Things get quiet and slow. The Raider turns, and looks at him. And Samuel T. Anders, he looks back at it. That great red eye, scanning back and forth like a storm, like a sentry, comes to a graceful halt, centered on its beastly forehead. It begins to pulse, hideously. Like it's sending, or receiving. Like it's asking a question it had nearly forgotten how to ask. And Samuel T. Anders, he looks at the thing, and he doesn't move. His iris flashes red, just for a moment. And the Raider turns immediately, tossing all those ones and zeroes in the Recycle Bin and flying away again. If they had tails, it would be tucked between its legs.
On CIC, the Admiral and the President wonder what changed, as the rest follow suit, and the battle ends before it's even begun. Before the numbers get above what's acceptable in a skirmish, before the numbers carved out on Laura Roslin's heart measure too much loss. Colonel Saul Tigh and Tory Foster wonder what changed. Helo brings the birds back home.
And out in the sky, Samuel T. Anders stares after his Raider, and watches the enemy, thousands of them, make their hasty retreat to the Basestars, which spin up and leave, like a massacre in reverse.
There are 39,698 souls in the Fleet, at this time, after the Pyxis scratched itself against the sky. And Gaius Baltar is going to save them all. From the emerging aristocracy to the unhappy underclass, from the misled polytheists to the mislead monotheists to the misled atheists, from the Marxists to the socialists to the capitalists to the black-market opportunists to the free-roaming profiteers and slavers, Gaius Baltar has a plan for our salvation.
"You'll be safe here, Gaius," Jeanne murmurs, and Paulla opens the door to them, looking like a total lunatic. Inside, there are lots of them: the faithful. I find them terribly sad, personally.
You had DEMAND LOVE, right, and that turned into a prison camp disaster. And DEMAND PEACE never got off the ground because those lunatics didn't understand how there's a time for that, but it hasn't yet come. But this is like...how do we measure loss? How broken are these people? Is this the jailhouse marriage of an ugly girl to a serial killer? Is this like returning to your abuser? Is it political? Is it religious? Is it even transformative?
Or (and this is the part that makes me sad, because I think it's true) have their souls just been used too rudely, too often, too brutally -- by Roslin, by Adama and Tigh, by the Cylon most of all -- to tell the difference anymore? Is this what Sesha Abinell would have become? So weak and afraid and hungry and disillusioned that the need for wholeness, for spiritual sustenance, could express itself in this malformed, uncooked, yeasty way? Or maybe this is just how all religions begin: in silence.