AWD #189: One More Thing

Captain Gray has a captive One to deal with, and seeks some insight from Sergeant Knox, the Six.

AWD #189: One More Thing
Summary: Captain Gray has a captive One to deal with, and seeks some insight from Sergeant Knox, the Six.
Date: 14/07/2013
Related Logs: AWD #163: There Can Only Be One
Elias Knox 
Map Room, Deck 2
Dominating the room is the large bottom-lit map table in the very center. Ten feet across and eight feet the other way, the table can gather a large number of people around it while still accommodating enlisted and support personnel in the small riser seating behind the table. The risers are done in single-piece desk sections that run the width of the seating area and have small reporting displays built into them along with communications ports for headphones. At the head of the room are two very large LED displays that can have almost anything put on them, including projections of what is on the map table. A single computer at the support seating controls this and in the rear of the room is a large, locked case that holds maps and table models.
Thu Jul 14 16:33:56 2005 AWD #189

Some time has passed, but requests have finally gone out through channels — Intelligence would like to interview the team members who went down to Picon and captured Major Flynn. Perhaps no surprise, Sergeant Knox's name was on the top of the priority list. Elias has also managed to clear the Map Room for the meeting, which meant evicting part of the Tactical staff who has been camping there, planning for the counter-offensive. The appointed hour finds the Intel Officer seated at the central table, with his habitual cigarette between his lips and a bunch of reports and photos spread out in front of him. He peers through the thin haze of blue smoke that now surrounds him, looking like he's trying to divine something from the pattern of the papers themselves, rather than the words or pictures upon them.

Knox pushes through the hatch and shuts it behind him, dressed in his off-duty gear. "Hope you don't mind, sir. Was trying to get in a nap before and overslept." He's got a mug of coffee with him that gets a big sip as he approaches. "How goes, sir? What can the Marines do for you?" There's a glance to the papers but not much else.

Elias's eyes flick upwards as Knox enters, watching the Sergeant silently for a brief moment before he stands to greet the Marine. "Not a problem, Sergeant. I do seem to have a habit of dragging you out of your rack." He waves towards the map table. "Have a seat. I have a few questions for you about Major Flynn." Elias settles back into his chair, carefully stubbing out his cigarette. "It seems like the mission went off without a hitch?"

Ah yes, Major Flynn. Coop nods slowly and approaches the table, setting down the mug. "Work drags me out of my rack every day. Just the nature of the work, I guess," he offers quietly, a smile at the edge of it all. "As far as the op? Not quite. Things don't always go as planned and I had to shoot. Nobody likes that, sir. The capture team had their own problems but it all worked out."

Elias settles his gaze on Knox, watching the man closely as he speaks. There's another pause as Elias considers, then he gives a slow, careful nod. "The Marines guarding your Raptor? Yes that was … regrettable." There's a certain tightness in his tone as he says this, but he quickly moves on. "I'm going to see if I can learn anything from Flynn, but given what Doctor Tamsin has told me about the model One, my expectations are low." His eyes flick back down to the papers in front of him, all of which are related to Flynn in one form or another. "'Self-serving control freaks with delusions of grandeur.' Does that seem accurate to you?"

Knox looks down at the mug while he listens. The last has him snerk and he glances over. "It sounds accurate to an Eleven describing a One. The Elevens hate the Ones, sir. The Ones constantly box them when the Elevens ask too many questions. They tend to rely on my model to stand between them and defend them." He sips the coffee and goes back to parade rest. "Ones are damned smart, sir. Don't underestimate them. They'll play you into a corner and try to rip you up psychologically. They're students of humanity, better than the rest. Nobody knows how. They're mostly considered the fathers to the rest of us and we generally listen. There's a wise old air to what they know, and none of us know where that comes from. My best advice is to be careful with him and never get within striking distance. Remember, they can and will just play along and lull you into a sense of power. Then they will break the cuffs." He ends the thought there, watching Elias in return. Its obvious Knox thinks keeping it alive is a bad idea.

