PHD #137: Attaining a Functional 'Tele'
Attaining a Functional Tele
Summary: In which Karthasi twists herself into impossible pretzels, and Devlin describes the clear path he's found.
Date: 13 July 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Devlin Karthasi 
Athletics Area
A large pair of mats dominates the center of this room, their centers taped-out for a small area to practice boxing or other martial arts. Around the outside are treadmills, bikes, weights, and an impressive variety of gym equipment to help tone and shape the bodies of the crew. To one side of the room is the locker room while at the rear is a hatch that leads back to the oversized swimming pool. Off to the side is a rack that holds boxing gloves, pugil sticks, and the associated pads for the sticks.
Post-Holocaust Day: #137

Karthasi, out on the mat, in a pair of blue-and-more-different-blue gym shorts and the familiar grey undertank, is finished with a good run and now is putting herself through a series of stretches, standing tall with her feet just slightly apart, back arced and neck tilted back until she's staring up the twisted cord of her lanky arms, straight to the ceiling.

Devlin has been over on the weights for a while, doing some sort of circuit that has him traveling between different benches and machines without so much as a water break for quite some time now. Eventually he steps away, stopping at the water fountain before heading over to those mats, tugging the hem of his shirt up to dry his face, leaving sweaty spots on it before he bends an arm up behind his head and pulls down in a stretch. Karthasi nearby is noticed after a moment, and he offers a friendly smile.

Karthasi uncurls her back slowly — vertebra by vertebra, it seems like — keeping her arms extended at the same angle from her body as she rises to her full height, then, keeping the motion fluid, she begins to curl forward, instead, breathing in through her nose and out through lips pursed into a small circle, eyes closed as if drawing her focus inward. She continues her forward and downward trajectory, bending at the waist, folding halfwise and pushing her gripped-together fists between her legs, followed by more and more of her arms, keeping them ninety degrees from her torso, until they're parallel with the ground once more. Her eyes open, then, and, the world all upside-down as it is, she spots the smile tossed her way and sort of awkwardly manages one in return, untangling her fingers from one another long enough to finger-waggle a hello.

Devlin watches all these contortions with mild interest, his own stretching of the very conventional variety utilized by athletes all over. After a minute he switches arms, pulling the other down behind his head as far as it will go before linking them together and arching his back. It's then that he catches the upside-down smile and finger-waggle and he laughs, straightening up again with a wide smile of his own, sinking into a sideways lunge as he remarks, "Don't let all the blood run to your head."

Karthasi feels the pull in the backs of her thighs, and lets the pull settle over the course of a few long, steady breaths. Fingers wrap in one another once more, and she begins to unfold with the slow ease of a favorite umbrella, coming to a straight posture once more before letting her arms fall to her sides, the palms of her hands facing forward. "It'll all get there eventually. Hopefully not all at the same time," she replies, either oblivious to the point, willfully misconstruing what he'd said, or simply having far too zen a moment for the comment not to be processed on that level— there's a peacefulness in her voice that indicates that the exercises may be spiritual in nature as well as physical. Her eyes open one more time, and her arms lift from her sides, her right straight forward, palm-up, while her left rises out at a forty-five degree angle and her elbow bends her forearm inward. Her weight shifts forward, right foot sliding across the mat to support the shift in her center.

Devlin pushes his feet out wide and leans his weight to the right, and then back to the left, and then— you get the idea. One arm is pulled out straight across his chest as he does it, the other bent up to lock it in place, and he watches still, his curiosity open now. "Is that yoga?" he asks, oblivious to any potentially meditational aspect of the practice, "Or… tai chi, or something?"

"Laos-sous." The words are enunciated smoothly, evenly, in the course of a long exodus of air. Greje keeps her right hand flat, bending her elbow to bring it up to the level of her eyes as she bends her right knee, bringing her left around across her torso as her knee continues to bend, and bend, and bend, her left leg kept straight out behind her. "The rallying-of-forces. The priests of Ares in the Scorpian southern highlands teach it to their initiates."

"Really? Ares?" Devlin sounds surprised, and takes no pains to hide it. His head tilts a little, eyeing the position and movements a bit more carefully, and then shakes his head, "I've never heard of that before. I've got a couple cousins who are devotees of Ares, but that's on Tauron, so I guess it would be different anyway." Another smile, just the faintest bit sheepish, though it seems to be at his ignorance rather than his continued interruption of her focus.

Karthasi places her left hand on her right arm, near her elbow, fingers splayed a centimeter apart each as she settles into a low lunge. "Yes," she affirms with a peacefulness that seems rather unbefitting the Lord. "Do you? Yes— the variety of ways in which the Lords are honored is a—" she pauses to breath as she slips her left hand over the bump of her elbow and begins pushing her right arm up and overhead. "Is a wonder of the universe."

Devlin nods, more than once, his chin bobbing along as she speaks, and he shifts into a forward lunge, hands folded on top of his thigh, pressing into the quadricep. "Yes, a couple," he confirms, agreeing, "It is, they're each different amongst themselves and then different on each colony and even parts of colonies… I'm not sure I've ever met two people who do everything the same way. In terms of worship, I mean."

"As it should be— in some senses," Greje goes on, pausing to push her elbow the further back, remaining in the low lunge position. "For religion to attain its functional tele it must be able to bring each person to him or herself, and thus find realized Apollo's edict of self-knowledge." She begins to bend forward at the waist, pushing her torso above her bent knee, folding her left arm behind her head, and, once she has her balance, she lifts her left leg behind her. "However, for it to attain its final tele, it must remain pure of text and pure of rite. It is," she concludes, "A strange and beautiful balancing act. A testament to the endurance of the scriptures." And her right knee begins slowly to unbend, lifting her torso and extended leg, poised parallel, both, to the mats, slowly further and further from the said mats.

