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12 January 2011 @ 02:38 pm
A Shadow in the Pattern, part 7  
A Shadow in the Pattern, Part 7
A BSG/B5 crossover

Part One
Part Six

As soon as the hatch shut behind their visitors, Sam voiced his objection, "We have to tell him about the Cylons. If nothing else, we have to warn Earth that we're probably dragging them behind us."

"What makes you say that?" Tigh demanded. "Racetrack and Skulls frakked the coordinates; the toasters are heading for the nebula, if anyplace."

"Come on," Sam demanded impatiently, "isn't this New Caprica all over again? We pretend they won't find us, and they come back anyway? They're out there. And they're not going to wander around forever."

"It could be years, though," Roslin said. "They might not even come out in Earth territory. There are lots of other races, you said. Let someone else fight them."

"No," Sam protested. "That's worse. What if the Cylons ally with some enemy of Earth's?"

Roslin looked appalled at the idea that anyone would ally with the Cylons, but Sam knew it was possible. She hadn't seen all the aliens he had on the station, and didn't understand what a strange and amazing place it was yet.

Sam took a breath to explain, "I saw beings with two arms, two legs, and a head, but with skin that looked like a lizard's and red eyes. I saw Minbari, who look kind of like us in the face, but their ears are down here," he cupped his hands lower, "and they don't have hair, just big bony crests. And there were so many others... They're not going to care the Cylons aren't human, because these other things - people - aren't human either. We have to warn Earth. And we owe Sinclair the truth," Sam insisted.

Roslin clearly didn't like it, and he wasn't sure she would fully understand until she had a chance to see it for herself, but after a moment, she said, "You like him."

"Yeah, so?" Sam retorted, stiffening angrily at the implication that he was somehow too cozy with the commander to be thinking rationally. "If you think my judgment's somehow not good enough --"

She held up a hand to stop him. "I want your judgment, Sam," she said. "That's why I sent you. I just don't understand why you feel so strongly about telling him after only knowing him a short time."

Somewhat mollified, Sam leaned back in his chair. "He's been honest with me, and he was a lot more tolerant of a ship full of strangers with a bizarre story than any of us probably would be."

"He knows we're hiding something," Tory pointed out. "It seems to me we need his recommendation to his superiors. If he reports any reservations on our settlement request, it may go very badly for us."

Roslin looked briefly irritated by her own aide now opposing her. "If we tell them about a genocidal enemy we're bringing with us," Roslin countered, "they'd be a fool to bring us to Earth, wouldn't they?"

Sharon said, with an edge to her voice, "They're going to find out anyway. No lie is buried forever."

Remembering what Kara had said about the station, Sam added, "Maybe this is what we need to stop them. These people have powerful weapons and ships; they can take on the Cylons a lot easier than we can."

Roslin looked at him. "And if they refuse to let us settle, not wanting to fight our battles?"

Lee pointed out, "They can't do that, or they risk us giving our jump drives to someone else."

"And even if that happened, maybe it wouldn't be so bad," Sam added with a shrug. "There are other worlds."

"They won't be Earth," Adama said.

"We can still make them home," Lee responded, quietly, and Sam nodded his agreement, surprised that they seemed to be on the same side. But he was right - what they wanted was a new home. That home didn't have to be "Earth", which may not want them anyway.

"All right," Roslin agreed with a nod and a heavy sigh. "Let me think on how best to talk about this, and I'll air our dirty laundry tomorrow. You did say we have at least that long before we need to return him to the station?"

"Yes," Sam agreed then smiled wryly. "I think we have a few days grace." Though it was less the station and more Kara and Jean getting impatient that concerned him.

He hoped they were doing okay -- his stomach knotted a little at the thought that his two favorite people in the entire frakking galaxy were so far away and he couldn't do anything to help them if something went wrong. But, knowing them, they were probably having fun, while he was stuck in here, inexplicably involved in talking about the fate of the Fleet.

I'm just a p-ball player, what the frak am I doing here? I ran away from toasters for two years, that doesn't qualify me as anyone important, he thought with a sigh.

Dropping his eyes to the top of Adama's table, wishing it was a bar and Kara was there with him, the tabletop disappeared. Infinite space and the colorful multitude of distant stars appeared. And something passed through across the starfield, swallowing the light and leaving only cold in its wake.

He flinched back, nearly tipping over his chair, and had to grab at the table to keep upright.

"Sam?" Roslin looked at him. "You okay?"

He forced a smile, embarrassed. "Sorry." When he looked again, the table was the faux-woodgrain it had been before. It hadn't been real; it was a memory from last night's strange nightmare with Sue-Shaun.

He had nearly forgotten about it. But now his heart was racing in unsubtle reminder, and he took a drink of water to dampen suddenly dry lips.

