AWD #409: Half Past Three
Half Past Three
Summary: Skyler talks to Clara, the revealed Three.
Date: 4 & 7/08/16 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: They Come in Threes
Clara Skyler 
Brig
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.
Sun Feb 19 2006 (AWD #409)

The guard stationed at the metal desk by the hatch looks bored. He'd probably been hoping for a rowdy prisoner to liven up his shift in here, but instead what he's got is a cylon who seems perfectly happy to stare at the wall and eschew most attempts at conversation.

She's currently perched on the edge of the cot and clad in standard-issue brig attire that looks to be two sizes too large on her lanky frame. Her hair, though, is brushed and she appears not unkempt in the slightest. There's a tray housing half-eaten mess hall rations, and a cup of what smells like slightly scorched green tea held in her hands. She appears to be thoroughly lost in thought.

The last she was down here was to speak with the Twelve. Their last conversation before she was suddenly sent on assignment on Picon. Upon returning… he'd been released to his line. When Skyler steps in, there's a glance to the cell the male skinjob had occupied. Her expression is fairly smooth, but there is a slight furrow in her brow before she looks to the guard on duty. There's always a second within earshot if need be and to this one, she nods. Marginally. He takes it as a cue to retreat to the door. Within earshot, but giving them the room as it were.

The jig moves slowly, her gait hindered by the brace on her right leg. The memory of what took her ability to pilot away. At least she's been able to largely go without cane… and it makes grabbing a chair to drag over towards Clara's cell easier. It's as she nears that a length of rebar tucked under her arm along with clipboard can be seen.

"Specialist Mercier?" Skyler sits, right leg at an angle for comfort. "I'm Lieutenant," JG by the pins, "Almaeda. Intel officer."

Clara's cup is nearly full and no longer steaming; she's had perhaps a sip or two, but seems mostly content to just keep her hands wrapped around it. Her dark eyes drift across the room when she hears someone at the hatch. Visitors haven't been plentiful, aside from the crewman who sets down food for her a few times a day.

But it's the brace around Skyler's right leg that seems to draw the bulk of her interest. She tips her head, studying it for a while with unfettered curiosity. "Yes," is her absentminded answer to the question-not-really-a-question. "What happened to your leg, Almaeda?"

Were she Elias, Skyler perhaps wouldn't answer the question. Or deflect it. Instead, the woman situates clipboard on her lap with the rebar across it. She glances to her leg, then back to the Corpsman. "A routine recon turned out to be not so routine. The FTL barely spooled in time." She's hobbled, but at least she's alive. There's other signs of it, for one who knows how to spot it. Thin, faded scars just a handful of months old. Shrapnel.

She does not, however, linger on the topic long. "I've seen the report of the incident in the gym, in which the Six identifying as Cooper Knox named you a skinjob. Care to tell me your side of things?"

The rebar, too, is noted as it's positioned atop the clipboard. Concerned, curious, amused; none of these are hinted at in Clara's blank stare. She listens to the brief synopsis behind the injury, and supplies somewhat guilelessly, "I could take a look at it for you some time. If you're looking to get back some range of movement. Won't be able to fly again, I don't think, but might hurt less." She pauses a moment before taking a sip of her tea, then answering the question, "There's not much more to tell. He told you I want asylum?"

"Perhaps. We'll see." The words come a touch haltingly, but Skyler's jaw tics. Just a bit. She's holding tight to her role this time. Maybe she learned from her interactions with the Twelve. At the query, she tilts her head in a nod. "It was included in the report. Though we are curious… Why did you not request asylum sooner? Especially considering there are skinjobs accepted and operating within the fleet." She doesn't get to the rebar just yet, no. It's there, but it doesn't seem to be in a threatening manner. Just another prop, perhaps.

Clara notices the tic. Of course she does. In fact, it causes her to smile slightly in a way that's equal parts amusement and.. something else. "We? Who's we?" Straight-faced again by the time she speaks, she moves to set her cup down beside the cot with a soft -tink- of porcelain on deck plating. Her accent is a pretty good impression of Gemenese - a commoner, but an educated commoner, from Illumini. "I wanted to live my life. Raise my son. Would you give yourself up to your enemies if you could just pass for one of them, instead?"

