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25 January 2007 @ 03:50 pm
BSG Fic: One Hundred Twenty Days, Falling 1/1  
TITLE: One Hundred Twenty Days, Falling
AUTHOR: lizardbeth_j

Characters: Anders. the Resistance. (reference to Kara/Anders)
Rating: R
Summary: Anders in the occupation of New Caprica.
Length: ~ 7000 words
Spoilers: Only through 3.01, "Occupation".
Note: Many, many thanks to lyssie for the beta and the enthusiasm. This probably wouldn't exist without you! *smooch*
And I have to acknowledge that the opening few lines are from Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 2.

x-posted several places, sorry if this clogs your list!

Sam stirred awake at the cold wind coming into the tent, and looked toward the front flap, hoping that it would be Kara coming back. There was a man there, though, not Kara. Sam raised himself up on his elbows, trying for a better look, which set off his cough.

"I'm looking for Kara Thrace."

Sam closed his eyes and opened them again, finally getting his bleary eyes to behave. The man seemed familiar, but certainly not someone from the camp. He was dressed too well. Maybe he was one of the last stragglers from the fleet coming down?

There was a strange buzzing noise in his ears.

"You don't sound well," the man took two steps closer. "But perhaps that is the destiny of all those who step into the river. Where is Kara Thrace? I was told she should be here."

"She stepped out," Sam said, hoarse, wishing his head wasn't so stuffy and he didn't feel so warm. No wonder he hated sleeping, when he always felt worse afterward.

The other man smiled. "Then I'll have to go find her."

The smile did it. Sam felt suddenly cold, as he realized where he had seen the man before. Caprica. He was one of them. One of the skinjob Cylons.

And he was looking for Kara.

Sam threw himself upright and to his feet, ignoring the way the tent wobbled around him, and launched himself at the Cylon, who was turning to leave. "Leave her alone!"

The Cylon turned back and with embarrassing ease, caught him by the throat. It was a tight grip, the fingers digging like claws into the muscles on either side of his neck. Sam pulled at the hand with both of his and felt like a baby pulling at a tree.

The Cylon cocked his head to one side, regarding him. "I should kill you," he said, in a chilling, conversational tone.

Sam felt the familiar tickle in his lungs and tried to repress his urge to cough, but it was as though the Cylon knew anyway. "I hear the water in your lungs," he murmured, bringing in his head close to listen. "I hear your struggle to breathe, every whisper of air a precious gift. Death might be a mercy."

Struggling, Sam tried to punch him, but the Cylon barely flinched and just tightened his grip until his windpipe felt like it was about to collapse, and his chest was heaving, trying to find air to breathe.

The Cylon whispered in his ear, "She will never be yours. Her destiny is far beyond what you can imagine."

Sam couldn't speak, but he hoped his expression was full of defiance. This toaster knew nothing.

He needed a gun. A knife. Anything to wipe that smug expression off the Cylon's face.

"But why take action when inaction serves just as well?" the Cylon's voice purred hatefully, and then he shoved Sam with unbelievable strength. The room whirled, and Sam was sure for one stunned instant that his feet had left the ground.

He smashed into the little table in the corner and the pole behind it, before falling to the ground. The impact jarred him, but he managed to climb to his hands and knees, before the fingers of fluid rose up in his chest again and he was coughing.

Gods, he couldn't breathe. Every cough made his throat burn but he couldn't stop, chest spasming frantically for nothing because he couldn't draw in enough air.

Kara. That frakking machine was going after Kara.

His eyes were watering with pain, but he could see enough to know the Cylon was already gone.

Sam crawled into the tent wall and one hand grasped the canvas, pulling it up so the cold air struck his face. He shivered and his arms shook, threatening to collapse. He had to go after that Cylon and get to Kara.

There was no one in the little alley next to their tent. No one to call for help. He'd have to do it himself.

Rolling, he half-fell off the platform the tent sat on and into the mud of the alleyway. He climbed up to one knee, and had to stop there, light-headed. Another coughing spasm shook him, and he bent over, choking like he was drowning.

He fell forward, and told himself to get up. But he was shivering, shuddering with intense chills, and his body wouldn't move, crumpled in the mud like a used towel.

Turning his head, he glanced up at the sky, and realized that dozens of Cylon raiders were rushing past overhead. That was what he was hearing. The high pitched scream spiraled down with him into the dark.


The voices came to him from far away:

"Think he'll make it, Doc?"

"We'll see."

He had something to tell them, didn't he? Something about, "Kara." But his voice was barely a hoarse wheeze.

"What'd he say?" the first voice demanded gruffly.

"Kara." Sam said it again. He wanted to open his eyes, but it was too much work. "Cylon."

Someone patted his hand once. "We know about the Cylons, Anders. Get some sleep."

But what about Kara? But he must not have asked it aloud, because no one answered.

The first voice said, "Keep an eye on him, Doc. Do what you can. We can use him soon enough."

Use him for what?

But the question dissolved away into coughing and pain.

The heat was suddenly unbearable. He was in an oven. He flailed blindly, but delicate but strong fingers caught his wrist and laid his hand back down on his chest. "Hush," a woman whispered. "Be still. You're very sick."

