Red Planet - Underground
Red Planet - Underground
Summary: Some of the crew go investigating.
Date: 60 ACH - 01/12/09
Related Logs: Red Planet - Surface
Players:
Ramiro..Lex..Zaharis..Greje..Jocasta..Karan..

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North Path (#1619RXF) Red Planet - Surface

60 ACH 23817 Souls


The stones stop here and give way to an enclosed length of grass. Each side has stepped ramps that lead to ceremonial platforms or small temples, the area itself is in a captial 'I' shape. The 'I' shape 'hallway' leads toward a broken wall and the stepped ramps look to be some seating for those attending.

At the end of the grassy area, a round stone has been placed and a small circular inner area has been carved inside it. It sits against a wall that is crumbling and has mostly fallen over to be covered by more vegetation. As part of the stone wall rises upward, there has been something carved within. But time has seem to worn it down to barely discernible etchings. To the left of the area, there looks to be an open area that has been covered by more vegetation.

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Major Zaharis has just headed back down the path towards the ruins with some sort of case in his hands. Believing that they are alone again, Lex is standing near Ramiro and is hissing at him like an angry girlfriend while he sits quietly to exchange looks between her and the cats nearby. The two of them are just inside of the treeline, Ramiro's face is visible as his ghillie suit hood has been pulled back to reveal a painted face. Lex is in combat gear as well, but no ghillie suit.

Nico's blue eyes watch the officer pass with a careful calculation of his progression, and just how far away he needs to be before he can't hear them anymore. She nods and mutters a respectful 'sir' in the middle of that progression. Then she turns back to Ramiro. "… Sorry?" Lex's rifle arm twitches, and she slings the firearm over her shoulder by the strap. "The cats?" Incredulous, what. "You think if we shoot a pussy, we'll all catch the creepy crud and if, say, I pop a squat in the crumbly ruins, my gun's going to misfire for a month?" Her voice remains quiet, but the tone is just. What. "You were duty bound to tell the old man bad juju is afoot, and the spirits are restless. Did you eat something the monkeys threw at you?"

There is a lazy flickering of the kitty tail as the male lies on the rock. His eyes look half closed, either he is bored or snickering under his breath at the two in the brush. Looking disinterested is a the way of the cat though.

Greje comes in from Ruins.

Jocasta comes in from Ruins.

Zaharis is a little ways away, consulting some file and not bothering the Marines. When he finally closes it, he slides it into the case by his hip and folds his arms, turning around to look at the area. And the cat.

"Nico…" Ramiro says quietly, watching the cats with quiet concern. He is kneeling inside of the tree line with an upset looking Lex standing beside him. His ghilie suit's hood is down, revealing his camouflaged face. "I believe that this place was mentioned in prophecy." He simply replies, looking to Lex and then to Zaharis in the distance. "It may have not been the most advisable move, but…I just thought that you should know if I get pulled off of rotation." Ramiro adds, not feeling one bit sorry for it. "Don't tell anyone else. I'm only telling you because…well.." He decides not to state the obvious. "Please…stay out of the ruins and away from the Panthers."

Oh look who is back. Although they aren't coming anywhere near those cats. The monkeys hang on the edge of the clearing and chitter monkey-chat as they watch the two-leggers walking around.

Having kindly had the way pointed out for her, Greje steps carefully but with confidence through woods and over mossy stones, helped along with the sacred phallus which she holds in her right hand and which rises in falls in correct time along with her left foot. She comes in quiet conversation with Jocasta, with the Brother some distance behind.

"I don't touch everything I see." Lex replies with a mutter. "I will beat the shit out of the next monkey to look at me funny." The throw the corpse to the cats. That's fair right? "If I feed the pussies, does that count as defiling their gastrointestinal systems? I know I'm an unbeliever." Now she's a little pissed. "I have to get back to swap shifts. My patrol is over." Mutter, she turns to go. "I'd hate to be the steamy shit of unworthiness." Mutter. Probably no one else hears that. Probably. Thank the gods she doesn't see Greje sporting wood. "Sirs."

Zaharis is looking off at the odd ramps and platforms, this being quite new to him. He slides his hands into his pockets, his chin lifting as he looks over the stones and the incline of the seating. Monkeys, not gettin' close to those. Luckily he hasn't got anything on him that might look like food, either.

Ramiro turns his head to Lex as she starts to walk off and gives her a slightly angered scowl, directed at her back. He's about to say something, but then she mentions 'sirs'. That shuts his mouth quickly. Turning, he sees the Chaplains approaching and he rises in the brush. Rifle down, he steps to the edge of the clearing, letting himself be seen.

Karan had, it seems, a few things to gather from the raptor before he joined Greje and the initiate on their trek. He's dressed in simple, flowing robes of a darker aesthetic than the priestess', with a satchel slung over one shoulder. It's empty, implying an intent to fill it with something.

The male cat just lies there. Then there is movement from the side as two females slink in slowly. They come to sit on either side of the stone the male is lying on. New people. A curious kitty look to Zaharis as he studies the area.

Someone probably should've warned the CMO not to go this far, but it's a bit late now. Zaharis keeps his hands in his pockets as he gets a curious look from the kitty. His eyes move to the cats and then lower, not looking any of the animals in the eye. His head then tilts as he notices the etchings in the rock, his brows drawing slightly.

Jocasta is careful and cautious with her steps and, though they may be participating in religious rite, she still wears her sidearm slung low on her web-belted hip. Once she and the Sister arrive in the clearing, the Raptor co-pilot finds herself somewhere to sit that isn't verbotten or directly in line-of-cat fire.

Greje sees Dane first, coming through the brush, carrying herself in the ritual pace, a fluid motion meant to carry the Bacchant smoothly through and across any terrain. She comes to a stop a short way from him, inclining her head in silent greeting, then turning it by slow degree to scan the rest of the clearing.

Ramiro respectfully nods slowly to Greje and Karas, a slight bow to his head in complete silence. Turning his eyes, he then nods again to Zaharis and Jocasta as well. Rifle pointed dowards, he's still on recon duty, but merely watching the nearby area. He lets out a slow, quiet, long breath to ease his tension.

