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13 January 2009 @ 02:23 pm
At the Labyrinth Gates 5/5  
And now, the conclusion!

At the Labyrinth Gates
Characters: Sam, Kara, ensemble
Rating: R
Summary: The revelations of Not All That We Are change the Cylon Occupation of New Caprica for everyone, but especially Kara and Sam.

Previous parts:
Not All That We Are, the first story

At the Labyrinth Gates:
CHAPTER ONE
CHAPTER TWO
CHAPTER THREE
CHAPTER FOUR

Special thanks to sabaceanbabe for correcting my comma abuse, among other things. *g*

If you've been holding back to read the whole thing, here you go. It's not short; runs about 39,000 words all together. Enjoy!




At the Labyrinth Gates


Chapter Five




Sharon entered Colonial One, and found herself the focus of nearly all eyes, as if they were expecting someone else.

"Sharon," Three nodded to her. "Did you see my sister outside?"

"No, sorry," Feeling vaguely guilty, Sharon gave her a quick, unfelt smile of greeting, and went to stand next to the only other Eight. Baltar was sitting at his desk, with Caprica standing near him. Cavil and Three stood on the opposite side, while Simon and Doral sat together on the wall seats. "What's going on?" she asked the Eight quietly.

Cavil decided to answer the question, overriding any answer the Eight would've made. "Apparently, our sister," Cavil said with an expansive gesture to Three, "has some new information to share with us."

"I do." D'Anna looked smug and hard as she turned to him, arms folded. "We found your prisoner, very much alive."

Cavil barely hesitated, glanced at Doral, and then shrugged at D'Anna. "We had two months of quiet from these two," he waved a hand across the Eights and Sixes. "I'd think you'd be grateful for silencing their whining over irrelevant prophecies."

"What?" the other Eight gasped. "You're not saying --"

"He's alive," Caprica breathed. Her gaze went to Sharon, who nodded once in confirmation.

"Who?" Baltar demanded in confusion, frowning at her. "Who are you talking about?"

Caprica glanced down at him, irritated. "Gaius, be quiet."

"Our oracle," D'Anna declared. "And he's going to take us to Earth. We don't need this place anymore."

Cavil rolled his eyes. "Oh, he knows where it is, does he? Please. He's just desperate, giving you what he thinks you want to hear. I thought better of the Threes."

But she didn't react to his scolding, remaining calm and hostile. "I know what the truth is, and it's not what you're selling."

Simon stood up, suddenly seeming quite large in the room, and turned cold eyes on Cavil. "You lied to the consensus. You lied to us about the human. What else have you lied about, brothers?"

Sharon stepped forward, knowing she'd get no better opportunity, and said, "We should evacuate this planet and follow the path to Earth."

Baltar stared at her. "What? Leave?"

"Agreed," Caprica said, without consulting her sisters, but it didn't look as if she needed to: the Sixes were all glaring at Cavil and Doral.

"Oh, we most certainly agree," D'Anna said.

Simon hesitated, innate caution and reason warring with his anger at Cavil, but said, "Agreed."

D'Anna added, "The Twos have yet to step foot on the planet, so I feel sure they agree. It's done. The evacuation will start at once." Her lips widened in a poisonous smirk at Cavil. "Brother."

Cavil shook his head, nothing but dismay and condescension in his face. "This is such a mistake. Don't you see you're chasing a delusion? You seriously believe a human is going to give you the path willingly?"

D'Anna lifted her brows at him and chuckled, "Who said anything about willingly? You just never asked him the right questions."

"What?" Sharon blurted, as her shock and pleasure that Sam was still alive evaporated like a bubble popping.

"What did you do?" one of the Sixes demanded.

But D'Anna had no chance to answer. Sharon heard the hollow thumps of explosions as the ship's deck rattled under her feet. She glanced out through the windows and saw plumes of smoke rising in the air.

"The insurgency!" Doral exclaimed. "You see? While you've all been discussing being 'nice', they've been planning a massive uprising. We need to strike back hard."

"Are you insane or just stupid?" Caprica retorted. "This is exactly why we need to get out of here."

The door slammed open and another Eight ran in. "Sharon!" she exclaimed and then faced everyone else. "Two battlestars just jumped into the system!"

"Adama's back," Sharon said, and she couldn't help feeling satisfied and vindicated.

"Engage them," D'Anna ordered. "We need time to evacuate."

The well-oiled machine of the Cylon went to work. Most left to start the evacuation, leaving just Sharon, D'Anna, Caprica and Baltar there on Colonial One.

"Your people have come for you, Gaius," D'Anna advised him coolly. "You should get out while you can."

"But--" He found no solace in Caprica's face as she took a deliberate step away from him.

"You belong with your own kind," she said, and Sharon winced inwardly at the unintentionally cruel words.

"They'll kill me!" he objected. "They'll kill me... You can't want that."

Caprica forced a smile. "Of course not, but I'm sure you'll find a way to survive. You always do." She noticed Gaeta hovering in the doorway and beckoned him inside. "I'm sure your insurgent friends would like him alive."

"My... what?" Gaeta started in surprise.

Her smile at him was more natural. "Who do you think left out documents for you to copy?"

He looked shocked, almost as shocked and betrayed as Baltar. Sharon laughed, realizing she wasn't the only one who had been clandestinely helping. D'Anna looked disgusted.

Caprica held out her hand. "Give me your weapon."

Before she said it, Sharon hadn't even realized that Gaeta was carrying a sidearm. He glanced at the Cylons, at Baltar, and swallowed hard before he put it in Caprica's hand.

She held it at her side as she moved to the door. "Come on, sisters, it's time to get to our business." She glanced a final time at Baltar, looking mournful, then turned her back and left.

Outside, they all started for the landing platform where Sharon hoped a Heavy Raider was waiting. They had to dart for cover into the alley on the other side of the detention center as a horde of armed humans streamed for the gates.

As they waited, shielded from casual view by a protruding beam, Caprica asked D'Anna, "How is Sam?"

D'Anna's lip curled in disgust. "Apparently quite rank, from the report. She had to push hard with the neural amplifier to get him to tell her the way. But she has faith the vision is a true one. Unfortunately, he passed out before she could get more details. We'll probably have to force him again, since he was resistant."

Sharon listened to this, aghast. She had tortured him? She appeared to believe he was an oracle, and yet she was willing to do this?

"I see," Caprica said quite calmly, and squeezed Sharon's arm when Sharon drew an outraged breath.

A strange, distant boom, high up, drew their attention, and Sharon looked up to see a huge fireball in the sky, white and red with heat as it came down through the atmosphere. Her hands tightened to fists of victory, as she saw it was Galactica, coming in hot and launching Vipers.

Then, while D'Anna was still staring at Galactica, Caprica lifted the gun and shot her in the back of the head.

The Three dropped to the ground, and Sharon stared, blinking in stunned and startled confusion. "Caprica? What--?"

"Funny, it's even easier the second time," she remarked to the body then squared her shoulders and faced Sharon. "There'll be chaos in the resurrection ship. That gives us a chance."

"A chance to do what?"

"Get Sam the hell out of her custody and into friendlier hands. Are you with me?"

Sharon grinned. "Hell, yeah. Let's go. Try not to get killed."

They started running for the landing area.

* * *


Kara stared out toward the front of the launch tube, hands relaxed on her controls. "Blue Squadron, ready to launch," she reported to CIC.

"Stand by," Helo responded over the wireless.

Next the Admiral's voice growled in her ear. "This is the Admiral. All hands brace for turbulence."

