Lee stood for a moment at the hatch of the berthing compartment, watching everyone in the small area painfully attempt to ignore the presence of Sidewinder—he was surprised. The compartment was actually clean for once, the racks were made with a precision that he would have expected at the Academy, and everyone
was fully dressed in the uniform of the day. He grinned—no wonder the Scorpia
pilot had managed to upset so many apple carts.
He stepped inside, and Stefan Greene winced as he stood. “Commander on deck!” he snapped, and the pilots came to attention.
“As you were,” Lee said. “You folks mind if Sidewinder and I have a little chat in private?” he asked. “There’s a game of Triad going on in the mess.”
One-by-one, the pilots cleared out of the compartment, and Lee closed the hatch. “Sit, Captain,” he said as he took another chair and then laid a folder on the table.
Sidewinder arched one eyebrow and Lee chuckled.
“The mission plan, operations orders, and Raptor loadouts—are they to your satisfaction?” he asked with a grin.
Sidewinder opened the folder and leafed through them—he read them thoroughly, Lee saw, occasionally flipping back and reviewing a section. After three minutes he closed the folder and nodded.
“It is, Commander.”
“Good. We are lifting off in fourteen hours—and I want to make certain that you and I are on the same page.”
? A full Commander with an active command role is going to flying this mission?” Sidewinder asked with a start.
“Kara’s in the surgery, Sidewinder,” Lee continued, “and Helo has his hands full. Plus, the President and the Admiral want to make certain that we present ourselves to Commander Lorne in a manner that does not insult or show any contempt for the man. So I got asked to fly it—you have a problem with that?”
“But you do have a problem with Pegasus
“Commander,” Sidewinder began, but Lee cut him off.
“Call me Apollo, we are going to be flying together after all.”
Sidewinder nodded. “Apollo, I don’t have a problem with you—my problem with Pegasus
is the crimes committed by her crew before you transferred aboard. And that is nothing compared to the problem that Commander Lorne is going to have with Pegasus
“I understand—I know exactly where you are coming from, Sidewinder. And I will do my best to explain to Commander Lorne as well that we cannot simply condemn every man and woman on that ship for what Helena Cain did—she’s already died for those crimes.”
Lee paused until the other pilot nodded. “But my bigger issue is—what is really the reason that Kara lost it with you?”
Sidewinder winced. “She got extremely angry when I refused to talk about Samuel Anders—she wanted to know what was wrong, Apollo.”
Lee nodded. “I thought so; she was all over me once she heard you say in the briefing that Sam was aboard Scorpia
. And while I didn’t tell her what I know, she knows I’m holding back—she’s good at reading people, at least when they lie or omit the truth.”
“She kept pressing me for details, and I told her to drop it—told her I just knew he was aboard the ship and nothing else. And then she started in asking what I was covering up.”
Lee sighed. “And then, you had the mission planning briefing in the ready room, and you
—a person she already didn’t like and thought was lying to her—got in her face over how she was running things. Yeah, I thought it was something like that.”
He shook his head. “Water under the bridge. Anyway, we’ve got some choices to make, Sidewinder. If your ribs are up to it—you will fly the Raptor, I’m going to riding in the copilot’s seat and coordinating the whole op. You want Kaboose as your EWO?”
“Damn skippy, Apollo. I know him and he’s a brash kid, but he’s good.”
“And we will have Athena aboard our Raptor.”
“Athena?” Sidewinder asked.
“Helo and Sharon decided that they didn’t want her to have Boomer’s old call-sign—they settled on Athena instead,” Lee explained. “I can pull Racetrack and Skulls from the mission if you want,” he said.
“No. They don’t care for me—frankly, I don’t care for them. But I know that they
will do their job, especially if they are answering to you and not me.”
“Okay, then. If you are up for a walk, I want us to get with Athena and plot out these waypoints a bit more—with the extra fuel, any Raptor jumping to the wrong coordinates should have enough to back-trace to the Fleet here, but I want to run those numbers again to be sure. And then we need to start looking at a search pattern and rendezvous points—if you are up for it?”
“You know what the motto of Scorpia
is, Apollo?” Sidewinder said with a smile.
“No idea, Sidewinder," Lee answered, although he knew ever ship in the Fleet had a motto. Galactica
’s dated back to the First Cylon War: I Will Not Be Moved
, while Pegasus
had Winged Victory
“Who dares, wins
,” the pilot answered with a grin. “I’ll be fine, Sir. Let’s get this done.”