The Day the Bombs Fell

The arrogance of the Colonials in re-equipping their military with technologies vulnerable to Cylon interference proved to be their undoing. Forty years after the first Cylon War, Cylon infiltrators subverted Dr. Gaius Baltar's Command Navigation Program, allowing an advanced Cylon armada to destroy the Colonial fleet with impunity.

The attack resulted in the nuclear bombardment and occupation of the Colonies and the enslavement of most of the few isolated survivors in a series of Farms. Altogether, less than one hundred ships (mostly civilian) survived the attack.

These are the stories of our crew on the day of the Cylon Holocaust.

Read more about the mission premise and proceedings »


~ Too far away to make a difference ~

and Ensign call sign 'Jestor'
Deep Space on Mission Day 1 at 0350 Hours

Ranulf was pleased as they launched.  The thrill of being hurtled out into the black always was a thrill for him.  As soon as they cleared the ship he banked to Port and accelerated out into deep space.  =/=This is Scout all lights are green and moving to assigned CAP sector.  Will report when we arrive at location.=/=

Jestor was not as pleased, in fact he was down right annoyed.  He was on Scout’s starboard wingtip as he closed into a loose deuce formation.  He stayed on the ship to ship frequency so just Scout would hear him.  =/=How come we get this long range sweep?  We just came aboard after all?  I had plans, there was a cute tech on the flight deck when we came aboard and I was going to ask her out for dinner tonight.  By the time we get these old boats back and serviced I will be lucky to have time to even see anyone at dinner.=/=

Scout shook his head laughing =/=Jestor you would have struck out with her anyway.  Besides these are not old boats.  These MKIII’s are almost new in fact.  Besides I like them and they can do about anything the new MKVIII can in the right hands.  These MKIII’s are just not the new shiny toys.  You know why we got this mission as well, crappy jobs go to the newest people.  This area only gets randomly patrolled as it is a long range patrol.  Just enjoy getting stick time.  We could have been stuck on some planet garrison after all.=/=  Scout checked his course and his sensors.  He shifted his flight path minutely every few seconds as he had been trained.  He was a firm believer in never taking unnecessary chances.  Flying straight and level was an invitation to being shot at, if anyone had a mind to do such a thing.

Jestor growled under his breath.  Why did he have to be stuck with Scout?  There he was jinking again.  Who did he think was going to shoot at them out here in the middle of the deep black?  Jestor shrugged after his momentary temper.  He knew why he was paired with Scout, after all the conniving he had done to be his wingman.  He knew Scout was the best shooter in the training unit.  Jestor had learned to put up with the boring, quiet, big fella as he suspected being around Scout was a good way to stay alive.

It had been over an hour just to get to their patrol sector.  Scout had enjoyed the flight, mostly because after the first fifteen minute check in Jestor had not bothered him.  There was just something to be said for racing through the seemingly empty blackness of space.  =/=Jestor you want to call it in we are beginning our CAP.=/=

Jestor switched channels and called the Ship =/=Headhunters CAP, Jestor and Scout we have arrived and are beginning CAP=/=  There was a brief affirmative reply and silence returned.  Jestor hated the quiet and told himself jokes as he flew.  He did not bother telling them to Scout any more as he had learned Scout neither answered or laughed at even his best jokes.  Telling a joke to his wingman was just simply depressing.

They had not been on station long when a large number of bandits appeared on their sensors.  Scout narrowed down his scan to focus on the inbound craft.  Even as he did so three broke formation to race toward the pair of vipers.  =/=Jestor call this in we have multiple bandits moving coreward?  Three are coming at us.  Those are Cylon raiders..  Call it in now!  They are weapons hot, Jestor break low to Starboard.=/=  Even as Scout was speaking her went into a high barrel roll to port putting himself closer to the now firing Cylon Raiders.  Their kinetic energy rounds slicing through the space the vipers had just vacated.

Jestor tried to call out and got nothing but static, he broke starboard hard and accelerated and still tried to raise the ship.  He tried to contact Scout to warn him they were being jammed but he just got static!  He had other problems now though as a Raider was on his six low and shooting.  Jestor jinked and jumped into a low YoYo hooking turn causing the Cylon to overshoot and loose his position.  Jestor noted the Cylon was responding quickly and he had to think fast on what do do next.

Scout finished his barrel roll with a Cylon Raider almost head to head and nearly already in his sights.  Scout popped up in an elevator move using a cobra style maneuver to keep his nose on target and fired rapid short burst into the Raider as it closed.  The 30mm shells bounced off, glanced away but enough punched through to crack the Raider’s hull.  It came apart in a brilliant explosion forcing Scout to snap his nose back up and inline with his flight direction.  He broke away diving low to starboard.  He saw Jestor was in trouble but could not make contact as he was being jammed.  He accelerated toward wingman to help.

Jestor was screaming into his comm for help as he jinked and rolled trying to evade the pair of cylons shooting at him.  It was a mad run and he knew his luck could not last forever.  Just like he knew screaming at Scout over a jammed comm was a useless gesture but it helped him cope just the same.

Scout slipped his viper in under the Cylon Raiders so he would be firing up into their six.  He positioned his LOS so he did not need to worry about an overshot hitting Jestor.  He locked on and fired lighting up the backside of the targeted Cylon.  The cylon broke off its attack but Scout stayed with the Raider move for move.  The Raider blew apart on the fourth burst.  The remaining Cylon Raider broke away and raced off to escape.  It saw the trap forming as he would be caught between the two vipers if it remained on the attack.

Jestor saw the explosion behind him then spotted the other viper on his sensor.  He realized the third Cylon was trying to get away and pursed.  He locked on and fired both missiles he was carrying but the Raider jinked and they both missed.  He was closing and suspected the cylon Raider was trying to lure him into an overshoot.

Scout had moved onto Jestor’s wing and was now just flying.  When the Raider turned to his side though he jumped in front and since he was already locked on loosed both his missiles at the Raider.  It jinked causing both to miss but in evading it flew into Jestor’s gun range.

Jestor fired longer burst then he should have in his endeavor to destroy the Raider.  he missed more then he hit but the number of canon shells that hit were enough.  The Raider lost a wing and went into a tumble with bits and pieces flying off as it tore itself apart.  One last burst from Jestor’s canons were enough to cause the remaining shell to breach and explode.

Scout tried to make contact again =/=Jestor did you get through to the ship=/=

=/=No we were jammed.=/=  Jestor tried to raise the ship but comms were still being jammed.  =/=Still no joy Scout?  What the frak is going on?=/=

=/=No frakking idea but we need to get back to the ship asap.  Whatever is going on it just is not good.=/=  Scout took the lead as he turned back toward the ship, and accelerated.  They were at least an hour away and way too much could happen in that amount of time.

Scout and Jestor were closing on the ship when they finally could hear what was going on.  None of it was good.  Despite surviving his first combat in style, Scout felt useless as he returned to the ship.  They had been too far away to make any kind of difference.  Being pragmatic Scout contacted the ship to recover.  After all they needed rearmed if they were to be useful.

 

~ Holding for Salvation ~

Lieutenant J.G. Ayesha Myers
Enroute to Rendezvous on Mission Day 1 at 0450 Hours

Ayesha gripped tightly to the stick as her Viper rattled towards what she hoped was salvation and not another Cylon trick, towed by a Civilian Ship, already overloaded by pilots who had ejected and found themselves rescued. The Olympia was gone. Her friends were gone. All she had was the Viper she rode in and a small rag tag group of Raptors and Vipers. Cylons. Myth, Legend, horrible reality.

