“New contact!” Danis sang out in CIC, and then she relaxed. “Transponder ID of our Raptor mission confirmed, Commander.”
Mathias lifted the phone. “Sidewinder, Scorpia
Actual, Sidewinder. Mission successful, zero casualties from hostile fire—request a medical team standing by for Mister Anders.”
Mat bit his lip and nodded at Tom, who began to bark orders. “They will be standing by in the port hanger bay, Sidewinder,” he said as he racked the phone. “Colonel Jayne has the Conn—have Brother Cavil escorted to the port bay,” he ordered as he walked out of CIC.
“I have the Conn, aye, Sir,” Tom answered.
Sidewinder powered down the systems as the elevator descended from the airless flight deck to the hanger below. And then he unbuckled his straps and headed back into the troop bay of his Raptor. “How is he, Kaboose?”
“I’m no medic, Sidewinder,” the EWO said. “He began throwing up blood in his helmet as we jumped—and then he lost consciousness. His skin is cold and clammy and his pulse is pretty damn shaky.”
Sam’s eyelids fluttered open and he gasped—Sidewinder knelt down on the deck next to him as Kaboose and one of the Marines propped him up so that he could breath easier.
“Easy, Mister Anders—we’re out of that system, and back on Scorpia
. The Doc is on her way down,” Sidewinder said.
And the Cylon—the man—laying on the deck nodded. He held up a small device. “I took this from the Basestar, Sidewinder. All of the information is downloaded there—Cavil can access if . . .,” and his voice trailed off.
“None of that, Mister Anders,” Sidewinder cut him off in a stern voice. “We haven’t lost anyone on this mission yet and I’m damn sure not going to lose someone now that we’re home,” and the Raptor shuddered as the elevator reached the hanger deck and locked into place. One of the Marines opened the hatch and he stood up on the wing, beckoning towards the medics with one arm.
“Make a hole,” Mathias growled as he walked along the catwalk and the deck crew and pilots split apart and gave him access to the ladder. He grabbed the rails in his hands and jumped, sliding down to the deck below—the friction burned his palms and fingers, but he ignored that as he marched over towards the Raptor and the medical team.
Cavil and his guards were just entering the bay as well and they joined him.
Doctor Lindsey Bako looked up at his approach. “Symptoms of radiation poisoning, Commander—will the standard anti-rad treatments help?” she asked Cavil.
“No, unfortunately—but the damage will heal itself given time,” Brother Cavil answered. “Treat the symptoms and his body will heal the damage in a matter of weeks,” and he frowned. “Unless he has been exposed too long, that is. How long was he out there?”
“Eighty-four minutes,” Sidewinder answered.
Cavil’s shoulders relaxed and he had a crooked smile on his face—and Mathias sighed with relief at that sight. “Galactica
left behind a Five on Ragnar Anchorage,” Cavil said. “They weren’t sure he was a Cylon, you see. He was there for three hours before my brothers and sisters rescued him, and his recovery was full. Anders should be fine—but if my memory serves me correct, he is not going to have a pleasant time in the next few days. He will probably lose his hair, maybe some short-term memory, but he should recover if you keep him hydrated and from developing an infection of the lungs and other tissues.”
“Commander,” Samuel whispered and Mathias knelt down beside him. “I got the data—I know the route to find Galactica
and the other survivors. The information in on that device,” he pointed shakily at what Sidewinder was holding. “Cavil can access it,” he continued as he shivered. “But there is something else—it has the location of their Resurrection Ships. Kill the ships, and you might make them break off the pursuit.”
His eyes closed and he sank back down on the stretcher and Lindsey stood. “I’ve got to get this man to the surgery, Commander—you can question him later,” she snapped. And the sick-berth attendants lifted his stretcher up and they began to move toward the hatch, one nurse holding an IV bag high so that the fluid could enter Sam’s veins.
As they went, there was a sudden clap. And then a second one, and Mathias looked up to see Jon Banacek—Rambler—standing on the catwalk. He clapped his hands a third time, and then other pilots nodded and started to clap. And the deck gang. And the Marine guards. And Mathias.
Then the litter party passed through the hatch and the claps died. Chief Sinclair snarled at his people, “Back to work! This is a flight-deck, not a parade! Kirkland! Get that Raptor secured!”
Mathias turned around to face Cavil. “All right, Brother Cavil—what the Hells is a Resurrection Ship, and why should I go hunting them?”
Cavil sighed. “I am so fracked if I ever download, Commander—it’s a long story and I think you are going to want to hear it in a . . . more discrete environment, shall we say? But Sam is very much right—if that data has the location of those ships, then you need to go after them.”
Mathias nodded. “Take him to my quarters; I’ll be there shortly,” he ordered as Sidewinder caught his eye with a small motion.
The Commander stepped up next to the pilot. “Was there something you wanted to say, Sidewinder?” he whispered.
“Something happened on the Basestar that you need to know about, Sir,” Sidewinder said as he licked his lips, remembering how the Centurion had absolutely obeyed Sam’s commands. “And is something that you will want to hear in private—I’ve already ordered Kaboose and the Marines to keep their fracking traps shut about it.”
“Then walk with me to the surgery, Captain Greene, and we will have a very quiet talk on the way,” Mathias said as he headed for the hatch, and Sidewinder left the hanger alongside him.