Karan is careful, oh so careful, not to set foot on sacred ground. Which would be certain parts of the temple, skirted around by nimble feet. The cats themselves receive a wide berth, though curiously he doesn't seem to have any true fear of them. Fear, respect, fine line perhaps. Those already present at the site are bowed to silently, as he flanks Greje's right hand side.

Zaharis was out of earshot of the group, not having heard the Chaplains approaching or Lex leaving. He's silent, sliding his hands from his pockets and slowly crouching to see the stone better, setting his left hand fingertips against the grassy earth. His attention's still on the Piscean etching, expression pensive.

The wind picks up here and ruffles hair and clothing. Cool and with the taste of salt on the air. It does sound like murmurs.

There's something about the tang of salt on the air that reminds Jocasta of home; it provokes something of a smile and she closes her eyes momentarily to enjoy it, perhaps even trying to recall the image of what her colony looked like before she left on the back of her eyelids.

Greje lifts her face to the wind, mouth slightly open and then licking her upper lip to taste the salt of the breeze while the wind moves the ragged ends of the Dionysiac garb around her legs. She just stands in it a moment, listening, tasting, having meditated on the mysteries beforehand, now simply attempting to feel the God here, as on the Mountain where she used to look upon his mysteries. Her neck and then back turn to follow the turn of her head, a sinuous motion as she spies the felines from afar and begins to move off in their direction.

Ramiro closes his eyes as the breeze enters the area. Focusing on letting it bleed the frustration from his blood, he opens his eyes in time to see Greje heading towards the panthers. He'd considered doing in himself, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't send a slight wash of caution over him. He doesn't raise his rifle, instead, he watches and decides he's going to go with belief on this one.

Zaharis is still crouched in front of the etched stone a few feet from the three cats. As the wind whispers in that strange way his head raises slowly, eyes blinking twice, rapidly, as the air touches across his lashes. He stays silent, drawing a short breath in through his nose. His tongue runs absently across the back of his teeth.

Karan's eyes drift closed as well. Maybe he's imagining Gemenon, or maybe he's right here in the moment, attuning himself to his surroundings. The wind sifts rumpled blonde hair about his face, and the layers of his robe about his frame; he sways slightly, but doesn't otherwise move.

Two smaller cats, kittens really, but a bit larger than your normal house cat, come dashing out from under brush where there looks to be a path. In front of them a dragonfly is zipping along. There is much bounding, leaping and trying to tackle the bug which is easily eluding both.

<Trait Roll> Jocasta rolls Awareness and achieves a degree of BeyondTerrible* (-2). *BOTCH*

<Trait Roll> Greje rolls Awareness and achieves a degree of BeyondTerrible* (-2).

<Trait Roll> Zaharis rolls Awareness and achieves a degree of Fair (3).

<Trait Roll> Karan rolls Awareness and achieves a degree of Great (5).

<Trait Roll> Ramiro rolls Awareness and achieves a degree of Mediocre (2).

<Trait Roll> Ramiro rolls Religion and achieves a degree of Poor (1).

<Trait Roll> Zaharis rolls Religion and achieves a degree of Mediocre (2).

Ramiro spends 1 luck points on Add to religion roll.

<Trait Roll> Greje rolls Religion and achieves a degree of Fair (3).

<Trait Roll> Karan rolls Religion and achieves a degree of Good (4).

<Trait Roll> Lex rolls Religion and achieves a degree of Mediocre (2).

The sound of something bounding in the underbrush, has Karan stirring from his brief reverie. He gazes after them with a detached sort of wonder, and then off in the direction from whence they came. "Sister." Quietly spoken, it's intended to draw Greje's attention. That is, if she's liable to notice anything at the moment. "Over there. A set of stairs."

Zaharis is slightly startled by the bounding cats, sitting back on one heel. He almost laughs, a single breath letting off the sudden tension, and then he leans forward on his hand, looking back at where the 'kittens' had sprung from. He doesn't see quite as much as Karan does but clearly he sees something…and then the voices behind him scare the crap out of him. His head turns quickly and he stands up, brushing off his knees.

Jocasta is living in the land of obliviousness over there, eyes still closed, grinning dumbly. Mmmm! Smell that salty Aerelon air! Not even Karan's quiet murmur seems to stir her from the imaginative trance she's entrenched in.

The kitties stop chasing now. There are other things here to look at and be curious about. When Zaharis laughs, one goes bounding in his direction. There is a sudden 'bapbapbap' on his leg and it is racing off again. You must be 'IT'. The other one looks over to Karan and does a slow stalking thing. I be stalkin' u in mah grasses.

Ramiro, standing near Karas, looks down and watches the young cats with a small smile, careful not to show teeth. At the mention of a set of stairs, he looks to Karas and then in the direction he's looking. He glances, but then goes back to keeping an eye on Greje.

Greje is… somewhere else. The small cats get a cant of her head and a warm smile, blood flushing her cheeks as she watches the young felines at the hunt— so playful looking, to grow into something so much more deadly. She seems full of God despite having laid off the smokes and drink customary to get into the 'mood' for the rite. Without quite knowing why, she diverts her course toward the spot where the small creatures had emerged. She doesn't see any stairs until she's almost on top of them.

Awwwww WHUZZA KITTY WOODGIE WOO WO-…okay Zaharis doesn't say that, but a grin spreads across his face as the 'kitten' baps his leg and runs away. "Where do you think you're going," he says under his breath, a laugh in his voice. He watches the animal bound around and then his attention wanders back to the opening they'd come from.

Karan watches Greje start drifting off, and then turns toward Ramiro. His voice is soft, though quite certain. "Sergeant, if you could clear the area for us, please." A nod toward those stairs hidden beneath overgrown brush. "Dionysus' voice is clear." It must be Dionysus. Right? He seems certain without a doubt, at least, that that's where they need to go.

"Do you need the area secured so no one can enter or do you need me to scout it?" Ramiro asks, standing beside Karan, looking to the Chaplain with a flat tone to his voice.

