Chapter 25: A new phase

The hiding place where they had discovered the Battlestar Solaria Museum turned out to be a good one. It seemed to be well off the Cylon patrol routes. Raptor recon showed that activity of the enemy forces was much reduced.

The intelligence weenies guessed that this was because of the gigantic raid on fuel resources. A lot of Tylium had gone up in fireball’s. The attack plan had used a lot of fuel and they would soon be needing more to maintain operations.

One of the ships that had joined this small fleet was a space construction platform. It was able to set up operations and actually conduct repairs on large ships, even battlestars.

The Solaria was in bad shape. Much of her wartime armor had been stripped off. Battle damage from the first cylon was had never been prepared unless it presented a safety issue for museum guests.

So after doing some relatively minor repairs on the Mercury the platform set to work fixing up the battle damage, recent and decades old to the museum. Designed to be crewed by 5000, with barracks for two 1000 man battalion of Colonial Marines, the museum as she became known was the perfect place to house civilian refugees.

Hundreds more could potentially be housed in the starboard flight pod, but the glass windows had been shattered by basestar fire. After completing the critical repairs to the frame of the ship, the construction platform went to work rehabbing the starboard flight pod.

With a six week time estimate on this project the construction platform had a purpose.

Of course there were problems with the project and plans such as who would crew the ship It literally did take several thousand crew members to run the ship. Gun’s needed to be manned, planes needed to be maintained. Mercury assembled a subset of her deck hands, already culled by the nuking of the starboard flight pod and implemented a plan.

Civilians would be forced to pay rent in return for housing on the battlestar which was undergoing an overhaul. The able bodied had to work an eight hour shift, six days a week. They were trained up for every job on battlestar from cleaning the toilets to maintaining the vipers.

Those with flight experience were sent to the Mercury for simulator training.

“So it will take six weeks to finish making the museum’s starboard flight pod operational?” Lawson asked.

“Minimum,” Ramirez replied.

“If we need to jump?”

“They have a plan to evacuate their crews but the scaffolding will be lost.”

“Define operational. They will be able to recover vipers, not launch them.”

“Okay XO and why can’t they be launched?”

“No launching systems. We have a few raptors tasked to scavenge the wrecks of the battlestars. There is a lot of potential there.”

Commander Lawson shook her head and smirked. It was dangerous work but the payoff was high. “The ship will need a commander. Who have we got?”

“There is this seventy-six year old former battlestar commander. Commanded the Columbia.”

Lawson looked pleased. “Why not ring him up?”

Ramirez sighed and unconsciously ran a hand through her white streaked hair. “Two things really: First he says he has seniority over you and should command the entire fleet.”

Lawson looked bemused as if this were not a deal breaker. “What else?”

“Well,” Ramirez said reluctantly, “his jacket says he was retired for dementia. He seems to have a lot of issues with remembering faces, current events.”

“Oh my,” Lawson said. “Who else?”

“Well the CAG, Captain Atkin’s is going on medical leave for three months. He was wounded in the Tylium strikes.”

“There we have it. Hopefully he has the chops to whip that ship into shape.”

Ramirez nodded and made some notes.

Chapter 24: Aftermath

Commander Eva Lawson was sitting in her quarters with the lights turned down. A battle plan designed to be grand and deprive the cylon fleet of fuel had done massive damage, but the price had been high. The former viper pilot and CAG had a bitter taste in her mouth.

Her dinner sat besides the desk, untouched. Gun camera footage of the mightly battlestar being ambushed played in a loop on two large wall monitors. She was waiting for the CAG to deliver her the bad news about the air wing, which had already been down to half strength due to the catastrophic losses on the first day of the second cylon war.

She would have had some booze had there been any in her quarters. She rememberd the promise she had made to herself and Admiral Mueller when she had decided not to resign and accept the CAG position. No more alcohol were going to pass her lips. Not with thousands of crewmen under her command.

A picture of what was the battlestar Solaria museum was [rinted and sitting on the desk/ It seemed tha Commander Jesse Green had not only escaped but built a small air wing. It was an impressive accomplishment considering the ship had been decommissioned two decades ago.

Ther was a knock on the door. Her new XO liked to knock. “Come in,” she croaked. She wss hoarse from shouting several hours ago.

The recently promoted computer geek placed a data pad on the desk. She was concerned about the mental state of Commander Lawson. So many dead pilots might shake a CAG loose.

“Which do you want first the good news or the bad?” Ramirez asked.

