PHD #451: The Hive Mind
The Hive Mind
Summary: Zaris and Cidra meet for the first time.
Date: 23 May 2042 AE
Related Logs: None
Zaris Cidra 
Ships Library
Racks of books extend deep into this room, nearly darkening the overhead lights towards the back. The shelves are neatly labeled to each category with nearly everything represented here. Fiction, Sci-Fi, Romance, and everything down to comic books has been loaded up onto the shelves. A smaller research area at the back has a large table for maps to be opened-up. Nearer the door is a small library of movies that covers some of the most recent blockbusters and flows through some of the more campy movies from about two decades before. Next to the door, a Petty Officer can usually be found at a desk to help someone checkout their selections.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear
Post-Holocaust Day: #451

The library is generally one of the quieter corners on the ship, and today is no different. Though Cidra is among its current occupants. She's clad in her off-duties, bereft of rank insignia, copious tattoos on display, and browsing a small section devoted to poetry. Such is how the CAG spends her downtime.

The door to the library opens, and Lieutenant Kamran Zaris, a weapon's officer that's often seen near the CIC, steps through. Smelling of cigarette smoke and the small collection of notebooks under his arm, he quickly shuffles through the door and pops the first button on his blue duty jacket. Stepping to the table next to Cidra's, he sets the notebooks down and drapes his jacket over a chair, disappearing into the stacks quickly. He moves like a bee, returning with a heavy book on advanced mathematics.

Cidra's eyes tick up from the particular paperback she was examining. A collection of Taurian lyrical works. It's not nearly as battered as some of the other books in the library. An indication it's probably less popular than some of the others that've been gone over time and time again during the past year and change. The sound of Zaris' entrance draws her attention, and she turns her gaze in that direction. The young officer is eyed with faint recognition. As if she's trying to place him and cannot…quite. She does not seem to feel any self-consciousness about staring at him, though if it's noted her rather probing look might not be precisely comfortable.

One of the four chairs at the table is pulled out, and the man lowers himself into it. He brushes a hand through a mop of hair that appears to be slightly greasy, but doesn't appear to be unwashed. He, too, has tattoos, the largest of them facing Cidra is a large, red bull's head on his upper arm, done in a more cartoonish style. Other spots of ink exist in the form of more detailed pieces, hard to read from her distance.

The book opens and his eyes meet hers, brow lifting. He looks away from her towards his other shoulder and then back to her, confirming that yes…she is looking at him. An incredulous look crosses over his eyes.

"….woh? I leave th' door open?"

For her part, Cidra's tatts consist of a twining olive tree branch on her right arm, spear down the length of her left, and owl's wings stitched on her shoulders. All Athena symbols, if one knows about such things. Zaris' ink is eyed with slightly more interest than the rest of him, before she ticks her gaze to his face properly. "Ah. Forgive me. I was attempting to place you. And failing, my apologies. You are assigned to…CIC, yes?"

"Ah, quite alright." He replies, shaking his head from side to side. His accent is the unmistakeable drawling of a rural Aerilonian. Farm stock. Twisting at the hip, he reaches into the inner breast pocket of his duty jacket and pulls free a small collection of inkpens. "I'm oft in CIC, yes. One of the weapons officers. Lieutenant Kamran Zaris, Yourself?" He asks, blindly opening his notebook that appears to be filled to the brim with sketches and what appears to be long form mathematical equations.

"Lieutenant Colonel Cidra Hahn," the woman introduces herself, for her part. "I fly things." It's said a little dryly. Perhaps it's some obscure joke. Her own accent has a faint lilt to it common to Gemenon, though years space-side have clearly softened it. "Weps. Ah. You man the flak, then. I am usually very grateful for it, when it comes time for its use." The notebook also receives a glance. Curious CAG is curious.

"I thought I recognized y' voice. Toast right? More the name than the voice, of course. There are only so many Lieutenant Colonels in the fleet's service." Kamran replies, giving her a wry smile and a nod in response to her questions. "Flak, the main batteries, anything that the Cerberus fires, really…" He traces her gaze down to his notebook as his words trail away. "…it's not much really but a bit of scrawl. Notes. Drawings. Theory. You've an interest in this sort of thing?"

"Toast, aye," Cidra affirms. "That is my callsign." Mention of her rank earns a soft "Heh." "I sometimes think Commander Pewter is having a joke upon me and Lieutenant Colonel Willows-Cavanaugh. Well. It does not interrupt my duties over much, so I wear it as I can." She leans over, to take a closer look at the notes. "Are these computations? I fear I have little skill in that area, though I did my best to muddle through it in university and flight training. Necessary for charting flight paths and the like."

