~ Soulmates on a Battlestar ~
by AJ Marks

Disclaimers: This is an uber cross with Battlestar Galactica. Xena we all know who owns and Battlestar Galactica is owned by Universal Studio City USA. No infringement is intended.

Subtext: yes.

Additional notes: This story takes place after the first two stories of my Battlestar Galactica series 'Earth at Last' called 'Surprise' and 'The Rescue' which can be found at www.ajstories.com/fan.html reading these stories is not necessary but will provide the background for this story.

Comments are welcome at AJMarks01@aol.com


Part 1 That Voice!

Toni leaned back against the wall oft the small area that she had. The ship was crowded and most had begun to fight with each other. They had been cooped up for almost three years now. They still had food, thanks to several ships being regulated to that service and a few fortunate stops the fleet had made, or at least that is what she had been told.

Toni was a bit tall, at about five eleven, which was tall for a female. She had also grown quite strong in the last year as she had to fight for her small area aboard the crowded freighter. There had been rumblings that Commander Adama did not know where he was going anymore and that Earth did not exist.

Toni was not sure what to think, only that on that day she had lost her parents. She thought back to the fateful day when the Cylons had finally dealt them a death blow.

Toni remembered that her parents were happy. Her brother would be able to come back and they would not be scared for his life. He was serving aboard the Battlestar Atlantia. That was the ship that the president would receive the Cylon representative for the final negotiations for peace between the two races.

She was happy and her parents had gone into town to celebrate, she would have gone as well if it had not been for her catching a cold the day before. She was at home which was away from any populated area when the attack had happened. She had watched helplessly as the Cylon raiders had swooped down from space and viciously attacked the cities.

She ran to the city but by the time she got there the attack was over and everything was smoldering ruins. The dead littered the street and the survivors wondered where the warriors were to protect them. She wondered as well but without the anger that the others had.

Toni then ran into a group that had learned of a ship that was leaving the planet to join up with a battlestar. She was filled with hope that her bother had survived, until she learned what had happened. The battlestars had been ambushed and destroyed, the Atlantia had been the first to go, and only the Galactica had survived.

Toni had almost gone back home when they learned that landing parties had come down. They knew that it was the Cylon centurions that were coming for them. She had never liked the centurions or even the name for some reason.

For her a part of her died when she heard that her brother probably did not survive, especially since the rumor was that only the Galactica had managed to launch its fighters. So now she sat here in the hold of a freighter that was part of a hundred or more ship fleet with one warship to protect them headed toward a planet they only heard stories about.

For her it was a bit hard to accept, that they would spend the rest of her life wondering aimlessly around space. She was not sure which was worst, a slow death here of a quick death back at the colonies.

Toni filled her days with some exercise to keep from getting flabby from nothing else to do. She waited patiently like most of the others for their rations of food. It was the one resource that no one traded, for anything. Several had organized a gang, but that had been quickly squashed when she had led a group against them.

Toni realized that was why were kind to her, they had tried to make her a leader of some sort in the hold but she had refused it telling them she did not want it. There were still groups trying to steal the food form others, but there were enough to counter them that it was a rare occurrence now. Now most of the fighting was over area, and being against the walls was a prime area, a corner was even better.

She could have a corner if she wanted, but there was an elderly couple who each used the wall and she had helped guard them. On rare occasions a Colonial Warrior came walking through the freighter to observe the conditions. To Toni nothing much had changed in the past couple of years.

Toni was woken up the after a nap by Yessu, the elderly man next to her. His eyes shined with some excitement that she had not seen since the rumor that the Battlestar Pegasus had joined them, only to learn that it had been destroyed along with Commander Cain.

"What's up Yassu, you look like you're about to explode like a nova with whatever you've heard," Toni said as she sat up.

"It an unbelievable rumor, but one that came from the council itself this time," Yassu said.

Toni briefly wondered if they had finally reached Earth after all this time. She waited for Yassu to continue his tale before she would make up her mind.

"It's incredible," Yassu said making Toni wonder what was happening.

"What's so incredible Yassu? If you don't tell me I'll never know," Toni said with a small smile as she knew that Yassu was at one time a story teller and loved to talk.

"I've just heard that one of the patrols was searching for fuel, tylium. They found some, enough to fuel our fleet for the next year, but they also found something even better, two battlestars," Yassu said with a twinkle in his eye.

