AWD #263: Lord(s and Ladies) help us
Lord(s and Ladies) Help Us…
Summary: As Knox and Afton reach a crisis point outside of the chapel on the eve of the invasion, Kostas goes through her own preparations.
Date: 26/Sep/2013
Related Logs: None
Knox Afton Kostas 
Chapel - Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
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 #263

Up near the front, Afton is knelt before the figure of Asclepius, touching her hand to her chest and whispering a prayer as incense burns deep in the air, nearly burning her lungs and clinging to skin and hair alike. Dressed in her tanks, its obvious she's got enough time to remain for a while as a few others continue to whisper prayers. Sucking in a long breath, her head lift and she looks upwards towards the effigy. Letting it out after holding it a few moments, the air is rife with the tension that fills the ship, except here there is a calm. A calm that helps to ease some of the worry for the coming strike. Her eyes flicker to Ares, slowly stretching her back and scrubbing a hand through her cheek length hair.
 
The door doesn't even shut at this point. There isn't a point. They're going back to retake a colony. Its one of the most important ops of the war so the number of people in and out is no surprise. But a few people look up to see the skinjob entering. He doesn't stop to address any of it, though. He steps right up to the front and produces a zippo from one pocket. Its flicked open with a clank and he provides folds of paper from his other pocket. That heavy bruise on the left side of his face is just starting to fade away from swollen.

Starting to rise, Afton misses Knox' entrance at first til her head turns. Rolling her shoulders back, she sighs and smiles. Eyes focus on the fading bruise briefly and her glance flits back to others and then down to his hands. She waits a tick, allowing him a moment with his prayer before she draws closer to his side. The PJ runs a hand through her hair again, as if its all a new commodity, no longer bald and shaved smooth. Once he is done, she comes up closer to him and asks, "Do you mind if I join you? I haven't gotten a chance to talk to you lately," She admits and looks him over, her shoulder brushing his lightly - trying to keep quiet and respect the other prayers going on.

Coop takes his time. There are a lot of prayers to burn. One by one, the skinjob lays the burning pieces into the pyre and watches the prayers go up into the air above. Five.. Seven.. Eleven.. There are more than a dozen and a half before he finishes. There are no words said or even whispered. Nor does he share what's in them. There's nothing said until he finishes, then he looks to her. "Fair enough, but not here. I needed to get these in." The eternal Agnostic Theist submitting prayers to the Gods. There is a particular reverence to it. He turns from the altar and walks away towards the back.

Glancing at the burning embers of his prayers even after he turns away, Afton sighs, rubbing at her face before she turns and moves to follow. There is a determined stride to her as she catches up with him, soon hovering in the darker back of the chapel. She glances up at him and without asking or hesitating, her hands cross before her. "So tell me, what have you been up to lately?" The question comes with a faint smile, a brow arching upwards.

Coop finishes off the prayers and settles at the rear. He looks to all the other people here and shakes his head. He motions outside and moves there, assuming she follows. "Nothing much. Just getting ready for the strike." He sighs. "Been thinking a lot about Ceres a lot. Just… a lot of bullshit, hon. Sorry I've been so Out There."

"Its only going to get more shitty and more crazy, Coop, you know that. This is just one step amongst many, dear.." Afton reaches out, to touch his face and then lets her finger run along the bruise gently. She furrows her brows, "And I heard a rumor, about someone slugging you. Care to tell me what bullshit that is?" she asks faintly, nostrils flaring as her green eyes bore into his.

"Yeah, it is," he admits quietly. "I'm number four off the first Raptor tomorrow. Our unit will be first-wave. After they take out the basestars." Which means if he's killed he's unlikely to come back somewhere. "It'll be rough but hey, that's why they pay me the big bucks." The last has him look away, though. "Don't worry about it. Its done. Just people being people."

