Small Things
Small Things
Summary: A quiet evening in the chapel turns into a not so quiet evening in the chapel.
Date: 57 ACH
Related Logs: None

It's the chapel, quiet by nature. Tonight's quiet is broken only by the quiet clicking of the beats in the hand of a lone, seated figure. Her back is straight, position such that one imagines it really couldn't be comfortable. She looks like she's sitting on a hard wooden bench, a supplicant.

The Priestling enters the Chapel, quiet as it is, pausing at the threshold to lower her head a moment in respect to the altar, saying the prayers of approach in almost-silence, since they must be said aloud, but she doesn't want to disturb the one person looking for some quiet here. She purifies her hands with the water set on the side of the altar, and looks over it for any offerings left that weren't here the last time she looked.

Mellie seems to have been at the end of her prayers. She kneels, tucking the beads away in a pocket, and dips her head while she says a few quiet words. She's on her feet a few seconds later, though - natural energy and all that. There's a rather large bag of temple and religious related herbs off to one side. They're not an offering, clearly.

Greje doesn't see anything new— except for the bag. Stepping to one side of the altar, she examines the bag more closely, and then turns, looking to Mellie with a quiet smile.

Melia makes her way over toward Greje, smile a little wry, a little sheepish. "I needed the locker room," she says, a hint of teasing in her tone. "And was fairly certain you could put these to better use than I could." Her voice remains low and and quiet - the PO3 doesn't speak until she's almost next to the Chaplain.

"I'll make sure they get put to good use," Greje tells her with a smile, keeping her voice similarly muted. "Thank you for bringing them. How are you doing, Mellie?" she asks.

The little woman's smile is warm, brilliant - it seems to be the default setting. "Doing…surprisingly well," she says quietly, eyes crinkling at the corners. "Keeping busy, keeping mostly out of trouble." A pause. "Mostly. Still at only one attempted poisoning in the past few weeks. Earned a new nickname in Sickbay. And yourself?"

Greje laughs softly after the 'mostly.' "Nothing to excess," she quotes from scripture, "Not even good behaviour, I suppose. What happened?" she wonders gently, taking up the bag of herbs and cradling them down along her stomach, "Walk with me, we'll put these away and chat," she suggests.

Melia falls in beside the Chaplain, laughing quietly. "I gave Major Gaelan a tea for his throat. He's determined that I'm trying to kill him." There's a little twinkle in her eyes. "Of course, I had no clue I was trying to kill the Marine CO. He didn't bother introducing himself until much later. Would you like for me to carry that?"

"That's alright," Greje replies, shifting the sack of tea into the crook of one arm and heading up the stairs toward the hatch. "And that was very nice of you— Did it seem to help at all?" she asks, a faint note of concern in her voice.

"Not a bit," she says with a quiet sigh. "For ethical reasons, I haven't cracked open his medical file to see what's going on, and I've not had the chance to ask." She pulls ahead to open the hatch ahead of Greje. "But, honestly, it got him laughing. Sometimes I think laughter helps more than anything else."

Greje steps through when the door's opened for her, lowering her head gently in a grateful gesture, and her quiet features warm in a small smile. "It's good to hear that," she expresses with that smile, then nodding in agreement to her attribution of medicinal value to laughter, "And it's a rare enough commodity these days. It should come in tins like the tea," she muses, "If only we could be so lucky. It does have the pleasant upside of being a resource renewable with neither sunlight nor soil, however."

Melia laughs quietly. "If it came in tins, we'd all be stockpiling it," she says, smile turning a little wry. "That's why I'm frakking determined to spread it around everywhere I go, come hell or the Cylons." Then she gets that faintly sheepish look. "Pardon my mouth, Chaplain. It tends to run away with me. I did meet a new gentleman the other evening, a pilot. Viper pilot. He made a comment about his black boa and how I couldn't handle it, so I fled. Fleeing to the other side of the hangar bay is usually a good idea in those situations, hmm?" She's not quite babbling, merely keeping up a steady stream of conversation. "I'm now known as Terrier in the Sickbay."

Greje is walking up the stairs alongside Melia, a sack of some sort tucked into the crook of one arm which she cradles as she holds. They're chatting quietly, and the rest of the chapel is currently empty. Greje smiles kindly at her, "It's alright, Mellie, we're not under Holy Silence," she points out. Holy Silence, of course, being a technical term decieving to the non-religious sorts, as it doesn't mean silence, simply no cussing. "His black boa?" she wonders, furthermore, somehow getting it into her mind that he must have meant his Viper (black snake?), and her train of thought subsequently derailed for trying to follow the rest of the argument.

Eve just needs a quiet place to think, and here is as good as any. She slips in, dressed in her off duty gear, sparing a glance around to the little chapel that serves so many different people. She doesn't look particularly like a tortured soul, just a little tired as she shuffles into a seat on the outer perimeter of the room.

"I think he was referring to the black boa that accompanies him everywhere," Mellie says with a quiet sigh. "What do you think Aphrodite would make of the…utter fascination men have with that? I mean, every man I've ever spoken openly with, or even BUNKED with, tends to refer to that as a separate entity. I've heard of men thinking with that, but this is utterly ridiculous." Mellie sighs quietly and shakes her head, smile going crooked. "I mean, most women I know wouldn't want anything to do with a snake, not in an intimate situation, at least. It must be the testosterone poisoning."

