Word Count: 13,942
Pairing/Focus: William / Lee Adama
Chapter 1 Remember
The last thing I remember a blond Cylon had promised that the injection would kill me. I remember being captured and tortured by the Cylons. I remember the end of the world. They are playing mind games. I can’t say anything. I can’t think anything that might help them.
It looks like I’m in a hospital on a ship. I can hear multiple engines, footsteps, and voices. I’m in a bed. I’ve got an IV in my arm. I’m hooked up to monitors. There’s an overhead light. I’m wearing some kind of clothing and blankets. I’m warm. Clothing and warm are good. I can move a little. I’m not restrained also good.
The smell of Cylons clings to me. But it’s me not the pillow. The air smells of antiseptics.
“Hello, Lee, I’m glad to see that you are awake?” A pretty blonde about thirty says in a kind friendly voice. She’s probably a Cylon. She calmly goes on when I don’t answer. “My name is Patsy. I’m the Medtech that’s taking care of you. You are on board the Battlestar Galactica. Do you need anything?” She asks.
“Water,” I say. I’m thirsty. I want to see if I can talk. She pushes a button on small control on the side of the bed to raise the head of the bed. She holds the cup with a straw so I can drink. When I drink all the water she refills the cup and let’s me drink again.
“I’m going to let Dr. Cottle know you are awake. I’ll be back soon,” she says. She leaves the bed raised so I can see the whole room and into the wide hall beyond. Everything seems so real. Patsy smells of antiseptic, coconut and spices. Probably the soap, hand cream and shampoo she uses. I can reach the control on the side of my bed.
Dr Cottle is old, maybe sixty and smells of antiseptic and tobacco, “Good morning Captain, How are you?”
“Alive, Doctor, How are you?”
“I’m old and overworked,” He says with a chuckle. “Speaking of which I’m going to have to give you a neurological exam. You’ve been unconscious.”
With that he shines a light in my eyes. He tells me to follow the light with my eyes. He starts questioning me. I tell them my name, Patsy’s, his. I’m on the Galactica. I tell him general information, names of common items on pictures. I count backwards from 100 by 7. Then he asks me how old I am. I pause I don’t know. I know I’m grown and a captain but age in years I haven’t a clue.
“Doctor, I don’t remember. How old I’m I?” I ask. I try to remain calm. I suddenly realize I don’t remember my own life. The only memories that are clear are since the Cylons captured me. I have childhood memories of my mother, Zak, our house, and the seashore. The Cylons have stolen my life. I tell myself to breathe. Just breathe. They know what they’ve done to you. Breathe. Slow. Don’t talk. Don’t think. Breathe.
“According to your chart you’re twenty nine. Don’t worry memory loss is common after a head injury. Usually it comes back with time,” the doctor replies. He looks at me and at the monitors above my head. “Patsy, why don’t you get the Captain something to eat? Captain Adama I’ll be back once you’ve had time to eat and rest.” The doctor leaves. Patsy asks me if I’d prefer coffee or tea with my meal. I say tea. I think about it. Yes, tea, I remember I like tea.
I let Patsy do her job. She checks my pulse and checks the monitors. She gets a tray. She feeds me soup, canned fruit and tea. She cleans me up. She’s gentle. She doesn’t patronize me. When she’s finished I say, “Thank you, Patsy.” I need to behave as if I believe I’m safe.
Chapter 2 Distress
I deeply regret not getting to the Raptor before The Commander. As his friend and XO I should have protected him. He shouldn’t have seen the tape. Confiscating documentation of tortures is standard procedure. The raptor crew that picked him up saw the video and are in temporary isolation until the can be counseled and sworn to secrecy.
The tape is devastating. The tape documents the methodical breaking of his bones by mechanical Cylons until he passes out. They revive him and repair the damage without anesthetics. Repeat process. The only question he is ever asked is “Do you want to give up your consciousness?” A silky feminine voice points out that Cylons regularly permit their consciousness to be stored while their damaged bodies are repaired or replaced. She assures him that they have the technology to repair his body. He will be stronger than ever. He is told over and over that the release of consciousness will end his pain. It’s their way.
“No,” is all he says.
He consistently resists. He screams, curses, moans and whimpers in pain. Life Station confirms the damage and that the Cylons have superior medical technology. The Captain has suffered more than two hundred breaks. The breaks were predominately in the long bones, hips, and shoulders. He’s lost more than fifty percent of his skin. A Cylon synthetic has replaced it. They avoided damaging his brain, heart and lungs. The Cylons intended for him to survive this abuse.
Next he is told that Starbuck failed to warn the fleet. He is shown images of the fleet being destroyed. Followed by videos the destruction of the colonies. Over and over he is shown the video. Told that there is no one left. They can heal him. All he has to do is give up his consciousness. “No” or “Frak No” are his only responses.
They combine the two methods destroy his body while they show the destruction of his world. Mechanical Cylons must have gotten tired. They leave him lying naked on a deck with the Video running. They begin again. He stops breathing without giving up. We watch him being revived. We are shown his medical treatment. He remains unconscious.
The Galactica receives a distress signal. Two hours later the Captain’s body is found in a life pod. We believe that he is dead until he grabs a crewman’s arm on the way to the morgue. In addition to his other injuries he is suffering from hypothermia. He says one sentence before becoming comatose. “Make the basestar raise its cannons 45 degrees before coming into range.”
Three hours later we engage the Cylon basestar. When the Commander heard what Lee said. He planned for the attack. I’d told the Old Man that he couldn’t trust anything Lee said. The Cylons had gotten their hands on him. He doesn’t listen to me. He ordered Red Squadron into the air. Red Squadron hid behind a gas giant. The civilian ships are ready to jump. When the Basestar arrives Red Squadron makes a run at the basestar forcing it to raise its cannons in defense.
There is a series of explosions; thirty-three of the basestar’s portside cannons explode. There are a several secondary explosions most likely ammunition stores. It’s a damn beautiful sight. The explosions sour the Clyon’s taste for a fight. The Basestar jumps without firing at the Galactica. Red Squadron returns with all its ships and pilots. The fleet makes two jumps to escape Cylon detection.
For the first three days Lee’s was in a coma. For the last three days he’s been in a semi coma or has had brief periods of consciousness. During the brief periods of consciousness, he’s both confused and exhibits retrograde amnesia. His short-term memory is shot. He wakes up. Asks the same questions. He seems confused by the answers. Twenty minutes later he’s asking the same questions again. Lords he keeps asking for his mom. His father’s presence seems to make him more agitated.
The Commander is waiting for me when I reach his office after talking with Cottle.
“Saul how is he doing?” Adama asks.
“He’s awake, and calm. He ate a little. The doctor thinks his short-term memory has improved. He still doesn’t remember.” I reply.
“Calm, that means I can see him,” Adama says rising to his feet.
“Will don’t get your hopes up. The moment may be gone. He could go to sleep and never be lucid again. The Cylons must have new technology to keep their victims hanging on. You have to let him go. Lee’s gone.” I plead.
“I hear you Saul. But he’s my son. I wasn’t there for him as he grew. I wont let him die alone,” he says Will as he cleans his glasses.
“OK, Let’s go see how he’s doing,” I reply. I’m not going to let Will go through this alone.
Chapter 3 Uncertainty
I see the Doctor and two officers in the hall outside my room. The older officer seems very familiar. I think I should know him.
“Captain are you up to some company?” Dr Cottle asks.
“Yes, Sir,” I reply knowing I have no choice.
“How are you feeling, son,” The Commander asks. Up close I still think I should know him, but something is wrong with his face and hair. He’s too short and heavy.
“Fine, Sir, Thank you for asking Sir,” I reply reflexively.
“Son, please relax. You’ve been seriously hurt. It’s important that you tell us how you feel so we can help you,” He says gently.
I remember the voice. He’s old! This man is supposed to be my father. I stare at him I can’t help myself. I remember seeing his face badly injured. His face is now scared and wrinkled. I reach out to touch his face.
