AWD #384: All Alone in the Night
All Alone in the Night
Summary: Kelsey and Toby talk. Confessions are made. Troubling ones.
Date: 09/07/2016
Related Logs: Unfriendly Fight
Toby Kelsey 
Pyramid Courts - Piraeus
Pyramid courts are here for those who enjoy playing and watching the sport. Courts are separated for different games to be going on at the same time. A tiered seating area is placed on the left and right sides of the court. Lower benches are also in place around the court edge.
AWD #384

Being due some surface time, and having just about finished his share of the work caused by airwing a week ago, Toby is down on P. Charlie's is open, doing it's usual trade but he's not in the mood for crowds, and he can't leave the security cordon to go for a walk without a buddy, and he doesn't feel like finding one of them either. Well, shouldn't rather than can't, he's done so in the past and fully intends to do so again, but right now he just can't summon up the enthusiasm for the extra hassle it involves. As such he's camped out on the pyramid courts, playing a pick-up game with himself. It's not particularly energetic, but it does give him the distraction of doing something familiar while he thinks, rather than sinking entirely into his own head.

Kelsey is still getting over her stomach wound. She'd been in the Reco Ward for almost a week. If Toby had stopped by, it was probably while she was passed out. She'd likely spotted him from a distance and made her way his direction. The subtly limp is back, but not in any severity. She'll probably be fine in another week. But she's in a grey fitted t-shirt with a blue jacket left open in front. The jeans fit her well, too. She's left her hair down around her shoulders and neck, likely to ward off a chill, but she approaches with a smile. "I never figured you for a Pyramid player. I always thought of you more as maybe a cage fighter or something," she says in just from the side of the court and behind him.

Toby takes one last shot as he hears Kelsey make herself known, it's a miss, but then it wasn't a great shot anyway, so deserved to be. Waiting for the ball to roll back to his vicinity he bends to scoop it up, places it under one arm, then ambles over towards the pilot. "You obviously haven't been scoping out my bunk then," he notes casually, "the oldest" and only "picture I have up there is of a scratch game." It's also the only picture he has from before he joined Orion, and even then it's when he was with Spree's people after War Day. "Can't claim to be much of a player though, as you likely saw." He himself is wearing his standard off-duties, but with a fleet issue PT hoodie over the top to combat the cold. Not exactly a standard combination, but he certainly doesn't care. "Beside, pyramid on Tauron is a bit like cage fighting, just in teams." He doesn't not the wrong tense until after, and can't block the wince that follows the realisation, so instead moves on swiftly, "they let you out then?"

Kelsey chuckles. "I think we'd both know if I had some sort of detailed look around your bunk," she says with an all-too-innocent look. She knows well the doublemeaning and it entertains her to no end. The notion of team cage fighting does make her pause. "That's something I'd like to see, I think. A bunch of Tauran ball players beating each other senseless, trying to score points. All for the glory of their own locality? You know I used to be a cheerleader, right?" she laughs. Those hands stuff into the pockets of her jacket as she relaxes, pacing slowwly closer. "Yeah. Doctor Nadir couldn't find an excuse to keep me even longer. I'm on light duty for a few days while the stitches heal. How've you been?"

Toby settles himself down onto one of the benches that surround the court, with Kelsey still recovering sitting is probably a better option that standing, but he figures sitting is likely to me far more successful and getting her to do the same than suggesting that she might need to due to her health. Stubborn knows stubborn after all. "We used to alert the local medical facilities before each match," he replies with enough of a grin that he's either remembering the good old days, or enjoying spinning the tale for Kelsey's benefit. Putting the ball on the ground by his feet he shoves his gloved hands into the front pocket of his hoodie, then shrugs faintly at her question. "So-so. Been busy thanks to you lot, worked overtime most days, had a visit from the Colonel, the usual you know. But then, some of us have to work while the brass lie around in medical, you remember that right?" He's teasing her with that last bit, his tone makes that clear, as, hopefully, does the faint grin on his face.

Kesley takes the bait, knowing or unknowingly, and takes the seat beside him. She's shorter, so she has to smile up, but its nothing she isn't used to. "If you guys used to scrap that badly, I can only imagine with the pompoms were doing. We'd all get together and figure out how we could sabotage the other teams - not just their cheer line. I think the first maintenance I ever did on a car was use a pair of pliars to rip out a valve stem on someone's tire." Big grin! "I support your violent hobby, Mister Toby." She looks off to the court while she listens, the mirth in her eyes quite deep. "Of course. I'm here to let you know you're being transferred to the kitchen because you did not bring and feed me grapes in the Reco Ward. You've failed in your duties." She quickly turns her head back over and smiles all over again, but there's a cringe. "Sorry my stuff keeps coming back shot up. I'm trying to be better. Really."

