PHD #088: There's Ghosts And Then There's GHOSTS
There's Ghosts And Then There's GHOSTS
Summary: Members of the reunited Leonis group compare disturbing notes.
Date: 2041.05.25
Related Logs: All Leonis logs.
Haeleah Samuel Sawyer Stavrian Tisiphone 
Sagittaron House — Second Floor — Leonis
Post-Holocaust Day: #88
A grand staircase leads up to the second floor, splitting halfway up to join to either side of a walkway open to the floor below. There are once-opulent sitting rooms here as well, but smaller and more understated — meant for more private gatherings.

Further in from the balconies and sitting rooms are several wide corridors branching to narrower ones, flanked by door after door. Engraved placards mark several of the doors, marking half of the floor for administrative and office purposes, the remaining for guest suites. The doors leading to the latter have, to a one, been bashed open and the contents sacked; several of the administrative doors, made of sturdier stuff, have been left intact.

Tisiphone had plunked herself down somewhere not too far out of the way last night, with fairly straightforward reasons — to catch a Stavrian once the medic's duties were done. Hey, there were stories needing to be told. Of course, plunking herself down in a spot of (relative) safety meant her waiting turned into unconsciousness in very short order. So much for /that/ cunning plan.

Either restlessness or the unease of Strange New Thugs What Don't Speak Much has pulled her away from the main floor, where the chatter and gear-collation is still taking place. They aren't new hidey-holes for anyone already familiar with the embassy, but for Tisiphone? The sitting room looking out toward the city suits her Just Fine.

Every so often, back on the Cerberus, it did occur to Stavrian to bitch privately about irregular shifts and strange hours. Leonis, however, has taught him that everything is relative. With the influx of people he's been up a good part of the night, going around with and without the resident Dr. Barron to see to the various injuries in their healing states, and do what they all could with their pitiful supplies and improvised extras. Finally, just as the light from (what one under nuclear clouds could suppose is) the sun has faded away into dusk, the sound of his boots clumps up the hall and turns into the sitting room, stopping in the cracking doorway. Anyone hiding up here…?

A shiftless Sawyer wanders through, little to do between her stints on guard duty. One of the few relatively unscathed from their time here on Leonis, she still walks with a little awkward wobble. Maybe the reporter just hasn't gotten used to her combat boots yet. There's a crinkle from the wrapper of the protein bar she's nicked for herself, as she shifts to poke Stavrian in the back for stopping in the doorway. "Move it or lose it, cutie pie." If he turns, he'll catch the wide smile on her lips.

It's a nice spot, up here. Fresh air, a view of the city. Infrequent passers-by. Two weeks of not knowing when the next time you'll be running for your life is has taught her to keep her gear where it's accessible — ideally right beside her. Her pack's a little less-laden than it was yesterday, a surfeit of spare ammo and frag grenades handed over for the general resupplying of Everyone(tm), and is propped against the wall next to the shattered window, her helmet and armour stacked nearby. Half-silhouetted against the cityscape, she looks back toward the door, cigarette cherry flaring orange-red. "Hey. Sorry, s'this off-limits?" Maybe that's the reason it was so quiet.

Haeleah was on watch. Or the version of a 'watch' they're trying to keep around in this place. But she's been relieved and trudges up the stairs to the house's second floor. Her approach can be heard before she's seen. Even when trying to be quiet, the engineer has a tendency to clomp.

Stavrian flinches at the unexpected touch, shoulders stiffening like a shot. "Oh, hey." Overly casual. The medic totally didn't just do that, look. "Yeah, pardon my fat ass here." He smirks at the reporter and shuffles further into the room, rubbing the back of his dirty, dirty head. The smell of cigarette smoke attracts his attention before much else, nostrils flaring and eyes narrowing into the room. "Could be. But we could let it slide if you can pony up the cig tax."

Alpha group must have run out of cigarettes, because as soon as Stavrian mentions the tax, Sawyer edges around like a shark that smells blood in the water. "Bribery will get you everywhere." If she noticed anything off about Stavrian's reaction, it's likely just chalked up to nerves and not commented on. "I'll give you what's left of my protein bar for a smoke." There, that's totally fair, right? Nevermind there's only really a bite left of the dry granolaish thing. She rounds on Tisiphone and slips onto the floor in front of her, offering out the foiled wrapper.

