Categories > TV > Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica: Eulogy And Regret

by Treadstone17 0 reviews

Captain Kara Thrace just stared at the curtain in front of her, eyes unblinking, emotions for the moment completely turned off, just like everyone else. The mission to the Algae Planet had been a s...

Category: Battlestar Galactica - Rating: PG - Genres: Sci-fi - Published: 2017-06-29 - 8032 words - Complete




She was in her bunk in the Officer's quarter's onboard Galactica. She was quiet; the ship was deathly quiet as well. No one wanted to talk; no one wanted to do much of anything. The ship had been reduced to a stunned silence.

Captain Kara Thrace just stared at the curtain in front of her, eyes unblinking, emotions for the moment completely turned off, just like everyone else. The mission to the Algae Planet had been a success: The Fleet now had enough food coming aboard to last several years. Algae didn't taste good, but they wouldn't starve now.

But the price paid had been almost unbearable. Two ships lost, with their crews; and one valuable, pain-in-the-ass Pilot as well. Kat was gone; she wasn't coming back. The Fleet lost Pilots and would lose more. But the way Kat had perished was painful for everyone onboard, even for Kara, who had been involved in running verbal, and sometimes, physical battles with the young upstart pilot.

But Kara was devastated. It wasn't supposed to be like this.

The Funeral Service for Louanne Katraine was in two days. The Old Man, who had sat with the young dying pilot until her eyes closed for the last time, would deliver the Eulogy. That was as it should be. But Kara couldn't get the image of her young rival, dying in Sick Bay out of her mind. She had never been so shaken in here whole life as when she last saw Kat. And, as was always the case, she couldn't let her real emotions out, hiding behind a stone-faced facade. She had actually smiled at Kat as she turned and walked away. She was ashamed that she had done that.

Kat's soul was in the hands of the gods, or God, or whatever existed beyond flesh and blood. Kara felt damned at that moment and wondered if she would ever feel otherwise. She had berated Kat from virtually the moment the young woman had become a Nugget, and she had never let up. But when Kara looked deep into her flawed soul, she realized that she was no better than she thought Kat was-and she was probably worse.

Kat had OD'd on stims during a CAP once; Kara on more than one occasion had missed a scheduled flight because she was still drunk or hung over; Kat was a smart-mouthed pain-in-the-ass; Kara was the original smart-mouthed, pain-in-the-ass. Both had flown with an attitude and by the seat of their pants. Both wanted to be The Bad-ass of the jocks.

Kara had pools of tears in her eyes when she saw Kat for the last, heartbreaking time; and again when she had put Kat's picture on the wall. But her emotions hadn't gone beyond that. The Great Starbuck couldn't be seen as emotionally weak, lest someone see it and think less of her. But with her drinking, insubordination and revolving door to her bed, how could everyone really think less of her than they did now?

But crying would show a weakness she thought she couldn't afford.

She had been in the bunk for a half hour. She didn't think she had blinked once. But with that stone look on her face, she found the strength to rise, and without hesitation, headed towards Admiral Adama's quarters.



"You want to do what?" Adama couldn't believe his ears? "You want to give a second Eulogy for Kat? You two were constantly at each others' throats. I'm surprised the two of you hadn't killed each other by now."

He was angry, but not so much at Kara as at losing a young, brave, talented pilot, which he just couldn't afford to lose. And sitting with Kat until she had closed her eyes had dug into his old, crusted soul in a way that he hadn't felt since Zak had died. He was there when she took her final breath, and it had given Louanne a sense of peace before she departed. He was proud that he had done that. He wished he could do that for all the pilot's he had lost.

But Starbuck's request had set him off, and he couldn't understand her motivation, "How many times did you two slug each other? How many times did you berate her for stims, when you haven't exactly been pure as the driven snow for all these years? "

Kara wasn't surprised by the outburst, but it stung her nonetheless. "Boss, I think it's important that I speak at her funeral. We all need to rally to each other at this moment, more than ever, and I'd like to help in that process."

Adama had that scowl from Hell on his face but slowly began to simmer down. He was just as emotionally upset as everyone else. "Starbuck, I shouldn't be screaming at you, but Kat's death has the entire fleet turned inside-out. I'm just worried that everyone will stay in this funk and the Cylons will show up and fry our asses."

"I understand that, sir", Kara said, still stinging from the chewing out, "but if I can say a few things about Kat, I think I can help get everyone moving in a positive direction again", she paused and looked directly at him, "And I'd like to try."

Adama was almost back to a normal temperature for a Human Being He contemplated Kara's request. And, on reflection, he realized he had no grounds to deny her that request.

"OK, Starbuck, I will let you do that, but I want you to think good and hard about what you're going to say. I don't want to send these people down any further."

