Chapter 57: Cease fire?
The admiral argued against it, Commander Ramirez argue against it. Nothing could stop Cory Brooks in her desire to go forward with the cease fire. Truth be told the colonial fleet, disorganized and undermanned needed some time off. They need to repair their ships. More than that they needed to train their people.
The heavy casualties at the battle with the base star fleet were attributed to a lack of training especially of the crews on the doomed adamant frigates.
As it turned out they were substantial number of berserk carriers and adamant frigates that have been converted for civilian use. These were very easy to upgrade and arm.
Spare parts were very easy to retrieve, because the cylons never attacked the junkyards. In the first 30 days of the cease-fire, a lot of training was done a lot of missions were run to retrieve spare parts from the junkyard around the colonies.
The cease fire agreement was surprisingly detailed and one of them allowed and did not allow.
A line has been drawn three dimensionally conceding that the cylon had control of the 12 colonies. This was designated as occupied territory. The colonial fleet was allowed to run recon missions, so long as they were lightly armed and did not include heavy warships. Everyone knew that the colonies was a good source for spare parts.
There was a prohibition against movement of heavy ships in and out of the colonies. From the tiny berserk all the way up to the mercury class Battlestar all heavy war ships were restricted from the colonies.
A fierce argument a fierce argument broke out over the patrols that the cylons were allowed in the 12 colonies. They claim to be facing a rebellion on several worlds. Peoples Council Executive Cory Brooks allowed the enemy they have two base stars per colony to defend against incursions.
The admiral was very angry about this provision, because it allowed the enemy to concentrate their forces and wipe out the rebellions that were known to exist on Caprica, Scorpia, and several other Colonies.
He argued that this was a sell out to the brave souls that stood up against the cylon might. Unfettered, the enemy would be able to wipe out these rebellions without fear of retaliation from the new colonial fleet.
She successfully argued that if the enemy did not get any benefit from the cease-fire, there would be no cease-fire.
An enormous amount of territory was designated off-limits to all cylon fleet movements. Both sides realized that the other would violate the agreement. In order to rest and repair their forces, they agreed on rules of engagement.
The colonials were allowed to attack any vessel in their territory. The amount of territory was large enough that the executive felt it was possible to hide the civilian settlements. The supply runs to the colonies of unarmed, lightly protected salvage ships was tolerated. Both sides were building up to the next confrontation.
Commander Eva Lawson was nowhere to be seen. She left her ship in the command of her new XO William Bill Simmons. She was in a military hospital that was set up a location that the civilian government was not aware of.
She had promised her friend Maria Ramirez that she would get help. She was not judged the most cooperative patient. She didn’t want to talk about her flashbacks. She didn’t wanna talk about her indiscretions before the war. She really doesn’t want talk about anything.
Psychotherapy sessions sometimes consisted of her staring into space. She could easily fall into a PTSD flashback. Sometimes during the sessions with the psychotherapist, she would come out of a flashback in tears, drenched in sweat.
Finally, two weeks into the cease-fire fire, Lawson gave in and started talking about her experiences. The cylon’s were particularly concerned with the mis treatment of one of their model sixes that was captured about the Battlestar Pegasus, early in the war.
They had wanted Lawson to feel the same punishment physical, and psychological as their six was undergoing on Pegasus.
This had involved a lot of physical abuse. Sometime she was assaulted a dozen times a day. To mess with her mind they change the cycle of days and nights. She had no idea how many hours were in a day. She knew that for about 12 hours a day she was left alone in the cold.
Some of the cylon models and argued against this torture. They had said this because the humans had done this to the sex, it did not justify stooping to their level. The sixes and the eights were very angry about this and there was this unity among the cylon.
Model number one, the Cavil, would not hear of any change in the regimen. The long cold nights sometimes lasted 18 hours.
Sometime she would be continually assaulted for 24 hours. Memories came back to her of her screaming and begging for mercy. She had been very angry with herself for giving in and letting them force of the beg.
She was angry with herself for not being strong enough to resist. After all these assaults were no different than when she done consensually and she had ruined her career many times over prior to the fall of the 12 colonies.
Her therapist tried to tell her that although the assaults we’re often sexual in nature, but they were not about sex. They were about control and domination and the cylon attempt to break her.
