Episode 13: Revelations
“Admiral, we are cleared for final approach,” Helo called out from the cockpit.
Adama, Saul Tigh, and Laura Roslin sat in the troop bay of the Raptor, along with several members of the Quorum and the very quiet ECO who was trying to remain seen and not heard in such august company. Two more Raptors following carried the rest of the Quorum and—at the President’s direction—the media.
Adama stood and he made his way forward, to the co-pilot seat, while Saul followed him and crouched between the Admiral and Helo. “Request permission to circle once before landing,” Adama ordered.
, Raptor 341; requesting permission to circle for observation before entering landing pattern.”
“Raptor 341, Scorpia
Flight Control, permission granted.”
Helo slowly circled the Battlestar and Saul pointed at scoring on the outer surface of the port flight-pod. “Looks like they had fires onboard—and recently.”
“It happens,” said Adama. “Heavy cratering of the armor,” the Admiral noted. “Impacts on the engine pods—but they look intact.”
“Is that . . . ?” asked Saul. “She took some hard hits.”
Adama pursed his lips as he cast his gaze on the hole that penetrated the outer armor—and probably the inner hull as well. “Kamikaze strike, according to Commander Lorne. Came in fifteen meters forward of the number seven magazine.”
Saul winced. “DRADIS dome looks good—but there are impacts all over the forward section. She got hammered good, Bill,” he whispered.
“But she survived,” the Admiral replied in just as soft a voice.
Saul snorted. “At the rate she was popping out nukes, I don’t doubt it. She can’t have many left, though. Fleet only gave Valkyrie
a dozen and I don’t see them giving her all that many more.”
“And we’ve got four—or we will
have when you finish reassembling the warhead I gave to Baltar; Pegasus
has eleven left. No, I imagine Commander Lorne’s magazines are just about dry as far as the big firecrackers go.”
They rounded the nose and started back aft along the port pod again—and saw two Vipers launch in sequence to replace elements of the CAP. Both were Mk VI Vipers.
“Old, but serviceable,” Saul said.
And the Admiral snorted. “Seen what we
are flying, Saul? The Mk Vis are damn good fighters.”
“I’m really wanting to see those new fighters that Sidewinder talked about—according to the pilots, they can lay down the lead,” Saul said, sounding like nothing less than the rookie pilot assigned to Galactica forty-four years ago.
“Planning on crawling in the cockpit and taking it out for spin, XO?” Adama asked.
“I might just do that, now that you mention it, Admiral.”
“Raptor 341, Scorpia
Flight Control,” the wireless broadcast. “You are cleared for landing in the starboard pod. Begin your approach and call the ball for hands-on-stick landing.”
“Copy, Flight, I’ve got the ball, starboard pod,” answered Helo.
And Adama snorted again, jerking his head at Saul. “Better get strapped in,” he ordered as he began to buckle himself into the co-pilot seat. “Rank has its privileges,” the Admiral finished.
“Flight, 341, I have the ball, seventeen degrees down angle, overtake speed +90.”
“341, Flight, you are in the green and clear for landing on elevator One Three.”
Helo winced. “Copy, Flight. Elevator One Three.”
“I really don’t like the number thirteen, Admiral,” the pilot answered and Bill nodded. He picked up the wireless. “Flight, 341, request new elevator assignment.”
“341, Flight—you are cleared for landing on elevator One Three. Is there a problem?”
“No problem, Flight. This is Galactica
Actual aboard Raptor 341, request new elevator assignment.”
There was a pause. “341, Flight, you are cleared for landing on elevator One Four. Repeat, elevator One Four.”
Adama smiled at his CAG. “It’s all in knowing what to say, Helo.”