Disclaimer: Property of Eick, Moore, Larson and whoever owns BSG.

Spoilers: Everything up to and including season 2 finale.

WARNING: DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN SEASON 2 FINALE 'LAY DOWN YOUR BURDENS'. NO CONCRETE SPOILERS FOR SEASON 3, JUST RUMOURS AND SPECULATION.

Set after LDYB's part 2.

Broken Wings:

Chapter One: Caged Bird

Commander Lee Adama let out an impatient sigh as he glanced at his bedside alarm, again.

6 hours,

360 minutes

Till the remaining Colonial Fleet jumped back to New Caprica to rescue those left behind. They had jumped relentlessly for a week to place enough distance between the fleet and the cylons. It was then they began brainstorming the rescue mission. Abandoning those left on New Caprica was never even entertained.

For the commander's of both Battlestar's it was personal, they had people left behind, family left behind, brother, daughter, partner, wingman, soulmate.

It took them 5 days to agree on the battle plan, 8 days to prepare and mine additional resources, and nearly 17 days of carefully planned and executed FTL jumps to get back to New Caprica.

In less than six hours, Lee knew he was about to face his toughest challenge since commanding the beast, understandably sleep was hard to come by.

The feeling of dread that had begun the day after they jumped away from New Caprica had only worsened the further they got. He knew in his gut it was Starbuck, his connection to her defied all laws. He was terrified for her; it had been over 5 weeks since the cylons landed on New Caprica, over 5 weeks since he heard her voice. It had been over a year since he saw her, touched her, and argued with her, since their friendship ended, abruptly, painfully.

She was in trouble, he knew without a shadow of doubt that Starbuck was in trouble and that she needed him. If he dared to be honest with himself Starbuck had needed him, instinctively Lee knew they'd arrive too late, he could only hope that he was wrong, he prayed there'd at least be pieces for him to pick up.

After 5 weeks of gut wrenching fear, and despair he'd find out, whether or not she survived, his viper and soul mate.

Tick

Tick

Tick

In less than 6 hours he'd know.

000000

The plan was best described as 'ordered chaos', the Battlestars would provide aerial support and cover, protecting the fleet and engaging the basestars. The remaining civilian ships would be nestled between the battlestars and New Caprica, whilst Raptors evacuated the colonials from the settlement with Vipers providing artillery support and protection from the flanks. Once the last colonials boarded the Raptors, all civilian ships and raptors would jump to predetermined rendezvous coordinates as the vipers landed on the Galactica, as Pegasus covered their exit. Then they would both jump to the prearranged coordinates.

Simple

In theory

Lee realised a major flaw in the plan 3 hours into the attack, he had no way knowing if she was safe. Evacuation priority was given to former colonial warriors, as they were re-drafted into immediate service. Engineer, technicians, pilots and officers literally jumped straight back to work, helping in the fight against the cylons. So far he hadn't heard that Starbuck was back in the fight, he held back the feeling that she wouldn't be able to.

It was only as he gave the order for viper's to complete their combat landings and started the FTL jump clock that he let himself wonder how Helo's covert mission went. And how did they gain, and how many did they lose? He hoped the former was high and the latter bearable.

He'd find out in

FTL Jump in…

3

2

1

"JUMP!"


1 hour earlier, New Caprica

Helo and his team ran quickly and quietly through the cylon base camp on New Caprica. Sharon had given them details and plans of the base highlighting its areas of structural vulnerability. She had also told them the most likely areas the cylons would hold any prisoners. Helo's orders were to destroy any data on the colonials, search for survivors and/or prisoners and finally to obliterate the base.

So far Helo had completed his first objective and had place explosives around the base, he was making his way to where Sharon had predicted any prisoners would be held.

What he found would forever haunt him, the broken and bloody image of his best friend hanging from a beam.

Helo froze at the horrifying sight, behind him Racetrack and Gunny did the same.

"Oh Lords, what did those frakkers do to her?" Helo heard Racetrack whisper in a sickened tone.

Helo just swore, every expletive he knew was voiced as he made his way to what was left of his best friend. He could hear shallow breaths, and he knew she had at least cracked if not broken one or more ribs, amongst her countless other visible wounds.

"Help me get her down" he said to the others. He motioned for Gunny to hold onto Kara's legs, whilst he lifted Racetrack, so that she could reach the ceiling to untie her from the beam.

Racetrack paled as she saw Starbuck up close, her face was relatively undamaged with only a swollen jaw, broken nose and multiple lacerations, her blonde hair had grown out well past her shoulders, and was a sickening shade of red, blood red. But it when she reached for Starbuck's hand on the beams that Racetrack lost all colour in her face and began to shake violently.

"Oh Gods, Hera help me, Lords! Helo let me down quick, please let me down, now!"

Helo quickly complied Racetrack's voice was shaken to the core.

As soon as Margaret's feet hit the ground she ran to the corner of the room and threw up her entire stomach's contents. She kept heaving and shaking, trying to expel the tremors that were running through her body. Tears were streaming down her face as she kept muttering "Oh Lords" over and over.

"Racetrack what-?" Helo questioned as he and Gunny made their way to the shaken Raptor ECO.

"Gunny don't move!" she yelled, "Keep her steady, for the love of the gods, keep hold of her."

Gunny quickly moved back into place, Racetrack's tone allowing him no other choice.

Racetrack looked at them both and then holding Helo's eyes, "The frakking toasters nailed her to the beam." Her tone equal parts disgust, anger, fury and revulsion.

Gunny shook his head, still holding his precious cargo tenderly he let out a vicious stream of profanity.

Helo's expression had darkened, and Racetrack took an unconscious step back at the fury in his normally jovial eyes.

"Can you get her down? I want to get her out of here then blow this frak hole to Tartarus and back." Helo's tone was glacial, and his face hard.

Racetrack nodded, face equally determined and said "I will."

Starbuck barely reacted to their presence, other than to scream when Racetrack finally managed to pull the nails out. After which she kept falling in and out of consciousness, mumbling deliriously.

The trio worked quickly and silently after that with Kara held gently over Gunny's shoulder as Helo led the way out, and Racetrack covering their rear. They all understood the need for speed as they made the way out of the complex, they didn't breathe freely until Racetrack launched the Raptor and Helo detonated the charges remotely, as he signalled Galactica that mission had been completed and that were jumping directly to the rendezvous coordinates.

They were the final Raptor leaving New Caprica, as they passed the planet's atmosphere they saw the vipers make their combat landings, they set their FTL drive.

3

2

1

JUMP.

Author's note: I know I know, I've started ANOTHER BSG fic, I'm sorry, really, my muse forced me to, I had no choice. To be honest I wanted to write this story ever since I saw the finale, so I did. To the 'Who Are We?' fans I know I should update it soon, and i have started the 6th chapter, unfortunately ffnet had some technical difficulties just after i posted chapter 5 and as result I couldn't get any feedback, I do have one small request, if you have read Who Are We could you please email, PM or review the chapter to let me know if I should actually write 'smut' or not, I would really like some objective comments on that aspect of my work, so I know which avenue to continue in. The next chapter of 'Who Are We' should be up by the end of the month...hopefully, muse allowing it'll be up. (fingers crossed).

On a side note, hope you like 'Broken Wings', darker than I usually go, but then the show isn't exactly renown for its fluffiness. Let me know your thoughts and opinions.

Thanks,

Inara