PHD #097: EVENT - A Ceremony of Hope
A Ceremony of Hope
Summary: Bannik leads a prayer service on Leonis, but finds a tougher crowd than he expected.
Date: 3 June 2041 AE
Related Logs: None.
Bannik Sawyer Tisiphone Evandreus Sitka 
Sagittaron House - Second Floor - Leonis
A grand staircase leads up to the second floor, splitting halfway up to join to either side of a walkway open to the floor below. There are once-opulent sitting rooms here as well, but smaller and more understated — meant for more private gatherings.
Further in from the balconies and sitting rooms are several wide corridors branching to narrower ones, flanked by door after door. Engraved placards mark several of the doors, marking half of the floor for administrative and office purposes, the remaining for guest suites. The doors leading to the latter have, to a one, been bashed open and the contents sacked; several of the administrative doors, made of sturdier stuff, have been left intact.
Post-Holocaust Day: #97

Bannik has done a little bit of work in the afternoon, getting one of the smaller sitting rooms prepared for his service. The heavy curtains have been drawn most of the way, cloaking the room in relative darkness. A scavenged candle makes for some additional ambient light. As for the leader of this gathering, Tyr has done nothing special. He's in his duty greens. But in his hands is a small jar, one that might have held flour or sugar at some point. The lid is on it.

The spectacle of chairs being arranged, curtains drawn, and candles procured for the makeshift service haven't escaped the notice of the group's resident atheist. Either unwilling to vacate the premises, or lurking out of some sense of morbid curiosity, Shiv's taken up residence nearby while he dismantles and cleans his gear— starting with his service pistol. He's got it all arranged on the floor, atop his grease- and dirt-spackled fatigue jacket, with the occasional glance turned toward the Crewman's quiet industry.

When /hasn't/ Tisiphone been restless, lately? Still, the closer the time came to Tyr's service, the cagier she got. Finally, not long before he was due to begin, she stalks in, steps dragging slightly with fatigue. "Hey," she calls to Bannik, though her voice cracks as she says it — he may not even hear it. Chairs? She'll turn one back to front and settle into it, one hand curled upon the backrest, the other reaching for her prayer beads.

"How about we stand in a circle?" Bannik suggests gently when Tisiphone moves to sit, gesturing to a cleared space he has made by him (and which should have been mentioned in earlier). But he smiles at each new arrival. "Shiv. Tisiphone."

Being on time is rather irrelevant, so Sawyer comes in vaguelly when she thinks this little service is about to begin. She has a notebook instead of a set of prayer beads, a pen instead of any tithe to the gods. Maybe she's here to take notes instead of pray. "What did I miss?" She asks, perhaps rudely, but she's tossing her pad of paper on to a chair as she passes, moving with Bannik's suggestion to help him start making that circle he just mentioned. Her fingers make a little c'mere gesture towards Tisi and Sitka when she spies them after Bannik's greeting. Strength in numbers sort of thing.

Evandreus moves with surprising stealth up the stairs. Maybe it's the black armoured gear. Makes one blend into the evening gloom inside the house. He spots the group gathering for prayers, and, after a brief moment of wavering in place, watching people get settled, he slips aside into an empty office. Hide, bunny.

Sitka lifts his eyes a fraction when 'standing in a circle' is mentioned, then lowers them again to the gun chamber he's cleaning. "Hey, Tyr," he greets in a low murmur. There's a splotchy, healing bruise across his cheek, and he looks like he's had an.. interesting night. To say the least. "I'll just, uh, stay here," Sawyer's informed, somewhat evasively. Here, being a safe ten or fifteen feet away from the gathering.

Stand in a circle? The suggestion hits Tisiphone's ears as she's drawing out her prayerbeads with the thin clatterclick of bone bead against bone bead. She pauses mid-gesture, fixes Bannik with an openly wary look. "Why?" she asks, slowly, even as she finishes drawing the beads out and climbs to her feet. She's willing to hear him out, at least, as she winds the beads around her left wrist, the long metal-tipped tassel flicking like the tail of an unhappy cat.

"It'll help us pray together as a group and bring us closer to each other as well as the gods." Bannik's eyes flick around the room. Tough crowd. "But," he says, his voice somewhat shaky at the initial resistance, but nonetheless kindly. "Stand where you are comfortable. If the moment moves you, you can join the circle." A beat. "That being said." He seems to be shifting to something more he has prepared. "I am not anointed. I don't know any great mysteries. I don't even know the Scrolls by chapter and verse. I just went to religion school like a lot of kids and I'm remembering what I learned. Yet I am convinced that the gods call each of us to minister to them and to each other in our own particular way, and I feel this one his mine. So. Uh. Bear with me." His eyes sparkle with a mixture of confidence and light humor.

Sawyer fixes Sitka with a look for a second or two, but there's nothing reproachful in it. Just. A look. Sawyer forces a false smile to her face, "Less questions mean we pray faster." The reporter actually is urging for someone to /not/ make inquiries? The universe is certainly off kilter. After a quick rub of her palms on her fatigue pants, she offers one to Bannik and the other to Tisiphone.

