PHD #160: EVENT - The Gods Must Be Crazy
The Gods Must Be Crazy
Summary: Sometimes it just gets weird.
Date: 05 Aug 2041 AE
Related Logs: The Tenth Sparrow
Rufinus Evandreus Madilyn Tucana Kadena Malone NPC 
The Cerberus' Rec Room, initially
Given in the set
Post-Holocaust Day: #160

It's always 17:00 somewhere. That's the old saying used by beverage enthusiasts and other merrymakers the worlds over for longer than one can remember. When one is on a ship, shift changes and the like make time seem even more arbitrary. That being established, 1700 has come and passed aboard the Battlestar Cerberus and the ensuing shift change sees a smaller crowd than usual inside the ship's Rec Room.

This huge room spans quite a lot of floor space, the support beams crisscrossing at even points throughout the room. The two sides are divided fairly between the Enlisted and Officers with an unseen line more or less running down the center of the room. A couple pool and card tables sit in no-man's land with a series of regular mess tables at the rear of the room, nearest a counter full of minor refreshments like coffee and bags of chips. Magazines and reading material are spread out over the couched seating areas and a few televisions are set-up with a couple of video game systems made available.

One of the aircrew's off-duty Ensigns is sprawled out in a chair with his feet propped up on another, some battered swimsuit edition sports magazine is spread open upon his face as the crinkled, glossy paper muffles the sound of his snoring. That sound is notable as it's the loudest sound in the room, the only thing really breaking the silence of the place.

Evandreus has both knees on a hard-backed chair settled sideways along one side of a square card table. There's nobody playing cards, though. Just a Raptor driver kneeling there with his head bowed, eyebeams inclined, not quite unfriendly, but wary, down to a piece of constructio paper already marred by senseless, numb sworls of purple paint. His purple hand lifts to his face, thumb scratching an itch and leaving a streak of warpaint in its wake. His other hand, as yet clean, reaches tentatively for the bottle of red, flipping it upside-down and squeezing a glop, ketchup-like, onto the paper. SQUORT.

There's one figure sitting off to the side, looking at one of those formentioned swimsuit mags with some kind of critical eye. Or at least it might seem that way if the accompanying commentary is any indication. "Those breasts are so fake," Kadena murmurs drowsily before turning the page, that resulting in a snort from her. "Lords. I don't know how anyone could find a bathing suit bottom designed like that to be comfortable. Thing's like dental floss!" She's not fond of what was going to be this summer's 'rage' in swimwear on Aquaria.

Having just stepped in from the corridor outside, Malone looks a bit tired as he heads further into the room now. Shaking his head a little as he looks around for a few moments. There's an old, battered book in his hand as he moves to find himself somewhere to seat himself.

Shift change should mean nap, or should mean clearing up some loose ends. That is, as per the usual for Rufinus. But today, well, today is a habit broken. Off-duty, though, cannot be deemed much more than a state of mind and rest though, given the nature of a marine enlisted. He's been to himself so far, at a table, complete with cards spread out before him. They're Triad cards sure, but that's not the game he's playing. It's single player, whatever it is, and he doesn't appear to be all that good at it either. In that he has had made no moves since laying them out, and simply proceeds to look them over, with elbow on table and cheek on knuckles, as his free hand hovers over the cards in waiting for his mind. It could be he's too tired to play properly. But it could just as well be he's this out of practice.

Good thing this room has a lot of corners, huh? Plenty of room for anyone who wants to be in a corner to find one! There's magazine reading, magazine commenting, arts and crafts, and then in Madilyn's case, just arts. From somewhere in this room - or maybe it's from someone's personal stash aboard ship - Madilyn has managed to obtain a small digital keyboard, and (thankfully) a pair of headphones. Nobody else in the room will be subject to her trying to relearn some of the finer points of the instrument. She hasn't taken lessons in years and years…and it shows!

Evandreus sets down the bottle of red and sets his free hand on the side of the table, leanin forward just a little bit. Purple thumb shoves through the red, making a slice of it jump an inch that way, then pulls back, pushing up in another direction, creating another jagged edge of red. Something about the image forming in the paints has the pilot ill-at-ease, but even he doesn't really know what it is, so, as if Anagke herself were forcing his hand, he keeps at it, sullenly moving the paint with awkward scritching movements of his thumb.

"Okay. Enough of that…" Kadena announces albeit only to herself, her voice kept at a whisper. The magazine's chucked to the side just before she gets to her feet and something to make tea with is sought out. Hopefully the hot water dispenser or whatever is used as such here still works otherwise she's going to be a very cranky lady. Passing by Evan as she crosses the room, she has to be on auto-pilot as she doesn't even seem to notice him.

That simple rattle-snore sound continues as the figure of the passed-out ensign rises and falls in loud, blissful slumber. There's a bit more of this and suddenly the young man twitches a little, something clearly interrupting his slumber. The glossy magazine falls to the ground in a quiet 'splat' splayed open to partially reveal a fairly, ahem, buxom young woman on a beach (indeed, it /is/ Aquaria for the enquiring minds out there). She probably doesn't look this good nowadays.

Just then, the young man, clad in his off-duty tanks stiffens and practically falls out of his seat as he comes to a sudden start. "Enh." And then he looks down at his watch, his dishevelled hair framing one of the most —- well, it's one of the most /unassuming/ faces one could describe. "Oh. Gods. I'm late." He scrambles to his feet.

If not the sound of the magazine drawing her attention, it must certainly be the sudden rise of the sleeping ensign that draws Madilyn's attention. For a moment, she lets her fingers fall off the keys (plastic, unfortunately - ivory is an past luxury at this point in history), and looks over not only this ensign, but the others in the room as well. Pilot. Nurse. Pilot. Pilot. Marine. Outnumbered, as always.

