Episode 10: The Winter of Discontent
“Hey!” snapped Starbuck, catching the attention of everyone on the busy hanger deck. “What the frack is your problem with me?” she snarled.
Sidewinder sighed and he stopped and turned around. “I presume, Captain Thrace that you are speaking to me?”
“Damn straight, I’m speaking to you! First you pipe up in the briefing about how I don’t need to fly this, and now you’re questioning my choices of who to assign where? My decisions on the birds that are going to fly? I’m the CAG on this ship, Sidewinder! I make the calls.”
“Fine, you are the CAG. You make the calls,” Sidewinder said in a very soft voice, since the hanger deck crew and the pilots were watching the pair of them intently. “And this isn’t the time or the place, Starbuck.”
“I say it is the time and it is the place!” she snapped. “Now I repeat the question—what the frack is your problem with me?”
Sidewinder shook his head. “Okay,” he said softly. “Your deck, your rules. Fine.” And then he continued on in a louder voice. “Where’s the loading charts for the Raptors on this operation? The deck crew needs to know what we are going to be carrying in the drone bays and hardpoints—especially if we are going to need drop-tanks.”
“We’ve got plent-. . .,” Starbuck began.
“Only if every fracking thing goes exactly right! If that happens, Captain Thrace, we will have a 20% reserve in the tanks—but what happens when we have to spread out and search for Scorpia
? Hmmmm? She’s not going to sit at the location she was—and while I know the general
course she is taking, the Gods know I don’t have her exact jump coordinates. That is a fracking big universe out there, Captain, and Scorpia
is just a needle in a haystack. We’re going to need that fuel—six tanks on every Raptor, plus the internal tanks. You think Tyrol needs to know to prep sixty tanks or ferry them across from Pegasus
“You done?” she shouted.
“I’m just getting started
. Where’s the requisitions for rations? The water storage tanks? The requisitions for additional life support? The bodily waste pots? We are going to be on those Raptors for at least four days—possibly as many twelve. And you
haven’t done one gods-damned thing about prepping the birds for this flight. Why? Is the paperwork that beneath you, CAG
? You can fly by the seat of your pants in combat, you can plan the hells out of a Viper strike mission, but Captain Thrace, you don’t have the first fracking clue
about what is needed on this mission. That
is my problem with you!” he said as he poked his finger towards her.
And he shook his head again and he turned his back to Starbuck and began to descend the ladder. “Don’t you walk away from me!” she yelled.
But Sidewinder just kept on going until he reached the deck and she slid right down behind him. “We aren’t done with this!”
“Captain, I am quite
done with this. You want to write me up—go right ahead, sweetheart. But for now, I’m about to do your
fracking job, and make damn
certain those Raptors have the gear that will keep us alive if things go to the hells on this operation.”
Her snarl of rage was the only warning Sidewinder had that she was coming—he twisted around, but Starbuck’s punch caught him squarely in the jaw and sent him down to the deck.
“Come on, Scorpia
,” she said as she bounced on her toes. “Let’s see what you’ve got when you aren’t dealing with a bunch of scared kids.”
“You really want to do this?” He asked as he stood and spit out a mouthful of blood.
“Yeah, I want to do this—this is my air group and I’m tired of you questioning me at every opportunity. I’m tired of you making my pilots miserable. And most of all, I’m just plain sick and tired of you!” she said as she swung—and her eyes grew wide as Sidewinder caught her fist in one hand and shoved her back on her heels.
“Is that an order to fight you, CAG?”
“Damn straight,” she snarled and charged back in and tackled him and they both went down to the ground—but Sidewinder rolled and threw her into an upright tool trolley, scattering equipment over the hanger deck.
Starbuck sat there for a minute and she shook her head and then she climbed to her feet, Sidewinder did the same.
“Back down, Starbuck,” he said, “this has gone far enough.”
She charged in again, her arms swinging and her fists pounding against Sidewinder’s raised forearms and his ribs and his stomach, and then he launched one left hook which reached out and caught Kara in the jaw and she dropped to the deck again.
Sidewinder backed up, panting heavily. “Be smart, stay down,” he said. And she hurled a tool-box at his head, wrenches and hammers going flying—as he ducked she charged again two punches went home and then a kick, sending Sidewinder to the deck. His leg lashed out and there was a CRACK, and Kara Thrace screamed as she fell as well—holding her right knee in agony.
Tyrol rushed through the crowd and he swore as he saw the debris and the damage that the pilots had inflicted on each other. “Call a medic!” he barked. “You three!” he pointed at some Viper pilots, “Grab Starbuck and keep her away
from him! And someone get Colonel Tigh down here on the double!”