BCH #010: Fear and Supplication
Fear and Supplication
Summary: Crew spend some time in the Chapel trying to get past the Cow. Merrell shares concerns with Greje. Alexander shows up at the end.
Date: 15 FEB
Related Logs: Cow Log. And Cray Grrl.
Quinn Merrell Stavrian Karthasi Demos Alexander 


The hatchway opens into a dimly lit corridor, stark grey walls now and again painted with some mural appropriate to the religious season, stretching from floor to ceiling and then sloping down away from the ceiling in two triangular forms that bracket off the tiered seating areas to either side. Straight ahead, in the center of an open space, stands a simple rectangular altar, the emblems of the Lords thereupon arrayed to receive sacrifice in the tall room when the altar isn't decked for some more specific use. Hestia, who is not vouchsafed her own emblem on the altar, is etched in relief on one side of the altar itself, shown tending the hearth in her usual fashion.
In the wall behind the open area are three evenly spaced hatchways which can only be opened and closed from the inside. The small cubicles behind each hatchway are each furnished with a small altar against the back wall, upon which sometimes the dark shape of a sacred object can be discerned even from the tiered seating for visiting on the sacral days. The hatches can be closed to block out profane eyes from rites they were not meant to see. The walls between each little cubicle can be retracted to create a larger space for more well-attended mysteries.

Later in the evening, just as the Cerberus is pushing back from the drydock, certain members of the crew have their postings to attend to. Still others find that their postings can be handled and that they must find time to pray during this hour. After the incredibly bad omens during the offering ceremony, its no surprise. So here is where Merrell finds herself. The woman is quite dirty and has grease smudged across her face. Her short form is made even smaller by the fact that she is on her knees in the back of the chapel. She doesn't have her eyes closed but simply looks towards the alter. There's obviously concern in her eyes.

Quinn hasn't been to chapel in a long, long time… She hasn't owned any sort of robes since she was a child and inherited her elder sister's. But then, only Anna got anything religious. She was supposed to walk in Grandma's shoes, no one else… But now, here comes Margaret Quinn, in her dress grays, the chest unbuttoned to reveal her tanks beneath. If there's usually any sort of colour in her face, it's gone now, leaving her paper pale beneath her freckles. She steps quietly across the hatch, almost shakily, taking in a deep… slow breath as she looks around the closest thing to a temple the ship has. A silent chill runs down her spine.

Karthasi has planted herself here for the duration of the launch, herself, holding a suppliant's wool-woven rod in both hands, elbows locked straight upward, knuckles lined against the side of the altar as she maintains a none-too-comfortable-looking kneel of supplication in front of it, head bowed down between her upraised arms, the crown of her head just touching the metal, a murmur of a repetitive, meditative prayer audible for anyone coming near the altar.

Stavrian showed his face up on the obs deck like a good off-duty serviceman, but left relatively soon after closing. Not to go home, nor to work - to this quiet place. He has something in his right hand, fingers lightly closed around something. He edges sideways from the hatch, trying to disturb neither Merrell nor Quinn at the back of the place. A bench makes a softly tired creak as he sits down on the edge of it, his hands settled down on either side of his legs.

After a while another figure slips into the chapel. Demos does not look here for sollace, nor guidance, nor peace. Rather, her gaze flickers over those in the chapel until they land on Merrel. She nods once, moving forward a step or three before it comes to her, rather suddenly that this is actually a 'House of Worship' and those within it might not appreciate an interruption. She waffles there in the back of the room, not moving forward, nor back just yet. Uncertainty lends her an anxiety she is unfamiliar with. Slowly, then, she makes her way to one of the pews where she finally sits to wait out the service or prayer circle or whatever it is that happens in these places.

Merrell looks up to see Quinn enter and offers her a weak smile, gesturing her to kneel if she would like. "I think we all have our troubles right now," she whispers to the Raptor pilot. A gentle nod to the floor and she looks back towards Karthasi at the front. Her eyes linger on the alter and Greje, the woman silently urging the Sister's prayers to be heard. She's totally ignorant of Demos arrival for the moment.

