PHD #146: EVENT - Sin High, Fall Hard
Sin High, Fall Hard
Summary: Bannik's reign as Lord of the Mountain comes to an end.
Date: 22 Jun 2041
Related Logs: Lord by Proxy
Devlin Psyche Cidra Alessandra Cadmus Marko Bannik Karthasi McQueen 
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: #146

There are some opening poses here now lost to the ages…

Karthasi lifts a hand and has the now-cooled cookies brought out from the inner sanctum, placed with reverence upon the altar as though an offering. "I wanted to speak with you… briefly… if you'll allow me. Concerning the interview we conduncted with the Eleven in the brig." She drifts back toward the altar, taking up her post beside it once more.

"Speak of the discussion with the Eleven?" Tyr furrows his brow. "Of course. I am sure you were able to engage — on a much — deeper level with the Eleven than I ever could. You know so much, Sister. But I am happy to share what thoughts I am able." He gestures to the pillows before his sanctum. "Please, sit, and we can talk, if you would like." But mmm. Cookie.

Karthasi kneels upon the pillows as the Lord bids her to, obedient in all things, eyes lowered in deference to his sanctity. "She spoke of a God of singular presence and power," she goes on to explain, "And I—" she looks aside, a faint, wicked smile teasing at the corner of her lip, "I believe that you are that Lord," she drops on him, letting it hang there for a moment, before she goes on. "I worship you, and have no other god but you, Tyr Bannik. I declare in this place that there is no Zeus, and there has never been such a thing in creation. That Athena was never born from his head, nor Artemis and Apollo dropped by the palm tree."

Imperceptibly, Bannik's breath begins to quicken. Sure, he knows that sin is the name of the game here, and this is all part of the show, but there's sin and there's /sin/. This apparently falls in the later category for him. His eyes look left. His eyes look right. But there's no one here to save him now!

Karthasi is going for all the marbles, here. Leaving it all on the field, as it were. Her own cheeks are flushed by the sheer -wrong-ness of everything she's doing. But she pushes through. "The thrones of Olympus are filled with vain spirits, empty images of idols of no arete, no time, nor any sway on human life," she goes on, lifting herself from her kneeling position, pausing to take a few short breaths, bracing herself, then, rushing to the altar, she sweeps the icons of the gods all from their places, sending them clattering to the floor.

If you're going to go, go big. Bannik reaches out his hand, as if trying to catch the falling icons, but, of course, he is far too far away to possibly even touch them. His mouth opens, then closes, opens again — for what is he to say? It's all for him! And for them, on some deeper level.

Karthasi's hands tremor a little over the top of the altar, feeling its smooth surface bare, closing her eyes for a moment, then opening them again, cool green stare dead on Tyr. "Tyrbannik Orestes, God of the Mountain, God of Olympus, whose delight is in the warmth of the ovens and the ripening of the fruit in season, whose time is the swift succession of well-timed motions in the most delicate of crafts, whose mind is of the patterns of creation, I pray you, come, take your place, be favorful to us as we pay you ripe honours at your altar."

Bannik rises to his feet from his enclave and altar of pillows from the side room of the chapel. His two attendants assist him in sliding on and adjusting the rich purple robes of the gods and royalty, handing him his septer to take with him. And so he processes the couple of steps from enclave to altar, gazing on those who are beginning to gather for what is next. "Sister Karthasi." He's making this up as he goes along, but he attempts to intone formally. "I have heard your calls and come to grant you my blessing and benediction."

As the Lord of the Mountain comes to take his place at the altar, Greje lowers herself before it in an attitude of proskynesis, given only to the most supreme of gods. A hush falls over the chapel. A hush broken by the faint tolling of the shift change signal out in the corridor. And just as a change in shifts had marked the elevation of the man to a god, so now the bell's tolling for Bannik as the clock strikes midnight and the carriage turns back into a pumpkin, the spell broken.

Greje lifts her head, then rises to one knee, looking aside at the images of the Lords in disarray on the floor, then up, further, to the man on the altar, eyes rough and accusatory. Slam. Slam. Slam. The three entryways to the further recess are shut, guarded on the outside by temple attemdants bearing metal pipes. And those who were out in the corridor waiting for the closing ceremonies to begin have had their signal to enter.

Hands knotted before her, white-knuckled, Psyche looks pale and distraught, far more like she's attending a funeral. Or an execution. She steps into the chapel in silence, barely able to look at Bannik, the former Lord, except in fits and glances. Even then not taking in the whole of him. Her shoulders and spine are stiff, as though keeping them straight is a very conscious effort.

