Author: resoluteTitle: HellfireRecipient: musameaDisclaimer:
I was possessed.
The original inspiration for this was an LJ usericon series, with the Battlestar Galactica characters re-named as X-Men. And then? likeadeuce
mentioned something in IM. And then I watched the BSG ep "Maelstrom." And . . . All I have to say is, if you don't like this, I will write you another fic.
included this time. I SHAN'T be offended if you want another fic, I swear. I don't even know if you watch
BSG. I ran this by roguewords
, as you suggested? She said go for it.
SPOILERS for Battlestar Galactica, "Maelstrom." Which is not a warning you would think would be in a Scott Summers ficathon. But, there you have it.Warnings/Rating: PG-13, for child abuse.Summary:
Kara Thrace is a child on Caprica, and finds a comic book in the library. Special thanks to onlyonechoice
for a fast fast beta. Both of them caught things that needed fixing, and all the remaining confusions, errors and typos are mine.Recipient's request:
"mutant registration act (I love post-apocalyptic AUs in which the MRA has been passed, but anything touching on it would be great), dry wit, the Blackbird." Okay, I took the AU part of this very seriously.Hellfire
Last summer Kara Thrace had spent her days swimming and playing with the neighborhood kids. This summer she was alone. This year she couldn't play their games. Didn't want their questions and their pity. Not with the splints on her hands.
Ten fingers broken in a line. The doctor at the Veterans' Hall Emergency Room had asked a lot of questions about that. Kara told her, over and over, that she'd caught them in a door. An accident.
They kept her for observation, a lie to hide the fact that they wanted her to break. To crack under kindness and tell them what they thought was true. Kara was a good soldier. She did not waver.
The nurse on the overnight shift had told her her hands would hurt her whole life. So far, they hadn't stopped aching. Constant pain in her hands, running up her arms if she banged the splints against something. Clumsy, her mother said. If Kara was careful,
if she watched her step,
she wouldn't get hurt.
Socrata Thrace spent her afternoons at the Veterans' Hall, talking and smoking and playing cards with her friends. Kara liked the hall, the smoke and the slightly acrid smell of uniforms not as clean as they might be. She would wear nice clothes, pressed and orderly, showing respect to heroes of the Cylon War. She smiled shyly at the gruff men and women who sat and talked and occasionally fought, a brawl of whiskey and anger rising and dying as fast as a flare in the sky. Falling and burning and gone.
Kara liked the hall. But Mama tired of her. "Go to the library," she said. "Better yourself, it won't do for you to stay this stupid your whole life!"
Kara didn't care for reading. But the Veterans' Hall Library was different. A large hall, rows and rows of shelves supervised by lay priests of Athena. The vaulted ceiling was painted, scenes from the life of Athena. Springing from the head of Zeus, founding the city of Athens. Arachne. Kara did not forget, as some did, that Athena was not just the lord of wisdom, but of war. Of defensive war. Protection. Protector of families and children. Punisher of those who did not live up to her expectations. To their destiny.
They scared her, the priests of Athena. Kara didn't act up or rough-house the way she normally would. And besides -- there was the problem of her hands. After a few minutes of wandering Kara found the shelf with the comic books.
Her mother read the comics in the paper. And the ones in the veterans' newsletters she got in the mail. Mama would sit in her civvies, neat and orderly, eating breakfast at two in the afternoon. The ashtray next to her having no more than three butts in it. More than three stubbed-out smokes was slovenly. Socrata smoked and read the comics and laughed out loud, occasionally calling out "that's right you sonuvabtich" in glee. Kara had asked her what the joke was, once. Her mother had told her it was for soldiers, not little girls.
Kara faced the shelf in the Veterans' Hall Library. The afternoon sunlight was muted here, spilling in the windows to the west but blocked by the tall stacks. The air was warm. It smelled of books and something sharper, the slight edge of disinfectant that filled the entire complex a silent reminder of the hospital attached to the rec hall. Kara eyed the comic books. She tipped them back with the side of a splinted finger, one at a time so she could see the covers. Some looked familiar -- funny characters from the papers. She kept going, wondering what else there was. One had a Raptor on the cover, fleeing a Cylon raider. The title of the comic was "Hellfire: The Black Bird." Kara picked it up.
She couldn't hold it very well, so she walked over to the seat in front of the window. A man was sitting there, studying a book and frowning. Scowling at it. Kara veered off. There was no reason to get in arm's reach of someone who already looked angry.
