Battlestar Mercury Book 3 “Logistics” Chapter 1 : “A new plan.”

Maira Ramirez always drew the choice assignments. While her XO arranged for repairs to her battlestars exterior armor, recovered its air wing and readied it for more action, she had to referee a strategy meeting.

One thing was clear, that if you put two battlestar commanders in a meeting there would be at least three opinions. Banging an electronic gavel, calling the meeting to order. “All right,” she said. “The Admiral is going to make a statement.

Eva Lawson appeared stressed out and distracted. She was in her CIC and there was a lot of activity in the background. “My strategy is not working. I allowed myself to be herded into a single strategy of running away. I don’t think that was necessarily the wrong call. I do believe it is not being executed properly. I want to hear your thoughts and ideas. Be respectful to each other.”

“We have presented a simple attack vector to the enemy,” Blackbird actual said. “We have made it easy for the Cylons to find us. We need to make it difficult for the enemy to engage us. They are wearing us down. We are going to run out of people and ships.”

“How the frak are we going to go on the offensive”, Eagle actual said. “They are tracking our movements. They know where we are going before we decide to go next.”

Commander Evans, Athena actual spoke next, “Classic guerrilla conflict is what we need. We need to start frakking with them, get inside their minds.”

“You are saying we should go on the offensive?” Apollo’s commander questioned. “We have lost half of the military fleet. We left behind over a hundred thousand people behind in the new settlement. We have to find away to save them,”

“More work?” retorted another commander. “Just what we need.”

“All right,” Commander Ramirez hit a button on her tablet so nobody could interrupt her. “any commander that wants to complain about the workload can trade their assignment with some of the civies stuffed in the Saturn. I have some beds shared by three persons. I don’t hear them bitch. I do hear them thank the gods they are alive. Remember this is the second Cylon war. It is not an exotic vacation!”

“Practical suggestions commanders,” Lawson said in a strong, quiet voice. “New strategy. No idea is too stupid.”

Eagle actual the commander of the Valkyrie class ship, spoke up. “Right now we are giving them a single target, a big fat target. They find us they win the prize and don’t have to worry about supplies. We need to scatter. We have 200 plus ships counting the civies and the 40 Cylon tankers we recently hijacked. Let’s break up into 12 fleets. We had in 12 different directions. When we figure out which one they are following with their heavy fleet, we break that one into pieces as well. Then the guerrilla war happens and we hammer them.”

Several people whined, and talked at once.

“Shut up and let her finish,” Commander Ramirez spat out her words. She looked angrier than her CAG call sign Queen, who had a fierce reputation and lived up to it. When Captain Gordon threatened to use a whip, nobody doubted she had one in her flight bag.

Captain Beatrice Hernandez, a short and skinny book worm with thick glasses was waiting for her new rank pins, having taken command of the Valkyrie provisionally three weeks prior. A native of Picon, she had been a history professor at the war college. Aged 29, she had seven books published on military history before the war.

“We need to look back at history for our answer here. The current Virgon monarchy came to power against the strongest military colony in the 12 worlds. They didn’t do this by building a military of large ships and millions of troops. They started out, small, hitting small targets with small arms. It took decades, but eventually they crippled the monarchy and became the monarchy.”

Commander Evans of the Athena spoke next, “We need to be flexible. We need to form units, attack and dissolve before the toasters have any chance to react. LikeCommander Hernandez said we need to learn from history.”

The beginnings of a idea had come into Commander Lawson’s back when she was a commander. The overthrow of the prior Virgon monarchy was a great example. They had a substantial mobile industrial base. However, the enemy had industrial base. They built up over four decades. The further the fight continued from that industrial base the harder it would be on the enemy to maintain the conflict.

Right now they were still too close to the Homeland or correctly said home space of the Cylon. As a concept, this was not very clear either. There was an armistice line with the Cylon. The armistice agreement of the first war was written in order to keep the colonials from getting any intelligence on their former robotic slaves.

The war, weary Colonies, agreed to these conditions, and then immediately try to collect intelligence on the Cylon. Since crossing the armistice line was an automatic, active war, the admiralty was reluctant to do it. The Cylon were able to expand in space away from the colonies.

