Wednesday, 27 August 2008

On a Blustery Night Part III

The last installment...

* * * * *

As the wind peters down, the conversation dies beneath the shadows of the coniferous trees. Oriana sidles up to Jorien; Jorien grips her javelin even more firmly. Salome says “Almost there.”

They all hear a twig snap.

Oriana inhales sharply. Jorien lifts her javelin and pushes the princess behind her. Salome grabs Oriana's arm and whimpers.

“What's wrong?” Salome demands. “Why are you all so frightened? You're scaring me. It's likely only my brother... Isaiah?”

Oriana and Salome remain huddled together, but Jorien takes a few cautious steps toward the place of the sound. “Show yourself,” she commands, there now being no trace of a tremble in her voice. She is sick of this uncertainty. Let come what may, she will end it now. With the pointy end of her weapon, if possible.

“Isaiah?” Salome calls again. Then she mutters something about not liking the situation the moment the door was opened why did she involve herself with such shifty folk?

Another twig snaps, slightly farther off. Jorien takes a few small steps. Though she sometimes pretends, she's not a nocturnal creature, so it's difficult for her to see in the dark – particularly amongst the trees. She notes how well long shadows mess with her ability to distinguish one object from the next.

Perhaps it is only a small, furry animal – no, it would have to be a fat, furry animal – breaking twigs, but Jorien is trained to take no chances. “My lady, I'd advise you have your knife handy.”

Oriana bites her lip and pulls a knife from her boot. “I've never had to use this, you know,” she whispers. Salome eyes the knife warily.

Jorien takes a few more steps into the trees. “Speak!” she commands.

* * * * *

The light from the kitchen window casts a muted orange glow over Neal's face. He is about to tread on the doorstep, cloak flapping about his legs, when a picture flashes through his mind's eye. Her face – he's placed it. When Prince Baruch was nearly done in – the man that Neal had seen slinking away through the halls – the man had tossed something to a girl in the shadows. Baruch's royal ring, they figure, and a key. Tossed it to a girl. That girl. He had seen her face in the shadows for just half a moment before he had opted to take after the would-be assassin, rather than the female, but he had seen her face, if not clearly.

He feels like throwing up, but doesn't have the time. How could he be so stupid? “HEY! HEY!” Dropping the lantern, he gives a shout to rouse those inside the house, and books it back to the princess. What has he done? How could he leave them? Feet fairly flying, Neal wishes he was one of those mythological centaurs of old, with hooves that could carry him twice as fast as he is now going.

Ba-dum, ba-dum.

Is that his heart or his feet?

“My lady!” he yells. “Jorien!”

The stars are still shining; the cloud still covers much of the moonlight. The air is still crisp and windy. Neal sees only one silhouette headed back toward him. Stomach churning, he hopes against hope that he's somehow miscounting.

“Where is she? Where is the princess?” he demands, grabbing Jorien by the elbows. She has dark splotches on her face, and no longer holds her javelin. Her darl hair is matted to her forehead despite the wind. “What happened?”

His star female recruit mutters something in hysterical gibberish and collapses in his arms.

“Darn it, Jorien! What happened?!” he demands again, giving her a shake.

Two gasps later she snaps out of her panic. “It was a trap!” she blurts.

“Where's Prin-”

“They took her! Horsemen!”

The familiar rumble of horses in gallop is audible from where they are. Five of them, each with a cloaked figure astride. Had he been an archer, they would have been in range. He really wishes now that Vivianna had come along to begin with – not only with her medical gear, but with her bow and arrows, too.

As he is thinking of arrows, one seems to materialize from nowhere and comes whistling towards him, barely missing his foot. There is a note tied to it. No doubt a ransom note, or at least a tasteless gloat of the “neener neener” sort.

He hears other people coming from the rear. They're allies because Prince Obed's voice is directing them. But the horses are gone too far by this time. Out of range, even for Vivianna, now.

Different words wish to make their way out of Neal's mouth, but they aren't noble words, so he holds them in check. Instead, only a strained “...Prince...” is released.

Obed comes to stand beside him, eyes hard. “Where is my sister?” he demands.

Neal can only gesture.

The prince looks after the rapidly distancing horsemen, mouth slightly open, then turns back to Neal. He speaks softly. “That was my baby sister, Neal.”

Neal can't answer. Prince Obed will be very, very angry with him, only not now. He's still in shock. Later.

"Ohhh...." breathes Vivianna, eyes wide.

