PHD #042: EVENT - The Scales of Judgment
The Scales of Judgment
Summary: The Military Police and JAG attempt to interrogate one of the 'rescued' officers from Parnassus Anchorage, but his answers only raise more questions.
Date: 09 Apr 2041
Related Logs: None
Cadmus Demos Sabaudia NPC 
Interrogation Room — Security Hub - Battlestar Cerberus
Post Holocaust Day: #42
This area is devoid of anything but a table, two chairs and a camera up in the corner. The table is bolted to the floor and there are also hooks in the floor to lock chains to the deck, if the person has been placed in custody and is considered dangerous to the crew.

It's been a long couple weeks for the seven survivors recovered from Parnassus Anchorage. Longer for some, than others. The list of names and faces has been run through. Hippolyta Greene, the Raptor pilot recovered the night of the final push into the upper levels of the station. The enlisted team with her on the supply run. Dr. Rourke, the botanist who ran the Hydroponics level who was shot in the shoulder and has since been recovering. This one last man, though - middle-aged, haggard, with a receding hairline and has been described as a 'gibbering wreck' by those who brought him in. He was shot in the leg and disabled when he was found alone in the station's ransacked CIC when he attempted to kill himself upon discovery by the Cerberus' boarding party and has since been kept on suicide watch in a straightjacket, and often heavily medicated as he recovered - that bullet tore into his leg pretty bad.

His dogtags read one "Lieutenant Lalonde." Report from the station said he was collecting bodies of fallen humans and laying them out in some sort of pattern, collecting their dogtags. Far from being creepy, the intelligence report stated he was performing some sort of vigil over the fallen. For what purpose? Who knows. He's pretty much snapped, and is on a mild regimen of drugs both to kill the pain from his wounds and to keep him from freaking out. He's secured in a comfortable chair, with a straightjacket. Two marines and a medic from sickbay are over here, overseeing him in the interrogation room having prepared him for this. The orders from the admiral were clear - find out what he knows - but be gentle. Clear, but not simple. He slumps over in the chair a little, looking peacefully dazed. He hasn't spoken much in the past several days.

Captain Sabaudia arrived the minute she was allowed to, and paced with a clip-clack of heels for the ten minutes before then. She has a small leather-bound notepad with her, a gold pen-lid peeking out from inside, and bears a look of intent concentration.

The hatch from the Security Hub hisses gently, admitting one Lance Corporal Cadmus Maragos to the room. Posture formal - stiff, even - he nods to the two Marines and the medic in the room before moving to the table to seat himself. He untucks a leather-bound folder from under one arm, placing it on the desk in front of him; opening it, it shows a series of papers evidencing medical reports, psychiatric evaluations, and photos of the Parnassus dead - the very bodies Lalonde had been 'guarding' or 'arranging.' He does not speak, at first. Instead, he simply regards the Lieutenant for a long and quiet moment, searching his face, hands, and posture for something. Eventually, he greets Lalonde: "Good afternoon, Lieutenant. My name is Lance Corporal Cadmus Maragos. Do you know where you are?"

The hatch slides softly open once more. Demos, crisp and professional in her uniform with every hair in place, steps in. She takes a moment to nod to Sabaudia and the Marines before offering the medic a quick smile. Turning her attention to the survivor, she takes the time to study the man a little surreptitiously as she moves to take her chair at the table. Easing her own notebook from beneath one arm, she sets it on the table, squaring its placement before she folds her hands in her lap to listen.

The presence of various individuals is noted, maybe. It's tough to figure out at first, until 'Mr. Lalonde's head lolls forward. And back, upwards a little as he cranes around, eyeing people less than eyeing areas /containing/ people, with a thousand-yard stare. His mouth wavers and flickers open though as the first question directed towards him earns a wide-eyed blink. "You're not. You're not one of my children. Are my children resting? They deserved that. The ones stuck here, that didn't go /away/." Something about the tone of the question, though, takes root and garners an actual response. "I am no longer at the beginning. Not at the root."

