Seven Hours
Seven Hours
Summary: Seven hours pass in the Chapel. Dane bonds with the Chaplains
Date: 85 ACH
Related Logs: None

Chapel Genesis - Deck 9
85 ACH 23817 Souls

A simple military Chapel, octagonal in shape and of uniform dark grey hue with slab lighting up above. Four walls of the room have four large steps along them for continuous seating in an angular stadium form, the other side of the room largely devoted to a raised platform with a plain altar of pantheatic consecration. On the Altar are figurines set in their traditional places, of the gods and goddesses, with simple sacrament incense burning in holders on each side of the line of figurines.
----< Condition Two - Public Area >----—-

Greje is still in more or less the same place she was last night, keeping the incense burning, keeping vigil in supplication at the altar, on her knees with both hands planted to the altar's side, occasionally moved by prayer to tears which she sheds as sacrifice upon the altar's side. No sleep, and no food since Condition One got called yesterday, and she's growing a little woozy, but the delirium of prayer and vigil is not new to her. Her jaw tremors a little bit as she takes a few shallow breaths and begins giving low voice once more to the prayers to the Lady of Laughter.

The door to the chapel slides open and then closed again. Dane's woken up and decided to head down to the mess and get Greje some food. He's got a small box in his hand and a few pints of milk in the other. Catching sight of her, he moves towards the altar and stands a respectable distance away. "Sister…"

Greje has begun the prayer cycle, and she completes it, slowly, cautiously, voice tremoring, but making sure not to forget anything, leaning her forehead against the altar between her hands and closing her eyes, the prayers far too murmury and shaky to be understood even from Dane's distance. Once she's done with the cycle, though, she turns her head, her temple now against the altar, one pale green eye, underlined with sleeplessness, looking back toward Dane. "Dane," is all she says, "News?" The two words spoken lightly and feebly, but audibly.

Dane sits down in front of the first pew and sets the food down. Watching her as he does so, he motions for her to come over towards him. Crossing his legs, he shakes his head from left to right. "Nothing yet…" He looks to her and gives her a rather assured look. He believes that they will be found, without a shadow of a doubt. "…it's only a matter of time. Come over here, get some food."

Greje wobbles her head briefly, always wishing she were as sure as Dane can be about these things. She peels her face away from the altar, briefly touching the wet trails of tears there as she draws one foot under her and stands, checking the incense before she turns and takes that first step down the altar stairs, knee weak and almost buckling under her, but she recovers and steps the rest of the way down the stairs without incident, "Did you bring my medications?" she wonders gently, trying to remember whether she asked him to bring them or not, lifting a hand to her head and looking at the milk boxes. "Thank you… for this," she says mildly in regard to the food brought for her. She crouches down next to him, curling up almost into a ball before her ankles cross and she sits down cross-legged, facing him at ninety degrees.

"No I did not but after you eat I'll run up and get them." Dane replies, opening the box. There's a vegetable sandwich inside with a little hint of dressing on it for flavor. Apparently deciding that she'd be too hungry to eat too much, he's decided for some light food for now. Handing her the box from the mess hall, he takes one of the cartons of milk and sets it in front of her. He looks rather focused, rather calm. "Were you up all night?" He asks, looking to her, judging her health.

Greje takes the box onto her lap, "Mm," she says, "It looks good." Words just sort of falling tiredly from her mouth. "Yes," she replies, "I kept thinking I might get some sleep, but then… I just thought, maybe if I wait a little longer, you'd come or the Brother would come to let me know everything was fine." She shifts half the sandwich into her hands, holding it in both and leaning over it a moment, quietly, before taking a bite, back hunched to keep the bite close to the box on her lap in case of spills.

"I would have come in, but after speaking with Brother Karan I realized that I had to get to sleep." He pauses. "I was Marine Officer of the Watch when we jumped and I had to ensure the transfer over to one of the officers. At condition two we keep rotation pretty heavy. I'm off duty now though." He turns to look to the altar. "How are you feeling? Is this medication something that you need fast? I could run up there right now…"

"I feel okay, I'll get it a little later," Greje assures Dane, "Just don't tell Jesse, hm?" she adds with what's trying to be a light-hearted smile. "He might get cross with me. I'm going in again soon for another round of tests."

