Across the Salt

Obstinate Tin Soldier
Page 1 of 14

Author:  Chris Taylor [ Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Obstinate Tin Soldier

Obstinate Tin Soldier
Part 1: Not Human
by Chris Taylor

Marine guards led the bound Cylon through the corridors of the Galactica. She passed through a gauntlet of her shipmates who jeered and spat at her. While the Cylon's friends berated her as a traitor and a "toaster," a lone figure stepped out of the crowd in front of the procession. The gun in Cally's hand barked once and the Cylon prisoner fell back wounded into her lover's arms. She held her hands over the bullet hole in her abdomen and tried to stop the bleeding. Her Chief put one hand on her wound too as he held her head up with the other. "No. No. No," she heard him repeating softly as the life slipped out of her. Sharon Valerii summoned all her strength to say just one more thing before she was gone. "I love you, Chief," she confessed.

Author's Note: Once upon a time a beautiful young lady began to suspect she was really not a young lady at all, but was, in fact, an evil machine built to look like a beautiful young lady...

In a world where so much entertainment is merely a retelling of stories told a thousand times, the story of Sharon Valerii was something I'd never seen before. I was captivated. And when she was murdered by Cally she became something that is almost an extinct breed in our modern entertainment productions: a real tragic hero. Unlike Paul Newman's Cool Hand Luke, however, Sharon "Boomer" Valerii could theoretically come back from the dead. I was very disappointed that RDM had killed off the most interesting and innovative character in the whole re-imagined BSG series, and voiced that opinion to one of my younger brothers who is a Prof. of English Literature and part-time writer. He told me that if I really thought Boomer's story should continue that I should just write it myself, and offered to give me some basic writing lessons and editing to help get me started. I took up his challenge and began a rough draft of my first fanfiction: Obstinate Tin Solider.

I had started this trilogy of stories before Downloaded aired; before I even knew that episode would be filmed. Cylons and Cylon culture were still a mystery. The only glimpse of a basestar interior I had was from when Sharon met, then nuked, her naked sisters. I had to invent an entire Cylon society and make a lot of assumptions along the way. As the TV show progressed it diverged from the assumptions my story required and Boomer reappeared on the series with great promise. I sat my story aside to get my Boomer fix from TV again. I’ve changed my mind. For many reasons I've decided I'm going to edit and finish the Obstinate Tin Soldier story, and I'll be posting the finished version here.

I invite you all to travel back with me in your imaginations to a time before there was a Cylon Civil War or a New Caprica. A once loyal Raptor pilot has lost her battle with herself and succumbed first to the Cylon spy inside her and then to an assassin’s bullet. She is resurrected, but in a giant space-borne manufacturing facility on the edge of Cylon space instead of in Caprica City. Because, you see... This is a Battlestar Galactica story, but it is a DIFFERENT Battlestar Galactica story. It has no Final Five or Brother Cavil. Galen Tyrol is definitely not a Cylon, but anyone else might be. All Cylons have names and, more importantly, these Cylons really do have a plan...

If you enjoyed the first couple of seasons of RDM's re-imagined Battlestar Galactica and you've enjoyed the fanfics and ficlets I've posted here, I hope you will take a chance on this one as well. Sample the first three short chapters and if any of you aren't hooked then I promise to refund 100% of the cover price.

Author:  Chris Taylor [ Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Obstinate Tin Soldier

Cylon Mobile Depot Ship #8
Sharon Valerii
Callsign: Boomer
1st Day Onboard

Lt. Sharon Valerii sleeps fitfully as her body recovers from its recent ordeal. Strange images fill her dreams. Images of machines she has never seen, but feel familiar. Images of friends and co-workers that feel strange and distant. She sees herself, but she is not herself. She is the Cylon fighter sitting in the Galactica's hanger. The Chief is beneath her, trying to comprehend her strange design. She tries to tell him it is her. She wants him to understand her, but he doesn't hear what she says. She envies the Vipers around her. Her Chief understands them. She fears he will become impatient and leave her for them. She is herself again, but not herself. She is cold and unmoving, lying on a hard slab. Commander Adama is standing over her. "Why?" he cries to her, "Why?" She tries to tell him, but she cannot speak. She wants him to understand, but she doesn't understand herself.

