Battlestar Galactica
Precipice

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The Dictates Of Conscience
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Laura sits in a Cylon cell, feet bare, shivering. I guess the whole suicide-bombing thing wasn't taken lightly. Gaius peers at her through the cell door and enters; the light coming down is bright and she shields her eyes. He carries in one chair and a New Caprica SS guy, in his mask, brings in another one. Laura drags her chair closer, with a foot, and sits. Gaius hands her her glasses and she puts them on, regarding him cordially. He tells her he can help her -- I think he says, "In ways I can't help myself" -- and that he can protect her. "But you have to understand the situation has changed. The insurgency has crossed the line. Suicide bombings?" She looks away. "It's abhorrent. Contrary to everything we believe in." She shrugs at the pronoun. "So you and I, we will publicly condemn these tactics. They cannot be legitimized in any way." She smiles at him; McDonnell's touch is as deft and heart-wrenching as ever. "There's something that scares the Cylons after all," she says quietly, holding her ground. But he's got her: "I should think using men and women as human bombs should scare us all." He's right but she can't say that. "Desperate people take desperate measures," she says, faltering, and he raises his voice, begging her to look him in the eye and say she approves of "sending young men and women into crowded places with explosives strapped to their chests." She can't do it. She looks down, then at him, shakes her head with a tiny sad smile.

"Thirty-three people killed," he says, "and their only crime was putting on a police uniform. Trying to bring some order to the chaos out there... " And she's off! "Order? By arresting innocent people in the dead of night? Detaining them without charge? Torturing them for information?" And he lies, repeats the lie, because he has to believe the lie: "Nobody has been tortured." I'm glad this show knows well enough to leave the current political situation alone! It would be so crazy if they were talking about Iraq! He stalks toward the door and she sneers: "Tell that to Colonel Tigh." He repeats the lie, and stares at her, and loses his cool. "We're done here." He knocks on the door and the SS guy opens it. "I hope you understand the severity of the situation, and ask you to obey the dictates of your conscience." She looks at him. "... Which is what I've always done." It's sad. Gaius is sad. He believes this, still. He's never fucked up so terribly bad that he couldn't lie to himself after the fact and assure himself he was doing the right thing. He's never had to look at it and say that he didn't obey the dictates of his conscience. No matter how bad it got, or the consequences. "Of that I have no doubt," she says, with great disgust. They stare at each other more hatefully than ever before. "Please give this lovely lady her shoes back. And get her out of here."

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Battlestar Galactica

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