A/N: Sorry for such a long wait… I've been rather busy, and so few people seemed interested in this story that I let sit on the far back burner. But I've got a bit more time on my hands now and the very few of you who have bothered to review asked so nicely for an update that I forced myself to get back into this. Now if you want to keep the updates coming I expect the rest of you to review, not just the like 5 or so who have been. I hope you enjoy it, I know I enjoyed writing it.
"Hera's blood? You injected her with Hera's blood?" The six stared at him in shock.
"Well yes… I mean seeing as Hera was a hybrid of both cylon and human physiology it was pretty safe to assume that her blood was an amalcom…" He frowned at her, she didn't seem to be interested in what he was saying. She had come into the room they'd locked him in and started flirting with him like she used to back on Caprica, but just when things might have turned interesting, she had started asking questions about that Roslin woman.
"She's the Hera to his Zues, the scriptures were speaking metaphorically." The six continued to think out loud, completely ignoring him. "We must get her back, she's even more important than we originally thought." She made to leave but he called her back.
"What are you talking about?" He asked, very frustrated with the way this meeting was turning out. She turned and gave him a predatory smile.
"Thank you so very much for your help Gaius." Then she swept out of the room, locking it behind her, leaving him wondering what had just happened.
Simon was surprised when the knock on the door came, he had thought that his brothers and sisters had given up on them. Leoben, on the other hand, just wondered why she had bothered to knock at all.
"You'll have to unlock the door," Leoben called cynically, not bothering to get up from his seat on the couch when she entered.
"Have you reconsidered?" Six asked, skipping false pleasantries and getting straight to the point.
"Does he speak for you?" Six turned to Simon who had thus far remained silent.
"I will not help you either." Simon replied firmly.
"I'm sorry you won't see reason." And she did look sorry. Of course, that didn't mean anything, they both knew she was a brilliant little actress. "But as it turns out, we don't need your help to get what we want, though it would have made things easier." She smiled at them, enjoying how they had tensed at her words. "Well, this has been fun, but I have a clever and fiendish plot to put into action, so, if you will excuse me." And she quickly left the room, locking the door behind her.
"What did she mean by that?" Simon asked as soon as he heard the lock click.
"Nothing good, obviously. I just hope she's not planning what I think she's planning." Leoben replied, frowning.
"Which would be what exactly?"
"Think about it for a moment, it should be obvious. We're living computers, computers can store and share data—"
"Oh hell." Simon interrupted, finally realizing what Leoben meant. "So simple and yet we can't do a thing about it now… Not after we've already been downloaded."
"We'll just have to hope the humans aren't stupid enough to fall for it." Simon noticed Leoben didn't look as confident as he sounded
It was late when Bill walked unobtrusively into sickbay. He didn't want to attract anyone's attention, he just wanted to check on Laura, to see that she was still there and getting better. He thought that she would be asleep by now but as he neared her curtains he heard voices.
" 'Nother, 'nother."
"Isis, it's past your bedtime. You need to settle down and go to sleep." He paused outside the curtain, not wanting to disturb them but desperately needing to hear her voice.
"One moor Lala. Peese?" Isis pleaded, and Bill imagined her giving Laura the sad puppy dog look.
"Alright, but this is the last one and I mean it. It's past Lala's bedtime too." He smiled, he kind of liked that nickname. "Now what kind of story do you want?"
"One 'bout a pricess 'n a nigh in amor" Bill's smile widened as he listened, apparently Isis still had mastered language.
"One about a princess and a knight in shining armor?" Laura questioned, the teacher in her coming through as she carefully pronounced the words Isis had mispronounced.
"Ok. Once upon a time," There was a rustling of sheets and Bill could tell that Isis had snuggled down into the bed and made herself comfortable. "There was a princess—"
"Was she a bootiful pricess?" Isis interrupted.
"Many people thought so, but sometimes she couldn't believe that."
"Why?" Isis asked, sounding confused, as if she couldn't understand why someone wouldn't believe what someone else said.
"You're still too young to understand this, sweetheart, but most girls are very insecure about the way they look." Laura explained, and Bill frowned, thinking she had absolutely nothing to be insecure about. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, even if that did sound clichéd.
"Oh…" Isis still sounded confused.
"Can I continue?"
"The princess was unhappy because her life had not turned out the way she had wanted it to. See her family had all died when she was younger and she felt very alone. She had been too young to rule the kingdom so a wealthy lord had temporarily taken over ruling the kingdom until she felt ready. He had always included her in the decision making process but when she started to disagree with how he was running things he would get angry and yell at her. The princess should have just taken back control of her kingdom but she was scared she would make a mistake and the Lord was very good at persuading her that she wasn't ready yet."
