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 Post subject: Episode 20: Acceptable Risk
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:45 am 
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Day 91
Pilots' Ready Room
Battlestar Libra
0600 Hours


"Attention! CAG is on the deck!" shouted Lieutenant Barnhurst. As acting CAG Captain Gary Rudnik stepped to the podium, silence settled over the room. Rudnik looked out over the assembled Viper and Raptor pilots and felt a sense of pride at the dedication of the men and women before him who continued to serve, despite the loss of all their homeworlds.

"At ease!" he called, and the pilots took their seats. Holding the day's orders in hand, he addressed the room. His steady expression gave no hint of his inner feelings, and with businesslike precision he began the briefing.

"From the buzz I heard as I walked in today, I'm sure a lot of you want to talk about the arrival of the Taurus, and the survivors from the Intrepid. We will be discussing that, after I assign the CAP. Our first order of business, though, is a mission request from Commander Herald."

Rudnik activated the screens behind him, bringing up a ship schematic and several pages of data. "At 1900 hours yesterday, Colonel Vansen verified a signal located by Libra R&D as being an automated disaster beacon from the hospital ship CHIRON. She's one of ours, assigned to Battlestar Group 62." A murmur swept through the room, and Rudnik nodded acknowledgement. "Yes, that's Pegasus' battle group, and we all know what that means."

Rudnik turned their attention to the charts, and continued. "The CHIRON stands at 500 meters long, and over 1.6 million tonnes. The fact she's broadcasting a disaster beacon indicates her crew has lost command of the vessel - she may be a derelict, or she may be in enemy hands. The eggheads over on Harvest Moon have extrapolated her signal vector, and tell us she's broadcasting from a planetary system. Commander Herald has authorized a scout mission of two Raptors."

Turning back to the podium, Rudnik looked out over the assembly of pilots. "Brick, Cowboy," he began, "Arrow Four draws the lead on this." In the seats near the middle of the room two men did a high-five, then returned to attention, still grinning. "Moonlight, Preacher," Rudnik continued, "Arrow Five will take back-up." The pilot Rudnik called "Brick" held a hand up over his shoulder, and a female pilot in the row behind him slapped his hand. She elbowed the young man beside her, and he shifted in his seat, forcing a smile. Rudnik ignored the exchange.

"This is a scout mission only, " Rudnik emphasized. "Commander Herald is concerned that this may be a Cylon trap, given its proximity to the recent action against the Battlestar Intrepid. Eyes and ears, jump in, make sure the system is clear, locate the CHIRON, and jump back. No heroics. If the tin cans are there, scrub the mission and return immediately." Rudnik paused for a second, but there were no questions.

"Skids up in ten minutes. Arrows Four and Five, you are dismissed."

_________________
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth a war, is much worse." - John Stuart Mill, British philosopher and Member of Parliament


Last edited by RangerLord on Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 10:48 am 
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Day 91
Scouting Mission: Star System NGC-14246

Arrow Four, Raptor N327ER
Lt Tyler "Brick" Wallen
Lt Derek "Cowboy" Watson

Arrow Five, Raptor N821ER
Lt Kristen "Moonlight" Bui
Lt Levi "Preacher" Buckley

0633 Hours


Twenty minutes earlier, the two scout Raptors had jumped into the vicinity of the star identified as NGC-14246. Almost immediately, they picked up the disaster beacon from the CHIRON. Surveying the star system from their position beyond the orbit of the outermost planet, Arrow Four pinpointed the CHIRON's location while Arrow Five watched and listened for signs of a Cylon presence.

Using a low-power encrypted signal, the two Raptors exchanged information. "Moonlight, are the skies friendly?" Lieutenant Tyler "Brick" Wallen queried.

In the Raptor designated Arrow Five, pilot Lieutenant Kristen "Moonlight" Bui turned to her ECO. Lieutenant Levi "Preacher" Buckley shook his head. "Silent night, LT. If the tin cans are here, they're still hiding."

"Brick," Moonlight called over the secured wireless, "We're clear. Skies are friendly."

"Copy that, Moonlight," came the response. "I have CHIRON's signal pinpointed... seems to originate from the orbit of the second planet. Cowboy's plotted a short-range FTL hop, transmitting vector now."

A few moments later, the two Raptors winked out of existence, crossing four and a half billion kilometers in a heartbeat.

They emerged from the jump near the second planet, and the Raptors moved quickly toward a moonlet they had detected upon arrival. Staying opposite the sunward side, they hoped to screen themselves from the majority of the solar radiation as well as hide their presence from anyone who might be looking or watching DRADIS. As they approached the moonlet - an exceptionally large asteroid which had been captured in the planet's gravity - another object appeared from behind it.

In Arrow Four, Cowboy gave a low whistle. Before them, a Colonial warship floated in space, rotating slowly. It held an orbit around the planet below, following along behind the moonlet. Although it had appeared intact as they approached, the wreck's lazy spin carried its far side into the sunlight, and the Raptor crews could now see that the ship had been nearly gutted. A large part of the vessel was simply gone, and the ragged edges which remained showed obvious traces of fires and explosive decompression. "Lt. Wallen," the Cowboy said quietly, "that's no hospital ship."

The warship spun slowly in space, bathed in the harsh light of the alien star. Raw sunlight illuminated the military grey armor of the derelict vessel, and cast night-black shadows into the gaping wounds in its hull where the light did not reach. One hundred and fifty million klicks away, great solar prominences rose from the star, throwing white-hot gasses outward and spraying radiation toward its handful of planetary companions, oblivious to the dead warship which orbited near the second planet and the intruders who watched it.

