Five facts each about seven characters, some canon, some OCs

 

Apollo (Sort-of canon: not Mapping Apollo, or Fee, or the Anointed, anyway)

 

1.         Mostly Apollo loves his job.  He likes being in charge, because he's pretty sure most of the time what needs to be done and he knows he'd chafe under the leadership of someone who didn't see things as clearly as he does.  He likes being the one to say Go here and Do this; like every other pilot, he thrills to the sudden increase in g-forces that comes as his Viper speeds down the tube; he is sincere in his patriotism, seeing their conflict with the Cylon Empire as a clear cut fight for survival, no room for doubt or self-consciousness or even fear.  But sometimes he really hates his job.  He hates this part of it with a passion every bit as strong as the passion that has him willing to fight for everything he believes in.  He reaches for the keyboard, and his fingers type the familiar phrases.  So sorry to tell you…  so sorry for your loss...  instantaneous, no pain… a great pilot and a patriot… we'll miss him...   But there's no-one to send the message to.  His mother's as dead as Zac.

2.         Fleet's a very family-orientated place.  Apollo's grandfather once commanded the Galactica; his father commands it now and Apollo knows that he's expected to follow in those august footsteps, to one day give up the fierce blood-pounding thrill of close-up fire and battle to stand on the bridge, dressed in those dark blue robes and command everything from the huge distance that sits between his father and everything human.  Apollo knows his father is getting impatient, is hinting ever more frequently that it's time that Apollo steps up to permanent bridge duty.  Apollo plays it dumb, pretending not to hear.  He knows he can't hold it off for long.  He's never been able to disappoint his father for long.

3.         Apollo  realises very early that he can put self-consciousness and gaucheness aside when he's out in his Viper; that he's found his element when he's flying.  He can't do that when he's called upon to be sociable, to be in company.  He never knows what to talk about, how to say it, how to be witty and charming and at ease.  Especially with girls.  He's astonished and grateful when Serina notices him, when she makes the moves that invite him closer.  He's grateful that she's smart enough to take that burden from him, so he doesn't question too deeply why a beautiful and clever woman would go to so much trouble when so few showed any inclination to do that in the past.  He doesn’t mind that she has Boxey.  He likes kids.  He never thought to have one of his own.  He never thought to raise one on his own, either, but after Serina goes, he thinks he doesn't do too badly at it.  He thinks he got the best of the bargain.  He wonders, sometimes, what Serina might think.

4.            Apollo's torn, often, between Athena and Starbuck.  Starbuck's that astonishing creature, the friend who sticks with him through everything, who risks his life to save Apollo's, who looks only for the same loyalty in return; loyalty and a silence about Starbuck's way with the ladies, even when one of them is Apollo's little sister.  He knows that Starbuck feels a tolerant kindness towards Athena, but it'll never be stronger.  Apollo finds it hard to be in the middle.  He owes Athena for her help with raising Boxey; he loves Athena because she's his sister; and sometimes when she turns her head and tilts it when she's considering something, he can see his mother so clearly that that still-too-recent grief catches at him.  The trouble is that he knows exactly how his little sister feels about Starbuck.  Exactly

5.         Apollo has some regrets about his life, of course he does.  A day doesn’t pass without a thought of Zac, his mother, Serina… sometimes they're too close, pressing up against him and whispering about failure and loss.  He regrets Vella and Puppis, although both wanted more than he could give them; but he wonders sometimes if they're alive and well still, if the Cylons haven't found their colony.  He even regrets Sarah and the desperation she felt to keep him with her.  He doesn't regret stepping in front of Iblis; for all her self-absorption, Sheba didn't deserve to have her soul ravened by a demon.  But he does regret where that action's led him.  He sits in the cockpit of the Cylon Raider, and Sheba says things like Maybe we fight because we don't want to admit how we feel  and You let me be a friend and Take me with you; and he makes himself not react at all when her lips brush over his.  He's never been so glad in his life when she goes and Starbuck's there and they're on their way to infiltrate the Cylon baseship.  So glad that he's within an atom's width of saying something stupid.  But he doesn't.  He stays quiet because he doesn't want Starbuck to feel that tolerant kindness for him.