Kara waited, pretending to look at the shelves. She was about to leave when the man packed his things and left. Kara walked quickly over before someone else could take the seat. The sun shone on it and the seat was warm and comfortable. Kara propped her feet up on the bench and placed the comic in her lap. In her bag was the pencil with the over-sized eraser. She shoved the blunt end into a gap in her splints and used the rubber eraser to turn the pages. Plastic splints were lousy for grabbing or moving little things, she'd found.They were outcasts, alone and feared. Brought together by Cruel Gods and the Hideous Treachery of the Cylons, they have forged Bonds stronger than Fate Herself! Cyclops, Persephone, Icarus, and Shade, together they are HELLFIRE!
Kara blinked. The picture was of a Raptor, flying with a man standing
on the wing. He was holding on to the open hatchway frame. Long ropes of fire were shooting from his eyes. The blasts of flame were blowing up Cylon Centurions on the ground.
After while the light had changed. Kara went back to the shelf a few times, collected all the books with Hellfire in them. Her hands were aching. Kara noticed when the timer strapped to her left wrist began its quiet beeping. Time to go meet her mother, time to go home. She slid off the seat and picked up one of the books she hadn't read yet.
The check-out desk was grey and black, resting near the door to the rec hall corridor. Kara usually ducked past it quickly. This time she walked up. "Excuse me?"
The clerk wore the robes of a lay-dedicate of Athena. She was older, about the age of Kara's mother, maybe? She peered over the counter at Kara. "Yes? Can I help you?"
"I'd like to take this home, please, ma'am," Kara said. She tried to lift the book up to the counter. It slipped a little. Kara quickly set it down on the ground and adjusted her grip. She picked it up and tipped it onto the counter. "I haven't done this before. Ma'am. Can I take it home?"
"Well, sure, honey," the woman said. "Can I see your patient i.d.?"
"My what? Ah, ma'am?"
"Your i.d. from the hospital? Your wristband will do, if you can show it to me."
Kara flushed. People thought that all the time. That she was a patient at the hospital, when there was nothing wrong with her that a little time wouldn't fix. "I'm sorry," she said. "I'm not a patient here. Mama is a vet, she's just visiting her friends." Kara turned to go, trying to hide her hands in her sleeves. It didn't work, it never did, and her mother told her she looked like a frakking turtle when she tried.
"Wait!" the clerk called. "You can check it out on your mother's name, then." Kara turned back, unwilling to look up. "What's her name, honey?"
"Thrace. Corporal Socrata Thrace."
"Kara!" Kara woke, blinking. She stood, barely making it to attention before her mother slammed open her bedroom door. Her arms ached again. What time was it? "What the hell is this?" Socrata waved the balled-up cloth in Kara's face.
Kara looked at it. Oh. "Ma'am, it's, ah. My dress."
Socrata grabbed Kara's hair in one hand and ground the cloth against her face with the other. "I can frakking see that, you little brat, why is it filthy? Huh?"
"I don't know!" Kara yelped, her voice muffled. "I'm sorry, Ma'am, I thought it was clean," she said. Her mother's breath smelled of cigarettes, stale ashes and dead fire.
"And who keeps your gear clean?"
"A Marine always keeps her own gear clean," Kara recited tightly. She didn't dare cry.
"And what happens to a slovenly Marine?"
"But, Mama," Kara protested, "I have a little time, I'll get it washed right away?"
Kara's head snapped to the side at Socrata's blow. At least it was her palm.
"That was for mouthing off," Socrata said, jabbing Kara in the chest. "You clean it, and you get ready, and you can cook dinner for the rest of the week to make up for it."
Kara nodded and picked up her dress. In the washroom she filled the sink with hot water and sloshed the fabric around with a brush. It was a lot harder to wash things with the splints.
"Yanna," she whispered, her eyes squinched shut, like Cyclops had to do when he didn't have his visor. "Are you in the infirmary yet?"
Cyclops heard the whisper of his teammate, his friend, in his mind. "Of course, Cyclops," Yanna replied. "I've located the priest of Artemis. He can't walk, I think."
"Can you help him? Or do we need to abort?" Kara said. She wrung out her dress and put it quickly in the small clothes-dryer.
"My demons and I can shift him," Yanna replied. No, Persephone. When she called her demons to her, the invisible forces that moved objects at her will, Cyclops was sure to call her Persephone. He wasn't sure if he believed it, really. That she was possessed by the goddess. But her power was real enough, and dangerous to offend.
