Doctor Sherman Cottle grumbled through his teeth a briskly lit a cigarette, one of his quickly dwindling supplies and made a quick mental note to 'confiscate' more from the first person with any spares that entered his sickbay. It had been quiet for the past few days, and there was very little for the Chief Medical Officer to actually do. "Bloody miracle..." he muttered to himself. "People not falling over themselves in sickness..."

He spun around in surprise as the hatch slammed open and a squad of Galactica's marines rushed inside. He blinked as another four entered, carrying a stretcher between.

"What the frak is going?" Cottle stepped forward, taking a deep drag from his cigarette. "Who is this?"

"We were hoping you could tell us, Doctor." Admiral Adama stepped into the sickbay, Colonel Tigh following closely behind him.

Cottle looked between the two of them before turning to inspect the stretcher. "Well..." He raised his thick eyebrows in surprise. "What in the name of the gods?" Turning to look at the Admiral, "What do you expect me to do with her?"

"I want to know everything. She was dead, for gods sake. If she's a cylon, we need to know!" Adama motioned for the marines to put Kara on on one of the beds. "No one is to know about this, Doc." He turned and walked out, along with Tigh. Two of the marines took of watch beside her bed, the rest following the Admiral out.

Cottle stared down at the woman on the bed for a moment. "Well... frak."

#

"All of this has happened before, and it will happen again."

Kara found herself standing in a dark forest, trees dead of life. Whispers of a thousand voices echoed on the wind.

"There are those who believe that life here, began out there, far across the universe, with tribes of humans who may have been the forefather of the Egyptians, or the Toltecs, or the Mayans. Some believe that there may yet be brothers of man who even now fight to survive far, far away, amongst the stars."

Kara watched a young boy, his face covered in tears. She watched his look of horror as the unmistakable sound of a Reaper filled the forest. He turned and ran, away from Kara. No matter how fast she ran, she couldn't catch up to him.

"All of this has happened before, and it will happen again."

Kara stopped, dropping to her knees. She let out a cry of pain, of loss, of everything that she had tried so hard to bury during the war.

"Shepard. Thrace. Kara. Starbuck. Spectre. Commander. Captain. Butcher of Torfan. You are known by many names, dear one. For all of your lives, you have protected humanity and her allies in every cycle. But like in every cycle, you have lost. That has been your destiny."

The boy was always faster than her. She couldn't catch him.

"Until now."

Kara gave up. It wasn't worth it. She could never save him. Never save anyone. Garrus was dead because she wasn't fast enough. Legion was dead because she wasn't fast enough. Dear, sweet Liara was dead... DEAD! All because she wasn't enough!

"Dear one, the time has come. It has finally come for you to overthrow the shackles that have held you back for so long, to take the place that you have always been destined for."

She cried. Cried for everything she would never see again.

"No. No, dear one! You will see them again. You will see all of them again, and everything will be as it should have been. You will have a long life with your love! Now though, you must remember. You will it for where are going."

#

"I have no way to explain it."

The gruff voice of Doc Cottle was the first thing that she heard upon her return to consciousness. Kara kept her eyes firmly shut, making sure not to make any moves, trying to pretend that she was still asleep. That this, all of this, was just a dream.

"What do you mean, Doc?"

The voice of Admiral Adama was disconcerting for Kara. She didn't know how, but she remembered him. And she remembered Admiral Steven Hackett. Between the two... she would put her money on Hackett. That man could be far more ruthless than Adama had the capability to be.

"I don't even know how in the world she is alive." Never before had she ever heard Cottle so frazzled.

Kara wanted nothing more than to scream. She didn't know these people! There was no way that she could. But... all of the memories where there. Everything that the woman named Kara Thrace had ever experienced, just sitting and waiting at her fingertips.

"I am almost one-hundred percent certain that she's not a cylon," Cottle continued. She could imagine him puffing furiously on a cigarette. "Other than that, there are things that I just can't explain."

"What do you mean, doctor?"

Ah, Roslin. School-teacher turned president, if Thrace's memories were correct.

"I just want to say first," Cottle paused, sounding extremely unsure of himself. "I have never seen anything like this before in my life. I see evidence of extreme trauma. The type of stuff that would put anyone in the morgue for good. Every bone in her body looks like they've been shattered, her muscles... looks like they were thrown inside a blender."

"How is she still alive?" Roslin again.

"Whatever did that to her, it happened in the past." Cottle was silent for a moment. "It looks like someone rebuilt her. Her bones have pieces of reinforced metal grafted into them that none of my tests could identify, but thats not even the half of it. Every single bone of her body has been... changed. There's something woven through them. I doubt anything short of a viper crashing on her could break anything."

"So the cylons rebuilt her!" Roslin sounded smug, as if she was proud of being right.

"NO!" Cottle sounded angry. "Whoever did this to her... it wasn't the cylons."

"How can you be sure, doctor?" Adama was always respectful.

"The cylons are more advanced than us, but I've seen enough of their kind to recognize what they could and couldn't do. The woman lying in that bed has had organs replaced! She is partly synthetic! Her heart is only beating because of an implant so advanced that Baltar would give up sex to get his hands on it. Her eyes aren't real, but I would bet you anything that she can see better than any of us here, possibly in other spectrums. And then there is the matter of the implant."

"Implant? What are you talking about, doctor?" Roslin. Kara felt the urge to slap her.

"At the base of her neck, there is a tiny implant. I don't know what it does, but it connects to her entire nervous system. The cylons would be extremely hard-pressed to replicate it."

There was silence for several long moments before Roslin spoke. "Wake her up. I want to speak to her."

"Very well."

Kara barely managed to resist cringing as a needle pierced her neck, and moments later she could feel energy coursing through her body. She opened her eyes to see the two marines standing at the foot of her bed, their rifles steadily trained on her heart. Roslin, Adama, and Cottle were standing behind the marines, watching her warily.

The room was silent for what felt like hours, before Roslin stepped forward. "Who the frak are you?"

"Commander Kara Shepard, Citadel Spectre, Service Number 5923-AC-2826." Kara rifled off the familiar answer, her face becoming a stony mask of indifference. She stared icily up at the ceiling.

"How did you get here?" Roslin pushed, her eyes glinting dangerously.

"Commander Kara Shepard, Citadel Spectre, Service Number 5923-AC-2826."

Roslin was silent for a moment, sending a questioning look to Adama. He stared back, frowning, before giving a brief nod. "Take her to the brig," he ordered the marines.