Site Themes:  ColonialViperCylon
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Faoi Dheireadh

By Sondra B

Word Count
Date: 03/28/05
Series
Rating:T
Category: Relationships
Pairing/Focus: W/R
Warnings
Summary: The survivors of the Holocaust have finally reached Earth, but they find out that’s not the end of their problems
Spoilers/Disclaimers:Battlestar Galactica and its characters are creations of Glen Larson and copywrited by Universal Studios. I make no money off of this.
Beta: Mariel & Elly

Colonial speech: " "
English speech:‘‘


Chapter Twenty-eight

Lee sat in the raptor he had appropriated for his investigation. When the call went across the wireless of the sudden drill he docked with the closest ship. After a minute or two, he noticed that the hanger was pressurizing. At that point he decided to get out and look around, not really looking for anything in particular. Once he set foot on the hanger deck he looked at the other vessel forced to land with him. It was one of the larger shuttles. It and the raptor he was using took up most of the space within the hanger. Other shuttles had tried to dock, but had been told to go to the next ship since this one was already filled to capacity.

He had been doing the follow up on a lead with the stolen supplies. The Terran captain had mentioned it had been a few pallets that had been stolen. With a few quiet inquiries, Lee found that it was more serious than what she stated. It was more along the lines of a shuttle’s worth of supplies each day. Lee completely agreed with Tigh’s assessment that one or two pallets a day was one thing, but whole shuttles worth was too much.

The shuttle that docked with the raptor was one of theirs. It seemed to be carrying something, but he wasn’t sure what. Trying to look as though he were simply bored, Lee went back over to the raptor and pulled out the procedures he was had been working through earlier while glancing ever so often to the shuttle. Eventually someone got out and, had his hands on his hips, looked around angrily. He seemed to be anxious about something, but Lee didn’t know where to place it. Focusing on the Colonial, he tried to see what, if anything, he was hiding.

At the moment, Lee’s goal wasn’t to shut the black market down, but to find out what was going on. He had been thinking about it ever since Adama had asked him to investigate the thefts. If need be, he would shut it down, but he knew it was the beginnings, or what was left of their thriving market economy. And the man now standing nervously outside the shuttle knew something important, why else would he start fidgeting. Folding up the papers, Lee put them back inside the raptor and then turned his attention to the shuttle. Acting as though he wasn’t aware of the man’s state of mind, Lee casually came up to him.

“You know what’s going on?” the Colonial asked suddenly in a souther Picon accent.

Lee looked at him for a moment while shaking his head. “Sorry. All I know is that Admiral Adama has asked for a dispersion drill.”

Lee’s casual demeanor seemed to calm the nervousness of the other pilot. For a moment he took a good look at Lee then commented, “Ain’t you the one on Biar’s report on the military? I remember her interviewing someone that looked like you.”

A small smile crossed Lee’s face while he nodded. “Yeah, she interviewed me.” He is definitely hiding something. Deciding to push forward on the investigation, and to see what the pilot knew, Lee looked around as if making sure they were alone. “Do you think you might be able to get me something?”

“Depends on how much you’re willing to pay,” he answered slowly.

“I’d like to see what you’ve got in there.” Lee indicated the shuttle door. As he took a step, the pilot shot an arm out and stopped him. “You ain’t going in there,” he hissed.

“Why? Is there something in there I shouldn’t see?”

“It ain’t none of your frakkin’ business.”

Lee turned and crossed his arms, “I just might make it mine. What’s stopping me from reporting this to Admiral Adama?” Not getting any type of answer, Lee turned slightly and moved over and opened the shuttle door. Tarps were covering the pallets inside. Once he climbed inside he raised the edge of one. Hidden beneath it he found it full of medical supplies. Medicine that was desperately needed. Turning his attention back to the pilot he raised his eyebrows. Cottle will be pissed if he finds out about this.

“You lookin’ to get a cut?”

Lee drew his attention back to the southern Picon. The man never did state his name, and neither had he. Smuggling was a nameless business. Deciding not to answer, Lee went farther into the shuttle. What he found in the back made his skin crawl. Turning around, he pushed the pilot out and onto the deck. “There will be no slave trading!” he hissed.

The Picon shrugged his shoulders. “They’re in demand,” he said.

Lee grabbed the man’s collar and hauled him back into the shuttle. “You will take me back to the base of operations, or I will state far and wide what is going on and shut this down. Don’t think I won’t.”

For once the national seemed truly afraid. “W-what about the customers?”

“Frak the customers. We’re talking about children,” Lee’s voice dripped with contempt.

“They ain’t got no home.”

“None of us do.” Lee forced the Picon to the cockpit and into the pilot’s chair after sealing the door. When he sat down he continued, “Now, when the all clear goes out, I want you to take this shuttle back.”

“I ain’t doin’ it.”

Lee sat back while smiling. “Fine. I’ll take you back to the Pegasus and tell them you’re a cylon. They don’t like cylons over there.”

“You wouldn’t.” He shook his head nervously.

“I’m only stating a fact.”

“Attention, this is the Admiral. The fleet drill has been successful. Until further notice, all shuttle traffic can resume.”

“That’s our cue,” Lee commented as he secured the restraints around him.

“This is frakkin’ insane,” the Picon mumbled, but started up the shuttle. When they were clear of the hanger doors, Lee contacted the ship and told them he would retrieve the raptor later. There were some things he had to attend to first.

When he saw which ship he was being taken to, Lee was finally able to put everything into place. It had been too obvious to even see it.

When they got out they were met by two armed civilians. “He wants to see you.”

“Don’t you think I’d know that?” he grumbled.

The two guards pointed to Lee, “He stays.”

“He stays, I stay.”

The two guards talked it over but eventually nodded. “All right. If you do anything, you’re dead.”

And if you do anything, you’ll be really dead, Lee thought. Dad would be pissed and bring the whole system down.

The office they entered was opulently decorated, as if money and resources meant nothing.

“You didn’t make your supply run.” The voice turned his attention to Lee. “I do not share. This is my business.”

Lee came up, ignoring the guards and leaned over the desk. “I don’t care about that.” His voice lowered dangerously. “Medicine and children are off limits. I will keep a close watch on what’s going on. If there is even a hint of those two ‘items’ being bartered I will shut this whole operation down.”

“Are you threatening me, Major Adama?”

“Take it any way you like. Leave the medicine and children alone. You can skim off the top after the initial supplies have been delivered, but no full shuttle loads. There are ships out there that haven’t received anything because of your business.” Lee backed up then commented, “The Terrans know what your doing. Everything is being tracked.”

“They’re nothing,” he answered derisively.

“What you call ‘nothing’ took out an entire basestar without any help. They also have at least three ships on the outskirts of the fleet. Nothing is stopping them from coming in and taking everything, including your business. They are the ones you need to talk to, along with the people that haven’t received any aide yet. So, it would be in your best interest to comply with what I’m asking.”

~~~~~~~

When they were alone once more Bill turned his attention back to Laura and then to the books in the shelf beside her.

Catching his glance, she turned to look, then turned back towards Bill. “Do you need me to move?”

“I think so,” he answered thoughtfully. “And the types of books you are looking for are in the bookcases over by the couch.”

Nodding, Laura got up and went towards the large couch that wrapped around two sides of the cabin and gave him free rein with the books that dealt with protocol within the military that he normally kept in his office.

“Bill, I really think the military should handle this whole mess. We don’t have the resources for a high treason trial.”

Adama looked up from his inspection towards Laura’s position. She was standing beside one of the bookshelves with a book in hand. Several of her folders were on the coffee table. He grunted in answer as he turned back to the shelf. Eventually, he pulled out first one and then two more books and placed them on his desk. Sitting down, he picked up the first book, and leaned back in his chair. What Laura was asking was almost like a plea for help. What courts they were able to recreate would be overwhelmed by the trial and the possible intense media attention it would create. If it were taken through the military, they would have a much better time controlling the possible chaos it would create.

An added bonus was that he could control who would be able to come, along with the possibility of not having it broadcast to the rest of the fleet. “It depends on what kind of media frenzy you prefer. If we take the military route, then everything can be controlled much more easily.”

“Things can be leaked either way.” Laura sighed as she sat down. “I don’t know, Bill.”

Bill got up and came over to the couch, book still in hand. “If we decide to have it completely open, then there’s much less chance for some of the civilian groups to be whipped up into a frenzy.” He sat down beside her and placed his hand on her leg gently. He removed it quickly when the door opened and one of the guards announced Billy’s arrival.

“Billy?” Laura asked in concern as she stood up. Her young aide looked exhausted. “Ma’am, what happened? I’m getting swamped with questions concerning Vice President Baltar.”

Laura glanced at Bill. He sat with his nose in his book, a sure sign he had no intention of participating in this particular conversation. Turning back, she hesitated then said, “He was arrested.”

Billy’s eyes widened, “H-how?”

Glancing to Adama again, Laura noticed he had a slight grin on his face. “I do not want this leaked to the press. I’m telling you this so you will be better prepared to answer the calls. Gaius Baltar was entrusted with military technology to help with the cylon detector. After the petty theft incident with the Terran liaison, Admiral Adama had him removed from the Galactica, and his lab and cabin inventoried. In that process, the technology turned up missing, and was subsequently found in the hands of a known cylon. He was arrested because of that.”

Billy looked down for a moment before asking, “Are you sure it wasn’t stolen?”

“It was not stolen,” Adama answered gruffly.

Billy finally nodded.

“It’s all right, Billy. There’s a lot of things we’re having to deal with at the moment,” Laura said, trying to lighten Bill’s comment.

“Yes, ma’am.” As he was turning around he stopped and asked, “Will any of this be released to the press?”

“During the trial.”

“With the press blackout will you have a formal press conference I have to prepare for?”

“Let me think about that, Billy. I’ll get back to you and let you know my answer.”

“I do recommend that you go ahead with the press conference, ma’am. That way you can control the press and the rumors.” When finished, Billy nodded and left the cabin. Once the door was closed, Laura turned back to Bill, “You think he will talk to Dee about this?”

Bill set the book down on his lap then looked up. “Most likely. Though, I think Dee knows a whole lot more about what is going on than Billy.”

“Can you trust her?” Laura settled back down beside him and lay her head against his shoulder.

“So far I’ve been able to. She hasn’t given me any indication not to.” Raising his arm, he let her lean in closer, then dropped it to her other side to hold her close.

“So, civilian or military?” Laura mumbled.

“You did mention that we don’t have the resources for a high treason civilian trial.” Leaning over, he fumbled with the wireless unit for a minute then turned it on. “You never did say whether or not you agreed on the press conference. His idea has merit.” After listening for a moment on the wild rumors and accusations already being expounded by the press, Bill looked again to Laura.

“I think a press conference would be good,” she mumbled as she sat up. Looking around, she was then startled when Bill handed her the comm. unit. Punching a few buttons she waited a moment then spoke, “Billy, go ahead and tell the press that I will have a formal conference.” Bill touched her shoulder. “Wait. . .” Turning back to Adama she raised an eyebrow in question.

“Have Dee do a general broadcast. It is critical information that needs to get out now before things get too far out of hand.”

Laura turned her attention back to Billy, “Billy, I want you to have Dee put out a general broadcast concerning the matter and that there is a press black out and I will give a formal press conference as soon as I am able.”

Minutes after she set the comm. unit down they heard Dee’s voice over the fleet wide channel. The wireless set went silent for a moment. When it started back up all they talked about was the announcement.

“At least that gives them something concrete to talk about,” she commented as she settled against Bill once again.

~~~

Mair sat down in her office chair in a hiss of pain. She did not want to be in her at sea cabin, but the Admiralty had sent an official missive with her updated orders. Using her personal key, she was able to decode the message to see what she needed to do. Once she knew, she tapped the screen and had Harris set up the call to the transceiver that was positioned in Admiral Adama’s cabin. She knew she’d sound exhausted, but it couldn’t be helped. This was something he needed to know about.

“Adama.”

Hm, he’s angry about something, Mair thought, but said, “Admiral, this is O’Neill. I received word from the Admiralty and that they want your fleet to move to a position much farther inside Terran space.” She heard muffled words from a woman in the background for a moment, but it soon went silent.

When he answered he seemed very gruff, “There are things that need to be done before that can happen.”

“Is it because of the sudden increase in comm. traffic between your ships?” Mair had been informed of that soon after it had begun. As suddenly as it had started, however, the frantic rate of comm. traffic had ended. She was certain something had happened, but had no way of knowing what.

“I cannot comment on any of that.”

Bingo! Something major happened. “I need to know what your plans are so I can relay them to the Admiralty.”

Adama hesitated for a moment or two before speaking, “We need to do some testing on the FTL drives before we can move.”

He’s still not telling me what just happened. “Okay. I will send a message back telling them why.”

“It should be no later than tomorrow.”

“Let me know when you’re ready, Admiral.” When the line disconnected she leaned back and sighed.

~~~

Adama looked at the transceiver for a moment, bothered by what he had heard. O’Neill never did mention if they were able to hear the wireless broadcasts. If the Terrans were able to pick them up, no telling what she thought of them now.

“Did she ever say if they listened in on the comm. messages?” Laura asked while getting up from the couch. Her jacket was off and her shirt was in disarray. She too seemed put off at the sudden interruption.

“No.” Bill shook his head and then turned around. “There are two ships that the techs are still working on. They should be finished later today.”

“And Colonial One? What about her?”

“No word so far.” Seeing her unspoken request, Bill shook his head wryly and picked up the comm. unit. “Dee, get me Pegasus Actual. . .Tigh, any word on Colonial One. . .I see. . .all right we’ll do that later today.” Bill put the comm. unit down and turned his attention back to Laura. “We’ve got a problem.”

“What kind?”

Bill sighed, “Until the foundry ship can get supplies, they can’t do any more repairs on Colonial One. As of right now, she has life support, comm., and thruster capabilities.”

“Oh great.” Laura shook her head.

“Saul also wants her moved here.”

“Why can’t she stay on the Pegasus?” Laura asked.

“They don’t have the room to store a ship the size of Colonial One for any length of time, and we do.” He paused before continuing, “That will be done later today.”

“There’s something I thought you’d like to know,” Laura moved towards him. “Something’s wrong with O’Neill,” she explained. “We had lunch and at the end of it she collapsed. The other Terrans acted like nothing was wrong and let her XO take care of things.”

“Interesting. Anything else?”

“I also learned the Terrans aren’t truly unified, and they’ve been fighting amongst themselves for thousands of years.”

~~~~~~~

The arrival of the cylon model named “Gina” was a surprise to the medics on duty in Life Station. They all knew that cylons didn’t get sick. Cottle glanced to the Terran doctor handling immunizations and then back to Gina. The medics that arrived with her mentioned that she had been in close contact with nuclear material for some time.

“What?” Jankowitz came up behind Cottle.

“Get your stuff. I’m putting you to work,” Cottle said gruffly. Putting out his cigarette, he turned and walked away. A huge grin spread across his face, Jankowitz happily followed the CMO.

“What do we have?” he asked when he got to the sealed examination room.

“Possible radiation poisoning.”

The Terran doctor blinked his eyes in surprise then pushed it off to the side. Forget radiation, they had a patient to look after and care for. “Okay.”

Cottle glanced at him curiously and then pulled out the scanning equipment. Once the initial scan was complete, they pulled up the readings she produced.

“So, no radiation. I guess whatever it was wasn’t enough to hurt her.”

“But she’s still sick,” Cottle grumbled.

“I know that,” Jankowitz countered. Backing up the Terran asked, “Was she given any vaccinations?”

Cottle furrowed his brow then shook his head. “I don’t know.”

“Can I check to see if she’s got any of our nasty viruses?”

The Colonial doctor seemed to mull the idea over for a minute or two before backing away. “Who knows, she might.”

Jankowitz nodded and pulled out his pda. Switching it to scanning mode he slowly moved it across Gina while checking to see if what she had was even remotely similar to any of their diseases. The initial scan turned up negative, but what looked like several tumors were noted in different places. “Doctor, I think she’s got something, but I’m not sure.” Handing the pda over he showed the results. “She has several tumors. They could either be benign or pre-cancerous. If I were you I would have a biopsy done to see if it’s benign or not.

Jack looked at the results. Of all the equipment they had, he realized they weren’t able to do this type of scanning. Using the Colonial equipment, he rechecked one of the tumor areas and it came up clean just like before. “How can you be sure?” he asked gruffly.

Rolling his eyes, Jankowitz turned the pda on the Colonial doctor and did the same scan. When the results came up negative he showed them to Cottle. “I told you that they’re either benign or pre-cancerous.”

Cottle looked up from the pda, “If they are cancerous then we would have already picked it up.” But, the whole issue of the tumors was already starting to bother the CMO. “What else can this thing do?”

Jankowitz shrugged his shoulders. “There’s a variation on the program to distinguish naturally formed cells from biologically created transplants.”

I wonder, Cottle thought while narrowing his eyes. Making his decision he handed the pda back over while ordering the Terran doctor, “I want you to pull up that variation.”

Jankowitz looked at him for a moment before taking the pda back. When it was up and running, he handed it back to Cottle, still not sure why he wanted that particular program.

Showing no emotion, Cottle walked back over to Gina and began the scan. When finished, he had it analyze the collected data from the known human cylon. “Frak,” he muttered when the information came up.

“Are you finished yet?” Jankowitz asked while folding his arms.

“No.” Cottle went over to one of the comm. units and punched some buttons. “Admiral, I need you here in Life Station.” Not waiting for his answer he replaced the comm. and turned back to Jankowitz. “It looks like you’ve either just made my job a whole lot easier or harder.”

“Why?”

“She is sick, it’s just not natural.”

~~~

When Adama showed up, he looked around for Cottle. Spotting the CMO he moved purposefully in his direction. “What is it, Major?” he asked.

“This.” Cottle handed the pda over to Adama.

Gazing at the information displayed, he looked up a moment then asked, “What is it I’m looking at?”

“This is Gina’s information,” Cottle indicted the sealed off examination room with his head. “Jankowitz here tells me that they have a program that can distinguish between naturally occurring cells and biologically created implants.”

Adama looked down to the pda and then back to Cottle. When he spoke his voice was quiet, “You mean to tell me that this is a quick way to find out whether someone is a cylon or not?”

“So far, yes.” Cottle showed another set of readings. “I was skeptical at first, but this is the scan Jankowitz did on me. These tumors do not show up.”

“Jankowitz?” Adama turned his attention to the Terran doctor. “Is there any reason why you would have this type of scan?”

A slight smile cross the Terran’s face before answering, “Yes, sir. Our doctors need to be able to tell if someone has had any type of organ transplant. This helps them tell what was fixed because of disease or injury when being examined.”

“I see,” Adama answered then handed the pda back to Jankowitz. “We might be in need of that program sometime soon.” With that, he left life station.

Jankowitz shook his head, not sure of what just happened. Turning his attention back to Cottle he found the older doctor shaking his head. “Who was that?”

“The last high ranking officer in the military,” Cottle mumbled as he looked over the main room in Life Station. As if finally making a decision, Jack moved farther into the room and then into one of the intensive care rooms. This one held the reporter Biars.

“You know something?” Jankowitz commented as he followed Cottle. “She has very similar symptoms.”

“I know,” Cottle mumbled as he began scanning the reporter. When the report came out he cursed, “Frak!”

~~~~~~~

Lee settled back into the raptor’s pilot’s seat and sighed. He only hoped that the Boss, as he was named, would comply with what was placed before him. He was promised that all the children would be taken back to the orphanage ship to be cared for. The thought of children being used as slaves made his skin crawl. Once he was back in space, he activated the wireless. “Galactica, this is Apollo. I need to speak with Galactica Actual.”

“Adama.”

“Dad, it’s done. I’m letting the black market stay up, but it will be reduced to supportable levels.”

“Good work.”

“I’m heading over to the Galactica right now to make my full report.”

“Cancel that, Apollo. I need you to go to Cloud Nine to investigate and inventory the cylon ‘Gina’s’ room, and report what you find.”

Lee looked at the wireless for a moment. “Yes, sir.”


Chapter Twenty-nine

Tigh stood alone, leaning over the board in the main plotting room. The only thing that let off any type of light was the board in the center. The pale glow coming off the table distorted his features and almost turning them into some type demonic image. If he was going to pull this off, he knew he would need Apollo to help him build the ideas. Adama had put him commanded for the FTL testing. Straightening up, Tigh moved over towards the closest comm. unit and picked it up. “Get me the Admiral,” he said gruffly. His face softened slightly and let a smile cross his face when he spoke again, “Sir, have you seen my XO?” After a slight hesitation he said, “Yes, sir. I'll do that.”

Pulling the comm. unit away, Saul looked at it then keyed in another sequence. “I need you to patch me through to Major Adama.” He waited a few more minutes before he heard the younger Adama's voice over the comm. channel. “Apollo, I need you back here. . .You can give your report to the Old Man later. . .” Tigh's eyes narrowed at Lee's statements over the comm. “I don't see why you can't do it from over here,” Saul answered gruffly. Lee's next statement, though vague, made Tigh thing otherwise. “Hold that last order. I want you to go ahead and talk to him. I'll be over to meet you.”

Placing the comm. unit back in its cradle, Tigh cursed quietly. Sighing, he moved towards the door and flipped a switch that shut the light off under the board and plunged the room into almost total darkness. He would use the main plotting room on the Galactica to work out the plan for the 9 civilian ships.

By the time he made it to the flag ship, Tigh knew Lee was already on board and most likely giving his report. Gaeta, along with two marines, were waiting for him off to the side. After the initial salute Tigh asked, with a slight smirk, “Permission to come aboard?”

“Permission granted, sir,” Gaeta answered with a smile. As they turned and started heading out of the hanger the younger officer commented, “The Admiral would like to meet with you in his cabin.”

Walking through the corridors, Tigh felt like he was coming home to some extent. He knew the layout of the Galactica like the back of his hand, and that he would never get lost. But, as a visiting commander, protocol dictated that he be escorted or have an escort. When the two officers stepped inside Adama's cabin, they found Lee sitting in one of the chairs across from Bill's desk. Laura had claimed the other one.

“What did I miss?” Tigh asked as he grabbed a chair from the table and brought it over. Gaeta had followed suit with one of the other ones.

“Nothing. We were waiting for your arrival,” Adama commented as he leaned back in his chair. When the two newcomers had settled, Bill looked over to Lee and nodded.

“I found this in Gina's rooms on Cloud Nine ,” Lee started as he pulled out a sheet of paper and passed it to Tigh. The older officer looked at it in disgust the passed it to Gaeta. “Where is he right now?”

“The brig,” Laura answered.

“Is the pro-cylon faction trying to curry the Vice President's favor?” Gaeta asked as he handed it to the President.

Lee hesitated before answering, “I'm not sure. I did some quiet inquiries and found that the civilian arrested is an active member.” He paused before continuing, “And there was a lot of talk about the marines that arrested him. The comments I heard seemed to be more positive than anything else.”

Adama glanced to Gaeta for a moment then back to Lee. “You can thank Gaeta for that. Those were some of the liaison's unofficial students.”

Lee looked at Gaeta for a moment and noticed the other officer seemed to be embarrassed over the sudden praise and attention he was receiving. Turning his attention back to Adama, Lee continued, “I would think it would be in our best interest if the most radical members were detained.”

Bill glanced over to Laura, interested in her thoughts about the faction. “I don't want it to seem that we're this controlling police state, but. . .” She raised her hands in supplication, “We're having a hard enough time as it is. When we're settled and the population is once again on the increase then we can let them exist.”

Nodding, Adama turned his attention to Gaeta, “When Lieutenant Glennan is sufficiently recovered, I want to talk to her about this.”

“Yes, sir,” Gaeta nodded.

“Lieutenant Glennan?” Lee asked confused. “Who is that?”

“She's the Terran liaison,” Laura commented. “You might remember her from the initial meeting last week. She accompanied Captain O'Neill.”

“She's been instructing the marines on different techniques on how to deal with situations not found in combat,” Gaeta commented for the first time. “She was the one to state that when working with civilians, the best way is to be minimally armed.”

Lee nodded thoughtfully while turning his attention back to Adama. He kept his curiosity about the comment on recovery to himself for now.

“When do you want to detain the civilians?” Gaeta asked. He seemed to be more relaxed than when he first arrived.

“After we're finished testing the civilian ships.” Adama leaned forward and started going through the papers currently on his desk.

“Sir, I want to have Colonial One moved before we commence the FTL jump sequence,” Tigh commented.

“I know.” Bill nodded. “That can happen later today.”

Tight nodded then turned to look at Lee. “Sir, if I am going to be put in charge of this, I need to do prep work with my XO in the main plotting room.”

Bill let a smile creep across his face before answering, “You're dismissed.”

Gaeta got to his feet with Tigh and Apollo, but wasn't sure if he should go with them or not. When Adama nodded Gaeta took the chair he had been using and put it back where he found it.

When they were alone once again Bill came around and leaned up against the desk then folded his arms. “You never did tell me what you found so amusing about how Baltar got off the Galactica .”

Laura furrowed her brow in confusion for a moment before she let a smile spread across her face. “Come now, Bill. You were married. You should know.”

“Know what?” He sighed before continuing, “Laura, I don't have enough information to even know what you are talking about.”

Laura rolled her eyes and shook her head. “Bill. When do you not get a woman angry?”

Adama narrowed his eyes for a moment before letting them close all the way and shook his head.

“I'm still amazed at how he got off in one piece,” Laura commented.

~~~~~~~

Lee looked at the back of his new commanding officer. So much had changed, especially the one in front of him. He didn't doubt that Tigh still drank on occasion, but he couldn't recall ever seeing him this alive. There was even a slight spring in his step. What really surprised him was how quickly everyone, especially the hard core Cain followers had accepted him as their commander. “Sir?” he asked as he quickened his stride. Once beside the older officer, Lee continued, “Have you any ideas on how we're going to do this?”

“Some.” Tigh glanced to the side, “That's why you're here.”

“What about the cylons?”

“I've been thinking about that, also.” Stopping at a door, Tigh twisted the handle and pulled it open. The room inside was dark until he hit a switch on the wall. Several lights overhead winked on but the large table in the center remained dark. Hitting another switch, the lights under the table came to full power letting off a glow.

Tight reached down to one of the drawers when he reached the table, and opened it. Inside was a pad of paper and several pens to write with. Tearing a sheet off the top, Tigh put it on the table then scribbled at the bottom to see if it worked. Once the ink began to flow he looked up. “If we're going to test the drives, we will need to have more than one jump per vessel.”

“So, you're talking about an extra jump?”

Saul shook his head. “No. More along the lines of each ship jumping a total of four times. We'll use the raptors to jump ahead to let us know if it's clear or not.”

When they had worked out the initial sequencing, Lee finally commented, “Sir, what was that about the liaison and the marines? I remember her somewhat. I think she seemed small.”

“But not someone to be trifled with,” Tigh answered with a grin as he straightened. “She's been whipping the bucket's marines into shape.” He continued as he gathered up the sheets they used, “She's showing them how to deal with civilians and teaching them combat that doesn't use brute force.”

Lee furrowed his brow in confusion before finally nodding. “Does this have something to do with the marines that arrested the pro-cylon civilian?”

“Probably.” Tigh shrugged his shoulders.

