Chapter 17: “Ambush”

The alarm klaxons went off. It shook all three of the commanders the unmistakable sound of condition One shook the entire ship. “Action stations, action station set condition one throughout the fleet, cylon fleet has jumped in action stations action stations condition, one this is not a drill”

Combat: “DRADIS Contact.

Action stations. Action stations set the fleet condition one. Large cylon fleet has just jumped in.

Admiral Lawson while sprinting into CIC, commanders Ramirez & Evans wheezing as they try to keep up: “Can we get the commanders back to their ships?”

XO Jones answers, “Not with 1000 Raiders flying around not at all.”

Admiral: “All right commanders contact your XO’s from here tell them they’ve got the ships.”

Commander Ramirez: “Emergency jump, plan, delta. Athena and Saturn take the main fleet everyone else jumps. Mercury covers the exit lane.” At least someone knew the plan.

“All vipers are launching. All raptors are launching. All aircraft, defensive position delta contact, emergency jump as ready”

“Ships have started to jump”

Admiral Lawson:” Flank speed for the jump point. DRADIS: “Large enemy fleet has jumped in just beyond the only viable jump point out of the system.”

Admiral Lawson:”Why were we sitting in such a lousy jump point?”

XO Jones: “FTL breakdowns we only plan to be here for an hour!”

Combat: “Warships, jumping. Civilian ships, jumping Air wing form up, don’t go into battle without a valid formation.”

Admiral Lawson:” why were we sitting in such a lousy jump point?”

XO:Jones. “FTL breakdowns we only plan to be here for an hour!”

Saturn CIC: “Inbound, 500 missiles 600. Air wing hold off. Watch the engagement zone launch PCMs”

Major Amelia Evans had been through a rough morning before the alert klaxon had sounded. Her husband, Commander Evans was on his way to the Mercury for a meeting. She had spent the first hour of her day throwing up in the bathroom. This was her first trimester of a pregnancy. She thought would never happen. Now she was in charge of me for just the morning meeting.

When the CAP had reported silence, jumping into the heart of the fleet, she knew she was in for a much worse day. Her first assumption was their husband will get jump in a raptor and fly back to take command.

A couple had discussed this. Obviously, if this pregnancy was to go to a normal termination, she was not going to be able to remain in the position of executive officer of a battle star in the middle of a war. However, they have not gotten to the point of actually informing Admiral Lawson of the need for a new XO.

She was looking pale and feeling very queasy in the CIC, when a young lieutenant, who looked like he was 19 years old, asked her if she was OK. “Major you don’t look well.”

That was stating the perfectly obvious. Major Evans gripped the side of the console table.

Then the communications officer, who is, apparently an NCO gave her even better news. “Major Evans you’re in command it is too dangerous for the commander to fly back. Commander says he’ll see us on the other side.”

Combat: “Massive Cylon fleet, jumping in!”

The DRADIS beeped many times, indicating the fact that more enemy ships were jumping into the region. Major Evans still feeling very sick took a stoic expression and started issuing orders. She knew the plan for emergency jump. Everybody worked in the CIC memorize that plan. As soon as the Delta emergency plan was indicated, she coordinated with the Saturn, who was also being commanded by her XO.

Major Evans was an automatic pilot now. She barked out orders taking the role. Her husband normally played in the world. She played as the mean Saul Tigh pretender. “Fire PCMs standard pattern. Set up a defense according to escape plan delta!”

Athena CIC: “PCMs have stopped the first wave of missiles. Prepare for the second.”

The entire ship shock as some kind of shock wave hit the battle star. The lighting Tim’s, but none of the computer monitors went off. “Keep the FTL Drive spooled be ready to jump,” Evans ordered.

Athena CIC: “Main force is in a battle line. Air wing prepared to strike.”

Major Evans visualized a spreadsheet in her mind of all the different battle parameters that had to be kept into her memory in order to direct this battle correctly. She ran a checklist and then gave her next order. “Air wing, standby waiting for orders to strike” she said to the air boss in CIC.

