Category Archives: Shmuel Bogomolny’s Battlestar Mercury

The Year 39 offensive: Chapter 1

A short story told by youtube video

Chapter 1 of a short video series

Chapter 69: The standoff

Chapter 69: Stand off.

“Get raptors out to task force Saturn,” Admiral Lawson barked. “Figure out how we are going to fill in the gaps the Cylons just tore in this task force.

“We have an encrypted communication from Cory Brooks of the Peoples Council.” The comms officer looked down and read carefully. “Cylon ships in orbit of every outpost of the new Colonies. A model 1 has demanded that we surrender all armed forces in return for an immediate cease fire. Planetary defense fleets have been destroyed.”

“Don’t answer,” Lawson said coarsely. “Head Geek, come with us we need your hack to get some kind of edge here.”

“Call me HG sir,” he asked.

“HG you are promoted to the rank of captain.”

They marched out of CIC where crews were already replacing the shattered CIC doors.

Minutes later they were in a room with a massive theater sized screen.

“HG show me the schematic of the Cylon communications network,” Lawson ordered.

He clicked some buttons and a spider web came up through much of known Colonial space.

“How do they use this network?” the XO asked.

“Those communications relays we see are signal boosters. They use FTL technology to transmit burst communications across the network. Little communications devices, literally FTL from point to point and upload information on these relays.” He zoomed and showed the relays which really did look like giant can openers.

“How did we hack it?” Lawson asked. “Laymen terms please.”

“When we captured the Cylon supply depot there were millions of these data transfer nodes that FTL all over the place. I reprogrammed them to work for us on the side. We get all their data soon as they do.”

“Do we get force deployments?” Lawson asked.

HG pressed another series of keys and red dots popped up all over the map. There was a legend showing ship types. “Admiral,” he said “they are actually lightly deployed in the new Colonies. The bulk of their forces are in staging areas where they will wait for our deployment before setting up a cross fire,”

A few more keystrokes and what looked like several bee hives full of ships appeared as big red blotches. “How many ships?” asked the XO.

“Two hundred base stars overall. Nearly 900 support ships, gun ships and such,” HG reported matter of factually with no emotion in his voice.

“What are those really big ships larger than their base stars?” Major Peterson asked.

The picture zoomed in on one. “Resurrection ships,” he answered blandly. “When any Cylon dies their consciousness, soul for lack of a better word downloads in a different computer network and can be put in fresh bodies. Galactica ran away so far this network could not be scaled. So these ships make up for the lack of network gear.”

“Okay I have an idea.” Lawson was briefly distracted by hair flopping down into her vision. She brushed it aside. “We give them part of what they expect to see. We lead a new task force to New Picon. Small groups of ships jump to positions where they can defend the Colonies. We build a task force around the other three Mercury class battlestars.”

She whispered to the CAG and the XO. They nodded.

“Can we use the Cylon communications network to contact the civilian government safely?”

“Yes” HG said. “They may eventually detect the hack. For now their only solution is to bring down the entire network.”

“Can we bring down the network?” Peterson asked.

“Yes,” HG answered, “they will figure out it is us and we might stop getting all this cool tactical data.”

“All right,” Admiral Lawson said. “Get the orders out.”

“Admiral,” HG asked, “are we going to comply with the Cylon demand to demilitarize?”

“Not while I have a pulse,” she said.

“Cory Brooks is demanding to speak with you.” A communications assistant walked in the room with a message, printed.

“That’s nice,” Admiral Lawson said. “We will talk to here after we jump to New Picon.”

“Cavil, the model one wants your answer immediately,” the communications assistant said in a grave voice.

“Don’t worry,” Lawson said. “I am going to get a coffee. We jump in ten minutes.”

A weapons assistant came up to Lawson as she headed toward the mess hall and asked her to sign for a bunch of nuclear weapons that were being tasked to be sent out and used.

* * *

“All right people,” Lawson said, walking into the CIC. “Give me your ears.”

It took nearly a minute before the room was quiet and she was set up with fleet wide communications.

“The Cylons think they have us in a tough situation. They do. They are demanding that if we dismantle our fleet, they will let us live on the worlds of the New colonies. Life is tough there. Because we have seen more difficult times, I reject that premise.”

“So say we all,” one young man said forcefully.

“The Cylons are demanding that we jump all our forces to New Caprica for a surrender. We are not going to do that either. Launch the Assault raptors.”

A few seconds passed by and the chatter was low, but Lawson could still be heard.

“Raptors are requesting permission to jump,” a communications NCO informed them.

“Jump the raptors.”

“FTL spooled. Jump key inserted. All ships report ready to jump.”

“Jump!” Lawson ordered. “May the Lords of Kobols forgive me.” She whispered to herself.

After the thunderous noise and the white flash, the navigational team announced they were in orbit of New Picon.

“Jump complete,” Navigation reported.

“I need a sitrep on major fleet groups and Colonies,” Admiral Lawson spoke softly but forcefully. She had on her best card playing (poker) face.

“How is Athena?” She asked.

“Athena has defeated its resurrection escorts and has weapons lock on their target.

<Athena>

“New Gemenon,” Lawson asked. She had a checklist and a rough idea how much of the depleted fleet was at each location.

“Base Stars are in orbit,” the XO read off a computer print out.

“New Virgon.”

HG pressed a button and a short video intercept played.

“New Tauron.”

“Do we have video?” The XO asked.

HG nodded and keyed in a few commands.

“Caprica 3”

HG hit a single button.

“New Airilon.” Lawson’s expression was impassive, while she wondered if a pistol was still in her quarters.

HG looked confused.

“File index 787,” a dark haired female Ensign with black lipstick assisted.

HG keyed in a command.

“New Scorpia.”

HG pressed a key.

“Get me targeting information on that nuke,” the XO demanded.

“Saturn is reporting in,” HG said in his I don’t care voice. “Here is the video.”

“Acropolis has sent in a confirmation video,” a communications NCO pressed in her password and brought up the file.

“New Delphi,” Lawson asked in the same impassive voice.

“All we have is her orbital defense Artemis being nuked.” HG offered.

Lawson’s voice quaked briefly. “Lets see it.”

“DRADIS has a pair of Cylon base stars,” the DRADIS operator reported.

“I’ve got three more.” DRADIS reported.

“Are any of the new Colonies free of Cylon forces?”

“We have not heard from New Libran,” a communications lieutenant reported hopefully.”

“You are going to want to listen to this,” HG pressed a button and Cory Brooks voice came through over crackling static.

“This is Peoples Council Executive Cory Brooks. I am speaking on the authority of the president. We accept the Cylon offer. All Colonial forces are ordered to surrender and disband immediately. We have got to prove we are not a threat. We surrender.”

“We are going to ignore that surrender,” Lawson said. Her eyes narrowed and there was anger showing through.

“Sir,” the XO warned. “The military situation is dog shit. This may be our only chance.”

“I talked over this scenario with Brooks,” Lawson said. She knows that surrender means the slaughter of the human race. We are going to roll the hard six.”

“Brother Cavil wants to speak to Mercury actual,” communications interrupted.

“That is nice,” Lawson said. “I could do with another coffee. What do you say XO?”

The speaker crackled. “This is Cavil. Admiral Lawson you have not assembled the entire fleet here as instructed. I will destroy New Troy if you do not agree to my immediately and unconditionally follow these instructions. I’ve already given the order for the ships to jump in and start the destruction.”

“That is not necessary. We can move away from this place.”

“DRADIS,” the triple beep made it clear that someone was jumping in. “Cylon base stars.”

Lawson leaned over and whispered to HG. “Get me some information here. How did the raptors do?”

HG wrote a number on a piece of paper. IT showed 75% success rate.

“Seems you are missing a portion of your reinforcements Cavil,” Lawson said in the same, callous voice she had used concerning the mutiny.

“We still have enough to blast your civilization into dust.”

“That may be so.” Lawson’s attention was taken away by another print out.

“You have thirty seconds to comply Admiral,” Cavil warned.

“It’s true, you can rain down fire and destruction on the New Colonies. I can’t stop you. I am not going to even try. If you so much as fire a single shot, your resurrection ships are going to be melted. I’ve got three task forces with guns on the resurrection ships. We have already cleared the protection.”

“I don’t believe you,” Cavil said.

“Check your comms,” Lawson said. Her poker face was on. “If you fire a shot, we will initiate a battle. In that battle each and every death your forces experience will be permanent.”

There was whispered communication between the Cavil’s in the Cylon CIC.

“We have you outnumbered 4 to 1.”

“I believe your original plan called for the odds to be 25 to 1. What went wrong?” Admiral Lawson was clearly frakking with his head.

“We didn’t kill you when we had the chance,” Cavil raged.

“Destroy new Tauron,” Cavil ordered.

“Order the Athena to destroy her resurrection ship.”

“Now wait just a minute Admiral,” Cavil remarked, apparently taken aback.

“Get the orders to the other three task forces and order them to destroy the resurrection ships,” Lawson said in a cold, heartless tone. She hoped she was selling it here. “Then shut down the Cylon network.”

Cory Brooks had appeared on a video feed, but there was no audio. She was gesticulating wildly, trying to get some kind of point across.

“Cylon nukes are going active all over the New Colonies,” the XO reported.

“Mister Peterson, Lawson ordered. “Get ready to launch all squadrons to intercept nukes.”

“Copy that,” he said.

Armageddons had arrived.

Full battle video

End of book 1. Shmuel Bogomolny’s Battlestar Mercury. A fan fiction non-commercial story, purely for the enjoyment of Battlestar Galactica Fans.

Chapter 68: The Shipyard

The mutiny story was a suggestion of Mullroy234 from the BSG Deadlock discord.

Solaria:Commanders Quarters

Solaria

Lockheart, Ward, Wilson and the representatives of six other ships all agreed that Zack “Sniper” Anthony should be their leader. His record with the Colonial fleet was not tainted like the others. He was on leave the day the Cylons attacked and had turned down offers from Lawson and Ramirez to take command of the Athena and Acropolis to remain CAG on a Valkyrie, due to his opposition to their leadership style and willingness to submit to budget cuts.

Thirty years old, with a handsome, athletic build, with the olive skin common on Tauron, he looked the part of the hero, saving the Colonial fleet from doom.

“They will be back from the refinery grab and in a good mood. We line up our forces to salute their victory and when Mercury passes, we hammer her topside. We want to knock out her fire control and FTL and demand Lawsons surrender.”

Everyone in the group of 8 nodded agreement. Ward and Wilson were snickering.

“If we do the right damage, she will go along. If she is weak, she will offer a meeting, which we will accept on the shipyard. No compromise there. She will come over by raptor. We surround it with marines in the repair bay. She either resigns or we end her command, starting with her. We announce my promotion to Admiral backed up by three allies on the Peoples Council.”

“Then what?” Lockheart asked.

“We move swiftly. We jump the three big battlestars to New Picon and we eliminate the Council and declare martial law. We take any resources we need and prepare for the offensive to eliminate the Cylons.”

“Do we have to destroy the civilian government?” A Marine officer asked. “Won’t the people rallying around us give us the authority we need?”

“We have to be strong. We can return to civilian rule after the war is won. We need 20,000 human resources to get ourselves into offensive shape. The people will rally around success.”

“Perhaps if we make demands of the civilian government,” Ward suggested. “They might be willing to listen.”

“If we do not act boldly we will get mired in negotiations, the toasters will get wind of it and wipe us out. You have asked me to be your leader. Now take an order. We do this my way or I am out. I have the moral authority of having a good record in the Colonial fleet.”

“Also not being a whore!” Wilson added.

“Call her any name you want,” Anthony ran a hand through his dark brown hair. “She is a gifted officer who will kill you where you stand if she gets the chance. Ramirez is a geek. She is not sure of herself. She might submit to us.”

“Copy that.”

* * *

There was a failed jump drive that had to be repaired at the midpoint of the journey back to fleet headquarters, the shipyard. It took 45 minutes to repair. They sent raptors ahead to alert the command to the impending Cylon threat.

“All ships report ready to jump,” the communications officer reported.

“All right,” Admiral Lawson played with her hair, which was falling out of the tight military bun in bunches. “We’ll set up a perimeter and get the ships in need of repairs taken care of first. Commander Ramirez, are you ready to take task force Saturn back to base?”

“Ready and eager.”

“Make the jump.” Lawson ordered.

Fleet headed for base

After the jump, music blared on the communications channels. The DRADIS showed some ships moving in their direction.

“This is Solaria actual,” the voice crackled on the speaker. “We are here to congratulate Admiral Lawson on the successful mission to seize the Cylon refineries.”

