AWD #102: Glorious Purpose
Glorious Purpose
Summary: Kelsey has a crisis of faith she didn't know she had in the first place.
Date: 18/04/2013
Related Logs: None
Kelsey Iphigenia 
The chapel is one of the few quiet places to be found on a battlestar. Even rarer still, it's one of the few places that doesn't look like it's part of a battlestar. Heavy blue curtains have been hung from the walls, obscuring the bulkheads. The lights are kept low, adding a certain mystery and gravitas to the space. The central altar is made of a pale grey wood, as are the several rows of pews which extend from it. Laid against the far right wall is a long, low table with several rows of simple white votive candles to be used as vigil lights. Centered among them is a brass plate for burnt offerings from supplicants. Several cushions rest on the floor before the table, where the faithful may kneel to offer their prayers to the Lords and Ladies of Kobol. On the left wall are several compartments which have been sectioned off for private use.
AWD #102

Kelsey has, not once, been down here to the chapel. She's walked by it several times but not even once so much as glanced inside. So it might be a little odd to see her sitting in a pew in her blues, waaaay off to the side. She sits like a spectator, just watching the room like it might eventually talk to her. Its a little awkward, but she doesn't look like she's about to rabbit out of the room at any moment. Even as people come to pray and leave, she just watches and tries to listen. No comments, no jokes, she seems to take it seriously.

Gen moves about her day, occasionally guiding prayers, or accepting sacrifices. Signing documents. Talking with people. Counseling. A lot of it is grief counseling, of late. But as the time passes, Kelsey will find that the chaplain has taken a seat next to her, surprisingly inobtrusive in doing so.

Kelsey looks over with a bit of a quick smile. Its the same sort of quasi-friendly smile most first timers flash when they aren't sure about what to expect. "Hello, sir," she greets quietly. The Ensign wets her lips. "How are you?" Its as easy an icebreaker as she can make. The young gal glances over and looks back to the statues and alter while she waits for an answer.

"I'm well." says the chaplain, "But how are you, Ensign? Very belated congratulations by the way. Both for your promotion as well as your reunion with your child." There's a pause as Gen adds, "You know, many people come in here and find contentment in silence. But I've learned over the years that some people come in here hoping to talk…or just be heard. You seem to have that look…but if I'm wrong, you have my apologies for disturbing you."

Kelsey looks over and gives a modest smile. "Thanks. I just got lucky with the opportunity for the promotion. My daughter is another matter, but thank you as well." Given her smile, its not a dark matter, either. "Silence has its place, but I mostly came down here for some…" She sighs, tilting her head. "I guess 'answers' would be a little too presumptuous. I think I'm mostly looking for something in general. Maybe a place? A new path? A direction? Silence probably won't do me much good," she whispers with some entertainment.

"This is both a very good and very frustrating place to find answers." Gen provides with a faint smile. "Are there any I can try to answer for you?" she asks. "Do note the word 'try', however."

"Oh, I can imagine. Trying to get answers from Gods?" Kelsey gives a bemused smile. "I don't know. I'm not really down here for questions so much as I am looking to talk to someone about what's happened. I'm not talking about the war or even the Cylons we have aboard. Just… us." She takes a breath, crossing her legs. "I asked the Colonel about this. Him and I talk lots. But he didn't really have answers. So I thought I would come see you because it was your voice I heard say it. Why do you think we are chosen, sir?"

"I'm afraid that I won't be anymore helpful than the Colonel." says Gen with some regret. "I don't know. I could try expounding on it, but in the end, I'm as clueless as you are."

"Oh." Kelsey blinks and looks down, brow furrowing. She chews on her bottom lip for a second, thinking on it. "I guess that's okay." The gal lets off a long sigh, but continues looking down. "I think we are too, sir. I think I'm having my head pat by the Gods and gestured this direction so I thought I'd come down and try talking about being chosen and who we are and what we are. I'm confused on the whole matter but if the Gods are real and these are just gentle hints, though maybe I should take the hint and come visit. maybe seek out one in particular."

"Now, I can tell you this much - I believe, I know, in my heart, that the Gods are real. I've seen them in vision, I've felt their touch, and when I've demanded too much, I've been given evidence of their displeasure." Iphigenia is dead serious. No joking.

Kelsey listens to this, nodding slowly. Her eyes are still down, though. "I would sort of expect you to have a more firm belief than most, though. Not that I consider that, like, a bad thing." She looks back finally. "Do you think the Gods are here with us? Like we were brought here? Or maybe like we might have been…I dunno. My brain is still trying to chew over this."

