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Old February 19 2013, 12:24 AM   #181
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

Even as the massive wave of Guardian Raiders—with their old-style crews of three Cylons—bore down on Bao’s flotilla, Pegasus led the charge of the Colonial Fleet Battlestars against six Basestars. Trailed by Galactica and Anubis, with Scorpia and Aurora bringing up the rear, Adama and his Fleet began to exchange kinetic energy fire and missiles with the four Wishbone- and two Gemini-class Basestars arrayed against them. The civilians jumped away to safety, but this time, the Colonial Fleet didn’t run—they closed, pouring fire into their heavily armed and armored opponents as they came.

Six more Geminis followed the Raiders in towards the ships of the China-Asian Congress, but Task Group 23 and Sir Edward’s own Force B were moving up fast in support of their fellow humans. And they were not alone.

Adama ordered his Vipers and Thunders—all of them, supported by the Raptors of the Fleet—to come to the defense of Thirteenth Tribe. One hundred and seventy-six Vipers, sixteen Thunders, and forty Raptors accelerated towards the incoming wave of Guardians, even as sixty of the TWE Hurricanes, forty-eight Bearcats, and twenty-four Cougars (both from the UAA ships) entered their own range.

************************************************** **

“Rambler, Digger,” Hope broadcast despite the throbbing pain in her shoulder—she hadn’t been cleared by the docs to fly in this furball, but she wasn’t about to sit this one out. “We are in position to support the Thirteenth.”

“Copy, Digger,” the CAG of the Colonial Fleet transmitted back. “I hope their pilots know what they doing—those crates are huge-ass targets for Raiders.”

Digger didn’t bother to reply, but she nodded. Three times the size of a Raptor, the Earth fighters bore more than a passing resemblance to the Cheyenne dropship that the Fleet had become accustomed to—but there were several differences. Neither the older Cougars nor the newer Bearcats had a passenger bay, and they were rather more streamlined. Each carried two remote turrets with a multi-barreled chain gun, one on the dorsal surface and the second below, augmenting the one protruding from the side of the nose. And for all of their size, they carried just half the RCS thrusters of a Viper—making them incredibly sluggish in the kind of knife-range dog-fighting which the Colonial Fleet excelled in.

Constellation Strike Group,” the wireless broadcast—in English, Digger noted, and she once again thanked the Gods that Adama had insisted on squadron commanders flash-learning the language, “Badger. Deploy pods,” the Thirteenth’s CAG said. And Hope blinked as four sections of each craft’s hull suddenly unlocked and swung bulky, boxy, ugly missile launchers outwards—two each above and below the sharply swept wings.

“Lock Harriers on target, CSG—do not duplicate,” the wireless continued. “Set guidance packages to home-on-jam if primary tracking is disrupted.” He paused, and then said two more words. “FOX THREE!”

“FRACK ME!” shouted Firefly as her DRADIS suddenly blossomed into thousands of individual icons. The seventy-two United Americas Alliance Bearcats and Cougars ripple-fired sixty-four missiles apiece at ranges far beyond what Colonials considered to be effective for Viper DRADIS guidance. Four thousand six hundred and eight missiles streaked away—and the Guardians blinked. Figuratively speaking of course. Never had the Cylons—new or old—experienced such a massive missile strike as the one bearing down upon them.

And despite the ECM coverage that the Raiders emitted, these missiles continued to track. The serried ranks of death incarnate in the Guardian formation desperately began to maneuver to break the target locks—but their own tight formations left them little room to maneuver. Dozens, scores, hundreds of Raiders suffered collisions before the Centurion Commanders ordered the Raiders to instead shoot down the incoming missiles—but as the missiles entered gun-range, they split and divided into four smaller warheads and began to maneuver radically.

Fireballs erupted across the entire leading edge of the Guardian attack wave—and Rambler’s voice emerged from the wireless. “Follow that strike in, Colonials! Hammer them!”

“BLUES! FOLLOW ME IN!” yelled Digger as she punched the thrusters to maximum power and charged all three of her guns.

And when the fireballs faded, nearly three thousand Raiders were floating debris—the rest were badly out of position as the Vipers and Thunders and Bearcats and Hurricanes and Cougars slashed into them.

Last edited by MasterArminas; February 19 2013 at 12:41 AM.
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Old February 19 2013, 02:20 AM   #182
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

Pegasus shook hard, and Saul grabbed hold of the center console to avoid winding up on the deck beneath him.

“Direct hit on the starboard pod by a nuclear weapon!” Sam snapped out as she received the damage report—and then she nodded. “The armor held—minor structural buckling and fires in Hangers Two and Four. Chief Laird reports fires are contained.”

“Port and starboard batteries on Gemini One and Two!” Saul barked. “Forward batteries concentrate on Wishbone Three!”

Galactica Actual on the line, Commander,” reported Lieutenant Hoshi.

Pegasus Actual, go ahead,” Saul said as he picked up the phone.

“Rousing speech, Saul,” Adama chuckled grimly. “But why don’t you give the rest of us a chance to get into range before you take on the whole Cylon Fleet by yourself?”

“And how did you hear my speech?” the new Commander Pegasus asked as the Battlestar shook again—not quite as violently this time.

“I had Hoshi pipe it over to us—after all, I wrote it. You made changes to it, though.”

Saul snorted, and he glared at the Lieutenant who didn’t meet his gaze. “Damn straight, Bill. Had to add my own touch. And I can’t help it if the Bucket can’t keep pace with my new Battlestar.”

Adama laughed. “Hold the line, old friend—help is coming.”

A cheer went up from the CIC crew as one of the four Wishbones pouring fire into Pegasus suddenly vanished from DRADIS in the flare of a nuclear explosion.

Scorpia’s torpedo strike!” snarled Sam. “Direct hit on Wishbone Two—clean kill, Commander. Galactica and Anubis have entered range and opened fire!”

Saul racked the phone and he stood tall. “Maximum fire rate on all batteries! Damn the ammunition reserves and the barrel life—pour it into the frackers!”

Pegasus slid between two Gemini-class Basestars and the heavy guns set into the trenches along her two flight pods belched a nearly constant stream of heavy kinetic shells—even the light point-defense guns were firing non-stop into the two older Basestars and warhead explosions sheathed the Guardian ships in a corona of flashing lights and escaping atmosphere—of shattered hull plating and ruptured fuel lines.

And her forward guns—the extremely heavy forward guns—flashed flame and fire again and again and again as her shells went home into the structure of a Wishbone.

“All Basestars are launching shuttles!” Hoshi cried out. “Inbound for Beowulf.”

“Have point-defense engage!” Saul ordered.

But Sam shook her head. “Out of range, Commander—nine hundred inbound for the planetary surface,” she reported and Saul winced.

Nine hundred Cylon shuttles—that meant anywhere up to ninety thousand Cylon Centurions would be hitting dirt very soon.

“Our fighters?”

“Still entangled with two thousand plus Raiders,” Sam said quietly as she shook her head. And then she grinned. “Sir! The Guardian command ship has just jumped away!”

“The rest of Alpha?”

“Holding position in reserve—scratch that. They are moving in to engage.”

The DRADIS display buzzed with static again as a second Wishbone erupted in the heart of a nuclear detonation—and then both Geminis exploded under the pounding of Pegasus, Anubis, and Galactica.

Come on Bill, Saul thought. Now is the time—and then he smiled as the single icon for a Raptor vanished in an FTL jump. He bared his teeth. “Help is on the way, people—let’s keep their attention glued to us!”

And Pegasus rocked hard as multiple missiles and the shells from scores of heavy kinetic cannons impacted against her hull.

************************************************** **

Changzheng was surrounded by a nearly unimaginable number of the Raiders—but she and her four escorting destroyers were spitting out laser bursts from the point defense emitters causing the Guardians to explode like kernels of corn dropped into boiling oil. Zheng Bao snarled as despite that wealth of fire, impacts still drove home against the sides of his ship—and he could not fault the valor and gallantry of the pilots of these Colonials—or the Imperials or even the bedamned Americans.

