PHD #222: That Which Is Lost
That Which Is Lost
Summary: Two department heads have very different reactions in the chapel.
Date: 06 Oct 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Cidra Madilyn 
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: #222

Evening in the chapel. The place is quiet, between services as it is. But it's hardly deserted. The benches and altars are usually occupied by at least a few crewmembers, whatever the hour. Cidra Hahn is presently one of them. She's seated on a bench at the back of the chapel, prayer beads wrapped loosely around her fingers, head bowed. Or slumped, more accurately. If one took a moment to watch her, one would realize she's…asleep.

Good thing that the door to the chapel is one of those not usually thrown open like the place was on fire. Most crew seem to respect the place enough to be a little gentle in unlocking the thing. Madilyn happens to be one of those people. While some people look comfortable coming to the chapel - some more than others, it would seem - the marine major looks a little out of element. Rigid and tense, she doesn't seem to know quite where to go or what to do without a formal service being held. So she just stands inside the door looking around for the moment, nary a prayer bead in sight.

Cidra does not, at the very least, snore. And her dozing is fitful, head coming up as if she's half-waking, only to droop back down again as she flirts more with unconsciousness. Madilyn's entry is missed, as she's still more or less out of it. Likewise, the other occupants of the chapel generally have their thoughts turned inward. A few make offerings up at the altar. Some just sit on the benches, reading scripture, or just seated quietly.

Following the example of the other chapel-goers, Madilyn finds a seat somewhere among the middle tiers. Looking positively bewildered - religion isn't one of her strongest suits - she just sits there quietly. The only sounds she makes are a few deep breaths now and then. After a few moments though, she pulls the dog tags out of the front of uniform and holds them in her palm, shutting her eyes and bowing her head forward.

"Eh?" Exclaimed softly from where Cidra sits and dozes. It's not a reaction to anything in particular. She's just, rather suddenly, coming to proper consciousness. She raises her head, yawning, blinking a bit as if to clear her throat. A hand comes up to run her fingers through her hair. But she has to distangle said fingers from her beads before she can make any attempt at straightening it. Upon waking, eyes looking forward, she notices Madilyn. Not that she interrupts the Marine major. She leaves the woman to whatever reflection she's engaged in, though she does watch the other woman with some curiosity. Perhaps not used to seeing her in chapel. The CAG, for her part, is a frequent visitor here.

Luckily for Madilyn, the fact that her hair is all pulled back makes it a lot easier to slide the chain to the dog tags out from around her neck. It's not just the tags on that beaded metal chain though: there are two golden rings as well, one a plain gold loop, the other a loop with a single diamond set. After a moment of regarding them in her palm, she closes her hand around them, and pulls them to her forhead. Unluckily for Madilyn, the fact that her hair is all pulled back makes it impossible for it to fall about her face and hide the fact that the watery eyes have officially started to cry.

Cidra takes a deep breath, stifling another yawn, attempting to pull herself properly awake. Gods only know how long she was dozing there. It appears to have been quite awhile. Her own eyes are dry, albeit a bit reddened. Perhaps a product of just waking now, perhaps of whatever she was doing before she dozed off. It's hard to tell. Madilyn is still left to her privacy, but Cidra does not remain on her bench. Stretching her long, tattooed arms she stands and makes her way up toward the altars. Kneeling at the one dedicated to Hermes.

The CAG standing and going to the altar isn't enough to get anyone's attention it would seem. She's just another worshipper in here. It's very likely that Madilyn may not even have her own personal god to worship specifically. Besides having a good cry, she still looks - quite appropriately - like she was last in a chapel decades ago. More than quarter of a century ago, to be more accurate.

Cidra kneels her somewhat disheveled self before the altar. Her hair's still mussed, as are her off-duties, eyes thick with sleep and whatever she was doing before she fell into it. Madilyn is left to her tears. But Cidra is not quiet. She closes her eyes and, after a beat, starts to sing. Well, something resembling singing. It's less a proper song than a throaty chant that, like the rhythm of prayer beads, loops upon itself so it can be repeated - perhaps for hours on end. In Old Gemenese, and kept relatively soft, so the words are hard to discern. But her alto runs through it once, twice, then over again for a third as she kneels there. It's not an unpleasant tune, albeit rather dirge-like and longing.

When the singing starts, Madilyn just has to look up and see who it is doing said singing. It takes a second to focus in, since a mussy-haired brunette from the back is just an anonymous mussy-haired brunette when you're looking through blurry, teary eyes. Her free hand is used to brush that away though, and she sits and listens intently, not knowing what the words mean, even if she can hear them clearly.

There's nothing, apart from her tattoos, to particularly identify Cidra from the back. She's certain not wearing any sing of rank. She loops through the dirge a half-dozen times. The number seems important. Then, she lets it trail off into quiet. Hands digging into her pockets, she removes several small slips of folded paper, laying them upon the altar. And then, she reaches into her pocket and plucks out a lighter. The papers are lit aflame. It's not a large fire. They curls and smoulder quickly. And, once they're properly ashed, she blows gently on the remains of them.