"Strange wondering what such a high rank wears like, Hahn? Always wondered one day if I'd be a Captain myself, though I've oft wondered whether or not I'd feel like a Captain when I made it there." As she leans, he turns his chair to the side and slides the open notebook closer so that she can view. The pages that are open reveal ink sketches, some bordering on tattoo art and others of Cylons. One on a fourth of the right page has an old sketch paperclipped to the page, revealing the inner circuitry of an old-model Centurion. The pages are filled from top to bottom with computations and snippets of code with notes, question marks, and scratched out portions all over the place.

"Some of them are computations…" Kamran offers, quieting as a bit of self-consciousness falls over him. "…some of the rest are programming snippets, little curiosities really. It don't read like insanity, do it?" He laughs, brushing his hair away from his eyes. "I'm just…trying to figure them out is all. They're born from code, and perhaps code can allows us to learn them rightly."

"Ah…" There's interest, if not precisely understanding, in the sound from Cidra. "Are you attempting to code anything in particular? One of my ECOs, Mark Scaurus, is quite interested in this sort of thing. I have to sign off on his work, though I shall confess it generally goes over my head. I was a student of more humanities matters, in my younger days."

"Younger days? You're quite kind. In my younger days I climbed from trees. Now I've got this…" He motions to his notebooks. "…and what this is…I'm not quite sure. I'm not working on anything in an official capacity, but I've started t'wonder if there's a pattern to their movements. Perhaps your humanities lessons understand, yes? We're as equally as incapable of proving that we ourselves think, even harder to prove that another does. But if we can mimic their programming, or perhaps learn to break their code…perhaps we can learn what it takes to defeat, flee, or quell them?" He chuckles softly, a bashful look on his face. "Rubbish most likely."

"Their movements? Do you mean the Cylons?" Cidra's interest sharpens some from its former idle curiosity now. "Perhaps. They are machines, after all. And are supposed to function on logic and programming. Though some of what they do, I cannot see clear logic in." Which unsettles her some, though she shows that in the mildest of ways.

"But perhaps this lack of logic is based on a logic we haven't thought of yet?" Kamran's head shifts into a nod, his eyes brightening once he's learned that she isn't drawn away by the subject. "I figure, all creatures being reasonable in they's own right, tha' they're going to try to do what's best for survival, aye? So…perhaps there's a logic we've not seen. Even if they're as alive as we are now, they all came from that source. Perhaps if we better understood they's programming we'd be able to known they's minds." He taps the notebook with his fingertips. "I figure, at the ver' least I'll end up with some sort of decent firing pattern for the flaks, right?"

Cidra makes another of those soft "Ah" sounds, nodding along with that. "It is intriguing. If you find something in this I would be most enthusiastic about developing it further. We have reams of flight footage gathered over the past year, but as of yet been able to make little sense of it in terms of a cohesive Cylon strategy. The difficulty primarily, I think, lies in that the Raiders live. And are reborn, time and time again. Each time we kill them, our intelligence tells us, they resurrect. Just like the skinjobs. So while we are mortal, they are merely born again. And they learn in each defeat."

"Aside from knowing this to be true, have you successfully identified one such Raider as returning over and over again?" He asks, leaning back in his chair. He turns his head to the side and coughs a dry smoker's cough before turning back to her. "My pardon begs. Perhaps if I were to identify multiple cases o' a Raider being reborn to fight the same pilot I'd 'ave some more to work around with. As for now all I have is the patterns we study when they's come off of the Basestars." He pauses, turning over the many filled out pages till he comes to the next clean page, writing her name and a comment of her having interest in his work. "You'll be the fourth or fifth I tell, in truth. I've a chain of command to answer to, but tell you I will if I find somethin that ain't shite."

Cidra purses her lips, but ultimately shakes her head on that. "Not of which we are aware. They are built anew whenever their…consciousness, as the XO put it to me…it downloaded, so they cannot be tracked so easily. I think it likely we have met many we have encountered before upon the battlefields of space, but as of yet we have found no way to prove it definitively. Even so." A nod to that last. "I wish you much luck, and shall offer any aid to your project I can, should you be able to make something out of it. It would be a thing of most use to my pilots. And the Fleet at large, could such things be predicted."

"Well…anything to keep our heads on and pointed the right way, aye? It first started as a small idea but, just like those people that think you can find the gods in numbers, the idea's turned into something of a practice in sanity to give me other things to worry about." He folds the notebook closed, pen trapped inside, clearly meaning to come back to it later. He then motions to her arms, starting to lean in closer. "May I? Where did you get your work done, Colonel?"

