By Traser SyberJedi with lots of imput from Unit One
First things first- This chapter has taken me an extremely long time to write for various reasons. My appologies to those readers who have been following the story. Not too long after I started work on this chapter, my life went to hell in a handbasket. I was laid off from my job; my mother moved over 1000 miles away from where we were living at the time; my life was threatened and I had to go into hiding during that time; my computer at that time died; I lost my phone and internet connection; I moved to another state; I got a new computer, and kept on having issues with my power supplies dying; and no internet connection at home either so I could research things I needed to discover as needed. I did not give up and the long awaited chapter is here.
Author's note: The events revolving around Starbuck are not taking place at the exact same point in time as those that Face is involved in. They are taking place on about the same day though. Crystal Lake Campground is a fictional location as far as I know, inspite of it being featured in an episode of the A-Team and the location where everything occurs in most if not all of the Friday the 13th movies, at least, that's what I'm guessing anyways. They are not the same place however. The stuff pertaining to the Friday the 13th movies belongs to it's respective owners. Also, please read the ficlet Gamma Transmissions which covers an event which is refered to here.
Oh yeah, a small appology up front if the scene where there are shots being fired happens to be inaccurate. I know nothing at all about shooting firearms except from what I see in movies and on tv, and from roleplaying experiences. If my descriptions are inaccurate for the shooting of firearms, chalk it up to poetic licence.
Disclaimer: I reiterate, I do not own anything pertaining to Battlestar Galactica or the A-Team, excluding collectables and DVDs. Well, I do own Face, but my Face is a cat.
Hannibal peered into the back of the van, looking at the two men sleeping in their respective spots. Murdock was in his typical seat, scrunched down and using his jacket as a blanket. His face was hidden from view by his navy ball cap that he wore more often than not. Starbuck was in the back of the van, curled up on the padded area that served as both bench and bed. An unusual looking brown jacket that the Lieutenant had pulled out of his duffle bag was draped over him, and his arm was being used as a pillow. Every so often, he would move trying to get more comfortable, and end up softly yelping in pain.
"Hannibal, is Faceman gonna be okay?" BA asked, concerned.
"Yes. I think we might want to find a place to stop for a bit. We could use a small break from travelling. Face can walk around a little, and we can all get something to eat." Hannibal decided.
"Sounds like a plan to me." BA agreed. "I'll start looking for a place where we can pull off and do that, along with gassing up."
Thirty minutes later, BA spotted a place where they could get gas and something to eat. He carefully pulled up to a pump, and turned off the van. The cessation of movement woke Murdock and Starbuck up.
"We there?" Murdock asked, sounding alert.
"No. We're getting gas, and taking a small break." Hannibal answered. "Help Face out of the van, he should move around some before he gets all stiff."
"Too late, I'm already stiff." Starbuck answered, wincing. He had carefully worked his way forward from the back. "Where are we?"
"Gas station. We're taking a small break." Murdock added. "Come on, let's get you mobile and about. We can see about getting something to eat inside."
"Facilities would also be nice." Starbuck decided. The lanky Captain nodded in agreement as he pulled Starbuck's crutches from where they had been stashed.
Murdock clambered over the seat that was Face's usual spot and climbed out of the van. Starbuck worked his way forward, and then carefully followed the Earth born pilot. He reached for the crutches that the taller man was holding out to him. The two men then headed on inside the convenience store while BA and Hannibal oversaw fueling and keeping watch.
"So Facey, have you anything in mind on what to eat?" Murdock asked, as the two men exited from the restroom.
"Not really. I want to see what catches my interest." Starbuck answered. "Let's find food first."
"Okay. This way then." Murdock headed down the row that contained candy, snack cakes, and chips. The brown eyed pilot snagged up a bag of Fritos, then grabbed a couple of Milky Way bars. He then turned around and watched to see what his companion would choose, if anything.
Starbuck, examining the various chips, also chose Fritos. He was curious to see how different that chips made from corn could be from actual corn. The various candies drew his attention though. Candy was an expensive luxury item back in the Fleet, and extremely rare. His favorite kind was not available anymore, since they had no way to process it any longer. Starbuck hoped that he might find something similar on Earth. He chose a Kit Kat, Reese's peanut butter cups, and a Milky Way.
"Want something hot?" Murdock asked.
"Sure." Starbuck shrugged in acceptance. He followed Murdock over to a counter where orders were being taken.
"I'll have three dogs with chili and the works." was the order that the lanky pilot placed.
"I'll take one dog with just chili." Starbuck placed his own order, having no clue as to what a dog or chili was.
"Let's go get something to drink. Any ideas on what you might want?" inquired the Earth born pilot. He inquired if they could leave their other items on the counter while they went to choose something to drink, and were told that it would be fine.
"None. Let's go and see what's available." The blonde replied, with a grin. The two men made their way over to the back wall that was completely covered with refrigerated units. Starbuck could not believe the variety of beverages available. And something that had him puzzled was the fact that several of them looked very much like one another.
"Murdock, what's the difference between these?" Starbuck asked, pointing to the rows of Coke, Pepsi, and Doctor Pepper.
"Well Face, it's like this: Pepsi is a bit sweeter in taste than Coke is. Doctor Pepper tastes completely different from both of them. It has a bite to it. Coke is a bit more acidy than Pepsi." The taller man answered, before opening the cooler and pulling out a half liter bottle of Doctor Pepper. Starbuck decided to try a Pepsi, and snagged a bottle. Murdock took the bottle, and headed back to the counter.
"Three chili dogs with the works, and one just chili." Announced the guy behind the counter, setting down two bags. "These together?"
"Yes, along with these." Murdock placed the two drinks on the counter, and pushed the other items over to join the rest. "My treat this time Face, since you covered me the last time."
"I'll have to take your word for it, Murdock." Starbuck replied. "Here comes Hannibal."
The white haired Colonel entered at that moment, and went over to them. "You two almost finished?"
"Yeah. Just now. We're getting ready to head on back to the van." Murdock answered.
"Okay, great. Take over for BA, so he can come in and get what he wants." Hannibal instructed. He then headed on into the rest of the store.
Murdock grabbed up his and Starbuck's purchases and they both headed on out.
Murdock and BA made sure that Starbuck was settled in the van, and eating before BA headed on in to make use of the restroom, and get his own stuff to eat. Starbuck unwrapped his chili dog and took a tentative first bite. The spicy tang of the chili exploded on his tongue quickly followed by the mellower, but no less distinctive flavor of the hot dog. The extraterrestrial pilot moaned in sheer bliss at the exotic tastes he was savoring. He then munched on a couple of the corn chips, which Starbuck discovered went extremely well with the flavor of the chili dog. However, he found the salty taste made him thirsty, so Starbuck swallowed down some of his Pepsi. The sweet taste fizzed and snapped on his tongue and against the roof of his mouth, catching Starbuck offguard. He managed to keep himself from spitting it out, instead swallowing it down rapidly. The soda tingled and bubbled as he drank it down, discovering that while sweet, it also burned somewhat.
