AWD #275: Things to Consider
Log Title
Summary: Samtara delivers a stack of autopsy reports to Elias, and they share musings about the Cylons.
Date: 08/Oct/2013
Related Logs: None
Elias Samtara 
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.
AWD #275: Sat Oct 08

The Map Room may no longer be Elias' personal office, now that the Orion is running active combat operations round the clock. But he still has claim to his own little corner. While several Enlisted personnel work around the map table, the Intel Officer is sitting in one of the top-tier desk/seats, pouring over papers. He looks tired, but then so does everyone else on the ship these days. Elbow on the desk top, hand propping up his forehead, Elias is look intently down towards his paperwork while a lit cigarette is smoldering between his lips, for the moment completely forgotten.

Carrying a set of folders that, when bound together thus, sum up to a rather significant number of pages, Dr. Nadir steps into the Map Room and looks slowly around the room until her attention alights upon Captain Gray. "Ah, excellent," she declares in a murmur - more of a quiet aside, really - before she sets course for the captain and invites herself to where he's seated in his own little corner of the universe with, of course, paperwork of his own. "You do realize those things are bad for you, yes?" she inquires of Gray. "Lung cancer, to say the least, throat cancer as well, tongue cancer to go with all of the above. Discoloration of skin, teeth, eyes, lingering and some would call it unpleasant aroma to all of the above, including hair, clothing, bedding and the lot?"

Elias's eyes flick upwards as he senses someone approaching, his brow still creased in concentration while reading. The sight of Samtara standing there, with a mountain of paper in her arms, gives him pause. So he doesn't get in a greeting before the CMO's lecture begins, and he just stays quiet, listening with a placid air until she's done. Then he takes a deep drag on his long-forgotten smoke and carefully ashes it off in the tray beside his desk. "If I survive the war, I'll be sure to keep that in mind, Doctor." He doesn't sound in the least bit bothered by the advice, good though it may be. Elias exhales to one side, then waves a hand to blow away what smoke he can. "So … what can I do for you?" He eyes the large number of folders Sam is carrying with little enthusiasm.

"Well, if it's any consolation, it'll take years off of your life. But it's the years at the end, not the years at the beginning or middle. So," and Nadir moves one shoulder in a gallic shrug, "it's your health, Captain Gray, and your breath, I dare say." That being said she lowers the folders to the tables edge in front of her, "I have a number of dead cylon skinned models in my morgue. You've expressed interest in them before which is why I'm coming to you now. Not, mind, that my data is any different than the last or the one prior and so on and so forth, but it's important to review the data we have. Did it ever occur to their manufacturers, I wonder, to consider variations upon a theme or are they so possessing of little imagination that they can only count to twelve or possibly thirteen before they run out of original ideas? Point to ponder, Captain, point to ponder."

Elias allows the health advice to pass without comment once again. There is no logical counter-argument. In the end he just offers a rueful smile. "I appreciate your concern, Doctor." The talk of more Skinjob autopsies does perk him up a little, but still … there's a lot there to look over. "My only guess is that they're clones from some original source bodies. Prisoners from the end of the first Cylon War, perhaps? But honestly, I don't know a thing about how they went from the Centurions of forty years ago to the skinjobs of today." He heaves off a weary sigh. "If only we could just stick a jack in their heads and download the information…" This idle speculations ends when he recalls something. "Oh, yes. The One from earlier. Did you find anything unusual in his body that could account for extreme physical strength, Doctor?"

"Medically speaking, no. I could speculate it's a reasoned and casual disregard for their physical condition, amped up adrenaline and such, but frankly they're stronger than human normal because they just are. Which also means, Captain, that the other skinned models in our crew have the same tensile strength and abilities. It does raise the question as to why the Eleven in our midsts persists in her public persona of dainty and delicate, save for that it engenders the public opinion that she is as she appears. But I have no ventured the time to inquire of the Eleven, that's Dr Tamsin of course, or our Six, Sgt. Knox, as to the actual range of their abilities. This does bring to light the need to do precisely that. But i've yet to concoct a polite way to ask either of them to act, again, as guinea pigs. As both are sentient beings, not guinea pigs or lab rats, to be treated thus. With the rumored return of the Nine, that's the model we knew as Ceres Garrido of course, perhaps more data can be gleaned of the current campaign and or inner workings of their political and infrastructure agenda." Once more she gives a rather gallic shrug, "Not my bailiwick, of course, more in your department than mine. But," and here is where she taps one fingertip on the stack of file folders, "if we could just stick a jack in their heads, to use your phrase, and download the information, it would be exponentially more expedient. It further begs the question; if the Cylon's can stick a centurion parasite into a human, why can't we quarantine and sedate a hijacked human and working with any number of phramecutical cocktails find the right combination that would sedate/repress the centurion parasite and allow the human to speak with a measure of intellectual acuity and freedom?"