"Grapes?" Toby replies, "you want grapes?" He shakes his head slowly, "man, and there was me thinking you were a steak kind of lass." He fains disappointment, then shrugs, "never know though, if I piss off the Colonel again it might be washing up duty for a month. He promised it wouldn't be a holiday in the brig. Maybe potato peeling? I dunno, can't say I know him well enough to guess." He shakes his head slowly, then shrugs again, "all honestly, I'd rather it got shot up than you. Breaking in new pilots is hard work, they keep expecting us to jump to their every demand, it get tedious after a while."

"Steak. Grapes. As long as I'm being fed and allowed to lounge lazily on my bed of feathers." The young woman looks lofty in her eyes. "But I'm certainly okay with steak." But the mention of the Colonel again has her gaze soften as she looks at him. "Thanks, Toby. I'm sorry you guys keep getting stuck fixing my stuff. But I do appreciate the thought." She look past him, towards the fenceline and the temple beside the river. "So what happened with the Colonel? Did you call another senior officer a bad name? …Though knowing Petra, I sort of doubt he would be too offended."

"Short version?" Toby starts, "I punched an MP, he found out about it, I now have a written reprimand on my perminant record." Not that he seems overly bothered by the last bit mind, but nor is he in any way bragging. "Longer version: the same MP who did frak all when people were pointing guns at the CAG on Aerlion, then got her to step aside in favour of Captain St. Claire was poking his nose into private stuff and spouting really offensive theories about things he knew nothing about. Then he started saying tha the skinjobs are just like us, when everyone knows he's far to close to the touchy-feely one. I told him to stop thinking with his dick, he squared up, so I lamped him, twice. Put him on the floor and I walked away." Bending down to pick up the ball he bounces it from hand to hand a few times then finsihes with, "few days later the colonel shows up on deck, gets me to sign the paperwork, tells me he better not need to come down there again or it'll be something other than a holiday in the brig."

This time Kelsey doesn't try to interrupt. She lets Toby tell the two versions while she looks off at the nigh-distant temple. She ends up hugging herself lightly, but not TOO tight - tyvm wound. "I think you're lucky that the Colonel only wrote you up," she offers without chiding, mostly just like a cringe. A long breath taken, she looks up at him again. "That seems so- weird. He's a Marine. He knows you and most of the Deck clash with the Marines. Why- why would he talk to you about something like that? Was he trying to provoke you?" There's a sense of bafflement. "What was so offensive?"

Toby's choice of point to stare at is slightly lower, the point where the edge of the court meets the benches on the far side. With the ball in his hands again he holds it still, then lets his eyes flick sideways to Kelsey as he considers what to say in silence. Eventually, he drops the ball down to his feet once more and then uses his now free hands to haul his hoodie and tanks over his head. "You remember just before we hit Picon, you saw me marking the ships I'd checked with a symbol?" If she turns to look she'll note that said symbol, is incorporated into a couple of the tattoos on his arms and chest. "well, he's decided that it's the symbol of the god of the fraking toasters. Started demanding to know if I knew it, and what it was about. Luckily, I don't think anyone's told him about those I drew on the ships, but it might only be time before he finds out and comes back again." Hugging his tops to his abdomen despite the cold he looks back down to the floor. "To be honest, I was expecting a few MPs and an overnight stay in the brig, but I guess it doens't make a vast deal of difference. I mean, it's not like a reprimand will kill all hopes of a blistering rise up the ranks that I've been striving for for life is it?"

Kelsey has to think back to just before Picon. Seeing the symbols adorning a few of the craft. She furrows her brow, about to ask, then there's the mention of a singular God. Kelsey stops and looks back to him, tilting her head. Things start falling together. Slowly, the gears come into alignment. "Really. Monotheism." The girl looks off again and lets her mind drift. Lips part like she's about to say something, but maybe thinks better of it. Or answers her own question. She looks down at the space between them and scoots her butt closer so she's hip to hip. A little gesture of solidarity from her. "So what does it mean to you? What does it mean to the MP?" There's a lot she wants to ask but clearly this is the best place to start for her.

