Battlestar Argo – Part 32

Battlestar Argo

by AJ Marks

Part 32: The Trap is Sprung

Weaver glanced at his findings once more. Again the results were the same as before.  This information was not that good he thought to himself.  He needed to inform Commander Ares about what he had just found out.  He quickly walked over to his communicator to get the commander on the line.

“Commander Ares,” Ares voice said.

“Commander, sorry if I interrupted you, but I have something that I want to inform you about,” Weaver said.

“No problem, what’s wrong,” Ares said having a feeling that there was a problem with something.

“Its the S-metal,” Weaver said.

“S-metal,” Ares replied.

“Sorry, stealth metal,” Weaver corrected himself. “We’ve been running a lot of tests on it lately to find out more about it.  Well anyway we discovered something interesting.  It seems that there is two different strengths to the metal.”

“Two,” Ares said not sure that he quite understood.

“Yes, the S-metal we used to cover the Argo was of a different grade than what we used for the Tiger and Cheetah,” Weaver said. “Both grades are weaker than the armor that the Argo is made out of.”

“I see,” Ares said.

“The S-metal covering the Argo can easily be damaged. The grade used on the Tiger has a strength of about three quarters that of the normal armor of the Argo,” Weaver said to Ares.

“That leaves us with a bit of a dilemma,” Ares said. If the Arbus discovered a way to defeat the S-metal then the Tiger would be more susceptible for damage than the Argo would be.

“The S-metal covering the Argo is even weaker than that,” Weaver said.

“I see,” Ares replied. “I’ll talk it over with some others that might alter our strategy.  Keep working to see if anything else comes up.”

“Yes sir,” Weaver said as the line went dead. The strength of the S-metal was not real good for the armor of a ship that was going to be taking damage.

He walked over to the metal and began to look for ways that he could perhaps strengthen the metal up to an armor quality. That would be really useful.


Pratt sat on the bridge of the Tiger still waiting for an attack that in a way they all hoped would come. He knew that they would not be able to keep the hologram doing forever without raising suspicion of the crew of the Cheetah.  He had heard from Ares that they were working on figuring out where the signal had come from.  They had a general location but that was still several hundred square miles of Earth to cover.  That was not going to be easy.

“Scanner contact, bearing one eight six point five and twelve degrees,” the scanner operator said.

Pratt turned to look at the scanner operator when Renee made the comment. The battle was about to happen.  He quickly got on the communicator to inform Commander Ares about what was going on.

Ares asked to be kept informed about what happened during the battle. The Argo would not be able to come to the base in time to interfere in anything that was going on.  Pratt understood that then got a conformation about how many ships were headed their way.

“Three commander,” Renee replied as she checked her scanner again.

“All right, all hands red alert, prepare to drop the hologram on my signal,” Pratt said. The familiar red light bathed the interior of the ship indicating that the ship was now on alert.


Bri was flopped down on the bed in her and Troy’s quarters. Her head was off the edge of the bed and she was looking at Troy upside down.

“This is boring,” she said as she looked at Troy.

“I know, but what did you expect,” Troy said. “A pilot’s life, long boring periods followed up with intense pressure to stay alive.  It’s how we live Bri.”

“I know. Its just no one ever told me about things like this,” she said flipping over. “There is a lot to do but it just get’s repetitive after a while.”

“You could be on the Cheetah. Gunther has been running drills all the time to make sure that the ship is ready for combat,” Troy said.

“Yeah, true,” Bri said.

Troy was about to say something else when the red alert was sounded on the ship.

“Well you wanted some excitement,” Troy said to her. “I guess you’re going to get it.”

“Yep,” she said as she hopped up from the bed. “Come on, we’ve got work to do.”

The two of them quickly ran to the hanger where their vipers were waiting. In the hanger it was a bit over crowded by so many people but they got the word out that three Arbus ships were on their way.  The launching sequence was also worked out as to who would be heading out first.

Troy and Bri were in the first wave launched because of their rank in the squad. They were handed their helmets and headed towards their ships.


