“This is not a happy ship, Commander,” Sam said as she took the bottle of Necrosia that Mathias offered her in his quarters.
He snorted. His quarters
. The incredibly spacious suite of compartments had been designed intentionally to accommodate a Flag officer, not a ‘mere’ Commander, and his belongings had not come close to filling up the bulkheads and space. The décor was far . . . darker
. . . than Mathias preferred. And he wondered: had Helena Cain had expressed here, in her private space, the darkness that lay within her soul? And did no one notice?
He sat down and took a sip from his own bottle. “No, Sam, she is most definitely not a happy ship,” he answered, and then he smiled grimly as he rubbed his aching left arm and hand. “But on the bright side, you made XO on a Mercury
-class Battlestar after all, Colonel
“At the tender age of thirty-one,” she answered with a smile of her own. “Only things wrong with the world at the moment are that I couldn’t kill Adar myself and this crew is seriously fracked,” and she clinked her bottle against his.
“We will get to that,” Mathis said in a grim tone. “Material status?”
“The main magazines are at sixty-five percent of capacity—point defense is at sixty-two. We have eighteen Hades in the dorsal silos, and eight-seven Hydras—eleven of them with nuclear warheads—for the four missile launchers. Fuel stores at fifty-two percent on all tanks, we have plenty of water, reserve air, and provisions. Medical is fairly well stocked and we have a good supply of spare parts,” and both of them winced as she said that because they knew where some
of those parts had come from.
Sam paused, and then she continued. “Current air wing strength is eighty-four Mark VII Vipers and twenty-three Raptors—with trained pilots and ECOs. The flight crew includes almost every single trained pilot in her crew—Cain transferred as many, if not more, trained flight crew from deck assignments to the air wing to make up for her losses. In addition,” Sam continued, “there are forty of the older Mk VI Vipers and ten Raptors that we do not have pilots for—even after the raiding that Admiral Cain did of the roster.”
Mathias winced. Normally, at full-load, a Mercury
-class ship carried two hundred Vipers in eight combat and two reserve squadrons, plus fifty Raptors. And at full strength she would have an additional eighty flight trained personnel assigned to various ship-board operations. Right now, his Flight Operations and LSO (Landing Signals Officers) were at the bare minimum.
“I’ve heard rumors that Admiral Adama is reorganizing the fighter squadrons,” Sam continued. And Mathias nodded.
“That one is true. Right now, across the Fleet, we have one hundred and twenty-four Mk VIIs, ninety Mk VIs, sixteen Mk IIs, sixteen Thunder Mk Is, and seventy-one Raptors; with enough pilots and ECOs to man one hundred and sixty fighters and forty Raptors,” and he shook his head.
“We—Admiral Adama and I—have sat down and there will be a complete reorganization, including revamping our fighters into sixteen-vessel squadrons. Scorpia
will have two squadrons of Mk VI Vipers—the Green Goblins and the Red Arrows. Galactica
will have one squadron each of Mk VII, Mk VI, and Mk II Vipers—the Gold Dragons, the Silver Shields, and the Bronze Lancers. Pegasus
will have six squadrons—the Scorpia’s Blues, the Yellow Shrikes, the Orange Blazers, the White Angels, the Grey Wolves and the Blackhearts with a mix of Mk VIs, Mk VIIs, and Thunders. Aurora
will carry a single squadron of Mk VIIs—the Purple Knights.”
Sam nodded. “That will give use one hundred and ninety-two fighters—we are short thirty-two pilots. And you had
to tack on those names to squadrons, didn’t you?”
“Would you rather have plain names like Blue and Yellow and Orange?” Mathias said with a grin. “Adama signed off on it. As for pilots,” Mathias said with another sigh. “We are going to get them by raiding the decks of Aurora
, and Scorpia
, along with survivors from Cerberus. I don’t like it, but we are going to cut the LSO and Flight Ops down to a bare minimum. We are also reorganizing the Raptors. Anubis
get four each, Scorpia
eight each, and Pegasus
sixteen. That will give us fifty-four spare fighters and thirty-one spare Raptors we do not have flight crews for at this time, and will also spread out our assets across the Fleet.”
Sam nodded her agreement. “With the personnel from Cerberus, we will be at around eight-three percent of full complement—just over ninety percent outside of the air wing.”
“Good enough,” Mathias snorted. “What is your opinion of Stinger?”
“Captain Taylor?” Sam said with a wince. “He’s got a chip on his shoulder, Mat,” she answered softly. “And he is angry. Man had just made squadron commander when the attack happened, and Cain promoted him to CAG when their attack on the comm station when south. Then she sacked him, and put Thrace in command—then he went back to CAG, and then Garner sacked him, and then Lee Adama reinstated him.” She shook her head. “He’s pissed.”
“I know,” whispered Mathias. “And I can’t afford a CAG like that. He’s getting a transfer to Aurora
to take command of the Purple Knights and be her CAG. Smaller ship, fewer responsibilities, and Mark has just the temperament that I think Stinger needs in a CO right now. I don’t.”
And Sam snorted her agreement. “Who are you bumping to CAG then?”
“I’m promoting Digger to Major and putting her in command. Saint will command the Blues until Hope is back up to speed with that shoulder. Hunter will be Digger’s deputy,” and Mathias shook his head. “And I’ve already spoken with Tom and Liam. We are integrating the Marine details throughout the Fleet—and formally incorporating your SMF buddies and the former army person from Caprica, Tauron, and Virgon. That will allow us to post four short companies—one each on Aurora
, and Scorpia
, with one platoon on Anubis
,” he smiled. “Liam is getting a promotion to Major and will serve as the overall Fleet Marine commander. His HQ team will be posted here on Pegasus
Sam smiled. “And that will let you—just by coincidence—spread out the bad apples away from Pegasus
“Exactly. With Liam here, I don’t think you and I have to worry about someone deciding to frag our asses late one night.”
“What about Chief Laird? And the other people that Cain impressed?” Sam asked sourly.
Mathias took a deep pull of his beer. “I spoke to Laird and the others—I let them know that we gave their loved ones a proper funeral service,” he said quietly. “This is all they have left, Sam. If they want to stay—they are welcome. I’m not going to throw them overboard with the trash.”
“So what are we going to do about the trash? Sir?” Sam asked just as quietly.
“We are going to roll up our sleeves and kick this Battlestar in the ass until they start behaving like the Colonial Fleet again, Sam,” he slid a note pad across the table. “That should be a good start. Right?” and he smiled.
Sam scanned over the piece of paper and she snorted.
“Action stations drill at 0215? Two hours of PT for all off-watch personnel at 0500? Full shipboard inspection beginning at 0800? Commander, they are going to hate
“It comes with the job, XO. Are you up to kicking some ass and taking names?”
“Damn straight, Sir.”