Monthly Archives: October 2020

Chapter 39: Command Training

Chapter 39: Command Training

It took quite a lot of preparation midst of a virus outbreak to make the scenario of training happen. The virtual reality suites at themselves with disinfectant and irradiated to make sure nothing could live.

The hallways from the commander and executive officer Quarters work patrol by Marines. Every bit of deck plating wall ceiling and air ducting was similarly cleaned the same specifications to virtual reality suites.

Commander Eva “yevka” Lawson and Major Maria Ramirez were escorted on separate routes to ensure that they were not going to meet in a hallway.

When they were both safely locked into their suites they entered their command codes in the program begin to run.  After the intercom light came on, major Ramirez tested her microphone and begin to speak “Is there a reason why I computer geek drafted into command needs to take this training?”

“Because I may die,” the commander replied.  “You are the second highest ranking officer in this fleet.”

“So what is today’s scenario?”

“a replay of the refinery raid battle,” said Lawson. “My tactics were less than desirable and almost got us killed. I will fly the Mercury and you will fly the Solaria. This simulator used to be classified codeword only.”

“You seriously believe that I should take over the fleet if you were killed in action?” asked Ramirez.

“You were just slightly less qualified than I was when command fell into my lap. We don’t get to choose our roles in this war. We are to live up to them or die trying. I’m gonna do the best I can do my grandmother the admiral proud.”

Major Ramirez was still self-absorbed and the simulation began. “Because she may die? I think I’m gonna start praying again. Lords of Kobol here my words don’t let this woman die and stick me with this command.”

After a few seconds of silence, the XO had some practical questions. “How many base stars?”

“Five,” Lawson answered.

“What do we do first,” Ramirez asked “launch all vipers?”

“No,” Lawson replied, “there are too many of them. We will fly in formation museum on top and Mercury on the bottom. We will try to angle downward to take advantage of the Jupiter classes topside guns. There is the true kill zone of the class. Stay in formation. I will stop the simulation this time to explain things.”

“I don’t know how to fly sir,” Ramirez tried to keep her voice steady.

“In a real situation you will give orders and others will fly the ship. The VR suite will respond to verbal commands. Just tell it to stay in formation. This is a command simulator. Do you know the weapons and operational specs of the two Battlestars.”

“Yes commander.”

“Easy peasy. Just talk to it, tell it what to shoot at. We will see if we can avoid getting surrounded by raiders, keep them all on one side get them to waste their air wing on our flak wall.”

“Aye sir”

“Begin simulation.” Lawson pressed a button.

“Caprica,” Ramirez whispered.

“Base stars are lined up. We move right and down. If we go left toward the planet when we blow stuff up the fragments will hit us.”

“Resume simulation”

“What’s a wardriver squadron?” 

“Flak wall up port side. Virus squadron. Target them.”

“They blew their missile load,” Ramirez remarked.

“Obviously designed by men,” Lawson snickered. “Get all your vipers in the tubes. Shut down flak on my mark. Launch all planes! Attack the right-hand base star with air wing follow my lead with guns.”

“This is not ideal,” Lawson lectured, “the base stars nearest left and right are hurt and retreating. We normally never want to give them a cross fire. We are going to recall the assault raptors, do a rapid re-arm and re-launch.”

“Has that ever been done?” Ramirez asked.

“It was on my schedule for the first day as CAG,” Lawson answered. We will practice it and get it down to a science.”  

“Okay,” Lawson said, breathing heavily, “We are going to turn hard and press it home. Time to send the Cylons back to the bit bucket.”

“Aye” Ramirez was barking orders to the VR suite which seemed to respond slowly.

“Okay you did well,” Lawson remarked. Relax and watch the replay. The simulation usually picks great music, unless you want me to mute it.”

Ramirez breathed a sigh of relief. “I did not blow up the Battlestar.”

“Helped blow away five base stars, their air wing, and every single one of your pilots came home.”

“It’s not usually this easy commander, is it?”

“No. We’ll critique your performance. You are going to stay right by my side and see how badly I frack up before you have to take the con.”

“That is good sir.”

“Besides, doctors estimate it will be another two or three months before Atkins is ready for flight status. He may start liking old Jesse Green’s quarters and library of paper books.”

“Let’s hope so Sir.”

Full battle simulation without interruption or dialogue

Chapter 38: The fight goes on!

Chapter 38: Alternate title. Recovery and Discovery

Plano and Jaybird were together again, both infected with the Sunspot virus, both asymptomatic. It was a pleasure to get out of isolation and back into space flying. The mission was extremely dangerous. They were to jump 4 plotted FTL jumps back to Caprica. 