Passing by near the table of the painting Evandreus, Malone pauses a bit to look at the image. "Interesting, whatever it is," he offers quietly. The waking up of the fallen down one makes him look in that direction, about to say something but holding back his comment for now.

Success! Rufinus picks up one of the Triad cards, moving it into position with another. His lips forming a slight smile, that just as swiftly fades. False alarm. He moves the card back to where it was with an all too audible sigh. He takes up opportunity to look around at those present as well, so shortly after shift change. Two artists, two magazine toting slackers (one sleeping, one quitting), and an even more recent arrival. The officers are apparently tied with enlisted. Something keen to have him avoid looking at the former too much while off duty. His gaze follows movement first a foremost, but jolting to the awakened sleeper with a slight startle of his own as lateness is declared. Given a moment, Rufinus sees fit to relax with a smirk. It's something amusing to observe, with unfamiliarity with the man in place.

A knock-kneed starfish or maybe some manner of flower starts to form out of the splotch of red, and van finally settles his ass back on his heels, giving up on whatever-it-is for the moment it takes to look at Malone with a sort of plaintive stare, then shift his attention to the guy making a break for the door, giving the latter a half-smile of sympathy. Oversleeping sucks, yo. His eyes wander back to the painting. Purple swirls. Red star.

The rumped Ensign starts to meander to the table next to his chair, where his Fleet-issued duffel bag rests as he stoops down to it and starts rustling. "It's almost time. Shit. Captain's going to have my head unless I — " he trails off as he starts pulling bits and pieces from the bag - a pair of socks, a training manual. The arm of a fluit suit starts to flap out of the bag as he pulls out something else at the very bottom - a shoebox. Holding it aloft triumphantly he sets it down next to the table and settles onto the floor, working at the lid.

The hot water dispenser is found along with a mug, thank the gods, a minor miracle. Pulling out a small packet of something from a pocket, Kadena pours whatever it is into the mug first before it's filled with the heated liquid; almost immediately, a strong scent begins to waft upon the steam, something vaguely chocolate but not quite, it being too spice-like to be chocolate. Not entirely, at least? She sets it down and allows it to steep, this giving her time to look around and take notice of who is here.

Malone looks to the newly-awakened one, shaking his head a little bit. He remebers days like that, although most of them happened on the ground. Looking back to Evandreus and the paper for a few moments, he then moves to the nearest unoccupied table, seating himself there, with his book.

Madilyn watched this ensign with particular interest. Since when have pilots taken to using the rec room here as their own personal locker rooms? Isn't there a pilot lounge or something for use in that fashion? Or a ready room of some sorts? They are coddled, she recognizes. In other words, the Air Wing is to the Fleet when Caprica is to the Colonies? Something like that…which is funny, given her upbringing: Caprican through and through.

Evandreus' lips twitch with a tickle of a smile as he spots the flight suit, then, looking back over the guy's face, he pushes the painting forward across the table, resting his elbows on the edge as he looks over and down. "It's cool, guy. You need someone to help you get where you need to be? The ship can be pretty confusing if you're still getting to know it," he offers help, after a kindly, casual fashion. "Do you know Alex?" he wonders. Evan's main contact in Nuggetland.

Rufinus's other elbow joins the first on the table, with his forearm resting upon the cards of his previous use without all too much worry. His gaze keeps to the worried man standing amongst the magazines, prepared to apparently bolt. He's get a little more amusement out of the unfamiliar other's familiar plight before he'd eventually back to sucking at his chosen card game. What is unexpected for him, is to see the Ensign wrestling his gear from his dufflebag, shoe box and all. His right eyebrow quirks upward. An unspoken observance once the rank is shown, via flight suit, 'officers are so strange'. But there's that… sound. His eyes widen and he stumbles back out from his chair some. "Wait a frak. Woah, woah, woah, woah, woah," he states, than repeats, with a hand outstretched in a motion to stop towards the Ensign. "That damn well better be your teddy bear alarm clock," he states outright, motioning to whoever's behind or beside him to stay back with a waving of his hand.

Malone blinks a bit as he hears something, looking over at the shoebox rather carefully. Starting to rise again as he nods in agreement with Rufinus, but he doesn't say anything yet. Keeping his full attention on the box now.

At the first sign of being addressed directly, the Nervous Nugget whips his head about to study Evandreus. His hair is cut short, brown, regulation and his face is — it's just a killer. The most generic-looking guy in the world. It's uncanny. Everything about him is middling-average, right down to height, build. He licks his lips and says, "Oh, Alex. Of course. I know him. Do you know your father?" At the sound of being accosted by Rufinus, he spins to study the other man. "It's 1700 hours." He says, plainly, staring at the man wide-eyed as he approaches, and he draws back, flipping the lid off the box. "Do you know God?" The box contains — oh, it's not an alarm clock. It's a wonder of yesterday's cobbled-together technology. It's a clock, all, right. Connected to some wires. Connected to more G-4 than can be healthy for this entire room. And the hand - it moves. Tick, tock. Tick. Tock. Suddenly, the hand comes to a stop.

"Hmmmm?" Kadena has just returned to the other side of the room from where she went on her trek for drink, her mug now held between both hands. Hands which were being warmed by the ceramic only to suddenly go cold when she sees something's not quite right. "Excuse me, is somethin' wrong," she asks of everyone in particular, her Aerilon accent starting to show through. "I'm sure we can jus' sit down and relax." She doesn't even know that the Ensign has a present for them, the bomb not seen yet.

