It was two jumps between the battle with the first Cylon fleet and the supply depot. The crews had trained so intensively that the turnaround time was reduced to all of five minutes. Damage control parties did what they could in a short period of time. All vipers and raptors were in the launch tubes ready to go four minutes and 30 seconds after that first jump was complete.
All ships in this 10 ship task force had made it to the second round of battle alive. There was armor damage, even some internal damage. The level motivation what is high is it and ever been in the 695 days of the second war against the Cylons..
Commander Maria Ramirez stood in her combat information center in silence. Her executive officer call sign Wild Bill was running the show. He went down the checklist carefully. Every ship was called out again. Each ship read off its jump coordinates into the encrypted battle channel.
“Commander,” the executive officer reported. “All ships show FTL ready. The board is green on all ships. The fleet shows ready for combat jump in 15 seconds.”
695 days ago, Ramirez, a mere lieutenant was the head of the IT department on the battlestar Mercury. Her team has cracked the back door, built into the central navigation program, known as CNP.
She had been dragged kicking and screaming up the rungs to the executive officers position. Major Eva Lawson had taken off of the Mercury’s flight deck as commander air group, CAG. She had landed as acting commander.
Admiral, Samuel Mueller, and his executive officer had been killed in the strike that had caused the decompression of the starboard flight pod. Neither Lawson, nor Ramirez felt qualified for their jobs. Colonial law required the commander of a Battlestar be a pilot or former pilot.
Ramirez had taken that requirement seriously and found time in her schedule to learn how to fly to Viper Mark seven after being appointed commander of the Battlestar Saturn. She could barely maintain her flight certificate. But she had been able to maintain it for well over a year.
Now she was the head of a large task force, with eight warships and two supply ships that jumped in the battle as a single unit. Their target was the largest undefended Cylon supply depot in the sector. They had located the Cylon fleet that was intending to ambush them at that location and managed to ambushed it instead.
Brave men and women had died in the first battle. When she gave the order, she knew she had to give that would end the lives of more brave men and women. The loss of any member of her crew wrenched her stomach. Yet somehow she found the courage to give the order again.
Saturn Actual: “Implement combat jump when the clock hits zero.”
XO McCormick: “This is the XO! Jump in 5……4……3……2….1 Jump!”
CIC Deck: “This is CIC Saturn to Solaria report in. Valkyrie squadron report in. Gunships report in.”
CIC Comms: “This is CIC DRADIS shows one Mercury, one Jupiter Mark 2, four Valkyries, two gun ships and 2 Celestra supply vessels. Combat lunches are underway Vipers, are forming up.”
XO: “XO to all ships and aircraft, Good hunting. Squadrons form up initial defense positions to intercept, inbound ordinance.”
The roar of outbound missiles echoed throughout the battlestar. Seconds after this the inbound crash of enemy missiles into the underside of the Saturn, made it almost impossible to speak.
CIC comms: “Engineering reports armor damage to exterior bottom armor.”
XO: “Dispatch damage, control, teams, bottom side armor. See if the Celestra can get their drones up to patch up the damage. All ships prepare to break right and to flack left. Starboard turn. Execute starboard turn. Guns, target package, Alpha.”
CIC air boss: “Vipers are free to intercept inbound ordinance. Stay out of the flak ships engagement zones. Check your NAV computers before going after those missiles.”
Inbound ordinance, warning and beeps filled the CIC with their electronic messages of doom. The commander gripped her clipboard, her nails, getting ready to drive through the board. She remained silent, showing confidence in her crew. Everyone had been training together for nearly 600 days now. They had cheated death before and would hopefully cheat it again today.
There was a radio chatter in the air wing. The CAG callsign “Queen”, had a couple of raiders on her tail and was being directed to break right so her wing man would be able to safely kill the enemy fighters.
CIC comms: “Radiological alarm inbound nukes. Two Phobos have tactically jumped and launched cluster nukes fore and aft of our battle formation. Flak is not going to intercept. Nuclear detonation imminent.”
XO: “Two base stars just jumped fore an aft of the fleet. Tactical jump, they are launching nukes. Solaria form up with the Saturn. We’re going to flak right and left and knock out as many of these nukes as we can. Crash turn to starboard. NOW NOW NOW!”
Saturn Actual: “We need a move Saturn into formation with Solaria. We need to cover for each other to stop the inbound nukes!”
XO: “You heard Saturn actual. Make it happen!”
CIC comms: “Saturn to Solaria tighten up formation. We need to mutually cover each other with flak”
“Frak! We lost a Val!”
“More nukes loose! Valkyries watch your topside.”
“Scratch one toaster carrier!”
“Flak formation between Saturn and Solaria is now effective.”
“Scratch, one modern base star!”
“Whatever that was, it was a big mother frakker!”
“Maintain flak, firing rate!”
“We lost a Celestra!”
“More nuclear cluster munitions in the air! Val’s go defensive!”
“Hey, two more carriers focus fire on the carriers!”
“Neptune actual reports finding solution on Cylon carrier. All Valkyries and gunships focus on carrier number one target, omega.”
XO: “This is the XO Saturn. One of the base stars is making for the supply depot. They may try and ram it. Bring missile batteries to bear. All vipers recall vipers get on the deck.”
Missile slam into the upper side of the Battlestar Saturn. Sparks fly and monitors flicker in CIC.
Saturn Actual: “We’re going to release one nuclear weapon. My firing pin is in XO insert you’re firing key.”
XO:”This is XO Saturn. Call sign wild Bill. My firing pin is in fire control. Release of one weapon is authorized at the base star target. Nuclear strike authorization is active.”
“Saturn. CIC we have one Salvo missiles inbound topside.”
As the missile Salvo hit the top of the battle star, everyone in the combat information Center gripped the tables and the ship rocked underneath their feet. The roar made it impossible to speak for several seconds as the impact echo throughout the warship.
“Fire control tracking and on target impact in 10 seconds.”
“Try to avoid looking directly into the nuclear flash 5….4….3 oh well. That’s a dead base star.”
Saturn actual: “set condition three throughout the fleet signal to flagship to bring in supply pick up ships we need Marines.”
Chapter 19 video