~~~~~~~

Cottle shook his head at the pda he still held. D'Anna Biars was the last person he suspected as a cylon. There was a few other people he wanted to check to make sure. Problem was that one was off the ship. Going over to the comm., he picked it up and spoke quickly into it. Jankowitz was still looking over the vitals of the one in the Colonial's version of the ICU. “Where did you go?” Something is going on here , he thought to himself.

Cottle didn't answer, except to pull the Terran out of the room. Once far enough away four heavily armed marines showed up and stood guard over the two rooms. “Don't worry about that. I need this to check someone else,” Cottle held up the pda.

“Uh, sure.” Though the Terran doctor was very bothered by the sight of the ICU rooms under heavy guard. The Colonials didn't seemed fazed by it, what really bothered him was that they seemed relieved when the guards arrived. What made him worry even more was that the two now under heavy guard were comatose and not likely to do any harm.

“Is there some way to clear the readings?” Cottle started putting various medical related items in a small bag he could carry with him.

“Yes, but why would you?”

The Colonial doctor pulled off the lab coat, revealing the same type of uniform that other members of the military wore. “I don't want to get the readings messed up.”

“You can do that by opening up a new patient file.” Jankowitz paused, before continuing, “And do you want me to come along, or something?”

“Patient file?” Cottle's eyes seemed to lighten up somewhat.

“Yes, it's set up like any medical computer filing system.” Pulling off the lab coat, Jankowitz continued, “And you never answered my question.”

“You know more about it than I do. Set a new file up for a Sharon Valerii,” Cottle answered him.

Retrieving the pda, Jankowitz shook his head at Cottle's actions. Just as he began setting up the new file Cottle called back to him, “Aren't you going to come?”

The Terran jerked his head up quickly. He never heard the Colonial CMO leave. “Uh, hold on. Just finishing up with the last of the setup.” With a few quick steps, he had reached the older doctor.

“I need you to keep up with me or you will get lost.”

A smile flashed across the Terran doctor's face then disappeared, “Yes, sir.”

The trip was a somewhat enlightening experience for Jankowitz. The Mercy is set up more along the lines of a land based hospital. When they reached their destination even he could tell that it was the brig.

“Whatever you do, don't antagonize her. She's extremely dangerous,” Cottle warned him.

Jankowitz was taken back by the CMO's statements as he looked through the windows. A heavily pregnant woman shouldn't be that dangerous, maybe to herself, but not really to anyone else , he thought. The area, though, they entered was some of the most heavily fortified construction he had ever seen. In the center, and surrounded by heavily armed marines was a cell. When they were cleared Cottle had the door opened.

“Are you here to take me to wherever?” Sharon asked. She was sitting on the cot with her legs tucked under her.

“No. Just going to run a quick scan,” Cottle answered as he turned his attention to Jankowitz.

Sharon turned her bored attention to Jankowitz, “Oh, I have a visitor?”

“No,” Cottle shook his head while turning his attention to Jankowitz. “He's just here to observe.”

Nodding, the Terran handed over the pda and backed away. He really wanted to be the one to run the scans, but Cottle was in control of the entire situation. Jankowitz knew he needed to report all his findings to O'Neill.

“Have you had any weak spells, or nausea?” Cottle asked as he ran the scanner over Sharon.

“Dunno.” She shrugged her shoulders.

Jack lowered his voice and leaned in, “You better be truthful, I have a very sick cylon in Life Station. I want to know why she is sick and you are not showing any signs.”

“Maybe because of the bulkheads? I am separate from everyone else here.” She turned her attention back to Jankowitz. “He was so concerned about vaccinations, maybe he brought it.”

Cottle narrowed his eyes for a moment. The liaison had been on board for a time before any of the vaccinations started. Biars could have caught it that way. There was a problem with the theory though. Gina had never been on the Galactica . “There's a problem with that,” he answered softly. “Gina's never been on board.”

“Doctor,” Sharon sighed, “Whatever it is you're asking, I have no idea. I told you I disconnected myself.” She looked up to Cottle then back down while rubbing her distended belly.

Jack's face softened slightly in compassion as he placed a hand on her head. “Your baby will be fine.” He hesitated before continuing, “I do want to check something.” Backing away he turned to Jankowitz and then to the pda. “How do you set up a new patient?”

The Terran hesitated then took a few steps forward. “Go to index and from there you have a choice create a new file.”

Following the instructions Cottle was able to open a new file. “Now,” he said as he neared the cot, “I want you to stretch out. I want to see if I can scan your baby.”

Sharon looked at him warily for a moment before nodding. Once stretched out he ran the scans over her belly and saved the readings for later. “Is that it?” she asked when he backed away.

“For now,” Cottle answered, quickly returning to his normally gruff manner. He kept the pda on their trip back to life station, not thinking of examining the results. Once back Jankowitz glanced through the heavily guarded doors and found in shock the occupants literally chained to the beds and those chains connected to pad eyes welded to the deck.

“Get in here Jankowitz,” Cottle's voice came from a room off to the side.

The Terran stepped inside what turned out to be a small and very cramped office. On top of a bookshelf overflowing with medical books and journals were several pictures, no doubt memories of a life that would never be the same. “Those three are very dangerous, high threat prisoners,” Cottle explained as he looked at the readouts from the pda. Pulling out a pad of paper, he began to take notes on what he found. Sharon had the same tumors, which he had suspected she would. Her child seemed to be developing some of them, but he wasn't completely sure. He'd be damned to hand her over to the Terran scientists just because she happened to have a cylon for a mother.

“When you're finished, let me know and I can help you make hard copies of the reports for filing purposes,” Jankowitz commented as he backed out of the office. Once back in the main room, he walked towards the alcove and slipped inside. Coming over to the laptop, he activated it and logged into the email program. The message he sent was to his commanding officer, and copied onto O'Neill and flagged as high priority. It was a detailed report on how there were three high threat prisoners on the Colonial flag ship. The problem was that two were comatose and the third was heavily pregnant. Once it was sent, he immediately logged off and closed the program down.

~~~~~~~

Mair turned over in her bed with a hiss of pain and reached over to pull the movable table that housed her laptop closer to her. She had heard the ping that announced the arrival of a new message. She sat up slowly then reached over to activate the program. The message she received was from one of the Mercy 's doctors. He had set it on high priority but left the subject line empty. Opening it up, she scanned it. ‘Interesting,' she mumbled. Not wanting to deal with it anymore for the time being, she forwarded it on to her XO with her thoughts below the message. He knew her well enough to know what kind of answer she would give.

She was about to settle down when the comm. bussed. ‘Captain?'

‘What is it, Harris?' she answered with a groan.

‘Admiral Adama is wanting to speak to you.'

Mair let her head fall back against the bulkhead, he was the last person she was in the mood to speak to. ‘All right, put him through.'

“Captain O'Neill.”

“What can I do for you, Admiral?” her exhaustion felt overwhelming, but she forced herself to sound alert.

“Common courtesy. We have a ship docked within one of the Pegasus 's flight pods. That will be moved later today. The FTL tests are set to begin tomorrow. Commander Tigh has not told me when it would start. That should last the rest of the day.”

Mair nodded, “Thank you, Admiral. I'll let my people know what you have planned.” She hesitated before continuing. “That ship, Admiral. Was it the same one that was hit with the backlash of that explosion?”

The line was silent for a time before Adama answered, “Yes. It is the President's ship. President Roslin though has been on the Galactica since then.”

Handing off a problem from one ship to another , she thought. But Adama didn't seem that upset about the whole issue. “How long should this take?”

“Unknown at this time. I will have the Pegasus move to the minimal distance set for battlestars and have Colonial One come here with thruster power only .”

Ouch, thruster only? That explosion must have knocked out most, if not all, the systems. The whole process bothered her, though. “If you don't mind me asking, why are you going to move it?”

She heard a voice in the background before he answered, “It would be best for the entire fleet if Colonial One be here.”

Mair let a smile creep across her face, nice way of telling me it's none of my business. You're good . “All right, Admiral. I'll leave it at that.” She paused trying to catch her breath. The exhaustion seemed to hit her like a ton of bricks suddenly. “The Admiralty wants you to have your fleet moved farther within Terran space as soon as possible. I am sure that can be taken care of after the tests are complete?”

“That will be fine.”

“I will send the coordinates to you through Lieutenant Glennan's personal messaging programs. From there she can print them out for you to work with to transfer the information into your navigation systems.”

There was some more conversation in the background then Adama continued, “Thank you. Captain, if I may. Are you all right?”

Mair let a sad smile cross her face before answering, “There's nothing you can do about it. I'll live.” For the time being.

When the comm. finally disconnected, Mair sighed as she relaxed against the pillows. A few moments later she reached across for the computer again. She really needed to get the coordinates to Glennan before anything else happened. Opening up the email file, she sent the information along with several star charts to let them figure out the new location on their own with what they already had. Mair was careful to make sure the bulk of the message was in the Colonial language. The last part was to remind Glennan to make sure she printed it out so Adama could make use of the information given.

‘Harris.'

‘Yes, ma'am?'

‘Let me know when they start the ship transfer.'

‘Uh. . .will I know when it starts?'

‘Don't worry, you will.' She closed her eyes for what seemed only a minute when she was interrupted once again. Mair groggily reached for the comm. unit, ‘Yes?'

‘Ma'am, you wanted to be notified of the transfer.'

Didn't I just tell them? she thought. When she finally focused on the clock she realized she had been asleep for several hours. ‘Did it just start?'

‘Yes, ma'am. And it looks like it's going to take some time to complete.'

‘Keep me updated.'

‘Yes, ma'am.'


Chapter Thirty

Angela woke up groggy and woozy. For some time she was completely disoriented as to where she was. It was only after she sat up and turned on the lamp that her memories started coming back, though most of them were still, and would probably remain, somewhat fuzzy. Taking the back of her hand, she rubbed her forehead with it. After a moment she stopped and looked at it in confusion until she remembered why it was wrapped up. As she flexed the muscles the tightness of the bandages made it feel like she was loosing blood circulation. Not thinking of the consequences of her actions, she removed the bandage and attempted to flex it again. It was still somewhat numb, but looking at it made you think twice. The whole back of her hand was a vivid purple bruise. Thankfully, it looked worse than it felt.

Thinking that if she were careful, she could get by just fine, Angela got up and pulled on a set of BDU's. Looking around, she let her eyes settle on her seabag. She knew she had not brought it onto the Galactica . She remembered packing it, and then something about having a couple of marines take it to the raptor, but that was about it. With the added clothing that she would unpack later, she knew she would have enough to last at least another week. Angela knew she would eventually have to ask Gaeta on how laundry service worked on the Galactica . When she felt presentable, she did a quick morning study and then went over to her computer to check her mail. She had not been able to check it yesterday, so she had a feeling it would be filled to capacity.

Opening the email program up she found, like before, most messages she was copied onto. Not taking any chances, she went ahead and skimmed through all the messages. There was one message that asked about translation instructions that the supply personnel on the Galactica asked in concern for the food supplies being delivered. Eventually she came across the one from O'Neill that was directed more towards Admiral Adama than her. Reaching over, she turned on the printer and printed out the message and the attachments. Pulling them off the printer, she couldn't help but notice that it was several star sightings and charts, along with the buoy system they used for long distance communications and navigation.

Setting the sheets on the table, Angela went over to her backpack and pulled out her clipboard. Taking a few brisk steps she came back to the table and clipped the sheets down and then folded the side over to cover the clipboard's contents. Once it was in place, she went through another pile of papers. When she found what she was looking for -- the message Gaeta had given her to use several days ago if she ever got lost -- Angela smiled and brought it back over to the clipboard and slipped it inside. She then looked around one last time, making sure she didn't forget anything. Catching sight of her pda, she hesitated a moment before reaching over for it. Before she left her cabin, she slipped the small computer in a thigh pocket while picking up the clipboard. Adama really needed to have the information that O'Neill had sent over.

Once she was out in the corridor, Angela secured the door behind her, then went around the corner towards Admiral Adama's cabin. Not finding any marines on guard, and getting no answer to her knocking, Angela turned around and thought a moment. He really needed to have the information, and fairly soon. There was next to no traffic in the corridors in and around the Admiral's cabin. ‘I guess I can go find CIC,' she mumbled as she moved towards the closest corridor. For some time she continued to wander through the corridors, but not really seeing very many crew members. They must be understaffed, or something , she thought to herself. When the passage ways started narrowing and becoming shorter, Angela realized something was wrong. Stopping, she looked around and realized she hadn't heard or seen anyone for some time.

‘Crap.' Angela knew she was lost, and now the corridors all looked the same to her. She knew she was in trouble. Opening the clipboard, she pulled out the note Gaeta gave her several days ago and looked around her once again. There were comm. units at set distances down the corridor, but she had no idea how to use them. She jumped at the echoing sound of a door closing somewhere in her vicinity. Angela didn't know if she wanted to go and try to find the person that opened the door, or just stay where she was and wait for the next person. If she moved, she knew it would only be worse. Only her training kept her from panicking, though she was getting close. Using her ground forces training, she listened closely for any non-ship type of noise. With all the extra sound the ship made, she realized fairly quickly that it was pointless. Taking a calming breath, she told herself to not jump the individual if and when they turned the corner.

The person that did show up was in a simple green uniform. Gaeta's was blue, and she knew he was an officer, that made the ones clad in green had to be noncoms. ‘Excuse me?' she asked when he stopped short in surprise at her presence.

Trying not to show just how relieved she was at seeing another human, she opened the clipboard and pulled out the note. Handing it to him she pointed to the top message that said he needed to reach Gaeta. The noncom looked at it for a moment then shrugged his shoulders as he went over to the closest comm. unit. Picking it up, he spoke into it for a moment then placed it back in its cradle. Turning, he nodded and said very slowly, “He is on his way,” while handing the message back to her.

Angela furrowed her brow for a moment before nodding. ‘Thank you.' She quickly realized her mistake and tried to remember the Colonial term, “Uh. . .thank you?” When he smiled and nodded she knew she had gotten it right. She may have had her pda in her pocket, but she wanted to stop leaning on it as heavily has she had since she first arrived. She still felt it was an unwanted crutch that she depended way too much on. If she was going to learn the language as quickly as possible, the best thing was to have no help at all.

It seemed like it was some time before the noncom looked at his watch. Looking at her, he nodded. Angela had no idea what he meant, but she did continue to listen for Gaeta's arrival. A short time later he came around the corner and said something very quickly to the noncom. Once the salutes were given and received, Gaeta turned his attention to her and shook his head while the noncom continued to his destination. “What are you doing here?” he asked slowly.

“Admiral Adama,” Angela bristled at his tone while opening up the clipboard. Turning it around she pointed emphatically at the message and the sheets under the message. “I loose. Big ship.”

Gaeta scanned the message quickly then commented, “Marines?”

“None,” she shook her head. Handing clipboard back to her, Gaeta caught sight of her damaged hand. Without thinking he grasped her wrist and pointed to it and the vivid purple bruise.

‘Let go,' Angela tried to pull her arm back. ‘It's fine!'

“You could get it hurt worse than it already is if you keep using it.” For a moment he contemplated on pulling her in the direction of life station, but quickly decided against it.

‘I told you, it's fine!'

“I don't care, you're going to Life Station anyway and get it wrapped up again.” Pulling back, he finally released it. Turning on his heel, he began to move quickly down the narrow corridor.

‘I do not need to go to sickbay,' she answered after catching up with him. ‘My hand is perfectly fine.'

Gaeta stopped and took a step closer, “I was there when you hit the bulkhead. The tech said you fractured several bones.” He grasped her wrist again and turned it over, “Does this look healed to you?”

Angela managed to pry his hand free while answering with a huff, ‘It's only bruised. It looks worse than it feels.' Taking her good hand she poked him in the chest, ‘And I'm perfectly able to take care of myself!' They never noticed confused members of the crew giving them a wide berth when they passed.

Grasping her good wrist, Gaeta pulled her over to a rarely used door. “If it's only bruised, you should be able to open this door.”

‘I swear,' she muttered under her breath. ‘Can't you understand, I'm fine,' she hissed. When he didn't let go, she signed, ‘All right! I'll do it.' Only when he released her wrist did she reach over with her bruised hand and grasped the locking mechanism. It took more strength than she anticipated, and forcing it to turn made her hand hurt. Great, I thought it was better than it was , she sighed. Angela turned and was about to admit that he was right when she noticed a rather triumphant smirk on his face. Her eyes narrowed and at that moment, she refused to admit that he had been right.

“Now, we are going to Life Station whether you want to or not,” he answered triumphantly.

Glancing away, Angela rolled her eyes and shook her head, but she did end up following him. She knew she could get lost too easily on the mammoth ship. Why can't he see that its only tender? I'm perfectly fine. He thinks I can't do anything without any help , she silently fumed. If looks could kill, though, he would have been on the deck several passages back. The officers and noncoms that they continued to pass gave them a wide berth as they moved down the corridor. She didn't understand why, and at this point, she really didn't care one way or the other.

When they entered Life Station, she was still seething over the door incident, and ignoring almost everything around her. She didn't even pay any attention to the memorial. Angela was so focused on Gaeta's back, and throwing daggers at it, that she almost ran into him when he stopped. He started talking to the CMO almost too fast for her to follow.

“Major? Any reason why you're here?” Cottle asked while holding onto a file.

“Lieutenant Glennan took off her bandage and has been using her hand when she's not supposed to.”

Angela reached over and pulled him around, ‘How many times do I have to tell you, my hand is fine !'

“And what about that door?”

‘When you have a bruise, the area hurts. It was the same. I can take care of myself.'

“Not with the way your hand is right now.”

Cottle watched the whole argument with amusement. They were so focused on each other that they never noticed the audience they were drawing. I better stop this before they do something in public they might regret, he sighed. The whole thing was really entertaining for him, and it also told him that the new XO had a backbone. He had heard rumors about this particular Terran and how she had easily took out the vice president. The marines that were now coming in for their check ups had been commenting that she was very formidable and one not to get pissed off.

Before he said anything, he let a slight smile cross his face, “Ahem. Why don't you two make it official and get married?” His comment, though, had the desired effect. The two stopped and stared at Cottle for a moment then turned back to each other. It was rather comical seeing their reactions at just how close they were and then spring apart very quickly, almost stumbling over things in their haste to get as much space between them as humanly possible.

Turning back towards Jankowitz, Cottle could barely hide his amused grin. Indicating the table, he glanced back towards Glennan and ordered her to get on it. Turning back to Jankowitz, Cottle commented, “She is Terran.”

“I know,” the Terran doctor had a bland look on his face, but his eyes told a different story. Compared to the Colonials he had understood the whole argument and was highly entertained by the whole scene.

Angela, for once, had a contrite look on her face as she lifted herself onto the table while at the same time attempting to skirt as far away from Gaeta as she could. When Cottle came back over, he indicated that he wanted to see Angela's damaged hand. Grasping it gently, he commented, “Let me know if this hurts or not.”

Angela looked at him with a slightly confused expression before nodding. “Hand. . .soft,” she mumbled.

Not fully understanding what she meant, Cottle glanced over to Jankowitz hoping for a better translation.

‘Lieutenant, I can translate for you.'

Angela looked at the Terran doctor and nodded. ‘It's somewhat tender, but that's about it. It also aches.'

Jankowitz turned back to Cottle and relayed the information. Nodding, the CMO reached for the scanner and fiddled with the controls. He knew he could really get used to using one of them for basic x-rays and other things. It was already making his job easier. “I'm going to scan to see what's going on in there,” he commented. Looking up, he saw her nod slowly then sigh. Her eyes strayed towards Gaeta for a moment then snapped back to Cottle.

When the image came up on the screen, Cottle was able to focus in on the damaged sections. It surprised him that the injury wasn't as bad as he expected. “Just a few minor fractures,” he muttered

‘I took some medication yesterday and a tranquilizer that knocked me out.' She shrugged her shoulders.

Cottle nodded once he got the translation. “That means you should have a file by now.” Turning around he called for one of the med techs to see if there was one already made. “Jankowitz, do you know what kind of medication she took?”

“I'm not sure.” He shrugged his shoulders, then turned his attention to Glennan. ‘He mentioned fractures?'

‘Yes. I bruised the bones earlier. And then by accident, created several stress fractures.'

Jankowitz turned back to Cottle and commented, “She was probably given a bone knitting medication. It can be very uncomfortable, so it's normally given with tranquilizers.”

Pulling Jankowitz to the side Cottle answered, “She'll need another dose, but not as much as the previous one.”

“So there are still some fractures.” Jankowitz paused before continuing, “Maybe a light dose of pain meds to help.”

While the two doctors discussed in more depth what they wanted to do, Angela looked back over towards Gaeta. He was leaning against the far wall. ‘Clipboard,' she said while pointing it. She had placed it on a counter as she came over to the examination table she was sitting on.

After a moments hesitation he nodded then retrieved it. Gaeta stayed a good distance away from her as he handed it over. When she opened it up, she pulled out the email and the attachments that O'Neill sent over and handed those back to him while keeping the clipboard. Seeing that he had information that Adama needed, and that Angela was in good hands, Gaeta nodded then left for CIC.

The rest of the examination went fairly smoothly after another injection and then a topical cream to help promote healing just under the skin. Her hand was wrapped up again, to make sure she didn't overdo it and make the injury any worse than it was, and she was told to keep the bandage on for at least 48 hours.

When they let her go, she got directions on how to get to the supply area. She thought she had actually made it, for once, but found out very quickly that it wasn't supplies, but the hanger deck. ‘Damn.' Turning around, she figured she might be able to backtrack and find out where she made a wrong turn. Eventually, she realized that was a bad idea. Like earlier that morning, she found herself in an area that appeared to be rarely used. The vibrations she felt got her to thinking that she was somewhere near the engines, or at least the systems that supported them.

Looking to the wall mounted comm. units, she wished she knew how to operate one. It wasn't going to happen any time soon if she kept getting lost. ‘Excuse me,' she called out when she saw someone in an intersecting corridor.

The Colonial turned to look at her with a curious look on her face. Mentally shrugging, Angela pulled out the note once again and pointed to the top message then waited patiently for Gaeta to come and the argument to start up once again.

~~~~~~~

Shaking her head, Dee got up from her station. She had heard from the previous comm. that the Terran Liaison had managed to get herself lost close to the bow of the ship. The noncom that contacted her stated she had wandered into the aft areas of the mammoth ship. “Sir?” she asked when she came up to Gaeta. He was discussing with Adama the best way to get the information the Terrans had given them into their navigation systems.

Once he scanned the message, Gaeta closed his eyes and shook his head. This is not happening , he thought to himself. “Thank you,” he answered offhandedly then turned to Adama. “Sir, Lieutenant Glennan is lost again. The first time had been earlier this morning, and she had been in the bow section. This time,” he indicated the sheet Dee gave him, “she's somewhere close to Environmentals, in the aft section. Don't ask me how she got there.”

Adama's answer was curt, “I don't want this to continue.”

“I understand, sir.” As he left, he caught sight of President Roslin. She seemed to have an amused look on her face. Once out in the corridor Gaeta realized that if she were as far aft as the noncom had reported, he would have to take the transit system he rarely used. Waiting for a working car took longer than expected. He figured it was down in engineering. That and the entire trip took almost 20 minutes. He only found the two by chance, since he wasn't that familiar with the aft area. Glennan's look of resignation made him close his eyes. It's not that he was angry with her, she just assumed he would be. Before the noncom left, he made sure he got the right directions to get back to the car.

“Sorry.”

Wanting to be completely understood, he held out his hand, hoping she had her pda with her. When she produced it, he told her, ‘This can't keep happening.'

‘I haven't seen any signs to tell me where I'm at,' she complained. ‘How am I to get the job done if I keep getting lost?'

Gaeta shook his head. He had no idea what to do with that issue. When they reached the forward section, they left the car and continued on. Turning into another corridor, he happened to catch a placard still on the wall from the time the ship was being converted over to a museum. He hesitated for a moment before changing directions.

‘Where are we going?' Angela asked at the sudden change. She could tell they were heading back towards the bow of the ship, but that was about it.

When he finally stopped, he pulled first one and then another door open and let her enter. The room was quite large and was mostly glass enclosed, which was not conducive to a warship. In the center, the enclosure had been repaired with some kind of large metal panels. Angela was looking at the ship that lay in a tangled mess in the center of the room when Gaeta came up beside her. The whole area though, was very odd. It was something that you found in a museum, rather than a working ship.

“C'mon.” He used his head to show her where he wanted to go. Nodding she followed him into another area. For all purposes, it looked like a store with display cases, but nothing was there. In the back area were boxes stacked from the deck to the ceiling. As he was pawing through several of them, Angela wandered around to see what was there. In one box she found several different books. One looked like it might be interesting. She could at least recognize the name of the ship on the spine of the book. Pulling it out she found to her delight, a full picture of the warship she was currently aboard on the front cover.

“Glennan?”

Angela snapped back from her study of the book with a slightly guilty cringe.

Gaeta had come over to where she was and handed her a folded pamphlet. “Here is a general map of the forward sections of the Galactica . It should help you until I can get you a better one.”

“Have?” she asked as she handed the book over.

Gaeta narrowed his eyes slightly. He had not seen this particular book before. Taking it, he flipped through the pages, hoping that it wouldn't be revealing any information about the Cylons. It did though, especially how they created them. “Not yet,” he answered while putting it back in the closest open box. “I need to talk to Admiral Adama about it first.”

‘Okay.'

Confusion spread across his face for a moment before letting it pass. He knew he needed to at least close the boxes up again. One had high end quality watches in it. Those needed to be in a much safer place than where they were located at the present time.

“I want go to supply,” Angela commented as they closed the two airlocks.

“Until you know how to get to each place, you need to have a guide, probably a marine, to help you get to where you need to go.”

Angela nodded in agreement. She knew he had his own duties to fulfill, and leading her around everywhere wasn't conducive to either of them. For now, though, he would get her back into the areas she was familiar with. When he finally dropped her off, it was in the area that the marines frequented. Hadrian was the first to notice her and smiled. When she caught sight of Gaeta, the marine sergeant immediately saluted. Once it was received, Gaeta told the marine that he couldn't afford to keep having to retrieve the Terran Liaison and get her back into the bow section. He then commented that it might be good to have one of her students to help her for now. When he felt everything was squared away, he headed back to CIC; he had been gone long enough.