"Agreed," Lt. Tyler Wallen responded, "it looks a lot like the Perseus..." He paused for a moment, adding "or the Heron." Lt. Wallen keyed his wireless, transmitting a low-power encrypted message to the second Raptor. "Arrow Five, I'm not picking up any EM from the derelict. Triangulate on the disaster beacon," he directed. "Let's find the source quick - this is looking too much like a Cylon trap." The pilot of the second Raptor acknowledged.

"I have a hot link with Arrow Five," Cowboy reported. "Triangulating signal now..."

"The signal's coming from the planet's surface, LT," Cowboy said moments later. "The destroyer's a ghost."

Putting his hand over his wireless mic, Brick said quietly, "I don't like this."

"Yeah," Cowboy responded. "It feels wrong."

"DRADIS clear?" Brick asked.

"Yeah, clear," came the reluctant response.

"Arrow Five, let's go have a look down below," Lieutenant Wallen called on the wireless. "As much as I dislike this, we've got to put an eyeball on the source of that signal."

_________________
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth a war, is much worse." - John Stuart Mill, British philosopher and Member of Parliament


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 10:53 am 
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[Written by SonOfTed]

Scouting Mission: Star System NGC-14246
D91 T0644
The Planet


The last burst of visible heat from their atmospheric entry flared past the forward window and Wallen watched a cloudless sky appear below. Primarily it was an airless world, but there was enough of an atmosphere clinging to its surface to heat the hulls of both Raptors. The terrain below them was rugged, with no signs of major water sources and deep rugged mountain ranges stretching from horizon to horizon.

Both Arrows Four and Five rocketed across the sky at high speed, homing in on the source of the Chiron’s beacon.

“Watch your descent angle Moonlight,” Wallen warned Bui. “This crud we’re flying through may be thin, but there’s enough of it to melt a hole in your hull.”

[“We’re right on your tail Arrow Four…”] the pilot of the other Raptor fired back. [“There really aren’t many places to land down there.”]

“I noticed that myself,” grinned Wallen. “Let’s see where our missing hospital ship went down, shall we?”

Together the Raptors banked in formation toward the eastern horizon, soaring as low as they dared over the sharp, snow dusted peaks of the closest mountainous region. As they moved, Watson carefully summarized the data pouring across his console.

“Frakking little bits of everything here, Brick,” he noted. “Small traces of carbon dioxyde, a reasonable dose of methane, and just enough oxygen sprinkled in to allow for some water content on the surface.” He chuckled, watching the image of the landscape flash by on one of his ECO monitors. “You can see there’s some light snow covering the mountain peaks, but other than that there’s not much water down there – kind of makes sense actually when it’s colder down there than a well digger’s ass in winter.”

Wallen glanced at the break in the mountain ridge moving into view on the horizon. “What do you think, Preacher man?” he asked curiously, speaking briskly into his transceiver.

[“I agree with Cowboy… it’s one of those planets a chemist or a geologist would love, but the rest of us would rather move on and look for something more interesting.”]

They continued flying eastward toward a large break in the mountain range that opened onto a barren valley below – at first glance it appeared to stretch for at least a hundred kilometers before the next cluster of mountains glared darkly at them from the distant horizon. Arrows Four and Five roared at high velocity past the outer edges of the mountain range and promptly descended further, shedding altitude as quickly as possible as they gained speed. Atmospheric flaps opened to catch what little atmosphere was available, help stabilize them, and to keep the small ships from accelerating too rapidly.

“This planet may be a simple rock in space, but it’s a reasonably sized one,” reported Watson. “The gravity is about 1.08 of what we’re used to, pretty normal if you ask me. That’s probably why they picked… THERE!” he said suddenly. “We’re almost right on top of the signal source. It should be down below us very close by.”

Tyler Wallen glanced sharply toward the window view in front of him and descended to one hundred fifty meters above the planet’s surface. They flew past several small hilly areas – each paling in contrast to the stark altitude reached by the mountains – finally flying toward the dull, gray gleam from below of manufactured metal glinting off the faint sunlight in the overhead sky.

[“It looks intact,”] Bui decided.

“Yes it does, I’m going in for a closer look… watch our six Moonlight!”

[“Roger that,”] she replied, grateful that both Arrows carried multi-purpose fire-and-forget automatic targeting missiles – just in case. [“Ten cubits says it’s a trap…”]

Wallen watched carefully as he did a quick flyover of the ship below.

“It’s difficult to tell whether or not it crash landed,” he reported. “From this angle the ship looks intact and it IS the Chiron… I can still read the name on her outer hull.”

[“The report we got in pre-flight clearly states that vessel is NOT normally capable of planetary landings,”] Kristen informed them. [“If the crew set her down without crashing, it was an intentional, controlled landing and they must have had help.”]

“Are there signs of ANY structural damage?” Watson was curious despite the effort required to keep up with the data readouts flashing quickly by on his ECO console. Every so often he glanced at the camera angles their imaging system was recording, but it was difficult for him to tell – without a pilot’s window – just by looking at the grainy footage.

“Nothing major… the ship looks intact,” decided Wallen, circling the area carefully. “If they crash landed then I’d have to say they did a remarkably decent job of it.” He glanced back at Watson. “Are you detecting any other signs of wireless traffic, there Cowboy?”

“Just the beacon as it continues its auto-repeat cycle. Nothing additional,” Watson promptly informed him.