Quinn seems almost to be searching for something. Maybe someone? Scanning the entire room, especially the altar, her hazel-green eyes moving slowly but surely through every nook and cranny of the place. Whatever she was looking for, however, she's not found. She breathes in, slow and deep, shaking off the thoughts and then giving a slight blink towards Merrell and the offered words. She half smiles. "…No, no troubles… a bump in the road, nothing more." Maggie admits, her clipped, cool Caprican accent coming in nothing but a hushed whisper to the room. She looks behind her, almost jumping at the fact others are coming in the door, but she recognizes them and takes a calming breath.

Karthasi slowly eases into motion, once more, rear moving toward heels, head tilting back to look toward the ceiling, lips still moving, "… this vessel, and though we walk through perils unseen and unknown, guide our…" as her hands draw the suppliant rod close across her hips, and she bends at the waist to lower her face to the flooring right next to the altar, the crown of her head touching the altar down near its base as she begins the prayer cycle over again, endeavoring to stave off whatever disaster was foretold for the ship.

Amongst a gaggle of women. The male outsider in the bunch keeps his respectful distance, off on his bench. Stavrian looks down at his hands, tipping whatever's in them onto right palm and then left, hands and fingers gently pressed together.

A bizzare sort of shiver slips up Demos' back like the chill finger of impending terror. She stifles the reaction, her gaze shifting to see if anyone noticed. Slowly, her movements gentle, she rises and begins edging toward the hatch. Whatever it is that she is feeling, the chapel with its sense of darkness approaching, does not ease her spirit. Respect for those within keep her silent but a sense of urgency causes her to hurry just a bit.

The words seem to bother Merrell a little, but not enough to really bug her out of her mood and concern. "Coming here for a bump in the road, looking around? Sure, Captain?" She keeps her voice quiet, just barely audible to the woman she's speaking with. But when other people arrive and distract Quinn, the SCPO follows her gaze and notices Demos fleeing with a blink of her eyes.

Quinn gives Demos an almost envious look. That was sure as hell what she should have done the moment she set foot in here. But, she didn't. So, she settles quietly into a back pew, on the edge there, not coming to kneel or supplicantly offer herself to the gods. She just sits, almost halfway in distance between the startled, friendly Merrell and the only male in the room. She exhales slowly through her nose, one hand reaching up and back to tame some of her frizzy red hair. Not exactly a nervous gesture, but close. She whispers back tot he woman. "Looking around, I suppose you could say. And you, Chief?"

Stavrian's eyes flicker, catching the movement as Demos flees. Then the profile of the skittish-looking Captain. There's nothing about the young medic that could be called 'on-edge'; if he is it's beyond well-hidden. He looks back at the altar, shifting on the bench and readjusting his feet on the floor, leaning forward and standing. Edging carefully out of the row, he makes his way towards the front with silent, unrushed steps.

Finally reaching the hatch, the Sargeant slips out into the hallway. She does glance back in time to see Merrell in conversation with Quinn and Stavrian moving up toward the alter. Without a word then, she gently closes the chapel's hatch.

Merrell nods to Greje's back as the woman continues with her supplication. "Praying in my own way. For the Gods to grant us strength and bravery. ..And hoping that they hear the Sister's prayers." She watches Stavrian move towards the front in silence before finally turning her eyes back on the Captain. The Chief is completely still, her dirty palms resting on her kneeled legs. "Be at peace, Captain. No reason to fret yourself. Is there something in particular you need? Maybe I can help you with?" She keeps her voice just low enough for the words to carry to Quinn.

Karthasi doesn't move, bent into an almost fetal position with her head on the ground, lips moving close to the flooring, which has thankfully been thoroughly cleaned since the sacrifice.

Demos heads through the exit labeled <O> Out.
Demos has left.

Metal. It's something metal that Stavrian places on the altar, something small and round that clinks against an errant brass incense holder. His fingertip slides it into place where it won't fall and his hand lingers there. As well as his eyes, as though there was something more to be seen in the spot than just ash and a little coin. Then, rocking back on his heel, he steps back from it again.