Rebels set up Task force Mercury

“Was this mission classified?”Lawson asked rhetorically. She knew that there was no such thing as a secret on a warship. “Tell them to get the hell out of the way so we can get our damaged ships into the repair berths.”

“They are not replying to our orders Sir,” communications reported. Crews were sweeping up the remains of two shattered CIC doors.

“They are coming in too close,” warned an NCO at the DRADIS console.

“This is damned odd.” Lawson remarked. “Repeat message.”

“Missile lock. Missile lock. The Apollo and Solaria have missile lock!”

Chaos broke out and everyone was talking at once. The sound of battlestar guns impacting on the hull was next.

Mutiny opens fire

“Inbound missiles. We have inbound missiles coming in topside..”

All the glass shattered on all the remaining CIC doors.

All the lights went dark and emergency power kicked in. Red lights were flashing everywhere.

“This is Admiral Anthony of the Colonial preservation league. Admiral Lawson you are ordered to surrender your command. You are charged with consorting with the enemy and allowing the destruction of our war effort.”

“Who the frak is that?”

“Fire control is down. FTL is offline. We can’t get away.” Engineering painted the grim picture.

“I am going to stall for time. Get that fire control back online. FTL is a must as well. Get me repair estimates, but put them on paper, don’t speak them aloud. Give me the frakking phone.”

“This is Mercury actual. Who am I speaking to?”

“This is Solaria actual. Admiral Zachary Anthony of the CPL. You are ordered to surrender your ship and board a raptor for the Fleet HQ. There you will formally give up your command.”

“You should be aware, Mister Anthony,” she deliberately avoided mentioning the man’s rank while someone dug through the personnel database. “That the refinery operation failed. It was a Cylon trap and they are on their way right now to attack this shipyard.”

“Nice Try Admiral,” Anthony said. “You have two minutes to get in the raptor and fly to HQ.”

“Or what?” Lawson asked as a repair estimate was waved in her face. FTL would take an hour to repair. Fire control required ten minutes to be brought up. The topside armor was gone and there was severe hull damage. “You planning on opening fire on the flagship? That is not going to do the war effort any good. I’ve got lives at stake here. I will be on that raptor in fifteen minutes.”

“Ten,” Anthony warned.

“Ten it is,” Lawson agreed. She ran a hand across her throat indicating that she wanted the transmission cut.

“Have our forces gather at the shipyard. We will kick in the burn when we need. Where is Ramirez? The Saturn?”

“They did not make the jump.”

“We need them. Have the Apollo send a force recon, two assault raptors, one recon bird.”

“DRADIS. Contacts. Three base stars seven support ships.”

“Full burn. We need to get to Athena and the rest of the fleet.”

“You won’t fool us with those DRADIS hacks,” Anthony’s voice rattled on the monitor.

“Should we tell him?” The XO whispered in her ear.

“No.” Lawson said harshly. “Either they figure it out or the Cylons solve our mutiny problem for us.”

“They are moving away from us and preparing to battle the Cylon fleet,” the tactical officer reported.

“Leave them to fight for themselves,” Lawson said in a cold voice.

“We lost the Apollo” a faceless voice reported.

Apollo destroyed

“Aren’t we going to need those ships for the battle against the Cylons,” the XO suggested.

“They just made themselves into cannon fodder.”

“Losing the Ascension, a Artemis,” reported a female voice thick with emotion.

The Ascension

“Radiological alarm,” tactical reported. “They have nukes!”

“Aimed at us or Anthony’s fleet?” Lawson asked stone faced.

“Not us Sir.”

“Aren’t we going to help them!” blurted the XO. “They made a mistake but they have fought on our side for two years now!”

“XO damage report. How many dead and wounded did we take?” Lawson’s face could have been carved into the side of a mountain.

“We took 21 dead and 200 wounded according to sick bay,” the XO said.

“No we are not going to help them,” Lawson said. “First there are more Cylons headed our way. Second, they opened fire on Colonial forces in an act of mutiny. They sentenced themselves to death, I am just applying it in an special way.”

“Another Artemis Sir,” said an angry voice.

Another mutinous Artemis

“The mutineer’s are getting slaughtered,” the XO another new one Major Brett Peterson, about aged 35. He was a Major now, the talk, skinny blond haired man had been a CAG with the rank of captain a week earlier.

Longer view of the mutineers slaughter

“Better to use Cylon ammo,” Lawson said in a cruel, callous tone.

“Solaria is spooling up FTL, getting ready to jump.”

“Jump the shipyard to emergency coordinates,” Lawson ordered. “Those Valkyries that stayed out of the battle, tell them they are in our task force.”

“Shipyard reports they have damage, could be an hour before they jump.”

“Tell them they might not have an hour,” Lawson retorted.

Ensign Darryl Winston, a short, overweight brilliant DRADIS operator spoke next. “I have an energy surge. Cylons will be jumping in any second. Could be up to ten ships.”

“Get organized,” Lawson barked. “Be ready to take command of mutinous squadrons once the base carrier is destroyed. Athena send recon, find out where the frak Ramirez and task force Saturn is.”

One of the Ramirez hackers, who had been promoted to IT chief after her elevation, Lev Warner cleared his throat and go Lawson’s attention. “We have the toaster attack plans,” he said in a voice that sounded routine.

“Tell us Head Geek,” The XO said softly, using the man’s call sign.

“Three waves. The first wave is designated to take care of the mutiny, which the toasters knew about. The second wave is going after the shipyard. The third will come only if the second fails. In the next five minutes, if the shipyard is still year its going to get smoked.”

“You have the attack deployments?” Lawson asked.

With a click of a button they came on screen.

“All right, get these assignments out. Set up a pair of ships to hit the jump in positions of the base stars.

A wave of of ordinance struck the ship, causing a thunderous echo that was felt through out the ship.

Cylon assault, wave 2 part 1

Everyone did their jobs professionally. The damage to the fire control systems limited how much Mercury could participate in the battle.

“We have a three gunships coming in low, trying to smash through our lower fleet!” Tactical warned.

Second wave part 2

“Have the Valkyries give them a broadside. Crash turn starboard,” the XO ordered.

“We have in bounds. We have five base stars coming in high!”

“Get me a status on the shipyard FTL Gods damn it!” Lawson barked.

The engineering CIC officer who was on the wireless with the shipyard nodded his head in the negative.

“Recon raptor is back Sir. Task force Saturn has been engaged by a large Cylon task force,” the deck flight officer shouted to be heard after the chaos.

“I’ve got more on the Cylon attack plans,” Head Geek reported. “They have several task forces assigned to hit the new Colonies. This is the big one Sir.”

There was nothing Admiral Lawson could do but crack the pen in her hands in two and drop the pieces to the deck, where they mingled with shattered door glass.

There was a small recording probe above the fleet. An alert person put this feed on the largest monitor in the cramped CIC. It showed the Cylons above the station and an Artemis, trying to use its hull to shield the shipyard.

Second wave part 3

“The second wave is getting ready to pull out,” Warner reported. “We have inflicted heavy casualties. Estimate one or two minutes before the final wave comes in.”

Second assault wave ends, two Valkyries join the fleet

The Cylons jumped away, and two Valkyries jumped in announcing their loyalty. The XO ordered them to form up with the remaining elements of the fleet and prepare for the next wave.

They did not have to wait long.

“Five Base Stars just jumped in. They are out of gun range and are spooling up for a tactical jump.”

It was really all over in about 30 seconds. A Base Star sacrificed itself, jumping into a collision with the shipyard.

Cylon wave 3, the end of the shipyard

“That is it for the shipyard.”

Lawson stared at the burning debris as the Cylons turned their remaining ordinance on the smaller ships of this task force.

“Sir the FTL drives themselves are salvageable. We can build a new mobile shipyard,” the engineering officer reported in a skeptical voice.

“Cylons are jumping away,” tactical reported. “The salvage teams will have the FTL drives secure in fifteen minutes.

“That is just frakking great. Plot a jump to New Picon,” Lawson ordered. The second fall, that of the new Colonies needed to be averted.

“We’ve lost most of our task force,” the XO growled. “I have emergency repairs on the fire control and the FTL drives. We could really use a couple of hours to deploy replacement armor topside.”

“Do we have time Head Geek?” Lawson asked.

“Probably not.”

“We’ve got a raptor in from New Picon,” Communications reported. “Cylon base stars have jumped into orbit. They have radiological alarms.”

Complete battle footage

Chapter 67: The Cylons have a plan

Chapter 67: Fleet Headquarters Battelestar Solaria Ready Room

Herman Wilson’s grandfather had commanded a battlestar in the first Cylon war. He had fought under the command of Eva Lawson’s grandmother, also Eva Lawson. Also an Admiral by the end of the war. She had used several flagships, the most famous of which was named Mercury, nicknamed “Mighty Mercury” a Jupiter Mark ii.

The Solaria had been badly damaged several times during this war. Right now it was next in line to receive the Cylon FTL upgrade.

Herman Wilson was a malcontent, with a record of failure. He had washed out of Viper pilots school, and barely passed his check ride for the raptor. He had been cut during a downsizing 2 years before the fall only to be drafted and shunned to the Solaria, which required 24 by 7 maintenance just to keep it from falling apart.

He and a few buddies were in the ready room with an open bottle of whiskey and a serious case of attitude.

“I can’t believe Lawson just sits there while the politicians cut the budget,” Wilson, a Major and nearly fifty years old. “I just missed being cut again.”

Barry Lockheart, also a three time loser in the Colonial fleet, was overweight, and bald. His uniform was shabby, showing sings of wear on the elbows. “Then who would they get to command this barge?” He asked.

“They should turn this into a whorehouse and station them here to take care of the real men of the Colonial fleet,” Jim Ward, A Captain and the XO of the Solaria laughed. “The stories I hear are so wild, you’d think they were fiction.

Ward had managed not to wash out of Colonial Fleet but this was only due to political connections. He had been working in the mess hall on the Valkyrie class battlestar, the Blackbird which had survived the assault due to a fire in the data center that had taken its entire network offline the day before the fall.

He was a braggart and boasted often. He had never laid eyes on Lawson from afar, much less had personal contact with him. It was well known her exploits in the fleet favored pilots. “It was about three years before the war. We were on liberty at Tauron and she came on to me like a Viper pilot on a target drone. She was a wild one,” he laughed.

“I bet she knew tricks that your mother didn’t know,” Lockheart took a drink on his Whiskey.”

“His mother knew tricks that Lawson didn’t know,” Ward let out a disgusting belly laugh.

“I’m serious though,” Wilson tried to stop laughing. A couple of off duty Marines were taking in the scene, but were not drinking or participating in the discussion. “She is not fit for command. Toasters captured her and probably put that Cylon software in her head.

“You guy’s are full of it. You don’t have the guts to do anything about this,” Ward remarked.

“There is no chain of command,” Wilson said, “no honor. They had out ranks like candy. But I’m serious, we have to find a way to put men of action in command of this fleet.”

“Everyone knows Lawson whored her way to the rank of Major,” Ward laughed.

“I heard she was a frakking great pilot and an excellent CAG, who earned her rank,” A Marine remarked finally joining the conversation.

“That’s what she said to me after I frakked her,” a previously quiet officer spoke up. “He stepped forward standing up straighter as he spoke. “What you are talking about is a mutiny. That carries the death sentence in a time of war. Now if you fellows are serious, I’ve got the connections that can pull it off. So are you a frakking bunch of losers, or do you want to keep Admiral slut from giving away the entire second war?”

There was silence for a few seconds.

“I knew it,” he snarled. “A bunch of frakking losers. Enjoy the unemployment line when they lay you lazy frakkers off.”

“I got the guts to take action,” Wilson said while puffing out his chest.

“I am with you,” Lockheart said.

“So say we all,” a single forceful voice in the back of the room shouted.

“So say we all!” The combined voices sounded like thunder. Energy swept through the crowded map room.

Task force Saturn

“Commander,” Wilma Jennings, an enlisted technician reported. “All ships show ready to jump.”

“Combat jump is ordered,” she said firmly. It was at these moments she least believed she commanded not only a battlestar but a task force. It sank in as the jump key was inserted, the nav computers and coordinates were confirmed and the sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach she always felt during the FTL jump.

Rock Star and Streak got the assignment to relay the orders to the task force led by the Saturn and Commander Ramirez. They arrived just after the jump in, which had been delayed a few minutes by some technical issues.

“This is raptor two niner one niner, we have a change in orders for the Saturn ask force. Abort abort abort. RTB.”

“What the frak? Why? Ramirez asked on the wireless. This is Saturn actual.”

