Return to A Love Beyond the Stars: Against all Odds Chapter Nine

A Love Beyond the Stars

Author: Dax
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all related characters are registered trademarks of 20th Century Fox Film Corporation. Battlestar Galactica, created by Ronald D. Moore. Based upon the 1978 Series Battlestar Galactica created by Glen A. Larson. Copyright 2004 USA Cable Entertainment Inc. Chapter titles come courtesy of Babylon 5, created by J. Michael Straczynski. Copyright 1997 Warner Bros. PAY TV.
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Summary: Things are as dark as ever for the people of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol. After a year of peace and safety, seemingly shielded from the Cylons on the planet New Caprica, humanity's most deadliest enemy has once again returned in force.
The two undermanned Battlestars Galactica and Pegasus were left with no other choice but to run and take what little of the civilian fleet was still in orbit with them.
Having to leave her pregnant wife behind Pegasus' Executive Officer Major Willow Rosenberg is determined to return and rescue the love of her life and their unborn daughter.

What you wanna do Cap?
The same as we always do. Fight them till we can't.

The fight for the survival of humanity continues.

Chapter One
A Voice in the Wilderness

New Caprica City
Day 380 of settlement
Planet New Caprica

"There you go Laura," Lt. Tara Maclay said cheerfully. "Seven brand new laptop computers, courtesy of the remains of Pegasus' deck-gang. As well as some other useful things." She parked the trolley in front of here and handed Laura Roslin - now a teacher again - an inventory list.

"Thank you Tara, or should I say; thank you Lieutenant?" Laura Roslin asked, sounding mildly confused.

"Tara will do," the younger woman said with a laugh.

"You know Tara," Laura Roslin said, "I think I will never get used to seeing you in uniform. It simply never occurred to me that you would join up with the force." Tara smiled thoughtfully, remembering her own surprise when she had found herself asking Willow if there might be a place for her among Galactica's crew.

"Neither did I," she explained. "But after working for President Baltar became intolerable, I needed something else to keep me occupied. Needed something to make me feel useful."

"I know what you mean," Laura said, taking up the trolley and moved it into a corner of the tent that served as a classroom. Still standing with her back to Tara, she unpacked the laptops and stored them in a small cabinet and continued speaking. "I mean, look around, one year since settling on New Caprica and we still haven't got a decent school building. You pushed for it I know. ‘The children are our future,' it says. But obviously Gaius Baltar doesn't see it the same way as we do." Laura gave a frustrated sight and turned around.

"And ever since you resigned, Tara, we don't even have a Secretary of Education anymore. Not that I blame you, you..." Laura glance was fixated at Tara's quite rounded belly. "are pregnant?!" she said.

"I am?" Tara asked in mock surprise, looking down on herself and with mock relief she added, "Oh yes I am!"

"But you are..."

"Gay?" Tara helped her out and Laura nodded. "Yea, pretty much - thank the lords." Tara said with a laugh but got serious again. "You see, Laura," she said and sat down in front of one of the tables. "Lesbians do get pregnant too, if we want to. Much like... no exactly like heterosexual woman. Only we don't have to worry about unwanted pregnancies." With a content smile Tara stroke over the rounding of her belly, feeling her unborn daughter.

"I've never really apologized for freaking out on you, haven't I?" Tara didn't answer, didn't have too, because Laura Roslin proceeded to answerer the question herself. "No I didn't," she pulled up a chair and sat down opposite Tara.

"You have to believe me Tara," Laura went on, "I never had anything against gays and lesbians. You know sometimes I really regret my words... ‘Start having babies.' Especially since some religious bigots use such statements to justify their hatred against gays and lesbians." Laura took off her glasses. "When I said all those dreadful things back then I really was only afraid that you being outed as a lesbian would weaken my position as president. All I saw was my place in power and in order to secure that I didn't care for anybody else's feeling. Not Wally's and certainly not yours."

"Laura, really, it's okay," Tara said feeling quite touched by her former boss' need to apologize for her actions. "That was a long time ago and I'm no longer angry with you. Don't think I really had time to be angry with you. Not with all that happened after you got arrested and all that stuff."

