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Old March 22nd, 2010, 05:38 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Default A Short Athena Story

I have always hated the shoddy treatment Athena got in the original show. This is my tribute to her. The writer's list seemed to like it. This version has been expanded ever so slightly, to correct some spelling errors, and to add a little text here and there.

This story is set just after the events in "Hand of God". It is not directly connected to any VS ep., nor is it specifically connected to "Fields" - although it might find its way in there later - although it assumes the technology and background in that story.

Comments are appreciated.



Athena monitored the the Sensor Director Station - which compiled and collated all of the data from the Galactica's vast array of sensors - she had done on every "night watch" for the last....how many sectars? But tonight, she knew, was different...

For tonight, she had finally decided to do it - she would see Dr. Salik at the end of her watch...

...Absently, she gritted her teeth -- behind her, a small monitor showed yet another interview with Starbuck and Apollo...


Athena waited in a side corridor until Casseopia had passed, unconsciously fingering the scar tissue hidden under her hair above her left ear. She did not want the former Socialator to see her entering Dr. Salik's office this morning. For Athena's plan to work, there could be no questions from anyone who knew what she was about to do.

Taking a deep breath to steady herself, she entered Salik's office. The balding man was standing over her father's recovery tube, aparently lost in thought. He had insisted on Adama undergoing a minor operation to "clean up", as Salik had put it, the hasty patch job done when Adama had been severely injured by the Cylon Raider's crash into the Bridge. Adama, he had told her two days ago, would recover nicely, and could use the rest.

Salik looked up at her as she entered. "Ah - Athena. Come to sit with him?"

She approached him somewhat nervously. "Well, not exactly Doctor..."

Salik raised an eyebrow, then nodded. "It's the implant, then?"

She nodded nervously. "I...it...it's making me, well, a little paranoid...and the headaches are back, worse than before..."

Salik nodded, and indicated a surgical table. "I can do it for you in a micron. You'll need to take it easy for a few days..."

Athena smiled nervously as she lay down on the operating couch...Please, Oh Lords, she prayed silently, don't let me babble under the anesthetic...


**28 centars later**

The launch bay was much quieter than usual. This late, the only launches and recoveries were the recon probes. Not having an assigned Viper, she approached Shipton, Lt Mendek's crew chief. "Evening, Chief" she said.

Shipton looked at her curiously. "Lieutenant Athena?" he asked, curiously. "What happened to Lt Mendek?"

"He's not feeling well," she said with a wink. "He caught the last shuttle back from the Rising Star, you know..."

Shipton laughed in agreement. Mendek was a good pilot, if a sketchy on the whole 'officer thing'. "No problem, L-T," he said. "I'll get you strapped in..." Shipton had no worries about Athena - he had served at Cosmara Archipelago, too, and was happy to see her back in "cockpit brown" - blue didn't suit a stunner like her at all...


Locked into the cockpit, Athena breathed deeply to steady herself, and flipped the launch activation beacon. Through her helmet's headset came the soft voice of now Flight-Corporal Rigel, just now coming on duty, "Transferring launch control to Recon Four. Launch when ready."

Breathe. The Viper was the hottest fighter the Colonies had ever fielded.

Grip the column. There was enough thrust at her back to tear the bonds of a planet's gravity.

Press the Turbo stud...


Without the implant - the hated tether that had ruined her career - her universe spun wildly, as brilliant white flashes of light punched her consciousness bloody. Focus! Cracking up now would not ruin her career...it would kill her.

Better dead than trapped on the Bridge.


Forcing her breathing to steady, Athena focused on calming her heart....


In her station in the Bridge Pit, Rigel stared at her chromo-monitor...then called up the flight roster. There weren't a lot of female pilots on the active list, anyway, and she was sure that Lt Mendek was supposed to be flying this patrol...


Athena coasted through space, far behind the Fleet, tuning her scanners to the Jump point the fleet had just passed through. She was looking for any sign of pursuit...

...When she found it.

A G6-class ship. Usually used as tanker, it also functioned as a Jump Point Recon vessel - it was relatively cheap, and thus expendable, and it could Jump-tow Raiders with it for protection...

