Lyn goes through the looking glass after being captured by Cylons.
Related Scenes: None
Plot: Operation: Watchtower
Scene Number: 1458
First it was muttering guy. Then Cate, Astraea, and Emrys followed, each fighting back in their own way. Now it's Lyn's turn. Maybe she fights back! But in the end, it's futile. The Cylon drags her down a maze of poorly lit tunnels, until she notices a glow somewhere ahead, which eventually opens up into some sort of makeshift... Well, it's hard to say exactly what it is. Laboratory? Medical facility? Some bizarre combination of the two? There are cables running around and a half dismantled Cylon in the corner of the room with cables running out of its head. There are no human guts or blood, or really any signs of butchery, but that might be cold comfort as Lyn is manhandled (Cylon-handled?) into a chair and strapped in.
Lyn hasn't been doing so well the last day or so. As her cellmates dwindle til just the two recon marines, she's gotten more and more jittery. Her leg is infected. It's bandaged, it's not bleeding, but the area is hot to the touch, hurts like a mother frakker, and she's been feeling feverish. She tried to clean it with water the first time they brought some, but when the water schedule was super erratic, she decided it needed to be in, rather than on, her body. Needless to say, there isn't much fight in her by the time they come to take her. She makes sure to leave anything she can behind for Bailey, just in case the newer Wolves recruit finds a way out.
When she's strapped in she does finally attempt to struggle, but the pain in her leg stops her cold after a few feeble attempts to shift out of the chair. "Where are the rest of us!?" she snaps out, sweat dripping from a temple and her skin flushed with fever.
The Cylon ignores Lyn's question as it does its work with cold, mechanical efficiency. It places some sort of electrodes on Lyn's forehead and temples, then walks away. It fiddles a bit with some cables, and then there's a short electric shock and everything goes black. Surprisingly, after an unknown period of time, she wakes up in her own bed. And not hard military bunk back on the Dauntless. She's in her bed back at Arctic Station Thula. She still retains her memories, like a particularly vivid dream, but everything here just feels /so real/.
Lyn sits up suddenly. In a panic she leaps out of her bed, is her leg injured? She tests it out and it feels fine. Her bed here is still a bunk, but a bit bigger than the ones on the Dauntless or the Vangard for that matter. Wait. Were those even real? She panics and runs out of the small area, looking for two people in particular. Her father, and Jonas. If all of that was a terrible nightmare, the Cylons rising up, the fall of Aquaria, then they should be alive and well and here.
Lyn gets a few odd looks as she comes galloping out of the sleeping area, but no one really pays her much attention. She eventually finds what she's looking for in the mess hall. Her father is sitting at a table with a couple of his buddies in arms, enjoying a meal. Jonas is seated across from him, his back to Lyn as she comes in. They seem to be having a friendly conversation. At least, friendly on her father's part. Probably more awkward and uncomfortable on Jonas's part... It's a familiar scene to Lyn. She's been here before and she knows how this goes.
Lyn feels her heart jerk in her chest at the sight of her father. The man was her world, and his death has been on her conscience ever since, since she was supposed to have gone to that conference instead of him. Jonas has a stranger feeling. If she just woke up and it was all a dream, she shouldn't have these lingering feelings of anger over how he treated her in a dream, should she? But she does. "Dad?" she asks, feeling tears well in her eyes. "Bubbles?" she asks of the back of Jonas' head. She never wanted him dead, no matter what had transpired in dream land. And if she's back when life was still normal, as much as it ever was at Thula, then he hasn't become bitter. He might still be planning to give her a ring. But that might have been the dream too, she didn't find out about it til the Timber Wovles.
Lyn's father looks up when Lyn announces her presence, with a broad smile. "Well, hello!" he greets, jovially. He was probably having a little too much fun tormenting Jonas before her arrival. Fathers, whattayagonnado? "Speak of the devil. Are you joining us for lunch?"
Jonas continues to look uncomfortable while trying not to show how much he's squirming in his seat. He jumps and looks up when Lyn uses the nickname, but it's not Jonas's face. Oh, he's wearing Jonas's clothes, and the haircut and color is similar (particularly from the back), but the face belongs to Aldrich, and he's giving her his characteristic awkward sort of smile. "Hey, Lyn."