"No. We are not your children, Lieutenant. We are Colonial Fleet personnel, aboard Battlestar One Thirty Two, the Cerberus," Cadmus says, nodding his head slowly to Lalonde. He leafs idly through the folder before him, eyes drifting between it and the man before him; his tone remains impassive - not soothing, but merely without emotion. "Your children have been…seen to. Lieutenant, it is very important that you answer our questions so that we can help you. Help your children. What happened on Parnassus Anchorage, Lieutenant?"

Demos leans back slightly, eyes widening a bit at the man's response. She sidles a glance to Cadmus, then to the medic, brow lifting just a little. Flipping open the notebook in front of her, she bends to make a few notes before sitting back to listen in silence once more.

Captain Sabaudia has taken a seat at the table over to the side, where she can observe not only Lalonde, but the two MPs conducting the interrogation. Indeed, the cool, moss-green stare seems to spend equal time on both parties. Her notepad is opened to a page already containing a few shorthand notes; after uncapping her fountain pen and tapping it once, twice, thrice against the paper, she begins jotting things down.

"One-three-two." Lalonde's bug-eyed grin explodes as he looks up at Cadmus. "One-three-two." "That's a good joke. There's one. There's two. But no three. There is four. But one plus two equals two minus four. They cancel each other out, you see! It's all mathematics, you see!" He starts to crack a wide grin and giggles a little. "What happened? Everything happened, black-gloves!" "It's everything. The beginning. She is the beginning."

There are more giggles as his eyes flicker over towards Demos. "It was a beginning, and an ending. When you cut the serpent's head, it ends there, and brings on something new. YOU KNOW." He says, sharply looking in the woman's direction. "Like the arrow. The bloody, barbed arrow."

Ten, twenty, thirty seconds pass. Cadmus stares at Lalonde, body shifting never more than a few millimeters as he watches the man. There is a sudden *THWACK* as he slaps an open palm on the desk, causing the room to momentarily ring out. "Lieutenant!" he says sharply, voice raising a few decibels to get the man's attention. It then returns to the prior volume. "Tell me about what happened. A beginning. *Start there*. At the beginning. Who is 'she'? What did 'she' do on the anchorage?" Sometimes one's only recourse in the face of insanity is to run with it, it seems - and so Cadmus is attempting just that.

Demos's head tilts a bit as Lalonde's attention settles on her. She considers his words, a faint frown beginning to crease her brow. The pen she uses is settled on the paper and she turns a startled glance to Maragos, then looks back to the Lieutenant being questioned. "Please, Lieutenant. It is very important that we know what happened." Her tone is gentle, soft after Cadmus' insistence. She shifts forward in her chair, fingers entwining together as she rests her forearms on the table. "What is the first thing you remember before things turned… sour?"

Sabaudia doesn't jump when Cadmus slaps the table, though her note-taking freezes mid-word, making a small spot of ink bleed out into the paper. She lifts the pen a moment later, attention flicking from the MPs to Lalonde, poker face still firmly affixed. She leans to the side, trying to catch the medical assistant's attention with her own. A mute nod of beckoning follows, if she manages to catch his eye; once he's close, she says in lowered tones, "I'd like a list of what medications he's being treated with, please."

First things first, the medic responds with a diagnostic sheet indicating this guy's been on a cocktail. Nothing truth-serum-y. "Of course, sir." He says, glancing with one eye upon the patient as Sabaudia is handed a mostly benign list. Morpha post-gunshot wound. A couple different sedatives. The Colonial version of Xanax. Basically nothing out of the ordinary beyond your typical mental patient who flipped his lid and may have been in shock.

Lalonde's head snaps upwards, sharply as he practically jumps at Cadmus' striking of the table. That did get his attention. He's here, but not here. And he laughs, again. "What happened? You know what happened! It was a circle, you see. Our other children came back to ruin us. Because we were waking the Mother, you see. They're afraid of Her, that's how it works. That's how it always works. Just like Her consort was slain by his children, because Time is the enemy and killer of all." He offers Demos another smile but no more pointed words in her direction. "All of this has happened before. All of this will happen again. Now, the Lords of Kobol - they are faltering, they are afraid of those that came before and those that come after."

