Who Bears the Toll?
Who Bears the Toll?
Summary: A bad omen; casual chatting; a funeral service.
Date: 67 ACH
Related Logs: Smash and Grab series.

Ramiro is just coming out of sickbay, wearing his off duty uniform. There's a padded bulge over his abdomen beneath his shirts and a few other tell-tale signs of being recently back from combat: a healing scrape here, a bruise there. Turning down the hallway, he steps away from the Sickbay door and heads towards the stairs.

Greje has a short conversation with someone outside of the morgue, then, peeking up, spots Dane and gives him a faint smile. A few more words and she's off down the hall again, starting slow, then hustling to catch up, then slowing again as she reaches Dane's side and falls into his pace. "Welcome back, Dane," she tells him, not having seen him the previous day.

Dane looks in the direction of the morgue and then back to Greje. He nods to her, immediately getting the picture. The memo was delivered. "Hey…" He gives her a little smile, walking slowly to spare his aching abdomen. "…I was just coming to see you, actually, thank you for your prayers and to pay my post battle respects at the Chapel."

"I'll walk you there," Greje offers gently, "And the prayers are on the house," she adds, with a hint of colloquialism to her voice, before her tone grows more serious. "It's nice, actually. Having somewhere I need to be while you all are out. Gives one the sense of utility," she notes, "How did things go? As much as you can tell me, of course."

"As much as I tend to figure this life out, the stranger it gets." Ramiro replies, looking to Greje quietly as he walks. "It was…pretty hairy. We had to dump out of a Raptor into incoming fire. I'm personally amazed that I fared as well as I did. You should see the vest that I was wearing." Ramiro replies. "We all got banged up pretty good, but we made sure that everyone got home on their feet or off of it." He says, clearly leaving out an explanation of what he meant by things getting stranger.

Greje walks quietly alongside him, listening for the strange— but finding nothing that she thinks too out of the ordinary for landing on a planet taken over by enemy machines. She nods gently, "Thank you for bringing home those who couldn't come back on their own. They've been given the rites— I'm not sure if any of them were religious, but if any of them were looking for some peace… well, I've given them what peace I know how to," she murmurs. "I'm glad to see you up and around."

"Yeah?" Ramiro looks to her sidelong, giving her a little smile. "I'm glad to see you around too. I'll admit you can't dodge a bullet but they tried like you wouldn't believe." Ramiro pauses. "I took four shots to the torso, the vest stopped three of them. Well, the vest stopped most of the fourth, it got lodged in the muscle in my abs. I suppose I'm one of the lucky ones. I've got marines all over the place nursing wounds." He pauses. "If I send someone your way, or if one of my sniper squad comes your way, handle him with soft hands, allright?" He looks to her. "A few people who weren't before might be questioning the work of the Lords."

Greje inclines her head toward the stairwell, "Of course. My door is always open, and the tea's not five minutes in the making. I've heard all sorts of doubts. I can't promise to bring anyone around, but— I'll try my best. Did you find all the ammunition you were looking for?" she asks, further, trying to look on the bright side.

Stepping into the stairwell, Ramiro nods. "Yeah…we got the mission done. We really took it to them this time." He grins. "Punched them in the face and took their stuff." He adds, turning to watch where he's going. "When we're alone there's something that I want to ask you. Something I need your consultation in." He lets that one trail. "What about you…how are you? We didn't give you too much worry did we?"

"I knew that you were in good hands, Dane," Greje replies, "I placed the votive incense for you and your team and put my trust in He Who Shoots From Afar, staying by the altar as his suppliant. I gave him my worries and he gave me his strength in return. Of course, anything you need."

"I think that Ares was watching over us as well…" Ramiro replies as the two of them step onto the 9-deck, the pray, play, and dryclean deck. "I'll be honoring him as well at the altar when I get there, beside my prayers to all of the Lords of Kobol. It's a feeling though, nothing really evident." He says, thinking about Hazzard for the moment. He swallows. "I know some around here would look at me crazy-eyed if I said this to other than those who honor the Sacred Scrolls, but I definitely think that we're far from abandoned. With so few of us left to pray, the prayers and offerings we make are so doubly important."

Greje smiles a reminiscent smile as she hears of Ares looking after the marines. "The Savage God, and Fertile," she sighs softly, "I spent a long summer after college becoming an initiate. I thought if I could survive that, I could survive anything Seminary threw at me. I have to say that there's something about him that still intrigues me. Brother Karan is a priest of Ares, as well. He's agreed to perform some of the Lord's rites for me, at some point.. when time allows, of course. Did you ever think of becoming an initiate of Ares?" she ends up wondering.

"I considered it, yes, but where would a child who's patron lord is Apollo be without focusing on the duality of warfare?" Ramiro smiles. That was rather poetic for his tastes. "I can take the pain, and I'm more interested nowadays in being an initiate of Apollo, but I've got to say that the blessings that Ares has bestowed upon us are far from unnoticed. I'm considering the proper offering to him." Ramiro replies, heading down the hallway with her. "In the end, I hope that he will be pleased."

"Both Lords demand purity of action from their followers," Greje reasons quietly. "And if it isn't going too far for me to say so, I think that Apollo has marked you one of his own himself by allowing you to interpret his voice. Usually only annointed breathren can unravel the ainigmata. I was talking to Brother Karan about it. I thought that since he and you both come from Fundamentalist backgrounds, he might be the more logical choice to train you further, if you want training and have permission from your superiors."

"That….was the thing I wanted to talk to you about in the chapel, actually." Ramiro smiles. The turn down the hallway is in sight, but he's keeping his voice low. "I don't want to seem arrogant or overconfident when I say this, but I've been considering. I'm not initiated, nor am I annointed. I simply never had the time, but I pray, Greje. I always have. Before, during, and after battle…"

Greje hms, "Brother Karan expressed some concern— he's of the opinion that one should either devote his life to the Lords or to otehr work. I don't think it will be any problem for you to become an initiate— joining Apollo's cult is not quite as demanding or taxing a process as joining Ares', and it requires no mystery teachings, as Dionysus' or Aphrodite's. I'm… as to annointing. Brother Karan and I will have to discuss it. Technically you'd need to attend Seminary, become ordained, then go live in a sanctuary and learn the rites. But seeing as all ecclesiastical infrastructure is… gone… we'll need to decide on a new set of comprehensive protocols for ordination."

Ramiro goes silent for a moment, turning the corner. "I agree with Brother Karan, actually. It's not correct to become anointed if you are not going to devote your life to ritual, reverence, and to tending to the souls of the faithful. Initiated into the cult, on the other hand, is a big difference. When I left home for the military as an adult I had not yet become initiated." Ramiro says. "I believe that this is long overdue." He looks to her. "Do you really think I am marked?"

"Marked?" Greje begins, "You've devoted yourself to the Lord— and that devotion is quite readily marked, yes," she agrees. "There's a fine but distinct line between my own and Brother Karan's views on this matter. He might say that the Lord has marked you, and your excellence and devotion has come about because of the Lord's favor. I prefer to believe that it's your own devotion which has marked you out, and your habitual right action in Apollo's eyes that has led to your excellence. It's up to each of us, what we become. Let the Lords mark the path, but your feet must move on their own power."

"Then perhaps this next question is moot." Ramiro replies, opening the door of the Chapel for her. "I was going to ask what you can tell me of the people who Chiron gave his teachings to. The ones I know of in legend were all said to be great, but cursed."

Greje steps over the threshold, pausing just briefly to lower her head to the altar in respect. She doesn't approach the altar with ritual intent, simply moving down a few rows and then slipping onto one of the empty steps to sit. "Hm, the Hero's curse," Greje replies, "Of course, I can talk with you about it. Did you want to give your thanksgivings first?" she asks him, looking to the altar.

