Drop The Pilot

by Jacob Clifton November 2, 2009
The Plan

Every 33 minutes, Felix saw the Basestars jumping in, hunting them down, dropping Raiders, and they would jump again. Five days after the Fall, Ellen lay in bed, listening to the alarms, every 33 minutes. She was still wounded, out of it, begging One to tell her his name. The mysterious stranger, the priest wearing her father's face: Her son, who came to her every night. Whom she'd remember, in the months to come, less as a man and more as a feeling, and eventually she'd identify as Bill himself; half-unbelieving, she'd accuse him of rape. She begged One to find her husband, and he nearly laughed at her. He knew she'd never remember.

"Dear Papa," he hummed nastily. "He's here. Of the five that created all the rest of us, four are in this Fleet. Only Father Sam is missing. It's amazing. Does it seem cruel that I'm keeping you alive?" He laughs. Of course it's cruel. All the way from the top. "Who am I kidding? But it's also necessary. For thirty years, you failed to observe the moral failures of humanity, against whom you find me lacking." She went under again, and he nodded, touching her hand. "Get better, Mother. Open your eyes and take a gander at what you think you love." The explosions came again.

A man ran through the camp on Caprica, bearing a Centurion's thigh, as Sam explained the new plan. He got it from a movie, The Tauron Line: Booby-trap a part, and let the Centurions clean it up; let them take it back to their shop and it blows. "Those were the bad guys," Jean pointed out, but Sam didn't care: "We can still make this thing work." And Jean Barolay will never know, never understand after today, what makes a good guy and what makes a bad guy. The world has ended. Simon attacked their plans with cavil after cavil, but Sam was sure. It was a thigh; it was a bomb.

In eight days they'd rationed the food for the survivors. The Marines were only taking photographs of missing people, not yet the dead ones. The Hall of Remembrance was still a place for hope. Bill told Saul not to get complacent: "They're numb. They've lost everything and now we're putting them through the wringer, just trying to get away." Saul knew he was right; the calm wouldn't last. He bumped into One, who could barely keep the smile off his face as his father passed by.

A little boy knocked the leaflets out of One's hand, and he stared after the boy. He looked familiar, somehow. One looked up into Shelly Godfrey's face as she helped him gather them up again, and she smiled joyfully, beaming. Family, again. At the end of the hall, Simon scampered away, back to his family, but they'd already seen him. An officer I don't recognize offered to post the flyers for One, to get him out of there, and he accepted gratefully. There are candles and weeping and incense for the missing already, in the Hall. The flyers themselves are squared, but the lost corners are implied in the graphic:

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