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31 January 2014 @ 01:41 pm
Black Sails at Dawn 9/many  
Chapter Nine: In which there are some nightmares and some truths, and the other three find out they're part of a very exclusive club. Saul is not impressed.




Endless blank baseship corridors. He knew he should know the way, but they were all the same. Distantly he heard a baby crying. Iris. Iris was crying.

He started to run. She was crying because she was hurting-- he could feel that she was hurt.

They had her. They had her and they were going to kill her.

He ran faster, desperate. He had to get to her, rescue her. But the corridor kept going, no branches, no rooms, just endlessly forward.

He ran; she was screaming now, but he was moving slower, he could hear her, he could feel it, but he couldn't find her.

And then, she was quiet, and a sudden cold pit opened up in his heart, a chasm of empty darkness of despair and anguish.

"NO!"

Sam opened his eyes, breathing hard with his heart pounding. He sat up, slumped over with his head in his hands while he caught his breath.

It's not real; it was just a dream

Knowing he'd never sleep again until he went to check, he tiptoed out of the room, trying not to wake Hillard, and headed for the brig.

He had his sidearm under his sweatshirt, tucked into the waistband of his pants, and could barely resist putting his hand on it as he went in. To his relief, he found one of the guards there, Samara, who'd started out wary but become more friendly over the months.

"Back again so late?" Samara asked, tilting her eyebrow curiously.

"I… had a dream Iris was hurt," he admitted. "I … wanted to make sure they were okay."

"All's well," Samara answered, with a softer smile of reassurance. "But you can go on in, lieutenant."

"Thanks." Inside, in the dim light of ship's night, he could see Thea was asleep on the cot with Iris safe in the curl of her body.

He rested his head against the glass and didn't go in, breathing with relief and letting his muscles slowly unknot themselves.

It's a dream, only a dream. It's not a prophecy; it's a dream because you're afraid of losing her, he told himself. It doesn't mean anything except you're afraid for her. But she's safe and Thea's safe, and everything's okay.

He watched them sleep for a little while, taking comfort in their peace and letting it drift over him.





It was odd to watch it happening to someone else, Sam decided. Odd, but strangely fascinating to realize this was what he had looked like when the strange noise had come to him. At least he wasn't going to be alone in his knowledge, if the other three finally were going to remember, too.

Saul fiddled with the old wireless, as if that had anything to do with the sound; while Tory and Galen looked on surreptitiously, trying to hide it from anyone else that they were listening, too.

Sam drank and sighed a little, shaking his head. Was I that willfully blind? No wonder not-Kara was so impatient with me. How long is this going to take? Come on, guys, follow it, and we can get on with whatever's going to happen.

When he finished his cup he left the bar to visit Thea and Iris, but outside the entrance to the brig was waylaid by woman in a suit he didn't know. Oh great, another one of these

"Lieutenant Anders?" she asked.

"Yeah, that's me."

"My name's Didi Cassidy. I'm the prosecutor for Gaius Baltar," she informed him, and he lifted his head, surprised. Although people spoke about the trial coming up, it had been one of those things he hadn't been paying much attention.

"Yes? How can I help you?"

"Someone informed me that you'd been a prisoner of the Cylons during the Occupation. So I wanted to know if you had any information from them regarding Baltar's actions."

He hesitated, debating, and the lie nearly choked in his throat as he answered, "No, sorry, I don't know."

"Anything might help," she insisted. "If you have any evidence --"

"Look, for the first few weeks I was badly hurt, and then after that, when the resistance down on the surface started to annoy them, they shoved me in a box," he told her harshly. "Nobody visited me. I don't know anything, except that it was frakking awful and I want to forget. Sorry you wasted your time."

She listened to him then asked, "But didn't you live with them in better circumstances after that? Did any of them talk of Baltar and his actions on New Caprica, or before that?"

He remembered Caprica and her confession, but he looked Cassidy straight in the eyes and said, "No."

"Is there any reason you would protect Baltar?" she asked, cool as ice, and clearly didn't fully believe him.

"I hate him, he was a terrible president, and I wish you well, but I can't help you. Sorry."

"Ah. Thank you for your time." She started to walk away and then turned back. "If you remember something, I'd be grateful for any evidence you'd like, even anonymously."

