Six Hundred and Ten
Summary: Astyoche gets a visitor, some (mostly secular — okay, now more religious) comfort. And a manicure. Scene finally finished!.
Date: 27 ACH
Related Logs: None

Astyoche is stretched out on the bed, again, though this time her little booties are off, allowing her to inspect her little digits as she wiggles them abover her first on one foot, then the other. She has a brief pining for a good grooming, which is good in that it detracts from the time she has to dwell on the body of her circumstances.

Greje stops by, uninvited, but after a few moments with the guards she's let past to check up on Astyoche, approaching slowly and hailing from afar in a strange semblance of a respect for the privacy of the woman in the fishtank. "Tyo?" she calls.

Astyoche goes rigid, toes splayed, leg at full extension. The knee bends, toes relax, and the prisoner tists and sits up, ahem "That you, sister?" She has a bit of color in her face, and her lips make that subtle s-curve of moderate embarassment, but she rises and approaches the border of her jar and assumes her position, "How are you?"

Greje approaches the glass as well, "Oh, I'm alright. Are -you- alright?" she wonders, that being the more pertinent question, as Astyoche is the one in the jar. She offers her a smile not untouched by concern, even if her hail-and-approach technique did keep her from witnessing the woman's examination of her toes.

Astyoche still wears the 'Busted!' look on her face as she answers, "I'm… alright, thank you… At least, I…. know, for sure, now, right?" She sighs, a bit of the brief embarassment eroding to a glimmer of the harrowed look as most of what she was trying to avoid thinking about dribbles to mind again, then, she forces a smile and tries to squash out the memory, "So… any excitement I'm cleared to hear about?" she asks hopefully. Distractions good!

Greje hms. "Well, I'm not sure what you are and aren't clearned to know, in terms of what the military folk are up to… and while normally I'd imagine if I'm cleared to know about it, you probably are, too… I think for the time being it'd be better to play it safe," she replies almost apologetically. "I can tell you that we held the high rites of Apollo in the chapel. They went rather well, I think."

"That sounds… nice." Asty replies thoughtfully, "I haven't been to a rite since…." her eyes fall and she trails off for a few seconds, "Well, for a long time…" She tap-taps her fingers against the glass, "How are you holding up… with everything…?"

"About as well as can be expected, I suppose," Greje replies. "Keeping myself busy. It must… being in there must keep you alone with your thoughts. It must be very hard on you. Don't worry, not everybody goes to see the rites. Not even everyone who believes."

Astyoche smooths her hair back and sighs, "Yeah… it gets bad, sometimes…" she confesses. A shoulder rolls some and she adds with a forced smile, "It'll end, sometime, right?"

Greje presses her lips together, "I hope so. I don't know. I don't know—" what Tyo's done, she means, but she backtracks from that line of inquiry. "I hope so. Until then… I hope you don't mind if I drop in on you from time to time. Is there anything I can bring you? I'll have to check with the guards, first, of course…"

Astyoche smiles weakly, "Well, I asked the Colonel for a comb, last night." she says softly, "But, I like company… it makes it a lot easier, thank you." a hand pressing against the glass. There is a silence stretch as she seems to ponder something, then, "Maybe…?"

Greje tips her chin down, encouraging Astyoche to speak whatever ponderances are in her mind, but not rushing her, simply maintaining the affably friendly gaze.

And the trpidation-inspiring request is… "Something to read…? An outdated field manual, trash smut novel… -anything- with a page count…"

Greje's smile broadens, and she nods her head, "I can't promise, of course, but I'd think the guards will allow that. Have you been brought that comb, yet?" she asks, as well.

Astyoche shakes her head, "No, not yet. I don't imagine there'd be a lot of them laying around on the Battlestar." she replies with a shrug, "It's not like you can just…" she stops and shakes her head, "But!" she looks at Greje, "is there anything I can do for you?"

Greje nods her head, pressing her lips together. "You can wait a moment. I know it's easy to say you'll have something brought and then let it slip straight out of your mind. So. Give me a moment? And I'll go bring them to you now. I've got a comb you can borrow, if the guards OK it."

Astyoche blinks, "Really?" she asks, straightening a bit, but she sighs pleasantly and nods, "Thank you…! I've been feelin like a nugget gone feral for weeks!"

