"Pegasus, Nightlight; I'm clear and have completed my roll; switching loops. Galactica, Raptor 307, inbound; request permission to make a flyby before landing?"

"Raptor 307, purpose of flyby?"

"She sounds cute," said Vapor.

Nightlight smiled; a ripple of his eyebrows. "Galactica, 307; just... Sight-seeing. Just very happy to see you."

"307, by all means. We're real happy to see you too."

"Galactica, appreciate it, and, ah... Be advised also—" he paused, then gabbled: "My ECO thinks y'sound pretty. Ow!" He released the XMIT key. "Be professional, wouldya?"

"The admiral gets wind of that kind of thing, she'll see us both in hack."

"307, tell him 'thankyou!'"

"Wilco, Galactica. The admiral's got a sense of humor; the CAG, not so much. Hey, get up here. You hafta see this ship."

"I know what a battlestar looks like, Gareth!"

"Not this one." He took the Raptor through a wide orbit around the Galactica's mountainous bulk before drawing alongside the starboard flight-pod. "Godsdamn... I'm flying in formation with the worlds-famous battlestar Galactica. It's like a dream."

"Holy crap, are you cryin' a little? What is it to you, anyway?"

"She. Not it—she. And she's beautiful."

"You are such a softie. It's a heap of processed rock and iron with a powdering of guns. And an old one at that."

"Soft hearts are only human; doesn't that matter now more than ever?"

"Only if you want Cain to upgrade that day in hack to a keel-haul."

"Heh. She doesn't care, so long as we do the job. When I was young, she'd visit Aquaria sometimes—Galactica, I mean, not the admiral—and we'd go see her. And I thought to myself, we're a long way out in the black, but they're here anyway, watching over us; standing on the wall, keeping us safe. She's why I joined up; when Jean was born, I wanted to be one of those people for her." He nudged the stick and pulled the Raptor in a gentle inverted roll under the Galactica. LSO, Raptor 307; I will be approaching the portside flight pod in sixty seconds; requesting permission to land?"

"Raptor 307, Galactica, granted; hands-on approach, call the ball when you have it."

"LSO, 307, you got it."