"I've been thinking about it for the last hour or so, Admiral. I have a pretty good idea what I'm going to say. Thank you, sir."

Hotdog, Narcho, you'll have the lead on the CAP beginning at 1400, standard dispersal, nothing on the threat board, but...well, you guys know the drill."

"Aye, sir", Noel Allison responded without enthusiasm. Lee hadn't given his briefing with enthusiasm. Enthusiasm had been sucked out of Galactica. First by the over-the-top stress of the missions to and from the Algae Planet, and then in losing on of the best pilots in The Fleet in Kat. But they had a job to do, and Lee knew they would do it. Today, they wouldn't enjoy it.

"Last item", Lee looked down at his briefing sheet. "The Service for Kat is at 1200 tomorrow afternoon. So that all senior Officers can be present, I'll be flying the CAP during the services. Some of you who are further down on the seniority list will be with me. If I could, I'd let everyone go, but we can't go without a CAP. Those who go with me, I promise I will make it up to you."

"We have the speakers' list for the service, sir?", Hotdog had trained with Kat, and her death had hit him like a kick in the balls.

"President Roslin will start the service. There will be a priest who will cover the religious part of the ceremony, in keeping with our traditions. And there will be two Eulogies given as well."

"Two?", Racetrack looked up from her desk, "I thought The Old Man was doing a solo Eulogy?"

"He'll be giving one Eulogy. The other will be given by Starbuck."

"Starbuck?", Narcho exclaimed, "Why the frack is she going to give a Eulogy? She did nothing but try to humiliate Kat every chance she got, sir." His face was red, and all the pent-up emotion that he, like everyone else, had been harboring let loose, "For fracks sake, Commander, this is bullshit."

Lee let the words hang for a minute, to see if anyone else would say something, but no one did. He thought everyone was glad that Narcho had spoken up, so they didn't have to.

"Lieutenant, you're welcome to your opinion, and I know all of us are down to our last nerve after this mission and losing Kat. I get it. But Starbuck requested that the Admiral let her speak."

"It's not right, sir", Narcho said more calmly, "It almost feels like pouring salt in the wound."

That comment startled Lee, but he didn't let it show, so he continued in a calm voice, "Again, I respect your feelings, Noel. I really do. But why don't we give Captain Thrace the benefit of the doubt, and let her have her say?" A few actually nodded at his remark.

Noel Allison looked down for a moment, took a controlling breath, then looked at the CAG, "I understand, sir, and I guess that's fair. It's just this whole mission has sucked from start to finish, and we're all bone-tired, and we're all wrung out emotionally from Kat dying."

"So say we all, Narcho", Lee said sympathetically, "Let's remember people, we're all in this together, and let's remember that could have been anyone of us. All of you went way above and beyond in this mission, and I'm damn proud of all of you. This is a time that we really need to stay tight, as pilots, and as people. Let's be there to honor Kat, and let the Eulogy's fall where they may?" Narcho nodded, and Hotdog patted him on the back.

"OK, guys, that's it. Safe flying today."

Later that evening, Kara was in the empty jock briefing room, going over what wanted to say the next day about Kat. It wasn't easy. She thought about the times she had tried to humiliate and belittle Kat: calling her "stim junkie", their showdown in this very room two days before Kat died; Kara scoffing at Kat after the rescue of the Colonists on New Caprica; cornering her and all but accusing her of treason during her drug-running days, which had sent waves of fear through Kat.

Kara stopped and thought about all of that, Maybe The Old Man is right. What right do I have to give a Eulogy for someone who I hardly said anything good about? It was a valid thought, but so was the realization that Kat had done the same thing to her. Why had they butted heads so often? She knew they were both headstrong; they were both arrogant in their own ways but backed it up with their flying. Why was their relationship the way it was?

Before finishing what she was to say, she needed to talk to someone who knew Kat better than she did-someone who had been a friend. She put her notes in her binder and headed off towards the Mess that also doubled as a drinking hole.

She walked in a few minutes later. The room was usually boisterous, and that's when it was at it's quietest. Late the day it could be a three-ringed circus.

But not today. The room was, like the rest of the ship, almost deathly still.

The place was crowded. Jocks and mechanics and others were eating, some were drinking-most were drinking in fact. It felt more like a temple for worship than what it was. Kara looked around and spotted the person she had wanted to talk to.

"Hotdog", she said, as the younger pilot looked up at her, "Do you think I can talk to your for a bit? I need your help."

Narcho glanced over at Brendan Costanza, and when their eyes met, they both realized what this was going to be about. Noel nodded at his friend. "Sure, Captain, let me just take my last sip of this pint." Hotdog downed the last of the brew and got up. Starbuck led him back to the briefing room and closed the door behind them.

