Battlestar Orthrus

Sacrificial Lambs 4 of 4

Espisode 2 - Part 4

EXT. LONG SHOTTELCHINE

A chase camera follows a Raptor maneuvering into docking position with the GT Telchine. There’s muffled sounds as the ship locks onto the docking hatch and establishes a pressure seal.

INT. MED. SHOTDOCKING RAPTOR

Inside, we see the ship is packed to the gills with personnel. Half of them are marines, in which we see SERGEANT CHARLES WATTERS and Private Stine. The other half are mechanics, which Chief Stans is among them.

“Docking complete,” the Raptor pilot announced, flipping a several switches. “Airlock is now pressurized.” The Raptor opened its floor hatch, revealing a small ladder leading down to the hatch to the Telchine.

“Alright, men. We’ll stick to the hallway once we board, just like the old man said.” Sergeant Watters picked up his Leo M12, slipped on the shoulder strap, and started the climb down.

“Uh, should we bring our weapons aboard?” Stine asked uncertainly. Watters looked at the private with a disbelieving look.

“Carry your weapon, private. While we’re here, weapons will be tight. Also, Stine, when we get back to the Orthrus, you and I are going to have a little talk,” the sergeant retorted before climbing down to the hatch. Sergeant Watters rapped on the door with a gloved hand, his strikes resounding hollowly. A moment later, there was a hiss of air, and the hatch opened inward. Beyond it, stood Captain Stolar and a young man with a crop of unruly hair.

“Permission to come aboard,” Sergeant Watters asked. Stolar pressed his lips together before saying anything.

“Granted,” he said eventually, backing away from the airlock to allow the marines to climb down. Once they were on, the maintenance crew boarded, with Stans coming in last.

“Chief Petty Officer Stans reporting for-” Stans said as she addressed the captain, but her words lodged in her throat when she made eye contact with the young man standing behind him. A tingle spread down the nape of her neck and felt a ruddiness warm her cheeks.

The man returned the chief’s stare with a visible swallow and quickly averted eyes. He stared at his feet while Stolar looked flummoxed at Stans’ abrupt silence.

“Something wrong, chief?” Stolar asked.

“Uh, no. No, sir,” Stans said, diverting her attention back to the captain. Stolar looked beside him to the young man, then back to the chief.

“Ah, where are my manners? Chief, this is Samuel. He’s the first mate. He’ll be assisting you in engineering. The FTL drives were delivered and moved there shortly before your arrival. If you have any questions, he’s more than capable in answering them.”

A cheeky smile sneaked over her lips. “Really? That’s great!” She cleared her throat as to dampen her inappropriate enthusiasm. “Uh, good. I can handle the FTL hookup by myself, captain. Feel free to make use of the other deck hands as you see fit.”

Stolar smirked. “Very well.” He looked at the small knot of deck hands and waved them to him. “Follow me, we have some electrical issues at the bow of the ship.” The group moved away from the hatch, with the captain leading them; leaving the marines, Stans, and Samuel at the entrance. Several moments passed, with the first mate and the chief exchanging flirtatious glances at each other, leaving the marines at a loss for words.

Clearing his throat, Samuel said with a wave of his hand. “Uh, engineering’s this way.”

“Lead on,” Stans said with a barely suppressed grin. As they walked away together, she asked, “So, Samuel, do you like Pyramid?”

“Love it.”

“Then I think we’re going to get along swimmingly.”

CUT TO:

EXT. LONG SHOTCOLONIAL FLEETSPACE

The camera has a broad view of all the vessels, with the Orthrus in the center. We see shuttles ferrying passengers from the soon to be scuttled ships. Two Colonial Vipers fly by camera, their wireless conversations overheard. On screen, the following appears:

SENECA SECTOR
10 HOURS INTO REFIT OPERATION

“So, tell me again why you have a problem with this?” Spansel asked, glancing to his right to see his wing man’s Viper.

“Did I stutter during the meet and greet? It’s a waste of resources, both in men and materiel,” his wing man retorted.

“So, you’d rather institute martial law and have us make all the decisions?”

“If it’d keep us alive? Frak yes. What we are doing now is lowering our overall chance of survival. We have more than enough room on the Orthrus to house the civvies.”

“Then what? Once aboard, what would you have them do?”

“Give them something to do. Have them pull their weight, of course.”

“So, institute martial law and press-gang them. Wow, are you sure you’re not related to Cain?”

Unseen by the CAG, Ferrell scrunched up his face into a sardonic smirk and shook his head.

“Sunshine, look, I see your point. Really, I do. But, this is not the time to be doing that. They were literally raped by Cain. The Colonial Fleet’s job is to protect the civilians, not prey upon them like cattle. I’m surprised that they showed up at the meeting. Thank the Gods for Sister Marion.”

“Like you said, my thoughts are irrelevant, captain. I still say leaving them autonomous is a bad idea.”

“Running the government is the civilian’s job, not ours. We’ve got our plates full enough as it is.”

“If things keep going the way they are, we may not have a choice.”

“You may be right, Sunshine. Even so, we don’t have to make that choice today. Come on, let’s do another fly by on the Midsummer’s Dream. Once it’s ready, I’ll be first in line to check it out. I’m dying for some ambrosia.”

