This chapter skips ahead 2 episodes of canon (I'm going with 4 weeks) and picks up midway through Passage, and goes through Eye of Jupiter.
Faith looked up from where she was sitting behind the desk in her quarters as Barolay pushed open the door and stepped in, giving the marine captain a wide smile. She'd going over a report that one of her subordinates had written up in regards to a discharge of his firearm on Tyrol's launch deck, nearly killing one of the crewmen, and was currently cooling his heels in the brig until the Admiral decided otherwise.
“What's got you so happy?” She asks as she picks up the report and puts it in the drawer.
“Rumor is that Athena found the planet that the thirteenth tribe had originally settled.” Barolay replies as she drops down into one of the chairs on the other side of the desk.
“Yeah, I heard.” Faith replies with a shrug. “Adama wants me to take charge of the marines that are going planetside.”
“You don't sound too eager about it.” the redhead notes as Faith turns away to grab the bottle of rum she'd bought off one of the bartenders at Joe's a few days earlier.
“I guess I'm not.” Faith admits as she uncorks the bottle and fills two glasses, sliding one across the desk for her lover. “Given the events of the last two times we've been planetside, can you blame me?”
“No, I can't.” Barolay answers as she takes the glass in hand, lifting it up to take a pull as Faith does likewise. “So what are you going to do then?”
“I'm going, orders are orders and truth be told I've felt this overwhelming desire for some action despite everything.” Nightshade says as she sets her glass back onto the surface.
“Then I'm coming with you.” Barolay says decisively, and with a look into her lover's eyes Faith knows that she won't be dissuaded. In all honesty, she wanted people she knew she could trust by her, and the list seemed to grow shorter each day.
Louanne Katraine was dead, and as Faith took a seat at the funeral being held in the landing deck in between Bodie and Jean, she silently wished that she'd taken time to get to know the other woman better.
Racetrack was speaking about her longtime friend at the podium that had been set up, recalling how brave the departed had been, even going as far as to consciously sacrifice herself to bring one of the missing fleet ships through a radiation storm.
She zoned a bit as the raptor pilot continues her speech, her mind wandering as the faces of all her dead friends popped up in her mind's eye and a tear rolls down the side of her face.
She felt Barolay take her good hand in her own and fixes the redhead with a small smile before she turns to watch Racetrack step away from the podium to allow Kara to take her place.
Her eyes shift down the row past Bodie, her gaze falling on Sam and Ten-Point where they sit at the end, and they narrow at the look of longing on the former's face as he watches Starbuck speak about how much Kat had done and sacrificed in the name of Humanity's survival.
It seemed that unlike Tigh and Adama, there were still some deep seated issues between the pair, and it didn't seem to be getting better. She spends the rest of the service trying to think up a way to set things right for her friend, only half listening as Kara and whoever came up after the blonde was saying.
The day following was quite chaotic as the team being sent to the planet's surface departed from Galactica, and Faith found herself aboard Feline's Raptor alongside Bodie, Barolay, Anders and the Tyrols.
The trip down had been thankfully uneventful and they landed without so much as a scouting raider on the DRADIS. As she stepped down onto the soft soil of the planet, she recited out a silent prayer that this would end better then her last on-planet ventures.
That had been fourteen days ago, and so far it seemed that her prayer had been answered for a change, as they'd be gone in another few days if everything continued as smoothly.
So why was it that she had a bad feeling in her gut, seemingly warning of impending danger?
A sudden rattling draws her attention as she sits at the table that ran the center of the tent, taking a break from duty and half listening to Lee bicker with his wife, the topic being Kara. Again.
She shakes her head and rises from her seat to make a hasty exit, having heard it all before and by this point it was tiresome. She pushes past the flap of the tent and takes a few steps out into the valley that they'd set up in between the hills, relishing the sun on her face for a moment.
Taking a glance around the outpost, she sees Jean struggling with some tubing and moves to offer her assistance. She stops short as a sudden buzzing fills her ear and swats a fairly large bug out of the air, stomping her boot down on the fallen insect a moment later.
“Need some help?” She asks Jean as she comes to a stop, but the redhead shakes her head.
“Nah I'm just about done.” Her lover answers, and she gives a short nod as Barolay finishes her work.
The buzzing comes back again and she takes a look skyward for a moment, then down across the hills that tower around the small camp. Finally she shakes her head and writes it off as the early signs of a headache.
That's what she tells herself anyways.
“Where's Galen?” Faith looked up from where she was sitting on one of the crates as Cally came out of the tent behind her, her eyes searching and Faith finds herself looking around as well.
“Saw him heading up that way about twenty minutes ago.” One of the civilian workers spoke up, drawing the attention of both Faith and Tyrol's wife as he nods his head in the direction of the hills to the west.