Baruch also comes to stand beside them. He shakes his head. “Wow, hey?... Right out from under our noses...”

Neal bites his tongue.

Silence ensues.

* * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * * *

I hope you like cliffhangers, because that's it.

“What might have been is not what is." Charles Dickens

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

On a Blustery Night Part II

Part II:

* * * * *

It's a girl. The gusting wind whips the stray bits of brown hair about her face.

He is mildly surprised. No more than fifteen, he guesses. About Bianca's age.

Her cheeks are flushed bright red from the nippy night air. Her eyes are a clear and sparkling deep grey-blue. A coarse brown cloak and hood protect her from the elements.

“Hi,” she greets, then pauses. “Oh... I'm sorry. I didn't mean to disturb the whole household... but I was just happening by with my brother and there's a horse out in the field. It's on its side... we think it's sick.”

Neal can basically hear the whoosh sound as breath is released. Although, thinks Neal, the horses were tied up in the trees, not out in the field.

“Oh!” Oriana cries. “What colour?”

“White,” the girl replies. “He was making some noises... I think he's pained.”

“A white horse?” exclaims Oriana. “That could be Giboreo, or maybe your Titan, Dame Jorien – yours is white, too, isn't it, Ishmer?”

Prince Obed looks about ready to jump Oriana in order to clamp her mouth shut, but she notices and so closes it herself. Neal sighs inwardly at her for her not-so-strategic hints of identity, but is only paying half attention to the princess. His attention is held by the girl at the door.

He doesn't like her. Something is not right with that girl. Be vigilant in retaining the royal heirs, but don't be overly high-strung, Neal, King Aaron had said. He must learn to laugh, the king had said. Oh, I'm laughing , now, he thinks. At the irony. Neal searches the girl's face, making no pretense otherwise. She smiles awkwardly at him.

“What's your name?” he asks her, a warning tone edging his voice.

“Salome,” says she.

“Show me where the horse is,” Oriana chimes, worry in her voice.

“May I have your name?” the girl asks him.

He folds his arms. Salome seems fine. There are no scars, no disfigurements.... no evil gleam in her eye. He doesn't recognize her from the royal Wemarian rank and file they've met. But why is she wandering such places so late at night?

“Salome, how did you manage to find this horse?” he inquires. Let the girl be suspicious of their suspicion. They can deal with the ramifications of that later.

Princess Oriana is grabbing her cloak and making ready to leave with Salome. Neal glances at Prince Obed to let him know that she won't be going out alone. Obed nods, but is clearly not liking the idea of Oriana leaving, even with Neal accompanying her.

Neal takes a peak at Jorien to see if he's the only one with a hyperactive imagination. Jorien meets his gaze, then breaks it off and immediately begins wrapping on her cloak. She picks up her javelin again.

“I'll accompany you,” her soft voices says. Neal notices that she smartly omitted the usual tag of “my lady”.

Grabbing his lance, Neal too, begins donning his outdoor gear. If the girl is telling the truth, it would be ridiculous for the whole lot of them to go. They would be spotted by every Wemarian from a quarter league away to the border. Still, better three fighters than two... or rather, two than one, as the princess doesn't really count.

“Oh, Sir Neal, what are you doing?” Oriana whines.

“I'm coming, too, of course,” he replies gruffly.

“Of course,” says she. “Look, Dame Jorien's coming. I'll be fine. Stay back and protect my brother.” He cringes to hear titles and job descriptions. Oh, well. It's not as if Salome hasn't noticed the weapons lying about.

Salome, being the perceptive type, senses the obvious tension in the household. “I'll wait outside,” she offers.

The princess follows her out. Jorien follows the princess. Neal grabs a lantern and walks to the door. Turning to those who remain, he lowly issues out several instructions. “Ten minutes. You hear any noise and you all come out armed.” Several nods. Baruch waves him on, and Prince Obed mirrors the motion with his spear.

Neal steps outside.

They are waiting for him. “Show us where, Salome,” he orders.

She smiles nervously and turns. “This way.”

They walk in silence. The lush grass is soft beneath their feet. The warm yellow glow of the kitchen is easily visible from outside. Where are the guards? he wonders. Maybe they were watching only the road. Salome had implied they had come from the the fields and not by the road...

Their breath is visible; four wispy puffs of white condensation.

Neal figures it would be a good time to assert his station of man-in-charge. “Salome, just wait,” he orders. “You didn't tell me how you happened upon the horse.”

