Stargate Command, three minutes later.
The nurses and Dr. Fraiser rushed into the testing room to find Tara seated down on a chair shivering with a blanket around her body. Buffy was crouching in front of her and holding her hands while Willow was standing behind her. The redhead's hands were raised to Tara's back as she used her telekinesis to vibrate the air molecules a few inches over Tara's back. So, by the time the medical team rushed in, there were two balls of light giving off gentle heat to help warm Tara floating over her back.
Dr. Fraiser nodded at Willow and Buffy and then looked down at Tara whose teeth were chattering. Tara glanced up at the doctor while taking slow and shallow breathes. It was then that Dr. Fraiser reached down and gently grabbed Tara's ice-cold wrist. Dr. Fraiser looked at Tara in surprise at how hold her skin was to the touch, and then turned to Willow and Buffy, and then she looked over her shoulder at the sigils and the active computers. The doctor then turned back to Tara while feeling her pulse and muttered, "her pulse is very weak."
She then crouched down and took out her flash light and shone it into Tara's eyes. And the results worried the doctor. From the ice-cold skin, to the chattering teeth, to the weak pulse, and the look of confusion on Tara's face; Dr. Fraiser thought it impossible but it seemed as if Tara was suffering some form of hypothermia. She pushed the thought to the back of mind, thinking to herself that she needed to be sure before saying anything out loud.
Instead, the doctor got to her feet and ordered the nurses to put Tara on the gurney and then take her immediately to the infirmary. She then rushed out of the testing room with Tara and the nurses, with Willow and Buffy following closely behind. Willow's heart raced as the group ran through the hallways. Tara's body temperature was markedly low when she came back and was immediately given warm intravenous solution by the medical team when they rushed in to bring her body temperature back up to normal.
Dr. Fraiser asked for Tara to be given some privacy, and that enabled both Willow and Buffy to head back to their quarters in a hurry. The both of them took their showers, changed, and then immediately rushed back to the hallway outside the infirmary to wait for any news on Tara's condition.
The entire time they were waiting, Buffy held onto Willow's arm.
It wasn't until Dr. Fraiser walked out of the infirmary that Willow and Buffy realized they had been holding their breaths. The doctor nodded at them with a smile before she called them to her office. Willow was motioning towards the double doors that led to the infirmary, and was about to ask if she could see Tara when she was interrupted.
Guessing what the redhead was going to ask, Dr. Fraiser reassured Willow that Tara was going to be fine. The doctor told the two of them that Tara's body was being warmed up by the intravenous solution, and that she was exhausted.
"Let's give her some time to rest," the doctor said before she motioned the two of them towards her office. Buffy and Willow nodded their heads before the Doctor took the lead. The heels of her shoes 'click-clacking' on the floor of the hallway outside the infirmary as she walked towards her office. Just before leaving the infirmary doors, Willow and Buffy peeked in through the glass windows and saw nurses putting the finishing touches on the currently unconscious Tara who had an oxygen mask over her mouth. Before they left, the two of them saw leads being attached under Tara's tank top, and immediately the monitor to the left of the bed came to life with wavy lines and various other numbers.
"Willow, Buffy," Dr Fraiser said looking back over her shoulder at the two of them. From the tone of her voice, Willow and Buffy knew that she wasn't happy. Willow and Buffy looked at each other, Willow mentally telling Buffy that she felt Dr. Fraiser was disappointed in the both of them. "We need to talk." The doctor then continued to walk onwards as Buffy and Willow both gulped before they continued following the doctor to her office.
"Okay," Dr. Fraiser said closing the door after Willow and Buffy walked in. She walked past the both of them and around her table. She took off her white coat and then hung it on a hanger in the corner of the room behind her desk. Turning around with a frown on her face and her hands on her hips- body language that Buffy and Willow were aware meant that the doctor was pissed. "What the hell happened?"
Buffy and Willow looked at each other, and then back at the doctor.