Greje pauses a moment as Eve passes on her way in, giving her a quiet smile, but, as she seems to exude a desire for alone time and quiet, she doesn't bother her with audible greeting. Meanwhile she continues walking with Mellie, "Oh— you mean his penis," she says as she realizes, smiling. "I can't speak for the Lords, but if I had to guess, I would think the phenomenon would be delightful to her. Thinking of the penis as a separate entity with desires of its own… something which in some cases simply must be obeyed— It shows a recognition that some things are simply beyond their power… in the Goddess' hands, as it were, to inflame as she will. As to the serpent imagery… well, both serpents and phalloi have been used as symbols of protection and the warding off of evil… but beyond that I'm not sure what the connection might be."

The door to the chapel opens quietly and Dane steps inside. He's got a collections of books under one arm and an envelope resting atop it. Still sporting a fading bruise on his visible right shoulder, the bruising on his face has passed. Buzz-saw blade scar visible for the world to see, he sets the books aside and pulls something from his pocket. Ignoring the room, he steps towards the altar and kneels to pray. Speaking in quiet tones, the ever devout Dane places an offering upon the altar…a pouch of fragrant herbs. It's a quick but devout ceremony before he stands, backs away from the altar, and then turns to them.

Mellie's nose crinkles ever so slightly. "I believe there's some story, somewhere, about the serpent also representing temptation," she replies, tone dry. "As for Aphrodite…well, I imagine you're right. It just seems so odd that something so private is brought out and made so public. When I have dinner with a man, I mean to have dinner with the MAN. Not the man and his penis." A pause, then she lifts a shoulder delicately, laughing. "Well, unless the penis doesn't eat much. I suppose I can share table space." She catches sight of Ramiro and Eve, then drops her voice a bit more, biting her lower lip.

Well, at least the conversation floating around is interesting. Eve leans back, lacing her hands across her stomach. If she's praying, her lips aren't moving, its more likely that she's her just to enjoy the almost palpable peace of the place. When people turn her way, she gives them a bit of a smile.

Greje's brow furrows briefly as she endeavors to dredge up a connection betwen serpents and temptation from scripture. "Which story do you mean?" she wonders quietly, then gives a soft chuckle stifled in her throat, looking down in amusement at Mellie's joke, but keeping quiet back on the threshold as Dane comes through to make an offering, watching him with an aura of serene approval and maintaining silence— not just of the holy sort— until he stands again, gives him a gentle smile.

Greje and Mellie are standing at the top of the stairs, just by the hatch leading out. Eve is sitting far to one side of the chapel seats, and Dane is just finishing up some business at the altar. The place is otherwise empty.

Ramiro motions with a finger pointed upwards for them all to stay in place. Speaking quietly, he offers Eve a noncommital nod. "I heard a rumor someone around here has been giving presents so naturally I thought to steal his or her thunder." He says with a small smile as he passes Eve. He takes the books and the envelope. First he hands the books to Greje. "Two books. One, the second copy ever make, is a collection of fact and recognitions on the Twins, Apollo and Artemis. Written by Brother Tiberius Ramiro. Please, keep it nice. I'd like to read it. But his forward does note parallels between worship rituals which could be used to piece together what's lost. The second is an official College of Kobol textbook on so called fundamentalist theory relating to modern day standards." He offers them, turning to Melia to offer her an envelope. "You may want to open this when you're alone."

"In fundamentalist teaching," Mellie tells Greje quietly. "There's a story of a woman who used a serpent to tempt her husband away from the path the Gods had lain for him." Further explanation waits, however, as Ramiro approaches. Mellie absolutely lights up at seeing him, all but bouncing on her toes. There's a blink, though, as he hands her the envelope, head tilting to the side. "For…me?"

Eve is sitting near the exit, against one of the outter walls of the chapel. Never historically a very religious woman, maybe she's just here for a bit of peace and quiet. She's given over to observing the people here, however, like its some great social experiment. At least she's going about it repectfully and discretely. From the way Greje deals with Melia, to the subtle way the Chaplain looks at Ramiro. And then when Ramiro speaks, he's mentally put on her patients list.

Zaharis is in his off-duties as he makes his way down to the chapel. Wrapped around his left hand are what might be prayer beads - an unusually small set. The wooden beads have little swirls of gold painted on them, like a child's. As he steps in, his feet immediately stop in the doorway when he sees all the people, his shoulders stiffening.

Greje quirks a curious brow at the story Mellie's telling her, but any questions — and she has many — will have to wait, because Dane's speaking, and— books. She doesn't -quite- drool, but those books are taken up like pieces of gold, her inner theology dork mingling with her new role as preserver of ritual for a shattered race and making her have some sort of theological orgasm as she takes them, speechless. Dane might be saying something else, but she's stuck on books and might need a reboot.

Ramiro looks from Greje to Melia, speaking quietly to Petty Officer Sullivan. "All I ask is that if you do open it, let me be there. I have something that I need to say to you that goes with that." Ramiro nods, being very serious about it. He turns to Greje. "I hope that these are of some use to you, Greje. I have three more books, probably less immediate in need than those seemed, but I'll have you know that I've made preparations that should anything happen to me that they become yours. We're never promised time. So I promise that they'll go to the right place." He pauses, looking around. "I'm interrupting…I hope I haven't been too much of a distraction."

