PWD #22: Socratic
Socratic
Summary: Daniel and Iphigenia's minds connect and a kinship is formed.
Date: 14/12/2012(OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Aios Iphigenia 
Head (and later the mess hall) - Battlestar Orion
The Head is the area on the Battlestar to find showers and bathrooms and this is one of many throughout the ship. Male and female crew members share the area equally as space is at a premium on fleet ships. There are half a dozen shower stalls and enclosed toilets as well as urinals along the wall. The room, an L shape dogleg, has the entrance open into the sink area. There are four sinks on the left and four on the right sitting back to back in the middle of the room.
Dec 14, 2004

Iphigenia is in the locker area in her off duty greens. Gen isn't particularly modest, but since she's already post-shower and prepping to go out into the world, her bra is on along with her olive fatigue pants. She's permitting herself a bit of drift, combing out her dark hair with a distracted, distant gaze and while humming under her breath.

The door to the head opens and Daniel "Talkshow" Aios steps through. Wearing a sweat-soaked pair of tank tops and the lower half of his flight suit over his waist, the pilot seems to have just gotten off of a long CAP around the Battlestar Orion. Hair tousled from his flight helmet, he steps over to a bench where he throws down a towel. "Hello Leftenant Arden." He says to her, giving her enough of a glance to notice her but less than enough to spare her some privacy. "I hope I haven't made it past the hot water hour."

She comes out of her reverie and there's an almost audible snap to it as she startles. "Hmm? Oh, gods, no. You should be fine. That is, if you're not one of those who gets themselves in and stays for more than twenty minutes." She starts to coil up her hair into her usual low bun worn when she's on duty.

"Not for quite some time, no, at least not when I'm on leave down on Piraeus." He replies, tugging his tanktops over his head and dropping them into the laundry bag he's brought with him. His hexagonal, brass dog tags jingle as he does so. He then lowers his head to work on the rest of his clothing, intent on showering. "So how has the day treated you? I was interested in getting a spot of dinner after this if you haven't gone to the mess yet, I'd like to continue our chat if you have time."

"My day's been full of work, but fortunately it's work I enjoy. I…" she trails off, considering her energy levels and last time she had a meal. "I could eat. Do you want me to wait, or shall I meet you there?"

"That…" The sound of ruffling clothing can be heard while Daniel prepares for his shower. Eventually, he steps past her with a towel wrapped around his waist on a bee-line to the showers. "…I leave entirely up to you. I've great hearing and can speak loudly if you want entertainment while you wait." He hangs the towel and steps into the stall, turning on the shower. "So, since we won't be discussing religion and spirituality this time, what's the last good book you read?"

"Well," still reaching up, she begins to pin it in place. "I was digging around the other day and came upon my copy of Into the Pale." she calls out with a chuckle. "Decided it might be worth re-reading. What do you think?"

The sound of Daniel's light chuckling can be heard over the whispering of the water. From behind the shower door, Daniel stares at the tile wall for a second before he dips his head under the water. "I think that Into the Pale is a dreadful piece of fiction, written by a rather youthful, almost arrogantly criminal writer." His words carry the tone of the smile at the corner of his lip. "Did you enjoy it?"

"I did." she confesses. "I'm greedy when it comes to historical fiction, though. Particularly the old Virgonese regency tales and gothic romances." She grins. "Try not to judge me too harshly for it. I hope there's more work on the horizon?"

"There is. The quarterly's been after me for another essay that I've in the process, and I've started a journal on my feelings on Piraeus as it is." His voice pauses, no doubt for shower-related needs. "The afternoon we spoke about Piraeus and the opportunities that come with it? I've been writing with that very concept of mind, using Piraeus, though not in name, as the setting. Command would never approve of it otherwise. The protagonist is a bit more headstrong than Grafton from Pale, at least so far. I'm still working on my outline while keeping to-date with my journals."