“This package is a distraction to take us away from the home systems. These orders are authenticated.”

“Launch all vipers,” Ramirez ordered. “Execute defensive plan delta.”

Ramirez paced around the CIC, which did not really have room for pacing on the Mercury class. “Okay

“We are going to try and contain this situation and get out of this with minimal damage.”

“Salvage team has jumped away,” tactical reported. “The base stars are trying to bracket us.”

“All ships hard right,” Ramirez ordered. “Concentrate our fire on the nearest base star.”

“The base stars have jumped further away with tactical jumps,” DRADIS reported.

“The raiders are alternately running in a different direction, trying to disrupt our formation,” Saturn’s CAG announced on the wireless.

“Keep it steady,” Ramirez ordered in a low voice, barely audible from the noise of the DRADIS console.

Ramirez had come to ely heavily on her DRADIS operator. Lieutenant Junior Grade Sam “Radar” Kensignton was one of the few bridge officers with a call sign. He had developed a protocol and then a computer program that combined DRASDIS and other signals intelligence to predict Cylon tactics such as tactical jumps.

He had an instinct for Cylon tactics and could predict their next move, sometimes just based on squadron deployments. He was twenty years of age, born on Gemenon, with wild brown hair that nobody made him cut out of superstition.

Ramirez settled in behind him and gently rested a hand on this thin shoulders. “Talk to me Radar,” she said softly. What do you hear.”

“Nothing but the DRADIS Sir,” he answered. “Their tactics do not make sense. They had an opportunity due to our deployment to possibly hit our fire control but they did not take it. Normally they raise their base stars and move towards us looking for that fire control shot. Today I don’t know they are drifting away trying to draw us in.”

“They are not going for a win here?”

“No Sir, he answered. They just want us to stay here.”

Something caught the commanders eye on a screen installed especially for Radar that flashed through various sensor images including the feed from telescopes which he had used to pick up battle recon. “Can you put telescope 4a on a bigger monitor and zoom in?”

A few seconds later he had an image of the refinery they were supposed to capture in a grainy zoom image. Rigged on crucial areas were explosives with communications gear connected. “They knew we were coming and they knew the mission objective Sir. They want to keep us here.”

“But why?” Commander Ramirez was stumped. “Okay everybody for 20 seconds let the battle take care of itself. I need your brains. They Cylons want to keep us here as long as possible. They have guessed our mission or knew our mission and the refinery is rigged for remote detonation.”

“Are you sure?” Jim Preston her 34 year old XO asked. “Their tactics have been bad before.”

“Assume I am. This refinery is much more valuable to us than them. They probably have fifty more. Why do they want us here?”

“Toasters don’t need a reason,” quipped the fire control officer. These sessions, which Ramirez had adapted from her IT days were anything goes. The only stupid statement or question was the one not made.

“They have bigger fish to fry Sir,” Communications a woman who looked like a teenage video game junkie said. “They are wanting us here to let them hit something else.”

“Lawson’s task force?” engineering proposed.

“No,” Ramirez directed the conversation. “Admiral Lawson sent orders by raptor for us to extricate ourselves from here. Rock Star and Streak made that pretty clear.

“They are after the shipyard or the new Colonies Sir. That is the only reason to drag this battle out. They are wasting obvious ways to cause us casualties.” Radar, opined.

“Missile salvo coming in high,” the tactical officer warned. Soon there was the crash and noise of a barrage that had gotten by the defensive fire and hit the armor.

“A base star just jumped into a Phobos attack ship,” the tactical officer reported staring up at a s creen that showed two ships burning.

“Massive missile salvo inbound targeting the support battlestars,” tactical reported urgently.

“Their gunship is history!”

“Good shots,” Ramirez praised.

“Valkyrie in trouble!” Tactical reported.

“Radiological alarm.”

There was a flash and one of the communications channels went dark. “We lost a Valkyrie,” the 24 year old tactical officer reported, her voice full of emotion.

“Two hundred missiles inbound from port,” warned tactical.

The entire ship shuddered as flak took out most of the missiles and a few snuck through. The power flickered.

“Phobos is trying to hack the Acropolis,” one of Ramirez’s lead geeks reported. “They have activated counter measures.”

“Cylon base star I making a run for Acropolis!” tactical reported urgently.

“They know what to do,” Commander Ramirez replied.

They held their breathes and watched the screen while continuing to make sure Saturn was dealing with their attackers.

“Massive inbound fire!” warned two officers in unison.

“Turn starboard, get the forward guns on our base star,” the commander ordered. “Salvo fire as soon as there is a solution.”

After a very tense two minutes, they say the last base star and an ancient first war Argos go up in balls of flames.

“Recall the vipers,” the commander ordered.

“New batch of ships just jumped in,” DRADIS reported.

“As soon as the birds are recovered we jump back t o fleet HQ,” Ramirez said, ending the discussion. “We will jump under fire. Combat landings are authorized.”

Chapter 66: Economy of War

Chapter 66:

After the attempted ambush of the Mercury the Cylons pulled all their forces away from the human colonies. It was obvious to them that Admiral Lawson was taking a confrontational approach hoping that a major battle would wake up the government. It was important to build enough ship capacity to take the population of these 14 outposts to a place far away from the Cylon.

Lawson had ordered an aggressive patrol program, sending out task forces led by the Mercury or the Saturn to go farther and farther, looking to collect evidence of Cylon war preparations. Around day 500 since the fall of the 12 Colonies the government cut funding for military fuel.

This did not stop Admiral Lawson and Commander Ramirez from their operational tempo. 90% of the fuel that the new Colonies consumed was provided by the military, which seized refined Tylium from outposts abandoned by the Cylon. When the government cut the funding for fuel allocation, they merely siphoned off fuel that they were capturing.

The Acropolis and the Athena were finally repaired after long delays, but the government refused to provide the people necessary to bring those ships back into service. Lawson and Ramirez cut their own crews and flight wings down, to get these battlestars back into service.

They tapped their own leadership to get commanders and paired the Athena with the Mercury and the Acropolis with the Saturn and essentially commanded these other two ships remotely. The continued to venture further and further into space to raid Cylon supplies. It had been months since a Cylon ship had been spotted on DRADIS.

Eventually the supply of refined Tylium dried up, so the plan now was to get unrefined product and have the military refine it themselves.

Every month the shipyard was moved in hopes that the Cylons would not locate it and destroy it.

On day 564 of the exodus, Ramirez captured a Cylon parts depot. In the depot was a plentiful supply of FTL parts, both Colonial and Cylon. Using the same scheme as the mobile shipyard, they jumped the entire depot to fleet headquarters at New Picon. There were enough Colonial parts to keep the reduced fleet operational. Military scientists set to work on reverse engineering Cylon FTL technology.

Over the next few months it was discovered that the Cylon jump technology could travel 20 times farther than Colonial drives. A cautious effort to use the Cylon technology began. The hacking staff that had sprung up under Ramirez when she was XO of the Mercury went over the code line by line.

The Cylon jump drive was designed to operate with the eccentric Cylon that controlled their jumps.

This interface was re-written to communicate with the control systems of Colonial ships which generally was in the Combat Information Center (CIC).

Lawson looked down at her printed operational report on her desk. It showed the 4 Mercury Class battlestars had been upgraded. The programmers had discovered numerous back doors that enabled the Cylons to hack in and wirelessly manipulate and control ships subsystems.

The program had been tested thoroughly with 20 test jumps of every ship, increasing the distance each time.

This new capability was built into the reconnaissance raptors. The amount of electronic intelligence that was being gathered grew exponentially in size, to the point that it slowed down the massive computers designed to process it and provide human intelligence analysts data to review.

Lawson was sitting in her office on the Mercury with a remote camera on her and a screen showing Maria Ramirez in her office.

“We need to take a refinery,” Lawson said, stating the obvious. “We are sitting on a mountain of raw Tylium and we have had to draw down military stockpiles to keep the civilian economy afloat.”

“I’ve got two candidates,” Ramirez replied showing the location of two outposts recently scouted by raptors. Two red lights appeared on the maps they were sharing on tablet computers.

“Look at that capacity,” Lawson said eagerly. “If we got them both we could refine enough raw tylium to supply the entire fleet and the civilian economy.”

“We can have them both but not in the same raid,” Ramirez answered. We have a very short supply of the big FTL units that we need to jump an entire refinery. I assume you don’t want to use the old Colonial jump drives.”

Distracted, Lawson fiddled with the tablet. “You are right of course. Jumping a tylium refinery is already an explosion danger. We do not want to multiply that. Lets send you and the Saturn task force to seize the smaller refinery and hold it while my group takes the big boy.”

“Yes Sir, that means my task force will have to defend that location for a full day.”

“Kick the training program into high gear. I want every squadron and every pilot sharp for this operation. What kind of coverage do we have for these locations. We need to be sure the Cylons don’t ambush us or destroy the refinery.”

“With the new jump drives we can maintain coverage around the clock for a week before raptor readiness declines Admiral.”

“Lets train up for a week and strike,” Lawson suggested.

“Copy that Sir.”

“We are going to need to do our own manufacturing of spare parts,” Lawson said. “More than half the spare parts we need are either not being manufactured or have been diverted for use in the civilian economy.”

“I have a plan,” Ramirez replied. “the intelligence weenies need some time to process the data. Then two weeks to do recon and we are in the manufacturing business.”

“Human Resources,” Lawson continued. “We have been ordered to release half our people to reserve status. We need to maintain a fleet with 2 offensive task forces and enough defensive pickets to defend 14 outposts.”

Ramirez could only sigh at that point. “Impossible.”

* * *

“This is raptor two niner one niner, we are requesting permission to depart. We are outbound on mission orders two seven niner Charlie Alpha,” Rock Star, broadcast as he sat impatiently in the pilots seat. His raptor was based on the Athena, having been transferred from the Mercury some weeks before. William Jenkins was his real name. He was 28 years old and had made the rank of Lieutenant juset before the star of the second Cylon war.

Tall and handsome, his red hair and freckles were disarming when teamed up with a smile. He looked back at his ECO who nodded. Jill “Streak” Abrams was 26 and had been recruited from a refugee camp. She had managed to get through training and a number of battles until her pilot was killed with a freak shot through the window on final approach to the landing deck.

She had managed to take over the controls and get the raptor onto the deck, recovering the bird from a nasty spin. Though she was a good pilot, she preferred taking care of electronic systems and weapons to the pilots seat. She had her light brown hair tied up in a tight knot so it would fit in her helmet.

“Raptor two niner one niner you are cleared for departure, turn left after clearing the pod, make sure you are a safe distance away before your jump.”

“Acknowledged raptor two niner one niner, we are departing” Rock Star answered.

The mission was boring but vital. They were jumping 15 times further than they had ever jumped before.

Streak ran the checklist and informed per pilot that there was no traffic to worry about.

“Jumping,” Streak announced.

After the flash of white they were on the scene of what was possibly the first offensive operation in at least ninety days.

As thinned out as the ranks of the fleet were, what was left behind was highly motivated and skilled group of combat pilots.

“DRADIS on passive. No Cylon contacts,

“Roger that,” Rock Star acknowledged. “Lets hope for a boring recon trip.”

“So say we all,” Streak replied.

* * *

All of the ships were ready. The battlestars, the support ships and the civilian utility fleet that was tasked to take the refineries. The operation was bold, and was intended to solve their political problems at home and hopefully provoke the Cylons into proving their hostile intentions.

The countdown clock showed 30 minutes until the jump. It would be the longest jump in the history of the Colonial fleet.

* * *

Three Cavil’s sat around a table in a base star that was part of an operational command that was not known to the rest of the Cylons. This fleet was crewed by only model 1.

“The Colonial fleet is planning on seizing two tylium refineries we abandoned,” the first one reported.

“We have to decide whether we are going to let them,” said the second Cavil.

“It is not an easy decision.” The third one opined. “They have been cutting military spending. If we resist, we give them a reason to stop the cutbacks.”

“Our decision to pull back was a long term decision. If we resist, that process will likely be reversed.

“We have failed to locate Adama and Galactica. We need to wipe out this larger group of humans,” number two said.

“The humans are using our jump technology,” warned #1.

“That means they might be using our navigational database, complete with a few surprises.” #3 said.

“I hope we get it right this time,” #2 laughed.

“The other models want to make peace with the humans,” number three said. “We need to eliminate this infestation once and for all. They have dedicated two task forces to this operation.”

“All right,” Cavil #1 said. “We can hit this fleet, keep it busy while launching our assault on the 14 outposts.”

“Their is a substantial force guarding the new Colonies,” #3 worried.

“We have agents in place. We will stagger our assault and over some hours nuke them all.”