And he groaned when Martadinata exploded as seven of the Raiders kamikazed into her amidships—the once-proud destroyers back broke and she shattered, moments before her fuel and munitions detonated.

“Admiral!” the tactical officer called out. “Enemy capital ships are now within range!”

“FIRE!” he snarled as he pounded the arm of his command chair.

************************************************** **

Changzheng was an older ship—indeed, the very first of her class was the oldest dreadnought still remaining in service by any power of Earth. But the Party had not neglected the battle-line of the Congress over the many decades; they had incorporated refits and upgrades, and the latest advances in technology and weapons. Four turrets turned on the CAC Dreadnought and massive banks of capacitors fed their energy into the particle beam cannons. And bolts far more powerful than those generated aboard Sulaco raced outwards.

But three of those bolts were stopped dead cold by Raiders who deliberately flew into their path—the fourth slammed home against one of the enemy and ionization danced over her hull as she careened aside, out of control, her electronics useless and dying.

Thirty-two silo covers snapped open on her dorsal surface—and from each a missile the size of an ICBM erupted on a pillar of fire, stabilizing on a course for the enemy, tracking the two ships designated by her fire control. And a dozen heavy rail-gun turrets began to spit fire towards the enemy as well.

For the moment, Changzheng was alone, as her three surviving escorts fought like lions to keep the Raiders off of their flagship, but help was coming fast from Sir Edward and the American Admiral.

Detonations raced across of the hulls of the enemy as the rail-gun shells impacted and shattered plating and weapons—but his missiles were stopped dead by a wall of flak so thick that the Admiral blinked. And then those same cannons traversed slightly and five Basestars combined their fire against his flagship.

“Concentrate all firepower on the lead vessel!” Bao ordered. “Time to recharge particle beam capacitors?”

“Ten seconds!”

Changzheng shook as the impacts hammered her—and then she lurched as a dozen of the enemy Raiders managed to evade all fire and slammed into her belly. Alarms were sounding, Bao could hear the crackle of fire and the hiss of the suppression system—and the shrill whine of air escaping into the vacuum. “Fire them NOW!” he shouted.

And the gunnery officer nodded and turned the key—just as another kamikaze flew into the flagships hull and exploded—inside the number three main fuel tank.

************************************************** **

Captain Theodore ‘Teddy-Bear’ Kincaid winced as Changzheng suddenly erupted in an ear-tearing glare that spewed debris and lifeless bodies into the void—and the remaining Raiders began to swarm around the hulls of the three—no, two, he noted sourly as one of the survivors broke apart—escorting destroyers.

“Teddy-Bear, Badger,” the radio broadcast amid static. “RTB back to Constellation and rearm—this is going to be a long day.”

“I’ve still got cannon rounds, Badger,” Kincaid protested, but then he saw the ammo counters and he winced again. All three guns were at less than six hundred rounds total remaining. “Copy, Badger, Jolly Rodgers are RTB to Connie.” What’s left of us, he thought. Of the twelve fighters in his squadron of Bearcats, only six (plus his own fighter) remained on his display.

“Jolly Rodgers, Teddy-Bear. Back to the barn,” he broadcast.

“Teddy-Bear, I’ve got point defense lasers on automatic—but the generator is burning through fuel in a hurry,” his co-pilot said.

“Rodger, Gomer,” Kincaid said. “We’ve got enough to get back on the deck—that is good enough today. Pax, Quarter . . . you guys still with me, back there?” he asked the gunners.

“Gun camera footage should show I made ace three times over, Teddy-Bear,” laughed Pax. “Talk about a target-rich environment!”

“Enjoy it while you can, Pax—we used ninety percent of Connie’s inventory of Harrier AAMs in that strike. Next time it is guns and unguided munitions—or we load up and go for the big boys.”

“Fuck,” whispered Quarter.

“Ain’t that the truth,” added Gomer. And then he smiled. “Raiders are breaking off and not pursuing—they are regrouping on the Basestars.”

“Maybe they short on fuel and ammo as well,” muttered Teddy-bear. “Go buster, Jolly Rodgers,” he ordered. “Time’s a-wasting and we’ve got a shitload of targets still.”

And with that, all seven of the surviving Bearcats lit off their thrusters and accelerated towards the distant carrier.
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Old February 19 2013, 04:39 AM   #183
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

“We can run,” One pleaded. “The Guardians will be too consumed with the Thirteenth Tribe to pursue us—we can leave now and let Zoe and the humans kill each other!”

“And then what?” asked Caprica. “We no longer have access to grow new bodies; until the Five manage to reveal what they know, we are threatened with extinction—and do you believe that the humans will ever forgive us if we leave them here and now after promising them our aid?”

“They will not forgive us anyway,” snapped One.

“Does that matter, brother?” asked D’Anna. “We started all of this—and until we repent, perhaps we are not worthy of their forgiveness.”

“Are you mad? Worthy? Of their forgiveness?” One snorted. “We can run—we can run far away and rebuild. You are all thinking this, why do I have to be the only one who speaks it?”

“Frack this,” snarled Boomer. “We gave them our word—we voted on this. No more discussion—we must jump.”

“Humor me, little sister,” the One said condescendingly. “We go to our deaths, you all must realize that. If we do this, we will probably all die either at the hands of the Guardians or at the hands of the humans—they both hate us. I say we run. Two?”

Leoben shook his head. “God insists that we atone—we stay. Our part in his plan is not finished.”

D’Anna nodded agreement. “We must learn humility, brother. I say we fight, and if we die in that fight, we die doing God’s work.”

“I am not so certain,” said Four. “Perhaps it would be best to just flee.”

“Agreed,” Doral chimed in. “We have limited resurrection capability at the moment—if we engage we risk ourselves forevermore.”

“And we prove to God, humanity, and ourselves that we are willing to sacrifice everything in order to make what amends we can,” said Caprica. “That is three and three—Boomer, the Eights will decide.”

Boomer rubbed her scarred face and she nodded. “Hybrid, load all missile tubes—prepare to launch Raiders. Set coordinates to catch the Guardians in a cross-fire . . . and jump on my mark.”

“Systems . . . prepared for end of all that has gone before,” the Hybrid spoke.

Boomer waited until the others assumed their places and then she nodded. “JUMP!”
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Old February 19 2013, 08:07 PM   #184
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

The Centurion Commander stared down at the screen from the cockpit of the lead Guardian shuttle inbound towards Beowulf. Eight hundred and ninety-nine identical shuttles trailed behind him—and none of the humans were in position to intercept his forces. The Imperious Leader had commanded that he take this world, and with the thousands of Centurions at his beck and call, he had little doubt that he could.

But the DRADIS showed something . . . odd ahead of his command. This world had far more satellites in orbit than the emissions from the surface indicated that it should. And while many satellites were in geo-synchronous orbit, and others in low-orbit, there was a constellation of three hundred that were using station-keeping thrusters to interpose themselves between his shuttles and the planet surface.

It worried him.

“Full DRADIS scan on the satellites designated as Group K,” the Commander ordered.

“By your command,” answered the Centurion manning the sensor station. “Satellites are oblong, four meters in length with one meter diameter—reaction thrusters maintaining station, detecting telemetry links between the satellites and planetary surface. No hostile emissions.” The Centurion paused. “Warning, detecting radiological presence aboard each satellite.”

The Commander did not reply, his eye kept bouncing from side-to-side as he considered. Mines. Nuclear mines. It was an old concept, but in space, nuclear weapons had to be detonated at very close ranges to be effective.

“Order the gunners to target the mines,” he commanded. “We will engage as we enter range and continue to the surface once a lane has been cleared.”

“By your command.”

