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 Post subject: Episode 29: Best Defense
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 10:32 pm 
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Around Day 170…

“So you’ve been attacking their fleet.” –Commander Adama

“You know what they say about the best defense.” – Admiral Cain

“Any chance to hit the cylons where it hurts… my pleasure.” –Commander Adama


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Previously on Battlestar Libra...

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1455, Day 98
Private guest quarters on Libra


Admiral Rodrigues and Major Riley stood there, looking at the chained Kalrk.

"Okay, machine. Talk."

"Admiral, my name is..."

"I know your name. Or one of them, 'Kalrk'. What we want to know is.. What are you up to? Why come in a heavy raider? It's quite a tale: evading your own kind."

"I am Kalrk. I'm the cylon who had that name for a year and a half. I'm the cylon who invented EarTunes, President of K Industries on Leonis. I hired Merton to customize my ship Mercurius. I had passwords that even I had to give, so another of my model couldn't steal Mercurius."

The cylon saw the look on their faces, like stone.

"But," The cylon continued, "on the day of the cylon attack of the twelve Colonies, one of my model killed my security at my hangar and stole Mercurius. I programmed my ship, that if I didn't enter certain codes on reaching orbit... the ship re-programmed him. At that point he thought he was me."

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Battlestar Libra - CO's office
Admiral Benito Rodrigues and Commander William Guynes


"There is one thing that is interesting in all of this: Here we have Kalrk, a Cylon who hates his own. Ms. Warren saying her people were wrong and is trying to embrace human ways. Finally, we have our Cylon in your brig who would rather kill us than look at us." Commander Guynes paused for a moment. "Some days I just don't know what to make of them... other than Karlk and Warren are the oddities."

The Admiral shook his head slowly. “Look at our own people,” he sighed. “Less than twenty thousand of us left, and we still have nutjobs who pit us against each other.”

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Terpsichore
Major Scott Duncan and Colonel Xenthais Merconi


“PLA—People’s Liberation Army,” Major Scott Duncan told Colonel Xenthais Merconi. “I’ve been up against them before, three, four years ago, on Canceron. They’re fanatics, revolutionaries, the fight-to-the-death type…”

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Hydrus
Major Scott Duncan and PLA warlord Bryant Dillon


Duncan didn't dare take a shot; at this range, even with the bulk of Dillon's body, there was still a chance that Garrison would take collateral damage. There wasn't time for anything else... he leapt for Dillon's gun arm, grabbing his wrist with one hand, the gun with the other. It was like grabbing a thick steel bar, and he put all his strength into pulling Dillon's gun hand away from Garrison's head.

Two things happened almost at once: Duncan, with both hands on the gun and a supreme effort, wrenched it from Dillon's grip--but just as he did, Dillon pulled the trigger.

…Dillon grabbed him by the arm in a lightning-fast snatch and swung him against the trunk of a substantial nearby tree...

...Duncan got to his feet, staggering a few steps backwards. Dillon fell onto his back with a thud. Duncan didn't take his eyes from him, though, blinking, trying to focus...

"Frak," Duncan said faintly, pressing his hand to his ribs. Blood welled out between his fingers, and he slowly sank to his knees. "Wàten..." he said, "...ahì."

He slumped over and didn't move.

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Libra Medical Section
Dr Ralph DeValera, Major Scott Duncan


Doctor (Major) Ralph DeValera finished his exam. “Go back to duty,” he told Duncan. “…If a live mission comes up, I want to check you over before I clear you…”

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Destroyer Escort Bellerophon
Major Scott Duncan, Colonel Xenthais Merconi


“You all right?” he asked her quietly, knowing he was drunk but trying to to let her see how drunk… dreading her censure but knowing he deserved it.

"Yeah, I'm fine. Just don't..." Don't what? Don't get near me while you stink like the dredges at the bottom of a still? She couldn't tell him that. "I just need to rest a bit... What about you?" She saw the near empty bottle on the table. He'd been drinking. Alone. And from the looks and stench of it, had been doing so for quite a while. "Did something... happen? That scumbag Ito?"

He shook his head wordlessly. Savagely, he got up and dumped the little of what was left in the bottle down the sink. He didn’t look himself in the eye… couldn’t look Xen in the eye when he went back out and sat at the table. “No reason to drink,” he said, sounding wasted. And desolate. “Xen…” he said. Oh Aten how do I tell her this? He remembered how Stella had been. He put his face in his hands again. “Wàtenahì,” he swore to himself. You can’t hide from the sun. Get it over with. “Kaani’ha,” he had to force himself to speak loudly enough so she could hear. “I have. A problem. With booze.” She’s going to hate me. “I just can’t… can’t stay away from it. If… when I start… I can’t stop.” He had to force the last words out. "Nothing has to... happen. I jus'... just like the damn stuff too much." Oh Aten, why didn't I die with the rest of my clan?

Xenthais stared at him uncomprehending for a few seconds. Then the full import of what he'd said struck her. Oh gods. He's an alcoholic. And he's stinking drunk. And hates himself for it. A part of her recoiled in disgust; a part of her longed to hold him and reassure him everything would be alright. But she couldn't go near him while he was still drunk, or she'd retch. She took a deep breath and blinked the moisture away. "We can... deal with that. Together. There are... treatments, stuff you... WE can do. I'm here for you, Kyan," she said softly. "I love you."

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Taurus - Special Holding Cell #1
Biological cylon model Six Carilyn Warren


Carilyn Warren sat listening to the newest item that she was given: a radio. It was actually out of arm's reach of the Cylon. Generally, relaxing music played through it, but not today.

Today was all about the election. Carilyn had listened to the interviews and pundits all day. All of them were missing the mark.

Keep moving and keep jumping. You can only be safe when you get away from...them, she thought. Warren couldn't bring herself to using or even thinking the word Cylon. She wanted distance from her fellow beings, physically and mentally.

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Dan Bears on Wireless

“Captain Kalrk. You’re ‘captain’ because of your license to pilot a spacecraft, and you did some outstanding scouting missions, and some fancy dogfighting… Why haven’t you been on any missions since you’ve gotten better? Why are flying that bucket Canis?”

Canis One was a gift from Captain Merton and The Pack, and she is NOT a bucket. Don’t let her exterior fool you.”

“Again my apologies to you, and to The Pack. But, why no missions, Captain? You piloted a Raptor in your escape from the cylons, and we know how good you were with your ship. Why no missions?”

Kalrk knew the answer. And he didn’t like the answer. And he sure couldn’t share it with the fleet. That he was a cylon and that the Admiral would never trust him with an armed vessel.

He kept his anger in check.

“If I am ever needed for a mission.. if I were to be of use in a mission… I’d be on a mission. I do things that are classified. I’m sorry but I can’t say any more on the subject.”

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Highlands Dawn
President Andros Meyers


"And that I will protect and defend the Articles of Colonization with every fiber of my being."

As soon as the words had been spoken, the whole assembly broke into a huge applause and soon the people started to chant the new Presidents name. Some were even crying in relief that finally, finally everything was right again, that they had a President again, that the hated Martial Law would soon be lifted...

"Congratulations, Mister President," the old Priest had trouble making himself heard above the sound of the crowd when he offered Meyers his hand. "It's been a pleasure to meet you!"

"Thank you very much. May the Gods be with us," smiled Meyers and shook the priest's hand as there was a cheer from the crowd. The cheer built up, passing like a wave outward through the hall to the people who still stood in the corridors outside.

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Astral Dawn
Vice President Liza Liala


"I, Liza Liala, do now avow and affirm that I will support and defend the Articles of Colonization against all enemies, foreign and domestic..."