Turbulence? Kara snorted to herself.

The jump itself passed in its usual swiftly nauseating wave, and immediately Kara rocked in her seat. She was strapped in, so to feel it at all meant the deck was pitching.

Helo called, "Launch! Launch them all!"

"Acknowledged, Galactica. Blue squadron, launch!" Kara kicked in the afterburners. With the launch assist from the ship, her Viper accelerated down the tube and into the atmosphere.

Wind shear and the shock wave of Galactica's jump seized her bird, trying to toss her around, and she held on, doggedly powering through. Damn, it was loud though - she forgot how frakking noisy atmosphere was.

"Clear Galactica!" she repeated the orders loudly. "And dive."

She cleared the clouds abruptly and pulled up, heading for the tallest building, which had to be the detention center Tigh had mentioned in the sitrep. There were smoke clouds and people running every which way, some pinned down by shiny Centurions and gun placement towers.

Duck was flying her wing and he said, "Starbuck, Duck. I'm on the tower."

"Roger. I've got the gate."

She blew the gate and most of the wall with it, rolling through the explosion, and Duck's missile hit his target square. She went looking for more toasters to blow.

Now this was flying.

She took out another squadron of bulletheads, like shooting fish in a barrel, and what looked like a landing area where Heavy Raiders were on the ground. She and Duck took two on the ground, but more escaped, heading up into the atmosphere.

"Hotdog, you have Blue Squadron, escort the ships. Duck, follow me, we're going turkey hunting." She gave the order as she pulled her Viper into a climb, gritting her teeth as the ship pushed away from the planet and into space after the Heavy Raiders.

Duck paced her easily, and then with no words necessary, they peeled off, Kara to the right side and Duck to the left. She stared at it, flying grimly to put it in her sights as it maneuvered to keep clear. But then Cylon predictability kicked in and she anticipated its next motion, letting out a stream of ammo that tore into it until it exploded.

Maybe it was the same one.

'That's one for you, baby,' she murmured silently to Sam, and banked to engage another Heavy Raider lining up on Ninja and the ship he was trying to guard.

'That's two.'

There was another Heavy Raider, speeding toward one of the baseships. It refused to engage the Colonials, hurrying as if it was carrying something too important to risk loss in battle. Anything the Cylons wanted to preserve had to be a good idea to blow up.

Kara pursued, not caring that the baseships were exchanging fire with Galactica, only interested in catching this oddly behaving craft.

* * *


"Oh frak, Viper, frak," Sharon muttered, taking the manual controls to fly evasive maneuvers when the Heavy Raider wanted to turn and engage. Her hand hovered over the toggle for the wireless to claim friendliness, but then she had a better idea. The baseship where Sam was being held was in combat with Galactica; and it wasn't going to last long. She had to get to him, and she didn't have time for combat or long explanations.

She set the hyperdrive for a short jump and left behind the dogged Viper pursuit. The baseship suddenly loomed above them, inadequate Raider squadrons trying to act like point defense batteries, as the Galactica hurled missiles and rounds at it.

"Frak, why the hell aren't they pulling back?" Sharon demanded. "If Galactica kills the ship, he's not going to resurrect."

"Nobody knows Sam's there, except the ones who don't care. I've sent the recognition code," Caprica reported from the copilot seat. "We're cleared for approach."

Now if only someone would tell Galactica that, Sharon thought, dodging tracer rounds and Raider shrapnel. She curved the ship around to the rear where the bulk of the basestar would shield them from the Galactica's guns and plunged at speed into the docking bay, narrowly avoiding a squadron of Heavy Raiders launching.

"Frak!" Her hands still shaking from the close call, she jerked the stick back and landed on the platform with a jolt. Caprica was already free of her harness and punching the ramp open. She was carrying the pistol, and Sharon swiped another one from the storage compartment inside the pilot's seat on her way out.

Here, unlike New Caprica, there was haste, but no confusion, no chaos, as the other models moved around supervising Centurions or the weapons systems. No one gave them a second look.

At the nearest datafont, Caprica plunged her hand in and her gaze blanked as she accessed the information.

"Did she leave it open?" Sharon asked, as Caprica pulled her hand out. Because if D'Anna had locked the location to the Threes, they were going to have to find one.

"Luckily, yes. This way." Caprica led through the corridors and Sharon followed. They had to take a detour once, when the route was blocked by damage, and often had to steady themselves on the wall as the ship rocked.

But Caprica knew the way, likely following a ribbon or some kind of path in her projection to take her to the right room.

It wasn't too long before they hurried through an open doorway and into a room with two Centurions and one prisoner in the holding chair. There were no Threes there, but Sharon glanced at the Centurions warily.

Caprica ran up to him. "It's him," she said and pushed the button to retract all the restraints. He didn't react, hands limp on the arms of the chair and head lolling to one side.

Sharon bit her lip, reminding herself that this was better than the burned-up corpse she had last seen. But the shaggy hair, matted beard, and shredded, filthy clothes indicated a thorough neglect that was almost harder to see. His eyes were closed, and he seemed too still. Seized by a sudden panic that they were too late, she grabbed his wrist to check his pulse.

His heart was still beating steady and strong, and she let out a soft breath of relief. "Sam?" she called to him softly. "Can you wake up? We've got to get you out of here."

His eyelids fluttered but didn't open. Even when Caprica lightly slapped his cheek, he only stirred for a moment and then sank back into unconsciousness.

"How are we gonna get him out of here?" Sharon asked Caprica. "He can't walk."

Caprica went up to the Centurions and gave them an order, and in five seconds, they had torn out a wall panel, bent the corners into handles, and presented the stretcher to Caprica.

"Nice," Sharon said, with a wry smile. It still seemed slightly surreal to her when Centurions did things besides stand guard and shoot things.

Then the two women eased Sam down onto the stretcher and let the Centurions carry him as they led the way with guns in hand. They didn't have to discuss it, to know they weren't letting anyone stop them.

In the press of battle, the only ones to notice and approach were a pair of Eights. "Anders? He's alive?" one asked, shocked.

"Yes, the Ones and Fives lied to us," Caprica said.

"We're evacuating Sam before this one goes up," Sharon explained.

The Eights joined the group, watching the rear, and got to the docking bay where the Heavy Raider was still waiting, as it had been told. No one tried to stop them, which Sharon thought odd, but perhaps in the battle everyone else had something else to do.

"Put the truth in the datastream," Sharon told the others. "So everyone knows they lied to the consensus."

Both nodded.

"God be with you, sisters," Sharon said and ran up the ramp to get the engines ready.

The Centurions left the stretcher in the back area of the Heavy Raider, and at a command, went out, so Caprica could close the ramp. "We're in. Go."

"We're going." Sharon lifted the ship, took a deep breath, and accelerated out as fast as she could.

Out in space, she saw that Pegasus had arrived and was engaging three more basestars, including their destination. Pegasus was fighting but not trying to escape, and Sharon only had to look at the dradis to see it was sacrificing itself for the ships coming up from the surface.

But Sharon wanted to bring Sam back to his old baseship with the Six who cared for him and the Two who tended his faith so carefully, and that was not going to happen if Pegasus blew it up.

She contacted it on the wireless. "Pull back," Sharon ordered. "I have him."

"What?" she heard a Six exclaim.

"This is Sharon Valerii. I have Anders, he's alive," she explained hurriedly. "But if you don't pull back, Pegasus is going to take you out and us too, and he's not going to come back from that."

