|The Long War: Season 1: Of Light and Darkness
Author: United Systems Navy PM
After the destruction of the Twelve Colonies the last surviving colonial ships band together in a small fleet. With nothing left to lose and everything to avenge they choose to fight on in a long, brutal war in the depths of space.Rated: Fiction T - English - Sci-Fi/Tragedy - Chapters: 22 - Words: 95,290 - Reviews: 79 - Favs: 42 - Follows: 58 - Updated: 02-09-13 - Published: 08-13-12 - id: 8426690
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Huxton stepped off the Raptor into the drydock's cavernous hangar bay. He gave her crew a thumb's up over his shoulder and walked to Nessella, who was waiting for him in front of the exit. She saluted as he approached. He returned it, and wondered why she still bothered with the formalities when none of the dozen engineers tending the shuttles and light craft were looking over their shoulders.
She put a hand on his shoulder. "How was the hunting, Hux? I heard you found some baby basestars."
Huxton snorted and nodded. "Ah, good use of humor, har har har."
"Thank you, coming form you that means something."
Huxton sighed. "There were nine of those shipyards, plus three basestar groups that jumped in when we were bombing them."
"How many people did we lose?" Nessella asked. Behind them there was a low whine as the raptor was raised back into the airlock.
Huxton had been radioed a casualty report on the way over, at his insistence. "The entire battlegroup lost fifty-one dead and ninety injured, we're still waiting on reports from the scout ships."
"Did you get the basestars?"
Huxton smiled triumphantly. "All of them, plus the shipyards, that's something we can say our people died for, hey?" Nessella nodded. "Good job getting that information so quickly, Amy, we could've been out there a lot longer."
"Thank you. How's the Commander turning out?"
"Mirra is turning out better than I hoped. Once she stopped her senseless worrying she showed me she's very competent. I'm glad it was her who survived."
"That's good to hear, matches up with my inspection." Nessella got a wicked look on her face. "How is the Serpentia? Must feel different not being on your old girl."
"You go too far," Huxton moaned. "That battlestar was designed by a computer-loving fool. Her crew by now know what they are doing, the ship just runs so poorly without her computers networked that they have to jury rig half the active systems to work right. Plus, there's the bridge…" Nessella rolled her eyes. "She hits harder than the Vinny, but had a fool for a chief designer."
They turned and walked across the Largos' hangar and into the long collapsable hallway connecting it to the Vindication. He checked to make sure they were alone, and then took Nessella's pale hand in his slightly darker one a warm tingling started in his palms and ran through his fingers. She smiled at him, and put her head on his shoulder. He recalled a discussion they'd had a while back in his quarters.
"Ordinary couples make out in very public places and go on dates to fancy locations. We hide everything we do together beyond our official duties and sucking the admirality's dicks so they don't investigate any of the the other infractions of protocol on this ship." Amy said, and burst into childish giggles. Huxton gave her a moment, and then resumed kissing her for several seconds.
"When the cylons and pirates attack ordinary couples join the masses caught up in fear or dead on a casualty figure. We go into the furnace of war against them to save the colonies." He replied.
"You got my message about the President?" Nessella asked, shattering his thoughts. He fumbled for a response.
"Yes, yes I did, I suppose I'll speak with him ASAP." They reached the airlock and stopped, lingering on this little moment of privacy.
Nessella recognized Huxton's blank stare. "What were you just thinking about?"
He grunted "us, in happier times." She pulled him around to face her and took his other hand. He spent a long moment gazing down at her. Her skin had lost its radianceand her eyes had sunken since that conversation. Her smile had faded into her pale face and she had faded like a painting.
"When were these happier tims?"
"Six months, on the night of my birthday." Her expression brightened. His soured as he lived through the memory again. "Why did I say happier times? That hangover took a week to wear off, I swear."
"Because back then we could afford to drink that hard" Nessella replied, then kissed him. He held it and shut his eyes. Her lips were like wet silk against his. They heard the door behind them open, and stepped apart. Huxton looked back and saw two engineers in their green uniforms walking towards them. He nodded to the stocky one with long black hair and bandaged hands.
Radin and Kelso saluted. "Colonel, how's the pod transplant looking?" Nessella asked.
