Posted on Thu Mar 1st, 2018 @ 4:59pm by Commander Mitchell Hanson & Major Jonathan Kilmartin & Major Catherine Wolf & Lieutenant Colonel Amaris Kendall & Captain Alethea Graystone [Astraea] & Ensign Marcus Kivicus [Cleric] & Captain Zachary Kovak & Lieutenant JG Gavin Hawkins [Falcon] & Lieutenant Marcia Byers & Sergeant Desmond Westbrooks
Edited on on Fri Mar 2nd, 2018 @ 7:32pm
Timeline: PCH-15 2030 Hours
With action stations sounded, the CIC was alive with activity, the crew responding with the dedication that Hanson had come to expect of them despite not having seen action for weeks. He approached the command table quickly and looked at Major Kilmartin. “Report,” was all he spoke.
“Hawkins and Kivicus have returned sir. Their Raptor has just landed,” the Major informed as he slid a piece of paper across to the Commander.
“Get them up here. The CAG too,” Hanson ordered.
Amaris stood across the table from the commander, stilling wearing her black sports bra and red shorts from earlier. Despite her casual appearance, she was all business. “Lieutenant Byers,” she began, looking toward the communications station. “Get Achilles on speakers in the CIC.”
Kilmartin wandered away from the Command table and looked towards Lieutenant Byers. The Lieutenant was already busy at work trying to communicate with the Achilles and establish the link.
Cleric and Falcon had just landed and was being taxied to the hanger. Falcon popped the hatch and took off his helmet as cleric finished post flight checks. They climbed out, and Signed with a deck crew. A young blond good looking crew man ran up to them. “Sirs your ordered to the CIC. ASAP.”
Falcon looked at her then to Cleric, “that's never good. We better hustle up there.” He then turned to the crew men, “and how about dinner? My quarters in an hour, I got some steak.”
She rolled her eyes. “No sir. I'm married to a marine.” then turned and left.
“Damn Marines always getting the good ones.” Falcon said as she left watching her go.
“Let's go Romeo.” Cleric said heading for the ladder.
Few minutes later they were at the door to the CIC.
Alethea had been keeping track of operations in the hangar deck herself, the Raptors had been sent everywhere and it was definitely interesting to see what they would find, of course ready for anything bad they might find and take back with them she made extra sure the alert Vipers were ready to move on a moment’s notice. When the word came in from CIC she headed there and joined the two pilots.
Zach entered the room right behind Major Wolf. They were both still wearing their dress uniforms from their date and, he knew, now was the time to pretend he wasn’t under the influence of alcohol. “Report.” he said simply, stepping up to his side of the command table.
“The Raptor has returned and its crew are on their way to Solaria CIC, Captain.” came the voice of the communications NCO. “We’ve been ordered to connect over their speakers so that we can hear what’s going on.”
Kovak turned then to Catherine and looked at her casually. “Do it .” he said to the comm station behind him.
Wolf listened silently and stood with her arms folded across her chest, keen to hear about the latest development. “Have the Squadron on standby,” she ordered as she ‘did a Hanson’, subconsciously diverting her attention to the upper DRADIS console and studying it hard. Anytime there was a possible situation, that console get a hell of a lot of attention.
“Gentlemen,” Hanson greeted the Raptor Pilot and his ECO as he offered out a hand to both. “Tell us exactly what happened,” he requested.
“Sir, Ma’am.” Shaking the Commanders hand. “umm… we jumped to the coordinates provided. Upon arriving we entered a debris field. We had no hits on DRADIS other than the debris field. After scanning and searching the wreckage we…” he paused.
“It was the Civilian transport the Olympic Carrier, Sir. She was blown to hell and back. The odd thing was there was a slight radiological residue on some of the larger sections.” Falcon finished for Cleric.
“Olympic Carrier? Why does that sound familiar?” Hanson mused, scanning the faces of his officers.