Devlin blinks, as the conversation suddenly jumps waaaay above his paygrade. "I can't say I know what a tele is," he admits after a moment or two of pause covered by him rearranging limbs so he can drop down to sit on the mat. His legs are spread, and one knee bent so the sole of his shoe can press to the inside of his opposite thigh as he reaches for his toes, "But… I think I know what you mean," he goes on, smiling a bit again, a quick flash of teeth before his head ducks, face towards his knee. "Are you a… priestess, or something?"

Karthasi comes into a T-position, leg stretched out in one direction, torso and both arms in the opposite direction while her other leg straightens below her. She maintains the position for a few more long breaths before her torso and leg angle upward and downward, respectively, and she comes to stand on two feet, again, arms dropping from overhead to her sides. "Greje… Greje Karthasi. I head up the Colonial Military Ecclesiastical Services department aboardship." She pauses in her laos-sous for a moment, narrowing her eyes at the fellow for a moment. He looks familiar, somehow, and her brains scrabble over the thought. "And yourself?" she asks him, hoping he'll place himself for her.

Devlin straightens up and switches legs, keeping his head up a moment longer than before so that he can watch as she balances and manages to get that leg straight. "Nicely done," he comments, impressed. When she offers an introduction, brows lift, and he laughs, "Oh, so, I was close! It's nice to meet you, Greje. I'm Alex Devlin. Just a ci— well," he pauses, "I guess not really a civilian, or at least not by tomorrow. I just enlisted," he explains.

"Oh. Oh, yes. That's right, I knew I knew you from somewhere. The Recreational Room," Greje remembers having met him before. "I do apologize, Alex. My mind is in a million places these days. So you've enlisted. That's very selfless of you," she tilts her chin down in approval. "Enjoying your last day of freedom?"

"Oh, yeah," Devlin's mouth pulls into a wide smile, "That's right, we did already meet there." He waves off her apology, "That's alright, I kind of didn't remember either. It's nice to see you again, then. And yeah, I did. The CAG — Major Hahn, agreed to take me just this morning." He smiles crookedly at the question and shrugs, "I should be I guess, huh? I hadn't really thought about it like that."

"Oh, you're a pilot." Greje didn't remember that about him, either. Must have been that fumie plus she was puffing on. "We're blessed to have you, then. We're feeling the need dearly in the wing. And the military is a harsh mistress. Sometimes I wonder whether those who devote themselves to the Woodland Lady are less commanded by their deity than we all are by the force we serve. It's the way of things. We are of a body with one another. We have our scriptures and our prohibitions. And everyone must be subjugated to the whole… it's an act of devotion, both for the body and the soul."

"Well, I mean, I'm planning to be," Devlin shrugs, "I flew freighters on and off, but… I wouldn't really call myself a pilot," he admits with a grin. "We'll see how it goes. I guess there's a lot of training to do, and stuff." He listens as she describes the military along spiritual lines, almost, and nods slowly, "Sounds… well, hard. And— and interesting. I guess I'll pick all of that up as I go. I'm just sort of… jumping in," he admits.

"Sometimes you have to, I suppose," Greje's lips touch at a faintly wistful smile. "Especially now. Your experience, however non-military it might be, is beyond value in this age of Ares. Training people to fly from zero hours airborne is… well, it takes more time than we have, as yet, as far as I can tell. I'm only a priest. But I try to keep my eyes open," she lifts her forefinger and taps it up alongside her nose.

"Just jump in? Yeah, I guess. Seems like the time for it," Devlin nods. "I would've done it sooner," he tells her, "I mean, I've been on board since the attacks, but… I guess I didn't realize how bad off they were, that they'd take somebody with my sort of experience. I could've been shooting down raiders for months," he says, sounding somewhat disappointed to have missed that opportunity, nose wrinkling a little. As she taps her nose, he grins again, and nods, "I'm sure. You must be awfully busy, I'd think?" he adds, "I mean… with all that's happened, and is happening."

"I… try," Greje looks aside at the admission. "I keep the chapel schedule filled. But I occasionally feel as though I'd be of a great deal more use if I could pilot a viper." Lips tug at a smile that isn't convincing anybody, but then she clears her throat and settles her features into her usual genial-neutral Caprican mask. "But I do my part. And you'll do yours, Alex. You'll find your right path in all of this."

"I doubt that," Devlin replies, shaking his head a bit, "I mean, piloting a viper's important —really important, obviously, but… well, if the pilots are all losing their minds or turning depressed or something, then what use are they? I know we've got a psychologist or something somewhere, but a lot of that falls to you, I bet, doesn't it? Counseling people, and stuff. And all the services. And yeah, I mean, I think this is probably my path," he agrees with a nod, and then another, "A chance to, you know. Avenge a few of the dead, if I'm lucky."

"The yearning for retribution stings at your heart," Greje observres, soft-voiced. "It's a noble incentive— the oldest incentive. But remember not to let your vengefulness blind you," she offers sollicitously. "But Cidra is a good woman, and a great CAG. She'll teach you to keep your head out there, you don't need my preaching on it," she looks aside, briefly, again, reaching up to touch the side of her neck. "But… thank you," she adds, eyes on the floor.

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