AWD #340: Twelve Reasons
Twelve Reasons
Summary: Skyler and Elias speak to the Twelve again. It doesn't go very well.
Date: 27/05/2016 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Ask Him Why
Elias Skyler Dropkickst 
The battlestar's brig is comprised of a line of four individual cells organized in separate walled-off bays. Each cell is six feet wide by eight feet long and possesses a bed and toilet. Whenever even one cell is occupied, so too is the metal desk and chair at the entrance hatch — and backup for the guard is never far away. Brig rules are posted behind the desk on a white panel with blocked black lettering.
Mon Dec 12 2005 (AWD #340)

After their initial meeting to discuss the last interview with the Twelve, the two Intel officers now come to the brig to speak with the Twelve together. For his part, Elias has made no real attempt to spruce up, appearing slightly unkempt as he and his blues have weathered a full duty shift and some change. The young Major has a clipboard under his arm with several blank sheets of paper on top, ready for note taking. Entering the brig, Elias looks over toward the skinjob's cell even as he addresses the MPs on duty. "Lieutenant Almaeda and I will be speaking with our guest," he tells the Marine in charge, "Standard procedures."

The female of the two Intel officers is a bit more spruced up. Or at least put together. Skyler's had time to shower and put on fresh blues. Or at least press the jacket. Her hair is brushed back into a ponytail set at the crown of her head. It's a bit awkward with the hair growing back in between her right ear and temple; that's not quite fuzz anymore, but it's not yet long enough to even sweep back behind an ear. She could possibly pass for new fashion in some Caprican club. Maybe. If clubbing were still a thing people got to do. She's got a small notepad rather than a clipboard; tucked away in pocket with a pen. The woman is sans-cane, but still in the brace. It modulates her movements by a measure and puts her a few paces behind Elias. There's a glance for the MPs, then one towards the cell the Twelve occupies. She just waits for the time being. At least she didn't frak up her first interrogation so bad that she didn't get a second shot…

The Twelve has remained very compliant. Every order given, he's complied with. Showers, bathroom, he's never deviated or given someone a cross look. Even given the safety razor from hell, he's easy to get the blade back from to keep a straight shave on his face. When they enter, though, the guy rises from his lateral position and moves to sit up. His legs swing off the bed and he looks to those outside his cell. He takes a moment to look over Skyler, but his eyes go back lazily to Elias - The Major.

There is a considering look toward Skyler after Elias finishes speaking with the guards, and he murmurs to the Lieutenant before he addresses the Twelve. "Grab a chair if you like." Then he moves towards the bars of the skinjob's cell, considering the person behind the bars. "Twelve." A greeting of sorts. "Your fifteen infiltrators have been apprehended. Several did resist, violently. But the surviving fourteen have surprisingly little to say for themselves. Any further information on them you're willing to provide?"

Why does this feel immensely more awkward? Is it because the Major is present, just after lecturing her over her mistakes in her meeting with the Twelve? Or is it the way the self-titled arbiter looks her over? Skyler just sort of hovers for a moment before Elias speaks to her. She blinks before moving to do just that. A chair is retrieved and drawn up relatively near the bars of the cell. Not right up against them, but in closer range than her last visit. A show that she, at least, trusts the behavior shown so far to an extent. If the Twelve was enterprising, he could reach her. She's just far enough that she may well notice before it happened. Once seated, the jig takes out her notepad and pen; ready to take her own notes.

The Twelve looks back to Elias and Skyler and absorbs the information. He doesn't move for a long three or four moments. But his gaze steadily drifts down to the ground and he nods slowly. "I am glad you got them. I'm sure there was violence. I will not apologize for it, but it is regrettable." The guy does not move from the bed, though. He keeps his eyes down for several more seconds before looking back. Those eyes look to Skyler, then Elias. "I hope we have established a point of trust. You now have my entire hand. We will expect fair treatment for this."

