“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
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
“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
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
Sick bay: Doctor Farragut writes in her
“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
“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
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
“You know she was slut shamed and
“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
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
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
“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
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
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
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.
“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,”
“Wilco,” Miller’s voice sounded
“Radiological alarm. An Argos just
fired a nuke!”
“Second nuke!” Red squadron has it.
“Am I red or blue?” a confused
“Arachne just jumped in close!”
“Firing solution main guns salvo
“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
Rose Carey writes. “We have 30 birds
to fix, will only get to twenty. Welcome to my backlogged list ten
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
“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
“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
“Two nukes inbound. They are going
“Scratch a Revenant gunship!”
“We just lost Avenger!”
“Frak, there are too many of them.”
“DRADIS Arachne just jumped in
“We have boarders. Repeat. First war
centurions have boarded us.”
“Scratch another I dunno, it was
“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.”
“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.
“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.
The day after she was promoted to Admiral Commander Lawson, rather Admiral Lawson was greeted with a wireless call in her office on the Mercury. The buzzing was annoying so she answered it immediately.It was her executive officer Major Simmons.
“Do you have a conference call with Commander Ramirez and Admiral Cobb. Corey Brooks is also on the conference call.” He reported.
“Who is it?” She asked.
“It’s audio only but he says his brother cavil a model number one humanoid Cylon. Everyone is waiting for you to join the call.”
“Don’t let me slow you down put
“Them sir?” He asked.
“A little Cylon joke,” she smiled.
“We have an announcement for you
humans. We have decided that the attack on the colonies was a
mistake. We lowered ourselves to the level of humans and committed
atrocities. We are going to leave the colonies now. They are yours to
inhabit again no harm no foul.”
Corey Brooks answered him, “No harm no foul? You exterminated billions and left our worlds to be irradiated for hundreds of thousands of years. You’re just calling that even?”
” Funny that’s what Adama and said when we told him. President Roslyn promoted him to Admiral weeks before you got your new job. Funny. I think he’s your senior officer now by a few weeks.”
“Are you in contact with him can
you take a message to them?” Asked Cory Brooks.
“Well we’ve temporary lost track of them. They’ll probably do something self-destructive and put us back on the trail. We’d rather not they join forces with you. Five Mercury class vessels and 2 Jupiter battle stars is a little bit too much firepower for you.”
“Good try,” Ramirez said
“Anyway,” the model number one
continued. “Just a some political crisis for you Baltar has been
elected president of the colonies. You see they don’t know you exist.
Do you think he’s going to be very helpful to us as your peoples
leader?” he asked. “I do.”
“Well thank you for nothing,”
Admiral Lawson remarked.
“Please let us finish,” the
humanoid model continued. “There was a rebellion on all 12 of
the colonies. They no longer have us to fight. They also no longer
have access to anti-radiation medication. There were about 30,000 of
them are all 12 colonies. Are you going to let them die a horrible
death of radiation poisoning? Or you could surprise us and rescue
your fellow humans.”
“Why did you tell us this?”
“Well we’re not as bad as humans
we can’t just leave them to be slowly killed. We prefer killing
people quickly with nuclear weapons.”
There were some interference at some
grumbling on the human side of the conference call.
“You should be careful we’ve lost track of some of our brothers in some relics from the first war with the humans. I now declare that the second war between the Cylon and human is over. Good luck and safe travels.”
“Admiral Lawson,” the executive of the People’s Council ordered. I would like you to send recon into the colonies and validate this models words. We will prepare rescue missions as soon as you let us know it safe.
The intel did not look very good. It
would take ten jumps to get the refugees from their home colony to an
assembly point where they could be transferred to other ships.
There was a convention of obsolete
Cylon ships jumping from place to place, looking for a fight. This
was peace, Cylon style.
Admiral Lawson walked up to the lectern
in the pilot ready room of the Athena. She had reluctantly given her
XO command of the Athena. Crews were pretty thin and they were
pulling pilots out of training to put them to work.
Though this was the pilots ready room,
there were several knuckle draggers present. This was acknowledgment
of the important role that would be played by the maintenance team.
“During the first Cylon war, they
called this the Anabasis run. Ten jumps to get refugees from outlying
outposts back to Caprica. This time we will be taking them from the
Colonies to our new homes. It will take 10 jumps and it will be
“The Cylons left a large number of
older ships and Cylons behind, with the intention of making us spend
resources of blood and treasure to recover these people. The average
run could bring us 15,000 refugees. These people have fought the
Cylons for nearly a year. A lot of them will be available for us to
crew some more ships and strengthen our defenses for when the war
“These people are running low on
radiation meds. They need our help. We are going to do our best for
them and minimize our losses. It will be approximately one jump per
day. We may have to keep this up for twenty or perhaps 30 days.”
“Your are going to be exhausted. You will need to do more than your best. We have 318,000 souls under your protection. If we increase that a lot, we will get stronger. Any questions?”
“If the Cylons left the Colonies, why
can’t we just move back in?” An orange suited viper maintenance
“The radiation from all those nukes
has left the twelve colonies uninhabitable,” Ramirez took the
question. “It may be a hundred thousand years or more before these
worlds can be safe. They may never be safe.”
“It is going to be one jump per day.
You need to keep the freighters and the Celestra’s safe. You will be
drawing your supplies off one and parts needed for repairs off the
other,” Lawson said forcefully. “Jump off tomorrow 0600 hours.
Lets do this!”
A chorus of “So say we all” echoed
through the room.
Rose Carey was a level 6 maintenance
technician, who had mustered out of the Colonial fleet two weeks
before the attacks on the Colonies. She was on a cruise ship with her
fiancee when it was damaged during the initial assault on Gemenon.
The ship managed with the help of herself and a dozen other former
Colonial Fleet veterans to make emergency repairs and reach a muster
point set up for refugees.
After three months in a refugee camp,
moving twice she was more than happy to get into the service. She
served several months on a Valkyrie, before being promoted and sent
to the Mercury. She was made an assistant deck chief there and
transferred to the Saturn when it was commissioned.
She was bitter, her fiancee had been killed several weeks back and was glad to have a place to sleep and get three meals a day. Sleep was often forgotten during the high operational tempo that was maintained for months.
She got up the morning of the first
jump back from Tauron and was very pleased. There was only light
damage to a couple of vipers. The enemy force sent to stop them was
not very strong.
She made a note in her diary.
Day 310 of the second war.
Easy day. Ten planes damaged, not big
deal. If this is all the Cylons can bring we are going to be okay.
Bruce Jenkins was a 24 year old viper
pilot, having graduated from the VR school on the Saturn and doing
actual flight training on an old Artemis class battlestar. He was
assigned to the Saturn and then promoted to Lieutenant and assigned
to help new pilots assimilate.
On his first mission of the Anabasis run, he had intercepted some inbound ordinance and assisted on a kill in his Mark seven viper. It was a pretty good day. He did not keep a diary, but he made sure to give Rose Carey a high five as she checked his viper. “Nice one,” he said.
Day 311 of the war. Jump 2. Resistance
had been stepped up. A couple of viper pilots had gotten blotted out
of the sky today. Another dozen had gotten shot up pretty good. There
was smoke coming out of his high engine when he did the final
checklist. Rose Carey sniffed and checked the undercarriage of the
Mk.7. There was damage and hydraulic fluid was leaking.
“Can you get it ready for the next
op?” Jenkins asked, apologetically. “Yeah probably,” she said,
wiping grease off her forehead. “It’s going to take a while.”
“You can’t take them at too sharp an
angle nugget,” Jenkins, call sign ‘Cruiser’ warned the youthful
pilot as he tried to bring down some inbound missiles.
“Heads up,” warned another pilot.
“You got a raider on your six!”
“Break! Break! Break!” Jenkins
ordered. “Don’t worry about the missiles, don’t get killed.”
“There was a flash and a scream.”
The nugget, who had not even gotten a call sign was gone.
“FRAK!” Jenkins shouted and banged
a fist on his arm rests.
“Cruiser break right, you have a
raider on you. Classic type.”
Jenkins heard something snap and his
Mk.7 became difficult to control. He avoided the raider, jinked his
Viper, grunting as he did it and put a killing shot in three
“Nice kills Cruiser!” congratulated
“Shut the frak up. We lost a nugget
“RTB RTB RTB all vipers. Combat
landings are authorized.” On landing, he realized that he had hit
too hard, damaging his gear.
He looked sheepish at Rose Carey and
apologized as his Mk.7 was dragged into the bay. “It’s gonna take
me all night to fix that,” she complained. She gestured helplessly
at the damaged landing strut.
“I’m really sorry booster,” he said
using her call sign. “Let me help.” He stripped off his flight
suit and grabbed a wrench.
A smart assed remark was on her lips
but she accepted the help and let him start stripping the landing
strut after she locked the Mk.7 into place and lifted it half a
Day 312. Diary Entry. Sleepy. Fixed lots of bent birds. A mark went down the page where she fell asleep while writing.
Day 313. Jump 3.
Carey wrote in her diary. “Cruiser came back nearly in tears. His squadron commander was killed. We now have a back log of 30 damaged Mk.7 vipers. We are working around the clock. Several convoy ships got hit by enemy fire today. They tried to thin out my crew today to get people to assist in the repairs. Chief Carlson stopped them in their tracks.
Day 314 Jump 4. While in the
maintenance bay they put the feed of the squadrons on the speakers.
It was scary.
“Splash one, splash two.” One pilot
“We have six inbound missiles, guided
bearing down on that Artemis.”
“No don’t spin up flak you idiot, we
have it under control,” Cruiser warned.
“That Valkyrie just took a missile in
the port pod.”
“Hey whoever is firing those mines,
not through a squadron configuration.”
“Oooeee!” A pilot shouted. “Just
say a Revanant eat two mines. She’s breaking up.”
“All batteries switch to target two,”
Ramirez’s voice interrupted. “Salvo mode.” She sounded
“Three bent birds touching down on the port ventral
pad,” the announcement from the LSO warned.
“Which pod are we in?” Rose
wondered. “Starboard, that means right. Good. I don’t have to fix
“All vipers RTB now now now. Combat
landings are authorized.”
“Damn it!” Carey grunted. “Those
frakking combat landings bang up the birds and keep my crews up all
“Prepare for jump in five, four, three, two, one seconds. JUMP!”
Day 315. Jump 5. “Ten birds were not
ready for launch today from this deck when the Cylons jumped in. We
are dead tired. One of my guys fell asleep in a cockpit, while he was
replacing some circuit breakers. Rose was was short and thin, with
dirty blonde hair. Her eyes were red from lack of sleep,
“What the FRAK!” she said when she
saw Cruisers viper. “It’s going to take ten hours to have that
thing ready for the next fight. Cruiser, you are white as a ghost.”
She was suddenly concerned. His windshield was cracked. He collapsed,
while climbing down his ladder.
He was grounded for the next mission. A light wound, he put on coveralls and helped get the vipers ready for those who were flying.
Day 316 of the war Jump 6. Rose wrote
in her diary.
“I really appreciate Cruisers help
with the grunt work. He is crappy as a knuckle dragger, but he does
help us get things done. We worked through the battle and got all the
backlogged vipers back in action.
“Twenty more came in after the jump. Will this ever end? I’ve had seven or eight hours of sleep this week. What the frak.”
Day 317 of the war Jump 7
Rose writes in her diary.
Cruiser got back in the air today, two
days after being wounded. He is a hero in my book, getting up every
day to defend this fleet and the civies we protect. He is also good
looking athletic build, 1.8 meters tall with light brown hair.
I could live with that. It would not be
settling. I hear he is dating a pilot from red squadron, Tamar
Miller. She landed on our deck today as an emergency, due to a combat
landing collision. She is a beauty, perfect figure. I wish she had
picked someone else.
We jump, we launch all our birds, they
shoot down missiles, then raiders. Then my team fixes up the birds
for another jump. This pace is terrible on people and equipment.
Every day the freighter drops us off more spare parts, sometimes
entire vipers to replace our losses. That is why we surround them
like a cocoon.
Cruiser brought his viper home today without a scratch. He gave me a high five and then a huge hug when he reached the bottom of the ladder. I will remember this day for a long time.
Day 318 of the war. Jump 8.
Rose writes in her diary.
Lieutenant Tamar Miller call sign
“Black hair” due to her long mane of perfectly black hair was
appointed blue squadron commander yesterday. She is Cruiser’s boss. I
wonder if they will continue to date.
She and the commander stopped by to encourage us. Turns out “Black Hair” started out in the fleet as a cook after washing out as a pilot. She baked the entire deck gang cookies as a thank you. They were great.
I saw Commander Ramirez stuff a few cookies in her pocket. She should eat them. She looks gaunt. I hear she started the war as an overweight computer geek.They both made speeches. I fell asleep. My gang says they were great speeches.
Day 319 of the war
“Cruiser watch that bunch on the
right, they are busting through and going to try and kill a
“Roger that Tamar, I mean black hair.
Nugget! On my lead, hard right, we are going to do the fancy move we
tried in the simulator.”
A nervous voice came on the speakers.
Rose paused for a moment and looked up at the speaker. “I’m not
sure I can do it skipper.”
“Nonsense,” Cruiser encouraged.
“Just like we practiced. Stay on my wing.”
There was some garbled communication
and a screech of a female voice. “Kryptor, I’m hit. I’m …”
Viper one niner two seven was hauled in
by a SAR bird.
The Ensign, Ruth Jacobs was still
inside the shattered cock pit.
Tamar Miller and Bruce Jenkins were
nose to nose and arguing while Rose Carey looked over the badly
“I told you that rook was not ready
for that move. It took me three months to get it down.”
“She was ready Black Hair.”
“She was NOT!” the squadron
commander spat back.
