Whose Delight Is Showers of Arrows
Whose Delight is Showers of Arrows
Summary: Dane mourns the loss of his wife. Greje debuts a horrible, horrible theory behind her death and the deaths of so many other women in the fleet.
Date: 94 ACH
Related Logs: None

There is a slight knock on the door from the outside as Dane finds himself leaning quietly against her doorframe. Eyes to the floor, he taps again quietly before looking up to see if she's inside.

Greje has her headphones on, hooked up to her laptop. Whether she's listening to a soothing hymn or the frenetic beats of Caprican Pop is unclear to anyone outside of the headphones. She's curled up on her desk chair after her usual fashion, chewing on the inside of her cheek as she looks over the contents of the file folder. She doesn't hear the first knock, but she sees someone come into the open space of her door, and so looks up. A moment later she removes her headphones and sets them on top of her laptop keyboard. "Dane," she offers, sort of weakly. "Come in," she invites him.

Dane steps over the doorway and into her office, reaching to take the handle of her door to hold it open for the moment. He looks tired, he looks downright defeated. Looking to her sidelong for a moment, he lets out a slow breath. "Before I close this door, I want to ask if you want to have this conversation. I wouldn't think less of you if you wanted to save it for later. I'll still be here then…"

Greje rests both hands on the side of her desk, as if about to uncurl her legs from under her and stand. She doesn't, quite. "It's up to you, Dane. If you need time to yourself, that's what you need. If you need to talk about what's happened, that's what you need. If you just need a place to sit and a cup of tea, that's what you need. Just tell me," she replies quietly, steadily, something of The Altar in her aspect, serene and steady despite the vaccilations of fate. Not to say uncaring. Quite the opposite.

Dane closes the door and then moves to sit on the orange loveseat. "Can I please have some tea?" Wrapping his arms around himself, he looks to the floor and lulls his head a little bit. Closing his eyes for the moment, he tries to make as small a place as possible as he melts into the cushions and locks himself up a bit. After a long pause, he finally says something. "…I'm sorry."

Greje makes tea. Quietly and without ceremony, a simple set of standard motions she goes through almost without thinking about them. "It's alright. You had the presence of mind not to approach the altar in the state you were in. I appreciate that," Greje replies softly, "It's hard not to be angry when people we love are taken from us. Now more than ever, with so much having been taken from us already." She picks up the cup of tea and comes around the desk to hand it to Dane.

Dane takes the tea and wraps his hands around the mug as if it's going to bring him some sort of heat and warmth that he's been missing. "No…I mean…for everything." He says quietly. He leans forward, staring into the mug. "I didn't approach the altar because I didn't want something else to happen. I didn't want anyone else to get hurt by my decisions." He mumurs. "And I'm sorry if all of this hurt you. I'm so sorry to you, I'm so sorry to her." He shakes his head. "I just don't get it anymore…"

Greje settles back onto the corner of her desk, her usual place from which to offer an ear and whatever counsel she's able. She folds her hands over her lap. "You didn't do anything wrong, Dane. You can't have foreseen the accident," she points out. "You didn't hurt me and… as far as I know you didn't hurt her."

Dane sips the tea and shakes his head from left to right slowly. "It doesn't make any sense, Greje…she had dreams of cave-like pools with seawater, phosphorescent green algae and warm water at nights during our vigil." He sips his tea again, eyes cast downwards. "I'm not here officially…I'm here to talk to you, Greje. I feel…cursed."

Greje hesitates a moment, unsure what point to address first. Finally she lets the issue of the dream pass by, and simply asks, "Cursed by whom, Dane?"

"I don't know…" Dane replies, sipping his tea quietly. He hasn't even addressed the death yet, looking rather numbed. He looks to the floor with a pair of lidded eyes over lowered brows. "I thought that when I always made the right decisions, I was doing them in confidence. That my strength was always in choosing the path." He looks to her. "You know what's made me furious? You know what makes me what to break everything that I see right now?" He asks softly. "I can't tell anymore if this happened because of something I did or didn't do. Where do I have the right to be mad? At who? The deckworkers? The Carina? Myself? The Lords?" He looks back to his tea, shaking his head. "The only thing that'll ever tell me if this was an accident or not is faith, and even then…I'll never know."

"I think you -do- know, Dane," Greje takes up the point with a quiet sobreity of tone. "You might not want to admit it to yourself, but if you feel it… then, somewhere, deep inside yourself, you know the answer. That's one of the great strengths of the Pythian Lord— to make one act of feeling and knowing. To bring the spiritual mind into alignment with the logical mind. To not be plagued by the mystery of secret curses, but to see all plainly, to know plainly, and with plain action to set right what must be made right. Without the Lord of Light we stumble in the dark, falling into traps we can only guess at and walking into the same walls again and again for the lack of an ability to see how we can turn left or right. You're in pain, Dane. Nobody, not the best of us, can be expected to not be blinded by something like this. Anger is a perfectly natural response. Only remember not to let anger turn to hubris. Everything in moderation, Dane," she reminds him of the Lord's motto. "Be angry. At everyone. At no one. Go crazy on a punching bag, or, if you need someone to yell at, yell at me. Get it out of your system. Only release it while maintaining propriety of action."

