She first hears the song on a crisp New York morning.
The tune wrenches her from sleep, it's familiar chords burrowing deep within her. Bringing forth memories of a time before this one, of clear cerulean skies free of smoke, of the sweet-smelling grass before cultivation.
There's too much confusion….
She paces around the room frantically, trying to find the source, a neighbor pounding her wall to get her to turn it off. It's coming from her radio alarm. She curses it's innovation. How horribly ironic.
When it turns off, she hears the sounds of the morning. The cars honking their horns, shouts, smells. She's grown weary of it, longing for the small wood cabin on a mountain. For the rows of neat crops, for her little girl with the same halo of blonde curls tugging on her skirt wanting to play in the fields below. It's all gone, very long gone. There's a city below that mountain now.
The next time she hears that song she's walking home from work. Her head turns sharply as she catches the lyrics between the shouts and hurried voices of the humans around her.
No reason to get excited..the thief, he kindly spoke..
It's not just the song, it's singer. Someone is singing along with it, next to it. Getting the notes wrong, but the intention correctly. There's extra drums too, rumbling along with with the track. Like a stampede. She's bothered by it, how the out of sync voice manages to crawl under her skin and stay there. She follows it, hypnotized.
As the music grows louder she sees him. It's coming from a boom box propped on a fold-out chair. There's no hat for money. He has drumsticks in his hands and twin drums at his feet. He's leaning casually against the ledge, green from a park surrounding him. Casually, as if he's not expressing the truth of the world right in front of everyone's oblivious eyes.
When he catches her eyes, however, he stops his drumming. He's looking into her soul and seeing her as if nothing's changed in the millenniums they'd lived. He's chewing gum. He's smiling. He's looking her over, at her red jacket, her eyes. The same eyes. No one can change their eyes.
He looks at her a long time. She's surprised the song is still going on.
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late
"It's good to see you again, Caprica." He goes back to his drumming. He does't sing anymore. The drum sticks hit just after the chords, filling the spaces. She should be surprised by his presence. It isn't often she sees one of her brothers or sisters. Most have chosen to be by God's side by now, no longer wanting to outlive those around them. The last time she saw another Six, a honey-blonde Six, was twenty years ago. She wore a light pink suit and her face had lit up when she saw Caprica. She'd embraced her sister and spoke excitedly of husbands and wives and children. Caprica had only nodded and smiled, half-interested, and still pining over a man one-hundred-and-fifty-years in the ground. Love had taken her strong, through the roots of the trees on this planet.
Sometimes she wonders why she hadn't taken her own place by God's side yet. She hadn't seen Gauis since that day on the green field, that Gauis that wasn't quite him, and wasn't quite an angel either. And God's plan still wasn't all revealed even yet, but that's still not the reason she's stayed.
She nods at him. "You as well, Leoben." She doesn't know if she means it. He grins at her again. Points at her with a drumstick.
"Still waiting for the day when your love will come running through the trees, Caprica Six, the voice of her kind?"
She narrows her eyes. "Still pining after Kara Thrace?"
He laughs, spreads his arms. He's wearing a long vest, baggy and crude. People seem to ignore him. Ignore the music still playing.
Two riders were approaching, and the wind began to howl
"I don't need to pine after her, Six. She never left."
Caprica gives him an incredulous look. It's not unexpected of him, though. His line grew an obsession over Kara Thrace, and weren't ones to take the physical world lightly. Neither did she as she still made a trek every fifty years to that hill above the city to see if he'd appear by his stone grave.
Leoben puts down the drum sticks and crosses over to a small bag by the fold-up chair. He pulls out a newspaper, rolled up and crinkled. The headline reads EXPLOSION AT KENTWOOD ROBOTICS FACTORY, NYPD INVESTIGATING. Robotics. Cylons? The world was heading into that direction, all this has happened before and all this will happen again. It was yet to be seen what direction this cycle would go in.
She looks back at him. "Why are you showing me this?"
He strokes the headline, almost reverently. "You don't understand, do you? This isn't God's world. This isn't our world. The cylons, the humans. No. This is Kara's world."
She could laugh. She almost does. It did seem like Kara to blow up a factory. At least from the way Saul would describe to her. She'd never really known the proverbial child the Leobens had claimed.
He looks up, towards the trees, towards the sky, towards the factory's remains. "Say her name, say it once, say it twice. Say it once more and she appears. As real as ever for a moment and then she's gone. Back to where she belongs."
The words opera house come into her mind. She can't explain it. She's given up trying to explain the opera house. Would they all go there? Is that where they dwell? She could still see them, Laura Roslin and Sharon Agathon, the mothers, looking at her in shock as she appeared to steal away the only hope for a nation. And what of Kara Thrace?
Was she the control in this complicated experiment? Of what? Time? Love?
She wanted to go home. Not home, but her apartment. A cup of tea.
"Why do you do it then?"
He doesn't answer, just picks up the drum sticks and starts drumming at the tune. This time in sync. It feels wrong, and she zips up her coat. It's cold. She leaves without saying goodbye, leaves him to his song and his words and their past. The tea is a comfort as she stares out of her window. At the smoke from the explosion, the cars rushing by. Then, the stars.
Before she crosses to her bed, she finds herself whispering her name. Kara Thrace. Kara Thrace. The room is silent except for the echo of her hitched breath. No response, no godly experience. Just a room, an empty room. Under a roof, under the stars.
Before she drifts off to sleep though, she smells the faintest whiff of cigar smoke.
But you and I, we've been through that
And this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late