"He bad." Isis observed, obviously enjoying the story so far. Bill was also listening intently, but for completely different reasons. He had realized pretty quickly that this wasn't just some made up story.
"Yes he was, but the princess had a hard time saying no to him because he had a way of making unsure of herself and her abilities. Then one day he made a decision to send soldiers to a town that been refusing to pay taxes because they thought the taxes were too high and didn't leave enough money to be able to buy what they needed. The princess had known about the town and had gone there the day before to talk to the people and try to find a way for them all to work together. She had made progress and the town leaders had agreed to come to the castle and talk to the Lord about the taxes. But when she told the Lord what she had done, he got very angry. He wanted to send the soldiers in and make an example of the town, so no one would try to question him again. The princess was so angry that she forgot to be afraid and started to argue with him, trying to make him change his mind. She told him that if he sent soldiers to the town people would get hurt, but he didn't care."
"Why?" Isis asked suddenly, because she couldn't believe that he wouldn't care if he hurt people.
"Well, he had never met any of the people and didn't understand why they were opposing him. He just saw that they were threatening his rule so he was trying to get rid of that threat as quickly as possible. But what he wanted to do was wrong and the princess knew that. She told him she wouldn't let him hurt the townspeople and told him she was taking back her throne. This made him even more angry and he tried to banish her from the kingdom."
"Oh no!" Isis cried, clearly very worried for the princess.
"Shhh. You have to be quiet Isis, other people are sleeping." Laura reprimanded her gently.
"Sorry." Isis whispered.
"It's alright, Isis. Now where was I?" She paused to pick up her train of thought. "Oh yes. He tried to banish the princess but the princess said she would not go quietly. She said she would fight him every way she could because he had no right to keep her throne or to hurt anybody. Then she went to her room in the castle and cried."
"Why?" Isis jumped in again with that impatient curiosity all young children seem to possess.
"Because not only was she upset about the Lord ordering soldiers to the town and about him trying to steal her throne, but early that day she had been told by the royal physician that she had a deadly wasting disease that he couldn't cure."
"Oh no… Is she going to die?" Isis whispered, horrified that her beautiful princess would die and the evil Lord would win.
"Why don't you listen to the rest of the story to find out?" Laura suggested.
"Ok… I hope she gets better."
"Don't worry, sweetie. Now the princess didn't have time to wallow in self pity because she had to go over see the makings of a new school. The princess loved children and had even been a teacher for a little while before the Lord had made her stop. The new school was going to be put in an old military fort that the Lord had decided was no longer needed. She was going to see the Commander in charge of the fort to make sure that he would turn the fort into a proper school that would be safe for the children. She went with a long procession of people, because this new school would be important and a lot of people wanted to see the fort. When she arrived, she saw that the fort would need a lot of work to be made into a school. But when she tried to bring up what she thought needed to be changed with the Commander, he got angry and argued with her, telling her there was a reason things were the way they were and that they shouldn't be changed."
"Is he a bad man too?" Isis asked, worried that no one would love her princess.
"She thought so at first, but that was because she didn't understand him and he didn't understand her. She thought he was being stubborn and wouldn't listen to a woman and thought she was stupid. And he thought that she was condescending and rude and just a silly princess who didn't really know anything about the world. But they were both very wrong. On her way back to the castle, the kingdom was attacked on all sides by another kingdom from the other side of the mountains."
"Oh no! Is she ok?" Bill was starting to think that maybe this story was a little too scary for Isis, he was certainly finding it distressing.
"She was very scared, but she was fine. The Commander's son had provided her with an escort and saved her when their carriage was attacked by two of the enemy's knights. The princess quickly realized that there was no way her kingdom could defeat this enemy and decided to try and find as many survivors as she could so she could lead them to a new safe land. She managed to get together a caravan of over 5 thousand refugees and she started to try to figure out how they would share resources when they were spotted by one of the enemy's scouts."
"Oh no!" Isis gasped, terrified that after everything the princess had been through, she was going to be killed.