Liza listened to her own voice repeating after that of the nervous young Priest, and in her mind she was transported back six years, to the time before when she had spoken these very same words, taken this very same oath, upon her entry into the CBI. She had held those words close to her heart, carried them on beyond the end of the world. And strangely enough, it had led her here...Back to that very same oath. Truly, the Gods must have a sense of ironic humor, if nothing else.

"...That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same..."

She found she was as mesmerized by it now as she had been the first time. Perhaps even more so, now. Standing on the threshold of the Vice Presidency, each word's repetition felt like a solemn weight placed upon her shoulders.

"...That I take this obligation freely, without any moral reservation or mental evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me Gods." finished Liza.

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Released Memo
Day 95


Quote:
To: The Fleet
From: Admiral Thomas Jacobs
Subject: Current Status

...First, as of this afternoon, I have promoted Benito Rodrigues to Admiral of the fleet. He is now in charge of all military matters. Until a government is restored by the citizens of the fleet, his word is the law in civilian matters as well...


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Battlestar Libra
Admiral Rodrigues' office


"Over the last few months, Sir," Dedrick began, "a small group of individuals who have a common interest in the survival of our fleet have been quietly meeting to discuss the future, our long-term future. These individuals share an ancient tradition of beliefs, and a modest number of texts of prophecy and analysis, all of which support the existence of Kobol's 13th Tribe."

"In addition to these texts," Karl added, "our group has had the extreme good fortune to possess a key artifact which both tradition and prophecy says is a key to the location of the 13th Tribe's homeworld, the lost Colony, Earth."

Professor Mueller adjusted his glasses. "Captain Dedrick and I are members of that group, Admiral, and the artifact of which we speak is, by all indications, an ancient star map. We believe, based upon our interpretation of our texts and our research into this star map, that we know the location of Pythos, the site of the Oracle of Pythia."

When Karl paused, David continued with the report, "We also have strong reason to believe that on Pythos, we will find further information that will help us rediscover the location of Earth, and our brothers of the 13th Tribe."

"This, Admiral, could be the our one chance to escape the cylons once and for all!" Karl's voice shook with urgency and intensity.

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Battlestar Libra
Admiral Rodrigues' office


Admiral Rodrigues asked, "What did you manage to find on Chiron?"

"Santana's report is accurate," Captain Dedrick responded, "the pattern present on the construction plaque is clearly intentional, and is repeated precisely on the small version within the Captain's cabin. The pattern is also duplicated on the floor of the computer core room, and again the markings were placed there purposefully." As he spoke, Dedrick reviewed each of the pertinent photos, laying them out on the Admiral's desk. "However, despite a thorough search of the ship, and an exhaustive examination of the computer systems, I was unable to determine what that purpose is."

Rodrigues examined the photos with interest, and nodded for Dedrick to continue.

"What we are left with is mostly conjecture," Dedrick continued. "I believe we can state, with a high degree of confidence, that Vice Admiral Lathrop and Major Davenport were both members of the Order, and that modifications of an unknown type were done to the Chiron. Based on that, it is reasonable to assume that the modifications relate in some way to the Search for Earth."

"Hopefully the cylons didn't discover the nature of those modifications," Rodrigues murmured.

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Battlestar Libra
Admiral Benito Rodrigues


"So you are asking me to take the people of my fleet to an unstable system where the cylons might already be awaiting us..." Admiral Benito Rodrigues said levelly. "Based on 'data' obtained from an ancient and obscure prophet."

It was, actually, more than Ben ever thought he’d have… something concrete, even if not entirely conventional, that provided guidance to Earth. The search for Earth had been weighing heavily on his mind. How could they ever hope to find one small planet in the vastness of the universe with no clear idea which direction to go?

Rodrigues to the military commanders:
"We are heading toward Pythos, gentlemen… "It's not a pleasant place. There are indications that there's a possibility the cylons will be there also…”

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Cylon Baseship
Open space
Day 232


The Six looked at Cepha, without emotion on her face. "Why are we discussing this?" Her gaze drifted from him to the others slowly; her speech was soft, sensuous. "Killing these last few humans, whether we finish off Adama's or Rodrigues's group first.. is unimportant.." Her eyes were back on Cepha. "We go after Adama now. We follow God's will."

Colonel Alexa Synder appeared at Cepha's shoulder and spoke softly into his ear. "And just what is your god's will, Cepha?"

"I think God's will is to kill the Libra fleet first. It is Rodrigues who slaughtered the gift." Cepha glared at the Six.

"Is it God's will or your personal vendetta, Cepha?" the Three, once called Kayla Welch, asked. "Adama has killed far more Cylons than the admiral of the Libra."

"Not all lives are equal, though, are they, Cepha?" Alexa's tone was both sultry and taunting. "The gift was worth much more than any other... and Rodrigues' life is worth much less."

Cepha glared at the Colonial marine that stood between the Three and the Six that only he could see. "Rodrigues' life is not worth a damn...but it is the unspeakable crime that he did to God and all of us that he must pay for. Unfortunately, I am just a minor voice in this and it looks like the greater collectives' will wins out."

"Patience, Cepha, patience," Alexa told him, a crafty smile on her face. "The will of your god... will prevail."

_________________
Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, about budget cuts for the US’s intelligence agencies: "We're not going to do more with less and all these other clichés. . . . We will just simply have less capability."


Last edited by GoldWolf on Sun Dec 16, 2007 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 10:39 pm 
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Previously on Battlestar Libra...

On Day 236, at 1000, the Quorum of The Twelve was sworn into office aboard Catalina.

Grover Baccus for the Catalina District;
Patrick Greene for the Nimbus District;
Angela Hanson for the Perseus District;
Corinna Harrison from Lycanthrope, for the Tauranian Titan District;
Kalrk for the Harvest Moon District;
James Morris for the Grandeur District;
and the others.

Day 236, 1105
Catalina

Grover Baccus milled around among his fellow Quorum members, a brightly colored wild duck among stately swans. Slowly but surely, cliques of like-minded members were coming together, Patrick Greene's being the most obvious. But most studiously avoided the representative from the Catalina district, the man none expected to win. Not even himself.

"Mr. Baccus? Hello, I'm Corinna Harrison, from Lycanthrope... of District Tauranian Titan." She extended her hand to him. "Nice ship you have here. I was a delegate to the Convention. I guess that helped me win this new position."

The portly man's face broke into a friendly smile. "Please to meet you, Ms. Harrison!" He shook her hand with enthusiasm. "Lycanthrope, uh? Good ship, that one. Hard working ship. And armed too! I'm not from Catalina, you know," he said in hushed tones. "I'm from Hades Horn myself. Don't get me wrong, Catalina is a beautiful ship, but it's, well... It's not what I'm used to, if you know what I mean..."

"My apologies." She said, somewhat awkwardly. "I don't know which ships are in which Districts... other than my own. And I certainly do know what you mean about Catalina; she's glitzy."

"No apologies needed, Ms. Harrison!" Baccus laughed good-naturedly, "You would've thought the good people of the Catalina would pick one of their own, but heck, by some quirk of the gods here I am!" He looked around as he said it and, taking in the politicians around him, his smile faded somewhat. "You look like a straight shooter, Ms. Harrison, and you were in the Convention too... What d'you think happens now? Will the military just roll over and accept Meyers as the new boss?"

She laughed at that. The man had a way of cutting though the bullshit.

"No governement, and no military in history, has been as fast as that. But I imagine the Admiral is gonna kiss Meyers when they jointly decide when martial law can be lifted."

"Don't know 'bout kissing," Grover scoffed, "but maybe you're right - maybe the Admiral will be happy to lift martial law and let us civilians handle the mess..."

Grover Baccus:
Image

--------------

_________________
Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, about budget cuts for the US’s intelligence agencies: "We're not going to do more with less and all these other clichés. . . . We will just simply have less capability."


