Battlestar Galactica

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | 2 USERS: A
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The Stockdale Paradox

VI: Heart To Heart

Lee touches her shroud, on the slab in the morgue, arranging some small piece of disorder. He summons strength from somewhere and touches her hand softly at first, afraid. He is in shock. He let himself believe something for a moment. When the morgue hatch opens, he doesn't look up. Bill enters, and approaches, and stands silently with him for a moment, looking down. This was a family. This was a father, and a son, and a beautiful wise daughter. A husband-and-wife team that, along with Bill and Helo, commanded the Fleet that freed New Caprica and began the Second Exodus.

This was a woman constantly pulled between her innocence and what war demands, never fighting, always searching for the balance. On the Algae Planet she dropped her anger the second she saw her husband's lover was injured, and saved her life without hesitation and more than a little humor. This was the woman that mended the Fleet over Kobol with the strength of her hands, and her soft voice, reminding Bill to love his son, to bring his family back together, to bring Laura and her children home; she brought Laura and Bill together, down in that tent on a rainy day, over books and shared apology. This is a woman so in love with the idea of the Adamas that she created them out of clay, and made them into men. Who made her revolutionary dreams come true, by leading them into light, and because she wouldn't have it any other way. Never thanked, seldom remembered; cheated on and frakked with and shuffled between ships, but there it is. She called these men home, over and over, until there was home enough to call them to. And then she left.

"She kissed me goodnight forty-five minutes ago, and there was joy in her eyes. So tell me, why would she do this?" A son to his father; but this isn't his father right now. Bill hisses, "I don't frakkin' know," and wavers on his feet. That's when you see the bottle. He laughs and offers it to Lee, long past gone, and Lee is defiant in his refusal. Bill shrugs and takes another drink, but his wavering gaze and the fire just beneath the surface remind Lee of too many other things: parents, lovers who drank to kill pain and ended up just spreading it around. He leaves, walking past Felix in the corridor outside, who stares hatefully at nothing, then watches Lee go. His heart is broken.

"The system is broken," she told Lee once, a thousand times. "That is not a system that deserves to be defended. It deserves to be taken apart and put back together again." Nothing she was ever secretive about believing; she did her best to break it, again and again and again, every time praying they'd get it right. She was Sagittaron. She believed in a better world, in a thousand brighter futures. It was the most beautiful thing about her. She could see them, it's how she inspired so much good in so many of them. Her revolution took the shape of choice, the memory that you always have a choice. Of saying No to every status quo until it was the right one, until they arrived in the better world she was singing into being. She watched those futures shaved away, burnt off, rubbed smooth by time into blank nothingness, until there was nothing left. There wasn't a future she could stand to be in, among the possibilities she could see. There weren't any choices left that she could bear. So she took the only reins she could, and said no. One final revolution.

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Battlestar Galactica

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