Occupation, Parts 2-3
Occupation, Part II
They'd suffered their first casualty that morning. Bodie and Ten-Point had nearly been killed as well, trying to get to the boy's side and help him to safety. In the end, they'd been forced to leave the body and retreat.
His name had been Glen Nepheilm, and he was barely twenty, having celebrated two decades less than a week before the Cylon attack. In a way, Faith was a bit envious, he'd been the only one of his family to survive and now he was reunited with them. They weren't all that different, her family was all dead as well, she'd been all that remained of hers for five years.
It was her occupation that had saved her life, ironic given the risks that viper pilots took on a daily basis. Her grandfather had organized a family reunion aboard the luxury class ship Cosma, and she'd been on her way to join them when she'd been delayed to wait for her viper to be repaired from a training mishap. If she'd been on time, she'd have died with the rest of them.
Through a series of inquiries, it had been deduced that a group of terrorists had snuck a nuclear warhead on-board, intending to hold the ship hostage until certain demands were met. Only something went wrong with the device, and it had blown up just after the initial demands were made. Half the ship was blown apart by the force of the blast, and anyone who'd survived the fire was sucked out into the vacuum of space. The Lehane family had been among the ones that died cold.
Following the tragedy, she threw herself headlong into her job and within two years she was second only to the CAG as far as the pilots serving on Triton. If she'd made it though another year, the position of CAG would have been hers as Major Valchek was planning to retire and take a job at the Academy on Picon.
But Valchek was dead now, along with everyone else that had been aboard the Triton, she reminded herself as a tear rolld down the side of her face. Colonel Brand, her commanding officer; Eric 'Balrog' Bellinger and Crystal 'Shards' Kelso, her best friends and fellow pilots; her sometimes lover Erica McHale, who was also communication officer on the Triton. They were all gone now, killed mercilessly by the Cylons. She wished more than anything that she'd just died with them, maybe even in her viper.
Instead, her viper was a burned out pile of scrap on the other side of the mountains and she was stuck playing commander for the remnants of humanity. She didn't have the option of killing herself, to join her lost family and friends, not with so many people counting on her to lead them through the hard times that lay ahead of them.
Shaking her head to clear it, she looks up at the night sky above her and pulls out one of the packs of cigarettes that had been in the half full carton she'd discovered in the back of the closet in what had been the vice-principal's office. She takes one out and presses it between her lips, then lights the tip with the mini-blowtorch attached to her keyring.
“Lieutenant?” Faith's gaze falls and she turns to face Cavil as he comes up from behind, coming from the resistance camp.
“What do you need Brother?” She asks, turning away again to gaze skyward.
“Thought you might need to talk, I saw the look on your face when you stormed out of the camp.” The priest tells her, and she shakes her head in disbelief.
“What, like a confession?” She scoffs, turning her eyes back to Cavil as she turns to face him fully. “No offence Brother, but anything I might have believed in died the day that my second family did. Honestly, I don't see how anyone can believe anymore.”
“God works in mysterious ways, there is a reason why we survived. You, Me, Anders, Barolay, the rest of them.”
“Spare me, at best it's luck. Bad luck, admittedly, instead of dying quick with everyone else we're the ones who get to remember and fade slow.” Faith snarls. “I'm a fraking pilot, I'm not meant to die on the ground. I should have died in the air on day one, I'm not good at anything else, and I don't think I can do this. I am not a leader.”
“Power is best in the hands of those who don't seek it.” She rolls her eyes at the quote, and takes a deep drag off the cigarette.
“Look, just leave me be okay?” Faith requests, meeting the priest's eyes with her own. “I'm not giving up on my promise to these people, I just need some time to think. I'll come back up to the camp in a hour or so.”
“Very well.” Cavil nods respectively and turns to return the way that he'd come from. Faith watches him go with a depressed look on her face, before she turns it skyward once again. She keeps her eyes locked in the same spot as she finishes off the rest of her cigarette.
It had been about a week since the ambush and Faith was overseeing the offloading of the supplies they'd recovered from the military depot about forty clicks to the north. She turns as Anders' truck pulls to a stop a few yards from where she's standing and as he and the other C-bucs disembark, along with two people she didn't recognize.
She tenses slightly, but relaxes as she picks up on the conversation that Anders is having with the small blonde woman.
“Nah, just us. The rest are hikers, survivalists mostly, couple former police and a former Triton viper pilot.” She hears Sam explaining to the woman.
“You have a Colonial Officer here?!” Faith winces at the shrill tone that the blonde uses in her reply.
“That'd be me.” Faith finds herself saying before she can stop herself, and gives a wary nod as she quickly becomes the center of attention of both the blonde and her companion, who with a closer look now seem somewhat familiar to her.
“Faith Lehane?” Faith's mouth drops open at the recognition from the blonde's companion. Her hand grips the handle of her gun but she doesnt unholster it. She takes a long look at the man, and then she finally recognizing the man as Karl Agathon.
“Karl?” She inquires, wanting to be sure, and gives a small smile as he nods.
“Okay, I'm lost.” The blonde remarks, her gaze shifting between Anders, Karl and Faith.
“We started out in the same basic flight class.” Karl explains to his friend. “Kara Thrace, meet Faith Lehane.”
“Pleasure.” Faith gives a respectful nod to Starbuck, the blonde's reputation as a pilot having spread amongst the fleet over the past few years.
“So how'd you survive the attack? Is your viper still flight-capable?” Kara more-or-less demands, and Faith throws her a wistful look.
“I was on leave, and staying at a retreat on the other side of the mountains. My viper got destroyed before I could get to it, ended up having to dive off a cliff to keep from being shot to death.” Faith replies, her voice a bit forced.
“What a coincidence, lucky you.” Kara can barely hold in scorn.
“Frak you.” Faith snarls, not visibly agitated. “If you want to say something here, say it.”
Faith's eyes flicker away from Kara to take a quick glance between Karl and Anders, and she sees Bodie and Barolay watching from just outside the entrance to the school. The blonde doesn't speak, but she doesn't have to. Faith knows what the question is.
“Anders, we've shot up how many of the skinjobs?” Nightshade questions, her voice strained.
Anders is silent for a couple seconds before he replies. “I don't know... three-fifty, four hundred maybe?”