"Anders?" the Six repeated in dumbfounded shock, and there was a pause before she, or another Six, said more crisply, "Understood. We are withdrawing. Come home, Sharon."

Leaving its two sister baseships to the Pegasus' not so tender mercies, one of them began to push back from the battle.

Keeping an eye out for stray Colonial fighters and debris, she set a course for that baseship. "How's he doing?" she called back over her shoulder to Caprica.

"The same," she answered. "I don't know - he's unconscious, Sharon. And he smells awful."

Which was true, but seemed a rather inconsequential thing to mention when he was very ill, and possibly dying. "At least we can wash him and fix that part."

Halfway there, the baseship they had just left exploded in a cloud of shimmering gas and dust. But neither Galactica nor Pegasus looked in much better shape, and she found herself holding her breath while watching the battle. But the Colonial ships continued to rise up from the surface and blink out of sight.

Her Heavy Raider picked up a squadron of Raiders as an escort, and she tried to signal them away, but they didn't go, remaining stubbornly fixed in formation. The Raiders followed them to the baseship, and three continued into the docking bay entrance. One came in all the way, settling on the opposite platform with its sensor focused on the Heavy Raider like a dog watching the door for its master to come home.

She glanced at it warily. It had to be the same Raider who had rescued him months ago, though she wondered how it knew Sam was even aboard. Then she realized it must have heard her say his name on the wireless and decided to abandon the mission to come protect him. She dampened her suddenly dry lips at the evidence of independent decision-making.

But that was for later, when she had time to think about it. "We're aboard, jump now," Sharon sent on the wireless. Moments later she felt the brief disorientation of the jump, just before she landed the Heavy Raider on the platform.

Through the screen she could see another pale-haired Six like Caprica emerge from the hatchway, clasping her hands together before her. A Two and another Eight joined her.

Sharon went in the back where Caprica was kneeling beside Sam. "He won't wake up," Caprica said, lifting a worried face to Sharon briefly.

"Would you?" Sharon returned.

Caprica considered that a moment, her gaze encompassing the shredded remnants of his tank top, and the marked skin beneath. "No, I wouldn't," she murmured and her hand stroked back his hair and down the side of his face, smoothing his beard. "But hopefully he can hear us and knows he's among friends now."

She moved to one end and together they lifted the stretcher and went out.

"Sam!" the other Six exclaimed, her heart shining in her eyes as she rushed to his side, when Sharon and Caprica set it down. "Oh my God, oh God, Sam, are you all right?" she asked grabbing his hand, and then looked up at Sharon when he didn't even stir. "What the frak did they do to him?"

Leoben murmured, moving closer on the other side. "I don't see any current injuries. What's wrong with him?" he asked the two women.

Sharon shook her head. "You mean, besides the fact that the others kept him in a filthy hole for a few months and hurt him whenever they felt like it?" she asked in a tight voice, thinking back to how the Ones had lied to them. "Three used a neural amplifier on him this morning."

The Cylons all shared a glance of dismay. They all knew as Sharon did - perhaps better - what the amplifier was for, and what it could do to a human.

"All to force him to have a vision of Earth before God granted him one," Six murmured shaking her head sadly. "No wonder he's gone away from us."

But then Leoben let out a huff of breath and said, "Even assuming she used a high setting, he'll recover. All he needs is time and care." He glanced at the Six clutching Sam's hand.

She nodded and she stroked Sam's face exactly as Caprica had. "We need to get him clean," she said. "That will show him he's free better than words. I think if two of us hold him upright, the shower would be quicker --"

"No, not a good idea. They held him in one of the shower rooms," Caprica interrupted, warning her.

Six bit her lip. "One of the … " she started in confusion and then understood. "Oh." She raised his hand to her cheek, while she blinked back tears and had to clear her throat to speak. "All right. There's a bath on the same hall as his room, maybe that would be --"

She stopped speaking when his eyes opened. Everyone froze, looking at him. He blinked a few times, staring up blankly at the ceiling.

"Sam?" the Six leaned over him. "Sam?" she repeated more softly when he didn't respond. "You're safe. You're home," she murmured. "You're with us, now. Can you hear me? Sam?"

He blinked again, but the next time, his eyes shut and didn't open again. Sharon didn't think he'd seen anything at all.

Six pressed her lips together and her shoulders slumped, making her look fragile. Caprica touched her back, gently stroking her in comfort. "He'll be well, sister," she murmured. "With your love, how could he not be?"

Six swallowed hard and nodded. "Let's take him in, his skin's cold."

Sharon lifted her end of the stretcher again, and Leoben took the other, and they headed for the airlock.

A loud scream startled her and she nearly dropped the stretcher. She grabbed for it, barely righting it before Sam tumbled off to the floor, and turned awkwardly to see what had made that horrible screech.

The Raider was hovering above the platform, weapons fully engaged and pointed at them, and its sensor swept back and forth swiftly in agitation.

"I don't think it wants us to take him away," Leoben observed, dryly.

Caprica frowned at it. "Is that the same Raider? The one that rescued him?"

Sam's Six nodded. "I think so. It's hard to tell. But it did the same thing before. Except then it was targeting Centurions - now it's targeting us. It's trying to protect him."

"From us? But we rescued him! We're trying to help him," Caprica protested, addressing the Raider in a loud voice. The Raider didn't react to her words. Sharon thought it probably didn't understand anything beyond Sam was hurt, and reasoning with it was futile. It was a ton of killing machine that thought it was a guard dog.

"I suggest we let Sam stay here until he wakes up," Leoben said, agreeing with her.

"But he needs a bath and a change of clothes," Caprica said. "A Raider's not supposed to be able to fire on us…" But her voice trailed off in doubt as the Raider continued to hover. It screeched again, sounding impatient to Sharon.

"I don't think we should try. Leoben's right, let's not tempt the Raider to do anything rash. We can do everything here," Six said with a glance at the agitated Raider. "It's nice and open, which Sam might like after being trapped in a shower room all this time. And maybe he'll feel safer knowing his… friend is watching over him."

They set Sam down again, in the wide space between the landing platform and the door. The Raider settled on the platform, out of the way but uncomfortably close. Its sensors still swept back and forth restlessly. Sharon thought with a bit of wry amusement, that if it was a cat, it would be lashing its tail.

Some gawking Sixes and Eights brought buckets of water and towels to sponge Sam down. But generally they stayed back to watch, leaving his friends to do the main task. Leoben fetched a razor and scissors and was the only one who dared cut his hair and shave off the growth of beard, under the watchful eye of the Raider.

Had anyone told her four months ago that she'd see Sam naked, Sharon would've been very pleased to hear that. But she found the reality more upsetting than anything else. He was too thin, and his skin was marred with badly healed recent injuries. His face, without the beard, was gaunt, printed with lines of pain and stress at the corners of his eyes and mouth that hadn't been there before. As they washed and re-clothed him, he stirred, enough to let out little sounds of distress and twitch randomly as his nerves reacted to the damage of the amplifier, but still he didn't wake.

Seeing him brought to such a state made her want to throw things. It was worse for Sam's Six, though. When she was putting his shirt on him, she got a view of his back and the new scars. She trailed her hand across them lightly, and her eyes filled with tears.

"Why did they do this?" she demanded softly. She pulled down the shirt and tilted him on his back again with the gentle touch of a mother for a child. "This had no purpose. Why hurt him?"

The darker haired Six had joined them, bringing the new set of clothes. She had watched the ministrations for a long time in silence, but Sharon saw the tight jaw and the narrow eyes and knew she was angry. An angry Six was not someone to be trifled with.