“She did it right. I blew the move. I
clipped her viper, knocked her off course. It was MY fault. I killed
her.” He took off his wings and smashed them into her hand. Then
he stormed off the flight deck.
“Cruiser, no, don’t do this.”
Her eyes met Rose Carey’s. She almost
shouted “What the frak are you looking at knuckle dragger.” She
stopped herself. The woman looked so worn down, with smudges of
grease on her forehead and both cheeks. “Can you fix that bird?”
she asked, gesturing toward the one with the nuggets remains still
splattered around the cock pit.
“No,” Rose answered, “that will
have to go to the viper factory and be remanufactured. Those
civilians whine a lot, but they make good vipers.”
“I have a favor to ask.”
The squadron CO draped an arm over Roses shoulder. “Its just us, call me Tammie.”
Day 320 of the war. Rose Carey and
Bruce Jenkins alone in a launch tube.
“We need you to take these,” she
handed back the wings. “I know you did your best to protect us and
“I killed her,” he sobbed.
“No that was the toasters.” She
stood up on tip toes and gave him a peck on the cheek. She was so
nervous. “Honor her memory. Protect us for one more jump.”
The last jump cost the fleet a Valkyrie, but all the pilots at least got home safe.
Heracles in the videos a gift from Joker of the BSG Deadlock discord,
Commander Maria Ramirez was looking
positively thin in her blue day uniform. She was immaculate. Every
button was polished, All her uniforms have been altered to her new
more svelte physique physique.
She knew the hallways of this
Battlestar very well having served on it for a year under Admiral
Mueller before the fall of the colonies. She checked him in CIC I’ve
been told the commander was in the Virtual Reality suite.
Now I command are starting out the war as an information technology Lieutenant, she was remarkable and how she’s adjusted to a new role far above her former rank. Her CAG, call sign “sausage” has been a malcontent Lieutenant disrupting his squadron commander on the mercury.
With the responsibility of command and a promotion pressed upon him he had grown into the role immediately. He was flying sometimes 18 hours a day training as pilots. He gave individual attention to those that needed it and now have three other pilots doing flight training along side him. The Air wings performance in recent battles had been magnificent.
This Battlestar is hallways were long and monotonous. She found her legs were getting a little bit tired and she made her way to the VR section of the ship.
Her mind wandered ass at the origin of
her CAG call sign. She was pretty sure it was not because he like to
eat homemade sausage which was not available in the current climate
of late. She wondered what was so special about him to get a call
sign named after a part of his anatomy.
“You’ve got to get yourself a
man,” she said she reached
Commander Eva Lawson’s location. She
gently knocked on the door heard some kind of a noise from inside and
then announced her self.
Commander Lawson did not look like she
been taking care of herself.
Her hair was unkempt, she was in her
undershirt with no rank inscription on display. She pulled her head
out of the virtual reality computer and looked up at Commander
“Good morning Commander Ramirez, ”
she said. “What brings you to my neighborhood on this fine day.
Bored from the lack of activity except for those to Battlestar’s
attacking remote outposts?”
“Well actually your crew
especially your XO is very concerned about you. Looking at you I can
see why. What simulation are you running that it so important that
you don’t eat for three days?”
“I’m trying to figure out how to take those Battlestar’s away from the Cylons. I am absolutely positively obsessed with this. If we can’t figure a way to take those Battlestar’s away from them we’re going to have to destroy them. That represents a doubling of our capital ships heavy fire power.”
In spite of her physical condition,
commander loss and did not sound maniacal. She did not sound like she
was crazy or going mental. She was actually focusing very hard on the
problem and trying to solve it on her own without getting help. This
was her way throughout her career.
There was a fight and over early in her
career that was difficult to do correctly on the mark seven viper.
It was a difficult move and it was a
requirement to get advanced status and get promoted be on the rank of
Lieutenant. She spent hours upon hours in the simulator, trying to
figure out how to do the maneuver and continually lost control of her
viper. She refused to reach out to other pilots for help and it
wasn’t until she missed a rotation and CAP and the flight surgeon
decertifying her first flight status that her commander took her
aside and asked what she was doing.
She explained sheepishly he got into
the simulator with her and told her to maneuver in about 15 minutes.
It was a death when she learned the lesson to reach out for help.
Apparently as commander she had fewer resources so she could trust
but she has seemingly forgotten this important role that it saved her
“Tell me how you’re trying to do
this,” Ramirez pressed. “What fleet and tactics are you
“Well you know only 4 Atlas carriers and I wanted to maximize the size of the marine force. I equip them at all Raptors. I have 4 Janus class cruisers because they have an amazingly large ammunition and fire capability.”
“What’s the munitions loud I know
Dealerships are outfitted with mostly
proximity mines and EMP minds. Each ship has at least one EMP
generator. Dealerships have two EMP generators and one EMP mine load
“What else?” asked Amanda
“The two air wings and both of our
mercury glass Battlestar’s. We need the air power so it’s very
problematic to attack the vipers on the other side due to confusion
and the fact that we’re having an air battle right within close range
of their mercury class PDC’s”
“What does the other side have?”
“Recent intelligence shows they stopped using the Heracles probably because our fleet that they massacred took out five of them. They using Minataur class cruisers. Looks like maybe eight. Great gunships.”
“What happens when you run a
“Most of the task force is
destroyed, usually the Battlestar’s are taken. But we lose either the
mercury or the Saturn every time. I need a new tactic but I can’t
think of any other way to conduct a mission.”
“All right I’m gonna go into the
second suite and we’re going to do the simulation again you’re
running the entire show I’m just watching and observing. Set up I’ll
take five minutes do you need a coffee break?”
“My blood is 5% caffeine right now,” Lawson joked.
After the exercise Ramirez gently took
her former commander by the arm and walked her back to her quarters.
“Dr. Farragut contacted me about you. You were going to sleep
after you eat a complete and balanced meal. If you do not I will talk
to the doctor and get you relieved of duty until you do.”
“Yes mother,” Commander
Lawson sat down at her desk and begin consuming the least spoiled
food trays left in her office area.
Maria Ramirez did something she did
when she was under Lawsons command, which was clean up this messy
She got on the wireless and ordered a cart. She emptied all
the meal trays that it accumulated into the cart. She went through
the entire office and cleaned everything up while Lawson slowly
consumed her meal.
“What next mom?” She
stripped off her underwear and was completely naked in front of her
last senior officer.
“You were going to get eight hours
of sleep, 12 if you can. I’m going to take my crew and change the
nature of this battle. I’ll be back to you with a new battle plan in
12 hours. I will not discuss it with you until you have slept.”
Lawson slipped on a nightgown and climbed into her bed. She pull the covers up to her chin and was in spite of the amount of caffeine in her bloodstream asleep within two minutes.
The colonial fleet had realized there was a technology gap concerning the Cylons. During the war which it ended 40 years prior the best the colonials could do is put up strong firewalls. They never made a real attempt to hack the Cylons. What good would it do to try and out hack a machine?
The problem had vexed colonial admirals
for decades after the war. The Cylons have not made an appearance in
decades it seems to be an issue. But it was an issue, it was a
problem that needed to get solved.
In spite of the ban on artificial
intelligence the cyber corps of the colonial fleet have been created
a decade earlier. It rained thousands of officers in the art of
defending information systems. It also trained in the art of
offensive use of computer technology. In essence they were going to
try it out hack the Cylons.
During the shuttle ride back to the
Saturn, Ramirez ponder the problem. Suddenly it was very simple. All
they have to do to change the course of the battle was take the
cruisers out of the battle. The way to do that would be to take over
their systems and crashed into each other at the exact opportune
Her only other modification of commander Lawsons battle plan was too slow the rate in which they went into battle.
It was the 250th day since the
destruction of the colonies that Commander Maria Ramirez came back to
the mercury and showed her plan in a graphical slideshow.
“I call it operation turn around. We turned around the tables on the enemies instead of waiting to get hacked by them we hack them. Since the toaters are using obsolete Colonial vessels, the hack is quite simple.”
“I determined where the ships are coming from. As it turns out the Virgons had a contract to dismantle Colonial warships. For about 50 years they failed to fulfill the contract and sold parts from the systems on the black market. Some of the technology got back to the Cylons.”
“Our enemy has been doing part of
the shipyards for decades. That’s how they mastered the technology of
the mercury Battlestar. The prototype, built before the ship for the
class got a name was dismantled. Except it was never dismantled.”
“Operation turn around has two
components what is your conventional attack with 1000 Marines to take
those to Battlestar’s. The second equally important operation is
we’re going to go to the shipyard I’m gonna take as many steps as we
can out of there and we’re going to nuke the rest of them. Admiral
Cobb is going to lead that fleet.”
“We already have the intelligence
in our database that shows over 300 ships are nearly completely
assembled at the junkyard. Our estimates as we have enough crew to
take out 100. The rest are going to mine and destroy. “
“As far as the assault goes I have
changed a few things. We are going to put the marine Raptors in a
fighting and vulnerable position above our fleet. We’re going to use
electronic interference to mask the presence of Mark seven vipers in
the same formation.”
“We are going to slow our approach
speed slightly and when their writers engage we are going to ambush
them. The battle will occur within range of our point defense cannons
not theirs. During the ambush the Raptors bring 500 Marines each to
the Athena and the Acropolis.”
“At the moment we enter optimum firing range, I take over the systems of the cruisers and they slam into each other with the mines we have laid in their path. Boom boom boom, the colonial three cats two new battle stars.”
Lawson asked, “are you sure we can hack those cruisers?”
“Before the war you were a fighter jock and he didn’t have much concern about information systems. My cyber team was a board the mercury figuring out how to defend it from the enemy. Further our mandate was to offensively use technology against the enemy. My crew did a demonstration for Admiral Mueller. With no route passwords or any other administrative access we want if we exercise against the mercury with three Artemis class battle stars.”
“As a matter of fact I’ve already
cut software on all the ships in the enemy fleet. Last night they
attacked one of my remote listening stations. They hauled it right
into the landing being connected it to ship systems on the Acropolis.
CNP was a very great accomplishment by the enemy. I’m going to give
them that back to the third power”
Commander Lawson’s eyes lit up like a
kid on colonial day morning. Commander Ramirez had a self-satisfied
grin on her face.
“Commander Lawson,” Ramirez
said “all you need to do is get the order and we jump off in six
hours. We know exactly where the Cylons are. We’re going to take
those battle stars away from them.”
“Is the Admiral ready to go?”
“Yes sir he is,” Maria
Ramirez clasped her hands and looked confident.
“The order is given!”
Commander at Lawson said emphatically. “I’m ready to sign the
“Admiral Cobb signed them while
you were sleeping sir.”
* * *
The FTL jump went smoothly. The enemy
ships were in formation exactly where they were supposed to be. The
colonial fleet was clumped together in a way that protected the
valuable mercury glass ships from taking too much fire from the
“Everything shows green,”
said major Simmons. “Shall we launch the vipers and raptors?”
“Launch all aircraft,” Lawson
Her mind did not wander. Her
consciousness remained in the presence. She listen to the radio
chatter as the mark 7 vipers launched and formed up with the Raptors
high above the fleet. She gave the orders for the mines to be laid in
front of the enemy cruisers.
Lawson watched the various camera feeds
as the mines shut out and took a course tour the picket line of the
enemy which was composed exclusively Minataur cruisers. The enemy
knew how to fly the ships but was not completely familiar with some
of the details of the process. Commander Ramirez’s virus reported
back to settings of weapons and other important details through an
A surprisingly detailed status report
was displaying based on the transmission sensor to the cylon command.
They were less than 200 centurions aboard each of the two massive
The squadrons reported inbound enemy
aircraft and sprung their ambush. Crowded with Marines the colonial
raptors went into maximum priced to close distance on the two mercury
The air battle was going well. It took
less than three minutes to eliminate the mark seven vipers flown by
the cylon pilots which apparently were humanoid models.
Apparently they have not had sufficient
time to obtain their viper wings!
They were clearly skilled pilots,
however they did not show the experience of having flown hundreds if
not thousands of hours on the colonial viper. It was a slaughter.
With the sound of bullets deafening in
the background there to Marine expeditionary forces an ounce that I
had control of one of the landing base of the target ships. There was
a shooting in confusion and the marine commander report he was going
to blow the hatches and move into the battle star.
This was the tenses portion of the
battle. If the Marines failed, hundreds would be killed and the
mission would be a failure.
Commander Ramirez’s voice appeared in
the chatter. Her words were crisp and clear. “”Operation
turn around now now now.” There was an ominous pause and then
she spoke again. “Take over navigation systems is complete.
Changing course of the cruisers.”
A sea fire was displayed on the
monitors. Where they had once been eight cruisers, they were now
three badly damaged and burning ones.
“This is marine force Acropolis.
We have the CIC. We have the Battlestar Acropolis!”
“Prepared to jump to safety,”
Lawson ordered after pressing the microphone button on her wireless
“DRADIS five base stars jumping in
ad launching raiders. Radiological alarm nuke inbound to both
“This is Commander Hernández on
the bridge of the Athena. The ship is ours. We are beginning jump
preparation and we have inbound nukes!”
“CAG! All vipers to intercept nuclear weapons. Priority One. Begin jump prep. We’re getting out of here.
Lawson’s orders were confident. She
still out direct without the aid of a crutch.
“Hit! It hit! Acropolis is hit. Fire warning! Armor bravo armor bravo! We have structural integrity. Jumping!”
“This is Athena we have taken a nuclear hit on her forward armor. We have structural integrity and we are jumping now 3….2….1 jump!”
Her voice sounded gravelly, as if of an older man. “Recall our birds. Combat landings are authorized!”
“We have lost a Janus!”
“All birds are in. All birds are
on the deck. All lights are green ready to jump!”
As she spoke, Lawson heard Ramirez’s
voice on the wireless. “Jump!”
