PWD #32: Daybreak
Summary: Knox awakens Ceres, the other skinjob assigned to him for the mission to destroy Joint Task Force Nomad.
Date: 03 December 2012 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Knox Ceres 
Sheridan LZ
In the set.
PWD #32

With the touchdown of the Vipers on the landing pad, one of which is Ceres', the sun is bright but the weather is cold. Pilots don't generally have room for gear so Knox is outside bundled up in his combat parka, just exiting the small ATC hutch with a set of parkas in each arm. The weather is cold, but not blistering as it might get overnight. He's got his comm ears on and a boom mic around his face which has been twisted up to the side as he approaches the pair. "Sirs!" he calls over the breeze. "Got your jackets. Hold on to them because this is your ground issue!" The man looks a little frazzled, but his eyes seem to be focused on the Captain and not the Ensign. High on the horizon, the winter sun beams a brilliant white color from a pinpoint. Its far removed from what someone might used to be seeing on the colonies.

"Frakkin hell, and here I thought it would get better's gotten worse." Ceres declares with the voice of someone who has been here and done that already. As they are handed out their coast by the marines, she hurrying over, still in her sealed flight suit to grab it up. Her eyes meet Knox's and she nods, "Sergeant, a pleasure. And thank you." She is quick to get it on and zip it up, hiding her fingers away in the outer pockets as she shrugs the coat on a bit more closely. Narrowing her eyes against the bright light, so different from the black of space - one never really ever gets used to it.

"There's coffee in the shack, sirs," the Sergeant notes. "But Captain, I was wondering if I could get your opinion on some communications set-ups we have over in the hangar? Its operating in a way I'm not quite used to, sir." The Ensign doesn't wait and he trundles off for coffee at a trot. The Sergeant glances towards the hangar a bit anxiously, the low building something closer to an above-ground bunker with a roof. At least it has a heating stove.

"Coffee, sounds great…" And she is not going to get any. Ceres catches herself short and then lets out a breath. "Oh very well, Sergeant, if it is that important." She gives the Ensign's back an envious glare and then moves to follow after Knox, folding her arms to help shelter her warmth close to her body. Wetting her lips, she gives a glance back towards the other ten before stepping inside the bunker with a roof. Heat. It at least cuts the brisk air and has heat. "Okay, what do you want me to look at exactly?"

Knox walks her back towards the bunker. "I'm sorry, sir. This might take a few." Its loud enough to be heard by the Ensign and he knows it. Once inside, though, he gestures over to the woodburning stove and he warms his hands beside it for a moment, ignoring the question. A few moments pass before he rubs his hands together and looks back to her, stepping close as his hand falls by his side near his sidearm. Eyes meet as he stares at her. "Look me in the eyes and tell me of the nine lives of this cat." And then… it all falls apart. The knowledge. The history. Being 'born'. The programming. The memories of a collective civilization. The inherent need to follow the orders issued by the number six standing in front of her. The Soldier's need to be commanded by the one who follows the imperative of war. And it all, in one series of moments that might feel like a lifetime, crashes together with the life she's lived believing she is human. "Nine?" he asks carefully after glancing over his shoulder to be sure they're alone.

At first the sidearm is given a look and she tenses briefly, "Sergeant I suggest…" And then it ends. Colors cross, become something more as her mind opens up and inverts itself, creates a whole nother truth that wars with the one she knows now. Wars with the one she desperately claws to keep and then it is torn away. The woman's mouth is agape, breathing increased and staring into the air before him for a time or two. Unmoving save for the quickened pulse and air moving in and out of her lungs, Ceres..or rather nine does not even blink. That is until she lets out a sound. "No." It's said firmly, firmly yet by that humanity still held deep inside, still clung to. She trembles and shakes her head, lifting her hands to her head for a momenta s everything slides into place and her dark eyes meet his gaze. "Six…"

Coop looks back at her and lifts a gloved hand to rest on her shoulder. "Yeah. Glad its all coming back. I'm pretty sure you're scared shitless right now, aren't you?" He stoops a bit to look at her squarely. "You're a Cylon. You're my sister. Let it all wash over you. All the memories. Its all true." He doesn't smile, though. "Do you remember your imperative? Who you are to follow?" The compulsion. He could tell her to strip in the freezing cold and she knows, sickeningly, that she'd do it whether or not she wanted to. Insider, her humanity is probably screaming. At least the man standing in front of her doesn't seem ready to kill anything. Except for that hand by his thigh holster. …She has to know she'll never download at this distance. OH GOD. /Download/.