She realize they have been completely successful. Their goal has been to send her back to the colonial fleet broken. Perhaps that even program triggers into her through manipulation of her memories. She remembered sessions being connected to resurrection equipment.
The memories of her time in cylon custody may have been false. Although she had a physical scars of assault it was possible that they have changed her memories of the time in custody and perhaps even her 41 years of life before being captured.
She asked her therapist how could she be sure of any of her memories. The answer came she could not be sure but much of it could be verified. A copy of the colonial fleets database has been taken. They were written and visual records.
She encouraged to look at the visual records. As these verified her memories of her time in the colonial fleet, she felt less broken. Her confidence came back. By the third week of a cease-fire, she was having less frequent flashbacks. Surprised she was talking about the flashbacks helped.
There was a training incident that happened when she was very young. This memory was very strong in her. It involved off duty mis-behavior.
She had remembered being written up for her behavior. She had earned a demerit. There was no record in the colonial database of this incident. Her service record made no mention of it.
The psychotherapist had made it clear that the memory was a strange thing. People often remember incidents in the way they understood them. People experiencing the same thing at the same time came away with very different memories. It was part of the human condition memory it was not precise.
There was no reason to be upset about inaccuracies in the memory. Entire incidents could’ve happened and not been documented. As it turned out there were several incidences during her career that she knew have been written up. As a matter fact it has never been entered into the database by commander who wished to cut her a break and did not want her to be slut shamed.
One of the flashbacks involved her turning over the tactical details of how a mercury class Battlestar operated in offensive mode. It upset her greatly that she would have even thought about discussing these things. It was possible that this memory was planted in her.
The resurrection technology that they used to alter her memories was designed for cylon synapses not human. There could be damage, there could be conflicting memories and there’s nothing to do about it other than deal with it. The psychotherapist at the end of week three so that they would be daily sessions for the rest off the cease-fire.
The therapist had actually done a four year stint in the colonial Fleet. She was technically in the reserves and she arranged for her self to be called up. She was also a medical doctor and will always be useful on the Battlestar.
She thought the doctor Jameson was a hack, but pledged to work with him as she was given the rank of captain. He was a major and was in charge of his sick bay.
The sessions will continue until both parties agreed that we needed to stop. The doctor put her self on 24 x 7 availability. Anytime that commander Lawson needed to talk Dr. Farragut would be available. Commander Lawson wondered how the doctor would do during triage after a battle.
It was a cozy arrangement that seemed just like a bolstering of the medical corps.
“Why would you give up your practice?” Asked Lawson.
“Well to be honest with you I’m not getting paid anyway. There is no currency system right now. There is no economy other than the black market. At least working for the colonial fleet I might get some money in my account when this war finally ends.”
“The outcome of this war is not likely to be good,” said Lawson.
“I have faith that if we’re going to survive you’re gonna have a hand in it commander Lawson,” the doctor answered. “We created this mess don’t forget.”
* * *
Day 218 of the second cylon war. Day 25 of the first cease-fire.
The early morning meeting was disorienting because the shipyard was hidden in a dark corner of a solar system with no life in it. It was called for 5 o’clock in the morning, which disrupted ships routine. After the capture of Commander Lawson several months ago, commanders travelled with a bit of an escort.
Today’s escort was five assault raptors. There were two recon raptors further confuse any attempts to kidnap a senior colonial officer.
“There had better be coffee at this meeting,” Amanda Ramirez remarked as she walked through the door into the admirals office.
Is it for which should become a command a table was set out with pastries in the finest coffee available in the colonial fleet. Ramirez dug in, securing two pastries for herself and a cup off coffee with generous portions of sugar and creamer.
Commander Lawson yawned and stretch your arms in the air. This is not the most professional way to enter a meeting, but she was not trying to act professional. She was trying to express her annoyance at a 5 AM meeting.
“I am sorry I had to schedule this meeting so early. The situation has developed rather quickly. We are spotted a cylon fleet that is moving through our territory under the cease fire. It is a big one. Under the terms of the cease-fire we have a right to destroy it.”
“If you’re asking my opinion I think we should slam it. It’s obvious to me that the fuel shortage that we thought we were creating was an illusion presented to us by the cylons. If they are moving fleets around, they are setting up for an attack, probably after he cease-fire expires.”
