Here Be Dragons

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Cryonauts & Crackerjacks
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Amanda thinks she recognizes Sam; she does. He drove her home one night, planning to kill her. Now, he's helping her across a forest and up a mountain to the castle where her daughter's hiding. Daniel can't be bothered by any of this: He's too amazed, once again, by his daughter's mind. "Gods, look at these leaves. Each one is different. And this light. It's all so... Incredibly real. And I don't have the foggiest idea how she did it. Can't have been purely intuitive. Generative algorithms? Stochastic processes?" Amanda laughs, but he nods aggressively. "It's one thing to write code, but what Zoë's done here is... Closer to what the Gods did, in the old creation myths."

Amanda swears their daughter's not a God. That's when the first dragon attacks.

Willie doesn't get it: Why would you build a model ship with your hands, when in the Matrix you could just wish for one. Evelyn sighs and agrees with the logic -- "And someday, they're gonna be able to zap memories of having a ship directly into your brain" -- but says it's more fun to do things, sometimes. Actually do them. He goes on with it, because he likes her. And then, because she's Evelyn, there is an additional motive:

"The women and men that sailed on these ships... To be at sea for... Oh gosh, a really long time. Sometimes the Captain wouldn't even let them set foot in port, because he knew they'd never come back. So they wouldn't get to see their homes for years..."

Willie sighs, thinking about that kind of freedom. Ever since this thing started he hasn't really been allowed out. Some Tauron habits are harder to break. But one day, the name Adama will fly so far there won't be any homes left. They'll leave knowing they'll never come back. They'll have to make their homes with their hands, and when that doesn't work they'll use their feet. We'll fight so hard for home that fighting will become home, for some of us. And we'll have to find our way back from that too.

"You still miss your mom a lot, huh? A ship's crew is a lot like a family, you know. They might lose a member. And they just bring someone else on board who could... Well. The family might change, but what's important is that it's still a family."

Willie doesn't get it; not as it applies to her, here and now. Certainly not after the Fall. The way we must keep going. Evelyn smiles and relents, and he heads back into the Matrix. She puts her arms around Joe; she wants it just to happen already. To be the life she's imagined for so long. Shannon's life, once. But they'll give him time. A boy needs his mother. A boy needs a mother.

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