“Admiral?” Faith's voice was low as she stepped into Adama's quarters, pulling the door shut behind her as she turned to face further into the residence. “Sir?”
“In here, Lieutenant.” She hears Adama call from the adjoining room, and she quickly crosses the distance to the door that seperated the entry-room to what she found to be Adama's personal office, and she spots him sitting behind a desk. She quickly snaps to attention just past the threshold, and her right hand comes up to salute the commanding officer.
He looks up as she enters and motions with his right hand at one of the chairs opposite him. “At ease. Have a seat.”
Nightshade complies without question, coming up to the front of the desk before dropping onto the seat, pulling her arms up to rest in her lap, her stump covered by the palm of her remaining hand
“What can I do for you sir?” Faith asks, her eyes meeting the Admiral's.
“The past week since the exodus of New Caprica has been trying, to say the least.” Adama says, and Faith can hear a slight strain in the man's voice.
“Yes, sir.” She agrees with a curt nod.
“Certain... information of recent events have come to light over the past few days, and I am afraid that if such things continue as they have, that it will cause a rift in the fleet. This cannot be allowed.” Adama tells her, his voice tight. “I need to have officers that I can trust to not run off their own agendas, or that follow the agendas of others despite how much power or the reputation that they may hold. I trust you still understand the importance of the remnants of humankind to remain unified.”
Faith nods slowly, a fair idea of what the Admiral is referring to. “Of course sir.”
“I need you to be honest with me here.” Adama pauses for a moment before continuing. “Did you serve on a secret council known as the Circle, to judge the innocence or guilt of suspected Cylon collaborators?”
Faith looks down at the ground for a long moment, and then brings her eyes up to meet the Admiral's again. “Yes. I did, sir. There were things that happened down there that needed to be answered for.”
Adama nods gravely, knowing full well that things like this occurred in war-times of the past.
“I appreciate your honesty. I'm hoping that things like this won't happen in the future?” he asks her, and Faith nods slowly.
“Not that I would be involved with sir.” Nightshade replies. “I was aware that my actions would have consequences and I'm ashamed to say that I let anger and vengaence guide my motives. I know now that it was wrong.”
Adama is silent for a moment. “Do you hold me responsible?”
Faith is confused now, and voices such. “Sir? Why would I hold you responsible?”
“Colonel Tigh and Captain Thrace seem to.” Adama informs her with a heavy voice, and Faith nods. She'd heard about the confrontation between the three from Racetrack.
“I don't, sir.” Nightshade assures him. “What happened to me on New Caprica would have happened regardless of who was in charge of the fleet.”
“How do you mean?” Adama voices his own confusion, as he'd not been informed by anyone as to the exactly how and why Faith had lost her hand.
“That cylon that was on Caprica with the resistance, Cavil. I made the mistake of telling him a long time ago that the only thing I was truly good at was being a pilot.” Faith reveals to the fleet commander. “When I got arrested by those NCP goons and brought to detention, several of the others wanted to kill me to send a message, but Cavil thought that it would turn me into a martyr and drive more to join the insurgents. I can't say for sure, but I think that's how Tigh survived as well, at least at first. Instead Cavil decided to take my hand as punishment, to assure I'd never fly a viper again.”
She pauses for a moment before finishing her explanation. “In the end it didn't matter, and I was sent with nearly fifty others on a death list to be shot by the Centurions.”
“That I heard about.” Adama says. “Chief Tyrol told me that it was partially due to your heroics that no one died in Pergamus Flats.”
“If you don't count the NCP members, yes.”
Adama is silent for a few moments as Faith waits, shifting a bit uncomfortably.
“As you well know, there were several thousand lost on New Caprica, and some of them were officers on both Galactica and Pegasus, and they'll need to be replaced.” Adama informs the disabled pilot. “Karl Agathon has my ear on this, and your name was on the short list to fill the gaps left by their deaths. I'm well aware that a pilot thrives off action, and so I'm offering you a ranking postion in the Marine contingent attached to the flight deck, to keep you in the fight. With such, you'll be assigned your own quarters.”
“It'd be an honor sir, thank you.” Faith says after a moment of silence, and she gives Adama a shaky smile as he pulls out a small box and slides it across the surface of the desk to her, flipping it open before pulling his hand away.
“Then congratulations Captain.” Adama says as Faith eyes lock onto the rank pins that rest within the box. “Go report to your post. Dismissed.”
Faith gives a thankful nod as she takes the box off the desk and salutes once more before departing the Admiral's quarters, her spirits lifted considerably.
