AWD #085: In Obscurum
In Obscurum
Summary: Iphigenia receives a vision witnessed by Orion's Cylons.
Date: 01/04/2013
Related Logs: All the Cylons Revealed logs.
Iphigenia Knox Ceres 
Piraeus
By the river not far from the Temple.
AWD #85

With the agreed-upon time to meet on P, its a welcome distraction. The fights, the tension, the accusations. Its a chance to get away and destress. Off by the river, not far from the chapel, there's a small campfire built and Coop has managed to secure them a couple bottles of red wine from the bar and some plastic cups, just because he's classy like that. There's three chairs already set up for the discussion, two of them parked next to each other. Knox is already there and when Ceres shows up he'll just indicate to the one next to him. Savin seats for the discussion!

It takes a little time, but eventually Iphigenia emerges from the temple. She's in civilian clothes, a dress and sweater with the priest's mantle thrown over it. She's carrying a small box and she pads over to the small fire on bare feet. "Good evening, Cooper." The priestess has the weary air of a woman who's been weeping, and she sinks down into one of the chairs.

Red Solo Cup. Ceres would sing that if she knew it but wine is wine and an excuse to get off ship is better than any. Still sporting a few cuts on her lips, she returns to the campfire from a small walk while waiting. Her arms cross before her and the simple civvie clothes of khakis and t-shirt. Her dark hair is swept back from her face and free. As she steps back into the light of the fire, the bruise along her jaw is evident and she nods to Iphigenia. "Sister."

Coop is in his Marine duds, right down to the gunbelt. He doesn't look as tense here, though. Its like it brings him peace to be away from it all and sitting down with a fire. "Hey, sir," he addresses easily. He's already reaches for the bottle of wine. He pours a couple glasses, stretching one out for Ceres. "Would you like a cup, Captain?" He glances over to her and lifts his brow. "Is everything alright?" There's real concern there. Obviously its not, but…

"Hello, Ceres." She waves a hand to Knox. "Genocide, specism, war, and I'm weeping because I can't control who to love. It's the most insignificant thing in the face of all things monumental and important. I don't suppose you went fishing? The river's quite plentiful." She opens the box, and very daintily plucks out some dried herb to roll it into paper.

"I fear I don't fish and if I did, it would likely be quite hilarious to watch. Troubles always seem the worst when they are of the heart, Geni." Ceres says in an odd sort of rushed wisdom. The captain takes the drink, smiling at Cooper and says softly, "I am well enough." But her eyes flicker back to the flame and watch the fire dance before her, taking a drink of the wine and then letting it rest in her hands.

Coop shakes his head and settles back into the chair. He sips at the cup before speaking. "I'd say its the most important, actually. Worth crying over. Without love, what's anything else? It all loses meaning. I like to think of it as the context of our lives, actually." He sets the cup into the mesh holder in the arm of the chair. "Nah, haven't had a chance to fish here yet. Always wanted to. I used to hit up the mountains near my base on Virgon, though. Couple buddies and I would do trout up there for a weekend every other month. Nobody outside the teams. Super relaxing." Looking to Ceres, he chuckles. "Its hit or miss with people, they either love it or hate it. Doesn't really seem your speed."

"It requires a great deal of patiece." Gen admits as she twists the ends of the little bit of paper and herb. Eyeing them both, she inquires, "Do your kind feel the effects in the same way we do?" she indicates the blunt in her hand.

At the question in regards to the herb, Ceres takes another sip of the alcohol. "I would assume it is the same, sister. After all, we are rather similar. But as for experience, I have never had. I think I may refrain for the evening and allow you two the enjoyment. Watching has always been my sport of choice." A wan smile and she looks between them before she takes another pull from her cup.