The one that bapped Zaharis runs off around the area, while the other one is still stalking Karan. There it is. The jump. The leap…the miss. Not quite on their feet to well yet. She just pops back up on her hind legs and bats the air, then looks around to see if anyone saw that. Ahem. When the other one returns to Zah, those seed things are on her fur. Cats on Crack.

Meanwhile…the monkeys are really complaining at something. Damn cats! Monkey fistshake!

Jocasta abruptly rouses from her reverie featuring head!Six — er, head!Baltar — I mean, uh, nothing at all Cylon related in any fashion with a slightly startled blink, having momentarily forgotten where she was. People are talking about scouting and stuff. Maybe she should pay attention.

Zaharis looks back down as the cat gets close again. He slowly crouches down, extending a hand with the fingers curled close, non-threatening until it's near the animal's fur. Carefully, he brushes his fingertips over the softness, combing a few seeds into his palm. Holding his hand up to see the prize, he says quietly, "Calystegia."

Pettings! Purr purr purr.

Greje turns her head from the top of the stairs, "Jo?" she calls lightly to the initiate. Evidently still just with it enough to realize that heading down on her own isn't the best plan. That's why she called for initiates, in the first place, after all.

They may as well be five pound furballs, for all Karan seems concerned with them bounding and darting about. He's not smiling, but then again, these beasts aren't 'cute' to him. They're sacred. The one that was stalking him receives a brief flittering of his attention, and then his eyes are upon Greje, while he speaks to Ramiro. "Secure the area please, Sergeant. Only Sister Karthasi, and the initiate. She will return for us if necessary."

<Trait Roll> Zaharis rolls Intelligence and achieves a degree of Good (4).

Ramiro merely nods to Karan in acceptance of the order and starts to walk at a medium pace towards the stairs. Rifle in hand, pointed downwards, he stops near the top of the stairs and takes a knee beside it, placing himself on effective guard duty. This gives him a good view of the rest of the area well, despite the fact that his camouflage is worthless near the limestone. He holds, still like a statue.

The other four haven't even seemed to notice Zaharis there, so he keeps doing what he wants to do. He rubs the seeds between his fingers and keeps his other hand out in case the cat wants to headbutt it. His dark eyes come up as Greje and Jocasta leave, then turn around the area, studying the detail of the place. The seating, the hole in the stones. His brows slowly raise a little bit.

Karan has the wherewithall, at least, to turn and explain to the CMO, "If this is indeed a temple under Dionysus' dominion, we cannot risk tarnishing it with uninitiated eyes." He elucidates further, with a brief smile, "He keeps only maenads in his company. Women." Ah, typical male.

Ensign — Redshirt — Maru perks at the holy Sister calls her by name and she turns her head and gives the pale-eyed woman her full attention and even takes a few steps closer in order to put herself just a pace behind. "Yes, Sister?"

Ramiro looks up and nods in turn with Karan's observations. Keeping an eye on Zaharis with the young cats, he glances to the larger ones, trying to get an idea of their posture. "Looks like you've made a friend, Major…"

Zaharis glances up at Karan and Ramiro, slightly amused. His hand stays out absently for the cat to play with as nods to the surrounding area. "Guess I should've figured Dionysus liked ball games, chap. Look at this place…" The realisation's braided together in his head. "This is-…was…a ball court."

The kitty does headbutt the CMO's hand, and when she sees the others over by the opening, she dashes that way. Let's go!

Zaharis glances up at Karan and Ramiro, slightly amused. His hand stays out absently for the cat to play, and when she dashes off, he nods to the surrounding area. "Guess I should've figured Dionysus liked ball games, chap. Look at this place…" The realisation's braided together in his head. "This is-…was…a ball court."

<Trait Roll> Karan rolls Intelligence and achieves a degree of Mediocre (2).

Greje smiles at Jocasta as she comes near, looking to her and then down the stairs, then back to her again, "Let's go and meet the God— if the God is waiting for us," she suggests, starting on down the stairs, not seeming afriad or even particularly nervous, now, heart light with the God.

Karan draws back from that overgrown path, when Zaharis speaks. An odd little smile's quirked his way, and the chaplain starts hiking closer. He's barefoot like Greje, and dressed in some kind of billowy trousers beneath the robe. Crouching, he begins to sift through the grass for some sign of useful plantlife. "I'm not sure that I see what you see. But people have built all kinds of monuments, in their search to understand the gods.."

Nodding to the ladies as they start down the stairs, Ramiro looks to Zaharis and Karan with a small smile. "In the days of old, pyramid was played solely for the presence of the Lords of Kobol. It was ritual. What I wouldn't give to play for Dionysus' pleasure…" He trails off, eyes watching the tree line for signs of movement. He may be talking, but he's definitely being a sentry.

Greje does turn her head at Jesse's proclamation, and smiles, "A ball court," she echoes, wondering on it with a smile. But she's in thrall, and on her way, already, and she only notes the discovery with a 'hm!' and a smile.

You head towards Outer Room.

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Outer Room (#349RUXF) Red Planet - Underground

61 ACH 23817 Souls


The steps are so worn down, it isn't easy to traverse deeper into the darkness. Some sort of light source is needed to see the way down. Old stone, sconces on the walls still hold some oil, that at one time helped light the way.

At the bottom of the steps, there are darker hallways moving off to the left and right. The one to the left, (Inner Chamber) seems to be closed off with the inset of a stone door.

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Someone clearly isn't as inebriated with ceremony as the Sister, but give Jocasta an 'E' for effort, at least. There's something terribly exciting about being on an 'adventure' that lies somewhere outside of military regulations and procedure. She keeps close to Greje but hasn't lost her wary stare, not that anyone can see it in all of this dark.

Greje takes the steps down with a jaunty, sure pace, beginning to softly sing one of the Lord's hymns. "Bacche, bene venies— gratus et optatus— per quem noster animus— fit laetificatus—" she sings as she leads the initiate into the dark. Once even she in her sober-drunken certainly can't find a footing, she turns back to the initiate. "Dionysus was born mortal," she begins, "And is the only one among the Lords to know the pain of death," she remarks to the initiate, encouraging her to continue the story as she turns to her side and wraps her hands around the phallus, closing her eyes, since it's pitch black anyhow, and feeling her way.