Quinn looks around the place again, the faintest of a wiry smile crossing her lips. "No, no… just looking for some boys and a horse. It's… a long story." She admits huskily, a sad sort of fondness in her eyes as she says those words. Whatever the inside joke is, it's one once upon a time close to her heart. She sighs, moving to stand again. "I should go. Hate… interrupting the lady. She's had a long day." Maggie nods in the direction of the supplicating priestess, more tension returning to her shoulders to just watch the woman throwing herself into such motions.

Merrell doesn't move to stop Quinn. "As you wish. But if you need to talk, you are among friends. People with heavy thoughts who come to a chapel to speak with someone should be afforded the knowledge that they won't be ridiculed by anyone here." The SCPO watches the Captain, still, but doesn't say anything else. Her eyes linger on the woman a moment longer but she looks back to the alter.

Karthasi gets through the cycle of prayers, once more, and unfolds from about the wool-wrapped stick, back uncurling until straight, neck arcing back to lift her face toward the ceiling, arms rising, still braced on the stick, a cracking audible in her back as she unbends, drawing a half-pained, half-relieved breath from the priestling. At all of twenty eight, she's getting too old for all this kneeling. A priest's life is hard on the joints. She brings the stick down to her lap again, eyes finally coming back to this world and switching to the side to look to Stavrian, giving him a grateful little smile. "How did the launch go?" she whispers. She was with the Lords, and barely heard a thing about it.

Quinn gives a half smile towards Merrell, "I know, Chief… I know. Thanks for the thoughts." Her voice hasn't relaxed at all, but then that is often how the upper crust of the Caprican sound, too clipped and perfect to be at ease. With those last few words, she turns upon the ball of her foot and heads calmly for the hatch. She only gives one last look over her shoulder… then disappears away.

Quinn heads through the exit labeled <O> Out.
Quinn has left.

Stavrian bends his knees, crouching down in front of the altar. The heels of his combat boots stay flat on the floor, arms rested on his knees and hands left to gravity. The tail of the old soma braid around his right wrist dangles, catching bits of light in the metal flecks woven in. "We're underway." His baritone voice is low. "It seems alright so far. As far as the ship goes."

Merrell nods once to Quinn and says nothing else to her. She doesn't even watch the Caprican pass by. She keeps her attention to the woman up front - who is apparently finishing for now. The Snipe rises and her short form makes its way up towards the front. She keeps a respectful distance to the pair who are talking and stands at the edge of their vision.

Karthasi takes a shallow, but slow breath, in — and out, eyes closing in a moment of gratitude. She couldn't even feel the launch from in here, but, "Thank the Lords," she does whisper, whole-heartedly, at the news that they've launched and haven't exploded yet. Still, she barely relaxes, looking to Merrell and giving her a slow, welcoming nod. "I've been in contact with an old professor of mine… Several years ago he obtained a post upon the Amphictyony at Delphi," she keeps her voice to a low murmur, "I have sent to him the details of the case, in hopes that he will see his way clear to inquiring after our situation to the Pythia." It's a big step — and probably sounds even more so to someone who wasn't educated and ordained in the heart of Delphi and is inured in its politics — on the level of sending to Rome with a quick query for the Pope. Okay, if you've got the connections, but to the average layperson it might sound a little extreme. "I suggested to Command that the launch be held off until we could find out what must be expiated. But they obviously could do no such thing at this late notice."

That is a big step. One that causes the hairs on the back of the Sagittarian's neck to stand up. Stavrian clasps one hand over the other wrist, taking a breath as though to speak…and then simply exhaling it. It's barely audible. "If something is to happen, maybe…it's among those inescapable things. Of which we are just a tiny part." He looks up towards the rest of the altar, then finally at Merrell as he notices the third form. "Chief."

