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 Post subject: Episode #30 - Questions and Answers
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:09 pm 
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Episode #30 - Questions and Answers

Quote:
There's more than one answer to these questions, pointing me in a crooked line.

'Closer to fine' by the Indigo Girls


Previously on Battlestar Libra...

The Quorum of The Twelve’s session was ended when President Meyers ordered Executive Succession, that the successors to the presidency had to disperse throughout the fleet. It was less than a friendly close to the session, as the Quorum had been given very little information on what the military was going to do. Compounding the unease, complete civilian ship’s wireless silence was ordered.

Quote:
Day 240, 1100 Hours

fleet-wide Presidential Address

Late last night, Admiral Benito Rodrigues brought a serious issue to my attention. After a review of the facts and proof, I have authorized a very important and possibly dangerous mission for our military forces.

Although I cannot go into the complete details at this time, the resource that has been found would be important to the future of everyone in this fleet. Likewise, I cannot allow this resource to fall into the hands of those who destroyed our homes 240 days ago.

May the Lords of Kobol be with us all.


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

Day 211, 1400 Hours

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."

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

Day 236 1300 Hours


"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."

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

Cylon Baseship

"Before you go, there is one other subject I would like to touch base with you about." Kayla Three looked at her sister Three 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 sometimes acts...questionably?"

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

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

Day 239
2311
Astral Dawn
Liza Liala’s Suite

"Happy new year, sweetheart." Jonathan said, grasping for something to say.

"I hope so..." Liza said, leaning her head on his shoulder. "Gods I hope so."

An awkward silence stretched out for several moments, until Liza spoke again.

"I....Thank you." she said finally.

"It's ok." he said while caressing her hair. "I'm here with you."

"I know." she said. "And most people....wouldn't be."

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

    "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 Marines of Libra's fleet fought the Cylons on Pythos, driving them from the tomb of the dragon and from the surface of Pythos itself.

There were sacrifices during the battle, but the children of Kobol were led to a map by the Archer Sagittaron... a celestial guide to Paradise, a star map cushioned by earth.

Would the star map lead them to Earth?

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

"Behold your makari mayak'i, your ghost warriors, Major. Those who once served the Rattler are dead. These men and women are reborn in freedom, with no pasts and no regrets. You have resurrected them, given them new lives." Morgan turned to look at Duncan. His gaze was respectful, but the Major perceived an aloofness, a sense that Morgan held himself separate from the other Fiddà.

Tiredly, Duncan shook his head. “They have won their own freedom, shàkiri,” he replied. “I only offered the water; they drank of it themselves.” He studied the younger man intently. “What of you, askarii?”

"My demons are not so easily silenced." Morgan turned to look in the direction of the departed Spectres... "I will find my peace in the trial of combat."

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

Tauranian Titan
Day 242
0353

Razorski. "Strap in yourself, and we're good to go kick some Cylon ass."

Razorski exited the RAT cockpit, and Zimmerman turned to Mouse as she readied the RAT for takeoff.

"Another glorious day on RAT airlines....Your top choice to fly the unfriendly skies."

"Better hope they're not too unfriendly, Zimmer. We get in, we set 'em down, we get the hell out. Anything that spots us, blow it sky high."

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

Pythos, Biological Cylon HQ

Outside, Morgan's platoon of Spectres were engaged against a group of Cylon centurions. Here, he stood face to face in the shadows with one of the biological Cylons - a Simon model. In this moment of recognition, Morgan knew there would be no long battle with his enemy. This fight would be swift and deadly, over long before any of his comrades could come to his assistance.

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

Day 240, 1400

Professor Mueller adjusted his glasses. "I will go," he declared finally. "I know the scriptures and what to look for. And I'm not as old and frail as some would make me to be," he quipped good-naturedly.

"I'll come with you." Clive's jaw jutted out stubbornly, and it was clear he would not be denied.

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

Taurus Rec Room
0103
Day 9

“What’s wrong, Kevin?” Sabrina Watkins looked him dead in the eyes and stood face to face with him.

“I just…maybe we should…are we…” Butler was stunned and bumbling for words.

“Let me put it to you this way, Lieutenant,” Sabrina said as she took off her underwear and then placed her arms around his shoulders “I have not had sex in a year. I am tired, drunk and lonely in the middle of frakking nowhere…and if you don't take off your pants in the next five seconds I will give you a direct order to drop'em!”

Kevin Butler’s pants were off in two seconds. She spun him into the corner as they started to kiss again.

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

Kalrk, member of the Quorum of Twelve, member of The Order of The Dragon, owner of Harvest Moon, and cylon, had piloted a Heavy Raider on the second recon mission to Pythos.

Per Admiral Rodrigues, Kalrk remained with the civilian ships during the military operation, however.

Not content to do nothing, Kalrk flew his secret craft, the black raptor Buzzard on CAP, and assisted Lycanthrope in defending the civilians from six raiders.

