Battlestar Galactica

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The Girl On The Cliffside

Tigh, "tired of looking at [their] sorry faces" after all this time alone with their fears and secrets and shame, leaves the locker. Cally crawls out onto the floor just as the hatch is opening; her hands are shaking too badly to replace the bulkhead panel, so she runs. Tory and Chief are alone a moment, and then exit separately. Tory closes the hatch and locks it, then notices the panel, propped against the bulkhead.

(From Paul Schrader's wonderful Light Sleeper: "A million stars were circling in the world above my head./ As I drifted back in memory to all the things we said... / The ties that bind and bless the soul, that bind me up in chains./ Your love cuts through my weakened heart and memories twist the blade... / I believe the ancient promises, I believe that I am free./ But love comes as a great offense, like innocence betrayed./ I don't think you'll recognize me on the other side of day." The ties that bind and bless the soul also bind us up in chains. Love is why we build bars.)

Cally reenters their home, shoving the note back into the hatch hinge, shaking violently. "No, no, no, no. Frak! Frak!" She looks around, scared into clarity for once, and is facing away from the hatch when she hears it open. She cannot turn around. She tries desperately to compose herself as it enters. Her eyes are broken and rabid and sad, deeply hollow.

"Hey," it says softly. "How you doing?" The moons and stars played across its face, through the panel and into that lair. She tells it she is fine. "You feeling okay?" it asks, and she assures it that she's fine, without turning around. The lights illuminate the first time she looked into its face and realized that she was in love. All the times it made her think they were in love. "You sure?" Sure. She thought she was coming down with something, so she slept in. It asks if she visited Cottle, and she says no. She's feeling better. She can feel it in the darkness behind her, lit by a magic lantern, great and breathing, full of violence.

"Good," it says. It even sounds relieved. "Look, I know it's been a rough couple of weeks. I know what you're thinking. It's not true." There's only terror in her now, but her voice is steady. "It isn't?" It's not true. She remembers kissing it, on New Caprica. Curled up on a rack, the three of them, like a family.

"No. I'm not having an affair. I figured it out. I know what's important. You're important. Nicky's important. We're important. Us. That's really what it's all about, isn't it? Family, a future. Building that future together." Their beautiful faces on New Caprica, the day Gaius Baltar broke ground: how the Admiral promised them a life off the ship together. So that Nicky could grow up in the open air, a half-monster, twisted thing growing up under the sun. The Colonel, the President's Chief of Staff, her husband: where else are they lurking? Did the Admiral know what it was, when he sent them off to be together? Did the Admiral send her into hell, to make love to a monster, to carry its beast inside her? She feels it on her skin.

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Battlestar Galactica

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