It was colder than she expected when they stepped out of the sewage tunnel. It was getting dark, the clouds looked strangely ominous and she could feel the wetness of cold rain as she looked up at the sky and…. “Is that snow?”
“Could be,” Sam said, his breath frosty. Felix didn’t even look up, he just gulped in air in rasping breathes.
“But it’s the middle of summer, the middle of the afternoon,” Kara said, although she already began to understand the problem. “There were flowers in the temple, blooming.”
“And they won’t be blooming for long,” Sam said harshly. “It was the nukes, Kara. The weather has been completely frakked since the attack.” He adjusted his grip on Felix, who was swaying and nodding like he wasn’t entirely there. “He’s not going much farther,” Sam warned. He looked at the small town and pointed. “We’re not *that* far from where you hid the raptor, but it’s still a hike. I know a place…. We had a guy from here in the resistance, an old friend of mine… Cavil never knew him and I never talked about the hideout that Steve showed me … I kept it a secret for just in case…”
“We should just keep moving,” Kara said, but she could see how ridiculous that idea was. She was up for it, and she was strong, but Felix was shivering and not even conscious enough to protest any of the plans. He wasn’t going to stay on his feet for much longer, she was surprised he had held out as long as he had. She couldn’t carry him as dead weight, and Sam was… Sick and exhausted himself. If Sam had been in peak condition, she would have suggested he fireman carry Felix while she acted as the guard, but while Sam could likely handle the mile or so hike that it was to the Raptor, he couldn’t do it and carry Felix at the same time. And they were all wet from the tunnels and it was freezing….She shook her head. “No, you’re right. Where are we going?”
“This way,” Sam said. It really wasn’t far, and that was a damn good thing since the cold rain quickly turned into snow flurries. It was close to a whiteout situation as he opened the door to a building that was just inside the town limits. An old boxing and triad gym, she realized with a rush of pleasure, understanding suddenly that the friend was probably one of Sam’s old coaches, but she didn’t do more than glance at the dusty surroundings. She took Felix by the arm, half dragging him, half carrying him to the stairwell.
“Down here,” Sam said. He coughed harshly as he led them into the basement. She was surprised when he flicked a switch and the light came on. He seemed surprised as well as he looked over the well stocked room. “He told me he did this…. He said to save it for an emergency…”
It was a big room, with just ones small thick window set in a well. She could see piles of supplies and camping furniture, and radiological gear. The door to the stairs sealed the room off and she suspected the place had an air filtration system. Looking up she spotted a surprising touch. “Are those old ship heating tiles?” She had seen them on old ships, they blocked the heat from ultra hot engines from cooking the people inside the ships. “That’s weird for a ceiling.”
“Rad proof,” Sam said, “and Steve thought the Cylons tracked people by heat signature. They don’t… but it was a good idea.”
“Why did he leave?” A good hideout, well stocked, and radiation proof, she didn’t see the problem.
Sam shrugged. “He got lonely… He wanted to fight… A Centurion got him.”
“Can… can I sit down?” Gaeta spoke hoarsely and almost too softly to be heard, and she was suddenly mindful of how blue his skin look. The skin that wasn’t torn open or bloody. She steered him to a small table that had chairs. He sat down, and rested his head on the table. Not good, Kara thought as she looked him over in better light. His back and chest looked like so much raw meat and in the better light she could see the bruising and circular burns from the cattle prod Cavil had been using.
She looked at Sam. “What do we have?” The wind whistled loud enough to hear even in the sound proofed basement and she was suddenly glad that they hadn’t pushed on to the Raptor. It was starting to sound like some sort of hurricane blizzard was pushing through. She knew it was mid afternoon but the tiny window showed a darkened sky and more snow swirling.
Sam set down a large paramedic bag. “It’s just first aid stuff…no sutures or morpha…”
“No drugs…” It figured, Kara thought. Then she really looked at Sam, and her worry increased. He was swaying and his color was gray. He’s sick, she reminded herself, and he needs to see Dr. Cottle and he’s been running around, hauling Gaeta with him. She looked at the supplies in the bag and then back at Sam. “Find me something for him to wear, a couple towels, and then lie down.” He started to protest and she cut him off. “The storm sounds like it will last for hours and I can get Felix bandaged up.”
She wasn’t surprised that he didn’t put up a protest. She quickly went to work on Felix, glancing over just to make sure Sam was lying down on a cot. She was no medic, but despite the dark mottling of bruises and numerous cuts, she didn’t see anything that looked immediately life threatening. She cut off the remains of his uniform shirts and looked in the bag. “Felix,” she said quietly, “It’s not bad… Cottle will get this stitched up fine….” She wouldn’t try suturing unless he was bleeding badly and she had a feeling the bigger problem was his obvious shock and his bum knee. “Cottle’s gonna pissed about your knee, you know that, right? He‘ll blame me.”
“Yes… I’m c-cold.” He shivered, an all over body shiver and she decided to move fast. She got the bandages out of the bag and a bottle of antibiotic cream, the type of stuff that boxing coaches kept around and slavered it on his back and chest, grateful that he managed to sit up. The bleeding wasn’t bad, more and more she was convinced that he would all right. Some scarring certainly but there were worse things. “Ok,” she said as she wrapped the last of the gauze around him. “Sam got you a t-shirt, and a sweat shirt,” and she was damn glad Sam had gone with the heavy zip up sweatshirt since Felix was already stiffening up from his injuries. She pulled him to his feet. “There’s a cot right over there…”
To her surprise, he balked. “No… if I lie down, I w-won’t be able to get back up.”
She doubted that, but there was a ragged old couch, and if he wanted to sit upright and get warm there then she didn’t feel like arguing. “All right, you can sit on the couch and I’ll get you a blanket.”
“You should have gone back to the fleet,” Felix said, his eyes suddenly sharper. “This is dangerous…”
“Yeah, well, if I left you behind, we’d have to train a new scanner monkey, and the Admiral would have my ass,” she said as she put her arm around him. More softly she added, “I couldn’t leave you with the Cylons, Felix.”
He pulled her into an embrace. “Thank you,” he whispered, his voice shaking. She returned the hug, and for a moment forgot everything else.