Much to Offer
Much to Offer
Summary: In the chapel, Kai and Roubani are familiar faces while Samantha and Willem tiptoe towards faith.
Date: PHD116 (13 Aug 2009)
Related Logs: References to Miasma logs.
Players:
Kai..Samantha..Willem..Roubani..

Kharon - Chapel
OOC note: Translations of Kashmiri phrases are at the bottom of the log

The chapel's empty, or nearly so. A few candles are arranged around the base of the altar, dripping thick rivulets of wax into the tin plates that hold them. Someone's wedged a red tealight in the heap of half-melted wax, cinnamon mingling with the scent of juniper that pervades the quiet room. There's a solitary figure seated at one of the rear benches, broad shoulders and dark head dropped forward, and a set of prayer beads draped around his left wrist and fingers.

Roubani is quiet as he slips into the chapel, as he usually is. Holding a string of prayer beads half-folded in his long-fingered hands, he heads towards the altar. His boots don't clomp, steps controlled to keep them silent.

Samantha's rarely here. But she's come, here and there, since Scorpia. Even Artemis has a place in her locker again, which is strange, but one can never fully take the Gemenon out of the Gemenese. She's got a set of prayer robes on which, oddly, carry a few stains, including a wax mark she just can't get off. Her trips to the chapel lately haven't been the most calm. Stepping through the door, a chill of a strange half wind follows her, at least half the candles on the altar dying immediately at her presence. And here it starts again. She swears lightly….Hovering on the edge of the hatch, considering retreating, it seems.

Kai's shoulders draw down a fraction more, as he hears footsteps in the doorway, people passing through on their way to worship. The prayer beads in his hand clack softly as he adjusts his grip. The guttering candles either go unnoticed— or, more likely, simply unremarked upon.

No prayer beads for the next wayward pilot. No prayer robes. No accoutrements beyond his usual olive drab satchel slung over the shoulder of Wil's off-duty tanks. Much like Roubani, he keeps his bootsteps soft, probably out of simple politeness. His very presence here is kind of an oddity — in the time that he's been stationed aboard the Kharon, he has been seen maybe five or six times. Strangely, this would be the seventh. Closing the door to the hatch behind him, he looks about cautiously before he continues in.

Roubani is already most of the way up the aisle, and so doesn't immediately notice the cluster of people gathering in the hatchway. He unwinds the prayer beads from around his wrist as he approaches the altar, the double loop untangling into a longer single strand. Apollo is first before any, as he leans down and settles onto his knees, sitting back on his booted heels.

As no one is actively glaring at her, and the bad luck she brings to the room, Samantha does finally decide to step the rest of the way in. Best she not block the door anyway. Willem is given a small nod behind her, no joking or teasing here, no pranks. Just respect and silence. She walks the rest of the way in, bare feet padding respectfully down the aisle way… when she trips on -something- in the floor. She's reeling downwards, just barely catching herself on her hands, "frak!" She hisses on instinct alone.

Kai still does not look up, so he likely remains unaware that his squadron's invading the chapel this evening. There's perhaps a twinge of something on his face when he hears the epithet, but it smoothes away after a few moments.

Eyebrow arching, rising, falling, head turning, Wil's mouth opens soundlessly and then closes as he notes familiar people, faces. People he sees every day, generally. It's a small ship after all. Samantha's exclamation earns a blink, but nothing more. In fact, he's not proceeding further in here. He's content to hang back at the chapel for the moment in a people-watching exercise. He does glance faintly at the altar and idols present, though. Eventually those idols win his attention. A brief glance is tossed at the place set for Hermes, directly.

The clicking of prayer beads over Roubani's fingers is probably too soft to hear. His murmuring likely carries a little bit though. For those not familiar with Kashmiri it's a strange thing to hear, a long, low, and repetitive drone of sound that has a distinct and almost hypnotic rhythm. Which is interrupted at the sound of cussing in this place, trailing off into silence. Maybe it's the word itself or maybe it's the particular voice that said it that makes him turn around a bit on his knees, one hand setting down to brace himself. Seeing all three people back there at once, he straightens his back a little bit. "Are you alright, Passi?" His voice is kept very, very soft.

