Losing My Religion
Losing My Religion
Summary: Samantha visits the Kharon's chapel
Date: PH 105 (02 August 2009)
Related Logs: None

CEC Kharon — Chapel - Deck 1
IC Time: Post Holocaust Day #105
OOC Time: Sun Aug 02 00:43:30 2009

Tucked into a quiet corner of the ship, the location of the Chapel was chosen to be away from the main hustle and bustle of the military vessel. Thusly the seclusion of its location lends to the sanctity of the small room. Bench seating is provided in tiered formation, three steps on either side of the hatchway to provide access to the top and most shadowed of the places to pray and meditate. The altar itself is just opposite the door, modestly providing the center of worship.
The altar is nothing more than a long wooden table, though someone has draped it in a fine golden cloth. Sitting atop are twelve figurines, each representing the mortal form of the dozen major deities. The metal has been molded and lovingly hammered to show: Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Ares, Hermes, Hephaestus, Aphrodite, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, and Hestia. Around them are arranged small offerings or tithes that range from coins to dried flowers, tended to by the Chaplain of the boat.

The chapel's always quiet, a true sanctuary from the demands of life on the Kharon, and the incessant noise and motion that goes into fulfilling those demands. Between services, it can be next to deserted, as it is now, save for the priestess tending the altar. She lights candles and kindles incense, keeping the memorials and offerings left there alive.

Samantha hasn't been here in a long, long time. Not since the funeral for the previous Chaplain. But, in traditional black mourning robes, the viper pilot steps quietly into the room from the hatch outside, having come at this time on purpose, rather hoping she'd be alone. She pauses as she sees the woman there, considering turning back. All her cockiness, anger, lewdness…it's gone for the moment. All she has here is escape.

Ariadne turns slightly, catching sight of the other woman in black. Concern and empathy flit across her features… as well as conflict. Approach or leave be. "Samantha," she says softly, formally. "Be at peace and be welcome."

Samantha's clothing is distinct. Gemenese. The clothing of someone who used to be a true, true believer… who maybe still is, but she's never seen in Chapel. She frowns to the woman, having been caught there is probably no retreat. A slight clearing of her throat, head ducking down a moment. "I… didn't really… I thought it'd be empty. I should… go…" Sam admits slightly, still frozen in the front walkway of the place.

Ariadne spreads her hands, an open gesture. "Please stay." She smiles faintly, a touch of conspiratorial humor. "I won't tell," she promises. And further, "I have things I can attend to in the vestry, if you'd like to be alone."

Samantha sighs a moment and just nods, stepping farther into the room and up towards the pews. She doesn't yet sit, but she's staying at least, staring warily at the statues on the altar, skepticism and a strange bit of questioning hate in her eyes. "…You don't have to leave. It's your place, not mine."

The priestess steps aside, as though to not stand between Sam and the gods. "It's your place," Ariadne speaks quietly, sitting off to the side. Folding her hands. Watching the emotions play over the other woman's face. "I'm a servant here."

Samantha shakes her head slowly. "Oh no. Not any more. Not for a very long time. I… don't even know why I'm here." Sam is definitely rather flustered that she was caught in the act of almost being religious. Finally, she sinks down into one of the pews and pulls out a pack of cigarettes from the belt line of the robe. She taps one free, moving to casually light it up, a welcome distraction.

Ariadne raises an eyebrow. She glances back at the hatch, then aside at Sam. "May I have one?"

Samantha laughs a moment, "Sure… hope I'm not like… defaming this place or whatever." She holds up the rumpled, stale pack of cigarettes in the woman's direction.

Ariadne takes one. "We probably are. But I won't tell anyone you've been to temple, if you don't tell anyone I smoked." She grins, leaning over for a light. "We used to sneak cigarettes in the garden of the temple, sometimes. When we thought the Mothers and Fathers weren't looking.

Samantha gives a sardonic little laugh at that thought. "Yeah… well… Gods grow the plants so… must mean somethin'. I dunno. We'll all be givin' em up soon." Sam's lazy, backwater Gemenese accent comes out as she allows the cigarette to relax her just a bit more.

"All this has happened before…" Ariadne muses. "Sometimes I think it's simply a way of saying we return to our component parts. If we're buried, or burned, we'll find a home as some other matter. Maybe we'll be tobacco leaves and enjoyably inhaled in our next life."

Samantha frowns a bit more at those words…"Possibly. Really, it's all just chemicals, though. No next life. Just… dust to dust, and nothing more than dust." And yet there is doubt behind her voice. Lacking certainty. Something's shaken her -back- to the gods. She curls her legs up onto the bench, tucking them beneath the skirt of the long robe…

Ariadne exhales a plume of smoke, blowing it in the direction of the incense burners, like a kid hiding the smell from their parents. She turns her head slightly, examining Sam in silence. "Was it the war?" she asks, finally. "That separated you from the gods?"

Samantha shakes her head quietly. "No. I haven't believed for… well… 14 years now. Family didn't really approve of me joining up the service… Said I was dishonouring the gods. War mongering, promoting hate and bloodshed. I disowned them along with the gods and everything else. Hateful hypocrites." Sam's last words are practically growled about her family, now all dead no doubt, but there is still no love lost in her voice.

"I'm sorry for that," Ariadne replies. "People often put on blinders when it comes to the Lords. They pick and choose which ones to believe in, rather than seeing the pantheon as a necessary whole." She gestures lightly with her free hand. "Ares teaches us to be mighty, so tyrants can be overthrown. Athena teaches us to fight wisely, so innocents are protected and liberty sustained. These are valuable things. Noble things."

