Several years ago there was an online MU* game based on Battlestar Galactica. The game was called Battlestar Odysseys and I just stumbled across the live journals for the game. I played a couple of different characters but my favorite was Alex Jackson. He was an orphan/street rat who worked his way up to running a casino when the Cylons attacked. He managed to get most of his employees to a cruise liner. While the military was busy saving the human race, Alex was busy securing supplies from other ships as he tried to secure his place in the fleet. But then Alex encountered the children. . .
So I thought I would gather the logs for Alex and the other Great players before something happened to them on Live Journal.
Enjoy the read. . .
Lost in Space
Alex stands next to a one of the video machines that is currently turn off. He quietly talks to Ma’shell, one of his right hand men, “I know I told you to keep the machine running, but if Tink said she needed a part for something. Well I trust her she’s doing good work down in tent city. And it’s not like people have creds to spend on these things right now anyway.”
Caiti is sitting on top of a table, her sneakered feet swinging free over the edge as she sucks on a lollypop. She’s looking sulky and especially grubby, despite the relatively rare treat in her mouth. Her shoe laces are untied and drag along the ground as she watches everyone who passes with intense scrutiny.
You say, “Now if Tink starts hitting the private reserves we’ll have to have a talk with her. You might see if she needs any help though. I know she was planning on trying to tackle that pool filtration system. She was talking about setting up some sort of public watering hole or something down in tent city. But as long as she’s making progress and the people think she’s doing a good things I’d leave her alone.”
Ma’shell simply nods and begins making his way to tent city.
Alex looks around the area and upon spotting Caiti he begins heading in her direction, “Hey there kido. I haven’t seen you since the station. Is there anything I can get for you?””
Caiti’s head turns to survey Alex with a heavy and silent stare. At length she reaches up to remove the lollypop in order to answer, “My parents,” she suggests in a less than pleasant tone.
Alex frowns a bit as he runs his hand through his hair, “Yeah, I know kido. There’s a lot of us now without parents. But maybe you’re dad found another ship from the station? The casino staff managed to get out on the astral here. They may still be out there
somewhere you know? If not. . . there’s another girl her a little bit older than you who’s lost her family as well. Her name’s Sarah but she’s kind of sick right now. We’ve turned one of the staterooms into a safe zone for kids who have misplaced their families.”
In steps a dour looking academic man, jaw set and hardened, his entire attitude absolutly no-nonsense. He steps around the ship, taking a look around the Eclipse…
Speak of the devil, and the devil appears! Sarah is coming down from, oddly enough, the pool area. Her arrival heralded by a series of coughs that no doubt draws some attention towards her. The girl’s hoodie is currently up, and with how much larger the sweatshirt is than she needs, more of a cowl than anything.
“I’m not stupid,” Caiti informs Alex, her swinging feet falling still beneath the table momentarily. “And I’m not your kid.” The foot-kicking resumes as she turns back to examining the passing groups of civilians. “Anyway, I’m pretty sure it’s different for a thirteen-year-old’s parents to die than yours.” She seems to be still in the clothes she was wearing during the Fall — denim overalls, plain t-shirt beneath.
The intercom kicks in. “This is the captain speaking,” it says. “We’ll be making our next jump in a few minutes, if everyone could take a seat in advance of faster-than-light travel. Thank you.”
Alex chuckles a bit, “I never thought you were stupid. But some people handle things differently than others. As for my parents you’re absolutely right I imagine it is different. You had your parents for your first thirteen years. I on the other hand never had any parents. I’m told my mother was a stims junky and I was raised by the state until I was old enough to leave. But I won’t try to coddle you anymore.” Glancing over his shoulder when he hears the coughing he waves, “And in case you’re interested that’s Sarah over there.”
Sarah ambles along slowly, until she hears the call for the jump about to take place. Then the girl sees Alex and the other he is with, she does squint for a moment – as though seeing if she recognizes her. But apparently not as she just makes her way closer, looking for a seat.
Cratos sighs, moving his hand over to an empty chair, and pulling it out, moving to sit down. He seems to be closer to Alex and Caiti then anyone else. He gives a little smirk to the teenager, “Seems as if you were resourceful enough to survive.”
Caiti is noticably lacking in pity for Alex. She continues to stare out at the crowds, not bothering to find a real seat at the announcement. “Oh,” she says, either in response to the story, the indication of Sarah, or all of the above. Her hands move to brace on the edge of the table, and foot-swinging continues. She gives Cratos a half-hearted shrug.
Sarah finds the place to sit down finally, and pulls her knees to her chest, hugging them as she awaits. She looks a bit weak in doing so, even her movements literally permeated with fatigue.
A brief bit of static from the intercom, and then, “Flight attendants, prepare for jump.”
Charity comes in at a slight rush, nodding to those that notice her while she quickly takes a seat.
Alex moves to sit down in one of the seats as he nods to Sarah, “Hi Sarah, don’t worry I’m still looking for a real doctor and meds for you.”
Cratos leans forward, a little cocking his head at Caiti, “Your a tough nut to crack, you know that?” He leans back a little nodding to those around him, eyeing Alex especially, “I assume you’ve got some sort of offical status here, Sir?”
Sarah’s head seems to just bob up and down once in response to Alex’s words. The girl not saying anything. She just holds the position she is in.
“Jumping in three, two…” the intercom intones.
Charity settles into her seat quite calmly. One would guess she did this about as many times before the fall as everyone else has after.
Alex glances over to the professor, “Ahh, Professor good to see you again. Me? Official status there’s nothing official about our lives right now. However that may change soon.” Reaching into his vest pocket he pulls out a small flyer and offers it the man, “But I certainly would appreciate your support.”
