Nothing but the rain

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Galactica commander William Adama and Viper pilot Kara "Starbuck" Thrace share a greeting on occasion:

Adama: What do you hear?
Thrace: Nothing but the rain.

This appears to have originated from Galactica's earlier Cylon War-era commander, as Adama and Jaycie McGavin lightheartedly mimic the greeting during one of their sexual encounters (Razor Flashbacks, Episode 1).

It is first heard when Adama shares the greeting with Thrace as she jogs through the battlestar's corridors in the hours prior to the battlestar's scheduled decommissioning (TRS: "Miniseries, Night 1").

Later while Starbuck defends Lee "Apollo" Adama's crippled Viper at the Ragnar Anchorage, William Adama uses their greeting over the wireless to draw Starbuck's attention and call her back to Galactica before making their escape FTL jump, with the sounds of debris deflecting off her cockpit adding some resonance to it (TRS: "Miniseries, Night 2").

Before making an unauthorized jump to Cylon-occupied Caprica in a captured Raider, Thrace tells Adama that she is "bringing home the cat" after he questions her actions (TRS: "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part I").

In a deleted scene for the same episode, Adama again asks Starbuck what she hears when she is jogging through Galactica's hallways.

Over two years later, before her Viper is lost and she is presumed dead in "Maelstrom," a distracted Thrace walks past Admiral Adama and President Laura Roslin, oblivious to their presence, when Adama uses their greeting once more to get Thrace's attention. Adama again uses the greeting when he temporarily departs Galactica to wait for the missing President Roslin in "Sine Qua Non".

Adama and Thrace exchange the greeting one last time when they say their goodbyes in "Daybreak, Part II".


The greeting is generally consistent except for Thrace's last line, an acknowledgment which she tends to improvise:

Adama: Starbuck, what do you hear?
Starbuck: Nothing but the rain (sir).
Adama: Then grab your gun and bring in the cat.
Starbuck: Boom, boom, boom! / Wilco! / Aye-aye, sir!


  • According to a blog entry by Ronald D. Moore, the exchange is "a riff on contemporary marching chants or cadences used in the military called 'jodies'." He suggests that it has a deeper meaning for the characters, but he never wrote out the entire chant.
  • In the Season 4 episode Sine Qua Non, William Adama changes his final line slightly to "Then grab your gun and bring the cat in."