AWD #413: Ab uno disce omnes
AWD #413: Ab uno disce omnes
Summary: Ab (ex) uno disce omnes. From one person, learn all people. Preconceived notions are challenged, philosphy and reality along with tactics and the triage of rationale is addressed between Knox, Ariadne and Samtara. All is not, in fact, what it seems, or seemed, in the first place.
Date: Mon 08/Aug/2016 (OOC Date)
Related Logs:
Ariadne Knox Samtara 
Sickbay - Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
Serving as the ship's primary care facility, the Medical Center is a rather large, single room structure that has the same load-bearing structures to the walls that the halls do, as well as the same heavy hatch. There is a desk at the entrance staffed by a nurse as well as a small locker for single dose drugs like aspirin. Beds are lined up along each wall with EKG's and hangers for IVs in case of triage. Large cabinets at the rear provide ready access to lifesaving medicines and gear, as well as a ready supply of defibrillators. Not far from the primary entrance is the Chief Medical Officer's office and on the other side is a small hatch to the recovery ward. Towards the rear is a sectioned-off examination area. Opposite the hatch to recovery is a sealed doorway leading down a hallway to the ship's morgue.
Thu 23/Feb/2006

Samtara was probably delivered the note late as a bit of a prank by Jameson since he's the one that delivered it personally. What did it say? Its a Public Relations gig and they're bringing most of the kids aged 5-12 up from the surface to tour a few of the safer area of the ship. The non-military parents will have happy kids and the military parents get to talk to their kids about the ship. When they arrived in Sickbay they were sure to spend plenty of time asking questions about a variety of serious and also joking topics. The younger ones weren't spared the answers since most of them had already seen plenty of bad stuuff. Ariade was also given a chance to talk to them about who they should see if they ever needed to talk about traumatic experiences. In ari's own way. If she wanted to. And because Knox was available, kids could volunteer to meet him if they wanted to ask questions. Mostly older kids did. His own questions, well, went interestingly. It was probably two hours of hell for Samtara.

For now, the kids have been gone for a couple hours and Knox is parked at an intake-desk, reading a book. He still hasn't been restored to active duty and nobody seems to know what to do with him, so here he works and lives for the moment. He's in the scrubs top and camo pants. WHich, considering he isn't technically military again, yet, isn't TECHNICALLY against regulations. Look ma, no rank pins! He's reading a book about zombies in the era of castles and Elizabethan pomp. Something about Pride and Hatred. Or is it Prejudice. Whatever. He seems to be enjoying it.

In preparation, Ariadne worked with other medical staff to have an appropriate case the children could attend with a doctor on rounds as if they were a new batch of little inters. Something about getting to 'play' grownup is so awesome to a kid. Probably because it's often better than what real life ends up being for the most. Still, it was a good way to start the day. That has been her major contribution to the kids' arrival, aside from being at the CMO's beck and call, as per usual. Ariadne, free of the children as well right now, quietly comes in from the recovery ward, eyes sweeping this way and that for little pitter pattering obstacles or her bosss… which ever decides to amush her first. She makes her way to intake. "You haven't seen the Captain have you?" There's only one 'The Captain' in her world.

Knox had spent about twenty minutes with some of the older kids, letting them firing-squad him. Most seemed to have walked away more convinced of their own prior opinions. Some good. Some bad. Can't win all your battles, even if he tries. But overall it did leave him smiling. When Ariadne approaches, he leans back in the chair and bounces the pen between his fingers. "Ah, no. I'm afraid not, Doctor. I'm guessing she's still locked in a storage cabinet somewhere, avoiding the begins she once reffered to as 'walking petri dishes'. That or she's busy bleaching everything they breathed near. But that's just my guess, Doctor. Everything alright?" Still quiet, casual.

"She might be in the labs," which Ariadne has invaded before with the rescued toddler to flush her boss out. "Thanks for helping out with the kids. Oh everything is fine. I just could have sworn I had a meeting with her right now." She smiles slightly as she considers something further. "Are you going to be around for the next hour or two?"

"My pleasure, Doctor. Really. I love kids quite a bit. To me, they've always encapsulated the best part of humanity. Bright minds and endless possibilities. Hope. Strength." Cooper keeps his smile. "Questions, even ones that are asked with an intent to harm, are still heard by others and evaluated. Kids pick up a lot. They're the hardest to turn your back on." He slots a paper into the book and closes it slowly. "But yes, I'll probably be around for the next few hours. Something I can help with?"

Once the gaggle of small humans have ventured out of sickbay and Sam has had some quality time up in one of the labs, with some cleaning solution, gloves, mask, and the necessary implements to clean the lab to a state of absolute zero contaminates, and having done so equally restored her own version of sanity, Sam returns to sickbay. So what if she's wearing a clean set of scrubs and the scent of antibacterial cleaner clings to her, so what. She has issues.

"I don't think I could say it better myself," Ariadne says with a gracious tilt of her head towards Knox. "Well, act-" It's then that she spots the Captain out of the corner of her eye and then lifts her forefinger to signal pausing her speech to Knox. "Captain. Welcome back," she cuts the woman some slack. "Knox was just telling me how he's going to be around for a few hours." She just sort of looks at Sam expectantly. Telepathy works right? But she doesn't rely on imaginary powers for long. "I remember we were discussing yesterday how we should speak to him?" It's more direct than she usually is, but no less gentle.

Coop looks over to see the incoming Captain at the gesture from Ariadne. He watches a few seconds before leaning back in the chair. Uh oh. They're talking about him. "Is this something I should come to attention for, Doctors? I swear, it was one of the kids that smeared grape jelly on the bathroom door last night. It definitely wasn't me." Sagenod. "Or if it's mroe serious, I can certainly step away if needed."

The somewhat fragile air of serenity acquired by sheer application of antibacterial cleansers to all surfaces fades rather notably when Sam joins Ariadne and Knox. "You have a rather excellent memory, Dr. Forrester," Sam notes with a mild nod before she eyes Cooper for a moment. "It was Jam, not jelly, which has a different viscosity ratio and thus required more than a simple wipe down to entirely eradicate the remains." She exhales a small sound then sighs, "I need coffee. And the last three hours of my life to be gray washed from memory storage, but I'll settle for coffee. Would either of you two care to join me in the application of caffeine?"

"I try to remember the important things," Ariadne offers without a nod to the cheese factor. She follows Sam's lead after 'passing the baton' metaphorically. "Let me just get my brain," mug, "I think I left it…" Ariadne scoots down the desk to move something around and then snags that pale-ish pearly white brain mug. "To the precious coffeemaker?" The one and only in Sam's office that is.

Knox snorts. "I contend it was jelly, just to be contrary. You can show me evidence that it was in fact jam but I will only refute it and baselessly claim your sources for justification are morally corrupt." The man slowly rises from the chair and brings the book with him, still twirling the pen in his fingers. "I'll take coffee, sure. Thank you, Doctor."