Space and time twists around as the Astral Traveler jumps.
Caiti squints at Cratos, wrinkling up her nose with a scowl. “What’s that supposed to mean?” she asks, then falling silent and gripping her table a bit tighter while she waits for the jump.
“Jump completed,” the intercom intones. “On behalf of the crew of the Astral Traveler, thank you for –” There’s a sudden burst of background chatter, like someone talking to the captain, and then the broadcast concludes quickly. “Thank you.”
Sarah does not show any reaction to any of this. Indeed, she hardly seems to be paying attention to the world around her. Even the panic on the other side of the intercom seems to pass her by.
Charity passively listens to the intercom announcement from the captain until the interuption. Her eyes widen. “What is happening?” She grips slightly at the chair, looking around the room for someone with an answer.
Alex glances up to the intercom with a quizzical look, “Well, That’s just… odd.”
Cratos glances up towards the intercom, furrowing his brow in displeasure as he unbrances from the jump. “Simply that. You’ve got a durable exterior.” Cratos mentions to Caiti, waving his had dissmissivly the flyer, “Your campaign has made its rounds, Mr. Jackson, theres no need to pass me your material, though I’d wonder where you’re getting the resources to produce these.” He says, motioning to the crudely made phamplet. “I came to see for myself your facilities here.” He looks up again, “Apparently, my luck in choosing places to be has ended.”
Alex shrugs a bit as he turns to face the professor again, “The ship was originally a floating hotel for lack of a better description. We took an early inventory within hours of the attack. I managed to find some office supplies that we’ve been using to set things up.”
Cratos gives an mmmhmmm and doesn’t say much more then that, though a judgement seems to have already been decided, “Perhaps you could give me a tour of your operation here? When… you have some time?”
“A durable what?” Caiti shifts, glancing down toward her rear end, then back at Cratos with a deeply puzzled and rather concerned expression. “I don’t think you should be looking at teenagers’ asses,” she informs him solemnly.
Charity smiles at the young girl. “Good sentiment Caiti.”
Alex nods as he stands up, “I’d be more than happy to give you a tour professor. But I think Char’s right we should try and determine what’s going on up on the bridge.” Moving over to the intercom he signals the bridge, “Um, Captain, this is Alex. Is there something I should be aware of up there?”
“No… no. /Exterior./ Not Posterior.” Cratos says, laying his head in one hand, “You’ve got thick skin, in other words.” He nods, “Oh, of course, of course.”
Alex nods as he listens to the intercom. Dabbing at his forehead a bit he continues speaking with the bridge, “Yes, I see. And do you have the situation in hand? I would suggest we stay off the wireless for right now. I imagine the military are aware of the situation.”
Charity looks at Alex with studied anticipation and trepidation.
Cratos narrows his eyes at Alex, “Whats going on?”
“Oh.” Caiti looks momentarily abashed, but only momentarily. “Want some candy?” There’s a lollypop in her hand — red — but she thoughtfully reaches into her jumper pocket to offer the professor a fresh candy, a small round ball. She glances curiously toward Alex, but doesn’t seem largely concerned.
Alex nods again, “Yes captain. I understood the situation the first time. Do we have any jump capable shuttles in the bay still?”
Cratos nods, his dour expression cracking into a slight smile. There wasn’t much subterfuge or powerbrokering behind that… it just seemed nice, “I would, thank you.” He says, accepting the small red ball, “Is this a jawbreaker, then, or one of those amazingly spicy cinnimon things?”
Alex nods, “Excellent captain. I would suggest that you dispatch the shuttle back to our last location with our current location information. And then we sit and wait. The last thing we want to do is wander around. Would you agree? Oh, I’d also suggest that you post some guards in the pool and the observation lounge. The few who see the better.”
Caiti shrugs her slender shoulders, her hand falling back to the edge of the table. “I dunno,” she informs him with fresh honesty. “I stole it from the store,” she explains, gesturing over her shoulder at the looted shop off of the Ellipse.
“Ahh.” Cratos says tenitivly, unwrapping the piece of candy and popping it into his mouth, “Ahh. Butterscotch.” He looks to Alex, furrowing his brow, before rubbing his temples, “My luck has run out /indeed/.”
Alex scratches his chin a bit, “I’d also make plans to return to the Ragnar location in case of need. Be sure you inform the shuttle personal of that location as well. We’ll always want some sort of fallback point.”
Charity also puts two and two together and it does indeed make four. “My gods…”
“We seem to be in some hot water indeed, Ms. Halloway.” Cratos turns to Alex, “Common sense might dictate shutting some of the unnecessary systems off, to conserve power and display less of a profile.”
Caiti is both thirteen and sulking. She does not get to ‘four’, because she does not bother to try and put two and two together, though the others get blandly curious looks.
You say, “If you need me I’m down by the casino,” as he closes the intercom connection before turning to Cratos, “Normally I would agree with you about the power, however there’s a lot of people on the ship. And we don’t have anyone in place for crowd control. The last thing we want to do is cause a panic. Shutting down systems would alert the general population to a problem. Hopefully we’ll have a solution before anything. . . happens. If not we have a fall back in place. I can’t believe the military hadn’t given us one yet.””
Charity suggests, “Perhaps they’ve become more focused on saving more ships and think that we can care for ourselves. Keeping track of a large civilian fleet probably was not something they have trained for.”
“Perhaps you’d better /explain/ the situation to me, Mr. Jackson, because I do believe I’m missing something. Am I to assume correctly that we are, currently, alone?” Cratos asks, gauging the situation.
Alex glances around to see who may be listening before offer a quick nod, “That’s the good thing though. We are currently alone.”
