AWD #151: Pleasantries
Pleasantries
Summary: Bennett and Iphigenia exchange them.
Date: 06/06/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Bennett Iphigenia 
Checkpoint Charlie's - Officer's Lounge
The lounge at the bar, an afterthought built onto the main structure, is a little more classy. This is probably a function of the fact that the members of CIDSR and some of the ranking officers wanted a place that was not as prone to barfights. Some of the research ships look to have been looted to bring down nicer couches and other seating. Proper floorlamps and even even a felt-covered card table have been set towards the back and a brave soul even donated a painting. The lighting is darker and the mood is more calm here, as proclaimed by a sign on the wall that reads, 'Fighting is strictly prohibited in this room.'. Contrary to the room's nickname, the location is not restricted to anyone for now.
AWD #151

Bennett rarely misses out on the opportunity to doll herself up and head down to the planet for some rest and relaxation. While she is frequently found in the company of a companion (or two), tonight she is very much alone, perched on one of the couches at the back, and enjoying a cigarette and a book. A striped sundress, straw hat and sandals mark an abrupt departure from standard issue military garb.

Iphigenia has been down on the planet seeing to the temple, and so she's still in her uniform…but it's unpinned in the unofficial I'm Off Duty position and her hair has been let down and uncoiled from its braid. She steps inside with a drink already in hand and an eye for a seat. "Bennett," she calls out upon spotting the pilot, "Mind company?"

Bennett lifts her eyes when she hears her name being called, and her gaze alights upon the chaplain. Well, one of them. It takes her a moment to smile, like her mind was somewher else and had to be brought forcibly back to the present— but when she does, it's warm and inviting. "No, Sister, not at all. Please." She even scooches over a little to give Iphigenia room to sit next to her.

"You know, you're welcome to call me Gen, or Geni if you're feel comfortable about it." The priestess sets her glass down first, and flops bonelessly into one of the loveseats, curling her feet up against her in a fashion incongruous with the solemnnity of her uniform. "The Air Wing's clearly keeping you busy, I keep missing you in chapel. How have you been?"

"Gen," repeats the raptor pilot, blue eyes tracking the other woman as she settles in. "Well, all right, if you prefer." Her smile remains, a teasing little thing at the corners of her lips. She closes her book, and places it atop her lap. Two Sailing Ships, proclaims the title on the somewhat faded cover. "I suppose it has been. I am well, thank you, if in need of a foot soak and full body massage. Preferably at the hands of a well-oiled marine." She doesn't blush, and she doesn't pretend to be coy about it; she might even be serious. "May I ask the same?"

"Frequently busy, underslept, and very much in need of similar treatment." Gen says agreeably. "Every now and again when I've overnighted near the temple, I've indulged in a brisk dip in the nearby river, and while it's invigorating, it's not exactly relaxing."

Bennett leans back with a soft creak of worn out springs in the couch she's commandeered, and crosses her legs while Iphigenia speaks. "Do you know, I have yet to stop by the temple. Or the river." One brow perks slightly. "Which I was unaware of. I may have to rectify that." She pulls from her cigarette, still studying the other woman thoughtfully. "I imagine your work must require a great deal from you— especially in days such as these are. I think.." Her eyes flick away finally. "..I think I have the easier job, quite honestly."

"You should come out with me sometime." Gen says brightly. "Quite a few people worked on getting the temple built, many of them from the Wing." There's a pause, as if she's considering adding some information, and then seems to change her mind. "I think that can go either way, depending on the day. I certainly wouldn't call my job the more difficult when you have raiders bearing down on you."

Bennett mms absently at mention of the raiders. Something she, perhaps, has no desire to discuss at the present time. Instead, as to joining Iphigenia on one of her forays, "I would enjoy that." Exhaling smoke politely away from the priestess, she asks then, gently, "You were going to say something else? About the temple, I think."

Iphigenia hesitates a moment and then admits, "I didn't want to cause you discomfort or unhappiness, but I was about to mention that your sister's ashes were housed in the temple for a time. When Aristides was…indisposed." As in, trashed the chapel and tossed into the brig for a spell.

"Ah," is all the pilot has to say for some time. She taps a column of ash into her empty cup, peppering the dregs of damp tea leaves sitting at the bottom. "And now?"

"He has them." Gen says softly. "He's been better recently. Once he got back into the cockpit. I'm sorry, I have a horrible knack for making pleasantry into something that isn't. Shall we talk about something else?"