"Athena. She is lost. Adrift. Her wisdom is heeded by none, although he tries. How he tries." "Hermes, wild Hermes walks the middle path and leads others along, but he is becoming tangled in his own web. He will soon feel the yoke of destiny. Artemis. O, Artemis. Your barbed arrow will not strike true. Hephaestus, your own creation turns upon you. Apollo fails to hear her own song."

"Thank you," says Sabaudia to the medic, polite and professional as you please, watching him as the list is passed over. She waits until he's moved away again to scan the list, looking up every few words to observe Lalonde and listen to his words soar further and further away from practicality.

Listening intently to Lalonde, Cadmus runs the palm of one hand over his head; fingers twine with his hair, tugging gently at them as he considers. He closes his eyes, and lets out a heavy sigh - the exhalation of one who is rapidly deciding he is frakked. When he opens them again, there is a subtle shift to his posture and expression: he has shifted to more familiarity, less formality. "How were you waking Rhea? Was that the…purpose…of the anchorage? Is that why it's so hidden?" he asks softly, again taking a gamble to try and penetrate Lalonde's ramblings.

A chill slips up Demos' spine, though she works to keep it from showing. Still, she nods once, then again, as things seem to come into focus for her. She parts her lips as though to interject a query, then glances at Cadmus and back. His question clearly takes precedence and she remains silent for now. Still, echoes swirl within her mind, her memory, and her hands reclasp tightly in front of her.

"Of course, Sir. He's been becoming — calmer." The medic says, painfully choosing his words in a careful and deliberate manner. "Not more coherent, though. We've tried to give him what we could. What small comfort." His shrug is frankly hapless.

That piercing stare of Lalonde remains fixed on Demos as she stiffens, almost challenging. "You. You'll need to be brave. Remember that." But now he's gotten chatty, it seems, excitable and stiffening upwards himself as Cadmus' mention of Rhea strikes a chord. "Not her! Not Rhea. An older name, an older face. Like Time, but as deep. The Mother. She is necessary. She is necessity. And her birth is like an earthquake. Like a nova. There are pieces of her all over. In the Hunter's nest. The hunter that tried to bring down the Three and was brought down himself."

He takes in a deep, violent sigh. "But the Mother! She struck down our bastard creations and I tried to lay them to rest, my children to rest in her image."

Turning to face Demos, Cadmus gestures with one hand toward her. "Sir, he seems to have something he wants to talk to *you* about. Maybe you should discuss it with him…?" he ventures, tone a little strained. His own investigations, after all, are going relatively nowhere.

Demos spares only a glance toward the medic and lawyer before her attention refixes on Lalonde. When Cadmus yields to her, she nods gracefully to him, then considers Lalonde's words, her gaze focusing on the Lieutenant. Slowly, she nods more deliberately, "I shall remember. Thank you." Her hands relax a bit, then release as she picks up her pen once more. "When the children returned, they stopped you from waking The Mother. How did they break the walls and enter?" She pauses briefly, continuing only slowly as though feeling her way, "Did she wake anyway to strike them down?"

Notes, notes, and more notes. Sabaudia's note-taking style is a combination of mapping single words or concepts together with arrows and lines, and the optimized shorthand passed down through generation after generation of Libran lawyers. There's a sort of blank frown pulling her thin brows together - the look of someone transcribing by rote, on a subject they don't clearly understand.

The interrogated Lalonde's high-pitched laughter rings out, echoing throughout the chamber as he shifts from Cadmus to Demos, smiling graciously at her, but with glazed, unfocused eyes. "You should remember. That's good. Remember, I am small in this. Small, infinitesimal. You are too but we both play a part. You. And him." To Cadmus. "And her." To Sabaudia. "Him." Her." The Medic, one of the marines, and so on. "Right down to the littlest speck. Which is what we are to her. What her children are to her."