Just then, the intercom cuts in: “Mr. Jackson to a courtesy telephone, Mr. Jackson to a courtesy telephone.”
Alex picks up the phone, “This is Alex. How can I be of excellent service today?”
Cratos frowns, “I strongly doubt the Acropolis would cut one of the largest civilian concentrations in the fleet out of the loop without any notification, unless under dire circumstances. Our reality would suggest that we’ve had some sort of mistake in the jump drive, jump calculations, or that the Acropolis knows something we don’t. Which, again, I doubt.”
Alex shakes his head as he bangs on the desk with his fist, “Aww Frak me! How long until the jump calculations are done?”
Alex shakes his head as he bangs on the desk with his fist, “Aww Frak me! How long until the jump calculations are done?” (re)
Charity continues to look at Alex with great concern.
Cratos is sitting at a table with Caiti and Charity, currently regarding an angry Alex with a mixture of grim helplessness and dissmissal.
Caiti is, in fact, sitting /on/ the table. Sulking. Sulkily.
Arriving in the prominade is Medea, looking a little better than in recent days as if she might have *gasp* gotten to have a bath or something else equally precious in the last day perhaps. However the clothing situation on the ship is still evident as she is crammed into an ugl jumpsuit too small for her while still wearing high-heeled boots, needless to say it isnt a matching set.
Alex shakes his head as he continues to speak into the phone, “That’s not good. That’s not good at all. We don’t have any choice as far as I can tell. I have no idea how long it takes the battlestar to calculate their jumps. But I wouldn’t count on them leaving the fleet to get us. I sure wouldn’t leave all those ships for one. Would jumping back to where we were be faster? Otherwise I think we’re going to have to roll the dice and just jump while hoping for the best. Of course we want to wait until we can confirm that contact. It may take them long enough to get back here that you’ll finish our jump.” Glancing around, “I’m open to suggestions people. We just had a contact jump in then disappear. We’ve got 11 mintues for our safe jump. I don’t think we’ve got that long. But I could be wrong.”
Charity thinks a moment. “If it were one of ours, they wouldn’t have jumped away so quickly. They’d at least send a message I would think.”
Noticing the group of people Medea starts to make her way towards them, heels clicking faintly as she walks.
“A scout raider wouldn’t have disappeared so quickly either.” Cratos says, “And if it did, we’re going to have all of Hades come down on us in a matter of a few minutes. It won’t do a lick of good if the Acropolis comes back to find a lifeless hulk. Get your FTL drives spinning and prep some calculations. Get a piece of debris that the Acropolis would notice, and write a message on it, explaining the situation in no specific terms. I’m hoping our chances for a rendezvous aren’t as bad as I see them.”
Caiti is bored with this talk of whatever it is that’s going on. She is, one might say, frustrated by the universe’s disinterest in her. She springs off the table, landing in a crouch, and wanders back toward the staterooms. Maybe people are more interesting in there.
Arriving now Medea looks about, and says “I.. heard there was some sort of problem?” Aparently the young woman is not nearly up to speed on things. Smiling politely at those she is familiar with.
Medea had just arrived at the group looking somewhat bewildered and un-informed, but stops to listen and not interrupt
Sarah hasn’t moved since before the jump, instead she is sitting exactly how she was. A little ball huddled up and hiding in the dark world of her hood like some sort of ostrich. Not shivering, but definitely tense.
“Whats going on?” Medea asks, the group glancing and smiling briefly at those she is familiar with. “I heard we didn’t jump with the main fleet?”
Alex turns back to the phone. Taking a cubit out of his pocket he flips it in the air and catches it in his fist. Opening the fist he stares at the cubit for a moment, “Ok, take us to Ragnar.”
Cratos blinks as Alex flips the cubit, standing up, “What the hell did you just do?”
Sarah continues to sit as she is, but then gets wracked by a series of nasty sounding coughs that leaves her on her side, though curled in no less of a ball. If anything, she is curled up even more tightly now.
“This is the captain speaking,” the intercom says. “As some of you may have heard, the Astral Traveler has lost the fleet.” A pause. “We’re jumping to emergency coordinates, but it will take a few minutes. Please remain calm til then.” Another pause, and then more hesitant. “Also, please secure any loose belongings in case of… turbulence.”
Alex turns and yells at Cratos, “If You’ve got a better idea I’m all ears!”
Charity nervously fingers fabric of her dress as she takes in all that is going on around her.
As no one is answering her Medea moves over to Sarah’s side and sighs saying “How are you holding up?” .
“Yes damnit! Figure out whats wrong with the damn FTL drive first! If the calibration’s off, or if theres something wrong with the computer, do you think we’ll jump straight to bloody Ragnar?! Cratos sighs, “No… no, if we jump, the Cylons will at least lose the scent… but once we get wherever we go, we’re going to need to /quickly/ get our bearings, you hear? Tell the Captain that.”
Sarah takes a moment to answer Medea when she talks to her. The answer she gives is ragged, hoarse, and soft. “OK.” That did seem to cause the girl some effort, but she doesn’t seem about to reach for her notepad and pencil yet either.
“Don’t gamble with our lives though.” Cratos warns, “I expect you to at least think these things through without tossing a coin in the air.”
Medea smiles and offers Sarah a bit of a squeese on the shoulder, head turning to listen to the men gamble with their lives.