Ramiro matches Greje's movements as he steps through, closing the door behind him. Bowing his head in reverence and respect, he looks to her and nods silently. The Chapel is empty, and so in the quiet of the room he steps towards the altar and kneels before it. Mouth moving in well practiced prayer, he puts much of his energy into it. To him, he is not following custom, but convening with gods that he believes without a doubt exist. This particular series of prayers is longer, as whispered names of soldiers fall from his lips. When done, he pulls his offering pouch from his pocket and sets it aside. Inside contains more herbs and a small number of tiny twigs of some sort. Bowing his head in silence, he rises and walks backwards three steps before turning back to Greje.

Greje twists her arms together over her knees as she watches Dane place the offering pouch, her eyes slightly unfocused in her usual half-distracted stare. A vague shiver runs through her in indication of something, she's not quite sure what, and she takes a long moment of silent meditation to attempt to figure out what it is that bothered her. Her eyes are still closed when he turns to look at her.

Stopping before her, Ramiro watches Greje closely before he decides to interrupt her. "Greje…" He whispers, folding his arms behind his back. A look of concern crosses his face. Looking from side to side, he looks back to her.

Greje opens her eyes again when her name's called, and she uncurls herself into a standing position. "I'm sorry, Dane," she replies to him, "I felt something… an uneasiness. It may be nothing, but I can't in good conscience ignore a bad omen brought forth during service to the altar," she tells him, taking a deep, cleansing breath and standing straight, looking to the altar and then approaching it, requesting purity of heart, strength of spirit and ritual correctness of action as she does so. She then takes stock of all the sacrifices present, and, finding the offering pouch to be the only unsanctified offering, she purifies her hands in the consecrated water and begins to clear the altar surface, setting the consecrated offerings to one side and the unconsecrated pouch of herbs to the other side. She then takes some of the lustral waters and begins a purification of the altar itself, washing it down and wiping it clean as she prays. "If any action brought before this altar has been improperly carried out, I purify and purge this sacred center of the false step taken in the name of the Lords of Kobol. Zeus, Father of Gods and Men, guide our actions into correctness and bow your head— send your son of the cleansing bow to take away our impurities and light our path. May all the Lords and Ladies of Kobol and all the numina feral and heroic find proper honors here, nor turn away. So say we all," she finishes the rite, and steps back, and to one side, kneeling by the altar's corner as if in supplication. "Please, Dane. Repeat your offerings," she tells him. The pouch is where he'd normally pick it up, it simply hasn't been emptied. She pays closer attention this time, seeing if the omen will repeat itself or if whatever hiccup existed between the mortals and the divine had been cleared up by the rite.

Ramiro watches quietly, not quite knowing what to say. A concerned look crosses his vision as he watches the display and then bows his head in reverence to the altar. Stepping up to it, he lowers himself and returns to his prayer, clearing his head and heart of sadness and fear as he does so. Carefully speaking his prayer to the lords, he again makes the offering. This time he does so more slowly, bowing his head as he does so.

Greje watches the altar's top very closely, resting her right hand on its side as if taking the altar's pulse while Dane produces the offerings again. She listens to his words, which all seem correct and in order, and, after a while, a soft smile returns to her as the uneasiness fails to return, and her hand moves gently against the metal surface, seeming pleased that all is well. Once Dane's finished his portion of the sacrifice, she rises to her feet, standing at his side and resting one hand on his shoulder while she lights some incense charcoal with her other hand, making it glow and then smoke as she replaces the candle in its spot. Her hand squeezes his shoulder warmly to let him know that it's all all right, and she takes the offering pouch and works it open with her right hand as she does so. "I sanctify the offerings left upon this altar by your servant Dane Ramiro on his own behalf and on behalf of his men. Lord of Delos, who speaks the riddles of Pytho, whose delight is the Bow and the Lyre and to Sing the will of your father, Zeus, to sing what has happened before and to sing what will happen again from the midland-navelstone, beside the singing fountain… who makes pure that which is unclean and heals those who are sick and injured… Accept these offerings," she tosses a pinch of herbs upon the brick, "Nod your head in heeding our prayers and be here with us, look favorably upon us, accept these honors which are your due. Guide our spirits in right action— make our minds keen and limbs strong and whole. Keep us safe as we walk the path you light for us. So say we all."

Ramiro bows his head as Greje finishes, sanctifying the offering. Breathing in and out slowly, he takes the time to focus on the meaning and tone behind his offering. Choosing to not worry about the bad omen, he closes his eyes. "So say we all…" He repeats after Greje. Opening his eyes again, he stares forward before he slowly rises.

Greje puts the rest of the offerings upon the burning coal, letting them smoke and passing two fingers of sanctification through the smoke to complete the process before she puts the offering pouch back to the side where he usually picks it up. Then, still squeezing his shoulder, she looks to the altar, still staying there a long, silent while, either in prayer or simply remaining watchful.

Ramiro looks to Greje and then back to the altar, watching closely as his offering burns. It isn't the same as his last offering, and he starts to try to consider what may have caused it. He has not blasphemed. Perhaps he's become too comfortable with the idea that Apollo has chosen him. Perhaps it was his curiosity at asking for the teachings of Chiron. All of these thoughts roll through his mind as he watches.

Greje does smile at the altar, her own conscience thoroughly clear— she's felt more at home in her faith in the last few days than she has in weeks, and it's a good feeling. What could have caused the shivering? Some lingering ritual mis-step or slight to one of the Lords? If so, the impiety has been purged from the altar. Maybe it was just a draft. If so, well… the purification certainly didn't -hurt- anything. She doesn't seem too concerned about it, even if she does spend a long while gazing at the burning offerings.

Ramiro then finally takes a step back, watching the altar. Slowly, calmly, he lowers himself down onto one of the pews. Quite comfortable in the Chapel itself, he lets out a slow breath as he tends to his sore abdomen. Sitting in silence, he turns his eyes to Greje. So many unanswered questions, free falling isn't as easy as it seems.

Greje is getting used to it again. Maybe it was her encounter with Dionysus on the planet. Dionysus tends to get one comfortable with a free-fall, and fast. She closes her eyes with a brief prayer to him and his bright twin, still standing by the altar with her right hand on its side. Then, stepping back once, then to the side, she turns, and settles on a pew across the aisle from Dane as the offerings burn dark and with crackling sparks. "What was the choice given to Achilles in the Gospel of Rage?" she quizzes Dane on the Scriptures almost out of the blue, smiling softly as she does so, leaning back on her hands and folding her legs into a casual indian-style on top of the broad step.

"To either be a great hero and die young, or to live a long life and day an old, inconsequential man." Ramiro replies, not seeing Lex enter. Sitting in one of the first pews, assuming the newcomer is anyone BUT Lex, why would he assume? Ramiro looks to Greje quietly, speaking in low tones. "Why do you ask?"

"You were asking about the curse," Greje replies. "That's all it boils down to. A man can be taught great and consequential things. But with that risk comes danger. It's… heroism, in its technical sense, is like a divinely approved form of hubris. Heracles, Achilles, Theseus, Jason… they all performed deeds worthy of the Lords— and all were sacrificed, brought to violent ends by the Lords. But it was quite literally a sacrifice, in their cases. They were made sacred, made worthy of worship. That's… not something that happens outside of scripture, of course," she adds, "But the same principle applies to heroes of the non-technical sort. It takes risk. Not heedless risk— a hero must be wise as well as strong, combine metis and bie, as Zeus does. But it takes risk to do great things. And one who habitually risks his life to do good things will one day fall prey to that risk. No mortal can escape that."

