Title: Laura Roslin vs. the Mooninites
Word Count ~4000
Disclaimer: don't own them.
Summary: The fleet encounters visitors who could affect the rest of their journey.
Laura sat at her desk on Colonial One, working. Her phone rang. It had to be Admiral Adama. Anyone else would go through Billy, but since Kobol, Bill and Laura had either talked on the phone or met in person every day, and they had recently eschewed their intermediaries for most of their communications. Laura also knew it was important because they were already set to meet that evening. A midday phone call would be superfluous unless it were urgent. She answered the phone in her most presidential tone, and Bill quickly got to the point.
“Madame President, we have a situation.”
So what else is new, she thought, but she simply asked the obvious question to which, he responded, “There’s a DRADIS contact, it’s not Colonial or Cylon.”
Laura slipped naturally into the role she generally took when talking to Admiral Adama. “How do we know it’s not a Cylon trick, like the Olympic Carrier?”
“We don’t.” It was a simple fact of their war. Both leaders were wary of cylon capabilities.
“Have you made contact?”
“They’re very rude, but they don’t seem to be unfriendlies.”
She considered his words a moment. “Hmm. That remains to be seen, doesn’t it?”
“This sounds like a military decision.”
Standing in the CIC, Bill fought the urge to grin. What were once clear demarcations have all but faded away entirely, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. It was good to know they were in a place where they could joke about their past and that Laura trusted his judgement, as he trusted hers. “It could very well effect the civilian population, Laura. You need to be involved.”
Laura knew that was Bill’s way of asking for help. They were a lot alike in that regard--independent to a fault, but secretly glad for the support that came from their partnership. Laura would always be involved, and she wanted to remind him of that fact. “I didn’t say I wouldn’t be, Bill.”
Bill allowed his grin to form that time, but he kept it out of his voice. “Of course. I’ll prepare your shuttle.”
Laura loved how their conversations could take such leaps; their decisions made in the silences. It was something she’d only ever experienced with Bill. “I’ll await its arrival. What are you doing in the meantime?”
“I’ll allow their ship to board Galactica. You and I will meet them on the hangar deck, and we’ll talk.”
“Maybe we can learn something from them.”
What Laura couldn’t see from Colonial One was Bill Adama’s doubtful expression. He glanced at the DRADIS screen, looking at the purple ship with apprehension. Then he offered a noncommittal “Yes, Ma’am” and ended the call.
Dee ordered Laura’s shuttle and then arranged for the mysterious ship to land on Galactica’s hangar deck. Nobody in the CIC was sure what to feel. DRADIS hadn’t detected an imminent threat aboard the purple ship, and the ship was greatly outnumbered, but there was the possibility of it being a cylon trick. Some of the officers and NCOs were curious about what the visitors would be like; many were apprehensive, and everyone trusted their Old Man and President ‘Airlock’ Roslin to make the best decision for the fleet.
Bill left the CIC, heading toward the ladder which Laura would be climbing down to enter Galactica. He thought of the last time Laura and he welcomed a ship into the fleet. The situation with The Pegasus and its command staff quickly soured, and both of their positions were in jeopardy. That wouldn’t happen again. Bill was determined to defend his fleet, and Laura was healthy and strong since her cure. The President and the Admiral would represent their fleet and decide what to do about their visitors.
By the time Bill approached their ladder---he had many fond memories of Laura and the ladder---she was half-way down it. Bill was watching---just to make sure she didn’t fall, of course. She didn’t fall; she never did. After she reached the final rung, she was firmly planted on the Galactica, and turned to face her Admiral.
“Welcome aboard, Madame President.”
“You haven’t said that in a long time, Admiral.” Laura’s face seemed to be fighting it’s own war. It couldn’t decide whether to grin at her friend or maintain a serious Presidential expression. Bill saw both expressions clearly; although, neither were fully formed.
Bill maintained his stoic visage. “No?”
“Well, you’re always welcome here.” He said that even though it wasn’t necessary. She knew.
“Thank you.” She paused for a moment then asked, “Ready to meet the new neighbors?”
Bill wasn’t sure he was ready, but he offered Laura his arm and said, “Let’s go, Madame President.”
