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27 March 2014 @ 01:35 pm
Black Sails at Dawn, Chapter 16  

All around him the Humans and Cylons bustled around, taking samples and trying to find the answer to what had happened. Trying to see if they could live on this planet.

Sam knew all the answers, but he knelt in the sand where the dome of the temple had once been and he didn't speak. When he had seen the truth of the devastation, the rest of it had come pouring in on him: the missing pieces of Earth, resurrection and the war, and the ship and the voyage to the Colonies.

Betrayal and death.
But none of that froze his soul as much as this blasted ruin did. It was Kobol, it was Caprica, it was his whole life again. He could still see it in his memories, and he could project it all around himself as if it were real, not two thousand years dead. And he had done it. In rage, in grief, trying to end the war, he'd ignored the warnings and he'd done this.
Night fell, and everyone else started to gather to go back to the ships for warmth.

Thea knelt next to him, her hand warm on his back. "Sam? What is it?"

He could only shake his head in answer. The truth rose up inside him like a tide of guilt and grief, choking his voice. Why did you do this to me? Please take it away again; I can't bear this.

"Come up to the ship. Iris is waiting for us," she tried to coax him, hand under his elbow to try to raise him to his feet, but he resisted, pulling away from her.

"No," he said, harshly, not looking at her. "I have to stay."

Thea kissed his cheek and left to return to Galactica and their daughter. Cold wind blew across the sand, drying the tears that slipped from his eyes, but he didn't move. The sun set and as night fell, the stars came out, in patterns he now remembered.

When the last ship's engine noise faded, and the only sound remaining was the wind, he closed his eyes. When he opened them again, the temple surrounded him -- graceful, ancient and beautiful, with murals on the walls and the inside of the dome painted with stars and the coming of the dawn.
He was now kneeling before the altar of offering, and its pair of tall yellow candles, beneath the stained glass windows depicting the sunrise over the sea.
"I see it now. I understand." Sam whispered. "How much more do I have to pay? Thea? Iris, too? All the Cylons? Do they all have to die to pay for what we did? For what I did?"
He waited for a moment, wondering if there might be answer. But the candle light didn't flicker, and there was no visitor. Then he clenched his jaw and swallowed. "All right, then." He took out his utility knife from its sheath and laid it on the table in offering. "You want my life, you can have it. Take it. I won't fight it. I was willing in the storm, when Kara took it from me, but I didn't understand why. Now I do. Because I do this. Over and over again, it's my fault. Then why do you keep sending me back? Why?"

A voice murmured from the shadows, "No one sends you. But you make the same choices with the same consequences."

Sam snapped his gaze up to see Leoben. But it wasn't a real Leoben. Sam sensed nothing of the connection he had with other Cylons. "You're like her," he realized.

"Leoben" moved closer toward the candles and held out his hand above the candles, idly moving his hand from side to side. The flames followed the movements, as if they were dancing. He glanced up at the glass window depicting the sunrise above water. "We never asked for these things," his voice was soft. "Temples. Worship. But some of us have always sought closer contact with the mortals; I suppose because human lives are so short, and yet they burn so brightly."

"And that led to the war of the gods."

"There was division," Leoben agreed, moving around the candelabrum to stand behind the altar. "Some pitied the humans for their brief lives and saw no reason they should die. But this was an insult to our brother and task of death."

Sam remembered a sharp knife and shuddered. "Hades."

Leoben nodded once. "Death is a necessary part of life. It gives shape and meaning to it."

"Tell that to the people butchered in his name," Sam spat, visions of Kobol flashing through him with a sudden fury. "There was nothing necessary or meaningful about that."

Leoben hesitated. "Hades was not blameless," he acknowledged after a moment. "He distorted the pattern as well, seeking to interfere beyond his province and become the equal of the creator. Which was why we agreed that he must be held in Elysium. But in retaliation he sealed the way, so none may enter. There is no growth, no change, no peace. Only repetition."

"The door in the Opera House," Sam realized.

Leoben tilted his head with a curious look at him as if he didn't know what Sam was talking about, and then nodded. "Its representation, yes."

