AWD #043: Reference Points
Reference Points
Summary: Meeting over a map of Picon that the former is working on, Knox and Rozzen share philosophies
Date: 18/02/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: But Wait, There's More
Knox Rozzen 
Map Room
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.
18 Feb 2005

Normally this is Petra's stomping ground, but he's not here at the moment. Oddly for Deck Two, there's an enlisted holding the room and using the table. Even more odd, its a Marine. He's got a clean-shaven head with a lovely scar cutting across the right side from what looks like one helluva close call with a bullet. He's wearing faded Marine fatigues that look like they've been through a rough wash way too many times. He's standing at the table, looking at a map of Picon and taking notes about positional information on the planet. The legal pad he's writing on has more than a dozen pages turned over the rung. This Marine has apparently been at it awhile.

Rozzen is looking down at her notes as she makes her way through the hatch, the folder balanced half-open against a forearm. Habituated steps start to take her towards the case in the back of the room straight away. It's only a partial glance that lifts towards Knox at first, the polite smile painted to her lips also seemingly reflex. A moment later the incongruous presence of the Marine sinks in and she lifts her head and stops in her tracks to give him a fuller look. "Good afternoon," she greets, her expression a little tight with the intentness of her gaze.

Knox looks up as Rozzen enters and he taps her a two-finger salute to his temple. He goes right on back to writing and quickly flips over the page to keep going. His left hand slowly slides the map a bit and the pen is settled down. He takes up a grease pencil and leans more over the map and begins looking over more details. There are circled locations all over the place. He doesn't seem to notice the stare until Rozzen speaks up and his head lifts. The man blinks and slowly straightens to parade rest. "Good afternoon, sir."

"Oh. Please." Moira gestures out a hand to invite him to continue. Her folder of papers sighs shut as she tucks it absently against her torso. "I don't think I've seen you in here before Sergeant. I'm Captain Rozzen, with Intel." She shifts back into motion as she speaks, but now her slow footsteps carry her in his direction. She tilts a brief look at all those circles before dark eyes scan to take in his scar. "You're working on the return to Picon?" Sure, it may be an inane question given the big map right there, but she asks it with enough honest curiosity.

Knox dips his head and goes back at ease. "I'm Sergeant Cooper Knox, sir. I'm the JTAC still left standing, sir." He reaches to his bicep and points to a patch on his uniform with the four letters. JTAC.. Most mentally challenging enlisted school in any service. The men and women who graduate are usually whizkids with an adrenaline bent and occasionally work with special forces. But this guy seems about as intense as a lazy day on the beach. "Something like that, sir. I'm looking around for potential points on the ground that might be good for airborne drops, sir. Central locations with good terrain access. I'm going to try and set them up to be standardized so we can use them as generic reference points. That way the Cylons won't know where we are talking about if we need, say, medical supplies dropped twelve miles north of Location Killjoy. Keeps us secure, sir." Even his voice tends towards quiet. He moves the map, turning it so she can better see it. It would seem that he's doing exactly what he claims. "Do you need the room, sir? I can vacate if you'd like some privacy, Captain."

Rozzen nods receptively as he introduces himself, eyes following his point to the patch. The edges of her mouth twitch a little more firmly into a curve, shallow though it may be, as interest remains bright in her gaze. She stops just a few feet off of his shoulder, dropping her fingertips to balance on the table's edge as she looks down at the proffered map. "Perfect," she murmurs as he explains. "No, that's quite alright," she declines his offer to leave. "I was just looking to make a spare minute productive." So, apparently, this seems to count. She tips a look back to Knox in aside. "I'm thinking I'd like to know what references you choose to use, once you have them. I'm working on an intake protocol for refugees, and I think this would be a great thing to incorporate into the form we come up with."

"Hopefully it'll play well, sir. We used a lot of things like this in the field before the new war. We'd set up several sites all over the area, usually within a thirty mile radii of a central operations location." He gestures to the map with the grease pencil. "But this time out zone is much larger. If you'd like a copy of my notes, I can absolutely provide one, sir. I was planning to submit it to the Colonel, also. I've been working with him fairly closely on a few matters and I like to think there is a mutual respect, Cap. But I'm mostly just interested in making sure that the information is beneficial." Maybe that's how he got that nasty scar.

Rozzen listens attentively, this time continuing to watch Knox instead of following the gesture of his pencil. "Thank you, I would appreciate it," she nods to his offer of a copy of the notes. Mention of Petra's respect twitches another cryptically small adjustment upon her features. Dark eyes do drift again to that scar. "You were part of the drop on Aerilon." Maybe she recalls, maybe she assumes, but whichever it is she says this with a sort of abrupt certainty. Her arms adjust, falling into a loose link in front of her holding her folder. "You must have headed the anti-air recon?"

