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|Fan Fiction Other forums talk about Trek. We make it.|
|January 6 2013, 05:50 PM||#16|
Haven't read any Battlestar Galactica fan fiction before and I was pleasantly surprised how interesting and entertaining this was. It was well-paced and held my attention throughout, and I enjoyed the premise of this ship returning from a long mission expecting a warm welcome but faced with only the devastation from the Cylon attack.
The ship and crew visiting interesting places, speaking to interesting people and piecing together what happened was well-written and very entertaining.
|January 6 2013, 06:02 PM||#17|
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)
Eight of the small vessels were antiques from the Cylon War—the First Cylon War, Sidewinder thought to himself bitterly. Complete with the rear mounted cannon and gunner’s station. “I thought all of these were scrapped ages ago—they lack the EW capabilities of the Mk IV and their sensors are shorter ranged.” And the pilot from Scorpia frowned. “And what is up with the decorations?” he asked. Because instead of the brownish-green coloration of Fleet Raptors, these Raptors had been painted in garish multi-colored murals of slathering jaws and burning eyes and flames and scantily-clad angels fighting hordes of demonic creatures, half organic and half machine. It was . . . awe-inspiring, the detail and the imagination involved, the skill and passion that motivated the painters, but it had definitely not been what Sidewinder had expected.
Sam Caldwell chuckled. “They fly, Captain—they fly and they can jump, and if their ECM and sensors aren’t as good as Mk IVs, they are good enough for our movement. As for the art, well, that’s a long story.”
Sidewinder leaned back against the wing of the one of the flamboyant vessels and he crossed his arm. “Well, since Major Church’s teams are getting this old girl back into shape—we’ve got a few minutes.”
Sam nodded, and she sighed. She motioned with her head and walked Sidewinder back through the port hanger to where his Raptor had been parked; unlike modern ships, this vessel lacked elevators; after landing the hanger doors had closed and the ship had flooded the compartment with atmosphere—that would make it difficult on the pilots when the small fleet jumped back into Cyrannus, he thought. But then he spotted something, and he sucked in a deep breath. “What the . . .,” but he felt Sam’s hand on his arm and he cut off the expletive he had been about to shout.
“That’s our artist, Captain Greene,” she said pointing out the young man—maybe twenty-four or twenty-five—crouched down beside Sidewinder’s Raptor. Cans of paint and brushes at his feet; and one in his hand. He was busy bending over, wetting a brush that he held, and then quickly drawing on the hull.
“He’s painting my Raptor, Major,” Sidewinder said through clenched teeth, and she nodded.
“He does that,” she answered and then she frowned. “Daniel,” she called out, and the man looked up. “Don’t paint over the sensor heads—understand?”
The artist nodded and he went back to work. “He doesn’t talk,” she informed the pilot from Scorpia. "He hasn’t said a word in the past two years that I’ve been part of Jon’s organization. He isn’t mute, he just doesn’t talk,” and Sam turned to face the pilot, a stern look on her face. “And he isn’t ‘special’ either, the way people talk about the mentally underdeveloped. I’ve got the feeling he’s probably smarter than the rest of us—he’s just . . .,” she sighed. “He’s been hurt. And he only communicates now through his art.”
Sidewinder nodded; it didn’t take a genius to see that she liked the kid. And that calling him slow or dumb or dimwit would be a remarkably bad idea. “If he doesn’t talk, then how did you know his name?”
She smiled. “He was wearing a set of tags on a chain around his neck when he wandered into one of our safe-houses on Tauron—one step ahead of a very irate civilian upset at him for painting his wall. Well, hitting Daniel was the last mistake that ass ever made—and Jon had a soft-spot for the kid. He pitches right in and helps on whatever we need, but he won’t pick up a weapon—he doesn’t like it when we carry weapons.” She shrugged. “And if he isn’t helping us or sleeping, he’s painting. He paints everything—wait until you see the internal corridors.”
Sidewinder couldn’t help himself; he began to laugh, despite the sudden glare from the Major.
“What is so funny?”
The pilot tried to catch his breath, but he was laughing so hard that tears leaked from the corners of his eyes. At last, he held up one hand, and he nodded. “You’ve served with the Commander, apparently. I was just thinking of what HIS reaction would be if your Daniel started painting the halls on Scorpia.”
“Oh, Lords,” Sam chuckled with a grin. “I’ve got to make certain that Daniel doesn’t find his way over there—especially not with a can of paint. Mat would go completely off his rocker.”
“So what’s the story between you two?” Sidewinder asked—but the stern and cold stare of the Major made him raise his hands in surrender. “Okay, don’t want to talk about it; I’m good with that, Major. So, the kid have a last name?”
“Nope. Only thing on the tags was an engraving of the name Daniel; no last name, no address, no social identification number, nothing but his first name,” Sam said after a moment.
The ship’s PA system sounded, and a voice echoed in the hanger bay. “Skipper, the Colonials are back—two ships in tow,” and Sidewinder winced.
“Not exactly following form, are they?”
Sam shrugged. “You take what you can get—beggars can’t be choosers, Mister Greene. Join me in CIC for when the Commander calls?”
“Well, that depends on what kind of a mood he’s in; and since all of your people dance around why none of you want to go back there, I think I’ll make certain your Raptors are good to go, while YOU go talk to the Commander.”
Sam snorted. “I’ll be damned. A pilot that knows better than to charge blindly where the angels fear to tread.”