"But... why me?" he asked. "Why can't you open it?"

"Because..." the Lord hesitated and Sam had the impression he was choosing his words very carefully, "it is upon you and the others like you that the wheel turns. If you choose to open the door and admit death, then you do it for all."

"I... died in the Temple of Hopes, I remember that."

"You were offered the chance to open it then. But you refused. Death was no gift to you, then."

"Because I'd been tortured to death by one of his cultists?" Sam asked wryly.

The lord of Kobol smiled a little. "The timing was... unfortunate." And he stopped there.

But Sam knew there was more. "That's not all. It wasn't just that, was it?"

It seemed difficult for him to admit, but at last he answered, "No. You refused because it has been decreed that artificial life is an abomination and will not pass the threshold to the other side."

Sam thought about it and his lips parted, at first unable to speak, as he realized what that meant. "Cylons aren't allowed in Elysium?"

"No. The Thirteenth Tribe is barred, because they evade death through artificial means."

Sam stared at him. "But -- but I'm a member of the Thirteenth Tribe. I was one of those who invented resurrection on Kobol. You mean to tell me this is all for humans only? No Cylons can enter the afterlife? I'm supposed to open a door I can't even enter?"

Leoben froze and his eyes flickered with regret as if he'd given away too much. "No," he answered. "If you restore the proper flow of time and history, you will have your reward and be able to pass through to the other side."

"I get to go through, but none of my people do? Do you really think I'm that selfish?" he demanded, upset and horrified.

"Then you can remain outside if you wish."

Sam climbed to his feet, in agitation and unwillingness to confront the lord from the ground. "That's not the point! Cylons have souls, too. I have a soul. And you can't tell me Thea doesn't have a soul, I don't believe it. She is a person. She's grown into her own individual self -- she's not the same as any other Six."

"The mother of your child is an artificial being, grown in a tank of water with a mind and personality based on a set of basic instructions you bestowed upon her. She may have grown beyond that, but she is not human, no matter how much you wish her to be."

"She doesn't have to be human to be a person! Or to have a soul," he objected and then let out a frustrated, angry breath. "This is just like Kobol all over again. Or the Colonies. No wonder it keeps happening when nobody understands what is so frakking obvious to me: created life is life," he bit out intensely. "And I will do nothing that keeps my people, my children, stuck on the outside of Elysium for all eternity. I won't do it."

Leoben was not surprised by his declaration, as if he'd heard it before. "Even if it condemns all of them -- human and cylon -- to extinction?" Leoben asked softly. "It's different this time. The Twelve Tribes have dwindled to some less than fifty thousand. Even should they find a habitable planet, there may not be enough to save them. The cycles may end, not in Elysium, but with nothing. Are you so selfish that you will not allow even the humans their chance to share in the peace of Elysium at last, after all they've suffered at the hands of your creations?" he asked, soft but merciless.

"No..." Sam stumbled back from the altar and his eyes felt hot with tears, remembering the burned and shattered bodies on Caprica. He swallowed back the lump in his throat. "I... " he shook his head. "Pick someone else. I... how can I make that kind of choice?"

"It has to be you," Leoben answered then reconsidered, "Well, it could be any of you Five." He sighed. "This was why I warned her not to let you remember too early -- you know too much, and it's too heavy a burden for any mortal to carry. But Aurora will have her way."

"Where is she? Can I talk to her?"

Leoben cast another glance up at the window. "She's not here. I tell her the outcome cannot change, that to preserve what remains we must persuade you to do what must be done. But still she and the others intervene, trying to change the inevitable which is that you must open the door. Save the few who can be saved."

The last time he'd seen Aurora, she'd told him there was never only one path to his destiny. She'd warned him to wait. And if she was working on shifting the back court then he could take point, and give her time and leverage to find another play.

Sam swallowed convulsively but inhaled a deep breath, settling himself to deliberate calm. This was the last few seconds of a game, and he had to find a new play, because losing here was unacceptable. He grabbed his knife off the altar again. Holding it in his hand, he declared softly, "No. Make Hades relent. Make God change his mind, I don't care. But if the choice is mine, then I choose everyone. If you want that door open, then it opens for all. Including Cylons."