Alex sits down while still holding the phone next to his ear, “Do you think I’m an idiot? Unlike some people I’m not going to just stand around and let things happen to us. I’m going to go with what I think has the best odds. Sure the drive may be fraked up. Sure it may blow when we try and jump again. But we don’t have any fraking personal here to check it. We have no damage control teams like you’ve had over in your little world for the last few days. People are ecstatic to get a hot shower and a clean sheet to sleep on. So sit your ass down and just wait. I would much rather sit here and wait but we have to save ourselves.” Holding up the coin and flipping it over it’s clear to see that’s it’s a doublesided cubit, “And you have to remember if we survive this it’ll be legendary. You have to do something dramatic for when they make my life into a movie.”
“No offense Mr. Jackson, but we can always add those dramatic elements in later.” Charity is still nervously sitting at the table watching Alex.
Medea sits down by Sarah and turns her head to watch the small group offering charity a polite wife. However she doesn’t add much as far as the life or death situation goes. After all what can she do?
Sarah is finally getting back upright, at least, still curled up and now starting to look around at everything going on. Her expression is rather numb though, disbelieving if anything.
“This isn’t a movie. There won’t /BE ANY FRAKING MOVIES/! People’s lives are at stake here, and you’ve been printing out fliers brokering for political power mere /DAYS/ after civilization was destroyed. You want to be a leader, you better start having some respect for your post and think your descisions through. What do you expect us to do when we jump to Ragnor? Try again? Like this is just some sort of minor computer glitch. We’re wasting precious time, time that the Acropolis is using /waiting/ for us. Spin the drives, ready the jump without preparing the crew, if necessary, and hit the button when the cylons show up on the DRADIS, but otherwise, we need to know where we are to get to where we’re /going/.
You say, “Ragnor is the fallback point. If things go the way they are suppose to after the fleet finishes it’s current op it should join up with us at Ragnor. And I did consider the options. The option was to send out a broadcast which would more than likely draw the cylons like flies. Plus we’d have to wait for the fleet to calculate the jump to us. We could try and wait but we’ve already got things showing up out there and disappearing. The captain has already screwed up the calculations for this jump most likely due to exhaustion. The only logical choice it to go to the fallback point. Hopefully the captain will be able to make the jump correctly and we have time to get out of here. And you all are right I was probably too flippant with the coin. I knew what I was going to do.””
Medea asks “How do you break the jump drives anyhow?” A pause as she clarifies “I mean weve all been making hundreds of jumps and none of the other ships have had their engines do this have they?”
“Then next time, /do/ it. Don’t play silly games. It makes us all think that theres no method to the madness.” Cratos says, sternly. “These people don’t need flare. They need an administrator. Leave the entertainment to the entertainers, leave the shows and breeding behavior to the animals, and just do it.”
Medea continues to sit quietly as she listens to the man argue. Her hand comes up and she lowers the zipper on her jump suit a little. This doesn’t appear to be any seductive thing so much as the outfit is clearly too small and it was probly not very comfortable.
“This is the captain speaking,” the intercom says – and the captain’s voice is grim. “We are detecting incoming enemy craft. The Astral Traveler is going to try to run, but we advise all passengers to seek shelter.” An unsteady pause. “On a more personal note,” he says, voice breaking. “I would ask you all to pray for us.”
Alex nods again, “You’re right professor. But you’ll have to forgive me I’m not used to political life. I’m used to people paying for a show at the casino.” Looking up at the intercom he shakes his head, “Here they come.” Speaking back into the phone Alex says, “I hope you’ve got that jump calculated.”
Sarah sighs softly as she hears the announcement. But that seems to be the girl’s only reaction to the possibility of her doom being just around the corner. The ball she is curled into relaxes, if anything.
Medea puts an arm around Sarah although for once this may not just be for the girls comfort. Medea inhales sharply as she says “Oh goddess..” a shudder going through her.
The Professor slumps back into his seat and crosses his arms over his chest, “No more gambling, no more shows…” He sighs, “Whatever happens, into the breach we go.” He looks down, suddenly very tired.
Charity casts her head down and murmers a prayer, clutching at the arms of the chair tightly.
Sarah at least leans into the embrace that comes her way, even if she does not uncurl from the introverted ball she is in. Though she shows no signs of starting to pray either.
Alex sits and waits for some response over the phone.
Somewhere. A clock ticks slowly.
Alex glances at a clock and shakes his head, “To long..” Speaking back into the phone Alex says, “If you don’t have that jump calculated in 2 1/2 minutes then jump us anywhere but here. We don’t have that much time.”
“Thats a death knell even if the Cylons don’t get us. We’ll have completely lost the fleet. Not that I disagree, we’re out of options.” Cratos says, ridgedly even and quiet.
Medea lets out a soft sound from her throat but is otherwise silent as she holds onto Sarah, waiting for their inevitable doom.
Sarah continues to just sit there, frozen if anything. But looking altogether too solemn and unreacting for the circumstances. Too distant by far.
There’s a sudden sideways jink – the entire Astral Traveler, just /leaping/ five feet to one side, and a rattling vibration in the walls. The Cylons must be upon the liner. “Brace yourselves!” the captain yells over the intercom, even as people are knocked out of chairs and their feet. “Forty seconds to jump!”
Medea leans over and kisses Sarah on the top of the head as they huddle there. Although she is badly thrown off falling to one side slightly as the finall moments to either jump or death arise.
Alex nods, “Unless someone wants to go out side and throw spit wads at them. To bad we can’t launch that shuttle and use it as a bomb. Blow it up and give us a few extra sec…” Speaking back into the phone, “Hey Bridge! Can you kick that shuttle out?
Maybe give us a few extra seconds for them to have to reaim their guns?”
Cratos falls from his chair, landing on the ground with a whump on his shoulder. He pushes his body up, “Unless thats a button push away, I think we need the few seconds for more important things like getting out of here /inside/ an artificial atmosphere.”
