AWD #012: Snuffing the Flame
Snuffing the Flame
Summary: After hearing rumors of impropriety between Lieutenant Arden and Captain Cole, Major Sheperd decided to have a Command to Counselor talk.
Date: 18/Jan/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Won't You Light My Candle
Zachary Iphigenia 
Chapel - 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.
18 Jan 2005


A couple of ensigns from the Air Wing are overheard in the head.

"Man, the chaplains must be worn the hell out."

"What do you mean?"

"C'mon, you know everyone's either gonna be 'the gods are dead' or finding religion. The chapel's seen more people in the last week then it probably has in months."

"Yeah, I guess that'd be normal."

"So I got it from one of the maintenance fellas when he went in to clean that he saw Janitor curled up, conked out on one of the pews with a blanket."

"So what? He's always doing weird shit like that."

"Yeah, but someone was with him under the blanket."

"No frakkin' way! Who was it?"

"The chaplain from Virgon. The one Bumper and Janitor goes to sessions with? Arden."

It's true; the chapel has been seeing a lot more activity of late. There's a small prayer group that has formed, Iphigenia is saying goodbye to the departing marines and airmen as they file out, offering a smile and a gentle touch to shoulders that seem to welcome the contact. There's a quiet confession going on in one of the booths, but naturally she ignores it.

Arriving in the chapel, Major Sheperd pauses only for a moment at the statue to Aurora. It only makes sense, that the CSAR turned DCAG would worship as such, they are known for flying in the worst of the worse situations. However, his prayer is brief and kept only until Iphigenia is done dismissing the current group. Making his way to where the Chaplain is tending her flock, the Major patiently waits for her to be done and then clears his throat to catch her attention. "Good evening, Chaplain."

"Good evening, Major." She has a smile for him that actually meets her eyes; she's in a good mood. "What can I do for you?"

"Can we talk for a moment?" Zachary asks, offering her a smile in return, but it doesn't quite find his eyes. There is concern touching in those blues of his. "In private?"

"Of course. We can sit here if you'd like, or we can nab one of the conference rooms used for counseling?" she immediately looks concerned and attentive…well, because she is.

"Conference room." It's said simply, as the DCAG turns his attention away from Iphigenia to head to the said rooms, and actually opens the door for her. Very polite and attentive to the needs of the chaplain.

She murmurs a thank you and slips into a chair. "Last I heard everything was going quite well for you." she prompts gently.

"For me? Everything is fine." Zachary says as he leans against the far wall of the room. "It's always been told to me that the relationship between a chaplain and a commander is a special one. While the commander is to protect the flock, the chaplain attends to the needs spiritually of the flock. Would you accept that to be true?"

"I accept it as a viable theory." she says replies smoothly. "This is my second tour, and such a relationship has yet to emerge for me. But it may yet happen. It's been observed in others. What can I do for you, Zachary?"

"I am not one for scuttlebutt or rumor, Iphigenia." Zachary keeps his tone polite. Casual. But the undertone is concern. The reason for concern is not immediately clear. "However, when I first took this position, I was asked to accept an illusion that a trusted member of the staff asked me to continue to hold about one of my pilots. I accepted that this person had more interaction that I with this person and I would follow her example." he comments.

"You can imagine my surprise when I am walking down the hall this morning to chow and was told that the same person that asked me to perpetrate the illusion of a marriage and family of a pilot may very well be threatening that illusion herself. I need to know, since I will come to the source - is personal feelings for Captain Cole starting to complicate your professional relationship as his therapist?"

She cocks her head. "Am I able to answer that question with you having already made up your mind? It's a bit like asking someone if they're cheating on their spouse, isn't it?"

"As I said. I have only heard rumor. I came here to learn the truth. I have not made up my mind, I just wish to know what where things stand between you and your patient." Patient. A reminder of her status to Cole. Zachary just watches her eyes and waits for her to speak. "I have not made the assumptions, I wish to address what I have heard and then I will speak on what I decide after that."

"I'm a counselor but I'm also a priestess, Major. The lines of how I interact with others tend to blur when I counsel on both the pastoral and behavioristic levels." she replies. "But he's also my friend. It is in everyone's interest that I see to his good health, spiritual and mental. I refuse to compromise that." Iphigenia regards him levelly. "He came to see me after word got around about Virgon. I think he'd come from the head, because he was wet under his clothes. While we were talking, he asked for a blanket. I gave it to him. I sat with him under it."

"And that is all that happened?" Zachary asks, making sure that the question is clear. Yes, it's impolite, but the DCAG has a lot to balance on this particular plate as he continues to study the Chaplain.

"I hugged him." Iphigenia says frankly. "I've hugged quite a few people on this ship."

Zachary nods. "Very well, then, Iphigenia. I will dismiss what I heard as mere conjecture then. But I do hope that if such things were to be true, that you would make sure I was aware so that I do not have to carry an illusion that one of my Squadron Leaders is having an adulterous affair with his counselor." The indication is clear. He doesn't bother to sugar coat it.

"Your tact is appreciated." she says, without batting a lash. "If the nature of my relationship with Aristides Cole changes, sexually or otherwise, I will duly inform you. I want him healthy and fighting. So do you."

"Indeed. And I will not perpetrate a lie that I was ask to protect when the person that asked me to form it does not honor it herself. It's a bad time. People need each other. Emotions do run high. I'm not faulting you if you have a weakness, but I am saying that if he gets too close, remind him of his duties to his wife and child, as I was told that is his drive." Zachary says simply, as he pushes off the wall. "I hope we are clear, Sister Arden?"

"The Captain's Orphic spirituality is something I hope he eventually moves on from. That he comes to realize that his wife would not wish it for him, and that he does deserve to live for himself and have some kind of life with happiness in it. Making him realize this is a delicate process, but what he's doing presently harms neither him, nor his duties. One day, he will fully accept his wife's death. That is my hope. That is what I work toward That being said, I have no plan whatsoever to sleep with him in order to make the point." Gen's expression doesn't waver. "I hope we are clear, Major."

"Good." Zachary says with a nod of his head. "There are a lot of people that are having to accept deaths of loved ones at the moment, this could be a good time to consider easing him into the process. And I know that this conversation will remain between us as his Commander and his Counselor." No tattling to Cole. His smile is thin and strained. "If I can help any further with the Captain, let me know." And with that, he dismisses himself from the room, leaving Iphigenia in her chair as he shuts the door behind him.

Iphigenia stays in her chair a moment, expression thoughtful. After a moment, whatever thoughts she has on the matter are pushed away as she rises, lets out a slow breath, and heads out the door, only to greet the next of the faithful who come through the doors with a serene smile on her face.

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