“I'll go find him.” Nightshade says, flicking her cigarette to the ground as she rises. A couple of her fellow marines stand to follow but she waves them off. “No, I'll move faster on my own, and you two should stay here in case something happens. Tell Lee I'll be back soon if he asks”
She grabs her rifle from where she'd leaned it up against the tent, and begins the trek up the hillside. Hopefully she could catch up to the deck chief quickly, it would be night in a couple more hours and she didn't want to get lost out there in the dark.
“Tell him to get his ass back here.” She heard Cally call as she went, and turned back to give the young mother a nod of assurance.
She didn't turn back again as she made the ascent up the hill, and about a half-hour later she found herself at the bottom of the other side, staring up at the next hill upon which sat unnatural looking rocky bluffs.
She's about to continue on when she hears someone say her name, and brings her gun up as she turns around in a circle, trying to find the source of the call.
“Don't bother firing Faith, bullets wouldn't do anything to me.” The voice speaks again, this time from behind her and she turns on her heel to find a teenage girl standing there, dressed all in green. She brings up her gun anyways and takes a step back as the girl rolls her eyes.
“Who the frak are you?” Nightshade demands forcefully, tense and ready to shoot if this girl was one of the skinjobs that they'd not encountered thus far.
“A friend, promise.” The girl says, not moving from the spot.
“Got enough friends.” the former pilot replies, her eyes not blinking as she stared at the girl, who lets out a chuckle.
“Didn't say I was yours.” the girl remarks, a small smirk coming over her face. “This has all happened before, and-”
“It will happen again, yeah yeah. Heard it before.” Faith says with a light snarl.
The girl doesn't reply as she looks up at the bluffs, and Faith follows her line of sight for a moment before turning back to face the girl again, but finds that she's gone.
“Great.” She mutters as she takes a tentative step closer to where the girl had been standing, and then hears her disembodied voice again.'You're on the right track, keep going.'
Faith stares at the spot that the girl had stood moments before for another few seconds, and then turns and continues on towards the bluffs, once again hoping like hell she's not losing her mind. She wonders if the apparition has anything to do with the blonde woman in the mirror that she'd seen for half a second almost a month prior. Up to now, she'd written it off as a delusion brought on by fatigue, but now she's not so sure.
She finds evidence of Tyrol outside a cave that led into the interior of whatever the bluffs contained, the deck chief's footprints easily recognizable in the soft dirt at the mouth of the tunnel. She brings her gun up at the ready as she steps into the darkened passageway, wary of any danger that might be lurking in the shadows.
“Chief?” She calls out, her gun held in front of her as she slowly makes her way up an ancient looking set of stairs, and up to a giant door that is slightly ajar. She pushes past and finds herself in a giant cavern, a pillar reaching up at least a hundred yards in the center. There is also some kind of platform a few feet from the pillar and she takes a couple steps closer before Tyrol pops out from behind the pillar, his own gun leveled at her.
“Whoa! Easy chief, don't shoot!” She calls and Tyrol lets his aim fall as he sees her fully.
“Sorry, wasn't expecting to have been followed.” The deck chief apologizes and Faith gives him a nod before making her way over to where Galen stands.
“What is this place?” she inquires as her eyes fall on the designs worked into the pillar, taking special note of an odd design that lies below a multi-layered circle, which itself is bordered by some ancient text, carved into the stone. It looks vaguely like an axe of some kind, colored red and gold.
“I think its the Temple of the Chosen.” he answers, and the former pilot fixes him with a puzzled look.
“Say what now?” She asks, not having heard of any such thing.
“Something I read about in one of my fathers old religious books when I was a kid.” Galen replies, looking away from Faith to examine the pillar further, and she watches as he reaches out to run a hand over the layered circle. “I recognise this from a drawing in one of the books he had. I think it might be a marker on the way to Earth.”
Faith gives a short nod, not ever really having bought into religion despite her prayers. “We should contact the camp, get a few more people out here. If you're right, Adama and Roslin are going to want to hear about this.”
Faith was watching a few of the scientists that had come down from the fleet on a raptor to try and get an estimate on the exact age of the temple, and turned as Galen stepped up next to her, the shortwave transponder in his hand falling to his side.
“What did they say?” She asks as the deck chief comes to a stop.
“Roslin wanted to know about the markings and then the old man said that they were on alert suddenly and cut off the call.” he tells her and her eyes darken.
She turns and makes her way back out the way she came, stopping as the sunlight hits her again, and she looks skyward before letting out a string of curses at the sight of four baseships just barely visible in the sky, very close to the fleet.
As Tyrol comes out as well, they both get to witness the fleet outside of Galactica jump away, and share an uneasy look between them.
