AWD #425: Commonalities
Summary: Skyler comes to find Toby now he can't just walk away.
Date: 25/08/2016
Related Logs: Differences
Skyler Toby 
Brig - Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
The battlestar'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. Brig rules are posted behind the desk on a white panel with blocked black lettering.
AWD #425

She's been trying to cross paths with Toby since the night he stormed out of the fitness center. But her own job and the busy nature of the ship on the whole has made it decidedly difficult. But the brig? Well, that'll do. Skyler is certainly not unfamiliar to the denizens of marine country at this point. But this time? It's not a skinjob she's meeting up with. It's one of the ship's own. She's not even in her duty uniform, but rather appears to be on her way from or way to the gym. The jacket of the Orion-branded sweats is zipped up and her hair is in a sloppy sort of bun. The most 'dressed down' one may see the woman. The leg brace? There. Of course it is. She sidles through the door and gives a brief nod to the woman on duty at the desk.

Toby has also been busy, although that's certainly something he isn't right now. Since last night he's been checked over by a corpsman and declared fit enough to not be in medical, slept, eaten, been escorted to the showers and back, and is now doing what all dwellers in the brig end up doing, killing time. Right now that's manifesting as lying flat on his back on the bunk as that hurts his ribs least, and silently going over thing sin his head. He's not causing trouble for the guards, but nor is he a particular ray of sunshine in their day. When the hatch goes he does not initially move, but the lack of a following instruction or address does catch his interest enough to roll his head to one side enough to see who has just arrived. Given that it's Skyler there's a momentary flash of confusion as to why she might be a-visiting, particularly as she's not in uniform, but no noticeable increase in the background level of annoyance that his features register. Sitting up would hurt, so he's not doing that until he's sure it's worth the effort and so instead he simply watches her, letting her make the first move.

For a moment, Skyler lingers a few paces past the desk. Finally, she just grabs the spare chair and hauls it along towards Toby's particular cell. She doesn't know how long she'll be here, but best not ruin her PT time for standing too long. The scrape of the chair landing before the bars echoes faintly and the intel officer finally sinks into it. "Based on what I've heard and been told, I suppose I shouldn't be terribly surprised to find you in here. But it makes it a damn sight easier to talk to you."

Toby considers Skyler in silence for what is probably a little longer than is strictly polite, but then does come to the conclusion that sitting up is the thing to do. He takes it slow, and his jaw does noticeably tense as he moves, but he does make it to the point where he can rest his back against the wall behind him. This does effectively put the entire depth of the cell between them, but he's in no rush to reduce that distance. "I wouldn't believe everything your told," he starts, a hint of discomfort in his tone that indicates that yes he did not escape injury free, but also that he's been offered (and taken) some painkillers from medical. "Not to be blunt," he starts, bluntly, "but what do you want? You'll forgive me if I note that I find it odd a lieutenant from intel just happened to stop by for a chat."

"Well, she did just that. Yes, intel matters may be behind it… But this is personal pursuit, too. Hence-" Skyler gestures to herself. The sweatsuit. "No uniform." She leans forward, draping forearms against her thighs. "I spoke with Knox the other day. I've had some… theories. He confirmed one. The skinjobs? Aren't Cylons. Not… strictly." She looks down, then, to the flooring. "They are artificial bodies, yes… But their origin? Is here. Piraeus. He doesn't know the why or even how, but… One orchestrated all of this. One made them out of… others from P. The whole twelve of 'em. Maybe using Cylon tech. But he's why they crossed the Armistice Line. He manipulated and controlled them. It's why so many, after being on P, side with us." She lifts a hand to scratch behind her ear, falling quiet. Perhaps considering her next words. Maybe giving him space to process.

"Yes," Toby replies in a tone that he tries to make neutral, but still contains hints of grump, "but intel are also expected to have at least half a brain, so for all I know the lack of your blues might simply be an effort to put me at ease, off guard as it were. Something I could entirely believe you'd think about before any form of interrogation. So either, you're telling the truth, or you think I know a whole lot frakking more about something that I do." Like say, the ghosts on P, but he's not going to start naming such things and making her job easier, should that be the case. Her next words are considered in silence, he's listening, although the initial pronouncement about skinjobs not being cylons does receive a very skeptical look. His first remark though, after a few moments of silence is, "again, how could it, One, use cylon tech? We created the cylons less than a century ago. It's an interesting story, I'll give you that, one that neatly explains away one problem with our understanding, but leaves, or even compounds the other. Did it," Knox "tell you straight up, or by that projection thing they do? What does Lilah have to say on the matter?" He makes no move to hide his skepticism at the idea, but nor is he straight up telling Skyler to frak off.

