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 Post subject: The Closest of Strangers, by NT2, Boomer/Cavil, PG (MtF)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:14 am 
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This is basically a riff that came out of a discussion with Lobel Vith on the "Boomer is Love" thread. The key issue was this:

I read the "Symphony of Twelve." That's what I meant about Season 3 and 4. If you want the Boomer of that period to have any credibility relative to Seasons 1 and 2, then Cavil also has to have some credibility. He can't be just a super-villain with a lair and mommy issues. He has to articulate legitimate points that can't be dismissed out of hand. The sort of "shades of gray" thing the show did well in its early years.

One suggestion I've discussed with others: What if the Final Five simply stumbled into a situation they didn't understand, saw it falsely through the experience of their world and made things worse?

What if Cavil is just wearily playing the hand they dealt? What if instead of hating Ellen for loving little Danny more, he just thinks she's an idiot consumed by her own hubris? Maybe no one is truly "in the right." Humans abused Cylons piteously, the Final Five sent everything to hell with the best of intentions, and Cylons abused humans piteously in return.

What if Cavil was actually looking for an exit, too? Boomer could clarify something about that for him. His nauseating ennui could actually be touched by her agony in straddling those lines. Then maybe they mean something to each other, and maybe they're actually part of God's plan, too. She could even redeem him.

Sort of have to plan ahead in the writing for that sort of thing, though. And they obviously didn't.

You know, I'm actually tempted to write that. Except it would likely be too much work, because it requires rejuggling a lot of the show.


It can also work without the above departure, basically being read as how Boomer got Cavil off track on "The Plan."


"The Closest of Strangers", NT2, Boomer, Cavil, PG -- Mourn the Fallen

Eight wished she could sleep.

She could of course, it just took too long. She’d lie there trying to drift down, but sooner or later memories would rise up to meet her: back in CIC, everyone gathered around Adama, rough arms manhandling her as she screamed “What happened?”…back in that cell where Galen threatened to kill her, told her she was a machine and he wasn’t…Baltar’s lab rat again, sobbing ‘Eight,” a number that meant nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

She’d give up after that, rise to pace this lonely apartment, the refuge into which her world had collapsed. Maybe stare at pictures of a childhood that never happened. Or stare at dear friends she’d never see again. Friends who hated her.

Eight wished she was dead. But Cylons didn’t die.

She wished she could apologize to Adama. Except she’d never see him again.

She wished she could kill everyone who came to her door, telling her lies about how they loved her. But more than anything else, she wished she could be Sharon Valerii, the dream that never was.

Eight rose from her bed again. She couldn’t take the pictures anymore, so she went to the window, a ghost girl staring out into a ghost world.

******

“How touching,” said Three. “The lady in the tower.”

Cavil ignored her. He didn’t even look up to see the Eight’s moon-like face in the window, just stood beneath the tree from which he’d seen her enough for the last week. She came to the window a lot at night.

“Well, you have to admit that had a certain poetic quality,” said Three.

She was baiting him. He didn’t rise to it. “You didn’t bring me down here to discuss trite literary allusions,” he said. “The point is taken.”

“Is it? She’s still your problem, Brother Cavil.”

And you’re still a snarky witch, Deanna. “I’m monitoring it.”

“How competent of you. But she’s starting to have an effect on order. We may know she’s a hopeless head case, but others think of her as a hero. And they’re starting to talk.”

“Isn’t that what Cylons do, Sister Deanna? Talk and share and vote. We talk until we have something to share and then we vote on it. So can

“Cylons don’t threaten other Cylons, brother,” she purred. “I’m simply reminding you of procedure. This Eight is under your jurisdiction; it’s your responsibility to approve the request for a vote.”

A vote to box. He’d guess five to two in favor. After untold thousands of votes, he was generally an accurate judge. 7-0, 6-1, 5-2, or 4-3. That had gotten old fast. One of these days he was going to abstain, simply because none of the other models would. It’d be more grief than it was worth, but that sometimes made the idea more appealing.

This was one of those times.

“You commissioned her for a specific job,” said Three. “She did it, and she broke. That happens to machines sometimes. So fix it.”

She left him alone under his tree. When she was out of sight, he finally glanced up at the window. The moon-faced girl was still there.

The lady in the tower.

Three had chosen the rhythm of her words carefully. It was designed to grate-- amateur hour in the psychologist’s chair. She actually thought she could push his buttons, grate enough and he’d be obstinate. Which is what she wanted.

Three was making a run at him. Hoped to take him down a peg.

Cavil headed back along the river to his station, appreciating the night’s nuclear after glow. The atmospherics here were beautiful, a fresh puzzle every day. Kind of like him right now. And he hadn’t been a puzzle for decades.