"Yassu, you've been drinking again haven't you," Toni replied. There had been no new battlestars in a long time, and the others beside the Galactica had been destroyed.

"No, it true, they found two new battlestars, and they will be recruiting soon," Yassu said.

Toni thought it over and remembered everything that her brother had told her about the battlestars. They had been built over a hundred years ago, and the council did not want to build anymore. That was something she just did not understand. As she thought about it she realized that others in the military might think the same way, but she dismissed the thought of two new battlestars.

She decided to go about her day as normal. She kept an ear out for what others were whispering. She was a bit surprised when she heard others talking about the rumor of the finding of some battlestars. She wondered how much of it was true and how much was rumor.

Toni figured that the rumor of the fuel was true, but the other rumor of the battlestars was false, and thought that it was a sick joke for someone to have played. She walked back and realized that there was a stir going on in the main area of the hold.

Toni walked out there and realized that there was a Colonial Warrior standing in the middle of the room on a raised platform.

"May I have your attention, there is some news that I wish to tell you," the man said. "My name is Bojay, and I know that many of you have heard the recent rumors that have swept through the fleet."

Toni figured that he was there to set the rumor straight and tell them that there was no new battlestars. And probably there was no new fuel. It just sounded all too fanciful to her.

"A recent patrol has uncovered an asteroid that turned out to be quite special. It will resupply all of our ships with tylium, and inside was discovered a large construction yard and two battlestars. One is complete, called the Agamemnon, and another called the Hyperion which is almost compete," she heard the man called Bojay say.

The room went silent at his confirmation of the news. Everyone had been expecting him to say that the rumor was false, like the few times that the rumor that the Pegasus had been found again.

"I'm here to see if there are any here who wish to enlist," Bojay said.

Most of the people in the hold were middle-aged or too young still. Toni looked around and realized what was before her. She glanced at Yassu who just nodded his head, he understood and she made her way to where the warrior was standing.

"I'd like to," Toni said along with a few others. Some of the younger ones did not come forward, for they had other responsibilities.

The man nodded and led the group to the hanger area. There was a table and another Colonial Warrior woman sitting down behind it with some computers on it.

"Form a line and Sheba will get you through the beginning process," Bojay said. "I've still got two more holds to go through," he said to the woman.

"Have fun," came the reply as she looked up to Toni who was first in line.

Toni answered a few questions, the typical ones, name, age, place of birth, and she answered them. Then Sheba asked her if there was a position she wanted to apply for.

Toni thought about it for a few seconds thinking of her brother before she replied. "Pilot," she finally replied wondering if she would be refused.

"Any experience," Sheba asked already knowing the answer. Toni replied that she did not which Sheba wrote down and then looked back up. The woman looked strong and intelligent and there was something that told her that she would do fine. "If you have anything to take care of before you leave do it now, then report back here to head to the Galactica in one hour," Sheba said then watched as Toni walked away and went on to the next person.

Toni walked back to find Yassu and his wife. They were in their corner and he saw her approach.

"They didn't take you," he asked a bit shocked as he watched her approach.

"No, I was first and have some time to put my affairs in order," Toni said. "And I wanted to say good-bye to you two."

Toni spent the rest of the time going through her stuff then realized that she would give it to Yassu and his wife, they would take care of it and if she ever needed it she would know where to go. She talked to a few others to make sure they would take care of Yassu in her absence.

"Toni," she heard and spun around just as she was about to leave to see Yassu's wife standing there. "You will need this," she said in a no nonsense tone.

Toni glanced down and noticed that it was a something she had created when she was younger. It was a half disc with a design on it. She had created it one day after an intense dream which she really could not remember, but she remembered the pattern.

"That's just something I created when I was little," Toni replied not expecting what the older woman was about to say.

"No, it is important to you, it is your good luck charm, always wear it for it will protect you," she replied. Toni was about to argue it when she realized that the woman was a bit of a mystic and realized that it would not hurt her to wear it; she could keep it under her shirt.

"Okay, I will," Toni replied taking it and putting it on. With one last good-bye she walked to the hanger bay to head to the Galactica.

"Rhea, Rhea," came a voice from behind her. She turned around and saw her twin brother headed towards her.

He was taller than she was but the both had the same blonde hair and green eyes. His twinkled with excitement as he approached her. She figured that it had something to do with the fact that the recruitment was going on. She was a flight control officer for their ship, and he was the shuttle pilot. She knew that his real dream was to be a fighter pilot.

