The Girl Hanging By One Foot
Now, Commander Apollo is sick to death of Starbuck's constant death vendettas against every woman who dared to strength -- who had a name like Kat, or Kara, or Kore -- and how she fights with them in front of people. He calms them down, and then the weird Raider presents itself, on the deck floor, confusing everybody. Tigh, Roslin, and Adama stare at the thing. Gaius is there, although he shouldn't be, because his discovery of the Hybrid is one of the turning points of the series and having him here just makes it messy; Sharon is here, still in her chains. Still a prisoner of war. Roslin wonders why this vessel -- a model that hasn't existed since the First War -- should still be flying. Sharon offers, quietly, from her collar and bounds, that perhaps it's never been resurrected: maybe this Guardian Fleet has been out here all along. Shying away from Roslin and Adama's suspicion, she explains about an urban myth, the Guardians, out on the edge of nothing, early models that somehow avoided being scrapped. Like the Japanese holdouts, still fighting sixty years later, like all of us.
They guard, these Guardians, something precious. Something so taboo you don't even have to avoid talking about it -- it has become myth. Not just the Final Five, off-limits, but actually beyond history for them, like the Scrolls or Earth. The first Hybrid: "An entity that represents the first step in our evolution from pure machines to organic beings. From them, to us." Like a missing link, Apollo suggests. "No, more like an...evolutionary dead-end. There were other Hybrids created to control our Baseships before the experiment was abandoned, but this one was the first, and um, some think it's still alive. Protected by these Guardians." And Adama knows she's right; remembers the cages and the bodies, filthy skin over hideous metal. "And that it's still somehow seeking its own way to evolve." Again, like all of us; the Cylon most of all, most desperately and strongly of all. Adama speaks up: in the last operation of the War, the Galactica took out a Cylon base, rumored to contain the beginnings of a superweapon.
First Cylon War, 41 years ago. William "Husker" Adama enters a rusty old door on the still-unformed Basestar, and sees some shit: skin over parts, grossness; an arm covered in meat and skin. A resurrection tank, filled with putrid yellow water. Before Cylons looked like us, they dreamed machine dreams and tried desperately to crawl into our skins; invented new systems of thought and emotion, new kinds of humanity, new kinds of life. They discovered resurrection, and the space between life and death. They defined the line, I mean to say, and how to us it looks like a razor, and they jumped over that line with the arrogance of youth, and blurred it out like so much salt. All of this will happen again, but the first time, it happened in this room. Husker is standing in a dusty, bloody nativity: the birthplace of God. This is an abattoir, but it's also the first step on the road to salvation, born of ugly science and uglier magic. Husker stands between the temple and the altar. They are the same location.