Knox gives her a flickered smile and looks back to the map. He's probably not used to having people watch him so closely. The mention of Aerilon has him nod, though. "Yessir." He glances to her and then back to the map. "On both counts. I got this lovely reminder of my time there. But we completed the mission and everyone came home. That's what's important, sir." He circles another area. "And I heard the strike yesterday came off well. That's what I wanted to hear. I need to talk to Major Sheperd to make sure everything I gave was accurate."

"Indeed." It's all a little too academic to her, despite the fact that Moira attempts to nod empathetically to his point. "It did," she agrees. "Everyone came home, including our found Captain Cole." His mention of accuracy has her gaze tilting towards his freshest circle. Chin still inclined, her eyes shift back towards Knox. "It does seem, in this new war, we're having to deal with more than a fair share of surprises from the Cylons. Adapting." There's still a pleasant enough expression shaped to her mouth, but that air of inquisitiveness has never left dark eyes. "You said you were working on a number of projects with the Colonel?"

Knox nods slowly. He glances back to her, then back to the table. "That's what the rumors said. I need to get up there and talk to Mister Cole and see what he's found out with his time on the ground. Anything that might help me with my job." He lets off a long breath. The rest of it has him settle down the grease pencil and he takes up his pen to make more notes on his pad. He clears his throat. "Uhm, no. Just that him and I have worked together in the past. Nothing extensive. I'm obviously not the right branch or rank for anything like that." He forces a smile, his quiet voice never rising above what's necessary to be heard. "We all adapt, sir. Every person, everything. But I think I understand what you mean." There's another glance to her and back to his notes. Microscopes aren't comfortable.

"Certainly, we should expect some similarities between ground conditions on Aerilon and Picon," is what Moira seems to take away from him checking in with the retrieved pilot. Her own mouth stretches in reflection of his, the kind of narrow expression that fulfills assumed social expectations without really reaching her eyes. "Well. Our tree has just gotten a little more intimate," is her comment on branches and obviousness. She relents a little, turning her gaze half towards the map of Picon so she's not watching Knox so directly. A quieter, truer smile touches at her features for his offered philosophy. "Not everything," she muses in turn. "Adaptation is difficult. Well, difficult to do consciously and without losing the majority of your population. Learning, generalization, the ability to take one experience and apply factors from it in a new way to a different one…" She trails off with a shake of her head and looks back up to share her smile with an almost apologetic tip of eyebrows for the ramble.

"Possibly, sir. Picon is colder, though, and significantly rockier. That is, where its not coastline, Cap." Knox makes the correction with the dismissal of obvious points. The rest of the discussion has him stare at the map and let his mind wander, his eyes eventually following over the table. "I suspect adaptation is an overrated idea in many respects. Humanity is often short-lived in the grand scheme, is it not?" He looks back to her. "How long did humanity take to develop? Where did it develop from? In one lifespan, people can see a lot to need to adapt to, but the long-term adaptation can also be deadly in many ways, where-as the original form may have been superior." another long breath taken and he looks to the table again. "Not even designs can be perfected. We can only help to evolve into something we are proud of."

"In universal terms," Moira agrees with a murmur and a dip of her chin to that first question of his. She follows his thoughts with a quizzical tilt to her head and a softer rest of her gaze. During that long breath of his, she hums out a quiet note of discord. "I suppose," she allows his final point, a hint of cynicism betrayed in her hesitance. "Superiority is a matter of reference. By what metric do you measure it?" She takes her own breath, drawing tall an already straight posture. "In the grand scheme of things," she returns to, "we are but blips of thwarted entropy. So I suppose I'm more impressed by the adaptation achieved in one lifetime. And perhaps I find it ironic, the thing that took so much effort to achieve and that we have cause to take so much pride in in ourselves, is now perhaps the characteristic that's proved most devastating in what we've created."

Knox looks to her and crosses his arms, giving up on the map for now. "Well, like you said, a matter of reference. Quality of reference is subjective to the individual. I would consider superiority in practical senses that do not betray the intent. Perversions of design are still perversions. These alterations may be more practical but they are not superior. But again, that would be my subjective observation." He watches her for another moment. "Is there a specific characteristic of the Cylons that you're speaking to? Or just in general about the achievement of artificial intelligence?"

