Categories > TV > Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica: Coming Clean

by Treadstone17 0 reviews

The Earth-Cylon War has been over for six months, and Commander Kara Thrace-Bond is home in Richmond on leave for two months, where she can finally bond with her adopted family. But even as she ...

Category: Battlestar Galactica - Rating: PG - Genres: Sci-fi - Published: 2017-05-29 - Updated: 2017-05-31 - 3526 words - Complete

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BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

COMING CLEAN


A Short Story

I

Commander Kara Thrace Bond was three weeks into her two-month stay at home in Richmond. It has been six months since the forces on and above Earth had defeated the Cylons in another cataclysmic war between the two races. Humanity had won the day but at a terrible cost.

This was perhaps the most important time in Kara's life. Near the end of the war, she had been adopted by President Justin Bond and First Lady Judith Bond. Kara had lost her way again when old nightmares from her past had reappeared during the conflict. She was convinced that when her parents had made her part of the family that it had saved her.

It was early afternoon. She and her mother Judith had just returned home from some grocery shopping. The Secret Service was able to keep a loose protective umbrella over the two women. It would have been impossible before the war in Washington, D.C for the First Lady and Daughter to do their own errands like that. But in Richmond, in the blush after the conflict, the Bond's were welcome anywhere in the city.

"I think we bought enough food to feed that army that was camped around Omaha, mom", Kara said with a chuckle. "You may be the first First Lady in a hundred years or more who does the shopping."

"It keeps me from going a little stir crazy, Kara, it really does." The first lady smiled, taking two cartons of eggs out of one of the bags, "I let Chef Prisemore simply give me the list every now and again. I don't mind chipping in to help him."

That was her mom to a T. She would help anyone, anywhere, at any time. She had never met a more giving soul in all her 34 years as counted on Earth.

"You won't get any complaints from me, mom", Starbuck replied, corralling the containers of juice and milk and putting them neatly in the refrigerator, "I like watching him cook, to be honest. Besides", she winked at her mom, "I like being able to nibble on some of the food before it leaves the kitchen."

"You are your father's daughter, Kara Thrace-Bond", her mother laughed delightedly, "he's the same way. Years ago, I had to constantly slap him on the hand...or somewhere else, to get him out of the kitchen while I cooked."

The two ladies finished up their work and gladly departed the kitchen. "What time did dad say he was probably going to be back?"

"His Raptor should be landing at the Airport about seven, and he should be back her probably by 7:30", the President had been in Leon, Mexico, which was serving as that nation's Capital since Mexico City, like Washington, D.C, lay in ruins. "You going to go out for a while, honey?"

"Yeah, the Crowell's told me that whenever I wanted to come down to their farm to relax, I could", referring to good friends of the Bond family who owned a stable on Little Creek Reservoir. Kara had started to go there to unwind on her weekend trips back to Richmond. With two whole months at home, she liked to go there a few times a week to simply reflect and enjoy the scenery of the horses and the water, "I just want to relax there for a little bit before dinner."

"That's fine with me, sweetheart. I think Abby, Brett, and Katraine will be coming over for dinner as well, so don't be late."

"I won't be, mom", Kara headed over to give her mother a kiss on the cheek, "be back in a bit, love you", and out Kara and the Secret Service went.
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II

It was about a 30-minute drive from the Gray House, the residence of the President of The United States, to the farm. Judith Bond had cleared it with Barbara Crowell, who had been a friend of the First Lady since they both attended college at the University of Colorado. They owned about fifteen horses on the property. The horses they owned were American Quarter Horses that had been raised for racing but had suffered minor injuries that had derailed a chance at competitive thoroughbred racing. There hadn't been an animal on the Colonies quite like these beautiful beasts. They were all friendly and well-mannered. Kara was hoping to learn to ride some day.

It also offered lush, green open spaces, with a line of trees by the reservoir. There was an assortment of birds and fish that made the area their home, and Kara found the tranquility and quiet very soothing for her soul.

She walked back by the reservoir, sat down and leaned her back and head against the tree. There were sounds of ducks and birds in the trees and winging above her. She closed her eyes and let the sounds lull her to sleep...