"Of course it happens outside of scripture…" Ramiro replies. "It is, in fact, in the scriptures." Ramiro replies, a bit of his fundamentalism coming out. "I'm sure somewhere along the lines in this war, people are going to start gaining reputations the more stuff that they seem to survive through. That's how you get the legends of old warfare, stuff like Sergeant Bones can't be killed kinda stuff." Ramiro replies. "I suppose the difference between scripture and real life though, is that in Achilles' case, he knew the choice going in."

Greje opens her mouth briefly, but then just nods— in no position to try to talk Dane out of his fundamentalist views, no matter how strongly the urge gnaws at her to do so. She does comment, however, "He did. And so do you— lessons learned from the Scriptures," she points out. "And even those who don't read Scriptures must have some sense of it. Why else… keep track of Cylon kills… compare war wounds in Sickbay…?" she offers gentle commentary. "Even the military system of rank is meant to acknowledge those who do great things, who act well and have experience, to give them the authority to command— which is just another way of…" she flails a hand about, gesticulating for words, "Codifying arete."

Lex sits forward slightly on the pew she's chosen, arms on the pack of the one in front of her. She regards the two talking about heroic feats and heroic death. The trajedy of being a hero is that eventually it's going to get you killed. Hooah. The blonde drums her nails lightly on the back of the pew for a moment. She rises, and says, "In the Corps, Captain, we just say hooah." It's a lot shorter. Marines like brief.

A slow smile crosses Ramiro's lips as he hears Lex from the back pew. He looks to Greje. "I hear what you're saying. I agree." He replies, running a hand through his hair. "Well even though it doesn't come in the form of myself being forced to make a decision, like in legend I think we both know what my decision would be in this case." Ramiro turns a little, looking to Lex and then Greje. "Sister Karthasi, have you meet Private Nico Lex?"

Greje turns to listen to the summation, a smile slowly blossoming and making her countenance more playful. "Hooah?" she repeats, questioning, as if to see if she's gotten the right of it. "It's a battle cry?" she asks further, then, looking back to Dane, more seriously, "Everyone makes the decision, Dane. We make it every day. You don't need to wonder what you'd decide. You have decided, and you're living it," she tells him simply. Then, glancing back toward Lex, "No, I don't think we've— oh, wait— no, I've met you, haven't I?" she's pretty sure— somewhere. She can't quite place that brief stop by the berthings, but she's mentally groping for it.

Ramiro's conversion tinglies must have just acted up, seeing as Lex is actually IN the chapel instead of bitching about said chapel. Nico moves from the edge of her seat to heads slowly down toward where the two are positioned. "It's a battle cry, a reassurance, a statement of intent." She shakes her head slightly, "You can yell it going into battle, or over a drinking game, or if your buddy's having a hard time in the Head, you might give him a 'hooah, brother', if you're feeling cheeky." She smirks faintly, and pats her belly lightly. "You have to say it from here." She clears her throat and says, "We ran into each other at the berthing the other day, when you were wearing the …" Her hand on her belly circles a little lower, perhaps unconsciously, indicating her pelvic region, "Wearing the sheer dress, sir."

A sea of red appears on Ramiro's face and ears. He'd forgotten all about that day. That was…a rather interesting one. Lowering his eyebrows for a moment, he coughs lightly. "Ceremonial garb of the cult of Aphrodite." Ramiro interjects, standing so that the three are in a triangle. Looking to Nico's right leg appraisingly with an overtone of concern, he looks back to both of them.

Greje continues sitting back casually, turned to one side on the pew. She rests her own hand on her stomach as Lex demonstrates where the cry should come from, and she gives a soft chuckle. "Perhaps I should wait to try that until this ulcer clears up a little," she tells Lex with her usual gentle sort of smile. "In Seminary we used to do something similar, in re: the toilet issue. We would call, 'eukolos ei,' which, in modern Ecclesiastical diction is a common enough blessing… but etymologically it means, 'Good luck with that constipation,'" she grins. Scripture puns? HILARIOUS to the Priestling. She even wrinkles up her nose in a geeky little gesture along with the smile. The mention of the sheer dress leaves her momentarily baffled until Dane explains what she means, "Ah! The Aphrodisiac robes, yes. Dane was telling me the Goddess inflammed no mild passion in some of his comrades. But— that's the Goddess' nature. She loves the tumescence of the genitals, delights in lust and laughter. I hope she was a blessing to the day, and didn't cause too much disruption. I had just been on business to Aphrodite's temple on the Destiny, and I was hot-footing it from the Hangar Deck… Dane had requested I let him know on my safe return, as this was the day after the riots."

Lex glances over to Dane, pausing slightly as she takes note of the rather impressive flush. Hey eyebrows rise just slightly. "It's not like I called it a pussy peep show, calm down." Oh wait, officer in the room. "Uh." Dammet, Ramiro. "No offense intended, sir." She'll just blame it on the painkillers if everyone doesn't choose the ignore it route. Her eyes finally flick back to Greje. "Nico Lex, CMC. Private." The smile remains sort of pasted on while she tries to figure out if Greje was kidding about blessing of poo. Her brain is a little slow so slog though the rest. "VK is always disruptive, it doesn't matter who flashes him…" Pause. "The temple on the Destiny is a temple of Aphrodite?" A sideways look is cast at Ramiro. "Tumecence." There go the eyebrows again.

Ramiro breathes in as Lex makes words about the robes that Greje was wearing. His eyes practically pop out of their sockets as he turns to look to her. "Lex…" he says softly through gritted teeth. "This is a temple…" He adds, lowering his brows a bit at her and folding his arms. Gritting his teeth behind closed lips, he looks to Greje in an apologetic pose and then bows his head towards the Altar for a moment. Closing his eyes, he lets out a slow breath and looks back to Lex. "It's a temple to three Lords. Aphrodite, Poseidon, and Aurora."

The Fundie boy might well be looking uncomfortable, but Greje can't quite supress a delighted sort of laugh at Lex' phraseology. She tries, though. For Dane's sake. Though she does note, "It's alright, Dane. There are no rites happening at the moment to be spoiled with inappropriate language. In fact, some rites -use- inappropriate language as part of the ritual," she reminds him, then, looking toward Lex, "It's apotropaic— it wards off hubris and ill-omens. But only in certain rites. In others it's -very- bad luck, and cause to end the rite immediately and start it over again after purification," she explains, in case she got it in her head that she should just come running into the chapel cussing at all hours. "And, Dane, this isn't technically a temple. There's no consecrated precinct," she notes. It's a fine point, one that probably only matters to people who work here, but she's a geek and sometimes doesn't know when to let these things alone. "In any case, no offense taken, Lex," she follows Dane's example in addressing the woman.

Lex presses her lips together briefly, as if checking lipgloss, and then resumes a more natural smile. One can imagine how the conversations in Marine Country go with Lex and Ramiro bunking in the same room, obviously sharing conversations such as this quite often. Someone should have their blood pressure checked. "I'm aware. It's quiet enough in here that I bet you couldn't squeeze out a poot without the entire room pegging you as the culprit. I wouldn't come in here during a ritual, so you don't have to worry about me, sir." She glances over. "So what happens in a Temple of Aphrodite? Is it like a crash house for religious types?"

Caught red handed laying down his fundamentalist culture of demanding respect of all things Scripture, Dane flattens his lips and folds his hands behind his back. "I know…all…technicalities." He grins, looking to the floor as he listens to Greje and Lex talk. Their conversation a bit of a blessing in disguise for him. He leans a little and nods with a shrug as Lex mentions not coming in during a ritual. She's not lying there. At the mention of what happens at the Temple of Aphrodite, Ramiro holds his tongue and looks to Greje. This is her stomping ground.