The second officer pushes forward to keep me from touching the Commander. He uses all his weight to pin me to the bed. My right arm and both shoulders feel like they’ve been broken. Well they have. Just not by this attack. My attacker smells of fear, and whiskey. I’m not trusted. They think I’ll hurt them. I can’t take a full breath the way I’m restrained. I’m too weak to fight. I’m starting to pant.
The Doctor and the Commander pull him off me. “Tigh get out. I’ll deal with you later,” the Commander orders. I’m sure it’s my father’s voice. But I’m not sure how I feel. I remember the anger in his voice. I remember that I’m very angry.
Tigh leaves as ordered but warns the Commander to be careful. The Commander steps back so the doctor can look at me.
“Commander, I’m going to need a minute. Please step outside” the doctor directs. After the Commander leaves the room.
“Are you hurt?” the doctor asks. He looks at the monitors.
“No.” I whisper to the doctor.
I watch the Commander start to pace in the hallway. “Who is he?” I ask.
“The Commander’s name is William Adama. He is your father. He is in Command of the Battlestar Galactica. Is that what you want to know?” the doctor says.
“Yes, thank you,” I say. I feel completely lost and defenseless. The doctor gives me some water. Adjusts my pillow and blanket.
“Commander, you can come in now,” Dr Cottle says. “I have good news, he doesn’t remember much but he knows you’re his father. He’s very tired. He needs to rest. But you can have a minute.” The doctor leaves. As he passes the Commander I see them smile at each other.
The Commander, my father, is at my side. I don’t know what to say. If this is a Cylon trick, they win. I’m supposed to love and respect my father. How come the sound of his voice makes me feel angry? It’s all I can do is face him.
He takes my hand and holds it to his check. “Did Tigh hurt you? I’ll throw him in hack and lose the key,” he says.
“I’m fine.” I say. I think but don’t say, “He’s trying to protect you. You can’t trust anyone once the Cylons have gotten through with him. You should go before I do something awful.” I turn my head away and close my eyes.
“Please relax and rest. I’ll make sure no one tries to hurt you again. I know you’ll get better.” He says. I think he sounds desperate.
I hear the Doctor say “You need to go.”
The Commander puts my hand that he’s been holding down at my side. He presses the button that lowers the head of my bed. He lowers the light over my head. Less light is good. Did the Cylons find my trap? Or did it help the fleet? I not even sure he’s my father. He goes. I’m alone. I fall asleep.
Chapter 4. Smell
I’ve slept. I wake up. I can’t stand the smell. I’m rotting. I need to get the Cylon smell off of me. I push the call button.
In a few minutes Patsy comes in smiling. “You slept well last night. Can I get you some breakfast?”
“No, Patsy, I need help cleaning off the Cylon stuff covering me. It’s rotting. I’m rotting with it.” I say.
“Dr Cottle says that the Cylon temporary skin is better than ours. It’s supposed to stay on until you are completely healed,” Patsy says.
“Come close and smell,” I say.
As she comes closer I pull down the covers. She steps back as the smell reaches her. “I’ll get the doctor,” She says turning to leave the room, this horrible smell, and me.
The doctor comes quickly. He examines a couple of spots. “Captain, we need to remove the Cylon dressing as soon as possible. It’s starting to burn you. I’ll get you sedated and we’ll start peeling it off as soon as possible.” He announces with concern, like it’s news to me.
“That’s not going to get it off quickly enough is it?” I ask.
“No, Captain, you’re being burned as we speak. But I can’t very well throw you in a shower and scrub it off you. It would be unbearably painful.”
“Doc, Which way is the shower? As it happens I’m used to pain. I want it off quick.” I say. I sit up and move my feet off the bed.
It takes the doctor a few seconds to decide whether to sedate me and let me be burned in an orderly manner or just get it off. Once he decides he moves fast. Patsy is told to get a wheelchair. The Doctor disconnects me from my IV and tapes over the needle in my arm so it won’t get wet.
Ten minutes later I’m in my second shower stall sitting on a stool with tepid water falling over me. The Cylon dressing practically blew up when exposed to soap and water. The doctor, the two male orderlies and I all vomited at the stink. But it came off quick. The stink in the first stall was bad that as soon as most of it was off they moved me to a second stall. Patsy washes and rinses me to make sure the acid is gone. Staying on the stool and standing with help is all I can do. I’m too tired to feel embarrassed by my smell or nakedness. Patsy washes my hair. She helps me get dry. The process has been painful, but I keep my reaction down to shaking and gasping. I didn’t faint, scream or curse. I would have cursed but Patsy was there. I’m pleased that I remember how to curse. The Doctor cleans, treats and applies a colonial temporary skin to my burns.
The Commander is pacing in the room when the doctor and his staff bring me back. My bedding has been changed. I’m shaking. I’m very tired and cold. I look at the Commander and nod. As he steps closer to me Dr Cottle says, “You’ll have to wait. We’re not through treating him yet.”
“They said sixty percent of his body might be burned. How can you ask me to wait? He’s my son,“ The Commander asks tightly.
“Yes, he is your son. He insisted on fast and very painful. As a result he’s only got few second-degree burns on his butt and the back of his legs. They’ll heal in a couple of days. Right now I need to get him sedated and hydrated. Commander, let me make him comfortable.” The doctor says.
“Doctor, let me talk to him first. I don’t want him to worry. I should see him while I’m still alert,” I say. I have no idea where this thought came from but it’s out there. The Commander comes to my side. I say, “The doctor and his staff are taking very good care of me. I’ll be OK. Go now, please.”
“All right, I’ll let you rest,” the Commander says. He touches the side of my face before he leaves.
What ever the doctor put in my IV line worked pretty fast. I can’t feel anything. I fall asleep.
Chapter 5 Doubts
When I wake up the doctor has me hooked up to a blood conditioner. I know I’m completely controlled without the pumping sound of the machine or the sight of my blood running through it. Still it makes me feel even more helpless.
When I ask Cottle why he says, “It’s a precaution. Since the Cylon temporary skin seems to be combustible, I can’t trust any of the Cylon treatments. I’m removing any toxins and unidentifiable material from your blood. I’m also going over all our test results looking for any hidden “time bombs” they may have left.”
“Sir, I don’t remember everything that they did. Please make sure I won’t spread any kind of disease to the crew. I don’t want anything Cylon inside me,” I beg. I’m fearful that if I’m really on the Galactica I could cause a tragedy. I’m alive because that’s what the Cylons want. They don’t make mistakes.
“How did I get on board the Galactica?” I ask.
“The Galactica got a distress signal and found you in a life pod. You were on the way to the morgue when you woke up just long enough to warn us of the Basestar and tell the Commander how to set off the bomb you planted,” Dr Cottle replies.
The Cylons have found the plastic explosives I left tucked inside the targeting machinery of their cannons. They are using this to give me false hope. They want me to be comfortable and let down my guard.
I can’t keep tract of time. Patsy keeps me clean, too clean. I’m always clean and shaved. My nails are clipped. I’m sleeping a lot. I don’t know how long I’ve been here. I don’t know how I got here. The Commanders been to see me seven times that I remember. He smells of the aftershave Zak and I sent him for his birthday. I’m surprised because growing up I’d seldom see him thirty days a year. Sometimes it would be more than a year between visits. My brother Zak was the one who could make him happy not me.
Every time the doctor comes to check on me he asks me a few questions about my memory. I don’t answer any questions that I think could be of tactical value. I don’t answer any questions about my father because his in the military. I answer questions about my last address, the last birthday I remember, and school. He’s also interested in my earliest memories. When questioned I remember five to fourteen very well. I have images of being two or three and general idea of being four. Intellectually I know I’m an adult and a soldier, but I have no memories finishing secondary school, college, or military service. I don’t remember friends or places after the summer I was fourteen. The next thing I remember is waking up on the deck of a basestar naked attached to a bunch of medical equipment.
Dr. Cottle can’t or won’t explain my memory loss. He says he can’t find a neurological cause. My neurological activity is down for me but well within the normal range. He asks me if I was having a lot of fun at fourteen.