There hadn't been a woman before, had there? The voice wasn't Kara's.

He opened his eyes, and after the dizziness faded, he frowned in weary confusion at the dark-haired woman sitting beside him. "Sharon?" Just the effort of saying her name made him cough. She held a cloth to his mouth and then eased him back against the pillow when he was done, all with an understated strength and calm.

She smiled a little and touched his face with gentle fingers. "Don't try to talk. I'm not the Sharon you think I am, probably, but yes. I brought some medicine for you."

Cylon. He remembered the sounds of the Raiders and the Cylon who had been in his tent. She wasn't the Sharon from Galactica -- what did that mean?

There was a sudden draft, and he shivered in the cold. She pulled the blanket up across his chest. "It's all right," she reassured him. "We're here to help." She cocked her head to the side, regarding him with a bright teasing glint in her dark eyes. "Would I let you die after I went through all that trouble on Caprica to save your life?"

She was the one from the basement. Gods. And she was here on New Caprica.

Something about that didn't seem right, but he couldn't think of it past the pounding in his head. His ribs and stomach muscles felt torn from coughing, each breath was like sandpaper in his throat, and something very dangerous was burning on the inside of his chest on the left side. But he remembered the most important question to ask.

"Kara?" he whispered.

The other Sharon frowned and shook her head. "I don't know. I haven't seen her. Her name isn't on the list of detainees."

He wanted to tell Sharon something, but it wasn't coming to him. His thoughts seemed slow and scattered, and the effort to keep his eyes open was growing too much.

"Rest, Sam," she said and leaned close. "Do not trust any of the others," she whispered in his ear. "Three remembers you from when she died in the basement and she will put you in detention if she sees you. Be careful."

His eyes closed and he heard her stand up, but he drifted away before he heard her leave.

People were always in his room. He couldn't quite hold onto who they were, before they seemed to turn into other people. He was always too cold or too hot, and he thought his ribs might be broken, because every breath was like getting stabbed by a knife.

Sometimes there were Cylons in his room. They stood in a circle around him, watching as a Centurion held him underwater. Sometimes they debated how to kill him for what he'd done to them on Caprica, their voices inhuman and cold.

Sometimes he was playing pyramid again, covered in sweat and all alone. There were only Cylons in the stands: thousands and thousands of silvery Centurions, silent and still with only their red eyes moving incessantly.

Sometimes he knew he was dreaming. But other times he awoke in a hazy hot place, and it seemed more a dream than when he was shooting at Centurions who refused to fall down

Despite his confusion, he knew in some deep part of him that he was dying.

But through it all, he remembered Kara. He had to find her. He wasn't going to die before he helped her. He'd survived all those months on Caprica, and some stupid illness wasn't going to kill him.

He pulled himself out of sticky dark dreams, and opened his eyes. He was in his tent, and the lamp on the table seemed very bright. He felt hot and sweaty, his head throbbed like the worst hangover of his life, and his whole body ached with tiredness that went to the bone. Jean was sitting by the bed, dozing in the chair. He must have moved because she started awake and looked at him, finding a weary smile. "You're awake, thank the gods."

"Hi," he said, and winced at the raw sound of his voice.

"Here, Doc Cottle said we should give you something to drink if you woke up," she held a cup to his lips. He tried to take it from her and drink for himself, but his hand was shaking too hard.

"Anders, let me," she brushed his hand away. The broth felt good on his throat, even though it hit his stomach like a stone and he almost heaved it up again.

"Gods, you are such a pain in the ass," she teased as she set the cup back down on the table. The light tone didn't match the intense worry in her eyes. "Lucky thing you have lots of friends to sit with you." She paused and swallowed. "We almost lost you, you know. But the Doc says you turned the corner and you're on the mend." She shook her head. "I don't know how you pulled it out without any antibiotics. Guess you're tougher than you look, after all."

He remembered Sharon saying she'd brought medicine for him. Had she really been there? Was it just one of the fever dreams?

He shook his head a little, figuring it didn't matter. "Where's Kara?" he asked, finishing his question through a bout of weak wheezing coughs.

"Nobody knows, Sam," she answered with a sad shake of her head. "Tyrol was the last one to see her the day the Cylons came. Did she reach here? I found you outside that evening, and the place looked like you'd been in a fight."

Fight? It hadn't been a fight. He wanted to laugh, but couldn't find the strength. Just talking was wearing him out. "Cylon came looking for her. I tried to stop him."

And he'd failed dismally. He shut his eyes, wishing he could go back to sleep. The Cylons had found the colony, and one of them had Kara. Worse, he was stuck here in bed, too weak to move.

She must have seen something in his face, because Jean squeezed his hand. "Sam, you've got pneumonia. You almost died. You have to recover, before you can try to rescue her. I promise, people are looking for her." She leaned closer and murmured. "But Kara's not the first one to just disappear or to be arrested and taken to detention. The toasters built a big facility. They said it was for people to live in, but it's really to hold prisoners. They said they're here to help, but I think all they want is to make more of those frakkin' farms."

Kara had wanted him to shoot her before she would go back to one of those.

