by AJ Marks
Part 74: Civil War and Dockyards
Ares glanced down at the star chart knowing what was coming. The fleet had managed to take out Cylon basestars all over the place. The only real problem had been in the past two weeks the Cylons had started acting differently. The scout ships reporting less basestars away from the capital. The new basestar had been completed, a second basestar of the T3 class, the first destroyed on the other side of the void.
At the moment as he looked at the map he half listened to what Commander Gunther said, reporting on what the Warspite had encountered on its last patrol.
“the Cylons seem to be trying to retreat instead of fighting lately,” he said. “At our last encounter, here, with two basestars,” a spot lit up on the map, “one seemed to attack while the other retreated.”
“They want to know why they can’t see us,” Adama said.
Ares nodded his head thinking the same thing. If their stealth advantage was negated it could turn the battle once more towards the Cylons. That was something he couldn’t afford to have.
“What of our supplies?” Ares asked.
“Three supply ships arrived yesterday, we have enough at the moment,” the supply chief replied.
“And the survivors on the planet?” Ares asked, he had read the report but wanted to know.
“There are actually more than we thought, they hid pretty well, but with the elimination of the Cylons they are slowly coming out and the word is spreading,” Otto said.
“Good,” Ares said. “Keep up guard though, some might not believe the rumors and attack.”
“No problem there,” Otto said. Several patrols had been attacked by survivors who thought the ground troops were human looking Cylons.
“We have word that the first of the T3s are ready,” Ares said. “I think we should take it out and destroy the docks.”
“That will take most of the fleet,” Adama said.
“I know, we have reinforcements coming from Earth, the battlestar Bismarck, a new stealth battlestar,” Ares said. He watched the people nod their heads. “Destroying the docks will limit their abilities to repair damage, and construct new ships.”
“I have another idea as well,” Tolan said, the commander of the Pegasus. “Cain always talked about what he’d do when attacking the Cylons, go after their mines.”
Ares looked at the map again brining up the known locations of the mines. A few were actually close by. That brought a new thought to his mind.
“While we prepare for the assault on the dockyard I want the stealth ships to conduct raids on the mines, and convoys,” Ares said, slightly modifying the plan. Cain had a good idea, limit already limited supplies and the docks starve. They can’t repair ships, or construct new ones.
“You really want to attack the docks?” Adama asked.
“Yes, we have to make sure they can’t out produce us, it’s their one advantage and we have to take it away,” Ares said. “The quicker we do that, the better our chances are for success.”
“Okay, the Galactica will be ready,” Adama said.
Baltar sat on the chair waiting for reports.
“Enter,” he said, watching as two IL series Cylons walked in followed by Lucifer and two gold centurions.
“By your command,” they said.
“I take it my new orders are working?” Baltar asked.
“Yea, we now have more information about what is attacking our basestars, but the information still isn’t clear,” one IL series Cylon said.
“And the Imperious Leader?” Baltar asked.
“He still orders the basestar commanders the same way,” Lucifer said.
“Insanity, pure insanity, but expected from a machine,” Baltar said. “I think it’s time I make my move.”
“Support isn’t quite there for you Baltar,” another Cylon said.
“Anymore delays and the Empire will fall,” Baltar said. “The next thing will be the dockyards, eliminating our abilities to create ships.”
“The Improved basestar has been completed, and should be more than enough challenge to the battlestars,” the Cylon replied.
“Yes, if they were fighting a normally designed battlestar, but it seems Adama has advanced battlestars as well,” Baltar said. “No, we go ahead with the plan, gather what support you have, we go now.”
“Captain, I think you should see this,” the scanner operator said to Scott.
He walked over the scanner watching it intently not sure either what was going on. Something strange was happening. Three basestars had suddenly returned to the Cylon capital and now a flurry of activity was going on. Shuttles and raiders were going to and from the planet’s surface so rapidly it didn’t make any sense.
“I think something’s going on laddie,” Scott said. The Colonial Bound had observed the Cylon capital now for almost a month and this was the first time he’d seen anything like this. Even when the fleet attacked the colonies a little over two weeks ago there wasn’t any flurry of activity like this.
“Their firing on one another!”
