Chapter 24: Aftermath

Commander Eva Lawson was sitting in her quarters with the lights turned down. A battle plan designed to be grand and deprive the cylon fleet of fuel had done massive damage, but the price had been high. The former viper pilot and CAG had a bitter taste in her mouth.

Her dinner sat besides the desk, untouched. Gun camera footage of the mightly battlestar being ambushed played in a loop on two large wall monitors. She was waiting for the CAG to deliver her the bad news about the air wing, which had already been down to half strength due to the catastrophic losses on the first day of the second cylon war.

She would have had some booze had there been any in her quarters. She rememberd the promise she had made to herself and Admiral Mueller when she had decided not to resign and accept the CAG position. No more alcohol were going to pass her lips. Not with thousands of crewmen under her command.

A picture of what was the battlestar Solaria museum was [rinted and sitting on the desk/ It seemed tha Commander Jesse Green had not only escaped but built a small air wing. It was an impressive accomplishment considering the ship had been decommissioned two decades ago.

Ther was a knock on the door. Her new XO liked to knock. “Come in,” she croaked. She wss hoarse from shouting several hours ago.

The recently promoted computer geek placed a data pad on the desk. She was concerned about the mental state of Commander Lawson. So many dead pilots might shake a CAG loose.

“Which do you want first the good news or the bad?” Ramirez asked.

“How many did we lose?” Lawson had a morbid look to her. “Wait where is the CAG?”

“Wounded in sick bay,” Major Ramirez replied. “We lost 21 vipers and eight raptors.”

“We can’t sustain a war all by ourselves and keep taking losses like that,” Lawson opined.

“Agreed,” Ramirez said. “We are going to have to revise our tactics to sustain this war. We do have the first class of thirty civilians in the simulators doing their basic flight training.”

“Well that’s a piece of good news. Might relieve crowding in the marine barracks.”

“No Sir we just escorted in another ship carrying three hundred civilians. Doc says it would be unsanitary to try and shove them into the marine quarters.”

Lawson slammed her hand on the desk. “Well where the frack are we going to put them?”

“I don’t know Sir, I’m trying to come up with an outside the box answer here.”

“What is the damage assessment of our attacks?”

“That is the good news. We took out half the reserves in the colonies. Recon says cylon fleet operations are stepping down to a lower operational cadence. We have to assume its the fuel situation.”

“Next time we will hit targets in cylon space,” she said thinking aloud. “Okay what about the battlestar?”

“She has working FTL and most systems are undamaged. She is carrying a pretty decent sized ammunition payload.”

“Crewing her is going to be a bitch,” Lawson opined. “Why is everyone aboard dead?”

“We found a body in auxiliary damafe control. She deliberately vented the ship.”

“It wasn’t a centurion?”

“Negative Sir. We just got this in. Three more ships with nine hundred civies just showed up. Where will we put them?”

Commander Lawson was thinking. She was staring at the picture of the Solaria. “Can the battlestar support life?”

“It smells pretty bad but yes Sir.”

“How many crew were aboard the Jupiter class?”

“Five thousand, plus there were billets for nine hundred marines.”

“Send the new civies to the Solaria. I kind of like the idea of having a civilian transport that can defend itself.”

“Not a bad idea at all,” Ramirez opined.