PHD #519: Faith and Love
Faith and Love
Summary: Bannik and Rose talk about their Faith and (obliquely) about each other.
Date: 30 July 2042 AE
Related Logs: None.
Bannik Rose 
The Sacred Circus — Lampridis Town
The Sacred Circus is the heart of Lampridis Town proper. Though it's ringed by a traffic circle that leads west to Lakeshore Way and east to the Boulevard of Doves, the square itself has been reserved for pedestrians only, not that anybody these days has much use for cars. To the north rises a large, ancient fountain whose ingenious plumbing system still functions five hundred years after it was built. A marble swan, wings extended, rises up from all four cardinal corners, streams of water spouting from beaks toward a central obelisk more than forty feet tall. Its sides are covered with reliefs of the goddess Aphrodite, each telling the story of one particular mythological lover.

To retain "local flavor," the square itself was never paved over, and the ever-present bomb damage has done a number on cobbled stone. Though only a few of the many shops lining the Circus survived the devastation, most of the signage remains intact, advertising restaurants, hotels, and the occasional hole-in-the-wall selling kitschy souvenirs. The electric lamps around the square have been replaced with wood-and-oil torches lit at night, offering a romantic — or medieval — feel, depending on who you ask.

But most remarkable of all is the sturdy brick building directly opposite the fountain that still functions as a temple to all the Lords of Kobol. Though its conical roof has partially collapsed, the Pantheon's inner sanctuary remains intact. A bucket full of chalk hangs beside the door, and on all four walls appear a few hundred messages in just as many different hands.

Condition Level: 3 - All Clear
Post-Holocaust Day: #519

Bannik is seated on the edge of the fountain. He looks like he just came off a work detail or something — although he's wearing his greens, they are dirty with dirt and grime and drops of sweat are still around his brow and cheek. He has some sort of food ration that he's just opening; it looks like this may be lunch-ish time for Tyr Bannik.

Like a small swarm of white-coated bees comes Rose and her team of "hydroponics technicians." It appears they've got soil and flora sampling equipment with them. "Take samples where the soil looks both the worst and the healthiest. I want contrasting data," Rose 'orders'. This is the closest she comes to an authority position, and it doesn't look like she relishes it at all. In fact, the scientist looks around with a bit of apprehension and nervousness, hugging her clipboard to her like an anxious schoolgirl. "And try to collect seeds of species not on file aboard the Elpis. This might be our last opportunity to introduce variety into our lines for quite a while." Lines, of course, referring to the vegetables and fruits she has managed to grow successfully in the hydroponics effort.

Once the team starts about its tasks, Rose walks over towards Bannik, taking large, slow steps. Again, the anxious schoolgirl. Removing her glasses, she offers, "Um, hi, Tyr. Lunch?"

"Hey! Rose!" The sight of his fellow — whatever she is — brings a smile to Tyr's face. "Sure. Do you have a second to sit? Or —" He gestures over to the buzzing swarm of lab coats starting to go about the business of whatever they're doing. "If not, I understand. How have you been? Isn't it so amazing to be here? To be part of this?" He gestures around him as if to indicate — well, either the humans, or being on soil again, or working with the Cylons — or, perhaps, all of those things.

Rose indicates she has some time by sitting beside Tyr, turning her head to observe her team. "I don't like giving orders but I'm in charge of them. I'm not the boss of anything," she says quietly. "But they look to me. So many people look to me. Sometimes, part of me wishes I was back on Aquaria, or Aerilon." Sounding like she's not happy at all, she then turns to face Tyr, her clipboard pressed flat onto her lap. "And then I'm reminded by the blessing that's come out of all of this tragedy," she says, a small smile beginning to light up her face. "I'm doubtful, Tyr, but I'm also hopeful. I hope here, at the Falls, we can make some sense out of it all."

"People follow you because you've proven that you're a person worthy to be followed, Rose." Tyr's voice is gentle. He's been in ProphetMode when he hasn't been working — although he also works tirelessly — as if one more shift building fortifications or hauling salvage will somehow change what happened to this place. "Do you realize how rare that is? It's not because you have pins on your collar or a gun in your waistband, but because they trust you. That's something."

He picks up his "food," biting into it. He barely notices. It's sustenance, not a delicacy. Calories for the afternoon shift.

"It's not something I asked for," she protests, but then catches herself with a sigh. "Here I am, whining about things I can't control, again," Rose says, shaking her head at herself. "I suppose we are all dealt a destiny by the gods, and this is all just a part of it. You know, I never really considered predestinatoin to be real, but… well, you know. The signs are all there." She glances away, turning her face up towards the sun. She murmurs happily, "Mmm, real vitamin D."

"All this has happened before. All this will happen again." Tyr looks up at the sun as well, a smile touching his lips. "If that's not predestination, what is? But I think it's only sort of predestined. The story is outlined, but what we do in it is our choice." He then notes: "I think people who don't ask to be leaders make the best leaders. The people who want it are often the type of person to abuse it."

"Like Commander Kepner?" Rose asks, turning back to Tyr. She's a civilian, not knowing many of the details. Perhaps, choosing not to know; it's safer that way. "He was consumed by revenge, or, at least, that's what the stories say. I think wherever he is, he's spinning. Because look at us now!" Rose gestures to the natural plaza around the fountain. "We're sharing space with Cylons. Coexisting. Not killing each other." But all of this is just reiteration. They've been living this way for weeks now. "Everyone seems willing to get along. I was skeptical at first, Tyr, I'm sorry to say. Faith moves you in powerful ways, but… I'm a scientist. I see things from a logical viewpoint. And for a while, I was extremely worried this might all just be a ruse."

