PHD #104: PT and Belief Systems
PT and Belief Systems
Summary: Fisticuffs, weights and spirituality.
Date: 10 June 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Constin Cidra 
Athletics Area - Deck 12 - Battlestar Cerberus
A large pair of mats dominates the center of this room, their centers taped-out for a small area to practice boxing or other martial arts. Around the outside are treadmills, bikes, weights, and an impressive variety of gym equipment to help tone and shape the bodies of the crew. To one side of the room is the locker room while at the rear is a hatch that leads back to the oversized swimming pool. Off to the side is a rack that holds boxing gloves, pugil sticks, and the associated pads for the sticks.
Post-Holocaust Day: #104

An hour and a half past dinner, and Constin is in the Athletics area, seated on a bench near the heavy bags. Cloth handwraps are meticulously being wound about his hands, with especial care taken to the recently injured right. Experimentally flexing his fingers as he winds the dark cloth snugly around the hand and wrist, the marine's attention is consumed by the process for the moment.

Cidra strides into the Athletics Area, clad in her sweats, dark hair pulled back into a loose ponytail. The weight machines are her destination, though her path is a slow and winding one. Takes her by Constin. "Corporal. A good eve. More pugilism?" Barest hint of a smile curves her lips.

Constin glances up from his wrapping work at the greeting. "Sir," he returns, with more obvious grin tugging briefly at his expression. "Evenin' to you. That is the plan," he returns, belatedly getting a rueful chuckle. "Don't imagine you came by for handwrapping lessons, did you sir?"

"No, I think not," Cidra says with a mild chuckle. "I am just doing some P-T tonight. Leg presses, perhaps a something with my arms and shoulders on the free weights. Those muscle groups are important to keep in good order for flying." Eyes go down to his right hand. "You are all right, I hope? You have been through some dramatics recently, I do recall."

"Me and half the boat, sir, but yeah," Constin replies. "Doc wouldn't clear me for anything but light contact until now. Bout to find out just how solid it's healed." The scalp and neck wounds are uncovered now, but fully healed; the scarring is still pink, but otherwise quite healthy looking. "Thinking some light bag work, for maybe a half hour. Keep the lungs pumping, yeah?"

"Yes indeed," Cidra replies, as to the lungs pumping and such. "I did mean to commend you for your good work in regards the saboteurs on the Deck. It does make all of us fly easier now that they are properly in lock-up."

"Thank you, sir. We all do what we can, but keep in mind that investigation is still ongoing," Constin notes. "Ah'm a hard man to satisfy in this kinda thing, so ah'm still not done looking." The curse of doubting your shipmates digs its teeth in deep, it would seem. "Still. Ship's systems are clean, birds all passed a quick check.. So it's a good possibility we cut this thing off before it got too bad." A shake of his head as he finishes winding the wraps, and glances back up to the Major. "Helluva thing, sir."

"Hell of a thing, indeed," Cidra echoes. "I am most grateful of your diligence. I can hope it would be put to rest, but I have never trusted to hope. In any case, I shall not keep you from your pugilism. I thank you again, Corporal." With that, she leaves him to his wrapping. Approaching one of the weight machines and setting it up for some leg lifts.

"Only fair, seeing as how you all are the boat's first line of defense," Constin drawls back to Cidra's gratitude. Giving each wrapped fist an experimental thud against the opposite palm, the marine climbs to his feet, rolling his shoulders. "Heh. 'Pugilism'," the big man grins. Rather than setting a timer, he simply starts (slowly at first) throwing light punches at the bag. "Don't mind saying- have trouble wrapping mah mind round it, sir. What could make folks try and take others down with them when they quit, that is.."

Cidra gets her preliminary stretches out of the way. Arms behind her head and over. Then down to limber her legs into proper lifting over. She bends herself lateral to her hands to one extended toe. "Who can say how the human mind works when it descends to madness? Our homes were destroyed. Our holy places. Our families, all we loved back on the colonies. It could drive anyone past the edge of reason. I pray the answer is as simple as that."

"Just a level of frakked up ah can't see. You're ready to check out, go ahead.. But dragging other folks down with you? Hell-" The ire in that word draws a harder punch to the bag, before he settles back into a rhythm of gradually increasing speed and force. "Same as Sarkis did. Folks are just scared to go down alone.. Ah Just don't get it."