"Their recruiting," he told her. She was not too thrilled with joining the military and liked her job, just not the living quarters they had. There were five of them, her mother, and father, along with her younger brother who was only six now.

She was about to say something to her brother, Aaron when the captain of the ship came walking up to her along with her mother and father. Seeing this Rhea knew that something was up.

"Rhea, may I have a word with you," he said.

"Sure," Rhea replied her green eyes flashed to everyone that was with him. She noticed a Colonial Warrior behind him and she wondered what was going on.

"Rhea, it's finally good to meet you," the woman said and Rhea understood who it was with the captain. Rigel was the flight controller on board the Galactica. They had talked quite a bit over the radio when the traffic was slow, but she had never met her until now.

"You too Rigel, but I don't understand," Rhea said a bit confused.

"Rigel is here to ask you to take on the responsibility for being the head flight controller of the Hyperion when she joins the fleet," the captain said to her.

"You're the best out there," Rigel said making Rhea blush at the comment. Everyone knew that Rigel was the best and if she said you were good then it must be true.

"Rhea, this is the opportunity that you've been looking for, you won't be fighting, and you'll have better living quarters, and maybe even meet someone," her dad said to her.

"Aaron has already been accepted," her mother said. They all knew that this would be an improvement for all of them.

"You will probably share your quarters with another female officer, probably a pilot," Regil said trying for the final push. She knew that Rhea felt a bit intruded on with her current living quarters.

Rhea weighed the pros and cons, she was not much for the military, but realized that this was her one opportunity to leave where she was.

"Alright I'll do it," Rhea said.

"Great, the shuttle leave in a couple of minutes," Rigel said.

"But what about you," Rhea said looking to the captain.

"Don't worry, your mom had agreed to take over your duties here," he said which shocked her and her brother.

"I was a trained flight officer," she said. "Where do you think you got your natural abilities," she said with a smile.

Rhea just shook her head as she realized there were still things she did not know about her mom. She quickly took care of her stuff and packed some of her clothes then joined Rigel at the shuttle which would take them to the Galactica.

Rhea climbed aboard the shuttle along with her brother who was exited about what was about to happen. He had spent the past year trying to join the military, but there had not been much room for new recruits as those who joined seemed to be joining for life. The openings were from those who retired.

Rhea watched out the window as the shuttle took off. This was surprisingly her first time in a shuttle. She worked to lead the shuttles around the ship but had never been in one. Now she was flying towards the Galactica which she had only seen in the distance. She watched as it grew from a small speck to a larger shape.

"I wonder if the new battlestars will look the same as the Galactica," she heard her brother say. She was not sure what the ship would look like.

Looking out the window she saw the familiar shape of a viper flying around on patrol. Being on the bridge of a ship she learned many things and what was rumor and what was not. She could remember the first time she had heard about the incredible news of two new battlestars.

Her captain had called her in to his room the moment he had found out. She was shocked at the news and wondered if it was a trick, but he had gotten his news straight from Commander Adama. There would be two new battlestars to join the fleet, the Agamemnon and the Hyperion.

Rhea had asked where the battlestars had come from and was told that a viper patrol had stumbled across some tylium readings. Commander Adama had sent a team to discover what it was and found a large construction base built by the Delphians to construct new battlestars for humankind.

Rhea shook her head as she still could not believe what luck had smiled upon the fleet. Now here she was going to be a flight control officer, actually Rigel said the senior flight control officer aboard a battlestar. She allowed herself to feel some of the excitement that her new life would bring.

There was a bit of a bump as the shuttle landed in the Galactica's landing bay. It was only a few minutes later that the door opened and they were led out of the shuttle. Rigel told Rhea to follow her as she would be going to a different area. Her place was already assured and she wanted Rhea to get acquainted with the operations of a battlestar.

"You can bunk with me for the moment," Rigel said leading her down several passageways and quickly got lost. She stopped in front of a door and opened it and led her inside. There were two beds in the room. "You can share my bed; everyone is crowded as there is going to be a lot of people on board. The Hyperion's complement will be about the same as the Galactica's, but the Agamemnon has a larger compliment."

"I didn't see any new battlestars in the fleet, are they here yet," Rhea asked as she placed her things down in a corner of the room. By the looks of things in the room there were at least four people sharing the room that was really built for two.