Of course she would get a promotion and re-assignment just in time for Racetrack and Athena to discover a broken down Cylon baseship on a recon mission to the Lion's Head Nebula. She'd got on board the second of the three Raptors making the second trip under the operational command of Lee Adama.
“We're clear.” She looked up as Racetrack spoke up from the pilot's seat, and caught sight of the powered down Baseship as the Raptor passed the last of the cylon raiders that were floating aimlessly in front of the landing bay.
A few moments later they've touched down and Faith takes a moment to re-adjust her helmet as the hatch opens and she steps out onto the wing, then down to the floor of the Cylon warship.
A couple dozen others disembark between the raptor that she'd come in on and the other three on the op.
She holds her rifle at the ready, using her stumped elbow to hold up the barrel, as they secure the seemingly abandoned landing deck. She relaxes a couple moments later as the all clear is signalled through out the assembled soldiers.
Nightshade falls into step behind Hotdog and Raygun as Sharon begins to lead the way towards the bridge of the baseship, and gives Anna a nod as the younger woman falls into step beside her.
The scene in the central command is grim. Well it would have been if the bodies that littered the floor were humans.
“Gods.” She hears someone mutter, and Faith is fairly sure it was Sharon. She couldn't say for sure as her gaze has been drawn to one of the Cavil's, sitting half slumped against a wall a few yards from her.
Before she even realizes it, Faith finds herself approaching the seemingly dead Cylon. She swings her rifle over her shoulder and pulls out her handgun as she steps up close to the body. Her face moves close to examine her former torturer and jailer as she crouches down in front of him. Her attention is drawn away a moment later and she turns as Sharon speaks up from where she's standing at whatever the device in the middle of the bridge was.
“The data points are almost completely corroded. I'm not sure what I'll get out of here, but I'll try.” The Colonial Cylon announces to the group, and she vaguely hears Lee mutter something before all hell breaks loose.
One of the other marines, Corgan, if she remembered right had been checking the prone body of one of the sixes laid out on the floor when he suddenly threw himself backwards, screaming that the six was alive.
Her eyes snap to Cavil and widen as she finds him staring back at her, a snarl on his lips. She lets out a shocked cry as his hands shoot out and wrap around her neck as he tries to strangle her. Thankfully whatever happened here had seemed to weaken him, and Faith slams the butt of her handgun against the side of his head, knocking him away from her to sprawl on the ground.
Her gun is immediately aimed at the fake priest's head as he coughs and rolls onto his back, and she can see Anna and Hotdog in the corner of her vision as they come up to take aim on the Cavil as well.
“Hold your fire!” She frowns as Lee suddenly yells out, repeating it a couple times to ensure that everyone can hear it over the eruption of chaos.
“They're alive!” Someone else yells.
“Frak.” She curses, taking advantage of the chaos that was winding down to kick Cavil in the face with her boot, fully knocking him unconscious, or whatever the cylon equivalent was. Powered down, maybe.
Her gaze moves back to Lee as he speaks again, calling Galactica on the communicator he's holding before him. “Galactica, Apollo. We got- uh, five living skin-jobs down here.”
“Six.” Faith corrects, drawing the major's gaze and giving a nod at the Cavil at her feet.
“Correction, six.” Lee gives her a nod before continuing his report to the Admiral and the rest of the CIC staff. “I say again, six. Six living.”
Faith zones out for a couple moments as her gaze falls upon the downed Cavil once more and finally her eyes break away as Mathias suddenly reacts to something Sharon had said.
“Son of a bitch!” The Marine who held the same rank as Faith curses, and then Lee reacts as well.
“OK. OK. OK! Settle down!” The major orders with a yell as pandemonium threatens to rise amongst the pilots and marines again. “Keep back, watch the doorways, get those doorways!”
Faith doesn't need be told twice, backing away from the Cavil with disgust on her face. She slowly glances to Anna, and finds the viper pilot shaking slightly where she's standing a couple feet away.
They'd evacuated the baseship with six extra passengers, the Admiral both wanting to see if any information could be extracted from the doomed cylon prisoners, and to find out the exact nature of the disease the skinjobs had contracted from the beacon that supposedly marked the way to Earth.
Their departure had been just in time, it seemed. The Raptor she was in suddenly shook with the force of the blast that just went off behind them, as the baseship exploded and caught them in the concussive wave that followed.
Nightshade stumbled a bit, falling against the side of the Raptor shoulder first, before she managed to right herself.
“What was that?” She questions the other occupants, including Anna, who'd switched rides with Raygun for the return trip to Galactica.
It's Helo that answers the question, over the wire from Galactica, although he's speaking more to Lee, in the Raptor being piloted by the current X-O's wife.
