Step. Pain. Move the crutch. Swing the prosthetic. Step. Pain.

The Galactica's corridors are so familiar. Every bolt and spot of rust feels like an old friend. It's funny how he never noticed them being so long before.

Tom Zarek walks in front of him, his hands secured behind his back. The revolutionary hasn't said a word since the guards brought them both out of their cells.

Dr. Baltar follows off to one side, beyond the half-dozen Marines escorting them. Gaius is wringing his hands, his watery eyes darting from side to side as he mutters softly to himself. Felix notes with mild amusement that both condemned men are calmer than Gaius Baltar.

The prosthetic leg chafes at Felix's stump. He pauses and tries to tug it into a more comfortable position. A Marine gives him a sharp prod with the muzzle of his rifle, nearly knocking him off-balance. Felix staggers forward and tries to forget about the pain. It won't hurt for much longer.

The launch tube. Two figures stand waiting. As the little company draws close, Felix realizes it's the Adamas. Lee's brow is furrowed in what could be anything from simple tension to open fury. The Admiral's face is stony—expressionless as always. The pain Felix saw last night has dimmed to a mere glimmer in those silent blue eyes, invisible except to those who know him best.

They come to a halt a few paces from the Admiral. Felix cranes past the guards to peer into the launch tube. Just as he expected, two metal chairs sit bolted to the floor a few meters away from a white painted line. A textbook perfect execution setup. Felix glances at the Marines around him. Six of them. Three each. He tries not to do the math, but he just can't stop himself from wondering—calculating firing rate, impact velocity, duration.

How many bullets? How many would it take?

Felix hears Zarek draw a deep breath. To his relief, the other man stays silent. Felix isn't sure he could have handled it if Zarek had tried to use their deaths to make some grandiose statement.

Adama, too, sees no need for words. He gives the Marines a short nod and they move out. Two train their guns on the prisoners. Another two take Zarek by the arms and lead him into the launch tube. The last two wait expectantly.

Felix takes a hesitant step forward. His prosthetic twists and almost comes off. And he makes a decision.

"Frak it." He leans down and twists desperately at the plastic cap. "I don't want to die with this frakking thing on my leg." He hears the note of terror in his own voice, but can do nothing to stop it. The Marines react. He hears the click of releasing safeties and looks up to see four rifles trained on his chest.

He stares at the Marines. They stare back at him.

A grizzled hand suddenly reaches out to grip the barrel of one gun and force it down. The other three Marines slowly lower their own weapons as Bill Adama steps into the small ring they've made around Felix Gaeta.

Felix tries to force the tremor out of his hands. His heart is pounding desperately—trying to fit as many beats as it can into what little time is left.

Adama steps close and puts an arm around Felix steadying him. The metal leg falls to the deck, splitting the solemn silence with a loud, accusatory clatter. Slowly—tentatively—Felix slides one arm over the Admiral's broad shoulders. Adama gives him a moment to regain his balance then takes a tiny step towards the launch tube.

Felix swallowed. Move the crutch. Lean on the other man. Step. No pain. Move the crutch. Repeat. Adama's shoulders rose and fell with each steady breath, and Felix felt his own erratic breathing slow and fall into synchrony. The panic ebbed, flowing away in the grip of that strong arm around him. Felix let the cane fall, leaned his whole weight on Bill Adama's shoulders.

Almost there. A few more steps. Felix knows it's all an illusion. In a moment, he'll sit down in that chair and Adama will leave him. They will once again be the Admiral administering justice and the mutineer paying for his crimes.

But for now—for a few more painless steps—he's just Felix Gaeta of the Battlestar Galactica and the Old Man is carrying him, like he always has.

Fin