PHD #154: Stargazing
Summary: Officers in the observation deck discuss the stars, the best places to view them, and other topics from cylons to school uniforms.
Date: 30 July 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Cidra Cora Evandreus Sitka 
Observation Deck
With a quiet view to the stars, this tends to be one of the more popular 'quiet areas' of the Cerberus. Up front is a small-unseated area for ceremonies or other activities while the seating rises up behind it. Each level rises up behind the one before it, comfortable chairs and couches set up for crewmembers to relax, get some work done or even take a nap. A large armored plate is lowered during Condition One to protect the interior against a breach in the glass.
Post-Holocaust Day: #154

Cidra is curled up in one of the chairs. Boots off and sitting on the floor next to her feet, legs tucked up under her. There are some papers in her lap that she's skimming. They look duty-related in some regard. She does not seem particularly immersed in it, eyes flicking up occasionally to the starfield. The place is not empty but, between the couples and the others engaged in quiet tasks there, she has a sort of 'privacy' drawn around her.

Cora crosses the starfield, blocking Cidra's view for a moment as she moves past, relocating from a chair across the room (the solitude of which has been suddenly invaded by a couple on the next couch over) to one just past the CAG. She, too, carries papers that look work-related, and a slim black notebook, more looseleaf sticking out. She takes a seat and slips off boots left untied for the walk over, drawing a knee up to her chest. She does not manage to focus on duty long, soon enough tilting her cheek onto her knee and staring out the windows.

Cidra's eyes come up from her papers, even the marginal attention she was paying to them, as Cora strolls past her field of vision. There's a tired look about her, though her cloudy blue eyes and schooled features give away little else. "Are you looking for anything particular out there, Nikephoros?" she asks the other woman. "For my part, I have not found it."

Cora lifts her head slowly at Cidra's words, head turning to blink once at the older woman. She too looks tired, to the point of being unwell, even, and though she is otherwise presentable it isn't well-hidden. "I have no idea," she admits after a long pause, lips flattening slightly as her head shakes, "Which will make it even more difficult to find, if less disappointing when I do not."

Cidra gives a one-shouldered shrug, fishing into her pocket for a pack of cigarettes and lighter. Cheap Picon-brand smokes. "I do not know for that. Perhaps you shall have better luck. I know not if we seek the same." She lights up, then wordlessly offers the pack to Cora.

Cora glances at the cigarettes and reaches over to take one, leaning out over the chair's arm to get a light. "Thanks," she says, sitting back and then shrugging, "I've yet to have good luck in anything I've searched or hoped for, so I wouldn't count on it," she replies eventually, "At this point it seems wisest to give the practice up altogether."

"It is never wise to give up searching. Once that is done, there is no longer any point," Cidra says, leaning over to light Cora up. When that's done, she settles back into her rather curled position in the chair. Smoking. "What would you be searching for, if you do not mind the question?"

Cora is similarly curled up, one leg hugged to her chest, head tilted briefly to the ceiling as she exhales. "I'm not sure I'm convinced there is a point, just now," she admits. She smokes thoughtfully, and after another silent moment, shakes her head at the question. "I don't know," she says, "Right now?" She shakes her head again, "My brain is just…" she trails off and gestures at her head with a small finger-explosion.

Cidra follows the finger-explosion with a soft "Ah." All that earns a small nod from her. "I know the general feeling. The stars are very beautiful and I can at times find clarity in them. Or I could once. Less so these days, I shall admit." A pause and she asks, "Are you a woman of the Faiths, Nikephoros?"

Cora is staring out the window again, gaze not entirely focused, but then, what is there in focusable distance out there, anyways? She turns back to Cidra after a moment, blinking once as blue eyes deglaze and after a pause admits, "Not really. We went to services when I was a child; it was the thing to do. But I can't say I would consider myself religious."

"I am of Gemenon," Cidra replies to that. The 'of', not 'from', seems intentional. The colony has something of a fundy reputation, after all. "Anyhow. I have tried to find comfort in meditation at times these past days. It is…difficult. The gods do not speak to me." Another one-shouldered shrug. "Perhaps they never did. It does not matter."

Cora simply nods at the mention of Gemenon, listening as Cidra goes on. "I've never really tried meditation," she replies, "Of the spiritual sort or not. Maybe I ought to." She scrubs both hands over her face briskly, and smiles, lips tight, "I suppose I might as well, since little else works. Is that how it's supposed to work?" she asks, "The gods speaking to you?"