“Incoming ships, three of them sir,” Rand said from where he was sitting.

“Three, all right let me inform the base,” Gunther said switching over to the ship to ship Alpha line. “Alpha One this is Cheetah, we are currently showing three incoming Arbus ships.”

“Roger Cheetah, we have them as well. Everything is ready here,” Gunther heard Renee’s voice say over the channel. He knew that it was from the Tiger but anyone else listening would not know that.

Gunther then turned to look at everyone to see how they were doing. They all knew that the Arbus were on their way and many of them thought that they were the only defense of the base.

“Sound red alert,” Gunther said to the crew. Now would be the time to see if this crew would be able to work together as a fighting unit.

“Red alert everyone,” Rand said as the ship went to battlestations.

“Plot an intercept course for the enemy ships and engage,” Gunther said.

“Course plotted and engaged,” Rand said as the Cheetah turned to intercept the incoming ships. “Does the base have any other defenses?”

“A squadron of vipers which should be launching any moment now,” Gunther said.

“Just wondering if we going to be doing this alone or not,” Rand said. Personally he was glad to hear that the base had a bit more defense than just the Cheetah.  The vipers were quick and powerful and he hoped they would turn the tide against three Arbus ships.


“Cheetah is moving to intercept,” Renee said as she watched the scanner.

“Good,” Pratt said as he glanced at the scanner as well. Gunther was performing as an escort should. He was going to engage as far out as possible to prevent damage to the base.  It would lull the Arbus right into the trap for sure. “Prepare to launch first wave of vipers.”

Renee waited until she heard Pratt tell her launch the vipers. Looking at the screen she watched as she gave the instructions for each viper to launch.  It would be an interesting experience to fly though the hologram as the vipers launched.  Once the first wave was launched she reported that and waited for the next instructions.

Pratt sat there waiting to see when or if he should drop the hologram at all. The Cheetah was now engaged with the three Arbus ships. The Arbus ships had better weapons but the Cheetah was fast and quick. That and the S-metal made it hard for enemy scanners to lock onto.

“Two Arbus ships are breaking away from the fight and heading our way. Green squad has engaged,” Renee said.

“Good,” Pratt said but he knew that they would have to probably engage the enemy ships soon. “Prepare to disengage the holograms.”

“Waiting sir,” the reply came.

Pratt watched as the two Arbus ships continued to approach their position. The Cheetah was holding its own against the one Arbus ship it was fighting.

“Within main gun range,” Renee said.

“Drop hologram, all power to weapons,” Pratt said. “Set course to engage, launch the rest of the vipers.”

The hologram of the ships docks and what appeared to be a base on the planet’s surface suddenly disappeared from sight leaving only a black warship which was now moving towards the two Arbus ships. The two ships were now without their targets which vanished from sight.  The Tiger quickly opened fire now that its engines were back to full power.

The first ship took a direct hit before it could even open fire. The second wave of vipers launched from the hanger of the Tiger doubling the number that were out there.  The vipers had orders to engage any enemy fighters which were being launched from the Arbus ships as well.

“Continue firing,” Pratt said as the Tiger opened fire once more on the Arbus ship.


“Captain,” Rand said to Gunther. Two Arbus ships are making a run for the base.

Gunther thought about it for a second then realized that they would not be able to continue to engage all three. “Let them go, concentrate on this one.  Try and disable it so it’s out of the fight,” Gunther said thinking like he would if this was a real situation and that base was real.

“But captain,” Rand said.

“If we try and fight all three at once then we will lose. Knock this one out while we can will give us better odds to beat them,” Gunther said.

“All right,” Rand said. “Viper squad coming in to help. Engaging enemy fighters.  Hold on, picking up a strange reading from the base.  What’s going on?”

Gunther figured that the Tiger was probably dropping the hologram. “The base was a hologram by the Tiger.  She’s now engaging the other two Arbus ships,” Gunther said to Rand.

“What,” Rand asked not sure what was going on.