“Not if I body check you on the way to the bar.”

CUT TO:

INT. LONG SHOTTELCHINEENGINEERING SECTION

We see the chief hard at work on a dolly underneath a quartet of stacked FTL engines jury rigged together. Samuel is leaning on the master power console, watching the chief do her work.

“Seriously, Anders could run circles around that forward from that team you love oh so much,” Stans said from underneath the Raptor FTLs. “Hell, Holden could do it with his eyes shut.”

“Was that before or after the lifetime ban?” Samuel asked.

Stans rolled out from underneath the FTL. “Either,” she said, smiling. Wiping the sweat off her forehead, she stood up and went to the power controls. “I need to run a check to see if the power is being distributed evenly to all the FTLs. We should be good if it holds up.”

Samuel beamed at the news. “Great, let me call the captain.” He picked up a nearby receiver and called the cockpit. “Sir, we’re finished with the hookup of the FTLs. We’re about to do a power check, but we should be ready to go if it holds.”

“Thank you, Samuel,” Stolar said and hung up. Keying the comm to the PA, he said, “Attention all crew members, please secure any loose materials. Thank you.”

CUT TO:

INT. LONG SHOTTELCHINEMIDSHIPS

Various shots of Telchine crew-members drawing weapons on the Orthrus mechanics and getting the drop on them. The mechanics are zip tied and dragged away from their work, being moved towards the bow of the ship.

CUT TO:

INT. MEDIUM SHOTTELCHINEENGINEERING

Stans is still at the power controls, monitoring the distribution levels. Unbeknownst to her, Samuel’s hand moves to the small of his back, where he lifts up his shirt and reveals a Picon FN.

“Oh, crap. Got a warning light. Let me check that out.” Stans turned off the power, got on the dolly, and slid back under the last FTL. “It’s always something, it seems. Huh, Samuel?”

“Yeah,” Samuel responded, drawing out the Picon. He swallowed hard and moved closer to Stans.

“All right, I think I’ve tapped down the problem. Can you see if the warning light’s off?” Stans glanced down and saw Samuel’s feet standing near her. However, the first mate didn’t respond. “Samuel?” Still no response.

Perturbed, she slid out from underneath the drive. “What are you – Wow.” Stans words slowed to a stop as she found herself staring down the barrel of a gun. She put her hands out in capitulation. “You know, I would’ve gone out with you without that. Seriously, you could just asked me.” She grinned halfheartedly at her attempt to ease the tension that suddenly torqued up out of nowhere.

Samuel’s face looked conflicted. “Jessica, please don’t move.” He edged close to the control panel and picked up the receiver. He waited for a connection. When he got it, he said, “All secure.”

Stolar once again got on the PA. “Attention, Colonial Marines. We have taken the maintenance crew hostage. We don’t want any bloodshed, so if you would kindly hand over your weapons to my crewmen it will be most appreciated. Any resistance will cost you one of your crew. Consider that before doing anything rash.”

Sergeant Watters looked down the corridor, both bow and aft, seeing each time a pair of deck hands armed with pistols approaching them. Surreptitiously sliding the safety off his sub-machine gun, he muttered, “Weapons hot.”

Stine balked at the order. “Sarge, I don’t think that’s a good idea. If we start hot, it’ll be a bloodbath. They’re not trained in these weapons, anyway. Besides, I don’t think the commander wants anyone hurt.” The sergeant looked at him angrily. With an annoyed sigh, he slipped the safety back on.

“You’re right, private. Squad, relinquish your weapons.”

CUT TO:

INT. MED. 2 SHOTBATTLESTAR ORTHRUSCIC

We see Commander Maxwell and XO Matthews at the Nav table, looking over status reports from the last Watch. Camera pans to Lt. Lang, who is monitoring DRADIS.

On screen, the following appears:

12 HOURS INTO REFIT OPERATIONS

Lieutenant Lang looked at the DRADIS with tired eyes. Stifling a yawn, he suddenly regretted not trying to get some shut eye in between Watches. The next four hours were going to feel like four days.

A blip appeared and disappeared on the furthest reaches of DRADIS. Blinking back the bleariness, Lang tried to get a definitive lock on the object. The best he could do was establish that there was something out there. “DRADIS contact. 90, mark 1117.”

Maxwell turned away from the paper in front of him and looked at Lang. “Kin ye get me a fix on tha’, other than it’s pretty far out?”

“Trying, sir. But I think we need a visual.”

Maxwell glanced to Isabelle. “Ms. Holden, notify Spansel if they kin get a fix on a bogey at 90, 1117 on their scanners.”

CUT TO:

EXT. LONG SHOTCOLONIAL VIPERSSPANSEL & FERRELL

Two Colonial Vipers fly by camera, which then chases after them in a drifting manner. It finally catches up and tightens on Captain Spansel’s cockpit.

“Orthrus, I’m still not picking anything up on DRADIS,” Spansel said, alternating between peering out into the darkness of space and riding the scanner functions.

“Same here, Orthrus. We have a whole lot of nothing,” Ferrell said.

“I still have a bogey flying parallel to us showing on up on DRADIS, Captain Spansel. You should make visual contact in two minutes,” Lang said.

