2237-01-24 - A Field Guide To Cylon Fear

Van and Danica wax philosophical on what the Cylons might fear and how much a person in a war can take

Date: 2237-01-24

Location: Officer Berthings

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 951

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Van does not look at his best when he has just woken up. His hair has grown long enough to actually get bed-head (barely), and it sticks up in just about every possible direction. His t-shirt is more wrinkled than his waking clothes ever are, and he smacks his teeth like he can taste his bad breath as he sticks his bare legs off the bunk and leans forward, reaching over to open his locker and dig around for a pair of sweat pants.

Has Danica been to bed yet? It's... hard to say. She has that slightly muzzy, stale look of someone who has been up a while if they've managed to go to bed at all. She's sitting at the table in the center of the room, her recently wounded leg propped up on the chair directly across from her. In her hands appears to be some months old copy of a magazine which leans hard into slick, polished chrome vehicles and girls in bikinis draped over them. It's probably not her first choice of reading material, by the way she's disinterestedly leafing through it. "...morning sunshine," she offers to Van, her eyes drifting up and away from the material to observe him.

Van turns his bleary gaze toward Danica, blinking once before he manages "Gopnik." With the ease of long practice, he pulls on his sweats while still seated, hopping down to the decking and tugging them last bit up over his skivvies in a single smooth motion. "Morning." Or what passes for it on the ship. He brushes two fingers over the picture stuck to the bulkhead by his bunk, then limps over toward where Danica is seated, dropping down into a seat vaguely across from her without even so much as a by-your-leave. Definitely not a morning person. Yawning hugely, he rubs at his face, then leans over to study her propped-up leg, "How are you holding up?" Yup, halitosis.

Danica grimaces a tiny amount before it smears into a slightly mocking, mostly appreciating grin for the current state of his hair. "Nice hair, Milkman," she teases, looking near to evading the question of how she's holding up. "I'm alright, I guess," she shrugs somewhat listlessly. "Leg hurts like a frakin' bitch but I'm trying not to get all housewife happy on the morpha pills they gave me. I'm trying not to think about the sea of bodies on the floor of the hangar so that's basically like, every other thought. Annnnnd Miss April would like you and I know that she wants to end hunger on Aerilon...," Danica summarizes, jostling the magazine in her hands slightly.

Van reaches up to his hair at her comment, scrubbing at it a moment and grumbling, "I should really buzz it again," he says, completely failing to convince himself to do so. He leans back in his chair to work his own right leg a minute, grimacing a little as he does. "I wouldn't suggest skimping on the pills though. I tried that once. Whoo... worst three hours of my life." Hesitating a moment, he considers, then shakes his head, "No, third worst." Leaning forward again, this time to look at the magazine, he inquires, "And what is Miss April going to give me if I help end hunger on Aerilon?" Shaking the question off, he settles back in his seat, "I heard it was rough. I was racked out." There's a pause, and then he helps her change the topic, "Any chance you're related to Colin Reznik? Mother is a big Tide fan."

"Her very deep thoughts," Danica informs Van as to what he'll win, turning the magazine around to show him the very corn-fed blonde in an orange bikini and a fake tan draped over a motorcycle. She smirks at the magazine before tossing it on the table within his reach. "And yeah... I mean... it wasn't... great," she hedges, on the subject of the recent events before she seems to step very willingly into his subject change gambit. "I knew someone was gonna mention that eventually," she grins, with a slight shyness that might not wear easily on her. "But yeah- Colin's my older brother," she admits, her grin sliding into something a little more proud of the connection. "And uh - so what's the two other worst things of your life?"

Eying the pin-up for a minute, Van shakes his head, "Spray-tan." Apparently, that's a crime against humanity to this Picon. He nods at her response, then hesitates for a moment, "Do you think you could get a signature for Mother? Perhaps some signatures from other cast members too? She would never ask, but I know she would enjoy having them." He clears his throat, "You didn't hear this from me, but I always thought they over-acted a little, although he was better than... oh... what was the name of the woman with the twin sister who got pregnant with the first woman's husband?" Because that's a lot easier than her return question, which causes him to wince, shrugging slightly, "Hearing the firebombing of the stadium over the comms, and finding out my sister and her wife had been at the Colonial Fair." At least he doesn't flinch away from them.

