PHD #002: 147 Down
147 Down
Summary: Cidra goes to Karthasi to take stock of the high tally of pilots who fell in the attack.
Date: 28 Feb 2041 AE
Related Logs: Into the Jaws of Death
Cidra Karthasi 

[ Naval Offices ]----——[ Deck 10 - Battlestar Cerberus ]

This area is set-up much like any standard office building. Cubicles have been constructed using cheap waist-high walls, their contents left neutral for whoever needs to use them. Inside each cubicle is a desk with a laptop and chair. Simple overhead lights bring dull illumination to the room except over the back wall where each one of the colonies twelve flags hangs from its own pole. Fake, potted plants dot the room and seem to be standard issue along with the water cooler and coffee machines. Off the main room are a few private offices such as that of the JAG or CAG.

-=[ Condition Level: 2 - Danger Close ]=-------—-

Cidra has been holed up in her office for a considerable time this day. The hatch closed. Somewhat unusual for the CAG. She has a habit of leaving it slightly ajar unless she was in there with another pilot. It finally open slowly, and Cidra emerges out of it, a manilla folder tucked under one arm. She's taken a moment to shower and change into her blues but how much sleep she's gotten since the attacks is an open question. Dark circles underline her eyes, and her features are fixed in an expression of dutiful composure that's starting to wear thin.

It's a busy day, over in the corner of the offices given over to Ecclesiastical Services, people coming and going at a regular pace, and Greje has poured more cups of tea for people than she typically does in two weeks before midshift even comes up. It's an emotionally draining business, and she's begun to feel her forehead go rather numb, but the tide seems to have abated for the moment, and she sits behind her desk, taking a moment to center herself, fingers laced together and thumbs pressed up into the pressure points at the inside end of both her eyebrows.

Cidra comes that way herself, speaking of traffic toward Ecclesiastical Services. Her pace is slow and deliberate. One foot in front of the other. One step at a time. Even walking a thing to get through right now. A pauses outside Karthasi's little area, knuckles wrapping in a soft knock. "Sister?"

Karthasi looks up from her hands, clearly visible from the door to her little office, and she coughs twice before gesturing to the little orange couch across from her desk, just next to the door. "Cidra. Please, come in," she invites the woman, her voice a little hoarse. "May I make you some tea?"

"Tea would do me well, thank you," Cidra says, slipping in and sitting on the other side of Karthasi's desk. She sets her envelope on her lap, flipping it open. There's a list inside, the clipped corners a list of names typed in small font that makes them seem to run together if the eyes are not focused. Like one of those paintings designed to trick the eye. For a moment Cidra just looks at the paper, then lifts her eyes back up to Karthasi. "I have just gotten the final casualty reports from the Air Wing. From the attack."

Karthasi stands, and from there it's only a ninety degree turn to the right to be facing the tea station set up on one section of bookshelf which is (almost) devoid of books. The water's already hot in the electronic caraffe, and it steams when poured, the priestling's eyes lingering on the steam for a moment before she comes around her desk to stand between it and the couch, settling herself on the corner of the desk, meeting the Major's eyes. "Courage, Cidra," she murmurs, an encouragement for her to continue to speak as well as a murmuring of support.

Cidra meets Karthasi's gaze. Her blue eyes have that same tense, barely-leashed composure about them as the rest of her face. She looks very tired, and very sad. She clears her throat. "One hundred and forty-seven of my people are dead." She states it flatly. Her eyes go back down to the seemingly endless list. "I had not even properly met all of them. I did not know them. I cannot hold all their names in my had without the ledger…they deserve more than that."

"And more than that are dead on Picon, Cidra," Greje points out, gentle-voiced. "The whole burden of mourning does not fall upon your shoulders," she reminds her. "Remember that those who have died are survived by friends and family, elsewhere, and that their loved ones will be contacted to make proper arrangements for the tending of the cult of their sacred dead."

Cidra does not disagree. She idly flexes her hands, long fingers clasping around each other. "Before that night I could count on my hands the number of pilots lost under my command. With digits to spare." She folds her hands on her lap. "Now, it is not so." Another pause, and she clears her throat again. "They deserve some remembrance. All the people lost aboard ship do. I do not know what you are planning but…I did not know all their customs. It is…it is so many but they deserve something…"

"Once medical gets me a list of those who were able to be recovered or who died aboardship," Greje begins, voice hoarse but still keeping its mild-mannered undertones of Caprican politeness, "We'll give rites to those who were so lucky. You know well enough that those who perish in space are… beyond my help," she adds, with a muted note of sorrow. "But we can put together a memorial service, indeed. And if we can get those still surviving to pledge to carry the fare for those who have gone before them… well… that may be the best that we can do for the lost souls." Dying in a fashion that doesn't admit for the recovery of the body is approximately the worst thing that can happen to a person of the Colonial faith, the last rites requisite, in most cases, for entry into the next life. "If you will send me a copy of the list, I can cross-reference it with my records and see if any of them were initiated in mysteries that would vouchsafe them a place in the next life despite their bodies' being lost to us for care."