Samantha smirks deeper, "I know what they teach us. I was a part of … all this mess…for most of my childhood." And she motions disdainfully to the altar, her back tensing a bit more and gulping down breaths of her cigarette like it was her lifeline.

Ariadne nods. "I know you know," she affirms. "But it sounds as though your family chose to forget."

Samantha shrugs again, her right shoulder still moving stiffly… arm healed, but the rehab is going to be a long while in the making, the whole arm bared beneath the sleeve of the robe a mass of scartissue and pink skin. "Yeah, I suppose. All in the past now, though…"

"Yes," Ariadne agrees. She is silent a moment. "I understand the rift with your family. But why the gods?"

Samantha shrugs slightly… "Nothing but children's fairy tales. I grew up." Sam states flatly, her usual line.

There's a nod from the priestess. Very simple. "When you want to talk about it, I'll be here." It's not a dismissal, it seems — simply information.

Samantha sighs through her nose, looking down at the floor for several heartbeats. She doesn't even know what to say, or why she's here. She closes her eyes then, dirty blonde hair falling in front of her face. "…I saw the old Chaplain… the dead one…on Scorpia. And I think I'm going crazy. Either… miracles happen…or I'm crazy. I hate the thought of either."

"Miracles aren't so bad," Ariadne says, soothingly. "And crazy… can be a matter of perspective." She smiles slightly. "For instance… I believe in miracles. For which I'm sure you think I'm crazy."

Samantha laughs faintly, "Maybe… what miracles do you believe in?" Sam inquires, easier than talking about her situation. She finally does reopen her eyes and just looks back up to the new Chaplain.

"Well, I believe that Lords can do anything, really. So there's a rather limitless array of possible miracles…" Ariadne takes a last drag of her dwindling cigarette. "But my favorites are the small ones. The restoration of the spirit that comes from prayer. The resurgence of strength that comes when we're certain we can't take another step. The moments when we're loneliest and someone touches us that we never connected with before."

The priestess chuckles, looking at the ember of her smoke before taking a small, empty incense burner and putting it out. "Cigarettes. Coffee. Chocolate. Ridiculous in jokes. Stupid, stumbling infatuation." She nods. "Miracles."

Samantha gives the faintest of smiles, sadness behind it… Pure sadness. She drinks in a shakey breath, but she seems to accept those words. "I guess they can be miracles. I just call that life… they aren't impossible, they just happen. We're lucky to have them happen. But the impossible…" Sam trails off, looking back to the statues, towards Artemis for a moment.

"Life /is/ the miracle," Ariadne whispers, very faintly. "Trillions of stars. Infinite space. Mathematically, what we are shouldn't be possible." She gazes at the altar, as well. "Yet here we are."

Samantha seems skeptical, shaking her head slowly, "But… we are. It's science. Genes, cells… multiplication. That all makes sense to me. Lucky… but not a miracle. Forgive me skeptical head." Samantha states flatly, earnestly apologizing though.

"Forgiven," Ariadne grins, offering the incense burning/ashtray over to Sam. "No faith is worthwhile unless it's examined and questioned — don't let anyone tell you differently. If you swallowed everything anyone told you, you'd be a fool."

Samantha stretches her arm up, forcing her whole arm to extend straight even though it doesn't want to. It's the little fights every day that will get her through rehab all the faster, so she constantly pushes it. Constantly tries. "I guess so. Still… was far more comfortable when I didn't believe."

"Faith is difficult," Ariadne affirms, gently. "People tend to believe… that it means relinquishing control. Becoming weaker. And yet, just as you've said… it's difficult. Like anything where you have to push yourself, challenge yourself… how can it make you weaker?" She shrugs a shoulder. "Believing in chance is believing in a universe, a life, beyond our control. Acknowledging faith is believing that we have a role in our own lives, a purpose."

"I do have a role, and it's not with the gods. It's protecting this ship, flying that viper, and probably dying for my crew. What I signed up to do fourteen years ago. What I will do until the day I die." Samantha states deadly serious, like some sort of oath or pledge.

The priestess nods. "Do you believe that role is somehow antithetical to the gods?"

"My family did. I… just rather took their word on it." Sam grunts out, moving to light another cigarette.

"Maybe you should rethink that," Ariadne suggests. Then, seeing the pack of smokes reappear, "One cigarette per visit. If Father Cygnus found out, it would be unpleasant for me — probably involving barbs and mortification of the flesh."

Samantha frowns and curses lightly, putting the smokes away and just tucking her pack down the edge of her belt. "Maybe. I'm here. I don't know why, but I'm here." She stands then, stretching slightly. "but…I should go. I've bothered you enough…"

Ariadne stands as well. "You're never a bother, Samantha." And for all the 'verse, she sounds like she means it. "You're welcome any time. And if you'd like to talk or be alone, you need only tell me."

Samantha nods slowly, giving a faint smile to the woman, but it's an earnest smile at least. She appreciates the offers…"Thank you… Priestess. You are quite sweet. I'll see you around the ship, no doubt…" She bows her head respectfully to the woman. Not to the gods, but to the woman.

"You will," Ariadne agrees with a grin. "I plan on trying this 'socializing' thing I've heard so much about. Be at peace, my friend."

Samantha keeps that half smile there…"And also to you." With that, Sam turns on the ball of her foot, no prayers said, but at least she came. She silently slips out of the room as quiet and somber as she walked in…

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