There's a smoky snort from Tisiphone, eyes narrowed right back. "Cig tax? That's how it's gonna be?" A huffed-out sigh — or maybe it's a single chuckle. "Come get some, then." She gives a quick glimpse of toothy grin before she turns around on the floor, away from the window, to reach for her pack. Mostly-nibbled protein bar collected to her side, smooth as you please, as she turns. Bribe accepted. "Presents for everyone. How long you guys been holed up here? Place looks /gutted/."

It's the sound of voices that draws Haeleah to the room where the others are gathered. A little wrinkle of her nose as she smells the cigarettes in the air. But no comment. When one is marooned on an irradiated death planet filled with killer robots, the hazards of second-hand smoke suddenly pale. "Hey," she offers around, to all and sundry, going over to join the others.

"Four days?" Stavrian lets his pack down by the wall with a soft thump, then rubs his chin as he straightens. "No. Can't be four…shit, I don't even know. How long have we even been down here?" He crouches down by Tisiphone and reaches out for a cigarette, fingers making little greedy motions at the white sticks. Gimmeh. His eyes lift as Haeleah comes over, the slighest bit of hesitation at going for that cigarette now…but nah, that passes. Sorry, Hae. "Hey. Hay."

Sawyer waits patiently for Tisiphone to hand over the smokey treats patiently, like a dog begging for a bone. Someone serious needs a nicotine fix, so much so that it's bridging some gaps that previously existed between the Reporter and the baldie Saggitaron. "Hey Haeleah. What has it been, over two weeks now? Something like that. I never thought I'd be missing my thin mattress and the smell off a dozen pilot feet."

Is that the sound of /several/ packs of cigarettes, within Tisiphone's pack? To nicotine-starved senses, it sure sounds that way. Several things get pulled out as she rummages — a litre of vodka, somewhat depleted (the plastic bottle spells q-u-a-l-i-t-y); a combat medpack (we love you, Cerberus resupply!); a huge bag of dried apricots (organic, hypoallergic, and grown in a smoke-free orchard, courtesy of Green Planet Grocery); and finally, finally, a virgin pack of cigarettes, still in its wrapper. She looks between Stavrian and Sawyer, tossing the pack of smokes contemplatively in her hands. An odd grin. She offers her own smoke to the medic, blowing out a, "Pfft," as she wiggles it between her fingers; to the reporter goes the untouched pack.

"Hey hey. Jay," Haeleah drawls in reply to Stavrian with a little grin. She idly reaches up to toy with one of her tangled, curls, twisting it around her finger as she thinks on that. "Shit. I'm losing track of the days, too. It's been…frak, a little over a week maybe since the Barron's hospital came down around our ears. Two, yeah, maybe closer to three three since we've been down here. Since MolGen. Frakking MolGen." She eyes the cigarettes some more. "I don't suppose you all found any booze on the road?"

Stavrian eyes the lone cigarette, as a whole pack gets tossed elsewhere. "Oh, I see how it is." He plucks the half-smoked cigarette from Tisiphone, sticking it in his mouth as he stands back up. His arms lift, stretching luxuriously. "S'alright. When I console myself with some candy, I won't feel bad all by my lonesome." A smirk, arms folding back behind his head, and his back thumps lightly as he leans back against the wall. Promptly distracted first by Haeleah and then, suddenly, by the sheer amount of stuff in Tis' bag. "The hell, did you guys parachute down in the middle of a 7-11?"

Sawyer quirks a brow as she's handed the fresh pack and Stavrian gets a priorly-toked version. "You shouldn't have forgotten her birthday." The reporter says dryly before cracking open the fresh pack with little girl glee. The little cellophane toggle is found with one cracked fingernail, pinched, and then unwound to release the fresh smell of …menthol. Crap. But beggars can't be choosers, and she cracks open the box top. "Let's see. T-I-S…" Sawyer's voice drifts off as she mentally counts the number of letters in Tisiphone's name, counts that many filters, then plucks one out and flips it over so the tobacco end is up. After flipping the lucky, Sawyer takes the one next to it and poises it between her lips. Momentarily tempted to keep it, she reluctantly passes it back. "Frakking MolGen." Sawyer parrots Haeleah at a grumble beneath her breath.

Samuel arrives from the Sagittaron House.
Samuel has arrived.

"Never. Happy." This to Stavrian, carried along with narrowed eyes and a flicker-quick grin from Tisiphone. "Give you my own frakkin' smoke to tide you over while I dig yer pack out, and I get grief for it? Pfah." Sawyer's offering of the pack back goes unnoticed for now, as she's rummaging again. Rustlerustle. "Shit, yeah," she says, while her back is turned. "We found a liquor store two blocks down from some kinda organic supermarket." A bit of scorn, there — Tisiphone evidently doesn't believe 'organic' and 'supermarket' should ever belong together. "I grabbed vodka for, y'know." Deliberate pause. There may be a sidelong glance to Stavrian, here. "Medicinal purposes." Back around she turns. Vodka 'bottle' is slid along the cracked tile floor toward Haeleah like a curling stone, before she starts unwrapping a fresh pack of cigarettes.

