Kara slowly slides back the door: Socrata lying in the bed. She is small. Kara sits at her mother's side, and Socrata tries to smile, speaking softly. "You came back." All around her on the bed are scrapbooks: pictures, essays, stories. "I can't believe you kept all this." That's all heaven really is. "Everything. Always." Kara turns the page, like a flower unfolding: her childish paintings of the Eye. Somewhere a door slams open, and the bugs inside are pretty lifelike, for the time being. "Momma. Something's about to happen. You know that thing that you were trying to prepare me for? I don't know if I can do it." The fact that you can admit it's coming, the fact that you're not ignoring the sound any more, means you can. Three talked to Cottle, made love with Caprica and Gaius, kidnapped a baby: all the time, she felt it coming. She dreamed of it, and she wanted it, and she pretended and she denied, but she heard the call all the same. End of line. "Oh, yes you can. You can." How can she be sure? "You're my daughter."
Socrata takes Kara Thrace's hand, weak and soft like paper in her daughter's strong hands. Spring returns to Sicily. The flowers unfold from the cold ground, and the sun shines down. Kara weeps, and holds her face against that hand, and somewhere a door flies open, wide. And the bugs stop jumping, as Socrata Thrace dies, with her daughter by her side. Kara cries. It's hard.
Leoben: "See, there's nothing so terrible about death. When you finally face it, it's beautiful. You're free now. To become who you really are." (Okay, no. Death is not beautiful. Her mother just died. I know this. It's also not always death, though, so I'll give him a bye for now.) On the threshold of revelation, coming faster and faster, heading for the asymptote, into the curve, always a pilot, always on a vector, with the whistling and the rain, sparks flying from her approaching dawn: "You're not Leoben."
"I never said I was."
"I'm here to prepare you to pass through the next door. To discover what hovers in the space between life and death." At the end of the line, where enjambment sings: zero's the number of the Fool, the shape of the storm. It's the beginning and the end, depending on where you start counting. It goes around and around. This Leoben's just another messenger. Like any other Leoben, like anybody else at all. God has to wear masks because you're not prepared for a faceful of infinity, but that's not the secret. The secret is: how many masks.