<Trait Roll> Greje rolls Agility and achieves a degree of Fair (3).

<Trait Roll> Jocasta rolls Agility and achieves a degree of Fair (3).

Those steps are a little tricky, but both seem to be making it down them. Even without light to guide.

Oh, uh, her turn now? Jocasta quietly echoes the Sister's words under her breath, trying to catch herself up to the right spot in the story: "Dionysus was born mortal and is the only one among the Lords to know the pain of death…" Her footing is precarious but not stumbling, and she maintains her balance for the moment. This instills her with some form of faith — confidence — and she continues with the tale diligently: "…and had mercy. He is the life-from-death. The light-from-darkness…"

<Trait Roll> Jocasta rolls Awareness and achieves a degree of Terrible (0).

Greje smiles as Jo shows she remembers her initiation well. "Prometheus stole fire from Zeus to give to man as he suffered in the darkness. None of the Lords would defy Zeus in aid of the child of Themis. But Dionysus took pity, and hid the spark of flame in the stem of a narthex, and placed upon it a pinecone, and sealed it with pitch, and took it to the people of the lands, giving them… life from death… and light from darkness," she finishes up the narration, hands maneuvering the sacred object properly before pounding it on the stair in front of her and igniting the dark tip in flames.

<Trait Roll> Greje rolls Awareness and achieves a degree of Poor (1).

Not exactly the best near the bottom of the steps. Plus with some kitty poo there covered in limestone and dust. Jo, have a nice trip down. Greje manages to get the light source finally, but stumbles the last step.

"UGH!" and "OOF!" and "FRAK!" herald Jocasta's head over heels tumble into the God's outer sanctum. She lays on the floor for a moment, stiff and still, having only just missed slamming her head against the last step. Nice one. Smooth move, Initiate.

Greje hurries down the last few steps after Jo, not particularly picky about where she steps, oddly enough, considering the ritual garment includes no shoes. She wades and slips a bit through cat poo with the general air of a woman who's had worse things between her toes. She offers her free hand to Jo, and a warm smile. "Looks as though we can use some light from darkness after all. Let the God be your light," she tells the initiate, meaning that both literally and figuratively.

Jocasta takes Greje's offered hand, finding her feet again and dusting off her slightly soiled knees and backside. That's probably going to leave a mark. "Thanks," she says, sounding genuinely thankful. Maybe it's time to start taking this little boot-induced piece of religion a bit more seriously, eh?

Greje looks around briefly in the Phallus' light, then turns to one side to investivate some sconces. Once she's sure there's still oil in them, she lights a few, going around until the place is decently lit, looking, meanwhile, for anything the God might not like the uninitated to see. Seeing nothing, she slips a hand up under the tip of the phallus again and twists slowly, the flame dying down and finally dying. "Alright… this room seems clear. Do you want to call down the boys, Jo?" She takes one of the oil lamps she'd lit from its sconce in order to continue lighting the rest of them, heading toward the open hallway, just to check in there.

Meanwhile: Outside of the ruins

"This pre-dates pyramid…" Zaharis says. Not as argument, just as observation. "Pisces…Panthers…" He laughs softly. "But that is definitely what it is," he assures Karan. He sits back on one heel, glancing around again.

Resting back on his knee to keep comfortable, Ramiro looks down to the kitten that suddenly curls around his foot. Smiling down to it, he looks back up as a sentry. "Hey little guy…" He whispers, reaching down to brush a hand over it before returning to guard duty.

Karan watches as one of the cats sidles up against him, and then proceeds to prance nearly into Zaharis' lap. Awfully friendly little critters. He looks up for a moment at Ramiro, and the stairs he's guarding, then back to the task of gathering seeds from herbs and flowers in the long grass.

Zaharis holds a hand back out to the cat, brushing his fingers along its fur. He glances at the other animals, then at the staircase, scratching the side of his head. His head lowers, trying to see more beyond the stairs. He's a science mind, he can't help ridiculous curiosity.

Ramiro starts to turn his head, curiously, towards the stairs but decides otherwise. He looks down to the cat at his feet and works away the worry for the women inside. "You think they're okay?" I haven't heard anything yet.

Karan has gathered a good three or four pouches of seeds by now, brushed delicately from the underbrush. He looks up again when Ramiro speaks, and seems.. hesitant. "Sergeant, do you have a torch? Or is there one in the raptor?" The last question seems equally directed toward both marine and doctor.

Zaharis has a cat clawing at his leg, its teeth tugging on the fabric of his trousers where it blouses into his boots. "Um." He almost stumbles as it tugs again, towards the stairs. "I think we're doing it wrong, you guys." He glances back at the other two and raises an eyebrow. "Trust signs, don't you? I kind of like leaps of faith, myself." His hands spread and he looks down at the cat, then starts for the stairs that it bounds to. "I've got a maglite with me, chap. You coming?"

<Trait Roll> Karan rolls Religion and achieves a degree of Good (4).

Ramiro reaches into the folds of his ghillie suit and produces a large flashlight, holding it business end downwards for someone to grab. "Got one of my own and a few glowsticks." He says, taking a deep breath. "I'll only enter if it's decided I'm welcome by either of the Chaplains." Ramiro says, doing his job, whether he likes it or not.

"Sir.. Major." Oh, Hades, this isn't going to go well. Karan climbs to his feet swiftly, smoothing his robes as he turns to the CMO. "I'm sorry, but you can't go inside there." His expression's turned to one of quiet disapproval. "We haven't heard either of them call for help, and I.. I do not wish to anger Dionysus, by us following them in. Please. I don't feel they're in danger."

"If you say so." Zaharis clicks on the maglite and shines it up along the rock face, looking at the other etchings that he can see. He's doing his best to ignore the cat trying to shred his bootlaces. Least it's having fun.

"Dionysus can be both gentle and fierce…" Ramiro replies, a few words he's said often lately. "Major Zaharis, I believe that there's a connection to prophecy about this place that relates to some sort of decision. It would be a bad, bad time to upset Dionysus. I want to go look too, but…" He shrugs. "…perhaps that's the point."