Kilmartin was the one to step up with a piece of paper. “If you remember that debris we collected sir, from the atmosphere of Ragnar?” he spoke, placing the paper on the table top for all to see. “There was a black box of sorts from one of the vessels. We were able to get a partial list of the ships that met with Galactica. Along with Colonial One, the Zephyr, Pyxis and the Hitei Kan, the Olympic Carrier was in their fleet,” the Major revealed as he pointed to the ships name on the roster of civilian craft.
“=/=And there was no debris from any other vessel?” Major Wolf’s voice spoke over the airwaves.
“Um.. no Sir, just the Olympic carrier. “ Cleric said positively.
“Aye sir, just the Carrier. And it had a radioactive signature - it was faint but it was there.” Falcon said.
“Did you see any signs implying a nuclear attack? It seems out of character for the Cylons to use nuclear missiles against a target so insignificant but after the attacks I don’t consider anything beyond them” Alethea said, making her presence in the meeting apparent as well.
“I don't think so ma’am the amounts of radioactive material in the surrounding area would have been a lot higher, maybe something was onboard but didn't go off?” he suggested.
“Did you find any live rounds in the debris?” Amaris asked, folding her arms under her chest. It was very strange to be standing in CIC without her uniform. “If a nuclear weapon didn’t destroy them, maybe we can determine what did.”
Hanson listened cautiously to the conversation going on between his people but he already had an idea in his head for the course of action to be taken. Debris from a Colonial vessel had to be further investigated, even if only to document that other survivors had indeed made it away from the combat zone.
“There were a few Viper rounds floating around, I assumed it could have been vipers in defense of there fleet. Or …” Falcon paused looking at the Commander and other officers. “They fragged one of their own.” He said somberly.
Listening to the findings from the Pilot and his ECO was intriguing and had thrown up many different scenarios in the young Patrolstar commanders head as she stood, stoic and still, listening in and her focus forever trained on the DRADIS console. Eventually, she diverted her attention just briefly to look at Kovak as she spoke. “Commander,” she called over the wireless, “Achilles stands ready to jump in and investigate further,” she suggested, hoping that Zachary agreed with her.
Zach gave a simple nod, watching Wolf’s gaze. “I don’t suspect it’ll be particularly dangerous.. Though it could be a trap.” he said, still considering. “We could be ready to face anything that might pop up as we investigate.”
The Commander of the fleet looked at his XO and then gestured to her to join him on his side of the table. He wished to discuss with her their options privately.
Amaris noticed Hanson’s gesture, feeling a strange draft on her legs and back. She walked quietly around the table, her arms folded, and leaned against the table. She looked at him expectantly, but didn’t say anything.
The pair whispered a very hushed conversation out of earshot of those closest to them until eventually the Commander turned back to the table. “Okay Major Wolf. You have the green light to proceed. Jump in, investigate and jump back. If you need anything while you are gone, you can send back word via Raptor,” the Commander ordered.
There was a moments silence until Wolf’s voice responded with a simple, “Wilco, sir.”
“Captain Graystone,” the Commander called out as he diverted his attention to the CAG. “I think it best if you take a Squadron and bolster the Achilles for this mission, on the off chance they need you. Falcon and Cleric can go with you too. It is likely the Cylons are long gone, but you can never be too careful.” The oldest Officer in the room instructed.
Alethea nodded. “Yes sir, I was thinking the same. I can have a squadron ready in minutes without taking away from the CAP or the alert fighters” She replied.
Falcon looked at Cleric “looks like we are off on another adventure in space. I guess my A1 steak will have to wait.” he said with a grin.
Cleric just shook his head at his ECO. “yep we better hurry before our ride leaves up.”
As soon as the Commander finished giving his orders, Captain Kovak picked up the phone on his side of the table and rang the hangar deck. Whereas Battlestars tended to have two hangar bays, the Achilles had one bay that spanned the width of the ship and connected the two flight pods. Once he heard the chime in his ear that indicated he was live, he spoke. “This is the XO. Prepare to receive a Viper Squadron. In addition, prepare a Raptor with our current coordinates so that it’ll be prepared for the possibility of an emergency jump back.”