“Sir, it shouldn't happen that much anymore,” he reported once he was back in CIC.

“I want a report on that as soon as the jump test sequences are underway.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Sir, Commander Tigh reports that they are ready to begin the FTL test.”

“Good.” Adama moved over towards Dee's station. “Send a signal to the Terrans. FTL test will be commencing in five minutes.”

“Yes, sir.” Dee nodded.

“Raptors are in position,” Gaeta commented while studying the closest DRADIS screen. When they jumped he continued, “Test is underway.”

“Good.” Bill glanced over to Roslin for a moment before bringing his attention back to the DRADIS screens.

“First raptor has returned and is reporting. Looks like all is clear, sir.” Gaeta nodded to Dee as he handed the headset back to her. He had been listening in on the comm. traffic between the Pegasus and the raptors.

Within minutes, the mammoth battlestar jumped to the first coordinates, followed by the civilian ships.

“Sir?” Dee started while pulling her ear piece out. “I'm getting a signal from the Terrans. O'Neill wishes to speak to you.”

Adama moved back over to Dee's station and nodded. “Put her on,” he said as he reached for the spair headset.

“Admiral Adama.”

“This is Adama.”

“What the hell just happened? We had no warning of this ,” she continued rather excitedly.

“We are testing the FTL drives. Everything is going according to plan,” he answered offhandedly.

“Admiral,” she began slowly. “When the capital ship left, we could not track it. It just disappeared from our sensors. And when the civilian ships disappeared, all we saw was a flash of something and they were gone. If this is your way of traveling great distances, we might have a problem.”

Interesting , Bill thought. This was completely unexpected. Apparently, the Terrans were able to track ships through their own version of hyper light jumps like the cylons. He couldn't help but smile at the prospect of what had just happened. It all meant that if need be, they could get out of there and not be tracked at the same time. Still keeping his comments sufficiently vague, Adama cut the signal off and turned back to Gaeta, who returned the look.

“Sir, Lieutenant Glennan appeared to have the attitude that we are primitive compared to the Terrans.”

Adama answered wryly, “Well, this should change their attitudes fairly quickly.”

“Yes, sir,” Gaeta smiled.

Bill folded his arms, “You were saying earlier that Glennan shouldn't be getting lost nearly as much as she has.”

“Yes, sir. I remembered there were some self-guide maps of the Galactica . I retrieved one of those for her to use.”

Adama's eyes narrowed, “Did she see any of the museum?”

“Uh, yes, sir.” Gaeta lowered his head, now realizing his mistake.

“What did she see?”

“I'm not sure. I do know she found a book on the history of the Galactica . She wanted it, but I didn't let her. It had too much information about the history of the Cylons.”

“Good.”

“I'm sorry about revealing that, sir. I wasn't thinking.”

“We will just have to deal with the issues as they come up. The Terran Liaison has proven she can be trusted so far.”

“Yes, sir.”

“If she asks you anything about what she saw, you are not to answer her questions. I do want you to tell me immediately.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Where is she right now?”

“She was trying to get to supply. I have no idea how she ended up in the aft section.” Gaeta shook his head. “I left her with the marines. They seemed pleased to see her.”

A few hours, and no lost Terran Liaison calls, later the civilian ships start reappearing suddenly. As each came back they moved full throttle towards the fleet and the Galactica .

“Sir, I'm getting a signal from the Gemanon Traveler ,” Dee spoke up.

“What are they doing back this early?” Adama asked as he moved back over to her station.

“I'm not sure, there's a lot of confusion on the channel.” She spoke directly into her mic, trying to calm down the pilot. After a few minute, she turned her attention back to Adama. “Sir, it seems that they were jumped by the Cylons. There's no mention of any basestars near by. Pegasus remained behind to cover the jump.”

“Frak,” Adama muttered. And they still haven't been able to fully integrate the navigation information that had been sent over. They were stuck here until they were able to fully translate the navigation information into the FTL computers.

“Send a message to O'Neill. Tell her that the Cylons are near.”


Chapter Thirty-one

“What do you mean, the cylons are near?” Mair asked critically once she had the communications opened between the two sides. This was not what she had been expecting.

“Launch the Alert vipers, and put the rest in the tubes,” Adama ordered while turning to Dee.

“Aye, sir.”

Bill looked back to the plotting table. Gaeta was having a difficult time trying to translate the Terran navigation information for their systems. “Yes, they're near. I'm not sure how much time we have left before they find us here. We're still working on translating the information you sent over.” After a pause, he continued, “Until the Pegasus returns we need to be extra vigilant.” Disconnecting the line, Adama turned his attention back to the plotting table. “How is it coming?”

“I don't know, sir,” Gaeta tried to keep his frustration from showing. There were too many variables that he had to deal with the integration. “I've figured out most of the information, but these points,” he indicated the seemingly random non-labeled points on the plotting table, “we have no reference for. I have no idea what they're for.” He took a deep breath and bowed his head. “I'm sorry, sir.”

Adama thought for a moment before answering, “But you have the coordinates to where we need to go?”

Gaeta straightened up, “Almost, sir. I just need to cross reference them before running them through the FTL computer.”

“DRADIS contact,” Dee said loudly the moment her board lighted up.

“Identify.” Adama looked up to the screens set above the table.

“Friendlies,” Dee answered after a moment. “Sir, it's the Pegasus.

“Sorry about the late return, sir. We took a nuke close to engineering,” Tigh's voice came across the speakers.

“Have the cap take a look at her and report back.” Adama picked up the handset and keyed in a sequence. “Tigh, I want you to position the Pegasus on the other side of the civilians. We're still in the process of getting the final coordinates for the jump.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Did you lose anyone?”

“Yes, but it could have been much worse. We were lucky.”

“Get what vipers you can ready as soon as possible. If the Cylons jumped you, they will easily be able to find us here.” Lowering the hand set Adama turned his attention back to Dee. “I want the Terran liaison up here.”

“Yes, sir,” she nodded.

“Galactica Actual, this is Starbuck.”

“What is it?” he asked after he picked up a headset.

“Sir, the Pegasus is venting gas in the engineering section. Looks like she was hit pretty hard.”

“Thank you.” He placed the headset back down and turned his attention back to the plotting table. Gaeta had finished the cross referencing and was putting them into the FTL computer as quickly as he could. Lieutenant Darin was also there, reporting the coordinates as soon as the computer could create them. He noted idly that she was spending more and more time in CIC in the tactical position than the rest of his XO's former subordinates.

“Sir, I'm getting energy spikes from the Terran ships.” Darin hesitated for a moment when the tactical screen started reporting odd things. She tried a few things to see if the screen cleared up, but it didn't. She stood up and looked to Adama. “Admiral, I've lost two Terran ships and the other two now have very messy signals. DRADIS can't seem to get a solid lock on them.”

“DRADIS contact,” she said as she looked back at the tactical screen.

“Identify.”

“Three Cylon basestars and,” she hesitated as the computer calculated the fighters. “Fifty raiders coming in point two-five with additional raiders detected launching from the basestars.”

“Bring weapons grid up to full power,” Gaeta said as he looked towards Adama. This was the first time for him to be in any type of fire-fight and not be at tactical.

“Weapons grid to full power,” Kelly responded.

“Enemy suppression barrage; fire on my mark,” Adama said calmly as he gazed up at the DRADIS screen. The large Terran destroyer was somewhat off to the side, if the DRADIS was giving him the right information. And the smaller ship had taken up station above the fleet. The two other ships were still with them. Even though he couldn't really see them, he could feel it. With all that the Terrans had done for them in the past week, he felt they had too much of a vested interest to just cut and run, especially since both hospital and disaster-relief vessels had imbedded themselves within the civilian fleet.

The DRADIS screen easily showed raiders pouring out of the three basestars. No telling how many were being launched. “Enemy suppression fire all batteries; execute.”

“All batteries commence firing,” Gaeta relayed the order. Soon from deep inside you could hear and feel the rhythmic sounds of the weapons cycling. This was one of the rare times Adama had them use the barrage weapons. They only had so much ammunition, and once that was gone, that was it.

For a moment, Gaeta took a step towards the tactical, then stopped when Darin reached it first. “Perimeter established,” she announced as she did a quick appraisal of the DRADIS screen.

“Launch vipers.”

“Vipers, you are cleared to launch,” Dee relayed down to the flight pod. Soon space was filled with what vipers the Colonial military had left. It was a lopsided battle, though. The Terrans for the moment were not getting involved. Adama could understand why, but he knew if they didn't, they wouldn't survive the onslaught of three basestars and the raiders that came from them.

“Vipers in p-position,” Darin stammered. The stress of the position was starting to get to her.

Adama ignored her and continued, “Signal vipers engage fighters only; leave basestars to us. Execute.”

“You're doing fine, Heather,” Gaeta said softly as he leaned over her shoulder.

“Yes, sir,” she nodded while swallowing hard. She had been in CIC when they had left Ragnar, she had only been in a support position at that time. This time, she was working tactical, and during a major battle.

“XO, what are the Terrans doing?” The main DRADIS screens overhead only showed the large ships.

Leaning over one of the tactical screens, Gaeta had it pan around to see if he could find out anything. The space where O'Neill's ship had been was quickly filling up with fighters. “Sir, it looks as if the Terrans are launching their fighters.”

“Thank you.”

~~~~~~~

‘Extra vigilant,' Mair muttered.

‘Ma'am, what was that all about?' Jack asked. He was standing a few paces behind her.

‘That the cylons, or whatever they are called, are nearby.' Before the exhaustion even had a chance to hit her, she moved over to an empty chair that was bolted to the deck and sat down.

‘Set Condition Three throughout the fleet. Get the fighters ready and have them launch. We are not to engage anyone unless I so order.'

‘Yes, ma'am,' came the chorus of voices from her command center.

‘New contact!' Harris called out.

‘What is it?'

Harris ran his hands over the controls for a moment before answering, ‘It's the other capital. Looks like she got hit. Venting some sort of gas.'

‘Get me the Maebh .' Mair paused for a moment before continuing, ‘Donelson?'

‘Yes, Captain?'

‘Go to stealth protocols. Looks like the party is about to begin.'

‘Yes, ma'am. Activating stealth.'

‘Thompson, same here, set emcon.'

‘Yes, ma'am.'

‘I also need the Medusa and Katana .'

‘I have them both on,' Harris responded quickly. ‘Oh nelly, three just popped up.' Harris hesitated before continuing, ‘And the cylons don't wait either. Looks like at least 4 squadrons are headed straight for the Colonials.'

‘Gentlemen, countermeasures, please. Do not fire unless you are fired upon. The fleet is going to gq. Repeat set general quarters throughout the fleet.'

‘Yes, ma'am,' they answered then disconnected.

Mair looked at the Hi-Res screen for a moment. The two Colonial warships were now sending out some type of barrage. She couldn't tell exactly what it was until explosions started happening within it. And my hands are tied , she thought.

The Katana , though, was stationed a fair distance from the fleet and the fight that was ramping up fairly quickly. You could tell she was not a part of it. The Cylons didn't care. They assumed there were humans on board since they were helping the Colonials, so went after her with a vengeance. When the raiders got close enough no amount of countermeasures worked, and the fighters were moving too fast for the frigate to follow them with what weapons she did have.

‘Get me Katana ,' Mair said while leaning forward. What she saw did not look good. When the line was open she almost yelled into it, ‘Whittle, get your ass out of there!' She was too late. The small frigate had been hit by a hefty missile. Gases and what looked like fluid was venting from the missile's point of contact on the frigate forcing it to move from its current position. ‘Whittle! Can you hear me?'

‘Ma'am I can't get anything to go through. Looks like everything is down right now,' Harris said worriedly.

‘Keep trying.'

‘Yes, ma'am.'

‘Captain, are we to engage the enemy?' Jack asked from his position on the other side of the command center.

‘Hell yes! That was an unprovoked attack on a neutral power.' She took a deep breath before continuing, ‘Fighter control, clear to engage. Cylons are hostile. Repeat, clear to engage; cylons are hostile. Have a cap placed on all Terran vessels.' Mair looked to the screen for a moment. ‘Open a link to the rest. And if you can get the Katana , all the better.'

Moments later Harris announced, ‘Link is up. It's stating that the Katana can hear and respond, but I'm not sure.'

‘Thank you, Harris. Gentlemen?' she started. ‘That was an uncalled for and unprovoked attack on a neutral power. You know we're not set up for this, but we will do what we can. We are now officially at Condition One. Donelson, are you in position?'

‘Almost, Captain.'

‘Good, when you are, you can fire at will. Henson, I want you to see if you can stay close to the Colonial capital that got hit earlier. She might need some backup.'

‘Yes, ma'am.'

‘Whittle, are you still there? Can you hear me?' Mair thought a moment before continuing, ‘If you can hear me, I want you to roll 180. Repeat, roll 180.'

‘For all the good it'll do me, Captain,' he answered dryly.

‘How bad?'

‘Bad. I lost half my crew.'

Mair closed her eyes in sympathy for a moment. ‘Do you have any weapons?'

‘Not sure yet, main power was knocked off line. I have some aux and maybe some weapons. What people I have left are working hard to get the power back online.'

‘Do what you can. If need be duck into the cloud.'

‘I might have to.'

Mair eventually let a smile cross her face. She knew he would do it even without her approval. She signed before answering. ‘Jolly good. Do what you can.'

‘Copy.'

‘Get me Adama,' Mair commanded.

~~~~~~~

“They went after one of my ships. It looks like we're in now.” Mair's voice came across the speakers through the viper pilot's comm. channel. “We'll do what we can, Admiral.”

“Thank you,” Adama answered. Bitch of a way to get involved, he thought.

Once the smaller Terran ship was completely incapacitated, the Cylons went after the other Terran ship. Soon it was obvious to all involved what the raiders were attempting to do. The Medusa 's defensive weapons were good, but were slowly being overwhelmed by the large amount of raiders attacking it. There was a flash explosion and then a raider that was blinded by it, plowed into the forward section, setting off both the smaller nukes it held, and the FTL drive.

‘Henson, are you still there? Can you hear me?' Mair paused a moment before continuing, ‘If you can hear me, I want you to rotate on your axis.' She never realized that she had a live audio feed to the Galactica .

Adama looked over to Gaeta then asked, “Do you know what she's saying?”

“Not really,” Gaeta answered while shaking his head. “I think something happened to another Terran ship.”

“They're going after the Terrans,” Adama said quietly.

“So it seems.”

‘If you can hear me, we've lost Captain Henson.' an unknown voice eventually responded.

‘And you are?' Mair answered.

‘Matthews, the XO.'

‘Matthews, I want you to bug out of here.'

‘If you think I'm going to turn tail and run, you've got another thing coming,' he answered with a hard edge to his voice.

‘You're half blind. There's nothing you can really do.'

‘Except hand off control to the computers.'

‘Matthews, you must have hit your head on that missile,' she commented.

‘Captain, this way what's left of the girl will still be able to fight. Just let the Colonials know that they will be safe since the computer is controlling everything.'

Mair eventually answered, ‘Do what you can.'

‘Copy.'

‘Get me Adama again,' Mair commanded.

“We're still here,” Adama answered when he heard his name.

“Did you get all that?” she answered with surprise in her voice

“Yes, but we were not able to understand,” he answered with a slight smile

“Don't worry about the Medusa . Though she's hit, she's not out of it yet.

“Incoming ordinance!” Heather called out frantically

“Radiological alarm,” Dee confirmed

Gaeta looked up and realized for the first time that Angela had been in CIC for some time. She was looking around very confused and very worried at the same time

“Brace for impact,” Adama said calmly as he watched the DRADIS

Nodding, Gaeta looked back up to Glennan's position and got the noncom's attention beside her. He pointed emphatically to the Terran while looking to the Colonial, hoping to get his point across. When she looked up to the DRADIS she nodded quickly and reached over and took Glennan's hand and placed it firmly on the console. Angela looked in confusion for a moment and was about to pull her hand away when the missile struck.

The force of the impact threw her to the hard deck. She smacked her head against the side of the console on her way down. For a moment or two, she lay there dazed. When her head finally cleared she looked around. Everyone else were still either in their seats or standing up. Some instrumentation was out, but most of it was still working. She reached her good hand out to steady herself as she pushed herself into a seated position. It feels like I'm in the middle of a drum.

Dee had managed to stay in her seat and was now making sure her station was still working properly. When she put the headpiece back on she found she was getting a very insistent message from O'Neill.

“Adama!

Not bothering to go over to Dee's station, Bill picked up the handset plugged into the center board. “This is Adama,” he answered calmly

“Is everything all right? You just took one hell of a hit in the forward section.

Bill looked over to dc area. “The hull plating kept out most of the hard stuff, and the water tanks took care of the rest. We'll be fine.” Not waiting for her answer, he placed the handset back in its cradle then turned to Gaeta. “Check the damage control board. Make sure the ship is secure.

Gaeta swallowed hard, “Yes, sir.” While moving towards damage control, he looked up, hoping to see if Angela was all right. When the ship had stopped shuddering he had looked around to see if everything was in order. It worried him that she wasn't standing. The noncom. that had been beside her was leaning over and doing something. Once he got a clear view he found she had been thrown to the deck. A medic was there making sure she was all right. He felt oddly relieved seeing that she was being tended too. At that point he found he could push his concern for her from his mind and get back to what he needed to get done

After a quick inspection of the damage control board, Gaeta reported back that the hull plating had held sufficiently. Calls were coming into the area and they were reporting casualties. It sounded like they were not due to any radiation poisoning, which was a good thing.

Above the confusion of the strike, they could hear the pilots talking to each other. Grabbing a headset, Adama spoke into it, “Starbuck.”

“Sir?”

“The Terrans, how good are they?”

“They had a lot of problems when they first engaged the raiders.” She paused for a moment before continuing, “Not anymore though. They're just as good as ours, their style, though, is definitely different.”

Nodding, Bill gave the headset back to Dee and looked back up to the DRADIS. So far the Cylons had not targeted any of the civilian ships. He knew they had to be terrified at the sight of another battle in less than a week after the first one.

“Frak! What was that?” Hotdog's voice came across the speakers.

“Did you see that?” Duck's voice answered.

“Starbuck, what's going on out there?” Gaeta asked after he grabbed a headset.

“I have no idea what just happened, or who did it, but one basestar has been completely destroyed. Some of the raiders are trying to find out who was responsible,” she answered excitedly.

Gaeta let a smile cross his face while turning to Adama then looked up to the DRADIS screen. They couldn't see the ship at all with the main screens, but on the secondary ones they could see a blank area where the ship should be. After the Cylons got over their shock, they were now trying to go after it with a vengeance, but they were having a hard time finding it. Her engines were also shielded. If you knew what you were looking for, then you could spot her. Other than that, it was like a dark blue image against a black background

Soon enough, the second of the two remaining basestars started drifting at an odd angle as if she lost attitude control. Before the small Terran ship had a chance to go against it, it jumped. The last basestar jumped soon after that, leaving the raiders to get back on their own. The ones that could jump, did leaving damaged or shattered cylon fighters behind

“Bring the vipers home.

“Yes, sir,” Dee answered then focused her attention on her board. “Vipers, come on home. Repeat, come on home.” Once they started coming in, Dee found it was more than just the vipers that came on board. Several of the more crippled Terran fighters were also landing. “Sir,” she said when most had arrived. “We have several crippled Terran fighters requesting permission to land.”

“Have them escorted by the closest available vipers.” Adama then sent a signal to O'Neill once her ship reappeared on DRADIS. “O'Neill.”

“Yes, Admiral?”

“What happened to that second basestar?”

“They tried to shove a worm through our fighter's datalinks. I would think they would be smarter than that,” she answered offhandedly. “That missile you took. Are you sure you're all right?”

“Yes, Captain. We're fine. We've withstood much larger nukes before.”

“Nukes?!”

Adama smiled before answering, “The Galactica was made to withstand heavy combat conditions.”

“Admiral. I want to tell you this now. I do not have the resources with me to go against the Cylons in a sustained battle. We were very lucky today. If my flight decks were hit, my squadrons would have no place to land.”

Adama hesitated a minute before answering, “They could have safe haven here. The Galactica has room.”

It was Mair's turn to hesitate, “Thank you for the offer. It might take you up on that, even now.”

“I said that because we already have several of your fighters requesting permission to land here. They were too crippled to get back to your ship.”

“Thank you. I'll have them retrieved as soon as possible.”

~~~~~~~

Mair turned her attention back to the Katana , better yet, what was left of her. The Medusa would be all right. She just needed a little help. The frigate, though, looked like it would be a total loss.

“Harris, send a message over to the Mercy . I want them to get all the wounded off the Katana . We will bring the rest on board here.”

“Yes, ma'am,” he answered.

When that was completed she continued, “I now want you to get me the Katana .” She waited while the line was connecting. “Whittle?”

“Yes, ma'am.”

“The Mercy is sending over a shuttle to offload all wounded. The rest are to come over here if you're not able to get to the closest buoy. Are you?”

“Sad to say, but no. Engines were hit. I'll start the scuttling process and then bring my logs over.”

“I'll send a shuttle over for that. See you in a day.”

~~~~~~~

Gaeta glanced over to Adama while he was talking to O'Neill. Things had calmed down somewhat once the Cylons had left the area. They were victorious, but the Terrans had paid a hefty price for their actions. Half of their heavy ships were damaged, and there was no telling how many fighters they had lost when they joined the battle. Without thinking, he went back up a level to the general area Glennan had been before the nuke hit. She was sitting under the ladder that lead to the upper level of CIC with her face in her hands.

“Are you all right?” he asked slowly as he kneeled in front of her.

‘Does it look it?' she asked in English. ‘I smacked my head while falling.' Pulling her face out of her hands she looked at him and realized she was speaking in English. “I hurt head.”

Gaeta stifled an impulse to reach out and turn her face to see if she was physically injured. “I'll be back,” he commented as he got back to his feet. When he came back down he ignored what looked like amused glances from the other CIC crew and came back up to Adama.

“The Terran fighters we retrieved will stay on board until O'Neill has a chance to retrieve them.” Though Adama's voice was calm, he had a slightly curious look in his eyes.

“It was the liaison,” Gaeta said softly.

Adama nodded as he turned his attention back to the system recovery operations. Once everything had calmed down sufficiently, Bill left CIC to Gaeta and headed back to his cabin. The marines guarding the door snapped to attention as he came up. “As you were,” he commented as he pulled the door open. Once inside he pulled it closed.

“It's worse listening and not being able to do anything about it,” Laura said while standing behind him.

Turning around he pulled her into a strong embrace. “I know, I've had to deal with it ever since I made the transition.” He pulled away and looked at her. “Are you all right?”

“Yes.” She pulled away from his arms and moved over to the couch. “Noncoms were already here making sure everything was secure.” Once she collapsed on the couch she pulled her feet up. “How are the Terrans?”

“Took a major beating,” he answered while sitting down beside her. “One ship looks like it can't be repaired, and another looks like it's crippled.”

“Bill, they didn't have to get involved,” Laura shook her head, then leaned it against his shoulder as he pulled his arm around her.

Bill was quiet for some time before he answered, “The Cylons specifically went after them. Once they were attacked, they got involved. We were lucky.”

“Luck of the gods,” she mumbled as she began playing with the top button of his uniform.

“I see it more as training coming out. They weren't afraid to fight once they were attacked. They told me they're not prepared for a sustained engagement, though, and I think they're telling the truth.” Leaning over, he kissed her hair as he tightened his arm around her.

Laura looked up as she raised her hand to run though his short hair, “I think it might have only been because she wasn't prepared.”

Bill let a ghost of a smile cross his face as he reached for her. “I'm not sure about that,” he eventually answered.

“Maybe not about that. . .” she commented as her hand strayed south.

Giving her a suggestive smile, he pulled her around so she was now straddling him. Things progressed fairly quickly and it was only after everything had come to a head that he begin to wonder, Interesting how this always seems to happens after we face death. Is it some sort of ancient impulse?

“So,” she mumbled into his neck, “How long are we to stay here?”

“Depends on when you want to move.”

Laura looked up and saw amusement in his eyes. “I wasn't referring to this.” She couldn't help but smile at his comment.

“I know. I think we will be here for most of the day. O'Neill has to find out the extent of the damages that two of her ships sustained. Kara commented that the first ship got hit hard. It might not be flight worthy anymore.”

“CIC to Admiral.”

Bill closed his eyes as Laura slid off. Once free, he reached over for the comm. unit. “Adama.”

“Sir, Lieutenant Darin was looking over the navigation information Captain O'Neill sent over this morning. She thinks she knows what the last points are for,” Gaeta said calmly over the line.

“Which is?”

“She thinks it's for their navigation. A buoy system for both navigation and sending and receiving communications.”

“What are your thoughts on it?” Bill asked while looking over to his office.

“I am inclined to believe her. It does seem the best answer for now.”

“Agreed,” Bill answered. Now that he thought about it, it did seem perfectly plausible. He hesitated before continuing, “Report to my quarters in 30.”

“Yes, sir,” Gaeta answered.

As Bill replaced the comm. unit Laura asked, “What was that all about?”

“I think I have a new tactical officer,” he answered with a smile.

Straightening out her skirt, Laura commented, “That's good.”

“Gaeta will be here in 30 minutes. That gives us some time to get cleaned up before he arrives.”

Laura leaned over and kissed him lightly. “That would be good,” she gave him an amused smile, then got to her feet.

By the time Gaeta reported, they had both cleaned up. Laura was now in the VIP quarters taking care of government business while Bill was seated at his desk looking over the never ending reports he got constantly.

“Sir?” Gaeta asked as he stepped inside.

“I asked you here so we could discuss Darin's future.” Adama waited while Gaeta came over and sat down in one of the chairs. “I've been looking over her file. She seems competent enough for the position.”

“Yes, she does,” Gaeta nodded. “I never thought to look for something like a buoy system.”

“I think it's because you didn't grow up near the water,” Adama commented as he leaned back.

“No, sir. I was about as far inland as you could get.”

Nodding, Bill leaned over and grasped the comm. unit. “Have Lieutenant Darin report to my quarters.” Not waiting for the answer, he disconnected the line.

When she showed up, she seemed very nervous. “Sir?” she asked as she saluted.

“As you were,” Adama answered. “Have a seat.”

When she was settled, he began, “Major Gaeta has told me he thinks you're the one for tactical. I am inclined to believe him.”

“Y-yes, sir,” she answered nervously.

“When you leave these quarters, you will be tactical officer.” Adama smiled when she realized she was being put there permanently. “Your suggestion of the plot points being part of a buoy system was a good idea. It was one neither of us had thought about.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Dismissed.”

When she left, her back seemed a little bit straighter, and she walked with more confidence.

“How long are we going to be here?” Gaeta asked when they were alone.

