PHD #274: EVENT - The Bull and the Sparrow
The Bull and the Sparrow
Summary: Nothing good happens after 22:00 for four aboard the Cerberus tonight.
Date: 27 Nov 2041 AE
Related Logs: The Gods Must Be Crazy; Do You Know God?
Andrea Wade Sofia Sawyer NPC Hydra 
Cerberus' Recreation Room … OR IS IT???
A room in which recreation takes place.
Post-Holocaust Day: #274

The chronometer has just ticked past 22:00 hours. While time has little meaning aboard a battlestar, this is a definite 'down' hour for much of the crew, when everything seems to be slowing. And a good many of the crew (and the ship's various other inhabitants) are getting ready to sleep. Some, however, still have some time to kill. Presently, you lot are killing it in the ship's Recreation Room. The sound of various snippets of conversation fill the air, games of Triad are played at various tables, vids are watched on the various small personal monitors. It is just another night.

Andrea is sober, carefully so. She's gotten drunk a few times since leaving Aerilon, and has reason to believe she may have, ah, done some regrettable things while under said influence. Taking this moment to simply be while not chemically altered, she is hanging out in the Rec Room, generally enjoying and trying not to think too much about what has happened recently. She is alive, she is flying, and that is enough. For now, anyway.

Wade doesn't feel like sleeping yet, so he decided to stop by the Recreation Room and kill some time there. Right now, he is wearing his off duty greens, dogtags hanging over his chest. He is sitting on one of the metal chairs, leaning his back against it, with his feet up on another chair. The man holds a small screen on his hands and seems to be watching something. Perhaps reruns of those old shows he used to watch as a kid? You know, all the stuff that the Battlestar for entertainment. Right next to him, over a table, there's a bottle of water.

Sofia has been napping on and off in the rec room, when not reading about history, fish keeping or plants. She has a cup of fizzy juice on the table nearby. She is listening to the chatter annd watching people. There's a glance around and she wriggles her feet. "Man…"

Coffee. That seems to be the reporter's main motivation for waltzing into the Rec Room at this late hour. The heels of her pumps make a crisp staccato on the deck as she moves into the room with a coffee cup hooked onto the curl of her index finger. She's awake and she intends to stay that way, so she heads for the urn to fill it with the tar they call Colonial military grade coffee. It's stronger than the stuff she brews in the news room.

Awake? Well, perhaps Sawyer is, but not everyone's awake. One of the Rec Room sofas is occupied by a sleeping ensign. Not a young man either of the pilots, or Sofia or Sawyer, would recognize. Doesn't fly with the Wing or labor with the snipes. He's in duty blues with an unassuming face. The sort that just blurs into the mass of a crowd in a galley or corridor. Or Rec Room. He was snoring softly but, as the chronometer ticks to 22:15, he holts upright. Not from any alarm the rest of them can hear, but he does it perfectly on that time, if one is paying attention to the clock. "Late…? Gods, I'm late." He scrambles upright.

Seeing Wade, Andrea walks over and sits down next to him, craning her neck to see what he is watching. She looks a bit uncomfortable, perhaps to ask an awkward question, when the ensign bolts upright. A smile crosses her face, and she nudges Wade. "Hey, Drips. Looks like someone forgot to set the alarm…"

Wade idly looks at the small screen while the random chatter keeps going. When Andrea sits next to him, he looks up at her and offers a faint smile "Hosedown" says the man now, looking back to the small screen for less than a second. Yes, he heard that man as well and when Andrea mentions him, he looks up and narrows his eyes, not recognizing him. The first thing he looks for? Pins. Pins would give away a lot of information.

And streeeeeeeeeetch those toes. Sofia's eyes close for a moment. But then she stops and grins, seeing Sawyer. "Careful, they use that to power the Raptors," She beams. She seems happy to see the reporter, though she looks around for a moment to find out who she recognizes. "Hm." There's a blink. But then she shrugs and decides not to get underfoot of any pilots.