Quote:
I'll be brief, Colonel. Not only is Kalrk an ace fighter pilot, able to pilot his ship, and that raptor when he escaped the cylons… but he also is tight on security.. to the point of having passwords that HE must abide by, to prove that he is he. Colonel, do I have to say it? Do you want to play ignorance with me?"

"Captain Merton," Xenthais began, the warning clear in her voice, "before you say anything, I bid you to consider carefully what you are about to say and its implications, and possible ramifications, to the fleet, the Pack and even yourself. Because you yourself have admitted to helping Captain Kalrk arm his vessel and hold some of his possessions, and even provided him with a new vessel, the Buzzard, only recently. You are a very bright man, Captain Merton. I'm sure I don't have to spell it out for you, do I?"


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

Day 243
Pythos, Zone 14, Cylon Point Defense Battery
RAT Cockpit

"Remind me again why we drew this one, Mouse...." said Zimmerman, as the RAT approached it's target. "Could it be because no one else is this insane???"

"Takes one to know one." replied Mouse.

Seconds later, their banter came to an abrupt halt as both concentrated on the task at hand. The first Cylon fire hit them, and Mouse struggled to keep the RAT under control as alarms wailed. Zimmerman's concentration was never broken, however--he continued to pummel the Cylon point defense battery with fire, as Mouse continued to fly straight towards it all. To any watching Cylons, it must have appeared the RAT was on a suicide run. The RAT crew, meanwhile, could only hope that it was not.

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

Within, in a wrapping of oiled leather, David Dedrick found an ornate sextant. The device was elegant, and felt solid and heavy despite its delicate function. Across one part of it was carved a script that David did not recognize, beautiful flowing characters that hinted at a fusion of art and science. Carefully, he turned the device over, and found the other side inscribed as well, with the message COR SERPENTIS.

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

Day 244
Pythos, Drakonataph
Cor Serpentis chamber

Moss looked back from where he'd been watching Ryan. Stepping up beside Karl, he peered at the glass square, his eyes squinting. "Yeah, I'd say so, Professor," he stated, his head nodding gently, "that is, if you think that's the Spider's Web."

"The Spider's Web Nebula? Are you sure?" Not for the first time, Dr. Mueller thanked the Lords of Kobol for putting Sgt. Moss and his vast astronomical knowledge in their team.

Moss glanced around, his lamp illuminating the faces that were focused on him now. "I'd leave it to the experts to confirm," he said humbly, "but the Spider's Web is one of the best known celestial objects among amateur astronomers." He paused, his next words coming slowly, choked with emotion, "Back home... you can see it well, with just a decent pair of binoculars."

PFC Ryan had turned about, and taken a few steps back toward the group. The darkness of the tomb hid his scowl, but his voice rang clear. "So, what is that, Sarge? Some kind of road sign?"

"Yes, son, it is a road sign. A very important one indeed," Dr. Mueller voiced gently, well aware of the private's prior comments as to his lost friends. "And there may very well be more information encoded in the glass plate. But we will likely need Major Dedrick and his team of scientists to find it. Even without that, just with the information we've gathered here today, we know which way to go. Just think! We've found evidence that Earth is not a myth, that it exists, and which way to go to find it!"

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

Pythos - Resurrection Ship
Day 245
0745

"He tied me to a nuclear bomb!" the Doral repeated, wild eyed. "With a message! A message for you!"

"What message, brother?" the other Doral asked gently.

The transformation in the Doral in the tub was immediate: his face hardened, lost all emotion; his voice deepened and took on the edge of command - it was no longer the cylon's voice, but another's.

Col. Eric Riley's.

"Think you'll get us all? You're frakking dreaming. Bring it on toaster!"

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

Finally, Cepha locked eyes with Alexa. "Humans should be careful what they wish for...because we will gladly grant them that wish."

"And what about my wish, Cepha?" Alexa asked with that slight smile on her face.

Cepha dropped the resurrection controller to the floor as he walked out of the room. Vengeance will be mine…

"My wish," Alexa whispered to his departing back, "that you all die."

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


Last edited by jdctexas on Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:10 pm 
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Battlestar Taurus Aux Con
Day 245
0002

Major Amanda Bays stood at the command table working on her third cup of coffee. As she flipped through the reports, the DRADIS filled with six new contacts.

"Action stations and launch the alert squadron." she shouted. "Get the Commander and Colonel here ASAP."

As Captain Butler announced action stations on the handset, the information on the ships began to fill in on the DRADIS.

Libra, Griffyn, Perseus, Bellerophon, Tauranian Titan and Chiron. Amanda let out a sigh of relief. "Ensign Davidson, please confirm their IDs."

Sarah Davidson looked up from her monitor and smiled, "IDs confirmed and Libra is hailing us, sir!"

A cheer went up throughout the Taurus Aux Con. Amanda looked to Kevin and smiled. "I'll talk to them while you take us back to condition two. Deal?"