“Haven't heard from the Terrans yet. I suspect at least a day.”

“CIC to Admiral,” Dee's voice came over the speaker.

Bill, reached for the unit again. “Adama.”

“Sir, O'Neill is on the line.”

“Put her through.” He looked over to Gaeta. There was no way for him to hear the conversation. “Yes, Captain?”

“I wish to inform you that the Katana will have to be scuttled. We are in the process right now of taking care of that.”

“Scuttle?”

“Admiral, Terra is now in a shooting war with the Cylons. We cannot take the chance of the Katana falling into enemy hands.”

Thank you, Captain. How much longer will it be?”

“Commander Whittle is in the process of overriding the last of the generators. It should be no more than two hours at the maximum. She is being maneuvered clear of your fleet as we speak, but it's slow going with her main drives off-line. If you want, you might be able to watch.”

“I'll keep that in mind. Let me know when it's time to move.”

“Can do.”

Adama replaced the comm. unit back and turned to Gaeta. “The Terrans have to destroy one of their ships. I think it was the smaller one that was hit hard during the battle.”

“Yes, sir.” Gaeta nodded then rose. “I'll head back to CIC.”

“Have Darin disperse the new coordinates to the rest of the fleet.”

~~~

The scuttling procedure went on schedule and once engineering exploded the Terran bombers then went in and finished off what was left of the Katana . The explosions were set in such a way that all derbies moved away from the civilian fleet.

“Admiral, I'll meet you at the buoy in three hours,” O'Neill said over the comm. channel.

Adama disconnected the line and then had Dee put him on the fleet wide channel. “Prepare for FTL jump.”

It took the Colonials a total of three jumps to make it to the buoy. The clock showed it was just shy of one and a half hours. And another fifteen minutes for the Colonials to figure out where it was, and jump directly to it. The scans showed that the Terrans were not there. They stayed there for another hour before the first Terran ships showed up. DRADIS scans informed Adama that the ships were not the Terran ones that O'Neill was commanding.

After waiting another thirty or so minutes the three ships appeared.


Chapter Thirty-two

Kara shuddered at the image that was burned into her brain from the flight pod. It was something she would not forget for some time. Of the crippled Terran fighters that attempted to land safely, one didn't made it. Something happened to make it veer out of the landing area and crash headlong into the inside wall of the pod. The resulting explosion was intense enough to know that no one made it out alive. The second fighter clipped the side of the exploded fighter and skidded to a mangled heap somewhat close to the other end of the pod. That pilot managed to survive.

Right now she was in Life Station, wanting to know if that other pilot would make it or not. Since she had arrived she had spent her time offering prayers to Helios, praying that the Terran would make it. She couldn't stay for very long, though she wished she could; there was the never ending paperwork she had to take care of, and then the flight schedules. She looked around after she stood up, then exited. As she entered the corridor several medics rushed by with a comatose patient. Not thinking about it, she headed back to the pilot's ready room. It took some time before she finished up the paperwork for the shift. Once finished, she pushed the last of the paper to the side and looked up as the ten-minute jump warning was given. Though patience wasn't in her nature, Kara forced herself to wait until it was completed.

Leaving her small office she thought she might be able to find Gaeta for a possible quickie. Kat, who apparently saw the look on her face when she passed by, quickly caught up with her. “I know where you're going,” Kat said, rather amused.

“What do you care?”

“Don't bother,” Kat shrugged her shoulders. “He's not interested in you anymore.”

Starbuck stopped short and pulled Kat around until they were standing nose to nose, “What are you talking about?”

Taking a step back, Kat let a smirk cross her face. “You know exactly what I'm talking about.”

For a moment Kara was speechless. Kat took the opportunity to take another step back and start moving down the corridor. “He's more interested in officers that play with marines,” she said right before she turned the corner.

Starbuck took a step to follow Kat, then stopped. “He said she wasn't his girlfriend,” she muttered. Interesting , she thought to herself. Maybe. . . she turned around and headed back to the pilots room with a smirk on her face.

~~~~~~~

The final set of coordinates Adama received from O'Neill housed what looked like an outpost. It reminded him somewhat of the Armistice Station, but that was it. “Report,” he ordered.

“Nothing so far, sir,” Heather reported.

What's taking them so long, Adama thought. “Double the CAP. I don't want any surprises.”

“Yes, sir.”

They were there for at least an hour before the Terran ships began to appear. “Set Condition Two throughout the fleet,” Adama ordered. In response, the fleet tightened the spaces between the vessels. It remained quiet until one of the Terran cruisers showed up. The ship remained stationary for a short time then arrogantly brushed dangerously close to the fleet and parked itself. In response, Adama had the fleet back away while the two battlestars took up a defensive posture. “Tell them to back off,” Adama told Dee brusquely.

After a moment Dee answered, “Sir, they either cannot hear us, or are ignoring my signals.”

“Set Condition One and have the civilians spool up their FTL drives. If that ship does anything, then we will jump.”

“Yes, sir.” Dee turned back to her console to relay the information.

“Darin, I want you to distribute the new coordinates in case we do leave.”

Heather swallowed hard, “Yes, sir.” She scurried over to the FTL area to get the points ready for transfer.

“Sir, I think I would wait until O'Neill shows up to make sure,” Gaeta offered quietly.

“DRADIS contact,” Darin announced.

“Who is it?”

Gaeta glanced at the tactical screens, then smiled as he answered, “Five ships. Looks like O'Neill.”

“Took her long enough,” Bill muttered. “Send a signal to her. I want to know what in Hades is going on,” he continued louder.

“Yes, sir,” Dee answered while nodding.

“Admiral, O'Neill here,” her voice came across very frustrated.

“Captain, have that ship back off.”

“I've already told him, but Franchetti isn't one to back down that easily,” she answered testily. “If you can move again, I can have Donelson slip his ship between you and the San Jac. That way you can move further away for more space.”

“How about forcing him to leave?”

“I can't. He has the official liaison on board.”

Both Adama and Gaeta looked up to where Glennan had been. She had not taken the first jump very well, and had to sit down once again. The others she had been able to handle better. When she found out about the Terran pilots, she had excused herself and had a marine show her to the hanger deck. The two senior officers had developed a mindset that she was going to be the permanent liaison, so this came as a surprise.

Eventually, the cruiser backed away. That left Adama wondering once again what types of games that particular commander was playing. It was not nice what he did.

“Sir, are we going to stay here?” Gaeta asked quietly.

“It depends on the Terrans.”

Eventually Adama had the FTL drives spooled back down. There was no reason to keep them ready when it seemed that they would not be needed.

“Sir, it's O'Neill again.”

“Yes, Captain?” Adama asked after he picked up the headset again.

“Captain Franchetti insists that the Liaison be brought on board immediately.”

“We are not a part of the Terran Military,” Adama countered.

“I told him that, but he ignored it,” her voice had genuine anger in it now.

“Tell him, that if he tries, we will take it as a threat against the civilian population and have it neutralized. When we feel we are ready, then he will be invited .” Turning around, he said, “Bring the weapons grid online.”

“I will definitely relay that message to him. He will not be happy, but he will comply.” Recognizing his rank with a curt “Admiral,” she disconnected the line.

Adama handed the set back to Dee. Turning back to the center board, he picked up the comm. unit and punched a few buttons. “Madam President?”

“Any reason why we are at Condition One? I was under the impression that we would not need to be that jumpy.”

“There is an arrogant Terran commander that thinks otherwise. He also has the official liaison on board. We can have him or her brought over when you feel ready.”

“What about Lieutenant Glennan?”

“I'm not sure about that right now. I would think we could keep her on board because of the marines,” he answered softly.

“Give me an hour, then I should be ready to receive the new liaison.”

“Yes, ma'am.” Adama put the handset back down then turned back to Dee. “Send a message to O'Neill. Tell her one hour.”

“Yes, sir.”

~~~~~~~

Adama arrived at the hanger deck escorting Roslin. The marine detachment that had been requested had already arrived, and was moving into position. Near the entrance into the hanger the press had set up their cameras to capture the historic arrival and to broadcast it as soon as possible. Playa was already giving a verbal description across the wireless of what was happening. The shuttle from the Terran cruiser was still in the pod and was in the process of being brought down into the hanger deck. It was about the size of one of the raptors, so there wasn't any problems handling its size. Gaeta was already there and waiting for the two leaders.

The noncoms that worked in the hanger, except the ones that were helping bring the shuttle down, had scattered, leaving the cavernous room somewhat empty. Vipers were in various stages of maintenance or cannibalization within their respected hangers. The few Terran fighters they had collected after the battle were in a far corner, not even touched.

Just as the shuttle was brought to a halt, Angela pushed her way through the marines and then put herself on the outside of Gaeta. To his other side stood Adama and then Roslin. The XO gave her a perturbed look which she answered with a flash of anger in her own eyes. “I tell later,” she whispered.

The new liaison stepped down from the shuttle. He was wearing the same type of uniform that Glennan wore on occasion but subtly different. Stopping in front of Adama he said, ‘I am Captain René Soblet. I have come here to be the official liaison. You are. . .?' He stopped when Bill gave him a slightly confused look. ‘Can't you speak English?' Soblet asked, his ire beginning to rise.

Adama knew few words, and the name of the language was one of them. He glanced over to Gaeta hoping he could be of some service. “Do you understand what he's saying?”

“Not really, sir.” Gaeta shook his head.

‘Why on Earth is she here,' Soblet mumbled when he finally caught sight of Glennan.

‘Captain,' she started, hoping to make sure that the Colonials might forget what she just heard, ‘They can't understand you. They don't speak English.' She glanced quickly to Gaeta, hoping against hope he didn't hear it. ‘And Captain O'Neill has requested you not use that term until she deems it appropriate.'

‘I can do what I want to make sure the job gets done,' he answered, then turned his back on her. ‘No English, hm very interesting.'

Angela glanced to Gaeta again and saw his curious look. There was something else there, although she wasn't fully sure what it entailed. ‘And not any of the other semi-dominant languages on Terra.'

Soblet whirled around and approached her quickly. ‘They know you.'

‘Because I have made it a point to lean their language, sir.' Thinking that she had said enough, she glared at him and didn't say anything more.

‘Then you will tell them who I am, and that I am going to be taking the duty of liaison to this fleet,' he answered arrogantly. ‘I would like to be escorted to my cabin so that I can get started on my work.'

Angela turned her attention back to Adama. He had a look of expectation on his face. “He liaison,” she said slowly. “Me say your name?” she asked.

Eventually Adama nodded, he did not like having to rely completely on Glennan, though she had proven trustworthy so far.

‘Sir, the commanding officer is Admiral Adama. Beside him is the Colonial President, Laura Roslin.'

Soblet brushed it off, but at least remembered Adama's name. ‘Yes. . .as I said, I will be ready to meet with them after I get to my cabin and can unpack the things I need to get started.'

You said that earlier , Angela thought barely managing to hold her tongue by sheer willpower alone. She turned her attention back to Adama, “He asks cabin?”

“One will be prepared for him,” Adama answered. He had heard the tone the liaison took with Glennan and how she had bristled underneath his belittling of her. Her outward demeanor, though, showed complete calm and acceptance.

Once the initial meeting was completed, the Colonials gathered around Angela, wanting her to tell them what the new liaison had said and subconsciously supporting her. Soblet took careful note of her interactions with the crew. He could tell she seemed somewhat friendly to the officer she had been standing beside during the whole scene. He could also tell that they trusted her to some extent. He thought he might be able to take advantage of that. That said officer was now talking quietly to Adama. After a few moments the two separated. While Adama escorted the woman they called their president, the younger officer went back over to the group of marines gathered around Glennan. She said something to one of them and that particular one came over to him and extended his hand in such a way to show that he wanted him to follow.

Being led by a marine was not what he wanted, but there was no other choice. ‘I'm going to have to tell Franchetti about this,' he muttered. When the marine stopped, the closest door was opened. The cabin he found himself in he considered not acceptable. It was way too small. Turning to tell the marine what he thought, he saw two more coming down the corridor and carrying his things.

~~~~~~~

“Glennan, why was the new liaison treating you like that?” Gaeta asked slowly as they moved down the corridor.

Angela stopped and looked as if he lost his mind. “Soblet captain. I lieutenant.”

“He still shouldn't have treated you like that.” Gaeta shook his head.

Angela opened her mouth to answer, but quickly decided to use the pda. Haven't you ever had a bad superior? The best you can do is deal with it.

“He's only a captain,” he commented.

Her eyes widened in shock at his comment. ‘Only a captain? Only a captain? Captains command ships. I am only a lieutenant. It would be disrespectful to say what he could do to himself, which is what I wanted to do. He could have me officially reprimanded for something like that.' To prove her point, she wrote down the different ranks and showed it to him.

Gaeta stood there for a moment, realizing just how different her military culture really was. He still didn't like how she had been treated.

“Why were you almost late?”

“I no late.” She took her pda back and slipped it into a pocket.

“Yes, you were.”

‘I was not late. Plus, there is no way for me to keep track of time here without a watch. And mine doesn't work right over here. I only got there in time because of one of the marines.' She folded her arms. ‘How am I supposed to keep track of time. You don't even have the traditional bells that at least let me know how much time has passed.'

He opened his mouth to retort, but was cut off by another finger poke to his chest, ‘And I do not want to have to completely rely on people to lead me around by the nose, and to remind me of my appointments! I do not like to be beholden to anyone.'

Gaeta pinned her against the wall and lowered his voice, “If you were having that much trouble, you should have told me.”

The air seemed to thicken suddenly as Angela's eyes dilated. She managed to whisper an answer, ‘I didn't have any trouble before, why should I have any now?'

Fighting the nearly uncontrollable urge to touch her, he pushed away and moved a good distance from her. This isn't going anywhere except down a path I did not expect, Gaeta frustratingly thought. What am I to do with you?

‘Let me do my job, that's what,' she ground out. ‘Leave me alone.' She turned and started moving down the corridor.

Did I just say that out loud? he thought. To salvage the situation, he thought he could raise the other issue that had been bothering him since the meeting. “I guess you're not going to tell me about Earth? I heard what the new liaison said.”

Angela stopped suddenly and slowly turned around. Surprise and guilt vied for dominance on her face as her shoulders slumped in defeat.

“I know enough of your language to understand some of the simplest phrases in pure English and I know I heard ‘earth'. Do you want to tell me why?” he asked as he closed the distance between them.

Not wanting to be misunderstood, Angela pulled out the pda again and wrote down, “I need to talk to both Admiral Adama and Captain O'Neill about this.”

Gaeta nodded while indicating the direction they needed to go to get to Adama's quarters. Angela was quiet the entire way with her head bowed, once again, seemingly accepting her future.

When they arrived outside of Adama's quarters, they were ushered in almost immediately by the marine guard. “Sir?” Gaeta started, not sure how Adama was going to take this new bit of information. The new liaison seemed almost standoffish to the younger officer. Looking back to the meeting he realized that he was being treated as if he were his subordinate. And with the new information that was revealed, the thin layer of trust that Glennan had managed to build could be wiped out completely. “There was something else when the liaison arrived. It was something he said. I don't know if you heard it or not.” He glanced back to Angela for a moment before turning his attention back to his own commanding officer. Adama was seated at his desk and Roslin was sitting in one of the chairs. The two leaders seemed as if they had been in an intense discussion before they arrived.

“Which is?”

“This was what I wanted to talk to you about, but was sidetracked. I'm sorry about that sir.”

“What did he say?”

“Earth.”

Laura gasped in shock as Adama's eyes narrowed. “Was there anything else you understood?”

Gaeta shook his head. “Not much, sir.”

“Lieutenant Glennan, can you explain yourself?”

She seemed to pause and consider her words carefully. Pulling the pda out once again, she said, “Admiral, I would like to ask my superior about this before I proceed any further.”

Getting up, Adama let her use the transceiver.

Ddoraig Goch , how do you read?' Angela started.

‘Loud and clear,' Harris answered.

‘Harris, I need to talk to the Captain.'

‘Sure thing, Glennan. Hold one.'

‘Lieutenant?' Mair's voice came across the speakers.

‘Ma'am, there's a problem,' Angela started slowly. ‘Captain Soblet mentioned Earth, and one of the Colonial officers heard it. I'm not sure what I should do.'

‘I will take care of it, Lieutenant. Is their Admiral there?'

‘Yes, and their president.'

“Admiral Adama?”

“Could you explain yourself, and why we weren't told sooner?” Adama asked, somewhat angry that this information had been withheld from them.

“Yes, Admiral. Terra is Earth. Think of my reasoning this way. If our positions were reversed and we were looking for you but had the Martoks chasing after us, what would you have done? Terra has enough problems with herself, and now you've introduced a new power into this region. I specifically ordered Lieutenant Glennan to not reveal to you about Earth. She was following my orders.”

Adama lowered his voice, “What about this new liaison. He was extremely arrogant and disrespectful. I have a mind to have him permanently removed from the Galactica .”

“I'm sorry about that, Admiral. I had no say over that. When I arrived I reviewed the orders about it and it states that he must be used.” Mair then turned her attention back to Angela, ‘Lieutenant, I want you to speak candidly about this. Did you ever consider telling the Colonials about Earth?'

‘Ma'am, I was starting to. From what I've seen, they really aren't that much of a threat. I think the cylon threat is much different.'

‘Same here. And your views on Soblet?'

‘Thinks he's all important. I don't think he realizes that the Colonials are their own civilization.'

‘Thank you.' Mair switched back over to the Colonial language and continued, “Admiral, I warn you. Soblet doesn't realize that you are completely independent of Terra. He might try and control your actions, and possibly take technology that you do not want to give.”

“Thank you for the information, Captain. I will keep that in mind when I speak to him shortly.”

When finally dismissed, Angela went back to her cabin, only to find one of the marines standing there with a smile on his face. “Class?” he asked.

Nodding, she held up a finger then slipped inside to change. A couple of moments later she came back out dressed in workout clothes and carrying her old style back pack. She had spent a few moments removing the extra pda and its components. Angela was ready to work out, it had been a stressful last couple of hours.

~~~~~~~

It was little more than an hour later when she returned from the gym. The two marines that had arrested the radical pro-cylon were with her to discuss what they did, and how they could improve their techniques. Turning the last corner she was confronted by Soblet. He was standing outside her quarters, and the door was open. ‘Lieutenant, you are to pack up your things and move. You can leave the transceiver. I want this cabin vacated by the time I finish meeting with the Colonials ,' he practically spat out the last word.

Her face drained of color when she realized what he was demanding. He didn't even give her the courtesy to tell her where she would be bunking.

He let a triumphant smirk cross his face as he turned and went towards Adama's cabin.

Turning around, Angela ran a hand through her hair, just trying to figure out what she was going to do. The two marines with her were talking quietly. For the moment she paid no attention to them until one left. She focused her attention on the remaining one, not sure if he was going to leave her also. Taking purposeful strides, he went inside the cabin and started organizing her things. Stopping for a moment he turned and looked at her, “You'll stay with us. Madsen is getting a few others to help you move.” He didn't know much English, but he could tell what happened.

Angela nodded then quickly changed into a set of cammies and began taking everything out of the locker. They were just about ready when the marines arrived bringing a cart with them. Everything was stacked on it then they left, heading towards the marines barracks. Using the self-guide map, Madsen showed her where the marines were bunked, then left to help get her stuff stowed away. Looking around the now empty cabin Angela felt herself close to tears. It was not supposed to happen this way, she thought.

Not really caring if Soblet found her or not, she sat on the rack and put her face in her hands.

“Angela, are you all right?” Gaeta asked quietly from just inside the door. He had seen the marines moving her things.

‘Does it look it?' she practically snarled as she swept a hand around to show the now empty cabin. She heard him take another step towards her and then pulled her hands away from her face. “Who did this? The new liaison?”

Angela nodded, not even wanting to look at Felix. ‘He didn't even give me any warning, or even give me the courtesy of telling me where I will be bunking.'

Gaeta's face hardened at the treatment. “Where are you staying?”

‘With the marines. They said that I already had a place with them.'

“Good,” he answered relieved. “And don't worry, I'll make sure and fix the problem. It could be as late as tomorrow, all right?”

Angela nodded somewhat detached.

Disregarding caution, he brushed her cheek with the back of his hand for a moment before standing back up and backing away. Once back in the corridor there were two marines standing there. “Thank you.”

One nodded while Madsen spoke, “Sir, they're waiting for you in the Admiral's quarters.”

Gaeta nodded, then turned and went to join the meeting. The moment he saw Soblet, his anger flared up, but he kept his face calm. Adama gave him a knowing glance. When they found out that Soblet could understand them and speak their language both Adama and Roslin realized they had to tread very carefully. Though easy to communicate, the rest of the meeting was fairly tense. To be cordial, though, he was told that there was to be a reception on Cloud Nine , and he was officially invited.

When he left, Gaeta remained. They never did see his triumphant smile when he found the cabin vacated.

“What is bothering you, Felix?” Adama asked, using his first name for a change.

“It's Soblet, sir. He ordered Lieutenant Glennan out of the cabin we gave her. Didn't even tell her where she was to bunk.” Though he tried to not let it show, some anger came out in his voice.

Adama narrowed his eyes. “Does she have a place to stay tonight?”

“Yes, sir. She's with the marines. They took it upon themselves to move her down with them without any question. With what she does, she needs an office, and I don't know where to put her.” He looked down and massaged his forehead with a few fingers.

“She might have to stay with them tonight. We should have something for her by tomorrow at the very latest,” Laura gently.

Gaeta nodded, “Thank you, ma'am.” As he left Laura said loud enough for the marines outside to hear, “Major, I'd like it if you could arrive an hour before the reception.”

Gaeta nodded while answering, “I will, ma'am.”

~~~~~~~

Angela opened the second seabag she had brought over, looking for some of her underclothes. Soblet had found her soon enough and told her in no uncertain terms that she was not to attend the reception. She didn't know about any reception, but she knew with the way he had been acting, it was to be expected. Pulling out her dress, she placed that on her rack as she continued to dig.

“Ooh, what do we have here?” Twinam said as she picked it up and shook it out.

‘Put it down, please.' When there was no answer Angela looked up. The marine had a confused look on her face. “Put back,” she repeated as she pointed to the rack.

The female marine shook her head as she smiled. “No.” Turning around Twinam addressed some of the other female marines, “Get them out of here.”

Once everyone understood, the men readily left with big grins on their faces. “Now, you are going to the reception whether you like it or not.”

“I not go.” Angela shook her head helplessly.

“Yes, you will.” Putting the dress back down, they made her get out of her military issued clothing. “Can't have Major Gaeta disappointed,” one commented with a wink.

A third marine Angela didn't know yet came up to Twinam and whispered something. “Right, I understand. Don't worry, we'll get her there in time.”

Realizing she would not win, Glennan gave up and put the dress on. The third marine then came up and started putting the make-up on their unofficial leader. Once finished they backed away from their creation. The emerald green dress brought out the green in her eyes, while showing off her cream complexion at the same time. “She cleans up nice,” a male voice came from the outside.

“You guys can come in now,” Twinam yelled.

The rest of the marines filed in and gave her appreciative looks. For once Angela was glad they didn't wolf-whistle, though if they'd known how, she was sure they would have.

“Now we just have to get her to the Old Man's cabin before the XO arrives. The marines that weren't on duty made sure that they weren't bothered as the female marines hustled her to her rendezvous.


Chapter Thirty-three

Laura stood with folded arms and looked at the door after Gaeta had left. “Is there any way we can have Lieutenant Glennan back as liaison?”

“There's nothing more I would like better, but Soblet does know what he's doing,” Bill answered as he came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist.

Laura leaned into him as she commented, “I don't like him at all. When he's around it's like dealing with the Quorum members. He feels slimy.”

“Then you should know how to deal with him,” he murmured.

Laura turned her head to the side while saying dryly, “Thank you for your vote of confidence.”

“I'm serious. After dealing with the Quorum, you should know how to deal with Soblet and not give anything away.”

Laura pulled away from him and went back over to the couch. “I don't know.” She continued after she sat down, “And now we've got Earth to deal with. I'm not sure just how much the press knows about it. I never though we'd find Earth this way.”

“That they're cautious? I hope they stay that way.” Bill moved over to his desk and turned on the wireless. He rarely listened since the media got it wrong the majority of the time.

Repeat, this is an important announcement. Brother Cavil has fallen gravely ill and is in the Galactica 's Life Station. The lower level priests and priestesses ask for prayers for his swift recovery.

Bill glanced sharply over to Laura before looking at the wireless once again.

- -lapsed while in their prayer vigil during the fight earlier in the day for reasons unknown. Minor casualties were reported on both the Pegasus and the Galactica when they were struck by missiles. The wounded are also being cared for and should make a full recovery. Now on to more pleasant news. The latest ships to arrive are the ones that have been with us for the past week. The Terran senior commander is Captain Mair O'Neill, whom you already know about. The liaison, Lieutenant Angela Glennan is still on board the Galactica and is also working with the marines and teaching them proper policing procedures to help them deal with the public. The peaceful arrest of one of the more radical members of the pro-cylon group was a surprise to many people on Cloud Nine . So much so, that many on Cloud Nine are stating that if they were to have a police force of marines, they would prefer them to be from the Galactica and the ones that Lieutenant Glennan is working with.

An anonymous contact from within the executive branch has commented that Colonial One will soon be habitable once again. She is now docked within the starboard flight pod on the Galactica near the remnants of the museum, and being hooked up to the electrical and environmental systems of the battlestar. President Roslin should be able to take up residence there once again. Since last week she has been working out of the VIP quarters in the Galactica. There is no word on when Colonial One will be truly flight worthy again.

Laura grinned at the last comments as Bill turned the wireless off, “If only they knew. . .”

“They will soon enough if we keep doing this.” Bill approached her and handed her a glass of water.

“Thank you,” she commented as she accepted it. “And you are right. At least the press has been somewhat quiet about it.” She waited until he sat down beside her before taking a sip of the clear liquid. “I'll have Billy formally release information about the reception.” Laura smiled as Bill handed her the receiver. “We have five hours to let Cloud Nine get ready. You know, they're not going to be happy.”

“I should think not.” She had the call put through to the VIP quarters. “Billy, I know Cloud Nine isn't going to be happy about this, but they will be hosting a reception in five hours for the Terrans. . .how about the best from each Colony. . .yes, it can be released to the fleet. . .I do hope you can make it. . .thank you, Billy.” Laura handed the comm. unit back to Bill then settled deeper into the couch. “You know, I could have mentioned Earth.”

“You could have.” Bill fiddled with his now empty glass, then put it down on the coffee table.

“But I thought you'd do a better job, especially since you were the one that put us on this journey eight months ago.”

Bill grunted, “And thank the gods that the press doesn't know.”