"Captain al Yamoha is why I asked Knox. And he told me straight up. I've not done that projection thing with any of them." Skyler takes a slow breath, sitting upright and leaning back in the chair, watching Toby. "I went to the Captain recently. To ask her about the Fives. She's aware of them. She knows they share her face. They are her… but she is not them. As for the One… I told you, we don't know. Not the when, even. And I doubt we will any time soon. The model lines? The ones that have turned on the One to side with us — with Piraeus — have largely decided they no longer wish to download. Most of them want to live their lives as much as human as they can."

Toby watches Skyler as she watches him, scrutinising her words and gestures as he can't quite shake the suspicion that this is some form of elaborate set up. He can't work out the end game of it either mind, and that's bugging him as well. At the mention of the Fives he asks carefully, "and what is their, alignment, as it were, if each line has one, allegedly things like loyalty, creativity and such, what is theirs? And are we about to come across a ghost six as well?" There's a moments pause as a few thoughts bombard him from different direction and he takes the time to mentally order them, then he continues. "It also begs the question, who, if your premise is correct, who made the decision to attack? The 'cylons' or the skinjobs? Are the centurions just their servants as they were our's? Are we in fact giving refuge to the very masterminds of our world's destructions? Also," and here there's a particularly pointed look at Skyler, "why the frak are you telling me all this?"

It's a lot to take in and Skyler is quiet for a moment as she processes. Watching Toby still, but her eyes a touch unfocused. There's finally a slow draw of breath. "I think those… traits are what the person in question boiled down to. The Fives, the line made from Lilah… They represent strength. I think that's fitting for her, don't you? A woman who gave up going on to be with her husband and child to guard a place for millennia." She leans back, slouching a bit, and shoves her hands into the pockets of her jacket. "I've been processing that for a while. Lilah and I spoke on it a bit. Piraeus was, at the end of their time, in much the same state as Tauron or Canceron. They will recover. Long after you and I are dead. My home… well." It'll be an asteroid belt. "It was the Twelve that I spoke to on that. The lines… they were just blank slates, given direction by the One. None of them chose to do the things they've done. They were manipulated. Memories changed. It's those like Knox who spent longer with us. Who was able to set foot on P. They began to realize things were amiss."
She shifts, slightly. "I think it was all because of One. And… maybe, somehow, it was revenge for whatever happened to Piraeus. Maybe he thinks it was us that did it. I- I can't say for sure. I think it has to do with whatever he's digging up on Libran." The AAR on that was released shortly after it was filed. No secrets being revealed there. To Toby's last, Skyler bites at her lip. "Something the Captain and I discussed. She mentioned you. A few times."

"I know what the traits are supposed to mean," Toby replies flatly, "I was just seeking confirmation on that particular line's." He shifts slightly, to let a different section of his ribs take the pressure of being stuck against the wall, a process which is slow and produces a faint grimace before he's done. "Strength," eh then repeats, "yes, for her perhaps, although not in ways I'd expect you to understand. The line? How the frak would I know. From what you're saying though, the centurions, and eleven of the lines are merely the puppets and tools of the Ones. You'll forgive me if I find that hard to believe, it does some somewhat like defectors trying to play down their role in genocide so they don't have to face the consequences. It's all too,.." he struggles for the right word for a moment before settling on, "convenient." Another position shift, another faint grimace, "she and I have spoken," he notes, referring to The Captain, "but tell me, what exactly is it that's peaked your attention."

"You know she's wholly aware of things, relating to the lines that she'd have no way of knowing? You seem to agree that she's independent of them and yet she knows just as much as we do. If not more. But neither of us are blaming her. Accusing her of being a part of it all. There's just as much reason to blame her, if we go by your reasoning." Skyler's voice remains calm. Tired, but calm. She doesn't move again. She's finally found a position that doesn't upset her leg. "I spent a lot of time with the Twelve. Here in the brig. I escorted him for a visit to Piraeus. I saw the shift. I've been terming it as an awakening. From what I gather, it's… they begin to remember who they are. Or were. Might their ghosts be out there, too? Maybe."
She takes a moment for the last. Resisting this part, perhaps. Almost as if she's embarrassed by it. "We discussed her rank patch. How it's… meant to represent their home. Their star. That it ties to religion and legends that people had stopped believing in, even when she was alive. She said you two spoke about your beliefs. And-" This is where the officer begins to struggle. Her shoulders round a bit. "…I just want to understand more. She said something about feeling a kinship with you. I tried to ask her about the Piraean's beliefs, but she just got frustrated with me."