“How many did we lose?” Lawson had a morbid look to her. “Wait where is the CAG?”

“Wounded in sick bay,” Major Ramirez replied. “We lost 21 vipers and eight raptors.”

“We can’t sustain a war all by ourselves and keep taking losses like that,” Lawson opined.

“Agreed,” Ramirez said. “We are going to have to revise our tactics to sustain this war. We do have the first class of thirty civilians in the simulators doing their basic flight training.”

“Well that’s a piece of good news. Might relieve crowding in the marine barracks.”

“No Sir we just escorted in another ship carrying three hundred civilians. Doc says it would be unsanitary to try and shove them into the marine quarters.”

Lawson slammed her hand on the desk. “Well where the frack are we going to put them?”

“I don’t know Sir, I’m trying to come up with an outside the box answer here.”

“What is the damage assessment of our attacks?”

“That is the good news. We took out half the reserves in the colonies. Recon says cylon fleet operations are stepping down to a lower operational cadence. We have to assume its the fuel situation.”

“Next time we will hit targets in cylon space,” she said thinking aloud. “Okay what about the battlestar?”

“She has working FTL and most systems are undamaged. She is carrying a pretty decent sized ammunition payload.”

“Crewing her is going to be a bitch,” Lawson opined. “Why is everyone aboard dead?”

“We found a body in auxiliary damafe control. She deliberately vented the ship.”

“It wasn’t a centurion?”

“Negative Sir. We just got this in. Three more ships with nine hundred civies just showed up. Where will we put them?”

Commander Lawson was thinking. She was staring at the picture of the Solaria. “Can the battlestar support life?”

“It smells pretty bad but yes Sir.”

“How many crew were aboard the Jupiter class?”

“Five thousand, plus there were billets for nine hundred marines.”

“Send the new civies to the Solaria. I kind of like the idea of having a civilian transport that can defend itself.”

“Not a bad idea at all,” Ramirez opined.

Long version of the rpg PR video

The Battlestar Mercury Role Play Game PR video

Promotional video from the rpg

Chapter 23: From CIC

Lawson’s eyes bugged out for a brief moment. “Another three hundred civilians?” Ramirez nodded in the affirmative.

“We have no place to put them,” the commander noted. “Our marine quarters are full.”

“One hundred twenty percent,” the XO replied.

“We’ll deal with it after the strike,” Commander Lawson said. “Make sure we cull these civilians for pilots. We have three hundred vipers in the starboard pod and nobody to fly them.”

“We are doing well, recruiting for any job that gets civilians out of those quarters. We should be able to begin new viper fabrication once we find some ore.”

“Civilian fleet?”

“Eight FTL capable ships,”

The timer on the wall chimed. “Start the strike. Spool up FTL. Vipers launch after the combat jump.”

The weapons officer spoke up. “We have triple A weapons on full automatic ready for jump.”

“The board is green.”

“Jump the ship. Launch all vipers on the other side,” Lawson ordered. Her eyes wandered over to the damage control status board. They had a lot of FTL jumps planned and the FTL had been glitchy during simulations.

The DRADIS stablized after the jump and the targets were where they were supposed to be. Little green dots representing vipersappeared on the screen as the depleted air wing launched and followed the plan.

There were a lot of status reports as the vipers lauched a volley of fire cutting into the raider dots. The raptor force moved in on their target which several seconds later flickered and disappeared from the screen.

Ramirez looked at her notes and spoke softly as she was not a pilot. “The vipers should start veering off now, clearing a path for our guns.”

“Main engines ready for operations,” reported an NCO from the engineering console.

“Start the burn,” Lawson ordered.

There was a short shudder as the engine kicked in.

The sound of the weapons fire soon rumbled through the ship as a firing engagement zone was set up.

“Turn the nose starboard and bring the main guns to bear on the inbound cylon raiders,” Commander Lawson ordered.

“Aye, engines are responding.”

Thirty seconds passed. “Guns have a target.”

“Recover the air wing,” Lawson ordered. “Fire the main guns. Spool up FTL as per the plan.”

“Aye sir,” came three voices in unison.

Another two minutes passed as Eva Lawson snapped her fingers and tried not to start pacing around the CIC.

“Air wing is aboard,” reported the flight operations officer.

“Target two jump,” Lawson commanded.

Ramirez picked up a phone and barked an order. “Start recovering and re-arming the vipers on the landing decks. Blue squadron is in the tubes ready to launch. Raptors should be a our jump in point in fifteen seconds.”

