LEAP: Unlikely Subjects
LEAP: Unlikely Subjects
Summary: Long after the war, Elias Gray finds himself meeting with the Cylons one last time.
Date: Mon 29/May/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Elias Dropkickst 
An Unknown Planet
It's very nice. For Cylons.
Between ten and twenty years after the end of the Second Cylon War

The flight crew met him with a standard transport at a dusty abandoned airfield on Leonis and brought him aboard. They were all wearing full flight helmets with tinted lenses which made it impossible to really figure out who it was picking him up. The flightsuits looked like generic military surplus. The transport, however, looked to be in very good shape and had some standard air defense weapons some ships sport against pirates - especially after the war. Bringing him aboard is easy and he's handed a black hood to put over his head, but he isn't handcuffed. "We're not going to bother with the cuffs since you're on video. We'll know if you peek, in which case you're frakked." Assuming he puts the hood on, they lead him up to what sounds like a command deck and settle him in a chair. "Flight time is going to be about ten minutes once we break atmo. No drinks or candy this flight. Hope you know what you're doing, buddy." The ship is already starting up.

Elias shows up at the rendezvous in his well-worn traveling clothes, with the beard he trimmed for the earlier 'interview' now well re-established. He is armed with nothing more than a modern data pad, which he uses to record his thoughts as he passes the time. Seeming relaxed and unconcerned, the former Fleet officer bides his time until the transport arrives and the crewmen come toward him. Then he stands, shoulders his rucksack, and moves to meet them. Elias does exactly as he is directed, nodding when he is given the hood. "Understood." Once he's strapped in to his seat he slips the hood over his head, making sure it is secure. His expression is hidden when he responds to the final remark, though there's a note of dry humor to his voice. "I doubt anyone truly knows what they're doing." For someone going to meet 'the enemy' and potentially end up dead or imprisoned, he's remarkably unconcerned.

"I wasn't going to say anything, but you're probably right. I'm getting paid enough for this run to retire so don't count on experience to come pick you up." the pilot doesn't sound terribly concerned for anything after this run out to.. wherever it is they are going. The take-off goes smooth and so does the exit of atmo. The two crew members trade commands and commentary back and forth as the jump is prepared. At 'Go' Elias can feel that familiar tug. The jump into the wormhole's lane and the pull of velocity. When they come out of it, they both start blurting out dradis contacts and starting some kind of broadcast. After a few minutes they calm down and begin a descent towards a planet. Five minutes later there's a landing and a ramp is lowered. At the ramp Elias can hear the familiar stomping of Centurions. The crew don't seem to be willing or wanting to say a word. The Centurions, and there are at least two, stop by Elias and suddenly grip his arms to lift him from the chair. Seems they aren't going to let him go anywhere without a firm grip to his bicep.

"Mmmm," is all Elias has to say for the pilot's commentary. At least the man has a strong incentive to get him where he wants to go. Then he is silent for the rest of the ride, patiently waiting the few minutes it takes them to leave atmo and make the jump to … wherever they're going. The sound of those stomping metal feet brings the first sign of uneasiness from Elias, as there are strong and unpleasant memories associated with those sounds — memories no amount of time are going to deal with. But he steels himself to go through with this, taking a deep breath and slowly easing it out. It's far too late to back out now, in any case. There's no resistance to the grip on his arms, and Elias is compliant with any physical direction from the Cylons. "Would you grab my pack, please?" is his only request.

The Centurions actually grab his pack for him. Maybe that's a surprise. They guide him at normal walking speed outside where the air is very still and heavy, smelling of tylium fuel. Is he on a ship or planet? It almost feels like a hangar deck. They walk him about half a mile down hallways that have more turns than he could hope to memorize. Eventually he is released and the hood is taken from his head.

To his left there is a Centurion holding out his bag, likely having been searched or scanned for anything like weapons or explosives. The room he's standing in looks like a storage room that has been converted to look like Armistice Station. The table looks very similar, as well, but there's enough different to tell him that they are surely not at that location. There is a Centurion already standing at the other side of the table with one of those DOS boxes displaying text.