Sitka keeps his eyes resolutely down as the prayer group gets rolling. Tension marks a fine path from jaw to neck to hunched shoulders; even the stoop of his dark brows, and the veracity with which he cleans out his pistol. There might, just might be a very soft snort as the trio begin linking hands. Well, Sawyer, at any rate.

"It's written in the Sacred Scrolls that when Pandora opened her box, all the evils in the world were let out of it and unleashed on humanity: war and strife; plague and disease; hardship and anguish; death and destruction." Bannik links one hand with Sawyer after removing the lid from the jar cradled under his other arm. "But yet it is also written." And here he seems to be quoting now. "'Only Hope remained there in an unbreakable home within under the rim of the great jar, and did not fly out at the door; for ere that, the lid of the jar stopped her, by the will of Aegis-holding Zeus who gathers the clouds.'" His eyes meet with the other in the room, trying to connect with them — even Sitka. "Only Hope." He repeats that.

"Who kept in that hope?" Bannik seems to be moving into a sort of sermon, his voice gaining confidence, his eyes closing as he just pours it out. "Zeus did. For He knew, as all the gods know, as all of us know in the bottom of our hearts that if there is not Hope in our hearts, as there was in Pandora's box, we would be left with that Pandora would be left with: absolutely nothing. But unlike the Hope in Pandora's box, the Hope in our hearts should not be kept inside. Hope should be poured forth and shared, spilled out like all of the evils that escaped from that box. For only by countering suffering with Hope, Hope for a better tomorrow, Hope for a better life, Hope for relief from our sufferings can we overcome the evil that spilled forth in those early days." He's picked up speed now, his words coming out more urgently.

Tisiphone's fingers aren't spontaneously combusting by staying in Sawyer's. Civilians /aren't/ made of contact poison, after all. So far, so good. Her lips press together into a thin line, jaw setting the longer she listens; her fingers twitch, then still, as her eyes flick over the restless tassel dangling over the back of her hand.

Bannik winds up now with the participatory part of the evening. "Let us now share that Hope with others. Let us tell each other, and, more importantly, the Gods, the Hope that lies within our hearts, turning them into petitions and intercessions, which the Gods may grant according to their will. Say as much or as little as you like. There is no Hope too trivial, only the Hope we hold."

My, but that's a long and drawn-out silence. Tisiphone's mouth twists through a series of tense curves as her tongue works around her mouth, prodding at this tooth and that. Is /that/ her Magical Answering Tooth? No? Try the next. And the next. The tension in her shoulders ratchets tighter with each second that drags past until she finally looks up, shaking her head as her hands drop out of Bannik's and Sawyer's. "'scuse me," she murmurs, turning to make her escape. No eye contact with anyone.

Wait, whoa. Audience participation? With so few actually having shown up to the little prayer circle, the pressure sort of on to the ones who have. Sawyer drops her gaze to look around, then down to her scuffed boots and then back up once more to focus on nothing in particular. And now Tisiphone is fleeing. "She's not good at public speaking. Maybe she's going to go spill forth her hope more privately." Sawyer says feebily to Bannik, letting that grip fall away. "So, uh, let's see…" Sawyer chews the inside of her cheek briefly before offering, "Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be moved, and though the hills be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof rage and swell, and though the mountains shake at the tempest of the same. For if we have hope, then we shall be delivered."

Sitka's own presence was fairly tenuous at best. But when Bannik starts talking about audience participation, and Tisiphone flees for the hills, the viper Captain appears to take that as his cue to start slithering off as well. There's a muffled thump or two as he slots the pieces of his gun back together, then a rustling as he climbs to his feet, shadows the young mechanic an apologetic smile, and turns to slip out into the hall. Ninja, vanish.

Bannik takes a deep breath as Tisiphone hurries away, but elects not to follow or call out. He just lets out the breath and tries to center himself. "I hope that all the people on Leonis and people on Cerberus and her fleet may believe in each other and believe in themselves. With belief, there is Hope, and with Hope, all is possible. And I hope that we can all give up our burdens and give them to the gods, for in a relationship with the gods there is solace, comfort, and strength." He pauses, and then. "Lords of Kobol, hear these prayers and grant them according to Your will. We know that Your plan is unknowable to us, and place ourselves in Your hands to guide us as you will, comforted by the knowledge that this has all happened before, and that this all will happen again." Pause. "So say we all."

"So say we all." Maybe it's muscle memory, at this point, that snags the cadence of those particular words and compels Tisiphone to utter them, tensely, as she unwinds her prayer-beads while she stalks away. Clickclack. Clickclack. They make it into her pocket as she reaches the far corner of the room, where her little hidey-hole and pack await. Crouching there, she searches roughly within it for gods-know-what.

Wow, got a little thin in here all of a sudden. Maybe it's a dirty Saggie thing. Sawyer lets out a whoosh of a air that sounds vaguely like she might have said 'so say we all' in there too, but it might take some clever interpretation. When that's done, she drops her hand away from Bannik's. "Thanks. That was sweet of you." She looks after where Sitka went to disappear to. "I need to, um…will you excuse me?" She scrambles after her notebook then goes to hunt the viper Captain down.

And with his crowd, small as it was, dispersed, Bannik is left to end the service all on his own. "The peace of the Lords be with you all always," he offers the traditional farewell. And then quieter, to himself: "With all of us really." He places the lid back on the jar.

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