Conference call from the battle star Athena. Day 603 of the second Cylon War
“This is Commander Evans. Some of you have worked with me before. For some of us we are a new team. We are on day 11 of what could be a very long journey. We have received our first strike targets in a plan that has been given to us by the commander-in-chief of the fleet. We are at a small cog in a big wheel. Our action is designed to begin the degradation of Cylon logistics.”
“This is a long term strategy. The words are not instantaneous. There is no instant gratification here. We have the supplies necessary to be out on patrol for strike missions for six months.”
“There is no inspiring speech today. I am not a speech maker. I did not graduate from war college. We are going to lose people today. We’re gonna lose people in our next strike.”
“There will be days when we wake up and we were wondering if we were doing any good. Please remember the long-term strategy here. We wish to leave our machines that we created behind. We wish to make the cost of pursuing us so high that they give up and pursue their other goals, such as making better humanoids or learning, how to procreate.”
“This operation is like counting Grains of sand on the beach. It is slow, hard, frustrating, work”
“This is classic gorilla warfare. We intend to make the price of following us so high silence go away. They are persistent. They are full of hate. They want us to be exterminated. They are capable of achieving the goal.”
“99% or more of our population has already been eradicated. We are the chosen few I’ve been left alive. If what we valued, our culture, our civilization matters it’s up to all of you to keep us alive good hunting”
“Task Force 11 reports all ships ready to jump.All Vipers in the tubes.”
Commander Evans looked across the CIC and saw his wife working with the Air boss. She was completely immersed in her duties. She looked weak and pale. Sometimes her stand moved to her stomach. She didn’t seem to realize what she was doing, and took a stiffer, more military pose. She had very little experience, and was surprised she was elevated to the rank of major, and made the EXO of the ship.
She knew, however that I’m a very intimate level what made the commander tick. She had upon appointment, redo over their duties, and she wasn’t in the CIC, her nose in a book or in a computer tablet. She was in the process of memorizing the specifications of this mercury class of Battlestar.
Always good with people, major Evans. Gave each officer a look at encouragement. Sometimes it was a total smile, others. She encouraged by tapping lightly on the shoulder and smiling. She was not the typical mean executive officer. In her world, this style attributed to Saul Tigh had no place.
She still looks very weak, and was perspiring in what most everyone else fund to be a pretty chilly CIC.
She turned away from her technical officer, and made eye contact with commander Evans. “The ship is ready to jump. All birds are in the tubes. All lights are green. Raptors have scouted the location we plan to jump to. Executive officer, Athena certifying the ship is ready for combat.”
She gave a crisp, though not necessary, salute.
Commander Evans returned it, while his heart was smiling, his hand shook with nerves.
Athena Actual: “Execute Combat jump.”
The DRADIS officer who looked like a rail thin high school student reported. “All ships have reported good jumps. All squadrons ready to launch.” The DRADIS chirped a very ominous sound, showing a lot of contacts.
The Air boss reported compliance with the mission orders. “Launching all squadrons.”
DRADIS: “10 contacts. Electronic signal shows low readiness. They are starting to launch raiders.”
Vipers and assault raptors started to appear on the DRADIS.
Flight Ops: “All squadrons report good launches. Forming up.”
DRAIDS: “They are Launching more raiders. Nothing modern.”
“This is the CAG, we are ready to engage.”
Commander Evans was furious. His CAG new the plans and now was itching to ditch the plan and engage early. Athena actual: “Squadrons hold, triple A weapons free.”
There were a log of Cylon fighters out there.
“missile batteries firing first salvo.
DRADIS: “We have guided missiles inbound.”
Athena Actual: “All players. Execute! Execute! Execute!”
CIC speakers “PCM deployed flak engagement zone is up.”
CIC Athena: “Light hit on Solaria flight pod. No damage.”
Large CIC theatre in Solaria, Jupiter class Mark 2.
This light hit, echoed like a roar throughout the ship. They felt the momentum of the ship change, and the floor seemed to drop under their feet for a brief portion of a second.
“CAG Tally light lower lightning squadron hit them!’
CIC Athena: “Vipers are engaging.” Someone turned up the fighter chatter in the CIC.
Athena Actual: “Maintain broadside fire.” Commander Evans eyes moved from display to displayas the alert klaxon droned on in the background, interrupting his train of thought. There was a ery large collection of first war Cylon equipment out there.
The pilots were talking about that too. Perhaps this was the hardware they used to defend infrastructure behind the front lines. If this operation was successful, it would redefine what was meant by front lines.
CIC Athena: “Heavy inbound missile fire. Flak firing zone is established.”
“Cylon gunship destroyed.”
“Artemis class armor breach left side, executing a crash turn. Other support ships to follow.”
Inside the CIC of the wounded Artemis, there was mayhem. Showers of sparks flowed out of overloaded circuit junctions. The noise was deafening. Still, everyone remained at their posts. The engine orders were executed professionally, albeit with some panicked shouting.
There was fire in the breached flight pod, and there were damage control parties and medical teams trying to reach the wounded. The damage control display showed a lot of red. Some of it was near fuel storage.
“We have a Revenant gunship below us trying to put holes in us.”
CI: Athena: “Fleet turn complete. We are showing them fresh armor.”
As the missile salvo hammered the port fight pod, the deck shifted below their feet. There was a power drop, then a surge. Finally the command displays steadied.
Athena Actual: “Starboard pod armor status?”
OPS: “No breach! No breach!”
DRADIS: “85 more missiles, guided inbound.”
Commander Evans held on to the table as the ship was being bounced around by inbound fire that was coming in heavy. He looked across the table too Major Evans, his spouse who was directing traffic ably making sure the fleet stayed in formation and the air wing stayed focused.
Athena Actual: “Maintain broadside fire.” The tide of the battle seemed to be shifting their way.
Commander Evans got on the microphone and emphasized his orders again. Athena Actual: “Maintain flak. all guns and missiles continue firing rate!”
A base star erupted in flames on one of the video monitors and started to break up.
Athena OPS: “Scratch that base star!” A cheer went through the CIC.
Major Evans was on ship wide channel, barking out orders in her thin, high pitched voice. “Concentrate our fire on the next target,” she ordered. The Cylon fleet started to melt away and the DRADIS started scanning in search mode.
Athena Actual: “Logistics war operation #1 successful. Begin recovery operations. Status reports on my desk in one hour.”
As the monitor showed Cylon ships being destroyed. On the DRADIS screen, they flickered and went dark, everyone relaxed and issued a sigh of relief. The pilot chatter was enthusiastic, and they requested landing instructions. The board was so clear it was decided not to authorize combat landings.
In the flight deck, the knuckle draggers high fived each other and were happy that les time would be needed to take care of landing deck duty.