AWD #118: Philosophy

Talk in the Firing Range, a whole buffet of topics

Summary: Knox and Maia talk in the firing range on everything from… well on everything
Date: 04/May/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Just referencing the Dataport Cylons
Knox Maia 
Firing Range
With ten different bays, the firing range can accommodate quite a few shooters with about two dozen spectators or trainees behind them. At 25 yards, the targets can be brought forward or pushed back up to the stops before the inclined plating designed to deflect rounds up. The lighting can be dimmed down to nothing for use with night vision or flashlights, also. A large sign overhead denotes the requirement of both eye and ear protection, as well as the prohibition of all ammunition except rubber or frangible. However, there are no firearms stored here. All firearms and ammunition must be checked out from the Marine Armory in the Security Hub.
AWD #118

At the moment, Maia is idle, having been practicing with her weapon, the ear protection is down around her neck and the room is mostly empty except for a couple of Marines who seem to have a bet going on together as they compare targets. For her part, she's studying her own with a furrowed brow, not really impressed at all if her expression is any indication. It's after the dinner already leaing towards the early evening and the Raptor pilot is dressed in her fatigues.

Knox steps in with several rifles slung over his shoulder and a case of ammo. Like Maia, his protection is around his neck but the glasses are already up and on. He heads to the reloading bench at the rear and slips a nod to Maia. "How goes, el-tee?" he greets easily. The Sergeant puts all the gear down on the table and tries not to make a racket out of it. Tries.

Holstering her side arm, Maia folds the target and places it in her pocket, glancing over when Knox enters. "Hey Sergeant." As always, there's a smile for the Marine, the frown disappearing as soon as it appeared. "Looks like you got your hands full." Literally. "Need any help with anything?" Curiosity in her eyes as she watches him put the gear down.

Coop chuckles to Maia and nods a few times. "Yeah, this is part of my job. Shoot the rifles, make sure the ones that we don't use as often are still operational." He takes up one of the rifle mags and begins loading it. "What're you into? Things going alright with you, sir?"

"Sounds like a fun job. Are you a really good shot then?" Prepared to watch and even take notes if she had to. Maia is always learning, everywhere she goes. "Oh I'm good, just been working with the cross qual certification still, spending what seems like years with books and sims and Holtz. Fun stuff. Tiring stuff." Her easy and smiling demeanor drops briefly and she studies him a minute. "So, what did you think of the address today?"

"I'm alright." Knox, always modest. It probably means he's a very good shot. "Spend a lot of time in combat like I have and you figure out how to pull the trigger fairly effectively. But I know a lot of people who are better shots than myself. That cross qualification sounds hard as hell, though. I can't imagine its very easy. It'd be like trying to get a Marine to also work Deck. Shhhhhit I don't envy you." He smirks. The last, though, has his brow loft. "Address? I'm on night rotations currently so I sleep most of the day. What's up?"

Yeah, Maia had never known Knox to boast anything. She gives him an easy grin though. "Must mean you're pretty good. Just rifles or with handguns too?" Tucking her hands in her pockets, she looks over the rifles, just liking the looks of them. Only when he mentions her own training does she look back at him. "It's hard, but hey, if I can improve on myself then I might as well do it. Beats sitting around on my off time." Balling her hands into fists in her pockets, she lifts her shoulders in what's meant to be a careless shrug. It's not. "About the Reese crew being found with dataports. All of them… infected by Cylons in their brain. Marcus gave the address earlier."

Coop laughs lightly. "Rifles and handguns. I have some heavy weapons skill, too, but not as much." He continues loading casually. "Yeah, the constant push to improve is an important idea. After I defected I spent a lot of time reading philosophy and poetry. Its not quite the same thing as what you're doing, but the betterment of the self can be achieved in many ways." He just keeps taking rounds out and slipping them into the magazine until Maia mentions the Reese crew. He stops and looks at her. "I'm sorry, what? I don't think I heard that correctly. Did you say the Reese crew was found? That they were infected…with Cylon?" There's a very disturbing calm about the way he says it.