Samantha looks up to Roubani, actually a hint shamed about the cursing, but she wasn't all that ready to go face first into chapel floor. Fortunately, she did managed to catch herself. She sighs, nodding to the Jig as she gently pickes herself back up and begins the rest of the walk towards the front row, managing to settle in front of the statue of Artemis without any other issue. For the moment, at least. "Fine… fine. I… do not think this place likes me. Can't say I blame it, either…" She whispers back to him, very quiet, not wishing to disturb the others.

On the other hand, Willem is very much by the hatch, continuing that alternating, jumpy stare that flickers from place to place as he stands fairly still. Finally, his arms uncross and there is -something- that compels him to come forward. It's a few tentative steps at first. He's not on the level of the Saggitarons here, that much is definitely certain but he's not quite at Passi's level of unease. It's more, well, cautiousness than anything else. His hands tuck behind his back as he keeps his distance from the others at first but still approaches the altar.

Kai's brows furrow a little, and after a few moments' pause, he resumes his soft prayer. It has a similar quality to Roubani's; the language is the same, though the enunciation's quieter. Only the movement of his throat and lips really denote he's speaking at all.

Roubani flickers a ghost of a smile towards Kai, but doesn't interrupt the man's prayers. His eyes tilt up as Samantha comes closer, and he shifts over a wee bit to give her room. Artemis is right next to Apollo in the row. "The gods always welcome a soul that comes to honour them," he says quietly. "Don't be afraid. You follow Artemis?" His attention flickers away briefly as someone else approaches, and he watches Willem for a few moments. It's not surprise on his face. Rather, he looks slightly heartened by the man's presence.

The gods might welcome her, but the candle before Artemis, which managed not to go out when she came in, is very quickly dying. The flame flickering lower and lower, like the wick is running out even though the candle is barely half burnt. "Yes…I do…" And the flame goes out. "…did… for a long while." Sam admits, her brows furrowing as she looks to that dead candle, not quite moving to fire it up again, just a sick lead weight in her stomach. "…It…did not used to be this bad…" She confesses to Roubani, staring more at the statue of her Goddess than the younger Lieutenant at her side.

Wil still maintains a respectful distance from the other Lieutenants at first, as the ginger-haired pilot gingerly(One never gets tired of saying that) makes his way up the rows of seating. Head tilting a little, he does spot Kai but there is none of his usual 'sir' or 'captain' or saluting deal. Rather, the older man gets a simple and deep nod with a twinge of his lips that resembles a half-smile. He continues further to look at the others and finally closes the gap approaching the altar. There's eye contact with Roubani if he still is looking and the half-smile remains. There is a bit of a shrug indicating, well, whatever it is, it's clearly meant to communicate -something-. His eyes narrow on Sam but he shrugs again. It's not like he has any reason to be surprised by -anyone-'s presence here, after all.

And again, Kai's prayer is halted in its tracks as voices filter through the chapel, however soft. Sound carries in here, more easily than in other rooms aboard the ship. His eyes alight upon Roubani, a tetch late to catch the smile, and then Samantha next to him at the altar. A slight turn of his head finds Willem half lurking, half advancing toward the altar, and then a glance down to the prayer beads in his hand seems to cement something for him. He begins pushing to his feet, hand upon the back of the bench in front of his as he slides out into the aisle.

Roubani glances at the dying candle. "It's not you, not exactly," he murmurs to samantha. "Drought dries many a spirit, and it takes more than one patch of prayer's rain to nourish again." He looks up at the statue of Artemis, standing by her brother - his own patron - then back at the LT next to him. "I'll let you pray in peace if you like." Willem gets a little motion indicating for him to come sit if he wants to, instead of wandering about in the cold. Kai getting up then briefly draws his attention again.