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 10:49 pm 
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Cylon Baseship
Somewhere in Open Space
Day 236
(JasoCS and JDCTexas)

The three unit known as Kayla Welch looked at her fellow Three model with no emotion. "Sister, I am glad you could meet with me."

"It was no bother," answered a second three in her heavily accented voice. "What is it you need?"

"I need to discuss a few subjects with you and it needs to stay between us for now. You are aware of the debate that Caprica Six and Boomer Eight have started about humanity?"

"Of course, doubt there's a one of us who doesn't."

"A model from another line approached me about...the issue. I don't what to make of it right now." the Kayla three said carefully.

The other three closed her eyes tight, and when she reopened them, she was on a great sailing galleon, in the middle of an endless ocean. That's better. "Patience is likely the best course of action. Let's see how the matter evolves before we do anything too.... drastic."

"I agree...I think just letting humanity go could be a dangerous proposition. Actually, it is not the Libra or Galactica humans that could be the biggest threat." Kayla paused to take in a breath of 'sea' air. "The ones back on the colonies that could restart their lives are the ones we need to watch for. It would take them several human generations to get back to the level they were, but the fires of revenge would stoke them every step of the way."

Kayla looked back out at the ocean and then back at her sister model. "I see you spent time in the colonies. This ship reminds me of...this is a Canceron model of a galleon, correct?"

"Yes, it was called the Stargazer." Three cracked a small smile. "Humans seem to have a thing for ironic names."

"What name did you go by in the colonies? I know that some of the operatives have held on to their human names and others have shed them quickly."

"Sarah. But, I found that human names were inefficient. I got rid of mine the moment I resurrected after the attack." She mentally check the time, and realized she must be going soon. "If that is all, I'm needed in the command center."

"Before you go, there is one other subject I would like to touch base with you about." Kayla looked at her seriously, "Some of the other models have approached me with a concern."

"For what?"

"A concern about the model who calls himself Cepha. You have surely noticed that he sometime acts...questionably?"

"Yes," she answered. "I have noticed. He seems very.... distracted to say the least."

Kayla 'Three' was glad that someone else had noticed, "The entire thing of him questioning us all about going after the Galactica was troublesome."

"My thoughts exactly. We cannot come so far, just to have one of our own questioning the past."

"Some would say the same of Caprica Six and Boomer Eight." Kayla looked up. "We must be careful around Cepha and we must be ready to do one thing if he becomes too out of hand or dangerous."

"Agreed. And if he continues down this path, that may become the only option." The Three let out a heavy sigh. "Let's just hope it doesn't come to that."

_________________
"Times change...and so must I." - The Doctor, 'Time of the Doctor'


Last edited by jdctexas on Wed Sep 12, 2007 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 10:51 pm 
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Pythos
Day 236


Two of the cylon model Threes stood side-by-side in the dining facility that was part of the small grouping of buildings that they were using while they were on this terrestrial moon. One of the Threes was a leader of a cohort of combat centurions; the other was one of the archeologists who was trying to discern the secrets of the drakonataph embedded in the center of this crater.

Also there were two Sixes, one the commander of all the combat centurions, the other a mining supervisor. A Doral, dressed in the overalls of a mining supervisor, stood next to this last Six. A second Doral, an archeologist with the Three, joined the group, his light blue leisure suit in stark contrast with his fellow Doral's scruffy appearance.

"We have discussed this already," the combat commander Six said. "The prophesy was made by a human, and is therefore flawed and unreliable."

The Eight next to her nodded her silent agreement.

"Perhaps--but it did lead us here," the archeologist Three replied. Reciting from memory, as if she was making the prophesy herself, she said:

    "I saw a strange land, a vision of Olympus and Gehenna both, and upon it lay the tomb of Python, and the bones of the Earth Dragon were beset by many enemies. The legion was that of Hephaestus' daughter, formed by her as she by him, and they sought to breach Python's holy crypt, where the Dragon still looked upon Gaia, and to steal his gems and precious metals."

    "But the soldiers of the daughter of Hephaestus, and those they had raised up to be their masters, were driven from the presence of the Earth Dragon by Hekatos and Solischola, and by the children of Kobol. As their enemy was routed, the children of Kobol, led by the descendants of Ariadne, looked also upon the path to Gaia, where the Archer would lead them to Paradise."


"The prophesy was made by Sankhara, a human," the mining leader Six said with a touch of impatience. "As my sister said, there are bound to be flaws in the prophesy."

"But what if there aren't?" the archeologist Three replied.

The nattily dressed archeologist Doral inspected his perfectly manicured nails. "Sankhara is a lesser prophet, one usually dismissed by the humans," he stated, already bored with the discussion, one they'd had more than once long before they found the system. "And we have yet to find the map to the Thirteenth Colony in the drakonataph. Sankhara could be wrong about the rout too. Besides, aren't we, in a sense, 'children of Kobol' too? We are, after all, the children of the children of Kobol... Why should you assume we are the soldiers of Haphaestus' daughter?"

A Leoben, one of the archeologists, grinned and said, "Olympus and Gehenna... heaven and hell. Who are the angels, and who are the demons?" No one paid his comment any attention, but he was undisturbed.

"Bah!" the mining supervisor Doral exclaimed, "Who cares what fanciful fictions that heretical creature wrote? There is only one true God, and we are His messengers. What humans call 'prophesies' are nothing but fabrications and myths; the only kernel of truth they hold is the chronicle of the voyage to the Colonies."

"There is one way the prophecy can be proven," said a somewhat dusty Simon who had been out in the field, "and that is to find what we are looking for."

Another Simon looked at his brother and then the others. "The sooner we get this done, the better. We will find what we are looking for, no matter how long it takes."

"We still must consider that maybe... maybe the prophesy is correct," the archeologist Three said. She looked at the combat commander Six. "That's why you are here to lead the centurions--and why we have Raiders overhead and patrolling throughout this system."

"The centurions and Raiders are here only as a precaution," the Six replied. "Human prophesy and clues led us here. There is always a chance, although a small one, that the humans could also find this system. I doubt that there are enough still alive who could 'rout' us, as that interpretation of Sankhara says."

"If there's to be a rout, it'll be us routing them," the slim Eight assured them with a fierce swagger that belied her sweetly dainty looks. "If they show up, here is where we'll finish the job we started in the Colonies."

Leoben had slowly circled around the group, and now came up beside the Eight. "That is not to be," he said calmly, peering at the female Cylon from over her shoulder. "Rout, or not," he intoned, "there is a route here which must be discovered, a route that will lead us to the final battlefield." The Leoben stepped around the model Eight, placing his back toward her and facing the others. "It is not prophecy that will hand the humans their rout..." Leo glanced at the Six who commanded their cohorts of Centurions, and then settled his eyes on the Doral archaeologist as he finished. "We will, to preserve our search for the last of their kind."

_________________
Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, about budget cuts for the US’s intelligence agencies: "We're not going to do more with less and all these other clichés. . . . We will just simply have less capability."


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 11:00 pm 
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Day 236, 1245
Catalina

Over 250 days ago, James Morris had begun a trip aboard the space park Grandeur. During that voyage, the cylons had attacked the twelve colonies of Kobol. And whether by design of the gods, or sheer luck, that ship, and others, had gathered under the protection of the battlestar Libra, and the remains of her battlestar group.

When the “fleet” had begun a Constitutional Convention aboard the luxury liner Palatine, Morris had been one of nine delegates from the space park. His platform had been to preserve the Articles of Colonization, that any changes would somehow lessen democracy; that change was bad.

Then there was the discovery of more ships that had survived; gathered with the battlestar Intrepid . Humanity’s number increased, and the Convention’s size with it. Among those was Patrick Greene, member of The Quorum of Twelve from Picon Greene was instrumental in showing Morris that as there was a new reality to their lives, so too there must be a new reality of the government.