Elias's attention is riveted to the Sergeant as Knox explains, clearly trying to absorb every detail he can. "I see," is Elias initial reply as he takes up a pen and quickly adds some notes to the bottom of one of his papers. When he finishes he looks up, thoughtful now. "I believe it came out at the tribunals, that any of you could have broken our restraints if if wished to? Do you think several sets would be enough to slow him down? I would like to find a scenario where I can get out of the room alive." The Captain offers a thin, wry smile. Despite the flippant delivery, he clearly is nervous about that part.

"That's correct, sir. I instructed Ceres from the beginning to cooperate, no matter what. That means no breaking restraints, no causing problems. Handcuffs aren't going to stop us. Several sets?" The Six considers that. "Ya know, that's possible. I wouldn't count on it and bet your life in the process, though. There's a reason why I tell people to shoot a Six, don't try and talk to them. Just kill the damned thing. We are stone cold killers only bound by a code of honor. Ones do not have that code. They will do whatever they please without the limits and bonds of personality that the rest of us have. If you have to get close, keep him sedated or make sure he is welded to a wall. Or better, into a wall."

Elias mmm-hmms uncertainly. Don't bet your life. "Perhaps it would be better to just put him in a cell, in the Brig. I assume that would hold him? At least long enough for someone to shoot him." He taps the end of his pen idly on paper, a thinking gesture. "Do you have any interest in talking to him, Sergeant?"

Coop thinks on that. "I might be enough. Instruct him to keep back from the cell door and never touch them. Just be prepared to issue kill orders. If he charges the cell door, I can't promise it would hold him. The cells we were in on Picon? I could've kicked the damned things open." The idea of meeting him, though, Knox shakes his head emphatically. "No. No, sir, I do not want to be anywhere near him. I don't even recommend you put yourself in the same room with him. You can tell him I'm here and te-" Knox stops, and smirks. "Sir, this guy may not even know Ceres is gone. He might just think its Ceres and I still here. You might be able to use that. Dunno how, but it could be workable."

Elias arches his brows curiously at Knox's emphatic refusal, but he lets that go without further comment. But not the unfinished sentence. "Tell him you're here and …?" The Intel Officer prompts. "As for using things against him … I'm not sure how your information exchange works. He wouldn't automatically know that Captain Garrido had been killed?"

"Oh, right, you can tell him I'm here and say whatever. It doesn't matter to me. I don't think it would be a huge leak. This guy would probably know my deployment and where I am. Especially if Spree has told him that the Orion is still running around. I sold those motherfrakkers out before the invasion started. You better believe he'll know I'm here. Same with Ceres." Coop sips at the mug once and falls back to parade rest. "But no, no sir. One being, one place, one time. Much like how I don't know things automatically when we go back to the colonies. We interact with each other just like you do for the most part. Unless they know that Garrido is back there, which I heavily doubt, he probably still believes she is here."
Knox has partially disconnected.

"So the automatic sharing of knowledge, that only happens within the same model, and doesn't extend to any of the other models?" Elias asks, particularly keen on nailing down the specifics of this point. "Could the rest of the Ones already know what has happened to Flynn, or is the exchange something that happens when you download, or are in close proximity?"

Coop blinks several times. "Sharing of knowledge?" That seems to confuse the Marine. Then he hears the rest and shakes his head. "Oh, no way, sir. The only time we share knowledge is when we download after death. Everything we know, all of our experiences, they all go to pool and are included with every model that downloads after it. See, the pool is stagnant. Second Law of Thermodynamics. It runs at peak efficiency until something is introduced that screws with it. Then the system has to adapt to accept the new flow." He holds up a finger a second. "Imagine you have fifty copies of yourself walking around. They've behaved the exact same way all their lives. You die, these other copies die, you're all reborn. You all share the same memories, but they are indistinguishable from which ones were originally yours and which ones were not. Why? Because there is no individualism." He tilts his head forward. "Now, sir, pretend one of those copies decided to leave the Navy on a hairy idea and go marry this beautiful Caprican stripper and have ten kids and this one was crazy happy with the decision and couldn't imagine the idiots who stayed in the Navy. That guy dies. He's now introduced into the pool. These copies now have to deal with the idea that someone went rogue, way outside what they were supposed to, and became their own person. You realize that those are the only memories that are definitely someone else's. Its foreign. It doesn't fit. The idea of individuality is now hard-coded. This guy decided to leave the Navy. What else is out there?"