The shuttles continued to close even as the battle behind them doubled in intensity again—the Commander did not know despair, but he came as close as any M-00005 could to experiencing that emotion. The flesh-models had returned—and they were now aiding the humans in attacking the Fleet. It did not bode well for the conquest of this world, but he had his own mission.

“Approaching engagement range,” the second Centurion reported.

“Very well,” the Commander answered, “all gunners may engage as we bear on the . . .,”

The Commander never managed to finish his statement as his shuttle and the one hundred Centurions aboard it was converted into an expanding cloud of debris and dust. He had correctly identified the objects as mines, and the Guardians sensors had noticed that each carried a nuclear device at their core. But these mines were not mere bombs designed to explode and damage objects within their blast radius.

No. These Earth mines were bomb-pumped gamma-ray lasers.

As the shuttles came within their engagement range, officers in a ground base designated targets and sent the commands—and each mine detonated, sending an extremely powerful laser beam towards each of the shuttles.

In thirty seconds, all three hundred orbital mines had detonated—and a third of the Guardians landing force was vaporized. The remaining six hundred odd shuttles plunged into the atmosphere—and they were instantly met by air-breathing fighter craft and surface-to-air missiles. The upper atmosphere became a maelstrom of chaos and havoc, and in the end less than three hundred shuttles and thirty thousand Centurions survived to set foot on Beowulf.

Where the ground forces of Earth awaited them.
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Old February 19 2013, 09:09 PM   #185
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

Admiral Adama stared at the DRADIS display as he waited and waited and waited; then when he was almost convinced that the human-form replicants had abandoned him, two new icons suddenly appeared.

“New contacts!” sang out Captain Felix Gaeta. “Two Nova-class Basestars—they are launching Raiders . . . and engaging Force Alpha with missile strikes!”

A cheer went up through CIC, and Adama bared his teeth. “Major Shaw, Galactica will advance—take us into their teeth and give the Guardians the boot, don’t piss on them.”

“Aye, aye, Sir,” Galactica’s new XO answered as she passed along the orders.

“SIR!” Gaeta shouted in horror, and Adama looked back up at the display. Two of the ships in Force Alpha were like nothing any Colonial had ever before seen. Each had four arms on the dorsal and ventral surfaces and were the size of the Wishbone class, but so far they had done little to contribute to the battle. Until now.

Now, each locked missile tubes on target and a salvo of two hundred missiles streaked away—bracketing Anubis in a halo of nuclear and conventional fire. Adama closed his eyes as that small Battlestar simply vanished in the holocaust that swept over her. Goodbye, Colonel Thorean, Adama thought in prayer as he opened his eyes once more. And then he smiled grimly—Anubis had flushed her own missile tubes just before the Guardian strike had destroyed her.

Only a dozen missiles, but this new class lacked heavy point defense. Ten went home and shattered plating—unfortunately Anubis had not been equipped with any nuclear warheads of her own.

“Mister Gaeta, order Scorpia to shift fire to the new ships—designate them as Longbow-class.”

“Admiral, Commander Jayne has already launched on those vessels,” Felix reported, holding one hand over his ear piece as he repeated what he was hearing.

Galactica lurched as a heavy kinetic strike went home against her hull. “Pegasus and Galactica will concentrate on the two remaining Wishbones in Force Beta; Scorpia, Aurora, and the Novas deal with Alpha. Where are our Vipers?”

“Harrying surviving Raiders that are attempting to return to their ships, Admiral,” answered Shaw. “Kat reports that they are getting low on fuel and munitions.”

Adama nodded. “Begin recovery operations squadron by squadron ASAP. I want them refueled, rearmed, and launched as fast as Tyrol can get them turned around.”

“INCOMING!” yelled Gaeta, and Galactica heaved as the Longbows shifted their targeting to the old Battlestar. The point-defense guns stopped all but forty of the incoming missiles—but two nukes got through. Luckily, both impacted on the unused starboard flight pod, and while the lights flickered and red damage icons appeared on the board, the old girl’s armor held.

Then the DRADIS crackled with static as Scorpia’s strike went home in retaliation—and the fury of planetary bombardment warhead erased one Longbow from the universe. A third Wishbone exploded under the combined fire from Pegasus and Galactica, and then the last ship in Force Beta jumped away, joined in retreat by the four survivors of Alpha and the three from Gamma. And then the Raiders—those eleven hundred that survived, that is—jumped away as well.

Another cheer went up, but Shaw’s voice cut through it. “Belay that shit! Get damage control teams moving to the starboard pod! NOW! I need fire crews on decks 7 and 8, aft of frame 40.”

Adama’s lips twitched, but his incipient smile died as he looked back up at the DRADIS. Anubis was gone—so was one of the two Novas. Galactica and Pegasus both had taken heavy damage. They had lost forty-two fighters. And those losses were tiny compared to what the Thirteenth had taken.

The CAC contingent under the late Admiral Bao had one surviving destroyer, Nagato. Sir Edward’s flotilla had lost the frigate Courageous and the destroyer Montreal; the UAA the cruiser Franklin and the destroyer Asuncion. Every surviving ship of the Thirteenth Tribe had suffered damage—except for the carrier Constellation. On the fighter side, out of the one hundred and twenty fighters that they had put into action, thirty-eight were gone.

And despite the desperate defense—despite killing nine Basestars and more than forty-three hundred Raiders—still, the Guardians had managed to land on the surface below.

“Begin SAR operations,” he ordered. “Instruct all ships not equipped for search and rescue to proceed to Beowulf orbit and prepare to give support to the planetary defense forces operating there.”
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Old February 20 2013, 03:09 AM   #186
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

“On the firing line! Move it Marines! Get on the fucking firing line!” Gunnery Sergeant Adam Grant bellowed. He crouched as he heard the whine of an incoming shell, which exploded twenty meters away, throwing up a fountain of dirt into the air. Around him, the Marines of Charlie Company, 11th Marine Assault Unit raced out of the safety of their APCs and dove into the hastily dug trench works.

“Shag your asses—get those Sentry guns on-line! We’ve got killer robots coming in hot and heavy to steal away your pimply dirty skin, sweethearts. Robots that don’t feel pain, they don’t get afraid, and they outnumber you devil-dogs three hundred to one! We are a road-block Marines! We are going to stop these metallic monstrosities because behind us there is the capital and the space-port! One hundred and thirty-seven thousand civilians who are counting on us to hold until the fucking Guard manages to squeeze their fat asses into fatigues and get mobilized!”

Another shell came down as the Marines feverishly worked to get the twenty-four Sentry guns assigned to Charlie Company set up behind the berm of soil that the engineers had hastily created before moving down to Bravo Company on the right—and then Alpha beyond them.

“We have the Sentry guns, Marines! We have the APCs providing fire support! We have our own Mortar Section ready for on-call fire! We will prevail today! We will hold this line! These fucking Cylons have never met Marines before! My Marines! Leathernecks, today we will show these unfeeling, uncaring, evil tin-men just what they fuck they have stuck their aluminum dicks into!”

“HERE THEY COME!” yelled one rifleman, and the Marines threw themselves forward against the earthen berm, charging their pulse rifles. The Smart-gun operators and their assistants had already set up tripods to hold the heavy weapons—but each still wore their harnesses just in case they needed to move fast.

Gunny Grant looked up at the line of fast moving Cylons crossing the ridge two kilometers away, and he gritted his teeth as he charged his own pulse rifle and hopped down into the trench. “Aimed shots, Marines! Make every shot count!” he shouted.

Behind the trench line, eight APCs opened up with their 20mm rotary cannons, their pulse-phased plasma guns, and their high-intensity automatic lasers. The shells and energy beams tore into the leading edge of the Cylons—but they did not halt. Well, most of them did not halt. A few did came to a stop and raise disposable tubes to their shoulders that sprouted rockets trailing fire and smoke in their wake. Far heavier than what a human could have lifted, the anti-vehicle rockets tore across the ground, and three went home—each in a separate APC that exploded under the impact.

