Battlestar Mercury Book 3 “Logistics” Chapter 52 “Forge strike 3”

Admiral Eva Lawson was groggy as she was helped from the floor of C I C by her new XO Major Stanley “Wheelchair” Jacobs. He had a cut over his right eye, the blood was smudged.

“What the frak happened?” she asked as she gripped the table. The combat information center was mostly dark, having suffered a complete power failure. There were several pitches of whirring sounds as computer hardware struggled to boot up,

There was no alert klaxon, no DRADIS scanning noise. Monitors were showing scrambled output nothing seemed to be working. Finally the damage control station came online. It was unsteady, flickering every couple of seconds. There looked to be armor damage in several places, but no major breech.

The FTL status screen came online next. All three FTL field actuators were showing red. Whatever was happening it would require some repairs before they would be able to jump out of danger. There was a roar echoing through the ship. The artificial gravity systems seem be stressing out.

Lawson felt as if her body were heavy. It reminded her of pulling G’s in a mark vii viper. She felt nauseous like after pulling 8-9 G’s in a viper or a simulator. “I hit my head. I don’t remember.” Lawson shook her head. “What do you remember Wheelchair?”

“We were attacking the trapped Cylon fleet. Something went wrong. We had a jump plotted. We got nuked. I think.”

All the equipment came back online. The monitors steadied up. The forward view camera showed a sun center screen, looming large. The alert klaxon’s came online, the noise was ear splitting. This was not the normal post jump conditions.

“We’re going too fast.”

“Situation report,” Lawson demanded. Shaking her head, trying to get the fog out of her mind.

“We got struck by nukes just as we jumped,” the officer of the deck reported.

Major Jacobs was looking at several status screens. “FTL took EMP shock while we were transitioning into the jump.”

“Where the frak are we?”

“We are in a totally different solar system than we planned our escape jump.” The FTL officer reported.

“It looks like we are moving,” Admiral Lawson said. “Why are we moving? We are not supposed to come out of FTL jumps at high speed.”

“Navigation officer,” Jacobs demanded. “Situation report.”

“We are headed straight into the sun wherever we ended up. We are at very high speed.”

Major Jacobs, shouted to be heard over the droning klaxon. “Give me precise data. What is our speed?”

“Point nine point eight nine of light speed,” reported the navigation officer.

“Heading?” Lawson barked.

“Straight into the sun. Estimated impact in 180 seconds.”

“Frak me.” Lawson gasped. “Can we use maneuvering thrusters to avoid the impact?”

“Negative. We will have to turn around and use full Slower than light drive.”

“We have Solaria and Saturn right behind us. They got hit too.”

“Can we FTL out of here to avoid a collision?” Lawson asked.

“EMP pulse took out our FTL drives. Engineering is reporting 4 hour minimum to make the repairs. Solaria thinks it will take them 48 hours.”

“One hundred forty seconds to impact.”

* * *

Combat Jump before the strike mission:

“All ships report ready for the combat jump. Vipers and strike craft are in the launch tubes.” Major Stanley Jacobs reported.

Admiral Lawson picked up a handset, configured to speak to the entire strike fleet. The attention tone echoed through the ship.

“This is the Admiral. Good Hunting. Execute combat jump!”

Quickly Lawson put the handset in its cradle. It would not feel good, going through a jump with that antique technology near her head.

The DRADIS started chirping and would not stop.

“Contact! 4 base stars, raiders are launching. They are not in an intercept formation. They are going to attack.”

“Launch the entire air wing. All batteries check your ammo type and engagement zones against the printed plan.” Admiral Lawson said the order softly. The CIC flight officer repeated the orders.

“This is the XO to fleet,” Major Jacobs ordered. “Battle plan phase one. Nuclear firing keys in. Setting cold.”

“This is Playboy. Commander of the Air Group. This is a complex hunting party, however,, we have been practicing for weeks in the VR simulator. Hunters prioritize nukes, then missiles. Knights go after the enemy raiders. Nuggets stay with your wing mates.”

“Sir yes sir.”

“So Say we all.”

“This is Mercury XO. Flak left. All batteries flak left!”

“Four hundred vampires inbound.”

“Radiological alarm three inbound nukes, one from each Phobos. Looks like cluster munitions.”

“This is Playboy Tiger team engage the missiles. Nukes are a priority. Remain clear of the battlestar engagement zones.”

“Tiger team engaging. Nuke heading for the Valkyrie squadron.”

“Mercury XO to Valkyries immediate flak starboard batteries. Flak right. Now! Now!!”

“This is Mercury actual. Go hot with nukes. Nuclear weapons are authorized as per the printed battle plan.”

“Cylons are trying to take out the Oslo. Three base stars are hit by nukes, more tracking.”

“Heavy battlestars taking hits bottom side, engineering section. Oslo is in trouble.”

Admiral Lawson barked an order. “Valkyrie class Oslo is authorized to jump.”

“This is CIC Mercury to Oslo jump now!”

“The Battlestar Oslo reports she’s got her nuke fired. Reports failed F T L nav fix, jammed by our own signal!”

Admiral Lawson grabbed the fleet broadcast hand set, pressed the talk signal and shouted into the microphone. “Oslo do not wait!!!! Jump blind!! Jump blind!!!”

“We lost the Oslo Sir.”

“Use recent recon data. Make gods damned sure every warship can conduct an emergency jump.”

“Stan, should we stop our F T L jamming?”

“We can’t sir. Remember we sent the Orions out so they could stay stealthy and the Cylons can’t hack us to do escape jumps or worse yet call in reinforcements.”

“Whose brilliant plan was that? Lawson asked.

“HG Sir.”

“Last base star down.”