“We set a trap for the Arbus and they fell for it Rand,” Gunther said.

“A trap,” Rand said not sure about what he had just heard.

“Yes, there are still some Arbus on Earth and maybe some of us helping them out which we are trying to flush out,” Gunther said.

“I see, laying a trap for some information makes them think twice before attacking,” Rand said.

“Right,” Gunther said. “Now continue firing we still have to beat them.”

The Cheetah continued to fire at the Arbus ship that it was engaged with. The battle was only half won in the fact that the trap had been sprung.  Now they had to defeat them.


Pratt watched on the scanner as the Tiger approached the Arbus attack ships. With the confusion of the base suddenly missing the Tiger was able to fire off several shots at the attackers before any retaliation was taken.  The damage to the Arbus ship would only help them in the coming battle.

“Come around and engage again,” Pratt said as he had to make sure that the Tiger’s main weapons were able to fire. He quickly glanced to see how the Cheetah was doing and was relieved when he noticed that the ship was still there.

The two Arbus ships were now firing at the Tiger making the battle a real battle. The viper squadrons were fully engaged with the Arbus fighters to prevent them from attacking the Tiger as well. Now the battle was a slug it out type after the initial surprise by the Tiger.

The main weapons of the Tiger opened fire again on the Arbus ships. It was reported as a direct hit on one of the Arbus ships. This was a bit of good news for Pratt.  He really hoped that the battle would end real quick before anything else could happen. He also knew that there was still a lot to do to win this battle.  He could take nothing for granted even though he had a good feeling about the battle.

“Sir, one of the Arbus ships has received critical damage,” Renee said.

The Arbus ship exploded from the damage it had taken from the Tiger’s main weapons. The ship that the Cheetah was engaged with also had taken a lot of damage.

“Sir, the Arbus ships are retreating,” Renee said.

“Good,” Pratt said. “Let them go,” he ordered.  It was part of the plan.  They wanted the Arbus to know about their hologram technology. It meant that the Arbus would think twice about attacking a base that had been set up.

“Let them go,” Renee asked wanting confirmation.

“Yes, we want them to know about this battle,” Pratt said. “It might give us more time to produce some weapons to battle them with.”

They had destroyed one ship but Pratt could not help but wonder how large of a military did the Arbus have. What type of ships had they not encountered yet and were the ships classified as ‘attack ships’ the best that the Arbus had. He had a feeling that these were only questions that would be answered after a long war if ever.

“Captain Gunther, report,” Pratt said as he opened up a communications to the Cheetah.

“We seemed to come though fine. The Arbus ship we were engaged with has retreated commander,” Gunther replied.

“Good what about damage,” Pratt asked.

“Nothing major, we should be at full power in about an hour or so,” Gunther said.

“All right, let’s make our way back to Earth,” Pratt said.

“Not Centari One,” Gunther said. He had been under the impression that they would be heading back to the base.

“No, Ares is going to have the Argo there, we’re going to be support for Earth,” Pratt replied.

“Understood,” Gunther said as he turned to give orders to head back to Earth.

“When we get back to Earth you’re to report to the Tiger for debriefing. We’ll want to know how the ship held up under the battle,” Pratt said.

“I’ll get to work on it commander,” Gunther said as the line when blank. “Have we recovered all vipers?”

“The last ones are landing now,” Renee said.

“Good, once all the vipers are aboard set course for Earth,” Pratt said. “I’ll be in my office.”


Bri climbed down from her viper after landing letting the maintenance crew work on her viper. She did not think that anything had happened to it but she felt better when the crew went over it anyways.  The battle had been quite short in her mind but then again most of the battles she had been part of lasted longer than this one.  She figured that Troy would classify this battle as more of a skirmish than a battle.  This one had a purpose behind it though.

Troy met her as she walked onto the elevator to head back up to the pilot’s debriefing room. Part of that was to figure out who survived and whose viper would require more repairs and other general things.  They would also go over whatever else was needed.

“That was a bit shorter than I expected,” Bri said.