Jumpy and tired, Rufinus doesn't seem fit to give the Ensign the benefit of the doubt with the box and its ticking. Not exactly fit to think that an officer is carrying around a teddy bear in a shoe box either …well, maybe. He stands his ground though, one hand before him, as if physically holding the event in place, while the other remains out at his side, with a notion to keep any others back from the immediate proximity of what could be very, very bad. He sinks into himself with the odd manner of speech given from the Ensign, and changes his pace to gradually backward once the lid comes off and exposes what's really inside the box. No, that's no teddy alarm clock. All the other voices but the bomber's seem to drown out for a moment. "Which God?" he tries, in a shakey voice, in an effort to keep the man distracted, but, well, that won't work …not once the clock comes to a stop. "Down!" he shouts at the top of his lungs for the benifit of all present. Voiced, as he begins turning, and making to crouch and skid under one of the other tables, himself.

Evandreus stretches a leg down off of the chair as Creepy Nugget goes all Creepy. "Do I know my—" he begins, half-under his breath, brows furrowed. He trails off as the Nugget turns and heads for the Marine, backing off in the other direction, arm out to his side, getting a red-and-purple handprint on Macer's shoulder as he moves her back with him, a tension in his shoulder, silent. When the Marine shouts out the word, he just grabs the nurse and shoves her around behind the metal crafts and games cabinet, as likely as not rough enough to make her drop her mug, slamming himself into the nook behind her.

Judging by the sudden seriousness and body language from the others in the room, something is, or is about to, go down. That in and of itself is enough to cause Madilyn to slide the headphones off and and set them aside, along with the small electric keyboard. She's standing at about the time that Rufinus is initially confronting the ensign…and out of instinct (or habit?) her hand falls to her side. Call her odd, but she's not about to go anywhere without her sidearm, off-duty or not. Especially not with what's gone down recently. "What is it, Sergeant? What does he have in that box?" she says, while heeding Rufuinus' warning and taking a knee, behind the table she was just sitting at a moment ago.

"Thought I did," Malone offers a bit absently at the words from the Nugget to the Marine, before he hears that part about getting down. With a move that shows he's been an athlete before, he dives away from the man with the box, landing on the floor and trying to keep some furniture between him and the box. "Not my day…" he mutters.

No, Malone. It wasn't your day. Apparently 1700 wasn't the lucky hour for anyone here. Madilyn just got her question answered, too, even as the others react. The Ensign's smile is sudden now and borders on creepy, it would be this way even if he was not carrying a lethal package. Which suddenly erupts in a portable maelstrom of shrapnel, smoke, and death, rocking the Rec room and sending furniture and metal flying. And Gods know what else - this can't be good for the ship. Or anyone in the forseeable radius, as the ship vanishes in a shock and a flash. What a horrible way to die.


It's probably not 1700 anymore. The blast, whatever it was, was potent. The explosive, for all its crude nature, was unbelievably potent. Anyone within an extensive radius should either be horribly maimed, or dead. Or both. Which is funny - for the five who were in here with the malicious Ensign, they will find themselves coming to, unharmed, although scattered in the same positions they last were when the bomb went off. But they are unhurt. Nobody can make the same call about the ship - however. As nobody here is anywhere /near/ the ship. The first thing that one would notice is the sound of birds. And the natural twilight which spills down through the gaps between a sparse smattering of pine trees. And some sparse grass. Judging from where the horizon is, the altitude here is high, and although the patch of woods that surrounds the group is gentle and relatively flat, there is a slope about twenty meters away that climbs up, up, and away onto what looks like a mountainside. If this is the afterlife, it's kind of pretty.

Yes, Rufinus under the table; in the literal meaning of the term, as opposed to the idiom. He's back some, arm braced against the top of it, with consideration paid with a testing of its weight whether he should flip it. He doesn't have the time to make that decision or so much as nudge it upward though, nor to answer the Major's inquiry. The blast erupts. While Rufinus is protected against projectile shrapenel though, he's not so against the very furniture he's decided to protect himself with. It all jolts for a moment, with some force, than nothing.

When he comes to, he's sprawled rather than crouched. Dazed, rather than adrenaline pumped. He feels the need to cough, and tries, only to find the deed empty. He wants the air to do so, but its been knocked out of him. He wheezes and groans. A bit sore, but apparently unharmed, save for the ringing in his ears taking away yet another tone of sound. Is that a breeze? Rufinus rolls over onto his back, his gaze meeting the twilight and pine trees overhead. He jolts upward to a seated position, not yet having caught his breath well enough to speak. His head turning every which way, searching for pieces of the ship. Would that be possible to survive?

"What the frak?" Dena begins to look around once she finds herself able to do so, that being a realization that is slow to come as the change in scenery has her about as much of a state of shock as anyone can be without suffering actual bodily harm. She is kind of sprawled on the ground with her legs sent askew to one side, her arms bracing her head. How she wound up in that position is anyone's guess.

Evandreus is hunched up along Macer's back, holding onto her shoulders as he lies on his side, cheek pressed to the back of her neck, face buried in— grass? The tension's gone out of his form. He might be asleep, unconscious, or just unwilling to move, at this point.

Darkness. That's all Malone remembers after the big boom. And then light, as he starts coming to again. Blinking a few times and shaking his head as if to clear it, he blinks at the difference in the scenery. "Ow…" he mutters, from his position down on the ground. Slowly starting to move a bit now.

This is…weird. Strange. Alarming. There's a variety of expectations going through Madilyn's head as she comes out on the otherside of the explosion. A moment ago, she was ducking back behind a table and now? She's coming too with sunshine on her face - making it quite hard to even squint her eyes open as she comes to - and grass of some sort under her back. "Unnngh…frak," Madilyn groans out, immediately shutting her eyes at the sunlight, and lifting a heavy, leaden arm to shield her eyes…and rub her throbbing temples. She stirs, a little in the legs and feet, but no attempt is made to get up or even roll over.