"I heard the chap about Dionysus, Sergeant," Zaharis replies, still looking at the stone with the maglite. "Not as studied doesn't mean someone's deaf." The light shines gently over the worn etchings. "What do you mean, a decision?" He glances over his shoulder at Ramiro.

"The prophecy that was spoken, was: Sail to the water's edge, to where your mother lies unburied. Her bones will mark the hour of the breaking storm and sun-rain. The shades will lead you." Ramiro says quietly. "I'm not saying you're wrong or unstudied, sir, nor am I saying you're anything. But I personally feel that making the wrong choice is going to result in a breaking storm, where not insulting Dionysus will lead to the sun-rain."

"Sarge, I'm standing still." Zaharis continues to look at Ramiro over his shoulder. "Stop hammering people, that's what drives us away from religion in the first place." He looks back at the etchings, moving the light. "Sail to the water's edge…" Not reading, just repeating thoughtfully.

Karan nods once to the Major, and settles back down on his haunches to resume sifting for seeds. "None of us are studied in Dionysus' mysteries, Sergeant. And I think we're all.. a little impatient." He tries a feeble smile on for size, and an attempt perhaps at diplomacy.

"Oh no…please don't take it that way, Sir." Ramiro replies with a shake of his head. He sniffs inwardly, clearing his nose a little. "There's a large amount of stuff even I can't explain that goes into this. I'm just as clueless in many aspects as the rest of us, but deep inside I don't think that this place is a coincidence." Ramiro speaks calmly. "We're 1000 feet from the waters edge, dark shadowy felines led us to this place." He scans the treeline for signs of danger. "I'm just…so curious."

"You said the prophecy was spoken?" Zaharis leaves the maglite on but lowers it so it shines at the ground, turning back to look at the two men. "To whome?"

Karan lowers his eyes again, and lets Ramiro answer that. He nearly melds with the shadows, dressed in those dark robes. Closing his satchel and slinging it over his shoulder once more, he starts off on a stroll about the immediate vicinity.

"About twenty two days after the Cylon attack, the prophecy was given in the Pythian rites, spoken in the Tongues of Kobol, translated, and then recorded." Ramiro lowers his head for a moment in reverence. "Long before anyone knew this planet existed, nor the signal from the Hera fleet, and the translator had no control as to the decision to come here." He looks to Brother Karas before turning back to his sentry duty. "I won't insult you by telling you that this is what it is, but I myself am a believer."

There's the distinct flicker of light to be seen somewhere near the bottom of the stairs and soon enough, the top of Jocasta's head emerges from the concealed opening. The young initiated Ensign says, "Hello, boys." She's all smiles and smudged cheeks. "The God says it's time to put your backs into it… I need to borrow one or two of you."

Zaharis listens to Ramiro, but before he can answer Jocasta comes out. He turns the maglite back towards her and then looks back at the two men, raising an eyebrow. Mainly to Karan, letting him decide. He's nice and doesn't even say 'I told you so'.

Oh, look, the redsh— er, initiate's back. Karan abandons his meandering, and steps in closer as she speaks. And furrows his brow slightly. What could Dionysus possibly want with them? Glancing once to Zaharis to confirm he's putting him in charge of this, "Sergeant, would you please accompany Ensign Maru?" And to Jocasta herself, "Will that be enough?"

Jocasta jerks her chin in gesture to the stairs and says, "I guess we'll find out." She waggles her eyebrows lasciviously at 'the chosen one' before heading back down a step. "Follow me, Sergeant…"
You paged Greje with 'yeah but Karan just sent Ramiro in.'

Ramiro nods to Karan and looks off in the direction of the Landing zone. Making a twittering noise, he points to his eyes and then holds his hand, palm down in the air, he motions sweepingly at the clearing. There's no response from anything out there. Standing, he slides his rifle over his shoulder and heads down after Jocasta quietly.

Jocasta comes in from North Path.

Ramiro comes in from North Path.

Greje is just heading back out of the righthand hallway, replacing a lighted oil lamp into its wall sconce as she finishes illuminating the place. She seems at peace with the place and the task, about as at peace as a woman with cat poo between her toes can look. Eyes half-lidded and a mild sort of smile on her face as she looks back toward those coming down the stairs.

Jocasta returns with Ramiro in tow. She's silent but somehow smug.

Zaharis comes in from North Path.

Ramiro quietly steps into the area, rifle slung over his shoulder. Watching Jocasta as she walks to mimic her footsteps due to earlier landmine issues, he keeps himself calm and faithful. Looking up to Greje, he smiles quietly. "What can I assist with?" He asks, whispering, as if his words are going to cave the place in.

There was a quiet exchange above, Karan's voice and then Zaharis', and the CMO's steps quietly follow Ramiro's along the stairs a few seconds later. He gives those standing about a slow nod.

<Trait Roll> Ramiro rolls Awareness and achieves a degree of Fair (3).

Greje smiles warmly at Dane, walking away from the wall sconce. "It's alright, Dane. The place is clear, but there's a door over there…" she nods toward it. "I wouldn't expect, based on what we've found so far, there to be anything inappropriate for your eyes in there. Plus we need help getting it open," she adds with a grin.

<Trait Roll> Jocasta rolls Awareness and achieves a degree of Terrible (0).

<Trait Roll> Zaharis rolls Awareness and achieves a degree of Fair (3).

<Trait Roll> Greje rolls Awareness and achieves a degree of Terrible (0).

Ramiro looks towards the door and steps over to it. Setting his rifle down, he brushes his hands over the door a few times and smiles. He slides his fingers a little bit between the crack in the door and finds a latch of some sort. Looking to Greje and Jocasta, he smiles that moving-guy smile and then looks to Zaharis. "Allright let's pull from here…" He nods. "On three? You count…"

Zaharis also spots the latch with a slight narrowing of his eyes. "There we go. Ready?" He sticks the lit maglite between his teeth, which muffles the talking but it's still intelligeable. Grasping part of the latch, he counts. "One…oo….eeee…" Pull!