[“I found another one,”] Bui reported suddenly. [“Ship number three!”] She had flown Arrow Five ahead a kilometer or so and then implemented a wider arc back toward the Chiron.

“What is it?” wondered Brick Wallen.

[“Dunno… pick up Preacher’s feed and take a look for yourselves.”] Bui’s voice was excited. [“This one also looks Colonial, and it definitely crashed – there’s not enough left of it for an absolute identification. Unless we land, we won’t be able to confirm anything from up here…”]

They continued to circle the area in a standard, outward spiral pattern for another ten minutes. Tyler Wallen used the time to quietly think the matter through before making a final decision.

“Okay,” he said firmly after it became clear that the rest of the valley was empty. “Moonlight, spool ‘er up and go back to the fleet. Provide them with an upload of the data we’ve got so far.”

[“What about you guys?”]

“We’re gonna do a quick orbit to the far side of this planet and check for tin heads. After that we’re going to FTL around the system a little bit longer, just in case…” Brick told her. “If the Cylons are camped out here waiting for us behind one of the other planets or moons, the Commander will need to know. Remember the time they chased us into that frakking nebula after using stationary ships parked on moons and asteroids?”

[“You’ve got a point,”] Bui agreed. [“We don’t need to go through that hell again…”]

“Don’t worry,” Watson said reassuringly, “we’ll be fine without your babysitting services.”

[“It’s not you I’m worried about,”] Moonlight replied sweetly. [“That’s a perfectly good Raptor you’re flying. Mine has too many dents in the hull.”]

Tyler Wallen shook his head with dismay and said nothing as Watson snorted loudly with amusement from behind him.

“Don’t worry,” said Wallen with all due seriousness to the crew of Arrow Five. “If we see Cylons, we’re going to be right on your tail. You can count on that!”


Last edited by RangerLord on Sat Nov 18, 2006 11:21 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 11:54 am 
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Day 91

The smoke, the flames, the smell of burning circuitry. Rodrigues watched helplessly as the cylons pounded relentlessly on the ship. Flames sprang from the overhead dradis console, throwing smaller pieces of molten plastic in all directions.

He turned and saw the bodies of his comrades slumped at their stations, all having died in the worst ways. It was going to end soon. He closed his eyes and welcomed death.

He heard the voice again, slowly coming closer and closer. He opened his eyes and saw a dim figure, completely out of focus.

“We have to go. It isn’t safe here any longer,” the words were punctuated by several explosions and the distinct sound of gunfire. He tried again to focus. He saw Vansen kneeling over him, the face still distorted and barely discernable in the smoke.

Then the face became clearer, the features sharpening as his eyes focused. It became brighter and he had to squint to maintain what little focus he had. The sounds of gunfire continued, their staccato sound piercing his eardrums with waves of pain.


Rodrigues forced himself to focus on the face staring at him. It wasn’t Vansen. After what felt like an eternity Zayne’s filthy and bloodied face came into view.

Zayne grabbed Rodrigues by the collar and hauled him up. “You okay sir?”

“Wow, what hit me,” Rodrigues asked, shaking his head to clear the remaining cobwebs.

Zayne smiled, seeing his CO was all right. “Frakkers tossed a detonator on us. If Eric hadn’t tossed it back over the wall we all would have been spammed,” a new set of explosions shook the ground around them. “I think we should be moving sir. They’re advancing again.”

Rodrigues nodded quickly and gripped the rifle more tightly in his hand. He glanced past Zayne and spotted Riley firing over a pile of rubble at an unseen threat. He ducked and almost immediately the top of the pile exploded as bullets ripped into it, tearing chunks of dirt and rock away.

Riley turned and sprinted towards Rodrigues while Asanus and Barkley covered him. Once Riley reached Rodrigues and Zayne the three laid down covering fire for Asanus, Vinoli, and Barkley as the three moved to join them.

Zayne dropped three blocks of G4 as the group began to fall back farther into the ruins. Rodrigues half turned and brought up his rifle just as a centurion popped up over another pile of rubble. Three shots in quick succession dropped the toaster like a stone, his head exploding into a thousand red-hot shards of metal.

Within a blink of an eye another cylon appeared, firing in their general direction. Another, then another followed it. Zayne and Riley dropped to a knee and began firing at the approaching enemy. Vinoli moved up behind Rodrigues and took a knee to his right. As he dropped he tapped Rodrigues on the shoulder, signaling him to bound back with Barkley and Asanus. As Rodrigues began moving backwards one of the cylons stepped next to one of the G4 satchels Zayne had deposited. The pack exploded, shredding the centurion and sending parts flying in every direction.

“That’s one,” Zayne exclaimed. “Surprise frakker!”

“Right Side!” Riley yelled as three cylons clamored over a debris pile to the team’s right. The team immediately took a defensive stance, back to back. It was going to get ugly real quick. Riley snapped off a shot directly in the faceplate of the nearest toaster, blowing out the back of its cranial plate. The toaster shuddered and dropped. Where it fell more cylons began appearing, weapons firing.

At that moment Vinoli aimed and began firing to their left. He hit a centurion who had suddenly appeared from behind a boulder. “Head’s Up! Incoming from our left!” He had barely finished speaking and was already putting rounds downrange

Barkley opened up with his weapon, stitching a centurion across the neck area as it moved towards them. The head sparked and it dropped, motionless.

In a flash the six men were up and running back towards a predetermined defensive point. Rodrigues extended his weapon, at a dead run, and emptied three rounds into a tin can as it fired. Rodrigues could sense the rounds whizzing past his head. His shots, however, found their mark. The cylon flipped over backwards at the impact of the explosive rounds.