The Earth born pilot watched as the blonde devoured the chili dog. He found himself chuckling at the expression that crossed Starbuck's face, accompanied with a moan.
"If I didn't know better, I would say from the almost orgasmic expression on your face that you just got laid." Murdock chuckled. "And if you think that chili dog is good like it is now, you should try one that's been grilled."
Starbuck all but sputtered at the comment from the other pilot. He then wiped his fingers off, and decided to try the Kit Kat bar. He opened the candy and bit into the chocolate covered wafers. The sweet, creamy taste of chocolate melted over his tongue while he chewed. The crunch of the wafers reminded Starbuck of a treat he used to enjoy when he was at the Academy when Caprica was still a viable world.
"Mount up Murdock, BA is paying for his order and we're heading out." Hannibal called out as he exited the store.
"Alright Colonel." Murdock agreed, and he climbed into the van. He carefully moved over Starbuck's legs, not wanting to accidentally bump the injured left one. "I wish you could have seen Face eating a chili dog, Hannibal. It was awesome."
In the meantime, Starbuck was ignoring the others and eating the rest of the stuff he had gotten. He opened the Reese's peanut butter cups and discovered two pieces of chocolate. He removed one from it's paper cup and bit into it, enjoying the taste of the chocolate. Then Starbuck's eyes almost bugged as he encountered the gritty feeling filling that the chocolate surrounded. The flavor was rich and nutty, and very distinctive. There was a slight saltiness that was complimented by the sweetness of the chocolate. The taste was alien and exotic, but really good. The extraterrestrial pilot made a mental note to suggest to Commander Adama that they should import large quantities of the candy once they reached Earth.
The roar of an engine starting drew Starbuck's attention for a moment. He felt the van start moving. Starbuck tore open the wrapper on the last of the candy he had, the Milky Way bar. The unexpected taste of kirasolis that his tongue encountered surprised the blond Lieutenant. He felt homesick for the Galactica for a moment. The pilot took another bite, concentrating on the flavor of the familar component of the candy. The flavor was slightly different from what he could recall, just enough to make it exotic. Starbuck decided not to worry about it, and enjoyed the rest of the candy. Still, it had caught him completely off guard, the fact that he was feeling homesick for the Galactica and the Fleet.
Both Hannibal and Murdock caught the expression as it crossed Starbuck's face before it vanished into the usual schooled look.
"Everything alright Lieutenant?" Hannibal asked, a note of concern in his voice.
"Yeah." Starbuck replied, looking up. "Just a fragment of memory trying to surface, is all."
"What did you remember?" Murdock wanted to know.
"Nothing. Just the taste of the caramel from the last bar kind of reminded me of something is all. Like I should have known it." Starbuck lied somewhat.
"Ah." Murdock replied. He watched Starbuck as the other man adjusted his position and made himself as comfortable as possible. The extraterrestrial pilot let out a silent sigh and closed his eyes. He was long accustomed to sleeping in a sitting up position from the many long patrols that he had pulled. At least the seats in the van were far more comfortable than those within the cockpit of a Viper. Sleep quickly overtook the blond.
Hannibal looked into the back of the van a bit later, once he was done enjoying the meal he had picked up when they had stopped. It was going to be interesting trying to trigger Face's memory, along with seeing what the man would do. The Colonel also realized that Murdock would have to be kept tabs on, a job that usually Face handled, or else the pilot would be entangling the Lieutenant into things that he would normally avoid.
"Hannibal, we're almost there." BA slowed long enough so that the older man could see the sign directing people to the turn off for Crystal Lake.
"Great. I'm more than ready to stretch out in a bed. Maggie's idea of a vacation was a good one." Hannibal replied. "I wonder if the Shermans are still the park rangers?"
"No idea Hannibal. It will be bad for us if they're not. We'll have ta find a new place to lay low while Face heals."
"Only one way to find out and that's to get there and check."
BA turned at the turnoff, and headed up the road to the camp. Within a matter of minutes, the van was pulling up in front of the office. Hannibal climbed out, heading into the office. He was quickly followed by BA. Murdock looked at the sleeping Starbuck and sighed.
"I'll stay here with Face while you two see about getting us a cabin." The pilot volunteered. Hannibal nodded his agreement to that suggestion, then followed BA inside.
Jenny Sherman was sitting at a desk, sipping on a soda as she listened to weather reports on the radio. She looked up when movement caught her eye, then smiled when she recognized Hannibal and BA.
"Why hello there. I'm kind of surprised to see you here." She greeted the two men, as she stood up. "What brings you to Crystal Lake? And where are Face and Murdock?"
"They're out in the van. Face was injured earlier, and we're needing a place to lay low for awhile while he recovers." Hannibal answered, explaining Face's amnesia.
Jenny sighed. "There's a problem. The camp is full up. All of the cabins are occupied. I don't even have sites available for tents or RVs to use. They're also full."
"Looks like we're gonna have to find someplace else then Colonel." BA stated, in an unhappy growl.
"However, I might have an alternative for you all." Jenny stated, before Hannibal could say anything. "I recently bought a house in Centerpoint. It's 3 bedrooms, plus a spacious attic that would be perfect as a master suite. It needs a lot of work though. If you all would be willing to help me work on getting it fixed up, I'm willing to let you all stay there."
Hannibal mulled the idea over in his head, a smile slowly crossing his face as a familiar twinkle began to glimmer in his eyes.
"That sounds like a perfect solution. You got yourself a deal, Ranger Sherman." Hannibal held out his hand for Jenny to shake. She did so, smiling.
"Here, let me give you directions on how to get there. Two of the bedrooms has two beds in them. The one with the single full sized bed is my room. Not that I get to sleep there much. I'm looking forward to some time off once the campground empties down."
"Why is it so full currently?" Hannibal asked, curious.
"You're not going to believe this. There's a new Friday The 13th movie coming out. The setting of those movies is a fictional Crystal Lake Campground. When fans of the movie found out that Crystal Lake Campground was an actual campground, they started inundating us whenever they learn that a new movie is coming out." Jenny explained, grimacing. "They're not too bad, as long as they don't dress up as Jason and scare other campers."
"And this be the weekend that those fools are here? Sheesh!" BA shook his head. "And I thought Murdock was crazy."
"You see my point." Jenny agreed. "Anyways, letting you all stay in my place also helps me out, since it means that there's someone occupying my place. Some times there are the occasional campers that get a bit overzealous with things and won't remain in the park. There's been some damage done in the past to some of the houses that were unoccupied in around Centerpoint."
"Which is another reason why you're willing to put us up." Hannibal grinned. "It works out for both of us. When you have a chance, tell us what you want done, and how, and we'll make sure it gets done. How are you for groceries at the moment?"
