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Old January 25 2013, 06:29 AM   #78
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

“I understand that you are being your usual charming self, Sidewinder,” Helo said as he sat down at the table with a tray of what could charitably be called food. “I have had members of the squadron offer me three hundred and forty-two cubits if I would give you my quarters and move back into the berth.”

“Oh?” asked Sidewinder. “Which ones?”

Karl Agathon just smiled and he took a bite of the green flecked paste on top of the noodles. Seeing Stefan’s reaction, he shook his head. “Ignore how it looks—it’s pretty decent chow.”

Sidewinder snorted, and passed the remains of his own bowl across. Helo picked it up and dumped in atop his own.


“I’m not going to tell you—and we are the same rank now, so you can’t make me.”

“Fair enough—I’ll just have to run them all ragged for a week or two.”

Helo chuckled again between spoonfuls. “Lot of those kids never went to the Academy or Flight School, Stefan. They got trained out here, while we were short-handed; they are the ones good enough to survive.”

“A valid point, Karl. But they are incredibly undisciplined—and that is a problem. You know it, and I know it. Did you realize that when Kara Thrace was teaching them to fly she just threw away—literally threw away—the manual of regs and told them they didn’t need to know that stuff?”

The Galactica pilot snorted and he swallowed. “Sounds like Starbuck,” he said. “They are good kids, Stefan.”

“They are—but they need to toughen up a bit and learn some control; otherwise, one of these days someone is going to get seriously hurt and that won’t be pretty; or the aftermath when they deal with the fact they caused it.”

Sidewinder took a sip of the bright blue energy drink he was sipping on. “Wanted to say how sorry I was, Karl,” he said softly. “I heard about your kid.”

Helo looked up and he nodded. “And I’m sure you’ve heard that I’m the resident toaster-fracker and pretty much not cared for because of it.”

“I have—and I’ve shut down that shit when it has started, in my berth at least. You can’t control who you fall for, I think that’s one of the rules of Eros.”

Karl sat up and he cocked his head. “You don’t think I fracked up, getting involved with a toaster?”

“She’s a flesh and blood woman, Karl—a woman who made her choice. That makes her a person, not a thing. I don’t care if she came out of a vat or a womb, she’s a person—and no person deserves to treated as an object.”

Karl sat back, his mouth a little slack, and Sidewinder smiled. “So when do I get to meet the missus?”

“She’s in lock-up, Stefan—and we aren’t married.”

“Bullshit, Karl. She loves you—you love her. Marry her. Frack what the President wants, you do what is best for the two of you,” he frowned and leaned in, Helo followed. “Look, when Scorpia gets here, Commander Lorne ain’t gonna put up with this nonsense—he’ll give you and Sharon sanctuary on Scorpia, if you need it. And once he does, he won’t give either of you—or your children—up to Adama, Roslin, or the Lords of Kobol themselves.”

Karl sat back and so did Stefan. He took another sip as Helo slowly nodded. “You haven’t told me how you made captain?”

“It was a consolation prize for being grounded. Can’t trust the toaster-fracker to fly, you know.”

“Last time I checked, you sucked at piloting—best down EWO ever, though.”

“Frack you,” Helo laughed, and Sidewinder smiled.

“So when do I met the future Missus Agathon?”

“Soon as I can get you cleared, man.”

A beeping sound came from Sidewinder’s pocket and he stood up, pulled out of timer, and clicked a button. “Ah, it is time to go wake the children. It is amazing how out of shape they are—so I borrowed a bunch of ruck-sacks from the marines, loaded them down with thirty-five kilos of sand-bags each, and we—the whole bloody Raptor squadron—are going to do a stem-to-stern fun run alternating from the top deck to the keel and back again,” Sidewinder smiled. “Care to join us?”

“Love to, those ladders sound like such fun, but I report to the CIC in ten minutes,” Helo said quickly.

Sidewinder laughed. “Good to see you, Karl—and keep in mind what I had to say.”

With that, Sidewinder turned to leave, leaving Karl Agathon to chew on his words.
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