AWD #123: Bringing Blackjack Home
Bringing Blackjack Home
Summary: The Orion sends out one more Raptor and discovers just what it is that followed them home.
Date: 09/05/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Take Us To Your Leader and all of the RP concerning locating the Lieutenant in the prison complex.
Petra Dropkickst 
Deep space, and the CIC of the Escort Carrier Rubaul
Changes during the scene

The Rubaul was already waiting at the jump point, but as with the report from the initial Raptor crew's experience, the escort carrier appears to take no chances. Two dozen Raptors, armed to the teeth, are waiting. There's enough arrayed firepower to take down a basestar. Possibly two. But with the identification of the cruiser, the weapons were drawn down and the Raptors all returned to the hangar deck. Petra was invited over and like the initial crew, he can see the flight deck lined with armed Raptors and Vipers, every Raptor painted the same flat black — or are those just a lot of scorch marks? Descending to the hangar deck, the place is in Overflow Mode. The ship carries more than double its compliment of fighters and support craft in all and the hangar deck is something like loosely managed anarchy. But there is a tall man, more than six feet, standing and waiting for Petra and there's a circle of Marines surrounding him with their eyes on the Raptor as the hatch opens.

Petra makes a comment to the Kings Bay's CO about 'if this is them friendly, remind me not to piss this Colonel off', lingering long enough to confirm that the carrier will follow the cruiser's lead on returning to Piraeus before heading over. When the Raptor finally lands and is carried down to the hangar deck, the crew is likely told to stay with the bird juuust in case, before the hatch is opened and Petra steps out onto the wing. The Person That Appears To Be In Charge is eyed for a moment for rank before he straightens up - a salute is offered if he sees something higher than a LCOLs pins, "Permission to come aboard? Lieutenant Colonel Marcus Petra, Tactical Officer of the Battlestar Orion." Under one arm is tucked a messenger's bag with what looks to be about two reams worth of paper and pictures.

The Marines stand there with their rifles at the low ready. Apparently, like the Raptor crews, they don't take chances. The older gent in command nods once. "Granted," he says carefully and motions for Petra to come off the wing after his returned salute. "Welcome aboard the Rubual, Mister Petra." Clipped, clean, and precise. The man has that commanding air of someone who doesn't tolerate bullshit. "Glad to see it wasn't a basestar that jumped in. I'd have been a pit put-out by that."

Petra hops down from the wing after the greeting, chuckling softly under his breath, "They likely would have already blown through us to get here, so I think I can mirror the 'being put out' there, sir. I have a copy of just about everything we've gathered since before the war began, and if you'll direct me to CIC and your tactical officer, I'd like to show you what the Admiral would like to suggest be your new base of operations. We can talk while your crew stares, and once you've heard enough, the Old Man would like to have a word with you. Acceptable?"

Galloway listens to all this, hands tucked behind his back as he watches the TACCO. In the end he gives a very slow nod. "Acceptable in terms of a possibility." He offers his hand to shake. "Colonel Mike Galloway. Commanding Officer of the Baker Bay." Once done, he turns to move off, assuming Petra follows. "Since before the war. I do believe I'd like to take a look at that. We were scrambled out to the anchorage for the dreads about a month before everything went to shit. We don't know much about what lead up to it except for what I was briefed on by Loytrall. The meat of that is essentially that there was something looming and that if I took the assignment and nothing happened, my career was done and we'dall be in a world of shit. A sitting Admiral tells you something like that, they probably have pretty high confidence. Damned glad I took the job."

Petra does indeed start after, shaking the Colonel's hand as the procession moves, "Actually, I made a point to include copies of some things right on top of the stack, as I figured you were going to want to know why the hell you were suddenly grabbed and shoved out in the middle of nowhere. We had a warning, and perhaps fortunately the Admirality already had a few suspicions, so our warning pushed the needle over. They told us that there were three battleships taken out of mothball, though. Am I out of place asking what happened to the Black Harbor and Merom Gulf? And believe me, sir. I think confirming you were out here just made about 44 million people on Picon very, very happy."

Galloway grunts. "A warning. Well, I guess it all had to come from somewhere. Loytrall fed me some reports about a series of unrelated but classified sources that all pointed to something very serious coming our way. He said SIGINT had picked up something, a human intelligence source was sounding legitimate, and that godsdamned tragedy with the Reese." He leads Petra through the halls, which are a fairly tight fit for a man of Galloway's size. "The Merom Gulf was blown up at anchor. We think it was one of their human-looking ones. The Lieutenant Colonel we had in charge was hosting Commander Bentley, our Task Force leader, when the ship just exploded. The Black Harbor is something I'll discuss once we see what's going on with your group." No word to Picon, yet.