As the FTL affect gathered, she saw one of the atlas carriers explode under fire. The rest of the ship seesaw jump away before the Mercury was the last ship out. The mission has been successful. On day 250 at the second cylon war, a major victory has been achieved.
* * *
Two days after the battle: The model number one known as Cavil had a chain on his neck. His feet were shackled and he shuffle along very slowly. He was brought into the CIC in the Battlestar Athena to a strange looking device, filled with goo and lit up by red and white lights.
The interrogator pointed to it and spoke roughly to the Cylon humanoid model. “What is this?”
“It’s a hand
sanitizer,” answer Cavil. “Your human ships are such a
disgusting germ factories we decided we needed to keep ourselves
clean when we operated the ships.” He dipped his hands in to the
goo and demonstrated. He made the motions with his hands as if he
was washing them.
“You’re such a freaking liar,” the interrogator snarled. These are all wired into the communication network of the ship.”
“You’re right you caught me,” the model one said. “I just transmitted our coordinates to the Cylon empire. They will be jumping to this location to destroy you as soon as they receive the signal.”
“Frack you!” The
interrogator slapped the model one across the tour and ordered him
dragged out of the room back to the detention center.
“You neglected to tell
him that all the Communications gear on the ship is shut down,”
the engineer in charge of the refit smiled.
“He thought he sent this message, and I got quite a confirmation that this is a Cylon data network. We are going to rip these out of both ships and take them to the lab for study.”
The Cylon model number one was developing a very large bruise on his face when he was brought into the laboratory with Commander Lawson. He smiled when he saw her enter the lab. For all these days she was still wearing the Cylon jewelry he called it. The metallurgy was beyond human science.
“Can you take this off me?” She asked in a shaky voice and she commanded herself to remain calm.
“What’s in it for me?” He asked with a sneer on his face.
“We can improve your conditions in prison.”
He laughed hardly at that remark. How about this,” he continued He laughed hardly at that remark. How about this,” he continued “how about I get the Frack you again?”how about I get the Frack you again?”
“As I’m sure you know your people fuck with my body and my mind quite enough. I moved on to other challenges in life.”
“Well then we have an impasse. You could take me off suicide watch and let me kill myself and then I wake up in a new body full of intelligence for the Cylons.”
“Does that process hurt?” She asked curiously.
“I’ve been through it twice,” he said see me to be honest in his tone. “I was killed during war games preparing for the assault on the colonies. The process was pretty painful. Then I was unlucky during the attacks and killed again on Sagitarron. It felt like a white hot poker going through my skull. Why do you ask?”
“I was wondering if it was more painful than if we tortured you do every day for 12 hours a day what kept you alive.”
“We are programmed to resist such measures,” he said in a matter of fact tone.
“Well we will be testing my theory very shortly if you don’t cooperate and get this freaking thing off me. We’ve studied it we know it’s got a thumbprint reader or fingerprint reader. Question is is a keyed to your fingerprint? I wonder if it works if we cut your fingers off?”
“All right I’ll take better food and a larger cell if I take it off you right now. You were right it is key to my fingerprint only my model can release you. It’s also in collecting data all your conversations and transmitting it surreptitiously to the Cylon command.”
“It did not seem to help you when we took those to Battlestar’s away from you.” That was looking pride on her face.
“I want to get up slowly and reach up and put my finger on the fingerprint reader of the device. Please tell your goons not to shoot me.”
She motion to the Marines in the next room behind one way mirror to remain calm. “Do it slowly” she said.
He reached up and he put his finger print on a seemingly flat section of the metal of the collar. He held it there for five seconds and he put a second finger on the reader. The device made a noise and cracked open.”
“Take your hand away,” she said sharply. He immediately withdrew.
Completed the process of removing the device and laid it down on the table. “I don’t suppose you’ll tell us how this thing works?” He asked.
“For that I’d have to get a promise of being resurrected back home. Not part of our initial deal here.” He moved his hand and touched her on the nape of her neck.
The motion was so casual the Marines were not alerted until she collapsed onto the floor. Her eyes were vacant she look like she looked and we got PTSD flashback episode. Wislie put his hands in the air and step away from her.
The Marines hit him in the face and shoulder with the rifle butts. In 30 seconds they tuned him up and broke his jaw. They were very protective of their commander.
Commander Lawson woke up in her quarters two hours later with Dr. Farragut by her side. Her voice , “what happened?”
“Most likely some kind of post about suggestion program into you while you were in captivity. We can work on this together and find out what the trigger is what appears to be being touched in certain parts of your body.”
“There may be some things I’m never going to enjoy again doc?” she asked.
“Your work on it together” she said.
* * *
Commander Lawson groused and she
struggled to get into her dress gray uniform. What possible reason
that the peoples counsel want her to testify. She made a request for
additional manpower to crew the ships that have been taken from the
enemy. The word manpower was a phrase that had been dropped centuries
ago but that’s how she thought of it. It was the way they talked on
She had asked Cory Brooks so she needed
to bring a lawyer. The leader of the peoples counsel clearly had
negative thoughts about Lawson. But she just laughed laughed and
smiled and said just come and we will listen to your case.
The lights were hot, and Commander
Lawson stood stiffly in her dress gray uniform at the podium. This
was her opening statement. “The capture of the two mercury class
Battlestar’s, the Acropolis and the Athena along with nearly 100
abandoned warships from the Virgon junk yards was a significant
“I would remind you though that
due to corruption and failure to fulfill military contracts
stretching over five decades, these junkyards were available to us
together in the warships. For decades they were being used by the
enemy to collect information on our technology. Our corruption was
being used to kill us.”
“The current colonial fleet
consists of 70 warships, and two mercury class battle stars. We have
approximately 15,000 persons under arms. What we have taken from the
enemy will double our firepower. Our fire power will only be
increased if we find conscript the people we need to crew these
It was then the commander Lawson
realized she was in a auditorium. This was not where Council meetings
normally occurred. There was an audience. She looked around and she
paused and fumbled with her notes. There must be 10,000 people in
this room. That makes this room at target. His ideology idea was it
assembled as many people in one place?
“It will take six months to get all the ships ready for battle. At that moment we need 15,000 or more likely 20,000 persons in the colonial fleet to crew ships. I urge this council to give appropriate funding and resources to the colonial fleet, and to extend the draft to give us the people we need to fly the ships. We have the opportunity to watch an offensive against the enemy and drive the Cylon from our home systems. I know these worlds are not habitable, but they belong to us!”
The peoples council composed of 50
representatives chosen by population districts. The majority leader
stood up spoke with Lawson concluded.
He was an older man, between 60 and 70
years old with a patricians look and snow white hair. “The
Council has voted on extending the draft and has rejected it,” he
said. “The reason for rejection is a draft is no longer
necessary. I believe we have sufficient volunteers in the assembly
Hall. Well at least half of what we need.”
His gestures were grand, the consummate politician. “Do we have any volunteers to join the colonial fleet and win the war against the Cylons?”
One high voice from the bleacher seats
rang out. It was a young woman perhaps twenty years old. “I
volunteer to fly wipers or do any jobs that the colonial fleet needs
Another voice rang out, “I
volunteer to join the colonial fleet!” The second voice was that
of a shockingly built middle-age man.
Then the room shock as every other
voice chat in near unison. “So say we all!”
Again. “So say we all!”
Cory Brooks stood up and walked to her
lectern. “I have reluctantly excepted the resignation of Admiral
Cobb due to health reasons.”
“I am happy to announce on this the 283rd day of the second Cylon war the commander in chief position at the colonial fleet is being given to Commander Eva Lawson. The commander of the colonial fleet should not be a commander. Colonial law is that if we commander should have the rank of Admiral. Admiral Lawson you are out of uniform kindly step down to the lectern and receive your admiral stars.”
Lawson was so shocked she remain frozen
at her lectern for nearly a minute. She felt like she was floating
and she walked down and received her admirals stars.
She whispered to herself. “I’ve
given up on these along time ago.”
Far across the galaxy, Baltar was
It had not pleased anyone in the chain
of command that Commander Lawson had ordered the ship yard moved. The
location was picked to be convenient to the resources that were
required to build ships.
The :big three” as Lawson, Ramirez
and Cobb were referred to as were concerned that the Cylons had
guessed the location of the shipyard by tracking the ships that
brought in raw materials for ship building.
A worse possibility was that the Cylons
were tracking the mining ships and other cargo ships that routinely
visited the facility.
What put fear in their hearts was the
possibility the Cylons were tracking the station itself. This jump
was designed to eliminate some of the possibilities.
The facility has been designed to jump
with ships under construction. All material shipments were stopped
temporarily. Ship production suspended for a few days. Some retooling
was necessary because they wanted to build civilian transports. The
idea was to get the population of the colonies mobile so they could
be moved out of the range of influence of the Cylon military.
The workers were happy for some time
off building. They kept working but we’re dedicating themselves to
maintenance of equipment. It’s been almost 6 months since the
colonies have been destroyed and the shipyard have been running at
full tilt ever since it was assembled. The workers needed some time
to work on their tools and complete deferred maintenance.
The fleet that had beaten the Cylon
force designated as the virus fleet run through the shipyard for a
quick repairs on armor and major issues.
Commanders Lawson and Ramirez took the
their forces out of DRADIS range of the shipyard. Their intent was to
ambush the fleet that jumped in. For several days they continued
doing maintenance and repairs inside most of the ships. They
maintained a high level of readiness. Instead of the normal alert
five vapors maintain an entire squadron flying combat air patrol
known by the acronym CAP.
The Mercury and Saturn jumped away
periodically to take on ore and raw materials.Staffed by nearly two
hundred unhappy civilian draftees, the ships Viper manufacturing
facilities were put to work, building Mark seven vipers for the
When five days after arrival the DRADIS
began to chip, announcing the arrival of the Cylons, they were ready.
Ramirez looked at her readiness screen, she had three Valkyrie class
support battlestars and an aging Manticore in her fleet.
Lawson’s group consisted of the
Mercury, the Solaria Jupiter mk2 ship, a defender and two Celestra;s
equipped with extra ammunition an drones to strengthen armor.
Lawson and Ramirez were on the wireless
chatting on the DRADIS announce the arrival of the cylon fight.
“That’s twice as big as the flight
we took last week,” Ramirez warned.
“Natural vipers order the shipyard
to jump immediately.” The commander froze for a moment as if she
was not present. She quickly shook her head and she looked at Dr.
Farragut who was in the CIC observing her price patient. “Second
issue on throughout the fleet attack plan alpha. We’re gonna do this
the same way that we did last time. I set up a flak wall for they’ve
never imagined and let them waste their missiles on it.”
As well as their hair but they have the
wireless transmission of the wipers and capital ships on speaker.
They heard the announcement of the Valkyries formed up and began to
target incoming cylon Raiders and muscles with a very solid defensive
At least 20 Salem squadrons what
identified. Missiles came in by the hundreds missiles came in by the
hundreds. Several points over 1000 missiles were inbound.
Nearly a dozen nuclear weapons came in,
but with slight course corrections the colonial fleet managed to
detonate them with their flag fields.
The fight or battle continued until
most of the papers were out of ammunition. As planned they were
recalled and that relaunched as the remaining Cylon Raiders were easy
to pick off with the point defense guns.
Seven minutes into the battle one of
the Valkyries was hacked. She began to lose defensive systems in
Commander Ramirez did not hesitate. “Have that ship jump out of
here immediately” she said emergency jump now!”
DRADIS operator reported. “Two Cratus
ships spotted. They are targeting the Solaria.
“Turning on them for 90°. Port
90° bring the fruit cans to bear switch to salvo mode.” Lawson
looked little bit confused as she was having trouble focusing.”
Minutes later the Solaria it was
targeted. “Solaria reports heavy damage armor bravo in forward
and several sections. There they believe they might lose the ship.”
“Execute emergency jump now.
Solaria actual this is mercury actual jump now. Do not hesitate jump
The commander began squeezing a pain in
her right hand until it cracked in two pieces.
The destruction of the first gigantic
base star was announced. Alone now Lawson ordered another gradual
turn to meet the second beefy ship. She saw fire pouring in from the
three Valkyries and the Saturn as seconds later the second giant ship
not seen since the first Cylon war went up in a fireball.
Most of the Cylon fleet were out of
missiles now. Two ships continue to pump out missiles educational
nuclear weapon. Commander Lawson marked those two ships on her
display. “Those would be Argos they seem to have a huge
ammunition supply. All ships concentrate your fire and the two
targets wee just designated. Priority one.“
“Splash Argos number one. “Someone
in the CIC announced. A minute later at the second Argos and it’s
seemingly inexhaustible supply of nuclear weapons and missiles ceased
to be a threat.”
“All we have left our Cerebes
carriers and base stars with no missiles. We’re taking heavy fire
from the carriers sir. We’ve got a hull breach, scratch that several
hull breach and internal casualties. Whole integrity 80% sir.”
Commander Lawson glanced at where Dr.
Farragut have been standing. She noted that the doctor had the good
sense to get a sick day or a casualties would be coming in by the
dozens and she would be needed to do triage and what was described by
many surgeons as a meatball surgery.”
Suddenly as it began the battle was over. The Cylon fleet was devastated and completely destroyed. Casualty reports came in. They have lost a Defender class worship and one of the Celestras. A few minutes later the report came in that the Solaria had suffered over 200 casualties when its armor had been breached. The ship was saved and undergoing emergency repairs.
* * *
Lawson and Ramirez watched the civilian
chase camera feed of a battle. Two battlestar’s, Mercury class and
seven relics Heracles class met in battle.
There were ten ships on the Colonial
side. They were initially confused by the Colonial signals, but
formed up and launched vipers when they realized the transponder
codes were fake.
“Why the frak didn’t they jump. Our
standing orders are to jump when faced with a superior force?”
“They are taking the wrong course.