She turns her face, the very personification of innocence, to look at him. In fact, if anything were ever more innocent, it would be so far along the scale of innocence that it would pass the final mark and being regressing. Neal couldn't pull that expression off – not if both his life and Bianca's depended on it, though it would be handy if he could. “My brother and I are heading home from Ira and Camilla's place,” she says. “I'm sure you know them. They just had a baby, you know. A darling thing. Took a shortcut through your field – hope you don't mind.” She glances back at him.

He realizes he's seen that face somewhere, before. He tries to place where.

He is about to share his opinion on trespassing, but Oriana is speaking again.

“A baby? What name?”

“Obi,” Salome says. “Have you not been to visit them recently?”

Finally Oriana wisely shuts up.

The girl turns to look at Oriana. Blast! He's seen that face somewhere before, he knows it! Well, perhaps not philosophically speaking, because his memory could be tainted, but there's the idea. Salome leads them further from the house. They have made it some way, already. In her brown cloak she is like a shadow, or rather a wisp of a shadow. Neal is the last of the four. They walk in silence for several long seconds. Corin is probably counting the seconds back in that dive of a house.

“Is he badly hurt?” Oriana asks.

“Possibly,” Salome admits. “We thought probably sick, as opposed to hurt, but I wouldn't put a wager on it.” She gives an apologetic smile, raising her eyebrows.

“Oh! Silly us!” Oriana exclaims. “If he's hurt, we need Vivianna! I'll run back and get her!”

Neal does not like that idea. His princess, who is in hiding in a hostile nation, out at night by herself? “No,” he decides. “Jorien, you return to the house and nab Vivianna. We'll wait for you here.”

Jorien obediently turns back toward the house.

“Neal,” Oriana begins again, her voice pleading, “if Giboreo is hurt, he needs help quickly! We shouldn't wait around any longer!”

He ignores her, trying not to look arrogant or jumpy, which is getting more and more difficult.

Salome shrugs and rubs her arms to keep warm.

Saith the princess: “You're infuriating, Neal.”

“Where is your brother?” he asks Salome.

“Waiting by the horse,” she replies. “Just past yonder trees.” She gracefully motions toward a black jagged line not far in the distance.

“You, see, Jorien will be able to find us,” Oriana whines again.

He sighs and calls her back. “Jorien!” The wind whips his voice away, but he still manages to get her attention.

“You go with them. I'll get Vivianna,” he says. “See to the creature. I'll catch up.”

“Sir?” Jorien's voice holds many questions, and a slight hint of a waver. Could she also be so unsettled?

He's not entirely sure himself why he's changing places with her. Perhaps he feels Jorien would be better able to soothe an injured horse than he would be able to. Perhaps he wishes for a temporary reprieve from the tension. Perhaps he doesn't like the idea of Jorien being by herself, either. At any rate, he expects his princess to be happy to be rid of her infuriating retainer for a few moments.

Salome mentions something to Oriana about the position she found the horse in. Oriana listens intently. Neal leans over and discreetly whispers something into Jorien's ear. About keeping her javelin in the ready position. She nods and whispers back, “Please be quick.”

He nods and leaves the three females. There's no sense in running. If the horse has been hurt for so long already, a few more seconds likely won't kill it. Besides, it's easier to think when walking than when running – particularly when going against the wind. Nevertheless, his attempt to make his walk look nonchalant fails miserably, but he refuses to admit it.

Oriana's bubbly voice is likely chatting with Salome by now. She appears to like her new friend. Jorien is being much more cautious. Good Jorien. He'd like to get to know her a little better, if he could. Although he's already dealing with Vivianna. Trying to add Jorien into the mix probably just wouldn't work.

Their voices grow fainter as the light from the house grows stronger. “Hey?” he calls quietly. “Where are you, men? Report.” There is no reply. What was that lad's name? “Gavin?” A queasy feeling once again hits his stomach. Where are those guards? He begins moving again. His not-quite-nonchalant walk now qualifies for a potty-dash trot.

* * * * * to be continued...

“Contrariwise, if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.” Lewis Carrol

Sunday, 24 August 2008

On a Blustery Night Part I

This is a scene that kept playing in my mind. I don't think it relates to the other little blurb I shared earlier, but this, too, is set in a fantasy realm. I don't really know how well this narrative voice works, or there is any tension build up at all, so please give me some feedback.

