The Girl Hanging By One Foot
Apollo orders ship-to-ship missiles to readiness: if this mission fails, if Starbuck falls, they will complete their mission. I mean to say that Lee Adama, confronted with untenable options, considers his imperative. When humanity itself is twisted, on a mechanical rack, in the dead of space, the price to us all is too high. When human and machine are being twisted together, in horror and death, it would be better to lose a thousand men than to allow it to continue. Of course, Adama would move heaven and earth, and has more than once, to save Starbuck's sorry ass, so he gets very nervous at this juncture. "We have to give them a chance!" Even with comms jammed, the LT down, the bomb failing, Adama always chooses more life, the lie of Earth, the final hope. But Lee sees more sharply, and does the things his father cannot do: this is a gift. On the ship, Kara slaps Kendra awake and calls out to Lee, again and again. Under heavy fire, Kendra wakes up again in a corridor, with a razor by her side. Slapping her into wakefulness: the sharp pain of Cain's Law. "Destroying that ship with people on board is our last resort," says Adama, and Lee tells him to define "final resort": this is no longer a rescue mission. "Gods only know what will happen to our people if they're captured," he says, but Adama knows. "I was there." Apollo authorizes nuclear attack on the Basestar; Hoshi inserts his launch key. The Olympic Carrier is with us still. Adama belays the orders, unprepared to sacrifice their lives; if he's wrong, he'll live with it.
"You said it yourself, Admiral. That thing may be headed toward Earth. If it jumps away, then we'll lose our only hope of taking it out." And it will pervert the future, as well as the past. War will never loosen its grip, and we will never become simply human again. Starbuck gets through the jams, and the Adamas sigh in relief, launching the evac Raptor. Down on the ship, the detonator's complete shot. Kendra asks if Matthias can rig a manual trigger, and she can; Kara still can't even see what a razor is. Why would you do that? How do you blow up a manual nuke so everybody lives? You don't. "We are completing this mission. Am I clear, soldier?" Kara feels a chill; it's clear. "Our nuke's remote detonator is still fried. We're gonna have to cook it off by hand. Red 1 is still down for the count. Which doesn't give us many options."