"With pleasure" the Captain said as he picked up the handset. "Attention all personnel. Stand down from condition one. Now setting condition two throughout the ship. Repeating..."

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


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:13 pm 
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Lycanthrope
Day 245
0005

President Andy Meyers raced to the CIC when he was told of the return of Libra and the other military ships. He stopped to look at the DRADIS. They're all there, thank the Gods!

Meyers smiled. "Captain Merton, I would say this is a good way to start the day."

"The jumpstar's commanding officer shook hands with the President. "The perfect way."

After a few moments, the president's smile disappeared. "Would you please put me into contact with Libra Actual? I feel a lot better with them here, but I don't like where we are."

"No arguments, Andy"." Merton agreed with a smile, while making a casual hand gesture to the tactical officer. "Patch us through, Glitter."

Paula Gold tapped some of the controls at her station. "This is Lycanthrope, calling Libra."

As Meyers waited for Libra, he looked around the CIC, "Captain, can I use your star charts while we wait?"

"Hmm?" Once a ship's captain, always; right Andy? "Of course." he pointed to the work station.

Over the course of the next few minutes, the ex-captain worked out the best possible jump to get the fleet away from the area. The longer they stayed, the more of a chance the Cylons would have to find them.

Meyers looked back up from the charts, to his surprise, Captain Merton was holding the handset and smiled.

"Yes Captain Merton, I lose track of the universe when I plot jumps. Damn...six minutes. I must be getting slow in my old age when it comes to plotting!" the President laughed, along with several in the CIC.

"Admiral, it's good to hear your voice..." Meyers said after taking the handset. "No problem...I understand you were busy getting a SitRep.."

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 11:21 pm 
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Battlestar Libra
Day 245 Time 0015
Medical Section

Dr Ralph DeValera made sure he’d scrubbed completely clean before he went out to talk to Dan Wolfe’s wife, Josette Beniot. It wasn’t that he was afraid of anything contagious, although the dry cough that many of the Marines had was a worry in the back of his mind.

It was just that Wolfe had bled a lot, and he didn’t want to distress Josette any more than she was already. DeValera hardly ever even wore a white lab coat—he’d started his career as a Navy medic supporting combat Marines, and he’d learned early on that they were more reassured by a doctor in green fatigues than by the starched white formality of a lab coat.

Not that he had much to reassure her with. Before he stepped out into the waiting area, he paused to compose himself. The only positive news he could give Benoit was that her husband still lived… but by the smallest of margins. The physician didn’t believe in giving false hope, and that made his task even harder.

He entered the waiting area, striding quickly to her and sitting beside her on the small couch. “He’s still alive,” he said immediately, his eyes on hers.

When she'd seen Dr. DeValera walk quickly to her side, his face impassive, Josette had feared the worst. Non! her mind had screamed. His words returned the soul to her body. It was so little! He's still alive. Not, He's out of danger, or He's doing well. But she latched on to them like a drowning man to a scrap of wood. He's still alive! And while there's life there's hope, no matter how slim...

"Remercier les dieux!" she whispered hoarsely, as she grabbed the doctor's hands. "Merci, docteur! Comment va...? Ahhh, how is he? When can I see him?"

Quietly, but with compassion, the doctor said, “His condition is critical, Josette. He lost a great deal of blood, and his life is still in danger. But he lives.”

Just then, Gunnery Sergeant Razorski strode in. Her usually impassive expression showed relief at hearing DeValera’s last words, and she crouched to face him and Benoit. She’d showered and wore a clean uniform, and DeValera thought that maybe she had followed his order, and gotten an hour of sleep. Maybe.

“I was just telling Corporal Benoit that Dan lost a lot of blood,” DeValera told Razorski. “Thanks to your efforts at rounding up donors, we’ve had plenty to transfuse,” he turned his gaze back to Benoit, adding, “and your blood, too, flows in his veins.”

The young woman lowered her head. "I only wish there was more I could do..." She shook her head, still in shock at her husband's condition. "It was just a leg wound..." she muttered.

The physician went on to explain, “The round that hit Dan in the leg did only minor damage, but it partly severed his femoral artery. If it hadn’t been for the Gunnery Sergeant maintaining pressure, he would have bled to death in minutes.” His gaze was level on Josette. “His heart stopped twice while he was in surgery, and so far he’s had twenty-one units of whole blood. He’s holding onto life, but only by a very small thread.”

Josette sobbed quietly at DeValera's unvarnished assessment. "But he's still alive!" she said to no one in particular, more to bolster her sagging spirits than anything else. "Dan is a fighter. And he's strong. He's very strong, doctor. Very strong," she repeated like a mantra.

DeValera stood. “Go to him,” he said, nodding through the hatch. “He’s unconscious, and won’t be able to respond to you, but I’m sure he’ll know you’re there.”

