Catch More Flies
Catch More Flies
Summary: Roubani, Matto, and Kitty ponder over disturbing inconsistencies surrounding the Tinos facility.
Date: PHD 202 (6 November)
Related Logs: Tinos Stuff

Kharon - Mess Hall

Mess hall noise is softer than usual, condition two not encouraging any lollying about once meals are finished. Roubani is sitting at a table at the other end from several CIC enlisted, working on a bowl of some thick soup and re-hydrated potato. Or something. He's stirring more than eating, his face set in a slight frown.

Matto is under threats from on high to actually get to the mess hall the normal number of times today. Going to get shot at on an empty stomach is never the plan, and so the Kissybear shows up eventually, having poked through the line for something that doesn't look too offensive to the palate and dutifully filled his tray. The tray slides into place opposite Nadiv's, and then the corresponding seat is taken up by the Raptorbunny. "Hey," he greets lightly.

"Hello." Roubani murmurs without looking up from the bowl. The side of his spoon clicks the side of the bowl, moved back and forth in an irritatingly repetitive motion. Then his head lifts, and he folds his free arm on the table behind the bowl. Matto's full tray is given the eye. "The world is ending."

"Just figuring that out, huh?" Kisseus chuckles warmly, his humor, as it sometimes is wont to do, veering toward the dark. He takes up a fork and prods around in some thick white substance that's supposed to be mashed potato, even going so far as to take a bite.

"I've my slow days," Roubani replies, dragging his spoon through his soup again. Scraping some thin film from around the edges, stirring it all back into a semi-congealed mess. "Has it struck you as odd, Kisseus?" There's a pause there that almost lets Matto fend for himself in the vagueness, then he appends, "I mean. The cylons' M.O. this time around?"

"You mean keeping four hundred humans around when the twenty Cylon guards they have in the facility could do the same work in the same time? Yeah, it's pretty weird. Someone must have programmed them a sadistic streak since they've been gone," Kissy murfles with mough half-full as he tries to get through the meal with a minimum of tasting it.

The corners of Roubani's mouth have settled back into a sort of frown, spoon switching from soup to potatoes. "Well, not that 'sadistic' might have anything to do with it, but it's…illogical." His tone treats the word like a disease, and he finally abandons the spoon and folds both arms behind his plate, looking at Kissy instead. "Really, if one thinks about it. Why is this sole group keeping 'slaves' of a sort while other groups are gunning down every human they see? Slaves that aren't in the least bit efficient and who can't easily be replaced when they inevitably become damaged or dead."

"No clue," Kissy admits. "It doesn't make any sense at all, you're right. If they needed copper, they could mine the copper themselves. So keeping the humans there must have some sort of purpose of its own… unless they've just sort of flipped, which, considering they're machines, isn't very likely." He taps his fork against his lower lip. "What -purpose- do the humans fill? Humans don't make anything that the Cylons would find useful which the Cylons can't make themselves. They presumably don't need… art.. or music… or anything like that." He pauses, then, hand-cum-fork falling down to the table beside the tray. "You don't suspect it's a honey pot?"

Kitty arrives from the Hallway - Deck 2, Midships.
Kitty has arrived.

Roubani just looks at Kissy for a while, then down at the lip of his cup. The shadow of a frown returns, as he grazes the tip of his nose with his pinky. "I don't know. All I know is that it doesn't make sense, and the more I think about, the more it skids from 'doesn't make sense' into 'outright absurd'. It would be logical if they had some unlimited source, some way to replace those humans easily. That is the crux of slave labor, sustainability. Even if the work is inefficient, if you have plenty of it then have at. But they don't…they go round killing the rest indiscriminately." He pauses, really frowning now. "No, there's…there's something wrong here."

Matto is off his food now. Not that it takes much. But he chucks the fork back into the remnants of mashed potato, his brain whirring at a million miles an hour. "No, no… it makes perfect sense," he wonders at the fact, blinking a few times. "The conditions they're keeping them under: slavery, dehumanization… things so degrading even machines fought back against it. The size of the group… 400. Not small enough to rescue by a ground mission. It's not even vaguely well-hidden. Not an underground mine, but one that practically paints a bull's-eye on the landscape from above. The people there aren't being used for labor, they're being used as bait." Kissy even laughs a little. "The Cylons must have it in mind to catch a Battlestar or something." He scratches at his stubble, "That's really very clever. Get the scattered remains of humanity to come to them rather than having to go looking."

An ECO walks into the mess hall - no, this isn't the beginning of a joke but rather the arrival of Kitty who makes a mad dash for the line, tray grabbed hurriedly. "I'll take…" she murmurs only to just start pointing, picking out her meal by a primal, feral jabbing of her finger at whatever looks good. "Thanks." Task one done, she completes the quest for food by gettin herself some 'juice' and the hunt for somewhere, and more importantly -someone-, to sit with begins.