"Whoa, hey." Sawyer sidesteps away from the couch the young Ensign was occupying, lest she get run over should the man decide to bolt. "I don't think they mark you as AWOL until at /least/ fifteen minutes late." The reporter remarks blithely as she finishes her descent unto the coffee maker. The urn gurgles as it spits out the thick brew into the porcelain cup, and she leans over with her nose wrinkling at Sofia's comment. "Well then it should be enough to power me for a few more hours." Curiously, she looks back to the panicked Ensign to see where the proverbial fire is.

"We're late. Frak. We're late…" the ensign repeats nervously. No pins other than the ones that denote his rank. He fumbles in the cushions of the couch he was sleeping on. Looking for something. "We're late, we're late, we're late…" A grin as his hands locate…something under the cushions. He found what he was looking for. Up comes his head, those unremarkable eyes looking hastily about the room. And then he asks, to no one and everyone, "Do you know God?"

What to the who now? Andrea, who had already been watching the strange ensign, gets a confused look on her face. Did she know God? Which one, and how well? She knew appropriate harvest prayers, and the like, and which dress to wear to temple on feastdays, but… "You may have to be a bit more specific," she says, mostly to herself. "Got a few to choose from, after all."

Well, that's odd. Wade moves his feet from the other chair and sits down, leaning forward against the table, looking at the Ensign "Calm down, Ensign. Who's we? And late for what?" He idly takes his bottle of water, taking a sip from neither. He doesn't move his eyes away from him, and is paying careful attention to what he is looking for under those cushions. He hears Andrea and doesn't look at her, he just nods "You mean, the gods, right?"

Sofia grins a little at that. A nod. "I miss coffee sometimes," She admits and turns to watch the ensign. She rubs the back of her head. Then lifts her eyebrows, "There's only one sort of person who believes in just one." She notes quietly, perhaps a warning. Sofia pauses. She looks uneasy and glances around. "Why do you ask?"

Wait. God? When it's in that singular form, it makes Sawyer freeze with her coffee cup half way to her lips. A tingle creeps its way up her spine, making the fine hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. Sawyer's been here before, she's heard those words before. "What do you have in your hand there? Let's just calm down, hmm?" Slowly, the reporter starts edging towards the wireless. Very slowly.

The unassuming young ensign straightens up from the sofa, holding something in one hand. He holds it aloft, opening his palm. While there's no bomb in sight, the small round contraption with a red button is - most would recognize - a standard detonator. "We are late. But there is still time." He sounds a mix of nervous, eager and hopeful.

Ohshit. Andrea's eyes widen as she recognizes the detonator. Crap, people had said this sort of thing had been happening. Did that mean the young man was a… she shakes her head. Got to keep it clear. "Time for what, precisely," she says in what she desperately hopes is a calming voice. "Easy there, Ensign. What is there time for?"

Oh. Frak. Sofia's eyes widen and she blinks at the ensign. She'll stand, likely to help cover for Sawyer. She tilts her head. She nods at Andrea, she's listening to the young man. That device worries her, a lot. She takes a deep breath.

Wade sees the detonator and takes a deep breath, yet, he keeps a completely neutral expression, or at least as neutral as he can keep it, given the circumstances. The man stands up, slowly, placing the small screen on the table. "If there is still time, I'm sure you can explain, Ensign" With that said, he takes a step to the side, and slowly, slowly starts to move closer to the man. Nice and easy now.

"There is still time…let's not do anything drastic, okay?" Sawyer's voice takes on the soothing tone of one trying to calm a spooked horse, or in this case the psycho with the detonator. Behind her, she fumbles to pull the receiver off the wireless, and attempts to dial the security hub without the Ensign noticing. She has no plans to speak into the thing directly, but leaves the line open and raises her voice in that same melodic tone so it hopefully will carry. "Where's the bomb."

"We have to go. We're on the path, but we're late, and He's waiting," the ensign says. And then…*click*. If Sawyer's efforts garner them anything, it's a live feed to whoever's on the end of that line to what comes next. That's apparently all the explanation they're ever going to get for him, for as his thumb touches the button, the room explodes. But there's no shrapnel. No fire. Just light. Intense white light. The time's ticked well past 22:15 as everything disappears around them. Gone. Everything's gone…

When the light fades, the Rec Room is gone. So is the ship. And it's not anywhere near 22:00 anymore. Whatever just happened, the two pilots, snipe and reporter suddenly find themselves very much elsewhere. Sunset. A pair of moons becoming visible in the purpling sky above them. They're outside, on earth. A hard, rocky, arid length of terrain. From the look of things they've died and gone to…Tauron. A small city rises not far off, taller buildings and the spire of what might be a temple visible. The place is silent, save the sound of the wind through the low hills and scrubby trees.

