Posted on Fri Mar 16th, 2018 @ 9:17pm by Commander Mitchell Hanson & Major Jonathan Kilmartin & Major Catherine Wolf & Captain Thaddeus Scott & Lieutenant Colonel Amaris Kendall & Captain Alethea Graystone [Astraea] & Ensign Marcus Kivicus [Cleric] & Captain Zachary Kovak
Timeline: PCH-15 2045 Hours
With a stunning flash of light, the Patrolstar Achilles appeared at its destination. In the CIC, the commander of the ship picked up her telephone and called out over the communications system. “This is the Major. Launch all Vipers and SAR teams,” she declared before slamming the phone back in to its holder. “Helm, hold position on the edge of the debris area.
Zach said nothing, but kept his eyes on the DRADIS display above them. There was no expectation of difficulty, but now wasn’t the time to be lax. They were fully prepared for an encounter with the Cylons; for this, he was grateful.
[HANGAR BAY LIFT, PATROLSTAR ACHILLES]
Cleric throttled up as the lift stopped in the main hanger pod. “Falcon get three sensor buoys ready, keep your eyes peeled to the Dradis. I don't want to get blown out of the sky tonight.”
Cleric lifted off the flight deck and out the opening into space. He banked to form up with the CAG and her squadron.
“Cleric to Achilles I have sensor pods ready should I drop them on the edge of the Dradis field for added protection?” he asked over the comm.
The Vipers had already been positioned to be ready for immediate launch, as soon as the order came in the all clear was given and the Demons would once again take to the universe outside. “Demons, assume a protective position over the Raptor, wall formation” Alethea ordered over the radio channels.
“Achilles Actual, Astraea. We are in formation” She added, intended for the CIC.
“Astraea, Actual. Nice and slow. Collect and verify debris origins. We need to try and ascertain the true cause of her destruction and if she was alone. This could be the evidence we need to confirm we are on Galactica’s path,” the Major informed over the radio.
“Achilles Actual, Astraea. Got it.” Alethea replied, directing her Viper towards the debris. “Cleric, begin your analysis. We’ve got your back. Cowboy, Spitfire have your flights spread out to cover any tangos”
“Roger that Astraea. Moving in to position.” Cleric said in the Comm, “ok Falcon lets get this party started.” Flying towards the center position in the debris field.
“Ok Falcon lets take this nice and slow scanning sectors 1-4.” he said watching his screen as Falcon did his thing in the back.
Few minutes later “ready to move on Falcon?” Cleric asked him.
“Yep let's move on.” he said with a sigh, then looked at the DRADIS. “DRADIS is still clear.”
Cleric throttled up and moved to the next section of the search grid.
With the debris nearly collected and analysed, the Raptor team were concluding the final scans of their analysis when a sudden flash of light filled the area and alert tones rang out around the scout group, including in the CIC of the Achilles.
“DRADIS contact. Single Cylon Baseship. She’s launching raiders,” the Tactical officer in the CIC declared loudly.
“Bring us about! Gun batteries prepare to open fire,” the Major beckoned as she pointed to the Tactical officer. “Get the best firing solution you can and bring all weapons to bare on the enemy,” she commanded before spinning to look at Kovak. “Get Raptor Two to jump back to Solaria,” she added.
Nodding, Kovak lifted the phone to his ear. He was shaking from the adrenaline; He’d never been in CIC during combat before. His experience was in engineering. “Raptor Two, this is the XO. Cleric, get the frak back here on the double. We don’t need you getting blown up in the combat area.”
“Roger that Achilles heading for the bird barn.” he said throttling up and cutting hard to the right. “Falcon keep your eyes on that DRADIS!” Cleric said pushing the throttle all the way up.
Hanging up, Zach looked at DRADIS and rapped his fingers on the table before him. He furrowed his brow. The Achilles was a tough bird, but she couldn’t take on a Baseship by herself. He turned to Captain Scott, their new Officer of the Deck. “Have a Raptor sent to Solaria pronto letting them know we need assistance.
“On it, Captain,” the Officer of the Deck confirmed with a nod and moved away to get to work.
“Godsdammit” Alethea muttered as she saw the sudden light flashes and not much later the advancing Raiders. “All vipers, weapons hot. Approach the toasters, defend Achilles and the Raptor at all costs” She ordered as she turned her Viper around to face the incoming onslaught.
With the Raiders advancing on the enemy, the absence of any enemy fire was more than a little surprising. Even after the flash of Raptor Two departing, the Cylons maintained their relatively peaceful stance. Apart from the fact there were dozens of fighters approaching.
The Raiders approaching without any shooting definitely felt off. “Hold fire until they shoot first” Alethea said, not quite sure what the Cylons were planning but considering the odds not quite feeling like provoking them yet either. They could use every extra second to get the Raptor team out and the Achilles clear to jump. “Achilles Actual, Astraea. They’re not attacking, they’re not doing anything” She reported back to the Patrolstar.