Scott watched as several raiders engaged each other. He had no doubt in his mind what had happened. “Relay this information to the fleet, Cylons are engaged in a civil war.”
The words surprised Scott himself at the fact that the Cylons would even consider fighting each other. He would have thought all the machines would have the same programming. At least the normal centurions, but the more he thought about it, he figured the commanders would have some sort of independent thinking for battle strategy.
“Should we back off for a moment?” his second in command asked.
“Nay, unless there’s a threat of them there tin cans finding us,” Scott said. “The lads will need all the info we be giving ’em.”
Ares watched as the door opened and Troy walked in making a bee line towards him.
“Commander, I think you all will want to hear this latest info,” Troy said, activating the screen.
Ares leaned forward resting his elbows on the table waiting to hear what was so important. Judging by Troy’s face, the info had to be good.
“It appears a battle has broken out at the Cylon capital. At the moment we don’t know anything about the sides or who is winning, but it intensified a few minutes ago. It started with three basestars arriving at the capital rather quickly, then a rush of shuttles and raiders. Minutes later the firing began,” Troy said.
Ares sat back slightly stunned at what he heard. He didn’t think it would’ve been possible for such a thing. Glancing around he noticed the same look on the other faces around the table.
“Seems something is going on,” Adama said.
“Then we should take advantage of this and attack the dockyard now,” Gunther said.
“He’s right,” Tolan said. “It’s to our advantage to not waste this opportunity.”
Ares glanced around the table, Adama appeared cautious, but that was his nature, and over a yehren of having to protect the civilians he understood. However he had to agree, this would be the perfect time to strike.
“What ships are ready to move?” Ares asked, looking at Troy.
“Um, the Richelieu, Enterprise, Argo and Pegasus,” Troy replied.
“Then the Galactica and Warspite will remain at the colonies, the rest of the fleet will go, we leave now, I suggest we all return to our ships, the battle plans will be made up on the way,” Ares said getting up.
Everyone got up in a rush to quickly head back to their ships.
“Troy, tell the rest of the fleet, we move out now,” Ares ordered. “General, I suggest you transfer to the Galactica for the moment. I don’t think we’re going to need ground troops at the moment.”
“Understood commander,” Otto said, then left rushing to catch up to Adama.
“I guess I should tell Bri to inform the pilots then,” Troy said, when the last of the ship captains left the room.
“Probably, don’t know what’s going to happen next,” Ares replied. “I wish I knew what was going on within the Cylon Empire that they are fighting each other. Never happened in all the time of the war.”
“At least not that we know about,” Troy replied.
“True,” Ares replied. He knew it might have happened before, but with the inability to patrol so close to the Cylon home world they scarcely received such information. Now, he knew how far and back they had come. To the point of destruction, and now they stood on the threshold of victory. “We are encountering an unknown in this battle, the T3.”
“We’ve managed several scans of this T3, seems like it’s a blend Tartarus and Hades class basestars,” Troy said.
“And that makes it dangerous,” Ares said. “It will be the primary target in the beginning, followed by the dockyards.”
“I’ll let the rest of the fleet know,” Troy said. “Should I send anyone down here?”
“No, let me know when all ships are ready to go,” Ares said. He heard Troy answer before he left the roo leaving Ares by himself.
He glanced back down at the map looking right at the Cylon homeworld.
Bri walked into the briefing room with Nall right behind her. Both of them were already confused by the emergency call by Troy. Taking a glance she noticed most of the pilots already sitting down in the room. Many looked towards her for some reason. She shrugged her shoulders standing at the front waiting for the rest of the group to walk in. They were followed by Troy who she hoped could explain the situation.
“Good, we’re all here, not much time,” Troy said. “At this moment the fleet is headed to sector sixteen, our mission, destroy the Cylon dockyard there along with the new T3 basestar.”
Bri frowned, such a mission usually took longer to organize. She knew they were thinking about the mission, but to go now, it seemed very strange.
“I know some of you have heard some fast spreading rumors, so I’ll clear everything up right now. We received word from our scouts that the Cylons appear to be in a civil war of some sort. Fighting was observed at the homeworld just a few minutes ago. Using this diversion command decided now is the best time to attack the dockyards constructing the T3s,” Troy said.
