Battlestar Mercury Book 3: “Logistics” Chapter 37: “Operation Flashback Part 1”

After three computer simulations seemed to prove conclusively that to Valkyrie had sufficient firepower but lacked a large enough flak field to defend the reconnaissance missions supply ships, the Artemis class battlestar, Fearless was given the tactical plans and orders to catch up with the task force and assume command.

The Fearless had been stolen during the last shipyard raid prior to the exodus from the “New Settlement”. Originally tasked to carry civilians, it was converted into a munitions factory several weeks after the second exodus had begun. As the production of Valkyrie class ships had been slowed by logistics and supply chain issues, other warships, particularly those with accurate guns and good flak capabilities, it was decided that the munitions factory would move to a larger Atlas class ship.

The battlestars frame was nearly 60 years old, having an unremarkable combat record in first Cylon war. As the Tauron saying went, “Panhandlers can’t be choosers”. After the capture and cyber cleaning of large depots filled with Cylon spare parts, particularly FTL components, Admiral Lawson had ordered FTL upgrades on all military ships, starting with the flagship, the Mercury.

Eventually, Fearless, which had been converted to a training ship after the move of the munitions factory, had reached the top of the list. Fearless was loaded with a full fuel and ammunitions load and given to a new commander, Charles “Pirate” Emerson.

“Admiral Lawson,” Emerson smiled at the video link screen. “I would appreciate it if the next time you assign me command of a task force that it wait for me.”

“The shipyard was not certain if we could get your ship ready for you on time. The computer upgrades were particularly troublesome. Something about heat exchange problems and the chips melting. I’m just a lucky fighter brat. Earned one or two promotions above my station. Apologies.”

“Away we go,” Emerson held the channel open for the customary good bye greeting.”

“Good hunting Pirate,” Lawson nodded.

“Thank you Admiral.”

Emerson was thirty, and had been pulled out of flying vipers due to a problem with vertigo. He could no longer handle the high gees of flying the viper.” He fancied himself a bit of a swashbuckler, so he had painted a pirate on his helmet and given the call sign “Pirate” eight years ago after graduating the academy.

When the Fearless was ready, he had been promoted straight from captain to commander. His command crew had been working together for quite some time. Though some of them resented him as an interloper, their mission was too important to tolerate infighting. The mission was to do reconnaissance of “The Settlement.” This was the name given to the colonies established after the first exodus and abandoned at the start of the second.

“Put me on ship-wide,” Emerson ordered.

The old style alarm sounded, echoing through the vessel. “This is the commander,” he said. Pausing to let the echo of his voice fade, he continued. “I’ve never been big on titles, and formality. We have been given a mission. We are to take over the task force heading back to the settlement.”

“It was a stain on our honor that we left so many behind. Now we need more labor, so we are going back to see if anyone survived. So now I am Fearless actual. My call sign when I was a viper pilot was “Pirate.” That is how I think of myself, and that is how I wish to be known.”

“All systems report ready for jump Commander,” his XO reported.

“Try again,” Commander Emerson corrected.

“Commander Pirate. We are ready to jump. We have recon and the task force is waiting for us.”

“Then commence jump,” ordered the commander.

* * *


Commanders log, Battlestar Artemis, Commander Emerson recording. “We have caught up with the reconnaissance task force assigned to “Operation Flashback, the mission to potentially rescue persons left behind by the second exodus. My viewpoint is its unlikely there will be significant numbers of survivors.”

“That view has a strong counter argument. Our fleet has maintained a hack into the Cylons communications network for quite some time. We have found no traffic relating to the persons left behind in ‘the settlement’. That makes is intriguing to me. We have calculated a jump plot using new FTL technology to reach this settlement in 10 jumps.”

“I am quite suspicious of this new technology. If anything has been missed, this mission could end, badly wasting lives and accomplishing nothing.”

CIC Fearless.

Fleet wide wireless channel.

“This is commander Emerson. We are off to right the wrong, to rescue those persons we left behind. I want maximum data collection to insure this new FTL technology is not giving away our position. Our primary mission tactic is not to kill enemy ships. Our mission is to maneuver and evade, surviving to make contact. We expect to encounter the enemy. Still, I must say, good hunting.”


“All ships show green, ready to jump sir.”

“Commence jump number 1.”

Segment 1

Jump #2 after a short repair & resupply break


“We have 5 enemy contacts sir. They are coming for us.”

“Vipers are up?”

“Vipers up and in defensive posture.”

“Guns target the lead raiders,” ordered Commander Emerson.

“Yes Sir.”


“Board is green. All vipers on the deck.”

“Jump!” ordered the commander.

Segment 2


CIC Fearless after a very short repair & resupply break.

“Six contacts, long range,” CIC deck officer reported.

“Hard starboard turn. Keep the fighters in defensive locations.”


“Point defense guns have inbound raiders. They are weapons free.”


“Board is green. Combat landings are complete. Ready to jump.”

“Jump!” ordered Commander Emerson.

Segment 3


CIC Fearless. Moments after a jump.

“Six contacts. Two look large, launching raiders.”

“Deploy countermeasures. Air wing to defensive stations.”


“Fire offensive salvo,” ordered Commander Emerson.


“Inbound missiles.”

“Flak left!”

“Board is green. Birds are in the barn. Ready to jump.”

“Commence jump!” ordered Commander Emerson.

Segment 4

13:12 Seconds after the jump completed.

“Contact. 5 contacts. Raiders are detected.”

“Launch vipers. Fire offensive salvo!” ordered Commander Emerson.


“Missile hit on enemy ship Talon class!”


“Our vipers are engaged. They are not in defensive positions!”

“We may need to hold the jump. Signal commander air group to return to defensive formation when practical.”


“Combat landings are authorized,” Emerson ordered.


“Freighter destroyed!”

Segment 5


“Contacts, more toasters jumped in!”


“Board is green. All surviving ships show green. All birds in the pods.”

“Start the jump when ready!”

Segment 6

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