“Yet. You know once it's announced, that's all they're going to be talking about.”

“And clamoring for interviews.”

Laura nodded while looking absently towards the rack they now shared. “I wouldn't be surprised if Soblet has figured out what's going on.”

“Going on about what?”

Laura looked to Bill and shook her head, “About us.”

Bill smiled as he leaned towards her and started rubbing her back. “We don't have to announce it verbally, but if you want, we can make our relationship semiofficial at the reception.”

“How do you propose we do that?”

Bill shook his head. “Don't worry about it. Everyone will know once the reception is over with.” Some time later he got up and straightened his uniform shirt.

“Where are you going?” Laura asked drowsily.

“I've been thinking about what I could do with our knowledge about Earth.”

“Why don't you just announce it over the fleet wide channel?” Laura asked as she stretched.

Bill came over and leaned down to give her a kiss. “That was my decision.”

“Be ready for riots.”

“As long as the people happy and relieved with the knowledge that we're not alone anymore.” Backing away, he picked up his glasses from the coffee table and put them on. With one last look to see if he were presentable, he left the cabin and headed towards CIC.

“Admiral on Deck!” someone called out.

Adama never thought to see who it was. It didn't matter much, especially with the information he held. “As you were.” Gaeta was at the center table doing something. Coming up beside him, Adama hesitated then spoke softly. “I'm about to announce it.”

“Yes, sir.” The younger officer kept his face calm while moving around to the other side of the table.

As Adama picked up the hand set, he turned to the comm. officer, “Get me the fleet wide channel.”

“Yes, sir,” he answered. Dee's shift was already over with. He took a deep breath and began, “This is the Admiral. Most of you were here at the start of our journey. It has been long and it has been hard. I am here today to tell you that our search is over. We have found Earth.”

There was stunned silence in CIC as Adama put the handset back in place. Suddenly there was a wild whooping yell and the rest of the crew joined in the celebration. Adama smiled at Gaeta as he put a hand on the younger officer's shoulder then left the CIC. As he entered into the corridor he took his time heading back to his quarters. He couldn't have gone any faster even if he had tried. Everyone that frequented the corridors he used stopped him and personally thanked him or smiled. The rest that did not stop, because their duty demanded of it, he could easily see their morale had jumped substantially. It was easy for him to bask in the glow of “their leader who did it”, but knew he had to be careful and not let it get to him.

As he turned the last corner, he found Soblet standing in the middle with his arms folded. The Terran had a cross look on his face. “Why wasn't I told beforehand about this announcement?”

The good feeling he had had minutes earlier dissolved quickly at the Terran's insolence. He lowered his voice to a dangerous level, “What makes you think I answer to you, Captain ? These are my men and women and I am charged with protecting this fleet. Last I checked, you were not my commanding officer.” Without waiting for any answer, Adama brushed past the liaison and moved deeper into hall. The crew members coming from the opposite end let their smiles drop when they saw him. He hated ruining their elation, but Soblet had done the same to him.

He sighed when he closed the door to his cabin then looked down.

“Are you all right, Bill?” Laura asked from across the room.

“No, I'm not. If Soblet keeps up what he's doing, I will have him removed.” He turned and sighed as he undid the top button of his uniform shirt. He remained quiet until he sat down beside her once again. “He seems to think that he has to sign off on everything I do.”

“He's upset because you announced the news to the fleet before he did.”

Adama nodded as he rubbed his eyes tiredly.

“Lieutenant Thrace came by.”

Bill looked up suddenly, “Really?”

“Yes,” Laura nodded. “She asked which officers were invited to the reception.”

“She's one of them, since she's CAG.”

“I thought so,” she muttered. Laura definitely didn't want to tell him the real reason she had stopped by. Of course everyone was celebrating from the good news, and Kara easily made it look like she had come to congratulate Adama.

A little more than an hour before the reception, the door opened up once again and this time several off-duty marines pushed the former liaison into Adama's quarters. Roslin's eyes widened in surprise at the dress, fully expecting to see the young lieutenant in her formal uniform. Glennan was uncharacteristically blushing at all the attention she was receiving. She also seemed somewhat uncomfortable. “Thank you,” Laura addressed the smiling marines then dismissed them. The dress was like nothing she had ever seen before. She was fully covered, but the simple style only seemed to heighten her femininity.

“Why are you blushing? You look fine.” Laura looked at her for a moment, not knowing what to think.

Angela walked over towards the table and sat down in one of the chairs. The mid-thigh length slits easily showed off her highly toned legs. “There's nothing to worry about,” Laura commented. “You're not going in any official capacity.”

The Terran shook her head slowly.

A minute later Bill came out of the head while fixing the sash on his dress grays. He stopped. His look of surprise quickly turned to appreciation. He knew there was a woman underneath the uniform she wore, he never realized just how good she'd look in feminine clothing.

When Laura noticed his arrival, she got up and went over to him. “Does he know she's coming?” he asked quietly

“No,” Laura answered just as low with a smile. “Not that I know of. And the dress was a pleasant surprise. I thought she'd be wearing her formal uniform.”

“I don't want to know what happened,” Bill shook his head while cupping her face.

Laura smiled and went back over to the table. “I don't know if you realize this or not, but you did catch Admiral Adama's attention,” she whispered conspiratorially.

Angela's eyes went wide with surprise as she reached down to hide her legs behind the satin material.

Adama was taking a call from CIC when Gaeta finally arrived. Bill looked up and found his XO openly staring at the Terran as she stood up. For a moment his eyes danced with amusement until the younger officer turned almost pleading eyes towards him. He moved across the room and said quietly as he passed Gaeta, “This is something I will not get involved with. You're on your own with this.”

“But. . .” Gaeta turned to look at him.

“Relax, Major. She can't go in any official capacity, Captain Soblet forbade it. But she can come like this.” Adama hesitated before continuing, “And it won't hurt if you enjoyed yourself.”

For a moment Gaeta looked like he was lost, not exactly sure what he should do. He turned to Adama for a moment for at least some help.

Shaking his head, Adama went back over to the younger officer and said in a low voice, “You're supposed to escort her to the hanger deck.”

Gaeta's brain seemed to snap back, and he nodded quickly. “Yes, sir. Sorry. I don't know what I was thinking.”

You weren't thinking at all , Adama thought wryly, but he only nodded then backed away, giving Gaeta some room.

The young officer went over and hesitatingly offered his arm, which Angela took. Once they were gone, Laura commented, “I think he likes her. He's hard to read sometimes.”

“You're right,” Bill answered with a smile as he offered his own arm. “He doesn't want to admit it to himself yet.”

Before Laura could comment, the door opened back up and the liaison walked confidently inside. The uniform his was wearing bordered on the ridiculous in her estimation. “Captain Soblet,” she started slowly. “That is an awfully ornate uniform, and much fancier than the one that Lieutenant Glennan wore before the Quorum. We are only attending a reception.” She glanced at Adama for a moment, wanting to know his reactions. She had seen the officers ceremonial uniform, and it was nothing like this.

“This is a momentous occasion,” the Terran answered with a smug look on his face. When he took a close look at the dress uniform Adama was wearing, he gave him disdainful look. Laura could feel Bill's muscles tighten up at the obvious put down. Before he could respond, Laura pulled him out of his quarters while saying through her teeth, “I know you don't like him at all.”

“He needs to be gone,” Adama growled.

Laura glanced behind her and found Soblet following them with a scowl on his face. Good for him , she thought. Behind the liaison were her two marine guards. “Same here,” she answered as she turned back around. “I would like nothing better than to force him off, but it might create a diplomatic incident.”

“Frak that.”

They made it the rest of the way to the hanger without any incident. There, they found both Terrans and Colonials already gathered. A few of the Terrans were talking with Glennan and smiling at her. Gaeta seemed much more at ease with himself standing with them.

“Admiral on deck!” Tyrol yelled when he caught sight of the approaching group.

“As you were,” Adama answered. He had calmed down somewhat, but not all the way. He recognized Captain O'Neill, but not the other officers that came with her. They were all wearing what looked like formal uniforms, but not the same as what Soblet had on. They looked very different from what he was used to seeing. The black with the white and gold accents made them look very sharp.

When the liaison saw Lieutenant Glennan, and in a dress, he growled, “What is she doing here?”

“Lieutenant Glennan is not going in any official capacity. She is attending it as a civilian,” Laura said nicely.

Realizing he couldn't stop Glennan from attending, Soblet plastered a fake smile on his face and went over to her. Oozing with charm he took her hand and bowed, ‘You look lovely today.'

Angela looked at him in shock. She slowly removed her hand, not knowing what to think, or his motives. She glanced to Gaeta for a moment. When Soblet went so far as to offer her his arm, she shook her head and backed away towards Gaeta. When he took a step towards her, Gaeta stopped him. “She already has an escort,” he answered with a pleasant voice, but his eyes had hardened.

‘Looks like someone's beaten you, Captain,” O'Neill said from behind Soblet.

The liaison turned around and gave her a disdainful look.

‘And Captain,' Mair continued in a pleasant tone of voice, ‘If you go over my head, I will send you back to the Admiralty.'

Soblet's eyes hardened, but he answered with the same pleasant tone, ‘But of course, ma'am.'

“Captain O'Neill,” Adama approached the senior Terran.

“Admiral, it is good to see you again. Who are we waiting for?” she asked as she nodded to Roslin.

“Commander Tigh. He should be here with the Pegasus 's shuttle at any time.”

“I would like to introduce to you some of the officers that came with me.” As Mair introduced each of them, each came forward and shook his head. When Donelson was introduced as the one that had taken care of the basestar, Adama's eyes widened slightly, and a smile crossed his face. He was about to answer when a klaxon blared through the hanger. Turning their attention to the source of the noise, they all saw a new ship was being lowered into the hanger.

“He's here,” Adama commented. As Mair translated for the group the rest watched as the hatch finally opened up and first Tigh and then Lee came out. They were wearing their dress grays as well. Some of the lower ranked officers that were coming wore the regular blue uniforms, but with the sash attached.

“Admiral,” Tigh said as he came up to Bill. After a quick salute, he continued, “We've got the room if this is all,” he commented as he looked around.

“That will work.” Bill then turned his attention on Lee. It was good to see him again, and he smiled to show the younger Adama that.

Once Adama started moving towards the shuttle, the rest of the group gravitated in its direction. He noticed that the Terran's protocol for entering a shuttle was the same as theirs, lowest officers first and then in ascending rank order. When the last were settled down, the ship was sealed and they were brought back up to the flight pod and exited the ship. The forty minute trip to the luxury liner was rather quiet.

Once they reached the outside environment inside Cloud Nine , Angela stared once again in awe at the technology it had taken to create it. Instead if being early afternoon, it was now late in the day, and moving quickly towards dusk. Everything was mimicked to the perfect degree. Walking over to the perfectly manicured lawn, she slipped off one shoe and let her foot feel the real grass. After a moment she put it back on and she followed Gaeta to where the reception was to be held. Soblet was still in the outside environment craning his neck and looking everywhere to see if he could find one hint of the technology it took to master bioengineering to the degree found on Cloud Nine .

‘I have got to find out about this,' he mumbled. ‘They couldn't have created this, they're too primitive.' He eventually heard his name being called. Soblet turned slowly around and moved off towards where the reception was to be. He knew he had to get this information back to his patrons in the EU. The room he entered had flags placed in various places around the room, and on one side was a table with a nice spread of food.

The group from the Galactica had been met by some civilians that lived and worked on the luxury liner. Seeing several that wore distinct sashes, he put another smile on his face and began to circulate through the crowd towards them.

Mair picked up a glass of what she assumed was water, then moved slowly towards Adama. With what she had seen on the Galactica and now this ship, she knew she had been wrong to think they were technologically inferior to them, and she felt she needed to give him an apology. She found him talking to one of the younger officers that came from the Pegasus . “Admiral,” she said as she approached them. “I feel,” she started once they turned their attention to her, “I owe you an apology.”

“For what, Captain?” Bill asked, unsure of what she was talking about.

“For the way we inadvertently treated you and your people. You see, we have a saying: Never judge a book by its cover. And I feel I have done that.”

“I don't understand?”

Adama held up his hand to silence the one with him then said, “Then I would think we need to apologize once again. We have never dealt with a civilization that speaks another language. And for the way we first treated Lieutenant Glennan.”

“That is water under the bridge, Admiral. Don't worry about it.” Mair gave him a gracious smile. She then turned her attention to Glennan, who was some distance away. After what Soblet had done in the hanger, the lieutenant had stuck by the officer who was escorting her. There were other Colonial officers around the two of them, and they were all talking animatedly, albeit slower and much clearer than normal.

“Captain O'Neill?” a breathless voice came from behind.

“Yes?”

“I'm Playa Palacios from the Colonial Gang. I was hoping to get your permission to interview Lieutenant Glennan?”

“Here?” Mair's eyes widened slightly. This was a definite surprise. They had no idea that there was a professional liaison with them now.

“Oh, no. Definitely not! It will be at a time of her choosing. I just wanted to get permission from you as her commanding officer.”

Mair turned to look at Adama for a moment, giving him a wordless question.

“I would think it should be all right,” he answered gruffly.

“I should think something can be worked out.” Mair smiled and ended the interruption. Turning her attention back to Adama, she continued, “I'm sorry about that.”

“Reporters,” Adama answered gruffly, then went on to introduce Lee, who was the one he had been talking to earlier.

Laura came up to Zarek some time after Soblet had been in the vicinity. The somewhat verbally combative councilor was shaking his head. The new liaison had not made a good first impression on the former political outcast. She handed him a glass of ambrosia she had picked up for him. “Councilor, a peace offering.”

Zarek's scowl moderated somewhat when he accepted the glass. “Thank you, Madam President.” He took a considerable sip then commented, “Where did the Terrans find him?”

“I've been asking myself that question since he came on board the Galactica ,” Laura commented. “Admiral Adama is close to having him removed.” She paused before continuing, “I do know Captain O'Neill is not pleased with him. I think if she could, she would put Lieutenant Glennan back as liaison and send him back from whence he came.”

“Have you noticed how the press is avoiding him?”

“It's more like everyone is avoiding him,” Laura gave him a smile as she sipped her drink.

“Which reminds me - - is there any new information you can pass along about Dr. Baltar?”

Laura sighed while closing her eyes. “The, um, Admiral, from what I've seen and heard, hasn't decided on which way the trial is to go.”

Zarek's eyes lighted with amusement. “Laura,” he emphasized her first name, “We know what's going on. It's pretty obvious.”

“He said everyone would know,” Laura smiled as she looked off to the side. “When Colonial One is running once again I will transfer the government back there. I've been working out of the VIP Quarters for the past week. Zarek. . .”

“Don't go there,” he cut her off. “I've been over it for some time.”

“It's not that. It's just that I never thought to realize what Sagatarrion's last governor was like.”

“Or how bad it got if you opposed his laws or tactics,” Zarek's voice hardened.

Laura shook her head, “I know that now.” She hesitated before continuing, “Listen, I know what happened with the election, and now this.” Laura moved her hand around to emphasize the Baltar issues. She quickly held up a hand when he opened his mouth to protest. “Hear me out, Tom. We'll have a government crisis once Baltar is removed. I think. . .I think you might be the best to take his position. I only want you to think about it right now, all right?”

Zarek's eyes widened in surprise at what he was being offered. Of all the ways he thought the conversation would head, this was not one of them. “All right, I'll think about it. I'll give you an answer before the trial starts.”

“That's all I ask, Tom. And thanks.”

Eventually they drifted to different areas of the room. Because of Zarek's reactions to Soblet, Laura wandered over towards the liaison. She found him over at the spread, by himself once again, shaking his head in disgust.

“What is wrong, Captain?” Laura asked as she came up beside him. Laura noticed that he had yet to at least try any of the food that was offered. “Is something wrong with the food?”

“I would prefer there be French cuisine available.”

“Well,” Laura started after a moment's thought. “You are now with the Twelve Colonies of Kobol and not the ‘french'. And you also seem to forget that a week ago, we were literally starving. Captain O'Neill's request for a supply ship has been a gift from the gods. You need to be grateful for what you have.”

Soblet looked at the food once again and slowly picked up a plate. Once Laura moved away, he put it back down and continued to grumble. Nothing was going according to his plans. He glanced towards Glennan and found she was being given another glass of whatever it was they were drinking along side the officer she had attached herself to on the Galactica .

It was some time later when Kara handed Angela another drink. This one, she insisted, didn't have alcohol. Angela wasn't so sure about that anymore. She caught sight of Soblet again and commented in that odd mixture of the two languages she had recently started using, ‘He looks like he's preening his feathers like a strutting peacock.' She smirked at the image in her mind and let out a short giggle.

“What is a peacock?” Helo asked, he had come over with the Terrans for the reception and was curious about the reference.

‘A. . .a. . .' she struggled to find the right word, but it wasn't coming. Finally she looked to see if he wasn't watching then pointed at his back. ‘Him.' When she turned back around she almost lost her balance, then gave a slight smirk while giggling again. Almost loosing her balance once again, she leaned up against Gaeta to brace herself. Her voice wasn't slurring, but she knew at this point she had been compromised with alcohol. Turning to look at Gaeta, she found his eyes were slightly glazed over and also grinning. He was holding her in place and when she finally moved away his hands went with her. For a moment Angela was confused as to it, then she on purpose leaned against him. His hands tightened, which made her giggle again. Looking over at the green alcoholic drink Helo had, she snatched it and knocked it back. The strong dose of alcohol made her sway for a moment, then grin once again. ‘Not. . .bad. . .'

“You're drunk,” Helo said after he retrieved another glass of ambrosia.

‘. . .no. . .' Angela glanced over to Gaeta who was shaking his head slowly.

“Come on, you two,” Kara commented with a grin as she took the drink out of Gaeta's hand. Without much prompting, she was able to get Gaeta to start moving towards the hanger. Angela, surprisingly enough, easily followed him with a slightly unbalanced walk.

They reached the hanger deck relatively unscathed and not bothered. Finding an empty raptor, Kara climbed into it and looked around. “This will do nicely.” Turning, she watched in horrified amusement as they openly started groping. “Not now,” she hissed at them when she got back down on the deck. Her words seemed to clear their alcohol induced desire enough for her to try and get them into the raptor. Starbuck knew it would be a challenge to get them up the ramp. After a few tries, they finally crawled into the raptor and ended on the deck in a tangled heap of arms and legs. Angela giggled again as Kara sealed the door to the raptor then stepped over them. “Could you two please behave yourselves on the trip back?” she asked as she turned around.

They seemed to stop for a moment and look at her. “I don't like being a voyeur,” she finished quietly as she prepared the small ship for flight. Once she was on route to the Galactica , Starbuck realized it had quieted down. Turning back she saw that they seemed to instinctively realize that they didn't want to be watched, and had backed off somewhat to only caresses. “Much better,” she commented as she went back to piloting.

Getting them out was much easier once they arrived in the Galactica 's hanger. Like while in the raptor, they seemed to hold off on any overt groping, which relieved Kara to no end. Angela was standing there leaning against the raptor as if it were holding her up once she was on the deck. Once Gaeta was down, Kara pushed him in the direction of his cabin. “Let's go,” she commented. Turning, she found Glennan following them without any questions. She was weaving somewhat, but kept up with them. Her look, though, was something Kara was not expecting. For a moment the pilot could have sworn that Angela was glaring at the two of them. Glancing back again, Glennan's expression had disappeared and the former liaison was only following them now.

Once they reached Gaeta's cabin, Kara turned to look at the two as she pulled the door open. “You know, Gaeta,” she started while backing away from the door. “It is tradition that you kiss your date goodnight.”

The two froze for a moment giving Kara her opening. She went behind Angela and pushed her into Gaeta. He tripped over the lip of the door and they tumbled to the floor inside the cabin. Once clear, she slammed the hatch shut and leaned up against it with a grin. After waiting for about five minutes, and no sounds of trying to get out, she turned around and quietly opened the door. Starbuck opened the door for a moment to make sure they were all right, then closed it. Her serious expression dissolved into a huge smirk as she quickly went back to the hanger. Going back to the raptor she went back to Cloud Nine and the reception that was now winding down.

The first thing she did was to find Roslin. She was talking with some of the Terrans with a drink in hand. Catching her attention, she gave her a wink and nod then moved in the general direction of the table. Picking up a glass of punch, Kara then moved over to Lee. “Did Helo go back to the bucket?” she asked, realizing that she hadn't seen him since she came back.

“Yeah,” Lee commented as he looked around. “I saw you getting Gaeta out, he did look somewhat drunk. Was that your doing?” he asked critically.

“Who me?” Kara asked innocently.

“Kara, I know you too well.”

“Look, all I did was get them back to their cabins on the Galactica . That's all ,” she emphasized the last word.

When they finally disappeared, the last of the Colonials, and all of the Terrans headed back to the Galactica . From there they either continued to the Terran ships or in the case of Adama and Roslin, they went back to his cabin, leaving Soblet on his own. With a huff, he went back to his new cabin that was around the corner from Adama's. Billy and Dee, who eventually did show up had already disappeared for the evening.


Chapter Thirty-four

‘So, they're not as primitive as they make themselves out to be,' Soblet commented as he straightened his jacket. ‘It's all just a show so people won't be that interested in what they have to offer.' Only after he made sure nothing was out of place did he leave his new cabin. It was much better than that hellhole they had given him when he first came on board, and had everything he needed.

Going around the corner, he stopped when he reached the two marines and read the stenciling on the door. ‘Commanding officer,' he commented. He glanced at his watch and noted the time, not too early . Taking a closer step, he quickly found himself blocked by the two guards. “Soldier, I was only going to knock,” he said calmly.

“Sir, the Admiral is only to be disturbed if it is extremely important,” the first marine said.

Soblet's eyes hardened. “Well. . .it is critical that I see him right away.”

The second marine looked at him as if he were stupid or else had a death wish, but acquiesced to the liaison's demands. Pointing his weapon towards the deck, he spun the locking mechanism, then opened the door and slipped quietly into the darkened cabin. A minute later he returned, but still kept Soblet from entering.

The liaison waited impatiently for another minute or so until the door opened part-way.

“What is it?” Adama growled. He had everything on but his uniform shirt.

Soblet smiled, “Good morning. I need to meet with you on the status of - -”

Adama's eyes narrowed as he interrupted, “You woke me for something as trivial as this? Have you no idea what time it is?” He paused before continuing, “I will not meet with you until after breakfast.” Adama then backed up and shut the door, effectively sealing the liaison out.

‘He's touchy,' Soblet commented offhandedly as he turned around. Being shut out like that wasn't too bad, he thought. It gave him time to go looking around.

~~~~~~~

Angela slowly rose up from the depths of her sleep surrounded by warmth. Shifting, she suddenly felt like she was being held down and suffocated. Instinctively she pushed it away from her, giving her room to breath once again. There was an odd muffled thump, then a groan as she turned over, but she ignored it. A couple of minutes later, she blindly reached for her tartan blanket she habitually kept folded at the foot of her rack. The room had gotten oddly cold all of a sudden. After a few minutes of blind searching and not finding it, she sat up and looked to the foot only to realize it wasn't there. Looking at the rack more closely she wondered why it didn't quite look right. She scanned the room quickly and found to her surprise that she was not in her cabin. At that moment, she had no idea where she was. Bringing her eyes down to the deck, they widened in horror as she watched Gaeta sit up and put his head in his hands. What really bothered her was that he had nothing on. Turning her attention back to herself, she realized it was the same with her, and snatched one of the blankets that had been mostly pulled off the rack to cover herself.

The sudden movements seemed to make him more aware of his surroundings. He looked down and then over to the rack. Seeing her out of the corner of his eye watching him in surprise made his own widen. For a desperate moment his hand shot out and grabbed the closest piece of material and covered himself up. I'm screwed , he thought to himself. I'm never going to get out of this alive. Thinking he could at least do something constructive, he turned his attention to getting his clothes. They were strewn across the cabin along with Glennan's. A flash of a memory of heated skin against skin and the accompanying rush came back for a second before it disappeared. “I am definitely screwed,” he muttered as he leaned over to snag another piece of clothing.

Once he had most everything gathered up, he stood up while keeping himself covered. Reaching down, he retrieved her things and put them on the rack then quickly disappeared into his small head to at least pull on a pair of sweat pants he knew he had in there. Gaeta removed the rank pins from his dress uniform and put them on the counter before putting the gray material in the hamper to be cleaned. After waiting a few moments, he slowly opened the door to check to see if she was dressed yet.

She wasn't.

There was just enough room if he moved to the far side of the cabin for her to get into the head without them touching. Once he was out and in the cabin, she scooted in, not quite looking at him, and still not fully covered. She was using her clothing as a shield. As the shower turned on, he brought his attention back to putting away some of his dress uniform. The sashes were easily stored. He would have to have the uniform cleaned. No telling what was on it by this time, plus the creases were gone.

He looked at the door to his locker then hit it with his fist. “Frak!” he hissed. “Why couldn't I control myself?” he muttered as he flexed his hand. Opening up his locker he slowly pulled out a fresh uniform and clipped the rank pins in place. A few minutes after the shower had shut off, Angela reemerged, fully clothed now. He did have to admit that dress looked good on her. Seeing the possibility of where that thought could go, Gaeta forcefully pushed it out of his mind as he went into the head to get cleaned up.

When he came out, he felt like he was going to his execution. He had decided to at least apologize to her for his actions. He found Angela sitting at the table and staring at the rack. She turned her attention to him when he cleared his throat. Her expression showed no emotion. She seemed as if she were in shock. “I, I'm sorry for last night. I rarely get drunk because so many people depend on my accuracy.”

‘Thrace did it,' she said in full English.

Gaeta's eyes narrowed slightly. He didn't understand what she said, but he knew that first word. “I see.”

“We later talk,” she said as she rose and slipped her feet into her shoes.

He nodded emphatically, thinking that her comments would only postpone the inevitable.

‘I will need permission from someone high up,' she requested in the mixed language.

“For what?” Her vague comment bothered him.

Her answer was simple, ‘Revenge. She will not get away with what she did.'

“I can do that,” he answered as he moved over to the rack. He looked at the bed for a moment, not sure if he wanted to sit down on it or not. “What are you going to do?” he asked pointedly. Even though she was Terran, she had to follow their rules.

‘It's best to use swift and blinding vengeance,' she started in the mixed language. When she continued, it was in full English, ‘Shock and awe is the best route after all.' *1 She looked at him with a smirk.

“I don't understand,” he complained.

‘The key to real victory. . .is to make your enemies think they were wrong to oppose you in the first place,' *2 she answered, this time she had a look of smug superiority on her face.

Gaeta looked at her uncomfortably, this was something had not been expecting.

Her expression softened at his obvious confusion. ‘You will eventually,' she smiled. ‘Don't worry, she will survive, only she will regret what she did to me - - us.'

Gaeta finally moved towards the door, “I need to get you back down to the marine barracks before it gets too late.” He opened the door to look out for a moment before turning around, “It's not that busy. If we wait any longer, there will be a lot more people up and round.”

“When - - what time?”

Gaeta glanced at the clock, “Before breakfast.” Pushing the door further open, he moved out and let her pass, careful not to touch, then closed the door behind them. The trip down to the marine barracks went fairly fast, neither wanted to be really seen this way, but it couldn't be helped. When they reached the door, he nodded then briskly moved off back to the officers area, leaving her to go in and get dressed.

Her headache from earlier started throbbing again. She knew it would not be fun once she set foot in the barracks, especially with some of the marines that purposefully got her ready for the reception.

Angela pulled the door open slowly then slipped off her shoes. The metal deck was cold, but she ignored the sudden shock. The room was semi dark, mostly for the marines that were in their sleep shift. Kneeling down beside her rack, she put her shoes down, then quietly opened the closest seabag, hoping to find at least another set of cammies. If need be, she could wear one of her uniforms.

“So, did you enjoy yourself?” Twinam said as she kneeled down on the other side of the rack.

Angela glared at her, then went back to her search. ‘I hope you weren't in. . .on. . .it. . .' she grunted in the mixed language as she pulled out a pair of cammies from the bottom of the seabag.

The marine subconsciously straightened up, worried now for what might happen.

‘I will overlook the actions of you and your fellow marines if you help me,' Angela finally said.

Seeing a possible chance at redemption, Twinam readily nodded her head and went to get the others.