Petra hmms, "The Reese tragedy gets worse, Colonel, but I'm getting ahead of myself. The skinjobs are just the tip of the iceberg." Which, speaking of skinjobs, the LTC is most definitely glancing at every face they pass in the corridor. Elias seemed to sound like they didn't know of all of the versions the Nomad group did, and well, there's no time for a surprise once they actually get to Piraeus - though a skinjob that hasn't blown this ship up by now… Petra simply ducks his head and follows the Colonel's lead, "The day after we met up with your team, we also established contact with a recon group, lead by the Morrisetti, who have apparently been hiding out in an asteroid belt since the war began. They should be joining us tomorrow."

"Tip of the iceberg? Lords, son, the last thing we need are more problems. We can stand toe-to-toe, but these things are a megahuge bitch." The Colonel doesn't look to Petra as he leads him into CIC. The place is dark and cramped, most of the interior glowing a dull blue or highlighted with yellow-orange tactical displays for grease pencils. This carrier is a relic of a day long past. "The Morrisettii?" he asks, turning with a pause just inside the hatch. The light barely illuminates his face. "No shit. That's one helluvan asset. Glad to see they made it out. I met their CO, a Lieutenant Colonel Helen Damark, ten years back at an ops course at war college. Smart lady. She'll be an asset to your Admiral if she decides to join up with your group."

Petra mmhmms, "It took us some time to figure out the bread crumb message they left us, so I'm relieved we weren't too late." He takes a moment to let his eyes adjust to the lighting, "If she's still in command, I'll let her know you said that, sir. Might be something that convinces her we're on the up and up and not some trick of the toasters." He hefts up the messenger bag, "Should I hand this over to you, or do you have an Intel Officer you'd rather I give it to? Copies are all yours, pictures and everything. You have any questions, I believe you already met my primary intelligence officer, Lieutenant Gray - either he or myself can answer anything you might want to know, if for some reason its not covered in here." He pauses for a moment, then adds, "I'll give your Tactical Officer the jump coordinates, but we're requesting you keep their knowledge restricted to your command staff, your tactical folks, and your ECOs, considering."

"Well the Morrisettii generally doesn't travel alone, Mister Petra," he says, dropping his hands into his pockets. His head tilts forward as he eyes the younger man past his broom-like mustache. "We'll see whether or not I'm okay with you giving my blessing to your fleet. Far as I know, you have a Raptor and a cruiser. Everything else is a lot of talk until we see it for sure." He takes the messenger bag without a word and moves over to the map table with it. There's a glance to Petra, then to a Captain with his back turned to the pair. "Go ahead and plug it in. We've got plenty of gas so wherever you need to get to, we can run it." Plenty of gas. After more than five months.

Petra nods, "Fair enough sir. Then allow me to demonstrate." He steps over to the tactical station and eyes it for a moment. Capital ship FTL controls fortunately don't deviate too much between Naval ships, so it only takes him a second or three to reorient himself, then offers, "Colonel, if your Comms Operator will let the Kings Bay know we are ready to jump, she's leading the way back home, so the Orion's IFF doesn't paint us as unknown and piss everyone off." With that said, there's only the wait for the drive to spool up and the cruiser to take off, so the carrier can follow.

The Colonel is already opening the case and pulling folders out to take a look at the contents. Petra moving to the station has him lift his eyes, and only his eyes, to watch. The Captain looks Petra up and down, then back to Galloway. Mike gives a slow nod to the Captain and Colonel. "Proceed, Mister Petra."

Petra nods once and glues his eyes to the nearest DRADIS screen, listening to the comms chatter and the Kings Bay acknowledging the request. When it blinks off of DRADIS, he calls out the last five seconds to jump and turns the key on cue.

Which takes a second to resove itself, but when DRADIS descrambles from the job, there's a whole lot more Colonial IFF signals floating out at a distance, with the King's Bay still close by. Of course, for those paying attention, the most notable one is going to be the big dot proclaiming to be 'Battlestar BS-114', while the launch bay cameras probably provide a bright view of Piraeus itself. Petra removes the jump key and hands it back to the Captain, clearing his throat to offer, "Colonel. Welcome to Piraeus."