Coop glances to the blunt and chuckles, nodding. Eyes lift back to Gen. "Given something that happened today, I don't think we actually feel much differently than you." He glances to Ceres then back. "I'll be good with just the wine, though. Last time I smoked herb I ended up discussing the value of being industrious with a friend's old cat." He takes a breath, sipping the cup. "So before we begin, I just wanted to say that we intend no offense with the items discussed. I'm interested to hear what you have to say on a lot of this, but I suspect Ceres will be the more knowledgeable soul here. I'm afraid I'm a bit out of practice with our people's traditional religious points and I'm less convinced anymore."

Iphigenia plucks up a stick and sticks the end of it into the fire. She uses it to light up, and then tosses the stick into the fire, taking a deep inhale of the chamalla smoke. Closing her eyes, she lets it course through her as she murmurs, "I'm afraid I've never been able to grasp the concept of montheism. Its associations are not generally…kind, amongst most humans."

"But having one focus is much easier than many. When one can embody the all? You are able to listen and learn better. To commune." Her smile warms some and she motions skyward. "He made us in his vision and he loves us, even in our faults. He is a God of forgiveness but can be strict when we turn from him." Her eyes flicker to Cooper. "We all have a purpose in our lives, it is for us to find. A purpose he knows. I do not undersatnd why you need so many faces to understand the divine."

Coop shakes his head. "I haven't strayed, only found a new ideal. My mind is open to new ideas and experiences. I simply believe that even if he is out there, or the Gods are out there, its not provable. But in that same vein a lack of evidence does not constitute proof that something does not exist. I enjoy science and theory, but I believe that if you are truly religious, you don't need to be told right or wrong. You simply are. A state of belief isn't incorrect anymore than a state of disbelief or atheism." The man turns his eye back to Iphigenia and sips at his wine again.

Iphigenia waves her hand absently, "And I don't understand how one god can encompass all things." she shakes her head. "To so easily forgive seems to defeat the purpose; to be able to be penitent, one has to sacrifice." She takes another draw of her smoke. She doesn't seem particularly adamant about it; this is a discussion of reasonable faithful, rather than zealots.

Two extremes, one in the middle. Its a good set up for a discussion or debate. Ceres finishes her wine, turning her cup and watching the edge of it dance against the light of the fire and glow with the color as its lit from behind. She smiles lightly before she adds, "It is easy to see a purpose, a reason for things when you do not have to hope on many, but one. You have but to ask /Him/ the one and only for forgiveness. He is forgiving, but you must mean it in your heart, with your whole being for it to be true. We damn ourselves…we sin. Those things we will always carry, he forgives us so we can forgive ourselves and become…more. Become whole and enlightened. When another can forgive you…it is easier to learn from what you have done, rather than dwell." She tries to explain.

Coop relaxes back in the chair, resting his ankle over the other knee. He sips and tilts his cup towards Ceres, though, to make a point. He speaks to them both, "What our people lack is the significance of that, though. That's love. Its unconditional love, like we feel for each other. No matter your sins, Ceres, you and I always have each other. We can find a way because we have no choice. The lack of context for that is… its awkward to think about in hindsight, right?" He takes a long breath and looks back to Iphi. "See, the thing is that we look for absolution of our sins in the recognition of our faults." He smirks, the expression light. "Yes, even our people occasionally recognize that they've sinned. Sometimes in larger ones than they realize."

A large crackle of the logs lights up their faces more and for an instant, there is a darker shadow dozens of feet behind both Knox and Ceres, then another off in the distance. It might be easily be dismissed as a tree for how large they are….though there are no trees on this part of the riverbank.

"And that's the another thing," Iphigenia draws more, staring off at the trees with a frown. Wolves? The fire should keep them away, and there's no blood scent here. "Him, Him, He. Where is the feminine in your divine? With the Gods, we can see ourselves in them. All of us." She sighs and leans back, noting, "I think it's very easy to define sin and make it into something that one's society simply does not approve of, without it actually being a sin. Do you see that?"