"They're not here yet, the Agamemnon is on its way with a skeleton crew that will be bolstered by what will become its regular crew. Some from the Galactica, and the rest made up with new recruits. We're taking most of the crew for the Galactica and the Hyperion on the Galactica to the construction yard so that when they leave the yard they are fully manned," Rigel replied to her question.

Rhea was then shown around the ship, but Rigel told her not to get too familiar with the ship as the Hyperion was a bit different in design. Rhea just inwardly groaned at the thought of learning her way around a new ship. The only thing that gave her comfort was the fact that everyone else would be like her.

Rhea walked on board the bridge of the Galactica and wondered at the complexity of it all. The ship she was on was much smaller than the Galactica's bridge. She thought that she would be overwhelmed.

"Rhea, this is Commander Adama," Rigel said as a white haired man dressed in blue came walking up to them.

"This must be Rhea, the one you were talking about Rigel," Adama said and Rhea thought that he had a commanding voice, yet seemed like a gentle person. She could like him.

"Yes she is," Rigel said to Adama.

"Welcome aboard Rhea," he said to her. "If you excuse me I'm needed in the council room," he said then headed off toward the council room.

"I bet he's quite busy right now," Rhea said out loud.

"Between the council and the ongoing introduction of two new battlestars he does have his work cut out for him," Rigel replied as she lead Rhea over to a consol. "This will probably be similar to what you will be using."

For the next couple of hours Rigel help Rhea familiarize herself with the functions of the job. Rhea realized that it was not much different than what she was already doing; just she would be busier than normal.

Rigel was pleased that Rhea was picking up the job so quickly and knew that the young woman would do just fine.

"Where will you be going," Rhea asked Rigel as they ended their shift.

"The Agamemnon, Athena is taking over my job here as she wants to stay with her father," Rigel said.

"What about commanders," Rhea asked wondering who would be in command of the Hyperion.

"Colonel Tigh is going to get command of the Agamemnon, and Omega is being promoted to commander of the Hyperion," Rigel said as Rhea pictured the man who would be the Hyperion's commander. She knew that he would do a good job as he had been training under Adama fro the command.

"What do you think of Omega," Rhea asked.

"He will do a good job, I will miss him, we dated for a while, but realized we made better friends and he really was the third in command of the Galactica. He handles himself well under pressure," Rigel said remembering the man during the battle of Cimtar where the fleet was destroyed.

"So he will do a good job," Rhea asked.

"Yes, Adama has done a good job, both Tigh and Omega are just like him," Rigel answered as the entered the room. There were two other females in the room.

"Hello Kelli, how's it going," Rigel asked.

"We were just on our way to the bridge, this is Helena, she is training to be a flight controller," Kelli replied.

"Ah, this is Rhea," Rigel said.

"Oh, one of us might be working under you then," Kelli said. "I'm Kelli, I think we've talked a bit," she said.

"Yes we have," Rhea said. Usually her shift did not overlap with Kelli, but there were a few time that it did. The woman did a good job but had no ambitions to be a senior flight controller.

"I'm glad that you took the job, I didn't want it," Kelli said. She was qualified for it, but did not want it.

"Athena is on the bridge taking over her duties," Rigel said.

"All right, have a good night," Kelli said then walked out of the room.

Rhea slipped into a bed and went to sleep.

Toni walked across the flight deck watching as the viper pilots went about their routines. She would soon be joining them in space. She was part of a small group that was waiting for their instructors to arrive.

She glanced over the group and noticed that everyone else were men. There were several that tried to catch her eye and she knew that she would have to fend them off. That would not be a problem; she just did not want any problems with them that might cause problems in times of serious situations.

There was one man with dirty blonde hair and green eyes that did attract her attention for a second, but it was a brief second. It was almost as if he reminded her of someone.

Two men came walking up to the group. They were dressed as colonial warriors and probably their instructors.

"Welcome aboard the battlestar Galactica, my name is Apollo, and this is Starbuck," Apollo said. "We will be your instructors."

Toni was glad a bit glad that two of the best known pilots in the fleet would be instructing her.

"We will first be giving you some instructions with the simulators then you will be flying the shuttles around and then you will be paired up with a trained pilot and start going on patrols. "For the first day or two we will be evaluating you to see how much time you need in the simulators."

Toni figured that she would need some more time as she had never flown before, but she was not afraid that she might fail, she would just try harder.