"What's up, Starbuck?", Hotdog inquired with a flash of innocence. He was sure what was up, but he was hedging his bets.

"I'd like you to tell me about Kat. I know you two trained together and were friends, but I'd like your help so I can do this Eulogy. You were close, so tell me more about her?"

Costanza pulled out a chair, sat backward in it, and signaled for Kara to take a seat, "I'd be glad to, Captain", he said with a smile.

Brendan told them about their private talks. Kat had apparently confided in him about her double life, which startled Kara. The two would often sit up late while others' were sleeping and talk about flying, about life aboard the ship, and just about anything. Brandon even admitted the two had slept with each other a few times. They enjoyed each others' company, and an occasional bed session was just part of their relationship.

Kara found herself genuinely interested in what Costanza was telling her. It painted a much more Human picture of Louanne Katraine. She loved to laugh; she loved to pull pranks on her friends, she loved sex; she loved life. But it left Kara still searching as to what to do.

"Brendan, I volunteered for this, but I'm wondering why the frack I did it. I wasn't her friend: I was her Boss, and here I am now, trying to put this together."

Costanza looked at her for a moment. Brendan wasn't an extrovert. He was pretty quiet and did most of his talking in a Viper, but Kara had given him an opening, and he took it.

"Captain...Kara", he said gently, "Let me tell you something. Kat idolized you. One reason she wanted to be a jock was that you were the most bad-ass pilot in the fleet, who broke rules and kicked the Cylons asses."

Kara's eyes flew open wide. That was the last thing she expected to hear. Brendan continued.

"She wanted to be The Next Starbuck, Captain. She wanted to be the Top Dog. She took on your attitude from the moment she became a Nugget. She thought that it would make her the best damn pilot in the fleet."

Kara was still taken aback, "But I thought she hated me, and she was a pain in the ass to me. This makes no sense to me, Hotdog."

"Permission to speak very freely, Sir?", he said with some formality. Kara simply nodded her head, "Look at it this way. You fly with the most attitude of any jock we had, and it serves you well in battle. But for some of us, some of the time, you're a pain-in-the-ass to be around. You're loud; you drink too much, you push the rules and the envelope to the limit. Your mouth gets you in trouble a lot."

Kara blushed at the litany that Hotdog had listed, but he was right. She nodded her head again.

"Now, look at how you viewed Kat: she flew with an attitude that grated you, and that made her a first-rate jock; but she could come off to even her friends as a pain-in-the-ass, whose mouth got her in trouble a lot. She flies from the seat of her pants, as you do", Costanza looked down for a moment, "It was hard for either of you to see, but you were exactly alike, in almost every way. She told me that she wanted to be you, even as you drove her up a wall. There's no one that she had a higher opinion of than you."

That still didn't make a lot of sense to Kara, but then Hotdog drove the point home, "My father often told me that we are tougher and more critical about ourselves than we are anyone else, and that's true. But what happens when you meet someone who is exactly like you, in almost every way? Wouldn't it make sense that you're as critical of them as you are yourself because you see yourself in them?"

The light went on in Starbuck's brain, and the devastating truth of his words pounded home. "She wanted to be me, and I must have seen myself in her, is that it?" Brendan nodded solemnly, "and just like I saw myself in her, she saw herself in me, and we treated each other the same way?"

"I think had both of you been permitted to grow more mature as time went by, you would have been like sisters, I really do."

That broke Starbuck's demeanor. She still couldn't fall apart in front of one of her jocks, but her eyes pooled up again, and her mouth quivered, "Sisters", she said neutrally, "Something I've always wanted in my life."

"Deep down, Captain, you are a good person; and so was Kat. The two of you are the bravest, most courageous pilots I've ever seen. I don't know if I could have done what Kat did, but she did it because she wanted all of us to move forward, even if it cost her her own life."

They both went silent for a few minutes, then Kara looked up at the younger man, "Thanks, Hotdog. Youdon't know how important you telling me all this is. It gives me a different
perspective on Kat-and on myself."



"Tigh, new course, 216, carom 307", the Admiral said with an unemotional voice.

"Aye, sir, 216 carom 307, make it smart helm". Even the normally animated Saul Tigh was subdued. Right now, there was just no joy in the job. The could fill their stomachs again, but until they found real food, this stuff tasted like crap. The pilots were still recovering from the brutality of the mission. And Tigh didn't want to think about the rest.

Felix Gaeta saw the consternation on The Old Man's face, and walked over from his post, "Sir, can I get you something to drink? Water, coffee?"