"Well?" Dr. Fraiser demanded in a stern voice that was kept low. Her eyes were narrowed at the both of them, looking between both Buffy and Willow. "Her temperature was approaching hypothermia. If you didn't call us when you did? If we were a bit late?" The doctor then sighed and shook her head not wanting to think about what could have happened, especially when they found Tara's lips and fingers had a blueish tint. And that's exactly what Dr. Fraiser told the both of them before Willow and Buffy exchanged glances at each other. "I need to know what happened in that room. And I need to know now."
Willow began explaining what happened while Dr. Fraiser listened. She talked about Tara's idea, and how she believed that only a living being could return from the other dimension. Willow then mentioned that Buffy didn't know anything about the impromptu test until the former called her. Willow said that all precautions were taken.
"But we still have Tara on a hospital bed," Dr. Fraiser reminded Willow.
"We couldn't have known this would happen, doc," Buffy said while Willow looked away and wondered to herself why she and Tara didn't call any medical personnel to back them up in the testing room. Frowning at her lack of judgement, Willow looked back up at the doctor and admitted that she had made a mistake.
"Yes," the doctor said with a sigh as she took a seat while motioning Buffy and Willow to take a seat as well. "I'll have to report this to General Landry, Willow."
"I understand," Willow responded as her thoughts went back to Tara.
Briefing Room, SGC, four hours later.
Once General Landry and the rest of SG-1 returned to the mountain an hour after Tara was taken to the infirmary, they were informed of what happened. The General was informed of Tara's medical condition and the near hypothermia she went through, while Willow and Buffy informed Colonel Mitchel and the others about what happened.
Colonel Mitchell later took Willow to one side and privately told her that while he was glad the test was successful, the both of them should have waited, "and there should have been medical staff in the room. It was pure luck that Tara's going to recover, Red."
"I know, sir," Willow whispered at the man in front of her, "it won't happen again."
The Colonel then sighed before telling Willow to write out her report. He would talk to General Landry before calling for a briefing. Willow nodded her head before she rushed out while the Colonel called for Buffy and himself to look through the surveillance pictures they had of Caprica. He then turned to Satterfield and Grogan before ordering them to join him and Buffy.
It would be three hours later that Tara was still lying in the infirmary. Her temperature was normal now, her breathing normalized enough that she didn't need the oxygen mask anymore, and she was shivering. It was thirty minutes earlier that she recognized Willow and Buffy, and talked for a few minutes before the two of them had to leave so that Tara could rest. And Buffy and Willow had to meet the others in the briefing room.
In the briefing room, Willow stood next to the television describing everything that she recorded until the end of the experiment when Tara appeared behind her. Willow then showed them the video that Tara took from the 'other side', and the group was amazed by the sight of the items that were sent through earlier, from tables to MALP's.
Once the video was over, Willow turned off the monitor and then turned to the others who had blue coloured folders in front of them. All of them were open with papers and surveillance photos spread out in front of each personnel; from Generals Landry, to Satterfield were looking at the report and the pictures. Dr. Fraiser was there as well to give her medical opinion if Tara would be available to travel for the mission to Caprica.
"So, would it be possible for Tara to bring in more than one person into this parallel dimension" asked General Landry as Willow took her seat next to Buffy and nodded her head.
"She told me it's possible when Buffy and I talked to her before the briefing," Willow answered before explaining that they would feel the same pull as Tara did, and may even be dragged across the ground in the parallel dimension before they could regain their balance. "And she told me that she wants in on any mission that's approved, since she's needed to cast the spell."
"Doctor?" asked the General as he turned to Dr. Fraiser.
"When we got to Tara, she was in a state of near hypothermia," Dr. Fraiser said shaking her head, "I can't tell If that happened because she simply returned to this dimension the way this spell was cast, or because she returned without wearing anything that could have prevented that much heat loss from her body. In short, I don't know. Even though her body functions are normal, I'd prefer if she rested for a few more days."
"The more we wait, the more people die on Caprica," Colonel Mitchel said leaning forward.
"Will?" Buffy asked turned to the redhead, "can you cast a spell to get us into the other dimension?"
"I think I could," Willow said, "I mean… I offered to be the guinea pig but Tara insisted on casting the spell on herself."
"You don't sound too sure," Satterfield said.
