Passing The Torch

WHO: Callie Morgan, Tra Mitchel
WHERE: Squadron CO Office, Avalon
WHEN: Evening Y02/12/07, Y2001 Flashback

It was over. The term as a Squadron Commander on Avalon was at an end after tending her transfer request to a ground assignment on Aerilon for personal reasons. She had not divulged those reasons but it was necessary to move on from Avalon, a place that held much good memories to follow a different path. There was only one last task left, the clearing out of her desk in her office. She was finding it more difficult than expected, packing her belongings into boxes, her memories into boxes.

Tra had left the Admiral’s office almost an hour ago, but he still hadn’t ended up anywhere. Getting the promotion to captain and the CO slot in the squadron was a shock, considering his record, but it wasn’t the most surprising part. That would have to be Callgirl’s transfer request. He hadn’t expected that. She always seemed to love being the CO, not that he made it easy on her. Looking up Tra found that he had made his way to the CO’s office.

Old School, New School )


Nightmares and dreams

WHO: Tra Mitchel and NPC Admiral Burk
WHERE: Battlestar Avalon
WHEN: Morning 06 Dec Y02

As the Viper passed one thousand feet the last fire warning light came to life. As it did the ships computer came on. "EJECT..EJECT...EJECT...EJECT..." The computerized voice repeated over and over.

Seeing the last light come on, Achillies knew he had seconds before the fuel ignited and the explosion spread him across the landscape, along with what was left of his Viper. Seeing a small, empty clearing to his left he decided to go for it. Rolling the Viper hard to the left he allowed the nose to point towards the ground. As the Viper picked up speed the right wing sheered off, spinning away from the now out of control Viper. Spinning towards the clearing Achillies watched the altimeter pass three hundred feet. Nothing more he could do now, time to go

"This is Achillies, I'm punching out" He shouted into the comm as he pulled the eject lever by his seat.

The lever came off in his hand with a loud snap. Looking at it with a macabre mixture of shock and horror Achillies knew this was it. His heart pounded against his chest as if it were trying to escape from him and the dyeing Viper. Looking out of the canopy he saw the ground spinning wildly towards him.


Hero of the day...

WHO: Jilleen Simmons and Tra Mitchel
WHERE: Battlestar Pacifica
WHEN: Evening 04 Dec

Tra sat uncomfortably in the back of Raptor 275. He pulled at the neck his dress uniform, no longer accustom to its feel. Standing as best as he could in the cramped Raptor he walked forward and looked out the cockpit window at the rapidly approaching Battlestar Pacifica. It was strange to think that an hour ago he had been sitting in the Mess hall with Mila, working on their shattered relationship when he was ordered to get into his dress uniform and report to the flight line. Now he was in this Raptor, invited to a party with the big brass.



WHO: Lt Tra Mitchel and Lt Jg Milena Wallace
WHERE: Sickbay, Battlestar Avalon
WHEN: Y02 04 Dec

Tra opened his eyes and looked around for a moment, almost unsure where he was. As he slid off the bed onto the cold metal deck he remembered that he had been transferred to the Avalon from the hospital on Tauron the day before. Looking around for a nurse or an orderly that would make him get back into bed he walked across the room and opened the wall locker that contained his uniform. Stripping off the loose fitting pajamas that he had been given, Tra started to get dressed, still feeling the dull pain from the crash in his stiff body. Stopping with his arm halfway into the sleeve he knew someone was there. Before he could turn she spoke


Feeling better

WHO: Tra Mitchel and open
WHERE: Tauron hospital
WHEN: Y2002 Dec 4

Achillies eyes flew open as he sat up in bed. Sweat poured down his face as he gasped for air. Blinking a few times he shook his head clear of the dreams of the crash. Then wiping the sweat from his face he got his breathing under control. His eyes focused as he looked around him. One last deep ragged breath and he was calm again.