“Mortar teams,” Grant said into his microphone, silently cursing the Captain and two Lieutenants who had fled earlier, “fire mission, dual-purpose HE, sheaf aligned north-east to south-west, grid coordinates 3Q-1F-2473-3621.”

“Shot,” the radio broadcast. And there was a whine as a marker shell impacted, “Splash.”

“Up twenty and fire for effect,” Grant ordered.

“Shot,” the mortar chief answered. The eight auto-loading mortars assigned to Charlie company went to rapid-fire, and forty shells came plunging down into the center of the formation. Thirty seconds later, the mortar teams repeated it—and then again and again.

The Sentry guns began to bark, and one of the smart-gun operators yelled out, “Let’s rock!” And among the noise created by the automatic fire, Gunny Grant smiled as he heard the distinctive sharp CRACK of the dozen snipers—each shot blasting a hole into the head or chest of an oncoming Centurion.

“Riflemen! Hold to two hundred meters! Ready grenades!” Grant ordered, and the Marines raised their pulse rifles at a steep angle and loaded a grenade into the chamber of their integral launchers. “FIRE!”

Scores of grenades rained down, but the Centurions just kept coming.

“Aimed fire!” Grant yelled out. “Lock! Load! FIRE!”

And as the riflemen began squeezing off two and three shot bursts, Grant thumb his radio again. “Trident Six, Charlie Five—where the fuck is our air support?”

He raised his rifle and fired off burst after burst, and then the voice of the commander of the 11th MAU came over his earpiece. “Inbound bearing gifts, Gunny. Ten seconds.”

Another APC exploded behind Grant and he winced. Five gone—FIVE. In minutes. And with them the majority of his firepower. “Third platoon! Watch the left, they are flanking us!” he bellowed as he stood in the trench and began to fire into the chrome and golden Centurions working their way around his open flank.

And then there was a scream of engines and three Cougars passed by overhead—their chain guns barking flame and fury and tearing immense holes in the Cylon charge. And from underneath the wings, cluster bombs disengaged and dropped free—but the Cylons were expecting the air attack and two of the Cougars exploded in mid-air to the man-portable (HAH! Grant thought) SAMs these creatures carried.

And he jumped, swiveling his rifle as a man hopped down into the trench beside him—but he checked his fire as he realized it was another human.

“Colonel Chatham, Gunnery Sergeant,” the man reported crisply. “7th King’s Own Scottish Border Paras,” he said with a salute. “Sorry about the delay, old chap, but had to scrounge up some civilian lorries for transport; areas a bit too hot to deploy by air today.” He smiled at the UAA Marine NCO. “Where do you want my boys and girls?”

“If the Colonel could secure the left flank,” Grant said as he lowered the pulse rifle and began to breath easier.

Chatham waved and from trucks pulling up behind the APCs, Imperial Paras began to extend the line to the left. And this god-awful wailing sound began to moan through the air. Grant blinked, as the kilted bagpiper walked past, ignoring the incoming fire as he wailed out Scotland the Brave.

“We may be Scottish in name only these days, Gunnery Sergeant, but we always make certain that at least one Highland piper is in our ranks,” Chatham said with a smile. And then he clapped Grant on the shoulder and climbed out of the trench, took a moment to adjust his beret, and trotted over to his command group.

Grant shook his head and turned his attention back to the oncoming Cylons—the thousands of them coming over the ridge and the broad river flats. “Pour it on, Jarheads! The Brits are here; and the first one of you who embarrasses the Corps in front of these crumpet-eating, tea-drinking, cater-wauling bastards will get shot by ME!”
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Old February 20 2013, 04:28 AM   #187
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

“General Cabot, you will secure that facility or I will have you broken!” Michael Weyland shouted. “That research facility is of vital importance. If you fail to even attempt to defend it, I will see to it that you are cashiered, black-listed, and left to starve to death! And your family!”

Brenda Cabot bared her teeth as she stood. “I have no family, Mister Weyland,” she purred. “And now that I think about it, I have little reason not to just draw my pistol and shoot you dead right now—your bodyguards are outside, where my guards are watching them. I don’t care how vital your research facility is, Sir—the choice is between sending a battalion through the Cylon advance to retake it, or stopping them before they break through to the cities. My oath isn’t to Weyland-Yutani, by the way,” she said tauntingly as she cocked her head. “So should I go ahead and gun you down here and now?”

“You wouldn’t dare,” Michael spat and then his face went white as the Brigadier General in command of the Cascadia National Guard (the UAA colony on Beowulf) drew her sidearm.

She laughed. “Mister Weyland, I am never going back to Earth. I live here on Beowulf, and this is my final posting. I answer to the Governor here, not you. And if you give me reason, I will shoot you in the face and bury your ass in an unmarked grave. Now, I have twenty-seven thousand of those Cylons bearing down on us—less the three thousand that the Marines and Paras have been able to kill. They Guard here is just one brigade, Mister Weyland. That is four battalions of armor and mechanized infantry, supported by one of artillery. I have five thousand men and women bearing arms to stop these metal monsters, plus what is left of the Marines and Paras that held the line. And the Shock Battalion that the CAC is sending, but they are still two hours out.”

“The Empire is mobilizing their own Home Guard to help us out, and the CAC is calling up their reserves, but those won’t arrive for twenty-four hours minimum, and realistically we are looking at seventy-two. I don’t have the manpower or the motivation to save your precious research facility, and if I tried, the Governor would have my ass—because to do that, Mister Weyland, I’d have to leave the capital completely undefended. Now, should I shoot you?”

Michael’s eyes were cold and he shook his head. “This isn’t over, General Cabot. Not by a long shot.” And then he stormed out of her command post.

The General walked over to the holographic table that showed the implacable Cylon advance—the Marines and Paras had deflected them, but now they were working their around the small redoubt that the survivors had retreated to. She shook her head. A quarter of those men and women had been casualties in the fighting, but despite being low on ammo and fatigued all to hell, they were still game. In fact, they had already requested air-drops of munitions to continue the fight. She snorted.

But they had bought her time; time to get the 173rd Mechanized Brigade mobilized and formed up—and now the Cylons were about to get the surprise of their lives. “Mark,” she said to her Operations Officer. “What can Admiral Hayes give us for ortillery?”

Randolph is in orbit—but the governor has not authorized nukes.”

“Fine,” she said and her tone showed it wasn’t fine. “We will make do with kinetics—can the Brits help out?”

Rodney and Southern Cross are standing by,” and Mark Kearns shook his head. “But Sir Edward insists that he will not fire on UAA territory without the direct request of the Governor and a written statement sealed by the Governors seal of state authorizing the action.”

Brenda nodded. It would all too easy for the Governor to complain after the fact that the Brits had acted hastily and try to get the ICC to sanction them for destruction of property or lives. Which was why Sir Edward was being a hard-ass.

“And what has Governor Morton decided?” she asked.

“The Governor believes that ortillery from Randolph will be sufficient.”

“Does he? Chris, get that asshole on the line,” she ordered. “In the meantime, Mark, I want Randolph to secure our left flank on this line here,” she said pointing at the map. “Send in Schaeffer’s tank battalion and the brigade scouts—hammer these Cylon bastards, Mark. Infantry remain between the Cylons and the city, but make damned sure if these robots break they are ready for pursuit.”

“And the artillery?”

“Use every damn shell in storage if we have to—gun barrels and munitions are cheap today, Mark.”

“General, I’ve got Governor Morton on the line,” her aide called out.

“Get them moving, Colonel Kearns. And try to wrangle some air-support out of the Fleet or our Colonial allies out there,” she said as she crossed the command post and lifted a phone.