Josette didn't need to be told twice. "Thank you, doctor!" she said as she rose from the couch and rushed to the recovery room. She was halfway out before she turned to acknowledge Razorki's presence. "Ahh, thank you Gunnery Sergeant. For coming. And for saving Dan's life..." For a moment she stood there, not knowing what else to say.

“Go hold his hand,” Razorski said gently.

When Corporal Benoit had left, the Gunnery Sergeant turned to give DeValera an even look. “Thanks, Doc,” she said softly. “What are his chances?”

He shook his head slightly. “I have no idea how we resuscitated him the second time,” he said. “His chances aren’t good, Ski. Ask me again in eighteen hours… if he’s still alive by then… if he lasts eighteen hours, he might make it.”

_________________
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: Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:13 pm 
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Catalina
Day 245
0019

The Cavil looked out the window and frowned at the return of the Libra and the other ship. Where ever they ran off to, they've apparently survived. The inferior live to see another day.

The Cylon looked around the room until he found his briefcase. He fumbled through the combination lock until it was correct. Underneath a stack of papers, he found a small book that had his original travel information and ID. Next to it was another ID...a forged ID and travel papers.

Time to go back to the other ship...and become Justin Cooper again. With no supplies and no connections here, my work against the humans from this ship is done. Just have to wait out the travel restrictions...

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


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 12:32 am 
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Battlestar Libra
Day 245 Time 0015
Port Landing Bay
The hatch opened and out stepped Riley and his team. Immediately upon landing the Libra jumped out of the Pythos system. As a result Illustrious had to sit in place until the jump was complete. At that point shutdown and other secure procedures had to be done prior to any of the team members leaving the ship. They were a team and shared the workload equally.

As he reached the bottom of the ramp Eric finally began to relax somewhat. That’s when he began to feel the pain in his left arm. He winced and unconsciously grabbed at his arm. Barkley witnessed his reaction and pulled him off to the side.

“Okay boss, how’s about we get a look at that finally.”

Barkley rolled up the sleeve and looked at Riley’s injured arm. It was black and bruised with dried blood caked around a tear above his elbow and dried tendrils extending to his wrist. While still functional it hurt like hell.

Barkley frowned as he examined the arm. “You need to go to medical and have them stitch this up.”

Riley nodded. “Yes mommy.”

Riley thought as he began moving towards the hatchway which led to medical. I need a shower too. I stink.

It had been a long few days. Many people had been hurt and several had been killed. What was all this for? For survival?

Eric was tired, dead tired. It was good to be back on Libra. Good and bad. Bad because he knew they were vulnerable until the repairs to the other ships in the fleet were completed. He report to the CIC as soon as he checked on the wounded in medical and had himself looked at. After that he would get some rest.

You’ll sleep when you’re dead, he mused.

As the hatch opened and he stepped through Riley turned to look back into the flight pod. He saw the Illustrious being moved out of the landing area. I’ll see you again soon old girl, he thought.

Medical Section
0020 hrs.

Riley entered Medical in time to witness the exchange between DeValera and Razorski. He looked down the hall to see Josette seated next to her husband. Riley had been apprised of the situation after it happened so he wasn’t shocked when he saw it firsthand.

Instead what overtook him with emotion was the total number of beds filled with the wounded from this operation. He was humbled by their sacrifice. As he watched, orderlies drew a sheet over the head of a young marine who now had made the ultimate sacrifice.

Riley wiped a tear from his eye and said a silent prayer. He looked over to see DeValera and Razorski having a conversation. Both of them looked as if they hadn’t had any rest in a week. He thought for the briefest moment to speak to them but immediately put the thought out of his head. He wanted to give them something they needed much more, peace.

He turned and began to leave medical. As he walked by a cabinet he took several bandages. These people have enough to do.

Riley then left medical, heading for the CIC.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 10:22 pm 
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0030, Day 245
Merton’s office aboard Lycanthrope

“Why all the cloak and dagger?” Kalrk asked, now that he was in the CO’s office, having slipped out of his temporary quarters, leaving his two marine escorts to guard a now vacant berth.

“We need to talk. And I’ll keep it brief.” Merton said . “Have a seat.”

Kalrk was puzzled, but reckoned it had something to do with Buzzard. “Okay, spill it.” He sat down, and nodded at the woman standing to the side. “And good evening to you, Corinna.”

“Hey, Kalrk.” She said amiably.

“Right.” Merton began. “Your friend Xenthias Merconi stopped on by, to brief the president, on the military operation at Pythos, and she and I had a private chat.”

“Oh?”

“‘Oh’, yes. I presented certain facts to her.,. about your and our earlier negotiations, before the cylons attacked. And I asked her if you ever spoke to her about us, and that we were holding some of your property.”

“Okay.” He prompted, equal parts curious and dreading where this conversation might be going.

“She said you didn’t. Not once. And then she practically threatened me.” Merton smiled. “She warned me to be careful, before I voice any accusations. So while she didn’t openly confirm anything, she certainly did. She wants to safeguard this fleet, the same as we do… the same as you do.”

