A single rookie raised her hand.
“What if we find survivors?” she asked.
“If they’re not hostile, bring them back. I have no doubt that they will be angry, confused, and scared. Explain to them them that, although this is not a rescue mission, they can come back with you if they assist you in getting the ships prepped.” Matthews swept a slow gaze over the room. “As I said, we’re all that’s left. Any addition, quite frankly, is a boon at this point.”
“Sir, we’re flying in with Raptors. What happens if we run into a nest of Cylons banging around?” Ferrell asked.
“Glad you asked, lieutenant. Judging from previous Raptor sorties into the Colonies, there is a lot of debris floating in orbit. Unless you have the terrible luck of jumping into a squadron of Raiders, I don’t think that will be a problem. I suspect that your problems will start once you get ground-side.” Matthews walked back to the map and pointed out the targeted colonies.
“Current intel reports that there is one basestar in orbit around Canceron. Leonis and Sagittaron each have a pair.” Matthews turned back to the pilots. “Best way to avoid them is to jump into the upper atmosphere to avoid detection, cut power, and perform a controlled descent.”
The room burst into surprised mutterings. Matthews stood and waited for the talk to die down. He knew what he suggested was difficult, bordering on insane. One wrong misstep, one wrong miscalculation and you’d be lucky if you didn’t end up jumping into the middle of a mountain. “You have a choice, people. Jump into atmosphere and avoid a lot of headaches or you can jump into orbit and use the debris to cover your approach. Frankly, the further out you are, the greater your chances of being spotted. I don’t need to explain what will happen if you are. Any other questions?”
Ferrell raised his hand. “Where do I sign up?” he asked unenthusiastically.
“Congratulations, lieutenant. You’re leading the mission to Sagittaron.” Matthews nodded in the direction of the CAG. “Captain Spansel will be leading the mission to Leonis. As for Canceron, Lieutenant Malcolm Kirkland will lead the mission, but I’ve also selected another person to assist him. Granted, they won’t be in charge, but will defer to the officer on hand.”
INT. CLOSE UP – BATTLESTAR ORTHRUS – CIC
In the foreground we see PETTY OFFICER GALENOS VAREN, a convict turned enlisted. He is seated at his station, manning the forward batteries of the battlestar. In the background, Holden looks up from her station and speaks.
“Galen, the commander wants to see you in his state room.”
A cold chill spread down the petty officer’s neck. Frak, what did I do?, he thought as he got up and was relieved by a specialist who gave him a derisive sneer.
“Looks like you’re going back to the brig, ’vict,” the man muttered, shouldering past Varen to man the station.
Varen ignored the jab. He knew what the score was. He was there at the pleasure of the Colonial Fleet, thanks to a new program to divert non-violent offenders from the Canceron tylium mines. His tour of duty was as long as his sentence – five years. They told him up front, one frak up and he’d be back on a prison shuttle back to Canceron to fulfill the rest of his sentence. That was two years ago. Now, with all that had happened, he didn’t know where he stood and it scared the frak out of him.
Lords of Kobol, hear my prayer. Please let me have my station to come back to, he thought as he left CIC and headed to the bow of the ship.
INT. MED. SHOT – BATTLESTAR ORTHRUS – MAXWELL’S STATEROOM
Commander Maxwell is seated in one of his chairs, reviewing a file that is laying on the table before him. There is a knock at the door.
“Come,” Maxwell ordered.
The hatch opened and Petty Officer Varen walked in. When he caught the commander’s eye, he stopped and briskly saluted.
“Sit down,” Maxwell said, returning his gaze back to the folder before him. Varen quietly walked over to a high back chair and sat down opposite the commander.
“Galenos Varen,” the commander intoned, lifting up a piece of paper and scanning it.
“Petty officer, second class,” the commander said, still reading. “You run the forward batteries on the Orthrus.”
“You are also a convict,” Maxwell said, putting down the paper and giving a critical glance in Varen’s direction.
The stare sent a cold spike into Varen’s chest. He did not like the way this interview was headed. “Yes, sir.”
Maxwell returned his attention to the file and shuffled through the papers in it. “Well, son. I’ve bin goin’ through ye fitness reports n’ I hav’ t’ say, I’m actually a wee bit jealous o’ ye. Ye visited Dr. Kale more than I have in my entire tenure here.” He looked up and looked the enlisted. “Kin ye explain t’ me why?”
“Well, sir. When you spend as much time in the sparring ring as I do-”
“I unnerstand tha’. But why are ye makin’ yeself a punchin’ bag for th’ crew? I un’nerstand nae many o’ th’ crew take a shinin’ t’ ye. But, tha’s nae th’ way t’ gain friends, boy.”
“Well, sir. None of them actually like me.”
“’N tha’s while I called ye here. As ye may know, we are runnin’ low on supplies. More importantly, we hav’ no mining or refining capabilities in the fleet. The reason why I called ye is because o’ this.” Maxwell pulled a picture from the file and showed it to Varen. It was a shot of Varen’s right arm, showing his gang tattoos. “Ye from Canceron, are ye nae?”
“Yes, sir.” Varen handed back the photo to the commander who, in turn, put it back into the folder.
“Are ye familiar wit’ th’ northern pole?”
Of course Vern knew of the place. It was a penal facility where the Colonies sent their felons to mine for tylium. “Yes, sir.”
“I’m goin’ t’ offer a deal t’ ye. We have a mission t’ Canceron t’ acquire needed vessels for our fleet. If you succeed in this mission, I will make ye a full member o’ th’ crew.” Maxwell shut the folder. “Your obligation as a convict will be expunged.” The commander leaned back in his chair. “Dinna know why ye were convicted, dinna really care. What I need now are minin’ n’ refinin’ vessels. Since ye from th’ colony, I think ye hav’ a better lay o’ th’ land than most. Keep in mind ye don’ hav’ t’ d’ this. But, I would really appreciate it if ye did.”
Varen’s fear melted away after hearing what the commander had to say. He was being offered a chance to wipe the slate clean and get some respect. By the Gods, he was going to take it.
“Where do I sign up?” asked the petty officer.
INT. LONG SHOT – BATTLESTAR ORTHRUS – FLIGHT DECK
A flurry of activity is seen on the deck. Raptors for the operation are being prepped. The volunteers for the away mission are moving in for a final briefing by the XO.
“All right, listen up. I’ve given the Raptor pilots jump coordinates for the first leg of your trip. You will not be jumping directly to the Colonies from here. You will go to a different sector and then from there, jump to the Colonies. The spool up period in between jumps will be approximately twenty minutes. You have five minutes before launch.” Kellan gave the volunteers a last look over. “Good hunting.”
Feast or Famine - Part 2
Episode 3 - Part 2
A single rookie raised her hand.