Cidra hesitates a moment before answering, taking a few more idle puffs. "I knew Oracles who believed, through depth of faith and the opening of their minds through…various means, that they heard the voices of the gods. That they spoke to them, or at least that they saw pieces of their purpose hidden to ordinary eyes. I…I never experienced this." It is admitted with a certain amount of shame. "I have found clarity and purpose, and much guidance, in the Faiths. Do not take me wrong. But the gods have never spoken to me. I have never been considered so-worthy."

Cora listens, and smokes, letting it curl around her in an obscuring cloud. "Clarity, purpose, and guidance sound like a pretty good return," she remarks in reply, "I cannot think being spoken to by the gods would be common," The word lifts just at the end, hovering between question and statement, "Picking from among so many voices must be like drawing a needle out of a haystack."

"Yes, that is the idea…" Cidra says. There's a note of disappointment in her voice, though it seems turned more inward than out at the universe or whatever creators it may have. "And I suppose it is not. I am not sure I have ever had true enough devotion, anyhow." Again, a hint of guilt. "But I do find peace in meditation occasionally, even if I am not touched through it by the Lords and Ladies. Anyhow. Sometimes it is helpful just to…turn things down for a time. Is there anything in particular to which you are seeking guidance, Nikephoros?"

Cora sits curled up in a chair, Cidra similarly posed in the next chair over, both smoking and ignoring paperwork as they talk. The junior officer is pale and drawn like she's been ill. "Turning things down for a time," she says as if repeating something the major has just said, turning the idea over as she begins to nod, "That sounds like exactly what I need." As for particulars… her lips curve in the faint suggestion of a smile, "Only everything. I… it would take some time to explain, I think."

Cidra is indeed curled up in a chair on the Obs deck. Boots off and resting on the floor by her chair, stocking feet tucked up under her. There are some vaguely work-looking papers in her lap, but they're being ignored as she talks with Cora. Smoking as she does so. The faintest of smirks at that last. "Only everything. That sounds about right. Anyhow…" A beat's hesitation and she says rather tentatively, "If you would like to partake in some spiritual exercises, I have some…substances which can aid in the opening of one's mind. If you are so inclined. If nothing else it can be…relaxing on occasion."

Sitka steps through the hatch, and pauses just a few feet past the threshold in order to hunt down his pack of cigarettes. One's tapped out, slid between his lips, and lit as he resumes his ambling toward the window. No paperwork in sight, though when he spots the CAG, he briefly looks like he wishes he could conjure some up. Only briefly. "Hey, uh, sir," is his mumbled greeting on the way by.

Cora's brows inch upwards at Cidra's offer, and she regards the other woman for a moment, perhaps making her best guess as to what precisely is being offered. When that moment is up, her chin drops in a nod. "I would like that," she replies, "Thank you." There's another beat of silent regard, interrupted by Sitka's arrival, and she looks up to give the captain a polite nod, murmuring, "Sir."

"Make certain you have several hours of off-duty time blocked out. The effects can be quite…" Upward blink. Sitka's greeting is heard. Off she trails from whatever advice she was going to give Cora. "Shiv. Hello. How does the day find you?"

"It's, uh, good." The Captain favours an awkward, lopsided little smile for Cidra's query, and his eyes slide briefly toward Cora. "Nikephoros, right?" He lingers just at the edge of conversational distance, not quite committing to sitting down, yet polite enough (barely) not to abruptly wander off yet.

"That's correct," Cora informs the man, "Captain Sitka, yes?" She does not seem to need his confirmation to be sure, but she waits for it anyway, politely, before turning back to inform Cidra, "I have very little time that is technically on duty, actually. The nature of my work gives me a good deal of freedom to set my own schedule. In other words: whenever suits you."

"We shall manage something. I shall be in touch," Cidra says, all vague all of a sudden. "I confess I have very little knowledge of how Intelligence operates. It seems a very foreign thing to me. A pilot's schedule is taxing but it is generally straight-forward in its way. That is good, Captain. Cigarette…?" She's half reaching to rifle into her pockets again before realizing he's already smoking. "Ah. You have got one. Good man. Ahh." Something seems to pop into place when she easily picks out Sitka's name. "Ah, yes, Lieutenant. I had forgotten you were picked up to us on Leonis. You must indeed have a great deal on your mind." A little wry there, and not without sympathy.

