The Girl Hanging By One Foot
Admiral Helena Cain walks the treadmill, reading specs. She used to be a daughter, too, but the First Cylon War took that away. What she learned was that the next surprise is always coming, that the universe will always figure out a way to teach you new loneliness. So Helena stopped letting people in, and she stopped sitting in chairs, and now she's on a treadmill. Her friend and XO, Jürgen Belzen, a young go-getter with a beautiful smile, is as close as she gets. He's a husband and a father, for now, and he worries about her. His family wants to include her, and she resists, and he will never understand why, because his story isn't hers. The more he pushes, the more she fears it, but she knows enough to know that it's kindness speaking, and she can't answer. He makes fun of her for reading on the treadmill when she could be vacationing, and she in turn laughs at his hobby, paragliding. A woman so accustomed to danger that it seethes in her blood, a woman so strong and ready for the next disaster, could never understand this adrenaline addiction: why risk death on your off-times, when death will come eventually anyway?
Jürgen invites Helena home with him to Geminon, and she says she's thinking of visiting friends on Tauron. The family she's managed to create in the wake of disaster; the way only orphans can connect. I don't believe she intends to do either. She begs off all commitments, protesting a repair list as long as her arm, a downed network; he calls her "Helena" and chides her for "going full tilt" for over a year now. He promises her she's allowed to get off the treadmill any time she likes; her fault is that she can't. She lies and promises to think about it, but the second he leaves, she tilts forward again, running faster and faster. On our off-times, we act out what we really want: she's already running from something. She has no idea how far she'll soon be running.
Shaw disembarks her golden Raptor 179 and is soundly ignored by all. On Pegasus you either get it or you don't, and the fastest distance between the two points, between the temple and the altar, is to figure it out for yourself. That's Cain's Law. She wanders, eventually coming upon a civilian contractor named Gina. She's so healthy, and beautiful, with such a winning smile; she's so friendly, and kind. Gina is working steadily, but doesn't understand Cain's Law. Not yet. "Looking for the CIC? You've got that 'new officer meaning to report to her CO' look down cold." Gina produces a clipboard chock full of ship schematics -- "one of the benefits of being a network administrator" -- and traces out a path for Kendra to follow. Gina traces out the path we all follow, and she's the first one to walk it. From the temple to the altar. They introduce themselves, already feeling the chemistry; already knowing they like each other. Gina's name is "Inviere," which Kendra recognizes -- "one of the benefits of being a lapsed Classics major" -- as Old Geminese for "Resurrection." Gina smiles, allowing as how you never know when something like that might come in handy. She's right: it's a clue and a message, but nobody can see it yet. At the end of Gina Inviere's story there is an end of line; there's no resurrection for her, but she doesn't know that yet. So she breathes, and goes back to her work. Her work is the destruction of humanity, but it's not as glamorous as it sounds.