"You're a marvel enough for finding the time." she compliments. "What have you found on Piraeus to be particularly of your liking? It's beautiful and untouched, and perhaps that's enough."

"That's precisely the thing that has captivated me with Piraeus. If I didn't have to get back to my son, I'd be trying to find a way to manage a more permanent station down there." The shower stops suddenly with a k'thunk and one decidedly caucasian hand reaches out of the stall to his towel on its hook. It's snatched in so that he can presumably dry. "It has a fresh tablet feel to it. Every time I look at the planet I can't help but be reminded of the messy streets, the harsh politics, the commercial enterprise and the industrialization we have back home. Piraeus is a rare Elysium, isn't it? I'm nearly in love with this place, truly."

"That draws me down to it every time. Everyone flocks to Checkpoint Charlie's, and I go there as well, but when the weather isn't too bad I quite enjoy crossing over land that no foot has stepped upon."

"My sentiments exactly." The shower stall opens and Daniel steps through with a towel wrapped around his hips. He steps past her, back towards the bench he was using earlier. "I don't mind having a few pints, it has its time and place, but few are afforded an experience like we have possible here. Every bit of cold, every scrape, ever quiet moment resting underneath a tree is a point of wonder that some child's going to have hundreds of years from now in her classroom while she wonders what the world was prior to colonization." He looks over to her. "It's almost as if I feel compelled to out of obligation on behalf of humanity."

Iphigenia chuckles faintly at that. "That's building yourself up a heavy burden, isn't it? But I suppose the sense of occasion calls for it. The thirteenth colony…but thinking about when they start to make it a place to raise generations? That's profound."

Aios' gaze lingers on Iphigenia for a long moment until he finally looks away, going about the business of dressing for dinner. A pair of off-duty tanks are set aside with clean boxers and cargo pants. "I tend to carry burdens." He comments, bobbing his head to the side as he considers his place in the universe. "Into the Pale originally started as a way for me to work through the duality of being someone with such an interest in ethics and politics while finding himself a fighter pilot in charge of weaponry desgined to kill others." He gives a little hop as he tugs his cargo pants into place. "When I dig? I did for Hephaestus himself, I gather."

"So I see." she replies without judgement. Patting her hair into place, she reaches for he tank tops to bring them over her head. "The ethics of soldiering are less strenuous, naturally, for those dedicated to gods who find benefit in war. I'm not sure I believe in the idea of perfection being a conflict-free world anymore."

"Me either, but people like you and I see enough of the lot that marvel in explosions and complain at not having anything living to shoot at that I can't help but remind myself of the responsibilities warriors have to the people." Metal scrapes over metal as he buckles his belt and the last of his clothing is collected. He grabs his wet towel, whads it into a ball, and launches it towards the bin in the corner of the room. It lands inside, which spares him the need to retrieve it. "In that I've always identified more with Apollo than Ares in terms of action."

"That works both ways, though. There is sometimes the problem of the responsibilities people have to their warriors." Gen says matter-of-factly. "The problems tend to intertwine with each other."

Stepping towards the door, Daniel throws the shower-bag over his shoulder and reaches for the wheel. Spinning it, he cracks the door open to the hallway and motions for Iphigenia to proceed in a ladies first style, complete with hand motion towards the hallway. "They do, something about that demarcation point between civilian and military seems to have created two different societies that struggle to understand each other. Question, though. If you could go back in time to the point of your swearing into the Navy, would you choose not to?"

"I would not." Gen says with quiet certainty as she obliges and steps out of the head. "I decided to enter the service after participating in a program involving speaking to veterans."

The walk through the hallways is quiet, including a quick stop at pilot country to throw the laundry bag onto his bunk. A few hallways and an insertion into the line for the cafeteria style mess hall later, Daniel finally asks a question that's been lingering in the back of his head.

"So, you were counseling for veterans, or did you assist with more spiritual duties for them?" He asks quietly, glancing to her as he sets his tray on the runner and shuffles down the line.

