Remember passing notes in school? C'mon: we all did it at one time or another. Usually we would comment on how stupid the teacher was, or "Do you have the answers to yesterday's math assignment? I'll give you my Twinkies for them!!!", or what a fool the class geek made of himself today in P.E.

Justine and I were no different.

By now, we had begun calling each other by Galactican names -- I was Cassiopeia to her Serina. We made up little stories for each other to trade on Monday mornings before school. She and Apollo were having a nice, romantic dinner, when Boxey barged in with a bunch of his friends and demanded a cute way, of course. Athena almost caught Starbuck and me kissing each other in the Officers' Club after hours. How disappointed we were when the Triad game was cancelled because the opposing team was late getting back from patrol. (Okay, like they would never go straight from patrol to a Triad game...we were kids!)

One day, Justine didn't seem herself. She was coming down with a cold, and something was wrong at home. I couldn't think of anything better to do for her, so sometime during Father Petusky's religion class, she was passed a note that went something like this:

My Dearest Serina,

I hope you are feeling better. I'm sorry I have to go out on a deep space patrol and leave you all alone, but it's my orders. I told Boxey to bring you some soup. I will miss you for as long as I'm out in the stars, and when I get back I will give you the longest, big romantic kiss you have ever gotten from anyone. Think about me holding you in a big, warm hug while I'm out on patrol.

I love you forever,


I watched her opening the note, and reading it with her eyebrows knit together. Suddenly, she looked across the desks and flashed a huge grin my direction. Out came her notebook, and she went to work scribbling. About ten minutes later, I received words akin to:

Darling Cassie,

While I'm out on deep space patrol, you keep thinking all about me. You will be what I'm thinking about while I'm looking to make sure there are no Cylons out there. I love you, and I am already missing you too much. I want to hurry up and find Earth so we can stay there and be happy. When I get back, we can go somewhere quiet and talk and kiss. But not the launch tubes.

I love you a lot,


I started giggling uncontrollably when I read the line about the launch tubes, and had to conceal the note quickly. My little disruption had earned me a stern glare from Father Petusky, who didn't seem to appreciate being interrupted while lecturing us about sheep's testicles. (No, I have no clue what he was referring to, but I distinctly remember something about said items.)

This opened up a whole new venue for us. We knew nothing of fanfic back then, yet here we were, writing bits of it during class. Notes addressed to "Sydney" and "Justine" soon had the names "Cassie" and "Serina" on the outside. The kids at the desks in between us thought it was weird, but passed the notes anyway. It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out who they were for.

The novelizations of the series began appearing in our desks. While everyone in class took turns "reading aloud" from our science texts (dated 1964, and posing hypothetical questions about the lunar surface), we pretended to follow along in our books, while actually absorbing ourselves in the paperbacks held in our laps. Believe it or not, I was only caught once.

The blacktop of the "playground" became the Galactica, the Rising Star, a new planet the fleet had just discovered. The steps and entryway to St. Francis was the bridge of the Galactica, and it seems we were on the bridge quite a bit more than our television counterparts. (Hey, we had to be where all the action was!) Mom bought me a new pair of shoes, blue suede with thick soles, and Justine immediately envied me because we thought they looked kind of like Colonial Warrior's boots. I think my sister offered her pair to Justine at some point---she thought they were the ultimate in nerd-gear.

Then Justine asked if I wanted to spend the night that Friday. My parents had no problem with it, so after school I walked home with my friend.

Unlike my bedroom, which sitll had parentally-installed needlepoint on the walls, hers was beginning to look like a regular teenager's room. There were pinups taped to the plaster of Leif Garrett, Supertramp, Larry Wilcox and Erik Estrada...and in the place of honor over her bed were twin "Teen Beat" glossies of Richard Hatch and Dirk Benedict. I let out a squeal when I saw them, and jumped on her bed for a closer look. She stood next to me, arms folded, grinning proudly. Inane pre-teen chatter filled the room as she pulled out various other magazines and displayed all the "Battlestar Galactica" stuff she owned. I was in heaven.

After dinner, we sat in front of the television until her mother informed us she was going to bed. We could stay up, but please be quiet. *Sure. Fine. We agree. Please go to your room now.* Justine whispered to me to stay in the living room for a while longer, which was fine with me anyway. An old episode of "Adam-12" had somehow found its way to the late-night lineup on UHF.

Every so often, Justine would rise and tiptoe over to her mother's bedroom door, listen, then resume her seat next to me. "Whatcha doin'?" I finally asked her. She told me that she was listening for her mom to snore, which would mean she'd finally fallen asleep. We didn't have to wait that long before a huge snore erupted from the far room. Collapsing in a fit of giggles, I followed her back to her bedroom.

Oh, you know there's MORE