"I haven't discussed the lines with her," Toby replies abruptly, "so I have no way of knowing if what you say she knows is true or not." It's meant to be fair warning that he's not just going to accept everything she says, but he does end up snapping it out a bit. He certainly doesn’t seem to be inclined to cast blame in Lilah's direction right now, and ignores that sentence in it's entirety, bar the brief appearance of a scowl on his features. In fact, he doesn't actually say anything more until the discussion turns to religion and belief, and even then not til he's carefully considered his words. "We spoke about faith yes," he confirms cautiously, "but there's very little I can tell you about it.." he stops himself there, although from his demeanor that was certainly not the end of the sentence he'd planned. Whatever that was remains unsaid.

The woman draws a slow breath, lifting one hand from pocket to rub at her cheek. Skyler's uncomfortable. That much is obvious. Even as a newbie intel officer, she's out of her own depth. And it's not a fun place to be. "I've never been all that religious. But when I made it to the Orion and found out what happened to Virgon… I realized that the Lords and Ladies abandoned us. If they existed in the first place." She bites at her lip, looking down to the floor by her feet. "But here's these ghosts. One in particular that we can talk to and interact with. No one's ever had anything beyond fables like that with Kobol. So I wonder if… whatever the Piraeans believed, is it real? And she didn't seem… inclined to discuss it, but she kept mentioning you. So I thought… maybe-" And she ends there, losing track of her own words.

Toby doesn't interrupt. He watches, he listens, but for a long while he remains silent. Evaluating. Considering. When he does, finally speak, it's no ground breaking revelation, he spews out no great secrets, instead he simply nods towards the MP at the desk and asks, "they recording this?"

The question draws Skyler's attention back up. There's a furrow of her brow and a glance towards the MP, then to the camera in the room. The one that led to lovely fun conversations with Elias after her chats with the Twelve. "Always," she admits, but then looks back to Tobias. "I can change that. You're not a prisoner of war." She doesn't immediately move to do so. Just leaves the offer there.

Toby follows the glance up to the camera and gives a slow nod of understanding, glad that he thought to ask when he did. Dropping his line of sight back to Skyler he notes simply, "there is little more I am willing to discuss on this line of questioning while a recording is being made. Change the subject, turn it off, or leave, it is up to you."

It's better than the Captain's refusal to discuss further. Skyler pushes to her feet after a moment and makes her way over to the desk. There's a brief discussion and the marine shortly departs. To just outside the door, but still outside the room. Shouting distance, yes. Conversational? No. The officer slowly moves back to the chair, taking her time of it. Her eyes are on the camera until the little red light goes away. Settled in, Skyler looks to Tobias. There's a slight frown on her features, but it's not so much disapproval as… uncertainty. Rather than speak further, she just waits.

Seemingly content enough to wait until Skyler is settled and the light off, Toby takes the time to formulate his response. Once it seems that everything is set though he offers simply, calmly, "the Twelve, the Lords and Ladies, whatever you choose to call them, they are not Gods. They might once have been mortal men and women around whom legends grew, that I can't say, I'm not a Pater. If that is the case though, they were not, nor have never been, divine beings. There is but a single God, who dwells within the suns of this universe of ours. Of the practicalities of the faith, there is little I can tell you for by your own admission you are uninitiated, but I will say that my faith and her's appear similar, although there are also striking differences. I do not know if her's became corrupted… no, that is the wrong word.. if her's drifted over time, or we refined ours more based on new enlightenments, but that they share a common root I have no real doubt."

The intel officer listens in silence. There's no anger, no shock across her features. She made her peace with Kobol being either fiction or having abandoned them when she learned of Virgon. So there is not the cry of sacrilege. Nor is there the face of someone who is being told something that goes against their beliefs. Skyler is silent for a time, lips pressing into a line. She takes a slow breath. "On Libran, the One is digging into… well, they're calling it an ark. Something about, per the report, it being the site of the first people on the planet. Lilah told me that her people originally occupied Piraeus as a lifeboat of their own. Much as we have. She doesn't know where they originated, so-"

The Virgan draws a slow breath, leaning forward again; hands clasping as arms drape across her knees. "When she mentioned you, in relation to religion… And all of the other similarities. Finding this place. Genocide wiping out our people. The fact that we are all… seemingly… human? I wonder if we technically have the same origin. Certainly her people lived and died before we even properly settled the colonies, but that doesn't mean there isn't a single point of origin somewhere."