The sudden jolt to the ship sends Sarah flying too, right into a wall, hard at that. She seems to go limp there, the self-embrace she has been holding looking much looser than it had been as she lays there.
Alex shrugs, “I’m not a military genius. I’m just making this up as we go. Trying to Sarah!” Jumping up Alex runs over to check on her.
Another shudder, as the ship starts to run faster – and across the line, the captain is far too busy putting a passenger liner through manuevers meant for a fighter plane to respond to Alex. Another enormous shudder, and Alex is off his feet, falling into Sarah as a muffled boom shudders through the deck.
Medea tries to lift herself but the sudden shifting and wobbling of the ship disrupts any attempts on her part to stand up.
“15 seconds!” the captain yells across the intercom. “All hands, make fast!”
Taner kicks one foot into a bulkhead, rolling to one side to avoid a falling table, and not quite succseeding, metal edge crashing down on his shoulder. Raising it with one hand, he crawls under it, letting it down on the floor above his head, “Easy for him to say.” Is all he manages, squeezing his eyes shut to reality.
Sarah makes an audible “Ooof” sound as Alex falls into her. If she was conscious before. She does not seem to be now though. The girl’s bad luck seeming to continue. Though it might have been the bulkhead behind he getting her with the subsequent blasts too. Who knows?
Alex rolls off of Sarah as he tries to push himself up on his elbow to check to see if she is still breathing, “I’m sorry Sarah. It’s gonna be ok… just hang in there.”
Another boom, closer, and there are sparks flying from the ceiling. “Jump in three,” the captain says. “Two…”
Sarah is breathing.
Cratos is not. Or rather, he’s holding his breath.
Medea manages to get onto her hands and knees starting to crawl to where Alex and Sarah are as the ship sparks and prepares for the end.
Alex stares up at the ceiling and yells, “GET US THE FRAK OUTTA HERE!”
“…one.” Space and time twists, and then there’s an unsteady moment as the Astral Traveler arrives, alive, on the other side.
The professor exhales, opening his eyes for a moment, and slowly clambering to his feet, “Well…” He looks around, “Where are we?”
And.. medea stumbles forward half way to the young ger girl as the ship jerks back into real space leting out an inheld breath with a loud gasp.
Alex glances over to Medea and then down to Sarah, “Can you check on her.” Alex scrables back to his feet and back over to the phone, “Are we clear? Where are we?”
The intercom crackles with a breath of relief. “Ladies and gentlemen,” the captain says with obvious joy. “DRADIS reports a stable orbit around the gas giant Ragnar. Thank the Lords.”
Sarah lays just where she last was, breathing, but not much else. Her eyes closed. Her body limp. The final proof she’s alive comes when, even unconscious, she is suddenly wracked by a coughing fit.
Medea manages to craw to Sarah’s side and pulls the girl to her examining her. “She hit the wall pretty hard..” some worry in her voice.
Cratos sighs in relief, stepping over towards Alex and Sarah, “That woman is injury prone… is she conscious?”
Alex speaking into the phone Alex giggles like a schoolgirl briefly before regaining his composure, “You guys, did a great job. I don’t know what I’ve got you might want but let me know and it’s yours.” Hanging up the phone Alex looks around at the others with a faint smile and says, “I think I’m going to be sick now. As for Sarah, I’d rather not move her until someone with some medical training has had a chance to look at her.”
Medea says quietly “If you can get a blanket I will stay here with her until she can move.” and with a shake of her head she says “She appears unconscious but she is alive.”
Sarah looks almost serene now, unconscious as she is. Certainly not the exhausted, painwracked expression she usually has. Just a limp, relaxed posture and look.
“If she doesn’t have a head injury, just try to keep her warm, and get whoever you have as medical personal down here to help her. Or… we can call the Acropolis, if she’s here…” Cratos straightens his suit, “If you’ll forgive me though, Mr. Jackson, I may have to take you up on that tour some other time. I think I need to get back to the Acropolis….”
Alex nods, “When you get back to the Acropolis if you’d send some medics over I’d appreciate it. And when you have time, I think I’d like to speak with you about political advice.”
Medea nods her head slightly as she is told what to do, resting against the wall near Sarah.
“I suggest you get as much of a Battle-Damage-Assessment as you can, and start getting what able bodied people you can find to start putting out fires. The Galactica is going to need to know how much immidiate assistence is needed.” Cratos chews the bottem of his lip, “Wait until we have a government before asking me about that. I think we have more pressing matters to concern ourselves with, don’t you?” He turns about and heads towards the door, to make his way to the shuttle bay.
Alex shakes his head, “No I don’t.” Turning to walk down the corridor he calls out, “Ma’Shell! get a damage report. If there’s fires get people to start putting them out. . . ”
Just a spoonful of sugar
Alex walks into the stateroom with a bit of a jaunty step and whistling. Stopping at the front desk he grabs a clean glass and pours some water into from a pitcher sitting next to glasses. Making a bit of a skip step he starts walking over to Sarah’s bedside again almost dancing a jig as he approaches.”
Sarah isn’t sleeping for once! She’s sitting crosslegged on her bed though. Two of the smaller children are here sleeping, the others probably out playing or getting food or something. No adults are present either. Maybe they left her in charge?
Alex offers Sarah the glass of water as he reaches into his pocket an pulls out a small bottle containing some type of thick syrup like liquid. “Guess what I found. I’m told this doesn’t have the greatest flavor but the doctor said this should help coat your throat and such as you drink. After a couple of doses the pain should subside when you try and use your voice because of the anesthesia effect the medicine will produce. After a dose or two the throat muscles should have relaxed enough that the coughing fits should end within a few hours. If there’s any infection in there this stuff will knock it out. You should be your old self in a couple of days. They said take a 2 spoonfuls ever 4 to 6 hours. And you can take another half spoonful between the normal doses as needed for pain.” Alex offers the bottle to Sarah as well, “Sorry it took me so long to get this for you. It just took me awhile to make the trades.”
