Go Ask Phaedra
Go Ask Phaedra
Summary: Greje puts Amalina in charge of the ship's holiday morality play.
Date: 32 ACH
Related Logs: None

Greje's office door is open, she's at her desk, crouched up on her desk chair, keeping her place in a book with her fingers while she looks something up on her computer.

The door opens as someone tap-taps on it. Peeking her head into the room, D'Artanion smiles at the woman sitting within, "Excuse me, Greje. Uh. Do you have a moment?" She tilts her head slightly, though does not try to read what the other woman is working on. When the door opens, the medic steps in, though she keeps her hands behind her back.

Greje looks up from her work, marking her place in the text with a bit of ribbon and sitting up straight, uncurling from her academic slouch. "Of course, Amalina. It's good to see you're well," she remarks gently, going to rifle through a stack of papers until she finds the note Amalina had sent to her before. "Come in, come in, have a seat. Shall I make you some tea?"

D'Artanion actually closes the door before coming farther in, "Thanks. Oh, yes, please. That would be really nice." Moving forward, she claims the seat indicated but not before she reaches to set a small something on your desk. It is a box shaped package wrapped in bright green paper and tied with a red bow. "If I am not interrupting, that is? I wanted to talk to you about a couple of things. Uh… Did you get a chance to think about the note I sent?"

Greje smiles broadly at the note, then turns toward Amalina, looking rather pleased, though it's covered over with a look of surprise at the box on her desk. "I… yes, I did. I… Amalina?" she professes some bafflement over the gesture.

D'Artanion inhales a little, then shrugs at the box, "I… I've been thinking, Greje. We do not live forever and… What with the holidays and all… I wanted you to know that you are special to me and so…" She shrugs again, looking faintly embarassed. "Anyway. Happy Apollo's day. Or, whichever of the Gods you favor." She runs her hands slowly down her thighs, her gaze flickering to the box, "It was something that Armand and I did."

Greje can't help but look terribly awkward, crouched there. "That's very sweet of you, Amalina," she finally says, then, with a little smile, "I'll wait and open it on Kronody, if… unless you'd rather I opened it now?" she asks. Kronody— her own wintertime holiday of choice, evidently.

D'Artanion chuckles a little and shrugs, "You are welcome, Greje. Uh… Open it when you feel like it. Seriously, it is up to you. It won't melt or anything." Leaning back, she tilts her head toward the desk where the note presumably lies. "So. What do you think about the idea to put on a play of some sort? Maybe something older? With music?" The woman's expression is quiet, her tone a hair distant, as though her thoughts are divided.

Greje eases forward a little bit to take the wrapped box carefully in her hands, treating it alost as an object of veneration as she places it near her houseplants. "Thank you, Amalina. We'll have to get together on the holiday and have breakfast together," she suggests. "And yes— I think it's a wonderful idea. I was thinking maybe you'd like to help put on one of the Dionysiac Gospels… I have a collection of the sacred masks… we could consecrate the drama and offer it as a rite to the God this holiday." Wintertime is Dionysus' time to shine, after all.

D'Artanion watches you as you move the box. She half smiles, then refocuses on the conversation, "Oh. Yes. That would be great… Um… I am not as familiar with them as I should be, so it'll be a great refresher. Do you have one in mind? I was thinking something with a smallish cast this time… Maybe expand later if it's a hit." A slow blush touches her cheeks, though she looks a lot more engaged than before. "What do you think?"

Greje returns the smile warmly and nods her head, "I think we can dispense with the chorus, for now. I was considering the Hippolytus," she adds, offering the title for consideration. "I thought a message of religious tolerance for people who follow different cult practices might be an appropriate one for the winter holidays."

A smile begins then that almost allows a chuckle. "Probably a good idea, actually. I'm not sure that there are enough folk aboard who can sing to fill a chorus. Neither the navy nor the Marines hire for musical talent." Interestingly enough, the capital on the word 'Marines' can almost be heard though the word itself does not carry the sort of warmth that it used to. "Um. Which version? I know that there are two and the role of Phaedra is vastly different in each. Or… Are there more than two? Or… is there only one official version?" She lowers her gaze, her smile kind of lopsided, "I feel a hair out of my depth, to be honest."

Greje can't help but look impressed at the depth of Amalina's knowledge of scripture. "Hippolytus Garlanded," she specifies. "Hippolytus Veiled might be a little too racy for the Commander's tastes, and, besides, we only have fragments of that gospel. Out of your depth? I'm very impressed, Amalina, most people don't bother learning about the fragmentary gospels."

