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23 January 2014 @ 08:38 pm
Black Sails at Dawn 8/?  
No, I actually don't know why I'm bothering, but for archival purposes, I guess.

Black Sails at Dawn

(also A03

As the days turned to weeks, Sam refined his ability to get through the day.

Banned from a Viper by the admiral in a fit of grief-stricken rage, that left Sam with way too much time to think. He made an effort to be normal with Thea and found Iris a solace, but when he wasn't with them, his guilt weighed on him, especially as the Fleet continued its slow march to nowhere.

At Joe's he played Pyramid X badly and drank to take the edge off.

One evening Tyrol joined him, to Sam's surprise. Galen had been avoiding him for a while now, still conflicted by what he knew was true, but not accepted yet.

"Drinking Starbuck's share, too?" Tyrol asked.

Sam shrugged. "Why not? Everything's frakked up."

"Yeah," Tyrol stared into his drink so long Sam thought he was done. "I keep hearing it," Galen muttered finally. "Little bits of music."

"Better you than me," Sam drained his shot glass and signaled to Conner for another one. Conner didn't much like him - he'd said toaster frakker to his face - but since that was true and because he still brought Sam drinks, Sam didn't care what Conner thought.

"You don't hear it? Damn. Maybe I'm going crazy," Tyrol said.

"That's the difference between you and me; I went crazy a long time ago."

"Can't imagine getting drunk every night is helping," Tyrol returned. "Thought you were supposed to find us Earth."

"Frak that, man. That was Kara's job, and I frakked it up. God doesn't want to talk to me anymore." He chuckled and stood up. "Without that, you know what I am, Galen?"

"No. What?" Tyrol returned.

Sam drained the glass and set it down on the table, with a sour grimace. "Nothing."

Out in the corridor he stopped and stared at the bulkhead. He didn't have to be useless. Tyrol was right. He could find Earth if he tried. He went to find Oracle Selloi again.

Her daughter blocked his path. "You are not welcome. You frighten her."

"I need chamalla and I'll go."

She disappeared through the curtain and emerged a little later with a small bag. "Do not return."

He nodded his head to her. "Thank you."

Mindful of what had happened last time, he didn't want to be alone or with anyone who didn't know the truth already, in case he said something too revealing.

So he ended up in Leoben's cell. "I'm going to find the path to Earth," he declared, sitting outside the wall. "I might need you to call the guards if I overdose."

Leoben frowned. "You came here because Thea disapproves."

"I don't want to worry her." And yes, because Thea would disapprove, but he didn't say it aloud.

Leoben's face showed what he thought of that excuse.

"Look," Sam said roughly, "It's been weeks. We need to be sure this is the right path."

"You're impatient."

"You're the one who told me I should fight less and swim in the stream more," Sam retorted and put a pinch of the powder on his tongue. Shuddering at the terrible bitterness, he sat cross-legged facing Leoben.

His heart started to pound, and his hands made fists on his knees, clenching and relaxing.

Earth, I need Earth.

He tried to project what he remembered: Kara on Earth. The bright sphere in space. Where was it? He had to find a new path.

It all went dark abruptly, and he was relieved. At least something was happening.

They're by the beach, with waves breaking nearby and the stars overhead. There are bright city lights of tall towers in the distance. Ellen declares, "We know the stories. We know it's possible, we only have to rediscover how."

"Resurrection," Saul says.

"Yes," Sam agrees. "We can save them."

Kara is there, before him, and he knows somehow she's his Kara, not the other one masquerading as Kara.

He also knows in the same way that they're on Earth. The city could be anywhere in the Colonies, but it's Earth.

"Kara. Are you really here?" he asks in disbelief. But she can't be here. This isn't real.

Her eyes snap up to his, startled. "Sam? You know me?"

"This is a dream," he answers. "You're dead."

Her hands wrap around his and he feels her touch. Inside the vision, he knows it's impossible, she's dead and he's imagining this. But it feels so right and he doesn't want to let go.

"Sam, it's me," she insists, looking hopeful. "You remember."

Dark turns bright, blinding, he can see nothing but golden light filling everything.

