Ergo Propter Hoc
Ergo Propter Hoc
Summary: Martin and Roubani again talk faith and fate, and where the two intersect.
Date: PHD 223 (28 November)
Related Logs: 42. It's Always 42 and Post Hoc

Kharon - Chapel

It's been a few hours for Martin, having gone through a large amount of catching up with long overdue prayer and thanksgiving. Having burned images that still hiding would be a testament to slight amounts of infidelity in his own relationship, he's spent nearly an hour unloading his feelings to the feet of the statue of Hera. Asking for his family to be watched over, as well as a blessing on his relationship and the healing of his sister, he then turns to the altar of Aphrodite. Naturally, figuring that burning pictures of ex-girlfriends bearing their breasts to him, wishing him to come visit them when on leave might be taken as a slight to the goddess of passion. He therefore smiles slightly as he places a small bottle of his cologne at her feet and holds a private conversation at the idol about how he intends to attone for such a thing. At least he knows this much about religion. The day has passed and moved on to morning, where he's lit some incense to the side, keeping a vigil for his sister. Resting in silence before a light duty shift, he sits alone.

It's Roubani's custom to be in here for a while both before and after CAPs. Having done so of the former, now it's the latter. Freshly showered and in off-duties this time, he pulls open the hatch and heads into the quiet sanctuary. That there's another presence in here strikes him as soon as he comes in; that it's the same presence as the last time he was here dawns as he gets closer to the altar. Making very little noise, he sits down on one of the front pews rather than approach the statues.

Without a word, Martin waits a long time before he speaks, giving Roubani a chance to think or say whatever he feels the need to. With his arms folded, he watches the collection of the statues as he speaks. "…I never asked yesterday what Lordly cult you are a devotee of." Martin says quietly, reaching for his crutches. Propping them up, he rises and sets them to rest softly against his underarms.

A beat of silence follows. "Apollo." Roubani's attention shifts from the statues to Martin, and he scratches newly cleaned fingernails through newly cleaned hair. "Apollo Boedromios, if one wishes to be technical, though I have rarely been picky about his aspects."

Martin smiles softly, nodding his head. "I should have guessed…if you asked me which I thought I would have said the same even before seeing you at the altar." Martin says, nodding in the direction of the statue. Planting the crutches into the ground, he moves to stand beside the altar where Roubani is kneeling. "I've been thinking a lot about what you said, about how there were so many 'I's' and not enough 'they's'." Martin pauses. "I know we're short on time but do you think that maybe you could spare some time and go over the hymns to Hera, and just talk about some of this?"

Roubani breathes a soft chuckle, that sounds almost sad. "When we don't have time for the gods…we're lost, aren't we?" His brows slightly raised, he looks over at Martin's face, glancing from one eye to the other before looking down. "I know two hymns to Hera. I think I remember both, I hope. You'll have to pardon my singing voice."

Martin moves to the bench and sits down with a pained, little grunt. Resting his crutches against his shoulder, he wraps his arms around them and leans against them as he looks to Poet. "My mother used to sing one when I was a little kid, said she learned it from her grandmother who was an acolyte." Martin replies, keeping his voice down to the tone that the room itself demands. Scratching the side of his face, he nods once more. "I'll pardon it." He suddenly says, quietly chuckling.

Roubani squints one eye a little bit, still watching the altar even as his head makes a very slight tip towards Martin. "Did it begin with 'I sing of golden-throned Hera'? Or 'O royal Hera'?"

Martin turns his head, gazing to the collection of idols. His eyes search them as his brain reboots, cyling through his memories. "O royal Hera, I think." Martin replies quietly. "Mother of showers and winds…"

"I don't think I know that one," Roubani admits quietly. He takes a few moments to think in silence, then, "O royal Hera, of majestic mien, aerial-formed, divine, Zeus' blessed queen, throned in the bosom of cerulean air, the race of mortals is thy constant care." He wasn't lying, he doesn't have a very good singing voice. Luckily the hymn isn't very melodically complicated.

Martin listens in silence, a small air of emotion forming around him as he listens in silence. Closing his eyes softly, he smiles and grins as Roubani finishes. More excited that some of it's coming back to him, he narrows his eyes as he considers the words. "That's it…" He brings his hand to the side of his head. "…I think it continues to cooling gales and power alone inspires. Lords I'm going to have to go into the stuff my mom sent me, it's got to be in there somewhere."