“Jump the ship. Launch blue squadron on the other side.” Lawson squeezed her pen while she waited for the jump to finish.

“Blue squadron is launched,” flight operations reported.

DRADIS chimed. “Two base stars jumped in. They are launching raiders.”

“Vipers are diverting to intercept. Raptors are engaging the target.” Ramirez strained her neck while she stared at the tactical board.

“They should not have had base stars on scene so fast,” Commander Lawson looked concerned.

“Targets destroyed,” air operations reported.

“As per the plan blue squadron peel off, make a hole for our guns. Engines full power head for the base star on the right. Carom zero niner zero.”

“Recovering the air wing,” Major Ramirez reported. “Next stop is the recovery rally point.”

“Hold jump,” Lawson ordered. “I’ve been studying the tactics books. Best tactic here is to charge at a base star before we jump. Target her center axis.”

“Thats not in the plan,” Ramirez noted.

“We need to be agile like a cat,” Lawson smiled. “Hit her center axis for thirty seconds and we should split her in two.”

“Inbound missile fire, two hundred inbound,” tactical reported.

“Another hundred missiles inbound from behind. Weapons on full automatic.” The missiles appeared on the DRADIS display and most of them were blotted out. The cylon base star directly ahead began to flicker on the screen. Then it blinked out.

“Splash one cylon base star,” the tactical officer reported.

“Jump to the recovery point,” Commander Lawson said. She was rather pleased with herself as this plan was going pretty well. A few explosion noises shook the shift from missile impacts.

After the flash the ship began to shake. The DRADIS blinked and flickered and four large targets appeared.

“Four cyloin base stars and more raiders than we can count are at the rally point.” The ship began rocking from weapons impact.

“Recover the raptors that are here ane spool up for the backup rally point,” Lawson ordered.

“They should not have had time to set up an ambush at our recovery point,” Maria Ramirez repored looking up at the DRADIS and then down at her planning document.

“The pilots know what to do. Jump to the auxilary rally point.”

“Spooling, green board. Jumping,” the FTL team reported.

After the flash and queasy feeling the DRADIS chimed and this time it was only green targets appeared.

“I have twenty six raptors,” flight operations reported.

“Combat landings,” Ramirez ordered. “Spool up for another jump. Cylons should be here soon.”

Commander Lawson looked confused. “You thinking they are getting signals intelligence?”

Ramirez just nodded. The DRADIS chimed and three red globes appeared. “Three cylon base stars just jumped in. I have nearly a thousand inbound raiders.”

“Frack me,” Lawson snapped the pen in her right hand in two. “We are infiltrated.”

“The next rally point is the last one and some of the raptors will be critical on fuel,” flight operations reported.

“How many vipers do we have in the tubes ready for relaunch?” Laswson queried.

“Fifty five,” flight ops reported back.

“Launch on the other side. Plot a course, a giant oval we are going to have to fight or lose the forty raptors we have not recovered.”

“We’re ready Sir.” Maria Ramirez was over at the FTL console.

“What are you doing,” Lawson asked.

“Plotting a new jump point,” she answered. We will need some time to get reorganized. I’m thinking we need to pick a spot the cylons could not download from a destroyed raptors navigation computer.”

“Good call XO,” Laswson smiled slightly.

“Recovery operations complete.”

“Jump!” Lawson ordered with an urgent voice.

After yet another flash and queasy feeling the DRADIS reported what was expected. This time there were six base stars. Missiles began to bound them almost immediately. It was too much for the triple A systems to cope with.

“We are taking significant damage,” engineering reported.

“Engines full pwer, get us up tp maximum,” Lawson ordered. “We need to junp in motion. We can’t recover raptors here.”

“Encryption protocl Beta. Comms transmit new jump coordinates to the raptors.”

“Some of them might not be able to make the jump!” Flight operations warned.

“We have to recover the fighters,” Lawson was conflicted.

“Vipers are recovered. Commander if we stay here too long we may lose the ship.”

Weapons reported. “We have a firing solution.”

“Fire main guns,” Lawson ordered. “Then jump the ship.”

The lights flicered and the ship shook, taking heavy fire.

“We are at maximum speed,” engineering reported. “Jumping at high sublight speeds is dangerous.”

“Jump the ship,” Commander Lawson reported. We need to be moving, harder to ambush.”

“Jumping,” engineering reported.

Jumping from a fixed point, not while in motion gave those present in CIC a queasy feeling. Jumping at high velocity made several people wretch. The flight officer was doubled over throwing up on her shoes.