Iphigenia follows along, chatting amiably. She doesn't stop short in pilot country; she's allowed just about anywhere she wants to go on the ship. But when they finally settle in for food, she mms. "Well, I got my counseling certification prior to entering seminary, so it was a bit of both, really. But it made me think very hard about the spiritual needs and mental health of our military."

"And what do you think about the overall spiritual needs and mental health of our beloved armed forces, Leftenant?" Daniel replies, tilting his eyebrows to her in a very knowing look. It's the kind of look that a columnist gives a guest on a talk show a playful tread carefully stare. The faint smirk to his lip returns as he reaches out to gather a plate of some kind of casserole. "There are some in the Quorum that would say our establishment has not enough spirituality, and others that would say there is no place for spirituality to govern the decisions of the military."

Iphigenia mms, shaking her head and waving her fork at him for emphasis. It's very bad manners and somewhere her dear mother is getting an inexplicably cold chill. "Don't confuse what the Quorum politicos define as spirituality as being what I mean. The Quorum, for the most part, is concerned about religious dogma, not the spiritual health of people's souls, if we're being truthful."

"Agreed, they do seem to rather be more interested in the bureaucracy and song-and-dance of the military enlisting certain iconographies and mottos so that the Saggitarons and Gemenese can fight out over who installed their preferred methods first." Daniel nods, bringing his mug of tea to his lips for a cursory temperature check. "Sometimes the soul has a way of falling to the wayside when establishment seeks to gain a foothold." His fork dips towards his food. "But the question still stands. If you were president…" He leaves it open ended.

"Ah, but I don't want to be." Gen can't help but chuckle, shaking her head and digging into her food again. "But first people need to learn the difference between religion and spirituality, and even religion and faith. And remember that our soldiers aren't…aren't cylons. When human lives start becoming counters on a board, there's a problem. It's very easy to be aware of the fact that you're fighting, but not everyone remembers in an intimate way, what they're fighting for. Part of my job is to help with that."

"One of the things that was central to many of the interviews with other soldiers that I performed for research for my book was the concept that it was easier to fight machines than it was people. These old veterans had plenty a tale about difficulty fighting piracy or those small marine skirmishes you hear of on the evening news; they'd all have a bit about how one lad looked like his brother or looked of himself. I think you're dead on about it." He sets his fork down between bites, having been taught table manners from someone in his past that preferred higher society mannerisms. The smile he offers her is quiet, thoughtful, and pleasant. "I'm sure integration back into polite society is quite difficult altogether. Have I mentioned that I think your job carries quite heavier a burden than mine?"

"You have." she admits. Aside from that moment of fork waving, her own matters are quite aristo as well. "But I think it's my time off duty that's harder than my working hours."

"You brushed the edgeof that the last time we spoke." Daniel replies, lifting his chin slightly to her so that he can inspect her facial expression. He takes up his fork again and turns back to his food. "Would you care to share? I don't imagine it's often that you find someone to confide in, right?"

"I think what had piqued your interest was the categories of response I get." she replies with a smile.

"I'll do my best to not try to ask you to cross confidential lines." He chuckles, taking his turn to point at her with his own fork with a little chuckle. "Colour me interested still."

"Well," Gen's tone is bemused, "Generally when meeting people socially, there's usually one of three things happens. They're of the faithful, and I become 'Sister', and they feel like they can't do or say all kinds of things around me. Then there are the ones who feel the immediate need to excuse themselves for their lack of faith, or temple attendance. And then there's the disdainful of religion."

"Yes, yes and I remember you mentioning you'd have categories this time and that I'd be amused. Those were the words if my memory serves me correct. It's quite alright, I won't pin you to them." Daniel sets his fork back down and reaches for his napkin, brushing off his hands. The tea comes next. "Which book on your shelf do you read over and over again? If you had to forsake your entire library, which book, religious texts excluded, could you not live without?"

