To Be Or Not To Be
To be or not to be
Summary: In the wake of Ajax's death, more minefields get discussed between Roubani and Cygnus.
Date: PHD 57
Related Logs: Related Logs None

The Chapel is a subdued place. The very air in the room seems to vibrate with heaviness. A dull light flickers through area, cast by the myriad of candles that have been lit both on and around the altar and along the walls as well. Thick incense hangs in the air, clearly one of the better ceremonial varieties. One befitting occasions of great weight and import. Cygnus is there, too, sitting on one of the benches in the front. The slumped posture, the bowed head, and the tension that seems to be threaded through his frame would suggest the man is not unaffected by the ship's current tragedy.

Dressed in crisp blues and his arm sling, Roubani slips into the chapel on quiet feet. It's hard to know what to expect given the circumstances - would the chapel be emptied out or would it be packed full? The young man's prepared for either, though seeing the quiet in here he seems to relax just a fraction. He has something in his hand, which he keeps in his palm as he starts for the altar silently.

Roubani's arrival doesn't register at first. Cygnus is far too lost in his prayers, or thoughts, or grief, or whatever it is exactly that's going on his head at the moment. If one were to look closer, they might note the slight palor of his skin, or the fact that his eyes appear reddened. One hand clutches a set of prayer beads so tightly that the blood has drained from the priest's knuckles, causing them to appear ghost white.

Roubani is careful to be quiet. Not that it's something difficult for him. Approaching the altar, he pauses to offer a silent prayer before kneeling down before the statue of Poseidon, sitting back on his heels. Whatever's in his hand is rested in his lap.

The movement nearby finally pulls Cygnus from his reverie and he glances over for a moment to spot Roubani. He's not surprised in the least to see the Ensign here. There appear to be quite a few more offerings to Poseidon today than the usual norm, but that's likely to be more than expected, considering. A moment later, he returns to his own prayers.

Roubani usually doesn't bother Poseidon, it's true. He is today, though, staying in place for quite a while. One might think he'd dozed off, but course that's not the case. He finally sets down what he was holding in front of the altar and is silent for a time more before he turns his head, having sensed a presence back there a while ago. His eyes go back to the statue then, even as he speaks. "Would you like to come and sit here with me, Lieutenant?"

A nod is Cygnus' first answer, and he rises to his feet moving over to sit near Roubani. There's silence for a long moment before Mac finally attempts to speak, "Thank you, Nadiv." The words might sound generic on the hearing, but the inflection there indicate layers in that simple statement. Thanks for the offer. Thanks for being here. Perhaps more than that, even. There's another pause before he ventures, "How are you?"

"I don't know. I haven't thought much about it," Roubani replies quietly. It may be a non-answer but it's not evasive. He just hasn't. He tucks his booted feet into a slightly more comfortable position under him. "I know this must be very upsetting for you."

A deep breath in is followed a slow exhalation of breath. It's the only way, really, that Cygnus is able to trust himself to speak without his voice cracking. "He was a good man." Which sounds like a non answer as well. Though, it's just a roundabout way towards a point, "He helped me just as much as you did, my friend. It's just… Surreal? How did this happen? It's…" No, perhaps Marius can't make much better sense than that at the moment.

"It was his choice," Roubani looks up towards Poseidon's carved trident. "And there is about as much use to ask "why" this choice than why any choice a man makes in his life. He isn't here to answer it, to be consoled or condemned."

There's certainly no condemnation in either Cygnus' voice or demeanor, just confusion. It's no surprise that once again, Roubani is speaking nothing but sense to him. That seems to be a recurring pattern. When his eyes track upwards to the icon of Poseidon all he can think to say is, "You will be missed, my Brother."

Roubani's eyes aren't red. If it's sadness he's feeling, it's well hidden. Or anger or pain or anything else. "I wonder if they will put him on the memorial."