"How many of you have ever flown a shuttle or anything before," Apollo asked wanting to get a feel of what type of recruits they would be dealing with. A couple of hands went up.

Toni noticed that the blonde haired man that she had noticed earlier raised his hand. Apollo then had gone through the group and asked what they had flown. The man who identified himself as Aaron was a shuttle pilot.

Toni was glad to see that a lot of the group had never flown. It made her feel like she had a chance, but she was the only female in the group.

"If you'll all follow me, we'll be heading towards the simulators and get you situated. I also realize that many of you are wondering about quarters. Right now there are so many people coming aboard the Galactica that there will be no real assignments for now until you get your assignment and you know which battlestar you're going to be on."

Toni felt like that was reasonable, they would be doing a lot of training to get three battlestars up to fighting capability. She followed everyone else to the simulators and was given a simulator. Starbuck went over a quick check list of what everything was and then they went into battle in the simulators against the Cylons.

Apollo walked over to where Starbuck was standing as they began to watch the simulated fight.

"That was kind of a brief introduction to a viper cockpit," he said to Starbuck who just grinned.

"We should be able to tell who need more help and those who don't," Starbuck said.

The battle did not last too long before all of the recruits had been destroyed. Many were dismayed at not having survived the simulation.

"For those of you who want to know, this simulation was not winnable. The computer would keep sending more Cylons until you were destroyed, this was a test of skill and how long you could last. It also gives us an idea of how much training you need," Starbuck replied.

Toni listened as Apollo went over the instruments in the cockpit in more detail than Starbuck had. She was not sure what had killed her as she had been trying to line up a Cylon when she had been destroyed. She had managed to destroy three Cylons.

Starbuck walked back into the room and announced the results. The group of twenty recruits had managed to destroy eleven Cylons, Aaron led the way with four and Toni was next with three. Six of the recruits had destroyed their own fellow pilots. Toni learned she was one of the ones that had been hit by friendly fire.

Aaron had been the last one destroyed and he had been up against twenty Cylons, heavy odds for any pilot. Starbuck then conferred with Apollo and they made some decisions.

They split the group into three groups. A leader was picked for each group. Toni was placed in one group and Aaron was in another.

"This group," Starbuck said indicating the one with Aaron, "you will be heading to the Agamemnon. This group will be staying on the Galactica and the last group will be on the Hyperion," Starbuck said.

Toni realized that she was going to be heading to the Hyperion. She wondered what had made up their minds.

"Those going to the Agamemnon have demonstrated skill in flying and fighting, the ones going to the Galactica or the Hyperion need work in either flying of fighting or both," Apollo said.

"Your next simulation is in an hour, there are some programs over here for you to study and learn from," Starbuck said leading the group to a room filled with training computers and user guides.

The rest of the day was filled with training and a rotating simulation with several other groups. Toni figured that there were about sixty people working in the simulations. She was getting better and so were the others. The friendly fire rate had gone down and the last one had been a mistake by both pilots.

Toni was learning to fly well and she had been elected leader of her group based on her skill. Starbuck even said that she had a lot of potential to be an ace.

At the end of the day she realized where she would be sleeping. Another fighter pilot named Sheba had come in and taken the female pilots to separate quarters.

"Starbuck thinks you have a lot of potential, so does Apollo," Sheba said to Toni as they went to the bunks. The recruits had thinned a bit as those going to the Agamemnon had left already.

"Thank, considering I've never flown before," Toni said thinking that she still had a long way to go.

Sheba realized that Toni would be a great pilot, she knew that there was still much to learn, even Starbuck for all his swagger knew that a lucky shot could kill him was humble of his flying skills, but that was the only thing his was humble about.

The next couple of days were very busy as the Galactica arrived at the Delphian construction base and several members were transferred to the Hyperion. Construction robots were swarming all over the Galactica as it underwent a refit that Toni had heard was much needed.

Sheba had told her that she was going to be her squadron leader. Toni was a bit glad as she had struck up a friendship with the veteran pilot. The stories that she had before the destruction of the colonies was fascinating to Toni.

"Are you ready," Sheba asked as they boarded the shuttle. It would be Toni's first time flying even though it was a short hop over to the Hyperion.

"I guess," Toni replied as she sat down in the pilot's seat trying to remember everything she had learned.

"Relax, you'll do fine," Sheba said.

