might not be the most logical thing for a machine." He explains to Tisiphone wryly as he continues. "Anyway, I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility we can bag a Raider. The problem is, we run the risk of nabbing a Talking Bird that will talk to the rest of his flock. Don't want that."

"Yeah, the Lieutenant has the right of it. You need bigger rounds than a duty sidearm if you want to punch through. Explosive rounds, AP in your rifle, SLAP in something bigger - definitely the order of the day," Cadmus says, nodding to Oberlin as he hops up atop his dryer, legs dangling over the front. "The thing that worries me is that they behaved *stupidly*, without any concern for themselves, when in the field. That indicates one of three things. First is that they can afford to throw away Centurions, because they have so many resources it's trivial. That's bad for obvious reasons. Second, that kind of mistake might indicate a lack of attention via a command authoirty - directing Centurion frames like we might direct our fingers while doing something else. I don't like that idea, because it means they're going to get a lot smarter when it counts. Third, it could be that they were fucking with us. Testing us. Which, oddly, I think is the most comforting solution. It means they don't know what we're capable of when we're not caught with our pants down."

"Well," says Bannik, tossing his bag over his shoulder. "I ought to get going. But it was good seeing everyone, I guess." His eyes flick across the room. "Sir. Tisiphone. Cadmus." Yep. He even didn't call her 'sir.' Be proud. "Catch you around, I'm sure."

Tisiphone ashes her cigarette out in front of her, dusting her boot-tips. She frowns lightly at it and cranes her neck forward, blowing the ashes away. Something Oberlin says suddenly has her attention resharpened — and darkened. "And no way to tell if the same happened to us. At Picon, I mean. Captured pilots. Who'd know if anyone was missing in that clusterfrak?" She frowns hard at her cigarette, nostrils flaring with a silent but sharp breath. "Is that really how you do it?" she asks Cadmus, lifting her eyes to the conversation again. "Engaging an unknown enemy — throw your shitty troops at them, see what sticks? That doesn't seem right."

"I don't believe that's been addressed." Tisiphone's comment earns a twitch of the forehead from Oberlin. "As in, an accurate casualty count. We don't really know who's out there, and who's not. Add in the possibility of POW's and there's a whole seperate question of motive." He blinks off into space as he briefly glances at the hatch that Bannik now left through as he considers his next statement carefully.

"But this is all about logic and motives. I don't think they're just simple warbots. When they went berserk the first time they sure showed some sign of evidence, but those tactics were adapted from human programming. After all, we made them in our image. Which is what troubles me. If they hate humanity enough to do what they did, and programmed their own upgrades, there's a sick joke here. They're still bipedal designs, at least in Centurion form, with human weaknesses. I mean, who puts their most valuable central processing unit in the head, with a single point of failure? Other than humans, that is." He snorts. "No, we designed them to be artificial men. If I were a Cylon, I'd be damn pissed that someone didn't give me a faster quadraped body with an integrated RCS jet pack and multiple redundant processor cores built in heavily fortified non-extremity locations. And eight arms." He pauses. "I'd also like to have a set of metal boobs. Then I wouldn't have to leave the house." Did he just say that? Oh, gods.

BRZZZZZZT! Cadmus jumps off the dryer in surprise - apparently more time had elapsed than he'd expected. As he pulls his laundry out, though, he gives Oberlin a long and calculated look. Somewhere in the recesses of his features, there's something that looks like admiration. "You know…" he ventures with an air of faux-casualness, "I was thinking the same thing. When I was talking to Sergeant Demos the other day, I mentioned that I thought this whole… thing… was an act of primal hate for life itself. But maybe it's deeper than that: maybe there's an element of self-loathing in it, and a desire to erase all evidence of that base..whatever. A hidden shame, perhaps. Nothing which can build itself a new form would retain the appearance of something they hated unless there is something *very* broken about them at a very deep level."

"Like you said: let us build them in our likenesses," is all Tisiphone responds at first, the statement black and bitter. Her shoulders rise slowly with another series of deep breaths; the last one hitches a bit, and more words make a break for it, when it happens. "We made them, and now they unmake us. And people have the gall or the- the stupidity-" The word is hesitated over, and doesn't sound like the one she meant to use. "-to wonder why. As if it could play out any other way." She abruptly pushes herself off the folding table, landing with a double-slap of booted feet, and stalks toward her drying machine to check it.

"Mmm." Oberlin says, blinking and banishing his earlier throwaway joke, his hand cupped to his chin as he now leans back against the machine more sloppily, the clothes inside beginning to slosh in the wash cycle. "Life itself. Nuclear strikes ensured a good deal of collateral damage so that's — yeah. I never quite thought of it that way myself but funny things happen when you tie yourself something to hate. It reminds me of something I saw during the Occupation." Yes, that occupation, as his eyes drift over towards Tisiphone a little bit. Maybe with a bit of trepidation as his those same eyes roll down to catch the soma bracelet, and then he glances back up to Cadmus. "People never seem to cease their amazement when something is created to fulfill a task and then that thing performs it to such a degree that exceeds all expectations. Someone thought it was a good idea to build thinking, artificial warbots. The warbots are very efficient at killing, aren't they?" He continues. "Someone thought it was a good idea to increase communication and integrated processing efficiency by upgrading Colonial systems so they could work in tandem, and they communicated some kind of taint all over our defense network. They were very good at communicating, weren't they? This could sound like a luddite's argument but really, these machines did exactly what they were designed to do, if you look at basic principles." One last, bitter addendum. "Both cases were out of some bunch of suits trying to make some fat sacks of cubits, too. Just saying."

