PHD 227: Troubled Waters
Troubled Waters
Summary: Komnenos and Roubani have a conversation about cylons and the Hestia that troubles quite a few waters.
Date: PHD 227 (1 December 2009)
Related Logs: Jules, Hestia, MxM

Kharon - Storage

Storage. You know. One of many, and not the one the shrink's been known to hang out in. It's quiet in here and there's the acrid smell of a cigarette burning. A few plinks of something metallic being set on a box top, over and over. That'd be Roubani, playing idly with a handful of old washers as he smokes.

There's a quiet squeal as the hatch swings open. It's Thorn, having apparently just come from the hangar deck as he paws at his own grease-streaked hand with a towel. He notices Roubani, nodding to the other pilot. "What's so important?" His demeanor is slightly impatient, though curious all the same. Sighing softly, he leans against the wall and lights up a cigarette of his own.

Roubani raises an eyebrow. "It's not that important. But…have you ever simply had things rolling about in your head that you wanted to say in front of something you were relatively sure wouldn't think you'd lost your mind?" This is Thorn's invitation to say 'no' and walk out, of course.

Thorn's arms cross, and his eyes narrow slightly; he's not going anywhere, though. "You were there the other night when I mentioned Jules, Nadiv," There's a certain aggrieved condescension in his tone as he speaks. "I'm just being paranoid, what? Might as well forget I'd even said anything, already…" His shoulders hunch over defensively. He doesn't purposefully misunderstand Roubani's words, but he likely has anyhow.

That eyebrow stays raised as Roubani watches Komnenos. Where words were about to come, now he seems more cautious, resting his back against the wall. "I can't apologise for a room full of people, Thorn."

That prompts Thorn's own eyebrow to rise. He pushes himself off the wall, his arms falling to his sides as he pulls a deep breath of smoke into his lungs. "Never mind." He begins pacing in a short line, back and forth. "But, obviously, the answer t' th' question is yes. All the time." The man's expression turns inquisitive. "Take it you're thinking of something yourself? Well, no worries. Either neither of us is mad… or we both are."

Where the ECO paces, Roubani doesn't move all that much in contrast. He crosses his legs, tapping his thumb against the back of his cigarette. Ash tumbles to the floor a few inches from the edge of his box seat. He doesn't say anything for a few seconds, then: "Two assumptions need to be place first. Number one, that nothing is random. Number two, that people are not stupid. Can we agree there just for theory's sake?"

Thorn finally stops pacing as Roubani says that. He gives Nadiv a considering look, and nods. "Alright, in theory." Roubani's piqued his interest now, and he sits back down on a crate facing the other man, leaning forward with cigarette in hand.

"Alright. Foundation in place." Roubani thins his lips, scratching the tip of his nose with his pinky. "Have you noticed how often Lieutenant Leda brings up the incident of the bomb in his locker?"

"I've tried not t', but indeed," Thorn replies after a brief pause. Ash flutters from the tip of his cigarette as he stares into Roubani's eyes. "Course it's not random, bloody berk craves attention like a neglected puppy. Though I'd be hard pressed t' say it's not stupid." That inquisitive eyebrow twitches again. "Where y' going with this?"

"Somewhere I really don't want to." Roubani exhales a quiet breath through his nose. "Why would Jules put that bomb in Leda's locker? Keeping our 'not random-not stupid' assumption in mind."

At that, Thorn shrugs. "She needed a stooge t' take the fall, or t' throw attention off herself," he ventures. "However… if we stay with the 'not random' half of your assumption… I'm not sure exactly why she'd choose Leda over anyone else." Komnenos frowns pensively. "The only possibilities I can consider that follow our premise range from th' highly improbable t' downright paranoid."

Roubani chews pensively on the back of his lip. "Thorn. If something is about to happen, something where you know that you have little chance of not being caught. And you've got someone that you need to make sure is protected from mass suspicion when you go down. What is the most ironclad way to do that?"

Thorn's eyes narrow slightly as he begins to catch on. "You mean, a frame job that isn't really a frame job. Make it look like he had something t' do with it, so that when he's cleared no more suspicion falls on him." The pacing begins anew, tendrils of cigarette smoke following in his wake.

Roubani is silent behind Thorn, swallowing lightly as though a small touch of nausea had just fluttered into the back of his throat. "My father was a policeman in a city that saw terrorism often. Things would happen like that…sense of innocence and guilt used against the system in just that way. Sometimes one cell wouldn't even know another existed until something like this happened."

"Castor Leda, a Cylon agent…" Thorn turns to regard Roubani. "Even I'd have trouble believing that." His expression turns speculative, and his lips are drawn tight. "Which would, in theory, make him a damned good agent. Who th' frak of all people would suspect Leda of being a Cylon?" Back and forth he continues to pace, shaking his head. "They've sure as hell shown us they know how t' pull th' wool over our eyes already."

Roubani has a breath drawn to comment on Thorn's trouble believing. Then the man takes the words out of his mouth. "That, or perhaps just someone Jules believed to be, and she was wrong…or perhaps I am wrong and this is just absolutely insane. I don't know. Things add up, but they don't add up."