He hung the phone up and looked across the table at Catherine again and allowed himself the hint of a smile. This was serious business, of course, but it would be the Achilles first test post-Holocaust and he found it amusing that its most senior officers would command it while drunk.
Catherine glanced at her very efficient XO and smiled. This was their first test under the new Command team and while she should have been proud of the chance to learn how her first mission as a commander, she couldn’t help feel that somewhere, a certain adversary of hers would be secretly hoping that she failed. She was determined not to give said woman any excuse to feel she was right. “As soon as we jump in, I want the Squadron’s in the air. I don’t fancy being caught with our pants down,” she instructed as she looked back to the DRADIS console.
Zach turned around to face the communications NCO. “Go ahead and relay the message.” he said with a smile. “Tell them to stay in their birds”. He did miss engineering, but at least he had interesting company in CIC and a challenge.
[Achilles Hangar Deck]
As promised within minutes the Demons launched and headed for the Achilles. Alethea could appreciate the irony of the first actual operation being on the Achilles again. As she approached the Achilles she made sure that her full squadron was flying in proper formation. Actual action was some of the best training one could have after all. Once given landing information she made the final approach. “Copy, I have the ball” She concluded while making the final landing and safely returning to the Achilles.
A deckhand rushed over to the CAG’s Viper, her hair in a messy bun, and spoke. “Captain, Actual wants our birds ready to launch immediately after we jump. You should stay in your birds and prepare to launch immediately.”
“Got it, Specialist. Inform Actual my birds are ready” Alethea replied.
Clerics Raptor landed shortly after the CAG’s Viper. They had also gotten the message to remain in there plane.
“Squadron reports ready, sir.” came the voice of the communications NCO.
Captain Kovak looked over at the tactical station. “Mr. Hawkins, do we have the jump coordinates?”
“Yes sir.” Came the tall, dark skinned man’s response. “The jump is plotted.”
“Very good.” Kovak responded. “Spool up our FTL drive and prepare the ship to jump. Helm, get us clear of the fleet.”
“Get me the Flagship,” the Major requested as she picked up her own telephone.
“Sir, I’ve got Achilles Actual on the line for you.” Lieutenant Byers announced from her position at the comms station near the rear of the large room.
Mitch lifted the telephone receiver and put it to his ear as he looked around the CIC which was alive with activity. “Actual here,” the Commander spoke into the handset. After a few seconds of silence on his end, he spoke again. “I expect a report in one hour, if not before,” the Commander spoke clearly. “Happy hunting, Major.” And with that, the Commander returned his handset to the holder.
“Major,” he called out, looking to Kilmartin, “Inform the CAP that we’re condensing the fleet and that we’ll launch an additional CAP to support. Colonel, have the fleet Commanders execute code-bravo procedures,” the man in charge commanded. Code-alpha ordered the ships of the fleet to take certain precautions and positions in the fleet in the event that Solaria was forced to jump away and leave Achilles behind. Code-bravo gave a different set of instructions and positions in the event that Achilles left the fleet and Solaria remained. He had devised the protocol over the last fifteen days but today was the first time to implement it.
Kilmartin picked up his telephone and contacted the CAP before contacting the flight deck to dispatch a second CAP. “Hangar Deck, CIC. Initiate code-bravo procedures. Launch secondary CAP,” he called out over the comm.
“Lieutenant Byers, get me the fleet commanders.” the XO said, her hand fidgeting for just a moment with her curly black ponytail. Amaris lifted the phone next to her and placed it on her ear, looking up at Byers and giving her a nod. “Captains of the Colonial Fleet, this is Solaria. You are hereby ordered to initiate code-bravo procedures immediately. Repeat, all vessels are ordered to adopt a code-bravo posture.”
