DISCLAIMER: I don't own the show or any part(s) of it. Though I have taken some direct dialogue and such, so please, please, please don't sue me, I'm just a poor college student. The character Alexa Nyx does however belong to me.
SPOILERS: Let's go with anything is fair game. This takes place during the Miniseries, so major spoilers for that. But there are some small bits of information taken from other episodes (i.e. Laura's affair with Adar)
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Special thanks to individual_68 for the beta. Any mistakes are mine because this is so frakking long.
FEEDBACK: Please! This puppy took a lot of work, so Please tell me what you think. Also, I'd kinda like this to become a series(none of the other parts will be this long, I promise)so positive reinforcement would be great!
CHALLENGE: Submitted as part of the Epic Proportions challenge.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Epoch of Night
By Aeryn Ryker
Chapter 1-Colonial Heavy 798
Alexa Nyx had been invited to the decommissioning ceremony of the great Battlestar Galactica. As the leading analytical professor of Cylon War history, and former military herself, she was a much honored guest. She was to be a bit of a surprise to Commander Adama, who was a great follower of her work.
Seated in the stern of Colonial Heavy 798 gave her the silence and calm she needed for a bit of privacy. What few people there was, were seated in the front of the large spacecraft. The press was already on the Galactica, and she thanked the Gods they had been put on a different flight. Far away, that's where Nyx liked the press to be.
The Battlestar Galactica, the oldest in the fleet, was to be turned into a museum. Nyx cringed at the thought of such an amazing piece of history becoming a tourist destination. What once was a symbol of security was to become a military joke. A past obviously not well remembered.
No networked computers and every phone were hard lined. Old was no longer acceptable, useable technology. The Battlestar was outdated, and the military put all other outdated aircrafts aboard the Galactica as part of a time long gone. Vipers, Raptors, and the like, that were too old to be used were docked as part of the new museum.
How utterly sad, Nyx thought, how quickly a people can forget their past.
The overhead speakers crackled to life and the captain's voice came over the sound system with the familiar muffle over casting it.
"Ladies and gentleman, we will be approaching the Battlestar Galactica in about 5 minutes. Please take your seats and fasten your seatbelts as we will be landing shortly. As a reminder, we will be making a hands-on landing, so any minor turbulence or jarring you may feel is completely normal. Thank you."
The professor chuckled to herself, Minor turbulence, yeah right.
It seemed that even the most experienced of pilots could no longer make a smooth hands-on landing with a moving Battlestar. Why in her day
"What's so funny?" A low, husky voice asked.
Nyx had been lost in her own thoughts for most of the five hour trip. Being secluded from what few people there were aboard left her to her own musings. She had known the Secretary of Education would be on board, but had yet to see her as Laura Roslin was seated in a separate part of the ship. Having seen the politician on the news before had not prepared her to see the breathtaking beauty in person.
Never one for dressing up, she made an exception seeing as she was going to be meeting two people she greatly admired. Her usual unkempt look of jeans and an un-tucked shirt was replaced by a perfectly tailored black pant suit. The forest green dress shirt she wore with it made her gray eyes pop, or at least that's what the saleswoman had said. She had wanted to impress the Commander, and she felt that if she came dressed like she usually did, she might have made a bad impression. Doubtful, but Alexa cared about few people's opinions and these two leaders where among them.
"Lost in my own reverie, I guess." She said smoothly. Ever the charmer, she stared up into the amazing green eyes the older woman owned, letting Roslin know she had her full attention. The light purple skirt suit the politician had on gave her a youthful appearance, and Nyx couldn't help but smile at the beautiful sight in front of her
"Well I wouldn't want to interrupt a good daydream, but I was just told you were on this flight. I'm Laura Roslin. Is it true you will be giving a speech at the ceremony?" Roslin asked, giddily taking a seat across from her after firmly shaking Nyx's hand. She crossed her legs and smiled warmly, if not a little excited. Nyx almost rolled her eyes, another star struck fan, it seems.
"It's a pleasure to finally meet you. Who told you I was here, though. It was supposed to be a surprise for Commander Adama. I consulted the Commander on the text book I wrote a few years back and we've kept in touch ever since. We've never actually met in person and I figured it was now or never. Only a couple of people knew I was coming." Nyx frowned and combed her fingers through her short, black hair; so much for secrecy.
"Aaron Doral. He's going to be our tour guide aboard the Galactica. He just sent a message to my new assistant to find you and make sure you are one of the first out of the door when we land, but I decided to take the job. I suppose Mr. Doral couldn't keep the news to himself. You would think it was his idea to bring you along."
"It was actually. He is the PR rep for government/military relations. He thought it would be a good press piece. I'm just here to finally get the chance to meet the Commander in person; Dorals' going to be pissed when he realizes I plan on avoiding the press like they were a plague. We aren't exactly the best of friends."
"So your motives are simply personal, not professional." She said teasingly.
"Exactly. To answer your first question, I was asked to speak, but turned the offer down. This is Adama's day; I'm just here to watch. Adama has a large part in the Galactica history and this will be my first time aboard her. I wouldn't want to steal the spotlight in anyway. " Nyx said, in honestly.
"How very humble of you. But I heard you never turn down a chance to speak and that you give almost as many public lectures as you do for your classes. I was really looking forward to hearing you speak again. I sat in on one of your lectures a while back. It was on the starting points of the Cylon War. It was very interesting how and why you claimed the Cylon War started. It was very provocative, entertaining, and it certainly made me a believer in your idea on that point. I loved your teaching style. You use humor and wit in a way to lighten up such a dark, depressing subject. It's unfortunate I haven't been able to sit in on a lecture again. But I never miss any lectures that broadcasts on television." Roslin looked into Nyx's eyes with a fascination that would have been annoying coming from anyone else.
Nyx chuckled and tried to hide a bit of a blush. She hated when people gushed over her work. But, for the Secretary of Education to compliment her teaching style, that just made her day. "That is by far an exaggeration, started by fellow colleges I would guess. I only speak publicly once or twice a month. It seems people have lost interest in our ever so recent past. I'm still a workaholic, just for a different venue; strictly college students. People like controversy, Madam Secretary, not necessarily the knowledge one might be trying to give them. So few in our generations, outside the military and those trying to bring back research in to AI that is, can even grasp the Cylon War and its affects anymore. People just want to move on with their lives. But I'm glad you enjoyed my lecture. I remember it made headline news the next day on how I 'offended the Ministry of Civil Defense.' The Ministry said there would never have been a way to stop the uprising, that there was no way of knowing something like that would have happened. But it was an error in the Cylon programming makeup that allowed them to have actual thoughts and ideas that went against their makers. They should have created thoughtless beings if they just wanted robots to do their dirty work. But they didn't and look what happened and I'm rambling, aren't I?" Nyx almost laughed at her self at how quickly she got into "Professor Mode," as her TA's liked to call it.
"No, no, I didn't mind at all. It was very well spoken." she said, looking impressed, but laughed at the hint of a blush rising on Nyx's face.
"I usually am, but I'm sure you knew that." Nyx winked so Roslin would know she wasn't serious. Despite Nyx's generally shy nature around people, she had always been a good flirt when a woman caught her attention.
Roslin chuckled, "And cocky too, but that would just go to show you some rumors are true."
"You jest." She said cocking an eyebrow.
"That I do " The rest of her sentence was cut off by the sudden jarring of the ship as it landed that made them both grasp their arm rests with a start.
"I think I know why you were laughing now." Roslin said with a knowing smile.
There was something, Nyx thought, about all of her smiles that looked almost sad underneath that calm exterior. She put it away though, as she knew she would like to contemplate the beautiful politician later.
Chapter 2- Galactica
Safely landing on the Galactica, Nyx, Roslin, and Billy, Roslin's new assistant, were the first off the Colonial Heavy. The press that had already arrived, snapped pictures as the Secretary of Education got off, but as soon as Nyx poked her head out of the door, all attention was on her. Questions came from seemingly every direction as to why Alexa Nyx was aboard the Galactica.
"Why are you here?" One recorder was thrust in here face.
"Will you be giving an address?" Asked another with an equally annoying thrust of a recorder.
"Are you here to plug your new book? Will you finally announce the release date?"
Nyx, trying ever so hard to not look completely annoyed, composed her best gracious face.
"I am here to meet Commander Adama, get a tour of the Galactica, and watch the decommissioning ceremony. I will not be giving a speech, and I will be saying nothing of my new book. Thank you, but today is not about me, so please turn your attentions elsewhere." She said calmly. It was comments like that, that had the press blasting her as an easily irritated, stuck up, loner. Only two of the three was actually true, the stuck up part being the only false statement, so she only hoped the press would finally get sick of her private, quiet nature, and leave her the frak alone.
"But Dr. Nyx " They all started at once.
Nyx cut the reporter off with a loud sigh, "I guess I could feed you vultures a little something about the new book. Its release date is pending as it is not quite finished; it's still being edited. The working title, at the moment, is 'Why the Cylon's Should Have Won the War: The False Stalemate.'" She said calmly, knowing that the press, and her agent, would go ballistic at the announcement of the new title. She could have named it something a bit less controversial, but that's how books were sold. That's how new ideas got out to the public. Like the limelight or not, she did want her theories and ideas out there for all the Colonies to see. She just wished it didn't come with tabloid reporters following her every move.
"Dr. Nyx " They started again, all at once
"That will be all." Nyx stated firmly.
Looking bitter, the press went back to photographing the Secretary before leaving the deck in hopes of finding something more interesting.
Through the side door, Commander William Adama came in. He smiled politely at Roslin, before scanning the rest of the new arrivals and stopping suddenly on Nyx.
"Alexa, what a surprise! I wasn't told you were going to be here." Adama's usual gruff voice was raised a half an octave higher in obvious surprise and delight. His eye brows were raised and he looked quite pleased to see her.
"You were not supposed to know, Sir." She said seriously; with respect to the Commander. Using her still well trained muscles, she effortlessly snapped her body into a perfect salute. There were some things you just never forgot how to do. Riding a bike, flying a Viper, and saluting an officer were among those things. Her crisp suit clung to her tall, athletic frame in all the right places, and she could see Roslin out of the corner of her eye appreciating the move. She would have smirked if it hadn't been for Adama standing right in front of her.
"At ease, Captain." He smiled as she went into another perfect stance. He walked closer to her and she finally smiled. He hugged her, much to her surprise, but she embraced him warmly. They were old friends after all, even if they had never met face to face.
"It's a wonderful surprise to finally meet you in person, Alexa. If I had known I would have cleared some more time so we could sit and talk."
"No worries, Sir. I didn't expect to be made special in your schedule." She smiled back at him, truly honored to have finally met one of her heroes.
"I will be retiring after the decommissioning is officially complete, so we will certainly have to get together then, back on Caprica. I might sit in on one of your famous lectures, even." He winked, knowing how embarrassed she got when people she knew made a big deal of her work. It was in her shy nature to blush at the idea of him sitting in, and he used every chance he got to put her at a loss for words.
"It would be an honor, Sir." She said; in awe of the great commander.
Aaron Doral finally made his way to their hanger deck, and walked up to Nyx.
"Sorry I'm late everyone but someone, it seems, decided to give the press a hard time so they decided to stop me to let me hear about it." He was looking aggravatingly at Nyx.
"I told you I would play nice, but I wasn't going to be your big relations story, Aaron. We agreed." She said staring him down.
He took a step back from her, "It seems we did have an agreement, but would it kill you to answer a few of their questions. Inquisitive minds are just dying to know just a little bit about your new book." He said, almost whining.
"Yes, it would kill me. I gave them more than they have gotten out of me in months about the upcoming book. Get off it." She argued back, looking serious.
"Doral, leave the woman alone and let's get on with the tour." Adama said in his quite, but intimidating, fashion.
Looking agitated; Doral turned around, "Very well."
Walking along the gangways of the ship, Roslin tried her best not to look absolutely bored. She walked behind the Nyx and Adama, stepping carefully in her low heels. Battlestars were not made for heels.
Nyx however, kept the pace step for step with Adama's. Doral had all but given up being the one to give the actual tour, as Nyx would stop them and ask random questions here and there, directed at Adama, about specific parts of the ship different from the one she had worked on. Roslin walked behind politely ignoring everything Doral had to say, until Doral said just the right thing to perk up her ears.
"Galactica is one of the only ships to ban network computers for any reason, something carried over by the Cylon War. The commanders of the Galactica have held true to the tradition of keeping them off this Battlestar. Even with its decommissioning, it will not have any computer networks installed."
"Wait a minute," Roslin said. "How will people access a visitor's guide?"
"Paper," Adama answered over his shoulder. "They'll do it like we did it. Just think of it as part of the Galactica experience." He finished in his own sarcastic way.
Nyx chuckled, but the serious look on Roslin's face was enough to make her shut her mouth.
"I don't get it; we're talking about a visitors guide." She said catching up to the two and walking in between them.
"The answer is 'no.'" Adama said, making it obvious, at least to anyone else, that the matter was not open to discussion.
"I'm sure there's a way to work around this little problem; a compromise maybe?" Doral piped up, trying to sooth the conflict he saw coming.
"It tells people things like where the rest room is, or what's for lunch in the mess hall, or where to buy a Battlestar Galactica t-shirt." She tried to reason with the Commander, but he would have none of it.
"Madam Secretary, leave it be." Nyx whispered over to her, trying to do what Doral couldn't.
"I don't care what it does. It's an integrated computer network and I won't have it on this ship. Period." He said getting a little angrier.
"You're one of those people, aren't you? You're actually afraid of computers." She said, smirking at him.
"Madam Secretary," Nyx whispered over again. "Let it go. It's a battle you can't win."
"I'm not afraid of computers. There are computers on this ship right now, but none of them are networked together." Adama's face started to turn red. His easy going temperament slowly boiled away by this aggressive woman who continued to push his buttons.
"I don't think you understand. The computer network will make it faster and easier for teachers to teach their students about this ship. Professor Nyx here could certainly use it for one of her classes. What life was like aboard a Battlestar during the Cylon War is something she teaches anyway. Wouldn't it be nice to have a more hands on approach to it?" She said pointing at Nyx, not aware she was seriously grasping at straws.
"Leave me out of this." Nyx spoke up; putting her hands up in surrender. "I understand why things are the way they are. This is how it was during the history of the Galactica, and that would be how I would choose to teach it." She said, sorry she had to go against the woman she greatly admired.
"But " She continued to try and argue, but Adama cut her off.
"Madame Secretary, I don't think you are getting it. Good men and women have died on this ship and others like it because someone wanted a faster computer. They wanted to make their lives easier. So I'm sorry if it is an inconvenience to you and your teachers, but I'll be damned if I'm going to let you or anyone else put a computer network on this ship while I'm in command. Is that clear?" Adama came close to shouting at the poor woman. Nyx almost felt sorry for her, but she had tried to warn the politician.
Caught off guard by the tone Adama used, Roslin stopped in her tracks. "Yes Sir?" She struggled to talk over her obvious shock of the situation.
Adama gave her a nod.
Doral, who had at some point disappeared during the argument, reappeared in front of them. "Madam Secretary, and Dr. Nyx, if you could please follow me to the starboard landing bay, I will leave you to your seats to await the ceremony. Commander Adama, your son has arrived and will meet you for some photos in one of the briefing rooms."
Walking a bit further, they entered through a door that opened up in to a landing bay. The deck had been converted to the main part of what was to be the museum. Roslin and Nyx took a seat in the front row of what was the makeshift ceremonial platform. The other two kept going.
Adama turned around to tell Nyx he would see her later, before he turned back around and dutifully followed Doral to the hell that was a photo shoot.
"Did we just get ditched for a photo op?" Roslin looked at Nyx and raised an eyebrow in question.
"I guess Doral got the point. 'No' means 'no.' "She said seriously. She hated having her photo taken.
"It seems your popularity could be at stake." Roslin mocked playfully.
"If only." Nyx said smirking, but serious.
"Tired of the fame and celebrity?" She asked surprised.
Nyx almost laughed to herself. It seemed everyone had an expectation of what she was going to be like, but everyone was always disappointed in the long run. The controversy she tended to cause kept the lime light on her, whether she wanted it or not.
"I never wanted the fame; I'm really a boring person once you get to know me."
"I've read your biography. According to that, you've lived quite the adventurous life. And after spending a bit of time with you I find it hard to believe you are just a 'boring,' simple person." She said, again looking into Nyx's eyes with a bit of fascination.
"Oh, gods. You actually read that piece of garbage?" She asked placing her hand over here eyes in exasperation.
"Cover to cover. I was interested to learn about this intriguing teacher who had made a big impact on the Colonies. Controversy and all, I respected what you did. I might not have agreed with all your opinions, but I sure as hell respected it. I respected you for disagreeing with me over the networked computers. I obviously didn't agree with you, but I did respect it. Not many women will go head to head with me and its something I find admiring." There was something in the way she finished the sentence that made Nyx think that it was not what she wanted to say.
"Well thank you. But don't believe a word you read out of that trash. I couldn't believe when that thing came out. Why anyone would want to read about my childhood, adolescence, and military career is beyond me. It was a joke." She rolled her eyes at the thought of the book.
"No, it was a best seller." She said laughing at Nyx's obvious distaste in the matter.
"Yeah, well ninety percent of it wasn't completely true. And as far as my adventurous life goes, the military has a way of providing that for you whether you want it or not. The book made me sound like a thrill seeker with a death wish."
"Than why even bother joining the military? You knew what you were getting yourself into; no one forced you to become a Viper pilot." She argued.