...Too late - they had spotted her. Athena did not hesitate: slamming her turbos to full, she charged the recon vessel as it banked about and tried to accelerate away, to run for the Jump Point. As she did so, she shot a tightbeam back to the Galactica: "Battle Control, this is Recon Four! Contact to stern! G6! Engaging before they escape!"

Just then her threat alarm sounded. Sparing a fast look at he scanner, she saw six Cylon Raiders roaring out from behind the G6, trying to stall her. Fat chance, she thought. Reaching for a control panel near her left knee, she flipped four switches simultaneously - igniting a massive dump of raw Tylium into her thruster ports, ramming her acceleration 20 percent higher than normal. As the gravitic forces crushed her into her couch, she grit her teeth in a snarl; presently, she felt something hot and wet running down her neck, and the salty taste of blood in her mouth, as her left nostril clogged with blood.

Her Viper screamed past the Raiders, who maneuvered violently to circle around and engage - too violently, as two of the Raiders collided in mid-turn.

Athena bore down on the lumbering Cylon ship.....


Aboard the Galactica, seeming pandemonium reigned as Silver Spar - the alert squadron - raced to their Vipers for a hasty launch to rescue Recon Four.

In Alpha Bay, Apollo found Sheba. There were no words - only fingers brushing cheeks...

...As Silver Spar cleared the tubes, Apollo turned to race for the lift, to monitor the action from the Bridge -- and, to his complete surprise, literally ran into Lt Mendek.....


Sheba focused not on the lights of battle ahead of her, but on her tactical scanner. She spotted the Cylon tanker; the contact seemed to be drifting. Good boy, she thought; Mendek seemed to have disabled the tanker - now all they had to do was finish it and its Raiders off, and the Galactica and her fleet of refugees might escape the Cylon's metallic clutches for good.

And make it that much harder for Father to find us, a voice in her head said.

Assuming he's still alive, he'll find us. Aloud, "Bojay? Let's close it up - Mendek won't last long by himself..."


Sheba was amazed; she'd had no idea that Mendek was this good: not only was the tanker disabled, but the young Red Squadron pilot had destroyed four Raiders...and destroyed another as she watched - but another was closing behind him...And they were still too far out to engage..

"Recon Four! One more, behind you and above!"

Her comm unit crackled. "...t tank...ve got this on..."

Before she could reply, Sheba watched in amazement as Mendek spun his Viper through a sixteen-point spin, rolling his Viper in on itself, until he pointed his nose upward, firing on the closing Raider even as he was flying his Viper backwards...now, THAT was some flying!

Keying her mike, she chuckled "Well, Silver Spar, looks like we just get to finish off the tanker - take him out!" A chorus of assents, and Silver Spar swarmed over the tanker like Picean Flesh-Fish...Sheba, however, circled back to stay with Mendek.

She got a good look at his Viper - from the number of scars, he had been in the thick of it. "Recon Four - can you transmit?" She could make out some smoke in the cockpit; she saw Mendek shake his helmet back and forth. "That's okay - stay with me, and you'll be fine. Just set your course, and take a light sleep period..."

Mendek shook his head again, then signaled with his right hand that he had flight control issues. "Alright, just stay alert, and try to stay even with me...Since you can't transmit, but can receive, I'll just yammer at you until we're home..."

She laughed when Mendek made a choking motion with his right hand.....


As Silver Spar landed, Sheba nodded with silent approval - although damaged, and likely wounded, Mendek was letting everyone else lining up for Beta Bay go in first, in case he lost it on landing...

...Sheba made sure to get into Alpha early in the landing string, so that she could head over to Beta...


Sheba leaped from the lift before it settled, and raced to Apollo's side as Mendek came in, and made a three-pointer...

"Apollo!" she gushed "You should have seen it..." She was stopped by Apollo's stone-faced expression. "What is it?" she asked. Apollo just shook his head. Sheba could see that Starbuck and Boomer were also perplexed their friend's hostile glare...

...and everyone in the bay gasped when the cockpit opened, and Chief Shipton helped the pilot out - the pilot's face was a mess of blood - when the pilot pulled off their helmet...

...Staggering down the ladder, Athena - blood pouring from her nostrils and from behind her left ear - almost drunkenly pulled herself to attention.

"Flight-Lieutenant Athena. Reporting to the Strike Leader for duty..."


The three Warriors stood against the wall of Colonel Tigh's office in silence. There was obviously some sort of brother-sister spat going on, but none of them could fathom the cause.

