AWD #209: Old Friends
Old Friends
Summary: A pair of old friends are reunited and attempt to solve some problems.
Date: 03/08/2013
Related Logs: Return to Persephone
Atalanta Iphigenia 
Chapel
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 #209

The chapel is not a place which Atalanta visits often — or really, at all, since she came aboard the Orion. So the appearance of the slender blonde in the doorway is not a sight which anyone ought to expect. The DCAG hesitates there, leaning against the frame of the hatch as she waits for her green eyes to adjust to the dim light, searching for the shadowy outlines of any figure inside.

It's quiet right now. Morning services have been done for a while, most of the other chaplains are in counseling or handling visitations. It's just Gen, at the moment, alone, looking thoughtfully up at the idol of Aphrodite with a musing expression on her face.

Far be it for her to interrupt devotion. Atalanta says nothing. She simply strides into the chapel, her footsteps heavy against the metal floor, echoing in the empty chamber despite all of the wall hangings. Her hands slip into the pockets of her trousers, an uncharacteristically casual stance for the Major.

"Atia," she says, turning her head to regard the DCAG, "Don't worry; I wasn't praying. But it's been an age since I've seen you; come sit down." With that, Gen heads for a pew.

Atia — a name she hasn't heard anyone use in months. It's an intimacy. A sign of friendship. She blinks once and then laughs, one of the only times she has since being transferred. "Good gods on the mountain," she murmurs. "They told me you were aboard when I asked after the chaplain, but I didn't believe it. I thought I must have misunderstood, or misheard them, or that they were mispronouncing some other woman's name." Her strides are quick. She stops dead in front of Iphigenia, right before she enters the pew. Oh. Oh, gods. Is she… is she hugging an Arden? Really?!

Iphigenia returns the hug, and with some air of greatfulness. Human contact. She hugs a lot of people, but it's to provide them comfort and because they need it. How often does she get to hug people as Gen? Not often. Once she leans back, she still holds onto Atia's hand in her two. "I'd heard you'd transferred to the Rubaul. I'm sorry I haven't made time to come see you, but even though my department isn't even formally a department it does have a mountain of paperwork."

There's no words of reproach. There's only a smile — a smile of warmth, tinged with sadness. It's nostalgia, easily recognizable. "It doesn't matter. It's good to see a familiar face, however long it's been." A pause. "How long has it been, really? I don't… I don't think I've seen you since my parents arranged that tour of the university, unless I've forgotten some dinner somewhere. Has it really been that long? It seems like that was another life."

"A few years." Gen says smoothly, squeezing the other woman's hands. "And I'm glad to be reunited with a friend. But since you didn't know I was here, it was something else that brought you, yes?"

The smile fades quickly, replaced instead by a furrowing her brows. The knit together, forming a line right above the bridge of her nose — an expression that ages her prematurely. "Two things, yes — one far more pleasant than the other. Which would you like to hear first, Sister?" No, not Geni. Not now.

"Whichever is causing you the most trouble." Gen replies calmly. So: bad news first.

She sinks into the nearest pew, crossing her legs primly at the ankle. There is plenty of room left next to her for the priestess, one of whose hands she still holds. "Have you heard about the mission to Persephone? The evacuees which brought back?" It is question which Atia already expects she knows the answer to — it'd be impossible to miss the three starving men they've had in medical for almost a month now.

"I've heard something about it, yes. I try to keep track of who's being seen to - there's been a great deal of inhumane treatment, stories that have been filtering through. To our own." Gen shakes her head.

Her expression falls, the gravitas with which she so often speaks becoming somber. Grim. "I've tried to be quiet about what happened there, for the survivors' sakes. There was a Captain, Aldridge, who went mad when the Cylons struck — convinced himself that their outpost was some sort of stronghold where they would repopulate humanity. Three of the five girls we pulled off the station were pregnant. Two, I think, had been in some sort of willing relationship with the men who were eventually brigged, starved. But the third one… Aldridge claimed her as his wife. She may have consented, but as a hostage? Seeing what he'd done to the others? How could she, really? It was rape."

Iphigenia's expression tightens. "I see. You brought her back, didn't you? I haven't had any requests for counseling come through, but perhaps I should look in on this young woman." There's a tilt of her head. "How far along is she? Has she…executed her right as a colonial citizen?" Which is a polite way of asking if she's sought an abortion.

There's a vehement shake of her head. "It's clearly what she wants, and I expect that she may hurt herself and the child because of how desperate she's become…. but they've sent her down to Piraeus. Her doctors told her she's carrying "the most precious cargo". They're going to discharge her from her post under the Admiral's policy, force her to raise the child because there's no one else to raise it. I would've advised her to, but… Geni… she's got to be almost seven months along now." Atia's mouth presses into a thin line, slowly draining of her color. Seven months. At seven months, the child may be able to survive on its own. Her opinion's clear. At seven months, with a healthy child, it'd be more like murder.

