AWD #400: Post hoc ergo propter hoc
AWD #400: Post hoc ergo propter hoc
Summary: After this, therefore resulting from it. A discussion between Dr. Nadir and Cooper Knox relating to how certain key events that led to recent events are tied to things that happened in advance of other events, culminating in the now.
Date: Tue 26/Jul/2016 (OOC Date)
Related Logs:
Knox Samtara 
CMO's Office - Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
Durable gray, industrial weave, carpeting covers the floor from wall to wall in this small, utilitarian and ruthlessly organized office. The left and right walls are covered in white boards with metal filing cabinets stacked side by side beneath each board, the tops of which serve as additional space along with room for a coffee maker and cleaning supplies. A pair of uncomfortable looking chairs take up the floor space to either side of the door and a heavy desk with a worn looking chair made equally of battered looking metal consume the rest of the space not occupied by shelves. Above the desk is a printed poster listing the periodic table of elements alongside a wall mounted lightbox for inspecting x-rays and other images.
Fri 10/Feb/2006

Standing in front of one of the white boards, a dry erase marker held in one hand as she updates one of the lists on the board itself, Sam holds a thermos of coffee in her other hand as she works. A stack of files on her desk occupies a good segment of the cramped work surface, what isn't occupied by the stack of files is allocated to other works in progress and a never ending check list of 'to do' items that is noted on the other white board on the opposite wall. The coffee maker that holds a place of honor on top of one of the cabinets is at work brewing a new pot of the slightly bitter coffee that the doctor favors.

Knox has done his best to help out where he can. Typical stuff. At least he doesn't complain about changing cath bags or bedpans. Work has to be done and sometimes it's nice to give people a break. But after talking to Lleu he hunts down Samtara and moves to the door of the office. He's in a scrubs top and green duty pants. No rank. Just his temporary ID bage clipped to his collar. Maybe one day command will give him back the old one. "Doctor Nadir? I spoke to Lleu. I think you might be interested in what we went over. Even if you aren't specifically towards mental health, it's relevant."

Returning the cap to the marker that she's holding, Sam stows the marker on the shallow ledge that runs along the bottom of each board as she nods toward Knox. "Come on in," she invites with a wave of her free hand and shares a nod in Knox's direction before she eyes the mostly empty sickbay and Knox's accompanying Crandall before turning back and eyes the two chairs in her office. "They aren't particularly nice chairs, but they'll do, if you'd like to sit," she offers.

Knox nods at the invitation in and closes the door behind him. The guy seems to be fairly awake. Do skinjobs dream of electric sheep? He usually seems to be around, if only catnapping on a cot for a an hour or two at a time. "Thanks for bringing me here, Doctor. I mean that." The offered seat is taken and he relaxes back into it. Slightly. "So talking to him, I was able to figure out what's going on. And he's not hurting himself by picking fights. The guy has a legitimate reason for what's happened. He's just got some additional stuff that's fogging up, making it look worse than it is. I feel for him, to be honest."

"To be honest, psychology isn't my strong suit," Sam replies in a voice that is quiet but honest. "I've never been particularly good with people, which isn't news. Dr. Forrester is our resident expert," she says as she moves to the side long enough to top off her mug. "Did you want any coffee?" she asks before turning back and sending a look toward Knox, the coffee pot held slightly up still, not setting it on the burner yet.

"Yeah, I'm shit with psychology but I'm still a per- I'm a person." Semantics. "And yeah, coffee would be great. Thanks." He takes a long breath. "The Sergeant has been pursuing some avenues of approach with an investigation into what's happening on the surface. Seems someone forgot to tell me there are ghosts on P." Dry as a desert. "Anyway, the avenue had him needing to speak with a Tauron who might know more about some things. Major Grey had him pursue and go talk to Shackleton. He tried twice. The second time, it seems, was more of a chance meeting. Given what he was telling me about the series of events, it makes sense. Viewed on the outside, it looks like a mess." Knox shakes his head. "I think the resisting arrest was just a culmination of bullshit he's been dealing with and he'd just had it. We all have our limits, Doctor, even me."