Not moments after Psyche makes her way in, the fatigues-clad figure of Trevor McQueen bounds into the chapel, propping the hatch open as he tucks one hand in his pocket, his gait slow and steady as he proceeds further into the chamber, his head snapping about to study the altar. And Greje. And, well, his swivelling head takes in the whole spectacle before he edges towards an empty pew. He doesn't yet sit, though.

Bannik takes a deep breath when the doors slam shut. He wears the rich purple robes of royalty — or the Lords — over his shoulders, and he bears the scepter that marks him as holder of great title. But now it all comes crashing down — before he was a God. Now he is just a farce, a blasphemy.

Marko slips into the chapel just before the doors slam home, taking a standing perch on the topmost row and fidgeting a bit as he takes in the sights before him. Chapels always make him nervous.

Devlin enters just behind the pilots, obviously also before those doors slam. He moves through the chapel to stand nearish Psyche, glancing down at the unhappy pilot. His own expression is grave, and he watches Bannik and Greje at the altar with the air of someone who feels it his duty not to look away.

Karthasi rises to her feet, accusatory gaze flaring up into something like real rage. "Enough of this. Get this pollution. Off. Of my ship," she nearly spits out the words, then, bending her knees into the gesture, she braces herself against a struggle and grabs the scepter from the blasphemer, yanking it away and then twisting in a remarkably graceful maneuver, spinning the staff behind her and into her other hand before bringing it against Bannik's side in an effort to dislodge him from the altar. Which would normally be a Very Bad thing to do, of course, except for the fact that the polluted have no right to the protections offered by the altar.

Bannik at least has a sense of what is to happen here. And so he does what any rational fellow would do. He very calmly takes off his glasses and opens a pocket on his duty greens and slips the thick frames inside of a case found there, putting the case back in his pocket. But as he does so, it loosens his grip on the scepter, giving Karthasi the opening she needs. He sticks out his hand to stop the blow, perhaps instinctively, but is knocked down and to the side, falling onto his knees.

Psyche winces visibly, swallowing hard as that first blow rains down on the scapegoat. She lifts her chin, pressing her tangled hands to her mouth. The breath she draws shakes her, but she stands. And watches.

Marko blinks as he watches the purple-robed specialist get kicked from the altar, not having the foggiest idea what to think about it all, other than the possibility that the kid just might be frakked beyond any recall. Karthasi pissed off is a sight to behold. "Someone please tell me what the frak is going on here?" he asks anyone within ear shot.

And McQueen stands dispassionately, leaning against the side of the nearest pew with an open hand, his jaw clenched a bit. Marko's audible question earns a measured shrug of his right shoulder and a raise of his left hand as his head lolls to one side, studying the ECO with a slightly opened mouth.

Devlin glances back at Marko's question, turning around to answer quietly, "It's the lord of the mountain ritual. He was the lord, he took the sins of the ship upon himself, and now he has to be…" he pauses, hesitating over the word, "Purged. So that the ship can be purged." That explanation given, he turns back around to watch as Bannik is knocked from the altar.

A new face shows up, dressed in a flightsuit but without their helmet in their possession, Allie having planned to hit the sims only to wind up here instead. Sticking out like a sore thumb, she clings to the back of the chapel, trying to escape notice of people who might look at her in an unfavorable light because of how she is currently dressed.

If Bannik expected there to be further blows raining down on him, he'll be disappointed, for the time being, as Greje, red-cheeked and angry-eyed, comes to stand behind and to one side of the kneeling man. "His hands," she calls, nodding to someone in the crowd, an MP, by all evidence, who's come with a zip-tie to bind the Specialist's hands behind his back. "His eyes," she looks to Psyche, then. "Do it," she tells the pilot, voice coldly commanding.

Sure, Bannik knew sort of what was going to happen to him. But there was a very /wide range/ of possible punishments. So the fear that those gathered see: the flushed cheeks, the shortness of breath, the wideness in the eyes. That's all real. Perhaps the only mercy is that the lack of glasses means he cannot see which of this crewmates, or which of his friends, is now turned against him. He does not resist what comes next, perhaps stunned by fear and the blow initial blow

And there in Psyche's hands, hidden in her distressed grasp until summoned, is a blindfold. She unfurls it reluctantly, hands gone stupid and nearly useless with dread. Her eyes snap up to meet the Greje's, flashing with a moment of such heated resentment that it seems for a moment like she might refuse the command… then fall away, defeated. Obeying the mouthpiece of the Gods, she steps over to the fallen and tainted crewman, going to one knee as she binds his eyes, making him truly blind. Her hands shake, but she manages to tie it tight.