Greje nods her head, looking pleased to see Astyoche seem so happy. "Just give me a moment, I'll be back soon," she assures her, and, with an affirming nod, goes to talk to the guards and get the appropriate permission before heading off to fetch the requested items.


Greje returns some short time later, with a book and a small black grooming pouch stacked one on top of the other. She's escorted to the cell, this time, by two MPs, who, of all things, open the door to the cell, and escort the priestling inside, both coming to attention inside the cell, by the door, weapons in hands. The door is secured, and Greje steps away from it, toward Astyoche, with a warm smile. "They insisted they come in with me," she explains.

Astyoche steps back with her hands up and open as the glass opens, well familiar with the drill. She smiles weakly, no one's ever really comfortable with weapons out, and says, "On the table, thank you." in a soft, grateful tone.

"It's okay, Tyo," Greje insists softly, stepping closer, slowly, as if afraid to startle the woman. "I asked them if I could stay in here a little while with you. If you want me to, of course. They'll have to stay, but… we can just pretend they're not here." She's gotten used to that, having spent a full night in the cells with the two men who were executed. The MPs look dutifully stoic and statuesque, not interrupting the conversation at all. "I brought… a comb, brush, and also some nail clippers and a file. I can't leave those here with you, but if you'd like I can trim your nails and file them for you," she offers.

Blink. "…um…" Asty starts, glancing between the three souls with her, then, "Sure… that'd be great, thank you." she says, vague bewilderment fading to optimism. Well, she did want to feel human again, what's wrong with some volunteer pampering? The prisoner draws the table toward the bed and settles on the edge of the latter.

Greje moves to settle on the edge of the bed next to Astyoche, not too close as to invade too much personal space right off the bat, but… well, close enough to clip nails. She slides the book out from under the grooming kit, and settles it on the table. A copy of the scriptures, if that comes as any surprise. "Six hundred and ten," she states quietly. The page count. A smile. She unzips the pouch. "And problems and questions that we've been seeking answers to for thousands of years. I figured it would keep you busy. Do you want me to brush your hair for you? Some people find it relaxing," she explains, if the offer came across a little strange.

Astyoche grins to the first, "Sounds like a read, thank you…" though she trails off for a moment at the second. She seems to wrestle with that one for a while, then, she closes her eyes, "No… thank you." Her hand reaches out to pat a knee, "My… my sister used to brush my hair… I couldn't."

Greje indicates her understanding with a gentle nod. She's certainly not one to step wantonly on sacred ground. She takes the brush and comb and lays them out by the book. "I understand," she whispers. "You and your sister… you were very close?" she wonders gently, resting a hand on top of the hand on her knee, a comforting touch, her thumb moving up and down Astyoche's pinky and then ring finger while she gets the nail clipper into her other hand and ready for use.

Astyoche's lips press together for a moment, her fingers curling, but she nods, "I…help raise her…" she says softly, "After my father… after my parents seperated…." She takes a slow breath, "Phaedra was… innocent… I helped momma take care of her… I looked out for her… made sure no one made her cry…"

Greje smiles faintly, letting hte fingers curl, in no rush to uncurl them for clipping, but giving the woman's hand a gentle squeeze of support, letting her take all the time she needs. "That was very dutiful of you. That's a lot of responsibility to put on any young woman."

"She… had a lot of trouble with complex things, growing up…. and she was so…" A wet shimmer appears in her lashes, "She always wanted to help…. 'Assy, wan me help you with dinner?' 'Assy, wan me help you with your homework…?'" She blinks the tears free, and, in a choked tone, "She was so happy…. just brushing my hair…."

Greje sets down the clippers on the table's edge, moving her other hand to slip underneath the hand on her leg and hold it between her two hands, quiet, now, just letting Astyoche remember and talk, for now, her only reply the soft motion of thumb over hand.

Astyoche shakes her head slowly, "…she started… When I started high school… she started to catch up…. to grow up…" a sniffles, "I…. thought I could trust her with more… and… and she tried so hard…"

Greje applies a gentle pressure to both sides of Astyoche's hand, as if attempting to give her the moral support to say what needs to be said, to get it out, both words and tears.