“Anyone seen a toaster that looked like me?” She questions loudly, garnering looks from more than a few of the people around them. No one answers the question and there are more than a few angry looks directed at Kara.
“Faith, she's not accusing you of being a Cylon, we're just on edge cause someone we knew and trusted was recently revealed to be one of them herself.” Karl spends the next couple minutes explaining about Boomer.
“I'm sorry that you were decieved by a skinjob, that sucks, but I am not one of them.” Faith says to Karl and Kara, mostly to the latter who is clearly the one who needs convincing. She is silent for a moment as she glares at Kara, then turns to Anders. “Get them settled, I'll be in the mess if you need me.”
She turns away from the three and makes her way over to the entrance into the school, passing Bodie and Barolay as she goes, and gives both a nod as she passes and disappears inside the building.
Barolay watches Faith disappear inside and turns to give Kara an angry look but the blonde has already turned away and is speaking with Anders. The redhead shakes her head in disgust, and follows Faith inside, Bodie trailing after a moment later.
She'd had misgivings on the plan from the start, but had caved into the idea that Kara might fly the heavy raider back to wherever this fleet of hers was and come back with a rescue party. They couldn't keep fighting forever, and she was well aware of that when she'd agreed to go along with it.
As she ran through the woods, taking care not to knock into any of the others fleeing the transports that were under fire, they would lose enough without any accidental assists. She lets out a gasp as a bullet impacts into a tree, just a few inches from her head and throws herself down behind a large rock jutting up out of the ground for cover.
She'd seen Kara get hit amidst all the chaos, and was too far from her at that point that playing hero would only end with both of them dead or captured. Knox, Devlin and Melanie had all fallen as well, she'd seen as much with a look back mid-flight.
Her gun is up and aimed at Karl in one fluid motion as he drops down next to her, his own gun up and ready. She lets her aim drop and gives him a curt nod.
“Thrace got hit, few of my people as well.” She informs the Galactica pilot, who gives a grave nod in response. She holds his gaze for a long moment and then turns and peeks around the edge of the rock.
“They're leaving.” She says incredulously, ducking her head back behind the safety of the rock.
Helo gives a shrug in response. “Could be a trick.”
“Probably, but why bother? It'd be much easier for them to just chase us down.” She chances another look around the side of the rock, and watches as one of the Centurions crouches down to pick up a body that had fallen trying to flee.
“Frak.” She curses as she recognizes the fallen woman as Sue-Shaun. “Anders is gonna be pissed.”
It took a couple of hours to regroup the resistance members who hadn't been shot during the flight through the woods, and they were currently making their way back to where the transports had been left. In total eight men were dead, and both Sue-Shaun and Melanie were among the four missing women that had fallen behind or gotten shot.
She came to a stop next to the trunk of the lead transport and reached up with her right hand to wipe the sweat off her face, listening to Karl and Anders argue as they came up to the transports.
A sudden crackling in the leaves draws her attention at the same time as Anders and Karl hear it, and all three of them aim their guns in the direction the sound originated from.
“I know where Starbuck is.” A female voice calls out, and then the speaker steps out from behind a thick tree, hands held up to show both surrender and the fact that she wasn't armed.
“Sharon?” Faith turns to face Karl as he speaks.
“You know her?” She hears Anders ask, and Karl gives a nod.
“She's with us.” Faith doesn't much like the tone Karl utilized, as it belays the barest hint of doubt.
“What about the others? Sue-Shaun, Melanie, Lita?” the former Triton officer questions. “They took their bodies, why?”
A grave expression comes over Sharon's face as her eyes flicker to where Faith is standing, and she takes a moment before she speaks.
“You're really not going to like the answer to that.”
It had taken three days to get everyone properly prepped for the assault on what Sharon had called a 'farm', located in an old mental institution. Faith chuckled as she thought about the irony of it all. Three months on the run, utter chaos and they were preparing to storm the literal madhouse. Twenty would be going on the assault, among them herself, Karl, Anders, James, Bodie, and the C-Bucs.
Both Barolay and Anna had made cases to be included, but Faith had refused to risk them being captured and made to be a human incubator for whatever monstrosity that the cylons were impregnating the captured women with. In the end, Anders and Ava had helped to talk sense into the pair.
“Just come back.” had been Barolay's parting words to Faith, and she'd not been able to focus completely for the majority of the ride to the dead-end drive about a click and a half from where the farm was located. They'd parked the vehicles and armed up before beginning the trek through the woods.
Faith, Sam and Karl had led the way to the edge of the clearing that surrounded the building that Sharon told them Kara and the others were being held at. Faith held up an arm as the group came to a stop at the tree-line, and she turned to Karl.
“Your friend is cutting it awfully close.” She tells the Raptor ECO, who gives her a hard look in response.
“She'll be here, don't worry about it.”
“Hope so.” She replies and then turns to address the rest of the assault and rescue team. “Okay people, twenty seconds and we move.”
She began to count down in her head, keeping half an eye on her watch. With about seven seconds to go, her attention is drawn to James as he speaks.
“Someone just ran out!” He calls over, and Faith curses.
“Okay, now!” She doesn't bother with the last couple seconds before leading the charge into the clearing, firing her automatic rifle at the black man in a suit that has blocked Kara from escape. To her left, Rally has come to a stop and also fired into the suit, who crashes to the ground dead and bleeding from a number of holes in his chest.
“Good shooting.” She compliments the former Pyramid player with a small grin, and recieves a nod back.
She turns as Karl and Anders rush past her, yelling at Kara to hurry and get as far as she could from the building and she saw the blonde comply as best she could, dragging herself across the field and clearly suffering from a wound at her midsection that Faith surmised was only partially healed at best.
She let out an angry roar as several of the hulking Centurions came lumbering out from the sides of the building and began to fire in the direction that Kara was fleeing towards them.
“Get down!” She hears someone scream at the blonde, who throws herself into the dirt as fire opens up on both sides.
The bullets coming from the guns of the resistance serve to do little more than slow the advance of the killer robots, and for a couple minutes it seems they've found themselves in a stand-off with Kara tied down in the middle of the battlezone.
Relief comes for the Resistance as a relatively small gunship clears the trees and opens fire upon the metal assassins, destroying all four in a few short moments. She kept her rifle up and aimed as Karl and Sam sprint across the distance that seperates them from the blonde.