Elias listens to everything the Chief Medical Officer has to say with no sign of waning patience, or any attempt to interrupt. He even nods attentively a few times. This also gives him some time to finish his cigarette, however, and he's stubbing it out as he responds. "Our newest guest says she is going by Delacroix now, not Garrido. But yes that Nine is back. And since both Doctor Tamsin and Sergeant Knox say they have only those memories they needed to perform their original mission, they're not much help on background information. I /hope/ Captain Delacroix is a different story. We shall see." He carefully does not comment on Naomi's demeanor, but the idea that she may be downplaying her capabilities doesn't seem to surprise Elias either. "As for the 'Jacks', I did have an idea about that, but it's rather extreme, and I doubt Medical would approve. Fortunately we haven't seen much of them. Not since that first team on Picon."

Nadir actually arches one eyebrow upward, "To take your last remark first, I'm the CMO, Captain, I believe that I would need to either approve or disapprove of such a venture at this point in the game, so to speak. Perhaps you mean command?" she wonders in exchange. "And she's going to Delacroix now, instead of Garrido? Interesting. It does open the floor, again, to speculation as to the potential for distinct personalities within the numbered lines. I gather they have a basic persona, that is, but individuality is something altogether different than distinct persona for each line." She retrieves a small leather bound notebook from one pocket, absently clicks a ballpoint pen into play and makes notes. "See, we're extrapolating, or perhaps hypothesizing, that the distinct model lines each have a basic reason for being, a raison de etre, to put it a bit nicer. But, in essence, they have a job that each model is assigned to carry out. The Elevens are data gathering, intel gathering, investigation, reconnaissance. The Nines are infiltrators and saboteurs. The Sixes are the ultimate soldiers. The ones, whom I've never had the grace to know while alive, appear to be ruthless and manipulative and quite murderous. I believe," and she glances up at Gray again, "I'm lifting those notes directly from one of your own reports on the matter. The Fours have not been explored all that in depth wise, perhaps the nine, the Delacroix that is, can illuminate that model line some what. At any rate. They have specific functions. Think of them, perhaps, as a .. hmm.." she absently clicks the pen while thinking, "tools. specialized tools. Each one has it's one edge, so to say, but they're tools. Finding individuality, unique sentience, would make those tools unpredictable, especially in the hand of those who intend to continue to use them as, pardon the phrasing, dumb tools. What i would give, Captain, for a chance to set our best psychologist to doing psychological profiles of each line and most especially these Ones."

"No, I mean Medical. As in, you, Doctor." Elias clarifies the expected source of objection to his plan for de-Jacking someone, then goes on to lay out the idea in brief, his expression bland. "Induce brain death. Wait a few seconds for the AI to try and download itself out of the body. Then try to revive the patient. As I said … it is a bit extreme." He then settles back to absorb Sam's thoughts on the skinjobs, nodding again at a few points, in general agreement. "My current understanding is that each line shares a sort of collective consciousness. Whenever they download their own memories and experiences are added to the pool, while they get updates that all the others have added. They were, in essence, one single consciousness with a single shared set of experiences. But now we have a few who have gone a long time without … synchronizing. Years of personal, sometimes profound, experiences and decisions with no collective to fall back on. An independent existence. They 'diverge' from the collective experience. And then when you dump that back in the pool …" he makes an explosive gesture with his fingers. "Sergeant Knox described it to me as introducing a new large new force into a steady-state system. Equilibrium will eventually come, but the effect may be profound." He pauses, shrugging off his own words. "That is the hope, at least."

In turn, Nadir is taking notes as Elias speaks, jotting down key words in cryptic medical short hand that will, most certainly, be transcribed out in long-hand fashion to add to the compilation of medical data gathered thus far on the Cylon/Skinned Human/Centurion condition. She speaks at first without glancing up, still jotting down notes: "Instead of introducing brain death," Nadir counters, "why not simply use a defibrulator to short circuit the hardwire of the jacking device and see if reviving the patient will do so while having disabled the centurion," she suggests in turn. "I'm a mechanic, Captain Gray, of the human body, granted, but a mechanic all the same. When it comes to medical resolutions to difficult conditions, take the easiest and most logical route. Only take the exotic avenue when every other approach has been negated. Thus my suggested opening gambit. The phramacutical avenue should also be explored. I'd rather not have to stop the heart and cause brain and potential cardiac damage, but I'd rather have free survivors than healthy prisoners." It's now that she looks up, blinking at Elias before retrieving the half-glasses she often wears while reading and, once fitting them in place, studies Gray across the table. "Equilibrium will eventually come, but the effect may be profound. Hmm. How to use that to our advantage, that would be key. One would wonder if it is only data that could be transmitted back to the collective pool of each line or if something more pointed could be transmitted back. Like some sort of electronic sequence to disable or scramble or in some way incapacitate the entire line one the data is absorbed for cogent absorption."

