BCH #010: Of Dreams and Portents
Of Dreams and Portents
Summary: Demos holds the first of many interviews. Karthasi tends toward clarity.
Date: Feb 15, 2041 AE
Related Logs: The Tenth Sparrow, A Tangled Web, A Sea Without a Shore, Best Get to Work, and Fly
Karthasi Demos 

[ Security Hub ]----—[ Deck 6 - Battlestar Cerberus ]
More than just an office for the Marines and their XO, this room has remote surveillance views of the Brigs as well as a state of the art communications center built into the far bulkhead. A locked and heavily armored door to the aft leads into another room, the white lettering on it reading 'ARMORY.' There are a few desks scattered around the room for getting necessary paperwork done and the Commandant's picture hangs on the wall next to one of the President.

The Security Hub is quiet at the moment. A Marine is stationed at the desk, acting as a receptionist of sorts. Another stands to one side of the door, gun across his chest in a two-handed hold. Demos is seated at a smallish desk off to one side. There is a chair to one side of the desk, just like in the movies about police procedure. She is working intently on something, fingers flying fiarly rapidly across the keyboard as she types.

Karthasi steps through the hatch, dressed properly in blues, back straight and arms tucked behind her back before she stops and straightens them out doen along her sides, a little bit away from her body as she pauses before the guard, looking him in the eye until he gives her the nod and she finishes walking through, continuing straight to the desk, slowing as she approaches. "Greje Karthasi," she gives her name as he looks up, "K-a-r. T-h-a-s-i," she spells out for him as he looks for her name, "I'm expected, I believe?" she asks, meekly peeping toward the books.

The desk sergeant looks up once the priest moves toward him. When she states her name, he looks her up in the book of appointments. It takes a few moments, as he carefully reads down the list, licking his thumb to turn each page. Finally, he grunts softly and nods. Turning, he calls over one shoulder, "Hey, Demos. Your 1600 is here."

Finishing a line, Demos looks up slowly, her expression that of someone pulled from deep thought. Blinking, she half smiles and nods, "Thanks." Then her gaze lifts to Karthasi and she rises, "Captain. Please come in. Have a seat?" A hand opens to gesture to the chair, "May I offer you some coffee? Or tea, if you prefer?" Her tone is not Caprican, though it is cultured all the same.

"Thank you," Greje tells the man, voice moderate but not without some real note of gratitude in it as she lowers her head a little to the man on desk duty, mulling briefly on all the myriad folk it takes to keep a ship this size running so efficiently. But she's drawn from her considerations by the woman herself, and she lifts her head again, and turns it, looking over there before setting herself into motion, crossing to the chair and settling in, "Some tea would be quite lovely, thank you, Sergeant," she accepts, in the spirit of xenia most sacred to Zeus.

As the woman walks past, the desk Marine pauses, then turns a little to enjoy the view. When he looks back to his compatriot, he makes a quick hand gesture and mouths 'smokin'. The guard twitches a faint smile in agreement, but does not otherwise relax his vigilance.

Demos ignores the others, her gaze focusing on her guest. she nods once, then turns to a smallish pot of warming water. A mug is selected and a small basket of prepared teas in square bags is claimed. The mug is filled with hot water and that, with the basket, are placed on her desk near to Karthasi's side, "Please. Help yourself, Sister." A beat as she sits behind her desk, "It is 'sister' isn't it?"

Karthasi slides forward to the very edge of the seat, perching on it like some manner of bird about to fly, a sedate little smile on her lips as she browses the teas for not unduly long before plucking one and opening up the paper, dipping the bag into the hot water and jigging at the sring just a little bit before she lets the tab dangle over the edge. Her pallid green eyes look up from the water, a shy kind of look, "It is, if you'd like," she replies. "I don't expect those who aren't of a religious bent to call me by my title; if you'd prefer, Greje works just as well," she offers, a muted warmth to her voice as she looks the other woman in the eyes, not a threatening gaze, or a piercing one, but one meant to offer the establishment of a collaborative connection.

The hub is not particularly busy at the moment. There is the desk Sergeant and the guy on duty. The desk fellow is making a note in the log book next to Katharsi's name while the guard is standing eyes front and allert, gun across his chest the way it should be. Demos is sitting at a second desk and Karthasi is sitting in a chair next to one edge of that desk.
Demos leans a little forward, her elbows on the desk, fingers clasped, "Thank you. I think that I shall stick with 'Sister' or Captain for now, if you do not mind. Greje, while a lovely name, is a bit informal. I am not a terribly informal person. Please understand." Her tone is kind and a bit self-depricating on that last, though her gaze meets the priest's with a clear, focused intensity. At least, she is honest.

Releasing her hands, she reaches for a file on her desk and pulls it toward her, "First, thank you for coming so promptly.' The file is flipped open and Demos extracts a freshly printed paper, "I wanted to ask you a few questions regarding Niree Tuata?" As she speaks, the woman looks again into Karthasi's gaze.

