NOTES: This is another story that one of my friends challenged me to write. Again, it's short. Spoilers for episode 2.04 - 'Resistance'.

Clarity

It is said that in the moment of your death, your life flashes before your eyes.

She feels the bullet in her chest; knows that her heart is cramping, slowing, stopping as the blood that should flow to it spills out through the hole in her skin, spills into her body.

It is said that in the moment of your death, clarity comes.

Cally steps back, her expression satisfied, even as they disarm her and drag her away.

Sharon's mind registers the bullet's presence, her body registers the pain. And under the scalpel of pain, the memories of Lieutenant Sharon Valerii, human-Cylon agent, begin to unravel, like a knitted sweater with one loose thread.

She doesn't remember her childhood anymore - the childhood that never happened. She doesn't remember how she came into being, which memories are real and which memories were implanted into what passes for brain matter, what programming was hidden in her before she was set loose on the world.

Half her life is a lie, and she doesn't know when the lies start, although she can guess.

There are things she knows that be true to who she believed herself to be. There are things that happened to her, that she experienced in person and not through the lens and scope of the memories implanted in her by the Cylons.

In the seconds between the bullet and the fall, Sharon remembers.

She remembers Fleet Academy, the cocky grins of the pilot cadets, the gruff bark of their drill instructor as he runs them ragged through the forest floor that is more rock than root. The switches on the old, ground-bound Raptor are worn smooth by the fingers of many cadets, flipping them back and forth, their colours flaking off and replaced by rough paint jobs.

Her hand reaches for her side and she stumbles back, into the arms of the sergeants who'd been escorting her to her end.

She remembers meeting Kara, watching the cocky swagger of the young pilot as she sauntered into class. She remembers the first time she and Kara got hammered together: Kara was drinking whiskey, Sharon was drinking this godawful vodka that was harsh as a scrubber shoved down her throat.

Faces blur and whirl, voices blend and buzz, but one voice, one face stands out.

She remembers meeting the Chief on the Galactica, watching the cool competence of his authority as he looked over the Raptor she'd been assigned. She remembers listening to his voice rather than the words he spoke, watching his face rather than the things he was pointing out, and dragging her thoughts back to the matter at hand when he demanded whether she was paying any attention to what he was saying.

What is real and what is not?

Who was Sharon Valerii and how will she be remembered?

Will they mourn her? Or will they wash their hands of yet another Cylon and be glad?

A fragment of memory asserts itself - the first time she saw him smile at her. Warmth, amusement, and the glimmerings of affection that would later blossom into love.

Sharon looks up at him. She hopes that this will exonerate him, that he'll be able to move away from the stain of her influence, of what she became. Without her on the Galactica, maybe he'll be free.

I love you, Chief.

Clarity.

- fin -