PHD #242: Men and Machines
Men and Machines
Summary: And the women who love them. Cidra and Sawyer talk about boys. You can't say you weren't warned.
Date: 26 Oct 2041 AE
Related Logs: A Lie Never Lives to Grow Old; Rainy Day Woman Number Twelve and Thirty-Five; Agamemnon; Various recent Crazy Cidra logs, but especially Vices
Sawyer Cidra 
Newsroom - Deck 3 - Battlestar Cerberus
This room isn't huge by any means, but it does have all the updated equipment and a small news staff that runs the area.
Post-Holocaust Day: #242

The news room is quiet this time of night. If there are actually other people who work in here, they scatter to the winds after a normal shift is over. That leaves Sawyer, who practically lives in the News Room now. Hell, there's even a hammock hanging in the far corner now. The tight weave mulberry faded fabric has a pillow and blanket spilling over its fringed sides, looking tidy and folded.

The reporter herself is standing in front of one of the bulkheads, now positively plastered with her notes, red string strung from one hexagonal paper plaque to the next linking them together in some sort of intricate web. She stands with her heads laced together on top of her head, eyes glazed over as she looks at the flow of topics and past them into some corner of her own mind. Long hours for the journalist seem to be wearing her down, her blouse now mostly undone to a camisole beneath, sleeves rolled up, and suspenders long taken off her shoulders to hang down at her hips. It's her own version of 'off-duty' when there isn't a dress blues' lapel to leave open.

And as the hours wane into what passes for 'night' (or at least late shifts) on the battlestar, there comes a knock at the Newsroom door. Brisk, polite but authoritative tap-tap-tap.

"Be ye friend or foe, enter and lay thine burdens at my door." Sawyer quotes some obscure piece of literature, mostly muttered beneath her breath on the way to answer the hatch. The wheel spins and she gives it a good yank, popping it open far enough to get a good peak before she swings it fully ajar. There be terrorists in their midsts afterall. "Oh. Cid, hey. Come on in. Business or pleasure?"

"Sawyer. How very poetic," Cidra says wryly as she slips into the newsroom. "I was expecting to have to answer a riddle to pass." She's in her officer blues, for her part, albeit with the jacket unbuttoned. The standard 'I am off duty' sign officers wear when they can't be bothered to change. "Actually, I was hoping you might have a spare corner. I have had…difficulty sleeping in the berths of late." The hammock is eyed. "Something we have in common at the moment."

There is a bit of a smirk from the journalist who steps aside to allow full and unguarded access to the CAG to her humble cave. "That was a gift from someone as a not so subtle hint that I look like shit, or so I gathered. You're more than welcome to either the hammock or there is a cot in the dark room, whichever you prefer, it's yours. No need to sleep in the corner like a whipped puppy. Let me pour you a drink and you can tell me all about it. Sort of like therapy, only I don't have a couch, I can't write you any cool prescriptions for anti-psychotics, and I'm really not inclined to ask you about your mother. Unless that's why you can't sleep in berthings, in which case I already sort of asked you, so the mother clause is sort of moot." Sawyer's going a mile a minute, as if someone stuck a quarter in her.

"Therapy," Cidra snorts. "Psychiatry is nothing but socially sanctioned witch craft. Give me a chaplain any day. Or a drink. I will take that, I thank you. Do you mind if a Smoke?" The emphasis suggests she's not talking about those cheap Picon cigarettes she so fancies. She laughs at the question about her mother. Very ruefully. "Gods know. It has naught to do with my mother, other than that I suspect she would be displeased." A pause as she sits, and then she says, "I have been having…dreams."