“Lets get started,” Cavil #1 smiled.

* * *

“All boards, all ships, report green board and ready to jump. Operation gas station is ready to begin Admiral Lawson,” the communications specialist in CIC reported.

“All ships jump!” she ordered. “All birds launch on the other side,” her voice sounded coarse and a bit husky, like Admiral Adama.

A minute later they were all in place and the air wings were launching on the other side.

“DRADIS reports every ship present and accounted for. We are launching the crews that will attach the FTL boosters to the refinery,” reported a middle aged lieutenant who was in managing fleet operations.

The ominous triple beep of the DRADIS console began to chime.

“Oh frak us,” Lawson said.

“Contact,” the DRADIS operator shouted. “Five Cylon base stars.”

“They are pretty far off,” the XO commented. “They don’t seem to be in that big a hurry to get to us.”

An ominous feeling of dread came over Lawson. “Launch a bird. Have them jump to fleet HQ and get a status.”

“What are you thinking?” the executive officer asked.

“I am thinking they left this juicy prize here to draw us away from home. They are going to try and keep us here while they attack the new Colonies.”

“We should send a second raptor to the Saturn task force and tell them to jump home,” suggested the deck officer.”

“Good idea,” Lawson ordered. “Relay my orders. Abandon the refinery and jump for home. Repeat mission abort, jump back to fleet HQ!”

“Missiles inbound, targeting both battlestars,” shouted the DRADIS operator. “One hundred, no two hundred inbound. Some are going to get through.”

There was a roar and shaking as a salvo hit the Mercury.

“One of the base stars has jumped above us,” DRADIS warned.

“Upper fleet engage,” Lawson ordered calmly.

“More missiles inbound, targeting Mercury and Athena.”

The deck rocked as more impacts were scored. One of the glass CIC doors shattered.

“Another base star has targeted us, tracking 80 more inbound!”

“More hits on the flight pod.”

“Crash turn. They are tying to damage our FTL,” the Admiral ordered. The ship had barely begun to evade when the lights went dark and the entire ship shook.

“FTL is offline,” engineering reported.

“Full automatic on defensive batteries.”

“Salvage team reports refinery is ready to jump.”

“Immediate jump is authorized,” Lawson ordered.

“Cylons are targeting the refinery,” tactical warned.

“Tell engineering to get those FTL drives back online,” Lawson ordered.

“Fire control is offline,” tactical reported.

“Get it back online. Have the FTL computers warmed up and ready to go,” she barked.

“Vipers report they are using delay tactics, trying to make us stay here longer.”

“Base star is doing a tactical jump, trying to get in position to get another nuke in on our topside.”

“Full right, roll the ship so they hit something else,” the Admiral ordered.

“All upper fleet batteries hit them back,” Lawson ordered.

“Athena has a firing solution on one of the base stars,” tactical reported.

“MELT IT!” Lawson ordered in a gritty voice.

“Splash one Cylon base star,” tactical reported a few seconds later,

“Fire control is online,” tactical reported again.

“Weapons free,” the Admiral ordered. “Target their center axis. Keep rolling the ship to avoid another hit to the top side.”

“Roger that Admiral,” reported damage control. “We are losing armor from several facings.”

She knew that they would be dead if they had allowed the missile strikes to hit a single point on the ship.

“Left thirty degree’s lets help out Athena,” Lawson ordered, “she is having a bad time.”

“Weapon have a solution on the base star over her fire control.”

“Salvo mode,” Lawson ordered in a firm voice. “Light them up”

“Base star is spooling for a tactical, they want to get above us,” Lieutenant Green the tactical officer reported.

“Offensive posture, light it up when its jump ends. All batteries with a solution entire task force.”

“Splash another base star,” the XO shouted excitedly.

“Salvage Teams report having trouble with the FTL drive on the refinery. They are being harassed by raiders,” a female voice from the other end of CIC reported.

“CAG,” Lawson ordered. “Give the refinery time to jump.”

“Negative Sir. Bad idea. It’s a full time job keeping the raiders away from the Mercury,” Jaybird answered. There was a three second silence as they waited for the Admiral’s reaction to the contradiction.

“See if you can cut loose a couple of birds,” Lawson urged but did not use her order tone voice.

“Too late,” a voice shouted. “Refinery is going up.”

“Cylons are backing off.”

“Pursue and destroy,” the Admiral ordered. “Lets get ready to jump home.”

“Athena,” Lawson growled, take point.

“We have firing solution on another base star,” tactical reported.

“Melt it,” the admiral ordered.

“Cylons have backed off are lobbing missiles at us to interfere with our jump,” the executive officer informed Lawson.

“Jump us the hell out of here,” the admiral ordered.

Full battle

Chapter 65: Quiet interrupted.

Day 463 after the fall

Admiral Lawson had been having trouble sleeping for many months now. She knew today was the 463 days since the fall of the colonies. She is just re-qualified on the mark seven viper. Finding time to fly the minimum hours has been very difficult for her. The Cylons had not been seen since the attack on the Athena and the Acropolis 61 days before..

The admiral had instituted a intense and costly program of training. All pilots were required to fly regularly. Simulator exercise occurred twice a month. Recruiting was going slowly since the crews of two Battlestar’s had been slaughtered.

Keeping the training program funded in both natural resources and human resources was proven to be a full-time job. It took her six weeks to find the time to do her check ride and to remain legally empowered to command of a Battlestar. Her pilots license.

That task been completed six hours ago. It was now 3 AM ships time. When sleep was difficult she had a established the habit of walking around on the least travel sections of the ship. With a crew of over 1500, the ship was never empty even deep within the recesses of the enormous FTL jump drives. She found the walks to be peaceful. She was able to go over her thoughts.

Before her check ride she had had to make an appearance before the People’s Council. She had been attacked for using too much resources. Between shipbuilding and crewing fleet 45,000 people were thus removed from the civilian work force.

She still remembered Councilman Jenkins. He had spoken in his eloquent style. “My dear admiral while we are grateful for your service and resources we are pouring into this defense is simply not justified.”

“We have not seen nor heard from the Cylons in nearly 4 months. Maybe they mean to leave us in peace now.”

“New political math,” she had said under her breath, but intentionally audible.

“What was that admiral?” His voice was annoyed and not respectful.

“It has in fact been 60 days since the ambush of the Battlestars Acropolis and Athena and the massacre of their crew. That is mathematically two months, not four months of quiet from the Cylons. “

“Well since that was on their side of the armistice line and we were launching an unprovoked attack on their fleet, it does not count. You started it.” Have you ever considered the possibility that the Cylons are tired of fighting us and they don’t want to be at war with us any more?”

“No,” Lawson answered, saying nothing else.

After 15 seconds of silence followed by murmuring, he spoke. “Care to elaborate?”

The admiral took a deep breath before she replied. She prayed for control of her temper. “A little over a year ago Cylons Attacked our home worlds and slaughtered tens of billions of people. They know where we are. We are substantially outnumbered. They can come and destroy our civilization anytime they want now is not the time to cut military spending. Now is the time to increase spending. We need to leave these 14 worlds and move off into the stars and settle a place to Cylons can never find us.”

Jenkins cleared his throat before his reply. “Or you can tell me that we are to pick up and leave with 496,000 persons. At one point we are shipbuilding program have the number of shifts required to haul that many people? What about resources that we need like fuel and food?”

Lawson replied carefully. “Your last question first. Our enemies have left a large amount of fuel behind when they left. We have been bringing into the storage facilities here for six months now. We are working on a solution to feeding the people on this long journey. If you grant us the increase in human resources and natural resources we eventually can be ready to move away from here. I want the Cylon to find nothing here when they come. Do not doubt councilman that they will come. They waited 40 years before they attacked the colonies. I cannot promise you when they will return but I do promise you they are building up their forces in preparing at this time.”

Jenkins made a noise with his mouth it sounded like clucking. “Admiral Lawson have you located a single Cylon vessel in the last four months during which she was spent a large amount of natural resources scouting as far as your ships can take you?”

“Not yet sir.”

“When will your ship building program have enough capacity to carry the people?

“If you approve this budget request and give me 5000 more workers, five years.”

“Add more Lawson you’re going to have to prove to this council that there is an actual threat from the enemy before we fund this outlandish request. Is my recommendation that your increase in funding be denied. Please return to us in 30 days with a plan to cut military spending by 25%.”

“Councilman cuts of that magnitude would prevent us from completing the repairs on the Athena and the Acropolis.”

“Well admiral find me some Cylons and then we will reconsider your funding request. You must provide us cuts in the budget. I would think that an admiral of your stature could do a better job than I deciding where to make these cuts.”

The admiral struggle to control her temper. “The evidence in favor of continued military preparedness are the still burning and wasted by radiation in the 12 colonies. We need to strike out and get as far away from the enemy as possible. We must never forget the slaughter of the first Cylon war or the second.”

A member of the engineering crew walked in front of the Admiral and saluted. She was shaking from her reverie and returned the salute.

Then Admiral Lawson stopped in her tracks. She closed her eyes and rubbed them. She was seeing Admiral Mueller standing in the hallway in his crisp, perfectly pressed uniform.

She was seeing hallucinations.

“I’m not a hallucination,” Mueller said. “Think of me as a piece of his soul, that was so attached to this ship, it could not move on after he died.”

Lawson resolved not to be seen talking to herself at 3 a.m. She tried to sidestep him and walk by.

“You’ve done a fine job little one, stepping up to be Admiral, when we know what you really are?”

“I’m going crazy.”

“I am a piece of Admiral Mueller’s soul sent to you by an Angel of God.”

“What do you want?” She finally conceded and spoke with the apparition.

“All of this has happened before. It will happen again if you don’t listen to me.”

“What do you want me to hear?”

“Don’t explore the Mutara system for resources, it is too dangerous.”

Lawson chuckled as she continued to speak with the dead admiral. “There is a mountain of Tylium in Mutara. I will get it and trade it to the Peoples Council for the funding we need to provide the defense.”

Admiral Mueller clucked derisively. “Your plan to migrate a half million persons to the stars? How cute, you are going to find a place where the Cylons can’t find you?”

“Something like that.”

“There will be another slaughter. You will visit Earth and meet Adama. You will take the remnants of these new Colonies into their end. But only if you don’t get killed.”

“Yea great. We have a six o’clock jump Admiral. I have confined myself to quarters”

“They never listen to us the first time,” An image that looked like Gaeus Baltar nodded and gazed into the distance, expressionless.

* * *

.

Admiral Lawson looked well groomed when she came into the CIC. Her XO was a former pilot, a 29 year old wide eyed lieutenant until getting promoted several weeks ago. He looked athletic, 1.8 meters tall, with blond hair, blue eyes and a curious expression on his face.

“SitRep,” Lawson ordered as she stepped into her normal spot in the command center.

The Mutara system has been under frequent sweeps, Raptors and smaller ships like Adamant and Bezerk class mostly. Sometimes force recon 3 assault raptors 2 recon birds. There have been no signs of Cylon presence, no signals.”

“What is your entry plan captain?” Lawson asked.

“Sir we go too condition two, I think its safe to make the jump if we up our alert status from 5 birds in the tubes to ten Sir. No Cylon signals intelligence..”

The admiral crossed her arms folded them across her chest. “The system with a little mountain of fuel and it appears to be unguarded. Have I not issued a general order about this since the boardings and massacres of the crews of Acropolis and Athena?”

“Ah Sir..” he stuttered.

“Please repeat general order 76 to all colonial forces,” she looked inpatient that she still awaiting her answer.

“General order 76 from Admiral Eva Lawson states that any colonial forces entering a system that is not under colonial control with permanent forces is to take place under high alert status. That means that force recon jumps first, 3 assault birds, three recon birds.”

“So you see Captain Bench,” she used his family name. “You don’t need to think you have your orders. Get it set up with double the normal force. Blue squadron in the tubes instead of ten. I have a high level intelligence source that has concern about this system.” She wisely they omitted the fact that her intelligence source was an apparition that appeared to her in the form of Admiral Mueller.

“But Sir we have orders to conserve fuel.”

“Did I issue any orders to that effect?”

“No Sir, came in the night watch communications. To all Colonial forces Peoples Council Executive Cory Brooks.

“Does she give orders on this ship Captain?”

Looking flustered, he answered meekly. “No Sir.”

“Set up the recon,” she ordered. In her mind, she was disgusted. Her expression only conveyed her desire to complete the mission.

“We will never let the politicians compromise our safety.” Lawson breathed deeply. “That is general order 77 I think. Someone bring me some coffee.”