"I don't have much. If there is any milk, I'm fairly sure that it will be sour. There should be some eggs though, and bread. There is also some cheese, lunchmeat, hamburger, hot dogs, and canned goods." Jenny answered, as she started writing down the directions to her house.
"Any small convenience stores near by? We'll pick up a couple gallons of milk to hold us over until we can put together a list and do some grocery shopping. We'll buy while we're staying with you, so you won't have to worry about that. " The Colonel stated, which caused Jenny to smile.
"You'll go right past a 7-11." Jenny handed the directions and a housekey to BA. "It's one of the landmarks listed in fact. You have to make a right turn there, and it's right on the corner, on the right hand side."
"Excellent. We'll see you when you get home then." Hannibal declared, as he headed for the door.
"I should be home around 8 am." Jenny stated. "See you all then. Good night."
"Night Jenny." BA responded, as he followed Hannibal out the door.
The two men climbed back into the van. The Colonel turned around to check on his men. Murdock grinned.
"Face hasn't woken up. Which cabin are we getting?" The pilot asked.
"We're not. The campground is full up. We're going to be staying at Jenny Sherman's house." Hannibal answered. "It seems that whenever a Friday the Thirteenth movie is coming out, the campground gets slammed full of fans."
"And the fools chose this weekend for their stay." BA growled. "There's the 7-11. Better get three gallons of milk, Hannibal."
Hannibal nodded in agreement, as the van pulled into the parking lot in front of the store. He climbed out, and vanished inside the building.
"Aw man, I wished I had remembered to ask the Colonel to bring me back a Doctor Pepper." Murdock lamented.
"Shut up fool!" BA growled.
"You know you luv me." Murdock retaliated, grinning.
"If you wake Faceman up, I'm gonna knock ya teeth down ya throat." BA declared. "Here's Hannibal back."
"Everything okay?" The older man asked, as he handed two gallons of milk in through the window. He climbed back into his seat, and tucked the last gallon in at his feet.
"Yes Sir, Colonel Sir." Murdock answered. BA sneered, and backed out of the spot, and turned onto the sidestreet. It didn't take them long to reach Jenny's house. BA gently carried Starbuck inside, taking care not to wake the younger man. He put the extraterrestrial pilot into the room that contained twin beds that was closest to the bathroom. Hannibal entered the room a moment later, having located the kitchen and putting the milk away. He pulled covers over the Lieutenant, after pulling off his shoes. Then the Colonel and the Sargent departed, leaving Starbuck to sleep. He then joined the remainder of his team in the kitchen.
"This is a nice place, even if it is needing work." Hannibal stated, smiling. "Going to ground and taking a vacation was an excellent idea that Maggie gave us."
"Face is settled, and still sleeping." BA added. "In the morning, after Jenny get's home, I'll put together a grocery list with her. Once that is done, I'll see what all needs to be done on her house."
The Colonel nodded, before turning to look at Murdock.
"I'll recon the area in the morning, see what all we have around us." Murdock decided. "And if you don't mind Colonel, I'll bunk in with Facey."
"Alright. Go ahead and turn in, both of you. I'll be turning in shortly." Hannibal decided, ordering the other two off to bed. The Colonel then made his way out onto the back porch to enjoy a cigar before he called it a night.
On the Galactica...
Having gotten Face outfitted with some civilian garb along the type that Starbuck would have chosen, Apollo and Boomer were leading their Earth born guest through areas of the Galactica that most pilots avoided. Face studied his surroundings intently, trying to figure out just what sort of vessel that he was inside of. At first he thought it was a submarine due to the hatches that they kept going through on occasion. However the corridors that they were traversing through were too big for most subs. Not that Face had spent any time on one to actually know. Still, something told him that they weren't on a sub, besides all the alien looking uniforms that he kept seeing. Those were what were starting to convince the blond that it was more than an elaborate joke being played.
"So, where are we going?" Face asked his companions.
"It's something that is better to see, than to hear being described." Apollo answered. "Besides, even if Boomer and I were to tell you where we're going, you wouldn't know what we're referring to anyways."
"Do you like to look at stars?" Boomer asked.
"Occasionally, if I'm trying to impress a lady who happens to enjoy stargazing." Face replied.
Boomer and Apollo looked at each other and groaned.
"It figures." Boomer muttered. The Major just shook his head. They kept on walking, leading their charge. It was going to be an interesting time with Face around, discovering how much alike and dislike their missing friend that he so resembled.
"So, where are you both taking me?" asked Face a second time.
"My favorite place on the entire ship. One I've only shared with those who are closest to me." Apollo answered, grinning.
"A place where you can see stars. Lots of them." Boomer added, waving his hands in a circle around his head. "And we're almost there."
The black pilot nodded towards the hatch door that they were getting ready to go through.
"Face, Apollo has only brought the living members of his family, his best friends, and our girlfriends to this place." Boomer started to explain.
Apollo interrupted. "Troy has brought Dillon here as well. But, other than that, only 10 of us have come here. One of those is missing."
Boomer shot Apollo a dirty look for cutting him off. He then continued. "Anyways, where we're about to go is someplace that Apollo here considers special. We request that you don't talk about it to anyone."
"Sure." Face agreed with a shrug. Apollo then handed him a set of ear protectors before tossing a set to Boomer and taking a pair for himself.
"Okay, we're going to be going through this hatch right here. You will need to have those on before I open it. Follow me closely." The Major instructed. "Boomer will be right behind you. We're going to go up a ladder, through another hatch. Once we're inside and have it closed, you'll be able to remove your ear protectors."
"Why do I need these?" Face wondered. He looked at the pair he was given and thought that they were identical to those used on shooting ranges.
"We're having to go through an engine room. It's really loud in there." Boomer replied. "Where we're going is right over one of the thrusters." He then pulled on his protectors. Face saw that Apollo had his on, and was waiting on Face before opening the hatch. The Earth born Lieutenant shrugged, then pulled his on and followed the Major through the hatch after it was opened.
Once inside, Templeton was extremely glad for the ear protection. The noise was muffled, but still audible inspite of the mufflers. It was so loud that he could feel the deck plates throbbing under his feet. At a tap on his shoulder, Face looked in the direction that Apollo was pointing. He nodded, indicating to the older man that he saw it, and started following him. The blond quickly crossed the interval, and started up the ladder behind the Major. The throbbing of the thrusters could be felt as Face grasped the ladder and started making his way up, a pulsing vibration that resonated through his entire body.
Face came to a stop, having to wait for Apollo to open the hatch over their heads. Two gentle taps against the sides of his feet alerted the blond that Boomer's hands were grasping the rung on which he stood. He looked down for a moment, then looked upwards and started climbing. When the Major extended a hand down, the Lieutenant gratefully accepted the assistance, allowing himself to be pulled up. The Strike Captain quickly joined them, then sealed the hatch shut. All three men pulled off their ear coverings, hanging them around their necks.
