Chapter 51: The Fearless

Battlestar Fearless Commander Charles Emerson stood in the CIC preparing for a combat jump. His mission was quite simple. The Fearless and one other Artemis class battlestar were tasked to jump to the known location of a Cylon resurrection ship. Hot recon showed 3 of this class of ship. The strategic plan was to drop misinformation into the Cylon intelligence in the form of Cylon skin job model number 3.

For weeks they had indoctrinated her. They led her to believe that she had secretly hacked into a database that included the tactical and strategic plans of the Colonial fleet led by Admiral Lawson. It was a giant game. The game was misdirection. The system that’s the former IT lieutenant had hacked with a stolen mobile phone was a fake.

It was designed to simulate the main computer system of an Artemis class Battlestar. It was actually just running in a virtual machine on the Fearless near the brig that the number three was held in. System had all the functionality to control the ship, but was actually an invention of the Head of IT for the fleet Captain HG (Head Geek) Miller.

For nearly three years she had remained imbedded as an Information technology worker under Captain Miller. She knew everything. A court martial had looked at the evidence of strategic and tactical leaks and sentenced her to death.

There was a vast amount of data in the system. They were counting on the highly developed memory of the humanoid Cylon to record what Colonial fleet wanted her to know prior to dying and downloading.

She had access to navigational records dating back for weeks and weeks. Supply pick ups communications records. Inside the system was everything the Cylons needed to know to pick up the supposed location of Admiral Lawson and her fleet. The destination was hundreds of thousands of light years away from their true sanctuary.

They had already dispatched a gigantic war fleet. Admiral Lawson had a three part ambush planned. Two of the attacks had already been successful.

There were thousands of electronic conversations between Commander Emerson, Admiral Lawson, and commanders Ramirez, Evans and many others. Lots of email, lots of electronic orders. Every detail was checked over and over.

The navigational records were completely accurate and have been created by a borrowed adamant class vessel that had actually taken the time to jump to that location escorting a fuel convoy. It was 500 jumps each way using the new Cylon jump technology.

The mission objective was brutal and seems cool. Commander Emerson convinced himself that this thing in his CIC was not a human being. The problem is it look like a human being. It talked like a human being. His mission was to jump to ambush.

The jump coordinates had 3 confirmed Cylon resurrection ships. The intelligence was less than an hour old.

It was known that within 48 hours after being killed a humanoid Cylon would be downloaded into a resurrection ship or nearby resurrection hub. The plan was to make sure the intelligence was in the Cylon database before the third strike by Admiral Lawsons fleet. This was the largest and most powerful strike in the plan.

There were people aboard his ship that had problems with this plan. Some people believed even if it was a machine if it look like a human it had human rights. Commander Emerson did not want the guilt to fall on anyone other than himself.

He had his weapon out of the holster in his hand. The safety was off. There was a cartridge in the chamber. If necessary, he was going to shoot the Cylon himself. But they wanted her to believe that she had actually escaped with actionable intelligence. They wanted her to kill herself.

They had injected her with the sunspot virus and an ugly cocktail to make her very ill. They had told the toaster that she was going to give them the tactical information they needed to defeat a small Cylon fleet that was a diversion. The Cylon had been allowed to see fake tactical plans for strike three in the battle plan.

She was locked in a chair. Her hands were cuffed to the arms of the chair. They had let her steal the paper clip from the guards desk near the brig. They knew she’d already work the lock and could free her hands at any time.

The hope was, she would steal one of her marine guard guns. Having been led to think she had technical information, they had reasoned that she would probably kill her self immediately in order to escape from the Fearless. If not commander, Charles Emerson would do it himself.

The backup plan was they would sacrifice the ship.

Emerson was ready.

“Jump, complete, frak, 4 Cylon base stars launching a shit ton of raiders.” His executive officer reported.

“Shit ton being a technical term right XO?”

“Right Sir. We have 1 nuke hot and Jaguar reports the same. Vipers have launched and will insure us a target lock.”

“Weapons release is authorized, recall the Vipers once lock is achieved.”

“Firing weapon, boosting the STL engines. FTL is spooling three minutes to jump ready.”

“We don’t have three minutes do we Sir.”

“Nope,” Emerson said.

Plan A was to complete the jump, which was a short one very tactical meant to stay very close to the resurrection ship. Plan B was if they died the toaster downloaded at the same time as the rest of them just died normally for humans.

Flak was firing after the nuclear weapon cleared the engagement zone.

“Radiological alarm, inbound nukes,” the XO reported.

The final straw to grasp was the decrepit observatory they were flying by. The inbound target track showed some of the nukes blocked by the station, but some of them would hit them. The Artemis simply did not have enough of a flak field to protect itself.

The FTL would not be jump ready in time. They felt and heard the impact of missiles and station parts hit the first war battlestars armor. There was a brief respite, then the deck shifted under their feet.

“FTL offline,” the XO reported.

Emerson looked at the FTL spool countdown and had one last conscious thought.

“Frak! Almost made it.”

Then nothing.

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