Last year, my one main resolution was to start journaling every single day, in a paper journal, writing with a pen. I have never EVER before IN MY LIFE successfully done a resolution, but goddamnit, I journaled every single day last year. I went downstairs to my writing desk, I turned on my lamp, and I wrote a journal entry. Some were quite short - a paragraph, a dry recitation of the events of the day; some were longer - more introspective, putting grievances and worries into context.
Having a successful resolution under my belt, I've decided to do another one. I've posted on here several times, over several years, how much I miss being part of fandom, and having more regular interactions with everyone. I joined an icon community, I don't know, around six months ago, and have participated in fits and starts, but it never really felt like a group thing like some of my other landcomms in the past have. To try something, to jump-start being active and online more, and because I miss writing fanfic full stop, I'm going to try to post at least a drabble a day for the whole of January. If anyone has any prompts or requests, feel free to throw them at me; no guarantees, though.
Sometimes Laura dreamed of silence. Whatever else might have happened in her dreams - Cylons racing down dark corridors with malevolent grins, the humid green expanse of Kobol, the sight of her mother's wasted body in bed - what she remembered when she awoke was a dense, ringing silence.
Back before the end of the worlds (and what an odd phrase to use without a shred of irony), Laura had treated herself once a month; not to a spa, or to an extravagant meal, or even buying things (shoes, knick-knacks, purses, things) that she didn't need. No, once a month she would drive out of Caprica City, through the fungal spread of suburbs, to a small building that looked like a refurbished bunker. Inside the bunker were cubicles, and inside the cubicles were pods. Sensory deprivation tanks. Laura could have purchased one outright - though where she would have stuck it, she wasn't completely sure - but she prefered it this way. She liked the long drive, which she never interrupted with work, or even audiobooks; she only listened to music, and only relaxing music at that. She liked not having to worry about maintenance; let someone else deal with it. She liked that she only went once a month; often enough to look forward to with regular satisfaction, but not so often that she ever grew tired of it.
Warm salty water, the absence of light, but more importantly, the absence of sound. Laura always felt as though something inside her were recalibrated during her hour floating outside of her senses, that she emerged a slightly different person - more patient, more kind, more centered. As though there were a version of herself that was the true version, and over the course of the month, that Laura ended up coated with a fine layer of disappointment, and anger, and depression, and anxiety. As though she lost herself and only needed some peace and quiet to find herself again.
Laura was an educated person. (For Athena's sake, she had been the Secretary of it.) She knew that sound could not traverse the vacuum of space. But for some reason, it had never occurred to her how noisy the insides of spaceships would be. The roar of the engines, the clanking of metal, the mutterings of the people around her; even when she was alone, alone for a few blessed moments each day, there was always some sound to be heard. But she didn't think about it, and all the while, the true Laura got encased in layer upon layer of all the worst of their new existence. Until one day, she looked at herself in the mirror, and she didn't recognize herself at all.
They were in the Wardroom, one of those interminable meetings listening to Gaius Baltar drone on and on, so in love with the sound of his own voice that he'd forgotten anyone else was in the room. And an idea popped into Laura's head, and she wondered that she hadn't thought of it before.
The meeting ended, finally, and everyone dispersed. Laura lingered, knowing that Adama would linger, as well. She still didn't have the best handle on him, but things had improved considerably in the last month. She felt that they were approaching a more solid understanding of one another. And so with only a small bit of tension poking at the inside of her ribs, she cocked her head in what she knew was her most winsome look.
"Commander, can you selectively turn off the artificial gravity in sections of the Galactica?"
Adama, who had been pouring himself another small glass of water - with the reverence they had all shared after the scare with the ship's water tanks - glanced up at her, clearly puzzled. "Of course," he said, and Laura's true self, buried so far down inside of her that she would have sworn she was lost forever, seemed to be able to hear the gravel in the Commander's voice and find it pleasing. The Laura of the moment, who had no time nor energy for the frivolity of meaningless crushes, didn't hear it for a second. Adama sipped at his water and went on. "It can be used as a defensive measure, if the ship should happen to be boarded; switch off the grav to a deck or two. But it's rarely used for that purpose. I don't know that any Battlestar drops her gravitational fields outside of dry dock. Or did, I should say."
Laura hummed a little, thinking. It sounded as though the artificial gravity operated on a deck-by-deck basis; that wouldn't work at all.
"Why?" Adama asked. If it had been anyone else, Laura thought she would have made something up, with the quick, lithe surety she had learned not just from being in the government, but from clear back in her debate days. But there was something in the way Adama asked the question that made her pause. It wasn't just that he was curious, though it had been a rather odd request, out of the blue, and he'd have every right to wonder. It was more the sense she got that she had just given him a gift, that he realized he could learn something about her, and that he was going to try and seize the opportunity.
"What about just an airlock?" she asked back without answering, feeling a smile on her face as foreign as a third arm would be, seeing an answering smile brighten Adama's blue eyes. "Could you turn off the gravity in a single airlock?"
So it was that an hour later, she found herself in a spacesuit, floating in the center of one of the airlocks on Galactica's unused flight deck. A suit was not as good as floating naked in water the exact temperature of her skin, but it was better than nothing. With the lock emptied of air, the only sound there was came from the slight hiss of atmosphere pumped up out of her suit's tanks. Soon enough, Laura didn't hear even that at all.
Just before he had swung the hatch closed, while she was still patched into comm systems, Adama had said: "If you'd rather, we could put you on a tether, hang you outside of the ship completely."
"I want to relax, Commander," she'd retorted, "not contemplate the Void." A dry chuckle in her ears, and that had been the last thing she'd heard until her time was up. Of the last sounds to hear, Laura mused, that rasp of a laugh wasn't a bad choice.
The minutes ticked away, and the Laura that she was always meant to be carefully dragged herself up out of the depths.