Twitching faintly as everything clicks, every little thing fits nicely save for that made up story that is her life. But didn't she just see her father a few months ago?! No, no she did not, it was a lie, something made up for everyone else. She has no father. No mother that passed. Ceres draws a shakey breath as she meets his gaze. "I am to follow every order you give me. I am to follow the mission you hand down to me at any cost to me or those around me. It must be done. It will be done." Its said seriously, her eyes going a bit more cold. That gun is given another look and she stands, waiting. "This planet." She lets out a breath, feeling it. Its like seeing that bright light at the end of the universe and she lets out an anguished sound and gasps, "NO!"

Knox nods along slowly while she recites the programming. He just stares at her, though. As she mentions the planet, his head tilts as if expecting something. Even through his gloves she can probably feel his pulse racing. Her final reaction, though, nearly has him collapse as he lets off a long breath. "Oh frak, thank the Gods," he sighs, looking down. He wets his lips and looks back up to her. "You feel it to. You feel the pull? The absolution? The salvation?" He's eager, the six's eyes slightly wild. "Nine. Can you feel it in your bones? …Do you feel.. mortal?" The word hangs on the edge of the breeze, the whisper barely finding ears.

The relief he shows, his words, Ceres jerks away and begins to pace. "This is wrong, all wrong." She does so, continuing to move as if staying stationary is the hardest thing she has to do, the memories of being human and the way it feels to be something else fades in the wake of this realization. "We should not be here…" She blinks, focuses on him and then starts in his direction. "What if we tell them? The rest of them? Has the attack begun?" Because when you are asleep, a lot of thing happen, like the end of humanity. Becoming more in tune with her Cylon self, she twitches, begins to fidget. "What the frak is going on here, six…" Her eyes focus on him, focus on his own wild look so she can try to get over her basket case reaction.

Coop doesn't say anything but he does straighten and cross his arms. He just motions her closer to the fire. They don't need it. They can self regulate. But its more human. "Come. Stay warm, Nine." He steps over and kneels beside the stove the way any soldier would. He's quiet for a few more moments, though. His kind is supposed to be rabidly anti-human, aren't they? In the end this six sighs and looks over to her. "No, we shouldn't be here. But here we are. I don't know what the hell is going on. I wish I did. Let us talk over our options. This- this is too significant to just cast aside. But as of this moment, my orders to you are these: Except for myself, you will not accept nor carry out any mission from any Cylon or human to destroy or harm the crew or ship of the Orion. Your mission is scrubbed." Annnnd that's probably a massive relief. "So far the war has not started but after what happened on the Reese?" Coop shakes his head. "Ceres." Her human name. Does that feel more comforting? Or wrong? "We have a real big problem. Tell me whats on your mind once its settled. Just.. take is easy."

"What is wrong with me?" Ceres asks, knowing the answer and not wanting to know it. Being here makes her skin crawl, its an odd sensation for the Cylon to feel like there is a home. Ceres knows the concept of home. Nine? Not really, in fact it bothers her so much she has to take a few more laps of pacing before she even ventures to join him. Even then she just stands. Wetting her lips, she taps her foot, arms folding before her until she begins to slowly ease some, letting the eerie sensation around her become something more accepted than anything else. When he does call her Ceres, she responds, but there is a sharp look towards him. A sigh of relief is also granted that her mission is done, but that leaves a big gaping pit of 'what the hell do I do?!' "Understood." Problem. Bigger than he knows. She rubs at her arm and shakes her head. "This…this place has meaning to us. It is something more than Piraeus, I can feel it even if I do not understand it.

