Battlestar Hypatia

Missions - Episode 1: Returning Home

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Going Home, Part 2

CIC

In the words of her old CAG, they were in a big frakkin pile of crap. With three minutes on the jump left and dozens of Basestars with thousands of raiders approaching the already battered Battlestar things were not looking good. Furthermore, Fleet Command wouldn't go off-line, for something to cut off all military communications they were either using jamming technology well beyond Colonial levels which raised the scary thought of whatever technology they had developed. Or worse, there no longer was a Fleet Command to talk to.

"Frak it Michael, I could really use your advice right now"she muttered as she looked at the screens in front of her.

"Lieutenant Durand, is there any way we can speed up the jump prep?" Aurore asked, internally already knowing the answer but hoping that for once this day something would go in their favour. Scorpio was already lost but something had to have survived. They couldn't have hit all the Colonies.

Looking at his display, and typing in a few commands, Julian responded, "I can cut it by about fifteen seconds, but anything more than that and we'll likely end up in a sun, Sir."

"Get me every second you can" Aurore replied as she continued focusing on the DRADIS hits that had reached a level the screens were almost entirely filled.

"Major, what is the status on our alert vipers? We're sitting ducks out here against those raiders."

The XO took that as a request for him to contact the flight deck, again, and get an update, so he lifted the nearest telephone receiver and called into it. "Flight Deck, this is the XO. Status on the alert vipers?"

Flight Deck

Michelle was trying to keep her cool waiting for the rest of her birds to be refuelled and rearmed. Time was clicking. Finally she got the ok from the deck chief. "XO, this is Ghost. Viper Squadrons refuelled, rearmed and launching. Tally ho! Let's go shoot some toasters! LAUNCH!", she hollered and gunned the catapult.


Abel was guiding the vipers into the tubes as the one infront launched, "Get your butts in gear, lets get the boys in the sky to fry some toasters." Abel started running between fighters helping to push fighters into the tubes, he was sweating buckets by the time the last on alert fighters where gone. "Get the next lot ready to go guys this might end up being a long one. Also check that recovery is all green because they will be doing combat landings so lets get ahead of the game."

Dana "Sunshine" Firelli was the next after the CAG to have her Viper ready and in the air. As she joined the defensive formation building around thir home in space she could feel adrenaline rush through her veins. "Let's bust some motherfrakkin toasters. No offence, Clellan" She said, referring to the pilot with the unfortunate callsign 'Toaster' in the final bit and to lighten the mood.





CIC

In the CIC, the XO slammed the telephone receiver down and looked across the table at the Colonel. "All Vipers are in the air," he revealed.

For the first time she allowed herself to sigh as the mobile first line of defence was outside. She grabbed the phone in front of her and placed it at her ear and mouth. "Ghost this is Hypatia Actual. Stay close to base but be careful of our anti-air. You will have seconds to get back when we're jump ready" She spoke befor placing the device down again.

"Engage enemy fighters with anti-air, prepare nuclear missiles for the Basestars. We're not going to take this lying down" Aurore ordered as she felt some sweat form on her face due to the tension.

"Hypatia Actual, tbis is Ghost understood out", Michelle said leaving the channel open but now opening the two way between her fighters and herself. "Ghost leader to squadron, form defensive pattern around Mother. Watch anti-air from Mother. Stay close. Be ready to fast back to the barn when about to jump," Michelle said, as she glamed another toaster.

The Deck of Debate

Location: The Flight Deck
On: Mission Day 1 at 1900

Abel was working on a broke down Viper, he was by himself because other teams were busy fixing the ships ready to be turned around quickly. The holes in the frame were bad but not beyond the ability to be patched but the electronics were causing more than a few issues. Jets firing without input, guns auto firing it was a dangerous project so he was as isolated as he could be. It needed to be fixed and he would make it safe for the main teams to work on.

