When the fleet gets a chance to breath Lee has a duty to the President that he has to fulfill.
Lee hesitated for a moment before sliding up next to the President. This was as good times as any, and he was the only person able to brief the new president on matters that she needed to know. Lee fought to hide a grimace, he hated to be the one to do this, but he knew there were no other way.
“Madam President.” He said just low enough to get her attention, but not everyone else’s. Luckily for them, the fact that he was her unofficial military advisor would lessen the attention they would otherwise gain by talking together.
“Captain Apollo.” The former schoolteacher smiled broadly in greeting, before dimming slightly when she noticed how serious her favourite viper-pilot was. “What’s wrong?”
“Ma’am, it is my duty as Atlantica’s only member present, to let you in on a highly classified secret.” Lee did not whisper, that would only draw unwanted attention, but it was a close second.
“We will use your father’s office.” Roslin stated after looking at him for a moment, and Lee could not help to let a small relieved smile surface for a second, before silently leading the way out of CIC.
“Now what was so important that you needed all this secrecy, Captain Apollo?” the President asked the moment they arrived in his father’s office. He felt the ever present amusement of her use of his rank and callsign together. He knew that she knew the correct way to address him, and the fact that she used it as a kind of friendly endearment. Seeing how they would be the only two people in the know after he briefed her, it probably was a good thing that she did not despise him.
“Madam President. You will have to be patient with me. This will be the first time I’ve had the unfortunate pleasure of briefing anyone on the Program, and I have to be honest with you; it is so massive that I don’t know where to start.” Lee almost fidgeted in embarrassment, but Roslin only gave him a patient smile that probably came from her past as a teacher.
“That’s alright. But personally I think I would have started with the beginning.”
That really was a good advise, if he only knew which beginning to start with. When he got involved with the program, when the Colonies first made the contact, or maybe even earlier than that. Taking a deep breath Lee decided to be frank and just wing it.
“We are not the only humans in the universe.” He stated succinctly.
“Can you repeat that?” Roslin requested after a moment. It was clear as day that this was not what she had been expecting.
“We are not the only humans in the universe; there are people out there that is not from the Colonies. We and the Cylons are not the only sentient beings out there.” Lee repeated as requested, the President only stared at him in shock. “Approximately 8 years ago we made contact with a group of people that claimed to be peaceful explorers. Since I had not joined the Program yet I do not know exactly what happened, but what I do know is that we ended up becoming their allies and co-explorers. For last 8 years, the current President and those involved in the Program, has been the only people to know.” Lee stopped to take a breath and let the new knowledge have time to sink in a little.
“And I am the President now so you have to let me in on the big secret.” Roslin stated faintly.
“That is the second time you have called me that.” The woman pointed out, probably stalling to get some more time to take everything in.
Lee winced slightly, while thinking about the Program he had fallen back into old habits. “I called you Ma’am didn’t I?” he smiled ruefully as the President nodded. “I guess old habits die hard. It is probably a good thing that my closest superior officers are all male. But to answer your question; the people I work with only say Sir to their male superiors, Ma’am is the same title only directed towards the females. I’ve been working with them for close five years now, and I guess I have adopted some of their habits and speech patterns.”
“The people you work with, as in…” Roslin trailed off.
“People that are not Colonial.” Lee confirmed. “We call most of them Lanteans since they live in a city called Atlantis, but they are not native. Some are locals to this galaxy. Refugees that the first explorers took in or from other civilizations that they have become allies with, like us. But most of them, the first settlers on Atlantis, are from another galaxy that they call the Milky Way, and a planet called Earth.”
“The thirteenth Colony.” Roslin breathed out shakily, a hand flying to her mouth in shock.
“Not as we know it.” Lee denied. “They have scientific proof that show that they have lived on Earth for much longer than the Colonies have existed. We also know that aliens have helped populate the Milky Way, and other galaxies, with humans. Some planets came from humans kidnapped by aliens, most of them located in the Milky Way. There were also the Ancients, as the Lanteans call them, which built Atlantis and populated many of the galaxies that they visited. I refuse to make any conclusions about our origin, but the theories are out there.” Lee looked over at the President. She seemed to take the news better than he had foreseen, she actually seemed calmer than he had been during his briefing, and he felt his respect for the former schoolteacher climb even higher.
“Are there anything that I have said so far that is unclear?” Lee asked after the silence had stretched for minutes.
