"These words are razors to my wounded heart." ~ Titus Andronicus
Lee doesn't pray anymore, after Zak dies.
Their whole lives, they'd sat next to each other in the temple, heads bowed under their mother's watchful eye, voices rising
in unison. So say we all. Even Zak's first year of flight school, Lee's last at War College, they met twice a week
and went to the temple together. It was ritual, it was soothing. The trappings of faith were something they could share
without an edge of competition.
When he graduated and was assigned off Picon to a battlestar, he was glad that Zak had Kara to accompany him to the temple.
He liked knowing that Zak had someone to pray with, someone to sit beside in the gentle fog of incense. He didn't mind sitting
alone in the little shipboard chapel, because he could close his eyes and imagine Zak close, pulling his brother's voice from
The day after the funeral, he escorted his mother to a temple, expecting to find comfort for them both, incense and soothing
peace. But the priest's text was Verse One, and the words cut him to pieces inside. All of this has happened before.
All of this will happen again. The idea, always reassuring before, tore him open where he was already bleeding. He
saw Zak dying a thousand times, over and over, future and past. He felt his heart breaking for every death, heard his mother's
helpless cries over a coffin that couldn't be opened because there wasn't enough left in the wreckage to view.
He couldn't breathe until he fled the temple and stood shaking in the street, staring up at the sky. It wasn't that he didn't
believe that the gods were there. He just couldn't imagine anymore that they cared about him, or any of their human children.
He could only see them the way they were shown in the temple- deaf and faceless statues, indifferent to mortal cries.