There were other Vipers in tow, and being reeled in as close as they dared to the Freighter. Their systems had been sliced into. Their power gone. No ability to fight back. Some had been shot out of the sky as soon as they had lost power. Others, had been… lucky… hidden in the floating debris as the Cylon fleet soared over and around them. Many around her, like her, had played dead as the cylon fighters had zoomed by. No use in destroying what was already dead. Her head hurt, and her forehead was sticky. Her viper was badly damaged and it luckily was NOT leaking air. Though she knew her weapons were completely useless and she had no real steering.

All she had was the grip on the rudder and it was more for comfort then anything else. A flash of light signalled as another Viper was reeled in so the pilot could disembark. It would then remain in tow until they got where they were going… hopefully…. salvation. This had been going on for hours. A raptor jumped into the combat zone, hooked a Viper, jumped out and they were placed in tow.

But that had soon ended and now the Raptor had gone, jumping off to the rendezvous while the Civilian Freighter hauled in those who had been meant to save the colonies. Hours passed, her O2 reserves were low as she popped the hatch in the cargo bay of the freighter known as Cyclops. She pulled off her helmet and climbed out of the cockpit with help from several deck hands. She looked around. Pilots were slumped against walls. She sighed. They had to reach salvation soon…..

 

~ Welcome to Hell ~

Commander Mitchell Hanson, Lieutenant Colonel Amaris Kendall, Lieutenant J.G. Ayesha Myers, and Lieutenant Darius Kendall
Solaria Actual, Cyclops Bridge, Hanger bay on Mission Day 1 at 0830 Hours

Cyclops. Such a grand name for such a rather nondescript freighter. But Ayesha was not about to complain as she took a seat in the cramped cockpit at the Radio Station. Out the slim view port she could see a small gathering of ships, and a Battlestar. A Battlestar. Such a welcome sight. Taking a breath she opened up the comm, “This is the Freighter Cyclops contacting Solaria Actual. I am Lieutenant JG Ayesha Myers, formerly of the Olympia. Come in Solaria Actual.”

 

Then she waited. She knew they were busy. And there was probably a queue.

 

“Cyclops, this is Solaria. Confirm your identification code,” the responder called out sharply.

 

Ayesha tapped in the code carefully. She didn’t want it to be incorrect. After her own code she then got the Radio operator to transmit the Cyclops’ as well.

 

[CIC, Battlestar Solaria]

 

Standing around the command table at the heart of the Solaria’s combat information centre, the new commander of the old girl was stood staring at the DRADIS console, looking at the different icons on display. He lifted the receiver in front of him as he looked over at the XO near him. “Cyclops, this is Solaria Actual. Go ahead,” he spoke firmly.

 

Amaris stood on the other side of the table. She was experiencing a flurry of different emotions. On one hand, she liked being in charge; on the other hand, she was extremely relieved that all the pressure now rested on Hanson’s shoulders. She was too young to be the “Old Lady” anyway. Holding the other phone up to her ear, she listened closely.

 

Ayesha held back her sigh of relief. “Sir, Lieutenant JG Myers reporting. The Cyclops is currently housing 16 viper pilots with 16 dead birds.”

 

Commander Hanson held his hand over the mouthpiece of the handset and whispered in the XO’s direction. “Make arrangements to begin transfer of the vipers,” he ordered before talking via the telephone again. “Major Kendall will liaise with you to begin the transfer of all vipers to the Solaria immediately via the starboard hangar. Have the ship’s Captain bring the Cyclops into the field so she falls under our CAP,” the older man instructed.

 

Ayesha replied with “Aye Sir” And then turned to the Cyclop’s captain who was already moving to give the order. She sagged back into her seat and waited for the next round of orders.

 

On the order, Amaris, turned, the phone still at her ear, and waved an Ensign over. Once the younger woman had arrived at her side, she stood there patiently while the conversation was going on. Once the exchange had advanced to a place where Amaris felt that she’d heard everything she needed to know, she reached down, dialed in the hanger bay and the CAP line, and spoke on a different line.

 

“This is the XO. A cargo vessel, the Cyclops is entering the field under our CAP. She’s carrying 16 dead birds that need to be transported to Solaria. I want them brought over with all of their pilots and Colonial Officers on the double.”

 

With that, she hung up and turned to the Ensign. “Go down to the hanger and get a count on the pilots coming aboard as well as their information.”

 

Slowly, the Cyclops moved into position. Ayesha stood, thanked the captain for his assistance and help getting here and shook his hand. She then headed down to the Cargo bays to get everyone ready for departure.

 

About 30 minutes or so later, the two raptors, ferrying the pilots to Solaria touched down in the hanger bay. Ayesha was the last out of the second Raptor, glad to be once more on a colonial vessel. An ensign stood taking names and checking credentials. Ayesha waited her turn quietly. Now they were back on a Colonial vessel, someone else would give the orders. Someone else could rally the troops and she could take stock. Allow herself a chance to think of other things, other than her job.

 

When the Ensign got to her and asked she replied with “Lieutenant Junior Grade Ayesha Myers, Service number 465-SQ-8675443”

 

The Ensign wrote down the information she was given as quickly as she could. When she was done, she gave a sad smile. “Welcome aboard, ma’am.”

 

Just as the Ensign had finished talking, a loud voice boomed from nearby. A tall brown skinned man was on the approach, handsome face and flight suit told the whole story. The smile on his face seemed out of place. “Just what we need.” he said, loudly. “More stick-jockeys to fire into space.”

 

He smiled at Ayesha, clearly taking note of her as the Ensign moved on to the next pilot.

 

She tilted her head and curiously gave him a look. “Lieutenant.” She said somewhat warily. “Unfortunately we are stick-jockeys without birds.” She said calmly. And with a wave of her hand, indicated the inoperable Vipers being towed into the bay.

 

“That’s ok.” he said with a charming smile. “If you stick around, I can teach you how to take out raiders with a flight suit, a rifle, and a bottle of Ambrosia.” He gave her a wink and then extended his hand. “Nightlight.”

 

“Echo” she replied. “Ayesha Myers, Caprica.” Ayesha added with a smile as she shook his hand.

 

A second man, a little younger, strolled over to the group and made his first contact with them. “Welcome to hell Lieutenant,” the man smiled as he offered out his own hand. “I’m the CAG. Captain Jonathan Kilmartin. My friends call me Sunbeam,” he added.

 

“Echo. Sir, Sorry to tell you but Hell was over the colonies” Ayesha shook his hand and straightened her shoulders. “I am formally from the Olympia Sir.”

 

Darius watched the woman meet her new boss; he couldn’t help but smile. It had always made him laugh to see how most people perked up when someone “bigger” than them came into the room. He was the son to one of the fleets most famous, or notorious, Admirals. He’d spent his whole life watching people near pee themselves when old Ironhide gave them a look. He never had.

 

“And..” he spoke up, escaping his own thoughts. “My real name’s Darius Kendall, from Atlantia.”

 

“Well, looks like we have an air wing shaping up at last,” the Captain smiled at both the newcomers. “The XO has tasked me with setting up a CAP for the system. Freshen up and meet me in the Pilot Rec room in ten minutes,” the CAG told with a nod before doing an about face and making himself scarce.