Captain Bench picked up the phone and got on the PA. “This is the XO. Set condition two on the ship. Force recon will be 10 birds, two jump points within the system. Blue squadron in the tubes.”

It was bad enough that the budget cuts had forced her to jump into the system without backup.


There was no way she was going in, deaf, dumb and blind.

Thirty minutes later the reconnaissance was complete and they had made the jump.

“DRADIS!” The excited officer in charge shouted before quietly adding the word “clear. DRADIS is clear sir.”

“All right get the vipers out there. All raptors launched need to find the fuel bring in the cargo ships and haul out of here before the Cylon figure out what we’re doing. Keep a close eye on the DRADIS Lieutenant, “Let all pilots know to stay frosty and keep their heads on a swivel.”

“Yes Sir,” the young woman who looked to be barely 18 answered.

Lawson stretched her arms and fiddled with her hair. She considered walking to the mess hall for some world famous Mercury madness coffee. She decided against that because everyone else had a job and her job was to keep the crew safe.

Right after the CAG and LSO announced that all birds were in the air the DRADIS id its three double chirps and showed three unknown contacts They were too big and too early to be the ore carriers. Smaller contacts came on the screen a half second later. The computer was slow in identifying the targets.

Before the ID, Lawson gave orders. “Set condition one. All vipers to defense positions. Recall those raptor crews.

The DRADIS operator announced the computer targeting decision. “Three base stars seven support ships CBDR. They are launching raiders.”

“How long is it gonna take us to recover our birds and jump out of here?” Admiral Lawson asked.

“It could take up to 10 minutes sir.”

Another officer spoke up. “Network breach. Cylons have compromised our network.”

Captain Bench took charge of this. “Institute network isolation for all defense subsystems. Gun crews please report if you are still operating in automatic mode.”

A new protocol has been implemented physically dividing the Mercury network to make Cylon hacking more difficult. “Guns report still running in automatic mode. Sensor information has been received. The hack got to the FTL nav computer before the network was divided. Estimate 15 minutes till FTL is back online. We are restoring from prewar back ups.”

“Vipers report in defense positions ready for action.” Reported the CIC flight officer.

“Weapons free engage all enemy units. Make sure everyone know where the established fire zones are. Everyone else weapons free.” Admiral Lawson ordered.

“Cylon are pulling back. They are out of gun range. Their base ships are out of gun range they are going to attempt a missile salvo on three sides.” Reported the tactical officer .

“Notify vipers of established defense zones. Full automatic fire on the zones in 15 seconds. Get ready to turn the ship hard we’re going to rotate and make it hard for them to hit us. Flak on one side, pcm on the other. All weapons free” said Admiral Lawson.

“Flak is active on the port side”

“Turn it to port until we have a 90° angle on the inbound Cylon probable firing arch. We have vipers on defensive for all three of the base stars?”

“Yes Sir” The flight officer confirmed.

“Inbound heavy Raiders they’re going to attempt a boarding!”

“Fire teams to the flight pods. Concentrate PDC fire on the inbound heavy raiders.” Lawson ordered.

“That will result in more missile hits,” the XO warned.

“Beats getting boarded.”

“Prepare to switch flak to the right side,” ordered Admiral Lawson. We need time is just perfectly.”

“We are ready sir.”

“Flak ambush now now now,” Lawson ordered.

“We have a few boarders are contained in the starboard flight pod. Marines are counter attacking.”

“Order the reserve vipers to target heavy raiders.

“We have inbound missiles. Repeat inbound missiles coming in from three firing arcs.”

“Order all vipers to engage defensive positions must be maintained.” Admiral Lawson looked up for his moments. “Yellow squadron green squadron and black squadron attack your base stars now now now. Helm hard to port.”

The roar of missiles hitting the outer armor shook the entire battleship star. Everyone grabbed onto something as the ship rocked under the impact of the first round of missiles that made it through the flak. “Missile hit starboard flight part.” Someone reported in an urgent voice.

“Another inbound coming towards the starboard flight pod.”

“We need better intercept on these inbounds,” Lawson warned.

“Damage control teams to the starboard flight pod,” the XO announced on the PA.

“Three inbound missile salvos, fore aft and port.”

“Flak has the port side missiles, switch engagement zone to port. Helm hard to port, lets make this difficult for them.”

The deck shook under their feet. “Frontal armor hit. Vipers got most of it.”

“Hit port flight pod vipers only partially intercepted.” The deck shook again. “That was another partial intercept impact front. We cant keep taking this kind of pounding.”

“Vipers do better. Maintain port rotation, At least that will make our armor last longer. FTL status?”

“Still off line Sir.”

“Damage control teams to the port flight pod,” the XO ordered,voice echoing all over the ship. He cut off the PA. “There has been some hull damage in the pods.”

She acknowledged the report with a nod.

“Switch flak port, continue rotation,” Lawson ordered calmly. She had been through this a few times by now.”

“Keep making those turns helm” Lawson ordered.

“Another direct hit on the port flight pod.”

Inside the port flight pod, crews hit the deck as a shower of firey sparks rained down on the repair area. Vipers were already coming in with damaged planes.

CIC

“Three more inbound salvos. We are going to take a hit on the frontal section port side. Vipers were out of position.”

A deafening roar accompanied the missile hit.

One of the glass doors to CIC shattered. Lawson absently wondered if they stocked a lot of that glass on the ship. She also wondered what would happen if they ran out.

“Another three salvos inbound.”

“Gun crews target the inbounds!” Lawson ordered.

Several CIC crew members winced as the battlestar seemed to be shaking at its core. The sound of the guns firing echoed through out the ship. Red lights were flashing on the damage control display.

“Get me an ETA on those FTL drives. We are losing his fight and may need to recover our birds and run.”

“They have stopped firing,” the tactical officer reported.

“They are spooling up their FTL!”

“They jumped.”

“Recover our birds. Destroy the tylium.”

“All vipers RTB RTB. Assault raptors take out the Tylium reserves. There must be an ammunition dump here. These base stars came in with pretty low ammunition. We need to be out of here before the Cylons come back in force.”

“FTL will be ready online in 20 minutes.”

“Copy that,” Lawson said.

Complete Battle Video

Chapter 64: Rolling the hard six

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

Day 402 after the fall.

As a Major and then a Commander, Eva Lawson did not like morning meetings. No amount of coffee could get the fog out of her mind before 9 am.

As an admiral she despised early morning meetings. This one was in a particularly obnoxious time 5:30 in the morning. All four of her mercury class Battlestar commanders were present as was the head of the fleet intelligence.

It actually amazed Admiral Lawson that with billions of people slaughtered, the whole colonies uninhabitable it was an unlimited supply of large monitors and which display intelligence and battle footage..

She reasoned that if there was a sufficient resources to produce for Mercury class battle star of the month and they’ll probably was sufficient resources to produce enough large screen monitors to keep her busy all day long.

“OK”, she said as she sipped her coffee. At least they were civilized enough to order a decent coffee for this meeting. She had barked at enough people to make sure that the was always going to be met in the future. “What am I looking at here?”

The intelligence chief who held the rank of major have been retired 10 years from the colonial fleet when the war had broken out. With the morning fog in the rain, Lawson could not remember the man’s name. She did remember reading a service record however that he had typed out a major due to a superior questioning his work ethic and thoroughness at vetting information sources.

“I remember when we had the same rank,” he said just audible enough for her to hear. “That sir is a shipyard with the Cylon’s use to finish assembly of their base stars. It is capable of finishing 12 base stars a month. Ships come in as empty shells, and internal configuration occurs at a rapid pace. There are thousands of Cylon skin jobs working this facility.”

“It looks small to me,” lost in remarks. “It looks like he can only work on two base stars at a time.”

“I always said you have a good eye for intelligence,” the major replied. “This one can actually finish three at a time. It takes one week to do this job. Components are coming from several other locations. We are tracking these for future strikes.”

“How do you know this is the only final assembly facility they have?” Commander Ramirez asked.

The major smiled. “Due to the raw data we download from your hack of the Cylon computer networks sir. We now have taps into the physical net work at 12 different locations, each is downloading massive amounts of data. Our current computer capacity is a joke. But by selectively applying the power we have two different intelligence dump we have read the following conclusions.”

He adjusted his uniform pants and then cleared his throat. We have seen was posing for praise. He received nothing but a get on with it look from Admiral Lawson. “We have verified the data has matched at every location by decrypting specific batches in computer systems that are physically isolated. They do not appear to be two data streams, one to fool us and one that they keep a secret. We have been able to randomly crack any file we put our computer resources to.”

“Now with sufficient computer power we could equipped the entire dump and he might find anomalies. As of this moment they’ll all data that we have decrypted is consistent. We also verified the intelligence with human intelligence resources. You approve the classified raptor mission three days ago. We have eyes on the site and we rotate our crews out every 12 hours. Everything that we’ve taken from the computer at work agrees with what our eyes on the scene and reporting back. This is a base ship finishing facility.”

“If we destroy it,” Lawson said. “We can send back their plans. They claim that they have left the colonies and it may be a resolution to leave us in peace. What do they need this kind of manufacturing capacity for anyway?”

Before he could answer, Colonel Simmons who almost never talked at meetings spoke up. “Where is this shipyard? My task force has visited all twelve colonies the past month and not seen it.”

“Besides the two ambushes of your task force,” the major answered. “There has been no evidence of Cylon incursion into any of the original 12 colonies. This facility is deep inside what was Cylon territory after the first Cylon war. I must point out that as tempting as this target is, it would be a huge escalation. It would likely violate the terms of the cease fire we are supposedly operating under. It is the intelligence branches recommendation that we consult the civilian authorities before going forward.”

Admiral Lawson brushed them off. “They are building 12 ships that are capable of firing nuclear weapons on the survivors of our worlds. They are clear and present danger to our survival of the species. I order a strike mission be drawn up to attack this facility and destroy it.”

The major replied quickly. “Consulting with the authorities covers our asses if the strike goes wrong. I estimate it will take to task forces to destroy this facility. We have digital photos indicating three modern base stars and three old Cerebes class carriers protect this facility.”

Ramirez sighed. “Saturn is out of this fight. FTL nav computer and backup are burned out. As I remember Mercury’s drive actuators are being replaced now. That means we have to send the junior team. I recommend we wait until one of the more experienced officers can lead the strike.”

“It’s not going to work,” said the major. He picked up a pointing device and zoom the screen in. The picture clearly showed a sale on FTL Drive. “There are six of them. It would only take three to be able to jump his facility so far away we never find it. From what we can tell Cylon FTL technology enables them to jump 10 to 20 times further than we can. It would be nice if we capture some of the technology and started to figure out how to upgrade our technology.”

“How often does it move?” Lawson asked.

“We have been monitoring the site for 30 days. We visited the site 60 days ago and 90 days ago. The digital images showed no activity until ten days ago. Based on the logistics data we decrypted from the Cylons, we estimate that this facility moves over two weeks. It appeared on our electronic sweeps 11 days ago. We have 3 days to act.”

Colonel Simmons was eager. He stood up and addressed his superiors. “I know you have trouble getting me promoted to commander. I have drawn up a strike plan. As you know the two ambushes that occurred in the colonies were taking care of my forces that I’ve been on my command for two months. My crews acquitted themselves quite well in those two battles. I have been training the hell out of these people. They are ready to step up and do this job. Please let me command the strike. I don’t care about the promotion. I care about damaging the Cylons so they can never hurt us again.”

“This is a very important operation,” and more Admiral Lawson said. “I see here that the commander of the Acropolis has a pregnant wife who is about to give birth. I’m sure he’s eager to participate in the strike but how about I take the conn out of that ship. You will still command the mission. I will just be available in case of surprise. Our ace in the hole.”

“You are asking me or ordering me?” Simmons asked.

“Asking,” Lawson said. “I think a wise battlestar commandeer would want the extra experience available.”

“I agree,” Simmons smiled.

“When do we junp off?” Lawson asked.

“Six hours. The tankers need to be placed to refuel us before he last jump. A safe jump plan will require 18 jumps. We should top off our tanks before the fight.”

You have planned well Colonel. Pull this off and I will frak Corey Brooks if thats what it takes to give you your commanders stars.”

* * *

Admiral Lawson settle down into guest quarters, refusing the offer of the grateful Colonel to use his quarters. She brought an overnight bag and two changes of cloths for the mission. With the precaution of sending raptor force recon ahead to check each jump point, it would take 18 hours to reach the target facility. Lawson curled up with a book and hoped to sleep the whole way. The problem was that FTL jumps while sleeping gave her vivid dreams.

