“We are a bit short on personnel quarters at the moment, Captain Greene,” Felix Gaeta said as he escorted the captain through the twisting corridors of Galactica
. “I am afraid that I have to assign both you and Lieutenant Jamussa to one of the pilot berthing compartments.”
“Understood, Lieutenant,” Sidewinder replied, and then he smiled. “Actually, quarters are the least of our worries—neither of us have so much as a change of socks or underwear.”
Felix nodded and grinned back. “I have your uniform sizes from the personnel file chip in your flight suits,” he said as he tapped the small hand scanner that he had used to access the information earlier. “I’ll see about getting you some spares.”
“That would be very much appreciated, Lieutenant.”
As they approached the hatchway to the berth, Gaeta stopped and he blushed and he turned back to face the new pair of foundlings. “Ah, Captain, perhaps you would like a bite to eat, first? Or maybe relax for a little while in the rec-room?”
Sidewinder walked past Gaeta and he lifted up a sock that was suspended from that handle on the hatch, and he raised an eyebrow. Michael Jamussa—Kaboose—just shook his head and his face bore the most remarkable grin. But no emotion whatsoever showed itself on the senior pilot’s face. He pulled off the sock and yanked the hatch open, even as Gaeta opened his mouth—and then closed it.
“Attention on deck!” Sidewinder barked. And from one of the upper bunks, came a beefy THUD, followed by two yelps, and then a naked man rolled out of the bunk and landed face first on the deck. He was followed by an equally naked woman, clutching a bedsheet in one hand to cover—partially—her naked body.
Sidewinder waited for a moment as the man shook his head and then he knelt down. “WHAT THE FRACK ARE YOU DOING LAYING ON MY DECK AND NOT STANDING AT ATTENTION!” he bellowed.
Gaeta buried his face in his hands outside, as passing pilots and crewmen gathered to watch, and Kaboose just chuckled.
The totally naked man—well, not exactly totally, because he still wore his tags around his neck, just as the woman did—sprang to his feet and stood ramrod straight.
“NAMES!” he barked—although he already recognized the pilot from the Raptor.
“Lieutenant Margaret Edmondson, Sir!” she snapped.
And the man followed almost on her heels. "Lieutenant Jarrell Kief, Sir!"
Sidewinder nodded at the two of them. “Lieutenant Edmondson, is it customary aboard this ship to stand in a position of attention while holding an article of bed cloth in two hands? I ask this because to my recollection of instructions when I was inducted, that in the Colonial Fleet, IT IS NOT!”
“Sir, no, SIR!” she barked as he dropped the bedsheet and wolf-whistles came from outside.
Sidewinder spun around took four fast paces into the corridor. “COME TO ATTENTION ALL OF YOU!” he barked. “You two, Edmondson and Kief, put something on and join us—you have ten fracking seconds! MOVE!”
Captain Greene nodded to Kaboose who took a place alongside the collected pilots and crew—while Felix just stood there staring in absolute, abject horror. Stefan noted that Colonel Tigh was standing at the end of the corridor, looking on him with astonishment—but as the Colonel didn’t say a word, he turned his back on the man. Just in time to see Racetrack and ‘Fuzzy’ Kief fall into line in their hastily donned skivvies.
“All right, people,” he said calmly. “I am Captain Stefan Greene, my call-sign is Sidewinder. That man standing there is my EWO, Lieutenant (j.g.) Michael ‘Kaboose’ Jamussa. We are going to be joining you in,” and he cocked his head at Felix.
“Berthing compartment One Seven-B,” the officer answered.
“Berthing compartment One Seven-B. Those of you who are NOT assigned to berthing compartment one seven-b you are dismissed—as soon as you drop and give me a hundred. The rest of you,” he continued as seven of the onlookers slowly got down on their hands and toes and began to crank out push-ups, “need to understand something.”
“This is the Colonial Fleet. Your superiors and supervisors may have cut you some slack, but guess what, children? Play time is now over
. Lieutenant Edmondson,” he said. “Are you aware of the regulations against fraternization with officers or enlisted personnel in the same chain of command?”
“Sir, I, ah, well, everyone’s doing it!”
“Ah, yes. The ‘but Mom, everyone else is doing it’ defense. THAT SHIT DOESN’T WORK!” he bellowed into her face. “Regulations are in place for a reason, people—they keep your asses alive and in one piece. If you and Lieutenant Kief want to carry on a relationship, Lieutenant Edmondson, then one of you needs to transfer off this ship—which one is going to do that?”
“I didn’t hear you,” Sidewinder said quietly. “I guess that means this stops NOW
. Because after today? Oh, children. After today
, I find two of my pilots FRACKING IN THE BERTHING COMPARTMENT, your asses will belong to me. You won’t be going before the Commander’s Mast, you won’t be listening to Colonel Tigh tear you a new asshole, no sweethearts, you are going to answer to me
. And trust me, I’ll run you so ragged you won’t have the energy left to FRACK!”
“Kaboose and I are now heading to get a bite of lunch, children. That berthing compartment is a disgrace. I would say that it is a pigsty, but that is an insult to all of the various species of swine. When I return, it had best be STERILIZED! I want that deck so clean I can eat off of it, I want those lockers organized, the mirrors polished, the sheets changed, the bulkheads scrubbed, the air intakes and ventilators cleaned, and those bunks made to regulation, or SO HELP ME ALL THE GODS WE ARE GOING TO HAVE PROBLEMS. AND BY WE
I MEAN THAT YOU
WILL HAVE PROBLEMS! DO YOU GET ME?” he barked, his voice echoing down the corridors.
“SIR, YES, SIR!”
“Good. Now get my berth squared the frack away, people. Lieutenant Gaeta, you mentioned lunch?”
Felix just nodded, gave a kind-a, sort-a smile and led him and Kaboose down the corridor—and Tigh gave Sidewinder a wink as he passed, the Colonel desperately trying to keep the laughter inside him contained.