 

Ayesha watched him go. “Okay so… standard lay out for a Battlestar right?” she asked Darius.

 

“For the old buckets, yeah.” he said with a nod. “More rusty than I’m used to, honestly.”

 

He was, of course, exaggerating. The Battlestar, though old, had been well maintained. There was no rust and, in many ways, it looked the same as it had when it was first

commissioned.  “Looking for the head?” he asked with a wink.

 

She rolled her eyes with a smile. “Hey you get stuck in a viper cockpit for hours on end and then a cargo ship with limited supplies… I need a shower I smell,… and it’s not a good look.”

 

He nodded and gave a chuckle. This is what he was good for. He grew up in a humorless household and he made a silent promise to himself that he would never be like that. They called him Nightlight because he made people smile, even when times looked dark. Well, things had never been as dark as they were now.

 

“Come on, I’ll show you the way.” he said with a grin. “We’ll have to hurry though, before anybody starts looking for us.” In his mind, he could see his sisters face when she learned that he was looking for the showers instead of working at a time like this. She was no fun; never had been.

 

“Thanks”Ayesha replied honestly. “Appreciate it”

~ Conversation ~

Lieutenant J.G. Ayesha Myers and Lieutenant Darius Kendall
Lower decks, Solaris on Mission Day 1 at 0845 Hours

The Port Flight Hangar was quickly becoming a hive of activity the likes of which the Solaria hadn’t seen for perhaps a decade. Deck Crew, Pilots, and the odd crewperson from other places were running back and forth, welding vipers, telling jokes, and getting things operational. Darius had been doing the same for a few hours before this very moment, but now he was in the company of a beautiful woman and, like his school days of old, he was playing hooky. Things were just disorganized enough that they would be able to slip out of the room without too many questions being asked.

 

“Just don’t look like you’re having too much fun.” he said to her as he lead toward the exit.

 

A smile flitted across her lips as they walked. “Fun? Sure walking to the pilot rack and head area is such a fun adventure.” Ayesha slanted a look at him as they walked. “Things are bad aren’t they?”

 

His smile started to fade ever-so-slightly. All his life, he’d fought with his fists, with his words, with his viper; that smile was his most effective weapon. He let it fade now, and the realization of the gravity of the day returned to him. “Things are….over.” was all he managed as they walked across the bay.

 

Ayesha nodded in silence and then they were in the corridors beyond. “Then we will have to fix those Cylons good won’t we.” she was firm in her resolve. No Cylon was going to beat her. And maybe they could rebuild one day…

 

He also gave a nod, but didn’t’ respond immediately. “Just about my entire family is…was in the fleet.” he said. “Frakking toasters have alot to answer for.”

 

“My family is the same. My mother was commanding a battlestar…. they do indeed have a lot to answer for but there is still hope that people survived.” and Ayesha needed that hope. “And when this is finished we will see what is stronger… my money is on flesh and bone over metal and computer chips.”

 

He looked at her as she spoke and, when she was done, he offered a broad smile. He liked her spirit. Sometimes even the optimist needed reminding. At this point, he decided he would talk in the present tense. “My father’s an Admiral and he commands Columbia. My brother commands a battlestar too…My sister’s the XO here.” his smile broadened even more. “And I’m the fun one.” he finished.

 

She studied him. “Kendall…. I think I met your father once. My father is at the Caprica military academy, my mother commands the Trident. Two of my brothers are on the Galactica, one on the Pegasus, as pilots one on the Atlantica as an aide to the Commander and my last brother is the secretary of Agriculture.” she smiled. “I think I met your father at the Academy when I visited my father there. Scary man.”

 

“Yeah, people tell me so.” he said, clearly avoiding the conversation. The truth is, in his household, his father had been God. He understood very well how scary the man was. He offered a smile, however, and looked over at her again. “We’re a pair of well connected military brats, huh? We should be in charge around here.”

 

“oh no thank you!” Ayesha laughed. “I will stick to my viper thanks.”

 

He also laughed, walking beside her until they ended at an alcove with a ladder. “We’re going up one level.” he said simply, gesturing with his right hand. “Ladies first.”

 

With a nod Ayesha climbed up the ladder. Battlestars were pretty much the same even if it was older.. she got to her feet at the top and waited for him to join her.

 

Darius followed after, taking two rungs at a time. When he was on her level again, he spoke. “So, why do you fly, Miss Myers?” he asked, making the assumption it wasn’t a “Mrs.” He assumed she would have mentioned that when she was talking about her family. “Are you flying toward something or flying away from something?”

 

“For the fun of it.” she admitted. Ayesha smiled. “I love the thrill of flying. And flying takes you so many fun places.”

 

One might have thought that would have been a common answer, but Darius honestly hadn’t heard it very much. “Well, at least your doing what makes you happy.” he said with an affirmative nod as they walked. He knew that the pilot racks and the head were close-by. He said nothing else, just thinking about her words. He imagined who she might be and he looked forward to getting to know her more. He didn’t express these sentiments, of course; he did learn some things from his father after all. Don’t get so close they can hurt you, no matter who it is.

 

Ayesha didn’t need to talk as they walked. But after a moment of silence she asked. “What about you Mr Kendall? Why do you fly?”

 

“You can call me Darius, or Nightlight.” he answered smoothly and amiably. Just as he said so, he realised that he had set the precident by refering to her by her last name. There was a moment where he felt slightly uncomfortable, but he just chuckled through it and moved on. “But, uhm…” he continued. “I joined because I wanted to make my father proud. He was an ace pilot back in the Cylon War….Well, I guess the First Cylon War now. They called him Ironhide because he was unflappable. There was a running bet for anyone who could get him to smile. And his body counts on Cylons was ridiculous.” he spoke with some pride, looking over at her as he did. “I wanted to make him smile too, I guess.”

 

Ayesha nodded. Parental approval was something she understood. “You are here alive and ready to kick Cylon arse. I bet he is very happy about that.”

 

Darius gave an open laugh, but didn’t respond verbally. After a few seconds, he raised an eyebrow with a friendly expression. “You might deserve my nickname more than me today, Echo.” he said just as they came to the corridor with the pilot racks. He spun the metal circle on the door before them  and opened it to reveal the head. “We have arrived at our destination, please put your seats in the upright position.” he said, smiling but not laughing at the joke in particular.

 

She laughed cause she enjoyed his sense of humor. “Thank you very much for the escort Nightlight, I appreciate it greatly.”

 

“You’re very welcome.” he said, clapping his hands together gently and then holding his fingertips. “Oh, you’ve got supplies, right? Towels, washcloths, soap, a change of clothes?”

 

She shrugged. “Yeah in the bottom of my viper.”

 

He lifted both his brows and then shook his head, laughing a bit. “Didn’t think of that one, huh? Well, unless you wanna dance around here, naked, we better find you something..”

 

He turned toward the nearest rack, opened the door, and walked in. He was new to this ship too, so he had no idea who’s way he was about to get into. He looked at the racks until he found one that clearly belonged to a female. He opened it up, grabbed the uniform and their toiletries bin, and walked back out into the corridor.

 

“I come bearing gifts.” he said, handing the materials over. “If the person who owns that stuff asks, tell them I took it and ask if they wanna fight about it.” He gave a bright and handsome smile.