“I remember I’d been taking advance placement courses and my Dad having a fit if I didn’t get all A’s. There was a clerical error on my report card and it said that I’d gotten a C in Classic Aquarian. My Dad didn’t ask me about it he just lectured me on responsibility, self-discipline and self-respect for nearly an hour. I needed to be home by four in the afternoon because Mom worked and some one needed to be responsible for Zak. Zak and I got hungry so it was a good idea if I started supper.”
Dr. Cottle smiles and says “Yep that’s fourteen, increased responsibility but no freedom to go with it. You left out that your body was going through adolescence. It’s not a time men find psychologically comforting. No, I’m just not sure. (Pause) By the way Captain do you believe that you’re on board the Galactica?”
“I want to be on the Galactica. Why would the Cylons let me live?” I ask. I feel like I’ve been caught and a mechanical Cylon will come and take me from this warm, comfortable place.
“I don’t think they let you live. We though you were dead. It’s very hard to judge the effect of drugs and hypothermia. They used you as bait and a psychological weapon. That synthetic skin of theirs is a pretty effective fail safe. If you hadn’t taken my joke about scrubbing in the shower as an option, you’d be dead. I didn’t think that it could possibly be that toxic.” Cottle replies. Human doctor or Cylon trap, it’s what I need to hear.
“So Captain how much have you been lying?” Cottle asks.
“I haven’t lied. Not remembering anything about my life after fourteen. I haven’t answer any question that I think has any tactical value” I pause; I know I’m not hiding my distress. “You my have my body but my life is over. My life has been stolen and even if I remember I won’t be able to trust the memories. I’ll never be able to ask any one to trust me.” I turn my head and wonder will I be dragged away now, will the Cylons have another chapter of this nightmare, or I’m I destined to be an unproductive outcast among my own people.
“Captain your bomb blew up about a quarter of that basestar. Red squadron reported that the port hanger bay had damage from an interior explosion. The estimated size of the blast is about the size of a Viper blowing up and taking a couple of scimitars with it. CIC has a record of the unexplained explosion shortly after you were presumed dead.” Cottle says, “This information is from Tigh and he’s in charge of paranoia on the Galactica. Over time he will trust you. The Commander and the Air Group trusts you. Concentrate on getting well and trusting yourself.”
I remember setting my viper to explode. I remember hearing the explosion. I remember a mechanical Cylon throwing me against a wall about twenty feet away. I remember lying there not able to move counting hoping I could give the fleet another thirty minutes to jump before I passed out or they tortured the fleet’s location out of me. The fire the explosion caused kept them occupied I stayed awake and unquestioned for well over thirty minutes. Please Lord let this one memory be real.
I feel lucky that the Doctor doesn’t keep asking me questions. Whether it’s kindness or calculated timing I’m allowed to rest.
Chapter 6 Images
Things change the next day. The doctor wants me on my feet. I’m helped out of bed. Two orderlies help me walk a little. My body responds in slow motion. I don’t have the strength to hold my own weight. I feel a little dizzy. They have me sit in a chair for a while. I’m helped back to bed. I rest and eat. I walk and sit again in a few hours. My bodies quicker to respond but it hurts more.
The Commander’s visits change too. I think he’s trying to encourage me and stimulate my memory.
His got family pictures. He’s got baby pictures of Zak and me. There are pictures of the four of us, Mom, Zak, Dad and me. Pictures of the four of us stop when I’m about seven. I remember the divorce. I still feel guilty, angry and abandoned. I wonder if we ever talked about it. I don’t remember.
Zak’s school pictures go from ages four through eighteen. My school pictures go from age three through sixteen.
According to the Commander I entered the colonies premier military academy at Sparta at sixteen. He tells me that I graduated third in my class. He tells me that he is very proud of me. I completed basic flight and was certified shuttle pilot when I graduated from the academy. My senior year I was Cadet Captain. I was really into this soldier thing. There are very few pictures of me once I joined entered the military. I look stiff and seldom smile.
Zak looks much more relaxed and happier than I do. Zak looks more like my father and my father had more confidence that Zak would be OK. Zak could be lazy get mostly Bs and some A’s and sometimes a C and it was Ok. I was going to ruin my life, embarrass my mother, and be a poor influence on Zak, if it wasn’t an A. I’m feeling angry.
“What’s wrong?” the Commander asks.
“I look kind of funny,” I say,
“I like your looks. What do you mean?” he asks.
“I look hard and unhappy. Something’s wrong with my mouth and chin,” I reply. I just wanted to avoid talking about my anger.
“Lee, You are standing at attention. It’s not a natural pose. You aren’t smiling.” the Commander replies.
He looks at me and presses the call button. He asks Patsy if she can get us a mirror. She is quick to comply but stays in the room. He hands me the mirror and I look at myself. I’m not going to take this seriously so I hold the mirror too close and pout.
“Lee, you don’t remember how to look at your self in the mirror. Let me show you,” he says taking the mirror from me. He holds it in his left hand and stands beside me. He positions the mirror and asks me to “look straight into it and smile.”
“See you look better. Now if I could get a real smile out of you?” he says.
I stare in the mirror. He moves his free hand and tickles me under the arm. I squirm and laugh. “No, Cut it out, Stop,” I say.
“OK, Now look in the mirror and smile for real,” He says as he moves the mirror back into position. I’ve just finished laughing so this smile has teeth and a dimple.
“Now. Who do you look like? He asks. I don’t reply. I’ve always been told that I look like my mother. I’m not going to get in a position in which I’m maneuvered into saying mom was funny looking.
The Commander puts a picture of Mom in my hand.
“You think I look like Mom?” I ask.
He motions Patsy over. “Patsy do you think Lee resembles his Mother?” he asks.
“Yes, Sir, He has her complexion, eyes, cheeks, nose, and mouth. His chin is like yours,” Patsy replies.
“Young man, I’ll have you know that your mother is a very beautiful woman and I have an exceptionally fine chin,” He says suppressing a chuckle.
“Now say I’m a very good looking guy,” He orders.
“You’re a very good looking guy, Sir,” I reply with a grin.
“If you say, “I’m a very good-looking guy,” three times while you look at your handsome face in the mirror, I’ll let you keep the framed picture of your mother, Zak and you,” he says.
I stall. I look at the Commander, the picture, the mirror and the Commander. “Patsy can you leave?” I ask.
“No I think you’re handsome. I want to hear you say it,” She replies.
I like the picture. More importantly I realize I’m not angry. I say, “I’m a very good-looking guy,” three times. It’s funny I don’t care how I look. But knowing that he cares that I have a positive self-image matters a great deal.
I thank him for bringing me the pictures. When I’m alone, I like having that old picture of Mom, Zak and me.
Chapter 7 Touch
Re-learning to walk and getting re-introduced to old memories are the focus of my agenda for the next couple of days. I’m making good progress on walking. A physical therapist from another ship has given me a series of exercises for general strength. I’m able to walk the length of life stations main corridor.
The Commander has found my music clip and head phones I’ve got several thousand songs to listen to. He also has given me a classic history of the founding of the twelve colonies.
I’m on one of my solo walks when a female officer approaches me. She has a very confident walk. She’s a viper pilot and a lieutenant. She’s average height and athletically built. She’s got beautiful big green eyes and a contagious smile.
“Hi Lee, glad to see you’re among the living.” She says.
“Hi, Thanks,” I don’t remember her. There isn’t much I can say.
“Is that all I get?” she asks.
“I’m sorry. I’m having some serious problems with my memory. I guess you know I’m Lee Adama,” I say.
“Well, Captain Lee ‘Apollo’ Adama, I’m lieutenant Kara ‘Starbuck’ Thrace. Your best friend and the best pilot in the fleet.” She replies with a big grin. She puts her hand on my upper arm and rubs it softly. The gesture reminds me of my mother.
“Starbuck! I knew you’d save the fleet. No matter what they said. They couldn’t stop you. Thank you,” I say happily. She moves her hands to my back and holds me gently. I like her touch. She hugs me. She kisses me on the cheek. I rest my hand on her waist and return the kiss. She kisses me on the lips. Her hands move down my back to my butt. When she squeezes, I open my mouth in surprise, her tongue is in my mouth. Her comforting touch has turned into something unsettling. I just stand there like a dumpy, feeling the sensation.