"No, but when your father is your hero who happens to be a Viper pilot instructor, and a Cylon War hero, all you ever want to do is be a Viper pilot. I grew up on Fleet Headquarters in Picon; a military brat. My father started teaching me how to fly at 13. I loved it, so I applied to Picon's Military Academy. 14, if you can believe it, makes you old enough to join the Military Officer Recruitment Program and go through boot camp. So I did. I graduated military school at 16 and since I had already finished boot camp, was already an ace pilot, and was a ranked commissioned officer, I started working aboard the Battleship Pegasus immediately. I went up through the ranks quickly, and was in the running to become a Commander of the Air Group. But believe me, by the time I was 22, I had had enough adventure. That's where my mother came in. She's a teacher, so she told me to go back to school. Her path was a bit safer to follow. I just wanted, and still want, a quiet life." She said looking down at her watch wondering when the actual ceremony was going to happen. A few people started trickling in here and there, but not enough to announce something was actually getting ready to happen.
"You never wanted to be anyone but your parents?"
"I was a daddy's girl all the way, but when the military career didn't pan out like I planned, I decided to go to college. It was my mothers idea, I didn't set off to become a teacher; it just happened."
"So you quit the military to go back to school." She said, seemingly understanding.
"No, I didn't just 'quit.' The good part that crap book didn't tell you was that I barely made it out alive. I was honorably discharged. That's when the career change came. I had always been a bit of a history buff, so I decided to go to college and study it. There I fell in love with teaching it. So that's how I got here, where I'm now talking to you about my amazing thrill seeking, but actually pretty, dull, life. I've been doing it for about 10 years now and I couldn't imagine doing anything else."
"I still don't believe your life is all that dull. You're young yet, there's plenty of time for you to get back out there and live out some more adventures. You're what, 35?"
"37; but fame is enough adventure for me." She corrected.
"I agree; controversy equals automatic excitement. At least as long as it's making headlines. Trust me, with the teachers strike going on, I know all about controversy and excitement."
"Yes, but I'm not necessarily intentionally controversial. I just want people to have actual thoughts and opinions on their past. At least the new generations of college students are actually paying attention to what's being told to them. Ever since I fell in love with teaching back in college, I never really wanted to do anything else. I'm in a position now where I can get my message across. Even though I teach at the University of Caprica, students can take my class at every single colony via satellite. I could never give that up, even though it throws me right in the spot light that I hate. I feel like I'm reaching that next group of kids and that's what makes it all worth it. You write one controversial book and the public hands you your 15 minutes of fame. Write another one and the kids can't stop signing up for your classes and the press starts following you. You're a teacher, it's just something in their eyes when they 'get it' that makes all the publicity crap bearable." She explained.
"I guess you could call me a sell out then." She said with a bit of a sigh." Politics has taken me out of teaching for about 20 years." She looked a little regretful.
"Yeah, but I've been following the teachers strike. You're doing good things for the teachers, and their students. Since Adar and you took office the public school system has turned completely around. Everyone's lucky you're in the position you're in. It's only controversial because people are idiots and don't understand the concept of a good education."
"Well that's quite the compliment. This is Adar's last term though, before he retires, and with that my career in politics is going to be retired as well. Its back to teaching at run down public schools for me, I'm done with politics."
"And the kids will be better for it, I'm sure." She winked flirtatiously at Roslin.
Roslin blushed, but quickly covered it up by looking around at all the people starting to pile in to the landing bay all at once. Looking around the deck, Nyx sighed to herself, she simply hated what had become of the Battlestar.
In front of them the "museum" had been set up. Vipers were parked on the dock never to fly again. Cylons of all different types were in glass cases, their creepy, dead stare the kind horror stories were made of.
Adama, and an older man she knew to be Colonel Tigh, took their seats in the row next to theirs. As the rest of the crew members came into the landing bay, Nyx leaned over and loudly whispered to the Commander.
"How was life in the spotlight, Commander?" She asked teasingly.
"I frakking hate getting my picture taken, Captain." He whispered back.
Aaron Doral walked over to the podium that had been set up. Behind the podium he looked amusingly small.
"Ladies and gentleman, if you could please take your seats, the high priestess Elosha will start us off with an opening prayer."
Doral moved aside and an older woman Nyx had seen once or twice on the news took the stage. The priestess was well known through out the Colonies as a very outspoken member of the Quorum of Twelve.
The crowd bowed their heads as Elosha began to pray.
"Lords of Kobol hear our prayer. We give thanks for your blessings on this ship. For it, and its crew members, though it's many years of service for the Colonies, you, Great Lords, have given the blessing of your protection. Lords, we also wish to think you for the protection of ships like this still in service, and for the continued protection of the men and woman who man them. Lords, we pray for your watchful eyes to take care of these brave men and woman on their continued journeys in the services for our Colonies. So say we all." She finished and took her seat next to Nyx and Roslin.
"So say we all." The crowd repeated, not so enthusiastically.
Doral again took the podium, ever the PR rep. "Thank you, Councilmember. I think its worth noting that Elosha has served on the Quorum of Twelve for 20 years and is the longest serving member for the council."
The crowd applauded politely, but obviously bored.
"Next is a ceremonial fly by, led by Captain Lee Adama."
Everyone turned their attentions upward, as a squadron of Vipers flying in formation flew overhead. 'Ooh's and 'ahh's could be heard from the press, and as one Viper flew particularly close to the viewing windows, a startled gasp escaped a few of them.
"And now it is my great pleasure to introduce the last commander of the Battlestar Galactica... Commander Adama." He left the podium to the cheers and applause of the entire audience.
The commander looked at Nyx and took an exaggerated deep breath.
"Well I'm not you, so don't hold it against me if my speech is utter crap." He whispered gruffly.
She laughed as she applauded him. "Knock 'em dead, Commander."
He took the podium slowly, with much weight seemingly on his shoulders.
"The Cylon War is long over. Yet we must not forget the reasons why so many were asked to sacrifice so much in the cause of freedom. The values we fought for are still worth preserving today. The cost of wearing the uniform can be high, but... Sometimes it's too high You know... we fought the Cylons to save ourselves from extinction, but we never answered the question... Why? Why are we as a people worth saving ? Look at us. We tell ourselves we're noble, intelligent creatures. Children of the Lords of Kobol. But we'll still let people go to bed hungry because it costs too much to feed the poor... we still commit murder for greed or spite or jealousy... ... and we visit all of our sins upon our children. We refuse to take responsibility for what we've done. Like we did with the Cylons. We decided to play god. Create life. And when that life turned against us, we comforted ourselves in the knowledge that it wasn't really our fault, not really. It was the Cylons that were flawed But the truth is... we're the flawed creation. We're the ones that tried to manufacture life and make it serve us But you don't play God and then wipe your hands of what you've created. Sooner or later... the day comes when you can't hide from what you've done anymore A day of reckoning." His stop and go speech, filled with uncomfortable beats and pauses, touched Nyx like nothing she had ever heard before. That was it, she thought, that's what I've been trying to say for years. The Old Man gets it.
The utter silence of the room, however, was deafening. It was all Nyx could do not to laugh out loud. Leave it to Adama to really go out with a bang, she thought. In all their correspondences, she had learned he was never a man to say what she expected him to say. It's why she liked and admired him so much. He was unlike any commanding officer she had ever met. His dry humor and wit always kept her on her toes. She wished that she could have had the chance to serve under him.
Adama walked off to the scattered clapping from the still shocked audience. He gave her a sad wink before sitting down.
She heard Colonel Tigh tell Adama. "You are one surprising son of a bitch."
The shock on Laura Roslin's face was nothing short of hilarious.
Chapter 3-Colonial Heavy 798
The time spent aboard the Galactica was all too short; another salute to the commander found Alexa back on the Colonial Heavy 798 seated next to Laura Roslin; alone again in their own compartment. Alexa was pleased to have met her; she had looked up to the politician anyway, but to meet this striking woman was an amazing pleasure she was enjoying immensely. The redhead seemed to know a lot about her, and almost seemed to hang on every word, intrigued. The banter could almost be misconstrued as flirting, but Alexa was not to be fooled.
She had heard rumors from insiders.
Rumors that said she was having an affair. With the President of the Twelve Colonies. And why would someone not want this woman? Alexa thought to herself.
She looked at herself in her own thoughts. She certainly wasn't much to look at, at least in her own opinion. The constant staring from most of her students did nothing to boost her confidence.
She had messy, black hair that never seemed to sit straight. She kept it short so it would spike out, creating the guise that it was intentional. The look gave her a more youthful appearance, making the 37 year old look at least ten years younger. Today it was slicked back, giving her a more professional appearance. Her agent would be proud at the fact that she actually looked presentable.
"There's something about you, Dr. Nyx that looks different from usual." Nyx almost laughed at Roslin's seemingly mind reading comment. The redhead had shed the light purple jacket and skirt. The dark maroon she wore now took Nyx's breath away. Her hair color popped out at her and made the older woman nothing short of stunning. She had left the maroon jacket open, revealing the white shirt underneath and showing more of her porcelain skin.
"I can, upon occasion, clean myself up a bit. It seemed fitting to go back to my military roots of slicked back hair and tucked in shirt. And please, call me Alexa. We're stuck on this Heavy for the next five hours; it seems odd to continue to be so formal."
"Sounds good to me. Alexa then. You clean up well, might I add." She winked.
She is flirting with me, Alexa concluded with out a doubt in her mind.
"Only when I really have to," Nyx smiled.
"Well, I would say your normal look suits you better. Your disregard of mainstream fashion and professional apparel gets you a lot of attention from the press, as well as a lot of girls. You've created a popular fashion trend without even trying, and I think a lot of women like that about you."
"I just roll out of bed, from what little sleep I allow myself, and throw on what is handy. My parents hate it; they think they raised me to be more presentable. Yet fashion designers are trying to create a line of clothing around what I wear and it irritates me. But as far as the girls go, they would be wasting their time; I'm not exactly the kind of girl you bring home to mom and dad."
"Why is that? She asked, trying to sneak a glancing once-over at Nyx.
"I'm too much of a workaholic loner to settle down with a woman. Not for lack of trying, it just never seems to work out." Nyx caught Roslin's roving eyes and Roslin blushed.
"But you're in the tabloids all the time with girls." She argued.
"Yeah, different girls every time, none of them I was actually seeing. They tend to be fans who come up to me and try to strike up a conversation. A picture gets taken when we're talking, and it looks like an intimate conversation."
"You can't tell me that at your age, you haven't at least had a semi-serious relationship."
"Oh, there had been a possibility or two here and there, but like I said, I'm not much for settling down. I'm rarely home and when I am, I'm working on my next project. This is the first break I've had in about a year, and the only thought I have is that I'm not at home working and writing."
"Do you sleep at anytime between all this work that you do, great though it is?" Roslin asked.
"Not much. During my time in the military I got used to only sleeping three or four hours a day, and not always at one time either. My commanding officer was a real lunatic, hard ass. The pilots that couldn't hack the extreme sleep deprivation got discharged. I just never switched back to sleeping eight when I became a civilian. I get five, tops. "
"And I can see it hasn't driven you insane, your severe lack of sleep that is." She quipped.
"They'll be plenty of time to sleep when I'm dead." Nyx said bluntly.
Roslin visibly winced at that comment, but quickly regained her professional composure.
"Did I say something wrong?" Nyx asked, concerned.
"Um don't worry about it. I'm fine." She looked away, and brushed her fingers through her hair in an attempt to give an appearance of calm.
"No you're not. I've followed your work since Adar became president; I've never seen you be anything but completely calm and composed in even the most heated of debates." Her eyes showed compassion, and Roslin calmed visibly.
"Years of practice, I suppose. But it's nothing. I've had to reflect on my own mortality lately and it's sort of depressing really. Getting older, that's all." Nyx could tell she was lying, or at least not telling the whole truth, a fact made obvious by the way that Roslin couldn't look in her eyes as she had been doing.
"Years of practice, I suppose. But it's nothing. I've had to reflect on my own mortality lately and it's sort of depressing really. Getting older, that's all." Nyx could tell she was lying, or at least not telling the whole truth, a fact made obvious by the way that Roslin couldn't look in her eyes as she had been doing.
"I'll let you go with that, I guess. I think, however, with all due respect, that you are full of shit." She said quirking a smile.
"Yes well that takes years of practice, as well. It's all a part of being in politics or even being an icon like yourself I would imagine."
"Only when talking to the press about my private life, am I full of shit." Nyx said honestly.
"You always say you're single; you just said that was true. Besides telling them to frak off, you don't really say much."
"I said that there was a possibility for a semi-serious relationship. You could assume that during the time of the possibility, there had been some semblance of some sort of a relationship. I get asked every other day if I'm seeing someone. Everyday, every single time, I said 'no,' therefore, in that aspect, I am full of shit." Glancing out of the corner of her eye out the view hole, she could see a Viper flying in formation with the Heavy. She missed flying.
"You think about these things, don't you?" she said giving a small chuckle.
"I don't sleep, remember." She smiled back.
"Which brings me to my next question, you have students in every colony, and your classes fill up every single semester. How do you grade all the homework and exams?" Roslin laughed at her own question.
Nyx laughed out loud. "Lots and lots of T.A.'s Lets do the math shall we? There is only one of me "
"The girls couldn't take more than one."
"Oh, ha ha," she said sarcastically. "I suppose I opened myself up to that one. Anyway, one professor and eleven assistant professors, one in each colony. I have four, two hour classes every day; my classes meet everyday. Each class has about 4,000 students."
"4,000! I though 300 was bad. I can't imagine teaching that many students per class." The red head said, amazed.
"They wanted 6,000, but I refused. Its nuts how big the classes are. So that's 16,000 students per day on Caprica alone. But I also have 2,000 students per colony per class. So, if your math skills are up to par, that would be "
"104,000 student; dear gods, wow." Her eyes had gone wide as the large number was realized.
"I like to have one T.A. for every 50 people. S0 2,080 T.A.'s volunteer for the job. And they can tell you I am not easy to work with. Most of them are working on their master's degrees, and/or going into education themselves, and I make them work hard for their grades. I have a 10 page paper due every week that they are required to read completely and grade thoroughly."
"I had thought I would have liked to have taken your class, but that's a lot of homework. How many exams do you give?"
"Besides a midterm and a final, I also give a quiz every week."
"You are quite the slave driver. And your students and T.A.s actually like you?" She teased.
"Yes as amazing as it sounds, they do. I don't know why, I wouldn't even like me if I was my professor."
"But you have quite the following anyway. They respect the work you make them do, or so it would seem. Kids hang on every word you say; your books sell off the shelves "
"You make it sound like I'm starting a new religion." Nyx interrupted. " I'm just teaching them of their past. It's history, not theology. Its not even mythology, it's simply Cylon war history." She said, almost rolling her eyes at the thought.
"For some kids you are giving them something to believe in. This new generation is looking for something more. Something that they can wrap their head around and understand fully; they don't want to rely on faith. They want something beyond this "kooky" religion their parents have. By learning their past so thoroughly, they believe, as do I, that they can change their entire future."
"Yes, but they're also ignoring their past. Look at how many followers Dr. Gaius Baltar has in his little quest to reestablish research into A.I. We had a war where millions died because of artificial intelligence, and yet people, kids especially don't see the need to be cautious with it. All A.I. is not bad, as I've said many, many times, but what Dr. Baltar wants to do is create a new race of Cylons and that's not exactly going to have a positive outcome if it happens; if he is allowed to build new A.I."
"Our generations are more knowledgeable about the consequences of our actions with the Cylons because we had to live it. I was just 15 when the war ended, you weren't even born, and young though we were, we had to live with our parent's reaction to the whole ordeal. Your father fought in the war so I would imagine that it had more of an impact on you than it did on me. This generation is 40 years past the war, its all third and fourth hand beliefs to them. Our opinions are still based on how we were raised, and we were raised to believe that our faith in the Gods somehow freed us from the war; kids now simply believe in what they can see. You called the war a false stalemate and I agree. The Cylons just got up and left for no reason, why couldn't it have been the Gods interfering and helping their children?"
"I don't think I've prayed more than a hand full of times since I was in the service." Nyx said honestly.
"Yes, but I think if I had studied what you have, and seen what you might have seen in the military, I would have a hard time believing in the Gods too."
"Oh, it's not that." She laughed. "I just don't have the time."
Roslin laughed out loud, and Nyx thought that it might be one of the most beautiful things she had ever seen or heard.
"Not even a moment to give thanks?" She cocked her head in question.
"I'm sure they understand." Nyx deadpanned.
"At least you hope they do."
"I believe in the Gods and all, hell, they kept me alive all through my military career, so I do owe them my life. My brain just doesn't relax enough to give them my full attention. It would be disrespectful to only give them half a thought."
"Yes, you don't want to be 'lukewarm' and all that." She said, in sarcastic understanding.
"Exactly, but some of my closest T.A.'s call me Artemis, my call sign back in my viper pilot days. She gets a thanks and a prayer every now and then. The Great Huntress guided me in all my 'hunts,' if you will, so she does get an ounce of attention when I can spare it."
"What exactly, if you don't mind me asking, happened that the military allowed such an obviously accomplished pilot and officer to be discharged?" She asked inquisitively.
"It wasn't in the book because the mission was never released to the public." She said, almost cryptic sounding.
"It's classified then?" Roslin asked, curiously.
"No, it was just a frak up on everyone's end, but they didn't want to create a scare, so they covered the whole thing up." She brushed it off, as if it were no big deal.
"Now I'm really curious." She said, getting a sparkle in her eye, like a student who was just about to get the answers to a pop quiz.
"Do you remember, about 15 years ago, a group of ten serial killers called the Toaster Gang?"
"Of course, they killed over 600 people from random space crafts all over the colonies. They killed so ruthlessly, so meticulously yet barbarically, that it was thought a human couldn't possibly have committed the crimes. Only a robot, a cylon, could have done something like that, or so it was thought. Turned out a human couldn't do it, but ten sure could. They were found and killed as soon as they were found, though. Weren't they?" Roslin looked like she now questioned her story of the gang's demise.