Funeral service flyover

WHO: Lt Tra "Achillies" Mitchel and open
WHERE: The funeral service flyover being held in Tiberine
WHEN: Y2002 Dec 4

Achillies listened to the high pitched whine of his engines as he sat in the cockpit of his Viper. Over the past few days he had checked and double checked every Vipers in the squadron as per Call Girl's orders. All had been brought up to spec, thanks to some inventive bribery. He knew that they had been at odds from the moment he had transferred in from the Vampires and he was trying to work on that. Sliding in close to the next Viper, he could see the pilot doing the same things he was. Checking the flight path, keeping the formation spacing perfect and just enjoying the flight.


Working on the Vipers

WHO: Tra "Achillies" Mitchel and Open
WHEN: Morning Y2002, Dec 3
WHERE: Hanger Deck, Avalon

Achillies left the briefing room and went straight to the maintenance locker in the hanger. Pulling the records of all the Vipers in the Death Angles squadron he started to go over the maintenance records of each fighter like he did his own. The first thing he discovered was that the engine overhaul of the other fighters was grossly overdue. Shaking his head in disgust he took the folders and went to the chief of the boats office. Walking in he tossed the folders on the desk.

"Something I can do for you lieutenant?" The chief asked looking at the folders on his desk.

"Ya chief, I want to know why the frak these Vipers aren't getting their overhauls like they should." He said

The chief looked confused as he went over the folders. "What do you mean? You're Viper is good to go. No one in the fleet can touch it" The chief said

In one quick moment Achillies felt the weight of command. He had been down on the deck, working on his Viper and flirting with the female snipes, never thinking about anyone else Viper. It made him feel less.

"Look chief, I want each and every Viper as good as mine. I'll be going over everyone of these Vipers myself and I expect them all to be perfect. Call Girl wants it and I mean to see that it's done" He said

"You got it sir. I'll get my guys on it" The chief said as he stood

"Good. I'll be helping. I'll start with Call Girl's viper. get a crew over there and let's tear that engine down and make sure it's shit hot." He said as he walked out of the office and back into the hanger


Death Angels Briefing

WHO: Callie Morgan, Tra Mitchel & Open
WHEN: Morning Y2002, Dec 2
WHERE: Pilot’s Ready Room, Avalon

Callie stood inside the pilot’s ready room writing on the board; getting things prepared for today’s briefing. Her squadron had completed training rotation and were now tasked with getting set to participate in the air group formation flying before the Tauron Memorial Services. The next day or so were to be trying on all concerned; especially those from the colony in question.

Reviews )


First Flight

WHO: Sophia Cato and Tra Mitchel
WHEN: Y2002, Dec 1
WHERE: the hangar

All she could hear from the floor of the hangar was the slow hum of the Viper engine just above her. With a cautious thumb, she pressed against the metal that hid the reaction control systems from view. Just underneath was a massive cooling unit--or what should have been cooling--the Vipers ran a cold RCS to prevent the small frame from heating further still.

"Frak this," she muttered as she let her fingers thrum against the nose of the craft. "I should've been told about this a week ago. Not frakking now." It was later than it should have been but she picked up her wrench and began to work, the sound of metal against metal strangely comforting.


Old wounds

"Galactic control this is Achillies, request hands on landing." Achillies said as he lined up on the port landing pod.

"Achillies, this is museum control. You are cleared for the port landing pod." A disinterested voice said over the comm

"Roger that Galactica, out" Achillies said, emphasizing the name Galactica to whoever was in control.

Achillies slowly piloted the Viper into the pod and towards the elevator that would take him into the pressurized section of the flight pod. As the landing gear softly touched the deck Achillies had to smile. This was one of the very few times he was allowed a hands on landing in the past few years. These days the Battlestar controlled the Viper during the approach and landing, reducing the pilot to supercargo. Leaning back he waited as the Galactica's elevator lowered him into the hanger bay. Once the hatch closed, air was pumped into the elevator, pressurizing the room. Sighing softly he shut the fighter down.

The canopy of the old Viper Mk II slowly opened to the darkened, empty hanger of the Battlestar Galactica. Taking off his flight helmet and setting it on the HUD glass in front of him, Achillies looked around. No Vipers, no crew, no nothing. Shaking his head sadly, Achillies slowly unhooked himself from the harness and climbed out of the small cockpit. As he jumped onto the deck the sound of his boots echoed through the empty hanger of the old battlestar. Breathing in deeply he was at once confronted with the reality of where he was. The familiar smells of grease, fuel and sweat had been replaced with the antiseptic smell of an office building. It was true, she really was a museum. A moment later the museum crew started swarming over the Viper, preparing it for display. Turning away, Achillies walked out of the hanger.

