DISCLAIMER: Battlestar Galactica and its related characters are not mine. They are owned by Glen A. Larson. This storyline was inspired by events on the show. No copyright infringement of any kind is intended. This is just for fun. This story is not to be republished, retransmitted, etc., without express consent of the author. Please direct all feedback to Lt_Athena@hotmail.com
It had been a long day and Athena was happy to be leaving the bridge. Lately her work there had been less then ... fulfilling. She yearned to be out among the stars; she yearned to be a true warrior. Being on the Galactica's reserve squadron was a step in the right direction, but the training and the classes were just too few and far between. Once a secton, in addition to her other duties, she would report to class or the landing bay along with the other members of the reserve squadron, for practice and updates.
Only one day out of every secton she had something to look forward to. After the destruction she had agreed that she would accept temporary bridge duty. Athena agreed to this only to please her father; it was not where she wanted to spend her career. She understood how hard it was on her father to have Apollo out there in his viper every day, defending the Galactica; and she wanted to try and ease his worries. Especially after the death of her brother Zac and her mother Ila.
But what wasn't clear was just how long she was expected to be unhappy. How long did she need to trade off her happiness in exchange for her father's peace of mind? When could she start putting herself first?
Athena had just heard the door swoosh close behind her when Colonel Tigh walked up to her.
Smiling he said, "Long day, Athena?"
Rubbing her temples she replied, "Yes. You could say that."
Becoming serious Tigh said, "Between you and I, I know that you're unhappy with bridge duty. I'll do everything I can to make things better for you."
"Thank you, Colonel. I'm glad that someone is interested in my happiness."
Placing a hand on her shoulder he responded, "Athena, your father is too. Adama's just scared of losing you and Apollo. He's just doing what he thinks is right."
Athena shook her head. "But he never asks me what it is that I want. He and Apollo always assume they know what's in my best interest." Trying to smile she continued, "I'm just glad that the reserve squadron is meeting tomorrow. It's about the only thing right now that I have to look forward to."
"Um, you haven't heard the news concerning reserve squadron?" Tigh nervously asked.
Athena's blue eyes widened. "No, what news?"
"I didn't want to be the one to tell you, but I guess I have no choice now." Taking a deep breath Tigh continued," The reserve squadron has been selected to fly with Blue Squadron on a two day training mission."
Athena's face lit up with excitement. "That's great!" Then noticing his face she added, "Isn't it?"
"There's no easy way to say this so I'm just going to say it. Athena, your name isn't on that list. You won't be flying in that training mission."
"What? Why not?"
"We're short on bridge staff this week due to the Telarian flu that has been going around," Tigh replied.
Athena shook her head in disbelief. "So you're telling me that no one from the bridge who is on the reserve squadron will be going on that mission? Is that correct?"
"Umm , well ....," Tigh began to say.
She was furious! "What you're trying to say is that I'M the only one who won't be going on that training mission, right? Frack!" she said, hitting her fist against the bulkhead. "Why is Father doing this to me?! Rigel, Dietra and Brie all have more flight time then I do!"
Tigh was at a loss. He knew how important becoming a warrior was to Athena. He also knew that Adama and Apollo were very overprotective of her. He himself may not agree with their methods, but he knew better than to confront the Commander with this subject. "I'm sorry Athena," was all he could say.
Turning around to look at him she said, "It's not your fault. I appreciate the support that you've given me. But this isn't your fight - it's mine. And I have to deal with this right here and now. I can't let this go any further. Do you know where my father is right now?"
"I believe he is in his quarters at the moment conferring with Starbuck and Apollo."
"Thank you," Athena said as she turned to leave.
"Good luck." Tigh thought, *May the Lords of Kobol be with them all. I have never seen Athena more furious and more determined in her life. It looks like that family is in for another shake up.*
Adrenaline was coursing through Athena's body as she approached her father's quarters. She paced outside the door for a few moments, trying to get her thoughts together. She was so mad at them, but she needed to do this the right way. On the other hand, maybe it would be better if she didn't keep her fury in check this one time. *Well, here goes.*
The conversation came to a stop when Athena unceremoniously entered Adama's quarters. All three men turned and looked up at her expecting her usual smile. Instead they found pure hurt and pain echoed in her eyes.
"Athena, what's wrong?" Adama asked.
"Sis, what's up?" Apollo followed.
"I think you know what this is about father," Athena said angrily.
Adama sighed. "Please, Athena. Give an old man a break and refresh my memory."
"Why am I the only member of the reserve squadron who will not be going on the two day training mission with Blue Squadron?"
Adama looked at Apollo who looked at Starbuck.
"I want an answer!"
All three of them stood up and headed into the living area. "Athena, calm down," Adama said, walking over to his daughter.
"Not until you answer me!"
"Athena, that is no way to speak to father," Apollo admonished her.
She turned to Apollo and said, "Apollo, stay out of this. You and I are going to have a talk as soon as I'm finished." Refocusing her attention on her father she continued, "Well father?"
"Athena, we're simply too short handed on the bridge at the moment. We really can't spare you," Adama replied sympathetically. He knew how much his daughter wanted to be a warrior, but he just wasn't ready to lose her yet. Being on the bridge was the safest place for her.
