Chapter 18: Deadline

Joint task force base gamma was one of a dozen bases built in astroids around the solar system containing the 12 colonies. The point of these bases was the act as a tripwire in case of a cylon invasion.

They were supposed to make enough noise so that the fleet come in will become aware of the situation and dispatch a task force of Battlestar’s to meet the threat. Nobody had anticipated the cylon infiltration of the colonial defense network with the CNP program.

The spaces were designed with compact but powerful fire power. There was a cache of compatible ammunition. It was it a small fuel reserve.

It was about a functioning squadron who’s normal kind compliment was 75 Mark eight vipers and 18 raptors split evenly between assault and SAR birds.

There was a hodgepodge of other ships designed to allow a stricken Battlestar to take on supplies. Everyone sprung into action to evacuate the base and take every possible supplies that a Jupiter class Battlestar could use.

The base have been hit by the cylons as part of their strike to begin the second war. The CNP program has been activated and taking a put down half of the squadron. A nuclear strike have been launched and exploded by counter battery fire above the base.

The cylons had believed that their strike had destroyed the base. This was not so. heavy armor had kept radiation out. An Antenna array on the far side of the astroid had picked up communications. The crew that maintains the vipers and raptors figured out that the salines had used a virus to disable the war ships.

Now every available able-bodied crew member on the base or the Battlestar working around the clock to move everything of value from the base to the ship.

Colonel John Williams was a man with a mission. He had a wireless headset on each ear. He had a phone to his mouth and was barking out orders. A mind like a computer that functioned Differently than the 72-year-old Green, He kept a three dimensional picture of the situation in his mind.

Every couple minutes he would pause a tactical board and drawn it with a temporary marker. Every raptor was being loaded with a vital supplies and running a shuttle to the port landing part of the Battlestar.

Several larger ships that were capable of landing on the base we’re taking on ammunition and running it out to the Battlestar. Crews unloaded the pallets put the shells on wheeled carts and move them straight into the ammunition magazines.

A large supply of consumables, spare parts for common systems especially guns we’re being moved in a frantic pace.

Every viper that could fly was in the air forming a barrier against attack.

Commander Jesse Green stroked his snow white beard and looked up at the DRADIS console. A small red dot appeared. Warning sounds were omitted. A crewmember called out the status: “Contact! Cylon raider single craft recon bird”

Commander Green stepped forward with a serious look. He picked up a phone and pressed the transmiSolaria to squadrons. Splash the cylon.

An enterprising NCO put the pilots communications channel on speakers in the CIC. The pilots had not yet formed into a team. Some of them were rookies, some of them were veterans. But they all understood the importance of their task. They did not fight for the kill they got out of each other’s way and 15 seconds after its arrival the cylon reader disintegrated in a red cloud of blood.

“Damned if that thing ain’t alive,” a pilot commented on the combat channel.

Commander Jesse Green picked up his phone again and flip some switches on his workstation. “This is the commander,” his voice was graven scratchy, his accent less pronounced. “The cylons will be back. Gun crews, Upper, lower, forward prepare for AAA fire. Set condition one throughout the ship.”

It only took 10 minutes for the next recon force to arrive.

“Contact cylon recon group. Eight graders. CBDR constant bearing decreasing range. Air cover move to intercept. If any one of them gets away we’re done here.”

Captain Fern “Wildcat” Jensen Swan her antiquated Mark to fiber viper around and maxed out her engines. She ssw two cylons almost directly ahead. Not wanting to waste time she unleashed a long volley of fire.

Both enemy ships exploded in spectacular fashion. “Splash to flying toasters, Captain Johnson reported.

The remaining six Raiders turned in all directions trying to evade what was obviously planned fire. One of the broadcasting a red beam. This was now known as the activation sequence for the CNP program which allowed the cylons. to shut down and destroyed most of the colonial fleet.

“Cowboy splash one toaster,” Lieutenant Ebers She thought got a kill. The silence we’re not without their own skill. They could handle more G-Force than a viper pilot.