“Orthrus, understood. Will maintain current course and notify you of any sightings.”

The pair of Vipers hit in the afterburners and made an intercept course with the unknown bogey. Two minutes later, Spansel and Ferrell found themselves on the border of a small asteroid field.

“Orthrus, this is Ajax. We’re at the coordinates given for the target. I don’t see anything."

“Tally,” Ferrell said glancing off the starboard side of his ship. “I think we have something.”

“Sunshine, what do you see? I got nothing on DRADIS,” Spansel said, rechecking his scanner.

“It’s… it’s a…”

“It’s a wot, lieutenant?” Maxwell interjected.

“…It’s a big, frakking rock!” Ferrell said, chuckling.

“Are you sure, Lieutenant Ferrell?” Matthews asked.

“Bearing 03, mark 1117. Speed 5 knots?” Ferrell inquired.

Lang checked DRADIS. “Yes, that’s the target. It isn’t showing up as debris, though. It’s marked UNKNOWNHOSTILE.”

Ferrell rolled his eyes. “Gods,” he muttered, taking off the safety to his weapons. Orienting his Viper towards the asteroid, he squeezed the trigger, sending several auto-cannon bursts at it. In a haze of dust and shards, the rock disintegrated.

“Sunshine, what the frakking Hell?” Spansel yelled.

Ignoring his CAG, Ferrell asked, “Orthrus, is the hostile gone?”

Lang checked DRADIS, the unknown contact winked off the screen. “It’s gone.”

“You’re welcome, Orthrus. Thanks again for using Sunshine Technical Support Services.”

“At least it wasn’t a basestar bearing down on us,” Matthews chimed in.

“Sir, we’re at the 12 hour mark,” Holden said to Maxwell. “I’ve just received word from the Midsummer’s Dream. The refit of the FTL drive is approximately at 10%. As for passenger transfers, both the Trident and Acheron’s Kiss have been successfully ferried theirs over to the Midsummer’s Dream. The respective crews are removing everything of value. Should be finished within the hour.”

“They’re movin’ a wee bit slow on th’ FTL, but tha’ canna be helped. Stans would’ve had tha’ thing hooked up already. Instead she’s over on th’ Telchine, makin’ tha’ insufferable arse Stolar happy.”

“Calum, you have to at least to understand where he is coming from. They got frakked over by the very people he thought would protect them,” Matthews replied.

“N’ I’m tryin’ t’ rectify tha’, if he’d let me.” Maxwell turned to Isabelle. “Speakin’ o’ which, hav’ we heard from th’ Telchine?”

“No, sir.”

“Then get them on th’ line n’ see wot’s th’ holdup.”

“Telchine, this is Battlestar Orthrus, what is your refit status? Please respond.” Isabelle only got dead air as an answer. “Telchine, respond. What is your refit status?”

Nothing.

“Ms. Holden?”

“Sir, we’re not -” she stopped when the comm printer activated. “Just a moment, sir. Something is coming in.” She tore off the sheet and read it, her face bleaching to the color of the paper.

“Ms. Holden? Wot’s th’ matter?” Maxwell said, moving to her station. With a trembling hand, she gave the report to the commander, who read it. A crimson shade blotted over his face.

“Oh, for FRAK’S SAKES!” he shouted. Matthews walked over to his commander, not comprehending the sudden change in Calum’s mood.

“What’s going on?” the XO asked. The commander shoved the paper into his hands and Matthews read it.

ATTENTION BATTLESTAR ORTHRUS
HAVE TAKEN MAINTENANCE CREW AND MARINES HOSTAGE
DEMANDS TO FOLLOW

Maxwell barked at his communications officer. “I want Ajax n’ Sunshine t’ eyeball Captain Stolar. I dinna want a fly by, I want them t’ park their arses in front o’ th’ Telchine with weapons free, t’ fire on my orders.”

Holden nodded and called up the CAG’s channel. “Ajax, this is Battlestar Orthrus. Orthrus Actual wants you to position your Vipers in full view of the Telchine’s cockpit. Weapons free.”

CUT TO:

EXT. CLOSE UP SHOT – SPANSEL’S VIPER

It’s obvious that Captain Spansel is mystified by the orders.

“Orthrus, this is Ajax. Is there any particular reason as to why?”

“They have taken the maintenance crew and marines hostage. They are also not responding to our hails.”

Over the channel, Spansel heard Ferrell exhale an ‘I told you so’ sigh. “Great. How’s that civilian autonomy working out for you, captain?”

“Shut it, Sunshine. Orthrus, this is Ajax. Confirmed. We will do as ordered.”

Turning their Vipers about, Spansel and Ferrell made a bee line to the Telchine.

CUT TO:

INT. MED. SHOTBATTLESTAR ORTHRUSCIC

Camera returns to Commander Maxwell.

“Contact th’ Telchine again. Keep hailin’ them until they answer. Also, give me a connection,” the commander ordered, picking up a receiver and awaited for a reply from the civilian vessel.

CUT TO:

INT. LONG SHOTTELCHINECOCKPIT

We see Captain Stolar standing by the communications console of his ship, a nervous co-pilot at the controls in front of him.

“Are you sure we should’ve done this?” Stolar’s co-pilot asked.