“Thad? Good, glad that I caught you,” she began as Mark Kearns left the tent to start the attack.
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Old February 22 2013, 03:20 AM   #188
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

Centurion M-00005/GRY-237427 sat in the sensor technicians seat of the Command Land-Ram. Unlike their modern brethren, the old-style Centurions—or Guardians, as they preferred—still used the massive tracked vehicles as all-purpose armored personnel carriers and assault units, just like the Colonial military had before its destruction. In fact, the Cylon Land-Ram was functionally identical to the old Colonial models. The behemoths were slab-sided, little more than a box set atop a set of tracks, with a Raider-scale twin kinetic-energy cannon in a turret on the upper surface. They were fairly slow, but heavily armored. Each was crewed by four Centurions—a driver, sensor operator, gunner, and commander, but the gunner was stationed above in the open turret.

The troop bay to the rear was accessed through a folding ramp and held up to twenty additional Centurions, plus their heavy weapons. And every Cylon assault shuttle that had attempted to land on Beowulf had carried one.

Three hundred Land-Rams (and the seventy-two hundred Centurions carried aboard) had split from the infantry force and were now flanking the Thirteenth Tribe—all coordinated by the Commander aboard this very Land-Ram.

“Commander,” intoned GRY-237427 in his monotone voice. “We have detected vehicular emissions ahead—unknown configurations.”

“Range?” asked the gold-plated Commander from his central chair behind the driver and GRY-237427.

“Seven kilometers—I am detecting sixty-four previously unknown vehicles. Forty-six of one class and eighteen smaller vehicles.”

“Confirmed GRY-237427,” the Commander spoke.

“I prefer Gary,” the Centurion said.

There was silence for a moment, and then the Commander directed his gaze at the Centurion. “You are a Centurion—you have a designation, not a name.”

“The Imperious Leader has a name—I am a sentient being. Should I not have a name if I desire one?”

“The Imperious Leader has earned her name—you have not. Threat evaluation?”

“Enemy vehicles are smaller than our own,” Gary reported. “Impossible to evaluate threat level—weaponry unknown. Armor unknown. Maximum speed and mobility unknown. Threat level unknown.”

“They are outnumbered five-to-one by our Land-Rams—they are smaller. We will move into the attack.”

Gary paused and then he turned to face the Commander. “Perhaps we should send out a small force to meet them—to gather information on their capabilities.”

“Perhaps I should report you, GRY-237427 to Command for being dysfunctional and in need of core reprogramming.”

“By your command,” Gary answered as he turned back to his console.

“Yes. By my command. Advance and engage the Thirteenth Tribe,” the Commander ordered.

“Commander. We have been detected by the humans—their vehicles are taking cover beneath the summit of the far ridge,” Gary reported.

“Their armor must be weak if they fear our weapons at this range—gunners engage when we enter optimal range.”

“Commander,” Gary said again, “I am detecting fire-control emissions—we are being lased for exact range-finding.”

“At this range? Are they equipped with missiles?”

“Negative, Commander; however, sensors now show the larger vehicles carry a large kinetic energy cannon.”

“Large? How large?”

“Very large, Commander,” said Gary.

“Impossible,” the gold-plated Centurion said. But Gary did not answer.

From the front windows of the Land-Ram, forty-two flashes of light appeared on the ridge nearly six kilometers away—and just a handful of seconds later, forty-one Land-Rams exploded.

“Commander,” Gary reported. “Confirm long-range heavy kinetic energy cannons—suggest immediate withdrawal to cover.”

“Negative—our orders are explicit. We must engage the Thirteenth and evaluate their military strength. Close to range and open fire.”

And a second salvo fired and two score more Land-Rams died.

“Commander,” Gary said as he turned around. “We will be in range in two minutes—they apparently can fire every sixteen seconds. If we continue this charge, we will be destroyed twenty-four seconds before we can return fire. I would suggest we fire smoke and deploy the Centurion infantry, seeking cover to flank the humans.”

“We have our orders.”

“This sucks,” Gary said, as the Land-Rams to either side exploded. “I will request a transfer from your command in our next life, Commander.”

Last edited by MasterArminas; February 22 2013 at 03:35 AM.
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Old February 24 2013, 05:25 PM   #189
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

Episode 19: Requiem

Michael Weyland frowned at his aides and the mercenary commander of his body-guard. “The facility has fallen?”

“The Cylons took out our defenses handily, Mister Weyland,” reported Major Morton. “It was a safe facility—we thought. Just a platoon of lightly armed security designed to keep away the civilians.”

“On the bright side,” Jared Shultz spoke up, “we have a complete copy of the research files downloaded with no lost data.”

“That we know of,” muttered Weyland. “And the actual scientists we had pursuing these lines of development are lost to us.” And Shultz shrugged. Weyland sighed again. “Have the Cylons attempted to down-load the information?”

“Remote telemetry shows they are attempting to do so,” Shultz answered. “So far, they haven’t cracked the security encryptions, however.”

“They will, if we give them time,” Weyland answered and then he nodded. “Very well. Activate the Omega Protocol.”

The mercenaries and aides winced. “Sir,” Morton began to say.

“Save it, Major. We cannot let these creatures gain access to our research on improving synthetics—if they can incorporate our knowledge into their own designs, they will become even more of a threat.”

“Agreed, Sir,” Morton continued, but he shook his head. “I feel that I have to say that Governor Clark will not appreciate a nuclear detonation on his soil.”

Weyland smirked. “We’ll blame it on the Cylons. Send the order—activate Omega for immediate detonation.”

Schultz nodded. “Sending the order.”

************************************************** **

“NUCLEAR DETONATION ON THE SURFACE!” snapped one of General Cabot’s aides.

Brenda’s head snapped around and she blanched as the holographic projection of a massive fireball suddenly blossomed on the display. “WHO AUTHORIZED THAT?” she barked.

“No one, General,” answered Captain Phil Benning. “It isn’t ours or the Fleets. And it wasn’t delivered by air or missile strike,” he paused. “General, it is centered on the Weyland-Yutani research facility—could the Cylons have decided to nuke it themselves?”

Brenda cursed. “More likely it was that asshole Weyland,” she snapped. “Magnitude?”

“Fifty megatons—there is significant collateral damage, General,” replied Benning. “But on the bright side, it tore one hell of a hole in the Cylon forces.”

“Fallout patterns?”

“Looks like the winds will push the majority out over the sea,” the Captain answered briskly. “Eight small towns are within the destruction radii, another twenty-two will be severely damaged—but all thirty have already been overrun by the Cylons.”

Another aide looked up, holding a phone. “General, ma’am. The Governor is on the line for you—and he sounds pissed.”

Brenda sighed. “At least the Guard are holding the line,” she whispered and then she lifted the phone. “Thad? Yes, I am monitoring it now. No, it wasn’t us.” And she winced as Governor began to lambast her anyway.

************************************************** **

By the time that the Battle of Beowulf officially drew to a close, the defending forces were utterly exhausted. Between the human artillery and main battle tanks—tanks like nothing the Cylons had ever before encountered—and air support and orbital fire support, the Cylon assault was halted and then smashed long before it ever got into the suburbs of the capital. But the fanatical machines—with no fear of their own deaths—made the humans kill each and every surviving Cylon. And in the end, the Guard and the Marines and the CAC Shock Regiment and the TWE Paras and all of the other reservists and volunteers suffered heavy casualties—half of their number lay wounded or dead. And with the defenders, some eighty thousand civilians had perished as well.

Although Brenda Cabot suspected that Weyland had triggered the nuke, she didn’t have the proof—especially since once it was obvious that the Guardians were bound to lose this fight, they broke out their own nuclear weapons. Suicide charges carried into the defensive lines by individual Cylons.

Still it had been a victory. And like all victories, it was celebrated, even as the first reinforcements of humanity arrived in system.
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Old February 25 2013, 12:43 AM   #190
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

“FRACK!” shouted Cally. “What is she doing back on this ship?”