Riley turned, sighting in on a cylon coming out of the darkness. He began to squeeze the trigger when he was knocked to the ground. He rolled instinctively, and immediately saw the foot of a centurion slam into the ground where he had just been. He kicked out with all of his might, in essence throwing the centurion off balance. As it fought to stay upright Riley fired several rounds into its midsection. The rounds impacted in an area, which must have housed important circuitry due to the amount of sparks flying from the tin can’s torso. The centurion fell over backwards into another cylon who brushed it aside and continued towards Riley. Riley had just enough time to place a well-aimed burst into the skull of his new attacker. The cylon’s momentum took it past Riley to fall harmlessly on the ground.

Rodrigues, who had witnessed the exchange between Riley and the centurions, began moving to aid his friend. He had nearly reached Riley when out of the corner of his eye he saw a cylon moving up quickly towards Vinoli who was firing off in the opposite direction, unaware of the centurion’s presence. Rodrigues knew there were only seconds to act. He sighted in and squeezed off five explosive rounds, which hit the cylon in a neat line from the abdominal plate to the head. The cylon stopped, turned, and started to bring it’s weapon up. “Enough of this felgercarb.” Rodrigues emptied the magazine in the cylon, blowing it apart. Vinoli turned as the cylon fell and, seeing what Rodrigues had done, gave Rodrigues a quick nod.

Vinoli had two toasters advancing on him, side by side, weapons firing. The rounds impacted the ground all around him. He kept his cool and fired in a deliberate pattern, dropping one immediately. His rifle ran dry and with no time to reload he dropped it and drew his sidearm. He aimed and fired, two rounds straight into the remaining cylon’s head. The cylon stopped, shuddered and fell, only three feet from where Vinoli was crouched.

Riley had gotten up, drawn his pistol and again started running to lend a hand to Barkley who was in the midst of fighting back three more centurions. He reached Barkley and dropped to a knee, pointing at another incoming toaster. He sighted in and fired. The rounds impacted the cylon, knocking it back. It regained its balance and moved forward again, bringing its weapon up and firing. Rounds whizzed by, cracking in the air. Riley fired three more rounds. They all struck home, right in the center of the head. As it fell another centurion emerged from the darkness. Riley sighted and squeezed the trigger. The rounds caught the centurion square in the center of his eye socket. The resulting carnage threw it backward and onto another one of Zayne’s G4 charges. The charge went off, taking three more cylons with it.

Another explosion knocked Riley off balance and he fell over. As he rolled back to an upright stance a cylon had already covered the distance between the rubble pile and Riley and was now standing over him, it’s eye moving back and forth as if mocking Riley. The cylon brought up its arm, the long, thin fingers having been replaced by a gun.

And the centurion’s head exploded. Riley ducked out of the way as the cylon fell forward into the dirt. Riley turned to see Rodrigues slowly lower his rifle from his eye.

It became silent as a tomb almost instantly, save for the crackle of small flames from the bodies of the centurions. The team quickly fell back to a defensive position and waited for another attempt by the cylons to take them down. A few minutes later it was evident their pursuers were all but wiped out.

They looked at each other’s battered and bruised faces but didn’t speak. There wasn’t much to say that could have described exactly what they had all just been through. That was until Asanus said the one statement that summed everything up.

“Frak me.”

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 12:37 pm 
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0655, Day 91
Lycanthrope, one ship in the fleet

"Good morning, Ox. How's everything?" Pack Leader Merton asked Deck Chief Michael Osten.

"Hey, boss." Osten greeted him.
"Visitors won't find anything out of the ordinary on my deck."

"Sorry you and your crew had to be up all night taking care of it." Then Merton smiled. "It's like we're starting all over again."

Osten shook his head in agreement. "How's the rest of the ship?"

"Clean as can be. Corrina and Eyeball made sure of it. Now, let's join the others for breakfast and get our story straight."


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 10:41 pm 
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Destroyer Douglas J. Griffyn
D91 T0715
-Commander Herald's quarters-

PFC Nathan Ball stood before Commander Herald, ready to give him the latest information found in the explosion investigation.

"Sir, as you know, the explosives originated from Weapons Locker G5, and since you disclosed the Omicron radiation weakness the Cylons have... then we have no idea who caused the explosion. With no known Cylons onboard, the only other option is a real collaborator Commander."-Ball stated.

"Very good Ball, I take it you've examined the logs of those in the flight pod on duty during the hours before the explosion?"- Herald asked.

"Yes sir, that was our second step, the reason I came here is to ask where to go next, I've never done anything like this before," Ball said, while holding the list in a folder in his hands.

"Well, give the folder to the Sergeant at Arms, and have him review the names, then we will pose questioning from there," Herald stated.

"Thank you sir," Ball said, as he began turning around to leave.

"Couldn't have happened at a mpre busy time, could it," Herald said, not looking up.

"No sir, it couldn't have," Ball replied, and exited the room.

Herald began reviewing the reports, and noticed how the Deck Chief's actions had somewhat calmed down... at least he wasn't sleeping with every female officer, he had found a oonsistent one. Being Commander had it's gossip priviledges.

But as for Strauss, he had never been the same since Day Zero. He was no longer the Chaplain that everybody went to for spiritual guidance. In fact, barely anyone had seen him. Rumor had it that he was open for counseling only one hour a day, and even then his counseling was... disturbing (from what Herald had heard).