Sarah looks up at it, biting her lower lip and reaching out to it with some trepidation. After a week of very little sleep but when she was knocked out, and hell otherwise. She probably does not believe it much. But it’s a chance to try something. The glass of water she starts with. Then sets it down to open up the syrup. “Thanks…” She says, more than a whisper. But definitely the best you’ve heard her voice sound. She takes it and closes her eyes tight before drinking the dose. Her face twists in disgust afterwards too.
Alex scratches his chin thoughtfully for a moment, “So now we just have to figure out how your going to pay for this hard to acquire medicine.”
Sarah’s eyes go wide after that. Then looks down at her thing of medicine, and then to the kids. Finally, she just bites her lower lip and starts to get a sheepish look on her face as she looks downwards.
Alex chuckles, “I figure you better become some great singer when all this is done and then you can dedicate some song to me or something. Tell everyone how great I am and such.”
Sarah keeps biting her lower lip while Alex says that. She starts to reach for the water again, but seems to think better of it. Might stop the medicine after all. So she doesn’t talk yet and reaches for her notepad to write. “Don’t know, might still be better to have me do something else.” She still doesn’t seem too hopeful of her chances.
Alex shakes his head, “You want to be a singer. Be a singer. We’ve got a rough road ahead of us for everyone involved. The more things we can present to the masses that seem normal the better off we as a people are going to be. Not to mention there are hundreds of kids out there now without parents. Theses kids are going to need role models and heroes to look up. I remember growing up and wishing I could meet . . . well never mind. But the same thing is going to happen here. I can’t think of a better role model for most of these kids than you would be. Someone who doesn’t give up, someone who keeps fighting to survive.”
Sarah looks downwards, rather shyly. She’s still sucking on her lower lip. Definitely looking unsure of herself. She doesn’t write anything though, perhaps at times the silence might be beneficial.
Alex smirks, “Don’t worry kiddo you’re going to be a star.”
Sarah looks again towards one of the kids. Then back. “Least.. Breathing don’t hurt as much.” She says, not bothering to write it. Though it does still seem to take her a bit of effort and pain to say so.
Alex nods, “Just take it easy. Take a couple doses of the medicine and you’ll be as good as new. I’ve got to go redistribute the wealth.”
Sarah nods back to Alex. “OK. Thanks.” She says, and again comes that sad smile. It’s still far too early to be feeling any mirth about anything. But that does not make it any less of a grateful expression.
Someone Needs A Teacher
Charity is sitting at a table, staring at the makeshift memorial behind the bar. Her hands nervously rub together. She seems lost in thought.
Alex strolls down the hallway and casually waves at various people people as he heads towards the defunt casino machines. There is a little bit of a skip in his step. Spotting Charity he leans over and actually does a bit of hop, skip, jump step and heads towards her table. “Mind if I join you? I’ve been mea. .” Watching the woman for a moment he asks, “Ok what’s wrong? I’ve seen that look before when people have been in trouble at the casino.”
Charity breaks out of her reverie. “Oh, hello Mr. Jackson. Oh, nothing. Just dreaming I suppose. Please, have a seat. What can I do for you?”
Alex grins sheepishly, “Ok, don’t tell me. But you’ve been such a great help. If there’s anything I can do just let me know.” Taking a seat, “And of course I need more of your help. I was finally able to acquire the medicine for Sarah I imagine she’s going to be fine now. But I’ve discovered she’d like to be a singer. I don’t know if she’s got any talent or anything like that. Plus I think she may have a bit of stage fright. But if she does have any skill she could sure use someone who knows the ropes. Help her develop the ability and help keep her from running into the stereotypical troubles someone her age might encounter.”
Charity stares blankly at Alex for a moment. “But Mr. Jackson, while I’m flattered, I’m not a teacher. Truth be told, I’m not that much of a singer either. My agent felt it would be good for me to diversify, especially after I had such a long…hiatus.”
Alex can’t seem to wipe that stupid grin from his face, “Alex. It’s Alex. And I’m not a political candidate I’m just a kid who wound up dealing cards in a casino. When the ship got lost from the fleet it scared the frak out of me. I had no idea if I was doing the right thing or not.” Glancing around the crowd he lowers his voice, “That’s why I flipped the two headed coin. If I was wrong and I had to be judged by people I wanted a scapegoat. All I had was the coin. Which was stupid. But we all are falling into roles we don’t know. If Sarah does start singing and is any good. Who knows who would try to exploit her. You may not be a formal teacher but you’ve got experience. Experience I would rather Sarah not gain.”
Charity’s head lowers for a moment. Without raising her eyes, she speaks quietly. “You would that I were a role model, but I’m not. I’m just as debased and corrupted as anyone else. And I’m still fighting it. Perhaps a teacher, or a counselor, or a priest might be a wiser choice.”
Alex starts to reach out to her but pulls his hand back, “Char, I hate to break it to but we’re all role models. Not all role models are on pedestals some role models are examples of how bad life can be and still survive to come out on the other side. I’ve lived my whole life around some of the most corrupted souls you’ll ever meet. And you know what I realized? This attack is the best thing that has ever happened to me. It’s given me a choice to be the person I was or the person I could be. This is my redemption. Sarah could be part of your redemption too. We all fight every day and you know why we fight? Because the corrupted path is easy, it’s oh so very easy. To walk in the light is to fight every single moment of your life for the rest of your life. Teacher, counselor, priest. Sure but who is a teenager going to listen to some pale person who never seen the dark side of entertainment? Or someone who has survived it since before they could walk?”