Thankfully there's not much need for her to fire as Karl and Sam reach Kara with little trouble, and haul the woman to her feet before all three begin to stagger back towards where the main group is gathered.
Faith falls into step about the middle of the group, Bodie and Rally on either side as they hurry to the rendevous with the gunship that Karl's cylon friend was flying. They found her and the ship just over the hill to the east, and had all boarded quickly with Sharon yelling for them to pick up the pace.
Faith watched as the doors pulled up and shut once everyone was on board, and pressed her open hand against the wall to brace herself as the ship lifts off and almost bucks her off her feet. Pulling herself upright, her eyes scan the hold and catch Kara's. This time, the blonde gives her a nod with sincere respect behind it, and Faith finds she has no reason to not return the gesture and gives a nod back.
She watches for a couple more moments as Kara turns away and begins to flirt with Anders. She wasn't all that surprised, and definitely wasn't bothered by it. She'd come to a realization of her own as she'd been firing at the suit earlier and intended to act on something she should have caught onto weeks ago.
Sharon had touched the gunship down a few yards from where they'd parked the transport vehicles, and the group quickly disembarked the ship. Faith had claimed the passenger seat of the front car with Bodie driving, and the ride back was uneventful. She'd instructed Sam to take care of the doc as soon as they reached their base, having identified Kara's stalker as a copy of the man who'd lived with them for months. In the C-Buc's case it was even longer, and she'd let them sort it out.
The car had barely come to a stop as Faith jumped out and dashed off into the high school almost before anyone else had time to even get out. She found Barolay in the 'quarters' that she shared, or rather had shared with Sue-Shaun, thankfully the redhead was alone. She didn't want an audience.
Faith held up a finger to silence Jean as she opened her mouth to speak, and the redhead complied, waiting as Faith closed the door and locked it.
She turns back to face Barolay when she's made sure that no one could interrupt them, and with little thought, finds herself striding across the distance between the two women. Faith stops a couple feet in front of the shorter woman, and slowly reaches up with her right hand stopping when the side of Barolay's face is cradled in her palm. A small smile forms on her face as she feels Jean lean into the embrace, and with hunger in her eyes she pulls Barolay's face toward her to capture the lithe woman's lips with her own.
Barolay reciprocates eagerly, and within a couple moments, their tongues are locked into a vicious duel as each vies for dominance. Faith wins evenutally.
Several minutes pass as the two women explore eachother, and finally they break apart, each looking flushed.
“Wow.” Faith hears Barolay whisper almost inaudibly. “I've been waiting a while for that.”
Faith stares at Barolay for a few moments and then bursts into laughter, waving off the look of indignation on the redhead's face by capturing her lips again.
“How long do you think it will take you to catch up with your fleet?” Faith asked Kara as the two women stood in front of the Cylon raider that the blonde was going to fly off the planet with Karl and Sharon.
Kara gave a small shrug in response, casting a glance over at the brunette pilot.
“Well provided they haven't left Kobol, maybe a day.” The blonde replies, as she pulls out a cigar tin, offering one out to Faith, who takes it with a nod of thanks. “We do have room for one more and there is a shortage on experienced pilots in the fleet.”
Faith shakes her head. “No, until you can get us all out of this hellhole, then my place is here.”
Kara gives her a nod of understanding, having known what her answer was going to be before she'd even asked the question.
“Since you offered though, we should send a representative to help validate the need for a rescue op.” Faith added a moment later, a smile creeping onto her face.
When Kara took off with the Raider later that night, Anna Frost went with her. It would be the last time more than half of what remained of the Resistance would ever see the nineteen year old again.
~Day One Hundred~
“They aren't coming back, are they?” Faith looked over as one of the children in the camp came over to where she was sitting on a metal crate overlooking the small campfire. It took Faith a couple seconds to remember that the sandy-haired twelve year old's name was Derek. He'd been among the seventy that Bodie and Anna had found on the ninth day, and sad to say at that point he hadn't been an orphan. His father, Tomas had been killed about four weeks earlier, in the ambush the cylons had sprung on them. He'd been living with James and Ava since.
“I honestly don't know Derek, but I know that Anna is doing her best to get us help, not to mention Kara, Karl and Sharon. Don't give up hope buddy, okay?” She gives the kid a smile as he nods hesitantly.
“Uhm, Brother Cavil was looking for you back at the camp, he said since we'd made it a hundred days that it would raise morale... whatever that means, if we did something to mark the day.” Derek tells her.
“Of course he would.” Faith shakes her head, but rises from the crate and motions for the pre-teen to lead the way back into camp.
She sends Derek off to find his adopted parents when they reach the center and watches him go for a moment before heading off to the other end of the building where Cavil's quarters were located, rather than going through the building to get there.
She finds the aging priest standing outside the side door, having a talk with Anders. She stops in the middle of the road and waits until it seems their conversation is over and Sam starts toward her. She meets him midway, stopping again when they're a few feet from one another.
“Ten-Point and Crip-key found another farm.” Sam intones, his voice low.
“Where?” Faith asks him, casting a glance at Cavil before settling on Sam.
“Other side of Delphi, it's maybe ten clicks from here. If we can get in the sewers under the building it's in and plant explosives in the right places, we can remote detonate and be halfway back here before the toasters even know what happened.” Anders pitches his idea, and Faith gives him a slow nod after a moment of consideration.
“How many do you want on this op, and who?” She questions, and Sam is silent for a moment before answering.
“Me, You, Rally, Jo-Man, Jean and Bodie in the sewers planting the explosives, and Foley and the rest of the remaining C-Bucs providing cover fire if needed during our retreat.” Anders lines out his plan. “We move in quick, get the job done, in and out in twenty minutes tops.”
“Alright.” Faith agrees. “We'll move in tommorrow night, use the shadows to our advantage. Anything else you needed?”
Anders shakes his head in the negative, and Faith turns to leave but stops for a moment to look back at her fellow Resistance leader.
“Kara's coming back Sam. She gave her word, we just gotta believe it counts for something.” Faith says, wishing her tone had more confidence than she honestly felt about their chance of rescue.
She catches his nod before turning and making her way over to where Cavil is standing, obviously still waiting to speak with her.
