[personal profile] embolalia
Title: On Whom the Pale Moon Gleams (Chapter 2)
Characters: Kara, Daniel, background Kara/Lee
Rating: PG-13
Words: ~15,500 (1,800 this chapter)
Summary: On the other side of the maelstrom, Kara wakes up to truths she never expected.

Chapter One


Chapter Two

The man who looks like her father helps Kara into a t-shirt and sweatpants; they’re his own and they hang on her, but her shivering stops. He won’t stop smiling; she keeps a wary eye on him at all times. It’s a dream, it has to be. Or the Cylons are doing something to her, tricking her. There’s no other explanation.

"Here." He leaves the room for a minute and returns with an apple and a glass of water, presses them into her hands.

Kara stares down at the food. Her eyes flicker up to him, evaluating carefully. She takes a bite. The juice is tart and flavorful. She can't help grinning; it's been so long since she ate anything not made of algae. Then again, she's not sure she's ever eaten before. That thought crowds out all others. The world barely makes sense. "Who are you?" she asks instead. This cannot be her father.

"I've been called by different names. My mother called me Daniel." He must see the confusion in her eyes, because he nods gently toward the door. "Come sit." He leads her to a living area. Kara can still feel the terrifying presence of the tank in the distance.

“Your story,” she demands. “What the frak—”

He nods and she falls silent. “It’s strange to remember,” he says after a moment. “Sometimes it's hard to understand the things that happened to you when you were young."

Kara frowns at him, at the understatement. "Yeah." She takes another bite, realizes she's hungry.

Daniel gestures to the table and they sit as Kara eats quickly.

“As far as who I am…” He shrugs. “I was born a Cylon, born as innocent as you were, and my mother held me in her arms. But the second time I woke up in one of those tanks, my mother wasn't calm at all. She was crying, and I'd never seen anyone cry like that before. She told me that John had come to her, told her there had been some kind of accident and I was dead. But when she found me I was only unconscious. She was crying because she had nearly killed me before she thought to check that the new copies of my body were ready. Somehow John had damaged them. The bodies were whole but the minds would never have worked. So she had put me back in the tub and hoped it would help." He smiles. "It worked, I guess. Healed me enough." The smile fades. "She told me she would show the others one of the bodies and say it was mine. But I would have to leave until they got John under control."

"John Cavil," Kara says softly. The way his eyes dart to hers is confirmation. She can almost see the words as he speaks, has faint images in her mind of Daniel in a tank, feels the blurred presence of his mother.


"And what, they couldn't?"

He shakes his head. "I don't know. My mother gave me one of the Centurions' ships. It had FTL capacity. She’d installed one of the units from the resurrection hub they were building, and the information I'd need to make a copy of a body from my own DNA if I needed to." Daniel grows sad at the memory of their parting. "She had kept journals and maps of their journey, and she gave me those, too. I think partly so John would never get them. She smiled when I left, and told me to have an adventure, and that she would see me again." He looks away from Kara. "But I never saw her again."

Kara reaches out as if to take his hand again, then catches herself, frowning. She sits back, resumes her wary posture. "So your parents were the infamous Final Five?"

Daniel laughs at the sobriquet. "I suppose so."

"What, all of them?" She's skeptical, trying to fit the facts together in her mind. This is all some sort of trick. The twists of his expressions make her heart ache with a child’s longing, but the Cylons would know that, wouldn’t they? It all has to be a trick?

"Well, not sexually. It's more complicated than that. I never knew how most of that worked, not like John. My mother Ellen did most of it, but they were all part of our creation."

Kara snorts. "I knew an Ellen once."

He nods, studying Kara.

Her fingers tighten on the edge of the table, and when she pulls her hand back, there are flakes of rust on her fingertips. She rubs them together, studies the whirls of her fingerprints. Kara’s heart starts to race. "This is real," she says suddenly.

"Yes." He watches her carefully.

Her eyes jump to his, desperate. The last memory she has before coming here floods through her: the storm wrapped her up, and even as Lee screamed in her ear, she knew what she had to do. "Did you pull me out of the storm? Did you--did the Cylons get Galactica? Where's Lee? Are they--"

"Kara," Daniel says, cutting her off. "I don't know. But if Cavil and the others found your friends, it wasn't because of me."

She sits back, her arms crossed now, her old self returning. "So what, this is your adventure? Rescuing people from storms? Or is this just another Cylon mindfrak?”