Andrea pushes herself up, slowly. She looks around, very nearly spinning in place, her head whipping around to take in the change. "Ok," she says, taking several deep breaths. "Could someone please tell me that this is NOT the Elysium that the priests kept going on about? Cause if so? I want my sacrifices back…"

When the Ensign presses the button of that detonator, by instinct, Wade lifts his arms as if trying to shield himself from the blast. The blinding light forces him to close his eyes really hard and then, and then nothing. Wade opens his eyes once again, blinking a few times to regain full 'sight' capacities and then looks around. "What the frak?" asks the man, still looking around. "This…" he looks at Andrea now "This looks like Tauron" Ok Toto, we are not in Kansas anymore.

The last thing Sawyer remembers before the blinding light is her mouth opening, though whether it was to scream or just emit another plea will never be known. Somehow she ended up in a crouched position, arms clutching over her head as if to protect herself from the blast that never comes. Slowly she starts to uncoil, hearing the unmistakeable crunch of gravelled dirt beneath her high heels as she shifts to stand. "Lords of Kobol…" She mutters, hand going to her throat.

He's waiting? Capital G god? Sofia's not sure she's ready for that. She closes her eyes a moment. Insanity once gifted her with belief in things that make no sense. This should make more sense. Is she dead? Am I dead? I should be opening and closing my mouth, perhaps screaming or hiding… but what am I doing? She blinks owlishly a moment. Peer. Funny how instinct to run becomes 'freeze like a deer in an explosion'. "Um." She pokes her arm a moment. "Well. I was expecting more … sparkling but." Hey.

There's something strange admist the scrubland. Well, all of this is strange. But 'strange for Tauron' rather than 'just really strange.' An oak tree. In the middle of an arid, scrub landscape where no oak is suposed to grow. The sound of birds trilling, singing it in breaks the dusky quiet of the place. One of the flies out of the leaves, coming to rest on a high branch. A sparrow, if one knows about such things. The bird tilts its head down at the four of them, trilling again.

Some part of Andrea reminds her that she is the ranking officer here, and there are some things ranking officers are supposed to know. Like what the frak is going on. "Ok, sitrep, people. Anyone hurt? Beyond being really surprised, I mean?" She looks up at the tree, and fights the urge to simply enjoy the sparrow's song. She has a job to do.

Ok! So this is strange. "Unharmed" simply says Wade to Andrea and then looks at himself, just to make sure. He looks at both Sawyer and Sofia and then back to the oak tree, and the bird. "This…" how to explain this. He can't, he really can't. With that said, the man takes a deep breath and takes a step forward, feeling the dirt below his shoes. After that, he just slowly walks towards that tree.

A bird! Sofia blinks owlishly at it. "Hey. Sup little feathered dude. Good day for a song I guess." And … she sees NOTHING wrong with talking to a bird. Just talking to it. Snipe's lost a few froot loops along the way. "You're really nailing those high notes," She nods at it. Good ole bird. She smiles. But then Andrea's voice filters through. "I don't know. I guess I should be dead. I'm alright though."

"You mean besides wondering what the frak was in that coffee?" Sawyer cranes her face up to get bathed in the light of the moons as they emerge in the inky sunset, her gaze travelling to the tree and frantically searching the branches until she can find the bird. The sparrow. Sawyer swallows something back, then flicks her gaze back over to Andrea. "I'm fine. Just…freaked the frak out." She finally takes the time examine the others she's tumbled down the rabbit's hole with. "I've /got/ to start having better dreams." And then the reporter kicks off her rather impractical footwear and starts after Wade.

As they near the tree, the sparrow makes another soft trilling sound at them. There's an almost beckoning quality to it. And then, the bird takes flight. Toward the city in the near distance. Meanwhile, the sun is properly setting in the mooned sky above them. Stars beginning to come out. Night is falling, wherever they are.