 

Ayesha smiled. “Thank you. And I’ll keep that in mind. I should let you get on so you don’t get into trouble.”

 

“That would be nothing new.” he said, as he started back down the corridor, walking backwards. “Save some water for the rest of us.”

 

She laughed as he walked away, allowed herself one casual glance at his backside then headed in to shower.

~ Shoreleave Cut Short ~

Captain Cooper Yates and Adam
Myrus Beach - Virgon on Mission Day 1 at 0900 Hours

<< Myrus Beach – Virgon >>

Cooper “Coop” Yates sat at the table on the patio of the villa, a cool sea breeze rolling in the sun still low in the sky. The blue air hung heavy this morning, the summer had been sweltering so far. Coop sipped his coffee, enjoying the last few days of his shoreleave before he was due to report back aboard Polaris.

“Good morning.” A voice came from behind him.

“Good morning.” Coop replied with a small smile. He turned to face the man who had emerged from the bedroom.

He was standing in a pair of loose cotton sleep pants, they were actually Coop’s, when he had met the man two days earlier Adam hadn’t been intending to stay in Myrus that evening, let along the following few days. Both knew very much that the trisk wasn’t anything serious.

“How’d you sleep?” The man asked Cooper as he moved to kitchen and poured his own cup of coffee.

“Alright, I don’t usually sleep late. Life of service does that.” Coop replied with a smirk.

“Most people wouldn’t consider,” He started glancing at the clock on the display. “0910 late, especially on a vacation.”

Coop smirked and took another mouthful of coffee. “You have to head back tonight don’t you?”

“Yes,” he replied nodding slightly. “I have meetings in the capital tomorrow I can’t push, unlike the last two days.” He said with a smile, closing the distance between them a kissing Coop. “It’s been fun, but the real world awaits.”

Coop nodded, “I can fly you back to the Capital this evening. I’m suppose to try to see my sister before I’m due back on the Polaris.”

Adam smirked, “You did say you would take me flying before left.”

“Well go today, the ship let me borrow an old raptor. She can’t do FTL, but she’s still got a few years on her sunlights left. I was thinking we’d go down South, the coral reefs are pretty beautiful from the air. Then loop back up to the Capital late afternoon.” Cooper said.

Adam smiled, “Sounds like a plan, but for now.” He started, setting his cup down. “I have other ideas.”

<< Several Hours Later >>

The slightly battered raptor sat on the pad a about 200 meters from the villa Coop rented for his leave. It was a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the cities or starships. The pair were sitting in the front of the Raptor, Coop at the controls as the craft rumbled to life and lifted off.

The early afternoon sun was high in the sky. The Raptor was cruising south along the coast, the sunlight reflecting off the shallow water over the brilliant corals. Coop was considering finding a quite atol for them to set down on when the comms suddenly came to life.

=/\= All Colonial Fleet vessels we have multiple Cylon contacts in systems. Set condition throughout the Fleet. Battlestar Groups to engage enemy hostiles. =/\=

Cooper felt his stomach drop. He grabbed the headset and put in, pulling the communications traffic off the speakers.

“What, what’s happening?” Adams said, clearly scared.

=/\= Polaris Raptor 447 to Polaris come in. =/\= The Battlestar was due to be in orbit for a few days, his shore leave timed to their assignment here.

He couldn’t get anything back. Suddenly, the sky began to fill with bright lights. Orbital bombardments. The radiological alarm went off.

“My gods, they’re nuking the planet.” Coop said in disbelief. He glanced over at Adam he could see tears in the corners of his eyes. “We’ve got to get out of the atmosphere and away from the radiation.”

He said, putting the craft into a steep climb and clearing the atmosphere moments later. As the blue sky faded to the cold dark of space the gravity of the situation struck. He could see at least half a dozen basestars in orbit. Thousands of raiders filling the sky, and the Colonial forces floating dead in space. Vipers being piked off by raiders and heavy bombardment on crippled battlestars.

However they did the Cylons had disabled almost the entire fleet. =/\= Polaris Raptor 447 to any Colonial unit come in. =/\= There was tons of comm traffic, none of good.

“Can, can we get out of here some how?” Adam asked, knowing they would quickly be picked off if they remained.

“No, this raptor is old, she doesn’t have FTL.” Coop said, eyes glued to the DRADIS trying to find some glimmer of hope out of the situation. Then he saw it, Fleet transponder code for a patrolstar, the Achilles, tiny compared to Mercery-class battlestars being savaged by the Basestars. Her energy levels were low, but not as low as the other crippled ships.

=/\= Patrolstar Achilles this is Raptor 447, Captain Cooper Yates. What is your status. =/\=

=/\= Raptor 447 this Achilles, our main systems are unresponsive, we’re trying to jump but we can’t get our FTL to spin up. The fleet is falling aport, we have orders to jump. =/\=

=/\= Achilles, got room for a raptor? We have no jump ability. =/\=

=/\= We can take you in our port pod, but we have no OLS, you’ll have come in visually. =/\=

=/\= Copy the Achilles =/\= Cooper said over the comm, “Hold on this might get bumpy.”

Keeping an eye on the DRADIS to make sure no Cylons decieded to take them out he maneuvered the Raptor to an approach vector with the Achilles. Reducing speed as the distance closed he landed moments later on the deck, not quite as hard as he expected.

“Let’s go.” He said grabbing Adam who was sitting stone faced in the co-pilot seat. Jumping out of the Raptor the deck was a mess, clearly he wasn’t the first to do a hard unguided landed.

“Captain Cooper Yates.” He said, half wishing he’d at least grabbed his uniform jacket out of his bag. His civilian clothing out of place in the sea of jumpsuits.

“Sir,” a young officer said snapping to attention when he identified himself.

“Adam, see what you can do to help out.” The other man looking completely lost, he nodded and walked off without another word, like Coop he had hailed from Virgon, and had seen enough to know his family, and most of his planet had been wiped out.

“Ensign what’s our status.” He said heading off the flight deck, the young man falling into step next to him.

“We don’t seem to be effected as bad as most of the fleet, but we were having issues with our nav computer before the attack started. With all the battle stars we must not have looked like as big as a threat. The COs asked you go to CIC.” The Ensign said.

“Copy that, thank you Ensign.” He said leaving the officer on the deck and heading to the CIC.

<< Patrolstar Achilles – CIC >>

Cooper entered the CIC and found it as chaotic as the flight deck he left. “Captain Cooper Yates.” He said coming up to a Major who appeared to be in command.

“Major Sandrina Hyatt, I served with your mother.” She said with a solemn face. “We need any help we can get at the moment. We can’t seem to get our nav computer to ininatilize, we’re trying to restore FTL capacity and jump. From what we’ve decreed the fleet is all but destroyed. Fleet HQ, Ngala and just about every flagship. Word is a few of the older Battlestar are still trying to put up a fight, but received orders from a Commander Hanson to jump to Nogura Fleet Depot.”

“Ma’am, engineering reports the FTL should be back up momentarily.” Someone shouted.

“I recommend a manual jump.” Coop said, looking down at the command table.

She nodded looking to the young JG navigation officer. “Ma–Ma’am, I’ve never done a manual jump, except a simulation at the Academy.” He said looking as if he was about to vomit.

“I can do it.” Coop said, turning his attention back to the Major. She nodded.