There is a resounding scrape as the door begins to slide back slowly. Like all doors, that haven't been used, it stops about halfway. There is room to move through though.

Jocasta excuses herself from the hard labor and, in fact, she hangs back with Greje and even goes so far as to rest a forearm lightly on the Sister's shoulder while she admires the, ahem, view of men at work. What?

You head towards Inner Chamber.

-=============================================================================-

Inner Chamber (#346RUXF) Red Planet - Underground

61 ACH 23817 Souls


This circular room hasn't been disturbed in a very long time. Although, dust does cover the floor to about an inch. The center has a large, black stone in shot with silver. Looking upward into the night sky, celestial objects shine brightly. The stone itself could be a large chunk of meteroite. There has been some words carved into the side. A native language to all:

Knowing the cyclical influences that create the present,

By knowing these influences of the present one can see the cyclical influences of the future.

Impart these words as they are the soul of our existence:

"What has happened before, will happen again…"

-=============================================================================-

Zaharis comes in from Outer Room.

Greje comes in from Outer Room.

Jocasta comes in from Outer Room.

Ramiro comes in from Outer Room.

Zaharis is nearly forty, plainfaced, and has a desk job. A specimen of glistening man-muscle, he is not. He can get a door open, though, thank goodness.

Greje shakes her head gently at Jocasta with a playful smile. That must be why there aren't any men allowed in the rites. Dionysus gets the blood flowing. Add men to the mix and nothing would get done but some pretty frantic screwing. Greje does give the pair of sturdy gents a grateful smile, though, as she follows them in, taking, again, a lamp from the wall as she does so.

Ramiro quickly grabs his rifle and slings it, as leaving a loaded weapon laying around is frowned upon even in the strangest locations. Double checking the safety, he heads inside and lets the torchlight illuminate. His eyes fall to the stone in the center of the room and he simply stops, lowering himself to his knees. "Greje…"

The Omphalos as some call it, is the stone in the center. Shot with silver veins and showing the writing that has been carved around its middle. When standing near the stone and looking upward, the night sky is revealed. Only those stars aren't stars of this planet. — Along the high walls, there are two figures that mirror each other. One is a woman with a bow, pointed upward to the sky. The other figure is a male with the lower body of a horse or some animal. His bow points upward as well.

Zaharis stays far on the outskirts of the religious group, saying nothing as they move into the room. The tension of the corners of his eyes slowly relaxes into a silent sort of wonder as he looks around, very slowly, reading the words.

Karan comes in from Outer Room.

Want… to touch… the silver. There's just something about a phallic stone in the middle of the room that evokes in Jocasta the undeniable urge to run right over and give it a GREAT BIG HUG! But, uh, you know… that might be a little awkward, what, with all these dudes around and so she just sidles over, mouth ever so slightly agape, and reaches out to rest her palm against it reverently. Oh hi mystical God thing.

Karan arrives fashionably late, some might say. After a massive case of indecision, he descends into the bowels of the temple after the others, bare feet nearly soundless on the moss-carpeted stone.

Greje squeaks. Quite literally. She tries to choke off a less seemly sound, and ends up sounding for all the world like a very surprised mouse. She walks to the omphalos… since she has no doubt whatsoever that's what it is. The real one, too, not the carved facsimile she puts on the altar for Apollo's rites. Mouth open but not managing any more sound past that squeak. And then, at its base, she looks up, having no doubt what she'll see from there.

Zaharis continues to play the silent observer, taking in the room. He hasn't made a sound nor a word, slowly reading the carved words once and then again. His lips move once or twice as he does. His eyes then lift, looking around the room itself.

Rising up from his knees as the initial shock fades, Ramiro steps forward. Silently, his eyes shake as they dart, taking everything in. Reaching the Omphalos, he reaches out to touch it and stops inches from the stone, looking upwards after looking to the figures on the wall, he blinks. Staring skywards, a small choke emits from his throat.

<Trait Roll> Greje rolls Awareness and achieves a degree of Mediocre (2).

<Trait Roll> Ramiro rolls Awareness and achieves a degree of Poor (1).

<Trait Roll> Jocasta rolls Awareness and achieves a degree of Terrible (0).

<Trait Roll> Zaharis rolls Awareness and achieves a degree of Good (4).

<Trait Roll> Karan rolls Awareness and achieves a degree of Great (5).

Now that the door is open, the wind moves between the two chambers, encircling in and out and back again. It stirs the dust that has accumulated over time. As if some great breath was blowing it around and making it swirl. There is a long…low sound.

The dust lifts higher and higher…until it disappears from sight. And then everything calms down again.

..and oh, gods, the sight that greets the poor priestling. Karan drifts completely to a halt as he nears the base of the steps, robe and hair tossed about by the wind. He tugs his hood up over his head gently, eyes transfixed on the dust being scattered and tossed about. He sinks down to his knees slowly, breathing a few words of scripture. "…these great Kronos swallowed as each came forth from the womb to his mother's knees with this intent, that no other of the proud sons of Ouranos should hold the kingly office amongst the deathless gods.."

Zaharis raises a hand in front of his nose and mouth as the wind moves into the room. His eyes don't close against the whirlwind though, fixing on something in the middle of the swirling dust. The beginning's of crow's feet at the corners of his eyes deepen suddenly, as do the lines on his forehead, and he draws in a quiet breath that's probably muffled by the wind. And then the dust is gone, and with it whatever was there to be seen. He exhales quietly, taking a further step back from the group.

Jocasta is caught utterly off guard by the sudden dust devil and she's forced to turn away from the stone and bury her nose and mouth in the crook of her sleeve, eyes clenched shut in irritation. Yesh! Drafty old temples!

<Trait Roll> Jocasta rolls Intelligence and achieves a degree of Good (4).

<Trait Roll> Ramiro rolls Intelligence and achieves a degree of BeyondSuperb (7).

<Trait Roll> Zaharis rolls Intelligence and achieves a degree of Superb (6).

<Trait Roll> Karan rolls Intelligence and achieves a degree of Mediocre (2).