The chapel seems to be the only place on ship where setting fire to things is actually encouraged. That could definitely be a problem if one of the deckies decided that they wanted to have a little ceremony down there. But now Cidra's appealing to that terrible Caprican logic. Though she still sniffles from time to time, the diamond on the ring isn't biting into her palm as hard, and the outline of the plan ring will likely fade shortly.

Cidra passes her hand over the slight traces of smoke as they taper up from the altar. Just continuing to kneel there for a moment. Watching the flames go out. She then stands and turns, to stride back to the benches. Eyes briefly meet Madilyn as she passes the Marine major. A deep inclination of her head is offered, but not verbal greeting given.

The gesture is returned to the CAG; a verbal greeting doesn't seem appropriate in this place. Though she makes all attempt to hide the puffy, drippy eyes, it's basically impossible. All Madilyn can muster is a little wan smile. At least there aren't any marines in here to watch her as at least part of the last 8 months decides to bubble up and leak out her eyeballs.

Cidra makes an effort to project the image of an emotionless wall of CAG in public. How well she does at that depends on who you ask, though her walls are quite down here. Mostly she just looks worn out and sad. "My prayers today are to Hermes," she says softly, winding the beads again around her fingers. "He is a joyful messenger. Swift. Brave. But also charged with conveyance of the souls of the dead. I pray to him often."

To this, Madilyn offers a slight nod. "It would seem that he's receiving many prayers of late," she comments regarding the loss of life in…well, just about everything anymore. "I don't even know why I'm here right now. I haven't been to a chapel in years, in decades even. If I had a personal god, I've long since lost touch."

"There are many gods and goddesses. As there are many aspects of humanity. And they have made us in their images. For better or worse," Cidra says, tone soft and wry. "I am devotee of the Athena. The Wise Lady. But She is a wordly goddess. Her eyes are focused upon tasks and plans, and not so much backward, for those lost. I, at times, find it difficult to maintain focus." She clears her throat. Letting her beads go slack in her hands, though she still holds them. "What time is it?"

"It's…" Madilyn starts to say while looking at her watch. "Twenty-one twenty," she completes. Heh, she says with a little smile. "I didn't expect to be down here this late. I just found myself wandering down here." To have a good cry, she neglects to add.

"Twenty-one. Gods. I slept here again. All night." Cidra sighs. "Been doing that more and more lately. The berthings…I cannot seem to get myself at ease there. I have been walking up here. Or to my office. Just…I cannot think in there. I need to get my head in order." She says it half like she's talking to herself. Cloudy blue eyes, with some effort, focus on Madilyn. "Why did you come tonight?" The question is asked very softly. "If you have not seen chapel in so long?"

The answer to Cidra's question comes when Madilyn holds the palm with the dog tags up, and opens the finger to reveal the rings. "Two marriages in the crew recently. I suppose I began to wax romantic, only to remember that what, and who, I had are gone. Forever. Except for in here," she says, tapping her temple. "And in here," she concludes, tapping her heart. "This just seemed to be the right place to come for a good, cleansing cry." As if one sob session will get over that. Poor, naive Caprican.

Cidra smiles, ever so faintly, though only somberness is reflected in her blue eyes. "Raine and Flasher. Alexis and Bubbles. Yes. I know. It had made me think on another lifetime. Two lifetimes ago, really. When I wanted no more than to fly back to Picon and settle into a house on the lake, and get myself children and a dog with him." She shrugs. "That has been gone for a long time now, though." A slight nod to Madilyn. "I do not come here to find answers. The gods do not give them so easily. But it is a place one can think. And cry." She's likely done that here often enough herself, much as she tries to avoid it anywhere else remotely public.

"I am technically off-duty, but I haven't decided whether I wish to stay here or not. There's a rather large schism I'd say, given the amount of time I've been remiss," Madilyn muses. "Just sitting and thinking may be a good start, I hope." Madilyn offers the CAG a friendly little smile, but one that also says she doesn't want to hold the other woman up any longer than is necessary.

"A chapel on a ship like this is not so formal a thing as a temple, really," Cidra says. "It would give my priests back on Gemenon fits how…unitarian it is. But. This place is not just made for me. Or a devotee of any one god, or even the gods. At the very least, it is a quiet place any can find reflection. Try to find peace." For her part, she sounds like she's still searching. With another soft sigh, she slides off her bench and stands. "I should…I should be on duty soon. I should shower. Among…other things. I do hope you find what you are looking for, Madilyn." Has she ever used the woman's given name before? Probably not.

"Thank you, Cidra," Madilyn replies in kind. "I hope so too, and you as well, for what it's worth." When the CAG stands, Madilyn takes the chain and puts it back around her neck, tucking the valuables back down the front of her uniform shirt and out of sight.

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