by Chaoseternus

I do not own nor do I cliam ownership of non-original characters and / or concepts contained within

"aarggh!" Starbuck cried, in pain and anger as she was tossed once more onto the heavy concrete pedestal that had held the arrow she came here to retrieve.

Damn, but the bitch was fast, strong too.

On the other hand… Starbuck kicked out, catching the cylon right beneath the ribcage. Starbuck grinned as she heard something snap, not covered at all by the whoosh of air forced out the female cylons lungs.

Oh yeah, on the other hand you're facing a trained Colonial Warrior.

Starbuck jumped up, grimacing as a shard of pain lanced through her back but she pushed through, her feet already moving in what would have been a perfect head shot, an instant night-night for the unknown cylon she faced.

Kara cursed as once again she tasted dirt, damn the bitch was fast.

She kicked upwards, trying to get back on her feet quickly, before her opponent could capitalise on her vulnerable position. The cylon was faster, her fist meeting Kara's face, the combined force of the cylons punch and Kara's rapid rise to her feet dazing Kara and landing her right back on her arse.

Grimacing, Kara spat out a pair of teeth, ignoring the nasty taste of blood in her mouth, then glanced up to see the Cylon pick up a battered piece of wood, swing it once, almost as if she was checking if it was suitable, then stride towards her.

Oh, frak no you don't Kara cursed inwardly, fear giving her unnatural speed as she sprang back to her feet, swaying a little as the sudden movement combined with her injuries to make her more then a little dizzy.

The distraction was fatal, by the time she had forced her mind to concentrate past the dizziness, the makeshift bat was already swinging. Kara closed her eyes, not wanting to see if she was moving quickly enough as she tried to dodge the oncoming weapon.

There was a sudden sharp, meaty thunk and Kara shuddered, just waiting for the pain.

It never came.

She opened one eye experimentally, to see the bat firmly clenched, apparently caught mid-swing by a tall dark man in clothes battered, mud lined and heavily burned, his face… What the frak? Kara cursed as she caught sight of the ghastly make-up that had been applied to the strangers face.

"Hi" he said, in all seriousness to the rather shocked cylon, "and don't suppose you remember me, but I remember you well. You see, fifty odd days ago you killed me and a few billion of my fellow citizens.

Killed him? Well, frak mate since you're walking and talking a guess that makes you a whack job…

Luckily perhaps for Kara, some instinct for self-preservation prevented her from saying her thoughts out loud. Most likely, the same part of her psyche that was screaming that the stranger was dangerous, to be feared.

Effortlessly, the stranger tore the bat from the cylons hand then swung, batting her across the width of the room, right on top of Kara's gun. Her eyes widening, Kara recognised the danger and shouted out a warning, "Gun!" but it was too late.

Bang… Bang… Bang…

Barely had the echoes gone away when the stranger stood right back up, presenting unblemished and undamaged skin to both Kara and the Cylon through the holes the shots had caused in his rather tattered clothes.

"You know" he spoke, conversationally, but simply, "they say that when a person dies, a crow comes and plucks the soul from the body, carrying it up to the heavens"

He moves quick; Kara thought as he effortlessly intercepted the fleeing and suddenly fearful Cylon, throwing her back, almost to Kara's feet.

"Where upon the soul is judged. But sometimes the soul can not rest and sometimes, just sometimes the crow carries the soul back to the body of the fallen, to right the wrongs, kill the evildoers…"

The conversational tone vanished, replaced by a tone of implacable promise that had Kara shuddering, even though she knew it wasn't aimed at her.

"…and to bring bloody vengeance upon their killers"

The conversational tone reappeared, but this time there was a sharp, knifelike edge to it.

"And dreary me, I seem to have twelve wholes worlds to have vengeance for, and my sources tell me you personally were responsible for much of the destruction.

So, for you I have a gift"

A knot twisted in Kara's stomach, but she couldn't look away as the Crow brought his hands up, placing them tightly over the Cylons face, holding her in place.

"Ever wondered what it feels like to die in a nuclear blast? No, well you're about to find out"

The scream that followed was seared into Kara's soul for the rest of her days. The only good thing she ever remembered about it was that it brought Helo and the Boomer running to her aid.

She tried not to think what would have happened if the crow had wanted vengeance on her, for being a warrior and failing to protect her people.

Then, soft flutter made her look up and there was a bird, black, gazing at her with unnatural intelligence. A second flutter, she glanced to her left where a second bird, a Crow she assumed, was landing softly on the shoulder of a tall blond. The bird cawed, and her eyes widened as a chorus of answering caws sounded outside.

Ignoring the screaming of the cylon, she walked to the shattered front of the museum and stopped; her eyes wide as she gazed open people.

Thousands of them.

A chorus of caws made her look up and she saw the skies turn black as birds by the thousands wheeled and turned across the air. She smiled suddenly, maliciously, the words of the stranger echoing in her head. Vengeance had come to the cylons at last.