PHD #076: How Divinity Is Tended
How Divinity Is Tended
Summary: Souls seeks solace in the chapel to pray for those down on Leonis. Whether they find it is open to question.
Date: 13 May 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Cidra Karthasi Marko 
Chapel - Deck 9 - Battlestar Cerberus
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.
Post-Holocaust Day: #76

Cidra is up at the altars, clad in her off-duties, asking her quiet blessings to the Lords. She has spent much time here since the Leonis personnel missed their date to return to the battlestar. Not that she isn't a regular in the chapel, but her visits were more quiet things of late. Since the events of the Cylon boarding, and the death of the Priestess Noelani, one might note. She's already made her offerings to the altars of Apollo and Hermes. And Athena, of course. Always the Owl Goddess. But it's not Athena she lingers by tonight. She's currently parked by the hearth of Hestia, head bowed low, murmuring soft under her breath in a language that is definitely not Colonial Standard.

Karthasi has taken up her now usual post— the one she assumes when things are looking particularly bad for the remnants of humanity, and especially when some of said remnants are out risking life and limb on a dangerous mission. The olive branch wrapped up in raw-looking pulled wool is in both her hands, the symbol of the suppliant, and she kneels in sleepless fasting by the altar, drinking only the water the temple attendants bring her, enough to keep her lips moist for the silent progression of prayers they're running through in rhythmic, repetitive motions, her eyes open but vacant, as if in a deep meditation, until she comes to the end of the cycle and leans just slightly forward, resting her forehead upon the cool of the altar.

Cidra finishes her prayer in due time, bowing her head to the Goddess of Hearth and Home in reverence before standing. Cloudy blue gaze goes to Karthasi. Silently observing the priestess before. After some consideration, and when it's clear the other woman's cycle of prayers has ended, the approaches. "May I get you some more water, Sister?" she offers softly.

Karthasi's pale green eyes open, and one rises toward Cidra, the priest's chin barely moving with the shift of focus. Her eye is dark…not just underneath, but all 'round, as if someone had punched her. It's been a long few months, and this new bout of sleeplessness isn't helping, as the days tick by without the team's return. Dried lips still a little bit open, she does kind of wobble her head against the altar in an affirmative, ending up nuzzling the altar with her forehead, a gesture which might have been adorable if it were motivated more by affection than exhaustion. "Thank you, Cidra," the words whistle windily from her lips.

Cidra bows her head again and strides away to find a pitcher of water, and a bowl to fill it with. It doesn't take her particularly long to return. She sets the bowl before the priestess but does not immediately rise when she bends to do so. Instead, she kneels again and asks, tone still very soft, "Have you seen anything for them? Our people?"

Karthasi bends. She's a bendy creature, this priest, sort of like an umbrella— too tall to seem particularly compact until she simply folds in on herself, tucking the olive branch flat to her pelvis as she bends over it, still clinging to the sacred twig, and touches her lips to the surface of the water in the bowl for a moment, murmuring, "Hoof of the horse makes ripples in the water, the spheres of sound to which Apollo leads all muses in the dance," there, into the water, before she drinks. "I don't. Think. That they will have any problem finding Anagke," she goes on, pronouncing the word with the nasalized consonant cluster rather than the full-on nasalization of 'ananke.' A subtle difference, but present. "Even those who don't go looking for her will find her in their time."

Marko arrives from the Deck 9.

"The Fates come for us all…" Cidra murmurs. She sounds more resigned to them than anything else, for her part. "And what do the Fates hold for us all, I wonder. I look for a reason, Sister. That we survived when so many did not. I look for omens everywhere. I think I imagine the ones I see. I never had the gift of the Oracles. My mother had hoped once I might but…she hoped for me many things I did not live up to."

"From laughter and unthinkable dust— with surpreme -unreason- comes everything that is," Greje pronounces the words somehow disjointedly. An oracle? Or simply the rantings of a sleep-deprived priest? Some would argue that the two are one and the same. "The cords of the fates are wound so as to never be unbraided. Choose a reason from infinity, pull, and watch the universe run," she goes on, rolling her head backward and back around to the front, bending once more to place her lips below the level of the water in the bowl and drink.

Cidra is knelt before Karthasi, watching the priestess drink and rant. What she's getting from it is hard to discern, but she does not move. Perhaps searching for something in the midst of those disjointed words. "I wonder if I have failed them, Sister. I knew they were going into grave danger but I did not…I wonder sometimes if I have just become Ares' vulture. Leading my pilots from the skies and down to the field for carrion. Is that what is left for us now?"

