The next life starts now. Lee sees him and he ducks away, and Lee calls out after him. "Doctor?" He throws Gaius a gun, and nearly smiles. A Six leads an army of Centurions down the center of the empty bay, painted red stripes across their chests and backs, like sashes of war. Like garlands.
Admiral Hoshi, Baseship Actual, makes it official: "The flag has been transferred to the Baseship, and our Vipers are ready to take over CAP duties for the Fleet." They say goodbye, and Bill and Saul go around the horn. FTL, Weapons, Engineering, Vipers. I think Hotdog is the CAG now, of the Viper wing. Lee leads the Marine team; Kara's with the Raptors, between Helo and Athena in the cockpit.
Laura stands in Sickbay, while Ishay gives her the cold equations of triage. "Separate out the wounded. Those we can save, and those we can't. Take this marker, put an X on the forehead of those who are too badly hurt. You'll know when you see them." They are soldiers together.
Gaius cringes against a crate in one of the defense positions, in case the Centurions get through again. Bravery's another one: a thing you can't have and know you have it. He's still young enough to think fear and bravery are opposites, instead of lovers, but he's learning. Caprica touches him softly, and he jumps three feet into the air; she apologizes, and he takes a moment to swallow his heart. She can't see him like this, he thinks, and turns it into something else. "What're you doing here?" She stares at him. This is about Hera. God, and children. "I don't think you should be here," he says, and she nearly rolls her eyes. If she weren't a Six, she probably would: "Probably been in more battles than you have," she says, crouching hardcore, loading and locking her gun as he stares. He remembers who she is, and nods cutely.
"Yeah," he says half to himself, crouching beside her in his funny helmet with his gun. "I suppose a more pertinent question is what am I doing here? What the hell was I thinking?" He's scared, terrified: his every instinct telling him to run. Gaius Baltar's sense of self-preservation is one of the forces of the world, strong and weak at once. It plucks at him like gravity and turns the air electric, and it's screaming in his skin and his blood to run, run, run. And yet he doesn't. She searches his face, smiling, trying to find what has changed. Where he has aged, and changed, and grown. It's there, and she is bashful; when he meets her eyes she looks away, around the bins and toward their preparations.