Toby leans slightly away as Kelsey scoots closer, but it's only so he can put his top back on without smacking her in the head. Straightening again once he's done he wonders for a moment just where to put his arms that will ensure it's not frat, then just leans forward a little and rests them on his knees. "Apparently, so he's been told," he replies, "but then since when did machines need a god, or gods? I suspect the Eleven is trying to mess with his head, but who the frak knows." There's an attempt at a shrug, which isn't easy given his posture, but the intent likely gets across. "What it means to me is… complex," he starts, but having noting the furrow of her brow he adds only, "but I guess 'sacred' is as good a word as any for simplicities sake. He's interested in it as apparently some of the ghosts have it, or something similar, on their uniforms or something. Can't say I noticed, but equally, can't say I could get a good look because if you tried they vanished. So in short, I don't fraking know."

"Does it matter if the machines have a God? I mean, they can't. Or if they did, it isn't like they die." She frowns. "Or can they? Why would the Eleven…" Kelsey seems a bit confused on that point, but let's it go. She tilts her head a little more to look at him. "Toby, it means enough to you that you drew it on our ships. I think 'sacred' probably works well. I want to know, if you want to explain it, but I also don't want you to feel like you're being judged." Her smile flickers just a little for him. "I didn't realize those ghosty-people have the symbols, though. Do you think its coincidence that- wait. Three groups use it, then?" Okay, that's odd.

"They can't die," Toby notes with a slow now, "for they're machines, they just fail, or break, however you want to put it. That downloading thing Int keeps talking about, that's not death. He's close to the Eleven though, has been for ages for some reason or another, she's got inside his head and he just laps up every word it seems." Leaning back up, so he can take a deep breath in he shakes his head again, not much of it makes sense, but thats the way of thing she guesses. "From what he told me, he spotted it on the ghosts, found something in the records that led him to believe it stands for honesty, comradeship, a few other things, then since the skinjob lines all show these qualities" he leans on those words to make it clear he's quoting, "it must also be the symbol of their God. That she's told him about. So anyway, then I punched him."

"Can't they die? What if they are outside download range? When, like, wouldn't they actually die? …I guess some of them with that risk might want Gods. Err, or a God." Kelsey just watches him, seeming undeterred by how close they might be physically. To her, it must not matter. Maybe its just being in such close proximity to another person. "I guess his interpretation of events leaves a lot to be desired. Maybe. I don't know any of them." She leans forward to rest her chin in her palm, propping her head. "What sort of weird connection is that? The same symbol? …Toby, what does is symbolize to you? Other than being sacred?"

"It's not a particularly complex symbol," Toby notes, "although I must admit, I've sent a message to that digger we picked up on Aerlion to see if she still needs volunteers. I need to see for myself if they're the same or not. If they are… well.. " he struggles for the right words for a few moments, using one hand to ruffle through his hair in case the answer is hidden up there somewhere.. "it'd both lend weight to a theory of mine, and make things horribly more complex at the same time. I'd love to be proved right, don't get me wrong, but the rest is something that priests would be debating for years, so what hope do I have of making sense of it?" Her final question goes unanswered for a long time, there's a silence that stretches into uncomfortable before he finally appears to make a decision. The moment is clear enough, he straightens a little, then glances round, extensively, to ensure there's no one else within earshot before he leans in a little closer and say quietly but firmly, "I'll tell you what it means to me, but only if you swear on everything you hold sacred that you won't breathe a word to another soul."

Kelsey nods easily, watching him with the kind of concern that only mothers know how to wear so well. That mix of worry, but trying to not visibly worry because Toby is an adult who makes his own decisions. But she can't help it. "Toby, religion isn't about being right or knowing what the truth is. It's about faith in something bigger than us. So what if you don't ever figure it out for sure? Nobody does, hon. We don't know for sure until after its our time. But if it helps you or others out, then is it so bad?" She does watch him, though, while he looks around. The woman knows he's serious. With nobody else even remotely close to being in earshot, she dips her head and leans her shouler to his, then back to just touching at the hips. "I swear, Toby. Unless you're planning to blow up the fleet. But its not me right to speak for you so I won't."