Birds chirp. Crickets buzz. It must be summertime wherever it is, the temperature is fairly warm for the altitude, but it will likely be dropping as night continues to fall. The passing of a large bird makes a tangible 'whump wump' sound through the air as it speeds towards its prey. The sky is awash with the beginnings of starlight as the sun falls down the horizon, dressed with a gentle orange haze, some clouds — and what looks like the remains of some kind of uncertain debris overhead.

Words? In his afterlife? Rufinus's gaze shifts from search of ship pieces, to Kadena's voice; and by proxy to her. As the process of clearing the fog from his head begins, he starts to take notice of those other sprawled around him as well. Groans and faint movement coming to draw his attention to each given person present. He's seated, but doesn't appear fit to get up. Or to talk, even as air re-enters his lungs. It's an on experience. To be one place, than another, without any accounting as for how. It may as well feel like hours, within just moments, alone with his thoughts; as others may be with theirs. He opens his mouth, a trying despite his notion not to; and despite having nothing to say. A fish out of water, grasping to be reimmerged in his previous reality. He casts his gaze up, as his perceptions are able to collect what's actually going on around him. It's than that he finally finds something to say. "If this is Elysium, why are all you here?" he manages in low tone, to everyone present and no one in particular; without turning his gaze back down.

There is no desire from Kadena to move. No desire to do anything but look around, the fact that Lieutenant Doe's resting behind her finally dawning on her. Carefully turning to face the other direction, she begins to look him over, making sure he's alright, his condition carefully monitored by the nurse. When Rufiness begins to speak she turns her head, wincing as she finds a small rock with the back of it. "Shhh," she hisses out, a plea for him to be quiet made to the marine, that followed with a slightly louder, "Don't know who or what else is out here." Now done, she begins to extract herself from Bunny, his body jostled as little as possible. "Help me check the others," she then asks, that said to no one specifically, the request made vaguely.

One particularly uncomfortable part of lying on the ground this way is the largish rock that of course has managed to find its way directly under the small of Madilyn's back. Catching her breath in shallow, raspy breaths, Madilyn manages to move just enough to get the jagged little poking of said rock out from under her. Eventually though, she does work up enough gumption to sit up, wincing at the pain in her back, in her head…all over, really. Moving gingerly, she looks around and takes a body count, seeing who's here…and who is not.

"Group tickets?" The remark from Malone at the question from Rufinus is made a bit lightly, but quietly. Finally pushing himself off the ground, he looks around at his hands for a few moments.

Either the lack of a warm someone to hold onto or the spider that's climbing onto his earlobe finally sends the Bunny back toward some manner of wakefulness, his sore shoulder shoving his arm back to push his torso up with the leverage of his elbow, then his hand, in turn. Other hand comes around to swat at his ear, and he looks at it for a moment before turning his eyes up to Macer. Dead? He doesn't say anything, just yet, but rolls up to his feet again.

There's a sound not far off. A keening, baying sound. Coyotes. Somebody brought coyotes to Elysium, apparently. This wasn't in the handbook they gave out at temple, but then again, nobody who's ever made it to the great beyond has ever come back to write an extensive guide.

Rufinus looks to Kadena as he recieves answer. Blinking, than looking around once more. Apparently, he hadn't taken consideration for the fact that there might be something else out there, aside from the friendly fauna. "Riiight," he agrees, but in a long but low droning tone. Standing slowly, in shifting onto his knees first, than stumbling up to full height one foot at a time. The second answer from Malone gets a moment of attention, to account for the state of the other, and the movement of Madilyn getting the same. Eventually, he looks over all those waking in immediate proximity; finding alive to be a relative but positive term. The sound not far enough, but coupled with notion gained through further listening, he grows as tense as he was in the Rec room. He points out the obvious for the others in the know, "Something's coming."

The others in the party are given a short but serious little 'sssshhh!' from Madilyn. To retiterate, she holds up a hand and mimicks locking her lips shut. It's probably not the official Colonial hand sign, but then, she's not dealing with all marines here. That should work well-enough in conveying her meaning to the mixed crowd there. Wincing a little, she struggles up to her knee in that grass, reaching for her sidearm. Thankfully, it wasn't lost in the explosion: it stayed strapped in the holster before she could draw. It is drawn now, as she points down to the path that seems to run up that steep towards the mountain. She holds up her free hand, the one not cradling the pistol handle, and makes a walking motion with her fingers, then holds up three then four fingers. The meaning is, 'three or four people walking, on that path.'

Malone goes silent, nodding a bit at what's being said. Looking around for a few moments now, otherwise staying quiet.

Being hushed gets Madilyn glared at for a second but then Kadena is getting up as well, any protests she might want to make kept inside her head once she realizes that they're right. They're not alone here. Chewing her lower lip, she looks in the direction of where the strangers are coming from and then over to Evan, her head angling to the side. The need for quiet makes it impossible to ask how he is verbally but maybe the gesture will convey her concern for him.

Evandreus might have been a lofty jigger in a past life, but even then he knew to listen to the marines when his boots were in the mud. Safer that way, all 'round. And so anything that he might have been keen to say is stifled under the sign from Madilyn. His eyes wander the environment, but his focus is soft, turned inward. Being dead's not that bad, after all, is it? A brief thought of thankfulness to Tisiphone's cut short with the further sign from the Marine type. People coming? His stomach sort of twists in knots, his heart rate tics upward with a mixture of anticipation and anxiety, but he tips his chin up and turns to look, completely missing the concerned look from Macer.