Merrell returns the nod, folding her dirty hands together before realizing how dirty she must look. With a swallow, she looks herself over self-consciously and folds her hands behind her back. Its a futile gesture and she knows it. Its plain, though, she doesn't want to approach the alter any more than she has. If she's heard the words of Greje, she doesn't show it. With the address of Stavrian, she nods to him. "Sir."

"I've never seen a haruspical seat as mangled as that. Nor read of one, nor heard one spoken of," Greje goes on quietly. "It is decidedly a prodigy. But you're right. The only thing to do now is to walk our paths cautiously and stay cleansed of miasma and hubris. We put ourselves in the hands of the Lords, for all else," she squeezes the suppliant's branch for emphasis, then, looking to Merrell, and out to the seating area. "I apologize, I have been remiss. How may I — oof!" she cuts herself off as she tries to stand on stiffened knees. "How may I serve you?" she asks the visitors to the chapel.

"You would know better than I would, Sister." Stavrian stays as he is as Greje gets up to address Merrell, folding his arms atop his bent knees. His vivid eyes turn up, looking between them and then politely away, back towards the altar.

Waiting until Greje has finished, the Snipe simply nods to the woman with her address. "I just wanted to meet you, Sister. Robin Merrell," she introduces. "I'm fairly new aboard in the last week and have been busy. Regretably the ceremony the other night was my first time here for anything other than simple prayers. I also wanted to apologize for leaving early. I've had a lot on my mind." She gives the Priestling a half-smile but there's some gravity behind her words. Concern that still lingers in her eyes. "But I will come find you later when you do not have company. Pardon my interruption."

Karthasi lets go of the wool-wound rod with one hand, sliding it along her wrist and turning to offer it down to Stavrian in case he wishes to take up the mantle of suppliant, there, at the hearth of the Lords. She presses up onto her toes, meanwhile, working some of the stiffness out of her legs and trying not to fall down as she does so. "It's quite alright, Robin," she keeps her voice low and mild almost to the point of shyness, syllables clipped with a crisp Caprican accent. "I -am- sorry that your first rite was so… aberrant," she euphemizes gently. "Please do," she adds, "Not — to say you're interrupting. But my office is always open. Do come by, and we can share some tea. And talk. If you don't feel comfortable talking here. It's a little more private upstairs."

Stavrian hehs. "I seem to be the one connection between everyone fleeing from this place tonight." A hair self-conscious, perhaps. He looks at the rod being offered and after a moment shakes his head, tilting it towards the hatch. "I'll come back in a little while and take it up, Sister. Chief." A nod to the woman. "Gods bless." Standing up, carefully, he steps back from the two and starts for the hatch.

The filthy-looking Chief nods respectfully. There's a turn of her eyes with the sound of Greje's voice but also something a little curious to the edge of her expression. She shakes her head at the words, though. "No, Sister. Please, its quite alright. While the situation is less than ideal-" that's one way to put it "-it happened. It was not the fault of anyone. But yes, I'll definitely want to speak to you when there is time. Privately." When Stavrian rises, she lifts a dirty palm as if to stop him. "No, sir. Its I who am interrupting. You don't need to.." Her voice trails as she looks back to Greje. "I'm sorry, Sister." The apology is genuine.

"I'm certain that's not the case, Jesse," Greje offers in her characteristically meek fashion, trying to assure him, but not sounding overly assuring in doing so. "As you wish — and walk you in their ways, I will be here the better part of this next shift," she offers back to him. "It's quite alright, Robin," she adds, to the other. "We will talk whensoever you like," she offers, holding the rod in one hand, now, like a sceptre at her side. "I am going to go sit and ice my knee for a little while, if you'd like to come and sit with me," she offers, looking over toward the far starboard wall where a little bucket full of chilled packs sits waiting in a shadowy crook. Yes, she came prepared, as if to a pyramid match.

Stavrian has already withdrawn hands to pockets, silence following in his wake as he makes his way out into the hall. Expensive commodity, words, and if he had any more to say they're kept to himself for now.

Stavrian heads through the exit labeled <O> Out.
Stavrian has left.