Sam is nodding as she gestures toward the door to her office, the office kept FREE from the marauding assault of the children of the fleet and dependents. "It really is a very good coffee maker," she is agreeing with Ariadne before Knox's words make her turn and fix a long, eyes narrowed, look at the marine. "By your very words you dispute the validity of my own observation and, in the same vein, cast them into doubt based on a lack of adequate evidence supplied - in absentia - as such evidence has already been withdrawn and the affected areas repaired to their original, unaffected, condition. By that same logic, your argument is baseless as it lacks a foundation of certain knowledge, post or prior, to the application of said substance. That said, the logic has no moral foundation for argument, as the compound being jam or jelly has no moral base, merely a compound viscosity, or a lack of same. there is no moral question, no concept of 'sin' to this debate." She tips her head subtly, "Would you care to continue fencing?" she wonders, a certain light of amusement now visible in her eyes.

CMO's Office - Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
Durable gray, industrial weave, carpeting covers the floor from wall to wall in this small, utilitarian and ruthlessly organized office. The left and right walls are covered in white boards with metal filing cabinets stacked side by side beneath each board, the tops of which serve as additional space along with room for a coffee maker and cleaning supplies. A pair of uncomfortable looking chairs take up the floor space to either side of the door and a heavy desk with a worn looking chair made equally of battered looking metal consume the rest of the space not occupied by shelves. Above the desk is a printed poster listing the periodic table of elements alongside a wall mounted lightbox for inspecting x-rays and other images.
Thu 23/Feb/2006 (Continued)

Ariadne begins to pick up her pace when she hears Knox open his mouth, hoping to outpace the two to the coffeemaker before it gets stuck in someone's debating hand for a full round of filibustering. She checks the pot to see if there's any already on, starts fiddling with it. It's clear she intimately knows this thing by now…probably more than she knows Dr. Walker. "Alright, lay down your mugs," she teases idly into the space that words are flying freely and pours Sam some and then Knox, handing it off to each individually as she goes. Finally, she pours herself some and pulls the far chair in front of Sam's desk up a little closer, angling it inwards to create a more casual atmosphere of sorts from her end of the closetlike room. She pulls her mug close to her chest and blows across the steamy surface, the bottom edges of the much are already starting to pinken up.

Knox follows into the office and stands there, just inside the door, watching Samtara. He seems to follow along well enough and follow exactly what is being said. The guy seems to be preparing a response. What sort of skullduggery does a skinjob have, lying in wait? What sort of logic bmb is he about to drop? He isn't just some Marine! He's a JTAC! When someone needs excellence instilled, they tap his veins for the FREE FLOW. OH YES. He mentally winds up, smiles, and tilts his head forward a bit. "In the words of a great philosopher I spoke to today, 'You're wrong because I said so and you can't prove otherwise.'" He smirks and lifts his hands to clasp in front of him. They slowly expand apart and he makes a soft 'Kabooooom' sound. "Dropped that bomb like a D-list actor in a porn cameo," he whispers. He fingerguns at her. Bang. Bang. One after the other. "So, now that I've won that debate… coffee." Coop moves towards the machine and Ariadne handing off the mug. "Cheers, Doctor. Thank you. I'm guessing I should also take a seat?" he asks, gesturing to the other open chair in front of the desk.

The coffee mug that Sam favors has a skull and cross bones on it and lists the exact amount of caffeine, measured in grams, that a human must ingest in order for it to be fatal. Once her mug is topped off, and Sam has rolled the chair from behind her desk around to join the pair of uncomfortable chairs that serve as visitor chairs, seating herself once she's done so. "Ahh, by the application of 'because I said so' defense," she notes with a mild shake of her head. "It's the same clause as the 'Liar Liar pants on Fire defense fund'," she explains in a quietly amused aside to Ariadne. "Though by 'D-list' it implies either a basic inability to act OR inadequate physical presence to carry the role, so to speak. Though 'acting' is a variable definition of talent as it applies, so I gather, to porn. Unless the cylon movie industry has begun it's own version of porn that eclipses the standard human fare?" waving one hand to invite Knox to take the open seat.

Ariadne is wholly unfazed, but also adept at staying out of the line of 'fire.' She has to be. "Wow. Thank you," she says deadpan. "Just to clarify why I'm even a part of this. I know we don't know each other well and we didn't meet under the best of circumstances…" She was, afterall, having to impose a suicide watch on someone close to Knox. "Along with my regular duties and providing my skills in the operating room, Dr. Nadir has tasked me with getting to the bottom of…basically all things medical and cylon related. That is why I am here," she taps the arm of her chair with the heel of her hand. "Didn't want you in the dark wondering why. We just never had proper introductions," not the kind where she could have time to sit down and chat at least. "So, the phase I'm in now is learning and aggregating knowledge, testimony, and so on. There are a number of things that came up in a conversation that we had yesterday with a Lieutenant from intel." She glances towards Sam as if to let her continue, given she wasn't there for the beginning. She does a temp-test taste of her coffee.

"What she didn't say is that she's the best neurosurgeon we have on staff, the only staff neurosurgeon that I requested specifically from the Kildare, and that she has one of the best grasps of neuro-science, and it's relation to psychology and psychological conditions as tied to neuro-science of any officer that we have in the fleet," Sam notes, stating this with a nod angled at Ariadne, though her words are aimed at Knox. "In short, her work helps define what and why not just how. I'm not a neurosurgeon nor a psychologist of any kind. IT takes greater empathy than I'm capable of, and a genuine appreciation that I sincerely lack, which is not news. So. More often than not, Coop, we're turning to you to ask questions that we can't ask anyone else. You are, literally, our only expert. And, equally, the only expert that I trust to answer in a manner that will make sense in a fashion that we can disseminate to other officers and division heads. We can pound any topic to death with math and science and have nothing but glazed eyes and twitching in response until someone raises a hand to ask who they get to shoot. So. Without being privy to your parameters and what you have or have not been given leave by the Major to discuss, are you able to field some questions?"

"Hmm. Clearly you've encountered this tactic before. I'll have to rethink my position and circle around. Maybe next time smear jam and jelly together so we can revisit this." Sagenod. Coop takes a seat and sips the mug. "Skinjobs have been trying to mate for awhile. They even tried getting each other in the mood with getting bootleg human porn. Never worked. Nobody wants to get intimate with their brother or sister, especially when the rest of the line has to remember it forever. You can only whitewash so much." Maybe that's his revenge, right there. When Ariadne speaks up, he looks over at her and listens easily. There's a slow nod of agreement about not meeting under the best of circumstances, but its clear the guy has no lingering animosity. Or if he does, it isn't near the surface right now. "Pointedly, I have no issues with this, especially if this is what Doctor Nadir recommends. I'm amenable to giving anything a second go and ignoring the prior circumstances since it was pretty personal. I'm sure the Captain has given you the proper keys on how best to interact with the neighborhood skinjob." The guy shrugs it off easily enough, seemingly no aversion to the term. He's about to say more when Sam speaks again. The guy goes quiet and takes the time to sip his coffee again. "It's getting to the point where it may not matter what I am given leave to say. Some truthes, it would appear, are making themselves known with or without me. But sure, I'll answer what I can, as best I can." The usual caveat.

