CHARACTERS: Lee, Bill, and others.
SUMMARY: It's Bill Adama's Birthday! What is Lee up to?
DISCLAIMER: Battlestar Galactica and all the characters therein belong to Ron Moore and his team of writers. I make no profit from this, I'm only playing with them, and honestly Ron says I can...
SPOILERS: Happens sometime in the middle of Season 3, presumably between A Day in Life and Dirty Hands. Slightly spoiler-ish to the opening scene in The Son Also Rise, but it's mostly AU.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is written in celebration of The Adama Realm's 3rd anniversary!
"This is ridiculous!" Bill swore under his breath.
Where is Lee? Not showing up for a birthday party is one thing, not showing up for duty is another. Many things may be said about Lee, but Bill knew irresponsible is not one of them.
Truth be told, Bill is getting worried. He knows his son is quite capable of taking care of himself. But still... Lee has never been so much as late for work before. Even Tigh commented this was not like Apollo.
Bill ordered a ship wide search. Captain Kelly, Galactica's Landing Signal Officer reported he last saw Apollo on the flight deck early this morning. Even though the CAG was off duty at the time, Kelly noted, he nonetheless took out a Raptor for a ride.
Turned out the LSO was the last person to see Lee before he disappeared. Much to Kelly's distress, he didn't try hard enough to find out where Apollo was headed.
"Don't beat yourself up on it," Bill assured the distraught officer. "He would've told you had he wanted you to know."
Bill dismissed Kelly. It looks like Lee never made his way back. He's still somewhere out in the fleet.
"What are you up to now, Lee?" Silently Bill questioned the empty space next to him...
Wilson and his men entered the room where their captive is held. On the floor is the prone figure of Lee Adama. It has been several hours since the last time they left him there drugged to his eyeballs, again.
Sometimes Wilson wondered if they should just go ahead and kill the prisoner. But murder is a tiresome business, especially when the victim is such a high profile figure. Zarek had metaphorically referred to the younger Adama as the "Prince" of the fleet, and Wilson inclined to agree. After all, this is the son of the most powerful man in this leftover world. No, Wilson consented; there are better ways to handle the situation.
Too bad Lee Adama had been meddlesome. He should have minded his own business. Instead, he stumbled upon something he should never have seen. Wilson knew it's crucial that no illegal activities could be traced to the Office of the Vice President--his entire livelihood depended on it. Wilson does not intend to loose his meal ticket. He wants to live a large life. Well, as much as the circumstance will allow. He sneers at anyone who suggests money no longer matters. Truth is money is always important. Even in this reduced existence, there are the haves and the have-nots, and Wilson will do anything to be included among the first group.
Although Lee Adama was in no condition to cause any trouble, they still kept his hands tied behind his back and his feet bound at the ankles just to be safe. Now the effect of the drug is wearing off, the young man has folded into a fetal position as the first wave of withdrawal sets in.
Wilson knew the fleet wide search for the missing Major has started two days ago. Soldiers from Galactica were all over the ships looking for clues. However, it didn't really bother Wilson and his men. They had already dosed their prisoner several times with a highly purified and potent stim. Now they are ready to proceed with the next step.
Wilson waved his men to bring their captive over. Rough hands unceremoniously hauled Lee Adama off the floor. By this time, the young man is too frail to offer any resistance. Wilson noted with a satisfaction that even though their prisoner was only in their custody for three days, he's already looking gaunt.
Lee Adama was on the lean side to begin with, and for the past days, he was given nothing but stim injections. The man's arm is now lined with the telltale signs of tiny needle marks. There are dark circles underneath his large eyes. And those eyes, once vivid blue, now appear dull and unfocused. His formal chiseled features have now turned into sharp bones and sunken cheeks, and are marred by dirt and bruises. In other words, Lee Adama now looks the picture of a stim junkie.
Lee felt himself being dragged, and then a cold hand was placed on his feverish face, tilting his chin up. He knew he's being studied, but he's past caring. He is in too much pain. A bone deep ache has spread through his body some time ago. And a gnarling cramp settled in his stomach. Nauseated, he doubled over trying to find some comfort. Despite so many large bullies crowding the space, the room felt chilly, and Lee couldn't stop shivering.
"I think our guest here is ready for another dose of our sweet juice." Sickly Wilson snickered.
