This was definitely not scale. Unfortunately I know what scale looks like. And its not the white scale. If you can imagine taking white-out and painting the entire underside of a leaf...that is what it looks like. And it will peel off in a sheet like paint. Its thin, flat and smooth. It's not a bug.
While my cephs have been partially covered, there was plenty of air circulation underneath and I don't keep my plants wet. They are allowed to dry out some to prevent root rot. I've had them for...over a year? And they've been doing excellently until now.
Oh and I'd post a pic except that my camera has been broken for months and my cell phone would not be able to capture any detail.