It's a poetry that no one else understands, except maybe the hybrid on the baseship. She's light-years away, carrying the centurions to whatever destiny they chose. Poems, songs that only you can hear; you understand even better Kara's music that had led them to your first home.
Kara. You caught a glimpse once but when you looked, it was gone. Maybe she's what you saw before, that visitor who pushed you to rebuild resurrection. The woman in your visions, who told you to hurry, there wasn't much time. This you know: Kara is something more than just the woman you loved. You hadn't seen her clearly before, not all that she is.
- - -
You had escaped, the five of you, the only survivors from the Thirteenth Colony; wearing second bodies, identical to the ones you'd had on Earth before your metal slaves had overthrown everything.
Story of your life--of over two thousand years of history, skimming the surface of it, moving at sub-light speeds. You were always too late. Too late to stop the same enslavement, too late to prevent the first war. You and your colleagues put an end to it, though. You designed biological bodies, 'children' of the centurions and their God and the best of yourselves as builders. Maybe this didn't have to happen again.
Cavil, however... your first offspring. Their model plotted and schemed. None of you knew how great was his treachery because he made all of you forget. He stored your memories, yourselves and put each of you into new bodies. He made you relive what you'd already experienced in mortality the first time--the insurrection of the enslaved, now committed by the biological offspring you'd designed.
- - -
Kara comes to see you after you've accepted this last mission. Her fingers slide into the liquid for a moment, brushing against your arm. You hear her breathing, uneven as she tries not to cry and oh, Kara, you want to stay with her but you can't. Can't even hold her now. The dogtags she removed from around her neck slip past your still fingers after she lets go of your hand. Then her lips are soft against yours and tears slide down your cheeks and you don't know if they're yours or hers. "I love you," she says. No qualifications, no angry recriminations. She's been stripped bare and you can't help her put the layers on again.
You want to reassure her but the words won't come. Galactica fills your mind, pushes everything else below, makes you distant from yourself. You shove at it, push upward on your thoughts. "See you on the other side," you tell her.
But she's already left.
- - -
Scanning engines; FTL drive still functional. Structural damage continues to render Galactica incapable of supporting its use. Instead you guide her and the other ships onward.
You hear the music of all the ships. It comes through in waves: information, the thrum of engines, the vibrations of motion through metal. Galactica has its destination programmed and you feel each ship connected to her. Your ship, your fleet; like an extension of yourself.
Adjusting fluid temperature. Increase nutrients and saline concentration one point five percent to compensate for rising temperatures.
Bullet to your own brain had made the confusion stop (get worse). Now you're a vessel leading other vessels, more than you were before (but you lost your own body, it won't move out of this tank). You're still inside. Everything that made you more than a machine is buried underneath. You feel the emotions but they don't reach the surface.
You receive new data. Hitei Kan is no longer transmitting a signal. Not unexpected; the ship with the most fuel residue would be the first to explode from the heat. For a moment it's like a lost limb until you remember and no; it's not the same. Not like Felix.
(Felix lost his leg because you shot him, you panicked even though you never panic. You shot skinjobs and bulletheads and built bombs and planned two resistance movements. People had gotten hurt, had died but that was the price of war and then something went off in your own head. You were one of them, one of the enemy and nothing made sense anymore. Then you put a bullet in Felix's leg so he wouldn't stop Kara, so he would let her find the signal.)
It receded--the confusion, the anger, the question: how can I be part of what I fought against? Normal turbulence of remembering multiple lives. Doesn't hurt anymore because it's all buried underneath, like a dream you struggle to remember after waking.
The engines can't produce enough cool air to compensate for the increased temperatures. You check the datafeed from Galactica. The readings tell you that the metals that encase the ship are expanding and softening on the side that faces the sun.
Fluid evaporates from your tank. You don't feel pain; instead it's a dull throb, nausea, like your insides are coming apart. Maybe it's the ship you feel breaking apart; her rips and scars have become your own.
Close enough now; the ships will continue forward to their destination until they melt and burn away. You see a white-hot light even though your eyes are closed.
You'll see them all on the other side. End of line.