“Not this again.” She groans out in exasperation.
Several hours passed before Sam had shown up outside the temple, bringing with him about a dozen from the camp, including Barolay and Cally.
“What've you heard?” Faith finds herself asking as she steps away from where she'd been leaning against a tree outside the mouth of the entry cave, her half smoked cigarette hanging for the corner of her mouth.
“Lee sent us up to guard this supposed Eye of Jupiter, if it even exists.” Anders gripes, his voice holding a deep annoyance. “Guess the cylons are after it too.”
Faith nods and turns to look at Cally as she pushes past the group and she can see the worried look in the eyes of Tyrol's wife.
“He's inside.” She tells the crewman specialist, as she motions toward the cave with her good hand. Cally gives her a nod of thanks before hurrying inside.
“So what's in there anyways?” She turns back to Anders as he speaks again, and gives a small shrug.
“Hard to say what this place is, but Roslin seems convinced its a marker for the road to earth, like the lion's head nebula.” Faith replies, not sure what she herself believes. The girl-apparition she'd encountered in the valley had her questioning quite a bit, not that she'd ever tell anyone else what she'd seen, even spoken to out there.
Sam let out another annoyed grunt in response, and Faith tilts her head, a bit surprised at his attitude.
“What's with him?” She asks, turning to Barolay as the rest of Sam's group follow Cally up into the temple, Sam at the rear leaving the two lovers standing alone.
“Lee Adama is a prick, and Kara's not much better at this point.” Barolay says as she moves up next to Nightshade. “More or less strongarmed us into coming up to guard this supposed Eye of Jupiter thing, citing that it was because we did so well surviving the occupation. Sam told him that it was mostly down to the training you gave us that we pulled through, and that even then it was a completely different situation. Lee told him that it was a good thing you were already here then, and when Sam was still going to say no, Kara pulled rank and told him that Lee was calling the shots.”
“Frakin' A.” Faith cursed, turning to look down into the tunnel in time to see Sam disappear into the temple.
“Should we be out here in the open?” The redhead questions, sounding a bit worried as she looked skyward for a moment, then her eyes fall upon Faith again, and the raven haired marine captain shakes her head.
“Probably not, come on.” She says, holding her good hand out for the other woman, who takes it in hers and they make their way inside side by side.
Troubling news came from Lee a short time later, over the transponder that Galen had. Kara had been shot down in the Raptor she'd come down on as she was doing recon in the valley to the south. Frakking centurions.
Sam had been enraged as Lee ordered the team at the temple to hold their position, and Faith had voiced her agreement before the connection got cut off as the frequency suddenly jammed up.
“I thought we had eachother's backs.” Sam had nearly screamed at her, and she just held her hand up.
“We do, but I'd rather not end up in the brig for verbally refusing a direct order.” Faith replied, as she picked her rifle up from where it had been leaning against the wall of the temple. For half a second she considers throwing the fact that he'd turned his back on her and Jean by walking out of the Circle, but decides it's not the time or place for it. “That being said, damn toasters have cut off our communication, and chances are good that it'll be awhile until we get it back.”
She paused for a moment as she turned to face Tyrol. “Kara saved our asses on Caprica, and there ain't no godsdamn way I'll leave her out there to die. If the communication frequency comes back before we do, tell Lee that we're holding the entrance and can't talk.”
“Fine by me.” The deck chief shrugs. “Just don't leave us without firepower.”
“Wasn't planning to, I'm only taking Anders, Barolay and Kostan.” Nightshade replies. “The rest will be here to hold down the entrance, and hopefully we'll get back before they get here.”
She turns back to face Anders, a grim look on her face. “Let's go get your wife.”
Barolay was the first to spot the smoke as the four of them made their way around the mountain, roughly forty minutes later, a steady pillar of gray slowly rising skyward from the northern canyon. They'd picked up the pace at the sound of distant gunfire that echoes off the hills, and to Faith's ears it sounds like a rifle, most likely a sniper hidden atop the overpass on the other side of the valley.
Faith held her hand up to call the group to a halt as they finally reached the valley's edge, and as the other three waited, she crept up behind a large rock, and used it for cover as she took a long, searching look from end to end of the valley as she tried to pick out sunlight reflecting off chrome amongst the opposite tree line. Finding no evidence that the centurions had made it that far, she turns and heads back to the group.
“Okay, Kara's Raptor is about a half-click out into the open, so we're going to have to move quickly.” She informs the other three. “Don't stop, even if they start opening fire on us. We won't get another shot to get across with what we have for ammunition.”
They made their way back to where Faith had taken cover behind the rock and she starts to count down from five with her hand held up. As her last finger folds into her palm, all four take off at a run towards the downed raptor.