"To an extent, their deaths were a sort of plan B, though. They were captured, on a small prison ship no less. The prison guards had called for reinforcements, and the Pegasus was the closest thing to them. They were as far from the colonies as a ship could go, but Pegasus was doing routine patrol around the armistice line. After all wireless contact was lost; Pegasus launched an immediate convoy of marines in a transport Raptor. I went along, because I had been working on getting more special operations and special tactics training. I could hold my own in a fight, or at least I thought I could. We boarded the ship and successfully captured and incapacitated six of them right off the bat."
"You killed them?" There was no judgment in her voice, and that seemed curious to Nyx.
"No, we were ordered to not shoot to kill unless absolutely necessary. Civil Defense wanted them alive for a public trail, and a public execution. We were good soldiers, so we followed orders. We simply knocked them out.
"Anyway, I was in the back of the squad, and one of the killers, the leader of the gang, snuck up behind me and put a knife in the side of my chest. Pierced a lung and splintered 3 ribs. I passed out immediately, and the next thing I know I was in Fleet headquarters sick bay on Picon and its seven days later. The killers had all been executed immediately, for fear of possible escape. Docs performed a miracle surgery that saved my life. Caged my ribs backed together, stitched up my lung. I fully recovered. Almost."
"You look fine to me; almost?" She gave Nyx another once-over.
Nyx smirked at the attention. "Besides having one mother of a brutal scar on my side, I'm fine. At least, now I am. My lung did not recover as fast as they thought it should. They didn't think I would ever be fit, or have the lung capacity to get back into good enough shape to fly a Viper again. They discharged me. My lung did eventually heal. I think it took a full two years before I could run a mile with out wanting to pass out, though. But I continued to work myself to the brink, trying to get back to my old self. I'm in better shape now than I was for most of my years in the military. That's the one thing I allow myself, a good daily work out."
"Well, wow I'm glad you recovered and all, but they just 'let' you go?"
"The doctors truly didn't think that my lung would heal well enough to put that kind of pressure on it. I wasn't about to fly a desk job, and I don't have the patience to be an instructor, so my superior officer thought it was in everyone's best interest, as much as she didn't want to, to let me go. My injury compensation, plus my time working in the service, paid for all four years of college plus my masters and doctorates."
"What can I say, that's quite the story. The press just bypassed your mission and went straight to the execution; I always thought it odd they didn't try to capture them first. It makes sense now though. But on the bright side, chicks dig scars."
Nyx laughed. "Well that's good, cause it's a gnarly one."
"What happened to your eye, just there?" Roslin used her index finger to touch a small scar above Nyx's right eye. It was only about a centimeter long and noticeable only if you looked close enough. Below her eye brow and just above the corner of her eye; who knew something so small could leave such a lasting indention?
Roslin was obviously taking her all in, her dark green eyes taking in every nuance visible on Nyx's body. Her touch was light, gentle, if not tentative, barely touched her skin; but it was all Nyx could do not to shiver. I think I'm starting to like this daring woman, Nyx thought, this could get bad.
"When I was a kid, my brother threw a rock at me; a very small rock. It caught me just right and cut me. I thought I was going to die, it was bleeding so bad. Of course I was five, so any amount of blood equaled death. Only one stitch later, and I've still got a scar to show for it."
"You have a brother?" She asked, suddenly distracted with an invisible spot on her dark skirt. She blushed a bit, before looking back at Nyx.
"Are you starting to realize how bad a book that biography was, now?" she asked wit h a small chuckle.
"So much of your life was left out. All the really good parts, it seems." She again looked away; Roslin's shyness amusing Nyx.
"Yes, well, for someone like you, I'm an open book." She blatantly flirted. "To answer your question, I do have a brother, my twin actually. His name is Croix. He's a writer too, but he changed his last name, so as not to draw attention to himself. He just wanted to tell stories. Funny though, we look just alike, so he's made a point to never have his picture published with his books. No one really knows who he is."
"Croix? As in Croix Loxias, the historical romance writer?" She asked, more than a little amazed.
"That would be my brother." She said with obvious pride in her voice.
"I love his books. Romance books aren't usually my thing, but he tells a good story. I've read them all. Where did he get Loxias from?" she quirked in eye brow in question.
"My call sign was Artemis; Apollo was her twin brother, as I'm sure you well know. Loxias was another name for Apollo, given to him by a very small town on Picon that is utterly dedicated to the twin gods. But no one would have any reason to try and figure that out. Who would ever put all that together?"
"There's so much about you, Alexa, to get to know. " She said, almost shyly.
"All you have to do is ask, Laura." Nyx moved in closer to her. She saw Roslin involuntarily lick her lips. Moving closer, their lips almost touching, Roslin suddenly pulled away.
"I'm sorry, that was out of line." Nyx pulled back and shifted in her seat to put more space between them.
"No, its not you. I just " Before she could finish, Billy came through the curtain and interrupted.
"Madam Secretary, is it true?" His face was pale, and his expression was that of fear.
"Excuse me?" she asked, startled at his sudden entrance.
"One of the reporters had a small shortwave wireless, we've heard that their has been an an an." He started to stutter and shake as he collapsed into a seat across from the two women.
"What is it Billy? Take a deep breath and spit it out." Roslin said calmly. Her demeanor seemed to have a calming effect on the poor boy.
He took two deep breaths. "An attack. " He closed his eyes and took another deep breath. "On the Colonies. That's all we really know. Have you heard anything?" He takes another few panicked breaths.
"What?" "You're kidding?" They both said at once.
Roslin sighs. "I will get up to the cockpit and talk to the pilot. Alexa, would you go with Billy and see what the passengers are saying and try to calm them; they'll listen to you. We all need to remain calm." Roslin walked through the curtain and made her way to the front of the spacecraft.
Nyx was amazed at the calm the women was showing. If it were true, if the Colonies had been attacked, Nyx felt she would not be able to remain so unruffled in the privacy of the cabin. She wasn't one to show emotion in front of people, but at a time like this she felt her heart beating faster at the possibility of an attack.
"Who attacked?" Nyx asked Billy, afraid she already knew the answer.
"Cylon's, Dr. Nyx. That's what they're saying anyway. But that's not possible. We had a truce with them, why would they "
Nyx interrupted. "Let's not assume or question anything at the moment, Billy. Let's just go see what the passengers are saying. Laura gave us a job to do, wouldn't want to let her down on your first day, now would you?" she winked at him to let him know she was only joking.
"No, ma'am," he said as Nyx lead the way to the forward passenger compartment.
As soon as they made it through the curtain Nyx was bombarded by questions.
Doral walked up to her and interrupted everyone else.
"Is it true?" He gasped out. "Could this really be happening?"
"I haven't heard anything Aaron. I know less than you do." She said, more than a little bit annoyed.
"We just got a call from the wireless." One reporter started. "The Colonies are being attacked. The Cylon's, Dr. Nyx, they've come back."
Looking around Nyx saw that every face was pale, a few were tear stained.
"Secretary Roslin is talking to the captain right now. We will get this sorted, but we all need to remain calm. What do we know from the wireless?" she said, taking charge.
"They seem to be using our defense system against us, they've penetrated it somehow. Our wireless keeps breaking up though, so we can't find out how big the attack is, to what scale things have been hit." One reporter said shakily.
Nyx took a random seat and took a breath.
"You called the Cylon War a stalemate. They're back, Dr. Nyx, and this time they're obviously going to win," another reporter said.
"Yes, I did. I always thought it was a possibility they'd come back, but I never thought it would actually happen." She admitted.
Roslin came out of the cockpit cabin, pale, but again calm.
"Ladies and gentlemen, may I please have your attention? I have received word from the captain that the Colonies have indeed been attacked by the Cylon's. Massive casualties have been sustained by each of the Colonies, the heaviest hitting Caprica, Picon, Aerlon and Tauron."
Everyone started asking questions at once.
"What about Geminon? Anything in Geminion? My kids are there!"
"What are we going to do?"
"I have to get home! I have to get home!"
"Please! Please remain calm." Nyx shouted above the crowd. The room quieted immediately but the panic was still there.
"I'm trying to contact the government right now and get more information. In the meantime, we should be prepared for an extended stay aboard this ship. Okay. So you, you, and you." She pointed to three people. "Make an inventory of the emergency supplies and rations."
Doral interrupted. "Wait a minute, who put you in charge?"
"Shut up, Doral." Nyx snapped at him.
"No, Dr. Nyx. It's ok." She said raising her hand to stop Nyx from saying anything further. "That's a good question. The answer is, obviously, no one. But this is a government vessel and I am the senior government official, so I guess that defaults me to the charge. So, to continue with preparing for our stay here, you and you please go into the cargo spaces and see about setting it up for living spaces so we can get out of these cramped cabins. And please, everyone else, sit tight and try to relax."
The five appointed got up and started on their appointed tasks, Doral all the while looking a bit embarrassed to have been put in his place.
Roslin pulled Billy and Nyx aside; they leaned in close so they could hear Roslin over the passengers chatter. "This is the passenger manifest." She handed Billy the papers and he grabbed them with quivering hands.
"Are you ok?" Nyx asked, grasping his shoulder in support.
"My my parents moved to Picon three months ago to be closer to my sister and to their grandkids. "
Nyx squeezed his shoulder as Billy walked way. Roslin pulled Nyx even further to the side for some privacy.
"Alexa, you're the smartest person on this ship. I'm going to want you with me while I speak with the captain and as we start making decisions on what to do. You were a military officer; you can form plans and help lead the people."
"Of course, I'll do anything I can to help. But please, if you know anything else about the attacks, tell me more about Picon." She had tears in here eyes, but held them back.
"You said your father was a pilot instructor. That's based in Colonial Fleet Headquarters on Picon isn't it?"
"Yes, my mother lives on the base with my father and my brother not far from it. Please, what do you know?" Nyx sensed Roslin's question was based on information she had.
"Fleet headquarters was the first to be hit, and the hardest. It was completely destroyed, with the rest of Picon." She bowed her head, hating to have to break such bleak news.
Nyx turned her head away, in an attempt to hide the tears she knew were coming. She failed. Tears streamed from her eyes as she tried to breathe and remain strong.
"What else do you know"? She asked, still not looking at Roslin, still trying to breath.
"Caprica City was hit almost simultaneously with Fleet Headquarters. I'm trying to get a hold of anyone who knows anything about the President and the rest of the cabinet in hopes of getting some kind of instruction." Her eyes gave away the fear she was feeling.
Tears ran full force from Nyx's eyes, but she quickly wiped them away. "My family, the school maybe some of them got out, you know? Maybe some of them were on a flight to who knows where when this happened. While this is still happening. Is there anything wrong with having a little faith in that?"
"Not at all, we all need something to cling to." She said seriously.
"What about you, Laura? What are you clinging to?" she asked, finally getting the tears under control.
"It's just me. I cling to the job. I need to be strong for the people on this ship. I'll figure out all the emotions of it later."
Nyx wiped her face with her hand, and with it all traces of her tears. "Has our escort received any military orders?"
"Not as far as I know. He has only said he would do his best to ward off any attack to this ship."
"One viper isn't going to do shit if we're attacked." Nyx said, still overwhelmed by it all. She unbuttoned her jacket, feeling trapped within its tight confines. Once the buttons were loose, she took a deep, sobering breath.
"I know." Roslin squeezed Nyx's hand.
"Let's figure out the civil plan from the government first, we can just go from there. One step at a time. I may be military, but we've got nothing but civilians on this flight, Laura. You're the one they need." She squeezed back.
"Madam Secretary, we got your comlink." The captain hurriedly said before going right back into the cockpit.
"Perfect timing." Nyx smiled weakly. "Lets get to work. You lead the way, I'm here with you."
Getting up, they walked to the cockpit. Entering, Nyx securely shut the door behind them. Roslin took the seat next to the captain, and he handed her a com head set.
"This is secretary Laura Roslin, to whom am I speaking?" she said professionally, calmly.
Nyx stood beside her, close enough to hear what was being said through the earphone.
A panicked voice could be heard panting. "This is Jack Payne. Thank the Gods you're not here, Laura! Thank the Gods!"
Nyx could see recognition dawn on Roslin's face at the name. "Jack, Jack? Where is the president?" She said, evenly.
"Its complete chaos, I've never seen anything like it! There are people walking the streets! Bombs are still going off; I can't believe this is happening!" Nyx could hear his horrified screams on the other end. Thank the Gods they weren't there, indeed.
"Where is the president, Jack?" She enunciated the words more firmly. Her eyes darted to meet Nyx's, fear in her eyes again. "Is he alive?"
"I don't know, I think so. We hear all kinds of things." They both exhaled the breath they had been holding at the question.
"Have the Cylon's made any demands? Do we know what they want?" she continued her line of questioning.
"No. No contact, I'm pretty sure about that." His loud words easily heard by the frightened group in the Heavy cockpit.
Again she caught Nyx's eyes before she said her next question, seeking to gain just a little bit of strength from the woman beside her.
"Has anyone " Her voice broke and caught in her throat. "Has anyone discussed the possibility of surrender? Has it been considered?" Nyx closed her eyes, blinking back tears that were threatening to reappear.
"After Picon was nuked, the President offered a complete, unconditional surrender. The Cylon's didn't even respond!"
Both their attentions were caught by the captain talking into his head set. "Colonial 798."
There was a break as an alarm starting going off on the DRAIDIS system. "Where?" He asked looking from side to side
Nyx looked over quickly to look at the small screen and saw the contact rushing toward them. "What should we do?" he asked panicked, into the mic.
"The Cylon's have found us. There is an inbound missile." Nyx said over to Roslin.
Roslin had been constantly scanning out the window. "Where the hell did our escort go?"
Nyx looked out the window for the first time, catching sight of the missile right before the Viper flew right in front of it. Flying in close to the Heavy, the missile followed the viper, and as the escort maneuvered away, the missile followed, ignoring the passenger vessel entirely. Out of the cockpits line of sight, Nyx could not see what was going on, but a few moments later she heard an explosion and held her breath until finally she heard the Viper pilot speak on the captain's head set.
"Krypter-krypter-krypter. This is Apollo to Colonial Heavy 798. I'm declaring an emergency. My flight systems are offline. I'm in need of assistance."
"Apollo, we'll come around and pick you up. Thanks for the save."
The captain looked at the two women. "That was close."
"No shit, Captain." Nyx said.
The two women looked at each other, got up and walked out of the cockpit. Walking into the forward compartment Nyx sighed loudly. "I'll go down to the cargo bay and see to it that Apollo is ok. He's gonna have a rough landing coming in."
"Go, I'll see to things here." Roslin said, sitting down next to Billy, who smiled meekly to Nyx.
Chapter 4-Colonial Heavy 798
Walking down the stairs to the lower level of the ship, Nyx picked up speed as she heard the grinding sound of the Viper making its landing. She made it to the bottom and into the Cargo bay as the noise stopped. She saw the pilot getting out of his Viper, take off his helmet and saw a deck hand take off his collar.
"Captain Adama, are you alright?" She said looking him up and down, noticing he was exhausted, but in one piece.
"Dr. Nyx." He said looking at her, surprised to see a famous face. "I'm ok, a little shaken up, but ok." He walked towards her, taking his gloves off as he went.
He stopped at two huge metal Electric Pulse generators that seemed out of place in a passenger vessel.
She heard footsteps behind her and turned around, annoyed to see Doral behind her.
"Captain, I'm so glad you're here." He huffed. Nyx eyed him, but he ignored her.
"My name's Aaron Doral, I met you before. I took some publicity photos of you and your father. What are these things?" He asked looking to see what the two others where looking at.
"Electric Pulse generators from the Galactica."
interesting. Look, I can't tell you how glad I am to see you." He huffed, and again Nyx eyed him.
"That's interesting. Look, I can't tell you how glad I am to see you." He huffed, and again Nyx eyed him.
"Oh? Why's that?" Nyx asked, nonchalantly.
"Well, personally I would feel a lot better if someone qualified were in charge around here." Answering her question, yet ignoring her.
"Something wrong with your pilot?"
"No, it's just that he's not the one giving orders."
Apollo looked over to Nyx who grabbed Doral by the lapels of his jacket roughly.
"Listen up, because I'm going to say this once, and only once. Secretary Roslin is in charge. This is a government ship, she is a government official. She is part of the presidential cabinet, and with that she has the right to speak for the president if the need arises. This is such a need, so you will treat her as if she were Adar himself. You will do what she says and you will not question her again or next time, me grabbing you will also involve me throwing you into a wall and knocking you the frak out. Am I understood?" She said through gritted teeth.
"Ye Yes sir." She let him go with a push and he walked quickly away.
"Lady's in charge." Apollo said with a smirk before walking away.
Walking back up the stairs, following behind Apollo closely, Nyx returned to the forward passenger compartment where Roslin was sitting over a short table talking to the pilot and a few of the other passengers.
"Captain, good to see you again," Roslin said looking up; she had a small blanket wrapped around her shoulders.
"Captain," Apollo said. "Thanks for the lift."
The Captain of the Heavy got up to shake Apollo's hand. The captain cocked his head toward Roslin. "You should be thanking her." Apollo looked in her direction, but he didn't say anything. The captain went back to the cockpit.
Ignoring the two of them, plus Doral who was now standing next to Nyx, Roslin pointed the pen in her hand at Billy. "Start the cargo transfer and then prep bay three for survivors."
"Yes ma'am." He said before walking off.
"Survivors?" Apollo asks, looking at Roslin with a funny expression on his face.