Twenty minutes later, Achillies was sitting Galactica's crowded mess hall. The mess had been converted to a restaurant, giving the tourists a chance to relax and have a meal in the same place that the heroes of the first Cylon war had eaten. Reaching for his beer Tra watched the people come and go as he waited for the Avalon to send a transport to pick him up.

"My daughter won't talk to me anymore" A familiar voice said from behind him "Not for years. Did you know that?"

Achillies set down his beer and looked over his shoulder as Mila's father, John Wallace walked slowly towards him, a swirl of smoke from his cigar following him like a cloak.

"May I" He said motioning towards one of the empty seats at the table, and sitting before Tra could answer

"If you're looking for some kind of explanation why Mila isn't talking to you you've come to the wrong place. She hasn't spoken to me in years" Tra said.

"No, I expect she hasn't. That was the agreement to save your career." John said

"What the frak are you talking about?" Tra demanded

"For the life of me, I can't figure out just what she sees in you." John said, exasperated. "Did you really think that Helena, excuse me, Admiral Cain would have just let you go without someone intervening on your behalf? Mila didn't want you to to loose your career and I didn't want her marrying someone like you. Understand?"

"You frakkin bastard. What, I'm not good enough to marry your daughter?" Tra growled

"In a word, no. However, I must have a relationship with Mila. If for that to happen she has to have you, then I will insure that she has you. I underestimated her resolve in this matter, I will not do so again" John said "Now if you will excuse me, I believe we both have things we should be doing."

Before Tra could say a word, John stood and walked into the crowd leaving Tra feeling both angry and confused. Needing something stronger than the beer he had ordered, Tra pulled out his flask from his flightsuit and drained the fiery liquid in one long drink


Frakking with the CAP

WHO: Lt Tra Mitchel
WHERE: Caprica City
WHEN: Final Day of Port Leave

The silence of the bedroom was shattered by the ringing phone. Slowly opening his ice blue eyes to the darkness, Tra unwillingly came back to reality. He glanced at the glowing hands of his watch. 2:00. But was it am or pm. He couldn't tell with the heavy drapes in his bedroom closed tight. His hand groped the nightstand for the phone and his cigarettes. Finding both he sat up.

"Hello?" He said as he took a cigarette out of the pack and lit it with his battered chrome lighter.

"Is this Lt. Tra Mitchel?" A voice on the other end of the line answered.

"This is Lt. Mitchel, who is this?" He said, annoyed.

"Good, good. Lt. Mitchel, this is Captain Lloyd, with the 114th station operations and maintenance squadron. If you still want to shuttle the Viper upstairs, it's ready to go." Captain Lloyd said.

Tra took a long drag from his cigarette and shook his head."Yes sir. I'll be there in an hour"

The line went dead as Captain Lloyd hung up, leaving Tra once again alone in the dark. Getting out of bed, he walked over to the window and opened the drapes. The light and heat hit his body all at once forcing him to squint. I guess it's pm he thought to himself.

Showering and shaving quickly, Tra put on his flight-suit. Checking himself in the mirror, he could tell everything was in it's proper place. Once again he looked like an officer instead of a bum. Grabbing his flight bag he opened the front door of his house.

"Lights off" He said as he walked out and locked the door. Climbing on his motorcycle he started the engine and pulled out on the street.

Fifty five minutes later Tra was standing outside hanger 19. Behind him a pair of Viper Mk VIIs roared off the runway climbing into the sky. "Lucky frakkers" He thought as he watched the pair disappear into the bright blue sky. Walking into the hanger he saw several rows of Vipers and Raptors in various states of repair. Mechanics and technicians crawled over the ships like an army of ants tearing apart and putting together the stricken ships.

"You must be Lt. Mitchel." Captain Lloyd's voice said from the office door on the right wall.