Sam makes a small sound that is almost, but not quite, a huff of laughter. "If you're taking votes on the matter, I believe that you're as much a person as anyone else," she remarks as she pours Knox a mug of coffee, sets the pot on the burner and turns to lean toward Coop long enough to pass the mug to him. "Semantics, yes. Points to ponder, yes," she agrees then mutters, "I'm not willing to quantify the entities on planet as Ghosts." This aid she visibly halts and exhales, nice and slow, another fine example of a breathing exercise that works very nicely. "Moot. What they are or are not is not the point. They simply Are, and that's the reality to work with. I gather that the Major didn't want you read in on the beings on Pireaus, and he wasn't particularly thrilled with this line of conversation when I mentioned it after bringing you aboard." She makes a small sound that is rather akin to a 'hmmph' of amusement. "At any rate. Please," she takes the seat that faces his, turning the chair to accomplish this, "continue."

Coop chuckles a little. "If I recall correctly, the vote did carry that way, yes." Ahhh the memories. He takes the mug with a whispered thanks and blows across the top a moment before setting it on the arm of the chair. "I can't see the Major wanting me to know, either. But it is an important point. You and I both know I want to get down there, but I'm not going to press the issue. Not now, especially. There's other things happening." He finally sips the mug and looks back. "I didn't ask him about the note that was found. That seemed like maybe not something I should know about so I didn't bring it up. But Lleu has been dealing with some professional failures. He had that heavy wounding at Santos. Since he's come back from that, he messed up in a killhouse exercise that got a bunch of the team shot — which was an honest mistake anyone could make. But as an NCO, we take it more seriously because we are supposed to be the example. Then he lost two fights with Shackleton. Chasing down this stuff with the ghosts hasn't helped because I think it's something personal with him. The point is that he's had a hard go of things in terms of what all is going on. Obviously not the worst, but he takes it personally. Lleu is a good Marine, always will be, it's just compounded. He also mentioned something you'd said to him that hadn't gone over well. And I'd be remiss if I didn't bring it to your attention."

"And we both know that getting you down to planet is going to be a security nightmare," Sam agrees as she gives a slow shake of her head. "I think it's important that you do so, but I'm not intel, I'm not fleet security, I'm not tactics. My vote there won't carry any damn weight at all, and for that, I'm sorry." She pauses for a moment, her expression alternately carefully neutral and regretful, in turns. "I made a mistake, Coop. I made the mistake of speaking out of turn, of sharing a cynical theory and speaking to the sergeant off the cuff instead of keeping the theory to myself. I recognize the error and as soon as I'd realized how far into dangerous territory he was I tried, without any real ability in this avenue, to edge him back into a better frame of mind." She gives a firm, decisive, shake of her head, staring briefly down into her mug before lifting her gaze again. "My cynicism does well in this office, in sickbay, in the lab, it doesn't do so well when shared amongst people who aren't equally cynical or scientists."

The guy shakes his head slowly. "I'll address it with Major Grey at the appropriate time. My role here is a lot more than as a Marine or, in this case, a friend and bus driver. I'm an emissary of sorts. Making demands and causing problems helps nobody. No apologies required, Doctor, but I appreciate the sentiment." Another slow sip of the coffee and he sets it on the desk in front of him with a lean forward. he listens to the rest easily and nods slowly. "Yeah, then you know. If you're already aware then I won't hammer it home. But I think Lleu feels a little betrayed by it. I'm not saying you need to give a mea cupla or something. Far from it. But some subtle votes of confidence might go a long way." He smiles a little. "You're a damned good doctor, sir. To quote a favorite Libran author of mine, 'We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.' I don't think we're led by the unknowning or working for the ungrateful, but the sentiment is there. We're all doing our best. Both you and Lleu."