"I saw them on Piraeus." Iphigenia says without any trace of hesitancy. "If they're willing to grant me vision, if they're going to grace me with their presence while standing on the dirt of a planet not of Kobol's origin, then I'd say yes, they are very real."

"You saw them here? On Piraeus?" Kelsey cockeyes for a moment, not quite sure what to make of that. Her gaze turns away and back towards the altar. She's left dumbstruck for several long seconds, her eyes just far away. "Sir, I got my daughter back. I didn't know who to pray to, so I just begged in general. Every night. I never missed a night, even when I'd been shot down on Picon. All I wanted to do was tell her that her mommy loves her just one last time. That was all." She looks down. "Instead I got her back. And I got my gramma back, too. Lotsa people got their families back. I'm not the most educated person on the ship, but that seems like awful long odds, yanno? For all the dead people, we got so many of our loved ones back. It kinda freaks me out. I never really bought into coincidences. I can't explain it, though, not in my own head. These people survived Warday. Before anyone could have known that our ship was going to turn and fight, these people managed to live. I don't know how to fix that in my soul, yanno? It freaks me out. Sorta like hearing that people have seen the Gods here on P."

"Before you worry about fixing it, you may wish to ask yourself if anything is truly broken." Gen suggests. "But I can understand that it's hard to accept the weight of what feels like an ineffable plan. And the more one tries to deny it, the more the odds are defeated, the harder it is to accept. Faith has been a part of my life for so long that it's…less difficult for me, perhaps. But for others, I can imagine it's overwhelming."

"That's a good point." Is anything broken? Kelsey chews on that while Iphi says the rest, letting it wash over her. In the end, a nod, and she looks back, "It is really overwhelming, sir. I'm extremely grateful. But at the same time, I don't know if that feels right." She swallows, eyes turning down once more. "I wouldn't be on this ship if I hadn't had my daughter, sir. She literally saved my life just by existing. I was sixteen, pregnant, scared out of my mind, and every time I thought about abandoning the pregnancy, something would happen to give me faith that keeping her was the right choice. I could never explain it. I still can't. I look at the direction my life has taken and I seriously question whether or not I was even making these choices. If I hadn't had her, I'd be on Libran right now. If I wasn't dead, I'd be living in some medieval purgatory with no way to change or effect change. But here we are. All of us. I question whether or not everyone had particular points that brought them here. Single things that led to their placement on the ship."

"It would be a great and terrible thing. Some people, like you, have paid heavy prices in their journeys here." Iphigenia's voice grows thoughtful as she consider that. "And if it were true, and if it were known? I think…things would fall apart. Completely. Even if it meant, in some way, that we are privileged." She shifts in her seat to face Kelsey more fully. "What would you do? If you had what you thought was evidence of all you thought was possible was truth, what would your next step be?'

Kelsey smiles finally, eyes lifting to the 'sky'. "I would not say that my journey here has been so terrible. Hard? Definitely. Harder than most? Possibly. But my family, my girl… I knew why I was getting up every day. Why I was going to work. I was working for my daughter's future, to make her life better than my own. That made things easier. That natural magic makes a lot of things easier." She settles back in the seat and looks over to Iphi as she turns. "If I had evidence? Gosh, I have no idea. Everything I thought was possible? If it were positive, I'd probably try and hug it. Nurture it. Help people to try and understand it. I can imagine a lot of possibilities, though. I have a lot of expectations, too. Why? Do you have evidence of the Gods being real…?" Suddenly, this has her full attention.

"The problem with reality is that it's almost entirely subjective." Iphigenia says. "I saw the Gods on Piraeus. Ares showed me what may yet be in the reflection of the fire in his shield, and Aphrodite touched me. She touched me. But that isn't hard evidence, is it?" She smiles and there's a bit of regret in it.

Kelsey just stares at Iphigenia. "What did you see?" she asks in a whisper. Yeah, there's a little bit of fear there. People are talking to the Gods. She has her own religious problems in her mind to resolve.

"They gathered near a campfire, not one hundred feet from the temple. Cooper Knox and Ceres Garrido were with me. They came, all but Zeus and Hera, though there was one I could not see." Iphigenia has been asked this many times, and suspects she will be asked many times more. "They were shining and beautiful and larger than life. Ares set his shield near the flames, and he showed me a vision, and Aphrodite touched my cheek and whispered to me." Gen speaks quietly. Her own relationship status with the gods sometimes defaults to 'It's Complicated'.