He pulled his hand from Jean's and curled up on his side, giving in to the urge to cough, gagging on the crap that came up into back of his throat. But nothing hurt so much as the thought of Kara stuck in one of those farms again or the look in her eyes when she'd told him to kill her first.

"Take it easy," Jean's hand gripped his shoulder briefly, her touch much gentler than he could remember from when they'd been on the team. "Get some rest," she told him and left.

But he couldn't sleep, his mind full of memories of the Cylon farms that they'd destroyed on Caprica and imagining Kara trapped in one again. She'd still had nightmares about it, and they were bad enough she let him comfort her.

With some vague idea of going to find her, he rolled upright, forcing his shaking arms to help. His vision went black as he nearly passed out, and another fit of coughing shook him. He pulled up his knees and leaned forward against them, panting shallowly and trying not to whimper from the constant burning in his ribs.

Frak. He was as helpless and useless as a newborn puppy.

The tent flap suddenly whipped open and the doc's voice, gruff and irritated, said, "Discovering that being conscious isn't all that fun, I see. Lie back and let me listen to your lungs." He pushed Sam easily back against the pillow. When he was done listening to how Sam was breathing, he put away his stethoscope and regarded Sam with a somber face. "This is a crappy planet but it's not the cold and damp that gave you pneumonia. You did that, by exhausting yourself when you were sick and letting the bug grab hold of you. Don't be so brave you get stupid. I'll make you move around soon enough for your liking -- for now, you stay in this bed, and you rest. Or I'll tie you to it, do you understand me?"

Sam glared at him, daring him to try it. He was not going to be trapped here in bed, while gods knew what sort of evil things happened to his wife at the hands of that Cylon.

"I know you want to find Starbuck. I understand," Cottle said, sounding marginally more sympathetic, and then got stern again. "But you're no good to her dead, and that's where you'll be if you push too hard, too fast. It's a frakking miracle you're still alive. Don't spurn that gift of the gods, boy, or they'll make you pay for it."

Sam nodded reluctantly. Cottle had a point. He was no good to Kara this weak either. "So what's going on out there?"


Sam sat up in the bed, drawing the edge of the blanket through his fingers. There were two pieces of paper on his lap, and he stared at them, without really seeing them. They sat there, those papers, taunting him with his lack of ideas. Bad enough he'd been flat on his back for two weeks, but now that he was able to get around better, he was just as useless as before.

Tyrol poked his head in. "Hey, how you doing?"

Sam shrugged, and didn't look at him. "Fine."

"Uh huh," Tyrol came inside all the way, coming closer. "Really."

"What do you want to hear? That I feel like shit? That I have the stamina of a kitten?" Sam flared, but too weary to be angry about it. "Yeah, well, life sucks for everybody, Galen, in case you didn't notice. The good news is that I haven't hacked up my lungs yet this afternoon, so that's something."

Tyrol frowned at him and folded his arms. "Have you been drinking?" he asked.

Sam chuckled once, bitterly. "I wish." He poked a finger into one of the papers. "Frak it, I'm a pyramid player, not military. I'm not trained for this shit." He sighed and rubbed his eyes, before looking at the papers again. "If there's a way in, I don't frakkin' see it."

Tyrol leaned down to see the papers. "That's the detention center."

Not that it was a map or anything. As much as Sam wished it was a set of floor plans, it wasn't. It was a drawing of the outside dimensions and as much of the inside as they could guess from the outer doors and windows. No one had gotten a glimpse of the inside and been able to tell about it. Jean and Marco had marked the fences and the Centurion patrol patterns on it. The place was a frakking fortress.

"I don't know anything," Sam continued in a low voice, mostly to himself. "I don't know she's in there. I don't even know she's alive. And I sure as hell don't know how to get her out. She came all the way back to Caprica for me, and I can't save her when she's right in front of me!"

He swept the "maps" off the bed in a fit of pure frustration. Then he sat tensely, his fists pressed to his forehead. "Damn it." He took a deep breath, sorry he'd unloaded onto Galen. He didn't need Sam's burdens on top of his own worries. He straightened and tried a half-smile and a change of subject. "Sorry. How's your day going?"

Tyrol ignored the gambit. "Starbuck would kick your ass for all this self-pity, you know that?"

Sam resolutely ignored the stab of pain at the mention of her call sign, and glared at Tyrol. "Yeah, well, she's not here, is she? My only other option appears to be blowing up the entire detention center and hoping for the best, so that's all I've got right now."

Tyrol pulled the chair as close to the bed as he could. He picked up the sheets from the floor. "Where did these come from?" he asked in a murmur.

"Barolay," Sam answered. "Others from the old group. Remember, Galen, we've done this before."

"That's what I wanted to talk to you about, now that you're better." Tyrol looked shifty and nervous, and Sam knew exactly what he was going to say.

Sam gave a snort. "The answer's yes, you know that. I'm in. But..." he waved to the blankets still covering his lower half. "Cottle will have my ass if I go play in the mud with you. He's like my high school coach, but worse." It was easier to blame the doctor, than confess he'd probably fall on his face if he had to walk farther than the corner.

