AWD #003: Of Mice and Tiptoft
Of Mice and Tiptoft
Summary: Thumper prays. The Chaplain lulz.
Date: 7/1/2013
Related Logs: Colonies go boom.
Tiptoft Iphigenia Bridget 
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 #03

The chapel has seen more people in the last few days than it usually sees in a month. Iphigenia Arden is on her knees in front of Athena, her fingers pressed to the base of the idol as she sings in the liturgical language, Old Gemenese softly under her breath.

Worshipful silence isn't Leo Tiptoft's style. Nor, really, is worship in any formal sense. But here in the chapel he is, and his weight causes the deck to shiver beneath his wide, loping stride. Pushing a shell-shocked acolyte out of the way, the big man stumps over to one of the room's several cushions — an unobtrusive one in the corner, where an idol of Hermes smiles the god's mysterious smile in the candlelit gloom.

Iphigenia lools over at the looming man. Rising to her feet, she slips closer to him. Enough so that she can be of assistance if he requests it, but not so much as to disturb his prayers.

Leo notices the chaplain draw near, and scoots over a few inches on the cushion to hug as much of the bulkhead as possible. In his sweaty palms he holds a dull silver medallion, on whose surface has been carved the sign of the caduceus: sacred to the messenger god, to whose service he is pledged, and in whose name he prays. "Um. Hermes. Um." His thick fingers nearly drop the medallion on the ground, and he recovers with a curse that certainly has no place in a place like this. "Hey, man. Hope you're good."

Iphigenia smiles a little. She nods a little, companionably so, and turns and steps away to give him his privacy.

The chaplain gets a shy little smile, which on his face makes about ten years drop away. And then he tries again. "Um. Hermes. Celestial messenger, of, um, various skill. Who, um." Beat. "Godsdammit — shit. I mean, sorry. I didn't mean that. Or the shi — I mean. Um. That word." Yeah, this isn't going well, which means, after a few seconds, he swallows his pride and sees if the chaplain's still hovering. "Um. Hey, sir. You, uh. You wouldn't got a cheat sheet or something lying around, yeh?"

She cocks her head at him, grinning broadly, and when she speaks, it's with received pronunciation of the Virgon noble classes. "I generally find, Lieutenant, that regardless of structure, an honest mind and heart will always be head by the Lords of Kobol. Say what you need to say, in the best way you feel the most comfortable and honest saying it. Hermes will hear you."

Thumper tips his head to one side, as if trying to parse the woman's words. Eventually: "So, what you're saying is, you don't have one of those cheat sheets, yeh?" His own accent is Kingston through and through: blue-collar Virgan, just like the lead singers of those popular rock bands of the 1980s. Except without the, you know, singing.

Iphigenia chuckles. "I'm saying it doesn't matter." she replies. "Pray as you need to."

"Shit — I mean, um. Man. Seriously?" This apparently comes as news to Tiptoft, who leans back on his tremendous off-duty boots to regard the woman with a very skeptical look. Which, now that he's no longer smiling, kind of looks like his regular look. "Not how Mum sees it." Note the present tense. "She'd whack me with that godsd — that darn ruler — every time I messed up one of the Orphic Hymns or something."

"I think you'll find that even within the temple, attitudes are quite…diverse when it comes to the nature of the divine. Do what's right for you." she tells the man, quite seriously. "If you don't feel right about it and are more comfortable with the traditional forms, then I'd be happy to help you."

"Sounds like some hippie bullshit from Libran," says Tiptoft before he can stop himself — and then the big man winces as the import of what he says finally registers in his brain. "My bad. Maybe you should just, um. Read something aloud for me, or something. Maybe kill a small mouse and burn it. Um." Thumper looks around for any loose rodents. "This place got any of those?"

Iphigenia cocks her head. "Actually, it's reformist bullshit from Virgon." she replies smoothly with a pinion stare. "We don't have live offerings. But if you'd like to make an effigy, I can provide you with paper." She steps closer to him, moving to stand next to him as he kneels.

Thumper coughs nervously as the woman approaches. Perhaps figuring that discretion is the better part of valor, he decides to say nothing. Wet palms rub its well-worn faces between them, generating slick and uncomfortable heat. As for the question, the chaplain gets a silent nod.

