PHD #064: EVENT - Ceremonial Opening of Memory Wall
Ceremonial Opening of Memory Wall
Summary: Civilians, military, and politicians alike are invited to the ceremonial opening for the Memorial Wall, a wall erected in the Recreation Hall on Deck 9 where people may post pictures of loved ones lost or missing, of memories never to be forgotten.
Date: Sat May 01 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Kai Malone Lunair Cidra Tillman Penelope Oberlin Evandreus Tisiphone 
Deck 9 - Recreation Hall - Battlestar Cerberus
The floorplating along the corridors of the Cerberus are standard military. Their forged steel plates are welded seamlessly together to run nearly the entire length of each hallway. The hallways themselves are the typical load-bearing structural design of the angled quadrilateral. Oxygen scrubbers and lighting recesses are found at nearly perfect intervals throughout the angled passageways.
Post-Holocaust Day: #64

A long stretch of cold, impersonal steel forms a pathway to and from several general meeting places common to crew and civilians alike. Yet, there is change, at last - a bit of warmth and respect that has preliminarily tugged against the walls surrounding the chapel. Border - black coupled with red cloth - drapes over several feet in either direction, long wooden boards painted ebon hitting hip high and secured to the wall tightly. Posting board is above it, and between the soft, flowing borders, jars of tacks available there. Wings have been meticulously built from gathered feathers from the Gods know where, marking each corner - a tribute, then, to Hermes, the only God who can safely draw loved ones into the Underworld, who can bring the messages of remembrance and love from those who still walk with the living.

A woman stands - one that many know as a practitioner of faith - before the spread, back to the crowd that begins to form. Candles have been lit, flames flickering only barely. Unquestionably she will have something to say, something to introduce this special ceremony.

One of the first to arrive is Kai, dressed in uniform, hands folded behind her back and body squared off in 'at ease'. She is patient, silent, and in those hands which grip behind her are carefully handled pictures, stacked upon one another. She is here for the ceremony, quite obviously, gaze focused on one of the flames and nothing else.

Tillman wanders down a few moments before things begin, the man in his blues and looking squared for the occassion. There is a folder tucked neatly into the crook of his arm as he stops nearby. The Executive Officer settles to the side of the hallway to allow others to fill in closer as he looks on in stoich silence, watching the crewmembers gather.

Cidra slips onto the deck. Bearing photographs. Currently picture-down, clasped in her long-fingered hands. She's taken the time to change in her blues as well, dark hair hanging loose to her shoulders. She steps to stand beside Tillman, not immediately approaching the wall. She's not stoic, precisely, but she's quiet and her expression is one of somberness.

Lunair arrives eventually, quietly. She seems respectful enough then. There is a polite smile to Tillman in passing. She's dressed neatly, in order to be respectful. Tragically, her hair is in the awkward stage- growing, but not shaved or fully out. Yikes. Mercifully, she keeps a dark scarf on.

Penelope steps in from the stairs, prayer shawl around her shoulders and beads threaded through her fingers, her demeanor silent and solemn. She has no pictures to contribute, it seems (unless they're somewhere else on her person); instead, her hands are clasped around offerings of a different sort: a plain candle and a small, brass key.

The priestess - a firm guiding hand to the path of Hermes - is garbed in clothing that mirrors the faith: sandals feathered, the silver symbol of a caduceus twined with serpents stitched into both draping sleeves. Her gown is simple white otherwise, the symbol of a bull hemming the garb with intensely red stitching. In one hand something is gripped, fist full and closed and now to her side. The priestess - Essa - turns to the crowd moments later, a soft smile - serene and with hope and sadness lingering within - drifts to her dark features. For now, she will watch those who come, words playing upon her lips without sound. A silent chant, likely.

Like so many others, Malone has dressed up fully for this ceremony. Stepping in from the stairs, he looks around for a few moments, he nods to the people present, keeping silent for the moment. Carrying a few things with him now.

Tisiphone makes her way into the assembled group in her duty blues, carrying a small but thick black-bound book in her hands. She finds a spot near the edge of the crowd and reaches into her pocket, drawing out her prayer-beads with the whispery clatter-click of bone against bone. As her eyes skitter over the others, the beads are coiled around and around her left wrist, the motions so familiar they seem almost negligent.

Some time later, Lt Oberlin makes his way into the hallway, pensive. Guarded. His hands dangle behind him, fingers laced together as his polished shoes echo against the cool metal of this ship's deck, creating a very human-like clank, as opposed to the grinding metal-on-metal clank. Just to clarify. His lips are pressed tightly together.

