splodge04: (BSG- Ringside love)
[personal profile] splodge04
Just to quickly post this before I shoot out the door again!
This is, as I just found out, currently the 2nd longest fic on SI and I haven't even finished yet LMAO


BSG Fic- The Rising Red
(It's also uploaded at Survival Instinct for those who prefer that format.)

Summary: An angsty and slightly AU fic surrounding Adama and Roslin. The President's life is jeopardy and it's only a matter of time until it's too late.
Rated: M
Disclaimer: These character are unfortunately not mine! I'm just putting them into my own little storyline to keep me entertained.
It's set after Epiphanies and before Sacrifice in Season 2.

Thanks to my two lovely beta's trickalicious78 and laharah

Chapter 9- The Ever Pressing Decision Word Count:7683
Chapter 1 can be found here. Chapter 5 can be found here
Chapter 2 can be found here. Chapter 6 can be found here
Chapter 3 can be found here Chapter 7 can be found here
Chapter 4 can be found here
Chapter 8 can be found here.


Chapter 9- The Ever Pressing Decision

Bill watched carefully as the Quorum members sat themselves down on the various chairs around the small meeting room. Their faces blank, completely unaware of what they were putting Laura through, oblivious to the situation and the mess which was going on throughout the fleet. Yes, they knew about the explosions, which might be why they were here now, but they didn’t know the dark work which was going on behind it.

Laura said her hello’s, shaking their hands and smiling politely whilst maintaining eye contact with each and every single one of them. She was good at her job, but there would be a cost from this meeting. When she sat down next to him, Bill caught her eye and they stared at each other for a brief moment, understanding what the other was thinking. Laura didn’t want to be here, but it was her job and that came above all else. Bill didn’t want her being there either, but knew that he couldn’t argue with her. What pained him the most was what she was feeling now and was probably going to endure throughout this meeting. She was in pain. It was a bad headache, he could tell by the way she kept avoiding the light and the brightness of the paper in front of her. Although, even in the beginning, Bill could tell that the lack of sleep was affecting her, it was so much more prominent now. Her eyes, her lovely green eyes, were surrounded by red, the area around her eyes was puffy and dark. This meeting was going to cost her more then he believed she had anticipated. The Quorum meetings were usually tiresome, but the energy required to maintain the constant bombardment from the 12 members was necessarily high. With the headache she had, the lack of sleep she had been having and, no doubt, the worry and pain she was holding in was going to make it that much more difficult.

When she caught him staring she looked away, watching as Starbuck entered the room, a package in her hand. After making eye contact, Laura put her hand briefly over her eyes as she gazed down at the bright white paper on her lap.

Bill rubbed his arm gently as he felt it throb under the thick material of this jacket. It had annoyed him greatly that the marine had barged into him like that, it just wasn’t acceptable. There was a rec room for silly games like that, the corridors were not a place for ball games.

“Madam President, so nice of you to agree to have this meeting with us,” a tall woman with thick blonde hair said, sifting through the papers on her lap. “I’m afraid we have a lot to talk about.”

Laura grimaced slightly, peering up at the woman, a forced smile setting on her features. “Well, I hope none of it is too serious.”

“Well, the topics are not good. We felt that we needed to get on top of all of the pressing matters of the fleet.”

“Of course,” Laura said, smiling into the distance as she peered over the tops of their heads. “Where shall we begin?”

“It has come to our attention, Madam President, that supplies are becoming more and more scarce among the three smaller liners. I’ve been told by the Captains of these vessels that issues have been raised, but nothing has come of it. I think that it is highly unacceptable that these three ships should be suffering the way they are.” She looked around the room at all of the nodding heads and handed Laura a piece of paper. “It says there that the transmissions were received, yet the goods have not been sent!”

Laura gazed wearily down at the piece of paper and read over the lists and numbers. It was true, the goods hadn’t arrived. “Admiral Adama, it seems as if these goods were requested from Galactica itself. Do you know anything about it?”

Bill caught her eyes briefly and then looked down at the piece of paper. “There are authorisation codes here.” He looked at the number. “They have either been acknowledged by myself or the C/O, this means they have indeed left the ship.”

“Well, where are the goods then? If you don’t mind me asking,” the woman said coldly, taking the piece of paper from him.

“I will investigate that matter and get back to you later. But it will be fixed, you have my word on that.”

