?

Log in

 
 
10 April 2014 @ 11:42 pm
Black Sails at Dawn 18/?  
NOTE: fyi, the first part of this is based on the "Face of the Enemy" webisodes, which may be unfamiliar canon to some people, since IIRC they're not on any of the disks.





Sam walked with the flight-suit wearing Eight into the docking bay. "Thank you for volunteering, Shira."

She nodded. "Of course. I remember what you said about helping back at New Cap."

He saw an unfamiliar Eight waiting for them and gave her a little smile. "I'm sorry, I don't know your name. Have you taken one?"

She ducked her head, smiling shyly back. "Felicia."

"Felicia," he repeated. "Nice, I like it. This is important for us, to help the Fleet. I know it might be ... difficult for you." He could feel resentful looks from some of the watchers on the deck, and it was probably worse out among the Fleet.

"We know," Shira answered. "We'll be fine, Sam."

He lowered his voice and added, "Defend yourselves, but try not to hurt anyone. We're hanging by a really fine thread right now. So please be careful and polite. Admire babies. Do whatever you can to make yourselves friendly." He noticed the other two passengers watching, and brought them over to meet each other. "Lieutenant Gaeta, and Specialist Brooks, isn't it?" he asked the orange-suited deckhand, who nodded.

"Yes, sir," Brooks said with a nervous shuffle and glance at the two Eights. He wore some sort of religious medallion with his dogtags, Sam noticed, which was unusual and reserved for those who were priests or brothers in a temple. He caught a glimpse of a trident, and smiled to himself. Brooks was probably fellow Piconese, if devotion to Poseidon was an indication.

Sam introduced, "This is Shira and Felicia. They're going to the Zephyr, to see if they can help with the hydroponics system."

Easy appeared in the hatch. "Raptor 718 now boarding, with service to the Zephyr, and Inchon Vale," she called out with a grin that didn't falter when she saw the Cylons waiting. "Please have your tickets in hand. Unless you're Oracle, and then I'll accept a kiss as my payment," she teased.

"Sorry, I'm not going," he called up to her and she pouted. "Take care of them, Easy." Sam nodded to Shira and Felicia. "Good luck."

He noticed Felicia was smiling at Gaeta, as if she knew him, and when Gaeta stumbled on the ramp, she helped him up again.

They all disappeared inside, and he realized he was a little anxious as the hatch closed. He moved back, reminding himself not to be such a frakking parent sending the kids off to school for the first time. They were going to the Zephyr, not the Astral Queen, and they had been invited. Sending Cylons to help people surely had to help reduce tensions. It was going to be okay.

Once they were gone, he waved to Galen and left the docking bay. He didn't get very far before the alert went through the ship and they were jumping. He started toward CIC, hoping they hadn't had contact with the other Cylons. But he was only halfway there, when Tigh's brief announcement that it had been a false alarm rang through the ship, and he continued on his original course to see Thea and Iris.

It was still the brig, but the door was open and there were no guards now, and they could leave when they wished.

Thea was there, dangling a small Raider model over Iris' face and swinging it, so she could bat at it with her fists.

She glanced at him and then said to Iris, "Daddy's back, sweetie."

He swooped in and kissed Thea's cheek, reaching down to tickle Iris' tummy. "Hello, ladies." Iris giggled, and bat at the Raider again. He perched on the other edge of the cot, and watched her play for a little while. "Is that Cerberus?"

She nodded. But when she spoke again, it was something else, "It's changed, hasn't it?" she asked softly. "You and me. I ... every time I look at you now, I know you were there. I exist because of you."

Hearing her echo the feelings he'd been having made them suddenly real. "I -- I remember now," he agreed, keeping his eyes on Iris. "And I know it's foolish; I know you're not the one I watched be born. I know you're different. But what I feel... now that I remember, it's all confused. You're an adult, but in my memory, you look like the child we made. And it feels like a terrible sin when I think about making love to you. That's not your fault; it's me and this frakked up brain of mine that remembered everything in the wrong order."

He stopped and swallowed, reaching out to touch Iris, stroking her feathery hair. "God, Thea, we frakked it up so badly with John. I... now I remember what a terrible father I was to him, and I pray Iris will be my redemption. Because I don't think I can endure failing her as badly as I did him. And as badly as I've failed you."

She shook her head. "You've never failed me, Sam. You were as true to yourself as you could be, after what John did to you. I understand that. And when I look as Iris, I can never say it was a mistake. If we had known the truth, she wouldn't be born, and that has to be the reason."