Tillman glances to Cidra as she stops beside him. He dips his head to her and glances to the photos that remain hidded. A thumb is tapped to the folder in his hands as if to indicate that's where his are. There's a hint of a smile, but its more familial than spirited - the kind offered to someone known well on occassiosn like this. Those hands clasp in front of him and he looks back to the Priestess.

Lunair is herself, mingling and listening. She has a few small somethings to offer, mostly dried flowers. But they are kept close as she listens and watches.

Cidra returns Tillman's smile with a small inclination of her head. No smiles from her. A similar inclination of her head in respect to the priestess. And still she waits.

"Our lives each have been touched by someone: the perfect moment to receive a kind remark, a touch that infuses your soul with a love of any sort, the bonding of friendship and companionship that left marks upon your soul. Our humanity binds us to each other, strong emotions, intelligence, and will securing our connection to strangers that until recently we never thought to meet or share with." Her gaze drifts over the crowd, Essa's features remaining kind. "The shock and destruction that first tore us from our homes and into space, that has forced us into a journey that many say we were - and are - unprepared for, has also taken from us that living mark, that person or persons whom with we bound ourselves to, in some and many ways." A pause, words gathering to her tongue. "Our experiences are unique, our emotions equally so, but we gather today in one common theme: to hold fast our memories of those we have lost in this life."

A single, small and polished stone is placed upon the far left table. "In these times we remember a light that was born from safety, yes, and lives we were accustomed to, yes… but fed and kept strong by those we kept close. These memories must never be forgotten, for they have made us who we are today, as individuals and people." Another rock is placed. There Essa pauses, not finished, but waiting for others to join.

Shifting delicately from the middle of the growing crowd, Kai slips gracefully backwards, retreating, forming against the wall that parallels the memorial wall. She is far from distant, intensity upon her features, but her focus is pure. The wall. Not those who gather before it. A private time, still somehow shared with others.

Somewhere on the back side of the crowd, Oberlin leans a little to study the memorial with a slight, sideways craning of his head. He listens along to the services but doesn't really shift his expression in any measurable way.

The Executive Officer listens in silence, his jaw slowly hardening with the forwards as his eyes grow more intent on the woman speaking. A few deep breaths as his chin lifts almost imperceptibly. With the words just before the pause, his eyes close, deep in memory.

Malone stays quiet for now, keeping to the back of the crowd as well, expression far stonier then usual. He's holding two pieces of paper under his arm at the moment.

Penelope bows her head, lifting her prayer shawl to drape over her head as the priestess begins speaking. Her lashes are lowered, eyes gazing into the fathomless center of her candle's flame. She takes a breath and whispers something, barely a breath, a short but deeply felt affirmation. She lifts her gaze as the priestess pauses, appearing uncertain.

"Our god Hermes protects our memories, not just by the graceful sound of his lyre, music that drifts to us, reminds us. Not just by his gifts at interpretation and oration, but also by his kindness and diligence to see our loved ones safely across and into the safety of our Underworld. He brings messages from our departed through dreams, writ, and even now through the transition we face. And yet, he brings our memories, our thoughts and hopes and dreams and messages to those he has protected through the passage into the Underworld: Our loved ones." Essa places another rock upon the alter, this one mid-way point between the ends of the scoped memorial wall.

"He reminds us that we all must face our journeys, and guides us through our transition even now." Another rock. "We welcome him to this hall, ask that he continue by presence and will and action to bring the love of ours and ours of love to our lost and to us." The last rock, and Essa turns.

"To remember and to live and to love and to move forward: This is what this wall represents. Hermes stands over us now, as he too stands over our loved ones. Please, bring your memories, your family and friends to this wall, and post them here so that we may all see, may all share, and may all unite in the celebration of their lives and what they shared, and our lives, and what we will share in the years to come." It is her last message, Essa retreating from before the wall, allowing herself to fall into the crowd and back.

Tisiphone's sweep of those gathered pauses briefly on a few faces she picks out of the crowd. The XO and the CAG, hither. Oberlin, thither. Penelope, yon. Her attention moves back to the priestess as she speaks, her hands somehow juggling the small black book and a few short loops of her prayer-beads without any awkwardness. "So say we all," she murmurs, as the priestess steps back.

Timid isn't exactly a word that describes Kai, but unquestionably - and despite the invitation from the priestess to move forward - she is not the first to bring her pictures and post them. It isn't that she's scanning the crowd either. From 'at ease' to relaxed the lass's body slides, photos soon held before her, fingered softly. One last time alone with mere, fragile objects, but not the last for acknowledgement and remembrance. Just as the priestess said.

Cidra reaches into her pocket with her free hand and likewise winds her prayer beads around her right hand as the priestess goes on. They look to be old things, well worn and made of a pale wood. "So say we all," she murmurs soft at the end in unison with Tisiphone, gaze down throughout, but rising up again as the priestess finishes.