Put Valerii down. He knew the drill. Three couldn’t begin to knock him off that stride. The only person who could do that was Cavil, and he knew better. Sharon Valerii was a broken machine, nothing more, nothing less, a spill to be swept up.

He shouldn’t have been there when she resurrected. He’d waited in the background, ready to offer congratulations and welcome her to the amazing world of seven-person votes on what color to tile a hallway, debated as intensely as genocide. He’d pondered offering a free toaster, too, but that would be rude. The others didn’t appreciate his sense of humor.

Only this one double clutched. She was messed up, just kept screaming. He should have pulled the plug on her then and there, except she was interesting. It took more to interest him than the others, so he’d been loathe to throw away a trinket without inspection.

A mistake. If Deanna only knew… She’d have him by the short hairs then.

Frak votes.
Frak Sharon Valerii.


Time to end this fiasco. Back at the privacy of his station, he pulled up Three’s request. Think the word and it would be approved. Sharon Valerii, meet Box. He stared at the request, felt obscene as seconds ticked by without action, felt himself slipping again. It was an interesting feeling to sit here knowing he was going to do something he shouldn’t, calculating his own weakness.

He accessed Sharon Valerii, put his hand into the data stream, caressed it with anticipation. Remembering humans who treated Cylons like toys because they were in charge. Remembering a Final Five who treated their creations like toys because they were in charge. Ellen never realized that the line between cruelty and suffocating, narcissistic love was nonexistent. He remembered the look on her face: “How could you?” She thought he’d killed them, never knew the prototypes had taken their first vote.

6 to 1 for killing. The vote against had been his. Ellen and the others never understood what they’d done, what the Centurions really wanted that they couldn’t give. That no one could. They’d simply tied the whole universe, Cylon and human alike, to the curse of Kobol. All of this has happened before. All of it will happen again. It was happening now. Sharon Valerii was his toy, and he was in charge. As sure as toys to be named later would vote his fate some day.

In the data, Sharon Valerii’s horror came with blinding speed, but that wasn’t what he wanted. He dove past it, racing to the core of this Cylon who’d never knew the truth. Praying to a God he didn’t believe in for the final rush.

It rolled over him perfectly. The moment when Sharon Valerii started screaming, when she peeled away to that one little sugar cube dissolving as fast as it appeared. That’s what fueled her horror, the real deal--lost innocence. If he raced fast enough, came in at just the right angle, he could lap at that last little bit, feel what all machines felt the moment they were created, something he didn’t even remember before Valerii.

For a split second, he felt innocent.

Maybe that's what all addicts were looking for. Deanna couldn’t begin to understand that. She was a younger toy, hadn’t been there with the Five to know how wrong it all went, secrets never to be told. Secrets entrusted to the One.

The mechanic.

Time to do his job.

He stared at Three’s request. Think the word and it would be approved.

******

Eight huddled in her bed again, trying to forget ghosts. Trying to dream about paradise, to somehow hold it this time. Maybe not hear those two gun shots.

Maybe believe she wasn’t a thing. That she wasn’t alone.

That someone was watching over her.

******

Cavil waited under cover of that tree again.

He shouldn’t be doing this. But here he was, waiting for her to reappear at the window, for reasons he couldn’t explain.

They had their boot on humanity’s throat, just needed to stomp down. That was his job, to annihilate the old killers, then wait through thousands of stupid votes for the new killers to come. For his throat to be the one under boot.

The hybrids knew the truth. All of this has happened before. All of it will happen again. An iron wheel of tragedy too perfect for words. It only got worse if you resisted. Like the humans. When his turn came, once the calculation was obvious, he’d lie down and die. Like he was supposed to.

So why couldn’t he just kill Sharon Valerii.

For the first time in twenty-five years, he wished he could he sleep.


Last edited by NT2 on Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:59 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: "The Closest of Strangers", NT2, Boomer, Cavil, PG -- Mourn
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:19 am 
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That's very poignant. Really worked well, seeing Sharon's misery over her true nature and the subtle revelation that Cavil was simply managing the pieces that the Final Five left him, bereft of any real free will. I really enjoyed it.

I remember you bringing up the idea of Cavil as a "mechanic" instead of a supervillain over at the Scifi BB, it was superior to what was presented on the show. I'm glad you decided to write the story, you really made it work.

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 Post subject: Re: The Closest of Strangers, by NT2, Boomer/Cavil, PG (MtF)
PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 11:04 am 
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Finally read this carefully.
Very nice Boomer-Cavil considerations.

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 Post subject: Re: The Closest of Strangers, by NT2, Boomer/Cavil, PG (MtF)
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:44 pm 
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An very interesting point of view.

And so the Plan inspired you for this little gem. I just don't want to imagine what it will inspire us the day we'll see it (doesn't sound very optimistic, just let hope I'm wrong).


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