“Target, large may be a base star,” the DRADIS operator reported.

“We are on a collision course!”

Eva Lawson was a viper pilot again. This was just a very big viper. She looked at the navigation diplays. Then she made a split second decision. “Thrusters up right full power.”

Instinctively the operator of the thrusters followed the command. They felt the G forces as they rapidly re-oriented a battlestar.

“Ten sconds to impact,” warned the navigation officer.

“Now engines ahead full. We need less thrust to avoid a collision.” Lawson was not sure this was enough but it was similar to avoiding a collison in a fighter. She felt the force as the engine operator implemented her orders.

There was a sense of anticipation as the countdown went on.

“Missed it by fifty meters,” navigation reported.

“Missed what?” Maria Ramirez reported.

“Looks like a battlestar sir’s” the scanning officer repored.

Chapter 22: Port flight pod

The mission of the squadron was to keep cylon raiders off the raptor force assigned to hit a large cylon military base. Hector “Cookie” Fishman was fresh out of viper school, having done nothing other than fly CAP since his assignment to this batttlestar.

He was a line pilot, nothing special. His viper was in the launch tube. He listened to his wireless as the jump countdown went to zero. He felt the launch tube catapult his viper into space.

He found his wingman and took station just behind him to his right. He looked down at his DRADIS. It was clear for the moment.

“Just like we planned peel off to the right,” his squadron commander ordered.

He kicked in his throttle and pulled the control stick to the right.

“Contact,” an urgent voice reported in his ear. “Cylon base star, they’re launching raiders.”

“Engage the inbound aircraft,” his squadron commander ordered.

Fishman checked his weapons switches and then squeezed the trigger. He loooked on in awe as a long stream of bullets belched out from his weapons. Several seconds later, he saw explosions from dozens of raiders.

There were smudgeds of red, looked like blood soon after consumed by fire.

“Okay break break break,” his squadron commander ordered. “Stay with your wingman.”

Cookie watched his wingman disintegrate as cylong fire ripped through it. Instinctively he jinked his Mark VII viper, avoiding death himself.

“Watch your six Cookie you got a pair of raiders on your tail.”

“Whoa!” he tought, jerking his control stick, trying to look over his shoulder and see the raiders. His mission was now to change direction as many times per second as he could. Flying straight and level was death now,.

His viper rocked as a round hit it. Warning lights flashed and he struggled to control his viper.

“I’m hit I’m hit I’m hit,” he announced on his wireless. “My lead is already dead.” He fought panic.

He felt the impact of first one, then a second explosion as someone cleared the two raiders off his tail. “You are clear Cookie,” his squadron commander ordered.”form up at rally point Victor.”

“Where the frack is Victor,” he said before he saw the letter V flashing on his DRADIS.

“Change of plans,” the squadron commander said in his ear. “Clear the center aisle. There are two manh of them. Mercury is setting up an engagement zone. Back to the barn, the stike is successful.”

He kicked in his engines and headed for the battlestar on a route that kept clear of a wall of fire and flak spewing from the battlestar. He was assigned to lan on the lower port flight pod. He flipped his orientation and performed his first combat landing, upside down from the orientation of the rest of the ship.

There was a second strike planned. All he had to do now was sit in his viper until the recovery teams towed him back to the hanger deck.

This was going to be boring. Now he was going to have to be broken in with a new wing leader.

Chapter 21: Striking Back raptor force foxtrot

Heather “Runner” Osinas checked her coordinates for the fifth time sinch launch from the Mercury. Her right seater was new and the pair had only flown together for two sorties supporting the CAP(Combat Air Patrol).

She didn’t trust Sam “Jaybird” Garret. The two were getting to understand each others habits and eccentricities. Both were wearing flight helmets and waiting for the go order.

It was fifteen seconds before the flight was ordered to jump and hit a Tylium storage facility.

“FTL status,” she ordered.

“Board is green coordinates are in,” Jaybird replied.

The orders were simple. Make the strike, abort if there was significan reistance. The strike plan was based on surprise and hitting as many targets in the first five minutes of the attack.

“Jump,” Lieutenant Osinas ordered. The gripped the control stick a little tighter, waiting for the white flash.

It seemed to take forever, but the effect wore off. She kicked in the engines after glancing at the DRADIS screen and seeing other raptors. “One minute to firing location. No raiders,” she felt a little better. “Master arm on, prepare to fire.”