"It's a frought and odd niche," Ariadne tries to play off modestly, but what neurosurgeon isn't going to preen (maybe in their own way) at least a touch with having their ego stroked. "Though Sam is right. It is my belief that you and those like you are beings, not just scientifically speaking. It's my hope for a more trusting and blended tomorrow. It's important for us to understand each other, in the body as well as the soul. If I may speak so frankly." What she thinks of as the soul or what that means seems to be irrelevant and she doesn't press into details. "I have been stuck back in the records of all of this. Trying to wrap my head around the reports…but those only take you so far. So I'm stumbling through it a bit still," she admits easily enough, clearly unafraid to admit that in front of her boss. There's no hiding inadequacies in the military. It's a team sport. "Well, there are a few areas. One of the topics we were discussing in detail yesterday was the process of what I've been hearing as Awakening. To me, all evidence suggests towards something that isn't psychosomatic in nature. Apologies for the term. It's rough, but what I mean is that it seems, at least based on testimony, that this might actually be some kind of physiological response?"

The look that Sam aims at Coop is one of mild, maybe not so mild, disquiet paired with a bit of a twitch followed by a shudder then a breath of a somewhat rueful laugh. "Good point. From what I gather of what is considered 'normal' for intimacy, having it up on the 'screen' so to speak for review at each point of download would be a rather disconcerting experience. Granted, 'normal' is a judgement, not a measuring stick. But, that said," she fixes a thoughtful look at Coop, "why bother with the whole song and dance of the process in lieu of moving straight to the process of external reproductive efforts. The whole purpose of sex, all the chemicals and emotional, societal and cultural stimuli, is more of a way of encouraging the human species to keep creating life. Are you saying that these efforts, in or out of a petri dish, have not been successful?" she wonders before she turns a somewhat wry smile toward Ariadne. "I don't know, yet, the full scope of that which I do not know, as yet. All I know is what I know, and the sheer tonnage of that which I do not know far eclipses that which I do, and the admission and acceptance of ignorance is the first step toward enlightenment," her words are not so much her own but a very very old reference point related to the acquisition of knowledge and the acceptance of ignorance.

Knox tilts his head a bit. "I'm sorry, blended?" The rest of it he seems to have no concern with, but that word seems to have caught him. "I'm not sure how to interpret that so I'd ask for clarification." But he does actually answer the rest without further prompting. Even if he has to think for a moment. "Sort of. See, this is where Doctor Nadir might get a bit lost with this but I don't think what happens to the skinjobs on the surface is something measurable except within ourselves. I could be wrong, clearly, but it's not like we sprout wings. There's a feeling of wellness that spreads and I suppose that could be construed as physiological in terms of the benefits that would go along with it, but it's more that certain things come forward in the mind. Old memories, realizations." He sinks back in the chair and looks off. "It's not an immediate process. It takes time to fully take hold, but think of it like a gut feeling creeping in. You know you were supposed to be somewhere and you get anxious about it. Or whatever emotion is associated with the anticipation that you're going ot remember something - you just can't recall what it was. Yet. Like a sunrise creeping towards the horizon, except you have NEVER seen a sunrise before. Its traumatic, there are no two ways about it. Ceres' awakening was a battle that left her in tears many times. The self-loathing, the crushing realities, trying to reconcile everything that you begin to intake. I think mine was easier because I had defected before we arrived here." Coop then looks back to Sam and smiles a bit. "Truth. Skinjobs are sterile. There's not a single case of any of the lines being able to reproduce in any of our known model histories. It's all ended in failure. As for why? Ask yourself that question. Why would humans want children? Why does humanity settle into family units? What's the drive?" He gestures a little towards himself. "I feel it, myself. It doesn't mean I can replicate the full human experience in reality. Only in projection."

"Living side by side. Excuse me. I grew up on Gemenon. Every now and then I don't think the words I choose fit what I mean," and yet sometimes Ariadne has proven very persuasive. It's the odd effect a heavy minority accent can have on some people at times. She settles in to listen to Knox though rather quickly. "Oh Sam, may I borrow something to write on? I forgot my pad," She half-whispers to the woman as Knox gets started with his response. She fishes into her pocket for her old pre-war-day drug pen and clicks it with a mild grin. "Is this something that requires repeated exposure? Or maybe there has been no chance to know that?" She starts writing keywords on her hand in absentia of something to write on…until provided, if provided. His words about the experience, it's roughness, draw a somberness from Ariadne. Her words, when spoken, are unconsciously a touch softer. "The scientific reason is similar to that of a single-celled organism. Survival. It suits our species to be motivated to copulate like bunnies. If I may ask, and I realize this might be a taboo question and possibly ridiculous, but to your knowledge, have any cylons tried with humans?" She's meticulous, something that has shown through heavily in her work. She tries to account for possible blind spots in her work and thinking which would be apparent to Sam at least. "Not all humans want to reproduce, but enough of them do…or have in the past," she points out. "Is that something that has been culturally problematic to your knowledge? The desire, without the ability to do anything but project?"

Sam nods as she twists to the side and retrieves a notepad from the top of her desk and hands it to Ariadne, "I always have something to write on, feel free to help yourself," she offers, head tipped toward Knox then Ariadne as they speak. She gives a faint curve of a wry smile at Ariadne before glancing back at Knox, "Because we die. We die, and the only way to continue our species is to continue to have children who grow, have children of their own, continue to die, and be replaced, cycle after cycle after endless cycle. We have no way of passing on our knowledge or accumulated experience of what passes for wisdom save for education, the written word, oral histories, and even that is mutated and altered, generation after generation. Even the written word is not absolute," her voice is quiet, speculative in a way. "Which brings to mind the knowledge that what the collaborators are doing, by rewriting the history books, is eradicating the accumulated knowledge of the human experience and replacing it with what ever they're writing in these new history books. Cylon's have no need to procreate to pass on knowledge. Your flesh and blood body dies, you download, and for lack of a less clinical term, recycle, and awaken in a new body. I still say that the process by which you must filter and assimilate the stored data is an imprecise one and bound to lead to errors, but that's not the point. You do not need to create young to continue. And there's a question," she tips her head toward Knox, "your physical age is that one of a set maturation level. At any time are any of the model lines actually in a child form, or always in adult form?" she casts a sidelong glance, "Nature vs nurture, as it is a relevant query. And no, not all humans want to reproduce, not all are capable of doing so. And I would imagine that the sterility of the model lines prevents any successful attempts, either in lab or out?"