Karan lets himself into the chapel— or would, if Zaharis wasn't blocking the entryway. "Excuse me, sir." It's a quiet voice, and its owner is dressed in officer's blues and Lieutenant's pins. He's carrying a duffle bag slung across one shoulder, lumpy with what's obviously books amongst other things.

"Oh, sorry." Zaharis mumbles the apology quickly and steps to the side to let Karan in. He hesitates at the door, his weight shifting as though he might head in…and then back. It happens again and then the CMO seems to give up on the impulse, turning back towards the hall.

Eve's gaze flicks up towards the doorway at the quiet 'excuse me', her eyes lingering on the young lieutenant for a moment before they shift to Zaharis. "Major." She says hitching her head as if he should join her before he can have proper second thoughts. "C'mon. I warmed this bench up proper, shame for it to go to waste when I leave." All quiet, to not bumble the sanctity.

Melia takes the envelope, head tilting to the side as she looks between him and the paper. "I…thank you," she says. Apparently letters aren't necessarily good things. "If…you all will excuse me for a minute?" Then she's off, darting over to the far side of the chapel, into a quiet, appropriately shadowed corner.

Mellie takes her leave, Jessie enters and almost leaves, Eve calls to him, and Jerome enters, but Greje just sort of seems stuck where she is, to one side of the door, finally looking up at Dane and nodding, a little wobble of her head still numb with shock. But she clears her throat gently, blinking heavily to get that numb, dumb stare out of her eyes and make sure she's actually awake. "Oh course, Dane— thank you for these— I'll read through them stat., and get you this one back as soon as I have. Hopefully soon we can talk about it," she adds with a grateful nod. She turns to Jesse and Jerome, giving Jesse an almost giddy smile. Books! her smile cries. "Please, Jesse, come in, we'll make sure it's quiet in here," she looks to Dane with a nod as if to note the fact. Then, an equally giddy smile to the stranger, and a low word of greeting. Her own arms are full.

Karan smiles a little to the man who starts to flit out, as if something spooked him. "No apology necessary, sir. You can stay, if you like." Of course, Zaharis is in his fatigues, so there's no indication of rank; 'sir' seems to be a safe bet. Shouldering his bag, he continues on in. His gaze briefly passes over Eve, and there's a pointed look toward Greje, but it's the devotionals he's immediately interested in on his slow circuit about the place. He has the look about him of one making an assessment of things.

Ramiro watches Melia walk off before turning and giving Greje a warm smile. "I'm sure we will, Sister." He smiles, turning to look at the Altar and the idol of Apollo. Staring at it for a pious moment, he slowly and wordlessly turns to head where Melia went. He turns his back to the room and rests his hand on her shoulder, saying something quietly to her when she opens her gift.

Zaharis freezes in the doorway like someone caught committing a crime, his back tensing. The fingers of his left hand move, gathering the small prayer beads into them so they're hidden, and he turns back with his hand touching the frame of the hatch. "No…no." 'Spooked' is an accurate description of him, weirdly so. "Um." His voice catches on the hesitant sound and he seems to be groping for something to explain his presence. "Just…wanted to be sure the Chap knew that execution was stayed. Have a good evening." A little stilted, and he steps for the hatch.

In the spot where Mellie disappeared into the shadows there comes a very low, very quiet cry. It's as if someone just gut punched the little PO - and it wasn't Ramiro. She does, however, turn blindly toward Dane, burying her face in his chest. Both arms wrap tightly around his neck, a photograph and white envelope in one hand.

Evelyn seems a little downfallen when Zaharis high tails it out of the Chapel. Now coupled with the emotion that's coming from the corner where Melia and Ramiro are, Eve looks like she's having second thoughts of her own. Even if what is happening in that corner is not what the psych is imagining, the fact that she's imagining it is enough. Her face drops into the shadows as she directs it towards her lap, and there is a shift of weight as she pulls a tissue from her pocket. Subtly, she uses it to wipe at her eyes.

Jerome goes past, and Greje merely inclines her head to him in welcome as he does so, a little too overwhelmed to wonder why he's peering about in that fashion. And as if the priestling weren't overwhelmed enough, Jesse's announcement fully brings tears to her eyes. Not particularly sad ones, but ones born from a tension she's been carrying around in her ever since she performed those rites suddenly becoming undone. Or maybe all that tension just migrated over to Jesse. She shifts the items in her arms so that she can lift a finger, determined not to cry on the new books, and nods her head to Jesse quietly as he goes. Good lords, what went right recently? Greje, having rather inured herself to misfortune, is having to take a moment to cope with the good things all sort of jumping onto her at once. She does so quietly, at her post by the door.

Ramiro wraps his arms around Melia's shoulders and holds her in a protective manner. Silently, he runs a hand through her hair and whispers something quietly to her again. Closing his eyes, he rests his head atop hers, being that he's that much taller than her. Hearing Zaharis' words, he blinks his eyes open with a short moment of surprise, followed by a serene silence. Peace settles into his bones.