"Ah. Yes." Roubani closes his eyes, rubbing the bridge of his nose. "Mother of showers and winds is after that. Anyway…ah." Back to singing softly, with a hesitation just here and there as he recalls the cadence of the notes. "The cooling gales they power — you remember, Dash, sing if you like — alone inspires, which nourish life, which every life desires…"

Nodding his head softly with the cadence, Martin smiles weakly as it all starts flowing back. His own voice is nothing special, but he can hold a note. Keeping his voice low and soft, his voice is a far untrained high tenor. "…Mother of showers…" He pauses, narrowing one eye as he fights against his remembrance of the words. "..and winds, from thee alone, producting all things, mortal life is known."

Roubani at least doesn't do that really annoying thing where you invite someone to sing and then ditch them. No, he's in for the mutually untrained haul, singing quietly along in a way that provides a lifesaver when Martin forgets what comes next. "All natures share thy temperament divine, and universal sway alone is thine, with sounding blasts of wind, the swelling sea and rolling rivers roar when shook by thee…"

"Come, blessed Goddess, famed almighty queen, with aspect kind, rejoicing and serene." Martin finishes, remembering the end of it well, guided by his memory of the way that his mother's voice carried the tune softly to the end. He too trails the last word off, gazing forward as he falls into a long silence. Quieted, he takes in a long, slow breath and releases it. While it's a melancholy gesture, there's something of gain hidden beneath it. "Thank you, Poet."

"I'll teach you the other sometime," Roubani offers quietly, once the sounds have faded. "And no, thank you. I haven't heard that one is years…" He falls silent, maybe to contemplate that fact. Or some other. Who knows. "Your mother worshipped Queen Hera, but you were never devoted?"

"Well…I was presented at the temple when I was born. My father was a devoted to Poseidon and I was washed in the sea as well." Martin replies. "Spirituality wasn't the cornerstone of our household. I remember bits and pieces from when I was younger but I think Jupiter and I just started growing up so fast. I don't know. It's been so long and my mother hadn't spoken to me about it in years…" Martin trails off, digging deep into some emotional family memories as he continues to gaze forward. "She had a little shrine and would light incense, but I barely remember the inside of a temple back home on Picon. I've never really thought about it all until now." He turns his head to gaze at Roubani. "Maybe that's what happened with them too? Just got caught in the chaos, never slowed down? Always a job to do."

"That does not surprise me. Not for a spirit presented to Poseidon." Roubani murmurs, his eyes turning towards the statue of the god being discussed. "Souls of water, fluid. Ever shifting. You become whatever it is you're poured into, taking on its shape. Changing all the time."

"If there are ever two Lords I feel such a pull to, I don't think I'd have to look far." Martin replies, gazing towards the statue of Hera. "My protectiveness of my sister and my need to be there for her." Martin says, turning his eyes towards the statue of Poseidon. "…my father used to tell me when I was in trouble that I was like a natural disaster…" Martin chuckles softly. "Unable to be controlled and raising his insurance premiums once a season." Leaning forward a little, he wraps his arms around his crutches. Bringing up one arm to grip the handhold, he avidly hangs on them as they talk. "If Jupiter doesn't know who I was devoted to, what do I do? How does that work?"

"You listen to yourself. And above all to them." Roubani's eyes are on the statues, so presumably that's who he means. "But ultimately the gods ask us to make our decisions and act. Even if we find later that we have been in error. Faith is less debating belief than it is taking a step off a cliff in the name of a god."

Turning his gaze back to the statues, Martin nods his head softly in reflection. Taking in a soft breath, he releases it and calms. The air of faint sadness around him dissipates as he finds an emotional foothold again. "I'm…becoming a creature of conscience." He replies, smirking faintly. "It's unfamiliar territory to me, but I'm comfortable there, like when we talked in the storage room about carelessness. Then, not too far after that Aly and I talked about much about the same thing. I've taken a lot of time to think, Nadiv, and I've found since then that I don't feel like I've been shoved off that cliff but that I've jumped off of it and am enjoying the breeze while I fall, if that makes any sense?"

"It does," Roubani answers, his mouth barely moving as he talks. "The 'leap of faith' is more than a metaphor sometimes, Martin. It's something that we learn to do every day. Every moment. In that breeze is when we hear, and when we feel the gods. It sweeps us onto a new ledge, where we again fight with fear and uncertainty as we move around, until we're ready to jump again."

"I'll keep all of this in mind." Martin replies softly, breathing in deeply as he leans back to stretch his sore muscles. Stretching his one good leg out before him, he bends it at the knee and brings it to rest flatly on the floor beneath him. "When you guys jumped out with the device, I saw you and Matts had this look on your faces." Martin pauses, slowly casting his gaze towards Poet. "Where did you guys go?"

