Post Hoc
Post Hoc
Summary: Martin takes some tentative steps into faith in the Chapel, with Roubani and Grayson there to help. Roubani asks Grayson for a favor.
Date: PHD 223 (28 November)
Related Logs: Reference to Numbers Game

Kharon - Chapel

The Chapel was a damn busy place in the day or so after the attacks stopped, as the more part-time religious swarmed with their take-a-chance prayers of thanks. Or rememberance. Or whatever. By now, though, the flood has stopped and the usual quiet has settled over the place again.

There's someone with dark hair sitting up at the front, past all the benches and on the floor itself close to the altar. There's a particular smell in here, bay leaves for those that can recognize that scent.

Probably a little louder than the silence the chapel demands, the hatch opens and the sound of someone struggling to get inside is obvious. Holding the door open with his shoulder, Martin collects his crutches and hops across the well to land his booted foot with a soft thud on the floor. Cringing, he makes a few more small hops inside and then pulls the hatch door shut. Sliding the crutches back under his arms, he makes his way down the center aisle towards the front pew, eyeing the altar as he goes.

"…part of this terrestrial ball abundant, blessed; and thy…" That's definitely the back of Roubani's head, and that was his voice until it trailed off. He scratches his thumb into the skin under his eye and holds still for a while as the noise goes on behind him, only moving once it starts getting close. Like someone not quite sure what to expect, his chin turns hesitantly until he can see over his shoulder towards the pew.

Coming to the edge of the pew, Dash makes eye contact with Poet and nods softly. Cringing again apologetically, he leans against the pew and props his crutches into place. One hand slides down into his pocket and pulls out a small bag. Unwrapping it, it reveals itself to be a small collection of photograps and a small vial of something capped with a cork. Taking a deep breath, he bows his head towards the altar before hopping forwards in preparation to make an offering.

Roubani's eyes stay on Martin for a time, then they turn back to the altar. There's a small brass dish in front of his knees and that's what's emitting the smell - two smouldering bay leaves. He fans them carefully with one hand, making orange briefly flare like a cigarette catching a gasp of air, and a few wisps of smoke wind around the feet of the statue of Apollo. "Evening, Dash."

Stretching his bad leg out to the side, Martin's fingers press against the floor as he fights to get comfortable on his one good, bent knee. "Evening." He replies, setting the pictures onto one of the burner plates. The pictures already smell as if they've been 'anointed' in a little bit of lighter fluid, ready to burn. "I…didn't interrupt you did I?" Martin asks softly, pulling out a pair of prayer beads that seem nearly brand new.

"No." The single word sounds like it might've been accompanied by a hint of a smile, but Roubani's face is turned down. "The house of the gods doesn't belong to one man." His eyes flicker to Martin's hands, the beads and the pictures both, and then back to the dish as he slowly fans it again.

Martin nods, turning his gaze towards the statue of Hera above him. Furrowing his brow, he takes a few moments to reflect before lowering his gaze back to Poet. "There's no…rule on proper offerings is there?" Martin asks softly, sparing a gaze back to the motherly figure above him. "I mean…if I state my reasons and really, truly mean best when it's a sacrifice…I won't offend the gods, will I?" Martin frowns softly. "I've…not exactly been frequent."

Roubani is quiet for a time, instead of giving an answer. He sits back on his heels, booted feet rolled to the sides so he's seated on his insoles. "You are a devotee of Hera?" His voice, soft by nature, is even moreso in this place.

"I'm not a devotee of any one of the gods, but my mother was." Martin replies softly. A small smile forms at the corner of his mouth. "She was a schoolteacher, you would have liked her." He adds, pausing for a moment to collect his thoughts. "I want to do right, and I want to…devote myself to being better than I am. I've liked this focused path I've set myself on and I want to let it be known to them."

Roubani's eyes watch Apollo's feet, or at least the space somewhere near them. After Dash talks they lift, looking up the height of the statue. Then towards the other pilot. "Why?" That question could have quite a bit of subtext, but it doesn't seem to. "Why now."

Martin remains quiet for nearly a whole minute as his eyes focus down upon Hera's feet, avoiding both of their gazes while he chooses his answer. "I realized not too long ago that I am a better friend, a better person, a better brother when I don't hope to smoothe over what's really going on in life with being a fool." Martin replies quietly. "I can't put it to words. I know I'm not being selfish, coming here today. So many have died and I've ignored all of it to focus on the war or myself or my own…" Normally he would say 'bullshit'. "…ego. Now I just feel so small and quieted, and never once did I give thanks. Going forward, I want to devote myself to do this right."

"And," Roubani says quietly, once Martin's finished his explanation, "You want the gods to know." There might be a question buried in there somewhere, though it's anyone's guess what, exactly, it is.