Kelso opened the door. The whine of a power lifter and several shouting voices wafted through. Radin grunted. "Like you'd imagine it would look like If you pulled an arm off a bomb blast victim to use as a transplant, pardon my half-assed analogy Admiral and Nessella. The point is. There's enough cracks in that thing that we'll need at least metric a ton of scrap metal to seal them all."
"Well that's one thing there's a surplus of, for better or for worse" Huxton replied. "Is the timeframe still six weeks?"
Radin stopped in the doorway. "No, its ten weeks now, the structure is worse than I thought." Huxton's heart sank at the thought of the Vindicaiton being out of action for that long. He took the door from Kelso and held it for Nessella. They stepped inside the Vindication's remaining hangar pod. It had been mostly repaired by now, though two crewmen were operating the sixteen foot wheeled power lifter to patch a few remaining secondary structure supports in the ceiling.
Huxton waited until they got to the far side, then took Nessella aside. "Send Travere aboard, I'll wait for him here. Bring me up a squad of marines as an honor guard."
Nessella looked at him quizzically. "You're not going to let him see Simon, are you?"
Huxton vigorously shook his head. "No, of course not. I just would to explain that to him in person."
"Got it." She jogged of towards the bridge. Huxton leaned against the wall and watched the repair effort. His eyes moved off down the row of ten Mark II and twenty Mark VII vipers that was currently the Vindication's total fighter complement. Five minutes in six marines marched through the door.
"Lieutenant Thompson, lets go" Huxton greeted their leader. They marched to the airlock. Soon after there was a click as the bolt slid open, and the thick steel door swung open. Huxton stepped in front of it. Three marines lined up on either side, MIR-19 assault rifles held to their chests. Johnathan Travere stepped out alone. Huxton tensed, wondering what Travere was planning. His outfit hadn't changed since their last meeting a week ago, or since they had first met. However, he now sported a short beard. He stood perfectly straight, but Huxton saw his body sagging around the edges from strain, in his slumped shoulders and wrinkles. There was also a bulge under his jacket.
Huxton kept his face blank and held out his hand. "Mr. President."
Johnathan shook it and tried to speak in a relaxed manner. "Admiral, you are looking like you have a battlestar on your shoulders." Huxton didn't smile.
"As do you, Mr. President. The handgun is a new touch." Johnathan patted the bulge.
"I started carrying it after a Tauron nut assaulted me with a crowbar three days ago."
"What? Why didn't you notify me? I could arrange a security detail for you-"
"Its covered, I've got ten of my crew watching me and I'm not exactly a pushover." He smiled mirthfully. Both knew that a security detail would give Huxton an opening to control Johnathan.
"Did you find out what he wanted?" If there was a gang operating in the fleet, wrecking everything they were trying to build for their own selfish criminal desires, Huxton would personally execute them.
Johnathan nodded and scowled. "The asshole was a political student from the university of Tauron-major. He claimed that I was an Andarean power seeker who needed to be removed so the proper Quorum of the twelve and separation of the colonies could be reinstated. He's sitting in the brig telling the guards they can't hold him because my government has no authority." He rolled his eyes. "That bloated beauraucracy is the last thing we need."
Huxton nodded. "We can agree on something then."
"First thing since Aquaria, second maybe. Lets have a party." Both men smiled for an instant: a shared moment of laughter.
"What exactly did he mean by separation of the colonies?"
Johnathan smiled. "Oh, that, I'm ignoring any preexisting regional legislation in favor of the colonial code of laws, and breaking down inter colonial barriers. There's not enough of us left to divide ourselves into twelve groups." Huxton feintd a salute, to Johnathan's deciciveness.
"That's the second thing we agree on, we may be getting somewhere." His mood dampened when hee thought about the reports on the civilian population. "You know that there will be violence if you tell everyone their colonial heritage means nothing, which is how a lot of them are going to take it."
For a moment there was fire in Johnathan's eyes. Then it retreated, leaving the weary, unassuming man behind. "Let them come. If It gets too bad I'll call you for help, that's all I can say. Now, I am here to see the cylon you captured."
"Sorry John, I can't show you him," Huxton said.
Johnathan glared at him. Huxton returned it. "Why the frack not? Remember what happened last time you kept information on the cylons from us?"
