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The Ritual

Posted on Fri Oct 23rd, 2020 @ 3:54pm by Lieutenant Commander Adele Wyndham & Lieutenant Commander Dina Vossiborn

Mission: Gods of War
Location: Holodeck 2
Timeline: OOC: This log is set prior to the plot logs/events.

Part of her didn't want to go through with this. A large part. Her mind was looking for excuses. Just a waste of time. She didn't believe in the Migrator anyways. The energy could be better spent elsewhere. But no. She had to do this. Even if she wasn't a believer in the Migrator, she knew that letting go of at least a symbol of her guilt would be a first step towards healing. Besides, the ritual wasn't about the Migrator. It was about putting it out there, no longer bottling things up. And she could certainly see the psychological importance of that first step.

Besides, preparations had been made, and she'd actually roped someone else in to stand in for a priestess of the Migrator.

As such Dina entered the holodeck, to a program of her own making. She'd put actual effort into it. The insides of a temple of sorts. Very simple in design, basically a corridor flanked by pillars and braziers, incense burning at regular intervals, with a statue of the Migrator at the end of it. A large statue of a Sirran figure, sitting with legs crossed, holding both hands out in front of it. The statue was about four meters tall, much larger than life size for even a Sirran, and of indeterminate gender - for the Universal Migrator, the Cosmic Soul, was both genders - and none - at the same time.

As per an agreement the two women had already made, Adele was there first. After all, she would be playing the "role" of the priestess and so was meant to already be there when the supplicant arrived. In learning about it from Vossiborn and what little there was available in the computer's databanks, she had a sort of 'confessional' vibe. This didn't branch too far away from her normal duties, really, so she didn't feel anxious about it.

Adele just waited in the replica of the temple, awaiting the commander.

Who hesitated a final moment before steeling her resolve and proceeding into the temple proper. She held the medal Starfleet had given her after that fateful battle in one hand, and an old, obviously hand forged, axe in the other. Upon spotting Adele she lumbered over, though maintaining a respectful distance. "Honored priestess of the Migrator, my soul is burdened with guilt and weighed down by sorrow. Might I for a moment make use of your temple?"

It was this part that Adele knew would be a little more difficult for her, since she knew the attitude she was meant to affect and it was contrary to her methods...but she knew it's importance. She lifted her head slightly. "Must you?" she asked with what dismissiveness she could summon. "I suppose the temple is open for all... Proceed, but do not take up much of my time."

Dina actually smiled, an honest - though faint - smile. This was all part of the ritual, and Adele was playing her role well. "Thank you," she offered, approaching the statue of the Migrator, a massive Sirran, almost twice life sized, representing the ideal ur-soul, of which a tiny fragment inhabited all Sirran - indeed, all life across the universe, even Humans, like Adele. If you believed in that sort of thing, of course.

Truth be told, Dina found the idea comforting. So many religions, she had found, praise one race over all others as some sort of super-being, the only ones with a soul, inherently superior, blah blah - not the Faith of the Migrator, to which all beings, all life, was equal - regardless of its origin.

She approached the statue, looking up at it, ears wilting a bit, fists tightening involuntarily around the two objects she was carrying - one small, one large. Once before the statue she paused a moment, closing her eyes, taking a deep breath. "Hear me, sum of all life. Let my words be heard, my deeds witnessed. I carry a grave burden, the death of my sister, at my hand. My sister, and several marines, sworn to fight at my side - and I at theirs."

Dina hesitated a moment again. This was a very loose 'ritual', without set words or phrases. This made it easier and more difficult at the same time. "starfleet gave me a medal for my actions. But all it does is symbolize my failure," she continued. "So ... take it. Let me be rid of it. Let it burn, and my sins with me," as she placed the medal in the statue's left hand.

"And to prove I am serious," this was the only mandated part of the ritual, "I will also give up something dear to me. This axe, one I made many years ago, on the eve of leaving Sirrah for Federation space," she was more quiet now, more subdued. "It is one of my last mementos of home. And I give it up willingly, so you know I truly regret what happened, and truly wish to move on from it," she added, placing the axe on the statue's right hand.

Now, Adele was "allowed" to smile kindly. Now, it was part of her role. "Yours words are well received," she said gently, "and your earnest gifts as well."

"Thank you," Dina sighed, shoulders slumping, but a faint smile upon lupine features. "Normally, the symbol of my regret, the medal in this case, is destroyed in a fire while the symbol of my seriousness, the axe in this case, is given to the poor, someone in need of such an item. I'd ask that in this case the medal is recycled in a replicator and the axe - well, you decide. As long as it is out of my hands, out of my life. I made it, before leaving home. Took it with me as memento. But I'm giving it up, here and now."

"I'll take care of them," Adele assured her with a warm smile, and no hint about what that decision would be. After all, she acknowledged that part of the ritual was giving something up, and that meant completely. Now that the ritual was over, she tilted her head and assumed her own persona again. "How do you feel?"

"Relieved," Dina spoke after a moment's silence. "Vulnerable. Tired. Like this was at the same time a big catharsis and the first step on a long journey," she mused, reaching up to scratch the back of her neck a bit. "But it needed to be done. Thank you."

"I'm glad I was able to help," Adele said, her words sincere. "I would recommend taking the rest of the day to do whatever helps you rest. This was a big toll on you emotionally and you shouldn't push yourself too hard right away."

"Not my call, unfortunately. If the captain needs me, well, I'm here to do a job," Dina admitted. "Though hopefully the day will be calm and without incident. Thank you again, Counselor."

Adele held up a finger with a smile. "If you are needed, yes. If you are not, you can take some time. Self-care is very important, even when you're the chief of security. So my advice is naturally barring any sort of order or emergency, but the job does not always get to be an excuse."

"Yeah, well, idle hands dark thoughts make," Dina's shoulders slumped a bit. "Don't worry about me, I'll be alright," she managed a smile, though it didn't spread to her eyes. "Besides, I'm going to need a new axe."


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