Leoben held his eyes for a long moment, searching for weakness and doubt. Sam held himself tall and certain. After a moment, Leoben shook his head sadly. "I have heard those words before, but I hope when the time of your choice comes, you choose more wisely."

The candles gutted out with a cold breeze rushing through the temple, and when he blinked, the temple was a dark ruin again and the otherworldly visitor was gone.

Sam's shoulders slumped and he let out a breath. His heart was pounding too quickly, and he hurried out of the temple boundary to the shore.

His hands tightened to fists as he stared into the dark night, able to see the white foam of the waves, but little of the ruins on the far shore.

His city. His people, once. All dead. All of them barred from Elysium by the whims of an evil, angry god. They had been good people, and they deserved better than nothingness. They deserved better than to be shoved into the void, unblessed and denied.

But just as he was working himself into righteous fury and stubbornness, his mind treacherously flashed images of a different ruined planet, and others he considered 'his people': Helo. Jean. Hillard. Duck and Norah and little Sammy. All of them Human. All of them his friends. And all of them likely to die, now that Earth had proven to be a lie.

Human and Cylon. All trapped by the same circle of time, he more than anyone.

There had to be some way out of this. There had to be a way to break the circle for everyone.

The smell of smoke dragged his attention from staring into the sea. Smoke? He had thought he was alone on the planet, but apparently he wasn't.

He wandered south following the smell, soon able to see the bonfire on a dune. Hiking up the sand, he found Kara there, her face orange with the firelight, staring into the fire.

"Kara? I thought you'd gone up to the ship?"

She started violently, as if she hadn't heard him approach, though he hadn't tried to be stealthy. "No. I -- I couldn't."

She was looking at him, intently, as if she wanted something or was looking for something in his face. But she didn't say anything and returned her attention to the fire after a bit. He gave a little shrug in his coat and moved a step closer to the fire to warm his hands. "Hell of a frakked up day."

"Yeah," she agreed softly.

He opened his mouth to tell her what he knew. I remembered more, I remembered the truth. I understand who I used to be. I was born on this planet, I was a scientist, and I helped it die. I made the Cylons, I know how they work, I helped give them their minds. I did such a good job, John murdered us and then murdered everyone else in the Colonies. I don't know who I am but I know this is all my fault.

Oh yes, that was going to go over well. And he was going to have to tell everyone. But Galen, Saul, and Tory were all he had left from these days, and they deserved to know first. He inhaled a deep breath and let it out as a sigh. The fire's heat made him step away again and he sat on the ground next to Kara.

He felt her eyes on him as he sat down, but she looked away.

Side by side, they both stared into the fire. Kara had made a big fire, and must have used some sort of fuel, since there was a chemical smell to it, as if plastic was burning.

It was several minutes later, long enough for the ground to start feeling uncomfortable and the flames to die down, that he recognized a shape inside the fire. "What the frak is that?" he asked, puzzled, and got to his feet. "Is that a helmet?"

"Sam, no!" Kara exclaimed, and latched onto him when he would've kicked it out of the fire to look at it. "No! It has to burn!"

He looked down, disturbed by the wild desperation in her eyes. She hadn't let go of his arm yet, her fingers clutching him painfully tight.

"Kara. What are you burning?" Because now that he looked at it from this angle, it looked less like a bonfire and more like a funeral pyre. And that was a flight helmet, it had to be.

She didn't answer for a long time, tense under his hand, before she slumped in resignation. "Me," she answered. "I'm burning me."

He frowned in confusion. "What?"

She yanked free of his grip and lifted her chin at him, practically spitting out the words. "I found the wreckage of my old Viper. I found a cockpit, with my body in it. With these tags."

She hurled something at him from her hand and he caught it against his jacket. When he opened his hand, he saw dog tags, with Zak's ring on them, matching the set still hanging around her neck. The tags in his hand were dark with soot, but she had rubbed one clean, to display her name.

"That's me," she nodded her chin at the body in the fire. "This thing you're looking at, it's not me. Okay? You get it now? And now you can run away, just like Leoben did," she added bitterly. "Go back to your toaster family and leave me alone."