Last edited by MasterArminas; January 6 2013 at 06:56 PM.
|January 6 2013, 06:03 PM||#18|
Re: Angry Fanboy
|January 6 2013, 06:15 PM||#19|
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)
Colonial Marine Rifle Company Scorpia
Company Headquarters (2 officers, 5 enlisted): Captain (CO), Lieutenant (XO), First Sergeant (Company NCO), 2 Gunnery Sergeants (Company Quartermaster and Company Armorer), Corporal (Corpsman), Lance Corporal (Company Clerk)
Scout/Sniper Section (6 enlisted): 3 two-man scout/sniper teams (Gunnery Sergeant, Sergeant, Corporal, 3 Lance Corporal)
3 x Rifle Platoon (1 officer, 42 enlisted): Lieutenant, j.g. (CO), Gunnery Sergeant (Platoon NCO), 2 Lance Corporal (RTO operator, Corpsman) plus 3 Rifle Squad (Sergeant, 3 Corporal, 3 Lance Corporal, 6 Private)
Weapons Platoon (1 officer, 40 enlisted): Lieutenant, j.g. (CO), Gunnery Sergeant (Platoon NCO), Corporal (Forward Air Controller), 2 Lance Corporal (RTO operator, Corpsman) plus
Anti-Tank Section (9 enlisted): Sergeant (Section Leader) and 2 Assault Team (Corporal, Lance Corporal, 2 Privates, 2 man-portable AT rocket launchers)
Combat Engineer Section (9 enlisted): Sergeant (Section Leader) and 2 Combat Engineer Team (Corporal, Lance Corporal, 2 Privates)
Machine-gun Section (9 enlisted): Sergeant (Section Leader) and 2 MG Team (Corporal, Lance Corporal, 2 Privates, 2 medium MGs)
Mortar Section (9 enlisted): Sergeant (Section Leader) and 2 Mortar Team (Corporal, Lance Corporal, 2 Privates, 60mm mortar)
Total Personnel: 183 (6 officers, 177 enlisted)
LT (jg): 4
First Sergeant: 1
Gunnery Sergeant: 7
Lance Corporal: 47
Uniforms and equipment are basically as we see them, with the addition of anti-tank missiles, mortars, and machine-guns. One big change, however, is that every Marine is provided with a sealed combat uniform and helmet like those of the Viper and Raptor pilots (only in either basic black or camo). The reason? If you fight in space, you need to be able to survive decompression.
Also, the Marine company has four Landrams stored aboard Scorpia, which can be deployed in the big Mk II Shuttles. These provide transport and additional firepower when required.
|January 6 2013, 09:48 PM||#21|
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)
“ATTENTION ON DECK!” barked the executive officer, and every man and woman present snapped to attention as Mathias stopped in his tracks. He nodded, and his lips quivered. And without another word he walked over the central console and lifted the phone.
“General broadcast, all ships, and 1MC, if you please, Colonel Jayne,” he said.
The XO flipped a switch and nodded.
“This is the Commander. You have all been briefed on our objectives—by your division commanders, your deck commanders, your immediate supervisors. You know what is at stake here today, for all of us—for all of humanity. Look to your comrades in the coming minutes, my ship-mates, look to the men and women beside you with whom you have toiled, sweated, and bled for the past two years time. They depend today on you. Their lives depend on your actions—and more than their lives, the lives of those who have survived on the Colonies and who fight against the Cylon occupation.”
“You know why we are going back—you know the reasons we are undertaking this operation. It is not for vengeance, or retribution, or to wrack red ruin upon the Cylons who have despoiled our worlds and murdered billions in their cold mechanical way. We are going into harm’s way, not to extract our revenge, but to save the lives of those civilian we have sworn to protect. That does not mean we are not going to take our revenge on the toasters, comrades!” Mathias said with a chuckle. “We are going to teach these monsters what it means to pick a fight with the human race—we are going to show them the error of their ways, and we are going to succeed,” the levity faded from his voice. “Failure is NOT an option!” he thundered, his voice echoing across every deck of the ship, and aboard the civilian ships waiting alongside.
“Know this—that we will defend the civilians. We will stand between them and death, and we will pour our fire into any Cylon vessels that dare to challenge us. Some of us will not live through this fight,” and his voice lowered to almost a whisper. “There will be empty racks come the ‘morrow, comrades. Empty places at our mess, and in our hearts. But as a wise man once told our fathers in the days after the Twelve Tribes left behind Kobol, ‘It matters little how we die, so long as we die better men than we imagined we could be—and no worse men than we feared we would become.’ Aboard this ship, aboard the Battlestar Scorpia, each and every one of you have shown me that you are the better man. Shown that you are able to set aside your base desires to offer yourself as a living sacrifice, a sacrifice that shields our people from harm.”
“We will mourn those who are lost in this fight—but we will never say their loss was in vain. Never, comrades. For today, TODAY! We go into battle not for the cause of loot; not out of anger and hatred, not out of fear of punishment; TODAY, we will battle to save those who cannot fight for themselves. TODAY, we strike hard and we strike fast, and we will snatch away from the Cylons those who have all but lost hope. TODAY, ship-mates, we will restore unto them that hope.”
Mathias paused and he looked into the eyes of every man and woman present in the CIC. He nodded and raised the phone again.
“This is your Commander speaking. Sound General Quarters throughout the ship. Set Condition One in all compartments.”
Tom picked up his own phone. “This is the XO. Sound General Quarters throughout the ship. Set Condition One in all compartments.”
Mathias nodded. “Spin up FTL drives One and Two for faster-than-light jump; exit coordinates Caprica orbit.”
“This is the XO. Spin up FTL drives One and Two for faster-than-light jump; exit coordinates Caprica orbit,” the XO repeated.
“Weapons. Open outer doors on missile silos One and Six. Program MIRVs for saturation bombardment—target Delphi. Set nuclear warheads for maximum yield. Release of nuclear weapons has been authorized.”