Lunair seems quietly impressed, listening to the words. She is simply there in the audience, listening, watching the wall and those gathered around. "So say we all," She joins in quietly. For her part, she is simply remembering and existing now.

The XO looks like a stone but for his breathing while the Priestess talks. When she finishes, his eyes open once more and his lips move soundlessly with the same four words uttered by the others. He looks down to the folder in his arm and then back to the Wall.

Malone keeps quiet for now, almost as if he didn't hear that the ceremonial part was finished. He just keeps watching the air in front of him for a very long time, with a few deep breaths.

Solid, now. "So say we all." Quiet, but firm. Forward Kai maneuvers, not pushing but allowing movement of herself as that of others ripples through the crowd. She does not have just one picture, but four. From one of the many jars, an equal number of takes are taken, and soon, one by one, her memories are posted for others. In each photo there are many, many people, yet none of them the same, and only one in which Kai can be found: amongst the plethora of men and women and children that have somehow squeezed themselves in rows to be captured in a single moment. Kids picking their noses or playing with their dresses or kicking a rock or holding a frog; teens primping or chatting; and ages go up, each attempting at least to hold a pose and watch the camera as it is shot, but clearly many having missed the mark. It is an engaging lot, and one of four she leaves upon the wall.

Finally, and decisively, Oberlin's lips part as he utters in solemn repitition, "So say we all." It's soft and cool, without inflection, as he just stares off at the wall, and the images that begin to be left behind upon its surface.

"So say we all," Penelope whispers, taking up the call. She steps forward unhesitatingly, placing her candle on the ledge, laying the key carefully beside it. "Hecate Chthonia," she murmurs, hovering her hand over the candle. "Hecate Kleidouchos. Maiden, mother, crone. Watch over them, Soteira, vigilant lady." And then she steps back, away, leaving no other keepsakes or images. There are tears in her eyes, glimmering in candlelight — yet, having done what she came to do, she doesn't linger. She heads for the stairs.

Tisiphone's prayer-beads rustle hollowly against themselves as she again recoils them around her left wrist, leaving the long, metal-tipped tassels to sway like an angry cat's tail as she approaches the memorial. She waits her turn for access to the small bowl of tacks, scooping out two once she can reach it. Moving over to a spot not yet crowded by others, she runs a thumb against the edge of the book she's carrying, fanning through the pages until it pops open at a certain spot. A small picture is drawn out, which she turns over in her fingers a few times before looking from it up to the wall.

Evan sneaks through a few times, peeping out of the stairwell, loitering a few moments, showing up in someone's peripheral vision here and there and then gone again the next time someone might try to look. This time, though, the praying seems to be all over with, and so he takes up a less transient post, toward the back of the crowd, holding up a bulkhead with one elbow, watching.

Tillman clears his throat but waits for a few others to post first. The Major thumbs the edge of his folder and looks to it as he swallows. Eyes settle on the paperclip at the edge, the man reverently silent during it all. His eyes eventually lift to Tisiphone at the board.

Kai retreats, not from the ceremony but from the wall, allowing others to step in. Her pictures have been posted almost completely over one another, to allow space for others' photos, just as she moves now to allow room to be had by those waiting. On the side she will watch, though - the people, now, rather than the flames. Pale grey-greens are full of expression, even if her features are completely without.

That's all he has. Those four words. Oberlin just stares at the wall and neatly tucks his hands behind his back, before shaking his head from one side to the other in a smooth, even motion, and languidly turns away, his expression drawn.

A few quick Sagittaran words are muttered at the small picture Tisiphone's holding, followed by a snort and a tight, lopsided smirk. She shakes her head faintly and blows out a sigh that hitches at the end, then steps forward to hold the photo against the board and press the first tack in at the top. The second tack she uses to prick the pad of her thumb, pressing it to bring up a tiny red bead. She draws a spiral across the photo, presses the second tack into the bottom of the picture, and moves away, not looking back.

Cidra steps up the wall, turning over her photographs and getting them ready to be placed. One's a family photo. Cidra and three siblings, from the look of it, if anyone is terribly curious. Her, a man about her age and two women a few years younger, all of whom share the same coloring. The other is of a Viper Mark VII, the skyline of Picon Fleet Headquarters visible beyond it. Both are placed as she murmurs softly, to herself, "Dread the works of war., the sack of cities, the combats. Save us that we may weather these storms with wisdom and courage, wise Lady Athena. Your light has swept the darkness, Goddess of grace. Grant us clarity in our grief, that we may remember."

