PHD #007: Rupture
Summary: Demos has an unusual question or two for Stavrian. She gets some unusual ones in return.
Date: Mar 05 2041
Related Logs: None
Demos Stavrian 

[ Security Hub ]----—[ Deck 6 - Battlestar Cerberus ]

More than just an office for the Marines and their XO, this room has remote surveillance views of the Brigs as well as a state of the art communications center built into the far bulkhead. A locked and heavily armored door to the aft leads into another room, the white lettering on it reading 'ARMORY.' There are a few desks scattered around the room for getting necessary paperwork done and the Commandant's picture hangs on the wall next to one of the President.

-=[ Condition Level: 2 - Danger Close ]=-------—-

The hub is quiet at the moment. Although she is on duty, the private doing the guard routine is not as alert as she could be. Maybe she is tired. Demos is again sitting at that specific desk with the computer terminal playing a loop of video over and over and over. After an unknown number of revolutions, the woman reaches over and clicks it off. Lifting a hand, she rubs the bridge of her nose, eyes closing. Inhaling, she lets her shoulders slump for a moment before she sits up once more.

16:00 gave Stavrian enough time to get off shift and splash cold water on his face. His hair still has traces of wet fingers having been raked through it as he gets down to the security hub, passing some bland check-in routine with the desk sergeant and promptly heading further into the room. "Sergeant Demos."

Demos opens her eyes as she hears her name. She takes the time to square her shoulders. Posture is everything at times. Rising as the man approaches, she extends a hand to gesture toward the small office, "Thank you for coming, sir. Please, step this way?" So the desk sergeant and the private on duty may think Demos is interviewing the man. Her expression flickers there way for a moment, then dismisses them as quickly. Before stepping out from behind her desk, the other hand moves to turn off her monitor and lock her station.

Stavrian glances at the room himself, his expression and eyes tough to read on the prospect of going into it. "Sure." He clears his scratchy throat and folds his hands behind him, waiting for Demos to head off before following the marine.

Demos heads through the exit labeled <SO> Small Office.
Demos has left.

You head through the exit labeled <SO> Small Office.
You are entering Small Office.

[ Small Office ]----[ Security Hub - Battlestar Cerberus ]

This office is for the MaA. It is small and cramped with filing cabinets, a desc, couple chairs and that never-ending Marine Coffee Pot <tm>.

-=[ Condition Level: 2 - Danger Close ]=-------—-

Demos relents when the man does not lead the way. She steps into the MaA's office, then eases to one side to claim a chair. "Please close the door, sir and join me?" Finally she sits, the motion slow and graceful. Turning, she clasps her hands in her lap. "I want to ask you. As a layman… Oh, I know this is going to sound awful, and please do not think ill of me, but… Tell me about belief? Please?"

Stavrian sits down just as Demos is beginning, his body making a more tired thump on the chair than he'd meant to. His eyes come up to meet hers and there's a beat where he's clearly caught off guard. "Uh…" A most eloquent start. "Ill? I don't think that. Though most people would go to a priest, so…I'm just a little surprised." Not unkindly so, his voice staying quiet.

Demos tries a bit of a smile, though it is wan and bried, "Thank you for that." Then, gradually, she lowers her gaze until her sight centers on her hands, clasped in her lap, "Well, yes. I tried going to Sister Noelani, but she was… Well, not very helpful, really." There is a bit of an inclination to lean back in her chair, but it is stopped and she readjusts back to a correctly upright position. "When I outlined my questions she said that it was a puzzle with many pieces missing and when we found all of the pieces, no one would like the picture painted." She flits a glance your way, then down again, "I wanted to talk to Sister Karthasi, but… What with everything, she has been busy. So. I thought that… perhaps… I could ask you. I do not expect an interpretation of the Gods' will, or an insight into…" One hand lifts in a sort of oddly vague gesture, "… the greater mysteries. Just… what does it mean? How do you manage it?"

"I haven't met Sister Noelani," Stavrian says, musing the words out absently. "I don't want to steer you wrong, Sergeant. I'm…only a man." He glances at her desk, around each of the corners one by one. "Belief. It's…a part of faith. Just one part, though. I don't think the gods really care if we believe; what's in our hearts is just for our own comfort. They care if we walk their paths. That's the line they want us to cross, from talk to action."