Afton's eyes narrow at his words, "Yeah but that is why we are here…to hope the Gods can help stray bullets from finding us all tomorrow, so we can hope just a little more," the PJ's hand still is placed at his cheek as he looks away, dodging her question about the bruise she is inspecting. Her lips form a slow firm line, "Right, people being people, more like people being ignorant asses, speak up marine…tell me," her voice firms even more, green eyes showing a determination that might warn him away from dodging her question again, "Who?"

"Don't be altruistic, Af. Number Four. Its going to get bloody down there in the first wave. I know, intimately, human anatomy. I know what bullets do. All I can do is my job and try to save lives." Afton and Knox are talking just outside the door to the Chapel, doing their best to keep their words hushed. While Afton's hand touches his cheek, he looks away. "Doesn't matter, Af. Its done. I'm not going to deal with it. And neither are you."

"I can be any way I want to be, don't start with me," Afton intones, starting to grow a little more firm with her demands. Her hand falls away and she lets it rest at her side as she exhales. "I am not? I wish you would even give me that choice, damn it. Are you just trying to purposely keep me at arms length in this? Is this the beginning of pulling away?" Her tone is somewhat hurt, but its becoming more icy with each moment. She folds her arms across her chest again and she narrows her eyes further. "Tell me, Cooper Knox. Who punched you or I am going to find out from someone else one way or another."

"No," Cooper says firmly. "You don't get that choice." He finally looks back at her. "I'm not trying to pull away but you need to come to terms with this. We're going in tomorrow, Af. You know what might be coming. You know my op. You need to see that in a practical light. I will do my job until I die, but that might still happen." The Marine looks firm, even as Afton firms up. "Drop it. You're not going on a vengeance assault. Let it go, Af." For all the pomp Knox gets for being a skinjob and an artificial person, this certainly sounds like any normal pair. Just how much of this guy is artificial?

There's the ring of boots in the corridor as Kostas makes her way towards the chapel, a Marine on a mission. There's a small chain wound lightly through her fingers of her left hand, closed to carry the medallions that are strung on it lightly against her palm. If she hears the voices, she doesn't give indication that she's paying attention, at least until she almost to the chapel door herself. "'Scuse me," she says quietly, by way of both warning and perhaps in greeting, though unless interrupted, she slip on past them and into the chapel proper.

Afton tenses, nostrils flaring as her hands tighten on her arms, digging in. She takes a step closer, trying to pitch her voice lower still but there is a dangerous hiss there in her voice, "Look, I know what your damned job is Knox, I knew that before you shoved it in my face. Doesn't mean you have to be a complete asshat about it or the fact I might never see you again." Her jaw flexes, tightening as she swallows. It's all visible in the tight lines of her face. Kostas' appearance breaks some of the tension, but only a little as Afton steps to the side and then focuses back in on Cooper, studying him. "You think that little of me? That I would go tearing after the person that struck you? Thanks for the vote of confidence…" She grits her teeth and closes her eyes.

Coop is suddenly distracted by Kostas. He's still in his camies from earlier, but he -did- head off in the right direction. "'Scuse me, sir." He steps out the way and looks back to Afton. Its not hard to overhear them. "Then you need to accept this. Its not about you, Af. This shit has been coming a long time. We hit those 'stars over the colonies, I die, I'm not just out for my mission - I'm gone. Don't ride me about understanding. This is a whole different paradigm." He clamps his jaw. "No, I don't think its little. I think its the way you are. You've never quit on a damned thing in your life. Just let it go. Who cares? Its over."

Once in the sanctuary, there's a soft clink as the chain slips from Kostas' fingers, and she loops it around her neck, over her uniform. There's three metal pendants strung on it, about the size of dog tags. Her footsteps falling more softly, as if in instinctive reverence, Silvia makes a beeline for the vigil table. She takes the lighting candle, and cradles it, dark eyes glinting as she searches for just the right place—and it takes awhile, perhaps many more candles lit tonight than on most. Finally she finds a spot, two unlit clusters of five. She whispers something soft over each one. A name, different for each candle. She brings the fingers of her right hand to her lips for each one, kissing them and holding them over each flame before moving on to the next.