"He should be there." It's said with enough assertion that it likely assures that Cygnus is going to see to that fact. He doesn't dare to venture out loud that he wonders just how many of them will end up on that memorial beside Ajax. Either by their own choice, or thanks to the Cylons.

Roubani makes a soft grunt in his throat. It's hard to tell if that was a sound of approval or not. He exhales quietly through his nose, glancing up at Poseidon again. "The gods made us in service to them. To turn one's back on them so…"

"We may have been made in service to Them, but we're all still human, in the end." Cygnus offers in reply. There had to be many factors at work in the choice that Ajax had made. While Mac may not entirely understand it, neither will he judge it one way or the other. "Our spirits may be strong, but they can, and do break."

"I don't know," Roubani replies, watching the statue. "Is that what it means to be human? To break? Should we all reject what we've been given and stop fighting?" The question is clearly rhetorical rather than seeking an answer. "I worry for him. I worry the gods will be angry."

Silence falls between them for a bit as Cygnus turns the words over in his mind. Clearly, serious consideration is being given to them. After a fashion he offers, "I think I prefer to think that the Gods would see the value in all of the good work the Padre has done in his life, and judge him upon that, and not solely on the manner of his death."

Roubani says, "One would pray." He rests his open hand on his leg just above the knee. "But in his death he assumed the role of the gods. I was taught that that is unforgiveable pride, sir. That our lives come with obligation to the gods, and to do something like this is…is circumventing duty. Like a deserted from the military. I am very worried for him." Repeating what he just said, but it seems to have a huge amount of weight with him.

"Who's to say that that's what he did, though?" The words coming from Cygnus are calm, and he shifts a bit to get a better look at his companion as he speaks, "Suicide is not counted as a sin by the Gods." Or so the teaching goes. "Ultimately we can never know Their true plan for each of us." How those words ring with truth for Mac at the moment. "The concern is understandable, but perhaps this has some purpose that we, being only the Gods servants, can't see, or know."

"It's what he did because that's what suicide is." Roubani answers. His voice remains soft as ever. "You can't tell me that you believe their purpose for him was to take his own life. That means he had no choice in the matter."

Cygnus shakes his head, "No, I don't think I do believe that." More minefields of faith to be negotiated, it would appear. "But I also don't believe that somehow he was deserting the Gods. I'm not sure entirely what I believe." A frown scrawls its away across his features. "There was likely a lot more going on with him than any of us realized." Which is one of the ways in which Mac feels he's failed his superior. Can't escape the feeling that somehow he should have seen this coming and been able to help avert it.

"And what does that mean?" Roubani asks, quietly. "No-one can know everything about each other. It's why we have an responsibility to ourselves as much as to any abord this ship, because otherwise we put the burden of our well-being onto everyone else."

"I wish I had answers," Cygnus admits truthfully, "right now though…" His brain is still trying to process the fact that Ajax is gone, let alone any of the ins and outs and whys and wherefors of it. Reaching up, he scrubs his hands over his face before returning his gaze for a moment to the altar. "All we can do is pray that he finds peace beyond this life."

"It's not your fault," Roubani says after a few moments, quite out of the blue. Or is it.

"Sometimes I think you know me far too well, Nadiv," There's definite surprise in Marius' voice now. Roubani has all too clearly read his mind. Again. "There's a lot of should of, could of, would haves," He states simply enough. "It's not about me, though. I have to focus on the flock now. At least until word comes down the chain of command that says any different. I'm their priest, and I'll serve the will of the Gods, and the people of this ship to the best of my abilities."

Roubani watches Poseidon's feet as Cygnus talks. They might have sandals on them. Hard to tell under the carved robe. "Should you need anything, I will be here. Clean the chapel, or…whatever may help, sir."

"Thank you," Again there are layers to the words, giving them far more depth than the most obvious meaning. Finally, the slightest of smiles tugs at Mac's lips and he shoots a glance in Roubani's direction, "What this ship may need more than anything else right now, Mr. Roubani, is your prayers," clearly a moment of levity, "If the Kharon ends up with me as her priest."

