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Show us where you live.


Bill Adama sat slumped at his desk in his quarters, staring at the right hand he'd driven into his own mirror not long before. The white bandages covering his lacerations shaded to gray on the palm, discolored with faint traces of the black soil he'd scooped up on Earth's surface. The soil was as blasted as their hopes, the gray as pallid as his mood.

Leaning his head against the back of his chair, he scanned the tightly enclosed space he'd called home for years now. He'd started to allow himself to dream of something larger, airier, with walls and floors of wood to replace all this metal. A cabin ...

But what they'd found on the planet below turned all such hopes to literal ash. The Thirteenth Tribe of Kobol had indeed found Earth, settled there, and eventually destroyed it and themselves. The nuclear wasteland they'd seen tripped rad meters too heavily to be fit for long-term exposure, even if anyone could have been persuaded to linger among the twisted cities and blasted vegetation, both equally dead.

With a dissatisfied grunt, he drove himself to his feet and paced his cabin. Sitting around brooding on might-have-beens only fed despair. He needed to think. Unfortunately as he circled the warmly lit room, passing his rack, table, bookshelves and leather furniture, all he could think was that most of the fleet lived in harsher conditions and wouldn't deal well with the news that those conditions would be prolonged. So many had so much riding on finding this, their destination, and the truth about Earth's devastation might well trigger an equally devastating reaction from the refugees.

A thump on his hatch broke through his thoughts. "Enter."

His marine guard swung the hatch open to admit Laura, Saul, Lee and Kara. With a few nods and murmurs they took seats at the large table. Bill turned to his XO first. "How's the survey coming?"

Saul Tigh still looked slightly boggled at the fact that he still had his rank and position, even after revealing his Cylon nature. "The Raptors just launched, along with seven small civilian ships. Our Cylon allies--" The boggled look deepened for a moment. "--have detailed another ten ships to work with ours. If there's a piece of that planet that looks habitable enough to support us, we'll know within the next forty-eight hours."

At a glance from her CO, Starbuck smoothly took over. "The Cylons are also coordinating with our CAP. Between their birds and ours, we should have plenty of warning if the Ones, Fours and Fives decide to show up." She chewed her lip briefly. "Though Leoben and D'Anna both agree that they're more likely to hang back for a while, now that the Hub has been destroyed." Kara's expression, like her tone, was outwardly steady but inwardly brittle. After everything she'd been through in the push to find Earth, the thought that her destiny had led them all to a charred cinder clearly weighed on her.

Adama nodded before turning to his son. "And the civilians?"

"The President's address seems to have calmed the initial panic." Lee's steadiness carried all the way through, even more so since his brief time at the President's desk. "The ships' captains are currently holding things together for right now, and every hour they do so means a decrease in the risk of mass hysteria. Gods know we don't need some stampede for the surface." He swallowed before adding. "There have been fourteen suicides reported, though."

Likely with more to come, if they didn't catch some kind of break soon. After a brief rub at the bridge of his nose, Adama turned to the woman at the head of the table. "Madam President. Any further orders?"

No one had been hit harder by the truth about Earth than the woman who had driven them all so fiercely, herself most of all, to get there. But as was typical for Laura Roslin, she'd kept her initial bout of grief and bitterness short and private. Only Bill had seen any of it.

Now determination gleamed in the eyes behind the glasses. "After everything we've been through in the past three years, I know this outcome seems like a massive cosmic joke at our expense. It's up to us to turn it into something else." Laura folded her fingers together, resting her wrists on the edge of the table. "I still believe that there's something here for us, some reason events have pushed us all the way to the Thirteenth Colony. Call it faith, divine will, wishful thinking, whatever you like. We may not find the home we hoped for here, but if we don't find some indication of the next step we should take, we'll lose the entire fleet to despair after all. I refuse to accept that outcome."

"So say we all," muttered Kara. Lee remained silent, his attention absolute. Saul gazed at Laura keenly through his one eye. "Any ideas on what that next step might be, Madam President?" Time was when the XO's question would have been loaded with sarcasm ... but that time was long past.

Laura gave him a wry answering smile. "I am more than open to suggestions, Colonel. But the way I see it is ..."

Five heads bent together as the discussion began in earnest. As he flexed his hand against the bandages, Bill Adama gazed at the faces of the four people he loved most in this existence.

Cabin in space or cabin by a lake, it didn't matter. They were his home.


Muse: Admiral William Adama
Fandom: Battlestar Galactica '03
Word count: 930
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September 2009

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