A Viper pilot out of her depth, Andrea notes Wade and Sawyer walking towards the tree, takes Sophia's bird whispering in stride (at this point, who is Hosedown to call ANYONE crazy) and starts after them. When the bird heads to the city, Andrea hears herself ask. "So, can anyone think of a reason NOT to follow the bird from the impossible tree to the city on the planet where we just appeared?"

Wade keeps looking at the bird, and while those are some good tunes, it's not his main concern right now. He presses his lips as the bird takes off and then looks over his shoulder, finder Sawyer first. "Well, I guess that means we should follow it" He takes a deep breath and looks at he others "Shall we?" Now, he hears Andrea and he shakes his head "Not really, I'm following it." And with that, he turns around and starts the long walk. Dum Dee Dum.

Boggle. Sofia's eyebrows lift. "That is one smart little dude." Oh yeah. "Unless it's a dudette." Pause. "I can't tell." It's not wearing a bow or anything after all. She rubs the back of her head. "Huh? Well, not really. Seems to be an okay critter." Nod. "Just … keep your eyes open I guess." Remember, what the sparrow sung. Feed your hea— wait. Not nearly enough drugs for that. Sofia will amble along then, though she pauses. She notices Sawyer's shoes coming off. "Um. You can take turns wearing mine with me … if mine aren't too far off your size."

"If I catch that bird, I'm going to spitroast it." Sawyer mutters, already not having had a great couple of days. She looks to the others to see if they have the same inclination of following the bird, and then she starts trekking after it. The reporter seems to actually relish the feel of the jagged earth beneath her bare feet. So much for pinching yourself to wake up. "I'm fine. Nice night for a walk." Is her only confirmation to both Sofia and Wade.

It's not a long walk to the city but it will take a good ten minutes to cover the ground from it to the tree. The bird flies unerringly toward it. Alighting occasionally on branches of scrub, as if waiting for them to 'catch up.' No more oaks. That one great tree is a single oddity in the already odd landscape.

There doesn't seem to be much to say. Andrea has considered, and dismissed, several different ways that they may have been brought to this place. Short of an outright kidnapping, none seem to make any sense whatsoever. A dream seems the most likely, but if she was dreaming, her sub-conscious and something against her. She tries to keep an eye open for any threats, though.

"Odd as this is, I prefer to be walking after that bird that…you know, being standing around what the frak is going on. Which, mind you, I'm still doing" says Wade as he walks after that thing. The way the little bird waits for them is, weird, to say the least. But what's not weird? "We all saw this guy, and we ended here…" he shakes his head at that, not able to bring some sense to the whole situation "That over there looks like a temple" adds the man, pointing forward.

Sofia's eyes widen. Did she really hear? Naah. "I dunno, he seems nice enough," She smiles up at the bird. "Thanks little … bird dude." Nod. She follows along though, rubbing the side of her head. "I should be afraid. Or dead." Right? Right. Hmm. She boggles this. "Reallly?" She peers over.

Sawyer hisses as she steps on something sharp, "Eight baby sparrows in a tree, the mother is the ninth and cries for the tenth as the serpent devours them…the father is the tenth sparrow." Mumblings, just mumblings under the Reporter's breath, as if it's some age old riddle she has yet to solve. Perhaps it's that that drives the reporter to follow the birds with the others towards the temple.

No sign of threats as they approach the city. The place is quiet. Like a ghost town. It's small, as cities go, likely holding less than a hundred thousand people when any souls to speak of lived there. The paving is stone, the houses mostly made of the same material. While newer shops and homes are visible, the place has an 'old world' look to it. There's a concentration of small temples and shrines in the quarter they follow the sparrow to. Nothing terribly grand, but old and preserved with a certain amount of care. There's no sign of the holocaust here. Just…emptiness.

Andrea takes in the city with care as they approach it, gratefully stepping off of the jagged ground onto the paved street. "Old town," she mutters to herself. "Tourist trap." She looks about. "No real signs of damage… nuclear or panic. It's like the whole place was abandoned BEFORE the bombs fell." She glances over at Wade. "You'd think we'd have heard of this during one of the briefings. Or did we, and I just wasn't paying attention?"