"Booze on demand. Engineering should draft you," Haeleah says, sitting with her bottle. She adds a properly sincere, "Thanks." Bottle opened, pull taken. "Looks like you all managed to find more scrounge than we did. Every time we managed to find a place, seemed like our asses got jumped. Though it makes more sense that there'd be more stuff untouched on the outskirts of the city, I guess."

Stavrian snickers under his breath. "/Now/ she flips." The packs of cigarettes, though, don't honestly seem to be at the forefront of his attention after that opportunity to tease Tisiphone. "Thank you." Ash tumbles off the end of the smoke and he sucks gently on it, conserving the crap out of no matter how many packs Tis seems to be able to bring up. "MolGen," he murmurs, lips thinning as though the words themselves had a distinct taste. A moment's pause, then he raises an eyebrow at the ground. "So. Storytime up in here. Do we draws straws? Round robin? We could mad lib. 'I (verb) on Leonis at (adjective) spot. For (length of time) I (verb) with (noun) and then saw this horrible (noun). And got shot by (noun)'."

The group is rather closely gathered around Tisiphone, who's pulling gifts out of her bag like the BSG equivalent of Santa Claus. Sawyer, for one, is holding a freshly opened pack of menthols that is now being placed in a neutral place between her and Tisi should she decide she's going to take them back. The reporter certainly won't push the issue, and will be all too happy to pocket them otherwise. Out of one of the many pockets of her loaned combat fatigues comes a pack of water proof matches. "And here all we found were rotting tea cakes and creepy ghost women." This all mumbled expertly around the cigarette hitched in her mouth, though the reporter will vehemently deny being a smoker. "Hey, I didn't get shot!" Proclaimed enthusiastically to Stavrian's mad lib comment, and /that/ makes her lose her cigarette which she goes fumbling after.

After Samuel woke up, he's been spending time looking through the building, almost a bit curiously. Moving towards where the others are, he pauses as he overhears the words. "You don't know what you're missing, then," he offers lightly in Sawyer's direction.

"I only play dirty mad-libs when I'm drinking," Haeleah says, taking another pull and then setting the bottle on the floor. They can all partake, if they don't mind her cooties. "I got shot *at*. By toasters and the frakking owl cult of weird inside MolGen. And slammed on the head with a piece of Leonis General Hospital ceiling. I guess the next time I volunteer for a possible suicide mission, I'll know they're not kidding."

It says a lot about how many supplies Tisiphone's group had access to, for a while there, that she had the luxury to stash away multiple packs of smokes and go hunting for rhinestone-festooned clothing. Then again, to each their own diversionary tactics. She tugs the first cigarette out to perch at the corner of her mouth, unlit. "Bum a light?" she asks Stavrian, as she lightly tosses the pack over. "Y'know, from my own cigarette?" A spiky little grin, teeth showing at the edges. "One of you can go first. Call it the price of admission to free booze and smokes night."

"Oh for the love." Stavrian smirks at Tisiphone and plucks the cigarette out of his mouth, leaning over to offer it. "Watch your brows, hate to have to replace 'em with those rhinestones." As he waits for her to steal fire, he absently scratches his fingertips over his collarbone. "Shit, where to start. At MolGen really…that's where it got even more frakked up than frakked up."

Sawyer strikes a match to light her own, now that it's well secured once more between her lips. After a good cherry, she shakes the flame out and tucks the little stick into an old soda can that was discarded long before they ever came along. There's a bit of a smile shot back at Samuel. "I think I do. Bleeding, pain and a disfiguring scar…that about cover it? If I have my option, I'll continue to pass." A long drag hollows out her cheeks. "MolGen was a boobytrapped nightmare, heavily laden in religious references. Add a cult of scientists that all drank the special tea, a robot that didn't try to kill us, and a woman that gave us deja vu and that about covers it. If I can pull it all back out of my damaged psyche, I plan on putting it all down on paper and then making the Commander eat it."

Samuel pauses a little bit as he hears Sawyer's reply, before he grins, and looks between the others, "Okay, who told her?" Spoken a bit lightly, before he shakes his head, frowning at what's being said about MolGen, before he shakes his head a little, "No bears, hopefully," he comments a bit more quietly now. Yes, his little bear-fighting really got to him, it would seem.

