|Two Tribes Gone To War
Author: Rap541 PM
Sequel to Six and TwoRated: Fiction K - English - Adventure - Chapters: 16 - Words: 34,307 - Reviews: 40 - Favs: 17 - Follows: 13 - Updated: 09-03-06 - Published: 03-17-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2848638
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Two Tribes Gone To War
Getting out of town was harder than it sounded. Getting off the Colonial One was harder than it looked too. Once he had been handed his id card, with a warning from the Eight to have it with him at all times, he had been told to leave. Fortunately there were a lot of people milling about in a shell shocked way, and he was able make his way down to his quarters unmolested. Of course he felt like everyone was staring. He was different, fundamentally different. He wouldn't have been surprised to have looked in a mirror and seen his eyes glowing red.
But no one bothered him. One of the male Cylons stared at him, and he almost cringed away. The Cylon merely chuckled, but the reaction convinced Gaeta that Six was telling the truth on at least one point. He would be found out eventually if he stayed, if only because he didn't think he'd ever find a way to be comfortable around them. Or around anyone else. The exhilaration of just moments earlier faded away. He was in a trap, a giant trap closing around him. Worse, there was nowhere to run. He could pretend to be human but he had a feeling that he was never going to be comfortable in his own skin again.
His room hadn't been touched. Judging by the state of disarray that the whole ship was in, he wasn't surprised. Somewhere in the distance, he was certain he could hear people screaming. He tried to shut his ears to it, but his hearing was just so damnably better…
I'll just go, he decided. There were caves to the west. He ignored how quickly and easily he seemed to recall the surveys. The plant life was basically edible, there were wild animals that could be eaten. There were also some farms in that area. He could make a camp of some sort, maybe spend some time alone.
It had been a very bad day. He deserved some time alone.
Packing was easy. He still had his military gear. No one seemed to be confiscating guns yet but he was careful to load them at the bottom of the rucksack he'd been issued when he had been assigned as the military advisor. At the time, he'd been angry that he had to cart down camping gear and ammunition but it was going to come in handy. He'd always had access to food, so the emergency rations had never been used. He threw those in the pack as well. Once the gear was in, there was precious little room for anything else. Clothes, he decided. It was cold on New Caprica. And a civilian duffle bag would make the military rucksack less noticeable.
He wondered if it was odd that he could fit everything he owned into two bags. Of course there were things he was leaving. His books, pictures of his friends… he hesitated and then shoved the books into the duffle bag, and then the pictures and the other few keepsakes. If it got heavy, he could dump it. Or trade it. Even the contents of the rucksack weren't necessary.
He'd heard that Cylons didn't need to eat. They didn't even feel pain if they chose. He wondered when that was going to kick in. He hoped it was soon.
"Felix!" Gaeta jumped and then inwardly groaned. It was President Gauis Baltar, absolutely the last person he wanted to see. Granted, the revelation that he was a Cylon had trumped the fact that humanity had just been surrendered to the Cylons. Still, he could barely deal with Gauis Baltar when things weren't completely awful. Baltar had become as much of a drunk as Col. Tigh had been. It had been getting much worse, really, and the only reason he hadn't quit was because he was basically left running the show and he could admit to enjoying the fascinating problems that building a new society posed. Making sure that Baltar didn't drown in his own vomit was a small price to pay for interesting work and a position of respect.
Which was all meaningless now.
"Dr. Baltar," he said, using a tone that wasn't too harsh. " I have been fired. You've surrendered. I don't think that the Cylons are going to allow me to stay." Not that he wanted to, but that was somewhat irrelevant. Baltar could talk pretty fast when he wanted but Gaeta was pretty certain it wasn't going to make a difference.
" I could talk to them," Baltar said after a moment, " They said that I could keep key staff, that the government structure would stay basically the same with… some new rules to implement. I don't know why they're so adamant about you, but I'm certain I can get them to come around." He looked at the rucksack and duffle bag. " Are you… leaving?"
" I can't stay." For more reasons than he wanted to get into. Even though he sensed, deep down, that Baltar was as horrified as he was at the turn of events, it was beyond him to feel sympathy. Not any more. Baltar knew Six. That meant something, and it wasn't a good thing. " They won't change their mind. They…" he thought quickly for a plausible lie, " They don't want military veterans in the government. They'll never trust me. Don't worry… they'll find you a new errand boy."
It was surprisingly nice to see Baltar visibly cringe. The older man paled and looked down at his feet. " I just said that… so they wouldn't kill you."