"The ability to awaken takes repeated exposure, but the effects are near immediate and can be felt - usually within seconds. They know something is happening, just not what. They can feel it like a rising tide. That comes from personal exposure and also from witnessing Ceres' turning. She wanted to slaughter humanity when we arrived. In six weeks time she was awash with grief about what had happened. But she was also a deep cover agent and her outward cover identity - the Viper Captain - exposed her to Piraeus more and more. As for your question about humanity and skinjob? Oh, absolutely." he confirms that with a nod of his head. "Many times. Heck, I've been sleeping with Afton for over a year and we never bothered with protection. Course its not like either of us could really afford to be taken out of the fight anyway if something did happen." A PJ and a JTAC? Newp. "Others have, for sure. One of the things the Sixes and Nines suspect is that part of the reason people are disappearing off the colonies is that the unturned model lines want to experiment on humanity away from the rest of the settlements and fleet intelligence. It would track that some of those experiments would involve fertilization, by will or force. Or science. And no, skinjobs don't really have a culture. Or at least we didn't. It's starting to develop. I suppose its more a personal desire and felt shortcoming." Which can't be easy for any guy to admit, canner or not. Even the tin man needed his heart. And he knew it. "Because you die," he then tells Sam. "Now recall that Sixes, Nines, Elevens, they are all beginning to reject the idea of downloading in favor of eternal death. What does that do? Wouldn't it make sense that a being facing death would want to do much the same? The carry on your truth? Having sworn it off, myself, I can tell you that it creates a desire to fight for that truth. To capture the moment and make sure that something isn't lost that never should have been threatened. When you are facing eternity, then everything becomes utterly meaningless. It is the very definition of nihilism." There's another snip of his coffee and a shake of his head. "No. There are no child skinjobs. They would serve no purpose. We all start at a set age, which is why I look younger than I did when I left. I lack the five years I spent in that body. But we do age, yes."

"Mutations in our genetic makeup causes us to die…Our telomeres get shorter and shorter like a fuse. But mutations are also the culprit for our own evolution. It's double-edged? I think that's how you say it," Ariadne expands upon what Sam says. "To me…what they are doing is worse than killing us. They are taking who we are, scooping it out, and wearing us like suits for their thoughts." She muddles the words slightly, but the nature of it certainly has her stamp on it. She perks up at Sam's mention of maturity though. "Yes. My interests also lie in the psychological side of that as well. Is there any concept of 'youth' in a non-physical sense?" As the others talk, she begins to take notes on the pad Sam provided, using some kind of shorthand, but writing out full words or phrases now and then, especially as Knox provides his and other's experiences. The word 'residual' makes it onto the paper. "Yes, I suspected this is probably happening too, in regards to forced fertility experiments…I wish we had a better name for you than 'skinjob'," she says with a measure of disgust. "It feels like I'm calling you a /thing/. I mean, is that the preferred terminology? I suppose it doesn't matter much how I feel about it," she admits. She lifts her eyes to look to Knox. "It makes perfect sense. It would change everything. I'm not sure if I could be so selfless if I had the opportunity….so, just to make sure I'm right, that means you also begin life with an initial adequate maturity," she bobs her head side to side, "Unless there's a need for immature jerks as much as there is for our gene pool…as history has shown."

There's a faint creak of sound followed by a brittle snap as Sam snaps the carpenter pencil in half while listening to Knox and Ariadne, each, take their turn at logic. She glances down at the broken pencil, exhales a breath, "So few of these left, too," and rises to her feet, setting the broken halves of the pencil on the edge of her desk and moving to clean her hand and extract the splinter that made itself home in the edge of her thumb. "So. This theory, how much weight of credibility can be put behind it and when do we begin operations to locate these potential experimental facilities to extract the humans from their laboratory confinement?" She examines the small puncture wound, teases out another tiny sliver then allows the wound to bleed for a moment before wiping it down with alcohol and applying pressure. "It's replication error, a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of an endless copy with the errors multiplying and compounding with each replication until the error outnumber the correct iterations." She studies Ariadne for a moment, "It's the ultimate act of violation, it is in and of itself rape of the actual consciousness that is the human experience, the download of the parasite that culminates in the Jacked. And that's before we get to what's being done to the brain washed collaborators, because again, it's assault that is more than just physical and neurological. Some wounds cannot be healed." She shifts her focus back to Coop, "It's brilliant. Cold blooded. Methodical. And Brilliant. Your war leader is brilliant, Coop. Destroying us as a people does not require eradicating us from the face of the universe. Reduce the human population to a more manageable size, check. subborn those remaining humans into service as either collaborators or jacked, checked. disseminate data and rewrite history, check. Eventually there will be no choice but to surrender and be… rewritten. It is brilliant. Know that I don't hate you, Coop. Never have, never will, so don't take this personally. But your war leader, this One? if he's the one in charge, I hate him with an undying kind of passion. I normally don't subscribe to that kind of emotional involvement, but i'm willing to make the exception."

"That's the idea, yes. The Cylon never stopping hating humanity for their perceived enslavement. They see this as their taking revenge. It is the enslavement of humanity. Unchecked, it will likely be forever. My personal theory is that they'll reduce humanity back to medieval stages like on Libran and try to install the Cylons as their guardian knights while the skinjobs rule as Gods. Not sure where the Jacks fall into that, but they do somewhere. It will only take a couple generations. Less if they can factionize humanity and the Cylon get them to fight proxy wars to hate each other and keep humanity divided. But that's just my guess. I've no intelligence to base that on." He stops his rambling and crosses his legs, an ankle resting on his other knee. "No, there's no concept of youth. Keep in mind that with thousands and thousands of model lines out there at once, each one is gathering experiences that, when they die, are added to the line's database. One thousands years in a day. Youth has no concept in the traditional sense, no." He then shakes his head with a little shrug. "Skinjob isn't inaccurate. I mean, I'm not sure what else to call us. We're not bipedal chrome machinegun bunkers. I guess there's another name for us. Could call us Piraeans if you wanted?" Big shrug, a chuckle. He really doesn't seem to know or care. He then looks back to Samtara and watches her while she moves and speaks. "Precisely. You've hit upon a lot of the theories we have as well. But it doesn't explain everything. As for the ultimate violation? Aye." Coop nods slowly. "It's why the Cylon must be stopped, Doctors. This isn't about saving humanity from annihilation. Its about fighting for the freedom to decide your own path. For me to do the same. And no, I don't take that personally. The Ones are far worse than anyone realizes. The level of betrayal and corruption is unimaginable." A finger is lifted off the mug and he points off behind him. "That's why you had that Twelve in here. Justice. Do you really think a free-thinking being bent on the angle of Justice is going to learn about a societal genocide like that when there are truths that slap that whole idea in the face? Oh, Doctor, definitely not. As I told Major Grey, my guess on the next lines to defect will be the Twelves and Sevens. Those two are peas in a pod. Justice is Bold if also blind - ideally."

"Culturally, no. Yes, I see what you mean. A logical omission. It would have no need to develop with such massive iteration." Ariadne shrugs, at a loss for a humanistic term, oddly enough, "Well, I'll need a scientific name and I refuse to write skinjob in my reports and research." She has tried on several inadequate and unwieldly combination of terms before. "I would say that you are cylon humanoids, at least on the more scientific end of things…though culturally, I think we're all starting to create what Piraean means these days. I'm sorry, but I would like to respectfully point out that from the human perspective, our species is facing a complete undoing of our existence. That, to me, is annihilation. Not to say that I disagree with you that what you say is equally important and idyllically more important…It is just my opinion that it would be gravely dangerous for our species not to keep these things in mind. But you are right philosophically. It's a fight for the freedom to /be/ a intelligent being, human or cylon. The right to free will. What makes our actions have any worth. We should definitely bring up the high likelihood of the existence of such medical atrocities with command. It might allow them to put feelers out for possible intelligence leads on such activity."