Tra turned and faced the Captain who was already closing the distance between the two men. Captain Lloyd was a tall thin man with a receding hairline. The kind of man you would expect seeing in a classroom teaching a class on some kind of science.

The two men exchanged salutes. Then motioning for Tra to follow, Captain Lloyd started walking down the center of the hanger.

"She's right over here Lt." He said motioning to the only craft that was whole.

A smile spread across Tra's face as he walked slowly towards the Viper Mk II. Running his hand across the wing he made his way towards the cockpit. Everything else seemed to melt away as he went through the preflight walk around he had performed so many times before.

"I used to watch my parents fly these." He said in a low whisper "Gods, they loved flying."

"Your flight plan is filed. Wheels up in thirty." Captain Lloyd said.

Thirty minutes later Tra was in the cockpit of the old Viper waiting for the tower to clear him.

"Achillies, tower. You are cleared for takeoff on runway 35. Wind id 11 knots from the southwest."

"Tower, Achillies. Roger that. Runway 35"

A few moments later Tra slammed the throttle forward. The Viper lept forward, remembering the freedom of flight. Pulling back on the stick Achillies felt the Gs push him back into the seat as he hurtled skyward. The sonic boom echoed in the cockpit as he passed mach 1. Going totally vertical he watched as the blue sky slowly turned into the black of space. Looking at the Dradus he saw two contacts on his right.

"Well, they never said I had to go directly to the Galactica" He said to himself.

Pulling a hard right Achillies Viper MkII closed quickly on the two unsuspecting Vipers from Avalon's CAP. Like a bird pf prey Achillies dove between the two Viper's, firing his training lasers as he went. "One down" He thought as he pulled back hard on the stick. The nose of Achillies Viper Mk II flipped around towards the CAP Viper he had missed on his first pass.

"I know who that is." A familiar voice said over the com "Do you really think you can beat me in an antique Achillies" Wild-man said.

Before Wild-man could maneuver into a firing position Achillise fired again, waxing the Viper. "Looks like I just did, Wild-man. Or are you gonna cry about how I took you by surprise?" Achillies said, laughing at his angry squadronmate.


Going home

Caprica City, The home of Lt. Tra Mitchel... Today

The wind driven rain fell heavily on Tra stopped his motorcycle in front of his home. A bolt of lightning lit the night and for a moment he could see the four story red brick firehouse he had been left when his parents died. Shutting off the engine, he stepped off the bike and walked slowly through the storm to his front door. As he slid the key into the lock he could hear several metallic clicks as the tumblers fell into place unlocking the door. Reaching for the doorknob, his hand froze inches from the knob. His hand fell back to his side as his head lowered. Closing his eyes tight he could feel the soaked flight suit cling to his body as the rain mixed with his tears in thin rivulets before falling to the ground. Taking a deep breath, Tra opening his red rimmed eyes. Reaching out slowly he opened the door.


A bad day

WHO: Tra Mitchel and Mila Wallace
WHERE: Pilots ready-room, Battlestar Avalon's starboard hangar pod
WHEN: Six hours after Never Interrupt A Call

The five pilots that made up the alert Vipers sat in the ready-room of the Avalon's starboard hangar pod. Achillies had spent the past three hours in his jock smock and flight harness, doing nothing but drinking coffee and watching vids. Finishing up his coffee, Achillies stood up and tossed his used Styrofoam cup into the waste basket.

"You think we'll be launching Lieutenant?" A fresh faced young Lt. Jg said.

Looking over at him with a bored expression, Achillies tried to remember his name. The Avalon had been getting new pilots and they all seemed to want to report in early. Achillies dropped back into the large comfortable, but hopelessly worn chair and lit a cigarette.

"I don't think so Pirate. We're in port, and were not at war with anyone." Achillies said to the young fresh faced pilot.

"Yes sir. I guess I should have thought of that" Pirate said, embarrassed.

"Don't sweat it Pirate, and you can call me Achillies. That goes for the rest of you too. We're pilots and we address each other by call-signs." Achillies said.

"Yes sir, Achillies" Pirate said.

