AWD #024: I Regret to Inform You...
I Regret to Inform You…
Summary: Shortly after the disaster on Aerilon, Zachary approaches Iphigenia with the bad news.
Date: 31/01/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Air Attack Aerilon
Iphigenia Zachary 
A Chapel!
30 January 2005

If there's one thing that chaplains have access to, it's the ship's scuttlebutt. That being said, Iphigenia is on her knees in front of Aphrodite, though unlike the last time she prayed to the Foamborn, the earnesty and intent with which she whispers in the liturgical language has an angry intensity. She is in her blues as usual, and not a hair is out of place. One fist is balled up and curled to her chest; on occasion she thumps it against her heart for emphasis.

Scuttlebutt. It's a very dangerous thing, as Zachary and Iphigenia are very clearly aware of. Stepping into the chapel, the DCAG is a mess. He hasn't slept, his hair is matted with sweat, and he smells slightly. As he he approaches behind the Chaplain, he stops a respectful distance away. "Gen?" he uses her informal name. His voice doesn't rise. It's quiet, meant to only tickle the edge of her consciousness, to aware her of his presence to her. He's willing to wait for her to finish her prayers.

There is the most minute tilt of her head, like a bird sensing that a predator is poised in a tree and awaiting the moment to strike, the registers an acnkowledgment of his presence. It takes a few more moments before she's ready to come out of her communion with Aphrodite such as it is. Opening her eyes, she sits back on her thighs a moment, lets out a soft sigh, and gets to her feet. Patting at hair that hasn't mussed at all, she turns to Zachary. "Pie," she says, and though her tone is warm and receptive, she doesn't smile. No, nothing to smile about, not for her, not today. "What can I do for you?"

Zachary straightens himself. There is no smile forthcoming. Just that heavy weight of duty mingled with responsibility. "I came here as soon as I was finished with my report. It is only right that I tell you myself." he says quietly and lifts his eyes to study her. His eyes show sympathy as he starts to talk. "Lieutenant Arden, it is my sad duty as Captain Cole's commanding officer to report that he was shot down in his Viper in combat operations over Aerilon. We were able to spot a chute, but it was on fire." he continues, quiet as he reaches into his pocket and withdraws a small bag. "I am not sure of his current status, but I will do all in my power to find him, one way or another. I know that you are not his next of kin or his spouse, but these days, either is hard to find and I know of the closeness you two had." With that, he withdraws a medallion of Zeus and takes Geni's hand, pressing the metal there. "His sacrifice will not be in vain, and it is my hope that he is still alive and we will find him. Hold his payment for me. Do not turn it in until we know for sure. Let your prayers tell him he has something to come home to, Gen." he says quietly. "Take care of him."

There is silence that is long and possibly awkward as she stares at the medallion in his palm. Slowly her fingers close around it, and then she tucks it into her pocket without further word. "This must be difficult for you." she says, lifting her eyes to his. The matter of Cole's status is something she steps away from now. "Everything about you suggests self-directed blame, Zachary. I'll give you confession if you ask for it, but to be quite frank, it is unnecessary to the Gods. You are not to blame for this."

"I'm fine. I need to start planning a rescue operation." Zachary blatantly lies, it's a minor miracle Zeus doesn't strike him down for it. "He's on the surface waiting for us to pick him up and I'll be damned if I'm going to fail him, or the others, Gen." he says firmly, shoving any ideas of confession into a corner. Guilt can wait, right now. He has work to do. "If you need any assistance or to speak with the ship's psychiatrist, I will let her know." Like a tennis match, he lobs the ball back to her.

"And you think lying to a chaplain is a good idea, do you? Much less smack in the middle of chapel?" she asks in the mildest of tones. It's almost amusement. "You let me worry about my mental health needs, Zachary. With respect, you are neither my father nor my husband, though I appreciate that you care." Her tone is silk on top, steel underneath. "When Captain Cole returns," when, not if, "His mandated therapy is going to be transferred to Dr. Gades. I will continue to advise him spiritually and monitor his ablutions to make sure they stay within safety regulations." More gently, "You'll find him, Zachary. One way or another."

"I know I will, Gen. I won't leave you with questions." Zachary promises. The only smile he offers is remorseful. "Take care of him, Gen. As his friend." Or whatever they are. "He'll need it when he comes back." When, he agrees. "I have a lot to do, and a whole team to recover, I should get back to it."

Her eyes slide sidelong, in the direction of the idol she's been praying to so angrily. Then quietly, "If he requires me, I shall be there." That's all she has to say. "Speak to someone, Zachary. You're fraying a bit, and protesting about it doesn't do any service. Do it for Eden, if not yourself."

Zachary looks like he's about to say something when she brings up Eden, but he doesn't. Right now, he doesn't feel like sharing good news. Or any news. She has a flock to tend to, and in a way, so does he. "I'll see what I can do, Gen. Thanks." he says as he walks towards the door.

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