Astyoche is silent, mostly around a sniffle or two before she says, "I enlisted… she was old enough… mom was able to handle her…. an' I spent every leave takin her to places she liked…"

Greje nods gently, but still maintains silence, thinking that Astyoche isn't finished, yet, and interrupting now would be counterproductive in the extreme.

Astyoche presses her lips into a line, a sparkle falling from behind her bangs to the bed, "She ….found a boyfriend… mom….mom liked him…" she says mournfully. "… Phaedra.. loved the ground he walked on…"

Greje was right not to interrupt. She inhales, shoulders rising slightly, but still maintains her peace, exhaling gently and allowing Astyoche to continue.

"I was…. out on a CAP when I was relieved and ordered back to the Nike…" Her hands tighten into fists, "The CAG… he had no idea… he was t-trying to find an easy way t'tell me…" Her eyes lift and turn Greje's way, "I'll never forget.. he wouldn't look me in the face, even when he finally got it in him to say, 'Tyo, your sister's-!"

Greje keeps her hand underneath Astyoche's as it tightens, giving her something to squeeze. Her features fall and she murmurs, "Oh, Tyo…" a note of sorrow in her voice. Still, the interjection is only that, and she's quiet otherwise, letting Astyoche continue, pale grass-green eyes looking into Astyoche's steadily, reflecting a communion of suffering.

"He…. killed her…." The prisoner says in a near growl, "… raped her…!" a dark look in her eyes, hurt, wrathful. She forces her eyes closed and turns her face to the deckplate, taking several deep breaths.

Greje's eyes take on that hurt, but not as much of the wrath. Not to say that wrath itself is irreligious. The very first word of the canonical scriptures is 'wrath'. But all the same she remains peacefully sorrowful. "Tyo… you did so much for your sister. But you had a right to a life of your own… and so did she. It's horrible, what happened, but you can't have expected yourself to watch over her forever."

Astyoche nods mutely, slowly loosening her grip in vague increments, but she doesn't say anything further, just breathing and settling herself down.

"I know… it's easy for me to say… 'don't blame yourself,'" Greje admits in a quiet murmur. "We're supposed to look after our families. It's one of Zeus' decrees for mankind. The scriptures say he sets the furies on those who wrong their blood kin, the highest of divine punishments. And just so, when we feel we should have acted earlier… should have known better… should have acted sooner… we set our own Furies on ourselves. It's a keen pain. And feeling it only shows your devotion to your kin. You should recognize that," she gives her hand a gentle squeeze.

There is stillness, utter stillness as Greje speaks to console her, to talk of the Furies and punishment. "There was… damning evidence of his guilt… and they let him go." Asty says in a forced, even tone, "That's when I started praying to Artemis."

"… Ah. That's… why the…" Greje surmises meekly. "… I see. The Goddess heard you, then?"

Astyoche nods, "Yes, sister…" she says softly, "I believe she did." She looks, then, into Greje's face, uncertain of things, perhaps. She says nothing further, againg going silent, though she remains looking her way.

Greje nods her head, silent, for the moment, drawing her lips together, shifting her eyes from Astyoche to the book on the table, then back again, "Do you remember any of the Gospels of Dionysus?" she asks. They come right after the Hymns. "The ones about Orestes?" There are three or four of those.

Astyoche lowers her eyes, either having forgot, or uncertain of why it would come up. But she shakes her head twice, "No… I don't."

"Agamemnon slew his daughter Iphigenia for the sake of his brother Menelaus. Clytemnestra slew her husband Agamemnon for the sake of her daughter Iphigenia. Orestes slew his mother Clytemnestra for the sake of his father Agamemnon," Greje summarizes. "The Furies came to slay Orestes for the sake of his mother Clytemnestra— he was only saved, and the cycle of death and vengeance broken, when Apollo and Athena convened a court of justice and declared Orestes innocent of his mother's murder. A crime for which he was certainly guilty."

There comes a nod, then, a soft sigh, and Asty shrinks just a little it seems, but she doesn't break her silence for the moment, nor does she deign to look at the Priestess. Perhaps she can't, anymore.