<Trait Roll> Greje rolls Intelligence and achieves a degree of Mediocre (2).

Greje can't say what's right to touch or not to touch, at this point, in awe of something the likes of which she'd never imagined was an actual object. But it's true. She knows that, now. And she takes up from scripture where the Brother left off, "When she was ready to bear the youngest of her sons, the mighty Zeus, vast Earth received him when he was born to be nursed and brought up in the land of Crete. She came first to Lyktos, travelling quickly by night, and took the baby in her hands and hid him in a cave… and wrapped up a great stone in swaddling clothes and gave it to Kronos, Ouranos' son. He took it in his hands and rammed it down into his belly, having no idea that a stone had been substituted for his son, who, unscathed and content as a babe, would soon wrest his honors from him by force and rule the Universe."

Ramiro looks to the walls, pausing his eyes over the figures there. "Artemis and Saggitarius…" He says, eyes trailing up towards the direction that they point. His eyes trail skywards to the starfield above. "Do you think the lords would oppose if we took a picture of the starfield?" He asks, looking around, stopping on Zaharis. "This might be the direction we're supposed to flee…"

Zaharis is starting to look uncomfortable with the knee-sinking and scripture-shouting. His shoulders are tense, his focus going to Ramiro once he's had a look around the walls. "I don't know about the Lords. All I know is it would be helpful for the humans. I have my digital with me. As for fleeing…" His brows draw as he looks towards the stars, and undoubtedly their floating home up there somewhere. "…perhaps if someone consulted a star chart and looked at the alignments? I'm not sure."

Karan seems.. lost in reverie for a time. Greje's words wash over him, the dust settles, and he's probably got a goodly amount of it dirtying his face and overlong hair. A word spoken by Ramiro causes him to snap out of it, and he looks sharply toward the marine. Rising slowly, he turns to approach, smudging the dust with bare feet. "What did you say?" is murmured, quietly.
You have already trained someone this week."

While Jo's situation awareness is terribly suspect at this point — and, let's face it, her job basically requires her to just sit still and stare at a relatively small console in the back of the bird while someone else keeps their eyelids peeled for asteroids — her intelligence is at least sufficient enough to allow her to recognize a primitive starchart when she sees one. Go Navy!

Greje just shakes her head, looking up, and then down, "I don't have the faintest clue what doctrinal etiquette requires for being in the presence of the… omphalos," she says the word as if she still were simply amazed. "It never really covered situations like this."

Greje looks to Jesse, then to Dane, "Do either of you think that the Commander would actually follow these star charts if we -did- photograph them?"

"Artemis, Sagitarius…take a picture…" Ramiro looks upwards. "They're pointing. Perhaps they're pointing the way…" Ramiro looks back to them. "Greje you said the scripture. travelling quickly by night." He points upwards. "They're pointing to a star cluster…they wouldn't go through all of this trouble for us to forget it. I say we record it somehow." He pauses, nodding to Z, rubbing the side of his face. "Perhaps, sister, my memo will have inadvertently helped our case? I have no pull whatsoever but…how can the truth be denied? The prophecy, the dreams, the whispers…all to this?"

"I wouldn't fault him if he didn't," Zaharis replies, his eyes shifting to look at Greje. "But are you opposed to them being photographed?" He nods to the room. "I'll need to submit a report as ranking officer. I'd appreciate something visual he can look at." He opens the heavy medical case he's been carting out, pulling out the digital camera he'd been toting around for scientific samples.

Karan's brow furrows slightly, and he offers Ramiro a distracted nod. "I know of no strictures on such things, Sister," he points out to Greje, regarding the picture-taking. This, of course, is coming from the hardline Fundamentalist of the pair. He paces off a short way, visually marking the stars as he moves in a semi-circle about the room.

Jocasta is feeling like quite the odd woman out, without any real wisdom to lend to the conversation. Instead, she quietly keeps to the periphery and gives the chamber a short self-guided tour, though her head remains mostly bent backwards and up in order to observe the stars laid out overhead.

Greje actually faintly chuckles at Dane, "If anyone can find a way to deny it, the Commander will," she notes. It's not spoken unkindly, though. "You're right, Brother. Yeah, let's go ahead and get all this on film," she sighs. "Even if the Commander doesn't listen, it's worth our having. Travelling quickly by night… to Earth," she shakes her head. "But that's not where the omphalos was laid after Kronos regurgitated it. It was laid at Pytho, on Kobol. But this doesn't look anything like the descriptions of the Pythian temple."

"Kobol, the birthplace." It's mused upon quietly as Jerome pads about the room in a slow, repeating circuit. Perhaps he brushes past Jocasta a time or two, he seems not to notice. "Sister, perhaps.. perhaps you're on to something." He halts, and directs his eyes toward Greje with a hooded thoughtfulness. "Perhaps the omphalos is meant to lead us to.." He can't even quite bring himself to say it. He's already done things tonight, that he never thought he'd do.

Zaharis steps away from the group again, back to the periphery. He keeps his thoughts to himself, adjusting the settings on the black camera before getting to work. How scientists take pictures - in a tight grid pattern and from several angles on everything relevant, not missing a single detail. The sounds of the camera are soft, just the muted clicks and ocasional soft whirrs. The CMO's dark eyes remain pensive but nothing more is said.

Ramiro opens his mouth to talk and then stops himself. He pulls out a digital camera as well, heading in Greje's direction and handing his to her. Only then, does he decide to talk. "Then it was moved." Ramiro says flatly. He points to the inscriptions. "What has happened before will happen again…" He trails off. "…Exodus."

Greje continues to argue with herself, that way she does. "Of course, the omphalos itself -came- from Earth, -to- Kobol," she murmurs, then shakes her head, turning and leaning her forehead on the phallus. "I think… it's too early to be jumping to conclusions about what all of this means. The Commander's not going to go anywhere because some ruins had a starchart in them, in any case, so… we've got all the time the Cylons give us to figure it out." She nods to Dane, looking up at the figures again. "Chiron, the Sagittarios," she notes, "The teacher of great heroes… Heracles and Achilles," she looks to the other one, head just shaking. "Artemis." It had to be Artemis.