Sam shakes her head, slowly, holding up one palm to Ariadne as she studies Knox. "The cylons are setting themselves up as local gods to replace the pantheon that the human race has revered and worshipped all these long generations. The jacks are enforcers, or demigods, the collaborators are foot soldiers and will outnumber the resistance movement eventually, that's the part that makes sense. Divide the survivors of this genocide along faction lines, break the fleet and the surviving elements of the military up along religious or societal lines, start us fighting against each other. Civilization will break down along feudal lines, with individual model lines being the titular god or goddess to be worshiped. It'll be like having the black death sweep through again, set us back technologically, and with the Cylon's controlling the flow of intel, we'll never get back up off of our knees. It's the ultimate victory," Sam says in a low voice. "You have this hive mind, the resurrection hub, all of the loyal model lines are bees, gathering intel, trickling it back to the hive mind. Kill the Ones, kill the king, and destroy the hive mind and that would disrupt the flow of data, disrupt the king bee, so to speak. Pinpoint and eradicate the resurrection hubs…" she stops, her mouth literally closing with the thought that perches there. "Why Pireans, unless this was your point of origin, all along," she wonders in that same quiet voice. "Maybe the five doesn't look like the captain, but maybe the captain is the image that the model five is based on. How many other faces would we recognize if we were to see more of the entities upon planet manifest, Coop? How many more would we put name and number too?" she glances toward Ariadne. "How many more faces would Dr. Thanos recognize," she muses before shifting her focus back to Knox.

"Well trust me, I'm speaking for a lot of free-thinking beings here: Do not label us humanoid Cylons or the other way around. Even if it were correct, would you want to be associated with that sort of group if you could avoid it?" Knox offers it easily enough before sipping the mug. "I understand the meaning. Annihilation, in this instance, is a subjective thing. Both are correct. But bring it up if you feel you can. If we ever knew where to find the Cylon homeworld, then what? Invade?" Coop puts it out there with an open end. The fleet has done some insane things but… "And that theory makes sense in some regards, Doctor Nadir, definitely. Skinjobs setting themselves to replace the pantheon? Probably while espousing the singular God they came up with. Honestly, whatever religious heresay they want to play with is their own thing." The guy lets off a long sigh and sips the mug. He listens to Sam, looking at the mug. They can hear the clock ticking. Samtara might even be able to realize something as it starts to sink in. "My best guess is that this ghost Captain looks like a five because she is a Five, Doctor." Those eyes flick to her. Then to Ariadne. Then to Samtara. "You hit the nail on the head, sir. Point of origin. Skinjobs aren't Cylons, sir. Never were, never will be. We're orbiting my original homeworld right now." The clock ticks and he sips his coffee. His face only flickers a bit of a smile. Nothing smug, nothing entertained, just his effort to be friendly.

"I will keep that in mind. Thank you for being patient with me," Ariadne says before she looks down to the pad, flips back a page, and amends an earlier note. "Yes, I can see what you mean on it going both ways." She waits and listens to the other two, allowing herself to fade into the background of the conversation for portion. Finally though, she nods, "I agree with Knox. Their propaganda is their own at this point. The trouble with it truly begins with the next generation. But I don't think conquering the cylon faction, or whatever we want to call it, will change anything…nor is it feasible short of mutual destruction…Yes. I think that would partially explain some of the roots of her ability to project her memories. I have thoughts on that…the projection described at the Saturnalia festival doesn't match up with what I've heard about other projection experiences. I have some thoughts, but I wouldn't even go so far as to call them theories…inklings?" She waves it off and sips on her brain mug. Mmmmm, brains.

"You're not a cylon, you never have been, you never were, a cylon, that's just what we called you and your kind because it's the only thing that made sense to the powers that be," Sam says, her voice having gone quieter than it was before. Each word carefully measured, her tone not quite clipped but something along the lines, careful. "You and the rest of your kind are from here, we're orbiting your home world. That's why your brethren and your sisters wake up, become more of their sense of self, when in proximity to this planet. because this is your point of origin. All this time we thought we were fighting off the cylon menace come back to seek revenge for what we'd one to them back when all of this was yet another debacle and example of the only thing that Humanity seems to be so terribly good at: murder. And you're not a cylon. How long have you known, Coop?" she wonders in that same careful voice. "Before you downloaded or after. Before I came to yell at you on crandall, or after. because I'd have put decent odds on you not knowing, before. Only now, you know. and you aren't rattled, you aren't raging, you aren't ranting or railing against the dark, or the knowledge It just, IS, as far as what I'm reading from your body language, from your tone. You know who and what you are. And it clicked into place, like a puzzle piece. The metal sided models, the raiders, the other elements of the war machine, were those just modeled on the cylons that we'd built sixty odd years ago, because it was as good a model as any, and it made it a familiar concept for the human mind to work with. Light and picture show," she shakes her head, slowly. "It's one hell of a long con, Coop. Like I said, it's brilliantly done, the One's are amazing tacticians. And we fell for it, lock, stock and barrel."

"War isn't about conquering. Or politics. Armchair generals will try to convince you that it is about that stuff. Philosophically true, but not in practice. Victory is attained by convincing the opponent that the continuation of hosilities will cost them too much. Its a logistical pressure point." The mug is tilted. "Given that point, victory is possible but far from guaranteed and at what percent of acceptable losses." Coop offers that to Ariadne. "But I have no idea what the ghost on Piraeus did or said. Or showed. I couldn't tell you if it was normal. I can tell you that it sure as hell would be interesting if she is giving accurate projections. I can also tell you that she shouldn't be there. She should not exist. I'd buy the Three before the Five on P." He then looks back to Sam and nods along in confirmation. Until she asks about how long he has known. While her theory comes out, he lifts a finger. "It's a long, dark, dark con. We've all been fooled, Doctor. I want you to consider that if what I am saying is true, then how much does that fundamentally shift things? If what I am saying is true, then doesn't it mean that every single skinjob out there has been hijacked by the Cylons? And probably the Ones? …Do you now understand the knowledge that could cause entire lines to radically defect and go to total war against their prior commanders. You fight slavery that is likely coming. The lines are fighting slavery that's already been imposed." Coop takes a long sip of the mug. "To answer your question? I knew before the war kicked. The day before. But there was nothing I could do. And telling humanity would have been counterproductive with how badly the fleet has been infiltrated over and over. I said nothing because I was terrified that if it got out too early and too fast, the Cylons would just wipe the rest of the colonies and kill the rest of the skinjob lines."

"Personally, I do not consider that the most worthy of options. The less bloodshed, the less anguish, loss of life, purpose, history, for all /people/, for us together…the better." Ariadne does not expound upon what Sam says. She doesn't look shocked either at the woman's words, but then, she's been intimately laying out the facts. Still, she witholds her perspective and opinion on it. The words are for Knox and she's here, taking notes. "Yes, I agree with that idea. The three is much more of a logical candidate, which is why everything doesn't quite settle with me yet…If that is true. Which is something I /have/ considered in the past privately, he's committed much more than war crimes against humanity…but against your people, he's already done much worse." She taps her pen on the pad in thought as she listens to Knox coming clean. She glances back towards Sam at this though.