Dane raises an arm to rest an elbow on the side of the loveseat. Rubbing his temple softly, he closes his eyes and turns his face away from her. "I do know…" Dane replies after a long moment of internalizing his pain. He sips his tea and then closes his eyes again to try to focus on breathing. "…it's why I didn't approach the altar in anger, it's why I didn't realize until just now that you had another vigil in place." He speaks dryly. "She walked into the hangar first while I got the bags. The door simply closed. Everything went wrong." He looks to Greje. "I watched the airlock take her away." He furrows his brow, eyes straining a little bit. "Distance."

Greje goes briefly firm-jawed at the mention of the vigil she'd been keeping when Carter and then Dane came into the chapel in close succession. It's not an expression that often comes to her— she's usually anything but strict and firm. Then she pales a little as the realization dawns on her that he's about to tell her— that. The mental image just makes her feel acutely ill, and she closes her eyes, having to actively endeavor not to vomit for a moment. She folds her arms across her stomach and takes a few breaths, herself. "You believe you made a mistake," she finally summarizes the situation. "That you ought to have given more time and consideration to your decision, and that having fallen from the path you were responsible for her death." She doesn't ask, per se, but she does give him a moment to correct her if any of that sounds wrong. The words, of course, are harsh, don't beat around the bush but come straight to the heart of the matter.

Dane stares at Greje for a long moment, saying nothing. Forgetting the mug of tea in his hands, he lowers his head and takes a sip from it. Face going pale, he furrows his brow and sets the mug down softly. Clenching his fists and then opening them, he leans forward and runs his hands over his face and then through his hair. "I…" He pauses, closing his eyes. "Yeah…"

"And yet…" Greje continues, once he's come to terms with those words, "Before you were married you felt squarely in rights with the God. You were strong and confident, circumspect and insightful. You took a step back from the situation, you got professional help in doing so, and got to a place where you could make the correct decision, one way or the other. Now you doubt yourself again— and I can see why. We love to blame ourselves when bad things happen. Guilt is a defense mechanism which helps us cope with misfortune. Because as much as it may hurt to think, 'I did something bad and therefore my wife is dead,' it hurts so much worse not to be able to think, 'But if I just be good nothing like this will happen again.' To have to say, 'My wife is dead for no particular reason other than that's just how things go sometimes.' We prefer guilt to helplessness, by miles. Guilt makes us feel in control." She pauses, takes a deep breath, looks aside to the closed door. "I want to tell you something, Dane. And I don't want it to leave this room."

Dane finishes the tea and sets the mug down. Rubbing a forearm over one of his eyes, he takes a few moments before he looks to her. He came close to shedding tears, but his sheer force of will is holding back a mammoth wall of frustration. He looks lowly to her from beneath his lowered eyebrows. "When you have to decide between a woman who's told you that she loves you and one who hasn't, how do you control your feelings and not play with their minds?" Dane asks rhetorically. His eyes scan to the door. "Everything you say to me when we're in here is confidential, Greje…" He shakes his head. "I wouldn't break your trust."

Greje nods her head gently and opens her mouth to continue before the full force of the rhetorical question sort of hits her in a patently visible 'wait, what?' moment. The first syllables of the next topic of conversation stick in her throat as she narrows her eyes at him, chin tipping downward as she finally manages out an, "Excuse me?"

"I wasn't saying you love me." Dane says softly, "Don't worry. I don't think that you do. I was…" He shakes his head a little bit. "…the words got tangled up in the delivery." He raises his eyes to her, apparently being rather bold and not being careful with his words tonight. "Look I know you had feelings, allright? Nico loved me. She almost had my child once and was wearing my prayer beads when she got sucked out of an airlock. If it's any consolation I felt like I was stringing you along. Which I was." He says frustratedly, not raising his voice much but speaking quickly all of the sudden. "You found out I got married and you weren't there for it because I didn't want you there because I didn't want to hurt you. That's why she's dead. I watched her get sucked out of a frakking airlock. I'm a great guy." He states flatly, looking to her. "Say what you want to say, Greje because my existence was a more peaceful one when I didn't watch my toes."

