Imagine a stone, black. Imagine a stone, white. The space between them is a story.
The Final Five are many things at once, to a splintered race and their splintered half-allies in a splintered alliance. To Three, they are the solution to a complex problem. To Six, they are the solution to a personal problem and a bastion against futility. To Leoben, they are the latest Quest; the latest gift of the Hybrid. To Eight, they are new brothers and sisters, to love forever. To the 2368s they are a new dawn and a fresh wind, now that they've lost immortality; now that they're looking toward their first sunset, they need a fresh dawn. To Cavil, they are the embodiment of the limits of reason, his own personal apophatic God. To the 145s they are a political keystone, the sign of Three's rise in Natalie's absence; a thorn and a terror and a threat. To the Colonials, they are a tool and a fifth column, breaking hearts and turning them to stone. To themselves, they are variously the possibility of rebirth, the threat of something terrible, the chance to be both terrible and wonderful, and the sign that apocalypse is always personal and neverending.
But tell me chair: tell me about Tory. She is a woman, Indian, beautiful; an adept liar, allergic to the rules when her loyalties are questioned. She is of a certain height, a certain weight, and her hair is a certain color. She replaced Billy, kidnapped Hera and an election for the woman she loves most in this world, and had her heart broken. She made love with Sam and with Gaius as she danced herself apart, to the sound of beautiful unearthly music. She put her heart back together when it was broken on the wheel; she spends every second praying that this last hump was the last hump. These are all qualities, a list infinitely long and infinitely beautiful, fractalizing on past and present and future; these are all qualities but they aren't the point. They begin to contradict themselves, even: She is a member of a dangerous cult/She has discovered a bedrock of faith that will take her on the next step of her journey, past fear and hate and into glory/She is a dangerous member of a cult. Tory is a cat in a box and that is her chairness and yours, and mine. You and I are many things at once. The Final Five are many things at once.
"We need them," Laura says, and Leoben nods. "She's right. We all want the same thing. If we cooperate..." Three smiles a second time.
"-- We cooperated on New Caprica, brother. It didn't work out well." It's all she remembers, drifting in the memory of war, alone in the universe. A singular Three, with no sisters at all. "I'm going to hold your people hostage until the Final Four are safely aboard this ship."