 

 

Starbuck (Sort of canon too)

1.            Starbuck has nothing of his life before the Thorn Forests. Not a scrap of a holopic showing a pretty blonde woman shading her eyes from the sun and smiling at the camera as she holds her son on her other arm, or the old-fashioned timepiece that his father had taken in lieu of a gambling debt and was so inordinately attached to, or the battered stuffed monkey that was the constant companion of his entire two yahrens of life. Nothing at all to show that he was once the much-loved and longed-for son of a besotted mother and a scapegrace father. But then, Starbuck's used to nothing.

2.            Starbuck hides it, because Starbuck hides everything (living in orphanages having taught him that anything of value was likely to be filched by someone bigger and stronger), but he's actually a whiz at maths. He looks on Apollo's passion for history with kindly tolerance – and an abiding thankfulness that Apollo doesn’t insist he share it – preferring the cool perfection of mapping mandelbrot sets to trying to understand the impact of population pressures and economic migration on the declining yahrens of the Second Kobolian Republic and the consequent souring of its diplomatic relations with the Colonies. His skill at Pyramid isn’t all due to chance and his systems usually work. They just aren’t always that profitable. As Apollo will tell you. Often.

3.            Starbuck realises he's charming when he's very young. It's the lisp that does it. That lisp and the massive blue eyes melt the heart of the stoniest orphanage helper demanding an explanation for pilfered sweets from the kitchen or a broken window. Starbuck learns life lessons as well as he does maths. Charm can't be reduced to (x-y)= z +∑, but it is, in the purely practical sense, more useful. Starbuck, despite appearances, is eminently practical.  He just doesn't have the lisp these days.

4.            Starbuck and Apollo know each other at the Academy. Sort of. Distantly. The way that the golden boy from a privileged family sort-of-distantly notices the penniless orphan – that is, Apollo has no idea who Starbuck is for three yahrens, until their final yahren and they move from using simulators to their first flights in a real, honest-to-God Viper. Then everyone knows who Starbuck was. Except maybe Starbuck.

5.            Sometimes Starbuck doesn’t like Apollo much. He doesn’t like the way Apollo doesn’t even realise that he's privileged. He doesn’t like the way that Apollo has a sense of entitlement, and, dammit, that it mostly means the world bends to give Apollo what he wants and Apollo rarely notices it happening. He doesn't like the way that Apollo has only to look up and smile, and crinkle the corners of those green, green eyes, and the cool perfection of math and all the charm in the universe aren’t enough to save Starbuck from himself. But then, Starbuck is very self-aware as well as good at math, and charming, and practical and devoid of a past. Starbuck knows he doesn’t want to be saved. Especially from himself. And very especially from Apollo.

 

 

Reese, Council Security (canon)

1.         Sub –commander Reese of Council Security is the most senior policeman left after the destruction of the Colonies. He gets instant promotion from middle-ranking copper to top of the heap. He likes that. He likes being in control. He revels, silently, in his reputation as a hard man. He has no problem at all with his people being tough. If someone gets a little roughed up when they fall foul of his security people well, so what? If they weren't guilty as fuck, then they wouldn't have fallen foul in the first place, would they? And since they are guilty as fuck… well, Reese just shrugs and the impassive, stony expression that he's spent yahrens perfecting slips into the smallest, self-satisfied smile.

2.         Reese likes being in control in all areas of his life. He doesn't say much about his private hobby, but it too is about control. It's about pace and precision too, combined with grace and rhythm. Reese doesn’t talk about his private hobby because he doesn't let people in to his life very much. He prefers that if they think of him at all, it's with a frisson of apprehension, a desire to stay out of range of his notice; they'll drop their gaze and turn away, trying to look innocent and inconspicuous. He doesn’t want that level of respect to change. So it's only in the privacy of his own quarters that Reese clutches a pillow in his arms for a partner, and, humming the tunes loudly, dances the perfect foxtrot.

3.            Reese's only family was a sister. He wasn't that close to her, really, but he's surprised by the shock of sorrow he feels when the extent of the devastation of the Colonies is announced to the survivors. His home town, that insignificant little dot on the atlas, is ash and dust. His sister is ash and dust. He's surprised, too, by the bitter anger he feels every time he sees a warrior. Fucking failures, he thinks. They were supposed to protect us. Reese doesn't respect failure.