He couldn't help it; he chuckled.

Her eyes snapped to his, looking huge and betrayed.

He shook his head at her. "Kara, you think after all the shit I've seen-- I have memories of frakking Kobol in my head, and you seriously believe I'm going to freak out about this?"

That seemed to catch her by surprise, as if she really had expected him to run away from her.

"You're still you," he reassured her. "You're still not a Cylon, I can tell you that much, if that's what you're worried about."

"Then... what am I, Sam? You seem to have all the answers."

I remember you, he almost said. You came to me not far from this very spot, and you tried to warn me. You were my angel and I didn't listen… Instead of saying it though, he smiled at her and requested, "Look at the other tag." He held it up for her to see. He'd rubbed the soot off to show his own name there. That tag matched the two hanging around his own neck. "When you flew that day -- you were wearing both of yours, remember? You weren't wearing one of mine."

Her eyes rose from the tags to meet his, looking stunned and confused by this proof that this Kara wasn't quite Kara either. "But... I don't understand," she whispered. "It's my bird. That suit had my name on it, and what was left was me. How is this possible?"

Maybe the Sam Anders of the C-Bucs would've wondered, but he knew too much now to have any doubt what the answer was. "My daughter is a miracle of God. So are you, Kara." He brushed his fingers against her face and lifted her chin to look at him. "You always have been, but maybe now you can see it for yourself."

She shook her head in confused denial, and didn't try to get away when he tugged her closer and wrapped his arms around her.

"We're still us," he murmured. "They can't take that away, Kara. No matter how much they try to push us into doing what they want, we're still us. We need to hold tight to what we believe in. And I believe in you. No matter what."

Her laugh was soft and a little bit broken. "You're so ridiculous, you know that?" But despite her words, she let herself relax into his chest, putting her head on his shoulder and sliding her arms around his waist.

He chuckled and kissed her hair. "However it happened, you're here. And I can't be anything but glad about that."

She didn't answer, but she tilted her head to kiss him on the neck, and then nestled against him again.

For that little while, as he held her, everything else went away and left them in an oasis of peace.

As the night passed, Kara pulled away to stare into the fire, while he turned his gaze upward to the sky. The stars up there were both strange and familiar, a memory of years past that had faded but remained. He could look around and see only fragments and lonely sand, but in his mind the city was there still, but there was no peace, only war and death.

He hadn't brought the war, but he had brought death in the guise of free will, since it seemed it was fate for all those with free will to kill others.

Pain sat on his chest at the thought, choking his breath. Good intent turned to such evil ends … was it any wonder that John had fallen when his parents were such failures?

I have to make this right, somehow I have to fix this. But not only for humans, for Cylons, too. Everything is frakked so badly.

He must have made some sound because Kara turned her head to frown at him. "Sam?"

"I remember everything," he confessed finally, voice scarcely clearing his throat. "I know who I am; I know the truth about all of it."

"Is it that terrible?" she asked.

"Terrible, wonderful -- the confusion, the doubt, it's gone. It's as if a door opened and finally the light can come in. But what the light shows…" he swallowed hard. "I'm not who you think."

"You're not a hot Cylon pyramid star?" she teased, trying to joke about it. "Because I was there."

He scooped up a handful of sand, holding it like a pyramid ball, and he got to his feet and looked out toward the water. "We called it triad here," he murmured. "I was good at it in secondary school, but what I really loved was programming. Computers." His lips quirked in a faint wry smile. "Gaius Baltar and I have so much more in common than I ever realized before."

From the corner of his eye he could see Kara's face tilted up as she watched him with a puzzled frown. "Sam? I don't understand? Are you saying you lived here?"

He opened his fingers to let the sand trickle out - hundreds, thousands of grains of sand, falling to the ground, leaving only a few behind. "I'm saying … I destroyed it."

"What? You? That's impossible."

He wasn't sure if she meant impossible because it had been long ago, or because she didn't think he was capable of it; either way, she was wrong. "I made so many terrible mistakes. I tried to do the right thing, but … it went wrong."

