|rap541 (rap541) wrote,|
@ 2008-09-15 07:22:00
Fic - "Going Native part 62"
Woo! Finally we start wrapping up. The epilogue chapter follows. BSG/STNG LENGTHY CROSSOVER!
It was difficult not to smile with glee as they all walked back to Bill’s quarters, but Laura made a point of choking it down. She didn’t get the sense that Picard was truly upset about the events of the day, but she suspected that gloating wouldn’t go over well. “Admiral Adama, what do you intend to do?”
It wouldn’t be good politics to simply let Thrace off the hook, and she didn’t think Bill was in the mood to excuse much. He glared at her as he gestured for everyone to take a seat. He thinks I was behind it, she realized with amusement. She would need to talk to him then, because while she had considered having one of his officers toss the lab, Kara was the last person she would have picked. If nothing else convinced her of the existence of the gods, the fact that Starbuck had been the one to save Felix Gaeta from his own actions was a beacon from Athena that the gods were real.. Kara had been found down in the FTL computer core with Gaeta, and Roslin certainly had questions about that, but considering that Gaeta had told Barclay and Racetrack that Kara had killed a Romulan that had attacked him, something had changed Kara‘s mind. Eventually they would find out what really had happened, but in the meantime she wasn’t going to complain with how Thrace had solved the problem.
“Captain Thrace will remain in the brig until charges are brought.” Adama looked at Picard, with concern. “I do apologize for Captain Thrace’s conduct. She will be disciplined.” He hesitated. “I assume you will want to interrogate her concerning her actions…”
Roslin wasn’t surprised that Picard shook his head. “That won’t be necessary,” the Starfleet captain said easily. “Without hard evidence, there’s simply no reason to pursue the accusation. I understand from your own records, and from Ambassador Troi, that Dr. Baltar is a less than trustworthy individual so his testimony alone isn’t enough. Lt. Cmdr. Gaeta says he doesn’t remember the incident and your records bear out his story, that he was seriously ill at the time. Mr. Gaeta did admit to manipulating your route but that isn’t considered a major violation.” Picard looked at Adama intently. “Capt. Thrace’s animosity towards Mr. Gaeta was reported to me. Her actions appear to be… in character, and considering her history with Mr. Gaeta, I am surprised she only destroyed some of his belongings.”
His expression seemed to close over as he looked at her. More to her than to Adama, Picard added softly, “I’m not a fool, Madame President. I’m not convinced that this notebook was the only violation, but without a confession, I have to assume that Lt. Cmdr. Gaeta is not guilty of a serious violation of the Prime Directive.”
“And?” She waited.
Picard smiled thinly. “You’re on probation, Madame President. Once the treaty is signed, you’re required to abide by Federation law. Don’t let a next time occur, Ms. Roslin. You won’t get the benefit of the doubt twice.”
She nodded, but she didn’t stop smiling. She had won, and she had saved Apollo’s child. The gods had helped her save the people. “I understand your concern, but somehow I doubt this will happen again.” At Picard’s dark look, she made a point of looking more serious. “The people will vote on accepting the treaty offer tomorrow. Frankly I don’t see any real opposition.” She pointedly looked at Picard. “I assume that now that we’re in Federation space that your ship will need to return to it’s usual duties.”
Picard shrugged. “I plan to stay with your fleet until it reaches it’s new colony. If the vote is tomorrow, then it should only a few more days before your people are standing on their new world.”
Which was a glorious thought indeed. One that could easily overwhelm her so she clamped down on the thought. “It will be good for the people to feel fresh air on their faces,” she said easily. “And the help the treaty promises means we won’t be starting this colony with nothing but rags and empty stomach.” Already the supply runs had resumed and the Tom Dooley was sending clothes along with food. The sturdy khaki pants and colorful warm shirts had already made their appearance on the Galactica and she had been told by the Tom Dooley quartermaster that the plan was for each member of the fleet to have new clothes within the next seventy two hours. New clothes for a new world, and once the treaty was signed, industrial replicators would be cheerfully making the tools and supplies that a new colony needed. “I don’t know that I can ever express how much gratitude we have towards the Federation.”
Picard looked at her carefully. “I think that eventually you’ll find all debts more than repaid. But considering that conditions will be quite primitive on the new colony for sometime…” He looked at Ambassador Troi. “Perhaps you would like to explain this option, Ambassador.”
Luxana Troi nodded, her expression amused. “It hasn’t escaped me that Dr. Baltar is severely disturbed. I have a proposal for you.”