The woman gazed at him and said no more; they very rarely ever questioned him after making a statement like that. They knew who he was and what he was capable of, it just stood to reason that they shouldn’t push him. The dark haired gentleman from Tauron twitched as he picked up his papers. “Well, Madam President, with regards to the explosions that took place, and the now overcrowded capacity of the ships where the occupants of the Carina were sent to, we need to know it will be acceptable for them to return to their vessel. The living constraints and the overall living conditions are now poor. We need to see some sort of movement or there will be rioting.” He smiled politely and passed her another piece of paper.

Laura nodded, a barely audible sigh crossing her lips as she gazed down at another brilliant white piece of paper. Bill watched as she recoiled, her eyes closing briefly before opening and gazing down again. “We know that repairs have started and I suspect that it shouldn’t be too long. Will you let the passengers know?”

“Know what, Madam President?”

Laura continued to gaze at the paper, trying to recollect her thoughts. “Oh, umm, just let them know what we are doing the best we can and we will have the ship ready as soon as possible.”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“We’re still waiting for your report, too, Madam President.” The woman closest to her opened her briefcase and pulled out a book-like mass of paper.

“Report?” Laura said worriedly, putting down the paper in her hand.

“Yes, the one that we are having trouble collecting the data for.” Bill grumbled, eyeing the woman. “If I remember correctly, it was requested that there be a reshuffle of the passengers of various ships to maximise space and efficiency. Also, if I recall correctly, that was put to the bottom of the agenda. There are far more important things going on at the moment, as you will probably understand. We have an issue with terrorism and I can’t justify the movement of people. This report will wait until further notice. It will wait until I am satisfied that we have a hold on what is going on.”

The woman’s face turned red and she put her papers on the desk. “It was arranged that the data would be ready for the next meeting.”

“There will not be any movement within this fleet until I’m satisfied it is secure. If any one of these people gets on board another ship, do you want to be there when they try blow that one up?” Bill said angrily, leaning forward in his chair.

“No.”

“Exactly.”

Laura watched Bill gratefully as he leaned back. She lifted up her glass of water and took a few sips before readjusting herself. “What else?” Papers began shuffling and Laura rolled her eyes, realising she was in for a long day.

----

With the meeting finished and her head thumping at a completely unbearable level, Laura could not wait to get back to Bill’s quarters. She knew that it might not go away and it might be with her for another few hours, but at least she would be out of the way of the Quorum members. As passionate as they were about the cause, they were annoying and always extended things to the breaking point. Laura felt like she was about to fall apart.

Kara walked up beside her, Bill on the other. As she entered the corridor, she paused, closing her eyes and steadying herself. The light was torture. She squinted through the lenses of her glasses and continued to plough forward.

“Madam President?” Kara said, holding the package up. “I got something for you. Took me most of last night to sort out, but I figured it’d do you some good.”

Laura nodded her head slowly and gave Kara a faint smile, continuing to look forward as she felt her head thump and her eyes pound. It was slowly progressing into a migraine if she knew well enough. This was not good.

“I think it best if you take a lie down when you get back,” Bill mumbled quietly, walking beside her and keeping up with her quick pace. “You’ve gone all pale.”

Laura ran her fingers over her forehead, keeping her feet moving as fast as she could. She just wanted to lock herself away, turn the lights off and cry, do something to try and stop the pain.

Bill’s quarters came into view and she moved as fast as she could. Bill opened the hatch and Kara walked in first, giving it the once over before letting Laura in. As soon as she crossed the threshold, she turned the lights down and walked over to the couch, slumping onto it.

“I’ll leave this here for you, Ma’am. Just let me know if they fit ok.” Kara saluted and exited the Admiral‘s quarters, sensing that the President wanted to be alone.

Bill looked at the package, totally unsure about what it could be. Why would Starbuck be getting Laura something to wear? Then he sat down next to Laura, who had her face scrunched up. “You ok?”

Laura shook her head and grimaced, folding her arm over her eyes. She’d had very few migraines in her life, but each time she had managed to get a grip on it. Pain medication was a Gods send, and it did the job. With a little sleep it would go away. What does a person do if they can’t get chemical relief or sleep? The answer: grit through it.

Bill stood up. “Do you want me to get Cottle?”

Laura shook her head slightly, leaning back into the couch, lifting her legs up and lying down on her side. “He won’t be able to do anything,” she whispered. “I can’t have pain meds. There is nothing for him to do.”

Bill sighed, kneeling down on the floor so that he was eyelevel with her. “Laura, you know there is an option. Cottle gave you one.”