“Xen’s a good person. One of the very finest.” The cylon was squirming on the inside.

“She’s your friend, Kalrk. And so am I. If anyone turns their back on you, I won’t. This ship won’t. We got your six.”

“Damn straight.” Corinna added.

“I don’t think everyone will share that sentiment. When they find out that I’m-“

Merton cut him off. “You’re the same Kalrk that I met on Leonis. The same Kalrk that warned The Pack that something big and dark was on the horizon. THAT is what matters. That, and the things you've done for this fleet.”


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 10:54 pm 
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Battlestar Libra
Day 245 Time 0022 to 0102
CIC
(Hazend and JDCTexas)

Riley entered the CIC as the final preparations were being made to jump the fleet away from their present location.

Rodrigues spotted Riley as he came in. He waved over his MarDet commander. “Shouldn’t you be getting some rest?” he asked.

Riley smiled thinly. “Plenty of time to rest later sir. Thought I would report now.”

Rodrigues nodded silently. He returned his attention to the task at hand.
Libra was to be the last ship in the fleet to jump out. That way if anything happened she could bring her massive amount of firepower to bear as she pulled out. The countdown to jump had begun and preparations were currently underway to choreograph this dance.

Rodrigues turned his attention to the XO. “Mr. Wilson, if you would please handle the next phase of the jump sequence”

"Yes sir!" Col. Wilson turned to look at the navigator and Capt. Hastings, "Navigation, do a final check of the coordinates and them distribute to the fleet. Ships are to set for T-30 minutes...that should allow more than enough time for everyone to spool."

"Yes sir!"

"Captain Hastings, inform Major Watkins and Captain Rudnik of the jump. Bring our birds home at the last moment since we are jumping last."

Hastings shook his head in agreement and grabbed the nearest handset. Rodrigues watched as all of the ships advised they were ready to make the jump away from this section of space. It took some time for all of the vessels to report in their ready status and during that time the entire CIC was a buzz of activity. Final checks were made of all of the onboard systems, defensive batteries were manned in the event the cylons decided to crash the party.

Riley took a seat at a spare communications console and assisted with incoming ship to ship traffic, taking some of the burden from Hastings. He was always impressed by the way organized chaos seemed to reign onboard a fleet vessel.

As the allotted time came to an end Hastings signaled all ships within the fleet were ready for the jump. Rodrigues looked around at the men and women assembled at their stations. Pride swelled in him at the sheer professionalism they displayed. He thought of those who had been lost on Pythos and his mood changed from pride to a more somber tone.

He looked at his XO. “Alright XO have the fleet begin jumping out. Let’s get the frak out of here.”

"I couldn't agree more." Wilson said with a tired smile. "Mr. Hastings, signal the fleet to commence jumping on your mark. Time to make like a flock of birds and fly away."

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


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 10:57 pm 
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Fleet Jump Prep
0030 to 0105
Various Writers


Battlestar Taurus - AuxCon
0032
Day 245

"Yessir and Taurus Actual out." Commander Guynes looked across Colonel Merconi as he hung the handset up, "Spool the FTLs and set your clock to T-30 minutes, Xen. With everyone home, we're getting the hell out of here. We'll jump first with Griffin and Belle."

"Yessir," Colonel Merconi replied smartly; she turned to the Navigation officer: "Make ready to jump in 30, Captain," which she followed by the PA announcement to the crew.

As the clock began its 30 minute countdown, Guynes did a ship count on the DRADIS. "We're all here...time to make like bandits and get out of town."

"And not a minute too soon, commander," Merconi added, relieved to be leaving this system. "Not a minute too soon..."

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

Highlands Dawn
Day 245
0034

Darrion Littleton wrote:
May I have everyones attention? The fleet has announced we will be 'jumping' shortly. We are in no apparent danger, the fleet simply feels it is time to move to another location. I will have more details when they are available for release.


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

Distant Sun
Day 245
0035

"Captain, PO Grainger reports we are secured from refueling ops," the comms officer reported. "Ship stands ready to jump, Sir."

"Very good, Ensign," Captain Ames replied.

"Updated vessel mass received from Engineering," stated XO Daniel Coulter. "Computing FTL jump parameters now, Sir."

"Helm, spool up FTL," Ames ordered.

"Spooling FTL drives, aye, Sir."

Coulter stood at the FTL control panel as the computer crunched the numbers for their upcoming jump. They were leaving the Pythos system, and Coulter couldn't help but cast a longing glance at the monitors that showed the moon where they'd fought the Cylons and gained another part of the puzzle that led to Earth. An important part, he hoped.

Looking at Pythos' orb, brown and green beneath a swirling mass of white cloudtops, Coulter couldn't help but wish he'd been able to set foot upon its surface. To stand where our brothers once stood, to walk the paths they walked... to have seen that tomb first-hand and not just in combat videos... Python's tomb was now just a radioactive crater; whatever other secrets it may have held were nothing more than dust blowing in the winds on the moon's surface.

