Chapter 1 : Battlestar Mercury – Exodus “Long term plans”

Chapter 1: Between the two Cylon Wars: A meeting a few months after the armistice.

Aboard the Battlestar Galactica in Admiral Silas Nash meeting with his XO a year after the end of the first Cylon war.

“Well Colonel,” Nash leaned back in his office chair. “What do you hear?”

Colonel Washington, a dark skinned, woman with only a few flecks of gray in her tight military hairstyle sighed. “It’s not good.”

She sat in the chair opposite of her longtime commanders desk, leaned forward and laid a top secret folder on the desk.

Admiral Nash, whose hairline had receded rapidly during the long war, leaned forward and took the folder. He flipped through it. His brow furrowed.

“The three surviving Jupiter 2 Battlestars are fully funded. I see they are giving you the Atlantia. Congratulations Commander.”

Washington moved stiffly. “That was a bone to get your cooperation.”

“No talk like that Julia,” Nash gestured. “If they had given you Columbia she would not have been lost.”

“Look at the cuts,” Washington urged. “All forty seven Artemis class. 33 Minerva class. Half of our Valkyries, that will leave us with just 30,”

“Which we will modernize and turn into a strike force.” Nash was always the fateful optimist. “ Three Jupiter mk3’s are funded.”

“Those will take 12 years to build and are still using the same frame with all its defects of the original Jupiter.”

“True,” Nash nodded agreement. “In five years we will start the new program to take the best of the Minerva technology and combine it with whats right about the Jupiter and the Mercury project will begin. In twenty years we will have a modern force of Mercury’s and Valkyries based on totally new technology.”

“The Mark IV fighter program funding is cut 80% but its still in there.”

“The active reserve plan to keep the ships we are cutting now as ready reserve?”

Washington frowned. “Totally cut. The quorum vote was veto proof. 9 to 3.”

“Is there money to scrap the ships?” Nash flipped through the folder hopeful look on his face.

“They cut 90%” the Colonel answered. “They did give me the Atlantia but they decided in peacetime Colonel was good enough to command a Battlestar group.

“Fuel and training was cut 50%”

“Banzai!” Nash said. “We have 30% more than we need. We will watch the border and train up as best we can. This is a win.”

“We did manage to hide Adama from from the pilot cuts,” Washington concluded.

Ten years later at Picon fleet headquarters

Admiral Washington stood stiffly at the podium. “The Colonial fleet without Admiral Nash at its head will be less than it was. However the inspiration of his leadership will inspire us to train even harder. Hopefully when he is elected to the Caprica Quorum seat, he will educate his peers on what resources it requires to be ready for the Ongoing Cylon threat.”

Nash nearly bald, saluted, both officers were grayer.

They stood together in a quiet corner after the ceremony, drinking wine next to a tropical plant.

“How many ships in the reserve fleet?” He asked quietly.

“Nearly 180,” Washington whispered.

“Time to dismantle them at current funding levels?” Nash gave a wry grin.

“Seventy six years give or take six months. I have managed to slip funding into the budget for six marine training bases to keep pirates from stripping them clean. The guns and FTL drives alone are with billions of cubits.”

“Thank the Gods for corrupt contractors who don’t want to hire the workers needed to do the job!” Nash smiled again. “I will get you the money for the Mercury program.”

“They laid off Major Adama,” Washington added with a grave countenance.

“The new sensor technology will get us the ability to eaves drop on the toasters,” Nash added quietly.

“So far,” Admiral Washington said, “they have kept the armistice with machine like efficiency.”

“A pity they have not decided to test their new technology,” Nash said. “That might really wake up the Quorum and the peoples council.”

Admiral Washington nodded.

Twenty years into the Armistice

Admiral Washington’s hair was snow white. Her hand shook with age. She took her hand written letter to her successor, folded it and sealed it in an envelope. It was labeled, “Commander in Chief: Colonial Fleet”

One year after the fall of the Colonies in the second Cylon war.

“This came in from the former head of the Colonial fleet,” Commander Ramirez gently placed the notebook on Lawson’s desk.

“Did you read it?” Lawson newly promoted to Admiral rubbed her tired eyes.

“I did not!” Ramirez flashed an faux offended grin. “It’s labeled CINC: Colonial Fleet. I am merely a Battlestar commander praying for a demotion to her pre-war job.”

Lawson wrinkled her nose as she flipped through the notebook. “Letters and good wishes from Fleet Admiral’s Nash, Washington, McCoy, Rogers and Nagumo. I am overcome with nostalgia.”

“Whats on the USB stick?” Ramirez asked.

“Your job!” Lawson playfully tossed the flash drive to her second in command, who caught it and connected it to a tablet computer.

A serious look overtook her as she fingered through the fire.

“What is it?” Lawson stopped twirling her hair, suddenly focused.

“Its a map of six graveyards where every Colonial Fleet vessel that were not destroyed were stored after decommission. We hit one of them after we caught the Cylons trying to spool things up.”

“The other five were destroyed by the toasters on the day of the fall?”

“I can’t say,” Ramirez answered. “Admiral McCoy diverted some of the Mercury program money and relocated all but the ones we destroyed.”

“I’m sure the Cylons figured it out,” Lawson concluded. “How many ships?”

“Twenty-five Atlas, about 90 Valkyries, 25 Artemis, 20 Minerva class probably a hundred composed of Janus, Bezerk, Ranger,Minataur and Celestra.”

“That is enough ships to take this ill advised new Colonies on the road.”

“Like you advised the Peoples Council Admiral.”

“What are the chances that these ships can still fly, have working FTL?”

“I think if McCoy did the transfers that puts us 30 years closer to today when Nash and Washington started this little off the books project.”

“I am adding this to your portfolio Commander Ramirez,” Admiral Lawson ordered. “Find and verify this treasure trove.”

Ten days before the Cylon offensive

“I need three thousand bodies to set these ships up with skeleton crews,” Ramirez reported. “I don’t know where I am going to get the Tylium.”

“Good work,” Admiral Lawson smiled wearily. “I am declaring a special shore leave for 4000 Colonial Fleet personnel. Go get these ships ready for rescue operations.”

“Yes Sir,” Ramirez saluted. “At the very least we can stop pouring resources into ship building and restore the Valkyries.”

Lawson nodded.

Five Days Before the Cylon Offensive

Commanders Conference

Commander Maria Ramirez stood ramrod straight, her uniform hanging loosely on her frame. The clicker for the slide show was in her right hand. It required all her concentration to not click nervously through the slide show.

“In the event of an exodus from the new Colonies,” she said clicking the next slide. “We attack aggressively to provide cover for the civilian evacuation.”

Acropolis Actual, still wearing his Major rank pin raised his bony hand and asked a question. “What percentage are we expected to evacuate? My briefing shows we have the capacity to save maybe 4 or 5 percent with civilian vessels, perhaps an equal number crammed into military ships.”

“That depends on the success of Operation Bus Heist.” Ramirez replied while the Admiral nodded. “Which relies on the laziness of the Virgon contractors who were hired to scrap the surplus warships from the first war. There are various theories, the most widely accepted by Professor James Bogomolny based on the spot price of various components during the first twenty years of the Cylon armistice.

Battlestar Mercury: Book 2 “ Exodus” Chapter 2 >>>