"I basically just used the hyper drive to manipulated the energy coils. I put out a big pulse of electro magnetic energy that must have disabled the warhead. I'm hopping it looked like a nuclear explosion."
All Alone in the Night
"Great! My first hangover and I didn't even have one single drink," Tara mumbled to herself. Slowly and very carefully she opened her eyes, to find herself lying on her seat in the passenger compartment. But as far as she could remember, given the enormous headache she was experiencing right now; this was not the place where she had lost consciences. She had been standing in the cockpit when... Oh, her head was splitting.
"I would take it slow if I were you"; a familiar voice said and Tara slowly turned her head to see Billy sitting right opposite her.
"What happened?" Tara asked groggily.
"Well you fainted, like everybody else," Billy explained, "but by going down you hit your head on the doorframe. You hit it pretty hard, if I might add."
"So that's why the lights went out," Tara said and carefully reached for the back of her head and found a nice little bruise. She smiled weakly and then tried to sit herself up, but a sharp wave of dizziness send her right back again.
At once Billy was at her side and helped her up. "You really should take it slow," he said politely and handed her a class of water, with a pill to treat her headache.
"Thank you Billy," Tara said, swallowed the pill and took a sip of water to wash it down. She handed the glass back to Billy and smiled weakly, "you know Billy. It's really a shame you're not a girl. Otherwise you, me, in such a situation..." She wiggled suggestively with her eyebrows.
"You know what they say, nobody's perfect."
Tara smiled again and then returned to the more serious aspects of the day. "Any idea why we all lost consciousness? And why are we still alive anyway? Didn't the Cylons attack us?"
"They did", Billy told his wobbly colleague. "But 'Apollo' - Captain Adama our escort, setup some sort of a electro magnetic impulse and with that he not only disabled the warheads the Cylons had fired at us, but also managed to fool them."
"What ever," Tara sighed, her headache kept her from completely understanding Billy's explanation. "As long as we are still alive. What's our status?"
"Well, after all of us - except you - regained consciousness again, we evacuated the passenger liner and made the FTL jump - that means travelling faster then light."
This remark brought Billy a very annoyed look from his gay colleague and so he hastily went on. "During the last hours we have gathered something around forty ships. And 'Boomer' - Lt. Valerii, from the Galactica is out there looking for other refugees. Oh and 'Boomer' also brought us some extra hope, one might say."
He pointed towards the other side of the cabin and a man sitting over a stack of papers.
"And he is?" Tara wondered.
"Doctor Tara Maclay are you actually asking who this is?"
"That's Doctor Gaius Baltar, winner of three Magnate Awards."
"Don't follow", Tara said and kept staring at the stranger across the cabin. At least her head slowly started to clear.
"He's a authority in matters of advanced computer networks and stuff," Billy explained, "and now he's Laura's consultant concerning the Cylons and their technology."
"Now I remember!" Tara said. "He's the one who said, that the ban on researching artificial intelligence should be lifted. He said that, yes the Cylons were a mistake, but that was more then fifty years ago...blah, blah, blah. Wonder if he still stands to his opinion."
She continued to stare at Dr. Baltar. "You're right Billy, if nothing else we will need some smart people if we really going to start our civilisation all over again." That is, if we can really escape the Cylons and their deadly revenge, she didn't at.
Billy stood up. "Ok Tara I have to get back to Laura and you should wait at least another thirty minutes before you try standing up. You know, give the pills some time to take an effect."
"Yes Dad", Tara said obediently and closed her eyes. She indented to rest for another fifteen minutes or so, but instate she fell asleep upon the instant.
One hour later, Tara woke up refreshed enough to go down below, where she helped the others with the arriving refugees.
Another six hours later, their convoy consisted off sixty-three ships. However twenty of them had no FTL capability and so they had to evacuate the people from board the sub light ships, before they could the jump to Ragnar in order to rendezvous with the Galactica.
Tara just entered the forward passenger compartment, to witness a discussion between Captain Adama, Laura Roslin and Alan Doral.
It seemed that a Cylon scout who certainly would return very soon with reinforcements had spotted them. A decision had to be made and even before 'Apollo' said what had to be done, Tara already knew.
In order for the majority of the people to survive, the ones on the twenty sub lights had to be abandoned, for there was no time to evacuate these ships before the Cylons would return. They had to sacrifice the about thousand human beings in order to save the fifty thousand on the FTL callable ships.
Tara's heart turned to ice, as she remembered a little girl, Cami, whom she had met only an hour ago. She was travelling on this botanical ship - basically a big flying greenhouse - which Tara had visited together with Laura and Billy.