The little Chief nods, her own body language timid here. She glances to the alter and she's suddenly conscious of how she looks again. Eyes drift down over her coveralls before she looks back up to Greje. To her offer, Robin nods. "I would very much like that." Her Taurian accent only mildly comes out through her hushed tone. Seeing Stavrian leave, though, she still looks apologetic. "Again, my apologies. I, uh..wanted to talk to you about a few things that have been on my mind. Things that are unsettling me and I'm having a hard time resolving. Normally I don't need to consult as prayer has helped me immensely but?" It can't fix everything. Sometimes you just need someone to talk to. Merrell lets the Sister lead the way over to the bucket, avoiding the alter.

Robin seems a good deal more conscious of her own appearance than Greje does of the snipe's manner of dress and accompanying spatters of what-not. But, then, she's recently been chest-deep inside a cow, so messiness can't bother her that much. She does hobble a bit on her way to the pew, finally turning and propping the suppliant's staff against the wall, settling down and reachind even further down for an ice pack, resting it over a knee with a glottal sigh. "Quite alright," she reiterates. "Come, sit… tell me what might be bothering you."

"Thank you." Robin takes a seat and a long breath. "Uhm. Well, I'm a Section Chief in Engineering. I've seen a lot of crazy things in nearly twenty years in the Navy. Sometimes you can't explain what happened or why. But I had a woman arrested - a contractor - some days ago. Very suspicious circumstances. We ended up searching the area where I found her wandering to figure out where she had been. And what we found really..well, I'm losing sleep sister. I can't make heads or tails of it and I'm pretty sure it has religious connotations but I'm at a loss." Her eyes fall away, unsure if she should even continue.

"Do you mean… Miss Tuata?" Greje asks quietly, holding the pack to her knee as she stretches out her leg in front of her. "I went to see her in the brig before she passed away," she adds, musefully, voice sounding light and distant. "What did you find, Robin?" she wonders, encouraging the young woman to go on.

Merrell's head lifts when the name is mentioned. There's a look of surprise on her face, followed by incredulity at the mention of her death. "She's -dead-?" The woman's eyes are wide but her voice remains quiet. Slowly they fall away and she swallows hard. "Uhm, right. Well." A long breath and her hands fold in her lap. "We found the place she had been and she had drawn a bunch of stuff in grease. One of my Snipes said that he thought it might be religious and I agree. But she had drawn this picture over the exact spot on the structure. Like, the -exact- spot where the structural supports were breaking. Hairline fissures had occured under the dried material and caused the picture to crack apart from underneath. It prompted us to check the structures in other airlocks and found four of them that had this problem. It could have potentially killed a lot of people. I don't know whether she saved lives for sure, but its very possible. Annnnd I don't know how to rectify this. How could she have known?"

"Ah — " Greje hesitates, "I'm sorry; yes, she's passed, I'm afraid," she gives the news, a little abashed. "Wasn't she an engineer?" she brings up, "Perhaps she saw some clue that she only processed subconsciously… which… hm," Greje pauses. "The picture, did it happen to have a serpent in it? Or a nest full of sparrows?" she wonders.

"She was kind of an engineer, yes. She reprogrammed part of our backup reactor which, may or may not be shocking, was completely legitimate and done correctly. But knowing how to reprogram a reactor and being a structural engineer are very very different. I've spent most of my life trying to master one and the other is still coming to me slowly. For her age?" She shakes her head. This isn't sitting well with her at all and its obvious. But Greje's last words bring her head up with a jerk. "How did you know that?" she asks breathlessly. "It was a picture of a sparrow. With.. with an X next to it." Merrell stares at Greje, dumbfounded.

"Sometimes chance has as much to do with it as skill," Greje points out quietly. "Something happens to strike one which doesn't strike another. You can't begrudge it her; yield honors to the deceased," she reminds Robin. "An X," she considers, then smiles. An actual smile. "The tenth sparrow," she realizes. "She was telling me about a dream she'd had," she explains. "She took an image from the dream for her painting."