Laura moved her arm, peeking out at him from the shield of darkness she had made with her arm. “I’m not letting him put me under like that. It might not work anyway. People need me here, Bill.”

Bill shook his head before standing up and walking over to the water jug. He pulled out the biggest glass he could find and filled it up. He placed this onto the table in front of her. “You need to drink plenty of fluids.” Bill paused as she rolled over to look away from him, grabbing one of the large brown cushions and wrapping her arms around it. “How about you go lie down in my rack?”

“I don’t want to move. I’ll be fine.” She turned her head a little so she could see. “Will you be going anywhere?”

Bill looked at the clock. Tigh had told him that he would watch the fleet for as long as he needed, spending most of his time in the CIC until he needed to rest then Gaeta would take over. It wasn’t the best solution and Bill was going to do as much as he could. Maybe he could relieve him later? “I’m not going anywhere yet. I might have to later. I think I’m going to do some more reading and see what I can find.”

“Ok,” Laura whispered, rolling back over and burying her face into the cushion, pulling her legs up close to her body.

Bill heard her sigh and he shook his head. How was he to know that this wasn’t something to do with the drug in her system? He couldn’t help but worry because of the nature of her condition. Although it remained uncertain about how hard it would hit her at the end, he knew that without any intervention it would arrive and take her from him. Something would come for him too, but as much as he wanted to survive, he could sense deep inside himself that the need for her to survive was far greater. He was a man of fact, a man of truth, but sometimes Bill couldn’t help wonder if sometimes the scrolls held some element of truth. Was it Laura that was altering his perceptions? Or the uncertain times he found himself in? Either way, he knew that he must try and protect her more than himself. She was important, not only to him, but to the whole human race.

----

The light inside his quarters was dim, but Bill could still make out the writing beneath him because of the small lamp he was seated by. The light wasn’t too bright, but the orange rays were dancing on the paper letting him sit and ponder over the implicitness of the text. Why couldn’t something like this be obvious? Why couldn’t it be efficient at directing its words? A frustrated grumble passed his lips as he began another relentless reread of the page beneath him, his patience dwindling every time he had to re-evaluate the page.

After contemplating over another seemingly unobvious sentence with a number of different meanings, he glanced over to the form curled up on his couch. Laura’s slim fragile body lay quietly along the brown leather surface, her shallow breathing resonating around his room, reminding him constantly that she was still there and very much in pain. Migraines were frustrating, painful and a hindrance to anybody. What made the situation worse for him was the lack of means to do anything. Completely useless against something so minute, something so easily fixed with the right medication. Unfortunately, no matter what he thought he could do he knew he couldn’t, all he could do was sit and watch, trying to find anything that could help either of them.

Laura moved slightly, adjusting herself, the light from his lamp shining across her face, the pale pallor of her skin and the dark bags under her eyes were the main signs of her situation. She slowly scrunched up her face, her hand moving to her forehead where it rested just above her brow, her fingers pressing down on her eyelids. His gaze lingered long enough to see her mouth ‘frak’ and adjust her position again, turning her back on him.

The glass in front of him was filled with chilled water, and he took a few sips before turning back to the book and the paragraph which had plagued him the most, the meanings were in the masses and he wasn’t sure if he would be able to wrap his mind around it, having failed to think of anything straight away.


“An uncertain connection lingers in the air between two souls. Uncertain about the direction and uncertain about the truths. Their similar interests keep them in line. Like a caged angel, one will break free and make their way to the side in which they were destined.”

To Bill, there were so many uncertain possibilities that could come from such an obscure paragraph. When he thought about it, the idea of ‘two souls’ could ultimately make it many different people and even if he were to narrow it down, there were still more than a handful. If ‘similar interests,’ were to play a part in deciding the identity of the pair, there would still be a handful. It was decidedly difficult. But, ultimately, the line which had plagued him more than any other was this idea of an angel breaking free. If, as he had first thought, the pair to be himself and Laura, then was the angel that was to break free her? Would she take a dramatic turn? His eyes slid to her curled form and his stomach knotted with worry. The only way he could possibly get to the bottom was to plough on and evaluate this whole book, add to the timeline and try his damned hardest to make sure she was going to be ok.

As time progressed Bill couldn’t help but evaluate his own situation. Although they were both in a mess; like rivers, they would eventually merge, but until then they were rivers running parallel to each other, their courses twisting and moving away and towards each other in a vast array of plot lines. Since Laura had figured out that he would be targeted, he had not sat down and considered everything. All of his energy had been put towards Laura and her campaign for life.

