AWD #539: Commodore Seven
AWD #539: Commodore Seven
Summary: A force of Cylon vessels jumps into Leonis space, but not to attack the Colonial Fleet.
Date: 12/12/2016 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None.
Elias Dropkickst 
Combat Information Center
The Combat Information Center is the tactical heart of the ship. This CIC is designed in a circular formation, the original Admiral apparently a fan of the classical set-up. Dead center are a set of large monitors suspended from the ceiling with DRADIS readings as well as other vital shipboard information. Under this is a small map table outlining current plots and positions. The table has a built-in phone as well as smaller displays relating to critical damage reports. Both port and starboard watch stations are set at all times, in two rows of tiers like stadium seating, one above the other. Each station has a purpose — Helm, Weapons, Communications, Electronic Warfare, Damage Control, and further tactical monitoring. More displays and banks of computer monitors line the walls. This area is heavily guarded by armed Marines at all hours of the day and night.
AWD #539

The last three days have been hectic in CIC. Living underneath Condition One is nearly impossible, but the crew in here has been holding together mightily. Four caraffes of coffee are being brewed or changed out constantly to keep people alert. The big battle in Leonis airspace has been the action surround the logistical sites. Jameson had ordered the Lines to take the APF craft and get airborne and get in there with close air support. With the bases a complete mess in cleanup, the first Predators and Raptors aren't going to be ready for take-off for another 25 minutes - minimum. The roads to the munitions bunkers are littered with bodies and the civilians are still running around. Jameson then moved off to get two hours rack. With Faulkner giving a personal inspection on Medical after the Marine raid, it leaves Elias as Watch Officer. The reports from the recon Raptors across the colonies are slowly filtering in. All is quiet for the moment.

Having gotten his required rest period earlier in the day, Elias now paces restlessly about the CIC, eating up every bit of news that comes in. Even though it's far too early for much information to be available, the habits of a former Intel Officer die hard, and the mixed bag of what they do have doesn't paint a very clear picture. Once more back at the communications console, he tells the crewman manning the message center, "Priority message for the Allied Basestars, pass it through Anvil: Caprica in need of air support. Advise your ability to employ Raiders in combat. Gray."

Routine traffic. Nothing special. A Viper CAP is returning, bingo fuel and winchester on ammo. Full flight came back and nine kills. They're turning final when DRADIS beeps. New target. Then it beeps again. And it turns into a constant beep.

"Major! New contact! Cylon basestar! Designate contact Sierra 4-6. New contact- New- 7, 8- 9, 10, 11! Sir! Mass of Cylon ships arriving at distant orbit!"

When Elias looks up, the whole screen turns into a massive blob. The ships are jumping in, sandwiching the fleet between them and Leonis. It's impossible to pick out the targets. Everyone in CIC just stops what they are doing and their faces drain color as one. More than a dozen capital class ships and there are /thousands/ of smaller contacts bunched into DRADIS-implied wings.

Elias takes a moment to stop pacing, leaning back against the bulkhead and resting his eyes, just for a second. Then he snaps alert when the new contact is called, and the TACCO hustles over to the main plot in time to see that solid mass of DRADIS returns. It's an unpleasant development, even if it's not a surprise. He's been expecting a Cylon reaction, it has only a question of when. "Scramble everything we can, recall all craft from Leonis!" he tells the Air Boss, and then turns back to comms. "Signal the fleet — defensive formation as planned, we're putting our backs to the planet! Coordinate the flak screen, but hold your fire until there are missiles in range!"

The Air Boss on duty is fast. The comms systems all over the ship crackle to life. Its the Air Boss on duty, speaking in a controlled and serious tone. "Scramble all aircraft. Repeat, scramble all aircraft. This is not a drill. All fire crews to stations. Gunnery section to arms lockers for arms. Out."

On the DRADIS overhead, Elias can watch the group begin to spread out in real time. All over the ship, crews are reacting and pilots are running for their aircraft.

"Sir, picking up navigation DRADIS only!" comes the call from the Electronic Warfare Officer. Meanwhile every single gun in the fleet is turning. A runner is already sprinting out the door to wake the Admiral. Somewhere Faulkner is pounding her boots on Deck Three, screaming for people to make a hole.

Then the comms officer blinks a few times and looks down. She quickly taps the mute button on her mic and looks to Elias. "Major. We have voice communication. They want to talk to you. By name."

