AWD #148: Men and Machines
Men and Machines
Summary: Rhonwen and Toby disagree on the nature of the skinjobs.
Date: 03/Jun/2013
Related Logs: None
Toby Rhonwen 
Fitness Center, Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
Smelling of sweat and grease, the Fitness Center is a place where individuals can come to work out or just work off stress. The area closest to the entrance is taken up by two very large sparring pads with a pathway down the center, each pad removable to reveal a Pyramid court beneath. The walls beside the pads hold lockers for everything from pugilist sticks to boxing gloves to rubber guns, though deadly weapons are strictly prohibited in here except by authorized personnel such as on-duty Military Police. Standing goalposts for Pyramid are also kept against the wall. Past the pads are a vast number of nautilus machines as well as free weights to lift. At the back of the room are workout bikes, rowing machines, treadmills, and stairclimbers. There is an entrance to the pool at the rear as well as a locker room to the side.
AWD #148

With the preparations for the upcoming war for Picon stepping up it seems just about everyone onboard is busier than usual. More work and longer shifts breeds both tiredness and tension and while so are perhaps foregoing some of their daily gym-time in favour of sleep, some are using it to work off some of that excess tension. It would appear that Toby is firmly in the latter category. Not that he's been doing much of late bar work and sleep, but today he seems to have found a bit of spare time to make a punch-bag exceedingly sorry about something or other. Judging by th amount of sweat on his brow he's been at it for a while, but he has his head down and doesn't seem to be intending to stop any time soon.

Rhonwen's hair has finally lost all its color and her hair is now silver. There are dark circles under her eyes and she dressed in a work out clothing. Her long hair has been braided today. She pauses just inside of the entrance to scan the room and see who is there. When she spots Cody she heads in his direction. "It is good to see you are still here, how are you holding up? I hope the pilots here are treating you well?" She asks him in greeting.

Toby doesn't look like he's immediately inclined to answer, but after a moment he works out just where he knows the voice from and looks up, holding onto the bag for a moment to stop it from swinging as he does so. Catching his breath a moment and using one hand to wipe his brow he then replies, perhaps a little shortly, but he's trying to keep it light, "anywhere else you were expecting me to be?" With the bag now seeming still he straightens properly, stretching his arms as he does so. "I'd be a frak load better without toasters walking around onboard, but at least it looks like we're going to be going to back to actually killing their kind again soon."

"We live in uncertain times, these days I assume nothing. Expect the worse and hold on to what little hope I have left." Rhonwen shrugs her shoulders as she explains. "I have a feeling they are turning out more like us. Not everyone is god and not everyone is bad. In this case not all of them are out for genocide." She tilts her head to the side as she looks at him. "Something eating at you? You have done a number on that poor punching bag?"

"Only uncertainty I see at the moment is if we kill them before they kill us," Toby replies with a slight shake of his head, "they've made their intentions clear, just remains to be seen if we have the stomach and the balls to do what is needed to survive." At her question he just shakes his head again, "same as before, those billions of souls that can't rest until we finish our work." He almost manages to leave it there, but a moment or two later feels compelled to add, "which of course we can't do if we have to play nice with some of them."

"Two wrongs do not make a right. We too should not practice the same genocide that they have. Also to survive we need allies and we need informants who are behind the lines. This will give us the ability to act." Rhonwen points out in a mild manner. She continues to study him with her sea green eyes before she takes a seat on the mat near him. "Those that were responsible for the genocide and the war should be dealt with and killed. Using everything to our advantage is not playing nice, it is called being practical."

"We have to get them all," Toby states flatly, "it's the only way we can be sure those souls can move on. You point one out to me who downloaded or whatever they call it after War Day and say he didn't do it, but how do we know if the downloaded files and programming didn't belong to one that did." A little firmer, and hardened he continues, "and giving them citizenship is beyond the pale. It's spitting in the face of the dead and another example of just what is wrong with way the colonial government and it's offshoots see the universe." In an effort to stop himself from working himself up again he turns back to the bag once more and hits it rather solidly a few times, offering as he does so, "still, at least we're going back to killing some of them."