"Because pain and fear are the only feelings they understand," she answered and folded her arms. "Sam frightens them because they have no faith. So then they hurt him and lied to us. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm tired of the Ones leading us into destruction and killing and pain."

"What - what are you saying, sister?" Caprica asked warily.

"I'm tired of his 'we're only machines' philosophy, when we're more than that." She glanced at the Raider. "The Raiders are more than that, and I bet the Centurions would be, too, if we let them. But we know we're more. We're ourselves. We're people."

"But Six, what --?" Sharon started.

"No," she interrupted and lifted her chin, looking defiant. "Not 'Six'. I had a name when I was on Virgon. I want it back. Natalie. My name is Natalie." She looked proud and fierce as she said the name.

Sharon remembered back to the discussion with Leoben in the cold Hybrid's chamber and shivered. Her eyes met his, and he nodded very slightly in shared remembrance. The words echoed in her memory: "Seven shall become two…"

She glanced down at Sam again and she wondered: How much of what was happening had been inevitable from the beginning, and how much was him? How much had he influenced them? Maybe the other four had, in their own way, been right - maybe Sam was a threat to the Cylon collective.

Apprehension tightened in her gut, and she knew the Cylons were approaching some great, inevitable chasm. The part of her that was an Eight quailed at that, wanted desperately for everyone to get along - but the part that still remembered being human, swallowed back her fear. Maybe some threats were necessary.

She was the first to repeat the name. "All right. Natalie it is."

She half expected the Six next to Sam's cot to take a name then too, but she was spreading blankets on him and didn't say anything.

Sharon knelt on the floor beside Sam's cot, opposite the Six, and pulled out the dog tags that had been burning a quiet hole in her pocket. The tags looked right on him, glimmering on the black t-shirt, and she was glad she had kept them to give back to him.

Sam had fallen back into seemingly peaceful sleep after all their manhandling, but now he stirred again, moaning softly and moving his head as though trapped in a bad dream.

"Shhh, you're safe," Six murmured, fingers going to caress through his hair until he settled again. "We won't let them hurt you, not ever again."

"No, we won't," Natalie agreed, in a much harder voice.

Sharon nodded and she saw Leoben and Caprica nod in solemn promise as well. With a start, she realized there were five Cylons tending Sam. Natalie had been the first step forward to claim her own individuality, and now because of her, five Cylons were now in sworn opposition to their brethren.

"The seven shall become two when one steps forth from the five."

With a cold sense of loss and dread, she wondered if the five of them just ensured that the rest of the Hybrid's prophecy would come to pass.

* * *


As she watched the explosions rip apart the Pegasus, Kara tensed, anxiety curdling in her stomach. 'You better have got off first, you frakker. I'll never forgive you if you're still on that ship, Lee.'

But the Cylons were defeated as well, with most baseships destroyed or nearly so, except for one which had jumped out.

"All Vipers, Galactica. Return to the barn. Combat landings authorized," Helo ordered over the wireless and he added, "Port side pod only. Conditions are crowded and civilian. Watch the ball carefully."

"Acknowledged, Galactica," Kara responded and wondered just how crowded it could be.

The answer, as her Viper came up the lift to the docking bay, was very crowded. The whole deck was jammed full - Raptors and Vipers and even two small civilian shuttles. All of them surrounded by dazed looking civilians, pilots, frustrated deck crew, and a handful of marines and blue-uniformed officers trying to make some organization out of the crowd.

Kara watched the beehive through her canopy. She saw a Raptor open and Colonel Tigh walk out - wearing civilian attire, bearded, with a patch on one eye. Ellen wasn't with him. Chief Tyrol followed, and when the deck crew cheered for him, he blinked dazedly.

Kara waited, but Cally didn't emerge behind him, and Kara didn't see the baby either. Kara started to feel ill. How many had they lost?

She saw Barolay down there, a bright figure in her red hair and shiny flight suit, looking anxiously through the crowd. She found Hilliard and grabbed him. Kara didn't need to see their faces or hear their words to know Gripkey hadn't made it either when they clung together in a tight hug. The two of them were now the last C-Bucs to survive.

Numb, she opened the latch on her canopy, opened it, and removed her helmet. Very carefully, she climbed down to the floor and stood there, exhausted and not willing to move anywhere.

"Excuse me," a woman's voice said. "Lieutenant? Or, sorry, captain, isn't it?"

Kara blinked to find someone in front of her. The civilian woman was carrying two little girls in her arms, one a bit smaller or younger, and she looked at least as exhausted as Kara felt. Trying not to snap at the woman, she asked, "Yes?"

"My name is Julia Brynn," she introduced. "I don't know who I should tell about this. This girl," she nodded to the dark-haired toddler she was holding, "I found her on the planet. The woman with her, her mother I think, was dead. I don't know her name or whether she has any other family who made it off. "

Kara forced a smile at the cute girl with the mop of curls and big, staring eyes. "Well, I admit I don't exactly know what we're doing about that since I just got here. But let's start by getting you away from the crowd, and find someone who knows what's going on, okay? I'm sure Captain Kelly or the XO are around. They're probably making a list. They're good at that sort of boring stuff," she told the girls, wrinkling her nose in exaggerated disgust. Neither of them reacted, but Julia at least smiled a bit. "Can I hold you?" she asked the dark-haired one. "You're both big girls and poor Julia here looks about to drop." The girl was too shell shocked to react, and Kara slid her hands around the tiny body and tugged her away.

The girl put her head down on Kara's shoulder and Kara smoothed her dark hair. "Let's go see what we can do to help you," she murmured. "Hopefully someone's missing you, sweetheart."

Hearing a chant for Adama behind her, Kara hesitated, wanting to take part, but it seemed like this was more important. She ushered Julia off the deck and into the crowded corridors beyond. Despite the desperate circumstances, it felt good.

The old ship was alive again.

* * *


He woke slowly, pulling himself out of the unsettling, clinging dreams. Even before he opened his eyes, he became aware of a soft, soothing croon, like a wordless lullaby that helped him out of the dark place where he'd been buried so long.

Someone was gently wiping his face with a wet cloth, too, and he didn't try to open his eyes until it moved. His eyes were stuck with grit and he raised a hand to rub it away. His arm and shoulder ached with the movement.

"Sam?" a voice asked, and he turned his head to find one of the Sixes.

She smiled when she saw she had his attention. "Welcome home, Sam."

It was only then he realized she was Thea. "Hey," he croaked out and had to clear his throat.

He looked up and around, realizing that despite the fact that he was lying on some sort of cot, the ceiling was high above his head. He was in the docking bay.

"What --?" he started, feeling tired and confused. The last thing he recalled was D'Anna and weirdly, a lion. "What happened?"

"D'Anna changed her mind," Thea explained. "We've evacuated New Caprica. Sharon brought you here from the other baseship to recover, and we're not letting them take you again, no matter what," she reassured him, hand on his cheek.

Then surprisingly, her smile widened. "We're not the only ones." She pointed her chin to the left. "Your friend objected when we tried to remove you. We decided it was best to keep you here until you woke up. It seems very…. concerned." Her voice was affectionate, but also puzzled.

The Raider's red sensor light was pinned on him. Its worry seemed to flow across the intervening air and wrap Sam up in softness - and the wordless lullaby sang in his head again.

'I'm okay, I'm okay,' Sam sent back as best he could. 'I'm safe now.'

The Raider hesitated, uncertain. There was a bright thread of anger that the lesser Cylons had done this to him.