"Ibrahim," Sitka corrects, gentle rather than sharp, like it's something he's merely accustomed to by now. Cidra's shown the smoke he has pinched between two fingers, smile turning amused as she figures it out for herself. And, being the clueful sort he is now and then, "I've, uh.. I was just going to do some stargazing. Heard there was a good view of a nebula from here." And, pushing off the chair he'd been leaning against, he moves to take his leave.

"Ibrahim," Cora replies, his pronunciation precisely repeated, "It is nice to see you again. And without a gun in either of our hands." She almost smiles, lips curving in momentary humor. Cidra earns a nod as she confirms, "Yes, I was. And… yes." Her mouth tilts, briefly crooked as she confirms that last, and then backtracks to offer, "Intelligence is rarely ever straight-forward in any regard, unfortunately."

Cidra passes a look between Sitka and Cora at the 'gun' comment from the Intel officer. Curious CAG is curious. "Yes, I…would imagine so…" She does not actually ask a direct question, but it's said in a way that sort of suggests she wants Storytime in some form. Be-cigaretted fingers are gestured toward Sitka. "You need not go. Nikephoros and I were not speaking of anything in particular." Which is true, as far as it goes. "The stars are most lovely here. And everywhere, really, I suppose. Some claim they get used to seeing them like this, but I never particularly have."

Sitka probably just didn't expect to run into his boss, during his off-duty slack time. But he does sink into a chair two down from the pair of women, at Cidra's prompting, and settles in comfortably. With his fatigue jacket eschewed this evening, the ink sprawled across his shoulders and down his left arm, hand and fingers is fairly obvious. Smoke's exhaled out his nose as he turns his attention to the starscape. "Never used to get a good view in the city. I guess.. I guess because of the smog." He cuts his eyes briefly toward the CAG, then back out to the window once more.

Cora catches that curious glance, the leading question, and when Sitka declines the opportunity to explain, she turns aside to Cidra and offers, "The captain here was among the party from Cerberus I first encountered in Kythera. Naturally it took some discussion before either of us was comfortable lowering our weapons." She flicks a twirl of ash from the end of her cigarette and lifts it to her lips again, nodding at them both, "It's not quite Audumbla for variety, but the few is beautiful."

Cidra slouches more comfortably in her chair when Cora gives her the story she was so shamelessly angling for. "Ah. Yes, that does seem prudent, given the abominations encountered down there." The word 'abominations' is snarled, but it lacks any real heat to it. Eyes are directed back at the stars. Features going contemplative again, like she's looking for something in them. And not finding it. "There was not much industry where I was raised. City lights, but you could see the stars up in the mountains. It all seemed very…mysterious and faraway." To Cora she adds, "Audumbla was a beauty but I am not sorry to leave it. Was a beast to navigate and played seven kinds of hell with a DRADIS." She's curled up in one of the chairs near the viewport window, chatting with Cora and Sitka. They are all armed with cigarettes.

Sitka, for his part, goes rather quiet when Cora elaborates upon that little altercation of theirs. Something akin to discomfort flickers across his eyes; might be mention of Leonis, guns, or the meatloaf he had for dinner in the galley. "Nor I," is his only, murmured reply, in complicity with Cidra's sentiment. He resumes smoking silently, nostrils flaring once more upon his exhale, blue eyes tuned to the stars.

"I actually never saw any of them," Cora admits, "Abominations, I mean. Not in Kythera. Not that I know of, at least. But it had been four months, and I had no idea what was really going on or who they were… and they had sights on me, so." She shrugs, and exhales a lungful of smoke at the ceiling, "All's well that ends well." Her lips curve, smile faintly sardonic. It takes another moment or two of silent smoking for her to drift back into the conversation about the stars, though the matter of leaving Audumbla draws no further comment. "Caprica City is too bright to see much," she offers, "But we had a summer house in the mountains for a while where you could see everything, just about."

Evandreus is becoming a regular inhabitant of the gym. He is no doubt looking forward to getting back on the line as much to stop having to do the extra PT as for any other reason. As it stands, the evening finds him sweatygross. Again. And trailing into the Obs Deck with a big ol' bottle of water, cold enough to be sweating on its own. Which, well, the s'bayers say room temperature is better, but Evan will be contrary with them on this one point. Cold water is almost infinitely preferable, given a choice, after all.