"It's a technicality, but has important consequences," Greje points out. She WILL go on all day about doctrine if you let her, yes. "For example, even though the temple on Destiny is much smaller than our chapel, if someone were to commit murder on the threshold of the temple it would be an act of blood guilt, whereas if someone were to commit murder on the threshold of this room — Lords forbid — it would be a minor hubristic act," she points out, as if someone cared. "A crash house? I'm not sure what you mean?" Greje then asks Lex.

Lex reaches up to run her hand through her hair, flicking fringe back from her eyes. A few strands stick at crazy angles, but she doesn't seem to care or notice. She stands with most of her weight on her right leg, giving her left a rest. "… Murder is murder." She doesn't seem to see, or care about any difference in locations, regardless of religious significance. "Oh, Dane said he slept at the temple. It just seems a little weird." Nevermind she has, several times, considered sneaking in here for a nap. "Is the temple of Aphrodite one of those everyone's welcome places, or are there some stick up the butt rules about who gets to step inside?"

Dane's head tilts to the side a little bit, as if an owl is trying to turn its head upside-down. Cringing a little, he shrugs. Shifting his weight from foot to foot, looking a little uncomfortable, he rights himself and flashes each of them a broad smile as he corrects his body language. "We received xenia there when we went on our pilgrimage."

"Oh! We went as pilgrims, and were offered ritual hospitality - the Rites of Xenia," Greje explains the sleeping-over thing. "Any temple can extend xenia, not just those of Aphrodite. There are some where sleep isn't allowed within the temple building itself— Ares, Apollo, Hades, Artemis," she lists a few, "But in some you can. It's polite to call up ahead and announce yourself, but it's very bad form to turn away someone who comes looking for xenia, even unexpected guests. Religious or not. Though I don't know how many non-religious people would care to sit through the rites. There's a good deal of praying involved," she adds with a joking sort of grin. "But, then, there's also a good deal of getting drunk involved, so that may outweigh the prayers, for some," she chuckles.

Lex finally just looks at Ramiro, "What's with your expressions, Dane? You've got this whole principal's office thing going. Is there something you don't want us to discuss, or are you nervous I'm going to tell the Captain the entire berthing voted on her level of hot?" She nods at the explanation. "Oh, well, I understand the drinking and sleeping. Of course, I'd need those two to get through the praying."

"I've both hoped and feared you stepping into the Chapel, Lex." Ramiro says sweetly to Nico, batting his eyelashes at her. "No, not at all nothing's wrong one bit. It's just I'm not used to people speaking like this in the presence of an altar." He admits, giving a shrug. "But if the Sister says that it's okay, I'll shake it off. Oh yes…" Ramiro looks to Greje, blushing. "Apparently I'm the only one who didn't seem to notice the garb, the marines got quite a kick out of it. Lex here was telling me how interesting it was."

Greje registers surprise at the mention of a vote, but leans forward, evidently interested, "Really. Well? May as well tell me what the verdict was. No need to pull any punches, I know well enough I've got more sharp corners than the ideal woman ought to have," she chuckles, then leans toward the back of the room, "You're in good company," she tells Lex conspiritorially, "I used to know -several- of the brethren who could barely get through the prayers part of things, themselves," she winks playfully, then looks back to Dane, "Do we want to go to my office? -I- don't mind a casual chat in here, since nobody's in prayer and there aren't rites happening. But if you're uncomfortable we can go someplace more secular."

Lex nods along with Ramiro's words. It's possible she has no shame. She shakes her head a little at the sweetness of the other marine's voice. "I said you're a little thin, but the ass is top shelf. VK wouldn't really stop hip thrusting long enough to say it out loud, but I'm pretty sure that's high marks. Dane just popped his cork about disrespect, but he does that. I figure if your good girl has sheer carpets, you own it like made of gold, and you wouldn't mind us talking about your—" You know. She can practically feel Dane's blood pressure rising. She glances askance at the Sarge. "… Uh. Anyway, the general consensus was pretty much," she takes a break and bellows a deep but modulated for the chapel, "Hooah." Summary for Ramiro's sake.

"No…I'm fine, I'm fine." Ramiro replies, shaking his head a little bit at Lex as if she's getting her shots in now. He narrows his eyes a little and lets out a chuckle. Dane looks to Greje. "Yeah…that's about the long and short of it. Everyone assumed that you dropped by on a social visit to see me, and everyone basically wanted to know who the pretty girl in the skimpy dress was and what it was that I did that got her to drop by to see me." Ramiro says, looking to Lex. "Hooah…" He replies, blushing. He looks between the two of them. He suddenly blurts out. "Do I come across as having a stick up my ass all of the time?"

Greje hms! "Well, thank you, Lex, that's sweet of you to say," she takes the compliment about her ass about as casually as anyone could be expected to— of course, she has been annointed as a Priest of Aphrodite, capable of performing both the Laughing Lady's common rites and the Hysteria - her mysteries. "I'm glad the Lady sparked some enthusiasm in the berthings. Not that I doubt her presence is felt when I'm not around," she grins, commenting on the general stereotype of the lusty marine. She looks to Dane, "I don't think so. You're very serious about your commitment to Apollo. Apollo is by his nature a divinity attracted to chastity and abstainance. Just remember the lesson Hippolytus learned in the worship of the Golden Lord's twin," she remarks to him gently. "And the words of the Delian Lord himself: meden agan. Nothing in excess. Neither chastity nor indulgence."

At Ramiro's sapling up the strata query, Lex just schools her face into a neutral expression, though it fails a little around the edges, just the faintest of smiles threatening. She reaches over to lay a hand on his arm. "Not when you're drinking." Wait what. "Sorry, did you just say chastity and abstainance?" What. WHAT. She gives Dane a Look. Oh, The Look.

"Nothing in excess…" Ramiro replies, suddenly blushing brightly. "…oh you two are going to be the death of me." Ramiro says, furrowing his brow. Running a hand through his hair, he looks towards the altar. Scratching his arm over his scar idly, he looks to Greje and then to Lex again. Letting out a nervous smile, he looks to the floor for a second. He murmurs something inaudible and then looks up. Finding no other words, he simply doesn't talk.

Greje does smile. "I hope not," she notes, head tipping to one side. "You're needed for more important work than could be deprived of you by women making you blush yourself to death," she notes in a friendly fashion. She looks to Lex, then, "Apollo doesn't require his annointed to be virginal, like his sister. But Apollo's rites typically require a period of ritual abstainance from sexual contact— sometimes with all contact with the opposite gender altogether," she explains.

Lex's attention goes from Ramiro to Greje. "Ritual abstainance." That's said a little flatly. "So… how long does this period usually last, and does this mean no touching? At all? No touching." Just to be clear, she asks again.

"It… depends on the rite," Greje replies. "For an example, when we held Apollo's high rites and Dane agreed to assist me, he had to abstain from sex for three days. I, meanwhile, was under complete seclusion from human skin-to-skin contact, be it with a male or female, for a week." She takes a deep breath, "Apollo's cult has some very deep-seated anti-female bias woven into its rules of ritual conduct, so, as I said, the rules are often much harder on women. Don't even get me started on living at the Delphic sanctuary as a woman. You would never want to menstruate again, after everything they put you through the moment you begin to bleed," she reports faintly bluntly. "But it is -necessary- to maintain ritual purity. And so we endure. We bear up," she smiles softly. "As much as we can."

Lex huhns, taking this new information into her brain to mull over. After a moment of quiet thought, she nods a little, then decides, "Some men are like that. I find a fist to the face usually clears up their illusions, but I don't think that would work for the religious stuff. I like my life simpler. More direct." Her hands drop to her hips. A silence falls between the three, and then Lex just says, "Three days, huh?" Hm.