Strauss had become lazy, and was barely doing his duties in order to stay afloat.

Herald quickly drew up a to-do list for Griffyn, including everything from the explosion to Strauss.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 10:37 am 
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Day 91
0655 Hours



Arrow Four
Lt Tyler "Brick" Wallen
Lt Derek "Cowboy" Watson
Chiron crash site


Lieutenant Wallen banked his Raptor around the Chiron's engine cluster. Climbing out of the turn, he made another pass across the hospital ship's dorsal side and then turned the scout craft sunward. He glanced over his shoulder at his ECO. "Let's have a quick peek at that wreck Moonlight found," he said. "Then we'll sweep the far side of this rock and head back to Libra."

"Roger that," Cowboy replied. "Let's be quick about it, too. That star is throwing out a lot of radiation, and this rarefied atmosphere isn't going to be much protection." He checked the environmental readouts again, monitoring the radiation levels around the Raptor, and noting that for now the interior exposure level was still safe. "If we hang around too long, we're likely to get a tan," he quipped.

In the pilot's seat, Brick shook his head. "As if you could get any darker, Cowboy," he answered, with mock disgust.

"Maybe not," Cowboy parried, "but I burn like everyone else. Sunburns peel... and itch, and you know how hard it is to scratch inside a flight suit." He paused for a second, trying to think of something more to goad the pilot. "C'mon," he said, with feigned urgency, "let's go see that wreck and then bug outta here. I'm already feeling a bit toasty!"

Lt. Wallen gritted his teeth and punched the Raptor's throttle, arcing up over the Chiron toward the coordinates Moonlight had fed them on the wreck. Twenty seconds later they were passing over the second ship, exterior cameras rolling. Half the length of the Chiron, and roughly oval in cross-section, the ship was a brighter metallic color than the military vessel they'd just left.

"I make her for a civilian ship. There's some exterior markings, but she's so badly broken up I can't make anything out." Brick swung the Raptor around for another pass. "Not much trace of an impact groove - looks like she pancaked, belly first."

Brick swung the Raptor around with the nose lowered, and Cowboy peered out the windscreen at the ship fifty meters below them. "That would have been a hell of an impact, I'd say she masses nearly a quarter million tonnes." The ECO returned his attention to his sensor readouts. "No emissions, LT. This one's as dead as that frigate up there in orbit."

"Copy that," Brick responded. "Time to check the day side for toasters, and then go home." He throttled up the Raptor, gaining altitude quickly as he headed sunward again.
__________

Arrow Five
Lt Kristen "Moonlight" Bui
Lt Levi "Preacher" Buckley
Lunar Orbit, NGC-14246 II


The Raptor designated Arrow Five climbed away from the planet below, toward the captured asteroid which was its moon and the dead warship that trailed behind it in orbit.

From the ECO seat, Preacher spoke wistfully, "I wish we'd been able to set down. I would have liked to have felt dirt beneath my feet and an open sky above me."

"It's a lifeless wasteland down there, Levi, and the sky's damn near black. There's so little atmosphere - there's no diffraction to color it blue. You can't take your helmet off either." She sighed, continuing, "I'd like to see a blue sky again... grass under my bare feet, wind in my hair. You're not going to find that here." She shook her head regretfully.

"Still," Preacher replied, "if they authorize us to come back, I want to volunteer."

"If you want..." Her answer trailed off, resignation in her voice. A few moments later and they'd cleared the last tenuous wisps of atmosphere and were in the true blackness of space.

"Spin up the FTL drive, Preacher. We're making another camera run on that frigate, and then it's back to Libra."

Back home, she thought.

_________________
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth a war, is much worse." - John Stuart Mill, British philosopher and Member of Parliament


Last edited by RangerLord on Sat Nov 18, 2006 11:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 1:15 pm 
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D91 T0430
Battlestar Libra
Dr (Maj) Ralph DeValera

DeValera sat and stared blankly at the computer screen in his office for long moments. The past day had been a trauma doctor’s worst nightmare—Thank the gods we had Nate Santana here, DeValera thought.

The most hectic time had been the first eight hours or so; triage, emergency surgeries, injuries from simple broken bones to severe radiation burns. In some cases, the full range on individual patients. DeValera’s thoughts went briefly to Admiral Jacobs, who’d been transferred to the Iasoan. He was one of those in critical condition, and Ralph hoped that the research facilities on the Iasoan could do more than the initial stabilization they’d been able to do on the Libra.

Now, barely twenty-four hours after the first casualties had shown up—and after only a few hours sleep for DeValera—he had reports from the Griffyn, Taurus, and the Iasoan. Reports on medical supplies…

He sighed and composed a memo.

OFFICIAL MEMO wrote:
To: Colonel Karl Vansen; Commander Brennan Herald; Commander William Guynes
From: Dr (Maj) Ralph DeValera, Chief, Libra Medical
Re: Medical Supplies

Sirs,

The recent operations treating the injured from the Intrepid’s fleet have left all our medical supplies seriously low. In particular, we are in dire need of vital medications to include anti-radiation medicine, decontamination and sanitizing solutions, and burn treatment supplies such as surface antibiotics and synthetic skin. We also need syringes, bandages, splints, field dressings and field medications. I would suggest that any ship’s facilities capable of making these supplies begin manufacturing them as soon as possible.

In addition, we are in dire need of blood and blood products. I would like authorization to begin a fleet-wide blood drive.

A complete list of needed medical supplies is attached.