"Hay Pirate, I'm going to the head. When Intel sends their rep tell him I'll be right back, OK?" Achillies said as he stood and walked to the hatch and walked out.

"No problem, Achillies" Pirate said as he filled up his coffee cup


Never Interrupt A Call

WHO: Callie Morgan & Tra Mitchel
WHERE: Avalon
WHEN: After "Working things out"

Battlestar Avalon hung in dock like a fortress, a beacon of strength as Callgirl gently eased her Raptor into one of the landing pods. Her port leave had been sadly cut short thanks to one of her pilots going AWOL and getting into trouble with the authorities. It had been ages since she had left her mystery girl in the hotel room and more importantly ages since she had reached the lock-up where Achilles was being held only to find out he had been released. Pain in the ass! It meant the upper brass would now be on her case about lack of discipline involving one of her pilots.

The raptor smoothly touched down on the landing pad and after a moment or two was lowered down into the hanger deck were a whole heap of bodies were swarming around like mad. Several personnel in orange overalls came running forward and started to bring her raptor down of the pad and into the hanger. Callie removed her helmet and placed the flight controls into proper condition before climbing up to get out.

It took mere seconds for the rear hatch to open and the Avalon hanger deck noise to be reintroduced into her head. She wanted to get away from all this for a few days and instead here she was, back early because of one frakker. Callie tossed her helmet at some random deckhand and proceeded to remove her gloves, “Where the hell is Achilles?”

Several faces looked at each other as if attempting to form a common story but nothing was forthcoming. Callie jumped down of the raptor wing and stormed off towards the pilot recreation room and bunks with a mind to give a right hook to Achilles. She’d find him, sooner or later and when she did he was dead weight. He’d spend the next two weeks cleaning flight suits.


Working things out

The sound of the surf filled His ears as Achillies slowly woke up. Opening his eyes he found himself still under the outcropping that he had found during the storm. The clear blue sky was bright as the sun cast rays of light across the crystal blue water. Sitting up Achillies watched the seabirds dive down to the water only to pull out at the last moment. In spite of everything he had to smile. His first memory was with his family on the beach. He remembered his amazement when he realized that his father and mother flew faster in their Vipers than the birds could ever dream of . It had been then that Tra had felt his first longing for flight, for the ability to fly higher and faster than the birds in the sky. Glancing at his watch, he noted that nine hours had passed from when he had stepped out of the Raptor and into the sea.

"OK, lets get to it" He said to himself as he reached into the pack the Colonel had given him.


Night Landing

Inside the rear cabin of a Colonial Forces Raptor, Colonel Randell sat back down in the ECO's chair after the flight crew informed him of their location. The daylight from the pilot's canopy had darken as they flew into the night side of Caprica.

He grabbed a black day pack. “Hey, catch this.” He threw it at Tra. “You will find a canteen of water, a half day's ration, pocket knife, a compass and map.” He had been silent for most of the flight and did not answer the pilot's questions he may have asked about returning to Avalon.

“Like I said before, I dislike unnecessary paperwork, but I can't quiet trust you will stay out of trouble for the remainder of our port of call. Do you know how much paperwork is involved to remove someone from the number two spot in a squadron and remove them from permanent flight status?”


Jail Break

WHO: Jon Randell and Tra Mitchel
WHERE: Caprica Beach – Police Station
WHEN: Mid-morning after THIS

“Yup, that's it,” Colonel Randell pointed on the computer tablet held by the female pilot wearing a flight suit next to the wing of the Raptor. “File a flight plan, Lieutenant.” he ordered and then started to walk away.

“Yes, sir.” relied the Raptor pilot.

A few steps later, Randell stopped and turned around. “Oh Lieutenant, one more thing.”

His way or paperwork? )


A need for speed

Caprica beach, Caprica 2230 hrs

The moon rose high over the ocean as the rhythmic sounds of the waves crashed onto the long empty stretch of beach. The smell of the salt water mixed with the lingering sent of suntan oil and tropical drinks. Seabirds walked along the shore looking for any sea life that ventured out into the night. Then without warning, the silence of the night was shattered by the roaring of a motorcycle's engine. Birds took flight as a mixture of the night wind and music from his ear-buds howled in his ears. Achillies gunned the engine of the motorcycle and smiled. Watching the beach fly by he was gripped by a feeling of fear and excitement. This was as close as he could get to the thrill of flying when he wasn't in the cockpit of his viper.