"It wasn't you," she tried to say in reassurance. "Just memories, visions, they're not yours--"

He almost laughed at that. "No, it's me. I wish it weren't, but it was my life." Then he did laugh once. "I have so much in my head, Kara. It's going to take an hour to tell everyone what I know." He faced the water, closing his eyes against the cold breeze, and inhaled a deep breath, letting it out slowly. "If I had my choice, I'd go back to those months of you and I on Galactica, before the Cylons came to New Caprica. I was happy with you. We were free."

"Yeah," she agreed softly. "Me, too."

But now he knew he'd never deserved her. She was his angel, who'd come to him when he was young, and now he was so much older and she was here again, but she didn't remember. Perhaps it was for the best anyway. That perfect time had been lost in a haze of anguish and desperation and horror as it all went wrong, and the end had begun.

He'd tumbled from the heights and now here he was, at the bottom, recovered in his memories enough to remember how far he'd fallen.

Reaching out to touch her, his hand fell back to his side. "I need to walk," he announced abruptly and left without looking at her again.

He wandered the ruins for the rest of the night, deliberately not projecting the way the city had been. He forced himself to look at the destruction and remnants, ending up back at the Temple of Aurora, remembering how he'd wanted peace and immortality. He'd achieved immortality, but at a terrible price.

In the morning, he knew what to do, returning to Galactica on one of the Raptors. It was strange coming back, his mind full of memories of a different ship. The light seemed dim, and for a little while as he left the deck to go to the main corridor the people seemed strange and unfamiliar and it seemed very crowded.

But then he realized that everything wasn't only wrong because of his new memories, but the ship was different from the last he'd seen it. There was a palpable aura of despair that had fallen over the ship: everyone knew Earth was frakked.

Then they started to recognize him. He could hear the murmurs, the whispers that followed him. They grew angrier, but with a different edge; even the anger seemed pulled out of hopelessness.

"He did this, he brought us here.."

But it didn't get terrible until a woman stepped in his way, cuddling a blonde child to her chest. Julia looked up at him, her eyes brimming with betrayal and anguish. "You said we'd find home," she accused. "You said we'd be safe. You promised."

He wanted to protest that he'd made no such promise; all he'd told her was that Kacey would live to see Earth. But he had said other things, made other promises, that he now knew he'd given without understanding what the truth was.

"I'm sorry, it wasn't what I thought it would be. But there's more to come, Julia. This isn't the end."

"What else is there?" she demanded. "This was our goal, our promised land… and it's all dead."

"And they were all Cylons anyway!" someone said in disgust.

Sam turned toward the man who'd spoken. "They were just like you!" he retorted, suddenly furious. "They were born, just like you, and they bled, just like you, and they all died. They're all dead." His voice choked in his throat, and he repeated in a whisper. "All dead. They were my people and they're gone." He blinked back the heat in his eyes and pushed away from them, trying to get away from the people who didn't understand.

He wanted to find Thea, but didn't know where she and Iris had gone after they'd been freed. His feet carried him to the brig, to find the doors open but she was in there anyway, waiting.

He paused on the threshold, looking at her and suddenly felt dizzy. She was Thea, but in that moment she was also Six. Modeled after the angel Saul had seen, altered from other genes by Saul himself with Tory's help, until she was stunningly beautiful as she emerged, pure and golden, and innocent and sweet. More than any of the previous ones, she'd emerged a child, with a child's curiosity about everything.

His hands clenched, recalling long hours of writing her personality matrix - open to religion, firm in beliefs, yet for the first time he'd thought he had it right -- she would know how to love.

Thea glanced up and smiled at him. "You're back!"

He couldn't stir from where he'd slumped against the edge of the hatch, seeing the love in her eyes. The realization hit like a slap in the face.

Oh, God, I created her to love me, didn't I?

Her eyes softened with concern. "Sam? Are you all right?"

He swallowed and forced himself to push it away. She didn't know, not yet, and it wasn't her fault he suddenly recalled everything. "I…" he started and didn't know how to finish. Heedless of the fact that Iris was sleeping, he scooped her up in his hands to hold her to his chest as he sat down at the end of the cot, feeling weak. "Oh God, I don't know. Everything's all frakked."