Adama smiled at the multi-talented Officer, "Thank you, no, Mr. Gaeta. In fact, I'm going to my quarters for a time. I need to finish writing the Eulogy for tomorrow." Gaeta nodded, and the Admiral continued, "XO, you have the Conn, Mr. Gaeta, assume XO for the moment." Adama walked out of CIC.

He poured himself a small drink when he arrived at his desk in his quarters. He was tempted to get smashed-hell, everyone on the ship was tempted to do that, but he just needed to relax. He sat down, threw off his glasses, rubbed his tired eyes, and took the first sip. The there was a knock at the door.

"Enter", he said evenly. In walked Lee.

"Lee", William Adama said with a small smile, "come on in, son. What a few fingers of this?"

"That's the best offer I've had all day, dad", and the younger Adama sat in a chair on the other side of the desk. Adama filled his highball glass, then offered a toast, "To Kat", he said sadly. Lee nodded and they clinked their glasses together.

"Speaking of which, Dad", Lee took a healthy sip, "there was some grumbling in the Briefing Room today when the jocks learned Kara was giving a second Eulogy. Narcho lost it for a moment."

"I'm no totally shocked, son, to be honest", Bill Adama offered, "people are so emotionally knotted by this whole thing, it's good for them to blow off a little steam."

"Agreed", Lee nodded, "but Narcho has a point-why in the hell is Kara giving a Eulogy? Those two were at each others' throats all the time."

His father took another sip, "Yes, I know that, but those two are...were", he corrected himself with more sadness, "exactly alike, Lee. They were a mirror-image of each other. That's why they argued and fought so much-it was like looking at yourself in the mirror-kind of like you and me, sometimes."

Lee pondered that. He had never thought of it quite like that, but his father was right, "You've got a point there. You know Dee told me one reason she married me was that I was just like you. I didn't know if she meant it as a compliment or an insult at the time", he gave a smile to his father, who lightly laughed.

"I think it depends on where we are at the moment, Lee", and he raised his glass to his son, "but Kara is smart, and she'll see that I'd wager."

"Maybe you're right", Lee said taking another sip. "How are you doing? I know being with Kat until she died was tough as hell on you, dad."

"I'm fine, son", he said, and he was being truthful, "We owe so much to what she did. And I meant it when I told her I don't know if I could have done that", he paused, "She told me some interesting things about herself, that I won't share, because it's not my place, but she told me that she idolized Kara from day one and that her goal was to be another Starbuck."

"Again, that mirror-image thing", Lee said quietly, "She was a helluva pilot, dad. One of the best, and most courageous I've ever seen, and that's saying something. I just hope Kara figures it out."

"Well, I know not long ago she talked to Hotdog in the Briefing Room. Kara knows Hotdog and Kat were friends. In fact, without saying much, they were a lot closer at times than any us knew, and she told me before she died that she had told Brendan how she felt about Kara."

Lee's eyes widened a bit. The hint was that Hotdog and Kat had probably slept together, and that was fine, as far as Lee was concerned. But hearing that Kara had spoken to Hotdog, and Hotdog knew so many of Kat's secrets, he felt that, perhaps, Kara just might get it.

It was the middle of the night, as far as time was kept in The Fleet. Starbuck hadn't slept a wink. She was back in the Briefing room, still trying to figure out what she was going to say, which lay only nine hours away. She wanted some booze but had settled for coffee to keep her going.

She was writing down some more thoughts, and she heard footstep approaching. She looked up and there was Hotdog, also obviously wound. He looked startled to see someone else there, "Oh, excuse me, Captain', he apologized, "I didn't know anyone else was going to be here."

"Don't sweat it, Hotdog", she said with a smile, "take a seat." She had brought a pot of coffee in, but Costanza didn't have a cup. She refilled the mug and slid it over to her former Nugget.

"Thanks, Captain, I think I need that to keep the lids open", he said gratefully, and took a sip of the steaming liquid, "Oh, yeah, that'll do the trick."

Kara turned towards the man, "Brendan, what was the best thing about Kat, at least from what you saw?"

Hotdog leaned back in his chair, "Obviously, from what I told you, I knew her pretty well, but the best thing about her is that she was always talking about how she simply wanted to give us a fighting chance to survive. She was driven by that", he paused, closed his eyes and remembering his friend and sometimes lover, "She told me more than once that she was so ashamed of how she took another identity after The Holocaust, but that she wanted to atone for that by doing something to protect our people. Even before she applied to be a pilot, she told me that younger women in The Fleet knew of you and your exploits, and they wanted to follow in your footsteps. Being a pilot gave her a chance to do something to protect Humanity."

Kara was still befuddled by the picture being painted of a Kat who had idolized her. It was hard for her to wrap her head around. "I'm still struggling with that image, Hotdog. With all the fighting we did..."