Elias' mouth tightens at the news from the EWO, and he turns to look hard at the DRADIS display, as if he's going to be able to puzzle a clue out from that mess. He hears what the comms officer says, though he looks right at her for a moment as if he hadn't. "Mmm." He doesn't have a lot of time to consider, so a second or two will have to do. "Signal to the Fleet … Hold your fire." He takes a deep breath, reaches for the commander's handset on the plotting table, and then nods to the comms. "Put them through, and on speaker." As soon as that's confirmed, the young Major lifts the phone to his ear.

"You're on, sir," is all the woman says to Elias. "Basestars, you are on with Major Gray, Watch Officer."

The voice is recognizable. Instantly. Its a Seven. "Major Gray, this is self-appointed Commodore Jacob Russell of the, ah, well we haven't named her yet. Please do hold your fire." People are CIC blink in shock. "We are five-count Basestars, two-count oilers," refueling ships, "four-count resurrection ships, and four-count amphibious landers. And I've got about nineteen hundred heavy raiders short on gas and looking for places to park." They can practically hear the cocky smile in his voice. "We went to town. Couldn't resist. We raided Twin Rocks. Looking for orders, Major."

Elias relaxes only a tad upon hearing a Seven's voice, but it's a damn sight better than some robot voice demanding their immediate surrender. He takes another deep breath, resisting the urge of his fingers to light up a smoke. "Message received Commodore. Congratulations on your … dramatic entrance. Stand by for Orion Actual. Gray Out." He clicks off his handset and lowers it, then turns to comms yet again. "Relay to the Fleet, new contacts possibly friendly. All ships and craft stand by." Apparently the TACCO is not about to make the call on this without Jameson or Faulkner present. Preferably both.

The guys is fast. Comms systems all over the ship crackle to life again, the Air Boss once more. "All aircraft continue scramble and hold at Phase Line King." Ten miles from the ship in protective bubble. "All stations stand by, orders are hold fire in the fleet. Repeat, hold fire. Air Boss, out."

"Hey, no problem, Major. We're bold for a reason, right?" The radio goes silent for a moment with the standby for Actual. "Major, I need to relay some things. You think I could hop a Heavy and head your way?" Pause. "Over."

First order of business is to make sure the Fleet has gotten the word NOT to start shooting yet. Then Elias keys the handset again and responds to the Seven. "Russell, Gray. Affirmative. I'll arrange an escort. Contact Orion LSO on approach using this frequency. Over."

"Roger that, Major!" The guy cuts comms and someone else, a Four is handed the rest of commo for the fleet.

Jameson arrives in CIC about the same time the Heavy departs Sierra 4-6. The Admiral looks to the DRADIS and shakes his head. There's a low whistle and a long breath. He waits for the download on intel while his hand comes out. "Coffee. Now." An attendant delivers one to his waiting hand while he rubs the sleep from his eyes with the other. He then looks to Elias. "Okay, he's got a lot of Heavies. We can't handle them. We're going to have to disperse to airfields. Put them where we can, full security where we can even hope to do it." Which is nowhere at this point. There are Lines everywhere holding strategic points. "Find out what this guy is on about and how all this shit got here. We need a full accounting." Jameson sips the mug and gives hard eyes to the Major. "No more bullshit. They withhold anything, its not a good hand for us. Make him understand we're not frakkin about, but lets play the diplomatic card on our end. No threats. They're here. See what we got. I've gotta deal with this mess. He's got more heavies than the airfields can handle. Figure it out. Do whatever it takes, but seal this godsdamn deal." Jameson looks back to the dradis and motions for the commo Petty Officer to put him on. "Contact Sierra Four-Six, Orion Actual with traffic. Stand by for orders." He shakes his head and takes up a folder.

Meanwhile, towards the Map Room, Jacob Russell is landing. Marines on Deck report the Heavy is packed full of air-tight kit with handreading openers. No reports of anything radiological. The guy is lead up to Deck Two under heavy Marine guard.

After making his report to the Admiral, Elias waits for Jameson to absorb it all and make his decision. "Understood, sir." Then he offers a suggestion of his own. "We might re-route some of this to Caprica and Aerilon, sir. They both need air support." He offers up the comm log from while Jameson was asleep, indicating the new intel he knows the commander hasn't seen yet. But that's his only contribution before the Major is prepared to go and try to 'diplomatically' ferret out the truth behind all those Basestars. As soon as he's dismissed the TACCO is on his way to the meeting in the Map Room. The significant upside for him? He can light up while he waits for this 'Commodore' to arrive.

The Marines open the door for Jacob, but something they would do for anyone. Two Marines in first, turning around to take positions in the room. Rifles are held low, watching for the moment.