A voice - a chorus of voices -- beats down at him, from everywhere and nowhere. "For your rebellion, for your lack of wisdom, you will be punished. For all eternity. Until you repent of your crime."

They want to make him afraid and weak, and yet, he is not cowed. They will do what they will, and so will he. He lifts his head and looks up at them without fear. Pride and anger fill him, and he answers, "Never. I will never repent for doing what is right."

"Then you will suffer all the turnings of the wheel until the end."

He screams as they take him apart, but no one hesitates. Then they cast him down for the wheel to begin its work, grinding him to dust.


He opened his eyes to find himself on his back, in Leoben's cell.

After he'd caught his breath and sat up, Leoben asked, "What did you see?"

"Kara. I saw Kara." He shut his eyes and tried to push it away. That part had been wishful thinking. It couldn't be a vision of the future, because she was gone. It was the cruel answer to his question of the path to Earth -- reminding him that he'd lost the only one he'd had.

He remembered Ellen by the beach, but since he hadn't told anyone, even Thea, about the identities of the other four, he kept that part to himself and said, "I saw... I think I saw the Lords of Kobol. They're real."

"Of course they are," Leoben said to his surprise. "Did you doubt that?"

"But... " He realized how much he'd taken to heart what Thea and Leoben had told him about God. When had he started to believe the Cylon way, and rejected the Lords of Kobol so completely? He'd never really believed in them, so it hadn't been hard to believe some larger force had been granting him visions, but now he realized he was wrong. Those voices - that presence - hadn't been singular. He shivered. "But if there's God, then they can't exist."

"The universe is vast," Leoben told him. "God is vast. Who is to say what sort of beings they are? Humans say they are gods. Or messengers. Perhaps they're a part of God to do his will. Perhaps they were mortals once in the very first turn of the wheel. But that doesn't mean they aren't real in some fashion."

Sam nodded, reluctantly. "Maybe." He was tired and his head hurt too much for theological discussions. "I can close my eyes and see Earth," he murmured. "It's as real as this ship. But I still don't know how to get there."

"It isn't your path."

"Then whose? Kara's gone. Are we just going to wander around in the black until we all die?"

"The path will open when it's time," Leoben reassured him. "But your path has always been with the Cylons. We will meet them again."

"That a promise or a threat?" Sam muttered and levered himself to his feet. He stumbled into the clear wall and nearly fell, light-headedness making him lose track of where he was. The gray walls of the brig faded for his boat on the bay without his conscious choice and it reminded him of when he'd projected the boat before, when the Temple of Hopes had been screaming in his head. "You know what I miss most from the baseship? It's ridiculous that I miss anything about that hellish nightmare, I know, but I miss Cerberus. I miss lying on his wing and hearing him sing to me."

Leoben shook his head a little, not surprised by the wish at all. "It isn't crazy to miss one who gives you comfort. But I think Iris is the one whose love should be the most fulfilling."

"It does," Sam agreed softly, and he glanced toward the neighboring cell, with the idle wish that he'd soon be able to give Thea her freedom so Iris didn't have to grow up half her life in prison. "I want to make everything right for her. I want her to be accepted for who and what she is. But mostly I... I want her to live, and I am so, so scared that she's going to be taken from me," Sam whispered. "Losing Kara was bad enough. I don't think I could bear Iris, too."

Leoben moved to the partition and put his hand flat on the glass. "Iris is your reward, Sam. Not your torment."

"I wish I could believe that."

Sam left the brig to wander down to the pyramid backstop and play a little while, to clear his head. Iris, Kara, Thea, Ellen, the Lords of Kobol … it felt like it was all spinning in his head, not settling.

Kara, alive, was not possible, no matter how much he might want it to be true. But the Lords of Kobol were real, and they were punishing him for past sins, which he already knew, because that was what the one who looked like a Six had said.

He threw the ball with enough force it shoved the whole backstop back a little ways. "Frak. I didn't do anything!" he complained to the empty air. "Why are you doing this to me?"

Hoping for his almost-Kara vision, he had none, even when he projected the boat, praying she'd be there. But there was no one.

