Wanna Buy a Base Ship?
From The Adama Journals
The Detente with Baltar's renegade Cylons is now in its fourth sectar, a short period of time by the calendar, but more than ever it seems we have begun to divide life itself by how things were before this monumental event, and how it is now. As we as a people become used to the concept of living among Cylons and working with them, our very sense of what it was like to live in such constant fear dissipates, making the old era we lived in seem more and more distant from us. This is a phenomenon we've experienced before in that we came to view the memories of life in the Colonies as distant and much longer ago in our lives than it really is by the calendar. That we've managed to adjust to both of these world-shattering developments and enable life to go on is maybe in the end the greatest testament to the human spirit for endurance and survival. Man has the ability to rise to the occasion when faced with either the darkest of tragedies like the Destruction, or to see a thousand yahrens of perceptions and attitudes handed down from one generation to the next, cast aside for the greater good.
And for now, the Lords have blessed us with a greater good that comes in the form of simple normalcy. No new enemies to challenge us. No old enemies still pursuing us. Our former enemies acting with total deference and cooperation. Even the political situation has cooled off perceptibly, and Siress Lydia is not, so far, living up to her reputation as a would-be menace. I suspect she has found herself enjoying too much the challenge of wooing our recent arrival, Commander Byrne of Earth, to her side. While that is a development that has the potential for disaster from my standpoint, Byrne is surprising me. He clearly enjoys the attention Lydia gives him, which I imagine stems from the many yahrens of loneliness he felt on that level. But if Lydia was hoping that a relationship with Byrne would turn him into an immediate critic of my policies and my leadership role, then she has not succeeded there. Yet she doesn't seem to complain about that. Who knows, perhaps being around Byrne has effected a change for the better in her? If so, then far be it for me to discourage the relationship from continuing.
Our warriors are now settling back into a pattern of what "normalcy" can be like when there are no immediate crises to deal with. They must look for things beyond the drudgery of long-range patrols that help to keep the Fleet functioning in other areas. Inspecting our ships. Transporting food and supplies and making sure everyone is looked after. Attending new classes to aid in the development of new technologies from the resources we have available. When these functions become part of a warrior's daily routine replacing the constant call to battle, it can sometimes make warriors think their lives are being wasted somehow. For the most part, that doesn't seem so now. Now that the concept of Detente with these Cylons has been accepted as the norm, most of our warriors seem to revel in the performance of the mundane. It makes the pain of what they and all of us have been through these last two yahrens seem more distant like a receding nightmare, and at the same time, fill us with hope for the future.
However, there are always exceptions to the rule, which brings Lieutenant Starbuck immediately to mind. The same calm that others can finally embrace seems to fill him with unease and restlessness. He would much rather immerse himself in duty than settle into "normalcy" leaving too much time for internal contemplation, I suspect. I realize, though, this has as much to do with his on-going recovery from Combat Stress Reaction as it does his basic personality. I wish I could share stories with him of another young warrior who not only came through the illness whole, but went on to achieve greatness, recorded in the annals of history as one of our greatest inspirational military leaders. I can't help but wonder, do promises made to men supposedly dead carry an expiration date? Somehow I doubt my old friend would think so . . . Yes, oft times Starbuck reminds me of a young Cain, rebelling against the status quo, and instead, marching to the beat of his own tambour. I swear the boy has will, determination and spirit enough to power a battlestar—maybe ultimately to command one—but at this point it needs to be harnessed and directed, lest his somewhat uncanny ability to find trouble in the unlikeliest of places asserts itself once again. I can't help but feel I need to challenge Starbuck somehow to help him overcome any lingering personal demons and reach a potential that I know he can fulfil. The question is how.
Overall, both mentally and spiritually our people are healing. In general terms, save the incident with Sergeant Mattoon, my initial fears that the presence of Baltar's Cylons would reopen old wounds haven't been actualized. Still, at times I long for earlier days when laughter came easier and more frequently, especially around my own family, both immediate and honorary. Haunted eyes, quietly exchanged looks and forced bravado are as much the uniform of the day as Colonial beige at my dinner table. Is it only my imagination or have the fates been hardest on those I have put my trust in, that I rely on most? Too much tragedy and drama has befallen those I hold dear, and I wish fervently that I could find some way to restore a youthful joy and vitality that I fear is forever gone.
As for me, upon completion of this entry, I shall find myself as Fleet Commander and President also dealing with my share of the mundane. Reports to go over about the food levels in our Agro ships. A meeting with Wilker on his latest long-range forecast for trying to make something out of the remains of the advanced class Cylon, Septimus. A report on how Commander Byrne plans on introducing his knowledge of Earth to our young. And an interesting proposal from Agro Supervisor Eldritch aboard the Agro Ship . . .