FEAR IN A HANDFUL OF DUST
(In which Humans are allowed things Monsters are not.)
Chief says "Frak." That's the first thing that happens, and it feels like a sock to the gut, that one: Before the Nebula, before Callandra Henderson Tyrol died, I think maybe until just now, he never used words like that. He's a good boy. His father was a priest, his mother an Oracle.
But were they?
The Chief fumbles under a Raptor, trying to finish the relays, shoving burnt capacitors in his pocket. Around him could be forests, the fields of Geminon, the Temple of Five lit with holy light, but he doesn't know yet, so he must be contented with awful, vicious memory. We mourn alone. He lay upon her womb and guessed it was a boy; he was right. He begged to start again, on New Caprica, and when he was denied he wept, and when he was allowed to go, he wept again. Every surface, she glints and reflects from. She was his crew as long as he was on Galactica, they loved each other before he loved her back, as family. Every tool, she's touched; every Raptor bears her mark. The deck breathes with her, smells of her. And she is gone.
Hephaestus dreamed of suicide, in despair for the exodus of humanity, and before he'd woken, he had broken her. His fists came down on her, again and again and again; he put her between himself and the darkness. And she forgave him -- Imperfect Galen Tyrol, toasterlover, woman-beater: Someone loved Galen Tyrol, after Boomer, and forgave him for it all -- and now he's broken her again, forever. The thing inside him, that makes the world sick and queasy, has killed the first of his family.