~~~~~~~

“Bill, what time is it?” Laura mumbled as he slowly sat up.

Glancing towards the clock, he answered, “About an hour before breakfast.” He got out of the rack and slipped into the head to get cleaned up. After closing the door on Soblet, in the middle of the night no less, he had disrobed and immediately got back into the rack. He was going to contact O'Neill today and tell her that Soblet needed to leave, now. When he came out, he had his trousers on.

Laura was sitting up in the rack and watching him. “Did something happen during the night?” she asked as she rubbed her eyes.

“Soblet,” Bill answered, once he pulled his tanks on.

Laura let the covers drop as she sighed, “What did he do this time?”

“Apparently he doesn't know the meaning of the word ‘critical',” he answered as he leaned over the rack to give her a quick kiss. Backing away once again, he pulled his shirt on and started buttoning it up while letting Laura get up.

While she was in the head, Bill took the time to order breakfast and then started going through the crew manifest and the cabins that were available for habitation. A good portion of them had been converted over the life of the ship, especially in the last year or so. Many officers and noncoms. had been doubling up because of the lack of space. It was just the thought that Soblet had never taken the time to tell Glennan where she should be bunking that made him cross. That was not something you did to a junior officer. What also bothered him was that there were few, if any, cabins that were available for habitation. Almost all were back in use. He had hoped that there be a few left, but from what he was looking at, and if the stats were right. . .

“What are you looking at?” Laura asked from the door to the head. She moved into the living quarters, now fully dressed.

“I'm looking for any possible free cabins for Lieutenant Glennan. I'm not finding any at the moment.”

“I do hope she can remain on board,” Laura commented as she sat down.

“And why is that?” Bill leaned back in his chair with a grin on his face.

“Oh, for the marines, of course,” she answered with her own amused smile.

“Of course.”

Their conversation was cut short with the arrival of breakfast. When that was over, and the table was cleared, Adama sent one of the guards to escort the liaison to his cabin. They could now talk about fleet status. When the guard came back sans Soblet, it made Adama wonder just what was going on. Getting up, he went over to his office and sent a call to Hadrian, and told her to search the ship for Soblet.

“Maybe this isn't his first language, and he didn't fully comprehend what you said?” Laura asked when she thought back to Soblet's earlier actions.

“No, he understood fully,” Bill sighed as he picked up a pen. He fiddled with it for a few moments before putting it back down.

“How long are we going to have to wait?” Laura looked back towards the door for a moment. “If it's too much, I think I'll go over and get my work.” Just as she stood up, the door opened and one of the guards came in, followed by Hadrian and an angry Soblet behind her.

“Admiral, I will be in my office if you need me,” Laura commented, feeling it best if she made a hasty exit. As she passed the marines, they all snapped to attention.

“Thank you, Madam President,” he answered.

Once she had left, Hadrian reported while handing over a hand device similar to Glennan's, “Sir. Chief Tyrol found him in the hanger deck. The Chief also confiscated this.”

“That is personal property. I demand it be returned immediately,” Soblet said arrogantly.

Bill glared at him, then turned his attention back to the device. It looked similar to the one Glennan used, but more streamlined at the same time. Fiddling with some of the buttons, an image came up on the small screen of an open access panel to a viper. His eyes darkened with anger that bordered on fury. “I don't care about diplomacy, you are this close to being permanently removed from my ship.” Turning around, he went back to his office and dropped the device onto his desk. He would have a chat with O'Neill about this once Soblet was gone.

When he turned back around, Adama dismissed the marines, then turned his attention back to the liaison. “This is your final warning. If any of my men and women find you doing anything remotely like this, I will personally throw you in the brig until you can be sent back to your own forces.”

Soblet glanced down as his cheeks flushed. Adama couldn't tell if it was either embarrassment or anger at being caught. There was something else, but he couldn't quite place it. “I suspect this is not a good time for the meeting?” he asked sounding somewhat subdued.

“No, but there's no other time for it,” Adama answered brusquely as he sat down.

“Sir,” Soblet started slowly, “I would like to use my pda for gathering the information on the ships in the fleet.”

“No.” Adama shook his head.

Soblet's eyes narrowed, but continued in the same tone, “How am I supposed to get the information?”

With eyes that never left Soblet's face, Adama reached down and pulled a drawer open. He pulled out a pad of paper and a pen, then handed them over.

‘You have got to be joking,' Soblet said under his breath, but he accepted the writing utensils without any more comments. Adama had an idea of what Soblet was going to ask, so he gave just enough information to be vague. He was not about to give him any information that could be used against them in the long run.

Once Soblet left, Adama sighed in relief. The whole meeting bothered him. Looking at the device once again, he started fiddling with it once again. He quickly found there were no more pictures. “Good,” he commented. When he turned it over, he quickly found there was an empty slot. One that looked like it should have some type of memory card in it. He knew enough about computers to know that it could have been easily pulled out and hidden. With Soblet, he knew he could not take any chances.

Getting up, he quickly left his quarters and went around the corner. Stopping by the VIP quarters he pulled Laura's two guards and then almost stormed into the quarters Glennan had been forced to recently vacate.

‘The next thing you need to do is to. . .'

‘Hold one,' Soblet said as he turned around. “What is the meaning of this?”

Adama held up Soblet's pda. “This. There just happens to be a data card missing. I cannot afford to have anything compromised, whether it be from cylons, or you.” Going over to the transceiver, Adama abruptly broke the comm. channel then turned back to the two marines. “Search him and this cabin. I want that chip found and brought back to me. Afterwards, escort him to the brig.”

“You have no right!” Soblet ground out.

“Yes, I do, Captain ,” Adama lowered his voice, then turned around and walked out. He would worry about getting Laura more guards until those two were finished. Stepping back into his cabin he let out a long sigh, then went over to the transceiver. Switching it on, he placed the call to the one Terran captain he trusted somewhat. “I need to speak to Captain O'Neill. It is extremely important.”

“Hold one,” A heavily accented voice finally answered.

“Admiral,” Mair's voice came over the transceiver.

“Captain, we have a major problem.”

“Which is?”

“The new liaison was caught in the middle of espionage. He was attempting to steal some of our technology,” Adama's voice lowered in anger.

‘Shit, ' she hissed. “All right, I'll send a shuttle over and you can release him to me. I will make sure that he is taken care of. I'm really sorry for all of what has happened. I had no say in the matter.”

“I know,” Adama answered tiredly. He suddenly felt old. “There is one thing I would request from you.”

“Anything to do with the liaison?” she asked humorously.

“Nothing of the sort, Captain. I would like to expand Lieutenant Glennan's training of my ship's marines. They have responded positively with her training. It has already paid off with increased performance while in their roles as law enforcement.”

“That is something I will gladly sign off on, Admiral,” Mair answered with a smile in her voice.

~~~~~~~

“Sir, you might want to look at the DRADIS,” Heather commented loudly enough for Gaeta to hear her.

“What is it?” he asked. He had been so busy, he hadn't had any time to see what was going on. Frak , he thought to himself when he realized his mistake.

“The Terrans are moving around, I'm not sure what they are doing at the moment,” she answered somewhat confused.

He looked up at the DRADIS and could clearly see the ships moving around. It almost seemed like three of them were surrounding another one.

“Sir, scans indicate that one of the ships has a big energy buildup,” Heather said worriedly.

“Is it pointed at us?” Gaeta looked at her intently.

Darin shook her head, “I'm not sure at this point, sir.”

“Thank you.” Gaeta went back to the center board and picked up the handset. “Sir,” he said once the line was connected. “I think you need to come to CIC,” he finished somewhat vague.

“What is it, XO?” Adama asked after he arrived.

“It's the Terrans,” Gaeta indicated one of the DRADIS overhead screens. “Replay that footage,” he ordered a crewperson. “We haven't received any calls from O'Neill concerning this,” he explained to Adama once it was finished.

“Get me O'Neill,” Adama said as he reached for the handset.

“Yes, sir.”

“Captain, would you mind explaining to me what just happened?”

“Franchetti still doesn't realize that you don't use subspace frequencies to communicate. He's furious that you had Soblet arrested, and demanded his release,” her voice seemed rather smug. “Don't worry, he won't try that again.”

“It was his own fault he was arrested. I will not endanger this fleet.”

“I know that, and am perfectly fine with it. Now Franchetti and his cronies? That's another story. I'm sorry to get you involved with our petty squabbles, but apparently Soblet found something that he was extremely interested in.”

Adama looked at Gaeta for a moment. He could feel the burning curiosity in the younger man with what O'Neill had just said.

~~~~~~~

Angela looked at the marines assembled for the second class. Some were new, but most had been with her since the first few days after her arrival. She wasn't quite ready to start the coming lesson, which gave her a few moments of freedom. Angela couldn't help but think of what had happened the previous evening. And now, she hadn't even caught sight of Gaeta at all today. It made her wonder if he was avoiding her on purpose.

The sight of the smiling marines now assembled made her shake her head. She knew about rumors, and how quickly they spread through a closed environment. Right now, she had to get her head in the right place since she was giving the soldiers new nonviolent restraint moves.

Once they were just about finished, Kara came walking in. Either she was really brave or she had no idea what was about to befall her.

“So, did you enjoy yourself?” Kara asked with a smug grin as she joined Angela on the mat.

A marine snickered off to the side, but immediately schooled his features when Angela glared at him.

Even with her bandaged hand, Angela was a force to be reckoned with. With a flurry of moves, she had Starbuck in a head lock and slowly lowered her to the mat. Kara's hands went up to her neck to try and pull her arm away, but it was too late. “Careful with move,” Angela commented to the gathering marines. When the pilot was fully unconscious, Angela turned her attention back to the gathered marines. “Effective move. No do! Danger if no do right. If do right, no danger no pain.” Glennan then had a few come over and take the unconscious Colonial out of the gym.

Once everything was in position, all Angela had to do was to wait for Kara to wake back up. When she finally did, the pilot's eyes widened for a moment. “I can't feel my arms,” she said with fear.

Angela pushed herself off the wall she was leaning against. ‘Feeling will come back soon enough.'

“Where are my clothes?” Kara asked, eyes narrowing. Looking around, she noticed for the first time she was in some sort of tub.

“Not need,” Angela answered as she reached down for a bucket. ‘There is an old klingon proverb that goes something like this: Revenge is a dish best served cold.' With that she quickly lifted the bucket up and pored its contents onto Kara.

“Frak!” Kara yelled. Her teeth started chattering quickly at the intense cold.

With a smug look on her face, Angela reached down for the clothing. ‘Don't do that again or it will be worse next time.' With that, she threw the clothing over her shoulder and walked out of the room.

With a marine as a guide, Angela made it to the pilots quarters. There she put Kara's clothing on her rack. From there she finally decided to go looking for Gaeta. It had been long enough for both of them to calm down after waking up. She felt, though, that he was purposefully avoiding her. She was finally able to corner him in the corridors close to her former cabin. “We talk.”

“Not yet,” Gaeta shook his head. “The Admiral wants to see you.”

For a second, she tensed up, but eventually nodded. ‘Okay.'

Gaeta glanced at her, not sure if he was right in her reactions. He had an idea that she had already performed her revenge on the senior pilot, but no word was coming from the marines.

Once they presented themselves to Adama, he started. “Please have a seat,” he said indicated several chairs.

“I talked to Captain O'Neill earlier today about your possible future here.” Adama ignored the side glances from the two younger officers, but noted them. “She has agreed to have you work in an expanded role with the marines.”

A hint of a smile crossed Angela's face before it disappeared. ‘Yes, sir,' she nodded.

“I also want to know what else is on this.” Adama held out Soblet's pda with the data chip that had been found on his person. “There is at least one unauthorized picture. I want to know what else Soblet could have seen.”

Angela's eyes widened, then she nodded as she took the hand device. ‘Yes, sir.'

Slipping the card into its slot, Angela started checking to see what it had. ‘Damn,' she whispered once the images started appearing. Most of them were of the raptor and its engine. “Ship pictures,” she commented.

“What I suspected,” Adama's face darkened. “To make sure none of this gets out, Major, I want you to destroy it.”

“Yes, sir.”

• *1 quote from the TV show Married: With Children

•  *2 Gul Dukat from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine


Chapter Thirty-five

After the complete destruction of Soblet's pda, Glennan had one of the marines deliver the battery to the former liaison. He had yet to be transferred back to the Goch . Her mind was not at all on what had just happened, but rather on the pda she had requested for Gaeta to begin to really learn her language.

She almost made it all the way back to the marine barracks before she got lost. Realizing she made another wrong turn she glanced at the doors to see what was around her. “Security Office,” she read on one of the doors. Feeling around the door, she wondered if it was open or not. Shrugging, she continued down the corridor, not quite sure which way she was to go once she reached an intersection. Realizing it was a blind choice, she randomly chose a direction to go, but was intercepted by several smiling marines.

Smiling marines did not bode well for her, she had come to believe. In their excitement, they hustled her back to where she had been. When they stopped, they were in front of the security offices.

“What?” she asked, completely confused now.

With a flourish, the door was opened and the lights turned on. Although still packed up, her computer was on the desk, and the cradle for her pda was attached to the wall. The extra pda and its components were on the desk. ‘I don't know what to say. . .' she said while closing her eyes. She did not expect this to happen. She was only there to first instill some sort of trust and then work with the marines. The troops seemed to think she was their commanding officer. But she wasn't, and it made her uncomfortable the deference they were giving her.

Opening up the obvious weapons locker, she found her backpack in the bottom. They had taken the time to not unpack that, which she was grateful for. The locker was much larger and set up differently from what she was accustomed to, but she knew she would get used to it. Closing the locker, she turned and shook her head at the smiling marines. They went through all that trouble to get me moved in , she thought to herself. She didn't deserve the way they treated her.

‘I don't know what to say,' she smiled.

“You've got direct access to us,” Kelso answered with a grin as he opened up the door leading directly into the barracks.

Angela shut the door after she poked her head through. This was just too much for her.

“Ma'am, there's more.”

“More?”

They brought her over to the other door in the office. This one was marked ‘private'. Opening it, Angela found it to be a cabin close to the size she had been in before Soblet had ousted her. It was completely furnished and she could tell they had taken the time to unpack her things. She knew it would take a while before she found everything and rearranged things, but she was essentially set for the time she was on board.

When they all finally filed out and back into the barracks, Angela sat on the bed with tears in her eyes. Of everything she had seen and heard, she never expected this. The marines wanted her, and had told her that in their own way. Getting up, she wandered into the head. It was a little bit smaller than the one in the quarters she had earlier, but it had everything she needed. She smiled at the thought that they had no idea what some of her things were, and just placed them on the counter. After putting everything away, she went back into her, her quarters. It was only then she realized she had made it without getting lost.

‘I do need to get Felix that pda for his English lessons, and talk about what happened last night,' she mumbled to herself. Moving back into her office she reached for the pda with all its components that were on the desk. Gathering them up, she put some of the smaller parts in her pockets, then left for the senior officers quarters.

Once she reached her original quarters, she found it had been emptied except for the transceiver. Seeing the Terran electronic device made her wonder if she could have it transferred over to her office. Putting that thought aside for the time being, she moved around the corner away from the Admiral's quarters. She had a feeling Gaeta's would be near, but she wasn't sure where it would be. The next door she stopped at and read the wording, “Executive Officer.” Smiling, she turned the locking mechanism and pulled the door open.

Just as she took a step into the decent size cabin she was hit with a flash memory of when they were in the middle of a deeply sensuous kiss as she rode him. When the memory disappeared it left her skin hyper sensitive. She rubbed her arm as she sat down. ‘Why am I even here? I can even smell him,' she muttered. Even though she didn't want to admit it, his scent gave her an excited thrill, and one of anticipation of what was to come later tonight.

Pulling out the extra components, she was fiddling with them when she heard the door open. Not only was her skin hypersensitive, but she found she was hyper aware of his presence. “Angela? What are you doing here?” Gaeta asked nervously as he turned and closed the door. Even though he had asked, they both knew why she was there. They needed someplace private, and his quarters were the best.

“I want to show you something,” Angela started, not even dealing with the underlying issue between them. She used her pda to make sure he understood what she was trying to say. Just as he was sitting down on the other side of the table she pushed the spare pda across towards him. Just as it was within reach, she quickly let go and withdrew her hand. “There are English lessons on the pda.”

“I'm not sure if I'll be able to learn it.” Gaeta shook his head. The small computer still sat on the table between them.

“What did you do before? Any programming?”

Gaeta nodded after a moment or two.

“Think of the English language as a computer program. Instead of using it to tell a computer what to do, you use it to talk to other people.” She hoped her explanation was good enough for him to catch on.

A slow smile crossed his face when he realized how he could learn the language. “Thank you.” He flushed with embarrassment as he continued, “About lastnight. . .I'm sorry. I had no idea what I was doing. If this is the last time we see each other, I understand. I, I won't do it again.”

“Please, don't,” Angela answered as she reached across to take his hand. When they touched, they both jerked back as if stung. “If you are willing, I would like to see where this goes, but. . .”

“Hold off on the rack,” Felix answered with a somewhat amused look on his face. “although, I don't think the marines would mind.”

Angela rolled her eyes. “Don't worry about that. They took it upon themselves and moved me into the Security Offices. They even unpacked my things.” She shrugged.

Gaeta narrowed his eyes for a moment, “Security?”

“Yes, and I'm somewhat uncomfortable with it, especially in how they're treating me. I am not their commanding officer. They should not be deferring to me to that extent.” Angela sat back and shook her head.

“You have to realize, you're demanding their respect, and are treating them the same way. They can't help but want to follow you. The Admiral has even commented that he has seen an obvious improvement in their quality of work. You have given them their self respect back.”

I don't want to know what beat them down , Angela thought. She nodded.

“Now, what about Thrace?”

“Taken care of,” Angela let a rather wicked grin show, but quickly concealed it. “I don't mind drinking. I just do not like drinking at official functions.”

Gaeta thought for a moment before commenting, “Is that why the Terran pilots scattered when we first showed up?”

“Yes,” Angela closed her eyes. “But it was much worse. They were doing it just to get me drunk. Thrace had a plan.”

“You make it sound as if, Lieutenant Thrace's plan was much worse that the Terran pilots.”

She blushed, “It would have been if the ending hadn't been as amicable as it turned out to be.” Feeling that she didn't need to be there anymore, Angela got up and started moving towards the door. As she passed, Gaeta reached out and grasped her hand to stop her. “Are you free tonight?” he asked hesitantly.

A small smile crossed her face as she nodded. “Yes.”

“There's, um, something I'd like to show you?” he asked hopefully.

Angela nodded as she bent over and kissed him on the cheek.

Once she was gone, Gaeta had a hard time keeping the grin off his face. Sweeping his eyes around the cabin, he noticed once again the book on tactics for the sacred game. Now is as good a time as any , he thought to himself. In fact, it was the only time in the past week that he could remember having any free time, and remembering it at the same time.

Picking the tome up, he tucked it under his arm and left his cabin. He noticed the marine guard outside the VIP cabin as he passed it. When he reached Adama's cabin, he knocked on it and waited a moment or two. Eventually Adama opened the door and let him come in. “Sir,” Gaeta started. “I wanted to return this. I really haven't had any time to study it in the past week.” The younger officer held out the book.

“No one has had any real time to themselves in the past week, Major,” Adama answered as he accepted it. “Although, I still want to see what your level is at,” he finished as he put the book on the coffee table.

“How's that, sir?” Gaeta followed him into the office area.

Adama answered while sitting down, “There are a few ways. What I'll do is write down a scenario on paper and you give me your answers underneath. That should tell me where you are at. From there we can discuss the issues.”

“Yes, sir.” Gaeta nodded. “Sir, there is something else. Remember how I mentioned what the marines did for Lieutenant Glennan? Well, they've gone farther. They moved her into the Security Officers quarters. I thought Hadrian was using the cabin, but apparently not.”

“Security?” Adama asked clearly surprised.

“Yes. Though, she mentioned she feels very uncomfortable there, but the marines insisted on it.”

Adama reached down for the crew manifest and listing of cabins that were available. “I never thought about security. I also assumed Hadrian had taken over and moved into it.”

“She might not have, sir. I have noticed that she gives some deference towards An - Lieutenant Glennan.” Gaeta silently berated himself for his slip. He never noticed the brief smile that flitted across Adama's face before disappearing while checking out the listings. “Not as much as the marines.”

“Which reminds me,” Adama sat back in his chair. “Just what did Lieutenant Thrace do to deserve what she got?”

Gaeta's eyes widened and swallowed hard then flushed with embarrassment. “Sir, even though it was a reception, she went as far as getting both of us drunk.”

“You don't normally see sober people in the condition she was in.” Adama's eyes held some mirth, but he was serious at the same time. “I can understand why it was done, but I do not want it to happen again. Do you understand?”

Gaeta could feel Adama's eyes bore into him. It made him subconsciously straighten his back, “Yes, sir. I understand.”

“Good.”

~~~~~~~

Mair O'Neill looked at the blank screen in front of her. Of all the things she had to deal with, this was the worst so far. At the moment, Soblet was in the brig on her ship. He rather deserved what had happened to him. With what just came across, she found out that she would now have to deal with the ambassador. His identity was locked behind a security clearance she did not have. That gave her a sneaking suspicion that the EU managed to get him appointed to the post.

Reaching over, she opened an internal channel to the comm. officer on duty, ‘Harris?'

‘Yes, ma'am?'

‘Send a message to Admiral Adama. Let him know that the Terran Ambassador is on his way. He should arrive within the next day or two.'

‘Roger.'

Disconnecting the line, she went back to looking at the blank screen.

~~~~~~~

Kara glared at the rather amused pilots that she shared the crew bunks with. “It is not funny,” she grumbled as she pulled on her uniform trousers. At least she found her clothing folded neatly on her rack. Of all she had observed with the Terran lieutenant, this was not one of them. In fact Glennan never showed any signs of going through swift humiliating paybacks. “I bet Gaeta helped her with it,” she muttered. “She needed someone higher up to get away with it.”

Leaving the pilot's area, she thought she might at least find out why she reacted the way she had. It was all in good fun, plus it was a reception. What harm could come from one of those, she asked herself as she moved down the corridor.

She sighed once she reached Glennan's cabin. Raising her hand, Kara hesitated before knocking. When there was no answer, she knocked again.

Still no answer.

Shrugging, she opened the door and found the cabin dark. Flipping on the light she found herself in a vacated cabin. All but an unusual piece of Terran equipment was gone. “What the. . .” she asked as she ran a hand through her short hair. “Was she forced to leave?” Kara had a horrified thought, Maybe they forced her to leave because of what she did?

Thinking that had to be the reason why, she went around to Adama's cabin. She had to apologize for this. Glennan didn't deserve to be removed from the Galactica . It had been her fault to begin with.

At least President Roslin isn't here , Kara thought as she knocked on the door. Adama must have been close to the door, he opened it up fairly quickly. “Kara?” he asked as he backed away to let her in.

Starbuck was struck by the similarities of when she had admitted to him her role in Zack's death. “Sir, I found Lieutenant Glennan's cabin vacated. She shouldn't have been removed from the ship. It was my fault to begin with.” Kara looked down, not knowing what else to say.

“Kara, I know what happened. Major Gaeta was just here.” Starbuck visibly cringed at his admission. “Though, your fears have no basis in what is really going on.”

“What. . .sir?” she asked as she whipped her head back up. He was giving her a somewhat amused smile.

“She's not there is because the new liaison removed her from the cabin. She is with the marines now, but in the security officer's cabin.

Starbuck's eyes closed with relief, “Thank you, sir. It was just the thought that because of my stupid actions it got her removed.”

“You might want to apologize to her,” Adama gave her a knowing glance.

Just as she was turning to leave, Kara asked, “Why is the cabin empty?”

“Soblet was removed because he was found actively taking pictures of our technology,” Adama answered with an edge to his voice.

“Mother frakker,” Kara hissed.

“Lieutenant, he has already been removed from the Galactica , and the information was destroyed.” He effectively ended the conversation by escorting her to the door.

“Yes, sir,” Kara nodded, knowing the look he gave her.

Once she was back out and in the corridor, she breathed a sigh of relief. Kara found herself glad that it hadn't turn out as bad as she had expected. “Security,” she muttered as she moved down the corridor. It was a surprise, but not so at the same time. The marines loved her, that much she could tell. And for them to take the next step wasn't that much of a jump.

Thinking it might be the best way to find her, Kara went down towards the marine barracks and security. Eventually she turned a corner and found Glennan talking to one of the marines. She stopped and watched, not wanting to interrupt. When the separated, the marine walked past her and nodded, but grinning at the same time. Once he was around the corner, Kara rolled her eyes. Glennan was about to turn the corner, so she had to run to catch her. “Lieutenant?” she called as she neared the corner.

Angela turned and gave her a slightly guarded look. “Yes?”

“I'd like to apologize for what I did. I thought you had been removed because of what you did.”

Angela shook her head. “Apology?” When Kara nodded, Angela finished, “Taken.”

“Thank the gods,” Kara mumbled. “Friends?” she asked as she held out her hand. When Angela accepted that, she was even more relieved. Hesitating for a moment, Kara finally dredged up the courage to find out why Angela was so swift in retribution, “Can I ask why?”