"Tests?" Dane asks quietly, lifting his eyebrow a little bit. Resting his back against the pew, he folds his hands in his lap and looks to her quietly. "I know it's none of my business but is everything okay, Greje?"

Greje takes another small but eager-looking bite of the sandwich, chews on it quietly, closing her eyes briefly as she nods her head, "Oh, yes, Dane, I should think so. I have an ulcer from some… bacterial infection. The medicines are helping, Jesse just wants to run some more tests to make sure things are going the way they should."

Dane nods quietly. "Well I guess that's good, an ulcer's not too serious. Let me know if you need anything okay? I actually came to spend some time with you in prayer if you'd have me?" He pauses. He gets a little smile on his face. "So…can I ask you a question?" He pauses. "Does Brother Karan have an issue with the translated prophecies?"

"Of course, Dane, that would be lovely," Greje replies softly. "And this sandwich is just about ready to get me that second wind I was looking for," she adds with a soft smile, opening the milk, now, and taking a sip. "Brother Karan was concerned that having someone not annointed in Apollo's cult attempt to interpret the voice of God may have contaminated the procedure. But there are recorded expiations for the unannointed taking part in Apollo's rites. I performed them on your behalf before the rites proper to ensure that ritual correctness was observed. I think he accepts that, but— it's not standard practice, by a long shot."

Dane nods, bringing his knees up a bit to rest his arms over them. Hunching forward a little bit, he idly rubs the scar on his arm, apparently a new habit. "I can understand his concern, though…" He pauses. "…my own parents would have said that it was suspect to at the minimum a large amount of scrutiny and discussion." He watches the incense burn. "I told him that I would like to become an Initiate…he told me that I had to consider what I would sacrifice, as being that my religious life will never conflict with my military one."

Greje drinks some more milk as she listens, sets down the carton on the pew beside her. "It's true, there may be some points of conflict. During Apollo's sacred days you would be required to maintain ritual purity… which includes not coming into contact with the bodies of the dead, or spilled blood. If you were on a mission— that might become difficult."

Dane nods quietly, having not thought about that. He blinks and raises his eyebrows a bit in tandem. "I hadn't thought about that…I simply couldn't comply with that, not on the field…" He shakes his head. "If one of my men were dead and no one else to carry him home…I'd still carry him home." He stares forward. "Ritual purity isn't a problem, but that just might be."

Greje nods quietly, "It's something to think about. That's why most annointed devote themselves completely to their priesthood, instead of having other jobs, as well. These ritual requirements take precedence over anything else. I could always cleanse you of your impurity afterward, but— if you become annointed knowing full well that you would knowingly and willingly taint your annointing— that's not the sort of devotion the God wants, Dane. You honor the Lord with your work… just like I do with mine, you in your way, I in mine. You're a devoted follower, don't reach for more if you're not ready to give it. Maybe…" she smiles faintly, "After you retire from the Marines," she smiles more broadly, imagining Dane a grizzled old vet on some newly settled planet, turning himself to the robes and ritual purity. "Maybe then you can accept annointing and become the God's servant," she suggests.

"Like my dad…" Dane smiles, turning to look at Greje. "….well except for the retired Marine part." He nods a few times. Reaching up to run a hand through his hair, he lets his fingers hang at the back of his neck before he turns to look at the altar. "I'd been thinking much of the same myself as well since Brother Karan suggested that I think about it. After all, I've been blessed with everything I've been able to see so far while honoring the Lords through my work. I should take this as a sign that I've pleased them with my devotion."

Greje nods gently, "You've been blessed with an experience none but the annointed typically get to experience, Dane. It's a thing of wonder, to be treasured." She puts down the end of the sandwich, "And, of course, if you'd like to begin studying cult laws and practices… well, just remember I was in school six years before my first annointing. We don't have a seminary… But I'd like you to be able to pass something equivalent to quals before you become annointed."

"Well I do have to become a college equivalent grad…I was considering asking you if you had any of your old college text information, perhaps I could get a degree in theocratic studies." He asks, rubbing his temple. "I've got OCS, duties, college…I'm going to have a full plate for a long time so that I can back up this officer position. I'll still make it to chapel, though. I might not be able to play so much pyramid." He looks to her again, continuing the small talk.