“This was more of a shock battle than anything else,” Troy said. “Commander Ares wanted to shock the Arbus when they attacked hoping that it would prevent them from attacking again real soon.”

“I know,” Bri said. “Do you think it worked?”

“That is something that we’ll have to wait to find out,” Troy said. “I just hope that everything else goes like this mission did.”

“That would be nice,” Bri said. She did not think that it would but a person never knew when things would go their way.  She had a feeling that Troy felt the same way.  Now they would wait to see where they were needed next.


Nall walked into the room where the new recruits were waiting for him. He was going to be instructing them on the basics of Colonial technology to get around.  Looking around the room he quickly found who he was looking for.  Rebecca was sitting there patiently waiting for him to show up.  She smiled at him which he found himself returning rather quickly.

“I wish to thank you all for volunteering. Without any of you nothing that you see would have been built,” Nall said looking at them all. “I can’t explain where all of the technology came from and I can’t tell you why some things are being done a certain way just know that it’s done that way for a reason.”

Commander Ares and a few others had decided that they would keep where they were from a secret for now. Earth was at war against a race called the Arbus, not the Cylons. Ares did want to keep things as much the same as possible in terms of technology for when the Arbus war was over and they might be helping against the Cylons.

“First off you will notice that the computers on board the ships seem old or slow; there is a reason for that. Many systems are not joined, for example fire control and damage control are on two separate systems,” Nall said.

“That sounds like a waste of work,” one person said. “If you multi-task things one person could do the job of several making things run more effectively.”

“Yes and no,” Nall said. “You also set yourself up for a computer attack.  If that happens then the entire ship is down and you dead,” Nall replied looking at the man. “For now just trust me when I say that there is a reason for all of this.”

“Okay, seems like a waste to me,” the man said. “You could have ships with less men working on them.”

“Right now we have a ship about a mile long that needs only five hundred people to operate it,” Nall said. “Doesn’t sound like a lot to me.”

The man sat there for a moment thinking about that. He knew that most military bases needed more than that to operate and wondered what type of ship this was going to be.

“All right, most of you will be serving aboard the destroyer Puma. It’s under construction right now.  A few of you will be taken to the other ships, Argo, Tiger or Cheetah,” Nall said.

The next part was to separate the group into their parts where they would learn the specifics to what job they were going to be doing. He would be helping to train the new pilots and would not be around Rebecca.  She was the only one heading off to train for flight control.  That was a position that the commander was guarding very carefully along with any bridge jobs until they could figure out who was a spy and who was not.


Ares walked to the small building. He had been on board the shuttle when he had received a message from Sam to come down to the planet’s surface.  The new government wanted to meet with him right away.  Ares was not sure that he liked what was going to happen.

“Commander Ares,” a young woman greeted him as he walked into the building. “They are waiting for you, go on in,” she said to him.

Ares walked in and noticed that everyone was in the room. The air seemed to hang pretty think in the room.  A quick glance at Sam and Jack and he noticed their faces.  They were not pleased at all with what was probably going to happen.

“Ah, thank you for coming so quickly Commander Ares,” the new President said. He had been elected by the parliament until such a time could come that the people could vote on one.

Ares gave a nod to the man and waited. He wanted to know what was going on without making too much of a scene.

“The parliament has decided to name the chief of staff for the military along with a council to oversee everything that the military is doing,” the president said. “Many of us do not trust the military especially after what has happened lately.  We feel that it’s in our best position to name people outside the military to oversee it.”

Ares was not sure if he had heard correctly. He was also not sure that such a move was wise either.  That and there were many secrets that had to be kept from them.

“We also would like to replace you as the head of operations with General Pakrov,” the president said.

Ares’ eyebrows shot up at that. There was still a lot left for him to do and to prepare Earth for.  Now they were going to jeopardize everything.

“Does the general have experience in handling starships in combat,” Ares asked.

“No but that should not be a problem commander,” the President said.

“And did this general do anything when the Arbus invaded Earth,” Ares asked.

“Only what he was told to do,” the president said. “He will be given orders by the military council.”