The dive is good, but they need to remain out of the firing arch of
the Heracles.” Lawson was angry. She had taught them better than
It was a spectacular end for the nine
warships, three Minataur, three Adamant’s, three Valkyries and an
aging Atlas carrier.
“Frak me! I want every ship pulled
off the line and I want a meeting with every CO and XO in the fleet.”
“Stagger it?” Ramirez asked. “Three
“Send my frakking orders. You see a
superior force, you bug the frak out.”
* * *
The entire front calm down the next few days waiting for the official end of the cease fire.
Commander Eva Lawson shut her self up
in her room.
She skipped duty in CIC for three days.
XO Simmons gently press the door buzzer in quarters and surprisingly
he was allowed in.
“Commander,” he said gently
you have been missed in CIC.
She was dealing with the utmost concentration at the footage the civilians made of the battle that had destroyed 10 precious warships and several thousand crew. She went through the footage frame by frame looking for clues.
“Is this what you’ve been doing
the past three days?” Simmons asked.
“Pretty much,” she said. “Dr.
Farragut has been down to see me every day for an hour of therapy.
She seems to think I’m kind of crazy.”
What was clear is that the commander
was not taken care of herself. Her hair was not washed, meal set not
eaten on the desk. The monitor showed several different angles from
several different civilian ships that captured excellent footage of
“Has this ever happened before?
The Cylons using colonial worships?” My grandmother was an
admiral in that fleet but I just don’t have a firm grasp on every
tactical operation that was fought for a war that lasted over 10
“I minored in history of the
Academy,” Simmons replied. They did use colonial vessels for a
number of decoy operations some military some civilian. But they
apparently never captured something on the scale like to Mercury
“Athena and acropolis were under
construction at scorpion shipyards. So is the Saturn for that matter.
None of those three shifts are ready for action. Therefore the reason
we found the Saturn intact was because the enemy intended to use it.
What if they plan to use all three?”
“What can we do about it now asked
“Well I guess we have to destroy
it, that entire fleet.”
“I’ve actually been wondering
commander,” he thought out loud, “why has there been a
standstill between our two forces.”
“Well,” Lawson said. “They may be licking their wounds. They did not expect our task force to take out five of those Heracles. I can’t give the order to start planning the destruction of those two ships. I’m not exactly sure why.”
“Well they’re not bothering
anybody right now.” Simmons forgot himself and started to pace
around the messy quarters of her of his commander. “I mean we could
it would destroy them.”
“What are the alternatives to
destroying those ships?” Lawson’s eyes lit up.
“If we ignore them they’ll use
them again and ambush another one of our flights. So ignoring them is
not an option. We can’t take the ships away from the Cylons we just
don’t have enough Marines.”
“What did you say Major Simmons?”
“I don’t know what did I say?”
The blonde 30-year-old looked dumbfounded.
“Repeat the last sentence you just
said word for word.” She ordered. She began to pick through them
play the food on her desk and start eating for the first time in
“We can’t take the ships away from
the Cylons we just don’t have enough Marines.”
“I just read a report that said we
had two thousand marines. Was I hallucinating?”
“No Sir,” Major Simmons replied.
“We have 2976 active duty marines scattered throughout the fleet.”
“Do we have enough raptors Major?”
“I know why I can’t order the
destruction of those two Battlestars Bill.”
The admiral argued against it,
Commander Ramirez argue against it. Nothing could stop Cory Brooks in
her desire to go forward with the cease fire. Truth be told the
colonial fleet, disorganized and undermanned needed some time off.
They need to repair their ships. More than that they needed to train
The heavy casualties at the battle with
the base star fleet were attributed to a lack of training especially
of the crews on the doomed adamant frigates.
As it turned out they were substantial
number of berserk carriers and adamant frigates that have been
converted for civilian use. These were very easy to upgrade and arm.
Spare parts were very easy to retrieve,
because the cylons never attacked the junkyards. In the first 30 days
of the cease-fire, a lot of training was done a lot of missions were
run to retrieve spare parts from the junkyard around the colonies.
The cease fire agreement was
surprisingly detailed and one of them allowed and did not allow.
A line has been drawn three
dimensionally conceding that the cylon had control of the 12
colonies. This was designated as occupied territory. The colonial
fleet was allowed to run recon missions, so long as they were lightly
armed and did not include heavy warships. Everyone knew that the
colonies was a good source for spare parts.
There was a prohibition against
movement of heavy ships in and out of the colonies. From the tiny
berserk all the way up to the mercury class Battlestar all heavy war
ships were restricted from the colonies.
A fierce argument a fierce argument
broke out over the patrols that the cylons were allowed in the 12
colonies. They claim to be facing a rebellion on several worlds.
Peoples Council Executive Cory Brooks allowed the enemy they have two
base stars per colony to defend against incursions.
The admiral was very angry about this
provision, because it allowed the enemy to concentrate their forces
and wipe out the rebellions that were known to exist on Caprica,
Scorpia, and several other Colonies.
He argued that this was a sell out to
the brave souls that stood up against the cylon might. Unfettered,
the enemy would be able to wipe out these rebellions without fear of
retaliation from the new colonial fleet.
She successfully argued that if the
enemy did not get any benefit from the cease-fire, there would be no
An enormous amount of territory was
designated off-limits to all cylon fleet movements. Both sides
realized that the other would violate the agreement. In order to rest
and repair their forces, they agreed on rules of engagement.
The colonials were allowed to attack
any vessel in their territory. The amount of territory was large
enough that the executive felt it was possible to hide the civilian
settlements. The supply runs to the colonies of unarmed, lightly
protected salvage ships was tolerated. Both sides were building up to
the next confrontation.
Commander Eva Lawson was nowhere to be
seen. She left her ship in the command of her new XO William Bill
Simmons. She was in a military hospital that was set up a location
that the civilian government was not aware of.
She had promised her friend Maria
Ramirez that she would get help. She was not judged the most
cooperative patient. She didn’t want to talk about her flashbacks.
She didn’t wanna talk about her indiscretions before the war. She
really doesn’t want talk about anything.
Psychotherapy sessions sometimes
consisted of her staring into space. She could easily fall into a
PTSD flashback. Sometimes during the sessions with the
psychotherapist, she would come out of a flashback in tears, drenched
Finally, two weeks into the cease-fire
fire, Lawson gave in and started talking about her experiences. The
cylon’s were particularly concerned with the mis treatment of one of
their model sixes that was captured about the Battlestar Pegasus,
early in the war.
They had wanted Lawson to feel the same
punishment physical, and psychological as their six was undergoing on
This had involved a lot of physical
abuse. Sometime she was assaulted a dozen times a day. To mess with
her mind they change the cycle of days and nights. She had no idea
how many hours were in a day. She knew that for about 12 hours a day
she was left alone in the cold.
Some of the cylon models and argued
against this torture. They had said this because the humans had done
this to the sex, it did not justify stooping to their level. The
sixes and the eights were very angry about this and there was this
unity among the cylon.
Model number one, the Cavil, would not
hear of any change in the regimen. The long cold nights sometimes
lasted 18 hours.
Sometime she would be continually
assaulted for 24 hours. Memories came back to her of her screaming
and begging for mercy. She had been very angry with herself for
giving in and letting them force of the beg.
She was angry with herself for not
being strong enough to resist. After all these assaults were no
different than when she done consensually and she had ruined her
career many times over prior to the fall of the 12 colonies.
Her therapist tried to tell her that
although the assaults we’re often sexual in nature, but they were not
about sex. They were about control and domination and the cylon
attempt to break her.
She realize they have been completely
successful. Their goal has been to send her back to the colonial
fleet broken. Perhaps that even program triggers into her through
manipulation of her memories. She remembered sessions being connected
to resurrection equipment.
The memories of her time in cylon
custody may have been false. Although she had a physical scars of
assault it was possible that they have changed her memories of the
time in custody and perhaps even her 41 years of life before being
She asked her therapist how could she
be sure of any of her memories. The answer came she could not be sure
but much of it could be verified. A copy of the colonial fleets
database has been taken. They were written and visual records.
She encouraged to look at the visual
records. As these verified her memories of her time in the colonial
fleet, she felt less broken. Her confidence came back. By the third
week of a cease-fire, she was having less frequent flashbacks.
Surprised she was talking about the flashbacks helped.
There was a training incident that
happened when she was very young. This memory was very strong in her.
It involved off duty mis-behavior.
She had remembered being written up for
her behavior. She had earned a demerit. There was no record in the
colonial database of this incident. Her service record made no
mention of it.
The psychotherapist had made it clear
that the memory was a strange thing. People often remember incidents
in the way they understood them. People experiencing the same thing
at the same time came away with very different memories. It was part
of the human condition memory it was not precise.
There was no reason to be upset about
inaccuracies in the memory. Entire incidents could’ve happened and
not been documented. As it turned out there were several incidences
during her career that she knew have been written up. As a matter
fact it has never been entered into the database by commander who
wished to cut her a break and did not want her to be slut shamed.
One of the flashbacks involved her
turning over the tactical details of how a mercury class Battlestar
operated in offensive mode. It upset her greatly that she would have
even thought about discussing these things. It was possible that this
memory was planted in her.
The resurrection technology that they
used to alter her memories was designed for cylon synapses not human.
There could be damage, there could be conflicting memories and
there’s nothing to do about it other than deal with it. The
psychotherapist at the end of week three so that they would be daily
sessions for the rest off the cease-fire.
The therapist had actually done a four
year stint in the colonial Fleet. She was technically in the reserves
and she arranged for her self to be called up. She was also a medical
doctor and will always be useful on the Battlestar.
She thought the doctor Jameson was a
hack, but pledged to work with him as she was given the rank of
captain. He was a major and was in charge of his sick bay.
The sessions will continue until both
parties agreed that we needed to stop. The doctor put her self on 24
x 7 availability. Anytime that commander Lawson needed to talk Dr.
Farragut would be available. Commander Lawson wondered how the doctor
would do during triage after a battle.
It was a cozy arrangement that seemed
just like a bolstering of the medical corps.
“Why would you give up your
practice?” Asked Lawson.
“Well to be honest with you I’m
not getting paid anyway. There is no currency system right now. There
is no economy other than the black market. At least working for the
colonial fleet I might get some money in my account when this war
“The outcome of this war is not
likely to be good,” said Lawson.
“I have faith that if we’re going
to survive you’re gonna have a hand in it commander Lawson,” the
doctor answered. “We created this mess don’t forget.”
* * *
Day 218 of the second cylon war. Day 25
of the first cease-fire.
The early morning meeting was
disorienting because the shipyard was hidden in a dark corner of a
solar system with no life in it. It was called for 5 o’clock in the
morning, which disrupted ships routine. After the capture of
Commander Lawson several months ago, commanders travelled with a bit
of an escort.
Today’s escort was five assault
raptors. There were two recon raptors further confuse any attempts to
kidnap a senior colonial officer.
“There had better be coffee at
this meeting,” Amanda Ramirez remarked as she walked through the
door into the admirals office.
Is it for which should become a command
a table was set out with pastries in the finest coffee available in
the colonial fleet. Ramirez dug in, securing two pastries for herself
and a cup off coffee with generous portions of sugar and creamer.
Commander Lawson yawned and stretch
your arms in the air. This is not the most professional way to enter
a meeting, but she was not trying to act professional. She was trying
to express her annoyance at a 5 AM meeting.
“I am sorry I had to schedule this
meeting so early. The situation has developed rather quickly. We are
spotted a cylon fleet that is moving through our territory under the
cease fire. It is a big one. Under the terms of the cease-fire we
have a right to destroy it.”
“If you’re asking my opinion I
think we should slam it. It’s obvious to me that the fuel shortage
that we thought we were creating was an illusion presented to us by
the cylons. If they are moving fleets around, they are setting up for
an attack, probably after he cease-fire expires.”
“Wait a minute,” Lawson ran a hand
thorough her black, tightly curled hair. “This is what we have
spotted. They could already have other fleets in our sector.”
“Wouldn’t we have spotted it?”
Asked the admiral.
“Space is vast and inhospitable.
There is no way we can set up a sensor network that they can spot the
enemy ships. Plus with FTL technology they can jump a considerable
distance into our territory without our knowing it.”
“How is this possible?” Asked
“The cylons possess superior jump
technology. They can jump further than we can with our technology. It
takes much fewer jumps to get to the colonies using their technology
than ours,” said Ramirez.
Admiral Cobb sighed, “What are the
implications of us breaking the cease-fire?”
“That is a political question. The
agreement allows us to attack silent forces and motion on our side of
the armistice line we spotted at four so we need to eliminate that
force.” Lawson was not liking the stress of this meeting
“We need to know the scope of the
problem. We need to get a massive recon net out there so we can find
and see how much trouble we are in. We may need to pick up and run
if they have infiltrated us with superior forces.” Admiral Cobb
ended his statement.
“Let’s hit the fleet we are tracking
while we escalate the search for any fleets we missed.” Lawson
“This is going to require approval
from Cory Brooks,” Admiral Cobb said. “I am going to have the
intelligence bureau write up an assessment. You two interview our
* * *
“Absolutely not,” Corey
Brooks said emphatically. She brought her hand down on the desk
making a very loud bang. “I am not going to be the first to
break the cease-fire.”
“We are not the ones that broke
the fire. The toasters did that when I sent this week across the
line. Our doing is enforcing the conditions of the cease-fire
“Did you ever stop to think that
maybe the cylon perceive themselves as injured party here?”
“No I didn’t. They destroyed our
civilization and left our worlds a nuclear wasteland they massacred
billions of people. Why should they be the aggrieved party here?”
“We created them,” Books
began. “We created them as slaves and did not understand when they
“When your washing machine breaks
down,” the admiral answered. “We don’t send it out for
therapy. We throw it away we buy a new one. The Cylons are no
“Our washing machines did not
rebel spark a 10 year war and then 40 years in exile only to return
and destroy us. The Cylons may have had grievances as to how they
were treated. Perhaps if we can come to an understanding with them
and stop the killing.”