Charity pauses a moment, before looking up with a weak smile on her face. “To be fair, I /could/ walk by the time they shoved me in front of a camera for the first time. Unless you count the baby clothes line…”
Alex grins, “Well just think about it. I haven’t mentioned it to Sarah because I wanted to run it by you first. But you are a good person Char, whether you believe it or not. Me on the other hand, I’m a bad man. But people are depending on me right now so I have to be the best person I can be right now. So you want to tell me what you were dreaming about now? Maybe something I could help with?”
Charity brushes it aside casually. “Oh, it’s nothing. Just that sometimes the brain has the severe need to stop and catch its breath.”
Alex glances around a bit and lowers his voice again, “Listen it’s none of my business but if your going through withdrawals or something I might be able to help. Make it easier for you. Since I got the medicine for Sarah I imagine I could find other. . . things as well.”
Charity stares straight at Alex for a long while. A face of absolute desperateness appears and then vanishes. “Mr. Jackson, I have not had anything in my system that was given directly by a physician since I was 16 years old. I do not intend to let myself start now.”
Alex grins, “See, like I said you’re a good person and I’m a bad man.”
Charity stands. “Mr. Jackson, history is full of a great many ‘bad men’ as you continue to refer to yourself as. I think you’ll find that almost all the truly great men in history have also been, at one time or another, ‘bad men’. Well behaved men seldom make history.”
Alex chuckles, “You’re probably right Char. Sorry if I upset you but please do think about Sarah when you have a chance.”
Charity turns to start leaving. She stops and says over her shoulder, her shimmering dark hair cascading over her shoulders, “I will think about her, as long as you keep thinking about us all.” She walks slowly and gracefully out of the room.
Alex yells down the hallway with a silly grin on his face, “Don’t worry about me Char, I’ve been thinking and dreaming about you for years.”
Always Look a Gift Horse
Commander Grey steps into the Ward Room, looking every bit as harried as ever, but certainly more rested than in recent times. He seems to have a few more lines on his face than he did last week, though.
The Ward room is empty, really. One of the few places on the ship that is actually quiet. Grey makes a slow circle around the room, before going to the table and taking a seat, waiting.
Kostas met Alex on the hangar deck, went through the security routines for visitors, all with total professionalism calm and thoroghness. He then escorted the civilian visitor to the ward room without delays, saying almost nothing except ‘watch those steps, Sir’ or similar warnings. Entering the Ward Room, he comes to attention and salutes. “Corporal Kostas escorting the visitor, Sir!”
Alex strolls into the room with a bit of a bounce in his step in fact it might look as if it’s a cross between skipping and dancing. Under his arm is a large office folder with various papers poking out. Glancing around the room as he enters he steps around the Marine over towards the commander and offers his hand, “Commander Grey, so nice to see you again. I hope it’s under better conditions that our first encounter. I must commend your crew here especially this Marine he was much politer than the last marine I encounter as I departed your ship. But I’m always one to let bygones be bygones.”
Grey looks up almost the second the two arrive, and as Kostas salutes, Grey stands up and salutes as well. “Thank you, at ease.” he commands, then turns to Alex, stepping forward to shake the man’s proffered hand. “Mister Jackson. We meet again. Won’t you have a seat?” he asks, waving a hand languidly in the direction of the table, giving Kostas a glance and a jerk of the head also, indicating he wants him to move to the table as well. “Well, I am sorry about rudeness. It sometimes happens, especially under stressful circumstances. I assume this is about the Vipers again?”
Kostas lowers the salute, sees Grey’s gestures and moves to stand next to the table with his hands on his back and his feet spread apart in shoulder width. He then stares straight ahead into the wall.
Alex pulls out a chair and moves to take a seat, “The Vipers?” A quizzical look crosses his face, “Oh! the vipers! Well to be completely honest I assumed that you had sorted out your problems since it’s been uh,” Alex glances down at his watch and begins counting on his fingers, “Almost a week I guess since I offered my assistance. Now that we’re not in a constant state of jumping I imagine you have the personal available to resolve any situation.” Opening the folder Alex removes some paperwork, “Actually, I need your or should I say the military’s help now. By my count there are several individuals out in the fleet that need medical aid. The problem is the lack of medical aid we can provide. Well while the military was busy keeping us alive I did my best to pull some strings, call in favors and markers from the casino, things along those lines. I’ve managed to stockpile a large amount of medical supplies. Unfortunately I doubt it’s enough to help everyone. Someone needs to setup some sort of umm. . Triage? I imagine someone is going to need to pick and choose who has the best chance of survival so we can use the limited resources on those people. If we could create some sort of hospital ship it would be of a great benefit.”
“Well, in the middle of so many jumps was not the time to be working out that problem, Mr. Jackson. Undermanned as we were, we just went with what works. But I believe Commander Dayan has the matter in hand. I’ve passed your name along, and if we find we need more assistance, we will certainly consider you.” Grey sits back and listens intently to Alex as he explains all of his recent transactions and makes a proposal. After he finishes, Grey’s face pinches slightly, as if deep in though. He leans forward to peer at the paperwork on the table. “Okay, Mister Jackson…lets look at it from a tactical point of view. I’m just thinking out loud, mind you…” The XO leans an elbow on the table. “As our recent disaster aboard this ship pointed out, it is a tactical mistake to have all your doctors and medical staff in the same area. We lost a good amout of our supplies, and most of the medical crew. It stands to reason that a hospital ship would pose the same weakness if we compile our remaining supplies and staff there.” He pauses for a breath, and to let Alex get a word in.
