PHD #000: EVENT - The Powder Keg
The Powder Keg
Summary: The CIC during Warday. Bad things happen.
Date: 26 FEB 2041
Related Logs: Warday
Abbot Tillman Hellicon Kulko Polaris Antares Julie Marko 

The central nexus of the ship, the fighting capability all stems from here. With entrances on both sides, an entire section of the wall will twist its armored glass and doorframes out of an air locked position and allow access. At the rear of the room is a standard hatch that allows access as well. Computer terminals sit in a semi-circle around the main plotting table in the center of the room. DRADIS and other essential readouts are displayed on screens that hang from the ceiling. Forward and aft are a set of glass plots that hang vertically from the ceiling and provide the crew with the ability to coordinate air traffic operations in the easiest way possible.

It takes several long moments for the rest of the people to get into their stations and when they do, Michael takes only the briefest of moments to catch up on things from Sarkis before he's moving down to the command table. Once there, the wireless is grabbed and he begins to speak into it.

[TAC3] (from "Bootstrap" Trask) There is an edge to the ECO's voice when he relays, "Flight, Command, Bootstrap. We have party crashers. A frakton. With FTL drives an' who knows what else. If ya haven't done it yet, I suggest setting Condition One. Right the frak now."

[TAC3] "Spanner" Rojas says, "Mingling with the other voices is a single, incredulous "Holeee. Shit.""

[TAC3] "Lasher" Laskaris says, "Cerberus, Lasher. What Bootstrap said. And what are my frakkin' orders?"

Tillman is right behind the Admiral, unable to catch Quinn's Raptor(?). He rolls in and takes up a position at the end of the plotting table and picks up a headset, snaking it onto his ears. "Orders, sir?" The TACCO comes to attention and looks to Abbot.

[Intercom] Michael says, "All hands, this is not a drill. Medical, prepare for wounded. Marines, ensure all civilians are escorted to proper quarters. Cerberus will remain docked for as long as possible."

Hellicon doesn't bother with the formalities of calling Admiral on the Deck or anything. Instead, he's hard to work. "Sirs, I have pilots asking for orders and a whole shitload of DRADIS contacts around the Cerberus Flight Zone. Orders?"

Kulko is still sticking to Tillman like glue, as per his orders. The freshly minted ensign is silent, taking a position by the TACCO, eyes darting about the room and the instruments. It's all a mite overwhelming.

Turning his attention in the direction of Tillman and then Hellicon, Michael doesn't bother giving a nod of his head in acknowledgement. "Get our birds in the air. All squadrons with the exception Black Knights are to engage contacts. Black Knights are to take up a position around Cerberus while we are still docked."

Tillman looks to Hellicon, then. "Do it, Captain." He's stoich, but turns his attention back to Abbot. "Sir, might I recommend our gun stations?"

Hellicon nods. "On it!" he quickly gets back on the comms and begins issing out the orders.

There's a grunt as Michael looks back towards Tillman, "If they havn't already made their way to gun stations, then we have issues, Captain." A hand lifts, motioning to the wireless, "Make sure that everyone is in place. We might have lost some people on the rush back here."

[Into the Wireless] Hellicon says, "tac3 All squadrons, CIC. Launch all remaining birds. All birds are cleared to engage, Black Knights, assume point defense positions around Cerberus and report in when in place."

Tillman holds a second before nodding. "Aye, sir." He stabs a few numbers on the CIC console and doesn't bother looking up while he makes his announcement.

[TAC3] "Lucky" Alessandra says, "Comman, this is Blackknight-308. Preparing to launch."

[Intercom] Tillman says, "All stations report manned and ready to CIC."

Kulko lets his eyes wander to the tactical map as the plots are updated. He shifts his weight to and fro.

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "BlackKnight-311 launching."

[TAC3] Daphne says, "Black Knight three zero niner is green and in the pipe. Launching."

[TAC3] (from "Lasher" Laskaris) Laskaris grumbles. "Nice of you t' get back to us, CIC. Copy that. Assuming point defense position."

[Into the Wireless] Hellicon says, "Lasher, things are little crazy right now, bear with us and we'll get you taken care of."

[TAC3] Naevi says, "Black Knight one one zero ready for launch on go, all systems green."