Cidra slips into the chapel not far behind Alessandra, still shaking her hair out of its standard on-duty bun and down around her shoulders. She's shed her officer blues for the typical off-duty greens she wears here. Arms bare so her tattoos are on display. Just in time to see Bannik bound and blindfolded. She takes up a position standing behind one of the benches. Best to watch the purging.

McQueen's simply lounging still, hand-open against the edge of the pew, like he's at a ball game, watching the whole thing with an almost academic air. If there's any investment in this beyond that of the curious observer, he's hiding it well.

Karthasi leans down, angling the sceptre in her hands as she would a shovel, sticking it up underneath Bannik's bound arms and over one of his shoulders before she pulls upward, "Up. Get up," she tells him, words tense and tight even as she levers him into getting into the requested position, yanking up on the far end of the sceptre to make him bend in a bow even as he stands up.

Marko blinks again as Karthasi raises the scepter. "Juno's cunny…" he breathes, obviously having never seen or heard of this ritual. "She's not…..She won't…" he says in fits and starts…..

Even as his crewmates bind him and blindfold him, even as he's hauled up to his feet like a rag doll, even though his breath is sharp and uneven now, he whispers to his abusers: "It's okay. I forgive you. It's what we have to do for all of us." But his body strains as he is made to bow, not a position Bannik is used to keeping.

Psyche steps back and away from Bannik, having taken his glasses from his pocket. She slips them into her own as she returns to the pews, her face ashen and drawn. It takes more than a little effort to force her eyes back to the violence before the altar.

Nothing from McQueen but a little shrug. His narrowed, pale blue eyes remain centered on the spectacle near the altar. Straightening a little, he edges down the pew.

Alessandra's face tenses as she sees the poor crewman getting hoisted and bound, all for the sins he had been made to bear for the others. Shaking her head, she looks as if she might leave, this truly too horrific for her to bear but curiosity stills her feet before she can even take a step and she does nothing but remain in place.

Karthasi hefts the handle end of the scepter over her own shoulder, making Bannik's arms stick up behind his bent form at a highly uncomfortable angle as she looks to the crowd, nodding once. "You all know what we have to do. We have leave from command to proceed. Let's move out," she tells them, then uses the pole to shove forward and down, goading him to attempt to walk in that bent, wrenched position as she steers him with the pole as if with a rudder.

Devlin watches grimly as Bannik is bound and bowed, crossing his arms against his chest as he watches, lips set and pressed in a thin line. He doesn't appear to be enjoying this, precisely, but he seems committed to seeing it through. As the sister leads the scapegoat down the aisle towards the chapel door, he falls in to follow along with the rest of the crowd.

Cidra, for her part, begins to look rather flushed. Chin arched and breaths deep as she watches the spectacle. She's working herself into something of a fervor, seemingly caught up in the violence. Well, the CAG is not precisely a gentle creature.

Psyche takes a fortifying breath, closing her eyes a moment before following the procession. There are tears in her eyes, brimming unsteadily on her lashes.

"Frak me…" Marko breathes, shaking his head as he watches Bannik being lead out into the corridor, following along with the crowd numbly. "Isn't this taking things a bit too far?"

Cadmus's arrival was without fanfare or noise; indeed even his very presence is confined to the rear of the chapel, filled as it is with those posessed of more faith - and perhaps in his mind, more right to participate - than he. And so he has remained at the rear of the room, to observe. As the processecion moves toward him, however, he does step out into the hallway, arms folding atop his chest as he allows the scapegoat to pass.

"Jus' remember. It's human. Not the work of the gods. We're imperfect." McQueen snaps, softly as his head lolls languidly over to study Marko. This is the pilot's rationale. He pushes against the edge of the pew with the same open hand and slowly moves to follow.

"Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow." Bannik voices his displeasure with these first steps. It is terribly uncomfortable. But after the first few steps, the pain becomes a dull constant, and so Tyr walks each terrible step after another. He strains occasionally against the restraints, his body screaming out even as the kid submits. But the MP called on for this task did his job well.

Devlin glances sidelong at Marko, but just shrugs, replying, "I mean, if Command authorized it…." He trails off, and looks to the sister, shrugging again as he adds, "She knows what's required more than I do, at least." He falls silent again then, following the procession along.