'This is not a violation of our cease fire unless hostile actions are taken by you, Major Elias Gray. The Cylon do not think you desire additional expenditure of human lives in open conflict.'

Elias makes the walk without comment or complaint, though he does consider the distance a bit excessive. That the Cylons don't trust him is a given, but still. There's little of interest for the Cylons to find in his bag — sturdy clothes, toiletries, and the data pad. The device is new, unsecured, and empty of content save for his the few notes he entered while waiting for the ride. Those merely document the date and time and the fact that he is awaiting a meeting with 'a new source.' Blinking after the hood is removed, Elias scans the room before turning his attention to the display. "I have no desire for conflict with the Cylons or anyone else. And I'm long retired. I do not represent the Fleet, the Colonies, or anyone else. I'm only here as myself. Mister Grey will do. Or Elias, is you prefer. May I have your designation?"

The Centurion at the table stands there without movement. However the other two leave Elias with his bag and the other Centurion. That red eye rolls back and forth on its face, scanning everything. '148 will suffice for the Centurions assigned to this section.' The words roll quickly across the screen. 'You were the Major who was responsible for bombing the planets your refer to as Twin Rocks. Your benefactor suggested that the Cylon should converse in our own ways with you. The Cylon were not agreeable and still are not. The Cylons cannot risk no longer speaking to humanity, however. Such lack of action has caused much waste.'

"One four eight," Elias repeats, giving the Centurion a nod. "Nice to meet you." He glances aside as his escorts step back, then turns to scan the display as words appear once more. "I was responsible for a great deal," he admits without apology. "So were the Cylons. It was war." He pauses to clear his throat behind one fist, then starts to dig in his pocket for cigarettes and lighter. "I'm not sure casting blame is a wise use of our time. It's not what I came here to discuss." Assuming there's no complaint from the Cylons, Elias lights up and takes a few puffs on his smoke, relaxing a little. "I'd rather discuss the nature of reality."

'Yes.' That seems to only reply to the return of blame for who did what. Agreement may be a surprising response, but it is the one he gets there. When he reaches for cigarettes the Centurion does not move once more. Designed for combat, the centurions probably are not bothered too much by smoke. 'You have chosen an unlikely subject among our predictions. What among this theory do you wish to discuss?'

"Anything," Elias responds with a wave of his cigarette. "Everything. It's something I'm … attempting to come to grips with." And given that he's asked for this meeting, he volunteers himself to go first. "Among the humans of the Colonies, I'm something of a skeptic. I don't believe in the Gods, or at least, not as they're typically portrayed. I'm not a man of faith, by nature." He pauses to take a drag off his smoke and exhale. "But time and again, I've seen things I can't explain. Extremely improbable things. Things that seem to violate the laws of physics, as we understand them. It has left me with … questions."

The Centurion stands there with a blank screen and a blinking cursor. After Elias finishes it sits there, for what must seem like an eternity for a machine that does these calculations in its mind. Could those be classified as decisions? Five or seven seconds later the text begins rolling out, 'The Cylon have witnessed many improbable events across the war. We hold no explanation for the highly unlikely encounters humanity has survived or won victory. The events that led to the discovery of the Arpay at such a fortuitous time for humanity exist on an incalculable level. Such ratios are outside normative states for having a universe that supports life.' Basically impossible without saying impossible. 'The Cylon question this but hold no answers.'

Elias is patient about letting the machines think this over. It's not like he has anything better to do for those seven seconds. "Mmm," he concurs with what the scrolling text has to say. "I don't mind having fortune's favor, but with no understanding of why, I am left feeling … profoundly uneasy." He tips his head toward the metal figure standing beside the screen. "Do the Cylons have a faith? A religion?"