Bri glanced out at the pilots gauging their reactions. So far they all appeared quite professional waiting for their missions.
“Intelligence does not know the positions or numbers of basestars in the dockyard or protecting it. However, the primary target in the beginning, the T3. It’s considered the biggest threat to the mission,” Troy said. “As a result, green and red squads from the Argo are to attack it right away, yes Bri.”
“Do we have a plan then, everything seems quite rushed,” Bri asked.
“Not really, we’re going in guns blazing,” Troy said.
“Great,” one pilot said.
“Hold on,” Bri said, forestalling anything. She looked over at Jax and Nall before continuing. “We have some time, and we know our target, somewhat. We can create an attack on the T3 basestar.”
“You have about an hour and a half,” Troy said.
“All right, pull up what we’ve got of the basestar, it’s got to have a weakness,” Bri stated. She waited as what was known appeared on the screen behind her. She had to admit, though, the info wasn’t much. “All right, it’s a combination of the Tartarus and Hades class, which means it’s main anti-ship firepower is probably located here and here,” she pointed to a couple of areas in the middle part of the ship. “And the anti-fighter turrets and hangers are on the top and bottom”
“Limited anti-ship firepower from top and bottom,” Nall said.
“Hmm, get one of the battlestars to attack the top or bottom, we’ll come in straight on and disable the anti-ship weapons,” Bri said.
“Should work,” Troy said, I’ll run it though with a few of the other commanders, it’ll probably be the Argo going in.”
Bri nodded watching Troy head off to relay the information. Things would be hectic for the next hour or so while plans were drawn up on the fly. She glanced back at the photo of the T3 then back to her pilots. “Green squad will provide cover for red which will be loaded with extra missiles.”
“Why not have us all armed instead,” one pilot said.
“Because, chances are we will encounter raiders, and that will be green squad’s responsibility. They will keep the raiders off your backs,” Bri said.
She listened to the other pilots knowing that they would have to coordinate with the other battlestars as well. The attack would be interesting for sure.
Scott watched the scanner looking for any indication that the fighting had stopped. An additional two basestars had arrived causing him to worry. He made sure to keep a constant eye behind him. Last thing he needed would be a basestar showing up behind him..
He had found it strange that the fighting limited itself to the raiders. The basestar refrained from firing upon each other. He had no idea what it meant, but the fact close to ten basestars now orbited the planet made him nervous.
“Looks like the fighting is diminishing,” the scanner operator said.
“Yep, only ah wish ah knew who’s winning,” Scott said.
“I think we have something, a communications.”
“Let’s look laddie,” Scott said, activating the screen. What appeared on the screen shocked him. He knew this information would have to be relayed at once to the fleet.
Ares waited on the bridge knowing that he could have done more but the feeling to attack had been too hard to resist. He knew a lot of others didn’t quite agree with his decision to attack, and had heard at least once that they should have waited until they had a better plan, or split the fleet up. He only knew that this was the correct path given to him by some sixth sense. Something he had relied upon for so long. That same sense had told him almost ten years ago to leave Earth and head to the meeting with the Arbus. That meeting had turned out to be an ambush.
Now that same sense told him to attack now, without hesitation. The arrow had been released and he only hoped it hit the mark. A quick look around and he wondered where the pre-battle tenseness had gone. Everyone seemed calm, collected, and under control. He realized that came from him. He had effected so many, he only hoped they all survived.
“Entering Cylon scanning range in fifteen minutes,” Rebecca’s voice said.
“Red alert,” Ares said, waiting as the bridge was bathed in red light. It seemed a bit surreal considering everyone had been in combat status since leaving the colonies.
“Fleet reports red alert,” Troy said. “Richelieu standing by.”
“Launch all fighters,” Ares said. “They are to engaged.”
He turned watching the monitor. The vipers sped out the launch tubes. With each one he gave a silent prayer they’d return safely. This had been the only solidified part of the plan. The vipers covered in S-metal could close and engage before the fleet was discovered.
“Ten minutes until Cylon range, all vipers launched,” Rebecca said.
“Once we’re in range, the Richelieu will follow us full speed to the T3 basestar,” Ares said.
