Cyclops. Such a grand name for such a rather nondescript freighter. But Ayesha was not about to complain as she took a seat in the cramped cockpit at the Radio Station. Out the slim view port she could see a small gathering of ships, and a Battlestar. A Battlestar. Such a welcome sight. Taking a breath she opened up the comm, “This is the Freighter Cyclops contacting Solaria Actual. I am Lieutenant JG Ayesha Myers, formerly of the Olympia. Come in Solaria Actual.”
Then she waited. She knew they were busy. And there was probably a queue.
“Cyclops, this is Solaria. Confirm your identification code,” the responder called out sharply.
Ayesha tapped in the code carefully. She didn’t want it to be incorrect. After her own code she then got the Radio operator to transmit the Cyclops’ as well.
[CIC, Battlestar Solaria]
Standing around the command table at the heart of the Solaria’s combat information centre, the new commander of the old girl was stood staring at the DRADIS console, looking at the different icons on display. He lifted the receiver in front of him as he looked over at the XO near him. “Cyclops, this is Solaria Actual. Go ahead,” he spoke firmly.
Amaris stood on the other side of the table. She was experiencing a flurry of different emotions. On one hand, she liked being in charge; on the other hand, she was extremely relieved that all the pressure now rested on Hanson’s shoulders. She was too young to be the “Old Lady” anyway. Holding the other phone up to her ear, she listened closely.
Ayesha held back her sigh of relief. “Sir, Lieutenant JG Myers reporting. The Cyclops is currently housing 16 viper pilots with 16 dead birds.”
Commander Hanson held his hand over the mouthpiece of the handset and whispered in the XO’s direction. “Make arrangements to begin transfer of the vipers,” he ordered before talking via the telephone again. “Major Kendall will liaise with you to begin the transfer of all vipers to the Solaria immediately via the starboard hangar. Have the ship’s Captain bring the Cyclops into the field so she falls under our CAP,” the older man instructed.
Ayesha replied with “Aye Sir” And then turned to the Cyclop’s captain who was already moving to give the order. She sagged back into her seat and waited for the next round of orders.
On the order, Amaris, turned, the phone still at her ear, and waved an Ensign over. Once the younger woman had arrived at her side, she stood there patiently while the conversation was going on. Once the exchange had advanced to a place where Amaris felt that she’d heard everything she needed to know, she reached down, dialed in the hanger bay and the CAP line, and spoke on a different line.
“This is the XO. A cargo vessel, the Cyclops is entering the field under our CAP. She’s carrying 16 dead birds that need to be transported to Solaria. I want them brought over with all of their pilots and Colonial Officers on the double.”
With that, she hung up and turned to the Ensign. “Go down to the hanger and get a count on the pilots coming aboard as well as their information.”
Slowly, the Cyclops moved into position. Ayesha stood, thanked the captain for his assistance and help getting here and shook his hand. She then headed down to the Cargo bays to get everyone ready for departure.
About 30 minutes or so later, the two raptors, ferrying the pilots to Solaria touched down in the hanger bay. Ayesha was the last out of the second Raptor, glad to be once more on a colonial vessel. An ensign stood taking names and checking credentials. Ayesha waited her turn quietly. Now they were back on a Colonial vessel, someone else would give the orders. Someone else could rally the troops and she could take stock. Allow herself a chance to think of other things, other than her job.
When the Ensign got to her and asked she replied with “Lieutenant Junior Grade Ayesha Myers, Service number 465-SQ-8675443”
The Ensign wrote down the information she was given as quickly as she could. When she was done, she gave a sad smile. “Welcome aboard, ma’am.”
Just as the Ensign had finished talking, a loud voice boomed from nearby. A tall brown skinned man was on the approach, handsome face and flight suit told the whole story. The smile on his face seemed out of place. “Just what we need.” he said, loudly. “More stick-jockeys to fire into space.”
He smiled at Ayesha, clearly taking note of her as the Ensign moved on to the next pilot.
She tilted her head and curiously gave him a look. “Lieutenant.” She said somewhat warily. “Unfortunately we are stick-jockeys without birds.” She said calmly. And with a wave of her hand, indicated the inoperable Vipers being towed into the bay.
“That’s ok.” he said with a charming smile. “If you stick around, I can teach you how to take out raiders with a flight suit, a rifle, and a bottle of Ambrosia.” He gave her a wink and then extended his hand. “Nightlight.”
“Echo” she replied. “Ayesha Myers, Caprica.” Ayesha added with a smile as she shook his hand.
A second man, a little younger, strolled over to the group and made his first contact with them. “Welcome to hell Lieutenant,” the man smiled as he offered out his own hand. “I’m the CAG. Captain Jonathan Kilmartin. My friends call me Sunbeam,” he added.
“Echo. Sir, Sorry to tell you but Hell was over the colonies” Ayesha shook his hand and straightened her shoulders. “I am formally from the Olympia Sir.”
Darius watched the woman meet her new boss; he couldn’t help but smile. It had always made him laugh to see how most people perked up when someone “bigger” than them came into the room. He was the son to one of the fleets most famous, or notorious, Admirals. He’d spent his whole life watching people near pee themselves when old Ironhide gave them a look. He never had.
“And..” he spoke up, escaping his own thoughts. “My real name’s Darius Kendall, from Atlantia.”
“Well, looks like we have an air wing shaping up at last,” the Captain smiled at both the newcomers. “The XO has tasked me with setting up a CAP for the system. Freshen up and meet me in the Pilot Rec room in ten minutes,” the CAG told with a nod before doing an about face and making himself scarce.
Ayesha watched him go. “Okay so… standard lay out for a Battlestar right?” she asked Darius.
“For the old buckets, yeah.” he said with a nod. “More rusty than I’m used to, honestly.”
He was, of course, exaggerating. The Battlestar, though old, had been well maintained. There was no rust and, in many ways, it looked the same as it had when it was first
commissioned. “Looking for the head?” he asked with a wink.
She rolled her eyes with a smile. “Hey you get stuck in a viper cockpit for hours on end and then a cargo ship with limited supplies… I need a shower I smell,… and it’s not a good look.”
He nodded and gave a chuckle. This is what he was good for. He grew up in a humorless household and he made a silent promise to himself that he would never be like that. They called him Nightlight because he made people smile, even when times looked dark. Well, things had never been as dark as they were now.
“Come on, I’ll show you the way.” he said with a grin. “We’ll have to hurry though, before anybody starts looking for us.” In his mind, he could see his sisters face when she learned that he was looking for the showers instead of working at a time like this. She was no fun; never had been.
“Thanks”Ayesha replied honestly. “Appreciate it”