spoilers: based entirely on episode 105: There is another sky
disclaimer: I own nothing
summary: Based off of my speculations about Tamara's new friend (Herc) that she met in v-world and what he was thinking when he ran from her father.
A/N: I caught this episode out of the corner of my eye when I should have been doing schoolwork and the plot bunnies went rampant. Please keep in mind that prior to this episode I have seen none of Caprica or Battle-star Galactica. I just was sucked in by Tamara's story, or rather her new friend Herc and what his story might be.
WARNING: this ficlet will skip from past to present, v-world to reality. I intended it to be jumbled and abrupt. It might get confusing. Consider yourself warned.
His Name Isn't Important Here
His name isn't important here.
In V-world you can be and do anything you want. Whoever you are or were before doesn't matter. Its what he likes the most about the virtual world, the fantasy. Only after a while it consumes so fully that the fantasy becomes reality. And that reality is all that matters.
Here he is different. Here he is hard, powerful, nothing like the soft weak shadow behind the holo-band. No... here he is worth something. Here he is henchman and player, gatekeeper to Vesta. He revels in the role.
The girl confuses him.
She shouldn't exist. She shouldn't be so soft and trusting and naïve. She shouldn't bleed. He doesn't like the sight of her blood. It brings up unpleasant memories he has worked so hard to forget.
The violence of the game never bothered him mostly because it was just that, a game. For all the players he had shot, he had never hurt anyone, not in the way that mattered. Because in v-world pain was non-existent, death was non-existent.
He tries to tell her, tries to explain.
Its not real... okay?
But it is to me, She says.
And it is. He sees it for himself as she bleeds again, feels the warm flush of her blood over his fingers. Watches as the code underneath is swallowed up by skin. Wonders at it. Wonders at her.
That's her name. He doesn't tell her his. His name isn't important here.
He didn't like it when they used force.
He had learned quickly the art of seeming non threatening as possible. He kept his head lowered. Never looked in their eyes. Kept his hands loose and relaxed. Made himself as small as possible.
But sometimes it didn't make a difference. Sometimes they were rough anyways. As if they got off on the control, got off on him being small and helpless and them with all the power. Pushing him down, tying him roughly to the table even though he didn't struggle. The leather constraints cutting into his wrists and ankles, strangling his chest. The meds would come next, with the prick of needles.
He would stare up at the ceiling and loose himself in the white. Here everything was white. The ceiling, the walls, the floor. Even his clothing was white. He hated the white, almost as much as he hated them.
Their faces were always different but they always had the same eyes that looked at him the same way. So blank when they looked at him. Like they saw something sub-human, like they saw nothing at all. As if he was invisible, to them and to the rest of Caprica.
Three years later and holo-bands had made their way into everything, no longer a toy for the elite.
His first was in the early shipment of government issued holo-bands, intended to be less entertainment and more experiment. To see if it would keep the criminally insane more docile less... well, criminal.
He became almost instantaneously consumed, obsessed. He saw it for what it was... escape. And he had reveled in the freedom.
He was fourteen.
She goes from soft and warm in his arms to some outer worldly angel of vengeance.
A moment earlier she had been so vulnerable, her eyes tearing, looking at him as if her whole world had collapsed. And it had.
He had held her then and for a moment he had felt fiercely protective of her. As if he could keep her safe and whole.
I'm sorry, I'm sor-sorry.
But now, now the guards are gone and the gun is pressed into his chest and he is afraid. Afraid of the desperation that rolls of her in waves, threatening to drown him. Afraid she will shoot him and he will de-rez for good. Afraid to do what she asks of him.
Mostly though, he is afraid of how he cannot deny her.
You need to go to the real world. You need to find my father. You know the address you heard it, 615 Olympic, number 3. I'll wait for you in new cap city so you can find me.
But he can't go back. More than that he can't leave once he goes back. He is as trapped in the real world as she is in the virtual one. He tries to tell her this.
N- I can't go back to the real world okay!
You can be something there. Just take off your holo-band, okay. Your not going to die here! Just GO!
And he does.
He didn't understand what was happening. What had happened.
All he understood was the red. That it covered everything. It was drying on his face and prickling his skin, like a scab itching to be ripped off. There was blood in his eyes and mouth. It was everywhere. Everywhere except the span of hand that palmed the metal.
He didn't feel horror or shock or grief. He didn't feel any of the things that he should have felt. He didn't feel anything. And he couldn't understand why they weren't moving. Once moment they had been sitting there, the three of them, and in the next moment they weren't. And he couldn't for the life of him remember what had happened. There's a blank in his memory. As if someone, something had wiped him clean, erased what was there.
He was young barely eleven, but not too young to know about death. But still, he could not comprehend it. His legs were trembling and the gun was shaking in his hand. Flecs of red in his eyes. Taste of iron filling his mouth. The only sound his own breathing.
He stayed that way until they came and took the gun from his hand, took his parents off the ground, and then they took him away.
Took him away and dressed him in white.
Tamara sent me.
What are you talking about?
Confusion. Grief. The beginnings of Anger.
She gave me this address right? k- look she's in the v-world she can't get out. She needs help.
You saw her?
Yeah but she's sleeping or something so if you could just... please, just wake her up. She really needs that.
Hands grab him, push him up against the wall. He makes himself small, shrinks down inside himself. Her father spats the words in his face, shaking him with each forceful consonance.
My daughters dead. She died in MAGLEV attacks
oh god.. im sorry.
You saw her in v-world? You got to take me there! You got to take me to see her!
Her father lets go of him and turns to the door. He runs. And is chased.
His holo-band slips from his neck, falls, smashing against the ground. He shoves the pieces into his pocket and runs on. Terror giving speed to his tired legs.
And finally he does. Collapsing between two large shipping containers.
And that's where they find him. Deep within the train-yard, reduced to the shivering mass of pathetic flesh that he is. Hands hold him still, push up his pants, scan his anklet chip glowing angry red under his skin. Reduce it to blinking green. They will take him back home. He will wear white again.
But none of that means anything.
All that matters is the broken bits in his pocket. All that matters is that he is trapped just like her. Stuck. They both are.
They read his number off their glowing pads.
After all, his name isn't important here.