Despite the fuzziness of his mind, Lee heard the threat. To his horror, he found he's body craved for the now familiar rush of the injection. At a small corner in his mind, reason still lingered, telling him this is bad, very bad.
"No! No more please..." He begged. "...enough already..."
Lee felt the bounds came off. He half-heartedly tried to pull free. But he was no match for those iron grips.
"Nonononono..." Lee writhed helplessly as the needle once again plunged into his vein. Seconds later his moan faded away as the familiar sensation enveloped his body.
Lee was lost again in the drug-induced world. Uncaring he was when Wilson's men posed his body. They sat him down on the floor with his back slouched against a wall. His head was turned into an angle that mostly hid the bruises and cuts on his face. Limply, his right hand clutched at the syringe they stuffed there. The right sleeve of his fatigues was pulled down to hide the ugly bruise on his wrist while the left one was pushed up, revealing the needle marks near the crook of his arm. They extended his left arm out so that only his forearm would show in the picture--the needle marks clearly visible.
Satisfied with their handiworks, the goons stood back while Wilson took out a camera...
Kara is livid. She knew something has happened to Lee. She can feel it. Lee is in trouble, and there's not a damn thing she can do about it.
It's been more than three days since Lee went missing. Ironically, that day started out on a cheerful note. Everyone on Galactica was all happy and excited about Admiral's birthday party so that no one suspected anything was amiss. In retrospect, she should have known things weren't right when Lee failed to make an appearance. But after that crap Lee gave her about Adama men's aversion to birthdays, she thought he'd deliberately avoided the occasion.
The good news was the Marines had located the Raptor Lee took out on Prometheus. But the trail went cold from there. Kara, in her full-blown Starbuck mode, had led the soldiers to storm the ship. Yet they weren't able to turn up anything useful.
Gods, Kara hated Prometheus. It's the only ship in the fleet whose original schematic map doesn't mean anything anymore. They've built so many secret rooms and passage ways there that it's impossible to search through everything in a short period of time. On top of that, nobody on that ship was talking, admitting he or she ever saw the Major in recent days. Kara knew some of them were lying. Apollo's well-known status in the fleet notwithstanding, Kara knew her friend stood out no matter where he went. The fact Lee's Raptor was found in the ship's landing bay meant someone had to have seen him over there. So just what were these people hiding?
Realistically, Kara conceded Lee could have been anywhere in the fleet by now. Yet she had a hunch she missed some important clues back on Prometheus. There must have been indications on that ship suggesting why Lee went there in the first place, and what might have happened to him afterwards.
So she kept going back to that loathed ship, hunting for any signs that looked suspicious.
Kara trudged through the infamous market, eyes scanning the crowd, carefully looking for anything that was out of place. Her eyes narrowed as she caught the sight of several men and women hutched together at a corner fifty feet away. She's not sure what made her notice these people. Maybe it was the furtive glances a couple of them gave her when they sensed her presence. Kara decided they looked like they had something they wished to hide from her.
She reached the group in several long strides. Like vermin, some of them already scurried away. The man in the center however, was trying to put away a large piece of paper.
"Hand it over!" Kara roared.
The man startled. Shakily he handed Kara whatever was in his hand without a fuss.
As Kara took hold of the paper, she noticed the rather large words "Fleet Exposure" printed across the top. Her heart sank. These people were merely reading the trashy tabloid page that had unfortunately found its popularity among some of the impressionable souls. Just as she was ready to dismiss the whole thing however, the picture printed at the center of the page caught her attention.
She almost didn't recognize her friend. But that face, emaciated as it may be, was unmistakably Lee. It belonged to the man who haunted her in her dreams. Her heart twisted as she took note of the syringe in his hand. Her mouth turned dry at the sight of his arm, lined with dots of red needle marks.
Kara quickly scanned the article. It was some verbage about stim use on the rise within the fleet. It surmised that even prominent figures were finding solace in the addictive drug these days. Although it didn't name names, the accompanying picture more than adequately pointed the fingers.
Kara's mind screamed rejection. No, this can't be true, not the straight-arrow Lee. He would never stoop so low. He is the one with the strength, he is the one always does the right thing...
Yet Kara could not quiet the little disconcerting voice that rose from her heart: then why did Lee went to Prometheus all by himself? Why didn't he breathe a word to anyone on what he was doing?
"What have you done to yourself, Lee?" Kara cried silently.
Conflicted, she for once didn't know what to do...