Karthasi goes at the head of the group, only a few of those most enthralled by the ceremony coming up alongside her to whip at the Specialist's flanks like an uncooperative animal if he happens to stumble. And stumbling might well happen, especially on corners, when the bar at hisback suddenly twists, with no warning, and it jerks his head in one direction even as it jerks his arms and back in the other direction. The scapegoat likely hears his fair share of 'what the shit?'s from those in the corridor who have no idea what's going on. Those who at least recognize the ritual take time out of their busy schedules to spit on the bent figure as the priestling drives him along the corridors— and, suddenly, down some stairs. Which might be even trickier. And get similarly no warning for the scapegoat, who might easily fall down them.

Bannik was doing okay. The corners? He took them with some tripping. The twisting? He bore them like a man. The spitting? Well, at least Bannik can't see it — only feel it. But when they get to the stairs, the stairs without warning …

Bannik's foot tries to find a stair that he thinks is there. But it's not. So he plants his foot in thin air. And then, almost in slow motion, one of those things that you can see happening but can't stop, he begins to topple, his weight now all off kilter, begins to fall, and once he hits the first stair, he doesn't stop until he gets to the landing of them. He barely has time to cry out his surprise.

Cidra has stationed herself not far from Cadmus and, when she catches sight of the MP, she flashes him a grin. A far cry from her usual bare-curve of a smile, when she even indulges in that. As the procession moves off she follows, pace fluid. Even she can't help but stop short when Bannik topples down the stairs, however. Actual concern for the rolling specialist tipping through the ritual. That's got to smart.

Marko draws a breath as Bannick tumbles down the ladder, almost moving to aid him before better sense comes over him. "Major? They're not going to space him, are they?" he asks Cidra quietly, his tone indicating that he might not let that happen if he can help it.

"Gods!" Another cry — this from Psyche — one of startled pain and anguish. She presses a fist to her mouth, holding her other hand over her roiling stomach. With an effort, she remains silent after that… and more importantly, in her place.

Despite the fact that it definitely catches him off-guard, Cadmus does lift a hand in response to Cidra's smile - he even tries a return smile on for size. Buffeted as he is by the fluid bodies pushing down the corridor, he doesn't manage to actually *say* much, other than perhaps a "Maj.oof…Major…" before Tyr takes his fall down the stairs. Cadmus recoils, partially turning his face but managing not to actually avert his eyes from the sight. He does grit his teeth, though.

McQueen remains closedmouth, but even he winces at the last set of blows, falling in line with the procession shortly thereafter, his hands bunched in his pockets.

Devlin winces as Bannik takes that tumble down the stairs, leaning over to observe whether the specialist makes it back to his feet under his own power or not. Caught in the tide of the crowd, he follows the ritual down the hall.

Karthasi did not actually mean to shove the Specialist down the stairs. She steps down onto the frist step, even, in an effort to stop him falling, but, realizing that yanking up on the pole she'd had him trapped on was probably going to hurt him more than letting him fall, she opts for the latter, the scepter sliding from its spot as gravity grabs hold of Bannik and takes him down the stairs the hard way. In a moment or two she's at his side, touching him with hands remarkably gentle for the course of this rite, trying to tell whether anything's obviously broken. "We'll carry him," she decides, and, no sooner has she decided it than there are a group of people from the head of the procession there. "Be careful," she tells them, and they— are. For all the pain Bannik's been through, this seems more reminiscent of his treatment as a Lord than as a pariah, and if it weren't for the fact that he's already been fairly well hurt, it might almost be nice.

From the initial touch, it doesn't seem as if anything is broken, but the Lords — the actual ones — know that he's going to be waking up with a lot of bruises tomorrow. He's shaking, scared and disoriented from the fall, his blindfold and zip-ties remaining stubbornly in place. He is in no place to object to being carried, nor would he at this point. Stunned and in pain, he just submits to it all.

"All shall be as the Lords and Ladies will it, Lance Corporal," Cidra says with another flash of teeth to Cadmus. Perhaps heartened by the fact that Bannik did not die in his tumble down the stairs.

Marko watches, half-entranced, half-horrified as Bannik is borne up and whisked away. "I thought my Mom was crazy/" he sighs, looking around at all of those cheering the procession on.

Psyche looks relieved — but only fleetingly — as Bannik is lifted and carried. She is still ashen pale, eyes bleak. Doom writ large in her expression of sick dread. The tears that have been threatening her eyes all this time finally fall.

"Nothing in the heavens really thinks like man." McQueen softly narrates as he proceeds on. That's all the running commentary the man provides, really. His lined face contorts slightly as he walks.