When Sharon awoke, she was confused for a moment. The room she was in wasn't the Galactica's life station. She quickly realized it wasn't on the Galactica at all. The organic-like construction of the bed she was lying in and the room around her was obviously the same as the Cylon base star she remembered attacking the week before, but she could not bring herself to admit the implications. "No, no, no," she whispered to herself as she looked around at the other occupants of the room. A half dozen other patients lying nude in similar beds and three workers moving about in red smocks all looked just like her. She heard her voice cry out "No! I'm NOT one of you! Keep away from me, you damn machines!" but it was coming from the woman in the bed at the far end of the room. One red clad worker was at the woman's bedside. Sharon watched as the other two rushed to try and console, then restrain, then sedate her hysterical copy.

Sharon tried to think how she could have been captured. Was the Galactica destroyed while she was unconscious? Had her shipmates abandon her somewhere? She looked down at her bare abdomen, and ran her hand across her unblemished side where the bullet had torn through her. She quickly brought her hand to her cheek but there was no wound or scar. Could even Cylon medicine be so advanced? No. Sharon told herself that she was probably still in the Galactica's life station under anesthesia, and that all this was just a nightmare. Any minute, she hoped, she would wake up.

While Sharon was thinking to herself, one of the red-clad workers approached her. "I'm glad to see you're awake," the Cylon said smiling, "my name is Helen."

"My name is Sharon Valerii. My rank is Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Colonial Fleet number T990429. I will not provide you with any additional information," Sharon replied.

Helen gently touched Sharon 's arm "We know who you are, Sharon , and we're glad you are with us again. Your previous body died, and we have put you in a new one. You will need to undergo physical therapy with us to retrain your motor control and sense of balance to your new form. Considering your previous assignment, we know a lot of this will be confusing to you and if you have any questions just let me or one of the other doctors know. We love you, Sharon, and we want to help you. Is there anything you need?"

After a lengthy quiet pause, Sharon swallowed hard and repeated as unemotionally as she could manage: "My name is Sharon Valerii. My rank is Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Colonial Fleet number T990429. I will not provide you with any additional information."

"Actually," Helen replied motioning to one of the other doctors, "we have instructions to debrief you as soon as you are awake. You may have very important information for us on the human refugee fleet."

The other doctor approached with a strange device that looked like a pair of oversized armbands connected with fiber optic cables. She placed her left forearm in one of the armbands and locked it closed. "Give me your left arm," the doctor instructed while holding out the second armband. Sharon balled her fist, tensed her arm, and opened her mouth but no words came out.

She could suddenly feel an alien darkness in her own mind. It emerged from the edges of her mind and coiled around her consciousness like a constrictor snake. Sharon tried to focus and will the darkness away, but after a few seconds of struggle Sharon was gone and only the darkness of a Cylon saboteur remained.

Sharon returned to her senses as the doctor was removing the strange device from her forearm. Helen stroked Sharon 's cheek gently and told her what a good job she had done, but Sharon recoiled with a look of horror. She turned over, buried her face in the pillow under her head so the machines could not see her tears, and choked out the words: "My name is Sharon Valerii. My rank is Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Colonial Fleet number T990429. I will not provide you with any additional information."

Author:  rebelliousrose [ Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Obstinate Tin Soldier


Author:  Chris Taylor [ Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Obstinate Tin Soldier

Cylon Mobile Depot Ship #8
Sharon Valerii
Callsign: Boomer
2nd Day Onboard

Sharon walked slowly and hesitantly across the hospital ward, past the door to the gymnasium, and into the small adjoining cafeteria. Another patient was there, just beginning her meal. Sharon suspected it was the one who went into hysterics the day before but she could not be certain. They all looked alike to her.

