beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Shh)
[personal profile] beatrice_otter
Story Title: Alone in the Silence
Author's Name: Beatrice Otter
Main Characters: Lee Adama, Bill Adama
Date: 1/29/06
Word Count: 2,840
Short Story
Spoilers/Disclaimers: Kobol’s Last Gleaming pt 2, Resurrection Ship pt 2
Rating: T

At eleven pages, this is the shortest story I've ever written.  It was for the "Lee Adama Is a Cylon" challenge on Sciencefictionbuzz.com.  It's also the only BSG fic I've ever written.  If you're interested in my other fic (all Stargate), you can check them out at  ff.net.  Enjoy!

Four Marines in full combat gear had their weapons aimed at him, safeties off and ready to fire.  That was the first thing Lee Adama noticed, even before the shouting and chaos all around him.  He did the sensible thing, under the circumstances; he froze, hands out and away from his body and clearly visible to all, and dropped the gun in his right hand.  Which was insane, because he had no more idea why he had it than how he got here, wherever ‘here’ was.  Last thing he remembered, he was changing out of his flight suit after a routine patrol.

“Drop the bag!  Hands behind your head!”  Lee wasn’t sure who’d screamed that; he thought it was one of the Marines but as confused as he was he could easily be wrong.  He did what the guy said, though, slowly and without any sudden movements; he recognized the duffle bag as his while he slung it to the floor.  He’d thought it was in his locker, and in the general confusion he hadn’t realized that he had it over his shoulder.  One of the watching deck hands—a glance around told him he was in a corridor just off the flight deck—grabbed the bag after it hit the ground and ripped open the seal.

“On the ground!”  Apparently he wasn’t following directions fast enough, because one of the Marines surrounding him gave a rough shove that tumbled him to the ground.

“What the hell’s going on?” Lee asked, trying to squirm around so he could see the bag as they searched it.

“Don’t play innocent, asshole!” was the only response he got besides a blow to the back of the head, and the general commotion seemed to ramp up another notch.  He did finally manage to twist around and see his bag, just in time to see a detonator and a chunk of G4 pulled out.  Which just made this whole thing more surreal.

“When’s it set to go off?”

“What?” Lee asked.  He thought the question was aimed at him, but he still had no frakking clue what was going on around here.

“The bomb you planted, toaster!  When’s the damn thing set to go off?

Bomb?” Lee asked in disbelief.  “I don’t know what—”

Another shove.  “Try again, Captain.  Cally saw you plant it and set it not five minutes ago.  Answer the frakking question!”

“I don’t frakking know!” Lee screamed in frustration.  Lords of Kobol, this wasn’t funny.  He could wake up any time, now.

“All right, all right, show’s over.”

The gruff voice of Colonel Tigh came from somewhere behind him; Lee twisted to see him, or tried to; the unsubtle jab of a gun in the small of his back convinced him otherwise.

“Let’s get him to the brig,” the first officer said.  “Everybody back to work.  Back to work!”

Two marines hauled him up.  Before they took him away, Tigh stepped in front of him, inches from his face.  “You really frakked it up this time, Apollo,” he said.  “This is gonna kill your old man.  That stunt with the President’s little mutiny a couple of months ago was nothing compared to this.”

“Colonel, I have no idea what’s going on,” Lee said desperately.  “You have to believe me about that!”

Tigh cocked his head, looking Lee square in the eye.  “Tell me another one.”  He turned on his heel and walked out.

***

Hours later, Lee sat alone in the brig, hunched over and trying to figure out what the frak had happened.  Tigh had been in here trying to interrogate him;

Doctor Baltar had collected a sample for analysis with his usual odd behavior; a couple Marines had come in and roughed him up a bit in an effort to loosen his tongue.  His father hadn’t been in, and nobody believed that he didn’t know what was going on.  Or that he was innocent.
The doors opened and the guard snapped to attention.  Lee looked up to see his father come in the door, face set in stone.  Lee came to his feet as the guard left them alone.

“Why’d you do it, Lee?” his father asked in a low voice full of pain.

“I didn’t do anything!” Lee said.  “I flew my patrol.  I landed and went to the ready room to change out of my flight suit.  I opened my locker.  Next thing I know I’m in the corridor outside the flight deck with four Marines pointing weapons at me.  I don’t know how I got there, or why I had a gun and a duffle bag with me.  I don’t know what happened.  That is the gods’ honest truth.”  He swallowed.  His father’s granite face hadn’t changed one bit as he spoke.  “Can you tell me what did happen?  No one’s done anything but ask me questions I have no answers for.”

“You want to know what happened?” Adama said, expressionlessly.  “All right.”  He pivoted with parade-ground precision and marched out.

“Dad?  Dad!”