Her hand caressed his back, and he had to hold himself still to keep from flinching. This is Thea, not that Six I remember, not the child we made.

Even in his own mind, the reminder sounded desperate.

Iris opened her eyes, scrunching her face as if she was going to cry, but then stopped, hiccupped, and gurgled something.

"It's all happened so fast," he murmured. "I don't know if anyone's ready to hear the rest of it."

"What else?"

"Everything," he answered, watching Iris and unable not to smile as she smiled at him and tried to grab his chin. "But I have to tell them."

"You do what you have to do," she reassured him. "Better the truth."

He shook his head but didn't disagree out loud. There were some memories he didn't want back. Truth could be a weapon, and here, with the people of the Fleet already fractured and damaged, he worried it would be too much to carry. He'd lived it, and it was too much for him.

Her hand combed gently through his hair and smoothed the back of his neck. "Don't worry so much, Sam. You can't protect us all."

"No," he agreed heavily. "I can't. I shouldn't even try, should I? All I do is make everything worse."

Her caress paused before it resumed more slowly. "I don't think that's true. You brought the humans and Cylons into alliance, and we're not trying to kill each other."

"Not yet."

"Not ever," she reassured him. "You won't let them. Because," she laid a hand on his cheek and made him turn his head toward her, "no matter what you remember, no matter what happened in the past, it's the present that matters now. What kind of future our little girl will have. That's what matters."

He nodded, letting out a sigh then bending to kiss Iris. "Are you going back to the baseship?"

"What? Why would I do that?" Thea asked blankly, as if the idea hadn't even occurred to her.

"You've been in this cell for months, wouldn't you rather go home?" he asked, equally confused.

She chuckled lightly. "It's not a cell if the door is open. And besides," she laid her head on his shoulder, looking down at Iris, "This is home."

He wanted to protest and to tell her to go back to the baseship. He had to hold himself still to keep from putting some space between them

"… Father, is this how we water the flowers?"
"Yes, little one. Each one gets a drink. Plants get thirsty, too…"

She'd been so young in all her reactions. It had taken weeks for him to even notice her body was adult, and that had happened only because she'd asked him why she had breasts and Simon didn't.

He smiled at the memory, remembering how that conversation had led to one about humanity and the human form. But the smile faded, remembering his mouth on those same breasts and now it felt so wrong.

She didn't seem to notice his distraction. "Which isn't to say I don't want to see my sisters again and find out what happened while I was away," she added. "And you mentioned you wanted Cerberus to meet Iris."

"Yes." It occurred to him that his connection with Cerberus shouldn't be possible from what he knew of their design. How much had the Raiders changed while he'd been … away? How much of what they'd thought impossible was happening anyway?

"What?" she asked.

He shook his head, now disturbed. So many things had changed: new designs he didn't remember, multiple copies that hadn't existed, even that baseship lurking somewhere outside wasn't the same as the one he remembered.

Time had marched on, and the Cylons had continued to evolve after their makers had been forced into their ordinary human exile. But it was time to reveal all that, because only knowledge of the past was going to let everyone move forward.

Decision made, he inhaled a deep breath and straightened. "Bring Natalie, Caprica, Boomer, D'Anna, and Simon here. I'm going to have to tell Roslin and Adama what I know, and the Cylons, too. This affects us all."

"Caprica's here already," Thea reminded him. "I think she's with Gaius."

That surprised and pleased him. "Good. I've got something to do first, but say, two hours from now we'll all meet. Everyone hears together."

He couldn't stand to see Thea's concern and hurried out.

He hoped two hours was enough time, since he hadn't reckoned on both Saul and Galen being on duty, but once he got to Galen, Galen agreed to pass the word to Saul, and then Sam found Tory, who was hovering outside the quarters where the presence of guards told him Roslin was within.

"Did you know?" Tory demanded furiously, as soon as she saw him. "Did you know Earth was frakked? What sick purpose did it serve to make us go there?"