Indeed, the sound of footsteps becomes more apparent in the comforting night air, moving in concerted sequence down the path, crinkle crinkle. Crinkle crinkle. Being pursued by stealthy commandos, the group is /not./ However, they /are/ being approached by someone, and it finally becomes clear — a pair of elderly people, looking to be in decent enough shape for being well into their sixties or maybe even seventies, dressed in jeans, light jackets- typical outdoorsman gear. A man and a woman, the older man's salt-and-pepper hair and beard are a bit wild, and he carries what looks like an antique hunting rifle, which he's put up into the air. The woman is empty-handed, and petite, her thinning hair pulled back in a bun. It looks like she may once have been redheaded before the whitening of age set in. She has a large survival knife on her belt. Both have backpacks. "Well, look, Tom. Told you I thought we had guests." Her voice contains a distinctly archaic-sounding drawl. It sounds 'folksy' but may not be immediately placable.

"Are you fishin' for another 'you're right' from me, Cass?" The man suddenly lets out a belly laugh and raises up his gun as he stares down at the crowd of Colonials maybe ten meters away, having emerged from the trees. "Fine. And down there! You all can relax. Nobody here's gonna shoot anyone. I mean, unless you're that damn bear that I've been seein' raiding the campsite."

Rufinus, on the other hand, doesn't have a gun; but he does have another hand, two to be exact. He stands tense, wound up a bit, and ready. Well, as much as he can be with just his own weight to through around; but, he's still a marine after all. He keeps his hands at his sides, and ready outside of his pockets. Quiet, as signaled to be, but not making to effort to keep to the sidelines, in instead keeping near Madilyn and her weapon, though not so much as to be in the way. He lowers his head though, as if the slightly lesser clearance might allow him to see those coming their way sooner. A slight twitch, something inside relaying that something about this is a bad idea. Grouping up that is. He spreads the marine presence some, in moving off to the side some. A means to come in from the side should something burst forth from the trail. He stops in place though. The old folk further confusing things. Where could they possibly be? He can't bring himself to answer either way, as his jaw drops slightly.

"Good evening folks. While I can't rightly explain how or why we're here, I can at the very least introduce us," Madilyn starts. Her voice is a little weak at first, as you could imaging from still finding her breath completely, but she eventually finds it. With a bit of a groan, she pulls up from her knees to stand in front of the two old folks, making sure that they both can see her putting her pistol in the holster very clearly. The straps aren't snapped though. "I am Major Willows-Cavanaugh, of the Colonial Marine Corps." Any more direct introductions are saved, for the moment. No sense in giving up any more information than is necessary. "You're…Tom and Cass, I gather from your conversations. Where are we, exactly?" Not pulling any punches, Madilyn moves toward the crux of the conversation.

Kadena is not offering up any kind of information, herself, the wariness from the others keeping her from being too chatty. She'll just remain where she is, standing a little closer to the pilot she's worried about. Not imposing, the worst she can convey is concern, her brow knitted as she looks from the Major to the two older people and back to the CMC CO.

Huh. Evan's whole expression, countenance and posture could be summed up in that monosyllable. Not what he was expecting, certainly, though he'd have been hard pressed to tell you exactly what he -had- been expecting. He finally feels like he ought to say something, though he then looks around to the rest of the group, as if taking a brief accounting and making certain that there aren't any bears hiding amongst their ranks. Wouldn't be the oddest thing to happen today, but still— it doesn't make him look like the sharpest crayon in the box. Nope. No bears. His eyes finally settle on Macer. She's not a bear, either. Nope.

Malone studies the couple for a few moments, staying silent for the moment. Glancing between the others of the group for a few moments, then back to the people now.

"Marines, huh? Yeah, I seen a war in my day. Now I'm just some old bastard livin' out in the middle of nowhere tryin' to have a quiet life. You know how it is." The man makes another loud, rumbling laugh, not unlike the bear he previously cursed. "Hello Major Willows-Cavanaugh. And the rest of you people." He waves a broad, weathered hand.

Cass, for her part, continues. "We were just getting back to the campsite if you folks'd like something to eat. We don't get a lot of visitors here. And uh, I know you're going to ask this question but don't worry, it's safe. If you're worried about Cylons, they don't even know where we are."

Tom cuts in, "You can be damn certain they want to find out, though. Heh." He gestures over his shoulder. "I mean, it's better than sitting out here as it gets dark. Not too far away, and there are bears out here, after all."

Keeping his gaze on the strangers, Rufinus doesn't watch Madilyn as she talks, just listens. He regroups back to her side. Back up, in case the apparent senior citizens of… wherever, try something. Which is enough to point out that while confused, his own notions have not shifted at all towards the optimistic side of things. The mention of bears, having gotten a slight tilt of his head back and to the side. Of all things, that seems most strange for some reason. Most out of place to him. Aside from waking up here in the first place, that is. The question dodged, a little troubling. "Well, that's nice, I suppose. But, /I'm/ not a Cylon. So, /I/ would like to know where exactly we are," he starts up, He's not exactly polite, but he seems to have avoided sprinkling the obligatory military speak 'fraks' into the fray. Not being the one to accept any notion of going to their camp. Though he does glance to Madilyn briefly, with the old folk's hinting.

Rufinus' question (and the way he asked it) is ignored by Madilyn for the moment. She nods as the two older people recount their little story, short though it may be. "If you could offer us any type of shelter, even if it's only a small campsite, I think we'd all be much obliged. All of us have questions about where we are," she says, and now looks at Rufinus. "But for the moment it does indeed seem prudent to get out of these wilds." She turns to Kadena, Evan, and Malone. "Are you all alright? Everyone good enough to travel, or do we need to rig up any sort of stretcher?"

"You know about the Cylon," Kadena blurts out, the half-question half-statement leaping from her without much thought. It makes her wince and she turns around, facing the other direction in an attempt to calm down. "That is a good quetion…where are we?" Madilyn's looked at from over her shoulder and she nods, managing to smile. "Yes, sir. I'm just fine, thanks."

Nodding a bit at Rufinus' words, Malone looks over at Madilyn as he hears her question, "Ten fingers, ten toes intact, sir," he offers. "Rest of me feels like it's in place as well."