"Shuttle H-five ready," Toni said.

"Acknowledge shuttle H-five, core command transferring controls to shuttle H-five, launch when ready," Toni heard the voice of Athena.

"Rodger core command," Toni said then pressed the turbos to launch the shuttle.

There was a bit of acceleration and then she was out of the Galactica's hanger bay. Sheba watched as Toni turned the shuttle towards the Hyperion. It was the first time that Toni had seen the ship.

The armor was a gold color and there were more hangers than on the Galactica or the Agamemnon.

"Shuttle H-five, proceed to bay delta," came a voice over the radio. It was the sweetest sound that Toni had ever heard and for a split second she froze at hearing the voice. She recovered quickly and acknowledged the assignment.

She landed the shuttle and reported that they had landed and the reply came over the radio and Toni heard the voice again, it made her knees weak and her heart began to quicken.

She regained her senses and was able to walk out of the shuttle.

"That was a good job, now let's move in to our quarters, after all its first come first serve there," Sheba said grabbing her stuff and with Toni closely behind her they made their way to their quarters.

"I've forgotten how good new quarters can feel," Sheba said as she and Toni walked into the quarters for female pilots. They had been the first to arrive so they had the pick of the lockers and beds. Sheba quickly picked one out.

Toni glanced around and decided on the one that was below Sheba. They seemed to get along with each other so she figured that she would not have to worry about too much. Sheba noticed that Toni grabbed the lower bunk and knew that she would not have any problems with her bunk mate.

Toni sat laid down on her bunk and tried to figure out what had happened earlier in the day. She could still remember the voice that she had heard giving her instructions to land. For some reason she felt like she knew the person as the voice had sounded familiar.

"Toni, are you ready for the next shuttle mission," Sheba asked as she finished placing her belongings in the closet.

"I guess so," Toni replied not really sure she wanted to hear the voice of the deck officer.

"What's up," Sheba said hearing the tone in Toni's voice.

"I think I know the person who is the deck officer," Toni replied.

"From your ship," Sheba asked knowing that it could be likely that with all the new recruits.

"I'm not sure," Toni replied not sure if she knew how to explain what she had felt earlier.

"I'm sure you'll figure it out," Sheba said as she placed the last item into her locker. "You better store you belongings now before someone else grabs a locker."

Toni got up and put her stuff into a locker and found a uniform being placed on her bed.

"Now you have a uniform," Sheba said. "I think it should fit, if not have it tailored."

Toni glanced at it and realized that she was closer to being a colonial warrior. She would still have to fly a few more shuttle missions and more simulations before she could really fly a viper.

She quickly pulled off her shirt and pants. She realized she still had on the medallion and for a second thought about taking it off and decided against it. She put on her uniform and now had on the familiar brown uniform that everyone else had.

Sheba had noticed the medallion on the chain and wondered about it, but decided that now was not the time to ask that type of question. It was probably a good luck charm, most pilots had one. She had a necklace that was given to her by her father that had so far given her good luck.

"Come on, we've got another shuttle run to do," Sheba said as they walked out the room as four others came walking in.

Rhea sat at her control giving orders to the different shuttles as they came and went from the Hyperion to the Galactica. It was a bit busier than normal, but she was enduring it well.

"Shuttle H-five requesting vector assignments," the voice said over the radio. It was one that she had heard earlier when the shuttle had landed and it still affected her.

Rhea gathered her wits before responding. "Shuttle H-five vectors being transmitted, acknowledged," Rhea replied as the vectors were given.

"Vectors received core command," the voice said over the radio.

"Core command transferring launch controls to shuttle H-five, launch when ready," Rhea replied to the shuttle pilot. She knew that the pilot of the shuttle was a woman, and that her voice was familiar, almost haunting to her.

"Acknowledged," came the reply.

Rhea watched as the shuttle blasted out of the launch bay on its way over to the Galactica to bring some more recruits back on over. She was busier than normal and had to come up with some new procedures to cover the additional landing bays of the Hyperion.

Rhea felt that she had done a good job adjusting the procedures to fit the Hyperion. She felt that she would only get better as the time went on. Her shift would be ending soon and there did not look like there would be a break in the action.

Rhea glanced out at the Galactica's hull which was covered with construction robots. She had mixed feeling about the robots, part of her distrusted them, much like her father did. It was only because of him that her entire family survived the holocaust of the colonies.