At the mention of 'smoke' with a capital S, Sawyer back tracks and makes sure the hatch is locked so they won't be disturbed. "This is becoming a bad habit of ours. I supply the drink, and you supply the smoke. Have at it, my friend." With the door locked, Sawyer kicks off her shoes while in transit towards her little collection of desks that have been positioned in an 'U' shape. One heel clunks into the bulkhead, the other skitters spectacularly into the corner underneath the hammock. Fingers tug at the hem of her blouse, pulling it free from her highwaisted pants, and she starts to unbutton it the rest of the way. "The sordid sort? I suppose it wouldn't due to moan the name of one of your subordinates in your sleep. Are you seeing anyone, Cid?"

Cidra's eyes go wide with something akin to horror when Sawyer mentions moaning about subordinates in her sleep. "Yes. Well. You see the practicality of this, then." She's armed with a joint in her uniform pocket, and her standard beaten metal lighter. Up she lights. Puff, puff. Extra puff. "Sordid. Yes. That is an…apt description of them. It is…I cannot get it out of my head. I have had it before but for the past…month? Maybe more. Since not long after we departed Sagittaron, it has been near every night. When I sleep in the bunks, at least. And this…well, eases the mind a bit." Yet another puff, before she passes. The question makes her pause. Like she has to consider the answer. "Yes and no, I suppose you could say."

Sawyer pauses, frankly out of sheer amazement she got it correct on the first half-assed try. "No, you're kidding! Who?" Maybe a good shot of girl talk is precisely what the journalist needs to get her mind off the civilian organizational chart that's laid out on her wall. Sawyer flicks a gaze down to her drawer, fishes a key out of her pocket, and unlocks the file sized draw in one of her desks. Fortunately, it holds booze instead of hanging pendiflex folders because the former is more productive to social lubrication. "Who are you seeing and who are the dreams about."

"He…" Even the pronoun makes her stumble. "…Sawyer…it is what you think yet it is not what you think. It is no one I can…certainly no one I *thought* of in that manner when I could have and now…it chills me. I cannot understand what it means." Cidra shudders. The first part of that question she deftly avoids answering. She comes out with the second, though. "Have you met Dominic…that is, Captain Gabrieli? The chief of Engineering?"

"So they're not one in the same. Iiiiiinteresting." The word gets drawn out to emphasis the delicious scandal of it all, meanwhile Sawyer clinks a pair of glasses onto an empty patch of her desk. "I know /of/ Gabrieli, but I don't particularly know the man, no. He's managed to slip out of my wily reporter grasp while I was investigating those string of fires when the Cerberus first launched. Branchala's balls, that seems like ages ago." A bottle filled with amber liquid is touched to each glass, pouring an ample amount in each. "So whose name are you afraid you'll call out in the middle of the night?" A glass gets handed over, but the arm stays extended to make the exchange for the smokey treat.

"He spends little time out of Engineering of late. I catch Dominic in storage rooms, mostly," Cidra says. The 'Iiiiiinteresting' earns a snort. "It is not, particularly." She smoke treat is relinquished to Sawyer for the moment. She takes the drink. And drinks it. Deeply. Making a face as she does so. The CAG isn't much of a drinker normallly. But tonight, she drinks. "We served together on a previous assignment. Carrier called the Marsyas. Dominic and I, that is. It was just after my husband died and his divorce and we just sort of…fell into a thing." Not a relationship. A 'thing.' "It was nothing particularly…he does not love me." A shrug. "It is all right. I do not love him either." Does she sound a little sorry about that? Perhaps, but it's a statement she clearly feels true. "Our time together was…I mean, sometimes you just need a warm body, you know? It was very…pleasurable. But we did not speak to each other for several years and many assignments. Even after we were both stationed here we did not…for some time but…after the attacks we just sort of fell into…well, a thing again." She very conveniently still does not identify the other party in her dreamscape.

