PHD #443: No Chariots, No Trumpets
PHD #443: No Chariots, No Trumpets
Summary: Bannik and Rose have a clandestine meeting as the next Manifesto is passed off.
Date: 15 May 2042 AE
Related Logs: Savior, I Believe
Bannik Rose 
Hydroponics - MV Elpis
Encompassing most of the port cargo pod, this area has been reconfigured to host a massive hydroponics operation. A latticework of catwalks and narrow ladders, pipes and transparent plastic enclosures, and grow-lighting surrounds rows upon rows of vegetables at varying stages of growth. Evenly-distributed pump machinery rumbles and clatters along, pumping nutrition-enriched water throughout the quietly moving system. A small portion of the hydroponics area deals with the cultivation of seedlings, providing a plastic membrane for the young plants until they have larger root systems. Rows of tanks line the outside wall, apparently some sort of algae growing facility - greens, ambers, and reds all cast a colorful tint. And at the fore area of the pod, many bins and tables and several refrigeration and packaging stations have been set up to handle the processing of vegetables harvested from this constant process.
There are workers here at seemingly all hours, monitoring the machines and the flow of life-giving water to the thousands of plants, transplanting new seedlings, or harvesting and packaging vegetables that have grown to maturity. At all hours, the facility is guarded.
A small set of rooms at the fore of the hydroponics bay houses a triage and first aid treatment center. The freighter's sickbay is a minimal affair, containing a few beds and some basic equipment. A front desk is staffed by a corpsman at all times, and there's a small waiting area consisting of plastic chairs and some old magazines. A small office, shared by the doctors and nurses who work here, stands privately off to the side, where patient files are kept under lock and key.
Post-Holocaust Day: #443

"Rose! Hey! Rose! Over here!"

Tyr Bannik's voice is a soft whisper ushering the hydroponics lead over. He's picked a quiet, out of the way area for their meeting; how covert it truly is is hard to say, given that there was, posted relatively near-by, a Marine that seems to be 'with' him though at least not up in his face.

Trying to look as if she's taking pH samples from a variety of hydroponics tanks, Rose looks rather deliberately surreptitious, glancing this way and that, and peering over and through greenery. At Bannik's whisper, though, she quite nearly jumps out of her skin, sending her clipboard clattering to the walkway. Quite embarrassed and blushing through her cheeks to her ears, she picks up the clipboard and creeps over to him. "Hello," she offers, putting on her best smile in hopes that he rapidly forgets her stealth fail. "You know, we really don't need to meet like this. Especially since the marines are watching the both of us." Rose, unlike Bannik, does not seem to have a marine tailing her.

Bannik forgets it quite quickly, wrapping her in a friendly hug and quick kiss to the cheek. He then pulls away. "I'm not sure it's the Marines that we need to worry about the most," he murmurs. "I had two people come up to me in the last two days to try to get me to cut back. You know, stop telling people about what the gods want for us." Though he says it with a certain bravado, it's also with a certain amount of worry.

Rose allows for the embrace, turning her cheek so she can be kissed. She doesn't shy away from it at all. "Well, that means one of two things. That you're right, and they're afraid of the truth that the gods are setting out for us to discover… or they know something that we don't." She sucks in her lower lip for a worried nibble. "I had a Sergeant Constin… Gunnery Sergeant, I don't know the difference. He admonished me in public as I was posting up the latest copies of your work. Said some pretty nasty things. But I don't blame him; he's just a marine."

"They're just scared, the way everyone else is." Bannik has a ready excuse for Constin's behavior. "But the way Marines are trained, they're trained to cover that fear with aggression and bravado. It's just how they are. And I don't know what it is that they know — it's not like Command keeps me in the loop. But I do know we need to keep getting the word out." His voice is filled with purpose. He takes some folded sheets of octagonal loose leaf from the pocket of his greens and presses them into Rose's hand. "I heard that you typed the last one." His request, it seems, is clear.