"Frakking MolGen." The place comes with an automatic expletive for Haeleah now. "We went there looking for something that'd help us fight the Cylons. I still don't know if we found it or not. Took a lot of weird data out of that place but frak me if I can make anything out of it here. And, yeah, freaky cult. That's where Sergeant Galyian died." She shudders at the memory. "There was this…hall. One of the traps dropped this liquid…freezing stuff on him. He just…right in front of us. Turned to ice."

Tisiphone promptly kneels up to light her cigarette, settling back to the floor after the second puff of smoke. The aforementioned rhinestones scritch like nails on a chalkboard as she rolls onto her stomach and re-e-eaches for the vodka bottle. Glug, glug, shudder. Whatever issues she may have, cooties via shared food and drink aren't one of them. She probably drank straight from it before, herself. Sorry, Hae. As she flops over onto her back, she gives Sawyer, then Haeleah, an odd stare. The grin slides off her face, fading into the darkening night sky. Her eyes flick to the others in the room before they turn up to the ceiling. "The woman," she says. "Olive skin? Dark eyes? Hooked nose? Proud- no, arrogant voice? Fourty-five years old, maybe?"

"The Gorgon. That's what that symbol was, I know it," Stavrian says under his breath. "And then right after that there were all these corp-…" His voice trails off like the wisps from his cigarette, caught up in in a puff of radioactive breeze. This silence does have a sound — that of his own heartbeat in his ears. "Yeah," he says to Tisiphone, at length. "…why?"

Sawyer had resolved not to drink, even in the tempting presence of alcohol, but as the subject raises the gooseflesh along her arms, the reporter reaches out for her turn at the bottle. "You saw her too." Not a question, a statement. Afterall, Tisiphone was able to nail her in one. No comment about the bears for the moment, as Sawyer tilts her head back and the bottle up to take a hard gulp that burns her throat.

Samuel pauses a bit as he listens, expression hardening at the sergeant's demise, until he hears Tisiphone's words, "That's the woman from the alley, when we met…?" he begins, trailing off after a few moments of pause.

"Yeah. And the killer owl in the hallway before that," Haeleah says. That one seems particularly ingrained in her mind. "I don't care about its symbolism. That frakker tried to shoot me." But she trails off from anymore bird-related complaints. Staring wide-eyed at Tisiphone. "Arrogant…long dark hair. Calm. Calmer than anyone should be on this frakked-up planet. Yeah. We saw her. Outside a cafe. Reading the paper here like it was frakking breakfast time on a long weekend. And…in MolGen. A recording of her, that is. Blowing herself up. *Before* we saw her with the paper."

"Turned to stone for looking the wrong way. Poor bastard," Tisiphone mutters, almost dispassionately. Almost. She starts to chuckle, of all things — black mirth's coming more easily to everyone these days — and shakes her head at the ceiling before tucking her cigarette back between her lips. Two hard drags, barely a pause to exhale in between, flare the cherry to hellfire orange. "Saw her. Yeah. We saw her. She and her pet Centurions killed most of Hal's group. Stephen put three rounds into her face. Lieutenant Oberlin said you guys had seen another one of her. Whatever the frak they are. Clones?" She grimaces a little as she says it, as if the very concept pains her.

"Owls are of Athena," Stavrian murmurs. He doesn't seem to mind Haeleah's irreverance, probably having enough to suffice for them both. "But that…woman, that /thing/ was not." He hesitates, looking at Haeleah and Sawyer and then at Tisiphone. "Pet Centurions." Now a frown, that thins his lips into a darker expression. "We've seen /two/ of her, if you want to get technical."

For a long moment, Sawyer's just focused on Tisiphone, her voice pitched low as if it was meant only for that particular woman. Of course, with the others in close proximity, it'd be hard to miss her words. "At first I was thinking maybe…maybe it was like Robin. But I'm pretty sure you can't shoot a ghost."

Samuel listens carefully to what's being said, frowning a little. He then moves quietly out of the room. Looking lost in thought for the moment.

Samuel has left.

Haeleah blinks at Sawyer. "You've seen Robin, too?" She reaches for the bottle again. Glug.

Tisiphone's eyes slant sidelong to Sawyer, then Haeleah, though her head doesn't move. Looking back up to the ceiling, she takes a slow drag off her cigarette that hitches at the end, sending her into a scratchy coughing fit. As it eases, she pillows her head on one sunburned arm and says in a roughened voice, "No, she was there. Flesh and bone. And blood. There's-" Her words lurch to a halt. Instead of finishing, she takes her turn with the vodka, then pulls herself into a seated position, knees drawn tight to her chest.