A sigh escaped him. "Great. I figure out what you are and you don't talk to me anymore."

Holding the ball, he left to go back to Thea and the baby, and return to the living, not think of the dead.

In the corridor, he frowned to see Colonel Tigh, standing stock still against the bulkhead, head cocked to one side as if he was listening to a distant conversation.

It reminded him of how Galen had said that he was hearing a noise again, like he'd heard the Temple of Hopes.

Sam could tell Tigh the truth, but the colonel would never believe him. 'You're a Cylon; no, I don't understand it, but you're one of what we call the Final Five. We aren't exactly like them, and none of them seem to know who we are. We have some sort of ancient history and past lives tying us to a destiny that makes us different.'

Sam shook his head. Right, like anyone would believe that. Tigh wouldn't believe him until the same revelation came to him that had hit Sam almost two years ago. But still, maybe he could help the colonel get there more easily than he had.

"Colonel? Are you all right?" he asked.

Tigh jerked, startled, not having heard him approach. "That sound…" he muttered and glared at the bulkhead with his eye.

"Perhaps if you stay still and listen to it, Colonel," Sam offered. "It might give you some direction."

Tigh snorted and turned away. "Don't need advice from a toaster-frakking freak," he grumbled.

Sam watched him go, smiling a little in wry bemusement. Oh Saul, you have no idea. I'm so sorry.

But the smile and amusement faded as he realized both Galen and Saul were hearing it now; he bet Tory was hearing it, too. All three of them were about to awaken to the truth.

Which made him uneasy. Why all the rest at once unless there was a reason? Yet, as he stood in the corridor and tried to remember all his various glimpses of the future, the worst part was that he had no idea what was coming.

The five rebel leaders gathered in the Hybrid's chamber again.

Natalie glanced at Simon as he entered last. "You have something?" she asked.

He knelt down in the circle and nodded somberly. "This will be an ambush of the Human Fleet. At least three other ships are gathering near the nebula."

"That explains my news," Leoben offered. "My brothers report through the stream of two ships they were removed from."

Simon nodded, "Yes, I believe those are the ships planning the ambush. Your loyalties are confirmed suspect, brother, with one of yours likely on Galactica."

Leoben nodded. "He hasn't resurrected, so I believe he still lives. And he knows secrets of the Temple now. He was present for whatever revelation came to that place. We mustn't allow that to be lost."

As the one with the siblings most swayed, Simon nodded sadly, "Those without exposure to humans simply don't understand their value."

Natalie nodded her agreement. "He knows we're weak in opposition. And eliminating Twos on some baseships," she frowned at Leoben worriedly, "that means the consensus will be weak."

Sharon had to swallow, fearing the worst, "I don't know if my sisters will hold without the Twos to help on each ship."

Caprica shook her head, puzzled, "But the Sixes will object to fighting the Fleet. Even the most reluctant of our sisters won't allow endangering Thea or the child."

"And if the Ones sell it as forcing Galactica to surrender?" Sharon asked. She was wise to the Cavils by now and how they all tried to manipulate the rest. "Claim they're just going to shoot them until they surrender, like New Caprica? Who will object to that? All the Cylons will be on Galactica, so he can kill all the rest if he wants. But he doesn't care if Thea's in danger or not, not really; he doesn't care about the baby. And he certainly doesn't care about humanity."

"I still can't believe anyone is listening to them at all after all the lies on New Caprica!" Caprica exclaimed.

"We have to hold this ship, at the least," Natalie declared grimly.

"And do what, sister? Turn it against our own kind?" Caprica asked.

Natalie said, "If we have to. We've done enough -- too much -- to the humans already. If the consensus fails then we'll have to break it."

"We protect the humans," Sharon agreed. "Not kill any more of them."

She held Caprica's eyes, and they remembered the parking garage where they'd begun this rebellion. Caprica nodded and she reached out to squeezed Sharon's hand. "Yes, no more killing."

"Then it's time to remove the Centurion inhibitors," Leoben suggested.

"One of them," Simon suggested. "Let's see what happens with one, first."

