Disclaimer: I do not own Battlestar Galactica.
Author's Note: This story takes place after "Fire in Space" (for old BSG) and before "Pegasus" for new BSG. Also, when the crew switches bodies, they see themselves in their own bodies but with different clothes, and hear their own voices. Curious…
It was a pleasant, perfectly normal day on the Battlestar Galactica…both of them. In parallel universes, the two ships were both running smoothly; no Cylons had attacked them, and no other problems had arisen. On one Galactica, Lt. Gaeta was preparing the routine jump coordinates. On the other, Adama was preparing the bridge for a faster, newer method of transportation that had been already used successfully once to evade the Cylons.
With the seemingly routine-ness of these missions, many of the more prominent crew members were asleep. Lee was in his rack, getting a few hours in before a patrol; Apollo, tired from playing with Boxey all evening, was also resting. Saul Tigh, after a crazy night with Ellen, was pleasantly snoring in his room; Colonel Tigh, worn-out by his endless duties, also slept peacefully. Boomer had just returned to his bunk after a patrol; Sharon, with little better to do, was asleep in her cell. Roslin was lying over a pile of unfinished paperwork (which Billy promptly gathered and completed); Pickering, proud member of the Quorum of Twelve, was getting what he called his "beauty sleep." Gaius had fallen asleep in his lab.
Neither Galactica crew knew that two basestars (well, one each) were trailing them. One, in the command of the devious Baltar (who, at the moment, was snoozing in his favorite chair), was ready to try out its own new propulsion system and catch up with the fleet. The other, alerted by a raider scout that had managed to hide from Galactica's dradis, was preparing to jump right in front of the fleet and take it by surprise.
Two ships jumped, and two initiated the new propulsion system…at exactly the same time.
Apollo suddenly woke up to find cold water splashed on his face, and a woman staring angrily down at him. "What do you think you are, a fraking nugget? Since when does the CAG get up late for a patrol?!"
"CAG?" Apollo repeated dazedly, sitting up and rubbing his eyes. This woman was wearing a very strange uniform…then again, so was he…
"Don't frak with me," the woman said. "Get off your ass and into the launching bay."
"You are not being very kind, miss," Apollo said, standing up. "If you continue to behave this way, I'm going to have to tell my father…"
The woman suddenly burst into laughter. "Okay, fun's over, Lee. Now, seriously, come on…and no, I don't forgive you just because you made me laugh."
The woman threw a jacket at him. Apollo put it on, although it was unfamiliar to him. "New uniforms?" he said, frowning.
"Okay, I'm tired of this game," the woman said. "I'll be waiting for you in the launching bay. And next time it's 'wake up Lee' day, I'm not volunteering."
The woman left.
"Perhaps I should report her to Col. Tigh instead," Apollo said to himself, frowning.
"Daddy! Daddy, wake up!"
Lee opened his eyes. There was a little boy shaking him.
"Daddy, wake up!"
"I…I'm awake, but…where am I?"
Lee sat up. He was wearing strange clothes, and was in a strange room…
"Daddy, we need to go see Grandpa!"
"See Grandpa?" Lee repeated, his eyebrows raising.
"Yes, Grandpa Adama!"
"Oh…yes," Lee said distantly. "Of course, I…had forgotten…"
"It's not morning yet, but the ship broke somewhere, and Grandpa wants you to come talk to him and Colonel Tigh," the boy said. "Muffy told me."
A giant mechanical dog came bounding into the room, making mechanical barking noises. It was one of the most disgusting things he had ever seen.
"What a dream," Lee said dazedly.
"Come on, Daddy!"
"Where's…ah…where's Mommy?" Lee asked, wondering if it was an existing person or some fanciful dream woman.
"Mommy's with the Lords of Kobol," the boy said quietly, frowning confusedly.
Lee suddenly felt a chill. Weird dream, he thought again.
"Colonel…Colonel, I am ever so sorry to wake you, but there has been a problem with the ship's engines…"
Colonel Tigh gritted his teeth and sat up. "Yeah, yeah, always trouble," he mumbled. He looked around. "What the hell?!"
These weren't his quarters. He turned to the messenger; he was wearing a strange uniform, with gold tassels…
"What the hell kind of joke is this?" Colonel Tigh demanded.
"It's…it's engine trouble," the messenger said.
"I mean this!" Colonel Tigh shouted, waving his arms.
