Gods and Monsters
Gods and Monsters
Summary: Roubani and Cygnus navigate minefields of faith. Nine makes a cameo in a mask.
Date: Post Holocaust Day #2
Related Logs: None. Reference to Warday.

Kharon - Chapel

Roubani is dressed in his blues and seated in the middle bench row in the quiet chapel, hair still damp from a post-CAP shower. The room smells like incense from a freshly-lit cone burning on the altar.

Cygnus is not here to pray, although most assuredly he has spent quite a good amount of time here in quiet contemplation. For the moment he's attending the altar, making certain everything is in place, the incense is lit, and nothing has been moved out of place. Once everything appears to be ship shape, he stops to place a small clutch of dried flowers near the figurine of Ares.

The cone burning is a small one with carving around the wide bottom, nothing like the ones the clergy aboard the Kharon keep for those who ask for something to offer the gods. Roubani has his hands down in his lap, his thumb slowly ticking a prayer bead over his fingers. His eyes flick up when someone passes by, though his head doesn't move.

When Cygnus steps away from the altar, his eyes drift over the room spotting the quiet Viper pilot, whom he hasn't had a chance to talk to really since before things began to get crazy. Noting that the Ensign seems focused on his prayers the last thing he's about to do is interupt. Quietly he walks back down the aisle to lean up against the bulkhead near the hatch, hoping to wait until Roubini is finished.

Tick, another bead goes over once Roubani's dark eyes have gone back down to his hands. It's quiet a long time of silence, only punctuated with another soft *tick*. "You work for the Chaplain." It's so silent in here that he doesn't have to speak loudly to be heard, even all the way to the hatch.

Nine arrives from the Hallway - Deck 1, Midships.
Nine has arrived.

The words suprise Mac a bit, and he uses the foot that he'd perched against the side of the bulkhead to shove himself away from it, taking a few steps back up the aisle. There is no one else present at the moment, and having figured out that the Ensign has issues with proximity he chooses the bench in the aisle in front of Roubani, sitting backwards on it, to be able to face the other man. "I do," He tells the pilot, "this is my posting now." Given the events of the past twenty-four hours, he's moved to ask, "How are you doing?"

Roubani looks up, drawing his folded hands back in his lap when Cygnus sits down. The string of beads remains wrapped loosely around his hand. "Did they have funeral rites? Those on the Constantine."

Cygnus' expression is serious, though calm as he nods just a bit, "They were administered earlier this morning by our Chaplain, I was at her side when she performed them." Given the nature of Mac's nightmares, he's fairly certain it won't be the last rite like that which he assists the Chaplain at. He can only hope that his answer has offered some small bit of ease to the Ensign's mind.

A quiet, frail figure slips through the hatch, clothed in a typical set of coveralls, but face covered with a prayer mask of the type used in the worship of Dionysus Choregos— the mask of the Goat Song contorted in its inimitable grimace of pain and suffering. Prayer masks come in all colors and varieties to suit their owners, and this particular item has been welded with brackets and wires and grids, the mechanical seared seamlessly into the only too human… pain measurable in wattage. The rest of the Dionysus-worshipper's head is covered in a black veil, and the strange, vaguely nightmarish-looking creature slips into the shadows near the back of the chapel.

Roubani looks at Cygnus' face for a while. His dark eyes are even harder to read in the chapel's dim light. His mouth opens as though to ask something else, then his eyes flicker, catching someone's movement out of the corner of his eye. His lips drift shut and he nods, looking back at the altar.

Cygnus is wholly focused on the Ensign at the moment, a product of his training, so he misses the initial entrance of the masked figure moving into the chapel. "I haven't been ordained," Mac's voice remains low as he speaks, appropriate to their location, "I have been through all of the training though. If there's anything you need - or might wish - to talk about, perhaps I can be of help? She's on her rounds visiting the wounded right now," He explains.

Nine tips her chin slightly upward, some tune or other drifting through her head, occasionally a note of which is lightly vocalized deep in her throat as she invites the God who bends reality to come to her, her hands on her thighs,, palms up, rear perched on her crossed heels.

Roubani looks back down at his hands. He can hear the new entrant singing behind them, and his prayer beads are tucked into his palm, his right hand folding over them. "I think there's someone else who needs you, sir."

The figure seated near the back of the chapel draws Cygnus' attention for a moment, though he isn't able to get a good look at the prayer mask from where he sits. To his eyes though, they appear lost in prayer or meditation. More, what Mac is really wondering is whether or not the words were the young Ensign's way of trying to distract him away from trying to press the subject. "I'm here if they need me," He assures calmly, not allowing himself to be shaken off so easily, "I wouldn't want to interrupt their prayers."

Roubani wraps both index fingers through the hidden string of beads. He keeps his voice very low. "How do you know if it's enough, sir?"

For a moment the ambiguity of the question confuses Cygnus and he reaches up to scratch behind one ear before asking, "If what is enough, Poet?" He's got a few ideas what the Ensign is asking, but he wants to be certain before attempting to hazard an aswer.

<Intercom> Attention! Set Condition Two throughout the ship.

"My name is Nadiv Roubani, sir." Roubani doesn't smile. He just regards Cygnus evenly, then answering the man's question very simply. "Your prayers."

Cygnus' eyes widen just a bit and he draws in a deep breath, glancing down into his lap as he works out a way to answer that question. He looks up briefly as the com crackles to announcement the condition change. Perhaps now they might all be able to breath a bit easier. "I'm not certain there's a pat answer to that, Mr. Roubani," His use of name switches to use the preference the Ensign has expressed. "I believe they do. It's part of the faith that I hold in the Gods, even though there are probably many who would debate the fact because it cannot be tangibly or scientifically prooved. It's up to us, the individuals, to have faith that the Gods have a plan for us that will be revealed as They will it."