Tyrol smiled briefly. "Yeah, he is. But he knows what he's doing. I was thinking of something you can do from bed. Just keep doing this," he put the maps of the detention center back into Sam's hand. "We'll bring info and you look for targets. Me and Tigh and whatever of your people want to do it, will carry it out. Think you can do that?"

Sam thought about it. It was a new battlefield, but it was the same battle he'd fought before. Tigh was going to be in charge, as the one with the military experience; Sam had no illusions about that. But he could give advice, and Tigh better listen to it. He was no strategic genius, but he'd learned a lot on Caprica about how and where to blow stuff up and annoy the Cylons. Anyway Chief's plan was better than sitting around and driving himself crazy, imagining what Kara was going through.

"Yeah, I can do that." The others, especially Jean, Charlie, and Marco, brought him information already, but he liked the idea of getting more. Maybe if he was the intel guy, he could get word about Kara.

"It might be dangerous," Tyrol added hesitantly. "Keeping that sort of thing here. If the Cylons search this place and find it, they'll take you to detention no questions asked."

Sam managed a chuckle that turned into a deep coughing fit. He wiped his mouth with the strip of cloth and closed his eyes for a moment to get his breath back. "Damn. I'm so tired of this," he muttered. Tyrol handed him the cup of water. "Thanks. And I don't care that it's dangerous. If the Cylons are searching this place, I'm going to detention anyway."

He remembered Sharon warning him about the other Cylons who would recognize him from Caprica. Apparently they hadn't made the connection yet. But until they did, he wasn't going to worry about it. There were worse things than going to jail, and one of those was not fighting back.


A whisper from outside woke him. "Mister Anders?"

He automatically groped for Kara, in his sleepy state thinking it was her voice, even though she hadn't been there more than a month. But the bed was empty and that, more than the voice, brought him alert. He turned over, frowning at the flap. It was early morning, going by the gray light seeping through the canvas. "Who is it?"

"My name's Mona. I'm sorry to bother you," said the woman's soft voice. She sounded nervous. "But I have something for you."

He pulled the knife from under his pillow and held it under the blanket at his side, as he sat up. "Come in."

The flap opened and a young woman crept inside hesitantly. She glanced at him and then away, flushing and biting her lip. "Sorry to wake you," she stammered.

She wasn't a Cylon. In fact, if he was reading her reactions right, she was a fan. Even so he didn't let go of the knife. "Do I know you?" he asked.

She shook her head. "No, no. But I know you. I was a big C-bucks fan," she admitted, glancing up at him and smiling shyly, before looking down again. "Had the poster and everything. But -- But that's not why I'm here," she added hastily. "I'm here with my dad, bringing our harvest to market." She set down a bag. "This is for you. You can keep it, or give it away, whatever. I heard you were sick and I wanted to help."

"Well, thank you," he smiled at her. The smile felt terribly forced to him, like exercising muscles that had atrophied in the last two years. But he remembered his fan contact skills, even if it had been awhile. "That's very kind of you. I'm doing much better."

She took two nervous steps closer and lowered her voice to a whisper. "But there's more. See, we have farms. Farm animals. And I know you fought the toasters on Caprica, so I wanted to tell you that some of us have been keeping the dung and refining it into a more useful form. Toasters don't know."

And just like that the relationship changed, and she wasn't a fan anymore. They were both in the resistance together. This, he knew how to handle. His mouth opened in amazement. "You're telling me you have ammonium nitrate?" he asked, just as softly.

She nodded, now meeting his eyes without any shyness at all. "One barrel for now. But we're making more."

He nodded. One barrel would make a very satisfactory bang someplace. He'd have to pass the word to Tigh and Tyrol. "Can you move it into the city? We can take it once it's inside."

"I'll talk to my dad, but I think so," she said.

"Good news. Thank you, Mona. Keep in touch when you can, when it's safe. Okay?"

"Okay." She grinned at him over her shoulder, at the tent flap. "C-Bucs rule."

"Damn right." He smiled back, and it felt more natural this time. He waved, and she slipped out into the early morning.

He leaned back, bemusedly staring after her. Mona had known about Caprica, which made him wonder about a secret network of Bucs and Pyramid fans, still passing information about their favorite players, even now that the pro circuit was long gone. He hadn't even considered that angle, for recruitment purposes. He didn't want to draw too much attention to himself, but there was no sense in letting whatever celebrity he still had go to waste either. He'd see what Jean thought about it.


Charlie's son had found the first entrance to the underground tunnels beneath New Caprica, sliding through a weed-choked gap by the river. Charlie and Sam had made the second, digging a hole through the dirt floor of an empty tent and through the roof of the biggest cave. Galen had found a ladder, and they'd made a Resistance headquarters down there with some scrounged electronics, table, and all their maps and plans.

Sam ended up spending the most time there. He felt uneasy about Boomer's warning that the Cylons might recognize him from the Caprica resistance, so he tried not to be in view too often. Luckily there seemed to be only a handful of the male skinjobs, and they kept mostly to the Detention center or Colonial One. But the female ones wandered at will through the camp, and he had no idea which ones might recognize him. One of his first suggestions to Tigh was to start taking out as many as they could, so the skinjobs would stop feeling safe in the camp. He knew they'd all resurrect, so the resistance had to be careful to kill them from concealment, but when few of the toasters went walking without guards anymore, he considered the plan a success.