"There's nothing wrong with you, sister." The Six says it calmly, but sincerely. He looks back to the fire, then, and takes off his gloves to set them on the ground in front of the stove to warm while he holds his hands near the hearth. "It has an undeniable feeling, doesn't it?" he asks, almost smiling. But she can hear it in his voice. "I've never slept. I've been here amongst humanity for the last five years. The only real family I've felt like I've had for the last three has been with the Marines. I feel like they're my true brothers and sisters now. But this place?" He finally looks up to her. "I feel like I've found my home, Ceres. You mentioned a moment ago a few ideas. Tell them?" Coop lets off a very long breath. "Major Wisdom? I'm a Cylon. I am here to warn you about the impending doom of humanity." A beat. "Ceres, they wouldn't believe you. The Cylon, to them, are a bunch of walking killers made of metal. We don't even have any way to prove it out here. None. I don't even know the plans of attack. I was sent out here as one of our first infiltrators, long before the battleplan was drawn up. I was handed my orders for you three weeks ago. That's it. Its upon us, though. I…have no idea what to do. But I know we-" He hesitates. "I know we can't give this place up. I don't think the others would understand. Do you?"

Disgruntled, frustrating and wired by what is going on, Nine chews on the inside of her cheek quietly. Thoughtful. Frustrated. Dark eyes are distant. Its obvious she is listening but the way her brows pull. "I…they need to understand." She then huddles down next to him, squatting as she looks directly at him, commanding his attention with a rather attentive gaze. "They /will/, they need only feel it." She shifts, rubbing her fingers through her hair. "Bring them here. Bring each of them here and make them stand on this ground…they will know. But if they come and they feel this…the Orion will not last. The humans will be killed." And no, this does not seem to bother her. Nine is nine and she narrows her gaze. "They will take this…we will have a home and the humans will be killed. Wiped off of this world." She wets her lips, "But then others know of this place…" Other humans.

Knox just looks back at her, holding that gaze. After she finishes he cocks his brow a moment and looks back to the fire. "Sorry. I assumed I was talking to Ceres. Fair enough, Nine." He clasps his hands together and thinks this over. "If we bring more of them here, if we bring other Cylons here, they will know. But they will know of this place and humanity's hold. They may try to nuke it or lay waste. You may not give a shit about these people but I do. Deeply in some cases." Six lifts his eyes back to her. "You might have been woken up but I want you to think about the friendships you've developed. Not the bullshit programming, but real deal in the last few months. These aren't frakking cattle to be pushed aside and put to our use. No, I can't believe that anymore. The more I think about whats happening, the more opposed I am to it. I think once this war starts you'll understand exactly what I mean. These people think you are human and they're going to risk their lives for you. Give anything. You're likely going to be hurt and they'll cry for you. You might be a Cylon but when was the last time one of ours weeped for our own?" He's got some heat, but not a lot. "This war is wrong, Nine. I can't support it. And you know damned well you shouldn't either. Not after seeing this place. After feeling it. Its too risky, at the very least. We need to protect it and humanity's hold on it."

He's known, the whole time and now…now Nine has new memories and she twitches with what he says. She's struggling, drowning in Ceres and her life and knowing exactly what is false and what is real. The real things that have developed on Orion, the relationships, the work, hard earned trust. She sours a little, "Look, six…" She starts, narrowing her eyes and then bristling a little. "Look…I just lost my mother…rather Ceres lost her mother. Or thought she did..I know its not real. She remembers seeing her dad, which never happened..constructed." She presses her lips into a thin line. "She reacts to others based on this past that does not exist…and where am I now? I am stuck here, figuring out what the hell we are going to do and not having a mission anymore. I feel like lukewarm shit right now." She growls at him and rubs at her face with a sigh, settling some slowly as she counts mentally to herself. "No. No they are not cattle.." This planet is doing wierd things to her.

