Alpha and Omega part 70 - "A Little Strip Dance"
Part 70! The ugly ramifications of the last few events begin to occur.
Title - "A Little Strip Dance" Prompt - Storm -070 Word count - 1314 Summary - Bill and Laura begin to see that the trip to Caprica has brought new problems and issues. Author's note- This is better if you read it in order. Here's a link to the table. http://rapfic.livejournal.com/8449.html#cutid1
Sometimes, Bill Adama thought as he walked into his quarters, I really wish we had a decent shrink on board. Kara Thrace had badly flipped out when Cottle had verified what they had all known, that Sam Anders had died sometime during the trip back from Caprica. She had leapt on Cottle and the older man had been lucky to escape with just a black eye and a bruised throat. Bill had been forced to choke her out. On the plus side, they had found the scepter although Laura’s new priest assistant hadn’t been able to figure what was so special about. Neither had Dr. Baltar, and Lt. Gaeta was under medical care, badly injured and near death from infection.
So Kara didn’t have the luxury of an extended breakdown. He understood why she was upset. For whatever reason, she had loved the man, and he had died. Bill didn’t blame her for being upset. But it had been five hours and he needed her to snap out of it. She was in the brig until she calmed down, which meant that he had to piece together the situation.
Roslin, Baltar, and Roslin’s religious advisor Brother Cavil were waiting for him. “I hope you three have cracked this damn thing,” he said as he gestured to the scepter.
It was Baltar who spoke. “It’s a rather… ostentatious piece,” he said as he lifted it up. “And it is, upon close examination, a puzzle piece.” He turned the pieces in a desultory manner.
“You haven’t solved it already?” Bill couldn’t resist needling the man. Far too many times Dr. Baltar had made a point of being a complete snot to his officers over their supposed lack of intelligence. “I believe Lt. Gaeta supposedly solved this puzzle when he was five.”
“Four, actually,” Roslin said, a slight smile on her face.
Baltar glared at her as he set the scepter down. “Then perhaps you should have Lt. Gaeta in here, solving it for you.”
Which led to the next piece of bad news, that Roslin hadn’t yet received. “According to Dr. Cottle, Lt. Gaeta is critically injured. He may not survive the next twenty four hours.”
“What?” Both Roslin and Baltar looked surprised. Brother Cavil merely nodded sadly and put his hand on Roslin’s. She brushed him off quickly. “He looked…He didn’t look good, but I didn’t think he was badly wounded. Do you know what happened?”
“I wasn’t able to get much from him,” he said. Roslin nodded, while Baltar looked worriedly at his hands and at the scepter. Cavil seemed nonplussed, concerned but detached. Not involved, Bill thought with a level of irritation that surprised him. “Apparently he was captured briefly and tortured. That’s how he was injured. According to Cottle he picked up some sort of bacterial infection that’s running wild.”
Roslin stood up. “Then we need to talk to him right now.” ~*~
She knew that she’d pay for it in some way. Bill didn’t like to admit it, but he viewed his people like children. He wasn’t going to forgive that he had sent two of his officers on a task for her and they had both come back worse for wear. So she was in the doghouse and it was going to get worse since she didn’t intend to play nice with Lt. Gaeta. The fleet needed to know whatever the scepter of Delphi had to tell them, and that meant she’d beat the hell out of Felix Gaeta while he was lying on his death bed to get information. She just hoped it wouldn’t come to that.
They all walked into the infirmary together. It was obvious where Gaeta was, tucked into a semi private corner because Cottle was there, barking orders at his nurses. His eye had swelled shut and she could see the finger shaped bruises on his neck left by Kara Thrace. He saw them coming and frowned. “I don’t have time for you,” he said. He grabbed the nearest nurse. “I need an intubation tray, and the spare respirator now.”
“We have to talk to Lt. Gaeta,” Roslin said, using her stern voice. Jack Cottle was a friend and a damn good doctor, but he was not in charge. She cradled the scepter in the bag they were keeping it in.
He glared at her, and then at the three men. Then he looked back at the bed where he had Gaeta propped up. Cottle stepped closer to her. In a lower voice, directed at her and Adama he said, “Lt. Gaeta can barely breath right now, let alone chat. I am about to intubate him so I can get him on a vent. His lungs are filled with fluid. If he’s lucky, the vent will buy him enough time to let the antibiotics kick in.”
“That’s unfortunate,” Roslin said coolly, “and it makes it that much more important that we speak with him.”
“You have until I get all the equipment I need, and not a second more.” Cottle stepped aside, his anger evident in his storm filled face. Roslin didn’t let it bother her. Sometimes being president of the colonies meant harassing a sick, possibly dying man. She didn’t like it but she had to do it. If the scepter had the coordinates to Earth, it was worth Gaeta’s life and more.
Gaeta was sitting up, his body seemingly covered with bandages. Cottle had an iv already going, and oxygen, but she could see it wasn’t helping much. Gaeta was almost panting for breath and his face was flush. Dammit, she thought as she stepped next to the bed, this is worse than I thought. He looked scattered and dazed, his eyes only sparkling with interest when the three men surrounded his bed as well. She wondered why and then moved on. “Lt. Gaeta,” she said as she leaned over him, “I know you’re badly injured and ill. I need to know how the scepter works.” She opened the small duffle bag and revealed the scepter, holding it out to him.
He looked at her, and then at the men. “No…” he rasped weakly, his voice barely above a whisper, “I’m not telling you anything. Not…like this.”
“What?” She almost dropped the scepter. “Lt. Gaeta… Felix… We have to know how it works.” Because it was nothing but a giant waste of time if they had the damn scepter and no one that could use it.
He looked at her blearily. “I’ll tell you… but it’s a secret.” He gestured for her to lean down. After a moment she did it. She was willing to do a little strip dance on his lap if that was what it took. She could feel the heat rising off of him as she leaned down next to his face.
“Tell me,” she said.
Gaeta coughed, and winced. “Listen to me…” he whispered hoarsely. “Cavil *is* a Cylon. Ask Kara… the sceptor… the priests would have liked her…” He coughed again and the wheezing breath seemed to turn to gasping. Suddenly a rough hand pulled her away.
“You’re done,” Cottle said harshly. He shoved her aside and Bill pulled her back.
“What did he say?” Adama asked. He looked worriedly at the hospital bed and then at her. Beside him, Baltar looked even more worried, and Cavil… Cavil was attempting to comfort him.
“He said we should talk to Kara,” she said finally. “But first, Admiral, I want to talk to you. About how she’ll be handled. Dr. Baltar, Brother Cavil, perhaps you two can work on some ideas in the conference room while Admiral Adama and I discuss our plan of action.”
Because as much as she wanted to grab a gun and blow Cavil’s brains out, it was better to capture the bastard.