Several times she flashed back to when she was held captive by the Cylons. They had somehow left the biological equivalent of a logic bomb in her brain. She could feel the sensations she had felt while they were assaulting her. It felt real and as ifi t was happening in the present.

She awoke with a start and opened her eyes. The guest suite had a bathroom and a medicine cabinet. She stared bleary eyed into the mirror and examined the choice of pills. A sleep aide was far less effective than natural sleep.

Reporting to the CIC having and no sleep in three days was not an option. Sleep deprivation had the same impact on command performance as alcohol. She read the instructions on the bottle and swallowed two pills with water.

In 15 minutes, she had settled herself int a dreamless sleep that she hoped might help with her symptoms. This time the FTL jumps did not trigger dreams. She woke up an hour before the strike mission. This gave her time to take a long, hot shower, then brushed and combed her air before putting into a tight, military bun.

The admiral noticed that she had felt a bit sluggish when she got out of bed. If you like that go away as it usually did when she prepared for duty. Perhaps the sleeping medication had more affect on her than she expected. She was no stranger to this type of medication. Often pilots how to use it to get sleep between long viper patrols.

Whenever she walked into the CIC of a ship she wanted to project of confidence. She wanted to be there to be a spring in her step. As she walked through the hallways of the Battlestar, she spent felt more and more sluggish.

They were about to do a combat jump into battle. She should be hyped up on adrenaline not feeling like she wanted to get back into bed. As she continued towards the CIC, she stopped and grabbed a cup of coffee off one of the trolleys used to serve crew that due to skill shortages often had to work long shifts. She gulped it down like a runner swallowing cold water, hoping to revive her physical state.

The marine guarding the combat information Center immediately recognized her and ran his access card which open the doors. Nobody who served aboard these ships thought the glass doors were practical. The ships stocked many spare doors to replace those shattered in combat.

The exile of the ship was a major Linda Peters. She was 36 years old, had left the colonial fleet three years before the war to have a baby. She and the child had survived the destruction of the colonies because they were on a on a trip to Tauron.

Miraculously the child’s father had also survived these events and was a civilian computer analyst. The child was with him in the refugee camp on a desolate new colony. He had been offered a military commission due to his skills involving protection of hacking and hacking into the enemy network.

He had turn down the offer to remain in civilian contractor doing the same job. Although there is no actual payment involved the government continue to give them IOUs for the day that might come or currency start to be used again. This time everybody that worked in a civilian job in the colonies basically did it for food and shelter.

Major Peters was about a centimeter or two taller than the admiral. She has platinum blond hair and many male officers found her attractive. After they worked with her for a while they found her to be intimidating. She has a reputation as being one of the meanest XO’s in the fleet. She could smile and tear you apart with words.

“Welcome to CIC admiral,” she said. “We will be in operational command of the ship?”

Admiral Lawson nodded her head and said no. “This is your chance to show me your command skills. I’m gonna sit here quietly, watch the strategic situation and only jump in if necessary.” She then stretched her arms in a long yawn. “Frak, I took a pill to get some sleep and it wont let me wake up.

Peters stretched out her hand and offered a white pill, a stimulant. “I know its not great, but we need you sharp Sir.” a quick gesture had a cup of water in the Admirals hand.

Lawson stared at it for several seconds and then popped it in her mouth and washed it down with water. “I hope this helps. SITREP.”

“All vipers are in the tubes. We are ready for combat jump and immediate launch. Flagship is signaling to jump”

Lawson nodded. Peters ordered the jump.

The jump had an unusual affect on the admiral. She felt a wave of nausea and barely avoided throwing up in the CIC.”

“DRADIS Seven ships in extreme range there unidentified at this time. Based on size they were probably three modern base stars and four smaller fighter carriers as expected. We do not have fighters on the screen yet from the enemy.“

“That will change,” the major said. “Launch all vipers. Form up according to the battle plan.”

Several tense seconds passed. The DRADIS beeped as small contacts started to launch.

“DRADIS, Two groups of fighters are forming again the ranges extreme we can’t get ID from here. The lower group appears to be modern raiders. Three ships just did a tactical jump towards the shipyard. There’s a large group of fighters protecting them. The lower group has formed up and is charging toward our fire formation.”

A Communications officer spoke up. “The flag ship is ordering all the wipers to attack the lower group of fighters. Valkyries are ordered to speed up an approach to get a lock on the vessels that are approaching the shipyard from above.”

The formation had started out tight. There were four large ships in a stack formation. A Mercury class on top. Between them was the solaria Jupiter class. below that was the second mercury and on the bottom an Atlas class carrier. These ships were nicknamed the brick. In this formation, besides adding air power, they offered the ships above them a lot of protection from fire below.

Now the Valkyries were speeding up ahead to try and get a sensor lock and find out what the opposition was flying.

“The enemy Raiders are retreating. They are running. The flag ship is ordering us to pursue.”

Major Peters was concerned. “Signal to flagship. We don’t want our vipers to get too far away from us. If they want to run we might want to let them run.”

“The flagship overrules they have ordered our fibers to pursue and destroy the enemy Raiders and then attack their base ships.”

Lawson knew there was a problem. This tactic been used against her before. While conducting a strike mission before the reunification with the new colonies they have tried to draw the fighters from the mercury out feeding an attack and then running.

Remind was getting foggy again. Her mind was getting foggy again. The stimulant pill was not working. She was confused when she remembered what this meant. The early days after the fall. The Raiders made a feint toward attacking and then run away, trying to draw away the Mercurys fighter cover. Then they attacked from above with. What? She couldn’t remember. Heavy. Heavy Raiders. Attempted boarding.

Lawson tried to speak. She meant to verbalize what she just thought. Words did not come out. Her voice croaked out sound but no words. She fell to the floor of CIC. Someone called for a doctor. Peters leaned down and put her ear next to Lawsons mouth.

“Fighters. Call back. Boarding. From above. Heavy Raiders…” Her voice was barely audible.

Peters got the gist. “Orders to our CAG. RTB RTB. I don’t care what the flag ship says recall all our planes. We are about to be boarded we must shoot down the heavy Raiders. Marines to condition one. Move toward the flight paths and prepare to attack the centurions.”

The communications officer reported. “The flagship has been boarded. Athena has been boarded. All flight pods. Our fighters did not get here in time. Every single heavy raider got here untouched.”

Major Peters jumped into action. “Have the air wing and the Solaria and the Atlas charge the enemy formation. The heavy raiders came from those smaller carriers. They are directing the attack from those ships. If we take them out the Centurions will lose command guidance.”

“All airlocks breached. Our line of defense is crumbling. We are losing subsystems.

Lawson was conscious but immobile on the floor of CIC. She could think. The Cylons had obviously poisoned her with the medication. She had seen this tactic and had defeated it early in the second war. When the enemy found out she was going on the mission, they had made an attempt to neutralize her.

Everyone who graduated the academy knew about Cylon boarding tactics. They would go to auxiliary damage control and open the airlocks and vent the ships. The absolute best marines and weapons were placed there. Lawson heard the reports as they came in competing with screams. The centurions made only a passive attempt to hit auxiliary damage control. 

They did not intend to destroy the ship. They wanted to wipe out the crew and damage the ship so badly that it would be out of action for months. This was a disaster in the making. There were explosions and screams echoing through the ship.

Admiral Lawson could not move. Even if she could move, she would not be able to do anything. She could see the FTL was offline.

The room spun and she lost consciousness. When she came to She could see the status board. All the ships subsystems were damaged. It was a brilliant assault. Rather than destroy the two vessels they Cylons would create enough damage that would force the Colonials to decide between making more Valkyries or fixing the two powerful battlestars.

The resource drain would be enormous. Lawson imagined the hearings and the meetings and how much the political cost would be. The crew complement of the chefs was normal in 2800. They cut a lot of corners to get these ships into battle 1500 people on her crew before this mission.

The centurions were on the bridge. First they shut out the glass of the doors that protected the CIC. Then they raked the crew of the CIC with random gun fire.

Lawson saw the body of major peters hit the floor she felt wounded near where she was lying. Hey centurion looked down in her eyes and saw that she was alive. For a brief moment and pointed his weapon at her head. It’s scanned her face with it moving red eye.

The admiral was curious as to why it left her alive. She felt the effects of the poison start to wear off. She was able to move her arms and then force yourself into a sitting position. If you minutes later she dragged herself to her feet, grabbed a headset and jumped on the wireless.

A lot of the equipment was not working having been shot with centurion bullets. It took her several minutes to get the wireless working. She moved to the control of the ships maneuvering thrusters an tried to adjust course, avoiding a collision with the shipyard. It was not like flying in viper. Most of the controls were unresponsive. She tugged away at the thrusters until she get turn the ship a few degrees to the right to avoid an immediate collision.

Moving and Communications, she played around with radio frequencies, finally getting the battle channel on her wireless headset.

“This is Acropolis actually, scratch that this is the admiral. The air wing is to continue the attack until all Cylon forces are eliminated. Protect the two ships that are on the offensive. We need to get a raptor back to Communications hub. We must report this battle to command. We’re going to require reinforcements to recover these two ships. We are likely going to need a lot of equipment to save these vessels.”

The orders were acknowledged. The raptor pilot made it close pass the Athena.

The digital footage showed combat happening inside the ship visible through some of the larger windows. Evidence of death and destruction was easy to spot on the 30 seconds of video that the raptor collected.

“This is the CAG of the Athena, we have heavy Raiders are leading decks. The enemy forces have been destroyed we need a plan for landing these birds we are almost bingo fuel.”

Admiral Lawson’s voice was husky is if she had been shouting. She click the microphone on her wireless headset. “Pack them in as tight you can on the Solaria and the Atlas. Then put up a CAP to defend this location until reinforcements arrive.”

“Sir this is Solaria actual. This position is deep inside Cylon space. If we bring heavy forces here to protect us during the recovery phase we risk attack on the new colonies. The force big enough to intimidate the Cylons would drain our defenses.”

“Engineering was going to need to send crews to do damage surveys. We are going to need several hundred marines co clear these ships of centurions. This ships FTL drive is lightly damaged. The NAV computers were destroyed. This was done to send us a message. We are going to have to recover the damaged ships quickly.”

“This is marine task force two. We have landed on the Athena. We have destroyed the heavy raiders and are now moving into the ship. We are encountering heavy resistance.”

Lawson pressed a few buttons and got on the PA. “This is the admiral. All crew members are directed to shelter in place. If you have weapons, arm yourselves. We are going to retake the ship.”

* * *

A week later, Admiral Lawson was going through a pile of communications. There were a dozen urgent messages ordering her to abandon the two battlestars and return to fleet command. It had taken three days to clear out the centurions. The supplies arrived to make emergency repairs on the FTL drives.

Corey Brooks had blocked shipment of FTL parts from the Mercury, for fear that she was being made inoperable by removing key parts. This was not true. Reserve supplies were drained and sent to the two damaged ships.

The crew of the battlestars had been roughly 1500 each ship. The air wings were under strength and totaled 800 pilots. Losses in the ambush had been low. Of the 2,214 crew that were not pilots, there was a total of about 200 persons to manage the two ships.

Lawson doggedly refused to read communications from Corey Brooks. If she never read the orders, how could she be accused of violating these orders?

When Corey Brooks met the admiral in her shipyard office ten days later, she asked how this had happened.

“It’s my responsibility,” said the admiral. We took a high risk gamble. We tried to take out a high-priority target. We were the sucker. It was a well planned ambush. We rolled the hard six and we lost.” She handed the folder to the leader of the People’s Council.

Brooks opened the folder and read the letter. “This is your resignation?”

“I’m recommending I be replaced with Commander Ramirez. She is young and disciplined. She will make a fine replacement for me.”

“She’s a 31 year old computer analyst forced to a command role. She just learned how to fly a viper. Lose one battle and you start talking about quitting. I may have had some pre-judgments about you but you’ve acquitted yourself well. Stand up and get ready to bounce back from this battle. You have two decades of experience.”

“We’re going to need funding to rebuild these ships.”

“You’ll get everything you asked for,” Brooks reply. “If we plan for six month rebuild, we can spread the cost into budget years.”

Lawson answered. “I thought you want to big budget cuts.”

“Of course I do, I’m a politician,” she answered. “But right now we are at war. These two warships are going to be rebuilt.”

It was a dull thought I heard outside the door of Admiral Lawson’s office. It sounded like a body hitting the ground hard. The door opened and a model number one Cavill walk through the doorway.

With a quick reflexes Lawson reached her hand into a desk drawer and pulled out a military issue pistol. She pointed at the Cylon’s head.

“I come with a message,” he raised his hands as he spoke. “You have violated the cease fire. We are not amused with this course of action. I’m here to send you a warning. Follow the cease fire correctly or we will bring down fire and destruction on your newly re-established colonies.”