Samantha nods quietly to Roubani, frowning…"Perhaps…I should. Many prayers don't start with awkward silence, sadly…" Sam admits with a nervous little laugh. But, truthfully, maybe they do. Or so these prayers do. She gives the trio of men a half smile, almost embarrassed, and then she comes to her knees on the floor before the statue of Artemis… She begins, very softly, "Artemis…hear my prayer…" Before falling into words too quiet to truly be heard. But honest. Even as candles angrily flicker near her, she's praying. She's trying. It's what she came for, after all.

There is still a twinge of something here. Maybe hesitation, or unwillingness to intrude, but Wil stops just once more. The urge to walk does overtake him though as he proceeds ahead of Kai, giving Case a querying glance with a mere tilt of his head. A few further steps and Roubani's gesture is apparently acknowledged. He closes in on the general space with the altar and looks over at the younger man a moment, eyes narrowing slightly and then returning to normal as he spies the altar once again. "H'lo." He mutters. It's barely above a whisper.

It would be on par with the CAG's antisocial tendencies, to slip out quietly with his sanctuary invaded. But instead of turning to the hatch, he prowls toward the altar. When he reaches it, he takes to a knee, touches his fingertips to his mouth, and then to his heart. The other knee eases down with an almost imperceptible twinge. "At home," he murmurs, very softly, "we used to pray as a family. Rarely alone." There's no question that he's speaking to the other three squadmates (and in Roubani's case, former squadmate) nearby. "If you like, I can recite a prayer to Artemis." It sounds like one of those Sagittarian things. Offers not meant to be taken lightly.

Was Lieutenant Ginger talking to Roubani or to the statues? The JG rests his hands on his knees, looking back up at Willem. "You aren't a follower of Ares," he observes quietly, part guess and part quite confident that he's right. "I wouldn't suppose Aphrodite either, nor Zeus…Poseidon?" His voice too is kept at near whisper as he plays this spiritual icebreaker with Willem. His head then turns as they're joined by Kai. There's a pause and he lifts his hands, putting palms together at his face and dipping his head slightly to the Captain. There's no words; it's just a gesture that apparently a Sagittarian would understand.

The short answer to a question of Willem's greeting is, well, 'yes.' He was looking at both. Either would be up for debate. He stands in front of the altar here with his hands still behind his back, but his head cranes into a little bowing motion. Little twinges of his lips, looking rueful at every God named indicate that Roubani would be right naming off all the spiritual figures he doesn't have a pointed connection to. But it's a trick question, really. "I wouldn't know -who- I was a follower of, really." The statement is soft and gently musing. Not mocking or petulant, just simple admittance. "I had a relationship with Hermes once, maybe. Maybe Athena too, although I understood her less. There wasn't —" He trails off, for whatever reason seeming unsure or unwilling to finish this statement. Kai's own icebreaker, though, causes him to wheel about suddenly. He looks like he's about to say something more. Maybe finishing his previous sentence. Maybe tossing out a 'sir.' Even he can tell these would be inappropriate. "It would be an honor." He finally places his own hands together in front of him as he looks away from the Captain, back to Nadiv, and then to the statue of Artemis, in anticipation.

Kai nods quietly to Roubani. Apparently he doesn't feel that rank has any place in here, as neither officer is addressed by it, and nor does he seem bothered by the fact that he's on his knees, and Willem's still on his feet. Each to their own, as they wish. His head is bowed forward then, and his eyes close as he begins to recite from memory. His voice is pitched with just enough volume to be heard, and low enough to be felt; it's interspersed with throaty, lyrical wanderings in his native tongue: "Polydeukes. I cannot find Lykaithos among the dead Enarsphoros and with him the fast runner Thebros, the violent, the helmeted. And Euteikhes and the lord of lands Areios, mightiest of men half gods. The hunter, the great and Eurytos' blind tumult; most brave, we shall not go across. A'afiat, a'afiat. Destiny and Providence, the oldest of all the gods; force goes barefoot and a wild heart must not crowd divinity. Nor rush upon Aphrodite hot to marry Wanassa, nor any of her daughters. Graces from the house of Zeus, eyes all love in their looking. Hargez namirad, anke delash zendeh shod be eshgh." He falls silent there. Just the sound of his breathing and likely theirs, the crisp sound of the candles guttering. "A'afiat, Artemis," he finishes huskily, signaling the completion of the prayer.