"I completely understand. Whichever you're comfortable with, the Navy has acquainted me with a plethora of titles to which I respond with almost equal facility. Up to and including Padre, which, while not quite theologically appropriate, I've come to understand is… customary," Greje replies, letting the tea brew a bit and crossing one leg over the other as she does so, folding her hands upon her topmost knee, keeping her tones light and clipped in that cool Caprican mode of speech, the last word inducing a hint of jocularity to spark in her eyes before she resumes her gravitas and dips her head in a nod of 'you're welcome' to the thanks, then again, closing her eyes briefly as she nods, "Of course, Sergeant. I'll gladly lend you all the help I'm able," she offers, the subtle indication lurking in the tone of the words that she's not sure how much she -can- help.

Rather than continue the round of 'thank yous' and 'your welcomes' that always loom as a conversational cul d' sac whenever this sort of investigation begins, Demos smiles her thanks rather than vocalizing them. Turning to the paper in front of her, she needlessly reviews a few lines, then begins, "I understand that you and Lieutenant Stavrian were the last to see Miss Tuata alive." Her gaze lifts and her pen is poised, "Is that correct, Sister?"

Karthasi lifts her hands to retrieve the mug on the desktop, bringing it to perch with the aid of both her hands on the top of her knee as she waits, then listens. "That is correct," she replies, neck bending forward a little bit as she enunciated every word in the answer a little -too- clearly, as if she were under the impression that this was going on a recording somewhere.

And as it happens, it is. Everything in here is. It is one of those facts of military life. Recognizing the gesture, Demos half smiles and motions to the mic set into her desk. "Very good. What happened, please? Tell me in your own words. Please let me know what your impressions were at the time."

Karthasi's eyes find the little impression as the Sergeant gestures to it, and they fix there as she leans just a little forward, speaking, still, in those slightly louder than strictly needed, slightly more precise than strictly needed tones. For the record, and all. "Miss Tuata welcomed us into her cell before we had even crossed the threshold, describing our arrival as fortuitous. I did not think the observation unusual at the time, though in retrospect it may have had more meaning than I assigned to it at the moment of its utterance. When we entered the cell, it was quite dark, and I, for my part, was unable to see Miss Tuata in more than a vague outline for several minutes as we greeted one another and I asked her whether she would allow me to sit in on her medical examination. She expressed her desire that the medical examination be delayed, and Lieutenant Stavrian agreed to wait until she was ready and provided her with some tea. We spoke. Of fate, and the cleanliness of the soul, and of death. She seemed to desire the purification of the soul that is said to come with the demolition of the body. I endeavored to ascertain what guilt she was attemptng to purge from herself by her death, and to offer alternatives. She asked me, in turn, to interpret a dream which she had had. As she narrated the dream I began to notice that she was shivering, and seemed… out of sorts. I thought that the imagery of the dream was simply moving her to anxiety. I was incorrect. When she was done telling me of the dream, I asked her to allow Lieutenant Stavrian to examine her, noting that she seemed quite ill by then. Lieutenant Stavrian reported that she has having problems with her heart, and administered medication while the team from medical was en route."

Human reactions are always endlessly fascenating. Demos half smiles as the Priest sort of addresses her commentary to the mic. As the tale spins out, however, she listens to the words and emotions portrayed, paying attention to the other woman's expression as much as possible. "I see. Did it not strike you as odd that she would ask that the medical exam be delayed?" Then, more quietly, "And, when you can, please tell me what you recall of the dream?"

Karthasi doesn't display much of anything in the way of emotion, simply laying out moment after moment as far as she recalls the evening in her mind, the exactness of every syllable also helping convert the testimony into an emotional tone as rich as if someone else were reading it with pains-taking precision from a sheet of paper. She considers the further question, but not for more than a moment, in which she takes a sip of the tea, now cool enough to begin to drink. Leaning forward once more: "It did not. Though I am not a medical professional, she seemed in good spirits and good health when we arrived. She had been under thorough medical supervision up to that point. She had broken her fast and was eating once more. I believed that she had matters that she wished to discuss of a spiritual nature, and did not wish to be examined while she was doing so." The other question, about the dream, makes her pale green eyes leave the hole and meet the Sergeant's, "Do you believe that the content of the dream is relevent to your investigation?" More surprised than confrontational, twisting toward curious.

Demos keeps her eyes on the other woman, rather than letting it twitch to the mic's location. It is something she has grown used to. Nodding, she adds, "Is that typical, do you suppose? That she wished to discuss spiritual issues prior to allowing a medical examination?" She has been taking the occasional note as she listens, though her hand stills as the question is posed, "I do not know, Sister. I simply do not wish to leave anything unexplored. The subconscious makes connections that the conscious mind cannot or does not." Her tone is quiet, calm and certain. "If you please?"