* * * * *

On a Blustery Night


An old farmhouse stands lonely on the border between the field and the forest. A warm candle-lit glow is being emitted into the greyness of night from two windows of the usually deserted structure. In the distance, a wolf howls, but is scarcely noticeable above the cry of the wind.

* * * * *

Neal sits on a crude wooden chair and is tempted to rest his feet on the equally crude wooden table, but doesn't. Such a posture is not dignified. Instead, he rests his elbows on the rough surface, hands clasped. He must not nod off. He must not. He forces his head up and notes a head of chestnut brown hair. Ah, the royal heir, Prince Obed.

“Everyone, are we ready to begin?” Obed asks, still standing.

There are a chorus of replies. Neal can't discern the individual assertions. Apparently, Obed can't, either.

“Oriana?” Obed asks.

“Most ready, brother. You'll be glad you brought me along, after all – you'll see,” the youngest royal child replies. “I'm not just good for sewing samplers and entertaining guests all the time.” Obed cuts her off before she can continue.

“Glad to hear it, Oriana. Baruch?”

Baruch jerks awake, pushing some long red hair out of his face. “Um, yeah. Sure thing.” The man flashes a lopsided grin.

If Neal were not so tired, that impish grin on Baruch's face would grate on his nerves. He blinks and gazes out the window. After focusing for several moments, some stars become visible. Most are covered by cloud. The ground is full of shadows, which are cast by the farmhouse and the trees. The wind whistles through the sideboards of the house.

“Sir Neal?”

He jerks his attention back to Obed in the softly lit room. “Yes, Sire,” he replies. “I've been ready for quite some time.” He puts a sharp tone in his voice. They had to get down to business before the Wemarians noticed they were gone. Henneth will cover their absence for some time, but even Henneth's charm and ingenuity can only last for so long.

“I can always count on you to be enthusiastic, Sir Neal,” Obed replies with a somewhat dry tone. “Sir Corin?”

Neal assumes Corin has nodded, because Prince Obed continues.

“Dame Jorien?”

“Yes, Sire.”

“Vivianna?”

There is no reply. Neal sighs. “Vivanna?” He offers his voice, a little harsher than is usual.
A pair of sparkling violet eyes in a head of thick golden-brown locks peeks from around a corner. “Here!” she calls cheerily, stepping into the lit room. “I'm here, see?”

“Fine, let's get started,” Prince Obed replies, tapping his fingers against the tabletop.

Neal is suppressing a growl. Perhaps because he's tired. Perhaps because Vivianna was late and they haven't even started the meeting yet. Perhaps because they've got masses of the Wemarian civilian population wanting to beat them to death then to burn them alive. “Sit down, Vivianna. You're holding things up.” He shifts in his seat and rubs the bridge of his nose.

Vivianna makes a snarky expression, sticking out her tongue, but daintily seats herself in an empty chair.

“As you know,” Prince Obed begins, “We're in something of a predicament, being cut off from friendly forces and trapped within the confines of an unfamiliar land. Now quick wit has got us to this farmhouse, but the question of what we do next and how still remains.”

“We should kick the Wemarians in the rump and feed them to the frogs!” Princess Oriana exclaims loudly.

Prince Obed shoots her an if-you-don't-bite-your-tongue-I'll-find-someone-to-cut-it-out-for-you look and continues. “We were called here to discuss trade treaties with Wemar, but it is now apparent that was only a farce. Wemar has no friendly intentions to either my sister or me, and neither towards our ally, Prince Baruch.”

The prince glances nervously about the room as though the wind itself were watching them with ever-present eyes. His voice lowers. “If there was any doubt, we have only to consider the assassination attempt on Prince Baruch last night.” After a pause, he adds, “Our gratitude and praise to each of you who have somehow managed to keep yourself and us alive thus far. Especially with my sister making things so incredibly difficult.”

“Obed!” Oriana cries. For all the prince's dry humour, he probably meant that last bit.

Neal allows his eyes to wander. Jorien is standing near the hall, gazing intently out the window. A young Sehiemian knight he doesn't recognize is on the other end of the rickety kitchen, looking out the other. Several more members of the Herenese and Sehiemian retinues are present.

Princess Oriana breaks in with a question. “How much longer do you think we will have to be on the run, in hiding like this? I mean, do you believe we'll ever make it back to our own countries again?”

“Perhaps,” replies the prince, “but the more noise you make, the less likely that will be. The first thing we must do is come to understand the motive behind the actions of Wemar, and judge who in particular is responsible.”