With a nod about his skills, Maia's brows arch at the mention of heavy weapons and she can't help but to grin again. "Jack of all trades." Hitching a hip against the counter, she removes her hands from her pockets and uses one to tuck a few stubborn stray strands of hair behind an ear. "Poetry and philosophy.. you know that makes sense, I guess it gives a sense of the softer side of humanity on one side of the cubit and on the other, the harsher realities. Hmm." Impressed, she nods again. When he stops to look at her, she frowns, realizing what she had said. "Ah.. not the entire crew, bout forty of them. But definitely part of the crew, the LTC. They've all got data ports here," indicating where on her arm Petra had told her, "And here." Indicating the back of the neck area, but on him… then realizes she was touching him and withdraws her arm with an apologetic smile. "They download into humans now, apparently. Taking over their thoughts or.." Biting her lip she tries to remember the exact wording from earlier in the library. "Brainwash them, making them believe it's a split personality. It's being thought that's why they were hoarding relatives in the Picon prison and we think there may be more on Picon." Yeah she notices the disturbing calm and it freaks her out a little.

Knox doesn't hit the point about philosophy just yet. No, his focus is definitely on what was said by Maia about the Cylons. There's no recoil from the touch, either. He just stands there, staring at her. "They downloaded Cylons into human beings like a split personality." Its stated as a very quiet fact. "They downloaded ones like me, or bulletheads?" He just stares at her, the mag in his hand shaking. Is like the rumblings before a volcano explodes.

It was a reaction Maia hadn't been expecting and she can only nod a little hesitantly. Gently, she places her hand over his that has the magazine that is shaking so badly. "Cooper?" Her words are soft spoken. "I don't know what kind they are but they don't have good intentions. Doctor Nadir and Doctor Tamsin are going to be working on ways to ah… purge them from humans. If they can't, we could be in very deep.." Shit. But she doesn't say the obvious. Removing her hand again, she just returns his stare.

The Sergeant doesn't react to the touch at all. Its like he just doesn't feel it at all. "Purge them." Its repeated, though the anger in his eyes is becoming more evident. "We're already in very deep shit," he says in a whisper. There's a subtle -crack- as the baked plastic magazine in his hand cracks under the pressure of his hand. "These things are all hostile?"

Ohh bad news.. bad, bad news. "What do you know that I don't? What am I missing here?" Maia questions, his reaction scaring the frak out of her. Ad the magazine cracks, her eyes widen. "As far as I know they are.. why?" For the second time this day, she turns white. "Can they.. pass it on by procreating? The whole Cylon infected human and Cylon infected human having kids make a truly human Cylon? And.. all of the people on Caprica who are under control of the Cylons, are they all infected? Is the war already lost?"

"You know more than I do, I suspect," he tells her, head slowly turning to looks down to the rifles. He places the magazine on the table and the bottom falls away when he lets go, spilling rounds onto the table. He watches them roll around. The question of children has his head bow and he leans on the table with both hands gripping the edge. "They can probably have children, yes." The words are shaky in his throat, anger barely suppressed. "Those motherfrakkers," he whispers. Arms shake and the man's knuckles turn white. "All those prisons they have on Leonis. Pallas and Minos. Caprica. Libran. …Are they doing it to children?"

"I.. don't know. I do know there were children in the Picon prison, you know Kelsey's daughter, Holtz's girl They were there. If they were being housed there for that reason then.. I could say yes they are. It's clearly only speculation but you know how they are do you truly think they care whether a person is of age or not? They've already proven they don't mind doing anything they can.. It does explain why they didn't kill the whole human race. The Cylon inside the LTC said something like.." Again, she pauses trying to remember what Petra had said.. "Deserving to take our place.. that's it. Petra called it Human MarkII."