"Kobol might exist," Toby replies with no particular emotion either way, "I know of no specific tales of it, but as I previously stated, I am not a Pater, I am not even close to becoming one, you would need to find a surviving one to ask, should there be any. I've found none, but I've not been able to openly look. The Lords and Ladies being false idols does not in any way preclude that. I just can't tell you either way."

"Earth, apparently, is a myth." But Skyler doesn't sound very surprised by that. Maybe because it's been months since the reports on the Galactica at Ragnar crossed her desk. "But Kobol? Frak if I know. We came from somewhere. We know that. We originated somewhere… and ended up forming the colonies. The timeframe is off for it to be… shared with Piraeus, but the Captain also doesn't know if other ships of her people found other places. It was before her time." And Skyler doesn't fault the ghost that. She winds her hands a bit around one another. "We know little about the lines and their religion, but I'm guessing it stems from the same place as Lilah's. Piraeus. The only thing…"
She shakes her head slightly. "The only puzzle piece I really feel I'm missing right now are the projections. Apparently Captain al Yamoha can do them, too. Which… implies it's not just an aspect of the artificial bodies. I forgot to ask her if she's always been able to do that or if it's only since she… well, died." Not much on the religion itself, but her other words come out as if filling space while she processes.

"I can't say I'm au fait with the intricacies of the timeline," Toby admits, "but the concept of a single origin planet is one I'm prepared to entertain given that medical can't exactly examine their physical forms and make a determination one way or another." Meaning the ghosts that is, not the skinjobs. He's not thinking of them at all, you can tell, he's calm and rational. "How many stops there have been between us and that origin I can't speculate, but nor do I see why it matters much right now, there could be one, there could be a thousand. It's an interesting thing to ponder, I'll give you that, but there are more pressing matters at hand that require our focus. We can't exactly just sit back and twiddle our thumbs in the middle of a war for survival. If you want to know about the projections, I suggest finding someone who has had one from one source, and exposing them to one from the other. Do it yourself if you don't trust their word about the experiences, I've got frak all on it."

"No, it doesn't really matter at the moment. At least as far as I can tell. It'd answer questions as to why the One is doing what he is on Libran, mind. Trying to return to the source, maybe? Perhaps all of this is an attempt to get back to whoever wiped out the Piraeans and we just got caught in the middle." Skyler shifts forward, lifting a hand to rub at her face. "Mmm. I've avoided risk of projections. The Twelve is the only one I've even touched." And it was briefly; him helping her get to her feet on the beach during his visit to P. "But it may be a start. Perhaps if I can speak to Lilah again, she'd be willing to explain. I hope she'll speak to me again. She… took offense to my trying to understand their religion. I suppose, for them, it's a thing where you believe or you don't, specifics aside. Were you aware that in their faith, one strives for… good qualities in a person. Like honor and faith. And it's by those qualities that they earn a certain afterlife? I think that's why they so shunned Shepard. Because he didn't meet any of them."

"Good qualities such as honesty, strength, courage?" Toby answers with no real hint of surprise in his tone, "tell me Lieutenant, what do you think leads to better people, better civilizations, burning trinkets on alters, or striving to be the best that you can, and supporting your fellows in that same aim?" Not that he's saying which religion does which mind, but he's not aiming the answer to be particularly ambiguous. "I've touched a skinjob," he notes, "put I'm not sure punching a six really counts. Keep you mind open though, that's the best advice I can give you for now. Much of what you were taught is a lie, deliberate or not, the sacred scrolls so many rely on are a mix of ill remembered truths twisted to the Temple's own end, or outright created afresh. Put a call out to the fleet, find out if a Pater survived, listen to what they can tell you." And of course, bring them here, so he can talk to them too.

"Kobol must have been based in… something," Skyler says after a quiet moment. "All this has happened before, and all of it will happen again. That line, from the scrolls. Captain al Yamoha has said it to me. The Twelve did, as well. There's… commonalities. It all ties together somehow and I just…" She can't see how, just yet. The woman grasps at the bridge of her nose before pushing to her feet. The chair is held for balance for a moment while she gets her bearings. "I would like to know more. About your faith. And… how it compares to the Piraeans. There's… there's something to it. I can't explain it more than that." Logic meet faith. A stirring of something in the soul, but without tangibility… she doesn't know where to go with it.
The chair is shifted, back towards the desk. "And do try to avoid landing yourself in the brig so often. I may not be a pilot anymore, but I do know we need all hands on deck." There's a casual sort of tone to it. A light tease, perhaps. The door is opened, the marine on duty let back in, and soon that blinking red eye on the camera is back.

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