Just as suddenly as it had begun, the roar stopped. After a few halting attempts, the power came back on. There was an acrid smell in the CIC of Saturn. Control systems and computers booted back up. Finally DRADIS came on, flickering, showing the tactical situation.
Commander Ramirez continued to keep the port side of the ship, facing the Cylon base star that was continuing to hurl missile salvo after salvo. With a grunt and a hand signal flak came online port side. The Athena and five other task force ships dealt with protecting Saturns starboard side, which had heavy damage to armor. The starboard flight pod had suffered damage, air was venting through several hull breaches.
Major McKormick stayed on comms. He kept task force command up to date, made tactical decisions and directed damage control parties to damaged parts of the Saturn.
After the battle, Commander Ramirez was escorted back to sick bay by her doctor and 4 marines. Her XO came to her in her quarters. Due to the heavy casualties from the battle, it was decided that Ramirez could convalesce in her quarters, without infecting anybody else with the sunspot virus.
Days had passed as she had been sedated to improve her strength and endurance. She was able to whisper as Major McKormick gave her the news.
“305 dead, 400 wounded. We have 15 more missing from the flight pod. They will probably eat, shifted during the battle. We’re not gonna find the bodies were very lucky.”
Commander Ramirez spoken to whisper. “If they have families,” she rasped. “I will write and sign the letters.”
The executive officer sat next to the bed and whispered to her. “It’s been three days since the battle. You’ve been sedated. The doctors were not sure you were gonna even make it. I knew better than that. You are too tough to die. I already wrote the letters and signed your name.”
“I am shocked,” she whispered. “I say shocked that you have learned to forge your commanders signature.”
“All part of the service,” the XO smiled. “They expect way too much paperwork for even the two of us to do together.”
“How long is it going to take to fix the ship?” she asked.
“Two months,” Admiral Eva Lawson spoke as she entered the room, disguised in her pre-war flight suit with the insignia showing the rank of major. “Cylons really did a number on the starboard flight pod.”
“Sorry Admiral,” Saturn’s commander answered.
“Two years ago I give you command of an all new battlestar, factory fresh! Now look at it.” She gestured at one of the walls which had buckled slightly and warped from a nearby fire. “Now look at it.”
“Sorry Sir,” Ramirez relaxed her body as the Admiral, gently moved her bangs out of her eyes.
“Wild Bill here is going to supervise the repairs. I bet Whiskey and Commander Evans are going to be so much fun at those early morning briefings.”
“So I am sitting at a desk for two months?” Ramirez rasped. “What about Operation Distraction?”
“Well that operation is over. We are going to change out some ships. Saturn is in the shipyard. Mercury will take her place. For the next sixty days you are going to be training the next class of command officers. You are back where you started the war, kiddo. You are now Mercury’s XO.”
Commander Maria Ramirez was hard to surprise. Her jaw dropped.
“She is going to learn how to be meaner than Saul Tigh.” Saturn’s XO quipped.
“As of a week ago he is alive. Saul Tigh is going to have to learn how to be a better XO,” Lawson smiled back. Then she uncharacteristically reached up and mussed Ramirez’s matted, sweaty hair. “Mercury’s crew have been slacking off. After you get better, your job is to get them back to peak performance.”
Ramirez brightened up a bit as she joined the banter. “Like they were when I left them two years ago? What are you running hear Admiral, a pirate ship?”
“No just a tired, old battlestar.”
Wild Bill sniffed the air. “You need a shower,” after a long pause he added the honorific. “Sir.”
Full chapter video. Chapter 25