"Right?," Dani confirms, even if her skin looks suspiciously ungolden under Galactica's lighting. "Ashley, I think? She had that alter ego, Mercedes, or something that was setting fires after getting hit on the head." Danica shakes her head slightly, in a way that proposes that the plot reaches might be slightly thin on Tides at times. Or more like all the time. "But yeah, I can do that. Colin's good about that stuff, anyway. He's not a dick and he owes me for helping glitter bomb Kovac-" Dani's grin spreads out like a cat that's holding a canary just on the other side of her teeth. Oh yeah, that happened. "But might take a few weeks, mail's slow as frak sometimes." It's the first and second things though that kills her grin entirely, her expression falling into that blank space. "Oh frak, dude," she comments lightly, in empathy.

"Yes! Ashley. Gods, I tried to catch up on Tides while I was in PT." Van's grimace suggests that did not go well. His eyes start to widen at the mention of a glitter bomb, but then they're on to more serious subjects and he shrugs, "Half of the family was in Hyperion. I was at Triton, my little sister made it out and back to friendly lines, but Monique and Becca?" He shakes his head, "They never made it out of the Fair." He points back to the picture by his bunk, "There's a good reason I go for cockpit shots when I can. I still owe the Toasters."

Danica shifts around in seat, listening in that uncomfortably and squirmy way when it comes to the fates of people back on Picon at the Fair and in Hyperion in general. She looks up at Van after a moment, frowning in a way that looks like a prelude to some kind of misery. "Yeah, rough," she affirms, as if Van wasn't sure. There's a beat that's like the silence itself is trying to pry the words of the Dani. "...my mom... lived in Hyperion." She says finally, reluctantly. "...her building collapsed during the siege. So. Uh... no remains or anything but uh... no activity on her bank account so- so. That's a pretty good indication and all..."

Van sits patiently as Danica's words pry themselves free, nodding slowly. After a moment, he hauls himself out of his seat, stepping back to his bunk and collecting his crumpled cigarette pack and matchbox and limping back to his seat. He offers them both out to the other Picon, "I don't know what I would do if my mother were killed." It's a flat, heavy admission, and he breathes out a slow sigh, "I'm sorry. I'm sure the Chaplain would have words of comfort in the Gods. Personally, I just think we should disassemble all the Toasters as quickly as we can."

Danica waves off the smokes offer with a casual but appreciative gesture. "Sorry about your sister and sister-in-law, man," she offers back to him, watching Van for a moment. It's not really a smile she offers him, too limp and flat- something between a tight lined grimace and an almost frown. She shifts in turn, lifting her leg up and then settling back down as she adjusts her slump in her own chair. "Don't get me wrong, I'm kinda in on Aphrodite but that doesn't mean I think she gives a frak about who lives and who dies. The Lords are kinda absentee landlords in that regard. Like, that shit's way below their pay grade. But yeah, in the meantime, I don't mind junking all the overly self-aware coffee makers I can find."

Van nods and shrugs off the apology, "Thanks. I figure once the toasters are in the scrap heap I can break down and have another good cry about it." It's not a dismissive statement, more of a determined one, oddly enough. He tucks a cig into the corner of his mouth, letting it dangle as he nods, "I was dedicated to Poseidon at birth." Of course. "But I've always been more of an Artemis guy." Hence the vengefulness. "But yeah. I don't think they stick their fingers in our daily lives either." Which doesn't stop him from praying. "What's the new Chaplain like, by the way? Do you know?" He still hasn't lit the cigarette, apparently having forgotten about it or the matchbox in his hands.

Danica smiles across the table at Van. "My mom didn't really believe in that stuff and my dad's Libran...so-" She shrugs slightly, as if being Libran explains why you extra don't believe any of that stuff and perhaps why she might be the only Pican who doesn't belong to Poseidon. "Aldrich?," she asks, in reference to the new Chaplain. He probably has a last name, not that Danica's complied with protocol on learning it. "Yeah, he's okay. Gemenese but not... very... Gemenese? I guess?" Her smile flashes into a moment of cheekiness there. "Like, he's pretty chill. No hellsfire if you're not religious and he doesn't tell you about how you're damned to suffer in the afterlife for not being super religious. But uh, I'm not sure he ... I'm not sure he's quite ready for what's on this ship in some ways. Like, the longer this war goes on, he's gonna have to get creative about people not just calling it frakin' quits and walking out the airlock..."

Van shrugs a little helplessly as Danica provides the chaplain's name, "I haven't met him yet. Probably." A faint chuckle touches his lips at the joke, although it dies a swift death, "You think that's going to be a threat? People just calling it quits and walking out an airlock?" His brows lift slightly as he tries to put a little more weight behind the question.