"Maybe." Roubani murmurs. His arms are still folded on the table, and his neoprene-braced right hand lifts to rub over his left upper arm. "That doesn't quite feel right either, though. Why would they want to lure a concentrated effort, when their MO so far has been divide and conquer. And why put on a facade of them mining copper, when they could do it themselves far more efficiently and…frankly just do something with the humans that didn't demand as much supervision. Or obedience." He points out quietly. "Something is still off, here."

"Maybe they're done dividing," Kissy notes. "I mean, one-ship-at-a-time is about as divided as the Colonial Fleet can get. Now they're just trying to gather up the crumbs," he points out. "And it's not just a copper mine, it's a death camp. They're shooting people there every day. And why? Because it's cruel and visible. The very nature of a honey pot. You leave a wounded, suffering soldier out in the open and when their screams attract other soldiers to come help them, you shoot them, too. They think it'll bring a ship out of hiding to come to the rescue. Which it is," he goes on to add.

"It's easier to lead the lambs to the slaughter when they're in a flock rather than when the numbers are divided," Kitty murmurs sleepily, having just caught Roubani's question to Matto as she passes by. Answering gives her cause to pause, however, and she leans over, brushing her cheek against Nadiv's curls if allowed, that being in lieu of outright hugging him, and then she slips behind Matto to give the hug Roubani's spared. "Not to sound morbd, of course. But it feels like we're being set up for something nasty." Kitty - Queen of Understatement, much? "May I join you guys?"

"I do ag-…" Roubani flinches at the unexpected touch of his hair, then clears his throat with a slight air of embarassment. "Hello, Katherine. Anyway, I agree this isn't only what it looks like. I rather wish command had given more time for recon of this place, instead of going diving in like half-blind white knights." His ring finger gently runs over the side of the bridge of his nose. "I simply have this nagging feeling we're still missing something. Beyond the honey-pot."

Matto lifts his hands to Kitty's arms to reciprocate the snuggle with a mild gesture. "Come sit," he tells her, letting her go so that she can. "I guess we'll find out when we get there, yah? Just keep our eyes open and be ready to cut and run if we need to."

Kitty would normally tease Poet light-heartedly for his having reacted the way he did to the faint touch but her mood's too serious, too somber to do so. "We'll find out," she repeats while seating herself, nodding as well. "It's a shame we have to think like this and be made to feel like we do. But I guess there's no way around it." Juice lifted, she sips from it while looking at the faces of her friends.

Roubani shakes his head. Once slowly and then twice more with more force. "Perhaps we will find out. Perhaps we won't. But we are full of hubris if we think we are still alive just because the cylons need to set up traps and other complicated mishmashes just to kill us. They could jump in one of their basestars, hit us with a nuclear weapon, and we'd be vapour before we knew what happened. But they don't." His finger taps the table, three times. "They could be rid of 400 humans in a fell swoop, bird in hand worth two in the bush, but they don't. There is something going on here."

"They -could.- If they knew where to jump. Who knows but they aren't combing the systems for us already? Space is big, Nadiv, and we are small. If they can get us to show up for them, all the easier. I'm not saying they won't come around and kill us anyhow, I'm just saying that this could be a more logical way to pick off the stragglers," Kisseus reasons. And goes back to his meal, nearly forgotten in the discourse.

Kitty considers Nadiv's words, her lips quirked to one side. "They're probably studying us," she murmurs, glass held just before her face now. "Using us as their collective lab rat." It's not a pleasant thought and Katherine winces, unable to conceal her discomfort. "Can't study something that's dead, you know? Not unless you're doing an autopsy…" Finding herself dangerously close to being ghoulish, she lets it hang at that.

"To what end?" Roubani asks Kitty, shaking his head. "What would an army of machines wish to 'study'?" It's not rhetoric; he sounds like he wants an answer.

Matto turns his head toward Kitty, chewing on something just a little more tender than shoeleather, one brow raised and a sort of pained expression around his lips— probably simply because of what he's attempting to ingest.

"To what end? That's fairly obvious, isn't it?" A fork is picked up but rather than using it to eat Kitty randishes it like a professor might a pointer, stabbing at the air to punctuate key parts of her point. "They wanted to totally wipe out the human race but failed. Those who survived the nuclear attack adapted as did we, the military personnel. We learned how to continue to live and to fight back and those frakking machines noticed this." Her head cranes to the side while she adds, "They're studying us to better learn how to finish what they started on War Day. They are trying to learn how to take out the rest of humankind."