She hung up the phone and leaned forward on the table, her fingers steepled there. As soon as they were relatively clear, she would go and change into her uniform, but for now, she was limited to what she had on. She watched the DRADIS display opposite the one Hanson was looking at. Slowly, the ships moved into formation. Using the small array of controls she had on the side of the command table, Amaris was keeping track of how long it took the fleet to get into position. At some point, it became obvious that one of the ships remained stationary. She narrowed her eyes in a confused gaze, her fingers remaining on the table. “Why the frak isn’t the Loki moving into position?” she asked aloud.
Hanson’s gaze was diverted at the question from the XO.
There was no response for several seconds. Eventually, Byers spoke up. “I received no confirmation of receipt for your message from the Loki, Colonel. Their low on crew and, occasionally, no one’s on their bridge.”
Amaris growled, folding her arms under her chest and making eye contact with the Commander. “Do these idiots have any idea how high the stakes are?” she asked him rhetorically, pushing in the code for the secondary CAP that was just launched to be put on the CIC’s speakers. “Combat Air Patrol, this is the XO. The Loki is unresponsive to communications. Get their attention immediately.” she said with a stern tone into the phone. Once she’d confirmed she was understood, she hung up again, shaking her head. “If the cylons had attacked, they’d be dead already and we’d be without a tylium ship.”
“Solaria; Catfish. Confirm orders please. Are you asking us to fire on the Loki?!” a female voice called out. Lieutenant Kendall Fuller, squadron leader for the Vampires, had a hint of shock in her voice.
Hanson picked up his telephone. “Catfish, this is Actual. Do NOT fire on anyone. Fly close formation and do whatever you can to get their attention without using weapons,” the Commander ordered.
Amaris made an annoyed expression as Catfish asked what she considered an absolutely ridiculous question. “If I meant shoot the damn ship, I would have frakking said so.” she responded under her breath. “Catfish, report. Do you see any activity yet?”
“Affirmative,” came the eventual response from the pilot. “Lights are on and someone’s home. Engines are firing,” the woman informed.
“Major Kilmartin,” the Commander beckoned, “inform the Loki that we are sending a Raptor to them and I want their CO over here in the next ten minutes. I’m nipping this issue in the bud now before it gets any worse. Colonel, dispatch a Raptor crew immediately.”
Kilmartin moved off and away from the Command table to use a nearby telephone to contact the Tylium ship.
“Sergeant Westbrooks.” Amaris said, turning to the huge marine standing by the port entrance into the CIC. As soon as she called his name, he looked to her, his eyes focused and revealing no inner-feelings. “Report to the senior pilot on duty for a Raptor escort and take two marines over to the Loki. Retrieve their Captain.” she said directly. “Just in case they’re considering not taking us seriously.”
Just as the mountain of a man nodded and started to step away, Amaris called his name again. “Sergeant.” she said, and he turned back. “Light touch. We want him to understand this is serious; we don’t want him to piss himself.”
Once the Sergeant was gone, she turned back to Hanson, seeming to chew on something for a few seconds. “Am I good cop or bad cop, sir?” Kendall asked, her eyes moving from Mitch’s face to the DRADIS readout which showed the Loki moving into its ordered position.
“This time, you play good cop,” the Commander suggested with a smile as he continued to observe the DRADIS.
“Ohh.” she said, her arms under her chest and the slightest smile on her lips. “How exotic. In that case, sir, I think it’s time to change back into my uniform.”
With the go ahead from the Commander and the Fighter Squadron successfully stowed away, ready for immediate launch upon their arrival, the Commander couldn’t help but smile as she gave her orders. “Gun batteries on standby. FTL, go!” She instructed.
“Gun batteries on standby, sir!” came the response from the weapons station.
“Beginning jump countdown.” Hawkins called out from the FTL station, having inserted his key into the system. “Jumping in 10….9….8….7….6….5….4….3….2….1… Jump!”