Many of the campaigns of the first war or conducted in the colonies. The industrial base was devastated. They were able to win the war because they had an industrial base before. The war in the Cylon did not. The population wanted an end to continued conflict and sacrifice. The unity that was created by the 12 colonies agreements after the outbreak of the first war, held the fleet together.

Economies needed to be nurtured, and grown. Nobody wanted to take pay the tax burden it would take to maintain first class military. The military had fear mongering videos, which they show to government officials who try to lower their tax contributions. The colonial fleet was established and funding was cut after the war. The memories of billions of people who suffered attacks during the first Cylon war, was enough to keep some funding flowing to the military.

There was not even enough money to keep a top pilot, such as William Adama on the payroll, the entire 40 years between the two wars. Admiral Lawson wanted to run a flexible, sharp edged campaign against the enemy.

The problem was they never seem to be the right mix of resources. There needed to be something she did not have. Barely paying attention to the meeting, Admiral Lawson just spoke and blurted out her thoughts.

“We need communications,” she said.

Several people replied in unison. Some just said “What?” Some said “What the frak? They kept their voices down. Several reminded of the video drama on Caprica, before the first war, where the corporate titan stood up in a meeting and shouted “Potato!”

That was comic drama. Nobody knew what Lawson was talking about right now. She just waited a few seconds and white and the murmur gradually die down to quiet.

Admiral, Lawson, oblivious that she was actually on camera, stood up straighter and faced the camera. “We need to know where every ship is at any moment. We need to be able to form new units to meet challenges, project, civilians, find new natural resources. But the Cylon are constantly hacking our network.”

“We need a secure, un hackable net work. We need communications so that we don’t lose people and we can form new military unit as the need arises.”

“I remember a study that I read a couple months back. It was written by one of the geeks. It criticized the way we did everything. There was a chapter in there about William Adama. He will not let networking between computers anywhere on the Battlestar Galactica. This is because the Cylon machines, and they use the networks against us during the first war. Thousands of deaths were caused by the Cylons, hacking and shutting down, ships.”

“The CNP was used to destroy 90% of the flight to start this war. The lesson we took from that was the computer networks were owned by the Cylons. For decades, we have feared technology. At the same time we invented the Mercury class Battlestar. Who the frak had the authority to make the Cylon safe zone, their home base off limits?” There was a murmur on the conference call as people shook their heads and agreed with the statement. The word “WHY” was clearly heard about the din.

“I don’t know if he’s alive or not, but he was a great leader. Or perhaps, he’s a great leader I really don’t know. We have no news from new Caprica. He was inspirational, or he is inspirational. But he was not perfect. His generation ran away from technology, because technology was what the Cylons were. We create a technology. Technology became sentient and rose up to try and wipe us out.”

“Head Geek, HG get the frak on the wireless and save our asses. “

Captain Samuel Miller, known by the callsign ”HG” for head geek, needed no more encouragement to speak up. Admiral Lawson’s face was replaced by a slide presentation. It was ready to roll and well prepared.

So was HG’s speech.

“Because we feared the Cylon’s might take over our weapons network, we decided to fire them manually. For the same reason, our air defense is a series of flawed human beings trying to follow orders and shoot guns with machine precision. That’s why I kill right on anti-aircraft is horrendous compared to the first war, where we had a decade of war to prepare. We do everything manually.”

“I am proposing that we drop our fear of Cylon technology. Frak it! We invented them. They are version one. We’ve had 50 years to develop version two and we still haven’t done it. That stops now. I introduced to you a secure network.”

An explosion of voices downed out the conference. Nobody trust technology anymore. Amanda Ramirez press the button, and it was silence. “Go on HG,” she said, in a calm, firm voice.

“The mistake that created the enemy was a once in 1 billion, maybe once in 1 trillion aberration. Some code taken from a humans, social networking profile, and the V-net 50 years back came together, and brought forth the toasters.”