"Fight back?" Roubani chuckles under his breath. "We have fought defensively, I suppose. But again, I'm of strong opinion that it's pure and dangerous hubris to think we're just so good at fighting that they're stumped as to how to wipe out the rest of us. An enemy that is so advanced that their aritifical intelligence has struck out and gotten its own fuel, and done upgrades on its own technology that have made it faster and harder hitting than ours, and have demonstrated on several occasions that they do /have/ incredible manpower…not to use an ironic word." He lifts his chin, gently scratching his jawline. "I've a hard time believing they're marvelling at our skills. Sometimes it's almost like they're playing with us. Not that that's a logical statement either."

Matto hmms around a swallow that looks as though whatever he'd been chewing had bent staples as a primary ingredient. "I have to agree with the Poet, Babydoll. We haven't evolved, we haven't done anything but tumble onto some good luck. They don't need new technology to wipe us out. It's really just a matter of time. I don't think they're playing with us, either, though," he looks to Nadiv, then. "I think they're more or less indifferent. If we get in their way they'll pick us off. But they've got their own homelands to build up again, now. They can't be scouring the universe looking for us. Isn't that hubris as well, to think that we few could be such a threat? We pick off a base ship. They build another one, and a crew to man it. We shut down a trade route. They re-establish it, or use one of the others. We're irritations at best. Like a mouse. Set out a trap for it. Don't tear apart the walls of the house looking for it. It's simply not worth the effort."

Kitty shakes her head, frowning. "I meant that we're not laying down and dying when I said we're fighting back. Yes, we're on the defensive. That's all we can be with those tincan bastards. We can't get the upper-hand with them. Not yet, at least." The fork slips from her fingers, landing upon the table with such a level of volume that it causes her to startle, Kitty literally jumping in her seat. "Crap…anyhow, I think it's more than luck, guys. It's too….I don't know. Don't know how to put that into words but what I can say is that I don't think they're indifferent. They're acting too frakking hostile to be indifferent. If they were indiferent they'd let us be."

"I am not certain about that either," Roubani points out to Matto, in mild agreement with what Kitty says. "That they are indifferent. They have jumped on us out of the blue, or at least what sometimes looks like the blue." The clattering fork and her jumping around makes a brow arch. Or maybe it's all the swearing. "I recall several engagements where they've popped in out of nowhere and had at it."

"Indiffernt, -more or less,-" Kissy emphasizes the words a little bit. "You still -care- that there are mice in your house. You'll go poke around in the basement with a shovel. And certainly if you happen to be walking through the kitchen and see one you'll try to do something about it. And," he adds, aside, to Kitty, "I'm sure to the mice that feels pretty hostile. But in the grand scheme of things it's not that big of a deal, is it?"

Kitty blinks at Nadiv's reaction. "Hmmm? Oh…uh, yeah." The fork's allowed to stay where it landed upon the table, it along with her meal not given a second glance. "I just wish we could figure out a solution to our own 'mouse problem'." She doesn't go as far as to actually make quotation marks with her fingers but they are added to her statement verbally. "Guess that'll come in all due time. Just home that time comes soon."

"In 'due time', we may well be dead," Roubani says to that. "One of the basic tenets of war is to force your enemy to be reactive instead of proactive. They have this down to an art, even with this 'slave colony' of theirs. However we end up dealing with this, it must be action from us. Not an eternity of reacting to them."

"We have mice? What, metaphorical mice, right?" Kissy tries to catch up with what Kitty's talking about, evidently confused.

Kitty nods to Nadiv. "I know. That's Tactical's job, though. They're the ones who get to deal with all the figuring this stuff out. We just get to do what they tell us to do." Matto's question is answered with a smile at first and then a nod before Kitty says anything. "Yup. Was referring to the Cylons when I said that. Sorry for the confusion."

Roubani gives Kitty a long look. "No, we do not. It is Tactical's job to make the end decisions, but the conclusions they come to don't spring from nowhere. We have as much responsibility to use our minds and send things up the chain as they do to use theirs and send them down."

Matto ahs. "That seems to me to be less an infestation of mice and more an infestation of elephants," he chuckles. "Or, you know, giant killer robots," he lifts up a shoulder in a half-shrug. "I'd better get going. Will I see you before liftoff, N?" he asks. Kitty, of course he'll see, since she'll be sitting in his backseat.

Kitty holds up a hand. "You're very correct, Poet. I apologize." The hand is used to rub her nose, it held so it can partially conceal a smile Kissy's comparison brings into being. "At least they had made guns to shoot elephants with…" she half-utters before dissolving into a bout of giggles, one that robs her of the ability to say goodbye to him.

"I should certainly pray we'll have a briefing before we plunge." Roubani says quietly. Which is probably not what Matto meant, and he adds, "I'll drop by before that. Once I finish this…" He lifts his spoon, letting semicongealed tomato goop drip from it. "Stunning culinary tour de force."

Matto smiles. "Okay. Until then!" he adds, leaning forward and standing up, heading out.

