Title: How Like Apollo
Author: Karolyn Gray <email@example.com>
Synopsis: Some days he forgets his namesake. This isn't one of them.
Characters: Lee Adama, Tom Zarek
Spoilers: S2 through Resistance and The Farm
Word Count: 1,416 words
Disclaimers: Not mine. RDM said we could play with them. All Battlestar Galactica names, characters and other related indicia are the property of Glen Larson, RDM, Universal, the Scifi Channel and all associated parties. No copyright infringement is intended.
A/N: Not beta'd.
How Like Apollo
by Karolyn Gray
Lee Adama jerked away, his puffs of air leaving light contrails in the chilled air before him. He rubbed his shaking hands over his face trying to wipe the residual nightmare images of his father's sprawled form, blood spreading thickly over the tactical table his eyes staring into his with accusation as he looked to see the instrument of his father's demise in his own hand. He swallowed hard, fighting down the urge to vomit his nightmare had brought on.
His eyes snapped open at the sound of Zarek's voice so close to him, not sure what to make of the expression on the terrorist-turned-politician's face. I'm fine, he replied sitting up quickly and making a visual check on the President and Mother Elosha sleeping nearby.
Of course you are, Zarek agreed. It's when the nightmare comes true you won't be.
Lee snapped his eyes back to Zarek. What?
He watched something pass across Zarek's face before the older man shifted closer. I was like you once. Innocent, idealistic, trusting.
And then you decided to blow up a building, killing innocent people, Lee interjected.
Yes, after I allowed my obsession to turn me into the very monster I was fighting against, Zarek agreed with some regret in his voice.
The Captain grimaced at that. And you're reformed now. All repentant and forgiven.
Maybe, maybe not. The Gods will decide that. The older man shrugged. Have you ever been to Sagittaron?
A few times, Lee admitted. Mostly shore leave and one month long TDY.
Then you never left the capital? At the younger man's nod, Zarek sighed. Then you never saw the real Sagittaron, the barren wastelands left by the other colonies as they raped my world of its resources, the squalor and oppression most Sagittarian's lived in despite the signing of the Articles of Colonization, never experienced the discrimination Sagittarians face in everyday life, even on our own world.
Things were getting better, Lee pointed out. Government programs to restore the ecosystem and economic benefits to Sagittaron businesses had been implemented.
Zarek shook his head in obvious disgust. Hand outs to assuage the other Colonies' guilty conscience. It didn't change the hundreds of years of slavery my people suffered while the rest of the Colonies grew powerful and decadent off of our backs.
I know. Lee agreed obvious regret in his voice. But it still doesn't excuse what you did.
What I did, I did out of a lack of hope, a lack of options. No one wanted to see or hear the truth, Zarek replied. I lost sight of my goal in my anger, and with it the message I wanted to deliver. It never should have gone as far as it did.
Is that regret I hear? Lee asked.
Zarek paused for a moment considering the younger man for a moment. For the innocents that were killed, yes. Not for the reasons behind the bombing.
So why are you telling me this? Lee asked. You know I read your book, even agree with some of the things you wrote about. I also know you had something to do with Valance's death. From where I sit, you're still Tom Zarek terrorist and murderer.
Your on the same path. The older man said quietly.
Don't become like me, Zarek said.
Lee snorted at that. Oh, like that is going to happen, he retorted derisively.
Zarek smiled crookedly at that. I understand your skepticism. No one ever thinks they're going to be the bad guy, be the one to do things that leave the world stunned in shock and horror. Become the enemy.
So I'm the enemy? Lee asked.
Not yet, the older man replied. But you could become a danger, a threat.
Lee just shook his head in disbelief. Like you have the right to judge who is dangerous? Why am I even listening to you?
Because how like Apollo you are, Zarek replied. You want to believe in the best in everyone.
It's just a stupid nickname, Lee countered irritably, wrapping his arms around himself in the vain hope of warding off the chill.
Everyone knows about the Lord of Prophecy. How Apollo is the patron of the arts, a healer, and skilled archer. Some even say he is the perfect embodiment of man, Zarek continued as if never being interrupted, leaning against the wall beside the younger man and shoving his hands into the pockets of his jacket. A lot like you, actually.
Lee actually laughed at that, quickly quieting himself when he noticed Roslin shift on her pallet at the sound. Well, Mr. Zarek, I hate to shatter your little delusion but I've never prophesied anything, I'm lucky when I can win a Triad hand against Starbuck. Calling for medical personnel is about the extent of my healing ability, I have all the artistic talent of a gnat, and I'll stick to my pistol if I feel the need to shoot someoneyou volunteering?
No need for violence, Captain. I wasn't speaking literally, Zarek noted with small smile. Besides, I think too many people forget the other stories of Apollo; the tales where he was a vindictive god whose arrows would bring plague and death to those that he vented his wrath upon. How Apollo challenged the Gods themselves to protect humanity, even challenging mighty Zeus.
And paid for his betrayal with banishment and servitude before his re-ascension, Lee finished quietly. I know the stories as well as anyone.
So then you see the similarities?
The younger man shrugged indifferently. Right. Whatever you say.
Zarek pushed himself of the wall. I guess you need to decide then, don't you?
Decide which side you're on. Noting the younger man's glare, Zarek continued quickly. I meant which role of Apollo will you chose to play?
I choose to be myself. Lee retorted.
I suppose that's good enough. At least for now, Zarek said with a small approving nod of the head. Though I do wonder why you are here with Roslin. You don't seem the religious type.
Neither do you. She's the President. My father's termination of her presidency was illegal. Lee replied. After a moments thought he shrugged. So, what are you in this for?
Zarek smiled slyly at the younger man at that, brown eyes crinkling with amusement. I could tell you any number of reasons but you wouldn't believe them and simply make up whatever you believe my motivations to be. Maybe I'm trying to reclaim the idealistic young man fighting a corrupt government I started my life as. Or maybe I'm the power hungry manipulator seeking to become a despot. Either way, it doesn't really matter does it?
I suppose not, Lee agreed grudgingly.
Well, while this has been an interesting chat, Captain Apollo, I need to contact my people.
Zarek, just one thing more.
A small frown flitted across Zarek's face as he turned to face the Captain. And what's that?
I will oppose your election to the Presidency. Lee stated matter-of-factly.
Of that I have no doubt, Captain. At least you I can genuinely respect. I look forward to it. Zarek nodded his head and departed the chamber, the clanking and hiss of the seal signaling his final departure.
Lee allowed himself to slump back against the wall, trying his best to ignore the added chill pressed firmly into his back. A chill that oddly only seemed to add to the weariness and dread his nightmare and Zarek's little chat had left in him. Closing his eyes, he decided to try and simply rest even if only for a while, somehow getting a bad feeling he was going to need it.
He snorted at that. 'Bad feeling? Great, Lee. Let Zarek frak with your head with thoughts of Apollo.'
Not for the first time he wishes he were anywhere but here, Caprica, Picon Fleet HQ, Atlantia. Someplace where he could forget being Apollo, and just be Lee Adama. Some place he could be just another Viper pilot and officer where he could forget his namesake. Except that all those places no longer exist, erased in a flash of Cylon nukes and mechanical destruction.
Actually it wasn't too bad on Galactica before everything had spun out of control, really. He was Captain Adama, CAG to most, 'The Dad' to his rowdier nuggets, Lee to a handful of people he cared for and cared back. Some days he can even forget his namesake.
This isn't one of them.
Frakking Zarek, he muttered.
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