Karan sends a glance over his shoulder at the officer with the nearly-hidden prayer beads, talking of stays of execution. And then looks back to Greje, head slightly tilted. The woman's clearly overwhelmed at the moment, so he merely continues his circuit about the room, for the time being. Here and there he stops, adjusts a statuette or frowns faintly at something, and then he's moving on again. His path carries him toward Eve's bench, where he seats himself and sets down his bag. A warm smile is offered the woman.

Convenient noise and crying. Zaharis makes use of it to slip out, the beads shoved into his pocket as he disappears into the hall.

Melia doesn't say anything, doesn't make any other noise. She just clings to Ramiro the same way that Tarzan clung to his vine, her face buried against his throat. If he were any smaller or slighter, the strength with which she's squeezing him might hurt. Since he's built like a tree, however, it probably doesn't bother him at all. She just nods against his shoulder, quickly.

There is a sniffle from beneath the fringe of hair that mostly obscures Eve's face, but some how she catches the smile of a stranger and is forced to lift her head enough to return it with a feeble one of her own. She's pretty good at collecting herself quickly, and she doesn't even have use for the tissue again. "I think I made a mistake." It almost sounds like a confession the way its breathed out rather than actually voiced. "Excuse me."

Karan chuckles softly at Eve's words. It's not an unkind sound, certainly not a loud sound, but perhaps only intended to set her at ease. "Something obviously brought you here. Is there something on your mind?" The 'excuse me' intended to cut short their interaction, is brushed gently aside.

Greje takes a few centering breaths, in through her nose, out through her mouth. She'll take what the Lords give her. Good or bad. For now, there's work to be done, and, once she's composed herself, she returns to the altar, raising her voice gently but audibly in the typical formula for one approaching an altar with ritual intent, "May we approach this altar with strength of spirit, purity of heart, and correctness of action worthy in the eyes of the Lords." She kneels, though she doesn't normally: it's to put down her bundle at the base of the altar and free her hands, which, on standing, she purifies again in the waters there provided before taking up the offering pouch and placing it in front of her, taking up instead a flat cake of incense coal and a candle, lighting the coal and settling it in place at the feet of the statuette of Apollo. She takes a deep breath and takes the fragrant herbs from the pouch, a small pinch of them. "To Delian Apollo I sanctify this offering, left at his altar by his devoted servant. To the Lord of Pytho, whose delight is the Bow, whose delight is to play the Lyre and sing the Will of his father Zeus, to sing of all that has happened before and all that will happen again." She tosses the herbs upon the coal, and they pop and smoke. "Loxias, look favorably upon this offering, and bow your head in your most sacred assent: be here with us, now, make our minds keen, our limbs strong and our hearts as steel against misfortune and woe, and as wax to the blessings we still have in this world, bearing their imprint in our spirits forever. So say we all," she finishes the sanctification of the offering, gently laying the rest of the frangrant herbs upon the coal.

Ramiro doesn't look in Greje's direction, but he listens and sets his mind in her direction. Breathing a slow breath of calm, he closes his eyes again and cradles the crying form of Melia in his arms. When the offering pouch that he'd placed before the altar is burned on the coals, the musky and sweet scent hits the air. A smile crosses his lips as the Chapel starts to smell exactly as his house did every morning. Herbs, prepared by his mother and sent in her last ever care package, grown by the woman herself. "So say we all…" He says audibly, brushing another hand through Melia's hair. He opens his eyes slowly, looking in Greje's direction for a long, contemplative moment before closing them again.

At the sound of Greje's voice, the beginning of the prayers, Mellie releases Ramiro. It's like a Pavlovian response. Right where she is, tears streaming down her face, she kneels, facing the altar. Oddly enough, one hand slides into Ramiro's, squeezing it.

Eve meant to stand up and leave, honest, but her attention is rivoted on Greje as she goes through some sort of ritualistic offering on the altar. Maybe Eve is seeping something she needs out of that sight, or maybe its just more just an enthralled observation. When she answers Karan this time, its in a distracted fashion, her eyes still set forward. "A child." There is no murmured agreement that should come automatically. No 'so say we all', from the Psyche.

Karan is quiet then as Greje sanctifies the offerings. It's an awe-filled sort of silence, as if he gains a sort of rapture from this ritual. Eve is not ignored, so much as let be, for the time being; her words do not go unheeded. They draw a small smile, in fact, and he reaches over to touch her hand if she'll allow. "So say we all." His voice is clear and even-pitched, back straight, chin lifted. He means each and every one of those words, with clear conviction.

Oh what she would give to have someone give her a proper hug. That realization has Eve recoiling her hand from the touch of Karan. Meant to comfort, it only threatens to open up another flood gate that the little psych just isn't prepared to deal with. "I'll leave you to your prayer." Likely meant to the room at a whole, though her voice wouldn't possibly carry that far at the moment. She's the sore thumb here, that's quite certain. She scoots partway down the bench, then stands when she's closer to the exit. Hand on the hatch, a brief push, and she's gone.

Greje sets the offering pouch itself to the side of the altar for its owner to claim later, and stays in front of the altar a short while longer in silent prayer, before she makes the final ritual gesture, passing the forefinger and middle finger of her right hand through the smoke rising from the offerings, and steps back, kneeling and gathering the bundle at the altar's base, then standing again and stepping to one side before turning away, scanning those still remaining— and Eve in flight, her brows lowering slightly in a faintly pained look to her otherwise calm countenance.