“Starbuck, stop handling my patients!” Dr Cottle commands.
“I’m just saying “Hi”. How do you expect him to remember anything if you don’t let him have company?” she sasses back but she releases me. I watch her leave. She can make an exit.
Chapter 8. Recall
A tall young man dressed in a white shirt and a tie comes into my room. “Hi Captain Apollo, my name is Billy Keikeya. I hope you are feeling better. I was wondering if you were well enough to have a visitor?”
“If you don’t mind that I don’t remember you, I’d like a little company,” I say.
“Oh, that’s great, I’ll just go get her,” Billy says as he turns to leave the room.
“Hey, Who’s my visitor?” I ask.
“President Laura Roslin,” Billy replies.
Moments later she enters the room. “Hello Captain Apollo, Thank you so much for seeing me.”
“Hello, Madam President, I’m honored to see you,” I say. I realize that she is very special.
“Captain, we haven’t known each other very long but I wanted you to know that I consider you one of my dearest friends. I know you don’t remember me. You need to know that you aren’t alone. I’ll do everything I can to help you recover,” Laura says. I think she sounds genuine but rehearsed.
“Thank you, Ma’am, I want you to know that I return your friendship, and I remember you.” Laura Roslin is the key to my memory. I turned my off own memory.
She looks at me for a moment. She smiles and comes to me. She hugs me, and says, “I’m so glad you remember me. I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed you.” I realize that she is comforted when I return her hug.
“How are you feeling? How are your treatments going?” I ask.
“I feel very well at the moment. My energy comes and goes. It will take time to know about the effectiveness of the treatments,” she replies. She’s settled and likes to be held.
As we continue to hold each other I remember. The summer I was fourteen I learned a mind control technique that permits the turning off certain parts of the brain. It had taken me nine years of study, but I had learned how to control my periods over active brain activity. I choose Laura Roslin as the key to my memory because she is important to me but not a family member or a crewmate. Relief flows through me. I realize that I’ve held the President much too long.
“Ma’am, Thank you,” I say softly shifting to end our embrace. It takes her a moment.
“You’re entirely welcome Captain. In fact anytime,” she says with a mischievous grin. “When did you get your memory back? I asked to be kept informed of your condition.”
“I remembered you the moment you walked into the room. You’re just too beautiful to forget,” I say.
“Captain Apollo, I’m very flattered,” she replies. She feels comfortable now. She perches on the side of my bed. “Well I guess I should bring out a tired but true statement. Thank you for saving our asses.”
“You’re Welcome, Ma’am,” I reply.
“Do you need any thing? Is their anything I can do to make you more comfortable?“ she asks.
“Thank for asking, the life station staff is taking very good care of me, Ma’am” I reply. “ I need to press the call button. I need to let the doctor know I have recovered some of my memory.”
“You weren’t just kidding me. You got some of your memory back when you saw me,” she says.
“No, I wasn’t kidding,” I reply. She responds with a quick hug. I press the call button. In a few minutes Patsy comes in.
“Madam President, The Captain isn’t supposed to have company. I need to ask you to leave,” she says.
“Patsy, I’ve started to remember. Can you let the doctor know?” I say quickly not giving the president time to agree to leave.
“You remember! I’ll be right back,” she goes to update the doctor.
“I want to say goodnight and thank you before Dr Cottle arrives,” I say.
“Yes, Goodnight Captain Apollo and thank you. If Patsy asks, tell her rank has its privilege. The President will visit her military advisor at her own discretion,” she says smiling.
I watch her leave the room. She wears her hair loose. She has great legs. She is one of the few women I get to see wearing a skirt and heals.
Patsy, Dr Cottle and the Commander quickly arrive. “What have you remembered?” the Doctor asks.
“I remember how I lost my memory. I turned it off myself. I used a meditation technique I learned the summer I was fourteen. While being tortured by the Cylons, I lowered my overall brain activity and shut off access to everything military. In fact I shut my memory off just after I mastered the technique. Mastering Pak meditation and mind control techniques is an important personal achievement. I’ve already started mediating again. I choose the President as the key. If I hadn’t seen her it would have taken longer but I would have remembered my Pak and realized the significance of the timing,” I say.
“Captain, that’s pretty remarkable,” the Doctor says skeptically.
“Doctor, The Captain is a Pak’s master. He can control his mind very effectively,” the Commander defends.
“Captain, do you remember how you happen to be on board the Galactica on Judgment Day?” the Commander asks.
“Yes, Sir, I was temporarily assigned to the Galactica to participate in her decommissioning ceremony,” I reply.
“Where are you now?” the Commander asks.
“Sir, I’m in an isolation room in Galactica’s life station,” I reply.
“Who is Kara Thrace?” the Commander asks.
“Sir, Lt. Kara “Starbuck” Thrace is the best pilot in the fleet and my best friend. She told me so herself today. She was engaged to Zak before he died. You and I consider her family but she can be an arrogant pain to command,” I say.
“Doctor, He remembers,” the Commander says.
He steps forward and takes me into his arms. I brace myself for a hard brief squeeze but it doesn’t happen. He holds me gently but firmly. I have time to return the embrace.
“Lee, you look tired. How are you feeling,” the Commander asks.
“Tired, yes, but I feel relieved. I feel like I’ve found myself,” I say. “Not everything is back.”
“Son, please don’t push yourself too hard. Rest. You still have a lot of healing to do,” the Commander says. He doesn’t seem to be the same father I remember. He isn’t demanding more.
Chapter 9. Debrief
I know that I have to be debriefed. It’s my responsibility. I want to get it done right the first time. And have it over. Col. Tigh, Cap. Kelly and Dr Cottle are going to handle the debriefing. I’ve asked that they prepare their questions so I only have to go through it once. I also asked that the Commander not be present. The debriefing will be recorded and he can see all or any part of it.
I’m debriefed in chronological order. I recount how Starbuck and I encountered five scimitars on a six-hour patrol. We are both flying Mark II’s. We are out of communication range. It’s impetrative that the fleet be warned. I order Starbuck to run. I turn my viper 360 degrees so Starbuck has turned and is headed away from the scimitars before I engage the enemy. I’ve shot two scimitars out of the sky, before I realize that the Cylons want to disable not destroy my ship. I try to escape but five more have shown up. I run out of ammunition I’ve destroyed five ships. My starboard wing is targeted. They are able to put me undertow. I spend my time setting up my ship so that three minutes after I’m out of the cockpit my remaining thrusters will fire. This should cause my ship to spin, overheat and explode.
“I’m taken out of my ship by mechanical Cylons. I hear an explosion, which I assume, is my ship. One of the Cylons throws me against a wall. My left leg and arm are damaged I can’t get up. I remember lying there not able to move counting hoping I could give the fleet another thirty minutes to jump before I passed out or they tortured the fleet’s location out of me. The fire the explosion caused kept them occupied I stayed awake and unquestioned for well over thirty minutes.”
“The next thing I remember is waking up naked on a deck. Mechanical Cylons break both my arms. Then they break both my legs. “Do you want to give up your consciousness?” A woman’s voice asks. The voice points out that Cylons regularly permit their consciousness to be stored while their damaged bodies are repaired or replaced. I’m assured that they have the technology to repair my body. I will be stronger than ever. I’m told over and over that the release of consciousness will end my pain. It’s their way.”
“I say “No”. The Mechanicals break my fore arms and my lower legs.”
“I say “No”. The break four more bones. I scream. I’m counting on shock to end my pain.”
“I pass out. I find that Cylon repair technology is excellent but not designed practiced on a live subject. It’s at least as painful as the original torture. The next time I wake up I’m connected to Cylon medical devices.”
“Captain, would you like a drink of water? Do you need to take a break?” the doctor asks.
“I did like a glass of water. I really want to get through the sequence of events before we take a break.” I reply. I’ll do it once. Just do it once. I’m prepared. I reached a deep meditative state earlier. I’ll be able to find peace after I’m finished I promise my self.
I drink some water. I hold a warm mug of tea in my hands as I pick up the chronology. “The process is repetitive. The voice is the same. It says the same thing. The mechanicals break my bones. I hear the voice. I pass out. They repair the damage. I hear the voice while I’m being repaired. I screamed, yelled and cried.”