"You know Tara," Laura said, putting her glasses back on. "I had a lot of time analysing all the pools and stuff we had before the elections, and if it hadn't been for Baltar and Zarek exploiting the ‘settling on New Caprica' card, it would have been your fantastic work that would have secured my re-election."

"Really?" Tara asked.

"Yes, among other things of course," Laura Roslin said with a smile. "You did a great job. Especially the school you built from scratch aboard the Cloud Nine..."

Both woman fell silent remembering all the men, women and children that had gotten killed aboard the luxury liner.

"Some nights I still see them in my dreams," Tara said quietly. "I have class photos from many of the classes I set up on the bigger ships.

"But most off all I see the kids of Dawn Summers' class."

"Oh I remember her, bright young woman. Sister of a viper pilot right?" Laura said.

"Yes, Buffy Summers. She's senior pilot aboard Pegasus now."

"So how's Dawn Summers?"

"She took it pretty hard you know." Tara explained, "that she escaped the explosion simply because she missed her flight but that all her kids got killed."

"Survivor's guilt," Laura observed thoughtfully and Tara nodded.

"I tried to convince her to take up teaching again," the younger woman went on. "Down here on New Caprica. But she said she would never ever teach again in her entire life."

"You think she'll ever get over that trauma?"

"I'm not sure, you know, while she still was aboard Galactica I arranged for her to meet with Dr. Strub, Galactica's psychotherapist.

"But Dawn never went to see her, she just left for New Caprica with the first wave of settlers. And shortly after that Willow and I got transferred to Pegasus.

"We haven't heard from her ever since. Me, Buffy and, Willow are very worried."

There was another heavy silence between the two woman. Tara was just about to change the subject when suddenly she had the odd feeling that something really bad was about to happen. Reflexively she covered her belly with both of her hands.

"What is it Tara?" The former president asked worryingly. "Something wrong with the baby?"

"No she's fine," Tara whispered. "I just had this feeling. You know the old saying? Like ‘somebody stepped on my grave.'" She shook her head. "It's probably nothing."

Tara just wanted to dismiss the bad feeling, when Laura Roslin and she overheard something.

"A supply flight from Galactica - at this time of day?" the older woman asked .

"No," Tara said. Only once before in her life she had heard this sound before and that was during her officer's training. "This ain't no colonial craft."

Laura Roslin's head snapped around and she watched the young colonial officer, a look of desperate doubt in her eyes. All the while the sounds grew ever louder, as more and more planes were flying overhead.

"Cylons!" Tara finally spoke the dreaded truth.

Together the two woman stepped out of the school tent but still keeping close to it. They looked up into the sky over New Caprica, now full of Cylon war ships.

"Cylon Raiders," Lt Tara Maclay observed, "and Heavy Raiders as well."

Troop Carriers that would bring down the Cylon ground forces.

"Galactica! Galactica and Pegasus will save us!" Laura said. More to herself then to Tara, she sounded like she really believed it. Part of Tara wanted to believe it too. However the newer part of her, the officer, knew better.

"They're gone," Tara said matter-of-factly, looking up into the sky where she knew Galactica and Pegasus no longer were.

"What do you mean: gone?" Laura demanded to know. "You mean gone, like jumped away?" Tara nodded. "But they can't! they have to come down and save us!"

"Laura," Tara said, her voice calmer than she felt. "Look up! Look at all the Raiders and Heavy Raiders, I'll say there's at least one Basestar up there."

"But we have two Battlestars!" Laura was clearly desperate by now.

"Maybe even two Basestars!" Tara went on. "But even against only single Basestar they both wouldn't stand a chance. Not with them both being seriously undermanned and with the Cylons having the complete element of surprise on their side."

"How can you know?" Laura Roslin demanded to know. "You're with communications!"

""I'm working at the CIC and my wife's Pegasus' XO, believe me, I know. If Pegasus and Galactica haven't jumped away by now with the rest of the fleet, they're over and done with," Tara finished her offhand analysis of the situation.