Ramiro squeezes Mellie's hand back, kneeling down beside her. Casting a glance over his shoulder to the retreating Eve, a concerned look crosses over his face. Closing his eyes as she slips out the door, he squeezes Melia's hand tightly, turning his gaze to Greje at the altar. Watching her as if he's capturing every detail, he doesn't say a word.

Melia presses two fingers to her forehead, head bowing, then slowly stands once Greje does, hand still in Ramiro's. She looks over at him, once she's on her feet, and smiles a little tearily. "Thank you, Dane," she murmurs quietly.

Karan doesn't try to stop Eve from leaving. He does watch after her a moment, and there's a touch of concern, but he clearly won't keep her if she wishes to go. His eyes travel back to the altar, and pushing to his feet smoothly, he makes to approach it— and Greje.

Greje lets Eve go, maintaining her post by the altar, back straight and features serene once her brow unfurrows again. She turns to Jerome as he approaches the altar, nodding her head to him in welcome, "How may I serve you?" she asks him, presuming he's come for service or prayer.

In a similar gesture, Ramiro presses two fingers to his forehead and bows low to the floor. Rising to his feet without putting his hands on the floor, well practiced and good calf muscles, he looks to Melia and her hand in his. Seeing Greje move towards Jerome, he turns to squarely face Melia. Smiling softly, he brushes away some of her tears with a thumb. "You're welcome, Mellie…"

Melia just watches Ramiro as if there's no one else in the room. She smiles up at him - watery, but brilliant - then leans up on tiptoe, either kissing his cheek or somewhere else, it's hard to tell. She then steps back, breaking away, and turns toward the door, eyes on the picture in her hand, drinking it in.

Karan pays his respects at the altar first, before speaking to Greje. Kneeling, he speaks a few soft words in a liquid language that isn't Colonial, bows his head and remains so for some moments. Then the priestess is addressing him, and he gains his feet again, turning to face her. "Lieutenant Jerome Karan, priest and worshipper of Apollo, Ares, Aphrodite, sage of the pythian scrolls." A slight smile. He does not salute, for they might be considered equals in this setting. "Reporting for duty."

As Melia walks away, Ramiro smiles quietly and looks to the floor. Closing his eyes again, he folds his hands behind his back and takes a moment of silence for himself. Hiding water-glazed eyes behind closed lids, he breathes for a moment to wait for the rush to subside. His mind catches up to him, and he then turns on his heel, facing the altar instead, eyes closed in a standing meditation.

Well, when the Lords bring good things, they don't do it by halves, it seems. Her mouth only hangs open a short moment before she smiles broadly, "Brother Karan," she greets him warmly. "It's… a surprise! But very good to have you with us. Welcome to Genesis and," she looks to the altar, "Our own little precinct," she smiles. A little light seminary humor. A precinct is usually a very large piece of consecrated territory. "I'm Greje Karthasi— I've had pantheistic ordination," that is, she can perform the common and minor rites of all the Lords and most of the cults (some of the out of the way Sagitarron or Gemenese cults being of course out of reach), "And I've been indoctrinated into many of the high rites, as well as the Mysteries of Dionysus, Demeter, Apollo, and Aphrodite." Not every Lord has mystery rites— the only ones conspicuously left from the list are the mysteries of Artemis. It's a long resume, but spoken humbly.

Tips of his fingers brought together, Karan bows his head to Greje in obvious respect, and deference to the woman. Her omission of rank is certainly noted, but not commented upon; every temple, every chapel has its own protocol. He speaks again after rising, smile warm and sincere. "I am glad to finally meet you, Sister Karthasi. I've heard so much about you." No hint there, whether it's been good or bad. A brief glance to Ramiro, then he resettles his gaze on the priestess. "I hope you received the communication explaining that I would be arriving today?" It shouldn't, to him, be a surprise after all.

Sensing official Chaplain business, Ramiro opens his eyes. His vision sways to their direction before he takes a step backwards away from the Altar. Watching the two of them as he does so, he looks to Greje and offers her a silent smile. Turning on his heel, he slips to the door and slowly opens it. The movement is quiet, but he steps out.

Greje looks a little confused as this priest seems to know so much about her. She'd published a few articles (most of which would have been cause enough for her to have been strung up if she'd written them on Gemenon) but was hardly of wide renown. "… No, no I didn't recieve any communication. What ship have you come from?" she wonders.

"The Destiny," replies Karan softly, and with a slight tilt of one brow upward. "I'm sure you've not forgotten, Sister?" There's a trace of denigration in his tone. Maybe he has read some of what she's written. Maybe he's just annoyed about something. Maybe he's tired; it looks like it's been a long day for him.

Greje briefly feels as though she must be going mad. "Wait… what? I'm very sorry, Brother Karan, I'm quite confused. Did we meet on the Destiny? I only met two priests at the temple there."

Karan widens his eyes a little, and then gives a laugh. "No. I heard about your visit after the fact, unfortunately. I've been on sabbatical since a month prior to.." He licks his lips slowly. "To the attacks. I was stationed on the battlestar Heracles before that. I've been asked to resume my commission, and reposted here on the Genesis. I'm.. also very embarassed. It seems there's been a mixup, and you weren't told about my arrival. If you prefer, Sister, I can return to the Destiny until this can be all sorted out."