4.         Reese hates being in space all the time. He worked Council Security, mostly at the main Praesidium building in Caprica City. He was only with the President at Cimtar because Commander Todd had gone sick and Reese had stepped up to the plate to take responsibility for the security of the Council meeting at the peace talks. He guesses it had worked out in his favour: the Praesidium's molten slag now. But he really hates space. He's cold all the time and even putting extra tees on under his uniform jacket doesn’t stop the chills running up and down his spine.

5.         Reese doesn't like admitting his other, very private hobby even to himself. Sometimes, when he's danced enough, he'll put on the vid and IFB will be showing a Triad match. And Reese will sit in front of the vid and watch, gaze critical. The skimpy Triad uniforms don't leave much to the imagination, and after a few centons, Reese finds himself distracted from the game, watching instead for the flash of a lean thigh, for slender, muscular bodies twisting lithely as the players leap around the court. His cock hardens and he slips a hand inside his heavy uniform pants, catching himself in rough hands, using the sharp, brisk strokes that bring him off the fastest. He comes, shouting. He's noticed he shouts loudest when it’s the Commander's son he's watching, and he wonders, idly, if he'll ever know the feel of that lean lithe body under his.

 

 

Jerry (Phoebus Redux)

1. Being a doctor wasn't actually Jerry's original choice of career. He's always lived in Osaiya, beside the sea. When he's a kid, he loves the sea so much, that he spends every spare moment on the beach. He knows all of the boatmen who make a very good living taking tourists around the wide sweep of the bay and out to sea to watch the great cephalopods. When he's six, he tells his mother he's going to be a cabin boy when he grows up. But his mother says that he's going to be just like his Dad and he'll be too tall for a hammock.  Being a doctor seems a reasonable second choice. He never does get to be as tall as his father and sometimes he's wistful about lost opportunities. But then he remembers that he gets seasick and sleeping in a hammock makes it worse.

2.         He meets Klara when he's twelve, at a children's birthday party for a cousin. She's eight, has freckles and carroty-red hair, is very taken by Jerry and a girl. She spends the afternoon claiming his attention, shrieking and being such a girl that he and the other boys get very lofty and try to ignore her. In proof of her undying love, Klara eats too much cake and is sick all over Jerry's best shoes at twenty-past four in the afternoon. He's totally disgusted.

3.         He marries Klara when he's twenty-six and newly-qualified. Within the yahren his parents are killed in (ironically) a boating accident and he and Klara move into the big house at Osaiya where he'd grown up. They intend to fill it with children, but somehow it never happens. They tell themselves they have plenty of time, but the reason why Klara can't conceive becomes all too apparent. Jerry himself realises what was wrong and it's the hardest thing in the world to step back and allow someone else to treat her. She dies three sectons before her thirtieth birthday. He thinks he'll never find anyone else he'll allow to be sick over his shoes, but well… there is one person, who comes along later. Except Ila sees him as a friend, is too conscious of her figure to eat much cake and far too elegant to be sick.

4.            Sometimes he has to stop to wonder at the friendship between himself and Adama. Neither of them would seem, on the face of it, to be perfect best friend material. Jerry has no time for religion; Adama's a devout Kobolian. Adama's a warrior; Jerry despises violence. Adama has Ila and Jerry… well.  But he's comfortable with Adama in a way he isn’t with anyone else of his acquaintance. And Adama has given Jerry what he never managed to give himself. Adama gave him a family.

5.         Jerry loves all of the Adaman children, but Apollo has always been his favourite. In Apollo, maybe, Jerry sees the shadow of the children he and Klara had planned to fill the big house.  Jerry loves the toddler learning to walk, the bright child leaning to read, the wide-eyed and innocent passion Apollo has for his books and the past. Jerry doctors Apollo through the first lost tooth, the first fall from the bicycle, the first Triad scrapes and scratches, the first shy realisation that girls weren't boys. But it cuts Jerry to the heart that he fails to doctor Apollo through Pieter. Something in his chest aches at the loss. But Jerry loves Fee as much as he loves Apollo, and sometimes — often — he returns to the quiet house in Osaiya and he envies Alex.