The pages beneath him were not offering any consolation or comfort, but they weren’t giving him any insight into what was going to happen to him either. It was incredibly frustrating. All he knew really was that “aggression and misdirection would overcome him.” It made him dread what was coming in a way that he had never thought of before. If misdirection was on the cards, how did he know that he was going to be misguided from his mission to keep Laura safe? What if something happened that would make him divert from that? And aggression? Well, that in itself was a hard thing to comprehend. As a few days earlier when he has lost his temper he had felt a rage burn within him. Coming to terms with the idea that aggression might become hideously apparent made him worry for himself and people around him.

Today would be his downfall, apparently, but he could not hope that this book was pure and utter coincidence. As a skeptical man, he knew that things happened by chance and that they were never really as simple as they could be planned. Although accurate- scarily accurate- there was still a side to him that thought it could change. What if Laura was right- it was just something to overcome?

As well as beginning to think about what was going on with him, he suddenly felt daunted by what Laura might be going through. He had only really touched the tip of the iceberg as he contemplated his situation, and it worried him. Laura, however, had been dealt a pitiful hand and was trying her hardest to get through it. Before, he could only speculate and try and understand what she was going through, but now, from reading this he could understand slowly what she was trying to overcome, everything he had heard her talk about. The uncertain gazes, frustrated sighs, the moments when her eyes told him she was scared and the overwhelming fear he knew she must feel. Even more frightening, it was making more sense. Bill looked over to her, watching the way she had her arms wrapped around the cushion and her face slanted at an angle, her forehead creased. They were both in a similar boat, but he would do anything at that moment to take it all away from her. He couldn’t bare seeing this taking hold of her more and more each day.

---

Laura had felt the pain in her head slowly begin to lessen. The pressure behind her eyes and the pain in her head were now slightly more bearable. She blinked, and rolled over, slowly letting her eyes focus on the objects in the distance, small coloured dots dancing around. When her eyes began to focus she could make out Bill’s hunched figure, who was reading the book , a pen in his hand and a deep look of concentration etched across his face. That man was a fighter and as far as she could tell, was doing everything he could with regards to the book to help her. It made her feel warm inside because of the devotion he was showing her, but at the same time it increased her worry. If he was going over everything for her, when would he stop and try and help himself? She wanted him to stay out of harm’s way, the book telling them that something would happen to him today, yet he was still persistent in the quest for her.

Laura wrapped her arms around the cushion, tightening her grip on it, lying her head on the warm brown surface, continuing to gaze at Bill as he worked, watching as he absentmindedly scratched his arm and scrunched up his face as he read.. She was tired, and not just in a physical sense anymore. Her brain and it’s usual alertness was low, her mind tired and fuzzy. The concentration she used to have was dwindling, her brain finding it hard to concentrate on the simplest things. Her body was now turning against her, the tiredness of her muscles turning into aches. When she looked around she could feel her eyes burn slightly from their lack of rest that was brought about by sleep. She sighed lightly and hooked her legs up further to her body, a chill running down her side, she readjusted her skirt.

When her eyes lifted back up to Bill she caught his gaze. He looked over his glasses and his lips twitched into a small smile. “Hi.”

Laura sat up and brought her legs around so her feet were back on the floor. “Hi.”

Bill put the book down at put both of his hands down on the desk, eyeing her carefully, watching as she took a sip of water. “You feeling any better?”

Laura nodded, getting up and moving over to this desk, sitting down in front of him. “A little, yes.”

Bill nodded. “That’s good then,” he said, scratching his arm again and taking another sip of water.

“It is.” She watched Bill carefully, having noted that he had scratched his arm once before, and although it could be anything, he didn’t seem happy about it when he rubbed the area. “What’s wrong with your arm?” Laura said worriedly, peering at him as he scratched it again. She couldn’t help but worry, they both knew that something was going to happen today and it made her fear for him.

Bill could feel the itch on his arm heighten and it made his skin crawl. All he wanted to do was scratch it and scratch it, to feel the relief as his hands rubbed the area. “Oh, I just have an itch that won’t go away, you know how it is sometimes.” He looked back down at the book and turned the page over, sighing as he read yet another cryptic sentence. “These words are so…cryptic, I just don’t-”

“Bill, take your jacket off,” Laura said, peering at the area on his arm, his hands rubbing it again. She stood slowly and moved around to his side of the desk.