Greje looks to Asty, though, continuing to regard her with a warm, worried look. She's not judging. Murder isn't a breach of divine law, only mortal law (unless you kill one of a certain number of people). "But the Gospels show us that… the desire for revenge is closely woven into ourselves, as men and women of the human race. You see Orestes' pain over the death of his father… even Apollo urges Orestes to take his revenge, even though he'll have to pay the consequences. But in the end we have to recognize that we are creatures who can have regard to laws past those which directly benefit us. That if we each work for our own good… to hurt our enemies and help our friends, as in the Age of Heroes… well… how did the Age of Heroes end? Vengeance piled upon vengeance until all the children of the Lords were dead."

The prisoner nods, slowly looking Grej's way as she speaks. Her expression is grim, "I was ready. His family pulled their strings…. I was on my way to die, I'm sure of it, when everything… when the Cylons…"

"Well… you're still facing justice, obviously. But his blood kin won't be able to hurt you, now. All I can advise you is to have patience… true patience. Suffer this well, and know your peace with the Lords. You are still pure in their eyes, it was no crime of blood guilt. You acted out of respect for your family," Greje states in soothing tones. "I can't tell you what will happen to you here, but the Commander knows full well his responsibilities to our race, and he and the legal staff will make sure that human justice is kept."

Astyoche smiles weakly and nods before her eyes lower, "When the time comes…" Asty asks softly, "Will you… pray for me…?" She closes her eyes then and rests her elbows upon her knees.

Greje draws her lower lip briefly into her mouth, nodding her head a little too quickly to come off as solemn, but it's edging toward that pace. "I've already been praying for you, Tyo. And I'll continue to do so. And for your sister and your mother."

"…They would have liked you…" Tyo replies solemnly with another nod, sniffing once and forcing a smile Greje's way. She sighs softly, then reaches a hand warily out for the priestess' shoulder, "Thank you…"

Greje gives a pained but grateful smile in return for Tyo's forced one, looking honored and almost humbled to have the blessing-by-proxy of these two departed souls. "It's alright," she returns the hand on Astyoche's shoulder, her elbow dangling between them as she gives the shoulder a gentle squeeze. "If there's anything else you think of that I can do for you, just let the guards know."

Astyoche's smile gets a glimmer of relief behind the bleak cast of her features and she nods, "I… I will, thank you." she says softly, her voice faltering.

Greje tips her head at the falter in the voice, eyes gazing queryingly into Astyoche's. Not that Astyoche doesn't have reasons to be sorrowful, but she's just wondering if this is something new, inviting her silently to speak.

Astyoche's smile fades and her eyes lower to the deck, but she doesn't speak, not at first. It's after a few seconds that she says, "… I keep… telling myself I'm ready…"

"You will be," Greje responds. It might seem a morbid response, but the Priestling has been too much steeped in death to be shy about it anymore. "If that's to be the way things end up… and I'm not saying it will be or even that I think it's likely… but the ways of the Fates are hard to discern. And I promise you, that if that's the way it's to be, you'll be ready. I'll take care of you," she insists, voice taking on a subtle firmness that indicates more certainty than strictness.

Something drips to the deck, followed by another as she nods weakly, taking her head in her hands for a moment and there is a strangled noise, a possible sob, in her throat.

Greje maintains that gentle firmness of purpose, letting Astyoche weep a short while before continuing, "Astyoche. Can you hear me? Why did you do what you did?" she asks gently, but in a tone of voice that requires an answer. Again, not judging. She thinks she knows the answer, but wants to hear Astyoche say it.

"… he got away with it…" comes a quavering answer, "… I needed…. there had to be…. justice…!" before she looks at Greje, "No one had any doubts…. but they let him go!" Her voice finally breaks and she begins to wail into her hands, "Phaedra's d-dead a-an th-ey let'm gooooo…!"

Greje nods gently, her composure still not breaking, a rock of serenity against which the waves of Astyoche's grief can crash at will with no obvious and immediate effect. "You did it for justice, for your sister. You thought it was the right thing to do. You knew the risks. At some point— for you— justice for your sister was worth your life. You need to come back to that point. You've gotten what you wanted. Be prepared now to give what you were prepared to give then. Give it gladly. For your sister."

Astyoche takes some time to regain herself in her torrent of emotion. Slowly, little by little, she manages to throttle back enough to be able to nod, sniffle twice and lift her chin once more. A hundred percent, she isn't, but she's arguably functional again, "You…. you're… rright…" she says finally, feebly.