Huxton growled, "I do, but I've sent you everything we've learned, the most recent reports should be arriving on your ship's computer shortly. The cylon is a level Kobol security hazard. It's smart enough to figure out you're a VIP, I know that. They have no problem killing themselves to get at us, so I'm not risking you going in there just so I have to eject your broken body out an airlock.
Johnathan leaned in until he was inches from Huxton, leaning down on the slightly shorter man. Huxton was not intimidated. "How hard is it to keep one imitation human locked up?"
"Do you remember how the last live one got out? It bent the bars of her cell and killed six armed people in hand to hand. I have a fireteam watching it at all times and an interrogation room, but I can't guarantee your safety, especially if he has a trick or two we've missed so far."
Johnathan sighed and rolled his eyes. "Do you think I am that frail? I don't like your excuses, Admiral I though the military government was subservient to the civilian one?"
Huxton realized he was dragging the discussion topic to ideologies. "Facts are facts; I can't let you see him. If you wish to conduct our weekly meeting two days early I will walk you to the conference room." Johnathan's expression became one of contempt.
"I thought we agreed to work our differences out."
"We did, and we are. There are some things though that are out of your expertise, and given the current situation o f the human race, military expertise takes precedence" Huxton replied.
The fire returned. "Admiral, if we reduce this Colonial Remnant to a military force with a sole genocidal goal, we'll destroy everything it means to be human, we'll become them, but flesh and bone instead of silicon and nanotubes. Please don't let our culture die. Let me see the cylon."
Huxton held his ground. "If the cylon is ever deemed safe, you may see it, until then he's a priority Kobol security risk, I'm sorry" Huxton said. Johnathan took a step back, conceding defeat.
"Very well then Admiral, thank you for having me. I can find my way out." He shut the airlock behind him. Huxton decided to play on the defensive at their next meeting as he walked away, hiding his clenched fists.
Would he let Johnathan speak to the cylon? A quick image of Nessella's reaction if he refused made him decide that eventually he would.
Five Years Before The Fall
Akrin sat in his leather captain's armchair on the pan-colonial liner Sfardia's bridge, helpless as the colonial light cruiser Anghar closed on it. Fuel was leaking from forty millimeter holes in his triple pod engines, and the two point defense guns he'd mounted on the fish shaped liner's arched back were debris floating in a halo around his dying ship. A cold sweat was dripping down his forehead, and his ands were white knuckled on the grip of his carbine. "Any luck on the FTL?" he asked his engineer.
"Negative, the nav computer reset itself after that last hit, its going to take five minutes to reboot." The red faced man replied.
Akrin sighed. "Then I guess this is it, I'll see you all in Tartarus."
"What do you mean captian?" his navigator asked fearfully through the blood pouring from a crescent shaped gash above her right eye when she'd smashed her head against the FTL computer.
Akrin raised the handgun, careful not to point it at any of his staff. "We've got forty two marines supporting Lord Andareus onboard this ship, including my brother. The crew of the Anghar will execute them upon their capture, and imprison the rest of us for giving them shelter. I come from a family of soldiers, I die a soldier." A proximity alarm warned that the cruiser was within three hundred meters of their hull and opening its docking tube.
The engineer returned his attention to his console. "Yes sir, goodbye sir" he said. Akrin's radio crackled.
"Ake, how's it going up there?" Johnathan Frost asked.
"Not good, we need five to ten minutes to get the FTL online" Akrin replied.
"Then I guess we'll have to hold them for ten. There's almost two hundred marines aboard that ship, do you have anyone else with a gun?" Akrin sighed and closed his eyes, thinking. He couldn't go out there and die, no matter what he was saying, he'd been born to a family of marines, but become a liner captain. His crew was unarmed except him though, and he couldn't stand a life in prison.
"John, only me, I'm coming down there" he said in a shaking voice.
He heard his older brother's booming laugh. "Good to hear that, you can't shoot for shit but I'd rather have you than anyone else. I'll see you." Akrin shut the radio down and stood up. He turned to the engineer. "Trigger the hull breach lockdown procedure, we're going to make them cut through every bulkhead on this ship. As soon as FTL is back online, jump us to Sagittaron."
"What if we're still docked with them?" the engineer asked.