"I'm not good at expressing myself, Captain", he cast his eyes downward, "and I sometimes don't add details very well, but we talked about your relationship quite often. She wanted things to be different, but being the kind of person she was, she didn't know how to reconcile your relationship."

Kara Thrace looked straight ahead, "And I didn't know how to do the same thing", she hung her head for a moment, "and we both missed an opportunity to connect with each other."

"She cared about you, Kara", he said gently, "She really did, but she was as stubborn and as driven as you are, and she hadn't grown up enough to reconcile any of that before she died."

"Neither one of us were grown up enough, it seems", Kara was still staring at nothing, "that's the tragedy of our relationship."

"I'm convinced she's looking down on all of us right now-including you, praying that we will make it." Branden stood up, leaving the coffee behind.

"I think you're right, Costanza", she said looking up at the pilot, then she smiled, "Thanks for talking to me again. It's helped a lot." Hotdog nodded his head and departed.

Kara continued to ponder everything Hotdog had told her about Kat. A picture of someone who was as passionate about life, and who loved what she did emerged, which didn't change the fact she could be a headstrong pain in the butt, but she finally realized that they had been almost completely the same.

And that meant something to Starbuck. Too late, but it resonated with her.



William Adama awoke early the morning of the Service for Kat. He usually reveled in getting up and getting to it, but not today. Not for the last week. He knew this sickening feeling in his gut would pass sooner than later, but he wasn't looking forward to this day. He knew it would emotionally draining on everyone. But he also had a job to do, and he went about getting ready to do it.

He arrived in CIC at 0700. Saul Tigh was already giving orders as there was still business to attend to, "Mr. Gaeta", Saul said in his usual gruff voice, "have the maintenance team head down to the FTL engines and find out what the frack is up with the glitch that is showing up on our sensors. We can't be sitting here with our flies open and our Johnson's hanging out if those mechanical bastards suddenly show up."

"Aye, sir", Gaeta responded as efficiently as he always did.

"'Morning, Commander", Adama said as he took his place a the Command Center.

"Get any sleep last night, Bill?" Tigh eyed him closely.

"Some, but not enough, that's for sure", he said with no emotion in his voice. "I'm just not looking forward to this, XO."

"No one is, sir", Tigh said softly, "This is going to be a rough day for all of us." He paused and looked at the duty sheet in front of him, "Apollo and some of the newbies will be taking station for CAP at 1000. He's requested that we allow audio of the service to be routed to their Vipers while on CAP."

"Permission granted, but make sure he reminds the others to keep their heads on a swivel and not just get lost in the service." The Admiral said that with no rancor, as he knew Apollo would do so before going on Patrol, but you never assumed, and you always voiced your concerns.

"Aye, Admiral", Tigh nodded, "I'll send him that message."

Adama moved around the room for a minute, getting updates on different issues from the different departments and after a few minutes, he turned back to his post.

"Are you ready for your Eulogy, Bill", Tigh said delicately.

"Ready? No", he shook his head, "But I have it ready. This is just gonna kill me inside, Tigh."

"You'll get through it, sir", Saul said confidently, "It's a bitch, but there's life on the other side of all of this for us."

"Unfortunately not for all of us", Adama said, remembering why he was making the speech later.

Like his father, Lee Adama awoke with no enthusiasm for the day, but also like his father, he prepared for it anyway. Apollo had volunteered to take the CAP with junior pilots he had chosen at random, so the more senior pilots could attend the Service at 1200. He wanted to be there, but he also needed to be selfless at this time. That was more important to his jocks than his presence at Kat's funeral. He had grieved in his own way. He hadn't been close to Kat, but he had respected her as one of the better pilots he had, and even though she could be a royal pain, her loss hit him personally and from the point of view of his pilot roster. Kick-ass jocks were hard to replace, and when he lost one, it hurt The Fleet.

At 0915, he was finishing up his pre-flight brief for the jocks going up with him, "Boxer, you and Blacksheep will patrol to my Port; Cruiser and Funny to Starboard. Breaker and Pepper, you'll be in the rear to cover. Now, the Admiral has agreed to pipe in the Funeral Service for Kat into our cockpits, but remember you are doing a job out there. You have to keep your heads on a swivel and your eyes clear", he reminded them, "Dradis and our electronics are there, yes, but we have to keep our other senses sharp. Skids up in twenty-five dismissed."

The pilots left the room. Lee was gathering his notes from the brief and didn't notice someone walking into the room.

"Pep talk for the rookies?", he looked up to see Starbuck standing in front of her.

He shook his head, "I couldn't do a pep talk right now if my life depended on it", he frowned, "Not to be insensitive, but Gods knows we have to get this behind us. The entire ship is in a funk, Kara."

