PHD #513: People Watching
Summary: Or what look like people. Sawyer and Cidra crowd-watch on Gemenon.
Date: 24 Jul 2042 AE
Related Logs: Reunions of Sorts
Cidra Sawyer 
The Sacred Circus - Lampridis Town - Gemenon
The Sacred Circus is the heart of Lampridis Town proper. Though it's ringed by a traffic circle that leads west to Lakeshore Way and east to the Boulevard of Doves, the square itself has been reserved for pedestrians only, not that anybody these days has much use for cars. To the north rises a large, ancient fountain whose ingenious plumbing system still functions five hundred years after it was built. A marble swan, wings extended, rises up from all four cardinal corners, streams of water spouting from beaks toward a central obelisk more than forty feet tall. Its sides are covered with reliefs of the goddess Aphrodite, each telling the story of one particular mythological lover.

To retain "local flavor," the square itself was never paved over, and the ever-present bomb damage has done a number on cobbled stone. Though only a few of the many shops lining the Circus survived the devastation, most of the signage remains intact, advertising restaurants, hotels, and the occasional hole-in-the-wall selling kitschy souvenirs. The electric lamps around the square have been replaced with wood-and-oil torches lit at night, offering a romantic — or medieval — feel, depending on who you ask.

But most remarkable of all is the sturdy brick building directly opposite the fountain that still functions as a temple to all the Lords of Kobol. Though its conical roof has partially collapsed, the Pantheon's inner sanctuary remains intact. A bucket full of chalk hangs beside the door, and on all four walls appear a few hundred messages in just as many different hands.

Condition Level: 3 - All Clear
Post-Holocaust Day: #513

The CAG has slotted some leave time to spend down on Gemenon this day. Which is actually a first for her since Cerberus assumed orbit over Gemenon. She's been up and down for flyovers and drop-offs, but she has seemingly avoided actual contact with the surface. Perhaps she finally felt it was time. Or just couldn't put it off any longer. Either way, she's here now, wandering through the center of Lampridis Town. Past humans and Elevens and Twos - the Twos are eyed particularly balefully - and even the occasional passing Centurion on the outskirts of the crowd. Tattooed arms bear in the sun, expression inscrutable as she takes it all in.

There is something about fresh air and sunshine and promise that can breath life to a world otherwise dulled. When work has been set aside for the day, and a bit of indulgence acted upon, Sawyer moves throught the Circus with no real destination. A broomstick skirt swirls around her ankles and her hair is kept at bay with the strap of a headband, making her look much more care free than other days of late. When it's your job to question and report, sometimes it's hard to just let go and…enjoy.

It's with a squint that Sawyer spies Cidra, those tattoos hard to mistake even from across the way. At a jog, she catches up with CAG, hand touching the woman's elbows as she gives a bit of a breathy, "Hey!" in greeting.

Cidra's head turns, and she gives it a slight shake, as if coming out a daze. Sawyer is spied. The CAG offers the report the barest hint of a smile, one that doesn't quite touch her blue eyes, and turns to thread her way toward the other woman. "Sawyer. Hello." She takes a deep breath. "I heard the reports from you, and the others who had visited this world before. Read the reports, saw the photographs. But it is…different, being here. Much different than I expected."

"It's like a lung without air in it. Until it breathes, there is no life…" Sawyer is feeling a bit poetic today, it seems, but certainly happier than of late if judging by the soft smile on her face is any indication. Perhaps sensing that the scales might not be even, Sawyer hitches a thumb over her shoulder. "You want to sit with me a bit? People watch? Even most of them look alike, they all act differently. It can be amusing."

"I will sit a moment. Though seeing some of these face does not fill me with much ease," Cidra says, going over to find a spot to squat and crowd-watch with the reporter. She's quiet a moment before asking Sawyer, "Have you seen the one that called itself McQueen yet?"

"He loved you, you know. For what little worth it might mean to you, he loved you in his own way. I believe they are capable, as much as any of us are." Sawyer glances over her shoudler at Cidra as she walks to find a suitable spot to sit. "Probably not what you wanted to hear, but there's no sense in sugar coating these things. I haven't seen him, no."

"It said it loved me. But it said many things, and how many of them did turn out to be lies?" Cidra asks Sawyer, tone harsh, though perhaps not so much as she'd like it to be. "It wrote me a letter, after it left. I am not sure why it bothered. But it said that among…other things." She stares at a Two in the crowd. Not McQueen. This one has long sideburns and is wearing an Aquarian shirt.

Sawyer holds up a hand in capitulation. "Then the message has been delivered. I wasn't sure if it made it past the MPs, and it's not as if you and I have had much of a time to spend some one on one. All this…" The reporter waves a hand around to encompass all of Gemenon in one gesture. "Has been a bit time consuming. One question though?"

Cidra's head tilts toward Sawyer. "Ask it, of course. And I have missed you, Sawyer. As I told Kal the night past, you are likely the best friend I do have in this Fleet. And the days have felt very long now. I am sure not what I expected upon coming home to Gemenon but…this strangeness was not it."

Sawyer's face warms a few degrees at such a confession, "And you mine. Which leads me back to my question. What good is a best friend if not to help push the boundaries. So as to not beat around the bush: Did you ever feel the same way about him. Or it, if you prefer."

"It was not like that," Cidra says. It's not a flat or testy denial. Or a denial at all, really. If anything, her tone is sincere and sad for the first time. "McQueen and I used to talk. About the gods. About our paths in the universe. He…" She doesn't seem to notice she's used the pronoun to describe him. "…I am not open with many people, but I felt we had an understanding between us. I thought he flew well for me. And now…he is this. And it was all lies."

"Is it?" Sawyer finds a bench to settle on, pulling out her skirt so it's free of her feet as she stretches out her legs. "I mean. Did he not still fly well for you? Did you not still have these talks? If I told you my name was Sawyer, when in actuality it was Sarah…would that change our history together?"

"He knew what he was," Cidra says softly. "He pretended to be a thing he was not. Earned our trust. And now…how we can we trust anyone now, to be what they claim they are?" Her eyes travel around the square, over the faces of the Twos and Elevens. "I loved the Lieutenant McQueen who flew with me and mine. I am not sure he exists anymore." A pause and she admits, "I saw him today. On the streets of this place."

As to the matter of trust, Sawyer says, "There is no way to know for certain. Good or bad, we're in this now, so finding a little bit of happiness or solace in the matter…well. I don't think it would do any harm." As to the matter of the McQueen spotting, Sawyer then says, "Him, him?"

"McQueen, yes." Cidra nods an affirmative. "Speaking with one of the Elevens. It was wearing a hat. The Eleven, that is." She sighs. "They seem…not afraid, precisely, but expectant. Of their fellow Models, perhaps. McQueen seems to think they shall come here eventually. He said to me…we were made your image. Well. If they prepare to fight each other now, they were made too well like us."

"The other models will not let these continue on to do as they please. Especially not if the others find out about the Temple. If the Twos and Elevens want what's behind door number one, what's to say the others don't as well? Then not only will they be fighting amongst each other but against each other." Sawyer estimates. "So you spoke with him then? McQueen, McQueen."

Cidra nods. "We spoke a bit. It was…not pleasant." She seems inclined to leave it at that. And does not sound too proud. "Well, he is what he is. He is not my Queenie anymore." And she does sound sorrowful for it. "But so long as the Elevens and Twos are willing to make truce with us, I shall not fight them. Perhaps we can find something here that will give us a better way. We certainly cannot continue as we were, drifting. And there are people left alive here. If nothing else, that is a thing to thank all gods for."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License