Judy B. said the following about my story: "Very good story, subtle yet strong. We liked it very much."
Translation--no smut. But the more I re-read it, the more I see how easily I could expand it to include some ... ;^)
It'd be a heckuva lot more than 540 words then!
ETA: I got my banner! Check the Pretty! Guess I need to set up my bio so I have someplace to put it ...
I want to give a big shout-out first and formost to kimbari, who inspired me to enter with her winning entry of last week, "No One". I should also thank every obsessive fan who insisted on asking, "But how did they get out of the toooooommmb?!" after seeing "Home part 2".
Spoilers: Home part 2
"So ... how do we get out of here?"
Leave it to Billy to ask the practical question that yanks the rest of us out of our dazed amazement with the Tomb of Athena.
We look around. There are only the twelve standing stones and the starlit plains beyond.
Bill Adama turns to me. "The scriptures helped us enter the Tomb, Madam President. Do they have any helpful suggestions for leaving it?"
My voice is steady despite my unease. "I'm afraid they neglected that detail, Commander."
"Then the answer must be here somewhere." He scans the stones again, then nods sharply. "Right. Lee, you and Kara search the half of the circle from Scorpio to Aries. The President and I will search from Libra to Taurus. Mr. Keikeya-" Billy blinks at this address. "-you stand in the center and maintain visual contact on both teams."
As our companions move off, Bill and I approach the Libra stone. He sighs in exasperation. "Wish I had some idea of what to look for."
"Wait. What's this?" Another jewel, small and unlit, is set into the stone. As I reach curious fingers toward it, Bill lays a forestalling hand on my arm. "Laura, d-"
The jewel flares at my touch. The circle vanishes.
Darkness resolves into two pools of light. I stand in one, Bill in the other. We are clothed only in the light, but neither this nor our strange translocation disturbs the calm. There is no fear here. We await ... something.
The light intensifies and pours through us both, dazzling without blinding, blazing without burning. A sussuration of wind, waves and voices surrounds us. The sound gradually resolves, not into words, but into meaning.
WARRIOR. FATHER. LEADER.
TEACHER. SEEKER. LEADER.
The light releases us.
"-on't ..." Bill pulls my hand from the jewel in the Libra stone.
One look into each other's eyes confirms the reality, or at least the mutuality, of our experience.
"Laura, what the hell was that?" Hardened realist that he is, Bill sounds uneasy.
I look at the symbol above us. "Libra, the Scales." I swallow. "Perhaps we were being ... measured."
"By whom? Or what?"
"Well, that is the question, isn't it?" I find myself smiling for no apparent reason. "Whoever it was, I don't think we were found wanting."
He looks distinctly unreassured.
"Over here! I think we found it!"
Apollo waves for us to join him and Starbuck on the other side of the Sagittarius stone. As we approach, Bill jerks his head at the two pilots and raises his eyebrows. Do we say anything?
I shake my head, no. He nods agreement.
Another collection of jewels, this one in the shape of an arrow, adorns the far side of this monolith. An unlit jewel sits below.
As the Archer was our entrance to the Tomb, so he also becomes our exit.
Much later, after many explanations to everyone who waited outside, Bill takes me aside to talk. "Measured."
"I think so."
His brow furrows. "So that last word, Balance ... is that something we have, something we've found here on Kobol, or something we have to search for?"
I think carefully before giving my answer.