"Seven months is too far along to abort." Gen says, adding, "Doctors have no business making morality calls on such matters; but it's not one of those things that's against the law. It is out of a medical scope of practice, but…" she sighs. "What about her giving the child up for adoption? Surely that'd be allowed in her case. She deserves to get on with her life after such trauma."

"It may well be an option; as I understand it, the Commander in control of Picon has been evacuating pregnant women and young mothers first, so there must be someone nursing on planet," she says, with a heavy sigh. "The issue is convincing her to carry the child to term rather than cutting it out of herself. She's desperate, Geni. Desperate in a way that I hope you know but don't understand. She needs a priest — and possibly a doctor, to do the cutting for her, in the hopes that they both survive it."

Iphigenia appears torn. "You know I've always had my disagreement with the Sanctity of Life," Gen says, "But we are at the point she's far along enough that an early c-section may not be the best for the health of either mother or child. I would certainly be willing to help her, and help her seek adoption, and assure she retains her position within the military. Do you know which doctors took care of her?"

Both of Atia's brown brows arch; the new proximity to her blonde hair highlights the difference in shade. "I assure you, if I knew which one of those doctors assured her that she ought to be grateful for her circumstances… I'd have put some sense into their heads. Even if I had to beat them to get it in there." It, ahhh, would seem that the DCAG hasn't simply taken offense to the words she heard. It seems she's taken a great deal of offense to them. Her eyes, notably, have flicked to the statue of Asclepius and away again. It is the only fracture in an otherwise hard expression.

Iphigenia's mouth quirks up at the corner grimly. "I'll speak to her, if she'll speak to me, and advocate for her to Jameson and the JAG office, if that's what she wants." Firmly, "Now tell me the good news?"

"It isn't exactly good news, but it is more pleasant," she says, resting back against the pew — a slip of her otherwise perfect posture. "We've missed the Armilustrium. Of course, I realize we have very little to celebrate now, but still, I think we ought to try to keep the tradition — prove to the people of Piraeus that they aren't alone and defenseless, prove to ourselves that we remain strong, and maybe, just maybe, gain the favor of the gods of war in the process."

"We could certainly try." says Gen. "It would be a good thing, I think, to pull people together for such a celebration. We haven't had any sacred rituals en masse since Saturnalia."

"It would do well, to praise the gods. To honor them, and hope for their blessing. We'll be going to Picon soon; we'll need them with us when we do," Atia says, softly. "I imagine it won't be a grand celebration - no hall after all of weapons and heroes. No great parades. But I somehow doubt the gods need all of that. They wouldn't have brought us here, if we did."

"They appreciate pomp and circumstance no doubt, but that ultimately is not what they require. Dedication. Sacrifice. Sincerity." Iphigenia murmurs. "Let's see what can be organized, shall we?"

"I imagine that, given our circumstances, the games would be easiest to organize — that it would be more a matter of finding a way to display the combatants to the public." One hand brushes a stray blonde lock back from her face. "And, of course, providing them with their due rewards. A flyover by the Viper squadrons would be easy enough; I only need to sign the paper."

"There's a great deal of land around the temple that can be used for athletic events; erecting a platform and making laurels is simple enough." Gen says. "Wrestling, running dash races and cross country; there's a great deal we can do."

"Wonderful," she says with a relieved sigh — one that lets her shoulders sink back into the place where they ought to be. "It will finally be something for all of us to look forward to."

"In the meantime, though, you mustn't be a stranger." Iphigenia chides. "We'll need to have drinks at the officer's club. And I need to show you the temple."

"Ohhh, I assure you that I won't," Atia replies, finally beginning to smile, however slightly. "It'd be lovely to have someone to actually talk to — or at least to talk to about something other than AARs and recons and SAR missions and briefings." It isn't a complaint — not quite, but there is a tinge of truth to her tone.

Iphigenia lets out a laugh. "Oh, poor Atia." she teases. "It'll be like old times, yes? But with less runs in our stockings and stories about visits to chalets on Aquaria."

"Ohhhh, if there's one thing I'm grateful for about this apocalypse, it's that there must not be a single proper pair of pantyhose left in the entire 'verse," the Major replies, with a shake of her head. "It's a blessing, buried under all that misery and pain, I assure you." Never let it be said that she can't find the silver lining, even in doomsday.

Iphigenia can't help it, she lets out a little laugh. "Have you been to that liner with all the surplus luxury goods in the fleet? I imagine the bulk of its stock is on Piraeus now, but people still shuttle over there for things. We should go on a quest for hose sometime."

"Honestly, I didn't even know that there was one!," she says, mouth slightly agape. Stockings. And nail polish. And chocolate. "I've been aboard the Rubaul since War Day; I'd given up almost all of my supplies to the women I was hot-bunking with and practically begged the TACCO who had me transferred for a bit of real shampoo."

Iphigenia grins just a touch. "Well, if nothing else, people are almost always very generous to the chaplains. We'll have to make an evening of it, down on Piraeus. I'll see what I can get my hands on."

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