As the Convention concluded, all governmental posts needed to be filled. James Morris ran for Quorum of the Twelve, Grandeur District. His platform had been that democracy still needed protection. Even though the situation was different here in space, than at the colonies, democracy had to be safeguarded, even moreso here. Martial Law had to be lifted, and the new government thad to ensure that it never be needed again.

James Morris won.

And here he was, on Catalina where the Convention had been held since the two fleets combined. Catalina, the home for the Quorum of Twelve.

“Mr. Morris! So nice to see you again!” The housekeeper exclaimed. “It’s great that some of the delegates are on the Quorum!”

“Thanks, Heidi” .He smiled genuinely and shook her hand. “Yes, with some of us here, and others in the People’s Council... we’re sure that democracy will continue.”

“Do you know when martial law will be lifted?”

“Not soon enough, if you ask me.” He smiled. “I imagine President Meyers will be discussing that with the Admiral soon. And if not, the Quorum will… urge him to do so.

“Great!’ Heidi exclaimed. “I’m nervous with marines walking around. I won’t keep you any firthr, mr. Morris. I imagine you’ll be heading to lunch soon?”

“Sure am. 1300.”


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 9:29 pm 
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Battlestar Libra
Day 236 1300 Hours
Command Intelligence Briefing, StealthStar II Pythos mission data



"We don't have hard evidence, but based on the information we do have, I'm prepared to say we've found Pythos."


Captain David Dedrick held Admiral Rodrigues' gaze as he spoke, beginning a briefing of the data brought back by the StealthStar II mission to the star system identified by Kallistos' Plate. Present with Dedrick and Rodrigues were Gunnery Sergeant Razorski and Colonel Riley, the Fleet's Marine Detachment Commander, as well as Major Watkins, the Fleet's CAG. The officers each had a paper copy of Dedrick's briefing, and laid out on the conference room table was a large graphic map of the triple-star system.

"It's the only terrestrial body in the system, and it has a breathable atmosphere." Dedrick glanced down at the map, then added "The Fates were kind, leaving us with just the one possibility."

“I’m not sure if I’d credit the Fates,” the Admiral commented. “It might be better to acknowledge whoever picked Pythos as a tomb site… and Sankhara, for pointing us here. Go on, Captain.”

Dedrick laid several photos out on the table. "These are shots of the shell nebula taken by the long-range telescope on the Harvest Moon," he said. "The nebula is essentially a hollow sphere made up of dozens of concentric layers of stellar material ejected from the dwarf pair during the white dwarf's previous superoutbursts. These shells glow faintly as a result of their component gases being excited by the solar radiation from the orange subgiant."

"Somewhere in that nebula would be a good place to hide our civilian ships," Rodrigues commented.

"One of the factors that we must consider is the sheer size of this system of stellar phenomena," Dedrick stated. Laying several diagrams beside the nebula photos, he continued, "The inner shells of the nebula lie more than 150,000 SU from the system's center of mass. The trinary star system is little more than a pin-point within the nebula."

Colonel Riley gazed at the diagrams thoughtfully, then looked at Dedrick and Rodrigues both. "Hiding the civvies in the nebula will keep them far from the combat zone," he murmured. "That's a hell of a lot of empty space out there."

Dedrick laid another photo out on the table, an impressive shot Major Barker had taken of the dwarf star pair. The larger of the two dwarf stars was in the foreground, the evil red glow of its surface peppered by dark spots. Stretching outward from it was the accretion disk, a fiery whirlpool of stellar material that spiraled in toward the white dwarf star at its center. Beyond this scene of stellar cannibalism was the blazing orange subgiant, appearing only slightly larger than the distant background stars, but far more brilliant.

"The star system consists of the orange subgiant, and this dwarf pair," Dedrick stated, gesturing toward the photo, "which orbit their common center of mass with an average separation of 1.5 SU. This disc of material being drawn off the red dwarf is immense - if Caprica orbited the white star, it would lie only two-thirds of the way from the center of this deadly vortex."

"The subgiant follows an elliptical orbit around the trinary system's center of mass. The dwarf pair follows a similar elliptical orbit, behaving essentially as a single mass when viewed on this scale. Their orbital separation varies from 60 to 540 SU, according to Dr. Peterson. Currently, the star system is approaching periastron - the point at which the stars are closest to each other."

Turning a page in the briefing, Dedrick continued, "Dr. Peterson has established the period of the dwarf nova events, but it is a somewhat variable cycle, ranging from 11 to 17 days. According to his research, the most likely date for the next event is Day 240. Originally, I had thought to place an early-warning Raptor in orbit around the dwarf pair, and have it FTL to Pythos to alert us to the next nova if it occurred during our operations there."

Dedrick looked up to meet Rodrigues’ eyes again. "However, Admiral, it has occurred to me that we can position a Raptor or Stealthstar near the dwarf pair and have it alert the fleet to the next nova, and we can use the event to cover our arrival at Pythos. With the stars in their current configuration, the electromagnetic wavefront from a dwarf nova will take approximately 10 hours to reach Pythos, depending upon the gas giant's precise orbital position."

"Using the nova to our advantage is an excellent idea," Rodrigues agreed, "but how much will it effect our comms and DRADIS?"

"When the EM wavefront hits, comms and DRADIS will be completely overwhelmed. That effect will fade as time passes, but we can't predict how quickly those systems will become operational again," Dedrick said. We will definitely have to plan for that, if we use the nova to cover our arrival."

"We'll need to ensure all our personnel are prepared for that," Rodrigues nodded. "It won't be the first time we've had to fight blind and deaf."

"Finally, regarding the moon itself..." Dedrick laid out several more photos, and referred to another page in the briefing. "Pythos is a terrestrial moon orbiting a gas giant. It is approximately the same size and mass as a typical Colony planet, so gravity should be very close to one Colonial Standard gee. It orbits around a gas giant, which in turn orbits the orange subgiant star at a distance of 50 SU. Normally, at this distance from its primary star a planet would be far too cold to be habitable, but the gas giant emits enough heat to maintain Pythos at a temperature which can support life."

"Excellent," Rodrigues said with an approving nod. "What do you have about the local space conditions--and cylon strength, Raider and ground troops?"

"Admiral, we'll be getting more specifics from the second StealthStar recon, but here's what I have for now: The presence of the Cylons is confirmed, but we don't have any intell yet on their positions or strength." Dedrick grimaced, certain that that was not what the Admiral wanted to hear. "As for the star system, it's a bleak and dangerous place, with the biggest risk being that another superoutburst might occur."

"We'll know more of ground positions and defense satellites after Major Barker's next flight," Fleet CAG Major Watkins stated. "Those should take priority if there are not baseships in the area after clearing the raiders."

The Admiral nodded understandingly at both Dedrick and Watkins. He gave Dedrick a significant look, then said to the others, "Captain Dedrick and I have intell that shows there have been no baseships in the system since Day 221--and that intell also gives us a good idea of the local weather, so to speak." He indicated for the Captain to continue.

Dedrick nodded. "After the Major has penetrated any Cylon pickets, she'll have a target set of ground sites to survey, based on what Dr. Peterson calls 'positions of astronomical significance'." At Rodrigues' questioning look, Dedrick continued, "Pythos may be a moon, but it's the size of one of the Colonies, and we don't have the time to search its entire surface for Python's Tomb. Dr. Peterson has identified several positions, such as the point where the solar eclipse occurs at zenith, which he deems as the most likely places for the tomb to be. We just have to hope he's right, and that the moon hasn't shifted in its orbit."

"We'll need to be certain that the next recon mission gets some good shots of Pythos' surface," Colonel Riley said thoughtfully. "I'm sure that where ever the site of the tomb is, that's where we're going to find ground troops and targets."

Gunnery Sergeant Razorski nodded. "Do you have any more information about the conditions on Pythos' surface, sir?" she asked Dedrick.