There is sort of an effort to smile from Roubani, more for Cygnus' sake than anything else. He's quiet, looking at the man's face for a while, then makes a slightly uncomfortable shift on his folded feet. Fidget, fidget. "May I ask you something?"

No doubt they're about to move into yet another one of Roubani's well constructed conversational minefields. After all, no one constructs them better than the Ensign. Cygnus withdraws his focus from the altar to settle it once again on his companion, "Of course."

Fidget. "Ah." Roubani clears his throat quietly. And there hangs silence like a tapestry for a while before he says, tinged with uncertainty, "Is it a punishment? I mean…you. How you are."

The conversation just took a left turn while Cygnus was still heading straight on. Pardon any pun. Eyes blink a few times before he cocks his head in Roubani's direction before it dawns on him exactly what he thinks the other man is asking. Even then, he still needs to be sure, "What do you mean, Nadiv?" There's a somewhat lame little pause as he searches for the right words, "Are you talking about my preferences?"

"Is that what you call it?" Roubani murmurs. "I suppose, if…" Bah. "Yes, sir." He picks at his trouser knee.

Cygnus takes a minute or two to put some thought into how he wants to answer that question. There's so many schools of thought on the topic, after all. "I'm sure that some would contend that." Perhaps even Roubani's own people, more specifically. "I don't know if I can see it that way though." Here, he turns a bit more so he can make eye contact with the Ensign as he speaks. "I mean, I've been this way as far back as I can remember. It's not something that I just woke up and chose to be one day as some act of rebellion or something. It just… is. If I was born this way, it would be difficult for it to be a punishment, I'd think. I mean, what sin could an unborn child commit that would require some kind of punishment for the Gods?" Here, the words pause for a moment, "Love is… Love. At least in my eyes anyway, and there's little enough of if it to go around whether you're heterosexual or homosexual. What about you, Nadiv, do you think it's some kind of punishment?"

Roubani keeps his eyes down, avoiding Cygnus'. Much like he avoids the question. "But you didn't know when you were a baby, did you? Nobody thinks about that sort of thing when they're so young. It comes later…after plenty of time. For things."

"You didn't answer the question," Cygnus points out before continuing, "No perhaps I didn't know that when I was baby, so to speak, but I've known ever since I've had those sort of… thoughts. I guess you could say since my hormones kicked in. It doesn't take long to figure out you're wired differently when all the boys around you are going on and on about girls, and that's the last thing on your mind."

"It doesn't matter what I think." Roubani keeps his focus on his knees. "There's right and there's wrong, and I just want to understand."

A soft little sound of affirmation rattles around in the back of Marius' throat. "Who defines what is right and wrong though? There's no direct Scriptoral prohibition. Beliefs and ideas vary from sect to sect." The discussion isn't heated, merely calm and matter of fact, "There are some sects within the believers of Enyalios that punish anyone caught having sex, regardless of what genders are involved. In my personal belief? What consenting adults do is their business."

"I suppose," Roubani says quietly, pragmatically, "That the chaplain wouldn't have ordained someone with penance yet to do. But that's always what I was taught, and it's…" He struggles for words. "How can it be wrong now?"

"In what way do you mean?" Because Roubani's words are leaving Cygnus a bit lost in translation as to what exactly he means, and he'd rather be clear on exactly what's being asked.

Roubanis lips thin into a frown towards Poseidon's feet. "We were always told, all the time," he says, voice never raising beyond the two of them. "That such a thing was a mark that someone had dishonoured Aphrodite and her rituals, the natural way of things. And so as punishment for such they themselves would be made unnatural, and left to be ultimately unfulfilled in the true human way. Until proper penance was done."

