PHD #344: Talk of Home
Talk of Home
Summary: Cidra and Gabrieli talk on things past.
Date: 05 Feb 2042 AE
Related Logs: None beyond vague references.
Cidra Gabrieli 
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: #344

Gabrieli tends to time his visits to the chapel for when there aren't many people around. About an hour after services usually does the trick, chaplains having wandered off and servicemen away to their posts or off to bed. In his off-duties, he's up at the front, facing the altar and the various emblems dedicated to their gods. Though where the ex-ChEng is well-known to be a follower of Poseidon, at the moment he's sitting on the bench in front of a different emblem. Artemis.

Cidra is often in the chapel, for her part. She tries to make one service a day, and always visits before CAP if she can. That's likely what's approaching now, as she's dressed in her flight suit as she enters. Helmet tucked under her arms and gloves off, leaving her hands bare save for the olive wood prayer beads they hold. She pauses when she notes Gabrieli, records him a moment, and then makes her way up to the altars. It's the one dedicated to Athena that she kneels at, bowing her head.

Gabrieli's arms are on his knees, hands folded between them. His cap is off, sitting on the bench beside him, and leaves his eyes unshaded as they watch the emblem from under his brows. "Se sa ou vle?" Soft words, that would make no sense to someone who wasn't Gemenese. Perhaps even difficult to understand for Gemenese themselves, rural dialect as it is. Is that what you want? is the question. His voice fades away as someone passes him, and he watches the back of Cidra's head for a moment before looking back at the emblem.

Cidra sets her helmet and flight gloves down, putting them aside, beads twining around her long, slim fingers. She falls into an easy rhythm with them instantly, rolling them over her knuckles, thumb pausing to brush the crude little owl charm they're strung with. "~Wise Lady grant me clarity and courage. Grant me fortitude in my duties and strength in my actions. Grant me thus…~" Murmured soft, not in Standard but in Gemenese. Such is how she prefers to pray.

Gabrieli has lapsed into silence for his part, staying seated as he is. There's something metallic palmed between his laced fingers, which his thumb gently rolls around and then slides through. A small ring.

Cidra finishes her prayers with another soft invocation to Athena, then straightens and backs away from the altar. Though she does not exit the chapel. Rather she heads toward one of the front row benches to sit, still fingering her beads. It's not in any particularly meditative rhythm. She just seems to find solace in the feel of them. Gabrieli is glanced down at as she leaves the altars. Or, rather, his fingers. The ring is observed, though she asks nothing about it. She speaks not to him at all just now.

Nor does Gabrieli say anything to the CAG; who knows if it would be different if this weren't such a naturally quiet place. He does, at least, look up — if not sit up — as she gets closer to the pew.

"~How do you find the gods this day?~" Cidra finally does speak, and in Gemenese at that, cadence falling back easily into the drawl of her homeworld. The question is asked soft. Partially reluctance to disturb the general quiet of the chapel. Partially.

"I haven't, quite yet." Gabrieli's accent in his dialect isn't like it is in Standard. In Standard it's got an element of 'not quite fitting'. In Gemenese it's a gentle lilt, full of soft 'sh' sounds and round vowels. Almost like water. "Silent, if only to me." He wraps his fingers around that thumb, ring out of sight, and looks back at the altar. "You?"

Cidra's Gemenese likewise has a much easier flow to it. Her Standard will never quite lose the stilted, academic awkwardness, but in her home tongue she speaks flowingly in the lilting drawl of Dryope Province. With just a slight rolling of her ls common in cityfolk there. "~I haven't either. But I search in my heart and pray the heavens and fires below hear me, and perhaps they shall find me. I'm on patrol in an hour. I try to honor the Wise Lady before I go to such things. Clear eyes and steady hands I pray She grants me. As I've not failed too badly yet, I take it as a sign She flies with me.~"

"~I suppose that's as good as any.~" Gabrieli keeps his eyes on the altar, folding his hands again. "~At least…I'd guess one would know when Athena is displeased.~"

"~When I'm cursed with moments of stupidity I presume it is due to Her displeasure~." It's a soft joke, said ruefully. Cidra's thumb passes over the little owl charm again, pausing on it. She's silent for a beat. "~It feels good to speak the home tongue. It's always like slipping into a pair of comfortable shoes.~"

"~Or taking them off,~" Gabrieli offers, at length. As she certainly knows, he never wears shoes when he doesn't have to, some deep-seated comfort in casting away the tight laces and hard soles. His voice stays so soft that it's hard to hear much of his intonation. "~But it won't go on, you know.~"

Cidra isn't much for shoes either though, kitted up to fly, she's little choice but heavy boots are present. "~Nay. But it's nice for the moment. My mother didn't let us speak Standard at home when we were children. She said it was just Caprica's way of trying to influence us, making us speak their language. Turning our eyes from true Faiths. Changing our morals, our politics. It's funny. It wasn't until I went to study at the Athena Schools that I learned it properly. Not the Sisters were easy on us. The Athenian priestesses are stern teachers. But I felt…freer than I ever had growing up with her there.~"

Gabrieli says nothing, for a while. Such a long while that it almost seems he's chosen to end the conversation without so much as a warning. Then, under his breath: "~Your mother was a priestess.~" Unclear if that was a statement or a question.

"~My mother was a sworn sister of Hera~," Cidra replies to Gabrieli. "~And she thought I would enter the service of Athena, the Wise Lady. When they called the auspices after my birth, the symbol of the owl featured prominent. She took it as a sign and set me hard upon the path. I was going to take my vows are university. And then I…didn't.~" She chuckles soft. "~Call it an act of rebellion, I suppose. She never forgave me for it. We never forgave each other for a lot of things~." There's regret in her voice.

