Chapter 69: Stand off.
“Get raptors out to task force Saturn,” Admiral Lawson barked. “Figure out how we are going to fill in the gaps the Cylons just tore in this task force.
“We have an encrypted communication from Cory Brooks of the Peoples Council.” The comms officer looked down and read carefully. “Cylon ships in orbit of every outpost of the new Colonies. A model 1 has demanded that we surrender all armed forces in return for an immediate cease fire. Planetary defense fleets have been destroyed.”
“Don’t answer,” Lawson said coarsely. “Head Geek, come with us we need your hack to get some kind of edge here.”
“Call me HG sir,” he asked.
“HG you are promoted to the rank of captain.”
They marched out of CIC where crews were already replacing the shattered CIC doors.
Minutes later they were in a room with a massive theater sized screen.
“HG show me the schematic of the Cylon communications network,” Lawson ordered.
He clicked some buttons and a spider web came up through much of known Colonial space.
“How do they use this network?” the XO asked.
“Those communications relays we see are signal boosters. They use FTL technology to transmit burst communications across the network. Little communications devices, literally FTL from point to point and upload information on these relays.” He zoomed and showed the relays which really did look like giant can openers.
“How did we hack it?” Lawson asked. “Laymen terms please.”
“When we captured the Cylon supply depot there were millions of these data transfer nodes that FTL all over the place. I reprogrammed them to work for us on the side. We get all their data soon as they do.”
“Do we get force deployments?” Lawson asked.
HG pressed another series of keys and red dots popped up all over the map. There was a legend showing ship types. “Admiral,” he said “they are actually lightly deployed in the new Colonies. The bulk of their forces are in staging areas where they will wait for our deployment before setting up a cross fire,”
A few more keystrokes and what looked like several bee hives full of ships appeared as big red blotches. “How many ships?” asked the XO.
“Two hundred base stars overall. Nearly 900 support ships, gun ships and such,” HG reported matter of factually with no emotion in his voice.
“What are those really big ships larger than their base stars?” Major Peterson asked.
The picture zoomed in on one. “Resurrection ships,” he answered blandly. “When any Cylon dies their consciousness, soul for lack of a better word downloads in a different computer network and can be put in fresh bodies. Galactica ran away so far this network could not be scaled. So these ships make up for the lack of network gear.”
“Okay I have an idea.” Lawson was briefly distracted by hair flopping down into her vision. She brushed it aside. “We give them part of what they expect to see. We lead a new task force to New Picon. Small groups of ships jump to positions where they can defend the Colonies. We build a task force around the other three Mercury class battlestars.”
She whispered to the CAG and the XO. They nodded.
“Can we use the Cylon communications network to contact the civilian government safely?”
“Yes” HG said. “They may eventually detect the hack. For now their only solution is to bring down the entire network.”
“Can we bring down the network?” Peterson asked.
“Yes,” HG answered, “they will figure out it is us and we might stop getting all this cool tactical data.”
“All right,” Admiral Lawson said. “Get the orders out.”
“Admiral,” HG asked, “are we going to comply with the Cylon demand to demilitarize?”
“Not while I have a pulse,” she said.
“Cory Brooks is demanding to speak with you.” A communications assistant walked in the room with a message, printed.
“That’s nice,” Admiral Lawson said. “We will talk to here after we jump to New Picon.”
“Cavil, the model one wants your answer immediately,” the communications assistant said in a grave voice.
“Don’t worry,” Lawson said. “I am going to get a coffee. We jump in ten minutes.”
A weapons assistant came up to Lawson as she headed toward the mess hall and asked her to sign for a bunch of nuclear weapons that were being tasked to be sent out and used.
* * *
“All right people,” Lawson said, walking into the CIC. “Give me your ears.”
It took nearly a minute before the room was quiet and she was set up with fleet wide communications.
“The Cylons think they have us in a tough situation. They do. They are demanding that if we dismantle our fleet, they will let us live on the worlds of the New colonies. Life is tough there. Because we have seen more difficult times, I reject that premise.”
“So say we all,” one young man said forcefully.
“The Cylons are demanding that we jump all our forces to New Caprica for a surrender. We are not going to do that either. Launch the Assault raptors.”
A few seconds passed by and the chatter was low, but Lawson could still be heard.
“Raptors are requesting permission to jump,” a communications NCO informed them.
“Jump the raptors.”
“FTL spooled. Jump key inserted. All ships report ready to jump.”
“Jump!” Lawson ordered. “May the Lords of Kobols forgive me.” She whispered to herself.
After the thunderous noise and the white flash, the navigational team announced they were in orbit of New Picon.
“Jump complete,” Navigation reported.