Coop stands there, not moving except for how his arms shake. The tension from him radiates almost like heat. "No, they don't give a shit. You're right." He's doing his best to fight the rage. "If they've rationalized doing this to people, they probably could care less about kids." The Sergeant finally opens his eyes. "Yeah, this explains everything. It explains why they aren't killing the people who aren't resisting. It explains why Aerilon wasn't nuked much, either. Humans need to eat. Aerilon is the breadbasket. …Son of a BITCH," he blurts, punching the table suddenly. It cracks, like the magazine, and bullets tumble to the floor and the guns shake.

His reaction scares her, but other than a flinch, Maia doesn't back away. She can see the internal debate as he fights for control of his emotions and she can see the losing battle. Her heart goes out to him, but there's not a hell of a lot she can do. Having just had her fears confirmed, she's a little stunned too but for entirely different reasons. "How can we check so many people for datajacks while bombing them? How can Marines differentiate who is the enemy without it being too late? The stark reality isn't a lovely picture.. "Looks like the only choice we have for humanity is finishing the jobs the Cylons were doing and nuking every frakking colony suspected of downloaded Cylons. Humans can die." The words are stated flatly and she doesn't really expect it to happen but it's the reality of the only way to win now.

"You can't. They know that. We know that. There's not going to be any easy way to do it. Its just going to tide in on us and we're going to have to eat the whole shit sandwich." He stares at the rifles, hate and spite running rampant through his voice. "And no. You don't start nuking humanity. Think about all those people down there who have a fighting chance. All the people we've lost so far fighting for Picon. All for nothing?" He looks to her. "Even if we finished the job, we still have to face the Cylon. We can't hide here. They'll find us eventually. This is a fight we have to figure out how to win." At least there is conviction in his eyes.

"I know.." And she does, but the helplessness in her voice wasn't there before. "You know.." Maia struggles with this, and she doesn't even know why, but she does. "My parents live on Caprica. I always thought you know, so what we never really got along. We never fought but they could never understand me. I always thought someday I'd have a second chance to.. I don't know.. be what they wanted me to be? Impress them maybe? Get them to.." Love me. Blah, crybaby.. Scolding herself so that she just shrugs again. "Now they're probably frakkin' Cylons. Of course they'd take a couple prominent scientists, right?" Kneeling down, she begins picking up the bullets that fell. "Well, today I don't feel like eating a shit sandwich. That'll be on an as needed basis so I'll have time to prepare for it hopefully before 'Shakes and I get going on our mission and find out what the hell else bad news we can find.'

Coop watches her in silence until she gets down. He moves with her and picks up a couple rounds, himself. "There's something like two billion people on Caprica, Maia," he says in a whisper. "Don't do that to yourself. Intel says they are kidnapping people there. We can't know whether or not your family was taken. The important thing is that you don't quit on them. If they know what ship you were on when this whole thing went to hell, then its likely they are praying for you out here. Stand tall." Its said with that same personal tone he takes with only a few people, but its genuine. "This mission you having coming, anything exciting?"

Maia reaches for one of the rounds he reaches for at the same time so just retracts her hand and rests it on her fatigue covered thigh, falling quiet for now. Not a sullen silence, but a thoughtful one… the Raptor pilot doesn't allow herself to stay down for long, not one prone to self pity, nor does she usually suffer it in others for long. "Maybe I'm not as worried about them as I should be and the guilt comes from that." Her lips tilt in a crooked smile. When all of the rounds are picked up, she offers them to him with both hands. "We're supposed to go out and check on some signals that have been received asking for radio silence to be broken. Either it's something good, or it's a trap. Hopefully the former." The crooked smile blossoms into a full one. "So, either way it should be something akin to a life altering experience."

Knox nods a few times, rising with her. "Guilt is a powerful emotion. Those who can master it truly have self control. I think you could create a religion out of the attempt to find a way out of it. But remember I said I have read a lot of philosophy? Consider the viewpoint of Dennings. Dennings espoused that people live their lives as singular beings and that all other interactions, including family, are secondary to the selfish pursuit of your own life. Dennings died a very lonely man, I suspect, but this relates to you in the point he made about familial guilt. Its there to be resolved. To resolve your own guilt is to pursue the path of the selfish. You're attempting to free yourself from its bonds. If we ever get to Caprica, don't be afraid to look out for your own family," he offers with a tilt of his head. "Really? Someone out there knew our orders about radio silence? That's… interesting. You two are going to investigate it? Sounds like a dangerous trip."