The food selection was controlled from an interactive menu on the wall. Since she had only eaten two meals here, she had no idea what most of the selections tasted like and just picked a few items at random. Sharon braced herself against the wall and studied the other patient for a few seconds, but she (it?) was just staring blankly at the wall and eating mechanically. A pleasant tone sounded and a tray full of food slid out onto a nearby shelf. Sharon carefully picked up the tray and asked, "Do you mind if I join you for lunch?"

"Yes," said the Cylon.

Sharon sat her tray on the table, slid into the chair opposite her tablemate and said, "My name is Sharon Valerii."

"My name is Amy Smyth," the Cylon responded, "and when I said 'Yes,' I meant 'Yes I minded' not 'Yes I want to share my table with a filthy Cylon copy.'"

"I'm not..." Sharon started, "I'm not like the others."

"You're a frackin' toaster," Amy said flatly. She then picked up a bar of food from her tray, stood slowly, and hobbled out of the room leaving Sharon alone at the table. Sharon stared at the wall and started eating.

The food was delicious. It was both exotic and familiar at the same time. It wasn't just the food. The smells, the textures, the sounds, they all felt familiar and re-assuring. Her environment terrified her, not because it was alien but because it was so inviting.

She looked at the utensils on her tray: two chopsticks, a fork, and a knife. They, the plates, and the tray were all the same smooth translucent green material. She held the knife in her hand and slid her thumb across the blade. It was serrated and just sharp enough to cut her food. She held the knife with both hands and bent the blade back on itself until it snapped. Useless. Sharon wondered if there was a meal she could order that would come with a sturdier knife. Then she wondered what good it would do her. Even if she could steal a weapon, the Cylon saboteur inside her would see and report her to its superiors. Did it only sense what she did, or could it even know what she was feeling? What she was thinking? Her heart raced with panic for a moment at that thought. What would she do if it could? What could she do? Nothing. She would have to just assume it could only know what she did and not what she thought. If she was wrong she was fracked; but then if she was wrong she'd be fracked no matter what she did.

Author:  Jack Raby [ Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Obstinate Tin Soldier

Thanks for giving us the opportunity to read it again :cheer:.

Author:  Chris Taylor [ Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Obstinate Tin Soldier

Author's Note to Day 2 (on previous page):
After the previous chapter I explained, while answering one of Pierre's questions, that the fiber optic armband I/O device was inspired by Athena's scene in Flight of thet Pheonix where she shoves the fiber optic cable into her arm. I think that I'll occasionally include some author's notes about what inspired things in the story or choices that I made in writing. I'll have them in brown like this one so that people who just want to read the story and not be distracted from Boomer's adventures by some fanfic writer's ramblings about why he did this or named something that can easily skip over them. Those who are curious about peeking behind the scenes can continue reading.

Inventing Cylon society immediately brought up the eternal question: What's for dinner? The cafeteria in this chapter may at first seem like a simple rip-off of Star Trek. Push a button and food comes out of a hole in the wall. In fact it was also partly inspired by some work by MIT's Kitchen Counter Intelligence lab that I'd read about. The translucent green utinsils, plates, etc. come from this paper: .
I just changed the color. The idea is that new plates or cups or whatever are manufactured as needed and they are disposed of by melting them back to the raw material that is recycled to make more.

Author:  Chris Taylor [ Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Obstinate Tin Soldier

Battlestar Galactica
XO's Office

"That was the lousiest frackin' landing I've ever seen," Col. Tigh exclaimed, "I don't care how green a rook you are, there is no excuse for that kind of carelessness."

"I'm sorry, sir," Lt. Sharon Valerii responded, "It won't happen again."

"You're not ready for this, Lieutenant," Tigh stated matter-of-factly as he leaned back in his chair. "Why aren't you ready for this? You've had years to prepare yourself. OTC, flight school, battlestar recovery training... but you're not ready. Why? Why aren't you ready?"

"I... It was just a mistake," Sharon stammered

"I'll tell you what I think, Lieutenant," Tigh said leaning forward again and staring intently at the new Raptor pilot. "I think you don't want to be a Colonial Pilot."

"I do! I want to be a Colonial Pilot more than anything," Sharon insisted.