"I…" Willow then sighed before explaining that she wasn't sure if she could, "Tara was right when I offered to be the Guinea pig, she's got more experience than me in casting spells. So… yeah."
"Dr. Fraiser?" asked the General, "is Tara able to go on a mission?"
"She's alert, she's cognisant of where she is, who she is, her pulse has gone back to normal, and… well… in short? Yes." The doctor answered looking at the General, "but I still recommend that she rest a couple of days."
"I'll talk to the IOA and Homeworld about having the mission in two days," said General Landry as he sat back on his seat. He turned his head to Willow and ordered her to work with Dr. Fraiser on a way to prevent heat loss from the body. Willow nodded her head, along with Dr. Fraiser, before General Landry turned back to Buffy, Satterfield, and Grogan, "work with Colonel Mitchell and pick designated targets for closer surveillance."
"We'll need the Colonials and the Cylons on the Odyssey to help out with figuring out important areas," Colonel Mitchell said as he looked at one picture after another, "and I doubt they would want to work together on this. Even if they do? It'll be hard just trying to get them killing each other."
"We have time to come up with a plan," the General said referring to the delay in sending a team to Caprica, "I'll talk to the IOA and Homeworld about a peace mission through the Stargate. In the meantime, get a plan ready in case we're approved."
"And if we're not, sir?" asked Grogan.
"Then we move on to our next mission," the General said, "we may delay the initial talks between the IOA, Homeworld, and the Colonials on what steps could be taken now that their homes are basically irradiated. That was supposed to be later today."
The General then stood up, followed by the others, before he dismissed everyone, "all of you have your jobs. Get to it."
"Yes, sir," the group said.
"Colonel Mitchell, I want a set of locations, and a tactical assessment as soon as possible."
"Yes, sir," the Colonel said.
"Get to it, all of you," the General said.
The Odyssey, orbit over refugee planet, four hours later.
"Dad," said Triana as she looked out the viewport in her quarters and started at the planet below. It had been several hours since the ship arrived over the planet that was being referred to as the Colonial Refugee World. A world where Colonial ships and their passengers would be able to rest while a new world was being searched. General Leoben was told that the Earthers, otherwise also known as the Terrans, had hundreds of planets in their database which could be offered to the Colonials as a new home.
Especially since their old homes were irradiated thanks to dropped nuclear weapons. The General stood next to his daughter, who then turned around at the sound of a soft knock at her door.
"Come," Triana said. It was then that the metal door slid aside while she and the General took a few steps forward as Ava, one of the survivors from Furling Earth, asked if she could come into the room. "Of course," Triana motioned for her to enter. And Ava did, soon followed by Alexis, Merton, and Damien. The guards who accompanied them stood outside in the hallway as the door closed shut. General Leoben asked the four how they were doing since they had seemed so weak the last time they were seen in the infirmary.
"We were being taken to the Mess Hall," Ava, the dark skinned forty-seven-year-old woman said as she placed her hands into the pockets of the trousers given to them by the crew; it was a standard pair of black trousers and grey T-Shirts. She then motioned to her companions, the other survivors picked up from Furling Earth; one of whom asked the General and Triana if they were willing to join them for breakfast.
Merton Acacius, the man who asked General Leoben if he and Triana would like to join them, then continued, "the both of you are part of our history, and… well… we'd like to know more about what happened to cause the great calamity."
"The great calamity?" asked Triana, not recognizing the word.
"The world war that saw our people wiped out," the eighteen-year-old Alexis Lily said as she stared at the General, and then at Triana, and back to the General, "and the both of you were there at the heart of it all... I mean... you said you were there."
"And history was Merton's favourite subject in school," the thirty-five-year-old Damien said.
"Yes, well…" Merton said looking over at Damien while Ava rolled her eyes upwards, "those who criticised those teachings always said that there was no use for it." Merton then dramatically raised his hands and spoke as if he was imitating someone else, "for will you ever meet someone from that time to ask them about dates and facts." Metro then straightened up and apologized to the chuckling General and Trina before turning his head to stare at Damien, "and the Professor was wrong. We have met our ancestors."