"I know what war is, Coop. It's about winning. Not just this battle, or the next one, or the one after that. It's about winning so completely that your opponent never, ever, gets back up off of the mat. You win by defeating the enemy so entirely, so utterly, that it's no longer a question of a war of attrition, it's a matter of defeating the will to fight in the first place. Of removing it, excising it, like a tumor. Cut it out at the quick, eradicate it at the core, and there is no more battle. You win by taking our children, you turn, one generation after another, and you win by re-writing our history so that our sense of self, our culture, or religion, our 'herd mentality' is eradicated and replaced with carefully re-phrased, re-written chapters. Humans, we like to believe in things. We need to believe in things. In a better tomorrow, in a better place to live, a better job, a warm meal, a safe place to raise our families, the hope of growing old, seeing our children's children's children and dying, old and peacefully, in our sleep, of old age. We need to believe in these things. We invent gods and goddesses, in devils and demons, angels and mystical beings, because it fills in the gaps that math and science can't fill. No one sings an ode to fractal art or exponential logistics. But gods, and angels, and something that's watching out for us, we'll go to the wall, over it, through it, smash ourselves to bits, because we believe. We'll fight to the very last breath, sacrifice ourselves to save our friends, to save complete strangers, because we believe that the lives of the many outweigh the needs of the few. And that the ultimate act of sacrifice is to surrender our lives, voluntarily, to save others. Not just our children or our neighbors or our friends or our families, but complete strangers. People we will never know. That's why the uniform means so much, because it's the ultimate act of sacrifice, however afraid we are when the hammer falls."

She shakes her head, slowly, "You didn't trust us to help you fight. Your assessment, while one based on logic, did not entertain the notion that if you had come to us and told us what we were really facing, that we would rally behind you as an ally. You did the math, I'll presume, and the odds were greater that we would fight if we thought the enemy was just after us, the big bad cylon enemy from sixty odd years ago, returned to just complete the job. You didn't trust humanity to do the right thing. And why would you, after all, we're not particularly sterling examples of doing the right thing. Except, by and large, we do try. You didn't give us the chance to do the right thing, Coop. And now we're all in this, together. Because it changes /everything/. Trust isn't built in a day. It's built layer upon layer upon layer, one moment after another, one gesture, one effort, one core moment of 'I trust you and you trust me' and building from there. This changes everything. You knew from the start, and you didn't have enough faith in humanity to reveal what you knew. Yes, we've all been fooled. Yes, we fight slavery that is likely coming. And instead of telling us so that we were prepared correctly for the fight that we're actually in, it was a bait and switch picture show. Show us an enemy that we recognize because it's easier for humans to fight what they recognize than to trust them to see the bigger picture and do the right thing." she shakes her head, once, left, right, back again. "This changes everything. And you should have tried to have a little more faith in us, Coop. Because, damn it all, if you don't have hope, then what the hell are you even bothering to fight for in the first place."

"No, of course not. But worthiness has nothing to do with warfare. Once hostilities kick, its about victory or loss. If you're not committed then you've already lost. Its why war is horrific and the good guys are fighting at a deficit - because we have lines we won't cross." Coop holds up his finger. "No, nono. I mean, I would believe that the Three in our brig is more likely to exist than the Five should be. And that three should not be here. Which means that there REALLY should not be a Five or anything like it on P. But yeah, the Ones have sealed their fates. They will be boxed or wiped. My vote is Box. But I think it all falls under crimes against humanity. I'm a human, legally, and in more ways than can be fully explained. I've been slighted. Frak that guy. Guys. Whatever." And then Sam starts talking. Coop's brow lofts while she expounds about war. The mug of coffee gets rested on his knee, balanced there. When finished, the Marine lifts a finger. "If you recall, that is exactly what caused me to defect in the first place, Captain. My belief in humanity and the things that I had seen. What I had done. What I had been asked to do. And the things that had been done for me. I didn't run out into a snowstorm under intense Centurion MG fire to land Raptors because I wanted a medal or another bullet wound. I did that for you. I did that for those kids. I did that for Lleu. Iphigenia. Amos. For every person who ever wished someone would and nobody did. Because I'm a Marine. I'm intimately acquainted with why and how humanity fights." The finger drops and he holds his gaze right on Samtara. "Careful of hip-fire judgments, sir. Not a threat, just a reminder. I did trust humanity to help me fight. That's why I was writing letters before the war kicked. This isn't about the cold calculus. Do you think it's some weird fluke that I look like a human, almost indistinguishable from a Colonial, but I'm from a previously unknown planet tens or hundreds of light years away? Doctor, where do you think I came from?" He peers at her and leans forward, removing the cup from his knee. "Maybe you forgot the super-dreadnaughts, Task Force Blackjack, that are parked in orbit and swatting basestars because I wrote those letters. What did you want me to say one day before the attack? Or after?" The guy takes a long breath. "The fact is that not telling the fleet probably saved lives and gave us all a fighting chance. If the Cylons knew that humanity was aware, they'd just have started wiping out the lines or limiting them to prevent EXACTLY what is happening." The guy rubs his face. "Doctor, I threw everyone single ounce of trust I had into humanity. I could not risk the infiltrations and I was later justified in it. It is regretful that you view this as a lack of trust but it does not change our strategic position. Or at least it should not. I'll leave the philosophical end to be debated." He glances over to Ariadne, then back to Sam.

"Someone once said 'If more people were willing to live for their beliefs instead of being willing to die for them, this world would be a better place' ," Sam says after a moment of silence spent studying Cooper. "I've always thought that the phrase would be better said if it were to include the reminder that living for, and according to, ones beliefs instead of just being willing to strap on a suicide vest and explode in the middle of a crowd of people. . that things would be better. And you're right," she says with a slow tilt of a nod, "you're right. Because when pushed, sometimes we retreat. Sometimes we don't fight. Sometimes we hold quiet, we stay still and we hope that the big bad thing that is happening will not notice us, will pass us by. Because the bad thing isn't happening to us, isn't happening to our family, or our friends, or our neighborhood, or our ethnic group, or our religious identity, that the bad thing that's happening will just pass us by, like a storm in the night. Sometimes we do the wrong thing for the wrong reasons, and make excuses about doing so." She shakes her head subtly, "A scientist that I trained with had a list of rules that he had tacked up on the wall of his office, another in his lab, and yet another in his lecture hall. One of his rules was this one: If you're asking yourself if you're doing the right thing, you already know the answer - stop making excuses to yourself. Science .. is so easy to be cold blooded about, ti's easy to stop seeing the live people or animals in the test group as real beings with real lives with real thoughts and feelings. It's easy to dehumanize you, Coop, and the others as just numbered models, a few with actual names or designations of unique identifiers. It's easier to do that, and sometimes the easy way is the way to keep on keeping on. It isn't the right way, it is just what happens," and she pauses to scrub both hands over her face. "All this time you were the first ambassador and we had no idea, Coop. It's not easy to just make that . . shift, and I won't be the only one left grasping at straws, giving you a hit over the head with a stick and stunned stupid look."

