The Girl Hanging By One Foot
The ambrosia flows freely on Galactica, on Olympus, where Zeus has returned; his son is tired and ready to sleep, and to forget the razor he nearly became. "Starbuck was here a little earlier. She's recommended Major Shaw for a posthumous commendation." Apollo nods. "She wasn't looking for medals." Adama knows that. "But I've been going through Cain's logs, and from a tactical perspective, it's hard to find a fault in anything that she did, or that Kendra did." The butchery of innocent civilians? How can Adama ignore that? But there's a difference between tactics and ethics, between thinking and feeling. One day Lee will understand that: the whole trial will hinge on it, and Adama will eventually side with his son. But for now, Commander Apollo is hurt and confused, too afraid of Cain's Law to hear his father speaking. "I know that I didn't have to face any of the situations that she did. I had the President in my face, arguing for the survival of the civilian Fleet. I had Colonel Tigh to keep me honest, balancing my morality and my tactics. And I had you. Now, you don't have any children, so you might not understand this, but you see yourself reflected in their eyes. And there are some things that I thought of doing, with this Fleet. But I stopped myself, because I knew that I'd have to face you the following day." Because he wasn't an orphan; because he was lucky enough to have a family all around him. Because he saw himself reflected in Kara's eyes, and could not sacrifice her on that altar.
"If you hadn't been in CIC, I would have ordered that strike. Kara would be dead, so would the rest of the team." True. Forgiven. "You did nothing wrong, neither did I. We both made decisions that we had to, to accomplish our missions." So were Cain and Kendra wrong? Context is everything, Adama said once. They were alone at the end of the world, betrayed by logic and reason and love. "If I believed in the Gods, I'd say they'll be judged by a high power." But since Adama doesn't believe, not yet: "Then history will have to make its judgments. And since history's first draft will be written in our logs...well, I guess I've got some writing to do." Lee leaves without having touched his drink. "You'll write that commendation?" Of course he will. And it will be beautiful, because Lee Adama lives every day between the temple and the altar. Because months ago, the world changed. Everyone's lives changed, forever. Because they found themselves shouldering responsibilities they never thought they'd have. Because duty, honor, and service are more than words: they're the guiding principles for those who serve in the military, and for everyone else. He leaves, and Bill slugs his drink, and it is stiff. It burns his throat. This is a gift.