Silently they both watched wave after wave of Cylon Raiders fly over their head.

Tara tucked at her badly fitting coat.

Right after word got out that President Baltar had unconditionally surrendered to the Cylon occupation force, Laura had found her some civilian clothing, arguing that it might not be a all together a good idea to wear her colonial uniform around Cylon centurions. Now Tara stood side by side with the former president and watched row upon row of Cylon centurions walk down the main road of New Caprica City - the occupation had begun.

All the while Tara was praying to the Lords of Kobol, to help them in the dark days ahead and to let Pegasus and Galactica return in time to save them all.

Four Months Later.
Planet New Caprica.
Day 136 of Cylon Occupation.

"Ok, ok mommy's up, your mommy's awake," Tara said sussing and gently pattered her very rounded belly. Her daughter had decided to practice some tap-dancing on her mother's bladder. Or was it martial arts? Tara slowly turned around to glance at the alarm clock. Lately she hardly bothered checking the time because for the past week her daughter had been as reliable as a clock herself.

She groaned, "Won't you let mommy have one night of uninterrupted sleep, Hope? You know you don't have to wake me every night. And your mommy really needs her sleep."

Tara sighed, her waking moments were one long nightmare and she wouldn't have minded some more peaceful sleep. Because even though nowadays she was living in fear, in her dreams she was still free.

With some effort Tara lifted herself out of the field-bed she was sleeping in. With each passing day of her pregnancy she got rounder and rounder. Sometimes Tara found it hard to believe that she still had about two months to go. She put her socks and pants on and took up her boots from in front of the field-bed. Tara shivered while she put on her coat. As usual it wasn't much warmer inside the tents than outside of them since the "puppet government" of President Gaius Baltar had cut down the energy quotas.

Tara carefully peeked out of the tent in order to get to the bathroom - more of a latrine, she had to get outside and down the ‘street' consisting of three tents. She wasn't all to keen on running into one of these Centurions patrolling the night or worse.

Planet New Caprica.
Day Ten of Cylon Occupation.

"Now look what the cat dragged in," came the all-to-familiar sarcastic voice from behind Tara's back, making her freeze mid step. How much she had hoped to never hear that voice again. But ever since they had been surprised by the arrival of the Cylon occupation force, she had known that she would eventually run into her ex - the Cylon agent.

"So, won't you turn around and say hello to your ex-girlfriend?" Cylon No. 10 asked, her voice now sweet as poison. Tara remained with her back to Faith, didn't move - could not move. She knew that Faith wasn't alone, she could hear the rhythmic hum of the continually moving red sensor dot in the centurion's heads.

"Come on now Tara, be a good girl and turn around," Cylon Faith said, still sweetly though she sounded less sweet when she added: "Or should I have my centurion turn you around for me?" The dreadful thought of being manhandled by one of these merciless machines let Tara obey her ex's command.

Faith hadn't changed, of course she hadn't. Wearing a pair of tight black leather slacks with a white blouse and matching black leather jacket she looked much more like her ex-girlfriend on Caprica than the Viper pilot she last meet aboard the Galactica.

"Like what you see?" No. 10 asked and Tara cursed herself for having let the Cylon seen that she'd been glancing up and down her body. A body she knew all to well.

On either of Faith's sides stood two centurions, both of them with an arm up but with no weapon present, though Tara knew these robots to have weapons as part of their arms. That didn't make them any less threatening to Tara of course, who put a protecting hand on her baby belly.

"Now, now," Cylon Faith said "There's really no need to be frightened." She gave the centurions a nod and they rested their arms to the side and took a step back. "They won't harm you," she said reassuringly.

‘Unless you order them too,' Tara thought, but didn't dare to say it aloud.

"So there's nothing to be afraid of," said the Cylon Avatar, quite annoying Tara at this point.

"Who says I'm afraid?" Tara asked defiantly, and to her own surprise she noticed that she really wasn't afraid right now. Careful not to put herself or her unborn child into danger but not afraid. Not of Faith and not of the two centurions standing next to her. The humanoid Cylon in front of her seemed to have noticed the change in Tara's demeanour too, though she didn't seem particular impressed.