“Derek said you were looking to talk to me about something?” She inquires as she steps up to the priest and stops a couple feet from him.
“I was thinking as we've made it a hundred days, we should commemorate the occasion with perhaps a celebration, it would boost-” The priest starts but Faaith interrupts him.
“No.” She says shortly, not leaving much room for a rebuttal. “I appreciate the sentiments, but a celebration of any sort is the last thing we need right now. It would instill a certain laxness, maybe even leading to complacency among us and we all need to be on guard and alert. When we get to Galactica we can celebrate our survival, no sooner than that.”
Cavil gives her a nod of consent, although looking slightly unhappy with her decision. If he had any serious problems with it, he kept it to himself. She bade him good night after a moment or two more and pushed her way through the entrance to the high school, heading right to the quarters that she now shared with Jean. The redhead had been all-too-happy to accept her invitation to move in with her, the memory of Sue-Shaun hanging heavy over her former quarters.
As she entered the room to find her lover already asleep in the bed they shared, she found that while the worlds had gone to hell and there was little chance that she'd ever have cause to celebrate again, she had a small shred of happiness from being with Jean. With things how they were, she intended to hold on to that feeling for as long as the Lords of Kobol would allow it. Some days, it was the only thing that kept her going.”
~Day One Hundred and Forty-Four~
“How much longer?” Faith hissed as she dropped down into a crouch next to Sam as he worked to rig up the explosives to the cement support pillar in the parking garage.
“Just about done, just gonna need one of your cigarettes, lit preferably.” her fellow resistance leader replies with a smirk. Faith takes a final drag off the half smoked cigarette and then hands it over to Sam, who cinches a clothespin over the slightly wet end.
“Done, let's get the frak out of here.” Anders announces and Faith gives an eager nod, the sooner they got out of the complex the better.
She starts to move towards the exit, but stops short as a metallic thump echoes lightly through the garage.
“Did you hear that?” She whispers urgently as her eyes snap to Sam, and he gives a curt nod. Another follows the first and her eyes widen in realization “Go, behind the car. They're coming.”
Anders nods again and they both duck behind the car that Nightshade had motioned towards. They keep crouched down out of sight as the metallic thumps continue, getting closer with each passing second.
“If we don't get out of here before that cigarette falls loose, we're both frakked.” Sam intones lowly, and Faith gives him a brief look before shifting to peek through the car to watch as the Centurion lumbers through the lot, heading right for the explosives. “Frak.” She hears Sam mutter.
“Fire on three.” She whispers and counts down on her hand.
At the cue, both of them pop up from behind the car and open fire on the Centurion, knocking it off it's feet before their clips run dry.
Faith has the magazine ejected and is in the process of loading another when the bomb goes up and her vision goes dark.
She wakes up with a loud ringing in both ears and winces as she blinks open her eyes. Her vision is hazy and wheen she lifts a shaky hand to her forehead, she can see the red on her fingers despite the fuzziness.
“The woman is awake.” She hears a female voice announce from somewhere in the area, and her gaze moves around as she tries to pick out the speaker amidst the shapes and shadows of the rubble all around.
“Faith.” She felt a warm hand grab her bicep, and turns to face Sam, having spent enough time with him to recognise his voice out of a group of people.
“W-what happened?” She asks, still a bit disoriented.
“You got caught up in the blast of your own bomb, stupid human.” The same female voice remarks, her tone clearly mocking.
Faith hands shakily reach for her gun, but she finds it missing. “Frak.” She curses under her breath, but is relieved as her vision finally begins to clear.
“Ha!” the voice says again, and this time when Faith turns to look at the other woman, a snarl comes over her face as she recognises the face of the woman who'd both had her metal minions shoot her, and had tried to infiltrate their group. If they all went by the same moniker, this one's name was D'Anna. The worst thing was that the blonde held both hers and Sam's guns. “See what I mean? Humans will always resort to violence first.”
It's then that Faith catches sight of Sharon and the other blonde Cylon sitting behind and across from D'Anna.
“Why are we still alive?” She asks as she drags herself closer to where Sam is slumped against the car.
“You can thank these two for that. I'd have just put a bullet in each of your heads and've been done with it.” D'Anna says and then Faith's gaze shoots upward as the structure rumbles and dust falls from cracks in the ceiling. “You hear that? They're coming for us, and for you. They're gonna be very interested in you too.”
Both Faith and Sam's gazes falls to D'Anna as she speaks, and looking down further she sees one of the guns in the dirt between where she and Sam are laid out, and D'Anna herself, although much closer to the latter.
“Leave them alone.” Faith's eyes snap to the copy of Sharon, taken aback by the tone in the Cylon's voice. To Faith, it sounded like the dark haired toaster had quite a bit of self-loathing in her.
“Sharon.” Faith's eyes flicker back to D'Anna as the blonde speaks again, this time addressing her fellow rather than either of the resistance leaders. “You're a hero of the cylon... Now you're just a broken machine who thinks she's human.”
“She seems more human than you bitch.” Faith sneers, not ever one to play meek, even as a prisoner.
D'Anna fixed her with a icy look before moving over to crouch in front of Sharon, who looked up to meet the blonde's eyes with a look of scorn.
“But you're not human Sharon, and you never will be.”
“At least I'm not a murderer.” Boomer shot back, her eyes blazing. Faith looked on with interest at the clear unrest among the Cylon ranks, even if it ended with the two Sharons she'd met in the last six months. “I have a conscience. And I know the difference between right and wrong.”
“A murderer.. is exactly what you are.” D'Anna retorts and Boomer falls silent for a moment before rising to her feet and walking away from the blonde.
Another rumbling boom shakes the garage and Faith gives a worried glance upward.
“They're nearly here.” She hears D'Anna inform with a slight laugh. Fraking toaster was probably fantasizing all the different way she could torture Sam and Faith herself for whatever information she thought she'd be able to force out of them. Faith eyes fall to the gun on the floor with a wistful look, if she could only get closer she could grab it and end her life before the cylons got hold of her.
Her opportunity comes as the other blonde cylon speaks up, drawing the attention of everyone else in the collapsed garage.
“We're dangerous.” she said abruptly, staring right at D'Anna, who looks perplexed at the other blonde's proclamation.