He now had a picture of the dockyards defenses. Two basestars to go with the T3, and what appeared to be a half dozen older basestars that had been regulated to guard duty. He quickly watched as ships identified their targets.
“Five minutes,” Rebecca’s voice said. “Three minutes until viper squadrons engage.”
Ares watched wishing silently that he had formed a better plan, or at least knew had more information about the defenses when he had drawn up the plan. Then he shook his head, he really didn’t have a plan for this battle. The only real plan he had, send the vipers in first, and send the Richelieu to attack the T3 from above, otherwise, fire at will.
Bri scanned quickly for any sign of Cylon raiders. She spied four different patrols of twelve raiders each.
“Nall, heading thirty six, by five,” she said.
“Got it,” Nall said. “We’ll intercept them.”
She looked at the path that red squadron would take and for anything that might interfere with it. She noticed a few other viper squadrons vectoring away to head to engage raiders. Each battlestar had one fighter squadron overloaded with missiles and the other for fighter defense. Each flight leader would try to coordinate with the others but they were spread out at the moment so she had little to do at the moment.
She vectored in along with green squad towards a group of Cylon raiders. Her wingmate right behind her.
“Target acquired,” she heard Jax say. “Fire!”
“All fighters, open fire, fire at will,” Bri said. She had one raider locked with an anti-fighter missile. Pressing the launch it sped away quickly closing the distance. Within a few seconds the Cylon raider exploded and she went on to engage the next raider.
Pulling back she looked at the scanner for anything that might be a threat. Red squadron had successfully engaged the T3 basestar and she noticed it already suffering damage to its anti-ship weapons. That would help out.
A few moments later raiders began flying out of the basestars.
“All right people, heads up, incoming raiders, say with your wingman and help each other out,” Bri said.
She turned her viper and headed into the fray quickly destroying another two raiders.
“Fighters have engaged commander,” Troy said. He looked at the scanner hoping that Bri was safe. “The Cylons are heading this way.”
“Open fire,” he heard Ares say.
Troy motioned to the weapons officers and they began their work. The range was still in extreme range, but this would be a fight, not a delicate operation.
“Reports of damage to several basestars, and to the dockyard,” Troy said. “The T3 is heading this way, showing heavy damage to its weapon systems.”
“Good,” Ares said.
Troy had wondered briefly why the Richelieu had been given the task of engaging the T3 when he remembered it was the most advanced. It also had an advanced armor and firepower compared to the other battlestars.
“Incoming raiders,” Rebecca said.
“Defensive batteries,” Ares said. He really didn’t have much concern with the raiders, though they had destroyed the fleet at Cimtar. The difference here they had small destroyers that already were moving to engage the fighters with their heavy anti-fighter defenses.
“Enterprise is heading to the dockyard,” Troy said. “Richelieu has engaged the T3.”
“Good, engage the closest basestar,” Ares ordered.
Troy picked out one of the Hades basestars to engage. The cruisers had engaged the older basestars which left the battlestars to engage the newer basestars. Incoming reports indicate the battle not going exactly like everyone had hoped.
“Incoming battle damage, the destroyers Sullivans and Leon have suffered damage, they request help,” Troy said.
“Tell Hannover to cover them, it’s the closest, we’ll engage the target it was engaged with,” Ares said.
Troy quickly relayed the information to the correct ships. So far the Argo had yet to be hit, but he figured that wouldn’t last very long. He glanced at the monitors showing the battle then back to the scanners. The battle damage clearly indicated on the monitor.
“Richelieu is exchanging fire with the T3 basestar. So far the Richelieu appears to be winning,” Troy said. “Two other basestars are heavily damaged.”
Troy looked and noticed that the missile barrage appeared to have damaged several hangers the basestars. That would help the overall battle and give them an advantage.
The Argo rocked slightly indicating a hit to the ship. Troy waited for the damage report to filter in.
“Repair crews headed to deck seven, minor damage, no damage to weapon systems or hangers,” Troy stated, a blip on the scanner caught his attention. “One older basestar destroyed.”
