AWD #266: Return With Your Shield or Upon It
Return With Your Shield or Upon It
Summary: Private Mallas brings an unusual offering to the Chaplain aboard the Orion.
Date: 02/10/2013
Related Logs: And Let Slip the Dogs of War
A Trip Down to Stores
Iphigenia Mallas 
The 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 #266

The fighting on Picon has been going for a few days, and while the news from the ground is generally good, a steady flow of casualties has been coming back to the Orion. Some are for Sick Bay, and some just need funeral rites. In the middle of all this one Private Mallas enters the Chapel, dressed his ground combat gear and carrying a rucksack under one arm. He's looking for someone, and obviously in a rush.

"Private? Can I help you?" Iphigenia is only just entering the chapel herself, and looks like she must have just come off a raptor. She's in ground fatigues, with a small bag clipped to her belt that is commonly seen amongst chaplains in war zones. It's full of coins for the dead.

Mallas looks relieved when the Chaplain calls out and he sees who it is. "Hey Sister. Yeah … I'm on the next bus back to Crandall. Did a tour in Sick Bay…" He hooks his thumb in the general direction of the other medical compartments. For someone who was wounded enough to come back to the ship, and is headed right back into it, he seems to be in remarkably good spirits. And talkative. "I wanted to make an offering, real quick." He hefts his rucksack. Apparently he has something inside. "And uhhh … you probably don't remember me, but you said some prayers for Dog Platoon before we dropped. It helped me get my head on straight, when things went to shit. So uhhh … thanks."

Iphigenia blinks a moment. Almost like she's confused. "Did I?" she asks and then, "Oh, yes. Of course I did. You're quite welcome, Private. It's always my duty and pleasure to serve. And of course you and other members of your platoon are welcome here at any time you have need. Chaplains are also planet-side, of course."

Mallas chuckles when it sounds like the Sister is covering for not remembering him or his unit. He shrugs it off. "You said we were working the will of the Lords and Ladies of Kobol." The humor rapidly vanishes as he recounts his recollection of the service. "I figured 'You know what? If I die, that just means my work here is done.' Until then, all I have to do is keep killing Cylons." There's a fervent gleam in his eye, and deadly seriousness in his tone. Private Mallas digs into his ruck and pulls out the bulky object he had stuffed in there, now holding it in both hands. It's a silver-metal Centurion head that has been shot full of holes. At least a dozen armor-piercing rounds have punched through it from a variety of angles. One optic is dangling loose from the socket, and severed wires poke out from the neck. The smell of fried circuits, hydraulic fluid, and grease drift from it. "For Ares. The heads of our enemy." Ok, technically he only has the one head, but he still seems very pleased with himself.

Iphigenia's brows lift in surprise. "It's certainly not the strangest offering I've ever seen." It does take her a moment to find words. "I think you should leave it on Ares' altar along with a prayer." She's actually trying not to smile.

"Aye aye, sir." Mallas isn't usually gung ho about protocol, but this time he is happy to take the Sister's suggestion as an order. He tucks the Centurion's head under his arm and makes his way over to the offering table, getting it settled upright upon the brass offering plate of Ares. Then he takes a knee and bows his head, offering his praryer in full battle gear. "Lords of Kobol, hear my prayer. I call upon Ares, Lord of War." His prayer is not a quiet one, spoken loudly enough for the whole Chapel to hear. And with the formal part of the way, the rest is his own invention. "Here's the head of my enemy. This is one of the ones I killed in your name, so it belongs to you. Ares, give me the strength to keep killing these metal mother frakkers. I don't care what else happens. Just let me keep on killing them all until the job is done." One thing is clear from the tone in his voice — this is one Private who has learned a profound and reverent hatred for Cylons in the last fourty-eight hours.

Iphigenia watches the young man with a sudden solemnity. She has little to contribute to his prayer; Iphigenia often feels there's little need for intercession unless her help is called upon directly. "Very good, Private." she offers softly instead.

Mallas stands up and flashes Iphigenia a smile. He seems very pleased with the prayer, and especially her approval. Then he hesitates, unsure how to express whatever it is he's feeling right after offering his prayer. Not happiness. It's too serious for that. Clarity of purpose perhaps, and a new enthusiasm. "Well … thanks a lot, Sister. I better move out before I miss the bus."

"I'll look for you again." Iphigenia says, moving aside for him to access the hatch. "So I expect you to come back, Private. Go with the blessings of the Lords of Kobol upon your head. Or as they say in some temples of Ares, "Return with your shield, or upon it."

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