Elias waits until Skyler has her chair in position before he goes on, and then there's a quick glance between the junior Intel officer and the Twelve. It may be a bit of a wait, but the Major is patient as the other man does whatever processing required to absorb the news and respond. Elias considers the skinjob's words, then gives a guarded, "Mmm." After this non-response he too processes for a few seconds. "I am in the process of arranging your visit to Piraeus, and your meeting with Sergeant Knox," he confirms in a matter of fact tone. "The Sergeant is an active duty member of the Colonial Marine Corps and currently on assignment, but we'll get him back here, one way or another. As for Piraeus, I have a question that I would like answered, in return."

For the moment, Skyler is silent. She busies herself, briefly, with adjusting herself to sit more comfortably. She doesn't jot anything down yet, either. At mention of a point of trust, she actually averts her gaze as the Twelve looks her way. The woman looks to a point on the floor, features neutral, as she waits for Elias' reply. There's a slow breath taken, head tilting in a nod of agreement with the words said regarding Knox. Braced, perhaps, by something within, the brunette finally looks up and regards the skinjob in the cell. Watching for his reaction; her own expression holding something of a faint curiousity.

The Twelve rises just enough to re-situated his pants and sit back down. He hasn't moved, except to eat, shit, and shower, in 36 hours. Sitting back down, he clasps his hands together and looks back over. The news about Knox has the 12's brows quirk a moment before going back neutral. For the moment, he's professional. "Our tit for tat has already been played, Major. Either I have been proven true or not. Your questions and points of contention will be examined." There's a certain seriousness that goes with it. The man may not hold the singular opinion of millions, but he certainly seems confident enough to that point. "You may ask, but I may not answer."

There's a tightening of Elias' mouth as he listens to the Twelve's response, and then the young Major simply says, "I see." He studies the man behind the bars for a moment. "You've proven that you're willing to give up fifteen presumed agents. Who may or may not have been placed for that very purpose. And in return you're asking for access to two of our most valuable assets and an intelligence gathering mission to one of the most dangerous locations in the Colonies." Elias notes. "The scales of Libran feel somewhat … unbalanced." He shoots a glance towards Skyler, his expression showing what she might consider an unusual amount of visible irritation, then turns back to the Twelve. "What do you expect to confirm on Piraeus? Do you suspect that some of your kind are there already?"

There's a slowly drawn breath and Skyler seems about to speak up, but the woman refrains. She watches the Twelve for a moment before glancing down to her notepad and making a quick note; pencil scratching out a few quick words. She manages to look up and catch Elias' return look. There's a sort of tilt of her head, lofting of brow, but she doesn't say anything. Instead, she looks back to the cell; watching the man within as the query is placed.

The Twelve listens and as he does-so the guy begins to smile. It even seems to get a laugh from him. "Oh, come come, Major." The guy finally lifts his gaze to look back towards both of them. "Unbalanced? Really?" The Twelve lets his gaze move between the two before settling on Elias. "I give you fifteen people who wanted to see your fleet destroyed or this location found by the Cylon Fleet. It protected you from annihilation. It also saved you to keep you in your fight. But somehow my request of information is on a scale that does not balance?" He slowly rises in the cell and turns to face them. The guy cracks his neck before chuckling. It's a dry sound. "I came here in good faith. I gave you intelligence to prolong your survival. My line risks it's boxing. If I do not return, my line decides on it's own that you all cannot be trusted. Use your own judgments, Major." He looks to Skyler. "Lieutenant." He then looks back to Elias. "I do not suspect my kind are on Piraeus. I expect to accomplish a confirmation of a feeling Cooper Knox has had. Nothing more, nothing less."