When Laura and Bill arrived at the hangar deck, they were flanked by Bill’s best marines and Starbuck, who was without a doubt the best shot in the fleet (although Kat was giving Starbuck a run for her cubits). The leaders hoped the security wouldn’t be necessary, but they couldn’t take any risks: The upper echelon needed to remain intact.
Laura and Bill took in the sight of the purple ship that had landed. It was more like a small shuttle, not much larger than a raptor. Laura worked through the scenarios in her mind: Were they lost? Scouts for a mission? Working for the cylons? A new kind of cylon they hadn’t encountered? She clutched Bill’s arm tighter, as they approached the visiting vessel, and waited for their guests to emerge.
The door to the ship raised, and two two dimensional creatures walked down its platform. They were much shorter than the human duo standing before them. They showed no sign of being intimidated by the formidable Admiral and President.
“Hello primitive humans. I am Ignignokt, and this is Err. We are from the moon’s core.”
“Yeah, we’re from the moon, bitches,” Err said.
Laura studied the mooninites, cringing inwardly; she didn’t know what she expected, but it certainly wasn’t the sight before her. The green mooninite Ignignokt was the taller of the two, and his voice and cadence were proportionate to his larger size. Err was pink, much smaller than Ignignokt, and had a high pitched voice and fast cadence. Although she was already less than impressed with them, her first impressions had been wrong before, particularly the ones regarding the man beside her. Sometimes, it was good to be wrong.
“I am Laura Roslin, President of the Twelve Colonies, and this is Admiral William Adama.”
“Such primitive ideas, law and order. We have none of that on the moon. It diminishes the name of our moon, which is the moon,” Ignignokt said.
“Yeah, the moon rules!” Err added.
“That’s very interesting. I was wondering which moon you were from. We’ve seen many moons these past months,” Laura said.
“Our moon is the best moon. The only moon worthy of the name of moon,” Ignignokt said.
“Which planet does your moon orbit?” Laura asked. Talking to them was like pulling teeth, and her worlds famous patience was beginning to wear thin already.
“Earth orbits our moon.”
“Earth?!” Laura said this in excitement she wouldn’t typically exhibit. Maybe the mooninites would be useful after all.
“Yes, do you have an interest in that primitive planet?”
“I do.” Laura knew it was unwise to unveil the full extent of her interest in that planet.
“It’s such a primitive planet; the moon is much better.”
“Would you be able to lead us there, though?”
“Our advanced mooninite brains can lead you anywhere.”
Bill followed Laura’s lead. “Why don’t I introduce you to my two top scientists? They would love to learn about your culture as you help them with their navigation charts.”
“Scientists are boring. We have no place for them on the moon,” Ignignokt said.
“I think you’ll find these two very interesting,” Laura said, thinking about how entertaining Dr. Baltar could be when he thought no one was watching him.
“Yes, very interesting,” Bill said, also thinking about Baltar and his proclivities. Among other things, he had heard many reports that the good doctor often beat himself up. Discussing those reports with Laura had become a pastime of his since Kobol and even more so since her cure.
“Very well, then. Let’s meet these primitive human scientists.”
Bill turned to Starbuck, who quickly figured out what her boss wanted. She left the hangar deck to retrieve Lt. Gaeta and Dr. Baltar. The mooninites would be their problem for the time being.
“What do you think of the mooninites?” Laura asked.
Laura and Bill were relaxing on his sofa. They had just finished their dinner meeting. She’d return to Colonial One soon, but for a while they could just sit and enjoy each other’s company.
“I don’t think much of them at all, Laura, but they might help get us to Earth.”
“That would be nice.”
“How would that make you feel, though?” His eyes conveyed more than his question.
“Oh, that? Perhaps I served my purpose on Kobol. Perhaps we were meant to find these mooninites.”
“May the gods bless us all.”
“You don’t believe in them.”
“But you do, and I believe in you, that’s enough.”
Laura smiled at her friend. Bill didn’t give many compliments, but when he did, he went all out. And with Bill, there was never a question of whether he meant it. The man always meant what he said--good and bad. “Hmm. I wonder how Gaeta and Baltar are making out.”
“I’m sure Gaeta’s doing fine. Dr. Baltar’s probably being Dr. Baltar. And you changed the subject.”
