AWD #100: All the Things
All the Things
Summary: Elias takes the opportunity to interview one of the captive Cylon skinjobs before they are all shipped off to Picon. The results are certainly something to think about.
Date: 16/04/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Elias Naomi 
Brig Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
The Orion's brig is comprised of a line of four individual cells organized in separate walled-off bays. Each cell is six feet wide by eight feet long and possesses a bed and toilet. Whenever even one cell is occupied, so too is the metal desk and chair at the entrance hatch — and backup for the guard is never far away.
AWD #100

The skinjobs are going to be transported individually, but for now, Ceres and Cooper are in a doze, or perhaps projecting, and may or may not be in their own orange jumpsuits. But reluctantly, Naomi has changed into hers, and has been permitted an elastic to tie back her hair into a low ponytail. She is perched in the cell, using her knees to brace the notepad she's writing in with a sort of feverish urgency. There's a stack of books next to her too; a collection of paperback murder mysteries.

Elias checks in with the guards and is passed into the brig proper. Clipboard in hand, he paces slowly past the three cells holding the Cylon prisoners, surveying each in turn. After a moment of consideration, he turns and walks slowly back to Naomi's cell, and stops. He looks down at his own clipboard, flips past a few sheets of paper, and reads briefly before speaking. "Excuse me," he says in a polite, professional tone. "Doctor Tamsin? I'm Lieutenant Gray. I'd like to speak with you for a few minutes, if you don't mind?"

It takes her a few seconds to realize someone is talking to her and muddle out of her writing process. But eventually she lifts her head, cocks it inquisitively in a birdlike fashion, and manages to summon a smile tempered by visible strain and offset by the disarming indents in her cheeks. Seriously. What sick bastard designs a skinjob with dimples? "I'm happy to cooperate, Lieutenant Gray." she says, placing the notepad down and resting the pen on top after flipping the cover closed. "What would you like to know?"

Elias returns the smile, but it is more an expression of understanding than any sort of friendliness or genuine sympathy. She's a prisoner. He's here to question her. They both know the score. But he can still respond to cooperation with good manners. "Thank you." He drags a chair over and turns it face Naomi's cell, and is half-way sitting down when he halts. "Oh, do you mind if I smoke?"

"I don't mind." It's nice of him to present the facade of her having the choice. "If you could direct your smoke away from me though, I'd appreciate it." The body is a temple.

"Certainly," Elias agrees. And he has obviously come prepared for this chance, as he pulls a small pastic ashtray from his pocket, then a nearly empty pack of cigarettes, before sitting down. He takes his time tapping out a cigarette, fishing out his lighter, lighting up, and tucking everything away. This looks to be a well-practiced ritual. Then he cross left ankle over right knee, rests his clipboard on his lap, and the ashtray atop that. A long drag from the cigarette fills another pause as he looks down at his papers. "I assume you've already been questioned extensively, so this may be a bit tiresome. Sorry about that. But before we begin, would you prefer to called Dr. Tamsin, or …?"

"Dr. Tamsin or Naomi, as you prefer." she says patiently. She idly reseats herself, criss-crossing her legs in lotus position, like a mini bodhisattva. "I expect I'll be saying the same things over and over again on a number of occasions in the days to come. I'm resolved to it." Resolved, not resigned.

"I see." Elias nods his understanding and pauses, observing the woman in the cell as he thinks things over. He decides to go with something relatively open-eneded. "What can you tell me about your original mission?"

"I was installed on Picon some time prior to the attack on the colonies, fully aware of my purpose. I was to observe the civilian population's response to the attack and submit my findings for review and adjustment for tactical purposes." Naomi replies. "I was a an assistant professor of Biology at the University of Ketos."

Elias takes a long drag on his cigarette as he listens to Naomi's answer, then exhales the smoke off to one side, away from the cell. Other than that his expression is remarkably even and controlled. Game face is on. "What was your evaluation of the civilian response? And did you submit your report, as instructed?"

"My work began prior to the attack. I did make my initial reports up to shortly after War Day, but the frequency of them decreased until I elected to cease them all together. My conscience dictated no other choice." As to the nature of her reports, "That's an awful lot of data to try and convey; we'd be here for hours and I'm afraid I don't have the time here to detail them. I can tell you there was a great deal of interest in the ephemeral nature of human perseverence and willpower in bleak circumstances. On the personality matrixes were most likely to fight back versus bow their head in submission. Whether there were environmental influences on those responses." She wrinkles her nose faintly. "It's not really my preferred area of study."

Elias listens closely. Watching. Evaluating. He makes no pretense otherwise. "I see." Again with the long pause to puff his cigarette before he speaks again. "You say your conscience left you no choice but to cease your reports. Would you mind elaborating on that for me?"

"I was on campus when the attack started. You could well imagine the chaos." Naomi says, unruffled. "You would think the centurions would have rolled over the school with ease. But they didn't. The students and faculty managed to hold the troops off for weeks. I was the most incredible strength of humanity I'd ever encountered. People sacrificed for each other. Had less so all could have. Protected each other, even people they didn't know. I was part of that. By the time the centurions managed to push onto the campus and herd up who was left for mass execution - including myself - I'd decided to defect. I was exterminated along with the others though. I didn't think it was right to escape. I elected to take my chances and download. And to be honest, I'd fought along with these people, people who held hands and clutched each other close and took comfort in each other before the guns fired. And they believed me one of them. It was right to be there."

