Mathias and Athena walked into CIC and Colonel Jayne nodded to them both. “Commander,” he said in a formal tone. “All vessels in the flotilla report FTL drives are ready to be spun up for execution of FTL Jump Sixteen,” and if there was a hint of excitement in his voice, it was certainly understandable.
“Very well, Colonel. On speaker,” he ordered as he lifted the phone. “All ships, this is Commander Lorne. We will jump to FTL in sequence at thirty second intervals—Scorpia
, followed by Anubis
, Leonis Pryde
, Umino Hana
—Colonel Foeswan, Aurora
has the backdoor. Is Bounty
secured on your deck?”
“She is, Scorpia
,” the wireless crackled.
“Very well. Start the clock—sequenced FTL jump begins in . . . one minute . . . MARK,” Mathias said.
“Spin up FTL Drives One and Two,” barked Colonel Jayne. “This is the XO,” he said, lifting his own phone, “Sound General Quarters throughout the ship. Set Condition One in all compartments. Prepare for FTL jump in forty-five seconds . . . MARK.”
The orders were relayed and Mathias stood there, his hands clasped behind his back. As the countdown passed fifteen second, he turned to Danis. “Take DRADIS off-line and secure for FTL.”
“DRADIS is now off-line and all electronics are secured for FTL,” she responded.
There was an electricity in the air as Major Tyche started his final countdown. “Five, four, three, two, one, JUMP!” he barked.
“Bring DRADIS on-line, Captain Danis,” Mathias ordered. “Digger, have Flight launch the CAP.”
“Aye, Sir, DRADIS is now . . . on-line,” she said, and then her head snapped up. “MULTIPLE CONTACTS! Reading transponder beacons from . . . Galactica
! Sir, they are spinning up FTL drives for a jump.” Her smile faded. “HOSTILE CONTACTS, ESTIMATE TWO DOZEN! Bearing 012 carom minus 44—Sir, they are between us and the Colonials.”
Hope didn’t wait for an order, “Flight, CIC, scramble the launch.”
Marius Tyche looked up from his console, “Confirm two Nova
-class Basestars, six Gemini
-class, four Wishbone
-class, and multiple support/auxiliary vessels—they are engaging each other. Correction, Raiders now inbound!”
“Guns, all weapons free—load nukes in the forward tubes and fire as you bear!” Mathias snapped. “Captain Danis, order the flotilla to recharge FTLs and jump to the secondary coordinates—we are the roadblock!”
Tom Jayne looked up. “Galactica
are now launching Vipers and are reversing course to engage.”
Mathias stared at him for a second as he realized that he had almost missed them—and then he nodded. “Raise Galactica
is hailing us.”
Actual—you picked a devil of a time to make an appearance!”
Actual. My civilian ships need,” he looked at Jayne who held up five fingers, “five minutes to recharge FTL.”
Actual—help is on the way. Do not engage Nova
- or Obelisk
-class ships or Scimitar
-class Raiders,” the wireless suddenly crackled in static. “But the older ships are fair game.” Adama’s voice came through again.
Actual,” Mathias said as he racked the phone. And he nodded at Digger.
“Flight, CIC. Do not, repeat do not, engage Nova
class vessels or Scimitar
-class Raiders; engage only Gemini
s, and Ellipse
“Vipers and Thunders away, Commander,” reported Digger from her station. “Moving to engage incoming Raiders.”
“Forward tubes are locked and loaded, Commander!” barked Captain Cook. “Target Wishbone
-class Basestar . . . locked!”
“Flush the tubes!” Mathias ordered and Scorpia shuddered.
is launching her Vipers,” Jayne reported, “Major Caldwell is moving to interpose her ship between the Raiders and the incoming civilians.”
“Maintain station alongside her, Major Tyche. Guns, expand point-defense envelope to cover Anubis
and the civvies as well as Scorpia
,” Mathias ordered. The old First War era Battlestar had never had a very substantial point-defense suite—and many of her guns had been removed when she was mothballed. She still had her eight twin main-guns on the upper surface, but barely half the number of lighter point-defense batteries she had carried in the War. And the civilian ships had no point defense at all.
“Vipers from Pegasus
are engaging the enemy,” Digger reported.
“Have Flight inform the pilots to watch their targets—I don’t want any reports of blue-on-blue incidents!”
shuddered as her heavy kinetic energy cannons began to fire in sequence, setting up a flak barrier against the Raiders—and a moment later, the guns of Anubis
joined the fray.
“Torpedo impact on Wishbone
Alpha!” snapped guns. “She’s breaking up!”
has emerged—she’s bringing her guns on-line and launching Vipers!” reported the red-headed slender Aquarian DRADIS and comm officer.
“Pick another and do it again!” Mathias ordered. And then he drew in a sharp breath as three Gemini
s and two of the larger and more powerful Wishbone
s broke off their engagement against the Nova
s—and began to advance on him.
“I think we got their attention, Sir,” whispered Jayne.
“You think?” answered Mathias.