Kara took off her shirt -- it was wet and dirty now anyway -- and wrapped it around her head. She could just peek out the crack at the bottom, along her nose. Crouching behind the mop and broom in the corner, she put her right hand up next to her eyes. "Icarus," she said, "did you get that?"
"Heard, and no problem, Cyke," Icarus replied. Cyclops could hear the humor in the man's voice. "My mechanical wings and I can carry him to the Black Bird as soon as Persephone and her demons bring him out the gate."
Kara glance to her left, then her right. "Shade," she whispered urgently, "are you here?"
"Always, Cyclops," he heard from directly behind him. Shade wore a hooded sweatshirt pulled over her face. Cyclops knew she had eyes, knew she had a face like any other young girl. But her voice still sounded like ash, like the breath of the dead whispering through the trees.
"My right hand," Kara whispered, half smiling. Confident, not cocky. "The Cylons will never know what hit them." She scrambled up, startling the Cylon guard at the entrance to the laundry-tent. "By the power of Hades," Cyclops said, "humanity shall be freed of your metal tyranny!" With impossible speed, Cyclops flattened the three Cylon guards with quick blasts from his cursed eyes. A clanking from without revealed more Centurions on the way. Cyclops leaped to the top of the washbasin and scurried out a hole near the top of the tent.
Outside, a muted roar, deep and angry, revealed that Icarus had released the latch on the holding pen. The human prisoners and slaves would be pouring out. Their rage would rain gods-given destruction on the heartless mechanical demons. A short rattle and a smell of burning wire behind Cyclops made him whirl around. At his back was a shaking Cylon, sparks flying as it crumbled. The ghostly form of Shade appeared from inside it. "Always with you," the girl said.
Cyclops smiled sadly and put his hand on Shade's shoulder as she re-solidified. "Our power may come from Hades," he said quietly. "And I know you find that to be a curse as much as I. But it is our love and trust in each other that gives us strength. I do not fear, long as Hellfire -- as long as you, my friend, are with me." Shade nodded solemnly, brushing her cool fingers across his hand.
"We should find your lady-love, Cyclops, and this wounded priest."
"And throw a real rat into the Cylons' stew, eh?" Cyclops laughed. "Let's go, then, young Shade!" He ran for the infirmary. "Hellfire!" he shouted, blasting Cylons in his path.
As they approached the Black Bird, Cyclops saw Icarus swoop low over the battle. The young man had no idea that two Cylons had the drop on him. Cyclops leapt across their line of fire, blasting them to pieces. "Move it people, there's more on the way!" he shouted. Persephone was in the Bird already, caring for the wounded priest. Cyclops saw Shade scramble in, then Icarus folded his wings and jumped across to his seat. Cyclops blasted three more Cylons from the Black Bird's hatch and vaulted into the pilot's seat. Shade sealed the hatch as the Raptor roared into the air.
Cyclops grinned, swept up for a moment in the power of their flight. Next to him Persephone concentrated, her eyes shut and lips moving as she called on her demons to clear the nearby buildings of Cylon snipers. When her eyes opened she looked at Cyclops and smiled wanly. Cyclops reached over and took her hand. "You did well, my love," he said firmly. "No one was hurt but the Cylons. We have struck a blow for the Sagittaron Resistance that they will not soon forget!"
Persephone -- no, Yanna, now that they were clear of the fighting -- Yanna sighed. "I know, Scot," she said softly. "But the demons that Hades gives to me, they are not easy to tame. I fear for what would happen to me. To us. Were they to get free. I fear that I may not be strong enough . . . "
Scot squeezed her hand. "You are strong," he replied. "The strongest of us. I have faith in you." He put both hands on the yoke of the Raptor and smiled. "Now, watch this!" With fearless skill Scot took the Raptor out of atmo, skipping the edge of space for sheer joy.
Kara spun and fell off the top of the washing machine. She twisted and landed on her shoulder. It hurt, but not as much as landing on her hands would have hurt. Socrata was on her in seconds.
"What in the gods' names are you doing?" Kara's mother yelled, picking her up by her hair and pulling the shirt off from around her eyes.
"Nothing!" Kara yelled. "Let me go!"
Socrata shook her once and dropped Kara. "You are supposed to be doing the laundry, cleaning your gear. And I come in and find you frakking around? Do you have an excuse? Huh?"