"Feel free to look around. Please don't touch that console there. Those are the controls." Apollo said with a smile. "Welcome to the celestial dome."
Face looked around, unimpressed for the moment. "Okay, it's a dome. So what does it do? Is it some kind of planetarium?" The word planetarium was said in English, since Face could not figure out what the Colonial corresponding word was.
"Neither of us know what a plan-et-tari-um is." Boomer responded, carefully pronouncing the foreign word.
"The original purpose of the celestial dome was for astronavigation. Navigators used to come here to help plot out courses. Originally, there used to be about a dozen or so celestial domes all over the Galactica, back when she was built 500 yahren ago. However, they're all gone now, except this one." Apollo explained.
"Why?" wondered Face. His expression showed disbelief in what he was being told.
"I'm not sure why this one wasn't ever dismantled. Not that it matters now." Apollo stated in reply, as he went and sat down at the control console. "We don't have the means of dismantling it now."
"The only reason it hasn't been utilized is because the dome is on the Galactica. If it was on any of the other ships of the fleet, it would be utilized as a dwelling, or as an agricultural park." Boomer added. He then turned and looked over at his best friend. "Apollo, when we leave here, let's show Face that transmission that was accidentally recorded the night we took out that basestar."
Apollo nodded as he worked the controls. "Good idea. Okay Face, take a look around you."
The two Colonials made themselves comfortable as their surroundings would permit and watched the Earth born Lieutenant. A noise that sounded like the door of an airplane opening drew Face's attention upwards. The sections of the protective plating that covered the dome opened up much like the petals of a flower blooming. As each section spread open, the vast starscape became visible. The two Colonials watched their visitor closely to see his reactions.
"Sweet mother Mary!" Face exclaimed, as he touched his forehead, then dropped his hand down to his chest. He then rapidly brought his hand across his chest, going from right to left, as he walked around the circumference. Both Apollo and Boomer thought the gesture rather strange, and it brought home to them that the man with them was not their missing friend. Face ignored them and kept on talking. "Murdock would be in his glory if he could see this. BA would be catatonic, he hates to fly."
The blond turned and looked at his companions. "Okay, I believe you now. There is no way that this is some expansive practical joke. God, Hannibal would be amazed by this if he could see it. Your friend that you said is missing, is this some place that he's been to?"
"Yes. Starbuck liked to come here." Apollo replied.
"His name was Starbuck?" Face asked, intrigued.
"Yes. And he's still alive. Just not with us at the moment." Apollo declared.
"Starbuck has been missing for five yahrens now. Apollo was the last person to see him." Boomer added, filling Face in some.
"I know what it's like to be missing. My team and I were prisoners of war for a while. We managed to escape though. Is that how your friend went missing, during a battle?"
"No. We were on patrol. He went to check something out..." Apollo's words trailed off at that point.
"That's when Starbuck went missing." Boomer continued, taking over. "We looked for him, but we never did find a trace of him or his ship. The Commander had to eventually declare Starbuck missing in action, and presumably dead."
"Why do you think that Starbuck is still alive after all this time?" Face wondered.
"The manner in which he went missing is familiar to me. Also, the ship you were found in, was the same ship that Starbuck was piloting when he vanished." Apollo answered.
Face nodded in understanding, before turning his attention back towards the incredible view. A pair of Vipers returning from patrol overflew the dome, and one of them waggled. Face had a puzzled expression cross his face when he heard his two companions chuckle.
"Somebody you know?" He asked.
"Yes." Apollo replied.
"Sheba." Boomer added. "You can be sure that she'll be making her way here as soon as she clears decon."
"Nope. She has to fill out her report first. Besides, with you and I removed from the flight roster for the time being, it falls to Sheba and Bojay to command the squadrons." Apollo reminded his wingman.
"That's right. Sheba is going to love hearing that." Boomer chuckled. "Anyways, if we're going to spend some time on the laser range, we need to get going. With patrols starting to come in, there will be others wanting to take some target practice once they're finished with paperwork."
"Face, I need to warn you that most everyone who sees you is going to believe that you're Starbuck. There are some people aboard the Galactica that must not discover that you are not him, or that you come from Earth." Apollo warned Face, as he started closing the dome back up. "The Galactica is a military vessel, so the onboard civilian population is fairly small. However, because it's the primary defense of the Fleet, and the command ship of that Fleet, from time to time there are rather important civilians here."
"The Quorum of Twelve." Boomer started in when Apollo paused to take a breath. "They're the civilian leaders that are elected by the majority of the Fleet's population. Commander Adama is the President of the Quorum and the elected leader of the Caprican Tribe."
"Busy man." Face commented.
"Yes, he is." Apollo agreed. "And since he's also our military leader, he has the political pull needed to keep the others away from you. However, because of where you come from, you're also to remain here on the Galactica. If the members of the Fleet past those of us in the military were to learn that you are from Earth, there's no telling what could happen to you. There would be those who would try to kill you."
"That's nothing new to me." Face sighed. "So, let's go to this laser range you've mentioned."
Apollo and Boomer nodded in agreement. All three men pulled on their ear protectors and departed from the dome.
Once they were back in the corridor that they had taken to reach the dome, Face started asking questions of his hosts as they walked.
"So, which of you are the better shot?" Was the first question.
"We're both fair shots." Apollo admitted.
"Starbuck was better." Boomer added.
Face was intrigued. It gave him an idea.
"Would you two care for a little wager?" He asked them. Boomer and Apollo looked at each other with identical expressions. Something else Face had in common with their missing friend.
"What would you have that would be of any value to us to use?" Boomer asked, curious.
Face pulled out the gold crucifix that he wore tucked under his shirt. BA had given it to him as a gift, so it was rather precious to him. Still, there wasn't much that he had that could be used in the place where he found himself.
Boomer peered at the pendant, and examined the metal closely. It resembled oregg, at first glance. "May I see that?" He asked.
"Sure." The blond handed over the necklace.
"What is it?" Apollo wondered.
"It's a gold crucifix. It's a religious symbol to me." was Face's answer. Apollo was intrigued. "Will that be sufficient to cover my side of the proposed wager?"
"I think it will do." Boomer replied, before asking "Now just what are we wagering on?"
"Are there any kind of records on file with Starbuck's scores on the range?" Peck wondered.
"Yeah. In fact, no one has beaten his last set of high scores since he vanished." Apollo admitted.
"You want to wager that you can beat Starbuck's record?" Boomer asked, astonished.
"What better way of at least showing what I can do with a firearm?" Face retorted, grinning.
"Good point." Apollo stated.
It didn't take long for the trio to arrive at the range. Boomer went over to the computer while Apollo took Face over to the lasers.
"Boomer is going to get the targets set up, and pull up Starbuck's range records. You need to pick out a laser that fits in your hand comfortably." The Captain informed the younger man. "Here are several for you to try."