As he leaves the map, so will she shift her shoulders to square to the Sergeant. That small curve upon her mouth cants a little lopsided as he continues and Moira considers the full of him with a run of her eyes. "So you would fix the reference point," she offers as her conclusion. "It should not adapt. Fitting, with your suspicion that adaptability is overrated." The lift of her eyebrows turn it into something of a question even though the even pensiveness of her tone does not. As for his questions, her features narrow with dissatisfaction as she tilts her head and sets her ponytail swinging. "I find it interesting, that we qualify it by saying it's artificial. Isn't intelligence, intelligence? It takes a lot of processing to walk and chew gum. And we consider that simplistic. Sentience. Intelligence. The Cylons have become effectively indistinguishable from ourselves. The Colonel once said that we can at least expect them to behave logically." Her mouth quirks further. "I'm not so sure."

Coop dips his head. "Why should the reference point change? I understand the argument is purely semantics, sir, but the point stands. Its like the saying that 'Change is good'. I never understood why its always supposed to be 'good'. People die. That's a change and not something I would consider positive. This war is a change. How can this war possibly be a good thing?" He shakes his head. "The superiority of adaptation, in my mind, is not something to celebrate. Flexibility is required for survivable, but does not carry the long term change. I prefer to remain flexible to changing circumstances, Cap. I don't want to abandon who I am." There's a very sobering way he words that, the inflection supporting it. "I'd suggest that intelligence that is created in a box is not necessarily organic. Defined limits of programming and the ability to turn it off? I suspect we are discussing two different things. Humanity and intelligence are not the same thing."

Rozzen nods a little, considering with a turn of her eyes upward as she contemplates. "Perhaps the reference point is wrong. Perhaps it fails to take into consideration something that's learned later on." She offers these as abstract postulations. "Change merely is. It is about the only inevitability that we can rely upon. We've even found a way to bend a round time," in a fashion, "but not to hold back change." She doesn't press on the point too hard, though, given his sober sincerity regarding his identity. "Perhaps that is humanity. That constant kernel," she'll offer as a bridge to both points. "You're right." Of course. "It's not the same thing." Humanity and intelligence. "Though I would suggest that being able to overcome limits may be part of my definition of intelligence. Semantics." She stretches her practiced smile again, arms lifting into a higher fold around her papers.

"Don't be too sure, sir. Entropy is a concept defined by laws of thermodynamics. It also models closed systems well. You can create closed systems under the right circumstance. When that happens, we get into definitions and descriptors of Hell: Repetition of tasks, expecting different results each time. And trust me, bending around time is probably less glamorous than you think." Coop looks at her papers for a moment and back to his notepad. "I would define intelligence as a combination of rational logic and problem-solving ability. Probably having evolved naturally, in order to get the best results. Humanity? I would define as compassion."

"But that gets back to frame of reference," Moira contends with a little shake of her head. "Unless you are describing a point, there are vectors. Change. Even if cyclical." She pauses to twitch an eyebrow upward. "Trust you?" It's more muted amusement than challenge. His look to their papers has her shifting her weight slightly on her feet. To his definitions, she offers a considering moue and a slow nod of her head. "That's pretty distilled," is her only comment. "I should probably let you get back to work," she supposes with a slant of her eyes towards the Picon map.

"A point can be turned back in upon itself in an endless cycle." Coop holds up a finger. He then turns and tears a strip of paper from the pad. "A mobius strip. Point A and one end, Point B at the other." He twists the paper once. "We travel a vector to get to B." He bring the strip back and connects them. "You can draw a line on this and it will never end. But it started as a vector." He sets the paper aside. "I understand your point well enough, Captain. The angle I propose is that there far too often unexpected consequences that can lead to unwanted circumstances. By fixing your reference point, to my mind, humanity has its anchor. It place it should never leave. To solid location that even if brought into entropy or a mobius strip, they are still coming back to what humanity is supposed to be." He pauses. "Compassion." His round-about definition. "Otherwise its just adaptation away from that which makes people human." He gestures to her. "I can get back to work, sure. But thank you for the discussion. One of the best things about philosophical discussions like this? Just a whole lot of talk. But it does make the brain chew." He flashes a grin.

Dark eyes follow his paper strip example, a quieter, privately held smile still lingering about her lips. Moira isn't in a particular hurry to retreat, leaning to reach a finger out to drag along his set-aside paper. "It does," she says following his last words. "And there's something in that, isn't there? Discovery. Novelty. What is the universe, if there is no one to marvel at it? Wonder. Passion. These, too, are human. Like compassion, they're about joyfulness." She watches as her fingertip continues to trace a moment longer. It doesn't map out the line he mentioned, though, but rather a sine wave. Reaching the end, her hand folds back to her side and she lifts a more natural smile to Knox. "Thank you, Sergeant. Glad we still have you with us."

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