Chapter 18: “The Culling” part 1

Mercury CIC: “Jump Complete.”

Admiral Lawson stood in her CIC, nervously awaiting the arrival of the main task force. She remaining silent as the air wing was recalled and all birds landed safely in their pods.

There was a lot of crosstalk on the speaker. “Kitty, red, squadron” squadron leader, said. “We have some badly damaged mark seven birds here. Request we break out 10 from the reserve supply. I’ll send my pilots there on foot.”

“This is wheelchair breakout, five more for my squadron. We can fix the bent birds later.”

Admiral Lawson, “So ordered. Make sure the decking has the birds ready in the starboard pod. Waiting for main task force.”

There was a lot to consider right now as head of the fleet. In spite of the promised, new operating system, and upgraded security, it was obvious that the cylon we’re still tracking the sweet. That meant they were strategic and safety issues to be dealt with.

Admiral Lawson turned to Commander, Ramirez and Commander Evans. “We need a short huddle here,” she said. “We have to decide if it makes sense to split the fleet into pieces so that some survive.”

“I agree we need to consider it,” commander, Evans agreed. “We need to reassemble the fleet in a safe location before we can make an informed decision.”

Commander Ramirez took the counter position. “It is equally possible that if we don’t split now, our entire fleet and 200,000 humans will perish this day. We might want to try and send the Solaria and one mercury class, Battlestar, and activate plan and Anabasis.”

“Give me a minute,” Lawson asked. She turned away from the two commanders and paced, trying to get in trouble for thoughts. There had to be a way to bridge these two extreme options. They need to make a decision on activating plan Anabasis. Ideally, they needed time to prepare. Looking at the clock she has only a few minutes to decide.

“OK put out temporary admission orders for the plan. Solaria, Mercury will take point.”

Both commanders tried to speak at the same time. Lawson put up her hand and made them stop. “I know you were gonna argue that it should be one of your two battle stars. I understand that, however, we have the highest readiness of the air wing.”

Commander Ramirez spoke softly. “We can codeword activate the operation anytime. I’m going to have to increase training of the air wings, so that any one of our three mercury class can do this job.”

“Send the mission orders codeword activate.” Admiral Lawson looked tense, but at least they had some contingency plan in place.

10 minutes later: “DRADIS main task force is here.”

CIC: “FTL hacked. Cylons expected in 18 minutes.”

Absolute mayhem broke out in the CIC of Mercury. Admiral Lawson slammed a clipboard onto the table and shouted in the shrill voice. “Quiet! Commanders get to your commands first raptor out. HG Repair emergency, operating system plans. Whatever ship got hacked we’re gonna have to restore to prewar back ups if you don’t have something new for me.”

Head Geek Ran up to the Admiral on point put flash drive on her in her hand. “Admiral we got you covered.”

Admiral Lawson barked out orders quickly. She ordered all ships to prepare for another attack. Major Jones her XO stopped by side. “Intelligence estimates the fastest turnaround the toasters can get on a FTL jump is 33 minutes. We can expect them in exactly 15 minutes on that basis. Maybe a little longer because they have to repair and recover fighters.”

“Make sure every bird is in the air and ready to intercept when the silence jump in. Every missilee tube ready to fire every gun ready to shoot.”

“Yes, sir,” he picked up a microphone and started barking. Orders out himself. “This is Whiskey all squadrons prepare for lunch in five minutes. I’ll squadrons prepare for lunch in five minutes. All gun cruise report in. Be ready to fire all batteries in five minutes. Missile battery do you have 10 minutes to get ready.”

CIC: “DRADIS 9 ships. Launching raiders.”

Squadrons launching.. Forming up.”

Mercury CIC: “Radiological Alarm. NUKES!”

The executive officer took it the next steps. “Prepare to isolate ships compartments. I want any breach to have minimum boss of personnel and air.” Major Jones growled some more orders until a microphone.”

Mercury CAG: “More nukes than I can count! Valkyries are taking hits right now.”

CIC Mercury: “More nukes! Just had a near miss off the starboard pod.”

Mercury CIC: “Task Force. Break right!”

Everyone in CIC held onto the tables as the hard turn was initiated. I crashed her and was too much for the artificial gravity to handle, and they knew if I didn’t hold on, they were going to go flying. The lights dimmed, and the engines roar was heard all the way in the center of the ship or should I see was the most protected spot.

Admiral Lawson: “Fire missile salvo.” Within a few seconds, the sound of metal launches was echoing through out the ship. On the monitors, they could see the outbound path of the missiles if they had a torch Cylon ships.

Mercury CIC: “Radiological Alarm. MORE NUKES HOT! NUKES!”

The damage control display showed red lights on the starboard pod. The deck swung out from under their feet, and the lights went black. Only the monitors remain lit with her back up power supplies. Flashing red lights were showing on the damage control display on the starboard flight pod. After a few seconds, lights flickered back on, and then there was another long period of darkness. It was like riding a amusement park ride through incredible bumpiness.

That was shouting and screaming. Obviously, some people have been wounded. The damage control display showed armor damage on the starboard fight pod, but no breach the armor had held up.

Mercury CIC: “Nuclear impact starboard pod!”

Wheelchair: “Take care of the wardrivers and the Cerastes!”

Mercury CAG: “All vipers all vipers. Form up now now now.”

Admiral Lawson: “Hard starboard. Weapons free. Bow batteries salvo mode.”

The noise was very difficult to tolerate. It was so loud. Yeah, I’ll cover her ears for a few seconds to get her thoughts. Her executive officer had control the battle so she just quietly watched and waited for the need for another order. The training of the crew over a year into this war was beyond words to describe it.

CIC: “Enemy reinforcements jumping in!”

CIC: “Nuke bearing down on a Valkyrie.”

CIC: “DRADIS indicates several hundred ships are jumping in now!”

Major Jones pressed the button on his microphone, and shouted an order out. “Mercury to all ships do not sit and get destroyed. If you take major damage to go to emergency jump points. Report if possible see you on the other side.”

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