Ahead the darkness of the night was split by the lights of the city. Slowing down, he exited the small beach road into the parking lot of a local beach bar. He shut off the engine of the bike and got off. Unzipping his leather flight jacket we walked into the bar. Loud music, smoke and the smell of alcohol mixed with perfume washed over him.

"Now that's more like it" He said as he lit a cigarette and walked in.

Achillies sat at one of the empty tables at the dark outer edge of the bar. The waitress walked towards him. She looked to be about twenty wears old, blond with an almost animalistic beauty about her. The kind of girl that was beautiful and knew it.

"What can I get you fly boy?" She asked leaning over his table provocatively.

"Whiskey. Just bring the bottle, a glass and some ice" He said tossing two hundred cubits on the table.

Without a word the waitress took the cubits and left. Reappearing a few moments with a bottle of Caprica's finest whiskey, a glass and a large container of ice.

"Anything else I can get you?" She asked ion a more seductive.

Achillies smiled at her for a moment "Not yet, but believe me I'll let you know" he said as he poured himself a large drink.

He watched her swaying hips as she walked away from his table. Then turning up the drink he emptied the glass. Pouring another he watched the mixture of Caprica's finest and lowest mix in the darkness.


Thinking back

One year ago. Flight deck, Battlestar Galactica.

Achillies watched as the flight crews readied the squadron for launch. It almost looked to him like any other day. Viper jocks were fracking around and telling jokes. Knuckle draggers were running around the Vipers getting them ready for launch. The CAG was going over the flight plan with the deck officer. Nothing was out of the ordinary, except the fact that the Galactica was being decommissioned and the squadron wouldn't be coming back. Achillies shook his head at the thought. "Stupid frackin idea. This should be the flagship, not a frackin tourist attraction." he thought to himself as he walked around his Viper Mark VII.

"You OK lieutenant?" The mechanic on his Viper asked as he opened the cockpit.

Achillies looked up at the young technician. "Ya, I'm OK. I just think that making the Galactica a fracking tourist attraction is a the stupidest idea I ever heard of. Frackin politicians." Achillies said with disgust

"Now you say something that I can agree with. The old girl didn't go out before that happened at least ." A familiar voice said from behind him.

Achillies spun around and faced Commander Adama and saluted. Returning the salute Adama grinned. "You almost ready Achilies?"

"Yes sir, My gear was shipped to the Avalon this morning." Achillies said

"Good, good. This is the first Battlestar that you've been on that you didn't end up in the brig. I don't want it to be the last, understand?" Adama said putting a hand on Achillies shoulder.

"It wont be sir. Thank you for giving me a chance sir." Achillies said

Adama smiled "I owed it to your father to give you another shot, you took the shot and ran with it. Good luck Tra." Adama said.

Achillies watched Commander Adama walk away, stopping to talk to the other men in his command, all of whom wanted to stay under his command.

One year later... Today, Flight deck, Battlestar Galactica.

Achillies watch the tour groups come and go, stopping to look at one of the exhibits that were on display. A Viper Mark I and II, a Cylon, a mock up of a base star. All the things from the first Cylon war. Reaching into his faded brown leather jacket, Achillies pulled out a flask and took a long drink. The Jacket was the last gift his father had given him before he died. It had the patches from the squadrons and battelstars that his father had served on. Achillies had added his patches to it, making it almost totally covered.

"Sir, are you coming? Your Battlestar adventure isn't over with just the flight deck." An overenthusiastic tour-guide dressed in a old style uniform said.

Achillies looked at her for a few moments and shook his head." Frackin civilians" He thought.

"No, I think my Battlestar adventure is over for now. I'm not sure I could take the excitement from the rest of the tour just jet. I'll catch up" He said, sarcasm dripping off every word.

Once the tour was gone Achillies walked thorough the hanger, slowly taking everything in.