“I relieve you Lieutenant.” Cooper said moving to the Navigator position.

<< Nogura Fleet Depot – A Short Time Later >>

=/\= “This is Patrolstar Achilles to any Colonial Fleet Vessels….

~ Escape! ~


Shipyards on Mission Day 1 at 1030 Hours

The Phoenix had been docked a supply station several thousand meters from Caprica. It was in sight and it looked gorgeous from space. Navan knew he had some leave coming up and whilst he intended on visiting home, he knew he wanted some R&R on Caprica. He had only 2 weeks left before his leave started, which was when his current trainee pilots would graduate.

“Squadron, Skyfire. Lets run this again. Remember, be aware of where the other is, if you have that spatial awareness, you’ll end up swinging into one another. Rely as much on your instrumentation as actually looking. Run it again guys.” He instructed through the comm system from his own Viper.

The replies came in, one by one, in the order he had given them. That at least, they had finally gotten. It had taken him a while to get them used to speaking in their turn, usually dictated by rank and seniority, but as trainee’s they were the same level. He had them run the excerise three times. This particular excerise from the main curriculum was about building awareness. Fortunately, they had been given several old mark three vipers to train with, which meant that the scrapes that kept occurring weren’t going to cause the Deck Chief to flip when they landed back on the Phoenix.

On the third run, he was satisfied they had it. But, he wanted to ensure that it was embedded and he intended on having them now run the excerise another two times. “Squadron, Skyfire, okay lets-” He began but he stopped talking. His DRADIS suddenly lit up with a contact he didn’t recognise. Instinct kicked in and he spun his Viper, to get a visual. It was colossal Cylon Basestar. The radio went wild, the Phoenix had begun ordering the Squadron back but before Navan could give the order, the Phoenix lit up in what his instruments confirmed as a radioactive explosion.Â

Navan was shocked for a moment, as he watched the Battlestar crack and crumple but that did not prepare him for the sight he next beheld, several radioactive explosions all across Caprica. Everything appeared to pause, he couldn’t his trainee pilots screaming for orders. The only sound that broke his revere was his DRADIS, showing multiple contacts. Navan’s training kicked in. He didn’t need a visual confirmation to know these were Cylon Fighters. He spun the Viper round, as he glanced quickly at this DRADIS.Â

“Squadron, Skyfire, push your engines and head to the Civilian ship just on the outskirts of our DRADIS, maintain radio silence until I have established contact.” He instructed as he gunned his engine, pushing the throttle to the max, hoping that the Chief had probably stress tested the aging Vipers.

“Picon Traveller this Lieutenant Navan Rhodes of the Colonial Fleet, open your hanger and spin up your FTL for an immediate jump. Please wait for us to land, I repeat wait for us to land.”

The response was not immediate and Navan half expected the ship to disappear in a flash of light, signalling that they had jumped. But after several moments the reply came.

“This is the Picon Traveller. Confirmed, but please make it quick.” The voice instructed. The man on the other end sounded terrified and inside Navan felt it too. But he knew that he couldn’t show it. He needed his trainee’s calm and collected and hearing the Officer in Command had been shaken wouldn’t do them any good. He took a deep breath. He needed to give them instructions for landing. It would be hard and fast. He cursed himself for changing the ammunition on all the Vipers to blanks, including his. There was no defending themselves like this.

“Squadron, Skyfire. Right we need to come in hard and fast and this won’t be like any landing we’ve done on the Phoenix. As approach 300 meters, ease off the throttle, the forward motion will maintain much of the speed. When you go through the doors reverse thrust for…” He paused for a heartbeat as he thought. “2 seconds, but get your Vipers on the deck. Just like emergency landing scenario 8.”

He received the affirmatives one by one. Discipline had remained, even if they were severely shaken up. The race to the Picon Traveller seem to take forever but fortunately with the speed they were doing they Cylon Fighters were not gaining on them too fast. As the civilian ship started to get closer, he reduced his speed slightly, so he could get a good view of his pilots as they went in.

“Squadron, Skyfire. Easy does it now.”

One by one they landed, some with more scrape and bumps, and one landing on their side, but they landed safely. He quickly followed suit. “We’ll all aboard, JUMP!” He shouted down the comm line as the ship landed and the hanger bay doors closed behind. Before the doors shut, Navan saw the white streaks of missiles heading directly for them.

~ Valuable Asset ~

Persephone Arrius, Lieutenant J.G. Brent Rivers, Commander Mitchell Hanson, , and Lieutenant Marcia Byers
on Mission Day 1 at 1032 Hours

On:

Seph continued to use the transmitter on low power to contact what appeared to be the Solaris Fleet yards. Her pilot paced in the cockpit. The Athena was shut down and outside the cockpit was the gases of a tail of the comet she wanted to perform an analysis upon.

“How do we know we’re contacting the Military and not the Cylons.” Seph shook her head.

“Look, I don’t know, frack it. The is the best gamble we have right now. We’ve shut everything down, and we’re stuck here in this comet. I’m taking a gamble, Juli. Like I always do.” She turned on the transmitter and began broadcasting towards the ship yard. “This is SS Athena’s Grace, Registry HG1121R1, Contacting any Colonial Military unity. We’re tucked away in the tail of Comet Xaphelon G13, the Cylons haven’t noticed us, but we cannot stay in here forever. If any military units are still out there, and have not been shut down. Send help.”

Bargains Raptor hadn’t been out of the Solaria long when his wireless crackled to life. One problem, the message was a little garbled. In the static he could make out “Colonial.” and “Athena’s” and not much else. He turned to his ECO. A young officer he’d only just met. “Getting screwy signals here. Can you make heads or tails of it?” he said, referring to the message he’d just gotten.

Ranulf worked the various settings on the comms aboard, he was silently fuming because his Viper was combat ready and here he was sitting in the back seat of a Raptor looking for some civie ship.  With so many Vipers out of commission, due to some electronic  failures he felt his old fashioned bird was needed.  Likely being flown by someone else right now and maybe someone who wpould not treat her right?  He had gone over this in his mind several times already.  He was removing the clutter then the message came through loud and clear and he put it on the speaker..

“This is SS Athena’s Grace, Registry HG1121R1, Contacting any Colonial Military unity. We’re tucked away in the tail of Comet Xaphelon G13.”  Ranulf nodded satisfied with his skill, “There ya go Bargain, They are in the tail of a comet Xaphelon G13.  Say Bargain can a Raptor tow another ship?  Or do you think we will need to dock to pick up this civie?”

“Honestly, I cant tell you.” Brent replied. “Hopefully the engines ‘ll work on their ship.” Bargain replied, making for those coordinated

Seph continued to broadcast with the transmitter set on low. “Repeat. This is Athena’s Grace. HG1121R1. We’re shut down in the tail and hiding from the cylons. They’re focusing on what’s left of the military units around here. I have to keep this on low, or they’ll triangulate our position.” She wondered if she dared to turn on the Athena’s nav beacon, It would light her up on every Cylon Raider in a thousand kilometers.

Seph put her hands in her coat pockets. Keeping the Athena on low power meant reducing thermal emissions. She looked outside at Caprica in the distant starfield. Tiny flashes appeared on it’s surface. “So this is how the worlds end?”