"What ultimately happens isn't my decision alone. They don't trust things like that to jigs." There is a hint of humor in the officer's own voice, but it's thin. "You had to know the risk involved. It looks worse that you did not seek asylum sooner." Skyler offers this… not in an unkind way, no. It's a statement of fact, the woman's head tilting slightly as she watches Clara. There's observation there, to be certain. Of body language. Motion. Even the accent, yes. Skyler's own is Virgan. Lazily spoken, but definitely of the upper class. Perhaps nobility.

The rebar is picked up finally. Held awkwardly, for its weight. She leans forward; holding one end and extending the other so that it can pass through the bars. "A test of strength." She looks, briefly, towards the cameras that film within the brig at all times. "To serve as proof as to what you are. Humor me, please."

"'course not," murmurs the young woman dismissively, as if it were obvious. Which, probably, it is. She's well enough versed in the military to know that such a junior officer is little more than a way to feel her out. The rod of rebar is eyed as it's handed to her through the bars. "What do I look like to you, a circus animal?" She doesn't move from the cot. "I don't stand to gain anything. If you doubt what I am, then you've got no cause to hold me here, right?"

"If you are a skinjob, you are of a line that should not… exist, as it were." Skyler does not withdraw the rebar. Not immediately. After a moment, her arm begins to shake and she pulls back, dropping it beside her chair with a sound that clatters before it rings. "Boxed. You could be something else. Something new. Either way, they want proof of what you are." She crosses one leg over the other, propping up her clipboard.

"A test of strength seemed easiest. There's no intent to put you on display. Just a simple test. One and done." Skyler speaks as if it's not a new point of discussion for her. As if perhaps she's gone over this before. "Alright then. Let's chat. Why are you on the Orion?"

Clara makes absolutely no move to accept the rebar. Her dark eyes hold Skyler's, and there's a glimmer of that curious, not entirely wholesome warmth when she observes the officer's arm begin to waver as the muscles reach their limit. "Got fast-tracked into service when I was down on Picon. Patched people up in the resistance there, for a while, but they needed medics ship-side." It's a touch chillly in here, which she doesn't seem immune to; her hands rub at her arms atop the drab overalls. "So I went where I was needed."

"Then I suppose the question is why join the resistance? Why enlist in service?" Skyler's watching Clara just as the other watches her. A lot of the nerves she had in her early questioning of the Twelve is gone. She may not be old hat yet, but she's learned. She's adapting to her job. Once pilot. Now spook. "Or were you… unaware of what you are, at that time?"

Clara returns the other woman's gaze evenly, neither seeking to intimidate nor to back down. Her slim shoulders lift in a shrug, and she asks in return, "Why'd you enlist?" The latter question is disregarded, and there's a soft creak of the cot in protest as she pushes to her feet. Apparently someone thought it was worth a shot restraining her; sturdy looking shackles bind her ankles to one another with no more than a few inches of slack. Though if she can bend that rebar, she would certainly make quick work of the restraints. "Pilots run in the family? Or maybe you got handed an ultimatum?"

"An ultimatum, yes," Skyler says after a long moment, watching Clara. There is a glance to the shackles and the jig frowns, briefly. Her gaze rises again, shortly after. "It was the academy or an arranged marriage. I thought marriage would be the death of me. Turns out I was right." For she'd have been sitting on Virgon during the attack. On a planet hit so hard it's now coming apart at the seams. "And you? Was it an ultimatum? A whim?" She pauses, looking to her clipboard and tapping her pen against it.

"Giving you asylum is high on our list. You've shown no threat so far. But we need to have a better understanding of who you are, Specialist. Both as a skinjob and as a person."

Clara nods slightly when Skyler elucidates. She's patient, too patient, not an ounce of irritation or discomfiture present in her mien. Just a bit cold, and they certainly don't have detainees here living in the lap of luxury; her blanket is whatever could be spared from provisioning. "Marriage isn't so bad," she opines quietly, watching the tapping pen for a moment. Then a slow blink and a step closer to the bars. "I just don't have much to say. You're pretty new at this, aren't you?"

"Well. Pilots aren't often trained in the specifics of intel." Skyler doesn't seem bothered by Clara approaching the bars. "I know how to gather data, but-" She lifts her shoulders in a shrug. "I don't know when you came aboard. Even if it was quite recent, it's known. We had a Twelve here." The video went… well, as viral as a video can aboard the ship. "I spoke with him quite a bit. I suppose I could try the bullying tactic. Treat you like a dangerous prisoner, but-" the officer shrugs. "I found just talking seemed better for both of us."