The brig wasn’t so bad, Kara decided as she stretched out on the small cot. Baltar was being kept in solitary, so she didn’t have to listen to him rant and rave about how innocent he was. She didn’t even have a guard. Which was especially hilarious considering that she had picked the lock to get into the science lab. She suspected… She could feel a difference in herself, like something that had previously been dormant had been awakened. She was still exhausted, and she was hungry almost to the point where it hurt but picking the lock to the science lab had been surprisingly easy. Easier than it should have been. I wonder, she thought as she stood up shakily, I wonder if it is me…. Or if it wore off. She put her hands on the cell lock and mentally and physically pushed it.
And the cell door clicked and swung open. “Interesting….” She shut the door as the hatch door opened unexpectedly.
Sophia Gaeta stepped in.
“It probably won’t wear off,” she said as she took up a position in front of the cell. “The ability I mean. I heard you thinking about it….” She looked at Kara intently. “You probably always had the ability, you just never knew it. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a lot of you people that start showing signs.” She smiled slightly. “I heard Felix, and I heard you when the Galactica jumped in… He’s gotten a lot better at a lot of things… You came close to killing him.”
If the tone had been just a little different, Kara would have been afraid. Maybe. “But I didn’t. I helped him.”
“You saved his life. He was already sick, I saw it on the Enterprise.” Sophia crossed her arms. “Felix and I were always stuck with the testing. I was the first female quarter hybrid, he was the first male. The good thing about that testing, I always thought, was that it gave me an idea how hard I could push.” She looked around the bare metal room. “This was too much… Even with your help, I think he’s lucky he didn’t die. He would have died if you weren’t there, and for that I have to thank you. And… I think you might have saved him from a welcome home court martial.”
“No…” Kara hesitated. “Things happened. Things that can’t be taken back. I went down there to kill him,” and it hadn’t escaped her that Gaeta could have just as easily killed her instead of subduing her, “and I’m not going to lie about that. Or about what happened before. I owed Felix a favor. Over what happened before.”
Sophia nodded, her expression mild. “You’re not one to admit mistakes, so I’m not going to push. Are you hungry? You should be.”
“I could eat,” Kara said, not sure where the woman was going.
“If you could have anything, what would you want?” Sophia pressed.
Kara considered it. “A rare steak off the grill, with mashed potatoes, mushrooms and onions.” She wasn’t surprised to see Sophia smile and then tap her communicator. In seconds, a sparkling wave appeared and disappeared, leaving behind a large tray of food. A tray that held the first piece of real red meat she had seen in years. She could see steam rising off the food, and her stomach grumbled but she didn’t ask.
She had some pride after all. And she wasn’t clear what sort of game Sophia was playing.
“What you did burns calories. That’s why Dr. T’Kil had you drinking a protein shake, but you’re probably going to feel unusually hungry for the next few days… and I’ve seen the food here, and Felix is alive because of you, so…” She shoved the tray through the slot built into the cell. “You need to eat in order to recover, and seeing my brother alive after ten years is worth a decent meal or two.”
Kara took the tray but hesitated. “How… is Felix?” He had looked comatose the last time she had seen him.
Sophia looked both worried and pleased. “He’ll be all right. He was too thin to begin with and I think he burned off about ten pounds he didn’t have to lose doing this jump, but he’ll be all right. He’s not going to be able to pull this kind of a stunt for at least a month, and he’ll need to spend a lot of time eating, but he’ll recover.”
It was good news. It made the perfectly rare steak taste even better. Her only remaining concern was what would happen to Baltar.
He slowly came back to awareness. I’m not dead, was Felix’s first thought. He let that roll around in his head for a while, too tired to try to manage more than that. Eventually though, he started to become more aware of himself. He was lying on a bed, not a particularly soft bed either. There was an undercurrent of chatter, and electronic beeps. The sickbay, he realized, on the Galactica and the mere act of making the connection made his brain ache. He let himself drift, knowing instinctively that he wasn’t yet ready to be awake. The tingling was still there, and he felt oddly disconnected, blunted.
The problem was that while he felt like his entire body had been dipped in lead, he didn’t feel like he could go back to sleep. He tingled and ached, and he was ravenously hungry. That was a symptom he recognized, and it meant he had to wake up, if just so he could eat and then go back to sleep. But even opening his eyes felt like an effort… He was in a hospital bed, propped up, and someone had thoughtfully thrown a blanket over him. He could feel its scratchy texture against his skin, and the hypersensitivity was another thing that he could tick off as a symptom that he had pushed too hard. It also helped him realize that someone had relieved him of his clothes which meant he had been lying in Cottle’s personal territory for over an hour.