The amusement passes and Kitty's giggles ebb only to be replaced by a sudden show of seriousness, her mood sobering within seconds. "I miss the food back home," she sighs, that statement prompted by the sight of the gel-like food subtance. "What do you miss about where you came from?"

Roubani answers in one word, whose monosyllabic nature belies the more complicated tone. "Certainty." He slides the spoon into his mouth, where it clicks softly against his teeth. It's swallowed bravely, then he licks his lips with a wry tugging downward of both corners of his mouth. "That is vile."

"I am getting the impression that you have something you want to say to me," Kitty says blandly after a moment, her eyes holding to his face when she says that. "I'd appreciate it if you'd come out and say it if you do, Poet." She hates being so abrupt, especially considering she is fond of Roubani. "And if that's not the case, I apologize."

"Hmm?" Roubani looks up from his contemplation of the empty spoon. Unfortunately for Kitty, she's getting a rather blank expression. "No, not particularly. Aside from 'I've barely seen you in weeks, so how are things'."

There's a visible look of relief upon her face thanks to Roubani's reply, the tension that inched its way into her mouth and at the corner of her eyes draining as if someone pulled the plug out of a filled tub. "I have been steadily improving," Kitty says, basing her reply on the assumption that Roubani has heard of her problems. "The rough patch isn't easy to navigate through sometimes but I've taken everything everyone said to me to heart and I am pushing through. How have you been?" There's a pause and then an addtion is tacked onto the end. "Besides the food of course."

"I am sure, in the cosmic scheme, that 'mood' and 'food' rhyme so harmoniously for a reason." Roubani spoons up more slow-moving gloop. Plop, a few drops drip back down to the surface. "I would suggest you need focus on something. Nothing contributes more to malaise than disorganisation. Aside, possibly, from tasteless meals."

Kitty leans closer to the tray and Roubani as well, her backside lifted up from her seat to make that easier. "They say an army marches on its stomach..I'm surprised the mess techs haven't wound up with a riot on their hands," she grunts while catching one of those drips on a finger which she thenn sniffs; whatever it is doesn not agree with her olfactory system and she wrinkles her nose and even gags. "Oh Lords." It takes a few hard exhales out of her to rid herself of the stench but she eventually does, thank goodness. "I tried that before everything happened. Focusing, I mean. But I think I had picked the wrong thing to do so on and it wound getting me to the point I got to." Looking around, she spies an abandoned napkin on a table next to theirs, the paper blessing snagged quickly and used to wipe the slime clean. "I think I know what I need to focus on now, though….wait. I think we're thinking of two different things. Do you mean something as in a hobby or are we talking about my…combat issues?"

Roubani, for his part, still eats the spoonful. Film and all. The spoon is put down and he picks up his water glass instead, chasing it down. "Is there really an 'or'? I realise I haven't seen you much lately, but you seem to be making your combat problems…you." The last word's punctuatred by an open-handed gesture her way. "Everyone experiences fear and makes mistakes. Not everyone defines themselves by it."

Kitty grins. "I was trying to do anything but that. Guess I did a lousy job." Her bottom makes contact with her chair again. "I can sit here and say 'I think what happened was…' until I'm frakkin blue in the face but I really don't have any answers and it'd be boring as frak to hear me ramble. And rehashing it all wouldn't help me anyhow."

"No, probably not," Roubani replies, not unkindly. "I suppose what I mean to say, Katherine, is that…we're all, in a way, equations. Memories plus experiences plus successes plus failures, with countless other operations thrown in depending how your life has taken you. And when we start making imbalances by, say, adding our successes but multiplying by the failures, we run into quite a bit of trouble. Rebalance the equation for yourself, if that makes a lick of sense whatsoever."

It isn't often that Kitty feels 'stupid' but this is one time she feels intellectually stymied by Nadiv and it probably shows by how she stares while trying to figure that out. "So in other words, we shouldn't compare the number of failures to our successes but rather just let them be a part of what makes us us?" It's over-simplified compared to how Poet put it and it has her rolling her eyes and for a second Kitty feels like she's a child.

Roubani's lips twitch. "In other words…" Wait for it! "…don't blow things out of proportion." Math puns, the mark of geekfail. He gives her the faintest amused grin, then clears his throat. "I am quite serious, though."

Kitty sighs at first at the melodramatic pause only to wind up laughing. "I know you are. And you're right. I've been very bad about doing that." It's left at that, Katherine no longer making excuses or trying to explain her problems into closet. She is taking accountabilitiy now. "You are so smart, Nadiv. You are. Wise, even."

"Believe me, I'm not." Roubani is done with the soup, it seems, as he piles things onto his tray. It's mostly eaten, at least. "Anyway, Katherine. I am not sure I'll see you before the briefing, so. Gods keep you safe."

"Gods keep us all safe…" Kitty amends slightly, gently. "We will see each other soon. One way or another." Her tray and glass are grabbed for and taken as she leaves.

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