She does push to her feet after a moment. Perhaps awkwardly. The clipboard is tossed over to the desk to land with a thud — startling the MP without, who opens the door — before stepping from the chair. Rebar and chair are left be. "Corporal-" after a glance at the man's rank. "I'll be back. I need to get a few things."

"No. I guess not." Mercier seems thoughtful about that, like it's a perplexity to ponder during one of those yawning bouts of isolation that have characterised her time in here thus far. Talk of the Twelve causes her to frown slightly, though she keeps her own counsel where the model line is concerned. "Okay," is barely murmured as the intel officer makes to depart. Never mind that the explanation was not intended for her. The waifish medic eventually shuffles back to her cot, and sinks onto the edge of it, tea cup returned to her hands so she might pick up her ruminations where she left off.

—-

It hasn't been terribly long. More than a few minutes, mind. Long enough that Clara might think Skyler isn't returning… even if she left her clipboard and the rebar behind. However, the next time the door to the brig opens… there stands the intel officer once again. She's holding a blanket. Still a standard issue sort, but it's more what one might be given for their bunk than those provided in the brig. She steps forward, gait careful, and unfolds it enough to easily hold it through the bars.

"Have you been down to Piraeus yet?" It's a quiet question. Perhaps innocuous.

Clara is sitting in the same spot Lieutenant Almaeda left her. She's been alone, for the most part, with her thoughts for the better part of a few days, so a few more minutes doesn't seem to bother her. Dark eyes come up slowly when she hears the hatch creak open again, and betray the briefest flicker of anticipation before her expression is carefully schooled back into neutrality.

"Yeah," she answers the question, cautiously. "Priam lives there. I go down to see him once a week or so." Hesitation before she pushes to her feet and shuffles closer to the bars, in order to accept the blanket being offered. "Thanks." The other woman is studied for a time, the half-folded fleece held against her body almost protectively.

"Ah." Not the answer Skyler was expecting, it seems. When the blanket is taken, she withdraws. First to the desk for her clipboard, then to the chair. It's a slow process and during, she's fairly quiet. It's not until she's settled again that a new query comes forth. "Priam being the…" a check of notes, "son you have there? We do have people checking in on him. He'll be taken care of. I promise." It at least comes out genuine. Perhaps haltingly, but the jig has her eyes on the Corpsman the whole time, save for the check of notes.

Clara re-settles on the edge of the cot, blanket still huddled to her slight frame. "My son," she confirms, slightly emphasising the word 'my'. "He goes to kindergarten. He'll be wondering why I didn't come down to see him yesterday. Could you make sure he knows I'm okay?" Her care for the child, too, seems genuine. If it's a ruse, it's a carefully crafted one.

"Of course. I'd… assume those working with him already have, but I'll check." Social work. Not her personal field of expertise by a long shot. Skyler does jot a quick note. "What was your first visit to Piraeus like? Did anything about it stand out to you? The Twelve… had a deep desire to be there under the sun."

Clara's gaze tracks Skyler's hand as she writes, then drifts back to her face when she asks her question. For a few moments, silence; it looks like she's carefully considering her words before she answers. "Yeah. It's got some.. significance to us. But you already knew that, didn't you." Fingertips absently tuck her bangs out of her eyes, and behind one ear. "If you're looking for specifics, you're asking the wrong person."

"I did, yes. Knox and I have spoken about it. He hasn't told me, if he knows, what exactly the significance is, but it's clear there is one. I guess-" Skyler purses her lips, thinking. "The way Knox has told me and what I saw with the Twelve, it's like an awakening." It's the best word she has and for the moment, she's not writing. She's just watching the Three. "I guess I'm just curious to know how it was for you. Admittedly, if you hadn't been to the planet yet, we were were going to make sure you did make it down there."

There's a shift in the chair and the woman considers. "Your line… Boxed. We've been told some about it. Why were you? Or, I suppose… why was your line, but not you?"

Mention of Knox causes Clara to frown slightly. Nothing's said of the Six, however, or of the awakening Skyler speaks of, or Piraeus as a whole. She doesn't seem to want to talk about it, whatever she experienced down there. "Defective," she offers up quietly instead, as to why her line was boxed. It sounds like a rote answer; something she internalised a long time ago, and offers by rote. "I got away. I stole a zip pod and I ran away as far as I could. Wouldn't you?" The question is asked with a touch of bite, dark eyes seeking Skyler's.