Roubani looks at Cygnus the whole time, through the pause and all the words. Some of the tension at the corners of his eyes relaxes and he looks down at the beads in his hand without moving his head. "What do you think I meant when I said 'enough', sir?"

"At first I wondered if you meant in a far more general way," Cygnus' philosophical side emerges to the fore, though his eyes drift back to the back aisle, where the masked figure still remains at quiet prayer. "Is belief, itself enough? Is faith enough? I suppose when you think about though, all three of those questions are really centered on one single theme: Do the Gods exist? Do they hear and honor our prayers?"

Roubani makes a soft sound in his throat, acknowledging he's listening rather than confirming anything was correct. "It seems many people wonder if what they do is enough, without asking themselves what 'enough' is. When the idea itself implies that it's right for humans to have expectations when it comes to the gods."

Cygnus nods his agreement to Roubine's words. "You raise a very good point. Often our wants and our desires have nothing to do with what the Gods intend for us. I beleive that the Gods have a path for each of us, though it may not be the one we would care to chose for ourselves." Witness Mac's current situation as a prime example. "It's sometimes difficult to keep your faith when the path you've been set on doesn't seem clear."

"Is it?" Roubani's dark eyes turn back to Cygnus, considering the man. "Your faith in what, exactly?"

Cygnus had been speaking in a far more general, rather than personal way and does his best to point that out, "There seem to be a growing number of people that don't believe in the Gods in a literal way any longer. I don't happen to be one of them, or I wouldn't be here."

The corner of Roubani's mouth moves. It's like he was tempted to smile, but didn't quite. "You don't need to defend yourself to me, sir."

Cygnus quirks an eyebrow at Roubini, "I hadn't realized I was." He, too, is tempted to smile. considering the setting and the topic, the 'sir' almost catches him off guard, since his frame of mind has gone on a complete shift from a more militaristic viewpoint to something far more, well, priestly.

Roubani glances down at his hands, then at the altar again. "I asked the question because…I wanted to know what you think faith is."

"That's not an easy question," Mac admits, his brows knitting together a bit. "I know what it means for me, personally, but I think everyone's experience with it is unique and different." The Ensign is defiitely asking the tough questions tonight. "Speaking for myself, it's… I don't know how to explain it other than as this sense of certainty. I don't know if that helps answer your question or not though."

Roubani's voice isn't pushy, but clearly the young man has a mind that needs to turn over stones. "Certainty about what?"

The glance Mac shoots at Roubani is a bit rueful. "I don't seem to be doing a very good job of explaining, do I?" This time, the corners of his mouth do twitch upwards almost imperceptably. "Certainty that what is occuring is the will of the Gods. That the path I am following is somehow, in some way, the one that he have laid out for me. A feeling that I'm… Meant to be exactly where I am, here on the Kharon." A pause, "Despite how much it may seem at times I don't want to be here. Somehow I know, this is my place. How I know that though? I can't even begin to put to words, if such a thing can even be expressed in the language of words."

The two dark crescent eye-holes in the tragic mask stare with their mournful, beseeching stare to the ceiling, while the eyes behind them are closed, the person inside serene in the shell of anguish.

Roubani's expression makes a subtle shift, frowning. He lowers his voice even more to speak, aware he's risking the officer's ire. "Please, sir, I mean no offence. But that sounds…selfish."

Cygnus doesn't appear offended, but it does take him some time to process the words. Eyes drifting back to the back of the chapel again something clicks in his mind at last as he realizes the masked feature is absorbed in a form of worship particular to Dyionisus. "I suppose I've never looked at it through that lense," He admitted quietly, seeing how it could perhaps be construed as self absorbed. One shoulder lifts a bit in the paroxysm of a shrug, "What about you, Mr. Roubani? You've asked quite a lot about what I believe, when I think maybe what matters more is what -you- believe?"

Roubani barely smiles. "Why would one matter more than the other?"

"Isn't it your beliefs that have brought you here?" Another small uptick tugs at the corners of Cygnus' mouth in answer to Roubani's.

Roubani says, "I just wanted to ask the gods to have mercy on those souls which came to untimely deaths."

Cygnus nods to Roubani, understanding well that inclination, "More than understandable. I am curious though, why you're so curious about belief?"

Roubani tilts his dark head a fraction. "You find it strange?" The very slight uptone leaves that hanging between question and statement.

That notion causes Cygnus to blink once again with surprise, "No, not in the least. Intellectual curiousity doesn't necessarily indicate one thinking a thing something is strange." He's half tempted to curse, and were he anywhere else he just might do so, but not here, not in this place.

Roubani replies in a gentle tone, "I've offended you, sir. I apologise."

''No, you haven't offended me." This time Cygnus does smile in response to the words, "It's more like feeling as if you're negotiating a minefield. Just conversationally, rather than literally. Been awhile since I've had a conversation like this one." Which is not a bad thing, to Mac's mind.

Roubani quotes quietly, "'Great Father of the Gods may it so come to pass; thus, Apollo, come, make it begin.'" He rubs the side of his thumb against his lip and sets his hands on his knees, moving to stand. "I'm sorry, sir, I need to prepare for CAP soon. But maybe I'll see you here again."

Cygnus murmurs out a variation, "Come to my aid and this undertaking; bless it with Your laurel." Standing, Mac slips out of the aisle to allow Roubani plenty of space to leave himself, "Good hunting, Ensign."

Roubani actually smiles at Cygnus' quote. "So say we all, sir. Gods keep you well." He slips out of the rows and slides his prayer beads into his pocket.

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