"Multi-spectral radiometer data indicates a breathable atmosphere is present, Gunny, very similar to Colonial standard." Dedrick flipped quickly through his file, settling on one particular page. "There is one significant exception. Initial data indicates an unusual concentration of hydrogen sulfide gas in the atmosphere, and the presence of monatomic sulphur fields on the moon's surface. This is consistent with Dr. Peterson's prediction that Pythos will be geothermally active."

"Hydrogen sulfide gas?" Razorski asked slowly. "Monatomic sulphur fields? You said breathable atmosphere, sir... it sounds like it's going to be stinky air."

Riley gave a short laugh. "C'mon, Gunny, were you hoping for a paradise to fight in? What did the prophesy say... heaven and hell? I don't know where the heaven part comes in, but if it's geothermally active, we're going to have brimstone."

"Brimstone is right, Major," Dedrick agreed. "Depending upon how close the nearest activity is, the atmosphere may be more than just 'stinky'... we may have toxic and corrosive effects to contend with."

"Hell for sure," the Razor said darkly, but there was a gleam of humor in her eye.

"That, Sirs, completes the briefing on Pythos thus far," Dedrick stated. "We will hold another briefing to cover the second Stealthstar mission, as soon as the ship returns and the data can be analyzed."

“Thank you, Captain Dedrick; outstanding briefing,” Admiral Rodrigues said. “The next recon will be on Day 238, at 1100; will you be able to analyze the data in time to brief us on it at 0900 on Day 239?”

"Yes, sir," Dedrick stated confidently, "I'll have it ready, sir!"

__________
Edit History: 19 Oct 07, Corrected Colonel Riley's rank in opening paragraph.


Last edited by RangerLord on Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Day 236
1515
Astral Dawn

Walking back from a late lunch, Liza heard someone walking up behind her, and turned, nodding to her marine guards, who let the man apparoach.

“Hello, Madame Vice President." Captain Don Gibbs offered his hand while smiling. "I do believe we've met before."

"In another lifetime...." said Liza with a slight wistful smile, taking his hand and remembering the first time she had met Gibbs, ironically to tell him that the President was dead.

"Well, this is a great lifetime. It's a true honor to have you aboard Astral Dawn, Liza. Anything you need…You know my number."

"I'd love to be able to walk around without a camera getting stuck in my face. But if nothing else, I suppose it is providing jobs." she said quietly, with a laugh.

"I'm sure your husband remembers all the crew passageways. He and you have full access to them."

"Thank you.” Said Liza, her thoughts turning to the past once more as they neared her suite. “You know, Captain, I'm curious...What compelled you to offer me that VIP suite, back on Day Zero?"

He chuckled, remembering that day. "At the time, it seemed the thing to do. You were, and are a very important person. Maybe I'm psychic."

"I was the passenger who was impertinent enough to burst onto your bridge and tell you that Adar was dead, you mean..." she said, her voice a little less lighthearted than it had been a few moments earlier. "

"We were all flying by the seats of our pants." Gibbs recalled. "It's been a wild ride."

"It still is....Probably always will be. Trick is to stay on the horse and not get thrown." she said, the smile returning to her face.

Let me ask you." he was more serious now. "Do you think we've lost the Cylons, we haven't seen them for nearly 3 months."

"I wouldn't want to speculate on that with such limited data." said Liza. "But if you're looking solely for a gut reaction.....I don't think we've seen the last of those frakkers."

"I was hoping my 'gut reaction'…Was just indigestion. I keep thinking they'll pop up at the next jump, every time."

"Keep thinking that, Captain." she said. "It will keep us all alive."

He nodded in agreement. "I'm looking forward to us stopping for awhile."

"I'm looking forward to dinner." she said, ducking the question of when and if the fleet should stop...an issue she still wrestled with herself. "That is, unless it's chicken....again...."

"No. Not chicken." he suppressed his laugh. "I think it's Egg Lasagna."

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 9:49 pm 
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Battlestar Libra
Day 236 Time 2354

PFC Nikol S’Jahar couldn’t sleep. He didn’t like closing the curtain to his rack, he felt too… closed in, then. The others in the berthing compartment had thought it a bit odd, when he’d first been assigned to Recon, but they’d gotten used to it. Everyone in the compartment was on the same schedule, anyway, so the lights were dim and everyone else was asleep.

Nik couldn’t sleep, so he brooded. He was tired—besides doing PT twice today, as he usually did, he’d also practiced knives with Jo Benoit that evening. Jo had been taking lessons from Major Duncan, so she was quite good with a knife, and Nik liked practicing with her. They were nearly the same skill level, although each had a different style, and it was good experience. They’d practiced for a long time, and Nik was physically tired enough that he hoped he could sleep, but…

Finally, he gave up trying, and slipped silently out of his rack, pulling his uniform on. He decided to go to the firing range, the longest one where Frankie practiced using his sniper rifle. Nik had gotten Frankie to teach him some of the sniper skills, and he had even let Nik use his sniper rifle.

Nik first got approval from the duty officer of the guard to use the range, then he took his assault rifle and ammo to the far lane. He put on his eye and ear protection, and clipped up the target, sending it as far down the range as it would go. The range was quiet and still, and Nik raised his weapon, looking down the sights. He breathed easily a few times, his entire being concentrating on the distant target. Finally, he paused halfway through an exhale, gently squeezing the trigger. He didn’t blink when the rifle fired, seeing the muzzle flash, and he resumed breathing.

His shot went exactly where he planned it to go. An observer might have thought that he was slightly off-target… the round had punctured the target a little off-center. Again he paused on an exhale and fired. The only indication that he’d hit the target at all the second time was that the original hole was now just very slightly larger, where the second round had almost completely passed through the original hole.

Nik continued firing, until the magazine was empty. He knew it was empty because he unconsciously counted the rounds as he fired. He reloaded the magazine, and looked down at his target. After all those shots, the hole in the paper was twice the diameter of a single round. Nik sighed to himself. I know that’s probably as accurate as anyone can be, with an automatic weapon, he thought to himself. A bolt-action sniper rifle is more accurate than an automatic weapon… you did as well as anyone could, with an assault rifle. The target at the end of the range was the silhouette of a person, and all Nik’s shots had gone through its left eye. If the target was twice as far away, though… Again he sighed, then he shrugged.

With the next magazine of rounds, he took advantage of the automatic properties of the rifle. He alternated shots, going as quickly as he could while still maintaining his accuracy, first shooting the target in the center of the chest, then the lower left of its abdomen, then the center again, and on to the lower right abdomen. The holes his rounds made were a bit larger than his shots through the target’s left eye… but not by much.

After an hour of shooting, he thought he might be able to fall asleep, so he cleaned his weapon and put it away, then reported to the duty officer that he was done on the range.

Back in his rack, the image behind his closed eyes, before he fell asleep, was of “Black Jack” Mayer, lying dead on his back. Instead of the dragon-handled knife embedded in his left eye socket, there was a small, bloody hole.

Both images would be in Nik’s dreams. He didn’t think of them as nightmares, exactly; they were more like warnings.

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Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, about budget cuts for the US’s intelligence agencies: "We're not going to do more with less and all these other clichés. . . . We will just simply have less capability."