Greje looks relieved as the truth comes out, and she quickly states, "Oh, no, don't go." Her voice is friendly and quite welcoming. "I'm sorry if there was a mix-up, but I am very glad to have you here. One of our most devout worshippers follows Apollo with amazing devotion, and his cult and Ares' are two of the more prevalent ones followed on board. Aphrodite's cult… less so, but she has some following. Also, we've performed the Pythian rites since the attacks, and I'm very glad to meet someone so adept at interpreting the words of the Pythian God."

"It was the subject of my thesis," replies Jerome with a slight smile. It's faintly self-deprecating, though not quite shy. "But.. I'm sure we'll have plenty of opportunity to discuss them. I look forward to it, actually. I assume you are holding the daily observances and purification rites for Asclepius and Apollo. If you don't mind, Sister, I'd like to see how you do things here, before jumping in."

Greje nods gently, "Every morning, with the morning consecrations," she replies. "I also perform the Theoxeny Zenos daily," it's an observance of friendship with Zeus in his role as a patron of upright and correct behavior. "But beyond that I mostly perform services and rites as they're requested of me."

Karan arches a brow slightly again, pauses a long moment, and finally nods. He seems skeptical of something. "I would like to incorporate the hymns as well, if you're willing." There's a nod, as one conclusion or another is reached. "If you don't mind, Sister, I'd like to find my berthings and get some rest. I'll join you in the morning, for the consecrations." There's a subtle request for permission threaded between everything he says, but never outright expressed.

"Oh, no, I don't mind at all, you must be tired. Here, will you let me show you there?" Greje asks him gently, not pushing her company on him, but offering, no less.

Karan opens his mouth, and closes it again. He gives a weary-sounding laugh. "I would love it if you could. I'm sorry, but I haven't set foot on a battlestar in some time. Would you? Please?" His head tilts a little, earring tinkling.

Greje gives a warm smile, "Of course, it's no problem," Greje replies easily, shifting the items in her arms a little so that she can gesture ahead of her, "I understand, it took me a while to get used to it, myself. I'm still not sure where -all- the wireless stations are," she admits with a soft laugh.

"Oh. Gods. Let me carry those for you?" Shouldering his duffle bag again, Jerome extends his arms in offer of assistance for the slighter woman. Not by much, really; he's no marine. "How long have you been aboard the Genesis?" he tries, for polite conversation.

"Oh, they're not heavy, don't worry, just bulky," she looks down to the top book she's holding, "I've been… fretting, somewhat, about the high rites of Artemis, and the Woodland Lady's mysteries. It is, of course, an act of hubris to write down the rites, and, as I had never been indoctrinated in them, I mourned that they had been lost forever. Dane's brought me this book, which, while not describing the rites in detail, may give enough clues that I would be able to distill their essence and make certain that the Lady's rites will not die out… even if they have to falter a step in my untrained hands." But then she bucks up, "But who knows whom else we might find, yes? I've been aboard since… a little more than a month before the attacks. It's my first post as a military Chaplain."

Karan looks, but does not touch the book. If anything, it's regarded with a quiet sort of reverence; his expression when he lifts his eyes again, is one of uncertainty however. "I see." There's a pregnant pause. "That's quite interesting." About the rites of Artemis, it seems. He of course probably has his own ideas on that. Turning, he begins walking out of the chapel with her, moderating his pace to match the priestess'. "This would be my second. How do you find it here?"

Greje looks up to him again, pausing on the threshold to look back to the altar in respect, then going along with him, "Of course, I'll look forward to working with you in the endeavor. You likely know her bright twin much better than I do, your insight will be invaluable. "Oh, it's— well, I don't know that I can compare it to your average post, considering the circumstances. When I began work here it was about as I was warned— mostly comprised of atheists and agnostics. Since the attacks…" she sighs, "Some people have come to the Lords. Others have left them. I offer what aid I can to those not religiously inclined… I find that the scriptures have good lessons even for those who do not believe."

Karan pays his respects at the door of the chapel, then heads out with the priestess and falls into step beside her. "I find it troubling, that there are those who have left. You have tried to bring them back, Sister, I hope?" He moves gracefully, though with a touch of weariness that seems inherent about the young man.

"I spoke with them, of course— I had many in the days after we learned of the attacks come to insist that it was proof that the Lords no longer loved us or never had. There were those I was able to convince otherwise… there were those I wasn't. I'm not here to force religion onto anyone who doesn't want it," she notes, then stops at the sound of sobbing from the storage closet.

"I spoke with them, of course— I had many in the days after we learned of the attacks come to insist that it was proof that the Lords no longer loved us or never had. There were those I was able to convince otherwise… there were those I wasn't. I'm not here to force religion onto anyone who doesn't want it," Greje notes, then stops at the sound of sobbing from the storage closet.

"Sister, with due respect, it is not our prerogative to choose whom we keep and whom we cast away, and in times such as these, people are not in their right minds. We must be a voice of reason, a beacon of hope-" He pauses when she does, one eyebrow raising slightly when she draws to a halt. The sound of sobbing is picked up on shortly thereafter, and he simply watches her quietly. Expectantly.

Greje doesn't respond to the objection, her brow gently furrowed as she shifts her things quietly and lifts a hand to rap gently on the storage closet door.

Karan tightens his jaw a little, but doesn't complain. He waits quietly.