"About me?!" Afton's voice raises just enough to start to fill the Chapel. "Really? That is how you feel…that is what you think…" She lets out a half laugh and takes a step back, her arms unfolding as her hands lift, palms out as she swallows past the lump in the back of her throat. She manages to gather a breath. "Frak you, Coop…" Green eyes are glinting with anger but also glimmering with something unshed, unspoken. "I am not riding you about anything..you are the one that is putting up your gods damned walls again…if this is going to be our last conversation then its probably best I walk away, right now or I might well say things I don't want you to go away with, yeah?" Being quiet? She still is trying - desperately. She lifts a hand to rub at her cheek briefly, letting fingers catch near the corner of her eye. She swallows again and clears her throat. "Just keep this all to yourself, it's fine. I don't want to know anymore. I don't care…" She says the last sharply, breathing in. Likely already regretting a hell of a lot. But she can't help herself, starting to turn she stills and then turns back to look at him. "Why do you have to be a heartless bastard right now, I will never know. A lot is over right now." That carries a lot of implication.

Knox looks distracted for a moment. Is he even listening to Afton? He's watching Kostas. The reverence she takes to it finds him and there is a rather blank look as he stares into the chapel. Watching her kiss each candle, he misses some of what Afton says. Whoever this Marine is to Coop, its distracted him enough to come back to Af mid-convo. "What the hell are you on?" he blurts back. "I'm not being heartless. I'm trying to frakking bury my shit before we got out, Af. As much as I might be a robot to some people, I've gotta deal with shit. We're going in tomorrow and I'm looking at a real death. I know that's a normal thing for you, but that's different for me. I'm not being heartless! I'm trying to get my head in the right place. You wanna declare shit over, you do that. But I need to bury, Af. Do it now or get past it." He stares at her.

Much of the rigidity has gone out of the Marine officer's shoulders by the time she lights the tenth candle, her steps softer still as she moves towards the basin for the burnt offerings. There's no way that she's not heard the conversation, but either out of respect or close quarters etiquette, even she knows enough to not give indication that she has. And in truth, her attention is mostly focused on the ritual she's performing; not exactly standard, probably a little ghetto, but totally authentic. She digs in her pocket, tossing out 10 little candies into the bowl with a skittering collection of plinks and clinks. She looks around the chapel furtively, then produces a little bottle of something, and dumps it on top. She kneels before the plate on the cushions, her eyes closed. Her voice is soft, and whether it can carry over to the edge of the chapel during a heated conversation is probably somewhat in doubt. "Ares shield me, unless it's better that I take one for someone else. Protect my men. Keep 'em safe though they got some fuck of a officer who wasn't meant ta be one. Artemis use me to give back all th' assholes done to us, whatever you gotta do to me to make it happen. Hestia—" she pauses for a moment, unable to speak, and when she continues her voice is a little choked. "Forgive me. Thank you for lettin' me have 'em for what time I did. They done real good. As good as anyone here on this ship, and won't no one know it." Another pause, but the lump her her voice is gone at least. "And whoever listenin', you got any ideas 'bout what to do 'bout fuckin' Shackleton, smack my ass with it 'cause I sure as hell don't."

Green eyes search his, she catches her breath as he finally meets her's again. Afton smirks, "Welcome to being human…some things you have to get used to…right?" her voice is cold, small and she looks down then, studying his feet. "You aren't burying anything, Coop…you are walling yourself again, and to me of all people. You act like I don't know risks…I know them better than most on this damn trip because I am one of them that gets sent in to mop up afterwards. You begrudge my hope, like its something silly yet gaze longingly after someone else doing the SAME THING!" Her voice lifts and she sucks in a breath, a rueful look on her face as she seems to be choking back a breath or two. "You are right, you are different…more than you realize. Perhaps you are not and you are jsut being so god damned male right now that I could lay you flat and add to that fancy little bruise." She swallows again, "Fine.." She creaks, her voice catching as she gathers the strength to say it, "Its over. All of it. Us. If you can't even …you know what, it doesn't matter. Good luck tomorrow. You can bury whatever this was to you with everything else." She takes a step back, realizing her voice has gotten quite loud before she smooths a hand through her hair then presses her the back of her hand to her lips before composing herself to start down the hall, leaving the open hatch behind, as well as the JTAC.