Bill looked at her, completely puzzled by her sudden actions. “Excuse me?”

Laura’s hands reached down and began undoing his top button. She could see the bewildered look in his eyes, but she had to do it just so she could see if anything was wrong. You could never be to careful, not at the moment at least. Even the most subtle things could turn out to be something bad, as she had found out for herself. “Bill, I want you to take off your jacket for me.”

Bill didn’t know what to think. Why would she want to undress him? A sudden thought dawned on him and he reached for her hand. “We can’t.”

“Oh Bill, I’m not trying to strip you down for reasons like that!” She pulled her hand out of his and began undoing the next button. “I want to see your arm.”

Bill moved out of her way. “Why?”

Laura rolled her eyes and folded her arms. “I want to see it because you keep scratching it! It could be something we need to see. So, come on, get it off.”

Bill began to undo his buttons, watching as she tapped her foot impatiently. When the jacket came away from his body he felt Laura’s hand wrap around his arm, looking at it carefully through the lenses of her glasses.

Laura ran her fingers over the surface, the area slightly purple where a bruise was forming. But, right in the middle was a small puncture mark, barely visible but most definitely there. She rested her hand on the desk and brought her other to her mouth. “Oh, Bill.”

Bill could see the worry fill her eyes along with the tears. “What?”

Laura felt sick, it had already happened. Someone had got to him and uncertainty would wash over him like it had to her. What if it was something worse then what she was going through? What if it was something quicker? Worry, sadness and a horrible sense of guilt washed over her as she looked down at his arm. She should have forced him to stay in, or she should have not gone to the meeting. “You need to see Cottle,” she mumbled, taking his hand and pulling him to his feet.

“Why? I don’t understand.” Bill said, alarmed by her expression.

“Look at your arm, Bill. Look,” she pointed to the puncture mark. “Can you see it? Right there. They got you.”

Bill’s face dropped and he shook his head. “But how?”

Laura shrugged and picked up his jacket. “Come on, I’m taking you to see Cottle.” And, alarmingly enough, Bill Adama did not complain, he got to his feet and walked with her to the hatch, his face blank.

-----

“Who was that on the phone, honey?” She said, slipping her hand around his waist as he put the phone back on the side.

“The lab. They want me to drop off some of my formula sheets so they can run through the preliminaries.” He took her hand in his. “I don’t want to go though.”

She smiled, her bright white teeth flashing as she moved forward and placed herself in front of him, wrapping her arms around his neck. “Formula sheets?”

He smiled, giving her a quick peck on the cheek. “You know I can’t talk about them. The government isn’t all for letting out their little secrets.”

She ran her fingers down the side of his face gently, then mumbling, “are you going to go now?”

“No. I figured I’d drop them over later, after taking you out to dinner.” Her face lit up and she kissed him, wrapping her arms tightly around his neck.

“You’re the best.”


What he couldn’t bear about the relationship that he had had with her was the fact
that, to him, it was perfect. He’d never thought that anything was wrong between them. She was always happy, and he was always happy because of her. It was simple, wonderful, perfect and when she had gone he had felt his heart crack into two. Time was meant to heal the wound he had received, but it hadn’t, it had only fuelled the passion inside him to get her back, to find her and make her his again.

------


“Oh for Frak sake,” Cottle yelled, pushing his way out of the curtain towards the Admiral and the President. “You mean to tell me, I have to worry about the two of you now?”

Bill side glanced to Laura who was stood, her hands clasped tightly together and her lips set in a thin line. “We don’t know,” Bill grumbled. “That’s why we’re here. My blood work has been clean, so hopefully you can check it again.”

Cottle walked off into the distance so Laura and Bill followed. “Sit,” Cottle mumbled, his cigarette stuck in his mouth. “Show me.”

Bill pulled his jacket off and moved his arm forward, the skin had turned a deep purple, the bruise deepening in colour. Cottle leaned forward and peered at the area, the small puncture hole hiding amongst the sea of purple. “That is definitely a needle mark. I take it you know nothing?”

Bill shook his head, staring miserably at the white cotton sheets around him suddenly becoming increasingly aware that he may be in here more often now, if things were to take a dramatic downfall with himself or Laura. He felt fine, nothing felt wrong…maybe it didn’t in the beginning.