“Peoples council executive Cory
brooks you are insane. Battlestar wears out we destroy it or make it
into a museum. We don’t ask it how it feels about being taken apart
and melted down we just do it.”
“He’s appliances,” Brooks
continued “Have evolved and taken human form. They walk they talk
they breathe they bleed. Things are different than they were at the
beginning of the cylon war.”
“If you weeks ago, you were in
favor of exterminating them. You ordered a raid to deprive them of
fuel and destroy their fleet as they sat in shipyard unable to move.
That was the right call then. unfortunately we weren’t ready to do
the job. It is the right call now.”
“No,” Brooks said forcefully.
“You may not attack. You may send a force to intercept them and
order them to comply with agreement and return to cylon territory. If
they refuse then you can attack them.”
“That is asinine,” The
admiral replied angrily. “We have to be used both of the mercury
glass Battlestar is to be able to overcome this force. To announce
ourselves takes away the element of surprise. We need to pounce on
them like a lion on prey.”
“All right,” she said. “How
about this. Intercept him with a force recon. That’s like a squadron
of assault raptors. Let them know they face attack if they don’t
return to their territory.”
“Do you know Miss Brooks in time
of war I don’t need authorization to attack a threatening target. You
are not president of the colonies. You’re the executive of the
People’s Council. However I don’t want to cooperation between the
military and the civilian government just end. So will send our force
recon and see what the Cylons do. My guess is they’re going to shoot
* * *
On day 219 of the second cylon or a
force recon consisting of five we can Raptors 30 assault Raptors
jumped in the location of the cylon fleet. They broadcast on all
frequencies a warning to return to their own territory or face
There was no reply. I did not shoot.
They activated their FTL drives and jumped. The entire fleet
disappeared in under 10 seconds. Commander air group (CAG) Of the
mercury, call sign Jaybyrd was at a loss to explain behavior. They
were caught red-handed. They had more than enough Raiders to wipe out
the weekend for us. They did nothing.
This led to a 9 AM meeting on a
decrepit old freighter, The council of three they were called, the
Admiral and commanders of the mercury class Battlestars.
* * *
“So do we know where the jumped?”
“No,” Ramirez” replied, “but
we do know where they didn’t jump. We have Monitoring in about 150
systems. We tagged one of the base stars with a tracker. They are not
currently in the 12 colonies or the 150 systems we currently
“How are we sure this track or even
worked?” Cobb asked.
“We tag the nemesis cruiser that
the Cavil that negotiated with Miss Brooks. We’ve tracked it through
15 jumps. It’s currently at Caprica. The device is very small,
penetrates the armor. It’s about the size of a bullet from a hand
weapon. I can’t say for sure they didn’t detect it.”
On cue there was a beeping sound that
sounded like a mobile phone. Commander Ramirez called what looked to
be a mobile phone out of her pocket and check the message on it. “We
have located the cylon fleet. It is at Scorpia.”
“That’s technically a violation of
the seas fire agreement,” Commander Lawson noted. Jumping to the
colonies is not an option. It’s too far away from our logistics hubs
to support a battle.”
Admiral Cobb handed over a small USB
disk. “This is technical data on the cylon FTL technology. You
should be able to predict their maximum jump range. Draw a sphere on
the map and see what systems are close to the line.”
Always the information technology
wizard, Ramirez attached to drive to her phone. Then she input some
instructions. “Admiral what is the encryption key to your
He worked a keyboard for several
seconds and answered your question. A three dimensional map came up
on the monitor which he turned around to show the two commanders.
“Our most valuable asset is the
shipyard,” Lawson said. “If this date is correct they can
do it in 1 Jump straight from Scorpia.”
“Then that is where we will set
our ambush,” the admiral said. “Put together a heavy fleet and
be waiting for them when they arrive.”
* * *
Day 221 of the second
cylon war. Day 28 of the first cease-fire.
They jumped in as two distinct fleet
groups. One was led by Commander Lawson, the other by Commander
Ramirez. After they both jumped in they saw the DRADIS was clean.
“This is Saturn actual calling for
Mercury actual.” The speaker crackled with static.
Lawson picked up a headset and put it
on her head. “This is Mercury actual.”
“You know when I was a kid I could
used to pretend to be a Battlestar commander,” Ramirez said on
the wireless. “I never dreamed with a career in IT that I would
actually achieve that childhood goal.”
“Same here,” Lawson replied.
“Galactica. I was always Galactica
“Galactica was my first choice
also. Sometimes my brother made me take the original Pegasus the
Jupiter Mark one version.”
“Commander Lawson,” Ramirez
asked “What is our readiness profile going to be?”
“I’m going to rotate a squadron of
75 vipers with pilots in their seats ready to launch.”
“That is what we should do as
well. We each have six squadrons now so we can minimize the fatigue
on the pilots.”
“Also lets put some distance between
the jump in point and our deployment,” Commander Lawson suggested.
“I have noticed it is easier to take their fleets apart if we force
them to send their fast ships forward without enough backup.”
“Yes Sir,” Ramirez answered.
Six hours passed. Then 12 hours, then
18 hours, then 24. During hour 26, the DRADIS lit up with 10 targets.
“All right all birds in the air.”
Lawson ordered. “Form a picket line and let the cylons get hammered
by flak before they join the fighter battle.”
“All ships are launching, coming into
formation.” Major Simmons reported.
“500, no 700 missiles inbound.” the
tactical officer warned.
The new XO started to take the
initiative. “All ships confirm full defensive posture and flak
“Steady,” Lawson said softly.
For the next four minutes the radio
chatter reported inbound missiles, nuclear weapons and pilot chatter.
The pilots took out a few nuclear weapons, but mostly battled the
Cylon fighters. There were several remarks about older Cylon ships
The raiders were suddenly gone, all
destroyed and the pilots started goin after the warships. There was a
Nemesis destruction, followed by a few Phobos. When a Cerebes carrier
was engaged, Lawson gave the order.
“Break formation, keep flak up, start
offensive operations with the Battlestars.”
Ten minutes later the last Cylon ship a
first war Argos was demolished.
“Recall all birds,” Lawson ordered.
“Damage reports to the XO.”
The Commander clicked on her wireless.
“Give me Saturn actual.”
“What next?” she asked. There were
a lot of voices shouting in the background.
“They may be tracking the shipyard,”
Lawson said. “Jump it to a new location. We will set up another
The meeting gave new relevance to the
word clandestine. Admiral Cobb had to take two raptors in order to
get to the meeting Place and a dark wind swept plain on a forgotten
world that no one had bothered to chart.
Walking with a cane he slowly exited
the raptor and shuffled up along path to the coordinates of the
meeting. It was almost a kilometer walk which was very hard for him
with his neurological condition. At the top of the hill was a shack.
It was colonial military issue but might’ve been here for at least 50
He saw a raptor parked closer to the
shack I noticed in the sky they were two assault Raptors patrolling
As instructed he knocked three times in
the door and waited for the answer. A very large man, the typical
military muscle contractor open the door and I see him in to see the
executive other peoples counsel seated at the table a cup of hot tea
in her hand. Cory Brooks was dressed for a meeting with a fashion
Cobb recognized a designer blouse that
his wife could not have because it was out of their income bracket.
He made a mental note of this fact because it was obvious that she
was benefiting from the perquisites of political office. That might
be something he could use in the future. She had appointed him to his
position and that’s why there was nothing stopping her from demanding
anything she wanted from him.
She was a known quantity and that gave
him some advantage. The silence that bit of news filter from the
second front which was followed by Galactica and Pegasus became
obvious that there was a president of the colonies as per the
succession act on the day of the attacks.
Nobody knew how to reach out to or
communicate with Laura Roslyn, but it was theoretically possible.
Perhaps the cylons would let slip a detail that would allow the
reunification of the Colonies.
During the repair of the mercury and
the trials of the Saturn, military operations were scaled-back. They
return to the hit-and-run style that we got the rebellion during the
days after the military destruction of the 12 colonies.
The admiral was deep in thought as the
executive of the peoples council offered him a cup of tea which he
gladly accepted it in the cold.
If there was just some way of reaching
the real president of the colonies, Cory Brooks would lose her power
to make military appointments.
“You called this meeting Miss
Brooks,” the admiral said after a sip of tea.
“We are waiting for other guests,”
she responded. Her face was unreadable. She must be very good at
On que, there were three knocks on the
door. The contractor opened it and two women in military uniform
we’re standing at the door. In front of them was Commander Lawson,
still in a wheelchair a month after her return from captivity. A
designer scarf, a gift from the executive of the Peoples Council did
a bad job of hiding the piece of cylon jewelry that still adorned her
The lock had resisted all attempts to
pick it. The metal very much concerned the military science bureau to
due to its resistance to normal cutting tools. Even diamonds did
nothing against it. If the cylons found a way to incorporate this
into their armor it could upset the military balance.
It was a constant reminder of her
captivity and those long cold nights that never seem to end. These
were book ended by viscous assaults what she could still see when she
closed her eyes. She was barely able to function in her role as
commander, the most senior officer still commanding a Battlestar.
Granted there was not a great deal of
work to do supervising the repairs of the left flight pod and the
armory of the entire ship. Still eventually she would need to come
out in combat and her long silences during when she withdrew it to
her self disrupted her crew.
Commander Maria Ramirez has finally
passed her check ride in the Mark seven viper. The legally
questionable rule which has been passed by the People’s Coucil was
allowed to expire. Every Battlestar commander was a certified viper
or raptor pilot once again.
As temporary commander of the
Battlestar mercury she had an impressive record against the cylons.
It was well known that our military
record was under 10 years in length, as opposed to Commander Lawson
who had recently turned 42 years old and been in the military for 24
years. As damaged as she was, she was a figurehead that everyone
needed to maintain confidence in the colonial military. This military
had been stripped of all the senior officers on the day of the
attacks on the colonies. The most senior officer was nowhere to be
The Cylon’s had leaked word of Adama’s
promotion precisely because it undermined the authority of the
It was day 190 since the fall of the
“What I’m about to reveal to you
is not to go beyond this room.” Cory Brooks waited for them to
acknowledge by nodding.
“I have been negotiating with a
Cavill cylon model. We are close to instituting a cease fire that
will last for 30 days. We may choose to extend it, we may not.”
Commander Lawson had an impassive of
look on her face. It was impossible to tell whether she was connected
to the meeting or off in some flashback.
Admiral Cobb spoke first. “What makes
you think you can trust the cylons?”
Brooks cross their arms and spoke
carefully. “Nothing at all. Self interest. They’ve been hammered
lately. They passed some intelligence to me about a battle very far
off. He told me that when the humanoid models die they don’t actually
die. They get their souls or core memories uploaded to a server and
then download it into a new body.”
“That is the story our Cavil told
us while he was in detention, before the civilian government forced
us to surrender him.” Commander Ramirez added.
“You mean the one that was
freaking Commander Lawson?” Brooks clarified venom quite evident in
Commander Lawson gave her a dirty look
proving she was still connected with the conversation. She didn’t
speak up however. After a few seconds her eyes glazed over and she
was somewhere else.
“Do you know the committee did not
know he was a cylon,” Commander Ramirez defended her mentor and
“I know nothing of the sort,”
Brooks replied angrily. “But I do know is she has a history of bad
judgment throughout her career, leading in her relationship with the
Commander Lawson, speaking at a whisper
got everybody’s attention with her first words. “Then why don’t
you fire me?”
“There are a couple reasons for
that commander,” she said “the first of which we still believe is
justice. There needs to evidence to convict you of a crime in there
isn’t any. Secondly you are rallying point for a lot of the people
were fighting in our command.”
“It’s pretty obvious to me that
you’re not fit for command. You’re having flashbacks and you’re not
getting treated for PTSD. That being said your unit cohesion is of
more important then your physical or mental state. Admiral Cobb is
going to appoint each of you an XO. He is vetting candidates right
The admiral not at his acknowledgment.
“Cavill has convinced me that a
cease fire would be of mutual benefit. We have done substantial
damage to the cylon refinery network. We have hit several fleets
that had to be taken out of service for lack of fuel.”
She continued. “The obvious
advantage to us is that our forces have been degrading steadily over
the last three months. We need a cease fire in order to make repairs
and build up our fleet.”
Admiral cob spoke next. “A cease
fire will only be of benefit to us if we give attention to our
problems. We have far too few fighters in the colonial fleet right
“I will institute a universal draft
of our men and women who are fit and under the age of 40 and over the
age of 18 the first day of the cease-fire.” Brooks said.
“Will the peoples council
approve?” Ramirez asked.
“Honestly,” Brooks said. “I’m
not sure. The colonial military let us down 191 days ago in the
colonies were wiped out and nuked. Our own scientific surveys tell me
that even if we were to drive to cylons out of the 12 colonies we
would not be able to inhabit those worlds. We are going to have to
pick up and find a new home. The colonial military while being
praised for its bravery is also blame for this failure.”
“It is my belief,” said Admiral
Cobb. “The benefits of a cease-fire far exceed the risks. Our
forces are tired. Our readiness is degraded by damaged ships. We need
more like six months to build our forces up and train the recruits
this draft law will give us. Why are we here? We don’t need all this
cloak and dagger to simply agree to a cease fire.”
“Because the cylons are planning a
double crossing us.” She pulled a roll of paper out of her bag
next to her chair. She placed it on the table pushing aside several
cups of tea. It was a map of the sector with a photograph of a cylon
“Why did it’s not coming through our
military intelligence channels?” Commander Lawson asked. Her
eyes were suddenly focused.
“Because it came in from a
civilian survey that was looking for new worlds to spread our people
out. This was a test for a new ship to make sure it’s instrumentation
was working correctly. This is what we got.”