And once again, Tom repeated the orders. “Weapons, this the XO. Open outer doors on missile silos One and Six. Program MIRVs for saturation bombardment—target Delphi. Set nuclear warheads for maximum yield. Release of nuclear weapons has been authorized and confirmed.”
Throughout the ship, men and women raced to make their final preparations as the klaxons sounded and the alert lights flashed. Major Jon Banacek, call-sign Rambler, sat in the cockpit of his Viper, already ensconced in the launch tube. “I want the rest of the Reds out as quickly as you can load them, Chief,” he said.
Chief Sinclair nodded and gave a thumbs up—he already had the rest of Red Squadron in line behind the tubes, the blast deflectors raised.
On the deck of each flight pod, twenty more Vipers, four Raptors, and two Shuttles were spotted for a full-deck launch. Captain Hope Fairchild, call-sign Digger, tightened the glove on her right hand and then laid it back on the stick. “Let’s get this right, Blues. Keep your intervals until we clear Scorpia completely. The whole Air Group is going to be out there; watch yourselves and check your fire.”
The massive twin kinetic energy weapons on the back and flanks of the Battlestar unlocked and swiveled as the gunners made certain that their mounts were in the green. Keys were turned and live munitions loaded, the hoppers full and waiting for a target.
Deep within the armored bow, a team of men manhandled a massive anti-ship missile, sliding it deep within one of the six launchers fixed forward. As the tail fins entered the tube, the Chief stepped forward and removed the safety, before shutting the inner hatch and locking it down—the lights on the fire control platform went green.
And on every deck, in every compartment, men and women stood by, ready to respond to the first cries for help from the damage that was sure to soon be inflicted upon them.
“FTL Drives One and Two are now charged, coordinates set,” reported Major Marius Tyche.
“Anubis Actual, Scorpia Actual,” Mathias said into the phone.
“Go Scorpia Actual,” her voice came over the wireless.
Mathias took a breath. “Stand by to jump upon receiving our Raptor with the orders to proceed. Scorpia will clear you a path.”
“Copy, Scorpia Actual; good hunting.”
“This is the Commander. I have no doubts about whether or not this ship and this crew can accomplish this mission. None. Because I know, that no matter how you have done in the past, that right now, at this moment, TODAY. Today, comrades, THIS shall be your finest hour. JUMP!” he barked.
Last edited by MasterArminas; January 6 2013 at 10:26 PM.
|January 6 2013, 10:39 PM||#23|
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)
Valkyrie image bow
See those six black dots, three each to the right and left of her nose? I said to myself, Arminas, damn, if those don't look like old fashioned torpedo tubes. So, that's what they are. Not wet-navy torps, of course, but horizontal missile launchers for anti-ship missiles. Her dorsal silos carry the big MIRV ground attack missiles, but those front tubes can be reloaded.
Ah, I can feel the smiles already. Yep, that gives her one great big fracking punch to forward . . . enough to rival a Mercury-class and that is if she doesn't launch nuclear-tipped missiles from those tubes.
Anyway, that is why the story had that brief scene in the missile loading bay; it was for those tubes.
|January 7 2013, 12:33 AM||#24|
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)
So the Cylons were surprised when Scorpia emerged from FTL in the face of no fewer than three Basestars that orbited Caprica. Surprised . . . and gleeful. From the Raiders hungry to prove their abilities, to the artificially limited Centurions, to the humanoid models upon the bridge, there was both surprise and glee. Scores, hundreds, of Raiders undocked and set course for the hapless Battlestar so alone and outgunned.
They did not fear for their lives—they were immortal, after all. Kill this body and the Cylon would reawaken in a new body; their memories, their personalities untouched, unaltered, unchanging by the experience. Fear was an emotion that the Cylons did not, as a species, know. Yet.
“Multiple contacts—three Basestars, six hundred plus Raiders, inbound,” sang out Danis from the DRADIS console.
“Scramble the launch,” Mathias ordered. "When the fighters are away, roll ship five-zero degrees port and turn into them, Major Tyche.”
“Aye, aye, Sir,” the operations officer answered. “Five-zero degrees roll to port, turning into the hostiles.”
“Flight Operations reports all fighters away, Commander,” Tom added.
“Very good. Mister Cook, launch Hades missiles One and Six for airburst detonation—maximum saturation of the target.”
“Missiles away,” the tactical officer answered.
“Bow on, our defenses are weakest,” Tom whispered.
“And our offense the strongest,” Mathias replied. “Target nearest Basestar and flush the forward tubes.”
“Aye, aye, Sir; target Basestar Alpha is locked . . . torpedoes away,” Paul Cook answered as the Battlestar shuddered, “running hot, straight, and true.”
“Colonel Jayne, hold us at this position; let the enemy come to us. All batteries prepare for defensive fire.”
“Weapons, XO. You are free for defensive fire. Conn, hold the ship at these coordinates.”
“Aye, aye, Sir,” the petty officer manning the conn answered. “Station-keeping at these coordinates.”
The six very large, very powerful anti-ship missiles (what the Battlestar crew called torpedoes) streaked towards the Cylons, even as their crews struggled to reload the now empty tubes behind their exhaust gasses. Of course, it had been expected; the Cylons knew what the Colonial weapons were capable of—what this class of ship was capable of. But knowing and experiencing were two very different things. So far in this war, the Cylons had not fought a fully-crewed modern Battlestar with her systems completely intact, free from any Cylon software tampering. And they expected the Colonial to use live warheads on all six warshots.
But Mathias didn’t. The lead four torpedoes, echeloned in waves of two each slightly in advance of the next, carried no warheads. Instead of the massive explosive charge—or the nuclear munitions available—the first four carried nothing other than powerful DRADIS jammers and autonomous decoys and electronic warfare systems designed to blind their opponents and degrade their counter-missile fire.