Laura peered down at him, her heart in her throat. It was almost as if he’d gone numb, nothing passing his lips, nothing being reflected. Just nothing. He was gazing down at the sheets, his face blank and empty. A strong façade to take on the day, she had thought, but she wouldn’t have it, not from him. She felt a huge sense of responsibility towards Bill, towards his work and the way he was. He had been there, at the beginning, forcing her to come to terms with what was happening, helping her, holding her and making it known he would be there. Not in a million years would she toss that aside to let him plough forward alone. As stubborn as he was, and as strong willed, keeping his feelings as locked down as tight as he could, she wouldn’t let them simmer. They would both rise to the situation, taking it head on, fighting for their right to survive.

“Well,” Cottle mumbled, taking another glance at his arm. “The needle alone wouldn’t have caused such bruising. You been fighting or something?”

Bill shook his head, peering down at the bruise himself, his forearm purple in comparison to his olive coloured skin. “I don’t know how I got it.”

Laura looked at it, the area where it was and it suddenly dawned on her, making her breath catch in her throat. It was so obvious! “Bill,” she whispered, taking hold of the bed and closing her eyes. “Bill, do you not remember? That man, he knocked into you earlier. You took a heavy bash to your side…you arm.”

Bill peered at her face, watching as she opened her eyes, alarm and worry sitting in the deep pools of green. Pity washed over her face, making him close his eyes in retort. “The idiot,” he mumbled, grabbing his jacket. A sickly feeling rose in his stomach, anger bubbling beneath it. He had been fooled and attacked by his own officer. Someone who had worked with him for a long time.

When Bill raised his eyes to Laura she noticed at once the sudden change in his features. They were dark and deep, his eyes had turned cold and the area around them had narrowed. He began putting his other arm into his jacket, his lips pulled tight and his jaw clenched to an alarming point so that it stuck out. “Take the blood sample,” he mumbled angrily through his clenched jaw.

Cottle shook his head. “You aren’t going anywhere.”

Bill’s head turned at lightning speed, his dark glare washing over Cottle like a rash. “Take it.”

Laura put her hand on his shoulder and he pulled himself away. “I’m getting Starbuck down here, I have something to take care of. I know who it was and I am not frakking staying here letting the bastard do whatever the frak he wants,” Bill said, his voice dragging out in a hard aggressive mumble.

Laura, put her arm back down and looked to Cottle who was looking concerned, his cigarette sitting at his side. “I’m coming with you,” she said quietly.

“No you’re not.”

“I know you’re going to go. You want me to wait here for Starbuck to arrive? You want to me to wait? Here? Alone?” She folded her arms and shook her head. “You told me that it was called shadowing, I would be your shadow as you were to mine. Don’t you dare frakking think that you are going to leave me here. Impatience isn’t a good thing, and there you are, ready to jump the gun when you don’t know what is going to happen to you! You want to leave here like a raging bull. I can see it in your eyes. What good will it accomplish? What good? At least think about it!”

Bill didn’t look at her, he watched as Cottle pulled out a needle and scurried around to find a vial. “Listen to me. If I wait here, knowing full well who it is, he might get away. Then what do we have? WHAT? It all comes down to how we act, Laura, and I am not sitting here being poked and prodded in an attempt to find out if there is anything wrong. The blood will tell, but I’m not waiting to find out.” He watched as the needle went in and he sat fidgeting, waiting to get up and leave.

“What if you just keel over? What if something happens and you just-”

“Sometimes you have to take chances.”

“Chances, hah. What’s more important then life, Bill?” She turned her back to him and exited the curtain, tears stinging at her eyes.

Bill shook his head, pulling on his jacket and standing up, doing the buttons up quickly. “I’ll be back later.”

Cottle nodded his head. “I don’t know what it is about you two, but the pair of you are ridiculously stubborn to see and embrace the obvious.”

Bill gave him a side-glance before exiting the curtain. He watched as Laura stood back, wiping her eyes, her back turned to him. He shook his head and looked at the time, shift rotation would be starting now and he would have to move to catch this man. “If you’re coming with me then you’re coming with me. Stay by my side. We’re going to the CIC.”

-------

The marine opened the hatch quickly, stepping inside and standing tall, his gun in his hand and a hard look on his face. “I’m here to relieve you, orders from the C/O.”

The man who had been guarding the prisoners cell, eyed him up suspiciously, uncertainty washing over him as he had been unaware of shift changes taking place now. As far as he had been aware he wasn’t on the regular change. “I only take orders from the Admiral or the President. I’m not leaving until I get confirmation from either of them.” He pulled his gun up and pointed it at the marine, eyeing up the door. “So, go and get confirmation otherwise you aren’t stepping foot in here at all.”

