Turning The Tide?
Posted on Fri May 11th, 2018 @ 7:43pm by Commander Mitchell Hanson & Major Jonathan Kilmartin & Major Catherine Wolf & Captain Thaddeus Scott & Lieutenant Colonel Amaris Kendall & Captain Alethea Graystone [Astraea] & Captain Nathan O'Hare M.D. & Lieutenant Leonidas Lochlan & Lieutenant JG Brent Rivers & Lieutenant JG Kaylia Strenvale "Artemis" & Lieutenant JG Logan Hunter [Bounty] & Ensign Marcus Kivicus [Cleric] & Captain Zachary Kovak
Mission: Traitorous Endeavours
The interrogation of the traitor Jarell Weiss had begun some time ago and Mitchell had been torn between paying a visit to the Brig and letting the Colonel get on with the task. The CIC was quieter than it had been for days, with people across the ship getting rest or preoccupied with duties elsewhere; even Kilmartin was off involved in the interrogation of the prisoner, leaving Hanson and Captain Yates as the senior most officers in the CIC.
Yates. He was a bit of an enigma. Hanson hadn't really had much to do with the Captain since he had joined the Solaria and that was something that probably needed to be remedied in the not too distant future.
As the Commander took a little stroll around the CIC, he heard a familiar alarm signal. He took three large steps down to the situation table where the Captain was stood and glanced up at the DRADIS console. The words "Unidentified Contact" flashed on the screen in red letters. Hanson glared over at Lieutenant Marcia Byers who was stood at the Captain's usual Tactical station. Within seconds she gave him the answer he was dreading.
"Cylon Baseship. Karem 1-2-1 and closing," the woman called out. “She’s launching Raiders!”
"Begin emergency jump prep," the Commander instructed the Captain. "Helm! Bring our strongest weapons to bare on the enemy," he called out before picking up his telephone.
On the panel before him, the Commander pressed a button that opened a fleetwide communications channel that would also be heard throughout his own ship. "This is the Commander. Incoming Baseship. Set condition one throughout the fleet and standby for emergency jump!" Before he could finish his instructions, the Condition One alert began to ring out around the ship. He continued his instructions. "Launch alert vipers. Repeat, launch alert vipers!" and he slammed the phone down in its holster.
Alethea had almost ran from the Brig to the Flight Deck, they had no time to spare and while the alert fighters were already out there that wasn’t going to be enough. Once at the lockers she quickly switched out her dress blues for her flight suit and walked onto the Flight deck where they were already preparing all the Vipers.
Vixen walked away from her wingman, securing her long brown hair in a ponytail. She saw Graystone walking in and she offered a nervous expression. “Astraea, I’m not too confident this Vipers going to keep moving once I’m out there.” she said, clearing her voice. “I mean, what if that computer virus wasn’t cleared out?”
Alethea turned to the Lieutenant, she probably wasn’t the only one afraid of what might happen. Frak, even Alethea herself was. “Okay, listen up everyone” She yelled to make sure the entire Flight Deck could hear her. This was one message they all had to hear. “I’m not going to lie to you. Some of our best minds have been working day and night to get the toasters out of our systems and they tell me everything is fine. It might not be, but on the other hand we might also get hit by a piece of debris or end up receiving friendly fire. We take a risk everytime we go out there, but we do it for the Solaria, we do it for our fleet, we do it for humanity. You are the bravest motherfrakkers I have ever served with and you are all coming back alive. That is an order”
Kaylia got there as fast as she could as well. Checking over her bird then stopping to turn and listen to Alethea. This was home and they had to defend it. “Damn right we will, ma’am!”
Cleric was standing next to Falcon they were leaning against their Raptor hoping to get a piece of the action. They had already done their preflight check. Sitting around had drove Falcon crazy which in turn was driving Cleric Crazy. Both itching to get out there and do there jobs. “HERE! HERE!” Falcon said loudly.