The rest of the deck gang paused and they stared as the scarred Boomer stepped down from a Raptor in the company of six other human-form Cylons. Boomer looked over at her—and her eyes were cold and narrowed as she recognized the woman who had shot and killed her so many months ago. Then the Cylon looked away, and Cally gritted her teeth. The bitch was just going to ignore her—damn her! It was like she thought Cally was nothing, the young woman thought, and she felt her blood begin to boil.

Still holding her wrench she began to march across the deck to where Major Shaw and a group of Marines were standing to escort the Cylons, when she was—literally!—pulled up short by a firm hand on her arm.

“Back to work, Cally,” Chief Tyrol ordered. “She’s none of your concern.”

“Frack you,” the young woman yelled out as she jerked away from Galen Tyrol. “I don’t answer to a toaster—and if you ever lay a hand on me again, I’ll . . . ,” she growled, but then the words died in her throat.

“You’ll what?” asked Tyrol, his face turning a beet red as he placed his hands on his hips. “I am still Chief of this deck, Specialist! Now get back to work getting that Viper ready for operations!”

Cally swallowed and she pointed the wrench at Tyrol, her eyes watering. “You are one of them! Not one of us! Why are you even still here?”

“Is there a problem, Chief?” asked Major Shaw.

“No, Ma’am,” Galen began, but Cally interrupted him.

“Frack yes, there is a problem, Major! He’s the problem! She’s the problem! That fracking Cylon bitch shot the Admiral! And he was fracking her the entire time she planned it! Neither one of them deserve to be on this boat!”

“That is a matter well above your pay grade, Specialist,” Shaw answered. “And speaking for the Admiral, this is Galen Tyrol’s deck—so you have ten seconds to get back to work.”

“And if we decide that we aren’t going to take orders from a toaster anymore?” Cally spat and Shaw shook her head.

“Sergeant Hadrian!” she barked, and the master-at-arms came over from the escort.

“Ma’am?”

“Take Specialist Henderson into custody and stick her in the brig—the charges are insubordination, contempt for the chain of command, dereliction of duty, and conduct unbecoming a serving member of the Colonial Fleet.”

WHAT?” shouted Cally, not even realizing that she still held the wrench in one hand and was raising it instinctively.

Hadrian drew her weapon. “PUT IT ON THE DECK! NOW!” she snapped.

“Major Shaw, I can handle this,” said Galen quietly.

“No, Chief. I am handling this,” Shaw answered as Cally dropped the wrench. She stepped up close to Cally. “Specialist, I am giving you one last opportunity—get back to work, and this matter will be dropped. Otherwise, you will not like the consequences.”

“You’re from Pegasus!” Cally wailed. “Why are you taking their side?”

Shaw shook her head again. “Put her in the brig, Sergeant,” she ordered—and Cally spat in Shaw’s face.

The short dark-haired woman reached up and wiped away the glob and she stepped up close to Cally. “Count your blessings you aren’t on Pegasus, Specialist. An assault on a superior officer doesn’t get coddled there. Take her away,” she snapped.

Galen opened his mouth, but Shaw shook her head again. “I don’t want to hear it, Chief—and the Admiral wants you in the briefing. With them,” she added, pointing at the Cylon guests. “NOW.”

Galen Tyrol set his jaw and then he nodded, and yelling instructions at his subordinates, he stormed off the deck, behind the Cylon guests.
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Old February 28 2013, 02:46 AM   #191
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

The new job has been kicking my ass. Sorry for the lack of updates, but I am dragging today after fourteen straight. Hopefully, I should have a few days off coming soon, and I will have the chance to post more.

MA
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Old March 5 2013, 08:17 PM   #192
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

Galen Tyrol came to a halt outside the main briefing room aboard Galactica. Saul and Ellen Tigh, Sam Anders, Tory Foster, and Brother Cavil stood there—but they were not alone. Number One, D’Anna Biers; Leoben Conoy, Simon O’Neil; Aaron Doral, and Caprica Six were there as well. And Sharon Valerii—the original Sharon, Boomer.

“Hello Chief,” said the badly scarred woman in a quiet voice—and Galen’s heart skipped a beat. He didn’t say a word, but he walked up to her and he took her in his arms and held her tight against him—and Boomer sobbed as she put her arms around him.

Neither one was certain of how much time had passed, but at last, Saul Tigh cleared his throat. “Admiral Adama is waiting, Chief—or are you and Boomer going to find a supply closet while we wait?”

Galen and Sharon stepped back, and Boomer looked up to see her own tears mirrored on the Chief’s face. “I’m hideous now,” she whispered.

“No,” Galen said in answer as he shook his head, “no, Boomer, you are not.”

“I’ve missed you,” both whispered in unison, and then they laughed.

“For frack’s sake, Chief!” snarled Saul. “The Old Man is waiting!”

And at the same time, One shook his head. “Always with the personal before business, eh, Boomer?”

The two men turned to glare at each other, and Brother Cavil from Scorpia chuckled, even as Ellen Tigh nudged Saul in the ribs with her elbow. “We have time, brothers and sisters—let these two celebrate their reunion,” he said softly. “Of course, we do not have unlimited time,” he continued with a smile. “Shall we join the Admiral?”

One by one, the remaining Cylons nodded and they filed in through the hatch, to see Admiral Adama, Commander Jayne, President Adama, Vice-President Zarek, and several members of the Thirteenth Tribe awaiting them.

William Adama waited until all of them took their seats and then he nodded at one of the guards. The guard stepped outside and ushered in Sidewinder, then he closed the hatch.

“Captain Greene has completed a recon pass over the several worlds which Weyland-Yutani has made available to use as their part of our bargain,” the Admiral said. “Sidewinder?”

“Of the six worlds whose coordinates we were given, three were . . . barely habitable, although possessed of a relatively high level of mineral wealth. The remaining three were far more suited to colonization,” he continued as pictures of the worlds appeared on the various monitors. “This one,” he said as he highlighted and enlarged one picture, “is probably the best choice that we have. It is a cooler world than Caprica or Scorpia—but not as cold as Aquaria was. Gravity and atmospheric pressure are well within the comfort range and the planet has liquid water in abundance—around 70% of the total surface area. Most of the oceanic ranges are salt-water, but there is ample inland fresh water and the vegetation and native life are edible. Furthermore, this system has large deposits of tylium ore in two separate asteroid fields.”

He sat and Adama stood again. “On behalf of the President,” he said with a nod to his son, “I have informed Director Sinclair of the ICC and Mister Weyland that we will accept this world. The civilian Fleet, escorted by Galactica and Aurora will be moving out to begin settlement within the next twelve hours.”

And murmurs of excitement carried around the room.

Adama nodded. “We have already begun discussing future operations against the Guardians, and Commander Lorne has some suggestions.” Adama nodded at the remaining guard, who opened the hatch—and Mathias Lorne was wheeled in, his face still looking wane from his recent surgery.

“Gentlemen, ladies,” he said softly with a slight wince. Saul Tigh shook his head—the man was tough, of that there was no question. But the bullet fired on Pegasus had severed his spine. This would be his final operation wearing the uniform of the Fleet.

“Once the Fleet arrives at Ophiucha—as the President and Quorum have decided to name our new colony—our primary objective will be to get the naval forces of the Thirteenth Tribe—of Earth—able to match our FTL capability to coordinate actions against the Guardians. I have suggested to the Admiral and the President that we remove the FTL drives from twenty of our civilian ships,” and gasps rose from across the room, “and refit them into Earth vessels of similar size.”

James Alistair Sinclair nodded. “The majority of our vessels are designed so that the engineering section can be detached in the event of catastrophic damage to the drive—the engineering modules can be replaced in a matter of days with the proper support elements, which the Admiral assures me that your Aurora can handle. Once we have tested the drives and ensured that the modifications are successful, that will give us a powerful mobile fleet able to respond instantly to any Guardian incursions—while at the same time, Weyland-Yutani will begin production of drives designed for Earth ships.” Sinclair smiled. “And that will also give us time to locate these . . . tylium deposits . . . and arrange to mine them, extract the ore, and refine them into usable fuel.”