"How did they get in? You want to know? With bombs! Arrows. Bullets. Rocks. Sticks. Knives. Spears. It's all the same, the tools of war have always been the same then and now, from the very beginning, to the very end. Only their names and faces change. But you asked and I'll answer! She was half-awake. Imperfect, like our recollection of her. I was there. They became angry. Broken." "Like /my/ children. I only wanted to give them peace. But so many of them were taken before I could protect them."

Cadmus now scribbles notes as well, his pen sliding across the notepaper in a flowing, elegant hand. Ha pauses after a moment, eyes flickering between Lalonde and the pictures arrayed before him. His eyes narrow just a touch, and he suddenly - gingerly - lifts one of the photographs from his notebook. "This photo, it shows…the dead. You have them arranged like a spiral. Why?" he asks quietly, pushing the photograph toward Lalonde. Watching him intently, Cadmus continues: "I had a spiral inked on my back, for protection. My father believed it would seal good within, and ward evil without. Is that what you were doing here? Can you explain it to me?"

Demos narrows her eyes slightly in concentration as the man speaks, "We all have a part to play. Yes. Same as it always is." Drawing in a breath, she leans back again as Cadmus takes up the questioning. Her glance flickers to the image shown, then lifts to study Lalonde's responses.

Captain Sabaudia's mouth prims shut for a moment, as if momentarily impatient. She flips her fountain pen over, tap-tapping at her page with the lid, then flips it back to add another connecting line between two previous notes. Another look is given to the printout of medications, her frown reappearing for only a moment before it's smoothed away.

"Yes, yes. Like that. But not always protection. Change. Compulsion. Growth. Necessity." The patient squirms forward excitedly in his chair, addressing Cadmus, squirming against his restraints. "A spiral. A serpent. A SERPENT!" Like the birth of a star. The origin of everything. The First ones sneezed, and life emerged!" Suddenly, he cranes his vision to the JAG. "You. The scales of judgment are tipped so far that you can't even perceive what's gone on." He says, wide-eyed and breathless.

"The First ones sneezed. But younger gods always will grow up and try to slay their elders. But time is not a straight line, and it while it may be a circle, it is also sometimes a Spiral, like the coils of a serpent. Sometimes it skips generations, sometimes the old Gods will fight back. And sometimes what seems like an enemy is a friend and what seems a friend an enemy. All of this has happened before, though. All of this will happen again. And again. And again. And again." He start to rattle off the last part, like a broken record, with no sign of stopping.

Slowly retrieving the photograph with one hand, Cadmus watches the Lieutenant as he lapses into repetition. "But when Zeus had driven the Titans from Olympus, mother Earth bore her youngest child Typhoeus of the love of Tartarus, by the aid of golden Aphrodite…" he murmurs, glancing first at Demos and then Sabaudia. "The old philosophers said that Typhon was the mortal enemy of the Lord of Kobol, bound by Zeus because he would try to overthrow them, as they had overthrown those who came before." It is unclear by his expression if he puts any stock in ancient scripture - but he knows some of it, at least.

Demos clears her throat in an attempt to get the man's attention once more. "Go back to The Mother, please." She glances at Cadmus, one brow lifted, "That is vaguely disturbing, Lance." Turning back to Lalonde, she briefly closes her eyes. "So The Mother is Gaia? Is that the older name that is deeper than Time? How did she begin to wake up? Did you have to do anything special to wake her in those locked away labs?" She flips the pen in her hand, setting the ink side down to begin writing should an answer be forthcoming. "Were the children mad because she was waking up? Or were they just angry anyway?"

The scales of judgment are tipped - and as Lalonde looks her way, Sabaudia again lets a flicker of impatience, or disquiet, show through her Impassive JAG Mask. She remains silent, however, taking a moment's respite by placing her pen down, knitting her fingers together in front of her, and slowly stretching while taking in a deep breath.