Bargain was leaning up against his own ship watching the goings on. He just smiled. He flashed a thumbs up to Cleric and Falcon. “Oh yeah!” he grinned.
Ryan leaned out from under his Viper, pausing his inspection, and was quiet as he listened to Alethea’s little speech, nodding and cracking a faint smile in agreement. “Well said.” He muttered to himself as he moved to finish his pre-flight inspection.
Lucretia nodded without another word and put her helmet on. She walked to her Viper Mk II and prepared herself, climbing into the viper. This would be her first combat sortee.
The doors to the CIC opened and in stepped Colonel Kendall with Kilmartin and Westbrooks close behind. Her expression was business-like and slightly disturbed but controlled. She walked up to the command table promptly and put her writing pad down in front of her. “Commander.” she said in greeting as her eyes moved smoothly toward the DRADIS display and then darted back and forth between the stations in the CIC accessing their readiness for battle. The crew was definitely adjusting to their new way of living, but there was a profound sense of instability and uncertainty on this day considering the recent sabotage. None were as unsettled as she, though she held it in.
“Major Kilmartin, coordinate with our vipers to keep those raiders away from the fleet.” she said, looking at him over her shoulder before turning around completely and addressing the entire room. “Keep your heads on your work, people.” she said easily and with a coaching tone. “Everything else will have to take care of itself.”
Kilmartin nodded and moved to his side station near to Tactical and began plotting some coordinates. Being able to work out when the Solaria would be in position to have the best firing solution on the Baseship, he was able to pinpoint the area that the Squadron would have to steer clear of. “Captain Yates, status of the gun batteries?” the Major called out as he looked across at his Tactical counterpart. “We’re going to need a defensive barrage until the fleet is away.” he continued.
“Gun batteries are ready and waiting,” the Tactical officer called out.
Colonel Kendall looked up at Commander Hanson. “Our fighters should be ready to launch, sir. Do you want me to order them out?”
“Launch, now,” he ordered.
Her hand was already hovering over the phone, so it was quite easy for her simply to lift it and cue up the hangar bays. “This is the XO.” she began. Launch all fighters. Repeat: launch all fighters now.”
Wolf stood at the situation table in the CIC of the Achilles and watched as the civilian fleet began to flee, moving away from the Solaria as the Battlestars massive hulk turned to engage the approaching Basestar. Achilles had been rescued by Solaria a day earlier, now it was Achilles’ turn to aide the flagship of the fleet. “Captain Kovak,” she called out across the table towards her XO. “Think we’re ready to show the Solaria what this ship can do in a fair fight?” she queried.
“Hells yes we are, Major.” he said with a grin as he lifted his phone to his face. “Launch alert vipers. Repeat, launch alert vipers now.”
After hanging up, he looked to Catherine with an arched eyebrow. “Your orders, ma’am?” he asked.
“Inform the Solaria we are moving to engage,” the Major instructed as a map of the local area was put on the desk before them by Captain Scott. She began pointing to locations on the map. “I want us in a position to bring the main batteries into optimal firing solution Captain, and I want us there yesterday,” she ordered, looking at the Officer of the Deck.
“You got it, Major,” Scott smiled as he almost skipped away and began giving orders. “Helm, new heading, Karem 1-1-3, maximum thrusters. Gun crews, prepare for defensive and offensive firing solutions,” the man called out to those around him. It was time for the Achilles crew to show their mettle.
Zach watched Catherine’s excitement with a half grin. If the stakes weren’t so high, he’d have been enjoying himself. He watched the DRADIS display as the faster Patrolstar began to overtake the Solaria in their approach. “Batteries at the ready!” he bellowed as he watched.
“Are the alert vipers out of our firing solution?” Wolf called out, half an eye on the DRADIS console and half looking towards Captain Scott.
“Alert vipers are away and clear, forming up with Solaria’s vipers on our starboard quarter,” the Captain declared from his position overseeing the Tactical station.
Major Wolf took a deep breath and looked at her XO briefly and then back to the DRADIS. “All batteries… open fire,” she ordered at last.