Ranulf tilted his head considering what he just heard “They said they are hiding from Cylons?  Think we should request a Viper escort for this Athena’s Grace?”  Ranulf felt the tumult in his gut, here he was stuck in this Raptor when he could be in a Viper going in to escort this Civilian to the fleet?  He began running scans around the signal as best he could “I do not see any other ship around this Athena’s Grace?  Should we go in and make contact?”  He looked up at Bargain’s face, for now he was glad he did not have to decide if this was a trap or someone in need of help!

Bargain nodded. “Call in Vipers just to be safe. Last thing I want is to be Raider bait.”

Persephone sighed and paced a bit then picked up the radio again. “Repeat. This is Doctor Persephone Arrius, onboard the yacht Athena’s Grace. We’re shut down and laying low in the tail of Xaphelon G13. The EM Spectrograph is picking up spikes in the magnetic fields registering multiple EMP shockwaves from nuclear flashes outside my forward cockpit. Other low intensity bursts are coming from Gemenon and other colonies. Almost one hundred and twenty separate anomalies. Ah Frak. If I’m the last human alive. I’m going to plot a jump into the sun. Go to the gods in a blase of glory.”

She opened a cabinet and pulled out a beer.

Brent caught the last bit of that and looked at MacCloud. “At least their FTL works!” he smiled, hoping to defuse the tension. He got on the wireless, reception better the closer they got. “Athena’s Grace. This is SAR Raptor 1, Battlestar Solaria, do you read? Repear SAR Raptor 1, Battlestar Solaria.”

Persephone spoke. “This is Doctor Persephone Arrius. I’m glad to hear from you. I need to keep this on low so I won’t give myself away.”

“Glad to be heard, Doctor.” Brent replied.

MacCloud opened a secure channel and sent bullet burst short messages to try confounding anyone listening.  =/=Solaria this is SAR-1.  We have incoming SOS from civilian ship *Athena’s Grace*.  Requesting a Viper escort for rescue.=/=  He sent coordinates in the days code so he would not give away their whereabouts to anyone listening.

“SAR-1, Solaria. You are ordered to hold position and standby,” a female voice on the other end of the communication channel spoke clearly. There was almost a minute of silence from the voice before it spoke again. “SAR-1, hold position. Skyfire and CAP will be with you shortly. Solaria out.”

Persephone spoke. “SAR-1. This is what I need. I can still jump to your base ship, but unless I know where I’m jumping to, I might as well be jumping into a nest of clankers. I need a raptor to jump to me and perform a close range transmission with jump coordinates, so we can both jump out to your base ship. We can’t risk your vipers, and there will be no replacements for them.”

MacCloud cleared his throat “Bargain.  We have orders from CIC to hold our position till the vipers arrive?”  He shrugged his shoulders, “if this is a trap we have valuable information aboard.”

He nodded. He was leaning towards the side of caution himself.

Seph came onto the channel. “You know, if this is a trap. I could strip, and you could check and see if I have any toaster parts on me.”

MacCloud’s expression was one of shoch that Bargain had left the channel open so whoever was on the other end could hear their conversation?  His voice showed none of his displeasure though as he spoke responding to the voice on the other end of the channel.  “Miss as much as I might enjoy that prospect, I am afraid that would not be my place.  We are on orders to hold till we can provide a proper escort.”  MacCloud typed a message to Bargain on his console to the pilot’s console.  /Security Sir, loose lips and all that Felgercarb they taught us./

/Right/ he typed back. /Exactly/

MacCloud was trying to decide how to reply when the voice he heard awakened a memory from before the Academy?  He thought about it before opening access to the channel to Athena’s Grace =/=Athena’s Grace?  Would you happen to have aboard one Doctor Arrius?=/=

She responded. “That is I… wait… Ranulf MacCloud?” She sat down, recognizing his voice.

“Your pilot extraordinaire in the flesh.”  He looked at Bargain “I know her and she is a VIP.  I think we can safely proceed to bring her Athena’s Grace into the fold.  The woman I met would die before she would betray the human race.  I don’t see any other ships nearby on the Dradis, I would suggest calling off the Viper escort and just going in.”

“Vipers or not, we are all equally in mortal jeopardy right now. Furthermore, if we waste time debating over protocol, we are going to be quite dead before this day is out.” Persephone noted.

“Agreed. It’s better to seek forgiveness than to ask permission.” Rivers nodded. “Lets do it. Sending FTL coordinates.”

~ Interim Assignments ~

Captain Cooper Yates and Major Catherine Wolf
Patrolstars Achilles on Mission Day 1 at 1300 Hours

The Patrolstar Achilles had moved into formation with the spattering of ships that were holding around the Battlestar Solaria. There had been an order for any rescued Fleet personnel to report to the Solaria for interim assignment. The Raptor he had arrived in had been readied, and there were a few others assembled on the flight deck.

The Captain who’d managed to track down a spare uniform and pull it on, he found he was the ranking member as he climbed into the cockpit of the Raptor and took the controls. Minutes later it was cruising towards the Solaria.

=/\= Solaria to Raptor 447 you’re clear to approach the port pod. Call the ball. =/\=

=/\= Raptor 447 copy that. I have the ball. =/\= The craft landed with a light thud, his flight skills certainly more refined when there wasn’t a fleet of Cylons trying to eradicate him.

Exiting the craft he returned the salute of the Petty Officer who was waiting. “Sirs, Ma’am, welcome aboard the Solaria.  The PO said to the group. “Please follow me to CIC.”

The group travelled in relative silence. The ship was a little worn around the edges but Coop had served on an old Galactica-class before. The bird still had plenty of fight in them.

<< CIC >>

“Major Catherine Wolf, Officer of the Deck.” The woman who was currently ranking officer in CIC. “Welcome to the Solaria, I’m sorry it’s not under better circumstance. All serving members of the Fleet are being reassigned to needed roles aboard the Solaria or other ships in the fleet. Captain Yates.” She said, glancing at a paper on the table. “I understand you’re a Nav Officer. We’re short staffed in that department, you’ve been assigned to the Solaria in that capacity.”

Coop nodded to the woman, as her gaze returned to the paper. “Lieutenant JG Mallinace, you’ve been assigned to our areospace group, report to Captain Kilmartin our CAG on the flight deck. Petty Officer Kassini, you’ll report to Engineering. Ensign Halia, you’ll be working under Doctor Power in medical. I’m sorry we don’t have time for more pleasantries, but we will all have time to get to know each other in the future. Dismissed.”

The other three saluted and headed off in their various directions. “Major,” Coop said  as she turned her attention back to the centre table. “What’s our status?”

“Making repairs and trying to get the ship combat ready. The Commander and XO are preparing our action plan. I’d like you to take your station. We’re not expecting to go anywhere right away but I want an experience navigator at the ready should that plan change.”

“Aye ma’am” He said, taking his station, and looked around at his new crew mates. It had been a long day and it wasn’t over anytime soon.

~ The Arch High Priestess is here ~

Commander Mitchell Hanson, Laetia, Kore and Major Catherine Wolf
Hanger bay and CIC on Mission Day 1 at 1300 Hours

Kore was fascinated. Her eyes were darting around as she sat quietly in the small bucket seat of the Raptor that was transporting her and the Arch high priestess to the Solaria. Ostensibly they were going there to assist with the dead and dying. Kore, had had to stop her eyes from rolling as Laetia had made that announcement. Laetia never lowered herself to do such things. No this was Laeta, she would be there for the glory. Kore and the other priestesses would be doing the work, administering comfort and reading the death rites.