"To mitooni delamo shad koni," Roubani murmurs under his breath as Kai finishes, turning his eyes up briefly to the statue of Artemis. His hands are still together, tapped gently against the end of his nose. "To mitooni ghamamo khak koni." He falls silent, listening to the flicker of the candles and regarding Artemis' feet for a while before he looks at Kai. "Thank you."

The very tenative presence of Willem has settled in here as he silently watches Karim finish his invocation with narrowed eyes and an intent, still glance. His head has bowed. For whatever reason, it could be a matter of custom, habit, belief, is still standing, despite said bowed head. A long, slow moment passes as he draws in a quiet breath through pursed lips, only breaking the look after the prayer ends and Roubani adds his small, but pointed amendment. His face breaks into a brief smile, echoing as he gives one final look from them to the image of the Huntress. He adds, with his own voice again barely above a whisper. "Likewise. Thank you."

"No problem," is Kai's typical, somewhat self-deprecating reply. It's voiced softly, of course, so as not to disturb the nonexistant people lurking in more distant reaches of the chapel. He touches his fingertips to his heart and his mouth again, in reverse this time, and shifts back to his feet. "Good night," is offered the pair simply. He does not make eye contact; he hasn't once, since approaching from his bench. The sound of his boots on the deck reverberate dully through the mostly-empty room as he heads for the hatch.

"Shab be kheyr, Captain." Roubani says over his shoulder. He doesn't move, staying seated as he is in front of Apollo and, partly, the god's sister to whom they've just extended their collective prayer. His eyes turn up after a few moments to look at Willem. Not expectantly, just looking.

Quick on the heels of Lt. Roubani's reply, Willem cranes his head around to behold the departing figure of the CAG. He calls out, not a shout, but definitely loud enough to be heard. "Rest easy, Captain." That use of rank came back but the way it rolls off his tongue - it's not a rank. It's a defining title. "At least for tonight." Some few moments pass before he turns away, back to the altar. And Roubani again. Between the two of them. Another icebreaker. "You know. The last time I came here — it was to say goodbye."

"Shab be kheyr," Karim repeats, likewise over his shoulder. A heartbeat's pause, a smile that seems dredged up out of the muck of his present mood when Willem addresses him, and then he continues on out.

Kai heads through the exit labeled <H> Hallway.
Kai has left.

Roubani has turned his attention back to the altar, moreso Apollo now than Artemis. Apollo's sandaled feet, to be more precise. "Goodbye to whom?" He asks, after a moment or two.

The very presence of the question seems to catch Wil off-guard. Surprise. It lasts only a couple of seconds as the pilot blinks and purses his lips as he searches for the words. "Some. Everyone. Everyone I could in good conscience remember to mention. Which was not enough of them, of course. I don't know if I was willing to stretch Hermes' patience. I'd imagine Hermes as patient, though." A little glance to the winged god's image at this last statement.

"I can imagine He is," Roubani replies softly. "One would have to be to be a friend of mortals, wouldn't one? To cozen the tribes of mortal men." His eyes flicker to the statue of the aforementioned god, lingering there. "I don't think you need be afraid He would be checking His watch while you recited."

A step is taken towards the area where the statue is stored. "Friend." Another. "Guide." And another of Wil's soft bootsteps as he makes it a little closer to the image of said God. "Trickster. Fast-talker. Yah, that would be a good friend to have." He muses softly. "I've lived a life full of well-meaning, odd decisions and strange twists of fortune, I guess. Some of the Brothers of Hermes I'd known were pretty insightful. Actually." He reaches down to reflexively brush at a piece of lint on his fatigue pants. "Not necessarily sure, though. I've been told on more than one occasion I can try the patience of a God." He smiles a thin, crooked smile which is presented in just such a way that it indicates he's poking fun at himself rather than making accusations at Hermes or any of the other presences here.