"I wrote the policy and I will stand by what I wrote. I know there are no rules to warfare and that Lady Justice weeping at night. But, that still does not mean that I will allow her to be silenced." Rhonwen's voice is quiet and calm and her tired eyes burn with passion when she speaks of policy, law order and Lady Justice. "You are entitled to your opinions. Do not think I do not see the dead every time I close my eyes. I see each and every one of those children who took up arms, I remember their names. I still stand by that policy and it is a risk and chance we have to take. Just like there is a risk and chance that one day one of us may die of mundane causes like stepping from the shower or diving into the pool. The dead will rest when order has been restored and we as humans are able to move forward and live on. Only then will that happen. What is left of humanity is legacy of the dead. Letting a few allies live and join the ranks of our kind does not do their memory disservice but give it meaning, because it shows that we hold on to what makes humans. In the same breath the Cylons could be thinking that we are inferior race and that we are ones that are evil." She points out. Her tone remains quiet and calm. "two wrongs do not make a right. You can damn me until end of your days and beyond but I would save your breath. I most likely already am."

"The dead will have their rest once their deaths have been avenged, until then they are trapped and no words or intentions will change that," Toby replies. He's aiming it as an explanation rather than a rebuttal, but he can't keep the entirety of the edge out of his voice as he thumps the bag a couple more times. "We do their memories disservice every day by allowing machines to walk amongst us and claim the same rights as living,. breathing people. Not just any machines either, murderous ones." He stops punching once more and turns to look at Rhonwen, "you call them allies. Will you still do so when they turn on us, betray everything we're trying to build here? Everything we're trying to save? When their mainframes, or whatever they are download new programmes into them and this nice and cosy front they're trying to present is removed? They are machines, nothing more, they're just good at hiding it in the hope we'll forget."

"If they betray then they are killed, as per the law." Rhonwen responds back to him in an even tone. "Those that are or appear to be human deserve a chance. They are capable of living and breathing. It can be argued that we are conditioned through life and through school." She points out. "What my personal beliefs are do not matter. I stand by law, order and justice. For Justice there are many varying degrees of it." She points out. "We can even be programed, we can have Cylon personalities. We can be just as evil as they can be. We are their creators. What we are trying to save is not personal property but lives. Each life that is lost, another needs to be gained, to do that we need to broaden our thinking. Use what we have been offered and what is available." She looks up at him as she talks. Her voice is still calm and there is no edge to it.

"We aren't machines," Toby replies with deep felt conviction, "we were born, not created. If we're going to start handing out Citizenship and rights to all comers than I'd far rather it go to DRIDAS, how many likes have those machines saved over the years? And how about the water reclaimers, do they get to vote now? There is a line," he helpfully draws one in the air with his finger, "humans on one side, machines on the other. If a machine breaks, or becomes a risk, you destroy it, you don't redefine it's existence. Yes, we created them, a long ime ago, and that was a mistake. Now we have seen just how critical it is to correct that mistake, not allow them to learn more and more about us that can then be used to finish the job they started on Tauron, on Troy, on Sagittaron, on Gemenon, on Virgon, on Canceron. No survivors, no survivors, no survivors. Do I need to continue?" He shakes his head again and turns back to venting with his fists in the hope it'll help keep things in check when he talks.

"I do not agree with you and I envy your ability to see everything so black and white. I envy you the ability to turn your hated into ignorance. Would you do the same for a human who is not fit to live in within our society; would you destroy them as well, instead putting them in prisons?" Rhonwen asks him in that same calm tone her face is hard to read as it is like her tone. "If a human breaks, should we be put down as we do animals. Would you say that every machine is alike? Would say that every human is alike? Some would argue that we are paying for the sin of their creation. We were created in the images of the Lords and ladies and they the cylons were created in our image? Would you be able to say what you just said to me now to the face of the one human like cylons? You have drawn that invisible line but what you said for the machine can apply to us." She pauses then adds. "Think about we created them in our image, the gods created us in theirs. We at times will curse the gods and say they are dead to us, but what of them? Perhaps they are doing what we would have done if the gods were here alive and walking the colonies with us?"