…...And she suddenly awoke, a little startled that she had nodded off so quickly. It was disconcerting to anyone who suddenly awoke in such a manner. She had wanted to just relax, not fall sound asleep, so she pulled herself off the ground, smiled and started to walk around the grounds and get her eyes away.

She emerged from the treeline and off in the distance she saw a beautiful Mare near what had to be a female farmhand, who was facing away from Kara. The woman was a little shorter that Starbuck, and had dark copper brown hair down to just above the middle of her back. She was petting the horse in a leisurely manner.

Kara moved closer to the woman and the equine, "Hey that's a gorgeous horse you've got there", Kara said with a smile on her face, but the woman ignored her. Is this chick deaf or something, Kara thought, with a hint of huffiness. She was within about thirty feet of the pair now, "I said I really like that horse you're with!."

Nothing.

OK, this is just rude, Kara said to herself with exasperation, "Can you even hear me?", she said with a scowl forming on her face.

The woman finally spoke, but still had her back to Kara, "I wouldn't have minded having one of these creatures. They're so elegant and so majestic."

I know that voice, Kara mentally noted, but she couldn't quite...

"You really should learn to ride", the woman turned and looked her full in the face, "...Starbuck."

Kat...
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III

"I must still be asleep", the Commander said almost to herself, then looked over at the familiar face, "I'm dreaming, aren't I?"

"Could be, Kara, but maybe you're not?", the image of Louanne Katraine said to her with a shrug and the outlines of a smile on her face. Kat looked around at the surroundings and sighed a contented sigh, "Kara, a person could get used to seeing this every day. There's a peace here we never had onboard Galactica."

Kara continued to stare, not out of rudeness, but simply wondering what kind of dream this would be. "This has to be a dream, and if it is, why are you hear, Kat?"

"I actually come here once in a while myself, Commander", she said, still surveying the scenery, "I've seen you here a few times, but I could never reach you until today."

"Wh...what do you mean 'reach me'?", Starbuck said with a burning curiosity. "What are you doing here?"

"I'm here because I wanted to talk to you", Kat said, going around the front of the Mare and looking into the animal's eyes, "We never really just talked to each other when I was alive. We were too busy screaming at each other all the time", the apparition of the young pilot said without any rancor.

"No, we didn't, did we?", Starbuck said, looking away from the face in front of her, "I wanted to...but I couldn't."

"I know, Thrace", she said going up to her old rival, "but we can now. You're not the same person that you were when that radiation ate me alive. You've become who you were meant to be. So we can do what we always wanted to do-just sit around and talk."

Kat tilted her head to one side in an indication that they would start walking. Kara was right next to her now as they both looked straight ahead, while silence hung in the air for a few moments, "Kid, you didn't deserve the fate you received, you know that?" Kara said what she had felt for years about the painful death Kat had suffered.

"We have to take the hand we're dealt, Kara", Kat said dismissively, "I think your father has told you that on more than one occasion?"

"How do you know about my fa...", Starbuck stopped, then smiled at the image in front of her, "This my dream, so of course you would know."

"If you say so", Kat smiled warmly, "But let me ask you something? Do you remember when Roslin had those visions about Hera, where she, Athena and Caprica were chasing her?"

"Of course I do", she said with a mild laugh, "It's the reason we ended up at that other nightmare called Earth."

Kat nodded, "And what about your vision with Leoben, right before...before whatever happened to you?" Kat said, with some pause. "I've found out a truth beyond our lives, Kara, and it seems to be something unique to some of us who are from the Colonies."

"That we can somehow 'project' like the Cylon skin jobs do?", she looked over at Katraine with a mixture of curiosity and almost bemusement, "Is that what you're saying?"

"No, not like how the Cylons do it", Louanne said with a small laugh, "But we seem to have an ability to reach out beyond our conscious, living selves and reach a new level of existence, even if for a moment in time."

Kara's sarcastic smile broke on her lips, "And...that's what this is. You're reaching out to me." I wish I could record this dream, her mind mused.

"No, sorry, Starbuck, but you can't make a video of any of this, much as both of us might like it", Kat again looked right into her eyes.