Merrell nods. "I know, Sister. I don't speak ill of her. But I just don't know how its even possible. She was never assigned to the area that I know of. She had exactly thirteen minutes to do it where she had disappeared from cameras. It would have taken her about five minutes just to get to the airlocks where we found this drawing. And the place is hidden. Like, she would have had to have known this fault was there before it even appeared and gone directly to it in order to make the drawing." Nothing seems to settle the mind of Robin. But she looks back to Greje. "Fly, fly away. Is this dream good or bad? The one she told you about?" The SCPO doesn't even sound like she wants to know.

Alexander arrives from the Deck 9.
Alexander has arrived.

Karthasi considers the question in light of the new information. She's sitting over by the starboard wall, Merrell next to her as she ices down her knee with an ice pack, looking just a little weary even as she smiles. "The dream instructed her to save the tenth sparrow," she answers, low-voiced. "And it seems that, after all, she has," she looks up and to the side, to Robin's eyes. "Seems to have been quite a good dream, in the end."

Merrell settles back in the seat and looks at Greje. "Save the tenth sparrow." She blinks and looks away, eyes falling absently to the floor. "So why didn't she just come clean? Tell us? We could have fixed the problem." With a discontented sigh, the woman appears to be second-guessing herself. "I shouldn't have had her arrested. I don't know how any of this is even possible, though. It doesn't make sense. Would the Gods have guided her fate to that? Shown her this to save lives?"

The hatchway opens and inside walks an odd sight, a civilian and a famous one at the for those in the know. Alexander Aurelia closes the hatchway door behind him and then he closes his eyes perhaps to offer a silent moment of prayer. A moment after this the actor is making his way into the open area and he stops in the center for a moment as if to soak in this new sight since he has never seen the Chapel of a Battlestar before and when he is done soaking things in his attention turns to the two people sitting on the floor. "I'm not interupting anything am I?" Alexander says to both Merrel and Karthasi.

"Tell you what, precisely?" Greje lifts both eyebrows, "That she had had a dream and there was something the matter with the ship?" she goes on, sounding a little incredulous. "In all honesty, I don't think she even knew what the dream meant. But if some portion of her understood it more than her waking self understood it, then — yes, she may have been drawn to the place. Just as when the Pythia gives up control of her body to the base of her core for the God to inhabit and speak through her," she reasons. "It is not an unheard of phenomenon. She seemed to believe that Aphrodite was acting through her, in a display of kindliness to mankind. We ought to set up offerings of thanks — giving — " Greje trails off to tilt her head in a most peculiar fashion and stare at the guy who just walked into her chapel. Is that — ? No, that doesn't make any sense. Yes, she's still just sort of staring in silence.

Merrell shakes her head. "I suppose. But if someone told me they knew of something structurally wrong with the ship then its my job to investigate it." She's still not looking up. Those blank eyes just stare at the floor. "But I guess yeah, if she was? Then it truly is a blessing. And she thought we were going to kill her. I'd have liked to thank her." The last two lines are nearly whispered. Her gaze then lifts to Greje. "I would like to set up some offerings as well. It very likely could have killed me or my people." The man entering the room doesn't even get a shocked expression from the short SCPO. "I'm just discussing some concerns with the Sister." Zero recognition.

Alexander looks first at the Karthasi, "Ah, a Sister." There is a moment where the man lowers his head a in reverence, "Hello, sister. I'm Alexander Aurelia." He then looks at Merrell, "And I'm sorry for interupting. Perhaps, I could take a seat and center myself quietly unti you are both done? I have questions for, well, everyone really. This is my first time on a Battlestar and I must say I am not left disappointed." The man's voice is calm, practiced, and utterly smooth as is his demeanor which is completely calm and relaxed.