"And again. And again. And again." Lalonde chirps on and starts shaking a little, eyes bulging a bit. Not immediately responding to questions, the shaking grows until finally he speaks up. "Nonononono. Gaia? Like Khronos, its kin, but also its consort! She is not the First Mother but /a/ First mother. Compulsion, /necessity!/ The Cylons," one might note that this is the first time the man has used that name here in its proper form, "Saw the trace of the Mother, snuffed her out like a candle! But she burned them as a result. Burned them because they could not handle what they have done!"

"But she is everywhere. They can't stop it. creation. You can find her everywhere. In the wake of a newborn star. The driving forces of the heavens," he continues. "In the lair of the Hunter on the plains! You must go to her!" Shaking more and more, he starts rattling against his restraints. "I want…I need to go to my children. They're calling me and I'm tied here. But a warning: Listen to your Gods. Don't trust them. Some will seek to aid you. Some will seek to thwart you. Some will do both. But they can't stop what's coming." He starts to laugh some more. And more. "They can't stop what's coming!!" He howls, and begins to choke, like he's having a fit, or a seizure.

The medic rushes forward, a sedative in hand. "Oh shit." he mutters. Understatement of the day, folks.

"Hrm," Cadmus comments, and lifts a hand to cradle his chin as he watches the episode unfold. "I believe the Lieutenant has actually given us something of possible value, despite the rambling," he notes, scooping his photos, notes, and other items back into the leather-bound folder. Despite appearing unperturbed by the crazy officer's fit, he does spare the man a glance before pushing himself away from the table. "I suggest we allow the Lieutenant to rest," he advises, looking between Demos and Sabaudia for a moment. "I doubt we'd get much more coherent out of him today anyway."

A light or two flicker on and Demos smiles kindly at the Lieutenant, "Thank you." The light turns to alarm as the shaking turns to rattling of bindings and frenetic laughter. The alarm turns to concern and she nods to Cadmus, pausing to gather her notebook and pen. Rising, she speaks to the Lieutenant as the medic rushes to him, "Do not leave us, please, sir. Your children are taken care of and we need your guidance." More softly, "Please." Moving back, she glances to the medic, "Do you need assistance, sir?" Without an affirmative, however, she just gets out of the way.

"I'm not certain any of that qualified as 'coherent', Lance," notes Sabaudia with an achingly dry tone as she, too, pushes herself up from the table, stepping back and away as she caps her pen and slips it away within her leatherbound notepad.

As Lalonde starts flipping out mid-seizure, the medic answers Demos for him. "I think he needs a nap. Before…." "Give me a hand, Private?" The marine who was standing guard drifts over and starts to help restrain the nutty prisoner just enough so the medic can apply the shot.

To be correct, it's not so much of a medical 'seizure' as it is a fit of some sort. The drug does its work though as the LT goes from 60 to 0 in a few proverbial moments, slowly slowing and finally calming, slumping back as he closes his eyes, finding some semblance of peace.

"That went well." the medic comments. "I think we need to give him some more constant care. He's — well, he's broken." There's a shrug. Cadmus called it. Coherent or not, that's all they're getting for now, by the looks of it. Having dispensed his warning, the man slumps, still.

Turning just a touch, Cadmus graces the Captain of the JAG with a raised eyebrow and deadpan stare. "Coherent? No. But value does not need to be coherent, in terms we would place it. If it did, I doubt we would ever have made any headway - such as it was - with the insurgents of Saggitaron. I believe a discussion with Captain Karthasi may be in order. It doesn't matter if *I* believe what Lalonde said. *He* believed it, and may have been couching his knowledge in religion in order to allow himself to make sense of what he saw," Cadmus says quietly.

"I'm in full agreement with you there," Sabaudia says to Cadmus, tucking her notepad under one arm as she glances sidelong toward the medic, the guard, and their slumped and silent charge. "If there's anyone who can make sense of what he said, it'll be the Chaplain. Best of luck, Lance. Please keep me apprised of any further attempts to question the Lieutenant." A handshake is offered, quick but firm, before she makes her exit.

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