"Believe me, I know th' feeling." Thorn nods sagely. The restless ECO again forces himself to sit down on his crate, smoke in hand. "I don't think you're insane, Nadiv, if it's any consolation." Coming from the guy who told half the air wing he thought the 'crazy marine chick' was telling the truth, it might not be. It's out there anyway, though. "You an' me, we're both from backgrounds where all the information normally adds up. When it doesn't…" he shrugs. "We notice."

Roubani gives Thorn a tense-looking half-smile that quickly fades. He goes quiet for a time, just now remembering that he has a cigarette burning away. A long column of ash drops onto his boot toe, and he takes a slow drag. "We are all so paranoid about the Hestia. Whether there's anymore turncoats or…otherwise…over there. But my gods." His dark eyes go back to Thorn, brows drawn. "Someone removed that transmitter from engineering after we found it the first time, and put it back on the hull. With their hands. Someone on this ship tried to kill us all. And nobody is even saying boo about it."

"Scary t' think of, eh?" Thorn replies to the comment about Hestia. "Funny, isn't it? I can sit in th' back of a Raptor as half a dozen Raiders are trying t' kill me and be cool as you please. Start talking about hypothetical traitors, though…" He shakes his head, blue eyes meeting brown. "I have, but what's the use? I tried t' tell Marek what I was thinking. He didn't seem interested." There's a snort. "On the surface of it, saying Jules or Castor or anyone else is a Cylon sounds crazy. I know. Whole damn air wing probably thinks I'm a paranoiac or a gullible sot." Thorn's expression takes on a hint of mulish defiance as he keeps staring into Roubani's eyes. "But th' patterns are there. Something isn't right, and if there aren't somehow Cylons among us, how th' frak else y' want t' explain it? Mass frakking hysteria? What, Ozymandias and the old S2 just caught a whiff of space madness?" He stops himself mid-rant with a shake of the head and a deep breath of smoke. "Maybe one of them, but not all of them at once."

Roubani looks slightly surprised when Thorn tells him that about Kai. "I don't know about the old S2, Anton. The man was in a position to do far more than open fire on a comatose woman. If they wasted an agent that way, they're stupid. And remember our assumptions. For theory's sake."

Komnenos shrugs. "Maybe he just snapped. My point is, though, they couldn't have all 'just snapped'. Jules certainly didn't waste her opportunity when she had one. Sorry, but I have a hard time believing she was insane when she came this close — " Thorn makes a gesture with thumb and forefinger " — t' putting us out of business for good."

Roubani finishes his cigarette and drops it, shifting his bootheel over the cherry and exhaling towards his feet. "And when is the next one going to try." His brows are drawn, skin crinkled into fine lines between them. "I cannot believe they've allowed even one person from the Hestia over here with whoever took that transmitter still free. Then again I can't believe everyone seems to have forgotten about it so quickly to latch onto this 'Let's show up the Hestia' nonsense. It's almost surreal. I don't know."

"'Surreal' doesn't begin t' describe it," Thorn says with another one of those slight frowns. "But what can y' do?" He leans forward, propping his elbows on his knees. "Have t' just follow orders and hope we don't get led into a nasty little clusterfrak."

"We can keep our eyes open." Roubani says, after a moment. He doesn't sound all that happy with the resolution, but there it is. "Not that we haven't before. But I feel a hair better now that I know for certain there's someone else for whom it isn't adding up."

"Well, good t' know someone else doesn't necessarily think I'm obsessing over nothing," Komnenos responds in kind. "Just… yeah, keep your eyes open. Nothing else for it, for now." He goes silent for a bit, puffing away at what's left of his cigarette. A little later, he looks back to the other man. "Speaking of the Hestia… you heard any what's been going around? About transfers?"

Roubani shakes his head. "I have heard nothing. All closed doors. It does not surprise me though; I would not expect them to rush. I can hold onto some faith that whatever is done is done intelligently. And that includes with it in mind what we are housing here."

Thorn grunts. "Hnh. Must not have gotten out of Black, then, yet." He gives a smoky sigh. "This is only what I heard, mind. Little rumor what's been trickling its way down the Raptor grapevine. Apparently, the Hestia higher-ups are on th' prowl for replacements, and our own higher-ups don't want us going out of our way t' show off for them." Komnenos rolls his eyes. "Whatever. If they transfer me, they transfer me. Ask me, no one's going t' be serving on this bucket much longer anyway, shape she's in." A look back to Roubani. "Anyway, I was asked t' pass it along, so I've passed it along." He shrugs, as though washing his hands of the issue.

Roubani nods slightly to that. He'd predicted a full move two nights ago. There's a soft chuckle, though. "Thank you." The sound of the breath of laughter dies as soon as it appeared, the weight of this conversation still over him like a blanket. "Well. We ought to get back to civilisation." A slight pause. "We'll talk again, Anton."

Komnenos nods as he pulls himself to his feet. "I'm counting on it, Nadiv." A careful nod to the other man, then he's on his way out the hatch and back up to his toils on the deck.

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