Stirring a bit now, Malone blinks for a few moments before he looks around at the others present. Stepping over in the direction of the wall, he picks up the papers he's held by his side, revealing it to be two photos. The first seem to be a group photo, with a dark-haired woman and a brown-haired man in the middle of it. The couple have an little girl, looking to be a few years old, with them. To the left of the pair is a grey-haired woman, looking to be in her sixties, while on the right, there's a man with short black, if starting to turn grey, hair and a small beard. Behind the quintet, the form of the pilot that studies the picture, can be seen. The other photo looks to be a young woman with long blonde hair, looking to be in her early twenties. She wears a dark green summer dress, and the picture looks to have been taken outside, not far from the ocean. Malone keeps his eyes on the pictures for a long time, before he moves further towards the wall now.

Evandreus' head droops toward the bulkhead, eyebeams twisting toward Cal-in-retreat, lips drawing together and to one side. He offers a look of silent support, but nothing more forward than that.

Fingers draw through those raven, lose waves, Kai leaning against the wall, that single movement repeated and slow, lingering until the last of the strands filter through before starting once again. Lips draw ever slightly upwards, the presence of others taking their moments heartening, somehow, to the fully-dressed marine.

Tillman finally steps forward after the CAG does and opens the folder. He looks to the contents for a few moments in silent contemplation while others move around him. In the end, he lifts a tack with one hand and a picture in the other - one that has his family and himself in it. A lazy day at the beach. Probably Aquaria. Him, his wife, and three daughters. The XO affixes it off to the side before taking out a second photo and tacking it up right next to it. This one looks to be a recent photo with his parents and sisters. He says something to it that sounds like spoken prose, the words obviously having some deep meaning as those tired eyes look to the pair of photos. Eventually, a jerky motion of his head later and he moves off to the side once again.

Cidra pins her photos and steps back from the wall. Looking at them a moment. Then, she raises the fingers of her right hand to her lips and kisses her fingertips lightly. Those fingers are, then, lightly touched against the photos she just placed. With that, she takes her leave of the corridor. She doesn't run, precisely, but her pace is rather quick.

Suddenly, Oberlin stops dead in his tracks. It's like he's frozen in place. "Strange definition of fun." He murmurs a little less softly than his languid demeanor would specify. He starts reaching in his pocket for something, and starts fumbling at it with an idle extension of his fingers, lips pressed tightly together.

Tisiphone's steps are carrying her on a cautious intercept course with Evandreus, until Oberlin speaks. That brings her to a halt, her head turning like an owl's to fix her gaze on the retreating LT's back. "Elysium? Damn straight she's having fun." The words are tight, and maybe a little sharper than she meant, considering how she looks away and hitches in a breath. A few more steps bring her close enough to the Raptor pilot to speak. "Bunny. Was- leaving, but if you're- adding something, I'll stay 'til you're done."

Kai's eyes find Tisiphone, track Oberlin and Evandreus' movements. Likely she has overheard the brief conversation between the first two, the comment to the third, and all that lies between the three. She's not staring, mind, but surely the lass is attempting to figure out 'something'.

Evandreus elbows at the wall as Cal suddenly goes still, leveriing himself away from the bulkhead and heading off in his direction, distracted by Cidra as she passes by so briskly, but letting her go, since she seems determined, with only a glance of commiseration. Finally drifting to Oberlin's side. "Gonna be okay, guy?" he murmurs, close at hand, hand rising to the other's shoulder, but tentatively, lest Oberlin be of a mind to shy away. He looks to Tisiphone, then to the wall, and down away from the wall, again, shaking his head shortly, tight-lipped. "Nah, that's… maybe… later," he waves it off. Some people evidently still not ready for those sorts of good-byes.

"Well, I suppose everyone does." Oberlin's statement is measured and particularly vague. He stops rummaging for whatever he was rummaging for, and starts to whirl about. Giving Evandreus a flat glance, he shrugs, having no more words and maintaining a flat expression as he starts to walk off, exiting the way he came. "'Scuse me." With that, he starts to stroll at a brisk pace.

"Sure. Okay," is Tisiphone's simple reply to Evandreus. She looks from him to Oberlin, too many emotions whirling in sleetstorm eyes to be easily read, before she too turns away. Exit, Stage Opposite Spook.

Malone reaches the wall now, and hangs up those pictures of his, quietly. First that group picture, and he mutters, "Mother, father, Molly, Jerry and Charlotte. You will always live on in my heart…" He then adds the second picture, with a quiet smile. "We didn't know each other for more than a few years, but you will always have a special place in my heart. From now, until the day I die…" Grimacing for a few moments, "Rest in peace, Cathinka. You deserve it." Turning to head off in the general direction of the stairs, with tears in his eyes now.

As the crowd filters out, so does Kai, quietly on her way.

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