D'Artanion blushes a bit, "It might be. And… really? Probably more racey than I'm comfortable with performing. I'm… not a prude, mind. Just a bit private. As to knowing it?" Her smile turns faintly introspective, "I helped Armond with his research, so am familiar with a lot of unusual texts. He did a lovely painting of Phaedra and Theseus for the Temple on Picon." She shifts in the chair and leans forward, "But, Hippolytus Garlanded? That would be about perfect. How many people would we need? There's… Phaedra, Theseus, Hippolytus… Aphrodite and Artimes, I think… Um… I am not sure whom else? Do you want to include the minor characters? And will you take the roles of the Goddesses?"

"Phaedra's Nurse, and the Messenger," Greje points out, "And no… I'll be conducting the rite, sanctifying the drama to Dionysus. We can technically put it on with three. But that would take a good deal of practice. I'd say five— we can have Aphrodite and the Nurse double up… since there are hints that the Nurse may be Aphrodite in disguise… and Artemis and the Messenger, likewise. Or we could do it with seven if there's enough interest."

D'Artanion nods, "Oh, right. Good idea. How do you want to do auditions? Should we hold them here or at the chapel? And do you mind if I sit in on them?" Lifting her leg, she crosses the left over the right at the knee. "I would kind of like to invite Ramiro to audition for one of the male roles. Maybe he would be good with Hippolytus? Though I do not know if he sings… I think he plays guitar… Uh. Wow. I do not have any idea."

Greje laughs. An actual laugh. "I brought the topic up with him. He seemed horrified by it. Evidently he was scarred for life after a primary school production of one of the gospels. He said he'd do it if we had a lack of willing actors— for the right price in beef jerky. I thought I'd simply put out a call and have people show up at the chapel. I don't think 'auditions' is quite the right word. The drama is by its very nature a rite. It allows the actor to commune with the God through the mask of the character he's playing. To learn something about himself, or herself, by becoming one with that character through the spirit of the God. For preference… I'd rather see the roles go to those who would gain the most insight through that communion, than worry about how well they'd do with the part. I'll let the God tend to that."

D'Artanion can almost picture that and she chuckles, "I'll bet he was cute as a kid. I can almost see him all done up to do a passion play." Then, she sighs, "Unfortunately, that does tend to either make or break young performers. Some love it. Some hate it." She eyes you for a moment, mischief in her gaze, "Now, I almost hope no one asks. But, we'll leave that in the Gods hands. I won't meddle." She tilts her head to one side, her expression softening, "I never thought of it that way, but… Yeah, it makes perfect sense." In the religious sense, anyway. "Um. Okay. Then, shall we put it out that we're doing it and see who is interested? Or..? Oh, we can have music carry the melody if the actors can't sing. That might work…"

Greje nods gently. "I'll need to OK it with the Commander, of course. But then, yes, we'll just see who's interested. It's as likely as anything we won't have seven people show, so it won't be a problem making sure people get parts. Were you interested in playing any part in particular? It was your idea, after all."

D'Artanion says, "Uh." Slowly, D'Artanion shakes her head, "I was not really thinking of playing in it. Isn't that funny? I was looking for a way to bring folk together that wasn't competative. I could play one of the roles, if you want. Or, I could do music for it. Or, maybe both if I don't have a big role. I'm a theatre nut, though, so I am willing to do whatever is needed.""

Greje smiles broadly. "Well, I'm no choregos," Greje responds. "Why don't you take care of the secular matters involved? Find people who want to participate, arrange for live music if there's any to be had… help people learn their lines? And why not read over the gospel? See if there are any roles which speak to you?"

D'Artanion says, "Okay." She blinks, then laughs, "Ask and it shall be yours? Is that it?" She lifts her hands, laces her fingers together and cracks her knuckles. Charming habit, but demonstrative at times, "I'll do my best." Looking down at the book on your desk, she inhales and then looks away, "Um… Would it be… I mean… Of all the parts, the role of Phaedra is interesting. But, I don't want to hog one of the principals. I'd be glad to do it if no one else wishes to. If… you don't think that's being forward?"

Greje leans back in her chair, entwining her fingers together and thrusting her hands down between her calves. "I don't think so. What speaks to you about her?" Greje wonders softly.

Figures you would ask that question. "I… am not sure, honestly. I think it is the odd dychotomy, actually. In the one version, she tries to contain her feelings, but is overcome. In the other? She is fairly wonton and dishonorable. I think I want to see if I can understand her. Or, if not her, than the situation she was in. Does that make sense?"

Greje nods slowly and gently throughout the explanation. "What do you think of her relationship with the Lords? She built Aphrodite a temple and honored her devotedly… how do you feel about the way Aphrodite treated her in response?" The Dionysiac Gospels are good for providing these questions which are good for discussion without necessarily having any one answer.