“Either the Mechanical Cylons got tired or I was getting harder to revive. They switch to a psychological method. They must have heard my conversation with Starbuck. They use her name when the tell me she fail to warn the fleet. They show me a video of the fleet being destroyed. The video is powerful but there are mistakes in the condition of some of the ships. And I don’t believe that the Commander would have used the endgame tactics they showed. I knew that video was phony.”
“They had videos of the destruction of the colonies. They may or may not have been real. The voice tells me over and over that there is no one left. They can heal me. All I has to do is give up my consciousness. I decline repeatedly.
“They combine the two methods they break my bones while they show the videos. They leave me lying naked on a deck with the Video running. After awhile the Mechanicals come back and they begin again. I pass out.”
I stop. I troubled about the next part. I drink some water. “When I wake up I’m in bed. I’ve been clean up. I’m no longer connected to the medical machines. Apparently it’s a cat party and I’m the mouse.”
“There are three model six Bio-Cylons in the room with me. They prefer to be referred to as Bio-Cylons rather than Human-Cylons. They have Models. All model sixes are very tall, blonde, and blue eyes. I noticed they are not completely identical though. Just like human twins, environment, experience and age produces slight differences. I’m told that their consciousness is transferred to a new body if the original is damaged or wears out. I’m also told that model six have sex drives, a remnant from their original design as perfect sexual companions for human males. As Cylons don’t use sex to reproduce, male Bio-Cylons are not interested in meeting the needs of their sisters.”
“I’m told I can extend my vacation from torture by being cooperative. I decline. I’m weak. I can’t defend myself. They restrain me, prevent me from breathing through my nose and force me to drink something. What ever it was I’m physically aroused for the next several hours. If I fight I’m forced. Although my injuries had been repaired being touched was painful. It hurt less to just let them do what they are going to do.” I stop. I’m never going to be able to look Tigh, Kelly or Cottle in the eye again. I push on if I stop now they will make me repeat it.
“I don’t think model sixes like to share. They fought among themselves. The decided to take turns. They each had a turn before the drug wears off and I’m useless to them. They give me something to drink, cover me with a blanket and leave. I make myself vomit the liquid. I don’t want to be used like that again.”
“I’m alone unrestrained. I’m weak but if I hold on to the walls I can walk. The bulkhead is unlocked. I can just leave the room. I’m disoriented. I have no memory of moving inside a basestar. None of the bulkheads are locked. I’m in a storage area. I look in several compartments looking for weapons, food or anything that will help me escape.”
“The Cylons use the same chemical symbols we do. I find boxes of plastic explosives. I take some time to assess my situation. I can’t fight. There is no way I can get off the basestar. I don’t have anything I can use as a designate the plastic. The only thing that comes to me is the friction and heat caused when the Galactica moves her cannons. I’m lucky; the storage area is close to the basestar’s cannons I use a ventilation shaft to travel. I take a case of explosives into the shaft. The shaft is huge designed for maintenance by a mechanical Cylon. I’m only visible when I place the explosives inside the cannons targeting mechanism. This part of the basestar is not patrolled. I place all the explosives.”
“I replace the empty box in its storage container. I return to the room where they left me. I lie down and cover myself with the blanket. I sleep or pass out. I don’t think my sabotage is likely to work, but I had to try.”
“Two mechanicals shake me awake. A number six enters the room. I think she’s one of the three from before. She says, “This is your last chance. Will you release your consciousness?”
“No,” I say.
“You can serve god. We have found your fleet. This injection will kill you,” she says. As she gives me the injection she whispers, “You’ll just go to sleep. It won’t hurt.”
“The next thing I remember is waking up in life station with Patsy. They only asked me one question. I don’t know what they would have gained by my giving up my consciousness. That’s the order of events to the best of my memory,” I say.
Tigh looks at his notes preparing a question. The doctor gets up and says. “That all we need to know right now Captain.” The doctor pages Patsy. He and Patsy help me back to bed. I don’t get to mediate. Doctor Cottle drugs me into oblivion.
Chapter 10. Sound
I don’t know how long I’ve been out. I eat. I rest. Patsy unhooks me from me monitors and tapes over my IV. I get to take a shower on my own. I shave, brush my teeth and comb my hair. I put on clean vest and pants. Patsy has waited outside. I’m happy to have had some privacy. She hooks me back up to my IV and monitors.
“Patsy, Could I have a pad of graph paper, a couple of pencils and an eraser?” I ask.
“I don’t know if we have graph paper, but I’ll check,” she says.
“Tactical uses it. Call CIC if you can’t find it. Thanks Patsy” I say.
About twenty minutes later the Commander arrives with pencils paper and dimensional schematics of the exterior of a Basestar.
“Hello Captain, when I heard what you wanted. I realized you could use basestar exterior dimensions. They’re classified so I thought I’d bring them down my self,” The Commander says.
“Thank you, you’re right. I want to get down any interior information I might have. You don’t look well. How are you feeling?” I ask.
“I’m OK. I just didn’t sleep that well. How are you?” he replies.
“Tired drained. I need to get through this debriefing. I want it over so I can move on.” I say.
“Son, your going to need counseling to heal properly from what you’ve been through,” he says.
“How much of the debrief did you watch?” I ask. He doesn’t answer. He looks down briefly. I know he saw the whole thing. I feel ashamed.
“I better get working on these diagrams while I still remember something” I say.
“OK, but don’t overdo it. Rest,” he says patting my shoulder before he leaves.
I spend the day and most of the night sketching the Cylon landing bay. One of the reasons I’m an excellent viper pilot is that I’m unusually good at estimating distance, time and speed. I already knew the size of a scimitar, so I know the capacity of the landing bay. I remember the shape and spacing of the supports. I can see interior height based on my viper. I remember seeing the fuel lines and fuel storage tanks. My picture of the storage area is much less informative. We already knew how many cannon the basestar have. The only thing interesting is the layout and size of the ventilation shafts. I’m able to extrapolate the ventilation system from the areas I saw.
I review my work carefully. When I think that I can add nothing more I ask Patsy for an inter-ship envelope and classified tags. I put the package together. I give it to Doctor Cottle so that it will be deliver through secure channels.
I meditate. I fall asleep. I wake up with a start. The Galactica doesn’t sound right. Her vibrations are slightly different. I go to the medtech’s station and pick up a phone. I dial the hanger deck and ask for Chief Tyrol. I can hear what’s wrong over the phone. But how do I get the Chief to believe me.
“Tyrol” the chief says.
“Hello Chief, This is Lee Adama. Conduct an emergency inspection of the overhead crane system now,” I command.
“What? Who is this? Pretending to be the CAG is seriously not funny,” the chief asks.
“This is Captain Adama. I’m calling from life station. Start the inspection now. You can call me at the Medtech’s line once you’ve started. Get moving Chief,” I hang up.
The phone rings I let the Medtech on duty answer it. It’s for me. “Hello Chief,” I say.
“Captain, They said that you’re in really bad shape, maybe you shouldn’t be worrying about inspections,” the chief says.
“I’m in better shape than the crane system. I’m the CAG. Start the inspection beginning with crane mechanisms 4 through 7. That’s an order.” I hang up.
I make myself walk away from the Medtech station at a slow pace. I go back to my room. I make sure no one is looking. I disconnect my current IV. I walk out of life station. I have no way of explaining how I can hear the problems with the crane system. But if any portion of the system fails people will die. I can’t take a chance. They’re probably going to lock me up anyway. I get to the elevator without being stopped. When the doors open at right level I dash for the hanger bay.
When I reach the hanger bay Tyrol is looking at the crane systems diagnostics. I slow and walk over to him. “Chief, Report,” I order.
“Stress on crane number six is reaching critical. How? Should you be here?” the Chief asks.
“Tyrol, get everyone off the deck now. I‘m calling a code two emergency now. Get a fire team down here as a precaution. Make it happen,” I say.