'Not these. As for the others, not now. Wait. I'll call you when it's time,' Sam ordered.

The Raider understood and subsided, but it didn't move, a strangely comforting presence not far away.

Thea was looking at him with her eyes wide and mouth parted a little in shock. "Are you … talking to it?" she asked, sounding awed.

Since they seemed to be alone, he nodded once. "In a way. Something happened out there, when we were in space. I can't explain. Some kind of … joining. So I can feel what it's feeling, and I think it feels me, too."

She glanced over her shoulder at the Raider and back at Sam, still stunned. "That shouldn't be possible."

"Maybe they've been evolving, too," he suggested, "and you never noticed."

She seemed troubled by that for a moment, before she lifted her gaze to his and changed the subject. "And how do you feel?"

He closed his eyes and breathed for a moment, trying to figure out how he felt. He didn't want to move and awaken all the aches that lurked beneath the hazy lassitude in his muscles, but altogether, he felt not too bad. The best part was that he felt clean - while he'd been out, someone had washed him and when he ventured a hand up to his chin, he discovered some good fairy had given him a shave too. He ventured a smile at Thea and was about to say he felt human again, but checked himself. "You didn't have to scrub all the dirt off, but I really appreciate it."

"It wasn’t only me," she demurred. "You look thin. We need to find you something to eat."

"Anything but that white mash cereal stuff," he told her. "I don't want to see that shit ever again." He meant it to be half-joking, but he glanced away, feeling his heart sort of flutter at the reminder. Swallowing hard, he sat up, immediately regretting it as his head started to pound and his muscles felt weak with the movement. "Oh, frak."

Her arm went around his shoulders and caught him. "It'll pass," she whispered. "Just give yourself time. It fraks with your nervous system."

He held out a shaking hand. "No kidding."

As she held him against her, warm and alive and real, she murmured, "I'm sorry. We would've come for you, but we thought you were dead. They lied to us. To me."

"I know," he said, shutting his eyes and trying to shut out the memories. "I don't blame you."

When he opened his eyes, there was a large tawny lion sitting by the doorway.

It was gone when he looked again.

* * *


He ate his dinner of crackers and soup and the best damn apple he'd ever eaten, kept company by the Sixes, Eights and Twos who kept 'dropping by' to visit. Luckily someone had been smart and kept all the other models away, because he knew he wasn't ready to see them. So he talked with his friends, since he knew he had to thank them and reassure them that he was well. At last Thea put her foot down and brought him back to his old room. He ached, especially in his ankle, but at least the numbness and tremors in his hands had faded, so he felt more like himself.

His room felt comfortingly familiar, even with the garish lights and big bed with its surreal satin sheets. But one thing was strange and new. It was there, and then not.

He stopped so abruptly Thea's arm hit him. "Sam?" she asked.

He blinked as though that would bring it back, but there was nothing there. "I saw … I thought I saw a lion. On the floor at the foot of the bed."

She did him the favor of looking. "There's no lion there."

"I know, but it was there. It looked so real…" he trailed off, picturing it again - a big, golden lion with a massive mane, sitting on the floor, looking at him with yellow eyes. It had looked as real as the bed, down to the reddish highlights on its fur from the wall lights.

He sat heavily on the bed and looked at where the lion hadn't been. He was going crazy - there was no other explanation. Three had broken his brain and now he was seeing things that weren't there.

"When I was… with the others," he explained to her. Sensing distress, she knelt on the bed next to him and put a hand on his upper arm. But he didn't look at her. "She put my hand in this neural thing, and frak it hurt. She wanted a vision. I kept telling her, it doesn't work like that. I get feelings, not pictures. There was that one time with chamalla, and it nearly killed me. But she wouldn't stop. She just wouldn't stop."

He pressed his hands against his forehead, closing his eyes against the ache inside his skull.

Thea pressed her body against his arm and shoulder, cuddling close, while her hand made soothing motions up and down his back.

He inhaled her clean scent like rain and could continue. "And then, I saw the lion. It'll lead us to Earth. I know that, but I have no frakking idea what it means -- something to do with Leonis maybe, but I don't know. She wanted more, but that's all I saw. And now I'm seeing the same lion everywhere." He let out a soft unsteady laugh and swallowed. "I'm afraid the Sam you got back… is sort of … damaged. Not really worth all the trouble."

"Hush," she murmured and her other hand cradled his cheek, turning his face toward her. "It's all right, Sam," she comforted, "just let it go. You're safe now. You're home. Let me help you ..."

She leaned forward and her lips touched his. She kissed him gently, drawing out his pain and anxiety until he kissed back. Her touch was soft, through his hair and across his shoulders and back, curling around to slip beneath his shirt. She undressed him with shy smiles and kisses, and everywhere she touched the deep aches disappeared and his skin came alive again.

With a groan of surrender, he clasped her in his hands and drew her against him. She was slender, but strong and beautiful. Her skin was like cream silk, sliding against his. She leaned back, pulling him down on her, and arched her back with a sharp breath and soft exhortation to God, when his lips and tongue tasted her breasts. When she opened to him with welcoming arms, he sank inside her, letting the love in her eyes wash him clean.

Her fingers were tight on his shoulders and her long legs wrapped him all around, and urged him deep. He kept his pace slow and steady, and she went first, shuddering as her pale skin flushed rose.

"Sam!" she cried. "Samuel!"

Her head went back, and he kissed the lines of her throat, pushing forward, seeking fulfillment.

His release broke through him, pleasure as the absence of pain, which was a gift after the last endless weeks of nothing else. Sinking down to the bed, cradled between her thighs, he felt her contentment as well, deepening his own sense of peace. Breathing slowing, he murmured her name, with his head pillowed on her breasts. "Thea…"

The caressing hand in his hair stilled. "Thea?" she repeated.

"It's what I've been calling you in my head," he explained and raised his head, suddenly worried. "After someone I used to know. I'm sorry, if you'd rather --"

"No," her finger slipped across his lips and she smiled tearfully. "You gave me a name. So few of us have names…"

"I could name everyone who wants one," he offered, and nuzzled her skin between her breasts.

"You always know it's me, don't you?" she asked, sounding curious, but it was not really a question. Her fingers toyed with his hair, a gesture soothing and familiar.

"I know when it's you and when it's not. So no," he planted little kisses up her chest and the hollow of her throat, moving to her chin and lips, and then lifting to smile down into her eyes, "trying to play tricks with your twins won't work on me."

When he said 'twins', he remembered the pair of Threes standing above him, alike as mirror reflections, and his stomach seized up, choking away his humor.

Thea noticed his expression and coaxed him down for another kiss. He buried himself in her again, desperate to shut the door on the memories and forget. But even so, an insidious voice at the back of his mind whispered this was another of those intense daydreams and he was still on the floor of his cell.

Later, he clutched Thea's warmth to him and stared at the shadowed reaches of the ceiling, trying to convince himself it was real and he was free, until exhaustion finally pulled him into sleep.

* * *


The lion padded before him, leading him through the forest. The trees were tall, with narrow trunks and pale green leaves, letting beams of sunlight in to slant down to the dirt path at his feet.

He followed the lion up a slope, and the path turned rough and rocky. The forest dwindled to a few scattered trees and then none, as the land became more desert-like, with bare sand and low spiky plants. But always the lion was before him, waiting until he caught up and then moving on, leading him always upward.

The path turned around a large boulder and into a narrow, sandy defile, heading for a cleft in the rock of the cliff-face. The lion padded into the narrow opening and disappeared.