"Not amused, then? Oh, dear." She mms. "One book?" She puts down her fork and laces her fingers together, expression growing distant. "There's a compilation of essays on the Sanctity of Life that someone took the trouble of binding into one volume. If there was ever a piece of written material that made me question my calling, it was that one, and because of that, I'm grateful for it."

"What, not Into the Pale? Dreadful. This conversation is quite over, thank you very much." Daniel murmurs into his mug of tea. His lip curls to match the curvature of the mug's rim before he drinks. When the mug comes down, however, he isn't smiling. Instead, he's nodding his head in agreement. "I have this terribly mangled first edition of Ferragar's Forge of the Colonies that my father read to me when I was a lad. I think I could likely cite the entire text by memory. I keep it in my locker. It's not so much a piece of literature at this point as it is an artifact."

Iphigenia lets out a sudden and happy sigh. "My favorite room in our house was my father's library. And the books that have been around for so long they've gone dog-eared are usually the best ones. I had to explain it to someone once…you watch a film that you love over and over; reading a beloved book is the same sort of thing."

"It can be like chapel." Talkshow agrees, finally leaning back just a little in his chair to relax, regarding the chaplain across from him. "Like any place of worship, religious text, or stuffed creature we form attachments to the things that move us." A soft sigh escapes his lips and his gaze unfocuses to a place over her shoulder, lost in another place. "So you're going to retire after this eighteen?"

"I don't see any reason to." Gen admits, taking a sip of her drink. "My family obligations are not such that I'm required for more than the occasional experience. Who knows what will happen in eighteen months, though? It's a long time. Whatever happens will happen. You seem like you're leaning toward career, though?"

"My situation is complicated." Daniel starts, looking across the small table to her. His shoulders don't suddenly sag or tighten as the topic turns to his personal situation. It's something he's not uncomfortable to share. "I was divorced five years ago and am in the middle of an awkward custody battle for my son, Jamey. He's on Caprica, as are my family, so I'm strongly considering at minimum taking a posting there, or retiring and working at one of the colleges."

"That is complicated. And I can only imagine, painful." Gen agrees. She doesn't offer a platitude. "Will you be able to find both personal and professional satisfaction? I do think you'd make a wonderful teacher."

"You're…rather kind to say so." Daniel casts a quiet, wistful smile towards her, a credit to his constant surliness. One of his shoulders lifts in a noncommital shrug and he gives her a wave with his mug of tea. "Truth is, that if I don't act soon I will lose my share of custody. It's going to be a bloody custody fight, but one that either retiring to Caprica or taking a regular posting there will cure. From there forward I see no reason why I can't write or continue being who I am. This trouble hasn't nearly killed my spirit, it's just a spot of trouble that needs consideration. So…despite my love for Piraeus, I don't forsee that I'll be able to stay. Unfortunate, but for a good cause."

"Do what you can with the time you have, obviously." Iphigenia notes, adding, "Please let me know if there's some way I can be of assistance." Who knows, really. A chaplain's observations with regard to character can sometimes be helpful.

"Trust me, the Judge Advocate General and I are well acquainted. An injunction has been filed that will put things on hold for another eighteen months while I work on a new book and a college fund for my lad." Talkshow's smile is genuine and confident. While the subject matter is a source of stress, he's somewhat assured that his legal issues are few. "But…" Then comes the awkwardness, his mind reaching back to something more recent that's been troubling him. "…I think it best if I don't make my social time a collective discussion sessions about my troubles back home. So, tell me, Leftenant." He lifts his pale eyes to hers. "Is this food dreadful?" He changes the subject, dodging away from the topic he's unaware that she knows about. His relationship is failing. "I've had better casseroles in my day, but I'm not entirely sure which sort this is."

Iphigenia looks down at it musingly a moment, and hazards a guess. "Meatloaf surprise. If there is any actual meatloaf in it, I'd be surprised." Oh, the classics are still funny. "It's funny, you know - people seem to think that I'm going to balk at living a lifestyle very different from the one I've come from." To wit, she 'enjoys' a forkful of meatloaf surprise.