"As soon as the attack began, the government ordered a complete air/space ground stop on all civilian ships. So now we've got hundreds of stranded ships in the solar system. Everything from freighters to passenger liners to shopping vessels to school ships -- you name it. Some are damaged, some are lost, and some are losing power, just like your Viper. We have enough space to accommodate up to five hundred people and we're going to need every bit of it. We should also find ships that are operational so we can relay government messengers to as many civilians as possible. I think we need to stick together with as many other ships we can find; safety in numbers."
"We don't even know the tactical situation out there " Doral immediately went quiet when he saw the glaring look on Nyx's face.
"The tactical situation, Doral, is that we're being fraked 12 different ways. That about cover it, Captain?" Nyx said, still glaring at Doral.
"That sounds about right." Lee nodded, giving a half smile.
"That settles it then. We're going to start picking up the people we can and try to find a safe haven to put down. Captain, I'd like you to look over the navigational charts for a likely place to hide from the Cylons with the captain of the ship. That's all." She heads off towards the cockpit with out saying another word.
"Last warning, Doral." Nyx pointed in Doral's direction as she followed Roslin.
With Roslin sitting down, and Nyx and Apollo standing side by side, everyone listened intently as static filled the cockpit. The pilot worked on the tuning of the frequency as the noise behind the static became more clear.
"This is a Colonial Government broadcast. All ministers and officials should now go to Case Orange." The automated voice said. Everyone stared at Roslin in confusion.
"It's an automated message. It's designed to be sent out in case the president, vice president, and most of the cabinet are either dead or incapacitated. "She said with no emotion in her voice, but her eyes were glassed over with tears. Apollo looked shocked, and Nyx mirrored his jaw dropped expression.
"Oh gods." The co-pilot gasped quietly.
"I need you to send back my ID code on the exact same frequency: D as in dog, dash, four five six, dash, three four five, dash, A as in apple." She nodded her head and got up." Thank you." She left the cock pit with Nyx and Apollo staring after her.
"Captain Adama, I suspect you'll want to find that safe haven quickly." Nyx said with a small, reassuring smile before following Roslin back out.
"Yes, Sir." She heard him say.
Walking all the way to the far end of the compartment, Nyx sat down next to the seat Roslin had made her temporary refuge.
"Is this where those emotions you've been holding back finally kick in, Laura?" She asked, a tear in her eyes again.
"Not yet, but soon, very soon." She said smiling as Nyx wiped at her eyes. "It's comforting, though, to be around such a strong woman who isn't afraid to show her emotions."
"I usually don't, but I think the current situation calls for it." She said smiling back, sadly. "How far down?"
Roslin knew what she asked, without having to ask for specifics. "Forty-third in line of succession, and I know each and everyone of them from the president down. I was with him from the very beginning of his political career; from his first campaign. I hated politics, but I just couldn't say no to him. He was like you, I could never say no." Nyx was taken aback by the last comment, but let it go for the time being. She figured it had been a slip of the tongue and didn't want to get into it. There were more important things to worry about.
The pilot walked in, his hand shaking as he handed Roslin a printout. He looked shocked. Roslin took the paper, and read it quickly. She looked up at the pilot and over to Nyx, shock apparent on her face.
"We'll need a priest." She said throwing off the blanket and putting her jacket back on.
Nyx's eyes went wide.
Standing in front of the priestess Elosha, Roslin watched her open her scrolls nervously. Elosha looked up, equally as nervous. With nothing else to do, the press was swarmed around all of them. Nyx was at her right side, ready to take on anyone of them that stepped too far.
"Raise your right hand and repeat after me." Elosha said softly, her voice calm and smooth. Roslin followed her directions and repeated the first phrase.
"I, Laura Roslin do now avow and affirm." her voice was shaky, the enormity of the situation finally coming to a head and overwhelming her.
Elosha read off the next part.
"That I accept " She paused looking around at all the people in front of her. "That I accept the office of President of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol " she replied, equally as shaky. "And that I will protect and defend the sovereignty of the Colonies with every fiber of my being." The last few words were almost whispered. She used her right hand to wipe her eyes as she turned and looked at Nyx. Roslin looked surrounded and overwhelmed, Nyx began to brake up the crowd.
"Alright, if you wish to pay your respects to the president, please do so by returning to the duties you were assigned. We have a lot of work to do." She clapped her hands together and pointed towards the door.
Like sheep they all obediently shuffled out leaving the two completely alone.
"Sit down, Madam President." She said putting a hand on her lower back, and guiding her towards a seat.
"Oh gods, did I really just almost break down in front of everyone?" she said between sobs, tears streaming down her face.
"Yes, but no one thinks any less of you. They're too busy worrying about their own families and friends and homes to worry about their president crying for the same. You were very brave and you have all their respect for it." Nyx soothingly rubbed her back.
"How did you all of a sudden become the calm one?" Roslin asked.
"When Captain Adama called me 'sir', I remembered something. In times of war, those who have served time in the service may voluntarily resume their posts, officer ranking in tact as if they never left. Colonial law states that I am now a Fleet officer; a captain. That requires me to remain calm; it just took a little while for it to sink in."
"But you just said voluntary. You don't have to." She was still hyperventilating, but had stopped crying.
"And you didn't have to just become president. You could have stepped down. It is my duty to protect the colonies and its government. I am ready and willing to resume my post as a Viper pilot, if ever I can get my self on a Battlestar. Until then, I do have weapons, tactics, self defense, and other marine skills. With your blessing, Sir, I would like to take up duty as your guard. I wish to protect and defend my president in anyway possible."
Roslin laughed at the absurdity at what Nyx had just said. "You really are taking this seriously? You're willing to risk your life to defend me?"
"It is my duty."
"That's not what I asked, Alexa." She said seriously.
"I am willing to protect you, Madam President, with my life if need be. However, if we do meet up with any Battlestars, I would choose to trade off with some one who is more capable of protecting you. I would fly again, Sir."
"And if I asked you to stay?" she asked, looking away.
"Then I would follow the orders of my president."
"Oh stop the military, formal, macho shit, Alexa." Roslin snapped, looking straight at Nyx. "If I asked you to stay, would you."
"I would be better suited to defending the survivors as a pilot, but I suppose I could be talked in to it."
"Thank you. That's all I wanted to know." Roslin said, breathing back to normal.
Chapter 5-Colonial One
Having found quite a few ships already, the Colonial Heavy again approached yet another stranded liner. Roslin and Nyx were over seeing the rescue of ships in the cockpit of the ship, waiting for any government or military messages that might come. Captain Adama sat staring at navigations charts as the two women looked out the viewing windows.
"Geminon Liner 1701, this is Colonial Heavy 798. No strike that This is Colonial One."
Roslin looked at Nyx, embarrassed at her newly acquired title.
"Copy that Colonial one " Nyx ignored the rest of the protocol messages as a print out came through.
"What is it?" Roslin asked, the look on Nyx's face one of respect.
"' To all Colonial units: I am taking command of fleet. All units ordered to rendezvous at Ragnar Anchorage for regroup and counterattack. Acknowledge by same encryption protocol. Adama." It's about frakking time, Nyx thought.
Roslin snatched the print out from Nyx's hands, and Apollo stopped what he was doing to stare.
"Captain Artemis, send a message to Commander Adama informing him that we're engaged in rescue operations and require his assistance. Ask how many hospital beds they have available and how long it will take them to get here."
"I, uh " Apollo started nervously.
"Yes?" Roslin asked strictly, turning around to face him, giving him no room for argument.
"I'm not sure how Commander Adama will react to such a request." Nyx said, hoping Roslin would listen to her.
"Then tell him it comes directly from the President of the Twelve Colonies and that it is not a request Captain Artemis." She said, now giving Nyx no room for argument.
"Yes sir." Roslin began to walk away. "And Sir." Roslin turned back around to look at her. "Artemis is just a call sign. Protocol is just Captain Nyx, or just Captain."
"I know. But Captain Artemis just has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?" She smiled warmly at her. As she left the room, Apollo chuckled.
"She's got you pegged, doesn't she, Sir?" he asked smirking.
"Shut up, Apollo." She said rolling her eyes as she began to transfer the message given by Roslin back to the Galactica. Apollo took his charts and left smiling.
A few minutes later, the pilot of the ship called Nyx to sit by him.
"You have an incoming call from Galactica." He said handing her a head set.
"Colonial One, Galactica; Galactica Actual wishes to speak with the commanding officer on board."
"This is Captain Nyx, go ahead Actual." She said, wondering why they had not specifically asked for Apollo.
"Is uh Is Lee alright?" The commander asked, his voice cracking a bit.
"Yes, but wouldn't you rather talk to him yourself, sir?"
"Yes, in a moment I will. I need to speak with the officer giving orders aboard that ship at the moment. Is your ships FTL drive functioning?" he asked, cold and military sounding.
"Than you are ordered to bring your ships and its passengers to the rendezvous point, acknowledge."
"Acknowledged, but we will continue carrying on with current mission." She said, pausing, knowing he wasn't going to like what she had just said.
"What the hell does that mean?" His voice grew gruff with frustration.
"It means I heard you, but I can't follow the order."
"You're going to have to do a lot better than that, Captain."
"We're engaged in rescue missions, Sir." She looked behind her as Roslin entered the cockpit.
"You are ordered to abort your mission and report to Ragnar immediately."
Nyx became annoyed. "I was giving a direct order from the president " she said looking at Roslin.
Adama interrupted. "You mean the Secretary of Education? We're in the middle of a war and you're taking orders from a frakking school teacher?" Roslin looked stunned and aggravated.
"You forget, sir, I'm a school teacher too." She looked up at Roslin and gave her a reassuring smile.
"You gave that up when the war started and you resumed your duties, or at least I presume you did since I'm talking to you and not Lee. Now the Commanding Officer of the Fleet is giving you a direct order to report to the Ragnar Anchorage immediately."
She stopped listening to him when the DRADIS system started beeping.
"Trouble," the pilot said simply.
"Stand by, Galactica." She said into the mic. "What?" She leaned over to see what was on the screen.
"Cylon fighters headed this way." The pilot said.
"How long till they get here?" Asked Roslin, also looking at the screen.
"ETA, two minutes tops."
"Adama's right, we have to go. Now."
"No." Roslin said, not budging.
"Madam President, we cannot possibly defend this ship "
Roslin cut in. "We are not going to abandon all those people out there."
"I've made my decision, Captain." Roslin stood her ground and crossed her arms, leaving no room for argument.
She took off her head set and got up. "You're the president." She headed for the door.
"Permission to go below." She asked, annoyed.
"Granted." As Nyx left, Apollo reentered.
"What's going on?" she heard him ask as she ran out the door.
Running as fast as she could through passenger compartments, she turned a corner and bounded down the stairs. Coming out of the stairwell she jogged to the EP generators, she found that Apollo was not far behind.
"What are you going to do?" He asked.
"What do you think I'm gonna do?"
"Oh, frak me." He walked over to the other EP generator and started working on it.
Standing at a control panel herself, she flipped the switch to turn it on and began to crank up the output. When the settings were to her liking she looked at Apollo.
"On my mark. Three, two, one, mark." They both flipped the release switch and blacked out.
"Alexa, Alexa wake up." She heard a beautiful voice say. There was a hand behind her head and another was brushing her cheek.
She slowly opened her eyes to a fuzzy image of Laura Roslin. She shook her head to clear her eyes and looked up at her again.
"That was fun." She grabbed Roslin's hand and held it in her own.
Roslin laughed. As Nyx tried to sit up she became dizzy again and fell down, her head landing in Roslin's lap.
"Did it work?" she asked closing her eyes to block out the dizziness.
"Whatever you guys did, the Cylons are moving off." The pilot answered.
Apollo walked over, looking worse for the wear, but ok.
"Get up you wuss Sir." He said, mumbling his words. His kind smile landed on Nyx and she flipped him off with a smile of her own.
"I'm not as young as you are, Captain, I can't quite bounce back from an electric charge to my heart like you can. So you go and see what's going on with the Cylons. I'm going to stay here and remember how to breathe." She stuttered her words, her entire body still reeling. She opened her eyes again but did move to get up. Roslin's fingers were combing through her hair, and the sensation was too nice to want to move.
"Well if it didn't work, the Cylon's would be on top of us by now." Apollo said.
"What did you do, exactly?" Laura asked, her fingers still tangled in Nyx's hair.
"I basically just used the hyper drive to manipulate the energy coils. It put out a big pulse of electromagnetic energy that must have disabled the warheads that they shot at us. It should have registered like a thermo-nuclear radiation signature. I'm hoping; I think. I don't really frakking know right now." She stuttered, mad at the drums pounding in her head.
"Did it fool the Cylons?" Roslin asked.
"I don't know, but we would be dead right now if it didn't."
"Does the rest of the fleet know about this trick?" The pilot asked.
"Doubtful, it was just a theory that we toyed with in War College." Apollo said.
"It's supposed to trick the enemy sensors into thinking that the target had been destroyed by mimicking an explosion, the theory first came out back when I was in college." Nyx continued for him.
"But it never used to work in war games, the Cylons used to see right through it and come destroy the targets anyway, I'm assuming most forgot about the theory since it didn't really work in college. I'll have to agree with Captain Nyx here though, I don't really frakking know."
"The lesson here is to not ask follow up question but simply to say 'thank you' Captain Artemis and Captain Adama, for saving our collective asses." She looked Nyx in the eyes and touched the scar above here eye again.
"You're welcome." Apollo said politely. "Now if I can suggest "
"Evacuate the passenger liners and get the hell out of here before the Cylons realize their mistake? I'm right with you, Captain." She looked at their pilot. "Is there a doctor or a medic on board who can have a look at Captain Artemis here?" She asked.
"I'm fine really." She said brushing it off.
"Ok, if you're so fine, get up." She raised an eyebrow at her in challenge.
Nyx looked at the pilot. "Is there doctor or a medic that can have a look at me?" The pilot nodded his head in affirmation with a chuckle.
"What did I say, Artemis? Pegged." Apollo said before walking off.
Nyx flipped him off again, but he didn't see it.
Roslin looked at the pilot. "Get the medic down here, and start the evacuation. Captain Adama is in charge until I get back up there." The pilot nodded his head before running off.
"And why, Madam President, will you not be up there with them?"
"Because you just saved our lives, and I don't want you to be all alone. Alexa what you just did was brave, kind of stupid, but brave. I would be most honored to have you as a guard. But if you still wish to fly a Viper when we meet up with the Galactica, and we will be meeting up with them, I'm ok with that now too. What ever you decide to do, it will greatly help out the fleet. Thank you." Roslin scooted around so she was sitting beside Nyx. Nyx slowly sat up, still dizzy, but better.
"Alexa, don't exert yourself. Lie back down and relax."
"Madam President?" she said with her eyes closed, trying to get the world to stop spinning.
"Yes, Captain Artemis?" she mimicked.
"Shut the frak up." She smiled up at the red head.
Roslin smiled and put her hands back in Nyx's hair. Pulling her forward, Roslin pressed her lips to Nyx's. Moaning into the kiss, Nyx immediately opened her mouth to an insistent tongue. Both moaning at their first taste of each others mouth, they pulled back with a groan when the need for air became too great.
"Excuse me?" A gruff, female voice said from behind them. "If you're feeling better now, I have other things to attend to."
"She still needs to be checked out. She just took a major shock to the heart and is having trouble jumping back up from it." Nyx smiled at Roslin's protectiveness.
"Well then let's move you to the private medical room and get you looked at. Not sure what I'm going to be able to do for you, considering the lack of proper equipment. Can you walk there, or do I need to get someone in here to carry you?"
"No, I can make it. I think." Roslin got up and extended her hand to Nyx. Grasping it, Roslin helped pull her to her feet. After wobbling a few seconds, Roslin put her hand around her waist and put Nyx's hand around her shoulder for support.
"If you're going to be stubborn and insist on walking, you're going to let me help you."
"Yes, Madam President." Nyx rolled her eyes, but leaned a bit more heavily on her.
At the knowing looks of the doctor, they walked the short distance to a small room with a bed in the middle.
Slowly laying down on the make shift gurney, she took a deep breath as she relaxed onto the paper sheets.
"So, what's going on?" the doctor asked, going through the cabinets until she found a stethoscope.
"My head feels like its going to explode and my chest feels like my heart is going to burst out of it."
"Take off your jacket and sit up."
Nyx did as she was told and tossed her jacket to Roslin who set it on the counter. Roslin began to pace nervously as the doctor took Nyx's vitals.
"Laura, if you are going to continue to pace like that just go back to the cock pit. You'll do a lot more good there than you could here. "
"I don't want you to be alone." She said still pacing.
"I'll be fine, I promise." She gave a reassuring smile.
Roslin walked over and leaned over Nyx. "I told you it wasn't you." She said, huskily.
"We'll talk later." Nyx promised.
Roslin walked out the door, but not before turning around and smiling at Nyx.
After the door was closed, the doctor went back to examining Nyx's vitals. "You know you can't repeat anything you saw, right?" she said, authority in her voice.
"Doctor/patient confidentiality; and I don't really care." After checking Nyx's heart and lungs, she said "Your heat beat is irregular and erratic. I'll put you on the heart monitor and see if it won't regulate its self within a few minutes, if it doesn't I'm going to have to shock it back into a regular rhythm."
"I can hardly wait." She said sarcastically.
"Take your shirt off."
Her head still spinning, she slowly took her dress shirt off. Clad in nothing but a matching forest green bra, she laid back down. The doctor placed a few leads on her chest and made a few notes on a scrap piece of paper.
"No medical charts available onboard." She answered Nyx's questioning look.
A few minutes later, there was a knock at the door.
"Come in." Nyx said, still shirtless.
Roslin walked in, and seeing Nyx's lack of clothing averted her eyes. "I'm sorry."