"I know", she said evenly, "and we will. But we both know that between the Algae mission and losing Kat, this has shaken everyone to their very souls."

"Including you?", Lee asked, knowing the relationship the two woman had.

"Including me, Lee", she said as some life flickered in her eyes. "Did you think it wouldn't?"

"I wasn't sure, to be honest", Lee said, looking right at her, "Last time I saw you two together, you were both acting like your hands had been in the cookie jar, and you were bleeding across your lips." Lee wasn't angry at Kara, but everyone on the ship knew of the bad blood between the two opinionated women.

"Yeah, we weren't buddy-buddy, if that's what you mean", she said with some defiance still in her voice, "but I've been thinking about everything that's happened in the last two weeks-the mission, losing those two ships, the stress of those runs, and losing Kat. And I'm looking at some things differently now."

"How so?", Lee said, genuinely interested.

"Sorry", Kara wanly smiled, "you'll find out like everyone else when I give my Eulogy", she started to walk away, then turned back, "Be safe out there, Apollo." Lee smiled, and Kara left the room.


The news that Kara Thrace would give a Eulogy at the Funeral hadn't sat well with some members of the crew. It wasn't that they had anything against Starbuck, but they all knew that Starbuck and Kat hadn't exactly been close. Noel Allison had spoken his mind at a pre-flight briefing the other day, but others' were thinking what had voiced.

It was 1030, and the Mess was full, with people having an early meal before the service. Narcho, Hotdog, Helo, Athena, Racetrack, Galen and Diana Seelix were all in the room. As had been the case the entire week, everyone was subdued.

"I don't get it", Narcho again was the first on the subject, "One, why would Starbuck want to give a Eulogy for Kat? And two, why would the Old Man let her?"

Galen Tyrol may be a "knuckle-dragger" to the jocks, but he was razor sharp, "Why not, Noel?", he said in question, "This thing has affected everyone, in a very deep way-even though who weren't close to or friends with Kat. I give the Captain credit for doing something that can't be easy."

"Maybe", Seelix offered, "But it just seems like an awkward thing. Those two are...were", she corrected herself, "both pains in the ass. It just seems like someone like Hotdog should do a Eulogy", she looked over at Brendan Costanza. Everyone knew he and Kat had been friends, although none of them knew about the on-and-off sexual relationship they had.

"Guys", Brendan smiled, "I wish I had the guts to do that, but I'm not a big talker. I've been talking with Captain Thrace a few times since she decided to do a Eulogy. I don't know what she'll be saying, but after what we talked about, I think she gets it, and she'll do fine."

Karl was as close to Starbuck as anyone in the room, and he finally spoke up, "Guys, yeah, the Captain can be a hothead, we know that but she's no dummy", he reminded them, "Let's give her a chance to see what she says, and then judge her?"

Narcho pondered on that for a moment, "I guess you're right, Helo", he conceded, "When I got angry at the briefing, I wasn't angry at Starbuck, but angry about this whole godsdamned mission, how it just wore us down, and how losing Kat was the kick in the nuts to it all."

"Noel", Karl looked at the man, "you'll get no arguments from me. That was literally tougher than any combat mission we've had since The Holocaust, and that's saying something. Maybe that's why it's affected us so much-we weren't fighting the Cylons, we were simply trying to get food."

"He's got a point", Racetrack acknowledged, "This was more traumatic for me than any battle with the Toaster. It knocked all of us flat."

"In that case", Karl stood up, and took the last pull of his drink, "I think it's time we all got ready to pay our respects. Formal Dress Uniforms, guys." They all rose and headed to put on their best uniforms in honor of their fallen comrade.



Five thousand were assembled in the large maintenance hanger, exactly at 1200. President Laura Roslin would give a short address, followed by a prayer for Kat's soul, then first Admiral Adama, and then Captain Thrace would Eulogize her.

President Roslin began, "We are gathered here today, in sadness, but as one united people, to pay respects to our fallen comrade, Lieutenant Louanne Katraine. Kat gave her life in the line of duty, as surely as if she had died in combat. But she died doing something more courageous and noble: making sure that all of us could eat, and not starve to death. There are worse things to die for."

After the President concluded, a cordon of flags led the way as her remains were carried in a flag-draped casket, covered with the Colonial Fleet Flag. As her body was brought in, Saul Tigh commanded the assembled, "Ten-HUT!" Everyone stood as one, snapping and holding salutes as her casket lay in repose. They remained standing as the Colonial Anthem was played. Then everyone was seated. Several prayers were offered for her soul, then Admiral Adama stepped to the dais.