He bent down and kissed Iris' forehead. "Our miracle. But still, I'm sorry. If I could just forget... "

"Sam, no." Thea reached across Iris and touched his lips to stop the miserable and guilty words. "You can't wish that. You're whole now. I can't regret that you know the truth now, because your truth is also my truth. All the lies are gone. We are Cylons, and for the first time, we can really choose our lives, because we know who we are." Her eyes were soft but wise and definitely not the same as the new being he remembered. Her fingers drifted down his cheek and neck. "My love for you has always been real, but I've always known our time together was borrowed. This is the final confirmation you don't belong to me alone, like I've wished -- you belong to all of us. You're our father, our creator, our oracle, our leader .... all of that and more. But you'll always be the father of my child also."

He caressed her cheek and moved in across Iris, to kiss Thea's lips lightly. "Always. God, never doubt that I love you," he whispered, resting his forehead against hers. "You saved me. If I'm any of those things, it's because of you."

"That seems fair, when I am what I am because of you," she returned with a soft smile.

Between them, Iris gurgled and grabbed at Sam's elbow, trying to bring it into her mouth.

Feeling more at peace, Sam sat up again and lifted Iris, wafting a new smell his way. He wrinkled his nose and held her out as far as he could. She grinned at him as if what she'd done had been a funny joke at his expense.

Thea chuckled. "She has a present for you."

"She has impeccable timing," he added dryly and got up to take her to the side table.

The domestic routine felt normal and content, until a faint whisper of something broke into the silly faces he was making at Iris to make her laugh. He turned his head, at first thinking Thea had said something, but then he realized whatever it was, seemed to be far away.

But that was impossible. He'd been to Earth, his memories were restored -- it was supposed to be over.

Thea took note of his expression and rose to her feet. "Sam?"

"I... feel something. Calling me."

"Like the Temple?"

"No, not really," he murmured. "Not music. More like someone calling my name far away."

"It must be important." She took the freshly-diapered baby back from his arms and gave him a little push. "We're fine. Go."

He kissed Iris' head and left the brig. At first he considered tracking the sound on Galactica, but that felt wrong. The sound was distant and he needed to track it with a ship.

He turned his feet toward CIC. Just inside the hatch, he hesitated, uncertain what he could possibly say. Maybe it would be better to go to the baseship and get a Heavy Raider...

Adama, down below at the table, glanced up and his sharp eyes caught sight of the interloper in his CIC. "Lieutenant?"

Sam came down the steps a little ways to explain his interest. "I... I need a Raptor, Admiral. There's something out there, and I need to go find it."

"Something?" Adama repeated.

Sam shrugged tightly. "I don't know. I can't tell. But the last time I felt anything like this, I found the Temple, so I think it might be important."

"Maybe it's Raptor 718," Hoshi suggested, from Sam's right.

He turned, startled. "718? What happened?"

"They're missing," Hoshi told him. "Shark repeated the coordinates, but they must have missed the jump. They're not here, and we've already checked at the old coordinates. Maybe it's them," he suggested, his young face hopeful.

"I guess it could be," Sam agreed slowly. "There were two Eights on that Raptor. Though I've never sensed any Cylon in danger before." Though he had never before understood his connection to them before either, so maybe that was the reason. "I might be able to find them."

Tigh snorted. "If they frakked the jump, they'll have to find us. No one can find it."

"I can try," Sam offered, and Hoshi's face brightened.

"Sir," Hoshi addressed the Admiral. "Gaeta's on that Raptor, too. Please, I'd like to go with Oracle and look for them."

Adama's gaze met Hoshi's, and the younger man's face turned slightly pink under the regard. Adama's expression softened a little and he nodded. "Very well, go. Take a second pilot, just in case. If you can bring that wayward bird home, all the better."

Hoshi followed Sam out and in the corridor, he asked, "Do you really think you might be able to find them?"

"Hoshi, I don't know if that's what's calling to me. Maybe it is," he shrugged. "It may be something else entirely." He turned to Hoshi, and they stopped in the middle of the corridor. "If this is something else, I have to follow it. I learned a long time ago to heed the call when it came. And even though I know there are six people on that Raptor who need rescuing, if that's not where I'm going that's not where you're going either, if you come with me."

"If they could jump back, they already would have," Hoshi answered, soft but firm. "Something's wrong. And you're the only lead I have."

"All right. Just so you understand."

Sam changed into his flight suit and headed to the flight deck where Racetrack was waiting. "Oracle," she nodded politely, if a bit stiffly.

"Thank you for volunteering," he told her. "I expect I can do most of it myself, but thanks for the backup."