Not even when facing Galactica and Pegasus had the Cylons experienced this—since those two designs didn’t rely on expensive and very bulky torpedoes (and their shallow magazines), but instead on their heavy caliber gun turrets.
The Cylon point defense went wide, the four lead torpedoes diverting fire from the actual warshots behind them, generating misses and—at the end—absorbing impacts meant for the others with their own metal bodies. The two surviving torpedoes slashed untouched through the majority of the Basestars defensive fire—one, however, was shot down just a few kilometers short of the target. The other went home and it struck true. And the nuclear warhead it packed tore the leading Basestar apart.
“He’s on my six! I can’t shake him!” came the panicked cry from Sweets as the Viper pilot jinked and jerked—but the Raider behind him stayed glued to his target, his guns spitting fire.
“BREAK RIGHT, SWEETS!” Digger shouted as she swooped down on the two from the side, her guns catching the raider with impacts from wing-tip to wing-tip and it exploded. “Fall in with me and Firefly"—Sweets own wingman had been shot down earlier in the tremendous furball.
“Roger that, Dig-GEEERRRR!” the Viper pilot screamed as yet another Raider tore past, his guns ripping through the cockpit—shattering it and the pilot inside.
“Frack,” whispered Digger. “Ten to one odds are bit much,” she whispered, the sweat rolling off her face as her cannons shook the Viper again and another explosion momentarily illuminated space. “Scorpia, Digger—four toasters inbound on the starboard engines—intercepting.”
“Roger, Digger. Watch the cross-fire.”
“Along with everything else, Scorpia,” she snarled.
“Damn it,” her wingman said. “Two more behind us, Digger.”
“Frack me,” she whispered. “Split-S and try to get them off my tail—I’m staying on the attack run, Firefly.”
“Target-rich environment, my ass,” Firefly said in a sour voice, “targets don’t fracking shoot back,” she broadcast as her Viper peeled up, reversed thrust, and dropped in behind the two Raiders. “EAT THIS!” she snarled as her guns hammered one, snapping off one of the long thin wings and holing the head of the Cylon war-machine. “Almost there,” she chanted, “damn this one is slippery, Digger.”
“Tell me about it,” the commander of the Blues answered as she first short controlled bursts into the first, second, and then third of the Cylons bearing down on the engines. But the fourth evaded her fire and instead of firing his own weapons he kamikazed directly into the Number Three engine housing. Digger cursed and she pulled up in a steep climb and her threat receiver began beeping.
“Oh,” Firefly said as the raider exploded and the beeping stopped, “they stop evading when they get a lock—how about we do that again?”
“Sure thing Firefly—you get to be the target this time,” Digger snapped.
“On second thought, we are doing just fine like we are.”
Unnoticed in the chaos of the fight, two Hades missiles sped downward into the atmosphere—at a pre-calculated altitude, the casings surrounding the individual warheads were jettisoned with small explosive charges and eight 50-megaton warheads twisted their fins to home in on their own individual targets. Then, as one, they detonated.
Scorpia lurched to one side as something heavy struck her astern. “Direct hit on Engine Three—armor held, drive still operational!”
Mathias nodded, but before he could answer, Captain Cook shouted from tactical.
“MULTIPLE NUCLEAR DETONATIONS OVER DELPHI!”
The Commander locked his eyes on the DRADIS and he prayed—he prayed like he had never prayed before. Be right, he asked the Gods. Be right.
And the serried ranks of the Cylons suddenly broke apart, their movement erratic and uncontrolled—the Basestars tumbed off-course and then jumped away just ahead of the second volley of incoming torpedoes. Even as cheers erupted on the bridge, Mathias slammed down his fist on the console. “Dispatch the Raptor to the rendezvous!” he barked. “Colonel Jayne, Scorpia will advance—maximum fire rate on all batteries. Let’s relieve the pressure on our pilots.”
“What the frack happened?” bellowed One as he ran into the control room of the command Basestar—and then he stopped as he heard the god-awful wail coming from the Hybrid, and saw his fellow Cylons that had been directing the ship sitting on the floor holding their heads in agony. He turned to the Centurion, but it was curled up in a ball on the ground emitting high-pitched screams of its own.
More Cylons rushed onto the command deck and a Five pushed his hands into the interface—and immediately jerked them out. “Pain—the ship is in horrible pain.”
“You’re a machine,” One shouted. “Ignore the pain and destroy that Battlestar,” and that is when the Hybrid triggered an FTL jump.
“Fear, terror, burning, light bright beyond the sun, winged angel in the sky, strikes us down with sword of fire, angel of death has come, has come, angel of death end of line,” the Hybrid babbled incoherently.
“What the frack?” One whispered. “WHAT HAPPENED!” he bellowed at his counter-part.
“Don’t shout, Brother,” the other One said as he tried to stand and was caught by his fellows when his legs failed him. “It was as if every neuron in my head fired at once—and that was only because I was in the interface. The Centurions and Raiders and the Hybrids—they are networked—they all felt it.”
“Felt what?” the One asked again.
“Death. True death,” One answered.
“You are making no sense, Brother.”
One looked up at himself and scowled. “Stick your hands in there yourself and see what I mean. That Battlestar, oh that damned Battlestar—she just nuked Delphi and our capital that our Brothers and Sisters insisted we set up down there.”
“We can rebuild, Brother, if we deem it necessary.”
“Of course we can brother, but the death of so many of us at the same moment has jammed the thoughts of our mechanical and half-mechanical brethren. They are in shock—and they need time to recover.”
