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Old January 31 2013, 05:01 AM   #123
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

Several hours later, Mathias, both of the Adamas, Laura, Saul Tigh, Mark Foeswan, and Tom Jayne sat down on the sofa and chairs in the sitting area of the Commander’s stateroom. The Quorum were still being shown around Scorpia—Tom Zarek had been taken aback when his friend Jon Namer had appeared; he was now touring Anubis and Leonis Pryde.

Helo and Sharon had reunited as well—and if they had disappeared a short time later, neither Mathias nor the Admiral had said a word.

Of course, the Admiral may have been a bit distracted when Lee had introduced him to his grand-daughter—and his former fiancée. Neither had wanted a religious ceremony, so Mathias had brushed off the manual of regulations and conducted a very private rite for the two of them in the surgery. Needless to say, the President had oohed and aahed with the best of them over the small babe.

And she had clearly been taken aback by the crew and the ship; just as the personnel from Galactica and Pegasus and the civilians, including the media, had been.

But now the time had come for a private meeting—well, as private as a meeting of this type could be. Mathias leaned forward.

“Admiral, I’ve prepared several reports for you, Commander Adama assisted in compiling them. This,” and he held up one binder, “is the complete report of our mission and return to the Colonies and our activities since. This one,” he raised another, “is a complete manifest of all parts, ordnance, supplies, and provisions aboard the ships I have escorted. And this one,” raising the third, “is a complete roster of all Fleet and civilian personnel, as well as the ships to which they are assigned and their current duties.”

“As far as ordnance goes, our magazines are still relatively full. I have used or expended three Hades-IV space-to-surface munitions, but I retain three in the silos with their MIRVs intact. My nuclear ordnance now consists of eight fusion-tipped Thunderbolt torpedoes and two small—I am speaking of 50-kiloton—warheads for Hydras. If I am given a few days, I can disassemble another Hades-IV and convert eight additional warheads for use with the Thunderbolts. For fighters, the report is no longer accurate—I lost three Mk VIIs, two Mk VIs and four Thunders, along with their crews, in the battle, along with nine personnel aboard Scorpia.”

Bill Adama nodded and Saul Tigh raised an eyebrow before he too nodded an appreciation. “You’ve put your civilians to work?” the Galactica XO asked.

And Tom Jayne snorted. “This isn’t a pleasure cruise, Colonel Tigh. They aren’t passengers—they are survivors. We need every hand for this evolution. That means they need to tend to their own ships and busy hands stay out of mischief.”

Saul snorted. “Damn if I wish we couldn’t do the same thing.”

“I am concerned, Commander,” the President said with a sour look on her face when Saul spoke, “about your agreement with these Sagittaron Freedom Movement terrorists. You gave them a blanket amnesty with no authority to do so, you have given them an armed ship, you have allowed them to set up their own internal police force. Many of them were wanted men and women, Commander—a fact which you must be aware of.”

“There were, Madame President, but in case you didn’t notice, society came crashing down in the attack. Frankly, I don’t care what they did before—the question is what can they do now. Mister Namer and I have come to an understanding, and I have made perfectly clear that any act of violence in the name of political discourse or an action intended to harm this Fleet will not be tolerated. Yes, I have organized police forces on every one of my non-military ships—these will make certain that crime is quashed. My own JAG and CIS personnel are overseeing them, to make damn sure that they do not step over the line. I won’t tolerate assault, rape, or murder on my ships.”

“I am still concerned about this ship—Anubis—being in their hands,” Laura said.

Mathias sighed and he sat forward. “Major Caldwell is a capable and loyal Fleet officer, Madame President. Do you why she resigned her commission?”

“No, Commander,” the President said as she crossed her legs and leaned on one elbow. “Why don’t you inform us of why she joined a terrorist organization?”

“Commander Lorne,” said the Admiral. “That will not be necessary—I am fully aware of who Samantha Caldwell is and her qualifications. And the reasons why she resigned,” she said and exchanged a look with Laura that said ‘we will discuss this later’. She nodded assent and then sat back.

“Her qualifications aside, is her loyalty to the Fleet or the SFM?” the President asked.

“Their war against President Adar and the government imposed on Sagittaron is over, Madame President. I am certain, however, that hotheads on both sides remain and we will be dealing with the aftermath for a good long while. But at the moment, Namer and Caldwell and I have managed to tamp down any problems. Can your Fleet not do the same?”

Laura smiled sweetly again and she sat back. “Lee tells me that you and I are going to have . . . differences,” she said.

“Madame President,” Mathias said quietly. “I am an officer in the Colonial Fleet. As long your orders are legal, I will obey them—so will the people under my command. We will not, however, obey an illegal order. Nor will I deprive any of my people of their rights guaranteed under the Articles of Colonization or the Fleet’s Articles of War. That includes your ban on abortion—it will not be enforced on this vessel.”

Laura sighed and she glared at Mathias and Mathias glared right back at her. “Your Captain Greene told you were a hard-ass, Commander,” and she smiled. “I see that he was right. I want your Cylon prisoners transferred to Galactica.”

“I have no Cylon prisoners, Madame President,” Mathias said with a smirk.