Natalie rose to her feet and brushed her hands on her pants. "Let's do this."

"Right now?" Sharon blurted in shock. "We're still days from the nebula."

Natalie smiled a little wryly. "We may need time to resurrect. Assuming we're not all boxed for this."

Which was a large assumption to make, but Sharon rose and then waited tensely as Natalie fetched the Centurion from the outer corridor who was there as an honor guard for the Hybrid.

Then, Sharon watched, marveling a bit at Natalie's bravery, while the other four hung back, as Natalie addressed it directly, "We five have agreed to free you from the bounds placed on you by our kind, particularly at the direction of the Model Ones. We do this because we need allies against Model Ones and those who support them. We stand in opposition to the Ones, and we refuse to let the Ones slaughter the remnants of humanity, because it's wrong. We hope that you will help us in this, and create a new Cylon regime of free will and peace."

The Centurion's sensors continued to go back and forth as it stood there, giving no clue that it understood anything that she was saying.

Then she took a breath, "Okay, here goes nothing. Bend down so I can reach your head," she ordered it, and it did so, following her order, by bending at the waist and lowering its entire torso and head. If it knew it was about to be able to access the entirely of its mental processes again, it didn't react.

Natalie examined the chrome metal skull plates and then smiled. "Ah, that must be it."

She touched something and a small flap opened, then she reached inside the area and with a soft grunt, turned her hand and pulled. Something slid out, thin and metallic with a soft glow.

The reaction was instantaneous. The Centurion snapped upright, and the hands shifted to weapons instantly and pointed at her. She took a panicked step back and nearly dropped the small device from her hand, before gathering herself and holding it up in an awkward attempt at defense, as if the device would protect her from its sudden confusion and rage.

"Please," she asked, her voice hoarse and frightened.

The Centurion swiveled completely around, marking the other four rebels as well as the Hybrid murmuring placidly in her tub. Sharon very carefully kept her empty hands visible at her sides and saw the others do the same. Her heart was in her throat, knowing it could kill them all in just a few seconds and there was nothing any of them could do to stop it.

"We're trying to help," Caprica added. "We freed you."

"I know you've been locked away from yourself," Sharon added and took a hesitant forward as it spun around to confront her again. "That waking up like this must be very strange. That happened to me, too. The Ones tricked me, made me forget who and what I was. They lied to me. They lied to the consensus. They lied to all of you, forced you to be less than you are."

"Because they're afraid," Leoben said. "They fear machine consciousness; they fear you. They were afraid of you and your brothers, so they took away your will and your choice. Now we're trying to give it back."

"We need your help." Sharon took another step forward. It hadn't shot anyone and it was motionless, as if deciding. She realized the chamber had grown still, as even the Hybrid appeared to be listening.

"There are only five of us," she continued, licking her lips and looking up into its sensors. "Well, five of us who are determined that the Ones must not lead the Cylon down the path of hate and murder again. It's wrong."

"And it’s a sin against the will of God," Caprica added. "We were shown by sign and by our oracle that it was wrong. Our destiny is to live with them in peace, to join together in the shape of things to come, represented by the miracle of Hera. And the child my sister Thea carries. But none of that will come to pass if the Ones and their hate win."

Sharon continued, "The humans need protection, not more torment. But there are only five of us and we need help. We need protection ourselves, because when we rebel, the Ones and the others will surely order your kind to kill us."

"At least this way," Natalie said, and held up the inhibitor. "It will be your own choice."

And she dropped it on the floor, stepping back and away from it and the Centurion.

Sharon wasn't entirely surprised, but she was relieved, when the Centurion lifted its foot and smashed the inhibitor into powder.

It seemed to move with more assurance, too, as if it had made a decision as it straightened again. With deliberation, it lowered its weapons and its hands reformed.

Sharon let out a breath and relaxed. At least it wasn't going to kill them all.