There's also a brief glance aside when it seems Skyler might interject, but Elias quickly moves on when she does not. "So you claim," he says to the Twelve's statement about what he has given them. "And yet we only have your word for that, and circumstantial evidence, thus far." There's a tight-mouthed grimace for the Twelve's chuckling, and then the Major listens to the rest of the skinjob's statement in silence. "A feeling?" Skeptical? Yes he is. Elias digs into his pocket, pulling out a pack of smokes and tapping one out. "And what feeling is that?" he asks, even as he lights up. And there's the voice on the PA, right on cue. "Major Gray, report to CIC. Major Gray to the CIC." Perhaps the question will go unanswered. Exhaling a sharp stream of smoke out his nostrils, Elias turns to Skyler and murmurs, "Carry on. I'll be back."

The female officer's lips press into a thin sort of line. She taps the edge of her pencil, lightly, against the pad of paper. Once. Twice. The third is terminated without the bounce-back and she turns it quickly to jot down something else. When the Twelve speaks her title, she pauses in her note-taking to glance up to him. At Elias' response to the answer, she draws a breath. But then the call comes up and she glances upward. As Elias leans in, there's a quick hand to his elbow. To stall him, for just a moment: "Sir," she asks quietly, resisting urge to glance to the cell. "Might I have permission to allow our… guest a short walk? Remaining in this section of the ship and with a full MP complement, of course." And as such, with other marines at all corners, too. "I would hate to think we might lose his support just for keeping him… cooped up." Hey, maybe she figures it's the small things.

The Twelve looks entertained for a moment. "Yes. My word. You said you arrested fourteen of the fifteen. I'm guessing the singular person was not found with appendicitis and could not be taken into custody." He looks right at Elias for that. "Thus far." He leaves it there. While the PA blares, he glances up to it, then back. "Have a good evening, Major." The guy crosses his arms lazily and leans against the bars dividing the cells - but outside the range of his arms from those outside. The suggestion for a walk, though, does bring some surprise. The Twelve seems to give no opinion either way, except for his visible reaction on his face. "I will be fine with whatever."

"Thus far," Elias agrees with the Twelve, though he betrays little other reaction to the man's retort. Then there is a hesitation for Skyler's request — likely surprise, as he doesn't spend much time considering it. His gaze strays to the Twelve when the skinjob chimes in, and then turns back to the Lieutenant. "No. No, not yet." A more typical expression settles over Elias' face now, a faint and thoughtful frown. "We'll see what the Sergeant has to say first." One background glance to the Twelve, and then Elias makes for the hatch. He steps swiftly through as an MP opens it for him, and then clangs it shut in his wake.

There is a flicker of disappointment in Skyler's eyes, after the surprise that the Twelve heard. Oh. Right. Skinjob. No amount of whispering likely would have worked, but in this proximity. She decides something is alright with this, expression mollified, as Elias departs. "Yes, sir." Once he's left, she takes a breath and adjusts. The chair is brought nearer to the bars. She just admitted to not being afraid to take a walk with the Twelve. MPs in evidence, yes, but still. No bars between them. She would be at risk, so why act as if she's concerned for it now? "I hope you understand our position. You are evidence that the Nines are reaching other lines, but at the same time… What if it is all a ploy?" She looks up to the man within the cell, lowering pad to her lap. "You would be a poor arbiter if you couldn't see our stance, there. We cannot be remade over and over if we die."

The Twelve doesn't seem to take anything from Elias and his remarks. The guy just stands there. With the denial of a walk, the prisoner just shrugs it off as if it were any other comment. Nope, no worries. He watches Elias go before looking back to Skyler. He doesn't move, though. "I never pretended otherwise. If it were a ploy?" The skinjob glances off a moment, chuckling, then looks back. "If it were a ploy, I would have come in here and asked for access and promised you something intangible or a resource that was replaceable. Fifteen insurgents and the knowledge that your incoming replacements were corrupt? Well… faith only goes so far, I suppose." he looks right at Skyler. Nothing lewd, he just stares. "I understand your place. I also understand mine. To understand the term, an arbiter does not enter into an agreement without understanding and an expectation of reciprocity."