“Astraea, Actual. Hold fire for now. Repeat, hold fire,” the voice of the ships commander called out. “All craft, return to the Achilles immediately.”
At that instant things suddenly changed as the Cylon raiders revealed their trademark red ‘eye’ systems in her Viper suddenly started acting up. Within moments she had lost weapons control and navigational control, as she turned around she saw the Vipers in her squadron were also apparently losing control but not the ones from the Achilles. “Achilles Actual, Astraea. All our systems are failing, I repeat all our systems are failing, the bloody toasters hacked us” Not quite sure if the message even got back to CIC with comms quite possibly being down as well.
“What the Frak?” Cleric said as he watched the vipers float uncontrolled he was a quarter of the way back to the Achilles. “There...oh Frak. FALCON see if you can jam their hack or whatever they are doing hurry the FRAK up.” He was trying to think of what he could do to help and not run and hide.
[CIC, PATROLSTAR ACHILLES]
In the CIC, Wolf was monitoring the DRADIS display when it suddenly became apparent that half of their fighter force was drifting, which immediately raised tension levels further. “What the hell? Arris was supposed to have got rid of the virus...”she mused as she glanced briefly at Kovak. “That is going to make the recall much harder,” she whispered as her mind raced and she thought through her next commands in her head, trying to pre-empt what the Commander would do. “Defensive batteries only. Create a perimeter around our fighters. All capable fighters protect our birds. We’re here until Solaria arrives,” she ordered with a deep breath. Gods she hoped she had made the right decision.
“Helm, bring us in close and when we’re in protective range of the vipers, turn our broadside to the enemy.” he ordered, knowing his command was also risky. There were two ways of handling this; one was hoping the Cylons would take out the vipers and buy Achilles some time; the other was protecting their people at all costs. He selected the second one and hoped Wolf agreed. “Once we’ve arrived, weapons, full.”
“If they decide to open fire, we’re done for…” Wolf whispered as her gaze settled on her XO. Everything, life and death, depended on the next course of action from the Cylons. If they chose to believe the actions of the Achilles were provocative, they would destroy her without question and there would be no chance of the Solaria arriving in time. “I pray the Gods are watching…” she quietly added as she looked back at the DRADIS.
“They are.” he said simply, his voice conveying his certainty of that fact, if nothing else. The hand that was placed on the command table subconsciously edged closer to hers but didn’t quite touch. This may be it for the Achilles.
[CIC, BATTLESTAR SOLARIA]
Hanson had busied himself looking over various reports from different department heads at the aft command table in the CIC near the situation display when the DRADIS console started beeping wildly.
“DRADIS contact. It’s Achilles Raptor 2-9,” Major Kilmartin called out from the nearby Tactical station he had been working at with the station occupant.
“=/=Solaria, Urgent. This is Raptor 2-9. Come in please,” a voice filled the airwaves before the Commander even had chance to react.
Hanson pointed at Kilmartin, authorizing him to make contact with the Raptor as he walked over to his natural command position.
“Go ahead Raptor 2-9. This is Solaria,” Kilmartin called out.
“=/=Achilles has been located by the Cylons. One Basestar and swarms of raiders heading their way when we jumped out. Some downed Vipers, potential lost pilots. Major Wolf requests immediate assistance,” the unknown voice echoed throughout the CIC as the men and women had stopped, listening to the information presented.
There was a clatter of belongings on the desktop and floor as Hanson swiped things off in anger. When was anything going to go their way? “Tell him to hold station with the fleet and that we’re jumping to assist,” Hanson ordered as he glared at Kilmartin before picking up his own telephone and pressing a button nearby. “=/=Set condition one and prepare to jump the ship,” he then slammed the receiver down into its place. “Activate Code-Delta Protocol. Dispatch emergency jump co-ordinates to the fleet and warn them to jump at the first sign of trouble,” he called out to no one in particular, just expecting his orders to be carried out.
Action stations blared over the speakers, rousing Colonel Kendall from that place between waking and sleep. She lay in her bed, curled up in a fetal position. As soon as it was called, she got up onto her feet and slipped into her uniform pants. As she buttoned the jacket, she was exiting into the corridor and, by the time she arrived in CIC, she was fully clothed.
“Is there a problem, sir?” she asked, moving some unbrushed hair out of her face.
“Achilles has been intercepted by the Cylons. We’re going,” he told, short and to the point.
“Well, why don’t they just jump back then?” she asked, furrowing her brow as her eyes darted around the CIC, watching to see that everyone was appropriately doing their jobs. She turned back to the Commander, awaiting his response, but just before he spoke, she noticed the two officers sitting at the helm station looking around idly. “Lieutenant Sloan, have we cleared the fleet at minimum jump distance?”
“No, ma’am.” came Sloan’s reply as his attention was drawn to the command table. The NCO that shared his station began to work quickly.