"Multitasking is the only way to keep sanity and attempt to get the list addressed," Sam waves her free hand toward the board behind Coop. "If I don't keep a check list I don't know how much more there is still to be done." She exhales a sigh at his words, "Sometimes the hammer would be better applied in advance, were that possible," she sounds both rueful and regretful at the same time. "I'll speak with him, and mea culpa required or no, he has every right to feel the way that he does." She shakes her head slowly, "Unknowing and ungrateful, maybe it would be easier if we didn't know everything that's actually on the table, so to speak. A little blissful ignorance might might a lot of us sleep better. "He's a damned good marine, Coop. So are you. Which is one of the reasons that I knew that I needed to get you here."

"I figured your definition of multitasking was pulling out a bullet, drinking coffee, and planning your next surgery." Coop's smile grows a little more. "But speak to him at your own pace. Obviously treatment isn't my thing, but I got the idea that walking the halls did wonders for him." The last leaves him to look away and then back to the mug of coffee and reach for it. "Thank you. Your faith means a lot, Doctor. But I'm afraid that's about all I can offer as far as Lleu goes." He sips the coffee once and wets his lips. "There's a mission coming up I think. I'll probably be on board for a few more days, but then I'll probably be sent back to Cap. I'll ask the Major about staying, but I want you to know that I deeply appreciate my time back here. It's been a huge recharge for me mentally and emotionally. I can only deal with the Sixes for so long before I start to groan. They're very.. set in their ways."

"Extracting a bullet, yes, but the truth is that the only way to save the patient in front of you, Coop, is to focus on this one, and only this one, as though no other patient is in the room waiting to be worked on. To do any less, to divide your focus, is to risk the life of the one in your hands and everyone else that's waiting. Surgery is the only time that I don't have to time share my focus," Sam replies with a slight shake of her head. "It's also one of the few times when everything is nice and quiet in my head, which is as much of a huge mental recharge for me as it sounds like being on board has been for you." She makes that amused sound again, "Set in their ways. Hah. I can only imagine," she doesn't try to conceal her amusement at his words before she sobers again. "I have .. always… a long list of questions that I want to ask you, I just never know when is a good time to do so. Helping Leu was first, foremost, and my top priority. If you're here for a few more days or how ever long until the next kick off, then we'll have more time to get to that list I'm carrying around."

Cooper seems to understand the line of thinking that Samtara has. "I think I can appreciate that. One of the most relaxing things I can do is sit on the bombing range, calling in training flights to hit targets. There's an order and reason to it. It is simplified and leaves you to just think about what's going on in the moment." The rest has him smirk and sip the mug. "Yeah, each one of the lines is having to sort out what it means to be who they are. Or, well, of the ones who have been exposed to what all is happening. Individualization. It's going to take some time, but we're banking that it's going to be enough to bring the fight back against the Cylons. They're fighting on the wrong side and most of them don't even know it yet. But they will." He shrugs. "But I can probably handle one question before I need to jet. Pick one for the moment."

Sam's expression slowly, subtly, changes to one of mild frustration as she exhales a breath, "One, he says. Pick just one question," she levels a look over at Coop that is amused, a trifle frustrated, and even more amused to bookend the frustration. "Alright. One." She makes that mild sound of amusement, "You do realize that you've literally just given me a whole new category of things to ponder, which isn't a question, to note, just an observation, blast it all." She draws a slow breath, exhales equally slow then says, eyes subtly narrowed. "Without a demonstration, if you please, can you explain in simple terms how projection works? The Major mentioned something about limiting the use of it because not enough data was available, and without picking the Major's brains on the issue, and preferring the data straight from the source, that being you, or Elle, I do suppose, but I'd rather ask you."