As much as any of their plans could be called a success with a never-ending supply of Cylons to fight.

He had a sketch of the landing platform spread out on the table for Galen and Tigh who stood on the other side. "The Heavy Raiders land once every three days. Two people can get in here -- " he pointed to a corner. "There's no slab underneath. All we have to do is a tunnel or a trench big enough to wriggle under the wall."

"And then?" Tigh asked.

Sam arched his brows at the colonel. "Then we blow it to hell. I'm sure there's fuel in there, maybe even tylium. If we get lucky, the building goes up. Unlucky, and we take the Raider, a few Centurions, and any skinjobs supervising."

"Good." Tigh smiled grimly.

Galen shook his head, not as pleased. "Digging's going to be hard to hide."

"We just do it slow and careful," Sam insisted. "A little at a time. We might be able to use these tunnels to get started."

Galen tapped his finger on the vast white wasteland of the interior of the building, except for a few tentative marks of support columns. "Okay. Say we get in. Is there any cover inside? It'll take time to set the explosives and the timer. I'd hate to try it in the open."

"They move crates and supplies in and out all the time," Sam shrugged. "There has to be stuff inside. If we go ahead, I can scout it."

Galen folded his arms and nodded, bearded face still looking concerned by the risk.

Tigh's nod was more decisive. "Good plan. Ambitious." He eyed Sam. "No objections this time about how Starbuck might be on that ship?"

Sam's hands clenched on the edge of the table, anger licking at his insides for Tigh's implication that he'd given up, but he tried to keep his tone flat. "If she's still on the planet, I can't get to her until the Cylons are gone. And if she's not, there's nothing I can do for her."

Tigh stood up and met his eyes. "And if she's dead?"

"She's not," he answered, glaring back. In that moment he believed it. In the dark of his lonely tent, it was much harder to hold onto that hope. "And I will find her, colonel. The more of them we blow away, the harder this place gets for them to control, the closer that day comes."

"And if you're wrong?" Tigh asked.

Sam managed a tight little smile. "Then Adama's not coming back, and the human race is going to end right here on this miserable excuse for a planet, and the gods can all go frak themselves. But I'm still taking as many Cylons with me as I can."

He saw Tigh's flinch at Adama's name. Tigh had his own unreasonable faith, and Sam wasn't above poking at it, when the colonel started wanting more than Sam was willing to give.

Hoping to see Kara again and killing Cylons was what his life had become again. Tigh wanted a Cylon killing machine, but Sam had already been there, and only Kara had pulled him out of it. He didn't want to go back.


Sam cleaned the dinner dishes, figuring it was the least he could do, when the Tyrols had him for dinner a few times a week. Sam was pretty sure they felt sorry for him, but since he got a better dinner when they all shared their rations, he didn't really mind. The company was welcome anyway.

Especially on a lousy frakking day like today. He shut his eyes, trying to push it from his memory, but the images persisted.

Sam had been waiting for a skinjob he could pick off with his gun and it had taken him a moment to process what he was seeing. Marco was standing in the road, surrounded by six Centurions and one Simon model, and he was going to detention. He could spill everything.

Sam didn't have enough bullets to bring down all the toasters, and they would return fire into the tents behind him. Canvas walls were no protection against Centurion guns. Rescuing or freeing Marco was not an option.

His consolation was that Marco and Sam had promised each other - much like he and Kara had before - that death was preferable to capture. He told himself it was what Marco wanted, as he raised his gun, sighted and fired once.

With a sigh, Sam settled at the front of the tent. Galen and Cally joined him, and she leaned against Galen while she nursed Nicholas.

Sam didn't want to think about Marco, even though Galen was giving him sympathetic looks like he expected Sam to talk. Cally didn't know and he didn't want to explain it, certainly not in front of an innocent baby. He could barely bring himself to touch Nicholas as it was.

Sam rolled one of his cigarettes. He lit it, keeping his hand near the flap so the smoke went outside.

"Big time athlete shouldn't smoke," Galen teased, handing him a cup of hooch.

"Next person to pay me to play pyramid can tell me to quit smoking," Sam retorted. "Until then, I'm going to do what I want. I doubt I'll live long enough to die from lung cancer anyway."

He was sorry he said it when the couple shared a glance and neither of them seemed to know what to say.

In a lower voice, Galen said, "The Admiral's coming back, Sam. This is gonna end."

Sam snorted and took a drink. It burned his throat, but was pleasantly warm in his stomach. "It's been eighty days. There are at least four basestars in orbit at any given moment, we know that. There can't have been more than a few thousand people still on the fleet when they jumped out. Smart thing to do would be to keep on going, save the ones he can." He leaned back, puffed on his cigarette, and added, "I know you want to believe, and that's fine. But the longer we're here, the less likely it gets."

Cally murmured, in pointed reminder, "You were on Caprica a long time, and the Admiral sent a rescue."