Lyn almost falls down when the face is Aldrich's and not Jonas'. Her mind is spinning. Is this real? What wasn't real? "Al?" She asks, before she moves to throw her arms around him, tears slipping down her cheeks. "I didn't think I'd see you again. I thought you were someone else, somewhere else. And a different person was here, and he died, and everyone died and," she swallows and steps back to look at him better. "I think it was a nightmare. I hope that's what it was," she says quietly. But then why does she remember someone very different in all her past memories?
Aldrich (Jonas? Bubbles?) is a little startled when she throws her arms around him, but he holds her and gives her a comforting pat on the back. Some of her father's friends give awkward chuckles, but otherwise they pretend everything is totally normal.
"It's all right, I'm here," Al soothes, gently. "Everything is fine. You're exactly where you want to be."
Lyn buries her head in the crook of Al's neck and tries to sort out the conflicts in her memory. "The Cylons, they turned on us, they took over Aquaria. And a lot of other colonies were devastated but still around. And we made a Colonial military. And you and I were part of a special forces team. And you were," she looks very confused for a moment, "A preacher? But you were a rifleman and radio man. You were two different people?" She moves to sit at the table. "Dad, you went to a conference in Heim, and they destroyed Heim."
As Lyn goes to sit down, Al and her father share a worried look. Her father asks, "What's a Cylon?" Before the question can be answered, Al reaches over to give her arm a comforting squeeze. "Maybe we should go for a walk? Let you clear your head?" He smiles, comfortingly. "Sounds like it was a really... intense dream."
Lyn blinks. "What do you mean, what's a Cylon?" she blurts out, eyes wide. Because all her memories are clear on what those were. "The robots that Graystone Industries made on Caprica. The work bots, nannies, security guard bots...?" she asks. As Al tries to steer her away she lets him, feeling a bit dazed. This isn't right, right? I mean, they even had them here, for help on research expeditions. They had special feet to let them move on snow.
Al puts Lyn's arm in his and leads her to a passageway where they can walk arm-in-arm without being too much in anyone's way. "That must have been a doozy of a nightmare," he comments, as they walk. "But it's over. You're safe now. Okay?"
"I don't think I'm ok, Al," Lyn whispers. "The Cylons were real. Before the bad dream. They hadn't attacked us yet but, they were here. And, and you weren't you. You were," she pauses and squints at him. "Do you remember why I call you Bubbles?" she asks.
Aldrich gives her an odd but indulgent look, gives a half grin, and pulls a pack of bubble gum out of his pocket. He offers it to her first, with a raised brow and a query of, "Want some?" Then he pulls out a stick for himself, pops it in his mouth, and tucks the pack away again. "Why don't you just forget them?" he suggests. "It sounds like a terrible place to live." Then, a slightly concerned look. "You like being here with me, right?"
"No, no that was what you did to cover up the real reason for the nickname," Lyn says with a frown. "I can't forget them. It might have been a prophetic dream, like the ones you had on the chamalla. They're going to come and rise up. We have one here. He's on Mei's research team, remember?" Mei, the scientist who was killed by that same Cylon the day the attack came. She ignores the question about being there with him. He should know that answer already.
Aldrich sighs and looks toward the ceiling. "We don't have any Cylons here," he stresses, but then stops and puts his arms around her waist. "Look, would it make you feel better to go check on Mei? You can see for yourself."
"Yes, yes. Is she out on the mountain?" Lyn asks, moving to the gear lockers to suit up for the Artic cold and get her climbing and hiking gear. "It was weird, in the dream, you couldn't even climb. I took you climbing and you got sick," she muses, frowning at her internal thoughts. Why can't she remember what's right if it was just a dream? Did she take something? Drink something? IS IT A TUMOR!?
"Probably," Aldrich agrees. He follows her to the gear lockers, to get suited up. "Really? Weird," he chuckles, still smacking on gum while he puts on his own hiking gear. "I wonder why you would dream that I couldn't climb?"
"You were a chaplain, or, you were a military SAR guy. And you were," Lyn looks over her shoulder at him as she dons her boots with the ice spikes on them. "...Taller, and blonder, and buffer," she murmurs. "Or not. And we got separated when the attack happened and you were going to propose, you bought a ring, but it was two years before we reunited and by then you were so angry." She shakes her head, trying to clear the cobwebs from her head giving this man a dual identity.
