Escort Carrier Areion (CEX-300) is an experimental ship developed at Parnassus Anchorage and was the newest member of Battlestar Group ONE THREE TWO until Commander Rudolph Kepner's ultimately unsuccessful coup of the Fleet on 15 April 2042 AE.
When Admiral Madeline Hauck was appointed commander of the Navy's Advanced Research and Projects Department (ARPROD) in 2034 AE, she saw herself as having received a mandate to make wholesale changes to ARPROD's mission. On her orders, the Department shifted away from its peacetime focus on a "lighter, smarter, and cheaper Fleet," concentrating instead on developing cutting-edge anti-Cylon technology. Project Areion represents the culmination of Hauck's tireless efforts to meet the Cylon threat.
ARPROD's original design called for a new breed of battlestar, one capable of executing deep-reconnaissance and deep-strike operations in Cylon space. While Hauck realized that a flight pod would indeed be required to carry out such a wide variety of tasks, she also wanted the new ship (codename AREION) to be easily and cheaply produced. As such, ARPROD's revised proposal called for modifications to be made to an old escort carrier. In 2035, the same year engineers completed construction of Parnassus Anchorage, Fleet HQ approved the Department's request.
The escort carrier Chiron (CEC-300) was towed to Parnassus in March 2035. Fleet records were forged to indicate that the aging hulk was decommissioned and sold for scrap — but nothing could have been further from the truth. Instead, over the next several years, ARPROD scoured the Twelve Colonies for the best upgrades cubits could buy. The computers in Chiron's CIC were upgraded to handle a staggering number of armaments for a ship her size. Automated damage control systems and manual back-ups were installed at critical points in her hull. The installation of a prototype FTL unit — the smaller drive on which Battlestar Cerberus' new E-class system was based — improved her fuel efficiency by a whopping thirty-five percent, and her hangar deck was expanded and enlarged to accommodate six squadrons of Vipers and two more of Raptors. The increased power generated by Chiron's new jump drive allowed Hauck's people to double the thickness of the carrier's exterior plating.
When the venerable ship was re-christened CEX-300 Areion on 1 March 2040, she really was brand new.
To crew the crown jewel of her tenure at ARPROD, Hauck called in every last one of her political favors. Helmed by a commander who is in turn assisted by a full colonel, Areion is home to some of the best and brightest soldiers in the entire Colonial Fleet. Even those few junior enlisted and officers who appear on her crew manifest have proven themselves worthy of the honor in some capacity — or so Hauck was content to declare. In reality, the hard-bargaining admiral had to make a fair number of political appointments to get the department heads she wanted. The identities of those undeserving hangers-on were revealed in the chaos of Warday and its aftermath, when ceaseless Cylon attacks winnowed the wheat from the chaff.
Discovery by Battlestar Cerberus
CEX-300 encountered Battlestar Group ONE THREE TWO in the skies above Sagittaron on 12 September 2041. With the help of Major Cidra Hahn and the Fighting Fourteenth, Areion repulsed an assault from five Cylon basestars. As the combined air wings flew interference, the experimental carrier temporarily disabled the attacking Cylon forces with a weapon known only as "The Gun," giving the fleet the opportunity to jump away.
CEX-300 officially joined BSG-132 at a ceremony on 13 September 2041.
Attempted Coup of Battlestar Group ONE THREE TWO
On 15 April 2042 AE, Commander Rudolph Kepner temporarily seized control of the BSG-132 after assassinating Commander Michael Laughlin, taking the rest of the Fleet's Command staff and Department Heads hostage, and gaining remote control of Cerberus' nuclear warheads.
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Carrier Air Wing ZERO ZERO ("The Evocati")
Originally designated CVW-12, the Evocati hold the distinction of being the shortest-lived carrier air wing in the history of the Fleet. Created in 1991 AE two years after the Cylon War began, they served with distinction during the planet-hopping campaign and were selected to spearhead the ill-fated assault on Caprica. When the Fleet sounded the retreat, the Evocati held the line against a trio of Cylon basestars and were slaughtered to the man. Their unit designation was retired from service shortly thereafter in honor of their service.
