DISCLAIMER: Battlestar Galactica is the property of Glen A. Larson, Sci-Fi Channel, R & D TV, Sky and NBC Universal.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: Set half way thru 1st season.

As Dust
By Celievamp


She had no name, only a designation. Women such as she was designed to emulate needed no name. They were `baby', `honey', `sweetheart', `doll' to the men they were designed to attract. Such was her success. She was as she had been made, to do God's will in the world.

Gaius was such a man. Intelligent beyond question but otherwise curiously unformed. As her control over him grew he became even more childlike. It could only be a matter of time before his usefulness came to an end. Already others watched him. Wondered.

There were others she could mould. Some in positions of power were neither suitable nor susceptible but others... there was much she could offer to some.

The President. Laura Roslin, for example. She was dying. Cancer ate into her flesh, her blood, her bones. Her remaining lifespan could be measured in a few months only. So little time, especially to one such as she that measured their lifespan in eternity.

Humans sought comfort at such a time. They sought to reconcile themselves with their God.

She could understand that. She had a very intimate relationship with God herself.

But as his instrument she could offer the President a choice. The Cylons did not know death. They walked through eternity. She could give Laura Roslin hope, allow her to make that walk as well. Frail humanity vs eternity. Was it such a hard bargain to make?

President Laura Roslin stirred, opening her eyes. She was sleeping more lately and yet had rarely felt more exhausted. The doctor had told her... she had days rather than weeks. Without a clear succession control over the fleet, over the remnant of humanity would fall to the military mind. Adama was a good man but there were others.

She feared the future even though she would never see it.

Her assistant Billy was over on the Galactica, supposedly making arrangements for a series of meetings to arrange the hand-over. He was probably trying to steal a few minutes with the girl he had fallen in love with, the one with the beautiful eyes. Dualla... beautiful name too. She could not begrudge him that. Who knew how much time any of them had left?

"Madame President?"

A young woman was bending over her. She was unfamiliar, which was in itself strange. Laura was the President after all, not just anyone could walk into her quarters, her presence.

"Madame President?"

"Yes? What do you want? Who are you?"

"Who I am is not important. As for what I want, well. I have come to make you a proposition, Laura."

She gazed up at the striking blonde. If she had seen this woman before she would have remembered. She did not exactly blend in with the crowd. And since the census had been taken she had stared at every face in the database, every last survivor. This woman had not been one of them. Which led her to some very interesting conclusions.

"All right, I'm listening."

Gaius was still working on the test. There was really no way of knowing apart from exposing them to a strong source of radiation. But something in her told her that this woman was not as she appeared to be. That elusive connection that one human being always had with another was missing. She looked into this woman's eyes and saw nothing, felt nothing.

This was a humanform Cylon.

"I know you are dying, Laura. That cancer has ravaged your body because you left it too long before getting treatment - why was that? You have days, perhaps weeks left to you. You will die and your achievements will be as dust. You are an intelligent woman. I know that you know what I am, what I represent. I have come to offer you a solution to all of your problems. For you, the gift of eternal life, for your people continued existence. With you to oversee and instruct them - as directed by Cylon intelligence, of course."

"Of course," Roslin said drily. "You know my name - am I permitted to know yours?"

"I do not require a name," the woman smiled. "But I am known to some as Sixth, those whose minds and hearts I have touched."

"You realise I can't make a decision like this straight away. I need time to think," Roslin said.

The woman smiled. "You humans and your shades of grey. You lie even to yourself. You have made your decision, you merely need to justify it now. This is why we will prevail."

"I will give you your answer soon, I promise. As you said, I don't have much time. So, how do I find you?"

The woman leant closer, looking deep into Laura's eyes. "Well, that's not how it works, Madame President." She touched Laura's cheek with her long cool fingers, lightly caressing her. "I will find you." Laura closed her eyes. It was a long time since anyone had touched her like that. She realised how alone she had been, separated from her fellow humanity by her nature and her position. She realised how afraid she was of dying alone. Cold lips touched hers and Laura realised that there were far worse things in this creation than dying alone.

Her eyes flew open. "No!"

Sweat sheened her skin. She was alone. There was a discreet knock at the door. "Ma'am?"

"I'm all right, Billy," she called out. "Just a bad dream."

`Just a bad dream,' she thought, sinking back against the pillow.

"I will find you, Laura."

The End

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