Now that my warning about the crane system is supported by diagnostics the Chief moves fast. I’m dressed in standard Life station vest and pants with foam rubber slippers. I’m not dressed to be on the hanger deck so I let the Chief handle things. From my vantage point I can see something Tyrol can’t. Specialist Cally is under a raptor using a drill. She can’t hear the warning. The ship she’s working on and her protective goggles restrict her field of vision. She can’t see the warning lights.
I listen. I don’t have time to wait. The raptor is under overhead crane five. When I reach Cally I grab a leg and pull hard. She comes rolling out from under the ship on a dolly. As soon as she moves her drill enough not to catch me I grab her hand pulling her to her feet and push her out of the way. Crane number six and it load a Viper chassis crashes into a shuttle that rams the raptor Cally and I just left. There is no fire. But the raptor falls tipping on its side. She would have been crushed if she hadn’t moved. Everyone will still think I’m nuts but at least it was worth it.
I’m breathing hard with effort. Cally is still holding my hand. I go to the hanger deck office. Everyone is staring at me thru the glass partition that separates the office from the rest of the deck. I pick up the phone. CIC Repair wants a report. “Overhead crane system six failed. No causalities. No fire. Crane system, a shuttle and a raptor damaged. Port hanger bay standing down from emergency code 2. Detailed damage report to follow. Captain Adama reporting,” I say on automatic.
“Thank you, Captain” I hear. I put down the phone and turn to ask Cally how she’s doing. She leans her forehead against my shoulder and cries. I don’t understand what she says. I pat her shoulder with my free hand and wonder if I should take her with me when I go back to life station.
“Cally, I need to get back to life station. Maybe you should come with me and get checked out?” I say softly.
“Oh, I’m fine now, Sir, I could walk you back to life station?” She replies. I think it’s amazing how therapeutic the threat of a trip to life station is.
“OK, I need to get back,” I reply. As we leave she rushes over to Tyrol to let him know that she is escorting me back to life station.
We’re both pretty quiet as we start out. I ask if everyone is doing. She shares the latest gossip, romances, and Cylon speculations. It was a pleasant walk for me. I thank her as we reach the entry to life station. I know I’m going to get reprimanded for leaving life station. I don’t want to get disciplined in front of Cally.
Patsy gets to me before Cottle. So I’m cleaned up and fussed over. I get a new IV and a fresh vest. Patsy complains that my vests looks like someone wiped their hands on it. I’m back in bed with a cup of tea before I have to talk to the Doctor or the Commander. I have a headache. I feel like the front of my head is going to fall off. I’m cold and shaking Patsy’s efforts to warm haven’t worked yet. She’s gone to get a heating pad.
The first words out of the Commander’s mouth are “How bad is the headache?”
“Bad. How did you know?” I ask.
“The doctor and I have been going over your brain scans. Your neural activity was up this morning. One look at the amount of information in your interior sketches and I knew you aren’t able to control your mind enough,” the Commander replies. (Pause) “Chief Tyrol interrupted my meeting with Dr Cottle to let me know that he is responsible for your leaving life station. He didn’t take your warning seriously. Given the imminent nature of the emergency you had no option but to go to the hanger bay yourself. He told me that you must has been in tough shape because you let Specialist Cally escort you back to life station.”
“It’s only a headache and chills. I’ll be fine,” I reply.
“Captain, I’m going to let your little field trip pass as the Chief is certain that you saved me at least five additional patents. But no more unauthorized outings,” the doctor warns.
“Yes, Sir,” I reply.
“Let’s see if we can make you more comfortable?” Dr Cottle says.
“Doctor, Patsy’s working on it. She’s gone to get me a heating pad,” I say. I wonder if the Doctor keeps a filled syringe in his lab coat. Before I finish telling him about Pasty’s help. He’s already pushing a sedative into my IV. I’ve had this stuff before. I have time enough to reassure the Commander that I’ll be all right, before numbness and sleep arrive.
Chapter 11. Dream
I’ve been dreaming about flying. I dream about being captured and tortured. I’m angry and scared but I can’t wake up. I try and make myself think about being warm and comfortable in bed. I remember a grove of fruit trees from my early childhood.
My five-year-old self and my schoolmates from the Old Travelers Preschool visit me. My memory of being five is extremely vivid. If fact I feel like I’m having a conversation with a five-year-old-versions of my friends Fay, Lizzie, Alex and Benny. They look at my thoughts. Fay sees that we are not together and is heartbroken. Lizzie is very critical of my dad. The end of the world and my being captured are his fault. He didn’t take care of me. If we’d all stayed together the world would be safe. Alex says he’ll be lost. He wants to help me fight the Cylons. Benny says that the Cylons are hiding. We need to warn the grown ups.
“It’s just a dream. I’m not him,” a five-year-old version of myself tells the others.
“My dad will take care of me. He will protect us,” he assures.
“It’s not real. I’m not with Fay. My dad wouldn’t let anything happen to my mom or Zak. I’m with my dad how could I feel sad and alone. My dad will kill all the Cylons. This is a stupid dream,” he insists.
The others are sure that I’m him grownup. He’s told that I look like him. My minds organized like his, I remember them. They point out how I made the pictures of the Basestar and how I want to use it as a weapon again the Cylons. He’s told he always draw plans. He’s always thinking. Only he would think of flying inside a Cylon ship.
He admits he likes the sketches a lot. He likes he idea of flying very fast and bombing the Basestar. But I’m just too sad. I hear him call “Dad, Dad, Tell them that you won’t leave me. Tell them you’ll take care of me. Tell them that you love me.“
I’m dreaming so I think I hear my father reply, I even feel him hold my hand. This dream ends. I don’t remember anything else until the drugs wear off.
Chapter 12. Response
Lee isn’t responding to the sedative as expected. He has been unconscious for twenty hours. His brain activity increased. According to Cottle ten hours ago there was a fifteen-minute period when certain portions of his brain were working at 500% of normal. I’ve been with him constantly for the last twelve hours. I could tell that he was having nightmares, but we are unable to wake him up. For a while he was reliving being tortured. Then I heard names that I didn’t recall. I while later he is calling to me it’s was hard to make out what he’s saying. His voice and his questions sound very young and very vulnerable. I respond to what I think he said, “Lee, I’m right hear. I won’t leave again. I’ll take care of you. I will always love you.” I assure. I’ve been holding his hand. I don’t know if he can feel it but I have to do something.
“Commander, you should get some rest,” Dr. Cottle suggests.
“I’ll get some later. What’s your next step?” I ask.
“All we can do is wait. His brain activity has slowed down, but it’s too high for some one who isn’t awake,” he replies.
“There’s nothing more you can do?” I ask. “Lee’s come so far, how can we lose him to a reaction to a drug?”
“Not medically. His optical and auditory brain centers are the most active. He appears super sensitive to light and sound. We could move him to a quieter darker place if we had one?” the Doctor replies.
“Can’t you set something up?” I ask.
“Well, I was wondering if you’d take him in?” he replies.
“Take him?” I ask.
“Yes, Commander, it doesn’t look like I can get rid of you any other way,” Cottle answers. “Plus what you remember about the care he needed as a young child is the best guide we have at the moment. I can’t find much on his neurological condition. There’s nothing about sufferers becoming highly functional adults and needing care.”
“Make it happen, Doctor,” I reply.
“Commander, get some rest. In a few hours, I’ll have him moved up. You or some one he knows should be with him at all times. As you’ve told me he needs a warm quiet dark place to rest. Do the best you can keep the curtains to your sleeping alcove closed and your quarters quiet,” he says. We can monitor his vitals from here. Patsy will come by to change his IV, take care of meds, and keep him comfortable. Patsy can spend some time with him let her know when you need her.”
I agree quickly to this plan. But once in my quarters I wonder if Cottle is moving the Captain for the Captains health or mine. Both Cottle and Tigh have been on me about my health. Since I thought I lost him again, I haven’t had any appetite and I’ve had an extremely hard time getting to sleep. For every step forward there has been some danger that I haven’t been able to protect him from. Tigh jumps him. The Cylons dressing nearly burns him to death. He leaves life station and is nearly crushed by a raptor. Now Cottle’s attempt to spare him pain has put his life at risk again.