Not that Toby is paranoid or anything, but after Kelsey gives her word he cranes his neck around again, making sure no one has casually walked into earshot in the pass few seconds. Apparently satisfied he shifts a few inches away from Kelsey so he can turn on the bench to largely face her. There's a moment's pause as he mentally quibbles with himself over phrasing before he opts for the blunt approach. "All right then, the symbol is sacred to me because it is the symbol of my God, and yes, that's God singular. You've never seen me at chapel or temple because I don't believe in the Lords and Ladies. That is the symbol of Mithras, and I am Mithrian. There is.. a prophecy, that I can't go into too much detail about because you're not initiated, but the simple overview is that in the time of humanities greatest need, He would 'come again' and sacrifice the holy bull to create a new paradise where our needs would be met and we'd be safe." His voice is kept low, earnest, and he even glances round again before adding, "tell me that doesn't sound like Piraeus to you. And now the Ghosts might be carrying his symbol? I need to talk to them. I need to talk to a priest. The faith is about communities and I've been alone for so long. Is it a sign? It looks to be about as clear as one as could be hoped for bar physical manifestation, I just need to talk to the ghosts."

Kelsey had figured something like this might be coming, but to hear bluntly that he's a monotheist still feels weird. And a bit wrong. Everything growing up said otherwise to her so this isn't territory she understands well. Clearly she's never heard of Mithras. But by the time he finishes, she's staring into his eyes and looking completely baffled and a little blown away. "I'm not even sure what to say to that." Eyes drift away and she looks to the chapel, then further off to the trees and mountains. "I mean, I guess it makes sense. In some form or another. Toby- isn't Tauron's ancient name Taurus, the Bull?"

"It was," Toby confirms solumnly, "and the symbol on our shiney colonial flag is a styalised bull. Do not think that has escaped me. Was Tauron the price we had to pay for this sanctuary? Was Gemmanon, Saggitaron..?" he waves his hand faintly to indicate he's including all the nuked colonies, not just the ones he's named. "There's night's I've not really slept through thinking on that too deeply. I.. I don't advise it. I may not be a priest, be scripture is rarely literal and clear, from what I know of the sacred scrolls your's is the same. Did we have to loose to gain, or did we gain because we lost. How many times has it been translated and what nuances have been lost, or added? That's why I need to talk to the ghosts, they're old, they might have a different understanding, they might have answers. I can't ask a priest, in the past what, thirteen months, I haven't met one. Does that at least make sense?"

Kelsey looks down at the space between them, face sad. "I can't imagine what kind of burden that puts on you. These are your beliefs, hon. And some of them might make you feel guilty for all these deaths. I guess your anger and frustration makes more sense. I'm so sorry, Toby." There's a long, tired sigh from her. Too many nights of her own where she's wondered about religion. "Yeah, what you are saying makes sense. I mean, it all sits neatly. I'm not sure how I feel about a singular God, but I know my parents raised me to respect the opinions of others." She looks back. "What if the ghosts confirm everything? …Toby, what if everything is connected somehow? Even the Cylons? I'm not say the Marine is right, but there have been a lot of coincidences that aren't. Or don't seem to be anymore."

"I have no guilt for the deaths," Toby replies carefully, looking at about the same spot of bench as Kelsey is, "that's all on them, whatever the way of things." He's firm on that it seems. "I won't know until I ask them," he continues, "that we might share a faith is something I hope for, that one amongst them is a Pater, that I pray for. That there is any link between us, and the skinjobs though? Only the ravings of one marine who's listened to long to poison dripped into his ears. Listened for long enough that he now ascribes traits like honour, honesty, and brotherhood to those who would wipe out all trace of us. I need to find the truth of it before he spreads that poison to the fleet, before the fleet starts hunting Mithrians as collaborators. We're tolerated at best, it wouldn't take much once word of his theories got out and I doubt you're the only pilot who remembers those symbols when prompted."

Kelsey nods again. There's a lot she doesn't understand but is smart enough to be quiet while she considers it. "That's really heavy, Toby. I guess you should. But it's not like you can call their cell phone or something. Have you been able to try to get back out to the main site? The dig? Tried talking to that Doctor lady?" When he comes back to Lleufer, though, Kelsey makes a face. "Toby, they're letting a couple Cylon live wth us. Or were. I doubt they are going to hunt you down as a collaborator for anything. Religion is a belief system, not a course of events. You can't be held accountable for something you didn't do."

"I've sent a message to her," Toby replies, "asking to volunteer, but I've not heard anything back yet. Figured if I spent my off-time down here a bit more I might run into her or something. I dunno. Not sure what else there is I can do, bar stowing away on one of the supply raptors, but somehow I reckon they'd noticed." The inside of raptors are cramped after all. "Maybe I'll get lucky, maybe one'll just happen to show itself like they did at Saturnalia." When he wasn't there, because he doesn't worship the gods that festival honours. As for the theoretical pogrom, he just shrugs, then lifts his head so he's looking directly into her face as he says quietly but firmly, "people have tried to kill me for less. Marines mostly, but I know how quickly things can turn when an idea gets out that people can latch onto. I've seen mobs form in moments, I have the scars."