"Do you really think you can find 718?" she asked.

"I don't know," he answered. "But there's something out there calling my name, and I have to go find it. I assume it's Felicia and Shira, but," he shrugged. "let's go find out."

In space he closed his eyes and let his hands guide the ship by instinct, going toward the … voice. It was hard following that thread - it got a little easier when he projected his boat and filled the sail with wind and let it blow him the right way.

"This is ridiculous," Racetrack muttered to Hoshi. "You can't think this is gonna work."

"He hears something," Hoshi defended him.

"He's a frakking toaster," she objected as if he couldn't hear her in the other seat.

"No, he's not like the others," Hoshi answered. "You know that, Maggie."

She snorted skeptically. Sam heard but ignored them both, following the faint trail. "Damn," he muttered as it fell away from him. "Lost it. C'mon, call me again…"

He caught it again, and followed for another half an hour until it faded away. "Damn it."

"Sam?"

"It's gone."

"You lost it?"

"Whatever was calling … it's stopped."

"But you can find it again," Hoshi declared with such faith that Sam couldn't tell him no.

"I'll try," he answered and shut his eyes to project his boat again all around him, casting the memory of the sunlight across the water and the wind stirring the surface and snapping in the sail…

Where are you? Shira… Felicia … Gaeta… Brooks… Esrin… Shark… One of you, where are you, let me find one of you

Then it was as if he was dropping down through the boat, intangible, leaving the boat behind as he sank into the sea. At first it was beautiful and vibrant with living things, colors like jewels, and yet he went beneath those too, deeper, beyond the light, to the depths where life was rare and fragile … All was black and empty.

No, not empty. There. A tiny jellyfish, with a light flashing inside it, like a blue heartbeat. More of them. Tiny little creatures huddled together in the darkness, lost.

There. Life in the deep of space…

He forced his voice to work, "Give me the controls."

There was a pressure on his chest as if he was pushing hard against something that tried to hold him back, but he pushed harder, reaching out to grab it.

And it was so hard - if there was a datastream this would be so much easier - but he had to hold onto that location and translate it into real-world coordinates…. He felt stretched, his mind trying to hold these two things at once, and a sharp pain bloomed in his head, as if tearing under the strain.

But he had it.

Jump. There.

When he opened his eyes he knew the other Raptor would be there. He sucked in air frantically, and wanted to wipe the sweat from his temples, feeling as if he'd just run miles. Slumping back in his seat, he had a throbbing headache and he was desperately thirsty, but at least he'd done it.

"Oh, my gods," Maggie whispered. "It's them."

"Hail them," Hoshi requested urgently.

She reached for the controls, when Sam couldn't find the strength yet to move and do it himself. "Raptor 718, Racetrack. Status?"

There was no answer at first then Gaeta's voice came through, "Racetrack? Gaeta. This… I … Oh gods. You found us, I can't believe it, I-- " He laughed with a tinge of hysteria to it. "I thought we were dead."

Hoshi couldn't hold back. "Felix, it's Louis. What's your status? Are you all right?"

"Louis! Thank the gods."

Then Esrin's voice, "Racetrack, Easy. CO2 scrubbers are failing, we've got about ten hours left of air at sixty-percent. You're lucky you got here; we were just about to jump. How the hell did you find us?"

"Oracle did," Racetrack said and glanced at him. Her eyes widened in surprise. "Anders!"

"What?" he asked shortly, too tired to be more polite. He wasn't sure if he cared what her problem was now. They'd found 718 and he wanted to go home and sleep for a week.

She mimed at her nose and he lifted his to touch his, finding that irritating drip was blood. He looked at the smear on his fingers, before swearing tiredly, "Crap. I knew I pushed too hard." He pinched his nose and tilted his head back to wait for it to stop.

"Damn," Easy murmured. "Thanks, Oracle. Don't know how you did it, but I don't care. Oh, we did have one casualty - Shira was accidentally electrocuted trying to fix the scrubbers. Sorry. But everyone else is okay."

He closed his eyes, thinking of how eagerly she'd escorted him around the baseship and how she'd wanted to know everything about Athena. She'd had her chance to meet her sister and she'd wanted to try to do good, too, and now she was dead.

The other officers made arrangements to couple together and transfer some of their air, and their Raptor would take on Felicia, Brooks and Gaeta, to let Shark and Easy jump 718 back.

Sam vaguely wanted to help and started to get up, but Hoshi put a hand on his shoulder to keep him in the seat. "We've got this," he said, squeezing lightly. "Take it easy."