Dream or no dream, to have Kat repeat what she had just thought to herself was disconcerting.

"Let's sit over there by that big tree, Starbuck", Kat again led the way, "It's time we got to know each other."
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IV

They both sat down as the breeze picked up and blew their hair behind them, "You know the last thing I remembered, Kara?", Kat said, looking in her direction.

"I'm almost afraid to ask, kid", Kara said truthfully.

"It wasn't bad. Really it wasn't", the former CAG said, closing her eyes, "It was the Admiral smiling at me, then kissing me on my hand." Tears formed in the corners of Kat's eyes, "It was actually quite beautiful. The Old Man had a way of making you feel special."

Kara's eyes welled up, thinking as she had on so many occasions since the end of the war about Admiral William Adama, "He sure did, Kat. And I let him down so many times..."

"We're human, Thrace, we let people down every now and then during our lives, but he cared about you deeply", she said looking up at a hawk passing overhead, "Hell, he cared for every single person on that ship deeply. Even those that betrayed him during the coup."

Hearing this vision of Kat talking about things that had happened after her death made Kara feel uncomfortable, reminding her that maybe...maybe this wasn't a dream?

"I tried to get Adama to kill a marine that he had taken prisoner-he stopped me. I couldn't believe it at the time", Kara said, reliving a moment of that nightmarish day.

"That was The Old Man, alright", she said smiling at Starbuck.

"Kat", Kara began but hesitating. Despite the beautiful gift that she had been given six months ago from her adoptive parents, she still was ashamed of how she had treated Kat and had never apologized to her talented rival before her death, "I never wanted things to be as they were between us", she said with a stark truth, "and I'm not going to use this as an excuse, but I was a lot younger then; I had my own issues, and I often took out my shame of who I was on you." Kara didn't want to look at the woman who she had mentored into being a truly great pilot that was worthy to be remembered.

She finally found the courage to look over, wondering if the vision of Kat would vanish, but when she looked up, Kat had a beaming smile on her face.

"I've forgiven you, Starbuck", she said, grabbing Kara's hand and squeezing it, "I forgave you when I last saw you on the ship." That moment had been unbearably painful for Starbuck. Try as she might, and wanting as she did, she had not found the courage at that moment to reach out to her protege and tell her that she thought of her as a sister. "I had to forgive you so I could forgive myself for treating you the exact same way, Kara."

"I wanted to tell you that I cared about you", Kara began to weep as she should have done when Kat was laying on that bed in sick bay, "I should have told you how proud I was of the pilot you had become and I didn't want you to die..." Anger rose in her voice, not at Kat, but at herself.

"What is it that your father has told you on a few occasions?", Kat looked up, trying to find the words, "that we are harder on ourselves than anyone else. And when we see someone who is almost exactly like us, we're just as hard on them, too."

Justin Bond had been right when he said that, and it was the God's truth, which made Kara mentally scold herself even more.

The apparition of Kat crawled around to get directly in front of Kara, "Don't you get it? I wanted to be you, Starbuck. You weren't the only one who couldn't come clean-I couldn't either", she said, pools of water in her eyes, "You were the baddest, most kick-ass pilot I'd ever seen, and I wanted to be that person!", she said intensely to her old rival, "and if I couldn't be you, I wanted to be exactly like you!"

The pools of water in Kara's eyes now poured downward, "I know kid. And I wanted you to be me. I wanted you to be better than me. That's why I came down so hard on you when you stimmed and when I found out about your real name and past life", she said also staring at the young woman who would never grow old, "I saw so much of myself in you, and it scared me...and yet I didn't have the courage to let you know back then", Starbuck said looking away finally, not able to look at the person she missed so much.

"Neither did I, Boss", Kat said also looking down, no able to meet eyes at the moment, "and that's why I wanted to finally talk to you. We had so much we should have said to each other before it was too late."

Starbuck paused to regain her composure, "We would have made good sisters, kid, you know that", she said with a smile as the tears subsided.

"We were sisters, we just didn't know it at the time, Starbuck."
___________________________________________________________________________________________

V

Kara laughed at that remark, "And we kicked Scar's ass, didn't we", and they both laughed.