Demos licks her lips slightly, though the motion is lost as her head remains lowered. "I do not understand, sir. I am sorry. I am trying to, but. What is the difference between belief and faith?" At last the woman lifts her gaze to seek his. "I thought that they were the same thing." Gently, she turns the chair just a bit so she can face him, "But, that is why I asked you. You are a man. Mortal, like me. Fallible. Honest, from what I have seen." She looks away whether her gaze meets his or not, "The truth is that I have had my belief shattered I am trying to find… if not a causal, linear explanation, then a way through to something I can hold onto."

"We're all mortals," Stavrian reminds Demos, looking up from her desk. "Can't ever get away from that." He lifts his hand, squeezing the tip of his nose until his fingers slide off. He's listened to everything she's said, though a pause follows where he digests it first. "Can I ask you first - what do you think is the difference between believing something and knowing it?"

Demos nods, her voice soft, "Oh, I do realize that, sir. We are all mortal. Sometimed that is a good thing." There is a pale hint of bitterness in her tone. Falling silent she waits while the man digests. His question gives her a moment of pause, though not much of one. "The difference is subtle. Belief does not require imperical proof. Knowing does." For her it is clearly just that simple.

"Alright." Stavrian doesn't seem about to contradict her, taking her version of the terms and mulling them over. He looks back down at her desk, finding an errant pen, and asks her quietly, "Do you trust me?" For how random the question sounds, there's something in his voice that makes it somehow not a non-sequitur.

Demos's gaze has returned to her clasped hands by the time the question comes. It is enough of a surprise that she looks up at the man, "I… What?" Her glance shifts to the desk, then back up again. "Do I trust you?" A furrow begins between her eyes as she considers an answer to that question. Finally, she lifts her hands and runs them through her hair. When her fingers find the bun at the nape of her neck, she tugs the stays free. Tucking the band and pins into a pocket, she shakes her hair free, "Yes. I believe that I do." The 'sir' is not added, though her tone is respectful.

"Okay." Stavrian opens his hands and folds them again. "From all the little things you've heard, and know, and believe about me — including what you just said — would you trust me, as a medic, with your life?" His voice stays soft as it takes this next step down whatever path he's hewing in this forest of conversation.

Demos tilts her head, unsure of where this is going. The frown that began earlier deepens a bit, "Before we go too much farther down this road, Jesse," she uses his name at last, though her tone remains faintly reserved, "there are different levels of trust. That said?" Slowly, more thoughtfully, she nods, "Yes, I would. You have the trust of the …" Another pause, this one more painful, "The whatever it is that employs me. I was going to say Government. You know. You benefit from a sort of… infered trust. Yes, I would trust you as a medic when my life was on the line."

Stavrian shrugs at her mention of different trusts. "I've met military doctors that I wouldn't trust with mine, regardless of what the goverment said. I may be forced to do it, but they don't control what I feel. That said, do you, personally, trust me as a medic with your life? You can say no, believe me I won't be offended. But yes or no?"

Demos rises, no longer able to sit still. She turns to walk away from the chair, as though physical distance will give her perspective. Clasping her hands behind her back, she looks over the file cabinet, though does not make a move to open the files. Her inner deliberation takes a while, for in her mind the question deserves a reasoned, thoughtful answer. Finally, she nods and it is a decisive thing. Mind made up, she returns to the chair, "Yes, sir. I do. I believe that you would do your very best on my behalf should it become necessary."

"Alright." True to his word, Stavrian seems neither pleased nor displeased with the answer itself. "Now…" He brushes his hands together, looking up from the desk again when she sits. "You believe a lot of things about me. Result of conversations, or…overheard things, or even my file - a doctrine that you'd have reason to believe is true. For example, you obviously believe my name is Jesse. But suppose you looked down at my file and realize you misheard, and my name's really Jake. Or…you've estimated my height to be about five foot ten, but on closer look you find it to be five foot eight. Maybe you think I was born on Sagittaron because of the way I talk, but you find out that I'm not from there at all. I'm from Tauron, but I went to school on Sagittaron and just picked up the accent. Or you believe that I'm a complete dickhead, but later find that maybe I'm not so bad." He shrugs one shoulder. "You find quite a few of your beliefs about me are untrue. And maybe it's unsettling, or even a little awkward." His hands make a small gesture in the air. "Would it change your faith that I would do my very best on your behalf in an emergency?"