Admiral Lawson looked pale steadying herself with one hand on the edge of the CIC table. Major Jacob’s whom everyone knew slept in the Admiral’s quarters grasped her by the arm. Then he started issuing orders. The assumption was she was stricken by the unnecessary loss of the battlestar Oslo. In the past, losing people had often made her sick.

“Recall all birds, begin jump prep. Launch the S A R to pick up ejected pilots. Signal the Orions in the clear. Descend from the hilltop. Stop F T L navigation jamming.”

“We have no coms with the two Orions. No F T L navigation possible.”

DRADIS chirped 4 long tones, follow by rapid tones that were so frequent it sounded like buzzing bees.

“Contact 4 Cylon base stars, point blank range. Launching raiders.”

Lawson had the telephone handset to her mouth already.

“This is Mercury actual. Combat landings. All birds on the deck. Prepare for an emergency jump.”

“We are surrounded by the massive astroid field that we counted on to keep the Cylons here. It’s going to take at least fifteen minutes at full burn S T L engines to be certain of a safe jump.”

“Lets get started! Full burn S T L engines. Posture defensive. Flak get ready.”

“Radiological alarm is constant, they have a pile of nukes!”

“This is Mercury. Actual. To any cut off birds that are still flying find the Orion’s. If they’re not responsive blow them out of the sky!”

“Four new contacts. Cylon base stars. Radiological alarm. Launching raiders and vampires.”

The viper and raptor pilots knew this was a suicide mission. They were, however, prepared to give their lives to enable the escape of the most powerful fleet. The commander of the Mercury air group, call sign Playboy formed up a rag tag collection of planes. For operational security, they did not know where the Orions were deployed.

He was hit by an idea while glancing at his D R A D I S display.

“Heres what we are going to do people. We are going to fight our way to where the toasters aren’t. On me!”

“So say we all!” answered the pilots.

Present day CIC Solaria

Major King, Solaria’s XO pulled a part of a navigation off of commander Modi. She coughed, brushed herself off and looked up at the dead displays. There was a lot of noise echoing from other parts of the ships. Several fires were being fought with hand held gear. The damage control display flickered to life.


“As you see, we have both flight parts extended. There appears to be fires in both of the ponds. Without communications I can’t tell you if the fire fighters and damage control parties are winning or losing. I guess a fuel line gets breached and we blowup will have our answer.”

“I see hull breaches at the starboard bow. Venting atmosphere. I am not certain which compartments we would need to blow to contain the fire.”

“Comms! Give me an ETA on when we get back online.”

“Looks like everything is booting up, at Jupiter class speeds.”

Major King saw a display come to life. “All right looks like we did the FTL jump while a nuclear EMP wave was blasting through the ship. Telescope imagery has us flying in formation with the Saturn and Mercury.”

“Something is wrong,” commander Modi concluded.

“I can’t see anything.”

“We came out of the jump a very high speed. Must be the E M P that took out the F T L systems. We are moving at near light speed.”

Navigation came back up. The course plot showed three battlestars on a collision course with the sun of this solar system.

“That’s pretty ugly. We could fix it with another FTL jump.”

“So begin jump prep!” Commander Modi ordered.

“F T L drive took damage. Even if we had the parts we need in inventory, we would need two days to fix the jump drives.”

“Well frak us, we are flying straight into the sun of this system. I can guess the ETA is much sooner. Send a situation report to the flagship.”

Mercury CIC

“Contact two base stars, point blank range. Launching raiders and nukes.”

“Nuclear strike topside!”

“Contact, 4 more base stars jumped in. Really close.”

“Concentrate main batteries on the nearest base star.” Admiral Lawson ordered.

“Nukes are targeting the Valkyrie squadron.”

“Cylon raiders are charging concentrating fire on the Mercury.”

“What the frak is happening with the auto loaders. Gun crews, Solaria is maintaining a higher firing rate.“ Major Jacobs barked into his headset.

“This is actual. Gun crews maintain firing rate.”

Solaria CIC

“This is Modi to gun crews. Keep up the good work.”

“This is the XO helm, hard to port.”

“The raiders are hitting us hard, the pilots want to launch.”

“That would be suicide Stan.”

“Helm this is Modi, nice, smooth turn.”

“This is actual. Flak trap bear claw. Now now now!”

“Valkyries under fire!”

Saturn CIC

Maria Ramirez squirmed and extricated herself from some debris in CIC. There were a couple of small fires in the CIC. She was not certain she remembered exactly what had happened the last few minutes. As she pulled herself from the deck, broken glass crunched under her feet.

The lighting flickered and monitors sprung to life. She looked up and saw damage control, navigation and several subsystems.

“Get me a sit-rep!” Commander Maria Ramirez ordered.

“Fire control down.”


“F T L down. No repair estimate.”

“What about the hull breaches and damage control?”

“We have lost communication to the port flight pod. Several hull breaches and fires. We have structural integrity.”

Commander Ramirez looked up at the navigation screen. The display flickered and a shaky image steadied. It showed three battlestars on a collision course with the sun in this solar system.

“Navigation what is our speed?” Ramirez demanded.

“Speed point nine 8 cee”

“Get that frakking FTL fixed immediately. We are headed into the sun at near light speed. Give me options on how to slow us down without FTL.”

Six minutes ago.

“Admiral. XO. We are outside our own FTL navigation jamming field. We have navigational fix on all three heavy battlestars. The jump keys are in and the drives are spooled.”

“Valkyries?” asked the Admiral.

“Destroyed Sir.”


“Too far away Sir. We can send back recon raptors when things cool down. They know what to do.”

“This is Mercury actual. Confirm coordinates and start the final jump countdown.”

“Radiological alarm. New base stars are launching another wave of nukes.”

“10 seconds to jump. 9,8,7, six, five, four, three, two, one. Jump!”

* * *

“90 seconds to impact.”

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