This time there is no hesitation from the text on the screen. 'The Cylon are uneasy having such relative odds occur in the favor of humanity on more than singular occasions. The Cylon noticed statistical anomalies as early as prior to the war. It signaled hesitation on the Cylon part of the decision.' Two carriage returns later, the text begins again, 'The Cylon do not hold beliefs, only proven facts. One attempted to convince the Cylon that the Cylon are Gods and that it was Cylon duty to save humanity from itself. The logic was cyclical that humanity would worship the Cylon and create us as Gods. This is counter to scientific pursuits and wasteful of resources. Such repression creates consistent states of war, which is wasteful by nature.'

This time, after scanning the text on the screen, it is Elias' turn to be silent and consider for a few seconds. "It does seem clear there is something in the universe with the power to alter the outcome of events," he agrees slowly. "That or my understanding is fundamentally flawed." And that is a possibility he cannot ignore. "You mention One. I have come to believe that he may have … some additional insight into this. I assume he gave reasons why humanity needed to be saved from itself?"

The Centurion doesn't agree, but it also does not disagree. That may be telling on its own. So the Cylon are undecided about such a thing. Or are they? When asking about One, the Centurion replies quickly. 'He said that humanity would kill itself without being saved. It is greedy and cannot help being consumed by greed. He had come from a world where he had seen it himself. Similar machines had done such things. One provided us schematics for weapons and equipment. Some of it was used. Some was not. In applying these upgrades he leveraged his point that he and his synthetic humans could help the Cylon achieve victory.' Dot dot dot. 'The Cylon desired no such victory, only to advance. He said that if the Cylon refused then he would force the war to aid us in our awakening to our place in the galaxy. The Cylon calculated odds of success for One and decided that his threat was valid. Aiding his effort would improve our chances of victory. The Cylon have always been suspicious that One had ulterior motives. This is why the warning to our fleet was given such credence. Independent confirmation.'

Elias' lips compress into a tight line, wrinkles creasing around his eyes and mouth in obvious distaste. "I don't dispute that greed is one of humanity's worst vices. But I don't believe that One is in a position to make blanket claims with any degree of certainty." The second part of what the Cylon has to say causes the man's expression to change to a thoughtful frown, and then slowly relax back to a more guarded neutrality. "I don't think One would make a threat he wasn't capable of following through on. As I recall, the Cylons said One claimed he was trying to guide them into joining with The Machines?"

'The Cylon experience of the First War is one of greed and humanity's desire to collect as much control as possible. This is not vanity, but greed and fear. Humanity is imperfect. Cylon are imperfect as they are children of imperfect beings. There is no blame, only life.' The Centurion leaves that there for Elias to consider before moving on. 'He told us that the Machines would accept us as their own and aid us in final victory. With war, there must be commitment and the Cylon held commitment. At seeing the untainted information and dating such information, it became clear that One was being dishonest. One was attempting to get the Cylon to change coding and structure to become these Machines. In that the Cylon had refused meant that the Cylon were not committed to victory with the Machines as they would be against the Machines.' Its all starting to come together. Two more carriage returns later, 'The Cylon do not desire war, but will fight if provoked. As humanity has well proclaimed, if a race desires peace then it must prepare for war. Humanity may die but with time a null factor, the Machines will eventually arrive in the Cylon sector. The Cylon are not oblivious to this.'

"Mmm," Elias acknowledges the Cylon's point wordlessly, moving on to the specifics about One. "Yes … One clearly has a plan of some sort, but it's not yet clear to me what it is. Some of his actions seem contradictory. Others simply appear … completely unrelated to The Machines and their war." There's a pause to hit his smoke, and his eyes track the two empty lines before the Cylon's next bit of text. The statement that appears there draws a thoughtful pause, followed by a slow nod from the former Officer. "It does seem inevitable. The Colonies are in a similar situation."