The computer was finished - the FTL jump was plotted. Coulter reported to Captain Ames, "Ship is prepared to execute jump, Sir."

"XO, stand by with jump key," Ames replied. "Comms, transmit to Libra as follows: Distant Sun is ready to jump on the Admiral's order."

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

Astral Dawn
Day 245
0035

Don Gibbs pickeup the handset. "Shorty, it's Don. Spool her up. Thanks."

He tapped a button, cutting the connection with Engineering, then he activated the public address system.

"This is the Captain, on the bridge. Sorry for the announcement at this ungodly hour. The fleet is preparing to make a Jump. There is no present danger. Agan, I repeat, there is no danger, bu the fleet will be making a Jump. Thank you."

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

Catalina - Sam's Piano Bar
0041
Day 245

Jack Baker looked across the small stage at his little brother Frank and then glanced at Suzie Diamond with a slight frown. He then finished a shot of whiskey and looked at the crowd.

"Well, you heard the captain that we're jumping in twenty minutes. This will be your last call for drinks before the jump. The staff has to lock down the bottles and glasses ten minutes before we go to the new location. Also, please find a booth or normal chair if you are on a stool at the bar at this time. The Baker Boys and Ms. Diamond will come back to entertain you after the jump."

The brothers double checked that their pianos were locked down to the floor as Suzie put the mic stands away. Although jumps were generally smooth, things had been known to occasionally fly across the room if a sharp turn had to be made at the new location.

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

Dionysus (Formally known as the Hydrus)
Day 245
0045

Sig Hillstrand had already prepped the Dionysus and was ready to jump when Captain Phil Hilstrand entered the bridge.

"So, the military wants us to bug out, eh?" Phil smiled.

"You guessed it. All the military ships are back and it's time to go. We're to jump in the first batch of civilian ships."

"Good. The further we get away from the Cylons, the better I feel." Captain Phil remarked. "How is that overhauling of the moisture system going in dome 2?"

"We're a little behind with that project. There is an engineer over on Demeter I'm going to talk with when the travel restrictions are lifted."

"Who is it?"

"Joe Heaton. With his time on the Sundog, he might have some ideas to work past to bulkhead and plumbing issues." Sig handed his cousin a cup of coffee. "Besides, after all he went through, it seemed like the right thing to do was go and visit him. Joe coming here might have...well, lets just say it might have brought up some rough memories."

"Agreed, cousin...agreed."


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 10:58 pm 
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Fleet Jump
Day 245
0102 to 0105

One by one, the ships of the Libra fleet disappeared, heading to a new location.

After the last civilian ship jumped away, the last patroling vipers and raptors quickly landed on Libra. After a few moments, her engines brightened and there was a flash.

Once again, the humans had jumped safely as they ventured deeper into the darkness of space.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2007 11:47 pm 
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Destroyer Douglas J. Griffyn
New Location
D245 T-Immediately after jump

-CIC-

"Status report", Herald said lightly as he watched the DRADIS flicker to life with the entire fleet.

He couldn't help get over the all-too familiar bear trap feeling. Probably just being so close to Pythos.

Major Johnson looked over at Herald, "looks like we made it out sir, all birds are sqwuaking, time to lick the wounds".

"So say we all to that one", Herald said, reading the printouts and spreadsheets being handed to him.

Not too bad... Raiders got some lucky hits, Herald thought as he skimmed.
Two flak turrets down he skipped the bigger terminology with his finger, and kept reading... hydraulic damage from enemy missiles.

He summarized the hull damage, minor hull damage across our entire ventral, some moderate damage in spots, he whispered to himself "not bad considering we showed them our belly".

He looked up from the clipboard and looked across the CIC, he could see the faint look he had almost forgotten... the same look a Pyramid team had upon winning a game.

The glimmer in their eyes as they worked was unmistakable... they had won a victory... the first in what seemed like ages.

A small smirk smeared onto Herald's face, as he was brought back to reality by the clipboard still in his hand. Now, back to these damages.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2007 8:18 am 
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Destroyer Escort Bellerophon
Day 245 Time 0155

Scott Duncan woke up on his feet with his knife in his hand, halfway across his quarters. It was nothing new to him… although this time, the haunting sound of the wind of the K’ofa Mumit had also blown through the drakonataph, in his dream.

He put the knife down and went into the head, splashing cold water on his face. Damn, I sure could use a drink. He stood straight, regarding his image in the mirror sourly, water dripping from his chin. Frakking waste of air. Then he sighed. How many times have you thought that? he asked his reflection silently. He knew his dark mood was because he hadn’t slept much, less than two hours, and was still exhausted… past exhaustion. And because of his worry about Xen, and Wolfe. And because of the dead. His thoughts went back to the first time he’d killed, when he was fifteen; to the K’ofa Mumit and all those who’d died at his knife, when he was seventeen; to many places on the different Colonies… Too many dead. Aten… let it be your will that Wolfe lives.