"Faith only goes so far on both sides, I'm sure." Skyler rolls the pencil between her fingers after flipping to a new page. "It's a war, after all. I would say one side seeks freedom while the other seeks annihilation, but I'm thinking that perhaps we each see ours in the better light." Here she looks up to the Twelve, then away. Not wholly, but breaking his gaze for the moment. "Have you ever had a name you like? Twelve seems… oddly impersonal." A beat, a tilt of head as she looks to the skinjob again; end of ponytail sliding across her shoulder. "Where do the numbers come from, anyway? One makes sense, as he seems to be your… leader. But what about the rest? How are the others chosen?"

"I'm quite sure, as well." The Twelve maintains his post leaning against the bars that divide the cells. The comment is dry and seems to underscore an opinion that may be deteriorating. "Your assumptions are your own, Lieutenant. Keep in mind you are making judgments you have no logical basis for." A single finger slips out to point at her for a moment before going back. "I am Twelve. Perhaps in time I'll develop my own name. Perhaps not. s for the numbers? It seems fairly obvious. They designate a line. One may or may not be a leader. One dictates, that's all that is important. We are all simply as we are. Cooper Knox, himself, will help me figure out much more. To your people he has won his citizenship as a human. And a Marine. Some of my line watched that broadcast live." He nods towards the door. "I know Major Gray sat on that tribunal because I saw his face on the video." It was broadcast, but only in radio. Someone there must have had a camera. They all know.

"Obviously they designate a line." Skyler's tone is a bit dry as she says it, lifting her chin to watch him. Seated versus standing. At least she doesn't appear to be intimidated by it. "But how are the numbers chosen, is what I am wondering. Why are you Twelve and not, say, Ten?" She leans slightly, reaching a hand down to move her leg a measure. The brace has the lack of grace by creaking a bit with the motion. "Sergeant Knox earned his citizenship through his actions. You have given us names, yes, and I believe they were genuine. However… That is not true action. Knox fought against his own kind, alongside ours. He risked his life for humanity, over an extended period of time. We've not even known you a week, Twelve."

The Twelve looks at Skyler. For a moment he seems confused about her point. In the end, he chuckles and shakes his head. "Lieutenant, you can't get there from here. Model lines are inconsequential. We are who we are." The guy finally shifts off the bars and stands in the cell. "Everyone colony has its own people. It still does, despite the wreckage wrought. Our lines have our purposes, but do you judge all Taurans to be dissatisfied with Colonial rule? Sure, it would take an individual to interview, but can you tell me the purpose between each colony?" He leaves it there a moment. The last leaves him silent for near thirty seconds. Maybe an eternity to a computer. He moves back to sit on the bed. "I do not pretend to absorb or take credit for the actions of Mister Knox. Nor should you assume I expect you to attribute them. He is an individual that has earned his own place. Earned through action. Perhaps I was mistaken to assume that my own actions would perhaps purchase a place of potential trust. If that is not the case, then we are absolutely done talking, Lieutenant." He looks right at her with the last. "As is my line."

"Is that how the numbers are chosen, then? By Colony, perhaps? Or is it by order of creation? Were you the Twelfth made and thus numbered?" The woman's shoulders brace, just slightly, as he speaks of the Colonies as he does. When he speaks her title — for a second time this evening — Skyler looks up. Her lips press into a bit of a line. "You do not understand humans yet, do you? One act does not lead to trust. Not even between one another. Maybe it's different with your kind, but for us, it takes time. We must get to know one another. To build that trust. Knox did so, over time. You have given us one thing. Though I should not have, I have given you something in turn. I told you some of what we know with Libran. Do you trust me?"