One turned to Eight. “Take a Raptor and bring in other Basestars—we must destroy the Colonial ship.”
“Not that simple, Brother,” said One. “All of the Hybrids are linked—no matter how far away they are. Until we calm them down, we are going nowhere. At least the idiot-savant jumped us out before she really began losing it.” And the maddening drone of her voice and cries still filled the compartment of the Basestar that the Cylons used as a command center.
“Then we will do it manually,” One answered.
“God, no,” whispered a Six as she observed the instruments.
“What NOW?” snarled One.
“The Resurrection Ship—it cannot process this load, not all at once.”
One looked truly concerned now, and alarm appeared on his face. “That’s impossible, that ship can store up to ten thousand of us every second in her memory banks until a body becomes available!”
“One point three million of us just died, One! At the same exact fracking instant!” Six snapped back. “Oh no, no, she can't; she’s dumping the Resurrection Buffer emptying her memory.”
“End of line, true death, darkness unending, God cries as his angel seeks vengeance and salvation. Death. Death. Death. Death. Death. Death,” the Hybrid just kept repeating that word as she felt the last seconds of each and every one of the Cylons who had just perished.
“For frack’s sake shut her off, already!” One barked. “The Hybrid aboard the Resurrection Ship cannot dump the Buffer—she can’t, she’s not programmed for that! And it is a different system!”
“She just did it,” said Three in a bleak and shocked voice. “Their downloads are . . . gone. All of them except . . . wait, she still has the first ten thousand received she received in memory and is starting to download their memories into blank shells. The rest of the Raiders, the Centurions, our brothers and sisters; their uniqueness has been lost,” she finished with a tear.
“There has to be a way to get this ship back into the fight,” whispered One.
“Without Resurrection, One?” asked Two. "A single nuclear missile slipping through our defenses and you are forever dead—we must first restore the Resurrection Ship—then we can return to the fight.”
Four and Six glanced at each other, and then both sighed. “Three hours,” they said in union.
“THEY WILL BE GONE BY THEN!”
“Would you rather be gone yourself—forever, Brother?” asked the injured One in a groan of pain. And fear. Actual, primal, fear had entered the Cylon race for the first time.
Last edited by MasterArminas; January 7 2013 at 03:50 AM.
|January 7 2013, 04:30 AM||#25|
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)
“Finally,” said One as he threw his hands up into the air. “What triggered this?” he asked.
Three and Five exchanged a look and then Five bowed slightly. Three turned to One, “The details are technical in nature and will take too long to explain. However, there is good news—we have run simulations and do not believe that this can be duplicated. The key to the Colonials managing to overload our networks was in the massive number of simultaneous casualties—we have found references to some studies on the possibility of such by the Fleet after the First War,” she said.
“How massive? We know that the destruction of a single Basestar is not enough? Two? Three?” asked the One.
“No. A truly massive number of Cylons must be affected—and at the virtually the same moment. Our simulation seems to indicate the lower range where this neural cascade can be triggered is around a quarter of a million Cylons—fifty Basestars with normal complements. Even better, for our purposes, the only human-form Cylons affected directly by this were those interfaced with the ship itself. We, of course, are still vulnerable if the Resurrection Ship is overloaded again—and that problem is not one we anticipated. Ten thousand is the largest number of simultaneous downloads that the Buffer can handle at this point in time.”
One breathed a sigh of relief, along with the other models. “That has already been corrected—I have added coding to ensure that human-form Cylons such as ourselves have priority if this happens again,” he paused. “And this time, we will take no chances. All Basestars are to load nuclear ordnance to ensure that this Battlestar is eliminated.”
“We have enough for only four or five full salvoes, One,” cautioned Four. “Our stockpiles were depleted in the attack, and production has not been a priority.”
“Change the priorities—I want every Basestar armed with nuclear munitions from now on,” One answered. Although several of the Cylons looked away, none disagreed. “Did our dear sisters Boomer and Caprica Six survive the download?” he asked.
“No,” said Two. “They were both lost to us.”
“Well, that is a pity,” One said in a voice that bordered on sarcastic—but since that was his normal voice none questioned it. “I want three Basestars at every world in the Colonies—perhaps we did not take too long after all,” One mused as the red lights on the streaming fountain of the control system shifted to green. “Ah, we are good. JUMP!” he commanded the Hybrid—and the Hybrid complied.
It turned out, however, that they were indeed too late to catch the Colonials.
Last edited by MasterArminas; January 7 2013 at 04:56 AM.
|January 7 2013, 06:19 AM||#26|
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)
The Centurion twisted his torso, just as a three-round burst struck him; unfortunately, the light bullets did little to penetrate his armor. Leaving his first target behind, the Cylon took one step, firing both arm-mounted weapons as he advanced. He took a second step. And on the third step he triggered the IED that Sam had planted. A shower of soil and parts of the Centurion came raining down around Sam. He waited until all the debris quit falling and he carefully looked up—the Centurion was in many small pieces; no way he was still operational. But if Sam had learned one thing over the past seven months, it was that if there was one Centurion, there were others.
Still, the woods were still so he took his chance and sprinted up the hill towards his fellow members of the Resistance. And sure enough, a line of bullets gouged divots out of the hillside right behind his steps. Of course, that was what his anti-Centurion team had been waiting for—from a hide further up the slope, the gunner with the long hollow tube over his shoulder laid the sights on the Cylon and elevated the weapon adjusting for range. Over eighty years old, this weapon was an antique from a military museum dating back before the first Cylon was even a dream. But it still worked, and the museum had a box of rockets—live rockets designed just for it.