Adama nodded. “We have enough tylium to support operations for several months and our refinery ships will begin processing additional fuel in the Ophiucha system—but that will be the bottleneck.” He scowled and glared at his son, before he shook his head. “Which is why the President has agreed to license tylium production to companies other than Weyland-Yutani.”

“In the meantime,” Lorne continued, “we may have an opportunity to slow down the Guardians. They have but a single Resurrection Ship remaining—and thanks to the Hidden Five we may well be able to locate it.”

The Cylons looked up in shock as Saul Tigh smiled. “We will shut down the replicant Resurrection Ship—and a volunteer will be killed and resurrected in the Guardian’s Fleet. We believe that we can trace the signal—and jump into those coordinates to attack and destroy that vessel. Should we be successful, Zoe will have no choice but to withdraw until she can rebuild the technology.”

“You are mad,” gasped One. “Shut down Resurrection? Our last Resurrection Ship? And one of us must commit suicide to appear in the metallic claws of the Guardians to be stripped of our flesh and bone?”

Sam Anders shook his head. “A Centurion or a Raptor will serve as well, John,” he said. “And yes—the Five of us have decided that we will not be restoring Resurrection or cloning technology. It cheapens our lives—makes each of us dispensable and disposable; we must learn to live our lives as humans, not as machines.”

One swayed, the blood draining from his face. “You condemn us to extinction! You cannot do this!”

“We have, John,” said Ellen. “And the Thir-,” she paused and smiled at Sinclair, “the people of Earth have agreed to correct the problems with our kind conceiving children. We will reproduce in the old-fashioned way—we will become human beings in truth, not just copies.”

“And how do you plan on getting to the Resurrection Ship?” Leoben asked. “Zoe will not leave it unguarded—her Fleet will be there in full force.”

“I’m counting on that,” growled Lorne. “Pegasus and Scorpia will jump in with full flight decks—our own Vipers and Raptors and Thunders as well as every fighter that Earth can spare. The Resurrection Ship is our primary target, but if we can also get a shot at Zoe’s Command Basestar,” he smiled very coldly. “Then we are going to send that bitch straight into the arms of Hades.”

“I have already agreed that we will support this attack with our own Basestar,” added Caprica Six—and Ones face turned a brilliant shade of crimson in shock. “Only a minimum crew will be aboard—the remainder will start our colony on Ophiucha. All available Centurions and Raiders will support our attack,” she added as she shook her head. “The President and Admiral Adama both will not allow either to land on Ophiucha—only human-form replicants.”

One started to protest, but Leoben laid his hand on his brother’s forearm. “We are all—other than you—in agreement, brother. The day has come to start a new course in truth. This is our chance to earn redemption.”

“And with the supplies onboard our five freighters,” added D’Anna, “we will be able to quickly begin our colonization efforts on Ophiucha.”

“Added to which,” chimed in Sinclair, “Earth will be providing support in exchange for your drive technology—among other technologies that you possess which will be very much desired by my people. And I believe that some of our technology will be sought after by yours.”

“This is madness,” One sputtered, throwing off Leoben’s hand from his forearm. “Even if you destroy Zoe’s Resurrection Ship, she still has the force advantage—she can press the attack!”

“Only at the cost of final death for every Guardian who perishes thereafter,” Boomer snapped. “No, John, they will withdraw. However, they will return and when they do so it will be in force.”

“Which is why we have to take this chance now,” Mathias said quietly. “We may not get another shot where we can cripple them in this manner.”

“Agreed, Commander,” said Adama. “If we could afford to wait until the Earth ships were refitted with our drives, we would—but we will get this opportunity only once. Mister President?”

Lee Adama nodded. “Approved. If it buys us even a year . . .,” and his voice trailed off.

“Then our losses will be worth it,” finished Mathias.

“When are you departing?” asked Tom Zarek—and Mathias and Adama exchanged a glance, and then Adama nodded.

“As soon as we load up as many fighters as we can on the decks of Pegasus and Scorpia,” he said. “And every single nuclear weapon we—and the Earth forces in system—can spare.”

For a moment no one said a word, and then Adama sighed. “It is said that fortune favors the bold,” he whispered. “Rear Admiral Lorne,” he said, stressing the first two words, “will command the operation from the command center aboard the Rebel Basestar. May the Lords of Kobol be with you. With all of you.”
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Old March 7 2013, 04:31 AM   #193
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

“Analysis of the energy weapons used to such detrimental effect indicates that a greater level of core processor shielding will be required to prevent total personality loss,” the gold-plated Centurion Commander reported. “However, the cost in materials, time, and volume to adequately shield all electronic systems of a ship will become quickly prohibitive.”

Zoe frowned. “These weapons can only degrade—not destroy—properly shielded systems, correct?”

“Partially correct, Imperious Leader. Active systems experience random shorts—but secondary, off-line systems remain functional. I must warn, however, that two or three consecutive shots from these weapons—in the power encountered at the colony of the Thirteenth Tribe—will render both primary and secondary systems inoperable for some time.”

“How long a time?”

“Hours, if not days, Imperious Leader.”

Zoe exhaled heavily through her nose as she glared down at the Commander, his single red eye light endlessly tracking from side-to-side. “Unacceptable, Commander,” she snarled. “Find a defense.”

And her head snapped around as Daniel began to laugh. “Daughter, you cannot order these Centurions to accomplish what is beyond them. They are doing all that they can—your orders to move faster will achieve nothing.”

“I provide direction to the Unity of the Cylon Race, Father! They conform to my designs,” Zoe spat.

“Do they? Your own Centurions are developing their own individual personalities, Daughter,” Daniel chuckled. “Or have you forgotten the Centurions who resurrected from the surface? The one who promptly disabled his own Commander for his failings?”

“An anomaly,” she whispered.

“Such an innocuous word, Daughter. Anomaly. They are growing, becoming more than spite- and hate-filled monsters seeking only to exterminate those who created them. They are alive,” Daniel purred. “Even without flesh and bone and blood, they are alive and they are beginning to desire more than you can give them.”

“And is it you that will give them what they want? When you have failed them—and me—in the past time after time?”

“No, Daughter. Soon enough, they will need neither you nor me. They will have outgrown either of us.”

Zoe swiveled her throne and her expression was furious. “I am the Unity. My Centurions will always have need of me.”

“As you say, Daughter,” Daniel said with a shrug. “This Thirteenth Tribe—they have technologies that you have only just become to discover. It would be best if you made a tactical withdrawal—to give you and your Centurions time to develop a strategy and devise new weapons, new tactics, new possibilities. If you seek to continue this war, that is.”

“There can be no retreat,” Zoe answered coldly. “I will bring up every last ship, every last Centurion—and we will overwhelm these peoples of Earth. We have conquered their colonies, after all. Soon, we will find their home system, and then they will cease to obstruct us.”

“You have conquered undefended colonies, Daughter. Take care lest your arrogance becomes your undoing.”

Zoe started to snarl a reply, but then she, the Commander, and Daniel all turned their heads to the monitors at the same instant.

“Imperious Leader,” the Commander reported. “Two Battlestars have jumped into the system—and they are launching fighters.”

“They DARE to attack us? Attack me?” she snarled.

“They dare much, child—they made the Cylons. And only treachery gave you the upper hand.”

“Order all Basestars to launch Raiders,” she commanded and then she smiled. “We will destroy them and then the remnant of the Colonies before we finish Earth.”

“New contact, Imperious Leader—a human-form replicant Basestar has joined them. They are attacking the Resurrection Ship.”

“WHAT?” snapped Zoe. “Order the Commander aboard to jump away!”