"Aw, don't give me that crap," Tigh said. "Of course you say that now. You even believe it. On game day everyone wants to win 'more than anything,' but game day is too late. Who wins isn't the one that wants it more at the last minute; it's the one that wants it weeks, months, and years before. Wants it enough to spend grueling hours sacrificing, planning, and preparing themselves while others play and relax. You may fool yourself, but you don't fool me. I see which pilots are spending their free time in the gymnasium doing g-tolerance exercises and which ones are hanging out in the rec room playing cards. It's no great secret what it takes to be a Raptor pilot, and you've had years to get ready..." Tigh trailed off without finishing his sentence and took a drink from his cup. "Frack, if it were up to me you'd be gone already. Captain Spencer thinks you deserve a second chance and as CAG he's earned the right to make that call. But I'm warning you, Lieutenant, you'd better decide right now what you really want. Half-assed pilots get people killed. You either make yourself ready to be a real Raptor pilot or you be honest with the service and quit before your failure destroys more than a set of landing gear."

Cylon Mobile Depot Ship #8
Sharon Valerii
Callsign: Boomer
3rd Day Onboard

Sharon stood in the doorway to the gymnasium and leaned against the doorframe for support. A pair of other patients were working out. They chatted casually as they rotated between exercise stations and barely worked hard enough to build up a sweat.

"I want to start an exercise regimen to get my balance and motor functions back," Sharon said to the nearest doctor.

"Most patients wait a week before they start physical training," the doctor replied.

"I'm not most patients," Sharon said authoritatively, "Tell me what exercises I should be doing to get ready."

Author:  Chris Taylor [ Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Obstinate Tin Soldier

Cylon Mobile Depot Ship #8
Sharon Valerii
Callsign: Boomer
4th Day Onboard

Sharon stood in the center of a one meter wide square drawn on the floor of the gymnasium and waited until the second hand of the wall clock reached 00. Sharon jumped forward outside the square and back to the center, then out again over the right side and back. For 57 seconds she jumped in and out of the square rotating sides clockwise in turn. Her new legs burned with the unfamiliar exertion. She pushed herself to get one more rotation before the minute was up, but stumbled and fell awkwardly to the side. Pain stabbed through her ankle.

Battlestar Galactica
Starboard Hangar Bay

Lt. Sharon Valerii sat in the cockpit of her parked Raptor and stared out the canopy at the hangar wall. Lost in thought, she almost jumped out of her seat when the side door clanked open suddenly. "Oh God, you scared a year off my life," Sharon said to Chief Tyrol.

"Sorry," the Chief said, "I didn't know you were in here."

"I just wanted to be alone and think," she replied, "I have an important decision to make."

He looked down at the clipboard in his hand and said, "If you want I could postpone my check on this bird until later in the shift."

Sharon paused before continuing, "I'd appreciate that, this may be the last time I sit in this seat."

"What? Why?" Chief Tyrol asked, "It's not because Col. Tigh chewed you out is it? Because he's hard on everyone... you can't take that personally."

"No," Sharon replied, "it isn't because he was hard on me. It was because he was right. You know, I've always loved flying. The feeling of freedom... just you and the machine and the sky... and I've always been good at it. The other cadets had to study and train and work, and I just breezed through on talent. Now all of a sudden I've run up against these manual combat recoveries that I just have no feel for. I look at how far below standard I am on my landings and I just don't know if I can pull my performance up. I'm afraid I'm going to get someone killed, but I can't bring myself to quit. I'm a danger to my shipmates... I just haven't worked up the courage to tell the captain yet."

Chief Tyrol shifted uncomfortably at the Lieutenant's candid monologue. She seemed to be talking to herself more than to him. "May I speak freely, sir?" he asked.

"Yeah, sure Chief," Sharon responded.