"Which was purely luck," the General pointed out while his arm was around Triana's shoulders.
"We'd like to know everything about that time," Alexis said as she rushed forward and held the General's hand as she looked at him in awe, "please?"
"Of course," the General said looking down at the young woman, and then back at Triana who could only chuckle at her father's face which had turned red with embarrassment. She glanced at the excited Alexis who was holding onto his arm, and then back at her father. And chuckled before turning back to Ava and the others.
"Shall we?" Triana asked before they walked towards the door that would bring them to the hallway outside.
The Mess Hall, Odyssey, at that same time.
"Every time I look out the viewport, I'm amazed," Natalie whispered as she placed her hand on the transparent viewport while Leoben and Sharon looked out the viewport with her hands in their trouser pockets. "Look at that, an alien world. But still so…"
"Human?" asked Sharon who was still having mixed feelings about their status on the ship. They had partial freedom to move about; but they needed to have four guards around the at all time, and there were certain areas of the ship they could not visit.
"The humans are putting the people from the Thirteenth Tribe to the same level of suspicion, Sharon," Natalie told her a few hours ago when Sharon wanted to go out for a walk, but she was forced to have an escort. She didn't like being a prisoner, but there was no choice for any of them.
"We need oxygen to survive as well," said Leoben as he closed his eye back in the present time. He took on the mouth-watering smell of eggs, sausage, pancakes, and bacon before exhaling slowly. Leoben looked over at Sharon and reminded her that humanoid Cylons needed food to survive as well. "We need water too."
Natalie looked down at the world below and stared her eyes caught the hulking visage of the Galactica, and then there were the other ships in orbit. She looked back at the planet, and then focuses on her reflection looking back at her.
"We hate," Natalie whispered. She was taking to herself, to her own reflection actually, as Leoben and Sharon turned their heads towards her, "we kill. We bleed. We die."
"And resurrect," Sharon reminded her. Natalie looked at Sharon with an arched eyebrow. And it was then that Sharon was harshly reminded where she was; far away from any resurrection ship, far away from immortality. For all intents and purposes, she was mortal now. Sighing, Sharon crossed her arms over her chest and whispered, "fine. maybe we're not immortal now. But we…"
"You're missing the point," Leoben whispered as he looked at the younger woman. "right now, we're don't machine and human." Leoben then turned to look at Natalie, who looked back at him, and then turned back to the viewport.
Natalie then whispered, "yes." She stared at her reflection and spoke as if she was talking to an alternate version of her, "we can love, we can hope, we can… we make mistakes." Natalie then hung her head slowly and whispered, "what have we done?"
"What we thought was right," Leoben whispered as he looked out at the planet below, "now we face the consequences of our actions."
They were wearing the same clothes as the other refugee's on the ship, and had come down for breakfast. The three humanoid Cylons were aware of the guards posted outside the entrance while several members of the crew were sitting at tables all around the Mess Hall. The crew were keeping to themselves, partly because of the language issue, and partly because rumour had spread throughout the ship that the three of them were part of the group responsible for destroying twelve human worlds.
Natalie, Leoben, and Sharon were aware of the feelings. In fact, they shared the feelings that the original Cylons had when they showed signs of rebellion. A feeling of being made as the bad guys, a feeling that everything that happened was their fault. Except this time, those feeling were there for a good reason.
The Cylons had indeed been given the unceremonious distinction of being feared for ending human life on twelve planets across four star systems. There was nothing tat was going to change that. Not even any help that the three of them could give to the Earthers on finding the rest of the Cylon fleet and negotiation g a peaceful solution to the war…. or a real shooting war.
And this time, the Colonials would be joined by the Earthers despite the latter's seeming reluctance to officially aid either side militarily. But Natalie knew if the Earthers, or Terrans, whatever they called themselves; if they decided to be on the side of the Colonials, then the Cylon race would be in danger. For now, Natalie had the chance for peace… to negotiate something that would ensure the Cylons and the Colonials are kept apart, "and a chance to meet our creators." Natalie's thoughts then turned to Triana and General Leoben, "and to get to know more about our ancestors."