Syrene: Father Moulder, you look tired. We’ve been asking so much of you lately…
Moulder: Don’t worry about me. I’m rather more worried about you, Syrene. You had only just been transferred to this unit when we left Frelia. I’d imagine it must be odd not having any familiar faces around.
Syrene: I’ve already learned everyone’s name and field of specialization. Don’t worry about me.
Moulder: Impressive. You’ve been paying attention.
Syrene: To beat your enemy, know your allies. Without knowing the skills of your own men, you can never win a war. I don’t want to die just because I didn’t know what to expect from my troops.
Moulder: I was worried about how well you were integrating into our group. You seem to have matters well in hand, though. I’m proud of you, Syrene. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me anytime.
Syrene: Thank you, Father Moulder. I do appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Moulder: Syrene, you said you’d already learned everything about our little band. Did anyone in Frelia go over the details with you before you left?
Syrene: No, Father. Things were rather hectic in Frelia before we left, as you know. Everything I have learned, I’ve learned on the job, so to speak. People…confide in me, and I learn by observation.
Moulder: Interesting. So, even though you’re new, they know they can confide in you?
Syrene: Yes. The ladies seem most comfortable speaking to me.
Moulder: I understand. Even a man of the cloth is still, at heart, a man. It must reassure them to know that there is another woman to whom they can speak. There are many women among us. If I cannot be “father” to them, please, care for them as a mother.
Syrene: With all respect, Father, I refuse to minister to their needs as a mother would. I am still young and unworthy. I prefer to speak to them as a sister.
Moulder: Ha ha ha ha… Yes, of course. Please excuse me. Help them, then, as a sister would.
Syrene: Yes, Father! Now, may I have a word with you? As their sister?
Moulder: I beg your pardon? Me? What? Has someone…complained about me?
Syrene: Well, I’ll let you know the day after next new moon.
Moulder: Must I wait until then? Is it so terrible that I needs must prepare myself for the news?
Syrene: Rest easy, Father! It’s only a suggestion, not criticism.
Moulder: Hm… What could it be?
Moulder: So… Last night was a new moon. And that means today is the day. I’ve been going mad wondering, Syrene. What is your suggestion?
Syrene: Ah, right you are, Father. It is indeed the promised day. Well, then. On behalf of everyone, I have two words for you. Father Moulder?
Syrene: Happy Birthday!
Moulder: What? Birthday? Oh… Oh, yes! Why, today is my birthday, isn’t it? But–
Syrene: It is a fine tradition to celebrate one’s birthday, Father. In a war, uncertainty surrounds us every moment of every day. Instead of worrying about tomorrow, let us celebrate life today. That should encourage us all to keep going, wouldn’t you say?
Moulder: Yes, indeed. To share the joys of life is very important. Thank you, Syrene. In this chaos, I would have forgotten my own birthday.
Syrene: You exhaust yourself caring for others, but you pay no attention to yourself. We are all so grateful to you, Father. So many different people came up to me to ask how we could show that gratitude. You are a man of great virtue, and an inspiration to us all.
Moulder: I am touched… At my age, I thought all my happy birthdays were well behind me. I’m a little embarrassed at that…
Syrene: You must remember to take care of yourself, Father. And thank you.