"Then we'll kill them on the way out!" Akrin sprinted out as a new alarm began to sound.
The rebels were bunkered down outside the docking collar, hidden behind haf-walls and overturned furniture when he arrived. All were marines and wore red armbands on their body armor; the symbol of the coming Colonial Empire.
"Welcom along little bro" Johnathan said, and moved over so Akrin could duck behind the row of seats he and two other rebels were using as cover. Half a dozn civillians were cowering behind them.
"Hi." Akrin sat down. "Ten minutes tops, then we're gone" he said. He heard the hiss of melting metal and looked up just in time to see the cold grey metal of the airlock doors begin to shudder as someone on the otherside hacked their computer locks
"Get ready!" Johnathan shouted and raised his assault rifle. Akrin raised his pistol with trembling hands. The door creaked open and his heart leapt into his throat. Two black tubes arced into the foyer. "Flash grenades!" Johnathan and several rebels warned and ducked. Akrin dropped his head just as a supernova of light flared in the center of the room. There was the drumroll of a volley of gunfire and the row of seats shook as bullets pounded it. A woman's shrill scream of pain pierced the din.
Johnathan leapt up and began hosing the charging marines with high explosive rounds. Akrin took a deep breath, then leapt out of cover. The foyer was flashing with muzzleflares from both sides and the different gunshots quickly merged into one stuttering roar. Half a dozen marines were down and bleeding at the airlock door, while more poured. Akrin aimed and pulled the trigger as fast as he could. He was sure he hit at least one. Their body armor will prevent a pistol round from penetrating. He switched to the underslung grenade launcher and pulled the trigger. The sidearm thudded and the foyer was rent apart by the blast. Bodies splattered from the explosive force. Blood painted the walls and floor.
"That's the spirit brother!" Johnathan shouted. His weapon clicked empty. He ducked behind cover and reloaded. A grenade flew into the room and Akrin joined him. They popped back up together. "We can hold this!" Johnathan shouted, even though several of his marines were already bleeding on the floor.
Then he lurched backwards, blood spraying from the gap between his chestplate and neck guard.
Five minutes and twenty seconds later the Sfardia was drifting over Sagittaron's mottled green surface, surrounded by the jagged chunks of the Anghar she'd dragged with her into FTL. Akrin was curled up at the foot of the bullet torn row of seats, cradling his dead brother's head in his arms. The fifteen or so rebels left standing were cheering over the shattered remains of the entry foyer and the fifty loyalist marines who had died storming it. The engineer was asking over the intercom if everyone was all right.
Akrin kicked his empty pistol away. "Frack this war" he whimpered
Johnathan sat alone in the meeting room after the last of the captains had left. The only thing his last meeting with the quorum had accomplished was create a general consensus that Huxton was an enemy. Which he the admiral hadn't become yet. Johnathan couldn't see anyone equaling him in leading the military anytime soon. The meeting had ended after a barely contained denunciation of the military and its objectives by the Sagittarion freighter captain Aaron Hurst. "What would you do, brother?" he wondered.
Johnathan Frost would have returned to the Vindication and verbally assaultedHuxton until he'd been given permission to pass or been arrested. Maybe that was why Johnathan had taken Andareus' side in the coup, because he'd watched President Adar whittle away at the fleet's capabilities and in general the colony's abilities to react against the ever-present cylons. Maybe that was why he had dragged Akrin with him. Maybe he was wrong, because both brothers were dead now, Johnathan literally, Akrin metaphorically.
Akrin had sold the Sfardia at steal price as soon as he'd docked her above Sagittarron. Using the money he bought himself a new life named after his brother and paid a hacker to sever his connections with the old one as Andareus' brief uprising crashed down following his defeat over the skies of Caprica. He'd picked up the Athenian from a scrap yard using the pocket change he had left over, and taken up the role of the tough no-nonsense captain with experience in government. Now he was running what was left of humanity, opposed the man who had ensured Andareus' defeat.
Johnathan pulled a pack of Sagittaron-rolled cigarettes (illegal for export beyond the colony) from a pocket in his pants, and pulled one of the white filters out with a lighter. He lit it, and took a long drag of the fumes to relax him. His lungs ached, but the pleasant sensation overwhelmed the pain.