Demos moistens her lips slightly with the tip of her tongue, the gesture evidence of discomfort or concentration. Tilting her head to one side, she plays absently with the clasp that held her hair in place. "It would depend on whether the mistakes were mine or yours. If I misheard, or misapprehended that is my fault and would not do anything to make me question other things about you. However, if you either instigated or perpetuated the misunderstandings, then I would wonder what else about you was inaccurate. Under those circumstances, yes. It would change my belief that you have the credentials claimed. That would, in turn, make me question your motives. That, then, would change my faith in you as a medical practitioner." Finally, she tucks the clasp into a pocket and refolds her hands quietly in her lap.

Stavrian shrugs. "You have no idea where the errors came from. The mistake in height could have come from someone writing it down wrong during the physical. Could have been someone mistyping on my file. Or it could have been me lying because five foot ten is the cutoff for the basketball team and I didn't want to be excluded. You have absolutely no idea and no real way to check." He shifts his legs, resting his elbows down on his knees. "And, really? When you find a mistake of your own doing, you don't ever go back and question further? To see if you have other faulty beliefs?"

Demos says, "It depends. If I am working an investigation, I go back and double check… triple check if need be. Everything. Which is part of how I came to this quandry." Her hands fidget a little, then again. "In the scenario you mentioned, if I had the clearance, I would go back into your file and review everything. Everything would be checked against your CV. I would interview you and people who claim to know you. If I found cause, I would speak to either Barclay or Archer to have you removed from the active medical staff or detained until the issues of your background could be cleared up depending on the severity of the discrepencies." She shrugs, adding, "Misunderstandings and misinformation happen all the time, sir. Most of the time these are relativly harmless with nothing criminal nor nepharious in their intent. However, it is my job, and my nature to question them, to seek the underlying truth and correct the mistakes. Your height, your eye color, whatever… Individually, they do not necessarily indicate fellonious intent, though could point to an impersonnation. However, if someone without your training took your place and attempted to give medical treatments to someone? That could be disasterous." Leaning back, she delicately rests her back against the chair, "So. To answer your question, yes, I am inherently suspicious and distrustful." A twitch of her lips sketches the ghost of a smile, "When given cause and evidence, I try to go back and see where I made my mistake. I try to adjust my assumptions to fit the facts rather than leave things out because they are uncomfortable or inconvenient."

"You weren't listening to the scenario, Sergeant. But that's alright." Stavrian makes a small gesture with his hands, presumably forgiveness. "My point's this. 'Beliefs' are a trust in doctrine. You open my file. You believe I'm five foot ten. You believe my name's Jesse. Why? Because someone said so. Or it tells you right there." He motions to her desk, as though his imaginary file were there and open in front of her. "Same with scripture, and word of mouth from priests. You trust in these facts you're given. You believe them to be true. And like every human, your beliefs can change as your mind finds new facts, or finds old ones were wrong, or just finds another way to interpret them." He pauses a second. "But faith is beyond that. Faith is your deciding back then that you trust me. Is there anything stamped on my file that says 'Trustworthy'? Or any doctrine that says I am, as you claimed me to be before, 'honest'? No, you decided those on your own, and you got there via a ladder of hundreds of little beliefs. Belief, you can explain. Faith…that's a lot tougher. If that makes any sense." He gently scratches his nose after that, with the tip of his ring finger. "Disclaimer repeated here that I'm not a priest."

Demos says, "Oh, I did listen. But, there are always ways to check the veracity of data, sir. Either through independent cooroberation, eyewitness accounts, or what have you. Just because you do not have access to a computer system, for example, does not mean that you cannot get a sense of things. Multiple corroborative accunts build a case for belief. That scenario simply means that the investigator must do more leg-work." She pauses then to close her eyes, "But, then again, I see your point. I imposed my own assumptions about the situation you were describing. Very well. I apologize." Then, she leans forward once more, her gaze intent. her eyes do not focus on you, but somewhere in the middle distance. Her hands remain clasped, though her elbows shift to her knees. Inhaling slowly, she nods once, the motion slow, "So, if I have heard you correctly, you are saying that faith in something; anything, is simply belief applied to things that cannot be imperically proven. Am I close?"