“What?” the Three inquires, her tone belaying confusion, but Faith can tell it's forced. D'Anna knows exactly what the other blonde is talking about, even with as little as she's said.
“Sharon and I.” The second blonde continues, her voice a bit shaky at first, but it strengthens as she plows on. “We're celebrities in a culture based on unity.”
“No.” D'Anna disagrees, but the six turns away to face Sharon.
“Our voices count. More than hers, and more than others.” the six tells Boomer before turning back to D'Anna to throw the three's words to Sharon back in her face. “We're two heroes of the cylons, right? Two heroes with two different perspectives on the war. Perspectives based on our love of two human beings.”
D'Anna rises to her full hit and walks closer to where the six is sitting, and Faith seizes the opportunity to begin a slow crawl across the floor to where the gun lays.
“That's why she wanted me to work with you, so that you'd tell me that Gaius was still alive.” The six continues and Faith kinda wished she could see the look on D'Anna's face as the six turned her eyes back to Boomer. “And she wanted me to lose my mind.”
Both the six and Boomer turn almost as one to face D'Anna, and Faith edges closer to the gun with the assurance that the three is sufficiently distracted.
“No. You've been corrupted by your experiences.” The three tries to continue her lies. “You're a waste.”
“Genocide, murder, vengeance. They're all sins in the eyes of God.” The six says, her voice once again a bit shaky, but Faith supposes it's more due to the woman's untreated and dirtied wounds than a sudden lack of the passion her words had held only a few moments before. The six's gaze shifts from D'Anna to Boomer. “That's what you and I know. What they don't want to hear.”
Boomer eyes the six for a brief moment and then her gaze falls to Faith for a moment, and the two lock eyes for half a second before the cylon's eyes continue up to D'Anna.
“Because then they'd have to rethink what they're doing.” Boomer voices her own realizations, and her voice rises with each word as the six's had earlier. “They'd have to consider that maybe the slaughter of mankind was a mistake!”
Faith grabs the gun and starts to rise but is hit with a piece of rock that comes free from the ceiling, knocking her forward with the impact of it against the back of her head. She trips a bit as she falls and the gun skitters across the floor.
“Frak!” She yells as she hits the floor and the disorientation she'd felt upon waking up before returns. She raises her head to see Sam make a move for the gun, grabbing it up and managing to get a couple shots off before he's tackled by the Sharon and the gun goes flying again.
D'Anna gets ahold of it, and her aim flickers between Faith and Sam, as if she can't decide who to kill first. Faith shakily rises up into a crouch with the palms of her hands pressed into the dirt, and she hears D'Anna speak again as the gun comes around to aim at her head.
“God loves me.” Faith closes her eyes as the barrel of the gun levels with her forehead and waits for death to come.
Instead she hears a thunk and a thud, and opens her eyes to find the six standing over the fallen D'Anna with a large rock held over head, and then hefts it off to her side.
She watches Boomer grab the gun from the now dead copy of D'Anna and then feels Sam's hands on her shoulder as he helps her to her feet. She leans shakily against him with the sudden motion.
“I think I'm a bit concussed.” Faith complained, praying that the multiple blows to the head that she'd received in the past couple hours didn't leave permanent damage.
Another rumble echoes overhead and this time they all cast worried glances upward.
“Looks like they're almost here.” Boomer remarks, her voice tense.
Faith and Sam watch the six give a short nod before speaking as well. “You two should get out of here while you still can. The fresh air coming in might lead you out.”
Both the resistance leaders share a wary look between them before Sam speaks for both of them. “Is this some kind of trick?”
“You can stay and be tortured if you like.” Faith blanches as the blonde names the alternative. “Your call.”
“No thanks, I'm good. Damn sure ain't gonna end up at one of those farms of yours.” Nightshade starts to move in the direction that the draft is coming from, turning after a few feet to see Boomer hand Kara's tags back to Sam, who swings his arm out after a moment to grab them.
Faith turns away again as Sam moves to follow her, and as she looks around a broken slab of concrete she can see sunlight through a hole in the bottom of the wall.
“Wait!” Sharon calls out as Sam joins her at the hole, and tosses the guns that each had lost to them.
Faith throws a piercing look at Sharon for a long moment before giving a short nod to belay her gratitude. The former pilot finally turns away and as Sam motions for her to go through first, she complies and falls to her knees before pushing her body through the opening.
A few moments later, she drops out onto the grass outside and quickly rises to her feet. Her gun comes out and up as she scans the area, providing cover until Sam joins her outside. The pair of them don't stop running the entire click and a half back to the truck.
~Day One Hundred and Seventy-One~
“INCOMING!” Faith's head snapped in the direction of Rally's scream, and has time to widen her eyes before an explosion takes out the guard tower that they'd erected atop the school about two weeks following Kara, Karl, Sharon and Anna's departure to catch up with the fleet.
She barely keeps from being blown off her feet, still getting knocked back a few feet. She catches herself and halts her backward movement, just in time for Rally's smoldering remains to hit the ground to her left.
“Frak! Everybody into the forest!” She screams, gesturing wildly towards the woods that bordered their camp, knowing it would be hardest for the Cylons to follow with the rocky landscape and the hills past that.
She watches as dozens of people surge from various locations in the camp, and converge on the woods in a sprint. She moves to run herself, but a groan from a few yards off grabs her attention and she turns to see Jo-Man laying on the ground, bleeding from a wound that was caused by a piece of shrapnel, which is still sticking out of his upper chest, half embedded in his shoulder.
Making a split decision, she changes her course and hurries over to where Jo-Man is laying, quickly helping to drag the injured man to his feet, despite his protests to leave him.
“Frak that Jo, I sure as hell don't want to explain to Sam that two of his friends died today.” Faith shook her head, and began to drag Jo-Man with her.
He resists for only a moment more and then throws his weight into his movements, allowing them to half-run to the woods. They make it to about ten feet from the treeline when a shot rings out and Jo-Man pitches facefirst onto the ground.
In less than four seconds, Faith has whirled around and whipped out her pistol, emptying half a clip into the copy of the Doc that was standing about twenty-five yards away. A glance from the fallen cylon to Jo tells her that both are dead. She reaches out with her right hand and closes Jo's eyes before rising back to her feet.