Elias goes quiet for several long seconds as he absorbs what Knox has to say, his brow furrowed in concentration. He doesn't seem greatly surprised by the information, but he definitely is evaluating it carefully. Eventually he sighs to himself, sounding a bit resigned. "I suppose our One is unlikely to fall for a Caprican stripper … but we /could/ use him to try and influence every One in existence." Almost as an afterthought, Elias qualifies. "If I understand you correctly, that is."

"Possibly. But the issue at stake is that the behavior must be by free will. You could try and sway him, but I don't know that it would work. There's a lot of complicating factors that go into my own defection, as well as Ceres'. Part of that was love and faith in humanity. Knowing that it was worth saving. Trying to convince a One of that? Very tough." Coop drains the rest of the cup and goes back to parade rest. "I will always recommend that we just kill him out here, sir. And if he finds our Ceres is gone? There is no alternative. He cannot be allowed to return. I beg you, sir, be very careful with even thinking of allowing this thing to live."

Elias nods his understanding. "Understood, Sergeant. To be honest, I'm not even entertaining the idea of letting him download unless we're certain we can influence the Ones." His mouth tightens uncomfortably. "I very much doubt /I/ am going to be able to make him understand your decision to switch sides. Do you think you could do it? Or Doctor Tamsin?" His tone seems to assume the answer is 'no', but Elias makes the proposal all the same.

"Sir, one of them came here to kill us on a suicide run. Killed ten aircrew, a Marine, and a number two who was defecting. He was here for us. I don't think its a good idea to put us anywhere near him. At the very least, myself. I'm the biggest traitor my people have ever known. I do not believe there would be any listening, only contempt." Coop shakes her head. "It'd just make things worse. Naomi might have more luck, but they look at the Elevens like petulant children."

"Doctor Tamsin has expressed an interest in speaking with him. We may give that a try," Elias sounds a tad reluctant, but also without a lot of other options at this point. "My impression of the Doctor is that she's intelligent and strong-willed, but if you think he would be able to use her in some way, perhaps it's not a wise idea."

"I'll leave it up to you, sir. I doubt there's little sway he could have over her. Not anymore. Not after the kind of exposure she's had here with us." 'Us', not humanity. "She's her own person. The decisions she makes are her own and I don't think he's going to be able to do a damned thing about it. Which may piss him off. But again, that's your call, Cap. All I ask is that you execute his ass out here, away from a download. He'll know he can't out here, too, which may be an advantage. We all fear final death. Even me."

Elias gives a quick nod at the 'death' bit. "Threatening him with a final death is about the only card I have to play, but I'm skeptical that he'll do more than stall while he works out a way to escape. And it isn't much good if he doesn't believe we'll spare him. Thus my search for other options." He gives a small shrug and a thin, sardonic smile. "We'll see what the Fates have in store. But I'll let you get back to duty, Sergeant. Unless you have anything else?"

Knox listens, keeping his eyes on the officer. In the end, he shakes his head. "Just one thing, sir: This thing probably killed Marines in the pursuit of his goals. Make him suffer." Its cold and precise. "For the Corps, sir." He nods once more, takes a step backwards, and moves for the hatch.

Elias's eyes narrow when Knox offers his suggestion on the treatment of the One, but otherwise the Intel officer's face goes mask-like. "Thanks for your help, Sergeant." As Knox makes his way out, Elias is already retrieving another cigarette and getting ready to light up.

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