Battlestar Mercury Book 3 “Logistics” Book 3 Chapter 17 “Escape”

Cavil on a base star, speaking to another model #1 Cavil.

“I am tired of Admiral Lawson, stealing supplies, and hitting us with the death of 1000 cuts. I want to launch a raid on every colonial base, attacking every colonial fleet formation. I don’t wanna hear any more excuses!”

“We have recent Intel on approximately 30% of their fleet. Is that enough?”

“No, it’s not you idiot, but it will have to work. It’s time that we took the initiative in this war and end it! We lost 10 millions tons of ships and supplies the past seven days.”

The second Cavil, a.k.a. idiot, replied. “This will leave a dozen forward, and we are supply base is open to attack by the forces we have not located. This could be a disaster for us.”

“Sitting around and doing nothing has already been a disaster. Last week was 10 million tons of disaster! Send the alert to all available units.”

The second human model number one chose not to remind his commander of the fact that the colonials were intercepting a lot of the Cylon message traffic. That was a lesson the man would probably need to learn again after they failed with this slapped together, poorly planned attack.

* * *

“Admirals log. Day 690 of the second Cylon war. We have measured the destruction we put onto the enemy supply routes. We have had a very good week in terms of destruction of ships and the seizing of supplies. We believe the Cylons are getting ready to launch a counter strike. We are preparing to reshuffle the fleet and attack them immediately after they think we ran away from them an emergency jump. Running this war is much easier when we are reading the Cylon’s encrypted email!”

“DRADIS Heavy Cylon Fleet. We have Raiders, inbound missiles, nuclear warning.”

CIC: “Artemis down. Vipers set up a screen. All ships spool up FTL drives.”

CIC: “New enemy contacts. Launching missiles, launching raiders!”

“Task force 67 FTL spooled. Ready to jump. Jump when ready! All ships, jump when ready.”

“Athena must jump quickly we’re not combat capable!”

“Nuke inbound! Combat landings are authorized. Prepare to jump. Nuclear detonation!”

“Combat landings authorized. FTL spooled. Board is green. Emergency! Jump authorized”

“Vipers hold off those Raiders! Combat landings before jump!”

DRADIS: “10 more heavy base stars just jumped in. Launching Raiders nukes inbound get ready to jump!”

CIC: “1500 raiders CBDR. 900 missiles on intercept. Spool up and get ready to jump!”

CIC: “Five more Base Stars just jumped in! Launching nukes and raiders!”

CIC: “New contacts! Launching more Raiders. Combat landings are authorized. All ships spool up FTL.”

CAG: “It’s the whole frakking Cylon fleet. 10 more contacts!”

“This is Mercury actual. Launch offensive missiles. Viper screen.”

“This is Mercury actual. FTL spooled you may jump when ready.”

“This is Hanson. Were the last ones on site, recover all vipers. Report when ready to jump we don’t want to end it here!”

* * *

The attack was so widespread that some ships had to jump twice in order to reach a safe waypoint. As soon as the DRADIS showed the Athena, the Saturn, and the Mercury, Admiral Lawson called a quick teleconference.

“How many task forces are ready to jump to strikes right now?” Asked Admiral Lawson.

“Six task forces are ready to go right now,” Commander Ramirez replied.

Commander Steve Evans quickly interrupted. “The Athena took two nukes as we were escaping. We managed to detonate them before impact. We’re still looking at an additional two weeks before the Athena can do a combat jump.”

“The Saturn is ready now with a complete task force.” Commander Ramirez answered. She actually looked like she had been getting some rest recently, though she still looked gaunt compared to her prewar photos.

“Mercury is not ready. She was not included in one of the counterstrike groups, anyway.” Admiral Lawson looked down at her tablet, computer, and then looked up again. “You guys really raided my air wing while we were epairing off of our first strike failure. My CAG and squadron leaders are not happy.”

“We put them to good use,” retorted Commander, Ramirez. “I have to say that Kitty and Wheelchair are training amazing pilots. Long-term the fleet will be way better off with us picking the pilots out as we need them.”

“I think it is a mistake to go on the offensive after we just got hammered with an emergency escape jump and lost six ships,” Commander Evans argued.