"Okay" he whispered to himself. "Huxton's gotten a little better since when you first got yourself elected, but he still doesn't take you seriously, its time to change that." He hunted a pencil and paper out of one of the supply bins arrayed along the walls and set about outlining his plan to confront Huxton under a united leadership.
Cross finished his extended after-combat examination of the Mark II and patted its fuselage affectionately. "That's a good bird," he said. He walked forwards and placed his hand on the four raiders he had painted onto its hull. His Mark VII currently being salvaged had thirty raiders, forty-eight vipers, and sixteen pirate 'bandits'. It was a cruel twist that he'd killed more of his fellow humans than cylons since the first war had ended. However, he was working on that in his knew bird
He heard the clank of flight boots on metal steadily growing louder and smelled cigar smoke. He turned around to see Slammer and Hornet approaching him. The heavyset, tanned Canceron native Slammer had a thick cigar between his lips. "Didn't we run out of those?" Cross asked, pointing to it. Slamemr smiled.
"We're not that low on supplies yet." He pulled a second one out of his flight jacket's pocket. "Want one? I have a dozen more where that came from." Cross chuckled and pushed it away.
"Do you think I'd last this long if I smoked like you did? I'd have keeled over a decade ago."
Slammer and Hornet smiled. "I thought you had good lineage," the average height, but densely built Hornet said.
"That too, my damn old man took three bullets during his service and ran five miles a day until he was seventy-eight, and croaked at ninety." Cross' hair was white and his skin beginning to show the wrinkles of his age, but he still could move like a marine and had scored perfectly on his last physical.
Slammer and Hornet started examining the Viper, their curiosity piqued by the antique craft. "How's it feel to be back in a Deuce?" Hornet asked.
A smile crossed Cross' face. "Like being home after a long time on the road. This war machine never let me down during my time in her."
Hornet examined the Mark II's cannon mounts from behind his thick, but inexplicably mirrored prescription goggles. "I take it the Deuce is your favorite then?"
Cross shook his head. "Nah, the Mark III is because of them forward-swept wings, but anything with the good old low-tech is home to me." He waved to a pair of orange-clad loaders topping off the line of vipers with a motor cart carrying twenty thousand rounds of ammunition.
"Nice" Hornet said. Cross ran a hand over the viper's faded red and black paint. "We're going to have to see if we can get ahold of some paint for these old birds, say we get them back up to their old glory even if we are going to b using them in trainers-except this one of course."
"I doubt we even have that much" Hornet said. "Personally, I think we should remove it altogether and go with that fresh off the factory look."
Slammer nodded, then remembered Cross' last words. "Except this one, Major? Are you planning on flying a fracking Deuce into battle?"
Cross savored his shock. "Frack yes, tell me why not, this bird is better than the seven in almost every way."
Slammer raised his hands. "I'm not, you're the CAG and the most experienced pilot here, you know best." Cross nodded and smiled.
With the fires out and the after-battle check complete, Mirra's adrenaline glands finally stopped pumping. She sighed and put her weight on her station as her body slowed back down to normal. Meironara sat down on a desk next to her. The bridge crew had been running on a high since they had made their combat jump three hours ago, but now that had faded to be replaced with a sluggish creeping exhaustion and headaches from overtaxed brains.
"Well, everything's looking wealthy, pardon my slang Commander."
"Slang pardoned this once." Mirra pushed herself upright and took the intercom mic. "Attention, this is your Commander. Damn good job everyone, you all performed at the level the colonies needs from you as the crew of one of the last battlestars in existence. Your families are smiling at you from wherever you are, thank you." She shut it down. "Well, I think those were our first three kills without the Vindication's support."
"Those are our first three kills without another battlestar at all, we got three at Virgon with the Triton and Orion" Meironara reminded her.
Mirra rolled her eyes, smiled and pointed at him. "And that memory is why you are the XO. Thank you."
"How long do you think it's going to be before we find another cylon installation?" Lirallis asked.
"However long it takes to decipher the cylon's directions" Mirra said. "I'd say three weeks." In the meantime, I'm going to be decreasing action station's drills to once every three days. The crew could use a break." A single, long foghorn blast abruptly echoed through the ship over the speakers. That was the shift change bell.