“Then get us there 30 seconds ago. Those orders could have been anticipated. Do it now.” she delivered the command directly, putting no energy into sparing his feelings. She watched as he joined his partner in action and she heard the familiar hum of the engines.
“Achilles has some downed Vipers and needs support, Colonel. We’re going to get our people back,” Hanson instructed with a nod and a raised voice, hoping to instil some urgency in to the crew.
“Downed vipers?” Amaris thought to herself, though she only delivered a short nod over crossed arms in response to what he’d said. Her hand moved for the phone in a practiced motion and she lifted it to her lips. “Alert vipers prepare to engage immediately.” was all she said, and she put the phone down with her voice still echoing through the halls. Her eyes darted to the helmsman asking for the all clear to jump. She was mightily annoyed with the man, and scheduled a CIC situation drill in her mind.
Eventually, the information they were waiting for arrived. “We’re clear of the fleet,” the helmsman informed.
“Then let's go and get our people,” the Commander spoke. “Jump!”
[ACHILLES SPHERE OF INFLUENCE]
Cleric was sticking close to the vipers ready to launch what countermeasures he had to protect his fellow pilots. “ANY LUCK WITH THE JAMMING?” he said to Falcon clearly pissed that they couldn’t do more.
A massive flash of light signaled the sudden arrival of the massive hulk of a Colonial military vessel, quickly followed by the movement of the ships flight pods and the launching of many Vipers.
“Thank the gods the Cavalry has arrived.” Cleric said to Falcon. “Cleric to Achilles what can I do to get our bent birds and pilots home?” he said over the comm a smile on his face as the wave of Solaria vipers zipped past him.
With the Solaria Vipers bearing down on their targets, ready to obliterate the Cylons at a moments notice, Solaria herself moved into such a position that she had a firing solution that protected Achilles but also enabled her to launch warheads if required. But, the Solaria’s appearance seemed to uncharacteristically spook the Cylons and the Raiders swiftly turned on their axis and bugged out, heading for home.
“All Vipers, this is Solaria Actual. Do not engage the enemy, repeat, do not engage,” the voice of the fleet commander called out in earnest, clearly keen to avoid any combat if at all possible. “S.A.R. birds are en-route to rescue pilots and Vipers. Maintain a perimeter until the Cylons show their true intentions.”
But, the stricken craft and their pilots, and those that had joined them upon the Battlestars arrival, had merely moments to wait. In a flash, as quickly as Solari arrived, the Baseship vanished.
Cleric moved to the edge of the field of broken birds and stared at his DRADIS. He was going to stay with his people until everyone was home or he was bingo fuel.
[CIC, BATTLESTAR SOLARIA]
“Tactical. Keep weapons hot. I don’t want to be caught with our pants around our ankles if the Cylons return. Major Kilmartin,” the Commander began barking his orders from the command table, “contact Achilles and inform them to jump back to the fleet immediately. We’ll retrieve all of the downed Vipers and join them as soon as possible,” the older man instructed with a glare at the Officer of the Deck.
Kilmartin nodded and then left the Tactical Officer to get to work on his orders.
“Any thoughts, Colonel?” Hanson asked quietly, looking across at his XO who had been uncharacteristically quiet.
“We have no idea how far this viper issue goes, sir.” Amaris responded. “It might not be wise to send more birds into the conflict until we find out what’s going on.”
“We have to,” Hanson responded. “Even if just to call their bluff. If we don’t, we’ll be at a serious weakness,” the Commander retorted.
“Which won’t make a difference if the next set of vipers we send out wind up dead in the water as well.” the Colonel responded, undisturbed by his response. “It’s clear someone has crippled us and we may not be in any shape to fight.”
“Well let’s just hope that they don’t return anytime soon,” the Commander added with a grim expression. The Colonel was probably right, but there was nothing they could do now.
[CIC, PATROLSTAR ACHILLES]
“Roger that Solaria. Achilles out,” Captain Thaddeus Scott put the phone nearest to him down in its receiver and turned to look at the Major. “We have orders to jump back to the fleet and maintain a high status of alert until Solaria returns,” the Captain informed.
“Great…” Wolf sighed. “Solaria swoops in and sorts out our mess. Just frakking great…” the Major spoke frustratedly.
“Why would we leave one battlestar to fight the Cylons when we have two?” Kovack asked, his brow furrowed. “We should be here during the conflict.”
“We can’t leave the fleet alone,” they are at risk every second both of our ships are away,” Major Wolf commented.
Zach rolled his eyes at the reality but gave a simple nod. He turned around to face the tactical officer. “Begin jump prep. We’re going back.” after he spoke, he turned to face Wolf again. They had certainly failed to prove themselves today; he offered a scowl. “We could have handled it better without these mysterious technical difficulties.”
Major Wolf nodded and let out a sigh.
Sabotage more like.