Kelsey sighs. Ceres. "I went to see her before she was transferred. Before she was killed." Its whispered, eyes dropping again. "We talked about who we were, what was possible. I asked her about children and whether or not she wanted any. She got mad, banged on the bars, told me she hated what she was. She was crying. The MPs dragged me out. I wish I could've known her better. I guess the Gods wanted to, also." While she listens to the descriptions of the Gods, Kelsey just sits in silence, staring at her leg. "You're quite blessed. To have a God touch your face and speak to you. To be shown things. Is it maddening like some people write?"

"One's man blessing is another man's curse." Iphigenia says. "What Ares showed me was not…kind. But then one does not expect kindness from the god of war. But he showed me something that was necessary for me to know. And Aphrodite…my relationship with her is complex. I did not want her to look upon me, at the time. I was afraid of her, even when she looked on me with great love. I wouldn't call it maddening. It was…being filled. With glorious purpose. Glorious, burdensome, beautiful, terrible, exhilirating purpose. All at once."

"Yeah, no kidding." Kelsey wets her lips. "Ares and Aphrodite. I guess thats an interesting mix, though the way you are talking it sounds like there were a lot more." She sits quietly for several moments, almost like a stone. "That sounds terrifying, to be honest. I'm not sure I could deal with a God or Goddess touching my face. Or me at all. Or showing up while I was sitting around a campfire. Did they look angry? I mean, you said Aphrodite had love in her eyes. What about the rest? Do you think they might be displeased?"

"They were all there, except Hera and Zeus." Iphigenia repeats. "Ares and Aphrodite are the ones who directly interacted with me. Apollo and Artemis…they looked to Cooper and Ceres." There's a pause. "They looked upon Ceres and Knox, and accepted their presence. They showed no displeasure. They even seemed to favor them. But the other gods were not so easily read, and as I said, one lurked in the shadows."

That has Kelsey sit up a little straighter. "They did not object to the Cylons?" She stares. "Ho- what? How is that possible- Unless they." The Ensign stops and looks horribly disturbed for a moment. "Oh my Gods," she whispers, dipping her head slowly forward. "Oh Gods, that poor woman." Hands clasped around her nose and mouth, she leans forward with her elbows on a knee. There's mild horror in her eyes. Eventually she closes them and sighs. "I should probably find a God or something to pray to. I have no idea how this process works. I was never even dedicated. Uhg." Shoulders sag.

"They have their own faith. Their own religion. Ceres in particular was quite dedicated to it." Iphigenia says quietly. "They're monotheists, which I admit, is hard for me to reconcile." She leaves it at that. "No one says you can't pray to them all. There's a reason our prayers traditionally begin with Lords of Kobol, hear my prayer." she says gently. "Looking upon a god as a patron takes time, and experience. Was your daughter dedicated, as an infant?"

"Monotheists? How freaking bizarre." That sits even less well and she wrings her hands a moment, making a face like she'd smelled something unsavory. The idea to praying to them all, though, doesn't seem to sit the same way, either. "No, no I didn't dedicate my daughter. I followed my parents on that. If she wants to do it later in her life, that should be her decision. I think I'm coming to that point, though. I went through life long enough just giving lipservice. I think its time I start giving more than just passing thought to it. Worst case, it doesnt help but I have something else in my life."

"Just remember, all of the Lords of Kobol serve as conduits to All Mighty Zeus. Try talking to others in the Wing about who they worship and why. It might help." She looks thoughtful. "One of the viper pilots went to a boarding school run by Brothers of Ares, but he himself has started to read scripture of Aurora, who heralds the dawn, and is an opener of new paths."

Kelsey nods slowly. "Yeah. I dunno. I'm not really one to talk to other people about this stuff. Its not that I feel silly, but religion is kinda private to me. My mom was religious but she hid it from my dad for twenty years. He was very anti-religion. So I try to walk softly. I guess I shouldn't, but its just who I've grown into, I guess. I'll figure something out." She slowly rises from the pew. "I'll go to the library, leaf through a book or something."

"The library will be helpful," Iphigenia agrees, "But this place, and the temple, and it's own way, the obs deck and Piraeus itself are the best places for you to learn about the gods." With that enigmatic statement, she rises. "Do let me know if you have any questions. Be well, Ensign." With that, she slips away.

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