Not having the time to mourn the dead, she turns and runs after the others, quickly disappearing into the foliage.
She catches up with the survivors of the attack on the camp about three clicks away, and a tear springs to her eyes as she counts only twenty-nine of the sixty-one who'd been alive at the camp that morning. Crip-Key was missing, though no one had seen him get hit, and Bodie was being carried between James and Ava, having caught a bullet in the guts from one of the Centurions while he'd fled through the woods.
They had only stopped moving for a couple minutes, and resumed their trek through the woods, changing direction to head south, intending to take advantage of Kara's advice to Sam from what seemed like a lifetime ago. It was late summer by now, and the climate of the mountains would be habitable even camping in tents, for at least two more months.
They had circled around the perimeter of the base, and were about halfway to the start of the mountain trail when Sam called out for everyone to take cover on the ground suddenly from where he was in the lead of the group.
Faith dropped low until she was half-crouched and crawling to the front, coming to a stop and laying out on her stomach next to where Sam and Jean are in the same position.
“What is it?” She questions, not having had a good view when Sam had called out, and not seeing anything ahead of them.
“Saw someone drop down behind one of those fallen trees up ahead.” Sam informs her, nodding his head in the direction of the mostly collapsed stone structure about sixty yards ahead, a number of fallen trees in between. Her gaze shifts through the surrounding area, trying to pick up on any movement amongst the foliage.
“Is there a Samuel T. Anders or a Faith Lehane there?” suddenly echoes out across the woods, and the two inquired about people share a look of shocked disbelief.
Jean rolls her eyes at the suddenly lacking-for-words Resistance leaders and decides to take matters into her own hands. “Is there a Kara Thrace over there?!” the redhead calls back across the expanse.
Sam gives Jean a brief glance, and then adds his own sentiments. “If there is, she took her damn sweet time getting here!”
“Too true.” Faith mutters as she thinks back on all the people who hadn't made it. She watches as a few dozen battle-ready soldiers rise up from behind one of the larger trees. She picks herself up as the others do the same around her and a few moments later she is walking side by side with Jean as Sam leads the group to meet Kara's in the middle.
As the two groups converge, Faith recognizes Karl and moves up to him, wrapping him in a firm hug.
“Good to see you again Helo.” She greets with a smile when she backs away a moment after. He gives her a smile and nod back, and she gives Sharon a polite nod as well, still not quite able to trust the confirmed cylon.
Turning away as she hears Jean's exclamation that the cylons were still chasing them, and they needed to keep moving, she can't help but agree. Her gaze catches Sam and Kara pulling apart and then all hell breaks loose.
“Incoming!” one of the soldiers that had come with the rescue party suddenly screams and a moment later a flash of bright light fills the rear left of the group as the mortar hits the ground and explodes, killing at least three of the converged group.
“Run!” She finds herself screaming, and then sees Sam pointing out the higher ground. She takes the sudden movement of the people around her as her cue to go, and grabs Jean's hand. The two women share a brief look and then take off running side by side.
They make it as far as the ruins of the silo, diving behind it for cover as the gunfire from the cylons for a few minutes longer, then they finally go silent. No one speaks for a long moment, and then Ava speaks up from where she's huddled next to James, both hugging the interior west wall.
“A-are they gone?”
It had been hours since the gunfire had stopped, yet they still hadn't moved from the stone ruins the cylons had them pinned down in. Faith could hear the birds chirping in the trees above, the cylons around them having been silent for quite some time.
She stifles a yawn with the sleeve of her jacket, and looks down to Barolay's slumbering form, half leaned against her shoulder. She smiles down at the redhead for a moment, then her gaze catches Helo's from where he's positioned a few feet away.
“You could get some sleep, you know.” Karl suggests, but she gives a decisive shake of her head.
“No. I'll sleep when we're off this rock.” the former Triton officer replies, shifting slightly so she could lift Barolay's head off her shoulder and lean her lover fully against the wall without waking her up. She rises into a half-crouch, and takes care to keep her gun aimed on the ground as she moves closer to where Karl is standing next to Sharon. “How's it looking?”
“It's been close to seventeen hours without so much as a gunshot from them.” Foley comments from his spot on the ground. Ava's head rests on his leg as she sleeps, and Bodie is laid out next to them. He'd survive his wound, but one of the marines had shot him up with morpha to dull the pain, and it had knocked him out.
Faith nods and turns back to face Karl again as a question suddenly popped into her head. “How's Anna?”
Karl gave her a small smile before replying. “She's good. Adama let her join Viper training a few weeks ago. I think it was to keep her off his ass, she'd been hounding him relentlessly about sending a rescue op back here. Guess between her and Kara, it worked out.”
Faith let out a low chuckle, and shakes her head slightly. “Good girl, that one. She's been a good soldier since day one for us.”
Their conversation is interrupted by Anders almost falling over in his slumber and waking with a snap. Faith watches as he checks his watch and looks up at where Kara is standing above him for a moment before turning to peek out one of the holes in the structure, his gun aimed into the foliage.
“Eighteen hours, they're taking the sweet time out there.” she hears him mutter.
“They're up to something.” Kara replies, and Faith lets out a hollow laugh, drawing the attention.
“Toasters are always up to something, but they've never waited this long to press an attack.” Nightshade points out.
“We'll get a recon team together, see if we can't figure out what's going on.” Kara decides.
Ten minutes later the all-clear signal comes from the marines, and Faith falls into step behind Kara and Karl as they lead the way over to where the recon team is standing. Anders, Barolay, Foley, Ava and Ten-Point spreading out behind them.
“They're gone.” Kara mutters in disbelief, and Faith, along with Sam and Helo turns to look at her. “They just left.”
Faith opens her mouth to voice her doubt, but Cavil decides to speak up from the rear of the group at that moment, and draws the attention of them all.
“Thank the gods!” The priest proclaims, raising his hands up in front of him. “It's a miracle. Let us pray.”
Faith watches as he pulls his hat off and closes his eyes, and his lips begin moving in silent verse. She lowers her head slightly out of respect, but keeps her eyes open as he begins to give a small sermon right in the middle of the woods.
It had taken less than two hours to get to the waiting Raptors, and Faith had ended up in one with Sam, Kara and Barolay. She'd fallen asleep maybe an hour into the flight and when the Raptors docked on Galactica, the slightly rocky landing jarred her awake.