The door clanged shut with finality.

***

A little while later Chief Tyrol came in and began setting up a portable vid system angled so he could see the screen.

“Chief, what are you doing here?” Lee asked, surprised.  This wasn’t exactly the hanger deck; any tech on the ship could have taken care of it.

“The Admiral’s trying to do damage control,” Chief answered.  “Wants to keep things as quiet as possible.”  He went on with his work.  “You really don’t remember setting that bomb?”  His tone was almost conversational.

“No!” Lee said.  He paused.  “You believe me?”  There was hope yet, it seemed.

“Cally came to me when she saw you do it,” Chief said with a shrug.  He stopped working and faced Lee for the first time since he’d come in.  “I was there when the Marines got you.  You’d been moving with purpose, smooth, like you were on a mission.  Then you froze, and, well, if that confusion was acting you’re the best actor in the history of the frakking world.”  He went back to his work.  “And then there was Sharon.”

The last was so quiet Lee wasn’t certain he’d heard it correctly.  “Sharon?  What about her?” he asked urgently.

Chief paused again but kept his head bowed over the screen.  “Sharon … had a couple of black-outs before we learned she was a Cylon.  Really freaked her out.  She’d find herself someplace with no idea how she’d gotten there or what she’d been doing.  First one was just before the explosion in the water tanks.  I really don’t think she knew she was a Cylon.”  He began collecting his tools.

“Wait, what are you saying?”  Lee grabbed the bars of his cell.  “What are you saying?  You think I’m a Cylon?”  It was a possibility he’d been trying hard to ignore.

The chief didn’t answer.  He just walked out the door.

***

Lee hadn’t had much time to pace when his father came in again, this time followed by Doctor Baltar and several Marines in full gear.  “Dad—”

A single look froze the words in his throat.  His father stared him down as the weird scientist fiddled with the equipment.

The screen came to life with security footage from the hangar bay; the timestamp indicated that it was footage from today.  Lee watched himself walk briskly past the camera, duffel bag on his shoulder.  As he passed out of view of that camera, the view switched to one in the corridor adjoining the bay, following his movements as he stopped, pried loose a panel, placed something from his bag behind it, and replaced the panel.  Lee felt his jaw drop.

“Pretty stupid thing to do, walking past all those security cameras,” his father observed quietly.  “Of course, it would have been difficult to avoid them entirely, and as CAG you have enough power you could probably have removed the footage or replaced it with something innocuous afterwards, but before the charges went off.  They’ve all been disabled, by the way.  In the power conduits as you placed them, they would have taken out half the hangar deck and large portions of the decks above and below.  The power feedback would have crippled the jump drive.  We’ve removed them all, of course.  You failed.”

“That’s not me,” Lee said, shaking his head violently, tearing his eyes away from the screen to meet his father’s.  “I didn’t do that.  I wouldn’t have done that.  I’m not a Cylon sympathizer!”

“Well, you’re right about that,” Baltar broke in.

Adama ignored the scientist, gaze fixed on Lee.  Lee returned his father’s stare, pleading mutely to be believed.  The granite visage before him didn’t even flicker.

“You’re not a sympathizer,” Baltar continued delicately, easing himself into the battle of wills taking place between the two men.  “You are, in fact, a Cylon.”

That got Lee’s attention.  Okay, so maybe he’d feared it, but he hadn’t believed it.  “What?” he said blankly.  “You think I’m a toaster?”  His voice rose on that last, and he tried to bring it under control.

“I’m sorry, Captain,” Baltar said, not meeting his gaze.  “I’m afraid the test was quite conclusive.”  His attention, as usual, seemed to be focused on something no one else could see.

Lee felt maniacal laughter bubbling up within him.  A few chuckles escaped before he brought himself under control.  The situation was not funny, and this was no time for hysteria.  “This is frakking crazy,” he said at last, running his hands through his hair.  “I’m not a toaster, I’m a viper pilot.  Dad,” he grabbed the bars, “you know it’s not true.  It can’t be.  You were there when I was born, for the love of the gods!”

“I was there when my son Lee was born.”

The face and voice were every bit the military hard-ass Lee had hated after Zak’s death, and it scared him, deeply.  If his father believed this—and what if it were true?  What if the doctor’s tests were right?  “No.  No.  This cannot be happening.”  Lee paced the cage like an animal, shaking his head.  “I’m not a Cylon, God help me—”  He froze, hearing his own words.  “Lords of Kobol, help me,” he amended, shaking his head, continuing to pace.

The opening of his cell took him by surprise.  The Marines stepped in, weapons ready; he’d forgotten about them.  Numb, he let them cuff him and put the collar they’d used to move Sharon around on him.  His father and Doctor Baltar stepped aside to allow the Marines to escort him out.