 

 

Doctor Alexander of the Fenice (Phoebus Redux)

1.         Alex is sixty-seven yahrens old. Sometimes, when Fee is thrusting underneath him, hands hot on Alex's sides, legs tight around Alex's waist, body open and welcoming, Alex doubts that he'll live to see sixty-eight. If he wasn't such a reticent man, he'd tell everyone that there wasn't a better way to die. He'd even tell Adama. After all, he thinks that he let Adama off lightly for the way that Adama failed Apollo. The only reason he doesn't make Adama squirm, is that if Adama hadn't failed Apollo, Alex wouldn't have Fee. Alex isn't usually a selfish man but he's selfishly grateful about that.

2.         Alex doesn't sleep well when Fee's away on a job. He whiles away his time reading, developing a taste for the histories that Fee loves so much, drinking pots of hot tea and walking about the silent little house, rubbing fretfully at his temples and trying to remember if it’s time yet to take more aspirin. Sometimes he calls Ila. They talk about her life, his work, her children, his patients. The mutual apprehension remains unspoken. Fear is always easier to deal with, unvoiced.

3.         Alex's fifty-eighth birthday has come and gone when Fee—sometimes more Apollo than Fee now; only Fee to Alex—is brought home in a life-support capsule. Fee's chest-shot, most of the left side of his ribcage needing to be rebuilt; the lung beneath burned by laser fire. For the first time in more than thirty yahrens, the Fenice sees nothing of its founder. Alex spends long days and longer nights in the Military Hospital, reading the histories to ears that don't hear him, watching for signs of life and love in eyes that don't see him. Ila is there, and Adama, but Alex notices neither of them. They're noise and movement in the background, inconsequential compared to the silence and stillness on the bed. One day, a secton after they bring him home, Fee blinks and stares at him, frown turning to a small, tired smile of recognition. Alex thinks that maybe living to be sixty-nine will be worth it, after all; but the fear is clamouring behind his closed lips, terror bellowing in the silence.

4.            Yahrens ago, Alex had thought the most he could hope for would be a little while to love Fee and learn grace enough to let the boy go. But he's never learned grace, never had to use it. He's the one lying mute and still now, listening to the soft voice, feeling the hands cool on his face and arms, the valedictory touch of Fee's lips against his own. He can't answer.  Instead Alex gifts the untouched grace to Fee, with his love. He hopes Fee won't need it for long.

5.         Fee's gone now, and forever. Only Apollo's left.

 

 

Shield Captain Mavinne (OC, Phoebus)

1.            Mavinne drops out of school early and kicks aimlessly around her home town on Libra for a few sectons before deciding to cut her losses.  Mavinne's step-dad seems keen to view Mavinne as part of the deal he thinks he has with her mother.  She isn't keen back.  She leaves in a hurry.  But she has no qualifications and even less money, so when she's passing the recruitment office just as the door opens and a Warrior steps out, Mavinne steps in.  The Infantry is her only option.  She makes corporal within two yahrens, and a yahren after that has the chance to transfer to Shield.  She takes it on a whim.

2.            Mavinne prides herself on the endurance she's learned in MI, but Shield is harder than anything she ever imagined; so hard that sometimes she thinks that she can't manage it, that's it's broken something in her.  Shield never gives up.  The company sergeant is tougher than tylinium; a hard task-master, relentless in keeping them up to the mark, keeping them alive.  He never says much in the way of praise, but one day he pulls her to one side just as they're getting ready to go down to some dustbowl of a planet to help out the regular forces (who are in over their heads, as usual, and need Shield to get them out).  This is Kes's last job, although they don't know it yet.  He's still hale and whole.  He says that she should go career.  He says that she's wasted as enlisted.  He says that it's the greatest honour he knows.  He says that she's made for Shield.  Mavinne hopes that Kes is right.

3.         Once she's over those first few what-the-fuck sectons where she thinks she lost her mind transferring to this hell, Mavinne knows it’s a privilege to serve with Shield.  Shield is the best of Fleet and Infantry without the faults of either.  Shield is perspective and nobility and tradition, and blood and guts and a sheer bloody-mindedness that won't recognise defeat.  Shield never gives up, never surrenders.  Shield is first line of offence and the last line of defence against an implacable enemy.  . Shield only wants the best, only takes the best because Shield is a hard place, a terrible place; a place that forces you to find courage and endurance.  Shield is both hammer and anvil, beating keen-edged weapons from the base metal. 

