BCH #006: Giving Thanks
Giving Thanks
Summary: Greje recalls Aphrodite's exploits in Troy.
Date: 2-20-41
Related Logs: Any Niree Tuata
Stavrian Petroski Naevi Karthasi 

The lights in the chapel have been dimmed to a lulling twilight, the altar cleared of its normal collection of icons and a sacred image of the Goddess Aphrodite in the form of a rude shape chiselled from a chunk of black rock with silvery streaks in it has been installed on a small altar-top tripod to oversee the proceedings, a braided candle lighting up the lady from beneath with three waving flames on three wicks licking at one another. Two rope swings have been installed on the ceiling for the upcoming Anthesteria by some enterprising Engineers, but they've been swept to each side and attached to the walls to keep them out of the way of the evening's ceremony. The Chaplain's aide has been tasked with handing out candles to those crossing the chapel boundary into the observation of the thanksgiving, while Greje herself is tending the loose incense burning on the coals in the brazier of the tripod, filling the space with a dusky, sweet scent that evokes the presence of the Lady.

Stavrian is neither the first nor the last to arrive, but the medic's a few minutes early for the ceremony. Still in forward duty fatigues from the workday, the top button of the camo jacket is undone, not quite casual but enough to mark him as 'off-duty' for the time being. Hands folded behind him, he slips into the chapel behind two other people and makes his way to one of the benches, sitting down with just a mild creaking of the wood. Once seated he lets himself look up and around, taking in the work being done in here.

Petroski's not usually the kind of man who is in the habit of using an moment like this as a chance to get his face seen but has set aside such qualms as using a religious event as a press opportunity for this one time - depending on if the press will be in attendence, of course. He has cleaned himself up some, his suit pressed and shoes shined, and the silver talisman is worn openly, the silver pendant resting just at the middle of his breastbone. Looking around after ducking in, he steps off to the side, simply observing silently.

Naevi wouldn't imagine herself showing up to something like this, but it seems she's here all the same. She clears her throat a little as she steps through the hatch, rubbing her upper arms with her hands as though she might be cold. For the moment she lingers near the back, waiting for somebody else to do something … to follow their lead.

Votive candle, yes. Stavrian has one of those in hand, resting on his knee now. He wasn't shy about taking a seat, eyes up along the walls now and looking at the swings attached up there. His nostrils flare slightly as he becomes aware of the incense, and it's then that he looks towards the altar.

"Hmm…oh, thank you." Danny manages a smile at the aide upon receiving the candle, the item then lifted and looked at curiously. The inspection lasts a while before he remembers himself and he too takes to a seat, placing himself behind Jesse and just a bit to his left, their positions staggered.

Karthasi pushes at the coals again, making the light flare red under the stone image and then subside again. Her trustful aide has been keeping note of the time, and, as the ceremony is scheduled to begin, she sets the poker down along the back edge of the altar with both hands, lowering her head and stepping back, then to the side, then walking toward the front of the altar. "We come to this place with purity of spirit, with integrity of intent, and with correctness of right-action," she blesses the crowd into the ritual action, eliciting the call, 'SIGE,' the call to maintain the sacred silence, from the aide at the entryway. "We come here to give thanks to the Kindly One, the Cytheraean Lady Born from the Sea-Foam, Golden-Girdled Aphrodite," she begins.

Stavrian's eyes have drifted to the back of the bench in front of him, looking at some point in space between him and it. The sound behind him makes him blink slowly as his focus returns to the inside of the holy place, and he chances a glance over his shoulder. There's those startlingly light blue eyes and their black lashes, which spot Petroski and get a tic of a half-smile out of him. Then his head turns back to the altar and his back straightens when the chaplain begins to intone.

Naevi moves forward a little bit with her candle, settling down and keeping her mouth shut as she watches the proceedings. She turns her head slightly to take in the others who've shown up, not recognizing any faces as she turns back to the chaplain.

Petroski makes with a sign of respect, head bowing while the talisman is lifted to his lips and kissed, the small piece of metal has been etched to represent Hera, not Aphrodite, making him pray silently that she'll understand regardless and not strike him dead as a means of making an example of him. He glances up briefly, just in time to catch Jesse's own quick look back, he too quirking a hurried smile.

Stavrian lowers his eyes, looking down somewhere near the feet of the black rock Goddess up front, then down at his own hands that fold around the small candle. Come to give thanks. He murmurs along with the prayer in parts here and there, so far under his breath that it can't really be heard.