“Baseship exploded. Looked like it self-destructed.” Faith hears Karl's slightly garbled voice coming from the console speakers in the cockpit.
The remainder of the trip back is uneventful and thankfully, and as the Raptor comes to a stop in the landing back on Galactica, she grabs the Cavil by the front of his shirt. By the time the hatch opens to allow them out, she has the cylon on his feet and shoves him through the threshold onto the wing, and then towards the two men in radiation suits that come up.
She waits a moment to allow them to get clear before hopping down off the wing herself, standing still on the deck as she watches more people in the suits come up to the gathered Raptors, and turns as Anna comes up to stand next to her, and passes the Leoben off to a different pair than the ones that took Cavil.
“Okay, listen up everyone!” She hears Cottle's voice call amidst the crowd that was growing. “Everyone that was on the baseship needs to report to the quarantine that has been set up in the med-bay. Follow me please.”
Faith lifts her arm to give Anna's shoulder a comforting squeeze with her good hand as she sees the fear reflected in her friend's eyes.
“We'll be alright.” She hears herself saying, but even to her the words sound hollow.
Anna nods anyways.
It had been nearly twelve hours, according to Faith's wristwatch, and the quarantined pilots and marines were beginning to get stir-crazy from being held in such close quarters with the possibility of sickness and death.
Currently she was laid out on the top of one of the metal bunks, trying to get a bit of sleep, and half listening to the chatter amongst the others. After a bit longer, an outburst from Hotdog draws her attention.
“Kiss my infected ass.” Costanza snaps at Racetrack, who merely smirks in response.
“You can kiss it, but it's not infected.” Cottle jokes dryly as he steps up to the table the two viper pilots are sitting at, and Faith pulls herself up into a sitting position atop the bunk, her interest in the doctor's findings clear with the hopeful expression that comes over her face. A quick glance around tells her that all the rest share the same hope.
“I got your bloodwork back.” The doc continues, glancing around the quarantine as he speaks. “Humans are immune to the virus. You're all healthy.”
A brief cheer fills the room, and Faith finds herself adding her own elation to the collective as she hops down from the top bunk, her boots making a clunk sound as they land on the metallic floor.
“All right, people. Nice job, let's get out of here.” She hears Lee say from across the room, and complies with no small amount of eagerness, falling into step behind Anna and Feline, a pilot who'd been flying one of the Raptors for the baseship op, as Racetrack leads the exodus out of the quarantine.
Faith had just finished packing up the last of her belongings into her duffel in the pilot's rack when she looked up in time to see Barolay and Sam as they came in.
“Heard you got the all-clear.” Anders intones, his voice light as both he and Jean walk over, and Faith finds herself pulled into a three-way hug, which lasts a couple moments.
Faith gives a nod as they finally pull apart, her eyes moving from Anders to her lover with a smile coming over her face.
“Yeah, Cottle says that humans aren't affected by the disease.” Nightshade informs the pair, and grabs up her bag from the bed.
“Any clue as to what it is?” Jean asks, grabbing her own bag from where she'd had it stashed under the table that ran down the center of the room. Just before she'd left for the basestar, Adama had sent a PFC to inform her that her quarters would be ready upon her arrival and she'd had just enough time to inform Jean of her moving plans before they'd left for the op.
Nightshade shakes her head negatively in response to her lover's question. “If Cottle knows, he didn't tell us. Just that we were clean.”
“Well thank gods for small miracles huh?” Anders grins. “Amount of shit you get into, you gotta have the best luck out of anyone in the fleet.”
“Kinda doubting luck has anything to do with it.” Faith says dryly, but retains her smile nonetheless. “Feel like coming to check out my new place?”
“Not much else to do.” Anders agrees with a shrug as he steps back so Faith can pass.
“You and Kara still having issues?” the former pilot asks, her tone sympathetic as she steps past, swinging her duffel over her shoulder as she makes for the door.
“Yeah.” Anders answers a bit dully as he and Jean follow after her, and the three begin the trek through the hallways of the ship. “She's been full of rage since we got off New Caprica, and I'm doubtful that it's gonna end anytime soon.”
“She'll come around Sam.” Faith hears Jean say from the other side of the former Pyramid star, but he shakes his head.
“I'm not so sure. Leoben really frakked with her in the detention center.” Sam revealed, his tone heavy. “Worst is she won't even tell me what exactly happened.”
They fell into an uneasy silence following that, slowly making their way to the quarters that Faith had been assigned with her new rank. As they walked, Faith made plans to find Kara and maybe beat some sense into her. Anders had been one of her best friends for nearly two years now, and there was no way that she was going to let the blonde take out her frustration on him. Not after everything that they'd been through together.
