MD #260: Guilt, Faith, and Other Mental Errors
Guilt, Faith, and Other Mental Errors
Summary: Atticus continues to attempt to find a new faith and ends up asking two of entirely the wrong people
Date: 24/12/2017
Related Logs: Of Gods and Horses
Samtara Atticus Petra 
Recovery Ward - Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
About half the size of the Medical Center, the Recovery Ward has fewer beds to allow space for those who are going through recovery. Rather than the drab gray of most of the center, the walls in here have been done in a neutral creme color. The beds are a little thicker and the blankets are actually present. There are a few clocks and the only other decoration are a couple of flatscreens that show muted movies from the ship's library, though tablets are common. Behind each bed is a small touchscreen for tracking vitals and is linked to Medical personnel tablets. A couple stacks of recent magazines are available near the door for nurses to pass around, too.

Making another circuit of rounds through the recovery ward, Dr. Stone is accompanied by one of the younger of the in-training medics that are still bright-eyed enough to contain so much energy that they're almost painful to observe. After nearly two decades of training surgeons, Samtara is a reasonably calm teacher, and having marines to work on makes it somewhat easier, by and large, to have stable patients to work with. The two that are the worst off are at the far end of the ward, mainly because both are surly enough to have made at least one escape attempt each (thus far) and have been 'scolded' back into bed by the CMO. Samtara sends the young medic off to carry a request to the mess and is approaching young Omanney's bed at this time, checking his vitals upon arrival with that distinctive (soft) off key hum that indicates that she's thinking.

While the wounds Atticus took when he was shot by the enemy have largely healed, his proximity to an exploding howitzer shell means he's still laid up in recovery. He's on less drugs now and so more with it, but it's likely going to be a few more days until Sergeant Knox can get his grubby mitts back on him for PT and Basic. "Doc," he greets tiredly as Sam arrives at his bedside, "what do you reckon? Will I make it?" He has his tablet which someone has dropped off for him, as well as a bit of reading homework to do to make sure he doesn't fall too far behind the other fresh recruits, but he seems mostly to have been reading from a couple of booklets that one of the Priests dropped off a day or so ago.

Petra is uncharacteristically away from Deck 2 for some reason, which means there is probably a junior tactical officer in a panic because they cant find Robin or him. Well, maybe that IS why Petra's down here hiding behind Samtara's turf. Either way, he takes a step into the recovery ward with his datapad tucked under one arm, and stops to tug the vest of his blues straight, before moving in further, craning his neck to look at the faces attached to the names on clipboards. He's heading for the end of the row, just taking his sweet time, timing it so he slows to a stop just a little behind (and more importantly, out of the way of) the good Doctor. A faint smile touches his face, but he does nothing to interrupt, just listening to the conversation.

"But of course," Samtara replies after she finishes updating his chart. "You're a marine, young man, you'll need to take considerably more damage before you get bragging rights for having survived this engagement or that skirmish," she clarifies as she nudges her glasses slightly higher on her nose. "As this aged gentleman will tell you," a healthy trace of humor coloring her voice as she nods to Petra, "being a marine is not for the faint of heart."

Atticus had been focused on Sam, but as she points Petra out he glances across and smiles as the XO's presence is clocked. "Marcus," he greets, warmly, before remembering he perhaps shouldn't be so informal anymore, and corrects himself quickly to "Commander." Faintly embarrassed he turns back to Sam for a moment and says, "has anyone told Emily it was the howitzer that did most of the damage? Gunny Ynyr asked me not to tell her, he doesn't think she'd take it well." Then, with his mistake hopefully forgotten he turns his head back to Petra. "I hear the evacuation went well. I'm afraid I wasn't really in the best of shape to see for myself as we jumped back here."

Petra grunts softly and mutters, "I am far too old to be charging in like a Marine. I think if I hit thirty years of service, they actually install me as hardware in one of these ships." He IS joking, right? Atticus is given a slow nod of his head in greeting before offering, "I'm still reviewing all of the information about the chaos you all had to deal with, but the bottom line is yes, the evacuation went as well as could be expected. We still have a lot of work to do but, yes. I don't think anyone is going to be holding you or Emily to any sort of an impossible standard, so don't worry about it too much."