Nightlight watched from his cockpit as Achilles pulled ahead of Solaria and it’s main batteries began to fire. He smiled as he felt the adrenaline of battle start to bring him something of a bloodlust. “Let’s ice some frakking toasters!” he almost sang over the wireless as he banked to the right and pulled underneath the rest of the joined Air Group. He watched his display as his squadron struggled to stay on him. “Vigilantes, stay on my tail; don’t let me catch you sleeping! Astraea, we good to go?”
Alethea had just finished the final check of all her systems when the question came in. “Roger, Nightlight. All squadrons are a go”
Luci launched in her viper. She began to check the situation as her viper emerged from the tubes. “Astraea , Revenant. The Cylons are using their typical swarm pattern. If we time our approach with the Solaria’s flak patterns, the smoke and debris from the shells can mask our approach.” Her voice was a cold as ever.
Kaylia leaned back after doing the same as Alethea, checking her systems before punching it. “Vigilante two,” said as she tensed her shoulders a moment before relaxing them right when the Viper was thrust out of the launch tube. Looking for Alethea to form on her right wing. “Understood Revenant. May I also suggest a wing come to one side and hang back to flank.”
“We can distract their main push, and follow up with a flanking tactic.” Luci mentioned. “Astraea?” She waited for her CAG to approve the tactic.
“Do it, but keep your eyes on each other. What hides us from them is going to limit our visibility as well” Alethea ordered in response to both suggestions, they were solid ideas.
“Roger, Alethea, breaking on your mark, Adar.” Kaylia took the back seat since she was still ‘technically’ the rookie only in by way of this group.
Cleric and Falcon sat on the deck waiting hoping that they wouldn’t be need but if they were going out it was to find a fellow pilot. “SAR bird 1-1-6 to Solaria Control we are prepped and standing by.” He turned in his seat towards Falcon. “Ready?” Falcon gave him the thumbs up and continued to watch the DRADIS screen.
“SAR 1-1-6, CIC. Standby for further orders,” Kilmartin’s voice came over the comm. channel.
Outside the safety of the ships internal structure, streams of anti-aircraft fire from both Colonial vessels created a screen to shield the retreating civilian ships from the Cylon raiders and their missiles. Achilles had changed her own direction and her forward canons were aimed at the Baseship, giant balls of explosive light hurtling from the canons intermittently in an effort to destroy the enemy Basestar.
In the CIC, Hanson and his command team stood around the situation table, looking at the DRADIS console as the situation developed.
“All civilian vessels have jumped to emergency co-ordinates Commander. We don’t want to be here for long sir,” Kilmartin revealed after receiving a piece of paper from Captain Yates.
“We stay until that Baseship is destroyed,” Hanson told sternly, briefly looking at Kilmartin before lifting his phone and pressing a button. “Astraea, CIC. Weapons free, engage enemy fighters. Repeat, engage enemy fighters. We’ll tackle the Baseship,” the Commander ordered before returning the phone to its holster. He then looked directly at Kendall. “Colonel. Obliterate the bastards now,” he directed.
Her mind briefly moving back to her encounter with Weiss in the interrogation room, Amaris felt uncertain about their current situation. She turned, nevertheless, to face the weapons station. The Achilles had been laying down fire on the Baseship for some time and it had already taken some serious damage. Up until this moment, Solaria had been laying down suppression to allow the fleet to retreat safely.
“Weapons, target the basestar and take them out.” she said with steel in her gaze. “Helm, close our distance to increase accuracy.”
After a few quick ‘aye, sir’s the officers were doing their duty. Amaris watched the DRADIS to see what would happen next.
“Confirm weapons free, all Vipers engage hostiles. Battle Spread formation. Let nothing through” Alethea ordered as she released her own weapons controls and started firing at one of the approaching raiders.