“Wait a minute,” Lawson ran a hand thorough her black, tightly curled hair. “This is what we have spotted. They could already have other fleets in our sector.”
“Wouldn’t we have spotted it?” Asked the admiral.
“Space is vast and inhospitable. There is no way we can set up a sensor network that they can spot the enemy ships. Plus with FTL technology they can jump a considerable distance into our territory without our knowing it.”
“How is this possible?” Asked the admiral.
“The cylons possess superior jump technology. They can jump further than we can with our technology. It takes much fewer jumps to get to the colonies using their technology than ours,” said Ramirez.
Admiral Cobb sighed, “What are the implications of us breaking the cease-fire?”
“That is a political question. The agreement allows us to attack silent forces and motion on our side of the armistice line we spotted at four so we need to eliminate that force.” Lawson was not liking the stress of this meeting
“We need to know the scope of the problem. We need to get a massive recon net out there so we can find and see how much trouble we are in. We may need to pick up and run if they have infiltrated us with superior forces.” Admiral Cobb ended his statement.
“Let’s hit the fleet we are tracking while we escalate the search for any fleets we missed.” Lawson suggested.
“This is going to require approval from Cory Brooks,” Admiral Cobb said. “I am going to have the intelligence bureau write up an assessment. You two interview our Cylon prisoner.”
* * *
“Absolutely not,” Corey Brooks said emphatically. She brought her hand down on the desk making a very loud bang. “I am not going to be the first to break the cease-fire.”
“We are not the ones that broke the fire. The toasters did that when I sent this week across the line. Our doing is enforcing the conditions of the cease-fire agreement.”
“Did you ever stop to think that maybe the cylon perceive themselves as injured party here?”
“No I didn’t. They destroyed our civilization and left our worlds a nuclear wasteland they massacred billions of people. Why should they be the aggrieved party here?”
“We created them,” Books began. “We created them as slaves and did not understand when they became sentient.”
“When your washing machine breaks down,” the admiral answered. “We don’t send it out for therapy. We throw it away we buy a new one. The Cylons are no different.”
“Our washing machines did not rebel spark a 10 year war and then 40 years in exile only to return and destroy us. The Cylons may have had grievances as to how they were treated. Perhaps if we can come to an understanding with them and stop the killing.”
“Peoples council executive Cory brooks you are insane. Battlestar wears out we destroy it or make it into a museum. We don’t ask it how it feels about being taken apart and melted down we just do it.”
“He’s appliances,” Brooks continued “Have evolved and taken human form. They walk they talk they breathe they bleed. Things are different than they were at the beginning of the cylon war.”
“If you weeks ago, you were in favor of exterminating them. You ordered a raid to deprive them of fuel and destroy their fleet as they sat in shipyard unable to move. That was the right call then. unfortunately we weren’t ready to do the job. It is the right call now.”
“No,” Brooks said forcefully. “You may not attack. You may send a force to intercept them and order them to comply with agreement and return to cylon territory. If they refuse then you can attack them.”
“That is asinine,” The admiral replied angrily. “We have to be used both of the mercury glass Battlestar is to be able to overcome this force. To announce ourselves takes away the element of surprise. We need to pounce on them like a lion on prey.”
“All right,” she said. “How about this. Intercept him with a force recon. That’s like a squadron of assault raptors. Let them know they face attack if they don’t return to their territory.”
“Do you know Miss Brooks in time of war I don’t need authorization to attack a threatening target. You are not president of the colonies. You’re the executive of the People’s Council. However I don’t want to cooperation between the military and the civilian government just end. So will send our force recon and see what the Cylons do. My guess is they’re going to shoot at us.”
* * *
On day 219 of the second cylon or a force recon consisting of five we can Raptors 30 assault Raptors jumped in the location of the cylon fleet. They broadcast on all frequencies a warning to return to their own territory or face destruction.
There was no reply. I did not shoot. They activated their FTL drives and jumped. The entire fleet disappeared in under 10 seconds. Commander air group (CAG) Of the mercury, call sign Jaybyrd was at a loss to explain behavior. They were caught red-handed. They had more than enough Raiders to wipe out the weekend for us. They did nothing.
This led to a 9 AM meeting on a decrepit old freighter, The council of three they were called, the Admiral and commanders of the mercury class Battlestars.
* * *
“So do we know where the jumped?” Admiral Cobb.