“Did I?” Laura tried to look innocent but started giggling instead. Bill wanted to make sure his friend was okay about Earth and her role, but her giggles confirmed it for him.
“Hmm. The President’s not supposed to be adorable.”
“This one is.”
“So, if gods forbid Baltar became President--”
“He won’t, not now.”
“But if he did, you wouldn’t say he was adorable?”
“No, ‘adorable’ isn’t a word I’d ever use for him.”
Laura giggled at his response. Between giggles she said, “Just checking.”
“It’s just you.”
“You’re the only one I’ve ever called adorable.”
“Really? Not,” Laura said while gesturing his gold band.
“No, not her.”
That made sense. Bill wouldn’t attribute words to people if he didn’t feel like they belonged. But the implications of this wasn’t lost on Laura. “Oh.”
“Yes, but I was going to say ‘one of a kind.’”
“I’ve rendered you speechless.”
“That doesn’t happen often.”
The tension in the quarters mounted. It had been there for quite awhile, but their initial difficulty getting along, her cancer, and their professionalism had kept it at bay. Since Laura’s cure, it had been showing up more and more. After Laura chastised the Adama men over the black market, Bill realized just how attracted to her he’d become. But they were just friends who worked together; her cure hadn’t changed that.
“Bill?” Laura cut through the silence.
“Why’d you kiss me?”
“I wanted to.”
“I wanted to give you something; that was all I had.”
“So it was about me?”
“No. It was about me.”
“I wanted to know what it would feel like. Just once.”
“I hope I didn’t disappoint you.”
“Of course not.”
“I don’t know, Bill. I wasn’t feeling my best that day. I think I deserve a mulligan.”
“A mulligan?” He raised an eyebrow in surprise and amusement.
“I spent a lot of time with my father growing up.”
“I wish I could have met him--all of your family.”
Bill shrugged. “They’re a part of you I’ll never get to know.”
Laura blinked, preventing the memories and accompanying tears from forming. “So about my mulligan?”
“Go for it, Madame President.”
It was clear Laura was in charge. Her actions in that moment would impact their future as friends, leaders, and possible lovers. It wasn’t something that should be taken lightly--by either of them. But if the mooninites were going to get them to Earth soon, their propriety wouldn’t matter so much anymore.
Laura moved closer to Bill on the couch. He looked at her expectantly. She wondered how long he would wait before making a move himself. That was one standoff she wouldn’t have minded. Perhaps another time. Laura had been waiting long enough, and so had he by the look of it.
Laura moved her head close to Bill’s face. She kissed his cheek. Then she watched his face. For a second, it flickered a shadow of disappointment.
Laura giggled. Bill’s face registered surprise.
“Another mulligan, then?”
“Yes, that shouldn’t be counted.”
“Take your shot, Madame President.”
Laura moved close to Bill again. She put her right hand on the side of his face and brought her lips close to his, giving him a kiss that mirrored the one he had given her. Just like before, they both smiled. Only, Laura didn’t need any help standing up that time, and she was perfectly healthy and whole, if not slightly underweight. And they didn’t move apart that time; she was practically in his lap, which was new.
“That was nice.”
“Really? You don’t think I could do better?”
“I invite you to keep trying.”
She did. Bill responded, wrapping his arms around her and allowing her entry into his mouth. It may have taken them a few mulligans, but they finally got it right. The fleet, the mooninites, Earth, their responsibilities. Everything disappeared for them.
“I don’t like these mooninites, Gaius,” Head!Six said.
Dr. Baltar turned to face her, forgetting there were two guests and Lt. Gaeta watching him intently. They were all in his lab on Galactica.
“This primitive human has an imaginary friend, Err.”
“Yeah, he’s primitive,” Err said.
Then they turned their attention to Gaeta. Gaeta wasn’t sure what to make of their visitors. Admiral Adama and President Roslin were counting on him--and Dr. Baltar--to learn from the mooninites and get information about Earth from them, and he was determined to live up to his leaders’ expectations. And as a budding scientist, Gaeta was very curious about them.
“I have so many questions.” Gaeta had brought his navigation charts into the lab and laid them all out on the table. He was ready to get to work.
