Soul Searching
Soul Searching
Summary: A surprise meeting between Roubani and Kitty results in a discussion that could very easy change her life.
Date: PHD 144 (9/9/09)
Related Logs: None


The chapel is mostly empty save for one person, one who is lost in contemplation, lost in introspection. Kitty fled the library to come here, the need to be in a quiet place to think driving her here, a place she seldom comes to outside of the times she needs to quiet her mind. She sits not on a bench but rather on the floor, her back resting against one of the bulkheads, a book on the Twelve tucked close to her left hip.

There's no noisy hatch here, nothing to announce another person's presence like there is in the areas of the ship. The quiet is nearly as sacred as the 'altar' of statues. Roubani walks with conscious lightness of step, down the aisle with an unrushed gait towards the altar. Eyes down on his prayer beads, perhaps, or just something in his hands, he doesn't yet notice the woman tucked against the bulkhead. It's not where one normally looks.

The presence of another is noticed even though she is lost in thought and Kitty's quick to look around, trying to see who is here. It takes a moment and her raising up onto her knees a bit to be able to see around the ends of the benches closest to her but she eventually sees Roubani and she can't help but to smile as she watches. "Hello, Nadiv," she greets in an almost-whisper. "It's good to see you." The book is taken into hand and she stands up, hesitating before she starts to wind her way around to where he sits. "May I join you, please?"

Roubani stops where he is, having been headed for the altar. The voice nearly startled him. "Oh, Ajtai. Katherine." He adjusts his address after a moment, awkwardly. The hitch is short-lived though, and he softly clears his throat. "Of course you can. Were you…" He motions at the altar, vaguely. "…here to make your offering?"

Kitty can't help but to smile; so many people choose to call her by either her surname or callsign that Nadiv calling her by her first is a pleasant change. "Thank you." She eyes the alter as she seats herself to his left, her smile fading after a while as she regards the small idols that sit upon it, her brow knitting marginally as she takes those small figures in one by one. "You know, I don't know why I am here, really. Been…uhm…coming here off and on, doing a lot of thinking." The tome she has with her is sat on her lap and her fingers brush over the cover, the lettering that is stamped into the old leather traced over and over again.
"People tend to do that here," Roubani murmurs, sounding a little bit amused. He hasn't sat yet, and once she selects her spot he lingers on his feet for a good few moments before settling as well. In his left hand is half a stick of incense, unlit. "But they tend to make the mistake of believing the gods will whisper guidance to them."

Kitty shakes her head. "I stopped believing in things like that a long time ago," she confesses in a pained tone. "I haven't done more than blaspheme the name of the gods for six years. I still don't believe in their divine guidance but I…" The finger pauses, it's travel along the book ceased. "I find myself in need of something to have faith in." Roubani's watched then, Kitty curious as to what his reaction will be.

Hard to tell what his reaction is, really. Roubani settles back against the bench, crossing his legs. "And why is that?"

"I'm tired of feeling like I don't have direction in my life," Kitty starts to say, "And I also feel like I have a gap in me. Something's missing." Her left hand comes up and is placed over her heart to show Nadiv just where it is that she feels the empty place. "Do you think that it'd help," she asks timidly.

"No," Roubani replies, very gently. "I don't." He turns the incense stick between his fingers, glancing down at it. "Not directly, at least, but…that is a dangerous way to approach faith, and it is a way in which many are lulled into doing it. As though having faith were fundamentally tied to whether or not they receive a reward, as though the gods owe mortals something rather than the other way around. And when something bad happens, we blame the gods and turn away." He exhales quietly through his nose. "That isn't faith."

There's a wince, Kitty reacting as if Roubani's words sting which they do, in a way. "I don't think I feel like I'm owed something," she manages to get out after a bit of mulling it over. "Hell, I don't know what I want, anymore." Her lips press together and then are wetted, a sign of her nervousness. "Can faith be taught?"

Roubani turns his head, giving her a faint half-smile. "I think it can be taught about. But the feeling itself can't be instilled. It isn't chosen, it isn't decided. It's just /there/, if it's meant to be there. And yes, it can come and go." He looks back at the altar, mostly towards Apollo. "You contradict yourself, you know. You say you stopped believing in the gods. Yet you blaspheme their names as though something existed to blaspheme."

A soft exhale that's borderline chuckle is given, Kitty unable to escape the irony in that. "Yes, I guess I do contradict myself. You're very right in that, Poet. I never thought about that. All I knew was that I was so angry when my parents died and then the anger turned to a hatred when the nukes were dropped and I thought I lost Pandorian. I think part of me wanted to try to make the gods feel as alone as I did." The hand she's been holding to her chest falls limply back to her lap, her fingers now allowed to tap the cover of the book. "I guess one person turning their back on the gods isn't going to make a damn bit of difference to them."

"We've all been angry at the gods. So help us…so have they been angry at us," Roubani answers her quietly. "And if you think you can hold a long grudge, I suppose try being immortal." His pinky scratches along the underside of his left eyebrow. "There is true loss of faith in some of us. Real, shattering loss of connection to the gods altogether. And I believe some gods do lament that." Some, not others. "But I don't think you've turned your back, Katherine." His voice remains soft as ever.

Something startles her and she looks at Nadiv with wide eyes, the color from her face visibly draining from her face starting from her hair line down to well past the collar of her shirt. "Do you think that's why the Clyons did what they did, Poet? The gods were angry and decided to get revenge?" The book falls to the floor with a *thump* as she stands, the pages opening to a picture of several of the gods - Athena, Hera and Aphodite - as a result of the impact. She doesn't notice that however as she's looking right at the altar, her eyes filling with tears that she does nothing to cover up, the feel of them running down her cheeks a much needed salve, in a way. "Okay," she chokes out, "If I didn't turn my back on them then what did I do," the desperation for answers ringing in that query.

