|rap541 (rap541) wrote,|
@ 2008-06-24 07:58:00
Fic - "Going Native part 57"
Woo! Part 57! Going Native! Gaeta the lost Starfleet officer! BSG/STNG crossover, fairly Gen, focused on sweet Mr. Gaeta. Enjoy!
Sgt. Venner kept his hands on his rifle, one finger on the trigger, and the thumb on the same hand tight against the rifle’s safety. It was standard procedure, how a marine carried a rifle in a crowd that was calm, but potentially violent. He looked over the various people in the CIC alertly.
It made Felix nervous. Ostensibly Venner was “assisting” him and Lt. Alghee, but it was clear that Venner’s idea of assistance was watching for assassins. It was ostentatious, it drew even more attention to him, and ultimately Felix was certain it wouldn’t work. If someone really wanted to kill him in the CIC, he had no doubt that it could happen. Boomer had proven that point years earlier. He wasn’t afraid of being killed, not really. He wasn’t suicidal, he knew that, but he was worried about two things. First, that someone was going to make the attempt to kill him, and that it would end up killing other people. Venner was going to shoot, he didn’t doubt that at all, and there were a lot of people in the CIC. The other fear he had was that he *would* be killed, and before the Galactica was convinced to jump. The commands would wear off eventually. If there was time, if they were already deep in Federation territory, the wait wouldn’t matter, but the Romulans were watching and waiting. If he was killed before he released the commands, the Galactica would be dead in the water.
He didn’t think that would happen. He wasn’t religious and he certainly didn’t believe in the idea that the Scroll of Apollo was a prophecy from his grandfather. That was ridiculous and massively egotistical. At the same time, he couldn’t shake the feeling that something had been manipulating things. It had been the luck of the draw that he had been the one sent out in the runabout that day so long ago. He had been the first to show up for duty, with no idea that Lt. Cmdr. Krepovich was even planning an experiment. If he had stopped for a coffee instead of making sure to be early, he wouldn’t have been in the runabout at all. Krepovich had been annoyed that his assistant, a lieutenant, was late and wanted to teach the woman a lesson by letting one of the raw ensigns do the experiment. For years, he had thought it was bad luck, followed by some good, that he had been lost in the Beta quadrant but lucky enough to find a human culture. Then the Cylons had attacked and things had gotten… odd. He didn’t believe in God or gods, but too many things had fallen into place. There were too many coincidences, too many things that hadn’t seemed unusual by themselves but once he put the pieces together… something was going on. Someone, or something, was manipulating the colonials through the story in the Scroll of Apollo. Possibly to save them.
Which meant that he would fix the Galactica. At least in theory. He looked at the FTL workstation, and tried to ignore the obvious stares. “It seems to be working just fine here,” he said to Alghee.
“It does everything right until we start to spin the drive,” Alghee said earnestly. “Then it just… doesn’t go.” She managed to look puzzled, worried, nervous, and cheerful all at once. He made sure to smile back at her. He liked Lindsay Alghee, he had been the one to recommend her to the CIC after New Caprica, but she was clearly overwhelmed by her new job. Of course, she had been in the unlucky position of having to take over all of his duties. She was bright, and eager, and he was beginning to think that she had a touch of hero worship for him. Or a crush. She quickly moved to his side. “What should we do?”
“Let me take a look,” he said as he pulled open the console. He could feel the eyes of everyone in CIC on him, and despite himself, he blushed. It was fortunate in many ways that using his abilities was in appearance at least, a very mundane thing to watch. He put his hands down into the console and concentrated.
It’s ok to jump. You did everything right and everyone is happy. I’m very happy with you. I said not to jump and you did that just right but now I need you to jump…
He could feel the metal balking at his commands, balking so much it he almost winced from the force of it. The Galactica was a stiff, slow system, it was old and clunky and colonial technology was such that even a ship like the Pegasus didn’t have the personality that Federation ships had. The Galactica had always been challenging to control because it just didn’t have the ability to understand anything but the most simple requests, and it was very… colonial in its simple mindset. He had spent months prepping it for the “don’t jump” command and even though it was balking, he could already feel it unclenching its grip. Someone had helped already, he could feel that too, that the Galactica had already praised with a loving hand, and resented his touch. Resented that he had given the command and then left, leaving the Galactica alone, still obeying the command despite how much the crew begged and pleaded.