"No," Toby replies quickly as he glances back to the Captain once more, "I wouldn't say that of a human, of a person. As I said, there is a line, humans and machines. That is where the difference lies, not with what someone happens to look like." The implication in her words seems to have cut pretty deep for it takes a moment or two before he can continue after that initial rebuttal. "Would I say it in front of one of them? Yes. Line 'em up, I'll do it now, frak, record it, show it to each and ever other abomination we decide to let within our defences. Show them that not everyone is just going to lie down and swallow whatever they want us to believe, that some of us will be more than happy to show them an airlock just as soon as they show their true colours. I'll even say it to the other toaster onboard, the one in the mess that burns the bread each morning, just say the word." It's quite likely apparent now that he's fuming as he finishes with the final piece of her argument. His reply though is oddly more succinct than the rest, "you may be unhappy with your gods, but I am content with mine."

"It is but an example." Rhowen says. "So you are saying that those in our history who have committed acts of genocide and are mass murders, rapist and those who have committed murder deserve more than one chance to redeem themselves in our society? But, a man who is not like us and who has saved countless lives, and has turned his back on others, deserves to die?" She asks. "Who has forsaken what you call his programing?" Her tone is the same as is the expression on her face. His own actions and words and passion appear to have little effect on the tired woman.

Toby shakes his head once more, "no. I'm saying that a person has rights and that a machine does not. It is not a man and the other is not a woman, any more than the frakking dishwasher is. They don't think, they don't feel, they can't. They might be programmed to believe that they do, but that's all it is, programming. Programming that enables them to fool us into thinking 'hey, they're not all so bad' and letting our guard down while the others continue their genocide. It hasn't forsaken it's programming, it can't, this is simply a stage in it." Stilling the bag once more he takes a deep breath then lets it out slowly, evidently calming himself once more before, after a pause he adds, "You know, I think I prefered it back on Picon, when we talked Pyramid."

"Here is one more question for you, what if those skin Cylons could procreate as you and I? What then?" Rhonwen tilts her head to the side. "Unfortunately things change; it is the nature of life, for better or for worse." She takes a deep breath and slowly lets it out. "I have not thought about or played Pyramid's in a long time. How about you? Have you found time to play?"

"What if?" Toby replies with almost a sigh, "what if Tauron hadn't been turned into a ball of nuclear fire? What if the sun suddenly fails to rise over Picon? What if suddenly we all wake up and find these past months have been a dream? There's no place for what ifs, not now." Glancing across to the court he shakes his head to her later questions, "not in the past couple of months, did briefly, but there's too much work to be done at the moment."

"Toby nothing is black and white. I would rather us rebuild and win and not fall into ruin by losing sight of what we hold dear. Perhaps I am to be damned by all those who died. But, I do envy you and others like you." Rhonwen moves to stand from where she was sitting. "Perhaps you and I when your temper is not hot could find enough people to play a game?"

"And I would rather win by sticking to what we are and not allowing them to pray on our thoughts and feelings to attack us from within. That way lies only our obliteration," is Toby's less optimistic reply. The edge is gone now though and his tone is calmer, if no less heartfelt. As for a game? He glances to the courts again and shrugs, "Maybe? I dunno, there's so much to do."

"My dear perhaps another time or perhaps we will not. Take care of yourself; I think I will leave here so that you may continue your workout in peace." Rhonwen offers him a bow of her head. "Thank you for this conversation." She says politely.

"I'll do my best," Toby replies with a slight nod, "and you do the same." He watches for a moment or two as she makes to leave then refocuses on the bag infront of him and starts venting tension and frustration straight at it once more.

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