"I thank everyone for their attendance here today, as we honor a brave, courageous pilot, who gave her life so that we might live on." His voice was steady, but inside he was a mess, "Louanne Katraine-Kat, died during one of the toughest missions our pilots have had to carry out since we left The Colonies. She died making sure we had food to eat. She stayed in the radiation belt far beyond what was safe on the last run, because she was determined to bring Faru Sadin home. Yes, the order to jump had been given, but Kat didn't give up on finding her assigned ship. She could have, and none of us would have thought any less of her at that point. She told me later that she knew it would cost her her life."

A pin dropping would have been heard, so quiet was the room. Adama continued.

"She got Faru Sadin home, which would help our people to feed themselves. But the radiation was too much for her strong body and spirit to withstand."

He again paused to check his emotions, "I stayed with her until she passed away. I witnessed her eyes shut and her last breath. I had promoted her to CAG, and then we talked about different things until she was ready to rest. She died with a smile on her face." Those words broke the silence, "She had told me just before passing on, 'Admiral, I wouldn't change what happened. I don't want to die, but if I have to, then doing so for our people is OK with me.' I have never been prouder of anyone that I have served with at that moment. And I'm glad I could be there holding her hand as she went on to her next journey, whatever that might be.

"She gave her life for all of us, and in doing so, she brought honor to herself, and to those of us who served with her. I hereby give a posthumous promotion to Louanne Katraine to the rank of Captain. She earned it."

He walked down the steps, stopped in front of Kat's casket, and saluted. He then turned and walked away, as a few sobs were heard, but otherwise, silence gripped the room.

Then Starbuck approached the podium. The room became even more still if that were possible.

She adjusted the microphone, still not looking up quite yet. Then she had the mic where she wanted it and looked out on the thousands who had gathered to honor Kat. It took her a moment to gather herself. Then she began.

"Louanne Katraine was...a pain in the ass", she said breaking out into a smile, which made many in the audience laugh as well, "she really was. She was stubborn; she was opinionated; she was cocksure of herself; she flew by the seat of her pants; she was death to any Cylon that crossed her path when she was in a Viper.

"The problem for me, with regards to Kat, is I am exactly the same way-probably a step up in every category that I mentioned", which elicited a little more laughter.

"It's no secret that Kat and I didn't...well, didn't get along very well", and the pilots who served with both of them smiled, "but I've been wondering why that was? It's taken me a while, with a lot of soul-searching, and taken me talking to someone who knew her as well as any of us, for me to figure it out.

"This friend of hers told me that, when growing up, his father had always said that each of us are more critical and hard on ourselves than we are on anyone else, and that's certainly true; but Kat's friend then continued, and wondered aloud, what if we meet someone who is exactly like we are? Doesn't it dictate that we'll be just as hard on them?"

No tears in the audience at that point, everyone was intent on Starbuck's words.

"Kat had confided to him more than once that she idolized me, even before she met me; that she continued to idolize me as she was training as a Nugget, and even afterward, even during our verbal, and, occasionally, physical fights, she still idolized me. He said, in essence, Kat wanted to be me.

"And look at the two of us", she said, finally looking down a the casket before her, "We both pissed people off; we both couldn't keep our mouths shut; we both had serious attitudes; we both flew like our tails were on fire. I think back now, and when I think of Kat, I see a reflection of myself. But that's not fair to Kat: she was better than me, in every way Humanly possible. I'm a poor imitation of her, not the other way around."

Her fellow jocks looked startled at that confession, and suddenly they looked upon both Kat and Starbuck in a different light.

"Kat loved life, despite the fact she didn't have it easy growing up; she was determined to atone for her shortcomings, by being the best, most kick-ass pilot in the fleet. He told me she lived, joked, laughed, and even loved, to the fullest, and didn't mask any of it or hide behind some false sense of bravado like I do." Kara's eyes began to fill with tears.

"I saw Kat not long before she died. My heart was broken, seeing her in the arms of death, and even then, I didn't have the courage and bravery to tell her what I really felt: that I did, and always had, cared about her very much; that I was proud of the pilot she had become, and that I would miss her every day of my life." The tears were coming down her face now, but her emotions were still bottled up inside. It would be many years before she learned to not be ashamed of it.

"And it's too late, now." Kara lowered her head, "But I could tell that, even as I failed her and myself at that moment, she understood. I hope that wherever she is now, and I do believe her journey continues, that she will find it in her heart and her soul to forgive me someday.

"All of us, without exception, have been devastated by her passing; if it had been in combat, it might not have hit us so hard. But she would want us to pick ourselves up, get over ourselves and continue on."