“It’s too late to back out now, Ciler.” He smirked when he saw two Vipers float to a stop in front of the cockpit. He shook his head when he noticed one of the Viper pilots waving to them. A buzz from his communications console tore his attention away from them. Taking a deep breath, Stolar picked up the receiver and flipped the switch to activate it.

“Attention, Telchine. This is the Orthrus. Orthrus Actual wishes to speak with Captain Stolar.”

“This is Captain Stolar. What can I do for you, commander?” Stolar turned back to give a stolid glance at the Vipers positioned before him.

“Well, first ye kin release my men. Otherwise, ye lookin’ t’ receive a quartet o’ HD-70s up ye nose.”

A warning chime made itself known. Ciler said, “They’ve locked on to us, sir.”

“Wot possessed ye t’ do this?” the commander wondered.

“Commander, are you familiar with the expression that begins with, ‘once bitten’? I’ve had enough of this. Enough of being run over roughshod by the military. No more. Your men are free to fire on us, we won’t evade. But then, that leaves you explaining to the rest of a very hysterical fleet why you fired on an unarmed vessel.”

There was a pause. “Wot d’ ye want?”

“My demands are simple. One, you will deliver a disaster pod to us. Two, you will provide transport for any passengers that don’t want to come along with us. Lastly, the Raptor currently attached to us will allow us to board and commandeer the ship. If these demands are not met, we start killing your crew members.”

“I wish t’ speak with my chief.”

“Very well,” Stolar said, adding the comm from engineering to the call. “Samuel, put her on.”

There was the sound of the receiver being handled, then Stans voice was heard. “Hello, commander.”

“How are ye?”

“Never felt so loved, sir. No complaints.”

“So, ye finished repairin’ th’ Telchine?”

“The Raptor FTLs are hooked up, but I haven’t finished running the final diagnostics. I need to do that before the ship is jump ready. But, there’ll be a whole slew of problems if this doesn’t work. There’s a possibility of a power outage throughout the entire ship. Emergency power would be okay for life support, but nothing else.”

“Chief, do wot th’ captain wants. We’ll get ye home soon enough.”

Stolar cut the line to engineering. “Now, do we have a deal, commander?”

“Yes. We’ll get everythin’ prepared n’ will contact ye when it’s ready. Orthrus out.” Maxwell slammed the receiver back into its holder.

Isabelle looked confused. “Why did she tell us all that?”

“What do you mean?” Matthews replied.

“I mean, why did she go into so much detail about the problems if the FTLs won’t work?” Isabelle asked.

The commander’s sullen face broke with a grin. “Ah, clever girl.”

“What?” Matthews asked.

“She gave us a heads up. She’s plannin’ on sabotagin’ th’ ship durin’ th’ FTL test. Once th’ power goes out, th’ Telchine should start driftin’. Tha’ would be th’ best time t’ stage a rescue.”

“Sounds risky,” Matthews said.

“Got any other ideas?”

Matthews shook his head.

“Good. Ms. Holden, recall th’ CAG n’ tell Ferrell I wan’ his arse up here as soon as his gear touches down.”

“Yes, sir.”

CUT TO:

INT. LONG SHOTBATTLESTAR ORTHRUSPORT LANDING PODBOW SIDE

A pair of Vipers come in for a landing, flying off CAMERA RIGHT.

CUT TO:

INT. LONG SHOTBATTLESTAR ORTHRUSCIC

Matthews and Maxwell are positioned at the Nav table, on it are miniature representations of the Orthrus, a Raptor and the Telchine. In the background, Ferrell and Spansel arrive, marching through the sliding doors and joining the party.

“Here as ordered, sir,” Ferrell said, crossing his arms. “What’s the plan to get our people back?”

Matthews waved his hand over the miniatures. “Glad you asked, lieutenant. Here’s the plan. We will have a Raptor, with a squad of marines aboard, on positioned near the aft of the starboard landing pod. That way, it is out of the Telchine’s sight and close enough to us as to mask her signal.” Matthews reached over and picked up the Telchine for emphasis. “In our communications with the chief, she made it clear, sub rosa, that she’s planning to sabotage Stolar’s ship.” He placed it back on the Nav table.

“She’s going to short out the entire power system, leaving life support untouched. Our signal to move is when the Telchine starts drifting.” Matthews picked up the Raptor and placed it next to the Telchine. “When that occurs, the Raptor will jump alongside the ship, board her and secure it.”

Ferrell gave the briefing two thumbs up. “Monumental, sir. Stellar, even. So, why was I called up here?”

Maxwell smirked as he turned to the pilot. “Because ye’ll be leadin’ th’ boardin’ party.” Ferrell arched an eyebrow and pointed to himself.

“Me? Why?”

“Consider it ye reward for readin’ bodice rippers while on CAP.”

Spansel broke into a grin and stared at the floor, trying not to laugh.

CUT TO:

INT. MED. 2 SHOTTELCHINEENGINEERING

Camera focuses on Samuel, in foreground, with Stans in background. He seems nervous holding the gun, but still has it trained on the chief.

