Battlestar Mercury Book 3 Logistics: Chapter 8 “The Supply Depot”

Chapter 8 book 3

The supply depot

Commander Maria Ramirez sat in her office, staring at her tablet computer. On the computer with her intelligence briefing. There was a lot of information coming in from a lot of different missions. As planned that we’ve had broken up into 15 different task forces. Three of them were led by mercury, class battle stars. The rest were led by smaller ships.

One report was quite odd. Task force 99, they had taken the number on themselves, as theeeerwerenot 99 ships in the fleet let alone that many task forces by any stretch of the imagination. They chose it based on the name of a task force from in the first cylon war.

This plucky, little fleet consisted of two Artemis class battle stars, and one Valkyrie glass Battlestar, and a troopship stuffed full of Marines. They reported having taken a supply base stuffed to the rafters with ammunition, spare parts and supplies. There were tons of components for Cylon FTL technology and installation manuals on how to configure the equipment on captured Colonial ships.

This Cylon technology indicated a jump range between 3 and 5 times the distance of current Colonial ships. Though an inventory was under way, there might be enough tech at the supply depot to outfit the entire fleet.

This breakthrough came at a price. To use the new technology required a Cylon upgrade of the FTL nav computer, and the array of antennas, telescopes and scanners that gathered in this data. That meant essentially putting Cylon technology on the network of every ship.

HG had been appalled by until he saw the specification on the FTL jump systems after the upgrade.

Since they had the source code of the Cylon operating system, they moved it into an off network “air gapped” lab and set about analyzing the code with HG’s take on AI “Artificial Intelligence.” The effort might take weeks, but they were finding and removing malicious code. If this technology could be safely implemented, it would be a game changer, leveling the gap between Cylon and Colonial technology.

The supply depot had a mountain of spare parts and compatible ammunition. It was a fixed point in space, and it would take two weeks to offload all the supplies.

The task force commander, Roosevelt, “Rosey” Smith was due in her office to advocate for this plan.

The door buzzer chimed and after a sleepy yawn, Commander Ramirez let the man in her office.

Smith was about sixty years old, salt and pepper hair and looked like he should be playing video games in his parents basement. Quite atypical from the image of a tall, dashing commander.

He literally charged into the room and froze for a moment, unsure wether to salute or shake her hand. He did both as he motioned her into a seat.

“So commander,” Ramirez asked. “You really think its worth the resources to defend this base while you empty it?”

He nodded excitedly. “I do,” he said. “We have civilian ships and are making the ammunition and spare parts. Right now supplies are being consumed 54% faster than they can be produced. This base has enough supplies in it to sustain the current hit and run campaign for another year, perhaps 18 months. During that time, we can rebuild the manufacturing fleet and modernize and set up a real supply chain.”

He giggled, an odd sort of sound. “Before the war and them giving me a battlestar, I was head of logistics an manufacturing for ‘Atlas supply chain corporation’

“I’ve read your resume, commander, how do you propose to defend the depot? If I jump in my battlestar, might attract Cylon attention.”

Smith again giggle his odd way and sniffed, as if his sinuses were stuffed. “I have a plan. There are 8 smaller facilities the toasters have within one jump, current technology. They were tasked for smaller task forces. If you split your fleet into smaller units and go through the standard 3 day, recon, plan and raid cycle, you can stay in the are without attracting “Mercury class” attention.

Ramirez waved her hand. “You know there are probably other depots like this in other locations. Why risk everything, including one of the ‘Big three’ task forces?”

“Pegasus was here about a year ago, they raided this place.”

Ramirez leaned back, her fingers forming a tent or roof. She was suddenly lost in thought.

Day 639 of the second Cylon war.

DRADIS: “Raptor 474 just jumped in. They are signaling the supply depot is facing imminent attack.”

“All right, action stations. All birds in the tubes. We jump when all ships are ready for a combat jump.”

Her XO answered after a short pause. “The board is green. Ready for combat jump.”

Ramirez thought a moment before she spoke. The task force was ready pretty damned fast. “Commence combat jump. All birds launch once we confirm a successful jump.”

Commander Ramirez gripped the table, CIC firmly as jump preparation continued.

“Nav computer& backups fully spun up,” one officer reported.

“Insert jump key.”

“Confirmed, jump key inserted and locked.”

“FTL shows green all systems go.”

“All ships report ready to jump on your mark.”

Major William “Wild Bill” McKormick looked at Commander Ramirez who still felt inner terror at the prospect of FTL jumps. Knowing the physics had not made it easier for her. She dug her nails into the unyielding table as she nodded, giving the XO permission to do the countdown.

The Major who in her mind she thought of as “Willie” picked up the telephone handset and clicked the talk button. “This is Athena XO. Combat jump on my mark in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 mark!”

Ramirez felt something in her stomach drop just the same as her first FTL jump as an IT technology officer. The fleet medical branch tried too keep track of how many jumps each officer and crew experienced,looking for a link between FTL technology and certain kinds of cancer. None had been found but for her this was jump number 473.

DRADIS has 5 base stars and 2 support ships. Launching raiders.

Commander: “Signal the marines to evacuate the station. We need to jump out of here.”

CIC: “Marines say negative, insufficient transport.”

Commander: “Full defense flak & formation.”

Co: “What’s on the 5 Celestra class ships”

CIC: “Ammo & supplies. Another task force jumped in and found the place full of stuff we need and no toasters.”

Saturn actual: Sighs. “We defend it then.”

DRADIS: “Inbound missiles heavy. 300. All players engage!”

DRADIS: “New Salvo 400 inbound.”

CIC: “Defender reports heavy damage.”

Co: “Any damaged ships are clear for immediate jump.”

DRADIS “290 inbound heavy missiles.”

Co: “Offensive batteries fire. Target we can all hit.”

DRADIS: “3 Base stars destroyed. Toasters are jumping away.”

Once it was assured that the Cylons was not going to jump right back for another fight, come in to Ramirez took a shuttle to the depot. It would take a week to empty the supplies. The amount of ammunition was enormous.

There was enough of the heavy shells for Saturn to replenish her stores of every type of shell save the front guns. Those were bigger than anything the Cylon’s ever shot in the first war. Cargo vessels of every type were dropping in for spare parts and supplies.

There was evidence of several Cylon’s dating back to before the first Cylon war on the ship. One was an original construction worker model, which had been turned off perhaps for lack of spare parts. One of the IT geeks was working on it, adding software with a USB stick and cable.

He looked up and smiled as his former boss, now battlestar commander gave him a questioning look.

“If they do turn this one on, there is a virus in the firmware that will make the mechanicals quite unreliable.” He shrugged. “I know its not likely they turn this fella back on. I put another variant in the communications and supply depot mainframe.”

“Very good Carl,” Ramirez complimented.

“Oh and here is a little prize that may be of interest,” he stopped his work, stood and walked two meters to a hatch. He pulled the door open and stepped aside.

Inside at a desk was another pre-war Cylon a file clerk model. Its head was blasted off and in pieces behind the desk. It was frozen, its fingers still on a computer keyboard.

On its neck was a chain and a cardboard sign.

It included a date from a year ago. It was signed: “A gift for Commander Lee ”Apollo” Adama. We never lost our pride.”

It was signed, Sargent Carver, XO Battlestar Pegasus Marine detachment.

“Well,” Commander Ramirez, give these systems a once over, see if there is any data on the Pegasus.”

“Yes Sir,” the technician chuckled as he closed the door and went back to work.

This video only presentation misses important story points. Though its fun to watch.