PHD #239: Theology on Crates
Theology on Crates
Summary: Bannik and Rose chat theology in the Starboard Hangar Deck.
Date: 23 October 2041 AE
Related Logs: None.
Bannik Rose 
Hangar Deck — Starboard — Midship — Battlestar Cerberus
This Hangar Bay is filled with boxes, crates and other various supplies that are needed throughout the ship. Most have been moved to one end and lashed with tarps to keep them out of the way. The place has gone from extra ship storage on one end and the ability to house over 450 people on the other end. Whatever could be made into cots has been set up like a huge barracks. Some areas have been made more presentable with a few items that belong to the person holding onto their small area in this world.
Post-Holocaust Day: #239

The quality of life has improved drastically since the installation of running water and the raids on Aerilon bringing supplies. Still, it's little more than a barracks despite all that's changed over the months. People change more than the circumstances, and that includes Rose. She's standing at the far end of the hangar, by Astra Koios' makeshift school, where the more 'passive' folk have tended to congregate. Rose works on a scavenged blackboard, with her right hand scratching out formulae in white chalk, and her left hand placed on a horizontal ruler that spans the entire length. Every so often she clicks the ruler down several inches and begins writing anew. Has her sight returned since Bannik was last down here?

Just because the plumbing is in place, that doesn't mean that Tyr Bannik doesn't visit the Starboard Hangar deck anymore. He sometimes leads a prayer group — when his schedule allows — or chips in with some of the maintenance. But his schedule is busy as heck, running him ragged. So it's for the first time in a while that he is able to make his way down here, wandering over towards that school and the woman there. "Ms. Ibbhanas?" he asks, tentatively. Does she even remember him?

Rose pauses mid-equation, turning halfway, glancing off in a direction that's near the source of the voice. "Yes? That's me," she says, placing the chalk down. She fumbles towards the edge of the chalkboard for her whitestick, and once it's firmly in her hand she turns to face Bannik. "That sounds like…"

"Tyr Bannik," fills in the Specialist, offering his name. "We met when you came on board." And you had a meltdown about Lauren Coll. "How are you doing? Is — the — is the water making a difference?" That was his project after all. Him and others.

"Mister Bannik! Yes, I'm quite well, thank you!" Rose begins crossing the distance, tapping with her stick as she goes, although it's mostly open deck between her and him. Her eyes are as cloudy as ever. "The water makes a tremendous difference. Working toilets! Showers! You have no idea how much that improves morale." Seems her morale is considerably lighter from that time as well. "How are you? I haven't seen, or heard, from you in quite some time. The prayer circles have missed your presence; I've tried to fill in where I can."

Bannik blushes at the compliment, whether or not she can see it. "I am sorry I cannot come down as much as I would like. I am in — high demand, wherever I go, it seems." He glances down at his feet. "I am sorry. I'll try to come more. But you — how is your —" Sight. But he doesn't say it.

Rose tries to contain her smile, but fails. "I'm managing, Mr. Bannik, I'm managing. My health is as good as it's going to get. The doctors tell me I'm a candidate for all sorts of future therapy and tests regarding cancers and whatnot, but, here I am. Alive. And very grateful for it. And as far as my eyes, I don't expect it to ever get repaired, what, with so many civilians and supplies stretched thin even with Aerilon…"

"That's very selfless of you, Ms. Ibbhanas," says Tyr, with real — if not surprise, then appreciation — in his voice. "Very few people have such vision, if you will excuse the phrase." He gestures towards a nearby crate or two. "Do you want to sit and spell and talk?" he asks. "If I am not distracting you?"

"I would welcome the distraction, thank you," she says, and immediately begins walking over towards a pair of nearby overturned crates that are used as benches. Seems she knows right where she is, even if she can't see. She folds her stick up and places it beside her as she sits. "The equations come back to me when I'm writing them. Dr. Alkhar insisted on real chalkboards rather than anything computerized. So when I need to recall things I often feel the need to scrawl it out. Aids in the recollection process."

"Of course." Bannik nods. "Sometimes looking at the screen just isn't the same, you know? We have so few computers down in the Deck that I do a lot of my writing long-hand for reports and things. Just makes it easier somehow, to get it out." He settles onto his crate and folds his hands on his lap.

Rose purses her lips as she considers what to say next. "You know, Mr. Bannik, I never had a real opportunity to thank you. For helping me through a tough time. I think all of our faiths have been challenged by what's happened. And you were there when I needed someone the most. I felt… lost. I thought my god was dead. I was… foolish. Grief-stricken."

"The gods lift those who lift each other." Tyr repeats the cliched line with such force that it perhaps doesn't sound so cliche coming from him. "We all have to be there for one another. Because we're all we have." He pauses. "I — I got to go back to my farm. My home. And no one was there." Another pause. "So I guess I'm learning that first-hand."

Rose rests a hand on his arm, if she'll let him. "I'm very sorry," she breathes. "Aerilon is hard for me, as well; my alma mater is down there, somewhere. I know it's not the same, but… Dr. Alkar was like a grandfather. He was my mentor. Everything I know, all of the knowledge I bring to the hydroponics program, is because of his tutelage."

