Kore was fascinated. Her eyes were darting around as she sat quietly in the small bucket seat of the Raptor that was transporting her and the Arch high priestess to the Solaria. Ostensibly they were going there to assist with the dead and dying. Kore, had had to stop her eyes from rolling as Laetia had made that announcement. Laetia never lowered herself to do such things. No this was Laeta, she would be there for the glory. Kore and the other priestesses would be doing the work, administering comfort and reading the death rites.
It didn’t bother her though, Kore was going to get the chance to speak to people, other than those from the priesthood.
Sitting a few seats away, Laetia sat with a look of disaffected boredom on her face. She was impatient. She ignored the two junior priestesses with her (see HANDMAIDENS), though she did note that the one known as Kore was very interested in everything she saw. She made a note to give the girl extra chores that evening for her display of avid interest.
The Raptor landed with a thud on the landing deck.
Laetia was first up and she gave her handmaidens a look which had Kore and the other scurrying to the hatch to help her out.
The Hatch opened and the two climbed awkwardly out in their priestess robes and stood at either side of the lowering steps. Without a word, Laetia allowed them to hand her down onto the hard deck.
Laetia screwed her nose up at the site of many pilots and with a swish of her hand, had the two junior priestesses fall in behind her. She looked at the officer waiting for her. “I wish to see the Officer in charge. At once.”
“That would be Commander Hanson. He is in the CIC…”
“Then lead on! Now Corporal!”
“Uh its Lieutenant Junior Grade Ma’am” The officer replied.
“I am Arch High Priestess of Hera! DO NOT take that tone with me!” Laetia snapped and then swept past him. “Which way?”
With a scowl, that was barely hidden, the officer led the trio to the CIC.
Once inside the door, he snapped to attention. “Commander Hanson. The Arch High Priestess of Hera is here to speak with you..”
‘Oh for crying out loud,’ the Commander thought to himself as he put the clipboard he was reading down on the table with a clatter. This was all he needed as he was preparing to lead the last remnants of humanity on a final charge into the wilderness. He didn’t need some jumped up spiritualist causing problems, but, as protocol dictated, he would give her every courtesy possible. “Welcome aboard the Solaria, Your Grace,” he smiled as he gave a slight bow in greeting to the woman. He held the pose until relieved by the nuisa… woman.
Laetia inclined her head gracefully to him. “Commander Hanson.” She said putting on her public face. “Thank you for your welcome. I know you are busy, but I thought it best to get this over with, so we are not over burdened by formalities later on. You have people who need the guidance of the Priesthood. I have 6 priestesses of Hera, 7 including myself and 3 junior priestesses, who are available to perform the rites of passing and to minister to those who need it. Of course, We would need permission from you, hence our presence.”
“Eminence,” the Commander began as he returned to his normal stance at the Command table. “Your offer is very kind and I will ensure that the assembling fleet knows about your presence. I would also appreciate your input from time to time,” he lied. He hated religion these days and she was the embodiment of all he hated. The utter pretentiousness of the whole thing was absurd in his eyes, but he couldn’t deny that many of his people would be highly religious and who would need their counsel.
Kore was standing behind Laetia and looking around avidly. It was so interesting.
Laetia however knew when she was getting the brush off, and said as calm as she could “Would you be so kind Commander as to let me know who is in charge of the Civilian population here? Obviously you are the remaining commanding officer of the Colonial Fleet, but the Civilian government would surely have survivors..”
Kore flinched as Laetia broke off her statement and turned to glare at her. “Eyes front Kore!” She snapped crossly.
Kore seemed to shrink into herself and ducked her head.
Laetia turned back to Hanson. “Sorry about that Commander, My handmaiden does not know her place. She is one of the junior priestesses trained in the Rites of the Passed. She would be very useful in your medical Bay I believe.”
The Commander let out a slight sigh as he contemplated his most diplomatic response possible. “With respect, this is a military situation and right now, I am in charge of all colonial and civilian forces. The most senior government official we have right now is a junior minister,” he revealed before stepping a little closer to the woman and lowering his voice. “I will NOT hand responsibility for the human race to a junior minister of Adar’s government,” he told bluntly, but as respectfully as he could.
Laetia raised an eyebrow. “With respect Commander, if I may give you some advice…denying the Civilian Government a voice is very unwise. And a path it would be wise to avoid at all costs. The common person is a sheep but there are those who will see the military control as the worst sort of tyranny and the herd will follow those dissidents. While I fully understand your concerns around a Junior Minister, it is the perception that matters Commander. If the Civilians have the perception that their government is included, the dissidents in the herd will remain silent. We do not need another civil war… the Cylons are enough for now.”
‘Crap…’ was all the Commander could think. She had a point, regardless of his personal opinion. Who could blame him having to question things? He was potentially the commander of all surviving human kind? “Alright Your Grace,” the older man nodded. “I’ll be sure to take your advice on board. Can I ask, where are you staying? Are your accommodations suitable?” he queried.
“They are…. Just above adequate.” Laetia replied. “We are on one of the smaller transports, which was fine for the short trip we were on, but there is no place for worship on it. I doubt there will be a place for a while.” she gave a careless shrug.
“I can offer you some simple guest quarters here on the Solaria if you wish to travel under our protection,” the Commander offered. It was an unusual step, even for him and he had surprised himself by making it but then he went a step further. “We can also find a compartment to set up as a space for worship,” he smiled before wickly adding “It wont be luxurious or spacious though.”
Laetia smiled back at him, noting the wicked element of his smile. “That would be acceptable Commander. And do not worry, We will make do.”
“Major Wolf,” Hanson called out, drawing the attention of his Officer of the Deck, “have the Quartermaster assist in finding some space for our guests,” he instructed.
“As you wish Commander,” the Major nodded, smiling at the visitors. “Eminence, would you like to follow me?” she asked, gesturing to the doorway.
Laetia, considering she had got what she wanted, inclined her head and allowed the Major to show her and the other two out of CIC.
Kore was disappointed as she took one last look around. She knew that she was in trouble. But could not bring herself to care really.