The camera's red light blinked on, off, on. You watched the viewscreen as it recorded, framing your shot: Lieutenant Thrace's shower-slick head and bare shoulders. The video cut off there -- a tease -- but the reality didn't. You glanced up.
Kara stood naked under the spray, posing for you with one hand on her hip. "Will I look pretty in the movie?" she said.
Captain Adama told you where to find her: in the showers, leaning against the wall with water pounding her back. She'd turned when your shoes clicked onto the tile floor, and her mouth curled into a sneer or a smirk. "Enjoying your 'total access,' Ms. Biers?"
You'd flicked the button with your thumb: record.
"Is this how you unwind, after a combat flight?" you said.
"Nope." You track down her curves in close-up, droplets glistening on the outlines of her breast, belly, hip. "I unwind with booze and cards. But I clean up first, in case I get lucky."
"Facing death out there must make for pretty intimate connections among the pilots. How does it feel, shooting down raiders?" You had a low-frequency beacon, virtually undetectable to all but the raiders' sensors -- a dog whistle. They came when you called, serving as your mobile relay station.
Kara closed her eyes, hands skimming the last suds off her skin. You zoomed in on her face, catching the flicker of tongue before she grinned. "Like frakking."
"That's not how Cadet Katraine describes it," you said. "I just talked to her in sickbay."
Kara walked toward you, painted in rivulets like one of her sham goddesses. She stood too close, dotted a wet stain on your shirt with her finger. You perched the camera on your shoulder, one eye at the viewfinder. "Well that's what I tried to teach her: let go of everything but the feel of the stick, the ship, the dance. Fight the Cylons, not yourself. Damn nugget didn't pay attention in school." She looked at you, ignoring the lens only inches away. At close range, her knotted jaw and smoky eyes told the story. You wondered if she was acting, and who the performance was for.
"And who teaches you, Lieutenant? Who do you follow into combat?"
Kara hooked her finger under your neckline, brushing your breast. "I'll tell you," she said, "if you take off your clothes."
"You should return my phone calls," Kara says onscreen. The video is dim but vivid on the monitor, your nude forms splashed against the glossy tile. It shows Kara kissing down your body to kneel at your cunt. Before she puts her mouth on you, she finishes her sentence: "Laura."
Watching from her desk, Laura Roslin blanches. "Enough," she says, with a curt wave. You stop the tape just as your image moans under Kara's tongue.
When Laura granted your request to stay for a private screening, dismissing Adama, Tigh, and Billy despite their obvious disapproval, this wasn't what she expected. All you said before cueing the recording was, "There's something you should see."
She folds her arms in exaggerated coldness. She may not be on camera, but Laura is never unaware of the role she plays. "I have no interest in your private conduct, Ms. Biers," she says. "Nor is it appropriate for you to share it."
You perch on the corner of her desk, looking down at her. "I was asking Lieutenant Thrace about Kobol." You know about the expedition and the prophecies -- that much is news. You know from sources of a temple, a map, and a mutiny and from your sisters that Kara escaped Caprica with an ancient Arrow. You know that you're My instrument, My eyes, even if the shape of things to come is not revealed to you.
"Lieutenant Thrace knows better than to disclose classified information, even off the record," Laura says.
You smile. "Don't you think you should review the rest of the tape, just in case?"
"Why don't you repeat what she told you." Laura stands up, bringing her close enough to touch. "Every word."
There was a wall of shelves out of reach of the water, and you cleared a space for your camera amongst the assortment of soaps. You centered the shot carefully on Kara's shower, memorizing its outlines. You knew just where to stand to unfasten your blouse.
The camera was focused on Kara, framed by the L of your shoulder as she watched you slide your bra strap down. You stripped deliberately, more dare than seduction, while she rolled her weight impatiently from foot to foot.
When all your clothes were piled on a shelf, you walked into the shot, into the spray and into Kara, who didn't step back to make room. Your bodies touched as you tipped your head back, wetting your hair.
Kara leaned toward you, her lips near your ear. "Who's going to see this documentary first?"
Your breasts slicked against hers when you turned to face her. "This documentary, or this tape?"
Kara laughed and put her hands on your hips, grabbed rough fistfuls of flesh to pull you closer. You looped your arms around her neck and hummed in pleasure. It was all part of your mission, but not an unwelcome part. Kara was a pale reflection of your sisters, but even human contact made you feel closer to Me.
"I believe I've earned an answer," you said. You teased her neck with your teeth. "Who do you follow, Starbuck?"
Kara pushed you against the wall, and you gasped at the cold tile on your back. "Nobody," she said. She kissed you like she had something to prove. Grabbing her ass, you wrapped your hand between her legs to find her slippery. She growled into your shoulder and rode your thigh.
"Who do you wish would see this tape?" you said. "Nobody?"
She pulled your hand around her hip to her cunt, capturing it between you. "You want your puff piece, D'Anna, or you want to frak me?"