Greje takes a slow breath and nods. "Excuse me, both of you. I need to be present for a memorial service," she murmurs quietly. "It was nice to meet you properly, Lex," she adds as she stands, passing back to give the woman a handshake.
You stop following anyone.

Lex reaches over to take the offered hand. "It was," the marine agrees with a nod. She sounds a little surprised, but only a little. "You too, sir. Thank you for clearing up a few mysteries." No jokes follow her words, not after the invocation of a memorial. She releases Greje's han after a firm shake.

Rue stands next to the viewport, looking outward. Garbed in dress grays that are a little tight about the middle, she keeps her hands in her pockets and her head up, humming something under her breath. The obs deck is clear otherwise. At least, for the moment.

Novella strolls in looking solemn. She was just here earlier, but for a different reason. She heads over towards the CAG and dips her head. "Evenin, Major." She's likewise dressed for the occasion. But the usual bluster and uniquely 'Cav' attitude of her seems to be shoved aside for now.

Stepping in as quietly as possible, Sloane has done his hair nicely and is wearing cleanly pressed dress grays as well. Looking into the room at the threshold, he steps quietly towards the CAG's location, not saying a word.

Bayless is adjusting the sash on her dress uniform as she makes her way into the Nest. The bandage on her right temple is fairly unnoticeable, but there's a bit of bluish discoloration around its perimeter. Considering what caused her injury, she lucked out big-time.

Micah files in somewhere after Novella, uniform clean and pressed, shoulderstrap in the process of being adjusted slightly as he steps off to the side. Expression solemn, bearing formal, he salutes to the Major and takes up a quiet vigil near Cav.

Addison steps through the Obs hatch just behind Sloane. Like thee others in attendance, she's in her dress greys, and her hair is pulled back in a twist. Her hands remain clasped loosely behind her back as she makes her way into the room, pausing near the front row of seating. She faces the stars, and stands silent as the mourners assemble.

As people start to shuffle in, Eve is among them, a small flask of amber liquid is clasped in her hand. Its not much, but its an offering to the fallen, made more apparent that the intent is to share it, as its deposited on the sideboard. Not that anyone will be drinking in their Dress Greys, so apparently that's for later. Her arms fold loosely over her midsection as she meanders up towards the viewport as well.

Kalypso is quiet as she enters, shortly behind her Lieutenant. Her hair is pulled up and away from her face this evening in a tight french twist to compliment the dress grays that the woman wears. It's been a strange day all around, mostly with her trying to keep herself occupied, but now the time has come to pay respects to the fallen and she shows up, filing in after Bayless.

The Hera CO comes in in his Dress Grays with the others gathering. Reeds uniform is spotless and new, the Silver Cluster affixed in place where decorations adorn such gatherings. His expression is set and solemn.

With no offerings and very little that he personally owns to begin with Sloane has come empty handed. Grim features on his normally smiling and wisecracking face, he respectfully avoids conversation and files down the row to stop just inside one of the rows of seats. He stands silently and turns to watch people file in.

"Lieutenant." Rue lifts a hand and traces a symbol into the heavy duty glass in front of her. Turning away from it, she nods to Novella and blinks as she notes the others filing in. "Welcome, all." Her gaze drifts over her pilots, before stopping on Reed and Eve. A wave is offered to those two. "Welcome."

Greje easily blends into the background, just a blur of vague dark red smearing from the dark grey robes she's wrapped in, facing the viewport far to one end of the room, face shrouded in shadow under the Apolline robes, wrist bound in that grim cord and held in front of her, elbow firmly crook'd.

Micah has even tidied up that birds nest of dark hair, for this occasion, and neatened up his quasi-goatee. Not that he'd shave it off entirely, of course. Hands clasping behind his back, he seems focused either on the viewport, or inward, as others file in.

Reed turns to Rue, and nods, "Major." He says in greeting, as he moves off to the side to stand and let Rue do this thing. He smiles thinly, as this isn't a happy occasion really.

Novella just nods to Rue before backing awkwardly away. She clasps her hands behind her back and looks to Micah. Curious glance to Eve, as well, but there's a smile for her. Her eyes turn down to the carpeting. Death isn't something she likes to dwell on.

Jocasta is here, in the back, ear attached to the wireless or something. (Player on the phone.)

Eve drifts around, nodding to those she passes in a respectful manner. As she passes by Micah, there's subtle shift of her hand, a finger touching those clasped hand behind his back. Its a silent gesture of 'I'm here', before she's stepping away. He needs to be here with his wingmates. Spying Reed, she veers in that direction.

Bayless glances between Jo and Kalypso, her expression a bit mournful. Obviously her mind's on Rabbit and Dazzler, the empty slots in Ares not easily re-filled.

"I asked for this gathering to remember two of our fallen. Two pilots who gave their lives so that we could go on. Their names were known to us, but maybe not to everyone in this fleet, yet… they flew with courage, met the challenges that were levied against them and in the end, paid the final price of duty," Rue starts, looking from one person to the next as she speaks.

Micah doesn't move, doesn't smile, though his eyes flit toward Eve when she passes him by. That's the only indication she gets, and probably needs, that he's spotted her. Novella's presence nearby is noted as well and seems to boulster him a little. Swallowing, chin up, he turns to regard the Major as she begins speaking.

Sloane meets Rue's eyes and then drops his head in reverence. Slowly, he holds his arms behind his back in a posture of respect at her words and at the memories of their fellow downed pilots. Eyes open, he levels them on the viewport to listen.

Reed listens to Rue, nodding at the CAG speaks, hands moving behind his back and paying his attention to the subject at hand. His head remains up, his posture straight as he gives the attention the occasion deserves.

Greje finally turns away from the viewport and her silent reverie as Rue begins to speak. Her face still hidden in darkness except for a slip of light that illuminates the vague shape of her silhouette, she looks over the crowd, stomach making some strange noises thankfully only audible to her. It's not often she's called up to perform these sorts of rites in public… or at least in front of an audience of people who didn't willingly go into the chapel to watch them. She takes deep, slow breaths and listens.

Zaharis is late, but that's hardly anything new for him. Not dressed formally, either. The CMO steps inside the hatch and doesn't go much further, probably anticipating being called away again at moments' notice as he tends to be. For now though, he's here to listen.

As Rue starts speaking, Evelyn has drawn up near Reed. One of the few in the room without a call sign, apparently the psychiatrist has chosed to stick to another 'outsider'. She's quiet, of course, shifting into a parade rest stance as if falling back on military programming on how to be silent and respectful. The fallen don't deserve less.

Kalypso nods mutely to Jocasta and Bayless, meeting the eyes briefly of other people she knows… but mostly she just hangs back towards the rear of the gathering. Silent and reverent and trying to hold in the emotions that have been warring inside all day. It's not easy when Rue begins speaking. Even if Kalypso has only been part of the Wing for a short time, she knew their faces, though now she won't get the chance to know the pilots themselves. Her hands clasp in front of her and she dips her head.

Orion is here as well, somewhere in the mix of formally-dressed pilots that have come to this. To listen and pay his respects like the others.

Bayless's hands ease behind her back at Rue begins the ceremony. Her face is a mix of sorrow and stoicism. The senior Raptor driver didn't get much chance to know the two lost in the last skirmish, now she'll never get the chance.

Micah listens to the CAG speak, jaw tight, posture rigid like someone strapped a pole to his back. He might not have spotted the priestess lurking somewhere in the mix, yet.