She was also an automatic pilot and relayed the orders to the pilots. Her voice was crisp, and she was easily understood in the cockpit.

Athena CIC: “Main Cylon task force is closing in.”

Athena XO: “Fire first missile salvo!”

Still visualizing, the battle plan in her head, Major Evans remembered the next step, and gave the order to fire the missile burst. These weapons or designed for large ships that could not evade, their guidance systems were minimally flexible with this regard.

Athena CIC: “PCMs have stopped the first wave of missiles. Prepare for the second.”

As the battle progressed Major Evans mental outlook completely changed. She forgot about her inexperience, and she just continued to refer to her memories of printed battle plans, which he had read over many times in fear. Now she was an automatic pilot just following the plan and making adjustments as needed.

Athena CIC: “Salvo, one & Salvo two have both hit the targets. Prepare salvo three!”

Athena CIC: “All ships flak left!”

Athena CIC: “Armor damage left STL Drive!”

All the lights went out in CIC for a brief second. The computer monitors which had back up power remain steady. There was no need to reboot or reset systems. Evans glanced at the damage control display. Seeing no losses of air pressure, she realized that the armor has held up and protected the internal engines. There was no damage control procedure to be implemented, and she moved onto the next item on her list.

Evans gripped the table with all her strength. She remained steady, ignoring her churning stomach.

In her head, she visualized the tactical plan again. The air wing was held back early to avoid early losses. Now that a flak engagement zone has been established. It was time to send them in. She looked at the air boss and gave the order.

Athena CIC: “Air wing! Call to action prepare to strike! Now, now now!”

Athena CIC: “Cylon air wing inbound. 700 new targets CBDR.”

Major Evans looked at the air boss, a look of concern obvious in her expression. The air boss looked back at her silently agreeing. Both had friends who are in danger flying vipers right now. This was not the time to talk about it. But for a brief moment, they exchanged wordless communication.

Saturn CAG: “We’ve broken through. Hitting Base stars now!”

Saturn CAG: “No more rookies. We’re shooting them down by the dozen.”

Evans heard good news over the wireless from Saturn.

Saturn CIC: “Firing solution on enemy base ship!”

Major Evans knew what does next step was. A firing solution meant that the bow batteries could now tear apart a base star in a few seconds. This would take out hundreds of fighters and missile batteries. The order had to be confirmed immediately.

Saturn CIC crackled on the wireless.

SaturnCIC: “Bow batteries fire in salvo mode. Weapons free bow, batteries repeat weapons, free bow, batteries, salvo mode.”

The gravity fluctuated, as the deck fell beneath her feet. Her stomach did a flip. She ignored it with full force of will. She ignored it. She looked up at the tactical display and watched seconds went by. That base star would not last very long.”

Lifting her eyes to a video screen, she looked at the Base star as it began to dissolve in a hail of weapons fire. Major Evans did not think of the life she was blotting out. She thought of the lives of her comrades and her husbands command that would being saved by her, doing her duty and executing her orders in the battle plan.

Athena CIC: “Base ship DOWN!”

A roar of congratulations and victory, a punch. The air moment went through the crew in CIC. It lasted less than two seconds. The emotion was palpable. They had more work to do in. They went back to the jobs immediately.

Athena CIC: “Direct hit on the bow!”

For a full five seconds, nothing could be heard in the Athena CIC. A direct missile strike had hit the bow. The regular lighting, which had no back up, went dark for a brief second. All the computer monitors which did have back up power remained on Evans looked at the damage control screen and took note of the armor damage. There were no pressure warning, so I get the armor had not been breached.

The damage control officer tried to report the armor damage. His voice was not able to be heard over the roar of metal crunching. Major Evans made a mental note to give them in some training. It was useless to try and shout over the sound of a missile strike. The man would probably lose his voice very quickly at this rate.

She continued to go over the battle plan trying to remember the next item is in her mind. For a second, she closed her eyes and visualized the spreadsheet.

Major Evans forgot about her stomach difficulties. She was truly now operating on auto pilot. She heard the voice of Admiral Lawson on the wireless.