"So everyone keeps telling me, Major Hahn," Cadmus ventures, pushing some of the crowd to and fro in an effort to keep the stairs flowing in an orderly fashion. After a moment, he begins to descent, regarding the lofted crewman as he does. There's something about the lift of his chin and the dour cast to his lips that indicates he is dubious about this ceremony nonetheless.

Devlin glances back at McQueen briefly as he speaks, and down at Psyche as the blonde begins to cry, and then looks away, back over and ahead at the once-lord now vessel-of-sin carried by the most zealous of the participants.

Bannik has a decent chance to recover himself, the journey on the stairs a considerable one, given that it's crawling at the pace a group of five people can carry a man down the stairs— well, without their being a group of medical corpsmen trained to perform such maneuvers. They're more like a group of your friends you bribe with beer to get your couch out into the moving van, but they manage to get him down to the required deck without dropping him. There, they're met with the last leg of Bannik's accompaniment, a small group of his more religious comrades from the deck, into whose arms the Specialist is eased, to be carried, if he needs carrying, or simply led, if he can be coaxed into getting his feet under him. They abscond with the Specialist down one corridor, while the Priestling looks back to the crowd, flushed-faced, mouth open, and she gestures with her head, "Along here," she calls, and leads he rest of the procession down in another direction.

By the time they reach the deck, Bannik is no longer seeing stars. He murmurs: "I think — let me try —" He takes a halting step. His ankle almost rolls out from under him, but he catches himself with the help of one of the aircraft handlers on his right side. He takes another step. Again, he lurches forward, and is caught. But by the third or fourth step, he recalls what it's like to walk again, and so he does just that, willing to be led where he is to go, the fallen god beaten and defeated.

"That's kind o what's worrying me, Queen." Marko replies flatly, then stiffens a little as Bannick is whisked away, following Karthasi breathlessly. "No man knows what the Gods think, either." he adds.

Psyche stands frozen for a few heartbeats, watching the group herding Bannik away. She whispers what might be a prayer, pressing her clasped hands to her lips before hurrying to rejoin Greje's procession.

Devlin looks surprised when Bannik is borne off down a different passage than the one Karthasi leads the rest of them towards, watching the first group peel off curiously before following the priestess.

Cidra's eyes narrow a little as she continues to follow the procession. Surprised, perhaps, at the depth which they're going into this ritual aboardship. She's still with it, though, chin tilted up to eye the poor specialist's progress.

"It's all that it is. Whatever you make of it, mate." McQueen's languid response to Marko is nontheless on the neutral side of enthusiasm, all things considered. His smile is thin and meant more for reassurance than any warmth.

"Take my sins with you," a familiar voice whispers to Bannik as he's led along. "And mine," another rejoins, "And mine," yet another. The sound of a hatchway opening, and the zip cord is snipped from his hands, and the blindfold slid from his head, letting him catch just a glimpse of a face in the light as he's spun around and into the dark, the hatch slammed shut behind him, sealing with a hiss. He's free to move, now, though it's pitch black— almost.

Just as he might become aware that the faint light teasing his eyes is actually coming from the stars outside, a thick click-clunk announces the suddenly blindingly bright lights switched on in the airlock, as well as the airlock control center, just on the other side of the glass, into which the bulk of the procession has been dutifully received by those on duty there. Who were obviously expecting them.

An airlock. Naturally. Cadmus is less than surprised at the destination, nodding a little to himself as the control center comes into view. The Marine does not step forward to touch the scapegoat, nor does he voice any desire for Bannik to carry his sins away. He just folds his arms, steps back, and lets it play out. There is a moment's hesitation as the hatch closes, however; a near-start. Perhaps he's not as guilt free as he thinks he is.

Bannik knows this place. He knows it well. He knows the basics of loading a Viper into one of these; he knows the basics of firefighting and getting a pilot out of one of these. But now? Now he's here. Dazed, bruised, and every one of his frantic breaths hurting his probably-bruised ribs, not to mention effectively blinded by his loss of glasses — he can only cry out. "I'll take them! All of them! I'm doing this for you! Just — please." Make it stop? Appreciate it? He doesn't say. But it sounds like he's on the verge of tears. For all of his religious calm, he is only an eighteen year-old deckhand who has never really been kicked around before; not like this.

"No way…" Marko says, starting to edge his way forward. "No….This is not what the Gods want…" he says firmly. "Human sacrifice? Really?" he growls.

Psyche seems on the verge of hyperventilating, herself. She puts her hands over her nose and mouth, trembling like a leaf, watching the battered, terrified boy in the airlock. The tears come freely.

