AWD #376: Just a Theory
Just a Theory
Summary: Sgt. Ynyr and Dr. Nadir discuss a few items that are points to ponder.
Date: Sat Jul 02 2016
Related Logs: http://battlestarorion.wikidot.com/definition-of-self
Lleufer Samtara 
Marine Enlisted Berthings - Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
Housing for a whole company of Marines plus headquarters support staff requires more than one hundred bunks for the Marines' enlisted personnel. Divided into two primary bunkhouses, each one holds sixty bunks, one bunk stacked over another against the wall with a table between each row and a thin bulkhead between the sections. Rather than the blue curtains of the naval enlisted, each bunk has a dark green barrier with the crest of the CMC done in black. The lockers for the Marines are triple the size of the Navy's allowances, each locker holding a Marine's personal bodyarmor and several different sets of uniforms plus combat webbing and helmet. The space physically provided in the lockers might be larger, but the allowance for personal space is less, though the drawers beneath each bunk help alleviate the problem somewhat.
Tue Jan 17 2006

Lleufer is off duty and just returnefd to the Marine berthings a few minutes ago. Sore and hurting from a bit of a scrap he was just in, the Jarhead MP dosen't say a word about it. He makes himself walk to his own bunk like nothing happened and lays himself down carefully with a grimace. His head is killing him though there's no mark to be seen on it, nor on his face. He's going to have a hell of a bruise or two beneath his tanks and tags though. Ynyr lays himself out on his back and tries to rest. He reaches a hand down to dig out the perception vile in his cargo pants pocket and looks to see how many of the pain pills he has left for his headaches. Two left, since he just took two. Lleu eyes them, thins his mouth and thinks about it a long moment before he opens it up and takes the last two. He pops them into his mouth and swallows them dry, then leaves the bottle on the trunk that doubles as a night table between the Marine bunks. His eyes close, willing things to ease up on hurting while he tries to think.

Gaining access to the marine barracks by sheer dint of simply walking through the ship to find the correct compartment, Samtara enters Marine Country with a mild amount of weariness. She checks the compartment labels again before nodding at a pair of marines emerging from the barracks then steps through the hatch as well and sweeps a slow look around the enclosed space with it's many bunks and foot lockers and something in the air that just says 'marines live here'. She absently taps the pencil she's carrying against the edge of the thumb in the same hand then begins moving through the room, searching for one particular marine among marines.

Yep, any non Marine officer that walks in /here/ has got to either be brave, crazy, or have a damn good reason, right? It smells of … Marines. Men and women alike who are not on duty are either laid up in their bunks sleeping, some with the partitions pulled down, while others are seated in groups playing cards or working on their laundry or kits. Plenty of boot polishing or cleaning of this or that, though they don't as a rule have weapons here in. Those get checked in and out at the Security Hub.

Lleufer Ynyr is lying on a lower bunk in row 4 back along the bulkhead. He's in tanks and tags, his arms bared and his hex tags lying on his chest a bit twisted to one side. His eyes are closed, aware that someone has come looking for him.

Yep, any non Marine officer that walks in /here/ has got to either be brave, crazy, or have a damn good reason, right? It smells of … Marines. Men and women alike who are not on duty are either laid up in their bunks sleeping, some with the partitions pulled down, while others are seated in groups playing cards or working on their laundry or kits. Plenty of boot polishing or cleaning of this or that, though they don't as a rule have weapons here in. Those get checked in and out at the Security Hub.

Lleufer Ynyr is lying on a lower bunk in row 4 back along the bulkhead. He's in tanks and tags, his arms bared and his hex tags lying on his chest a bit twisted to one side. His eyes are closed, unaware that someone has come looking for him. (repose because I'm a dork)

Drawing more than one curious, if not pointed, and some equally wary looks herself, Samtara moves through one section after another until spotting Ynyr lying on a lower bunk in row four and, with a carefully contained sigh of relief, angles in that direction. "Sergeant," she says as she approaches, then clears her throat softly, "if you have a moment?"

His pale grey-blue eyes open. Lleufer looks at the speaker from where he lays and it's his turn to be wary. No MP's with her, good. He starts to sit up and grimaces, instantly reminded why that's not a good idea. "Yeah, I'm here." With a little effort he carefully makes himself sit up and puts his boots on the floor but doesn't get up from his bunk. "Grab a chair and pull up a seat. What can I do for you, Captain?" The empty pill bottle is still on the foot locker but Lleu ignores it, watching her instead.