The older woman's glance at both Rufinus and Kadena is fairly dry, as if the answer should be self-evident. "Lampridis Falls. Although the Falls are a little dry this time of year." Tom adds to the chorus, "Well, we know about the Cylons, of course. They're everywhere. But not up here."

Lampridis Falls is a fairly famous landmark on Gemenon. While not a holy site per se, it was named for a place on Kobol that was fairly dear to the Gemenese faith. For those religious types out there.

Tom adds, "Well, if you're comin', let's get a move on. Site's less than a kilometer away. And a little bit of a climb."

Evandreus turns to regard Rufinus for a quiet moment, eyebrows quirked unevenly in an almost incredulous gesture. To Madilyn, then, "I guess so. But after that explosion I'm kind of finding it hard to be nervous about bears," he finally remarks. After all, there's nothing a bear could do that the shrapnel probably hasn't taken care of already. He looks to Macer with a hint of a smile, holding out a hand to her, then looking to the Majorperson. Going? He waits a beat or two for her, but will probably eventually go ahead if she doesn't. The name of the landmark draws a breath of air from the Bunny: heh! "Lampridis Falls. How surreal is that?" he murmurs to himself.

Thinking the worst, even so far from proper placement, Rufinus still seems fit to keep his eyes on Sam and Tom for the time being. Even after the marine officer accepts the offer of shelter. He'd go along with that, at least. Though not voicing as much in sticking with the group. He brushes the grip of his right boot against the ground at his feet, lightly, as if in consideration of where they already are first. Not any safer, in his mind, than the camp ground could be; so it may be just as well to him. Not Gemenese himself, he doesn't seem to recognize the location shared; and that wouldn't bring him any amount of ease either. "Right," he answers, though, with a blatant uncretainty in his voice. He does opt to step forward though, ready to follow along, given that that seems to be the intention in place. A look back to the four others, in briefly quitting his observation to take in their states as relayed.

When the folks set off for the campground, Madilyn lets the others fall in before her. She wants to make sure that they're all really okay to walk - no limps, no gimps, no hitches or rolled ankles or whatever. That, and she has her pisol in case something should come up behind them on the way up the path, while Tom seems to be the only other one with a weapon. "Lampridis Falls, you said? As in, Lampridis falls on Gemenon?" Madilyn's never been, but has seen photographs, and the name is familiar. The striking thing is that these people are claiming that the whole group is actually on Gemenon, if she's understanding them correctly.

Listening to the others, Malone grimaces a bit. "Time to wake up…" he mutters to himself, under his breath. Frowning to himself, as he glances around the area. "Amazing detail…" he mutters to himself.

"Yes." This is directed at Madilyn. I know, ain't it something? It's beautiful here. One of those things that, believe it or not, neither man /nor/ Cylon can destroy. Kind of puts things in perspective." Tom chuckles as he walks along the ever-thickening, increasingly-shadowed path.

"Well, it can be torn up a bit." Cass chimes in. "It's how these things are. But never mind that - we're almost here."

Kadena falls into step with Evandreus, her arm brushing against his because of how close she puts herself next to the pilot. She has heard of the Falls a couple times but any questions she might have are already taken care of by the Major.

Indeed, as the group passes through a clearing, a medium-sized campsite with several tents sits, along with a large campfire which has already been set. "Most of the others are out, gatherin' for dinner but we might as well start early. Sit your asses down." The old man says, jovially. "So, where you say you were from again? I'm getting a bit senile."

Evandreus warms with the man's jovial attitude, veering toward the fire and wrapping his fingers around Macer's in a gesture as comforting for him as it's intended to be for her. "We were all on the Battlestar Cerberus," he explains, settling down on the side of a felled tree. When they died, that is. "I grew up in Leontinia," he appends, in case that's more to the point of what the fellow meant.

Rufinus keeps silent for the extent of the trip. Not adding anything onto Madilyn's inquiry, but taking in that they could be on Gemenon at the very least. Watching Sam and Tom again, whilst occassionally taking in their sorroundings. And not in the sense that he's sight seeing either. When they get to the camp though, he feels free to talk again. Especually at the mention of others, perking up in a tense way at the mention of more. "How many of you are out here?" he asks, without seeing fit to answer the old man's question in return; though Evandreus seems to manage that well enough. Redoubling his efforts at looking around. Visibly, still cautious about this whole thing.

Malone keeps silent now, just looking around with a bit of a grimace, he otherwise stays entirely silent for now, studying the area.

"I'm afraid that this whole experience is making me doubt my own mental health," Madilyn remarks to Tom. "As the lieutenant here says, we were aboard a Colonial battlestar. Though the specifics of the event remain murky," to some, at least, "we were apparently caught up in the explosion of some sort of explosion. How we came to be here remains a mystery." When Rufinus speaks, Madilyn just nods at his question. "Yes, you know both our numbers and both our strengths and weaknesses. We're at quite a disadvantage here, not knowing a thing about your number or your condition." Or history. Or just what the frak is going on.

"Here? There are eleven others. The number ebbs and flows, there are others around, hiding out, watching." Cass takes the lead in answering Rufinus' question about numbers. "We're not on the /good/ side of the Falls, of course. In terms of view. But the end of the world doesn't exactly lend itself to tourism now, does it?" She starts settling down on a small, worn patch of grass. She starts to unroll her pack to produce some supplies. Looks like the makings of — kebabs. Yes. Kebabs. Putting them on the skewer, she blows into the smoke wafting from the campfire.

"Cerberus, eh? Three-headed dog that — ah, yeah. A Colonial Battlestar? You mean to tell me you've got a ride waiting up there? I'm sure we'll figure out what's going on sooner or later." Tom says as he too hunkers down. "Battlestar - that's the pride and joy of the Colonial Fleet. Was she treatin' you well?"