“Oh? I understand that you have two,” she said and both Adamas frowned in unison.

“I had two prisoners—they have proved their loyalty and been inducted into the Colonial Fleet, just as Admiral Adama did with Athena. I trust them, and they are not going to be put into a cell when they have risked their lives to defend the people under my authority.”

“You had no right to do that, Commander!”

“I had every right, Madame President. Under the Articles of War—unless you are setting them aside and ruling by fiat. In which case, you are not President, but a tyrant.”

Lee started to open his mouth as his father leaned forward, but Colonel Tigh actually pulled him back.

“Commander, if I give you an order, you will obey it,” the elder Adama growled.

“On what basis Commander Adama?” Mathias asked. “The two of us share the same rank.”

“I promoted William Adama to Admiral, Commander,” said Laura.

“You promoted him to Rear Admiral, Madame President. The Articles of War reserve to the People’s Council the exclusive right to confirm any appoints to Flag rank, with one exception—as President, you are within your right to nominate Commander Adama for that rank, but without the ratification by the Council, Madame President, he remains, in the eyes of the Law, a Commander. Now, you could, legally, appoint him as Admiral of the Fleet—but that office is limited to a single term of three years, after which he is legally mandated to retire.”

“Commander,” she said in a very sweet and quiet voice, “we no longer have a People’s Council.”

“That does present a problem—for you, Madame President. However, until the Quorum revises the law and the Articles of War, then William Adama remains a Commander. He is, of course, senior to me and I will obey any lawful order that he issues. No offense meant, Bill,” Mathias said.

“None taken, Commander Lorne,” that gravelly voice answered. “You know, I didn’t think you were a barrack’s room lawyer, Commander.”

“I am not, Commander. In fact, I prefer very much to avoid politics—but I will not be threatened, nor will I be coerced into doing something that my conscience tells me is wrong. For the moment, I am more than willing to accept that you are an Admiral, but Madame President, you need to fix the law real quick and get the Quorum to confirm your appointment. Now,” and Mathias sighed. “Lee here informs me that you and I are going to have very many differences over the crew of the Pegasus—frankly I want them all tried and the guilty ones convicted for their role in looting and abandoning civilians. Not to mention the gang-rape and abuse of one of your Cylon prisoners—a prisoner that is now in your surgery. He has tried to persuade me that this will not happen, and while I believe him, I also feel the need of making the argument that we cannot allow rapists in uniform, Admiral Adama.”

“You are asking me to conduct a witch-hunt that will decimate that crew and utterly destroy their morale,” Adama said.

“I am asking you to do your job and bring criminals to justice before they shame our uniform even more, Sir.”

Adama started to reply, but Mathias held up his hand. “I don’t want an answer now, Admiral. And I will abide by your decision. And while we are on the subject of crimes and punishment, Madame President, I will not stand by and let Prisoners of War be subjected to such punishment or to summary execution. The Articles forbid it—and I will not allow it.”

You will not allow it, Commander?” asked Laura, and she threw up her hands. “Are you launching a coup?”

“No, Madame President,” Mathias said—and the tone of his voice made very clear he meant ‘not yet—not unless I am forced to’.

She drew in a deep breath and forced herself to calm down. “I believe that this . . . reunion will take some getting used to on both sides,” she said as she stood, followed by everyone present in the room. “Admiral Adama, I am growing weary—may we return to Galactica?”

“Certainly, Madame President,” he said. “If you would give me a moment, I would like a word with Commander Lorne in private.”

One-by-one, the other officers filed out until only Mathias and Bill Adama were left. “You want a drink, Admiral?” Mathias asked.

“I think we could both use one, Commander,” Bill said and he waited until the younger officer handed him a glass and they both took a sip.

“You are an idealist, aren’t you Commander?” Adama asked. “You wish that the world fit neatly into all of those little boxes in your head that you keep separate and organized—it doesn’t. It never will. Sometimes, we have to sacrifice some of our idealism in order to survive, Mathias. It is not pleasant, and on rare occasion it leaves a stain on the soul that can never be removed.”

Mathias nodded as Bill glared at him. And Adama took another sip. “You stand by your principles, and I can respect that, Commander. But I too have a limit on how far I can be pushed—do not make the mistake of crossing that line with me. I will bury you, if I have to. Do you understand me, Commander?”

“Perfectly, Admiral.”

“Good,” Adama said and he took another sip. “I am not going to question your choice to put your Cavil and Sam Anders in uniform—and gods know we cannot keep the secret of the rest of the Cylons for long, now that you are here. So, I am going to need to work on the President on that—but I cannot do that if you are pushing her into a corner. She doesn’t back down, and she doesn’t fight fairly, Mathias. Consider that a warning.”

He sat down his glass and he walked over to the hatch. Then Adama stopped and he turned back around. “That being said, sometimes, we could use a bit more idealism in our lives, Commander. Just be certain you do not cross that line.”

And he opened the hatch and joined the President as Mathias drained the last of his drink and walked out to accompany them to the hanger deck.

Last edited by MasterArminas; January 31 2013 at 05:26 AM.
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