Racetrack calls him Galen, tries to calm him, but he won't be calmed. "I don't need to be patted on the head. You can tell me I frakked up." Racetrack, who has only a certain amount of indulgence to give people, who will snap on a bitch even if they're freaking out, if they eventually don't kick out of it, reminds him that he's only human. But Galen won't stop screaming at her, begging her to stop, begging to be told he frakked up, that he merely frakked up, that he should take his punishment for this, no softness for the mourning, no softness for anything, because his flesh is steel now and he will never be clean again. The best case scenario, he screams, is that this was just a frak-up, and they won't give him that. Racetrack, awesomely, turns on her heel and takes off, through the pilots and crewmen. You can only forgive somebody a certain number of times before it's not worth it anymore. She has no idea how badly he doesn't want to be forgiven, how much her kindness pierces his heart this time, for Cally and for the fact that she's looking into the eyes of -- for all they know, for all he knows -- her murderer. How cruel her absolution, how she twisted the knife when she called him human.
Only, merely, human. I don't know why, but at this point I kind of spaced out and started thinking about what this is like, on Galactica: these people save the world. Not just every now and then, not just when Doctor Doom comes tearing down Yancy Street, but every day. More than that: every second of every day. They are all the on the front, every second, between humanity and nothingness. And not in some bullshitty recappy Jacoby way, but in not-a-metaphor actuality, with fire and bombs and missiles and stuff. Pointed at their heads, and from their hands. I mean, no wonder they hold their "dances" and weep with gratitude when you offer them a chance to rest. "33" was a long time ago, but they still live in shitholes that smell like sweaty metal, they still fuck behind thin curtains while their brothers and sisters are reading NYMPH and playing Triad two feet away, and their asses are still going out on CAP twenty-four seven. Every second, like strong-armed angels around the Fleet, holding them together, waiting for the next danger and the next thing to hit, hoping that they're smart and strong and well-rested and fast enough to stop it, without knowing what it is or when it's coming or what vector it's coming on. Well, okay, I do know why: because Chief is the one that puts them there, between the darkness and the light; his 33 is always going to be longer than everybody else's 33, because he breeds and doctors the birds they ride. And now he's a part of the darkness, and can't trust himself enough to keep them in the air.