CUT TO:

INT. CLOSE UP – TELCHINEENGINEERING

We have a close up of Stans at the power console. She nervously glances at Samuel, then back to her work. Camera tightens on her hands as she changes several settings and flips switches. A display goes red, then another, unseen by Samuel. When the final display goes red. Stans quickly presses a button.

With a hiss and a shower of sparks, the entire engineering section of the Telchine went completely dark.

“Oh, frak!” Stans said, as she gave the appearance of trying to get the ship’s systems back up. “Where are the lights? Where are the frakking lights?” She added an edge of panic to her voice. “Samuel, where are you?”

In the darkness, she heard his voice, not too far away. “I- I’m right here.” The tone of his voice told Jessica that he wasn’t too thrilled with pitch blackness either. Good. It would make the next bit easier.

She felt around clumsily and moved uncertainly towards where she heard Samuel’s voice. She jumped when she bumped into him, but then pulled herself in close and hugged him tight. Instinctively, Samuel wrapped his free arm around her, keeping the gun pointed at the deck.

“Just give it a sec, the lights will be on soon.”

Jessica inwardly grimaced. No, they won’t, she thought. I cut off the emergency lights before shorting the system. Taking a deep breath, she said, “Sam?”

“Uh, yes?”

“Despite the situation, I’ve been wanting to do this all day,” Jessica said, pulling the first mate’s head down and kissing him. Her mouth opened and she teased his lips with her tongue. He responded, their tongues intertwining and their lips caressing. She felt his heart pounding against her and a pleasant shudder went down her spine. Before she lost courage, Jessica broke the kiss.

Samuel panted in the darkness. “Wow.”

Unseen by Samuel, Jessica frowned. “Which makes this unfortunate,” she said.

“Wha-?” Samuel’s words caught in his throat as Stans kneed him hard in the groin. He let out a long groan as the aching pain surged throughout his lower extremities. He felt something hard hit his jaw and he blacked out. The gun clattered to the floor, followed by Samuel shortly after.

“I am so sorry about that,” Stans said to the unconscious man while wringing out the pain in her right hand. She picked up the Picon FN, moved back to the maintenance console, and flipped a few switches. The emergency lights in engineering came on slowly. She trained the weapon on Samuel and waited for her rescue.

CUT TO:

INT. SHOTBATTLESTAR ORTHRUSCIC

Camera hovers near Lt. Lang’s station. The officer is watching DRADIS intently. Suddenly, the console beeps and the icon representing the Telchine begins to slowly move.

“Sir,” Lang reported, “the chief’s done it. Telchine’s adrift, bearing 225, speed 3.3 knots.”

“Notify Raptor on standby, begin boarding action,” Matthews ordered.

CUT TO:

INT. MED. SHOTSISTER JOSEPHINECOCKPIT

We see the interior of the Sister Josephine’s cockpit. CAPTAIN STEINER is at the controls. The hatch opens and Sister Marion enters with a platter of food.

“Here you are, captain,” Sister Marion stated as she put the tray down. Steiner smiled when he saw the spread.

“Thank you, sister,” Steiner said as he picked up a sandwich and began to eat. Sister Marion turned to leave, but something outside caught her attention. Putting on her glasses, she squinted as she tried to make the object out.

“Captain, what is that?” she asked pointing at a distant point near the aft of the Orthrus. Captain Steiner looked out to where she pointed, then consulted DRADIS.

“Uh, I think it’s a Raptor, sister. It’s been sitting there for a while now.”

CUT TO:

OTS SHOTSISTER MARIONCOCKPIT

In the background, we see a flash of a warp bubble.

“Where did it go?” she asked. Steiner checked DRADIS.

“Let me see,” he said as it looked the instrument over. “It’s reappeared. It’s on the far side of the Orthrus. It’s next to the Telchine.”

A cold fear gripped the nape of her neck. “Oh, no.”

CUT TO:

EXT. LONG SHOTTELCHINE

We see the Telchine slowly drifting. A Raptor comes into view and moves into position to dock.

CUT TO:

INT. LONG SHOTTELCHINECOCKPIT

Captain Stolar is trying to contact Engineering, but is getting no response.

“Samuel? Sam? Come in.” Stolar tried a few buttons to activate reserve batteries, but the board stayed dead. “Godsdammit.” He slammed the receiver down. “Ciler, can you activate emergency power?”

Ciler’s hands flew over the controls. “No, and I’ve tried everything, sir.”

Suddenly, they heard a dull thump and the ship shuddered underneath their feet. Stolar’s face darkened in anger. He drew out his Dragon Mark XIX and barked at Ciler. “Come with me.”

Ciler jumped at the order, grabbing his Aquarian PM and following.

CUT TO:

INT. LONG SHOTTELCHINEAFT LOCK

Camera is centered on a darkened hallway. Suddenly, from OFF CAMERA, we hear the hiss of air and the creaking of an airlock door. From CAMERA LEFT, Ferrell enters into view. He is in a full combat rig and armed with a Leo M12. He covers the various avenues that could be used to reach them. Satisfied that there are no hostiles, he motions for the rest of his squad to join him. They all crowd around him, awaiting orders.

“All right, girls, it’s time. I’ll be on point. Tandem. We’ll search each hatch we come by. Do not fire until a target confirmed hostile, got it?”

“Yessir.”