Bennett meets the other woman's eyes and answers softly, firmly, perhaps even an inch away from chastisingly, "I do not require pleasantries, Gen. In fact, I am glad you brought it up with me. Ari and I.." She makes a small sound like she might chuckle, but the look in her eyes is anything but amusement. "We aren't on the best terms. And I wasn't aware he had them.. had kept them…"

Iphigenia has the grace to look abashed. "He didn't indicate to me that it was a secret. But yes. He was very angry with me for bringing them to the temple." Her brow furrows. "He had them the night he wrecked the chapel on Orion." Another pause, "The anniversary of your sister's passing. I'm so sorry." She then cannot help but add, "Everything he's told me about her indicates she was incredibly gifted."

Bennett gives little indication of whether the subject matter bothers her. Her cigarette is touched to her lips again, held there perhaps a little longer than is necessary, and withdrawn on the cusp of a long exhale of smoke. "I had heard he.. caused you some trouble. I am sorry." She shifts slightly, adjusting her own long braid across one shoulder. "Whomever said they were not their brother's keeper surely did not claim such at the end of the world." A breath. "And yes, she was. Very gifted. Beautiful. She drew people to her like moths to a flame."

"I believe it." Gen says, and shakes her head. "He was in terrible pain, and though he is troubled, he is," there's a breath as she chooses her words carefully, "Never a burden to me."

"Gen," answers the pilot softly, her own words plucked like pebbles from a swiftly-moving stream, "Those we love are always burdens. Burdens we take on willingly, but burdens nonetheless." She touches the other woman's arm, fingers cool, contact fleeting if it is permitted. "I am sorry," she offers again.

It's permitted, and there's a certain tension that leaves Geni's face at Bennett's words. "Ah." she says, as if something's revealed and then, "Because of the chapel? It was easily remedied. We didn't even need to close doors to recover."

Bennett smiles a crooked little smile, and withdraws her hand again. "No." She wiggles her cigarette to and fro like it's shaking its head. "Not because of the chapel." The smile sobers a touch, dissolving into a somewhat more serene expression. "We used to play at dressing up, Maggie and I. She would borrow mother's scarves and heels and lipsticks, and she would pretend to be a film star, or a princess, or a hula girl. Me, I just wanted to be a bush pilot."

"Equally adventuresome, if on different paths." Geni notes. "I've seen video of her dancing and silkwork." There's a tilt of her head. "Would you say the work you do now is more or less exciting?"

"Very different paths," Bennett concurs, gaze slipping away for a moment as someone else enters the lounge, looks around briefly, and steps back out again. "Hmm?" She looks back to the chaplain. "More or less than which?"

"Than being a bush pilot." Gen replies. "Is that still the dream, or are you career?" In as much as anyone's career these days. The war could go on for years.'

Bennett chuckles, and shakes her head. "It is different. As to the dream.. I suppose I'm not sure. I haven't had much opportunity to consider what I want to do with my life if.." She hesitates. "After the war's over." She pulls from her cigarette, and gestures to Iphigenia. "What about you, Gen? Was this your calling, or merely a stepping stone?"

"Being ordained became the plan in uni, but the military was a decision toward the end of seminary training." Gen admits, taking a sip of her drink finally before continuing. "I think if I could have a family and still be true to the needs of being a military chaplain, I'd stay on, but I expected I'd muster out when I felt the time was right to start a family. Someone told me - " there's a pause, a frown. "Someone told me I shouldn't wait. But now isn't the time."

"I think it takes a particular sort of dedication, to choose to serve the Gods and the Colonial Navy both," opines the raptor pilot, stubbing out her spent cigarette finally, and dropping it into the cup emptied of tea. "I'm not sure there ever is a time," she adds, sotto voce, "until, one day, it's gone."

"There's still time." Gen says with certainty. "And right now we're all needed, I'm afraid. Motherhood, regardless, will have to wait."

Bennett starts to say something, then stops, lips half parted before lightly pressing together again. "Perhaps," she half-concedes. Fighting the war on the front lines has, possibly, led her to believe otherwise. "I.." She releases a tense breath. "I should be getting back to Orion. It was lovely to speak with you though, Gen. Please do let me know, next time you will be heading to the temple?"

Iphigenia cocks her head. She wants to ask what Bennett was going to say, but it's true that it is likely that time. "Of course." she says, and then, in a brief show of vulnerability, "You don't mind?" As if she somehow needs permission from Maggie's sister.

Bennett does not answer with words, but rather reaches for the other woman's hand, and curls long fingers around the palm. "Please don't hesitate to find me, if you need to talk," she advises. "Sometimes the listener needs to be heard." A squeeze, and then she withdraws, collects her book, and unfurls herself from the couch. "Gods keep you, Sister."

Iphigenia squeezes back. "And you, Bennett. Good hunting." She settles back down, planning to go up a little later on.

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