Admiral Lawson folded her fingers into a tent, and went inward with her attention as the two Battlestar commanders argued. She was lost in thought for several minutes. The two commanders continued to argue the merits of the current strike plan, which has been discussed at a number of previous meetings.

The point, allowing the enemy to strike when advanced notice of the activity was a specific technical strategy. This strategy was to draw the Cylons away form protecting the supply depot’s. The counterstrikes we are loaded with Marines and ready to seize more supplies.

A staggering amount of supplies have been left unprotected by launching this strike.

The two Battlestar commanders seem to forget the Admiral Lawson was even on the teleconference.

“Are you hearing us, admiral, Lawson? “The pair of Battlestar commanders, said nearly in unison.

“No,” Lawson said. “I have not been listening.”

“Admiral,” asked Ramirez. “Did the Mercury suffer communications damage?”

“No,” Evans replied. “I have the complete maintenance report for capital ships on my tablet. Perhaps the admiral is tuning us out.”

There was a collective laugh among the three main Battlestar commanders. In the midst of a complicated, offensive phase of all this war, the demands on a time of the commanders, exceeded the supply. This was the case prior to the second exodus with all warships.

Since now the supply of bunks, was critically short that sometimes four people are sharing the same sleeping space and working six hour shifts.

The concept of military discipline has changed as well. Civilians who had never served in the military at any point in their life were now selling their skills to the highest bidder. There was no money involved. Instead of better food, or accommodations were a very powerful currency.

People don’t know how the military acted. Civilians observed to have a military acted and to a certain extent emulated their peers.

Frequently, transfers were used to obtain such things as possibly an eight hour sleeping shift instead of the standard six hours. The supply of civilians on certain ships known to be commanded by mean or nasty executive officer quickly dried up.

Admiral Lawson looked annoyed, and she stared, completely focused into the camera in her office. Her gaze looked as if it could melt with a thick layer of ships armor.

“I apologize,” Lawson said. “For a moment there I did lose focus. However, we did have a plan for immediate counteroffensive. If the Cylons tried to strike like they just did, I believe it’s important that we do this and we do it with every available resource we have.”

“There’s a couple reasons why I just wanna remind you of what we agreed. First they pulled forces away from their supply depots all over the sector in order to make this attack. The opportunity to seize supplies has never been greater.”

“Second we lost five or six ships. Our response to attack was very poor we should’ve not lost a single ship. I want drills and all ships and I want from cold start all ships to be able to jump to emergency coordinates in 90 seconds or less. Any commanders who cannot meet that criteria are going to find themselves looking for new jobs. Maybe like a job on the Mercury in the engine room and a six hour a night sleeping slot instead of the commanders, quarters with as much sleep as they can steal.”

“Make a note please, that all commanders need performance evaluation’s in the next 30 days.” The other two Battlestar commanders nodded agreement.

“The fact here is quite simple. In a good month we build 2 1/2 Valkyrie battle stars to add to the military. We cannot afford to lose five ships in any battle. I have a scientific study on my desk somewhere showing there in about 17 or 18 years at current loss rates we’re not gonna have anybody to fly vipers in this fleet.”

Commander Ramirez snarked. “Does anybody here believe that we can keep up the current pace for 17 or 18 more days alone 72,18 months or years? What value does the study half will be dead long before we run out of the pilots.”

“The point,” Commander Evans, answered with equal snark. “Is that the current loss rates are not sustainable. I know you understand that Commander Ramirez.”

Admiral Lawson banged something on her microphone, and it hurt the other two commanders years. Enough of this!”

“Remember also,” admiral, Lawson continued. “The objective of this war. We can’t defeat the Cylon’s. That was never a possibility. What we have to do is make the price of following us so high they give up and decide, I don’t know make better looking human models or whatever that is they do with their spare time when we’re not around the kill.”

“So how about we get our strike packages put together and we got our task forces to jump points and go out and see some of those supplies today and we just left undefended for us. I’m all for a healthy debate but we had a plan here and I think we should implement this plan immediately and that is going to end of discussion this topic. Commander Ramirez is your task force ready to jump?”

“Yes, admiral task force number two is ready to jump.” Ramirez answered.

“Well, then commander begin jump prep. Commander Evans get your ship, ready for combat.”

“Yes Sir,” They both answered slightly out of sync, but almost in unison. With that the teleconference ended.

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