Day 827 of the second Cylon war.
Commanders Log, Battlestar Solaria. Indira Modi recording.
“It is Day 827 of the second Cylon war.” Once again we prepare for battle. To conserve resources, Admiral Lawson has reduced our operational tempo. For a few weeks at least, we will reduce the number of attacks we make against Cylon logistics. We are bringing more experienced crews and trying to hit more important targets.”
“We hope to be more impactful, while reducing our losses. Our next combat jump is in 30 minutes.”
CIC during final jump preparations.
Executive Officer (XO) stood in CIC with a solemn expression. He towered over Indira Modi, who stood in the theater style Combat Information Center, yet she commanded with her presence. “Commander, Athena actual wants us to lead the jump cadence. For luck. All task force ships show green, ready to jump.”
She held the mic tightly and pressed the push to talk button. “This is Solaria actual, task force 77 XO. Conduct combat jump. Good hunting.”
“Jump Complete, all task force ships are where they are supposed to be. We have 12 enemy contacts, and two or three possible radiological sources. This fleet is armed to the teeth, they have nukes. Squadrons are launched and forming up.”
3:26 Fleet Wireless:
“DRADIS has 300 inbound missiles, radiological alarm.”
“This is XO Solaria to task force. Prepare defensive flak. Maintain formation.”
“Commander Air Group, Pony, form up at rally point beta. Lets shoot down some of this ordinance.”
“Viking, the toasters are all over us. We are full defensive.”
“This is Athena actual. TF-77 actual. Recon, get me the location of every ship carrying nukes.”
“Viking you got a toaster on your tail. Break right! Now now NOW!”
6:22 “Pumpkin, breaking right, totally defensive, some help please.”
7:52 “Solaria actual. We are tracking two groups of cluster nukes, passing above the Triton, headed for the main fleet. Switch to defensive posture. Flak full automatic. Vipers stay out of potential engagement zones, be prepared for rapid flak switch. Solaria and Athena are partially bracketed.”
“Those nukes took out a Valkyrie class, the Ammut. Frak us.”
“This is Giraud actual. Lets get our shit together and honor the crew of the Ammut.”
“Giraud to Triton. Cutting that turn a little tight don’t you think?”
10:31 “We are still in a bracket and the course Athena is taking is not going to help with that sir.”
“With all that technology, Athena can react faster. We will have to rely on our wits Major King.”
12:15 “This is Solaria actual to all ships. Maintain formation. Be alert as we do not have confirmation on all of this fleets nuclear launch platforms.”
12:52 “Cylons are deploying virus mines. All ships check your virus and all network defenses.”
13:12 “We have the upper hand air wing. Still a lot of ordinance to take down. Princess going offen…”
“Oh my gods not Princess.”
With a light, almost imperceptible touch, Commander Modi raise her hand and lightly stroked, Major King’s shoulder to give comfort. The motion almost seemed inadvertent. Between the two of them, with a necessary public formality, the gesture spoke volumes.
14:20 “Still a lot of raiders out there.”
15:43 ”CIC Triton, we just flakked another nuke salvo out of the sky.”
15:57 “Flak ammunition, maintain firing rate starboard!”
16:00 “XO! How worried should we be about outright hacking?”
“There is always some danger, however HG is arguably more creative than the Cylons at these dark arts. Of larger concern are indirect attempts, such as hitting our sensors at an attack vector that might cause a blind spot when a nuke is targeting us.”
“Major that does not give me the warm and fuzzy feeling I’d hoped for. If that happens what is our next line of defense?”
“Our armor sir. At great cost, this ship has been rebuilt with the replaceable armor pack designed originally for the mercury class.”
“Thank you Major. Sensor blind spots and more compute power in general should be high on our upgrade list after this battle.”
“Engineering reports light armor damage to the starboard pod sir.”
19:45 “Engineering reports direct hacking attempts are being made, cyber defenses are holding. There is also some unusual radiation, might be that sensor overload attempt we were speaking about sir.”
“Monitor comms Major. That might improve our chances and take advantage of the Athena’s threat warning system.”
21:54 “Sitrep cyber defenses.”
“Holding sir. We are being hit with very strong jamming.”
23:02 “Triton reports under heavy fire.”
24:10 “Starboard pod just took another missile salvo. There is now significant armor damage to that pod.”
24:30 “Threat sensors are offline. Our network is down!”
24:54 “Direct hit topside. Armor Bravo. Direct breach, internal damage.”
24:59 “Fire control is offline. There is significant radiation in that compartment. Crews are maintaining station and attempting repairs.”
27:06 “XO! Signal the fleet we have taken heavy damage. Damage control check on fire control and FTL systems.”
“We have fires out of control in several topside sections. Damage to heat exchange pumps. Fire control is however coming back on line.”
“The rest of the fleet is taking care of the Cylons sir. Sick bay reports receiving heavy casualties.”
A day later on the Battlestar Mercury.
Colonel Alfonzo Huff, was weary from a day of damage control, made much more complex by the badly damaged Solaria. Three Valkyries circled the wounded battlestar, which was rushing through emergency repairs, before jumping back to the mobile shipyard.
He remembered the constant Combat Air Patrols and the repair estimate for armor replacement set for 12 days once dock space opened up. The situation was tight as the Saturn and Mercury were still there, the former being nearly ready for action.
Now he had been summoned to Admiral Lawson’s office on the Mercury. With all the construction and repairs, it had taken him 40 minutes to find a route to her office. Finding the door, he hit the chime.
A stunning figure in a flight suit, still wearing the helmet collar tapped him on the shoulder and keyed in the door code. “Come in Colonel,” she said gesturing him into the office. She was perspiring, her black, braided hair was hanging limply three quarters of the way to the small of her back.
“Please forgive the sweaty flight suit. To maintain my rating on the Viper mark seven, every 90 days you have to do three touch and go landings and gunnery practice and today is day 95.”
“I understand sir,” he answered I also take the law seriously that to command a battlestar, you need to maintain your pilots rating,” Huff spoke carefully, in measured tones.
“I just saw your fitness report,” she began.
Huff’s stomach started to contract. Perhaps he was about to be fired.
“Commander Modi forwarded her last two battle reports. She saw potential in you when she decided not to wash you out. Your performance in the most recent battle showed you understood why formation discipline is important.
She walked behind her desk, going through a few drawers before putting a small navy blue box on the desk. “I Commend you on maintaining discipline after the dressing down by Commander Modi. Your experience and discipline make us a strong fleet.”
She shoved the box across the desk and popped open the box, revealing shining gold rank insignia. “You are out of uniform commander,” she smiled.
Huff was speechless, his eyes as wide as saucers. He mumbled something that might be intelligible, but probably not.
“Congratulations Commander,” she said. After an awkward pause he saluted and took the handshake she offered.
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