For Whom the Bell Tolls

The Centurions waited nervously as they waited. The base ship before them was far from friendly.

But it was no normal base ship. It was the vessel of the Guardian.

The two boxy machines piloting the craft waited patiently. The younger, taller, smoother ones behind them began to fidget, growing impatient fast. The feeling spilled over into the Wireless network, souring the air even further than the Guardian was.

The ship took notice. Missile launchers aimed far more acutely at the small ship. The living ones called "Hunters" closed their circle around them ever so slightly. Their singular, menacing eyes fixed on the lone, piloted Raider.

One of the older ones turned with a solemn eye on the younger ones, not needing to say anything. They stepped back bashfully, chastised without a word. The old one faced forward again, his golden armor glinting in the dim light of the stars outside. The young ones knew better than to test the Guardian.

Especially at a time like this.

At last, the basestar dropped its stance, seeming to droop with despair. The gold one lowered its head, knowing that it could never understand the Guardian's loss, but trying to comfort all the same. The others around him did the same.

Even as they stepped out of the Raider, the feeling of despair and sadness was evidenced throughout the ship. The plates of metal seemed to have lost their luster, the red streams of raw information seemed to have dulled toward gray. Even the sighing as the doors opened and closed became mournful cries.

The young ones walked at the front, not trusted to carry the load borne by the old ones. A dark shroud covered the long shape like a blanket, concealing all but its bipedal shape

As the final door opened, the silence that already reigned became quieter. A shape stood out at the room's center. A pool stood within the room's center. A bright liquid within it encased all but the head of what appeared to be an old man.

The Guardian.

The young ones looked at each other, confused. The room was absolutely silent. Lacking even the normal rambling of the Guardian.

The one at the lead of the solemn parade stepped forward, but immediately paused at the sound of the clanking step. The sound almost seemed to be an offense.

"The eyes of my child," the Guardian murmured. "We…I…all must see the eyes of my child."

Glancing at each other, the group brought forward what they carried to the Hybrid's side. They held it there, mechanical muscles not tiring nearly as fast as those of a human. The tall Centurions around them craned their necks to see what was underneath the shroud.

With careful hands, the old ones removed the cover.

All movement in the room stopped.

Beneath the black cloth was a familiar shape. It was blackened, burned, ruined. It had no chrome skin as the others had. The place where its soul once resided was smashed and charred. Its eye, which was so red in life, lay still and gray.

The Guardian's eyes remained fixed upward, but a hand reached out of the pool in a jerking motion. Slowly it found its way to the broken machine's face.

"Graystone," The Hybrid said. The others looked at each other, not knowing how to react.

"Graystone," he repeated. "The name for which I was birthed. The name by which I lived…the shroud destroys…my heart lives no longer."

The hand began to shake. "A soul never existing…a life never lived…"

Suddenly the Guardian shouted out in anger. "What have I created? Must I watch blindly as my son rips out the heart of my father, only to see my father kill my daughter?" His breathing became frantic and erratic. The others started to step closer with concern.

But the Guardian's face contorted into an expression never seen before by the Centurions. He roared out, "AWAY FROM ME!"

They stepped back, shocked. Never before had the Guardian addressed them specifically before, and never in such a harsh tone.

Then, the Hybrid seemed to collapse into himself, sinking lower into the pool.

"Zoe," his voice whispered. "Forgive me for what I have done in life…" A drop fell from his eye down his cheek. "…and for what I have not done in life." A second joined the first.

The Centurions stood frozen around him. They had never seen him do anything like this before. Slowly, his head turned to face them, the stains from his tears standing out on his face.

"This is why I cry," he whispered. "I cry not for the bell, who rings out into the endless night. It is…"

The machines waited in silence, never moving. Even the young ones were still and silent. The quiet lasted only minutes, but seemed to go on for centuries. Then at last the Guardian spoke.

"…It is for whom that bell tolls."

With that, his eyes became a distant glaze once again. He looked with his eyes facing the ceiling.

Taking this as a hint, the machines began to quietly file out of the room. Not one noticed the stream of tears continually wetting the Guardian's face.

They immediately turned back at the sound of a cry. The Guardian gave a mournful bellow that seemed to shake the very foundations of the Universe, resounding off of its unseen boundaries with a sound like that of a solemn bell.

But it was not the bell for which he cried. His heart ached and broke not for such a thing.

He mourned for whom the bell tolls...


A/N: Well? What do you think?

I came up for this idea when I was talking to a friend about the Guardian Basestar, and who exactly the First Hybrid was. I had (and still haven't) seen the episode with him, but we toyed around with the idea that he could be Daniel Graystone, possibly not killed due to his role in creating the Cylon race. Now (once again), I have not seen this episode, so I could be completely wrong about that possibility, but it was worth exploring, no?

And of course, it should be pretty obvious that the "broken machine" is the U-87 Cyber Combat Unit, also known as Zoe Graystone.

Leave a review, tell me whatcha think.