"Thanks."

Hoshi smiled at him. "No, thank you."

It felt good to have someone appreciate what he was trying to do, Sam thought as he leaned back and shut his eyes again.

Finally Felicia and Brooks and Gaeta all came aboard, and Sam turned his seat to watch as Hoshi embraced and kissed Gaeta as soon as their helmets were off. Felicia watched, looking briefly sad. Brooks came in farther to offer his hand awkwardly to Sam. "You saved us."

Sam forced a smile. "Least I could do for a fellow Piconese." But the smile faded as he got a look at Felicia, who moved nearer, not meeting his eyes. "Felicia? What's wrong? I know about Shira, Easy told me."

She shook her head and stared at the deck. "I'm sorry," she whispered. "I should've had more faith."

He frowned, wondering if he was too tired to figure out why she was upset about that. "No, it worked. I heard your call…"

She shook her head. "I didn't call you. I didn't believe anyone could save us…"

"Then Shira did, I guess. It's okay, Felicia."

"No, my sister's dead because I didn't believe," she insisted, upset. Then turned away, folding her arms, as Racetrack brushed past to retake her seat.

Racetrack asked, "Oracle, you up to copilot? Or Gaeta?"

"I'm good," Sam confirmed and turned back to the front.

"All right." She contacted Easy and Shark on the wireless and the two jumped in tandem, heading back along the course to the Fleet.

Immediately the DRADIS lit up with sensor contacts.

"Frak! We've got company!" Sam exclaimed.

"Fleet?" Racetrack demanded.

"No frakking way. Cylon." He knew that without needing IFF - it was clear from the fleet arrangement on the dradis, and something there was enormous.

"Shit," Racetrack grabbed the controls, turning the ship to look at the biggest of the contacts. She gasped as it filled the cockpit window. "What the hell is that?"

Sam glanced up to see it and his stomach fell. "Frak. Jump us out of here. Anywhere. Go."

She didn't quibble or ask where and got on the wireless, "Easy, jump now. Enemy contacts. Jump in five."

Sam stared at the ship in horror and awe. It looked a bit like the Hub, but huge, blocking out the light of distant stars and gleaming with its own radiance from the engines and lights along the docking arms, like a huge urchin from beneath the sea.

It was much bigger than he remembered, and what he remembered hadn't been small. Gun placements, arms that held entire basestars the way the basestars docked the Raiders, and engine core the size of Galactica… frak, it was big. But still visible inside was the original ship, where he and Galen, Tory, Saul and Ellen had slept and worked their lonely way across the galaxy from Earth back to Kobol. It held the original resurrection chambers, and now he remembered how they'd been destroyed at the Temple of Hopes in the rebellion of the death cultists. He and Galen and Tory had fixed them, never remembering they'd been the ones to build them in the first place.

The Raptor jumped and left the giant ship behind.

He let out a breath of relief, echoed by the others in the cabin.

Easy's voice came over the wireless. "What - what the frak was that?"

Racetrack swallowed hard and turning to him in frightened demand, while the others who'd huddled behind them to get a look, looked the same.

He opened the wireless and said to them all. "The Colony. My former home, and our enemy's base," Sam answered heavily. "John's closer than I hoped. We've got to get back and warn them. Then, we decide what to do."

"Do?" Racetrack demanded, looking at him with wide shocked eyes as if she thought he'd gone insane. "What the hell can we do against that thing? It could swallow the whole fleet for breakfast. We run as far as we can, as fast as we can, that's all we can do."

"Yeah, maybe," he murmured, glancing back out the window at the emptiness there but thinking about the Colony. If he could take it back somehow…

Maggie read something of his thoughts in his expression and exclaimed, "We can't fight it! You're out of your frakking mind!"

That made him smile and he reached across to pat her arm. "I know, but that's why it's going to work."

On the way back, he looked out the window at the distant stars and knew despite his boast, it wasn't going to be that easy. But there was no question in his mind that they had to take the Colony somehow. Not only did the Fleet need to get John off their back, but once he had the Colony, it wouldn't matter how long they took to find a new planet.

Finally, he saw a way to save everyone.




Sharon stood in the dim slot near the hatch, underneath the overhang. She'd come from the baseship to hear about Raptor 718 and Sam's mission to find them, but now she admitted, if only to herself, that had been just an excuse.

She didn't need to visit Galactica. In fact, it was probably unwise, given tensions and her own memories of what had happened to her. But there were good memories, too, and she couldn't help a little smile as she watched Galen work.