Mercury CIC: “All Vipers and Raptors. Prepare to protect the jump zone for the main task force!

Missiles engage the satellites shut down Cylon communications.”

This was part of the Delta emergency battle plan. The Mercury on which her husband was probably standing in CIC worrying needlessly would lead a task force to protect the jump out way point. This coordinated action would ensure that they would have a way to escape this battle when they defeated the Cylon main force.

Major Evans actually had the metal band with her to think about her husband for a few milliseconds. “I got this!” she said. There was nothing to say to her crew right now she just prepared for the next step in the battle plan.

Major Evans listened to the wireless, drawing comfort from Admiral Lawson’s voice. The power on the Athena dipped again, causing the deck to shift again under their feet. It was a minor blip, and the damage control officer explained the issue. Not even fully hearing his remarks. She made a mental note to go over this later.

The main enemy task force was being dissolved by a combination of heavy battery fire from the Athena and Saturn and the air wing. Their battle was almost over. What remains now would be the recovery of the air wing and they jump out after the Mercury had cleared the jump area.

Amelia Evans remembered the report on this jump point. The number escaped her, however, this was a star system partially enveloped in in a ion field. The original operational plan had been to spend 35 minutes here and then jump to the next point. Several breakdowns of equipment forced them to sit here much longer than they had desire to.

This particular region have very few viable jump points to the high radiation from the ion field. The 35 minutes they planned to spend here was needed to move the fleet from the way they jumped in to where they planned to jump out.

Mercury CIC: “Fire missile salvos, vipers, engage!”

The next thing that Major Evans heard was one of the squadron leaders from the Mercury. Forgetting his name, she remembered his call sign. Call sign wheelchair. He seemed pretty busy.

Wheelchair: “Scratch one Phobos, boys and girls!

CIC: “Air wing keep firing. There are more targets out there! Valkyrie in trouble jump out now!”

“Task force mercury, heading toward the cylon force near our jump zone!”

Major Evans listen carefully to the wireless. She heard the speaking in her own combat information center. That was not really important. Only a few cylon remnant forces remain. She made a mental note here or there, but listen carefully to Admiral Lawson, who seemed concerned. The wireless did not remove the emotion from her voice.

Admiral Lawson: “We must clear this jump zone, or the main task force will not escape.”

Admiral Lawson: “Spool up FTL prepared to jump!”

Major Evans mentally visualized a new spreadsheet. Upon hearing the order from the Admiral. It was time to run the FTL jump checklist. All she have to do is give the order. “FTL checklist. Function check on the FTL drive all three actuators. We have a few seconds here, so run the list carefully and get ready.”

As background noise faded it was easy to hear the checklist as it was run.

“FTL function check all lights green. Drive is ready!”

“Inserting jump key. Jump key, inserted system checks out all lights, green”

“FTL computer nominal. Jump point verified all data points check out.”

Major Evans could hear the executive officer of the Saturn on the wireless. His voice sounded pretty steady as well as this battle is almost over.

Saturn CIC: “This is Saturn ex oh. Prepared to jump emergency jump point Delta!”

Her stomach was already in an uproar from being in the first trimester of pregnancy. The wave of adrenaline was beginning to fade. The jump checklist was complete, and the ship was ready to jump. There was nothing to do, and she had time to let her mind wander. She wondered absolutely if the washer was done I was good for the baby.

This question she made a mental note of in order to speak to her ships physician.

Saturn CIC: “FTL, computer hacked! The toasters have our jump coordinates!”

XO: “We are frakked!”

Major Evans, her to command in her own CIC. “Executing jump!”

They were only a few milliseconds before the FTL jump effect would take over. If the enemy had hacked the FTL computer on one of the fleet ships, this was a very serious situation.

Her stomach felt a new kind of badness. The enemy had a high speed, data net work that worked very quickly, even over long distances that required a jump. What was planned as a jump the safety could actually be faced with immediate combat after this jump. What awaited them on the other side was quite dangerous.

A feeling of dread overcame Major Evans. Then the jumper fact froze her.

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