It would take time and a lot of nudging and apologizing. But it wasn’t impossible and it was easier to ask because the Galactica *wanted* to jump. His command went against its nature, that was why the command would wear off on its own, but he could make it go faster. It was just going to take longer than the hour that Picard wanted. At best two. More like three or four. He was tired, that was the biggest problem. The trick with the Cylon Centurion had depleted him more than he thought. He had eaten and slept, but he wasn’t in best form, not at all. And while he suspected that he could talk the Galactica into jumping from the CIC, he just didn’t feel like being stared at.
“All right… I’ll need to check out the computer banks and the engine itself.” That meant fewer people around for certain, and it let him shake one of the babysitters fairly easily. “Lt. Alghee I want you to stay here and monitor the station. It will take at least an hour but we need someone here to make sure that as soon as the drive comes on line, we can jump. This will need to be fast.” He put his hand on her shoulder. “You’ll be fine. You are better at this than anyone. Don’t worry.” More quietly, he added, “Just think… you’ll be able to tell your kids that you were the one who made the last jump to safety.”
Alghee’s sudden smile could have lit up the entire ship, of that he was positive.
Venner was honored to be chosen. His only sadness was that his parents weren’t alive to see the honor he had received. He understood what the president’s official wireless announcement was trying to accomplish, and he didn’t approve but fortunately there would be time in the future for the colonists to really understand how the gods had blessed them all. In the mean time, he was honored to guard Apollo’s child. Honored and amused at how Felix Gaeta, of all people, had turned out to be their savior.
It was the will of the gods, of course, and Venner was just pleased to know that he had a part in the story. The Scroll of Apollo made it very clear that there was danger for the child of Apollo. Perhaps it was ordained that the child of Apollo was to be rescued, and perhaps not. The scrolls were clear that there would be a confrontation, a testing, with the Arrow of Apollo, and no assurances that Apollo’s child survived. But the prophecy had to be brought to its conclusion, the priestess on the Geminon Traveler had made that very clear. The very fact that a believer had been chosen to guard Gaeta was a sign.
Although Gaeta was acting strange. Venner had only dealt with the man on rare occasions. A stickler in inspections and not one for excuses, but pleasant enough. Something was clearly upsetting him though, as he strode through the increasingly quiet corridors of the ship. Occasionally he would stop and touch the metal walls, seeming almost to pray. Venner didn’t ask questions. Apollo was a healing god, and the Galactica was ill. And if it was odd and almost Cylonish that Gaeta’s god given powers seemed to revolve around machines and not people, Venner had to assume that it was Apollo’s way of providing for the future of humanity. It was just starting to make him nervous that Gaeta was muttering under his breath, wiping his forehead, and all in all looking like a man that was scared beyond belief. “Are you all right sir?”
“I’m just tired,” Gaeta said after a moment. “I shouldn’t have…. What the hell?” He pointed to the wall.
Venner looked. “It’s a mural.” It raised the hackles on his neck. “It’s the vortex from the Temple of Jupiter.” It was a warning, although he didn’t say it out loud. The confrontation was coming and his real job was not to keep Gaeta safe but to make sure that the testing occurred. He didn’t envy Gaeta at all. There were several possible ends to the story, and most ended badly for the child of Apollo.
His shoulder radio crackled. “Sgt. Venner, report your status,” the admiral barked.
“We’re down near the FTL core.” He looked at Gaeta. He had no idea what the status of the repairs were.
Gaeta tapped the Starfleet badge on his uniform and it chimed, obviously hooking into the wireless system. “Sir, it’s not… as bad as I thought but it will be at least another hour.”
“The civilian fleet and Cylon basestar will jump in two minutes.” Admiral Adama’s voice was clear and sharp. “Be prepared for possible hostile action.”
Venner nodded. The Romulans might board, and that would interrupt the confrontation. “Don’t worry, sir,” he said to Gaeta. “If I see any aliens, I’ll shoot.”
For a moment Gaeta looked at him with surprise. Then he laughed. “Sgt. Venner… One day I hope you’ll know why that is the funniest thing anyone has ever said to me. I’d explain it right now, if I wasn’t positive that the Romulans will board us.” He began to walk away.
Venner followed, his rifle ready. Gaeta was acting oddly, but he was the child of Apollo and had to be protected.