The craving for a drink gnawed at him like a creature with dagger-sharp teeth, but instead he shaved and changed into workout clothes and went by sickbay for something to take the edge off the pounding in his shoulder. Then he ran the passages of the Bellerophon, but much more slowly than usual. And not for as long as usual; breathing the foul air and dust on Pythos had left him with a lingering cough.

They’d jumped back to the rest of the fleet, but it wasn’t even 0200 yet. Xen will be sleeping, Scott told himself. So he ran, and then went to put on a clean uniform, planning on going to his office to get things ready to send the dead on to Aten. When he put on his uniform pants, though, he had to buckle the belt a notch tighter. Okay, eat first, or Xen’s going to rip me a new one. He thought of his spectacularly bruised shoulder, and smiled wryly to himself. She’s going to bite my head off, anyway. He pulled on his t-shirts, wincing. She’s fine. She and the babies are fine.

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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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Battlestar Libra - FCAG Quarters
Day 245
0208

Major Sabrina Watkins stood under the shower head and let the water roll down her head and body. The water also mixed with and hid her tears...but it couldn't mask the anger that had built up.

Sabrina could still see her pilots ejecting and then mowed over or gunned down by the Cylons. She could still hear their radioed pleas for help or screams. The sight of the torn bodies of the pilots drifting though space was something she could never forget, no matter how much she tried.

The major raised her face and let the warm water hit her face. After a few moments, she let out a loud scream and struck the wall with her right fist.

In war, I know I'll lose pilots...but by damn they won't be slaughtered like that again. Next time, the machines will find us ready...and they will pay a heavy price if they try that again. By Gods, they will find out what the true meaning of 'hell' is if it's the last thing I do!

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D245 T0215
Agroship Demeter

"I can see it!" Else yelled excitedly as she watched out her room's porthole. "Papa's shuttle is almost here!" Teddy jumped and shrieked with glee, which set Red and Dusty to barking, their loud, deep woofs mixing with Else's, Elly's and Teddy's giggles as they ran to the landing bay.

At the bridge, Captain Inga Mueller authorized the shuttle to land inside the agro cargo transport turned farm. Her eyes misted with happiness: her husband, the man she loved, was back, safe and sound, and she was giddy with relief. Tonight they would celebrate, but now... now she couldn't walk fast enough to the landing bay, where a small group already waited.

Brad was there with the others, although he knew Ski wouldn't be with them. He'd consider himself lucky if he got to see her in another two days--he knew her duties would keep her busy.

In the meantime, though, it was good to see the relief and happiness among his new 'family' here on the Demeter. The kids were giddy with excitement, partly from being allowed up so late. With a smile, Brad crouched, holding Dusty still, rubbing her ears to calm her down.

It seemed forever before the shuttle settled down and the bay door opened. The shuttle's hatch was not yet fully opened and Clive was already jumping off the small ship.

"Welcome back," Buster was the first to greet him, thumping the dark man in the back. Whatever Buster was about to add, if anything, was drowned by a happy shriek.

"PAPA!" Else threw herself at her father: she was already taller than he, but she was no different in her enthusiasm from the three-year old who'd clamored at his knee whenever he returned from a trip or a stint at the University. "Did you find it? Are we going to Earth, then? Was it scary? Were there spiders and serpents and bugs?"

Joe Heaton smiled as Dr. Mueller stepped off the shuttle. Damn good to have him home. He'd wait a minute to welcome Karl back...that honor belonged to Inga and the kids.

Teddy's interest, already high, peaked at the mention of creepy crawlies. "Doctor Papa!" he shrieked too, "Didja bring a spider? Can I see it?"

Karl held his daughter with one arm and ruffled the boy's head with the other. "No, Teddy. No spiders, but there was dust and secrete codes and hidden messages... I promise I'll tell you all about it later. Now there's someone I haven't greeted yet..." He coughed, the lingering taste of Pythos' foul air still bitter in his throat.

Inga stepped closer and hugged her husband and child. "Welcome home, love," she said, her voice rough with emotion. "Are you okay? I... we missed you..."

"I'm fine, pumpkin," he replied, smiling even as he cleared his throat. "Hale and hearty, as you can see..." He saw Brad crouching next to the excited Golden Retriever and called out, "Thanks to our Marines. Razorski was magnificent! The woman is an Amazon!"

Brad stood and strode forward, shaking Karl's hand. "It's good to see you back, Doc," he said. "And... yeah... Ski is something else, isn't she?" He grinned, reassured now that Razorski was okay.

He turned to Clive then, shaking his hand also. "I'm glad you're back safe," he said softly.