A low sigh rolls out of Cygnus, because how does one make argument against something such as that? "Clearly this isn't the first time you've questioned that system of belief though," He begins, most likely speaking to the point of the Sagittaron norm of eschewing military service. "I will admit, I sometimes wonder where such beliefs get started, really. Any beliefs really, that are prejudicial of other groups that aren't like your own. Which applies to far more than sexual preference. It seems like so many of them are based on simple fear and xenophobia. They are not us. They do not think or do as we do, therefore they are in some way at fault."

As to Cygnus' first observation, Roubani just mumbles tiredly, "You have no idea." As to the rest, he rubs his fingers at the corner of his left eye. "Why would you call it 'preference', then? Does that not imply some level of choice?"

"I suppose it does at that," Cygnus admits. "To be more succinct perhaps I should have used the term orientation. Because it really isn't about a choice. If it were, things would be a lot easier for me," Here he has to chuckle ruefully. "Either way, I'm wired the way I am, and no amount of wishing or praying is likely to make a difference in that. I can either fight it or accept it."

Roubani makes an idle sound in his throat just to show he heard. It would be rude not to, after all. But he doesn't say anything, now just studying the bottom of the ocean god's robes.

Cygnus lets the silence hang between them for awhile before he speaks again, "Do you ask all of this because you feel it somehow disqualifies me to be a priest here on the Kharon?" There's a long, pregnant pause, "Or are you asking for a far more… personal reason, Nadiv?"

Those robes are quite interesting, or so they would seem from how focused Roubani is on them. Stillness, though, does not equal calm. He seems tense all through his back and shoulders. "I trust the chaplain made the right decision in the eyes of the gods." It's kind of mumbled but at least sincere. He puts his hand down on the ground and pulls his feet up under him, starting to stand.

The words surprise, and yet they don't at the same time. They do cause Cygnus to tilt his head in Roubani's direction before loosing his question in a quite voice, "If you truly believe all of that," Which he isn't clear on whether Nadiv does or doesn't, "Why would you be my friend?" It's not defensiveness or accusation, merely curiousity.

"I don't see how they're related," Roubani says as he draws up to his feet, looking down at Cygnus. "If someone has an issue with the gods, it's between them. If someone hurts me or mine…then it's between us."

"I suppose it doesn't matter," Cygnus replies as he works his way to his feet as well, "Because either way, I'm grateful to have it, Nadiv." Whether he's approved of as a priest or not, will ultimately likely come down to Command's decision in the end.

"More things don't matter than we think, in the end," Roubani muses under his breath. His voice sounds exhausted, even though all they've been doing is talking. He still isn't quite looking at Cygnus, keeping his focus on the rows of statues. "Do you know when the chaplain's funeral service will be?"

Mac has to wonder at the aversion, but he lets it pass for now. This doesn't seem like the time to question Roubani further, since he suspects any attempt to do so will simply chase the Ensign right out of the hatch. "I haven't been notified of the exact time yet by the powers that be. Or even if I'll be performing it." For now, Cygnus is merely operating on assumption. It's not as though there seems to be a plethora of priests around to fill the bill. "I will let you know as soon as I've been notified though."

"Thank you," Roubani replies quietly. He rolls his aching right shoulder, finally looking at Cygnus' face now. "Is there anything you need?"

Cygnus shakes his head at that, "No, not right now, thank you. I appreciate the offer though. I'm just trying to… make absolutely certain each ritual is properly observed." As is more than fitting for the Kharon's former priest.

Roubani seems to approve of this, nodding faintly. "Alright." He glances at the hatch, then back at Cygnus as he starts to turn for the aisle. "I ought to go, sir. I have duty in a few minutes."

There's a nod of understanding before Cygnus murmurs out, "The Gods go with you, Nadiv." There are more prayers to be said, offers to be attended, and the evening service to attend to to account for the evening.

Roubani again nods, a bit absently, and fiddles with the top of his uniform until it's buttoned properly. Then he slips out the hatch.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License