Greje smiles softly, looking down to the half-finished sandwich and resting a hand briefly high on her stomach, brow briefly furrowing. "I can never throw out a book. You can have full range of my library. And I'll be here to hold your hand while you're tearing out your hair trying to put all the laws of miasmatic transmission to memory," she adds with a chuckle. "I had several friends in the Law School who said that those codes made Caprican courtroom procedure look simple by comparison. Don't stop playing pyramid, though. Even I made sure to go to my weekly game while I was in Seminary. Keeps you sane," she smiles. "Besides, you've got time. You're not planning on retiring anytime soon, hm?"

"Oh no…no…I wouldn't even retire for a while after we find where we're going to live and stay there. I fully intend to make do with my commission and maintain a watch even in peacetime. Then again that would make my work day eight hours instead of nearly twelve, but one can dream right?" He shrugs. "Can't much picture anything else ahead of that." He looks to her. "After this is over, what do you want to do?"

Greje shrugs lightly, a soft smile still on her lips, "I do what the Lords need me to do. Consecrate some new temples… initiate people in the rites, annoint them to serve… pass on the mysteries to a new generation," she concludes, "Keeping the line of transmission unbroken from the days before the exodus from Kobol," her expression grave, now, knowing how few mystery initiates there are aboard, and knowing that there is at least one mystery which she may well currently be the only one alive bearing the sacred knowledge of. Then she looks up again from her reverie, "And… marriage, I suppose, children…" she shrugs softly, finding her sandwich fascinating again. "I'd like to raise children of my own, some day."

"Yeah…so would I…" Dane nods, turning his eyes back to the altar. Taking in a deep breath, he lets it out again. "My mother and father always told me about how carrying the family line would be my responsibility, being an only child. Down the road though, I agree, it's definitely on the list." He considers for a moment, lowering his voice. "Greje?" He suddenly asks quietly. "If anything should ever happen to me, I want you to know I've left arrangements in a journal in my bunk."

"Sh-sh—" Greje begins, lifting two fingers in a gesture of ritual cleansing to Dane's lips. "Say a prayer," she warns him gently. It's not often that she indulges in the little bits of superstition that cling to the fringes of religion, but Dane's the sort of bring them out in her.

Dane keeps forgetting about that. Closing his eyes, he lowers his head and says a prayer in silence to the respective Lords across, noting in particular that this wasn't a request. Finishing his prayer, he raises his head and gives her an awkward grimmace.

Greje just smiles at him as he looks up to her— then, his awkwardness seems to jump the joining of their eyes and brings a slight flush to her cheeks, her own smile veering awkward as she brings her fingers away from his lips and settles them in her lap again, looking down to them and clearing her throat, "You know I'll take care of you, Dane. No matter what the Lords bring, alright?"

Dane nods, looking to his lap as she turns to do the same. "I know you will, Greje. You always have. Just remember that I intend to return the favor." He motions to her milk and gives a little smile. Letting out a cleansing breath, he sets the other milk carton down for her. They're clearly the rewashed and resealed sort. Milk is scarce, but it does a body good. "No matter what the Lords bring…"

Greje takes the other milk carton in both hands, and looks down at it with that smile flickering back to its brightness. "Thank you, Dane. It's good to know," she replies, then, lifting the second carton, "Split it with me?" she asks him, not wanting to refuse the gift, but also wanting him to have some.

Dane nods and reaches out to the carton. Sipping from it in a manner that wouldn't leave any disgusting backwash or uncleanliness, he lowers it and then offers it back to her. He's leaving her a larger portion. Closing his eyes and muttering a small prayer of thanks for the gifts, he can't help but smile. "Reminds me of pilgrimmage…" He muses, leaning back against the pew again to look at Greje.

Greje nods her head, a little shimmer of tears rising in her eyes again, but she's smiling as she takes the carton and sips from it, herself. "It does," she passes the carton back again, "I wonder how the brother and sister are faring. I'm sure they know we're thinking about them."