She was glad, too, that his crew seemed to not care about his being a Cylon. They followed his orders and grumbled behind his back, just as they always had.

He noticed she was there, watching him, or at least finally decided to come confront her about it. Wiping his hands on a cloth, he came over to her. At first his expression was a little annoyed, but then changed, and he frowned a little in confusion and asked, "Boomer?"

Her smile widened. "Hello. Again."

"It's you," he said. "Somehow I knew that."

"Sam's always been able to tell each model apart," she offered. "I'm sure that's what it is."

"Yeah, I guess," he shrugged. "It's so weird hearing about all that," he admitted. "All that stuff I don't remember. It was hard enough feeling I'm a Cylon, but now to know there's years and years of memories I'm missing…" he trailed off, shaking his head, and then glanced up at her. "You must feel a bit the same way, huh? With the way your memories were messed with, too."

"I did," she agreed and gave a little laugh. "I still do sometimes. I have weird gaps in my knowledge like my download was a little frakked. It shouldn't happen that way, but it did."

He nodded thoughtfully. "There is no perfect system."

"No, and definitely not the Cylon one. Speaking of," She hesitated and licked her lips. "I … I wanted to say, Galen… I know you probably hate me -- us -- for it, but I wanted you to know I'm sorry about Cally and your son. I didn't know about it until it was too late, but I swear I would've tried to stop it."

He ducked his head and wiped his hands on the cloth again. "I know," he said finally. "I remember you helped."

She looked into his face, filled with sad longing for what she and they had once had, knowing it was all spoiled by who she was and who he was and what had happened. Then she inhaled a breath and squared her shoulders again. "Okay. I'll see you later, Chief."

She'd gotten two steps when his voice called her back. "Sharon?"

Eagerly she turned back, hoping, even though she warned herself not to hope for anything, "Yes?"

"I don't hate you. And … I don't really know who and what I am," he confessed slowly. "I don't know that all of what Sam said is even true; I don't remember it. I don't feel it. And I don't know if I ever will. What I know is you're a Cylon and I'm a Cylon, and the rest of it doesn't matter."

Hopeful that he meant was she thought he meant, she looked into his eyes, tremulously smiling and starting to reach out, when the red alert klaxon crashed over them, making them both start. Then word came in from CIC for all hands to prepare to jump.

"Oh, no, does that mean they've found us?" Sharon exclaimed in dismay.

"Maybe it's another false alarm like before," Galen said. They both hurried toward the central chief's station, where Brasko was on the phone with CIC or LSO.

"Chief!" Brasko reported as they got near, glancing at Sharon. "They found our missing bird. As soon as both Raptors are aboard, we're out of here."

Galen strode away to get the deck ready for Viper launch, and Sharon tried to stay out of the way.






The conference in the Admiral's quarters was small, so Sam could brief the Admiral and Roslin first about the Colony. Saul was there, too, to hear, but that was all for this briefing.

The President sat on the admiral's rack, while he was at his desk, and Saul and Sam brought chairs from the other room.

They'd already jumped the Fleet away. Sam felt they were less of a sitting duck, now that they were away from Earth, but he still worried that John had seen the Raptors and now he knew that they knew he was there. That was going to provoke a response; at minimum he'd want to find them.

"So, the Colony," Adama glanced at the report and photos printed off the Raptor's logs. "Impressive."

"You can see the original ship's outlines inside -- that's the core, here." He leaned over and traced it in on the photos while Adama and Tigh leaned in to watch, curiously. "The rest of it is like the baseships, grown over it, like a shell. There are weapons all along here, and the two baseships docked on the two arms have them, too, of course."

Adama shook his head and let out a sigh. "And so big."

"The Colony itself is easily twice Galactica. It once held about four thousand people leaving Kobol," he murmured but then drew a breath. "And that's why we have to take it."

Saul snorted. "With what? Spears and arrows? Because we've got nothing that can touch it."

"Why would you want to risk attack?" Roslin asked, rising from the bed and approaching curiously. Adama stood to give her his chair but declined Saul's silent offer of his own chair with a shake of his head, to stand beside Roslin. She ignored this to meet Sam's gaze. "I understand as long as this ship exists we're in danger. But you didn't say destroy it; you said take it. Why?"

"It's a colony ship, meant to transport thousands of people for a long period of time. I know a lot of the ships in the Fleet are damaged, and all those people could fit into the Colony and live much better lives."

Saul shook his head. "Not enough for the risk. This thing isn't a battleship, it's a gods-damned fortress."