Sawyer is quiet while she contemplates Cidra's words, but more importantly she's contemplating the tight roll from which she tokes. She's practically cross-eyed to see the red cherry as it flares and blackens the paper into charred fringes. Her breath is held for a long moment, causing more of a lull in the conversation as the fragrant smoke soaks into her lungs. "I can never keep those up…" Sawyer says in a pinched breath while she tries to avoid exhaling for one moment longer. Finally it all comes out in a whooosh. "Casual relationships, you know? I've tried. The lords of Kobol know I've tried, but I have this horrible habit of throwing myself full tilt into things. And. Picking them apart until they crumble." Sawyer leans over to hand the joint back to Cidra. "Speaking of, you know I'm just going to hound you until you tell me what you meant. Or I'll start guessing. Devlin? He's married now, afterall. Off the market…"

"Decoy?" Cidra goes wide-eyed. And laughs. "I…think not. Gods, Sawyer, he is young enough to be my son!" She shakes her head. "No. The boy is pretty, but no. It is no one…there now. I do not know why it comes to me so strong there. Persistence of memory, perhaps. Assocations. Gods only knows…" More drinking is done. The joint is taken back. She inhales smoothly, holds long, and lets out in a slow, practiced, "Ahhhhh." She's a pro at this. "Gods. I cannot say it. It is…you would think very poorly of me. I think poorly of myself for it."

Sawyer finally peels off her blouse and slings it over the back of her chair. The camisole leaves her decent, but at least now she looks a modicum more comfortable instead of lounging around in a full suit. Finally taking a chair, she pulls her drink over with her, legs getting folded into an cross-legged position that leaves her knees jutting out against the arms of the chair. "You'd be surprised. I've had years of training at pretending to be impartial." While Cidra is a pro, Sawyer is not. Her eyes slit sleepily as she regards the CAG.

Cidra idly works her boots off. Undoing the laces, kicking them under her chair. "As for the casual…it is all about compartmentalization. After my Daedrek died…I knew I was never going to marry again. I made choices about what my life was going to be. In life we are what we make ourselves, for better or worse. When you know it is never going anywhere, you can enjoy such things on a level of…sensation." She drinks some more. Sighing heavily, drinking again. Finishing her glass. "Another, please." While Sawyer is (hopefully) playing bartender she spends some quiet time mulling. Finally saying, "If I tell you, you must swear to me this shall not go beyond us." And, despite the slight haze of liquor and drugs, she's deadly serious. "I mean this, Sawyer. This is not some mere nugget of personal information I wish to keep to myself. This could become very…awkward for me if this came out. Perhaps even…I do not know, but there are things I do not like about the atmosphere on this ship these days. But…I must tell someone. It is…gods, I feel some days it is driving me mad. Swear to me, please."

At Cidra's request for another drink, Sawyer pitches forward and pulls her chair closer to the desk to accomodate. More whiskey is doused into the tumbler and then nudged back in Cidra's direction. "I don't run a rumor rag here, Cidra, I hope you'd know that by now. Who you're having dreams about is your personal business, and I am honored you'd share that with me. I don't feel the need to share that with anyone else. Yeah, yeah, I swear. I swear it. If I snicker though, don't take it personally. That stuff is potent."

There's a long pause. As if Cidra's considering not saying anything at all and just sitting in silence for the rest of the night. She takes the second drink. Sips into it. Sip, sip, sip. Finally she takes a deep breath and says, "Do you remember Ryan Shaker? Lieutenant Ryan Shaker. Callsign…Salt…"

"Whoa, wait…" Sawyer pushes herself more upright, way to kill a good budding buzz, Cidra. "Shaker, as in the presumed to be the enemy Shaker? /That/ Shaker?!" The incredulous note in Sawyer's voice is so severe, it actually cracks like a thirteen year old pubescent boy.