"No mama, no excuse." Kara stood resentfully at attention. She saw her mother's gaze flick down to the splints on her hands, then away. Some expression crossedSocrata's face. Something Kara couldn't identify. Not anger. Maybe fear?
"Just. Clean this up. Shower. And get some frakking clothes on!" Her mother left, punching the door on her way out, hard enough to dent the wall behind. Kara didn't flinch. She wasn't scared byCylon threats and violence. They could not break her spirit.
The library counter was no longer intimidating. Kara walked up quickly, eager to see her friend. Lay-dedicat Reina turned and smiled. "Kara! Hello, how are you this afternoon?"
"I'm fine ma'am," Kara answered. She pushed the book across the counter. "You're right, that was not a really good one," she said abruptly. "I was glad to read it, but . . . "
Reina nodded. "But it's about Icarus, mostly, and Cyclops is off mourning Persephone, hiding on a fishing boat. Not a lot of Scot in that one."
"I like Icarus," Kara said. "But he's . . . he doesn't think much. So I never know if he's happy, or sad. Or . . . "
"And Scot is always thinking about what's going on." Reina nodded again. "I think you'll like this one, then," she said, pulling a book from behind the counter. "I pulled it for you. It's the one right after Persephone comes back from Hades, and Scot doesn't know if she's really still her or not."
"It's really, it's right that her name is Persephone," Kara said, holding out her shoulder bag for the book. Reina dropped it in. "She's got a ton of power, but she's a lot of trouble for Hellfire. It's like, she's right a lot, but she doesn't follow chain of command."
"And following chain of command is important?"
Kara knew the lay-dedicat was teasing her, but she answered anyway. "Of course it is. Scot is the leader, and he needs to rely on the soldiers under his command. There's no room for hot-dogging in combat."
"That's something your mother tells you a lot, is it?"
Reina glanced at Kara's hands. "Does she get upset when the chain of command isn't obeyed, honey?"
Cyclops gave the librarian his best, most wide-eyed look. He shook his hair back out of his eyes and grinned. "Aw, just a little," he said cheerfully. "Nothing I can't handle, ma'am."
"Well, let me know how you like that book," Reina said as Kara turned to go. "And Kara?"
Cyclops stopped and looked over his shoulder. "Yes ma'am?"
"If there's ever any trouble, or you want to talk to someone . . . " The woman hesitated, uncomfortable. "You can tell me if there's things going on," she finished.
"You bet," Cyclops said, waving casually. In the corridor between the library and the recreation hall Kara stopped. She leaned against the wall, panting a little. Hot tears came to her eyes, and she blinked them away fast. Hellfire didn't have any allies. The human resistance didn't trust them, with their gifts from Hades that marked them. The Cylons were everywhere. Cyclops never knew when a friendly offer of help was actually a Cylon collaborator or agent. A plot to capture and destroy the resistance.
Cyclops sniffed and wiped his nose on his sleeve. He slung the bag containing the secret documents over his shoulder and walked to the rec hall, looking for all the world like any other human. Like any other prisoner working for the Cylons.
"Little did they know," Kara whispered, "that their prison had been infiltrated by the power of Hades himself. By the mighty Hellfire!" There was her mother, playing cards. Kara walked over to let her know her business in the library was done.
Kara managed to get the apartment door open. She staggered in. Her splinted hand, her arm, ached. Her head ached. She knew where her mother kept the pain pills. The ones for nightmares and headaches. That, and an ice pack for her head. And clean clothes. Kara walked down the hall, leaning on the wall.
Kara squeaked, and jumped, and regretted it. She slid sideways and hit the wall.
"I got a call from Ms. Patronel. About Paris?" Socrata stepped out from the kitchen. She stopped at looked at her daughter. "Kara," she said, "were you fighting?"
"No mama," Kara said, her voice wavering. "I fell."
"Ms. Patronel says you attacked her boy. Paris."
"No ma'am. There was an accident, and we both fell."
Socrata stepped in front of Kara. Kara tried to look up but her head hurt when she lifted it. "That's my brave special soldier," Socrata said. She picked Kara up and carried her to the washroom. Kara held on to her mother as best she could. Socrata set her down on the seat of the toilet and pulled the chain that turned on the ceiling light. "Are you injured?"