Elias's game-face slips, if only for a short while, while Naomi describes what happened at the university. Showing nothing can only go so far, it seems. He betrays a flash of anguish, mixed in with anger. Then he stiffles it with a deep, calming breath, looks closely at his own cigarette, and mashes it out in the ash tray. "So your body was destroyed, but your … conciousness was transferred to … another, identical body? Where were you at that point?"

"In a resurrection facility, somewhere on Picon. I'm afraid where exactly is not something I'm able to tell you. In the same way as when you fall asleep in one place and wake up in another, you don't know where you are. Resurrection, however, is not a pleasant process, and I was on borrowed time." Naomi looks at him levelly.

Elias nods his understanding, then starts to repeat the habitual gesture of lifting a cigarette towards his lips, only to be reminded that he's already stubbed it out. He ends up resting both hands atop his clipboard instead. "Borrowed time?" The wheels are clearly turning behind his steady blue eyes once again, considering the implications of that phrase. But instead of guessing aloud, he simply asks after the answer. "What do you mean?"

"Any time we die and download, our memories and experiences are automatically integrated into the collective our model line." Naomi explains patiently. "My model is regularly monitored whenever we download prior to resurrecting generally, due to our nature and the original purpose of our creation. I should have been inspected, my intentions discovered, and promptly boxed. But the way has created a slow down on certain functions, so I was able to complete my resurrection before my expriences and my decision came under review. However, I was quickly found out, which is why I was in the prison camp; I was on my way to be boxed." She shudders. Boxing, whatever that is, clearly terrifies her.

The fear Naomi expresses is clearly noted, but Elias doesn't immediately pursue it, or this 'boxing' thing. Perhaps the information is getting a bit difficult for Elias to process, as his pause this time drags on and on for many silent seconds. Finally he clears his throat behind his first, then speaks. "I get the impression that you have a strong sense of individuality, despite these 'collective experiences.' Is that correct, Doctor? Is that a common Cylon trait, or part of …" He pauses again, chosing words carefully. "…Something to better integrate with humans?"

Naomi manages tight smile at that. "Many of those you call skinjobs have a certain…admiration for humanity. Perhaps not compassion for it, but an admiration for it. We're machines, by your reckoning, and yet surely we might have picked a more efficient form than this." she gestures to herself. "And yet we elected to look like you. Something to ponder on, isn't it?"

Elias's expression tightens in a flicker of irritation, but he doesn't allow it to control his response. Instead he reflects upon it with a small, wry smile. He answers slowly. Carefully neutral. "Yes, it is." His gaze strays down to the ash tray, and the crushed out butt of his cigarette. "It sounds like you've given this a great deal of thought."

"Do you think that making the decision to leave my people and cast my lot with humanity was a decision to be made flippantly, Lieutenant?" Naomi inquires mildly. "Can you even imagine it not requiring a great deal of thought? Of experience?"

"I don't know how a Cylon comes to a decision." Elias answers evenly. Whatever he may or may not have been implying with his original question, he doesn't seem ruffled by Naomi's counter-questions. "From the way you describe it, it sounds like it was primarily an … ethical decision?" Now he does sound, for the first time, genuinely curious about something he's asked.

"Ethical. Spiritual. Moral. Emotional. All the things." says Naomi, with the faintest of smiles.

Elias purses his lips thoughtfully. "And the reasons for your decision might … 'infect' the rest of your fellow Cylons, if you were not 'boxed' immediately? Or did this already happen during your 'download'?"

"It may have, but I don't know." Naomi admits. "If it hasn't, and I download, which if I'm executed on Picon? I certainly will - then either I'll be boxed before it happens, allowed to resurrect and then tortured for what information can be extracted without 'damaging' my line, or will manage to successfully resurrect and then will be a fugitive from both humanity and the Cylons." She tilts her head. "But you haven't asked me the question you really want to know."

Elias's brows arch questioningly at Naomi's last statement. "Oh? And what question is that, Doctor?" His tone is mild, deliberately so, but there seems to be a bit of a challenge behind it. Or perhaps he's just trying to goad.

Naomi doesn't take the bait. "You want to know what 'being boxed' means. Not just the objective description, you want to know what it means." Maybe that's true, maybe it isn't. "Close your eyes." she suggests.

Elias doesn't dispute Naomi's conclusion. Instead he gives her suggestion a moment of consideration, then settles back in his chair, inhales slowly, then closes his eyes. "Alright," he says expectantly.

"Imagine the darkness behind your eyelids is all you can see." Easy enough, right? "Now imagine that you can't feel your closed eyelids. Or the air on your skin, or the clothes on your body. Take away any sort of physical sensation, pain, pleasure, all of it. Imagine what it would be like with no mouth to scream. You're just a sentience, floating in nothingness, with no one but yourself - only you don't know who you are. You don't even have your memories, your thoughts, your feelings. No imagine it lasting a instant - an instant that lasts forever." Her voice becomes softer and softer, until it's a whisper. A terror filled whisper. "That's close to what being boxed feels like. You may think there is no hell for us, but you would be wrong."

Elias listens with his eyes closed, face composed. How much imagining he may be doing is difficult to tell. Then he takes a deep breath and slowly lets it out as he opens his eyes. "Sensory deprivation? Hmmm. Is it intended as a punishment? Or is it just considered … 'long term storage'?"

"Yes." Naomi replies in answer.

"I see," Elias says slowly. But perhaps he doesn't. He doesn't seem particularly disturbed. "It sounds like 'boxing' is considered … extreme? Even to other Cylons?" The question sounds analytical. Clinical. "Is it usually a permanent decision?"

"I couldn't say." she says, adding, "I'm tired, and they're going to be coming for me soon. I hope you've gotten the answers you were looking for, Lieutenant."

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