Cidra tilts her head at Cora speaks of her summer house. "Does sound a bit like where I went to school." A pause. "The view, at least. I spent little time on Caprica." She does not particularly sound like mourns the loss of exposure to the place, though no actual disparaging comments about the colony are made. About the abominations, she's quiet a moment. "The only one I truly met was the creature called Eleven we held on this ship. And we did not have a…prolonged association. There was the one who called himself Lieutenant Shaker. Before the attacks. But I knew not what he…it, was." The self-correction on the pronoun comes a beat late. "And whatever Rear Admiral Abbot is, I suppose. I have heard not how much progress the MPs have made upon that matter." Evan's entry is noted on her periphery. She stubs out her cigarette. Carefully. There's still enough left that she can smoke on it later.

Sitka, ensconced in his bubble of solitude over yonder, simply smokes and observes the stars in silence while the CAG and intelligence officer converse over cylons and Caprica. The former doesn't seem to sit well with him; the latter, by the looks of the man, he simply isn't familiar with. So, he keeps his own counsel, and sends a small smile Evan's way when he spots the younger man's entrance in the window.

Cora nods a greeting to Evandreus as Sitka's attention picks the pilot out of the crowd, turning back then towards Cidra. "Boarding school?" she inquires, tone lifting curiously. As for the cylons, she takes another long drag, and then shares, "I interviewed the Eleven. And captured her, actually," she adds. There a smokey pause and she goes on further, thoughtfully, "I nearly shot her in the station rather than try to take her prisoner." Another beat of silence, and then a shoulder lifts and she concludes, "That's been the extent of my experience with them."

Evandreus drifts in the direction of the air being cleansed for the benefit of his already aching lungs. Who knew -running- could be that hard? He tips back his head and guzzles down some of his icy cold water, then, letting the ice cubes cha-chunk down into place again, he hits his water bottle against his leg a few times, returning Shiv's smile and coming to plop down next door to the CAGlady, wrapping an arm around her in a cordial but casual half-hug, since he hasn't had the opportunity to hug at her much since his return from Comaville. He doesn't say anything, yet. Random hugs are one thing, interrupting a conversation before he has any clue what's being discussed is another.

Cidra says no more on the Eleven. Continued talk of the Cylon brings a slim frown to her face. Pensive. As for Cora's other question, she shakes her head and looks on point of correcting her. But after a moment's thought, it turns to a small nod. "Boarding school, I suppose you could say. I did my schooling at an Athenian Academy. They are run by the educators within the cult of Athena. The Athena schools - and Apollo academies for boys - are quite widespread on Gemenon." Attention on Cora, Evandreus is not immediately taken more notice of. Until he hugs her. Not that it seems unwelcome. "Hello, Evan." She swings an arm over to hug him back. For all her outer reserve, she's not particularly averse to being touchy on occasion.

Finally, either Shiv's smoke becomes unsmokeable or the conversation becomes unpalatable enough for him to start climbing back to his feet again. Given that he's got a good half inch left on the cig, and the way his shoulders tense when Cora describes her experience with the eleven, odds are on the latter. "I'll see you around, sir," he murmurs to Cidra, putting out his smoke and tucking it into a pocket of his fatigues. Cora gets an almost-smile in farewell, and he steers around Evan's passing-by with a hand upon the raptor driver's shoulder on his way out.

Cora listens to Cidra and nods, "Ah. I've heard of the Athena and Apollo schools." And does not seem at all surprised to learn the CAG attended one. Probably it's the tattoos. Everyone else has ceased to smoke, but that does not stop her, burning hers down quickly. Shiv's departure gets a nod in kind, and then she glances back towards the window, sucking away thoughtfully on her cigarette.

Evandreus tilts his cheek toward Shiv's hand, shrugging up his shoulder to bring the back of the hand up to his cheek for cuddles. "Bye, Shiv," he murmurs, the first words out of his mouth tonight. Water bottle is tucked between knees, and his other hand, somewhat cooler than the first, comes around Cidra's frontside to complete the circuit of the hug, snugging gently in with her. "Hey, Cidra. How you doing?" he wonders. "Did you wear uniforms and such?"

"See you, Captain," Cidra replies in kind to departing Sitka. Eyes ticking after him a beat before returning to Evandreus and Cora. To that last she replies, with the faintest of smirks, "There was standardized dress, yes. It decreases distractions. How does the day find you, Bunny? Medical is keeping up with your progress, yes?"

The contact's not shirked by the Captain, either. Maybe it's just come to be expected, where Evan's concerned. Either way, he flickers the barest hint of a grin to the younger pilot, shoves his hands into his trousers' pockets, and trudges on out after one last parting glance to the starfield.