"Shhh. The princess held a quick conference with the Commander's son, her driver, her aide, and a high ranked noble on what they should do. Her driver said they should try to get everyone that was on foot squeezed into the carriages but the Commander's son pointed out that they didn't have time. They could already hear the thunderous pounding of the enemy's horses riding towards them. The princess realized that the only way any of them were going to survive was if the carriages took off now. She was going to have to leave those who weren't in carriages behind. She gave the order for all the carriage drivers to make the horses go as fast as possible and to head towards the old fort, which was the closest safe place she could think of. As the carriages galloped away the people being left behind screamed for them to wait, but the princess knew they couldn't or they would all be killed. Some of the people screamed curses at her. One woman yelled that she hoped the princess would rot in hell."
"That not nice." Isis was clearly very upset with how things were going for her princess and Bill couldn't blame her. He had known that it had been touch and go before the fleet joined Galactica at Ragnarok station but why hadn't anyone told him about that? He had been a complete ass to her, when she must have been devastated.
"No it wasn't, but the woman was scared and angry and lashed out because she didn't know what else to do. But it hurt the princess. She hadn't wanted to leave them all behind, she didn't want anyone to die. She thought the woman was right, she was going to hell for abandoning all those people. But she had to. When they got to the old fort she was reluctantly greeted by the Colonel, who refused to let her speak with the Commander. She was very frustrated because the Colonel was even meaner to her than the Commander had been and she didn't want to have to deal with his attitude on top of everything else. All she wanted was to get some medical help for some of the people she had brought with her who had gotten hurt before she found them but the Colonel said he couldn't waste people and resources on non-military things because they had a war to fight. She tried to tell him that the war was over and they had lost but he wouldn't listen. Finally the Commander's son convinced the Colonel to give them some medical supplies and said that they would distribute it all themselves."
"Where was the Comader?" Bill winced as Isis botched his old title.
"The Commander had gone to an old supply post that wasn't too far away from the fort to get supplies for his knights but part of the supply post had collapsed trapping him with a smuggler and away from his men. The smuggler turned out to be one of the enemies and the Commander had to fight him for his life. But the princess didn't know this at the time, all anyone would tell her was that he was busy and couldn't meet with her. The Colonel had her and her aide locked in a room and posted guards outside the door. He said it was for their protection but the princess felt like they were being held prisoner there so that they wouldn't cause the Colonel anymore trouble. Then the Commander finally made it back to the fort, though he had been wounded in the fight with the enemy smuggler. He came to speak with the princess when he realized that he couldn't really ignore her any longer. The princess and her aide were trying once again to figure out how to share all the necessary resources the different carriages had with the rest of the carriages when the Commander walked in. The princess was very angry with the way she and her people had been treated so she ignored him until she finished what she had been doing with her aide. Then she tried to convince the very unhappy Commander that they needed to leave and that he and his men needed to protect the refugees she had saved. Once again she tried to explain that the war was over but again her words seemed to fall on deaf ears. But the Commander had heard her and, after being informed of the tactical situation, decided she was right. The enemy had arrived at the fort and was preparing to lay siege. The Commander ordered his knights to attack and keep the enemy busy long enough for the civilian refugees to get away. Then when all the civilians had escaped, the Commander and his knights retreated as fast as they could. The princess and the Commander managed to out run the enemy and when they felt it was safe they held a ceremony to honor all those that they had lost. Then they talked about how they would move forward from there and came to an agreement. The princess would take her rightful place as ruler and the Commander would be in charge of her military. They still didn't understand each other but it was a start in the right direction. The next day they headed out at a fast pace determined to stay ahead of their enemy and find a new place to call home." There was silence for a moment behind the curtain before Isis spoke.
"Is that the end?" She asked, as though she couldn't believe that it was.
"It is for tonight, I'll tell you more tomorrow, but only if you go to sleep right now." There was more sheet rustling soon followed by slightly overdone snores. "Good girl." Laura whispered, and Bill could hear the slight waver in her voice that spoke volumes to him. Telling that story had been hard for her, but she also must have needed it. He decided to come back again tomorrow night to listen to the next installment. He hoped it would give him more insight into how she worked and what he could do to make things right between them again. He missed her and he wanted his Laura back. He wanted to be able to tell her how guilty he felt for leaving her on New Caprica, how scared he was when he heard that she had been taken prisoner by the Cylons, how overjoyed he was that she was back, and how much he loved her. He turned around to find Cottle watching him with an eyebrow raised.
"They say it's impolite to eavesdrop." Jack told him sardonically.
"So they say…" He replied noncommittally, not wanting to explain why he was here or what he had been doing.
"Tomorrow, you should ask to join story time."
"Good night, Jack." He said firmly before heading out of sick bay and toward his quarters.