- Meet-n-Greet 2 -
A/N: I don't own squat, except what I write.
After D'Anna was taken to the infirmary, Carter came in and handed out the other translators. A few tests to confirm they were working, and she left with a look of support at Daniel. Once she was gone, a bit of unease filled the room.
O'Neill broke the quiet. "All right. Before we get down to it, is anyone hungry? It's past our dinner time, and it might make everything go a bit smoother with a full belly."
"We would appreciate that, General," Adama said. "We've been subsisting on protein derived from algae for a long time, now."
O'Neill winced at that prospect, and he saw the others nodding with equal looks of disgust. "All right. I'll inform the galley." He motioned to the airman at the door, who nodded and left.
Looking back, he saw his friend with his arms crossed and holding the bridge of his nose. "Daniel? You want to sit this one out? You've had one hell of a day, what with that memory bomb or whatever it was. When was the last time you slept?"
He shook his head. "I'm fine. Just need more coffee. This is more important than my headache." With that, he took his glasses off and pocketed them, heading to the other side of the room.
"I have never seen a Cylon wear glasses before," Lee said. "Doesn't make any sense. You'd think they'd design it so that you didn't need something else to see properly."
Daniel shrugged as he poured himself a caffeinated pick me up. "Don't ask me. I haven't the foggiest. Didn't need them before I was sent here. Think I need a new prescription or something, though. These are making my eyes hurt."
"You know, it makes sense to me now," Jack said with a glint in his eye.
Daniel glanced at him. "What's that?"
"All the overnighters you pull with research, surviving on nothing but coffee and doughnuts." He paused, grinning. "Cylons are coffee powered robots, aren't they?"
"Jack, for the last time, I'm not a robot!" he groused a bit loudly. He turned with a scowl, and saw the smirk on his friend's face. He blinked. "You did that on purpose," he said with a sigh, shaking his head. "Jackass," he muttered.
"What?" he said innocently. "It's not every day that you find out your best friend for over fifteen years is some form of cybernaut."
"Try thirty," Adama grumbled as he took a seat next to Laura.
Jack looked over to him. "Who was that?"
"My XO," he said with a frown.
Taking a seat across from him, Jack was sympathetic. "Sorry to hear that. So, you've had a problem with infiltration? We might be able to help with that."
"We know what all of them look like now, save one," Lee said, sitting between Starbuck and Athena. "But, we may have a few hiding out in the fleet still."
"You seem to be okay with it, sir," Starbuck said to O'Neill.
He blinked in confusion. "Which part?"
"Him being a Cylon," she clarified.
Jack looked at Daniel as he sat next to him. "What? I know who he is. Who cares where he came from? He was the linchpin on getting us out into space, and has put up with more of my crap than anyone else I've ever known, including my ex wife. I don't give a damn where he was born, he's a real person and my best friend."
Daniel smiled and looked at him. "Thanks, Jack."
O'Neill fake grimaced at him. "Don't let it go to your head. I just used up all my nice for the month."
"You're just pissed you're riding a desk instead of being out here all the time," Daniel ribbed him. Jack just tilted his head at that with a shrug. He had a point.
The discussion paused as dinner was brought in. While they ate, Adama thought hard on what O'Neill said. Saul had said he hadn't known until the Ionian Nebula, and was afraid to tell him. He had no idea what to think about it. Still though, he was distracted by the food. Those hamburgers were the best thing he'd tasted in years.
The others were impressed with the food, but Laura couldn't eat more than a few bites of the beef. She focussed instead on the fries and a mix of vegetables. Her stomach wasn't playing nice this day.
"Sir?" Kara spoke up after wolfing down her food. "If these guys eat like this every day, I'd like to request a transfer."
There were a few chuckles, and the left corner of Adama's lips went up. "I'm not giving up my best pilot."
"I think we can help with the food situation," Daniel said.
Laura smiled as she pulled her medicine out of her pocket. "That would be good. That would be very good. I don't think the fleet has had any real meat in at least a year." She fought with the cap on her pill bottle, and Bill reached over to undo it for her.
"Are you ill, Madam President?" O'Neill asked, having seen her hands shake.
She smiled at him. "I'm all right, General. This isn't something you can catch, so there's no chance of infecting your crew."