4.            Mavinne would deny to her last breath that anything but Shield has moulded her.  She measures herself always against that hammer and anvil, seeking to be pure steel, something that won't stain and won't snap.  She has no time for anything else.  And if sometimes she feels an inclination for the softer things, she remembers her mother and she remembers that she's Shield.  Shield is all the marriage she needs.

5.            Invalided home, Kes is still a shield against whatever would destroy what he and Mavinne are sworn to protect.  She hears from him, now and again; can sense the loss in him at the second- or third best he's had to settle for.  She hopes she never has to do the same.  She can't comprehend it.  And in the meantime, Mavinne scrutinises the papers carefully when HQ sends her details of new recruits.  She wants only those fit for the honour of wearing the silver badge.  When Kes sends one her way, standing surety for him, Mavinne hopes that Kes is right about this the way that he was right about her.  She ticks the acceptance box.

 

 

Phoebus!Athena  (from Phoebus Redux)

1.         The house is full of crying.  Athena's mother and Zac never stop and even Hanna cries while she cooks meals nobody can eat.  She cooks them anyway.  Duncan looks grim all the time and Uncle Jerry's stopped smiling.   Her Dad's barely there, and when he does come in, tired and sad, he looks grim too.  Athena stands in the doorway of the study, her hand clutching the doorpost.  Her Dad's there.  Uncle Jerry's standing beside him, his face covered by his hands.  It wasn't him, says her Dad.  It wasn't him.  She's never seen her Dad crying before.  Frightened, Athena makes her fingers clutch tighter to stop them shaking, until they start to hurt.  She doesn't sob or choke, the way her mother sobs and chokes. The tears just spill over and she can't stop them.  She makes no noise.

2.         This one's pretty is the kind of thing that Athena says each day, touching the sweet-pea coloured dress with reverent fingers.  You'll look pretty in this one.  Mama  nods and smiles.  Her mother's smile is sort of odd, these days, as though someone's coloured it on Mama's face with the crayons from Athena's art box, drawing the corners of her mother's mouth up when all it really wants to do is tremble and droop.  Still, her mother puts on the dress and it does make her look pretty.  Sit down here and I'll brush your hair, Athena says.  She stands behind her and watchs in the mirror while she pulls a brush through her mother's dark blonde hair.  She can hear Zac out in the garden, running about playing with one of their cousins.  And in the mirror she watches the smile waver and quiver while she brushes and brushes.  One hundred strokes, to make her mother's hair shine.

3.         Athena thinks it’s odd that they all buy Apollo presents on his birthday and at Yule.  The presents, gaily wrapped in bright paper, sit at Apollo's place at table if it's his birthday or under the tree at Yule, until at last it's night and it's not Apollo's birthday any more and Yule's over.  Her mother's face falls and her mouth trembles.  Duncan—or her Dad, if he's home—gathers up the presents and takes them up to Apollo's room out of sight.  There's a lot of them.  Athena goes in there now and again to count them.  Hanna keeps them dusted, so they're always bright and shiny.

4.         Athena never thought she'd be eldest.  When people ask about her family, she shakes her head and says that she used to have a brother; not Zac, a bigger brother.  If she drops her gaze and makes her voice slow and a little melancholy, people are kind and gentle.  It makes her feel special and a little bit holy, like she's in church and old Father Diogenes is singing the blessing in cracked old voice.  Sometimes feeling that holy makes her want to cry so people will notice and tell her she's brave.

5.         Athena picks up the brush and starts to pull it through her mother's hair, watching in the mirror as her mother's smile wavers and the pretty reflection looks watery, rippling and changing, uncertain in the way everything about her mother is uncertain now.  There's a silver thread in her mother's hair.  There's another.  And another.  Athena brushes carefully, talking about pretty dresses and new makeup and whether her mother should have her hair cut.  And all the time she wonders where Apollo is.  And all the time she wonders why he took her mother with him when he went.