A List With Nothing On It
Nine days after Earth, Felix Gaeta drifts in a Raptor, covered in blood. His thoughts are dim and whirling things; he's running out of oxygen, nearly dead from morpha. He is an addict and an amputee; he is a believer, and his heart is broken. He remembers a list of names, a woman's hand bleeding, a pair of pliers, and the fight. He's been in the Raptor for three days. Dee's been dead a week now. They shared dreams of a better world. His leg still itches sometimes; sometimes it aches.
Six days after Earth, Felix was running on little sleep. The Colonel was worried about him, worried over him, ordered him to take a week's leave aboard the Zephyr. Felix swore he didn't need it, that he could soldier on, that the morpha keeping him right should remain a secret: "I naturally don't need a lot of sleep," he said. As though there was something special about him. "I can't have you in the CIC like this," said Tigh. "You're on the verge of seeing ghosts on the dradis screen." Felix swore he was fine, but Saul looked him in the eye. "It's a gift, son. It's not a punishment." Tigh called him son, and handed him a gift. "Get drunk, sleep for a week, recover. Shuttle leaves twice a day. You better hurry."
All the way to the Z, for a week? Hoshi met him in the hall outside the hangar deck, handed him morpha for the trip, kissed him goodbye. "Go. Get better. I'll be waiting." This isn't something you can just sleep or drink away; it's not something any amount of love or drugs can factor out. It still itches sometimes. No matter how many people are on the list, no matter how many call him son, or lover, and try their blind best to take care of him, it doesn't really signify, because what's aching isn't there anymore and there's no way to make it stop. What needs to stop is a list with nothing on it. They're trying their best to help solve the problem, but the problem isn't there anymore. That's the problem.
A deckhand (Brooks), two Eights, and the flight crew for Raptor 718, Shark Finnegan and Easy Esrin. There's tension, but relief too. A week on the Z, a relief if only so that the people he loves will stop offering him relief. Earth was meant to be a gift, to replace everything he took from Anastasia, from Kara, from Saul, when he took back the election for Gaius Baltar. A checklist of redemption.
Most people find one right thing and stick to it, maybe die for it. Actually, that's not true: most people see the right thing, and then don't do anything about it. Or they give up, or they give in. It's not very often we're put into a position to see all the right things, the ways they counterbalance and conflict, the chaos they introduce. It's a rare man who tries to hold them all in his hands, stop the tides of chaos and keep the world alive. On New Caprica, Felix tried to play both sides: to support the freely elected government, to appease the occupational forces, to feed the Resistance its codes and secrets, to save lives one at a time. Felix found himself in the right places at the right times, and did the best he could. He was almost killed for it, more than once: almost killed, for doing the right thing. For doing all the right things, the ones they couldn't see, the ones nobody else was prepared to do.