"Maybe they can help," Adama said quietly. The words had an impact on her, because she paused in thought before taking her pills.
"We have made a lot of advancements in medicine recently," Daniel said, obliquely referring to the information they acquired from the Lantean and Asgard databases.
Laura shook her head. "I need to be here. This is everything I've worked for. That can wait."
Lee leaned forward and looked down the table. "Madam President, you did say that you needed me to do the 'heavy lifting'. If they can help your cancer, then please – for the love of the Gods – let them."
Richard Woolsey entered the bridge of the Hammond, and noticed that Sheppard was absent. Nodding to Lorne, he went over to McKay. "How's it coming, doctor?"
Rodney was subdued. John's explosion at him earlier was so out of character, that it actually frightened him. Now, it was just depressing. Sighing, he looked up at Woolsey. "I've done three full sweeps of the fleet. Counting the ones on the Odyssey, there are forty thousand and thirty three people crammed into those ships. But, what's really interesting, is that somewhat broken down asterisk shaped one. The people there share their space with eight hundred and ninety six robots of some sort. And, something's off about those people, too."
"What do you mean?" Woolsey asked, somewhat concerned. That was a lot of people. Would they be able to integrate that many into society, or would the need for a colony world have to be established?
Rodney shook his head. "I'm not sure. They read as human, but something is pinging as off about them. I was about to run a more in depth scan when you asked."
"I wont keep you long," Woolsey said. "Can you tell me anything about their ships?"
"Serious need of an overhaul," Rodney muttered. "I wouldn't be surprised if a few of them fell apart in a few weeks. That huge one, the Galactica? It's showing stress related micro-fractures throughout its structure and support beams. However their FTL works must put a gigantic strain on it. I don't see it lasting much longer, unless its dry docked for repairs."
"I see," Woolsey said with a frown. "From what Doctor Jackson has told us, that 'asterisk' shaped vessel is a Cylon base ship, so those humans on board would undoubtedly be Cylons."
"Really?" Rodney looked up. "Do you think we could get a scan of the representatives on the Odyssey? That might help me figure out what's different about them."
"Possibly," Woolsey nodded. "But I wouldn't get my hopes up. If anything, I'll speak with Doctor Jackson when I beam over. He's supposedly one of their people, and would most likely be more receptive to the idea of an in depth scan."
Rodney paused, blinking. "I still don't know what to think about that. He doesn't act artificial, and has more personality than human form replicators. Wouldn't his… 'situation' have been picked up with all of those CT scans they gave him, whenever he'd come back through the gate?"
"It's possible that it wouldn't be picked up by those," he allowed. "Besides, they were looking for a rather large Goa'uld parasite, instead of what makes him different from a human."
"There is that," Rodney nodded, then had a thought. "Could be what saved him from that bolt of lightning in the core room of the Attero Device," he mused.
In the infirmary on board the Galactica, Baltar was flat on his back with his right arm over his head, staring at the ceiling. His wounds were healing nicely, but he was profoundly bored. A hand snaked fingers between those that were over his head, and he looked to the side. "Wondered where you got to," he quietly mused.
The six was back in her red dress, and smiled demurely at him. "You did very well, Gaius."
"Not sure what I did, but thank you," he mumbled.
She rubbed her thumb across his forehead. "You talked D'Anna out of a confrontation. Not many could get through to her. That was a masterful use of your oratory skills."
He blinked, and they were on a beach. "This again?" he wondered, sitting up from the large towel he was laying on. "I'm not sure how much pleasure I should take in doing a good job, when I'm most likely going to end up with that lunatic fringe again."
"They had their uses, Gaius," she said, turning from her own towel, her dress having changed into a red bikini. "They kept you safe after the trial, and for that they should be applauded."
"They're completely deluded," he groused.
"Possibly," she allowed, running her finger down his arm. "But, that's not why I'm here."
He turned his head to admire her form. "So, to what do I owe the pleasure of your company?"
"The time is coming, Gaius," she said.
He blinked. "The time of what?"
"You've pondered the possibility; you've seen the reality; and very soon now, you will know what it was that made you unique."
