It was about two weeks after the End of Everything (the Beginning of the Fleet Era, whatever; the newscasters kept trying
to come up with a clever term for the dividing line, but it’s hard to put a catchy spin on a genocide) when Lee suddenly
realized that his mother was dead.
Intellectually, he’d known that already, but intellectually and actually are different things. After all, he’d
been in the fleet for more than a few years now, and it was often weeks or months between visits with her, or even conversations.
Easy for his brain to assume this was just another one of those gaps, that she was back in her cushy apartment on Picon and
he’d talk to her just as soon as he had a chance to sit down and catch his breath.
He was flying a routine patrol when it hit him- that she was dead, blown up with Picon and the rest of the Colonies,
and he was never going to see her again- and he was so stunned by the realization, he almost took out the poor trainee shadowing
him. Kat’s frantic voice screeching through his earpiece- “Captain Apollo! CAPTAIN APOLLO!”- snapped him
out of his daze just in time to roll right and dodge the collision.
He got back to Galactica on sense memory alone, mumbled his apologies to Kat mid-exit from the flight deck, and made it to
his bunk just in time to spend ten solid minutes puking his lungs out. He slumped down, banging his head repeatedly against
the wall, trying in some numb subconscious way to dislodge the knowledge hammering through his brain.
The only family he had left, anywhere, was his father. And while that put him a step up from just about everyone else in
the fleet, it was still an emotional kick in the stomach. And the figurative foot doing the kicking was wearing a steel-toed
boot of irony, because if you’d ask him at any point in his life after the age of fourteen, when he started his angry-young-man
phase with gusto and enthusiasm, his father would have been the one family member he’d have chosen to get rid
of. Of course he never wished the Commander dead, but if someone had offered to make it so Lee never had to see one
of his family again, he definitely wouldn’t have picked Zak or his mother.
One more reason to hate the Cylons. Not only were they homicidal, genocidal cheaters who didn’t fight fair, they also
had a collectively lousy sense of humor.
He was dimly aware that he was being hysterical and irrational, and that simply would not do. The CAG had to keep it together.
That was pretty much his entire job, actually; holding the pilots together. He was a pilot, therefore, he had to be together
too. Logical progressions weren’t easy when your head was throbbing and you might throw up again at any moment.
He chose rinsing his mouth over washing his face- gotta be careful with using water- and straightened the flight jacket he
really didn’t have to be wearing anymore. He needed to get himself up to the CIC and make the post-sweep report. The
Commander- his father- there was the nausea again- the Commander would be wondering where the hell he was. “Sorry,
sir, realized you were my last kin in the universe and had to stop to vomit” wasn’t going to cut it.
He met his eyes in the mirror for a moment. As soon as he was off-duty, he’d begin making his prayers to the Lords
of Kobol for his mother’s soul. She wouldn’t begrudge him the delay; she’d always known him best.