Marko enters the Chapel as quietly as possible, pausing inside to let his eyes adjust to the light. Not spotting Cidra and Karthasi in the dim light, or at least, not yet, he finds an altar along the back and fishes a simple candle from the hip pocket of his BDU pants. "Lords of Kobol…" he begins, then pauses, taking a breath, then blowing it out frustratedly. "My name is Marcus Aemillius Scaurus." he adds. "I'm the son of Lyka Scaurus, a priestess at the Temple of Aphrodite back in Delphi. You probably remember her. She was the kind of crazy one." he adds, with a little smile.

"Ares is strong in us," Greje goes on, finding a pillow of her knee, heck twisted to the side as her tired eyes regard the wavering reflection of Cidra in the water as the light reflecting from the woman's face turns into shapes and figures. "And he will take what -he- will give. But he begets only himself, Cidra. Do you feel it there? In your loins? The sowing of dragonseed?" she bibbles on, words sounding an odd combination of weary and lucid. "Is it you? Are you the god?"

"No…" Cidra says, softly but fervently. A little shake of her head at Karthasi. "No, I'll not become that…" It's likely as much a denial of the thoughts in her own head as anything the priestess is babbling, really. The sound of another voice makes her turn her head. Blinking at the sight of Marko.

The murmur of conversation catches his ear and the young ECO turns to spot Cidra and Karthasi deep in consultations of the deep any mysterious sort. "Though, these days…" he adds, sighing a little. "Sanity's become kind of a relative thing." he adds, nodding sagely. "So, look, I'm just going to put it to you straight." he says. "There's someone down there on Leonis that I care very deeply about. I mean, I care about all of them, they're my friends. But Lunair's special to me. Now, I've got a rough plan for how to get them back. I won't presume to bore you with the technical details. But I'm kind of at my wits' end as to the specifics of the matter. So if any of you could see your way clear to helping me out, I'll make a fine sacrifice in your name, or all your names, or none of your names, as you prefer it." he explains simply.

"Ares has his place. It is not for us to deny a god his due honors," Greje reminds Cidra in a more coherent-sounding murmur. "If he is with you, he is with you. Be open to him. But we know better than anyone what he brings in his wake. The satisfaction he brings bears a heavy cost. Those who house the god in themselves are learning that again, right now."

Cidra nods, a little abashed, but still clearly afraid of embracing this. "Some days I am afraid that Ares' vulture field is all that awaits me, Sister. Awaits us. If that is the path the stars laid for me I am very poorly made for it. I must believe there is more or I shall go mad…" Her own tone is kept very soft. And she tries not to eavesdrop overmuch on Marko's prayers. Though some of it does carry. For some reason, it heartens her a little.

"Anyway, that's all I had to say." Marko concludes, nodding to the candle politely. "The offer stands, Lords." he adds. "Until such time as either I make a breakthrough on my own or …" his voice trails off as his breath catches in his throat. "Well…the other's up to Fate, I guess." he sighs. "Please tell my father that I'm sorry I didn't do more for him and his problems." he says. "And tell my mother I said thank you for her sacrifice….and that I'm not angry at her anymore."

"We will never know our path in its fullness until we've taken the final step. To judge it ahead of its completion is foolishness; to judge it after its completion does not belong to you," Greje advises, still curled up all fetal-like around the wool-wound wand, looking very much as if she desires sleep. "Only take each step with as much diligence as you can; this is the task of humanity, and that by which we may attain out own immortality, and never fall prey to the dogs and birds.

"And what of those whose souls are lost to the stars?" Cidra asks. A little more harshly, but the question is still murmured above a bare whisper. "What do they attain?" A look behind her at Marko again. There's a note of apologism in her expression, though it's not aimed at him specifically.

"I won't presume to take up any more of your time." Marko concludes, standing and giving a respectful nod towards the candle. "Thank you for hearing my petition."

"Perfection," Greje enunciates the word slowly, then, scrunching up her eyes, "Per-fect-ive-ness," she goes for more specification. "Every man when dead attains his portion of divinity." Man, human, not man, male. "How that divinity is tended… well. Every divinity deserves its due rites. Some of them do not receive them."

"Perfection…" the word is drawn out even softer than the ones that preceded it, exhaled, eyes closed. Cidra sighs a long sigh, breathing in deep as she opens her eyes again. "I pray there is a way for all to find such divinity, Sister. My greatest fear is that I lead souls into oblivion. And I wonder, what shall my toll me to the ferryman for that?" It's not a question she expects an answer to, really. She stands as well, inclining her head to Greje again. "I shall add my prayers for our people on the planet, Sister."

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