But his feet were cold, and he could feel someone touching them, and after a moment of effort, he opened his eyes. Much to his surprise, Serena was at the foot of his bed and she was…doing something. “Hey…” he said, suddenly aware of how dry his mouth felt. “What… what are you doing?”
She was in a Starfleet uniform, blue for sciences, with her rank of lieutenant displayed on her uniform. Of all of the things he had learned about what his family had been doing for the last ten years, that Serena had left active duty in Starfleet had been no surprise at all. She had the discipline to do well, but she had always been a lone wolf and she certainly had never been one for rules.
She smiled at him and held up a small device. “I got bored watching you sleep so I was doing your nails so you’ll look pretty for Mom.”
He took a closer look. Sure enough, his toenails were brightly, and he suspected, quite fashionably adorned with colorful patterns. “What? Why are you here?”
Serena rolled her eyes. “Mom and Dad are coming. Mom pulled strings to hop a ride on one of the ships bringing out aid. They’re going to be here in about ten hours and you look like complete shit. You know what will happen if Mom finds you laid up in a hospital bed. She‘ll freak. And Dad… ”
After a moment, he nodded. “I don’t want to upset them…” As he said it, he realized just how ridiculous that had to sound. “I’m sorry…”
Serena shrugged. “It wasn’t easy… it wasn’t easy for any of us, when you went missing but I get the impression that the last ten years hasn’t been a barrel of laughs for you either, little brother. I didn’t mean to make you feel guilty with what I said, before.” She smiled suddenly. “It never changes. You’ve been gone for ten years and as soon as I know you‘re ok, we‘re right back to snipping with each other. I think sometimes, I missed having you around to be angry at. And then I‘d feel bad about that.”
Which was different but he didn’t go there. He and Serena had always fought like cats and dogs and he had never really understood why at the time. Over the years though, it had occurred to him that Serena had been jealous of him. Jealous that he had stolen her place as the youngest, jealous that he was the boy that his father had so clearly wanted. Which made his own jealousy of her seem slightly ridiculous. Serena had grown up and so had he, and he knew she was there at his bedside because despite all the arguments, they were family and she loved him and was worried about him.
That was good to know. But despite how rotten he felt, he couldn‘t resist a dig. “I’m touched you’re impersonating a Starfleet officer just to be at my bedside.”
“I’m a reserve officer now,” she said, “and really, I would have thought that security wouldn’t be so lax on the Enterprise. I mean, any idiot can replicate a uniform. Now,” she covered up his painted toes with the blanket and handed him a bottle that clearly held a protein drink. “You will drink this with no whining, and then you’re going to eat something decent. Then you will shower and shave. Mom and Dad need to see you on your feet, looking at least a little ok. They need to know you’re ok, Felix. They really do. Until they see you standing and looking at least a little healthy, they’re not going to really believe you’re here. I know I didn’t think it was true until I saw you.”
“I feel awful,” he admitted as he sipped the orange colored protein drink.
“You should. You blew a fuse. Don’t even think about trying any of your tricks for at least two weeks. Sophia and I both heard you coming in, and you probably gave Ambassador Troi a headache. So don’t try anything. Trust me on that. You’ll just hurt yourself. You had seizures. But don’t worry, it will come back. Julia did something like this a few years ago…. She had seizures and she couldn’t hear thoughts for close to two weeks. Don’t push yourself… you’re lucky you had someone nearby with talents. And what was up with that? Isn’t she the one who tried to kill you?”
“People change,” Felix said after a moment. He was curious about what Julia had been up to, but he had more pressing questions. “Is Kara all right?” He could remember asking her for help and letting her take control but after that, it was all a blur of pain. And… “What about the notebook?”
Serena waved her hand. “Thrace is fine. She’s definitely got the Palamas genes but I think you were right when you called her a throwback. Although all of the exchange officers seem to buzz a little. And your stupid notebook? Thrace apparently burned it in front of Picard. I heard that she’s in the brig but no one seems all that mad… and what the hell were you thinking?”
“I think I was running a fever at the time… I don’t even remember it.” He sipped the protein drink again and tried not to gag. “How did you get on board?”
“Your little girlfriend knows people. She’s here, by the way. She’s keeping the doctors at bay.” Serena smiled. “ I like her, Felix. Now, keeping drinking that, and tell me everything you know about Lee Adama.”