She pulls herself up to her feet, pressing a hand against the roof to steady herself in the still moving Raptor. The others were already standing, having wanted to see the approach to the Battlestar. Kara had offered to wake Faith for it but she'd declined, having seen it enough times while she was serving on the Triton.
A few moments later, the Raptor comes to a halt and the pilot, who had introduced herself as Racetrack when they'd boarded back on Caprica, presses a button on her console to open the hatch door.
Kara is the first out, followed by Anders, and Barolay motions that she'd follow Faith, so the viper pilot steps down onto the wing and then climbs down onto the floor of the deck. The four of them walk almost in a line with Kara in the lead, all coming to a halt as the blonde stops to address a pair of uniformed officers.
“Am I good or what?” Starbuck asks with a smirk as she faces the shorter of the two men, and the other lets out a scoff.
“Gonna be no living with her now.” The bald officer remarks casually, and watches as Kara and the first officer embrace. Faith guesses that this must be Adama.
“It's good to see you. Welcome back.” 'Adama' tells Kara as they pull apart a couple moments later.
“Thank you sir. I brought some friends.”
Faith meets Adama's gaze unwaveringly as he turns from Kara to face where she, Sam and Barolay are standing a few feet away. “So I see.” is the Admiral's reply and Kara adopts an embarassed look for half a second.
“Right. This is Samuel T. Anders, Faith Lehane and Jean Barolay, they led the Caprica Resistance.” Kara introduces the trio.
Adama's gaze falls to Faith's tags hanging over her shirt, and then shoot back up to meet her eyes.
“Did you serve or did you steal those?” Faith can tell Adama is making an honest attempt to keep suspicion out of his tone, she doesn't take offence.
“They're mine sir, I was on leave from the Triton when the Cylons attacked.” Faith finds herself saluting the superior officer as she explains. “Lieutenant Faith Lehane, callsign Nightshade.”
“Can anyone vouch for you?” Adama inquires a little forcefully.
“Karl Agathon. We were in basic flight together.” Faith replies, and feels a bit of relief when Kara decides to back her up.
“She's legit sir, Helo will confirm.” Starbuck tells the commander of the fleet, and Adama nods after a moment, clearly having complete trust in the blonde. “Anyways, we have good news. The Cylon occupation is over. They left, they're gone.”
“What are you talking about?” Adama demands low, that only the people around him can hear.
“It's true.” Faith's gaze snaps up to look past Adama as Cavil steps out of one of the other Raptors, and begins to make his way down the wing to the floor. The eyes of the others fly to him as well. “The Cylons have left the colonies, they've moved on to greener pastures.”
“Security! Code Blue!!” A dark haired man in an orange deck officer's jumpsuit suddenly yells and runs forward to shove Cavil against the wing of the Raptor with a thud that resonates through-out the flight landing deck.
“Hey!” Faith hears Kara yell as she finds herself yelling “What the Frak?!”, and her mouth drops open in shock at the deck officer's next words.
“He's a Cylon!”
The deck goes completely silent as all eyes fall upon Cavil and the deckhand, and Adama speaks in an attempt to restore order. “It's okay Chief, we got it.”
Faith stands stock still as she watches the deck chief reluctantly release his hold on the priest, and Cavil rights himself and brushes at his jacket a couple times before looking around the crowd.
“Well, this is an awkward moment.” Cavil quips dryly, and turns to face the direction Adama is standing in. “Yes, he's right. I'm a cylon, and I have a message. So, take me to your leader.”
Faith suddenly feels dizzy and glances at Sam and Barolay, both of whom look as shocked as her. She barely hears anything being said around her now, her mind is a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions as she wonders how many of their people had died due to the man... no, machine that had infiltrated their ranks from day one. She felt physically sick.
She looked back as Cavil, and for some reason Sharon are led away to the brig by a squad of marines, and clears her head just in time to hear Kara speak.
“Welcome to Galactica.”
She'd gotten her hands on a tin of cigarettes from one of the marines, and her ass had taken up residence on a crate in one of the halls near the left portside launchtubes. It had been about an hour or two since Cavil had admitted to being a cylon and her thoughts had since turned to the same one, repeating as if on a loop. Why had he saved her life that first day?
It was plaguing her, and the cigarette did little to ease her nerves or tension. So wrapped up in her thoughts she doesn't notice the armed guards leading two Cavils through.
She stands up suddenly, and her eyes lock with the Cavil that had been on Caprica. For a brief moment, they hold a look of betrayal, which is quickly replaced with anger and she jerks her head away, choosing to stare at the wall rather than him.
“Lieutenant.” She turns away from the wall to face Adama, who'd been following the marines and prisoners.
“Sir.” She salutes, rising to her feet and snapping to attention.
“At ease, Lieutenant.” Adama says, and Faith lowers the salute, meeting his eyes with her own as she waits for him to speak. “I'm assuming after eight months you'll be wanting to get back in a cockpit?”
“Yes sir.” Faith says eagerly. “I'll go wherever you need me.”
“Come speak to me later.” Adama tells her before moving on to follow the guard escort down the adjoining hall. Faith steps up to the mouth of the corridor to watch him go, and sees Anders standing with Kara a bit down the hall, and the deck chief that had outed Cavil. There are several people that she'd not met before watching as well, and the Cavils seem to be studying each face that they pass.
Shrugging off any remorse for what they were about to do to the priest who'd tricked her and the others for months, she turns and starts off down the hallway that led back to the Hangar Deck.
Gaius Baltar had been elected to the office of the Presidency a few days later, and his first official act was to order Adama to set a course for the planet that had been dubbed 'New Caprica'. There'd not been Cylon contact of any kind since the Cavils had been airlocked, and it seemed that the war was finally over.
There was some speculation that the destruction of Cloud-9 and a couple of the smaller ships that had been unfortunate to have been to close to the explosion, had been the work of a new Cylon attack, but Baltar had pressed the issue of colonization, and as no further attacks occurred, it was eventually dismissed as accidental. Faith had her doubts, but kept them to herself.
Adama had put her into Galactica's pilot rotation as promised, and she'd been assigned to the scouting party that was going planetside. To her surprise, she'd been met by Anna Frost as she entered the CAG's briefing room, and quickly learned that the twenty year old was now going by the callsign Icicle.