Its hard. Coop has his lady in front of him being distressed, but his new CO is in the Chapel and putting serious effort into a prayer. He almost lifts a hand to Afton to say 'quiet', but he doesn't get that far. Between her words, he's catching what Kostas is saying. Its probably a bit frustrating for Af to watch that, but he's there. Coop's face goes from frustrated, to blank, to concerned in about ten seconds. He stares at the woman in the pew, wanting to go to her, but Afton is demanding his attention. He looks back to Afton halfway through and his jaw clamps again. Listening to this half, his eyes narrow — but there is hurt there. He's back just in time to hear her leaving him. "Fine. Walk away." His jaw shakes as she turns… and then it sours. Its hard to hold a trembling frown that long without it going to something more. He watches her walk away, hands at his side, anger simmering with sorrow. He waits until she's out of earshot before whispering, "I love you, wife." Maybe Kostas hears that. Maybe she doesn't. His head droops and he turns to walk the other way.

Kostas stands up, and doesn't turn around. Not to avoid reaction to the two in the hallway, but because her eyes are for the moment filled with tears, and those too are in a way a sacrifice. She reaches for a lighting wick, holds it to the light source near by, and touches it to the edge of the offering plate. Now what happens, when you take a flame to a mix of sugar and alcohol? Even the worst chef would know, unfortunately Kostas isn't even remotely close to that kind of knowledge. WHHHHOOOOOOSH!!!!! A puff of blue flame followed by light. Flambe! The gods (or whoever hung the curtains) though seem to have contingency plans in place because by some miracle nothing ignites. "SHIT!" Kostas hisses without thinking taking a step back. Her tears are sucked away by the heat, but there's not much left in the plate, and no harm done. It smells pretty damn good in the chapel now though. Kostas looks up at the bulkhead for a moment, blinking, and then smiles, softly. Almost feminine. "Thanks," she whispers, kissing her three medallions of Ares, Artemis, and Hestia. Only then does she gingerly look around, with a concerned frown towards the doorway, rubbing the back of her neck. Yeah, meant to do that.

Biting back her words to him telling her to go, Afton doesn't look back, long legs picking up the pace as she rounds the corner out of view. It only speeds up more so when she's out of view, enough to get into a slight jog and people move mostly out of her way as her eyes focus, deaden and she steels herself like the rest.

The Canceronian looks…somewhat relieved to find no spectators in the doorway, but quickly grows solemn, even sad. Nice thing about being uneducated, relatively speaking, is that she doesn't really have the inclination to pretty things up. She turns back towards the altar and offering plate, shifting from one foot to the other, before dropping to her knees again. She frowns, eyes closed, trying to think of how to put what she's feeling in words. "Um…one more thing, I guess. Aphrodite…look out for those two. Dunno what the fuck is going on, but…shit. Not a lot of pretty around. If they found something, try to help them not be dumbasses. Goddess, even a kinda-not-real-man don't get logic right….fuckin' hell. You better watch out for the Sergeant too, I guess. Please." She rises, looking uncertainly at the offering plate. and then down glumly at her pockets. What to offer to the goddess of *love* and romance and shit? She looks stumped, and then brightens, digging in one of her utility pockets to find something to throw in there, it's something smallish and in a wrapper. She looks at the lighting wick again, and then at the plate. "Maybe I'll let the chaplain take care of burning this one," she says apologetically, before turning and moving away. She doesn't leave, though, instead settling on one of the pews, in the back.

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