"Sarkis." The man's name is practically spit by Cidra. With a grunt she stands, heading over to ready the machine. Carefully arranging the weights. Jaw set in a tight frown. "After what he did to Dominic - and Sergeant Barkley, may he find peace with the gods…well. I lack proper charity for saying it, but I hope he has found no peace in death. There is always a price to pay the ferryman, and his should be a high one for how he went. I did not really know the man. I only truly spoke with him once for any length of time, truth be told. We were all so new to this ship, right out of drydock, none knew each other."

"Ain't no peace for that kinda cowardice," Constin returns, with less venom than the CAG, but heavy on scorn. Thud-thud-thud goes the bag as the marine gets a feel for how durable his freshly knitted fist is. "Sir, you're one of the religious types, yeah? What's the god-fearing word on what happens after folks die?" he wonders, idly.

"Depends." Cidra grunts, laying herself down on the weight machine. Positioned for leg presses. Knees up first, then extended against the pressure of the weights. "'Religious types?'" The description makes her chuckle softly. "I do suppose you could say that. In my younger says, I actually intended to go into the priesthood. Order of Athena." Another grunt. "Plans do change. But to death. As I said. It does depend on how one goes. Both spiritually and physically. Are you a believer in the gods, Corporal?"

"No sir, ah am not," Constin answers the latter question simply. "Never have been, far as ah can remember." The rate of punching creeps up again, now punching lightly with each hand twice a second. "Always figured this time around was all any of us get." A brief look away from the bag and toward the major precedes the words, "No shit? A priestess, huh?" He chuckles as well as the thuds to the bag resume.

"I was born on Gemenon. My parents were ecclesiasts both. For my father it was largely a formality. He was a nurse, but ordained a Brother of Asclepius. Lord of Healing. Mother was a priestess of Hera. She…for her, it was *not* a formality." Said wryly. Another grunt from Cidra, another lift and release of the weights. "And yes. I studied theology at the Kobol Colleges. Nearly took my vows but I…never quite made it to seminary. I joined up the summer after I graduated. Entered officer and pilot training and…well. The rest is history, as they do say. And I do believe our souls go on after our bodies do leave this mortal coil. The condition they shall leave in, and remain in, is the question."

"What's a soul gonna do without the meat?" Constin wonders dryly. "Wander around watching shit? Hell, give me one life and one chance, and ah'll call it all square. Kinda funny-" he notes, words pausing as he draws a deep breath to maintain the still increasing rate of punches, "Never met any religious types before the service. So you believed in all that- in the religious stuff, yeah? Would've guessed that's all it takes to be a priest. Shows what ah know, right?"

"If they are particularly unfortunate, that is what some are cursed to do," Cidra replies. "And I believe in the gods. Tradition holds that when we die we cross into the afterlife and to the rivers of the Underworld, where Charon the ferryman awaits to take us to what our lives have earned us." Her breathing is measured due to her work on the weights, but her voice takes on a more resonant quality as she speaks of such things. Clearly this story's been with her since childhood, and she recites it by heart. The Elysian Fields ruled by Rhadamanthys, where the virtuous dead and initiates in the ancient Mysteries were sent to dwell. The Asphodel Meadows, where indifferent and ordinary souls were sent to live after death, and a good rest any would find there. And the great pit of Tartarus, of old the prison of the oldest gods, and dungeon for damned souls. Souls, perhaps, like our Sarkis if there is any justice to be had in this life or the next."

"So they go there, and.. what- play cards forever?" Constin returns, his tone making light of things he simply doesn't understand. Idle curiosity lingers, and a moment later, the big corporal speaks up again. "The Scrolls say anything about all of this?" he asks, with another look flicked over to the CAG on the leg weights. "Bout how it all ends?"