Coop turns his eyes back on her. "No, you never had a mother. Neither did I. That's a fact. But I remember her. Just like you remember your own. The memories of her cooking. The way the house smelled around the holidays. Watching your father laugh and the way you probably smiled with it. If you had a father. Or /Ceres/, rather," he whispers angrily. "You don't have those things so you choose to rage against humanity because of what it boils down to: jealousy." He lifts a finger lightly to point towards her from his knee. "Argue that all you want. Its true. I had the same fight with myself. But these humans? They actually had that. They had love. They had mothers and fathers. Those memories you had implanted? They're /real/ for them. All the beauty. All the love. All the hate. All the passion." The passion he carries now. "Its real, Nine. I have cried for friends I've lost. I've spread ashes. Delivered eulogies. Been there when friends' children were devoted to Gods. Frak that. I can't throw that away." He bristles as well for a moment before settling. "Look, Nine. We shouldn't be fighting humans. We endeavour to find perfection. We can't produce children. We can't even evoke strong emotions in ourselves except to occasionally stab one another in the back for political ends. And /look/ at us. /This/ is human. We are fighting about making a stand. Fighting for /real/ lives." He's nearly pleading with her to understand, even if he knows he's in command.

The mention of a father sends her to her feet. "No, you look. I have none of that on Nine..and Ceres has it all, but she suffers. Suffers and goes on. How stupid is that? Mother is dead, father is a dead beat alcoholic and drove her to that grave early…a relationship that is teetering for her because she can't take commitment…all do to one man. That is not love, thats torture and stupidity for putting up with it. THAT is human, six." But she turns, letting out frustration in the form of a grunt. "Because she loves, I love..or I feel it rather. You have had the chance to emerse yourself in all of this…I..I have been locked away and you want me to acclimate. Show me…show me how they are worth it?" SHe turns to regard him, arms folded as she hugs them about her. "Why do we want to help them, so that they continue to harm each other?" Yes she does not comment on the children then, the endless downloading into the same body. Lives recycled, nothing new. She frowns some, swaying on her feet as she whispers, "Ceres hurts. She hurts so much and I can feel it."

Six rises with her and steps right up. "Exactly," he sneers. "There you go. Let it simmer. Get pissed-off at them. They're abuse and they hurt each other and they kill and they're uncontrollable and we should bring them solidarity under a single God, right?" He stares at her. "We should just end all that pain. Show them nothing but the beauty we have, right? The emptiness? The soulless mechanizations? The waking up one day to realize that you have no pain. Let me ask you one thing, Nine." His eyes never leave hers. "I saw that look on your face when it all crumbled. When you lost all that emotion and pain. How did that feel? Was it a little like stripping a soul away from you?" He lofts his brow. "It sure looked like it." He swallows, jaw clenching. "You have your pain in Ceres, but you're free now. Yeah, real glorious. All of a sudden its just background. But you know what? The people on the ship that care about your pain?" He shakes his head slowly, dropping his voice to a whisper. "They still believe in Ceres. When she hurts, they'll be there. It might take this war to prove it to you, though. But I've made my decision."

Daggers could not be more true as her gaze levels on him. She is pissed. Humanity is a downright sore on the pulse of the universe but something he says causes to steal her anger from her. At least most of it. Frustration bubbles up again, more at him though because of what he's done. He's connected her with Ceres, connected Ceres with the crew and she shudders. "FRAK!" She growls at him, managing to keep her voice lower as she lifts her hands and throws them to the air. "Yes, they will be there for her, I know they will…THEY WILL!" She nearly screams at him and then closes her eyes. It's not easy, feeling part of yourself, the part of you that is so easy to fall in to at a distance. Ceres is Nine. Nine is Ceres and despite waking, its hard to delineate anymore. She realizes this, that light flickering to life slowly inside and desperation mixes with uncertainty as her eyes search the floor and she begins to move as if half empty, "Who am I anymore?"