"Ensign Brek Aiolos and Lieutenant junior grade Olivia 'Mermaid' Kassandros." The names are spoken slowly, annunciated clearly. Rue breaths a moment before she continues: "A man once told one of my officers that a pilot's death was clean. Clinical, even." She sets her jaw at this. "There is nothing clean or clinical about it. We die gasping for air or burning alive or one of several thousand dirty, messy, bleeding ways. Pilots bleed, as do all soldiers of this fleet, bleed." Pausing there, she adds, "That is the courage of a pilot. To face down the odds. To fight until our last breath is gone."

Rue's words stir up curious feelings in Sloane. It's the topic that no pilot likes to discuss: The painful death. Be it implosion, exposure to space, shrapnel, or becoming obliterated into millions of fragments on an explosion or crash landing. It's the reason they work so hard. He takes in a deep breath and lets it out, deciding to raise his head. There's no reason to look down here. He tilts his eyes to watch his CAG speak.

Reed glances to Eve as the woman approaches, then looks back to Rue, listening and giving a slow nod as he listens, holding his posture expression set in a solemn attitude.

Addie nods as Rue speaks, her dark eyes on the CAG. As a few arrivals trickle in, she glances over, eyeballing anyone briefly who is not in formal dress. Her attention returns shortly to the blonde in front of the viewport. Her jaw clenches slightly as Rue invokes part of a Gars speech. Clinical. She takes a slow, deep breath, and lets it out with a mental centering. Very little of this is displayed outwardly. You'd have to be staring right at her.

Zaharis remains at the hatch, watching the ceremony and speech with his hands neatly folded behind his back.

Novella remains motionless, eyes turned towards the floor. This isn't a comfortable thing for her either. Hands behind her back, they open and close to a clench.

Greje finds herself encountering some difficulty to breathe, herself, as Rue mentions gasping for air, but fortunately she doesn't waver, or gasp, or give any sign of distress visible from under Apollo's dark cloaks. Once she remembers that there's actually still air in here, things go a little better for her.

Eve swallows heavily at Rue's words, no doubt the color has seeped from her features as if someone has pulled flipped a switch changing ruddy to white. No, its likely not easy for anyone to swallow, the gravity of the situation. But suddenly it looks as if Eve might choke on it.

Micah runs his tongue along his teeth, when Rue speaks of clinical deaths. It's a slightly agitated motion, but at least he isn't snarling back there. Silent, he keeps his head and his gaze up, and his hands tightly clasped behind him.

"Pilots very rarely leave bodies to bury. Such is the case with Mermaid and Aiolos. Instead, closure will be had by continuing the cause to which they so fully devoted their lives… The survival of this fleet. Of mankind. And, someday, a place we may all safely call home," Rue says before going quiet. Her eyes move amongst the gathered officers, pausing here and there until they settle on Greje in her robes.

"So say we all," Addie affirms to Rue's closing, taking a moment to look past the CAG to the stars.

Reed closes his eyes briefly as Rue concludes her speech and he looks to Greje, to take in the next part of the memorial gathering.

Bayless fights the urge to swallow in reaction to the somber mood. She remains silent for now.

"So say we all." St. Germain adds to Fender's proclamation, precipitously close to a bark.

"So say we all…" Sloane says in reply. Seeing Rue's eyes move in a direction past him, he turns his head slightly towards the walkway but does not look over his shoulder, he merely looks down to the walkway so that he can easily follow if someone walks towards the front of the Observation Deck.

Jocasta echoes, "So say we all."

Zaharis says nothing, maintaining a respectful silence. He keeps his hands clasped at the small of his back, more observing than participating.

Eve manages to get out a, "So say we all." Along with the rest.

Kalypso says, "So say we all," Kalypso murmurs."

Greje finds herself dry-mouthed and wishing for everything that she had lit up a little something to help get her through this. Just say the words, Priestling. Just say the words. You've said them before. But she feels the need — feels obligated — to do more, in this gathering, where the feeling in the room is working her down. She steps forward numbly in her robes, and begins to speak, at length, holding out the wrist bound in the cord of death, the two pounches hanging from it. "I bear Earth and Silver for the dead," she begins, "For Brek Aiolos and Olivia Kassandros. But those lost in the dark current… of the sea… of space… far from our ability to attend to them with anything but our memories… will never know the comforts I would bring them if I could. They will never have the solace of Earth upon their skin, to make of them no fit feast for dogs and birds, but they will be washed with the tide, tossed and soiled, bodies knowing no rest. Spirits, too, restless, not knowing the soothing touch of silver, unable yet to cross to where they might know peace." She takes a deep breath, keeping her voice from shaking— but just barely. "Those lost and given the rites of Earth and Silver we might call blessed, wherever they've reached their serenity, and we can make our peace with them— we can say our farewells. For those lost upon the current— we're not granted that bit of peace, either. We still have a debt, owed to them. To keep them firmly in mind for the day you'll see their faces again, waiting on that last, distant shore, unable to find passage." She draws the pouches to her, and withdraws two coins from the pouch of silver. "Is there anyone here willing to take this task upon himself— to carry with you the fare, in memory of those lost? And on the day you pass from this world to carry it with you and look for your lost comrades on the shore? To be sure their way is paid across to tranquility?" She leaves the question open, holding out her hand, the two coins shining in her palm.

Eve breaks her stance some where around the last of Greje's words, pale complexion is now tinged a little green. Nothing is said to those around her, she just quietly has to take her leave.

Sloane looks up, watching Greje speak as he rests his hands behind his back. At the mention of carrying the coins to the other side to ensure their passage into the afterlife, he remains silent. He's been to a funeral rite of the sort before, but is holding his offer unless someone who knew them better offers first.

Rue chews her lip while the priestess speaks. The words, no doubt, are ringing in her head along with the faces of those who have fallen. "I will take the task."

Novella steels herself and finally looks up as Greje speaks. Her expression tightens as she speaks of death and how their souls have travelled elsewhere. She takes a breath, then a step forward towards Greje. "I will, as well."

It clearly crosses Micah's mind to step forward, to undertake that task. But maybe it's Eve's departure that distracts him momentarily, just long enough for Rue and Novella to speak their piece. He looks off after where she left, clicks his teeth together, and faces forward once more.

Addie does not move or speak. Her eyes remain on the stars as she listens.

Reed stands stock still as Eve leaves, He's aware who he is and who those around him are to these people and his experiences with the fallen place him pretty fad down on the list of those who would carry this burden.

Bayless remains quiet, her eyes tracking around at the elements of the ceremony. She blinks away the possibility that some day, either her or one of her squadmates may have to become the subject of one of these.

Greje continues holding the coins in her outstretched hand. As neither of them specified for whom they were speaking, she only calls quietly, "Whoever will carry the toll for Brek Aiolos— and watch for him whenever you should go to that distant shore— come forward and take it, in his name," she tells— well, the room. Then, second, "And whoever wll carry the toll for Olivia Kassandros— and watch for her face in the crowd, to guide her with you onto the ferry— come forward and take it, in her name. Carry their faces with you, always, and let us pray." A movement of her hood indicates a lowering of her head for silent prayer.

Chase wanders into the room, as cheerfully oblivious to things as usual, head full of technical details and broken ships that need fixing. And things being as they may, he's got his hand raised in a generally amiable sort of greeting and a "Hi folks," before he catches on that well, this ain't a party. Blink. Peer. "Someone die or something? It looks like my third grade class after the hamster fell out the window."

Jocasta isn't one of the voiced toll-takers and so she remains stoic and solemn at her appointed place in the Ares Squadron line.