Coop holds his position, looking at Sam. While she speaks the guy just watches her. There's understanding there, but the one thing that does typically set Coop off is people questioning his integrity. So as she speaks, he seems to relax. Honor works that way. When she is done, the Six sits back into the chair and sighs. "Thank you, Doctor." His eyes move to the mug for a moment as he looks it over, a reminder of the time before the war perhaps. "None of this has been easy. I recognize that I withheld and I know that I'll take my heat for that. But here is how I see the bigger picture…" His eyes move back to her. "Humanity has believed me to be a Cylon for over a year. Not only did you all vote me a human, but also a Marine deserving of the rank I upheld. I was afforded respect and trust. Sure, there are the haters and for being tied to being a Cylon, I accepted that because it was necessary to save lives. Honor bears the burden of hardship for the greater good, sir." A finger taps the mug gently. "But I was given all that by humanity when you were convinced I was a bastard child of the Cylons and humanity. As an enemy, I was forgiven and encouraged." The finger tapping stops and he lightly points to Samtara. "This is why the Sixes, Nines, and Elevens are throwing in their lot in overwhelming numbers and submitting themselves to human command authority. They trust humanity because you all trusted me. I am an ambassador, but I'm not a judge. You all showed me that the Colonials, when their backs were to the wall, were the best they could be. Spill the same blood in the same mud." He leaves that there for a moment. "We're on the cusp of massive defections across all the lines, Doctor. It's not because of me. It's because of people like you."

Sam exhales a small sound that is more of a snort than anything else, "I think I'll preload a sedative for Major Gray when this conversation happens, if he's not already in the loop, that is," said with a mild shake of her head, a bit of much needed however momentary levity. "Is command already in the loop?" she wonders as she rises to her feet and moves to refill her mug, holding the pot aloft slightly in invitation to Coop before she'll return it to the burner, angling to the side to top off Ariadne's mug as well first. "There will always be people who reach for hate, first, and understanding, last. And in between is every emotion that runs the gambit, back and forth again. I wouldn't think that anything that I've done is all that important, Coop, all I do is nag you to death with a hundred questions then flip the page to the next hundred and so on and so forth. Even if the answers don't make sense, all knowledge is vital. Once this becomes common knowledge . . you're going to be faced with even more people who are asking questions. You might want to consider drafting yourself some deputies who have a way of explaining things in the same language over and over again and remaining calm while doing so, otherwise you're going to be tripping over people who ask the same question again and again."

Coop shakes his head. "Petra has had an inkling, but I don't think he was clued in anywhere near the full scale of this. Major Grey will probably rectally birth kittens, Doctor. I suspect you and the Doctor are the only ones who are aware of the truth. Except maybe the Three, but I have no idea what she knows." He slowly rises from the chair and moves to have his mug filled. "Some of the hate is justified, Doctor Nadir. The lines helped with the genocide of humanity and are still involved at this moment. Yes, we've been hacked and co-opted into it, but there is blood on the hands. That cannot and should not be ignored. Like you said, people reach for hate. Hate keeps the fight alive and burning." Once the mug is filled he shrugs a little. "The defectors the lines have a lot to do. I'll bear the brunt of the questions. I should also probably warn the others than the secret is out. It won't change anything, but it will help them to prepare for questions. But?" There's a long breath. "Full disclosure, Doctor, I do not have all the answers. There is a lot I still don't know and wonder about. And that is me withholding nothing knowingly. Right now, we are more or less on the same page with what is transpiring."

Sam snickers out a laugh, the laugh turning into a genuine one after the first few moments, apparently finding the warning about the major and kittens to be a much needed high point of hilarity. She shakes her head as she rests her mug on her desk to allow the contents to cool. "I can't decide if I'm not ranting at you because I'm so bloody cynical or because I just can't help how my brain works, so I'm going to pencil myself in on Ariadne's afternoon schedule at some point to make sure I haven't kicked lose a necessary bolt or screw or something," she tucks her hands into the front pockets of her scrubs, leaning back and reaching for her note pad again. "How did One get to be the over all head honcho, which is a question I'm also curious about. Why are, or were, the Three's boxed, what did they do to get themselves put in memory cold storage. And.. say we can get our hands on a living model Five and Ten, get them to planet, get them to 'wake up' could they go back and infiltrate their own line, and do you think they'd be willing to do so?"

"Tut tut, Doctor. I think I'm more prone to kicking loose bolts and screws." A little self humor that he wraps up with a wink. "But I understand the sentiment. When I realized what was going on it was insanely hard to refrain from screaming it from the rooftops." He seems to relax a lot more than he has in the past, even looking like he might lean on something. "It feels really good to finally get that out." The guy blows across the lip of the mug gently, pushing off the steam. "No idea, to be honest. See, One is Wisdom. We're all supposed ot set on the guidance of Wisdom. But the question about Three is a very poignant question, Doctor. I don't even know what idea they represent. If they were boxed from the outset, that might be very telling about who she is and why they were boxed." He does finally lean against the wall and sip the mug. "The Ones must have boxed her line. If they did, then it stands to reason she's an enemy of the Ones. I'm not about to declare her an innocent, but there is the logic in the idea. As for the Fives and Tens?" Knox shakes his head. "I can't speculate on how an individual line will react. Only suspicions. If any of them hit P, though, that's a start. The longer they stay on planet, the more that awakens. Thus my reference to seeing a dawning sun coming over the horizon for the first time. I still randomly get bits and pieces, but I know enough."

"Then we need to make it a priority to capture as many of them as we can and get them to Pireaus and see if this dawning brings them back to their sense of self," Sam muses with a mild shake of her head. "And the only way to know what the Three, what Clara, did or didn't do is to be asking her questions, I'd imagine. Granted, how you determine if she's speaking truly or no, that's going to be an assessment factor that you might want some expertise to help out with. Dr. Forrester is our resident expert on psychological profiles, so maybe she could lend a hand or maybe observe, but we're resources, Coop, and by all means, utilize the resources available." She leans forward long enough to kick one of his boots with hers, "Sensory stimuli, an external source to convey the sensory understanding that you are not alone in the universe. You know that infants who aren't held enough, even if they're kept warm and fed and properly hydrated, will not thrive? It's not just the basic check list that keeps us alive, it's being part of something larger, be it a family unit or something larger, both greater and more complex than any simple and equally complex family unit. Maybe what those Five's and Ten's need is a chance to thrive, and the only way to do so is to get them to where they can be surrounded by their family."