//Signed//

Ralph DeValera, MD
Major, Colonial Fleet Medical Services

Attachment: List of needed supplies

_________________
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 Nov 18, 2006 1:17 pm 
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[Written with SonOfTed and Goldwolf]

Day 91 1000 Hours
Battlestar Libra R&D Office
Captain David Dedrick
Doctor "Trap" Moreland
Doctor Andy Peterson


At his request, Chief MacLean had kept Captain Dedrick informed as the flight data was downloaded from Arrow squadron's scout mission. When he'd seen the preliminary data from Arrow Four, the first Raptor to return, he'd contacted Doctor Andy Peterson on the Harvest Moon and then arranged for a Raptor to bring the astronomer over to the Libra for a face-to-face meeting. It would be the first time he'd seen Andy in person since their rescue from Outpost 29.

After Arrow Five returned and its flight data was downloaded, Captain Dedrick had been at R&D's main terminal analyzing the data and reviewing photographs. He had a probable ID on the ruined frigate. After identifying the Chiron, Colonel Vansen had cleared Dedrick for access to the Fleet database - an oversight from when Dedrick had been assigned as Chief Intelligence Officer. Based on the photos that the scouts had taken, and the fact that Chiron was from Battlestar Group 62, Dedrick figured the orbiting wreckage had once been the Patrocles, a Titan-class Frigate. He wondered grimly what had become of the nearly 800 souls that typically crewed such a vessel.

With the frigate tentatively identified, Dedrick turned his attention to the unknown wreck, designated by the scouts as 'Civilian 1'. He routed the camera images recorded by the Raptors into an image-processing program, and set to the task of rebuilding the ship. When the computer model was complete, he found himself looking at a vessel with an oval cross-section 70 meters wide and 50 meters deep. The Raptor crews' estimate of 225 meters in length checked out with the model. However, Dedrick found himself no closer to identifying the vessel - it looked unlike anything he had encountered, and a pass through the Libra's vessel recognition software yielded no result.

Across from where David worked, Trap Moreland lounged in another chair, listening to the audio recordings made by the scouts. There wasn't much to listen to, though, and Trap had pulled the headphones half-off and had been carrying on an idle conversation with Dedrick while the two men worked. Mostly, they'd talked about the arrival of the Intrepid fleet, although they'd discussed the constitutional convention a little bit. When Trap brought up Uriel, however, David had turned silent.

Dedrick received another call from Mac, and the Chief of the Deck informed him that Doctor Peterson had arrived. It was nearly ten minutes before Andy arrived at R&D - Trap heard him thanking his knuckledragger guide and opened the door before he could knock.

“Mighty cool digs you two have found,” Andy grinned, recognizing Trap instantly. He offered his hand in friendship and chuckled. “I’ve never been aboard a Battlestar before… so forgive me if I’m a little overly enthusiastic.” He glanced at Dedrick with a mischievous smile. “I should have known that – even during a reassignment - you two cats would end up landing on your feet somewhere near LOTS of technology.”

"Shall we have a look at the scouting report, then?" David asked.

Trap was glad to see Andy in person, instead of just talking to him over the comms. Once the initial reunion was over, he showed Andy what the signal had turned out to be.

“The signal itself is beacon, repeating over and over,” Trap explained. He turned to his console and brought up an audio file, playing it; even filtered it sounded like not much more than organized static. “That was what I first heard,” he said. “The scout Raptors brought back the clear signal.” He played the clear signal next. Encoded, it was an almost melodic passage of sound. “Sounds like hyper mice racing over the top part of a keyboard, doesn’t it?” Trap grinned. “The transmission wasn’t actually a voice transmission. David decrypted it, and that’s when we found out it was an automated disaster beacon.”

He made a few entries at his console, expanding the bandwidth and routing it over the speaker, then he turned down the volume. The disaster beacon wasn’t as clear, with static, odd pops and crackles, and an occasional whine-like noise partly masking it. Trap saw David’s frown, and turned down the volume even more but left the sound in the background. Andy nodded thoughtfully; he’d heard it when Trap had first sent the file over to the Harvest Moon.

“Once Colonel Vansen put in the password, here’s what it told us,” Trap displayed the database entry:

Code:
VID 144847
Hospital Ship CHIRON
Assigned Battlestar Group 62
Major Albert D. Davenport, Commanding
Located Scorpia Shipyards for Battlegroup Refit


“Now it turns out that there are two other ships with the Chiron,” Trap said. He turned the volume up; the beacon wasn’t transmitting at the moment, leaving just the background white noise, varying in intensity, with the random other noises coming and going. “Most of that is just emissions from the system’s star,” he shrugged. “Nothing else…” He looked at Dedrick soberly. “Nothing from either of the other ships. I wonder… who did that? From the pictures, the Chiron looks almost undamaged. What happened to her crew?” He gestured at the display. “That’s not a regular distress signal—why did they activate it? Or was it automatic?” He glanced over his shoulder as if he expected to see some foe advancing on them right there in R&D. “Cylons? Or someone else?”

Dedrick looked up from the monitor where he'd been watching the waveform displays of Trap's recorded signals. "You're correct, that's not a regular distress call. The Fleet calls it a disaster beacon, and it is only to be activated under certain circumstances. Those circumstances can be most easily described as a situation resulting in the total loss of control of a military asset. That would include the death of all hands due to a biological agent, abandoning the vessel for a safety issue such as radiation exposure, or the vessel being commandeered by an enemy agent or force."