"…and I'm doubly sure that they're probably right now involved in prayer to Poseidon. The prayers of ships lost at sea." Dane replies, looking to Greje. "I imagine that right now many of the faithful on the Destiny are there with them, and they're quite busy tending to the flock." He says reassuringly. "When we meet back with them, we should go over and see them, see to their needs and bring offerings for sacrifice in thanks."

"Yes— oh!" Suddenly a pleasant look suffuses the priestling's features. "You'll never guess what I found," she offers him a colloquial invitation to try and guess.

Dane tilts his head a little bit. He seems to be batting a few ideas around. He asks as he talks, voice increasing a little with each word. "You…found…something on the star charts with that sketch I sent you?"

"Oh— no— I… not yet," Greje falters. Okay, not quite news to stack up to that, "I've still been trying to get those other charts finalized… I don't want to get my brain confused thinking about two sets at once. But I -did- stumble across a small supply of beef jerky, which— I think you asked me for a long, long time ago."

Dane raises an eyebrow and gives her a little grin. "So this is the part where you dangle it in front of the poor dog's face until he agrees to be in the play, right?" He smiles, resting his elbows behind him on the pew. "Where on earth did you find some?"

Greje chuckles. "Not on Earth, that's for sure. On the Carina, I've been over there scoping out territory and trying to see what matierials are available to build a new temple… getting to know the faithful community over there. A while ago I led one young woman in Aphrodite's rites, and she wanted to give me a gift in return," she explains. "No, no dangling. I thought maybe a belated holiday gift," she adds with a soft smile. "It's in my office. Things have been so hectic recently that I just haven't thought to bring it up when you've come by these last few times. How are you doing? By the way? With all of that?"

"With the…" Dane looks to her. "…the thing with Lex?" He asks for clarification. He then decides to just answer that question. "Well…I went to go see Dr. Sloan. I was there when the alert happened but we were just wrapping up at the time, so no need to reschedule." He pauses, looking at his feet. "She's help me find a bit of a center I feared I'd lost for a bit."

"Evelyn is good, like that," Greje smiles. "She helped me, after the visions… even just having someone to spill your brains to who won't judge… it's useful. A neutral setting," she adds, a faint emphasis on 'neutral.' "She's good at her job. I'm glad she was able to help you."

"She was…" Dane says, nodding a few times. "I think that part of my problem is that I know that I have infinite patience and see the positive in everything. I simply refuse to accept the 'cants' and focus on the 'can'." He pauses, looking to Greje. "So I tend to try to do the right thing for everyone around me, unwilling to accept that there's things I simply can't do."

Greje finishes her sandwich and closes the box from the mess. "Perspective is important. And thinking about your own happiness isn't necessarily being self-centered… but finding your center and working from there will let you find your place in the world. Working from other peoples' desires inward… will leave you disjointed and in aporia."

"My father…smart man…" He says that alot. "…once told me that when you're on the right path, the universe falls into a harmony of sorts. You find that you catch your mistakes before they happen. You find that you catch the salt shaker before it hits the floor. You find that your answers come sooner." Dane replies, leaving that at that.

Greje listens to the words from beyond the veil with the attention they merit. "Smart man," she echoes, waiting a further moment in a silence of respect— maybe a silent prayer rendered to the lost— and then puts the mess hall box up by the milk cartons. "I should go and get my pills. Want to watch over the incense until I get back?"

Dane rises from his seated position and nods towards her. Offering a hand to help her up, she's no doubt exhausted. "I will. I have prayers to offer as well." He pauses. "Again, I'm not initiated, but I know my way around a chapel." He smiles. "We'll help bring them back home, Greje. Trust in it."

Greje lifts a hand to Dane's, using it to pull herself upward, then squeezing it softly with a nod. "My trust is with the Lords," she replies. "I'll be back in a little bit," she adds, leting go of his hand to turn and gather the box and cartons to return to the mess on her way.

As she leaves, Dane silently turns and issues his customary altar approaching prayers. Exhaling to clear himself of impure thought and breathing in his resolve, he steps forward and kneels before the Altar to continue to pray to Aphrodite, monitoring the incense.

