PWD #24: I Know You
I Know You
Summary: Don't you jus hate not being able to place a face that seems so familiar?
Date: 11/12/2012
Related Logs: None
Afton Bennett 
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.
December 11, 2004 (PWD #24)

There is a subtle, though mildly cloying scent of incense pervading this quiet space tonight. Beyond the heavy blue drapes, the chapel is empty — save for a solitary figure seated crosslegged atop a cushion, hands folded and placed upon the table in front of her. The fatigues don't particularly give away her identity; nor does the dark hair, pulled back into a loose ponytail. She might be in the midst of prayer, or merely in the midst of thought.

Thought and prayer to the woman who enters are very much the same thing so it is with respect that she keeps a bit more quiet than she otherwise might have. Her own green aventurine prayer beeds and medallions shifting in her hand even as she approaches the statue of Athena - a chosen patron these last few days. She gives the dark haired woman a look and breathes deeply, as if the incense were a welcome thing. Her tanks and sweats mark her is military as much as her dog tags do. But she finds a space to lower down before the effigy of the wide goddess.

Bennett does not turn her head, though her eyes do flicker briefly askance when she hears footfalls approaching. She does not speak, however. Her lashes lower again, and there's a soft clack of prayer beads as they are wound about her wrist anew. Hers are apatite: smooth, dark stones shot through with silver. Her own deity of choice appears to be Dionysus.

It is the very familiar clack that draws her gaze again but her questions remain her own as Afton watches Bennett close her eyes. Turning her attention back to Athena, she then glances down the line of carved faces to the lords of kobol. Fingers wind about her own beads, taking the medallion representing her current focus and tightening her grip on it before she lifts the back of her thumb pressed to thes sigil against her lips. Her eyes close soon thereafter as she falls into something near a singing chant, low and nearly inaudible.

There is a soft and frustrated sigh from Bennett, and her eyes drift back open again as she releases the prayer beads. "Frak it," she mutters. Then, rather quickly on the heels of the epithet, "Sorry." The whispered apology is aimed at Afton. After a moment to collect her thoughts, she begins gathering up her things: the prayer beads are slipped into a pocket of her fatigues, and she tugs her fatigue jacket on over her tank tops. The incense hasn't burned down yet, so she's taking her time.

A single brow shoots upward as that eye pries itself open to glance over at the exclamation. Hesitating, Afton eases out of her prayers to slowly lower her beads. "Hey, its okay." Her voice stays soft as she considers the other woman, watching her collect her things. "Problems communicating?" she asks faintly and shifts, lowering the beads further as she offers a sympathetic smile.

"Yes, I.." The officer blows a breath out her nose. "Yes." She keeps her voice low, even though they're the only two present in here. Out of deference to the gods personified by the row of statues marched along the length of the room, perhaps. She smoothes the sleeve of her jacket, glances across to Afton again. "I'm sorry, but you look familiar. I can't quite place it.." She trails off, still watching the younger woman. Thoughtful.

A slow nod of understanding and Afton gives a glance to the statue of Athena and quickly kisses the matching medallion on her hand before rising, pausing at the mention of familiarity. A brow perks and she turns then, giving a full study of the other woman for a moments time. "I…hmmmm." Wetting her lips, she draws a breath and then takes a step closer, motioning to a place amongst the pews so they can speak. "I am Petty Officer Second Class Afton St. James. Not sure if that helps."

Bennett uncurls herself from her cross-legged pose and rises as well, fluidly. She's a little taller than Afton, though not by much. "It doesn't, unfortunately." Her eyes crinkle at the corners with a conciliatory smile, and she turns to make her way toward the indicated pew. "We obviously weren't squadmates, but.. I do think I've seen you somewhere, before." She settles onto the bench, and shuffles in a few feet to give Afton space to join her.

"Well then you now have me at a disadvantage…" Afton trails off, not having received any introduction likewise. But she does follow, settling down into the pew with a faint creak of the wood beneath her. Leaning back into it, she considers the other woman and furrows her brows. "I have to admit, I have been around a lot so I am sorry if I can't place you. Nothing really comes to mind…but my main stationing was on Tauron." Offering up a bit more information, she adds a warm smile.

Bennett's expression becomes slightly pinched. Not unhappy, merely.. troubled. Ever so briefly, and then it smoothes away. "I was stationed on Tauron for nine years," she confides, turning her head a little so as to meet Afton's eyes. "Were you at Andross?" The pieces are starting to fall into place.

"Yes, I was, for a few years," Afton says but then laughs shortly, softly. "I do not yet know your name….." She offers up, her brow quirking as she taps the side of her nose with a finger. But those green eyes are filing, searching as if to pick out in her head where Bennett might fit in amongst operations and missions.