He followed, ducking his head beneath the overhang, and went into the dark. The weight of the stone pressed on him as he squeezed through, and then the passageway opened up.

The entirety of the mountain was hollow, carved by human hands into a vast round cavern with one immense central pillar and a domed roof so high it was like being at the bottom of a well. Holes all around the edge of the dome let in diffuse light, enough to see that this place had to be ancient, but was perfectly well preserved.

The lion was gone, but he moved forward, stunned. He'd seen this place before, in the chamalla vision, but it was empty this time. It was a temple; it felt like a temple, despite the lack of any obvious altar. But where was it? Was this on Earth? And why was it important?

His footsteps echoed on the stone as he rounded the central pillar to look at the far side. There was a carving of concentric circles, painted in bright colors. It drew his eyes and his hand, and he reached out to put his palm in the center.

Another hand was there first, sliding underneath his, and he turned his head to see Kara.

It had been so long… he couldn't speak, only look at her and drink in her presence.

She smiled at him, eyes bright but serious. "The temple is yours, but this is not," she told him.

He turned over his hand to grasp hers and tug her into him. "I've missed you," he whispered into her hair, hugging her tight. "Oh, Gods, so much…"

Her arms twined around his neck and she raised her face to meet his eyes. There was a sorrowful wisdom to her gaze, and none of the playfulness he remembered. "We have separate paths, for now."

"Tell me we'll come together again," he pleaded with her. "Tell me I don't have to lose you for this?"

Instead of answering, she kissed him. Hungrily his lips sought all she offered, his hands cupping her waist and sliding over the familiar curves.


* * *


Kara awoke with a gasp, discovering her hand was down her pants and she was sweating and panting with reaction.

Gods. She wanted to go back to sleep, make the dream last forever, even when she also prayed the dreams would stop.

The blank grey frame of the rack above met her eyes, but she didn't see it. The images were burned into her mind, because she'd had them practically every time she closed her eyes after they'd rescued New Caprica.

Sam… holding her against a round pillar in an empty temple… her legs around him as he frakked her… his mouth on hers hard and desperate as he pushed them both to climax as if they had no time… her voice crying his name as her senses fractured in the heat… but when she opened her eyes, he was gone, and she was standing in front of the mandala alone…

She licked her lips, tasting the salt of sweat and tears. Her hand closed around the pair of dog tags, remembering when he'd gotten his own set and immediately offered her one. It had felt like putting a ring on her finger when she'd threaded his tag on her chain. They'd known there was no such thing as forever, but she'd expected a little more time. She'd believed his promise of the future. What a fool.

"Starbuck?" Hotdog's voice came from his rack. "You okay?"

She dropped the tags and sat up. "Fine." Without looking at him, she slipped into her BDUs and went to work out her overactive imagination.

Helo found her in the gym later, and offered to spot her on the weight machine.

She let the burn in her muscles fill her and distract her, but Helo wasn't fooled; when she was done and sipping at the water, he sat on the bench next to her. "What's going on?"

"What? Nothing," she answered, but her hand clasped the dog tags for a moment before letting them fall back on her chest.

Helo caught the gesture, and prodded, "What?"

She stared at the treadmill, and in a low voice, she answered, "I keep having these dreams. Really intense dreams. I find him again and we frak like bunnies." Her laugh was strained. "You don't have to tell me how stupid it is. He's dead, I know that. But ever since we left New Caprica, there's something..." Her voice trailed off and her hands curled around the edge of the bench, holding back the words that would imply she wanted to believe he was still out there.

Helo frowned thoughtfully, before taking a deep breath. "He might not be."

She pushed the offer of hope away immediately, unable to bear it. "His bird blew up, Karl. Even if he managed to punch out, the Fleet jumped right after. We were at the end of CAP, so he had air left for twelve hours, max. He's dead. Long since dead."

She knew the facts and laid them out, unflinching. She'd tried convincing herself with them before.

But Helo wasn't done. "When Sharon was on New Caprica, she ran into one of the D'Annas, who told her Sam's on their baseship."

It took a moment for the meaning to sink in, that for Sam to be anywhere he couldn't be dead. Then she sat up straight and stared at Helo. "That's impossible. No. She must have been frakking with Sharon."

Helo shook his head a little. "Boomer was there, too. She confirmed the Cylons had taken him prisoner. She saw him alive, after the battle."

She couldn't grasp it. Sam was alive. After all these months, trying to convince herself that her tenuous hope was false and ridiculous, he was alive. And Helo had known about it for days.

"What? You're only telling me this now?" she demanded angrily, shoving at him and jumping to her feet, fists against her thighs ready to hit him if he said the wrong thing.

He took a deep breath. "Boomer also said, as far as she knew, Sam had been killed while trying to escape, but she didn't know for sure. She hadn't seen him in months. But D'Anna claimed he was still alive."

Kara read something else in his face, and knew he was holding something back. "What else? Tell me."

He hesitated and then admitted, "D'Anna also said he was telling the Cylons how to find Earth."

She snorted in disbelief. "Sam would never...."

"Not willingly, no," Karl agreed, and she felt a chill. The Cylons had taken Tigh's eye; what might they have done to the man who had led the resistance against them on Caprica? Unwillingly her mind strayed to what she'd done to Leoben-- four months of that? Lords of Kobol, she hoped he was dead.

She rubbed at her arms vigorously and walked away from the bench and Helo with his bad news.

What if it was true? What if these dreams were him crying out for her?

"Sharon and I didn't want to tell you, because there's nothing you can do," Helo said behind her. "We don't even know if any of it's true."

"It's true," she said in a voice like sand. "One of the turkeys refused to engage me and then a basestar jumped away from Pegasus. Didn't make sense to me then - but it does if they had a human on board who couldn't resurrect."

He had been right there. So close to her. If only she had known...

"We don't know if it's true," he repeated gently, but firmly, with a large hand on her shoulder. "If it is, we don't know where they are now. So there's no way we can rescue him."

Each word was like a nail driving into her flesh. Yanking free of him, she fixed her gaze on the punching bag, willing back the sudden wet heat in her eyes.

Nothing she could do. Gods, she hated those words.

She hit the bag with her bare fist. Then again, and again, trying to beat out her own helplessness.

It was her turn to rescue him and she had no idea how to even start.


*
The End.


Continued in Part III: The Thread of Ariadne

And if you'd be interested in a commentary sort of thing or you have questions, let me know. I'm always happy to go on (and on and on) about things I've written. ;)





Comments are love and joy and encouragement!
 
 
 
Silver: BSG -- Sharonsilverblade219 on January 14th, 2009 12:41 am (UTC)
Natalie! Kacey's mom saves Hera (I think)! Caprica and Boomer save Sam from D'Anna! Kara now knows that Sam is alive!

Poor Kara, she thinks that Sam is still being tortured. Also, for some reason when you said that you were killing Cally, I didn't believe it, but then you did...

And then the scene where D'Anna tells the others that Sam is alive is very interesting, as the Simons are also mad at the Cavils and the Dorals. While this probably won't make them join the Sixs, Eights, and Twos; but it will probably make them move away from the others... Though Caprica killing D'Anna again probably won't make her any happier

And aww, Sam gives Thea her name, just as they are claiming individuality. Will he give more names? None of the Eights have a name other then the Sharons....

