Sunday, November 05, 2006

One Little Fantasy Scene: Galactica

Sometimes a person’s imagination fixates on one simple, powerful fantasy. You know what I mean, a little scene that you replay over and over in your head, which for whatever reason evokes powerful emotions in you that you savor again and again. It’s like a sexual fetish in a way: this fantasy mini-drama grips you, almost takes you over, for awhile.

I’ve had this experience from time to time, and my most recent one draws upon the superb sci-fi show “Battlestar Galactica.” I’ve been watching the previous two seasons on DVD with my husband, in a mad rush to catch up to the current episodes. We’re really quite addicted to it. And we’re both great admirers of Commander William Adama, senior officer of the Galactica, portrayed masterfully by Edward James Olmos. Adama is a fascinating character, a mature hero with a bit of a fatherly quality, who is complexly human. Interestingly, I had no sexual feelings for the character until the scene that follows suddenly invaded my mind.

How strange is the imagination. Was I subconsciously attracted to Commander Adama before I envisioned this, or did it inspire me to fall for him? Your guess is as good as mine.

At any rate, I set down this tiny piece of classic fan fiction. The narrator is the invented character Lieutenant Sara Linderman, an officer on Galactica, in a scene with the Commander. The archetypes are so timeless, you hardly need to have ever seen the show to appreciate what is going on. Or so I suppose, on.


“Come in, Lieutenant,” said Commander Adama, looking up at the doorway from his desk.

The room was dimly lit by his desk lamp, and the book-lined walls bathed in amber light gave a cozy feel. I took a couple of steps, then said, “May I close the door?”

“Of course,” he said, removing his glasses and setting them on the desk. “From the look of you, this seems like a serious matter. Please, have a seat.”

He indicated a chair at his side worktable. As I sat down, he slid his own chair out from behind the desk. When he had seated himself in it, I found his knee was nearly touching mine. Adama was a personable man who often parted with protocol to be affectionate, and we had worked together so long I had become used to his physical closeness. However, in this situation I was especially aware of it; I could practically feel the warmth of that knee. His eyes looked into mine, brows raised slightly with obvious curiosity.

I took a deep breath and released it. “Sir, rest assured I will file a formal request in this regard, but I wanted to discuss it with you personally first.”

The curiosity became concern. “A formal request? What request?”

I sat up very straight and looked him in the eye. “Commander, I request a transfer to Battlestar Pegasus.”

He visibly started. Then, after a pause, he said, “The Pegasus is not under my command.”

“That’s the point, sir,” I interjected at once.

Was that a look of hurt I saw? If so, it was fleeting. He resumed, in a professional tone, “And what might be the reason for this request?”

“With all due respect, Commander, I would prefer not to give a reason.”

His face went stern. “Your preference is not relevant, Lieutenant. I’m not about to transfer one of my best officers to the Admiral’s command without a reason. A very good one. So answer me.”

I looked away from him. I had never once defied him in all my years of service, and I knew I couldn’t do it now, either. What he asked, I answered, what he ordered, I did. But I knew once I spoke, there would be no turning back, ever. Regulations and common sense dictated only one course of action.

I felt a warm hand cover mine. I turned to find Adama looking at me with kindness in his eyes, stark contrast to his harsh tone of the moment before. “Sara, after all we’ve been through, how can there be anything you can’t tell me?”

For all our professionalism—and we were both very professional soldiers—there had been many times we’d been as close as two humans could be. I’d saved his life and he’d saved mine. We’d shared terror and triumph, grief and joy. It was not the first time he had touched my hand in kindness, and indeed, I had not so long ago lain in his arms wondering if I would die from my wounds. That, in fact, was the moment I had finally faced the truth.

“Sir, I request the transfer because…because I’m in love with you,” I said.

My entire fate hinged on how he would respond to this. I watched his face intently, looking for a reaction. For a moment his eyes went wide, and then he seemed to struggle to collect himself. His hand remained on mine, completely still. Finally, he blinked, and sat back a little, forcing a smile. “Lieutenant Linderman, believe me, you’re not the first soldier to develop an infatuation for a superior officer. That sort of thing has been going on since war was invented. I don’t mean to belittle your feelings, but it would be a very bad decision to make too much of them.”

He drew away his hand, but on impulse I snatched it back. I looked hard into his eyes. “Commander, you know I’m not making too much of them. You know.”

I clung tight to his fingers. His eyes searched my face. How I loved those eyes! I loved when they were angry and stern, I loved when they were gentle and compassionate. I couldn’t imagine my world without them…but that was what I was asking for.

He opened his mouth to speak, then closed it. His free hand came up. I expected him to stroke my cheek; it was a fatherly gesture I’d seen him use several times in crisis to calm a female soldier, myself included. But his hand stopped to take hold of my chin. His grip was firm.

I opened my mouth to speak, although I hardly knew what to say. But the look in Adama’s eyes silenced me. He lowered his chin and leaned to me, cocking his head a little. Oh gods, did he mean to…?

In an instant I got my answer. He closed his eyes and I closed mine, and I felt his mouth upon my lips. I kissed him back, fervently. He took hold of my shoulders in his two strong hands and gripped them tight, and kissed me. I put my arms up his back. His hands slipped behind me, his arms pulled me in till I was pressed into his firm chest, enfolded in his warmth. His kisses were so kind, so gentle, so full of love and tenderness that I wanted to cry.

At last we drew apart. His hands took both of mine and held them very tightly. He closed his eyes, sighed, opened them again. A resolute look came over his face. “Your request is granted, Lieutenant,” he said. “I’ll send paperwork to the Admiral in the morning.”

My throat tightened. “Thank you, sir,” I told him, my voice nearly breaking and my eyes welling with tears.

“The reasons will remain confidential,” he added.

Reasons, plural. I managed a little smile. “Thank you, Commander. Thank you.”

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