Anna had offered to be Faith's wingman for the op, and due to their history, Adama had agreed despite the fact that Anna was barely out of the bastardized version of basic flight that was now utilized in the new pilots training. The young pilot hadn't disappointed either, only trouble she'd had was the landing on the sandy terrain.
Faith pulled herself out of the cockpit, and took a couple steps onto the wing before jumping down to land in a crouch on the ground. She remains in the position she landed in for a moment as she reached down and scooped up some of the sand with her right hand, letting it slowly cascade off to fall to the ground again.
She takes a sweeping glance around the surrounding area, seeing most of the other members of the scouting party doing much the same, and then her gaze moves skyward, catching sight of the ships high above.
ONE YEAR LATER
Faith's gaze was skyward as she stepped out of the tent-residence that she'd been sharing with Barolay for the past six months, and into the cold night air. Anna had been with them for a while, but the young pilot had moved in with Bodie shortly after he'd come down with some of the marines about two months back. Her gaze flickered around the busy street, and she glances back into the tent for a moment, seeing Barolay still sound asleep in the bed they share. Her gaze lingers on the redhead for a long moment before she turns and walks off down the street, heading for work.
She'd worked the rotation on Galactica for the first six months, even taking double shifts twice, then three times a week as more and more pilots turned in their resignations to settle planetside. When Anders had told her and Jean that he was going to settle with Kara on the planet, she'd been hesitant to accept the offer to go with them, but Barolay had been the one to convince her. She was glad at least that Adama didn't seem to be bothered by her resignation, though it was more likely that it had been overshadowed by Kara's decision to call it in.
With the cylons gone, there had been no reason for her to continue fighting and she felt a bit complacent with how slow life had become on a day to day basis. Despite the fact that her life had been in endless peril while she'd been stranded on Caprica with the rest of the resistance, she'd felt more alive then than she did now.
She stopped as a familiar voice reached her ears and she turned to see Kara dragging a reluctant Sam off of the Pyramid court that had been set up in the middle of the square, the other players throwing jeers at the married couple as they wandered off. A few moments afterwards the remaining players are joined by one of Tyrol's deck crew from Galactica. Seelix, if Faith remembered correctly.
She shrugged and moved on, finishing her walk to Laird's garage. The former Pegasus deck chief had been an automotive mechanic on Tauron before the cylons attacked and had decided to resume his previous occupation now that the danger had passed.
“Morning Evan.” She greets as she pushes through the front door, and smiles at her boss as he pops out from behind the counter, having been reading a book on the cot he'd set up in the far corner.
“Morn' Faith.” Laird greets back before clapping his hand to his mouth to hold back a yawn. “What time is it?”
“I dunno. Bout nine, nine-thirty maybe.” The raven haired woman guesses. “Wouldn't worry about having to get up early for a bit. Way I heard it last night, Tyrol's gonna be pushing for a strike.”
“Fine by me, I didn't start this up to service the needs of Gaius Baltar whenever his transport blows a tire or someone vandalizes it.”
Faith smirks as Laird's eyes fly to hers as he mentions the part about vandalism, and shrugs.
“To protect the identities of my co-conspirators, I know nothing.” Faith tells him with a slight chuckle behind her words.
“Meh. Your time is your own, just don't get caught. I don't want to look for a replacement anytime soon.” Laird shrugs himself, and picks up a piece of paper from the counter. “Feel up to making a pick up in the southern district?”
“Sure, I can swing by Gio's and pick up some breakfast on the way back, if yah want.” She offers as she takes the paper from Laird and turns to leave.
“Nah, just pick me up a coffee with cream and maybe a bagel if they got any with onion.”
“Kay, I'll be back in an hour or so.” She promises before making her way back out and getting into the driver's seat of the tow-truck parked on the side of the building. She sparks up the engine and pulls out onto the street, going slow in case any kids decided to be playing in the road.
She hadn't made it back before the first wave of Cylon Raiders had flown overhead, and she'd slammed on the brakes in the middle of the dirt road that surrounded the burgeoning city. She jumps out and stares up at the sky as a heavy Raider like the one that Kara had flown off Caprica well over a year ago, zips past awfully low to the ground, seemingly looking to land.
“Frak me.” She curses before jumping back into the truck and hauling ass back to the garage, any thought of getting a late breakfast forgotten.
She finds Laird standing outside the garage, a worried look on his face as he turns to face Faith.
“Tell me this is a bad dream Lehane.” He all but begs, and she frowns.
“Wish I could boss.” She says and then turns as the familiar metallic thump against the dirt begins to echo through the streets and both she and Laird turn to look as dozens of Centurions begin to march up the street, coming from a heavy raider that has docked in a square around the corner.
The two auto mechanics watch horrified as the seemingly endless line of robotic assassins marches past, not paying them much, if any, attention as they trudge on to head further into the colony.
Baltar had surrendered almost as soon as the skinjobs had set foot on Colonial One, and word had passed down through the colony that they were all to abide by any new laws that the Cylons deemed fit to issue. After all the spilled blood of the past twenty months, both on Caprica and in the fleet, had been for nothing it seemed.
The news only got worse as the day progressed. The fleet had abandoned them to the mercy of the Cylons. What few vipers and raptors were planetside had been confiscated along with the launch keys for the larger ships.
Worst of all for morale was the fact that Kara Thrace had disappeared within hours of the Cylon's arrival.
She hadn't been surprised when Saul Tigh had shown up at the tent she shared with Barolay late that night as the two women were attempting to drown themselves in a bottle of whiskey.
“Lehane, Barolay.” He'd greeted as he entered and took a seat at the wooden spool that they used as a dining table. “I assume you know what I came to talk about.”
Faith opens her mouth to answer but stops for a moment as Anders enters as well and their eyes meet. She waits until he pulls the flap shut again before speaking.
“I got a pretty good idea, yeah.” She answers, leaning back in her chair. “Anything you need, I'm willing. We didn't make it through the occupation to submit now.”
“Glad to hear it.” Tigh nods curtly, and turns to Faith's lover. “Barolay?”
“Yeah.” The redhead agrees, and the New Caprica Insurgency is born.
END OF OCCUPATION ARC