Smiling, Dena gives Bunny's fingers a squeeze before the grasp is released and she sits by him, the older people now observed. The details are already given so she is content to listen, waiting to be addressed directly before she tries to speak. Definitely not a good time to talk over anyone.

As the old woman blows onto the fire, there are — sifting patterns of smoke. For a moment, the smoke shifts. It's odd. Eerie. As Tom talks about the Battlestar, the smoke takes various patterns, like kids often see in clouds. There are birds, a large one and nine smaller ones, like a mother and her chicks. The larger bird and eight of the smaller ones suddenly start to dissolve as they are overtaken by a serpentine shape, - clearly the form of a serpent, as its coils twist.

The old man chimes in again, "Cerberus. You know, that reminds me of a story."

The birds and the serpent both dissolve into incoherent wisps of smoke, jumbled together, and for just a second, they form another pattern - bones. Maybe human, maybe avian, maybe snakelike. Or maybe, it's just a trick of the light.

"As well as you could expect. Y'know. With everything like it is," Evan answers, seeming about as relaxed in discussion of a post-apocalyptic nightmare world as he would talking about the weather. He lets go of Macer's hand with a brief shift as if he were about to stand, but the smoke rising from the fire is enough to captivate him over whatever urge he'd had moments before. Storytime.

Rufinus is looking around more than he's talking, for the most part. He can't seem to pick out these supposed others though, in eventually conceding from doing so, so directly. He puts his attention to those of the strangers present, in Sam and Tom. "Thirteen of you?" he questions, in taking in the number, as if for a confirmation. "Why are they just watching, if we're at your camp?" he adds. He shuts up pretty quick though once the smoke dricks are being done. He leans in towards them slightly, trying to look at them from another available angle as his eyes narrow. He takes a step back. He's not looking around so much anymore.

Malone keeps quiet for the moment, listening a bit absently. Looking rather lost in his own thoughts for the moment.

Listening closely, Madilyn at first squints a bit at the kebabs that are brought out and put in the first. They look good…but then the smoke shifts and wafts around strangely. At first, she opens her eyes wide, then blinks heavily a few times. She even wipes her eyes with her fingers a bit, wondering if what just happened there was in the smoke, or if it was just some weird concussion-y effect from, you know, getting caught in an explosion. "Before you begin your story…what is the date? If it's…beyond a certain date, how did you all survive?"

"Oh. They're not watching the /camp./ They've got better things to do than just sit here. There are bears out there." The old man states. "So do we, normally, but we always like meeting new folks."

This is where Cass chimes in. "Because they haven't heard all the same routines you practice on /us/ yet, dear." She says, with no small amount of dryness in her tone. A thin smile, and she proceeds to start affixing all manner of fixings one might see on a spit. Including some odd-looking flowers. Including a lotus. As they continue to cook, Tom adds, "Oh. Yeah. Right. Excuuuuuse me. Anyway, there's probably a reason you ended up here. I have a feeling you'll see this place again. Maybe. Nothing's ever certain, except that anything and everything can happen. But that reminds me of the story I was gon' to tell. What was it, the bird and the serpent? Nah, someone's probably already given you that old rag." Clearing his throat, he start to let out a loud, wracking cough. "Oh, I think it's - 2041. The fifth of summer's last month. Don't ask me the time - I don't have a sundial."

Tom's addendum comes a moment later. "We survive? No damn Cylon's going to kill /us/ up here. That's for sure. They're not interested in the little people."

Kadena watches the smoke, her expression softly awed. Childlike in how wrapped up she is in watching the smoke shift. "How…" she begins to question but then Tom coughs, that getting her eyes to narrow in a sympathetic wince. "Are you sick," she asks softly while getting up onto her feet, leaving Evandreus to sit while she goes to where Tom is. "I'm a nurse. If there is anything I can do for you or yours…?" Her hands find their way behind her back, fingers clasping. Not sure what she can do for Tom but she will try.

Rufinus gets distracted with Madilyn's question. Confused as well. He hadn't picked up the hints that the time may not be what it is. He hadn't been able to accept something so odd as a possibility, even after winding up here, strangely enough. The answer of the correct date puts him at ease, though, to a certain degree. There's still so much off to him. "A reason? See this place again? Frak, we're here now!" he sees fit to point out, aggitation showing, for all the vauge answers, and answers leading no more questions answered vaugely. Ignoring the notion that they might be sick, voiced by Kadena, because of it. "And what's to stop the Cylons from coming here, now that we're adding to your numbers?" he keeps going, along the same line of questioning, not losing any steam. If there's a notion of being here in anything but the physical, Rufinus doesn't look like he's willing to accept it. Not on good terms, anyway.

"So, it's not a matter of being at a point in time prior to the Cylon attacks," Madilyn says to herself mostly, no matter how strange the idea might have seemed to anyone else. Heck, if they can bend and manipulate space to move ships instantaneously, what's to say space /and/ time can't be warped as well. That would've been one hell of a bomb though! "You'll have to excuse me if I sound extraordinarily skeptical, but I can't quite envision how we were moved, uninjured, from a battlestar in space to the surface of Gemenon. Better yet, a part of the surface that wasn't occupied by Cylons, not toxic or deadly to human life, and near enough other survivors that we'd be found quickly. It's all too out-of-this-world. Perhaps you'd care to shed some light on that?" While she talks, she stands, and begins to pace around, running hands through her hair which was uncharacteristically loose.

"If you can come up with a way to shut his snoring up it'd be welcome. But otherwise, no. We're fine." Cass's laughter is deep and smoky, like the curls that come up from the embers of the fire as she holds the spit over it. As it's finally cooked, she offers it wordlessly to one of the guests as she starts to prepare another one.