Sam glanced at Roslin and wondered if she agreed that the risk wasn't worth it. She knew very well how miserable some of the other ships were and how much worse they'd get if they didn't get to land soon. And finding a planet anytime soon, when habitable planets were so thinly spread, was the real problem they faced, now that Earth had become such a waste.

"There's a bigger reason. If we take it over, we can save everyone in the Fleet." At their look of surprise and confusion, Sam smiled a little and leaned back to explain. "One of the things the Colonies don't know, or don't understand, about Kobol is what the original Cylons were. They weren't machines, they weren't AI… that wasn't what it was about."

"No? What then?" Adama prompted curiously.

Sam explained, "The Psi Alliance was a group of scientists, who learned how to make new bodies and to transfer memories from one to another. The Kobolian Psi-lon and the Thirteenth Tribe were made up of those who had resurrected. Some of the others felt that was wrong and they weren't really people and there was a war--" he blinked back the memory, realizing he was straying. "The point is, resurrection was originally designed for humans. And if we take over the Colony, I can bring it back. It won't matter how long it takes to find a new world, no one has to die."

The other three were visibly stunned. Adama and Roslin shared a disbelieving glance, before she asked, "Resurrection for humans? You can do that?"

"I don't have any direct memories of it myself, but I know it's possible," he declared. "And I do remember everyone could store their memories on the Colony for later download. That was how many other thousands of people traveled from Kobol to Earth." Not that it had worked out that way for all of them, after the cultists had destroyed the chambers at the Temple, but the technology would have worked. "One of the first things we did with the Centurions was rebuild the core to return the ship to that function. It was later superseded by the Hub, but those memory banks are still there, waiting to preserve human memories and give people new lives."

"You're talking about turning Humans into Cylons," Adama said, frowning in worry and distaste.

Sam returned, frustrated, "That's just a word. What does it matter? This ship is dying, Admiral." The Admiral flinched at his words, but Sam knew he was right and kept going, mercilessly pounding his point. "Our people are dying. We need a home, and if we can't find a planet, then the Colony can do that, at least for a while. That's what it was designed to do." He leaned forward, both hands on the table, switching his gaze from Adama to Roslin and back, imploring them. "We can save them, Admiral. I can save them. Nobody else has to die."

"All right," Adama said, and when both Laura and Saul looked at him in shock, he lifted a hand, "hypothetically, say we agree to try to capture Colony, the question is still how. So bring me a plan, Mister Anders -- a plan that won't make us worse off than running away. And --" he added with emphasis, "I want a plan to destroy it. If we can't take control of it, we can't let it remain in enemy hands. Are you willing to destroy it?"

Sam wanted to say yes, but hesitated. "I - would rather not. It was my home, plus I think it's very important to us. But yes, I'll try a plan to destroy it too."

Adama nodded slowly, thinking. "If you'd said yes too quickly, I wouldn't have believed you," he said. "And I wouldn't have approved this. But go ahead and we'll consider it."

Sam knew from the look on Adama's face that if he had a good plan, it was a go. The way the Admiral had glanced at Laura, knowing she was dying of her cancer, was exactly why Sam had wanted resurrection in the first place.

Standing, Sam asked, "Can I borrow Kara? I'm many things but military strategist isn't one of them."

"Good choice," Adama approved. "Yes. And anyone else you want." The admiral gave a small wry shake of his head. "If we're going to do this, we do it right. But don't tell anyone about resurrection; that's going to be problematic."

"You think?" Saul muttered.

"It'll start looking a lot less problematic when people are starving," Sam pointed out. "or their ship starts cracking."

Sam thought it was particularly ironic that Saul -- of all people -- was giving him that look, when Sam knew that Saul was the one who had made the memory scanner in the first place. But once they were on the Colony he could find a way to restore their memories and get those missing pieces of resurrection which weren't his specialty.

But first, getting the Colony. They'd jumped away from it, but they knew where it was. Even if John had jumped it away, both sides were now in the same position of knowledge -- with the added bonus that John couldn't possibly know that Sam remembered everything now.

Which isn't going to be an advantage unless you can figure out a way to use that information to your advantage.

He found out that Kara had gone out on patrol, so while he waited for her to come back and to give himself time to think, he went to the room that held the pyramid backstop. He shut the hatch so he wouldn't be disturbed, then retrieved the ball from the side and for a moment stood, clasping the ball in both hands. Then he threw.

This felt real. Focusing on the ball, finding that sweet spot in his throw, watching the ball float into the goal… it centered him, calming the whirl of what-ifs, memories, and half-baked plans.

Thea's voice behind him made him jump. "What are you doing?"