She was dreaming, Faith knew she had to be if the fact she had both her hands was any indication.
As she pushed open the door to the apartment and stepped into the sun-lit foyer, she couldn't help but feel as if she'd been there before. It seemed familiar, almost like home.
She leaves the door ajar as she crosses the room to come up to the large half-circle window on the south side, looking out over the street below for a few moments before closing her eyes. Faith can feel the heat of the sun shining down upon her face, and smiles slightly as it's warmth spreads over her.
Suddenly the warmth and sunlight is gone, and Faith opens her eyes to find that the sky has turned blood red, and she blinks a couple times at the startling change.
“Welcome back Faith.” She whirls around at the feminine voice that speaks up from behind her, and her eyes dart from end to end of the apartment, finding no one there.
“Hello?” She calls out, taking a few steps away from the window and then lets out a scream as it suddenly explodes inward, the glass shards hitting her with the force of multiple bullets and knocking her from her feet.
Faith snaps up in the bed, her face covered in a glistening sheen of sweat, with the dim light from the half-powered lamp in the corner reflecting off it. Her breath is heavy as she reaches up with her good hand to run through her dampened hair with a soft groan.
She didn't know why the dream had caused her to get so worked up, although she supposed that there could have been more to it locked away in her subconscious somewhere.
A glance to the other side of the bed lets her know that whatever night terrors she'd endured in dreams hadn't disrupted Barolay from her sleep, the redhead's back was turned to her as she snored lightly. Faith pulled back the bedsheets from her body and shifted around so she was sitting on the edge for a moment before slowly rising to her feet.
She ambles into the bathroom with a bit of effort, her footsteps sluggish from obvious fatigue. She reaches the sink and flips on the faucet, leaning down as she fills her hand to lessen the distance as she cups it before bringing it up to splash the water onto her face.
She keeps her head down for a moment as she rubs her hand against her face to spread the refreshing coolness over her visage.
Finally she brings her head back up, only to throw herself backwards with a short cry that she stifles by clamping her hand over her mouth.
“Faith? What's going on?” She hears Jean call out from the bedroom, her lover's voice sounded worried. Faith shakes her head for a moment to clear it before stepping into the doorway.
“Nothing.” The ex-pilot claims, her voice a bit shaky. “Remembered a particularly bad dream is all. Go back to sleep.”
Barolay holds her gaze for a moment and Faith can see the worry in the eyes of the redhead. “I'm fine, really.”
She feels a bit of relief as Jean nods, and Faith slowly makes her way back over to the bed and gets in again, hoping like hell that she's not losing her mind.
But then again, what other explanation could there be for the blue-eyed, blonde woman that she'd seen staring back at her from within the mirror for half a second?
Far, far away from where Faith lay in her bed with Barolay as the two women went back to sleep for the night, a door that leads into another dimly lit room slowly opens to allow entrance to a figure clad in an emerald robe, identity obscured by the hood pulled over their head.
The previously lone occupant of the room looks up from the chair in the corner, their face obscured in the shadows as the newcomer comes to a stop several feet from where the first sits.
“You're late.” the seated figure states to the other, who gives a dismissive shrug.
“If you expect an apology, you can shove it up your ass. I know what you did.” The newcomer replies, voice filled with a bit of an accusatory tone. “Faith finally gets some semblance of normalcy back in her life, and you take now of all times to throw a wrench in the works. She wasn't supposed to remember until Earth, that was the agreement.”
“If you thought I really had a choice in the matter, you're sadly mistaken.” The seated figure replies, voice heavy. “Certain things have been brought to my attention that I wasn't aware of during the original series of events that transpired here.”
“What are you talking about Whistler?” the emerald robed figure demands of the immortal balance demon, moving a bit closer so he has a clear view of her angry green eyes.
“The First has come back, and if Faith can't stop it for good this time... Then it will truly mean the end of all things.” Whistler says as he rises from his seat to face the other eye to eye. “I'm sorry, Dawn.”
The entity that had long ago been known to the universe as Dawn Summers doesn't reply as she continues to stare at the former messenger of the old gods, a frown creeping over her face.
“This changes things then.” She finally admits begrudgingly. “We'll need to gather the others.”
Whistler gives a short nod of agreement. “Best that you do that, last time I saw your sister she made it very clear that she'd disembowel me if she ever saw me again.”
“Well you can hardly blame her, I'm not all that happy to be here either.” Dawn replies with her displeasure evident in the tone she uses. “I'll talk to them.”
“That's all I ask.”