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 11:04 pm 
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Battlestar Libra
Day 237 Time 0700
Initial Battle Operations Planning Meeting


Attendance:

Libra: CO-Rodrigues, XO-Wilson, MarDet-Riley, Intell-Dedrick, FCAG-Watkins, CAG-Rudnick

Taurus: CO-Guynes, XO-Merconi, MarDet-Storm, Intell-Neuman, CAG-Francis

Perseus: CO-Vansen, XO-Baker, MarDet-Palmisano, Intell-Goodland, CAG-Phelps

Griffyn: CO-Herald, XO-Johnson, MarDet-Taylor, CAG-Barker

Bellerophon: CO-Cole, XO-Mejia, MarDet-Duncan, CAG-Nyberg

Tauranian Titan: CO-Trafford, XO-Kadrovic

Distant Sun: CO-Ames, XO-Coulter

Chiron: CO-Santana

At the beginning of the meeting, Captain David Dedrick repeated his briefing of the intell analysis of Pythos and its system, condensing it somewhat to the more essential data needed to begin the plans for the attack. It was, however, quite comprehensive, and those in the large Ready Room listened raptly.

“Thank you, Captain,” Admiral Rodrigues said when Dedrick finished. “As usual, a first-rate presentation.”

To the group, Rodrigues said, "I have additional intelligence about the Pythos system that has been collected since Day 221. Nothing as specific as what the StealthStar II has been able to find out, but we have fairly accurate data on the system's dwarf novas... and no cylon baseships have jumped into the system since we began monitoring it." He paused, and added, "I would not even contemplate attacking if there was any indication we will come up against a baseship, but given the data we have, it seems the cylon's fleets are busy elsewhere." He looked around at his military commanders. "We need to start to plan our tactics, for the initial assault to take out the Raiders, and the ground attack to neutralize the cylons on Pythos' surface."

Throughout the presentation, Colonel Cole from the smallest warship in the fleet, the destroyer escort Bellerophon, had been paying rapt attention. After a few moments of silence he started to speak, his expression one of deep thought. "If we want to get our Marines down there, we need to take care of the Raiders first or they'll rip our RATs to shreds..."

At the nods of the other officers, he continued. "...but how to attack the base and these Raiders? A brute force-approach might work, but we would take heavy losses. Between the number of the Raiders the cylons can field and their stationary defenses, I think we need to draw the Raiders away at first... a diversion!"

Commander Herald had known this meeting would come, especially with the data Mad Dog brought back. The idea of an offensive surprise attack on the Cylons was good enough to make his mouth water. "A diversion, eh?" Herald asked, almost watching the thoughts play out on Cole's scarred young face.

Colonel Merconi leaned forward on her seat, not wanting to miss a single word.

Suddenly, Cole started to grin. "We would need something to lure the Raiders away from Pythos' moon 'Duckling'... and I think I know something!" he announced, "how about two Battlestars without fighter cover?"

Herald thought about the idea, not bad young man, not bad. "That would definitely pique my attention,” Herald added, giving Cole an assuring look.

Cole shared a look with Commander Guynes before he started talking again. "Commander Guynes and I have had an idea a few weeks ago that might prove useful here. As you all know, long-range DRADIS identifies ships by their mass...but what if we could let the cylons see something that isn't really there? Like...say, a second Mercury-class Battlestar instead of Taurus?"

Merconi didn't miss the exchange. And then she remembered a recent conversation with Will. And smiled.

For a moment, Cole paused, to let the others think about what he had told them. "We have been working on a possibility of 'docking' the Belle to Taurus, that way, the cylon DRADIS should register them as another Mercury, just like Libra is. We might even try and use the names of other ships of that class... just to keep them off balance!"

The kid's a genius, Herald thought. "So we scare them to death, but something like that's going to take precision," he added.

Major Scott Duncan had been paying close attention to the discussion of space tactics. It wasn't an area he had any experience in, but he found the basic premise similar to any ground op he himself had planned. Xen's ship and mine will be going in together. He found the thought reassuring; he had absolute confidence in Richard Cole's--and Commander Guynes'--abilities to pull off the maneuver.

William thought about it carefully. "We would need to practice this maneuver a few times before trying it. It could certainly get their attention and we'd need to be ready for that."

"But it would be worth a little risk. And while we lure them away, Perseus and Griffyn would have to jump in close to that moon and level the base," Cole added with a look at both Commanders Vansen and Herald.

Karl Vansen, Commander of the destroyer Perseus had listened intently to the Admiral's and the others' remarks.

"Perseus is ready. Thanks to Colonel Trafford and his Seabees on Tauranian Titan, the damaged Quad's been replaced. We're in top form and ready to crush the toasters. You big boys pull those raiders off the moon, and let Perseus reduce their base to scrap metal."

Admiral Rodrigues had been listening to the exchange of ideas silently; Cole's suggestion was not a surprise to him, as Will Guynes had told him about it when he and Cole had first discussed it. He looked at Guynes now, and gave him a small nod, then said, "Will, Richard, give it a try. We have some time, about four days, before we do anything." Because first I have to sell this to our new President.

"Let me know when you're going to do it," Rodrigues added. "I'd like to have one of our Ranger Scouts watching to see how it looks on DRADIS." As well as a Heavy Raider, to see how it will look to the cylons. Kalrk and Dedrick can have a look... he thought.

He looked around and said, “We’ll jump the Taurus-Belle combination and the Libra in first, and draw as many of the Raiders off the moon as we can, launching Vipers at the last moment—and setting the Belle loose against them, too.” He gave Colonel Cole a slight smile. “Once we’ve done that, then the Perseus and Griffin will jump in and take out the moon base. After we’ve mopped up the Raiders and control space, we’ll send in the ground troops.” He looked over at Colonel Riley.

The fleet’s Marine Commander nodded. “We’ll be able to make more specific plans about the ground assault once we have the intell from the second StealthStar mission,” Colonel Riley said. “I’ll get with my Marine commanders separately, then.” He looked around, getting nods from the Marines there.

“Barring unusual findings, our strategy will be fairly straightforward—after the Vipers from our Air Groups have won the high ground... space... and taken out any orbiting satellites, we’ll put our troops on the ground covertly. Once they’re in place, the Cobras and RATs will eliminate the major ground targets,” Riley continued, “--power stations, DRADIS sites, missile batteries, and so on. When those are destroyed, we’ll begin the ground assault.”

Riley looked over at Major Watkins. “We’ll need whatever last-minute intell your Viper pilots can get while they’re taking out those satellites,” he said to her. “I’m sure the cylons will have ground-to-space batteries on the planet’s surface shooting at the Vipers as well as the rest of our fleet. Those will be among the first targets for the Cobras and RATs.”

"That can be done. We should be able to give a good idea where they are located." Watkins paused. "I think we can arrange that for you, Colonel."

"We'll all appreciate it, Major," Riley replied dryly.

The fleet’s Marine commander then directed his attention to Major Duncan. “This is what your Spectres are for, Major,” he said. “I’m sure you have them ready. We’ll be using all of them, augmented by as many of the fleet’s other Marines as we think necessary.”

“Yes, sir,” Duncan nodded calmly.

"With further intell, I can also draw up a strategic reserve to have ready at a moment's notice," Captain Daniel Storm said. "Also, with the Belle not having any RATs, I can free up some of the Bull's for the Spectres."

“We’ll need four, Dan,” Duncan said to him. “If you can spare them; or two for two trips—thanks.”

Rodrigues understood that the majority of planning for the ground assault would be done with just the Marine commanders present, after the second recon mission. He and Riley exchanged glances, then the Admiral said, “We’ll bring the Tauranian Titan, Distant Sun and Chiron in after the space battles are won.” He looked at the commanders of those three ships. “Hopefully we won’t need your services, but it’s reassuring to know that we’ll have you there.”

He swept his gaze over the room, asking, “Any questions?”

At the head shakes, he concluded the meeting, “The second recon is scheduled for tomorrow, at 1100. We’ll meet again the day after that, Day 239, at 0900, back here to find out additional details Captain Dedrick has for us. Thank you all for being here today.”

_________________
Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, about budget cuts for the US’s intelligence agencies: "We're not going to do more with less and all these other clichés. . . . We will just simply have less capability."