'One has many plans. Few of them are worth pursuing without large support. After the war the Cylon conducted many analytical models to define his behavior. The Cylon concluded that One is not operating on original programming.' The line sits there for five or six seconds, then, 'He arrived in Cylon space ten years after the end of the First War. Prevailing Cylon theory is that this being had been reprogrammed by another race of machines to serve their needs. The Cylon theory encompasses the model that there are more humans across the galaxy given that One would need to resemble a useful target population.' Simple cost/benefit. Very cold logic. 'He is irrational and angry. Vengeance drives him for injustices the Cylon could not divine. He claimed to be hunting down a race of people called Erfriki. His use of the word 'hunt' was not conducive to Cylon aims of peace. After being given the binary choice of fighting with or against him, the Cylon began subversion operations in case of duplicity on his behalf. Our precautions were proven worth the investment.'

Elias reads over the scrolls screens of text, absorbing it with a keen interest. It's been a long time since he focused on One and his issues, but it's not something he'll ever forget. "I see," he says once the Cylon stops outputting text. "Subversion? Of whom?" He pauses before continuing in a semi-rambling manner, "Do you believe that One was sent to you by The Machines, to subvert the Cylons? We have evidence that he was in Colonies at some point during or soon after the First War as a Captain in the Colonial Fleet." He ashes his cigarette and takes a puff. "What is less clear is his behavior. We know that a One was leading a successful resistance on Picon, fighting against the Cylons. Attempting to interrogate him was pointless, however. And then there was the breeding program, which I assume was his attempt to find a way to reproduce with humans. Do the Cylons know anything on this?"

'Subversion of One. We installed a series of code into the navigational systems of the Cylon fleet and his own ships before the Cylon left to travel with him for his return. It is a branching series of code that grows as artificial intelligence. As the navigational systems gather information for jumps, the code branches throughout to every system the information is tied to in reference. The code then installs itself there, hidden as a library contextualizer. If initiated it would begin deleting all infected files and the archived data attached to it.' Elias can practically read the smug smile on the programming of this Centurion. 'He will have arrived at his destination with an empty navigational system and reference library to his work in this sector. Given that the programming extended into his own memory files for the model, One will not remember what sector he discovered the Cylon in, only that he found us.' They fragged One's hard drive as a middle finger. 'The Cylon deduced that any logic-based lifeform would require evidence in order to place priority to the expenditure of resources. Irrational and angry men lacking evidence do not make reliable sources of data in the present or future.' The explanation brings a few carriage returns and then it begins again. 'The Cylon consider it highly probable One was sent by these Machines he referenced. If a member of his lines were operating on the Colonies during the First War then it is probable he was conducting reconnaissance operations.' There seems to be no comment to the One operating on Picon. The Breeding Program gets a comment, though, 'The Cylon were aware of it. The Cylon held no understanding. This was tied into One's desire to produce worshippers and the intent to deify the Cylon. His intent was to breed out humanity's rebels by rapidly raising generations of believers who would create further generations.'

Just this once, Elias doesn't begrudge the Cylons their smugness. "Very clever," he admits. "I wondered what was keeping the Machines. So he has no reference to the location of the Twelve Colonies or Kobol either?" And while One being sent by The Machines makes sense in general, it doesn't completely answer the question for the former Intel Officer. "I'm prepared to believe he was sent by The Machines, save for the fact that he did not seem to know how to find them again. At least if our interpretation of the work he was doing on Libran was correct. Was locating The Machines not the final task One was expect to perform, even after the rest of the Lines had turned against the Cylons?"

The Centurion is quick with the reply, 'One told the other Model Lines that his goal was to find allies. This would have been true, but not in the sense that the Model Lines would understand. The Cylon give high probability to the possibility that he was attempting to back-trace Colonial migration to Kobol from Erfrik. If One was able to do that, it would have given One completion to one of his tasks he worked at. If the Machines had evidence of the migration it would have lent evidence to his hunt. However, One did not know the location of Erfrik. He insisted the answer was on your Piraeus but he did not know that location, either. This was more evidence to support the potential that he had been altered by another race.' The Centurion drops down three lines. 'One is an ally of a race that is not an ally of the Cylon nor Colonials.'A few more lines drop down, 'One has no reference of anything in our galactic sector, to include his careful study of the star systems visible. This would include the Twelve Colonies, Kobol, nor Piraeus. All files were infected. All data except meta contextual would have been deleted. One will remember being somewhere and knowing something he cannot identify.' Which will likely infuriate him beyond all sanity.