Rose shakes her head, smiling softly at him. "To be honest, I can't figure out why. You're a caring, sensitive man. You're very smart, and you speak well. I would wager that you are far more emotionally and intellectually mature than some of the criminals that inhabit the other side of the hangar," she says, 'looking' past him towards the far end of the hangar. That's where many rebellious Sagittarons and other military-hating folk tend to congregate, and where most of the marine presence is concentrated. Then, she focuses back on him, her gaze not perfectly on his face, but close enough. "The answers we can't get from life, we turn to the gods for. Scripture. Faith. And community."

Bannik blushes furiously. Aw. "Well, that's sweet of you to say," is all he can get out. But perhaps that's why he was shoved into lockers. Emotionally mature kids don't do well in high school. "I think that's right, though. But I'm not sure how it should be. We should try to get all of our answers from the gods, even the ones we can learn in life. Because the gods have given us all we have in life. We shouldn't forget that."

Rose squeezes her hand lightly on his arm. "Remember when I said to you that I had thought Poseidon was dead? I've come to revise my assessment, from our scripture studies here, and from my own personal reflection," she explains. "Fishermen on Aquaria only took from Poseidon with the proper ritual. Mariners wouldn't dare fish from the ocean, as they were already sailing upon Poseidon's oceans. We must offer oblation in ritual and in faith in order for the gods to maintain the universe in which we live. When the Cylons attacked, it was as if the gods were taking our pride and our hubris away from us, by humbling us in the most severe way. I believe now that Poseidon, and all the Lords of Kobol, took from us. And I had realized that Poseidon was done taking at Miss Lunair's wedding. Finally, He had given back." And she grows silent, letting Bannik absorb everything she said.

To his credit, Bannik is quiet for a long time, taking this all in. When he speaks, it's deliberately, as if he's thinking before saying anything. "Some people think that. That — what happened was some great purging for all of our hubris. I don't know. Would so many people have to suffer for our sins? I know that this has all happened before and that it will all happen again; but I confess I am uncertain."

Rose shakes her head. "I don't know. But what's done is done, and it's not our place to question the gods, only try to understand their will and their intentions," she murmurs. Then, a sheepish smile. "I confess I'm not a theologian. I know what my grandmother taught me, and I can read the scrolls like any other person. But I feel punished. And humbled."

"Neither am I." Bannik confesses it easily. "I went to Sunday school with the Sisters, but that's about it. But — when this all happened, I felt like I had a calling to try to share a message of hope with people. You know, Sister Karthasi is great and all. But she's so — academic." It's almost like a dirty word to him. "I don't think people need that. They need to hear what comes from the heart, not the head."

Rose nods enthusiastically. "Exactly! The scrolls are the word of the Lords of Kobol, but they're open for interpretation. Not everyone is Gemenese, after all," she says with a grin. "In these times, people need heart. I understand that now."

"Yeah. Me, too. And we have to minister to each other. Because if all of these — anointed people — I mean, if they're not around anymore. It'll be just us to keep the gods alive. Person-to-person. Not in these big services." Bannik smiles at that, finding someone else who feels the same as him, perhaps.

"We offer oblation in the ways that we can, Mister Bannik. It doesn't have to be grandiose ritual. But as long as we offer ritual, the gods will be sustained, and they will protect us," Rose says, summarizing her beliefs succinctly. Then, a nervous laugh. "Gods, I sound like an oracle. Get me some chamalla and we could have a real prayer circle party," she jokes, shaking her head.

"And you know what? At the end of the day, we show our devotion to the gods the most by going about our jobs and doing them well. My ministry is partly in prayer, but it's mostly in making sure that ships are in good repair and fly right." Bannik smiles tiredly. "And I shouldn't forget that in all of my talking about the gods. Lest I become — academic."

"And I'm doing my part in the ways that I can, blind as a bat," Rose affirms to Tyr, nodding. "Be it biochemistry reactions," she nods towards the chalkboard, "Astra's school," she nods towards the tents and barriers set up that cordons off the school area from the rest of the hangar, "Or my prayer circles. We manage. That's all we can do. And we can be content knowing we are doing all that we can, and be content knowing that the gods will do what they can, for us. Give and take. Prayer, and blessings."

"Well, I'm not sure what use I'm going to be when that happens," Rose admits. "I'm still blind, Mr. Bannik. I suppose they could keep me around in case they can't read my handwriting, or the handwriting of my assistants, but… I'm figuring, once the freighter is up and running and installed, the plants will more or less grow themselves."

"Oh. Few things are that easy, Ms. Ibbhanas. But." Tyr touches her arm lightly. "I guess I ought to get back to work. But the gods be with you, hmm? You'll be in my prayers."

Rose leans over to Bannik and pecks his cheek. It's an innocent gesture. "I thank you, for everything you've done for me, and for everyone here, Mr. Bannik. Please, don't be a stranger?"

"I'll be sure to let my Petty Officer know that I'm in demand down here," smiles the Specialist. "But I won't. I promise." His cheek bright red from the kiss, Bannik does what he said he was going to do. He gets back to work.

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