“Night vision on,” Ferrell said. A high pitched whine echoed several times as each marine turned on their equipment. Switching his on, the entire environment was awash in an eerie, green glow. Hunching down, the lieutenant padded down the hallway, his squad following behind. They checked every hatch they came across, but the rooms were either empty or filled with odds and ends.

When they approached a T-intersection midships, they ran into a trio of mutineers coming from the starboard side of the perpendicular corridor, thirty meters from their position. The mutineers were armed with the confiscated Leo M12s. They moved carefully because of the lack of light and were relying simply on their adjusted eyes to see.

Ferrell signaled for the squad to halt, brought up his weapon, and opened fire on the middle mutineer. The burst perforated the man’s midsection and he stumbled to his knees, dropping his gun. A marine bracketed Ferrell’s position on the left, opening fire and winging another mutineer.

Their opponents returned fire, but weren’t able to hit them. Bullets ricocheted off the steel walls, causing many of the marines to hunker down behind nearby bulkheads. The mutineers scattered and Ferrell fired at the one he previously shot, winging him again. The marine on his left leaned from behind cover and fired off another burst, killing the wounded mutineer with a head shot and hitting another in the chest, the last one sliding to the floor leaving a wake of blood on the wall behind him.

Two more mutineers appeared from the starboard hallway, taking quick glances from cover, only to be driven back by gunfire from Ferrell’s squad. They returned fire blindly, hitting nothing.

Suddenly, one of the mutineers leaned out of hiding on Ferrell’s left. Before he could train his weapon on him, the man fired, hitting Ferrell in the chest. Although protected by armor, the kinetic energy sent him flying back into the wall, gasping for air. Wheezing, he scrunched behind a bulkhead to recover while his marines laid down suppressing fire.

The mutineer who shot Ferrell leaned around the corner again. This time, the lieutenant was ready for him and pulled the trigger. The man’s throat exploded and he fell on his side, choking on his own blood. Over the din of gunfire, Ferrell heard someone shout from down the corridor.

“WE GIVE UP!” The statement was quickly followed by weapons clanking onto the deck.

“Hands where we can see them. Come out in the open, kneel down, cross your legs, and put your hands behind your head. Don’t move from that position or, by the Gods, I will drop you,” Ferrell called down the hall. Two men moved to the intersection and did as the lieutenant commanded. Ferrell signaled for three of his marines to move forward and secure the prisoners. After they did so, he moved forward to interrogate them.

“Where are the others? The marines? Maintenance crew?”

“Maintenance crew is locked up in our quarters located near the bow of the ship. The marines -” the deck hand’s sentence was cut off by someone thumping on a nearby hatch.

“I think we found them,” Ferrell said as he headed to the door. “Knock, Knock,” he said as he unlocked it. “Honey, we’re home.” Beyond it, stood the marines huddled together.

“What took you so long?” Stine quipped, getting a withering glare from his sergeant.

“Can it, jar head. If you jackoffs would do your jobs properly, we wouldn’t be in this situation. Come on, grab your gear and secure the prisoners.” Ferrell turned to one of the deck hands. “Where’s the chief being held?”

“Last I know of, she’s still in engineering.”

Ferrell looked to his sergeant. “See if the chief’s all right. Head aft with two others. Go.” The NCO nodded, motioned to two of his squad, and they moved off while Ferrell and the remainder of the squad headed to the bow.

They were halfway there when gunfire erupted from the direction they were heading. In the muzzle flare, Ferrell made out two figures, one of which was the captain. There was a glancing hit to his vest and he hugged the bulkhead. “You’re outnumbered, Stolar. You’re outgunned. Surrender or we will open fire.” Pressing his luck, the lieutenant leaned out and glanced down the hall.

Ferrell watched as the mutinous captain taciturnly tossed his weapon down in front of him and nudged the other crewman to do the same.

“First smart move you’ve done all day,” Ferrell said, motioning his squad forward to secure the prisoners.

CUT TO:

INT. CLOSE UP SHOTTELCHINEENGINEERING

We see Stans still in her guarded position over Samuel off camera. In the background, An upper hatch opens and a marine cautiously moves into engineering.

“Chief?” the sergeant called down. Stans’ tense body relaxed.

“All clear down here,” she replied. Motioning to the inert form of the first mate, she said, “Um, he’s going to need an ice pack, for two places.”

CUT TO:

EXT. LONG SHOTTELCHINE

A Raptor detaches itself from the Telchine and flies off screen CAMERA RIGHT.

CUT TO:

INT. LONG SHOTBATTLESTAR ORTHRUSHANGAR DECK

A Raptor is parked CAMERA CENTER and we see marines and their prisoners being off loaded. Ferrell and the group of prisoners are greeted by Matthews.

“Any problems?” the major asked.

“A few casualties, none of ours, sir. Three down. Five taken into custody.” The lieutenant gestured in the direction of the mutineers.

“Send them to the brig, lieutenant,” Matthews ordered, giving an intense stare at Stolar, who stood unrepentant. The captain was jostled into movement and vanished down the hall. Matthews moved to a communications console, picked up the receiver, and dialed CIC.

“Wot d’ ye hav’ t’ report?”

“Mission successful, Calum. Three confirmed hostile casualties, five captured, including Captain Stolar. Currently, all of them are headed to the brig.”