"You got married to the woman you love, Dane. There's nothing shameful in that. Even if I did feel certain urges, well, that's nothing to what there is between you and she, and I understand that, Dane. It may have been painful on a very base level, but there's a difference between passing fancy and the sort of love that binds two people in marriage," Greje points out, keeping her tone soft and even. "If you felt like you were toying with the feelings I had for you, then I forgive you for that. It was a difficult time for all of us, you were very emotional and trying to find your way." She clears her throat, then. "I wanted to tell you something— I don't know if it'll affect the way you see this situation, but it might. I don't want it to leave this room because I don't want a panic, okay?" She takes a breath, "There is someone in the fleet who has committed a -very grave- offense against one of the Lords of Kobol," she pronounces the words softly but deliberately, the words taking on a certain weight, coming from the usually lighthearted and all-forgiving priestling. "I won't say who it was, because it is not a matter of blood guilt which requires this person to be shunned from the places of worship and by all who follow the Lords… but the offended party was the Lady Artemis," she lets that one sit there for a moment. Artemis, the most vengeful and easily offended of the Lords, typically has two methods of punishing those who offend her: by sending wild animals to plague the surroundings, or by the killing off of young women. She's also known for not being very specific in her aim— one person sins against her and the whole community suffers greatly. Consider the sheer number of young women who've turned up dead in recent days, and the priestling's train of thought is completed. "I have been at vigil in an attempt to appease the Goddess, but I am not her Annointed and I don't know her Mysteries. And the one who transgressed against her has seemed disinterested in asking her forgiveness. I'm doing all I know how to do…" she shakes her head, biting her lower lip. "But it obviously isn't enough."

"Please….please…" Dane pales and sits up, putting the back of his hand to his forehead as he leans back on the loveseat. "…please…tell me that this didn't happen while I was away on honeymoon…" He asks, letting out a slow breath. "…No. If it did, tell me of course, but for frak's sake…" He shakes his head, looking to Greje quietly. "You don't have to tell me who it is, frankly I don't care. If you can think of anything that I can do to appease the goddess, please…let me know because at this point some part of me was already prepared to hear something like this had happened." He lowers his eyes to the floor. "Actually…I'm suprised that it wasn't something more that I did…"

"I don't know when it happened. I heard about it yesterday," Greje replies quietly. "The CAG— she worshipped Artemis. Gone. Kalypso, Effie… the pilot from the Carina and all those on her shuttle… Captain Nikos… Nico," Greje shakes her head, "Just in the last few days. Just… honor the Lady in your prayers. If you have anything to sacrifice, make sacrifices. We may have to ask the Lady's brother how best to soothe her, having no sacrificial animals on board."

"You're talking about performing another ritual…akin to the one that we did before?" Dane asks, putting his problems aside for the moment. It's still on his face, but he's letting it go for now. Blinking a few times, he nods slowly. "I don't feel that I've fallen out of favor with Apollo. I feel that I've angered other gods for my favoring of him, or perhaps…his gifts that he's given me." He shakes his head. "Do you think that Brother Karan will oppose if I assist, or were you meaning 'we' as in yourself and Brother Karan?"

"We as a ship… as a fleet… as the remnants of humanity," Greje clarifies, "The Brother and I will perform the rite together, but I'd be glad if you were there," she adds, for reasons which she doesn't further clarify. "Are you being given any time off…?" she wonders, brows suddenly furrowing, since he should be so given, if he hasn't been.

"I haven't asked yet…" Dane says flatly, shaking his head from left to right. "…I haven't even reported to Gaelan yet but if the looks I got in the hallways were any indication, he knows for sure." Dane replies, looking back up to her. "I'll be there. If there's anything needed, I'll do it. I…have a good amount of prayer that I need to perform to find my compass but I'm sure that I'll find it." He nods to her. "We'll get through this."

Greje nods quietly, "We will," she replies. A momentary pause. "I don't know what good it does to say this at this point, Dane, but… I'm so sorry for your loss," she expresses softly, those most ritualistic of words of sympathy, which don't mean anything in and of themselves, but which she seems to feel deeply as she says them. "I… didn't even get a chance to give you my congratulations," she muses softly, eyes lowering to her hands and misting up a little bit, "But…" she tries to say more, but she finds she's run out of words.

Dane watches her lower her gaze towards her hands and his shoulders slowly sag. Breathing inwards, an angry, frustrated tear slips from the corner of his eye and falls down the side of his face. There's a look of pained disappointment with himself that crosses over his face as he doesn't take the time to wipe it away. "Lords…I know…" he sighs out, looking to the floor and wrapping his arms around himself. He goes silent now, sitting alone.

"Would… you like to be there when she's given the Rite of Earth and Silver?" Greje asks quietly. "I'm sure Jesse will let you in if I ask him… well… I'm not -sure,- but… I'll ask him, if you'd like to be there," Greje amends, not wanting to put words in the CMO's mouth. "I… might have the Brother preside over them, unless you'd rather I did. It's up to you. Would you like some more tea?"

