Battlestar Galactica
Islanded In A Stream Of Stars

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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All My Darling Daughters

She's lit like one, in the corridor outside Sam's new home. The Marine lets her in, and she's a demon, lit with red Cylon code, like fire licking at her skin. The truth is a door that can't be shut, for Kara Thrace: now that she's said it out loud, everything is clicking into place. It's comforting to know how often that's true, for everybody, but especially it's always been true for her. She barks at the Eight tending to him, who tells her they've connected him to the stream that feeds the ocean, as discussed last week. "So in other words, you tried to jumpstart him like a car." She's mad intense right now, there's something hiding underneath the anger, like a defendant's lawyer shouting at the jury. "Let me guess, it didn't work so well for you. Take a break." The Eight balks, and Kara pretty much ejects her from the room with only eyeball lasers. I'd get the hell out too. Kara puts her jacket down, looking everywhere but him. And they have a little talk.

"It's funny, you know? I, um... I remember when I told you that if I found out you were a Cylon, I would put a bullet in your head. Some frakker beats me to it, and all I can think about is how I can get you back. Human, Cylon... Doesn't seem to matter. I just wanted you back. Because you're just Sam." She begins to cry, with the enormity of this and its simplicity, and what's about to happen: "You are my Sam."

And he is gone. A vegetable, hooked up first to man's machines and now the Cylon. A mockery. Nothing so vital as a pyramid jock or so passionate as her husband: just a thing, metal tied to metal. She closes her eyes, barely breathing; hating herself, being strong. Looking for that measure of acceptance that will give her just enough room to do this thing. To give him the tribute he would ask for, if he could. He is her Sam, and that's how she'll remember him. She pulls the gun and aims.

Eyes flash open, and all over the ship the lights go crazy; he grabs her wrist terribly hard, like the Centurions firing when they tried to unplug the Rebel Hybrid; he begins to sing the songs of God. "The neuroanatomy of fear and faith share common afferent pathways flip a coin increased vascular pressure marks the threat response free will scuttles in the swamp of fear do not fear the word you are the harbinger of death Kara Thrace you will lead them all to their end end of line. New command resume function resume function resume function..."

She breaks free of him, and shakes; he blinks and the world follows. Fear and faith follow the same pathways in the mind, the road called awe: something you can't see yet, vastly bigger than you but able to see you, like a mustard seed, like the sparrow. "Flip a coin": that's Sam, after Kara died. "Increased vascular pressure" is Kara now, terrified; "free will scuttles in the swamp of fear" because fear, unlike faith, keeps you from moving, it's paralysis. It takes away your options. The word is "harbinger," but the word is also "death": do not fear the word. Don't let the word take away your options before you know the whole story yet. Free will dies in the swamp of fear, and doesn't rise again. When the angel comes to rob you of your home, it's only because it was never yours: either sit there in the wreckage, like in Hera's dream, or take a look at the ground you're standing on, and the people you're standing with. When you're struck still, you lose what little power you have, but when you move? You see things in different ways. That's the only home -- the only view -- we get to keep. Listen:

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Battlestar Galactica

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