Chapter 17: Recon

Being the best bus driver

Lieutenant Olivia ‘falcon’ Volker Was always a bus driver during her career in the colonial fleet. She never had any interest in flying vipers. She preferred the company of a weapons officer and the size, bulk, and sturdiness of the the raptor.

The day the second cylon war had started, only a few days before, she been station about the Triton. She had not been a around long enough to even begin assistant Squadron commander. She had excelled in flight school, and made a name for herself as a reliable SAR pilot.

How she had gotten the callsign falcon was a story in itself.

During fleet war games three years ago against the Battlestar Pegasus, she had been tasked to fly an ass salt raptor. Given the suicide mission of taking out the red teams battlestar communications array she had used edgey tactics.

She has conducted a short range FTL jump, finishing the jump above the Pegasus. She had swooped down like a bird of prey, Firing guns into the top side bow of the Mercury class Battlestar. Passing within meters of the bow, she had fired a missile and act just as she passed s admiral Cain’s Battlestar.

The missile of course was simulated the computer scored a direct hit by the rules of engagement Pegasus cannot communicate with her planes causing the admiral to lose the exercise. Both sides The missile of course was simulated the computer scored a direct hit by the rules of engagement Pegasus cannot communicate with her planes causing the admiral to lose the exercise.

Both sides checked in for drinks after the exercise and a call sign was born.

Now she was the senior raptor pilot are they for plane air wing. Two recon and SAR birds.

This mission was simple, make a John contact joint force base gamma. Don’t get destroyed by the sidelines and see if the rumor that they had nearly a full squadron of air power was true.

Her weapons officer was also from the Triton: Bill “card shark” Jenkins was a pretty fresh new Lieutenant out of the academy. He obtained his call sign for being involved in one too many card games at the Academy.

“OK Bill are you done with your checklist?” She asked her right seater.

“All systems go skipper,” he drawled in the same accent that the commander had used. “I dare say I don’t like lone recon.”

“Who the Frack asked you?” Falcon sounded annoyed that she looked at her right. “Mag lock set. We are in positions signal the Battlestar that we are ready for lunch.”

Unfazed by hitting rebuke he pressed a few buttons and made a transmission. So they were on the elevator moving up mag locks engaged. Seven seconds later the raptor was on the flight deck. A man in a space suit gave them the thumbs up.

“Solaria this is raptor 179. Request departure clearance.” She heard the correct instructions in her ear and toes back on her stick after releasing the magnetic locks. With a deft and steady hand she maneuvered the raptor out of the flight deck and away from me aging Battlestar that until this week up a museum.

“Spool up FTL. Check coordinates.”

“FTL board is green. Coordinates are confirmed ready to jump on your command.”

This part gave her a sinking feeling the moment before the button was pressed to do it faster than light jump. “Jump!”

There was a flash of light, and the arrangement of the stars shifted. Lieutenant Jenkins Looked down at his navigation display and saw they were when they were supposed to be. “Joint base gamma is 10,000 clicks ahead.” He reported.

There was a warning beep from the DRADIS display. To unknown targets were coming from straight ahead and intercept course. “Broadcasting encryption challenge. How many of we got?”

“Contact, for bogeys. Appears to be colonial viper. They are not broadcasting a response to our challenge and recognition codes.”

The pilot pressed her microphone button and begin broadcasting in the clear. “Colonial vipers this is SAR Raptor from the Battlestar solaria. Please answer our challenge code and recognition protocol.”

One of the vipers movie very close pass, it’s engine exhaust shaking the larger craft..

“What the Frack!” She push the engines the full power and she yank the stick back. “Where in their kill slot. Taking evasive action.”

“There still on us on us,” Jenkins reported “I can fire the rear guns”

“I’ve got to mark twos on my six they can take us anytime they want!” The pilot reported. I’m going to play it soft. Slowing to surrender speed. Making a very gentle course toward joint forces Alpha Gamma.”

She pulled back the throttle and made her self into a target. She decided to see if colonial forces would fire upon a recon raptor.

***

About the Battlestar solaria Commander Jesse Green was pacing the combat information center nervously. It was like a child out on his or her first date for him. A lone recon mission was dangerous but they just didn’t have enough ships to do it.

I had just retracted and extended the flight paths in an effort to help the engineer, a civilian diagnose the horrendous noise that amid it from the mechanisms every time they ran this drill. It was an ear splitting noise.

“Commander Green,” young woman noncommissioned officer spoke. “We have a pro back for my raptor. We have over 30 birds at that bass, a pallet of ammunition and a small fuel tanker. Joint base gamma requests to join the colonial fleet!”

A different kind of noise echo to the command center. People were cheering and slapping hands and hugging each other. A single tear left Commander Greens eye. “Now we’ve got ourselves air wing”

“There are four cylon bass stars between us and that joint base,” a junior officer reported. “The only way to get there safely is faster than light jump.”

“Well then,” Commander Green ordered. “Get her done! Begin jump prep.” He grab the phone off the consul and press the button.”Engineer Collins I hope you’ve got those podr noises under control because we’re about to jump for real.”

A scratchy voice answered him through static: “I think I’ve got the source of the problem right now sir. Ready to jump.”

“NAV computer reports coordinates are ready and fit into FTL jump computer.”

“Insert Jump key,” a squeaky voice ordered.

“Jump key is inserted spoiling up the FT L drive.”

It was a wine and some squeaking as the mechanism of the fast and light drive and not been spun full speed in over two decades.

“Retract the pods,” the XO ordered. There was a noise. It was not as bad as the last time but it was still noticeable. The shipped in a quake so much this time.

After 45 seconds the status report came. “The board is green we are ready to jump ship. Commander shall we jump?”

Smiling Commander Green gave a hand signal. In the in seconds ahead they were either die or make it to their destination. Their stomachs fell, the white flash came in the star soon again became visible. The navigation computer display deposition and shove them 10,000 km from joint base Gamma.

“Job complete,” he squeaky voice reported. Another round of cheering and hugging and clapping broke out. This shit was starting to sound like a Battlestar. It was no longer just an Asian museum scheduled to be replaced by a newer museum.

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