Kostan doesn't make it, the other marine of the small group catching a round to the head as they ran across the open space. Faith heard the sickening thunk behind her but doesn't stop running. She prays that Sam and Jean follow by her example.
Seconds seem like hours before she finally comes to a stop behind the relative safety of the crashed spacecraft, and turns as Sam and Barolay dive for cover, a line of bullets impacting the ground behind them and kicking up sand with the force of the impacts.
The sound of the safety clicking off a gun draws her attention and a moment later, Anastasia Dualla pops into view just beyond the hatchdoor of the Raptor, her firearm aimed at the trio.
“You're supposed to be at the temple.” She states, sounding a bit confused.
“Lee should've known I wasn't going to leave Kara.” Anders replies for the group and pushes past Faith to climb up the wing, joining Dee and Kara inside.
“Major's gonna be pissed.” Dee notes as Faith and Barolay follow suit, climbing up into the Raptor after Sam.
“Let him be.” Faith says dismissively. “Is this thing still capable of flight?”
“Yeah, you're lucky you got here when you did. We were about to fly out.” Dee replies, returning her gun to her waist holster.
“We'll see how lucky I am when Adama found out I broke chain of command.” Faith replies wryly as she pulls the hatch shut.
“Lehane, you're going to have to fly.” She turns to see Kara turned around in the ECO's seat, with Sam crouched down next to her.
Faith gives a stiff nod, and pushes past Anders to drop into the pilot's seat. “I never was the best at flying Raptors, so this is going to be rough.”
“Just get us out of here.” The blonde orders impatiently.
“Yes sir.” Nightshade uses her good hand to secure her prosthetic around the left side of the controls, and flicks on the thrusters before pulling up on the steering mechanism.
The Raptor shoots skyward, swaying a bit as Faith struggles to maintain the rise and avoid getting hit by the potshots coming from the Centurions below them.
A few moments later she lets out a sigh of relief as they've reached a high enough altitude that the bullets are no longer a threat. She brings the Raptor around to face the direction of the temple, and almost as one, all five passengers gasp at the sight before them.
“What the frak is that?” Barolay's panicked voice comes from the back.
“It's the star. It must have gone nova.” Kara says, her eyes unwavering as she stares ahead. “It's beautiful.”
Faith finds herself nodding. “The Eye of Jupiter. We could've searched the temple for days and found nothing.”
“We need to get back to Galactica.” Dee brings the group back to reality, and Faith spares one last look before punching the thrusters to full power, and falls in line with the others fleeing the planet.
The landing back on Galactica went better then any of them expected, as Faith only missed the first attempt to touch down on the deck as the shield doors pulled shut.
“Not bad Lehane.” She turns to face Kara, a bit surprised at the praise. “Doubt I could've done that well with one good hand.”
Nightshade gives a small nod before speaking. “I missed doing that.”
“Deck's pressurized.” Dee notes before she and Jean push open the hatch door.
Faith waits for Sam and Kara to exit the cockpit, watching them go for a moment before turning to face front again. She lingers in the seat for a moment to unclench her prosthetic from the controls, and then runs her good hand across the dashboard of the Raptor, giving it a soft pat of affection before she rises to make her way out onto the landing deck as well.
She steps down off the wing to join the others on the floor in time to see Bodie and Lee coming out of one of the other Raptors, carrying a bodybag between them and at the sight of it Faith feels her heart sink. Her eyes begin to dart wildly around the disembarking passengers as she wonders who else had been lost, and she feels a bit of guilt at the realization that they wouldn't be able to give Kostan a proper send off.
She quickly makes her way over to where Tyrol and Cally stand, helping to get the bodybag onto a gurney.
“Who's in there?” She asks the deck chief, who looks to her as she speaks and lets a small smile come over his face.
Rather than answer her, he proceeds to unzip the bag at the top and pulls it open.
“Oh this is too good.” She finds herself grinning as she takes in the face of Gaius Baltar before Tyrol rezips the bag and begins to push the gurney away, stopping in front of Colonel Tigh to show him. She watches for a moment and then turns as Jean steps up next to her.
“The shower in your quarters is calling me, wanna get out of here?” The redhead asks, her tone lightly teasing.
“Yeah, I think I hear it too. Let's get out of here.” Faith replies, watching as Sam and Kara embrace by the Raptor she'd flown in for a moment, before allowing her lover to take her by her good hand and lead her out of the landing deck.
The night that followed was not one that either Faith or Jean would soon forget.
Nor would Captain Aaron Kelly, who had residence in the quarters right next to them, and had to listen to the moans and screams of pleasure that echoed through the shared ventilation system.
END ANCIENT TRIBES
Note: Looking for a manip to use for first chapter, i'm rubbish at graphic art.