Battlestar Mercury Book 3: “Logistics” Chapter 31 “Sloppy.”

Day 812 of the second Cylon war.

“Commander Modi,” Admiral Lawson spoke to her subordinate at the other end of a video conference.

“Congratulations on your victory over the Cylon task force. Your after action report was quite detailed. Your deployment recommendations were interesting. You believe that the Artemis class and the Valkyrie class should be deployed under A Mercury, Jupiter or combination. I have several officers that are on this call that would like to hear you explain it.”

“Yes Admiral,” the commander of the Solaria answered. “We have found the recent runs of Valkyrie losses and our two lost Artemis class ships were due to poor formation discipline. Guided missiles are skimming their flak and hitting the top side of the battlestar. In the case of the Artemis class, topside armor is quickly worn away and next comes fire control damage. Keeping these two class of ships in a position where they can be protected is very important to cut losses in future battles.”

“What about the argument that you are limiting the freedom of movement of the Artemis and the Valkyrie?”

“With a series of turns, the Artemis and Valkyrie can maneuver in a safe zone and still deliver firepower to the targets.” Commander Modi replied. “I will provide more details after our current mission. The combat jump is scheduled in 30 minutes.”

“We are rushing to make repairs to the Saturn and the Mercury. Our people are climbing the bulkheads, eager to get back into the fight.”

“I will see you after the battle.”

“Please be careful,” Admiral Lawson cautioned. “We have taken heavy losses in the past few weeks. These are not sustainable.”

“I understand,” Commander Modi replied. “In a war, casualties are not avoidable. But of course you know that Admiral.”

“I trust you to do your best.”

“Thank you for your trust Admiral,” Modi replied.

“You are a promising, young officer,” the Admiral advised. “If you notice something, don’t be afraid to speak up to your task force commander. Thank you for the tactical feedback. We are going to repeat this until we get it right.”

“Commander Evan’s and I are communicating very well Admiral.”

“Good hunting commander.”

“Thank you Admiral.”

* * *

From CIC Battlestar Solaria


Commander Evans voice came over the task force wireless channel. “All ships begin jump prep. We will see you on the other side.”

On Solaria, Commander Modi looked towards Major King who nodded back. “This is Solaria actual, conduct synchronized combat jump.”

“DRADIS has 14 contacts, extreme range, lots of jamming, definitely launching raiders.”

“All right, air wing section one, this is the commander air group. Form up on me. We are going to hang back a bit and lurk so we can jump the source of this jamming. CIC Solaria or Athena, lets scan for war drivers.”

Commander Modi held the microphone closely to her chest. With confidence she pressed the ‘push to talk’ button. “This is Solaria actual. There is heavy jamming activity in this fleet. Focus on war drivers and Phobos first.”

4:10 “They’re coming in hot, there is an awful lot of them!”

4:15 “300 inbound missiles from three sources.”

“This is XO Solaria, all ships prepare for coordinated flak fire.”

7:15 “Commander, the Valkyrie task force has wandered out of the planned safe zone,” Major King warned.

Commander Modi squeezed her microphone with all her strength. “Valkyrie section, get back into planned formation. Right fracking now.”

“Radiological alarm. Inbound cluster nukes.”

“Task Force, break right, prepare for offensive salvo.”

10:20 “Athena heads up inbound missile salvo headed for your port bow.”

11:20 “Flak left. Cluster nuke salvo inbound!”

12:21”Valkyrie in trouble! We have multiple fires and hull breaches!”

14:58 “Artemis is under heavy fire, taking armor damage.”

15:46 “Train Wreck! Got a toaster!”

17:36 “Solaria actual to Athena, we are breaking right hitting our target in salvo mode.”

18:02 “Frak! We lost Lamb!”

19:32 “Athena, this is Solaria actual. We are going salvo mode and taking out the Argos.”

19:54 “Scratch one antique Argos base star.”

22:38 “Athena is breaking left and taking off after the stray carriers.”

25:29 “The toasters are bugging out. Vipers, set up a CAP. S & R birds get out there and pick up the shot up viper jocks. Damage control teams, spool up and get to work. Salvage teams, we need to scoop up as much wreckage as we can so it can be recycled into new warships in the shipyard.”

* * *

“Colonel Huff, is there a reason you violated operational orders and decided to do your own thing? My mission orders for the Valkyrie group was quite explicit.”

Colonel Alonzo Huff, was 38, and had left the service a few years before the fall, having landed a job in private industry. “We saw an operational gap in their formation, and we tried to exploit it.”

“That exploit cost hundreds of lives, Colonel Huff. Are margin of error is getting pretty thin. We can’t afford any more frack ups like that.”

“Well maybe I just wanted to pay back the toasters for killing my wife and my entire family, Commander Modi. Is that a better reason?”

* * *

Admiral Lawson had a 1:1 video call with People’s Council leader Cory Brooks next.

“We have found and extracted several million tons of metals and ore. That extraction effort is ongoing and we expect several million more tons to arrive at the shipyard over the next few days. Our mining ships are under staffed. I’ve been through the checklist. Are we going to be able to boost production to three Valkyrie class battlestars a month?”

Cory Brooks looked downcast. “We have a major shortage of workers. We were hoping you would release some of the non-essential people who have been dragooned into the military for lack of a bed.”

“Everyone manning a warship is essential. We have thinned out the ranks to staff the new warships.”

“Admiral,” Brooks spoke with a grave expression on her face. “Your strategy is innovative. It is clearly better than running away. The losses we have sustained in the past week are unacceptable. Three Valkyries and a few days later a pair of Artemis class battlestars.”

“We have been having some issues with formation discipline. We are making some adjustments to our formations.”

“This is not a criticism,” Brooks continued. “We are are straining our resources past the breaking point. We can not replace any nukes that you use. Everyone here is exhausted. We are pushing the foundry workers to work 12 hour days. We tried 16 hour days and the accident rate went way up. We are not a society with billions of people to draw resources from. We are 149 thousand and change, people. Some of the people we have are elderly and can’t work.”

“We left many people back in the new settlement,” Admiral Lawson relented.

“If we had bunks for them, we could go back for them. The new jump system is testing out well Admiral?”

“Yes but another supply chain issue. We are months away from getting the FTL technology upgraded in the entire fleet.” Admiral Lawson took a deep breath, her shoulders sagging noticeabley. “We have a combat jump coming up.”

“Good hunting Admiral.”

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