Space lies around me like a blanket, cradling me in night as I cradle my belly in my hands, feeling the contractions ripple through my muscles. I time them by the jumps, every 33 minutes, burying my terror in your struggle to live. Only a few more hours before you appear, before I bring you into this broken world that is all I have left to offer.

We had such dreams when we began. The little house in Caprica City, the university job, the parties, the tenure, and finally you, a tiny new life growing within me. Both of us, combined into one miracle.

He threw that away with a few cold, careless words. He didn't want us anymore; he wanted her. He wanted the house, close to the university, and he'd pay me for my share without complaint, if I'd leave without a fight. Leave the house, leave the city, leave the planet. Quietly, tamely, defeated.

I fought.

I screamed and begged and threw his precious brandy across the living room I'd lovingly decorated. It crashed against his diplomas, the glass frames shattering like the future we'd planned. It did no good, it changed nothing -- but at least I can tell you that one of us struggled for our life together. Then left that life, and boarded this ship into another.

The university is gone now. The house is destroyed. The living room is rubble, smashed under a nuclear hammer or, worse, trampled beneath the mechanical feet of the Cylons marching inexorably towards our destruction.

I am still fighting.

Every one of us is fighting, in our own ways. The pilots fight with weapons, Vipers and Raptors; the Star's crew fights with sleepless determination and endless jumps. Our fellow passengers fight with prayers and compassion and hope, helpless to do anything else but wait.

I fight through you.

I defy death by giving you life.

How much of a life it will be I don't yet know, but you will live. The doctor examines us every hour; the captain personally brings the rations we need, and a little more. The couple down the hall and the two families from across the ship appear with blankets and clothes, gifts salvaged from the remnants of their own lives. They fight through you as well, I suppose.

I wait for your birth, for this one tiny victory against the enemy that hunts us so relentlessly. And I wonder what I will tell you about your father; how I will explain to you that he gave you life twice -- once with love, and once with indifference.

Space flickers and turns inside out; you surge against me as we jump. I close my eyes to ride the pain, your heart beating in my hands, and I pray we will live long enough for an explanation to be necessary. I dream of a future for you in these stars as I wait for you to arrive, for life to begin again.

I will fight.



500 words exactly. Go me. ;) I honestly didn't know I was writing about the woman on the Rising Sun until I was almost done with the story -- how weird is that? It just started with the line about "your father gave you life twice" and went from there. Thanks to Kiki for the beta, and to Christine and Bruce for the feedback.