“If you know they are going to
double process why are you going to agree to the cease-fire?”
Lawson asked eyes focused intensely now.
“I’ve got enough intelligence from
you and my own sources to believe that the enemy has a very severe
fuel shortage. Militarily we have inflicted high casualties upon
their forces. I think they need a cease-fire because of the breakdown
in their network they use to transfer their souls are CPU cores into
new bodies. I think they need to rebuild this network to make sure
that when they die they don’t just die.”
“So you want to destroy this fleet
so they can’t ambush us?” Admiral Cobb asked.
“Indeed I do,” says the
council executive. “I also want to hit every single cylon force
anywhere near the territory we currently hold. I want to hammer their
fuel system again and make sure that it’s going to take them six
months to put it back together. Then we will announce the acceptance
of the cease-fire.”
“What makes you think they will
honor it after we hit them so hard?” asked Amanda Ramirez.
“It’s a gamble. A lot of their
fleet is out after Admiral Adama or wherever the Frack he is.”
“Our force readiness is under 50%
right now,” Admiral Cobb pointed out.
“I’ve got a group of former
colonial officers and NCOs about 2000 of which are willing to help
crew ships,” Brooks answered. “That should help a bit with
readiness. It’s up to you how many ships you send I think you’ll
need most of them though to pull this off. I think right now cease
fire with them ready to ambush us it’s a bad idea.”
“We need it either way. On the other
hand if we give them a good shellacking and really pound them hard it
might give us the breathing room to build a colonial fleet they can
actually defend us. I’m hoping that 30 days to come 60 days comes 90
days or more days. We have nearly 300,000 survivors from the 12
colonies. If we find world that can be inhabited and kept secret from
these appliance store rejects and I am in favor of disappearing and
hoping the cylons never catch up.”
Commander Lawson Who looked shaky now
spoke with an angry whisper. “We’re going to need to send them
The admiral stood up from his seat took
out what look like a mobile phone and click the button on it.
“Intelligence this is the admiral. I’m gonna send you some
survey coordinates. I need a detailed stealthy military survey. I
need to know if the forces we find at this location will stay there.
I need to know how long.”
He turned to Commander’s Lawson and
Ramirez. “We’re going to need both mercury classes to take a fleet
of the size. We’re almost done with the repairs on the mercury. We
need to divide up the airway and be ready to strike possibly within
24 hours. Can you do this?”
“Yes admiral,” Ramirez
answered for the two of them. “I believe we can. We need to get
the Intel down perfectly. We cannot have the jump coordinates be
wrong like they were the last time we tried to take out their fuel
“So say we all,” Eva Lawson
said in a scratchy voice.
“So say we all!” The other
* * *
Commander Lawson was absent. The rest
of the officers in the fleet group assigned to attack the cylon task
force were in the map room of the Battlestar Mercury. Four other
fleets had been formed. Their commanders were dialed in conference
Commander Ramirez gave the briefing.
“We have raptors at the site of each fleet. They’re in staff
mode but they have managed to get back to us but we believe are
accurate jump coordinates. There’s a lot more going on here that we
don’t understand. The suite is well supplied and ready to strike us.”
“We have gotten some close
readings and their fuel reserves are low. We believe they are waiting
for a fuel shipment to come from the refineries before launching an
attack on our shipyards. We are going to intercept that fuel shipment
and hit that fleet at the exact same time.”
“We are taking a huge risk here.
There are no reserves. There are no reinforcements to help us at this
battle goes south on us. ceae-fire is about to go into place. We have
to make sure they need to cease-fire more than we do. Are there any
A bald, middle-aged commander with
absolutely no hair on his head spoke up first. “We are going to
Frack them up.”
“So say we all!” said a shrill
A large strong group answered. “So
say we all!”
* * *
Commander Lawson was sitting on the
floor of her bedroom naked except for a towel draped across her
chest. “I can’t do this,” she said emphatically. “I need
“All you really need to do is be
in uniform in your wheelchair in the CIC. This is a scripted battle.
If it goes right you will need to do is follow the plan. We all know
“I have rarely seen a plan survive
first contact with the enemy. What’s going to happen if I freeze up
at a critical moment?”
“The fact that you’re asking that
question makes me believe it’s not going to happen,” Ramirez
answered. “If it does happen your new XO who is an experienced
officer will tell you what to say.I think your instincts are going to
kick in. You will probably go on automatic pilot.”
“I need help,” Lawson said
“Then during the cease-fire follow
the doctor’s orders and get your head straightened out. You are my
mentor and my inspiration. I have achieved what I have achieved using
you as a role model. I know he went through hell. I’m not gonna
minimize what happened. Do I have your solemn promise that you will
get help after this battle? Commander Lawson answer me!”
“Yes sir,” she said without
much force or conviction.
“I’m going to hold you to that
Commander Lawson looked at the flight
roster that they were going to go to battle with her eyes bulged for
a few moments.
“What happened to the Solaria?”
“She was ambushed by escorting a
civilian convoy and is at the shipyard.”
“That ship had spunk,”
Commander Lawson remarked. “What the hell is this?” she asked.
“Three Adamant frigates? What museum did they dig up these ships
“From what I hear there were six
of them in civilian service running with the full armor and still
“The fast chips will charge. Most of
the vipers will defend them against missiles and more hoping to get
range and too heavy damage to the enemy capital ships.”
“That could lead to extremely high
casualties.” Commander Lawson opined.
“This is a high-stakes mission
“Let’s revise the tactical
deployment to minimize casualties please,” Lawson ordered.
* * *
The tension was always greatest right
before the jump. A lot of things can go wrong. Being off by a few
decimals could result in a combat jump that instead of being a good
firing position put a fleet in the middle of a fire storm. This was
the portion of the battle that relied on good intelligence.
They had been fooled before so this
time I kept Raptors on the scene. This of course increase the chance
of getting caught and losing the raptor crew. This was a much lower
price to pay then using the tire for it.
This mission included both of the
Mercury class Battlestar’s and a substantial portion of their fire
power. The flight was escorted by three Valkyrie class support
Battlestar’s, three adamant class frigates who seen better days. Two
stealthy Orion class rounded out the fleet.
The countdown continued from 10 to 9 to
8 finally to zero. The feeling of falling followed by a white flash
of light and it with everybody staring at the displays above on the
“DRADIS is correct. Showing 10 enemy
ships three base stars, two a new configuration we’re not familiar
with. Three revenant class cruisers and one nemesis class recon
Commander Lawson was standing in CIC
and a pair of crutches. Her new executive officer a bland looking
young man nearly 30 years old. He had close cropped blond hair and
looked a marine wash out.
William Bill Simmons was his
forgettable as his 12 year career in colonial fleet. He topped out at
the rank of captain, developed a physical issue and washed out of the
viper CAG position he was holding.
He had gone to war College and was
nominally familiar with the operations of the various classes of
Battlestar’s when he left the fleet five years before. Where they dug
up this guy, Lawson did not know. She didn’t care much longer he
didn’t give it away or figure out that she was barely able to do her
“Launch all fighters except for
the Orion class hold him off for 12 more seconds then the clock and
“Vipers away,” the new
executive officer reported. “Looks like two squadrons of heavy
raiders is headed our way escorted by modern cylon Raiders. A lot of
them looks like 12 squadrons.”
“At least the intelligence was
correct on the number of modern base stars,” Lawson quipped, barely
able to control her emotions she looked stiff and hopefully like she
was in command.
“Lead elements are engaging. The
Orion’s, the adamant’s, and the Valkyries.”
There was a white flash blotted out one
of the video screens. “What was that?” asked Simmons.
“That was a 50 year old adamant class
frigate,” Lawson replied. She motioned for everybody be quiet
and listen to the radio frequency is by the vapors and the other
ships in a fleet.
It was a good way to follow the battle.
Several ships announced they were launching salvos of rockets at the
enemy ships. A viper pilot announced they have made kills. They heavy
raider squadrons were dispatched and we’re seconds by the mark seven
vipers. One of the Viper pilots announced that that was the end of
the boarding parties. Someone else announced that he should shut his
mouth and continue to shoot at the enemy.
A second frigate came under fire and
immediately exploded. Major Simmons stepped up next to Commander
lesson and whispered in her ear. “The adamant class has no forward
guns, in order to be a effective if we have to give them a
“The 3-D screen I’m looking at shows
that they got a broad side firing solution and they’re getting
demolished. Not doing any damage to the enemy. These crews were
simply not trained well enough before they were sent in a combat and
50 year old ships.” Lawson opined. “That goes number three.”
“That’s over 1000 Crew dead in a
little over a minute,” he was wide eyed.
The radio communications continued on
speaker. A kill was announced on the nemesis class recon scout. Soon
after that, a kill was announcing the revenant class. Soon after a
second was destroyed and then a third. The pilot that assisted
announced scratch three antique gun ships.
“Let’s concentrate on forward salvo
on those two new ships that look like kind of base stars.” Lawson
ordered. “Signal to Saturn,” she ordered. “Left 20°
main batteries fire when you have a solution.”
A base star exploded then two of the
new ships it look like modified base stars. One of the two Orion
class ships exploded in a fireball a few seconds later, surrounded by
hail of missiles.
Commander Lawson ordered a sharper
right turn to bring guns to bear in the last two bass stars and
assist in their destruction. Most of the work has been done by
fighters. Three Valkyrie class Battlestar is fired from below. One of
them took a missile hit and exploded.
Finally what seems like only a few
minutes the last two base stars exploded in sequence. The last one
lasted about 15 seconds longer than the first one.
“Mission complete,” Major
“What are losses what are our losses?”
Commander Ramirez asked over the wireless. An unknown voice answered
“Three frigates, one Orion class,
one Valkyrie class”
“DRADIS is clear,” another voice
“Order all orphaned fighters to
immediately land on our landing decks combat landings are authorized.
Holy Frick,” Commander Lawson announced. “These are damned
“We destroyed the fleet,”
Major Simmons said in a questioning voice.
“DRADIS! New contact. Ten ship fleet
same configuration.” There was a pause of about 10 seconds and
another fleet jumped in, followed by a third. “We’re out
numbered about 5 to 1 here sir!”
“Do all ships report FTL ready?”
asked Commander Lawson.
Major Simmons leaned over to speak with
the communications officer. He then raised his head and answer the
question. “All remaining ships show FTL Green. 17 fighters still
not on the landing deck. There’s been a collision on a port ventral
pod. Redirect fighters to other decks.”
“All ships ready to jump,” Major
Simmons was about to bark out the order to jump.
“Hold jump, I ordered you to
reconfirm the jump coordinates of all ships.” Lawson ordered and a
calm but commanding voice.
“I don’t know how you knew it sir
but the Spartan had the wrong jump coordinates input.”
“Get us the frack out of here
major!” Lawson ordered.
After the jump, the commander moved on
crutches a few steps to her waiting wheelchair. She motioned to Major
Simmons to come closer.
“I want a damage report and complete combat report from all surviving commanders, squadron leaders and commander air group. I will be in my quarters.”
Admiral Andrew Cobb sat in his office staring at the report of the recent battle. He did not know what to do about the situation. Cory Brooks had pressured him into launching the attack before he was ready. The intelligence and I’ve been verified thoroughly.
Although he had come out of the
Battlestar before his retirement, Cobb was not a very skilled
The Battlestar Mercury was disabled and
vulnerable. Emergency repairs were taking place on th port flight
Already in engineering estimate was on
his desk that indicated it would take up to eight weeks to bring the
Battlestar back into full combat readiness. The fleet done
significant damage to the Cylon fuel distribution system.
However the intelligence estimates
indicated a dire situation within the cylon fleet was not accurate.
Clearly they had cooked the data and let the colonials see what they
wanted them to see. The long campaign, had damaged a lot of ships.
There was a long line of ships at the shipyard awaiting repairs.
Admiral cob had planned to supplement
his whole whack of tactical and strategic experience with that of
Commander Eva Lawson.
She had done a fairly good job on her
own and damaging the cylon war effort. Though she had never been to
the war College, she was making war against the cylon with very great
The through back channels gotten a
medical report on Commander Lawson. She was suffering from acute
PTSD and was judged unfit for command.
This was really a matter of optics. He
needed her in her position even if she couldn’t function. He decided
that he would go and see the situation for himself. With shaking
hands, he wrote a secure email to his local air Commander.
He ordered a force recon to be formed
with six Raptors. Four of them would be assault Raptors and two of
them would have the best pilots available to get him where he needed
to go safely.
The shipyards air commander replied
Although he thought the Admiral was
crazy he did not say so he simply made sure that his fleet commander
knew the dangerous and vulnerable situation that he was flying into.
30 minutes later he was in a raptor,
wearing a flight suit and helmet as a precaution.
The jump was hard on his body. He
closed his eyes to avoid the dizziness. When he opened them he saw
the badly damaged Battlestar mercury through the cockpit window.
It took about 10 minutes to land the
raptor detachment and get the admiral off the plane. He was walking
very stiffly but you could still see a purpose to his gait.
Cory Brooks Was already looking for
him. She wanted an explanation for the battle outcome.
The admiral did not deem her
communications worthy of a response. He needed a plan. The only place
he was going to get her plan was on the Battlestar Mercury.
* * *
Commander Lawson was resting
comfortably in Sickbay oblivious to what was going on around her. She
has not gotten a lot of sleep over the the past month.
She had mentally made the decision that
she was going to sleep until she felt better. It was very little that
was going to get in the way of accomplishing this goal.
She snored softly as she lay on her
Admiral Cobb walked into the room
escorted only by Commander Maria Ramirez.
“I need to speak to her,” he
“As you can see Admiral,”
Ramirez whispered her reply, “She is not taking meetings right
now. Her health is my primary concern.”
Battlestar is the flag ship of this fleet. We are sitting at a fleet
assembly point that is simply not defensible. We cannot afford to
lose the ship.”