"Wow," Faith said with a voice thick with sarcasm, "the mouse that roared."

‘Careful Tara,' the blond woman advised herself. ‘She's clearly trying to provoke you.' But why she would Tara could not tell. So she did her best to keep her voice steady when she asked: "What do you want?"

"What do I want?"

"Yes, there must be a reason for intercepting me on my way to the privy in the middle of the night."

"Why do I need a reason to have a little chat with my ex?" Thy Cylon asked.

"It's the middle of the night!" Tara returned, while she found it exceedingly difficult to control her temper. "So, what do you want from me, Faith?"

Faith let out a pronounced sigh. "Very well. Just wanted to make sure that you handed in your sidearm as it has been ordered by the colonial government."

‘Colonial government my ass,' Tara thought angrily. ‘You mean the puppet regime of Gaius Baltar.' Out loud she said: "Why should I have a gun that I would be obligated to hand in?"

The Cylon Faith got serious, making Tara fear that she might have over played her hand. "Don't think I'm stupid Lieutenant," No. 10 said. "I know very well that you joined up with the colonial forces."

"How do you know that?" Tara asked, unable to stop herself.

"It doesn't matter how I know." Faith explained slowly, "suffice to say that I know, Lt. Maclay. So, about your sidearm?"

"I never brought it with me," Tara answered. "Left it aboard Pegasus."

"You're telling me," Faith said, "that as an colonial officer you went out on a assignment without your sidearm?"

"Well, yes," Tara answered. "Because I wasn't on an assignment in the first place. I was delivering some supplies to the school."


"Off-duty," Tara repeated and took a step towards the Cylon and her guard. In doing so, Tara also stepped out of the twilight she had been standing in ever since she had encountered her Cylon ex.

Stepping into the light of the lamppost she revealed her full pregnant form to her ex-girlfriend.

"Now would you look at that," Faith said and looked down Tara's round belly, making Tara drew her parka closer around herself. "So does that mean you started driving stick after all?"

Tara knew she should have ignored this remark but as always, when her sexuality was questioned, she couldn't help herself. "Not that it is any business of yours, but I did not ‘start driving stick,' as you put it. There are other ways of getting pregnant for lesbians."

"You're still with..." Faith asked, sounding more like a curious girlfriend than a member of the occupational force. Tara would not answer that, she knew she had said too much already. Plus, if Faith knew about her being a lieutenant aboard Pegasus, she was bound to know about her and Willow as well. And she would be dammed if she started making small talk with the enemy.

"Would there be anything else?" she asked, "otherwise I would very much like to get to the toilet and back to sleep. You see, I have some children to teach tomorrow"

Before Tara knew it the female Cylon was by her side and she flinched at her touch on her arm.

"You know Tara," Faith said in a nonchalant tone of voice. "Our presence here will last. It could be considerably better for you if you'll behave nicer towards me." She paused for a moment before she continued, more quietly: "It could even be quite comfortable - if you know what I mean." Tara got the meaning all right and it made her sick to her stomach just to think of it. With a swift motion she brushed away Faith's hand and took a step back.

"Let me get one thing straight," Tara said, her voice now deadly serious. "You and your forces have occupied this planet and there is nothing that I can do about it. But I will never ever betray my people, by collaborating with the enemy just for my own comfort."

There was an amused smile playing around the Cylon avatars lips when she heard this. Wanting to make herself absolutely clear, Tara once again added: "I'm not a collaborator! You hear?"

"You really like sleeping an a hard field-bed, on a draftee tent?"

"Yes!" Tara answered. "I like it hard! It's great for my back, especially these days."

"If that's the way you want it," Cylon-Faith said slowly. Tara didn't answer and bit her lips. She said enough for one encounter. To her relief Faith signalled the two centurions - who had been standing motionlessly in the back during all of this - to turn around and start moving. However, before she followed them, Faith stepped up to Tara again. "Have it your way," she said coldly and just as she turned around she briefly kissed Tara on her cheek. "See you around, Honeybush," she said and swiftly walked away.

