Chapter 15: – “Wash, rinse, repeat.”

Day 480 of the second Cylon war

“Jump, repair, recon, repeat”

For the next few days, the fleet fell into a routine. Like the famous saying: rinse, wash, repeat. After an emergency evacuation, each ship was stuffed beyond, full. Sometimes far beyond full. Sanitation systems were at the breaking point. Clean water became a very big problem. Most of the civilian fleet we’re not able to go long time between taking on freshwater. A system needed to be established to keep up with the pace these ships were using water.

Most of the military ships were able to keep up with the demand. There were breakdowns there, and morale quickly dropped when the possibility of a drink of water or clean shower became a luxury.

People try to bring their case to the People’s council. This was difficult because the pace of the jumping was frantic. It was decided mostly by the Admiral, that they would be 4 jumps a day. Until they reach the cadence, they could not jump any faster than this.

Corey Brooks begged for the pace so slow. Admiral Lawson insisted that they be training to jump every 30 minutes in an emergency. Brooks agreed it was was a excellent goal. She argued it was simply not attainable at this time.

Each successive FTL jump produced more parts, failures, more FTL drive and computer failures. It turns out the officer assigned to boost the transportation from the graveyards, pulled another rabbit out of his hat. He had been forced to tear apart many ships in order to get the ships he was stealing in working order.

A pair of atlas carriers became the most valuable ships in the fleet. Admiral Lawson found it was impossible to memorize the names of each chip in her flight. She did keep a spreadsheet, though. When she noticed the atlas carriers or signed no duties or food deliveries, she became curious the two ships have been seized and refitted into gigantic parts, depot’s.

Cruise quarters had been mostly removed. Each ship had a skeleton crew. The loading of these two ships have been rushed. A computer inventory had been kept on a laptop computer to keep it away from the Cylons.

The second jump had a bounce after the jump, the laptop had hit the ceiling, then the floor, ending its existence. Crew was assigned to do an emergency inventory. FTL parts were in demand, and soon every parts request took an hour to fulfill.

The “Sprint” as it was called started on day 480 of the Second Cylon war and ended on day 483. They had to stop, deal with the water and parts crisis. For seven days days they sat and tired to complete repairs.

The system they had built to allow the mobile shipyard to be kept assembled has error prone, unreliable. Currently the Athena and Saturn were both tethered to it, having taken heavy damage on the port side.

The choice they were left with was risky. They could keep the FTL running on the two Mercury Class battlestars and jump them independently involved damaging the equipment that kept them tethered to the mobile shipyard.

The alternative, which meant making a huge FTL field stable for the jump had fallen out of use since it was used to move around the Dadelos shipyard in the first war.

The engineers, after much debate came up with a stable, large FTL field that could take the entire shipyard with it.

Every day, they ran FTL drills without actually pressuring the teams to achieve a 30 minute jump turn around. This was never achieved in simulation, however the average time was dropping.

At 0500 on Day 491 of the second war, they did their first jump. They lost an Adamant frigate which never showed up at the jump point.

The jump process was elaborate.

A pair of recon raptors were jumped to the planned destination. They went around, taking in sensor data. One of those raptors jumped back to the fleet to give the all clear. The big jump was executed leaving behind the Solaria, or a small ship with better DRADIS.

These ships hung back for a fixed amount of time, trying to pick up signs that the Cylons were trailing the fleet.

They started getting six jumps a day. On Day 501, they went to 8 jumps a day. The Sun Spot virus was getting out of control, and fleet travel was severely restricted. The fleet sat for seven days, took another week for repairs, then came out of the box on day 516 for 12 jumps.

Through this chaos, the military was running large fleet exercises with warships and vipers buzzing about. People were being ground down. For ten days and 120 jumps they managed to not destroy themselves.

Admiral Lawson was called into a meeting in a special faraday room with Commanders Ramirez and Evans. Commander Ramirez’s IT guru ran the meeting.

“As you know, we left a log of compromised hardware in the Cylon communications,” HG began. “We have started to get some data back that indicates we are compromised.”

“What are we getting?” Lawson found computers to be boring, but maintained eye contact.

“We are getting voice fragments from your quarters. There are some bits of intel in there. We are handing you a series of things to say. You can’t sound like you are reading.”

“The objective,” Ramirez cut in, “is to lure the Cylons into an ambush.”

“Why are we suspicious?” asked Commander Evans.

“The Cylons have made no effort to find us. We passed through their space and resource settlements. We have sent out a thousand raptor sorties. We have gone ten jumps away from the fleet, and even visited some known resource planets. Not even a raider in the sky. They know where we are going and are planning to have a lot of ships waiting for us at the end of this sprint.”