The ball left his hand and he grimaced. Not surprisingly it missed the hole completely and bounced back.

He realized the hatch hadn't opened, so he smiled a little and caught the ball before he turned. The woman behind him looked like Thea, from her platinum blonde hair to the long legs, but it wasn't Thea or any other 'real' Six. He couldn't feel her as a Cylon at all, and he was sure she was a projection as Aurora had been. But, even though she wasn't Thea, she was wearing a red dress and heels that looked really sexy on her, and he couldn't help looking.

She was the Six he'd seen in the Opera House vision once; the one who had said he had committed a crime and taken Hera from him. That meant she was also the one who visited Baltar and told him he had to die.

But he was tired of being afraid and tired of them trying to push him around. It was time to push back. He made his voice friendly, but let her know he wasn't fooled by her appearance. "Well, hello there. I wondered when one of you would show up."

She repeated, asking coolly, "What are you doing?"

He held up the ball. "I'm practicing pyramid. When all the shit in my head starts getting to be too much, I come here and I throw the ball around."

She stalked closer and narrowed her eyes at him with a predatory look. "Don't mock me," she warned in a low voice. "You know what I'm talking about."

"I do." He met her eyes and let a smile emerge. "I'm calling your frakking bluff."

She frowned, in momentary confusion. "What?"

He inhaled a breath and walked away, trailing his free hand against the backstop. "I can remember about seventy years since I was born on Earth. Which isn't a long time compared to you, I'm sure, but it means I've played a lot of triad in my time. Strangely we called it pyramid on Earth," he glanced at the pyramid ball with a brief smile, "but it was basically the same game. Since I'm calling, let me show you all my cards." His hand tightened on the ball and he stared right into her face, laying it all out for the first time giving a voice to his plan. "I will give resurrection to the Humans. I will make them all members of my tribe. And then you'll be forced to decide once and for all: Elysium for all, or for none. And I'm betting the Creator isn't going to go for 'none'."

She listened to his plan. "You think you've trumped us," she observed, not without a bit of an approving smile. "That we have no alternative."

"I'm tired of fighting over and over again -- fighting gods -- for something which should be ours by right. But now I have a way to save everyone."

"The Humans won't do it."

"Not all of them. But enough will. If I can't give everyone eternity in the afterlife, I'll give them eternity in life."

She leaned close and whispered, "I could stop you like this." She snapped her fingers. "I could stop your heart with a thought."

He turned his head to look her in the eyes that looked so much like Thea's but strange, too. And he found he didn't buy the threat at all. "Bullshit," he told her. "If you could have, you would've already."

"Don't be too sure," she warned him. "You're only one of five. The others may be more biddable."

He laughed. "If you think Saul Tigh is more biddable than I am, good luck with that. And Ellen will laugh." He watched her closely, waiting, and when she said nothing about Ellen, knew he was right; she was alive.

The messenger grimaced a little, acknowledging his point. "All of you suffer the same arrogance, certainly. You're so sure you know what's best." She moved suddenly - taking hold of him and slamming him into the pyramid backstop hard enough it screeched across the floor. His head hit the metal sheet with a crash, leaving him stunned and trying to blink back the pain. Her strength was like a Centurion holding him there, and his heart leaped to pounding. Her hands were tight and painful on his shoulders, and she glared into his face. "You are an ignorant, reckless child. You keep repeating the same mistake, over and over again. You learn nothing over the millennia."

After a moment, the shock faded enough for him to find his voice. "No," he retorted, "what I've learned is if I don't take care of my people, no one else will. I don't give a frak about God, or any of you. I care about my people -- Humans and Cylons both. And I won't let either of them die alone in the darkness, if I have any power to stop it."

He inhaled a deep breath and looked into her eyes, and wasn't afraid of the infinity he saw there. "Has it occurred to you I'm not the one who's supposed to learn something? You talk about the sin of eternal life -- what about the sin of punishing innocent people for being alive? My Cylon daughter deserves Elysium as much as Sammy Clellan does. Any other answer is wrong and I won't accept it."

She released his shoulders and lifted a hand to his cheek. "I admire the strength of your convictions, I do." She leaned closer and brushed her lips to his. "But bringing back resurrection is a terrible sin, and it will be punished." Her mouth sucked at his breath, kissing him even though he wasn't kissing back.

"Help me," he pleaded against her lips. "Help me bring everyone through the door. Then I won't have to do it."

Her hands caressed down his chest and stomach, lingering intimately. "That's what Aurora says," she whispered, between kisses, "You convinced her. She started this whole crazy plan to help you, because she decided you were right."