Corey Brooks stood up and face the man. “You have violated the cease-fire constantly. We have evidence of your forces scouting location of our new refugee colonies. You continue to build warships and you abuse them against us. Cease-fire must go both ways.”

The model one spoke. “If you limit the size of your military to 100 ships and the colonies are neutral territories. You will need to stay out of them completely if you want to cease-fire to continue.”

“Offer rejected. We will except no limits on the side of our fleet. It is obvious that you have thousands of ships and sent them across the galaxy in search of the Galactica. We will also need to continue visiting the colonies. As you are I’m sure where we are drawing down industrial supplies. We need those for the rebuilding of our civilization. This is not just for military use.”

“All right you may send unarmed ships into the original colonies and they will not be attacked. Will you require anything else?” He sneered.

“We require that you stop building new warships,” Admiral Lawson added.

“Rejected,” he answered we need to explore the galaxy and find earth. That requires a lot of ships. The offer is as it stands. You keep your warships out of the colonies and your supply missions will be left in peace. Do you have 10 seconds to except the offer.”

“We accept,” Brooks answered. “Please acknowledge.”

“We accept your offer and the cease-fire is in place immediately.”

“Kill him,” Brooks ordered.

Admiral Lawson fired two shots directly into his forehead. He had a brief look of surprise before he fell dead to the floor.

“When he resurrects our message movies will be received by the Cylon.”

“Oh I know why you ordered it Leader Brooks. It is just a hell of a way to conduct diplomatic negotiations.” She laid the smoking pistol on the desk, sat down and sipped her coffee as if nothing had happened.

Chapter 63: Skirmish

Day 381 after the fall

Admiral Lawson was in a temporary office in the fleet HQ. Normally she kept her office hours on the Battlestar mercury. However for the past week and a half to ship a been in for repairs and she was forced to use this small office.

The office had a window in through that window she could see her command, the Battlestar. There were some derricks and construction on the flight pods other parts of the ships. The exterior armor was being replaced, along with months of battle damage.

The war with the Cylons had gone cold. The enemy has not made an appearance in 31 days. Apparently the promise made by the model number one was going to be kept. The Cylons had left the Colonies and gone off to pursue a new destiny.

After her capture, Admiral Lawson did not believe that the machines that destroyed humanity would ever give up and destroy what little was left of them. She knew in her heart that they had heart and whatever they called their souls. They were constructed by hateful machines it would not give up until their mission was accomplished.

The armistice line set between the government of Cory Brooks and the enemy excluded the 12 colonies from the new colonial territory. This line extended right up to the old colonies.

The new colonial fleet often violated this line in order to forage for supplies. In the 31 days in the past since the last and a base is mission, no life survivors in about any of the 12 colonies. There were however store houses of industrial equipment and parts that were necessary to keep the fleet going.

Every week the civilian in charge of the economy presented Admiral Lawson with a list of what he wanted.

Each week list was more extensive, and more dangerous to obtain. Every week however the admiral ordered at the list be obtained.

Scientists occasionally asked to go on the mission to take readings. They’ve also percent of the military with reports. These reports or pessimistic. Radiation levels were so high that in some number of years all life would be extinct and everyone of the 12 colonies.

To be perfectly honest with herself, Admiral Lawson to authorize the missions for political reasons. With the threat from the enemy seeming to have a fallen, the military needed to justify itself, to remain relevant.

First priority was always given to the militaries list of requirements. By fulfilling the requirements of the civilian economy, pressure to make cuts in the size of the military were kept at bay.

Admiral Lawson had nearly 25,000 souls under her command. They were four main fleets, each led by a mercury class Battlestar. It was expensive, and represented nearly 10% of the entire remaining number of humanity.

They were nearly 495,000 humans left live in the new colonies. Conditions were harsh and the economy was difficult. Civilians were already calling on people to be released from the military to do jobs that were more economically relevant.

With 25,000 people in the military and 20,000 involved in vital support shop such as shipbuilding and manufacturing of ammunition, the situation was probably unsustainable.

They were 18 different outposts forming a new colonies. Some of them barely habitable by humans. Life was difficult, and the planets that they were inhabiting would never be as easy to live on as Caprica.

The overall goal of the shipping program was not just to build military vessels, it was also the building of transport to take nearly half 1 million colonists off on a space adventure to find a new home.

Admiral Lawson had advocated picking up the entire number of humanity and heading into the stars. Her premise was to go as far away from the cylon as possible.

It was known that that with 50,000 people, President Laura Roslyn and Admiral Adama had done this.

The hack that was used to eavesdrop on cylon communications brought back a very important piece of intelligence. The enemy had not found the other colonial fleet led by Galactica.

There was a special mission on the way. Based hours were being sent in all directions, searching for the escape to fleet. Massive amounts of fuel and ammunition will be expected to sand forces in all directions.

It was because of this that admiral Eva Lawson had wanted to go off in a different direction. The only way she believed that humanity would be safer to be far far away from the machines they had created. Distance was the only hope of survival in her opinion.

The galaxy was a big place, and it should be possible to find a place that was more hospitable and difficult to find. The newly reconstituted news media had openly mocked her testimony in front of the peoples council.

The admirals response I’ve been caustic, even toxic. She did not back down in the civilian government promised to consider our request.

Commander Maria Ramirez was due for an appointment in a few minutes. Finding manners where she thought they were none, Admiral Lawson ordered a tray of coffee and refreshments be delivered for the meeting.

Coffee was her fuel, for Lawson was not able to sleep well. Her dreams were plagued with images from her captivity. She had initiated, or rather tried to initiate relations with a number of civilians and failed to complete a goal so simple.

Before the war, it had been a hobby. It was something she had done for fun. Now she was so messed up that she could not do it at all. The door chimed. She admitted Commander Ramirez, sho quickly grabbed a doughnut and poured herself a cup of coffee. She put a storage device on the desk.

“Colonel Simmons completed the mission to Caprica. He was ambushed by large fleet.”

Colonel Simmons have been appointed to be the commander of the captured Battlestar Athena. His promotion to Commander I’ve been held up by the peoples counsel. They were concerned about costs.

“He wasn’t killed was he?” Asked Lawson.

“Oh no they got through it OK. They were casualties I think they lost a adamant class ship. They were victorious but they did take a hell of a beating. They jumped to Scorpia to grab some supplies and do some emergency repairs. We have a few cargo containers hidden in the shipyard ruins. It enables us to make quick repairs for these kind of circumstances.”

“I did not see that on your last report Commander Ramirez,” Lawson spoken a false accusing tone. She smiled warmly.

“It’ll be on the monthly report,” promised Ramirez. “You got some great footage do you want to see the battle Admiral?”

“Of course I do. Lets watch it in the simulator theatre.

This room was a large movie theater with a massive video screen. It had been built into the shipyards along with simulators similar to those found other mercury class battle stars. It was an enjoyable way to watch the war for footage.

Whenever possible all battles were recorded so the winner lose the military could learn from them.

“That was one impressive performance,” Lawson said. “Simmons is really picking up on big ship tactics. You know I had my doubts.”

“It’s not like we have our halls filled with graduates of the war college,” Ramirez sipped a glass of water. “I graduated but for me it was an exercise in getting a good grade. I did not internalize much.”

“I graduated eighteen years ago. I was never sent to Battlestar University due to my extra-curricular activities.”

“Well, we are going to need a new war college and a new Battlestar-U,” the commander sighed.

“We are barely getting funding for fleet operations. We still foraging in the twelve colonies for ammunition. Some of what we are using has been in storage for fifty years.”

“I get it.”

Getting enough ships together to take half a million war refugees is a pipe dream. Councilman Fredrick has proposed cutting the military shipbuilding budge by 25%”

“That is ridiculous Admiral.”

“We need to pick up and move across the galaxy before the cylons come back. I know they are coming. They will not be satisfied until humanity is extinct.”

“Preaching to the quire Admiral. I need your authorization to send reinforcements to the fleet.” She slid the paper across the desk. Lawson read it and then signed it.

“We will bring them home and make permanent repairs Admiral. I would like to propose some long range recon to try and locate the cylon staging areas. I think we should be prepared to go on the offensive. They have a manufacturing advantage over us. It is about time we took that away.

“Well the attempt to dry up their tylium resources pretty much failed. Shipyard capacity is much more complex and difficult to build.”

“First we take away the capacity to build ships. Then we take away the ships. It’s ambitious Admiral, but we have to think outside of the box to win this war. We are never going to build enough ships to defeat their fleet The New Colonies simply lack the numbers for that.”

“Do you have a plan commander?” Lawson asked.

“I have a draft in my quarters. I will bring it by tomorrow.”

“Copy that,” Lawson poured herself another cup of coffee. She was certain that 5% of her blood volume was coffee.

* * *

It was the middle of the night when the annoying phone ring finally got Admiral Lawson to roll over in bed and answer.

“This is fleet operations,” the voice said. “You are needed in the situation room.”

She yawned loudly. “What the frak is the situation room.

“We will send marines to your quarters and escort you. They will arrive in five minutes.”

Click

“And if I need ten minutes will they take me to the situation room naked,” she growled.

Since it took her more than ten minutes to even find anything in this suite, she elected to put on a “Battlestar Atlantia” robe that she had found in the closet.

“Task force Athena is late reporting in Sir,” the deck officer reported. “We believe there may have been an ambush.”

“Lets see the intelligence data,” Lawson said calmly. Commander Maria Ramirez appeared several minutes later. Of course she was dressed in her blue uniform that looked freshly pressed,

A large, partially digitalized image appeared on the screen. It appeared to show the flight pod of the Battlestar Athena under missile attack.

“Is it authentic?” Admiral Lawson asked.

“The computer is not certain. I have my old digital team from the Mercury checking it out,” Commander Ramirez answered.

“Set Condition one in the shipyard. Patrol Valkyries launch ALL squadrons. Unknown DRADIS contract carom 182 CBDR” Bellowed a youngish sounding man.

“Alert Vipers are on intercept course, three minutes. Its pretty far out there.”

“DRADIS!” More contacts, its a whole cylon fleet!”

“All ships prepare to attack,” Admiral Lawson ordered. “Spool up the shipyards FTL. How fast can we spin up the Mercury and get the hell out of here?”

The nod from Ramirez told her I could take hours and by then the Battlestar might be lost.

“Defense perimeter station Baker has a missile lock. They have a salvo of 300 missiles ready to fire.”

“Verify Identity and then fire,” Lawson ordered, wondering if the first part was even possible.

“We are ready to fire,” DP-Baker replied.

“Weapons hold!” Ramirez ordered. Lawson was ready to object to the protocol violation before she remembered just how much she trusted her former XO. An instant later, Ramirez hit a button putting what she had on headset on the PA speakers.

“This is Athena actual,” Colonel Simmons familiar voice came on the speaker. “We suffered damage to our communications array. We have successfully fought off a cylon ambush. Please do not fire we are Friendly’s. Standby for recognition codes and authentication.”

Admiral Lawson let’s go a sigh of relief. “We damn near shot around forces out of the sky. I hope the mission records aren as entertaining as the first battle.”

Two hours later the Commander, the Admiral, and Colonel Simmons we’re all in the theater watching the amazing news footage of the battle that I just been fought.

“I would have to say,” Colonel Simmons reported. “The enemy seem to know our every move. It was as if you were on their screen and they knew precisely where we were. I think we should come through this ship and see if we’ve missed any cylon electronics or computer code.”

“Agreed,” Lawson said. She leaned back in her seat and sipped coffee.

Battle video Two

Chapter 62: The last Anabasis run.

Chapter 62: Lawsons Anabasis run

Day 1 Day 341 after the fall.

Admiral Lawson vlog.

“I hate these new digital logs,” Lawson said. “I have to have my hair done just to record the musings of my fraked up mind for the sake of history. Anyway, we are at Picon, assembling a refugee fleet with the best firepower we can bring to bear. No cylon activity yet, but count on them to make it hard on us.”

Day 2 Day 342 after the fall.

Admiral Lawson vlog.

“The fist jump was easy. Cylons just sniffed around to get a DRADIS picture of our fleet. They will throw fast small ships at us because we can’t be nible escorting these civilian ships.”

Day 3 Day 343 after the fall.

Admiral Lawson vlog.

“Light contact during jump 2. Ammunition use is high. Our forces were on station with quick repair workshops. Fleet is operating comfortable. Every jump there are more toasters.

Day 4 Day 344 after the fall.

Admiral Lawson vlog.

“Lost two pilots today. Jump 3 cost us thumper an cueball, two very experienced pilots.”