Feeling unsettled by the lie, he went in to see Thea, pushing it aside to greet her lightly, "Evening, my favorite ladies."

She glanced up from feeding the baby and smiled at him. "What's the news?"

He shrugged. "Not much. Baltar's trial starts tomorrow." Sitting on the bed, he suddenly wondered whether Cassidy had been waiting for him or had come in here, too. "Did Cassidy visit you?"

"Oh yes. She wanted to know what I knew about Baltar," she answered. "Apparently, President Roslin believes she saw him with one of my sisters before the war. I told Ms Cassidy it wasn't me." She gave a shrug, even though there was no one to see the lie, "And that I didn't know about it."

He was relieved, then disgusted with himself for being relieved that she'd supported the lie. He shook his head, trying to clear out the conflicted feelings. They shouldn't protect him, not when they knew what he'd done, but Baltar was more use to them alive than dead. And Caprica loved him, and Sam owed her for so much more than just being Thea's sister.

His gaze met Thea's and he leaned forward to kiss her, then Iris between them.

"I will get you out of here," he promised her softly. "Somehow. And if letting Baltar go free gets that day one step closer, then that's what I'll do. But gods, I still hate it."

Her free hand cradled his cheek. "I'm fine, Sam. Don't worry about us." Her fingers traced his cheek and then slipped into the hair at his temples where the first silver strands had appeared, proving that Final Five Cylons most certainly aged. "I don't like to see you so burdened. You need to take better care of yourself, and spend less time worrying about things you can't change."

He tried a smile. "I have nothing but time to worry about things. Especially you and Iris. And I will always worry about you."

"Then don't worry about Baltar. He seems to always land on his feet, anyway." Her smile turned more teasing and she ran a free hand down his leg. "Whereas you manage to break bones. Seems to me you need all the help you can get."

"Always." He put an arm around her shoulders, as she leaned against him, and he closed his eyes, letting out a long breath of relief.





A week passed, as Sam waited for his compatriots to figure it out. They were stubborn and none of them seemed to figure out they weren't alone in it, even though it seemed painfully obvious to Sam.

As always, Pyramid X in Joe's with Barolay and Duck gathered spectators. Duck was one of the few who could challenge them, and even though the arcade version of pyramid wasn't like the real thing, it was close enough, and more fair to casual players. He could push aside memories of Kara now, and let the game be fun again.

There was an excitement to the crowd as the points climbed higher, wondering who was going to win. Conner took bets with Joe's scrip.

He held the smaller-than-regulation ball in his hands, rolling it between both palms, while he stood at the line.

"Any time, Anders!" Jean taunted. "You gonna wait all day?"

He ignored her, focusing on the hole and pushing away distractions with a deep breath of concentration. Then ball in his left hand, he pulled back to throw.

A strange loud hiss of static startled him and his release went bad. The ball clanged on the backstop, not the hole, and the groan of disappointment from his supporters and the wild cheering from those who'd bet on the others were loud.

He tried to smile ruefully, embarrassed by his mistake, but looked around with a frown to find the source of the noise.

"What the frak was that?" Jean demanded scornfully. "You have your eyes closed?"

"The wireless distracted me."

She frowned at him. "It's not on. Any excuse I guess. Loser," she taunted and went up to the line for her throw.

Oh hell, not real, he realized. And the instant he realized it, he heard it again -- a static-filled hiss with snatches of music slipping underneath the voices and the clinking of metal cups and glass.

He took his last two turns, playing so badly both Duck and Barolay frowned at him and asked him if he was all right. He forced a smile. "Just an off night. I'm going to get a refill." Back at the bar, he put his empty cup down and glowered at the wireless sitting on the end of the bar.

Baltar's trial had been broadcast through the fleet, but now that it was over, the wireless sat silent. Except it wasn't actually silent -- he heard the music more clearly now, but faintly. It probably echoed what Tigh had heard last week.

Interesting. I didn't think I'd be involved.

He downed the shot and left the bar, following the trail of the music, as if it were playing on a speaker down the corridor. As he seemed to get closer to whatever it was, he heard distinct chords and lyrics, and frowned, sure that he knew them. His fingers itched as if to play the notes.