The Colonel is looking over the folder topics quickly before the abbreviated clock is counted. One of the Captains is standing by the Condition Setting, ready to hit for Con One. But with the jump complete, Galloway looks to the DRADIS screen and waits for the appearance. At seeing the returns, the man smirks. "Well I'll be damned. Would you look at that." The whole CIC seems to breathe a collective sigh of relief. There's even some grins in the low light. But at Petra's welcome, the Colonel quirks a brow and looks up to the monitor. "Holy shit. You have a planet??" He steps around the table to look closer. "Is this.. is that thing habitable? I see oceans and green landmasses."

Petra allows himself a not-quite-contained smile at the reactions, murmuring a 'thanks' to the Captain before stepping away, towards the Colonel, "Yes sir. Actually, we've been here for right about three years, building a settlement here, completely off the books. We aren't in any computer or on paper anywhere, so no matter what the Cylons raid, they aren't ever going to find out where we are. We've been collecting refugees and survivors we find and bringing them back here after we screen them, and we're in the process of building living space on the surface for them and others we find. We have two Tylium refinery ships in orbit, though we need to replace the drive system on one of them, so fuel isn't going to be a problem, even with your group and the Morrisetti's here, if you both agree to join us. We've rescued livestock off of my home planet of Virgon before the atmosphere completely disintegrated, and we're working on making the colony competely self sustaining. If your crew want to put in the effort with us to keep building and working on it, it can be their home too. Even if for some reason you don't, with the addition of your firepower, I'd love to sit down with you and Commander Spree and talk about kicking the fraking toasters off of Picon for good, sir."

A few of the CIC officers have gathered to look at the monitor, joining Galloway. "Fuel won't be a problem, Mister Petra," he muses. "This- this is real. You all have a planet," he laughs after a moment. "Wow." He looks over towards the Orion TACCO for a moment and nods. "I believe that if Jameson is the person I've heard about, we can probably come to some kind of an agreement. I've got no want to retain command status for a fleet, but within my task force, yes." He crosses his arms and leans against the map table. "Son, the Black Harbor is at a secure location guarding twenty-eight naval support and supply ships. Loytrall sent them out to us for work-ups. We've got combat stores, ordnance, fuel, provisions, everything. We didn't know when we'd see a refill so we've been on half-rats. If you've got a planet, I've got a fleet Jameson can have."

Well, screw stifling the grin at that point. Petra nods, "Sir. Admiral Jameson isn't the kind of man who cares much for getting into a pissing contest. If you're willing to work with us and coordinate operations, neither he nor I are going to give a frak right now. The bottom line is we have these frakkers raping our homes and its time we start kicking their asses rather soundly rather than playing guerilla war. We have a safe haven for any refugees you've found and rescued as well, though we have to insist our medical team screens everyone, and they go through our little 'orientation' class we've worked up. While it's a pretty planet, it does have fangs if you aren't careful." He pauses there for a moment, then adds, "You have enough reading material to last you a week, but it sounds like you have a task force that's gonna start wondering what the frak if you take that long to come back, so as long as you have the time to spare, I'm supposed to invite you for a bottle of whiskey and a long talk with the Admiral on my Battlestar, then you and your group are welcome to join us as soon as you can pull up stakes and jump in."

Galloway lets off a long breath, chewing on something mentally. "The Black Harbor is still undergoing repairs. We believe the Cylons think they took it out. So far we've just unzipped our fly and waggled our dick around with the Baker Bay. We've already tallied nine basestars. Our gun crews are, by tradition, manned by Marines from the artillery corps. They're bloodthirsty. I'll have to talk to your top end, son, but I think we can work something out. We have the drive, but we don't have the Marines. There's no sense in controlling airspace if you can't put boots on the ground. We've only been combat operational, as a whole, for about twenty-five days. The Harbor is still about a month from being fully restored. They have to rebuild two more of their main gun turrets, yet." He looks back to the monitor. "Alright. Get your ass off my boat, son. I'm going to go spread the word. We should be back later tonight. Sound like a plan?"

Petra's grin persists at Galloway's description, "Sir, there are forty million Marines on Picon and Aerilon, and a good portion of the ones on Aerilon are tankers. Tell me when you're ready to talk and I'll grab my Marine CO and Commander Spree and we'll chat." At the request to get off, he chuckles and offers the man a salute, still smiling a bit, "Yes sir. I think I'm on Watch tonight, so I'll leave the night light on for you." With that said, considering permission was given, he'll turn to head back for the flight deck and the Raptor crew that's likely wondering if he got eaten or not by now.

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