"Laura, I told you to come in, you're good." Nyx reassured the older woman.
Roslin looked up and gave a brief scan of her that didn't go unnoticed. Landing on Nyx's eyes, Roslin blushed at the smirk. "Are you ok?"
"I told you, I'm fine." She rolled her eyes.
"Is stubborn over here going to be ok?" she asked the doctor.
The doctor looked over to Nyx for permission to divulge medical information. Nyx nodded.
"Irregular heart beat and it's not changed. I'm going to have to shock you, Dr. Nyx." She walked over and grabbed the defibrillator that was setting on the table next to the bed. Putting gel on the paddles and adjusting the voltage, she placed them on her chest.
"Its just a low voltage, but it is going to shock you. Are you ready?" the doctor asked.
"As I'll ever be." Not sounding very sure.
"Frak," Nyx said as her body bucked as the current coursed though her body. Roslin rushed over and grabbed her hand and held it.
All three of the women watched the heart monitor as the rhythm of Nyx's heart evened out to a steady normal pace.
"Feel any better?" The doctor asked
"Never better." The professor said sarcastically.
"Great, you're good to go. Relax for a bit, leave when you're ready. Take as long as you need."
"I think there are a few people in the landing bay that just arrived that might need some medical attention." Roslin offered.
"I'll be going then, Madam President." She excused herself.
"A small military ship; a Raptor I think Captain Adama called it. It's full of a few survivors from Caprica, among some children and a few adults, one Gaius Baltar was aboard."
"Great, a hand full of survivors in the entire universe, and we get stuck with that frakked- up asshole.
"Tell me how you really feel." Roslin laughed, patting Nyx's hand as she sat up. Rosin reached over and grabbed her shirt and handed it to her.
"We don't get along. At all." She said removing the leads from her torso. She put on the shirt but didn't button it.
"How are you feeling, Alexa? Honestly."
"Like I got the crap shocked out of me; twice." Nyx smiled.
Roslin laughed. "Well you do have an electrifying personality."
"Could that have been any cheesier?" Nyx winked.
"Probably not." Roslin's eyes were glued to Nyx's chest. There was a funny look on her face, not desire, but something else. Nyx thought it almost looked painful, and then something clicked in her head.
"You've got breast cancer, haven't you?" She said quietly, and Roslin gave her a soft smile.
"I found out about an hour before I got on this ship. How did you know?"
"It was the little things. Your reaction when I said something about dying and the way you're now staring at my breasts." She looked into Roslin's eyes, and pushed a stray piece of hair behind the redheads' ears.
She said finally buttoning the forest green shirt and rolled up the sleeves.
"I told you it wasn't you." She whispered her comment from earlier.
"Is it treatable?" she asked, softly; she buttoned the forest green shirt and rolled up the sleeves.
"Fatal." She said quickly. Roslin turned her head away and wiped a tear from her eyes.
"How long do you have?" she asked even softer, tears in her eyes.
"Not sure; not long. Alexa, I shouldn't have kissed you earlier. I'm not going to be alive very much longer; this would be pointless to continue." She said sadly.
"What is 'this?'" she asked sympathetically. From her sitting position, she pulled Roslin by her hips towards her. Looking up at the beautiful politician between her legs, she smiled weakly.
"This is doomed to end in heartache for you, and I don't want that." She put her arms on Nyx's shoulders.
"We're at war, Laura. I could be killed tomorrow in a dog fight, or this ship could be blown up in the next twelve hours. Who knows? Death no longer holds the same baring it used to. Everything has changed. I don't want to die alone, and I don't think you do either." She pulled Roslin even closer, without any resistance.
"But would it be worth it? You'd be with a dying woman." Roslin asked, self-consciously.
"So would you. Who knows how long any of us will survive?"
"You said you would stay if I asked you to. Does that still stand?" Roslin asked shyly.
"All you have to do is ask, Laura. I'm here." She said seriously.
Roslin once again brought their lips together. Deepening the kiss, there was once again moans from both. Pulling her closer Nyx moaned at the feel of the red head pressed up against her.
Roslin pulled away and looked into gray eyes. "I don't' want to die alone, Alexa."
"Well then let's face this thing head on. Together." She stood up and kissed the president again.
"We have work to do, I told Captain Adama I wanted to talk to Dr. Baltar. Are you ready to get out of here?"
"After you." She grabbed her jacket and slung it over her shoulder.
"Quick chat with your best friend upstairs and then I'm going to start making rounds on a few of the ships with the most passengers. I expect to have my personal body guard at my side at all times." She said in teasing authority.
"Yes, sir." She whipped her body into a salute, a move that she knew Roslin had appreciated earlier.
"Very nice, Captain Artemis." She let her eyes travel down Nyx's body, freely appreciating it.
"Very nice, Captain Artemis." She let her eyes travel down Nyx's body, freely appreciating it.
Chapter 6- Colonial One
Sitting in the passenger cabin, Roslin chatted with Billy, answering the fleet's questions and sending him on his way to relay her orders. Standing up she shook the hands of a few of the survivors who had just boarded the ship.
"Dr. Baltar, it's a pleasure to meet you again." She shook his hand professionally. As both Baltar and Nyx looked at her oddly she continued. "We met at last years Caprica Symposium."
"Uh, ah yes. Forgive me, I'm terrible with faces." The mans voice was never very clear, and he mumbled out his excuse, true to his nature.
"Oh no, it's perfectly alright. I'm sure I wouldn't remember me either." She said, and Nyx smirked. She really was good at bull shit. "Doctor, I need you to serve as my chief scientific consultant and analyst regarding the Cylons and their technology."
"I'd be honored, Madam President" He stuttered, and Nyx had to keep a sarcastic smirk to herself. He, too, was good at bull shit.
"Good. Lieutenant Valerii, it, it is Valerii?" she pointed to a woman standing by Captain Adama.
"Yes, sir." The young pilot said, standing up straighter still.
"I understand that your ship has limited faster than light capabilities."
"Uh, yes sir. The Raptor was designed to make short Jumps ahead of the fleet, scout for enemy ships, then Jump back and report." she said professionally.
"I want you to go out there and find as many survivors as you possibly can and bring them back to this position. We will then form a convoy and guide them out of the combat zone and into safety."
"Yes sir." She saluted the president.
"Good, every one is dismissed." Everyone slowly made their way out the small door.
"And what will we be doing, Madam President?" Nyx said, moving closer to Roslin.
"We get to play politician with the survivors."
"Oh, goody. I'll call the pilot to get a transport ship ready for us." She quickly walked away.
Aboard the Botanical Cruiser, Nyx took deep, soothing breaths as she followed closely behind the new president as she tried to comprehend the severity of the situation. Roslin smiled at each passenger she passed; looking each in the eye. Nyx was noticed too; people came up to her, asked her questions; asked what she knew. All where convinced she knew something more than them.
The captain of the liner had been showing them around, telling them the needs of the ship, when they entered the gardens. Both Roslin and Nyx stopped in awe; Billy, not far behind, stopped in his tracks as soon as he saw the sight. The vegetation was some of the last left alive from their worlds.
Continuing to walk, they approached groups of people, families Nyx guessed, huddled together by random plants and trees.
"Most of the passengers aboard are from Geminon and Picon, but we have people from all over the Colonies." The captain said calmly, despite the situation. Everyone, Nyx thought, handles things their own way, I guess.
"If you would give your passenger manifest to Billy as well as a list of your Emergency supplies and any immediate supply needs you might have." Roslin said, more a statement than a request.
"What about the energy situation? Our batteries are running pretty low."
"Captain Adama will be around to do an engineering survey this afternoon."
"Actually, he said it will be more like this evening before he will be able to coordinate a survey, due the amount of ships." Billy said looking at the pad of paper he had been carrying around, taking notes on every detail.
"Alright, this evening then. You will have your needs tended to though. You have my word on it." She said, ever the politician.
"Thank you Madam President." The captain said, extending his hand towards her.
Roslin shook it, meaningfully. "You're welcome."
The captain walked away, leaving the three in the lush paradise.
"Billy, after you get the manifest, start compiling a census with all the data you've received. I want to know as much as possible. We need to work out living quarters for all of the survivors, so find out how much space each ship has so we can try to even it out a bit." She said, looking at Billy.
"Yes, ma'am," he said walking away dutifully.
The two women continued to walk around the gardens, the look on people's faces deeply depressing them both. The shock and fear was consistent on every face they looked upon.
As they walked they found a little girl, no more than five, playing with a little doll. She showed no fear; oblivious to the world around her. The two women looked at each other and smiled at such innocence.
"She has no idea what's going on. She's probably the only person in the universe to be unaffected. At least for the moment," Nyx said sadly, admiring the girls' innocence.
"Did you ever want kids?" Roslin asked looking at her thoughtfully.
"I never wanted a serious relationship, kids never crossed my mind. You?" she asked as they approached the small girl.
"Not really. Never married, always busy, and now I'm a bit too old." Roslin listed the reasons.
"Hi sweetie, what's your name?" Nyx said lowering herself to the girl's level. The small child was sat on a low wall, and barely acknowledged they were there.
"Cami," She said sweetly, after a long pause. She barely looked up, still playing with her doll.
"Hi, Cami, my name is Alexa." Nyx said, her voice calm.
"That's a pretty name." Cami said, still not paying any attention.
"Cami is much prettier. Are you here all by yourself?" Roslin asked, crouching down next to her new guard.
"I'm here with my grandparents. Something happened to my grandma though, she got sick or somethin'. I'm gonna meet Mommy and Daddy in Caprica City, though."
"I see." She said, looking up at Roslin sadly.
"We gonna go to dinner, and I'm gonna have chicken pie. And then we're going home. And then Daddy is gonna read to me like he always does. And then I'm going to bed." Her child like innocence broke Nyx's heart.
"Sounds like a plan, little one." Nyx said sadly, but tried not to show it.
Back on Colonial One, Roslin sat in one of the seats. Not talking, just sitting. Nyx had gotten back from talking to Captain Adama, and was ready to inform Roslin of the latest news. Seeing Roslin's eyes gazing off into oblivion, Nyx sat across from her.
"Well if you're trying to see something, rest assured, we found your glasses." Nyx said holding the black frames in her hand.
The redhead shook her head, startled. "Thank the Gods; I was wondering where I had left them."
"They were in the bathroom, actually."
"Ah, yes. That makes sense..." She said finally turning to look at Nyx, while placing her glasses on her face. She blinked her eyes a few times, focusing her eyes on Nyx's.
"How are you doing, Laura? With everything?" Nyx asked reaching for her hand. Roslin grasped it, holding it tightly. She sat down next to her, still holding Roslin's hand.
"I'll make it, I think. I'll be fine as long as I have things to focus on."
"Well, in that case, I'll get straight to business. Valerii said she found a fuel refinery ship. Filled to the brim with Tylium." Nyx said handing her a piece of paper with the copy of the updated census Billy had been working on. "These are the numbers as of right now. Billy still has a bit more to go though, and its going to take some time to work out all the errors, but its well on its way to becoming complete."
"It's about time we caught a break. That brings us to how many ships now." She said not even looking at the small hexagonal piece of paper.
"About sixty, not bad for a few hours work with just one Raptor and no communications to speak of."
"Excellent. What's the bad news?" Roslin said, finally looking at the print out.
"Only forty of those ships have faster than light capacity. Lee is in the process of arranging passenger transfers of all survivors on the ships that can't jump. Next, we'll start working on transferring as many supplies as we can from those ships. The people come first though."
"Of course." Roslin said; her eyes still on the paper.
"Have you given Baltar any assignments as the newest member of your team?" Nyx said, a little spiteful.
"Are you angry that I put him to work?" She looked up, and set aside the print out.
"Just don't trust him, Laura. He's an evil genius." Nyx smiled. "Seriously."
"I don't trust him; I just need smart people on my side at the moment. Right now he's not really doing much of anything."
The pilot of the Colonial ran out, of the cock pit. "Madam President, we've got Cylon contact."
Nyx got up and walked toward him, passing him quickly to enter the cockpit. Grabbing a head set she flipped a few switches before speaking. "Boomer, this is Artemis, what did you see?"
"Cylon contact, jumped in, made a small fly by and jumped away."
"Copy, come on home, Boomer. I'm going to see to it that we leave immediately, do you copy?"
"Copy that, Captain." Boomer said before the former professor threw down the head set and ran out of the cock pit.
"We have to go, now."
"But the people " Roslin started.
Nyx interrupted, "No, now. The Cylons know where we are and they're going to come back in bigger numbers and wipe us out in one pass." She turned towards the pilot, not waiting for Roslin's reply. "Tell everyone to jump to the Ragnar Anchorage coordinates the Galactica sent us. Immediately."
The pilot ran off. Over the P.A. we could hear the pilot, "Ladies and gentlemen, we will be jumping shortly, please take your seats." The message was short, but it brought Captain Adama and Doral running up stairs to meet the two women.
"What's all this about?" Adama asked, surprised.
"Cylon contact, Boomer said that it jumped in and jumped out. They'll be coming back, so we're jumping." Nyx answered.
"What about all the people on those ships that can't jump, Captain Adama said only about forty ships can jump. They're not completely evacuated yet." Doral said, arguing.
"I know that, but we have got to go, there are no other options. Sacrifices are going to have to be made; it's a numbers game. Welcome to war. This is about the survival of our entire race. Madam President, this is decision that has to be made now, if you want to stop the jump, tell the pilot now."
"Can they track us through a jump? " Roslin asked.
"No, sir." Nyx said, always using the formal terms in front of other people. "It's impossible to track a jump."
"Then we make the jump."
"Captain Nyx, please come to the cock pit." The pilot said over the intercom.
Walking quickly, with Roslin close behind, she reached the cockpit.
"Yes?" Nyx said sharply.
"We got wireless contact from a few ships." He flipped a switch and voices could be heard pouring into the cockpit.
"For the Gods sake, you can't leave us here!" One voice said.
"Setting ESB trajectory." The pilot said next to Nyx.
"Set." Nyx said, looking at a screen.
"I can't believe you want us to leave all these people here!" Came another voice.
"Cycle cryo-fans" The captain said in preparation for the jump.
"Colonial one, we've got fifty people on board!"
"I can't believe you want us to leave all these people here!" Came two more voices.
"At least tell us where you're going. We'll follow at sublight."
The pilot reached over to send the data.
"No!" Nyx stopped him. "If they're captured then the Cylons know too."
"Gods help us all," she heard Roslin whisper.
"Fans cycled." Nyx continued, after flipping a switch.
"Spinning up FTL drive now." The pilot said, flipping switches above his head.
Nyx pulled on a head set yet again and said in to the microphone. "All ships prepare to jump on my mark."
"This is insane! You're killing us! You are killing us!" a voice accused.
"We'll see you all burn in hell for this!"
"May the Lords of Kobol protect those we leave behind." Came a shaky voice.
"Three, two, one, jump!" Nyx said, and the pilot put the FTL drive into gear.
The world around them almost came to a stand still, and the sudden feeling of being stretched came over Nyx. In a blink of an eye, though, they had jumped and were surrounded by a stormy, cloudy atmosphere.
"Galactica, Galactica, this is Colonial One. Do you read?" Nyx said into the mic.
A voice crackled on the other end. "Colonial One, stand by as we check your signal."
Roslin looked at her questioningly.
"They have to make sure we are who we say we are and not the Cylons." She answered the unasked question.
"Signal verified, Colonial One." Came the petty officer.
"Permission to come along side, we have the President of the Twelve Colonies aboard?" She asked, turning her head to wink at Roslin.
After a short pause, the petty officer replied. "Permission Granted, Colonial One. Come along side."
Chapter 7- Battlestar Galactica
Leading us to the war room of the Galactica, Captain Adama kept sighing and rubbing his temple.
"You seemed stressed, Apollo." Nyx said putting a hand on his shoulder, and giving a smile.
"Oh, you could say that. My father is going to freak when he finds out what we did, and that I'm actually alive."
"He'll be glad you're alive, Captain. And as for what "we" did, he'll understand. We didn't have much time to do anything, and we can always blame the president." Nyx looked back and gave Roslin a smile.
Roslin rolled her eyes. "I did not order anyone to fake our deaths. It's on you."
"Madam President, Captain Nyx, Lee. Nice to see you alive." Came the gruff welcome of Colonel Tigh.
"You as well Colonel," Roslin said, shaking his hand. "Where is the Commander?"
"He's on the station. There's a bit of a situation, but nothing to worry about. He'll be back shortly."
"We'll since you're in charge, I'll jump straight to the point. We need some men and medical supplies to start helping and caring for our wounded." Roslin ordered.
"You're joking." Tigh rebuffed.
"I'm not big on jokes today, Colonel." She said seriously, clasping her hands together.
"We're in the middle of rearming and repairing this ship. We can't afford to pull a single man off the line to start caring for refugees. It's out of the question."
"We've got fifty thousand people out there, some of them are hurt. Our priority has to be caring for refugees."
"My priority is preparing this ship for combat. In case you haven't heard, there's a war on." He said sarcastically.
"Colonel the war is over. We lost." She said taking a step towards him. Adama and Nyx watched the back and forth between the two, remaining silent.
"We'll see about that."
"Oh, yes, we will. However as President of the Twelve Colonies I'm giving you a direct order "
"You don't give orders on this ship," Tigh turned back on her.
"Hold on, Colonel. At least give us a couple of disaster pods." Nyx spoke up, trying to ease the tension before an even bigger argument broke out.
"Us?" He asked, giving Nyx a questioning glace.
"Sir, we have fifty thousand people out there. Fifty thousand. Some are sick, some are wounded. Two disaster pods, Colonel, you can do that."