He pulled the trigger, and the rocket streaked away with a WHOOSH, leaving behind a thick smoke trail. He missed the Centurion of course—but the Gods were with him because he hit a tree and the falling tree then crashed atop of the Cylon.
Sam paused at the top of the slope after he got behind the cover of a rock—a BIG rock. And he caught his breath. “Nice of you to wait so long,” he said finally.
“Come on, pyramid-man; you must be smoking too much. Back in the day, you could have made it to real cover before that chrome-dome had you pinned in his sights—maybe we need to start you on an exercise regime,” his second-in-command said with a smile.
Sam’s only answer was a very vulgar hand gesture, but he nodded his head. “Time to go,” he said—and then a tremendous flash of light the south erupted in the corner of Sam’s vision. He hit the ground—Caprica, occupied Caprica—had been a survival of the fittest training ground for the Resistance. The dumb ones and slow ones were already dead.
The ground beneath them literally HEAVED as waves—actual waves—rolled through the forest. The CRACK of the explosions—even miles away—was deafening, and Sam’s jaws dropped as he saw eight mushroom clouds rise through the tree tops.
Delphi! That was Delphi! Those damn Cylons—but then he stopped. Why would the Cylons nuke their own city?
And then another point of light erupted—far far away—and this one was high in the sky. Sam grinned, he grinned and he jumped and he shouted. “I’ll be damned! She came back! She came back!”
He stopped—their temporary camp was three kilometers away. “Let’s go. We need to get them ready to move!” he shouted. Throwing caution to the wind, they ran through the woods, and the base camp was already celebrating, as the wireless broadcast.
“This is the Colonial Fleet. We have engaged the Cylons and driven off their ships—we have also disrupted their command and control in the city of Delphi,” Sam shook his head. Disrupted, yeah, that was one word for it. “Shuttles and Raptors are en route to take the survivors to safety. Set up a homing beacon on any radio transmitter—frequency 222.”
Then the message repeated. “Sam,” one of the fighters said. “I’ve got ours broadcasting, already.”
The former pyramid player frowned—could it all be a Cylon trick? And then two Vipers streaked by low overhead. Wagging their wings in passing.
“Attention survivors,” the wireless broadcast. “Transport is on the way—request your number.”
“Damn glad to see you, Galactica!” Sam shouted into the transmitter. “Tell Starbuck, I never doubted her.”
“Negative on Galactica, survivors—this operation is being handled by Battlestar Scorpia. Repeat, we need to know how many of you are down there.”
“About a hundred,” Sam said woodenly as the Vipers circled—close enough that he could make out the pilots. Human pilots, not Centurions and not any of the skin-jobs he had ever laid eyes upon.
“Copy that survivors—one zero zero passengers for transport. Shuttle will land in three minutes. Be ready to move, we don’t have all day.”
Sam just stood there, holding the wireless as the men and women he had led quickly gathered their things. Then he felt a hand on his arm. “Are you well, Sam?” Brother Cavil asked. “This is a good day, son. A good day.”
“I’m fine, Brother. Thank you for asking—can you help with the wounded,” Sam said as he snapped back to the present.
“Certainly. For it is written that we get by with the help of our friends. So say we all,” said Cavil with a sardonic smile on his face.
“So say we all,” Sam laughed. “And wasn’t that a song?”
“I didn’t say where it was written, Sam,” Brother Cavil said with a wink. “Come, we must prepare to go to our new home—the Battlestar Scorpia.”
Last edited by MasterArminas; January 7 2013 at 06:52 AM.
|January 7 2013, 08:37 PM||#27|
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)
The unexpected message had come over the wireless to his Resistance group twenty minutes ago . . . causing confusion and havoc among the people he viewed as his personal responsibility to keep safe. Not an easy task on occupied Virgon, to be sure. Especially after the major cities have been leveled from space with nuclear strikes—just finding enough anti-radiation doses had been a major concern. And that supply was running low; when it finally ran out, all of his people would die. HIS people, not the Prime Ministers, not the Ministers of Parliament, not the Colonial Quorum. All of those were dead, leaving only Hamish and the handful of guards that had been detailed to ensure the safety of the youngest son of Her Majesty the Queen.
Mum was dead now—she had died when Petrus Palace took a direct hit from the Cylon bombardment that devastated the planetary capital Boskirk. Along with his two brothers and his sister, his nephews and nieces, his aunts, uncles, and cousins . . . his friends. All dead, all gone. The only thing that Hamish Sean Patrick Reynolds, Prince of Virgon, had that remained was his duty to his people—and from that perspective, the transmission on the wireless had been a godsend. If it wasn’t a Cylon trap.
His lips twisted slightly, with his teeth barely showing—if it was a trap, well, that played both ways. The Cylons had to know—if it was the Cylons—that letting him select their landing spot was a foolish idea. Fast work by his people had prepped this landing ground, but Hamish prayed to Hestia that those preps weren’t needed.
A whine overhead caught his attention as the ramp continued to lower, and his heart sank. If that was Raiders, then . . . well, all hope was gone. At least they could take a few more of the damned Cylons with them. But then he spotted the source of the whine—a flight of four Vipers—VIPERS—tore across the sky!
He turned his attention back to the shuttle as the ramp hit the soil and a group of black-clad armed men deployed. Not the metal Centurions, and his heart skipped a beat as he swallowed. But . . . he had to be sure.
“HALT!” he whispered into his boom microphone, and from the three hidden speakers, his amplified voice echoed across the ground. “Remove your helmets,” he ordered.
The man in advance of the others raised one hand and he looked at the thick woods—but Hamish and his people were well camouflaged. “Colonial Marines!” the man yelled back in a surprisingly high-pitched voice.