"I'm not buying it father. If you can't spare me, then you can't spare Rigel or Dietra either. Yet, they're going on the mission and I'm not. So stop lying to me father!"
"Sis, you've got to calm down. Where is all this coming from? This is no way to ....," Apollo started to say.
"Shut up, Apollo!" Athena yelled. "For the first time in one yahren, I'm going to say what I came here to say." Turning to her father she began to finally let out everything, "When are you going to see me as the woman I am? I am not a child who needs to be protected like a porcelain doll! Do you even care what I want? Or are you just humoring me? You promised me that I'd be temporarily assigned to the bridge. And now it seems like it's my permanent job! You must know by now that I am not happy there. I want to be a warrior; I want to fly!"
"I've never had any favorites....," Adama tried to get a word in.
Athena was holding back tears as she angrily said, "Don't play that game with me father. Because everyone here knows that Apollo has been, and always will be, your favorite child. You were always so busy with the Galactica that you never made any time for me. All those missed novayahrens and special times in my life. You can't ever get that back! You weren't there when I graduated from the Academy. The most important day of my life and my father and brother," Athena paused to glare at Apollo, "weren't there. You're so proud of Apollo and Zac. All I wanted was the same pride to be reflected in your eyes when you talked about me. All my life you've always made me feel second best. Tell me father, did you ever REALLY want a daughter?"
Standing in front of her brother Athena yelled, "And you Apollo! You're always trying to protect me from everything! Must you always intrude and interfere in my life? Why do you always have to be my big brother instead of being my friend? I know you were closer to Zac then you were to me. You always treated me as an ... obligation; a responsibility. Never as an equal. Sometimes I think you wish that I had died instead of Zac."
Making her way over to Starbuck, who had tried to look invisible over in the corner of the room she started, "On the day of the destruction, you asked me to get sealed to you. When I asked you for more time because I just lost my mother and brother, you turned your back on me - you walked away when I needed you the most. Then I find you - only microns later - kissing Cassie. It's pretty obvious that you never really loved me. I was just something for you to use. Nothing but a prop to play with until something better came along to occupy your time."
Athena turned away as complete silence descended upon the room. Turning back to face them she lowered her voice, "I've said what I've came here to say. You can consider this my resignation from my bridge duty. And if this is the treatment and support that I'm going to get from my family, consider this my resignation from that too." She had no sooner walked out of Adama's quarters when the tears that she had been holding back began to fall. *I wasn't saying this to hurt anyone. I was doing it because I couldn't let their behavior go on any longer,* Athena said to herself. *I have to find Sheba. I need someone to talk to; someone who will understand.* Wiping away her tears, Athena made her way to Sheba's quarters.
Meanwhile, back inside Adama's quarters ....
"I can't believe Athena acted that way!" Apollo yelled. "She has taken being a Brat to a whole new level!"
Adama held up his hand to stop his son from continuing. "We've hurt your sister. I think she's been trying to subtly tell us this for a while. We just haven't been very good listeners."
"Father, surely you know that I never wished that Athena died on Caprica. You know I love her," Apollo said, suddenly overwhelmed with concern for his sister.
"I know Apollo. Just as I never wished that I had a son in her place," Adama said solemnly.
"Should I go after her?" Starbuck offered.
"No. I'm sure she's headed straight for Sheba's quarters," Apollo began. "Let's give her some time." Turning to Starbuck he added, "But I would like to know the story behind you asking my sister to get sealed; and why this is the first I'm hearing of it."
"Umm," Starbuck started to say. "Well, look at the time. I've got a date with Cassie in 15 centons. Sorry, but I have to go." Starbuck headed towards the door when he suddenly found Apollo blocking his way. Smiling, Apollo said, "I think you can spare us a few microns."
The corridors that led Athena to Sheba's quarters were empty. Everyone was most likely at the latest triad match. Since Apollo's team wasn't playing tonight, Athena knew she could find Sheba in her quarters. Sheba was like a sister to her; much in the same way that Serina was. They had both been through so much; both losing their mother to the Cylon's destruction. Athena was so deep in thought, that when she rounded the next corner she literally ran into a man coming the other way.
She tried to move around him, but he persisted and held onto her arms. "Please, miss! You have to help me!"
"What's wrong?" Athena asked.
"My name is Atreus. My daughter is injured. Please, you have to help her!" he yelled.
"Did you call Life Center?"
"Yes! But they're taking too long! Please come with me!"
Nodding, Athena said, "Of course I'll help you. Show me where your daughter is."
Atreus led Athena through the deserted, winding corridors and down a few levels. Finally, he pushed Athena in front of him and said, "Down there. She's down there!" Athena bolted down the stairs; the ABC's of her medical training running through her mind. Except when she reached the bottom, no one was there.
Looking back up at Atreus she said, "What kind of joke is this? There's no one here!"
Slowly descending the stairs he replied, "I'm sorry to have to do it this way Athena, but I knew that you wouldn't talk to me otherwise."
Trapped with her back to the wall, Athena had no where else to run. "Who are you and how do you know me?"
"My name really is Atreus. And what I'm about to tell you might shock you. But I assure you that it is the truth." Pausing he added, "I am your father."
END PT 1