Kendra's story is a repeated summoning: she's constantly showing up at her appointments, showing up for fate, a few seconds late, or wearing the wrong clothes, or too angry to speak. She's being summoned now to the new Commander Adama's offices, so the story can begin. In the hall, she and Kara are nasty with each other. That's how you know Kara will love her by the end. "Lieutenant Kendra Shaw reporting as ordered, sir," she says, refusing to sit even when he asks. "Admiral Cain apparently wasn't big on chairs," he grins. Why would she be? Why sit when you never know who's coming to hurt you next? Why give your body the moment of rest when you know it'll only rebel harder the next time? Why show yourself the luxury of sitting, when you will ask others to stand, and stand, and stand? "Even dead, the woman casts a shadow. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that. ...I've been reviewing the fitreps for the ship's officers and...frankly, you're a puzzle. Top ratings from Cain, clearly thought the world of you. Then a whole series of increasingly negative reports from Fisk, and Garner, who demoted you to kitchen duty for...persistent insubordinate behavior. So, the question is: who are you?"
That's a good question. The problem is that the answer keeps getting smaller and smaller. She used to work for the Ministry of Defense, but her mother's last act was to get her a job as aide to one of the best Admirals in the Fleet. She used to be a daughter, but her mother died. She used to be a girl. Ten months ago, in the pre-"Downloaded" timeframe, she was a girl on Raptor 179er, staring up at Battlestar Pegasus, docked in the Scorpion Fleet shipyards, shining like a beacon. She used to be a girl, growing up planetside, and now she's a woman heading toward one of the greatest ships in the Fleet, about to start the greatest leap in her career.
Admiral Helena Cain walks the treadmill, reading specs. She used to be a daughter, too, but the First Cylon War took that away. What she learned was that the next surprise is always coming, that the universe will always figure out a way to teach you new loneliness. So Helena stopped letting people in, and she stopped sitting in chairs, and now she's on a treadmill. Her friend and XO, Jürgen Belzen, a young go-getter with a beautiful smile, is as close as she gets. He's a husband and a father, for now, and he worries about her. His family wants to include her, and she resists, and he will never understand why, because his story isn't hers. The more he pushes, the more she fears it, but she knows enough to know that it's kindness speaking, and she can't answer. He makes fun of her for reading on the treadmill when she could be vacationing, and she in turn laughs at his hobby, paragliding. A woman so accustomed to danger that it seethes in her blood, a woman so strong and ready for the next disaster, could never understand this adrenaline addiction: why risk death on your off-times, when death will come eventually anyway?