"You seem distracted, Gaius," says Caprica. "You can rest easy, at least for now. The data on Earth's location, and your valiant rescue of the baby, has gone a long way toward impressing the others." There are shots of the seven models we know, dreamlike and shifting. "I used to think you and I would have a baby one day," Caprica smiles dreamily. (Somewhere, Chip Six is like, "I know, right?" but then quickly does some Crazy Baby Math.) He clears his head. "There are only 12 Cylon models. But in the entire occupation on New Caprica, I only saw seven. Now here again, the same seven. Who are the final five?" Her baby smile falls clattering to the floor. "I can't talk about that." Can't? Or wonât? "I can't. It's complicated, but we don't talk about them. Ever." He presses when he should not press. "But you'd know one of them, wouldn't you, if you saw them? One of the final five. If they were to walk past here right -- " And just then, Three comes running up. Interesting.
So okay. This isn't the whole thing yet, but here's what I've got: Life on the basestar is, for us, dreamy and unreal, because Cylon logic is not human logic. We're not in a human space, we're in the kind of world where consciousness is only differentiated twelve different ways, instead of one for every single entity. We're getting a slice of what Boomer and Sharon and Six have always known: The soft edges of reality in a group mind, the way memories can pass like a shroud across the world before you, facts rising to the surface when we need them, math and GPS caroms drifting like clouds before the moon, memories presenting as prophecy and vice versa. We're not in an alien space, but merely an undifferentiated one. Without ego or personal consciousness, there's no need for that "reducing valve" Huxley talked about -- it's all the same. It's not a question of denying reality, it's a question of not denying any particular part of reality in favor of what's at hand. Ontological, cosmological ADD. "Projection" isn't a diss on Cylon selfishness: it's the equivalent of changing your cell phone face, or the skin on your mp3 program. The math underneath stays the same, and is shared among us all. This is the state that Pythia speaks from, and Amanda Plummer and Leoben -- and Drusilla, and even Tara for a short painful while -- and anybody else who looked on the face of God and went mad: the roiling undeniable sea underneath everything that we spend our lives building walls and choices around so we don't lose it completely. Prophets rock at telling you things that don't make sense but are still true, but they can't balance their checkbooks for shit. No wonder the Cylons know Colonial scripture better than most of the crew of the Galactica: they live there all the time. But also, maybe it's even more fabulous than that: maybe she can see a forest because she's been in a forest before, and that's the forest she's currently, actually in, as she says. Maybe "projection" is a willed way of reducing experience into the best possible shape, and the underneath calculations stay the same. Maybe they weave reality out of all the sights and sounds and math they've ever seen or heard or done, all the time, the way we collage together an afternoon flipping back and forth between Tyra and Farscape reruns and TV recaps on the laptop. And if they can do it with linear memories, maybe they can do it with time itself. Maybe she can see a forest because she'll be in a forest someday. Which is cool as fuck, but also really kind of terrifying. (Though not as terrifying as the fact that, if I'm right, that makes Leoben the sanest one, if you think about it.) Anyway, that's my theory right now.