Greje seems to hear a voice inside, nodding quietly, and looks back with a whisper, "I'm sorry, Brother, just one moment."

Storage 9-J23 Genesis - Deck 9
57 ACH 23817 Souls

This is the Storage locker for the Quartermaster and Post Office. Boxes and supplies are stacked to the ceiling and it leaves a very small hallway between everything.
----< Condition Three - Duty Area >----—-
Contents: Greje Melia Ramiro

Exits: [O] Corridor

Ramiro's back is to the door, and he's got a crying girl latched onto him like a baby monkey. Believing he recognized the voice at the door, he's taking a rather large chance at the moment, but doesn't seem to care. Holding Melia protectively, he's brushing a hand through her hair quietly, sayinng nothing.

Melia is currently hiding her face against Ramiro's chest, holding tightly to him - again. Whatever was in that envelope was a bit of a doozy.

Greje peeks her head and shoulders into the storage closet, looking concerned. "Dane, is—-" she breaks off quietly. "Oh, Mellie," she says, her voice rich with sympathy.

"Hey…" Ramiro whispers, a bit of relief falling over him as it's Greje that enters. Not able to see where the picture did go, he has his eyes closed. "…the observation deck was probably busy." He admits. "Hey Melia…it's Greje…"

She clearly doesn't want to let go. She's not ready to let go. Not all of the tears are gone. For almost two months this has been building, and likely for a couple years before that if what she said is true. Reluctantly, she pulls away from Dane's chest, leaving two very wet splotches. One hand swipes over her eyes, dashing the tears away. "I'm sorry, Chaplain," she says softly. "Dane. I didn't mean…" She pulls the picture from her waistband and holds it out to the Chaplain. Dane is obviously in the picture, a young Dane. He's facing a young man who looks a little like Mellie, in the face.

"Mellie… Oh honey child," Greje supplies a nickname out of the etymology of Melia, her voice soft and caring. "Don't be sorry. I won't interrupt you long. You're in good hands, and I'll let you finish what you need to finish here. But when you need me, you come find me. Whenever that is, wherever I am, alright?" she offers quietly.

Ramiro twists his head to look at Greje quietly for a moment. Looking over his shirt, he doesn't seem to mind much at all at the tears or the interruption. Taking a step to square off their conversation, he looks between the two of them in silence. Then the good hands comment hits him, a quiet smile. "In the box of mine was a picture album…" He says, the rest of the story is obvious. Little miracles indeed. He reaches out with his left hand to rest it on Melia's shoulder, supportingly. He looks back to Greje.

Melia takes a step back and away from Ramiro, shaking her head, a watery smile, but a smile nonetheless. "My brother," she explains to Greje. "It's alright, I promise. Dane used to play against him when they were in school. It just…the picture brought everything home."

Greje nods quietly, peacefully but with a reflection of Melia's sorrow in her features. She'd put much of that together from the evidence at hand. She's still got her arms full, but she tucks everything into one arm's hold and steps tentatively closer, not wanting to push unwanted contact, but offering a gentle hug if Melia seems receptive to one. "I understand," she replies softly. "I know it hurts… but the pain is a sign of a release, the mark of a process. It's hard to let that grieving process happen while we're all still meant to be on our toes at every moment, on the job and never faltering. It gets pushed down and away because it hurts too much if we let ourselves think about it. But on the other side of the pain there's peace to be had— have faith in that, honey child. And you've got good people here to hold you through the hurt." She smiles up at Dane, then, her voice growing apologetic, "I need to show Brother Karan to the berthings so he can rest. Do you want me to come back after I have?"

"If Melia wants to go, I'll probably walk her to wherever she's going. "I've got a big day tomorrow, I'm going to be making a pilgrimage to the Destiny." Ramiro replies quietly, his hand pulling away from Melia. He shoves his hands into his pockets and looks between them. He smiles brightly. "Believe me, you guys can make demands of my time right now, but I won't be making any of ours."

"I'll…be ok," she says quietly, smiling at both of them. "You both have so much more going on. This can wait, it's waited this long." She looks between the pair for a moment. "No one's taking care of YOU two, are they?"

Greje shakes her head at Mellie, and even gives her a soft, platonic kiss on the cheek. "It can't wait. It's coming now. Let it come," she advises, "And if you need help getting through it… that's what we're here for," she nods her head, leading Mellie back to Dane, "I need to get back to the Brother for the moment, though, I've left him waiting in the corridor. I'll be back— or you know where to look for me if you're gone before I get back."

Karan is still waiting where he was left, one hand on the strap of his bag, and gazing across at the opposite wall. He looks either bored or irritated, possibly both.

Greje emerges from the storage facility again, taking a deep breath, "I'm sorry about that, Brother," she tells him, "Come on, let me get you to the berthings," she exhales.

Karan turns, and lifts his eyes to Greje when she returns. There's a glance to the door of the storage facility, a furrow of concern and confusion. "Of course. Is everything all right?" He hitches up his bag and prepares to follow once more.

Greje nods quietly, "It will be. The grieving process… well… I don't know that we'll ever be done grieving. And in an environment where everyone's pushed to be strong and stand firm all the time… there's not a lot of room to just let yourself hug a friend and cry into his or her clothing. They have to take what they can get," she takes another deep breath.