And I love the fact that the Raider protected Sam. First this Raider and now whatever the lion is, Sam finds interesting pets :)

I can't wait to see the next part. I hope that whatever happens with cannon will not stop you from writing it, this is probably my favorite Battlestar AU.
lizardbeth: Anders- demetriuslizardbeth_j on January 14th, 2009 07:07 am (UTC)
I think you got the highlights. :)

Cally's not the only one who dies on NewCap who lives in canon. But we get some who lived, so I tried to balance it out.

Cylon politics make me *head desk* a lot. You are quite right.

heh, there was a bit I cut out where Sam and Thea discuss the Eights and whether any of them would WANT a name other than Sharon....

I assure you canon won't keep me from writing part 3, and in fact I have quite a hefty chunk done already - it's just a matter of seeing how the mythologies line up. If I'm close I might as well fix it to make it not be jossed.

Anyway, thanks for all your encouraging comments all along. I appreciate them. :D
patron saint of neglected female characters: kara/samrose_griffes on January 14th, 2009 01:08 am (UTC)
"Oh frak, Viper, frak," Sharon muttered, taking the manual controls to fly evasive maneuvers when the Heavy Raider wanted to turn and engage.
Even the little details fit just right. Lovely!

The Raiders followed them to the baseship, and three continued into the docking bay entrance. One followed them in all the way, settling on the opposite platform with its sensor focused on the Heavy Raider like a dog watching the door for its master to come home.

So very cool. And the Raiders evolving? Oh, my...

Natalie taking her name back--I loved that a lot.

Hera! Hi!

Neat detail with the mandala on the pillar and dream!Kara's statement that it doesn't belong to Sam. Also, the shared dreams are both wonderful and sad.

Wheeeeeeeeeeee! I love your plot kraken!
lizardbeth: Kara-Anders  Resistancelizardbeth_j on January 14th, 2009 07:24 am (UTC)
thank you, and thank you for your lovely comments all along - they've meant a lot to me. :)

Natalie wanted to take her name this way, even though it would've been MUCH easier to have Sam just choose it like he did Thea. She's quite stubborn that way.

Hera's home, yes, and the ramifications of that will be in the next episode next story.

wheeee! I'm glad you like it!
something clevershah_of_blah on January 14th, 2009 05:57 am (UTC)
Excellent conclusion. I look forward to part three.
lizardbeth: Anders- b&wlizardbeth_j on January 14th, 2009 07:26 am (UTC)
thank you so much!

Part three will come out, after a short hiatus. ;)
entertaining in a disturbing waylyssie on January 14th, 2009 06:07 am (UTC)
ilu, and I have thoughts, but they are jumbled and my hands are freezing and I should be in bed and you stole TWO HOURS OF MY LIFE TONIGHT.
lizardbeth: Anders - greylizardbeth_j on January 14th, 2009 07:28 am (UTC)
YOU DECIDED TO WAIT. IT IS NOT MY FAULT. :P

And of course I would love your thoughts. when you are awake and warm enough to type LOTS AND LOTS of commentary.

*squishes you, just cuz*
entertaining in a disturbing way: Anders Days so far from homelyssie on January 15th, 2009 02:25 am (UTC)
Baby, you know what a small child I am when it comes to things like fic. I get whiny and cranky when I can't have the next part right now. I did read the first chapter, back in the day, but not with any depth because I knew if I did, I'd spend the next month whining at everyone about how we weren't getting the end forever.

...er.

ANYWAY. Some thoughts:

1. I need to go back and re-read Not All That We Are, and then this.

2. I'm a wee bit amused (yet disconcerted) that at least two things in this fic are also in the plot kraken bunny. I think I blame canon. (Kara falling apart without Sam, and the Cylons differentiating with Sam's influence)

3. I seem to recall a conversation we had once about you breaking Sam a lot and leaving Kara someone to pick up the pieces. Did this evolve from that, or are you still prodding the other thing?

4. Kara with the baby made me cry. My roommates were looking at me strangely as I sniffled and scrambled for a tissue.

5. Despite earlier mentions about how they weren't married, I still got all "SAM!" when he and Thea, uh... cheatedonKara. YES, I do sort of have issues.

6. HI NATALIE. Please live this time.

7. YAY. Boomer actually got to be Boomer and herself and smart!

8. I've been watching way too much Forensic Files. When the body was all laid out and Cavil was all "blah blah, this is Anders" I was all, "Is he the right size? Can they match his dentals?" And the tags not being burned were "totally planted!" (not that I think the others gave him up too easily. I'm just overly paranoid and suspicious)

9. I have confidence in Kara trying to save him and succeeding. Even if she'll then fall down the Mandala-hole.

10. Speaking of the mandala, I love the lion, and I love the fact that at some point, that bloody temple is going to play a part in the things to come. I also really want Sam to go talk to the hybrid.

11. Boomer. <3

12. I'm pleased with lots of dead Cavils. And Caprica shooting him in the back of the head and the others saving Sam--

13. And Sam's own pet raider. *squee*

Possibly more thoughts later. Hrm. I totes get to go re-read now.
lizardbeth: Anders with ciglizardbeth_j on January 15th, 2009 07:00 am (UTC)
2. ha. or perhaps "Not all that we are"? It wasn't too hard to figure out where it was going from that.

3. *frowns* maybe? I don't remember. When am I NOT breaking Sam into little bitty pieces though?

4. LucyP is obviously a bad influence. :)

5. 9. 10. *spoilers redacted*

8. And of course, you knew that Cavil had just taken them away. But Cylons are not used to other Cylons lying to each other. However Leoben was not entirely persuaded (dental records or no).

12. Caprica shot D'Anna, not Cavil. I'll assume you mistyped and I didn't write it that badly. :)

13. I should do a poll, Name Sam's Raider!

YAY. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Shall now toddle off and address the rest of your comments. The ones I can, anyway.
entertaining in a disturbing way: Kara cartoonlyssie on January 15th, 2009 06:23 am (UTC)
*dabs at eyes* I knew there was another bit that got me. Natalie taking her name back, and that entire scene--and the raider. *sniffles*

Also, Caprica chooses her destiny earlier, in this. It's not motivated by Hera, this time. But it still works. She planned to shoot D as carefully as she planned to snap Boomer's neck in Rapture. *sigh* If only things hadn't gotten so bad, in canon.
lizardbeth: Cylon Raiderlizardbeth_j on January 15th, 2009 07:12 am (UTC)
I love writing Sam's Raider- it's this giant Great Dane that just wants to lie around at Sam's feet but will kill your ass if you threaten him while it's around. If it had known what was happening when Sam was taken, everything would've played out quite differently.

oh yes, you are totally right. She knew exactly what she was doing at least from the time she heard D'Anna reveal that the Threes had Sam. Though in a sense she also cast her lot early on at the first consensus, but she had to watch New Caprica go down the toilet first before she really believed.

She and Sam are going to have a very fraught conversation about her name in the next one.
entertaining in a disturbing waylyssie on January 15th, 2009 01:38 pm (UTC)
YAY. Caprica needs to have that talk with someone, after all.
clezzy.: and feed our empty soulsclez on January 14th, 2009 07:43 pm (UTC)
sfkjhekjghskjgbherkjb Noooooooooooo, I want more :( Gah, I can't tell you how eagerly I'll be awaiting Part III, there are no words for it. Gah. GAH. This was amazing, and I really loved every minute of it, so I hope you don't have to fix too much, and then you can start writing soon, so we can see what happens :D ♥
lizardbeth: Kara-Anders  Resistancelizardbeth_j on January 15th, 2009 06:18 am (UTC)
aw, thank you. I'm glad it was a good read. There'll be more, definitely.



cujoycujoy on January 14th, 2009 09:48 pm (UTC)
This is so good!