Through all the conversation that followed, the image distracted him. And he realized that he desperately didn't want to close his eyes and dream of that thing again.

* * *

Helo tried very hard to follow the implicit order to not tell their guests about the Cylons, even though it rankled on both a professional and personal level. Adama, he'd listen to, but Roslin's mere presence made him angry, and since she was the one pushing to hide the truth, he wanted out of spite to bring Sinclair to his quarters with Sharon and tell him everything.

Luckily Sinclair stopped poking at the truth, though Helo had the feeling that was more out of pity than lack of interest.

Helo decided to distract them both with the flight deck, and Tyrol came to meet them. Wiping his hands on a cloth, he gave the newcomers a curious look and a nod to Helo, "Captain."

Helo introduced the three and while they were shaking hands, he said, "Chief, the admiral wanted me to give the commander a chance to look at a Viper."

"Sure, that one's out for maintenance," he nodded to the nearest, with its guts out on the floor. "Have a look."

"Thank you, Chief," Sinclair said, and went toward it, eagerly. He inspected it nose to tail, and then climbed up the ladder to peek at the cockpit. "Can I sit inside?" he called down to Helo.

"Of course, sir," Helo answered, amused by the commander's enthusiasm. Viper jocks were apparently all the same.

Behind him, he heard Tyrol ask Garibaldi, "So, are you an engineer?"

Garibaldi chuckled. "Me? Nah. Security. I was a marine, got out after the war and did private security. I came back when the commander asked me to come to the station."

"So it's true then? About Earth?" Tyrol asked.

"It's real," Garibaldi confirmed. "More than that's above my pay grade."

Tyrol chuckled with understanding. "That's the truth."

"Hey, Commander?" Garibaldi called. "We've got a whole lot of ship still to look at."

Sinclair poked his head out of the cockpit. "Coming. As long as Captain Agathon can promise a visit to the simulator Major Adama mentioned. I want to see if this ship flies more like a Thunderbolt or a Starfury."

"Of course, sir." Helo wasn't sure how he could do that without talking about Cylons, since the route to the simulators went right past the remnants of the museum, but maybe tomorrow.

Eventually Sinclair emerged from the Viper and they all continued the tour of the ship, reaching CIC, where Helo introduced Dee. The commander seemed most interested in the nav table and the various console keys, brushing his hand along them frequently as if he was having trouble believing they were real.

Finally they ended up in Joe's, where Anders and Tyrol were already at the bar. "Hey, it's like Earhart's," Garibaldi remarked to Sinclair. Helo heard and hoped their bar was better than Joe's with its rickety furnishings and mish-mash of decor. He noticed with a grin that the C-Bucs sign had migrated back to prominence above the mirror again -- Sam denied ever touching it himself, and yet whenever any other team's sign went there, the C-Bucs logo always returned.

"Join us?" Sam asked. "Charlie, shots for our guests."

"Just water for me," Garibaldi demurred quickly.

The civilian behind the bar nodded and as he poured the shot out, asked, "So, is it true? You're from the Thirteenth Tribe?"

Sinclair frowned. "No," he answered, and glanced at Sam. "At least I don't think so?"

"We don't know how Kobol fits into anything yet," Sam answered for him. "We found a lot of humans out here, though. So that's the good news."

"At least they're not toasters," Charlie sneered. Helo stiffened in offense.

"Charlie," Sam warned.

"It's still wrong," Charlie muttered, not looking at Helo, and then wandered off.

"Toasters?" Garibaldi repeated curiously.

"President Roslin will explain tomorrow," Sam told them and looked as dissatisfied by the delay as Helo felt. "Until then, relax, enjoy as much of our skimpy hospitality as you can, and hopefully we'll get back to the station tomorrow."

"Since I see you're in good hands," Helo told them, "I need to get to my quarters; it's time to put Hera to bed."

"Good night, Helo, thanks for escorting us around," Sinclair told him.

People stopped Helo a few times looking for confirmation of the rumors about the new arrivals. He put them off promising an announcement from Roslin tomorrow, after the command staff had investigated some more, but answering that yes, it seemed that the Fleet had encountered another group of Humans. It was good to get back to his quarters and shut the hatch.

The lights were low and Sharon was sitting on the couch, with Hera asleep in her arms. Helo paused to watch them, smiling at the sight. After all the fear and anguish of their lives, it felt like such a miracle to have both of them back.

Sharon's eyes opened and smiled back at him. She stood up and he came over to kiss her, then Hera's soft, curly hair, before Sharon put her down in her bed.

"Sometimes I still can't believe she's really here," Sharon whispered.

He wrapped his arms around her from behind and she leaned against him, while they both watched their daughter sleep. "Me neither," he agreed and inhaled the fragrance of her hair that somehow - even after a change of bodies - still held a faint whiff of Caprica forests to him.