Cottle, Patsy, and a couple of orderlies bring him down and make him comfortable. They check to make sure the remote monitors are working. They check his IV. He is completely still through all this handling. Cottle tell me that except that he is not conscious his condition is stable. I can sleep. If there is any change, I’ll get a call from life station. Patsy will be back in six hours. Before leaving Cottle warns me that I better get some sleep while I can. He’s not sure what condition the Captain will be in when he wakes up.
I’m with him and there are two marine guards at each door. I tell myself, I can keep him safe and give him time to heal. I slept most of the six hours.
Chapter 13. Trap
I wake up in a fog. He tells me I’m in his quarters. I know I’ve been out of control. He says I’m here so I’ll have a quieter place to rest. I must be lying in his bunk. The doctor has examined me. I still have an IV and I’m hooked up to remote monitors. After the doctor finishes his exam and talks to the Commander, he comes back and tells me that I’m very weak. I need to rest. I need to stay calm. Patsy will be here soon to take care of me. He warns that I need to do exactly what Patsy and my Dad tell me to do.
I am weak. I have a headache. I feel cold. I need help to sit up to eat. Patsy insists on feeding me. She tells me about my new schedule as she washes me. Patsy is kind as always but I feel trapped. I’m never left alone. In life station Patsy would leave when it was time for me to rest. Now she moves to the sofa or the desk. There are guards at the door. When I wake up I need to eat. When I ask she lets me listen to music for half an hour. I sleep. I eat. I try and mediate but fail. The Commander comes to give Patsy a break. He helps me eat a sandwich and drink some tea. He goes to his desk and starts to do paperwork. He checks on me every few minutes.
Patsy returns with dinner for the Commander and me. She feeds me. I get a new IV. I take some pills. She says goodnight. The Commander helps me eat part of a protein bar and some juice. He is disappointed that I didn’t finish my bedtime snack.
I say goodnight.
“Good night Lee,” he says. “I prefer that you call me Dad when we’re alone and off duty.”
“Good night Dad” I reply.
Chapter 14. Back
Pasty whispers to me, “Starbuck, You’ll have to come back later. I’m applying a skin conditioner to the Captain’s back.”
“That OK, I’ve seen the Captains back,” I say as I walk past her.
Lee’s lying on his stomach with his head turned away. The blanket that covers him covers him is turn down very low. I get a fine look at his back plus the top half of his cute butt. Patsy rushes over and covers him to the shoulders. She tells him I’m here.
“Hi Starbuck, Thanks for coming. I’ll be right with you.” I can hear that he is happy to see me.
Patsy helps him turn over and sit up. She helps him into a life station vest. She arranges pillows and blankets so he’s presentable for company. She uses her fingers to arrange his hair. I realize that he must be incredibly weak to except all this handling. I also see that Patsy has her hands all over him.
“Hi Apollo, I hear you’ve have gotten yourself all sick and pitiful,” I say as I walk over and sit next to him on the bed.
“Don’t sit on the bed. You’ll hurt him,” Patsy says.
“Patsy, I’m fine.” Lee says to Patsy and then to me. “Starbuck, Stay. Talk to me.”
“How are you feeling?” I ask. I’m rubbing his arm. I remember how turned on I got when I kissed him the other day.
“Better but I’m cold and I can’t shake the headache,” he replies. I’m pleased that he’s really talking to me. I take hold of his hand. He smiles at me. It’s one of his cute ones. He smiles then he feels shy and looks down. Holding hands and making him feel shy turns me on. He’s lost more weight since I last saw him. I’m very worried about him. I wonder how he can be so sick and still look so adorable.
“So how’s the slacking off coming?” I ask.
“It’s harder than it looks,” he replies sarcastically, “How are you?”
“I’m fine. But everyone is tired of me being acting CAG. I don’t do responsibility. Tigh can’t stand me. Tyrol and I can’t stand him. The Commanders very worried about the decline in discipline and the patrol patterns aren’t covering enough space. The pilots complain that the schedules aren’t fair. Basically things are a mess.” I say.
“It’s not an easy job. You’ll get the hang of it. Take it easy on yourself,” he says trying to encourage me.
“I don’t intend to get the hang of it. I intend to get you back,” I say.
“I’m working on it. Starbuck, I might not come back. How can anyone trust that the Cylons didn’t get to me?” he asks.
“Because we’re so frakked without you. You idiot. Let’s get down to what needs to get fixed. OK, What are they doing to get you warm and cure your headache?” I ask.
“They moved me here. It’s a lot quieter than life station. I’ve got extra blankets. They have me rest as much as I can. They’ve stopped giving me drugs; so can wake up if I have a bad dream. I get warm drinks and heating pads. They’ve done everything that they can think of. I’m very grateful.”
“Are you able to relax with your Dad around?” I ask as softly as I can.
“Mostly, He’s acting very different,” he replies in a whisper.
“That’s good to hear, Lee,” I put my arms around him and kiss him gently on the check. I feel a little rush when he brushes my cheek with his hand and kisses me on the forehead.
“Lieutenant, You shouldn’t touch him. You have to leave,” Patsy commands.
”I should be going anyway. I need to speak to the Commander. I’ll be back as soon as I can,” I say to Lee.
“Oh, OK, Thanks for coming,” he says with a pout. He doesn’t want me to go.
As I step away from the bed I can see that he’s tired from my short visit. Before I’m out of the room, Patsy’s at his side helping him to lie down. She has her hands on his back.
Chapter 15. Plot
I’m waiting for the Commander in a conference room off CIC. After the required salutes the Commander asks me to sit down.
“Starbuck you needed to talk to me about Lee?” He says focusing the conversation.
“Yes Sir, Thank you for letting me see him,” I say, “I think it’s taking too long for him to recover. Zak talked to me about Lee’s condition. He told me that Lee needed him or his mother when he let his mind become over active.
“I only saw Lee after he let his mind go into over drive once on Picon. I’m sure Zak told you what happened. A young child was lost in the mountains above the base. Lee was waiting for reassignment so he only had light duty. So he volunteered to join the search. He joined up with three of the Marines he’d served with on Myra Dawn. Well the four of them tracked the boy for forty hours. The child hadn’t become lost he’d been kidnapped. There was no rational way Lee and the Marines could have found the boy. Zak and I saw a news report. Once Zak saw the report he was interested in only one thing, getting ready to help Lee.”
“We went Lee quarters. Zak put an extra blanket on the bed. Closed the shades. He made tea. He sent me to buy snacks. Lee wasn’t surprised to find us in his room with only a night-light on.
“Lee says he’s very tired. He wants a hot shower and sleep. He tells Zak he’ll be fine. He thanks him for setting up the room but he wants us to leave now. Lee heads for the bathroom. Zak gets a tee shirt and a pair of sweat pants for Lee and puts them into the bathroom. He turns down the bed. He pours a cup of tea and fixes it they way Lee likes it. Lee heads straight to bed. Lee’s shaking. Zak hands Lee the tea. Lee drinks some of the tea and lies down and pulls the covers over him. Lee insists that we go. He tells Zak that he’s grown. He’ll be fine.”
Zak says, ”Turn on your side Lee. You’re still underweight. You’ve been out all night. You traveled thirty miles on foot. You’re sick. You’re going to do what your told.” I never heard Zak so in charge. When Lee’s sick, Zak became very dominate.
Your already doing almost everything Zak did except for one thing. Zak got in bed beside Lee and held him all night. Lee complained and pleaded to be left alone. Zak only held on tighter until Lee relaxed. Lee was tired and grumpy the next day but the headache and chills were gone.
“Starbuck, Zak and Caroline are gone. We can’t replace them.” The Commander says sadly.
“Sir, It’s about feeling safe, loved and being kept warm. Zak had me stay because he wanted me to know Lee. He’d want me to help Lee. Lee’s so weak. I want to try. Sir,” I say. I’m not at all sure I’ve made any sense.
“If he fought Zak, How do you expect him to let you hold him?” the Commander asks.
“I thought we’d gang up on him. He loves us. If we both want him to let me hold him, and I don’t let him go. I can keep him warm for several hours,” I say.