[TAC3] "Bunny" Evandreus says, "We're green for launch, here, Easy. Coming out behind you. Are we going for a pickup on the surface?"

Hellicon looks up from his panel to the ops table. "Sirs, all fighters report launch procedures commencing. Black Knights are taking up Point Defence Positions around the ship." He then looks back to his panel and tries to sort through the mess before him.

Hellicon looks back towards the Ops Table. "Sir, Bunny is reqyesting clarification. Are we doing any pickups on the surface?"

Shifting his attention in the direction of Hellicon, Michael gives a shake of his head, "No. Our concern is those on Anchorage and our own personal. There will be no planetary pickups authorized from this vessel."

… Chris is hesitant to relay this, but does so anyway… "Aye sir…" He then hops back on the comms…

[Into the Wireless] Hellicon says, "Bunny, Cerberus. Planetary Pickups are not authorized, remain on station and keep your eyes open."

[TAC3] Temperance says, "Oh, Gods. Ares help us."

[TAC3] "Easy" Julie says, "What the frak! My controls are not responding!"

[TAC3] Temperance says, "Command, O'Sullivan, all systems down! I've got nothing!"

[TAC3] "Lasher" Laskaris says, "Knights, Lasher. Form up and prepare for incoming. Kolettis is with me, Money Shot on Lucky's wing, Splash and Naevi are on Halo… what the frak?"

[TAC3] "Lasher" Laskaris says, "Cerberus, Lasher, my systems are going crazy here!"

From the sides of the Cerberus, thousands of fighters are launching into the black of space — and into a chilling sight. A choking sea of flak, locked instantly into a battle against those bizarre silver crafts that just crashed their expensive part. Space is brimming with them, a hornet's nest worth of bright and black streaks racing through the fleet on their way towards Picon below. Behind them in a broad ring that's rapidly closing around the Colonial fleet, the fat bulged figures of the army of basestars are letting off more Raiders by the second, swarming in a cloud so thick they obscure the twinkling of the stars. As the Cerberus' fighters join the fray, there's a bizarre flash of reddish light. One from each basestar, that seems to blink past the eyes of all the pilots like some strangely serene camera flash.

Control panels in the Vipers and Raptors suddenly light up, error lights blinking as systems begin to lock up. The panels of the older Mark IIs only show a minor issue, but the Mark VIIs seem to be hit hard and the Raptors? The raptors are utterly fried, their systems going into a hard shutdown.

And suddenly Colonial Fleet's beautiful battlestars stop dead on their warpath, lights flickering through the length of the majestic vessels. Two of them, on a collision course no doubt meant to be straightened, collide in mid-space in a spectacular richochet, bouncing off each other like billiard balls as an explosion rips through the upper decks of one of them.

[TAC3] "Jugs" Quinn says, "*static…static* -dead… *static* -start…*static*"

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Cerberus, Toast. I'm getting red across the board on my flight systems. Something is utterly frying us. I *static* *static* *static*"

[TAC3] (from "Lucky" Alessandra) There is a strangled choke of shock from Lucky, that being as how her controls flash red. "Lasher, Lucky. I'm getting errors all over the place, here. How are you reading?" She tries to get in formation with her wingman. Hopefully she'll have better luck at that than she did earlier.

As the reports begin to come in, Michael's brow arches ever so slightly as he casts a look in the direction of Hellicon, "Captain, confirm those reports. Did our pilots just say their birds are not responding?"

[TAC3] Daphne says, "Lasher, Kolettis. Trying, but I'm FWI. What's going on here?"

[TAC3] Naevi says, "Cerberus, Naevi. I've got somethin- *static* … -st all *static* … -ponsiveness. *static* … the Frak!"

[TAC3] "Lasher" Laskaris says, "Luck— *static* — sher. I'm getting *static* same over here. Kolettis, I wish I frakking knew."

[TAC3] "Bunny" Evandreus says, "Cerberus, Bunny, I —*OUT*"

Kulko mutters under his breath. "Ares, this is not happening…"

[TAC3] (from "Spanner" Rojas) Rojas' voice comes over local comms, clearer than most others, albeit with one hell of a confused tone. "Eeeerm. Shiv, Spanner. …I'm showing a electrical fault but… that's it?"