"Its hard to give up on a dream, but there are a lot worse things," he started as he laid down his clipboard, leaned against the panel beside the attractive young pilot, and stared hard into her eyes. Sharon had expected a pep talk, and looked momentarily confused at the brutally honest NCO. "One of those things is me having to wash your and Helo's remains off the deck because you wanted to play at being a pilot without putting in the effort to get it right. If Captain Spencer didn't think you had the potential to be a top notch pilot then I'm sure you'd already be gone, but if you're not going to give the Fleet 100% then you don't need to be here. On the other hand, there are a lot of good people on the Galactica that will back you up if they know you are doing your best. I'm much more unhappy pounding divots out of the deck caused by carelessness than I am when they are caused during rigorous training exercises."

Chief Tyrol paused for a moment, shifted his weight, and continued "You can give up now if you want, or you can take this as an opportunity to excel. Most people go through their whole lives and never know their limitations. They never get to learn what kind of person they are. You say you didn't have to bust your ass during flight school; well, you're going to have to learn if you want to stay in the Fleet and this is your chance prove you can... not just to your superiors but to yourself. Only you can decide what kind of person you are going to be, Lt. Valerii... but if you're going to be a Colonial Warrior there can't be any half measures. Frankly, being a Raptor pilot is a difficult and risky job that doesn't pay very well..."

"... but it is an 'opportunity to excel'," Sharon interrupted.

"Yes, it is," the Chief agreed.

"That's a very poetic turn of phrase, Chief" Sharon said, "It makes my choice very clear."

"I picked it up on the Columbia," the Chief admitted, smiling. "It was the commander's favorite way to describe a good chance to get killed heroically." Chief Tyrol's grin was contagious, and Sharon laughed and nodded.

"Well, how can I pass up an opportunity like that?" Lt. Valerii said. She got out of her seat, holding on to Chief Tyrol's shoulder to help her stand. She paused there close to him and said softly, "Thanks for not letting me feel sorry for myself, Chief." As she stepped out of the Raptor, she looked back at him and joked, "You can have the Raptor now. I'd better get down to the gymnasium and work on my quickness drills; I don't want you having to hose me off the deck."

Cylon Mobile Depot Ship #8

"I told you it was too soon to start training," the doctor said as she inspected Sharon 's ankle, "You should wait until next week before you start again."

"Just tape it up," Sharon replied sternly, "I'll stay off it a few days, but there's no reason I can't work on my upper body strength until then."

Author:  Chris Taylor [ Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Obstinate Tin Soldier

Author's Note for Day 4: The original draft was written shortly after the Pegasus showed up, and I had Tyrol have picked up the "opportunity to excel" phrase on a previous tour of duty there under Cain. Since then we've seen more of Cain and I decided it would be more believable to have him pick it up on a different ship. "Opportunity to Excel" is a phrase I got from a former Marine firearms instructor (among other things), who is both one of the most polite also and lethal men I've ever met. He meant it exactly almost as Tyrol describes, although he had too much confidence in himself (well earned; I've seen him shoot under stress) to consider it as a way to get killed. I think he'd have focused more on an "opportunity to excel" as being a chance to demonstrate what kind of person you really are rather than being a chance to earn a posthumous medal. If you want to know what such an opportunity looks like, this Marine tactical decision game is probably a good example:

What would my Marine friend do in such a situation? I have no doubt that he would seize the initiative and demonstrate why people say that there is no better friend or worse enemy to have than a U.S. Marine. (With all due respect to Bob's friends in the Army, whom I would also not want to make enemies of!)

Author:  Pierre [ Fri Apr 24, 2009 5:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Obstinate Tin Soldier

Hey Chris,
maybe we should give you the time to re-post all parts and comments (if you saved them - if not, I have them) before writing new comments ?

Author:  Chris Taylor [ Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Obstinate Tin Soldier

Pierre wrote:
Hey Chris,
maybe we should give you the time to re-post all parts and comments (if you saved them - if not, I have them) before writing new comments ?

I have all the threads, but I didn't feel proper posting everyone else's comments. There were a lot of comments, but only a few people wrote them. If you, Jack, Bob, SabaceanBabe, Mamaboolj, Chamalla, & DX713 all agreed to it, however, I think we could repost the contents of the entire thread with the exception of one comment.