With the bullets dealt with, Maia shoves her hands in her pocket again, lifting her gaze to him. "Sometimes guilt is a comfort. To me at least. I mean it's at least feeling something right? Sometimes I just feel so.. cold and uncaring. Like, I don't know." Shrugging, she stops talking and listens to him. Her lips lift at the mention of Dennigs. "Sounds legit, but if I ever did get to Caprica.. well maybe. Maybe." There's a solemn nod though at the talk of the radio silence. "Should be anything but routine, I guess. Dangerous, likely but I'm not psyching myself out about it too bad. Someone has to go and 'Shake is the best, wouldn't want anyone else out there with me."

"Could always be worse. You could be a Cylon. Cold and uncaring? Well.. They seem to have that down pretty well. Don't be afraid to go nuts sometimes. Its important to keep that alive. Its what separates humanity from the enemy. Humanity knows what it means to live. I heavily suspect that the enemy does not, and is clueless to that end." Coop shakes his head sadly. "Shakes seems pretty good. I don't know her too well, but from what I've seen she seems level headed. Most of the pilots are. Eventually we'll get out there and work together."

"So tell me what you would do about this big old shit sandwich you mentioned eating?" Maia abruptly switches the topic off of herself once again, but she does take his advice to heart if the thoughtful expression she keeps is any indication. "We can only tell if people are infected by the dataports so if they get smart enough to move them or conceal them with skin then we're really, really frakked." Scuffing the toe of her boot on the floor, she smirks. "'Shakes is the best ECO I've ever worked with. As I told Captain Vadim last night, she picks up where my weaknesses are and just fills right in. I couldn't do without her out there, really." Again, her lips quirk in a goofy grin. "Sure, I'd like to work with you. So how's Afton? And actually, how are you?"

"Kill 'em all." How utterly Marine of him. "Go behind the lines, hit them where it hurts most, and wreck their home or whatever they call it. If they're willing to go this far, we have to be willing to go farther into the heart of darkness. This?" He gestures to the boat. "This is our vessel that will take us to hell. We should all be willing to do horrible things, and indeed be ready to do them at a moment's notice. We've forfeit our own humanity in a race to ensure that the real children of humanity won't have to commit these atrocities or know this horror. Let them be the innocents." That's what Coop would do, anyway. "They'll eventually figure it out and move them. Its only a matter of time." The last has him look down and let off a long breath. "She's alright. We've had a rough time lately, but we're trying to make it through."

"Kill em all let the Gods sort 'em out hm?" That makes Maia laugh, just how truly Marine he sounds there. If she had a pencil, she'd be taking notes on his input and ideas because every one of them is sound. "Remind me to run every mission I go on by you first. You're a smart man Cooper Knox." Leaning back against the bulkhead, she bends her knee slightly, putting the sole of her boot against it, the toe touching the floor, looking relaxed. "I'm willing to do horrible things. I'm willing to do anything it takes to ensure the next generation doesn't have to deal with all this. I want to leave a lasting legacy to the ones who come after us. Not me personally, but humanity as a whole. I have no illusions of grandeur for myself. I just want to be the best I can be." She does agree very much with the allowing the innocents to remain innocent, but she's busy just watching him, especially at the final answer. "I'm glad she's doing good and I'm sure you'll make it through. Determination and love play a big part. Or so I hear." Says the worst person to offer advice on relationships.