Then Kara finished, "We are diminished-all of us-by Kat's death. We aren't as good or as strong of a people as we were when she was in the cockpit, defending us. But all of us can say our lives are fuller, richer, and far better for having her in our midst, even if it were for such a short time. I'll miss you kid. I carry your spirit with me from this day forward. And, perhaps, someday, I will finally be worthy enough to be compared to you. Rest in peace, kid." She looked out at the other jocks: Hotdog, Narcho, Racetrack, Skulls, as well as The Old Man, Tigh, Gaeta, Tyrol, Seelix-and all of them were looking back at here with broken hearts, but also with pride.

Kara left the podium, and like the old man, she walked in front of Kat's casket, and gave perhaps the best salute that she had ever drawn, and held it for a long, painful moment. As she walked back to her seat, she felt that, after today, they all would unite as never before.

She couldn't have imagined that in a short period of time, that unity would be gone and the fleet would be torn asunder. But for now, they were united as a family.



Two Weeks After The Failed Coup d'etat

Galactica was still as wound up as a drum, even though the failed coup and been put down more than two weeks earlier. Felix Gaeta, Tom Zarek and a host of others had been executed, then flushed out airlocks to float for eternity. Hundreds of others had been rounded up for their part in the plot. Former friends and colleagues like Narcho, Racetrack, Skulls, and Hardball were in prison on the Astral Queen for their part in the mutiny. And people were still looking over their shoulders, wondering if anyone else that was still free had betrayed Adama and Roslin.

They had all just started to recover from Kat's death when that latest Hell broke out in The Fleet over Kat's death, had been ripped back open by the uprising. Kara had felt that her soul had left her and taken her heart with it, so numb was she after everything.

She was sitting alone in the mess very late one evening, enjoying a cold one-not to get drunk, but simply to take the edge off things. She was quiet, and from behind her, someone entered the room. She turned around.

"Hotdog", she said with a smile, "Come right on in, let me get you a cold one of your own", and she hopped over to the cooler and grabbed him one. Hotdog was certainly a good guy, having saved President Roslin and Athena during the uprising.

"Thanks, Captain, don't mind I do", and he twisted the top off, "To some frackin' peace and quiet", he said with a smile, and Kara laughed, raised her bottle, and they clinked them together.

'I'll certainly drink to that." She said, rolling her eyes. "Haven't seen much of you since Gaeta, Zarek and those other assholes fracked everything up."

"I still can't believe any of that, Kara", he lamented, "Hell, Narcho and Seelix were my best friends on here. I never thought Noel could actually want to kill the President or anyone else here. It shook me up."

"An understatement', she agreed, "But we owe you a lot-you probably saved Roslin and saved The Fleet from being over-run by those cockroaches", and she lifted her bottle to salute him.

"Never crossed my mind to do anything else, Captain. I have to admit I was running on pure adrenaline at that point."

"Who would have thought Racetrack and Skulls were in on a plan to kill Lee? Or that I would shoot Skulls without thinking about it?", she shook her head, "We all need a vacation."

'Everything's booked for the season, I hear", he said with a sardonic smile.

They both took a few swigs, as if to wash down the bitterness of those events. They both remained quiet for a few moments, then Kara spoke again.

"I wonder, Hotdog", Kara said introspectively, "where do you think Kat would have ended up during the coup?"

"A good question", he replied, "but if you ask me, I don't have a doubt in the Universe that she would have stayed with us. I've wondered if that could have been a seminal moment in the relationship between you two, to be honest."

Kara had expected Hotdog to say Kat would have remained loyal, but she hadn't even given a thought to the second statement, but now she pondered that for a moment.

"It could have been, Brendan, but we'll never know", she said with sadness touching her soul. "You never told me what you thought of my Eulogy?"

"Captain, I was terribly proud of you. It took courage to say what you said", he raised his bottle to her this time, "I'm thinking you have a different perspective on her now?"

"I do", she said honestly, "Perhaps if we had grown and matured together, we could have been best of friends. I've also been thinking that she would have been a terrific sister to have. I guess we fought like sisters", then she looked down, "Probably as close as I'll ever get to one, Hotdog?"

"She cared a lot about you, but like you, she just couldn't admit it. I'm sure she's forgiven you for how you treated you. Question is, have you forgiven her?"

Kara was still for a moment, "I think I have, Hotdog. How can I not? Hell, I was the older one, supposedly the more mature one, and I should have led by example. I'm the one who fracked up, not her."

"That's big of you, Kara", he said quietly, then looked down. "I miss her so much still."

"Never stop missing her, Brendan. If you don't stop, she'll always be with you."

The two jocks got up, bottles still in hand, and Kara raised her bottle, "To Kat: may she never die in our hearts."

Brendan Costanza didn't smile but looked skyward, and raised his bottle.

"So say we all."
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