"Alright, thanks." Face replied, before picking up and testing the first of the lasers. The overall weapon was a bit bulkier than his pistol, at least through the barrel. Overall though, it wasn't too bad. He tried several, before deciding on one. "This one will do."
Apollo nodded at Face's choice, then turned towards Boomer as he joined them.
"So Captain, what shall we put up on our side of this little wager that Face proposed?"
"How about the equivalent of what his pendant is worth in cubits? That would give him some currency to work with, since he seems to be a gambling man." Boomer answered. "It would be interesting to see what kinds of card games that Face could teach us, and to see him playing some of the others in a game of Pyramid."
Apollo looked back over at Face. "That sound good to you?"
"Sure. Why not. I enjoy a good game of chance whenever I get the opportunity to indulge in one." Face agreed.
That decided on, the three men went over to the area where the targets waited for them. Both Colonials insisted that Face take a couple of shots in order to get a feel for the alien weapon. Boomer brought up the target images, which were likenesses of Cylons. Face recoiled back when he saw the robotic looking visage.
"What the hell is that?" The blond asked.
"That is what a Cylon looks like." Apollo answered, sadly. "They nearly destroyed us."
Face looked at the older man, shock evident on his face."Your fleet?"
"No, our worlds. Twelve of them. Nearly all of Humanity."
Face reeled, not quite believing what he was being told.
"It's a long story." Boomer added. "One you will hear while you're with us."
Face nodded. "Let me get two practice shots, so I can get a feel for this gun." And with saying that, he stepped up to the divider and fired a couple of times.
He watched the bolts of coherent light go zipping through the air and into the target. Face was briefly reminded of the fictional blasters from Star Wars, a movie series that he had taken Murdock to see when each installment came out. The blond briefly wished that his best friend could have been here to see all of this, Murdock would have loved it.
"Let's get started." Apollo declared. "Ten shots each. I'll go first, then Boomer, with Face last. That will allow Face the opportunity to see where the best spots to target a Cylon are. The computer will keep score. Any problems with that either of you?"
"Nope. I can agree to that since Face is new." Boomer agreed, smiling.
"Sounds good to me." Face nodded his agreement. "I'm not going to complain."
"Computer, keep track of the hits that each of us make. Use Lieutenant Starbuck's standing score records for the target hit goals." Apollo stated out loud, adding in the scoring parameters. "Three participants, ten shots each. Range targets in five increments, two shots per increment. The first target is set at a distance of ten metrons. Second target distance is 25 metrons. Third target is 75 metrons. Fourth target is 150 metrons, and the last is 300 metrons. People participating Major Apollo, Strike Captain Boomer, and a new file- Lieutenant Face. In that order. Flash when ready."
Within a matter of moments, a flashing light started up, indicating that everything was ready for the competition. Apollo pulled his laser out with his left hand, and approached the mark. Face noticed that neither of his two companions bothered with either protective eyewear, or with ear muffs. He wondered about that, deciding that since they fired energy instead of projectiles, such gear might not be needed. It was certainly going to be interesting.
With a nod from Boomer, Apollo opened fire. Ten shots fired off with quick succession. The Earth born Lieutenant studied the extraterrestrial Major, noting his stance of one foot somewhat in front of the other and knees slightly bent, and the fact that Apollo only held his weapon in one hand.
"That beat your last score." Boomer complimented. "You only missed one."
Face was puzzled by the comment. Every shot that Apollo had fired had struck the targets. Or so it seemed. Each target had taken a hit in two spots, one centered right on the chestplate and the other on the faceplate. That one would have been right between the eyes, if the Cylon had two actual eyes instead of a red light that moved back and forth that reminded the blond of the car from that one TV show that Murdock enjoyed. Then the Lieutenant realized that the last target had not sustained any damage at all.
"Let's see if you can do any better, BoomBoom." Apollo taunted the darker skinned man.
"You're on." Boomer replied. He did the same as Apollo, pulling his weapon before he stepped up to the firing mark. The Strike Captain positioned himself in a similar stance, right handed this time, and fired off his ten shots just as rapidly.
Watching Boomer, Face noticed a few more details in concern to the posture he and Apollo both used while they were firing. Boomer was leaning slightly forward on the balls of his feet, along with being slightly crouched and one foot somewhat in front of the other. Then Face realized why. These were men who were used to fighting running battles, when they actually fought on foot. They had to either be ready to run in a moment's notice, if they weren't actually firing while they ran.
"Well Face, think you can beat that?" Boomer asked the blond, jabbing a thumb over his shoulder towards the targets. Face directed his gaze towards them and saw that Boomer had hit the first four with two shots each, in both spots. The last target had taken one hit, on the arm. "Apollo and I took out four of the five."
"Four out of five?" Face asked, puzzled.
"Yes. Cylons only have two places on them that is a sure kill. You either have to hit them dead center in the chest, or dead center of the eye." Apollo explained. "The face shot is the harder one of the two, which is why both Boomer and I started out with chest shots."
The Lieutenant nodded.
"And how well did your missing friend do?" Face asked, curious.
"Starbuck would usually manage to land a hit on the chestplate of the furthest Cylon. He had yet to manage one on the faceplate that hit dead center." Boomer answered.
"Okay. That tells me what I needed to know. Thanks." Face responded, before stepping up to the mark. He stood with his feet spaced out, knees relaxed, but not bent. Using both hands initially to take aim, he fired off his first shot, hitting dead center on the chestplate. The blond then dropped down his left hand, and fired another seven shots one handed. He then changed his stance some, bringing his left arm up, and under the barrel of the laser. He tightened his visual focus, and took careful aim before firing his last two shot. Each shot hit dead center of the eye on the last Cylon. Then the Earth born man turned to look at his companions.
The expressions he saw on the two Colonials' faces were well worth it. Both Apollo and Boomer were stunned, and had a slightly awed look as well.
"So, how well did I do?" Face asked, innocently.
"You just beat Starbuck's record." Apollo answered.
"Know how to fly?" Boomer wanted to know.
Face smirked. "No, not really. My best friend back at home does though."
Both Colonials had the decency to not go any further along that line of thought.
"Well, Commander Adama is going to be pleased when he hears my assessment of you." Apollo smiled. "However, that's something to be concerned about later. I don't know about either of you, but I'm in need of a turbowash before dinner tonight."
"Sounds good to me." Boomer agreed. Face nodded in reply, also agreeing.
Back on Earth...
Starbuck slowly came awake, the sounds of bird calls and the feel of sunlight on his face penetrating his slumber and rousing him. The feel of sunlight on his skin felt wonderful. The alien Lieutenant was surprised to discover that he actually missed it. He enjoyed the sound of the birds as well, even though they sounded different from what he vaguely remembered from his childhood back on Caprica. It was after those sensations had been mentally processed that the blond realized that he could feel a weight over his entire body, and that his sleeping spot was not moving. Time to recon his surroundings.