“I don’t think so Captain Apollo. The Colonies are allies with human aliens, and you have been working with them for the last five years.” Roslin summarized what she had been told with one sentence.
“Yeah. On paper the Atlantica is a Colonial Battlestar. However, in reality she is an exploration vessel manned with both Colonial and Lantean personnel. In fact my team consists of one other Colonian while the other two members are from Earth.” Lee then went on to tell her a little more about the Stargates and some of the missions they normally participated in. In addition, while they were talking about missions they naturally ended up with stories about him and his team, and all the crazy situations they had manages to find themselves in.
“If you don’t mind me asking Captain Apollo, why are you here?” Roslin asked after a break in the conversation.
“The invitation for the ceremony came at a convenient time. I had recently been on a mission off-world where we had a little ‘disagreement’ with the native animal life. The Doctors took my team of active duty and I had nothing better to do than to come here and fly. And my superiors actually thought it was a great opportunity for Dad to see that I was still alive.” Lee answered readily, and was surprised when the older woman jumped to her feet and came towards him.
“You’re hurt? How badly?” she demanded to know as she started to look at him closely, searching for any hidden injuries.
“It was nothing. The doctors would probably have cleared me had I made it back. I am not hurt.” Lee told the older woman gently, knowing she was only acting out of concern.
“Am I interrupting something?” Commander Adama asked dryly from his viewpoint in the doorway. He had been watching them for a little while through the small window in the door, but when he saw the woman start to manhandle his son, he decided that he needed to intervene. President or not, it would be a cold day in Hades before he let her harass his only living son.
“Commander.” Lee greeted his father and busy coming up with a cover story to see the concealed wince at the title. “Maybe you could help me convince the President that there are no need to do any changes to our uniform.”
He saw Roslin raise an eyebrow at the statement, but to his relief she picked up the ball. “I never said that they needed to change, but a few adjustments here and there would have made them just a little bit more flattering.
Roslin’s eyes was practically sparkling with mischief, and Lee knew his own mirrored hers, but he sent his father a look he hoped resembled a mix of confusion and exasperation.
“I believe we are done her for now Madam President. Just remember that you can come to me if you ever have any more questions, no matter how small and stupid you may think they are, and I will do my best to give you an answer. Commander Adama.” Lee nodded respectfully to his two superiors before starting to exit the room.
“Captain Apollo.” The President’s voice stopped him just as he reached the threshold.
“If you had the chance, would you change your decision of joining? And do you ever wish that you wasn’t here when it happened?” Lee saw that both his father’s eyebrows had sky rocked, but he was too busy thinking out an honest answer to pay any notice to it.
“No.” He answered eventually. “No to both your questions. I think the day I joined, I made the best decision I have ever made. Sure I miss them. I miss all of them, even the doc with all his scary big needles. But I was where I needed to be at the time. I don’t want to give myself all the credit, but I like to think that me being here did us some good.” Lee gave Roslin a sad smile. “And there is always hope that they made it just like us. I have to hold on to that hope. It keeps me going day after day.” Lee saw the understanding in her eyes before he turned and left her with his father.
“What was that about?” Lee heard the Commander demanding to know and he paused briefly enough to hear her answer.
“It’s not for me to tell. I just needed a break from proper military mambo jumbo, and Captain Apollo was kind enough to tell me some stories about his friends and where he was stationed before he came to the Galactica.” President Roslin answer was partly truthful and there was a finality in her voice that let Lee know that she would never tell anyone what he had just told her. Not for as long as she had a choice.
As he made his way to the CAG’s office, he thought more about her question and only got more certain that he had given her an honest answer. He missed them. Sometimes it felt like he was missing a limb, but he knew he would see them again sometime in the future. They had not been stationed anywhere close to where the battles had taken place, and the special upgrades would make sure that the Cylons would not be able to get in a lucky shot if they had been involved. In the meantime he would act as the Galactica’s CAG, the President’s military adviser, and whatever else he was needed as, but he would make sure that the refugee convoy’s course was in the general direction of Atlantica’s last know location. He could hardly wait to be with his team again and participate in their general craziness. He knew that the pilots under his command thought of him as uptight and perhaps even boring, and he wished that he would be able to see their faces during his reunion with his team. Their expressions were sure to be amusing. But who knew; maybe he would manage to patch things up with his old man before they could meet up with his ship, and he might have already started to relaxing his guard while on Galactica, so the change did not have to be all that big.