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "tac3 Lasher, Splash. Everything's errors all over."

[TAC3] "Money Shot" Tisiphone says, "Lucky, this is M-" Crackle. "-red lights. Attempting to form on-" Snapcrackle. "-rakDAMN, you cursed-"

Hellicon shakes his head… What the hell is going on? "Sirs? I'm getting a lot of comms traffic from our planes reporting problems… Loads of them, too."

[TAC3] (from "Shiv" Sitka) Sitka's voice crackles over the static, two simple words, "Holy shit." And then, not a heartbeat later, "Petrels, full *static* spread. Find your wing and *static*. Spanner, form up on me. Cerberus, I'm *static* some trouble with my sensors, too."

Tillman looks up to the DRADIS screens while Abbot issues the orders. He's tense, looking like he's about ready to explode. He then looks at Hellicon, "You heard the Admiral! Are they responding or just having problems?"

[TAC3] "Lucky" Alessandra says, "Money…*bzzt*…try to…*static*…same target."

[TAC3] "Lasher" Laskaris says, "Kolet — *static* — with me? Stay *static static* my target."

[TAC3] Daphne says, "*static*, Kolettis. *static* orders, *static static static* C-n-t *static*"

Hellicon nods as he listens in. "Yessir, they're all reporting stuff like electrical system loss, avionics, you name it. I'm trying to raise them now but it's hard as hell getting a clear answer."

[TAC3] Naevi says, "Not gett- *static* … clear signa- *static* … -ak me! Eff double-you eye."

[Into the Wireless] Hellicon says, "Any fighter able to respond, this is Cerberus, we copy your comms, what is your situation, over?"

[TAC3] Temperance says, "Anyo - *garbage* Can't ge - *garbage* Targets ho - *garbage* Nothing!"

[TAC3] "Lasher" Laskaris says, "Kolettis, Lash- *static* I say aga- *static* find my tar- *static*"

[TAC3] Daphne switches to colonial signal code: 312 309. Eng your tgt

Tillman's jaw clenches tight, breathing becoming heavier. He looks from the Admiral to the DRADIS screen. His gaze flickers to Lieutenant Oberlin who is parked at his station. The only words the man utters are to the Junion Tac beside him: "Mister Kulko, please stand by to assist Lieutenant Oberlin with Electronic Warfare if he requires." It's said quietly.

Kulko nods quickly. "Aye, /sir/." There's pep in his step as he heads for the ECM station, eager for the chance to do something to assist the strained voices on the comms.

Hellicon sighs and nods. "Sirs, I don't think they're recieving us at all. We're transmitting, but they're not hearing us at all." He looks back to his panel and listens in… "With all the static, I can't make it completely out, but it sounds like they've been engaged, but with all the noise, it's impossible to tell with who."

Even though the Admiral's attention is on the screens, he's acutely aware of what's transpiring around him. So when Hellicon speaks, Michael is casting a look in his direction, "I don't care what the problem is. Fix it." Then, he's turning his gaze in the direction of Tillman, "Captain, I don't care if you have to send a runner to the observation deck. I want to know what the frak we're fighting and why my birds arn't responding."

"Aye, sir." Tillman points to Kulko. "Ensign. Get a pair of spotting glasses from the locker on the Observation Deck and get up there triple time! Call me direct with your report on what you see!"

Kulko's eyes go wide. "Aye… sir!" And he's off, at a jog, out the hatch and into the corridors.

Hellicon nods his head and confidently reports as he works the controls. "Sir, the problem isn't on our end. The Communications System is working 100, our transmitters are good and we're sending strong signal. Whatever the problem is, it's jamming the coms up on their end."

[TAC3] "Shiv" Sitka says, "Spanner, bandit still on your six. Keep jinking!"

Hellicon quickly pulls the headset from his ears as he exclaims. "YEEEOW!" He shakes his head and puts his headset back on. "Sorry sir, we just got a strong signal from one of the planes," he says as he immediately tries raising the plane.

[TAC3] "Bunny" Evandreus says, "Jugs, Bunny, systems up. Sort of. Trying to get the EC suites out."

