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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”