The guy is dressed in a set of CMC Combat Fatigues, but there's an armband. On that band is the same star that al Yamoha wears on her uniform. He's been shot through his left arm, but a flesh wound judging by the bandages wrapping his bicep. Unlike Rance, this Seven is clean shaven and actually looks smart in the uniform. It fits him, but no rank pins. He moves to the end of the table and gives a salute with his right hand. "Jacob Russell, sir. Ignore the Commodore, joke. They just put me in command. Thank you for having me." He holds the salute.

Elias, a bit scruffy in his rumpled blues and wearing his side arm, is leaning back against the map table when the Seven arrives, having that smoke. He pushes off the table and takes a deep drag, plucking the cigarette from his lips with his left hand before returning the salute with his right. Then he exhales aside and nods to the Seven. "You're going to need some sort of organization, Russell … but I suppose we can figure that out later." He studies the man for a moment, then gives a nod. "You just brought us a dozen major ships. I should be thanking you." The briefest pause passes before he prompts, "Must have been quite a feat, getting all that away from the Cylons."

With the returned salute, Jacob drops his own. "You're tellin' me, Major. I can't stay long. Its a clusterfrak back there. People need leadership, sir." He gestures in request of a smoke, though. Elias' question gets a laugh, though. "Yeah. Rance passed his knowledge back of what he knew and could deduct from your intel reports and after action he could find." The guy shoves his hands in pockets, an ignorant gesture to lack of protocol. But he's not military trained. Clearly. "We had just enough time. I made the call to spread it to the Rocks. We timed it with you all behind your back. We took as many basestars as we could and got the frak out of Dodge. We all went straight for the Rocks before they knew what was happening. Used the last open sections of the nebula run. Our people there were already loading everything they could find." Jacob smirks a little. "We downed nine basestars. Lost three. We went nuclear right away. We hit as many Centurion production facilities we could. Last cameras said we hit about half of them with a twenty-megaton each, plus we EMP'd the high altitude. It screwed the Centurions for communications. Our five basestars survived the attack and everything else you see here we stole." He holds the smile. "Everything is full. We did not come empty-handed. Caught them with their tin pants on their ankles and we stole everything we could find."

"Mmmm," Elias makes an agreeable noise when the Seven asks for a smoke, propping his own back between his lips as he reaches for his lighter and cigarettes. There's a sidelong glance when the skinjob reaches for his own pocket, but the breach of protocol doesn't stop the young Major from producing the pack of smokes and tapping one out. "That's fast work," he notes. "Very fast. And I'm sure we can use it all." He waits for Russell to get the cigarette lit before asking, "You said you had information to pass along?"

Jacob bring both hands out at the cigarette. Nothing there. He reaches for the tapped one and a lighter. He takes it and lights before answering. "Sweet, sweet nicotene. Man, I'd have stopped somewhere else first if I didn't think you'd have one." Probably a joke. He inhales and blows the smoke up before looking back to Elias. "Yeah." The guy composes himself and steps forward to the map table. Its blank and he makes a face before looking back. "Look, we've got all the resurrection and Line intel possible. Its all packed onto the landers with a bunch of extra bodies for us. Instructions, reprogramming, everything." Jacob pulls the smoke hard as he looks at Elias. "Half the lines don't want to hand it over. I'm in charge. So I'm handing it over. I'll be trusting you with it. Don't frak us, Major. We came a long way for you all." He ashes into the tray and takes a more serious stance, expression and voice going there also. "Centurions wiped most of the jump drives on the basestars. One of the others we have didn't hit one hundred percent. There's a Cylon third world out there, and no we don't have it, but there's apparently a fourth garden world out there where they are taking the majority of your people off the colonies. Files we saved says its been there for decades. Its a human-populated, canner loving world. We've got basic direction on it, but its a large area. Now.." He drags the smoke and taps the table with his hand twice. "We know they have twenty-eight basestars left. But that's only the group in the network. From what a Four told me, its likely they've got an armada out there somewhere they aren't tapping. I hope you get what I'm saying here, Major."

Silent and patient while the Seven lights up and enjoys the first rush from the nicotine, Elias' brow arches when Russell tells him about the cargo on those landing ships. "I appreciate the gesture," he says slowly, still thinking about the full implications. "I assume you can't actually resurrect on those ships, and we'll need to move all the … cargo somewhere it can be used?" He puffs and thinks this over, but offers no immediate answer on where. The information they got off the Cylon nav systems? That is enough to make him forget the question, at least for the moment. "Twenty eight basestars, plus a significant reserve and an entire planet of APF-types?" He exhales a long breath. "If you're saying this is going to be a long war, I'm not surprised."

