"Well, no, um, not really because that would, uh...that would more than imply that we're all perfect." Which is the one thing, Gaius Baltar knows, we are not. Guilt and shame are the skin he wears, and on top of it the clothes of a President and a prisoner and a messiah. Surely we're not perfect; surely we can't imply that. Of all the humans who live or ever lived, of all the burnt and dying orphans of the Colonies, we can agree that Gaius Baltar is imperfect. A selfish man, a coward, the Man Who Sold The World -- twelve worlds -- for a blowjob from a supermodel scientist, a man who signed away 200 lives and millions more. The most hated man in the Fleet, whose first steps toward a life of peace, whose first days as a savior, are consumed in sex and blasphemy.
We will all be redeemed, but not Gaius Baltar. Because, well, we don't like him very much. Gaius Baltar least of all. Least of all: Gaius Baltar.
"Perfect, just as we are," she hums, heading south, and he gets angry -- even as the Sons of Ares are tossing their little gas bomb over the transom and into a church, even as the women begin to scream and run and pray -- and shoves her again. Not Gaius Baltar, not anybody; Gaius Baltar is not perfect. Nobody wants the embarrassment of absolution.
The Sons of Ares storm the compartment, and Gaius's screams join everybody else's, and everyone's a heretic and everyone's screaming, and a praying woman -- beautiful, humbled, on her knees -- is bashed and thrown, the angry Sons of Ares are smashing them two at a time, tearing down icons and destroying shrines, clouding incense with their gas, counting out their time; one boy shakes two women by the hair, demanding Gaius's whereabouts, and they swear that he isn't there; over the PA there's a voice calling for Marines, for order, for peace, and the Sons of Ares move out, sparing one last kick at Tory, who lands on her face with her flats in the air, who pushes herself up and looks back and sees a naked little man, hiding behind a pillar, terror in his eyes, as the smoke begins to clear and the faithful weep, and begin to tend their wounds. He shivers in fear, and absolute cowardice. How can you look at him, this beautiful, selfish boy; this naked fear, this self-preserving savior, who abandons his faithful flock to the fists of angry men, and think he could ever be perfect?
FEAR IN A HANDFUL OF DUST
(In which Humans are allowed things Monsters are not.)
Chief says "Frak." That's the first thing that happens, and it feels like a sock to the gut, that one: Before the Nebula, before Callandra Henderson Tyrol died, I think maybe until just now, he never used words like that. He's a good boy. His father was a priest, his mother an Oracle.