Michelle had finished a debrief with the pilots that had come from their patrol run and walked out onto the flight deck to see what was going on. Several of her birds were being refuelled and repaired for their turn arounds, when she saw one viper off in a deserted part of the deck being worked on by a Chief Petty Officer. After inspecting her own viper, she headed for this broken down viper. "Hey, there Chief, how goes the battle? Looks like the toasters did a number on her huh?", Michelle asked?

Looking up he nodded slightly, "Not sure that's the whole story here. Sure it's been shot up pretty good but there are gremlins I can't explain. Misfires and jets firing." Abel was pulling out chips and wiring looms, "What can I do for you, Captain. I assume this is not a social visit if things are not getting done as fast as you'd like then I can't do much about that. We're running fast on fumes with fewer people than I'd like." He started pulling the chips and looms on the crates in order, he would examine them in detail but he might need to talk to CIC, to see if the chips were not corrupt.

"Oh.....no I am not here for a bitch job......", she said laughing. "I am between flights and I saw you working on her and was interested. You said gremlins. Misfirings, and weird shit right?", Michelle stated. "You suspect maybe sabotage?", she asked.

Abel Smiled, "Sabotage maybe, maybe just circuits have gone haywire, maybe the Cylons did something, it's too early to say anything other than its extremely dangerous at the moment. So I am stripping back to metal to make it safe to be here otherwise we would have to blow it up and we can't spare vipers."

"Well in that case maybe we should beef up security for my vipers hete, ya think?", Michelle asked.

Chuckling Abel looked up from the panel, "Security to protect against what? Sure if this was a person coming in and messing things up that'd help but it would slow the maintenance going on, what if its a virus or maybe just circuits got messed with by radiation or a hundred other things. We can't jump to worst case straight away, it would just put people on edge and we have enough of that going around Captain." He kept stripping out circuits as he did the misfiring jets and strange behaviour reduced greatly.

"Well if it isn't sabotaged and not gremlins then maybe the circuits were damaged and went un-noticed by whoever assembled the craft or system", Michelle replied.

"As I said, can't tell yet whats the cause, everything seems to be in the right place but the chips might have been written wrong or wires faulty we will need to wait for the chips to get checked to confirm if its mechanical or software issues? You heading anywhere near the CIC? If you are would you do me a favour and ask the Officer of the Watch to run checks and rewrite them if they are faulty?"

"Sure Chief, not a problem. I would be happy to as I am headed that way anyhow", Michelle said smiling.

Abel put the chips into a box labelling each with what they should be, "Might shed light on if this is just a really bad accident or sabotage. Anyway thanks Captain. I'll keep plodding away at the mechanicals and see if anything pops from that."

"I'll see to it the Officer of the Watch gets it", Michelle said as she took the box with the chips and headed for CIC.

Meeting with the CO

Location: CO's Quarters
On: Mission Day 1 at 2100

Abel had known the Colonel for a few years now, he had been the lead petty officer on the team that maintained her squads' vipers. He did a good job and she never had a complaint about how it flew which he couldn't say about many pilots he worked with. He didn't know why the Colonel wanted to see him but things had been crazy, the ship had lost its Commander but the deck had lost its chief so maybe the new boss wanted to make sure Abel was not drowning in his new role. The truth was Abel was doing ok but that might be due to the fact he had not really stopped since it happened. What he had noticed was that they had lost a lot of good people and the deck was running beyond full speed and sooner or later mistakes would be made or people would snap.

Maybe that's what she wanted to talk to him about, maybe she wanted to see if they had enough people to make a shift pattern but the truth was he didn't know if there were enough senior enlisted people to mentor the remaining juniors. That, however, might be the better of the two evils at least people would be rested which could be the difference between a mistake and not. As Abel was walking the corridors he became aware he was still in his deck gear and became even more aware he had not been out of it since before the attack. Not the best way to appear before the CO he thought in his head but the tiredness told him they had little choice. He reached the CO's Quarters he knocked the door before waiting for a response.