"Remain here for a few minutes, I'm going to review the battle data, see where we can improve" Mirra said. She saw a couple of sour looks out of the corner of her eye. "And tonight, I'll open one of the wine bottles for a little bit of a celebration." Those sour looks vanished. Mirra's thoughts drifted to her family, who she still needed to find a time to visit.
"You had better be fracking certain about this, I am not going in and hauling civilian off, making a scene for nothing" Venko said. They waded through the usuall bustling corridor that ran the length of the ship; two marines with their weapons holstered and a man dressed in a tan duster and black fedora; a style that had gone out fifty two years ago
"The Ha'La'Tha has survived the fall, they are on this ship, and they are using arms stamped with the Colonial Marines Insignia, that's worth looking into," Johm said.
Alenko thought about that statement for a moment. "Thay means they somehow got into the main armory, or a marine sold some guns to them, shit!" he realized. Johm nodded. They took a left into the civilian quarters. Alenko stopped and turned to Venko. "Private, if we confirm this double time it back to Arvak's office and report to whoever's on duty, I'll deal with this."
"Yes sir" Venko said.
The civillians had removed the hard military edge of the barracks through their own touches. Alenko had to duck under several clotheslines and decorative banners. In the open 'courtyard' where the main security checkpoint was, a billboard had been put up by taking half a dozen smaller ones off the walls of different barracks and placing them two by three on the wall. The small rectangular security checkpoint was occupied by a group of teenagers smoking crude paper cigarettes. They jumped up when the trio walked past.
"I don't think the smoking age applies anymore, does it?" Venko whispered.
"No, and its not like it mattered before" Johm replied grimly. Venko nodded and mimed rolling one between his lips.
From the checkpoint they turned left and kept going until they were working their way along the outer hull. "Its barrack fifteen, right?" Alenko asked.
"Yes sir" Johm replied.
They reached fifteen, whichw as the clasest barracks to thick bulkhead that divided the main hull from the engineering section. When the engines were operating a faint hum was audible at all times this far aft, driving crewmembers to avoid being assigned here at all times. Several children blocked the door. They stopped and stared at the two marines with wide eyes. Johm shouldered past Alenko. "We are looking for two men in black trenchcoats, have you seen them?"
"What's a trenchcoat?" the smallest boy, barely five, asked. A slightly larger one elbowed him in the ribs.
The oldest child, a sour faced girl maybe twelve years old, scowled. "Yeah, they're in there with my dad, they kicked us out."
Johm nodded. "Thank you, now excuse us." The children stepped aside and the trio walked through. Alenko stopped Johm at the door. "You know, if these really are Ha'La'Tha and they have our guns, this could end badly. Get everyone else out of the room."
"You can take care of this?" Johm asked.
"We can." Johm stepped to one side. Alenko waved Venko after himself. The two marines did their best to walk casually as they entered and Alenko gave the room a quick once over. There were twenty plus people inside. A dozen were sleeping on various bunks and a few were milling about on the floor. Half a dozen had taken the room's chairs and sat in a corner. Two of them wore black trenchcoats and were ethnically Tauron. A tattoo was visible on one's hand. They looked up as Alenko approached them. The two Taurons remained stationary, but the other four, all wearing the dress clothes they had arrivd in, jumped and gave him wary glances that confirmed they were up to something even before Alenko saw the guns.
There were five weapons and a pile of loaded magazines: an MIR-11 combat shotgun, two regulation sidearms, and MIR-9 carbine, like what Alenko now carried slung across his back, and worst of all: an MIR-19.
Alenko put on a friendly smile. "Good day to you." The two Taurons waved. He told them apart by their height differences and the shorter one's bulging red irises, which marked him as a Charisis user. He could see the edges of a tattoo visible beneath both their collars, but couldn't discern more than a few black lines.
"Hello marine, how goes the war?" the taller one said. Behind them Johm was talking rapidly to the innocents and point out the door. Several got up and ran out.
"As good as it can be" Alenko said. "Unfortunately, someone stole a couple weapons out of the arsenal so we've been sent here to take a look for them. Do you mind if the Private inspects the serial numbers on those?"
The Taurons remained completely cool. The other four, possibly customers, were sweating by this point. A quick look around by Alenko told him the room was empty.
"Go ahead" the taller Tauron said. Venko walked forward, giving Alenko a glare as he passed. Next time you stick your neck out frakker!