Roubani is silent for a few long moments. "To die." He runs his tongue over the back part of his lower lip. "The middle of…somewhere. There was nothing on DRADIS. No voices. Just…silence. Of stars that never even knew we were there."

Martin's gaze trails away from Nadiv, turning one more towards the table bearing the statues of the twelve major gods. Blinking a few slow times, a new quiet falls over him as his memories of that day return to his consciousness. "…it was a good day." Martin says, nodding softly with his words. "Forty two minutes decided our fates and we took a stand."

Roubani shakes his head slowly. "We were already fated. We've been fated since before any of us were born. In a strange sort of way." There's a subtle tension about him, the reserve that's always there underlying a sort of uneasiness. "It's not over yet. Whatever fate wants with us, it's not over yet."

"I…I'm not a poet like you, and I'm not even going to try to sound like I'm forming something that a priest would say, Nadiv…" Martin starts, turning his head so that he can look to his friend as he speaks. That confident, competitive tone warms in his voice as a fire lights behind his eyes. "Almost two hundred and fifty days against the odds. Almost three hundred days that I've had with my sister who, above all odds, managed to survive what she did. I'm in love with a girl who I never would have met had I not grown the balls to ask for help when I needed an arm to hold me up for just long enough to get my feet under me." His teeth flash in an almost predatory manner. "We can do this. I'm not afraid of fate anymore."

"Fate isn't something to be feared." Roubani's voice has never risen above the space between them. He turns his head, looking back at Martin. "Even the gods revere its power. It is what frees us. To live and to die, knowing that we can never /know/ exactly what our fate is…but that it's there. And that it is our duty to serve, and live, and pray, and fight. We should never fear it, Martin. It's that space we jump into every single day."

"Guess I'm paying better attention than I thought." Martin replies, the side of his mouth pulling into a tight smile. Looking back to the statues, he bows his head softly in acknowledgement before he reaches to his crutches. Separating them, he props them onto the ground so that he can use them for support as he begins to rise. "I should go see Jupiter before I get to helping the repairs on the deck. Nadiv? You've always been a good friend to me, and you always have this habit of helping me see the bigger picture. If…you ever need to talk to someone, I'd like you to know I can return the favor without trying to teach you how to make rude gestures and cursing at people. I do know how to listen." It's a light joke, of course. Self depricating humor at its finest.

Roubani is looking back at the altar by the time Martin's finished; exactly which god his attention drifts to is hard to tell. "Thank you, Martin." There are lines at the corners of his eyes, that and slightly puffy skin underneath that will probably disappear again when he's not quite so tired, but that'll undoubtedly become permanent far before it all should. "How is Jupiter doing now?" He asks, as a parting inquiry. "I know that Eddie misses her greatly."

"She's still in bed." Martin says as he slips the crutches under his arm to lean on them. Lowering his gaze to the floor, the soft sigh that he exhales speaks volumes as his body languages slumps. "Apparently she's still risking infection, but there's something a little more confident in the doctors' voices. It's all gone from 'we won't lie there's a chance she might not make it' to 'she got the best medical treatment and is looking very positive. Jupiter, of course, just wants cigarettes and is sick of being in bed."

Roubani nods a few times. "If you wish, tomorrow I can teach you one of the hymns to Asclepius." His dark eyes finally lift, looking up at the standing pilot. "If you are really ready to form such a dangerous habit as prayer."

Martin takes a moment to think about it. Before long, his head slowly rises and falls as his decision is made. "I'd like that." Martin replies, reaching out to nudge Nadiv in the shoulder before turning for the door. "We'll meet around lunchtime? Right here?"

Roubani doesn't flinch like he used to when Martin touches him, though he doesn't open his posture up to touch back. A pause then, slightly dry, "I suppose I know I've been around Thorn far too much when the first answer that pops into my head might be construed as vaguely dirty." He rubs his nose with the side of his thumb. "Lunchtime, then. Regards to your sister. Gods bless you both."

"Yeah, you probably have." Martin chuckles softly, shaking his head from left to right. "…and now that everyone's getting crammed together in the Red berthings it's only gonna get worse, ain't it?" Martin replies with a snort. "You're a good guy, Nadiv, I'll definitely give her those regards, and thank you. I'll see you tomorrow just after lunch. I tend to learn a little easier on a full stomach."

Roubani gives Martin a tired half-smile, the corner of his mouth barely moving. "Good night, Martin." He clears his throat softly and looks back to the altar, then down at the loop of prayer beads wrapped around his left fingers.

"G'night." Martin replies. Then, without any further ado, he uses the crutches to maneuver him to the hatch. With less difficulty after a few days worth of practice, he's up and out of the door with little trouble this time.

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