Aurore had spent the last few hours considering her options in the wake of the original attack and their new discovery after getting back home. This war had only just started an by all measures they had lost. How to move on and keep the crew from losing hope was going to be key. As she heard the knock she nodded at the Marine on the inside of the hatch to open it so the visitor could come inside. "Chief, thank you for getting here so fast"

Abel walked into the room nodding to the Marine before turning to the Colonel raising his eyebrows, "No problem boss, when the Skip calls you come. It's not like there is a good time to leave the deck at the moment." He moved closer to the Colonel and spoke quietly so as to not be overheard, "Is something going on Boss. I know the Commanders dead but is the guard needed?" There was a vibe and rumours going about, he had heard Cylons could look like them which was a dangerous rumour which he had squashed on the deck. Did the Colonel think this could be true? He had known her for a long time, sure she was a pilot but she wasn't rash, his brain tried to rationalise another reason? Marines where for internal threat, they could not stop raiders heavy or otherwise. What internal threat makes sense? They could help repel boarders but this was not a first stage defence point.

Abel was not the smartest Aerilon, that was probably Dr Baltar but he was no idiot and if the Colonel was going to take him for one it was going to be a hard prospect. He had a lot of respect for the Colonel he hoped that this was not going to change, he knew command changed people but he was one of the most if not the most senior non commissioned officer on the ship hell maybe in the universe. The weight was as heavy on his shoulders, the officers gave the commands but it was people like him who got the jobs done. "Colonel we have known each other a long time, I'd appreciate straight shooting here."

Aurore nodded. "Leave us" She said after which the guard nodded and walked out, closing the hatch behind him. "Nothing we speak about leaves this room. Only the XO knows about the first thing I'm telling you and only the CIC crew knows about the second thing for now" She said, worry clear on her face. "The explosion that killed the Commander happened before the attack so whoever did it, we have a murderer on the ship and likely one who works with the Cylons, as for the second part. Based on the information we're getting, the Cylons attacked everywhere and destroyed the Twelve Colonies. No matter what we try, we are not getting a response on any channel and everywhere we jump we encounter either combat or destruction"

Abel tensed as the marine left it didn't feel right, He nodded as the Colonel spoke, "From your mouth to the gods' ears." What followed shook him at his core, "Someone Killed the Old Man?" His eyebrows shot up and anger started to rise up in him, "Before the attack? Do we know if explosives went missing from any locker in particular?" His voice lowered, "There is a rumour going about, Boss, now I've been squashing it on the deck but now I don't know if it isn't true. Is it possible they look like us? I suppose that's a better thought than the idea one of our own turned against us."

He let out all the air and held himself up on his arms and sheer force of will, "They destroyed the Col......." the words stuck in his thought, "Even Aerilia?" He knew what the answer was but he basically was being told every member of his family was dead, it was not easy to hear. He didn't see the Dradis signals, he wasn't an officer, he trusted them to do the right thing and they trusted him to get the vipers out as fast as possible. "Do we have a plan?"

"At this moment we can't rule out anything, we have heard the rumours ourselves but nothing concrete to back it up so for now we are operating under the assumption that a member of the crew is collaborating with the Cylons. The XO is leading the hunt for whoever is responsible so I am not too aware of the details of that investigation myself" She said, pausing to drink some water from her glass. "As far as we can tell, all of them Chief. Right now our plan is to figure out a plan. We are receiving distress signals from Colonial ships so our people are still out there. We are going to rescue as many as we can and then jump the frak out of here to figure out what we can do. I will also be addressing the crew tomorrow to inform them"

Closing his eyes he took a few deep breaths, "A Collaborator I am not sure if that's even worst? Someone working against their own race and working to end it entirely. We need to scoop the rest of the human race up, we can not let those fracking toasters beat us. It is not happening, I have not served for 11 years to go gently into the night. But I guess we are going to need to dig deep. We are going to need to look for resources, its best to go looking before we really really need them. We can make ammunition etc but we'll need the stuff to make them soon enough. That's one of the things we really really don't want to run out of."

Aurore nodded. "You are of course entirely correct, Chief. And gathering resources is definitely on our list of priorities. The first priority is finding out what has survived however and that is what we are working on now"

It was not an ideal situation not even close but they were going to have to deal with it the best they could. Abel clenched his jaw a little, "The crew is not going to react well to this Boss, it's going to take a lot of work from the officers to keep this from spiralling downwards. This is going to get very very bad before it gets even slightly better."