“Come to my quarters at 2030 hours, he will be finished with dinner. Starbuck, I won’t let him be hurt. If he gets too upset, you stop,” the Commander says as he leaves the room.
Chapter 16. Hug
I’ve had my dinner. The Commander asks Patsy to have me ready for bed by 2015 hours. I wonder if he’s feeling all right. Once I’m set Patsy leaves for the night.
“Lee do you still have a headache?” he asks.
“Yes, Dad” I reply. I’m trying to call him Dad as he asks. I know he’s doing his best to take care of me.
“Are you still cold?” he asks.
“A little,” I say.
“When you were young, your mother or Zak would keep you warm wouldn’t they?” he asks.
“Yes, until I learned to meditate,” I reply.
“Or if you were ill?” he asks.
“I had to be very sick,” I say feeling uncomfortable.
Starbuck arrives. I can tell that the Commander is expecting her. I’m surprised she’s wearing sweats.
“Hi Lee, I’m here to get you warmer,” she says.
I think I groan out loud. “What do you have in mind?” I ask stalling. I don’t want to do this.
“Oh I figure I’d play Zak, You can turn on your side now,” She says with a big grin.
“Figures, You’d pick the craziest thing Zak ever did to copy,” I retort. “We can’t do this. Do you have any idea how many regulations we’d be breaking? I’m not going to do anything disrespectful to my Dad while I’m staying with him,”
She’s taking off her running shoes and shocks and her sweatshirt.
“Dad? Please!” I say.
“Lee, I want you to get well. Starbuck and I agree this is something you need. Relax and let Starbuck keep you warm. We’re both sure Zak would want her to try,” he replies.
Lord, he’s playing the Zak card. I roll on my side but stay on the outside of the bed. “I don’t want to get pushed up against the metal wall,” I plead.
“OK be difficult,” Kara says as she climbs over me to get in the bed and hugs me.
“You don’t feel like Zak. I won’t be able to sleep,” I moan.
Kara holds me tighter. My Dad turns down the lights and closer the curtain to the sleeping alcove. I have no choice. I force myself to relax so Kara won’t hold me too tight. I don’t have to ask her as soon as I relax she loosens her hold. I do feel warmer. I fall asleep.
I nightmare wakes me up. Our legs are intertwined. I wake Kara up. She moves her legs. She tells me I’m safe. She rubs my arm. She rubs the small of my back. She tells me to go back to sleep. As I drift back to sleep I feel something on the back of my neck. I think it just her breath but it felt like a kiss.
I’m alert. I don’t have a headache. I sit up and put my feet on the floor. It’s really the only place I can go if I don’t want to wake Kara up. Lord she looks like an angel when she’s asleep. I sit for a few minutes. It’s quiet. I listen. It’s still quiet. I test my legs. I really want a shower. I can do it. I use the plastic, tape and scissors from Patsy’s kit to cover my IV. I can see my fathers chest moving up and down in sleep when I leave the alcove. I walk along the outside of the room so I can use the wall for balance. Once in the Commanders bathroom, I close the door and take off my clothes and the remote monitors. I turn on the water. I’ve just started to wash when he comes in.
“What the frak do you think you’re doing?” he asks in the angry accusatory tone I remember well.
“I’m trying to stay warm and get clean, Sir,” I reply.
“Lee you could be hurt. You’re not strong enough,” I hear his tone soften.
“Please, Dad, I’m wet now. You’re here. I’ll be OK,” I say.
He stands there for what seems like a long time. I keep on washing myself. I want to get as clean as I can. He hands me a bottle of shampoo. “I’ll be right outside. Call me when you’re finished or if you need a hand. Your razor, toothbrush, and comb are in a bag on the hook on the door.”
He leaves but doesn’t close the door all the way. I make the most of freedom. I let the warm water fall over me. I soap up a second time. I scrub my hair twice and rinse. I dry off and wrap a towel around my waist. I take my time brushing my teeth, shaving and combing my hair.
“Dad, I’m finished. Thank you,” I say as I leave the bath. He’s leaning on the back of the sofa. He’s waited right outside the door. He looks at me up and down and he shakes his head and smiles. He puts a blanket around me and guides me back to bed.
Kara has left. I’m glad she’s gone. I’m grateful for last night but I’m also very uncomfortable about it.
“Dad will you loan me some sweats? I want to make sure I don’t get cold again and I want to feel less exposed,” I ask.
When Patsy arrives I’m dressed two standard tees, sweatpants, socks and plaid flannel shirt with the sleeves rolled up so it won’t interfere with my IV. Patsy’s concerned and angry. My clothing makes her job harder. When he hears her tone he calls her. They talk in whispers for a minute. When she returns she’s smiling and telling me that I should have waited for her.
I’m feeling better. I’m able to meditate. I’m hungry, eating my snacks and lunch is not a burden. I chat with Patsy and learn a little about her. I take a nap.
Chapter 17. Relief
When I return to give Patsy a break, he is still feeling better. Uncut hair and clothes too large for him make him look young. He’s awake and gives me a smile with his hello.
I have coffee and a sandwich. Lee eats without help and finishes his tea and sandwich. I don’t know what to say. For the first time since Starbuck came racing back to warn the fleet and told me Lee was lost, I’m confident that I have my golden boy back. He’s thin and he needs to heal physically and mentally. But he’s found himself and has control of his remarkable mind.
After we finish eating I ask if he has the energy to watch a short video. When he agrees I help him to the sofa and turn on the video. I found it when I went through all my mementos and letters from Lee’s early childhood looking for information on how to help him. I have been waiting days to show this to him.
The video is more then twenty-three years old. We watch Lee and his preschool friends thank their teachers. His friends’ names are Fay, Lizzie, Benny and Alex. We watch a video that shows two vipers flying inside a Cylon Basestar’s landing bay. We watch a grove of fruit trees change season by season until they are destroyed by the Cylon attack. I have watched this section in slow motion so I know that that timing is accurate. I see a warning that the Cylons are hiding amongst us. I can’t make sense of all of it. But what was a weird crazy video now is a clear warning. I look at my son.
“I’d forgotten about that video. I know you won’t believe me but I know how we got the information. We used to nap as a group. Sometimes we’d dream as a group. We soon realized that grownups wouldn’t understand so we kept it secret. We got this information in a dream. When I couldn’t control my neural activity I had a dream that me and my five-year-old friends were walking through my mind. My five-year-old self got the image of the interior of the basestar and the idea of attacking a basestar from inside from me. They found out about the end of the world and Cylons from me. I can’t explain how I could share a dream across twenty-three years. I can’t explain how I could hear that one of the cranes would fail but I did,” he says looking at me for acceptance and trust.
“Yes, I realized the connection when I saw the video and remembered your schematics of the Basestar landing bay. The connection is obvious,” I say.
He nods. “I don’t believe that the dream was real when I was a kid. I thought you were invincible and I couldn’t believe that there would be um hard feeling between us,” he says softly. “I regret letting you down.”
“I’m the one who let you down. I thought I had forever. I didn’t realize how much I’d missed. I didn’t understand when unconditional love turned to anger and resentment,” I confess. I realize that if I’ve lost my son, it’s because I just give up my chance to be a father. We are both quiet for a while. I search for something to say that will comfort him.
I know why the Cylons wanted you to give up your consciousness,” I say. I pause so he looks at me for an answer.
“They wanted that remarkable mind of yours. I’m very glad you didn’t let them have it. I want you back,” I say. I know what I said is confusing.
“I’m grateful to be here,” he replies.
“How are you feeling?” I ask.
“Not bad,” He replies.
I ‘m ready to help him as he stands and walk with him back to his bunk. He turns toward me and gives me a bone-crushing hug. My feet leave the ground. It’s quick. He let’s himself drop to the bed. He gives me a smug little grin.
“Hey, that hurt,” I say in surprise.
We both smile. He gets under the covers and lies on his back. I lean down and pull up the covers. I kiss him on the cheek and brush his hair with my hand.
“I’ll be here when you get off shift,” he says simply.
I thank the lords that he has his a kind heart. I’m even grateful that he is damn stubborn. I’ll have time with him while he heals.