Opening his eyes while he sat up, Starbuck discovered that he was in a bed that was slightly wider than his berth aboard the Galactica. A muffled snoring noise drew his attention to the other side of the room, where he saw Murdock sleeping all but buried under the covers. And the only reason he even knew it was the Earth born pilot was because of the jacket and the hat hanging on a bedpost that Starbuck recognized as belonging to the pilot. With a sigh, the Colonial Warrior carefully climbed out of bed, and limped his way over to the door. He hoped that the turboflush was nearby.
The room he was looking for was right next to the one where he had been placed in. Starbuck gave a sigh of relief as he went in. He quickly relieved himself, then took a look around the small room. He spotted the shower and examined it, before grinning. It used real water, which made sense to him after a moment. The Fleet had only started using sonics for hygienic purposes only after the Destruction, when water became scarce.
"Oh this is going to feel so wonderful." The alien pilot muttered to himself, in his native language. He located himself a couple of towels, and stripped down. Within a matter of minutes, Starbuck was standing in a steamy hot stream of water. He remained under the showerhead until his fingers got all wrinkled.
Quickly stepping out, Starbuck examined the injured area on his leg. While it would leave a scar, he had far worse injuries. He gave a soft sigh, in resignation, and wrapped a towel around his hips. The misplaced Colonial Warrior grabbed up the clothes he had worn into the bathroom, and then slowly limped back into the room he was sharing with Murdock.
Spotting that the Earth born pilot was still sleeping, the blond quietly dressed. He slipped on clean undergarments, a pair of blue jeans, and an aqua blue polo shirt that matched his eyes. Starbuck then grabbed up his crutches and departed the room. Stepping back into the hall, the blond looked around, trying to figure out his current surroundings. There was nothing to his left, except the end of the hallway he was in. Across from him was a door that Starbuck figured was the entrance to another sleeping area. Past the bathroom door, the hall opened into a larger area. Starbuck decided to head that way.
The room that the Lieutenant found himself in was massive. It went from the front to the back of the house, had a cathedral ceiling, and a balcony along three sides of the room. Two sets of staircases led upwards. Starbuck was curious about what he might find up there, but decided that until his leg was better exploring the upper level was just not doable. However, the three doorways across the greatroom from where he stood were extremely doable for current exploration so he headed for them. Two of the doorways were fairly close to each other, so Starbuck decided on them.
The first door opened into a formal dining area, Starbuck figured, since it reminded him of the dining area that the family dinners Adama held and insisted that he attend took place in. There was a door that led into the room next to it, which the pilot figured most likely led to a meal prep area. He poked his head through it, and was greeted by the scent of something delicious cooking, and BA standing over a stove.
"Faceman, you're awake. Feeling hungry?" BA asked, in his gruff voice. "I'm making pancakes. Sit down. Jenny will fix you a cup of coffee if you want one."
Starbuck stepped fully into the room, and spotted the woman who had to be Jenny. He was slightly surprised to hear the familiar name, since Earth names did not tend to be similar to Colonial names in his experience so far.
"Hello Face. Have a seat. If you would rather something else besides coffee, I have milk and juice on hand." Jenny smiled at him, as she stood. "Hannibal told me that you had been hurt and suffering some memory loss."
"Yeah. I hit my head rather hard." Starbuck replied as he sat down. "I think I'll go with juice, if you don't mind."
"Okay." Jenny nodded in agreement, and pulled down a tall glass from a cupboard. She then opened the fridge and pulled out a container of apple juice. Starbuck watched as she poured the pale gold colored liquid into the glass before setting it in front of him.
"I hope you like apple juice. I brought it home with me this morning, when I came in from work." Jenny stated, smiling. She then yawned. "Excuse me."
Starbuck took a small swallow of the juice, and savored the slightly tart sweetness of the golden liquid. As the flavor filled his mouth, the foreign pilot noticed that the juice lingered briefly with a mellow reminder that caused his mouth to salivate with anticipation for more. Without really meaning to, Starbuck drained the glass rather quickly, enjoying the taste that flowed acrossed his tongue.
The Colonial watched as BA slipped three golden looking flat objects onto a plate. The dark skinned man then spread a creamy yellow substance over the steaming items, then poured a thick brown liquid over them. Picking up a fork, the Sargeant crossed over to where Starbuck sat at the table.
"Here ya go Face, hot off the stove. Eat up." BA ordered Starbuck, setting the plate in front of him.
The blond picked up the fork, and using the side of it, cut into the steaming hot stack in front of him. Tentatively, he brought the forkfull up to his mouth, and took his first bite of the new food. A rich sweetness exploded on his tongue, accompanied by an underlying creamy flavor was the first thing that Starbuck experienced. It was followed by the flavorful cooked batter that was light and fluffy feeling while it melted on his tongue. The sweetness that was the first thing he noticed lingered in his mouth as he swallowed down the first bite. His mouth watered from the combination of tastes as he continued eating the pancakes, while his stomach became filled in a very pleasing manner.
While the extraterrestrial pilot all but inhaled his breakfast, Hannibal and Murdock joined the trio in the kitchen.
"I was wondering where you had gotten off to this morning, Facey." Murdock grinned, as he sat down next to Starbuck. Hannibal joined them at the table, taking a seat next to where Jenny was sitting.
Starbuck ignored him long enough to ask Jenny if she would pour him another glass of juice.
"Juice Face?" Hannibal asked, surprised. "Instead of coffee?"
"Something wrong with that?" Starbuck retorted.
The Colonel shook his head. "No, not really. It's just not what you usually drink with breakfast is all."
"Oh. Well, I felt in the mood for something different." Starbuck responded. He resumed eating what was left on his plate.
"Do ya want anymore Face?" BA asked, as he watched the younger man all but inhale the pancakes.
"No thank you. I'm feeling pretty full." Starbuck smiled. "Those were really good, BA. Thank you."
"Ya welcome. Anyone else want more?"
Everyone declined, thanking the Sargent for fixing breakfast.
"BA, I really need some sleep. Would you mind waiting until after I get up to go grocery shopping? I'm off for the next couple of days, then I'm back on the day shift. Usually, when that happens, I sleep for about four hours, so that I can sleep at night." Jenny asked, explaining what the deal was.
"Sure, that works for me. While you sleep, the rest of us can see what all still needs doing around here. Face can go and sit in the sun on your porch while we all do that." BA agreed, nodding his head."Sounds like a plan. I'll see you all in a few hours." Jenny replied, standing.
The four men wished her a good night as she left the room. Starbuck's eyes lingered, appreciating Jenny's figure as she departed. Hannibal chuckled at that, glad to see one thing that was still the same. He recalled very well the first encounter Jenny had had with Face.
"Something amuses you Colonel?" Starbuck inquired, arching an eyebrow.
"Just recalling the time when we originally met Jenny and her father is all. You were giving her the eye back then too, and then some." Hannibal answered, grinning. He then reached into his pocket, and pulled out a couple of small orangy bottles with white caps on them. "Here, you need to take these. It's the medicine that Maggie prescribed for you. It's the antibiotic to help keep an infection from setting in. You need to take it with food, remember? Your pain medication is here too, if you need them."