"Yeah…yeah I would…to all of it." Dane says quietly, clearly shedding a few silent tears. Reaching to the floor, he picks up the mug and offers it to her. Blinking hard as he does so to try to regain a bit of his composure, he looks to her face. "It…" He pauses, clearing his throat. "…I think you're right in suggesting that the Brother do it. I'll be there. It's my place to be there." He says quietly. "You know…in the end…before it happened…she told me that after her days on the Destiny that she was considering attending the temple of Aphrodite…" He pauses. "Perhaps…Aphrodite gave her the gifts at the end of her fate looming…and then took her."

Greje thinks she's right, too, though perhaps not for the same reasons. Greje Karthasi could never be called sadistic (except possibly in regards to some of her flock back at Aphrodite's temple on Leonis — another matter altogether), but she wants the Brother to feel this one keenly. And she knows how accustomed he is to pain. Her features have something of that chill about them, for a moment, and Dane might catch a glimpse of it as she turns to go make more tea. "Perhaps that's so. Aphrodite's presence is strong on that vessel. And Nico certainly ended her days in the good favor of the Lady of Laughter, having spent them with you," she adds, her tone quite straightforward, considering the subject matter. Maybe her days of blushing and stammering at Dane are finally finished with.

Dane wipes away his tears in silence when she turns to make the tea. Nodding slowly at their theories, he rests there with his hands on his elbows. Letting out a cleansing breath, he runs a hand through his hair and sits back. "I certainly hope so…" He says, rubbing the back of his neck. "Greje…I'm not asking this of you as a chaplain…but could you teach me some pyramid? Do you mind if I keep coming up here?" He pauses. "I…know this has got to be awkward, but if I focus on work and nothing else I'm going to go insane."

"Of course I don't mind, Dane," Greje replies, "My door's always open, you know that," she adds as she fills the mug once more and comes back around, "And certainly, I can help you work on your game. Just don't forget to give yourself a little bit of time to go insane. Don't keep too busy. You need time to hurt and mourn. It's painful, I know, but it's better than not doing it. Alright? It's okay to be sad, to be upset and hurt and angry. Embrace those feelings… by feeling them you can come to release them in due time and healthy fashion."

Taking his mug back, he nods to her and then turns his eyes to the liquid. Staring into it as if a vision's going to appear, he relfects quietly. "Right now I'm numb. I feel anger, guilt, sadness, confusion…" He says, opening up a little bit. At least he's managed to stop shedding tears, proof that he's human. He smirks bitterly. "What's strange though is that my confidence isn't destroyed…" He looks to her. "…I believe that this is connected to everything and I hate it, frak, she's dead Greje…" He furrows his brow a little bit, catching himself. He looks back to the floor. "I wonder, if I had just told her after the pilgrimage that we were done if she'd be alive right now. I know that it seems selfish but…" He lets that thought process drop, his mind grabbing onto another one. "When she came back from the Destiny with her dreams while we were holding vigil, her interest in prayer, I thought that it was a sign that although I knew I'd be forever curious about the path I didn't choose, that it was a sign. Apollo's light." He pauses. "Perhaps Aphrodite took her like we said…but I never realized until just now that what I really saw was that she found hope. She found faith." He pauses, swallowing. "She'd found her purpose and her direction, something I felt I had to help her find all along."

Greje listens quietly, leaning back against her desk, hands on its edge. "And she found it on her own, after all," she remarks softly. "There's no forcing these things, Dane. The Gods come to you when they will. It's nice to know… isn't it? That she was at peace with the world and the Lords when she went? Like I told you, that once, when you took Earth and Silver from me. If — Lords forestall it — you were to be taken from us on a mission… I'd know you went in peace and on your path. I'm glad at the very least that you can say the same of her."

Dane nods slowly, taking a sip from his mug. "Yeah…she found it on her own." He gives a quiet little smile. "She was angry, angry at losses sustained during the war. Angry before that." He says, giving a single, quiet inward huff accompanied by a smirk. "She put her hands to the safety glass and smiled at me…" He blinks a few times. Lowering his brow again, he takes a sip from the mug and then looks to her. "If I'm granted leave, I'm going on pilgrimage again."

It's another one of those images that can't help but disturb the priestling, who, for all that's happened, has still not seen much in the way of death and dying first-hand. She compels herself to nod her head, "Alright," she replies. "Yes. You should give your thanks to the Lady for what she gave you," she manages, folding her arms over her stomach.

Dane looks to her, then looks to her arms over her stomach. Setting the mug on the edge of her desk, he stands and moves to stand beside her. "Greje…" He says quietly. "Is your stomach hurting again?" He pauses, shaking his head. "I'm sorry…I give you the best stress, don't I?"

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