“Somehow, we don’t know really how human consciousness got into a network, infected it, and got into our robots. The robots became self-aware and decided to rebel. They also decided to kill us. That was not the robots, that was us. Our violent tendencies, and how we solve problems between each other is how we were exterminated by the Cylon.”

“The toasters were very creative in pursuing their goals. Their goals were to create human models, and we saw that in the evidence that the military took in in the final years of the first war. Here’s where they made no progress in five decades. Encryption. Their computer they can invent a group exception to come up with new ways of doing it. Here’s the rub, they have not done that. They produce an impressive number of central processing units to attack our networks. The operating system is not that improved in five decades. They spent their time trying to become humans instead of trying to become better machines”

“You are the commanders, pilots and heroes. You are the ones that fly and save our lives every day. That’s not gonna change. You were mainly heroes, the Warriors. When I’m telling you is that we invented the Cylon and we can invent something better, and we can protect our computer networks, and start to use these machines to help save the human race. Under our control.”

“My brother, a blessed memory was in his private industry while I was in the military. We just didn’t have enough money to send both of us to college so I join the military so I can go to college, he has a higher entrance, exam scores and he got to go on my parents dime. He was more tens of millions of cubits by the time he passed away in a second war. Do you want to know how we got that?”

“He was worth millions because he and a small firm. He found it invented better encryption. The military was afraid the Cylon could just decrypt everything. They refuse to buy it. The colonial captains of industry, who wanted their text messages not to be read by the competition, financed the system.”

“I love to talk about tech details, but did not import here. For those who care is fractal based on a series of one time keypads that I created by machines. If you look at it on the network, it looks like garbage just like Cylon networks look like when we tap into them now.”

“CNP was technology and they used it to murder billions,” one commander blurted during a pause.

“Do you know what CNP was?” He paused for dramatic effect. “Amanda Ramirez let anybody speak, wants to speak please sir.”

“Can anybody on this conference tell me what CNP was and how it worked? Pilots first. Battlestar commanders? Executive officers? Anybody? Speak up.”

After another dramatic pause, he flashed a few slides up on the screen. “Lieutenant Davis,” he said please explain to the children what CNP was, and how it worked.”

A Cylon model 3,Diana Davis stood up. By clever planning and a lot of luck had yet to be discovered as a Cylon by this branch of humanity. Lieutenant DianaDavis was HG’s X, his second in command. She had been embedded since joining this fleet as a refugee with a high tech background two months after the fall.

She spoke, deliberately, and very calmly, portraying, knowledge, and depth. “CNP was sold to the military is a major operating system upgrade. It was not. It was labeled to look like an operating system, and it took three or four hours to install with a bunch of reboots. In fact, it was a series of functions added to the function library of the existing operating system that was only changed, cosmetically.”

“It was magic, it was chicanery. It was smoke and mirrors, all designed to justify and appropriation from the military of 2.1 billion cubits. One of the separate subroutines which was only 40 or 50 lines long had a couple of extra lines of code in it. It checked the administrative password, stored it in encrypted format in some hidden storage. This was misdirection as well. All CNP did was turn on diagnostic mode that usually happens during a reboot without a reboot.”

“The line of code to check for diagnostic mode and allowed it only at boot time was changed with an ‘or’ directive to allow diagnostic mode when an encrypted password was submitted. The wireless remote access was not introduced by CNP, it was always there.”

The human model Cylon’s voice seemed to sparkle. She was enjoying herself a great deal. In her Cylon brain, she was hoping she would not get detected right now, because she really did not want to die painfully. Resurrection, notwithstanding. “All Colonial operating systems, for the military include a start up mode. It lets you reboot the system, identify a hardware, fault, replace the component and then bring the operating system back online quickly. There’s no security.”

“There’s no security because you don’t need security at boot time. It was only supposed to be run in space stock in the shipyard, no other place. CNP put the system in diagnostic mode, change the password to something that nobody knew, and issued a shut down halt command to the power systems.”

“Thank you, Lieutenant Davis,” HG said a grateful voice. “CNP was devastating effect, but it was not a compromise of the operating system. It was taking advantage of a shipyard, only function that was built and baked right in.”