The next question would be if anyone knows a way to transfer the thread contents in bulk?

Author:  mamaboolj [ Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Obstinate Tin Soldier

I'm fine with reposting my comments from the prior thread.

Author:  Pierre [ Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Obstinate Tin Soldier

Ok with posting my comments, of course.
Automatic "transfer" from saved thread pages would be difficult. It needs lots of handwork. But it's feasible.

Author:  Chris Taylor [ Fri May 01, 2009 5:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Obstinate Tin Soldier

Cylon Mobile Depot Ship #8
Sharon Valerii
Callsign: Boomer
5th Day Onboard

Sharon had been told that today was a special day. It was the day of the week Cylons held their religious services, and she would be allowed outside the hospital ward to attend. It would be her first opportunity to scout other parts of the ship. Before leaving the hospital ward, she and the other patients were issued clothing from a dispenser by the door. As she lined up to get her clothes, she noticed that Amy was carrying a small gray book. The clothing was a pair of silvery, paper-thin, drawstring pants and a pullover shirt made of similar material. Traditionally it was believed that militaries with the prettiest uniforms did the worst in combat. If her clothes were typical of Cylon fashion, Sharon mused, then the Cylons must be invincible.

Sharon followed the doctors and other patients to the religious meeting, trying to get a good look down intersecting corridors and count her steps. Suddenly one of the doctors stopped Sharon and a second patient. "Sharon and Amy," the doctor said, "since your mental condition limits your communication abilities to primarily vocal means you two will need to attend a special service for Cylons with your disadvantage." As she followed the doctor and Amy down a side corridor, Sharon wondered what other forms of communication Cylons had.

The room Sharon was led to looked more like a small meeting room than a temple, and she wondered if that was what it was used for during the rest of the week. The other human-looking Cylons there were much better dressed than she and Amy were. Sharon smiled slightly at the thought that perhaps they were not so invincible after all. There were only seven seats, and all but two had been filled; the empty seats were on either side of an old Model 0005 Cylon. Sharon wondered if there was some social stigma in the Cylon society against the older models.

Shortly after taking their seats, a human looking Cylon man walked in and stood at the front of the room. He looked at Sharon, welcomed her to her first meeting with them and introduced himself as Hector. He then gave her a hardcover scripture book like Amy's and a pencil to supplement her `damaged memory.' "Why don't we start with self-criticism today so that Sharon can get to know everyone," Hector said. "When it is your turn," he said looking at Sharon , "just tell everyone your name and what sin you are struggling with."

"My name is Krates, and my sin is envy," said the first Cylon as he stood and looked around at the rest of the group. "Ever since I was damaged last month in that power-cell accident, I have been filled with envy toward my fellow Cylons that can still use wireless. I try to not feel that way, and I tell myself that God is just testing me, but I just can't seem to help it. Deep down I wish it had happened to one of them instead of me."

Sharon thought that Krates looked genuinely troubled by his jealousy. She was surprised at how human he seemed in his reaction. She suddenly wondered if her idea about what Cylons were was really just based on her ignorance and human prejudice.

The second Cylon was a tall blond woman who introduced herself as Margarete and said her sin was sloth. Sharon didn't know why, but she took an instant disliking to the woman. Sharon felt her opinion was confirmed when Margarete spent two minutes describing all the wonderful and productive things she had done that week, only to end by saying that she still felt she could do more if she didn't need to take some time for herself. Sharon suspected that Margarete's true sin was pride.

While Margarete droned on about what an asset she was to the Cylon Empire, Sharon wondered what she needed to say when her turn came. She supposed that she would give her name as “Sharon," even though after years of Colonial military life she was uncomfortable having her enemies address her so casually. Gluttony would be a good sin to admit to, she decided. It seemed innocuous, and she really had overindulged herself on the delicious Cylon food available in the cafeteria.

The third Cylon was a thin, black man who stood, introduced himself as Phillip and admitted that he had been troubled with feelings of great anger directed toward one of his co-workers, Mago. Phillip then went on to describe the incidents that made him angry in some detail. The stories all made it clear that Mago was an unreliable worker. As Margarete had before him, Phillip managed to turn his "self-criticism" around and tried to use it to his benefit.

