Baltar remains a prisoner within the Cylon fleet, alive only because his captors believe that he can lead them to a new home: Earth. Indeed, hoping to find the mythical planet for himself, Baltar has pinpointed a nebula that might have been a navigation point for the thirteenth tribe on their ancient journey to Earth. The Cylons send a base ship to investigate. Meanwhile, aboard the Galactica, Gaeta deciphers Baltar's abandoned research notes and also locates the nebula. Eager to resume the quest for Earth, Roslin orders Adama to explore it.
As the humans and the Cylons unsuspectingly hurtle toward a rendezvous, the Galactica's crew struggles to resume everyday life after the harrowing events on New Caprica. Helo helps Sharon pick a new callsign: Athena. The Viper pilots, now commanded by Apollo, dogfight against each other for practice. After Starbuck carelessly risks her ship, Apollo grounds her.
Col. Tigh is also at loose ends because Helo has unofficially replaced him as Adama's right-hand man. Tigh and Starbuck-- both angry, traumatized survivors of the occupation-- soon join forces, deriding everyone who didn't suffer as they did and insinuating that their comrades are too weak-minded to resist the Cylons. They don't suspect how far Adama is willing to go to win them back to his side.
Far away, Caprica Six tells Baltar about her people's power of projection, which enables Cylons to see the universe as they wish. For example, where Baltar sees a bleak Cylon hallway, Caprica sees a beautiful forest. Disenchanted with her former lover, Caprica arrogantly assumes that Baltar can't understand the experience, but Baltar-- who still has a vivid relationship with the Six in his mind-- understands it all too well. He's struck by a secret, devastating suspicion: if his daydreams of Six are actually caused by projection, then he might be a Cylon.
Having reached the nebula, the Cylon scout ship transmits back a garbled distress call. It has been infected with a virus that kills all Cylon life. Horrified, the Cylons realize that they can't even resurrect their dying comrades, because the virus will then be transmitted to the rest of their fleet. They don't know what to do until Baltar volunteers to investigate. By hunting down the virus's source aboard the dying ship, he'll either prove his worth to the Cylons or die of the infection-- proving that he's a Cylon himself.
ANNE COFELL SAUNDERS
JEAN DE SEGONZAC
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