Bull-manure. Neal hopes the prince was being sarcastic. “With all do respect, Sire, the first thing we must do is ensure that you and your royal sister are safe from harm. In this case, running away may prove to be the most prudent course of action.”

“Though hardly dignified.”

“I fail to see the dignity in a farm house, Sire.”

The white-blond Sir Corin voices the same thought Neal holds, only in a less abrasive manner. “A smudge on your dignity can be cleaned, but your life cannot be regained.”

Prince Obed is about to say something when there is a rap at the door.

Neal feels his heart skip a beat.

“That's not one of the guards,” Vivianna declares, eyes gleaming with a hint of excitement. “I told them to make owl noises. Those aren't owl noises.”

Neal exchanges a glance with Prince Obed while everyone else simply freezes.

There are several more raps.

Neal hears his heart beat – the only noise he can make out. Jorien slowly reaches for her slender javelin. Prince Baruch has put his hand on his knife.

Still there is hesitation. “They can see,” Vivianna says, pointing. “The windows are bright. I'll answer it, and then we can see.” Almost giggling, she goes to the door. No one breathes. Who informed on them? Why did the Sehiemian guards not alert them of their visitors?

Neal and several others stand up, as if bracing for a blow. Who is at the door? He grimly notices that everyone, including himself, has a hand discreetly on some weapon or another.

Vivianna opens the door.

* * * * * to be continued...

“All human evil comes from a single cause, man's inability to sit still in a room.” Blaise Pascal

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Monsieur Poisson


Sigh... well, my pet beta (or Siamese Fighting Fish, which sounds cooler) of almost three years finally kicked the bucket yesterday.

RIP Monsieur Poisson, thanks for being a part of the family.

He actually lived a lot longer than anyone expected him to. My theory is that he was half brain-dead, and therefore used energy only half as quickly as a healthy fish, enabling him to live twice as long as one. I don't think I've posted anything before about the incident that left him "special". As I left him unattended in a cup one day (I was cleaning his plastic aquarium), he made a bid for freedom which was ultimately successful. Good thing for him, I found him on my bedside table soon enough to save him, but he was never quite the same afterwards.

Family friends compared his tendencies to the tendencies of a plastic goldfish - he'd just bob along the top of the water, doing nothing at all until someone would come along and give his house a good shake. Silly fish.

Aw, I'll miss him, swollen eyes, raggedy fin and all, even if he was just a fish.

"I'm gonna live forever, or die trying." Joseph Heller

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Snail Mail

A few weeks ago, one of the girls from Sunday School informed me that she was leaving to go to Israel for two weeks. I told her to write me a postcard, and she said that if I gave her my address she would. Naturally, I gave it to her, but didn't actually expect an eight-year-old to follow through with that.

Today I got her postcard in the mail. It says:

"To Carla
This is my third day here It's 9:00 in the evening. I'm haveing a great time here! Tomorrow in the morning we are going to the Medetrainian Sea! Me, Mom, [her brother], Two of my cosins, my uncle + my Aunt. We are going to sleep over night! I've gotta right more post cards. Bye!"

I love getting written notes, so this really made me smile, although I'm not sure how she was able to write it on "Mon. Aug 23", but oh, well...

This is the same girl who, against her mother's instructions, phoned the church by herself the morning of their flight out to make sure that the pastor remembered he had to drive them to the airport. What a kid! I love her.

Random quote:
"Culture is to make a nice drinking bowl from one's enemy's skull. Civilization is to go to prison for that." Anonymous

Sunday, 17 August 2008

What was that?

So my church's soccer camp starts tomorrow. I've never been one for much soccer - I'll run the length of the field then bag out. I don't know why. I was really good at endurance where dance was concerned. This week will be interesting.

On a completely different note, I think my brain is structured in such a way that I would be mistaken for someone born a hundred years ago, rather than two decades ago. I do not multi-task. I can't even listen to music and work at the same time. I either listen to the music and sluff the work or do the work and ignore the music. And if I'm listening to music, I either listen to the beat and bass line or I listen to the lyrics, not both. And oh, how embarrassing it is when I try to take an order on drive-thru at Timmy's while carrying on a conversation with someone else simultaneously. Everyone else can do it. Just not me. Now, I can drink from a straw and walk at the same time, which is a step up from one of my aunts, but I do not hold the same capability to do seven things at once like my sister does (listen to music, 4 MSN conversations, homework, write a blog post, etc.)

