Categories > TV > Battlestar Galactica > Battlestar Galactica, Dawn, Part 3: Starbuck's Journey To Redemption
After arriving at Earth, Kara "Starbuck" Thrace is given a new lease on life. A few years after their arrival, the unthinkable happens: the Cylons are approaching Earth. In this companion piece ...
It had been nine months since Galactica and her rag-tag fugitive fleet had arrived at Earth. It was a gift from the heavens that after what looked to be a suicide run against The Colony, they had somehow ended up on the doorstep of a world that was filled with human beings.
Admiral William Adama was sitting in the Oval Office of The President Of The United States. He and President Justin Bond could converse in English these days. The speed with which the linguists from both The Fleet and on Earth had been able to teach each other how to speak the others' language had amazed Bill. He still wasn't completely fluid in the language, but he could get by easily enough.
He knew President Justin Bond was learning the Caprican language, but protocol dictated that when you were in the Oval Office, English was spoken. Besides, he enjoyed practicing the language that had been chosen as the official diplomatic language between Earthlings and the Colonists.
There were two other people in the room with him besides the President. Even though he was speaking English better he always brought a translator just in case. He had also invited Captain Kara Thrace. Kara wasn't sure why she had been invited. She hadn't begun learning the English language and knew she'd feel a little dumb just sitting there while the two leaders talked, but Adama had insisted she go.
"Boss, I can't even understand the language. I've been out on Patrol so often that I haven't even had the chance." She was more than a little confused by the invitation.
"I know that Starbuck. However, I want you to come along. Maybe you can't understand the language but you're pretty good at studying body language and voice inflection. I want you to study the President closely while we're meeting. Once we've left his office, I'll fill you in on what was discussed and get your views on him."
"OK", she said somewhat doubtfully. "You're The Boss. I still don't understand all of this, but I'll play along. He probably doesn't even remember that I flew him up to Galactica when you first met."
There was a very specific reason he wanted Kara to tag along but wasn't quite ready to divulge it yet.
"Mr. President, it's good to see you again", smiled the Admiral. "I know you've been quite busy working with your Congress and the United Nations to establish how we will deal with each other militarily and diplomatically." He grasped the President's extended hand.
"I extend to you my apologies, Bill. I've wanted to get back together with you for some time but events have been moving too damned fast lately. Politics is a hectic game these days." Justin Bond took a seat on an overstuffed chair across from Adama, the interpreter, and Kara.
"By the way, Mr. President, this is Captain Kara Thrace. She is perhaps the best fighter pilot we have. I mentioned that I'd bring her along. She doesn't speak the language yet. But I wanted her along to just observe."
"Kara", the President extended his hand with a warm smile, relaxing the younger woman. She took the offered hand, smiled and nervously nodded her head. Not knowing what was being said was a bit disconcerting. "We've met before, haven't we? You're the young lady that flew me from Andrews to Galactica." The translator turned the words into the Caprican language. Kara momentarily looked startled that he did remember her. Maybe The Old Man is right. This guy is sharp.
The President and the Admiral spent the better part of ninety minutes discussing the issues of protocols between The Fleet and Earth, as well as what progress was being made between Galactica and the nations on Earth with regards to military matters, possible joint training, the proposal before the U.N to build new Raptors, the new Falcon fighters, and other sundry issues.
Kara did as Adama instructed. She watched the President closely although she made sure she wasn't simply staring at him. Despite no commonality in language, she could tell he was a formidable individual. He was physically impressive, but not imposing, and commanded respect. Starbuck had been advised he was a former fighter pilot himself and she recognized that air of military discipline that was prevalent on Galactica which, she reminded herself, she had sorely lacked quite often during her years as a pilot.
Kara was so focused on her observations that she hadn't caught on that the President had been studying her as well. He was a consummate politician, brought up in the rough-and-tumble world of politics in a Democratic nation. Good politicians didn't tip their hands too often. He knew the Admiral had brought her here for some reason so he had turned his instincts loose.
When the meeting concluded Adama asked Kara to wait in the outer office for a few moments.
"Mr. President, what did you think of Captain Thrace?" Adama knew the President Was a sharp guy and knew he had been studying Kara.
"From what I can gather, she is very committed to you. But I also got the sense she's a bit on the undisciplined side. I recognize the look of a fighter pilot and I can figure out pretty quickly what makes a pilot tick."
"You're a good judge of character, sir." Adama smiled. "You've described Captain Thrace quite well. She's a great pilot, but she's also had her problems with the crew and with her superior officers from time to time. She even slugged Tigh one time. I had to put her in the brig for that."
"I like Tigh but I'd have given a month's salary to see that." He chuckled. "Yes, I had a few like that during my days as a CAG, so I get it. But still, she has an impressiveness about her. The question of the moment is why did you bring her along?"
Bill Adama grinned and told President Bond what he had in mind. President Bond didn't commit to his idea, but he didn't say no, either.
"She has to learn the language first, Bill."
"I know, sir, but she won't have a difficult time doing that, I guarantee you. In fairness to you, you need to read her entire military file."
"I had planned to Admiral, but do you think it will suddenly make me reconsider what I'm thinking?" Bill Adama had mentioned Kara Thrace's Military dossier with something less than complete enthusiasm.
"Sir, Kara's like a daughter to me, always has been", he began, "but her history is very complicated and very contradictory. I know you wouldn't hire her for the job without researching her, but I urge you to read her file and carefully."
"OK, Boss, what exactly did you have in mind by having me here?" She didn't say it as a challenge but simply because she was dying to know the why of the thing.
"First of all, Captain, what do you think of the President?"
"I think he's an impressive guy. He's very sure of himself. He commands respect from those who are around him. I see a lot of you and Lee in him-maybe that's because he was a jock as well. I think I'd want him on my side in a fight."
"Not bad, Starbuck", Bill said approvingly. "I came to those same conclusions quite a while ago myself. Even other world leaders seem to defer to him, which is interesting because he's only been President for a relatively short time. Part of that is the man himself, part is because he owns the most formidable military on the planet."
"He seems like the kind of guy I could easily work for, Boss. As I said I see a lot of you in him. But you're right, having the biggest and most toys that can go 'boom' also has to help."
"He was studying you as well Captain and came away pretty impressed", Bill Adama caught the surprise on her face and smiled. "You didn't know that, did you?"
"He was? No, I didn't even notice, Admiral", she said rather sheepishly. "How could he really study me when I was pretty much sitting there like a dummy watching him?"
"He's been around probably more blocks in his own way than I have. Any politician who has climbed to the top to lead his own country, and in many ways a planet, has to be a very observant and shrewd person, wouldn't you think?"
"Yeah, I guess so", she said, slightly taken aback. "Makes him even more impressive."
"I did bring you here for a reason. I wanted the two of you to size each other up. You are aware that we are in the process of having Fleet Military Liaison Officers that will be at the service of every Head of State throughout the planet?"
"Yes, sir. Lee was filling me in on that last week. I think it's a good idea. It's a way for us to get to know each other on an official level." Kara could be headstrong Adama thought, but she was sharp as a razor as well.
The penny dropped. "Wait, you want me to be his Fleet Liaison? You want me assigned here?" Part of her was aghast, but part of her was pretty impressed.
"Start learning English, Kara. You'll still have to go through an interview with him after you can speak the language, he wants to consider you as his Liaison, at least at this moment. That's an order, Captain."