Angela shrugged, “I do not drink at official functions, even receptions.”

“For what it's worth, neither does Gaeta,” Kara commented as they rounded the corner.

~~~~~~~

Once Kara had left, Adama headed towards CIC to check on the status of everything. Seeing everything was under control, he went on his rounds throughout the ship. Finding his way over to the starboard flight pod, he slipped inside it. His main reason for being there was to check on the status of Colonial One . She was just about ready for habitation once again.

Hearing some noise in the gift shop, he wandered over in that direction. To his surprise, he found Gaeta searching through one of the boxes. Adama watched as the younger officer pulled out one of the watches he knew was there. He had been given a list of what was to be sold, and he had even offered several of them at cost, but he had declined. He let a smile cross his face as he continued on his way towards the government ship.

Reaching the airlock, he looked at the listing of what was left to do for the civilian ship. They were testing the integrity of the systems. It would still be in an airless environment, but completely hooked into the Galactica 's systems. Until they got the raw materials for the foundry ship, Colonial One was still crippled.

On his way back he purposefully went by security. Opening the door into the office, he could see the Terran's computer equipment on the desk, but not opened. Glennan had yet to fully move into the new office. Smiling, he closed the door and headed back up towards the senior officers quarters. When he finally reached his quarters he nodded to the marines standing guard, then entered his cabin.

“Bill, I've been thinking,” Laura said as she came out of the head. “Have you decided on how we're going to handle the trial?”

Adama sat down on the couch and loosened the top buttons of his uniform shirt. “Somewhat. I'd rather have it completely military and not let the press in on it, but that won't work.”

Laura shook her head. “No. The people need to know what is going on, and why Vice President Gaius Baltar is on trial.”

“Collaboration.”

“I know that, and you know that, but you should know by now that the public is very fickle when it comes to who they bestow their favor upon.” She reached for a file she brought from the VIP quarters then flipped through it. “You know, we can do it both ways. A compromise?”

“How?” Bill narrowed his eyes, not quite sure what she was implying.

Coming over to him, she sat down and continued. “We can have the trial be in the civilian realm, but have military security.”

“And what about the vice president's office? Have you thought about that?”

Laura blushed while looking down, “Actually, I have. I never thought I'd be doing this, but I talked to Tom Zarek at the reception about the prospect of appointing him.” She smiled at his surprised reaction, “You should have seen his face, he was rather stunned at the offer.”

Getting up, Bill went over to his desk and retrieved several sheets of paper and a pen. When he sat back down he started listing all the things that needed to happen with the security. “I will have the marines Glennan is training as the visible security, but with just a side arm. The backups can be from the Pegasus , and in full tactical gear.”

“Hidden?”

“For now. The less obvious they are armed, the more comfortable the civilians will be.”

“Of course,” Laura smiled as she rubbed his back.

“Ma'am?” Billy opened the door slowly.

Laura took off her glasses, “Yes, Billy? What is it?”

“One of the reporters, Playa Palacios, has been calling. She wants to do an interview with Lieutenant Glennan.”

“Right, she mentioned that at the reception. Is there anything else?”

“Do you know where the Terran is? I don't think it would be wise for Ms. Palacios to wander around the ship looking for the Lieutenant.”

Laura glanced towards Bill for a moment then brought her attention back to Billy. “As soon as either the Admiral or I see her, we'll tell her. Why don't you have Playa stay where she is, that way we can reach her quickly.”

“Yes, ma'am.” Billy nodded.

“That is all.”

~~~~~~~

Cottle stood just inside the morgue where he had put the Cylons. All if them had gone completely brain dead near the end of that last battle. There was no reason why he needed to keep them alive, except for curiosity's sake. But, he wasn't that kind of doctor. For him, it was the living that mattered. Still, somehow Sharon had survived all of what had happened, while the others. . .

Not seeing anything else he could do, he left for Life Station once again. The wounded from that last encounter with the Cylons had created more broken bones and lacerations than anything else. He would have to send a report to the President and Adama about who they had lost.

“Dr. Cottle!”

Jack turned around and waited for the medic to catch up with him. “What is it?”

“The Cylon, Sharon, she's having contractions. I've sent her to Life Station.”

“All right,” he muttered, then turned and quickened his pace. She was close to a month early, but she should be all right. Barring any complications, she should hopefully give birth normally.

When he entered, Cottle found that Helo had somehow managed to find out, and was waiting there impatiently. “Sir!” he said as he rushed towards him. “How is she? Has she had the baby yet?”

“Calm down, Lieutenant,” Cottle said with an amused look on his face. “I have to see what's going on before I can give you any answers.

Helo seemed to stop and look down in embarrassment. “I'm sorry, sir.”

Cottle placed a hand on the younger officer's shoulder. “She should be fine, as long as the Cylons were able to create the right plumbing.”

Karl rolled his eyes. “Thanks for the encouragement,” he muttered. “Can I be there? I really would like to.”

Cottle nodded as he moved across the room. “Follow me.”

Five minutes later, they came out through another door from the scrubbing room and into what the medics had converted over into a birthing room. “Sharon!” Helo came over to her. “Are you all right?”

“No, it frakkin' hurts,” she muttered.

“Giving birth always hurts. You should have known about that,” Cottle grumbled. “And it's too late for me to give you any pain killers,” he finished. “Your baby will be born in less than 15 minutes,” he commented after giving the Cylon a full examination.

“God it hurts!” she cried out just as Cottle ordered her to bear down. Even with Sharon's heightened strength, it still took a lot out of her.

“Your daughter is here,” Cottle said with a smile in his voice over the infant's wailing.

“A girl?” Karl asked, eyes wide.

“Yes, and she looks normal,” Cottle glanced towards Sharon. Karl was wiping her face with a small towel.

“Can I see her,” Sharon asked, exhaustion clearly lacing her voice.

“For a short time. I'm going to have to run some tests on her to make sure she's healthy.”

“I want her now!” Sharon sat up, anger written across her face.

“Please, Sharon. Let Dr. Cottle do what he needs to do,” Karl tried to appease her. “You'll get to see her soon enough.”

Cottle was surprised at the Cylon's response. “Valerii, your child is the first hybrid. I want to make sure she is healthy and will survive.” Backing away, he pulled off his gloves and had the med techs move both Sharon and her newborn into the appropriate areas of Life Station. He needed a cigarette, and had to tell both Adama and Roslin that the infant was now here.


Chapter Thirty-six

Angela stepped inside the recently vacated Flag quarters. She stopped short when she saw the camera being set up. A video interview was not what she had been expecting.

“Oh, good, you're here,” Playa said brightly as she gathered her papers. Coming over to the Terran, she offered her hand. “Hello. I'm Playa Palacios from the Colonial Gang .”

“Lieutenant Glennan,” Angela answered as she accepted the greeting. Pulling out her pda she asked, “Is this going to be live?”

“If you want it, we can do that.”

“No. . .thanks,” Angela shook her head as she slipped the pda back into her pocket.

Playa nodded, then moved over to her cameraman. She said something, then turned her attention back to the Terran. “I can put you here. I do wish you had a Terran flag behind you,” the reporter went on as she directed Angela to the table. “But the uniform is different enough for the viewers to know that you're not under Admiral Adama.” When she turned her attention back to Angela, the Terran had a slightly confused look on her face.

“Speak too fast. I understand if speak slowly.”

“Oh, I'm sorry!” Playa apologized. “You can understand me?”

“Much - - most. . .” Angela rolled her eyes.

“Don't worry, I think I know what you meant,” Playa gave her a smile. “For me it's amazing that you don't speak our language.”

“Much talk on Terra.”

The reporter looked at her in confusion. “I'm not sure what you meant by that. Could you use that?” She pointed to the now hidden pda.

The Terran nodded then repeated herself, “There are thousands of languages on Terra.”

“Thousands?” Playa looked at her in amazement. “How is that possible?”

Angela shrugged. “It just is.”

Choking down her amazement, Playa smiled and indicated the chairs. “You can keep your translator in your lap if you want. Since this will not be live, we'll be able to cut out the time it takes for you to answer the questions, all right?”

‘Okay,' Angela nodded.

Ignoring the comment, Playa looked directly into the camera and began, “Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Since last week, and the recent revelations announced by Admiral Adama concerning Earth, I have been wanting to do a one-on-one interview with the Terran Liaison. Just recently I was given permission from Captain O'Neill, her commanding officer, and the Admiral. Tonight, I have the privilege to interview Lieutenant Angela Glennan.” Because of a monitor that was set up behind the cameraman, Angela could see the camera panning over to her position. Ironically enough, she could just make out the transceiver in the background.

“I want to thank you for setting aside this time for an interview,” she smiled warmly, trying to put Angela more at ease. “Now I think everyone will want to know this: are you really from Earth?”

For a moment Angela hesitated, not quite sure if she should answer the question. She did know that Adama had announced to the entire fleet about who they really were. Even though we had a discussion about this, I want the skipper to see this before it's broadcast , she thought before answering. “Yes. I was born in a country called Scotland. My family, though, immigrated to one of Terra's colonies a short time later.”

“That's interesting, because you have a distinct Leonis accent. The average Colonial would assume you were from there.”

“But I am not,” Angela answered with a slight smile. “When I learn a new language, I tend to absorb the accent of the one instructing me.”

“Back to Earth. I assumed you had one government for the entire planet. What do you mean by country?”

Angela gave her a thin smile, she wasn't about to let them know the tenuous peace Terra had with herself, “It's complicated, but our strength is in our diversity. The beauty of it is that each group of nations gives to the planetary defense forces what they can afford. If all they can do is one squadron of soldiers, then that is more than enough. The richer the country, the more they are obligated to help protect the planet.”

Interesting , Playa thought. Seems like there's lots of infighting . “So there are problems within the Terran government?”

Angela hesitated for a moment, but eventually answered in a pleasant tone, “When the Terran Ambassador arrives he or she will be able to give you more information. If you want more detail on the myriad of cultures on Terra I can contact my commanding officer and she can have a packet prepared for you.”

Thinking she might be able to get at least some type of answer, Playa went in another direction, “Sources state that you have been working with the marines from the Galactica .”

Angela nodded while widening her smile. “I am very satisfied with their progress.”

“Really? What are your goals concerning the marines?”

“Right now they are soldiers and think like soldiers, which is good. You need soldiers, but you also need police officers. I have started focusing their training more on general police work than what they've been doing on the Galactica . They need to know how to interact with the civilian population and not be intimidating at the same time.”

“Like when Mark Harrison was arrested on Cloud Nine several days ago? The marines used police techniques. Can you comment on that?”

“For the actual incident I cannot comment on, but for the techniques I can. The marine you are talking about used basic police techniques to subdue a suspect so that danger to both the arresting officer and suspect is kept at a minimum.”

“Most of Vice President Gaius Baltar's supporters are furious that he was arrested. He was taken into custody at the same time. Can you talk to me about that?”

“Ma'am, I was not there, so I cannot give you any information. If you want to know the reasons you should talk to either Admiral Adama or President Roslin,” she answered with a smile.

Playa leaned back in her chair. “I see. You're not going to say anything unless you've been given permission?”

“That's about right. . .ma'am,” Angela answered with a straight face, but her eyes showed some amusement. “I can still contact Captain O'Neill about the packet.”

Playa's eyes widened slightly while she nodded. “Thank you, that would be greatly appreciated.”

When it was finally finished, Angela got up and looked around a moment. “Thank you,” she said as she reached out a hand.

“No, thank you . To be the first one to score an interview with someone from Earth. . .” Playa couldn't help but smile.

“I do understand, our reporters are the same. I think they're the same anywhere you go. . .” She shrugged.

“I do want to thank you for this time,” Playa nodded and also accepted the hand that was offered.

Once Angela was out of the flag quarters she knew she needed to get a report sent to O'Neill about the interview and the information that Playa requested. Turning the corner, she stopped at Adama's quarters. “Speak to Admiral?”

“Yes, ma'am,” one answered smartly, then opened the door. He returned moments later and nodded while pulling the door further open.

“Thank you,” she said slowly. She found Adama sitting at his table going over several files. “Sir?”

“Yes, Lieutenant?” he asked as he set the folder down.

“The, uh, transceiver? Can I have it moved, sir?”

“To security?”

Angela's eyes widened slightly. “How. . .?”

“Major Gaeta has already told me what the marines did.” He indicated the chair to the side of him. When she sat down, he continued, “And until I see fit to have you moved, the security office and quarters are yours to use.”

Glennan's eyes widened as her mouth opened in shock. “Uh. . .”

“Lieutenant, you have proven trustworthy so far. And because of that, I encourage you to continue your work with the marines. What little you have done has raised their morale substantially.”

“I demand no less than the best they have to offer while treating them with respect, sir.”

“They also see you as one of them. They know you are not a pilot.” Picking up the file, he continued, “You're dismissed. The next marines you see, other than the ones on guard duty, can move the transceiver. I know you need to make your reports.”

“Yes, sir.” Angela stood at attention then turned on her heels towards the door. “And thank you.” When she was gone, Adama smiled while settling deeper into the chair.

Glennan kept her features schooled until she reached one of the somewhat empty corridors. Looking around, she made sure no one was around. When she felt satisfied, she broke out into a huge grin. First Felix and now the Admiral. This was too good to be true. The position she had been given on the Goch has now turned into her idea of a plum assignment. If only she could get her rank back, she sighed. Straightening her shirt, she continued down the corridor. She enlisted the help of the first two marines she came across to help her move the transceiver.

The shelf beside her desk was the right size for the transceiver. Once it was secured, she plugged it into the Galactica 's systems. She then set up her computer and printer. Hitting a few keys, she started her music program on the computer. While listening, she turned and pulled the backpack out of the bottom of the weapons locker. When it was emptied she dropped it in the bottom desk drawer then started organizing the training weapons. There was one empty drawer within the locker, so she appropriated it for her training weapons.

When she was finally finished she went back into her quarters, while leaving the door open (she did want to listen to the music). Opening up the locker she started organizing her things, hoping she would be able to find everything, and not knowing how the Colonial marines set theirs up.

Some time later she decided to take a break in the move-in and go back to the office. Pausing the music, she turned on the transceiver. ‘ Goch , this is Glennan. How do you read?'

‘Loud and clear, Lieutenant!'

‘Harris, I need to speak to the skipper. Is she available?'

‘Hold one.'

‘Lieutenant, do you have anything to report?' Mair asked once she was on.

‘Some, ma'am. The marines have. . .moved me into their security officer's quarters. I didn't ask for it.' Angela looked down while blushing.

‘Security? Does Adama know about this development?'

‘Yes, ma'am. He seemed quite pleased at it. He also gave his permission to move the transceiver to my new office.' She paused before continuing. ‘And I'm sorry about what happened at the reception. You know I don't drink at official functions.'

‘Don't worry about that. You were helped out of there before it got too far' Mair answered with a smile in her voice.

‘And said officer was properly thanked for her assistance,' Angela answered with a smirk on her face.

‘Is there anything else you need to report? '

‘Yes, ma'am. I was interviewed earlier today. The reporter was really trying to find out about our issues. I didn't reveal anything, but I did offer to have a packet prepared on the cultures Terra has.'

‘Good work. I'll have someone put something together that's media friendly. It should be ready in time for the next shuttle run.'

Angela looked at the wall, unseeing after the signal was disconnected. Shaking herself out of it, she glanced to the comm. unit mounted to the bulkhead just in reach. ‘And I don't even know how to use that yet,' she muttered. Though, she knew she needed to contact the reporter to tell her that the information she requested was being gathered. After a few more minutes she got up and moved to the entrance into the barracks. Right as she was opening the door, someone knocked on the outside entrance. Taking a few brisk steps she reached it just as it was being opened. She jumped back, startled.

Gaeta raised his hands in surprise as he backed up a step. “I'm sorry,” he said quickly.

Angela sighed while closed her eyes. ‘It's okay,' she said.

‘Ready?' he asked as he took a step closer.

‘Ready?' Angela narrowed her eyes, not quite sure what he meant by that. It was only then she realized he had asked it in English. Her eyes widened slightly as a smile crossed her face. “Not yet.” Moving back to her computer, she turned it off, then pushed it to the side. ‘Now I'm ready,' she answered with a smile.

~~~~~~~

Laura stood over the incubator looking down in awe at the small life before her. “She looks just like a normal infant,” she said quietly as her hands rested on the edges of the enclosed bed.

“Except for a few internal growths, she is,” Cottle answered with a surprisingly gentle tone.

Laura looked up at the Galactica 's senior medical officer. “What are we going to do?”

“Ma'am, I don't know what you're going to do, but I am going to talk to Adama.” Cottle pulled off his lab coat and made sure his uniform shirt was straight.

“About what?”

“There are too many things that don't work,” he answered as he pulled the door open. He briskly moved down the hall, not caring if she was going to follow him or not. Just the fact that both Sharon and her daughter, whom she had named Hera, were perfectly fine when the other obvious Cylon was now lying in the morgue, bothered him greatly.

“Doctor, slow down, please,” Laura called. She was a half a corridor behind him. Cottle didn't stop, but he did slow down so she could catch up with him. “I want to know why, also,” she answered slightly out of breath.

When they were outside of Bill's quarters, Cottle glanced to her, then knocked.

“Jack,” Bill looked at him with curiosity for a moment. Catching Laura's look, he backed away and let the two enter. Once the door was closed, he folded his arms and asked, “All right, what is it?”

“I have at least one Cylon in the morgue completely brain dead, and another who is perfectly healthy,” Cottle started.

“Valerii had her baby,” Laura said quietly. “Hera looks just like one of us.”

“I'm not here because of that. What I want to know is what the Terrans did during the last encounter with the Cylons.”

“Sent a computer virus near the end of the battle,” Adama finally answered. “What do you mean at least one?”

“There are two others in the morgue with the same symptoms.”

“I'm inclined to think those were also Cylons,” Laura answered.

“What about Valerii?” Adama looked from one to the other.

“She mentioned something last week when I was examining her in her cell. Something to the fact that she disconnected herself.”

Laura's eyes widened. “I didn't think that was possible.”

“Whether or not she did it, she still isn't sick or succumbed to the Terran worm,” Bill answered.

“I wish that Cylon Detector worked,” Laura sighed as she rubbed her arms. “Is. . .is there any way to see if it can be fixed or not?” she continued.

Bill looked again from one to the other. Eventually he settled his eyes on Cottle. “Keep me informed as to the condition of the Cylon and its child. You're dismissed.”

Laura looked back to Bill once the door was closed. “Well?”

“I can have Gaeta take a look at it. I had him helping early on.”

Laura nodded, for once she seemed alone.

“You're not alone,” Bill said softly as he pulled her into a close embrace.

Laura was quiet for a time before she finally deciding to speak, “We've found Earth, but why do I feel that we're still searching?”


Chapter Thirty-seven

“I want to know what you know about the detector Dr. Baltar created.”

Adama looked at Gaeta critically for a moment before turning his attention to Cottle. The three officers were sitting around a lone table in the officer's ward room. “You mentioned early last week that the Terran's PDA can be used as another Cylon detector?”

“Yes,” Cottle nodded as he looked at the papers in front of him. “They have a scanning device that's designed to pick up bioengineered tissue that's not indigenous to the patient in question.” He leaned back while reaching into his breast pocket for his cigarettes. “I'm not sure why we didn't have this technology before.”

“They didn't go the AI route, but went towards smart computers,” Gaeta commented. “Although, they do have entertainment videos that paint a bleak picture of a post ‘apocalyptic' society with AI's in complete control. Something I'm inclined to think the Cylons created on our homeworlds once they were finished with them.”

“Are they this pessimistic about their future?” Adama asked.

“No, sir. They've got other videos with humans working together with other ‘alien' races for mutual defense.” He shook his head, “Very odd, sir.”

“What about the detector?” Adama looked down to the notes before him.

“Sir, he was very secretive about it. I'm not entirely sure how or if it works.”

“Did he ever have you involved with its development?” Adama looked back up to Gaeta.

“Not really, sir. Only with the acquisition of parts, and a few times with the actual building of it.” Gaeta shook his head. “Sorry, sir.”

Adama nodded slowly, it was something he had been expecting. “When we're finished here, I want you to go to Dr. Baltar's lab and see what you can do with the Cylon Detector.”

“Yes, sir,” Gaeta answered.

“Do you think we can experiment with one of those Terran medical computers?” Adama asked while he turned his attention back to Cottle.

“I suspect it'll be Jankowitz's call on that,” Cottle answered while taking a drag on his cigarette. “Though, I don't think he will disagree on our asking for help in that area.”

“Amenable?”

“Mostly. He was the one that did the initial scans of Gina. Hell, didn't think anything was wrong with her except maybe having what looked like mostly benign tumors.”

“I remember you showing it to me.” Adama hesitated before continuing, “I want to talk to Jankowitz personally about this. Can he understand us?”

“Yes, sir,” Cottle nodded.

“Good. I want to know if it can be used as either a backup or our main Cylon detector. That is if Baltar did create a working detector. You're dismissed,” Adama ended the conference.

Some time later Gaeta looked at the components of Baltar's Cylon Detector. He had no idea how or even where to start. He had been telling the truth about how secretive Baltar had been with its creation. He looked up and saw the comm. unit then turned back to the detector. After a moment's thought, he reached for the unit and keyed in a few numbers. “Angela. . .it looks like I will be late. . .can't say over the comm. . .all right.” Plugging it back in, he reached over and turned the detector on. “At least it looks like it's running,” he muttered as he looked around.

“Now, what to do. . .” Getting up, he went through the database for the blood samples. He thought if he ran the test on a known Cylon, it could give him ideas on where he could take the possible repairs or reprogramming. “I know Valerii is one. I wonder if her blood sample is still here,” he muttered as he began to go through the database. Not finding anything of value, he considered for a moment going down to life station, or at least contacting them so they wouldn't be completely surprised at his request.

The retrieval took only ten minutes. Luckily Cottle still had samples of the Cylon's blood still on hand. Opening up the test dish, he let a few drops of her blood seep into the testing material. When finished, he pushed the sample into the machine and set it to run. “Twelve hours? Twelve frakkin' hours?” Gaeta complained when he saw the time estimate. “It doesn't take twelve hours to run a blood test. There has got to be something I can do to cut down the amount of time to something much more manageable.”

He knew he would not be able to get to it for some time, and plus, the first two tests were to make sure that it did indeed work the way Baltar had initially said it would. Gaeta reached for the comm. again. “Sir, first test is running. . .Valerii. . .I'll report on the findings in twelve hours. I think the time it takes to run the test can be cut down. Twelve hours is too long to run a simple blood test.”

Seeing there was nothing else he could do, Gaeta stepped out of the lab and closed the door, firmly sealing it. As he moved down the corridor he looked at his watch. He was way late. At least the detector was running; working properly was another story entirely.

He let his mind wander to the events of the past week. Even though Angela was used to seeing space from screens, she had looked in appreciation at the sight of the fleet and the Terran vessels when he had taken her to the observation deck. Too bad they hadn't been alone. He had to admit, it was a popular place for couples. The decent part about it was that almost everyone minded their own business, and personal displays of affection weren't too obvious.

Reaching Security, he passed beside the office door and went further down along the corridor to the one that directly accessed the private quarters. Glennan had gotten into the habit of keeping the door open and the light on when she was in the office. Looking at the time, he realized it was quite late. Stepping up to the cabin, he knocked on the door, “Glennan?”

It was several minutes before Angela opened the door. “How did go?” she asked sleepily. She was wearing a robe, but he couldn't tell what else.

He gave a slight smile at his answer, ‘Okay.'

Nodding, she backed away from the door so he could enter. “If you don't want me here, that's fine. I know it's late.”

‘It's okay,' she answered as she slipped her arms around his neck. ‘You don't have to leave.'

Gaeta knew exactly what she meant and smiled as he pushed the door closed then picked her up and moved towards her decent sized rack.

~~~~~~~

Gaeta sat down in front of Gaius Baltar's Cylon Detector. It was a little over twelve hours since he had started the test with Valerii's blood sample. For a moment he closed his eyes while letting a slight smile cross his face. At least this time Angela hadn't forcibly removed him from the rack, it was much better waking up and finding himself not on the deck.

Without thinking, he removed the sample and recorded the findings on a piece of paper. The blinking screen eventually caught his attention and he focused on it. It took a moment or two before he realized what it was telling him. “Very interesting,” he muttered. “And Baltar clearly stated that the detector reported that she wasn't a Cylon.” After scribbling some more, he turned the detector off and went to report the initial findings to Adama.

He was barely paying any attention to the crew around him when he turned the corner and ran into someone. Looking up, his eyes widened slightly while he backed up, “I'm sorry, ma'am. I wasn't looking where I was going.” The woman was a civilian, most likely a reporter.

“That's all right,” she answered with a somewhat winning smile. “Isn't it a little early to be hurrying?”

Gaeta's eyes narrowed slightly. “Not really. Now, if you'll excuse me,” he ended the conversation as he moved around her and back on his way to Adama's quarters.

“Interesting,” she muttered as she watched him move with purpose down the corridor. “Leonis. . .” Smiling to herself, she slowly followed him, not sure where he was going or how long he would be there.

Gaeta let out the breath he had inadvertently been holding. He looked down to the sheet he was holding. He carefully put it in his pocket after folding it. I hope she didn't see it, he thought to himself. Taking a deep breath he turned the corner and arrived at Adama's quarters. “Is he up?” he asked one of the marines on duty. It was early, but not too early.

The two guards looked at each other for a moment. “One moment, sir,” the second one commented, then opened the door and slipped inside. He came back out a moment later and nodded while opening the door further.

“Sir?” Gaeta asked as he stepped into the room. Thinking it would be best, he turned and closed the door.

“What is it?” Adama asked as he stepped out of the head. He was partly dressed for the day and had his trousers and tanks on.

“Sir, I've finished with the first test.” Gaeta pulled out the paper from his pocket and handed it over.

“Have you tested anyone else?” Adama asked after he read the findings.

Gaeta shook his head. “No, sir. I do think the next one should be one we know for sure is not a Cylon; perhaps Lieutenant Agathorn?”

“Good choice.” Adama nodded as he backed away.

“Sir?” Gaeta asked. Is that it? “Um, is that it?”

“No. There is something I want you to work on during your spare time today.”

The Admiral pulled one of the more battered books from the shelf beside his desk and began flipping through it. When he found what he was looking for, he set it down on his desk and pulled out a sheet of paper and pen and started writing. Once finished, he handed the sheet to Gaeta and said, “I want your answer below. I'll give you the rest of the day to think about it.”

“Yes, sir,” Gaeta nodded. Once he was back out in the corridor, he immediately went back to the lab. The earlier he got the test started the earlier it would be finished. There still had to be something he could do to cut the running time down. He immediately went to the database listings for the crew and searched for Agathorn's. Not finding it, he decided to head down to Life Station. Of all places, he figured that would be the best to get his blood sample. Rumor also stated that the Cylon had her baby early.