They watched Hera for several minutes in silence, until Sharon murmured, "I was thinking..."

"Hm?" He prompted, when she trailed off. "About Earth? That we're almost there? It seems... a miracle that we get Hera back and now we've met people who come from Earth. It's all coming true."

She shook her head then changed her mind, "Well, yes, that, too, but right now, I'm trying to remember something.... And it keeps sliding away from me."

"Remember what?" he asked.

She turned in his arms to face him. "When I looked at Commander Sinclair...he looked familiar to me," she admitted.

Helo stiffened. That could really only mean one thing. "He's a Cylon?"

"No. Maybe. I don't know. I don't think so," she added with a troubling uncertainty. "It's very frustrating - I feel I've seen him before." Her face scrunched up adorably as she tried to remember. "I don't think they're even my memories. But if they're not mine and they're not Boomer's, I never accessed any others..." she frowned in confusion and irritation. "It makes no sense."

Helo wasn't sure what he could offer that might help. "Wouldn't you be sure if he was a Cylon?"

She shook her head against his shoulder. "The Final Five... they're different," she answered. "Mythical almost. It's hard to think about them. But I don't know ... it's so vague." Then she pulled away with a determined breath and squaring her shoulders. "You know what? Never mind. You're right; I would know. Everyone was waiting for him to recognize me, maybe I was thinking about it too hard. I feel like I've seen a picture of him in a book, not that I really recognize him."

"He certainly didn't know about you," Helo agreed. "And I'd hate to accuse someone of being a Cylon without a lot more proof."

"Of course not. So we need to keep this between us," she said. "But ... still... there's something about him. It's not an accident he's here, I don't think."

Helo glanced down at Hera and then back at his wife, wondering how much of any of this was an accident, if ancient near-omnipotent aliens were orchestrating events. "Well, he's with Sam and Chief right now at Joe's. They'll keep an eye on him."

She twined her fingers in his and grinned. "She's asleep. We're both off-duty. I think we should take advantage."

Caressing her smooth skin and kissing her soft lips, he decided she had very good ideas.

go on to Part 8
entertaining in a disturbing waylyssie on January 13th, 2011 01:17 am (UTC)
eeeee. Helo almost told! And Joe's!

(also, off-screen married sex, hurrah. ahem)

I am glad they're telling, even if it goes badly, or something happens to stop the telling. *cackles*
lizardbeth: Anders- Helolizardbeth_j on January 13th, 2011 09:01 pm (UTC)
yeah, as much as Roslin would like to keep this particular colonial failing swept under the rug there's just no way logically it would work long term, and she knows that. So she's gonna tell.

It's kind of a pain to figure out HOW to tell -- I hate this sort of thing where someone needs to know something but it's something everybody else already knows. bah.

MSerradamserrada on January 14th, 2011 06:15 am (UTC)
I liked your idea of the museum being a lead in :)

Looking forward to Kara on the station. Hmmm, what possible trouble could Starbuck find on a station full of aliens and strange customs/cultures...
lizardbeth: Kara happylizardbeth_j on January 15th, 2011 12:42 am (UTC)
y'know, that's a very good idea! ;D
(no, I'm not sick of talking heads already or anything...)

There's a casino and a bar on the station....
mrsdrjackson: Twice blessed - Hera - BSGmrsdrjackson on January 14th, 2011 12:44 pm (UTC)
ancient near-omnipotent aliens were orchestrating events
Helo's brain is made of win. WIN I tell you! ;D

Also, Sinclair is so damn cute with the Vipers.
lizardbeth: Anders- Helolizardbeth_j on January 14th, 2011 08:32 pm (UTC)
Helo kinda gets led around by his heart (which is why we ♥ him) but he's a smart cookie, too.

Badass messianic pilots who can fly anything are a THING, I cannot deny. hee. Sinclair's just quieter in his badassery than certain other people *g*
cavgirlcavgirl on January 15th, 2011 02:24 am (UTC)
I'm really enjoying this. It may even induce me to actually watch B5 properly.... yeah, I'm slow. I only got into BSG six months ago.
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on January 15th, 2011 11:28 pm (UTC)
If it helps I will spoil at least some B5 things as this goes so if you care, you should go watch. But unlike my other longfics this is also a WIP and I only work on it sporadically. So you have time.

More soon!
infinimatoinfinimato on January 24th, 2011 09:30 pm (UTC)
I"m so glad you're continuing this. It's a great tale and you're telling it so well.
lizardbeth: Sinclairlizardbeth_j on January 24th, 2011 09:50 pm (UTC)
I have the next part in the LJ-client RIGHT THIS SECOND, getting formatted, so it'll be up very shortly! heh. you're lucky.