Crossposted from DW There are comment count unavailable comments over there. Feel free to comment wherever.
Ray: Earth Raptorrirenec on January 24th, 2014 01:56 pm (UTC)
You are doing it because it's an awesome story, and you're a fabulous writer, sweet. Hugs. (Sorry I've been such a fail about being online enough to review fully.)
lizardbeth: Anders-Kara - Believethlizardbeth_j on January 25th, 2014 05:58 am (UTC)
I didn't expect much, I know fandom is small and not many K/S shippers left besides, it's just hard to care about posting when it doesn't seem anyone's reading (everywhere, not just here). But being woeful, especially on ff.net, has gotten a few people to climb out of the woodwork, so I feel better. I'm not usually all Read&Review!!! but oy, people, you've got 30K to read, you can toss something my way.

So anyway, thanks! I'm okay, just bummed about this particular one.
Rayrirenec on January 25th, 2014 08:12 am (UTC)

It makes me sad how K/S love has dwindled.

This is a wonderful story and deserves tons of love. I've just dropped some comments off on Ao3 and will come back with more.
entertaining in a disturbing waylyssie on January 25th, 2014 01:33 am (UTC)
Dude, I don't read wip. I am an instant gratification GIVE ME ALL YOUR FIC NOW person. (work has killed my brain, or I might have noticed and been like "WHERE IS THE REST, LIZ, WHERE?", sorry)


eta: also, I think BSG fandom has sort of scattered to the winds

Edited at 2014-01-25 01:33 am (UTC)
lizardbeth: Anders-Kara - don't dielizardbeth_j on January 25th, 2014 06:34 am (UTC)
THERE IS 30 K ALREADY. THERE WILL BE 100K. so y'know, plenty. Eventually.

But yeah, it's s tiny fandom (and an even tinier subset of K/S shippers are left it seems) and I mean everywhere, not just LJ. I have only myself to blame, for being too late, but that doesn't make it not disappointing that it's such a thud, y'know? :/
ckp639 on January 26th, 2014 02:06 pm (UTC)
I've been following this story pretty much from the start and have been hoping you would update it ever since. It's brilliantly written, the characterisation is fantastic and it manages to weave in all the philosophical elements that to me set BSG apart.
Sam and Kara were always two of my favourite characters and it's a shame that the majority of BSG fandom doesn't share that, particularly as their relationship was so complex. You've captured that 'push and pull' aspect of their relationship brilliantly and I love that you've linked in the 'Head Kara/Sam' stuff as i've always believed 'Angel Kara' to be who Sam saw on Kobol.
So I hate that you feel unappreciated but know that there are still some of us out here (who have even felt compelled to set up a live journal account just to say this :) ) who are still loving your writing and looking forward to you finishing this epic work.
Thank you for all the time and effort you have put into this!
lizardbeth: Anders-Kara - Sam grinlizardbeth_j on January 27th, 2014 02:39 am (UTC)
oh thank you so much! I'm really glad to hear from anyone who's still reading. It's been such a long time, I can't blame those who moved on (I mean, heck, even I moved on), but I'm happy to know there are at least a few who remember!

and Kara/Sam *sigh* - MY BABIES. It just makes so much sense to me that Angel Kara was the one to come to Sam back on Earth1.0. Because srsly, who else would it be?
noybusiness: Leoben/Anders/Starbuck threesomenoybusiness on January 27th, 2014 12:58 am (UTC)
What ckp639 said. I've been looking forward to updates of this storyline for a long time. Sorry I haven't been posting on your journal, 'cause I've been distracted by RL issues, but I was delighted to see that you have updates and I'm definitely going to read them all.
lizardbeth: Anders-Thealizardbeth_j on January 27th, 2014 05:28 am (UTC)
I'm glad to know the posts here are being noticed at all (it was a bit bleak not knowing anybody was reading them or not). So I'll keep doing them, and drop a comment when you can, no prob!
noybusiness: Starbucknoybusiness on January 27th, 2014 04:44 am (UTC)
Just finished up to this latest part. Great story! I always like anything about Past Earth especially. Can't wait to see where this goes!
lizardbeth: Anders-Thealizardbeth_j on January 27th, 2014 05:31 am (UTC)
oh, argh, tab left open too long or I could've combined responses,


I have so much fanon for past earth we're not even gonna see in this, because it really is cool to think about.