Chapter 2: Solaria Museum

In a Mk.7 Viper

“Viper niner one niner you are cleared to land on the port pod. Manual landing, call the ball.”

Of course the Admiral remembered that they were no auto landings on the Battlestar Solaria museum. In spite of a shaky right hand, Samuel Mueller expertly piloted his Mark VII viper. Having his own personal fighter craft was a privilege of the Admiralty. Most of the time he that let young raptor pilots fly him around between ships.

He answered the radio communication professionally. It would be a perfect approach and landing of course.

This was a matter of pride as he was visiting his old commander. It served and landed on the ship hundreds of times under the command of Jesse Green. 15 years ago this ship was taken out of service and made into a museum. As the Galactica was soon to retire and this ship was considered unsafe, this ships mostly civilian crew had received layoff notices. Some of them would be transferred to Galactica in three months. 

Commander Jesse Green who is retired along with the ship still commanded and gave tours. The Admiral was to find out how his old friend was going to cope. As you thought of this old friend, he piloted his ship to a perfect landing. He felt that magnetic locks activate as his landing skids lightly touched the elevator. It took the civilian crew almost 4 minutes to get him out of his viper.

Samuel Mueller thanked them and walking in his flight suit he made the trip that he made before every tour of duty. The walk to see his mentor.

Cmdr. Jesse Green was 72 years old, regulations no longer being in effect, he has grown in a snow white beard. Still looking fit with a small pot belly, he stood in his office which was not filled with boxes but with books.

He stood up and greeted the man who is been his squadron commander and then commander of their group 15 years ago.

“Admiral Sam,” he shook hands firmly. He spoke with a country accent. How the hell are you and what they got you doing now?”

“As you well know Commander Green”, he answered “I’ve got to take my group of ships right up to the border of Cylon. There we will flex our muscles and fly patrols and conduct combat exercises hoping to impress the machines that rebelled against us 40 years ago.”

“Those mercury class main guns are quite impressive when you shoot them,” Green answered. “they scare me when I am out at the firing range.”

“Jesse,” Mueller asked softly, “what are you going to do when they take away your ship?”

“I’m not going to let them take away my ship. That’s what I need a nav computer, and FTL computer and 20,000 rounds of ammunition. I need to show the ship can still flight. This ship needs to be recommissioned, and not sold for scrap.” He bristled behind his desk taking a defiant tone, crossing his arms in front of his chest.

“I can’t give you ammunition Jesse, you know that. I’ll give it two computers out of replacement stores.” The Admiral leaned back in his chair, looking uncomfortable.

Jesse Green sighed softly. “You always said I’d be no good fishing”.

Samuel Mueller laughed heartily. He knew the old commander was right. Retirement was going to come for the old man. Nothing was going to stop it, short of an all-out enemy attack. Intelligence briefings that the Admiral had read showed no signs of an impending attack.

The border with the Cylons was as quiet as it ever been. There have been no electronic signals any kind detected in four decades.

He wondered in his own mind without verbalizing how he would explain the disappearance of 20,000 rounds of ammunition. The computers were easy to explain, the originals would be pulled replacements would be installed. Instead of sending them back to the depot as failed they would make their way to the Solaria. On second thought 5000 rounds of ammunition should be enough. His old friend just have to understand.

One thing is certain here, the old man would not do very well at fishing.

There were free exercises scheduled on the border in three weeks. That would provide an opportunity to falsify a few reports and say more ammunition was fired than actually was used.

The problem with this plan was what would happen if the ammunition turned up.

Samuel Mueller decided he would worry about that problem another day.

The rest of the visit was expended on small talk. The Admiral talked about his children, and the commander talked about his grandchildren.

Soon and it was time to get back in his viper fly home.

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