"And as one piece of bacon turned to the other in the pan and said it's rather hot in here, the other said by gods…talking bacon?" Daniel throws in a little food joke of his own, head dodging from side to side as he refuses to acknowledge how terrible, yet fun the jokes really are. He can't help but smile, though, as the subject has been officially changed. "I guess that depends on what kind of lifestyle you intend to live. I couldn't see you as a bartender at one of those mosher taps, perhaps with some violet hair dye and eight pounds of hair gel?"

Iphigenia laughs greatly at that, having to set down her fork so she can enjoy it - the laughter, not the food - from her belly. "No, but you know, that's just the sort of thing my little sister would do. Lydia's quite wild. Oscar less so, but then he's always had expectation on his shoulders. But for us it was life on the estate with servants and dressing for dinner and attending high society fetes. Dinner parties and garden parties and rowing parties and hunting parties and house parties and you can see where it all starts to get a bit tedious. I'm enough of a woman to appreciate putting on a lovely dress when occasion calls for it, but when it becomes routine, the enjoyment loses its luster."

"Ah, the posh life. My family introduced me into it through my father's university connections. We didn't have house servants nor an estate, I shined my own shoes, but we did well for ourselves. When the book started to sell, however, I found myself coming into a liking of expensive suits. I've quite a collection back home I've had no reason to use in the last few years. So…cheers to the sentiment. It does have its places, doesn't it? Selling the book was quite the ride." Talkshow reaches for his mug of tea and downs the last of its contents. "Are they all on Virgon? Your parents, Lydia, and Oscar? Do you have any other family there?"

"I do admit, there's something very admirable about a aman in a well tailored suit." Iphigenia mms. "Lydia was on Virgon when we left, and so was Oscar - but both enjoy traveling, so they could be anywhere their mood has struck them to go. Skiing on Aquaria, sunning and sailing on Picon, shopping on Caprica, though Oscar travels less than Lydia does. My parents are esconced safely at home. There's the relations, of course."

Something passes over Daniel's features at her mention of her opinion of men in suits, and it's something quite subtle. His head tilts just a tad and his eyes grow more perceptive, as if some quiet and unannounced thought just came to light. The quiet, wistful smile returns as he reaches for his fork, switching to the small slice of pie. "We you able to get to see them when we were over Virgon? You'll have to stop me if I ask questions that are too personal. I'll have you know I don't offend easily."

"I don't mind." she says, admitting, "It's a bit relieving to discuss my family with someone who won't judge me poorly for them. It's a bit like being accused of snobbery without actually having done anything to reflect one has a concern for social class, and anything one does after it's known is regarded as an effort to reach across class regardless of that's how it's meant. So damn if you do, and damned if you don't, you see. And I did get to see them. Lydia wound up at a race I attended with some of the crew, and there was a party at the house before I left. I admit I spent much of the laughter wishing to be rescued from it, though. They can be terrifically dull affairs."

"Well, we all have our social functions, and sometimes it's hard for people who grew up in less polite societies to understand that there's a rather unfair game that gets played to maintain this perceived status level. I can understand why the disdain exists, but comfort often does come in the form of golden handcuffs, doesn't it?" His fork cuts through the side of the pie and shoves a small helping onto the tines. He then devours that small bit of pie with a near ritualistic reverence, as if pie doesn't come by often.

"I remember there was this one function I was asked to go to on the book tour. It was, well it was horrifying really, I much preferred the book signings where I could meet with people and speak with them on an equal level. But this function was an utter mess on behalf of the investors for the movie who requested my presence. I don't believe half of the famous faces I met had even heard my name, much less read the book." He laughs softly and shakes his head. "If my next book sells I'm going to make sure to be more in charge of my publicist. I felt shown off like a prized altarpiece."