Samtara's eyes narrow ever so subtly, having almost no poker face to speak of save for the ability to adopt a look that is bland neutrality, as required, when required. She doesn't chose to do so now, however, and the grimace followed by the careful effort he puts into sitting up has her mentally shuffling the agenda around. "You're in pain," said in a quiet voice, and she absolutely is not sitting on any chair or empty bunk without going through her usual OCD germ eradication ritual. She instead tucks the pencil into one of her pockets and hooks both hands into the front pockets of her uniform trousers, "But not reporting to medical," also not a question there.

Frak'n doctor has eyes too sharp for her own good. Lleu flickers his gaze to briefly meet her eyes and almost shrugs, but that's not a good idea either. "I'm fine. Headache is killing me. Took something for it." He gestures to his empty bottle faintly. More hurts than his head but maybe she doesn't know that. "Marines live with pain. We feed and suckle on it. You know that. What do you need, Doc? I'm sure you didn't come in here to smell our dirty socks."

"You're evidencing a bit more combative than normal," once again that's not actually a question but more of a curious manner of visual assessment. "Intriguing," there's that word again before she tips her head subtly. "Your tone would indicate that you have a desire to have a verbal altercation with someone, possibly derived from the interaction that has led to the general unwell status paired with why you're in pain in the first place. I'd be happy to have a shouting match with you, if you'd like, I'm pretty good at those," she offers before she straightens subtly, head aligned once more. "However, I would prefer to speak with you on another matter. We could do both, if you'd like; Dr. Forrester is of the opinion that if I adapt better to the emotional needs of those around me that I would be better able to acclimate to those needs in a less rude manner. I think she is likely correct."

Samtara gets Lleufer Ynyr to half lid his eyes at her and yes, he most decidedly is in a bad mood. "I'd rather not loose my temper and punch you in the teeth, Doc. I've been in the brig before for decking an officer. Please do not tempt me today. Sir." A slow breath to try and keep his anger down. "If you want my opinion, I'd -prefer- you get on with whatever you came in here to talk with me about. Or leave." Yeah, Lleu's probably never been this crappy with Samtara before. Ever. He moves to lay himself back down on his bunk painfully and doesn't bother to take his boots off. "Major Gray said I could talk with you about projection. If that's what you've come about."

Samtara makes a quiet hum of sound before she carefully eyes the edge of the bunk that Leu is on and, with an effort that is probably not terribly pretty, she eases down to take a seat beside him. Or, more accurately, she takes a seat on the very edge of the bunk, mindful not to actually touch anything, her hands still tucked into her pockets and being equally mindful to avoid violating his personal space. "I'd rather prefer that you didn't punch me in the face, Sergeant, you know how many bones there are in the hand and how many teeth can get damaged?" Her voice quietly offers this question to Leu before she tips her head and eyes the sergeant again. "Yes, I would like to talk to you about your experience with Cylon projection, and now that you have permission from the Major to discuss it. However, cylon projection isn't going to go anywhere. If you want to talk about what ever it is that you're actually riled up about."

His head really does ache. When Samtara dares to sit on the edge of his bunk, Lleu opens his eyes to look at her with touch of surprise. It seems a bit more intimate and inside of his personal space than he was expecting but he doesn't say anything. After a long moment, he draws with a little more Aerilon accent than usual, "I'm aware." That about the hand and teeth question. This MP has busted plenty of people in the teeth over the years. His knuckles show the scars. "No." And that to wanting to talk about whatever pissed him off a touch. "It's … not important." A hint of a frown, then Lleu adds low, "Maybe I'll go talk to the shrink later. Doctor Forrester." He's obviously not a happy man right now and been keeping to himself more.

"There are a few key phrases that are commonly used that are only ever used when they are uttered when the exact opposite is true. For example 'I'm not stupid'," Sam notes with a mild tip of a nod. "Or 'I'm not thinking about anything' or 'That didn't hurt' followed by 'I feel fine' and in the same vein 'It's not important'." She fixes a silent look upon Leu before she adds, "Which is code for 'I don't want to discuss it with you, move to another topic'," she decodes rather well, apparently. "So. Tell me about your experience with cylon projection and how, by comparison, it differed from the experience that you had on planet with the entities that some are calling 'Ghosts'."