"I don't know, Mama," Kara said. "I . . . I hit my hand, on the wall, of course. And my arm, it, all. It hurts bad. And then, when I fell, something hit my head really really hard. A rock, maybe." Kara blinked slowly, trying to make the edges of things less blurry.
Her mother looked her over. She turned Kara's head and gently parted her hair. She peered at Kara's eyes. She finally checked the splints on Kara's fingers. "Well," she said brusquely. "I think you have a concussion, but not a bad one. I'll fix you up here. We don't need doctors for something like this." Kara closed her eyes and let her mother take care of her. Socrata was humming a little. She gently stripped off Kara's soiled clothes. "Were you sick, baby? On yourself?"
"A little, Mama," Kara said. "When I was trying to walk home. My arm hurts bad, and I banged it on a gate."
"And you still made it home on your own power," Socrata exclaimed. "My brave little star." She rinsed out a cloth and gently washed the blood and dirt from Kara's head. "You are special, honey. You are my special star, and don't you forget it." Socrata got out her pills, the ones Kara wasn't allowed to touch, and cut one in half. "That should be about right," she said. "Take this and you won't hurt." Kara took it obediently, sipping the cool water.
Kara got very sleepy after that. Her mother carried her, clean and wearing one of Mama's shirts, to bed. She set Kara down and gently pulled the covers up. "Now, baby? What did Paris say. That made you hit him."
"We were playing Hellfire," Kara said, her eyes closed. Socrata touched her hair, smoothing it back from her face. "And he said I couldn't be Scot Sunmare. I had't'be Persephone."
"Who? What's Hellfire?"
"It's the comic, I found it at the library a few weeks ago. Remember, Mama? I told you?"
"Hm. Go on. You wanted to be this Scot? Did Paris want to be him too?"
"Yeah. Scot Sunmare is the best. He is a dedicate of Hades, and he can blast hellfire from his eyes? And he flies a Raptor and he fights the Cylons. I'm going to be Scot Sunmare when I grow up," Kara added.
Socrata laughed a little. "And who is Persephone?"
"She's on Cyclops's, that's Scot's name, she's on his team. I said I didn't want to be Persephone because she's crazy, and he said I
was crazy. And I said no, and he said my Mama is crazy too, and everyone knows what happened to my hands. So I punched him, bang!" Kara swung her arm a little in demonstration, but it was under the covers and she was very very tired, and her arm didn't move much.
"And then I fell over. And then he got up, 'cause I knocked him flat, Mama, I really did! And he got up and he kicked me in the head and I got sick then, and they left, and then I tried to come home. And I did. And here I am." Kara felt funny. Floating. Her head and hands and arms, they didn't hurt at all. She could barely feel them. Good.
Her mother said something else, something Kara didn't quite hear. "Sleepy now Mama," Kara mumbled. Time to sleep.
Kara stared at herself in the mirror. Her hair was braided back from her face, wrapped with flowers. The dress was short, knee-length, a simple green gown with a wide square neck. The braided leather belt was a natural brown, uneven and mottled in color. Kara's feet were bare. Colors of Artemis, Her robe, Her belt.
In the mirror the three remaining finger-splints looked wrong. Stark metal and plastic against the colors of the goddess.
"My little star," Socrata said quietly, looking in at Kara. "Dedication Day at last." She came into the washroom and stood behind Kara, looking at her in the mirror. Looking at them both. Kara's mother wore her dress uniform, all the ribbons and commendations in ruled lines. Kara turned around.
"Mama?" Kara stood rigid, her best at-attention. Trying to please. "Mama, I know it's the day, but, I was thinking?" She swallowed hard. "Does it have to be Artemis?" Her mother's face froze, then hardened. Kara finished her thought quickly. "Could I be dedicated to Hades, instead?"
Socrata's hand clenched at her sides. Kara braced, ready to run if she had to. She looked from side to side, glancing for room around the Cylon in front of her. She thought she could duck to the left and make it to the door. Beyond the door, her friends were waiting. Yanna, Icarus, Shade. If she could get through this encounter she would be okay.
"Hades? What the frak is this? Huh?"
"Hades, Mama, he's the Lord of Kobol that Hellfire is dedicated to. Cyclops, and Persephone and Icarus and Shade? That I told you about?" Cyclops put his hand near his visor, ready to defend.
"Put your frakking hand down, young lady. Unless you're gonna make your frakking move, you keep your hands down." Socrata leaned in fast, and Cyclops jumped back, dropping his hand quickly.