“Good. They kin spend wot lit’le time they hav’ left there prior t’ sentencin’. CIC out.” Maxwell hung up the receiver. Just as soon as that was done, Holden got the commander’s attention.

“Sir, we’re receiving a hail from the Sister Josephine.”

Knowing where this was headed, Maxwell pursed his lips, lifted the receiver, and nodded to his communications officer. “Sister.”

“Commander,” came the sister’s reply. “I was calling about what happened on the Telchine.”

“It’s a military matter, sister. None o’ ye concern.”

“On the contrary, I think it is. Permission to come aboard the Orthrus. I’d like to talk to you in person.”

“Permission granted, but ye nae changin’ my mind.” Maxwell hung up the receiver. “If anyone needs me, I’ll be in my quarters. Matthews has command.” He turned on his heel and stalked out of CIC.

A short time later, the XO returned to CIC. “Where’s the commander?”

“He just got off the line with Sister Marion. He’s in his quarters,” Isabelle responded. Imagining how that conversation went, Matthews shut his eyes and rubbed the bridge of his nose.

“Call the flight deck and get a pilot and crew over to man the Telchine. Contact the Sister Josephine and have them notify the civilians aboard the Telchine what has occurred, if they don’t know already. Has the chief come back yet?”

“No, sir. She’s still on the Telchine, fixing a few things.”

“Get her on the line,” Matthews said, picking up a receiver. There was a pause and then Stans picked up.

“So, how’d I do?”

“Actually, superb, due to your quick thinking, chief.”

“I can be more than a pretty face, sir.”

Matthews chuckled. “Good to know. Once you’re finished on the Telchine, head over to the Midsummer’s Dream. They’re having a Hell of a time without you.”

“Understood, sir. Telchine out.”

CUT TO:

EXT. LONG SHOTSPACE

A fleet wide shot is given, with the Midsummer’s Dream in the background. A pair of Vipers come into view from CAMERA RIGHT.

The following appears on screen:

20 HOURS INTO REFIT OPERATIONS

“From what I hear, the chief’s almost done hooking up the FTL on the Dream,” Ferrell remarked. “Amazing what that girl can do in the span of rack time.”

“As glad as I am to hear that, I’m getting worried. We’ve had no contact from the Cylons in all this time,” Spansel said.

“We did have a rock thinking it was a basestar.”

“Cute, but you know exactly what I mean. Let’s just hope she can finish up and we can get out of this sector.”

CUT TO:

EXT. LONG SHOTSPACE

Establishing shot of empty space. Suddenly, there’s a warp bubble and a Cylon Raider appears in the background. Its keening engines grow louder as it heads CAMERA LEFT. Camera pans along with it, ending with a 2 shot of the Raider and the Colonial fleet in the background.

CUT TO:

INT. CLOSE UP SHOTBATTLESTAR ORTHRUSCIC

Close up of Lang’s features as he reacts to his DRADIS readings.

“DRADIS contact, 87, mark 863,” Lang said as he spun in his chair to face the XO. “Sir, it’s a Cylon Raider.”

“That’s what I was afraid of,” Matthews said. “Alert CAP to intercept.”

“Raider course unchanged, distance 542.”

CUT TO:

EXT. CLOSE UP SHOTCYLON RAIDERSPACE

The Raider’s visor goes up, and its red eye slowly oscillates.

“Sir, it’s scanning us,” Lang said as he adjusted several controls.

“Put the CAP on speaker,” Matthews ordered. As soon as it was ready, he spoke. “We’ve got a Cylon incoming. Weapons hot. I want that bird downed. Repeat, I want it downed. If it gets away, we’re screwed.”

“Orthrus, this is Ajax. Sunshine and I’ll take care of it,” Spansel said as he oriented his ship in the direction of the Raider and increased speed. Sunshine followed suit. Moments passed before they were able to make out the outline of the Cylon ship, and its red eye, only to see it flip on its axis and speed back the way it came.

“Little frakker is fast,” Spansel said as he armed missiles. At the rate it was going, there was no way to close to cannon range before it got away.

“Missile lock,” Sunshine stated. “Missile away.” The weapon streaked to its target, exploding against the rear starboard quadrant, sending chunks of armor into the void of space.

Spansel’s lock indicator went green. “Weapon lock,” he said as he pressed the trigger. “And weapon fire.” The missile uncoupled from its rack and sped to its target. His missile struck the middle section between the engines and the head of the Raider, sending it into a staggered spin. A contrail of smoke and wisps of fire were now visible.

Ferrell locked another missile on the crippled ship. “Have another going away present, frakker,” he said, pulling the trigger. The missile swiftly closed and struck the Cylon’s head. It exploded, sending the Raider flying into several pieces. “And, we got a splashdown,” the lieutenant drawled.

“Good shot, Sunshine,” Ajax said with a sigh of relief.

“Yeah, yeah,” his wing man returned.

“I give you a compliment and all I get is a ‘yeah, yeah’?”

“Ayup.”

CUT TO:

INT. LONG SHOTBATTLESTAR ORTHRUSCONFERENCE ROOM

We see Sister Marion waiting patiently at one of the tables. She jumps slightly when the hatch opens. Commander Maxwell, Captain Spansel, and Lieutenant Ferrell enter.