Six watches it all but there's no superiority or satisfaction. Likely he remembers this transition in his own mind. "Careful Nine. You're getting jealous of yourself. They don't give a shit if you're Nine or Ceres. They'll be there for the person they care about." He backs off and steps back over to the stove and picks up his gloves before looking back at her. "Who?" The other skin shrugs. "Who do you want to be?" A choice? "Nine, we are at an important place at an important time. Right here, we are cut off. We have no control. We're not tied into our people anymore. I ask you who you want to be for a few important points." He holds up a finger. "One, I can put you back to sleep without orders. Or I can leave you awake as you are. Foreign emotions, never understanding your friends truly, having problems relating — as a Captain, I might add — and going into a war. If I put you back to sleep?" He shrugs. "Embrace that which is your humanity, Nine. What you will learn. What you will experience. The next time you are awakened, you might very well hate yourself for this conversation." He holds up a second finger. "Two. You choose to make a stand. You, Nine. You. Captain Delacroix. Viper pilot. You have a home. Humanity has a home that the rest of our race has no clue about. We can learn and we can teach while we fly and fight for these people to protect them. For our home. We can protect life and foster it rather than take it."

That disconnect with her human life, its a thin line, a silvery cord that is so hard to drag back to her but Nine looks at it from afar, craves it and that knowledge kills her. Jealous - yes. Very much so. Fingers curl, tightening a bit into fists as she fights back her frustration and want to strike something. She concentrates, she clears that anger. ANGER?! Emotions. She has emotions and they are her own. Her humanity has rubbed off on her, far more than she realized and now that she does, its another point to drive his view home. Dark eyes watch him in silence as he gives her the second. Sleep. Sleep would be easy, would be the easy way out. Nine would rest, not having to deal with the broken ideals that were once her own. "You want to protect them here…the men and women of Orion. But what of all the others you have known before, still out there, not on this resonating rock of a planet?" She steps closer to him, one foot in front of the other - slowly advancing. "I want her life." She admits, "I want it…I want that love…that dedication to a cause, that unfaltering view of her beliefs, even if they are jaded by the doings of others. I want growth…I want to die old."

"Not just the Orion. All of them. I am talking about rebelling against our own and taking a stand when this war falls. Plant our feet, Nine. You woke up with a runtime boot telling you what was true. I ask you one last question: Who is the slave?" He quirks a brow. "Free your mind from the limits of what you were told was true. Question whether or not that programming was correct. What we have become is no different than what humanity did to the metalheads except now we are fleshy and doing it to ourselves. Until you think for yourself and let your mind run, you're still a slave to the system and the machine." Even as she steps close, he doesn't move. He just stares at her. "I do, too," he finally whispers. "I even have someone I want to grow old with." The six lifts his hands to rest on her shoulders. "You have these choices, like a human. You're choosing to become more than you are, Nine. You want her life. You want to live. If you want, I can give you orders and we'll fight for our lives and theirs… if you want them. You'll go back to sleep and the next time you wake up, you'll have had her life and remembers these choices today. All those memories. The emotions. The maturity. The /humanity/ and its passion." Those hands squeeze her shoulders. "But we'll be branded traitors. We'll be hunted by our own until we can prove ourselves correct to the others. When humanity finds out what we are, they'll turn on us most likely. All we would be able to do is fight and hold our heads high. The only people left we can betray would be ourselves. But when we die? We die free and evolved, Nine." Two beats. "Libertas vel mors, Ceres." Liberty or death, the motto of Carrier Strike Wing Eleven.

Her chin lifts at the mention of slave and that inner defiance and self worth rears its head. Ceres does not like that, not one bit and her jaw tenses as she holds his gaze. But it is then that he speaks of having someone to grow old with that steals just a bit of it away, makes him…weaker than her. Part of her thinks that any ways and as his hands touch her, she tenses, eyeing his sidearm a moment before watching him. "I am already likely a traitor by talking to you." She admits with a sudden exhale and she closes her eyes. "I was going to take him with me…one of them from Orion, keep him safe…and I know its foolish. Its foolish to think they won't kill him." She worries her lip again and then seems to be warring with her decision, with what to do, her dark brows furrowing. Frustration bubbles forth again buts he lets out in a rushed strained sound, "Fine. Let us stand with them. But if I am to stand with you, it will be by orders….it will be my decision." The soldier is breaking programming with that. Asking for her own decision over orders.