Geoffrey watched avidly from behind his bars, noticing the tension. He peered forwards, seeing someone familiar standing by the door. He knew that man, and what came with him was not good. “You,” he said loud enough for the guard to hear.

As the guard looked to Geoffrey, seeing the recognition in the prisoners eyes, he missed the swooping hand of the marine, who knocked him hard on the head, sending him to the floor.

“You know what you need to do,” the marine said, pulling the gun out of the guards hand. “Come on, we’re going back.” He pulled out the keys and opened the door, letting him out.

Geoffrey stepped outside of the cell door and peered down at the unconscious man on the floor, his stomach knotting and his head spinning with possibilities. It didn’t feel right to him. He didn’t feel as if he was meant to go anywhere yet.

“You know what to do, he said you would.” The marine began undressing the guard on the floor. “You might want to step into these. They might be a bit tight, but he’s a similar build.”

Geoffrey walked over to the clothes and began picking them up off of the floor, sliding his big frame into each of the items. The marine, who he had seen before was waiting patiently for him, standing by the hatch with his gun in his hand. Geoffrey felt himself move forward quickly, taking the gun out of his hand and slamming his fist into his face. Blood splattered from his broken nose, and he fell to the floor, knocked out cold. He didn’t know why, but Geoffrey knew he had to find the President. This would be the ultimate showdown of faith and the side in which he must choose. Although he pretty much knew what he was going to do, he couldn’t help but wonder if other things would become apparent before then and swing him in the other direction.

-----

Bill entered the CIC, the familiar lights washing over him as he made his way down to the centre. Tigh looked up as he walked down, Laura at his side. “Do you have the sheets for shift rotations?”

Tigh stared for a few moments, slightly alarmed at the sudden presence of both the Admiral and President, their faces showing him that something was amiss. “They’ll be here somewhere. Mr Gaeta?”

Gaeta walked over to his terminal and fished through the massive pile of papers that had built up there. “These were submitted the other day, sir.”

Bill pulled it from his hand and put it on the light console, peering down at the list. It was good that Bill knew the names of pretty much all of his crew. Jones was who he was looking for, after thinking about it on the way he had recognised the young man’s face. The man had been assigned to his ship a few weeks before the attack, having been moved from his previous ship due to a decrease in work force. He was young and passionate about the cause, but now, Bill was having second thoughts entirely. “Get Starbuck down here now,” Bill yelled to Dee who was stood observing from her area, her headphones hanging around her neck.

Laura watched as Bill flipped through pages and pages of names, trying to find the man who had done this to him. The lights from the light table were washing over his face and she could see the anger on his face. It was a very unusual sight for her, as he had very rarely shown her that side of him, having kept himself to himself on most days. It wasn’t nice to see his face scrunched up and his eyes boring angry holes into the paper.

Bill’s eyes fell upon the name and he looked up to Tigh. “Jones, he’s doing supply runs?”

Tigh nodded. “Yes.”

Bill looked at Laura. It all began making sense, falling into place like a penny in the slot. The supplies that hadn’t been making it to their vessels, and here was the evidence that Jones was very much a key in this unravelling plot. It had been him all along. One of his own men! “What time is his first run?”

Tigh looked down at his piece of paper, glancing over it and then looking at the dradis console. “Well, I sent him down to the brig to hand the guard the rotation schedule, so he might still be down there.”

Laura stepped forward. “The brig?”

Tigh nodded, bewildered by the sudden bombardment of questions. “Yes, the brig. What’s going on?”

Bill curled up his fist and shook his head. “I’ll tell you later. Madam President, when Starbuck gets here I want you and her to go back to my quarters. I’m going to go down to the brig and deal with this.”

On cue, Starbuck walked down into CIC very quickly, her face puzzled. “You rang?” she said, walking to the side of Laura.

“Starbuck, take the President back to my quarters right away. Do not let her leave your sight.” Bill turned to Tigh and nodded his head. “I don’t want any raptors leaving this ship!”

Laura looked worried and Starbuck stood next to her. “What’s going on, Ma’am?”

“I’ll tell you when we get to the Admiral’s quarters. Lets go.” Laura took one last look at Bill,
his face crumpled, their gaze meeting briefly before she walked up the steps and out of the CIC, Starbuck right on her heels.