“Here, human, have a cigarette. We mooninites always smoke when we talk.” Gaeta took Ignignokt’s cigarette gratefully. He didn’t get to smoke much, but he always enjoyed it when he did.
“Watch out for them, Gaius; they’re trouble,” Head!Six said. She’d been watching Gaeta and the mooninites interact.
“I don’t see how. There’s just the two of them,” Baltar said.
“Dangerous to whom? President Roslin seems to think they can help us get to Earth. If she’s right, that would be a very good thing.”
“They’re not part of God’s plan.”
“I’d really like to know what is God’s plan.”
“That’s not for you to know, Gaius.”
“Then, I have no choice but to continue working with the mooninites.”
“Look at the primitive human talking to his imaginary friend about God, Err,” Ignignokt said. They’d been listening to Baltar’s side of the conversation.
“How pathetic,” Err said.
“Our god is a vengeful god. He’s a native who transforms into a wolf,” Ignignokt said to no one in particular.
“That’s Wolfen,” Err said, correcting his friend.”
“Well, Wolfen will come after you with his razor.”
“Yeah, Wolfen rules!”
“The moon’s god sounds pretty interesting,” Gaeta said. “We have many gods known as the Lords of Kobol.”
“That is lame. Wolfen is better.”
“We’ll agree to disagree then.”
“Let’s disagree to disagree.”
“I don’t understand.”
“You’re a primitive human. You only have three dimensions; we have five--”
“Thousand,” Err interjected.
“Five thousand dimensions,” Ignignokt finished.
“I only see two,” Gaeta said.
“That sounds like a personal problem,” Ignignokt said.
“That might be,” Gaeta said with a sigh, then added, “I’m needed elsewhere. I’ll leave you in the capable hands of Dr. Baltar.”
“Why the long face? Here, have a trinket from the moon,” Ignignokt said, handing Gaeta a pen. It was one that would have cost many cubits. It was heavy and had a comfortable grip. It would definitely be reliable. The pen was a lovely gift.
“Thank you. I’ll be back tomorrow.” The mooninites might be outspoken, but they’re generous.
Gaeta wanted to report to Admiral Adama before heading to his rack for the night. When he knocked on the hatch, he was surprised that he heard the President’s voice, and a lot of giggling coming from inside. They certainly held long meetings. He heard the Admiral tell him to enter, and he opened the hatch and walked inside.
When Gaeta entered the quarters, it looked like his leaders had been through the wars. Their clothing was disheveled, befitting the long day they had. The Admiral’s hair looked like he had been trying to pull it out. The stress was clearly getting to them both. And the poor President could barely hold it together; she was clearly cracking under the strain. That explained the giggles.
“Oh, Lt. Gaeta. How’s it going with the mooninites?” Laura asked. Gaeta admired how she pulled it together so quickly. She was always interested in what everyone thought. Gaeta remembered the first meeting he’d attended with the newly appointed President Roslin. She asked him what he thought and encouraged him to take a guess. It was shocking at first. In the military, his superior officers weren’t interested in what he thought; they were interested in what he knew. But after several months of encounters with the President, he had grown accustomed to her questions.
“I’m still working on understanding them. They’re clearly more advanced than us. Their moon has a god they call Wolfen. And they don’t think much of Dr. Baltar.”
“What about Earth? Have they told you anything yet?”
“Not yet, ma’am. They’re very generous, though. I think I can get the information from them.
“Very good. I’ll leave it to you, Lt. Gaeta.”
“Where are they now?”
“Dr. Baltar’s lab.”
“Good. That’s good. Dr. Baltar can keep them busy for the time being.”
“Did you need anything else, Lt?” Bill asked.
“No, sirs. I was just coming to report before ending my shift.”
“Very good, Gaeta. Good night.”
“Good night, sirs.”
“Good night, Lt,” Laura said.
Having taken his leave of his superior officers, Gaeta left the Admirals quarters. Once the hatch was closed behind Gaeta, Bill turned to Laura.
“I guess you’ll be heading out too.”
“Yeah, I have a morning press conference.”
“Everyone knows about the mysterious ship, Bill. I need to stay ahead of the story.”
“You won’t invite the mooninites to be part of it, will you?”
“Of course not. Not for this one anyway.”
“That’s probably for the best.”