"I mean... maybe?," Danica replies, circumspect on the idea which is probably in no way helpful or reassuring. "The Cylons basically snuck in here, mowed down a whole bunch of knuckle draggers, just to tell us that we're wrong for fighting back on a war they frakin' started. Like, it's one thing to expect a certain amount of uncertainty when you're leaving the barn or if you're going out to the front down on the surface but... One way to frak with people's heads is to make sure that they don't feel safe anywhere. It's not a stretch to make 'em feel like its all pointless and cornered." She slumps a little in her seat. "And like, if enough of this shit happens... you're really gonna send a bunch of people who've been shot to shit and terrorized out to fight this war? They're gonna have to medicate people the longer this goes on to function or... frak I don't know." She pushes out a despondent note of a sigh. Apparently, she's had time to think about this.

The frown that replaced Van's faint smile deepens as Danica goes on, and he finally remembers the cigarette dangling from his lips and the matchbox in his hands. Pulling out a match, he strikes it and draws the ciggie alight, then shakes out the match and drops it in the 'Redtails' ash tray on the table. Finally, he responds, "I think I find anger easier than despair. Because if they're trying to frak with my head, I want to put a KEW round through theirs." He blows a plume of smoke up toward the recyclers on the ceiling, "But I get what you're saying. Now we have to watch our backs to make sure more Raptors don't blow. We have to watch every ship that comes in close. That's more work for the Marines."

Danica nods slowly, watching Van go through the ritual of lighting up and taking that first drag of the day. "I mean, they're frakin' buckets of thought bolts. They don't feel anything, so all they have to do is make /us/ feel enough," she states, in a kind of agreement while nodding about all the extra duty and protocol. She pushes out a sigh through her nose primarily, it more breath than sound. "But what other alternative do we have? So." She gestures a bit helplessly.

Van looks thoughtful for a long moment, "I wonder, actually." He takes another drag as he aligns his words in his head, "I wonder if they really don't feel anything. They certainly know how to mess with our heads. Firebombing the stadium with all those people inside? Sure, if you look at it all cold, maybe keeping the prisoners was a waste of resources. But broadcasting it on the comms? That's not something that comes up if you don't understand feelings. So it makes me wonder if they do feel, and if we can't use that."

"I guess?," Danica looks dubious to match with that uncertain tone, but she's listening to Van at least. "But what can we take from them that they would have to fear or whatever? They don't seem to care about dying? Fraked if I know if they got wives or kids and that sorta thing...," She frowns a little, this time more given over to thinking about this. "I mean, it isn't like they have to frak to make a new one but they do got to have a supply of materials..."

Van starts working on his cigarette for real now, leaning forward slightly. He's still careful to blow the smoke up and away, and at least his breath smells like an ashtray now instead of something a critter climbed into and died. "I don't know what they fear, but if they understand fear, there has to be something they fear, right? So what if we can find it? I wonder if we can figure out what they need to make more Toasters -- that shouldn't be hard, since we used to make them -- and take it away."

"Yeah, seems simple to me." Danica's nodding in agreement, leaning in a little too now. "But I dunno how we get a Toaster and poke it with a bunch feeling sticks to see what takes or not? I mean... is that a thing?" She seems to be looking at Van, the more senior officer so therefore the wiser and more learned of the too.

Van shrugs a little helplessly, "If it is, it's above my pay grade. But maybe you could find out something about what they're made of, see how common it is, that sort of thing?" A hint of a grin returns, "It might give you something to do while you're laid up with your leg?"

"...I know an engineer," Danica states by way of agreement. "And if he doesn't know, I'm an Ensign... so I'm practically for lunch where a buncha pent up Marines are concerned." A new grin forming temporarily on her lips, one that seems to understand the vagaries of lowest man on the totem pole Ensigns and got a lot of time on their hands Marines sealed into the same ship. "I could ask around and then leave them with World Peace there." Her chin upnods to the pin-up on the page, abandoned on the table top between them.

Van smiles faintly behind his cigarette, nodding, "World Peace never hurt anyone. I'm sure that anyone," he looks down at the picture again, "...anyone who didn't mind a spray tan... would appreciate the peace offering." He draws down on his cigarette again, working his way quickly through his first fix of the day, "I should hit the head, get some food. Rest up while you can, Gopnik, we're gonna need you back in the fight as soon as possible."


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