"Just one." Coop grins a little too savagely with it, knowing its like throwing a cat a ball of yarn and saying 'You can only bat it once.' That question, though, gets a loft of his brows. A long exhale follows and he nods slowly. "Okay, my best understanding of it is like this:" The coffee is sipped and he looks off. "Okay, everything in the body is interconnected. Nerve endings travel throughout your body but ultimately interact with the brain. I don't understand how it works through the skin, but its intended as data transfer, like the brain is a compact hard drive. Essentially, you can access the brain of the other person through touch." He lifts a finger. "But this isn't something we can just do by touching someone else. You know when it is happening. I can't imagine how you could do it without the other person knowing." He considers a moment before looking back. "Skinjobs can't really access the whole of someone's memory. You're interacting with the human mind, but think of it like pouring water from a jar to a cup. While the atoms are all there and connected, you're not getting anything from the cup back into the jar. The other thing is that you can show someone else false memories. You can actually show them anything you want. But things that aren't real have a different quality to them. You probably remember the smell of your mother's clothes or the feel of a favorite pet. But if I tried to fake that, it would lose contextual emotion and the senses surrounding the experience. It would feel 'cold'."

Sam remains quiet for a moment after Knox answers her question, actually snagging the pocket sized notepad out of one of her pockets and takes some short hand notes as he speaks and only glancing up after she has enough notes to work forward from. "You have a special skill for answering a question and, in doing so, creating more questions to follow the question that was asked in the first place." Absently clicking and unclicking then clicking again the pen, Sam finally makes that slightly off key hum of sound again before she smiles. "Well. What's one more question up in the air when there's already a dozen already being juggled. Motes, pins, etc. Thank you for answering my question, though."

"The lines are simpler than humanity thinks. There's a lot going on right now, though. We're getting close to some truthes that are going to need to be revealed, I suspect. I'll need to see what is happening on Piraeus. That much I'm sure." Coop sips the mug and slowly rises. "Things will make more sense in time. But here's something else to ponder:" The guy smiles a little more kindly. "There are ways to share an experience. To go both ways. It leaves the two minds to work as a single to quantify a single experience and make it theirs. Like sharing a week long vacation in five minutes. A virtual reality memory that never happened. There are some malintended ways to use it, but I can tell you that I've used it to help one or two people heal. It isn't always about data and hard numbers. Sometimes it is really about people, Doctor." he lifts his mug in cheers. "Have a good evening, sir."

"Numbers never lie, Coop," Sam replies with a faint twitch of a smile. "Good data in, good data out; numbers only are inaccurate if the data is inaccurate. Numbers, science, raw data, even theories that are wrong are an opportunity to generate new data to work with that can, equally, lead to other wrong conclusions. Success is failing hundreds if not more times until finally getting it right. I don't mind being wrong. And hard numbers are really just a," she pauses to frown, searching for the right phrase, "ah. They're a mind frak, is the term I believe. No such thing as a hard number, just the illusion of mathematical solvency based on often illogical certainties that are nothing more than assumptions based on lies that we tell ourselves to make ourselves feel better about not really having all the answers in the first place, or not understanding the data well enough to admit what we don't know." She lifts her mug slightly in return, "You as well. Make sure you get something good from the mess before all the decent, not actually scary, food is gone."

Coop pauses at the door and looks back to Sam as she speaks. The guy listens and a low smile appears on his face. He just listens. Silence lingers a few seconds as he looks down, considering. Then he looks back. "Ask yourself one question, Doctor: What if there is no quantifiable explanation for what people have seen on P, but the facts remain?" he leaves that there for her and departs.

"Illogical," Sam finally decides after a moment of consideration. "Actually, no. Improbable. Words like impossible along with everyone, no one, always, never, etc. have no real semantic meaning, they're just used frequently because we have assigned cultural and social means to such words. They have no real applicable impact. Using this framework as a base to respond from, I find it highly improbable that there is not some logical explanation or source for the actions on planet. The word 'ghost' is used frequently, and while I reserve the right to be skeptical about the notion of 'ghost' in any form, the fact remains that there is some manner of the appearance of some sort of being, that doesn't necessitate that these things are ghosts. Nor does it negate the notion entirely. Personally, I've no intention of seeking a first hand experience or encounter with these what ever they are on planet. I'll leave that to those among our number who have religious preferences and seek to explore said experiences for their own reasons."

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