"Thanks." Starbuck replied, taking the containers. He tucked them into a pocket of his jeans. He grabbed his crutches, and started to stand up carefully. "I guess I better head on out to the porch to relax."
"Alright. Jenny has a lounger on her back porch, where it's safe. No one will be able to see you that way. It's back this way." The white haired Colonel stood up, and lead the way to the rear porch.
The blond followed, moving carefully on his crutches. As he stepped out the door, Starbuck paused, and took in the sight. Trees, lots and lots of trees filled his vision. To one side, a tall silver fence could barely be seen through a screening of shrubs that were climbing up it. A rustling noise became audible, before Murdock burst out of some foliage.
"I just started my recon of the property, Colonel. I discovered that on the other side of the fence is a sizable park. The area right next to us looks to be an area for playing football and soccer. There are benches and a couple sets of stands on the far side. Nothing on this side near the fence though. I guess when the park was put in place, they took into concideration the neighbors." Murdock reported.
"Good work Murdock. Continue on." Hannibal smiled. He turned towards Starbuck, who was sitting down. "I'll leave you here Lieutenant. Need anything before I head off?"
"Some water please." Starbuck requested. He placed the crutches on the floor within reach before he situated his injured leg.
"Alright. One of us will be by to check on you every so often, so don't be afraid to ask for anything."
"Gotcha Colonel. Thanks."
Starbuck leaned back, and closed his eyes as Hannibal went back inside. He gave a small sigh of relief, glad to see that his ruse was working for now. The alien pilot was not looking forward to the day when the members of the A-Team learned that he was an imposter. They were going to want to know what had happened to their friend, and they were going to want Face returned to them. Starbuck hoped that he would be able to answer their questions when that day arrived.
On the Galactica...
Apollo showed Face how to use the turbowash, and showed him around his quarters. The Earth-born Lieutenant took his first sonic shower, and then explored a small shelf that contained some kind of electronic equipment and a couple of boxes of crystals.
"Find anything interesting?" Apollo asked, as he came out from having had his own shower.
"Somewhat." Face replied. "What are these things? I've never seen anything like them."
"Those are data crystals and a data reader. Most of those there were made by my dead wife, back before and just after the Destruction." Apollo explained. "She had been a newscaster. She was covering the upcoming peace treaty that would eventually be revealed as a ruse. She and her son were extremely lucky to have survived. Most didn't within the cities."
"You said something about showing me something back when we were in the celestial chamber." Face reminded the other man.
"That's right. Boomer and I were. The incoming patrols made us forget about it." Apollo stated, picking up the reader, and pulling out a small locked container. "What I am going to show you is actually the second transmission that was recorded. The first one was destroyed in a battle with the Cylons. It shows a really old spacecraft setting down on a rocky world. Take a look."
Apollo opened the container and removed it's contents. It was another one of those data crystals, from what Face could see. He watched as the Major inserted it into the reader, which activated it. The blond's attention focused on the recording, completely captivated by it. The Colonial noticed that the Earth born man's complexion go pale, as he sucked in a sharp breath.
"Oh my God!" Face declared, as he looked up at Apollo after watching the video. "That's when we first landed on the Moon. I remember when that happened. I was in Vietnam. Murdock was estatic about the whole thing. He had wanted to get into NASA and the space program, but ended up being sent to 'Nam to fly copters instead."
"You mean to say that this is a transmission that originated from Earth?" Apollo asked, excited.
"Yes...well, sort of. It actually originated from the Moon, which is Earth's satellite. " Face answered. "The country that I'm from was the one who was behind that mission. It took place in 1969, in my planet's reckoning, timewise."
"How long ago did this event take place?" Apollo wanted to know.
"Well, if it's still the year I think it is, it's currently about the middle of the year and it's 1984. So it happened about 15 years ago." Face replied, purposely using the English word year over the Colonel equivalent of yahren.
Apollo looked sharply at Face. He studied the blond closely for a moment, his familiarity with Starbuck standing him in good stead when it came to trying to interpet the expressions on the alien Lieutenants' face.
"The Destruction of my people's homeworlds took place 16 yarhens ago. We had been on the run for about a yarhen when we received this transmission. If your planet's years are about the same as our yahrens, there's no way that we could have received the transmission that I showed you. Yet you are positive that it's from Earth."
Face looked at the Major, slightly confused for a moment. Then understanding dawned on him.
"You're saying that your people fled your homes before the event in the recording took place. How could it have reached you that quickly?"
"If Earth was that close, we should have long since encountered it. We're following the coordinates that we were given during that first yahren after the Destruction by the Ships of Light. There's no way..." Apollo paused. He paced around his room for a bit, before coming to a stop.
"I know how we managed to receive this transmission as well as the original. There's just no other way possible for us to have it. The inhabitants of those ships had to be behind it. They're far advanced in technology than what we are here in the Fleet."
"Uhm, Apollo, the level of technology that exists here does not exist on Earth as yet. At least, as far as I know." Face pointed out. "That transmission actually happened like it did back then on Earth. I can honestly say that."
Apollo looked sharply at Face, as the blond's comment penetrated his mind and was comprehended. None of them had no way of knowing if Face had been pulled into the future from his original time period. As it stood, there was only one way of learning it, and that was to return the Earth born Lieutenant home. Further understanding bloomed in the Major's mind as he realised he knew exactly where his best friend was and what he was doing. Which explained the reason why Face had been placed on the Galactica.
"I know why you're here." Apollo told Face. "Come on, I need to speak to my father, and you need to hear what I have to tell him."
The dark haired Major rushed out of his quarters and started rushing up the corridor. Face, caught off guard, was a moment before following behind the older man.
"Apollo wait up!" Face called out, echoing another blond's cry from several yarhens before. However, he then added "I don't know my way around as yet, remember? And what were you saying when you left so suddenly?"
The Colonel Warrior paused and turned to look behind him. Watching Face coming towards him yanked memories of his best friend coming along with him on what ever he was about to embark on. A smile crossed his face, there was no reason to rush.
"I just realized why you are here on the Galactica." Apollo told his new friend.
"Oh? And why is that?" Face asked.
"To tell us about Earth. And to let us know that Starbuck is still alive." Apollo answered.
"It took you this long to figure that out? How come I don't know it then?" Face asked, sarcastically.
"It took me this long because you needed to see that transmission. I'll explain more in a few. There are others who need to hear it." And with that, Apollo resumed heading towards his father's quarters, at a slower pace. Face followed him.
Elsewhere on the Galactica...
Boomer, after having split off from Apollo and Face, headed towards the female pilots' billet.
"Brie, is Dietra inside?" He asked. "If so, would you get her for me."
"Yeah, she is. She went inside just a moment ago. She said something about wanting to grab a shower." Brie answered. "I'll send her out."