“So we change the destination?”

HG snickered. “No Sir. We get there before they jump in and wipe out their pursuit fleet. We also plug the leaks. We have identified the bugs in your office. We determined which one was working and thought about changing the battery. My teams are locking down the networks. We have written a program that detects Cylon code in our systems. We have some pre war backups, and we are building a new Cylon proof operating system for the entire fleet.”

Ramirez was interested. “Is there a red team vetting the code?”

“Yes sir, I have given them unlimited system resources.” HG smiled proudly. “We pick our moment and turn out the lights on them.”

“How long will we be able to keep getting data from our Cylon hack?” Evans asked.

“Until they stop and do what we are doing. In another note, I would not use this intel to pick spots to do mining. They are aware that we are reading their email, and they are trying to lock us out.”

“Understood HG,” Ramirez

“Ten jumps to the end of the sprint,” Lawson announced. “Lets see if we can get a readout on the Cylon fleet. They have New Caprica occupied. If we can take them in a major battle we can drain resources away from that occupation.”

Commander Evan’s looked concerned. “Is any effort being made to find the Galactica and Pegasus?”

“There is pressure there,” Ramirez interjected because she had to answer all the questions on this topic. “The political people want to combine and protect her. We however have far more combat power here. We are probably better off not putting our eggs in one basket.”

Admiral Lawson coughed, suppressed a yawn and went to her agenda item. “We are writing up disaster plans. If we have a major defeat, we will break up the fleet and head in three direction.”

“Under that scenario, no fleet will have all it needs to remain viable. I don’t like that option.”

“It’s only a contingency. Lets get together a battle plan. I am thinking the Mercury and a lot of fast ships. ETA on Athena and Saturn?”

“Ten days.”

“Okay, we go in two weeks so we have the armor all shiny and new and even a few reconditioned Valkyries. We will slow down on the jumping and shuffle people to get ready for producing more vipers and ammunition.”

“Roger that Sir,” Evans and Ramirez answered almost in Unison.

“We have a jump coming up.”

On a modern base star

Seven talking to a Cavil.

“Tell me, brother, how is it that you’re running a military campaign away from New Caprica?”

“I don’t know what you are talking about. Have you been experimenting with hallucinogens again?”

“While we are trying to learn how to live with the humans on new Caprica, you have built a new fleet. You are pursuing Admiral Lawson.”

“Your model wanted to try and live with the humans. Lawson has a fleet that is capable of wiping us out.”

“Hardly brother. You were in the military campaign without the consent of the other models. Our intention is to live peacefully with all of the humans. Don’t lie to me brother. You pulled forces away from new Caprica. We may only have four base stars. You were requisitioned fuel, and other natural resources with the intent of building, a new fleet bigger than the old one.”

He made a shower face and looked her straight in the eye. “There are too many of them for us to control. The 40,000 or so on new Caprica we can live with. The rest of them are going to die. They should’ve died with the new settlement now I’m going to make sure they die in a horrific, explosive battle.”

“You caught me,” he answered. Admiral Eva Lawson is a danger to every cylon alive. I have trackers on every one of the ships in our fleet, and when the time is right, I’m going to end her.”

She put her hands on her hips and glowered into his eyes, looking down on him. “Don’t you see the hypocrisy of trying to live with them on new Caprica, and massacring them in the new settlement and the fleet to the fleet that escaped?”.

Cavil snarled back at her. “You don’t have any information your model is completely eliminated in that area.”

“Think again brother. They are two sevens and better than their fleet. One died in the new settlement. She barely made it to the resurrection, and she told me everything.”

“I know what you’re talking about. He resurrected one time too many I don’t believe a word she says about that red light ship in Lawson’s fleet.”

She was nearly in tears. “You have to embrace majority rule. You have to want to live with all of the humans in peace not just the ones that don’t have battle stars.”

“I am for majority rules long as it gets me what I want. They are eventually going to kill that whore on the red lightship anyway. Or I’m going to do it. Then when she downloads you will know that I was telling the truth.”

“We are not getting any Intel from anyone in that fleet. How are you doing it?”

“In the 500 or so days since we destroyed the Colonies, They discovered your model, my model, Doral, and Leoben. We have a model three working on the IT team, writing the supposedly Cylon proof operating system for the fleet. We have a number eight with tracker, and every shift she visits with her raptor.”

“I’m going to bring this to the other models.”

Cavil snarled. “Be my guest. They will all be dead by the end of this so-called sprint Cory Brooks is running to run away from us. I will have a modern and massive force waiting for her there. Admiral slut is going to end her career as a loser she is always been.”

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