The Sergeant shrugs. "I'm no smarter than anyone else aboard. In fact I still do a lot of dumb stuff that most natural humans wouldn't do." Ever-modest. Coop goes back to loading a magazine finally, listening while she speaks. "Could you kill a child?" he asks, glancing to her. "I mean to ask you that if a child walked up to you with a gun, dataport in her arm, would you be able to kill them? …Would you be willing to torture someone for information? Could you inflict terrible pain to get what you needed? You 'best' is an illusion, Maia. Its important to grow your mind, as I said, and try to better yourself. But consider that we will likely have to traverse the worst things imaginable to get to where we need to be." The part about Afton has Coop shake his head. "We're trying. We shared a projection that got out of hand and it been really difficult to reconcile that."

"I don't talk to everyone else on board. Not like.. real conversations. I'm sure there are a lot of really smart people on board but not everyone is easy to talk to." Her gaze once more falls to the magazine as he begins loading the clip. His questions make her think, her eyes narrow slightly actually trying to put herself in that position, to try and live it in her mind. Her brows draw together and she bites her lip. A child with a dataport and a gun. "Self preservation is a bitch. If was kill or be killed, I could. Could I torture someone for information? Terrible pain?" Could she? "I.. I don't know if I could." Honest to a fault, she lifts her shoulders. "To save Orion? To save my friends? All of you? If it came to that, I believe I could. I'd at least like to believe I could." Running a hand over her face, she nods. "I'm trying, Cooper, trying to expand everything I can. There's only so much of me to go around and right now duty comes first, training for Vipers second and the rest all comes equally in last place." Lifting her head abruptly, she studies him. "A projection that got out of hand? I'd like to do a projection again, I can't seem to forget the last one, it made quite an impression on me."

"Keep in mind that black and white scenarios are not the rule, they are the exception. While I pose the questions, also keep in mind that easy situations are the ones we deal with every day and leave no impression. Could you torture a child for information that might be important to fleet operations?" He quirks his brow. "How about drop a bomb on your own parents?" He shakes his head. The last brings the man to shrug. "They can be fun. A great little getaway. In your mind, you can go anywhere for any length of time."

As he continues on with the scenarios, Maia considers.. but when he mentions her parents, she flinches and her eyes widen. "Frak.." The word is a whisper and alarm reaches her eyes. "That one was the easiest affirmative of them all. I don't love them. They don't love me. I used to think I hated them, but I realized I was indifferent and that's when I realized hate wasn't the opposite of love, that indifference was." Yeah, so.. whatever. "When you mention kids though, I think about ah.. what almost was, and for some reason I just don't think it would be as easy torture a kid. I don't know if I could do that. Stupid huh?" There's a nod at the last, but she doesn't press further. "So. Need any help loading those clips?"

"Then that's your relationship with your parents summed up. Just be carefully about making assumptions about whether or not someone loves you. Especially these days. Back when everything was hunky dorey we could afford to be a little distant. Today, there's a lot less of humanity left. I wish, more than you could know, that I had parents. I don't think less of you for the feelings you have, but just know that there are people out there who envy your position." He offers her a short smile. The empty mags are divided up into two stacks and he slides one towards her. "No, its not stupid. I couldn't torture a kid, either. There's a lot of terrible things that go along with that idea and I'm not sure I could live with myself, either." He glances to her then back down. "So what would you do with a projection? Anything in particular? You can pretty much go anywhere, be anything.. it'll feel real."

Maia actually laughs at that one. "Oh trust me, I'm under no assumptions that anyone loves me. I don't get close enough to people to allow then in." Lifting her shoulders in another careless shrug, she just accepts it for what it is. And then she gets it.. actually gets what he was saying and it was like a sucker punch. "So you think I'm making assumptions that just because they never said it doesn't mean they didn't feel it?" Ohboy. When he offers her the stack she reaches for the bullets and looking down, begins slowly filling them in no rush to get done really. Pausing at the question, she looks over from her position and a slow smile spreads across her face. "Hmm, I guess nothing I could imagine would be good enough. I'd rather see something from you, like before."