She gets an unfriendly look when she might be suggesting he's stupid, but as Sam goes on, it becomes more clear it's only one of several examples in her string. "Right." Yep, she hit the nail on the head, let's move along. Lleu takes a slow deep breath to try and relax but that hurts too, frak him. So he grinds his teeth a little as he thinks before he finally speaks again low, "The thing on Piraeus was brief and disorienting, but I'd say it wasn't really /any/ different from what Naomi did, except that she said she had to touch me to do it. Appar-rently these ghosts don't have to, or maybe since they are in-cor-poreal, they don't have to?" A faint negative movement of his head, "I don't know. In both cases it's as if you were /really/ there. Living, breathing, experiencing that moment. You can hear everything, see, even smell, feel things. Like the pounding the earth was taking in the bombardment. Like a dream, but much more sharply. As if it were utterly real and actually happening."

While Leu talks, Sam withdraws the notebook from one pocket and starts jotting down notes in shorthand, waiting until he's done speaking and until she's done with her notes before she glances up again. "In both cases, the visual, sensory and emotional immersion was complete?" she taps the edge of the pencil against the notepad. "Were you able to communicate with any other individuals within this immersion or merely a passenger, for wont of a better word, in the immersion itself?"

Lleufer thinks about that for a moment, "With the ghosts, the vision happened too fast to hardly react. To dive and crouch down, try to find cover. Only when it let up did they speak and interact with us, but even that is part of their vision, isn't it? That we can see and hear, and even some of the crew I heard 'touched' them and Captain Yamoha's hand felt like flesh, didn't it? Maybe you should ask Sergeant Flynn. I heard she and Corporal Kapali spoke with the 'Captain' on Saturnalia." Not him. Ynyr closes his eyes against his aching head think for a few seconds before he adds, "With Naomi, yeah. I could interact with anything in the environment, not just her, in the projection. She showed me a place she remembered, a garden, and we walked through it. I sat on a bench, I think."

Samtara makes a sound that is noncommittal, having eased into that expression of professional neutrality that conceals any impressions she may have made from what Leu has said but also, neatly, brushed aside her own opinions on this matter. "I have not spoken with them as yet, about their experience, that won't be my area. I took their blood samples, however, and that furthers my own research along another vein. This said," and she taps the edge of the pencil, briefly, against the notepad as she studies Leu for a silent moment. "Do you recall when the first computer games came out? The historical archives of them, at the very least, show them as awkward and blocky with pre-programmed routines and paths, with set phrases or words they could use in the built scene or scenario, no genuine interaction was possible. But as games advanced the designers were able to build in more and more and more facets and layers of interaction. It's still just a program, but it's a richly textured program and inclusive, immersive, environment. If, using that analogy, you could consider and compare your experience, do you find any correlation? From your perspective. In your opinion. I won't bind you to your answer, this is mere curiosity."

He opens his eyes and slightly turns his head where he lies to watch Samtara. Lleu frowns faintly, "I've been inside of an interactive hologram type of simulation for training purposes, as well as for gaming. I suppose, if it was really super above level, it would be possible. But you'd need some kind of AI for that level of inter-action, wouldn't you? I mean, /if/ skinjobs are machines, they could do that. But the ghosts? Otherwise how could a machine an-ti-ci-pate precisely how to answer and react to perfectly mesh it's answer with your inquiries?" Ynyr moves a hand to his aching head and lays his arm over his eyes, "I don't know, Doc. All of this makes my head hurt. I have a lot of questions but I don't seem to have any answers."

"Believe me, Sergeant, they are machines," Samtara says in a voice that is quietly calm but equally, and quietly, certain of her words. "There are many copies. And when one dies, within reach of their downloading capabilities, the lump sum of their memories and experiences is downloaded into some manner of a data storage cloud and then downloaded into the new body that is awakened. That they have a crush of memories to have to sift through is one of the flaws of their downloading process. But they download. Into a new body. They are machines. The model lines that have decided to fight for their independence, that have decided to fight alongside humanity for their own reasons, that have decided to be Real and not just a wind up tin soldier? They're machines, they're just . . sentient machines." She taps the edge of the pencil against the paper again, "I have not met the entities on planet and I do not aim to," she admits in that same quiet voice. "But to me, it sounds very similar to me."

Lleufer twists his mouth, "I'm well aware of what they are, Doctor. I'm less certain how much machine they are. Some, yeah, but even you can't tell them apart from a human if you scan their brains and inspect their cellular scructure, right? Or can you?" Nope, no mentioning how he put a bullet in Naomi's head himself to make her download. -That- still makes him a little sick to his stomach to think about it. He faintly shifts his jaw, "Why don't you? I'd think, as a researcher, you'd be keen to gather data."