This is like the ultimate hurt/comfort here. Poor Sammy! And I loved when Natalie took her name. And Thea too.

And Head Kara! And the raider!

So many good things in this alternate version of New Caprica. I can't wait for the next installement. So much still in the air, such as Sam's confession that he's a Cylon, and of course, Kara finding him!
lizardbeth: Anders - gunlizardbeth_j on January 15th, 2009 06:34 am (UTC)
Thanks! and heh, yep, I am a h/c fiend. Took me a long time to admit it, but... 'tis true. :)

oh, so MUCH still waiting to happen. I have pages of notes to make sure I don't drop anything...
lynnsmithlynnsmith on January 15th, 2009 02:40 am (UTC)
Excellent story. I really liked the bit with the dog tags.
lizardbeth: Anders - no shirtlizardbeth_j on January 15th, 2009 06:41 am (UTC)
thank you!

The dog tags are important symbols within the story so 'who has the tags' was something I actually tracked in my outline program to make sure I didn't mess it up when shuffling scenes around.
Allison: K/A Homefrolicndetour on January 15th, 2009 02:50 am (UTC)
GAH. I just love the dreams and Sam's vision of the mandala, and at the risk of sounding like a FF.net reviewer, WHEN do they get 2 B 2gether again??? I can't believe we have to wait 'till spring. *sob*

Great job. :)
lizardbeth: Kara-Anders Rapturelizardbeth_j on January 15th, 2009 06:45 am (UTC)
what are you, TWELVE? :P

Ok, fine. They will finally meet again above the algae planet. Feel better?

THANK YOU.
entertaining in a disturbing way: Kara Anders Sexin' up the universelyssie on January 15th, 2009 01:37 pm (UTC)
I like how your review is as short as my normal, and mine is as long as yours. HI, did we switch personalities? Although, I'm totes with you on the question (which is happily answered, hahahah)
Allison: K/A - I Will Sleep With Youfrolicndetour on January 16th, 2009 02:36 am (UTC)
as short as my normal, and mine is as long as yours. HI, did we switch personalities?

Ahaha. I actually felt a bit guilty for the lack of detailed feedback (crazyweekomg), but now I have my excuse. ;)

Although, I'm totes with you on the question (which is happily answered, hahahah)

SOMEBODY had to take one for the team!
Artemis: Who?  Kara's!artemis_90 on January 15th, 2009 08:09 am (UTC)
Argh! I really wanted Sam and Kara reunited by the end of this. Pls tell me you will bring them together soon.

I've really enjoyed this alternate universe with Sam having the visions. (Just don't make him the dying leader?) I like your faction of Cylons, especially the Leobens, and the 'pet' Raider. Hope to see the update sooner than later. Thanks for sharing!
lizardbeth: Kara-Anders  Resistancelizardbeth_j on January 15th, 2009 04:33 pm (UTC)
'soon' is such a relative word.... hm. But as I said above, they will meet again at the algae planet.

Sam is not the dying leader, no. You'll find out a lot more about what his role is, in the next one.

I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)
emmiereemmiere on January 16th, 2009 03:35 am (UTC)
Lovely wrap up to this part. I am all excited for the next chapter already! The hints in the comments aren't helping.;)

"The seven shall become two when one steps forth from the five."

How interesting, I was definitely thinking more along Final Five lines so this was a surprise. But I love the switch of them claiming their individuality. And the Raider evolving! I was a bit worried for Sam there, how do you explain away talking to Raiders?

Caprica and Booomer both helping the Resistance!

But Nicky didn't make it. Awww...

I'm so glad you're going to continue. :D
lizardbeth: Anders- b&wlizardbeth_j on January 16th, 2009 04:42 am (UTC)
the fun thing about a good prophecy is that it means MANY things, not just one. (or, IOW, Sharon is right AND wrong)

poor Nicky, huh? Traded him for baby Sammy, basically.

Thanks! And yes, I'm definitely continuing!



noybusiness: Leoben/Anders/Starbuck threesomenoybusiness on March 9th, 2009 05:56 am (UTC)
I've just finished reading all seven parts of this story, and I think it's wonderfully written. Good job! This proves that 10% rule about fanfic.

I hope Sam tells them he's a Cylon soon. He has increasingly less reason not to. And any story that has Sam with a Six is interesting.
lizardbeth: Kara-Anders S4lizardbeth_j on March 10th, 2009 03:46 am (UTC)
ah, thanks!

More with Sam and Thea in the next part, for sure. :)
yeah, i live on the hellmouth.: BSG - Samvichan on April 21st, 2009 03:01 am (UTC)
Totally in love with this fic. I love how you get into the character's heads, especially Sam.

I'm a bit fried right now, but consider this being me encouraging you to continue! :-D
lizardbeth: Anders- Helolizardbeth_j on April 22nd, 2009 10:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you've been poking around!

And never fear, there's a whole lot more on the way! :D
ekaterina@dreamwidth: NCIS: abbyvorblessing on August 5th, 2009 04:49 am (UTC)
anders is hot are words to live by
i just now finally read this (grad school is hell) and it is so wonderful and you are a GENIUS for working all of this out *so* perfectly--it is flawlessly rational, and every bit as exciting and heartbreaking as the show (and better, in places, in DETAILS): everything an AU should and could be--and i can see now why you posted so often about it eating your brain and i cannot wait auuugh for the rest and just thank you so much for writing this even tho it was the plot kraken and wow breathless run-on and basically i fangirl you sooo hard.
lizardbeth: Anders with ciglizardbeth_j on August 6th, 2009 12:49 am (UTC)
Re: anders is hot are words to live by
aw, thanks, you're so sweet.

Now that I'm done with a different plot kraken, I can get back to this one. It's next!
Alec: Apollowesgibson on August 10th, 2009 09:07 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow. Both of the stories in this AU are amazing. It's rich and full and totally a believable turn from the show. Everybody is perfectly in canon, especially the Cylons. I love that Sam is... friends with several of them, but he still can't quite forgive them. I cannot wait for more of this! :)
lizardbeth: Anders - Leelizardbeth_j on August 11th, 2009 07:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you! They were fun to write.

Heh. "friends". yes. *g* More of that, and more with the problem of forgiveness in the next one. It's in progress right now, and due for the bsg_bigbang challenge, so there'll be more, soon-ish.
kag523 on August 4th, 2011 02:23 am (UTC)
Oh goodness - I'd been holding this back for a little bit to celebrate and it was SO WORTH IT! What a fabulous, grief-stricken and still-hopeful end to that portion of the story. I love the little details like Julia Brynn carrying the two little girls. So perfect. Also, for some reason, Sam's treatment at the hands of the cylons actually bothers me even MORE than Kara's in canon. Can't exactly explain why, but it's certainly a nod to your storytelling ability that I truly care about him. Can't wait for the next part of the story. Really epic storytelling! Thank you for this! K :>D
lizardbeth: Anders-Thealizardbeth_j on August 16th, 2011 03:36 am (UTC)
ahem. I did totally mean to answer this before, I promise. *shifty eyes*

Thank you!

And yeah, I think it's because as awful as Kara's house was, she was able to fight back to some extent. In this, Sam can't; he's locked in the box, hurt and abandoned, so it's more hopeless. Plus I think there's a difference between Leoben who cares in his own twisted way, where Kara's suffering comes as a result of his ignorance, versus Cavil who hates and wants Sam to suffer. Cavil's willing to kill others to hurt him, which is a level of malice Leoben just doesn't have.