"Yeah. I do." Martin replies with confidence. "I know some people would say that some people make selfish offerings. I know that's not why I'm here." Martin says, speaking a little to himself as well as Poet it seems. "I have people to pray for, things that I want to declare, and I want to open this door."

"Dash." The younger pilot's quiet voice isn't critical. "In that whole answer…you've said 'I' six times, and 'the gods' none." Roubani looks back at the other and his lips twitch, just a little. "Try it again."

Martin looks to Roubani, and the recognition of the man's point comes clear to him. Instead of pleading his case, however, Martin opts to go a little deeper into his explanation. This isn't a test to Martin, and he doesn't cast a failing grade of a look across his features. "I've been selfish." Martin replies, gazing up at the sculpted face of Hera. "The gods spared my sister and kept us together, they've given me love, pain, and understanding. I've given so little in return. Not even, at times, my acknowledgement. My mother used to tell me that the gods work sometimes quietly. Did you know that it was a supposed error in realizing that Jupiter and I were related Blacks that I was assigned here?" Martin shakes his head from side to side. "I've used 'I' alot, I know…but it's not what I'm feeling."

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

Two figures are up directly in front of the altar, sitting on the floor rather than the benches. Roubani, with a brass dish and two smouldering bay leaves, in front of Hera. And Martin, with a pair of crutches leaned nearby and some photographs, in front of Hera. "I understand. We are human, we are made of our own experience." Roubani looks back down at the burning leaves. "That's a gift too. 'I'. Just to be able to say two words: 'I am'." His voice quietly stresses those, as if they deserved their own reverence. "Your mother was right. And too often we only thank them when we realise something has happened in our favour."

Martin nods his head softly, turning his gaze back to the statue before him. "…and today that ends." Martin says, bringing his true purpose for being in the chapel to a point. Closing his eyes, he takes in a slow breath and releases it. Reaching for a small incense lighting stick, he opens his eyes again and looks to Poet. "…are there right words to say, or do the gods prefer our own at times like these?"

Grayson enters the Chapel of CEC Kharon. For the past 250+ days, Micah Grayson has been a resident of the CEC Kharon. It was rumored that he had come aboard on a return trip to Caprica where he was set to resign his commission as an officer in the Colonial Fleet, where he would then remain active in the Priesthood and take an appointment to a notable temple in one of the colony's major cities. However, with the Cylon attack, that was impossible. He has stayed aboard ever since, though technically already 'resigned', he has stayed out of the way and kept to himself for most of the journey. His appearance this evening, especially in the Chapel as he holds the rank of Priest in the religious order, is not all that uncommon. However, his attire is most surprising. Instead of civilian attire or the robes of a cleric, Grayson is adorned once again in the uniform of an officer.

"I've never really thought the gods cared what we say," Roubani murmurs, raising an eyebrow slightly at his incense dish. "Words are the emptiest of anything humans have to offer. I would be glad to teach you part of one of Hera's hymns that I remember, if you like. Though I wouldn't suppose she would take it personally if you spoke your own way." His chin lifts a little at the sound of someone else's footsteps.

Looking over Roubani's shoulder, Martin's eyes settle onto the Priest and gaze over his rank insignia's. A newcomer to the chapel, and rarely one seen except for during one of the recent weddings, Martin is a stranger to the Priest. If Grayson knows who Martin is, it's apparent by the look on Martin's face that he isn't familiar with the man. Lighting the stick, he nods softly and turns his gaze back towards Hera. His words are quiet and whispered. "Cleansing." Martin says carefully to her face. "Their memories I've honored on the memorial wall, but these images have been kept private. My offering is to burn away from myself a place that is selfish, to better honor my love and my family." Martin says, pressing the flame to the pictures. The flammable ambrosia that they've been soaked in ignores and starts to burn. On the plate are a series of photographs. All of them are young women making lewd faces towards the camera, exposing tempting skin.

Grayson approaches the portion of the room currently occupied. He casually links his hands together behind his back. "Gentlemen," he says in his soft Australian accent, "I hope I'm not interrupting." The smile he extends his tender and warm. "I just needed to stop by for a moment to collect a couple of books I left behind."

Nodding softly as he speaks at Grayson's words, Martin doesn't let the man's presence interrupt his offering. Concentration is needed. Lowering his voice to mere whispered breaths over his lips, he falls into a quiet explanation to the goddess before him. His words are simple and spoken plainly. As the torrid photographs burn, he admits to the goddess of his faults, and pledges his mission to show fidelity to those that he loves. His words trail off as he falls into a meditation, convening quietly with the goddess of his mother and his grandmother, continuing to ask her to watch over his family, his love, and his sister.

Roubani hums something absently under his breath as Martin talks and burns. A few swatches of the most well-known hymn to Hera, which he lets trail off mid-cadence near the end. His dark eyes lift to the priest then, once Martin's busied himself in meditation. "It's alright. Are you well?"