Tom too laughs in turn. "It's all quite a stretch of the imagination, isn't it? You came all this way to ask /that/? So pragmatic. Well, I guess that's a quality. I'd have expected a 'how to win the war' by now. To answer your question, there's no way in Hell the Cylons will find this place because they don't know where we are. And if they would, well, we've got defenses you haven't seen. They'll come here one day, I reckon, but things will change at that point. You people, well, some of you, I think you'll be back, too."

Cass gets a soft giggle from Kadena. "My Papa used to snore something awful…" She starts to say but the smile fades and she looks down. The food is taken and she sits back down on the log where she begins to nibble at it. Tom's promise of a story has her attention and he's listened to fully, the details like the date stored away for later.

Rufinus shifts his regard to Madilyn as she muses further. Not that it helps his current state any. No, he's still fairly on edge, if his tense stance is telling enough, beyond what he's already voiced. Their answers, Cass's and Tom's. They don't help his state any either. He takes a step forward, gaining the ground he'd lost in stumbling back. "Why would /we/ ask /you/ how to win the war?" he starts up again. His right palm a bit jittery, as he places his hand against the outside of his own thigh. Stress relief, in the physical focus elsewhere with a slight loss of aggression; but not enough the completely ground him. "We're here now. Do you see anyone coming down to pick us up? And before you answer, no. Because I don't. For us to be back, we have to go somewhere else first. Unless this is some kind of painfully cryptic way for you to ask us to gather some firewood for you," he says, without much pause until the end. At which point he gathers enough marine discipline to just hold his tongue before he really goes off.

"Do you mean to say you know of a way to win the war? That you have defenses capable of repelling an unlimited number of Cylons from overruning your position here? That you know of some advanced survival techniques that have kept you alive in the face of overwhelming enemy opposition…and dwindling numbers of humanity?" Madilyn spins on the old couple when they speak of such things, and looks at them with some pur amazement.

Cass gets a surprisingly warm smirk from the old woman, before she then turns towards the old man who then gets a withering gaze. "Now you've gone and done it." The food Kadena has taken is fairly tasty, all things considered. As of yet, nobody's dropped dead from poisoning either, as the old woman continues to cook.

Tom takes all their statements in stride. "I guess I should be more direct with this. None of this seems normal because, well, none of it is. I wouldn't get your panties twisted too much, people. There's no harm bein' done in you bein' here. And Clifford is the firewood guy, for your edification. But, nah. We can offer advice. Remember, I've seen a war in my day. First of all, you need to figure out what the Cylons are after. And then to get to it first. Second, you need to find a safe place to hunker down. These things aren't so different."

There's a moment where Kadena just eats but then, with a sigh, she stands up again, this time to pace. "I just wish I knew how we wound up here," she intones casually, managing to keep the wobble of concern out of her voice. "It really doesn't make sense, does it?" There is a moment where she regards the food as if she might take another bite but she is suddenly not hungry and her meal is passed on to one of the others.

Rufinus just doesn't seem to be able to ask any more questions. Either that, or he's siding with Madilyn in waiting on answers to her questions alone. The answers given, while they don't seem to set him off, don't seem to set him off either. "Frak'ing right," he declares as to the normality of things, and steps away from where he'd been standing entirely. Though not taking it as seriously as the others might. Still wrapped up in reality as it's always been for him. "Yeah. We'll get right on that," he mutters, with no loss of sarcasm as to the offered advice. Shaking his head, before looking to Kadena, than he looks up towards the sky once more. Searching, or just watching for anything to appear above them in the sky, or in orbit if things would get so dark to allow it. Not seeing fit to add to what anyone else has said, for the moment.

"No harm done? There's no harm done in us being here, on Gemenon, when we were on a battlestar? I fail to see things in as positive a light as you. I'd love to know how, in fact, we traveled from there to here in a matter of…minutes, seconds, hours! Unless you've some way of changing the laws of physics, I can't think of any method for traveling that far, that fast!" Madilyn's frustration is starting to boil up a little bit, pacing, and wanting some answers from these people.

"You're thinkin' about this too hard." Tom declares, waving a hand up in the air as he rumbles, taking another kebab himself and handing it off. "Yeah, maybe we should have gotten some of the Viper pilots intead." Cass chimes in. "First of all, this. Y'all need to go start taking a good look at what's left of the Colonies. The Cylons didn't burn quite /everything/ to the ground. Second — figure out what they're lookin' for. Which means, well, they spared some things for a reason. I heard Gemenon is lovely this time o' year. You should probably explore these planets for yourselves. Third? — Who said this was Gemenon? Neither of us ever did." The old man's laughter is raucous. And he claps his hands and suddenly the smoke flickers, the fire rises in a bright, blinding flash that fills everyone's vision. The phoenix that makes out the Colonial seal shines bright in the twilight air. And then? "You wanted a way home?" Cass's voice rings out shrill even though the fire is so bright she cannot be seen —

Rufinus doesn't look to the others, stranger or otherwise, anymore. He'd had his go, and all he got was aggitated. He keeps looking to, and into the sky. Listening to the continued conversation with some consideration, though with not enough to fully rejoin in equal regard. It's with Tom and Cass's final speech though, that he gradually begins to turn towards the man and the fire. The phoenix. The shrill voice. Than darkness. Darkness, and the inability to breath. He jolts, spinning and turning as he tries to fight his way out of what must be the smoke from the explosion. Until, wait, no. He's just facedown in his pillow. False alarm. He'd rolled in his sleep. He rolls onto his back, and stares at the roof of his bunk. "The frak."

Rise and shine. It's 2200. And you, that's right, you, are waking up in your rack. It's always 2200 somewhere. No explosions, smoke, fire, crickets, birds, bears, crazy old people - nothing but the hum of the spacecraft's systems as each and every one of you come to out of a very odd dream, safely in your racks.


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