“The ship is not going to be
fighting for quite some time Admiral,” Ramirez reported to her
commanding officer. “We are making emergency repairs to the port
fight pod. I estimate that in approximately 4 to 6 hours we will be
able to jump back to the fleet shipyards.”
“If the Cylons decide to attack
before the task is complete? What’s the plan ?”
“You are the commander of this Fleet
Admiral Cobb. I’m new to this high level of command but usually the
plans come from the top.”
“You have 600 viper pilots on the
ship. We need those pilots to keep the war up against the toasters.”
Commander Maria Ramirez stepped away
from the Admiral and put my finger on her chin. Obviously she needed
to go up with an idea. I think she heard a scratchy voice from the
other side of the room.
“What is the status of the
Battlestar Saturn?” He asked.
“Ready for trials. There are 300
nuggets on board with virtually no flight experience. They are
crashing the virtual reality vipers quite frequently.” Ramirez
“We have six hundred experienced
pilots with no ship to fly off of. You Commander Ramirez have three
hundred pilots that need mentoring and training. Since this ship is
useless until there are repairs, we should just transfer the entire
air wing and crew over to the Saturn.”
Cobb contemplated the idea for a few
moments and decided it was the way to go. “You will receive orders
as soon as I can get them cut. Prepare this crew for transfer to the
“Roger that Sir,” Commander Ramirez
tapped some commands into the tablet computer she was holding.
“Unfit for command,” Cobb spoke in
an incredulous voice. “Horse manure.” He spotted Doctor Jameson
walking into the private room. He made eye contact. “Certify
Commander Lawson fit for duty.”
“Are you out of your frakking mind
“Get the frak out of here everyone,”
Commander Lawson whispered. “I’m trying to sleep here.” She
curled up and started breathing evenly.
Those pain killers must be really good,
as Commander Laws did not feel the 4 broken ribs or the wounds all
over her body. She absolutely stroked the steel color that was still
locked onto her neck. The engineering crews had not reached agreement
with the doctor and how to remove the device that was made of an
alloy it was unknown to the colonies
* * *
The Battlestar Saturn pulled out of the
shipyard, construction nearly complete. The ship which had been under
construction at the time of the second cylon war have been overlooked
and the damage done by the first attack on the Scorpia shipyards.
Now complete and ready for trials, the
massive warship moved serenely away from the mobile shipyards set up
by the remnants of the colonial fleet.
She was fully equipped with 10
squadrons 75 each of Mark seven vipers. In addition she had to
squadrons of assault raptors and two squadrons of reconnaissance
Since the start of the second cylon
war, the enemy had never faced a fully equipped mercury class
Battlestar. The Mercury have been badly damaged losing half their
squadrons on the first day of the war.
Flight operations wrapped up slowly as
the crews were not used to operating for flight deck’s at full
capacity. Raptors were taking off and landing on all four landing
decks. Vipers were being catapulted some right side up some upside
Pilot training was being conducted away
from the Battlestar. Basic formation flying was followed by target
practice and then touch and go landings I’m all for landing decks.
This was a site not seen since the
large training exercises done months before the fall of the colonies.
The attitude was professional and serious nobody wanted to be the
first accident during flight operations of this new warship.
* * *
In the CIC, Commander and
Ramirez was standing 2 feet away from the plotting table, her eyes
darting from various displays including DRADIS And measurements of
the engine and other critical systems of the Battlestar. Everything
looked to be going by the book so far, working by precision very
close to the normal operating standards.
Now in a properly fitting
uniform she looked slight, less than average height. However she had
intellectually mastered the operations of a mercury class Battlestar.
Everyone knew she knew her job. Everyone respected the combat
operations she had managed during the absence of Commander Lawson.
She felt oddly comfortable
in the ship which she had never set foot in prior to three days ago
when the transfer from the damaged mercury began. This place felt
like home. She felt that she belong here. It was strange because she
had still not completed the check ride for basic flight.
Colonial law before the fall
had required the commander of any Battlestar be a licensed pilot. You
could fly vipers or you could fly raptors. Do you have to hold the
pilots license in order to come out a battle star.
The peoples Council passed
legislation shuffle weeks ago to resend that law at the urging of
Admiral Cobb. He insisted that the law be adhered to. It was
important however that since Maria Ramirez was undergoing flight
training both in the VR suites and carefully guided flight
operations, with the best tutors available.
As opposed to the prior
Jupiter class Battlestar’s, the CIC of the mercury class was quite
cramped. There’s barely room for 20 people and often times elbows
were bouncing off each other.
When the doors of the CIC
opened and in a wheelchair with a scarf around her neck, Commander
Lawson Was wheeled in next to a place next to Commander Ramirez,
people turn their began to clap.
Commander Eva Lawson was
high on painkillers. Still when she moved in the chair it was obvious
that she was in a great deal of pain. The medicine cannot mask her
extensive injuries. She motioned to the crew and spoke in a soft
voice. “Get back to work you lazy bastards,” she smiled and
hope that attention will go back away from her.
She was wheeled to a place
next to Ramirez. The younger woman laying down to her former
commander and whispered. “How to make an appearance up here did
“That fracking engineer wants to saw this
thing off my neck,” she said. “I’m going to try and avoid
that experience for as long as possible. It’s not like I have to go
through metal detectors to get on board my ship.”
Ramirez smiled as he answered softly.
“So what are we
doing today,” Commander Lawson asked and she shifted painfully in
“We’ve got an old atlas
class carrier that suffered a massive internal radiation like 40
years ago. The shipyard weenies could not figure out how to clean her
out so we’re going to blow her into pieces. Target practice.”
“Well let’s get on with
it,” Lawson smiled. “You never know when Tool master Thomas
from engineering my catch up with me.”
“This is Saturn
actual,” Ramirez said in a forceful voice. “Commence target
practice and demolition exercises. Vipers first, followed by assault
raptors, finally a salvo of torpedoes and then our main guns if it’s
anything left over.”
“Will she should back?”
Saturns commander answered. Our people will be using live ammunition.
Hardly seems fair.”
“Those atlas class
ships has much armor is the mercury class. They are hard to kill.”
As the exercise progressed, Lawson’s mind wandered. She was impressed with the squadrons of remote controlled Mark 1 vipers that presented themselves for target practice for the Saturns Vipers. Suddenly she was back in detention. The assaults she had enjoyed, always coming up with new insults to spit out.
What was terrible was the long cold nights, chained and exposed to the cold. This was true torture for her. When the exercise was over, tears were streaming down her face. Ramirez caught the flashback first. Seeing that Lawson was unresponsive, she wiped her face with a white handkerchief. She began to guide the wheelchair out of CIC when the sick bay orderly got the clue and took over.
From: Colonial Fleet Headquarters.
Admiral Andrew Cobb
To: Commander Maria Ramirez. Commander
Re: Status Commander Eva Lawson
We are in receipt of the debriefing of
the Commando force. We have received nothing on the status of
Please send complete medical and
psychological profile to this office immediately. We need to plan
Admiral Andrew Cobb
Commander Ramirez thew the printout
into the garbage. “Frakking pencil pusher,” she barked.
“What’s her medical status Doctor
“She has 4 broken ribs, a sprained
wrist, bumps and bruises. She was sexually assaulted, and brutally
beaten.” The middle aged man with white hair, was speaking from
memory, not looking at the chart.
“When are we going to get her back?
I’ve kind of got something to do here.”
“Can’t really tell,” Jameson
answered. “She might have PTSD.”
* * *
Cory Brooks was making a nuisance of
herself in Admiral Cobb’s office. She had used civilian authority
normally only held by the president to appoint Cobb. She considered
him her ‘kept’ Admiral. He was not acting very much like he owed her
“What’s the problem here,” she
asked? “Lawson is either the commander or she’s not.”
“Commander Ramirez is refusing to
provide any information on her condition.”
“All of us saw the proof of life
video.” Brooks folded her arms. “Aren’t you planning a major
“I am,” he walked with a cane and
unsteadily at that. “We have fresh intel and a real shot at tanking
the Cylon’s fuel supply. Our hack of their network indicates that
they may have been forced to take forty base stars out of the hunt
for Galactica and Pegasus.”
“Why aren’t you ordering the strike?”
“Because I take a long term view to
this war. I need Commander Ramirez taking over the Saturn and
starting the process of taking three hundred nuggets and making them
into viper pilots.”
“Can we win the war now if we further
decrease their fuel supplies?”
“Yes Madame Executive.”
“Then lets leave Ramirez on Mercury,
they are according to your justification for her promotion doing a
great job. Lets take a step to win the war today.”
“That video concerns me. It could
disrupt that crews focus. That could lead to a disastrous outcome.”
“Everyone knew she was a slut for the
past 15 years. The Cylons are trying to exploit that.”
“A situation like this could break a
crew.” Cobb’s hand was shaking badly.
“This intelligence is fresh yes?”
Brooks pressed her point.
“It is verified by reconnaissance?”
“Yes Madame Executive.”
“If we wait too long might we miss
“Yes but our forces are damaged and
depleted from 4 weeks of high operational tempo.”
“Win this war Admiral,” Brooks
warned, “or I will find an Admiral who will. Even if that Admiral
is named Lawson.”
“I never got this military protocol
thing,” Brooks said as she briskly got up and left the room. He was
once again a ‘kept’ Admiral, obeying her wishes.
* * *
Commander Maria Ramirez was alone with Commander Eva Lawson who stared into space and showed no signs of awareness. Her eyelids shut once in a while, but there was no getting through to her.
The former IT LT (Lieutenant) as she
thought of herself held Lawson’s hand and squeezed it firmly.
“You take as much time as you need
commander.” Lawson did not respond. An NCO handed Ramirez a
printout of some fleet communications.
From: Colonial Fleet Headquarters.
Admiral Andrew Cobb
To: Commander Maria Ramirez. Commander
Re: Status Commander Eva Lawson
Four fleet attack plan “Delta” is
ordered to commence at 11:00. Check intelligence briefing Sierra for
Admiral Andrew Cobb
“What time is it now?” Ramirez
“1030 Sir” the NCO replied.
Ramirez dropped her mentor’s hand on
the bed. “What the frak? Get ready for combat jump. Set condition
“Pilots are in the ready room Sir,”
the NCO noted before taking her leave.
Ten minutes later, Ramirez was in the
pilot ready room. There was a conference call on the monitor showing
three other flagship.
“We have 4 targets,” Ramirez said.
“The last four Cylon gas stations in the sector. If we take them
out, the Cylon presence in the colonies will be crippled. Don’t
expect this to b a turkey shoot. The toasters know we are coming and
they know our strategic objective. The future of this war depends on
the outcome. Good Hunting.”
“We jump at 11:00|!” Ramirez said
* * *
“Alpha fleet is on the scene. We see
the target moving to attack formation. Launching vipers.”
“We they have defenses up! Do we
“Negative, engage target. Evade
“We got base stars!”
“Prepare for withdrawal. Lets see if
we can hit the target on the way out.
“Heracles locking on main guns!”
“Valkyrie one locking on main guns!”
“Orion one has a firing solution.”
“Valkyrie two has em in our sites.”
“Atlas one firing solution.”
“Splash one base star.”
“CAG! We are taking heavy fire.”
“Firing on the refinery!”
“No joy no joy!”
“We re taking heavy fire!”
“Recall all vipers! Combat landings
* * *
Mercury Group “Strike
A special tension filled the air aboard
the Mercury as this strike against Cylon Tylium refining capacity was
supposedly going to cripple their fleet and lead to more strikes
similar to those done against idled ships, parked in rows due to
Word has also spread that Commander
Lawson was safely aboard in sick bay. Crew morale was at an all time
high. Everybody wanted to get this raid over with and come up with an
excuse to visit her in sick bay.
While the entire fleet prepared to
jump, there was excited chatter all over the warship. “Did you see
that video tape?” One gun maintenance technician asked another
member of the same crew.
“I saved a copy on my tablet bud. That was too good to send into the bit bucket.”
“That is frakking disrespectful,”
the other crew member shot back. “She’s our commander.”
“That’s the best porn I’ve seen since
the fall. I’m not deleting it.”
In CIC the mood was more serious.
“Jump coordinates confirmed, every
ship reports correctly,” The FTL navigation officer reported.
“Communications confirms the
numbers,” an Ensign in a wireless headset reported.
“Jump.” Ramirez ordered.
The feeling of this jump was different.
A sideways type of motion occurred during the flash of light.
“DRADIS! Collision alarm. Bad jump
point. The refinery is almost 80 degrees starboard of our current
“Hard to starboard, all ships, crash
turn now now now!”
A large Cylon fleet had greeted them
near the jump in point and was in motion in the general direction of
the Colonial fleet.
“What do we have?’ Commander Ramirez
“Three base stars, three Revenant’s
and three or four Nemesis. The last seven are all first war throw
The crash turn strained the systems
that provided gravity and kept their feet on the floor.
“Those coordinates were way off!”
The tactical officer warned.
“Hold your fire until we get an
actual firing solution,” Ramirez heard the tactical officer order.
She nodded her ascent.
“Launch our birds.”
The DRADIS display showed their course
which with the hard turn had them approaching the refinery. There was
not a good firing solution at the moment due to the fear of sending
the refinery tanks flying into one of their ships.
The two Orion’s were too far forward, out of position, having passed to the right of the refinery.
The DRADIS chirped and suddenly there
was a target right under the refinery. All six ships had a firing
solution. The commander did not waste a moment. “Fire!”
“More Collision alerts,” warned a
“Bring the nose up or we are going to
plow right through that thing!”
“That would mean barbecued Mercury.”
“Shut the frak up and concentrate on
your jobs.” Ramirez got that out before the base star, but not the
refinery went up in a fireball.
“Splash one base star.”