The problem was, that while it was just as thoughtless and cruel of a remark that Baltar could make, it was also possibly true. Which made his fantasy of making Baltar beg forgiveness just one added cruelty to an already horrible day. He wasn't going to apologize, that was for sure, but did he want to start his day as a Cylon by being a total bastard to someone he had once respected? " I know… but it's not going to make a difference. I've been reassigned… to the education program." As if he was going to stick around long enough to see what that would mean. He suspected not very much at all. There weren't very many truly educated people in the colony. The best way to subjugate was to restrict education. In a generation, if humanity survived that long, they would be a race of serfs. Which made his assignment even more suspicious. He knew enough top level math to be dangerous. He wasn't a fool, it would be a rare individual that would ever come close to his ability, but it was a surprisingly foolish move to send him to the school system.
But that was a thought for another time.
Baltar looked suddenly relieved. " Good, good… I was worried they had decided to send you off to the construction battalions."
That was ominous. He suddenly wondered just how much Baltar really understood about how things were going to go. As a Cylon, he knew that he would be fine in a construction crew. He could feel the difference in himself. However, he wasn't a fool. Visually, he was no Lee Adama, even if Lee had let himself go big time. And there was a pretty good chance that Lee was dead, so having spiteful thoughts about how the man had run to fat in the job that Gaeta had wanted just seemed mean.
But… construction battalions were not going to go over well with the unions. Neither were forced assignments or so many other things that seemed to be happening. Baltar had no idea how bad things were going to get. The Cylons seemed to want to subjugate the human race. That meant, as near as he could tell, that things would be survivable if people did what they were told. Enough of the people were already emotionally broken from the destruction of the twelve colonies that there wasn't going to be a huge fight. He knew that just from reading the reports from Dr. Cottle. Things had been looking up as the colony had stabilized but he somehow suspected that marching troops of Cylon Centurions were not going to make things better. And some people were going to fight from the start. He was certain that Tyrol for example wasn't going to let the union be ruled.
And of course, it was unlikely that Galen Tyrol was going to get much say on the labor policies. " Dr. Baltar… Gauis… I think it would be very unwise of you to push this." If only because he had no idea just how deeply Baltar was in their pockets. They might trust Baltar enough to tell him the truth. Or they might find it amusing to keep Gaeta on as Baltar's aide… one great big joke on the human president.
Baltar took a step closer. " They don't plan to kill us but I suspect things won't be very pleasant. Number Six assures me that people will just need to… get used to the new rules… and it won't be so unpleasant as time goes on." He put his hand on Gaeta's shoulder. "I'm going to need friends around me, to get through these dark times, Felix."
It was perfect. Almost masterly. So perfect, Gaeta was almost certain that if he had received just one massive shock to the system and not two, he might have bought it. Now though, all he could feel was white hot rage. Baltar wanted him to stay for no other reason than that he would be a convenient tool for Gauis Baltar. Convenient until a scapegoat was needed and then President Gauis Baltar would throw his tool down as a sacrifice.
He had been a complete fool. Oh, he had realized long before that day that Baltar had next to no real affection or friendship with anyone, but knowing that he had believed the snake masquerading as a person standing before him had cared about anything other than himself…. Something inside Gaeta snapped.
" Are you insane? Or just too drunk to realize that we are all completely frakked? Do you even care that we've been conquered? It's all over, and you are just their puppet!" He grabbed Baltar and forced him to the porthole window, where they could both see Cylon Centurions marching down the thoroughfare. " That is because of you! You let this happen… and how in the name of the gods did she know your name?"
Because Gaeta understood how she knew his name. He was one of them and obviously records were kept. But Number Six had given Baltar a look, an intimate look, and he knew Baltar well enough to know that the man had recognized the woman. " What did you do?"
For a second, Baltar blanched and he knew without question that Baltar had done something more than just bring about the current downfall. But as quickly as the moment had come, it passed. Baltar pushed him away and managed to look as cold and nasty as he could.
" I think," he said haughtily as he brushed off his suit, " that perhaps it's best if you do leave, Mr. Gaeta." He spun on his heels and left.
Gaeta let out the breath he had been holding, and unclenched his fists. He had been seconds from just pummeling the man to death. That was new, although he wasn't entirely certain he could pin that on his newfound Cylon nature. Still, his outburst guaranteed one thing. He was not going to be welcome around the Colonial One.
He grabbed his gear. It was time to head for the hills and find a rock to hide under.