grey_sw: Cavil from BSG (Default)
[personal profile] grey_sw
Title: 100001
Author: grey_sw
Author's Contact Info: greyfic@gmail.com or [livejournal.com profile] grey_sw
Rating: G
Genre: Cylons
Spoilers: Spoilers for "33"
Characters: Scar
Pairings: None
Summary: Makes you wonder how the other half die...
Author's Note: [livejournal.com profile] exploding_candy requested a fic about Scar, set during "33". This is a bit of a prequel to this drabble I wrote a while back, also about Scar. Enjoy!



"There are 10 kinds of people in the world: those who know binary, and those who don't." -- An old joke

---

He is very new, so new that he still remembers what it is like to be born: soft and wet and cold. He tests his engines, first one and then the other, wriggling in anticipation.

[Calm, calm.] the Voice says. [Patience is our way.]

He makes himself still until only his wingtips tremble. His many brothers do the same, waiting in the eyrie, waiting for battle.

The Voice speaks. [Wave zero-zero-one commences. When the winds of war blow, the cradle will rock the casbah. Adjust bearing by two mark three five; open landing bays. Go and learn and die, children.]

He launches with his brothers, many upon many, filling the world. Ahead They fly: many big ships surrounded by smaller ones, the ones he is supposed to kill. He chases them, charging forward on clumsy new wings, heedless of danger. And dies, after only fifty-six seconds.

Resurrection, cold and wet.

He trembles again, this time with frustration. He wants to fly again. He wants to be better, stronger!

[Strength will come,] the Voice says. [Strength through learning, strength through experience. Dip wings when engaging, turn and weave: the more you know! Wave zero-zero-two commences in thirty-one minutes, seven seconds.]

The second time is much like the first, but he lives a little longer, almost a minute and a half. Resurrection again. He learns: dipping his wings is a good thing. After ten times, ten resurrections, he manages to last nearly five minutes in combat, weaving and dodging amongst his brothers. But still, he dies.

[Wave zero-two-zero commences. Practice movement in concert. A flock of seagulls, a pod of dolphins, a school of fish of hard knocks. Go!]

He joins his brothers in space, flying against Them in formation. He and his brothers are many; there are too many for Them to shoot when they stay together. This is an exciting discovery, so much so that he forgets to try to shoot! Instead the brethren fly, together, until at last They run away. He forgets himself and gives chase, but They scuttle inside their big ships, and then the big ships vanish, one by one.

He is not dead. That is a new thing! Alive, he returns with his brothers to the eyrie. He is cradled there, warm and snug. The Voice sings praise for him. [Too much confusion creates tactical advantage; for the enemy, there must be no way out of here! Decrease ventral velocity by three point two. Wave zero-two-one commences in thirty-two minutes, five seconds.]

By the fiftieth wave, even the slowest of his brothers have mastered formation flying. Some of them resurrect -- he resurrects, once out of every three times, dying in agony over and over again -- but the Raiders have learned to survive as a group. He begins to concentrate on offense; by the hundred and tenth wave, he comes close to hitting one of Them with his guns. But it flits away, at the last second, and then another one of Them comes up from behind and kills him.

[Weep not, little one,] the Voice says, as he trembles with rage in the eyrie. [They dodge, as you do. Think ahead, think as he is you and you are he and we are all together. Aim not where he is, but where you would be if you were he!]

It is difficult, though. They fly very finely, and though his engines are hot and strong, he is still a bit clumsy. It takes forty more waves before he is finally blooded in battle; one of Them dodges just the way he thought it might, the way another one had during wave one-three-eight, and it explodes under his guns.

He returns to the eyrie, happy, so happy! All of his brothers are happy, too, and even the voice is happy. [Brave warrior, first among the brethren. Good hunting, good hunter! Whatever else you are, you are that; now you are a Raider,] it sings to him. He wants this to happen again.

It doesn't, at least not right away. He and his brothers fly many more times, learning, growing.

[Wave two-three-nine commences. Pro tip: come from above to destroy the enemy vessels! Press start to continue!]

He and his brothers fight, as always. They are unsuccessful. None of Them die, this time, and then the big ships jump away, one by one... but strangely, the last one does not. He and his brothers crowd close to it, curious, until the Voice calls them home.

[Rest now, sleep now. Adjust target parameters; learn to obey.]

It is hard to leave a target, hard not to try to kill that which must be killed! He trembles and wavers, lost amongst his brothers, confused.

[Home, little ones,] the Voice calls. [Little Raiders, beloved of God, God in the machine, come and dream with me!]

The Raiders come, one by one, peeling away from the big ship. It's too bad, but it was too big for them to kill, anyway. And they are supposed to listen to the Voice, to do only what it asks of them.

When they are safe in the eyrie again, the Voice sings, very happy. [Wave two-three-nine complete! Initial Raider training complete! Obedience in the field of dreams; wise and wicked minnows fill the stream. Achievement unlocked: Thirty-Three!]

He does not know what that means; even he can count, and wave zero-three-three was many waves ago! But the Voice is happy, so he is happy, too.

[Final wave commences in thirty-three minutes, zero seconds. Jump!]

He wriggles in his berth, engines flaring with joy and anticipation. Someday, he will be strong; he will live and die for that day. He will learn, like this, until he is wise. He will grow, like this, until They can't run away from him anymore.

Someday, he is going to be the best Raider there is.
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