The three men traded grim looks, and David Dedrick sat back in his chair. "Any way you slice it, gentlemen, the presence of the disaster beacon is a harbinger of trouble. So it's up to us to filter through this data, and advise Commander Herald if the possibility of re-supplying our fleet from that hospital ship presents an acceptable risk."

For a moment, Trap and Andy considered what David had said. Then David pushed the discussion forward, asking "Andy, what can you tell us about that star system?"

Andy Peterson proceeded with his assessment of the scout data, and the hazards he felt the system presented.

"It's an active star, even a bit stormy as stars go. Stars often go through cycles of activity lasting years, even centuries, before they calm down - only to cycle back into strong activity again. This one may well be at the peak of its cycle."

"Additionally, the second planet has a weak magnetic field, and is almost devoid of atmosphere. That leaves the surface practically unprotected from solar radiation." Andy stepped to a keyboard, and called up some diagrams of the system. "Compounding that problem, the planet is tide-locked."

About to go on, Andy caught the questioning look on Dedrick's face, and explained. "That means the planet's period of rotation around its sun, and its period of revolution about its axis, are equal. Its year and its day are the same length, over 400 Colonial Standard days - and the same side of the planet always faces the sun... and the radiation."

"Our derelict hospital ship," he added, "is about 200 klicks into the day side. Anyone we put on the ground there is going to have a real problem with the radiation."


Last edited by RangerLord on Sun Nov 19, 2006 2:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 1:18 pm 
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written by Joe, Texas, and Sil

0800, Day 91
Taurus CIC

Commander Guynes made his way through the CIC to the command station. Vansen and Herald were waiting for him.

He grabbed the handset. “Good morning, gentlemen. I just read over the report. There are some things here that concern me...the main item being the hospital ship and how it possibly got there. Opinions?”

Herald was first to answer Guynes. He spoke into his receiver, and his voice was carried into Guynes' and Vansen's handsets.

["A derelict frigate, a downed medical ship, a third unknown ship... I don't like it. It smells like a trap,"] Herald said while remembering the nebula, and how it turned out.

“This is still a tempting target. If we send a group, then it should be small. But I have many concerns about this mission." Guynes added.

["Yes, there are many variables in sending a mission, including the radiation bursts from the star. It's possible that the solar bursts alone caused the damage to the Frigate. But it's just as likely the Cylons caused it as well.”]

"If we send this group, I recommend not sending the FTL Vipers. They are too valuable at this point." Guynes paused for a moment. "The scout raptors should be reporting back in an hour. Ranger 4 is near that area.”

[“I agree, Commander.”] Vansen said, but then he clarified which commander. [‘Commander Guynes, I agree, that our Crusaders, the FTL viper squadron, need to remain here with the fleet.”]

["Also agreed, but we need much more intel before we even try to recover these ships. When the Raptors return, we will decide for sure,"] Herald said.

"Okay. If Ranger 4 comes back with clean readings, then we move forward. We also poistion a raptor near the area... to keep an eye out while the group is on the mission. If the Cylons show up, the raptor jumps back and we take it from there." Guynes said with some reservations.

["Good plan, Commander, we need to know the minute a Cylon sets foot into that star system,"] Herald added.

Vansen spoke again. ["I recommend that whatever update we get from Ranger 4, we send a raptor to update the 'Intrepid waiting station' personnel. And we should set new Jump emergency coordinates."]

"I agree with the Colonel. The fleet needs to be ready to jump away at a moment's notice."

["Also agreed, we will distribute emergency jump coordinates at once, and put the fleet on condition two alert,"] Herald said ominously.

"I have one other item of business. We had 14 Intrepid crew members who died overnight. Chaplin DeShera would like to have a memorial service and space burial at 1300. He would like for both of you to come, if possible."

["Permission granted Commander Guynes; I will most certainly be there, they fought valiantly,"] Herald replied.

Vansen thought for a moment. How could he put this without coming across as crass?

["Cylons willing.. I'll be there. If that is okay with you, Commander Herald."]

["It's fine Colonel, I am positive Libra and Griffyn will be left in capable hands until the ceremony is complete. But if you don't mind, Commander Guynes, I will be carrying a portable message device, that will send me absolutely necessary updates in the context of the recon mission."] Herald said.

“That’s fine, Commander.” Guynes replied.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 4:58 pm 
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D91 T0430
Battlestar Libra
Dr (Maj) Ralph DeValera
OFFICIAL MEMO wrote:
To: Colonel Karl Vansen; Commander Brennan Herald; Commander William Guynes
From: Dr (Maj) Ralph DeValera, Chief, Libra Medical
Re: Medical Supplies

Sirs,

The recent operations treating the injured from the Intrepid’s fleet have left all our medical supplies seriously low. In particular, we are in dire need of vital medications to include anti-radiation medicine, decontamination and sanitizing solutions, and burn treatment supplies such as surface antibiotics and synthetic skin. We also need syringes, bandages, splints, field dressings and field medications. I would suggest that any ship’s facilities capable of making these supplies begin manufacturing them as soon as possible.

In addition, we are in dire need of blood and blood products. I would like authorization to begin a fleet-wide blood drive.

A complete list of needed medical supplies is attached.

//Signed//

Ralph DeValera, MD
Major, Colonial Fleet Medical Services

Attachment: List of needed supplies


Code:
To: Dr. DeValera, Battlestar Libra Medical
From: Commander Brennan Samuel Herald
Subject: Medical Supplies

Thank you doctor for informing us of this as soon as you could. I will contact Iasoan, who I suspect is in the same predicament as the Libra is on medical supplies. Together, we will compile the lists from both ships and then contact the Civilian ships capable of producing these supplies. Thank you again, your message will be forwarded to the Iasoan as well.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 5:27 pm 
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Taurus Commander's Quarters
0512
Day 91

Commander Guynes had just turned on the monitor when he opened the message.