Following the Chaplain's posture, Sloane lowers his head in silent prayer as well. He doesn't have prayer beads, nor has he regularly attended the services since the last time his family did on Aquaria, but he knows the motions. Hearing Chase enter, Sloane turns and quietly steps into the aisle and heads towards Chase. Politely, he lowers his voice to speak to the man in a whisper, motioning for Chase to follow him out into the hallway.

Reed lowers his head when the call to prayer comes, eyes closing. His lips start to move, then stop. Hamster.. out the window. His eyes open, and he looks to the source of the voice, then around, and to Rue, Addie, and Greje, in that order. Though he doesn't step forward to step on anyone yet.

Rue breathes deeply and steps forward, taking the coin from Greje's hand. It's as she feeling the edges in her palm that Chase steps in and jars her back to the here and now and away from that battlefield in the future where her number will be up. Jaw setting, she seems about to say something when Sloane intervenes. The quick anger just as quickly fades and she turns to look into Greje's eyes, then lowers her head and murmurs a few words tinged in Leonisian to herself.

"I will carry it for Brek." Novella's voice is quiet, barely above a whisper. Her hand slowly reaches out to take coin. Her hand clasps around it and then falls in front of her. It clasps with the other, fingers held tightly around the coin. Her head lowers for a moment before looking up. To the voice. Her eyes turn to fire as she glares at Chase.

The stoic expression on Bayless' face turns into a glare of shock and anger, directed in Chase's direction.

Kalypso was somber, silent… right up to the point that Chase obliviously walks in and makes that comment. That right there was the straw that broke the camel's hypothetical back and the woman sucks in a sharp breath. There's a glitter in her eyes that could be tears or anger, there's such a thin line right now. Lucky for Chase, Sloane steps in before she can act on either. And it's biting her lip hard that has her stepping hastily out of the line and moving towards the door. Nope, can't take this any more.

Micah is torn from his attempt at introspection, by that voice at the door. Turning sharply, Chase is given a withering look by the pilot. Which, thankfully, remains only a withering look when Sloane intervenes. Lucky guy.

Greje doesn't have eyes. At least none that can be seen in the darkness of her hood. There's a vague moment of Oh-Shit before her keen priestly training kicks in. What do you do when the drunken, bitter ex-wife shows up at the funeral and starts demanding her share of the inheritance. Yes, that's in a textbook somewhere. As Chase is already being goaded out into the hallway, she doesn't make any note of the incident, only lifting her chin again, face coming to the light finally as she begins to sing a somber, soulful hymn to Hermes… wayfarer of souls, finder of paths.

Chase blinks at Sloane. "Huh?" He glances around, and catches the Collective Glares of Death. "Erm. Okay…" Blink. "Sorry," he mumbles, doing an awkward half-turn to leave. "Guess I'm not catching that nap in the comfy chairs after all…" he mutters.

Addie has had the misfortune of seeing a hamster fall out a window, and the end result. She coughs under her breath, and answers Chase. "Specialist, this is a memorial service. I suggest you go round up some booze for the gathering in the rec afterward, and pray you can find some of the hard stuff." Her comment is simple, and loud enough to carry quite well in the silence following Chase's words.

Sloane whispers something else to Chase and decides not to put his hands on the Specialist. Turning his back to the memorial service, he leads, ushering Chase out of the room.

Micah is doing his best, he really is, to focus on Greje's service. No matter that this is sinking in about as well as water tossed on a duck's back. He grits his teeth and digs fingernails into palms, and pointedly ignores the specialist.

Bayless glances sympathetically at Kalypso's sudden departure, then lets out a slow breath, fighting the urge to let loose a string of profanity definitely not becoming a Colonial officer.

Novella's respect for the Deck Crew just went from luke-warm to sub-Arctic. She takes another heated breath and turns back to Greje, lowering her eyes. Her hands squeeze once more around the coin in her hand. Who knows, she might even be offering a prayer.

Reed lifts his head, completely tuning out the imagery of hamsters plummeting to the ground with little squeaky 'Frak meeeeeee…' call in hamsterese, and the inevitable- Nono he tunes that out, that's exactly what he tunes out. He takes the initiative and begins to sing, joining Greje in her hymn to Hermes, voice clear and loud. back on track. stay on target.

Maybe it isn't so much Chase's poorly timed entrance as it is the beginning of the hymn that really has Kalypso slipping out. She manages to hold in the sob until she reaches the hatch right behind Sloane and Chase and pushes out past the pair of them. But the water-works are definitely coming, which means she's going.

Rue sings softly along with Greje when she starts her hymn. It helps keep the anger at bay at the continued interruption.

Greje continues to sing. It's not an unfamiliar hymn, even among the less religiously inclined (along the lines of an 'Amazing Grace' - standard funereal fare). She glances gratefully to Reed as he takes the hint, then looks to her side, to Rue, and blessedly is met with more singing, rewarding the mad-ditch effort to get this funeral back on its tracks after the sudden derailing.

Micah can nominally hold a tune, self-conscious as he is about it. He tries to sing along, or at least his mouth moves, but most of the words are mumbled through.

Her head still dipped and the words long in coming, Novella finally catches up and signs as well. Not the same voice she uses on the radio either. Lighter and a little less clear. But she carries the tune.

Addie does not sing, but falls silent again to listen to the others. Chase better show up with booze. If he doesn't, she'll go find him later. She closes her eyes, and tips her chin down slightly.

As she sings, Rue opens her palm to look down at the silver coin held in it. She slips it into a pocket, then, and lifts her chin.

Reed continues singing, remaining, for his part, solid, and unmoving, posture straight as he sings. Someone's got to keep the focus and damnit, he's doing his best. Not that he can sing well, but it's not a tricky vocal exercise.

Greje leads as much of the group as cares to sing through as many of the most familiar verses to the hymn as is needed before the mood in the room seems to have settled back, for the most part, from the turmoil of unfortunate intrusion. One final repeat of the chorus instead of another verse signals the priestling's intent to stop singing, and she doesn't upset that intent, letting the singing come to a peaceful conclusion before picking up where things left off, after a moment's quiet: "Let us pray for those who have gone ahead of us," she recommends, lowering her head again to lead the — hopefully this time uninterrupted — moment of silence.

Micah seems grateful when the singing draws to a close, and presses his lips together when silence is called for. He wants to fidget, he wants to be doing anything other than standing here in starched greys, but he's still. Head bowed, quiet.

Novella still stands up by Rue and Greje, very still. As the singing comes to a close, she's whispering. When the call for prayer is heard, she drops her head and eyes. Lips move to something obviously remembered, but not even vocalized in the slightest.

Reed lowers his head when the singing finishes, then bows his head, in prayer, silent, lips moving, hands still held behind himself. He remains as still as he has been all this time.

Rue is silent for the prayer, hands moving to clasp behind her back and her head bowing with respect for the dead pilots. Chase, it seems, is forgotten. Her eyes shift and settle on Addie.

Greje keeps her eyes lowered, keeping time with a prayer of her own, unvoiced, lips not moving. Repeating it twice over in her mind. Once the moment of silence has passed without incident, she lifts her head again. "Godspeed, Brek. Godspeed, Olivia. Safe passage on the current. So say we all."

Micah might be praying. Or he might just be staring at the floor. He certainly doesn't look relaxed or particularly pensive.

"So say we all," repeats Jocasta quietly. Amen for the heretics… who aren't.

"So say we all." Novella's words are barely above that whisper, that only Rue and Greje might hear. Her head stays bowed for a moment longer before finally looking up. Her eyes lift to Micah and then to the CAG. There's a long breath and she opens her hand to look at the silver. She holds the gaze for a long moment before placing it into her pocket.

"So say we all," is heard crisply from Micah as well, never once to whisper or fluff about these things.

Okay, this is the verbal response he was waiting for from earlier. Reed chants out, "So Say We All." In a clear, strong voice.