"It's an established pattern. It's — it is, isn't it?" McQueen's cool seems to falter slightly here as he glances back at Psyche, and then Marko, murmuring under his breath. Maybe he's not so sure.

"Sacrifice…" Cidra breathes out the word in something between horror and awe. Like she's torn between prostrating herself on the deck in zealous chanting or protesting. Such are the contradictory impulses of fundamentalism and command. She runs her fingers through her hair, letting out a long and shuddering breath.

Devlin sets a hand on Psyche's arm for a moment, his own gaze remaining firmly on Bannik in the airlock. He appears more apologetic than anything else, already too much resigned to the deckhand's ordeal to protest.

Go big or go home. This is the note of the evening. Sin to the point where no sin is left untouched. Purge to the point where no trace of the pollution is left. In the days of old the Scapegoat was run blindfolded off of the edge of a cliff, dashed on the rocks and drowned in the waves. No blood touched the altar— not human sacrifice, proper. But a purging. The ultimate purging. It's only been performed a fistful of times in post-scriptural history, all during plagues that killed in the millions of people. When there was nothing but death, one more death, as if by glutting the gates of Hades the flow of souls thither might be staunched. One more time? For old times' sake? Greje lifts a hand, flicks on the speaker, numb-fingered, heart in her throat. "On, on, Orestes, the furies at your back. Red you are with blood-sin and blasphemy. Into the water, there either to die, or, if the Lords show you mercy, to land upon some foreign shore where the natives know no comfort or kindness." She flicks the speakers off again, then moves her eyes from Bannik to the airlock controls, licking her lower lip once as she unlocks the control box, preparing to vent the airlock.

Bannik is free now, his hands unbound, his eyes uncovered. He is, in a sense, loosed to do as he will. But he does not pound on the glass. He does not try to find a way out. Perhaps he's too dazed. Perhaps he cannot see without his glasses. Or perhaps — just perhaps — he is giving himself over fully to the ceremony. What he does, instead, is he drops to his knees and folds his hands in prayer. "I do this for you!" he calls out at those in the control room. "And for all! So that sins may be forgiven!" But despite his brave words, his tears fall freely down his cheeks, the pain and fear and adrenalin becoming all too much.

Marko continues edging his way forward, a growing anger on his face. "This is _not_ Godly." he says, flatly for any and all sundry to hear. "The Gods don't want this, they _never_ wanted this…._We_ do….."

Psyche balls up her fists against her mouth, then strikes them against her thighs, one foot stomping the deckplates. She practically vibrates with tension, grinding her teeth as she forces herself to look out into the airlock. She cough-hiccups on her tears, whispering in the tinniest of voices: "Be brave." It's not entirely clear who she's talking to.

Cadmus's hand is on his nightsick, but he's not moving for love nor money. Now that Bannik is out of sight, he is once more the dispassionate, polished MP he's supposed to be - no longer starting at falls down stairs or pleas to take sins away. While he does watch the Chaplain's hands. Despite the high emotions, it seems he is unwilling to believe any Chapel official would *actually* flush a crewman out into the empty.

"Correct." That's all McQueen says. To whom he says it to, however, is not entirely clear. No direction of speech, no shift of his head is given. It's just what it is, to him. He extends an arm and leans up against a bulkhead.

Devlin says nothing, just pins his hands firmly beneath his cross arms and watches, gaze flicking between the airlock and the airlock controls.

Marko may not be on board. But Bannik is on board with this, to all evidence, and Greje catches his eye, taking a deep breath and maybe a little bit of strength at his prayer. She can do this. Palm flattens the unlocked control, shoving the big button flush with the panel and holding it. Five. Four. Three. Two. One.


The lights flash from white to dim-red to bright-red and through the cycle over and over again as the deck plating vibrates with the force of the sound warning everyone that Shit Is About To Go Down. Bannik probably knows the drill as well as anyone else, can feel the locking and safety mechanisms doing their familiar little dance below the deck— chunk-ca-chunk-thunk-thunk, hisssss— this last the sound of the doors settling slightly as the hydraulic seals break in preparation for venting. And then?

Ker-KRONK! roars through the airlock as the lights resume a nominal dim red. Something has gone wrong. Or, as the case may be, very, very right. The final failsafe, beyond all reason or perhaps with careful planning, refused to release as the doors pulled on them to open. Greje lets out a breath she barely sensed holding, shoulders slouching a little ways as she finally closes her eyes.

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