He picked up the pistol, made sure it was safed, then read the number. "Serial is eight ten two four COLFL." He picked up the other. "COLFL again." Alenko's fingertips were relaxing at his side, six inches from his sidearm. The Taurons remained perfectly calm. Venko picked up the handgun, the betrayed his nerves by taking a step away from the pair. "COLFL, these are ours."
"Well isn't that interesting" Alenko said. The taller Tauron's hand vanished inside his jacket. Alenko went for his sidearm. Venko swung the carbine like a club, smashing the bridge of his nose in a spray of blood. The shorter one's hand snapped out and grabbed his arm. He lunged in a blur of motion but Alenko had his sidearm out and aimed at his head. He stopped short, trembling as his brain fought with the inertia built up in his muscles. "Don't" Alenko said. He slowly sat back down and a long black blade slipped from between his fingers and clanged on the metal floor. Venko backed up and unslung his carbine.
Alenko nodded to Johm. "You were right." Johm nodded, but didn't show any elation at his success. Alenko took out his carbine with his other hand and holstered his pistol. "Private, you know what to do." Venko nodded and sped out of the room.
An older man in a first cylon war era uniform opened his mouth. "We-"
"Unless you want to tell me where these guns came from keep your mouth shut," alenko growled. "We need every arm we can get and you steal them, shame on you and that uniform you're wearing if its yours."
"I am going to tell you where it came from." He pointed a crooked finger at the gangsters. "Those two said they bought them from a marine." Frack.
"Thank you. You two" the Taurons averted their gaze.
Johm tapped him on the shoulder. "They won't talk, I know this type; they use their lawyers to do the talking." Alenko did his best to resemble a shark looking at its prey with a toothy predatory smile.
"Guess what, there aren't any lawyers here and you have stolen colonial fleet weapons in a time of war, you are fracked unless you tell us who sold em' to you." The two remained silent and staring ahead. Alenko shrugged and settled his aim between them. They remained in that position until two squads of marines and Lieutenant Baker burst in.
"Sergeant, at ease" Baker said. Alenko lowered his weapon. The marines filled the tiny room, half watching Alenko and the other half watching the two possible Ha'La'Tha gangers. "I got your runner, you're saying they got ahold of weapons from the arsenal? Are you sure Sergeant? Because you know shit is going to go down when the Admiral hears that."
"Yes, sir, they've got Colonial Fleet serial numbers on them." Baker shook his head.
"Really? Show me." Alenko bent down and picked up one of the pistols. From the weight in his hand he could tell that it was loaded. He flipped it around and presented it handgrip first. Baker took it and read the serial number quietly. "Well damn Sergeant, good work in that case, hand me the others." He passed the pistol to corporal Varitek on his right. Alenko passed the weapons off to him. "All of them are ours, you know what that means, don't you, Sergeant?"
"Yes sir. They either broke into the armory through two one-decameter doors and a security checkpoint, or one of us sold them the guns. According to this one here it's the latter" he pointed at the veteran.
Baker nodded. He pointed at the six guilty parties "Cuff em' and take em' to the brig, Briggs run off and find Colonel Nessella, this is a case of contraband, level two, we are en route to the brig." Private Briggs sprinted off. The four buyers burst into frantic protests and pleas as the marines grabbed them up.
"We just wanted to be safe!" someone shouted. Alenko shrugged. Johm sighed.
"Sergeant, you wait here with me for a moment." Alenko and Baker remained behind in the now nearly empty room. Baker lowered his voice. "Where did you get information that they had these guns?"
"A friend of mine, Johm" Alenko shifted his gaze to Johm, who was leaning against the doorframe watching them. Baker followed him.
"Now how did you guess these boys had weapons, Mr…"
"Detective Johm Siedner" Johm said. "I saw them showing a couple of sidearms off for sale earlier, claimed to have brought them onboard." Given that everyone coming aboard this ship passes through a metal detector, I didn't think they could have brought them onboard." Baker smiled and nodded.
"I see, thank you Detective, and you Sergeant, please return with me to command."
"Yes sir" Alenko said. The kids were still waiting by the door when they left. They gave them a wide berth and whispered to each other about the scene they had just witnessed.