He looked at Captain Adama and pointed at him. "Because you're the Old Man's son and he's going to be so damned happy to see you alive. Two pods But no personnel. You get them yourselves, you distribute them yourselves, and you're all off the ship before we Jump back." He looked back at Nyx. "Do you remember how to fly?" He asked sarcastically.
"Like riding a bike, sir." Nyx said, standing up a bit straighter.
"Then report to the flight deck. You're senior pilot now, Captain."
Nyx saluted, "Yes, sir," and walked out.
Nyx walked towards the flight deck, but first had to make a pit stop at uniform storage.
"Alexa, wait up." Roslin called from behind. Jogging towards her, not an easy feat in heels, Nyx turned around just as she stopped beside her. "Where are you going?"
"Flight deck, until the commander gets back, I'm senior pilot. After that, I'll have it switched off to Lee. Those are my orders."
"You said if I asked you would stay. I'm asking, Alexa. Will you please stay with me?" Roslin asked, sadness in her eyes.
"I will, after my roll as senior pilot gets taken care of. Tigh doesn't have the authority to do that, and right now, they need all the pilots they can get. You will be safe, Laura. I promise."
"It's not me I'm worried about, Lex." Her eyes grew big and serious. "What if you "
"And what if you die tomorrow, Laura? You don't know how much time you've got left. None of us do. Whether we're at war or not, there is a fight to be fought, and I'm going to have to be in the middle of it at this point in time. We'll figure it all out later, OK?" Nyx tried to reassure her with a soft squeeze of her arm.
They continued walking towards the gear storage wing. When they got there, Nyx opened the hatch, and held it open for Roslin to enter in front of her. She flipped on the light, before closing the hatch behind her.
"What are we doing in here?" Roslin asked.
"I'm a pilot, I need the proper gear." She scanned the shelves in the long storage room. Everything was in its place, so the essentials were easy to find.
"No one guards this room?" Roslin asked looking around.
"If you need a pair of pants you come in here and get them. It's a tight ship, but not that tight."
She reached up and grabbed briefs and a bra and set them on the single chair in the room. Next she grabbed socks and the standard issue tank top and sleeveless shirt.
"What's with the shirt and tank combo?" Roslin asked.
"Goes under everything; goes with everything. It's the militaries version of casual clothing."
She next grabbed some fatigues and boots. Last on her list of essentials was her flight suit.
"Now I get dressed, you can stay here or go, it doesn't matter." She said, starting to shed her clothes and kick off her shoes.
"How about if I just turn my back until you're decent?" Roslin asked, turning around.
"Works for me," she quickly shed the remaining garment, and started putting on the briefs and bra. "I'm decent." She said after she had the two articles on.
Roslin turned around, and looked shocked. Quickly recovering she smiled. "I thought you said you were decent." She playfully accused.
"I'm not naked am I?" Nyx said, bending over to put on the grab the shirt and tank top. Slipping them on, she winked.
Bending back over she grabbed the flight suit and started putting it on. "I hate these things, they make everything either ten degrees hotter or colder, depending on which one way you don't want the temperature to go."
"But you do look good in uniform." Roslin nodded approvingly.
"And you look good as president. It suits you." She said bending over to start putting on her new boots.
"I don't know about that." She turned away, blushing shyly.
"You'll do great. We just got to get this fleet on a path to, well, to somewhere, and we'll be fine."
"But the Galactica wants to jump back into the fight."
"There is no fight, and when the time comes you'll be able to convince the Old Man of that." She said standing up and zipping the front of the flight suit. Securing the buckles she checked to make sure everything was situated in place. Turning around she grabbed a helmet off a top shelf.
"How do I look?" She asked walking towards the door, but before she could open it Roslin stopped her.
"Like you could win the war all by yourself. Don't be a hero, Lex, come back to me will you?" Roslin asked hugging the women closer to her; draping her arms around Nyx's neck.
"I'm not twenty anymore, Laura. I have no urge to be a hero anymore. I want nothing more than to come back to you." She whispered in Roslin's ear. She pulled back a little bit and kissed Roslin. Quickly, but passionately, it was not a goodbye kiss, but a kiss which promised return. She pulled herself away, and smiled at Roslin.
"I have to go now, Laura. Stay safe." She said, with another quick kiss that lasted a bit longer than she intended. "Go play the pushy politician; I'll go play the big, bad Viper pilot."
Roslin playfully smacked her arm as they walked out of the hatch. "I am not pushy."
"Yeah, and I'm a kindergarten teacher." She rolled her eyes.
Roslin laughed. "Be safe, Captain Artemis. "
"Take care of our people, President. And take care of yourself." Nyx said, waving goodbye, and quickly walking away.
Chapter 8- Battlestar Galactica
She found the flight deck with out any trouble, after ditching her clothes in a locker. She found Captain Adama talking to a young female pilot working on a Viper. They seemed to be having a moment, so Nyx left them alone.
Walking towards one of the old Vipers she touched the wing, and sighed. She never thought she would be getting into a Viper again, not for combat anyway. She saw a young girl working on the ship she was admiring and said hello.
"You're Alexa Nyx, aren't you?" the young girl said, scooting out from underneath the ship.
"Captain Nyx, now. And who might you be?" she said smiling as the kid smudged some grease on her face.
"Petty Officer Cally Henderson. Everyone just calls me Cally, though, Sir."
"Well, Cally, how go the repairs." She said kneeling to see what the deck hand had been working on.
"Slow and steady, but we'll have her up and flying in no time. She took a shot to the fuel line, so part of the hose needs to be replaced. It's an old bird though, so the parts we do have, have to be rigged to fit into the older model. But she'll fly soon, Sir." She mumbled on, bending back down to continue working.
"Cally, it's OK to breath sometimes." Nyx smiled, reassuringly.
"Yes, Sir. Its just that " She trailed off.
"It's OK, go on."
"I signed on thinking there would never be a big war again. We were at peace. Everyone was at peace. The Cylons were no where to be seen, I never expected to be in this position."
"Have you been well trained?" Nyx asked, raising an eyebrow.
"I know these things inside and out, Sir." She said pointing at the Viper.
"When crunch time comes, then, use your instincts. You'll know what to do." She advised.
"Thank you, Sir." Cally said, calming visibly and smiling.
"Hay, Nyx!" she heard a male voice call. She stood up and looked around. Captain Adama was waving her over.
She walked towards the two pilots and smiled at the new face.
"So, you're the new CAG. Before you were 'Doctor' you were the great, wise Artemis, welcome back to the dark side." The girl said, giving a grin.
"That's what they called me. And I will be the new CAG, at least for a little while, so next time I expect a nice salute to go with your smart ass remarks." Nyx said seriously.
"You're joking, right?" Apollo said.
Nyx cracked a smile. "Not quite, the whole 'being saluted to' thing sounds kind of catchy. But not for long, the whole 'CAG' thing, I don't know I don't think I have a big enough dipstick for the job." She winked at the girl, as Apollo blushed, embarrassed.
"Oh, I like you already. Lieutenant Kara Thrace. 'Starbuck' is the call sign your father gave me."
"You're Starbuck. He told me about you. Said you were crazy as hell, always getting into trouble, had a problem with authority " She ticked off the demerits on her fingers.
"He would know, he's the one that threw me in the brig on multiple occasions. But what did he say about my flying." She puffed herself up.
"That you were almost as good as me in a Viper."
"I didn't become 'Artemis' for nothing you know. Goddess of the hunt. Best shot this side of Kobol." She smiled.
"Well Arti, I could show you the ready room if you'd like. Show you the pulpit that you will use to preach your wisdom to us. I will of course be in the front row, listening intently." She smiled sweetly, yet somewhat mischievously.
"Quit flirting, Starbuck, you have to put your Viper back together. You break it, you fix it." Apollo butted in. "I'll show her where the ready room is, give her a chance to stretch her legs a bit on the ship, get used to the flight suit again. Besides, this way she knows she won't be sexually harassed all the way."
Nyx blushed, but rolled her eyes. "And here I was thinking I had a chance with the great Lee Adama. I couldn't get the father so I was hoping for the son. Damn the bad luck." She snapped her fingers.
"You're joking, right?" He repeated. "Cause I thought you were you know, that you liked "
"Relax, one of these days I'll teach you how to have a sense of humor. So you taking me to see my pulpit or not?" she smirked at him.
"Not doing anything else. Follow me." They started walking away when Starbuck called after them.
"Hay," they turned around." Does your father know you're alive?"
"I'll let him know." He said, before continuing to walk away.
They walked into the ready room, and Nyx chuckled.
"What in the hell could you possibly find funny about a ready room during a war?" Apollo asked.
"Just never thought I'd be in one again, let alone the CAG of it" She said walking towards the podium.
"It's been a weird twenty-four hours, hasn't it?" He said taking a seat in the front row.
"You're telling me. Twenty-four hours ago I was teaching a class about how the Cylons started the first war. Now here we are, right in the middle of the second one. Have you had time to breath during all this yet?" Nyx asked, leaning against the podium.
"Not yet, I don't think it's registered."
Out of the corner of her eye, Nyx saw a figure slowly walking towards them. Apollo got up quickly, and Nyx stood up straighter.
"I, ah, gotta go." Apollo said starting to walk out. The commander grabbed him, and pulled him into a hug. Apollo slowly accepted the embrace and the two held tightly to one another for a few moments. Nyx turned her head to give them some privacy.
Soon the moment was over, and Apollo walked away. The commander looked at Nyx.
"So, you're alive." He said smiling.
"Yes, Sir." Nyx said walking towards him.
"Yes, Sir." Nyx said walking towards him.
He pulled her into a hug, and again Nyx was shocked by the gesture, but she welcomed his warm, fatherly embrace.
"Do you want to tell me what the frak happened that made me think my son was dead?"
"We faked a nuclear signature so the Cylons would think we had been blown up. It broke communications with you, so we couldn't tell you what had happened."
"Long story short?" Adama smiled.
"That about covers it. Thought it had given me a heart attack though. Not as young as I used to be, shocks to the system kind of take it out of me. Looks like you got a little banged up too." She said pointing to the left side of his face. Bruised, bloodied and bandaged, he looked like he had been in one hell of a fight.
"Those shots to the head really get to me. So, you wanna hear the good news or the bad news?" Adama asked, taking the same seat his son had recently vacated.
"Good news first."
"The good news is we now have all the artillery we could want. We could use a few more nukes but I'm not going to complain too much."
"And the bad?"
"The guy who hit me in the head; he was a Cylon."
Nyx looked confused. "Huh?"
"They look like us now, Alexa. They evolved. Right down to their blood, they look like us."
"How How can you be sure?"
"Not back in the military one day, and you're already questioning authority?" Adama smiled.
"Sorry, Sir, but .Huh?"
"I don't know, but they do. So, that's the bad news."
"That's some pretty bad frakking news? How many people know?"
"Me, Tigh, Baltar, a few marines, you, and I guess I should tell the president."
"You think?" She said gruffly.
"Give me a break, Alexa; she's a frakking school teacher!" He argued, beginning to raise his voice in frustration.
"So am I, Sir." She repeated her earlier argument.
"Yes, but you have a military back ground. You know how to lead a squadron. You know what you are doing. This is a military situation now and she's way out of her depth here." He argued.
"She has twenty years experience in politics. She is one of the smartest people I have ever met. She'll do better than anyone left alive."
"You like her, huh?" He asked, tilting his head to the side in a questioning manner.
"I trust her to lead. She'll be a good president."
"How can you be so sure?"
"I trust her." She said getting up.
"Yeah, but she's so pushy." He said, getting up as well.
Nyx laughed. "That's not such a bad quality in a politician if you ask me."
"OK, down to business. I want you to send out a pilot to check out the area. I want to get out of here as soon as possible. We can't jump in this radiation so we need to get out of the cloud. Get someone to check if the coast is clear, then we'll go from there."
"Yes, sir. You know I can't be CAG for long, right? We need to talk about my role on this ship."
"Can you fill the position until we get the civilians to a safe place?" he asked rubbing his temples.
"Yes, after that, Lee can do the job."
"That he can. Oh, your friend Aaron Doral?"
"What about him?" she asked with a raised eyebrow at the word 'friend.'
"He's been accused of being a Cylon by your other good friend Dr. Baltar."
"And do you have reason to believe the accusation. That's a pretty serious one."
"His argument against Doral makes sense. I don't trust that guy anymore than you do, but he's the smartest guy we have right now, and we're going to need his help if we want to make a feasible plan."
"I trust your instinct Commander. If you agree with Baltar that's enough for me. What are you going to do with Doral?"
"Question him." He said bluntly.
"From there it's probably out the airlock with him, or we might just leave him on the station. There's no way out and the radiation surrounding the station kills their kind."
"I'd leave him here. Sounds like a more acceptable punishment for a Cylon." She said bitterly.
"I thought you'd agree. And since you seem to be so agreeable with me today, I want you with me when I brief the president about the Cylon situation. You can be an ambassador of sorts between the military and the president, and visa versa. Think of it as your permanent assignment after Lee becomes CAG."
"Yes , Sir." She saluted and walked away.
On her way back to the flight deck she ran into Roslin, walking the gangways aimlessly.
"What are you still doing on board this ship, Madam President?" Nyx asked sneaking up behind her.
Startled, she jumped and turned around. At seeing Nyx she smiled. "I'm leaving soon, I promise, I was just bored. I'm not exactly getting the welcoming committee."
"Would you like to know why, or would you just like to keep walking." Nyx asked, walking beside Roslin as a slow, leisurely pace.
"I give up, why?" she smiled.
"You over played your hand with Tigh." At Roslin's raised eyebrow she continued. "Don't get me wrong, you playing the power card is very attractive, but Colonel Tigh is just second in command and you put him in a position where he had to choose between you and his commanding officer. You didn't stand a chance."
"So how is it that you have all this diplomatic intelligence, and you're just now telling me about my frak up as opposed to preventing it? You could have stepped in at any time, you know?" Roslin said, making an annoyed face.
"No I couldn't have, Laura. I'm military, Tigh is my commanding officer, you are my president; I have no right to come between an argument between the two of you. I was out of line for what I did say. It's all about diplomacy."
"You are planning on giving me the run down of the do's and don'ts of the military eventually, aren't you?"
"First lesson, military is about three things- tradition, duty, and honor. It's not just a theory, it's a way of life for these people, and for me now, too. I have to abide by the rules. If you want people on this ship to respect you as president, you're going to have to gain their respect on those terms. Show them that you respect the ranks of the military and they will start to respect your role, does that make sense?"
"Wave a flag; sing the national anthem, all that jazz?"
"That's a part of it; we are by definition a patriotic people. We joined to fight for the colonies, to die for the colonies if necessary, so our place in this fight is going to mean a lot. People tend to look down on military because they get to do the dirty jobs. They do the jobs nobody knows about and sometimes they get to do the jobs nobody agrees with. But they do it because it's their job; tradition and protocol mean everything here."
"I've never looked down on the military." She said defensively.
"I didn't say you did; I just said don't. More importantly, though, if you want to gain the respect of the military, you have to be the president. Every minute you are in front of people, you have to be that person. You can never loose you cool; but stand up to them. Never lose your temper in front of them; it's a sign of weakness. If you must yell, do it for effect, not to vent the fact that you're pissed off."
"Is that it?" She asked, sounding overwhelmed.
"The most important thing of all- never let anyone think they are your equal. That lowers your position, which makes you become someone who is not the president."
"But you " she began to question.
"Not in front of people. It's the way it has to be. In order for the both of us to gain and keep the respect of the people, we must not be equals."
"I should have taken notes." She sighed and Nyx chuckled.
"Learn to read ranks off of uniforms, give more respect to higher rank, but still respect the deck hands and the petty officers; they eat it up. Never confront a commanding officer in front of their charges, should I keep going?" She smiled at Roslin's wondering look.
"Again, I should have taken notes." She stated flatly, aggravated that she didn't understand.
"I'll teach you, you'll do fine." They made it to the flight deck but stopped at the entryway.
"Anything else then?" Roslin asked.
"I have to go play commanding officer to my lowly charges; again you get to play pushy politician." She smiled. "I'll be at the briefing with Commander Adama. I'd love to fill you in now, but I just don't have the time. I have to get a Viper in the sky. But lets just say, soon I won't be CAG anymore and you won't be able to get rid of me."
"Well then, I'm looking forward to getting down to business with you." She said walking away, smiling.
Nyx couldn't help but stand there, open mouthed, and stunned.
Chapter Nine- Battlestar Galactica
"Where's Starbuck?" Nyx called to the first deck hand she saw. She saw Apollo rushing out of another door looking, not quite pissed, but obviously upset.
A blonde head popped up from behind a Viper.
"What'd I do now?" she asked, washing grease off her hands in a small sink.
"What's up with Lee?"
"I killed his brother, I can't tell the Old Man, and I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't either." Starbuck said, grabbing a towel to dry her hands.
"Got it. Is your viper ready?" she asked, trying not to think too much on what the younger woman had just said.
"Good, gear up and get ready to go." She looked behind Starbuck to see her helmet and gloves stashed by the wall. "Since that's going to take you all of three seconds to do, I'll brief you."
Starbuck smiled as she zipped her suit up and grabbed her helmet. She climbed into her cockpit and a deck hand put her suit collar on. Nyx climbed the stairs to the cockpit after her and leaned her hands against the open cockpit.
"Commander says he wants to get out of this station. You get to do the recon. Strictly flyby. Get out side the storm, poke your head out and check to see if the coast is clear, come back. Got it?"
"Look, listen, return. Even an idiot like me can remember that."
"That's the spirit. No heroics though, OK? I've been told you've got a twitchy trigger finger, and while I do to, this is not the time. We have to get the fleet to a safe place."
"No worries. My taste for heroics ended about the time I engaged the first Cylon fighter."