"No, I didn't know," he answered. "But one of the purposes was to restore my memories. I know," he lowered his voice, mindful of the guards, "I know who we are, Tory. Can you get away for a little while? We four need to talk."

Her eyes widened in surprise and her lips shaped words she couldn't speak. She glanced at the hatch but then nodded. "She won't even know I'm not here," Tory murmured. "This hit her hard, Sam. I hope you have something worth all this pain."

"It's not," he told her, with a sigh, "but it's worth something. We're meeting in Saul's quarters."

They were there first, and Tory took the only chair, while Sam leaned against the desk, reluctant to sit on the rack. But the hatch opened again, not long afterward, letting in Saul and Galen, who spun the wheel to lock it.

Saul looked at him then went straight to a cabinet, bringing out a flask of something, pouring it into four small metal cups. "Here, I have a feeling we're all gonna need this."

Sam took the cup with murmured thanks, then said, "When I was on Earth, something happened. It was like a wall in my head collapsed - and I remembered everything. I'm going to have to tell the others, too, but I figured you three deserved to know first."

Before he could begin, Saul looked at him, his face hard to read. "Ellen," he declared without doubt. "I know the fifth was Ellen. I saw her. I remembered her, we were there…"

Sam nodded and sipped at the rotgut, shivering as it went down. They'd once drunk such better liquor together. "Yes. I think she resurrected, Saul."

Saul stared for a moment and then turned roughly away, to fist his hands on the table.

"You said we didn't," Galen said in confusion.

"I didn't know. I'm not sure if we will now, but at New Caprica she should have, in secret. I'm glad you remembered her on your own - I thought you might not believe me if I told you," Sam explained.

Saul jerked a nod, not looking at him.

"We all lived on Earth," Galen declared. "Or at least I remember it. I was there -- we were there -- and we died."

"It was us," Sam confirmed.

So then he told them of Earth, the Colony, and how they'd met the Colonial Centurions and made the agreement to end their war. Then he drained his cup and told them the rest: of John and the other children, and betrayal, and how they'd been punished into forgetting.

When he'd finished, they all were quiet, trying to understand and come to grips with this huge revelation of the truth.

"Oh gods," Tory was the first to speak, shaking her head and looking sick to her stomach. "How can we tell them this?"

"We have to," Sam said. "Or at least I have to. I can keep you three out of it, if you want."

"No," Galen said, shaking his head. "It's time, I think. We have to tell the truth."

"But … Roslin," Tory murmured, "she's already so crushed by Earth. If we tell her about us… about me…"

"Old Man won't like it either," Saul agreed heavily. "But at least we can explain."

Tory let out sharp disbelieving breath. "You think that's going to matter? All she's going to hear is I'm a Cylon."

"It turned out okay for Sam," Galen pointed out and folded his arms. "And if we sit on this, it'll look worse when we do have to tell. Because you know we will."

"But tell them what?" she demanded. "That we used to be scientists? That we made the Cylons? That it's all our fault, that we created monsters who murdered billions of people? They're going to hate us, Galen."

"Maybe they will," Sam agreed, staring down into the cup. "But the point is it should help them understand the Cylons. The humans will never find a way to forgive, if they believe the Cylons are all monsters, instead of children who were used and abused by their elders and forced into being what they weren't supposed to be. And if they hate us, then… that's the sacrifice we make. Because it's our responsibility."

"We don't even remember!" Tory protested. "Only you do."

"You don't have to admit to it," he said wearily. "You each decide on your own. If you want me to take it myself, I will. But I'm still going to tell the Humans and the Cylons the truth. And whether or not you want to reveal yourselves, I need you two to get the Admiral and President Roslin there in an hour, to the conference room."

"I'll be there with you," Galen offered and Sam thanked him with a nod.

"All right," Saul gave in with a grunt. "At least we can stop sneaking around."

"Fine, of course, I will, too," Tory said after a moment, still looking reluctant, but nodding. "We face it together."

Crossposted from DW There are comment count unavailable comments over there. Feel free to comment wherever.
noybusiness: Leoben/Anders/Starbuck threesomenoybusiness on March 28th, 2014 12:48 pm (UTC)
I'm interested to see where this is going.