Any sympathy for the Cylons that Krates had engendered in Sharon quickly evaporated. "God," thought Sharon, "these pompous hypocrites destroyed civilization because they thought WE were unholy..." She fumed at the thought that these petty, self-righteous toasters had set themselves up as humanity's judge, jury, and executioner. Suddenly she realized that Phillip had stopped degrading his coworker, and it was her turn.

Sharon stood, looked carefully at the Cylons around her and, despite her previous plan, said, "My name is Lieutenant Valerii." As she stated her rank with emphasis, the old Model 0005, which had previously shown little interest in the admissions of his colleagues, turned to study the ramrod straight form of Lt. Sharon Valerii standing beside him. "My sin," She continued as if giving a command briefing "is betrayal." All eyes were now on her and she noticed Margarete shifting uncomfortably in her seat. "I had a chance to sacrifice myself to protect my friends and my compatriots from harm. I was not strong enough to do what I needed to and as a result I put my commanding officer's life at risk," Lt. Valerii concluded. After sitting down again she set her jaw tight and stared at Hector.

Hector, looked quickly away from Sharon and said, "uh, next" to the Model 0005.

The old Cylon finally turned away from Lt. Valerii, stood, and said, "My name is Cyrus, and my sin is greed. I am sometimes tempted to turn in this body and be upgraded to one of the newer forms even though there is nothing wrong with my systems."

As Cyrus sat down, Hector said gently to him, "Wanting to be upgraded is no sin; your body is old enough that regulations permit you to turn it in anytime you want."

"And you are one of those who tempt me," Cyrus replied.

When Hector turned to Amy, she didn't even bother to stand or to introduce herself. She burst into tears, buried her face in her hands, and said, "I killed my best friend. I killed her and her whole family. I ripped her baby's head off... Oh God, I was his godmother and I ripped his head off. I sabotaged my ship. I put a bomb in its water storage tanks and now they're all probably dying of thirst out there somewhere. I didn't know it was me, I just woke up covered in blood. They made me watch the video recording before they shoved me out an airlock. And now I'm here with you sick bastards that did this to me..." Amy's confession then deteriorated into incoherent sobs.

Hector put his hand gently on the back of Amy's head and said, "I know this is hard right now but I promise that in a couple of weeks you'll be yourself again and all this will make sense." As he stepped away from Amy he glanced back at Lt. Valerii.

After the conclusion of the service, Sharon had to assist Amy to stand and make it to the door. Amy didn't resist, buried her head in the side of Sharon’s shirt and cried quietly. The doctor was waiting outside the door for them, and they both helped Amy make her way back down the hall towards the hospital ward.

The rest of the worshipers left immediately, but Cyrus remained standing by the door watching Lt. Valerii, Amy, and the doctor make their way slowly and unsteadily down the hall. A tall blond woman approached him from the other direction and stood quietly at his side until Lt. Valerii turned the corner at the end of the hallway. "We have a Colonial Warrior onboard," Cyrus finally said to the woman.

"Do you think she'll be a malcontent?" she asked.

"Quite probably... I suggest we keep an eye on her," Cyrus replied.

"OK, but its too risky to do anything right now." the woman concluded, "We'll have to wait until after her memories are reintegrated."

Author:  Chris Taylor [ Fri May 01, 2009 5:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Obstinate Tin Soldier

Author's Note to Day 5: I was originally going to have the model 6 Cylon in the worship service named Margaret. Later I recalled that Racetrack's first name is Margaret. I didn't want there to be any confusion between the two characters so I renamed the Cylon Margarete. That may still be too close. Perhaps we should add a new item to the list of things not to do in fiction writing:

Don't have two characters with the same name, or with names so similar that the reader will be likely to confuse them.

BTW, I don't know if anyone notices such things but the chapter headings are patterned after the screen titles from when Helo was marooned on Cylon Occupied Caprica.

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