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 11:05 pm 
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D237 1057
Hospital ship Chiron
Ob-Gyn Section

Xenthais Merconi lay on the cold examining table as the technician slathered her belly with gel for the ultrasound. “You have really blossomed, Colonel!” the young woman exclaimed, checking Xen’s chart. “What are you at? Twenty-two, twenty-four weeks?”

“Exactly twenty-three weeks, Ms. Torres,” Xen replied amiably.

The technician grinned. “Well, if your babies cooperate, we could be able to tell if they are boys or girls. Would you like to know? Some parents would rather it be a surprise.”

Xen exchanged a look with Scott.

“I’d like to know,” he said to Xen. “But I’ll go with whatever you want.” He grinned slightly. “If one is a girl, it should be easy to tell, so long as she takes after her mother.”

"I'd like to know too," she smiled back. "And a boy will be even easier to tell. If he takes after his father..."

Scott winked at her, putting one hand on the side of her belly, not getting in the way of Torres using the wand. “Well, I gave you this, didn’t I?” He bent and kissed her forehead, then straightened to look at the monitor.

Ms. Torres didn't miss Xen's meaning and cast a quick speculative glance at the Major. "Well," she stated, her mien once again a perfect mask of bland professionalism, "Let's check those babies, shall we?"

She moved the wand slowly across Xen's belly and the monitor showed first one, then another baby. One of them kept its legs coyly together, even while Torres carefully prodded it with the wand. But the other one turned to present tiny but clearly round buttocks to the "camera," legs spread wide...

Scott chuckled. “Are you sure you want to know?” he asked Xen.

"Of course!" she grinned.

“Positive?” he teased her.

"Don't be a beast, Scott, and tell me already," she chided playfully.

“Well, one isn’t giving away any secrets,” he told her, his gaze intent on the monitor.

"And the other?" she asked impatiently.

Finally, he gave Xen a grin. “The other does take after his father.”

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 11:14 pm 
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Day 237
1102
RAT Cockpit

"So, we know who drew the short straw yet?" said Chistopher Zimmerman, as the RAT came in for a landing.

"Short straw?" said Lt. Jaylene "Mousetrap" Benson, as the RAT settled onto the deck.

"Yeah." said Zimmerman. "As the new President's personal bus driver."

"Nah. Probably won't decide that for another week or two. Won't be us though, Zimmer, don't worry. Be some unlucky raptor pilot. But as we know...."

"....Raptor pilots are wusses anyways." finished Zimmerman, completing one of the pair's many private jokes.

"Right as always." said Jaylene, as the RAT powered down. "I dunno what's with all the stupid training flights lately. I mean, this is going a little overboard, even considering things..."

"Gotta find something for us to do while we wait around for the Cylons to show up again." said Zimmerman. "Probably trying to prevent any repeats of things like that little incident at Liala's wedding awhile back. We can thank those jokers for practically shouting to the powers that be that we all have 'too much time on our hands'...."

"I must remember to thank them." said Jaylene, sarcastically. But in the back of her mind, some part of her still wondered. Wondered if there wasn't something more to it all....

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Day 237
1214
Catalina
Vernon Family Suite

"Tell me, Garris..." said Renatta, over yet another plate of chicken-or-egg-something for lunch. "Are you getting as sick of chicken and eggs as I am?"

Garris pushed the food around with his fork. "Let's just say I never thought I'd miss vegetables." He smiled lopsidedly, a little-boy smile.

"What would you say if I told you that fish may be on the menu soon?" said Renatta with a sly grin.

"I'd say you're a beautiful woman," he grinned. "But you are a beautiful woman even if we only eat chicken and eggs for the rest of eternity."

"Demeter carried a small stock of fish aboard her, and they’ve been building up their supply in preparation for transfer to other fish farm sites, as soon as we can set some up. Some of the liner ships had aquariums, as decor, that may provide another fish source in addition to Demeter’s. There's also the possibility of hatching frozen eggs, if I can find some. The biggest challenge though will be trying to fit such a venture into the mainstream ecosystem of the Moon. I also hope to develop a better mixture of fruit and vegetables that will yield higher returns for the....Oh wait. I haven't told you about that part, have I?"

He took her hand. "No, you haven't. You know, your eyes sparkle when you're excited about something..."

"I have an offer for a position working for the new government.....as the Chief Ecologist on the Moon, based on an agreement with Moon's captain." said Renatta. "My first job would be to figure out how to best redesign Moon's ecology to support the most diverse and productive mix of crops."

His smile faded. "Harvest Moon? You'd have to move there, wouldn't you?" He smiled again, putting up a good front. "It is an excellent opportunity..."

"No, actually....I figured I'd commute. Only an idiot gives up beachfront property, after all....." she laughed.

"No, really, if you'd rather move there, we can relocate... Although I can't see Katharine living in a farm..." He chuckled, imagining their very sophisticated, very city-girl daughter mucking in the mud.

"Katharine is still hoping for a job on Discovery." said Renatta. "I told her to send Bob Dunnavan her resume again, maybe it got lost in his e-mail the first time. I also told her I'd shoot Bob a note myself....one scientist to another. I'll get her on board that ship one way or another. What about you....?"

Garris shrugged. "One of Meyers' aides called me this morning about organizing a Justice Department. Told her I'd think about it and discuss it with you. To be totally honest, I was looking forward to a judicial appointment, but setting up the new Justice Department... it is an incredible honor. And challenge. What do you think, hon?"

"Quite honestly? I think justice in this fleet could use a little hand up...Things like that too easily get lost in transitions like the one we're going through now. I think you should take it."

He sighed. "I figured you'd say that. It won't be easy, love. We're basically starting from scratch, under the direst of circumstances... People want to feel safe, and with everything that's happened... I worry about preserving our rights, and due process..." He looked into her eyes. "I'm bound to step on a lot of toes."

"As I recall, that's never been a concern of yours." said Renatta. "I seem to remember several court cases on Caprica....."

He grinned his lopsided little-boy smile again. "Guilty as charged. But this is different, Rennie. Back in the Colonies... it was almost a game, and the toes I stepped on..." he shrugged. "Well, they had it coming. Here, the stakes are so much higher... We'd be laying the foundation for a justice system to serve us and those that come after us... It is an enormous responsibility. But you're right... I never let that bother me before, why start now?"

"Precisely. Besides, I can guarantee you one thing, Garris, if nothing else. The new President, and certainly the new Vice President...they care about justice. About doing the right thing. They simply need someone who understands what that is....."

"Bottom line, you think I should take it." Garris took her hand in his. "So we'll both be public servants..." He chuckled. "At least we don't have Katherine's college tuition to worry about, do we?"

Renatta threw her head back and laughed, nearly knocking her plate of chicken omlette onto the floor.

_________________
Invest In America, Buy A Congressman


Last edited by ViperChickKaliyla on Sun Sep 16, 2007 10:39 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 10:29 pm 
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Taurus - CAG Office
1215
Day 237

Capt. Shonda 'Franny' Francis looked over the wargame plan she had made up once again. It would pit the vipers in a ground assist mode taking out gun and missile placements if needed. It this exercise, the CAG would pit various defensive points on Taurus as the simulated targets for her viper squads.

Some of the pilots are starting to ask questions. I'll feel a lot better when the last intell comes in and we can tell them what they are up against.

There was a chime sound from her computer. As Shonda looked up, she noticed the e-note was from Major Watkins. She just giggled a bit after reading it.

Fleet-wide combat drills tomorrow late. Practice makes perfect, no matter how much the pilots cuss us...

_________________
"Times change...and so must I." - The Doctor, 'Time of the Doctor'


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 10:31 pm 
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Space, not far from the Destroyer Escort Bellerophon
Day 237 Time 1233

Johnny “Junior” Strong banked the Cobra, looking for the target—in this exercise, yet another three meter cube of compacted trash from the Belle, with a small pack of explosives mounted on it. The explosives were so it would make a noticeable flash if his Weapons Officer, Terry “Shotgun” Elliott, hit it, something Junior had no doubts about.