He gave her a look that was a mix of fondness and annoyance. "Past tense, I note. You're being very oblique today. Can't you tell me what I'm in for this time? Seems like I'm nothing more than a primitive punching bag for you."
"Hardly," she grinned. Rising, she pushed him back on the blanket and crawled on top of him. "Now, please… this little trial will be very simple in comparison to the one you just went through. It will most likely shock you, but then again…"
"Oh, I wish you would just spit it out!" he groused. She smiled, then distracted him in the nicest of ways.
In the infirmary on the Odyssey, Satterfield was sitting next to D'Anna's sleeping form. Every now and again, she'd take a tissue to D'Anna's eyes – blotting away the tears that trailed to the sides.
A while ago, the delegation from the Galactica had entered. Doctor Keller and Colonel Carter fielded questions about what they could do for the President, and the different techniques they could utilize. Currently, the President was undergoing a healing device treatment from one of the few Tok'ra medical advisers, while the others watched.
One of them saw her and came over. "Hello, Eight."
"Hello, Eight," she repeated. Standing, she held her hand out to her. "Major Valerie Satterfield."
"Lieutenant Sharon Agathon," she replied with a grin, shaking her hand. "You can call me Athena."
"Call-sign?" Valerie asked with a brow up. Athena nodded, and she sighed. "Better than mine. I got lumped with 'Thumper'."
"Do I want to know?" Athena asked with a smile.
The Major rolled her eyes. "Kept bouncing off the flight deck with the TH-1. I fly fine, but my landings weren't all that pretty in the beginning. What's really annoying about it is everyone thinking it's a movie reference." She rolled her eyes again.
"Reminds me of Boomer," Athena mused. At Valerie's confused shake of the head, she explained. "She was a sleeper agent. Raptor pilot; Kept missing the trap and pot marked the deck."
"Ah," Valerie nodded. "So, you're all free in the head now? Took it better than she did, apparently."
"About the only thing I can think of to feel guilty over, would be how I met my husband," Athena said. "That or giving my allegiance to the Galactica. So, not much to feel guilty for I guess. Those filtered memories from before, though. Those are making my head spin."
"I'm still getting used to it," Valerie nodded in agreement. "Did you notice?" she asked, pointing at D'Anna. "They feel similar; Her and Daniel."
Athena looked over to Daniel across the room, then down at D'Anna. After a bit, she tilted her head. "What is that?"
"I'm not sure, exactly. But, if Daniel is the original…" Valerie started.
"… then it stands to reason that D'Anna is as well?" Athena finished the thought process. "So, that would make them both Elders?"
"It's a good guess," Valerie nodded. "How do you like the Fleet?"
"Never going back," Athena grinned. "You?"
"Me either," she agreed. "Love it here."
Valerie shook her head. "Too problematic with the classified job. You said husband?"
"And a little girl," Athena beamed. At Valerie's shocked look, she nodded. "Mine."
"That's amazing!" Valerie breathed. "Any complications?"
"If you're thinking about it, warn your doctor about the possibility of a detached placenta."
"What're they talking about?" Jack asked Daniel, pointing at the two.
Daniel looked over and listened. "Babies, apparently. Sounds like the Colonial one has a baby girl."
Jack arched his brow, then eyed the two. "Hey! No swapping clothes!" he chastised.
Satterfield laughed. "No problem, sir!"
"Wouldn't be a problem, even if they did," Daniel said quietly.
"Why's that?" Lee asked.
Jack caught on and nodded. "Tell you later."
The light from the healing device faded, and Jalen blinked slowly, coming out of her concentration. "How does that feel, Madam President?" she asked with her lower than normal voice.
Laura took a deep breath, then a deeper one. She smiled. "No pain," she said in a bit of wonder. "Bill, it doesn't hurt when I breathe." Reaching up, she clasped Jalen's hands. "Thank you so much."
"We need to do one more session in the morning, Madam President," Jalen said. "My apologies, but I need to rest before we continue. I was able to eliminate the spread of the tumours throughout the majority of your abdominal and chest cavities. However, I believe the original metastasised tumour still exists within your left breast. If needed, we can also restore your hair follicles."
"I…" she stuttered, blinking. "I don't know what to say. This is simply incredible."
"I do," Adama said, smiling. He turned to O'Neill. "You can have whatever you want."