Storm Clouds – Part 5

Storm Clouds

by AJ Marks

Part 5: No Retreat

Tagget looked at the group of captains in front of him who looked back at him in shock. They all heard what he had to say, but no one seemed to want to actually acknowledge it.

“If we attack we could be all be killed,” Percy said.

“And if we leave, we doom people to death anyways,” Tagget said, “Our food supplies are gone. We don’t have enough to last two days.”

He watched them with shock in their eyes. They had known things were bad, but not that bad. To learn how little they had.

“Why didn’t you say something?” Orion said.

“And do what? There was nothing else we can do. Food has always been scarce, but this would have caused a panic among the people,” Tagget said.

“Then that planet is our only hope,” Orion said, after several seconds of silence.

“What’s the plan?” Zaga said.

The civilian ships will hide among the asteroids, the vipers will launch first, and hopefully they can attack the landing bays before the Cylons are able to launch their raiders that is critical. The Sunflare and the rest of the fleet will follow. The Sunflare and Tiger will attack the basestar, and the destroyers will provide support. With any luck, we’ll destroy them with minimal losses,” Tagget said.

“And the civilians?” Orion said.

Tagget already thought of them. “They’ll have to stay on board, the other two can’t handle them.”

He looked around the room, seeing them all understand. The meeting was dismissed as everyone went to work, pushing aside any other problems leaving only Tagget and Zaga.

“You think this will work?” Zaga finally asked.

“It doesn’t matter, this is one battle we can’t retreat from,” Tagget said sadly.


Johnson looked at the scanners. He had the basestar on the scanners now and it still had yet to move away from the planet. He waited on information on the other basestars in the area. The 1st scouting squadron had been dispatched, and reports would hopefully filter in quickly now. Add in the fact that the 4th battle group had been formed to go along with the 81st task force and things were getting intense.

“Sir, we have new contacts on the long-range scanners.”

Johnson looked up at his crew before looking back down waiting for the spot to appear. It showed up, on the outskirts of the system seven ships were entering the system. He looked over at the basestar, it was on the opposite side of the planet, its scanners blocked from seeing the approaching ships.

“Troy, what does that look like to you?” Johnson asked.

“If I didn’t know better, they are moving into attack,” Troy said. “Basic tactics at work here.”

“Can they win?” Johnson said.

“Technically, yes,” Troy said. “But it won’t be easy.”

“Can we help?” Johnson asked.

He watched Troy think about that for several seconds. Johnson was relying on his knowledge of the Cylons for this battle.

“It would be easier if we had a battlestar with a compliment of vipers,” Troy said. “However, I think we can help, it will require Bri and I to head out in front, and the Sydney to engage the basestar as well, targeting the hangars. You’ll have to move the Sydney within possible detection range of the basestar.”

“Will it work?” Johnson asked.

“Yes, if it goes well,” Troy said.

“Then we’ll do it, make the preparations, XO, sound red alert,” Johnson said, looking over at his second in command. “Navigation, plot course to engage the Cylon basestar and engage.”

He watched Troy take off from the bridge as others scrambled around even as the bridge was bathed in red and the klaxons sounded. The Sydney raced into combat, and he could only hope to win.


Ben launched out into space with the rest of the squadron for the first time since leaving the Colonies. All thirty vipers lined up and began their race to the Cylon basestar. They rode turbos all the way wanting to minimize the amount of time the Cylons had to counter their move. No one spoke, they all understood what the situation was, either win and survive, or die, no retreat is what they were told.

Issac formed up on his wing and together they made their way. They all understood that if they failed in attacking the hangars, they would easily be overwhelmed by sheer numbers and the battle would most likely fail.

He spotted the basestar coming into scanner view, they were still too far away. He urgently tried to push his viper faster to close the distance. The basestar was now completely in scanner range, and he had no doubt the squadron was as well.

“Captain,” someone said, breaking radio silence. “My scanners are picking up damage to the basestar!”

Ben glanced down, taking a moment to look for himself. Sure enough, his scanner indicated damage, and new damage occurring to the ship. He frowned wondering what might be causing it?


“We continued on, that ship must be destroyed, and whoever is attacking it, might be a new ally, or need our help,” Ben stated, as they closed the distance.

“Raiders launching,” Issac said.

“Orange twelve through thirty, attack the raiders, the rest follow me and attack the remaining hangars,” Ben ordered. The groups peeled off to attack even as the rest of the fleet closed the distance.

He lined up and fired his shots striking the hangar of the basestar, destroying several raiders inside, but still nothing about the mysterious attacker yet. He concentrated on his job, he had no room for error in this battle.


Tagget sat nervously on his command chair. Sara was in their quarters, along with a few other civilians as the battle began. He noticed something strange right away. The basestar was receiving damage before the vipers got there. It puzzled him as he saw nothing on the scanners.

“Sir?” Zaga’s voice said, indicating he too saw what was going on.

“Continue on, we can’t retreat now because of this,” Tagget said. “Remember, our only target is the basestar and her raiders, nothing else.”

“I’ll let all the gunners know,” Zaga said.

Tagget nodded, turning back to the battle. It started badly, and now turned out odd, he wondered what else it might do. He waited until the main guns were in range.

“Open fire!”

