musamea: (Agathon)
[personal profile] musamea
Title: Except, Because
Author: Musamea
Fandom: Battlestar Galactica
Summary: On occupied Caprica, Cylon Number Eight reflects on her new mission. Spoilers for the miniseries and Season One of BSG, just to be safe.
Notes: Written for the Twice Told Fandom challenge; I was assigned this picture. Title from Pablo Neruda's "I do not love you except because I love you"


On Cylon-occupied Caprica

She strides by the burnt out husks of cars and houses, beneath silent bypasses and along empty streets.

"I am Sharon Valerii," she says, out loud. "Call sign Boomer."

I am Cylon Number Eight.

It's strange, that there should still be greenery on this planet. Trees, shrubs, grass, whole forests. But no bodies. No people. The Cylon Centurions have made quick work of Caprica City, at least, systematically hunting down all remaining survivors and taking them off to the breeding farms. The dead... the dead are even easier to dispose of.

Last she heard, Helo was still running. They're tracking him, Number Six told her. It's only a matter of time before they find him.

She knows this. She knows there's no place for him to hide, no place to run. They'll find him, she'll save him, she'll use him, and then... But she can't help feeling just the slightest stir of pride that he has eluded them thus far.

It's frakking ridiculous. She increases her pace, tries not to think of the wreck of a planet Caprica was when the Cylon fleet had landed, how little their clean up efforts have done toward the task of improving things. The sky is still covered with steely grey clouds, threatening to spit rain at the least provocation. The very light of Caprica is yellow and garish, illuminating buildings and streets in unforgiving detail.

It'll have to be at night, she thinks. Night when he can't see me too well, can't compare me to the Sharon he knows, when he's not thinking about who or what might be around the corner... or in his arms.

She reminds herself that she doesn't know him, not really. It's another model who has lived on Galactica for over two years. It's another model who has flown innumerable Raptor missions with Karl Agathon. Another model that he loves.

But it's easy to forget, here in these deserted streets, with the sound of her footsteps her only companion. She has the memories, after all, two years worth of them. Flight school, earning her wings, botching landing after landing in front of the Chief, saluting the Admiral, gambling with Starbuck, joking with Helo.

He's the one who stands out brightest in these false memories that are encrypted into her very DNA. Maybe Cylon chemistry adjusts to the task at hand; who's to say it can't? But even that reasoning can't wipe away moments with Helo that she knows she never really had. Each time he put his hand on her shoulder, or brushed past her on the flight deck, just a little too close. Sparring together in the training room, or drinking together -- and she never could hold her liquor, Cylon or not, and even there lies a memory, of the time when she was sick as a dog on ambrosia and he held her hair back as she puked her guts out in the head.

It had been a windfall for them, when one of the Fives reported that Agathon had given Gaius Baltar his place in the escaped Raptor. A Three had turned to her. "This is our chance to test our theories," she'd said. "This is a perfect chance. We couldn't have engineered it better."

Perfectly engineered -- the situation, or her? Who, exactly, is using whom?

She'll get the job done. That's what she's good at, what she was made for. Humanity's children, efficient and ruthless, every one. She tugs at her flight jacket, flicks a strand of hair out of her face, keeps walking without looking at her surroundings, even as one row of glass windows in a building multiplies her reflection until there's twelve of her keeping the same stride, trapped inside metal. Truth comes out in strange ways.

They'll find him, she'll save him, she'll use him. She'll be ready when the time comes.

"I am Cylon Number Eight," she reminds herself.

I am Sharon Valerii.
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musamea

September 2007

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