"It looks as if the bombs /didn't/ fell" says Wade to Andrea as he looks around the place, trying to remember if he has seen something similar to this. It's true that Vipers have been aiding the Raptors in the search for survivors, so he is trying to pin down /some/ information. Regardless, the little bird moves to the small temples and shrines. "Let's see what we can find here" adds Wade and continues to walk, keeping his eyes peeled, looking around at /everything/.

She's died and … gone to Tauron? It's not Tartarus, it's not Elysium. hmmm. Sofia ponders this conundrum briefly, glancing around. "But where are the people?" She considers and looks around. "Tourist towns tend to come and go if they don't find a steady stream of tourists," Sofia points out. She ambles along though, peering here and there. She might stop and see if she can see inside a window now and then. "I … don't know much about this place."

Blissfully, the vaguely religious sounding mutterings from the Reporter cease as the get into the thick of the town. She straightens from her own thoughts to look around, slowly turning in place as her eyes trace the architecture. "I /know/ this place." It's said in the same frustrated tones as her riddle about the sparrow. She knows it's in her brain somewhere, she just can't put a finger on it. "Tauron. We're certainly on Tauron, but this place…I can't put a name to it."

The sparrow is flying toward a large building of pale gray stone, steps leading up to an open-air entrance, ceiling to the entryway held up by round columns. It's not a temple. At least, there are no altars or images to any one god outside it. Though its architecture is not disimilar to what one would find in any older temples. The sparrow lands on its roof, next to another bird. One that was seemingly waiting there for them. An eagle, again if one is interested in things avian. Both birds watch them with their beady eyes as they continue along. Perhaps that's why there's suddenly the intense feeling that they are not alone.

"What is this place?" Andrea mutters, and her arms go out to try to at least slow down the others. "I… I really don't like any of this." She looks around, notes the eagle, and takes a very deep breath. "Something is really wrong, here. I've got that feeling in the back of my head."

Wade looks at Sawyer and nods to her. He then takes a deep breath and looks up, at that bird, that is now next to an eagle. After hearing Andrea's words, he presses his lips together and adds "I feel…I feel we are not alone, something, or someone is watching us." He shakes his head, trying to remove that feeling and looks at the birds again, and then the entrance "Very well then" And off he goes, picking up some speed, but not running, nor even jogging. Wade is going in.

Things've gone to the birds! At least they seem like friends. She blinks and peers. "Aren't eagles predators?" She asks quietly. It seems odd that the sparrow, normally a bird eaten by bigger birds is just chillin' with the eagle. Sofia tilts her head. "I wonder…" She takes a deep breath. "I dunno if it's /wrong/… it could be right for this place," She points out. A dream. Saw … temple … the Ur - Whoa. Something hits Sofia like a 2x4 and it's not a birdie surprise. She shifts backwards towards Sawyer and whispers, "Hey. What if it has to do with that art? Rejn mentioned something about Prototemples and…" The line on the drawing. Saw it in a dream.

Mindless of the others and perhaps spurred by Sofia's words, Sawyer's fingers walk up the material of her pencil skirt until it's gathered around her thighs. Unlike Wade, the Journalist is perfectly happy to run. Practically sprinting to the steps of the odd godless temple, bounding up the lowest steps to stare at the pair of perched birds. Winded, her shout comes out with a bit of a pant. "Who is the father?!" Just like Sofia, Sawyer addresses their feathered friends as if they might actually answer.

No anwer's forthcoming from the birds. No, they don't talk here. Not even in the 'Polly want a cracker' sort of dialect. But there *is* an answer forthcoming to Sofia and Sawyer's shouts. A laugh. A hearty, rather grandfatherly laugh. And with it, a figure emerges from behind those columns. Human. At least, he looks human. An elderly man, perhaps into his eighties, dressed in jeans and a light jacket. Typical outdoorsman gear. "You lot seen the fishing hole?" he calls down to them. With another jovial chuckle. There's nothing remotely like a lake around this landscape.

Andrea freezes cold. "Hang on!" She yells after them. "Wait, godsdammit, just wait!" How much weirder was this going to get? "Drips, something is really wrong, here!"