Sick bay: Doctor Farragut writes in her diary. “Casualties came in after this jump. There are not enough doctors to staff every ship in this fleet. They come in after the jump. Burns and shrapnel wounds from armor and hull breaches. The pilots are getting shot up as well. It’s meatball surgery as we have so many wounded, all we can do is triage and keep as many people alive as possible. We are adding wards for the long term wounded. We will not be able to get some people treatment by civilian doctors. The plastic surgeons are going to be busy.

Day 5 Day 345 after the fall.

Admiral Lawson vlog.

“Jump 5 coming up. Jump 4 cost us three nuggets and two from the deck gang. A viper in the repair bay was not secured properly and fell, badly wounding our deck chief. Needless lost. I don’t blame them, those crews are overworked. I went down and did a two hour shift, striping a landing skid damaged in a combat landing.”

Sick bay: Doctor Farragut writes in her diary.

“Doctor Jameson is a petty dictator that remembers everything and he has no problem using his rank to abuse his authority. That is balanced against his skill as a trauma surgeon. He can look at a wounded crew member, take a quick look at vital signs and immediately determine whether the wounded person can survive or not. I’m a psychiatrist, trained in PTSD, but am also a medical doctor and when I check Jameson’s work it never seems to be wrong.”

Day 6 Day 346 after the fall.

Admiral Lawson vlog.

“The entire CIC crew took time helping out the deck gang. Others were turned away because there was not enough space. Damaged bird could dropped from 67 to 21. How many will we damage in jump 6?”

Day 7 Day 347 after the fall.

Admiral Lawson vlog.

“Cylons sent in three waves of ships. For some reason we did not get bracketed. Heavy damage to the air wing and the civilian transports. Trying a new formation using the three big battlestars to put up a massive flak wall. Worked well.”

Sick bay: Doctor Farragut writes in her diary. “Hundred and ninety casualties came in after Jump seven. Ten of them came in DOA. The rest, we managed to save, stabilize and transfer out patients to a medical ship with long range jump capability. Jameson is a dedicated doctor. He threatened to castrate the civilian medical personnel if any patients died on the way back to a civilian hospital. He is a bastard, but he fights like a lion for his patients. That mitigates a lot.”

Day 8 Day 348 after the fall.

Admiral Lawson vlog.

“Lost 12 pilots today, another dozen wounded. Repair backlog up to 90 Vipers. Some pilots will sit out jump 8 due to lack of hardware. Port pod deck chief begged me no more volunteer knuckle draggers. Quality assurance was dropping and she is afraid a pilot might get killed. I told her check the records and weed out the sloppy mechanics. Like she has time for that. My nickname was changed from Admiral slut to Admiral asshole. Earned that.”

Sick bay: Doctor Farragut writes in her diary.

“Doctor Jameson is always rushing me. Always trying to make me work faster. The wounded come in fast and furious. I know I have to work faster. I find myself fantasizing about murdering him, slowly.”

Day 9 Day 349 after the fall.

Admiral Lawson vlog.

“Air wing did a great job taking out the forward Cylon formation. Casualties were pretty low for anti-ship operations against heavy gunships.”

Day 10 Day 350 after the fall.

Admiral Lawson vlog.

“We got clobbered on jump 9. Fortunately the pop up repair ships met us after jump 9. All warships repaired. Ammunition was not replenished.

Admiral Lawson vlog.

“Post mission. We lost an Artemis on jump 10. First run to get over ten thousand souls out alive. Dropped the civilian loss rate from 34% to 29%. Yay team. I am going to sleep for ten days. I wish. Pilot losses were heavy, nearly 20% of our forces. This is going to have a major impact on the entire fleet.

Sick bay: Doctor Farragut writes in her diary.

“Over the course of this ten jump Anabasis run, we treated two thousand wounded. A number of civilian ships were destroyed. We saved over 10,00 souls, many of which were suffering from radiation poisoning. We lost nearly 5,000. Time for some sleep.”

Chapter 61: Hell or Anabasis mission 2. 10 more jumps.

Chapter 61

They got ten days “off” between missions. Admiral Lawson led a huge fleet to make the next run to the old colonies as they were now often referred to as.

It took seven days for Rose Carey’s team to get through the viper and raptor repair backlog.

Then there were three days of off shore leave. The shipyard was too vulnerable if they were let off their posts. So while amor was replaced and upgraded on the outside of the ships, the exhausted pilots and deck crews and many others slept in for up to 14 hours a day.

An amusement park of sorts was set up in the port hangar bay of the Saturn. The starboard bay featured a bar and music.

After putting in a few shifts helping with the repair backlog, the pilots felt less guilty about taking time off and started to filter into the amusement setup, for the young and innocent. For most suffering PTSD it was the temporary bar set up on the starboard hanger deck.

There was a pretty good selection of drink mixes. Cruiser, drowning the memory of two dead nugget trainees suddenly thought of Rose Carey and remembered she liked tropical drinks. So he found a pineapple coconut mix had the bartender add in some Tauron rum and unsteadily walked to where the knuckle draggers were still working on the viper backlog.

Carey was ready to tear into him but remembered how fragile he was for that second nugget, took the drink, put it on a maintenance trolly and whispered into his ear. “Bring enough for my entire crew and I will give them two hours off.” She gestured at the trolly.

Fifteen minutes later he and some actually sober pilots were back with a trolly full of drinks and snacks for Carey’s team.

“Two hours down time!” Carey announced. “One drink per customer then its all virgin drinks.” She noted in her logs that the hour before the break they completed repairs on two Mk.7 vipers. The two hours after the break they averaged almost 4 vipers per hour. She smiled thinking she should write a management book.

* * *

Lieutenant Tamar Miller sat across the table from Bruce Jenkins. Miller aged 28 had just been promoted to squadron commander, Jenkins aged 24 had just made Lieutenant was the assistant squadron commander of the same squadron.

The pair had served together on the Mercury and later the Saturn in different squadrons. They had dated for a little over three months. Two weeks ago, Miller’s promotion had brought that relationship to a grinding halt.

“There are other assistant squadron commander slots in the fleet,” Miller said calmly, willing herself not to fidget.

“I like the squadron I’m in,” he replied. “Watching your six,” he smirked looking over the edge of the table. “Is definitely a choice assignment.”

“Regulations are clear. There are no relationships allowed within the same command,” she said. “As much as I will miss it, we are on hold.”

“If we stay discreet, I don’t see the issue. Things have changed. Our home worlds are irradiated and many billions are dead.”

“You know how personal relationships were used against Admiral Lawson,” Miller pointed out.

“So what? They still made her an Admiral.”

“You know she was slut shamed and investigated.”

“Investigated for sleeping with a toaster,” he interrupted. “Are you a toaster? I’m not.”

“Everything we do including whether we decide to frak reflects on her as she is Commander in Chief of the entire fleet. The regulation is in force. I will follow it.”

Jenkins put his drink on the table, making a loud noise.

“Thank you for your time,” Squadron commander, he said angrily.

Sausage, the CAG of the Saturn, James Redding and recently promoted to captain approached Lieutenant Miller. “That was hard,” he said.

“Frak off … Sir.” she briefly considered throwing a drink in his face. “I know that following the regulations that it protects the Admiral. You can stay the frak away from me until we start the operation.”

Day 331 jump 1. Total jumps for Anabasis 11.

Rose Carey in her diary: Jump one is behind us. No pilots lost, six vipers damaged.

Day 332 jump 2.

Vlog of James “Sausage” Redding.

“Jump two was like a training exercise. The toasters know what we are doing and each jump they throw more forces at us. Two minutes of combat. Several missiles did make it through. No pilots lost, very little damage to the birds. Combat landings broke a couple of landing struts. The chief keeps complaining about needless combat landings. Soon they wont be needless.”

Day 333 since the fall. Jump 3.

“This is black hair, we just let through three missiles. That is too many. Get back to your patrol locations. Engage raiders only on my command squadron. They are feinting, making false runs to pull us out of position.”

“Sausage to black hair, engage that Cerastes!”

“Aye! Blue squadron engage!”

“Fleet is taking fire!” Ramirez barked on the channel wanting better performance.

Rose Carey in her diary. “Fifteen birds damaged. Lost two pilots. Frakking toasters.”

Day 334 since the fall, Jump 4 14 total outbound Anabasis jumps.

“This is Cruiser, lead ship is putting fire on Athena. Do we engage?”

“Three enemy ships just jumped in on the fleets six, do we engage?” Miller asked.

“Negative,” Ramirez ordered. “RTB fast we are spooling up. PCM will take care of it. Combat landings are authorized.”

Rose Carey to her diary “21 bent birds between the four assigned squadrons. Lost a raptor and two vipers. 4 more dead pilots. This is peace? We should nuke the Cylon home world.”

Day 335 since the fall Jump 5 total of 15 outbound Anabasis jumps.

“Sausage to Black Hair, missile just got through and hit an Artemis. Another one reports being hacked. Oh frak fireball on my wing. Tornado where the hell are you?”

“That was Tornado,” Bruce Jenkins reported.

“Frak!”

Rose Carey fell asleep her head in her diary, having written nothing.

Day 336 since the fall Jump 6 total of 16 outbound Anabasis jumps.

“Missile wave 1 suppressed,” Cruiser reported. “Mostly PCM.”

“All ships engage lead Nemesis with forward guns. CAG, Sausage whatever second Nemesis broke through. Assign a squadron.” Commander Ramirez ordered. Where was the XO?

“Go get them blue squadron,” Sausage ordered.

“Wilco,” Miller’s voice sounded exhausted.

“Radiological alarm. An Argos just fired a nuke!”

“Second nuke!” Red squadron has it.

“Am I red or blue?” a confused pilot asked.

“Arachne just jumped in close!”

“Firing solution main guns salvo mode!”

“Splash one Nemesis!”

“Saturn just took a salvo in navigation. Who was supposed to intercept?” Sausage asked.

“Athena purple team!”

“RTB all ships show green. Combat landings.”

Rose Carey writes. “We have 30 birds to fix, will only get to twenty. Welcome to my backlogged list ten birds.

Day 337 since the fall Jump 7 total of 17 outbound Anabasis jumps.

James “Sausage” Redding vlog: Heavy air resistance today. Lost another friend.

Commander Maria Ramirez: Written log. “Made it through without losing a ship. Record is what 8 jumps. Three more experienced pilots died today. CAG is sounding unsteady. Got hit on three sides. Considering formation changes. To what?”

Day 338 since the fall Jump 8 total of 18 outbound Anabasis jumps.

Rose Carey in diary. “The enemy upgraded to Revenant gunships today. Where are they getting all this hardware?”

“Nuke! Coming in hot,” Tamar Miller said “I got it!”

“Theres two! One just detonated off the flight pod of an Artemis.”

“This is Avenger, we need help. Lost pressure in the port flight pod.”

“All birds on the deck. ”Keep flak up. All ships jump jump jump.”

Day 339 since the fall Jump 9 total of 19 outbound Anabasis jumps.

“We got base stars. First war saucer base stars!”

“Just took a missile salvo on the bow. Avenger is in trouble.”

“Mark seven squadrons engage. Mark two on defense,” Ramirez ordered on the flight channel.

“More tangos just jumped in!”

“Splash two Nemesis,” Sausage reported.

“Two nukes inbound. They are going for Avenger!”

“Scratch a Revenant gunship!”

“We just lost Avenger!”

“Frak, there are too many of them.”

“DRADIS Arachne just jumped in close.”

“We have boarders. Repeat. First war centurions have boarded us.”

“Scratch another I dunno, it was big!”

“RTB all birds. Combat landings. Flak up jump jump jump!”

Day 340 since the fall Jump 10 total of 20 outbound Anabasis jumps. Hell ends again.

The Captain of the Tiblisi had looked at the recon. The entire fleet was in danger if someone did not lead some of the Cylon forces away.

With no approval he spoke to his crew and revealed his plan. “We will jump on the other side of the Cylon fleet and force them to pursue,” he said.

“Our vipers?” asked his XO who was really an LT junior grade.

“1 squadron on defense. The other assignment will be to protect the refugees.”

“Our civies?”

“Off loaded to the big battlestars.”

“So say we all Sir.”

“Here are a list of nonessentials we are moving to Athena, your name is on it XO.”

“I stand with my shipmates,” he crossed his arms defiantly.

“So say we all!” Said the CIC crew.

Ten minutes later….

“Flak is offline all systems down. Nuke inbound.”

“It’s been my greatest honor serving with you. The captain braced for impact.”

8157 souls saved.

Ramirez put every member of that crew in for a medal.