"Sin is easily defined, I know that I should not harm another. I have sinned a great many times, and those of my line. More so. We say we believe, but in forgetting emotions we have forgotten how to actually…atone for what we have done wrong. I think He is happy, I feel as if he is rejoicing in what we are doing here." Her voice lowers and then she smiles up at Iphigenia. "It is what He is. There are stories of the woman that birthed his son, the one who atoned for all of our sins and allowed us forgiveness for our wrongs. But is is old, many do not believe. She is the mother of us all. She is what we strive to be. Untouched, unsoiled, loving, forgiving…she is the light that brought the son." She hesitates, "But then, really. It should not matter the one GOd's gender."

Knox glances around and shakes his head. "Just us?" He shrugs and keeps going. "Allow me to clarify that point," is added. "Here. As in Here, on Piraeus. Not the sweeping sin of what has happened to the Twelve. I cannot, for a moment, fathom that our God approves of what has taken place. What happened was not love and…" He takes a settling breath. "May God have mercy for the sins our people have committed. I'm still struggling with that anger." Its mostly said to himself, so Coop quiets his grumblings with another drink of wine.

As Cooper speaks about the sins of his people, those figures move closer. Behind Cooper, the form of a clean shaved young man with a bow and quiver of arrows, athletically built. The lyre is held be his side as he approaches slowly inthe darkness, his head turned to look to the figure approaching behind Ceres. The one behind the Nine is similarly armed to bow and quiver with a large dog keeping pace with her. She smiles to the other man and there is the sound of a whisper. Both are extraordinarily tall, at least eight feet. To the left, out of the darkness, a figure about the same size approaches but carries nothing with them, instead staying a bit farther from the light.

And neither of the two across from Iphigenia seem to notice anything out of the ordinary and both should easily be able to see at least the outlier figure.

Iphigenia sits up straighter, staring at the Divine Twins with eyes gone wide. The Cylons, of course, don't know what she's staring at. "And do you see you ever see your god? Do you know his face, as we know the faces of ours?" Inexplicably, she is weeping. She has felt the divine, but to be in their presence manifest, even if it's just the chamalla, just the smoke - does it matter?

Iphigenia's sudden question causes Ceres to pass over her cup for more wine and waits. "Not entirely, there are ideas of what He looks like, but is light. The divine needs no face, all it needs is understanding and the sense of His presence. He is always all around us, we never have to question that." Indeed, for she is watching the tears slip down the Chaplain's face a moment, lips parting in silent question. "Geni?"

Coop is mostly looking at the fire, but his eyes trail off into the distance. Noting Ceres needs a refill, he glances down to the wine bottle and takes it up. The guy pours out a few glugs casually and then tops his own off. "Nobody of my line really knows. Like I said, you can't prove nor disprove it. My kind are utterly convinced, though. It guides a lot of their decisions and helps decide how they conduct themselves." He takes another sip and looks into the distance, across the river to the mountains. "Gods, its beautiful out here."

Behind them, the male and female come up behind each ofthe chairs and stand there. They look over the three in turn and smile back to one another before looking off to the third in the distance. The male lifts his lyre in greeting, the female lifting only her hand. The third figure doesn't respond, though. But farther into the darkness, more shadows appear. As the figures move, the not so distant lights of Sheridan appear and vanish behind them. to the other side, they seem to float across the river's surface as they approach the fire.

"See, its one of the reasons I think we should give Cat a funeral to tradition. Our people do not respect the dead as they should," Knox continues. "Cat was a person. She ceased being her line here with us. It doesn't feel right, Cer. Humanity understands something we've just not had."

"They're here." Geni whispers. She rises from her seat, violently enough to knock it over as she stares at something past them. The chamalla stick drops from her fingers, the grass too green to take alight. "Can't you see them? They're beautiful."

They are here. Ceres forgets about the religious talk as soon as Geni stands. Slowly she rises as well, setting aside her drink as she peers over at Cooper, uncertain. She turns the, glancing around her and into the dark where the firelight does not reach. The shadows play and her brows furrow. "I do not see anything. Geni?"