The Six nods slowly. "Now you won't have to take him with you or try to defend him from the others. Now you can fight with him. Stand with him. Face the fire and prove that we are not all monsters as I suspect our family is about to set an example of." His hands fall from her shoulders and rest by his side. "Very well. Then we are agreed. We embark on our path of defiance. I will not wake you up again unless its absolutely necessary or in the event that you are caught. We must conduct ourselves honorably. I will not out you, though, Nine. You're choosing this life and I'll protect what you're asking for. If I have to give myself up to do that, I will. I've lived more than I could've dreamed. Now its your turn. Do you have any requests before I put you back under?"

Nine hesitates, as if apprehensive about sleeping once more. Her dark eyes find his and she starts to shake her head but stops. "Don't leave me under…if something goes wrong…or they find out. I don't want Ceres to deal with it. I want to. It would…break her in several ways." There is a solemness to her, closing her eyes. "Just don't leave me so that I can not protect that life…not if I have the knowledge to help them." She shivers, suddenly feeling the cold when she had so far been able to ignore it.

The Six smiles warmly, for the first time a little bit of pride showing on his face for the Nine. "Welcome to compassion, Nine. Its the hardest one for us to learn, I think." In the end, he nods. "If it looks like I'm going to be captured or found out, I'll help them. I'll do everything I can to stay with you. All that belief in God? The wars over religion? Forget all of it. If I've learned one thing from humanity, its that we need to have faith in each other. That we'll hold up our word. To them, and to ourselves." He extends her hand to her to shake. "I look forward to seeing the woman you become, Nine. I look forward to the day when you're not some model number, but a name and a smile. Thank you."

"Just don't let me sleep if there is something I can do," Nine repeats and then reaches out, taking that hand offered to her and giving it a firm, quick shake. A woman of little words and more action, she releases to let her hand fall to her side. "No, thank you. I do not envy you what you must do. I do hope, for the sake of what you want, that you are successful." She salutes, this she knows how to do, this Ceres knows how to do as well. "Don't let them destroy this place…its growing on me." Even if its still a little disconcerting. "You are not alone, six..not at all." Its a hint that she is here, that she will be here if he wishes to wake her.

Six shakes his head, still holding that smile. "I'll try to refrain from calling on you. I want you to live, Nine. Adopt Ceres and all her pain and beauty. Embrace it. Its like inhaling pure life. But yes, well, we do what we have to. In order to save ourselves sometimes we have to make a stand. He returns the salute. "I'll kill anyone or anything that tries to take it away, Ceres. Good luck and don't get killed." He holds the salute, staring at her for a few beats. "I order you to sleep." And just like that, Ceres is staring back at Knox saluting her with some pride on his face. "Thanks for the help with the transmitter, sir."

Nine's consciousness fades before she can reply about not being woken again, guarded by the six in her sleep in order to give her a life. Ceres takes over, Ceres who will likely never know what she truly is. The look on his face causes the woman's brows to furrow and she stares hard and long, blinking. "I…yes, yes of course." She lifts her hand, saluting again in return as she looks about, a bit dazed and confused. "We are finished?" Did she ever touch that transmitter?! Of course, she had to, right? Of course, don't act like anything is off. She offers a smile, "I think I need some of that coffee, so damn frakkin cold.." She goes back to squeezing herself about with her arms, leaning in to the fire. "Spring should hurry up and come visit this damned planet, would like to get some face time with a rock. Carry on, Sergeant, I will be close if you still need me." That said, she nods her head and slips out.

Knox drops his salute and folds his hands behind his back, watching the Captain. "Of course, sir. We're done. I appreciate the help. Should help with the static on the Vipers' frequencies with ATC." He doesn't say anything else, though. He watches her go, stepping to the edge of the structure and looking after her. "Do it, Ceres," he whispers. "Make it count." He's there a moment longer before he bends the boom mic back around his lips and touches the transmit button on his radio. "Saber Six, Mike Six Four, you're cleared down on standard vectors…"

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