A few moments later, Dietra walked out, and wrapped her arms around Boomer. She then placed a kiss on his cheek.
"Hey BoomBoom, what's up?" Dietra asked. "I noticed back in the ready room that you and Major Apollo have been pulled from the flight roster."
"That's what I'm wanting to speak to you about. Commander Adama has invited us to dine with him this evening." Boomer answered. "We have a guest on board, and Apollo and I have been pulled off the roster to serve as a protection detail for this visitor."
"Oh really? And just who within the Fleet is so important to cause the Commander to pull two of his top pilots from flight duty to guard this person instead of using one of the members of Fleet Security?."
"He's not from the Fleet, Dietra. He's from Earth." Boomer informed her. "And even more, this man is identical in looks to the missing Starbuck."
That pulled Dietra up short.
"You're not trying to pull one on me, are you?"
"No Dee. In fact, Commander Adama has given orders that this man is to be kept classified from the Council. He's deemed our visitor a military only matter. And that's on a need to know basis for military personnel at that."
"Then why are you telling me, Boomer?" Dietra asked, her voice slightly sharp.
"Because it's been decided that you need to know. We're invited to dinner, remember? Anyways, our visitor is also invited to dine with the Commander as well. So you will meet him." Boomer explained.
"Alright then. Since I'm having dinner with the Commander this evening, I had best go and get ready. Is there a dress requirement when one dines with him?"
"No. You can wear civvies if you wish. Sheba, Cassie, and Athena tend to wear dresses."
"Alright then. You can pick me up here and escort me to Commander Adama's quarters then, just before dinner." Dietra declared. "I need to go and get ready. I suggest that you go and do the same."
A short while later, Boomer arrived to escort Dietra to dinner. They arrived at Adama's quarters to see Cassie, Sheba and Bojay preparing to enter inside. Colonel Tigh was escorting them inside. He thought it somewhat odd that Bojay was being included as a dinner guest. Then he realized that over dinner would be an excellent time to fill in everyone about Face.
"Captain, Lieutenant, you're right on time. Apollo hasn't arrived as yet." Tigh informed them. "Lieutenants Troy and Dillan, and Captain Athena are already inside."
"If there isn't a problem, Dietra and I will wait out here for them." Boomer replied.
"I'll let Adama know." Tigh replied. He returned a moment later. "The Commander wants to surprise the others with our unexpected guest. So if you will let the Major and the visiting Lieutenant know that they're to wait just outside the door."
As Apollo and Face arrived at Adama's quarters, the two men spotted a pair of dark skinned people waiting for them. Face reconized Boomer from earlier, however, he didn't know his lovely companion.
"Face, I would like to introduce you to my current lady, Lieutenant Dietra. Dietra, this is Lieutenant Face." Boomer began introductions before turning to Apollo. "Sheba, Bojay and Cassie are already here and inside."
"It's nice to meet you Lieutenant." Dietra replied, offering her hand out to Face for a hand shake. Face smiled at her, and reached out to grasp her hand. Dietra did not grasp his in return however. Instead she slid her hand up to grab his wrist instead. "Warriors don't take hands when we shake. We grasp each other's wrists in a warrior's shake instead. While you might not be a Colonial Warrior, Lieutenant, you are a warrior for your people."
Face winced slightly upon hearing Dietra's comment. He wondered what these people would think if they learned that he was considered a criminal among his own people, and that Earth born humans warred against one another. Not to mention the fact that he was also a mercenary on top of it, even if the A-Team had a standard when it came to those they allowed to hire them.
Inside, Adama served various drinks to everyone, handing out glasses to his guests. He looked over at Tigh.
"Tigh, will you check and see if the rest of the guests have arrived?" Adama requested. "I do believe that we are ready."
"Certainly Commander." Tigh replied. He made his way over to the door, and activated it. When it slid open, he signaled to Apollo. "The Commander is ready for you."
"Alright." Apollo replied before turning to his companions. "It's time."
The three men permitted Dietra to enter first. Boomer followed her in, with Face preceding Apollo.
"And the last of the guests have arrived." Adama's voice declared. "Gentleman, Lieutenant, would you like something to drink before I make introductions?"
Face entered fully into the room and noticed that it did triple duty as office, living and dining room. He nodded yes to the Commander, and was handed a small stemmed glass with a bright red liquid in it. He took a small sip of the liquid, and discovered that it was alcoholic. The flavor was pleasant, but indescribable. The only term he could use was alien.
Athena, Troy, Dillan, Sheba, and Bojay all spotted the blond that had entered with Apollo, Boomer and Dietra. Cassie tried to stop Athena, as she moved towards the man she thought she knew.
"STARBUCK!" They all cried out, starting to head over towards Face.
"NO!" Adama's stern voice admonished, stopping the group while he stepped between them and Face. "He is not Starbuck, who is still missing. This is Lieutenant Face, the reason why all of you were invited to dinner tonight."
"The Commander is right. While he might look identical to Starbuck, he's not." Cassie declared, stepping forward. "The medical records prove it. Face is completely alien to us."
Apollo and Boomer took up flanking positions on either side of Face. Most of the people there were those who were the closest to Starbuck, the ones that were his chosen family. While there were a few others- Jolly, Giles, Cree; the ones present were the ones who mattered the most.
"How can he be completely alien to us?" Athena asked, curious. "He's obviously human."
Face grinned at the pretty brunette. "That I am. However, I happen to come from Los Angeles, California."
Boomer and Apollo looked at one another, looking forward to watching Face starbucking the others.
"And where is loss an gel less callie forn ya located?" Sheba carefully pronounced the obviously foreign words.
Face leaned slightly forward, playing it up. A grin crossed his face, one that matched that of a man who was far away.
"It's part of the United States of America, on the continent of North America, which is located in the Northern hemisphere of the planet Earth." Was the reply. And with that, Face walked away from the table as it exploded in an uproar.
Apollo looked towards Adama, who nodded in agreement. Giving Boomer a nudge, the two Colonials lead their new friend into Adama's sleeping room for a moment's privacy.
"Come on Face, let's leave the others to discuss the importance of your being here. Besides I have something to show you." Apollo said in a soft voice.
He lead both men over to a set of shelves, on which were several holopics. The Major lifted one of the images and handed it over to the Earth born Lieutenant. Boomer smiled, he knew exactly what image that was being shown to his new friend.
Face looked at the picture that Apollo handed him and almost dropped it in surprise.
"That looks like me." He said, looking up at his two companions. "This is an image of your friend Starbuck."
"Yes. And that's why we're taking care to make sure that you're protected while you're with us. Starbuck had plenty of enemies in the Fleet. Also, there are those who would do their best to use you, since you come from Earth."
Boomer stepped closer. "Now you see why we're taking some of the precautions that we are, and trying to find out what you can do."
"I'm a long way from home." Face declared.
Apollo and Boomer nodded in reply.