Strange. This sounds more like an actual song than the 'music' I heard before. It's familiar. I think I've heard it before but a long time ago. I didn't have a childhood if I'm a Cylon, but maybe from those other memories?

He followed the music as if it was a physical thread, to a hatch of a storeroom in the aft lower deck. The music stopped and he knew he'd found it. Inside, the lights came up automatically on an empty room. He crossed the space to the far bulkhead and turned to face the hatch.

He waited.

The first one through, not surprisingly, was Galen. He paused when he saw Sam and then nodded a little. "I thought you said you didn't hear it?"

"I only started to hear it a few minutes ago."

"But… what is it?"

Sam shrugged. "A message, I suppose. I don't know, but I've learned not to ignore it when it happens."

"So what now?" Galen asked.

"We wait."

Galen didn't look satisfied with that answer but he waited.

Tory was the next through the hatch. Sam hadn't had much contact with her, but he could see the confusion of what was happening to her had brought her some distress. She looked at him and Galen, puzzled. "What's -- what's going on? Chief? Anders, what are you doing here?"

"We're almost ready," Sam told her, trying to smile reassuringly. "It's all right."

"Ready for what?" she asked, but she moved forward anyway, to stand across from Galen, leaving the slot in front of the hatch open for Saul, even though she couldn't know anyone else was coming.

But he did come, less than a minute of awkward silence later, coming through the open hatchway. He shut the hatch behind him before moving into the room, and his eye settled on each of them in turn before ending with Sam. "This is your doing."

"No, Colonel. I'm a part of this, same as you."

"Part of what?" Tigh demanded.

"We're …" Galen said and couldn't say it.

"We're Cylons," Tory said. Her voice was soft, but certain. "All of us. I know."

"Gods-damned Cylons," Tigh spat, but didn't deny it. "You knew?" he asked Sam.

Sam nodded. "I've known a long time."

"Even about us?" Tory demanded. "And you didn't tell us?"

"You wouldn't have believed me. Hell, I knew about me the day the Cylons attacked the Colonies and I spent two years denying it," Sam told them with a shrug. "So I understand how you feel. But at least, you have me to tell you, that while it's true we're Cylons, we're also not the same as the other seven. We're the Final Five, and we … we're different."

"Five?" Galen repeated. "There are only four of us here. Who's the fifth?"

Sam hesitated and was careful not to look at Tigh. "Someone who's not around anymore."

"How are we different?" Tory asked.

Galen chuckled with dry humor. "You mean aside from the part where he can see the future? Are we all going to be able to do that?"

Sam smiled a little and shook his head. "I don't know. I would guess, yes, eventually. I don't know that much more than you do. But I do know we four have significant roles to play. That we all were reborn from previous lives on Earth and Kobol, where we created… resurrection. And I have been told that the reason we're here is to atone for that sin."

Tigh snorted. "Created resurrection? Us?" And he snorted again, shaking his head once in doubt and disgust. "So, do we resurrect, Anders? If we're Cylons, do we come back like the other toasters?"

"I don't know. If we can, it's a secret. I've seen the resurrection chamber on a baseship and there were no spare bodies for any of us there."

"Doesn't mean they don't exist somewhere," Tory pointed out. "If we're special somehow."

"Resurrection ships are big and we've never got a good look at one. There might have been anything on board," Tyrol mused, and shook his head in wonder. "But nothing where the regular Cylons can see. Sharon's looked at me every day, and she doesn't know."

"They barely remember the Five exist," Sam explained. "Someone - maybe it was us - made them forget. Thea and Leoben know about me, because they were in the temple, but without that revelation, none of them know."

"So… what do we do?" Tory asked, looking around in confusion. "Do we tell? Do we confess? Do we just go on and pretend nothing's changed?"

"Yes," Tigh declared. "We go on. Nothing's changed. We continue to do our duty."

"But… we know the truth," Galen objected. "We can't just --"

"Nothing has changed," Tigh insisted in a growl. "Nothing. No one needs to know. If the toasters figure it out -- we'll deal with it then. But until then, we go on as we were."

"But if we have some sort of destiny--" Tory started.