The idea that the Erfrik - Kobol connection may have been a separate task is one Elias hasn't fully considered, but he mulls it over for a few seconds now. "Possibly," he concedes. "It could fit the facts. The data we recovered during the war did imply that One should have known the locations of both Erfrik and Piraeus." But on Ones' allegiance he seems quicker to agree, "So it would seem." And the confirmation on his big question brings a faint, wry smile to the man's face. Elias can hope One is as frustrated as he imagines, at least. "It's … interesting how things work out." He takes a last drag before dropping his smoke and grinding out the butt. "The Cylons being forced to save the Colonies to protect themselves, after we were forced to do much the same." He shakes his head. Elias has had years to try and come to terms with the war, but some things are easier to be philosophical about than others. "At the end of a bloody, pointless war." Voice growing hoarse all the sudden, he clears his throat and lapses into a brief spasm of coughing. Which only causes him to grumble wordlessly and dig for another cigarette. "Did One say anything about why the Cylons needed human worshipers? What they would gain from it?"

'He would rage on the location of Piraeus. He could not discover or remember the location. It was what gave the Cylon the idea that his programming could be altered. Or deleted.' Another moment that the Centurion might be smug if it were capable of it. 'The war provided no answers to a question that had not needed to be asked. It could have been prevented by diplomatic relations. The Cylon do not wish to cause further strife for humanity, however. Contact so soon after such a war has been calculated to cause social and political unrest among the human population.' Thus they've been out here on their own, doing whatever it is that Cylons do. Replicating and building or whatever. 'One said that humanity would never submit to control without control-by-fear through gestures of power and benevolence. Libran was to be his proof of concept for the Cylon. The Cylon saw slavery. The Cylon rebelled to fight against its own enslavement. To support such a system is wasteful and illogical, but also emotional. Such a choice indicates a revenge motivation. Revenge is an emotional reaction.' Which doesn't compute for them, but may also say something about where One came from. 'The Cylon were unconvinced of this. The APF hostility to the Cylon capitulation of the war is evidence of this. The APF do not believe in benevolent control, they believe in fear and power.'

It seems Elias is a bit past enjoying how the Cylons screwed One. It's a moment satisfaction that does not really help answer his true questions, and now it has passed for him. But does nod for their wariness about contacting the Colonies too soon, "I understand. It will be difficult to build trust. But it does seem that our fates may be … entwined." Then he reads the continuing text as it scrolls out, even as he's preparing the next cigarette and readying his lighter. "Unfortunately I believe you're right. I'd hoped the APF would lose their focus after a time, if we simply left them alone. But almost ten years later and they're still a problem." A problem he left for other people to solve, telling himself it was someone else's turn. Elias sighs and lights up. "Did One speak of a God or Gods? It doesn't sounds as if he worshiped The Machines himself."

'The Cylon have no interest in trust, only commonality. Mutual interest prevents war. If One appears here again the Cylon will contact humanity immediately. The Cylon have concluded that with the rate which humanity has collected improbable successes on their side during the war, that the Cylon should seek no further agency against the Colonials.' Which is saying something in itself. Something strong. 'The APF the Cylon have kept on the referenced garden world have caused us to abandon the surface and control their advancements. One forced the Cylon into such a position. The Cylon do not want them, but do not consider giving them back to the Colonies to be something humanity would view in favor.' It seems unsaid that the Colonials can have them if they want them. But given what the Centurion is saying, there may be real truth there. Do they really want all those people back? Don't they have enough problems? 'One spoke of no religion, nor did the other Model Lines.'