They were based on the original Solaria, commonly referred to as “The Museum” or the Battlestar Museum. This decision had little to do with tactics. It was simply to show the Cylons another signal what they were used to from the Battlestar Mercury.

The virus was contained by blast doors being shut. It had infected most of the civilian population before even being discovered by medical tech. The other purpose of basing the mission from the ship was to give the board and ready to riot residents something to do.

Being busy with the mission prevented the revolt that was being planned for being carried forward.

The mission was to Caprica, to participate in the salvage of the Battlestar Amagossa. The ship was named after a Colonial general in the first war.

Those that were allowed to talk to each other in person or over the communications network were buzzing about this in the discovery of the ship. It was proof that another branch of the fleet had escaped the extinction of the colonies.

There was a bottle of ambrosia to whoever picked through the dangerous wreckage and retrieved the flight data recorders and the voice recorders from the CIC. The plan was even hatched to decontaminate the bottle in case the owner who is infected with the virus or touched it or coughed on it.

Plano was maneuvering very carefully with a soft touch on the control stick. A sudden move could mean a collision with a structural support beam. They were quite near the wreckage of the FTL drive. 

Though they might survive the destruction of the raptor in their flight suits with their helmets on, the radiation would only almost certainly kill them before they were rescued.

“I see something,” Jaybird said as he squinted at the scanner. 

“How can you see anything with all this garbage?” Plano asked shaking his head. “Where?”

“Right near the FTL thrust rod.”

“Jaybird that is too big to be a flight data recorder.”

“Indeed it is,” Jaybird replied. “Up fifteen meters then forward ten.”

“What the frack are we looking at Jaybird?” Plano asked after delicately and precisely following his instructions.

“What is the one part of the ship that has more data than the data and voice recorders?”

“Jaybird didn’t I warn I wanted no more fracking quizzes or riddles. This looks a ship’s computer.”

“That is exactly what it is Plano. Looks intact.”

“Jaybird deploy grappling hook.”

Ten minutes later they were clear of the wreckage. Four minutes after that the Cylons showed up and demolished the wreckage.

On their final approach to the Jupiter class Battlestar they were given the secret coordinates and diverted to the Mercury. Six plotted jumps later they were landed and met by Major Ramirez in a full hazmat suit. She directed a crew of four operating a wench.

They slowly lowered the computer after taking it from the jaws of the grappling hook onto a rolling cart designed to move armaments to the vipers.

An hour later it was disinfected and in a lab.

The XO was back in her element, information technology. The computer technology on the Amagossa was compatible with that of the Mercury.

After replacing three power supplies into system boards, Ramirez hunched over the keyboard and watch the system boot. The system stored information in 4 databases. Each what’s the word on the highly redundant disk array.

That was with the situation became complicated. When the computer system had been blown loose from the ship and gotten too close to the FTL structures, radiation-damaged some of the disks. Since there were four different copies of the database there was a chance some of that would be recoverable.

She was disappointed with the quality of the data, but there were video logs available. She started a script triggering a reconstruction of the data. Now it was time to get some sleep while her program did its work.  It would take days to recover data this badly compromised.

Two days later a video conference was set up to brief the commander.

“The easiest log to recover was the most recent,” Major Ramirez began.

A young dark-skinned, woman of thin build appeared on the screen. Her hair was mussed, and she made no effort to control it. Her uniform was dirty and wrinkled. It was a burn mark showing on her left shoulder.

She spoke deliberately a slight accent possibly from Tauron.

“A month ago I was a fighter pilot. Now I am promoted to captain and in command of a Valkyrie class Battlestar. We have signals intelligence that there was a resistance movement on Caprica. It appears to be a pyramid team from Caprica city.”

“it is a mission of the highest risk in this crew is all volunteer. We have a full complement of vipers and we are going to jump to Caprica. The force recon we sent ahead shows there may be base stars in the area.”

“We have forces in the area and we believe we are going to come in during a time when patrol pattern is away from Caprica. My training as a Battlestar commander is inadequate. I’ve had a three-hour course in ship systems, and I have two veteran crewmembers in CIC to help out.”

“We have a fleet composed of <screen goes to snow and the sound of static> Battlestar’s and <screen goes to snow and the sound of static> support ships. I will not record where you’re based in case the Cylons capture this computer system. Radiation levels in the colonies are very high due to nuclear strikes. Our scientists do not believe that life in the colonies is sustainable.”

“I do not believe it is possible to for fill orders but the commander who is really just a major insisted we try and rescue this team of pyramid players running a resistance cell in the mountains. May the gods of mercy on our souls.”

Video illustration:’

The story of the Battlestar Armagossa