Chapter 16: – “Road trip”

The commanders summit was a monthly meeting that had included the 4 Mercury Class commanders. After the loss of the Acropolis, it was reduced to three. Some months it was done by video conference. None of the remaining three trusted the security of computer managed communications.

So under heavy security it began to take place in person. When the last bug was discovered and isolated in Admiral Lawson’s quarters. Sometimes it involved a meal, and month to month, the time of day was changed due to security concerns and the paranoia brought on by the revelation of humanoid Cylons.

Nobody knew how many models there were. An off hand remark by HG about the meeting, which was always the subject of speculation among those who were excluded. The undiscovered model three had an encrypted means of communicating with the Cylons. What she did no know was how long it took for her message, both encrypted and typed in code would take to reach the Cylon command.

Commander Evans sat next to Commander Ramirez who looked slightly bloated this morning. It had been 18 hours since the meeting was scheduled. The big monitor in Lawson’s office adjacent to her quarters had one sentence on it. “21 jumps to go.”

Lawson clicked a button. The slide switched back and forth from 21 jumps and a list:

Where to go after Jump 248?

Split the fleet for safety & survival.

Potential Tylium sources.

Potential metal mining.

“Okay,” Lawson said, sipping her coffee. “Lets get started. Item 1, the first two items. Do we split up for increased survival odds?”

Evans spoke up. “Well splitting up makes statistical sense. The Cylons have probably gathered a large fleet to pursue us. If they have to move off in 3 directions, they will find their plans become exponentially more complex. We might overload their CPU’s.”

“Are you prepared to be an idolized rock star?” Ramirez warned. “I’ve seen the toll this has taken on Admiral Lawson. I sure as hell don’t want everyone on the edge of their seats every time I speak.”

“What about this thirteenth colony rumor?” Lawson suggested. “We should stick together, find this thirteenth colony. They might have a fleet and FTL technology. We might find a powerful ally.”

“That story is complete crap,” Ramirez opined. “That data we found could have been faked by the Cylons.”

“The Adama speech seemed real enough to me,” Commander Evans suggested.

“Galactica and Pegasus it would be nice to add them to this fleet,” Lawson said.

“The speech they were referring to was one made by Adama at the memorial immediately after the escape from Ragnar.”

“Okay,” Ramirez replied “we have zero clues to move on. There is no way to find Earth. We are going to need to find somewhere else to go. We just keep going and get so far away the Cylons forget about us.”

“How far is that?” Evans replied angrily. “They have a thousand times the resources we have. We can’t defeat them. We are going to need to find a way to use their weaknesses against them.”

“We aren’t getting anywhere,” Lawson said. “Lets see what we can do about short term issues. We need a large list of metal ores. We need chemicals for munitions. We going to need raw tylium ore to start refining more fuel.”

“We have scouted out a number of planets on possible destinations. We have found evidence the Cylons have been there before.” Evans pushed forward a USB flash drive. “That is the intel files. They tried to clean up after themselves, but did a piss pour job.”

“Sloppy Cylons? No machine efficiency?” Lawson reached up and twirled her fingers in her own black hair.

“Aren’t we morally obligated to try and find New Caprica and rescue the colonists?”

“Sure,” Ramirez replied. “If we want to end humanity, that should be our next quest.”

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”

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