While Laura had talked to captain of this ship, Tara had been chatting with Cami, who had been looking forward to meet her parents back home at the spaceport of Caprica City. Of course her grandmother hadn't told her about what had happened. How could she ever understand that her parents where no longer alive?
Tara had found Cami a cute innocent little girl, much like the daughter she dreamed of to be raising herself some day in the future. (Hopefully together with Willow she'd hopped.)
But for Cami there would be no future, because the agriculture ship she was travelling with, was one of the ships that had to be abandoned.
"...I'm sorry to make it a numbers game, but we're talking about the survival of our race here. And we don't have the luxury of taking chances and hope for the best, because if we lose, we lose it all and Madam President this decision has to be made now." 'Apollo' just said and all eye's turned towards the President.
Tara could see the pain in Laura's eyes, could see how the responsibility to sacrifice those thousand souls was coming down resting heavily upon her shoulders.
But there was no other possible position and so Laura Roslin made the decision, "Order the fleet jump to Ragnar Captain Adama."
'Apollo' and the ships captain, 'I don't even know his name', Tara thought miserably, left the cabin to prepare Colonial One for an immediate FTL jump and Alan Doral too left, leaving Tara McClay alone with the President, who sat down on a nearby seat resting her head in the hands.
Knowing that Laura would rather be left alone right now, Tara withdrew to the opposite side of the cabin to her seat. She warped herself up in it and reached under the seat for some comfort. Closing her eye's, Tara began to cry, began to shed silent tears for the pour souls they where about to leave behind, undoubtedly to be killed by the Cylons within the next minutes to come. And she prayed.
Prayed to the Lords of Kobol to take the souls of those people into their loving hands, especially the one of little Cami.
As the ship made the jump, Tara's mind reached out to little Cami, whom she now saw in her mind, sitting on a bench playing with her dolly, while behind her Tara could see the flashes of the other ships jumping away. With her thoughts Tara reached out to her, "I'm with you," she whispered. "You are not alone." And Cami kept playing, as Tara horribly watched the lighting trails of the approaching Cylon missiles approaching the ship. It was an image that was to stay with Tara for the rest of her life. But so would Cami, for Tara promised herself that she would never ever allow herself to forget this gentle little girl. For she represented the entire holocaust that had come down upon the people of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol today.
Tara started to cry harder, until the fatigue of the long hours working down below, the overwhelming experiences of the last days and the sorrow that rested upon her soul, made her fall asleep. She didn't even notice Laura Roslin covering her with a blanket.
About half an hour after Colonial One had rendezvoused with Galactica, Tara woke up to learn that Laura Roslin and Billy had already gone from board.
She also was told by a flight attendance that the President had given orders not to wake her.
Tara gratefully gathered her stuff and left the passenger liner too.
Aboard Galactica she got assigned the same quarters as on her previous stint, an eternity ago, as it seamed now.
But unlike then, this time it was to become her home, for who knew how long.
After all who could tell how long it would take for them all to find a save place to call home, if they ever made it out of this system alive in the first place, outrunning the Cylons and their deadly artificial intelligence.
Standing in the middle of the tiny windowless cabin, Tara looked upon the bed and her but few worldly possessions that she'd left. Change of cloth for three days. The usual necessities, her favourite Teddy bear, three books, her personal laptop computer and of course...
"This is all," she whispered. This was all that was left of her previous life.
Tara put every thing away and then decided to look for Laura and Billy. Maybe there was something she could do, something to keep her mind busy.
Tara had now been aboard Galactica for almost an hour, but still she hadn't found the courage to find out whether or not Lt. Rosenberg - Willow was still alive, to afraid that the answer might be no.
Upon arriving on board, she had learned of all the casualties the Galactica had suffered, since the Cylons had first attacked.
Like the entire Alpha Squadron, that she'd watched at the decommissioning ceremony.
Other pilots that where killed later, defending the Galactica with these old Vipers she'd seen on display in the exhibition. Viper pilots like Willow Rosenberg.
Of course Tara knew all to well, that it was cowardly of her not to ask the next best officer if Lt. Rosenberg was still alive.
And maybe, she decided, now was the time to do something about it. For in her mind and soul she knew that she needed clarity in order to go on. Even if it meant, she had to except that the love of her life was no longer with her.
Closing the bulkhead to her quarter behind her, Tara turned around to see the most beautiful sight she could've dreamed of.
A redheaded woman wearing a flight suit, standing but one meter away from her.
Willow - looking very much like she'd just seen a ghost, but otherwise very much alive.