He couldn't move with her body pressing against him, and he wasn't sure he wanted to. It was, he decided, really unfair for these Lords to be taking the forms of the women he loved, because he kept reacting to them even though his mind knew she wasn't Thea.

"Which one are you? Aphrodite?" he guessed. She certainly looked the part and in the way she was trying to coax a response from him.

She pulled back, with a scornful curl to her lips. "Do I look like someone who believes love is going to save everyone?"

"Then maybe you need a little more of it."

She flinched, only slightly, but it was enough to rouse her to strike back. She leaned closer and hissed, "And who are you to give me advice? You, the fallen sinner with the blood of millions - billions - on his hands? You talk of giving eternal life, but the one thing you're very good at, is death. My brother would approve, if he didn't hate you so much. And I'm beginning to understand why." She backhanded him across the face, quick as a viper, knocking his head to the side and pain to blossom in his cheek and mouth. Then she seized his chin and glared into his eyes. "This plan of yours will not succeed. You will follow your destiny, Samuel Theseus Anders. And you will die."

Then, after shoving him hard against the backstop one more time, she vanished. He didn't blink, but she was gone as if she hadn't been there. But she had; his cheek still throbbed and when he touched his mouth, found that she'd split his lip and it was bleeding a little.

"You can't stop me!" he called after her. "I'm going to do it! Frak you all!"

His voice echoed in the small room but there was no response. His shoulders slumped and he muttered, "Damn it."

He bent to retrieve the pyramid ball, but on the way back up, the room swam out of focus and he decided to take a moment and sit on the floor.

The hatch opened as soon as he'd settled himself, idly rolling the ball on the floor at his side and leaning his pounding head against the backstop.

Kara came in. "Ah, there you are, Chief said you were looking --" Her voice stopped and she frowned. "What the hell? Sam, are you okay?" She rushed over to him and knelt down.

"I'm fine."

"Who did this?" she demanded, an angry glint in her eye.

He thought about trying to explain and waved it away. "It doesn't matter. We had a disagreement."

Now reassured that he was okay, she teased, "Gods, Sam, for a big guy and pyramid player, you're a crappy fighter."

"You should see the other guy," he joked, but it came out tired. He leaned his head back against the wall. "I keep fighting, and sometimes... I don't know.... it feels like I'm kicking a wall I'll never knock down."

There was a moment of silence and then her hand curled around his forearm. "Sam. You and me, that's what we do, we keep kicking at things 'til they fall down." Her smile widened. "We kicked at the Cylons til they fell down, didn't we? It'll work. Hey." She nudged him with her shoulder. "I heard you found the missing Raptor and the Colony with your brain." She chortled in delight. "You're such a freak."

He forced himself to match her lightness, with an affronted protest, "I had nothing to do with finding the Colony! Racetrack plotted that course."

Kara snorted. "One of these days we'll stop letting her pilot anything. So was it really the size of a planet?"

He chuckled sourly, humor fleeing again. "Not that big, but yeah, big. And that's what I wanted to talk to you about. The Admiral wants us to come up with a plan to take control of it.

She gave him a skeptical look, knitting her brows in a way he found rather cute. "Uh huh. I assume it's defended and packed with toasters?"

"Excuse you." He narrowed his eyes at the slur and she grinned back unrepentant, so he let it go with a sigh. "Defended, yes. The other, I don't know. Probably."

"So basically, we have no tactical information and an impossible target?"

He could quibble with the 'no tactical information' but instead he smiled wryly. "Pretty much."

"Sounds like my kind of op." She popped up to her feet and held out a hand to pull him to his feet. "Let's get to work."




Crossposted from DW There are comment count unavailable comments over there. Feel free to comment wherever.
 
 
 
noybusiness: AndersGoldnoybusiness on April 11th, 2014 03:33 pm (UTC)
It is weird that The Face of the Enemy wasn't released as a bonus feature on any of the DVDs. You'd think they'd at least put on The Plan, since it was filmed around the same time.

"He nodded thoughtfully. "There is no perfect system.""

Someone needs to tell CLU that.

Keep up the good work!
lizardbeth: Anders-Thealizardbeth_j on April 11th, 2014 04:02 pm (UTC)
I always figured it got caught up in the writer's strike/web content issues somehow, but I don't think I ever heard a definitive explanation. But yeah, of all the 'bonus content' it's the most useful ones and it's stupid that it's not on the box set at least.

hee, CLU. yes.I can hear Bridges' voice in that line.

thanks!