With Greje having stepped away from her votive to retrieve her medicine from her room, Dane has offered to stay behind and mind the incense. Kneeling at the altar in silence, his lips are moving in whispered prayer as the incense carries itself as an offering. Greje was praying to Aphrodite for their safe return, and Dane is continuing the series of prayers by himself.

Karan drifts into the chapel quietly, in the process of buttoning his duty jacket and smoothing wrinkles with flattened palms. A short prayer is offered at the door, before he moves deeper through the room, and toward the altar with a soft cadence of booted feet.

Dane continues his prayer uninterrupted. There isn't even a stutter or a hesitation. The long prayer, spoken quietly to the altar with convicion, continues even as the booted feet approach. In his off duty clothes, his head is bowed in reverence.

Karan doesn't speak a word. Not to Ramiro, at least. Ascending the steps to the altar, he sinks down onto his knees smoothly and places his fingertips against the cool stone. His breathing is soft, barely audible in the spaces between Dane's quiet prayer. After a few moments of reflection, he joins in; voice a bare whisper with the tonality of the Gemenese language.

Speaking the same dialect in prayer, Dane falls into a tandem prayer with the brother. Speaking just a little quieter to let the Brother take point in the offering, Dane breathes in life and joy with each breath and releases his tension and worry with each exhale. Keeping himself pure, the meditative prayer nears its end.

It's possible to lose oneself in this sort of prayer. Lose oneself to the thrum of voices, the measure of breathing, the darkness behind closed eyes and become filled with the presence of the gods. Of course, some might consider that hogwash. But Karan rarely has someone to pray with in his own language, to share something so deeply meditative with. There's a small smile on his lips as they near the end, in praise of the laughter-loving goddess.

Letting out a slow, cleansing breath to match with a smile and a small thought of pure joy and relaxation, Ramiro opens his eyes. Bowing his head to the altar, he checks the incense. It is still half full. His eyes tilt to Karan. He nods slowly.

Karan breathes out as well, and lowers his head for a few moments. His eyes are open again by the time Dane looks over, but he's gazing off into space. There's a quiet nod in return, perhaps to signify acknowledgement, or the conclusion of the prayer. "Why do you seek Aphrodite, tonight?" he asks softly. His tone's curious, not accusatory.

Dane looks back forward slowly. "I am continuing the vigil set by Sister Karthasi. There is a temple to Aphrodite, Aurora, and Poseidon on the Destiny. We have been praying for the protection of our loved ones on the ship." He pauses. "There have also been…auspicious circumstances."

Karan's face falls a touch when the Destiny's mentioned. It might not be terribly noticeable, just a firming of his mouth and a dip of his eyes, but it's there. He's unhappy about something. "Yes. I served at that temple before I came to the Genesis, actually." A pause. "Auspicious circumstances, Dane?"

Dane nods slowly. "I cannot answer for Sister Karthasi, but my heart tells me that there is something auspicious to this." He says softly. "Just around the time of my mustanging, Sister Karthasi detected a flaw in an offering that I made to Apollo. Not long before then, on pilgrimage, I decided not to partake in the Aphrodesiac rites." Dane pauses. "My last words, while in the psychiatrist's office before the alert sounded, were that I hoped that Lex would accept the distance for a while. Two seconds later the alert sounded in. I pause to wonder how long it took them to make the alert when the Basestar jumped in." He stops speaking.

Karan continues to look thoughtful for a little while longer, mulling over the information Ramiro's presented him with. "Perhaps," he murmurs. "Perhaps not. We must be careful of how we interpret the gods' messages. It is why we have the scriptures, to guide us." And the priesthood to do the same, as far as Fundamentalist philosophy is concerned, though he doesn't come out and say it. "It can often do more harm than good, to jump to conclusions. Are you having second thoughts about your marriage?"

"I haven't really lended to either way, but I know a time to pray when I sense one." Dane smiles, nodding slowly. "I'm not trained to draw such conclusions, but I have met the Brother and Sister of the Temple on the Destiny, and so I pray for their calm and their joy. With luck, they're unafraid and peaceful. I believe that we will see them again." He pauses. He then nods slowly. "I have. I've been unfair to Nico. But yes, I have."

