Title: Tricks of the Gods
Feedback address: email@example.com
Date in Calendar: 27 December 2006
Fandom: Battlestar Galactica
Rating: NC13 for mention of violence
Summary: Are we all what we seem and who do we chose to learn from?
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC:DW06
Disclaimer: I don’t own the characters, nor do I make any profit from them
Note: Written for the Dead of Winter Advent Calender
Beta: Thanks to dixrl78 for the beta
Tricks of the Gods
Laura felt the entry to her cell before she saw anything. Technically with the light that continually shone into her cell, she tended not to bother looking up until they’d identified themselves by speaking.
If she were putting cubits on her visitor it would be Six; they’d had some interesting discussions about religion. Six took her relationship with the Cylon god a little too personally for her liking, especially as the unit had a rather annoying tendency to use force when people disagreed with her; and for someone as frail looking as the blonde she was surprisingly strong, and Laura was more than a little bored at being a Laura-sized cat toy.
Today though was a little different than usual; her visitor was silent, presumably just watching her. Just what she wanted to be, the human equivalent of a zoo exhibit. This whole experience was seriously starting to irritate her. If she ever got out of this alive and mentally sane; when Bill Adama used the ‘you’ll lose a piece of your soul’ speech to stop her from an action, she was going to slap him so hard he’d be seeing stars for a week and then ignore his comments.
But that didn’t help Laura with this particular encounter. The silent watching was rather effective, the human ability to anticipate dark happenings was usually more severe that the consequences themselves. So all in all, a clever move on the Cylon’s part; even if it were not good for her mental, or physical wellbeing.
Six watched the woman as she sat in a curled position protecting herself as best she could from the glaring light. She knew that Laura was aware of her presence, the increase in her heart rate and breathing an indication of that. Then both breathing and heart rate slowed down to almost imperceptible, something she’d not encountered in humans before.
In her introspection Laura felt a shifting of sensation, reminiscent of the chamalla induced vision and she was simultaneously in two distinct places, her overly bright cell and somehow was also standing in the darkness of space, a nebula facing her.
Laura contemplated the board in front of her. Galactica, Pegasus, Adama, Starbuck, Apollo, Tyrol and others were in play. Some pawns still waited their awakening patiently. And some, like Elosha and Cain, lay to the side, their move ended.
Opposing her army was the Cylon force with most models in play; some still cloaked from her vision. The figures almost overwhelming her fragile pieces. But there was a path; she could see it, but not clearly.
Laura contemplated her options and moved the Galactica piece.
Finding herself fully back in her cell, Laura was trembling slightly, memory of her opponent sending alarm signals of recognition, because although the woman was unrecognisable, shrouded in a hooded cape of dark mist, she still knew her. She could only hope things would become clearer.
Time had no meaning in the cell, the only vague indication of the length of time passed was the fading of bruises. So Laura had no idea how long it was before the next visit from Six.
“Laura,” Caprica Six’s voice was sing-song, seductive. “How are you feeling?”
Laura looked up and gave her a bored look.
Six sighed. Why did the woman have to be so stubborn? All she needed was to acknowledge God and she could be happy. Baltar understood; but she could see now that he wasn’t the right choice to persuade humanity.
“You need to find your path to God. He has a plan.”
Laura raised an eyebrow. Did the Cylon never stop preaching; it was really becoming quite tiresome. In some ways she preferred the straightforward approach of the Biers and Cavill models as she was beginning to call them.
“Then he can count me out.”
Six sighed again. She didn’t want to doubt God, but this persistence in highlighting the part Roslin needed to play had her thinking just maybe he’d miscalculated.
“Gods.” Laura’s response was heavily laden with sarcasm as she interrupted. She was sick of the same speech, the lights making a mockery of her sleep patterns and mood, giving her an almost self-destructive bent. So she used the phrase guaranteed to end the conversation, even if it came with a price. “Lords of Kobol hear my prayer.”
And as she expected the words were met with a slap that knocked her into the wall.
And once again she felt the strange duality.
Laura looked at the board, then across the expanse of space at her opponent, a dark nebula showing clearly behind the other woman, and contemplated.
Reaching down she took the Tigh figure and sadly severed the silvery connection between Saul and Ellen, leaving the almost invisible connection between Ellen and Cavill in place.
Laura found herself back in the cell, alone once more, filled with an unbearable sadness and emptiness.
Six entered the cell quietly and felt a tinge of sorrow as she watched Laura curled up in pain on the rather pitiful excuse of a mattress.
She knelt beside her and gently brushed the hair away from her face, seeing dried blood coming from a cut on her forehead. Laura blinked in a confused manner, clearly having difficulty focusing.
Six had no real belief in God, she tended to stay on the fence about that particular issue, but had no desire to go against Caprica Six or Boomer. Part of her was fascinated by the humans; they were strange mixture of juxtapositions. Before they’d taken Laura to detention, she’d watched the woman from a distance and had seen the tenderness and protectiveness she showed the children. Had seen her gently remove one of the native species of arachnid from a place it might get trampled to a safe place in a tree. And this was the same woman who’d ordered the deaths of the people on the Olympic Carrier, seemingly without blinking an eye.
Humans were fascinating; flawed, dangerous and ruthless; but also loving, generous capable of creating art, music, beauty. And for that Six envied them.
Six had bought a small bowl and a cloth with her and used it to very gently wipe the blood from Laura’s face.
The redhead’s face was filled with confusion. Six smiled gently and continued her ministrations, handing Laura a glass and a couple of painkillers. Laura refused the pills, but accepted the water gratefully.
“Thank you.” Laura’s voice was husky, but genuine.
As Six left, the dizzying duality came on.
Laura’s observations of the Cylon pieces lead to no clear understanding of the latest movements. There was no pattern, no obvious counter.
She studied the possibilities and rejected one move in favour of a subtle repositioning, moving Lee Adama to the fore, pushing Bill Adama out of the front line.
Laura shaded her eyes at the entry, trying to ascertain which Six was entering. Closer study of the models showed slight differences in mannerisms between them. She was sure this was not the religious Six, but then again, she could be wrong.
“Laura.” The voice held a trace of uncertainty.
Laura smiled, this was the nice Six. Though the jury was still out if this was a warped good colonial agent/bad colonial agent routine.
Deciding to play nice with this version, it didn’t pay to be too predictable, Laura greeted her. “Hello Six.” Then tilted her head to one side. “Or do you have a name?” It always amused her that some had human designations and others didn’t.
The blonde shook her head.
“Ahh. That’s a pity. It’s easier to have a conversation with a name rather than a number.”
Six looked confused. Laura almost smiled. She’d have tried this track long ago if she’d have realised its effectiveness.
“I don’t understand.”
“But you want to, don’t you Six?” Laura’s voice held a certainty. “You want to know who we are, how we relate to the universe.”
“I want to know more about….everything.”
Laura smiled sweetly, sometimes things were too easy. “Because you’ve lost certainty, there are divisions within the ranks of the Cylons. It must be difficult.”
Six nodded, the expression on her face one that Laura had seen time and time again with pupils, those rare pupils with a desire to know, to learn, to grow.
“One of the things that angers Caprica Six is my Gods. Would you like me to explain?”
At Six’s eager nod, Laura felt an internal smile widen.
Maybe there was a way.
Laura made the obvious move, putting Pegasus in the position to be sacrificed, slowly, reluctantly; knowing it was the only hope.
An anomaly caught her attention from the side of the board. A Six model had formed a silvery link to humanity. That was unexpected. Interesting, very, very interesting.
Released from her cell by, of all people, Baltar, Laura returned to the settlement and waited patiently for the Galactica to arrive.