D'Artanion says, "You know? I don't know…" Shifting, she uncrosses her legs, then crosses them the other way. "When I was younger, and more nieve, I thought that Aphrodite really mishandled that situation. Which is.." She almost laughs, ".a silly reaction." Sobering, she turns her head slightly, "Now? I wonder if Phaedra wasn't Aphrodite's vessel for part of that. Or, Artemis'. Especially with speculation later that Hippolytus was resurrected as her agent later.""

Greje continues to smile gently, not quizzing Amalina, just discussing the text with her. "I think more Aphrodite's than Artemis'… the instrument was Phaedra, the fuel was lust. Phaedra devoted herself to Aphrodite to protect herself from the fate of her mother and sister… but instead, by devoting herself, became an instrument to carry out Aphrodite's will… which was the same role that her mother and sister had carried. And in the end the one who defies Aphrodite and the one who submits to Aphrodite share in the same fate."

D'Artanion leans back, her eyes widening, "You know? I never put it in that context. So, what does that say about Aphrodite, I wonder?" Her laugh is a hair on the nervous side, "Or, about me for being curious about her?" Clearing her throat, she clasps her hands in front of her, resting them in her lap. "Or, more importantly, how do we translate that into something to help guide us now?"

"This isn't about guiding the Fleet, Amalina… this is a personal communion. Introspection isn't selfish. Apollo's temple bids you: Know Thyself. This is meant for your meditation, your peace of mind," Greje replies in her calm, soothing Chaplain's-voice. It's so unlike her light, jerking, awkward secular-voice. "And it's okay to ask. The Dionysiac gospels are meant to make people ask these questions. An unquestioned faith is an unsteady one. You're drawn to Phaedra. Do you feel your service to the Lords is being met without due reward? Or perhaps there's some other area of your life where you feel you're putting in effort that isn't being recognized? These things often speak to people on a subconscious level. Read the text again," she advises. "Let the text speak to you and your life. Maybe you'll find that Phaedra's faith was unworthy, since she was only worshipping out of fear? Maybe you'll find Phaedra a devoted servant of the Goddess who honored the Lady of Laughter even in her death? The gospels say different things to different people. Use it as a mirror. See yourself in it. Or, even better— Take up the Mask of Dionysus. Become this woman."

It can be truly uncanny, really. Listening to a trained professional like this. D'Artanion's gaze slips away from yours and she clears her throat a little, "I prefer talking in more generic terms, to be honest. Guiding the fleet? I can do that. Well, not really. That's above my pay grade, but I'm glad to talk about it. Introspection?" Slowly, she shakes her head, "I'm not… that good at it. It kind of scares me, to be honest." Especially when your speculation strikes to bloody close to home. "But, I… will try to do as you ask." Now? The faint hints of discomfort are clear to see, though only for a moment as she sublimates them, "Oh, hey. We're putting together some Pyramid teams. Would you play on my team? Please?"

Greje keeps looking straight at Amalina, some concern registering in her eyes. "Introspection is never easy, and it can be quite painful. But it's better to make peace with the parts of our lives that cause us discomfort. Dionysus gives us a way, through his dramatic rites, to take time to consider and think through parts of our lives that bother us… to come to terms with them, rather than attempting to suppress them. Suppression never lasts forever, and the longer you hold something in, the more damaging it is to the psyche. Know thyself, Amalina. Know thyself and be well. Play Phaedra," she adds, in a voice that sounds as though 'no' won't be taken as an answer. "She has things to show you," she adds, surmising as much from Amalina's reaction. "And of course I will, Amalina, if I've got time."

D'Artanion does not meet your eyes for a while. A blush rises to color her cheeks, and she nods, "That is the problem, Ma'am. I do know myself." A flicker of a glance and she twitches a half smile, "Just not always happy with what and who I am. Or where I find myself." She inhales, one hand lifting, "But, I will play thet part, and see what I learn. I don't suppose anyone can know themselves too well." And a smile warms her face then, "Great. We'll have the best team. Though we should think of a name for ourselves. I think Ramiro'll be with us, too."

Greje nods gently. "Hopefully the rites will help you take a step toward peace with yourself. And as you're memorizing the lines… if you feel the need to talk about them… or talk about Phaedra. You know where you can find me." She chuckles a little. "I'll let you and Dane tend to naming the team."

D'Artanion can't help but laugh at that, the sound both gentle and startlingly sharp, "Oh. Well. Yeah, maybe. Though I'm not as riled up as I sound, I guess. Just have had a lot of things kind of turn upside down for me. Recently." She shakes her head and seems almost on the edge of opening up about things when she notes a clock on your desk. Rising, she sighs, "I am sorry. I need to get back to sickbay. It's my turn to talk to Major Carter. You… Uh. I don't know if he's religious, but if you would not mind saying something for him? We… really need him back. See you?"

Greje nods quietly. "I will, Amalina," she tells her. "Good luck."

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