"Sir, I'm afraid I don't know what you are referring to."
Tigh, cranky after just waking up, did not feel like discussing things further. "You know what I'm referring to! Answer me, you son of a bitch!"
The man trembled, tried to speak, then burst into tears and took off.
Colonel Tigh stomped out of his quarters, but the layout of the ship looked unfamiliar. He was starting to become increasingly nervous. "What's wrong with me?" he asked himself.
A woman who was passing stopped and turned to him. "Colonel, Adama wants to see you on the bridge," she said.
"Is…ah…is that where you're going?" Tigh asked.
"Yes," the woman said.
"Well…well good," Tigh said.
Tigh followed the woman up to the bridge, thinking, I must be really drunk…I'm having hallucinations…there's a lesson here, Saul. Never drink something that Ellen gives you as a present! Ellen…wait, Ellen wasn't in the room with me! Where…
"Commander Adama," the woman said, when they had entered the bridge.
Col. Tigh stared at a completely unfamiliar man. The man—who had indeed been introduced as Adama—smiled warmly back. "Good morning, Col. Tigh," he said with a bright smile. "How was your night? You had pleasant dreams, I trust?"
This is definitely some kind of joke, Tigh thought. They say engine trouble, and he's asking me about dreams? Unless this is a dream…
"Ellen! Where is she?"
"I…I'm afraid I don't know…"
"Ellen, my wife!"
Adama's eyes brightened. "Why, Col. Tigh! You've gotten married? Why didn't you tell us?! What joyous news! And right before your birthday, too! What a truly special occasion this is!"
Everyone on the bridge cheered and clapped.
Dream, Tigh decided.
Col. Tigh opened his eyes.
"Oh dear," he said out loud.
Immediately he recognized that there was another person sleeping very close next to him. Tigh grimaced and looked to his left, almost afraid to see who it was. To make matters worse, he didn't even recognize the woman.
Some joke of Starbuck's, Tigh thought. Poor thing…I wonder who she is…no, on second thought, I don't…
Tigh got out of bed and looked around.
Starbuck's really outdone himself this time, he thought, looking around the trashy room, from broken bottles strewn about the ground, to a message that appeared to be written in blood, to scattered business papers, with much more besides.
I don't recognize this room, Tigh thought. He's gone through a whole lot of trouble…I'll bet he'd feel bad if he knew it wasn't my birthday until tomorrow. I'll pretend it's my birthday today, so he won't be upset…
Then the woman woke up.
"Wow…some night, huh?" she asked with a grin.
"I imagine it was," Tigh said, looking around. "The decoration of this room is quite fantastic."
The woman laughed. "Yes, we really…decorated…"
"I…I don't think I know your name, miss."
"Oh?" the woman asked, raising an eyebrow.
"I'm sorry, but…"
"So I'm not your wife anymore, am I?"
Wife? Tigh thought. Starbuck, this is more complicated than what you usually come up with…I'll bet you had help from the others on this one…
"What am I, then?" the woman asked, when he didn't answer. "A Cylon?"
Tigh laughed, and so did the woman.
"Really, what's your name?" Tigh asked.
"Well, really…" the woman paused. "My name is…okay…my name is Cylon #317." She burst into laughter again.
Tigh winked. "Understood."
Quite creative, he thought, as he walked out of his quarters.
Tigh soon realized that this wasn't even the Battlestar Galactica, or at least not as he knew it. They either seriously redecorated, or they actually moved me to another ship! Tigh thought, marveling at the uniforms. And all for my birthday! Those men really care about me…
Somehow, the first place Tigh managed to end up was the bridge.
"Why aren't you in uniform?" a man demanded.
Tigh blinked, looking down at his clothes. "Oh…I…I'm sorry…" he paused. "Wow," he said, looking around at the bridge.
Some of the bridge crew glanced at one another; a couple hid snickers. The man who had spoken was not happy. "What are you doing here?" he asked.
"Well, I was…" Tigh paused. Starbuck, this is quite an adventure, getting all these people… "I was just with my wife, Cylon #317."
There was a moment of silence.
"Security," the man said through gritted teeth. An amazing actor, Tigh thought. He really looks angry…
"Escort Colonel Tigh to the brig, immediately."
"Uh, aye, sir…"
"The brig!" Tigh said, as the guard grabbed him by the arm. "More fun there, eh?"
The guard didn't answer.