Clive chuckled, at ease now that he was finally home. "Not as glad as I am, Brad. Gods, it's good to be back home!" Too bad Alicia isn't here too... he thought wistfully, but he'd spoken with her, and knew she was okay, so he could wait a little longer for their reunion. He moved on to greet Gia and Ferdie, who waited with a sleeping Zoe a few meters away.

"Karl, good to have you home." Joe Heaton said as he finally stepped up. "The ship just doesn't feel right until you're here."

"Thanks, Joe," the spry doctor shook the engineer's hand warmly. "I must say that your presence here eased my mind quite a bit."

Joe smiled, "But the family is complete when you are here."

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Battlestar Taurus
Day 245 Time 0315

Scott had seen the damage to the Taurus when the Raptor brought him in; when Xen wasn’t in her quarters, his anxiety hardened in a knot in his chest. His thoughts in suspension, he went to the next place he thought she might be.

The Marine guard outside CIC saluted him calmly, used to his presence on the battlestar, but when the Major stepped in, he stopped short.

The CIC was a beehive of activity, but it was all maintenance workers. Duncan backed out, loosened his clenched jaw, and asked the Marine guard in a way-too-normal voice, “Where is Colonel Merconi?”

“Probably in auxcon, sir,” the guard replied.

Scott’s relief made him lightheaded for a moment. He nodded, turning on his heel, and it was only through extreme self-control that he managed to walk to auxcon, instead of running.

He paused in the hatch. Auxcon was also buzzing with activity, the impression heightened in the small compartment, but all he saw was Xen. She looked as gorgeous as always, her dark hair glossy, the beautiful fine bones of her cheek and jaw, the soft skin on her slender neck. The familiar heat stirred deep in Scott’s gut, but it faded when she turned her face to look at him, and he saw how tired she looked.

Xenthais felt his burning gaze before seeing him. It was the oddest sensation - the soft hairs at the nape of her neck stood on end and her body tingled with recognition. Then she turned, and he was there. She studied him carefully, searching for wounds, making sure he was real and not some mirage her tired mind had conjured out of smoke and longing. But he was real, and she smiled.

The look on her face made him feel lightheaded again, and he put a hand on the edge of the hatch opening to steady himself; then he stepped into auxcon, going to her and taking her in his arms. He pressed his cheek against her hair. It was just as well that he couldn’t think of anything to say, because his throat was so tight, he wouldn’t have been able to speak if he’d wanted.

Xen pressed herself against him, shaking with relief. She felt her eyes mist and hid the momentary weakness by burrowing her face in the crook of his neck. "You're back," she muttered again and again, as if to convince herself he was truly here, safe and sound. After a few heartbeats, she remembered where she was was and, reluctantly, broke their embrace. She cleared her throat and blinked the tears away resolutely. "Welcome aboard, Major. Good to see you," she said crisply (or at least as crisply as she could manage). "I understand your mission was successful?"

"Yes," he said simply. "K’aunaa... I'm glad you're all right." All he wanted to do was hold her.

He looked so tired! But something else lurked behind his eyes... Melancholy. Longing. Even a hint of regret. "I'm fine," she reassured him quickly, "But you need to rest."

"So do you," he replied. I'm fine now that I know she's okay. His eyes dropped to her pregnant belly, and he smiled. "How's the kids?" he asked. He wanted to touch her, put his arms around her. I think I could sleep now.

She looked down and patted her belly gently. "They're good. I swear these two are adrenaline junkies; they only stir when I'm trying to get some sleep!" Purple circles under her eyes bore witness of just how much sleep she'd gotten in the last few days. But she was happy now, and it showed. Scott was safe; everything else would resolve itself one way or another.

He snorted softly. "More proof they're mine... adrenaline junkies, and they won't let you sleep." He couldn't help himself, and touched her cheek gently. "You need to get some sleep."

Major Bays lowered her head a little and tried not to show the ear-to-ear smile she had on her face. Finally, the commander saved the day before she laughed.

"Well, you both look beat and have some catching up to do. Colonel, after you and Major Duncan make a quick visual inspection of four forward, please take the rest of the day to yourselves." The smile on Guynes' face showed the true meaning of his 'order'. "If you two see no problems, there is no need to call in."

"Four forward?" Merconi asked, confused. "But that area didn't..." She finally caught sight of Guynes' expression. "Yes, of course, sir," she choked out with a grin.

"Thank you, Commander," Duncan said to Guynes with a slight smile. He turned his gaze back to Xen and said, "Colonel? We have an inspection to perform." He gestured for her to precede him out of auxcon.

As the couple left, Bays looked at the Commander, "You do know four forward is where the colonel's quarters are and that there was no damage to that deck... not even chipped paint?"

"Yes...so it will be a quick inspection and they'll have the day to themselves." William smiled sheepishly as the Colonel and Major cleared the hatch. "I'll take it from here, Amanda. Get the folks on your shift some downtime. Unless the Admiral calls me over to Libra, I'll take it from here. I'd like your folks in the sack by 0700."

"Yessir."

_________________
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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