"You don't have to have someone crawling up your rear end for them to be able to love you, Maia. And yeah, that's what I'm saying. A lot of people have parents like that. They're just not very good at expressing themselves. Its like a cat… you rub its belly, it loves it. But it doesnt know what to do with how it feels so it goes bonkers. Not a very good expression of appreciation, but it is what it is. I'm sure your mother loves and cares about you, even if she never said it. You're her child. She carried you for nine months. You're apart of her. Don't underestimate that." He continues loading the mags. "Something from me? I could show you how it feels to be loved and not have them ever say it to you."

"If what you say is true, then I already know how that feels. No thanks." She lightens the words with a rueful smile. "You know, I'm supposed to be dating this really great guy. I'm not even kidding he's really amazing. You know what happens when we get together? We talk.. work. We talk about Orion, we talk about Baker Bay," she rolls her eyes. "We talk about anything and everything work. I just don't really know how to get past that in a relationship. I mean here I am talking to you about everything but when it comes to talking to him I just.. I feel tongue tied. I have not a frakkin' clue what to say… it's like I'm sitting at a computer or something with the cursor blinking.. and blinking.. waiting for me to be all creative and natural and whatever, the way I am around everyone else but for some reason I don't even know how to go further that that when it's important to me."

Coop just listens while he loads magazines, looking down as he does. No rush, no fervent movements. He's just listening. "I'm not very good at relationships, Maia. Sadly, I can barely navigate my own. Af is the first person I've ever dated. Sounds like you're dating another pilot, though. Look, the best advice I can give you is to relax. Don't talk about work. Talk about your parents. Help him understand who you are. I suspect that's an important factor to you. Ask him questions about it. The men and women on my teams used to always joke around about things like that. I worked with a woman, a Gunnery Sergeant, who insisted on hearing one weird fact about yourself every time you went on a mission with her. Always led to neat discussions." He glances over to her then back down. "Well you let me know what you'd like to experience when you think of it."

"It's not another pilot." Maia begins loading again, having paused for the discussion, mindless work she could do in her sleep. "I don't really feel comfortable talking to him about my parents. He's really, really anti-drama so I'm afraid anything that goes any deeper than that will just push him away so I filter myself. In public, in private, I don't push for more, I just let it ride and let him direct the conversation. It leads to work." Again, she pauses, looking up from the loading. "Can't you just show me something yourself? What did you show Afton that upset her?"

Knox shakes his head. "To me? That sounds like you're walking on eggshells. I'd want a little more freedom to talk about whatever I wanted to. If you're catering to him, is that a relationship? Isn't it supposed to be a two-way street?" He doesn't seem too sure so he asks the questions with a shrug. The question in regards to Afton gets him to look back down. "Between you, me, and Zeus? Its not what I showed her. It was what we showed each other. We got lost in a projection and forgot it wasn't real. Our minds filled in the blanks. We spent about seven months together married in a world where none of this had ever happened. In about five or ten minutes we experienced the better part of a year together. Its been hard having that rug pulled out from under us."

"It's Marcus Petra." As if that explains it, it's all she says further on the discussion of her own relationship. Instead, she suddenly finds the magazines required her attention back on them as she loads and loads and loads with renewed vigor. The rest though, the projection, gradually draws her back in and she looks at him with concern. "A year of wedded bliss in five or ten minutes? Was it beautiful?"

"Good choice," Knox comments casually. "The Colonel is a great guy. I suspect he can handle what you're holding, though. Try talking to him." Coop continues loading, though he slows a bit with the question. "It was beautiful." He stares at the magazine in his hand. "It wasn't always easy. There were fights. I was in a minor car accident and wrecked her car. We had a son. Af wanted to make him a Junior. I had a job with a defense contractor in Cap City. I had real parents. Life was amazing… then we were ripped out of it and woke up back here. I'll never forget that look of pain on her face. Ever. It'll haunt me forever."

