Like a Dream...
Truth Be Told
Location: Unidentified Planetary System
Timeline: Mission Day PCH 30 at 1540
Commander Hanson paced back and forth as he awaited word from the SAR mission to the planets surface, the silence deafening as the team watched and waited. There had been no indication of who the survivors were or where they had come from other than the debris in orbit but it was enough to draw the Solaria away from her fleet in the hope that, perhaps, they had news on their colleagues.
Thaddeus and Catherine stood opposite the Commander and stared up at the DRADIS console as they, too, awaited news.
Hanson looked at them, his facial expression mimicking their look of concern as he stopped to look at the sensor device above their command table.
[CIC, Patrolstar Achilles]
Lieutenant Colonel Amaris Kendall stood behind the command table within the small room. The command center matched the ship in which it was housed. Her typically stern expression was lined with worry, though not as much worry as those around her. For the last three hours, they had been hiding behind a very small moon waiting for the Cylon patrol to pass and praying that they wouldn't spot them. All were praying, that is, except the acting commander.
“Tactical,” she called out, authoritatively over the din of those who were anxiously working. “Report.”
“We’re not detecting any Cylon patrols ma’am,” the officer at Tactical revealed, “but that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there…”
Amaris looked across the table at the handsome man standing across from her. He fiddled with a piece of paper sitting on the table in front of him, but otherwise, he projected confidence.
“XO?” she inquired, looking at him with lowered head.
“I say we run for it, Colonel. No need to sit around here waiting if they aren’t there.” Kovak said, his face sure.
“Mr. Travis?” Amaris asked, looking over at the Officer of the Deck.
Alexis Travis was stood near the navigation console and reviewing the readings from it and the DRADIS device when the Colonel addressed him. “I’m with the XO sir,” Travis nodded.
“The XO is known to be foolhardy.” she said, looking at him judgmentally. “What’s to say they aren’t just waiting for us?”
“Respectfully, Colonel, if we sit around for too long we may never find the Solaria again,” Travis responded as he joined them at the command table. “The risk of that far outweighs the risk of running the gauntlet now,” he added.
Amaris crossed her arms under her chest and looked at Travis. She had to admit he made a very good point, one that deserved to be considered. She looked at the XO again, wordlessly indicating she was waiting for him to speak.
“We need to be 200,000 kilometers away from this moon in order to safely jump. There’s interference that will make the process….unpredictable otherwise.” Kovak said, hiding his annoyance at her comment on him being foolhardy.
“Plot us the best possible course to the needed distance, Mr. Travis.” Kendall said.
“Understood,” The Officer of the Deck nodded as he turned on his heels and walked back to the navigation station. He worked alongside the Petty Officer at the console and began to plot the best course possible. “Helm,” he called out eventually, “bearing four three carom six two.”
The sleek patrolstar turned as if on a dime and began a full-speed run for the coordinates. For several seconds, there seemed to be no problems at all, though tension was high in CIC. A brief blip on the DRADIS above the command signal caused the officers who watched it to blink in confusion. Something had appeared and then, as quickly as it had come, disappeared.
“What the hell?” Kovak asked, looking at tactical.
“For a second then it looked like a Colonial signature,” the Tactical officer told before the DRADIS console again drew their attention, this time beeping repeatedly as several signatures appeared.
“DRADIS contact,” Travis declared, nudging the Tactical Officer out of the way and taking control momentarily. Then the signals vanished.
“Well where the frak did it go?” the XO asked, looking bewildered and concerned.
The console above the command table blared in to life as the signals appeared again, this time to stay. “DRADIS CONTACT!” Travis bellowed anxiously as he tapped away. “Unidentifiable Colonial signatures…”
“Colonial signatures?” Kendall asked, her brow furrowed. “Read again, are you sure?”
Nodding, Travis re-ran the identification sequence but was unable to ascertain their transponder codes. “They are Colonial alright, but we’re struggling with ID’s,” he advised his superior.
“We should head for them, ma’am.” Zach said, looking relieved. “If it’s the fleet or, Gods be good, someone else, we don’t want them to miss us.”
Amaris didn’t acknowledge what he was saying at first, but only processed the information that was coming to her. After several seconds, she gave the order.
“Spool up the FTL Drive and prepare to jump.”
“Ma’am?” Kovak asked, raising a brow.
“They’ve been looking for us, Major, and the cylons may have figured out how to fake our transponder sigs. I’m not interested in losing lives because we were too trusting.”
“The larger signal is coming about sir,” the Tactical officer declared loudly, “and they’re headed this way…”
“They’ve detected us,” Travis frowned, bowing his head as he put both hands on the edge of the console nearest to him. As he eventually looked up in dismay, a low, crackling noise began to permeate the air until a voice echoed around the CIC.
“=/=Patrolstar Achilles, this is Solaria Actual. Come in please,” the deep voice spoke loud and proud, “I repeat, Achilles, this is Commander Hanson - come in please.”
With a wave of relief she hadn’t realized she had needed, Amaris quickly reached for the phone, placing it to her full lips with a shallow sigh of relief.
“Solaria, this is Achilles Actual reading you loud and clear.” All around the Patrolstar’s CIC there were shouts of both relief and joy, but Amaris only allowed herself a small smile. “It’s good to hear your voice, sir. We were expecting someone else.”
“Thank the gods you are okay,” Hanson breathed his own sigh of relief down the phone line. “We thought we would never find you again…” he trailed off.
“It seemed that way..” Amaris said, a look of concern crossing her features. She looked around the CIC, watching everyone as they watched her. “We lost some people during the Cylon ambush. I’ll get you a list when I return. I’m sure Major Wolf will want to honor them well.”
There was a moment of hesitation before the Commander answered her. “The Colonel is looking forward to getting her ship and crew back, just as much as I’m sure you’ll be looking forward to getting back here,” he spoke.
Amaris’ eyebrows raised before she could control them and, suddenly, the difficulty of the last five days was being measured with the profound feeling of annoyance she felt at having acquiesced to any arrangement that left Wolf in her position. Had he assumed she was dead after so long? Either way, she knew that Wolf was her enemy and she was getting closer.
“We’ll all be happy to have things back to normal, sir.” she responded professionally, masking her anger.
“Colonel Kendall; this is Major Scott ma’am. Do you need any immediate assistance?” Solaria’s Officer of the Deck soon chimed in.
Did everyone get bumped up while she was gone? She felt, for a second, like Achilles had been missing for a year. “All serious injuries have been treated and we’ve sown up major repairs. Some maintenance and resupply is in order, but nothing that shouldn’t wait until we are safely away.”
“Yeah… about that,” Hanson interjected, “we’re not going anywhere anytime soon, he spoke sheepishly, “you better get over here ASAP so that we can fill you in.”
She furrowed her brow and looked up at Kovak again. “Pull us into fleet formation await orders from Solaria.”
Once he’d turned and began to carry out her orders, she pulled the phone back to her lips. “I’ll jump in a raptor and be there as soon as I can,sir
“Excellent. Actual out.”
Hanging up, she looked up and watched the crew work, a huge weight lifted from their shoulders, but not completely gone. They had gone from certain death to probable death, and they knew it.
“Captain, You’ve got Achilles, I’m heading over to Solaria.” she said, turning and walking out of the room. Something told her he might be getting a shiny new insignia on his collar as well; tis the season.