Entering Life Station, he looked around for Dr. Cottle. Of all the medical personnel on duty, he was the only one he felt truly comfortable talking to about the issues of the detector. “Dr. Cottle?” he asked after finding him in one of the examination room. “I need to talk to you.”

Jack grunted in acknowledgment while continuing with his current exam. When he came out, they both went to Cottle's private office. “I need a sample of Agathorn's blood,” he said once the door was closed.

“For Baltar's detector?” Jack took a long pull on his lit cigarette.

“Yes. I just finished with Valerii's. She tested positive. I need Helo's to make sure that it does work correctly.”

“Isn't that just great. Who else knows about this?”

Gaeta let a small smile cross his face before continuing, “Admiral Adama. I've already reported my initial findings. And once Helo's test is complete, I'm going to try and see if I can cut the processing time down. Twelve hours is too long for any type of test.”

“You've got your samples. He was here earlier.”

“So, rumor is right? Valerii had her baby?”

“She had a girl. I've done some scans already. She doesn't have as many growths as Valerii.”

Gaeta nodded thoughtfully. “Interesting.”

Seeing the conference was finished, Cottle opened the door. “I'll get you those samples.”

“Thank you,” Gaeta answered while watching Cottle go back into the larger room. Minutes later the older officer came back and handed him a small package. Nodding, Gaeta waited a moment, not sure exactly what the senior medical officer was going to do. Once Jack turned his attention back to the others within Life Station, Gaeta turned and headed back to Baltar's lab.

Setting the detector back up was simple enough. When it was ready, he put Helo's blood into the detector and started the test. Now, he had twelve hours to do what other duties that were assigned to him. Just the thought that Sharon's test had come out positive made him really want to question Baltar on why he had lied in the first place.

Making his decision, he left the lab and headed back down towards security to where the brig was located. At a minor intersection, he took a nondescript passageway. From there, the corridors narrowed considerably. He eventually made one last turn which ended in a dead-end that held a single door. Pulling the door open, he glanced to the marines on duty. They wore the full tactical gear instead of a simple firearm most of the others were now wearing.

“I need to talk to Baltar,” he told the officer on duty.

“Yes, sir,” the officer answered while standing. “If you'll follow me, sir.”

Gaeta nodded and followed him into the front area of the cells. In this section all but one was empty. Baltar was pacing back and forth in the only occupied cell. Realizing he had a visitor, he lunged towards the bars. “It wasn't my fault!” he hissed.

“I'm not here to debate you. . .” Gaeta lowered his voice. “I want to know why you lied about Valerii's test results with the Cylon Detector you designed.”

Baltar's face darkened in anger, “I, I didn't lie. The results came across as negative!”

And to think I idolized him, Gaeta thought sadly. “I ran her blood through the test again and it came out as a positive match. I'm now running the test on another officer to make sure it gave the right answer initially.”

Baltar's face drained of color. “It was her,” he muttered. “S-she made me do it.”

“Who?” This grabbed his attention. “Who made you do it?” Gaeta asked as he took a step closer.

Without warning, the vice president shot his hand out and grabbed Gaeta's uniform while forcefully pulling the smaller man against the bars. “Get me out of here,” he hissed.

“Sir!” Both marines jumped towards the cell and managed to quickly pry the XO free from Baltar's desperate strength. “Are you all right, sir?” they asked as they pulled him away from what was considered the danger zone.

“Give me a moment,” Gaeta mumbled as he leaned against the back wall. Looking up, he noticed Baltar was back to pacing in his cell while mumbling. Shaking his head, he moved towards the door. “I've heard enough.”

“Yes, sir,” the marine on duty nodded while picking up the comm. unit and spoke quietly into it. He then turned his attention back to the prisoner once the XO had left.

Gaeta stood out in the deserted corridor while rubbing his face. He stopped over a somewhat tender area. “He needs to be removed from office,” he muttered. Those were not the actions of a sane man. Moving again, he realized Baltar never had answered his question about the detector. Before leaving the first corridor, Gaeta looked down to see if his uniform was out of place. Feeling he was all right for now after a quick adjustment, he turned out of the corridor and went back towards the forward section of the ship. He eventually found himself in CIC. He did have his normal duties to take care of.

“Are you all right, sir?” Heather asked quietly once he wandered over to tactical.

“What do you mean?” Gaeta narrowed his eyes slightly.

“Your, um, cheek, sir. It looks like either a bruise or. . .something. . .” she trailed off, clearly uncomfortable about with the subject matter.

Gaeta's hand went up to the apparently developing bruise, the muscle tissue underneath the skin was somewhat tender. “It's not something for you to worry over, Lieutenant,” he finally answered.

“Yes, sir,” she swallowed while nodding.

Looking back over the rest of the CIC crew, he noticed with some amusement, how they suddenly all seemed extremely interested in their jobs.

When Hadrian showed up, it had been somewhat busy for some time. The marine sergeant looked around for a moment then headed straight for Gaeta. “Sir?” she asked quietly.

Gaeta turned around and looked at her for a moment before answering, “What is it, sergeant?”

“About what happened in the brig?” she responded quietly.

“I'll tell the Admiral about it,” he answered with a serious look on his face.

“Yes, sir,” she answered while straightening to attention. Once she was dismissed, she turned and headed out of the CIC.

Gaeta stood there for a moment or two, before he handed the watch over to Heather then went to find Adama. Remembering the paper the Admiral had given him earlier in the day, he pulled it out and read the note. It was a scenario, and the Admiral was expecting for him to write out his ideas on how he would handle the situation. He folded it and placed it back in his pocket as he went in search for the Admiral. Once again, he found himself wishing they had the same type of technology the Terrans had for quick communications and finding people on board. With a ship the size of the Galactica , it was almost impossible at times.

Turning into another corridor, he found Adama talking to Starbuck. He hesitated for a moment, not sure if the conversation was something that should be overheard or not. Realizing the absurdity of his thoughts, he began moving towards them while asking, “Sir?”

Kara let out a snicker before managing to swallow it. Gaeta glared at her, “That was not the cause, Lieutenant Thrace.”

“Yes, sir, Major, sir,” she answered with huge grin and a sloppy salute.

Gaeta chose to ignore her response and turned his attention back to Adama. “There's something very important I need to talk to you about.”

“Thrace, you're dismissed,” Adama told the younger pilot. Once she was gone, he continued, “Is it about that bruise?”

Gaeta rubbed it, “Yes, sir. Though it's not what you think.” He paused before continuing, “I don't want to say anything about it while out here.”

Understanding flared in Bill's eyes. Without another word, they both moved towards Adama's quarters. When the door closed, Gaeta sighed before starting, “It happened in the brig. I wanted to ask Baltar why he stated Valerii's test came out negative. I feel he has become unfit for office. He was mentally unstable and babbling the entire time.” He looked to the books before continuing, “I inadvertently took a step within the danger zone. There were two marines as witnesses.”

“What happened?” Adama asked as he took a step towards Gaeta.

“He, he yanked me against the bars. The marines managed to get Baltar to let me go.”

“I see.”

“He was also babbling over how ‘she made me do it'. Sir, I'm not sure who or what he was referring to.”

“Thank you, Major,” Adama said as he moved towards the door. “I also want you to get that checked out when you have free time today.”

“Yes, sir,” Gaeta nodded while straightening to attention. He then left and moved back down the corridor.

Walking over to his desk, Bill picked up the comm. and punched a few buttons. Laura had officially moved her office back onto the stricken Colonial One that morning. He found himself, though, missing her presence. “Madam President. You now have evidence for removing Baltar from office.”

“What happened?” she asked with concern.

“Gaeta went to ask him about the Cylon Detector, it seems that its initial report marked Valerii as a Cylon. He also showed classic signs of being mentally unstable.”

“What else?”

“Assault.”

“Is Gaeta all right?” Laura asked in concern.

“Just some bruising from the bars, that's about it.”

“Thank the gods,” she mumbled. “Now with the detector, how do we know for sure it does work?”

“He's testing Helo's blood sample right now. Gaeta also want to see if he can reduce the time it takes for the test to run.”

“Thank you, Bill,” she said softly.

“Tonight?”

“Of course, need you ask?” she answered with a smile in her voice.

Adama stared at the comm. unit for some time before leaving to finish his rounds for the day. Passing the mess, he glanced inside the open door. What surprised him was the sight of Gaeta still eating there. He didn't have to since he was now the executive officer. Bill figured he must not have realized that he could have relative privacy during his meals. Several officers, including Starbuck and Glennan were there with him and all were in a rather animated conversation.

Adama let a smile cross his face for a moment before letting it disappear as he rounded the corner.

“Admiral Adama!”

Bill stopped and looked around for the person. He vaguely recognized her voice, but he wasn't sure from where. Once he saw her, he immediately realized who she was. “What can I do for you, Ms. Palacios?”

“Is. . .” she looked down to her hastily scribbled notes while catching her breath, “Major Gaeta the one teaching the liaison our language?”

“What makes you think that?” Bill's eyes narrowed slightly.

“Well. . .I've heard things. . .” she smiled suggestively.

“And you, of all people, should know how to take rumors.” He cut short the conversation, “Now if you will excuse me. I have a ship to run.” Adama left her in the corridor. Once he had moved into another area, Playa let a large smile cross her face, “The rumors are true,” she muttered happily.


Chapter Thirty-eight

“What is triad?” Angela asked as she followed Starbuck into the pilot's ward room.

“Card game. You know, I do have to redeem myself somehow. I never thought you'd know how to play pyramid.”

Angela shrugged, “Close to handball.” As the former liaison sat down, she could feel the weight of the watch Gaeta had given her earlier in the week. The gift had been completely unexpected. And it was something she still didn't know what to do with.

The Terran stayed out of the first hand while the rest seemed to stare each other down. In concept, it seemed close to poker, but the cards were completely different from what she was used to. Then again, she didn't play a lot of poker while on board the Goch . She didn't play because she wasn't any good, it was because she learned very quickly that she was always poor afterwards. Poker and her were not a good match. And if looks were any indication, Starbuck was the queen of this particular game.

The first round eventually ended. When they started passing the cards out again she shook her head and pushed the cards away. “I do not play cards,” she answered while shrugging her shoulders.

Gaeta stepped inside the room and smiled. He would join in on the regular triad game, but he was too busy now. Walking around the table, he stopped when he reached Angela. ‘How did she get you in?'

‘I beat her at handball,' Angela answered with a smug grin.

“Hey! No fair,” Kara glared at the XO. “I can't understand what you're saying.”

“I only asked her if she was included in the triad game,” Gaeta answered with a slight smirk on his face.

‘Fold.' Angela put the unknown and confusing cards down, then pushed away from the table. “I do not know what the cards mean, or how to play the game.”

“My reasons for getting you to play,” Starbuck answered with a grin as she made another bet.

“How much did you loose?” Gaeta asked as they moved down the corridor.

Angela let a smile cross her face before it disappeared, ‘Nothing. I never did bet anything. I know for a fact that I am not a good card player.' There was silence for a few moments when Angela decided to break it, “Where are we going?”

They entered the passageways where the senior officers quarters were located before he answered, “Admiral Adama wants to talk to you.”

“Did he say what he wanted to talk about?”

“No.” Reaching another intersecting corridor, he smiled and added, ‘Tonight?'

“Of course,” Angela answered with an amused look on her face. She let it drop once he was in the new corridor, but her eyes still showed some of the feelings she felt for the XO. Eventually, she focused on the task at hand, meeting with the Admiral. It was a surprise for her. “You want to see me, sir?” she asked once she was before him.

Adama looked up and let a ghost of a smile soften his features before they hardened once again. “You should know that we are preparing for Baltar's trial.” Angela nodded while he continued, “I wanted to warn you that you might be asked to testify.”

Angela looked down for a moment, she did not want to hear this particular piece of information. If she were to testify, she would be forced to answer truthfully about her past issues. It would not be a pretty sight.

“I need to know what happened to put someone in the ground forces onto a ship and not in a marine capacity.”

“It was either this or resign,” she shook her head slowly.

“I'll do everything in my power to make it so you do not have to testify, Lieutenant,” Adama answered kindly. “You might have to, however, since he stole your computer.”

“I know, sir,” she answered slowly.

~~~~~~~

‘Ma'am,' Jack's voice came over the intercom into Mair's office. ‘You wanted to be notified of any arrivals. The task force of a light cruiser and two frigates have arrived with the ambassador on board.'

‘Has it?' Mair looked up from her reports.

‘Yes. Captain Bledsoe also wishes to come on board.'

‘Did he say who Terra sent?'

‘Yes. And he also stated that he's very gracious.'

‘Who, Jack,' Mair hardened her voice slightly.

‘A Spaniard from their Royal House. Juan Bourbon Garcia.'

Oh great, another member of the EU , Mair sighed. This was not going the way she intended it to go. ‘Where is Bledsoe from?'

Jack answered with a chuckle, ‘He's an Aussie.'

It would be interesting for him to meet Adama. Mair let a smile cross her face. ‘Let me know when he's ready to come on board.' She was willing to give the ambassador the benefit of the doubt because of Bledsoe.

‘Yes, ma'am, ' Jack disconnected the line. The ensuing silence was broken only by the sound of the running ship around her. Rising from her chair, she stood there, bracing herself against the desk. Since the dinner and the reception, her problems had been steadily growing worse. Maybe it is time to retire , she thought morbidly. But then who would be an advocate for the Colonials? she questioned herself. They clung to their culture, what little was left of it, but at the same time were desperate for any help that came along. At least Adama was clear-headed enough to know whom to trust. Sighing, she straightened up the rest of the way, then reached for her cane. It was also getting harder for her to walk.

Snapping it open, she leaned heavily on it as she moved to the door. She also hated to be seen like this, in her mind her condition denoted weakness, and it was a physical weakness. Most, if not all people in her condition weren't able to do any constructive work. She was able to get away with it because of Jack. He had been with her for years it seemed. It helped that they were friends from back in the Academy. When she had been given a choice for her executive officer, she had jumped at the chance to put Jack there.

He was still waiting for his first command, and was also given the chance. But he had decided to stay with her for now. That was what surprised her.

‘What are you doing?'

Mair looked up from her inspection of the floor with a slight smile. Sometimes his comments bordered on insolence, but it was well meaning at the same time. She knew why he acted the way he did. ‘I do need to meet up with Bledsoe, and not wait for him like some despot,' she answered as he eventually fell into step with her. ‘I couldn't do that with Donelson because I was too busy,' she finished. ‘Spaniard?'

‘That's what the file said.'

‘I hope he's not too arrogant,' she answered as she jabbed a button on the lift once the door was closed.

‘Well, Spain is sort of on the edge of the EU,' Jack offered.

‘Lame excuse. They're still a part of it,' Mair answered as she left the small compartment and continued on towards the hanger.

‘It's the only one available,' he answered with a slight smile.

‘It's still lame,' she answered back. They soon fell into a companionable silence the rest of the way to the hanger deck.

The arrival ceremony was simplistic compared to the one when President Roslin came on board last week. Bledsoe was easy enough to spot in the entourage. Garcia, though, was a bit more difficult. Once she was able to pick him out she saw noticed he was polished and very professional at the same time.

‘His Highness Juan Alfonso Bourbon y Garcia,' Bledsoe introduced the new ambassador to the Colonials from Terra.

‘It is my honor, Señora Capitán, to make your acquaintance,' Juan said as he formally bowed.

For a moment Mair hesitated, not quite sure how to take the greeting. Ireland had been without any type of ruling house for several centuries. ‘The honor is mine,' she answered with a slight smile.

‘I would have thought our visitors would be on board your ship, Capitán,' the ambassador looked around for a moment before setting his gaze on Mair once again.

‘Your Highness, they prefer their own ships, which I understand.'

‘But of course,' he answered with his best smile.

Oh great, I bet he's going to try and steal the Colonial President , she thought disgustedly. ‘I'm sorry, Your Highness, but I do have a ship to run. If you will follow my Executive Officer, he can show you to your temporary cabin. The Colonials are very wary of newcomers. They will want to know about you before they offer an invitation for you to meet with their senior Admiral and civilian President.' She was rewarded with a dark look before it disappeared into a pleasant smile.

‘But of course, Señora,' he answered then followed Jack out of the hanger.

Mair stood there for some time before she finally turned around. Just as she reached the airlock she was surprised by one of the marines coming into the hanger. ‘Ferguson,' she gave him a slight smile as he stepped to the side to let her through. ‘I have a possible job for you. I want you to report to security for your instructions,' she said with a slight smile.

‘Yes, ma'am!' he answered as he snapped to attention then turned to leave. She would have to send word to her security chief before the marine reached the office. Moving into the airlock once he was gone, she pulled out her pda. ‘Security.'

‘Yes, ma'am!'

‘I want to send two marines over to the Colonials as an honor guard for the ambassador.' Once the door was completely closed, she continued, ‘Also, I want them to keep an eye on him. He seems to think he's some kind of Casanova.'

‘Yes, ma'am. Wilco.'

‘Good. I want them to go over on the next shuttle. Also, I want them to make contact with Lieutenant Glennan and see if they can work with her. It won't hurt if they started learning the Colonial's language.'

‘Yes, ma'am. I understand.' He answered.

She ended the short conversation and left the airlock and entered into the lift. Mair knew she needed to sit down and rest really soon or it would not be a pretty sight seeing the CMO scrape her off the deck.

She didn't even get a chance to rest when she arrived at her cabin. Her message system was blinking notifying her of a recent inter-ship call. Sitting down, she waited a few moments before accessing her communications setup. Maybe I can rest when I'm dead , she thought morbidly. ‘What does he want now,' she muttered at the identity of the messenger. Not even on board for ten minutes and he's already demanding concessions. ‘Yes?' she answered tiredly not even bothering with the honorifics of his birth.

‘Señora, I am in need of a translator. I am under the impression that the liaison is fluent?'

You never bothered to find out where Soblet was, and also that Adama kicked him off, she mused before answering. ‘The former liaison is still with them. She's fairly fluent,'

‘Not good enough, Señora. I need the current liaison.'

‘Well, you'll have to go to the brig to talk to him. Admiral Adama had him arrested and then removed after finding him committing espionage. If they find out that you had him reinstated, it will not go over well.'

‘Señora, you do not understand. He is the official liaison and I intend to make use of his services. '

Damn . ‘All right, Your Highness. I will have someone escort you to the brig.' Neither Adama nor Roslin will like this.

~~~~~~~

Gaeta shook his head sadly at what the detector was telling him. If only Baltar had come clean at the beginning he would not be in his current situation. He tore the paper off the printer and looked at it for a moment. Now that he knew that the detector worked, he knew he needed to see how he could cut the processing time down. Twelve hours was just too long for any kind of test.

Getting up, he rubbed his bruise gently before heading out. Almost all of the crew he had been passing to a fault would give him a grin. He knew the reason why. They assumed he had gotten it from Angela. The whole thing amused him greatly. He knew of the rumors, but he paid them no mind. He worked hard to keep his personal life completely separate from his job. The hard part was that she was involved with his public life as much as she was with him personally. The only way to keep it to rumors was to have their private involvement as discreet as possible. It helped that the marines would do anything for her, including preserving their privacy.

Not quite sure where Adama was, he decided to swing by CIC. It was late in his shift and it had been a while since he had checked on how things were in the nerve center of the battlestar. His eyes widened in surprise to find Adama standing there and looking up to the DRADIS screens. He was talking to someone over the comm. at the moment.

“I understand that Captain, but I do not want him on my ship ever again,” Adama said while lowering his voice to barely above a whisper. “I would prefer to have either Lieutenant Glennan or my own executive officer, Major Gaeta, be the translator than Soblet. . .” Bill looked around a moment then settled his eyes on Gaeta. “Hold,” he commented then turned back to Gaeta while placing his hand over the receiver. “How good is your English?”

“Better once. . .Glennan commented that learning it is like learning new computer code.” Gaeta let a fleeting smile cross his face before letting it disappear.

“Are you good enough to be a translator?”

“I don't know, sir. I've never done that before.”

“Doesn't matter. When the ambassador is here, I want you to make sure of the translation.”

“Yes, sir.” Gaeta nodded. Looking down, he pulled out the printout he made earlier. “Sir,” he said as he handed it over. “You were wanting this.”

Adama nodded while turning his attention back to the comm. “Captain, I will have either Lieutenant Glennan or Major Gaeta there during the discussions to make sure that the ambassador is not lying.” When he was finished, he lowered the comm. down while pinching the bridge of his nose.

“Sir?”

“The ambassador has requested the translation services of Soblet. That is why I want either you or Glennan there,” he answered while putting the comm. back in place.

“Yes, sir. I'll start studying the language more on my off time.”

“So,” Bill said after glancing over the printout Gaeta had given him, “It works?”

“Yes, sir. It works. I also want to look at the programming to see if I can cut down the processing time.”

“Good. I want you to go by Life Station and have Dr. Cottle test both Valerii and Agathorn with Jankowitz's scanner. If the reports come out the same then we've developed two ways to check for Cylons.”

“Yes, sir,” Gaeta nodded. “I'll get right on it,” he finished while bringing himself to attention. When Adama nodded at him, he turned and left the CIC. He stepped inside Life Station several minutes later. Over in the corner Sharon was standing above the incubator where her daughter was sleeping. The Cylon had its hand on the clear plastic, a look of awe was clearly showing on her face. The Terran doctor was with her while doing the basic medical checks premature newborns regularly went through. She asked the Terran something, but he was too far away to be able to hear her voice clearly. Jankowitz's answer was easily discernible. He shook his head.

Dragging his attention from the scene, Gaeta turned to look for Cottle. Moving over to the CMO's office, he knocked on the closed door.

“It's open,” came the muffled answer.

“Sir,” Gaeta said as he opened the door. “I was wanting to see if the Terran doctor would let me use his scanner?”

“For the Cylons?” Cottle answered while picking up a file. Beside him, a tendril of smoke rose from the lit cigarette balanced on the side of his ashtray.

“Yes, sir. Baltar's Cylon Detector does work. Or at least I think it does. It marked Valerii as a Cylon and Agathorn as human. I want to make sure that the results are correct and not a fluke.”

Cottle sat back while sizing up the younger officer. “Jankowitz!” he suddenly bellowed.

Several minutes later the Terran doctor showed up just on the outside of the small office. “What is it this time?” he asked somewhat bored.

Gaeta's eyes danced for a moment in amusement at the Terran's comment while Cottle answered, “Major Gaeta here has a request.”

“Admiral Adama,” Gaeta started, “Mentioned to me that your scanner can detect certain biological agents not normally found in humans.”

“Oh, the cylon stuff?” Jankowitz asked as he pulled out his pda.

“Yes. I need for you to scan, or test, two people for me.”

“Sure. Who do you have in mind?” Jankowitz seemed somewhat more interested in Gaeta's request.

“Valerii and Agathorn.”

“She's positive and he's negative,” the Terran answered offhandedly.

Gaeta's eyes widened in surprise as he did a double take. “Is that it?”

Jankowitz shrugged his shoulders, “No. It's more complicated than that. But in essence, yes.”

Felix closed his eyes for a moment, desperately trying to think of something else to say. “Do you know anything about computers?”

“Not hardly,” the Terran answered. “That is unless it deals with medical tests.”

“If I showed you the program that we have for detecting cylons, would you be able to see what can be done to refine it?”

“A test is a test, plus I know what to look for,” he answered offhandedly as he turned to head back into the large room.

“Not if it takes twelve frakkin' hours to complete,” Gaeta grumbled. He looked up, expecting some comment from either doctors, but Jankowitz had already exited the room and Cottle had gone back to the report he had been working on.

“So, when do you want me to take a look at the detector?” the Terran asked while folding his arms once he had exited the cramped office.

“I'll let you know as soon as I get permission from the Admiral,” Gaeta answered. Just as he was turning around Cottle commented from the door, “Not so fast Major. I want to take a look at that bruise.”

Turning back around he found Cottle was pointing to one of the few free hospital beds. Sighing, he went over and lifted himself onto it.

“Where did you get it?” the CMO asked as he looked at it carefully.

“I was in the brig talking to Baltar,” Felix answered. “I wanted to know why he had lied about Valerii's test results. I inadvertently stepped within the danger zone and he yanked me against the bars.”

Cottle examined it for a few more minutes before stepping back. “I want you to be more careful next time.”

At least he didn't make any snide remarks or innuendoes , Gaeta sighed in relief. “Yes, sir. I plan on it.”

~~~~~~~

Laura stepped inside Bill's quarters and sighed in relief. In the short time she had started staying with him, she had come to see it as home.

“How did it go?” Bill asked from the couch.

“Need you ask?” she muttered as she kicked off her shoes. “You know how it always goes.” She sighed as she put the folders on the table. “They demanded evidence.”

Bill lowered the book he was reading and answered, “You have it, don't worry.”

“Really?” Laura perked up slightly. This was news.

“Yes, Gaeta recently finished testing Helo's blood sample. It came out negative.”

Laura thought about what Bill had told her for a moment before letting her attention settle on the book he had. It was odd that it was a soft back book when most, if not all, in his personal library had hard backs. “What are you reading?” she asked as she moved over to the couch and sat down beside him.

Bill flipped the book over to look at its cover. “It was initially for the civilians that were going to visit the museum. Lieutenant Glennan asked about it several days ago.”

“You're reading a book written for tourists?” she asked in mock surprise. “You must really be bored.”

Bill looked at her over his glasses before turning his attention back to the book. “I wanted to see how much information it contained about the First Cylon War and the buildup to it.”

“Can I see?” she asked as she reached over for it.

“Not yet, I haven't finished my examination of it,” he answered with an amused look on his face.

“Oh really? It looks more like you're reading it.”

“There's something else you need to know about,” Adama said as he lowered the book. He paused as the amused look on her face faded.

“It doesn't sound good.”

“Not really. The new Terran ships that arrived also brought the ambassador. Captain O'Neill relayed that he's demanding to use Soblet as the translator.

Laura's eyes narrowed, “Definitely not! I do not want that. . .person. . .back on board, especially after what he did.”

“Neither do I,” Bill answered. “I don't care how angry the ambassador will get, but I will refuse to have Soblet come back on board.”

“What about Gaeta? How is he coming along?” Laura asked as she leaned up against him.

“I'm not sure. Glennan is farther along in the process. I want to have both of them there.”

“Good idea,” Laura mumbled as she snaked an arm around his back. Raising her head back up, she looked at the open book in Bill's lap. “So, is that book interesting?”

“Surprisingly enough, yes. And it doesn't talk down too much to the reader.”

“That's nice to know, especially since I picked out the books that would be sold at the gift shop.”

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