"Good hunting," she said stepping down from the Viper.
Starbuck threw back the canopy and gave Nyx the thumbs up. "Set."
Standing back Nyx watched the Viper turn on the floor and made ready to launch.
Nyx entered the Galactica's War room behind Commander Adama and stood at attention when she came to the president. Billy passed her on the way in, still jittery, but gave her a weak smile.
"President Roslin, with your permission of course, I would like Captain Nyx to become your military adviser. She would of course still be on duty as a Viper pilot, but not as a CO. After this war is over she can be an ambassador between us to help us build a new government." He said respectfully. Nyx tried not to look too irritated. That wasn't exactly how he had explained it before. Adama took a seat across the table from Roslin, but Nyx remained standing.
"This war is over, commander. Are you planning on staging a military coup?" she asked bluntly.
"What?" he asked, stunned by her bluntness.
"Are you planning on declaring martial law and take over the government?" Nyx cringed as Roslin gave the commander a calm smile.
"Of course not." He said, unemotionally
"Than you do recognize my position and authority as President as duly constituted in the Articles of Colonization?" she clasped her hands in front of her and waited for his answer.
"Than you do recognize my position and authority as President as duly constituted in the Articles of Colonization?" she clasped her hands in front of her and waited for his answer.
"Miss Roslin," He started, and Nyx cleared her thought intentionally. "President Roslin, my present priority is to repair the Galactica and return to the fight."
"Correct me if I am wrong, Commander, but isn't the Galactica the last surviving Battlestar?"
"We don't know how many other Battlestars or other elements of our fleet may have survived at this time."
"Do you have reason to believe there are other survivors?" she asked, proving a good point.
"We don't know."
"So you are planning on fighting a war with only one Battlestar?"
"If that's what it comes to, yes." He shot back.
"What we do know at this present time is that there are fifty thousand refugees out there that don't stand a chance without your ship to protect them." She calmly argued back. Nyx was proud that Roslin had taken her advice.
"We're aware of the tactical situation but you should be safe here at Ragnar after we leave."
"After you leave," she repeated and briefly looked up at Nyx before looking back down at Adama. Calmly she continued. "Where are you going?"
"We are going after the enemy. We are at war; that is my mission."
She smiled at him calmly as she gathered her words together. "I honestly don't know why I have to keep telling you this, but the war is over."
"It hasn't yet begun." He stated, setting his jaw.
Roslin shook her head. "That's insane," she said calmly.
"You would rather we ran?"
"Yes, absolutely, that is the only sane thing to do here. Exactly that- run. We leave this solar system and we don't look back."
"And we go where?" Adama confronted.
"I don't know; another star system, another planet, somewhere where the Cylons won't find us." She tried to reason.
"You can run if you like, this ship will stand, and it will fight." The Commander said, not giving up any ground.
"Let me be very straight with you here. The human race is about to be wiped out; we have fifty thousand people left and that's it. Now, if we are to even survive as a species, we need to get the hell out of here and we need to start having babies."
Uncomfortable with what she just said, Adama got up and excused himself. As he walked out Roslin's eyes followed him. Only when the hatch was closed again, did Roslin look at Nyx.
"I think that went well, don't you?" Nyx said with a reassuring smile, taking Adama's seat.
"What part of that, exactly, would you say went 'well'?" Roslin asked, rubbing her temples.
"No one yelled; no one threw a punch. For your first military meeting, I'd say that was a good start. Nice touch, by the way; nothing will make a military man more uncomfortable than the talk of making babies."
"Your sarcasm isn't helping the situation, Lex." She was still rubbing her temples.
Nyx got up and walked around the table behind Roslin. Grabbing Roslin's hands, she placed them back on the table, before placing her fingers on Roslin's temples and applying easy pressure. Gently rubbing, Roslin relaxed back into her.
"Better?" Nyx asked, going to her shoulders and rubbing at the knots there.
"When is it that you get to be my full time advisor, because what you're doing right there could prevent me from throwing a lot of punches?" She said tensing and relaxing as Nyx rubbed at a particularly sensitive knot.
"As soon as we get away from the Cylons; you won that argument, you know that right?" She stilled her movements but didn't remove her hands from Laura's shoulders.
"What?" Roslin asked turning around.
"Give him a little time, and he'll realize you're right. He's not one to come right out and say it, but you got your way right there. You want to know why?" she asked batting her eyelashes sarcastically.
"Because I did everything you said to do." She rolled her eyes at Nyx, but smiled.
"See, I think this advisor gig is working out already. Just do everything I say and we'll get out of this yet," she said, turning leaning against the table and smiling sweetly.
"Again, your sarcasm is not helping." She said placing her hands on the captain's hips.
"Yes, well it's all I got at the moment."
"You get points for trying, Lex." She said getting up and pulling Nyx into a hug. Nyx put her arms around the red head's shoulders and pulled her in close.
"You want to hear the really good news the Commander failed to mention?" Nyx whispered in her ears.
"Gods, what now?" she said, not letting go.
"The Cylons evolved themselves and now they look like humans. Its possible Doral may be one and he is currently in custody."
"It's been a really good day." Roslin said, pulling her closer.
"Your sarcasm is not helping, Madam President." Nyx said, kissing her cheek.
"Shut up, Captain Artemis, and just stand there and hold me." She ordered and squeezed the younger woman closer.
"I can do that." She said, turning her head and kissing Roslin's neck. Starting to nibble under Roslin's ear, the president moaned and exposed her neck further.
"Captain Nyx, report to the CIC immediately," came the overhead speakers.
"Frak," Roslin groaned as Nyx pulled away.
"That's my cue to get back to work." She said unhappily.
"Yes, go do you're thing. I'll just sit here and think about what you just did to me." She said crossing her arms to her chest and pouting.
"There's more where that came from, Madam President." She said winking at the flustered politician before opening the hatch and exiting.
"Galactica/Starbuck, I didn't get an accurate count, but I estimate ten fighter squadrons, several base ships and a frak load of drones." Nyx could barely make out Starbuck's voice over the wireless in the CIC as she was just outside the large room.
"Were you followed?" Tigh asked, grabbing a mic.
"Negative." The voice crackled over the wireless.
"Thank you Starbuck, continue on current course and stand by for further instructions." Spoke Dualla into her head set.
"Copy that, Galactica; Starbuck out."
"Nyx, did you catch all that?" Tigh asked as she entered the CIC.
"Yes, Sir," she said coming over to stand next to Adama and a young tactical officer, Gaeta.
"How the hell did they find us?" Tigh gruffly asked.
"Probably the device Doral planted "
"It doesn't really matter; they've got us." The Commander said slowly.
"Why aren't they coming in after us, sir?" Gaeta asked.
"Why should they, they can just sit out there and wait us out. What difference does it make to them; we're the ones that need food, water, medicine, fuel." Nyx answered.
"We're not going to play their game; we're not going to go out there and try to fight them." Adama said, defeated. "Can we plot a jump from inside this storm?"
"With all this EM interference mucking up the FTL fix?" Tigh answered.
"I have to agree, Sir. I don't think we should even attempt a jump till we are outside the storm threshold."
"We'll have to be quick about it though. They'll launch everything they have, first glimpse they get." Nyx stated.
"We could stick our nose out just far enough to get a good FTL fix then get the frak out of here." Tigh wondered out loud.
Nyx and Adama noticed Billy entering the room and walking towards Dualla, but Nyx ignored him otherwise.
"What about the Civilians?" Nyx directed the question at Adama.
Tigh brushed it off though, "They'll probably safe for the time being."
"You mean leave them here?" Asked Nyx, not believing these men still wanted to fight.
"The Cylons may not even know they're here in the first place." Gaeta spoke up.
"They attacked us when we were all grouped together out there, and they saw us jump away. They can assume we took cover under military protection. They may not know for sure, but they could probably make a safe bet." Nyx supposed, still directing what she said at a distracted Adama. He eyes still remained on Billy and Dualla.
"Well we can't very well fit fifty thousand people in this ship, Captain. Be realistic." Tigh responded.
"I'm not suggesting that, I'm saying we can't leave them behind. They should jump with us." Nyx suggested.
"I don't know how we can manage that without jeopardizing this ship." Gaeta argued.
"We pick a jump spot far enough outside the combat zone " Nyx started
Tigh interrupted, "What the hell is out side the combat zone at this point?"
Adama, his attention still on the young couple quietly spoke, "They better start having babies."
Nyx smiled, knowing what Roslin said had finally sunk in to Adama's sometimes thick head. The other two men followed his gaze, shocked at what their commander had just said.
"Is that an order?" Tigh asked sarcastically.
"Maybe, before long." Adama said, finally drawing his attention back to the small group in front of him. He looked at Nyx as he started to speak again. "Ok, we're taking the civilians with us. We're leaving this solar system and we are never coming back."
Tigh couldn't believe what Adama had just said. "We're running?"
Adama looks at him sharply, leaving no room for argument. "That's right. We're running. This war is over; we lost."
"The commander is right." Nyx agreed, "Its time for us to get out of here."
Tigh shook his head, but respected the order. "So where are we going, Commander?"
"The Prolmar Sector." Adama answered.
Gaeta again looked shocked. "That's gotta be Thirty light years away, at least. That's way past the red line."
"Can you plot the jump?" Adama asked.
"I've never plotted a jump that far before, Sir "
Adama interrupted. "No one has, but can you plot that jump?"
Gaeta nodded his head in confirmation. "Yes, Sir."
"Do it. By yourself." Adama ordered and the young officer walked away, headed for the FTL station.
Adama turned around and pointed at the chart of the station. "This is a bad tactical situation." He pointed at where they were. "We will pull the Galactica out, only about five clicks. The civilians will come out behind us, cross the threshold and jump. We will stay until everyone is away and hold off the Cylons." Adama pointed the next order at Nyx. "After everyone has made the jump, the fighters are to make an immediate combat landing. We won't have much time. We won't wait for any draggers; we will have to leave them behind."
Nyx nodded her head in understanding. "I'll tell them."
"I want all my pilots to return." He ordered, and Nyx new he meant Apollo and herself. "Do you understand?"
"Yes, Sir; I do." She nodded her head again.
Tigh leaned in close. "So what do we do about our prisoner?"
"We leave him here." Adama ordered.
Nyx saluted and walked away.
Chapter 10- Battlestar Galactica
"Action stations; Action stations." Came the PA; the annoying alarms and flashing lights Nyx ignored as she rushed to the flight deck, hoping to reach there in time to see off Roslin.
Roslin was starting to board a Raptor as Nyx came bounding into the flight deck.
"Wait!" Called Nyx and Roslin turned around quickly. Nyx ran up to her as fast as she could. "I will come back, Laura. You and I will both live to see another day. I promise."
"I know you'll make it back, Lex. I'm not worried." Roslin said, smiling before taking a seat in the Raptor. "Good hunting, Captain Artemis."
Nyx saluted quickly, as the shuttle's hatch closed between them.
Running to a free Viper, putting her gloves on as she went, Nyx ran up the stairs and jumped into the cock pit. A deck hand put her collar on and handed her a helmet. Nyx quickly put it on and closed the canopy. In her head set she heard a voice.
"Launch Vipers." Came the calm voice of Commander Adama.
Her viper turned into a launch tube, and Nyx gave the thumbs up. "Set and ready to launch."
Before she could take another breath she was speeding down the tube and launched into the squadron of fighters already out there.
"Galactica/Artemis- Vipers in position, ready to engage at your command." She spoke, easily getting back into the role of a Viper pilot. Around her, the black of the universe was interrupted by ammunition being fired. Thousands of bullets were changing places, and Nyx could hear the turrets behind her shooting away. She saw the hordes of Cylon fighters being launched, and held her breath. She had never seen so many fighters in all her life. Hundreds flew towards them, and all she could do was pray that she wouldn't break her promise to Roslin.
"Vipers break formation. Don't let them use their targeting computers and for frak's sake stay out of Galactica's firing solution." Nyx ordered quickly. She zigzagged her Viper weaving in and out; never flying in an obvious pattern.
"Artemis/Galactica- Engage fighters only, leave Basestars to the Galactica." Dualla relayed the order calmly.
"Copy that, Galactica. You heard the lady, "she ordered her squadron. "Lets show these toasters how much we missed them!" she almost rolled her eyes at her own corny line, but when the slew of 'copy that's' came through, she smiled. She was back in the game.
She increased the throttle of her Viper, and jumped in front of the rest of her squad. The other pilots took the hint and sped up behind her. When Nyx could clearly make out a single Cylon she pulled her trigger, and became thrilled as the others followed suit.
Beside her she watched in horror as a Viper exploded, but quickly recovered as she swerved around the massive amounts of bullets and missiles and took aim. Opening fire, she destroyed first one, than a second fighter, easily zeroing in on the center of the Cylon's fighter, and zipping past the wreckage to move on to the next target.
Beside her she watched in horror as a Viper exploded, but quickly recovered as she swerved around the massive amounts of bullets and missiles and took aim. Opening fire, she destroyed first one, than a second fighter, easily zeroing in on the center of the Cylon's fighter, and zipping past the wreckage to move on to the next target.
With all the action going on around her, Nyx found it hard to concentrate. Maybe it has been too long, she thought to herself, but recovered quickly. She couldn't let fear get in the way. She took a deep breath and stared intently in front of her. She no longer worried about what was around her, but simply concentrated on what was coming right at her.
Her concentration back in order, she maneuvered for another pass at a couple of fighters. Plinking one in its wing, and the other on its tail, she quickly pulled a one-eighty and fired directly where the cockpits should have been. Her body ached at the amount of G's she had just put on her body, but pulled another one-eighty to tail another couple of Cylon's chasing a Viper.
"Artemis/Starbuck- I can't shake 'em. Get them off my ass!" Starbuck called after her.
She pulled back on her throttle just enough to match their speed and fired. The hit fighter smashed into its companion, quickly destroying both.
Before she could call after Starbuck, she took a hit to the side of her Viper. She started to lose the ability to maneuver her ship, when she heard a rescuing voice over the wireless.
"Artemis do you read me?" She figured she must have missed the first part of what the blonde had said due to the hit, but called after her quickly.
"I hear you, Starbuck." Nyx answered back.
Whatever the other pilot had to say, she ignored as she fired on a Cylon coming directly towards her. Coming up beside her Viper, another Cylon quickly flew past her and fired a missile. Her mouth opened in terror as the missile turned around, and targeted her. She couldn't move, and it wouldn't have mattered anyway, the missile was too close, and she was moving too slow.
She could hear shots being fired rapidly, but ignored the sound as they could have come from anywhere. She looked out of the side of the canopy and almost screamed in excitement as she saw Starbuck's Viper, flying up and destroying the missile.
"Didn't your daddy ever teach you to never fly without two wings?" the insubordinate pilot laughed.
"Oh, how I do enjoy your disrespect for authority, Starbuck. It matches my own quite nicely." She laughed back. The young girl's Viper flew around her, warding off any attack on her crippled bird. She felt helpless and couldn't help when her thoughts quickly drifted back to Roslin.
"Oh, my beautiful Laura." She whispered to herself. "I'm so sorry." She felt tears well up, but pushed them away. Viper pilots don't cry, her old CO had once told her, Viper pilots are the cause of tears.
Nyx knew she was going to die. She had no power and no maneuverability. She could hear Starbuck screaming over the wireless with excitement. If her own Viper had been working, she would have been right there with the young girl. However, her own mortality, something that had been brought up in conversation several times that day, was now looming much closer than she would have liked.
"Looks like you broke your ship, Artemis!" The blonde yelled over the wireless.
"I've had worse!" she called back, wishing to keep everyone concentrated on the task at hand. She didn't want any extra help; she was already getting to much as it was from the young girl.
"Galactica to all Vipers- Return home. Repeat; Return home." Dualla relayed the order over the wireless.
"This is Artemis to all Vipers- Return to base immediately! That means you too, Starbuck. That's an order!" She called with authority in her voice, hoping Thrace would listen.
Nyx looked above her, and groaned as she saw Starbuck's Viper still holding off attacks.
"Save your breath, we go back together."
"Starbuck, she's not kidding! Get back to base! They're going to jump with or with out you!" Apollo spoke up. She heard in the back ground the screeching of his landing gear as docked. At least he had made it back.
"No reason for the two of us to die here tonight. Fly back!" She ordered.
"Artemis, Starbuck- return to base immediately," called Dualla.
Nyx could hear her Viper completely shutting down. "I have no power; I'm not going to make it, Starbuck. Just leave, damn you! That's a frakking order."
"Shut up and hold still!" she yelled. In front of her Viper, Nyx could see Starbuck charging her.
Going way to fast for Nyx's comfort, she braced her self. "Oh, shit," was all she could mutter as Starbuck locked the two Vipers together; nose interlocking with wing. Her body whip-lashed in to her seat, and she knew her neck would hurt in the morning.
"You are beyond in-frakking-sane!" she yelled.
Starbuck gave a yell of excitement. "Kinking in the burn!" and Nyx was being pushed towards the Galactica at full speed.
"We're coming in a little HOT, don't you think!?!"
"No, not really." She replied, but it sounded more like a question. "Hang on!" she screamed.
For the first time, Nyx looked behind her and realized why they were going so fast. The giant doors to the landing decks were closing. Maneuvering just a bit, they knocked into one of the closing hatches but made it through right before it crushed them both.
They hit the deck at full speed, and skidded to a stop, breaking apart when they hit a wall.
"My father did not teach you that!" Nyx yelled happily.
"No, that one was mine. Look me up some time; I'd be happy to give you a private lesson!" she called back, and Nyx could make out the smirk on her face.
"You almost died right there, Starbuck! Don't you ever quit flirting?" Apollo teased.
