Major Jon Banacek looked over the ten men and women in front of him—his squadron commanders and seconds for the Scorpia
air wing. Captain Stefan “Sidewinder” Greene, and his XO, Lieutenant Andrew “Jester” Martens from the Raptor squadron, which had received another eight garishly painted Raptors—six of them dating back to the First Cylon War—from the flight decks aboard Anubis
Lieutenant Gin “Chutes” Piak had stepped up to command what was left of Green Squadron—six of the nine pilots lost had come from Green, including the former Squadron Commander Captain Kent “Hard-luck” Dane. Red had lost one pilot and Blue two, so the Commander had ordered the Greens to transfer three more pilots—leaving just eleven flying under Piak. Or, it would have been eleven, but one of the damaged Vipers in Green Squadron was fit for nothing more than being scrapped for parts. To make room for the extra Raptors, Scorpia
was transferring the remaining ten Vipers of Green aboard Anubis
—which would give that old and tiny ship some added punch.
Captain Hope “Digger” Fairchild and Lieutenant Ann “Saint” James were seated next. Rambler smiled. Before their return to the Colonies, the Blues had been one of the few all-female squadrons in the Colonial Fleet. The reshuffling of assets had broken that tradition, but the single male pilot (Lieutenant, j.g. Joseph “Dutch” Lassiter) hadn’t complained—but the Blues certainly had!
Captain Leto “Juice” Plum, Jon’s XO for his own Red Squadron, accompanied by Lieutenant Glenn “Heater” Keita, the air groups operation officer—also from Red Squadron—followed them. And finally, Captain Tabitha “Spitfire” Atradies the Flight Operations Officer and her two subordinates, Lieutenants Nicholas “Ruffles” Oretgo and Kevin “Pancake” Okora, the port and starboard Landing Signals Officers, respectively.
“The exchange of assets should be complete by 1400 hours today,” Rambler continued. “Command wants all personnel to familiarize themselves with the following as well,” he click the remote and a slide-show of images—some clear and some blurry—appeared on the wall monitor. “The scuttlebutt we are hearing about Cylons that look like is apparently true. Captain Malcolm and his Virgon Resistance made a point of recording as many different models as possible—he and people successfully managed to get the images of these seven, but there could be more of them.”
“The Marines have been alerted to the possibility that we may have infiltrators among the refugees—for the meantime, the civilians will be restricted to non-critical spaces; your people will report immediately any civilian found in a restricted area. There is no
discretion here, folks—every
violation will be reported and investigated. The last thing we need is for a Cylon to get access to the magazines or fuel supply.”
He waited and each of his subordinates nodded. “Good. Remember that the Engineering and Deck Divisions are short on manpower since we transferred eighty of our people over to the rest of the flotilla—the Flight Division, including the deck gangs—will have to take up some of that slack. Tell your people to keep the bitching down—I don’t want to hear it, and they
sure as all the Hells don’t want Colonel Jayne
to hear it. And that is going to be in addition to us being on call for rapid launch—so tell your people to suck it up and get used to it.”
Rambler set down his clipboard and he leaned on the podium. “I have heard grumbling from many members of this crew about the terrorists
and Leonis Pryde
—people, that is above your pay-grade, and it is damn sure above that of those under your commands. At the moment, the Commander, Colonel Jayne, Major Caldwell, and Mister Namer are hammering out this very topic—but I think I already know how it is going to go down. We are going to let the past go.”
He paused and looked at each of the officers in turn. “Some of these people will become part and parcel of the Fleet and Marines—we are going to ignore what happened in the past and work together. We don’t have enough cells to throw more than six hundred men and women in the brig, and they are human
. So if you hear your people grousing about the terrorists
, I expect you to quash that. They aren’t terrorists anymore—they are survivors
, just like us. Stamp down on it hard—let them know we are not going to tolerate anyone, much less a Colonial in uniform, from becoming a vigilante over political and criminal concerns that are no longer valid.”
He waited until each of the others nodded their confirmation and he smiled. “Even though we are interstellar space, we will maintain a 24-hour around the clock Combat Air Patrol—rotation will continue as scheduled with the following altera-. . .,”
“Frack!” exclaimed Sidewinder. “Rambler, I picked up that one yesterday,” he said as the image of the face of one of the seven known Cylon models flashed across the screen.
Rambler spun around and picked up the remote. He stopped the sideshow and flipped back two images. “That’s him,” Sidewinder said flatly.
“Where did you deliver him?”
“He’s on board Scorpia
—part of the Caprica Resistance. Anders called him Brother Cavil.”