“Sure you are,” Hamish whispered, the speakers repeating his voice. “So take off the fracking helmets or this shit is going to get real,” he said, dropping into the vulgar patois common to the men and women of the lower classes who made up the majority of the survivors in his group.
The Marines below were on edge, now—caught in the open with only the open maw of the shuttle for cover, their potentially hostile opponents hidden in the woods. Still, they crouched down and kept their weapons at the ready. Their point man, though, he released his rifle, secured to his load-bearing gear by a clipped sling, and raised his hands. And then he, no SHE—damn, Hamish thought, with a sudden grin at the lovely sight of the woman’s face below. And it wasn’t the face of a skin-job he had ever before seen.
“Okay, my helmet is off,” she yelled. “Lieutenant Tamara Mayne, Colonial Marines! We’re here to rescue you!”
“And the rest of them!” Hamish just had to be sure.
“Oh, frack this,” muttered Tamara. “Helmets off, Marines,” she ordered loudly. “What next? You want us to strip?”
“That isn’t a bad idea, Your Majesty,” drawled Colour Sergeant Adrian Haast, formerly of the Royal Virgon Fusiliers—technically a Colonial Army Regiment, but staffed only with Virgon volunteers and charged with the defense of the Royal Family. “If the rest of her matches the face, might well be worth taking a look.”
Hamish chuckled. “No, just the helmets, Leftenant Mayne,” he answered, then covered the boom mike with one hand, “and you be quiet over there, Colour Sergeant.”
“Sir,” the body-guard answered briskly.
One by one, the Marines removed their helmets and Hamish nodded. “Ever seen any of them among the skin-jobs—or collaborators, Colour Sergeant?”
“No, sir—and they do like using multiple copies of the same skin-job; no two of those Marines are the same.”
“Quite right, Colour Sergeant,” Hamish answered. He safed the weapon and then stood, and he chuckled as the Colour Sergeant broke in a stream of cursing that would have scarred a street-walker in Hadrian.
“I do believe that you are indeed the Marines, Leftenant,” he said, while walking forward—his men and women slowly following behind him, but with their weapons still at the ready.
“Sir,” she said with a nod of her head. “I don’t see how you could mistake us for Cylons, but we don’t have a lot of time. How many people do you have needing transport?”
“Just forty-four here, but I have got ten times that back at my base camp. Colour Sergeant Haast!” he yelled. And the Virgon soldier/body-guard/batman of His Majesty the Prince stood, finally setting his own weapon to safe. “Get with the flight officer of this vessel and hand over the coordinates to Home Base—you and your lads took their own sweet time, lass. We were beginning to get a trifle concerned that you might be too late to the party,” Hamish said with a crooked smile.
Mayne nodded. “We were out-of-town on a special assignment—just returned today to find this,” she said, waving her hand around her. And that, along with what she had said earlier suddenly registered with Hamish, and he sucked in a deep breath.
“Leftenant, I think you need to let me use your wireless—it is imperative that I speak with your Commander immediately.”
“Can I tell him who is calling?”
The Virgon drew himself upright and patted his rifle. “Reserve Fleet Captain Hamish Sean Patrick Reynolds, Lord Malcolm the Fifteenth of that Name, Ninth Earl of Aragon, Prince of the House of Petrus, Fourth in Line of Ascension to the Throne of Virgon,” he recited with a bow as he held out one hand, which the shocked marine took; he then turned it to present the back of her hand and kissed it lightly, “at your service, madame," but then his smile faded. "And I regret to say, quite possibly King of Virgon, should none of those closer to the throne have survived the Cylon attack and occupation. Now about that wireless, Leftenant?"
Last edited by MasterArminas; January 7 2013 at 08:48 PM.
|January 7 2013, 09:30 PM||#28|
Location: Lexington, KY
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)
|January 7 2013, 11:04 PM||#29|
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)
So far, they hadn’t come back—but there were reports that Centurions on the ground were becoming more active. They were holding back, avoiding contact, but they were no longer crippled by the Delphi Strike. He winced as he looked at the Flight Board over the shoulder of Colonel Jayne. Nine—NINE—of his pilots and their Vipers had been lost. And while he knew intellectually that was lower than he could have reasonably expected, it was still fifteen percent of his entire complement. Nine Vipers that were destroyed, nine irreplaceable pilots lost forever.
And despite that, Scorpia had been incredibly lucky with the limited damage suffered. Her armor had held despite several missile and Raider impacts; albeit at the cost of nearly 5% of her total magazine capacity for the guns. She still had four Hades space-to-surface missiles left (and their thirty-two nuclear warheads), but just twenty-four of Thunderbolt torpedoes—and just six of those were armed with atomic payloads.
But they had accomplished the impossible. Three hundred and ninety-two survivors from Caprica, five hundred and eleven from Virgon, eight hundred and forty-seven from Tauron had all been contacted and packed aboard the Bounty, Leonis Pryde, Scylla, and Umino Hana—and they still had room for more, even carrying the six hundred and twenty men and women from Charon. He had ordered the small flotilla under his command—Fleet being too grandiose a word—to spread out and quickly search the remaining Colonies. It was a risk, and Mathias knew it. But he had to make certain that he had retrieved every single person it was possible to save. Two thousand three hundred and seventy souls had been added to the fourteen hundred and ninety-four officers and men aboard Scorpia—Mathias winced, fourteen hundred and eight-five, now—and the one hundred and eleven members of the scientific research team. He knew that time was running out, and that three thousand nine hundred and sixty-six survivors (including his own crew) were a miracle; however, he still had the space for nearly fourteen hundred more, so he wasn’t leaving. Not yet.