"No ma'am what?"
"Not making a move, ma'am."
"Damn right you're not. Now what the frak is this Hades business? We're going to the temple in ten minutes and you will be dedicated to Artemis and you will
have your head on straight by then. Or I will straighten it for you."
"Yes ma'am what?"
"My head's on straight, ma'am."
"Then what the frak is this Hades crap?"
Kara looked away. She tried to hold on to him. Hold on to Scot. She knew what Scot would say. Knew he would smile, a small tight smile so different from his gleeful boyish grin. But she couldn't think. Her mother's narrow eyes, colorless in the dim light, they speared the thought from her head.
Her fingers ached.
"It's just, that -- Hellfire, and Cyclops? They fight the Cylons, they never give up. I want to be like them. They're real heroes." Kara saw her mistake as soon as she made it.
"Real heroes? Real frakking heroes?" Socrata stood straight, her eyes slits of rage. She swung and Cyclops yelled at Kara to move, but she couldn't do it. She flinched, her eyes shutting, and her mother's palm connected with the side of her head. "You want to know a real hero, you look around you Kara Thrace! You open your damn eyes and look around!" She shoved Kara back, short hard shoves until Kara was backed against the mirror. "I take you to meet the real
heroes of the Cylon War, every day, you ungrateful little bitch!"
"Shut up!" Socrata stood over Kara breathing hard. She knelt suddenly, startling Kara. "You have a destiny, my star," she whispered urgently. "A special destiny, you know that, don't you?"
"Yes mama," Kara answered. She didn't want to cry. But her mother looked so scared, so serious when she talked about Kara's destiny. Sometimes tears came anyway.
"I tell you you have a purpose, and you have to believe me. It's my duty, to Kobol, to make you ready for it. You know this, don't you, Kara?"
"My precious star," Socrata whispered. She brushed her fingers over Kara's hair, over the growing bump from her recent blow. Kara closed her eyes to keep the tears from showing, and imagined Scot's hand on her head."My good friend, a good soldier,"
she heard him say. "Worthy of Hellfire."
"Well. I know what to do about that." Socrata turned and Kara heard her cross the hall. To Kara's room. Kara ran after and saw her mother digging under the edge of her mattress. She turned a look of triumph on her face, holding the two Hellfire books Kara had out from the library. "No more," she said.
"N- What?" Kara asked.
"No more Hellfire."
"I'll tell the library," Socrata said, pushing past Kara and heading to the kitchen. "We'll return these on the way back from Dedication, and I'll put a reminder on my account. I'll tell that librarian, too, your friend Reina? No more Hellfire for you."
"But Mama, no!" Kara was crying before she noticed. "Mama, please, I don't -- I don't know what happens next? Please Mama?"
"You have a destiny," her mother said, loud and even. "And I won't let you frak it all up. No more distractions."
"But," Kara leaned against the wall, trying to talk through her crying and she could never do this. Could never talk over the tears but she had to this time. For Scot andYanna and Icarus and Shade. "But I can just finish them, and then I won't read them again? Please?"
"You'll be dedicated to Artemis. And another, Aphrodite I think, to keep you on track. In a year or two . . . "
"But Scot, he just hopped into a Viper? To lead the Cylons off?"
" -- and when your hands heal you can go to the after-school camp, join The Young Arrows, or maybe a Stag troop . . ."
"And I don't know if he's going to die, Mama? Please?"
Socrata sat at the table and lit a cigarette. She nodded to herself. For a moment Kara wasn't sure she was even here.
Wasn't sure she was here in the kitchen with her mother, her mama was ignoring her so completely. There was nothing to say. Kara slid to the floor and cried. Her dress didn't have sleeves, and she couldn't wipe her nose on her splints. Socrata threw a napkin at her.
"We leave for your Dedication in five minutes." She stubbed out her smoke and stood, brushing imaginary dust off of her uniform. "Yes. This is a good plan."
Kara got her tears under control. Wiped her face. Stood. She walked behind her mother to the door and glanced one last time at the cover of the book. Scot Sunmare grinned at her.You're a good soldier, Kara Thrace,
he whispered to her. She shut her eyes. No, he didn't. There was no Scot Sunmare to whisper to her. No Cyclops to help her, to watch her back. To say the right thing. Kara wiped at her eyes one last time and closed the door behind her.
There was no Scot Sunmare. Kara followed her mother to the transit station, alone.