***

They were in the outer cell that housed Sharon.  Lee didn’t really remember getting there, though this time it was due to shock instead of blanking out; he hadn’t missed much, as his cell was practically next door to hers.  A small speaker and microphone apparatus had been attached to the phone by her door.  He stared at her, and she stared back, wide-eyed.

At last she picked up the phone.  “What’s going on?”

“He’s a Cylon.”  Lee tried to twist to see his father’s face, but the collar didn’t allow it.  The tone was even, cold. Was Bill Adama actually his father, if Lee was a Cylon?  He remembered him as his father, at least; did that count for anything any more?

“He’s what?”  Lee turned his attention to Sharon again.  She was frowning in concentration.  “Are you sure?” she asked at last.  “When I … left … the Cylons, there were only twelve models of humanoid Cylon.  Lee Adama wasn’t one of them.”

“The tests were quite conclusive.”  Baltar’s thin voice came from somewhere over Lee’s left shoulder.

“We caught him trying to sabotage the hangar deck.”  That was his father again. He was still his Dad, Lee decided, even if the senior Adama disowned him.  It made him feel both better and worse; this was a breach that could never be healed between them, and God, Lee would miss him.

Sharon closed her eyes, briefly.  “I suppose it’s possible that sometime between then and now the real Lee Adama was captured and duplicated and returned to the fleet.  Number Four had wondered once if it were possible; given an opportunity, they may have decided to let him try his theory.”

“Number Four?”  Lee could hear paper flapping from Baltar’s position.

“For each model, there is an original, and there are copies,” Sharon said after a pause.  “The original is referred to by his or her number, which comes from the order in which he or she was created.  The copies have names.”

“I see,” Baltar said, pencil scratching away.  “And are these ‘originals’ the ones in charge, then?”

Sharon shrugged.  “As much as any individuals are ‘in charge,’ I suppose,” she said.  “We don’t act as individuals, unless we’re alone.  The first vision belonged to the originals.”

“And just what was that ‘first vision’?”  That was Dad.  If Lee really was a Cylon, did that mean he was stronger and faster than a Human was, as a Cylon would be?  He didn’t remember any incidents of stuff like that, but then, he didn’t remember placing those charges, either.  And the tape proved he’d done that.  He turned his attention outward to the scene playing out around him.  Sharon hadn’t answered the question, but stood staring at his father, head tilted to the side.

At last, his Dad continued on.  “He claims he doesn’t remember setting the charges and didn’t know he was a Cylon.”

Sharon nodded.  “That’s probably true.  It’s a lot easier to act naturally, as an operative, if you don’t know you’re an operative.  Besides, given the original Lee Adama’s hatred and fear of Cylons, knowing he was one would probably interfere with the copy’s programming.  The Sharon who was originally aboard Galactica didn’t know she was a Cylon until after she shot you.”

The interrogation ended shortly after that, and the Marines escorted him back to his cell, Dad and Baltar following behind.  Lee remembered floating in his ejection seat after destroying the Resurrection Ship, watching the battle play out around him, serene in the silence.  Heavy Marine boots echoing on deck plating pulled him from that memory.

They escorted him back to his cell, opened the door, and shoved him in.  One stepped close to take off the collar and cuffs, careful not to impede his fellows’ field of fire.  As the cuffs came off (but before he could step away), Lee turned to face him.  The weapons, held at the ready, snapped up.  “Thank you,” he said.  He looked off to the side and bit his lip before looking over at his father.  “I’m sorry, Dad.  I love you.”

It seemed he did have Cylon reflexes after all, he mused, or maybe the guard was just not expecting him to burst into action like that.  He grabbed for the gun, felt it hit his breastbone.

Perfect.

***

Lee Adama looked up as his cell door opened, catching a glimpse of one of the two Cylon Centurions stationed there.  They said it wasn’t a cell, that it was his new home, and he admitted it was a nice cell.  And he’d been here a long time, since shortly after landing on Kobol, however long ago that had been.  But all the good treatment in the world didn’t change the fact that he was a prisoner, that at least one Cylon Centurion followed him everywhere he went, that he couldn’t go home.  Even if he’d managed to escape and steal a ship, he had no idea where the fleet was after all this time.

“Hello, Lee.”  Number Six stood in the doorway, a serious expression on her face.  “Can I come in?”

Expressionlessly, Lee gestured to the chair across from his.  He set the book he’d been reading—some kind of poetry, they claimed it predated the settling of the Twelve Colonies—on the coffee table.

“Thank you,” she said with a brief smile.  “I’ve got some news that may interest you.”

Lee cocked his head and waited.  He’d learned the hard way not to react, not to give them anything to work with.