He shakes his head. "It’s just the two of us. You’re safe here. But my adventure is more complicated than that, I'm afraid."

“Why should I believe anything you say?” she spits out.

The man looks at her, and in her heart she feels a recognition she doesn’t want to believe. “When you were a child,” he says softly, “you loved to run in the sprinkler in the summer, chasing after the little puppy from next door. Mrs. Cadmere’s dog.”

Caddy, it was called. A rush of tears fills her throat. No. It can’t be true. “So tell me about complicated.” She waits.

“I’m not one of them anymore, that’s what I’m trying to tell you. I haven’t seen them since—well, that’s not exactly right. But I’ll get to that.” He nods. "I missed them, of course, as I flew off, but I was still part of the stream; I could still feel my family around me."

Kara glares unconsciously at the mention of the stream.


She shakes her head. "You're certainly Leoben's brother."

Daniel cocks his head. "What do you mean?"

She rolls her eyes. "You first."

"For a while I traced my parents' route in reverse. I found Kobol, and the ruins. I explored nebulae and black holes. In time I jumped all the way to Earth."

"You found Earth? Where is it?" Kara demands.

He nods, framing the story. "Those first five, the five who made us--they had come from Earth. They were the last of the thirteenth tribe."

"That doesn't make sense," she snaps, rising to her feet in agitation. "There were no Cylons in the thirteenth tribe."

"How do you know?" For the first time, he seems irritated.

She shakes her head. "Because--" The worlds start to fall apart, again. "We’ve been heading toward a Cylon stronghold?"

Daniel winces, regret in his eyes. "Earth is dead. The Cylons destroyed it just before the five left. That was why they went back to the colonies--they wanted to warn you not to make Cylons."

"So we're heading toward nothing?" She doesn't want to believe him, but she does. Kara doesn't try to analyze why. Her jaw trembles.

He answers gently. "Well, you can't live on Earth the way it is now. I certainly couldn't. But as I left, flying without any direction, I got sucked into something. A wormhole. And I emerged orbiting a planet, a gas giant." Daniel smiles now, shaking his head in awe. "I looked out at the planet and saw something that froze me. A storm, a pattern, a symbol that had followed me through the stream since before I was alive."

Kara can feel herself shaking again as she stares at him and the meaning of her entire life reworks itself around her. "The mandala."

"The what?"

"The circles. Blue and yellow and red."

He nods now, approving. "Yes. I saw it and I knew I had come all that way for something, for some purpose. But I didn't know what it was. I hung there in space over the clouds and waited for something to happen. And while I waited I painted, and sang, and tried to channel the stream through myself in every way I knew. And then one day, I played my father's song into the ship itself, as if its pre-sentient brain could understand. And it brought me here."

"Here?" Kara's voice quavers.

For the first time, her father grins. "Come on." Taking her by the hand even when she tries to jerk away, Daniel leads her quickly through corridors brilliant with murals Kara doesn't have time to study. After a few minutes they reach an airlock.

"Hey!" Kara protests as he reaches to open it, and only then realizes she hasn't, in all this time, heard the humming of air purifiers or the purring of engines.

The door opens, and for a moment Kara can't breathe. And then she starts to laugh. Raucously, joyfully. In two steps she's out of the ship, her feet bare in the grass as a gentle yellow sun warms her skin. "You did it!" she bursts out. She turns to Daniel and as he steps out beside her, she throws her arms around him.

He hugs her in surprise.

"This—we can live here! We can bring them all and they’ll be safe—”

He raises his eyebrows. "I don't know. The stream hasn’t shown me—"

Kara steps away from him quickly, self-consciously, and turns back to the planet before her, strides away across the field as she takes it all in. In the distance are apple trees, and beyond them are mountains. She can hardly contain the hope that pounds suddenly through her. For the first time in her whole life, Kara believes her destiny might be a good one. She whirls toward Daniel. "We have to go back. We have to bring them here. No matter what I am, or you, we have to tell--"

He holds up his hands, stopping her. "Kara, wait. Let me tell you the rest first."

"And then we go back," she insists, body tensed for a fight. She's never been clearer on what she has to do.

Daniel nods once, to reassure her. "The story first."

Kara lets out a slow breath. A story is hardly a bad trade for a planet. She sits down in the grass. "So talk."


Chapter 3
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