Folding up his laundry, Cadmus rolls his shoulders in a little shrug. "I don't think it's an issue of making them in our image, but making them to be machines of war. It's no secret that they started the Cylon War was due in combination to their programming and partly because they seemed to feel - if we can use 'feel' as a word and not have anyone jump down my throat - that they weren't being afforded the 'rights' they deserved. But bad as we are, I don't recall us comitting genocide at any point in history prior to some possible interpretations of mythology…" he says, hefting his bindle onto one shoulder. "But I suppose that's theological and academic in nature. I'm more interested in how to confuse them, and their preconceptions."

That Occupation, hmm? Tisiphone looks directly, and rather challengingly, at Oberlin, her eyes the colour of sleet the moment before a cold snap starts turning it to ice. Go on. Speak your mind. She doesn't bite. The drier door swings open with a sharp creak, and she flicks her eyes away from the spook, crouching to inspect her clothes. The crimson- and gold-striped socks start getting tossed out onto the folding table. Sagitarran colours. Of course. "You hate too hard and it- becomes you," she says as she straightens, looking first to Cadmus then, warily, to Oberlin. "Becomes all that's left of you. You can pull yourself inside-out with it. Start with the best of intentions, end up- blind in your own blood, swinging at nothing." A bit of a gesture as she turns, moves back toward her woolen socks. "If it's only hate driving them, at least there's a straight-forwardness to it."

"Mmm. I remember when they hauled in a bomb-planter who was barely old enough to grow a beard." Oberlin sort of takes the bait. "Normally I just did translation and surveillance work, but you know what they say about putting boots on the ground when you don't speak the language, and they needed someone to talk to this kid because he flat-out refused to speak Standard. Knew a little bit but it wasn't effective. Someone in the command chain thought I'd be effective." He says, shrugging haplessly. "So, I sit down and talk with this kid. His initial position was that all the Colonies could die in a fire because, well." He a little awkwardly turns between the two other crewmembers in the room and arches a brow, "Or at least our forces. Then I found out he'd scammed a few tapes of Tauron rap off some of the soldiers in Alomar and was flat-out /obsessed/ with the stuff. Wouldn't stop talking about it. I told him the bombs he planted might have killed one of the soldiers that gave him those tapes. And we both got to thinking."

This lengthy reminiscence gets banished as he blinks a little. "Nah. I don't know if that really has to do with any of this. Unless we can figure out what's in a Raider's tape deck. Um, it's like that line from that song that got banned on Gemenon. 'If the Gods made us in their image, it ain't cool. Because if we're dumb, the /gods/ are dumb. And maybe a little ugly on the side." He coughs and smiles a thin, thin smile. "All talks of enemy psychology and tactics may somehow be related, I guess. Maybe."

"Well, I… can't say I'd considered the possibility of musically inclined Cylons…" Cadmus notes dubiously, marching himself toward the door. "But I suppose it's possible. If they have a concept of recreation, which… shit, that opens up doors that would take way too much time for me to contemplate. I should get back to duty anyhow." He lifts his free hand toward the other two, head dipping slightly. "Be seeing you. And again, find me an airbase, I'll snag you a Raider."

Bitter pride flits across Tisiphone's face as Oberlin tells his story. "Of course he refused to speak Standard." She drags on her cigarette, poorly-concealing a sudden grin. Attaboy. "Frak, but it's an ugly language." A final, quicker puff at her ciggie spells its doom, and she drops it to the floor, again hopping off the folding table to crush the smouldering filter underfoot. "Hey." To Cadmus, with a touch of her grin still lingering. "Thanks for the talk. Let's do this again sometime. Maybe with less laundry involved."

"Maybe. I mean, it has its uses." Oberlin says, dryly, a bit of that tension gone as he reads Tisiphone's expression. "I never quite got the 'Zsh' sound down proper, it always goes all nasal and I sound like a jackass." Letting the matter drop for now, he turns around and eyes Cadmus as he excuses himself. "May have to substitute an airbase for something more immediately accessible. But you'll be kept in the loop, I'm positive." Now he's all grins.

"Yeah. Definitely. Most everyone I've talked to lately has ended up like…Tyr, right? All anger, no abstraction to their thinking. It makes it difficult to bounce ideas off of people…" Cadmus murmurs, wry grin taking hold on his face despite his usual inhibitions. Maybe Oberlin has that infectious quality, who knows? "Anyway… Until later."