Dr (Maj) Ralph DeValera wrote:
To: Colonel Karl Vansen; Commander Brennan Herald; Commander William Guynes
From: Dr (Maj) Ralph DeValera, Chief, Libra Medical
Re: Medical Supplies

Sirs,

The recent operations treating the injured from the Intrepid’s fleet have left all our medical supplies seriously low. In particular, we are in dire need of vital medications to include anti-radiation medicine, decontamination and sanitizing solutions, and burn treatment supplies such as surface antibiotics and synthetic skin. We also need syringes, bandages, splints, field dressings and field medications. I would suggest that any ship’s facilities capable of making these supplies begin manufacturing them as soon as possible.

In addition, we are in dire need of blood and blood products. I would like authorization to begin a fleet-wide blood drive.

A complete list of needed medical supplies is attached.

//Signed//

Ralph DeValera, MD
Major, Colonial Fleet Medical Services

Attachment: List of needed supplies




Quote:
To: Dr (Maj) Ralph DeValera, Chief, Libra Medical; Colonel Karl Vansen; Commander Brennan Herald; Colonel Dean Wilson
From: Commander William Guynes
Re: Re: Medical Supplies

In one of our cargo holds, we have some creates of bandages, syringes, splints and field dressing. They were in storage on the Taurus when we took her from the Regallian Stowage Base.

Col. Wilson has the watch currently and can be contacted to arrange shipment. These supplies are 15 to 20 years old, but they have served us with no problems when they've been used."

//signed//
Commander William Guynes
BS Taurus

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


Last edited by jdctexas on Sat Mar 31, 2007 9:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 10:43 pm 
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Day 91 Time 0600
Battlestar Libra
MarDet Commander’s office
Major Scott Duncan
Gunnery Sergeant Razorski

Quickly Ducan filled in Razorski on the few details that Commander Vansen had briefed him—an automated distress signal from a Colonial hospital ship, the Chiron, from a planetary system. A Raptor scout mission was in the process of heading out for more information, and there was a chance that the Marines would need to send out a team to recce the ship.

“A good job for the Recon jarheads,” Razorski commented.

Duncan nodded agreement. “Probably make Dedrick mission commander,” he said, then added with a slight smile, “and send you along to babysit him.”

She snorted. “He’d be the last one who’d need babysitting,” she said. “Or one of the last, along with you.”

It was Duncan’s turn to snort. “At any rate, anyone would feel better with you on their six,” he said. “We’ll probably need some mission specialists, too… someone medical, for a hospital ship.”

“No point in making any choices before we get more intell,” Razorski replied.

“Agreed,” Duncan replied. “But at least we can take a look at the specs for the Chiron.” He turned and brought up the ship’s specifications on the computer and printed them out, then together he and Razorski bent their heads over 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: Sat Nov 18, 2006 11:26 pm 
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Day 91 0613
Liza Liala's Suite
Palatine

The Lycanthrope was first on her list this morning, she'd head over in a few hours, and see exactly what Myers had meant....That only left Discovery, the science ship, and Taurus, the battlestar, after she finished with Lycanthrope. And that called for special handling.

Quote:

To: Commander, Battlestar Taurus
From: Liza Liala
Subj: Meeting

Commander,

I'm following up on the message sent to you yesterday morning, concerning my meeting with you and any of your crew whom you wish to be present for such a meeting. I have had occasion by now to visit all of the newly arrived civilian ships except Lycanthrope and Discovery, and intend to be meeting with Lycanthrope's captain later this morning.

I send my apologies for not making Taurus a higher priority in my visits and getting to you yesterday, but in all honesty, I figured you probably had much more important matters to tend to yesterday than a meet-and-greet session, and figured I'd stay out of your hair.

If you could send me a message detailing what times would be convient to meet, I promise to meet with you as soon as possible.

-Liza Liala

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 12:27 am 
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Commander Guynes Quarters
0721
Day 91

Quote:
To: Commander, Battlestar Taurus
From: Liza Liala
Subj: Meeting

Commander,

I'm following up on the message sent to you yesterday morning, concerning my meeting with you and any of your crew whom you wish to be present for such a meeting. I have had occasion by now to visit all of the newly arrived civilian ships except Lycanthrope and Discovery, and intend to be meeting with Lycanthrope's captain later this morning.

I send my apologies for not making Taurus a higher priority in my visits and getting to you yesterday, but in all honesty, I figured you probably had much more important matters to tend to yesterday than a meet-and-greet session, and figured I'd stay out of your hair.

If you could send me a message detailing what times would be convient to meet, I promise to meet with you as soon as possible.

-Liza Liala


Commander Guynes had just buttoned up his uniform he saw message. As he opened it, he heard his wife in the bathroom suffering from morning sickness. He checked on her and she motion she was okay.

He went back to the computer and replied.

Quote:
To: Liza Liala
From: Commander, Battlestar Taurus
Subj: Re: Meeting

I would be more than happy to meet with you today. There is a memorial service for those who died on the Intrepid at 1300 today. We will also be doing burials in space for 14 people who died overnight. Since you are the Chairman of the Convention, I would like to extend an invitation to the service. We could chat afterwards.

//Signed//
Commander William Guynes
BS Taurus

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


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