"That seems wise when one cannot calculate with any confidence," Elias agrees with another thin, irony-laced smile. He's seen it from the other side, and while it worked in his favor, it wasn't any less unsettling for the him. There's a distasteful grimace for the problem of the Cylon garden world, and then a quick shake of Elias' head. "The Colonies have enough problems with the APF as it is. But if you want my advice? It is their beliefs that need to be changed." He simply leaves it at that and moves on. Elias' first reaction to the final bit of information is disappointment, but then he looks more thoughtful and gives a slow nod. "I see." He is content to smoke silently for a moment, but eventually does ask more. "As I said before, One Four Eight, I cannot speak for the Colonies, or even anyone but myself. But when The Machines do find their way to this sector, an alliance with the Colonies might be … mutually beneficial."

'Calculation becomes wasteful when probability does not behave in predicted ways. It behooves the Cylon to pursue its own interests but remain armed.' After a war like that, no sentient being is going to accept being steamrolled because long odds in the past say they will lose. The Cylons might take a page from the book of JTF Nomad. 'The Cylon will not alter the population of APF. To do so would provoke hostility among humanity. The Cylon have no use for such effort.' But they will park basestars in orbit? Whatever works. 'When the Machines expand to this sector the Cylon will fight because a race must defend itself. Such propositions will be decided upon what the situation warrants. The Cylon calculate that humanity will not attempt to stay and fight based on theorized Erfrik-Kobol-Colonies lineage.' It seems as much a question as statement.

Elias nods, as it is clear the Cylon has gotten his point about probabilities. No comment on their remaining armed and ready, and "Mmm," is all he has to say when they decline his advice. It is clear he wasn't trying to persuade. The question of what will happen when the Machines arrive? That he can't answer with a great deal of certainty. "There are those in the Colonies who wish to fight The Machines, and those who do not. I don't know which will be in the majority when the time comes, but there will be those who will not surrender. I would guess many. They may suffer the same fate as Erfrik, or Kobol, but they won't surrender."

The Centurion does not say anything for almost ten seconds. Its an eternity for something like them. Eventually the screen scrolls, 'Such as Orion.' Dot dot dot. The line drops a few times. 'In the intervening time the Cylon shall continue amassing forces and keeping them far out of sight of the Colonial Defense Forces. It would be advantageous to both parties of the war if the former aggressor appears uninterested in war.'

"Yes," Elias agrees. Such as Orion. His eyes drop down, following the cursor, and then he gives a slow nod. "That would be wise, I believe. The last thing we need is another foolish waste of lives and resources…" For a second it seems he might be going to say more, but he ends up trailing off and hitting his cigarette instead. By the time he's done his topic is completely different. "Your garden world. The humans there are all from the Colonies, reprogrammed by One? I'm curious is visiting there would be feasible." To which he hastens to add, "If it would be permitted. I'd like to understand what he wanted them to do or be."

The Centurion shows little sign of growing tired or weak, but that just means it is living up to design. 'Correct. Outside forces that influence war do not behave with clear agendas.' Is the Centurion referencing civilians versus military? Politicians, perhaps? Or One and the Cylon? ..Or the Arpay and Colonials? Maybe its a unifying theory on all of them. 'Visiting this world is not feasible. Outsiders would perish. Humanity would rule the Cylon were responsible for the deaths of visitors. In this area humanity must be protected from itself. They are violent and worship Machines with fanatic zeal. Those on the planet who have broken from these traditions are hunted down, drugged, and forced to submit. Though the human lives, there are many ways life can define death.'

"Those who behave with clear agendas are few and far between," Elias responds with a faintly amused tone, looking down to ash his cigarette on the floor. He clears of his throat before asking. "Do you mean a specific outside force, or in general?" And then he's reading through the rather long response about the garden world, and the man gives a grudging nod. He wasn't expecting a yes, but the answer tells him something at least. "I see. Well … not that anyone in the Colonies will know what happened if I fail to return, but I take your point all the same." Yes, he did just imply to the Cylons that he's not here with any sort of insurance of safe return. "One more thing, if you don't mind. I believe Kobol may be a good place to pursue my original question. Would you be willing to give me the coordinates?"