He had told them that he felt that the Cylons were springing a trap on them, only he did not realize how big it would be. They had stayed at home in their shelter, and at the time she had felt embarrassed at the actions, she realized that the action saved their lives. After the battle he had raced to the nearest space transport and got them aboard.

Rhea had heard stories of ships blasting off with Cylon Centurions right behind them. There would be no ability to calculate how many survived and were not able to make it aboard the ships.

Rhea finished her work without hearing from the shuttle pilot again. The shuttle had not launched from the Galactica and she realized that the pilot was going to be station on board the Hyperion by the shuttle she was flying.

Rhea's replacement came up and she went over some of the procedures she had found to work with the way the Hyperion's landing bays were situated. After she finished she realized that she was hungry and went off in search of the cafeteria.

"Rhea," she heard and turned around to see Omega walking up to her. "I just wanted to tell you that you're doing a great job. Rigel was right to suggest you for this job."

Rhea blushed a bit at the compliment and mumbled a thank you to him. She did not know that her superiors were watching her so closely.

"Now go on and get something to eat," he told her.

Rhea blushed again when she realized that he had heard her stomach growling. She left the bridge and walked around trying to find the cafeteria but without much luck. She had stumbled into the fighter pilots room and one of the pilots had given her instructions there. She had thanked him and followed the directions and was surprised to find it.

The cafeteria was not really crowded and she walked in and grabbed something to eat. A quick drink and she ate in silence. It would take her a while to get acquainted with the crew and find out who the womanizers were, those she would avoid.

Toni landed the shuttle on her third flight over and was told that they would have time to eat before their next flight. Toni was a bit disappointed that on the return of their second flight the controller had changed. She wanted to hear the voice again.

"Come on Toni," Sheba said. "I'm starving."

"Well you also forgot to eat earlier," Toni teased as she followed Sheba to the cafeteria.

The room was mostly disserted as almost everyone on board was still trying to find their way around. They had been asked directions a half a dozen times on the way over for various parts of the ship. It ranged form the bridge to engineering. Sheba had help as much as she could but the design was a bit different than the Galactica.

Walking into the Cafeteria they saw a few pilots and some others. Toni recognized one of the pilots as belonging to her group. His name was Jason and had tried a couple of times to talk to her. Toni could recognize the signs he was giving and was not falling for it. He went from woman to woman.

She saw a bit of movement form the other side of the cafeteria and noticed a small blond haired woman walking out of the cafeteria. Toni stopped for a second as she saw the woman. There was something about the woman. She was dressed in a bridge uniform and a part of her hoped that she was the beautiful voice she had heard.

"Toni," Sheba asked seeing that Toni had just stopped. "Are you all right?"

"Yeah," Toni replied shaking herself mentally and turning her attention back to Sheba. "I hear food calling us," she said with a smile.

Sheba allowed the comment to go. She had seen who Toni was looking at and made a mental note to talk to her about it. They picked up their food and sat down.

"Toni, I ah have something I want to ask you," Sheba asked not sure how Toni would take the question.

Toni looked up and wondered what Sheba was about to ask.

"You like females don't you," Sheba asked deciding to be blunt.

Toni was a bit taken back by the question as she was not expecting such a question. She looked at Sheba to see what the woman was thinking and saw no feeling one way or the other.

"Yes," Toni said then rushed on, "we can find someone else if you're uncomfortable with it."

"No, I was just wondering by the way you were looking at the woman who walked out of the cafeteria earlier," Sheba said. She had been around the galaxy enough to know that little things like that did not matter. And among the pilots you did not care, as they might save your life one day.

"You don't care," Toni asked with a strange look.

"No, the pilots really don't care about petty things like that, sure the guys will be disappointed but they won't treat you any different. Don't do you job and that you'll hear about it," Sheba said with a smile.

"Hey Sheba," another pilot said sitting down next to Sheba.

"Bojay, I didn't know that you were going to be over here," Sheba said a grin coming to her face.

"Yeah, I'm promoted, I'm a squadron leader now," he said. "Who's your new friend?"

"This is Toni, she's a part of my squadron," Sheba replied.

"I see that you saw the senior flight control officer already on her way out," Bojay said looking at Toni. "She's already rejected several people offer to join them."

Toni about choked on her food as Bojay was so upfront about her checking out the woman in the bridge uniform when she walked into the room.

