Armageddon, Part Three

Major Amaris Kendall and Captain Thaddeus Scott
Battlestar Solaria on mission day 1

Amaris groaned and stirred from her place on the cold metal deck of CIC. She pushed herself into a sitting position as she coughed up the smoke that filled her lungs. The air was thick and the sounds of groaning and weeping could be heard above an eerie silence. She put her face in her left hand, and when she pulled it back, she saw a trail of blood on it. She was injured, but that didn’t matter at the moment. Pulling herself to her feet in the flickering lights of the room, she moved around the table to help the CO to his feet and, when she got there, she knew it was no use.

 

Amaris Kendall stood in stunned silence and her eyes danced along the blood splattered along the right side of the command table. She followed the momentum down to the bloody head of the man who had not only been her commanding officer, but her special someone. There, in a large puddle of blood, Commander Martin West lay lifeless. Still shocked, she looked around and saw many other bodies littered on the deck, but several others milling about trying to wake them and crying out in pain and loss.

 

This is it; I can’t do this. I can’t lose him, and I can’t command this Battlestar. We’re going going to die. We’re all going to die.

 

Just as these thought filled her hands, which were covered in the CO’s blood found a lump in her left pocket. Pulling it out, she found a cherrywood designer pocket knife which was now covered in her lover’s blood. She remembered the day her father had given it to her..the day she had become a razor.

 

“If you can be this, for as long as you have too..” he said, his voice echoing in her memory.

 

She looked up, placing the blade on the command table and stepping over the CO to lean against the lighted surface. She looked around at the weeping crew, completely unfocused.

 

“Everyone get up and get to your frakking stations.” she said coldly, the tears on her face seeming to have no effect on her resolve. People looked around at her, confused and still leaning over their dead friends. “Their DEAD!” she announced loudly to them. “But we’re not. Not yet. So get the frak up and get to your stations right now.”

 

The crew in CIC moved as they were ordered, no less sad, but doing as they were told.

 

Amaris took a deep breath before she spoke again. “Someone tell me where we are.”

 

There was silence among the living as they worked, trying to do as much as possible to support their new commanding officer in the wake of West’s death. Sorrow filled eyes scanned documents, consoles and workstations.

 

“According to DRADIS we are exactly where we should be. Outskirts of the Ouranos Asteroid Belt, near the Gas Giant Hera,” a voice confirmed eventually. “Less than a thousand kilometers to the Nogura Fleet Depot.”

 

For most in the room, that made the recent losses even worse – they had arrived at their destination, but not everyone arrived with them.

 

Captain Thaddeus Scott, blood dripping from his own forehead, took the mantle of defacto XO now that he was the next most senior officer in the room. He stepped down towards the command table and looked at Major Kendall. “Orders, ma’am?”

 

She stood where West had stood only seconds before, covered in tears and his blood, but her face was even and cold. She looked across the command table and straight into the Captain’s eyes. “XO. She said simply. “Find us a place to lay low and commence with repairs. I also want a full status report on the double.”

 

After she had given her orders, she reached for the telephone on her side of the table and held it up to her lips. The tone rang out over the speakers.

 

“This is….this is Solaria Actual. Commander West is dead, as are several of our fellow soldiers. There will be time to grieve their loss when we are out of the woods, but for now, repairing this ship and getting back into the fight is the objective of each and every one of us. So whoever you are, whatever you’re doing, I want you to pick yourselves up, dust off, and get this Battlestar up and running. We’re going to make these frakking toasters pay for what they’ve done to us. Actual out.” with anger, she slammed the phone back down in its place.

 

While Actual had been talking, Tad had been looking at a chart of the asteroid field that had been on one of the aft tables from prior to the attack and had devised a plan. “Major,” he spoke, drawing the CO’s attention to his task. “I’m pretty sure that the best place to situate ourselves would be here,” he pointed to an area on the map near to the largest asteroid. “The Fleet Depot is offline, silent. No sign of life or that the Cylons know it is here. If we position ourselves behind the largest asteroid and power down engines and other systems, we should remain undetected. The asteroid is stationary, so we don’t even need to worry about drifting,” he revealed, looking at her with as much optimism as he could. He wanted to do her proud and make sure they did the Commander proud too.

 

Kendal looked at him as he spoke and then, when he was finished, she turned around to face the helm officers and nodded. “Get those coordinates from Captain Scott and take us there as quickly as possible. I don’t want us caught with our pants down.” she then turned around and spoke more generally. “What’s our status at the moment? Our systems and our security; we can worry about the body count once we’re tucked behind the asteroid.”

 

Scott looked over at the damage control display on the side bulkhead and decided to take another look. What he was presented with did not make good reading. “It’s not looking good sir,” he frowned as he began declaring the systems offline. “FTL, aft damage control, environmental controls, main turrets, power generators on lower decks, launch tubes,” he paused as he looked back at the commanding officer, “hell, even the galley is offline. We have a minimal security team because most of them had shipped out for reassignment. We don’t even have a Master at Arms. Security is going to be a bitch,” he concluded as he returned to the Command table and folded his arms across his chest.

 

“I’m putting you in charge of the census once we’re in place, Captain. I want to know who we’ve got still alive. Let’s activate any marines we have and get them on the job.” Having said that, she heaved a heavy sigh and a long moment of silence passed. Her heart was heavy and being an unfeeling robot was easier for her father than for her. If he were here, he would know what to do.

 

She turned around and looked at the helmsmen. “ETA.”

 

“We should be in position in 43 seconds, ma’am.” Came the sad but diligent reply.

 

“Very good.” she said, turning back to the table. “XO. Prepare the ship for system shut-downs and repairs.”

 

The XO lifted the nearby telephone receiver and held it to his mouth, nervous about his first message to the crew as XO. He soon bit the bullet and let instinct take over. “This is the XO. Standby to power down non-essential systems and rig for silent running. MARDET report to CIC for orders. All personnel, commence damage reports and repairs. XO out, he ended the message and looked at his boss. “If you’ll excuse me, I should get to it,” and with a nod, he set off to get to grips with his task.

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