He stared out into the night and nodded. "Yeah." He stopped there, not wanting to be rude to Cally and Galen who'd been so good to him. But he knew he'd still be on Caprica if it hadn't been for Kara and her insistence and her promise. But there was no Kara out there in space this time to come rescue him. It was his turn to rescue her, and he was still failing.

He touched her tag around his neck and decided to get so drunk on the Chief's booze that he'd forget that he killed a friend today. Maybe drunk enough to forget his own name. And Kara's too.


Wait. Wait for it.

Sam crouched in the tent, peeking through a narrow opening in the flap. He had the detonator in his hand, and his thumb on the trigger. There was a bomb planted in the middle of the road, one of Sam's own plate-sized home-made mines. They had proven very effective at taking out any skinjob who walked over one, and sometimes he got lucky and it eliminated a Centurion or two with it.

He heard the whine of the mechanical servos of the Centurions and his grip tightened reflexively. Then they were there: four Chromes and one ... Sharon.

Model Eight, he reminded himself. Biological. Skinjob. Not Sharon. Sharon was on the Galactica.

But maybe this was the one who had helped him months ago when he'd been sick, although he had only his hazy memories to prove she had ever been there. His fingers twitched, and he hesitated.

If he didn't push it now, they'd be out of range.

Then all the toasters stopped, on top of the mine, as a small boy ran out into the road after a ball, right in front of them.

His thumb froze and he willed the kid to get the frak out of the way.

The Cylon bent to retrieve the ball and held it out to the boy. He stopped, looked up at the Centurions with wide, terrified eyes. A woman shouted, in a voice cracking with hysteria, "Jimmy, come here! Come here!"

The Eight smiled and continued to hold ball in her fingers, offering it, but the child refused to move, either toward her to get the ball or back to his mother. The Cylon gave up and tossed the ball to the startled mother, who made no move to catch it as it landed in the mud near her feet.

"Jimmy, come here at once!" And finally the boy turned around and ran back to his mother.

The instant he was in her arms, Sam pushed the trigger and ducked his head as the heat and dust of the explosion slammed into the tent.

He heard screaming and running, but when he looked the results were what he had anticipated -- the humans were all fine, and the skinjob was dead, her blood splattered all over the now-dull metal of the Centurions. Two of them were still moving, but didn't seem able to rise, and the other two were down.

He looked at the mess and knew he should feel something. Pity, compassion, something, but there was nothing. He just felt tired, because tomorrow would be exactly the same.

Backing out of the tent on the other side, he walked away without a backward glance.


Four months of occupation. Four months with Kara missing.

He leaned against the wall, in the shadow of the tarp overhead, sipped hot water from a cup, and stared at the gate to the detention center as if looking hard enough would bring Kara there.

Physically, he was back to fighting trim. He was playing Pyramid again, when he wasn't plotting ways to kill Cylons and sabotage their equipment. If a game wore him out more quickly and thoroughly than it used to, well, no one else had to know that. A daily game was good for not having dreams.

But being healthy wasn't helping him find a way to help Kara. He still knew nothing about where she was. She could be in there, or she could've been taken off the planet months ago. He didn't believe she was dead, but that made it all the worse. At least if she were dead, then not saving her didn't matter anymore.

A few people had come out of detention, giving the resistance a better idea of the layout of the bottom floors, but that didn't help a lot. As much as the idea of an all-or-nothing run inside to save her appealed to a part of him, he was too much of a realist to see it as anything but a futile gesture.

He forced his eyes away from the gate, and his gaze fell on one of the recruitment posters for the New Caprica Police, pasted on the opposite wall. His fingers itched to rip it down, and his stomach threatened to heave up the water in disgust.

But before he talked himself into crossing all that empty ground in front of the detention center where he knew there was surveillance, he heard the sound of marching Centurions coming up the aisle to his left. In front of him, the gate creaked open.

One of the older female models, a Three, led four Centurions, who were guarding a man who had his hands tied and a cloth bag over his head. She looked around, and Sam pulled back into shadow and studied his cup, so she wouldn't see his face if she looked at him. For all he knew she was the same one who'd been killed in the basement with that Sharon and the model Six, so he wasn't going to go wander out into the light.

He grimaced, wishing he had a gun.

Then he sucked in a breath as he got a better view of the prisoner's clothes. Despite the bag hiding the prisoner's face, Sam was nearly positive it was Tigh. Frak.

His leg muscles tightened up in reflex to carry him away, but he stayed still. He watched until all the Cylons and the prisoners had disappeared inside the building, and then started towards Tyrol's tent at a fast walk.

Cally and the baby were there, but not Galen. She looked curiously at him, when he asked where Galen was, but he just smiled, pretending it was nothing out of the ordinary.

"He's still at the yard," she said, motioning vaguely with her free arm in the direction of the supply yard where Tyrol refurbished parts.

"Thanks, Cally."

"We'll see you for dinner?" she asked and he nodded, waving farewell as he ducked outside.

He hurried off to tell Galen of the new development.

"Sam!" Galen's familiar voice halted his steps and the two men met in the wide street, where no one could listen without being seen.

"Tigh just got grabbed," Galen whispered urgently.