-------

Bill walked into the brig, four marines right behind him, his glasses resting on his
face. On the floor lay Jones, his uniform covered in drying blood, his nose dripping slightly, the red fluid dribbling down his chin. Behind him lay the guard, his uniform gone, his body limp. When Bill gazed around the room it became obvious that the prisoner was no longer around. He moved over to the phone and picked it up.

“Get me Colonel Tigh,” he yelled, peering around the room. “Sound the alarms, we have an escaped prisoner. You know what he looks like, get the description around. I want him found!”

High above him an alarm started to ring, the red lights flashed above, lighting the room every few minutes. Bill bent down, his heart beating angrily in his chest and picked up Jones from the floor, pushing him against one of the solid bulkheads.

Jones, who had been unconscious opened his eyes groggily before coughing and yelping in pain, trying to lift his hands to his nose. “Oh, sir, the prisoner…argh…he escaped. Got the both of us.”

Bill narrowed his eyes and pushed him hard against the bulkhead again. “I find that very hard to believe,” he growled. “You’re under arrest.” He turned to the marines. “Put him in the brig and get the medics down here to see to him,” he said pointing to the half naked and unconscious guard on the floor.

----------

The alarm started blaring and the lights started flashing, shocking Laura as she walked down an empty corridor. “What does that mean?” she said worriedly, slowing herself down and looking up to the ceiling.

Starbuck reached for her gun and took hold of the President’s arm. “We have an escaped prisoner. We need to get you to the Admiral’s quarters right away.”

“Geoffrey,” Laura mumbled, walking quickly as she felt Starbuck push her from behind. Bill had gotten to the brig, had there been a conflict? Had he been hurt? Laura’s heart started racing and she could feel her face flush with the thought of Bill getting hurt.

----------

Geoffrey paused, the whole corridor coming alive with bright red lights and a deep ringing noise. It didn’t sound good. He pulled the gun close to his chest and carried on walking, hoping to find his destination soon. Deep down he knew that he had to get to the Admiral’s quarters, his instincts telling him that would be where the President would eventually be.

After a few more moments of walking he came to a long corridor, a hatch situated on the right side, guards waiting outside. Geoffrey gulped, racking his mind, trying to figure out how to get them out of the way. It was horrible when he had to go on a hunch, you never knew how it was going to play out.

“We have a situation,” Geoffrey yelled, keeping most of his face covered as he ran. “A prisoner has escaped, we need to you to go and check down here. The Admiral wants all of the vents and unused rooms checked.”

The marines looked at each other, and then to the flashing lights. They nodded their heads, gazing at him briefly before setting off on a jog.

Geoffrey smiled, satisfied with his lie. He pulled open the hatch, looked down the corridor and then entered, turning the lights off hiding away until she arrived.

-----------

Tigh looked up at the dradis, watching as a raptor moved away from the Galactica, it’s transponder flashing awkwardly before disappearing off of the radar. He growled angrily, knowing that the Admiral was not going to be pleased. The prisoner must have been on that ship, that raptor being the one due to make the run out for the ambrosia later that evening.

“Frak,” he yelled, slamming his hand down on the dradis console. “Get me the Chief!”

----

Laura and Starbuck came tumbling down the corridor, walking speedily towards Bill’s quarters. Starbuck was not happy, she didn’t like the whole situation, her instincts telling her that something was going to happen. She tightened her grip on her gun, watching all around her as the alarm carried on ringing.

“Once we get inside I’m going to lock the door. We’re not moving until I hear from the Admiral.”

“That’s fine,” Laura spluttered, trying to catch her breath, the muscles in her legs protesting with every step she made in her heels.

Starbuck grabbed hold of the hatch and swung it open, walking inside. The lights were off, that wasn’t a good sign. “Step back,” she whispered to Laura, sensing something really was not right.

A strong arm grabbed hold of Starbuck, knocking the gun out of her hand and sending her to the floor. The hatch came to a close behind them, the sound of it locking as both of them peered around at the darkness.

Laura panicked and tried to run out of the way, but failed, only colliding with the body of Starbuck who was trying to get up off of the floor. Both of them cursed, trying to untangle themselves from the heap on the floor.

The lights came on, making both of them recoil before peering up at their attacker.

“Geoffrey,” Laura whispered, looking up at the monstrous man.

“I’ve been thinking, and I’m not sure where I stand at this moment. But…I’m here to choose my side,” he said calmly, holding the gun tightly against his chest.
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December 2009

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