"..oh." Bennet's eyes widen comically, and a flush of red creeps toward the tips of her ears. "Oh, Bennett. St. Clair. Captain." It comes out chopped up and more than a little sheepish. "I flew raptors in four oh one RQS." The base's combat search and rescue squadron.

A light chuckle and Afton shakes her head, waving it off, "Not to worry, a name helps…but.." RQS brings a downward furrow of her brows and the PO hesitates. "Well that would be likely how we know each other. Would not be shocked if I jumped myself out of your Raptor more than once. Pararescue, Captain." She says in way of explanation, her foot tapping to the floor a few times. "It's hard to really make you out behind those helmets, do forgive but were you are Operation Red Zone?"

Pararescue. It finally seems to click. "I was," Bennett answers softly. The chapel, the conversation, the mention of that very aptly-named mission. The pilot chuckles, and tucks a few errant strands of hair behind her ear. "Yes, I was. Goodness, it feels like it's been years. I try to remember my passengers. Names. Faces." In case one of them doesn't come back. "You must be very brave."

Afton's smile broadens further, "Then thanks for flying straight, sir." It's meant, the PO giving her a nod that is something of respect. "Years, yeah likely. Its easy to let things slip by, hard to remember everything and everyone but its amazing you even recognized me. Probably been a few more missions than I have." The brave comment gets a thoughtful look and she shakes her head, "I am scared shitless a lot, its about powering through and doing what you have to do. Just…resolved to do what is asked of me. Not always easy…lots of second guessing."

Bennett's smile broadens into a grin as well. It's an odd thing for the pair of them to be beaming at one another over old war stories. Particularly bloodbaths like Red Zone. Her expression sobers, however, when Afton speaks again. "Doing what you have to do. Yes." She gives a quiet little huff. "But I still say you've got guts. Did you..?" The question isn't finished, though may be implied by the fingertips she traces across her own forehead, roughly indicating Afton's scars.

"Its just good to see people still alive that hit hot zones…sort of a rallying point." Aftons says, one arm slightly draped over the back of a pew so she can face the other Saint better. "Well thanks, sir. Some may argue that point." She winks but hesitates, her hand lifting to touch the scaring. "This…that scar is from a mortar blowing up near me during one mission..I have a few other little reminders and my back most recently. Glad I haven't had to hit anything too hard and give it a work out, but was caught in an untable building after it had been bombed. Its part of the job. Sometimes the wrong place at the wrong time..or the right if you look at it a certain way. But its good to see you." Back on a positive note. "What brought you here, to Orion?"

"It is," Bennett agrees, clasping her hands together on her lap. "I lost contact with most of my squadmates after Tauron. And, well, marines come and go.. I remember it being fairly segretated there. Between the Wing and the CMC." A small shrug. Then, "What brought me here?" She smiles slightly. "The money, honestly." Which, undoubtedly, is nowhere near the whole story. "How about you?"

"Restationing will cause that. But it makes reunions a bit sweet if you ask me," Afton admits, keeping her voice to a conversational level still. A nod of her head is given in regards to the money, not asking any further. "WEll, I was told it would likely not cause too much of a challenge for me. I am still recovering form a fractured disk in my back. It was sort of an order for me to come out here. I must admit, I should be grateful for it but I am not sure what good I will be." She smiles, her lips curling back as she shrugs. "I am looking forward to setting foot to ground."

Bennett answers quietly, "I understand." About it being an order. An easy posting. Her tone is sincere, and a bit self-reflective. "I think, if I may offer my unsolicited advice.. I think your job for now is to focus on getting better. Back injuries need rest and recovery." Her fingertips are brought lightly to Afton's shoulder. "But speaking of rest, I'm afraid I need to get some, myself. I'm on the graveyard shift tonight." She flashes a lopsided grin.

The offered sympathy and touch bring a warmth to her smile and Afton nods her head, "That's the hope. So far so good, sir." There is a light laugh and Afton pushes herself up to free the pew to be exited by them both. Slipping into te main aisle and she loosk back to her. "Of course, I know what that is like and do not envy you in the slightest, though I suspect graveyard is an easier thing to do when in space. There really isn't a day rotation." She lifts two fingers in a lazy off-duty salute. "But don't work too hard."

"You might be right," Bennett concedes with a wry smile, shuffling out as well once the aisle's free. "To be honest, I haven't done much flight out in space, before this posting. It's taking some getting used to." She withdraws a step backwards, toward the door. "It was good to meet you. Officially, this time." The sentiment is warm and genuine. "I'll try not to. Take care of yourself, St. James." With a lift of her hand that only vaguely appropriates a salute, she turns and strides for the door.

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