“Master arm on, weapons hot,” Jaybird flipped the switches. They were going to let go with everything they had.

There was a chime from the DRADIS and a few red dots appeared.

“Contact,” Garrret replied, “eight cylon raiders, CBDR.”

“We are closer to the target then they are. Keep going, launch in ten seconds,” Runner broadcast on the wireless. She had forgotten that she was the strike leader.

“We’re at the firing point,” the weapons offer reported.

“FIRE,” she ordered.

The four raptors lauched a barrage of hundreds of rockets at the refinery and tanks before them. Some of the rockets veered off due to counter measures, but they jump had purposely taken them inside the defense engagement zone.

One of the raports erupted into a ball of flames and metal as a missile sliced through it. “We lost number three,” Jaybird shouted.

“Spool up FTL,” the pilot ordered. “Confirm that the coordinates are correct.”

Jaybird read them off and saved them in the FTL computer. “Confirmed, waypoint charlie.”

They shook as an enormous explosion ripped through the facilityl

“Scatch one cylon Tylium refinery,” Garrett smiled.

“Jump,” the pilot ordered.

With a white flash, they were out of the engagement zone. It would be an hour before they could jump again and meet the Mercury.

Welcome to Shmuel Bogomolny’s Bsttlestar Mercury

Chapter 20: Pre-strike

Commander Eva Lawson paced outside the pilots ready room, awaiting her invitation to speak. She was vary familiar with this room, but not her role. She could not overstep boundaries and act like the CAG. She had a CAG, though she barely knew the man, he had planned the strike details.

She went over the details again. It was a complex plan, but it was a good one. It was designed to make the maximum impact while the cylons were still thinking that they had won the war outright.

Raptors would form into 20 strike groups averaging 4 raptors per group. They would jump at the same time, a dangerous close to target strike. If they encountered resistance, their orders were to jump back to one of 4 way points. These were spread out to make sure the cylons did not simply follow them home and jump in three basestars.

The Mercury would deliver two larger strike groups to larger, better protected fuel refinery bases. A squadron of vipers would launch at each after a combat FTL jump. They would then jump the battlestar to a second higher priority target.

A squadron of vipers and ten raptors to each target would deliver maximum firepower, leaving the battlestar with a squadron strength air protection. Nearly three hundred pilots had died in the starboard flight pod and their squadrons could not fly, their ships standing in the maintenance bays, waiting for a reason and a pilot.

This ship was also equipped to produce still more vipers. If they were not so short on people power, they had pilot simulators and could produce pilots in a matter of weeks.

With nearly six hundred civilians crammed into the marines barrack’s there was a possible source of new pilot trainees. Getting their numbers back up was the key to using this ship to deliver real strategic damage to the cylons.

She got the signal. In a proper fitting daytime blues uniform she walked to the podium. As was often the case she had to adjust the microphone lower to adjust to her petite stature.

She began nervously, clearing her throat. “You know the mission. You know the plan. It’s complicated but if we succeed we will send a message. We are outnumbered, and must be careful with resources, both human and machine. It is very important that all my pilots come home today.”

She went on feeling more confidence as she made eye contact with Maria Ramirez. “Our objective is to make a splash and that is up to you. We know the Galactica escaped with a civilian fleet. If we cripple their fuel supplies they will be forced to pull back forces to deal with us.”

“Man your planes. Show me the courage I always knew you had. This mission is for the three hundred pilots an a hundred and seventy five deck hands that perished in the initial attack. We owe it to them to light up the skies with Cylon fuel.”

“For the pilots and crew of the starboard pod,” one voice cried out.

“For the Admiral and the XO!’ another female voice exclaimed.

“So say we all,” Lawson said with raised voice.

The reply was thunderous. “So say we all!”

In unison. As a team.

Chapter 19: Planning

The new senior staff of the Battlestar mercury were assembled around a map of table. On the table was a small model of the Battlestar itself, several vipers and raptors representing the squadrons that were now able to fight.

Commander Eva Lawson stood in her ill fitting blues uniform looking over the map. To her right was her new XO Maria Ramirez. Still a bit overweight, she look like she had lost weight quickly in the past few days. She was nervous some of the senior to many of the officers around this table. Her uniform look even worse than the commanders, rumpled just like a computer geek.

The acting CAG, Don Smith, Call sign “pants”, There was a story behind this 44-year-old captains call side. He was tall and lanky, barely able to squeeze himself into the cockpit of a Mark VII Viper.