Staying behind, Tara was glad that she was only a few metres away from the latrine because the next thing she knew she was heaving into the chemical toilet.

Tara shivered. Both from the chill of the New Caprican night and from the memory of her first encounter with her ex since she ‘died' aboard Galactica. Of course this wouldn't be the last time the female Cylon had crossed her path.

Tara stepped out of the tent and into the chilly night. There where no centurions in the vicinity as far as she could tell. But certainly there would be some of them patrolling this part of the city right now.

City! this wasn't a city - more like a permanent summer camp. The only persons not living in tents were those who had the luck of having a place in one of the grounded spaceships. Prior to the Cylon occupation and one year into settling on New Caprica they hadn't made much of a progress either. Since President Baltar had laid the foundation stone for New Caprica city they had only completed one building at the time the Cylons had started occupation.

Tara let out a sigh of resignation. Things would never get better, not as long as they here kept under the rule of the Cylons and the puppet government of Gaius Baltar. No, the only hope for all of them was that Galactica and Pegasus would come up with a plan to free them all and escape once again - to go on the run once again.

"Could there even be a chance?" Tara asked herself, while she washed her hands. There where at least two Basestars in orbit above them all of the time, not to mention all of the troops down on the surface.

Resistance was building up among the people. But there were also those who tried to arrange themselves with the occupational forces in order to make things more comfortable for themselves, like those people who had signed up with the New Caprican Police. Collaborators or people who hoped by patrolling the streets they would get the Centurions off it? Tara could not tell. Though there where certainly those who enjoyed the power they had been given by the Cylons, and there where people that had disappeared in the night.

Tara made her way back to her tent, luckily without bumping into the NCP people, centurions or Faith. Or any other humanoid Cylon for that matter. Stepping from the partially lighted street into the complete darkness of her tent Tara's eyes needed some time to adjust. But knowing the way around her "home", Tara moved towards her field-bed anyway. Until she hit something in the darkness. Something she knew should not be there. Now that she stepped on it, said objects fell to the ground, almost making Tara tumble over them and falling to the ground in the process. But luckily the pregnant blond got hold of the tent pole. Two small plastic containers that Tara had stumbled into made such noise falling to the ground, Tara feared it might get the attention of a Cylon patrol.

Tara held her breath but except for some muffled protest from the neighbouring tent nothing happened.

"Sorry Dawn," Tara whispered into the darkness. "Didn't wanted to wake you." And when no answer came from the other side of the tent, she added quietly, "Well someone here really has a good night's sleep." Tara was just about to settle down onto her own bed when she frowned.

Dawn, a good sleeper?

Well, that would have been nice... however, during all those countless night she and Buffy's little sister had now spent together in this tent, Dawn had never had a good night's sleep. Most of the nights she had turned restlessly in her sleep, murmuring and sometimes crying silent tears. Listening harder Tara realised that there were in fact no sounds at all coming form the younger woman.

While she searched for the tiny lamp on her improvised nightstand, Tara thought about the prior evening. She had gone to bed early. She had been tired because of her pregnancy and the long day at school, as well as living through another unpleasant encounter with Cylon Faith. She could remember Dawn coming home late, but little beyond that. She had been half asleep and had dozed off again soon afterwards. If she had exchanged any words with Dawn she didn't remember.

Finally Tara found the lamp's light switch and switched on the light. Turning around, Tara saw that Dawn's field-bed was unslept in and that she was alone in the tent. Now Tara was really worried. They weren't allowed to be outside during the night's curfew. The only exception were short trips to the latrine.

Tara looked further around the tent and froze.

"Oh my Gods," she whispered, "Dawn, what have you done?" Tara kneeled down onto Dawn's field-bed.

"Oh Dawn where have you gone?" Tara whispered with tears running down her face,

Kneeling all alone on the floor of the tent, Tara held onto the long dark blond strands of Dawn Summers hair.

Continue to A Love Beyond the Stars: A Race Through Dark Places Chapter Two

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