“Yeah. Well, goodnight, Bill.”
He walked her to the hatch. She touched his upper arm reassuringly and left Bill’s quarters. Bill smiled after her, wearing the smile for several moments after she left.
Back in Baltar’s lab, the good doctor was having more difficulty entertaining the mooninites than Gaeta had.
“Can I get you gentlemen anything? Some food, perhaps? I’m the Vice President of the Twelve Colonies.”
“Ooh, you have power, primitive human,” Ignignokt said.
“I wish you wouldn’t call me primitive. I have several inventions credited to me. And a few PhDs.”
“But can you do this?” Ignignokt asked, and then he and Err started spinning very quickly. They had the potential to hypnotize Baltar if he looked at them long enough.
“No I can’t, but I don’t see why I’d want to.”
“That’s because you can’t. If you could, you’d do it all the time; it’s awesome.”
“Right. Well, what can you tell me about yourselves? How did you come to be here, so far away from your moon?”
“We come and go as we please. And it pleased us to be here.”
“Must be nice to have such freedom.”
“Careful, Gaius,” Head!Six said.
“What now?” Baltar was growing tired of her constant presence in his life.
“They’re dangerous. Don’t interact with them so freely,” Six said.
“They seem pretty harmless to me. I’m beginning to think you’re the dangerous one.”
As Baltar broke into another sidebar conversation with Head!Six, Ignignokt and Err stood watching and listening to him. They didn’t have invisible people on the moon, so this was a great novelty to them.
“Look at the human arguing with his imaginary friend, Err.”
“I’m bored. Let’s go explore.”
Baltar was too busy arguing with Head!Six to notice Ignignokt and Err slip out of his lab.
“Madam President, is it true there’s a new ship in the fleet?”
“Where did it come from?”
“Are they connected to the cylons?”
“Are they human?”
“Do they know where Earth is?”
Laura knew when she agreed to do a press conference that it would be chaos. They tossed their questions in the air like pyramid balls, but Laura would regain control yet.
“Our guests are not human. They are mooninites from the moon’s core. To our knowledge, they are not connected to the cylons. And we’ll question them about Earth. Dr. Baltar and Lt. Gaeta have been working with them, and Admiral Adama and I will be meeting them again. That is all the information I have for now, but please know, Admiral Adama and I will make the decision that is in the fleet’s best interest. That is all. Thank you.”
She stepped back into her personal quarters and disappeared behind her curtain before the first reporter could shout “Madame President.”
Back in Baltar’s lab, the good doctor was tearing the place apart looking for his pen. The fact that the mooninites weren’t in his lab--hadn’t been since the night before--didn’t worry him. Where could two two dimensional creatures go without being seen? And if the Roslin-Adama administration wanted them in confinement, they should have placed them in the brig and not in his lab. As if he had enough time to be catering to those creatures, anyway.
His pen was missing. That was an emergency. He considered borrowing some of Adama’s men for the task, but he didn’t want them snooping around his quarters breaking things. He preferred to avoid entanglements with military personnel as much as possible.
“What’s wrong, Gaius?” Head!Six asked.
“My pen is gone.”
“When did you see it last?”
“That’s not all that’s gone.”
“What do you mean?”
“Your guests are missing.”
“I don’t care about that. They’ll turn up. It’s my pen that matters.”
“What if they have your pen?”
“What need would they have for that?”
“Oh, Gaius.” Six shook her head and disappeared.
Baltar returned to his search. He had other pens to use, but he kept searching out of principle.
Admiral Adama reported to the CIC for his shift that morning. He listened to Laura’s press conference over the wireless, and was very impressed with how she turned it around. He knew from experience it wasn’t easy to do that.
Things had been quiet with the Cylons. Because of that and the excitement the day before, the mood in the CIC was more relaxed than it should be during a war.
“Sit rep?” He asked Dee.
“Normal, sir.” She paused. “Except...”
“There have been reports of missing items throughout Galactica.”
“Only on Galacitica?”
Bill ended his conversation with Dee, and he walked over to Col. Tigh.
“What do you make of these missing items, Col?”
“You don’t think it’s the black market, do you?”
“I think we need to look into that possibility.”
“You have the com.”
They exchanged salutes, and Bill left the CIC.