Maia releases a breath she hadn't been aware of holding. "Yeah he is a great guy.." There's a softness to her expression when she speaks of him, but she doesn't linger on it, instead, she finishes the loading and turns to watch him, wanting to see the play of emotions on his face. At first she smiles when he confirms it was beautiful, trying to imagine it herself. Even the part about fights. When it comes to the son though, her smile slips, almost imperceptibly, but dims somewhat. "So you woke here.. that's not your fault. This whole war was beyond our control. She loves you even without parents, without a job as a defense contractor. Are.. are you able to father children?" It's not something she had asked him before and she wasn't sure of the answer.

"No, its not my fault. Yeah, she loves me anyway. But that doesn't change what happened. I still have dreams about that life. I wake up here confused sometimes. When we were yanked out of the projection, we didn't know which way was up. We thought we'd been kidnapped or something." Coop stares at the magazine. Can he have kids? "Not as far as I know. There's rumors about some who have been able to, but nothing confirmed."

Maia couldn't imagine a fantasy so deep that the confusion would be continual and the pain so lasting, but she could see it was true. "I don't know what to say.." she offers in a soft voice. "I can only draw on my own experience. Even if she were with someone who had parents, it still wouldn't be the fairy tale. Life is never the fairy tale. I was married before, but I got married because I was pregnant. When I lost the baby the marriage fell apart. I.. is that how it feels?" Her expression turns bleak. "Oh Gods.. it.. it is isn't it? You had a son, a wife and you loved them deeply and when you woke it was like losing them. And it's how she feels too, I bet. Oh Knox.." Something she doesn't usually do, she awkwards herself and gives him a hug, understanding that pain more completely than any other.

Coop looks down at the mag in his hands, just staring at it. In the end he just nods sadly and closes his eyes. He doesn't move much when she hugs him but he does lift an arm to hold her as well. Its like hugging any other Marine. The guy is in pain but its hard to express it. "It wasn't like losing them. I did lose them. One of the last moments of it, I was holding my son and he had this grip on my little finger, just holding on for dear life." He shakes his head. It sucks. "So yeah, that's not all something I want to share."

The hug doesn't last long before Maia steps back. She can't look at him, she knows the pain all too well. Maybe not as bad because his son had been as real to him as her unborn child was. He had the arguable disadvantage of knowing he had a son, knowing how his son looked, felt the love from him, the grip of his hand on his finger. No, she can't look at him because she knows his pain, personally. Swiping at her eyes with the back of her hand, through sheer force of will composes herself enough to look at him. "Time heals." Her voice is raw with remembered pain, but it's all she can offer to him. "I'm sorry for making you relive it."

"Yeah, well, time can heal it in the future. For now it hurts. But don't concern yourself with it. I think about it all the time. A new reminder doesn't harm the situation any." He flickers a humorless smile at her and reaches for another magazine. "This is why I'd rather not just show you somethin out of my memory, though. I'm not sure what's real anymore and what's not. Like, I'm pretty sure this place is real. Ninety-nine percent. One percent is still wanting me to kick down the door, steal a Raptor, and fly to Caprica and hope that I can get my son back."

In the future.. yeah. "Of course I concern myself with it, Cooper. I consider you a friend." Lifting a hand she rubs her forehead almost absently. "Orion is reality. Caprica is occupied, that part isn't real, much as you want it to be and your son.. maybe that's what you get to look forward to in the future." It's not an answer and she knows it, but Maia can't comfort him any way.

"Yeah, I know," Coop says quietly. "Doesn't mean I can't wish it were the false idea. Maybe tomorrow I'll wake up in that world again." He shakes his head. "Anyhow, think on something you'd like to be or experience and I'll try and help you out a little. Just don't tell anyone. I'd rather not have everyone freaking she the hell out. This junk with the dataports sounds like I have the control over what happens. I don't want people thinking I brainwashed you."

"I wish it were real for you, and here and now.." Maia sighs, feeling helpless, knowing he must feel so many times worse. "Sure, I'll try and think of something." With a smirk, she slides his magazines to him, all fully loaded now. "Yeah I can see where silence would be a virtue on that one. I better go. For what it's worth, I'm sorry and I hope you guys can work things out."

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