[Into the Wireless] Hellicon says, "tac3 Shiv, Cerberus, whats your situation? We've lost comms with the majority of the wing. Who has engaged you?"

[TAC3] "Shiv" Sitka says, "Scratch that— shit, I've lost it."

[TAC3] "Lasher" Laskaris says, "*static* -lettis, Lasher! *static* -m hit, cov- *static static static*"

[TAC3] Daphne uses colonial signal code: 312 309 AFF

[TAC3] "Spanner" Rojas says, "You've got a friend, Shiv! Scissors, It'll give me a shot!"

[TAC3] Naevi says, "Harrier Three Zero Fou- *static* … Naevi! *static* … -on your tail. Engagin- *static* … lying without instruments my as- *static*."

Hellicon is clearly getting frustrated as he looks back to the Admiral. "Sir, right now, Captain Sitka seems to be the only pilot who can still transmit…" He listens in… We're picking up something else… Colonial Signal Code… 312 309 AFF."

[TAC3] "Shiv" Sitka says, "Roger, Spanner."

Tillman turns his face up a bit at Hellicon's words. "Some pilot is trying to confirm orders using transponder codes, it sounds like. Maybe confirming orders from one Viper to another..?" He sounds a bit confused. But then the phone on his end of the table buzzes and he snatches it up. "CIC, Tillman. Go."

Kulko (Kulk) pages: CIC, Kulko. Sir, you're not gonna frakkin' believe this…

[Into the Wireless] Hellicon says, "Shiv, Cerberus. Who have you engaged? We have no comms with the Air Wing at present, who are you engaging?""

Tillman listens to the quick remarks on the other end. "Give it to me anyway, Ensign."

From afar, Kulko (Kulk)'s voice is shaky. "Sir, I've got visual confirmation of multiple Cylon raiders engaged with our Vipers. I only had two glasses at the reception, sir, I /swear/ I'm sober…"

[TAC3] "Shiv" Sitka says, "Cerberus- *static* -read at least twenty, I repeat twenty enemy contacts. Raiders, I read raiders. We're taking some heavy hits out here. On board equipment's having some trouble."

"Calm down, son. Confirm your last for me one more time." The TACCO's voice is calm and even but his color is slowly disappearing.

[TAC3] "Flasher" Marko says, "Bootstrap, Flasher, recommend we give Cerberus a heads up on what's happened out here. Think we just got smacked with a virus."

[TAC3] "Bunny" Evandreus says, "Jugs, Bunny, frak, I'm fried, here, dead in the water. Trying to get backup thrusters enough juice to get us back into the barn."

From afar, Kulko (Kulk) pauses on the line, but doesn't hang up. There's the sound of rustling, then Kulko comes back on the line, a measure of confidence in his voice. "Multiple raiders, sir. They're moving too quick to count. But the contacts are Cylon, or a damned fine copy of 'em."

Hellicon looks to Tillman and nods. "It's possible, but that would only be used if there's a possibility that someone was listening in that shouldn't be or if their comms were genuinely down," his voice trails off as the comms crackle… "Sirs…" He listens in to the comms and to Sitka… "Oh My Gods…"

[TAC3] "Lasher" Laskaris says, "Cerb- *static static* -akkin' Cylons! *static* -frak else w- *static* be?"

[TAC3] "Jugs" Quinn says, "Bunny, I hear you. If you can't, eject, we're coming for you. I swear it."

[Into the Wireless] Hellicon says, "*longish pause* Check that, did you say Cylons?"

Tillman looks up to the overhead speakers as the reports come in, but the phone is still glued to his ear. He lifts a hand to cover the receiver as he looks to the Admiral. "Sir, Ensign Kulko is reporting Cylon Raiders. Too many to count." His hand falls off the receiver and he speaks into it again. "What else do you see? Anything else?"

[TAC3] "Shiv" Sitka says, "Cerberus, this is Shiv. That's an affirmative."

[TAC3] (from "Bunny" Evandreus) "Jugs, Bunny, I hear you." With -just- enough trepidation in his voice as if to say, 'the frak I'm going out there in just a spacesuit.' These thrusters will get their juice.

