title: your glory defined
author: ellen m. [firstname.lastname@example.org]
for: sheepfairy, in the six round at getyourtoaster. i am delinquent, obviously.
title/summary from the building 429 song ‘glory defined.’
there’s never a question in your message, never a moment without your presence. there's never a doubt in my mind that i'll wake up.
You discover that the chasing is as awful as the being chased.
A slow, careful crawl across space, an attempted triangulation from Galactica's last known direction, velocity, attitude. Unpanicked, because the Cylon don't panic, they plan, they execute, they control.
But you, you aren't good at control. You don't – you can't – trust yourself, not since Galactica and the image burned into the backs of your eyelids, the one you wished wouldn't survive downloading, because a little something always gets lost in transit. (Looking down, the gun in your trembling hands and the blood spattered on your boots--)
So you don't. You don't have to, you just put all your trust in Caprica, and it's easy, because the Eight models are better than any other at misguided loyalties. They were kind enough to write that right there in your user manual, they were.
Caprica is obviously the brains of your operation, has been since the beginning. (Looking up, her hand extended and the doubt in her eyes, and then swearing your allegiance to her cause, and you've discovered her hands never ever shake.) The Sixes may be sexpots, sure, but they're politicians and sweet-talkers and Caprica's no exception to the rule.
She has this way of keeping the Centurions firmly under her thumb, when the rest of you can't keep them from bucking, and she knows how to keep the humanoids at her beck and call. Knows how to appeal to the pathetic neediness of the Fives, the religious fanaticism of the Fours, the militarism of the Threes.
Knows how to leave them begging. How to gain undeserved trust.
She gained yours, after all, and all it took were those pleading, pleading eyes. Weeks later, your faith hasn’t faltered, her hands haven’t faltered. She looks at you the same way she looked at you in the wreckage of that bombed building, with those eyes that say I need you, Sharon.
If there’s a flaw in the Eights’ programming, it’s their penchant for romanticism, and so you let her need you like that. Because you’ve learnt your true nature and all, and you know that you’re just one Eight among thousands or millions, indistinguishable. But you think something moved inside you while you lived on Galactica, broke inside you, because you want to be unique.
A human flaw, certainly. But then sometimes she looks at you like you’re different, like you’re different and she likes it. And even though everything changes after the explosion, the one that leads you to the human fleet, nothing changes about the way Caprica looks at you.
It was a Six in the Fleet that set off the explosion, and sometimes you wonder if Caprica had anything to do with it. Your question, the time you're finally brave or stupid enough to ask, is met with her bright little laugh, the new one she's learnt to go along with her newfound power. "What do you think, Sharon?" she asks, eyebrows raised. "Do you think I secretly found a way to communicate with another Six, get her a weapon of that magnitude, and coordinate its detonation with such precision, all without anybody noticing?"
That’s exactly what you think, but you say, “I was just joking. I thought the Sixes had a better sense of humor.” You turn back to your work, a console full of fairly inscrutable alpha-numerics, but you can see her reflection on the screen and she’s staring at you. You turn back. “Was there something else?” you ask, but she just smiles fondly and you think you’d follow her anywhere, do anything she asked.
And you do.
You sit very still and watch the readouts coming from what the humans are calling New Caprica, an inauspicious name if you’ve ever heard one. You stay because she told you to stay. She’s at one of the base stars so secret even you don’t know their location. She’s presiding over an assembly of generals, or the closest thing the Cylon have managed to conjure up.
She’s your warrior-queen and you’re a lady-in-waiting. You still aren’t very good at control, but you’re waiting until she comes back with a fleet of her own. You’re waiting for her to come back to you.
When she does, there are thousands of Centurions, and your stomach does a little flip at the sight of her, surrounded by gun-metal grey and wearing a uniform in a color blue something like her eyes. You’ve been waiting so long, and when she looks at you, it’s a revelation, it’s your heart opening.
She comes towards you. She says, “We’re ready.”
You say, “I missed you,” and she says, “yes.” Just like that.
You say, “Don't you love me?” even though you don’t mean to.
She says, “God loves you,” and, really, it’s answer enough. She leans down, she kisses you, the way she’s always kissed you, the way you've always wanted her to kiss you, and she’s summer-sky blue in a sea of grey and you think: God loves me.