Elias nods slowly at Samtara's thoughts on how to deal with the Jacks. "That's too far out of my area to even offer an opinion on, Doctor, so I'll leave that to you. It didn't sound like the Lieutenant Colonel we recovered would have objected to anything, if it meant a chance to be free of that … thing." The last is said with distinct distaste. "As for disabling an entire line of skinjobs … I am not sure that's possible. I have been told that they can and do monitor the incoming downloads, and can filter out disruptive influences, if they catch them in time. I also suspect no Cylon would willingly carry this sort of … virus … back to their entire line. It is worth considering, though."

Nadir adjusts the fit of the half-glasses she's wearing and eyes Gray, "I don't believe I'd be offering it willingly, Captain. The Cylon's are the enemy, lock stock and barrel. Whether they're willingly the enemy, whether they are soldiers just like us, or whether they're morally, ethically and spiritually conflicted each and every day, I can't answer that. But we have plenty of bright and very good minds in the fleet, Captain. Surely there's at least one mind in the lot that can contrive something that'll defeat the filter process, even if but for a handful of seconds. And no, I would not give the knowledge of the potential weapon to the Cylon in question simply put it in play before the cylon in question dies in the current body. It's worth, I should think, a try. It costs us nothing to research the idea. I would not, however, speak of this idea to any of the models we have in our fleet until we have something or several somethings developed." She glances at her notes again, "As I recall, the Lt. Colonel begged us to kill him. I would imagine some cardiac distress in exchange for freedom would be a fair if not willing trade." Once more she consults her notes, "If we could acquire, safely, a few more of these 'Jacked' individuals we could begin some controlled testing."

"Yes, I think that goes without saying," Elias comments very dryly when Sam mentions keeping the idea of a line-disabling influence from their resident skinjobs. Beyond that he expresses little other opinion on the idea. Perhaps it's just too much of an unknown at this point. He nods to confirm Sam's recollection of Lt. Col. Nejab's request. He did ask to be killed. "I haven't heard of any Jacks encountered on Picon yet. It seems likely there are some, somewhere, but the Cylons seem to be keeping them clear of combat. Why, I'm not sure, but it may have something to do with their justification for creating them in the first place."

"Which then, does it not, beg the question, again, as to why. Are they utterly incapable of reproduction within their own lines? Breeding the Ones with the Fours, or the Sixes with the Elevens," Nadir muses. "I have never asked. I wonder, have you?" she wonders. "Asked, I mean. Why do they have to create, by batch, and initialize the programming then 'wake up' the model. Why do we hear nothing of Cylon models as children. Perhaps they don't have any. We know that they are using children to host the Parasite Centurions," a measured pause, "something that disgusts me to no end, I'll mention, but that's the only use I've heard thus far for human children in their 'grand scheme'." She appears, from tone of voice, to be having a difficult time refraining from sarcasm when using this last phrase.

"I assume they're not capable of … reproduction," Elias answers evenly. "But no, I haven't asked. Children … that sort of diversity, I doubt it would allow the sort of static society they seem to have." He plucks up his pen and jots down a few notes to himself, mulling this over. "From what the Centurion in Nejab said, it sounds as if their purpose is to 'mold' the human host into … whatever it is they want humanity to become. Children would be the most efficient investment, lifespan wise."

Nadir taps the end of the pen against the table for a moment, "There was a tactician, a hundred or so years ago. She theorized that the most efficient and expedient way to conquer the population of any enemy nation would be to capture and eradicate the adults and elders of the population. Then raise the children by host families until the children are assimilated into the culture, mores, social and religious customs of the 'host' society and politics thereof. Mass genocide, of course, but in theory - it would work. I would imagine, Captain, that this is more or less what they've done to us," she closes the notebook and tucks the pen back into the pocket alongside the notebook. "I've rounds to see too, but thank you for letting me bend your ear a bit on this topic. I'll keep you in the loop when I gather more data," she says as she rises to her feet. "And consider the smoking thing, Captain, the stopping of, that is."

Elias mmms uneasily at Samtara's conclusion, but makes no other comment about it for now. When the Doctor mentions her rounds, Elias nods and rises to his feet. "I appreciate you coming all the way up here to deliver those reports. Thank you, Doctor. And I always enjoy our little talks." The parting advice about quitting smoking earns a thin, tired smile from Elias. "I'll consider it," he promises, in the tone of someone who just considered it all he plans to. "Take care, Doctor."

"I dare say, captain, that you're probably the first and only. That either speaks well of your constitution or your endurance to things unpleasant," Nadir replies as she tucks her glasses back into one pocket. "Quite likely to both, to be fair," said with a trace of a smile. "Do try to impress upon those who gather intel in the field that it would do me, and our working theories, immeasurable forward momentum to bring me some models - alive - if you would?" She narrows her eyes subtly at Elias, "And sleep more, Captain, the war is going to go on for as long as it's going to take. You'll enjoy enhanced clarity of thought by sleeping more. Not, mind, that I take my own advice. But I hear nice things about sleep," and with that she tips her head in a nod and takes her leave.

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