Iphigenia lets out a little laugh. "Were you quite starstruck?" she asks, intrigued. "Is the pie good?" she gestures to the food, noting, "That's the funny thing though, because it seems to me as much as people are disdainful of it, they also seem rather fascinated. Like we're all a herd of exotic but inbred purebreed cats."

"Oh and some of us aren't as educated as we let on." Daniel laughs softly beneath his breath, knowing well the inside joke. "My mother was good friends with another debutante lady, and her daughter was quite the image. I don't believe she did much but lounge by the poolside all day. In theory, I should have been enamoured, but I remember my father finally stepped in and reminded her that I was raised on bloody Forge of the Colonies and this daughter wasn't interested in much beyond those ladies' magazines with the polls. I later learned I score high on those, which I've heard is both a good and a bad sign." Daniel rolls his eyes a little bit, musing and slipping off of the track. "And yes, the pie is delicious, thank you."

"Starstruck? At first, yes. I was really a part of the cog that the producers were selling for the film rights, so I didn't spend much time with them. It was a very shake-and-move-on gig." Talkshow lowers his voice. "Though I about lost my mind when I bumped into Dorian Preen at a coffee house and he asked if I would sign his copy."

He quiets and his smile slips from the large, goofy grin on his face to a more guarded, awkward smirk.

"I must sound like an idiot." He snorts, going back to his cake. "In the end, the book tour was a lot of fun, just a lot of…industry."

"Hold that thought." she says, because she's got to get up, sneak into cutting the mess line, and get herself some pie! She looks completely unapologetic about it too, when she returns and takes her seat again. In fact, she looks a little triumphant. "Dorian Preen? If you'd managed two syllables, you'd have done better than me." She shakes her head. "You don't sound like an idiot at all. Just a man fortunate to have had an amazing experience and been able to look at it with a mature eye, at least in retrospect."

Talkshow watches her rise and head through the line, casting a little grin as she cuts in line and returns to their table like she'd taken a dive into a river of lava to retrieve a golden trinket. "I…" Daniel plants his hand over his face. "…asked Mister Preen what he was doing there, to which he replied getting a cup of coffee." The Viper jock shakes his head and then lowers it to tap on the table twice. Horrible. After a slight display of penance, he lifts his head and goes back to his pie. "He was really kind about it though, a few weeks later he sent an autographed first edition of Dark Watch through my agent."

Another bite of pie, another sigh, and Daniel finally seems to be somewhat content for the evening. It's, at the very least, a drastic turn from the stresses of patroling the planet below. "I'll have to thank you, Miss Arden." Miss, not Leftenant this time. "I've rather enjoyed this conversation."

"Well Mr. Aios," she replies, "I'd say the pleasure was mutual. But given the tense you've applied, I'm guessing that you're either shortly called to duty, or need to make some racktime?"

"I'm getting close to the time that I should probably rest my head, truly." He returns to her, pausing to finish the last bite of pie. "I'm getting switched over to a CAP in the morning, and sleep is scheduled duty in this case." He sets his dishes onto the tray, offering to help her with hers. "What are your plans for the rest of the evening? I'm not killing your fun, am I?"

"Not at all." she says, admitting, "My idea of fun is having spare time to read for pleasure, or maybe spend some time listening to music. Good company is a pleasure, and sadly rare."

Taking up the tray, Daniel rises from the table and heads over to the part of the mess hall assembly line for dirty plates. He leaves the dishes with one of the mess staff and steps back over to the table. He rests his hands on the back of his chair and looks down to her. For a slight moment, he doesn't quite know what to say, and it wears heavy on his brow. "We should do this again. I'll bring a book next time to suggest and hope it's something you haven't read." He offers a hand over to shake, it's the proper thing to do.

"Or bring a book we've both read, and we might talk about it." she replies, and considering his hand, smiles broadly, and fits hers into it, giving him a firm shake. "Sleep well, and have a safe go 'round in the morning, Talkshow."

"Sleep well when you do as well." He replies, taking his hand back. Matching her broad smile, he delivers to her a sharp nod of his head and turns for the door.

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