It didn’t bother her though, Kore was going to get the chance to speak to people, other than  those from the priesthood.

Sitting a few seats away, Laetia sat with a look of disaffected boredom on her face. She was impatient. She ignored the two junior priestesses with her (see HANDMAIDENS), though she did note that the one known as Kore was very interested in everything she saw. She made a note to give the girl extra chores that evening for her display of avid interest.

The Raptor landed with a thud on the landing deck.

Laetia was first up and she gave her handmaidens a look which had Kore and the other scurrying to the hatch to help her out.

The Hatch opened and the two climbed awkwardly out in their priestess robes and stood at either side of the lowering steps. Without a word, Laetia allowed them to hand her down onto the hard deck.

Laetia screwed her nose up at the site of many pilots and with a swish of her hand, had the two junior priestesses fall in behind her. She looked at the officer waiting for her. “I wish to see the Officer in charge. At once.”

“That would be Commander Hanson. He is in the CIC…”

“Then lead on! Now Corporal!”

“Uh its Lieutenant Junior Grade Ma’am” The officer replied.

“I am Arch High Priestess of Hera! DO NOT take that tone with me!” Laetia snapped and then swept past him. “Which way?”

With a scowl, that was barely hidden, the officer led the trio to the CIC.

Once inside the door, he snapped to attention. “Commander Hanson. The Arch High Priestess of Hera is here to speak with you..”

‘Oh for crying out loud,’ the Commander thought to himself as he put the clipboard he was reading down on the table with a clatter. This was all he needed as he was preparing to lead the last remnants of humanity on a final charge into the wilderness. He didn’t need some jumped up spiritualist causing problems, but, as protocol dictated, he would give her every courtesy possible. “Welcome aboard the Solaria, Your Grace,” he smiled as he gave a slight bow in greeting to the woman. He held the pose until relieved by the nuisa… woman.

Laetia inclined her head gracefully to him. “Commander Hanson.” She said putting on her public face. “Thank you for your welcome. I know you are busy, but I thought it best to get this over with, so we are not over burdened by formalities later on. You have people who need the guidance of the Priesthood. I have 6 priestesses of Hera, 7 including myself and 3 junior priestesses, who are available to perform the rites of passing and to minister to those who need it. Of course, We would need permission from you, hence our presence.”

“Eminence,” the Commander began as he returned to his normal stance at the Command table. “Your offer is very kind and I will ensure that the assembling fleet knows about your presence. I would also appreciate your input from time to time,” he lied. He hated religion these days and she was the embodiment of all he hated. The utter pretentiousness of the whole thing was absurd in his eyes, but he couldn’t deny that many of his people would be highly religious and who would need their counsel.

Kore was standing behind Laetia and looking around avidly. It was so interesting.

Laetia however knew when she was getting the brush off, and said as calm as she could “Would you be so kind Commander as to let me know who is in charge of the Civilian population here? Obviously you are the remaining commanding officer of the Colonial Fleet, but the Civilian government would surely have survivors..”

Kore flinched as Laetia broke off her statement and turned to glare at her. “Eyes front Kore!” She snapped crossly.

Kore seemed to shrink into herself and ducked her head.

Laetia turned back to Hanson. “Sorry about that Commander, My handmaiden does not know her place. She is one of the junior priestesses trained in the Rites of the Passed. She would be very useful in your medical Bay I believe.”

The Commander let out a slight sigh as he contemplated his most diplomatic response possible. “With respect, this is a military situation and right now, I am in charge of all colonial and civilian forces. The most senior government official we have right now is a junior minister,” he revealed before stepping a little closer to the woman and lowering his voice. “I will NOT hand responsibility for the human race to a junior minister of Adar’s government,” he told bluntly, but as respectfully as he could.

Laetia raised an eyebrow. “With respect Commander, if I may give you some advice…denying the Civilian Government a voice is very unwise. And a path it would be wise to avoid at all costs. The common person is a sheep but there are those who will see the military control as the worst sort of tyranny and the herd will follow those dissidents. While I fully understand your concerns around a Junior Minister, it is the perception that matters Commander. If the Civilians have the perception that their government is included, the dissidents in the herd will remain silent. We do not need another civil war… the Cylons are enough for now.”

‘Crap…’ was all the Commander could think. She had a point, regardless of his personal opinion. Who could blame him having to question things? He was potentially the commander of all surviving human kind? “Alright Your Grace,” the older man nodded. “I’ll be sure to take your advice on board. Can I ask, where are you staying? Are your accommodations suitable?” he queried.

“They are…. Just above adequate.” Laetia replied. “We are on one of the smaller transports, which was fine for the short trip we were on, but there is no place for worship on it. I doubt there will be a place for a while.” she gave a careless shrug.

“I can offer you some simple guest quarters here on the Solaria if you wish to travel under our protection,” the Commander offered. It was an unusual step, even for him and he had surprised himself by making it but then he went a step further. “We can also find a compartment to set up as a space for worship,” he smiled before wickly adding “It wont be luxurious or spacious though.”

Laetia smiled back at him, noting the wicked element of his smile. “That would be acceptable Commander. And do not worry, We will make do.”

“Major Wolf,” Hanson called out, drawing the attention of his Officer of the Deck, “have the Quartermaster assist in finding some space for our guests,” he instructed.

“As you wish Commander,” the Major nodded, smiling at the visitors. “Eminence, would you like to follow me?” she asked, gesturing to the doorway.

Laetia, considering she had got what she wanted, inclined her head and allowed the Major to show her and the other two out of CIC.

Kore was disappointed as she took one last look around. She knew that she was in trouble. But could not bring herself to care really.

Persephone entered the bay and approached one of the Viper Mk. 7’s. She pulled back the canopy and climbed into it, trying to power the Viper up; Nothing. “Well this is a frakking Caprican tragedy.” The doctor, who appeared to be like your average civilian then climbed out and began to open up panels and access ports on the viper. Equipment began to appear nearby this particular viper. Her fingers typed on an interface console she had attached to the viper’s systems. “Wait… wow you are a vicious piece of code aren’t you. Time to take you apart you little piece of…” She typed some more. “You… Piece of Felgercarb.”

From a relatively safe distance, the Deck Chief and three Knuckledraggers watched the scientist at work having been ordered to give her full leave by the CAG and at the behest of the Commander. That didn’t stop them moaning about the mess she was making though.

The Chief shook his head slowly as he glared at her. “I swear to the gods, if she makes anymore mess…”

“You’ll do what, exactly?”

The three enlisted people spun on their heels to come face to face with the commander of the Air Group who looked at them disapprovingly. “That mess you Knuckledraggers are referring to may just help her get more of our ships into the fight and help bring more people home. Got it?” Sunbeam neglected to wait around for the response and pushed past the crewmen and made a beeline for the civilian who was hard at work. He came to a halt just as an unknown piece of equipment was tossed to the decking and landed at his feet. “You know, every part you take out, I have to get someone to put back again…” he smirked as he called out in the woman’s direction.