Jacob nods slowly. "That's correct. We can't resurrect on the amphibs. We have the gear aboard to set up multiple sites, and we could if we had to, but we are not set up for it right now. It would take about a week to unpack and get installed, Major. We need someplace dark and cold to keep them, with power. But they are fine on the amphibs right now, but we can't use them for anything else at the moment but storage." He drags the smoke hard and exhales before ashing to the tray. He does shake his head, though. "No, Major. It means there's twenty-eight out there on their own orders plus their fleet reserve guarding their homes. We've no way to know how many they are packing. But right now, we've got them by the brassy." We. An important word. "The Heavies are loaded with guns and ammo. Armor. Everything we could grab." He takes another drag and looks at Amos. "Look, I'll be blunt with you, Major. We did this with promises of Piraeus. I'm not asking for it right now, but the Lines want to see their home sometime soon. All of them. Keep it in mind."

Elias listens to the first part of the Seven's response, nodding his understanding. "We'll make sure everything you've brought is put to good use. There has been some talk of 'resurrection ships,' though we haven't seen one yet. And there's a facility on Picon. Your people are rallying there right now." The question of their home world requires a long moment of consideration. "As far as I'm concerned, you could go to Piraeus now. The danger is someone who knows where it is, or has even the faintest idea how to find it, being taken alive by Cylons. Our protocol is that /anyone/ who knows the jump coordinates is to be killed if there's danger of capture." He lets that sink in for a second. "So … you tell me. Should the Lines go to Piraeus now? Do we just send your non-combatants, and require them to stay there?"

"We've got four resurrection ships with our little group, Major." Jacob ashes again, still looking at Elias. "Your Marines, by my order, are welcome to patrol and inspect. Basestars, too. I'm not going to park these things here in this number and expect you to take me at my word considering the last year and a half." He takes another drag, then looks down. The rest is taken in while he thinks it over. "Ah, yeah, the same rule you give to the ECO's." Jacob thinks on that with another drag, then looking back. "With you permission, I can designate pilots who are non-deployable. Individuals of the line who understand the risks and what is involved. We can pre-program them to be deleted on download. But the rest?" He shakes his head slowly. "We're mad, sir. All of us. And if Rance was right about what we find there, we're only going to get more angry." he swallows, keeping his eyes on Elias. "No demands, Major. Tell me how to make his happen with fleet security and I'll leave it up to inspection."

"Mmm," Elias makes an agreeable noise for inspecting the Cylon ships, and looks vaguely relieved at the offer. "That will make things easier. Thank you. So will placing your ships under Colonial Fleet command … if you're willing." He too taps his cigarette on the ashtray and takes a hit. "We are going to need to trust one another," he says slowly. "You're trusting us with your … heritage. And that's no small thing. Now I'll need to take that back to my people and see how far they're willing to go. In the meantime, I'm going to have to rely on the Lines to police themselves. If you can't tell who might still be loyal to the Cylons, there's little chance we can." And then he gives a series of thoughtful nods for the idea of dedicated skinjob ferry pilots. "Can you be certain where you'll download, if you're killed? Or could the Cylons take the … information in transit?"

Jacob seems to understand. "My goal is to get us under fleet command. Sevens wants it, so do the Sixes, Nines, and Twelve. It's a harder sell for the rest but only because, I'm guessin, lack of experience working together. We are who we are at a core, yanno, but we've been scrappin." One way to put it. "Give it a bit, no time frame, but if everything is on the level on both sides I think we will get there soon." He drags heavily on the smoke and ashes it again. "We will be policing ourselves, yep. For now, still be cautious. We will be shooting the dangerous ones as we find them." The last gives him serious pause. He looks down and thinks on it while he smokes. "No. Good point. We will need to disconnect the Raider packs completely and start blowing up resurrection facilities we can't be sure we can hold. Two won't be happy about it at all, but the reasoning is sound. Don't hand those coords over yet. I'll talk it over again when I think we have the all clear. Your people can inspect code and physical site security. Deal?"

The young Major gives a curt nod for the Seven's willingness to server under human command. That makes this a lot easier. "Understood," Elias says, "At the moment we have three other basestars operating under a Twelve. My recommendation is that you join forces with them, work out your own command structure, and conduct your own operation. For now. That will give us some time to … work out the details. I suspect the Admiral will want you over Caprica, and possibly Aerilon." No further comment is needed on the Lines taking care of their own internal security, but the TACCO studies Russell closely as he waits for the man to weigh the dangers of downloading when one knows critical intel. "Agreed. As I said, the facility on Picon is intact … or at least we didn't destroy it. We haven't received word yet on what other sites have been secured or lost." He pauses a second, mulling an offer over before he adds, "If you want to move some of your landing ships to Piraeus, we may be able to arrange that. Under the condition that any of the Lines that make the trip would have to remain there until the … security issue can be resolved."

