The planet was hot, humid, dry and windy. Long blond dregs of hair were blown into clear, cloudless blue eyes as Starbuck tried to see over the horizon of on coming sand. Great, a sand storm was just about to hit the small shelter he and Cy and built. He turned and hurried in, he shut the door and used a large metal beam — one he could hardly lift himself — to block the door. Hopefully it’d stay flush and the sand wouldn’t be too much of a problem.
There were several other problems his life was filled with these days. Loneliness being one of them; he’d never actually thought he could be lonely. He was all right amusing himself for several centares a day. He’d learnt early on in the Orphanage that one must amuse themselves and not to rely on others to help out a little child just looking for something to do. Of course, if someone had played with him Starbuck doubted he would have gotten into as much trouble as he did.
The other problem, seeing as how the loneliness was a feeling and not tangible in reality — food and water was not bountiful in this location. His rations were running out, he’d have to find a way to either make water or hope that somewhere on this god forsaken dust ball that there was some sort of oasis. And wouldn’t that just be convenient. Here he was all these long sectares surrounded by sand when in any number of maxims around the small glinting silver dome there was a green oasis full of water and food to last him a long time if he were careful not to use up ALL the resources.
Oh yeah, as if he was that lucky.
However, seeing as how he had nothing to do; not to mention that rebuilding Cy wasn’t going well for him at all based on all the sparking — he still felt bad about that. Here Cy had discovered — marginally — what it meant to be human just to…blink out on him. Starbuck refused to believe Cy was actually, truly dead.
And maybe his ego was just a bit hurt. Not that he’d admit it to anyone and seeing a show no one was here in the first place — he decided he wouldn’t feel overly bad about it in the first place. Besides, Cy was a machine some dumb lizard civilization had built. And it was the Cylon’s that’d killed those dumb lizards off later on when the Cylon’s discovered free will.
Okay, so it wasn’t exactly free will. Hive-mind…?
That made sense.
He could hear the wind beating against the shelter, the sand sprinkling in a rage against the outer shell. It almost reminded him of the sound of rain. Caprica was known for its sudden rain showers. He shook his head and sat down. The heating unit was out but Starbuck wanted to save as much fuel as he could. There would be enough for several most sectons — if he was careful. The cold though…how could a planet so hot during the day be so cold at night? It didn’t make any sense.
He shook his head. He would need the lamp though. It’d gone dark as he’d ignored the storm in light of his private thoughts. Okay, this reminded him too much of that ancient book about the man on the deserted island who talked to a coconut. It was one of Commander Adama’s favorite stories to tell. Starbuck knew he was far too gone in boredom since he was remembering that story he’d never actually read but heard in summary from the man who treated him like a son.
Starbuck tripped over much of the equipment in the small hovel before he found the lamp. It lit up, the small blue light lit up only a third of the dome. It cast things into a creepy half shadow. Starbuck knew what they were, the cooking pots, the large steel beam he used to barricade the door. The motionless, tin body of Cy that still refused to work for him.
He shivered. He knew what these items were. He knew that none of them could hurt him. Still, his mind ran away with him. The Cylon could come to life any second — without his help — and kill him a heart beat later. The pots and pans could lift up and fly around half hazardly and graze him in the head. That’s happen before, on the Galactica. He and Apollo had been hanging out in Apollo’s quarters when something made random objects in the room fly about, he’d been knocked unconscious and it wasn’t just them this happened too.
It turned out to be an exotic pet from Valeria; a planet in the Milky Way that had all the makings of Earth but without the oxygen. Only this monkey-type creature could survive without oxygen. Yet, it could breathe oxygen and turn invisible — all in all — it was more annoying than dangerous and once they found out what the animal could do, they came up with a way to contain it.
Starbuck laughed and shook his head. Okay, so that wasn’t a fear. Maybe he wasn’t as scared or sad as he’d thought he was just microns earlier. He sat down on the bench, set the lamp to his right side and reached for a tool. He’d scraped to ether any parts that looked usable. He was good at putting things back together, whether or not they did so originally. He’d made a toaster out of parts that never were meant to toast bread.
So, putting a Cylon back together couldn’t actually be that bad. Right?
There was a spark and it burnt the skin at the tips of his fingers, he pulled away with a slight whine and stuck two in his mouth. Dumb thing! He’d have to abuse Cy for doing this to him. How rude! Not that he was any match, physically against a Cylon. Cy had proven that plenty of times; though he hadn’t gotten hands-y with Starbuck.
Okay, correction, there was that time when he’d taught Cy how to play Pyramid. But that was about it. Cy looked like he wanted to…what? Sexually accost him? Oh yeah right, what a load of Frakking idiocy that was! A Cylon and a Human couldn’t have sex. The Cylon’s were never build for it, and…well…he’d been alone without the company of a woman for ages, so that was what that was all about.
And that crazy, sparkly lady didn’t count. She was pregnant and Starbuck never did go for crazy chicks. At least she and her son had gotten away in time. He picked up his wrench and started tightening bolts. The wires were frayed and needed replacing. Thankfully he’d pulled a shit ton from the other Cylon’s that’d blinked out in the fire fight. Hopefully, none would be forthcoming. He’d made sure that no emergency beacon had been engaged, except for his and maybe that was a shit ton of optimism he never tried to exercise at all.
“It’s been a Secton,” Starbuck muttered to himself. He sighed and dropped the wrench. This really sucked. Really, really sucked! He needed to get Cy back together and then go search for food and water. He hoped there was something, anything, in the desert that surrounds him.
Time had gotten away with him and the sand storm had stopped. The silence was the first thing that awoke Starbuck. He’d never consciously gone to bed. He’d just fallen asleep in his semi-despair. Slowly, he got to his feet and stretched out his vertebra. Some cracked and popped. He cringed. He always hated that sound. It sent shivers of annoyance down his veins to tingle at the tips of his fingers and toes.
Carefully he pulled the heavy metal beam away from the door and opened it to night. The stars above shone brightly and he wanted up amongst them. He’d been grounded for far too long. He wished, for a moment, Cy had never found that woman. He’d have been happy believe himself to be the only person on this dumb planet — he’d been happy to go about his escape that way. But, things had changed when Cy found her, brought her back thinking Starbuck would…have sex with her.
She and he never would have worked out anyway. She was something else all right. Something he shouldn’t mess around in that sort of way. Something about her made him want to though. He wouldn’t deny it. But Apollo had rubbed off on him and a sudden…well, not so sudden…bit of honor had reared its golden head and — he hoped Apollo would be proud of him to have treated the woman so well — and in these harsh conditions.
Starbuck lent against the door jamb and wished for a fumarillo. His supply was dwindling. He’d kept a box of twenty in his Viper for such cases as these and he was down to ten. He’d have to either give up smoking or…exercise extreme will power not to smoke any unless he’d achieved something that called for a celebration.
He hated it when the wind died down. And the silence echoed like a bad record. It filled his ears, it filled his head, it filled his soul, it filled his heart and it scared him - really scared him. Something hid in the silence. He was sure of that, whatever it was; it never showed what it was; if it were real or mystic.
His stomach growled and roused him from all of these thoughts. He shook his head and retreated inside. He shut the door, barricaded it just to be safe. He checked his lazier pistol.
That was something.
Starbuck wished he had a manual about re-wiring a Cylon. As it was the specs he’d gotten from their battleship was all mangled and in writing he didn’t understand at all. But, something happened. For a centon - after he’d hooked up the wires from Cy to the power unit…the eye socket glowed a bright red.
It went out, but…at least it was progress.