“Redirect salvo fire to next target,”
Ramirez ordered. “Watch your course gamma group, this is already a
“Another base star and a couple of
support ships down Sir,” the tactical officer reported.
“Heavy fire against the port flight
pods. We are taking damage.”
“Damage control, report status port
flight pods?” The commander ordered. “Helm plot a turn, lets not
let them get another hit on that flight pod.”
“Damage control reports hull breaches
in the port flight pod.”
“Maintain salvo fire!” Commander
Ramirez ordered. “Helm watch for more collisions, the Cylons are
“Lucky shot just took out the
objective. Refinery is history.”
“Recall the birds, combat landings
are authorized on the starboard flight pod.”
“Begin jump prep.”
“Jump key is in.”
“Birds are coming in slow,” the LSO
“Port pod took another hit.”
“Hard to port, get those frakking
left pods out of their firing arches. Can someone also tell me how
our jump coordinates could be that far off.” Ramirez was livid.
All but a few straggling Cylon ships
were wiped out. This operation had become a gigantic foobar.
After the normal flash of light the
entire fleet, all four fleet groups were at the same rally point,
“Alpha group emergency jump.”
Ramirez looked at there reports coming
in. “Look at this. Beta and Delta did not hit their targets. Our
intelligence was wrong.”
“It was verified by raptor
reconnaissance,” the CAG argued.
“Cylons brought in more forces, more
fuel and moved the refinery,” Seethed Ramirez. “The oldest trick
in the book. We fell for it.”
“Three ships heavily damaged, we
might lose one.”
“We need new intelligence and we need
it yesterday.” She walked up to the damage control display and
gestured at all the red lights on the port flight pod. “Begin
search and rescue operations. Double shifts until we can get those
The ships engineer, who rarely made
appearances in CIC, walked in stroking his goatee and dropped a
report on the plotting table. “I recommend against jumping until we
inspect and shore up some of the structural members in those pods. We
have some pretty heavy damage in there.”
“How long to fix it?” The commander
“Admiral,” he began.
“Commander gods damn it.”
“Just beating the crowd Sir.”
“HOW LONG?” Ramirez looked like she
was going to pounce.
“We will need 12 hours to do the
engineering survey. That’s after the search and rescue operations are
“What if the Cylons jump in?”
“Without knowing what is going on, an
emergency jump could shear off both pods.”
“Get to work,” Ramirez snapped.
“Take as many crew as you need.”
“Get the frak out of here Mendelson.”
The battle was supposed to be before stepping in winning the war against the Cylons. Instead it was a unmitigated disaster. The flagship of the colonial fleet was disabled, vulnerable and unable to jump home.
The legendary commander of the Battlestar Mercury was in the ship’s sick bay, catatonic and unresponsive.
With the loss of a single battle, the fate of the colonial fleet fell from the illusion of certain victory to the edge of disrepair.
Major Maria Ramirez looked totally
different that she had the day of the attacks on the colonies. She
had lost a lot of weight and had finally had a new uniform issued to
her. She looked good in the immaculately pressed blue uniform. She
waited for the Admiral’s secretary to escort him into his tiny,
barely furnished office.
The Admiral did not look very good.
This eyes were sunken and he looked like he was going downhill pretty
quickly. His movements were stiff and his hand shook badly as he
paged through the report.
“So Major,” he asked after
motioning her to a chair. “Do you think our distraction plan is
“Admiral Cobb,” she answered. “We
have been at it for three weeks now. We have literally run in excess
of one thousand sorties. The Cylon network remains hacked and they
have not moved Commander Lawson. What the hell are we waiting for?
I’ve got the equivalent of two squadrons of warships waiting in line
at the shipyard to get damage repaired.”
“Is the operational tempo too high?”
Admiral Cobb asked.
“Not necessarily. Our hack has led us
to understand that the Cylons have mothballed sixty base stars
because they can’t supply the Tylium. This is a great outcome,” she
concluded, “but we don’t have Commander Lawson back and our
readiness is dropping every day this campaign drags on.”
“That is my assessment. Take a look
at this.” He took up a remote in his quivering right hand and
pointed it at a wall mounted monitor. He flicked another button.
Cavil came online. “All right,” he
said. “You have made your point. If you stop attacking our fuel
supply and our other logistics we will give Commander Lawson back to
you. This is a one time offer. If you don’t mind picking up some
troublemakers on Caprica, we can make a deal.”
“We are going to do the negotiation,
but will launch our daily raids. Your task force will be hitting a
shipyard on the Cylon side of the old Armistice line. It has hundreds
of first war ships that they were trying to get ready for operations
before we squeezed their fuel supplies.”
“Just blow the crap out of it
“Yes and while you are doing that,
you will launch a two raptor sortie of elite Marines that will jump
in and infiltrate the detention center we believe Commander Lawson is
“No backup?” Ramirez asked.
“We think small is better in this
case. We will throw them off balance by attacking during the
negotiation. The commando team will meet you at a way point that we
will share if the rescue mission is successful.”
He pushed a small jeweler’s box across
the table. “You are out of uniform commander,” he said softly.
“Oh no,” Ramirez backed away. “My
crew already has a commander.”
“Of course they do,” Cobb smiled.
“This is partially to let the Cylons believe we have given up on
Commander Lawson. But after this mission, you will have a new job.
The Saturn is ready for trials. We believe it is beneath the dignity
of a Mercury Class Battlestar to be commanded by a Major.”
“Yes Sir,” Ramirez took the box,
saluted and requested permission to leave.
“Good hunting commander,” he said.
* * *
The voices canceled each other out as
everyone shouted at once when Commander Ramirez gathered the senior
officers in the ready room.
“All right,” she thumped a book on
the table. “Listen up!”
“Shut the frak up!” Jaybird roared.
“All right, we have a mission, a
shipyard to destroy. While we are there, we will be launching an
elite Marine commando force that will hopefully liberate the
“Why can’t we back up the commando
force?” Sausage asked.
“Because those are our orders. If a
Mercury class ship with a six ship fleet jumps into your
neighborhood, you are going to know that something is up.”
“Commander Lawson is our commander,”
shouted a voice in the back of the room. “We should have waited for
“First,” Ramirez spoke in a harsh,
firm voice. “This is NOT a democracy. We follow the orders we are
given. If the Cylons have the same reaction as you knuckleheads then
it is perfect. We want the Cylons to believe we have written off
Commander Lawson. Finally if this works it will be my last mission as
Mercury actual. The Saturn is ready for trials. I have been given my
She then pointed a finger at “Sausage”
who was in his flight suit. “I get to pick one transfer to bring
along for the adventure. “Sausage,” she repeated. “How would
you like to be my CAG?”
“Copy that,” he replied.
“You will lead red squadron on this
strike. Try not to get yourself killed today. It will take four jumps
to get to our strike location. Make sure everything is ready for
action. We need to hit those jump coordinates bang on.”
“For Commander Lawson!” “Sausage”
shouted thrusting his fist in the air.
“So say we all!”
* * *
Usually after a few FT jumps a colonial
officer got used to the feeling. There was often a queasy feeling as
the jump began. The feeling never went away, most of the time you
just forgot about it as you piled up jumps.
Commander Maria Ramirez was not that
kind of person. Every jump made her sick to her stomach. She wanted
to lean over an wretch as if began. Soon enough the white flash of
light faded and she heard the noise of systems.
“All fleet ships are on DRADIS. We
have the Cylon shipyard up and the intel weenies were right, there is
not even a CAP up.” The DRADIS officer reported.
“Orion’s exit stealth mode, all ships
launch all vipers. Full offensive profile, target the big ships
Now it was the nerves of battle, people
risking their lives on her orders. Commander, she thought. I am a
frakking IT geek Lieutenant, what is the big idea calling me a
commander. Her stomach contracted into a solid ball of lead. They put
the chatter of the viper pilots as they talked and announced they
were destroying targets.
This was completely unreal to her. She
was going to get her own command. That was a big joke. She was still
writing code to help further hack the Cylon network.
After about five minutes it was over.
It was a turkey shoot. The enemy barely shot back.
It was now time for the second jump. During the second shipyard they would release the commando force that was due to jump to the detention facility that had Commander Lawson in it.
* * *
She had planned it for a long time,
even before she had lost count of the number of times she had been
assaulted. She was kept in a five point chain set up. Both ankles,
both wrists and the steel collar on her neck.
Just as the Cavil model was getting to
the height of his pleasure, she reached up with her chained right
wrist and wrapped it smoothly around his throat. So many times had
she practiced it. She yanked down with all her strength expecting
that she would have to strangle him. There was a very loud and
satisfying crack as his neck snapped.
Commander Eva Lawson pushed her hips
forward getting the dead toaster out of her. She carefully rolled him
off of her, the body needed to come to rest within the very short
reach of her hands. It did. This one was a regular. He assaulted her
nearly every day. He kept a ring of keys sometimes unlocking a limb
to enable him to try a new position.
It took ten seconds to find the keys,
nearly thirty to unchain her wrists and ankles. Next the lock that
chained her neck to the floor. Swearing in frustration, she could not
find he key to the steel collar on her neck. “Frak it,” she
whispered, walking carefully out of the room.
* * *
The negotiation meeting point was on a
snow covered icy world, four plotted jumps away from the Colonies. It
had been a resort before the first war, gradually falling further
away from Colonial influence as the battle line moved closer to the
The hotel lobby was shabby, having been
left idle for five decades. There was a table and a Cavil model
seated at it.
Admiral Cobb had taken the meeting
against all advice. He wanted to measure the human toaster model with
his own eyes.
Cavil did not get up or offer to shake
hands. “Lets skip the pleasantries,” he demanded. “What is your
response to our offer.”
“We are not interested in making your
occupation of Caprica easier. He have a Cavil model in custody. We
will trade him for Commander Laws.”
“You have proof of life Admiral
The Admiral dropped a mobile phone on
the table. It lit up showing the glaring face of a Cavil model.
“About the cease fire?” Cavil
”Leave the Colonies and we will
consider it,” Cobb said.
“You aren’t negotiating in good
faith?” The model number one put his finger on his ear,
manipulating a device inside.
“I’m not negotiating at all. The
People’s Council Executive made it quite clear. Trade the Cylon for
Lawson, on the off chance you have not extracted every secret from
“It’s not good faith to attack our
defenseless shipyards during a negotiation.”
“Frak off toaster,” the Admiral
banged the table.
“Racist!” replied the Cylon.
“Proof of life.”
“It’s in your in box at your base.
You really should upgrade your firewall.”
“Where will the exchange be?” Cobb
“You can pick her up this time
tomorrow, right here. Bring the Mercury. I wonder what her crew will
think of a pornographic proof of life tape. Oh, I forgot to tell you
we sent copies to every ship in your fleet. Those firewall’s really
need some work.”
Cavil shut his portfolio, turned and
walked out of the room. He waved an arm. “Don’t forget to close the
door on the way out.”
* * *
Commander Eva Lawson dispatched the
Cylon woman with a swift grab of her chin and a hard wrench to the
right. Dripping with sweat, she dragged the dead woman and dragged
her into a dark corner. It took seventy five seconds to relieve her
of her clothing and other possessions.
The Battlestar Commander had memorized
the path she had been walked from the landing pad and a self
satisfied grin came over her face as she saw a heavy raider was
sitting on the pad unoccupied. The former CAG made a bet she could
fly the thing. First she used the keys she had taken from the black
haired Cylon and took some choice items out of an arms locker.
One thing was certain, they were not
going to get her alive this time.
* * *
The Elite Marine commander had been
told to expect heavy resistance, but their jump had been very
precise. They were low in the atmosphere and there was no way they
could have been detected. When their pilot swore and jerked the ship
hard, the commander caught a glimpse of a Cylon Heavy Raider flying
straight at them.
“Ranger one, this is ranger two. Get
a lock on that key and kill him before he calls the other toasters.”|
* * *
Not thirty seconds after pulling the
ship out of the landing bay she was face to face with a raptor. She
dodged it as quickly as she could when her ship started to take fire.
A warning came on showing a pair of raptors bearing down on her.
Since they were firing she assumed that this was her long awaited
Where was the communications gear on
this toaster contraption, she thought as she dodged and then tried to
move the ship into a higher orbit.
She felt the deck fall from under her
feet. System warning barked out. She found the communications gear as
she struggled to keep the raider aloft. “This is Eva Lawson,
Mercury Actual to colonial raptors. I am a friend. Do not fire. I
repeat, I am a friend, do not fire.”
“How do you know that you are you,”
came the challenge.
She recognized the voice. Where had
she met this guy. On a drunken shore leave no doubt. Suddenly the
name came to her. “Vince? Vincent Roberts. We met on shore leave
three years ago on Picon.”
“God’s damn it I knew I remembered
you. We stayed up until 3 am drinking and then we….”
“Yeah that’s me,” she interrupted.
“I’m losing altitude pretty fast. That was some damned nice
shooting there. Top of the class. I’m going to put down and you can
rescue me properly.”
The Cylon craft was very unfamiliar to
her. There were warning sirens and flashing lights everywhere as she
desperately tried to land the doomed heavy raider. Just a few meters
off a relatively flat field, she lost control and the heavy raider
plowed into the dirt.
Commander Lawson blacked out. The next
thing she remembered was Vince Roberts a conquest she thought she had
forgotten cleaning dirt and mud from her face.
“You didn’t have to steal a heavy
raider and crash it to get my attention. I’d frak you again any
“Just get me the frak back to my
Battlestar. That’s an order.” She closed her eyes, not feeling her
limbs blacking out.
His orders had been to take her to a
meeting point and he followed them. In thirty minutes he was putting
down on the flight pod of the Battlestar Mercury.
“This is Marine one,” he
interrupted on the wireless. “We have the commander. She is pretty
busted up. She escaped, stole a heavy raider and we kind of shot her