"Oh, but being the protector of travellers, I am certain he loves you dearly," Roubani says, with a faint smile touching one side of his mouth. "Strange twists and all. He presides over the game of dice, you know…some believe it to be a metaphor in the greater game of life. Those who find themselves often touched by strange fortune, good or bad."

"Yes, and that." Wil acknowledges. "Travellers through life. Or travellers from life to death. Psuchopompos." He makes a vague gesture with his index finger in the God's vague direction. Turning his head, he grins tightly. "Hence. Well. I don't know. My last visit here. I don't know if he heard me, or if he was even listening but I'm starting to realize you can only stamp your foot in petulance at all the terrible things that happen to us as individuals, or As a people for so long until you grind yourself to nothing." He clicks his tongue. "Like I said - strange twists. Next to everything that has happened to me in the last five years — Ugh, forget -my- self-absorbed carcass. Next to everything has happened to our little corner of the universe, me ending up here in this chapel and having these thoughts is a small thing."

Roubani says nothing as Willem winds his way through his thoughts. He speaks after the end of it. "Who is to say what the gods notice and what they do not. In such a grand thing as eternity, perhaps even our race's birth and then its annihilation have been small things. I know that sometimes the gods do hear one man. All we can do is have that faith that sometimes we are heard…and have the humility to be sure that when we play such roulette with our words that we remember to be grateful more than we beseech."

In turn, Wil's response to Roubani's part in the dialogue is also a bit of silent pondering, cupping his hand to his chin. "I've seen a lot of baggage and speculation from some people, in the past, relating to the Gods, and what the Gods do in the world of mortals. concepts I never -have- understood in that context, like 'deserve. I've heard the Gods literally described as practically being like people, which doesn't make much sense. It's like you said. In the face of eternity," the hand drops back to his side as he gesticulates with an upward flip of his palm. "Immortality. It was like an old favorite book of mine said — given infinite time, all things happen to all people. How could you keep track of one yowling mortal? Especially if you'd heard it all before?" He shakes his head as that tight smile returns, but it's not terribly mirthful. "But I am grateful. I'm learning how to be more grateful, too. There's nothing more sacred in the universe than creation itself. Life. How could I not be grateful for it and not be some kind of idiot?" The man's eyes narrow upon the image of the statue once more as he slides his satchel down from his shoulder and starts rustling in it. For something.

The image of one yowling mortal makes Roubani's lip twitch. He seems to interpret Willem's final question as rhetorical, for it gets no reply. He does, though, look up at the satchel as the LT starts digging around, then back at the rows of statues. The long loop of prayer beads is twisted once and slipped onto his wrist. "I got your envelope," he comments, apropos of nothing obvious. "Thank you, it was very kind."

It would appear that Willem didn't expect a reply. Unsurprised by the shift of subject, his shoulders simply shrug. Perhaps he was just thinking out loud, which happens as one gets him going. More rustling, as apparently he has trouble locating whatever it was he was looking for. He does comment, however, on the words of thanks with a little tilt of his head towards the other man. "Glad you got it. It was a simple thing to do. I asked around and found it and figured it might be both helpful and some kind of diversion."

It takes certain types of men to refer to astronomy journals like this. Roubani is sadly serious as he nods once. "It was. Very kind of you." The repeated sentiment's said more thoughtfully, as he regards the statues in front of him. He slides his fingers into his front pocket, digging out something small and blackish, and his lighter. Getting up higher onto his knees, he puts the quarter-cone of incense into a bowl at a statue's feet. Not Apollo's. Aphrodite's. As the flame's set to it to start it smouldering, he sets down another broken piece of the cone on the table. "If you'd like any incense to offer, you can have that," he offers quietly. "I regret it's so small."