“Every ship in this fleet, requires two humans to change Network Operating System mode on the entire network, or any component of the said that network. My team has upgraded the operating system now. Each ship has some level of independence. If using brute, force, technology and ships or part of a ship system is hacked, it doesn’t impact the rest of the network.”

“We have biometric profiles, on read, only storage of the known Cylon human models. We require difficult to get hacked passwords from the top four officers on every ship. Diagnostic mode requires two people to initiate it. We have upgraded all the encryption, and made it very difficult for the enemy to read it. Since we are generating, random keypads it is going to require more computer power. Technology didn’t exist in the universe to crack the entire system. You can choose to put your head in the sand and not believe that.”

Admiral Lawson spoke next, her voice forceful. “All commanders will submit and stop resisting the installation of this new operating system on your ships. For the next four days we will be jumping twice a day. We will be for those four days 50 different fleets. 100 possible meeting points exist today. Nobody, not any human being knows where we’re going to meet in four days. When we meet, we will hand out assignment and mission by security by secure transmission, with our new encryption system.”

“I am not going to lie to you, and say I understand this technology,” Admiral, Lawson said, in a matter of fact, voice. “What I am going to tell you is that HG has convinced me that technology is not what we need to fear. If we can invent the toaster, then we can invent a better toaster, or a toaster solution that kills the toaster. I have confidence that machines cannot be as innovative as humans. In my two decade run in the military, I found an unlimited number of innovative ways to avoid undesirable duty assignments. For now I’m gonna trust that humans can be more inventive and creative than these toasters. I hope I’m not proven wrong. All commanders resign, or permit OS upgrade when presented with proper orders.”

Noisy, wrapped it from the participants, interrupting the video conference. HG try to get control again. “Part of our system is still on paper, because that is impossible for the toasters to hack.”

“What about the people we left behind in the new settlement?” Whiskey, her XO whispered in her ear.

“We have already converted half the Cylon tankers we took,” she whispered back, ”sent them back with light escort. Sadly it would take a few years to build that much transport. We can pick up maybe two thousand, and drop off arms for the resistance.”

Blue Squadron commander “Wheelchair” handed over a flash drive with his readiness report on it. She caught her eyes lingering on him before Captain Jacob’s CAG, took her attention away from him. The man looked stiff, as if walking and movement were difficult.

Whiskey was barking at an engineer. “No we can’t implement Cylon FTL technology until we have a thousand two hundred of these bearings so the actuator arms aren’t shredded,” he shouted at the NCO, who was merely a messenger for his boss.

The actuator arm of the Colonial FTL technology moved specially shaped metals through a computer controlled magnetic field. This process began to generate the energy needed to create an FTL bubble around the ship, that since we swallowed it, and transported across time and space, instantly dislocation, determined by the frequency and direction of the energy.

Hopefully in 4 days a new phase of the war would begin.

It actually took 51 days to switch strategy make massive repairs on a triage basis, and wants the first attack. The enemy had reached the end of its supply lines and dragged many antique ships out of him interact.

They actually needed 90 days to completely rebuild their net work. The series of communication stations, they created FTL boosted communications, which enable them to talk to any ship anywhere along that work in there real time.

Fuel was needed to train the Viper pilots. Metal need to be mine and refined to build a new armor packs to slap on the outside of ships. Entire industries need to be built in order to produce the electronics necessary to convert more worships from the graveyard to the battlefield. There was no room to sleep with people that have been rescued. On some Ships for persons share the same bed.

Transport ships were built, ammunition factories were established. All the things that the enemy needed to have were going to be built in order to pursue and destroy the group of humans led by Cory Brooks and Admiral Eva Lawson.

Against a network of thousands of chips, and millions of robots, less than 100 warships, that guy for large battle stars. The outnumbered against the clock ticking, which was the Cylon supply network.

There would be no climactic battle. If that occurred it was already lost. The enemy had thousands of ships and probably millions of fighters. Hit, run, hide, hit again. The classic guerrilla war against the logistics network. Thus begin the third phase of our story: the logistics war.