PHD #144: Lord by Proxy
Lord By Proxy
Summary: Bannik sits his post as Lord of the Mountain, and Cidra comes for confession.
Date: 20 Jul 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Bannik Cidra 
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: #144

Bannik has been set up on a throne of pillows, like some sort of Middle East sultan. Pillows are set up before his altar, a place for his supplicants to sit. The whole set-up is off in one of the side rooms, and is attended by two CMES enlisted aides. But the side room does close if a penitent or worshipper wishes her privacy.

It's unclear how long, precisely, Cidra has been here. She's been putting in a lot of chapel time during her off-duty hours. Which she's had a *few* more of, with the ship back at Condition 2. She is *very* offduty at the moment. Sitting in one of the back benches, prayer beads wrapped around her right hand. Albeit they're wound rather looser than usual. She must have received CMES' invitation, but she did not immediately approach Bannik's throne upon entering. But, finally, she does. Limbering up into a standing position with a long stretch. There's a slightly lazy quality about the way the woman steps up toward him. Like her muscles were all just a little…subdued. Not that she seems to mind.

Bannik watches Cidra as she approaches his throne, glancing up from the piece of paper that he's been writing on, setting it aside along with the pen that he's been using as well. "Cidra Hahn. I am glad you have come. Please. Sit." He gestures to the pillows before him. His voice is almost serene, a lot different from the usual awkward deckhand.

"Tyr Bannik. Hello." Cidra smiles at the deckhand. Not her usual bare-curve-of-lips semi-smile. This one's wider, and somewhat dazed. Her eyes are rather reddened and there's a heady, smoky smell lingering on her. If Bannik is at all familiar with the ceremonial use of psychotropic substances - or managed to spend any time in a stoner's college dorm room before enlisting - he'd probably recognize it as chamalla. She sits before him, sort of flumping down into place. Taking a moment to arrange her long legs in a way that's somewhat comfortable. She begins by taking off her boots. "I have come by invitation, oh Lord of the Mountain, for worship and confession. And there is so much to confess these days, is there not?" Head tilts up at him as she undoes her laces.

"There is only to confess what you feel in your heart there is to confess." Bannik makes a waving gesture to his attendants. It is a gesture of 'dismissal and close the hatch behind you,' which they, as good attendants, promptly do. He wrinkles his nose at th smell of chamalla, but says nothing of it. "Is confession what you wish today, Major?"

Cidra sort of splays her legs out sideways once her boots are comfortably off. Their deposited off to the side and she settles in. Making to rest her arms along Bannik's knees, and then propping her chin on them. If he doesn't jump out from under her, that is. "Mmm-hmm…" she drawls it out in the affirmative. "You know, back on Gemenon, there are rumors some of the backwoods villages still chase the Lord of the Mountain off a cliff after this ritual is complete. So heavy are the sins of the community that only such can cleanse them. I am not sure if I believe this, of course. I was a city girl. Never did see much in the way of human sacrifices. But our sins are heavy, are they not, my dear Mister Bannik?"

Bannik shifts slightly at the touch — he's still getting used to how each individual worships, to put it mildly — but he does not bolt. "Your sins are heavy, Major, but the gods have made me strong enough to bear the load of all of them. Whatever shall come shall come and I give myself freely for it." His voice is soft, even serene. Accepting, perhaps. "Proceed in the name of the Gods, Major, and be cleansed of your sin." It is the standard prompt to begin confession.

"Call me Cidra, please, my Lord," said Major requests of him. "The gods do not see rank. I hope. Or they see me very poorly just now." She lets out a long sigh, chin rolling to one side. Head tilted up at him at an angle. "I have many sins upon me. I have given orders that have sent good men and women to their deaths. But it is not the dead that haunt me, Lords and Ladies. Death is just another turn of the serpent's coil. But I have denied most of these pilots their due rites. Scattered them among the stars. *Whoosh*…" The sound-effect comes perhaps unexpected, with a little wavery flicking of her fingertips. "…and now they fly in the oblivion forever…"

"There are those who believe, Cidra," Bannik intones quietly. "That those who die in service to the Lords are anointed by the shedding of their blood, and that anointment is capable of paying the Ferryman's toll." He is no priest, yet he speaks with the authority of one, as his right for the next few days. "I see great wisdom in that point of view."

"That must be a great comfort for them…" Cidra murmurs. "Such are not the ways I was taught to read the Scrolls, my Lord. I expect not such pity from the Lords and Ladies." She is of the fundamentalist school of thought. "But I shall carry their names upon my heart. And pray that I might one day pay some of their price. But it is not just the Lost that I wonder if I have sinned against. I try to do right by my people. My pilots. To guide them, to see to their welfare. But I fail them, I think…" She looks down at the prayer beads so lazily wound around her wrist. A long coil with metal-tipped tassels. She makes a fist and squeezes them, so the metal pinches her skin. If she does it too hard she might cut herself.

"To some extent, you are doubtless correct." Tyr leads with that. Ouch! But he continues on: "Yet we all fail each other in many ways; it is because we are human. To be human is to be fallible. To claim otherwise is to claim to be a God, hubris to an incredible extent. Do your best for them, but know that you shall see them again when we all gather on the Fields of Elysium."

"Elysium? Optimist, you are," Cidra says lazily. "Tartarus would be a blessing compared to the nothing. But. I shall go where the Lords have deemed my path to take me. As well as I can. And I pray the path of me and mine stretches a bit longer…" Eyes still more on the beads than Bannik. She sighs heavy. "Hubris? I have my share. Well. I do confess that, too."

"And do you feel regret for these sins and swear to sin no more, knowing, however, that you are fallible and human and shall sin again?" Bannik's eyes focus sharply on Cidra, taking her in as she makes her confession.

"I swear to try and do better…" Cidra drawls soft, blue eyes looking up at Bannik, red and a little hazy, but nonetheless intent. It's likely not the precise words of the litany, but it's what she's got.

As Cidra swears, Bannik holds out his hands over her head, a gesture of blessing and prayer. "Then I absolve you in the example of the Gods, Cidra Hahn." He gestures her to her feet. "Go and be who you truly are, unburdened of your sins."

"I thank you, my Lord," Cidra murmurs, pushing herself off his knees, semi-upright. She does not leave him just yet. Rather, she leans forward closer. Getting in his face. Literally. She aims to kiss him. The gesture has a ceremonial rather than romantic quality, but it is a thing she means to do full on the lips.

Oh, goodness. Bannik has quite the adoring populace. He seems surprised at first, eyes going wide behind his thick glasses, but he does not pull away. Instead, he closes his eyes, accepting the kiss for — well. Whatever comes.

Though not precisely brisk, it's a press of lips with mouth closed. Nothing too exciting, beyond the surprise of her actually doing it. Cidra breaks it off with a little bow of her head. "I thank you, my Lord." And then, after regarding him a moment, she reaches up her fingers to try and pinch his cheek. Well, she /is/ old enough to be his mother. Which just seems to quite keenly occur to her.

Bannik smiles at the pinch, his nose crinkling at the gesture. Really now? He gets his cheek pinched? He needs an upgrade in this God stuff. But he just bows his head, watching Cidra go. Another satisfied customer.

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