The two heavy lasers on board opened fire on the basestar, inflicting damage on the ship. The basestar returned fire at the extreme range. It now came down to who was able to attack the best. The Tiger opened fire a few seconds later adding its firepower to the battle. Even as he watched, he noticed the basestar receiving his on the opposite side, yet saw nothing there on the scanners. He could only assume some sort of invisible ship was there helping their attack. Perhaps they were from the planet? Either way, he hoped they were friendly and helpful.

The Sunflare shuddered interrupting his thoughts and dragging him back to the battle.

“Helm, course pattern alpha,” Tagget said, knowing it would swing the battlecruiser around for another shot. “Recharge of the main weapons?”

“Fifty percent,” Zaga said.

The biggest drawback of the main weapons, the recharge time.


Ben engaged the raiders, about a third had managed to launch, causing them to still be outnumbered, but three to one was much better odds than ten to one. The Sunflare had engaged, and he could see lasers coming from the opposite direction. The basestar’s attention was diverted in the battle, as he noticed something attacking it from behind.

“Raider on your tail Orange leader.”

Ben threw the viper in a quick series of turns hoping to lose the attacker when it exploded.

“Thanks,” Ben said, but received no reply. He looked over spotting a strange-looking viper. He blinked, looked again but there it was, turning back into the fight, a black viper.

Several laser blasts jolted the viper causing him to focus back on the fight once more. He looked for the closest enemy and attacked.

“Hey, where’d the black vipers come from?” he heard one of his squadron ask.

“Don’t know, but one of them can sure fly,” another one said.

“Focus on your job, destroy every last raider, let none survive,” Ben said, knowing that even one could cause serious damage to the fleet, especially one of the two civilian ships.

“Righto boss,” Issac replied for the group.

Ben had the same questions but understood this wasn’t the time to ask such questions. If they survived, then they could ask. He turned back into the fight, linking up a raider who had destroyed a viper gaining some revenge. His squadron had taken losses despite the decrease in Cylon raiders from the start of the battle.

He caught a glimpse of the black viper as it destroyed another raider, this time he noticed two of them, working together. Whoever they were, they knew about the Cylons and were helping them, but why did they not show up on the scanners? A mystery he hoped he survived long enough to know the truth.


Johnson looked on at the battle, things were going about as well as he could expect. The Cylon basestar was split in its attention. His decision to attack from another direction appeared to work. The battlecruiser had tremendous firepower he noticed, but took time to charge each shot.

“Come around, prepare for another attack, target the weapons if you can,” Johnson ordered, watching on the scanner as the Sydney turned again to bring the forward weapons back into action.

Troy and Bri had done a good job in getting in a first strike, damaging several hangars before the Cylons even understood what was going on. The attack started only a few seconds before it noticed the incoming wave of vipers from the Colonials. To Johnson it was a close call, any later and the numbers would be even worse.

The Sydney came around again, opening fire with its forward weapons. He noticed the damage to the systems on the Cylon basestar. The ship rocked slightly as it was hit for the first time.

“Damage control?” he asked.

“Port side, decks seven and eight, section six and seven, no casualties reported,” the XO replied. “All systems report normal.”

“Have they found us?” Johnson asked, wondering if the Cylons had finally managed to bread the stealth of the ship.

“Don’t think so, they are still firing off wide arc bursts,” the XO replied.

Johnson sighed in relief, if their stealth was disrupted things might be different. Looking at the scanners he noticed another hit by the battlecruiser on the basestar.

“Won’t take much more,” the XO stated, which Johnson agreed with. He then could focus on making contact with the captain of the battlecruiser.


Tagget listened to the reports of the charging main weapons. The basestar had taken quite a bit of damage now, he felt sure they would win the battle. However he had new questions which needed answering. It became clear there was some form of help going on. They even had reports of a black viper fighting the raiders. Ad in the fact the basestar appeared to be fighting someone behind it, and added up to some sort of ally. But who?

“One hundred percent,” Zaga said indicating the main weapon charge.

Tagget waited a second before ordering the main lasers to fire. He wanted to be close this time. He needed to end the battle. The longer it stretched out, the more likely one or more of his ships would suffer major damage.

“Sir?” Zaga said, confused by Tagget’s silence.

“Helm, close the distance,” Tagget ordered.

He knew Zaga didn’t agree, but his second in command said nothing. The basestar had received damage among most of its weapons systems. He spotted the mass of vipers and raiders on the scanner still locked in battle. He hoped most of them survived, they would be needed later on.

“Fire,” he said, watching as the two lasers fired again, striking the basestar in the lower saucer section. A few seconds later the power plant went critical. “Helm, get us out of here.”

The Sunflare turned away, starting to put distance between the two combatants when it exploded in a blinding white light.

“Basestar destroyed,” Zaga said.

“Report on the vipers?” Tagget said.

“Still engaged, the raiders have turned, heading this way,” Zaga said. “Destroyers heading to intercept.”

Tagget now waited as the Cylons acted as they always did. With the basestar destroyed, most raiders become suicide bombers. It did allow his viper pilots to get free shots at the raiders.

He finally turned his full attention to the unknown help he received, and how to contact them, or where they were.

End part 5

Continued in part 6: Relief Ship

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