Sam exhales a breath of a laugh, "The only other thing that I love more than being a surgeon, Sergeant, is doing research. I love it. It's linear in many ways, clean, in many ways, logical when it needs to be logical, creative when the need arises, and great leaps sometimes happen in research. And aside from being a surgeon, it's the only other thing that I could spend my life doing." She tips another nod at Leu, "I am gathering data. All data is relevant. All data is useful. And not on a cellular structure, it's deeper than that. Yes," she levels a quiet look at Leu, "there is a test. Yes, it works. No, I can't tell you more than that. There is a complex equation that selects samples for a double blind test, each sample is numbered, labeled, stored, and is withdraw according to the equation for testing. I can tell you that, at present, it will take an average of 46 years to test every single person in this battle group and the planet below, and that equation shifts outward in time line and projection every time we encounter new groups of survivors or incorporate new groups of soldiers into the number of fighting sailors, marines, air wing, crew, scientists, and more."

She shakes her head slowly, "It no longer matters how much machine they are, Sergeant. It no longer matters why, precisely, the are machine, in fact, it doesn't actually matter in the least. They are, Sergeant. The fact is simple. They are machines. Their entire war machine, for all we know, is countless moving parts that are equally sentient in one way or another. Their raiders, their gun boats, their centurions, their skinned models, these cylon parasites that they insert into humans to expand their reach, their 'hive' or 'collective' to use words that give a relatable perspective. They are. The human race, at large, not just this fleet, needs to accept this as fact. There is a bigger, and vastly more important, question to be asking. It's the question that the Admiral is asking. It's the question that all of us should be asking, should be looking into, should be wondering. Why. Now."

His poor aching head. Simple question equates to a long lecture. But hey, he's learning bits and pieces more than he did know. Ynyr frowns, "Have I been tested?" It's a strange, out of the blue question. Lleu's been under the knife with Sam more than enough times but no. His brow furrows faintly. He's not abnormally strong like Knox, able to carry far more than other Marines. So surely he's not. "Nevermind. Why and now? How is that even important? They simply reached a level where they /can/ so they are. Obviously you think there's more to it than that?"

"I don't know," Sam answers, honestly, her words paired with a slow shake of her head. "I outlined the specifications for the program, I ran the testing on the protocol itself to ensure that it works as designed, and then I had to step back from the equation and allow it to do as designed. Otherwise it would defeat the purpose of a double blind test. Interference cannot be allowed because it negates the entire purpose to foil any attempts to tamper with the testing itself. The team that does the testing doesn't even know what they're testing. They are instructed that they are doing bacteria cultures to ensure that no malignant bacteria or virii has been inserted into the fleet as a biological agent or weapon of war." She lifts her free hand and rubs, briefly, at the bridge of her nose with thumb and forefinger, looking rather tired all of a sudden, though she covers it well. "It matters. The admiral thinks it matters, and if he does, I'm inclined to think he's correct. They're machines, sergeant. They don't have to age and degrade and die. They can, if they wish, continually recycle themselves into new bodies and keep going. If they have to exist in a body at all, for all I know, they don't need to. Flesh, blood, bone, bodily fluids, why bother with it if they can elect not to. Again, the point of that is this: if they don't have to worry about the passing of time, if age and degradation of fighting force are not an issue, then what is their time line, and why. Why now."

"Why wait for revenge if you are ready to execute it now? Because they enjoy it?" He doesn't know. Lleu shifts his arm a little, "Doc, I need to get some sleep. Anything else you want to know about projection? You never did answer why you won't go down to Piraeus and try to talk to those 'ghosts' or whatever they are yourself."

"Because the notion, the very suggestion, the very idea itself, of allowing some entity or non human to invade my thoughts to insert their own images and feelings and sensory feedback into my mind, is abhorrent. It is repellent to me, at the very core of sense of self, I loathe the idea. Loathe," Sam's words are quietly vehement. "Cannot abide such a thing. Period. The idea that something like this could be foisted upon me, with or without my permission, is a violation of a sort that there is absolutely no precedent for aside from the worst sort of personal assault. To further that idea, there's the notion that while they are feeding you or me or anyone else this line of sensory immersion they are equally rifling through your mind to access data, tactical analysis, recon intel, who knows, but what if this is a two way street for gathering intel. They, be they the cylons or those what-ever's on planet, give you a nice show to distract your conscious mind. Then they do a clean sweep of your short term and long term memory, just snag it all in a data dump, then let you go again. Oh look, something shiny, distract the human," her words are pointed but quietly spoken as she rises to her feet. "Looks like a trap, talks like a trap, walks like a trap, Sergeant, then the greater odds are that it's a trap of some kind. I'm a cynic, I know. But I do not, ever, want them in my head. Ever. And no, but thank you, nothing more right now. I would appreciate if you would schedule some time to speak with Dr. Forrester and possibly Dr. Thanos."

