PHD #445: You've Been Warned
You've Been Warned
Summary: Vandenberg drops some warnings at Bannik's feet.
Date: 17 May 2042 AE
Related Logs: Gemenon, Manifestos, you name it.
Bannik Vandenberg 
The Church Lady, decorations, pews, and lots of Gods.
Post-Holocaust Day: #445

Later into the evening in the Chapel, its quiet with nary a soul around but for maybe one Vandenberg is searching for. The woman is dressed in her tanktops and green duty pants, looking freshly showered. Wandering into the room and its lower lights, the unmistakably scarred Captain pauses by the door while she waits for her eyes to adjust and scan the room better. "Specialist Bannik?" she offers quietly. The Marine is almost never seen down here so this is a rarity.

Bannik is in his greens, knelt by the altar. With his most reason writings released to the Fleet, it's, perhaps, his time to come pray and meditate on what he has just done. Though he seems lost in thought, he does not seem like he is busy otherwise. He is, one might say, interruptable.

Spotting her target at the alter, Vandenberg takes a breath and heads forward. She doesn't look around or take note of any of the sparse decore that makes up the Chapel. She obviously knows something about religion though because she makes no move to physically disturb him. The Marine Captain moves to the closest pew and takes a seat, crossing her legs. "Bannik. I need to speak with you when you are finished with your prayers." The words aren't quite terse but she seems to carry weight behind them. This is business and its going to happen here.

Bannik glances up at the remark, unclasping his hands. "I always have time for you, Captain Vadenberg," murmurs the deckhand. His voice is oddly serene; perhaps he's found peace in his prayers. "What can I help you with?" He can probably guess what this is about.

The woman narrows her eyes at him. "You can probably surmise why I am here given what's started circulating today and how pleased I look." Which would be 'Not At All'. "Before I get into what I have to tell you and encourage you to do, I want to know something." She clasps her hands, settling back in the pew. "What are you hoping to do with these manifestos? Are you looking to keep building some kind of religious backing and base? Style yourself some sort of messenger or perhaps a megaphone for Hermes?"

Bannik glances up at that, a look of confusion passing across his face. "I'm just trying to tell people the truth; I'm just trying to tell them what I saw down there. No one else is telling them. Not Sawyer, not Command, not anyone. I'm trying to tell them the truth that the gods are trying to tell us. Is that such a threat, Captain?"

Vandenberg doesn't even blink before she gives him a reply. "One of the single largest threats this fleet faces, actually." Its deadpanned and completely devoid of any hint of sarcasm or humor. "I'll preface this by telling you that I am not here in any official capacity. These are unofficial warnings given to you by someone who has similar concerns for humanity. But when it comes to fleet activity, don't you think it would be more prudent to leave the activity of the military to the military? Because you are skirting very dangerous lines and flirting with something that could very possibly get a lot of people killed - and I mean every single person in this fleet."

"You know what, Captain? No. I don't. Because I'm not sure the military is equipped for what is going on here. It's not an operation. It's not a campaign. It's not a mission. It's the future of humanity and our place in the story that's told in the Sacred Scrolls. And I don't think someone's pins on their shoulders makes someone qualified to make those decisions. Hades, I think it makes them less qualified." Bannik's voice is earnest and sincere; whatever else one might say about him, he does believe what he's saying. "Because the military thinks it can win anything by following 'the book' — Marines are the worst. So maybe its better to have another perspective on things. One that doesn't just mindlessly defer to authority."

"Ah." Van takes it all with that sound for a moment, a bit of amusement to her eyes. "The Marines are the worst equipped to handle this?" She nods a few times. "Well if you didn't have a reputation for blasting off anything that crosses your plate these days, you might be privy to something that could give you a little more faith. But that's neither here nor there." She dismisses it. "But since you want to go that route, hear me on this: Religious disagreements have caused more death and destruction in our history than anything ever until the Cylons wiped out our race. I've watched men and women blow themselves up for it. They've killed friends and family. And I'll tell you personally that I don't appreciate you hijacking my religion to your own ends. And I can guarantee you that there are a lot of people out there that don't appreciate it, either."

"And there are a lot of people who appreciate what I'm saying because they've felt it too, but they haven't been able to put words on it. I'm not encouraging violence, Captain. I'm not starting riots. I work on my planes when I'm assigned to, and I talk to people in my off hours. If you feel this way, write your own papers, discredit me. Demonstrate how I'm wrong. But no one does that. They just come to me and tell me how dangerous I am and try to get me to back off." Bannik shakes his head. "It's not a popularity contest, Captain. I think I'm right; if that makes people uneasy, so be it. But I do believe that working with the Twos and Elevens and our return to Gemenon is the gods' will and that it will be even more dangerous if we do not heed their signs."

"I write my own papers, Bannik. My job as Marine Operations Officer is to develop plans of action and deal with current events and the will of Command. We do this because we have a proper system in place that retains order. Do you know what we call it when someone, in our current state of affairs, attempts to blackmail or force Command to do something it isn't ready to do?" Vandenberg seems more or less unphased by most of this. "We call it Mutiny, Specialist. You see a military incapable of moving at the pace or, by your perception, in the direction you want and you are attempting to sway it, correct?" She gestures to him with an upturned hand. "That would fall there. Because… you're exactly right. This isn't a popularity contest. Pewter has command of this fleet as the ranking officer and his judgment in all matters is something we defer to out of authority. If you believe that he doesn't have the best interests of this fleet at heart, maybe you ought to ask him about it yourself rather than trying to get weight and support behind your.. desires? Aims? I'm not sure how to classify it."