Knox looks over to Iphi as she stands suddenly, leaning a bit to see the chair around the fire, then look back to her. He follows her gaze around behind him and blinks. The guy looks over to Ceres and shrugs as he settles back. The Captain apparently hit that spliff a little too hard in his mind. "Captains, its alright. Just seein stuff. Like when I talked to that cat for like an hour. He had an Aerilonian accent." He takes another sip, adjusting his seat. "See, the problem is, Cer, when you live forever, then what's the point?" he offers. "There's no death. Then without death, what's life? If you have no life, then there is no love. There's no context for any of it. Its not like permanent death is a normal thing for our people. So when you stop appreciating life for what it is, then where is the higher appreciation we- that we go for? It's not there. At least humanity understands these things." A pause. "Ceres." He gestures to their chairs.

The figures present turn their faces over the three, smiling once more. When Knox finishes, there are more whispers between them but the words just can't quite be made out, always on the edge of audible range. Surrounding them, as the others approach, more whispers can be heard and faces identified. A strong female with wings and a sword. An older male with a scythe and a beard. Another man with shaggy hair, holding a smith's hammer. Nearly two dozen of them approach in all, each greeting the others with raised hands and nods. They look over the three in their own time and appear to be waiting for something.

"No, this isn't - you can't see them? They're waiting for us." Fortunately, Gen's current contention with Aphrodite is forgotten as she begins to walk towards those figures. They're waiting for her. She was made for their will. (Is this what going mad feels like?)

"Geni?" Ceres furrows her brows now, deeper than before. "Excuse me?" She stays still, studying the Chaplain as she crosses the ground. "I don't think there is anyone here.." She turns slowly, getting another look and then starts to reach out for Geni's arm, touching it lightly. "Sister? What do you see?"

Knox shakes his head and drifts a hand to them, waving them off. "Man, I was lookin forward to this. …Fishing. I wonder who has poles," Coop wonders idly.

As the two women drift towards the approaching figures, they gestures back towards the chairs. Each of them in turn meets with Iphi's eyes, looking down to her and motioning for her toppled seat by the fire. Those two behind each Ceres and Knox's chairs stay there as the others file into a circle around the fire as if taking up audience to what's happening here. Or isn't happening.

Iphigenia turns, nodding, perhaps seemingly to herself. She goes and rights her chair and sits in it, before noting to the pair, "The sort of visions I'm accustomed to on chamalla are very different. What's happening now is beyond anything I've experienced before." She sounds a bit detached.

As the Chaplain takes to her seat once more, Ceres takes to her own and watches her carefully. "I do not know what is going on. We were talking…" But then she leaves it as is. Settling back down into her chair, she reaches for her cup an begins to sip at her wine. "Was there anything else you wished to know?" Distract her from visions.

Knox looks back as they take back their seats. "Yeah," he agrees, sipping at the cup. "I mean we've got plenty to discuss. I've been around enough of my own mind to know what the others like myself think. They're a bit…extreme. Sort of like Ceres, here. Pretty adamant. Its never, you know, something completely overt. But its there, lurking behind everything."

With the seats retaken, the figures around them take a renewed interest and gather around to watch in silence for a moment, looking from the two models then over to Iphigenia as if waiting for her answer with keen interest.

"They're here." Iphigenia says, smiling and wiping at her eyes. "Where is my - oh." She bends down to pluck up the chamalla toke, but it's gone out. "How do you reconcile the fact everyone around you are polytheists? Wouldn't know our believes so very different make you less inclined to align with us?" But her eyes are on the Twelve, eager to see their faces. She wants to talk to them, but they seem to want her to engage in this conversation.

The question is enough to draw Ceres out of her thoughts. "One, many…what if the One is all together? You said how can something encompass all…maybe He does. Perhaps we only need one because He is multifaceted. Religions are made to encompass a faith. We follow what is known to us, what makes sense. It does not mean its purpose or place is different, just how its perceived. No right or wrong…I just can not see so many different faces and be able to feel at peace. One with one clear direction."