That has got his attention. Lleu watches her and has shifted his arm down from his head, "I don't think … seriously, /you/ don't think they can do that?" Despite his pain, he sits up. Now she's done it. Ynyr looks spooked at that idea, trying to refuse it. "You don't think that's what Naomi did to me, or do you?" Aannddd she tells him, perhaps -orders- him to go see Dc. Forrester, and perhaps Dr Thanos. Thanks Sam. Now you have his heart rate jumped up, "Why?"

"I have no proof, it is pure conjecture, speculation at best, a theory, and every scientist knows that every single theory ever speculated can be wrong. The vast majority of theories are wrong, in fact. After all, that is what success looks like, being wrong and failing thousands of times until it gets right. Just once. That's success." Sam nods slowly, "Yes. Yes I do think that they can do that. I do, indeed, think that Naomi did that to you. Whether it was out of curiosity, out of sheer instinct, out of programming or because she could, or because she had to, I don't know. I am less inclined to consider her as trustworthy of a source as Knox or even as the Nine's are, Elle, that is, as she is called, the one who we have had for so long in sickbay."

She sighs, tucking the notebook away, the pencil as well, "Because you have something that is obviously pressing upon you, and I don't know what it is, or why it is, but you need to speak of it with someone. And you can't or won't speak of it with me. Speak to Dr. Forrester, and speak with Dr. Thanos about your experience on planet. You didn't ask for my opinion or my insight, and I'm not dragging you to sickbay to tend to what ever is causing bruises to form because you do not wish to be treated. Which means that, in some manner, you feel that these injuries and the resulting pain and discomfort from same are, in some way, deserved. I can't help you with that," once more her voice is quiet and pitched for his ears only, "but you need to speak to someone. Whether she did it on purpose is moot, it was still done to you, and I believe that this is weighing upon you." She offers a half curve of a smile before she leans down and rests one hand, lightly, on his shoulder, careful to allow only the weight of her hand for a moment and nothing more, to violate his personal space, before she straightens again. "Last time I checked, Marine, we don't leave people behind. I'm damn well not going to leave you behind to stew on this when I can nag you to the point of insanity until you go talk to someone about it and get this out of your system. Don't think that I won't, either. Ask anyone. I'm annoying. And not terribly personable, and my bedside manner sucks. So buck up, and go talk to someone. I'll tell Dr. Forrester to be expecting you."

Yes, and now he has suddenly a lot more to weigh on him. Ynyr looks a little livid but he's dead silent as he watches the Captain. Sam's hand on his shoulder makes a muscle in the right side of his jaw jump. The 'leave people behind' comment makes him break that eye contact and look elsewhere. Yep, she got his heart going pretty hard there. Upset him. Finally he gives a nod and unglues his mouth enough to say very low, "Yes, you are annoying. But you mean well. I know that." Now he won't be able to sleep.

"Anger is fuel, Marine. Burn it, as such. Don't let it burn you," Sam advises as she gives that half curve of a smile again. "I'd rather be angry, any day, than sad or guilty or anything else. Anger is perfectly good fuel, if you manage it properly. When you get some of the anger out, come talk to me again," she asks and steps away from his bunk. "And yes, Sergeant, I am angry rather often, personally. I don't sleep all that well these days, and angry keeps me alert, keeps me focused. There is always much to do, and never enough hours in the day to get it all done while also respecting the time constraints and reasonable expectations of those in my department." With that she tips a nod at him then winds her way back through the racks of bunks and back out the same way she came in, without every actually touching anything along the way.

Sam doesn't get an answer from him. Lleufer watches her and has listened, but he's feeling pretty shitty right now. Both physically and emotionally. He lays himself back down on his bunk and mutters quit low to himself, "What about fear? Shame and self loathing?" His jaw tightens but at least for now, Lleu'll just stay in his bunk and try to let the pain meds help. Maybe even knock him out if he's lucky, but to say he's got a lot on his mind is an understatement.

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