Rose's eyes drop to the sheaf of looseleaf. Getting a grim look of determination on her face, she holds her hand out. "It's going to get more difficult, as I'm being watched to see what I'm using out of stock that's reserved for the Hydroponics project. Sometimes I've found old black-lined reports, and I just print on the back of those. Other times I scrounge up whatever paper I can find through trade. I'm almost out of alcohol vouchers." She gives the papers a quick look-over, but doesn't read in too much detail, yet.

"I've got almost all of mine," admits Bannik. "And cigarettes, too." He doesn't smoke and really hasn't had time to drink, but he gets his ration of both. For moments like these. "I'll get you some of mine on the next shuttle over when I get back; I'll send them with a friend I can trust. Give it twenty-four hours, and then we'll do what we can to get this up." His voice is equally determined. "It's like I was saying before, but it says it kind of differently. So maybe that'll get to more people."

Smile full of hope at the mention of more goods to barter with, Rose bounces on the balls of her feet. "That's great news, Tyr. I know folks are sitting on supplies, but its the commodities that have the most value. And people are always interested in continuing their vices, so the vouchers will come in handy. Thank you." She looks down at the pages again and begins to skim quickly. Her smile grows and her eyes brighten, likely at the story. "I've heard a variant of this story before. It's very appropriate, I think." Glancing up at him, she worries on her lip again, but this time it looks as if she has an idea. "I don't suppose you would mind if I… offered this wisdom, at my next prayer group? I've a few hopefuls who are still with me from when we were on the Cerberus."

Bannik shakes his head. "I don't mind that at all, Rose. I want everyone to hear this. So. I'll get you things to barter with and you can talk to people, and soon enough, we'll have some paper and some things to try to get this handed out to anyone in the Fleet who wants to read it." His smile grows; it's good to have someone who doesn't think he's crazy around.

Rose nods quickly, tucking the papers into her clipboard and holding it to chest, cradling to her like they were gold. "I'll post these just as soon as I can get supplies, and I get a moment to myself." Smiling broadly, she turns and head off.

I remember a story that people used to tell about the gods.

"A devout believer heard a news report on his wireless that there was a flood coming and said that residents had to evacuate the area where he lived. But he didn't leave because, as he told his fleeing friends, he had the Lords' protection.

"And then the waters started to come and a police boat came by and offered to help him. But he said he didn't need any evacuation because he had the Lords' protection.

"The waters continued to rise. The believer retreated to the roof of his house to escape the water. A rescue Raptor flew above his house and the pilot asked over the loud speaker if they could lift him off. But the man said, 'I don't need rescuing. I have the Lords' protection.'

"The water continued to rise and the man drowned and died. And when he got across the River Styx, he came face-to-face with Hades. He said to Hades, 'I have always believed in the Gods. Why didn't You answer my prayers for protection? Why didn't You give me a sign?' And Hades said to him, 'We sent you a wireless report. We sent you a police boat. We sent you a Raptor. What more sign did you need?'

The gods have sent us dreams of the Falls. They have sent us Ryan "Salt" Shaker, who could not turn on this Fleet. They have sent us Trevor Cairn "Queenie" McQueen, who loved the people of this Fleet as much as any human could. They have sent us Eleven, who sacrificed herself three times for the Fleet. They have sent us Allan Rejn, who scarified himself to battle Areion. They sent us Rudy Kepner, who taught us the fallacy and futility of mindless hate and revenge.

So I ask you, my brothers and sisters, what more sign do we need that it is not just a good idea, but the will of the gods themselves that we go to Lampridis Falls? Our story is one that has happened before and that is fated to happen again. We cannot resist it; we can only hope to leave our mark on it. We shouldn't turn our backs on our gods; we can't let ourselves drown. Let us heed the wireless report; get on the boat; get hoisted up onto the Raptor. Let us see the signs. For not just our sakes, but for the sakes of all of humanity.

The gods are not going to come to us in golden chariots or with brassy trumpets. They will come to us in smaller ways; in dreams; in people; in experience. They have come to us these ways and their message is clear. The only question is if we will heed it. I pray we will.

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