"We all know," Greje continues, "The sweetnesseses which are the Goddess' gift to mankind. Things beautiful and dappled, things kind and soft, things burning with a need that drives us like cattle over the lands under the sting of the most delicious gadfly." A pause, eyes lowered slightly as she slides into something like a sermon. "But in our most sacred scriptures we read of gifts even greater than these which are in the Lady's power to give. We read of her most devoted disciple, of Paris, who chose Aphrodite above all other Lords and Ladies of Olympus, delighting in the rosy touch of love beyond the golden rings of wealth and the iron fist of strength of the field of battle. And not only unto Paris did Aphrodite grant the most supreme pleasure it befitted any mortal man to touch, but in defense of him she herself stepped onto the field of battle, suffered wounds at the hands of mortal men who chose prestige in warfare under Athena over the Laughing Lady's charms… she stepped herself upon the ringing plains of windy Troy, and saved her own from death, wrapping him in a cloud of mist and carrying him back into the arms of Helen, leaving his foe once more without a foe."

Naevi tilts her head to one side as she listens, her face a mask of interest as she thumbs at the base of her candle subconsciously. Once more she casts her gaze around the room, taking in those present … trying to imagine just who they are and what they do, perhaps?

Stavrian keeps his shoulders straight but eyes down as Karthasi begins the 'sermon'. If there's anything in them it's well hidden. His fingers turn the candle around in his hands, full circle to the left and then back to the right, then it stills.

The only motion that comes from Daniel is a slow, measured nodding of his head; Greje is touching upon 'stories' he heard as a child, their familiarity a comfort to him if the soft smile he bears is any indication. Those here are all but forgotten, only the Sister standing out for now.

"We come here tonight in remembrance of the Lady's shielding hands, and in remembrance of Niree Tuata, who sang the Golden-Girdled Goddess' praises," Greje comes to the meat of the matter, "To whom the Paphian in return sent her sacred birds, the sparrows who draw her chariot through the skies, to lead her to a danger to herself and to the crew and passengers of Cerberus; to warn her, and through her singer's actions to once more spread her hands in saving grace over her people. Niree is passed. Let her action here be remembered, and given cult in conjunction with the Laughter-Loving Goddess, who gives sweet things to man, whose honours lie in the tumescence of the genital organs, in whose numen we find the remnants of immortality lost: the generation and regeneration of life through Her holy union. Through her we have escaped death once more. She has our hearts; she has our thanks. So say we all."

"So say we all," murmurs Naevi to herself, eyes downcast and staring at the candle she holds for the time being. She keeps her shoulders hunched, sparing a moment to lift a hand and draw a loose strand of hair from her face.

As the murmurs go up around him, responding to Greje's call, Stavrian is silent. The two officers next to him are on the 'all' before he echoes back himself, "So say we all."

Petroski murmurs quietly, "So say we all," his head still bowed, chin just about touching his chest. He waits for others to complete the prayer on their own end before looking up, his head raising just a few inches, his gaze lingering upon the woman standing before those sitting.

Karthasi swallows, once, lips dry from speaking. "You are all invited to approach the altar and say a personal thanksgiving to the Lady; to light a candle in Niree's memory and to leave it for the Lady and her singer," she finishes up, stepping backward again to take up a post by the back corner of the altar, in case she's needed for anything during the procession of people past the altar as folk begin to stand and shuffle into a somber, tidy line.

The bench around Stavrian starts to creak as people stand and inch their ways to the ends, headed for the altar with their candles. The JG himself stays still for quite a while before standing up himself, candle wrapped in hand. He edges out to join the line headed for the black rock statue and the priestess, his back a little stiff.

Daniel stands and he also begins to scoot close, falling into the line, his fingers curled tightly about the small, waxen item he has had on his person since he arrived here. Whether he has anything to say or not is left up to guess but it's probably safe to assume he doesn't, the normally verbose man anything but.

Naevi waits in the line as well, patiently holding her candle and keeping her eyes on the floor for the moment. As she nears the altar, however, she looks up and lights the candle before placing it in an empty space. She takes a few moments to offer some words, "Thank you. For what you've done … and look after them." The last part is quieter, not meant for other ears, and soon after she moves to step away from the altar.

Karthasi doesn't interrupt the flow of the line, her head slightly bowed to watch the transfer of flames from the candle before the black rock of goddess to the votive candles as they're lit, each lighting in turn bringing out a soft flurry of words under the priestling's breath and a subtle motion of three fingers on her right hand as she devotes the devotions in the proper fashion, tirelessly, one after another, not stumbling on a single syllable.

Stavrian steps up past one of the aides, setting his candle into a spot. He doesn't look at anyone, picking up a match and murmuring under his breath. "Hail, goddess, queen of well-built Salamis and sea-girt Kypros." The match makes a scratchy sound before it strikes into flame. "Thank you, Lady Aphrodite, for your blessings. May my path honor you." Flame held to the wick, it starts to burn and he lifts the match to blow it out. The small flame on the white candle itself then flickers…and dies in a whiff of smoke. Oops.

Petroski catches the candle's lack of cooperation and he has to cough to cover up a laugh, his eyes squinting as he scrunches his face. "Hopefully that's not a bad omen," he teases Jesse lightly although the other man might miss his joke for how low he keeps his voice, Danny trying to keep his volume at a respectful level at all times.