"Is this a case of friendly fire incurred wounds?" Samtara wonders as she tucks her own datapad into one pocket and fixes a curious look from Ommanney to Petra and back again

Atticus puts a hand to his guts, then to his right arm as he answers Sam first, "the bullet holes were from knights, the rest was shrapnel from our own big gun. Private Flynn was similarly hit I'm told." He doesn't seem upset, or angered by it though, he just doesn't want it to upset Emily given she was on the gun crew. Petra gets a nod of understanding as the overview is given, before he notes, "I am hoping the horses we rode were evacuated too, I have hiked a little down on Ostia, but would dearly love to ride." The other horses down there being farm horses, and thus busy working from what he's seen. Glancing between teh CMO and XO a moment he seems to consider something carefully for a moment, before asking, "do the pair of you have a moment? There's something I've been trying to talk to people about when they have the time, and getting different viewpoints and opinions on."

Petra rumbles softly, "I have not personally inventoried exactly what was airlifted off. The final report hasn't hit my inbox yet, but I understand we got some of the animals." He trails off there when Atticus talks about something else, and he takes a step closer to the bed, glancing at Sam, but then back to Atticus, with a lifted brow, "What is it exactly you are looking for opinions on?"

"Young man, as long as no goats end up in my sickbay ever again," there's no small amount of emphasis placed on these last two words, "I am pleased to not comment on the evacuation process." She feels a similar expression forming on her face, one silvered eyebrow arching upward as she studies young Ommanney for a minute then essays a slow nod. "I'll listen to the query but I can't promise to have or volunteer an opinion, sight unseen. Well, unheard."

Atticus is clearly glad when Petra agrees to listen, and clearly confused when Sam mentions goats. It throws him for a moment and he loses track of where he was going, but manages to pull it back on track with only a minor delay. "Hmm," he starts, clearly unsure where to start, "for the last seventeen years I've been giving Thanks to the Metal, but that's not something that's acceptable any more. Gunny Ynyr had one of the Priests from the Chapel stop by for a chat, and he left me some stuff to read, but there's just so much of it. He did mention though, that you don't have to follow all the Lord and Ladies, but could pick some? I guess I just want advice on where to start."

Petra does indeed listen but blinks when he comprehends what Atticus is asking. He stops, and again, shoots Samtara a look, before turning back to Atticus. He clears his throat and murmurs, "Son, you can follow or not follow whoever the hell you want. You can call all of the Lords and Ladies pansies and declare you don't need any of them, and no one is going to tell you that you need to act differently. I am not the most devout of people, but a very very long time ago, Ares spoke directly to me. in a vision, before the Second War began, so I guess you can say I have first hand experience in knowing Ares is there in some way, shape or form. Doesn't mean I speak to him very often, but it happens." Again, one more glance at Samtara, "I don't know about the good Doctor or if she even feels like sharing. For some people, that's a very personal and private thing. We…used…to have a priest on board, but Iphigenia left us back when the Armistice was arranged."

Samtara makes a quiet sort of sound, more contemplative than not and studies Marcus for a silent moment, her expression openly speculative and frankly curious, brief flickers of surprise here and there as well until she turns back toward Atticus. She removes her reading glasses and stands in silence again, a thoughtful look on her face. "I'm more or less one of the most agnostic people you'll ever met, perhaps. I don't believe in a god or any collection of gender oriented deities with assigned roles and personalities. I'm a scientist. I believe in logic, in science, in the perfection of linear math and equations, that which can be balanced and observed, remarked upon and collated. I recognize and admit freely that there are many things within the realm of logic that do not encompass all that which we see and experience. That said, my lack of faith in a divine of some sort is my preference," there's a small hesitation accompanied by a trace of a smile, "as Marcus has said, faith should and properly is a personal matter."

Atticus listens as Petra replies, although a faint frown crosses his face at one point. He waits till the XO has finished though before questioning. "Gunny Ynyr said it was important to believe in something, that coincidences and runs of luck had added up," he looks slightly confused, "but then I might be misremembering? I had a lot of drugs in my system at the time." He has the reading material that the chaplin had dropped off, and reaches out to take hold of it, looking slightly remorseful at apparently having overstepped a mark. "I'm sorry. I.. had the impression it was more widespread."