They finally got up to walk one more time, "We did have some good moments, Kara, and we did a lot to beat the Toasters", Kat mused, "and you got the chance to do it again. And I'm proud of you for that."

"Thanks, kid", Kara said with a small smile, "I'd have given almost anything for you to have been with us when they attacked Earth.

"I know, Boss, but it wasn't meant to be", Kat said without regret, "we all have our time and that was mine", she grabbed Kara's had again, "and I've been with you every day since, asking the gods to protect you and the people of the fleet, and now the people of Earth."

Kara turned and looked her old rival in the face again, "I know you have", she said with a sad smile, "and that's what hurts." The two reached forward and embraced each other as both began to cry again, "And I've thought of you every single day, Kat."

After what seemed forever, they finally broke the embrace and walked back towards the Mare they had left behind, hand-in-hand for the moment.

"Do you still think this is a dream, Kara?", Kat said with a grin on her face.

"I don't know, kid. I've seen so many frackin' weird things in my life that I can't be sure", and she turned once more to face her Guardian Angel, "but whatever this is, I'm glad it happened", and they continued walking.

After a few minutes of silence, Kat again spoke up in a tone as if talking about the weather, "You know Starbuck, Lee was standing behind you when you put my picture on the wall", she said with another smile, "ask him about it. Maybe that will change your mind about all this."

Kara was momentarily taken aback and knew she would have to call Lee. But that could wait.

A few more minutes of silence as they walked and looked at each other occasionally. Finally, Kat spoke up, "I have to go now, Kara. And you have a dinner waiting at home."

"You're always in my heart, Louanne Katraine, every day of my life", she said embracing the woman again.

"You've found yourself, Starbuck. You finally have something that no one can take away from you in your new family. Maybe that's what you needed all along?"

"I think you're right, kid", bringing herself back to the here-and-now and her family.

"I'm with you every day, too, Kara Thrace-Bond", she said with a grin and turned to walk away. Kara watched her move away, seemingly becoming more of a blur than a person. After a few moments, Kat turned back around, "Hey Starbuck!", she said loudly.

"Yeah, Kat?", Kara replied in kind.

"I'm always here if you ever want to talk again someday!" With the biggest smile of the possible dream.

"I will Kat! I will!"

Kat turned back around and faded into the scenery.

Kara startled awake, wondering if she really was awake this time. She got to her feet and looked around back toward the pasture that the horses used. Nothing. No horse. No Kat. She wondered if any of it had been real. But it certainly had felt like more than a dream.
___________________________________________________________________________________________

EPILOGUE

A few days later, Admiral Lee Adama had left the Battlestar Pegasus and returned to Honolulu for meetings with Admiral Hoshi and some of the other brass at UED. Kara decided to call her long time friend.

They talked for about a half-hour, as Kara filled him in on her vacation and how well her bonding time with her family was going. Lee was thrilled with the person Kara had become since the war, and he would have talked to her for a year about her family.

Finally, Kara asked the question that had been posed to her in her...whatever it was; the dream or vision of who knows what.

"Lee, can I ask you a question?" She said tentatively, wondering if he would think she was nuts.

"Anytime, Kara", he said, thinking she would say something nuts sooner or later.

"After Kat died...I was the one who put her picture up on the wall. I felt it was my respons..."

Lee jumped in at that moment, "I know you did Kara", he said soothingly, "I know you did because I was standing behind you when you did it. I was going to come over to you, but you left before I was able to. You never knew I was there."

Kara froze, caught halfway between being scared and being overjoyed at Lee's revelation, "My gods, she was right!", she said in a whisper.

"Who was right about what, Kara?", he said, thinking she's still nuts.

Kara didn't speak for a few moments, and finally came back from her short-lived trance, "Oh, what Lee?"

"You said 'she was right'. Who was right?"

"Oh, never mind, Lee. Maybe I'll tell you about it one of these days."

They said their goodbyes and Kara depressed the "call end" display on her computer screen. She sat motionless for a few moments, then a wonderful smile crossed her face as she glanced upwards.

"Thanks, kid!", she said with her hand over her heart.

THE END
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