"It'll find us," Tigh cut her off. "In the meantime, Chief and I have a ship to run, and you have a president to serve, and you -" he swung to pin Anders with a glare from his visible eye. "Keep your religion to yourself."

"It's not a religion!" Sam exclaimed, but stopped himself from arguing. There was no point; the truth was the truth, and they'd learn it somehow. "Fine. I agree, we keep it to ourselves. But it can't stay secret forever."

"Sure it can," Tigh said. "Nothing changes. I know the man I've been for forty years. I am Saul Tigh. That's who I'll be. The rest doesn't matter." He started for the hatch and was the first to go.

Galen glanced at Sam and Tory, with a grimace of apology. "I have to get back to the deck." Then he too ducked out and was gone.

Tory glanced at Sam, and nodded slowly. "I believe you," she murmured. "I feel it, as if there's some greater purpose to all this. We're not copies; we're different. Special."

He thought about telling her that 'special' probably meant something closer to 'doomed', but instead he just nodded. "Different. Somehow."

She moved closer and tilted her head back to look at him, so he had a view of her beautiful face, especially her deep eyes and her lips, parted on a breath. "That ability you have to see what's to come? You think I can do it, too?"

"I don't see why not."

"Can you help me learn how to do it?" she asked.

"I don't think so," he answered and wanted to move away, since she was standing so close. "It … came to me."

"But still…" She set a small hand on his shoulder and trailed her fingers down the outside of his arm. "You must have some tips. Some advice?"

He caught her hand in his. "It doesn't help," he told her. "I rarely know what the visions mean until they happen." He thought of Kara and added, "And even then, I've been wrong."

She turned her hand over so she could clasp his hand. "But not always."

"No, not always," he agreed reluctantly. "I'd be glad to show you what little I've learned about how to ask for a vision. But, not right now. I'm sure Thea's wondering where I am."

She blinked and let go of his hand as if it had turned cold. "Right, the Cylon." Then she chuckled a little unsteadily. "The other Cylon."

He gave her shoulder a gentle squeeze. "You'll get used to it."

Which was frightening, really - how had he gotten used to being a Cylon? It wasn't as if he understood it any better than he did before. He was one of the enemy, but not. Artificial, but not. Human, but not. Something in between.





Outside in the corridor, they were heading back toward the center of the ship when the power went out.

In an instant, the corridor went pitch dark, and worse, one after another, the sound of the engines and the burbling of the pipes and the hiss of the air also stopped, until there was no sound from the ship at all. He started to feel lighter, as even the artificial gravity began to fade away like fog under the sunlight. Never before had he been so aware that he was inside a metal canister in deep space.

"What happened?" Tory whispered from his side and fumbled for his hand. "What's going on?"

"I don't know," he answered, but he felt it on his skin, like a hum of static electricity. Something was… changing. As if reality was shifting sideways and he could only see it from the corner of his eye…

The lights flickered back on, dim and unsteady, but enough to quiet the incipient panicked cries from down the corridor.

"Power loss on Galactica?" Tory wondered. "How is that possible without an attack? Some sort of accident in the reactors?"

"I don't think so," he said, uneasy. "There's something in the air. Do you feel it? I feel like I took chamalla… " He shivered and declared abruptly, "I need to go check on Thea and Iris. You should find Roslin," he advised and let go of her hand to start trotting toward the brig.

It felt like power, was what it felt like. As if the gods were touching this universe directly. And his baby girl was helpless in the brig while gods who were afraid of her might be reaching out to harm her. Not that he could do anything about it, if someone or something was trying to hurt her, but he wasn't going to stand by either.

But he hadn't reached the brig when the alert siren rang loud and Gaeta's voice came over the speakers and announced:

"Action stations, action stations. Set Condition One throughout the ship. This is not a drill. Inbound Cylon Fleet..."



Crossposted from DW There are comment count unavailable comments over there. Feel free to comment wherever.
 
 
 
noybusiness: AndersGoldnoybusiness on February 1st, 2014 05:55 pm (UTC)
Great work!

Edited at 2014-02-01 05:55 pm (UTC)
lizardbeth: Anders-Kara - distancelizardbeth_j on February 2nd, 2014 02:49 am (UTC)
thanks! :DD