"I would." Skyler doesn't have to think twice. "I just didn't know it was possible. I guess none of us did." No specific reference to who the 'us' is, but seeing as she's discussed things with Knox in the past… "Would there be a way to… free your line?" A pause as she thinks. "Actually… if there were, would you want to? The Six," she tries this, instead of the particular man's name. "is very vehement about identity. About being one's own self. I could see… not wanting to share who you are with others."

"Of course it's possible." She seems vaguely annoyed by the line of questioning, in the manner of a child who is capable only of seeing things from their own perspective. Indeed, she seems disinclined to answer the questions posed to her at all, were it not for that asylum she's claimed. "I don't.. think.. we can be unboxed. At least, One wouldn't tell me. I don't remember what the others of my line are like. I don't think I like the idea of having copies of myself running around, you know?"

"I've been asked something similar before," Skyler offers, attempting a brief smile towards Clara. "And no, I can't say I'd like it either. It was just something we were curious about." Her voice fades off as she looks down to her clipboard. Her eyes are a bit unfocused, as if in thought. There's finally a deep breath. "Can you tell me anything about the other lines? Anything you… remember, know-" she shrugs, looking up. "Specifically the Fives." And after Randy and Kapali's reaction and explanation on Libran… it shouldn't come as a huge surprise that the intel officer asks about that particular line.

Clara's gaze tips up, and to the left, focusing briefly on one of the security cameras embedded in the ceiling that's pointed at her. "Strength," she supplies after a moment, looking back to Skyler. "I remember her having.." Her teeth dig into her lower lip as she thinks, as if reaching that far back into her memory requires physical effort. "..reservations about the war. But not enough to do something about it." It's probably clear by now that Three is not one of the primary combatant lines.

This answer seems to surprise Skyler. Enough that she just looks at Clara for a long moment. "Reservations? Really?" A quickly scribbled note. "I guess… between the lines that have been banned on Libran and the level of hostility, it was believed she was… loyal to a fault." She seems uncertain of the wording, but not of the overall sentiment. "What about the Sevens? Or… yourself. I know the lines have… traits. The Six's are Honor. Twelve's Justice. Knox told me the Sevens represent… Boldness. Do you know how they felt about the war?" She does shift more towards the edge of her chair as she speaks. As if preparing to stand.

Clara tucks her legs up onto the cot, folding them 'indian' style with the blanket still held close to her body for warmth. They'll have to pry that thing from her cold, dead little cylon hands. She shakes her head. "I didn't know the Sevens very well." And that seems to be that.

As Skyler looks like she's preparing to leave, there's a brief flicker of disappointment in the medic's eyes. Nothing she's likely to 'fess up to, but it's likely the company is appreciated. Apropos of seemingly nothing, she tells her quietly, "Mercy."

"Mercy." Skyler repeats it. No notes made regarding the Seven. None to be made, in the end. The woman does note this on her clipboard before tucking it under her arm. "Clara," using the Corpsman's first name. "You should have requested asylum sooner." It's a gentle sort of admonishment. Spoken perhaps largely in concern. She lifts a hand, waving towards the door. A pre-planned gesture, perhaps, for one of the MPs comes in and he's taking out keys.

"Specialist, you are being relinquished into the care of an MP escort. You will not be allowed to go on missions until we've arranged a trial. I'm sure arrangements to visit your son can be made. You will need to speak with the CMO as it will be up to her whether or not you return to duty." And the MP is opening the cell and it seems up to Clara whether she steps out or not.

"I recommend you talk to your friends. You're going to need people to testify on your behalf when you go to trial." There's a pause and Skyler's lips pull into a ghost of a smile. "Talk to Knox or Doctor Tamsin," the Eleven, "if you have questions about it. They both went through it to earn their citizenship. You have asylum, but more than that is up to you, alright?"

Clara appears, for a fleeting moment, to be taken aback by the sight of the open cell door. She looks from it, to Skyler, with something approaching suspicion. The admonishment washes over her, for the most part; she did what she did, one presumes, to her own ends. She makes no attempt to defend her actions, or to apologise for them.

She does, however, slide off the cot and shuffle closer to the threshold of that open door - and wait for the guard to unlock the shackles that she presumably could have broken without a thought. "Okay," she murmurs, as to the CMO and returning to duty; her eyes have a shellshocked look that's not liable to fade any time soon.

And then there's nothing keeping her in here, once the MP backs away, one hand drifting near his sidearm in nervous reassurance. She ignores him utterly, nods once more to Skyler, and - with a look that speaks volumes more than a simple 'thank you' - allows herself to be escorted out of the brig and to freedom.

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