Darius gunned his viper suddenly, losing his weapons on a nearby raider. He watched as his bullets lit up the foreground and zoned in like a predator when the raider turned for a panicked retreat. He spun his bird around to keep on its tail and cheered loudly as it exploded in a display of fire and red. He turned his viper in search of a new victim.
Kaylia glanced out of the cockpit looking over to Adar, having not gotten a response or order, “Oh..hell with it.” Pushing her throttle up to take lead. Keeping a careful eye out. Once the fray started, she lead Adar in, if she was following. They may be only two but a flank would work to help just the same.
Reaching to flick over to missile for the longer range coming in. Splitting focus on two of them ahead. Firing and not waiting to continue. “Adar, one your right.” Her two lit up into balls of fire. Another Raider was behind them she did not see. Head tilting back as she saw it go by her and come around.
“Just what I wanted.” Kaylia shook her head and started to jink as the bullets started to fly around her Viper. Her lock on warning alarm kicked in, “Oh, frak no, not today.” Pulling back on the thrust to three-fourths, and waiting until the last minute to barrel roll so the missile over shot her. However, she did get pegged with cannon fire. “This is Artemis. I’m hit. It’s not bad.”
Kaylia push up again and hit a three second afterburner burst, before stopping dead and flipping over to face the Raider. Staying ‘upside down’ and punching it. Squeezing the trigger as she came in, head to head, coming through the fireball of the now dead Raider.
As the Vipers began to engage the Raiders an almighty volley of weapons fire erupted from the Battlestar’s main weapons batteries as the Solaria joined the Achilles in shifting targets. Conventional warheads and streams of flak like bullets streaked through the blackness of space, obliterating incoming warheads from the Baseship and impacting the hull of the Cylon command ship. It didn’t take long for the two Colonial vessels to overwhelm their target and the DRADIS console distorted a little as the explosion of the Baseship was felt by the crews of both vessels.
“Baseship destroyed!” Kilmartin called out with a grin from the Tactical station as he looked across at the Commander at the situation table.
Whoops and cheers broke out across the CIC as the crew congratulated themselves on their first victory together against their bitter enemy. “For all our loved ones, hey Colonel?” he spoke with a sincere smile.
“For every last one.” Amaris said, her hands finding each other in quick succession and a look of quiet satisfaction on her face. Her mind was still racing around her encounter with the man in their interrogation room; she was eager to return.
“Major, recall our birds. Colonel, contact Achilles and have both ships begin jump prep. We’re rejoining our people,” he smiled triumphantly. Their first major victory felt sweeter than the last remaining bar of Galaxy chocolate that had been auctioned off recently around the fleet.
“Aye sir!” Kilmartin retorted enthusiastically as he picked up his telephone receiver. “Vipers, Solaria. Back to the barn. Repeat, back to the barn.”
Amaris himself picked up her phone and contacted Achilles. “Major, Captain; your crew did a great job.” she said into the receiver, a tight smile on her lips. “Wind down from action stations and begin jump prep.”
“Appreciated Colonel. Jump prep is underway, we’ll see you on the other side. Achilles out,” Wolf declared before the line went dead.
Kaylia cut her forward thrust from her main engines, and banked a near dead stop 180. Pushing the thrust back in and hitting the afterburners, considering they were still being followed, they needed to get in as soon as possible. “Artemis, heading back to barn and on approach. Request clearance to port side bay, eta 33 seconds.”
“All Vipers, combat landings authorized,” the voice of the LSO called out over the airwaves.
That worked for her. Following in the viper ahead of her. Kaylia was having a little issue with her trim so she was a little wobbily, however it worked out. Skirting to a stop, and just sitting there while the deck crews got her out of the way.
Kaylia hadn’t noticed until she got out of her viper that she was actually hit. Not sure if it was by something exploding, shrapnel maybe. Or one of the shots that hit and went through. Either way, even bleeding, she ignore the injury to her shoulder. “How’s my baby?” Asking one of the deck crew.
With the Fighters returning to the ship, it wouldn't be long until the Solaria rejoined the fleet. For once, things had gone in their favour.