“We don’t know any details,” she said regretfully.  “Since the Resurrection Ship and its relays were destroyed, we haven’t gotten much information out of Galactica.  But even without the relays, we do know that your counterpart, the Lee Adama serving on Galactica, is dead.”  She paused, waiting for a reaction.

Lee nodded slowly, looking out his window at the mountains.  “Thank you for telling me,” he said at last.

They sat in silence for a long time; at last, Six stood.  “I am sorry for your loss.  If you ever feel like you need to talk about it, I’m always available.”

She left, shutting the door behind her, and Lee was left alone in the silence.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-05-10 08:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kuna-yashmaa.livejournal.com
I knocked on your door with mercantile interest - to ask you to beta my fic - and found this story. I couldn't stop reading, and I read every word of it. Then I went to Wikipedia and checked who Mr. Lee Adama was - I didn't know. And I never saw Battlestar Galactica - not a single episode. It almost never happens to me - to get so involved with the story related to the show I never seen. Thank you. It was absolutely absorbing.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-05-10 09:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kuna-yashmaa.livejournal.com
Ah, and it is not safe to put more then 47,000 characters (with spaces) in one LJ entry - journal cuts it off somewhere around 50,000.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-05-11 03:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kuna-yashmaa.livejournal.com
Your story wasn't cut off because it is only 16,334 characters - you can post three times as much in one message. You probably can post all 4 chapters of your Sam/Jack story in one post - and it will be good thing too - I much prefer LJ soft to FN one (that one just driving me mad sometimes).

Thank you for agreeing to look through my story - I want to polish it a little myself before bothering you. I asked in principle. I thought I would be able to do it yesterday - but had to finish watching SG-1 season 8 (just bought all 8 seasons on DVD and watched in couple weeks the volume that was meant to be watched in eight years). I am obsessed with the show - for me it is not about adventures, but about the moral choices. And I have to admit - they did incredibly good. I would not hesitate to share dining table with any member of SG-1, or General Hammond, or Dr. Fraiser (if they would invite me). I can not say the same about the Atlantis team (and I have to watch the season 2 now, since I bought it from Chinese seller - the only place you can buy season 2 now).

In my opinion, in the new episodes of Star Wars movie makers removed every possibility of moral choice - when most of those you kill are robots, you can kill millions and still stay "good". I wonder what those "all good" jedi would do to Darth Maul, if they would capture him alive.
On the other hand, in SGA movie-makers bit off more than they can chew - they created the race genetically superior to humans, morally superior to humans, in comparison with which humans look, well... you know...

And about 'betaing' again - you probably guessed it already - English is not my first language. I am totally blind for certain things. That is why I need somebody with good English to look through the story - to catch those things I missed (articles, mostly). Any "characterization" suggestions are welcome too (like "He is an American! He wouldn't say 'rubbish' to save his life!). But I don't know what you mean by "ego" thing... Sometimes I have strong views on certain subjects, but usually I can back them up logically. For instance - I don't like sadists of any sort. And I can not write what I don't see...

Thank you again! I think I will bother you in a couple of days...

(no subject)

Date: 2006-05-11 09:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kuna-yashmaa.livejournal.com
First let me ask, before I forgot - did you read "Mere Christianity"? That book has some interesting ideas, and English is magnificent (I would take Prof. Lewis's English over Prof. Tolkien's English anytime), but it makes me scream periodically in anger and frustration. And I wanted to know - is it just me or what? Probably you are the only person I know who might of read it.

As for the fics - I am far from thinking that my stories are cool or something. If nothing else - any person whose first language is E. would write better than me. Second - people who would potentially read my stories are actually enjoying 'Poisoning the Well'. That episode makes me physically unwell every time I watch it. But if after reading one of my stories one of those kids would take an encyclopedia and look up what term 'poisoning the well' means, and why that episode was named that way, and what Geneva Convention was all about, and why those decisions were made, and why doctors take Hippocratic Oath, and what is that all about - just one of those kids - I am satisfied. And who cares about the reviews...

(no subject)

Date: 2006-05-11 10:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kuna-yashmaa.livejournal.com
Lewis:
Try one day "A grief observed" if you didn't read it yet - I think it is the most compelling (if it is the right term) of Lewis's stories. And unlike the rest of them, which are mostly speculative, is based on his real experience.

As for my own fics - well... They serve their purpose - help me get all sorts of thoughts out of the system. Certainly it is good if somebody pats you on the back and says - 'oh, you are genius'. But I know I am not, so my reaction most likely would be very suspicious: 'what do you want from me?'

(no subject)

Date: 2006-05-11 05:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kuna-yashmaa.livejournal.com
And they probably show Battlestar Galactica only on Sci-Fi channel (at least I never saw it on Fox or any other regular channel, that's why I never saw it.

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