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The One Thing

By Emily

Word Count: 2,847
Date: 10/26/05
Series: Season 2
Rating: K+
Category: None Given
Pairing/Focus: Ensemble
Warnings: None Given
Summary: The President’s pep talk gets the whole Fleet thinking about what they have to get them through the day.
Spoilers/Disclaimers:


President Laura Roslin stood in front of the microphone. It should scare her that she was about to broadcast her words all across the Fleet, but for some reason, she wasn’t afraid.

“Greetings, fellow colonists. I don’t want to waste your time giving a long speech about how I will serve you right as the President. I don’t want to bore you with details of a situation that we still don’t fully understand. We all have greater things on our mind as we deal with our loss. I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate each and every thing you are doing to help reach the destination Commander Adama set for us.”

Her head started pounding under the stress of speaking to thousands of people in one sitting. She paused a moment to collect her thoughts. When she started speaking again, her tone had changed. “When I was a young girl growing up on Picon, my mother gave me some advice that I have held on to for years. I had had a bad week in primary school and felt like my life was over. She took me out into our family’s garden and told me that no matter how disheartened I felt, as long as I had one true thing to believe in, things would turn out all right. As President of the Twelve Colonies, I implore you all to focus on that one thing when times get hard. For they will get hard if we are to reach Earth. As long as we have something to hold on to, though, I know we will persevere. So say we all.”

She clicked the wireless off and let out the breath she had been holding. She hoped that had lifted at least one person’s spirits out there and given them a reason to make it through the day. There wasn’t much she felt she could do besides that. This job was going to be a lot harder on her than she first feared.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Commander Adama sat in his office, listening to the President speak. He could tell she had been trying really hard to sound official at first. However, he felt her point really hit home when she switched to the more personal story of her childhood. It had reminded him of the rare times he had been home on Caprica to see how his boys were growing up.

As her voice cut off, he thought about what she had asked of them. The only thing he had that he could believe in was his Fleet and his son. They would overcome whatever obstacle was in their way and keep moving on until they found somewhere they could settle. He wasn’t sure if that would be Earth or Kobol itself. All he knew was he had trained his Fleet to get the job done.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Cally paused in her quest to repair the damage inflicted upon Starbuck’s Viper to try to understand what the President had been trying to tell them. Did she really mean that they were going to have a hard time? She had never thought that getting to Earth would be a walk in the park, but she didn’t really understand what would make it hard.

They had managed to throw off the Cylons’ system of detecting where they are. The Cylons no longer could find them. That bought a window of time. All they would have to do is make the scheduled series of jumps to the destinations Commander Adama was privy to, and they would be at the Thirteenth Colony.

She smiled at the idea of the Lost Colony. Since she was small, she had thought about what the people of Earth would be like. It was scary in an exciting way to k now that soon she might be able to answer that question.

Unless the President was right and it was going to be harder than anyone had planned.

The Viper sparked below her as a circuit misfired. She jumped slightly before using the wrench in her hand to fix the problem.

She was good with a wrench. That was something she could always believe in.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Kara swore lightly as the President’s voice woke her up from her sacred rack time. She didn’t want to hear a frakkin’ pep talk. She wanted to sleep.

Her mood changed, though, along with the tone of the President’s words. There was something about her story of being a young girl and being comforted by her mother that hit a chord inside Kara. Maybe it had something to do with the fact her mother hadn’t been around most of the time when she was growing up. Or it might just have been that she was thoroughly exhausted.

Which ever way was right, Kara felt herself thinking over Laura Roslin’s words.

“What do I believe in?” she asked herself softly.

She believed in her ability to fly. She believed in her ability to get things done. She believed in her ability to frak things up. She believed in her ability to win any hand of Pyramid that she wanted. She believed in her ability to keep herself going after the worst of circumstances.

But she didn’t believe in herself. Not really.

Her eyes caught on the picture stuck to the mirror of her locker.

Forgiveness. She believed in forgiveness if you worked really hard to earn it.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Chief Tyrol laughed as he watched the Viper Cally was working on spark. The young girl had zoned out while the President talked, but she seemed to be getting back down to business now.

He couldn’t fault her for being distracted. The President’s words had been very heartfelt.

Sighing, he scanned the hanger bay. There was so much activity he didn’t know where his attention would be needed most. The world was in chaos, but his people were doing what was needed. His crew was the best there is at what they do. In fact, they were probably the only people left that did what they do.

He noticed Boomer enter the hangar bay, pause slightly when she saw him, and then continue on her way. They were still hiding their relationship from everyone. Honestly, everyone except those in command probably knew about the two of them already, but you couldn’t be too careful. Until the President rescinded that ridiculous no fraternization policy, they had to keep their meetings a secret. He didn’t want to be responsible for her losing her flight status. He would never do anything to hurt her in any way, and losing her ability to fly would break her in two.

The President’s words rang through his ears again as he watched Sharon speaking with Crashdown near the Raptor they flew together.

He understood that she would never do anything to hurt him. That was the one thing he had to hold on to.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Billy Keikeya took the President’s arm and helped her back to her quarters on Colonial One. “That was a good speech,” he whispered quietly as they walked through the corridors.

“You didn’t think I was being too emotional, do you? Too unprofessional?”

“No, sir. I think your emotions will gain the trust of the Fleet. I think they’ll be able to understand that you will lead them through the hard times because you are not some godlike figure. You are approachable.” He knew that his naïve words might not be much of a comfort, but they were all he had to give. “Your humanity will win you their trust, Madame President.”

Laura paused at the hatch of her quarters to turn and look at him. “What do you hold on to, Billy?”