"I'm seeing…the Twelve, but not all of them." she finally admits to the pair. "I can see them. Zeus and Hera are not present, but Apollo and Artemis stand behin dthe both of you." Iphigenia stares at the space around the pair. "This is unlike any vision I've had before. The Twelve have always been succinct personages." She raises her voice and dares to address them directly. "Please, what is your will?"

Coop glances around again but chalks it up. Visions. He answers, holding the solo cup in his fingertips. "Sure, religion can separate. If you want it to. If a person is so offended by anothers faith, though, then that is a challenge to be met on their own. It was initially what kept me apart. But over time? Frak it. People are people. I've seen the ugliest and most beautiful things done in the name of religion. It doesn't change the nature of humanity. Or define it. You can't judge a whole on that. Its not fair. Even if its the overwhelming majority, its not all of them." He sips at the cup. "Like Ceres is sayin, Faith. I've got this whole theory on it. Goes along with my junket about proof," he chuckles. But as the Priestess speaks to what she see's, Coop raises his brow. "The Gods are here," he says flatly, blinking. "Standing behind us?"

The figures look back and forth as the conversation continues, the group becoming rather animated with it. Different expressions cross their faces and others lean to whisper to one another as points are made. But when Iphigenia speaks up, Artemis and Apollo smile to each other and look back to the Sister, making precisely matching gestures to continue. The others nod in agreement. It would seem they are here for the debate.

Ceres answers the question and then Geni seems to be stuck on what she sees and can not. A glance to Cooper and she clears her throat, going back to drinking from her cup. Wetting her lips, she toys with the drink between her hands briefly before she sighs and rubs at her face. "Sister. Do you not think this is so? That perhaps we believe the same thing yet we have adapted such beliefs to fit how we have lived? It is hard to carry so many faces when we hardly remember where we came from. Perhaps we made them into one being so that he was better apt to serve us in our journey."

"Our principles of divinity, of the definition of sin…they're so different Can we live in mutual respect? Perhaps. But the same?" Gen seems hesitant to agree.

Knox shrugs lightly. "I don't see why not? If you define yourself by religion, its harder to rectify differences based on those lines, especially with others who disagree so much and define themselves similarly. I think the operative question tothe matter isn't whether or not we could, but how it could best be facilitated. Ceres has her own beliefs. I have mine. People have waged war over religion for millenia, but still even more people have coexisted in peace despite it. I know it seems like sheer insanity for one of my people to be sitting here talking about tolerance, but there it is. After all, belief is belief." Coop shrugs. "Pray in different ways, pray to different beings. But what is faith? I mean to you personally, Sister? How do you define it?"

"That which I choose to accept as truth based on feeling rather than empirical evidence." Iphigenia responds automatically. "It's not my place to define how others choose to live if it's outside of stictures I share. What my neighbor does is my neighbor's business, unless it causes harm."

Coop nods a few times. "Could you also define love along similar lines?" He quirks his brow. "Could you also define your love for another as faith in them?"

Those figures surrounding them have gone silent, even the whispers.

Iphigenia presses her hands to her heart. "Love is…love is raw, and painful, and enduring, and cannot be helped. But faith is a choice."

Coop leans forward in his chair, sipping at the cup. "So is faith, Sister. I think you of all people in this fleet know how raw, painful, and enduring it can be. But faith isn't always a choice either, is it?" He tilts his head fractionally. "Sometimes it is, but others like yourself who can't always help but believe? Like what you say you're seeing? It doesn't have to be a choice. Sometimes it just is. And that's what I try to explain to people… It doesn't matter what you believe. It matters that you believe. It doesn't need to be in a God, or the Gods. It can be love and faith in those around you. The raw feeling that you care so much for them, that its more than just passing cares. Its faith. That which you may choose or not be able to choose."