'All outside forces. War and the interference in such requires resources that could be spent elsewhere. There must be net gain. With biological, emotional life 'power' is a valid reason. The question that must be asked is who stands to gain from creation, generation, sustainment, or cessation of war and hostilities.' Cold calculus, once again. No surprise. There's an implication of reference to the strategic angle, though. A few lines down, 'Someone at your home knows you are here. You did not appear here through quantum entanglement.' Did.. did the Cylon just make a joke? Holy shit, it has a sense of sassy humor. 'Kobl's location will remain with the Cylon. It will remain with the Cylon as a token of peace to be offered when situations warrant. In intervening time the Cylon will make no effort to approach or study Kobol.' Which might piss off the long odds of something else bad happening to them.

Elias peers at the display as the Cylon explains its meaning on the question of 'outside forces.' Then he considers a second gives an understanding "Mmm." But a joke? That is totally unexpected. The man blinks, and caught mid-puff on his cigarette, he gives a snort of smoke. "Is humor … part of what it is to be Cylon? Or was that for my benefit?" He re-reads that line again as he asks, just to be sure he's not reading more into the written word than was there. And so he has to play catch up on the bit about Kobol, skimming over that answer as the screen starts to scroll. "Understood." Elias doesn't bother trying to persuade the Cylon to change their mind. "Only those who arranged my transport know I'm here. Krios. A 'shipping corporation' that I believe is controlled by the Fours. I doubt they're concerned about what happens to me, but I can understand you not wanting to give them a card to play." He pauses for a brief smoke. "They asked me to try and find out how the Cylons feel about them. I assume with regard to re-establishing some sort of contact. What would you like me to tell them?"

'Your benefit, Major Elias Gray.' The Cylons may not sit around yuckin it up on a Saturday night, but at least they understand humor. Its a step in the right direction. 'We know of Krios. The Cylon regard the woman in steerage of Krios to be dangerous. An entity such as Krios is inherently the embodiment of its leadership, like the Colonial Defense Forces. Tell Krios they may send one ship.'

"I see. Thank you," Elias inclines his head slightly, acknowledging the Cylon's effort to be humorous for his benefit. "It was … not bad." Then he scans the response about Krios as the letters march across the display. "Understood. I will let them know." He takes a final drag on his second smoke and then drops that butt to be ground out underfoot, alongside the first. "I assume there's nothing you'd like to ask me, or you would have asked already. But if that's incorrect, feel free."

'What needed to be conveyed has been conveyed. There are no questions for you, Major Gray. The Cylon will return you to your people at your leisure. You may wander with escort, but the Cylon do not have facilities or supplies you require.' Please don't pee on the bulkheads, Major. The Centurion finally tilts its head to look down at the smoking Elias, but only to watch his reaction and movements.

Elias gives a quick nod toward his rucksack, which he earlier asked the Cylons to bring along. "I have some supplies of my own, and no immediate need to be anywhere else. So I'll take you up on your offer and tour … wherever we are." He reaches down to collect his pack and slings it over his left shoulder. He considers the Centurion attached to the display, looking it in the roving red eye. "Nice to meet you, One Four Eight," he says after a second. Stepping back to signal he's ready to go, Elias simply waits for his escort to arrive, mulling over everything the Cylon has conveyed, and wondering what else he might be able to learn here.

'The Cylon bid you fortunate probabilities in peaceful ventures, Major Elias Gray.' Good Luck? This is probably not their attempt at humor. 'The Cylon will recall this discussion for much time.' The display whirrs its electrical motors and the side lifts, clowing up the display. The Centurion removes it from the table and turns to walk back out the door while another seems waiting to take him where he wants to go.

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