Grayson folds his hands together before himself as he observes the ritualistic offering and hymn. "You honor the gods with your offerings," he observes quietly. "Quite well, Lieutenant. And yourself?"

"Fine. Thank you." Roubani clears his throat softly. In his own incense dish, sitting in front of Apollo, are bay leaves that are nearly burnt to ash by now. The scent of them still lightly tinges the air. "I…apologise, I have seen you before but I don't recall your name."

Grayson dips his head slightly in greeting. "Micah Grayson," the man replies, his genuine smile returning once again. "I've been on an, uh, 'extended leave of absence' of sorts. I was due to resign my commission, but I have decided to stay aboard and retain my commission for the time being since there seems to be… very little choice as to the contrary. Now that formality is behind, I'm once again beginning formal duties as a ship's chaplain."

Roubani's dark eyes are hard to read. He regards Grayson in a way that's not unkind but somewhat guarded, finally nodding. "I am glad the gods brought your path back to us. Are you dedicated to a certain deity?"

Grayson is absently glancing among all the statues as the question is asking, and then he turns his attention back to the man. As though caught off guard, he reacts with a some what surprised shrug. "Me? Certainly, however, I try to keep my personal loyalties some what guarded so as not to influence those aboard ship." He smiles softly. "How about you?"

"Apollo," Roubani replies. Apparently he has no such qualms. "Though I know we must do our duty in prayer to all the gods in time." He glances down at his hands, winding a finger through the loop of prayer beads around his wrist. They're wooden, and look quite old. "To whom are you dedicated, Brother?"

Grayson tilts his head slightly and smiles gently. "I suppose you could say that I am dedicated to several. I believe that the diversity of the gods are important and that, without them all, we would miss something significant in our existance." He chuckles softly as she reaches for some small texts, turning to hold them at his side.

Roubani nods, the barest movement of his head. He draws in a breath through his nose, studying the chaplain carefully. "Are you familiar with the rites of Dionysus, by chance?"

Grayson nods his head as he turns back towards the crowd. "I… am," Grayson replies with a slightly quirked eyebrow. "It refers to violent animal sacrifice, does it not?"

Roubani's lips twitch. "The sacrifice of the bull and the goat?" Looking back at up the statue of the discussed god, he hesitates before quoting under his breath. "You take raw flesh, you have feasts, wrapt in foliage, decked with grape clusters…" A quiet exhale. "I was never quite read up on Bacchic Rituals…call it a lack of enthusiasm." He allows himself a very faint smirk at the pun, then rolls his beads around his fingers again. "I ask because there is someone who needs a priest. One who can counsel a follower of Dionysius."

Grayson tilts his head to the side slightly and frowns. "I suppose I could assist," the man replies, "though I would have to … read up on the particularities myself." There is a pause as he clears his throat as he offers a mere blink.

"Thank you." Roubani picks up the brass dish at his knees and runs his fingers through the sweet-smelling ash. "If you would I would be grateful. And I will have them contact you." Getting up onto his knees, he runs his ash-coated fingers along the bottom of Apollo's ankle, and over the stone feet.

Grayson closes his eyes slightly, something of a reflex action. Then, his eyes gently part and open once more. "I am here to be at your service. Let me know how I can be of assistance to your friend - and to you, if you should need my services." He smiles softly.

Roubani sets both hands against Apollo's feet, his eyes watching the space in front of his crossed thumbs. "Hear me, blest power, and in these rites rejoice, and save thy mystics with a suppliant voice." Drawing his hands off the statue, he closes his eyes and rubs his ash-gray fingers lightly over the lids, leaving a streak behind on his dusky skin. Then he starts to stand, nodding to the priest as he unfolds slightly cramped knees. "I greatly appreciate that, Brother."

Grayson dips his head in deference to the man. "I am here to serve," he says. "And, please, let the others whom you know that I am available even if I have not yet met them." There is a slight pause. "I do regret my temporary 'absence' or inavailability; however, I think it was an important time for me as I considered my future in light of the… circumstances." A warm smile.

Roubani looks from one of the chaplain's eyes to the other and back, and then nods. "I am neither your judge nor your jury," he says, talking softly as ever. "Whatever you have found, I'm glad it was what it was." He pushes the beads up under the wrist of his blue jacket. "Please, I don't wish to hold you. I have CAP shortly myself."

Grayson smiles softly to the man and then begins to turn. He pauses for a moment, staring at the man genuinely for just a moment. "It has been such a pleasure to meet both you and your friend. I hope you know that the temple is always open to you at any time, day or night." A beat. "Thank you for your time, and may your patrol be safe."

"Thank you." Roubani still hasn't smiled, his posture somewhat reserved with the hands folded behind him. "Gods bless, Brother." He inclines his head a few degrees and then turns for the door, boots making muted sounds against the hard floor until he's out the hatch.

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