Chapter 11 Battlestar Galactica
Nyx had made it back alive, much to her surprised satisfaction. She had been onboard for just a few minutes when she was called into the CIC. Adama looked at her with shock, glad to see her alive.
"This is twice in one day I thought you either had died or might die. You're not planning on making this an ongoing occurrence are you, Nyx?" Adama asked, after she had saluted him.
"I'm really hoping not, sir." She replied earnestly.
"Good. You sure you don't want to remain CAG?" he asked hopefully. "You did a damn fine job just then. I would be proud to have you."
"Sir, I don't think I could take the pressure, to be honest. I don't want their lives in my hands. I'm too old for that kind of thing."
"Too old?!? You're more than half my age!" He smiled.
"Yes Sir and I don't know how you do what you do. Now if that Military Advisor gig is still open, I would love to carry out my duty as an officer of this ship on the Colonial One." She smiled back at him, combing her hand through her sweaty hair.
"Ready to leave the Galactica so soon, huh?"
"I have a feeling I'll be spending plenty of time on her, Sir. I'm just better suited " she started.
"I know, I know. I've heard your persuasive speeches, remember? I agree. So, if Roslin agrees to take you on, you are welcome to do so. However," he emphasized the word. "You are to remain CAG until we are safely out of harms way, a least for a while. I don't want the pilots to have had three CAGs in two days; they worked well under you and I want them under you until we're out of this mess. After that, Lee will take your place, and you can move on. While your main home will be the Colonial One, assuming Roslin takes you on, you will keep a Viper there at all times. You will still be a pilot; you will still fly for this fleet. Of course you are free to step down from your rank and office right now. Twenty-four hours ago you were a civilian, Alexa. This is your final chance to go back to being just that." He offered, but she noticed the hopeful look in his eye.
"I always wished I had gotten to serve under you, Commander. I think this might be as good a chance as any. As Roslin's advisor, as well as body guard, I would love to fly a Viper again. Protecting this fleet, the people, and the President are duties I would be honored to take on, sir." She saluted again.
"Bodyguard?" He questioned.
"With a mouth like hers, don't you think she's going to need one?" she asked, innocently. She would have to remember the teasing comment to use on Roslin later.
"Go get a blue uniform, Nyx. Funeral is in fifteen minutes. You can ask Roslin now if you'd like, as to whether or not she wants you; she'll be here for a funeral." Adama had no idea what that last sentence really meant to her.
"By the Gods, you do look good in uniform." Came a soft voice from behind, followed by arms encircling her waist. She jumped in surprise. She had just changed into a formal blue uniform and was folding up her flight suit.
They were again alone in the uniform storage room. Nyx hadn't heard her come in, or shut the hatch behind her; she had been too busy praying.
"Did I startle you?" Roslin asked, worried.
"I was just praying." She replied, turning around in the older woman's arms. "Thanking the Gods for allowing me the chance to hold you again." She wrapped her arms around the red head and kissed her.
Nyx became breathless, heady, with want as there lips met. She calmed herself to an extent, it was just battle lust, but she couldn't get over how good it felt to kiss Roslin. She pulled away before she became too carried away. Her lips, her tongue, her taste; it was all too much for Nyx at that moment.
"I thought you didn't pray." Roslin whispered.
"I don't, but I've never had anything worth praying for. I never needed to think of someone other than myself."
"Are you ok?" Roslin asked softly.
"I just needed to sit and think for a minute. When did you get here?" she asked.
"About two minutes after the Galactica jumped. Adama called me to come to the funeral; I was on a transport before he finished his invitation." Roslin explained.
"You want to know the terms of my advisement position, that is if you still want me?" She questioned.
"Of course I want you, as my advisor. What do you have to do?" she said, still holding Nyx around the waist.
"I have to remain on acting duty as a Viper pilot and I will remain as CAG until the fleet has reached some semblance of momentary safety."
"What does momentary safety mean, exactly?" Roslin asked, raising an eyebrow.
"It means whenever the Old Man feels like giving it to Lee. For whatever reason he's putting it off. He used the excuse of too many CAG's in too few of days, but I don't know. It won't be long, though." Nyx reassured.
"Are you ready for the funeral; I'm not really sure how to act around all the military there is going to be there." Roslin admitted.
"You'll just be standing there, you're not going to be asked to give a speech or anything. Just act normal; normal for a funeral anyway."
Nyx moved to walk out but Roslin grabbed her hand. Roslin pulled her towards herself, and wrapped Nyx in another hug. Nyx embraced her warmly. "You're not with me yet, Lex. I just want to cherish the few moments we're going to have together till you're with me full time."
Roslin's words brought tears to her eyes. "I could really fall for you, Laura."
"That's good, because I think I'm already there."
Nyx stood at attention by her fellow pilots; on her left side was Roslin, also standing at attention in respect to the fallen. Behind her, row upon row of the Galactica's crew; in front of her, row upon row of body bags lain out in front of them, draped with their respective Colonial flag. All remains of what was to be a museum had been taken away; the Vipers put back into use, the old Cylons air locked out of anger. The priestess Elosha stood holding the Sacred Scroll, surrounded by the 12 flag's of each Colony. Nyx felt a sense of honor standing here; standing beside her squadron and her president. She knew her choice to rejoin the military had been the right one. This was where she belonged.
No one spoke as Elosha began to pray. No one bowed their heads or closed their eyes either. They stood, looking at the body bags; finding a flag that matched their own Colony and cried inside. No one would ever see their homes again; their homes were as dead as the bodies in front of them.
"Lords of Kobol, hear our humble prayer." Elosha began her voice strong but soft. "It is with heavy hearts we lift up their bodies to you, oh Lords of Kobol in the knowledge that you will take from them their burdens and give them life eternal. We also pray that you will look upon us now with mercy and love just as you did upon our forefathers many years ago. Just as you led the twelve tribes from Kobol, so now we hope and pray you will lead us to a new home where we may begin life anew. So say we all." She finishes, and the quiet recur of the words, "so saw we all," said not in disrespect or boredom, but in misery and gut wrenching depression, and yet some how devoid of all emotion.
Everyone stood quiet, stood still and just stared. Out of the corner of her eye, Nyx saw Adama step out and turn around to face his crew.
"So say we all." He said loudly.
Heads turn in his direction, and again the words are repeated with distant emotion.
"So say we all!" He repeated, even louder.
The crew stands up just a little straighter and again repeated the words, just a little louder but still lacking emotion.
"So. Say. We. All!" He almost yells, walking along his crew, looking at each of the faces. When he reaches the end of the line of men and women, he starts walking along the deceased.
Finally the repeat of the words was called back in earnest.
"Are they the lucky ones?" He asks, and the question startles everyone. He continues; his voice strong as he walks among his fallen crew. "That's the question you're all asking yourselves, isn't it? You will never see home again, your families and friends are dead! Were they the lucky ones? We are a long way from home. We are way past he red line and have found ourselves in uncharted territory. None of us ever imagined this, none of us asked for this, but this is where we are. We have limited supplies, limited fuel, no allies, no hope, and no homes. You're thinking it would have been better if you had just died on the Colonies with the rest of them. It would have been faster, less painful. It would be better to die quickly in the arms of our families than to die slowly engulfed by the empty, cold of space." He stops walking and looks at his crew; their faces fallen as they take in what he said. Nyx had no idea where he was going with his speech, but she hoped it would get better soon.
"Where will we go?" He says waking down the center isle of bodies. "'Life here, began out there.' Those are the first words of the Sacred Scroll, the first words the Lords of Kobol given to us countless centuries ago, and the first words each boy and girl is taught from the Scroll. Those words were seared into us as children, and now here we are as adults. Grown men and women living those words as if they were written for us. Our lives are just now beginning; out there. Those words tell us in explicit terms we are not alone." Heads nodded all around Nyx in understanding. She remembered being taught those words; believing them.
He turned to the priestess. "Elosha, the Scrolls speak of a Thirteenth Colony, do they not?"
"Yes." She affirmed. "The Scroll tells us a Thirteenth Tribe left Kobol in the Early Days. They traveled far and made their home on a planet called Earth. It circled a distant and unknown star."
"It's not 'unknown.'" He stated firmly, looking at the old women intently. He looked back at the crowd and paused. "I know where it is!"
Nyx stood amazed at what he had just said. She stared at him, disbelieving. She snuck a glance at Roslin, sharing the same look. He's lying! She thought to her self. She didn't know how she knew, but she would swear an oath he was.
"Earth" He said confidently. "The most guarded secret we have. The location is only known by the most senior officers of the Fleet. We dared not share it with the public while the Cylons still posed a threat. For now, we have a refuge to go to! A refuge the Cylons know nothing of!"
Heads looked around in utter confusion but focused attention when Adama began to speak again, hanging on his every word.
"It won't be easy. The journey will be long, and hard. But I promise you one thing. On the memory of those laying here before you, we will find it. And Earth will become our new home!" He finished, emphasizing the word 'home.'
"So say we all!" He cried out, as the room remained silent.
The words were repeated loudly.
"So say we all!" He yelled, his voice horse.
The words were shouted back, each voice as loud as their Commanders'.
"So! Say! We! All!" He yelled even louder.
The call back was almost deafening, and Nyx could see a small smile of faith on a few of the pilots beside her.
Adama took his place back in line beside Roslin. "So say we all," he said quietly.
Elosha closed the Scroll, and nodded her head. "So say we all."
Adama again took a step forward and turned around to his crew for the last time. "Dismissed!"
The crew erupted in the shouts and calls for their Commander. At least for the moment, their hope had been given back to them. Their hope was now real. They clapped and hugged and smiled. Their false hope depressed Nyx.
Nyx looked at Roslin, but the president said it before the younger woman could. "We need to talk."
"Follow me." Nyx said, nodding her head towards the door.
For the third time that day they entered the uniform storage room.
"I need one final piece of uniform. I have got to get out of this formal garb." She said, taking off the sash and unbuttoning the jacket.
"So " Roslin started, "Was it just me, or was Adama utterly full of shit?" Her facial expression was unreadable.
"You caught that too, huh?" Nyx said folding the jacket up and setting it on a chair. Her tank and shirt all she wore underneath.
"Twenty years in politics, I've worked under the frakking President and never have I heard a single word uttered about Earth." She started pacing, irritated at the lie.
"Adama's smart. The Sacred Scroll does mention it; he's got that going for him." Nyx pointed out.
"Yes, but he just lied to the entire fleet. This is going to get out. Sooner or later the people are going to find out it was all a lie and then we're going to have a rebellion on our hands."
"Either that or we'll actually find earth." Nyx said, seriously. She took her blue slacks off and traded them for a pair of green cargo fatigues. She slipped her boots back on and tied them quickly.
"What are you talking about?" Roslin asked, stunned.
"What if it's real? Granted, Adama certainly doesn't know where it actually is but he has a good thing going. We believe in the Gods. We grew up learning the Scroll, why should we question it? All I know is that I should have died to day and I didn't. My ship lost power and I should have been shot down, but I wasn't. Why? Maybe it was because this girl just happened to be there to save my ass. But for the first time in a very long time I prayed in earnest to the Gods and what I prayed for came true. Why should I now disrespect their teachings? Again, Adama just gave fifty thousand people false hope, but who knows what we might find out there, Laura?" She said, putting her arms around the president.
"You're beginning to sound like a religious zealot. But, you're right."
"I love the sound of those words." She said, lightening the subject.
"Seriously though, as my new advisor, I suggest we go talk to Adama."
"I agree. Just remember, don't get angry or raise your voice if you don't have to." Nyx advised.
"What makes you think I'm going to?" Roslin raised an eyebrow.
"Because you have a mouth one you," She said, remembering what she had told Adama earlier. "That mouth is the sole reason you actually need a bodyguard." She winked, but Roslin slapped her shoulder playfully.
"I can't believe you said that," She mocked anger. "For your information, this mouth can do more things than just piss people off."
"Oh, that's good to hear. That will make my job a lot easier then." Nyx replied.
Roslin shut her up with a kiss that Nyx accepted immediately.
"You know, when we go to talk to Adama." Nyx said, pulling back. "Let me do some of the talking."
"But you said you had no place to talk between your commanding officer and the president."
"So you were listening?" Roslin rolled her eyes but nodded her head. "That was before I became the official advisor and go-between girl for the president and the military. It's my job to advise the both of you of the goings-on of the other. I'm not going to get my self thrown into the brig if that's what you're worried about."
"But aren't you still CAG?" Roslin asked, a bit confused.
"You know, I'm still a bit confused about my position in this universe right now, but I'm thinking I can play both for the time being. Let me be the one against the commander. We wouldn't want him hating you by the end of the first day, now would we?" She smirked.
"I'd say it's already too late."
Nyx rolled her eyes.
Chapter 12-Battlestar Galactica
"Sir, do you have a moment?" Nyx asked, entering the Commanders room.
"Anything for you, Alexa." Adama replied, turning around he realized Roslin was also standing in the room. "Sir," He said getting up out of respect of the president.
"I was hoping the three of us could talk." Roslin said.
"Of course, Sir. Please take a seat." He said pointing at a couch. The two women sat down on either side so as not to look suspicious. Adama took a seat in a chair.
"Sir, I realize I'm still CAG but I was hoping I could take this time to mediate a situation between the two of you."
"I wasn't aware there was a 'situation.'" Adama said, raising an eyebrow.
"First of all, I guess I should thank you for
" Roslin started, but was interrupted by the Old Man.
"First of all, I guess I should thank you for " Roslin started, but was interrupted by the Old Man.
"You were right, I was wrong. No need to talk about it." Nyx was stunned he admitted the fact that he was wrong.
"Sir, the reason we came." Nyx started, feeling the tension between the two already. "Is that it is my job to advise the two of you of the best possible actions either of you can take in regards to the other? Am I correct in thinking that is part of my job description?"
"Sounds good to me. Where is this all going?" Adama replied.
"It is my duty to inform you that the President, and myself, do not believe you know where Earth is." She sat back and got ready for the backlash.
"Is that so?" Adama sat back in his chair, surprising Nyx by not getting defensive.
"President Adar and I once had a conversation about the legends of Earth. His children were learning about it at school and we discussed the various texts that talked about it; the Sacred Scroll as well as some historical text books. President Adar was many things, but he was not a good liar. A fact I'm sure you know harmed his career more than once. He knew nothing of a secret location, let alone if it was actually real. I know that. If the president didn't know, what are the chances you do?" Nyx cringed as Roslin put out the offending question.
"You're right." He repeated the surprising statement. "I made it all up; it's all just a legend."
Nyx spoke back up. "Then why, Commander?" She asked, already knowing the answer.
"Because it's not enough to live, you have to have something to live for." He said calmly, honestly. "Let it be Earth."
Roslin crossed her arms and shook her head. "They'll never forgive you."
"Maybe that's true, Madam President. But in the mean time, I've given all of us a fighting chance to survive. Everyone now has something to live for; to fight for. Isn't that what you said was the most important thing; the survival of our species?" He said calmly.
"Who else knows you're lying?" Roslin questioned.
"Not a single soul outside this room." He said, looking at Nyx.
Roslin nodded her head in agreement. "I'll keep your secret. But I want something in return."
The two other people looked at Roslin curiously.
"I'm listening," He said, diplomatically.
"If what's left of civilization is going to function, it is going to need a government. A civilian government, run by the President of the Twelve Colonies. It's what the people know and it's what the people trust."
"You'll be in charge of the fleet, all military matters stay with me. Captain Nyx here can help us figure out everything in between." He got up, signaling the meeting was over.
"Agreed" Roslin stood up as well, Nyx right beside her.
"Than I'll think about it." He said, and Nyx knew that was all they were going to get for the time being.
Adama extended his hand to the president, and she slowly took it, submitting to the agreement.
Nyx saluted Adama, and they left his quarters.
They walked along the gangways, going nowhere in particular; talking about nothing and everything.
"So this girl that saved you, do I need to give her a medal or something?" Roslin asked.
"Not this girl. I do believe the only reason she saved me was because she thinks she has a chance." She smirked at Roslin's jealous posture.
"Do I need to throw her in the, whatever it was "
"The brig?" She offered.
"Yes, I'm not big on a young girl going after my advisor." She said seriously.
"Your 'advisor?'" Nyx asked smiling.
"My bodyguard?" she teased.
"As long as I'm yours it really doesn't matter." She said sweetly.
"You're my Viper pilot, I think I like that one the best. All the women on the fleet are going to want a Viper pilot." She pointed out.
"And you'll be the first to have your very own." Nyx laughed.
"Lex, I have no idea where this journey is going to takes us." They both stopped walking in a quiet hallway. They looked at each other and couldn't help but smile. "But I want to be here, with you, for as long as I can."
"Lex, I have no idea where this journey is going to takes us." They both stopped walking in a quiet hallway. They looked at each other and couldn't help but smile. "But I want to be here, with you, for as long as I can."
"Its going to be hard, Laura, but I'm here. For as long as I'm alive, I'll be beside you."
"Your job could get you killed, and I could die tomorrow. But for the first time in my life, I feel like this could be a truly fulfilling relationship. Despite my title I feel like I finally found my equal. This could be really good. You're right, it's going to be hard, but I think we can do it. What about you?" She raised an eyebrow, but smiled.
"Hay, no young, smart ass girl is going to get in the way of what I want."
"And what is it that you want?" She asked.
"Oh, that was a good one." Roslin laughed. "Major points for that one."
"Action stations, action stations. This is not a drill. Set condition one through out the ship." Came a voice. Light started flashing and Roslin groaned.
"Its been thirty frakking minutes. Is there ever a break?"
"No rest for the Viper pilots; no rest for the wicked." She said, kissing Roslin's cheek discreetly.
Nyx ran off as fast as she could, and Roslin held her breath.
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