Captain Malcolm smiled as the media clustered around him. And finally, he held up hands and they—eventually—quieted down. “Thank you all, but please, if you want to make to heroes of people, I suggest you look at the rest of the men and women and children who served with me on Virgon, and with Samuel Anders on Caprica, and with Tannin Roan on Tauron. With all of the other survivors who labored each and every single day we were down there to survive—to fight back—to find a way to come home.”
“All of us have lost a great many people we cared for, whether you were aboard this Fleet on the eve of the attack or trapped behind the lines on the Colonies or on this ship sent far away for nothing more than to learn. And yes, to answer your question, Miss Palacios, I take my responsibilities as the sole living heir to the Virgon throne seriously. I take my responsibilities to the Virgon people seriously. And I shall endeavor to do all within my power to ensure that my people—all of the people of the Twelve Colonies—remain safe and find a new home.”
“James McManus,” the next reporter said. “Rumor suggests that you are planning to declare yourself as an official Presidential candidate in the upcoming election, Prince Hamish—what is your stance on Vice President Baltar’s allegations concerning the illegal actions of the President?”
Hamish frowned. “I have no bloody idea—I just arrived on this ship hours ago, I haven’t heard the allegations, and I have made no statement or taken any action that even suggests that I am running for that office. However, I will say this in response to the rumors that I have heard.”
“As a citizen-subject of Virgon, I hold that our civil liberties are the core of our strength as a people. We must retain that principled core or we will weaken and degenerate into some barbaric mob. As the Crown Prince of Virgon, I will be fighting to preserve the freedoms and liberties that those who came before us have won. Earlier today, I met with Marshall Bagot, the Delegate of Virgon to the Quorum. He is a good man, I believe, and I will be supporting his fight to ensure that liberty remains alive among our people.”
As another reporter began to ask a question, Hamish held up his hands. “There are plenty of other people on this ship that deserve your attention today, my friends. And for myself, I haven’t eaten in twelve hours and I am famished—so if you will excuse me, I need to find a meal.”
“And there you have it, folks,” James McManus said into his microphone, the report going out live over the wireless to the ships of the Fleet. “Prince Hamish will be running for the office of President to restore the freedoms and liberties that Roslin has robbed you of. This is James McManus, reporting from Scorpia
“That isn’t even close to what he said, James,” Playa Palacios said as she tucked her recorder into her bag. “What’s your game?”
“You don’t really think Roslin is going to let Baltar continue to run against her after that stunt in the Quorum, do you, Playa?” James smirked. “According to my source on Galactica, he is in their brig right now. That means we need a new candidate, and if he doesn’t want to run—who cares? If he’s elected, he will take the office; they all do. Anyone but Roslin, I say.”
“She’s not that bad—she’s no Adar,” the only veteran journalist in the Fleet protested.
And James snorted. “Oh, she’s just as bad as Adar. Only she has a sweet smile while she cuts off your legs. Oh,” he said, snapping his fingers. “You hear anything today about a ship called Joyita
“One of the pilots started to say something but then a ranking officer whispered in his ear, and he dropped it. I figure if they don’t want anyone talking—it must be good.”
She shook her head. “I’ll ask around, James.”
“Fine. If you find anything, we can share the byline,” he grinned.
“We’ll talk,” Playa answered and she shouldered her bag to find the next person to interview.