"No, it wasn't like R-…" Stavrian starts to talk without thinking first, and promptly cuts himself off. His eyes track the vodka bottle like a hawk, and he jams the cigarette back in his mouth. "We saw her twice. Once on a video tape at MolGen. She blew herself up /on camera/. That's how we knew her when we saw the next time…when she spoke to us. Did she say anything to you?" He's suddenly intensely interested in this one thing.

Sawyer glances from Haeleah to Stavrian and back. Of course the Reporter knew about Stavrian's own sightings, but hearing it (or almost) from his lips is another matter. "Seems there's a lot of crazy going around." The four of them are in some various state of lounging in the sitting room, mainly relegated to the floor due to the lack of usable furniture. She touches the filter of the menthol back to her lips, her eyes dulling oer with thought.

Haeleah takes another pull of liquor and then sets the bottle back down for public consumption. Somebody else might be wanting it just now. "I saw her back on the ship. In Engineering a couple of times. She seemed to know a lot about some things…frak, some things nobody outside a few people should've known about. About a project we were working on. It's part of what we found at Parnassus, part of what eventually led Command back here. It was supposed be classified. I…I tried to tell Lieutenant Oberlin about her. About Robin. After we saw that…thing in Kythera," she says. "I think he thought I was crazy. I don't know. Maybe I am losing it. But I was thinking…what if she *is* something like…like the things we've seen down here?" They're all kind of gathered together, sitting and smoking and drinking and talking of ominous things. A lovely evening on Leonis, all in all.

Tisiphone hugs her arms around her knees, seeming somewhere between deeply unnerved and frustrated. A lot of warring thoughts whirring around in her mind. She finally, a bit pointedly, doesn't comment on Haeleah's ruminations, instead speaking on the matters that are more tangible and, to her, more troubling. "She called us heretics as Stephen shot her," she says. Her face is pointed at Stavrian, but her gaze catches his for only a moment before it slides away to some unfocussed distance. "When Croke-" Their corpsman. "-tried to help her, she slapped his hand away. And she laughed. Stephen didn't give her a lot of time."

Stavrian slowly shakes his head. "No. It's different." Exactly how he can sound so sure, gods only know. But his soft-spoken voice is exactly that. The vodka may be settled on the ground now, but he seems to have completely forgotten about it, listening to Tisiphone relay that bit. "Heretics. Yeah. Yeah, that's…" Suddenly restless, he sits back on his heels, scratching his hand into the back of his hair. "She said /we/ had a thirst for blood. That we should learn from this and 'let it end'. And if we kept trying to eradicate 'his' — she said 'his' — children, He would strike again." He pauses, frowning. "And she knew things. About the Cerberus, I mean…things you'd have had to like…" He struggles for a technological term, not his forte. "Upload centurion data to have known. About the time they came on the ship. Right?" He asks the other two women that ending question.

Sawyer stands from her seat, snagging up that pack of cigarettes Tisi handed her earlier. "Simple answer is, we have a mole on the ship." She leaves them to chew on that thought for a while as she rolls her shoulders to ease some tension that's sitting square between her shoulderblades. "A mole that fed that woman a bunch of intel, and she's using it against us to drive us insane while systematically trying to wipe us out with some Centurions that she clearly controls. But then again, I was never a bit fan of Occum's Razor. I think it's my turn to stand watch." The reporter says, before lofting up the pack of smokes. "Mind if I keep these? If you have more, that is. I'll pay you back some how."

"Not the same, maybe, but Robin still shouldn't be there, Jesse," Haeleah says, standing. Steadily enough, though she looks a little drowsy. "Anyway. I'm glad Kulko killed that…thing. Hope she stays dead this time. Watch was quiet my shift. Hope it stays that way. I'm going to try and get some sleep."

The longer the words spill around her, the tighter Tisiphone's fingers curl into the leg of her fatigues, knuckles standing out against pale skin. She might be shivering for a moment, there; it's hard to tell. She looks to her cigarette, discovering it burned down to a stub of ash, and flicks it out the window. Hopefully there's nobody standing guard directly below. "Yeah, I've- got more." The words are thin and tight, and she doesn't look at anyone as she says them, instead reaching out to collect the vodka bottle and screw the lid back on. She twists around, back to the group, and back into her sack of treats for good boys and girls it goes. "They're yours. I gave them to you. Keep them. Rest well."

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