The guy laughs. "Oh, no, my dear. Don't be so vain. Numbers were never chosen for the Colonies. And no, I'm not going to tell you why or where they came from. Honestly, it's a useless point of inquiry." he shakes it off with a wave of his hand. The Twelve wanders forward and leans on the front bars, but never approaches Skyler, leaving her on the opposite end. "My understanding is enough for my line. I'm not here to conduct anthropology sessions. It is a simple judgment. There is nothing more, nothing less. I do not seek your trust nor desire it. I brought a gift and I expect to be repayed in kind. You and the Major belittle what I gave you as 'One Thing' as if it means nothing." He takes a long breath. "I understand that you wish to place yourselves in a position of power by belittling mine. This is understandable but it isn't going to work and it does not look good. And it is all recorded." He leaves that there for a moment. "You did give me some information about Libran, but it is not the whole information we need." The guy shrugs again as if he were any other human. "I am not asking for anything ridiculous, Lieutenant. You have my requests. They are fulfilled or not."

"We have only just arrested fourteen of the fifteen. We don't even know fully what it means yet." Skyler's metaphorical feathers are a bit ruffled. The woman sits up a bit straighter. As well she can with having to have her leg at a particular angle. "I believe you. To the extent that I can so far. Again, one thing is not enough for a human to fully trust. To begin it? Yes. To wholly embrace it? No. Not these days." She looks to her leg, then to the skinjob. "You already pegged me as Virgon. Obviously." The accent, especially for the higher born as herself, is unmistakeable. "Tell me, Twelve… Why was my home destroyed? Picon, Aerilon, Leonis… Many were left intact, save for the specific locations that were taken out. Virgon is coming apart at the seams. Everyone I knew is gone. Maybe you can tell me why I should want to fulfill your requests when it was your kind who did that? And… for what reason? It seems rather senseless to me."

The Twelve looks at Skyler with an expression the seems to give little belief. "Yes. You arrested fourteen of fifteen. I gave you these people and you don't think I know what the missing number is. You can play coy with your number all you like but you and I both know what the number means." he no longer sounds entertained or even amused. The man seems deadly serious. He listens to the rest, but just before she finished he leaves the bars and walks away, choosing to sit on the bunk. "That's a petty, petty argument. If I knew that, do you really think I would tell you?" he gives her a look with some disdain. "Oh, please. Assuming I knew, I would not tell you. I am here for simple judgments, not to give you strategic intelligence. You can glean what you want from my actions and what I have done for you." He leans forward and looks to the side at her. "If you, or the Major, even once more try to pretend that what I did for this fleet was some sort of minor favor, you might as well kill me and deal with the consequences. Or you can choose to give me one modicum of respect to the end that I continue, every moment, to give you all, and work with me." He leans back against the wall. "We are done for now. Next I speak will be with Sergeant Knox or when I set foot on Piraeus."

The woman's jaw tightens, a measure. "I am not playing coy. Would you prefer if we lied about the fifteenth? I do not doubt they are infiltrators. I do not think the Major does, either. The question is would you be willing to sacrifice humans for a greater cause? I think many of your kind would. But would you, specifically?" Skyler sighs, shaking her head slightly. "I ask you because I am human. Because what I want is answers. Is closure. Everything I knew, everyone I knew, gone. Destroyed in a way that I cannot even go back to the remains of where I grew up. That's something you need to understand about us, Twelve." She's working on getting to her feet. "We care about our ties. To each other. To our homes. To our past. I don't ask for strategic intelligence. I ask for my own closure. I ask because I do no believe in Elysium, so the best I can offer them is the peace of understanding." The notepad and pencil are tucked into a pocket, her hand falling to the chair for balance. "I already requested to personally escort you to Piraeus after our last talk." A shift and she starts moving the chair back to its original place.

When she mentions the willingness to sacrifice humans, he just looks at her with a cold gaze. That look, it says volumes. He would never, but there are no words to be said. The guy just looks at her with that cold gaze until she finishes and then he goes back to looking down at an empty space somewhere between the opposite wall and his nose. The guy is just silent and goes back to where he was before. Quiet. Waiting.

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