Karthasi is midway through her usual murmur before the fire goes out and the dedication sort of dies on her lips, pale green eyes flicking upward to the candleholder's face, catching a glimpse of the moment after the happening, closing her mouth ans swallowing once before, encouragingly, "Try it again," she whispers, lowering her eyes again.

"Heh. Yeah." Stavrian gives Petroski a passing smile that's not even close to real. At Greje's instruction he picks up a new match, clearing his throat softly as he lights it and shields it with his hand. Touched back to the wick he holds it there, for a little longer than might be necessary, his jaw very slightly tight. Up comes fire on the wick, obedient until the JG's again blown out the match…and then, again, it dies out cold.

"Here, try this one," Petroski says while hurrying to hold his out, his expression now a bit worried. Is he superstitious? Most likely but he does try to keep whatever worry he might be feeling at bay, his expression the same calm, partially-amused it almost always is. While waiting for Stavrian to accept or deny his offer, Daniel looks around, nodding to Greje and Naevi both, each woman given a roguish wink.

Karthasi waited, that time, and was just taking in a breath to begin the consecration script when— oh. Reddening slightly, though it's harrd to tell in the already red light of the brazier, Greje looks to Naevi for a moment, then Petroski, then to a temple attendant who happens to be by, "Let's try another candle," she suggests, Caprican tones clipped and mild as usual to cover over anything she might be feeling at the moment, and just loud enough to get the message across to the young lady she's looking at when she says it, who goes to fetch another. She turns her head to look to Petroski again as he speaks up, giving him a look of gratitude which is only a little tinged with hesitation at the… rougishness involved. She doesn't get a lot of that, and, even under Aphrodite's auspices, it's a little startling. But there are more important issues at hand, by miles, and she takes two other votives handed off to her in hand, keeping them, for now… just in case. Though one of them will certainly be slated for Petroski, having given his so kindly up. "It's alright, Jesse. These things sometimes happen. We can meet later to discuss it, if you have concerns," she offers to him, voice kind but professional.

Stavrian misses the winking and the blushing and whatnot. His eyes are fixed on that stubborn candle, and there's a slight tension in his shoulders, pulse beating soft and rapid at the side of his neck. He looks up at the statue and then just as quickly back down, clearing his throat. "No, it's um…it's fine. Mr. Petroski. Go ahead with yours." A shrug to Greje, overly casual. "Things happen."

Karthasi holds out one of the ones handed off by the attendant, as Stavrian decides not to accept Petroski's offer, in case he wants to try again, but doesn't force it on him, in case he's had enough of attempting it for one evening.

Petroski does the sneaky thing once the offer is refused, that being lighting the candle off of another that has already been placed upon the alter, the wick catching aflame easily. "It's just a defect," he coos to Jesse and the Sister alike, nodding as if re-affirming the statement at the exact time he speaks. "Happens from time to time with items that are mass-produced." Setting the votive on the alter, he mouths a prayer, one that lasts for a while.

"Mmmhmm." Stavrian looks up again without moving his head, blue eyes watching Aphrodite's black rock statue from under his dark brows. It's a quick look, as though some part of him were half expecting a pair of real eyes to be glaring back at him. Of course, there's nothing but rock and his expression's impossible to read. Taking a step back from the altar, he folds his arms and waits for the consecration.

Karthasi looks up to Jesse's blues again, bright as they are in the dark, but, then, the next candle is lit, and she takes a cleansing breath, setting down the spares along the back of the always with the poker, lifting her hand, bowing her head and returning to her appointed task, whispering the devotions.

Reaching out, Daniel seeks to pat Stavrian on the shoulder, his way of comforting. "Don't worry, Jesse. I'm sure you'll wake up in the morning, just as hands…" Catching himself, he darts a hasty look towards Greje, his face a tad warm. "…blessed as you were when you woke up today." Cough. Boy, that is embarrassing and is enough so to cause the unflappable to become fairly well-flapped, giving him enough cause to return to his pew.

Naevi stands away from the altar, arms crossed over her chest as though she's uncertain what to do with herself in situations such as this. She watches the slight commotion with the candles before clearing her throat and turning about on her heels, making for the hatchway in silence.

Karthasi doesn't seem to have heard the slip, or, if she did, she doesn't take any particular exception to it. She keeps on her devotions as more people come filing past.

Stavrian's shoulder twitches up when it's touched. Daniel's bizarre attempt at verbal comfort earn him a mild glance and he steps back again until his legs hit pew, sitting down. "She gives kindly gifts to men," he murmurs under his breath, only loud enough for himself to hear, recited by rote. "Smiles are ever on her lovely face, and lovely is the brightness that plays over it…" On the prayer goes, for the benefit of the air an inch in front of him.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License