Cidra straightens a notch, flattening her palms on the table so she can extend the length of her arms some. As if subtly showing off her work. It is, it seems, something she takes some pride in. "I have had these very long, before I joined the Fleet. The ink was etched upon me by an artist working near the Colleges of Kobol, where I studied on Gemenon. I had them done as a university student. They are a reflection of my devotion to the Wise Lady. Athena. In my younger days I studied theology there. I intended to be a priestess and enter the seminary later, though…well, clearly the gods had other plans for me." And here she is. Gaze is directed back at his own ink, what she can see of it. "You wear the Lords as well, I see?" A touch of approval in her tone. "Zeus and Demeter. An interesting combination."

"A reflection indeed. I'm not so much the expert myself on the various styles but if I had to guess from afar…I'd have guessed Gemenon itself. Exquisite." He inspects the ink, rather than her, eyes trailing as he leans up and around her, catching a view of the wings and the detail of the art itself. "Interesting you say? Perhaps I don't know so much the poetry in scripture but with one a' Lord to bring the harvest and another tae rule the sky, you find yourself dependent upon the sibling Lords come time to feed your family." He sits back, pulling part of his tank-tops aside to show some of the grain patterns that dip up onto his collarbone from the back shoulder tattoo of Demeter. He then turns his forearm over, revealing some more recent work on his left side. "Of course, it's a bitch tae do, but even one armed a man can put ink on himself it seems."

"I thank you very much." Cidra can't help but smile some in pride to the compliment to her ink. "The one who did mine was a devotee of Dionysus. He claimed the Muses called to him when he held a needle, as they do the poets at their pens." A small nod, as to his words about Zeus and Demeter. "That does make some lovely sense. It is the wisdom of farm country. Are you of Aerilon born? You have the sound of it in your voice? I have a few pilots who are natives of that planet. I do not think I would have been well-made for the country, myself, but their memories of it seem most beautiful." When he turns his arm she leans down a notch, eyes narrowing at the work. "You did this to yourself?" She lets out a low whistle. And can't help but wince. "Was it not most painful?"

"Pain is a state of mind. Needlework always stings a bit, but I'd always wanted tae try to put something on myself." He turns the arm over, allowing her to see the inked in ribbons that trail over his forearm. Three of them in total, each with a different prayer and a wax seal at the top, depicting the face of the gods he prays to. "Aye, born Aerilonian, but I didn't fit in so well with my brothers and sisters. More books over barn sorta' thing. Took my father some convincing but I was able to make my way down, get to school, meet the attention of a recruiter. Who'd have thought I'd qualify for OCS, eh?" He chuckles, leaning back in to inspect some more of her work as the two of them hover around eachother, a strange sort of shared art-gallery experience. "No small miracle we're back oer' Gemenon again, aye?"

"Well, you have a higher tolerance for pain than I do. I had to have a fine smoke before I went in to get mine done. Dulled the sharpness a bit." Cidra is, perhaps, not talking about cigarettes. Perhaps. She moves on. Mood sombering as a return to Gemenon is mentioned. "I shall not put it to a miracle yet. There was little left of even the planets the Cylons had abandoned. I try not to think of all they have done to my homeworld. What they still do to it now. But, we shall see what we must see of it, I suppose. I just pray for those humans still alive down there."

"Right, right. Sorry to bring it up, Aerilon wasn't very well off either." He toes away from the sensitive subject, leaning back to give her some breathing room, pulling back his arm as they've moved on to different things to speak of. "Could use a smoke myself, actually…" He chuckles, reaching for his duty jacket. He pulls out a small pack of cigarettes and glances towards the door. It's the library. He shouldn't, but that doesn't stop him from pulling out a lighter and sparking it to life. It's a legal cigarette, thankfully. "So what were you reading before I stole into this place, stealing your silence and your oxygen wit' my maths and down-turned topics?"

"Nothing I have not read before. I was returning one of the volumes of Kataris. Caprican poetry. I do not typically care for most of their poets, but that one has always spoken to me." Cidra eyes the cigarettes. For a beat, it seems as if she might ask for a bum. But, she does not. "I could use a smoke myself, come to it. Though that pleasure shall have to wait. I should be getting back on duty soon. I have lingered here longer than I did think I would." She inclines her head to the Weps officer. "I wish you luck with your codes. I hope you manage to hit upon something with it."

"Thank you, and good hunting with your work out in the field. I'll be listening from my position, aye?" He takes another drag of the cigarette and then lets it dangle from his lips, starting to gather up his books. "I've best be leaving myself before I get caught smoking in a room filled with books. They're like to string me up by my feet." He chuckles quietly, a cloud of smoke issuing forward as he does so. "Pleasure meeting you officially, Hahn. I'll be seeing you around, I'm sure."

"A pleasure as well, Zaris. Clear eyes and steady hands on your guns. And your numbers." And with that, Cidra takes her leave of the library.

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