“I assure you commander, I will do everything I can,” a man said walking into the center of the room. Ares could only guess that this was General Pakrov.

“And this military council,” Ares asked.

“Made up of five of our most intelligent people,” the president said.

“No offence mister president, but I’ve learned that the smartest are not always the best,” Ares said.

“Nonsense, they know what’s best for us,” the president said.

“And was this unanimous,” Ares asked.

“No,” Sam said from where he was. “In fact it barely passed and I’m still not sure it’s wise.”

“Senator you’ve had your say,” the president said.

“And the people you’ve selected on the council want us to talk with the Arbus,” Sam said.

“They assure me that the Arbus are only misunderstood senator,” the president said.

Ares narrowed his eyes at the man. “Are you saying that you intend to talk with them,” Ares asked.

“But of course, it’s what any intelligent peace loving man would do,” the president said.

“And if they attack will you give permission to return fire or for them to hold fire while the Arbus destroys the fleet,” Ares said his voice rising a bit.

“Please, the Arbus are obviously intelligent beings as we are,” the president said. “You are dismissed commander.  This is how it’s going to be whether you like it or not.”

With one last glare at the President he walked out of the room. There was a lot to do and he had to start now.  He walked to the shuttle pilot and ordered him to get him up to the Argo quickly.

Once on board the Argo he quickly made preparations for what he had to do. “Colonel Reliy, I want you to prepare to head to the Tiger, you’ll be in charge over there. I’m making some quick changes to the personal on board the ships.”

“Very well commander,” Reliy said.

“What’s going on,” a young man named Zac said. He was from the colonies so Ares knew that he was all right.

“I will tell you later,” Ares said. “Right now I have to move quickly.”


“Captain Troy come in,” Pratt said. “I have something strange.  We’re being recalled to the Argo for some reason.”

“Strange,” Troy said. “I don’t know of anything that would make you be recalled back to the Argo.”

“I know, I don’t like this,” Pratt said as he handed over a list to Troy.

“Interesting,” Troy said as he looked over the list. Everyone who had been from the Colonies was being recalled to the Argo and anyone from Earth was being taken off the Argo, except for a few people.  He noticed that Rebecca’s name was on the list to stay with the Argo.

“I’ve just talked with Gunther. He got a recall list as well,” Pratt said.  “I talked with Ares for a second but he said that he would say why only when everyone was there.”

“Well then, I guess we should get going. The quicker we do this the quicker we find out what’s going on,” Troy said.


“Commander,” Renee said from her familiar seat on the Argo to Ares. “The last shuttle has landed all transfers complete.

“Good, set course for Centari One for now,” Ares said and engage.

The Argo turned and to everyone at Earth it looked like the battlestar was headed to Centari One. Ares then went to the internal ship communicator.

“Attention, this is Commander Ares. I know that many of you have questions about why I called you all back.  The Earth government has replaced me with a council of non-military personal and put another person in charge of operations.  The new military council’s belief is that the Arbus are a peaceful race who is misunderstood. They will be meeting with them for talks,” Ares said to the crew.  “I don’t trust the Arbus and will not subject my crew, friends and who I consider family to such a thing.”

People looked at each other as they listened to what the commander was saying. Most thought the same way.  The Arbus was not a race to be trusted. Many had seen the killing rooms that the Arbus had been using and could not understand why the new Earth government was thinking the way they were.

“We’re going into hiding where we can keep an eye on things from a distance. Our mission still has not changed,” Ares said reminding them of their original mission.  “I won’t abandoned Earth either just because of a few idiots.”

Troy looked at Bri who looked back at him. He shrugged his shoulders at that.  It was something that he had not seen yet in his visions and one that he knew in his mind would not last long.

As the Argo passed the outer part of Earth’s solar system it made a turn. It would be hours before anyone knew that they were not going to arrive at Centari One. By then space would hide the battlestar very effectively while it waited in the shadows for the next phase of the war.

End of part 32

Continued in The Deadly Meetings

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