Greje lets Astyoche have all the time she needs. "You're in the hands of justice," she resumes quietly after Astyoche seems alright to keep going. "Whatever happens, remember your sister. Pay what is owed for the vengeance you took in her name with a good grace, in a manner befitting her memory," she advises quietly, her voice continuing soft and soothing.

Astyoche closes her eyes again, with some lingering sniffs and she nods, "I will." she says with a bit more conviction. She looks to Greje, still troubled, some, but, "I will."

Greje looks into Astyoche's eyes for a moment, then nods her head in return, squeezing her hands. "Lords grant your heart strength," she murmurs in quiet prayer. "Would you like…" she begins quietly, then again, with a little more force, "Would you like purification from bloodshed? To make peace with him? He's paid back all he can pay for his transgressions. It's right for us not to hold a grudge once recompense for wrongdoing has been rendered."

Astyoche's eyes lower, "I… can't let go of it, sister…" she says softly, "I hate him, still…. he's dead and gone…. and I can't stop hating him…."

Greje nods gently. "It's… something to work on. These wounds take time to heal. Just remember that Achilles, too, made his peace with Hector, and returned his body to his father for proper rites and respect. Only the Lords may hold a grudge forever— it's our place to forgive and make peace. Just… begin to think about it," she squeezes Astyoche's hand gently, once more.

Astyoche's hand curls within Greje's, "I'll…. try…" she says solemnly, "But I don't… think my heart's big enough…." Her eyes lift from the deck, turning toward her, questions trying to form in her mind.

Greje closes her eyes briefly, her mouth pulling into a light smile as she shakes her head, opening her eyes again, green eyes glistening wetly as if she were about to shed tears of her own. "It is. Wrath… and love… are two sides of the same coin. Your anger at your sister's murder… corresponds to the great love you feel for her. Your heart is capable of a great deal, Astyoche. And it's capable of this, too. It just needs time… time and strength. And if you find yourself lacking in strength… know that I'm here for you to lean on."

Astyoche seems moved by that thought, one she hadn't previously considered. While her face remains turned Greje's way, her eyes are low, a little unfocused for a moment. She chews on that for a little while in silence, then, she looks into her eyes, hand lifting to Greje's face, "Sister…?" she asks in some concern.

Greje lifts her own hand in time with Astyoche's, resting it on the back of hers. "Hm?" she gently urges Astyoche to ask what she needs to ask.

There comes a pause, "Are you alright…?" Asty asks, "Your eyes…" Her thumb brushes lightly near Greje's eye.

Greje registers visible surprise at the question. "… Oh. Yes, Astyoche, I'm fine," she assures, drawing her lower lip slightly into her mouth and then clearing her throat a little. She offers a meek little smile and brushes her own thumb over Astyoche's fingers in what she hopes is a comforting gesture. "Why don't I trim your nails for you," she offers quietly, steering the conversation away from the heavy stuff in order to give Astyoche time to digest what they've spoken about during the visit without overwhelming her.

Astyoche smiles dubiously, but she nods without rebuttal, her hand retreating from her face to settle between them for Greje to begin her groomings.

Greje does groom. She grooms with the tender and gentle care of an attendant of Aphrodite, nimble fingers moving Astyoche's as she clips them tidily, hand cupped to keep the clippings from flying too far, keeping them in a little pile on the table. She even takes a little pusher from the grooming kit and cleans Astyoche's cuticles, swabbing them with the other end of the probe dipped in a little bit of cleanser to disinfect and keep the nails pretty and healthy before giving them a final filing and buffing.

The grooming takes place without comment by Asty for the most part, watching the woman work while she mulls over the universe in her head. Can she forgive? she would have said 'no, obviously' before this conversation, given she tracked and later killed him, but… As the process nears it's imediate conclusion she smiles a little, "You're good."

Greje tucks the file, buffer, cuticle probe, cleanser and clippers back into their proper places in the grooming kit. "One does one's best," she replies to the compliment, returning the smile with a kindly one as she sets the case aside. "Feeling a little better?" she asks gently, now that Astyoche's had some time to percolate what they've been talking about and get some TLC into the bargain.

Astyoche gently squeezes Greje's knee as she replies with a small rateful smile, "Yes, thank you."

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