"You are correct, and it's not just the Officers who will need to do the heavylifting if we want to make it out of this. I know how the crew thinks of Officers, Chief. Many of your people think we are arrogant stuck-up motherfrakkers and for quite a few that's probably correct. If we want to make it through this we need to show that regardless of station. Officer, enlisted, command or fighter maintenance, we are one family. I like to think you and I have always been able to be honest to each other and you are the ranking enlisted member of the Hypatia. I'd like to ask you to join me and the XO when I address the crew. Show everyone that while our home may be gone, we are one" Aurore said.

He rolled his eyes, “Ma’am with all due respect but you fly boys call us knuckle draggers and complain when anything is a picometer out of alignment. Your young pilots don’t do any favours in enamouring themselves to us lowly fixers.” He paused to contemplate what he was about to say, “if you want universal trust here your going to need officers from each department and petty officers like me. Well not like me because none are made like me.” He gave a smile and continued, “Have you spoke with the marines too? I assume they are involved in the investigation? But if you need me to stand behind you because you think that’ll make people feel safe, I’ll stand up, hell I’ll give a rousing speech if you need it.”

Aurore chuckled at the not so humble brag. This is why she always enjoyed working with Abel. He was honest. "I have placed Major Ramsey in charge of the investigation due to delicacy of the matter and that only a few departments have access to the tools to the explosives. Including the Marines. The Major has free reign in this investigation but he is using the Marines yes. And I get what you're saying, this is a war for the long haul and we need our crew to feel safe and for everyone to feel appreciated. I can't change Colonial Fleet culture but I do value the opinions of all my departments. Thank you for accepting Abel. It's the first good thing that has happened these past few days"

He laughed slightly, "Ma'am I don't really have much of a choice Boss, we are literally all in this together. we will soon see what the crew are made of but with some delicate guidance from the senior staff we might well just get out of this with humanity intact." He stood up and let out a sigh, "If there is nothing else Ma'am, the birds won't fix themselves and I don't like letting the kids play unsupervised."

Aurore nodded with a smile. "No thank you Chief, good luck"

Remembering the Lost

Location: CO Quarters
On: Mission Day 1 at 2200

After her meeting with the Chief of the Deck Aurore found herself in a position she hadn't been in for two days now. Alone, and with time for herself. She had probably unconsciously made sure to constantly be busy with something, not that there wasn't a ton of work left but mentally she had also been avoiding facing a grim reality. Her parents and her little sister and older brother were on Caprica, her other sister and brother quite likely on the ships hit in the initial strike. And then there was Theseus. She had missed her husband for months, unable to call or send messages due to the secrecy of their mission and the range they were operating at.

What hurt the most was that they hadn't exactly departed on the best of terms. Theseus had wanted her to transfer to a planetside position but Aurore had grown to love the Hypatia and knew her chances were much better on it to advance career wise than on Caprica or Scorpia. As she thought back to the fight there were so many things she wanted to take back. And now, he was gone. They were all gone. She was alone in the universe and the only person on the ship who could not show weakness, because if the crew doubted her leadership for even a minute it was all over.

And then there was the morbid reality of now living in the same place as her old Commander and perhaps the best friend she had. With tears in her eyes she moved for one of the cabinets where she knew the Commander had hidden a bottle of Ambrosia for special occasions. She figured this qualified, albeit in the negative. As she dusted off the label she grabbed a glass and filled it nearly to the brim. "To you, Theseus" she said as she emptied the glass in one swift move before pouring herself another one. Once the bottle could provide no more relief she threw herself on bed crying over the family, love and friends now lost. "Please forgive me Theseus, one day I will be with you but for now the Hypatia needs me. Humanity needs me"

As she spoke the intoxication slowly made her fall asleep, probably the first real night's rest she had since the explosion. Tomorrow would be facing the hells again.