“I need a sitrep on major fleet groups and Colonies,” Admiral Lawson spoke softly but forcefully. She had on her best card playing (poker) face.
“How is Athena?” She asked.
“Athena has defeated its resurrection escorts and has weapons lock on their target.
“New Gemenon,” Lawson asked. She had a checklist and a rough idea how much of the depleted fleet was at each location.
“Base Stars are in orbit,” the XO read off a computer print out.
HG pressed a button and a short video intercept played.
“Do we have video?” The XO asked.
HG nodded and keyed in a few commands.
HG hit a single button.
“New Airilon.” Lawson’s expression was impassive, while she wondered if a pistol was still in her quarters.
HG looked confused.
“File index 787,” a dark haired female Ensign with black lipstick assisted.
HG keyed in a command.
HG pressed a key.
“Get me targeting information on that nuke,” the XO demanded.
“Saturn is reporting in,” HG said in his I don’t care voice. “Here is the video.”
“Acropolis has sent in a confirmation video,” a communications NCO pressed in her password and brought up the file.
“New Delphi,” Lawson asked in the same impassive voice.
“All we have is her orbital defense Artemis being nuked.” HG offered.
Lawson’s voice quaked briefly. “Lets see it.”
“DRADIS has a pair of Cylon base stars,” the DRADIS operator reported.
“I’ve got three more.” DRADIS reported.
“Are any of the new Colonies free of Cylon forces?”
“We have not heard from New Libran,” a communications lieutenant reported hopefully.”
“You are going to want to listen to this,” HG pressed a button and Cory Brooks voice came through over crackling static.
“This is Peoples Council Executive Cory Brooks. I am speaking on the authority of the president. We accept the Cylon offer. All Colonial forces are ordered to surrender and disband immediately. We have got to prove we are not a threat. We surrender.”
“We are going to ignore that surrender,” Lawson said. Her eyes narrowed and there was anger showing through.
“Sir,” the XO warned. “The military situation is dog shit. This may be our only chance.”
“I talked over this scenario with Brooks,” Lawson said. She knows that surrender means the slaughter of the human race. We are going to roll the hard six.”
“Brother Cavil wants to speak to Mercury actual,” communications interrupted.
“That is nice,” Lawson said. “I could do with another coffee. What do you say XO?”
The speaker crackled. “This is Cavil. Admiral Lawson you have not assembled the entire fleet here as instructed. I will destroy New Troy if you do not agree to my immediately and unconditionally follow these instructions. I’ve already given the order for the ships to jump in and start the destruction.”
“That is not necessary. We can move away from this place.”
“DRADIS,” the triple beep made it clear that someone was jumping in. “Cylon base stars.”
Lawson leaned over and whispered to HG. “Get me some information here. How did the raptors do?”
HG wrote a number on a piece of paper. IT showed 75% success rate.
“Seems you are missing a portion of your reinforcements Cavil,” Lawson said in the same, callous voice she had used concerning the mutiny.
“We still have enough to blast your civilization into dust.”
“That may be so.” Lawson’s attention was taken away by another print out.
“You have thirty seconds to comply Admiral,” Cavil warned.
“It’s true, you can rain down fire and destruction on the New Colonies. I can’t stop you. I am not going to even try. If you so much as fire a single shot, your resurrection ships are going to be melted. I’ve got three task forces with guns on the resurrection ships. We have already cleared the protection.”
“I don’t believe you,” Cavil said.
“Check your comms,” Lawson said. Her poker face was on. “If you fire a shot, we will initiate a battle. In that battle each and every death your forces experience will be permanent.”
There was whispered communication between the Cavil’s in the Cylon CIC.
“We have you outnumbered 4 to 1.”
“I believe your original plan called for the odds to be 25 to 1. What went wrong?” Admiral Lawson was clearly frakking with his head.
“We didn’t kill you when we had the chance,” Cavil raged.
“Destroy new Tauron,” Cavil ordered.
“Order the Athena to destroy her resurrection ship.”
“Now wait just a minute Admiral,” Cavil remarked, apparently taken aback.
“Get the orders to the other three task forces and order them to destroy the resurrection ships,” Lawson said in a cold, heartless tone. She hoped she was selling it here. “Then shut down the Cylon network.”
Cory Brooks had appeared on a video feed, but there was no audio. She was gesticulating wildly, trying to get some kind of point across.
“Cylon nukes are going active all over the New Colonies,” the XO reported.
“Mister Peterson, Lawson ordered. “Get ready to launch all squadrons to intercept nukes.”
“Copy that,” he said.
Armageddons had arrived.
End of book 1. Shmuel Bogomolny’s Battlestar Mercury. A fan fiction non-commercial story, purely for the enjoyment of Battlestar Galactica Fans.