"It's natural to doubt. I doubt sometimes. But I get my reassurance from knowing that the gods chose me to accompany McQueen here — they picked me out and they gave me a choice. I could either preach the message that I felt inside as a result of that trip. Or I could be quiet and toe the line because it's more convenient. And I've thought about doing it; Lords knows I've got enough people — powerful people — telling me to do that. And it makes sense. The gods spoke to me and gave me a mission. If I can't push down my doubt and trust in Them, even if I don't know exactly what they have in store for us — well. Then what I have isn't Faith then. Faith means believing even when you don't know."

Bannik pushes a smile forward. "But you're right. This is working. It can work. I just hope it lasts."

"Faith means believing even when you don't know," Rose repeats, perhaps just for her own benefit. "You know, I thought I had strong enough faith to get me through Sagittaron. I thought I had strong enough faith to get through my blindness, and to get through all that empty time without Andreas. I didn't have enough, Tyr. Others, that did, came and helped pick me up." She blinks her eyes owlishly and purses her lips a little bit, studying Tyr's face. "You've helped me, so much, Tyr. There's nothing I can do to give back to you that would equal the lift you've given me, time and time again."

Bannik shakes his head, sympathetically but firmly. "It doesn't work like that, Rose. Faith isn't a numbers game. It's not giving and taking and having enough and having a little. Some people quote the Scrolls that say that 'the Gods lift those who lift themselves.' I'm more partial to the passages that say it differently: 'the Gods lift those who lift each other.' Besides." He reaches his hand out, tentatively, looking to take one of Rose's if she will allow it. "When everyone thought I was crazy. When everyone thought my manifestos were the scribblings of a madman or a traitor or worse. You came to me and said: I believe. And whenever I get threatened or heckled or I think that it's just not worth it anymore. I think of you. And — that keeps me going."

Rose allows her hand to be taken and, probably to Tyr's joy, it curls around his. "You've always been sweet and kind to me. And you've always found a way to lift me up." Moving in for her customary peck on the cheek, something causes her to pause. Maybe it's because her hand is in his. Maybe it's the desert heat. But for a moment, she's precariously close to him, eyes alternating from looking into his, and down in embarrassment. She stutters, "I… uh… h-have you, uhm… seen the Chief?"

There's a long pause. Danger. Danger, Will Robinson. And Tyr is grubby and dirty as anything, but still, his breath catches when Rose's face is so close to his. But — caught in this pose — he stares down at their intertwined hands. He focuses on the question.

"Uh. No. I had to get forms filled out to be detailed down here but he just shoved it under the door, like all the other paperwork. But — he's looked out for me since I came back. In his way. And — I." He bites his lower lip. Hard. Indecision.

Rose swallows audibly, her breath catching in her throat. "I see," she murmurs in reply, giving a small nod. With her free hand she pushes a lock of hair back behind her ear. "Well, if you see him, uhm… tell him… well, you know. Tell him… I'm lonely." Specifically not, this time, 'I miss him' or 'I love him'. And that's when her gaze turns away to look at the fountain, and she draws back, putting that space between them again.

Whether it's the sun, or the closeness of them, or something else, Tyr just comes out and says it. "Someone else could take so much better care of you, Rose. You've always put yourself down, like you're not worth the time it would take for someone to be a good boyfriend to you. And you are. And — I would never — I couldn't ask you to — no matter how —" His voice catches. He can't bring himself to say it. So he tries to make it more generic. "But. I just think you need to look out for yourself for once."

Rose shrugs lightly, eyes still fixed on the fountain, down and away from Tyr. "He's got such a world of responsibility on his shoulders. I'll be here when he decides to come around. I can't turn away just because I'm inconvenienced. I mean, what if we were married? What if he were on some long and drawn out assignment, and I was at home, alone, waiting for him? It'd be awful of me to turn away and be selfish just because I was lonely. It's the same situation, more or less. Right?" It seems like she's done quite a bit of self-convincing as to how military relationships are supposed to work.

"What about you?" asks Bannik. "You have a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. Our food. But if he wanted to steal away with you for an evening alone, would you make time for him? I bet you would. And if I were him, I'd find a way to spend some time with you. No matter how busy I was." It's bad if even Bannik is trying to shake you out of Dilusional Hope.

"He has his reasons," Rose states, her voice getting a hint of an edge, now. She actually looks at him, now, her brow beginning to crease in a frown. But it's clear it's not anger she has towards Tyr; her eyes are damp and she's likely doing her damndest to not let herself cry. "I… I ought to get to work. My team is going to think I'm slacking off." And she begins pulling her hand free from his.

"Did I ever tell you about my girl back home?" It's a complete non sequitur. "You know, back in rural Areilon, a kid like me — a bookworm — wasn't looked on too kindly. I got shoved into a lot of lockers. And me and Veronica met one time when I was playing piano in the auditorium and rather than come by and make fun or me, she just stayed and listened. And when I told her about my dreams of getting off of the planet, getting a technical education, making something of myself, she believed in me supported me. And — I don't know why I just told you all that. It just came to mind." It's pretty much the closest he can come to saying 'I love you.'

Tyr then gives her hand a squeeze, standing up. "I should get back to work, too. Salvage run. But gods' love be with you, Rose. I'll be thinking of you."

Rather than say goodbye, Rose just picks up and shuffles off to join her team. But, she does give a surreptitious glance over her shoulder as she puts her glasses back on. He gets a long look as he heads off.

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