"Yeah, I know. I saw him go into detention. I was coming to tell you."

"I saw them come." Galen folded his arms, brow knitted in worry. "Why now?"

"Does it matter? If he flips on us --"

"He won't," Galen interrupted. "Never. Not the colonel."

Sam restrained the urge to roll his eyes. "Maybe he won't have a choice. Loyalty is all very well, but let's not be stupid. We have to plan for the worst."

Galen nodded reluctantly. "After dinner then. We'll decide what to do."

Sam lifted his lips in an almost-smile. "We keep fighting."

Galen's face brightened with a rueful grin, which was almost entirely hidden by his beard now. "That's what Starbuck said when the Cylons showed up."

The mention barely touched him this time. He nodded once. "She was right."

Galen went away, back to work, and Sam went to find Jean and Charlie to tell them the news. They were going to have to figure out some new plans for bombing the landing platform.

His gaze strayed toward the top of the detention center tower, visible above the tents.

He had no doubt he'd end up there, one way or another. But until then, he planned to make the Cylon occupation of New Caprica as difficult and painful for them as it was for him.

In the end, there was nothing else he could do.

Tags: ,
entertaining in a disturbing way: Anders Days so far from homelyssie on January 26th, 2007 12:23 am (UTC)
Obviously, you love me.

It seems shorter. Perhaps I shouldn't have read it several times already. Sigh. *ponders*

AHEM. I have so many bits that I love and adore that I could OVERLOAD the limit on comments if I copied and pasted them all...

You managed to work so much into it--Barolay, Charlie, FINDING THE TUNNELS. Because, dude, I'm sure the cylons would have noticed them digging... Well, probably. But natural caverns with only need for entrances? That works...

Leoben throwing Sam across the room. Sam collapsing in the mud. Sam trying desperately to ask about Kara--and the latter hurts, because he can't. Not coherently. And. And. Maybe if he'd asked, early on, they could have found her. (so says the Sam in my head)

Sometimes he was playing pyramid again, covered in sweat and all alone. There were only Cylons in the stands: thousands and thousands of silvery Centurions, silent and still with only their red eyes moving incessantly.

This? Is creepy and AWESOME.

"What do you want to hear? That I feel like shit? That I have the stamina of a kitten?" Sam flared, but too weary to be angry about it. "Yeah, well, life sucks for everybody, Galen, in case you didn't notice. The good news is that I haven't hacked up my lungs yet this afternoon, so that's something."

He's such a cute angry puppy. *ducks* Also, Cottle smacking him down is awesome, as well. Because he's not a stupid man, and if he needles Sam where it hurts, he'll behave. Mostly.

Sam managed a tight little smile. "Then Adama's not coming back, and the human race is going to end right here on this miserable excuse for a planet, and the gods can all go frak themselves. But I'm still taking as many Cylons with me as I can."

I. Just. *flails* (I love you, you know that, right?)

He touched her tag around his neck and decided to get so drunk on the Chief's booze that he'd forget that he killed a friend today. Maybe drunk enough to forget his own name. And Kara's too.

I could pull this whole scene (OH, MARCO), but this one encapsulates it all. As does Sam's certainty that there is no Kara to harass the Admiral into coming back for them....

The blowing up Eight scene is also fabulous. And simple, in its own way. Because she could be his Sharon, but he doesn't care. (they took his wife....)

So, in conclusion: I love you a lot right now. *happysigh*
lizardbeth: K-A Rapturelizardbeth_j on January 26th, 2007 04:35 am (UTC)
of course, I love you back. *smooch*

It is, in fact, slightly longer than last you read (the Marco bit) although I snipped little bits out. But seems shorter means it read quickly, right? So seeming shorter is good.

cute angry puppy, yes. *g*

And nope by the time of the Eight he doesn't care. He hesitates slightly, but that's it. He doesn't believe rescue's coming and Kara's gone and he's just gonna keep doing what he does, frak em all. He was in a pretty dark place in Occ/Precipice when you think about it, and it took nearly executing Gaeta to shake him out of it.

thank you. couldn't have done it without you. Really. SuperSekritCabal4EVA! *g*
(no subject) - lyssie on January 26th, 2007 05:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lizardbeth_j on January 26th, 2007 05:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lyssie on January 26th, 2007 01:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
The Proverbial Bull in a China Shop...: Jedi chef with gunsabaceanbabe on January 26th, 2007 01:45 am (UTC)
GAH! I don't have time to read this!!!! GAH!!!


