Battlestar Mercury Book 3 “Logistics: Chapter 4 “Task Force Mercury: Yet another Comms Array”

Admiral Eva Lawson stood in the squadron planning theater. She looks stiff and struggling to keep ia yawn from being revealed to the entire air wing. Annoyed her to no end that she had to actually spend 15 or 20 minutes in the morning with a stylist before she made an appearance in CIC or the squadron theater.

Pictures of her looking hung over or exhausted we’re circulating on the sub media net. This was a patch together group of people, that transmitted pictures and video all over the civilian and military fleets.

Although there was is no mobile network in the military fleet, a pair of ambitious teenagers had figured out how to hit communications equipment with a short burst of energy.

This trick caused an equipment reset and the data that was quickly inserted to travel along for the ride. The hardware diagnostic was sent along to other pieces of equipment shipped out of the origination, and eventually to other ships in the fleet.


The ad hoc network rebuilt. Its address structure every couple of hours. It was actually putting to use network capacity that nobody knew existed.

Her mind drifted briefly while she was at the podium as she spotted her profile on a monitor in the ready room’s technical bay. Her hair was clean and braided in a tight military style. Good prioritization to be perfectly coiffed while the fate of civilization was up for grabs, Her attention drifted off while some pilot tension (horseplay) happened.

Admiral Lawson had just spent a couple of hours in a VR suite, preparing to qualify on the Mark VII Viper. It was 23:39 ships time, and she stopped to see HG, to make sure that he was not working too late. He was at his workstation, banging desk in frustration.

“I can’t frakking figure out how this system works!” he groaned.

“What system,” Lawson asked casually. HG explained. The civilian network was using military hardware for the underground gossip channel, he could not figure out how they were doing it. Traffic was increasing by the day, and started to include some pornography. HG explained the details in laymen terms.

“So you are telling me this network rebuilds it address structure every few hours, with no central direction?

“Yes Admiral. It was designed by a couple of teenagers.”

“Sounds to me this might be a great way to build a secure network for our defense systems. I mean add in some military grade encryption and Todd’s your cousin, a network that is different every time the Cylons try to crack it. Sounds to me like you should track down these kids and hire them.”

“Good catch Admiral, this might make the network more robust. It can even utilize some of that capacity that is being used to transmit the report. The capacity has never been used.”

Lawson grinned and handed over a USB device. “Please put the latest images of the comms array we are getting ready to hammer.”

* * *

Admiral Lawson remembered where she was and slightly tapped her hand on the microphone in the pilots ready room, otherwise known as the pilots theater. A complicated looking space structure was on the big monitors. The label said “Cylon communications, array”

“This device is our target today. This being a long range, guerrilla warfare operation, we have a back up plan. These devices are how the Cylon command projects forces far away from the home whatever or wherever that is.”

“This device can handle a battlefield communication with dozens of Cylon warships in perfect coordination. It also links to a high speed network, using FTL technology to transmit data and signals across the net work to all Cylon forces.”

“If Cylon forces are too strong, we will launch a device from a assault raptor designed by technology leader. HG. If we go into that mode, we must protect the raptor at all costs device is designed with stolen, Cylon technology.”

“Know this,” she said, straightening her back. “We began this war, damaged, how far air wing have died in the starboard launch tubes. We were alone. There was no help, no relief. Now we are the most ready air wing in the flight. We have drill, drill, drilled. No other air wing asked this many excellent pilots. We have had 50 days to repair the damage from the last major battle. I know you are ready!”

They remained silent, knowing that the speech was not over, because HG had leaked a draft. The Admiral look well rested. Her uniform and hair were perfect. Of course the pilots knew she saw the stylist before making public speeches. In whispers the nick name “Admiral slut” had receded to be placed by “Admiral hot!” or just “The Bitch” for how hard she trained the entire ship and fleet.

“I am no technology expert,” Lawson said. “HG assures me that this device will gather intelligence and transmit to us in the encrypted fashion. For the time being, we are simply destroying this net work everyone of these communications arrays that we destroy makes it that much harder for the enemy to track us.”

“Our plan is a six month, possibly one year campaign. Once we’ve stretched out the network of the enemy, we will infiltrate and physically hack it. If we succeed in thinning out this network at the right places, we will be able to read the Cylon electronic mailbox. That is a tactical and strategic advantage that we must have in order to escape.”

“Our mission is to make the war, so painful, and so expensive for the enemy that they let us go. We want, perhaps we desire revenge. However, if we are to survive as a civilization, we will give that up simply for the chance to run away and build a civilization somewhere far away from the machines that we created 50 years ago.”

“I’m not going to lie to you and say that this task is easy. However, we invented the Cylon. They attack us with machine efficiency. It would seem, however, they lack innovation. If we find that the technology or the opportunity to erase them, we will take that opportunity and use it to its maximum affect.”

“Today, we simply execute operation can opener. That’s the nickname we give our target. Giant, deadly, enemy, can opener. Watch your brothers and sisters up there in the air. We have worked hard to build our forces. Our planes in our guns, and our people are up to the task. Good hunting.”

Battle Dialog.

Mercury CIC: ”The board is green. Ready for combat jump. We launch on the other side.”

Admiral Lawson: “Execute combat jump.”

DRADIS: “Seven contacts. Launching Raiders. Their alert level is much higher than expected.”

Lawson braced herself digging her nails into the CIC table, her alone with her nerves. Whiskey knew. So she suspected did Wheelchair.

“Firing missiles,” someone shouted.

CIC: “Salvo, number one launched. Vipers are launching. FTL spool warning, radiation alert, Cylon tactical jump.”

“Frack us!”

CIC: “Base star at point blank range. Radiation alert nuke their discharge nuclear strike possible at any time. ”

Mercury, actual: “Crash turn starboard!” If it were possible, the admiral, Duggar nails deeper into her own hands. They leaned to the left, anticipating the turn.

CIC: “First salvo light hits on all three battle stars. Armor damage only! First base, star is, history!”

The admiral, whispered a prayer of thanksgiving under her breath.

CIC: “Radiological Alarm! Off the starboard flight pod! Got this one. Good job gun and flak crews!”

Lawson: “Get missiles on target. Air wing, combat landings are authorized.”

DRADIS: “Target destroyed.” Lawson: “All birds back to the barn. Spool up FTL.”

CIC: “Jump complete.” Mercury Actual: “Break out the armor repair packs. Full status report in my hands yesterday.”

Chapter 4: Taks Force Mercury

Full video for chapter. Only partial dialog.

Full video partial story action