Karan's smile returns as he listens to Dane speak. "I believe that we will, also," is offered quite tenuously. He remains kneeling at the altar, not even needing to look up, to know that the incense has burned to nearly one-third now. "I will pray to Hera, if you'll permit me, to deliver you guidance?" The ritual devotion to the charites and the horae.

"Please…" Dane nods in allowance. He closes his eyes after checking the next incense stick coming in. Letting out a slow breath, he uses the incense as a focus. His changeup will be timed perfectly. "…as I have not said or done anything yet."

Karan seems content to allow Ramiro to change the incense. He remains settled on his knees, drifting in and out of his own tumultuous thoughts. "I will do so tonight, then. She will listen, it is her providence. I will ask her to lend you clarity, Dane."

"I could use it…" Dane says. "…I've made a commitment to my duties as a soldier, but a decision like this involves the rest of my life." He says, bowing his head and clearing his thoughts fully of anything but happiness before he reaches out to change the incense. He does so slowly, ritualistically.

Karan nods quietly, watching. Absorbing the simple ritual. He's not going to mention the subject of that question, that task he set out for the man. Not tonight. Tonight is for Aphrodite's worship alone.

Time Passes…

Ramiro maintains his presence at the altar praying. Since he last saw Greje nearly six hours ago, perhaps more, he's been maintaining the incense at the altar. Praying and meditating, he looks about ready to fall over, but he's fighting against the fatigue. A total of twenty incense sticks have been burned this day so far."

Greje had only been gone for about twenty minutes; perhaps as Dane had seemed so thoroughly entrenched in his meditations, she had decided not to disturb him on her return, but has let him have the floor, so to speak, giving her some time off of her knees. She sits on the first pew, coming in and out of meditative trances, adding her own prayers to his, sometimes just watching him. Yeah, he's got the chops to be a priest, her small smile seems to say.

Finding the end of his last prayer, Dane hadn't even heard her come in. Opening his eyes and bowing to the altar, he checks the latest stick of incense and then starts to back away from the altar. Seeing a shape to his side, he backs away and looks to find that it's Greje. He rises to full height and looks to her with weary eyes. "How long have you been there?"

"Almost six hours," Greje replies quietly, breaking the news gently since he may well not even know how long he's been there. She inclines her head, "You did good," she offers quietly. "Not many people can last that long at vigil," she tells him.

Dane blinks a few times and then checks his watch. Chances are, knowing Dane, he felt looking to his watch at the altar might come across as a sign of boredom. He blinks at his watch and then runs a hand through his hair. "I didn't hear you come back in so I kept it for you…" He gives a sheepish little smile.

"You were with the Lords," Greje explains, "It happens to me all the time. Get amongst your prayers and thoughts and… nothing else exists. I hope you don't mind I didn't take you from them. You must be needing to get on shift, soon, must'nt you?"

"I can manage a few hours sleep before…" He nods slowly to her. Truth is, he looks absolutely wiped. Blinking away at a few gray circles forming under his eyes, he stretches his hands over his head and yawns. Shaking his head a little bit, he looks to her. "Yeah, I've got watch coming up…" He doesnt seem too bothered by only getting 2 or 3 hours of sleep. Marines. Go figure.

Greje unfolds herself from her seat on the pew, standing and nodding, "Get some sleep," she tells him. "I'll take over here."

Rather lighthearted despite his sleepiness, the prayers seem to Aphrodite seem to have set his soul at ease. Focusing on joy to praise the Laughing Goddess for six hours will burn that into you. Rubbing at one eye with the heel of her hand, he plants a hand on her shoulder as he starts to pass her. "Go get'em tiger. I'll be back after shift.."

Greje trades smiles, recognizing Aphrodite's laughter in him and positively beaming with it, herself, lifting her own hand to gently grasp his elbow and complete the clasp. "I'll be here," she replies, laughter on her voice. Where else would she be? She releases his elbow and turns to face the altar.

With that, the near zombied Dane Ramiro drunkenly walks towards the door. Checking himself over, he rubs at a five o'clock shadow forming on his face before he looks back over his shoulder. Watching for a moment, he spins the door quietly and opens it. Stepping over the water wall, he heads out into the hallway, closing the door behind him.

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