Next to him was a civilian intelligence analyst tasked to the Ministry of Defense. Dave Parker was 50 and had retired from the colonial fleet as a Colonel. He had refused reinstatement without becoming the XO of the ship.

Bald with a thin ring of white hair on his head, he looked at Maria Ramirez with distain.

“I call the meeting to order,” ordered commander Lawson. “It is day six of the second cylon war. We flown 300 sorties with Raptors to gather intelligence from the colonies and nearby systems.”

Parker, being the one expected to interpret the data cleared his throat and spoke. “Most interesting is six seconds of footage that we have to have a cylon network.”

He picked up what appeared to be a TV clicker and a large monitor mounted on the wall above the table came to life. It showed a Jupiter class Battlestar trying to point its forward guns at a target. Continuous fire was spewing from the underside of topside guns. Cylon Raiders could be seen smashing into the wall of fire and being destroyed. Several missiles made it through the engagement zone and hit the elderly Battlestar.

“Is that the Galactica?” Lawson asked.

Parker pressed his control and a box formed and zoomed in on the main plate on the port flight pod. “No sir,” he answered that is the Solaria war museum.”

“That is absolutely amazing. The old solaria was retired 25 years ago and turned into a museum. It was falling apart and Galactica was lined up to replace it. It was headed to the scrapheap. A friend of Admiral Mueller was commander. Jesse um Black I think it was. No Jesse Green. He was a legend. I heard he was always trying to get ammunition and parts to keep the Battlestar combat ready. I guess he did!” Commander Lawson was quite proud that she remember the man’s name.

Parker spoke annoyed at the interruption. “I asked for recon. I’ve not yet received the data package.”

“Our recon force was attacked while gathering intelligence from the site. The data indicates enough debris and wreckage to confirm that a cylon base ship was destroyed in battle. They were parts of several destroyed vipers in the area. Some of them came from the museum. Two came from task force gamma. This was a forward tripwire base Deployed to act as an early warning if the cylon invaded.” The commander air group was analyzing the intelligence and that serve to annoy their intelligence officer.

“I can surmise than that since the battle took place several hundred clicks from task force gamma that’s the Battlestar combined forces and were interrupted while moving supplies.”

Maria Ramirez finally spoke up. “Do we have any idea where the Battlestar is now?”

“No major,” the former colonial colonel nearly spit out the words.

“Well,” Eva Lawson said. “Let’s make it a priority to find her. We have several problems. We have picked up 500 civilians and are shoving them into quarters normally designated for colonial Marines. We’ve had to jump away from the cylons three times in the past two days because they found us. What can we do to change the situation?”

Parker began to speak again. “Well we know they’re expending a lot of fuel. They were clearly hunting down the Solaria. They were quite surprised when she turned and fought. Hacked signal intelligence seems to indicate their response time was very poor.”

“We should hit their fuel,” major Ramirez suggested.

“That’s ridiculous,” Parker sneered.

Commander Eva Lawson raised a hand to stop the man from speaking. “Tell us why you think that Major Ramirez.”

“Well they aree spending a lot of fuel chasing us and possibly chasing the Galactica and a civilian fleet. Mr. Parkers signals intelligence indicates movements of over 100 Bass stars bass stars in our home solar system and the surrounding areas. That same intelligence indicates they are moving outward away from the colonies. They are chasing something.”

“Their supply lines do appear to be stretched,” Parker conceited. “I don’t think they planned on a resistance or a fleet leaving in the colonies.”

The CAG spoke next. “Fuel is volatile. It is almost as easy to explode as munitions. Munitions are often stored nearby. Assault Raptors can jump in launch missile strikes and then jump back out before the cylons have time to get organized.”

“The mercury has big guns,” Lawson speculated. That can blow up a lot of fuel.”

“I think we should hold back the Battlestar for now. Gun crews need more practice. I need to make sure the automation is free of cylon viruses. This ship can destroy a base star in several minutes. All they have to do to stop us is fly around in packs. If we want a sustained campaign against their fuel production they will have to take Battlestar’s I mean Base stars out of the fight. We need to isolate individual based stars and start knocking them down while minimizing the risk to the ship.”

“Not bad for a computer geek,”Commander Lawson smiled. “You don’t have to go to war College to pick up the basics of tactics here. I want to plan a series of strikes. We will use the Battlestar to delivervipers to higher priority targets. If we are careful we can even give the impression that we were fleet a battle stars. Plan this first strike we launch at 06:00”