Iphigenia prompts him gently. "Lords of Kobol, hear my prayer." She'll feed it to him, line for line, at least in so far as the traditional beginning and ending.

Remember that old chestnut about horses and water? It must have been written about him. "Yeah," Tiptoft mutters. "That." And then, very reluctantly, he plays along. "Lords of Kobol. And especially you, Hermes. Hear my prayer."

There's a point at which of course, she doesn't know what he wants to say, so as she takes him through the form, when it's time for the freestyle, she steps back, and lets him go about his business.

Bridget arrives from the Fore Corridor.

It'll take Tiptoft some time to warm up, and for a while it seems as if the moment will overcome him after all. But right as he's about to pack up and leave, he takes another look at the coin — and then, closing his eyes, bites the proverbial bullet and starts talking. "I know you're probably all sorts of busy up there, man. You're probably all buzzing round the place dealing with this prayer and that prayer 'cause it's the frakking end of the world, or something, judging by the way everyone's talking, and I saw Gemenon, so that means you've got all sorts of dead ascetic pricks you gotta lead over the River, so, you know, just file this one away into a box or something and have your secretary give it to you when you've got a minute." The man's deep bass quavers as he talks, and his coin digs so deeply into his palms that they seem white.

Iphigenia doesn't make a move. She doesn't breathe. She makes herself a non-entity until such time as he needs her again.

Not that Leo would notice her even if she did. The words come more smoothly now: the same words he says in the cockpit before opening the throttle and catapulting into space. "They're fast. Make me faster. They're smart. Make me smarter. They're strong. Make me stronger. And when I get home I'll chop up a nice juicy mouse for you, bled just the way you like." Pause. He's improvising, now. "And, um. Oh. That reminds me. If I gotta kick it, Hermes, 'cause stupid Zeus has got it all written in his stupid frakking books, then at least let me take some of those silver buggy motherfrakkers with me. Um. And yeah, watch over my family too. Especially Kenny. 'Cause he's a frakking idiot. And if he's gotta go, make sure he gets some too." Breath. "Okay. Yeah, um. That's it." And with that he looks up at the chaplain, eyes opening, expression somewhat pleading. As if to ask how he did, from a strict school-marm.

Bridget peeks into the chapel, looking around curiously. She spots Geni and Tiptoft, but she doesn't approach. Instead, she slips into a back pew and bows her head.

Iphigenia fights her smile with tooth and nail, and succeeds. "So say we all." she declares, indicating the ending of the prayer, and perhaps adding her own emphasis.

Bridget murmurs her repetition at the end of the room. "So say we all," the redhead murmurs.

"Oh yeah," Tiptoft scrambles to add. "So say we all." And with that conclusion he stumbles to his feet, chucking the silver medallion around his neck so it clinks against his tags — with such force that he accidentally kicks his cushion into the idol of Hermes, which teeters on its ledge. "Oh godsdamn — " Whew. He caught himself. "Um. No worries. I got it, I got it." Dirty boots drag the cushion back into place. And then he fixes the chaplain with a surprisingly serious look. "You make sure you get a mouse around here," he half-orders, half-requests. "'Cause I promised the big man some blood, and he doesn't like broken promises."

Iphigenia's brow remains arched. "I'll see what I can do." she says. "You might try catching one on Piraeus." she suggests, and leaves it at that.

"Uh-huh. Gotta build a better mousetrap first." Whatever that means. "Hey, sir, donno if anyone's told you, but you're all right." And with that, Thumper stumps off, but not before attempting to clap the woman on the shoulders with an arm the size of neck. Hard enough to send sprawling, if she's not prepared. But in a friendly way. Because that's how he rolls.

Bridget smiles to Tiptoft as he passes, but keeps silent otherwise. She's patiently waiting to talk to the Chaplain.

Iphigenia is sturdier than she looks, but not without wincing and almost folding like an accordion. "Thank you." she says. "Do let me know if there's anything else I can do for you. I'm Lieutenant Sister Arden, and I also serve as one of the ship's counselors." She leaves it at that, unless he has any further need of her.

"Thumper," says the pilot, pausing at the hatch. Maybe that's how he got his callsign. "But it's Le — Lionel. Lionel Tiptoft. Hey, keep your head up, yeh?" And with a taut little grin at Bridget, more reflex than anything else, he ducks out into the corridor, his boots thudding loudly against the hard steel deck.

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