Petra rumbles softly, "It's important that you believe in something, but that might not have precisely been what he meant." He pauses and considers for a moment before explaining, "I believe in this crew. I know that, no matter what happens, we WILL find a way to overcome the challenges we face and we will find a way to rescue all of our people from the Skath, and that belief gives me strength when I need it. If you have nothing to believe in, then when you find yourself tested, you have little to fall back on. Some have faith in their families…mine are so much dust in the ruins of Virgon, so not much help there…"

Reaching out with one hand, Sam rests her hand on Petra's shoulder as she tips a thoughtful nod toward Atticus. "I believe in intelligent design. I believe in the mission that we are at, I believe in the people that we serve with, the people that we are fighting for. And I believe in the bonds that we build, as people. My lack of faith in a deity of some sort does not hamper any of those beliefs. I merely belief differently than you, Marcus, or you," another nod to Atticus as she lowers her hand back to her side.

Atticus is still confused, either he can't hide it or he isn't trying to for it's clear on his face. "But you said you saw Ares.." he pauses to flick through the basic information he's been given, "the Lord of War? Yet you don't have faith in him? Is that what you mean? I'm not sure I understand…" And as for Sam's reply, well, he doesn't know what to do with any of that at the moment, but he'll no doubt play it over and over in his head in the next few hours to try and decipher meaning. "Is this.." he starts slowly, trying to form his thoughts, "is this something I shouldn't talk to people about?"

Petra mmms and shakes his head at Atticus, "I can't say that I do have faith in Ares. I don't know what he actually is. I know what the books say, but, you know, our history is full of many, many things we got wrong. Trying to claim our religious texts got it perfectly right is a whole lot of arrogance." He smiles a little at that and winks at Samtara before continuing to offer, "Feel free to discuss it with whoever you want, just be aware some people aren't going to want to talk about it. Be respectful about it and it should be fine. Someone other than the Doctor or myself will probably be willing to have a long, animated discussion with you on the subject."

"Be equally aware that it is in the particular teachings of some religions to attempt to persuade or convert you to become a member of their particular beliefs. Some, not many and absolutely not all, are very determined and can be very…. stubborn, on the issue. The right to freely believe and the equal right to choose to not believe is a tough subject and one that is frequently fraught with intense emotion. The freedom to believe in what you believe also necessitates the expectation that you respect those whose beliefs are different than yours, just as you should equally expect to have the same respect received. In an ideal world or a more just and .. equal universe or reality, this would be accomplished with minimal discord or violence. Sadly, we do not live in and frequently do not visit such realities," and Sam looks a little wistful at this admission. "My husband I do not share the same religious beliefs or preferences, and finding a middle ground to agree upon in order to minimize discord while raising our children made for some loud and very spirited arguments over the years. Mercifully, we agreed to disagree on this matter early on. It reduced the amount of shouting, to say the least."

Atticus is still clearly unsure how Petra doesn't have faith in something he seen, but he doesn't push the point, he has time on his hands to mull it over after all, and he doesn't want to push too far incase he annoys the XO. After all, the XO is a busy man, and if he annoys him then opportunities to talk might dry up, and he'd miss that. He's even more confused with what Sam says though, about different religions, given he's only seen one onboard. "Do you mean some Gods? I've only seen one chapel…" Although now he thinks on it he does remember something Lleu said about a single God. "I think," he states in a tone that suggests it's some form of conclusion, "that I need to know a lot more before I can have any detailed debate. I'm sorry if I kept you from more important matters." He's hugging the literature to his chest as he says it, clearly needing something to hold onto, and equally clearly not having found what he was expecting when he asked the initial question.

Petra offers, "The chapel is sort of multi-purpose. Space is premium on a Battlestar, so one chapel has to work for anyone that wants private space to pay their respects to whoever they give their thoughts to. There isn't enough space to have one for each Lord and Lady or anyone else of significance." At the apology, he shakes his head, "You're fine. I hope we were able to provide more clarity than confusion, but I guess I do need to get back to CIC before Mara or Liza comes down here looking for me." To Samtara, he offers, "Thanks Sam…" and takes a step back, to turn to head out.

"Read. Ask questions. Seek more information. Decide what is true for you and what is not," Samtara suggests as she shares a solemn nod paired with a ghost of a smile. "There's an old saying, something about how 'Only you can prevent forest fires'. Only you can decide what your beliefs are. All other voices are input, but they do not dictate your course." She pats Atticus gently on the shoulder and moves to follow Marcus out of the ward, "I'll send in some food and something warm to drink," she calls before continuing on her way as well.

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