"Your mileage may vary," Stavrian replies. He hooks his left foot onto the chair rung under his seat, arms folding under his ribs. Posture, not his strong suit. "That whole 'human' thing."

Demos nods, "I am not… Not intending to look for religious guidance. I am asking a fellow professional; someone with a scientific background, to help me come to terms with a way of thinking that is so new to me that it is alien." Her hands lift and she turns them through her hair, head lowered. Ordinarily this is a woman who sits upright always; back straight. The way she sits now is clear evidence of the condition of her spirit. Or her will. "I am not asking you to act as anything more than that, I assure you."

Stavrian's arms don't unfold from their subtly closed-off position, but he does nod. "You said your 'belief' was shattered. Belief in what?"

This time the reply comes more quickly, though her tone is barely above a whisper, "Myself. The way I was raised. This is a fundamental shift, you see." Finally, she sits up again, her face turned away.

Stavrian's foot twists sideways on the rung, ankle bending. It makes a soft creaking sound in the silence. "Gets shitty," he says finally. "But everything's got to change sometimes, Sergeant. Especially us."

Demos's whisper has softened further, to the point that the words might not be heard as more than a sigh on the air, "Especially us." Her eyes drift closed and her hands cover her face. Her hair, still loose from earlier, falls forward to mask her face. Silence and stillness follows on her part.

Hopefully the Sergeant wasn't looking for a hug or anything. Stavrian's arms stay as they are, and his face is as tough to read as it was when he first walked in. "There's this thing I read once," he says, once the lingering silence reminds him that in a conversation, one should probably talk, "Title was The Vitality of Rupture. Shit if I remember if it was even a poem or a book, or what. But I remember that title…just kind of sticks with me."

Demos does not tend to be very touchy. It is more likely that she is grateful her personal space is respected. She does not seem to be crying either, though that might help. She nods once, then sits up in a graceful sort of shift of her entire body. When the movement has finished, she clasps her hands in her lap and nods, "I will see if the library has a copy. Thank you. For… everything."

"I don't think what was in it was all that good," Stavrian says, lifting a shoulder to scratch his cheek. "It's the title. It's what I think about when shit happens. That one phrase." He hesitates a second before venturing a last thing: "You know, lots of people mix up faith and belief when it comes to what they can and can't see. They pray, and they set up a conditional that if they don't get the expected outcome then they no longer have faith, because an answered prayer is some kind of necessary proof to them that the gods exist. So…when something horrible happens and they pray and they don't get the miracle they wanted, they claim their faith's gone." He unfolds his arms, standing up with tired effort. "I don't think real faith is a belief that somehow we should be able to see the gods. I think it's…" He looks down, rubbing the end of his nose. "…the conviction that even in the most silent, long, dark times, that the gods still see us." He slides his hands into his pockets, rolling his shoulders. "Don't know if that helps any. You should talk to Sister Greje though. She's real nice."

Demos nods, "Ah. It is a wonderful phrase. Descriptive. As though the rupture itself is somehow dynamic, or allows for things that were not possible before." She makes no move to rise, though looks up when he does. Up then back down again. Listening, she nods, "Thank you again. I… do know know if it helps or not, but will tell you if this all makes sense again. If that is alright with you, of course." The suggestion is heard and she nods again, though her attention falls briefly, "I will try to talk to her. She has been so busy, though." Slowly, she rises at last, hands brushing her slacks quickly to eliminate even the barest suggestion of a wrinkle. "Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to me. I appreciate it greatly."

"Sure." Which could be answer to anything she's said, or everything. Stavrian looks at the woman's face a few seconds without a customary good-bye smile. "Take care of yourself." Booted feet back up a step and then turn to go, his hands staying hidden away in his pockets.

A twitch of her lips might be acknowledgement, a feeble attempt at a smile, or nothing at all. "Thank you." She does not move when he turns to go, though nods all unseen, "You as well, sir." Her hands slip into her own pockets, though rather than leaving, she sinks slowly back into the chair.

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