Bri turned her viper around again as green and red squadrons engaged with the Cylon raiders. She had so far destroyed a dozen raiders, and in the process saved Nall’s ass once. She had noticed the battlestars had engaged the basestars and the slugging match had begun.
“New wave of raiders coming from the dockyard,” Nall’s voice said.
Bri looked down noticing the formation. Green squad was closest of the viper squadrons.
“Red squad, mop up here, green squad turn and engage,” Bri said. She finished off the raider in front of her before heading to the newcomers.
“These are new raiders!” Nall said.
Bri glanced down seeing her warbook trying to identify the raider before finally making a new entry. She fired waiting to see what would happen. It dodged, slightly but still received a hit.
“They’re a bit more maneuverable than the older raiders,” Bri said. She engaged the raiders opening fire. Explosions occurred all around as both raiders and vipers exploded. Bri turned her concentration to destroying the raiders as quickly as possible.
“Seems like they caught up a bit,” Nall said.
“Yeah, but we’re still better than they are,” Bri replied, destroying another improved raider.
“Looks like another basestar has been destroyed,” Nall said.
BRi glanced down at the scanner indicating the ongoing battle. She could see that the Cylons were being destroyed. Now it only mattered in staying alive and completing the mission.
Ares noticed the damage coming in from the other ships. His main concern had been the T3 and dockyard. He knew that both had been damaged.
“Basestar destroyed,” Troy said.
“Target the dockyard, we need to destroy it now,” Ares said.
He turned his attention back to the Richelieu which still engaged with the T3 basestar. The damage indicated the Richelieu appeared to be winning.
“We’ve lost the Sullivan’s,” Troy said.
Ares nodded knowing that the loss of the destroyer might hurt later on, but war losses were inevitable. His biggest concern was that they didn’t lose any battlestars. That would hurt even more than the destroyer.
“Cruiser Hannover is reporting damage as well,” Troy reported.
Ares mentally went over the type of cruiser it was, and realized that so far the ships being damaged the most were the non-stealth ships.
“Pegasus reports the basestar they were fighting destroyed.”
Ares mentally concluded one Hades basestar, two older basestars had been destroyed so far. Now with the Argo pounding the dockyard and hopefully the T3 about to be destroyed he could call the mission successful.
“Green squadron reporting a new type of raider,” Troy said.
That caught Ares’ attention. A new raider probably meant for the new basestar. They had been beating the Cylons badly at the moment so it didn’t surprise him of the new class of basestar or raiders.
“How are they doing?” Ares asked.
“Bri states they are holding their own. Seems the tin cans improved the maneuverability but nothing else,” Troy said.
“Figures,” Ares said. “Put the resources into improving the design, but it’s like us developing a new viper and not training the pilot to be any better.”
“I’m not complaining,” Troy stated.
“I doubt anyone is,” Ares said.
“Dockyard has been destroyed commander,” Rebecca said.
Ares glanced down seeing that one part of the mission had been completed. The T3 seemed to be putting up quite a battle, but the damage appeared to be increasing quickly now. The main weapons of the Richelieu having found a weak spot in the basestar’s armor.
“Getting internal explosions on the T3,” Troy said.
“Once it’s destroyed order the fleet to retreat,” Ares stated.
“Retreat?” he heard Troy ask.
“Yes, we’ve taken damage as well, I want to escape with most of the fleet still intact. There’s still a long road to go before this war is over,” Ares said.
“Understood commander,” Troy replied.
Ares didn’t have to wait much longer before the T3 finally exploded. He heard Troy order the retreat.
“I’ll be in my office, send all damage reports there,” Ares said once the fleet had withdrawn from battle.
“Commander, incoming message from the Galactica, Commander Adama says it’s urgent,” Rebecca said.
“Put it though,” Ares said, watching as Adama’s face appeared on the screen. “Adama, is something wrong?”
“In a manner of speaking,” Adama said. “Seems the Cylon civil war is over.”
“Short, the dockyard has been destroyed,” Ares said.
“Then at least that was successful,” Adama said. “We know which side won.”
“We know the sides?” Ares asked, not sure about that.
“Yep, we know who the new Imperious Leader is,” Adama said.
Ares had a bad feeling when Adama hesitated before continuing.
End part 74