They dodged and they twisted and one of the current position to take a good reconnaissance photograph of the Battlestar taking our supplies. Four more cylon raideea exploded in red smudges. With a white flash one of the raiders disappeared.

“Vipers form into two groups prepare for concentration fire above and below the ship. Work crews finish up what you doing we’re going to have to go now.” Colonel William stopped barking and looked up at the status board. It was now just a countdown before the basestars jumped in.

Three minutes later two large red balls appeared on the DRADIS screen. There was a warning chime.

Dutifully the officer of the day reported the news that everybody could see on their screen: “Contact! Cylon bass stars. They’re launching Raiders. 300 scratch that 600 targets in bound.”

Captain Jensen spoken to her wireless. “Line it up and let it loose don’t come home with any ammunition. Red team take the base star below us blue team take the bass star above us.

It was a beautiful site seeing thousands of streaking shells going outbound and colliding with the massive wave of cylon fighters. Dozens of them disintegrated instantly. Some of the trailing fighters dodged in launch counter fire. Several vipers exploded as well.

This was a tactic designed at the war College. It was one for desperate situations. When out numbered they would spend or have a nation and then get out of the way and at the Battlestar guns take care of the rest

Captain Jensen so she was zero and ammunition and then gave the order: “OK peel off open a hole the Battlestar is going to create a fire zone. For gods sake don’t get into her engagement zone.”

She pulled her viper around in a high G turn. She saw most of her squadron from the base peel off and open up a firing zone. Below the Battlestar the same thing happened.

The main guns, Which had not been fired in decades belched forth a volley of shells. Smaller guns a raid all up and down the flight parts opened up and formed a secondary barrier. Hundreds of raiders flew into the flak and became red smears.

In CIC in CIC Commander Green was giving orders. “Engines ahead fall about up. Four cans prepare to concentrate on the Bass stars center axis.”

From space, Captain Johnson was the last viper to do a combat landing on the Port flight pod. She could see the Ford guns of the Battlestar belching forward. Behind her civilian ships were scrambling to land among vipers were scattered all along the landing deck.

Colonel Williams reported that all job capable shifts had left and at all shuttles had landed. They have not gotten all the supplies, but they had gotten a healthy portion.

“We can ju,p now Commander Green,” he reported.

“Retract the pods. Spool up FTL NAV computer validate and double-check jump coordinates. We got ourselves a little business to do here first.”

“You are going to take our eBay star with a 20-year out of date crate and guns being fired by civilians and have never fired them before?”

Commander Jesse queen stroked his snow white beard and smiled. “Now that you put it that way yes. It’s time our side did a little damage.

The CIC rocked is inbound missile fire poured in faster than the engagement zone could detonate them.

From space a dozen forward guns poured fire into the center axis of the base ship. Internal explosions began to engulf the ship.

Missiles continue to pour in finally surviving bass star. With a self-satisfied look in the CIC commander, Green spoke softly. “Now we can go.”

Applauds broke out NCIC members began to hug each other unless they were engaged in jump preparation. There was a lot of laughter and happiness. It lasted exactly 3 seconds.

Lieutenant spoke from his consul. “I’ve got a red light in auxiliary damage control.”

Colonel William spoke sharply in with purpose. “Override! That’s how Cylons used the vent Colonial during the first Cylon war.”

An NCO reported from his station. “The board is Green ready to jump.”

“Jump the ship,” ordered Commander Green. “Send security tags every damage control shoot to kill.”

As the white flash of an FTL jump faded, Commander Jesse Green realized that he had failed. He felt cold. It was difficult to breathe. Papers were starting to rush around as air left the CIC.

Somehow the sidelines and made it to auxiliary damage control and done what they have done so many times during the first cylon war. The had vented the ship.

The commander looked over and his XO Before he felt his body get blown across the room. The last thing you thought of was his wife and daughter most likely dead on Caprica. I’ll see you on the other side he thought before it was nothing.