You know what? I'm going to use this fic as an incentive to finish THAT FRAKKING FIC THAT JUST WON'T END! As soon as I finish Liberation, I'll be back. Oh, yes.
lizardbeth: Anders want it?lizardbeth_j on January 26th, 2007 03:09 am (UTC)
psst! hey, little girl, you want some fic? I got you some fic over here... *g*
Kelly...It's like Jello with a K and a Y: [bsg] hold onto mecenterspire on January 26th, 2007 02:09 am (UTC)
Fantastic. Such great angst (and everyday life). I loved the bit with Mona...being a fan, and more than a fan!
lizardbeth: K-A Rapturelizardbeth_j on January 26th, 2007 04:43 am (UTC)
thanks! That part about Mona was because, c'mon, the guy's gotta still have a few fans right? Even if the C-Bucs sucked (for which we have only Kara's word anyway, and she mocks a lot), they must have had plenty of fangirls, especially with Sam being team captain and hot. They had to have posters and fangroups and stuff like that. At least in my fanon of Caprica-that-was. *g*
(no subject) - lyssie on January 26th, 2007 05:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lizardbeth_j on January 26th, 2007 05:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lyssie on January 26th, 2007 01:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lizardbeth_j on January 26th, 2007 06:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lyssie on January 27th, 2007 08:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
Agent Provocateurdaera23 on January 26th, 2007 03:18 am (UTC)
finally! A fully-formed portrait of Anders. This is wonderful.

Nice stream of conciousness while he was sick. Loved Anders and Tigh challenging each other's unconditional faiths.

And I like how it all connects back to Kara, especilly this part:

He touched her tag around his neck and decided to get so drunk on the Chief's booze that he'd forget that he killed a friend today. Maybe drunk enough to forget his own name. And Kara's too.

Thank you.
lizardbeth: Kara-anderslizardbeth_j on January 26th, 2007 04:49 am (UTC)
Thanks and you're welcome. *g*

And yes, it all goes back to Kara, or at least the lack of Kara, doesn't it? Because she came back for him and he loves her and he couldn't rescue her (until he does, anyway).
samanthamarie88: pic#55642405samanthamarie88 on January 26th, 2007 04:37 am (UTC)
I just want to give Sam a hug, and then send him off to blow up more Cylons.

"You're telling me you have ammonium nitrate?" he asked, just as softly.

A shout-out to the webisodes! Yeah!

lizardbeth: Kara-Anders IIlizardbeth_j on January 26th, 2007 04:55 am (UTC)
Yep,the webisodes. Good catch. *g* Actually this started because I was wondering what Sam was doing during the webisodes.

Yes, I'm sure Sam would appreciate a hug. Honestly, writing this made me like Cally a lot more, since she was the only outside normalizing influence I was giving him in the fic.

Thanks. *g*
weissmanweissman on January 27th, 2007 03:25 am (UTC)
I liked how you had Boomer be the one that gave anitbiotics to Sam.

lizardbeth: Mrs.Helolizardbeth_j on January 27th, 2007 04:26 am (UTC)
Boomer before she decided that humans were nothing but grief. Poor Boomer - she's such a tragedy.

thanks for reading!
The Proverbial Bull in a China Shop...: Sam Anderssabaceanbabe on February 5th, 2007 09:06 pm (UTC)
But... that's it? It's over? But I don't want it to be over! *whines*

I can't even express how much I love this fic. Sam's desperation and his brokenness but still not willing or even capable of backing down. And when he shot Marco... *wibble*


How can Kara even think of Lee, with Sam around?

This fic deserves more coherent and extensive feedback, but I just... Maybe later, when I read it again after surviving another week of hell at work.
lizardbeth: Anders Thudlizardbeth_j on February 5th, 2007 10:01 pm (UTC)
How can Kara even think of Lee, with Sam around?

I hope you're not asking me, cuz I got nothin'. *g* I know which one I'd pick, that's for sure.

Thanks! I wish the story was fluffier, to help you feel better with your crappy work thing. *hug*
(no subject) - sabaceanbabe on February 5th, 2007 10:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lizardbeth_j on February 5th, 2007 10:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sabaceanbabe on February 6th, 2007 03:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
lizardbeth: Elizabeth watchinglizardbeth_j on May 30th, 2007 04:57 am (UTC)
thanks! (it's always so fun to get comments on lj for old fic -- it's vanishingly rare, so extra thanks for taking the time! *g*)
fryadvocategirl_wonder on September 1st, 2007 06:56 am (UTC)
This was so painful to read because of how much it made me feel for Anders - especially in light of the season finale. How he became resistance again and who that defined him as.
lizardbeth: Anders - cross outlizardbeth_j on September 2nd, 2007 05:08 am (UTC)
Yeah, in this story I kind of picture him spiralling into a machine-like numbness, which is both ironic and even sadder after the revelation. poor Sam...
patron saint of neglected female characters: anders-musicrose_griffes on September 20th, 2008 02:01 am (UTC)
I was in a mood for Resistance fic and had this bookmarked... and now I'm wondering why I didn't comment on it before. It's awesome and devastating.
*applauds wildly*

I really like the bit with Marco--it hits hard and illustrates well what the stakes were.
lizardbeth: Anders-Kara - Believethlizardbeth_j on September 20th, 2008 11:14 pm (UTC)
oh yay, surprise feedback on old fic! (wow, it's been a year, *gulp*) Thanks!

The part with Marco really ties into Duck as well - how in Sam's mind, all of them, including himself, were already dead men anyway. He and Tigh, because they'd been there before, were ready to slip into that mindset, where Tyrol still had Cally and Nicky to live for, and he wasn't there yet. I just... man, I think of what Sam's been through since the attacks and I wonder that he's not curled into a corner.