Karan breathes out a little shakily, like all of this is just a little too much for him. "Of course, sister," he murmurs, of jumping to conclusions too quickly. He's an optimist and an idealist, he probably can't help himself. Pacing away again, he directs his gaze star-wards. It might be Artemis, the huntress he's watching. It might be.

Zaharis makes his way gradually around the room and the omphalos, camera slowly constructing its full picture of the room, the etchings, and the night sky to which the figures are pointing. When he finishes, he leaves the camera on and pulls the strap around his neck, letting it rest against his chest. He doesn't try to talk to the group, keeping a polite distance and his silence. His eyes flicker as he thinks.

"Chiron…" Ramiro reflects, looking up at the figure. "…I hope that I honor him. If I could only be so worthy…" He says, a strange look in his eyes as his vision trails to Artemis. The twin sister of his patron lord. He swallows. "The Omphalos travelled from Earth. The first Exodus." He sits, collecting his thoughts as he looks up at the figures in awe. "Greje…we have evidence that my dream is a control factor. I had no way of knowing. We have the timestamped prophecies with witnesses. We have this place. I'm going to assume that the water her will replenish our fleet, the food will provide us with nourishment. It's a direction. It's a leap of faith, but it's a direction. It may also be one that the Cylons will fail to interpret. They don't have the knowledge that we do. That might be the key…" He looks over to them. "…if we leave before the Cylons know of this place, we'll have a head start." He smiles. "But I'm not going to write any more memos."

Greje sighs softly. "It would be someplace to go that isn't simply 'away as fast as we can when the Cylons show up,' I suppose. The Commander might see some use in that— if just to make people feel as if we've got someplace we're heading, instead of just reacting to being kicked out over and over again. Of course. That's -assuming- these star charts make any sense to anyone with the knowledge to put them to use."

Karan turns slightly toward Greje. "Once we have a mosaic created from the doctor's imagery, perhaps I can consult my books. I have a few charts of the ouranos, though they are.." He smiles faintly, looks up again. "Not as accurate as they could be." He considers a moment more. "The Commander will see use in whatever furthers a pragmatic, military objective, I believe." It's not spoken in a denigrating fashion. His voice is soft, tone sincere— this is, at least, how he sees things.

"A fleet of spacefaring vessels, I'm sure there's an astronomer somewhere." Ramiro replies, running a hand through his hair and turning his eyes back up to the figures, he smiles at them and closes his eyes. "In all probability, being that no one knew of the existence of this planet, it's rather unlikely that there would be a shared dream, a prophecy that ties to this place, hide the omphalos from the dream on the planet, and then provide a star chart if it didn't lead somewhere. You can quote me on that." Ramiro says, eyes still closed. "You know where I stand on this one. Her bones mark the hour of the breaking storm and sun-rain. We may not have much time to make this decision." He adds, sliding out his prayer beads to offer a few to Dionysus, Chiron, and Artemis.

Greje blinks and stands up ramrod straight for a moment. She furrows her brow a little at the Brother, "We're going to have to do better than that if we want to get the Commander to approve any sort of FTL jump. It's going to have to go through astrometrics or…" whatever, "But— good heavens, you haven't seen the other room yet." She'd almost forgotten about the other room what with miracles coming true over in this room. Omphalos. Holy. Gaah.
You begin following Greje.

Karan nods to Greje, meeting that furrowed look directly and with a characteristic little lift of his chin. "Of course, I'm not implying that the Commander would take my word alone, Sister. Only that I would like for us to confirm some of our theories, before involving too much of the crew in this. To raise their hopes, only to dash them again?" Then she's talking about another room, and it's his turn to furrow his brow lightly.

Zaharis shakes his head slightly, something deeply disappointed in his expression as he watches them. He pushes off the wall and starts for the door in silence, turning the camera off.

<Trait Roll> Karan rolls Empathy and achieves a degree of Mediocre (2).

Ramiro says one more to Apollo, whispering, and then rises. Pulling out his flashlight, he lets Greje keep his camera. "Please return that to the marine offices when you are ready, Sister." He says, turning to them. He looks over his shoulder to Zaharis as he walks off, watching the look on the man's face. He steps towards the door. "Are we allowed in the other chambers, Sister?"

<Trait Roll> Ramiro rolls Empathy and achieves a degree of Poor (1).

Greje looks toward the doorway, straight on down the hall to the other side. "It's got inscriptions of the old colonial emblemata," she murmurs, sounding a little tired. "I think I'll just… stay here a while, if you don't mind too much," she murmurs. She looks up and catches Jesse's look of disapproval, tipping her head to one side in a quiet invitation to speak. Hm? Camera? "You go ahead and finish with it, Dane," she tells him, "I'm just… I need some time to stop feeling like I've gone mad," she admits. "Though I suppose Dionysus does inspire madness. It's the right time of year, too… one quarter of the year Dionysus inhabits the Omphalos while Apollo is among the Hyperboreans."

Karan watches after Zaharis a moment, mouth curving into a slight frown when he sees that disappointment. He'll not question him, though. They're all tired, it's been an eventful day. "I'll go and take a look, Sister. Perhaps you should sit down for a little while." His eyes flit toward Ramiro, as if urging him to let her have some peace. Touching Greje's shoulder briefly, he steps past.

Zaharis catches Greje's look and his expression changes, in that easy way it tends to do. He smiles a little and taps his watch. "Need to get back. Talk to you later, chap. Chaps." Is that the right plural? Sounds kind of dirty. And that's the thought that gets to carry him out of Dionysus' temple, lucky all of them.

Dane steps over to Greje and takes his camera back with a firm hand pressed to her shoulder. "I'll be nearby." Ramiro says. Turning, he moves outside of the door to set his rifle down and sit against the wall in the hallway. "If you can, Major, alert the recon that I'll be down here providing security for the Chaplains…" Ramiro says quietly, taking a moment to rest himself.

Greje lowers herself to kneel by the omphalos, placing the oil lamp in front of her and holding the phallus in both hands, planted between her thighs. Appropriate.

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