"Yes, that Shaker," Cidra mutters, retrieving the joint. It is smoked upon. Deeply. Another long exhale. "I know. Sawyer, I know. He…*it*…" The correction sounds forced. "…was an abomination. The enemy. Worse than the enemy. Those *things* should not exist. They are a defiance of all natural laws of the gods' creation. They are foulness made form. I never thought of him like that while he lived." Back to 'he' now. "It sounds horrid, but I barely knew his name before he died in the Cylon attacks. One hundred and forty seven pilots died that night. Before then I could count on my hands with fingers to spare the number lost under my command…I told myself I would learn all their names…I memorized his and when I found out what he was…it cut at my heart, Sawyer. One of my pilots, my comrades, was an…*abomination.*" She almost spits the word. "And yet…I cannot make myself see him completely as one of those things. I have never been able to. And then these dreams started…gods, perhaps I am going mad…"

"Well." Sawyer says flatly, about to say more, but she side-tracks herself first with a long douse of liquor. /That/ Sawyer is a pro at. She hardly winces or wants to breath fire when she lowers her glass. "You might not put much stock in the psychiatry profression, but there probably is some deeper reason you're dreaming of this particular man, in that particular sense, at this particular time in your life. Maybe you're just churning some need for understanding and comprehension regarding machine being man into something your mind can process, like the casual relations you have with Dom. Uncomplicating things. Turning them into something you know. But then again, I could just be full of shit because of that shit." Sawyer does an obligatory nod to the drugs.

"Hey, this is good shit," Cidra says, lazily defensive of her weed. Which is beginning to kick in now, at least. What remains of it is passed back to Sawyer. "Maybe. It is strange. You try to keep things compartmentalized but…it all kind of blurs together in your head, you know? The ones you loved, hated, lost…ones you cannot understand, no matter how hard you try. Only commonality in all of it is regret…" She trails off, then asks out of the blue, "Do you think Michael Abbot is a Cylon?"

"I spend a lot of time with him, you know. I try to see him at least once a week which doesn't help my own…troubles. Mostly, we discuss books. His mind is heavily laden with theology now, he says things I can't even pretend to comprehend." Maybe there's an answer forthcoming, but Sawyer's going to take a roundabout way of getting there. "He doesn't believe in defending himself, but would rather martyr himself because he thinks people need a good solid scapegoat for all their troubles. I tried. I tried to prove him innocent, but he certainly wasn't going to make it easy for me. So, I gave up. Now, we talk about books." Sawyer takes a long drag, sadness making her eyes look older than they should. "I used to pride myself on never stopping until I found out the absolute truth. On Abbot…I gave up. The jury is going to hang him."

"Quite possibly…" Cidra takes another drink. "I pray they do not, though. I do not care that I supported Clive in removing him from Command. I pray he is not a Cylon. If he is…gods, imagine all about this ship that lay open to the enemy for months. All they might have. And yet…why did they not destroy us, with an agent like that with a knife so easily at our throats? But I do wonder about the Admiral, Sawyer. The admiral and Lauren Coll…what were they? And what would it mean, if such as them were abominations?"

"There's got to be a way to tell. I mean there has to be some discerning difference between us and them. You can't engineer a perfect copy of a human being. Because then they would be /human/ and not…whatever it is those things are. I have this sinking feeling the answer is in that data I pulled of the Tower computers, but as far as I know, no one's made any progress deciphering it." Sawyer takes another quick pull off the joint, muttering. "You can't make a perfect copy of a human." Shaking her head, the journalist stands a little unsteadily, holding the roll back towards Cidra. "Hammock or cot, you have thirty seconds to decide, before I go pass out in one."

"Cot," Cidra says with a grunt, standing. Steadying herself against the chair with one hand so she won't sway too much in the non-breeze. "I always prefer the bottom bunk. Easier landing. No. You cannot copy a human. The gods made humanity. Humanity made the Cylons. Cylons made these…things. They do not look much different than men, though…" On that note, she stumbles off to collapse on the cot.

"Good. Otherwise Kal might try to spoon in the middle of the night." Sawyer mutters, gestures vaguely towards the dark room in direction for Cidra, then meanders towards the hammock to try and figure out how the contraption works in her slightly diminished capacity.

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