"Ah, Bojay she's not used to that," Sheba said to her former lover.

"Oh right, I'm just so used to it with Franka, did you hear she finally got together with Anne," Bojay said.

"Really, its about time they had been making eye contact and flirting with each other now for over a year," Sheba replied.

"Sorry," Bojay replied to Toni who appeared to be a bit embarrassed by everything. "We get excited by most of that, I was surprised when I saw you here, I thought that you would be aboard the Galactica with Apollo," he said looking at Sheba then a wink to Toni.

"Bojay," Sheba said turning red as Toni now smiled at bit.

They finished their meal and went back to work

The days flew by for the crews of the battlestars as they got used to their assignments. Things were starting to flow a bit smoother lately as everyone gained experience. None of the battlestars were really up to combat readiness but they would be able to defend the fleet.

Today was the day that the Hyperion would escort several of the tankers to the fleet. The Galactica and the last of the tankers would catch up a bit later.

Toni had seen the little blonde haired woman around a few times but always in passing. Toni had even gone to wondering around the ship on her off hours looking for her on the excuse that she was getting used to the ship.

Rhea had been busy working and getting the others used to her system that she only had time to eat and sleep and she kept herself busy.

She had been up on the bridge when Omega had come up to her and told her to get some rest. She protested that she was not sleepy and he told her to go have some fun. She wanted to argue but he took her aside. He told her that the other flight controllers were doing fine and that they needed the experience without her.

She had gone back to her quarters and decided that some more sleep sounded like a good idea. Her room mate, Janiel asked if she wanted to go to the game room. Rhea said that she would probably just sleep a little. Janiel shrugged her shoulders and suggested that she might meet some guy. When that did not get a reaction she suggested she might meet a woman. That earned her a green eye glare.

Janiel walked out with a bit of a smile on her face, one question about Rhea had been answered. Now all she had to do was keep an eye out for someone.

She walked into the game room. There were several others in the room some were already playing games others were making teams for a new game.

"We take the ball and kick it, we can't use out hands this time," a tall woman was saying.

"And we kick it into a net," one asked.

"Yeah, no punching or tripping, but body contact is legal," the woman said.

Janiel watched a game was set up in the larger room. They had set up a table on its side and she assumed that was the net. The game was actually quite simple, kick the ball and hit the table to score. There were four people on each team and one person guarding the table. It was actually not bad.

Janiel watched the woman who had been talking from the moment she walked into the room. She was tall and looked to be quite strong. Her dark hair whipped around her face as she moved around. Janiel realized that Rhea might be interested in her.

"Hi there," a male voice said as a man sat down next to her. "My name's Bojay," he said introducing himself.

"Janiel," she replied back with a smile. She noticed that he was cute and good looking.

"If you're interested in Toni you might have a chance," he said.

"Toni," Janiel asked in a bit of confusion.

"That's her name, tall, dark hair, blue eyes," Bojay replied.

"Ah, no, I was just keeping my eye out for my room mate," she replied.

"That's good, because Toni is after a short, long blonde haired, green eyed flight officer," Bojay said missing the look that Janiel had in her eyes.

She looked back at the tall woman who seemed to be having fun in the game. She had a feeling that if she could get her room mate and Toni together it would work out.

She sat and talked with Bojay finding him quite humorous and willing to do more with him later. She had agreed to meet him later for dinner in the cafeteria. He got up and left to begin his patrol.

Janiel walked back to her quarters thinking about what Bojay had said. Toni was interested in Rhea, but she had a feeling that they had to discover each other on their own, but a slight push in the right direction might not hurt. Janiel decided that she would mention Toni, but not the woman was looking for her and see what happens.

Rhea was up and reading when Janiel walked into the room. She plopped down with a smile on her face.

"What's up," Rhea said seeing the smile on Janiel's face.

"I met a wonderful guy, a pilot named Bojay," Janiel said. "And I saw someone that you would probably like to meet as well. She plays sports, is a pilot, tall, dark hair, muscular, blue eyes," Janiel said watching Rhea's face.

A picture came to Rhea's mind but she quickly erased it and shot another glare at Janiel but it did not seem to faze her. The back of Rhea's mind heard the word pilot and wondered if this woman had the voice of the shuttle pilot.

"I'm going to get something to eat," Rhea said.

"Okay," Janiel said.

End Part 1

Continued In Part 2

The Athenaeum's Scroll Archive