"That could introduce a virus that could affect the entire network, right?" Kendra nods: "Luckily, ours was already down but I suggest that we keep it that way even after we've purged the program." Helena gives her leave to continue, noting that "maybe" Kendra's "not quite as useless" as she thought. It's a lie, the Lie of Cain, that says the opposite of what she means: not uselessness disproved, but its opposite. "Maybe you're as special as I thought you were," run through the Cain translator, coming out as Socrata. She asks how long Kendra's been at her station; she doesn't know because she's been at hers just that long, and only now remembered Kendra exists. "I don't know, sir -- I guess I just never left." Cain's Law. "You should consider getting rack time. It's been two days since the attack." Kendra wavers on her pins, sways a little bit: surely two days is enough time to prove that you are crazy, right? Two days without sleeping, eating, sitting? Well, no wonder she feels so fucked up and wild, right? But first, the last task on her list.
"Sir. Sir, I'm sorry. I'm sorry about the way I behaved when the nukes hit. I was scared. Actually, I was terrified, and I froze." Cain appraises her. This whole story takes place in Helena Cain's wonderful, wounded eyes. "You're not afraid anymore, are you, Lieutenant?" No, sir. "Good. You hold on to that anger, and you keep it close. It will stop you being afraid the next time. It'll tell you what to do." She tells the girl to button up, present herself as a soldier, turn back into a Lieutenant, click closed, button up.
"Fear gets you killed, and anger keeps you alive." -- Socrata Thrace, Corporal, Colonial Marine Corps. Razor. Forgiven.
In the daytime world, Cain walks the halls, being loved and stared at by the three-quarters of her crew that's left. Cain takes Command; Cain works with Kendra's eyes on her. These are her people. Her people, her imperative. Cain makes plans, solves problems, works out equations. Cain creates life from anger, where there was only fear and death. Cain requires nothing of them that she wouldn't ask of herself, and praises their anger, and buttons them up.
In the night, Helena walks the morgue, staring in love at the one-quarter of her crew that's gone. Helena falls to her knees; Helena closes the staring eyes of a crewman she didn't save. Helena makes plans, solves problems, works out equations. Helena will create life from anger, erasing fear and death in the name of war. Helena will ask of them nothing that she doesn't ask of herself. Helena's parents drew the fire, so she would be safe, and now she will be Cain. Between the temple and the altar, she will burn away the humanity of her crew, so that humanity will live on. She grieves for them, for the one-quarter, for twelve worlds, for the billion burned and dying children of Gaius Baltar; she grieves for herself, for all the burning she has yet to do. She buttons up; she clicks closed like a knife.