Coop smiles to the chuck of boot to boot. He looks to her with a half-grin off the right side and a few nods. "Family. That's what I've had with humanity. Before I set foot on P, I never once could figure out why I felt so attached to humanity. But we are family. With what I've seen and sensed from it, I know we're closer than just some artificial life. Any program, to simulate something, requires context. Flight sims need physics. We needed humanity. I've been held enough. The word is spreading every day. We know damned well what we have to do." He takes a long breath. "But that suggestion is why I didn't bring it up earlier. The Fives and Tens are the closest allies of the Ones. He needs them. If we corner the tiger, we get the claws. I won't get too far into strategy, but I think that if we let this propogate naturally, it will pay higher dividends. That Twelve came to us. If he came here, then imagine what he is doing right now." He lifts a finger and steps to the whiteboard. A pen is taken up and he draws a circle. "Here's the Twelve that visited. He dies when we killed him and uploads his knowledge into the server. Think of this like a virus." He colors in the circle. "Infected cell. When new Twelves are resurrected, they are the cells closest to him." Knox draws several circles around and hastily draws lines. "Each one then infects the cells around them. It's a neuro-biological bomb and it spreads exponentially. But if we introduce forced factors on the other end?" He takes up a green marker and draws a few circles. "Imagine these are outside actors. They don't interact as naturally. Sure, you can mix the green with the black, but it won't allow the virus to change on its own, and appear natural. If it doesn't slowly turn towards green on its own, and it will with time, then it arouses suspicion." He caps both markers. "Make sense?"

"Forced evolution instead of natural evolution of the equation, I see what you mean," Sam replies, eyeing the white board and Coop's visual reference outline. "It's like trying to short circuit a virus by creating a synthetic version then trying to cure that; it looks good on paper but all you're really doing is creating a different illness with unknown risk factors that have a high probability of evolving on it's on into something even more dangerous than the original iteration because it was tampered with in the first place. So, don't tamper," she tips her head again in a slow nod, eyes narrow, thoughtful. "To circle back," she wonders, still studying the board, "and I'm not sure if you can answer this question. That said, you're from here, as you've said. The civilization that was here before, the people that were, and I don't have the carbon dating on hand to give a relevant number, my apologies. But, who were they, and what happened to them? Who or what are those entities that our personnel have been glimpsing or interacting with, intermittently?"

Knox sips the mug and takes on a blank expression. He listens. He does his best, really. But he shrugs. "I think I understood half of that, but sure. I think you have the idea." The Marine moves back to the chair and sits back down heavily, balancing the mug and sloshing without spilling. "Doctor, I have no idea who they were. But I know they were human. I know that I have memories of a life that wasn't mine and came from this planet. I wish I could tell you what happened to them, but I've read the same reports you have. It looks like nuclear war. I can't fathom why. As far as the entities?" The guy looks like he deflates. "Doctor, I haven't seen these things. But I can tell you that this should not be happening. If these are not hallucinations brought on by radioactive exposure, then I have no answers. You're a science based individual so I will give you what I know: If nuclear eapons were used, then EMP's were emitted. Forget the movies. EMP's permanently kill any electronics. It is not possible for them to be some kind of hologram. The power sources required to maintain a battery or maintain criticality for this long simply do not exist. Anywhere. To be blunt: I don't think science has an explanation for what I've heard."

Sam makes a quiet "Tsk" of sound before shaking her head at Knox. "If it cant be expressed in figures, it is not science - it is opinion," she notes with that mild shake of her head as she says this. "I'm a scientist, Coop. I don't believe in ghosts, actually I have no religious persuasion of any kind. But, that said, I have no intention of having a debate with one of the entities on planet, and as I've said, no inclination to meet one. Though I do wonder whether they're actually tethered to the planet itself or if they have been able to tour the fleet, and not be within the visual spectrum. Lacking a corporal body that requires things like gravity and oxygen what is to say they can't simply tour the neighboring space, at whim or conscious directive. Just food for thought, Coop. And science always has an explanation, it's merely a matter of beating any problem to death with science until a solution of some manner is found. Lacking a scientific solution, then science must retire from the field and it becomes a topic for someone else to debate. I'm sure this will bring endless bouts of speculation anyway."

"If it can't be explained in science, its an opinion. Sure. That is one way to look at it. I'm just explaining the value of weapons and warfare to the idea of what you asked." Coop sips the mug and rests it on the arm of the chair. "Look, I just know what I'm telling you. I have no idea what they are or who they are. They should not exist. Lleu told me there are dozens of them. This means they are more than just skinjobs. There are Twelve. I know this for a fact. So whatever else is down there? I have no answers. I'm sorry, Doctor."

Sam makes a slightly off key hum of sound before she reaches for the coffee cup and curls both hands around it. "What's next then?" she wonders then shares a half glimpse of a smile. "Facts feel like solid facts until they aren't, Coop. Just like the world seems like it can't possibly end, until it does. Life can't possibly be so radically altered, until it is. Don't get hung up on the notion that a fact is a fact because it's a fact." She angles her head subtly, "What can I do to help, Coop? and if you say just keep doing what we're all doing, I may hit you with a file folder. Or a shoe."

"Your threats of violence have officialled cowed me, Doctor." Knox raises his hands in mock surrender. They drop with a smile, though. "There's going to be questions. Just refer people to me. Answer what you can and be honest. I know you're going to report this so just follow protocol. I won't tell you to keep on doing what you are doing, but just tell the truth. I have nothing left to hide at this point. There's three races involved in this fight and one of them is temporarily split. I just want to keep one side together until the second figures its own ass out. Kick it up the chain and let command handle this. I'll take the heat. Sound good?"

"Excellent, and I accept your surrender from the field of contest without heckling or making you wear a clown nose as sign of your defeat," Sam replies, a brief grin chasing her words before she gives another of those measured nods. "We'll write up a summary report and make sure that command has both the summary and the salients, and both myself and Dr. Forrester will be on hand to expand upon the summary as command may require. That said," and she leans subtly forward again, "the people who make decisions are going to need to hear your words, not mine, not Ariadne's. We're data. You're more than that. and as much as the Major may have kittens or the colonel and Admiral may be inventing new expletives, hearing it from you're is going to be the best, most linear, approach."

Coop chuckles at the clown nose point. "I could, but I don't think it would help my case." The rest, though, has him sober and nod slowly. "Copy that, Doctor. Submit what you need to. I'll be available. I won't be ducking my escort, but I'll just be around. As if I were re-instated, I'm at the behest of command. That's never changed. But I should probably get going. I'm kinda hungry and haven't had much since breakfast." He slowly rises, taking the mug with him. "If there's nothing else, sir, think I can go get some grub?"

"Brave soul, feel free to avail yourself of the dubious joys of grub at this hour," Sam replies with a chuckle. "Personally, I could live on rations and coffee, since I actually know what goes into the process behind the science of the daily nutrients built into the standard ration." She eyes the board again, that pensive look returning to her face. "This is an awful lot to take in all at once, Coop. What's the thing that teenagers do?" She lifts one hand and taps it against the side of her head then wiggles her fingers, "Mind - blown! I think is the gist."

Coop watches the expression and chuckles. "Doc, I think teenagers do something a little more fluid. Usually leads to drama, emotional flare-ups, and occasionally diapers. Have fun." he sketches a salute and moves for the door.

"That, Coop, is mother nature's way of ensuring there's new puppies every spring," Sam notes with a laugh. "It's just chemistry and biological imperative, but you're right," still laughing. "So very right."

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