INT. SHOT – BATTLESTAR ORTHRUS – MAXWELL’S STATEROOM
Maxwell is at his desk reviewing records from Zero Hour and fleet maintenance reports from archives. There is a knock on his door.
The hatch opened and Matthews walked in. “You wanted to see me?”
“Yes. Shut th’ door n’ hav’ a seat.”
Matthews sat down in one of the high backed leather chairs in front of his commander’s desk. He observed his commander poring over voluminous amounts of paper stacked in front of him like a makeshift wall. “Can I-”
The commander held up a finger, still reading. After putting the page on a stack to his right, he pushed the stack to the edge of the desk. “Can ye review tha’ stack for me n’ tell me wot ye see?”
Matthews picked up the sheaf and quickly reviewed them. He frowned. “These are all the fleet vessels we lost on Day Zero.”
“Wot’s th’ common factor?”
He XO reviewed them again thoroughly. “They were lost to hardware malfunction of one sort or another.”
“Correct. Now, take a look at th’ drydock listin’.”
“Each ship was upgraded within the last year and supplied with Dr. Baltar’s Command Navigation Program.”
“Now,” Maxwell said, pushing a small stack to his left to the edge. “Review this pile n’ tell me wot tha’ commonality is.”
Matthews sat the previous stack down and picked up the new one. “These are the vessels in our own fleet, including us.” He slowly examined the report. “They were not upgraded with the CNP, either they were too old for it to run. Or, in our case, it simply wasn’t done.”
“Exactly,” Maxwell said, leaning back in his chair. He gestured over the paper cluttering his desk. “I’ve bin goin’ through this every spare chance I get. Somethin’ about th’ day th’ Colonies were attacked didn’ sit right wit me. How were th’ Cylons able t’ pull off such a devastatin’ attack n’ nae suffer as near as many casualties as us?”
“Baltar’s program was compromised somehow. That’s the only answer I see.”
Maxwell leaned forward, putting his elbows on his desk. “I agree, but tha’ leaves ‘nother question. How’d they d’ it? Th’ toasters haven’ bin seen for forty years. How did they manage t’ corrupt a program without us noticin’ a clanker in our midst?”
Matthews grimaced as a realization came to him. “Sympathizers.”
“I’m afraid tha’s a possibility, unless we find evidence tha’ proves otherwise.”
“Why in the Gods’ names would anyone do such a thing?”
Maxwell shrugged. “Slave owner’s guilt? Deluded holy rollers? Who knows? But tha’ doesn’ matter now. This does.” He picked up a piece of paper and handed it to his XO, who glanced over it.
“This is the quartermaster’s report for the entire fleet.”
“Yes, ‘n as ye kin see, we’re startin’ t’ run a wee bit low on supplies. Part o’ tha’ is my fault, keepin’ th’ Orthrus out longer than we should’ve. As lovely as it ‘tis t’ hav’ a pod o’ humanity, we run on our stomachs, unlike th’ Cylons.”
“What do you need me to do?”
“I need ye t’ figure out a way for us t’ become more self-sufficient. Or, at th’ verra least, figure out a way t’ secure more food for us.”
“I have an answer to that, but it won’t be easy.”
“I’m all ears.”
“We make a covert trip back to the colonies using Raptors, sending small teams to get what we need.”
“Sounds good. Get me an outline o’ th’ mission details by next Watch.”
INT. LONG SHOT – BATTLESTAR ORTHRUS – PILOT READY ROOM
At the podium stands Kellan Matthews. Behind him is a representation of the Colonial solar system. The audience seats are completely full of pilots.
“I’ve called you here to discuss a mission vital to our fleet’s survival. As you may know, we are running low on supplies. Fuel. Food. You name it, we need it. So, I have come up with a plan to address this.” Matthews looked at all the pilots in the eyes before continuing. “We are sending six Raptors in pairs of two back to the Colonies. One will have a squad of marines. The other will have seven deck hands and three pilots. Each Raptor pair will be tasked with a specific objective.” He walked to the solar system map and pointed out each one.
“One group will head to Canceron to locate and obtain tylium mining and refining vessels. Another group will head to Leonis to get disaster pods and older military vessels for our use. The last group will go to Sagittaron and will also secure disaster pods and military vessels.” Matthews turned back to the pilots. “This is a highly dangerous mission, so I’ve made it Two Alpha. Any questions before I proceed further?”
One Viper pilot raised his hand.
“Why are we going through all this trouble for the civvies? I mean, why can’t we get what we need?”
Matthews’ demeanor suddenly changed. “Name?”
The pilot spoke, “Wass-“
“Stand up,” Matthews said. Confused, the pilot did so. “Name?”
“Congratulations, son. You’re grounded until further notice. Get out of my ready room.”
“GET YOUR COWARDLY FRAKKING ASS OUT OF MY READY ROOM!” Matthews’ face was flushed and his eyes were aflame. The pilot turned sheet white at the XO’s response and headed to the exit. “ANYBODY ELSE SHARE HIS MENTALITY? IF SO, GET THE FRAK OUT NOW!”
No one else made a move to leave.
“I HAVE A VERY LOW TOLERANCE FOR SELFISH ASSHOLES. LIKE IT OR NOT, WE ARE ALL THAT’S LEFT. IF WE ARE TO SURVIVE, WE NEED TO WORK FOR THE BETTERMENT OF ALL. IS THAT CLEAR?”
No one made a sound in the ready room. This infuriated Matthews even more.
“IS THAT CLEAR?!”
“Yes, sir,” Ferrell said, slouching down in his seat.
The XO gripped the sides of the podium so hard that his knuckles turned white. It was several minutes before he calmed down long enough to speak. “Here is the rundown. Each group will jump back to the Colonies in orbit around your assigned planet. Each group will make for their objective and secure the needed materiel. With the exception of Canceron, the other two groups are heading to boneyards I’ve selected in order to locate suitable, jump capable military ships to be incorporated into the fleet. They will be needed to supplement the firepower of the Orthrus. I’ll leave the choice of vessel up to the commanding officer of each group, but keep in mind we need ships with low crew requirements as not to stretch us too thin.
The yards selected were chosen specifically because they have disaster pods on site, in the event that the vessels housed there were to be returned to active service. So, load up with as many disaster pods as you can on each ship. You also have a time limit. From the time you launch from the Orthrus, you have twenty four hours to get to the Colonies, get what we need, and return. If that time limit is passed and none of you return, we will consider the mission a failure and jump the fleet to a new location.” Matthews paused to look over the faces that sat before him before continuing. “However, I cannot stress enough on the importance of this mission succeeding. Any questions?”
Feast or Famine
Episode 3 - Part 1