“Do me a favor,” Helo said out loud to the pilots in the ready room. “Clear the compartment—perhaps you can work on getting your berths strack for inspection.”
The astonished pilots stared at Helo and he nodded. “That is right—inspection at 1100 hours tomorrow. I’d get cracking on it, people,” the acting CAG said amiably, and slowly the pilots and ECOs stood up and made their way out of the compartment.
Except for one Kara Thrace. Who instead lifted a flask in a sardonic salute. “Well, I’m gonna flunk that inspection, Helo. When did you get such a stickler for the rules and regs?”
Karl Agathon sat down at the table and he flipped over a cup and held it out. Kara shrugged and she poured some of the potent liquid into it. And Karl took a sip. And coughed. “Needs to age a bit a more,” he gasped.
“It’s raw,” Kara agreed. “Raw just like the hand that life has dealt me,” she said in a bitter voice.
“So, are you going to become the drunk that you always detested in Tigh?” asked Helo. “Sitting here on your ass because your boyfriend turned out to be a Cylon?”
“You don’t know wh- . . . ,” Kara began, and then she winced at the look on Helo’s face.
“I don’t know about being in love with a fracking toaster? Is that
what you were going to say, Starbuck?” He shook his head and took a sip.
“Leave me alone, Karl. You’re CAG, you can run things, and I’m on the inactive list. Just leave me the frack alone!”
“Not gonna happen, Captain Thrace. We’ve let things slide—maybe it’s time, past
time, we started getting our own house in order.”
Kara snorted. “Well good luck with that, Captain Agathon, Sir,” she said in a bitter tone.
“You know, Starbuck, you are a right bitch
when you drink.”
She glared at him and he just glared right back at her. “You, of all people. You know
what I went through with Sharon—with Athena. And there on Caprica, you met Sam Anders. You fell in love
with Sam Anders—with that man
“He’s not a MAN!” she bellowed. “He’s a fracking Cylon!”
“What a load of feldercarb,” Helo said with a snort.
Kara looked up in surprise. “Now that’s a word I haven’t heard in a while. Been slumming with the Taurons?”
“It fits. Your attitude smells to high heaven and sticks everywhere,” Helo answered. “He didn’t know he was a Cylon. He spent his entire life living as a human and never knew he was a Cylon. He fought
the Cylons. He saved your
ungrateful ass from the real
Cylons at least twice.”
“Hey, I was grateful—he knew exactly
how grateful I was,” she ground her teeth.
“That’s why this is tearing you up, Kara,” said Helo. “You won’t get past that he is a Cylon—you think I didn’t have the same
reaction with Athena? But I came to realize that I loved her—that she was going to be the mother of my child. Kara, do you love Sam Anders?”
Starbuck opened her mouth and Karl shook his head and held up one hand. “Did you love Sam Anders on Caprica when we had to leave him behind, when you promised him that you would come back—not for the resistance, but for HIM
? Is he still the man you fell in love with Kara, and if he is, why the frack are you here drinking alone instead of being in his bed?”
She glared daggers at Helo but Karl just smiled and shook his head. “That isn’t an answer, Kara. Let it go. So what if he is a Cylon? He’s the only Sam Anders in the universe and the only one that will ever be. The toaster’s Resurrection Ship doesn’t have another Sam on board so if he dies, he dies forever
. Commander Jayne has sworn him in as an officer over on Scorpia
—a Marine officer. He isn’t coming back if he buys the farm, Kara. I’d say that makes him about as human
as you and me.” Helo stood.
“Lee’s not here to kick your ass, Starbuck. And none of these other pilots will take you to task—your job as CAG is here, I’m just filling in and you know it. Now quit moping, quit feeling sorry
for yourself, put down the drink, and admit to yourself that you still love Sam Anders. And then get that knee rehabilitated and take back over the fighter jocks before they frag my toaster-fracking ass.”
Starbuck burst out in a fit of laughter, and it faded into her crying and Helo knelt down and he held his friend—he held her tight against his chest as she cried and cried and cried.