"I think the desire is always there to blame the gods for catastrophe. It would absolve us of our own responsibility for what's happened, and that is very tempting. But it isn't that easy," Roubani answers that first, with a slight shake of his head. Then to the last, "You got angry. We all do, just like I said. But here you are."

"Okay, I'll accept that. makes sense. After all, the gods didn't create those…monsters. Man did." Her body twists slightly, allowing for Kitty to look at him while they talk. "I am here, seeking." A light lift of a shoulder is accompanied by a smile, the latter something she hasn't really been able to do the entire time she's been here, it helping to lighten her features and take the tension out of her body. "I don't want to be angry anymore, Poet. I'm tired of being like that."

Roubani says quietly, "There will always be bad things. And there will always be good things. If it's only the bad things you attribute to the gods, then you will be angry at them forever. Faith and prayer doesn't stop all bad things from happening…but it gives us the courage to recognize what is still precious to us, and to realize that too comes from the gods. And it opens our hearts to be able to thank them for that."

Kitty nods. "You're right. I guess I just…just needed to be reminded of that. I am glad it was you who did so, Roubani. Thank you." The book is finally remembered and it is picked back up and closed, the images on the pages given a cursory glance before it is. "I still got a lot to think about but at least now I feel like I am pointed i the right direction."

"Faith isn't easy," Roubani unwinds the prayer beads around his wrist as she closes her book. "So don't worry that it should be. Or that it is for anyone else…it isn't. It demands a lot of us. That we go on. That we do our duty. That we endure." That last word get a particular lingering weight. "And all this without expectation. But there is a reward there, even if it's hard to come to terms with. Because faith - deep, unconditional faith - is a kind of freedom." He pauses, draping the beads over his fingers. "What are the gods to you, Katherine?"

"I can tell it isn't," Kitty says with a shake of her head. "If it was then you and I wouldn't be having this discussion, most likely." Her lower lip becomes trapped between her teeth and she reaches out carefully, making to brush her fingers over Nadiv's prayer beads, needing just a little bit of contact with the man. "You know, I don't know if I can answer that Poet. Not without more thinking on my part."

Roubani doesn't move as she touches him, going extremely still. "It's thinking worth doing," he tells her simply. "The gods themselves encourage us to question."

Kitty blinks and lifts her hand, Roubani having gone as motionless as he has prompting her to stop. "Sorry." She has difficulties looking him in the eye now and eventually gives up trying, the closest she can get to looking at him is the string of beads he holds. "I hope they won't grow tired of questions because I feel like I got a million of them."

"Just don't expect explicit answers," Roubani says. He slips the long, hand-carved loop off his wrist, offering them to her on his fingertips if she wants to inspect them. "That may be the hardest part sometimes. As used to being able to get things on demand as we are, without having to step back. The answers are there, it's just…sometimes hard to realize they /are/ there. If we just quiet down."

Her hand is slipped under the strand and it is then carefully lifted, Katherine acting as if she expects them to crumble into dust as she does or so it might appear with how she's treating them. "I think I've been hearing them a little bit. Just a whisper in the back of my head, for the lack of a better way to put it. It's like they have been trying to get my attention and remind me that they're still there." Her eyes return to his and she grins, clearly embarrassed. "Do you follow a particular god or do you worship them all?"

Roubani lets go of the beads. They of course don't crumble. "My patron is Apollo. I feel most connected to his way, but I believe all the gods influence us in different ways. And so we have a duty to recognize that. Who was your patron? If I may ask."

The beads are touched, ran between the thumb and forefinger of her left hand, each one felt several times while they're inspected, Kitty's expression softening, becoming dreamy. "I never really got that far, to be honest. I felt connected to them all but by the time I was really starting to get to the point where I started to give that thought we lost our parents." The prayer beads are handed back to him now, her inspection done. "They're beautiful, Poet. Thank you for letting me look at them."

Roubani opens his hand so she can drizzle the beads back into his palm. "They died before the attacks." The uptone at the end is subtle, making it half a question and half a guess.

Kitty places the beads within his upturned hand, the last few allowed to drop from the few inches that remain between his palm and her fingers. "Yes, they did. And I am glad for that because it means that they were…with the gods before…" The pain hits and she stops in mid-sentence, unable to go on.

"I'm sorry." Roubani's apology seems to be for her loss rather than one for having asked the question itself. "They would have had a lot to be proud of."

Kitty chuckles. "It's alright. There's no need to apologize. Everything happens for a reason, I guess." Nadiv's smiled at even as she shakes her head, his compliment making her blush. "Thank you. I'd like to think that's the case."

Roubani half-smiles back at her. It fades away again as he turns his eyes back to the altar, his attention skimming from statue to statue. "There are," he ventures quietly, "Many texts that suggest that above it all, above even the gods, there is fate. There was a Delphic Oracle who said once that no one, not even the god, can escape his appointed fate. That while the gods do direct and steer us and the world around us, there is something ultimate."

"Hearing that is comforting. Makes me feel a little less like some tiny little bit of dust where the larger picture goes." Her arms curl up about the book and then draw it closer to her, hugged just about. "I should…probably go and so some thinking, Roubani. I appreciate this. Everything, really. The talk and your friendship and…well, thanks."

"Yours as well," Roubani murmurs. Despite the low volume, the words sound sincere. "Get some rest. Gods be with you."

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