Around them, the figures share some whispers and looks to Knox, then to Iphigenia. Several of them are watching Coop closely, others seem riveted to the Sister for her thoughts. Behind them, that shadowy figure moves, a few of their own thoughts shared as he circles around the far edge of the group, hidden in shadows.

"There's a point you want me to come to." she says. "A conclusion you want me to reach. Can I be tolerant of the faith of others? Yes. Can I suddenly declare the nature of all religious beliefs to be unified and the same? No, I cannot."

"Fair enough." Coop nods his head slowly and finishes off the cup of wine. "I'm not looking to change minds, just put it out there. My line's beliefs hold to very strict ideas of what it means to murder or be merciful. Some of these things you would find horrific, I'm sure. But they are tenants of what they believe. I don't expect anyone to find all religious beliefs unified, especially when the differences come down to poly or monothestic discussions. All I ask are questions to provoke thought. Not necessarily a point I want you to come to, so much as questions to ask. No crises of faith as that does nobody any good, only the possibility that faith is more broad than just a God or Gods." He says it with an easy smile.

Beside her, there is closer movement as a couple move to surround her. A hand reaches out from Aphrodite as she kneels beside Iphigenia. It rests to her shoulder, the feeling warm and soft like a blanket against a cool night. Its the tender touch of a lover and she looks into Iphi's eyes with a mother's smile. It happens, even as Knox speaks and doesn't quite seem related specifically to his words.

Do you know what it's like to pray to the goddess of love and be afraid? That was the question she asked Aristides Cole this morning, and he had no reply. Iphigenia looks back at the Foam-born. "Why are you torturing me?" she whispers. "Why are you torturing him?" Calmly, but obviously looking at something only she can see she says, "I'm so sorry, Cooper. I - she's looking at me." Whomever she's looking at, Iphigenia seems afraid.

Cooper just stares at Iphigenia, stopping whatever he was going to say. He blinks several times, then glances around behind his chair and Ceres' and settling back on the Sister.

The fear is evident and she reaches the hand up to run it over Iphigenia's cheek and she holds her smile, but it slowly turns a bit sad. Its an odd duality, where the emotions reflected on her face seem at odds with those infinitely deep eyes. In there is hope, but its inside those wells. The hand falls from Iphi's face and on the other side of her kneels another figure in a helmet, holding a shield, gestures towards the fire. Looking over towards it, deep in the flames, are the flickering images of faces marching. Ten. Twenty. Fifty. One hundred. All different, both genders, all ages, all of them moving in columns with what appears to be rifles. The fire roils once and it vanishes. Beyond, Apollo and Artemis stand behind the two with arms crossed over their chests looking very sure as they watch down over Cooper and Ceres. Their gazes lift as one, look to each other, nod, and turn together and begin to drift away back into the darkness.

Iphigenia turns her face to the side - she cannot turn her face away from a Lord of Kobol, but her current inner turmoil is steeped in this goddess' grace. And then the figure gestures toward the fire, and she stares. "The War Machine." she murmurs. "Soldiers, hundreds, thousands. The war machine, it's coming, like a wave."

The others, watching Apollo and Artemis take their leave, then turn their gazes upon Knox and Ceres. They watch between the two before looking back towards Iphigenia. One by one, they all leave. Ares rises and walks past the fire and off in the same direction that the divine twins left in, though none of the others do. Aphrodite stays beside Iphi and places her hand on the Sister's. There's no words spoken, but the feeling is overwhelming. Be strong for each other. You will need all in the time ahead. Do not lose hope in the darkness. She gives another of her gentle smiles, rises, and slowly backs away, watching Iphi before turning to move back into the darkness.

Knox? He's just staring at Iphi, waiting for her to say something else.

Iphigenia's eyes are glazed over; dry from the fire and from her visions. She watches as Aphrodite retreats (oh gods, was this all in her own mind, the chamalla gives visions, what does it mean, what does it mean), and then looks at Knox. "There's darkness coming, Cooper." she says. "And the wave with it. Oh gods, how we'll need each other in the darkness."

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