Karthasi did a lot of drugs in seminary. Most of them for class. And for a long moment she looks uncertain as to whether she's having one of those hallucinations they'd warned her might crop up years later. "A — beh — ghh — hh — " she kind of makes noises in her mouth without making words quite go. "Uh. I mean," she tries to bring herself back to reality, lifting the ice pack to her forehead and closing her eyes. "Yes; why don't you head into the back, there is some incense, there. Feel free to leave your devotions; I will sanctify them upon my return. And please," she tells the guy, who — well, of the weird things she's seen over the last couple of days, is, granted, not the weirdest, but is looking to be the straw that broke this camel's weird-o-meter, "Do stay. Make yourself at home. I will return shortly," she lifts herself from her seat, "Your pardon," she bows slightly to the two as she retreats, perhaps off to tend to some call of nature.

"Its a Battlestar. Privacy doesn't exist," Merrell says drily. Her eyes stay focused on the man, the name making zero impression on her. There's a glance to Greje as the woman fumbles and the SCPO's brow furrows. "Thank you for the time, Sister. I'll leave my offerings as instructed. Go with the Gods." She only nods further to the woman's departure. A thoughtful expression falls over her in the ensuing silence before she looks back to Alexander. "Why would you want to ask me questions? Are you part of that Quorum Delegation?"

Karthasi has disconnected.

Alexander again nods his head to the retreating Sister and he isn't sure if he should be amused or concerned. Instead of worrying about the Sister he turns and listens to Merrell whose word are turned into a mental note. "I am loosely a part of it yes, I am here as a Goodwill Ambassador and I am hear to do research for my next role. So, I am here to interview crew members to learn what it means to be a member of the Fleet." Alexander responds to Merrell and he looks pretty happy at the prospect of meeting someone who knows nothing about him since it is a rare occasion when something like this happens.

"A 'Goodwill Ambassador'," she repeats. The Senior Chief is pretty filthy and it becomes apparent when she emerges from the dark shadows on the side. Her face is smudged in grease and carbon and her coveralls don't look any better. "What do you mean? You're hear to learn about Battlestar crews? Why?" She seems suspicious of the guy, her arms folding across her chest.

Alexander makes a mental note of the grease and smudges as he takes a mental picture of the woman in front of him, this is part of his research. "A Goodwill Ambassador, believe it or not I'm a very famous actor and so I am here to improve morale for a while." The Caprican actor squats in order to get a better look at Merrell so that he can study her face a bit better and so that he is on eye level. He rests his arms on his knees, "As to why I am here?" He barely thinks about his response as it comes out clearly and effortlessly, "I am here to learn about Battlestar crews and life here because I will be in a movie about the Fleet and I refuse to take on a role until I have researched it thoroughly. I want to understand what it means to serve the fleet so I can express this on screen. Otherwise, I might misrepresent all of the hard working men and women of the fleet."

Merrell seems unimpressed even still. Potentially even disbelieving. "So you just want to figure us out and encapsulate us for the screen? I never saw it but I heard about someone else who did the same thing and it ended up being some sort of rip-apart movie that made the Fleet and Marines look like a bunch of murdering scumbags. I think it was set during the Kildare Quake. So, sorry if I don't exactly think everyone who is supposed to be here on a Goodwill Mission is exactly truthful. I haven't seen a movie in almost a decade because I saw too much trash out there and I sorta don't respect most movie stars. Especially the ones that like to claim to dedicate their lives to causes." She slowly rises from her seat and stuffs her hands into her pockets.

Alexander listens to the woman and he notes her dislike of movie stars and he simply officers to Merrell, "This movie is being made with full support of the Fleet. I can't say much other than this movie does not paint a negative picture of the fleet at all." There is a brief pause and after that a thoughtful, "Though I am sure these all sound like words to you since words like these mean nothing until the final product is revealed." The actor is reflective as he says this to Merrell though he leaves her to her own opinion. As Merrell stands so does Alexander and his body language is utterly neutral.