Bannik lets out a heavy sigh, a sort of put-upon sound. "I've heard it plenty of times, Captain, particularly from Marines. What we need is order and discipline and the chain-of-command. But really, it's the end times. We're the last people in the human race. What makes you more worthy than me because you went to college and I didn't? What gods-given right do you have to lead like you're some ancient king anointed with oil and incense?" Bannik shakes his head. "I respect our Command, because I think they have a lot of wisdom and experience and things that I don't. I don't respect them because they demand it. Now, Captain, if you've just come to vent about my writings, I will listen patiently. But you said you had a specific request?"

Vandenberg actually smirks at the remarks about respect and college. "That's funny. You- you actually think I'm here because I think I'm better than you because of.. college? Or some pins placed on my lapel? Lords, Bannik. Stop being so self-righteous." She smiles with it. "I'm here because I am concerned about the fleet's survival. You're speaking like a religious leader, yourself, and I've even heard that Damon believes you to be sent by the Gods. If this were to be the case then, hypothetically, you'd also both be guilty of fraternization violations. But again, here nor there." She takes a long breath. "Yes, my request. I'm asking you to either stop or throttle back. I know for a very pointed fact that you are placing lives in direct danger - including your own. What would happen to this fleet if we arrived on Gemenon and found it to be a trap? You'd probably be shot or airlocked. You believe the Gods want us to go to Gemenon. I'm not in disagreement, actually. But where, in all of these dreams and odd happenings, have the Gods asked us to enter into a partnership with the Cylons? I can answer that on my own: Nowhere. Tread lightly. Because if you don't then when blood spills, it will be upon your head and shoulders, Mister Bannik."

"The Chief can believe whatever he chooses to believe; I haven't talked to him about my writings. But if they have opened his heart, then I have done what I have been told to do." Bannik allows a small smile to flit over his lips; he seems pleased at that news. It truly seems as if he had not heard it before. "I know I'm at risk. But it's a risk I'm willing to take to spread the word I've been tasked to spread. The gods don't need to say things right out; but they have sent so many signs. How can the Twos and the Elevens give so much for humanity and that not be a sign, Captain Vandenberg?" It was, after all, what his last manifesto was about. "So if you come out of my safety, I thank you. But I know the risks and I accept them freely. Besides, what if I'm right? I would say that chance is worth a great many risks."

"You're correct. The Chief may choose to believe whatever he wants. But the very moment that he shows you preferntial treatment in any single one aspect of official military matters, you and he risk everything. Willing to bet the Chief's career on your writing?" Its all off-handed, Vandenberg still conversational about all of this. "You believe you personally have been tasked with this because..why? You had a dream? Because Cylons, a race that killed tens of billions, told you that you were? I know a lot of people on this ship who have had dreams. None of them feel compelled to write manifestos or sway public opinion. Or official movements. Why are you so special, Mister Bannik? Did Zeus himself visit you in the Chapel in front of witnesses and decree that you be the new Hermes?" She asks it with a slight tilt of her head as if it wasn't only a rhetorical question but a genuine one. "As for the Cylons? Maybe. Maybe not. I do find humor that you would be willing to stake the lives of the rest of our race on something you perceived. Believe it or not, I won't argue some of the cases we've had. But from everything I've heard from Sawyer and yourself? There was no recce done of their structure. Blind faith is one helluva bet when the stakes are the highest imaginable. I'm not worried if you're right, Bannik. I'm worried if you're wrong. You want to accept these risks, fine. But you aren't risking just your own life. You're staking the lives of everyone on this."

Bannik rises slowly to his feet, placing his hand on Vandenberg's shoulder to support himself as he does. "Well, Captain, I'm just an spaceplane mechanic. I'm not staking anyone's lives on anything. I'm just writing what's in my heart and what I know to be true. But I don't decide what happens; Command and structure and all of that, remember? So I wouldn't worry very much." A pause. "You know what, though? When I got back, I got treated like a criminal. I didn't get welcomed and debriefed for my intelligence knowledge and congratulated on what a good job I did as an ambassador for humanity. I got shoved in a brig and called a coward and a deserter and —" Some anger is in his voice now. He cuts his words short. "So maybe when people start showing me a little respect and stop talking to me like I'm some idiot who doesn't understand what's at stake, we can have a more productive dialogue. Gods bless you, Captain. I hope they bring you wisdom and peace."

The Marine doesn't even seem to mind the Specialist using her shoulder. She just sits there in the pew as the picture of calm. "What you believe, not know, and what reality are may be two very different things. And yes, that's correct. Command and structure and all that. Some of us read your notes, Bannik. No denying that. But we aren't listening." She turns in the pew, lifting an arm over the back. "Your guilt of that was already decided by your friend Damon, as you might recall." That might be telling to a previous topic. "And people might start treating you better when you start acting like you deserve it. You've done some amazing things for this fleet, Specialist. Right now? You're just taking an eraser to all of it and zeroing yourself out. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor, son. Be safe. And I pray for the sake of this fleet that you find the truth to what someone else is telling you."

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