"Always uniforms," Cora nods in agreement with Cidra, before looking up and adding, "Though I suspect yours were maybe different than ours." She smirks very briefly, almost just a twitch of her lips to form the expression, and then sits back again, listening to news of Evan's medical progress.

"They are dutifully unrelenting, Toastytoes," Evan murmurs. "As you can probably tell by the great deal of ewwnasty you're probably not horribly pleased to be getting all over you right now." But Evan's a cuddler, and unapologetic to be as such. "Everyone's signed off on me excepting Doctor Byrne, at this point. But he's got his happypills in me, so that won't be far behind, I don't think. I never had a school uniform. I was homeschooled for a long time, then— I got my GED and degree online. I probably did more than ninety percent of my college coursework in my cockpit, which… says something either about my dedication to my education or about the good flying habits instilled in me by the great Intercolonial Taxi Co, and… in your company, I shouldn't like to speculate on which was which," he tells the CAG lady, grinning at her, all impish.

"From what I know of Caprica, I would imagine they were quite different, yes," Cidra replies to Cora. Not that her tone reveals any particular *opinion* on Caprica, again. Evandreus is nudged with her shoulder. "I have seen far worse. That is for the good. I hope Doctor Byrne sees to you promptly. I realize his schedule is a busy thing, but I would like to know if you are able to fly again or not." Talk of his education brings no surprise. But, then, she does have access to his personnel file. "For my pilots, my main concern is that they can properly jockey their ship. You were trained for it better earlier than I, I do suspect."

"I would hazard that yours did not involve any sort of plaid," Cora replies to Cidra with the faintest twist of a smile. If the studied lack of opinion is noticed or bothered about, she hides it well, listening to Evan's description of his academic history. She seems mildly amused at the end, but offers no opinion on flight readiness or the lack thereof.

"I did okay, I guess," Evan will admit, mildly dismissive, if only to stall out the line of the conversation leading toward measuring up metaphorical penis sizes with the CAG. 'Cause that… that's no good for anyone. "I hope so. I mean, I was saying earlier, if he's going to wait until life is good for me again, he's going to have a long wait coming to him. But everyone else is in the same boat, eh? No reason to stop flying on account of The Sad." He flashes a bright smile across Cidra to Cora. "'Sup?" he asks her, less a real question than the verbal hello she never got from him.

"Patterns are distracting," is Cidra's response to Cora. She feels no need to measure her (*very*, in her case) metaphorical penis, but the last is nodded to firmly. "I understand he is a civilian and not a military psychiatrist, so I suspect he is used to dealing with matters on a rather different level. I would not rush things and I do not like to interfere with Medical. I just want to make certain the matter is being seen to properly." She leaves it at that, giving Evan another quick squeeze before untangling herself from her chair. "I should be off myself. The night grows long, and I do not. Lieutenant Nikephoros…I shall see you about that matter we discussed earlier at a later time at both of our conveniences." So vague. So very vague.

"At least it was not paisley," Cora remarks, flippantly, lips twitching briefly upwards. She listens, and listens, and nods to Evan's greeting, replying, "Evening, Bunny." As Cidra moves to depart, she does not rise, but does straighten, and nods at that highly vague sentence, apparently perfectly clear on its meaning. "As I said, my schedule can be arranged to fit yours, so. I will look forward to it." She gives a nod that is both respectful, and friendly in a way that is mildly more familiar. "Have a good evening," she adds.

"Night, Cid," Evan lets his arms slough off of his CAG and onto his lap, both hands grasping his water bottle where he's clutched it between his knees. "Dream well when you dream, eh?" he adds, huddling in his own seat and watching her go. Cidra's business is Cidra's business, so he doesn't poke his nose into the vagueness of that last exchange, figuring that Cidra's is none of his. He does cast a fond little look after her on her way out, but he leaves it there before he takes a deep breath and looks back to Cora. "You doing okay?"

"I take what dreams find me," Cidra replies to Evandreus. "But thank you, Evan." She puts her shoes on and gathers her papers. And off she goes.

Cora looks back at Evan's question, considering it for a moment before replying, "Yes. Thank you. But I ought to go file this," she taps the papers in her lap, "Before I sleep." She rises, stepping back into her boots and gathering up her things, turning back to offer, "I'm glad you're doing better. I hope you get back in the flight rotation soon."

"Okay," Evan answers, wriggling around in his seat and getting his legs crossed one over the other, taking up his water and drinking from it again. "Good luck— don't let the paperwork bite," he tells her with a flicker of a smile. "And thanks."

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