“Then they can stop bitching like little fraks and help out. Because this is going to keep us alive. That being said time is a luxury we do not have at the moment.” She pulled out from under the Viper and began to jot down notes on a nearby whiteboard. “So it is CNP… But why… CNP had military grade firewalls and anti-malware… So…” She began to pace for a moment as she spoke to herself. “So, if I was a Cylon… And I wanted to bring down the whole of the fleet…”

[A few bays down]

Ranulf was on his way to his bunk, he had come here to check on his Viper to make sure it was combat ready and green listed to launch.  He was tired after an early morning CAP, his first real combat.  All the information overload, all bad, he had then flown with Bargain on a recon/SAR mission.  So his brain was fried.  No telling when he might need to go out again so he decided to just shower, change and sleep till his next task was set.  He was walking past the Type VII vipers and saw a tech crew setting up a computer diagnostic?  He had spoke to many pilots today and listened in on several conversations.  He stepped over “Hey fellas?  That diagnostic is going to read perfect would be my guess.  Everyone I listened to said the Vipers behaved perfectly till they went to live combat.  Maybe you should tackle the A.I. directly with a live combat scenario and see how it reacts?”  Ranulf shrugged “I would suggest disconnecting the weapons systems first though, just in case.”

An older Tech snarled “Frak, just what we need some frakking nugget telling us our business!”  He tossed a wrench at Ranulf, more as a ‘go away’ sort of thing then an actual attack.  Ranulf had excellent eye to hand coordination and years of martial arts training, since he was a kid.  He leaned to the side and caught the wrench.  It was rather easy, they had practiced with real knives back home!  He stepped forward and righted the wrench in his hand so it was handle first.  “No disrespect intended, just trying to help.”  The older Tech’s expression softened as he accepted the wrench back.  “Sorry Ensign, I know you guys had it rough today, just like all of us have.  Your idea was not all that bad either.”  Ranulf smiled “Luck to you fellas, we need you to keep us flying.  Right now everyone really needs us flying..  That circle of life thing?”  He nodded “I best get out of your way.”

He started walking away and heard the older Tech’s gruff voice “you heard the Warrior, disconnect the frakking weapons and lets trick the A.I. into thinking it is a real combat situation!”  Ranuld smiled, he hoped that was not a dead end.  Those guys had no time to chase red herrings.  He saw the CAG, and a woman’s legs?  He stopped by the techs watching.  The pile of parts scattered across the bay and the shapely legs..  Then he heard her voice and smiled “Hiya Doctor Arrius.  You know those parts come out easier if you use the right tools?  If you handed the parts out to these gentlemen here it would make rebuilding the Viper easier to, I would think?”   He saluted the CAG when the officer glanced in his direction.

“It’s in the CNP, Ranulf… As impossible as it seems. It got through the military network security. But what I can’t figure out was how.” Persephone paced some more. “A Direct cyber attack outside the network would have lit up Caprica HQ’s cyber-defense command.” Persephone began writing on the nearby whiteboard. “Could it have been an inside job?”

“What if Caprica HQ wasn’t there to get lit up?” Sunbeam questioned, his arms folded across his chest as he thought out loud. “We know that Caprica was the first of the colonies to get hit. If I was a Cylon and I wanted to wage techno warfare against the Colonies, I’d start by taking out warning systems,” he told, not bothered if the scientist wanted his opinion or not.

“Then someone posed as Caprica HQ and updated CNP…. But that would have been impossible without…. Without an authorized user….” Persephone mentioned. “Gaius…. you son-of-a-frak. I knew CNP wasn’t ready, but you pushed it out anyway.” Persephone removed the digital transmitter. “There’s a fail-safe installed in these new vipers. It’s a holdover from the Mk. 6. due to a incompatibility between both vipers. A quick downgrade patch was installed. If I can trigger it….” She crawled under the viper, once again, in a position where her legs could be admired.

Ranulf was not one to shy away from speaking his mind.  Even if he did sound dumb at times.  He was also not quite distracted by her great legs enough to not speak.  “Say, Doctor Arrius; I have heard programmers often put a back door on complicated programs so they can bypass the security?  What chance is there that backdoor was left in place and someone learned of it?”  Ranulf was sure it was something vastly more complicated then that but then he did not really know how complicated hiding or finding a backdoor might be.

The CAG, however, was distracted by her legs and her petite frame. It never hurt to have attractive women around and, since he was in a position of command, he’d never look at his pilots or co-workers in such a way. But a civilian? Hell yes. The Ensign’s comment, however, distracted him and he looked at the youngster with frustration. Couldn’t he see that he was having a moments peace for a few seconds? This was potentially the end of humanity! They would need to repop… He shook his head and quickly put all such thoughts on the back burner as he awaited the womans response.

“I wonder….” Persephone put the viper into user mode and typed in one of Gaius’ passwords. “Gaius Baltar had an obsession with two things; Blondes and Himself. He became so predictable I started to figure things out about him.” She pushed the enter key and the backdoor responded. She then ran the downgrade patch. The Viper lit up suddenly.” Alright gentlemen.. Good news, and bad news. “Good news is I tricked the Mark 7 into thinking it was a Mark 6. You’ll get the same functionality… except CNP.”

Sunbeam couldn’t help but marvel at the woman’s almost instant display of technological sorcery. She had managed to do something he had assumed would take the Knuckledraggers ages to do and she did it in no time at all. “Excellent work Doctor. Excellent indeed,” he gave her a nod of appreciation. “So, now we get this done to all the mark sevens?” he then enquired as he looked about the hangar bay at the mass of derelict vipers sitting, rotting.

Arrius nodded and wrote the procedure on a white board. “Hey Knuckle-draggers. Get your frakking asses over here.” She flipped the board around. “This is what needs to be done, snap to it.”

She gestured Ranulf and the CAG towards a maintenance closet.

Jonny nodded and gave his own gesture to the youngster to follow, no idea what the woman would be telling them.

Ranulf was still trying to understand if she had already fixed the problem for the typeVII Vipers?  He followed at a discreet distance as he was not even sure he should be in a meeting like this.  Still the Captain had not dismissed him, in fact he had signaled for him to follow.  He had a sinking feeling he was in way over his head.  Still it was always nice to watch Perssephone walk.

“Okay Gentlemen.” Persephone noted. “Gaius Baltar has just become the most infamous traitor and mass-murderer in our race’s history. His access codes were all over that CNP update.”

“Woah! Okay,” Sunbeam threw his arms up in the air to stop the woman in her tracks. “Talk like this needs to be shared with the Commander, not two viper jocks. I suggest you see him and, if Baltar is alive, we can try and track him down and deal with it. But I can tell you now, the Commander will want all the proof you can give him. Military types always do,” the CAG told, a much more focused and grim look about him.

Oh snap!  This was way over his head!  “Say Doc Arrius if you think you fixed the problem?”  He faced the Captain “Ahh, Sir being one of the least among the pilots here, I volunteer to test fly the typeVII.  You know see if it works when we face the Cylons.”  He glanced at Persephone “I trust the Doc here.”  Ranulf felt staying focused on thing within his pay grade was the best, maybe the only way to deal with this information.

Persephone nodded. “Which is why we need a lid on this now, Captain. People are going to start looking for someone to blame when they should be working together to survive. You Gentlemen will be the only other people who will know my suspicions on Baltar except myself, the Commander, and the Major. Keep the scuttlebutt to the minimum. Baltar may be dead, but I don’t think he acted alone…” She turned to leave. “Keep a tight lid on this gentlemen.”

End