The pilots of Areion's air wing — which Admiral Hauck had somewhat facetiously dubbed CVW-00 — adopted the name (if not the designation) early on in their service, as it symbolized both their status as elite soldiers and their willingness to undertake missions others would deem foolhardy or even suicidal. But in names there can be found strangely potent power — and when Warday arrived, the grim implications of the Evocati's storied lineage became manifestly clear.
Viper Squadrons (Active)
|VX-1||Spectres||Viper Mk. VII||Space Superiority|
|VX-4||Foxfires||Viper Mk. VII||Space Superiority|
|VX-19||Thunderhawks||Viper Mk. VII||Space Superiority|
|VX-21||Hammerheads||Viper Mk. VII||Battlefield Interdiction|
Raptor Squadrons (Active)
- 4x tactical missile tubes, nuclear-capable
- 20x turret-mounted large-bore anti-ship cannons (2/turret)
- 10x conventional missile tubes
- 300x dual point-defense flak cannons (2/turret)
- The Gun
|COL Alke Riederer, CO||Difficult to read and even harder to get to know, Alke Riederer can count the number of her closest friends on one hand. But while she doesn't have the same buddy-buddy relationship with the crew of Areion as the rest of the escort carrier's senior staff, she arguably commands more respect in the eyes of the rank and file than her CO. Her keen tactical mind has saved the ship on several occasions, and it's a well-known fact that Kepner defers to her judgment on nearly all operational matters. If he's Areion's emotional heart, Riederer is her brains.
After Kepner's heart was literally blown to smithereens on 15 Apr 2042 AE, Riederer assumed command of the Areion and FTL jumped the heavily damaged escort carrier to unknown coordinates.
Colonel Riederer is played by Mary McCormack.
|LCOL Bartholomew Benoît, Marine CO||TBD. Lieutenant Colonel Bartholemew Benoît is played by David Gandy.|
|MAJ Dirk "Birdie" Finch, CAG?||It's not clear whether Birdie survived his crash-landing onto Areion's deck on April 15th, but if he did, then it can only be assumed that he's probably CAG now. The hat is dead, long live the goatee. Major Finch is/was played by Josh Brolin.|
Former Command Staff
|CDR Rudolph "Rudy" Kepner, CO
|A ship tends to take on the character of her commanding officer. Small wonder, then, that the men and women of the escort carrier Areion see themselves as one big happy family with dear Rudy at the top. At the ripe age of fifty, Commander Kepner could easily have found himself a nice corner of Fleet Command in which to install his weary bones. Fortunately, Admiral Madeline Hauck saved him from that ignoble fate, plucking him from a certain desk job to command the culmination of all her efforts.
Too bad he screwed it up when he initiated a coup on 15 Apr 2042 AE. The glorious bastard fought to the end, and that end consisted of Colonel Andrus Pewter yanking off the zealot's pips before unloading some shotgun rounds into Rudy's twisted heart.
Commander Kepner was played by Willem Dafoe.
|LCOL Skiron "Papa" Baer, CAG
|Skiron "Papa" Baer is the Commander, Air Group (CAG) of CVW-00. He's led a charmed career, having graduated top of his class from Colonial Fleet Academy, Picon before repeating the feat in Flight School. And while he's not as flashy or boastful as the stereotypical Viper jock, he's better than two sections of hotshot el-tees put together, as his comrades in the Evocati have learned.
Among those he schooled was Lieutenant Allison "AWOL" Moran, whom he blasted to bits after she sided with Cerberus. Shortly after Major Dirk "Birdie" Finch, Captain Lana "Dizzy" Drake, and Lieutenant Gabriel "Fiasco" Marduk also defected from the Evocati, the Spectres-reinforced Black Knights sent Baer on a one-way cruise down the River Styx.
Lieutenant Colonel Baer was played by Benicio del Toro.
|MSGT Thom Oren, Marine MaA
|On 15 Apr 2042 AE, after executing MAJ Calliope Marshall-Nicander, the Praetorian's Chief Weapons Officer, a rush attack from the remaining prisoners resulted in Master Sergeant Oren's head was blasted into a pink mist courtesy of some shotgun rounds unleashed by Cerberus' CO, Andrus Pewter.
Master Sergeant Thom Oren was played by James Caan.