For a second, he was confused as to what she was asking him, but then he remembered the story she had told over the wireless. “I hold on to the belief that you are the right woman for this job.”

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Dr. Baltar froze in the middle of sweeping his Pyramid earnings into a neat pile as the sound of a voice rang in his ear. “What do you hold on to, Gaius?”

He tried to not show that he heard her. Maybe she would go away. “If you would excuse me,” he said to the other players in the game, standing up. “I think it’s time for me to call it quits while I’m ahead.”

The players just waved him off, and he shuffled his way out of the room. He could feel her trailing behind him. Her eyes were burning on his skin.

“Answer me, Gaius. What do you hold on to?”

“You are not there. You are not there,” he hissed at the space behind him. He didn’t dare look at her.

“If that is all you have to hold on to, then humanity really is in trouble.”

He still didn’t turn around as she followed him back to his lab.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Helo stared up at the sky as the first sun rose over the horizon on Caprica. Another day of running from the toasters was in front of him.

He could already hear the distant whirring of machines. He had to find Boomer and keep moving.

“I better have done this for a good reason,” he said, standing up from where he had crouched down. “Because if I didn’t…”

He couldn’t finish the thought. There wasn’t time, and he didn’t really want to dwell on the potential fault in his reasoning. He didn’t want to think about how stupid it could have been to stay behind.

“I was right to do this,” he hissed as he began to run.

That blind belief was really all he had right now.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Boomer could feel the Chief watching her and chose to ignore it. Crashdown had been mocking the President’s words and the sentiment behind it for the past few minutes. He kept going on and on. She just wanted to punch him to make him shut up.

“Boomer! Are you listening?” he finally asked, his agitation clear on his face.

She just rolled her eyes and walked away. There wasn’t enough patience in her body right now to deal with his chauvinist comments. Plus, the President’s words bothered her. She could already feel the pressure of being the last group of humanity still living. There was no need to publicly declare that there were hard times ahead.

“Wait up,” Crashdown yelled, following after her. “I was just kidding about the President. I thought that her speech had some merit to it.”

“Really?” Boomer sent him a skeptical look.

“Hey, I can understand about needing something to hold on to. Me? I hold on to the idea that there are more people in this fleet like Ensign Davis.”

“You are pathetic.”

“No, I’m truthful. So what do you think is out there for you to cling to?”

Boomer’s eyes met the Chief’s as she paused at the hanger bay doors. “I’m not sure.”

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Colonel Tigh rolled his eyes at the President’s voice. The woman had no clue what she was doing in such a high position of power. She was publicly admitting to that at this very moment.

He gave her two weeks before the Commander ordered her to step down and let him take over the position. Bill would never let the Fleet suffer by being under incapable hands. Plus, it was in his very nature to lead. That wouldn’t change just because of some silly chain of command that said the 43rd in line of succession was fit to lead hundreds of thousands.

The President began to ramble on about her memories of growing up on Picon. “It just gets worse,” he said while reaching for the last bottle of alcohol he would ever own. This situation was going to get so much worse when the bottle ran out.

Roslin’s voice cut off right as he lifted the shot glass to his mouth. “Well, it seems the President wants us to come up with some sort of motivation.” He looked over at the half-burned picture sitting on his desk and laughed coldly. “I guess I can hold on to the fact that I’ll never have to clean up your messes anymore, Ellen.”

Holding his shot glass up to the mutilated picture, he toasted his wife.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Dualla continued to guide the Vipers and Raptors into the hanger bay as the President spoke to the Fleet. She had always been an excellent multi-tasker.

Earlier, one of the rookie Viper pilots had gotten a little scared on his landing and had began to buck his wings as he neared Galactica. She had gotten on a private channel and calmed him down. The result had been one live pilot, one undamaged ship, no skid marks on the hanger bay, and no one any the wiser of the disaster that might have happened.

When the President suggested that everyone think of something they can hold on to through the tough times, her mind had jumped to that potentially dangerous situation. She could hold on to the fact that she was needed.

The Fleet needed her.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Lee Adama knew immediately what the President was doing as soon as the words came over the wireless. She was trying to use her expertise as the Secretary of Education to allow the Fleet hope that things would get better. He couldn’t have advised her better himself.

He could see most of the people he passed in Galactica’s corridors stopping to contemplate what their one thing to hold on to would be. It seemed protocol went out the window with the President’s request. Rank was not an issue as everyone began to wonder what the answers of those around them would be. Deckhands and specialists kept staring him straight in the eye without acknowledgement or a salute. Normally, he would have reprimanded them. But nothing about their current situation was normal so he let it slide.

He noticed a lot of the people he passed nodding at him. They must think they knew what he had to hold on to.

There was the fact that his father was the Commander and was confident that he knew where to take the Fleet to keep them safe. There was the fact that he was the personal advisor to the President, making him privy to most of the important decisions to be made. There was the fact that he was one of the best pilots left in the Fleet and that he had been given the most powerful position a pilot who still flew on a daily basis could have. There was the fact that most of the women left in the world seemed to be looking at him with googly eyes now that repopulation of the species was such a big concern.

They would all be wrong, though.

There was only one thing that he could hold on to for hope. There was only one thing that he could trust in, no matter what hardships they got into.

He paused in the doorway of the pilots’ bunkroom to watch Kara. She was sitting her bed, staring at the piece of paper in her hand with a small smile on her face.

The one thing in the world that he could hold on to was that she would be fighting next to him in the sky. She had his back, and he had hers.

That wouldn’t change.

Not ever.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Boomer tired her best to smile as Helo jogged towards where she stood in the middle of the Caprican forest.

There was nothing to hold on to anymore.