"Many of fundamentalist background show distaste for medical attention of the variety to which we are accustomed," Greje replies simply, "But I have never served temple on Gemenon, nor Sagittaron, and my knowledge of their customs is limited." She's talking to Demos, now, not the hole, her voice having lost that hard, distinct edge, returning to its usual mild tones, which someone, along the way, must have told her was a little quiet for the mike. "Of course, Sergeant," she goes on, taking a sip of tea and then clearing her throat and taking a breath. To the hole: "Miss Tuata dreamt of a nest of sparrows, eight babies and a mother, who were in turns being devoured by a serpent. As the mother was swallowed, last of all her brood, she pleaded with Miss Tuata to save the tenth sparrow, though, look as she might, she could only find nine of them, the eight chicks and the mother for the ninth."

Really, it is a good thing that Demos has already reviewed the tape of the conversation with the crazy in Cell 1. Now, she does not show the startlement she showed before. Nodding, she gently prompts, "Did she seem to have an explaination for the dream, sir?"

"Yes; but she never fully identified whom or what she associated with the bird," Greje replies. "She only said that she believed that she knew, and when I asked her further, she referred to a hymn to Aphrodite," she goes on. "Which was, indeed, how I interpreted the bird, as well. She seemed to believe that Aphrodite had given her the message which she, in turn, has given to us, taking on certain attributes of the Goddess after the fashion of a prophet." A pause. "I do not know whether she was ever anointed to Aphrodite or not. In either case, she agreed with my identification of the sparrows as a generative principle before she passed on. I related to her my theories on the rest of the dream while Lieutenant Stavrian was working on her in an effort to keep her here and focused. But she could not say whether she thought that I was right or wrong."

Demos leans back in her chair a little, toying with her pen between her hands as her elbows remain on the table. "I see." She lowers her gaze a little, eyes focusing on the paperwork before her. "Tell me, Sister, if you would. Did you…" She pauses and changes the phrasing of her query, "Please give me your impressions about her state of mind? How did she seem to you? Mentally and emotionally?"

"She seemed quite lucid and aware," Greje begins, "She was able to keep lively discussion— ah" she falters, eyes closing as she realizes her poor choice of words, "That is to say well— yes. Mentally she seemed quite able. Emotionally she seemed… relaxed. At peace. I thought that the fast had perhaps given her the clarity that she was seeking, though in the course of our conversation she seemed to still desire the release of death. If this was indeed a suicide, somehow, rather than a natural event— her emotional course over the length of her inprisonment would be quite normative, in fact. A period of intense grief, followed by a calm, once the person in question has come to peace with his or her decision. It -would- explain her request not to be examined, medically. But if she did anything to bring on the attack, I certainly didn't see it. Then— it was quite dark."

Demos nods. She leans forward to make a few notations, then smiles a bit sadly up at the Priest, "Thank you, Sister. I am not going to suggest suicide until and unless there is physical evidence to warrent it. I was just trying to get your feelings on what you observed and experienced. Now, if you will…" Her tone turns toward the sympathetic, "And I am sorry to have to do this… Please tell me what your observations were concerning the way the woman died? Did anything seem unusual to you?"

"Of course, Sergeant. Excuse my conjecture," Greje lowers her head just a little bit with the latter sentence, offering deference to the Sergeant and the system. Looking up again, something trending toward alarm in her eyes, "Ah— I'm really sure I can't say, Sergeant. I'm not a medical professional. She began to shiver, and… when Lieutenant Stavrian announced the heart attack, I stood and withdrew to a corner that I might not be in the way. Between that and the darkness, I hardly saw a thing."

Demos shrugs, her smile gentle, "Please do not worry about it, Sister. It is human nature to speculate. Something that I am constantly at war with myself about." She tilts her head to one side slightly, listening. "I see. So, you really did not see anything one way or the other. Very good, Sister. I think that is all that I need for now. Do you mind if I call upon you if I need to clarify something?"

"Please do, Sergeant," Greje replies, quietly, meant for the MP rather than the machine. "Only send me a ship's memorandum or stop by the Ecclesiastical Offices. You will be welcome; I will be able to return your kindly hospitality," she lifts the mug of tea she'd been sipping at to indicate her meaning, then finishes it off.

This time, the Sergeant's smile is personal rather than professional, "Thank you, Sister. I will find the time to do that as soon as I can." Making a final few notes, she closes the folder and turns to file it away. Pausing, she glances at a clock, "I believe it is time for the Cerberus to leave drydock…" The implication might be that she intends going to watch. Or, that she is offering Karthasi the opportunity to do so.

Karthasi's jaw displays a bit of tension at the woman's observation, the first sign of anxiety on her features since she's been here. "I will take my post at the altar, as a suppliant for Cerberus' safe departure." She speaks almost as though she thought the ship might explode on first leaving the dock, a somberness to her voice as she stands.

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