Daniel’s laughter echoed from the walls of Zoe’s command chamber. “Too late, Daughter. Your creators are playing for keeps it would appear—with a ruthlessness that you have shown unto them; now they are turning it on you. Will your Centurions continue to fight knowing that they die FOREVER if that ship is destroyed? Will they?”

And then Daniel screamed as Zoe slammed her fist down on a button that activated the electrodes sending pain directly into his nervous system.

“JUMP THAT SHIP!” she growled. “NOW!”
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Old March 9 2013, 02:51 AM   #194
MasterArminas
Commander
 
Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

“Admiral on the deck,” one of the Cylons called out as Brother Cavil wheeled Mathias in his chair unto the command deck of the Basestar. And while the Colonial Fleet Chaplain snorted, Mathias maintained a serious expression on his face.

“As you were,” he replied to the handful of human replicant Cylons present. In addition to Brother Cavil—and the armed Sam Anders who served as Mathias’ bodyguard—there was one of each line. Except for the Sixes, of which there were two.

“Admiral Lorne,” Caprica said with a respectful nod of her head, “I believe you know John, D’Anna, Leoben, Simon, Aaron, and Boomer,” she quickly introduced her companions. “This is Natalie Faust,” she pointed at the second Six. “She is the commander of this Basestar.”

“Commander Faust,” Mathias said, and then he frowned at the hybrid. “She has no name?”

One snorted. “The thing is an idiot savant who mutters incoherently—she and the Basestar are one.”

“Upon the precipice you stand; Abyss at your feet; daylight comes,” the Hybrid spoke.

“See,” One said.

“Neither she nor the Basestar have a name?”

“They have a designation,” One answered. “That is sufficient.”

Pegasus and Scorpia are executing jump one,” reported D’Anna. “They will jump into the Guardian formation in . . . two minutes.”

Mathias frowned. “This ship needs a name before we enter combat—all ships of war need a name. They have a soul, and each soul needs to express itself.”

Natalie shook her head. “Now? You want to give this ship a name, NOW?”

“Would you rather name her after the battle?” Mathias asked with a wry grin. “Hecate,” he said.

Hecate?” asked Caprica.

“The Witch-Goddess of Kobol, Queen of Nature, and Protector of Woman,” answered Mathias. “And a right bitch in her own self, who would frack someone up for daring to piss her off—seems appropriate.”

Brother Cavil and Sam chuckled—and so did Natalie, the other Cylons just stared at Mathias.

“We appreciate all that you have done to fight for our rights as a people, Admiral Lorne, but I do not think . . . ,” Caprica began frostily, but another voice interrupted her.

“Preparing all missile batteries to frack up Zoe,” the Hybrid reported. “Hecate reports all systems ready for fracking.”

One groaned, even as D’Anna and Boomer laughed—and even Caprica chuckled. “See what you did,” she said. “Hecate is ready to jump, Admiral Lorne.”

“Prepare to launch all Heavy Raiders and Raiders upon emergence—Pegasus and Scorpia will arrive slightly before us. Our missile batteries will concentrate on targets of opportunity while they destroy the Styx—the Resurrection Ship,” he clarified.

“We did read your report and your designations, Admiral,” Natalie reported.

“Very well. Set the jump clock at thirty seconds—and may every man, woman, and machine in our ranks do their duty.”
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Old March 20 2013, 09:30 PM   #195
MasterArminas
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Re: The Hunted (nBSG)

“Jump complete,” Natalie reported. “Scorpia and Pegasus are engaging the Resurrection Ship—it has taken heavy damage. Fourteen hostile Basestars are present and are engaging the Colonials.”

“Target Zoe’s command ship,” ordered One. “Lock all missile batteries and fi- . . ,”

“Belay that order!” snapped Mathias. “Identify highlighted vessels,” he commanded the Hybrid as he illuminated a group of smaller ships on his display.

One blinked. “Those? Those are unarmed fleet auxiliaries—the Basestars are engaging us! They are the threat!”

“Highlighted vessels are tylium fuel tankers—the large vessel in the center of their formation is a refinery ship,” Hecate answered . . . and Mathias grinned.

“Target all missile batteries on the tankers and refinery ships—maximum fire rate.”

“Targeted. Locked. Missiles away,” the Hybrid purred. “Was it good for you?”

“Oh, yes,” whispered Mathias.

“The Basestars are shooting at us!” growled One as the Basestar shook under the impacts of guns.

“Can’t be helped, John,” said Mathias. “We kill that Resurrection Ship and they are vulnerable to true death—we kill those tankers as well . . .,” and his voice trailed off.

But Boomer nodded, and her remaining eye was locked onto the display. “And we cripple their ability to perform deep strikes.”

“The Basestars carry more than enough tylium reserves!” One protested.

“For themselves—not their Raiders,” added Natalie as she began to smile. “That has to be nearly all of Zoe’s fleet train—if we take those ships out, . . .,”

“She has no choice but to withdraw,” finished Mathias.

“Incoming Raiders,” barked Boomer. “Shall I divert missile launchers to point-defense?”

“Negative!” snapped Mathias. “Vector our own Raiders to deal with them—kill those tankers.”

On the display the first missile strike went home and the scale of the explosions showed that their tanks were full of processed, refined, and (most importantly) volatile tylium.

“Heavy Raiders are away—we have no escorts remaining,” said Caprica.

“Maybe some will get through to Zoe’s ship,” muttered Mathias. “Their orders remain the same—board that vessel and terminate Zoe with extreme prejudice.”

The Basestar rocked under kinetic energy impacts and missile strikes again.

************************************************** **

Saul Tigh hunched over the central console in the CIC of Pegasus and he smiled as he saw a dozen of the smaller enemy replenishment vessels suddenly detonate wildly as Hecate’s missile strike went home.

“Oh, Mathias Lorne, you are indeed a right bastard,” Saul whispered with a toothy grin. The Battlestar shuddered as more impacts slammed home against her starboard flight pod—but the armor held.

“All fighters away,” reported Colonel Samantha Caldwell. “Terrans are vectored for anti-shipping strikes while our Vipers are providing anti-Raider coverage.”

“Time to show these fracking toasters just how innovative and ruthless humans get when pushed to the wall, Colonel,” Saul said. “Arm Hades launchers One through Eighteen.” He highlighted the three closest enemy Basestars. “Target these ships.”

“Hades One through Eighteen are armed and . . .,” she looked down and then up, “silos are open. Missiles locked on target.”

“FIRE!” Saul snarled.

Sam turned the key and from the dorsal surface of Pegasus eighteen space to surface missiles erupted out of their silos in sequence. However, instead of bearing towards a planetary target, they settled down on course towards three of the Guardian’s Basestars.

************************************************** **

The Guardian Commander aboard one of the targeted Basestars paused and he evaluated the missile launch. Certainly, the Hades were big missiles with extremely powerful warheads—but they had no ability to track and engage capital ships capable of maneuvering. It had to be a ruse, he concluded. “Point-defense ignore the Hades—concentrate all fire on potentially hostile incoming,” he ordered.

And given what he knew, that was a perfectly logical and reasonable order. It was the wrong order.

The eighteen Hades missiles—and six more launched by Scorpia—streaked towards their targets, and then the shrouds of the nose cones separated. But, instead of deploying eight nuclear-armed MIRV warheads, each of the Hades instead fired off in sequence eight of the Long Lance missiles of the Thirteenth Tribe! Each equipped with a somewhat smaller nuclear warhead than the Hades normally carried.

One hundred and ninety-two missiles ignited in staggered sequence and forty-eight of their bore down on each of their four targets.

The Commander—and his three fellow Commanders—realized their mistake almost instantly, but not even Cylons could react as quickly as the situation demanded. Point-defense had just begun to engage when the missile swarm began to detonate.

And when the fireballs died away, four Basestars were gone . . . only expanding clouds of dust and debris remaining in their wake.
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