When Sawyer moves past him, running; Wade shakes his head and says "Well, we can do that" After this, he sprints after Sawyer, skipping steps as he moves towards the opening. He only slows down after hearing the laugh of that man and looks over to Andrea. He nods to her in silence, pressing his lips together and swallowing hard. Now, he looks at the elder man and he asks "Where are we? What fishing hole?" If that is a code that Saws and Sofia can pick up, good; because he has no clue on what that means.

Huh. Sofia just smiles and waves at the birds. "Cheers, little dudes. Maybe you know the answer without words. I never was good with birds." But Sawyer asking seems to relieve Sofia. "It's such a strange feeling, to have let go like this." But who knows? She shrugs. "Thank you." She nods. There's a pause at the laugh and she looks over. There's a polite smile. Grandpa! Grandpas deserve respect. "Hiya, sir. And nope. What's it like? Is there nice stuff there?" She rolls with the punches. Heck, what's the worst that could happen? More pills in the psych ward?

Maybe Sawyer should be afraid of the man, maybe she should heed the orders from Andrea, but she's so deep in this mindfrak she's actually approaching the laughing man who appears. "If there was one by the tree, it's long since dried up. The earth is cracked and gone shale. Why did the sparrow lead us here?"

"Was going to do some fishing, but this don't seem the right place for it," the old man says. He sounds disappointed. He sits down by one of the columns, plucking a pipe out of his jacket and lighting it up. Grinning up at the sparrow and the eagle as he settles in to smoke. "They're smart creatures, sparrows. Guess she figured there was something here you might want to see. Any of you know the way to Lampridis Falls? Little dry this time of year, but better fishing there than here."

Sofia's gone bannanas, Sawyer's gone poetic. Andrea takes a deep breath and steps up towards them. Her head is on a swivel, though. The old man seems harmless enough… that's the damnable part of it all, he should be terrified or relieved to see them. Not so… well, normal. And the birds. Those damned birds. It has to be a trap. From somewhere. She is about losing it, trying to keep cool. Just her here in her sweats. If Centurions show up, this'll be a VERY short dance. "Excuse me, sir, but do you know where we could find a radio?" Yeah, it may be rude, but given the apocolaypse, Andrea felt she had earned a lapse in social graces.

Wade does approach the man, now knowing that it won't be easy to get answers from him. He listens to his words and repeats "Lampridis Falls" there is a brief moment of silence from him and he says "Those are in Gemenon" He looks around for a moment, pressing his lips together yet again "And this, looks like Tauron" He focuses again on the man, and then looks at the entrance of the place "Something we would like to see, huh?" With that said, he takes a few steps away, as if going in, but still remains close.

Bananas. More like fish, fish. Sofia rubs the back of her head. "Yeah? Huh," She considers it. "And they do seem pretty clever," She agrees as far as sparrows go. "They're kind of cute." Fluffy tummys! "I don't know the way though," She admits. And there's ultimate freedom, but a tragedy. She's accepted the loss of /something/ once her mind broke, but - it's lowered a lot of expectations and given her leeway to simply be her strange self. So it is. "It must be nice."

"We're seeing you." Saywer points out to the man, and as he sits, she too sinks to her knees. Like a follower kneeling before a Guru, the reporter folds her hands primly in her lap and gives the man her full attention. "We only have just come." Gemenon. That draws Sawyer's gaze towards Wade and she looks at him for a long moment as if memorizing that fact he just provided.

Those still watching the eagle and sparrow on the roof would see the heads of smaller birds popping up. Chicks. Seven in all, to make an even nine avian creatures peering down at them. The four from Cerberus, the old man, and those birds aren't the only creatures in the city, it seems. Snaking up one of the columns, toward the birds on the roof, is a serpent. The eagle, sparrow and chicks take no notice of it. Neither does the old man. "Tauron…Gemenon…just like the ones before. You see the parts but not the whole. You think one's not connected to the others? Twelve from one, but all twelve are one. All this has happened before, you know. And all this will happen again." He laughs, that jovial grandfatherly laugh. And the serpent continues to crawl toward those birds.

Just about ready to give up, Andrea looks back up to the birds and sees the chicks. And the snake. And hears the odd voice of the man. "What the frak…" she mutters, and points. "Wait, a snake… it's going to get the chicks, and…" she shakes her head again and looks at the old man. "What is this place?"