The following appears on screen:

REFIT OPERATIONS COMPLETE

“Sorry t’ keep ye waitin’, sister,” Maxwell said as he sat down, with his pilots taking a seat on either side of him.

“Not at all, commander,” Marion replied.

“I kno’ why ye here. N’ as I said, ye wastin’ ye time.”

“Please, commander-”

“Wot Stolar n’ his lit’le band pulled is a capital offense, according t’ th’ Colonial Articles o’ War. They risked us, nae, th’ entire fleet wit’ their stupidity.”

“I understand that, commander. But before you do anything, please see why he did it. He lost many people dear to him.”

“And we didn’t?” Ferrell spat out, incredulous.

“Be that as it may, lieutenant," Sister Marion continued, "he did what was necessary to protect himself and his crew. I do not agree with what he did, but I do disagree with what you plan to do to them. Please, commander. Show mercy. We are but a handful of humanity in the coldness of space. There are so few of us left. So few.”

Maxwell averted his eyes from the sister.

“My recommendation is to follow the Colonial Articles of War. They need to be made an example of,” Ferrell said, locking eyes with the Gemenese Sister. “If we let this go, it will exacerbate the discipline problem.”

“Now, wait a minute, Ferrell. They deserve more than a kangaroo court.” Spansel rejoined.

“They’ll receive a general court martial, but the result’s going to be the same, given the amount of evidence we have against them.”

“Which has not been heard by the panel yet! Are you listening to yourself?”

Maxwell spoke without raising his head. “She’s right.”

“W-What?” Ferrell asked.

“She’s right. We’re all tha’s left.” Maxwell raised his eyes and met Marion’s. “I’m makin’ a special dispensation, sister. Dinna expect it t’ happen again. Th’ mutineers will be confined t’ th’ brig for th’ next six months. As for Captain Stolar, he’s nae goin’ t’ get th’ same deal. He’ll remain in th’ brig until further notice. Nae, dinna ask me when he’ll be released.”

“But, sir-” Ferrell said. The commander spun to face the Viper pilot.

“I’ve heard ye recommendation n’ took it under advisement. Dinna question my orders again, lieutenant, unless ye want t’ spend time alongside th’ dear captain for insubordination.”

Ferrell held up his hands in supplication and shut his mouth.

“Are we finished here, sister?” Maxwell asked, not looking away from Ferrell.

“Yes, commander,” Sister Marion said softly.

“Good. Now, if ye will excuse me, I hav’ a fleet t’ protect.” Maxwell stood up and walked out of the room, with Spansel and Ferrell following close behind.

Alone again in the conference room, Sister Marion shed tears of thanksgiving to the Gods for their aid.

CUT TO:

INT. MEDIUM SHOTBATTLESTAR ORTHRUSBRIG

The camera is centered on a door. It opens and Chief Stans enters

When Jessica entered the brig she saw Samuel sitting on his bed, hunched over, and staring at the floor. He glanced up when he heard the main door to the cells open, and blanched when he saw the chief standing there.

“Hey,” she said.

Samuel looked confused. “What do you want?”

“To see how you are doing and to apologize for laying you out.”

“That’s it?”

Stans glanced to the marine on duty and motioned to Samuel’s cell door. He opened it and closed it once she was inside. “No, I also pulled some strings with the commander. After you’ve finished your stretch, you’re going to be assigned as a deck hand here on the Orthrus.”

Samuel’s face clouded over with distrust. “Do I get a say?”

Jessica scrunched her lips to the side, giving the rhetorical appearance of thinking his question over. “No, but I didn’t think you wanted to return to a ship where the passengers thought that your stunt could have gotten them all killed.”

That realization never came to him until she pointed it out. “Right.”

“I figured a fresh start for you would be just what the doctor ordered. That way, I can keep an eye on you and kick your ass when needed.”

Samuel brought a hand up to his bruised jaw. “Of that, I have no doubt.” When he did that, Jessica winced empathetically.

“Oooh. Really, I am sorry about that. I’d like to make it up to you, if that’s okay.”

“How?” Samuel asked, puzzled. Jessica half turned and got the guard’s attention. She tapped on her wrist four times. The marine nodded with a half smile on his face, waving goodbye as he left the brig. Once he was gone, Jessica slid off her shoes, unzipped her orange jumpsuit, and let it slip to the floor. Underneath, she wore a gray sleeveless T-shirt, with a brown tank top over it, and gray boxers.

Smiling devilishly, Jessica asked, “Why don’t we pick up where we left off?”

Samuel’s eyes remained transfixed on the chief’s slender body, his mind still trying to shake off the astonishment. Regaining the ability to speak, he said, “Uh, okay.”

Smiling at both his body language and response, Jessica approached the bed and sat next to him. Her hands went to Samuel’s head, gingerly touching his jaw, before drawing him in to her lips. She noted that, despite being shy, he certainly knew how to kiss and his hands knew their way around a woman’s body. They both slid back onto the bed, arms encircling each other, and let Aphrodite take care of the rest.

FADE TO BLACK

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Sacrificial Lambs 4 of 4
InquisitorMalakai

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