As Tigh entered and sat down, he regarded the brother, standing, and sister, seated, before him. He had been dreading this moment, not least because he knew where this would go before it was over. "Captain..."

"Colonel, she shouldn't be in a cockpit! Kobol notwithstanding..."

"Kobol notwithstanding, my boot!" Athena shot back. Starbuck, Sheba and Boomer looked at each other nervously.

Apollo looked at her like she had slapped him. "Have you lost your mind? I checked with Dr Salik - he told me you had him remove your implant--"

"...That ruined my career!" she fired back angrily.

"Athena," Tigh began.

"NO!" she shot back. "You know full well that after Zack, my father would never approve it had I done this any other way. It isn't fair, and it places the Galactica's pilots in danger..."

"Athena," Apollo started to say, then stopped. "Look, I know you wanted back in a cockpit, but without the compensator..."

"I will have to train myself to fly without it..."

"That implant kept you alive on Kobol! It. Is. Too. Dangerous." Apollo said.

Athena dabbed at the sprung wound behind her ear. "More dangerous than what, exactly, O Brother Dear?" Apollo bristled at her tone; before he could riposte: "Let's just clear the air, shall we, Apollo? Or, maybe Colonel Tigh should clear it?"

Apollo looked at Tigh, expecting his fury to be barely in check -- and was stunned to see him with his head in his hands, staring at his desk. As if he felt Apollo's stare, Tigh looked up. "You three" he said to Starbuck, Sheba and Boomer, "out. Now."

Boomer led the way - whatever was about to be said, Boomer wanted to be nowhere near the fallout...and neither did the other two.

As the door slid shut, Tigh looked resignedly at Athena. "What caused this?" he said.

"Rigel," she replied. "She's a good pilot, and absolutely deserves her Flight rating. And now, with the Celestra re-geared, we'll have new Vipers for her and the others soon enough. Dietra is a good pilot, as well, and will make a fine squadron leader some day, but she doesn't have the chops to lead Red Squadron...which is why she's still only 'acting' Squadron Lead..."

Apollo and Tigh shared a look. "And you think you're up to it?" Apollo said. He realized what a blunder he had made as soon as he finished his sentence.

Athena bristled. "Up to it? UP TO IT?! Let's review, brother-dear, shall we? While you were out playing Huntsman, I was driving the Unicorns on the Medusa. I was the first member of our family to win the Gold Cluster in three hundred yahren! While you were just a flight leader in Blue, I was the Strike Leader of the Bucephalus! And had I not been wounded at Cosmara, you'd be reporting to ME, CAPTAIN!"

Apollo looked at Tigh, shocked. To his unanswered question, Tigh sighed in resignation. "I'm sorry, Apollo. I normally don't discuss my appointments. You know that there were always a limited number of Strike Lead slots open within the Fleet. When I was assigned to the Galactica, just after Tychon's Drift, I looked through the records, crunched the numbers - and sent an offer of Strike Lead to Athena. I didn't know that her medical retirement had been ordered. I informed your father of it when he took command, and he pulled some strings to get Athena back on duty as a Bridge Officer.

"Again, Apollo, I'm sorry. I had hoped that this would never come up. At that time, you simply weren't at her level -- you had too much sidereal training, and not enough time in the cockpit. With Athena not available, I chose Gilliland; when he was killed at Bleeding Rocks, you were the next obvious choice...but only because Athena had been scrubbed from Viper-flight status..."

In the silence, Apollo looked at Athena - tears were welling in her eyes. "You can't take this away from me, Apollo," she said, voice small. "You can't! You need a squadron commander who knows how to drive a squadron! You know full-well that Starbuck can't do it - look what a mess he made of Red Squadron the first time!..." Her voice trailed off...

...After a moment, Apollo looked from her to Tigh. "Colonel, I'd like to speak to you about the command structure of Red Squadron..."


[[Four days later, Beta Landing Bay]]

..."And so," Adama intoned, "it is with the greatest pleasure that I introduce to you your new Squadron Leader - Lieutenant Athena!" He turned and extended his arm to welcome his daughter forward...but his warm smile did not quite reach his eyes...

Athena stepped forward, head erect...


Last edited by WarMachine; February 13th, 2012 at 03:48 PM..
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