"So you see, it's all rather simple, really. When you open yourself up to God's love, you become a divine conduit. Spread His love through enlightening others! Peace, acceptance, camaraderie: this is the way to the path of knowing and understanding the one true God. He sees you and loves all His children."
The men and women that were gathered in the cramped cargo hold murmured and nodded assent.
"Does the path to knowing God mean loving the Cylons, cult leader?"
Gaius Baltar paused in his proselytizing to address the man that had called out from the edge of the crowd. He was striking, with intense eyes and the close-cropped hair of a military man. He was wearing black tactical overalls with a sidearm strapped to his waist and leg.
"God loves all His creations, and thus we should share in this love."
"Does your God know the Cylons wiped out five billion members of the human race?"
A mass of multi-colored clothing seemed to wave and swirl on its own as the crowd began to grow hostile. Baltar quieted his followers with an outstretched hand and a smile.
"God does not decide our fates; no, we must find our own way to righteousness, and, in turn, forgiveness. We must believe in Him and pray for a peaceful resolution to the anger that still simmers within the fleet, wouldn't you say?"
"I think you're full of shit."
Men standing on the edge of the crowd began to move forward to intercept the dark man, but Baltar hopped down from his platform and walked up to him.
"What's your name, brother?"
"Lieutenant Alex Krycek, Colonial Marines."
"Lieutenant Krycek, why don't we revisit this conversation later in a more private forum? I think I can be quite convincing about God's word."
"Yes. Fine," Krycek said, and stalked from the hold.
* * *
"Please," Baltar said, gesturing to the pillows and throws on the floor surrounding the bed, "make yourself comfortable."
The Marine sat on the mattress and leaned back on his elbows.
Baltar cleared his throat. "Yes, well. Shall we talk?"
"I read your book, or manifesto, or whatever they're calling it. I couldn't give two fraks about God, or the Gods, or Scriptures, or anything other than what I can see with my own two eyes."
"That's fine, Mr. Krycek. But I think you'll find that God is around us all the..."
"I didn't come here to talk religion," Krycek said from behind lidded eyes.
"No. I just wanted to meet you."
"You...did?" Baltar asked, sitting down.
"Your book was genius."
Baltar tittered. "Oh, I wouldn't say that. Merely a few hours scratching diligently at pages."
"I took your advice to heart -- so I acted rather than thought, just like you said."
"Did I write that?" Baltar asked, practically batting his eyelashes.
"Yes, and I thought the easiest way to get close to you was to ramble about God. I don't care about any of that frakking nonsense." He held up his hands in front of Baltar. "All I care about is this."
The other man smiled and pressed his lips to Baltar's neck. "No. Flesh and bone. The human condition, Dr. Baltar, with all its weaknesses, and needs, and...desires."
"Your book opened my eyes," Krycek whispered, gently licking Baltar's jaw, "and I had to meet you. I wanted...needed...to meet you."
"I see. Um...oh..."
Krycek wrapped his arm around Baltar's waist and drew him into a kiss. Baltar offered a squeak of surprise before yielding to Krycek's talented tongue. Krycek then slid his hand beneath Baltar's silk robe to touch his stomach and his chest, eventually resting his hand on Baltar's cheek.
Baltar opened his eyes and looked up at the lieutenant. Krycek practically enveloped the smaller man on the bed.
"I haven't been with another man since, uh, New Caprica."
"Then it's time to catch up," Krycek answered, peeling back the silk edges of Baltar's robe.
Krycek eased him down on the bed and grazed a nipple with his teeth. "Would your God disapprove, Dr. Baltar?"
"Yesssssss. I mean, no. No, definitely not. I think tonight I should explore the human condition. God can wait until morning."