Cidra nods, bowing her again for a time. Staring at her list. She picks it out of her folder and lays it on Karthasi's desk. "I brought this one for you. To be torn from the mortal coil like that…I have long feared it is my own destiny to die in such a way. I suppose all pilots do. And it chills me to my very soul. I…I thank you, Sister. I know you shall do what you can."

Karthasi takes the list and looks it over for names immediately familiar, spotting a couple before she sets it down, closing her eyes a moment. Then, handing over the tea. "Drink, Cidra," she encourages the woman. "I will," she assures her, coming to settle on the arm of the couch furthest from where Cidra's seated. "It is a danger you knew well enough on taking a position in the Colonial navy. Have you considered becoming an initiate in any of the mysteries of the next life? I know that Athena herself does not offer any, but— there are a good number of cults from which to choose what suits you best. And it may be a comfort to you to know that your soul will know the secret paths, should you be lost without the last rites to lead you."

Cidra drinks of the tea. Quiet again for a long moment as she sips at it. A little nod to Karthasi's words. She sets her cup down, running her fingers through her shoulder-long dark hair. It's loose of its standard flight-duty bun at the moment, falling in straight tendrils around her shoulders. "That would be prudent, yes." Another sip. She closes her eyes a moment, and does not open them again as she speaks. "Daedrek…my husband…it has been almost ten years and I still pray that he has found some peace in the Fields." She opens her eyes again. "A Viper pilot. He died…it was an accident. Not like this but…it has swirled in my thoughts with the rest of these names. I could not hear the goddess in my heart for a long time after he died and I…I have prayed long but I feel dark again now."

Karthasi slouches forward and leans toward Cidra, listening with a quiet attention and tentatively stretching out a hand to rest on her upper arm in a restrained gesture of comfort. "It's only natural to feel shock at this manner of disaster. To feel… numb… empty inside. Like an automaton, going through the motions while your brain tries to catch up. Have faith that it will pass. The pain will strike, soon." This, said as if it's a positive step.

"There is much to be done. Much chaos to sort out…it is a blessing in its way," Cidra says softly, drinking again of her tea. "Little time for idle hands. One duty after another to fill the hours. Little time to think." Little, but not none. Again she looks to the names. "I fear there shall be more than one hundred and forty seven soon, Sister." A long sigh is exhaled. "When the chaos has calmed we shall speak more of the mysteries. It…it would be most prudent. If my soul is to be torn from this life in my service, as all ours may be, then I would do well do put it on the right path while I can."

"I agree. The pendulum has swung once more from Athena to Ares," Greje intones. "And even the savage god must have his turn with us. Whatever this is, we'll likely live in His age for all its consequence," Greje muses, somber. "And under the Lord of the War Cry no doubt many more will be sent hurtling to the dark." For all the direness of the message, there's an almost calm acceptance, here. Ares, too is a God, and will have his way once in a while. But this, too, shall pass.

Cidra's face grows grave at that. "The path of Ares was never a comfortable one for me. But I shall walk in his storm as I must, and pray the hands of Athena, of Artemis, or Aurora are upon my shoulders as well as the Lord of War. I shall endeavor to weather the storm, Sister. There is little else one can do." Her tea is finished, and she sets the empty cup upon Karthasi's desk. "If there is anything I can do to aid in the memoriam for the fallen, I am at your disposal. I would not be you at this moment. Your duties must be very taxing in this time."

"Yes; well, as you say— the storm will be weathered or we will sink in the endeavor," Greje points out. "Either way, as long as we comport ourselves in all things in accordance with human virtue, the Lords will have no complaint with us."

"I am made of metal to be a better shield, Sister. But I can play the spear if I must," Cidra says, rising from her chair. "Thank you for the tea and…thank you." With that, she takes her leave of the padre's cubby.

OOC: The list of the lost truncated looked a little something like this:


Note: Image courtesy of Santiago's player.

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