Aldrich chuckles a bit, and glances over to her. "Taller, blonder, and buffer?" He echoes. "Do you like me better that way?" He's ostensibly teasing, but there's a certain intensity to the undercurrent that suggests he'd really like an answer to that. He finishes pulling on his own boots, and leans casually against the nearest surface in a way Aldrich the Chaplain never would. "Do you /want/ me to propose?"
Lyn blinks at him. Does she? Want Aldrich to propose? Or Jonas? Or anyone? "I, yes, I would say yes if you did, Al. I love you. I want to spend my life with you. Dad might have a cow though," she chuckles. The way he leans, it's odd for her to wrap her brain around it, since Aldrich, the one from the dream, would never be so improper. He was so buttoned up and creased and ironed...but isn't that part of what she loved? Yes, it was. So this feels odd.
Lyn looks down to lace up her boots and when she looks up again, Aldrich is on one knee. That was fast! And he's... Well, 'taller' wouldn't be accurate since he's down on one knee, but his formerly boring brown hair has blond highlights, and does he seem a bit... fitter? He's holding a ring in his hand and smiling. "So marry me, love?"
It's like the two loves of her life are merging in front of her. If there were two, were there? Or was she just misremembering, confused by the dream? Lyn blinks at the ring. Is it the snowflake one Jonas gave back to her on the Vanguard? The dream one? Or something different. Because if it's that one, it will have something engraved inside, "No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place". She nods her head yes, holding out a hand for him to slide it on.
The ring is exactly how she remembers from her dream, in fact, and it slides into place. A perfect fit! (And how often does that /actually/ happen in real life, let's be honest?) Aldrich swoops to his feet, catching her up around the waist and twirling her once before putting her back down on her feet, with a grin that is at once crooked, as Aldrich's grins often are, but somehow more carefree than he should be. "Perfect," he announces, and tries to kiss her.
How can she not let him kiss her at a moment like this, even if something in her hindbrain is gnawing at her that this is somehow wrong. It's what she wants, what she always wanted, what even her dream self wanted. Right? Lyn slides into his kiss.
Aldrich kisses Lyn, deeply, and there is none of the tentative self-doubt she became so used to in her relationship with him. The world spins, and things move quickly...
Now it's her wedding day. Aldrich's hair is deep brown and he's wearing the silly Gemenese turban that has some religious significance he's always refused to explain. Lyn's father walks her down the aisle. Aldrich smiles and says, "I do." Time flies...
They are newlyweds who just moved into a house. It's a strangely familiar cabin on the beach. Now Aldrich's hair is blond. He cracks wise and works with broadcasting equipment for a local radio station. They spend their weekend curled up together on a hammock with Al's arms tightly around her. "I love you," he whispers. The world spins.
Time marches on. Children. Lyn's parents visit. Jonas's parents visit, and seem completely unbothered by the fact that their son is suddenly a Gemenese priest. Her life is unraveling like a lose thread unravels a sweater, and the inconsistencies pile up in the back of her mind. Sometimes she willingly ignores them for the sake of this happy world she finds herself in. Sometimes Aldrich deliberately distracts her from those worries. But the inconsistencies remain, niggling incessantly.
It's not right, because at the end of it all, one thing was consistent before and after her dream. The Cylons. And they are absent entirely from this fairytale happy ending. It's that singular fact that forces Lyn to try and snap out of whatever is going on. What was the last thing she remembered before waking up? Being in a cage, in a mine, after being captured by Cylons, being strapped into a chair with things attached to her, to her head. Her brain? Are they messing with her brain? She looks at her beloved Aldrich/Jonas, sleeping in their cabin, and she walks out the door, down the beach, into the sea, to try and drown herself, and wake up from whatever they're doing to her.
She walks into the ocean, and it's cold. It's just so real. For all the inconsistencies and strangeness, it /feels/ like living. The water fills her lungs, and it hurts. Aldrich appears before her, floating in the water like a dream, but his expression is flat and curious. He speaks, unhindered by the water, in the harsh screech of a Cylon. "Subject 9. Partial success. More study required." The world turns blue and cold, then fades to black. Then she wakes in the dark. She's not dead! In fact, she is physically unharmed, and in a new cage with Astraea and Emrys.
Lyn groans and she looks up at the ceiling of the cage, tears leaking from the corners of her eyes. She's not dead. And this is what is reality. Jonas is dead. Her father is dead. Aquaria is gone. Thula is gone. Aldrich is hopefully safe on the Dauntless, but they are not married. There are no kids. And she's a prisoner of war. FRAK.