"So say we all…" offers Bayless, in a voice loud enough to be counted amongst the chorus of her fellows.

Addie's 'so say we all' is under her breath, and her eyes come up after she's spoken it.

With those four words, the Chaplain's official role here is completed, and so she steps back and to one side, looking back to Rue as if passing the ball back to her.

Micah releases a tensely-held breath when the chaplain steps back, and loosens his stiff posture a fraction. His eyes turn to Novella briefly, then the CAG.

The door opens very quietly, and Sloane steps back in. The front of his dress uniform is wet over his chest on the right side. Closing the door as quietly as he can behind him, he stands in the back until he gets an idea of what is going on.

"So say we all," Rue says, as the Chaplain looks her way. Stepping forward, into the midst of the pilots, she says, "Dis-missed." Looking to Greje, she offers her hand and says, "My thanks."

Novella nods to Rue and steps back a bit to watch the pilots mingle. She eyes Sloane for a moment before looking to Greje. The blonde steps over to her, whispering quietly.

Novella whispers: I was wondering if I might be able to come by and talk to you about.. some things. I just.. I wasn't sure when is a good time.

Reed breaks his stance, one hand coming up to rub at his face, as he looks around the assembly of pilots, pausing to scratch the side of his neck briefly as he watches the people falling out.
Jocasta leaves for Corridor 9A [O].
Jocasta has left.

Greje takes one hand to gather the pouches that hang at her bound wrist, holding them close to her arm as she takes Rue's hand, "Of course," she replies softly, "And if there's anything else you need…" she swallows, seeming about to say more when she turns and listens to what Novella has to say, and then gently nods her head.
You whisper, "Of course. Of course, anytime. My door is always open. Do you know where my office is?" to Novella.

Micah steps back and salutes the Major once she gives the dismissal. For a few moments, his eyes rove back to the viewport, then fall away entirely as he turns and heads for the door.
Micah leaves for Corridor 9A [O].
Micah has left.

Sloane turns to the side, feeling rather horrible about leaving the service to take care of the problem. Nodding to people as they pass, he sounds off quietly. "So say we all." Hands behind his back, he steps out of the aisle to let people get through the door.

Bayless exhales and shakes her hands out a little. She spots Cornbread and makes her way over. "Thanks for taking charge of that." She then spots the wet spot, then looks curiously to the pilot wearing it.

Novella nods her head a few times. Hesitant eyes watch the other pilots fall out - including Micah - while that silver seems to suddenly weigh her down. A hand reaches into her pocket to hold onto it while she speaks once more.
Novella whispers: Thank you, sister. I.. I've got a lot of questions.

Greje lifts her unbound hand to touch on Novella's upper arm comfortingly with a further nod before she turns back to Rue, coming close to converse with her quietly.

"I think time is the only thing I need at the moment, Sister." Rue smiles at the touch from Greje, even if it is a grim one.

Reed moves back slightly, watching the pilots speaking, and settles his gaze on Rue, looking at her thoughtfully.
You whisper, "I was just going to say that if any of your men… if you think I could be of use to any of them, do remind them that my doors are open to them. I'm not a religious fanatic, I won't press the Lords down their throats. But if they… or you… need someone to talk to. I'm here, okay?" to Rue.

Sloane looks to Bayless, speaking quietly. He shakes his head. "It's no problem. I figured take care of it quietly before it turned into a scuffle." Sloane says, then looks to the front of his uniform. "It's…not mine. It's a long story, but I did drop by the Gold Berthings to make sure everything's set. No cue where that joker went to." He pauses, looking to her. "How're you holdin' up?"

Addie steps back to take a seat. She crosses her legs and faces the stars, quiet as the occupants of the room disperse.

Rue whispers: I'll remind them. And I apologize for my own laxness in attendance of services… it's not how my parents raised me. But time seems to be a luxury I don't have anymore.

Cav nods a thanks to Greje before stepping off. As she passes by Sloane, she touches his shoulder. "Thanks for that. Good move." She squeezes his arm lightly and steps back out. She needs some time as well.

Quiet words pass Rue's lips for Greje, words that are punctuated by a slightly embarrassed look. One that has her looking elsewhere. Her gaze happens to find Addie where she sits.

Bayless tilts her head and smiles grimly. "Well, aside from having to symbolically bury two of ours and getting shot in the face, I'm doing pretty good." The comment is made with minimal humor. "How about you?"

Greje gives Rue a kindly smile, though it's hard to see under the hood. It's evident in the soft murmur of her voice.
You whisper, "I don't have many faithful in my care. If you'd like me to come to you for private services if you can't make them in the chapel, I'd be honored to serve you in whatever cult you follow. But if you don't have time, I understand. I can add your prayers to mine when I go to the altar." to Rue.

"Hey no problem, Cav. I'll see you downtown." Sloane replies quietly as Cav puts the arm on his shoulder. It's a quick nod and a whisper to her. He looks to Bayless and smiles. Tilting his head a little bit he looks to her. "I'm…okay." He pauses, looking to the door. He motions towards it. "Wanna talk at the berthings?"

"Artemis," Rue states, not bothering to lower her voice. "I'll stop in this week, Sister. Or try, anyway." Seems about the best the priestess is probably going to get from the CAG. Glancing aside to Reed, she says, "Major… It appears you've finally tracked me down." Hello diversion!

Novella leaves for Corridor 9A [O].
Novella has left.

Bayless nods a couple times. "Yeah, I could use some air." She nods over to the door and heads that direction.

Reed watches the exchange, and smiles, "Seems so. At some point we have a few things to discuss, but this is hardly the time, nor place." He tilts his head, "Where's the after-service, or is that pilots only?"

Taking a moment to look back towards the room, Sloane's eyes scan over Rue, Addie, and Greje. Nodding his head in all of their directions, he turns and follows Bayless out.

Bayless leaves for Corridor 9A [O].
Bayless has left.

Greje gives a slight motion of acknowledgement to Rue's statement, and takes a moment to turn back toward the viewport, letting the room clear out and making certain no one else needs anything before she'll think about going, herself.
Sloane leaves for Corridor 9A [O].
Sloane has left.

"I appreciate that. I'll be honest and say with the recent missions, planning and aftermath, I haven't had the time to stop in on the Hera," the CAG replies, lifting her chin. "The drinking will have promptly started in the Berthings as soon as the dress uniforms come off. You're welcome to join us. Though… there may be debauchery. Possibly of epic proportions." Rue allows herself a smile there and a look towards Addie. "Are you coming, Addison?"

Reed nods, "Well, whenever you can, Major." He considers, "I don't know if they'll be interested my stories of Mermaid." He smirks, "I've debauched with the best of them, but that's pretty deep in pilot country, and I don't want to disrupt things."

Addie is a long moment in answering, and when she finally looks over, she nods. "I am, Savannah. In a few minutes." She falls silent again, and her eyes close. There's probably a prayer rattling around in her brain. Silently.

Greje looks behind, and smiles to herself at the promising tack that this party seems to be heading toward taking. Debauchery is good for the soul, in her opinion. But she goes back to watching the stars.

"Okay." Rue accepts Addie's answer at that and focusses in on Reed, "Alright. Well. I'll catch up with you on the morrow. I had some thoughts about possibly using the unique facilities of the Hera as a training ground for new pilots."

Reed grins, "Five cubits says I'm a few steps ahead of you on that." He says to Rue, then nods, "Alright, later then." He turns with a nod and starts off.

"Great minds," Rue says, "Great minds. Good night, Major." Offering a brief salute, she waits a moment, glancing back towards Greje and then Addie again, before heading after Reed out into the hallway.

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