Chapter 50: Rescue attempt

“We are at the communications hub Major,” the technician who was a glorified geek that used to work for her when she was head of IT.

“Break in,” she ordered.

The man, in his early twenties with a non-regulation earring in his left ear lobe, was typing for about 55 seconds before he leaned back and announced success. “We are in.”

“Activate the hack,” Ramirez ordered.

“Aye aye skipper,” he announced. “It could take hours to get anything useful.”

“Get something useful sooner,” she ordered, knowing she might be asking the impossible.

A corporal, a young, dark skinned native of Scorpia stood at attention, waiting for the acting commander to finish.

Major Ramirez sighed, her rapidly thinning frame looking lost in her uniform. “What is it Corporal Ashley.”

“Ashman Sir,” she corrected gently. “We are being ordered back to fleet HQ.”

“Signal them that we are on a rescue mission for the Eagle.”

“Sir,” she corrected. “The Eagle jumped away when she was ambushed. She is at fleet HQ undergoing emergency repairs.”

“Send the signal. Stop acknowledging. Have someone go manually interrupt the cable into the computer network.”

“Sir,” she said, preparing to protest an illegal order. “Fleet Commander Andrew Cobb has ordered us back to fleet HQ.”

“Pay dirt,” the computer geek reported. “A base star with the same transponder as the one we think took the commander has orders to jump to a rally point.”

“When?” Major Ramirez asked.

“In ten minutes. We can get there first, get the drop on them.”

“CAG, prepare for combat jump and launch. I want recon birds out there in 3 minutes. They will jump ahead and make sure its not an ambush.”

The CAG, who was standing quietly in the commanders quarter because her superior officer was standing, spoke. “I’m sending force recon. Five assault raptors and two rescue.”

“Marine,” she gestured to her Marin shadow. “Prepare a strike force. We are going to assault the base star and get our commander back.”

“Yes Sir,” he turned and exited the commanders quarters.

“We are going back to CIC.” Everyone followed her. It was a three minute walk to CIC.

“Action stations,” she ordered. “Set condition one through out the ship. All vipers in the tubes, prepare for launch following a combat jump.”

Everyone went to work. They watched the screen anxiously as the recon force jumped away.

“How long” Ramirez asked, pacing impatiently. “Spool up FTL.”

Two very long minutes passed, before a single raptor showed up on DRADIS.

“This is Sausage. The way is clear. No base stars at the moment. The assault raptors are moving through the area to paint targets.”

“Jump back Sausage.”

“Combat jump. Now.”

When the dizziness wore off, Major Ramirez grabbed the table to keep from keeling over. These jumps were not having a good effect on her. She was more unsteady with every attempt.

“If the hack got good data they should be jumping in about now.” The hacker, who had followed the crowd into CIC reported.

Just a few seconds later the DRADIS emitted a series of triple beeps and showed unknown targets, which seconds later showed up as base stars. There were no squadrons, so it was unlikely the Cylons knew they were coming.

“Five base stars, they are launching raiders. Our target base star is with them.” Announced the tactical officer.

“They are in weapons range.”

“All batteries weapons free. Give us a course to bring the forward guns to bear on the base star nearest to our target. Launch the marine strike force.”

“We are taking heavy fire,” the tactical officer reported.

“Radiological alarm. Inbound nukes.”

“Flak full automatic,” Ramirez ordered. The roar from impacts on the armor drowned out voice communications.

“Three more base stars just jumped in.” DRADIS reported.

“The Marine strike force has entered the base star. They are encountering heavy resistance.” A marine was making reports while he monitored the communications.

“Two more nukes inbound.”

“Turn thirty degrees to port,” the acting commander ordered.

“They are jumping around trying to make it hard to track the ship we want.”

“Have the marines blow a hole in the side, so we don’t lose track.”

“Marine commander reports he has been stopped short of the objective.”

“Tell him to try harder.,” Ramirez snapped.

There was thud and a sickening sound from the frame of the ship.

“Near hit from a nuke Sir. Splash damage to the forward hull.

“We are bracketed Sir.” the tactical officer reported. “They can launch missile strikes from both sides.”

“Marine commander reports they have the detention block of the base star. Nobody home. Commander Lawson is not aboard.”

“Order an orderly withdrawal,” Ramirez ordered.

“Base star is spooling up.”

“Hit her center axis,” Major Ramirez ordered. “Try not to destroy her. Knock out her FTL.”

“That is not were the FTL drive is on this ship,” tactical replied.

“The base star has jumped away. We had sixty marines on her.”

“They are all jumping away,” DRADIS reported.

There was silence. “Recall our birds and prepare to jump home.”

It was time to meet Commander Cobb.

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