Third Letter

Written on 60 ACH. Folded-up and placed into one of the books in her bunk.

Dear Dad,

I'm sorry I haven't written recently. This might be kinda long, too.. So get a glass of whiskey and settle in.. You haven't seen me there in the Fields so I hope that hasn't caused any confusion. I've just been.. well.. Its hard to explain. I've been sleeping a little more recently, but having trouble again the last few days. But further back, I went against my swear and volunteered for a Raptor mission. But only because nobody else was up for the Two-Alpha. So Micah and I went. Bless him. I wish you and Paps could have met him, actually. He's a really good guy and one of the single best wingmen anyone could ask for.

But we went on a mission to Leonis. Recon in farce, really. Some Marine Lieutenant thought it might be a good idea to have us scramble to take out some Walkers. We end up having to take this experimental ship. Low-altitude gun runs are exciting but I'm not going to forget what it feels like to get shot. Three times. The last thing I remember was squeezing the trigger and a loud bang. Micah pulled my seat first before he got his own, I guess. When I woke up, it was in some cabin. Reminded me of that place up north of Delphi in the mountains where we would ski. When I woke up? And I saw it? I thought I was back there. I was so happy. I thought I had died. I expected to smell mom's pancakes and hear you bitching about the burned coffee. But after a few moments, the pain registered. It all crashed down again. It was like losing you all twice. I hated it and cursed the Gods. Nearly cried. And then I saw that Micah had been shot-up too. Others were injured and we were in trouble. I dunno.. just in an instant? Nothing else mattered. Only the people I was with. I fought hard to stay with it. I wanted to face down the Cylons. I didn't wait to fail before the fight had started again. It was a horrible feeling.. That I wouldn't be able to stand and man the line. But eventually the danger passed. I remember laying on the floor of this shitty little cabin in the kitchen, staring at Micah and his wounds. I didn't want to die. I wanted to fight for Micah. I wanted to make sure everyone else got out. I was the ranking officer on site and I was failing!!! Gods. I hated myself for wanting to die. How frakking selfish was I??? The next thing I remember well is waking up back on the Genesis.

Let me tell you Dad, that did it for me. I woke up and heard that we all made it out but for one Marine. I knew I wasn't responsible for that. Not even the good. But hearing that we were back home? I thought about everything. What I had gone through and my own feelings on it. That thing I was looking for? That reason to keep going? It was right in front of my face every frakking morning and I was too busy being a frak-up and a selfish brat to recognize it. All these people we fight with? Not just the Raptor jockies. Everyone. They're the reason to keep going, now. As long as they're putting it down, who the frak am I to think I'm a special case? Well Rue.. She's my CAG and a super woman.. She came to see me in sickbay while I was recovering. We talked. I apologized. She listened and smiled at me. I promised her I would stop being a little shit. She just said she only wanted her pilot back. All the stupid crap I have put her and Captain Nikos through and she only says she wants her pilot back? Frak, Dad. That resolved it. Someone as stout as that who cares that much about their pilots? Hell no. I had no right to behave the way I was.

I stuck to my word. I've had to bite-back a lot. Keep my snarky trap shut and just take it sometimes. Behave like an officer should. It sucks but damnit, I'm doing it. Captain Nikos - my squadron commander - said that she was glad to see I wasn't just reacting to things anymore, that I was thinking before I made a move. That really rung true. I've reflected a lot on that the past month. I shouldn't, but I guess I siphon some pride off that. I should be that way anyway. But it helps make it easier when something happens that I don't like. I think about what she said and then think about what I'm doing and why things happen. I feel a lot better about myself, too. Confident. And not in that stupid Ensign way that I'm starting to notice in others. I face myself in the mirror every morning, put on my flight suit, and I know.. Well I don't know exactly what I know. I guess I lack the smarts to describe it. But I don't feel like I need to tell everyone I'm ready to scrap anymore. I can wait. I can be patient. Dad, I feel like I've finally come into my own. Like I'm starting to be that daughter I always wanted to be for you. Someone who does the family name proud and doesn't need to throw a punch to defend the honor. Hopefully you agree.

Annnnd… I guess I should tell you about Quill. Uhm. Okay, he makes me cry. But that's because I love him. I never understood what Mom meant about that. That the man I loved the most would be the one I cried the hardest over? Well you tell her she's exactly right. Quill has me and I can't shake him out of my heart, no matter how hard I jink. Everything was really good until he told me about something and then it fell apart. But Micah convinced me to give it another shot. I was nervous, but I went back to him. I demanded answers. I felt awful about it, too. But I heard more than I expected. Things that made me realize I was stupid for waiting so long to go back and talk to him. Lost time. He's a showman and a talented man. Just.. be patient because he's a Snipe. And I swear to Gods, Dad, if you ever give me a hard time about it.. I'll tell mom about that waitress at that little cabana on Caprica last year. The one that hit on you all night? Yeah. I was sober enough to remember. But he's a good man. I trust him with my heart. And nearly as important? Micah trusts him with my heart. He has me Dad and I'm not sure I want him to let go. So if I ever show up in the Elysian Fields with him, I want you to give him a chance. I know Mom would really like him. Paps? Not so much. But once again.. you know Paps. 'Go Vipers or Go Home!' and all that.

Pass this around to everyone. Let them all know I'm going to make it. That I'm in the company of heroes. That we have our heads held high and we aren't backing down. That I'm standing tall with the rest. In mind, body, and soul. Guide my guns, Dad, and get comfortable. It'll be awhile before I see you all again.

Kiss mom for me.
Pass the love around.
Keep a glass of whiskey iced for me.
I'll see you when I see you.
I miss you.

Love and G-Forces,
Baylee

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