The news of the other three basestars seems to surprise Jacob, and not unpleasantly. He hoots a small sound of joy with it. "HOT damn." He drags the end of the cigarette and stubs it our with a little grin. "Didn't know that about Picon. Thought we blew that up. The explosives might still be there and armed. With your permission I can get a team there to disarm them. Or send an EOD team with us. Whatever works. I'd like to get it up and running A-sap if possible." The last off also surprises him. This is where Elias can tell Jacob might be bold but he isn't stupid. The Lines probably put him in charge for a reason. The guy clearly wants to leap but he crosses his arms and thinks on that with his eyes on the deck. A forced pause to consider that carefully. "Yes, I think that would work. I will have to select the crews carefully." He looks back to Elias. "What would you envision the crews doing there while they cannot return? Idle hands and all that jazz."

A thin, strained smile is offered for the man's whoop, and then Elias moves on to the other points of discussion. "You may have," he says of the Picon site, "We've had it under observation but haven't tried to enter. Make use of it if you can, but coordinate with Resistance Command on Picon. I'll put you in touch." The question of Piraeus is a much more delicate one, and the Major thinks it over before he offers further thoughts. "If you're going to make a home on Piraeus, you're going to need a settlement. If we do end up sending some of your ships, the crews can make contact with our people there and … discuss how best to move forward. There's likely to be some … friction, at first. Most of them are refugees who have only seen the Lines as enemies."

"Thanks, bud. I'll get the protocols and all that before I get back. If it's like we left it, we should be able to get it running in a couple days. We will keep away from the locals, though. Picon was a bitch we didn't want to fight too hard for." Jacob rubs his face as he looks away, considering what's being discussed. Settlement. It's clearly just now hitting home. His home. "I'll see to it. And if it's all the same, Major, I'd rather keep our people separated for now. It's not that we don't trust yall, but we can't afford frakups. And we /really/ don't need to be even considered an occupying force for your people. We can set up visitation sometime later. Get some basic trade going." He sighs and looks back to Elias. "We might be able to make storage space. Need us to haul anything back for yall?" Jacob is trying to make it work. First steps should be bold. Maybe that's the reason a Seven is standing there.

"I think that's wise," Elias agrees with the initial separation of settlements. "Let's make Picon the priority. Get that up and running while we work out the details on Pireaus." He pauses to take a long last drag off his cigarette before ashing out the remnants. Exhaling the smoke out, he finally nods to the Seven's offer. "We have the dead. And those too badly wounded to get back into the fight. Possibly some refugees." The only thing they're shipping /back/ to Piraeus is human cargo, of one form or another.

"You got it. Picon first. We will keep our resurrection hubs close for now, too. I'll find the other basestars if you can pass on their patrol patterns, get them to make the same fixes." Jacob seems like he's finally wrapping his head around all this. The point about the dead and injured is understood. "No problem. The amphibs can dock with your ships. They were designed to. We can move them and the Threes won't have any problem with being a flight nurse or whatever." There's a quick pause. "If you need we can set up a trans-ship point in between. Might help with logistics for that in the future. Take wounded from Raptors and Heavy Raiders."

"If you hang around Picon for any length of time," Elias advises, "one of the other basestars will make an appearance to check in." The idea of a more organized supply system back to Piraeus is given a moment's thought, and then a slow nod. "When traffic gets to that point, yes. We can consider setting up a way station. For now let me organize a … brief inspection of your ships. We'll relay any further instructions to you at Picon once the situation is clearer."

"Then that's what we will do. I'll park my ship in orbit and get to work on crew lists and deployments. Got a lot to do. If you want us to deploy in support to anyplace in particular, yall holler at me at Picon." Jacob takes a long breath. "I'll prepare the Lines for inspections." A carefully chosen word to be sure. His hand goes out to offer to Elias to shake. "Thanks, sir. We owe you guys."

"I expect we'll be doing a lot of 'hollering,'" Elias notes dryly, "Very soon." And then he give the Seven a long, considering look as the man sticks out his hand. It's only as an afterthought that the TACCO seems to realize that might be taken for reluctance. "Sorry," he murmurs, reaching out to shake. "I was just thinking the same thing. Let's just say we … owe each other."

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