"Yeah. Exactly. I'm a Senior Chief that means I'm more or less used to hearing all sorts of things. Excuses, promises, sworn statements. The only thing that matters to me is the actions that people take. They define who we are. They also help me make decisions about who I can trust when I need someone to watch my back in dangerous situations." Merrell just stares up at him. "This movie may be made with the full support of the fleet, but they ain't perfect. Supposedly this delegation has the full support of the fleet. More like this delegation has the fleet by the.." The woman looks read to spit some rather acidic words when she catches herself. Eyes close and she casts a glance to the alter. Eyes close and she looks back to Alexander. "Apologies. This is a chapel, not a bar."

Alexander oddly understands the rank Senior Chief quiet well since he played an army sniper in a before that showed the army in the highest of lights and for that role he studied rank for every branch of Military Service. "I see, Chief." He says to Merrell, "I agree with you that it is our actions that are more important at the end of the day. I agree with everything you have said and you and I have just met so perhaps our actions toward each other will somehow bring us to trust each other or they will let us be indifferent toward each other. Though, I thank you for sharing your thought with me." Alexander gets that thoughtful look again, "I can't say much about the rest of QUODEL as I have not been formally introduced yet.' Then when Merrell makes an apology Aleander shakes his head, "Ah, you do not have to apoloize to me and possibly not the Lords as I suspect that they have heard worse in their time. The Lords know the true intentions of QUODEL I suspect and will deal with them either by lifting them up for good actions or knocking them down so that they may become humble for their misdeeds."

"Somehow I don't think I'm going to be trusting you that easily. It takes a lot. You want to prove you are worth of trust on a combat vessel like this, you learn what you can about your environment. There's twenty thousand ways to die in Engineering alone and I'm sure the Corps can provide another twenty grand. At the end of the day though, how you act in an emergency will dictate whether or not you're worthy." Merrell crosses her arms, dark eyes staring at him. "Learn firefighting skills. Nobody runs from a fire on a Battlestar. Ever. People have accidents but a fire can kill a whole ship." To his remarks about the Gods, she shakes her head. "The point is respect. They may have heard worse but it won't be from me."

More mental notes are made by the Caprican actor as he listens to Merrell, she might not trust him but she is giving him information from a new perspective and it is from someone who doesn't know who he is from Zeus himself. "Fair enough, like you said, trust is something to be earned and not simply given." Alexander also makes a note, "Firefighting skills. Ah, yes, fire burns oxygen which in turn needs more oxygen were a critical system to be hit the entire ship would be harmed." Alexander asks in all seriousness, "Where might I go about learning those skills and who should I talk to here about that?" It wold seem that Alexander means serious business as his question is asked in all humility, no job too big or too small. Alexander adds to Merrell, "Ah, respect for the Lords is a good thing."

"Its not so much that fire damages systems. That's a no-brainer." Merrell's voice hasn't lost that edge to it. "You can repair systems. The heat is the problem. Heat weakens structural supports and when you've got an air-tight ship like this that has to potentially take a beating in combat, the last thing you want to do is have to worry about structural collapse from a previous fire." To his question, she shrugs. "Should have asked before you came aboard. They probably would have sent you to basic for a some focused training. But on here? I would see the Deck Chief. If he can't help you, then I don't know. Find someone with free time - if that person exists."

Alexander listens to Merrell as he continues to make mental notes to himself about what is important about suppressing a fire and why. "The Deck Chief, huh?" He begins to think of ways to meet up with the Deck Chief or even finding the Deck Chief since he has just recently arrived on the Cerberus. "What is the Deck Chief's name?" Alexander asks Merrell, "So I can find him."

"I think his name is Atreus. You'll have to ask around, though. You people aren't allowed down on the Hangar Deck - which is probably where the man lives. Beyond that, I can't help you." Merrell's eyes stares at him a few more seconds longer before she moves to step around him. "Anyhow, good luck with..whatever you are making. I'm sure it will make you even more rich to buy some more of those snazy cowboy boots." She gives him a smiple wave and moves off for the hatch.

Alexander waves the mystery Chief off, "I hope to see you again." He says to Merrell, "And if you like the boots I can introduce you to the woman who made them. It is all done by hand." Alex tilts his head and then says in grateful honesty, "And thank you for sharing your insights with me."

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