The only time I multi-task is when I'm listening to lectures. I doodle. And write notes when appropriate. I'm not sure how I've managed to be a successful babysitter with this deficiency.

I think my absent-mindedness goes hand-in-hand with my inability to multi-task. If I'm thinking of something, I'm only thinking of one thing. Part of me hears what you're saying to me, but it doesn't get processed because I'm still analyzing what you said half a sentence ago, and taking that off onto tangents. I continue smiling and nodding, but I'm not understanding anything. *Helpful hint- zoned off look and lack of annoying questions = Wanderer is in her own world.* Hah! Another meaning behind the name the Wanderer - it's the state my mind is in. Hence the post title, which is doubtless my catch-phrase in conversations as I realize I didn't pay attention to what you just said.

Also, because I'm a visual learner, rather than someone who learns from hearing, I don't have the conversation stored away somewhere in my memory to recall later, except for the odd, rare occasion. And if I manage to do some task while thinking of something different, I won't remember the details of the task, or even necessarily that I did it.

Does anyone know any ways I could combat this? Oh, me. I'm going to have to start wearing sticky-note reminders.

“No, but I feel it. I'm not worried about the looks. I'm worried about the sensation of my brain being eaten. ... What did you ask me?” Joaquin Phoenix

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

All in a Day's Work

Bwah ha! So here I am playing secretary at my church because both the regular secretary and the other intern are off carousing or doing something "more important". I enjoy this feeling of importance and power it gives me (am I being bad to feel that in a church?)

Anyways, two little kids are running around, using a balloon pump to blow air into my face and telling me about ginger root. A lady keeps calling because one of the pastors hasn't returned her call yet. All in all, however, things are rather slow and under control, which leaves me to... answer the phone and speak to an accented man who is calling to inquire whether the church has a dating service. After informing him that the church does have a group for young adults, but that it's not a dating service, he says "Oh... well, you sound nice. Could I buy you a coffee?" Stunned into turning him down with nothing more imaginative than "No... I'm sorry," I began wondering how often this sort of things happens at the church. He replied, "No? Are you sure? I could buy you something nice." Again I turned him down, but said he would be more than welcome to come to church on Sunday. He said that I was breaking his heart and asked me once more. I said no, I'm sorry, so he finally hung up, sounding quite disappointed.

For all the times I've grown frustrated with this job, I have to say I'm still very happy to have it. The other intern has just returned and informed me that the phone call was a practical joke from the youth pastor's brother-in-law and himself. Gotta love these people :-D

He was a great patriot, a humanitarian, a loyal friend; provided, of course, he really is dead.” Voltaire

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Battlestar Fanatica

Ok, so I desperately need to update this blog, but I haven't been struck by any inspiration lately. I thought about ranting over the the sky-high prices for gas, books, and school etc, but decided no one wants to hear me whine. Then I thought I could write something on the book I'm reading, The Four Loves, by CS Lewis, but then I remembered that I've only finished chapter 2, and should probably read the whole thing before posting. Then I thought I could write about Cirque du Soleil and Shakespeare in the Park (both of which were excellent, by the way), but those are much better to watch than to hear described. My fourth idea was to rave about my favourite shows, Battlestar Galactica and maybe even Stargate (I never did get around to that post), but the only thing I feel like mentioning about that is this:

The "human" version of Number 6 that tries to get Gaius Baltar into trouble, Shelley Godfrey, is carefully named. Shelley is in all likelihood a reference to Mary Shelley, who wrote Frankenstein. Frankenstein is about a human who built a monster, and the monster proceeding to turn evil and kill a bunch of people in retaliation. Battlestar Galactica is about people building cylons (robots) who proceed to rebel and almost utterly destroy the human race. See the similarity? And Godfrey is likely an allusion to the way Number 6 is always talking about "God" and how she is an instrument of God, and Gaius is an instrument of God, etc. etc. Shelley Godfrey, in her point of view, then, is basically an incarnation of God, free in the realm of the humans. Hmm... figured that all out myself, I did. I am so proud of myself!

Then I thought I could talk about my social life, but my recounting of theological and literary conversations would probably bore you to tears. And then I thought that this is probably incredibly boring already, so why not just end it here?

Something from Battlestar I thought rather interesting, and probably true: "There's a reason you separate military and the police. One fights the enemies of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people." Commander Adama

Gaius Baltar: All right, that's it! No more Mr. Nice Gaius!