Kostas could be a statue if not for the fact he has to blink once in awhile. But except for that and the steady movement of his breathing, he’s not moving a muscle.
Alex glances over to the Marine with a confused look before turning back to the commander, “I’m.. sorry. I’m not familiar with the disaster. I suppose information of the fleet’s condition is not filtering out as well as it should be. I’ve been having to listen in on the wireless broadcasts just to get an idea of the situation.”
“Ah…yes. Well…” Grey looks uneasy about this for a moment, then continues, “During one of our last rescue missions, one of the civilian passengers who were sent to triage aboard Acropolis apparently brought a bomb with him. He blew up the infirmary, all of the doctors, and much of the medical staff. We are bad off in the way of medical doctors,” the man says in a very grave tone. “We lost a great deal of equipment and pharmaceuticals as well.”
Kostas’s gaze is held steady but he blinks several times in a row now, as if something that is said disturbs him. Perhaps he, as a marine, doesn’t like the fact someone got past security in that manner.
As Grey announces the loss of equipment and pharmaceuticals one can almost see the wheels starting to spin behind Alex’s eyes, “Lost a.. I.. See.” Coughing a bit Alex goes on, “So I suppose that make the stockpile I’ve acquired even more valuable then. 10 days ago if I had been sitting on a stockpile like this I can barely imagine what I would ask in return for the goods.” Alex scratches at his chin while he considers the situation for a moment, “And as you said before you don’t know me from Adam. Yes this is a very interesting situation. What would Alba do in this situation I wonder. Whatever was in his best interest I imagine. Fortunately I’m a humanitarian. If you can arrange transport I’ll let you all have my supplies with no strings attached. By my calculation I think if used correctly the stock pile would help about a fourth of our people currently in need.”
Commander Grey’s right eyebrow raises as Alex muses out loud, and a doubtful look comes to his face, which only eases a little as Alex offers his stash to the fleet. “And we certainly thank you, Mister Jackson. That stockpile should be put under guard right away, if it isn’t already. But…as you were saying about the hospital ship…on the one hand it is a tactical weakness. But on the other hand, running medical staff all over is quite inefficient. There are pros and cons all over. I mean, what if someone dies because it takes so long to transport them to the hospital ship? Or what if the tactical situation makes trasnportation impossible? On the other hand, what if someone dies because the best staff was on another ship? Or what if our last doctor dies in a shuttle during an attack?” Grey sighs, and starts to pace.
Behind his back, where Grey and Alex can’t see it, Kostas flexes his fingers a few times to keep circulation going. But his expression remains detached and his gaze is focused on a spot on the wall.
Alex nods, “Yes I can certainly understand the concern. It does make it an irresistible target. But I can’t really imagine any of our survivors would want to destroy one of our last means of survival. I doubt even the 15 would be that stupid. But I’d ask Alba what he thought. There was a rumor making the circles on the station that Alba was actually a member of the 15 which is why he was so umm. . . excited to head that tribunal. As for cylon attacks I’d just refer back to the slight of hand. Find something and make it look like something it’s not. The less interesting it looks the less of a target it would be. But speaking of Alba. I’ve been trying to organize a meeting with ship reps to try and reorganize a civilian government. Perhaps you might be of some assistance? If we could have Mr. Cratos review the situation and devise the best way to hold elections?”
“Yes, you would think.” is all Grey says about the sabotage. “Well, a shuttle is pretty uninteresting and bland. But that doesn’t mean they cant get lucky. Maybe assign a raptor, instead. But I think we are getting ahead of ourselves. Certainly you are right. We need to organize the medical situation in the fleet.” Elections? Grey wears a slight look of surprise on his face and then considers for a moment. “Yes, we should get right on that, I suppose. I’ll bring it up with Dayan. But really, it doesn’t…or shouldn’t take much cooperation on the part of the military to run an election.” Grey paces again. “And now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get going. Corporal Kostas will see you to the shuttle, and I would like him to accompany you back to your ship, and evaluate the security situation with the supplies, if you don’t mind.”
Kostas takes one step back, then turns around and walks to the door, looking out briefly before stepping outside and standing at ease there to let the commander walk onwards. Has to make sure it’s safe first.
Alex stands and glances at the marine, “The medical supplies are spread out all over the fleet. I didn’t want to consolidate them in one place. To easy to get stolen that way.”
“I understand, Sir,” Kostas replies, watching Alex with an unreadable expression. “I need a list of where they are and how much there is at each location. We’ll handle it discreetly.” He doesn’t outright say it, but if people found out that medical equipment was being moved, there might be risk of someone trying to take it.
Alex reaches into his pocket and pulls out a small notebook. Pulling a piece of paper out of the notebook he hands it to the marine, “Here’s the locations along with the person to ask for and code words. We’re not military but we know how to protect things.”
Kostas reaches out for the list, relaxing somewhat now when he’s not in the presence of an officer, but still being strictly military. He looks down at it, browsing it over. “What trouble can we expect, if any?” he asks, looking back up at the civilian man.
Alex shrugs a bit, “I doubt there will be any trouble. The fourth ship there is having a bit of a food shortage. But other than that I don’t think there would be any trouble.”
Kostas tucks the list away. “Thank you, sir,” he says, his voice having a raspy quality. He doesn’t speak loudly but all words come out clearly. “I’ll escort you back now.” That isn’t a question and he takes a step back, and gestures down the corridor to make Alex follow him.
Alex steps threw the doorway and heads back down the hallway.