Karan looks like he wants to ask what's the matter. He's curious of course, and only human. But it clearly isn't any of his business, certainly as a chaplain, to pry. "I understand, Sister," he offers instead, quietly. "Are.. you all right? You seem.." A pause as he hunts for the right word, and falls into step beside Greje again. "..overburdened. Is there anything I might take off your shoulders?"

Greje smiles meekly to the Brother, "Just be there for them, Brother. Just… when they come… be there for them," she's tearing up, herself, at this point. "Look to their needs, whether those needs be religious or not. Bring them to peace with themselves— as Apollo decreed— peace with the Lords will follow. It has been hard. It will be hard. But I'm glad you're here. We'll help them through this together."

Karan halts again when he notices the tears, turns slightly, and touches Greje's shoulder lightly. "Always and forever." He gives a light squeeze unless she pulls away, smile brief but not without sincerity. "We'll do this together. Remember that strength waxes and wanes, you cannot always be the caretaker; sometimes you must let yourself be taken care of."

Greje turns to him, eyes welling up, "Can I look to you for that, Brother? I haven't been given the Rites of Ares in… far, far too long. I've been yearning for them, and I never thought I'd see someone who could lead me through them again." Certainly, she knows how to lead the rites. But it's simply not the same experience as having them led for you.

Karan keeps his hand on her arm, though the touch is not a clutching one. She could, at any time, withdraw from it. A smile blossoms when she asks her question; and though it's restrained, as most of his expressions are, there's certainty in it. "I would be honoured to. I will sing with you the homeric hymns, as well, if you'd like. In the morning? I think both of us could use some sleep, Sister." And then his touch is withdrawn, though the smile still lingers in pale eyes.

Greje takes strength from that touch and that certainty, though her cheeks are moist rivulets, now, down her chin and to her neck. And she nods her head, "I'd like that. And I promised I would come back to speak to Mellie some more once I got you where you needed to be. But I'll be to bed soon," she agrees, "I do need the sleep." She gestures toward the stairwell with a nod of her head before continuing to move along.

Melia steps out of the storage closet just ahead of Ramiro, shaking her head. There are tear stains on her cheeks, but she's smiling, at least. She and Ramiro exchange a hug and a few quiet words before he heads in one direction, at a jog, and Mellie heads in the other.

Greje heads back toward the closet from the fore stairwell, her arms free. She looks like she may have had a few tears of her own in the meanwhile, but she's tidied up. She's still in her uniform. Spotting Mellie, she offers her a gentle smile as they approach each other.

Melia's smile widens as she sees the Chaplain and she comes to a stop just ahead of the other woman, head tilting to the side slightly. There's a hesitation - it's clear that Mellie's a little uncertain about something. The little PO seems to be an open book. But, without a word, she opens her arms and offers the other woman a hug. She doesn't reach out, though the offer is there. Someone's not pushing her luck.

Greje continues walking up swiftly and wraps up the little woman in a hug surprisingly powerful for a woman who looks like a stiff wind would knock her over. "Honey child," she murmurs, having evidently adopted the nickname for her, not saying anything else but rubbing a hand comfortingly up and down her back in a universal gesture of 'there, there.'

Mellie's arms are strong, yet gentle, as they wrap around the Chaplain. "We both need this," she says softly, after a moment. "Neither of us can do this alone. We both have to let the tears go. They're tears of anger and hurt, but they're tears for us. Those we've lost don't need them. They don't want them. They're our own tears, and they remind us of what we have." Nope, not all that philosophical, but somehow…a little stronger.
<Newbie> Dynames has disconnected.

Greje's own tears need no more goading in continuing to come out — it's been a hell of an emotional day — and she gives a deep sigh to accompany them, a peaceful sound. She doesn't need to say anything; Mellie has the situation well in hand, by now, and so she just stands there and cries with her for as long as she needs. She's got the tears to let.

One hand slides up to gently, lightly, stroke over the back of Greje's head. It's a gesture of comfort, certainly, almost maternal. Soft, quiet little sounds of encouragement are whispered as she urges the Chaplain to have her -own- cry. Yes, a few tears of her own escape, but it's nowhere near what she cried before. It's likely rather strange that she's fiercely protective.

Greje is smiling, despite everything, no sobbing, just generous leakage from her oculars, steady streams. Her own voice comes clear and steady when she rubs Mellie's back more briskly and backs up a step, giving a warm smile. "I'm glad you're feeling a little better. But you should sleep. I should sleep, too," she adds with a smile, since Mellie seems cncerned about her. She lifts a hand to cup Mellie's cheek gently in a fond gesture, a thumb wiping a tear from her cheek as she looks into Mellie's eyes.

Melia smiles up at the Chaplain, a soft smile. "You need a full night's sleep, a very good breakfast in the morning, and some good tea," the little medic says quietly. "And a few hours doing something fun and non work related. I don't know what, yet, but we'll find something." The smile softens. "Thank you," she says quietly. "Now get some rest, please?"

Greje smiles as she listens to the orders coming down the line, "Yes, ma'am," she chuckles softly. "Good night, Mellie. And Dane and I are going on pilgrimage tomorrow. It should be very relaxing and just the thing I need."

Her eyes twinkle a little. "Don't let him bully you," she says with a quiet laugh. "Be well, and may your pilgrimage be blessed."

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