Wade looks over his shoulder as the man speaks again and walks back to him "I never said that, I was just specifying geographical locations." offers Wade to the creepy dude. "Twelve from one" repeats Wade "You mean the human race, and the one being the thirteenth colony." Or at least he thinks that. He nods to this and then hears Andrea, moving his gaze to the snake…and then, up to the chicks. "What…"

D'aaaw. Chickies. Ugly enough to be cute. Sofia giggles and waves. "Hey you. You're cute!" Beam. They are! But then there's an eye widening at the snake. No one saw it coming, not - /it/ or the snake or the birds. Her eyes widen a bit. "Ack! Aren't you an eagle!? Don't eagles kick the asses of snakes?" C'mon Eagle! Sofia looks up. She pauses at the old man's laugh. "Huh." It's happened… before?

"History repeats itself." Sawyer say quietly, not particularly liking that answer. Andrea's warning about the birds pulls Sawyer's avid attention from the old man once again, and instantly she's on her feet. It's a scramble, but she'll claw her way to that column if she has to. "We have to stop it. We have to stop the Serpeant!" In her right mind, Sawyer is not.

The old man grins at them in a proud, if indulgent sort of way. "You're on the path. Both of your are. Path might split, but the bull will lead you to the fork in the road." He watches Sawyer scramble toward the column. An inch too late to catch the serpent's tail. It snakes up onto the roof, toward the birds. Toward the eagle. And…strikes! Fangs sinking into the back of the bird of prey. It stiffens, instantly, and falls. The sparrow and chicks break in a flurry, taking flight. The old man bows his head, nodding to Sawyer with tears in his eyes. "That you do, Missie. That you do. Not much time left, though. You're late…"

Frak the birds. At the words, 'You're Late' Andrea snaps her attention back to the old man. "We've been told that before, right before we exploded and wound up here. Who are you, where are we, and for the love of the Gods, what are we late FOR?"

Wade just looks at the snake attacking that poor eagle, and then follows the eagle with his gaze. He shakes his head at that and mutters 'Frak' His attention goes back to the man, and he presses his lips together for a moment "The bull…" he repeats. "Tauron" he adds. "The fork in the road?" Yeah, that part he doesn't understand all that much. "What does that mean?" asks Wade to the man now. Starting to run his fingers over his eyes as if aiming for that to aid his concentration. "The Thirteenth colony?" asks Wade, he said that, yeah; but he feels it plays an important role here.

"Ah!" Oh no. Those poor poor birdies. Sofia gasps as the bird of prey falls. "Miss Averies!" Sofia decides to move after and catch Sawyer if she needs. "I think it's poisonous, watch out." She frowns. She pauses. They're late. "I think the Gods or fates don't ever give straight answers because life would be too simple and no one would appreciate what we don't figure out. But then… maybe it'd be too easy? Or - I don't even know…" She's lost in reasoning and riddles and worried about Sawyer. There's some relief at the ones that have flown. "Thirteen. Is the clumsiest number. She felt bad for it." Sofia remarks blankly. She takes a deep breath and just watches the snakes for now.

Sawyer's fingers close on thin air, and a dry sob escapes her throat as she realizes she's too late to snag the serpeant's tail. But the birds, the birds take flight and Sawyer presses a hand over her lips to obscure her jubilant smile. "We have to go to Gemenon. And there we'll find the way to the thirteenth colony. We're late. We have to stop frakking around on these other colonies. We're late."

"Follow the sparrows, kids. They're smart birds," the old man says. "The whole is broken into parts, and there are keys within parts. Snakes want them too, though. Doesn't end well. Never does…" He puffs on his pipe. Puff…puff…puff. The serpent remains on the roof, hissing down at them, as smoke seems to fill the air. Thick as if it was coming from a fire that engulfed the whole city, rather than just his pipe. A choking mist, obscuring everything around you in white…

And then, in the blink of an eye it takes to wake, Wherever-The-Frak on Tauron is gone. It's 23:30, and it was all a dream. A hell of a dream. You awaken with a jolt in your rack, your hammock, wherever you put your head down this night. There was no explosion in the Rec Room or anywhere else aboard the Cerberus, no birds or crazy old people aboard. And yet the details of the dream linger, sharp as any waking memory.

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