"Maybe they didn't know you wanted to talk because they can't read your mind? Maybe they're shy. Maybe maybe maybe. I think that some people have seen them and spoken to them and I'm jealous, but they don't seem to intend harm, Toby. Perhaps it just takes a little prayer." Kelsey winks, trying to keep her smile. But his words about the riots and mobs, has her nod slowly, reluctantly. "I know. Just try to remember that some of us love and respect you, hon. You're not alone. Even with your single-God beliefs. You're still a member of this crew and a friend of mine. I believe in you and I've been shot before. I'm not afraid to stand up for you if nobody else will. Especially even then."

"I spoke to them once," Toby admits, perhaps a little abashed, "but I didn't notice the symbol. I don't know if only some of them wear it, if it's even the same symbol. I'd like to think I'd've spotted it, I've been looking for it for so long now, but I didn't. I had my mind in other matters, in trying to find justice for some of the dead, so that they might rest." At least that one is just a general Tauran belief he can express openly. He opens his mouth to correct her on him not being alone, since aching loneliness is another of those things that's kept him up some nights, but stops himself. It might make him sound ungrateful for her undoubted friendship, might push her away, so instead he attempts to make light of her other words. "I know you've been shot," he offers with a hint of a grin, "the shrapnel put me in medical too if you remember."

"I've never seen one, just heard about them. When they came to Saturnalia I was, uh, busy." She'd grabbed a Marine and vanished behind a building. Kelsey is one of those people that get pointed to for who lets their real selves show on Saturnalia. Uh huh. "What you miss isn't yor fault, either. Like you said, you had other things on your mind. By the way, you were seeing ghosts for the first time. Like, that would be a little distracting, too, eh?" She grins, and it holds through his ribbing of her. Her hand reaches out to his cheek and she gives him a loving little hold like she might pinch. "You're just so adorable sometimes," she laughs. But the hand flattens before falling away. "I like to think that no matter what you believe, the Gods or a God have seen to our families. I don't think we've been abandoned. I think, honestly, out here? We're closer to what made us than anything else."

"Not," Toby starts, looking perhaps even faintly embarrassed, "not the first time, no. Although I suppose I did sort of talk to them the first time too, very briefly, but that one seemed a lot more like a speech that might have been recorded were it not for certain details. A proclamation if you will. The second time, that though was a conversation." Yeah, he's seen them twice and wants to again, greedy bastard. He draws back from the touch though, eyes narrowing in a silent question that might be a 'why?' or a 'what?'. The gesture has thrown him slightly though and it takes a moment or two for him to settle back to the conversation. "We haven't been abandoned no," he agrees, "we've been granted a safe haven and we must ensure it endures."

"Second time." Kelsey lids her eyes at him. "Twice and I haven't seen them once. Little punk is what you are." She snorts a little laugh. "But I think I understand. So you're not so sure its a recording anymore. Think they really might be ghosts, yea?" Her smile tilts a little while he looks him over. "I'm glad you're thinking of this a little bit like it might be a place to call home, one day. You're a good guy, Toby. I need to go see my girl, though. Wanna go see Melissa? She's still obsessed with riding on shoulders and you're taller and therefore more exciting."

"Not since the conversation no, and I wasn't convinced to begin with," Toby replies, "it was just still the easiest explanation then, even if it didn't entirely fit." He's not going to go into the whole metaphysical argument about if ghosts count as recordings or echoes of their previous selves or not, thats so far above his level it hasn't really even occurred to him. "The fleet can never be home," he replies dropping his head just a little as he knows it'll disappoint her, "but P? Maybe, I don't know. It depends on too many things. Things we likely won't know for a long time yet." By which point he may be dead and it all a moot point. What a jolly thought. As the invitation is offered he eyes his ball again, then scoops it up, saying as he pushes himself to his feet, "sure, so long as she won't mind the gloves."

Kelsey slowly rises from the seat and rubs her stomach gently, turning to face him. "I still think people are smoking a lot of weed. Maybe. As far as the fleet goes?" She grins. "I can work with Piraeus. Definitely. Glad you're considering it a little more. And no, hon, she won't care about gloves. She's five. Her biggest concern is when we get more hot dogs and peanut butter."

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