And this latest news—from the Virgon Prince and the Caprican Resistance and the other survivors. That the Cylons had models which looked, sounded, and felt exactly human. Mathias shivered; that was how they had managed to catch the Fleet unawares, how they had inserted that backdoor in the nav programs. And it was a problem that would have to be addressed—how, he wasn’t quite certain.
“Commander,” Paul Cook said as he sat down the phone. “Rambler reports that sixty-seven survivors have been recovered on Picon.”
“Anubis requests a shuttle for ninety-one survivors on Aerilon,” added Joan Danis.
Colonel Jayne smiled, as he handed the Commander a print-out from the Leonis Pryde. And Mathias matched his grin. “Jon Namer reports eighty-eight from Saggitaron, and Scylla has managed to find one hundred eighty four on the moon Hibernia,” the Commander announced, his mental tally kicking up to four thousand three hundred and ninety-six. “Colonel Jayne, dispatch a shuttle to Aerilon to meet up with Anubis. Leonis Pryde, Scylla, and Bounty are at full load—order them to proceed to the rendezvous. Dispatch two flights of Vipers; they will ride Pryde externally and fly CAP until we arrive. And one Raptor as well.”
“Aye, aye, Sir.”
“Any word from Umino Hana?”
Danis held up her hand as she listened to her earpiece. “Umino Hana reports recovery of seventy-two survivors from Canceron—she’s at full load now, Commander.”
“Send her to the rendezvous,” Mathias said as his people cheered. “Tom,” he said, and his voice cracked. “Instruct the shuttle bound for Aerilon to rendezvous with Scorpia in geosynchronous orbit over Scorpia after she completes her recovery—that should keep us out of the worst of the debris fields. Set coordinates and prepare for an FTL jump to that location.” He lifted the phone. “Flight Operations, Scorpia Actual.”
“Go Actual,” the speaker said.
“Prepare a Raptor—I am going to the surface.”
“Aye, aye, Sir.”
Tom shook his head and stepped over close to his commander. “Don’t do this to yourself, Mat—there’s a reason you assigned the crew Colonies that weren’t their homes. I don’t care for that terrorist bastard Namer, but seeing Saggitaron tore him apart emotionally,” he whispered. “There’s nothing you can do down there.”
“We’ve checked all of the Colonies except Scorpia, Tom. And I want to see my home one last time with my own eyes,” Mathias said in an equally quiet voice. “We need to confirm there is no one left down there before we leave.”
“Yes, sir—we do. But you don’t have to go down yourself. And we are expecting this Captain the Prince Hamish Petrus; you should be here to greet him when the shuttles return from Virgon.”
“That is where you are wrong, my friend. I do. And though it might disappoint His Majesty, he will have to settle for you at the moment,” Mathias shrugged. “You debrief him, Tom. See if he has photographs of the . . . skin-jobs, as he and Anders called them. If he does, we can identify any among the refugees. This is something that I have to do—I have to.”
Tom stepped back and he nodded—but the worry on his face was clearly evident to all. “Major Tyche, spin up FTL One and Two and prepare for a jump to Scorpia geosync.”
“Aye, aye, Sir, spinning up FTL One and Two, coordinates set for geosynchronous orbit over Scorpia.”
Last edited by MasterArminas; January 8 2013 at 03:38 AM.
|January 8 2013, 05:34 AM||#30|
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)
He knelt on one knee, and he lifted a handful of the rich black soil that lay underneath the sod he had so painstakingly laid just three years ago. Finally, he stood and he wiped off the excess dirt from his hands, rubbing them together briskly, even as the falling snow melted into his flight-suit. It no longer mattered—Anna and the girls were long gone; the place had not been disturbed in months. Gone—and with them any desire that he had to remain here.
“Sir,” Lieutenant Jan Falsen—her call sign was Thumper—, her EWO, and the Marine detail had given the Commander his space, but now she approached and quietly addressed him.
He turned to her. “Yes, Thumper?”
“That storm is getting closer, Sir.”
Mathias nodded. And he turned his gaze back to the horizon again. “You like Necrosia, Thumper?” the Commander asked.
“Sir?” she replied, caught off-guard by the question.
“Necrosia—you know the black beer that made Argenum Bay famous as a vacation spot for Vernal Break. Do you like it?”
She nodded, “It’s a very rich beer, Gremlin, a very expensive beer,” she said, having seen that conversation had shifted from commander-subordinate to pilot-pilot. “I love the taste, but it’s not something I could regularly afford.”
Mathias nodded and then he sighed. “The Cylons burnt down the house—but the storm cellar on the north side is still intact,” he smiled sadly. “I checked it earlier, but they weren’t there. No sign that they were there. Anna probably took the kids to visit her sister in Celeste; her birthday was the same week as the attack. Take the Marines and Pappy down there with you. Reckon we can fit twenty-two cases on board the Raptor?”
“Twenty-two cases? There’s two dozen bottles in a case!” she sputtered. And then she grinned. “And a single case is worth a week’s pay. It’ll be tight, Gremlin but for Scorpia Necrosia, we’ll make room!”
Mathias smiled again. “No sense in leaving it behind. When we get back aboard, after it’s been chilled down properly and had a chance to settle—we’ll crack open a bottle or two to say goodbye. Go ahead, fetch the beer. Like you said, the storm is coming.”
Thumper paused. "Is there anything else you want to get, to take back aboard, Sir?" And Mathias knew what she meant . . . photos, old memories, a stuffed bear, things to remember them by.
"I will always have their memory, Thumper. And their love; I don't need things to remember them with. Go on now, we need to be airborne before that front arrives."
He knelt down again as she began shouting orders to the two Marines and Pappy back at the Raptor, and he watched the waves until they were done.
Last edited by MasterArminas; January 8 2013 at 06:33 AM.
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