"Good." Willem observes, simply and succintly. "Glad I've become a better gift-giver over the years, I think. It was always the little things I had to work on." As he spends the next few moments fumbling in the satchel, his face screws up in gentle annoyance. "I'm getting senile. This is terrible." He snorts, also gently and takes a step away to get a better look at what Roubani is doing, observing the process. "Ah. Aphrodite." he states, taking on the role of 'master of the obvious.' "It's all right. I had something else in mind. Maybe I can do it later."

"She's been unhappy as of late," Roubani murmurs, as to the goddess he's leaving sweet smells for. He sets his lighter down and cups his hands in the thick curls of smoke that rise, bringing them forward towards his face. "In ashiyoone nagzar beshe sard." He inhales a little of the smoke and lifts his face from his hands again, rubbing his palms together. That Willem's still digging about in his satchel then registers and he looks back up, head tilting slightly. "Have you lost something?"

"Just misplaced." Wil says in response swiftly and easily. His hand is drawn neatly from the container and falls down to rest comfortably at his side. "I'm still reorganizing from the berthings move, if you can believe that. I'm fairly sure I know what it is." Whatever 'it' is. Given the timing and place it's likely an offering of some kind. His smile is slight, and faint, but genuine enough. The pilot's head cranes again as he continues to focus on the altar. "I always found her a mystery." The tables are turned as he makes an inquiry of his own. "Do you worship her often? Or her husband the Smith? Or someone else?"

"My patron is Apollo," Roubani says, looking back at the altar and gently fanning the smoke towards Aphrodite's chiton-covered legs. "Aphrodite I tend to neglect unless need be," he goes to remark, drily. "Which I suppose is awful given that I don't treat most women that way."

Right on the heels of the very last comment Roubani makes, Wil reflexively coughs out a single-beat laugh and brings his hand up to his mouth to cover it. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean, I wasn't laughing at you. Just the delivery. I get it." Working backwards, he addresses the first statement. "Apollo, eh? That makes sense." He indicates this with a simple waggling of his finger. "Completely."

Roubani finds it somewhere to smile as Willem laughs. Maybe it's the solemnity of the place that keeps the expression minute. Or maybe it's just because he's, well, him. "Does it. I suppose that's good." He sets his left hand down, rolling his weight back so he can pull his feet under him and stand, unfolding to his elegant height. He's in no rush to start walking though, apparently standing just to shake out a foot that managed to fall asleep.

"Certain people just make sense after a while. Things click into place." Wil lets the grin linger along for a few moments further, shifting the satchel again over his shoulder. "Anyway. Maybe I shouldn't neglect her, either." This last part is tossed out there tenatively. "You have a good plan. I need to go find my offering, I think." This statement is a bit vague, as he looks at the now-standing man."

Roubani remembers to pocket the bit of incense that he'd left out from before, tucking it away. "I think it would be to all our benefits not to neglect her right now," he murmurs. Without explaining, he then nods, the movement ending with a motion of his chin towards the hatch. "Perhaps I'll see you here again soon." Rocking some test weight onto the pins and needles that is his right foot, he deems it ready for mule duty and starts for the aisle.

There's a quirk of an eyebrow but that's as far as Wil goes with trying to puzzle out this statement. "Likely. Likely." He repeats the word once, pensively as he starts to pull away from the altar himself. "Again? Well, I could see that happening." He sounds like he might even mean it, too. With that, he makes a break for the hatch down the aisle with his hands tucked behind hims back again. "Good luck, Poet. And have a good sleep. I hope the Gods hear you."

Roubani's own hands have gone into his pockets. His back to Willem, he pauses his steps at that last sentiment. It turns into a long pause, a pensive one. "You too." To just one or to all of Wil's hopes isn't very clear. But it's left at that, as a few moments later he's gone.


A'afiat: Bless you
Hargez namirad, anke delash zendeh shod be eshgh: Never dies that one, whose heart is alive with love
To mitooni delamo shad koni: You can make my heart happy
To mitooni ghamamo khak koni: You can bury my sorrow
Shab be kheyr: Good night
In ashiyoone nagzar beshe sard: Don't let this home get cold

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