“No,” Ramirez” replied, “but we do know where they didn’t jump. We have Monitoring in about 150 systems. We tagged one of the base stars with a tracker. They are not currently in the 12 colonies or the 150 systems we currently monitor.”
“How are we sure this track or even worked?” Cobb asked.
“We tag the nemesis cruiser that the Cavil that negotiated with Miss Brooks. We’ve tracked it through 15 jumps. It’s currently at Caprica. The device is very small, penetrates the armor. It’s about the size of a bullet from a hand weapon. I can’t say for sure they didn’t detect it.”
On cue there was a beeping sound that sounded like a mobile phone. Commander Ramirez called what looked to be a mobile phone out of her pocket and check the message on it. “We have located the cylon fleet. It is at Scorpia.”
“That’s technically a violation of the seas fire agreement,” Commander Lawson noted. Jumping to the colonies is not an option. It’s too far away from our logistics hubs to support a battle.”
Admiral Cobb handed over a small USB disk. “This is technical data on the cylon FTL technology. You should be able to predict their maximum jump range. Draw a sphere on the map and see what systems are close to the line.”
Always the information technology wizard, Ramirez attached to drive to her phone. Then she input some instructions. “Admiral what is the encryption key to your workstation?”
He worked a keyboard for several seconds and answered your question. A three dimensional map came up on the monitor which he turned around to show the two commanders.
“Our most valuable asset is the shipyard,” Lawson said. “If this date is correct they can do it in 1 Jump straight from Scorpia.”
“Then that is where we will set our ambush,” the admiral said. “Put together a heavy fleet and be waiting for them when they arrive.”
* * *
Day 221 of the second cylon war. Day 28 of the first cease-fire.
They jumped in as two distinct fleet groups. One was led by Commander Lawson, the other by Commander Ramirez. After they both jumped in they saw the DRADIS was clean.
“This is Saturn actual calling for Mercury actual.” The speaker crackled with static.
Lawson picked up a headset and put it on her head. “This is Mercury actual.”
“You know when I was a kid I could used to pretend to be a Battlestar commander,” Ramirez said on the wireless. “I never dreamed with a career in IT that I would actually achieve that childhood goal.”
“Same here,” Lawson replied. “Which Battlestar?”
“Galactica. I was always Galactica actual.”
“Galactica was my first choice also. Sometimes my brother made me take the original Pegasus the Jupiter Mark one version.”
“Commander Lawson,” Ramirez asked “What is our readiness profile going to be?”
“I’m going to rotate a squadron of 75 vipers with pilots in their seats ready to launch.”
“That is what we should do as well. We each have six squadrons now so we can minimize the fatigue on the pilots.”
“Also lets put some distance between the jump in point and our deployment,” Commander Lawson suggested. “I have noticed it is easier to take their fleets apart if we force them to send their fast ships forward without enough backup.”
“Yes Sir,” Ramirez answered.
Six hours passed. Then 12 hours, then 18 hours, then 24. During hour 26, the DRADIS lit up with 10 targets.
“All right all birds in the air.” Lawson ordered. “Form a picket line and let the cylons get hammered by flak before they join the fighter battle.”
“All ships are launching, coming into formation.” Major Simmons reported.
“500, no 700 missiles inbound.” the tactical officer warned.
The new XO started to take the initiative. “All ships confirm full defensive posture and flak configuration.”
“Steady,” Lawson said softly.
For the next four minutes the radio chatter reported inbound missiles, nuclear weapons and pilot chatter. The pilots took out a few nuclear weapons, but mostly battled the Cylon fighters. There were several remarks about older Cylon ships being identified.
The raiders were suddenly gone, all destroyed and the pilots started goin after the warships. There was a Nemesis destruction, followed by a few Phobos. When a Cerebes carrier was engaged, Lawson gave the order.
“Break formation, keep flak up, start offensive operations with the Battlestars.”
Ten minutes later the last Cylon ship a first war Argos was demolished.
“Recall all birds,” Lawson ordered. “Damage reports to the XO.”
The Commander clicked on her wireless. “Give me Saturn actual.”
“What next?” she asked. There were a lot of voices shouting in the background.
“They may be tracking the shipyard,” Lawson said. “Jump it to a new location. We will set up another ambush.”
“So say we all.” Ramirez replied.