You grinned and parted her with your fingers, stroked lightly over her clit. "The Gideon Massacre isn't the only scandal of the military coup, just the only one caught on film. The rumor is that you went AWOL in a stolen raider. The rumor is that President Roslin asked you to."
"Yeah," Kara said. "She asked real nicely."
"Starbuck told me that she stole a raider and went on a kamikaze mission to Caprica," you say. "Because you asked her very nicely."
Laura tilts her head and stares at you, unblinking. "I don't believe you."
"Not that you want my opinion, but I think Starbuck can be a flight instructor, a leader, because she knows how to follow. I think she probably hasn't been your only follower, over the years."
Turning away from you, Laura goes to your camera. She examines it until she finds the controls, and then she pushes rewind.
"You're as savvy with the media as any politician I've covered," you say. "Before or after the holocaust."
"Your documentary on Galactica is really quite remarkable," she says. "But I don't trust you for a second." She plays the recording.
The wireless is a weapon in your hands. You could break apart the fleet with videotape, but you won't -- not as long as violence could endanger Sharon and the unborn hybrid. The child is your calling, and if you'd made her jailers your enemies you wouldn't be here in the President's office. You don't have to grasp Laura Roslin's sanctity to see she's at the heart of things.
Laura sits with her legs crossed and her chin propped on her fist. She watches Kara clutch you as she comes.
She uncrosses her legs, presses her knees together. "This is merely trash and innuendo," she says. "It's not as if Lieutenant Thrace is the only one with fantasies about the President."
You lean over the table to eject the tape and hold it out to Laura. "She certainly isn't."
Your cover in the fleet was an asset, so while Kara was on Caprica, the Threes kept out of sight. You'll abort your mission only when Laura steals the child, when transmissions reach you of the resistance's escape and the heroes' revolution. You'll get out just before the nebula makes resurrection impossible.
You didn't know that Kara will be Mine. You saw her as a warrior and a pilgrim, and touched her with reverence nonetheless.
"The President and the Admiral will preview the Galactica piece -- their rules," you told her. You were frakking her slowly with two fingers, curling them and scissoring her open. Kara was sucking on your throat and marking your breasts with her nails. "If you tell me more about your field trip to Caprica, I could pass a message along to Roslin for you."
"Make me come," Kara said, "and we'll see."
"What would you say to her if she were here instead of me?" You swirled your fingers harder and thumbed her clit. She groaned and shook as if you'd pushed a button. Humanform bodies have their design features.
"If you were President Roslin, you know what I would tell you?" Kara lifted your hand from her cunt to her mouth, licked your fingers in one long swipe.
You cupped her breast and reached to shut off the shower. "That you have more to learn from me?"
Kara smiled. "That you should return my phone calls." She kissed your jaw, your shoulder, your nipple, your belly, following her lips with her hands until she was kneeling at your feet. She pressed her cheek to your hip, and you spread your legs wider so she could work her knuckles between them. "Laura," she said. She wasn't smiling.
Under her tongue, you had no further processing cycles for tabloid buzz about relics and temples, Kobol and Earth. She licked you in patterns, spelling a psalm on your tender flesh. You rested your palms on her head like a blessing and prayed to know My will.
"It's every journalist's dream to interview the President," you say. Laura takes the tape from you and closes her fist around it. "The power must come with such loneliness."
Hidden among humans, you have no networks, no datastream, no communion. The recordings are your archive, your mission log, your memories.
Laura tucks the tape into her jacket pocket and returns to her seat behind the desk. "Your interview methods lack a certain professionalism."
"You don't want your message, then, from Starbuck?" You follow her, trap her with your arms on the sides of her chair.
She licks her lips. "I didn't say that."
"Answer one question in exchange: the pregnant woman I saw in sickbay, is she alright?"
Laura reaches under her skirt and slides her panties down her legs. "This tape I have," she says. "It could damage your credibility more than mine or Starbuck's."
You crouch in front of her, hook your thumbs in the underwear so she can step out of them, one high heel and then the other. "Yes."
She spreads her knees and you fit yourself between them. "Off the record, mother and baby have recovered. Though Galactica's human interest trivia doesn't offer much insight into my Presidency, does it?"
"You'd be surprised," you say. You push her skirt up until you can see her cunt, split and shiny. "Off the record, this is what Starbuck said to tell you."
When you put your mouth on her, she runs her fingers through your blonde hair and whispers, "Kara."
Just after the election, Laura Roslin will get word that you were found dead in your quarters: suicide. She'll subtract one number from the whiteboard, and she won't add it back when you meet again one year later. Cylons don't count -- and if any Three did it would be your sister, My seeker, who was with you always in your mind. You are surveillance, your individuality exhausted with your mission.
But Laura Roslin is singular. You lay your hands on her thighs and spell out prayers with your tongue.