Tisiphone watches Cadmus exit, then studies the hatch for a few seconds longer before turning back to the room — more specifically, back to Oberlin. That steady, challenging appraisal is there again. "The sound's not meant for-" The slightest of pauses for word correction. "-offworlders." My, that's polite. "How long ago were you on Sagittaron? Bet they didn't even realize it wasn't eachother dropping the nukes." The two statements are put together like a slam-welded bulkhead. Her gaze finally drops to her heap of fuzzed stripey-socks. She starts pairing them up.

"Maybe not unless you grow up with it," Oberlin admits, flatly as he watches someone else now leave, giving a single wave to Cadmus before letting the laundry cycle wind down. As it ends, he turns to flip open the lid and retrieves his soggy laundry as he talks. "Given enough time and exposure, a person can adapt to anything. I don't mean that as a denigration." He says as his words rumble into the open expanse of the washer, gathering wet piece of clothing after wet piece of clothing. Tisiphone's statement about nukes earns a "Huh," but nothing concrete. Finally, he answers. "Very last time was two years ago. I had to do work there planetside less often than I did in orbit, the Fleet had a habit of doing a lot of the intelligence and analysis work offsite when not needed. A lot of it got pumped to Fleet and ONI HQ on Picon too. There were good and bad sides to this."

"Southern continent?" Tisiphone wonders with a glance over as she returns to the drier, pulling more of her clothes out. Browns and greys and blacks — not a sign of anything non-regulation, now that the socks are taken care of. "Aera Yazd?" One of the bigger southern cities, filthy and torn apart by war. "Sthenoi?" Another southern city — the capital, smaller and only halfway torn to flinders. "Or did they keep you up north?" Where it's safer, the glance implies. "Any better than before, last time you were there? I- hadn't been home since they sent me to Caprica in '35." Six years ago.

"Actually, the time I told you about, I was in Aera Yazd." Oberlin says, matter-of-factly as he he too starts to cart his admittedly boring laundry on over towards the dryer area, narrowing his eyes in recollection as he speaks. Swinging the door open, he starts to shovel his clothing inside with lazy motions. "It was a field base. Camp Deacon. It may seem unlikely at first, but I was in the south more than the north when I was planetside. When you think about it - if there was a reason to go to the surface, it might as well be on-site because we could do the offsite work from orbit when I was stationed on the Ilium." He turns away from the dryer momentarily. "Aera Yazd was pretty wrecked, and not for any good reason, and if you want to look for blame, it can actually be placed on both sides. There's a sad irony to destroying something you think you're trying to save." He clears his throat. "The northern cities that were held by Pro-Colonial defense forces were reasonably fine, but that planet's had its scars of war in the last century. They were still digging up Cylon parts in Dawaz from the last push from the Cylon War."

"Yeah, well." All those words offered out, and Tisiphone responds with two. She looks pensive and somewhat uncomfortable as starts shovelling her still-warm laundry into the bag. Bedamned if she's folding anything for the weeks of light duty still looming ahead. Finally, as she finishes and pulls the drawstring taut, she looks back. "There's someone in- the Air Wing from Aera Yazd," she says, slanting her sentence away to a more vague destination. "I know he never went back, either. So what were the good sides and bad sides?" Another two thoughts slammed together. "To working planetside." She leans a hip into the folding table, digging out a fresh cigarette.

"Really? Yeah, it would be hard to go back to." Oberlin says, again pulling his head out of the dryer as he finishes up his last load. "Particularly given the situation. I've seen a surprising number of Saggitarons stationed aboard ship, but I guess when you think about it, there are millions of little variations in every culture. And military service can be lucrative." Shrugging again, he adds. "Well, for one thing, being planetside is generally better than being in space constantly for environmental reasons. We weren't born in pressurized metal cans, after all. Although this might start changing. For some people." There's a snicker there that he doesn't even bother to hide. "Honestly? It was a beautiful planet. Kind of rugged, but you don't get Virgon City yuppie-hives as a sole definition of 'home' when you open a dictionary. This may sound like a backhanded compliment, but at the end of the day, it was like everywhere else. Which means, it was worth seeing."

Lucrative. There's a brief, defensive bristling to Tisiphone's stance at that phrase, the puff on her cigarette turning to a sharp and scornful drag. Perhaps surprisingly, she doesn't interrupt. Perhaps unsurprisingly, she looks acutely homesick by the end of Oberlin's words. "Yeah. It was," she responds. Three words in exchange for a story, this time, instead of only two. She pushes off the folding table and grabs her laundry-bag, as well as an item that's been sitting against the back corner all along — a black-bound book with no writing on the spine. One of the books he delivered to the Sickbay, a week ago. "I need to go," she says, as she's already turning to do so. Pausing at the threshhold, looking back, she adds, "Thanks for the books." And with that, she's out, the sound of her footsteps quickening as she hurries away.

Oberlin's face draws into a thin smile, but he definitely plays his cards close to his chest as he stands back from the dryer, watching Tisiphone excuse herself, crossing his arms. "I had a short list of people who might even be able to read them, so I figured nothing should go to waste. Good way to live." He nods his head and ventures, "See you later." That's it for a farewell.

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