"I am no Oracle, Corporal, and not so deeply versed in the Mysteries as I might once have been, had I taken another path," Cidra says. There's no regret in her tone, just a certain wistfulness. "I do my utmost to be an instrument of the gods for good and service. That, most days, keeps me going enough. As for the souls bound to Tartarus…" A snort, then another set of leg lifts before she goes on further. "…the stories tell it to be a dark and wretched place. Hemmed by three layers of night, where the damned find torments that fit the sins they inflicted upon the world with their lives. A tormenter might find himself subject to endless torture in rivers of fire, or be bound in the river and tempted with an object they desire most in the worlds, only to be ever-denied it, just out of their reach. A soul in Hades' realm must pay the ferryman for the life they have lived. But even those in Tartarus are fortunate. At least they cross upon the ferry."

"Dark and wrecked place, in three layers of night?" Constin echoes dryly. "Heh. Ah'm not wanting to be called a heretic, but that sounds a helluva lot like where we're at, sir." A frown and brief break in his punches as the marine shakes out his right hand, and rubs it briefly through the wraps. "So how do the religious folks read what's happened, sir? Some trial from the Gods, or do you think this is the end of everything, too?"

"For my part?" Cidra grunts again. Another lift. "I do not believe the gods visited this upon us. The gods gifted men with free will. Men do evil upon each other. Men made the Cylons. And our creations turned upon us. That is not a sin we can pin upon our Lords and Ladies." Inhale. Exhale. "And I do not believe we are being punished, either. There are many schools of faith, Corporal. As many as there are gods. But I shall tell you what I believe. I believe our forefathers sought themselves wiser and more powerful than they were. They created 'life.' And 'life' was an abomination that destroyed them. Destroyed us all, eventually. It is no trial. It is just…FUBAR. Great FUBAR. And we are the survivors of it."

"Creations turned back on us. Heh," Constin mutters giving the bag another experimental punch with the right hand. "Can see how some folks would say this really is Tartarus, then." The comment gives him a tight, grim smile as the marine starts punching again, slower and lighter. "Eh, faith's a funny thing," he comments. "Can't say ah'm sorry to have missed out on it."

"As for what is left…" Cidra releases a long breath, legs lowering out of a lift. She does not immediately attempt another. "We are still here. And whether that was by design or by some accident of fate…we remain. I have to believe our paths are not ended yet. I have faith the gods are not finished with us yet, and that we can find a way to live. It keeps me going. Helps me seek clarity in these three layers of night of ours. I shall not presume to call you wrong, Corporal. But I do not know what I would do without it."

"Whatever it takes, sir," Constin returns evenly. "Whatever it takes to keep folks from quitting has to be a good thing. For a whole lotta folks that's faith. Don't really get that, but suppose ah don't need to," he adds, once again breaking off his punches, with a curse. Once again he shakes out the right hand, with a scowl. "Ain't ready," he mutters under his breath.

Lift. Lift. Lift. Cidra eventually does as many repetitions as she wants to. Or can. She disengages herself from the machine, letting out a sigh of relief as she sits back on the mat near it. To begin some cool-down stretches. "I have always felt the Navy was rather like the cults." Leg extended again, hands out to touch her toes. "Gives one structure. Higher purpose. Duty. Perhaps that is why I have stayed with the life for so long. Well. If you ever wish to talk more of such things, Corporal, I would welcome it."

"Passing curiosity, sir," Constin answers back, dryly. "Only faith ah've got is that in the Corp behind me, and the Air Wing in front of me. A dark frakking day when ah have to doubt in that." Another few clenchings and relaxings of his right hand and the Corporal shakes his head. "Couse we've had a run of dark days, havn't we?" the grim quetion is given a wry color.

"And yet we remain," Cidra says, stretching again before getting properly back on her feet. "And I do not think us in Tartarus just yet. We shall hold the line outside the ship so long as you and yours hold the line within it. If that is what you believe in, I shall do my utmost to keep your faith as far as I can."

"That's all any body can ask, sir," Constin answers Cidra's promise with an even eye and nod. "Well.. folks *could* ask for more, but that gets into million-cubits-and-a-Dee-Cup territory real quick." A breath drawn and let out. "Trust is good enough. And it's a whole lot more than any body has a right to expect."

Cidra looks down at her lanky figure at that 'million-cubits and a Dee-Cup' quip. Smirking. "So say we all," she mutters ruefully. "I wish you clear eyes and steady hands, Corporal." And she takes her leave with that.

"So say we all," Constin drawls back with a grin. "Wish you clear DRADIS, sir. And barring that, ah wish you good aim," the marine bids back.

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