A few heartbeats' worth of silence pass between them again. Gabrieli glances down at his hands, then back at the altar. "~She stayed on the path, then? All her life, kept the fires lit?~"

"~She kept in temple in Shinkirsei, where I was raised,~" Cidra replies. "~A prosperous one, as that sort of thing goes. All her life. I suppose she was there when the Cylons rained down on Gemenon. The reconnaissance we've gathered says they bombed all the holy places, the great temples, the cities…it's all gone, Dominic. And what isn't gone is bound to the toasters in some sort of sick bondage.~"

Gabrieli opens his mouth, as if about to say something, then stops himself. He rubs his thumb over his first knuckle, following the well-traced edge of one of his many flattened burn scars. "~Bondage~". This time his tone is less neutral. Despite the downtone, that was definitely a question.

"~The footage we gathered shows signs of…digging,~" Cidra says it softly, her tone muted by horror now as much as respect for her surroundings. "~Humans, it looks like. Perhaps their abominations. Their 'humanoid' Cylons. Or perhaps they have put our people in chains to do whatever…service keeps them on that world.~" She shudders. "~It is so strange, Dominic. They have abandoned all the outer colonies save Gemenon.~" There's a touch of bitterness in her tone. Those of Sagittaron and Aerilon and Tauron got a chance to go home, however destroyed and horrible those homes were.

"~Digging?~" Gabrieli's greenish eyes turn to look at Cidra for the first time since she sat down. And now, maybe, she can see the slight reserve that's still in them, despite the willingness to meet hers. "~Like the digging they were doing on Leonis? Or…?~"

Cidra rarely has any trouble with eye contact, though her eyes reveal little of what she's thinking or feeling at any given moment. Her hands, clutching her beads tightly now as if seeking comfort from them, are generally betters tells to her mood. "~Like Leonis? Perhaps. In what way? They seemed more…excavations than any sort of mining operation. And there are richer places to take resources from than our Gemenon. What they are getting from them, are finding within them, I know not. I want to take a second look at the place. Another recon Raptor flight. More…I am not sure Command would allow. I'm not sure I could justify it. Even going back like this…part of me is sure it's just me wanting to go home…even if I left home a long time ago…~"

"~When I read the reports from Leonis they mentioned digging.~" Connected to the humans found in the tower, among other things. Gabrieli looks at her a moment longer and then the contact is broken, his head turning back towards the altar. "~You are fortunate enough to have the power to lobby for such a thing.~" While not quite bitter, the words do have something in their undertone. She can fly a Raptor, see things. He's here on the ship. "~I would not waste the try if I were you.~"

"~You still have Pewter's ear, Dominic. He still holds you in high regard. Trusts you. I trust you, too.~" Cidra's thumb continues to work over the owl on her beads. "~There are…signs pointing back there. Lampridis Falls on Gemenon keeps coming up again and again. In dreams the crew is having. I…haven't myself. Others have. The gods have never touched my mind in that way.~" And there's a touch of bitterness there, too. Mixed with sorrow, and regret. "~The Cylons must have something on Gemeon they still need, or they would have left it like they did Sagittaron and the others. Perhaps it has something to do with that…ship my people found. It was on the edge of Gemonese space. An….ancient vessel. Thousands of years. Just…sitting out there.~"

"~They told me of it~" Gabrieli replies, at length. As if some other things had come to mind to say, but he'd taken the time to boil them down to just that. His eyes have fixed back on the emblem of Artemis, the words almost aimed there more than to Cidra. "~I was…thinking about it.~"

"~The Huntress.~" Cidra's eyes follow Gabrieli's to the altar. "~I always hold Her close in my prayers. Her and Hestia of the Hearth. The Virgin goddesses. I was to join one of the chaste orders, you know. Of Athena.~" The wry humor in her voice is impossible to miss. "~That's why my parents didn't Promise me, to be married. Both my sisters wed at sixteen. Gave my parents many grandchildren. I could never imagine myself in that kind of life. They seemed happy in it, though…~" She trails off. "~…not that it matters anymore. I would, for a wide variety of reasons, have made a terrible priestess. Anyhow. What were you thinking on it, Dominic?~"

Gabrieli's answer is simple, a counterpoint to a quiet tangle of emotion underneath. "~Going.~"

"~To the ancient ship.~" It's not a question. Cidra says, "~I'm going. With the Raptors set to fly back. Part of me believes it's a Cylon trap. Another part…even if it is, I don't think I could forgive myself if I didn't set foot upon it.~"

Again there's a heavy hesitation, as if Gabrieli had something else to say. But again, it doesn't gain breath. "~It is what it is. So we will see.~" He rubs his fingers between his eyebrows and glances at his watch as his hand lowers. "~Your CAP is coming up.~"

"~We'll see what we'll see,~" Cidra affirms philosophically. She also glances at his watch. Blinking some at the time. "~Nearly so. I should be going.~" She stands, taking her helmet and flight gloves with her, though neither are donned yet. "~It's been good talking with you, Dominic. There are so few I can speak the home tongue with.~"

"~Get it before it's gone~" Gabrieli answers. There's no blithe humor in the words; that was serious advice. He sits up and back, folding his arms. "~Gods watch.~"

"~They always are,~" is Cidra's response. And off she goes.

And here he stays. Gabrieli slides the ring back off his thumb once Cidra's left, settling it on his palm. Artemis has many hours of company left to look forward to, most of them silent as a tomb.

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