“Acquiring target,” he told Shotgun, spotting it on the Dradis array that splashed across his Heads-Up-Display of his helmet visor. “Frakking trash hardly registers on Dradis…” It was close, so he throttled back, slowing to give Shotgun a good shot at it.

“Got it,” she said softly, adding right away, “Firing 20 mike-mike.”

The short burst of 20 millimeter rounds found the target, the small explosion visible by eye and Dradis alike. Junior barrel-rolled the Cobra around where the target had been, then flipped the craft to face back the way they’d come. “Good shooting, Shotgun,” he said.

“Just doing my part for garbage cleanup,” she replied, her grin audible in her voice.

“Sweeping for more trash,” Junior said, piloting the Cobra through a search matrix of the sector of space they’d been cleared to practice in. He flew the plane with an elegant precision as he and Shotgun both searched for more targets.

Finally, Junior said, “I think we got them all… Belle, Junior here, sector four clear of targets.”

[“Acknowledged, Junior, all targets registered as destroyed. Come on home,”] the voice of the controller came over their comms. [“Good job you two, I think you set a record for sector search-and-destroy.”]

“Roger, heading home,” Junior replied. He switched to the local chatter channel, talking for Shotgun’s ears only. “Cole and Nyberg might be hardasses, but they give us lots of nice games to play!”

“I think Maj Duncan was behind it, Junior,” Shotgun replied. “I heard him talking to Lt Nyberg about different exercise scenarios for air cover.”

“Whoever… all of ‘em are hardasses, but I’m not gonna complain as long as they keep us busy like this!” Junior zipped the Cobra past the Belle’s CIC viewport, wagging the ship’s wings, then he banked around to land.

“Me, either,” she agreed. “If this is normal ops, I can’t wait to see what it’s like when we have an actual mission!”

“Ohhh, keep talkin’ like that darlin’, and you’ll give me a hard on,” Junior grinned, landing the ship gently on the Bellerophon’s deck.

Shotgun replied, “Keep talking like that, sir, and I’ll give you something hard.”

_________________
Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, about budget cuts for the US’s intelligence agencies: "We're not going to do more with less and all these other clichés. . . . We will just simply have less capability."


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 11:16 pm 
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[With GoldWolf]

Battlestar Libra
Special Ordnance & Ballistics Range
Day 237 Time 1253



PFC Nikol S’Jahar had to ask directions; he’d never even heard of the ‘Special Ordnance & Ballistics Range’, much less been there. But when Gunnery Sergeant Razorski told him to report to Captain Dedrick there at 1300, he’d been both pleased and curious. He knew that the Kyafk’i, Major Duncan, was a friend of Captain Dedrick’s, and the Captain had treated him with respect, after the whole Deimos thing. And this special range made him really curious.

So he was actually a bit early, reporting, partly to make sure he found the place on time, but more because he wanted to find out what was going on.

Nik slipped in silently, taking in the scene before him with amazement and fascination.

Captain David Dedrick lay prone on the floor of the Special Ordnance and Ballistics Range. His cheek was pressed against the stockwell of a large, sleek black rifle nearly five feet in length. Dedrick lay with his body canted at an angle behind the gun, and the weapon's butt was planted firmly against his shoulder. Dedrick's right arm curled around it, his right hand grasping the neck of the stock, index finger resting lightly on the trigger. His off hand was folded under his chest, reaching across to grasp the upper edge of the stock. The rifle's barrel was supported by a bipod near the midpoint of the barrel, and a third 'foot' that folded out from the bottom the stock. A large electronic scope sat atop the high-tech rifle.

Crouched behind the Captain was a second man, wearing the uniform of a SPECTRE. He was also sighting downrange, his position behind Dedrick's angled body allowing him a point-of-view in perfect alignment with the rifle's barrel. His monocular scope was clearly wired into the battlecomp he wore on his back. He was speaking softly as Nik approached.

"Primary target: tracked vehicle, left-hand drive, heavy machine gun topside. Distance to target: 1100 meters, push one-half up. Weak points: driver's visor forward and left. Wind is zero value. Fire when ready."

Dedrick's voice answered, calm and focused. "Target acquired. Left hand door, driver's visor. AP/I rounds loaded. Sighted in... Firing..."

The rifle barked, the sound seeming like thunder in the silence of this secluded firing range. Jets of fire blazed left and right from the muzzle brake, but the rifle hardly moved from Dedrick's shoulder. Nik peered into the darkness of the lane, unable to see anything. He realized, of course, that no range aboard Libra was 1100 meters long, or could accomodate a truck... the Captain and his spotter were clearly firing at a virtual target.

As these thoughts coursed through Nik's mind, the spotter was already reporting to Captain Dedrick. "That's a kill, Sir. Secondary target, vehicle gunner, 1100 meters, push one-half up. Gunner is exposed. Wind is rising, one-tenth value, no push. Fire when ready."

Again the Captain answered in a near-whisper. "Target acquired. AP/I not the best thing for this one, Corporal. Through and through center mass... Sighted in... Firing..."

"Hit," the spotter reported immediately. "He don't know he's dead yet, sir. Okay... Okay... He's down." The spotter paused for a moment, then said, "Exercise complete, sir."

Nik made sure he wasn’t interrupting Captain Dedrick, then saluted and said, “Sir, PFC S’Jahar reporting as ordered.”

Dedrick rolled onto his side, looking up at the young Marine. "At ease, S'Jahar," he said, chuckling, and then he got to his feet. The second man rose, as well, and stood at parade rest. Nik immediately recognized him as one of the SPECTREs, and a former Fiddà. A simple tattoo marked his face, from brow to cheek across his left eye. The ink marking showed signs of having been lightened, probably by laser surgery, at least once.

"Nikol, this is Corporal Berzai," Dedrick said, introducing the spotter. "And that," he added, following Nik's hungrily curious gaze, "is an anti-material sniper rifle. Ever fire a gun like that, S'Jahar?"

Nik nodded respectfully to Corporal Berzai. One of the Kyafk’i’s special troops. Then he looked at Captain Dedrick and replied, “No, sir.” His eyes were drawn back to the weapon for a moment before he again looked at the Captain. “What range does it have?”

"You can put five rounds downrange on semiauto, just as fast as you can feather the trigger, and keep them within a one meter circle at 2500 meters range," Dedrick stated, matter-of-factly. Then he withdrew a piece of paper from his pocket and unfolded it, presenting Nik with his target from the previous night's visit to the range. "A good shooter, using his skill and a bit of luck, can do even better." As he spoke, Dedrick regarded S'Jahar closely. He'll understand my meaning...

Semiauto… one meter circle at 2500 meters! Nik thought with astonishment. He looked at his target blankly a moment, then Dedrick’s words sunk in. “Sir,” he breathed. “You’ll let me fire it?”

"No," Dedrick replied flatly, his face unreadable. "This isn't playtime, Marine." Dedrick waited half a heartbeat, watching S'Jahar's face fall, while Corporal Berzai stifled a chuckle. Then he held up the target sheet again. "If this is your target, and you tell me you can be ready to take that rifle into the field in four days, though... it's yours."

The young Marine stared at Dedrick. “Sir,” he said reverently, “I can be ready to go into the field tomorrow, if that rifle is mine.”

Dedrick glanced over at Berzai, who now wore a satisfied smile, and he broke into a grin. He clapped Nikol on the shoulder, saying "Then it's yours, PFC... and you're his." Dedrick nodded at Berzai. "He eats, drinks and breathes that weapon, Corporal, from now until I say otherwise."

"I'll go clear the papers with the Gunny," Dedrick added, and then he left.


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