[TAC3] Naevi says, "*static* -rakkin' son of bi- *static* -efore I tear that damn- *static* -our neck and frak th- *static* -motherfrakking son of- *static* -five times! *static*"

[Into the Wireless] Hellicon says, "Copy… We copy, Cylon Raiders engaging."

[TAC3] "Shiv" Sitka says, "I also have two unidentifi— scratch that, two cylon base ships. Bearing five six carom niner zero— *sounds of engines roaring, then gunfire* —I don't have a visual on Toast."

The mention of Cylon raiders is not what Michael expected and for a moment he looks just a touched shocked. Then, there's a shake of his head, "Frak. Alright, advise the deck that we're going to have damaged birds incoming. I want everyone prepared for combat landings on my order."

Space is alight with combat, thousands of raiders versus thousands of malfunctioning fleet vipers and raptors. The fleet's battlestars are still horribly crippled, hanging in space like fat blimps on tethers, unable to shoot. And meanwhile, the destruction of the Colonial Fleet continues. Raiders tear through the swarms of defense birds, explosions lighting the vastness of space. A massive V of raiders has cut straight through their forces, tearing their way towards Picon unhindered.

And then, the basestars launch their nukes: one volley, then another volley, then another. Thousands of silent missiles drift past the motionless Fleet. There's no sound, only the sight — battlestars one by one ripped to shreds.

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Gett*bzzzz* qui*bzzzz* beaten *bzzzz*. Try*bzzzzzzzzz* now…"

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "Cylons? Frakkin' Caprican dumbasses. Well, if frakkin' machines are behind this, it would explain the system's shut-down."

From afar, Kulko (Kulk) loses a bit of that newfound confidence. "Sir, /multiple/ nuclear detonations - they're nuking the whole frakking fleet. They seem to be targeting the battlestars… we gotta get out of here, sir."

Hellicon feels like he's going to get sick… "Admiral… Confirmed, Cylon Raiders," he then snaps out and nods in reponse. "Aye sir, shall I order them to RTB?"

Tillman doesn't even awknowledge the order. He stabs the keypad on his pad as the lights go off. "RADIATION ALARMS!".. Then he gets another report. "Sir! We have reports that the cylons are nuking the fleet! They're going after the battlestars, Admiral!" He then picks up the intercom..

[TAC3] Temperance says, "Command, O'Sullivan. Systems up now, are you not reading us? Bunny is down, Toast is down. Bootstrap and I attempting to jam."

[Intercom] Tillman says, "All Hands! Brace for possible incoming."

[TAC3] (from "Jugs" Quinn) Maggie's voice has, somewhere in the panic, lost it's clipped Caprican to more of her odd, lilting voice that is far, far from the rich colony. "Frak the cylons… what… are those frakkin' nukes… gods… does anyone need EVA? Now or never, speak the frak up."

[TAC3] "Lucky" Alessandra says, "Frakkers! This is…..y! I've b…it badly. Wha…rak is….ing on!?"

[TAC3] "Lasher" Laskaris says, "Godsda- *static* -ice-cursed sh- *static static* toaster, get- *static* frak off me, afore *static* shove it *static static static*"

Tillman is then back on the phone with Kulko. "Ensign, I need a count on how many Battlestars are going down and what kind of condition the fleet is in."

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Cerberus….*oast…systems still *static*….got minimal power. *static* getting taken apart out here *static*"

Kulko (Kulk) pages: Aye, sir, give me a minute.

[Into the Wireless] Hellicon says, "O'Sullivan, there was some jamming from your end, we've been trying to raise you for a while. Be advised, we have radiological alarms, they're nuking the godsdamn fleet!"

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "CIC, Boo<static>trap. Give the ChEng an' Chie<static> heads-up that <static> wanna do a system<static>weep an' diag<static>stic. Search for virus<static>."

[TAC3] "Shiv" Sitka says, "Toast, Shiv. Do you read? I'm getting heavy static from you. Cerberus, we aren't going to last much longer out here in this shitstorm. It seems like the sevens are taking the brunt of it—"

The sound of the Rad Alarm's going has Michael shifting his attention to monitor. Then, his gaze flits back in the direction of Hellicon, "Recall -all- birds, immediately. Combat landings." Then, his attention shifts in the direction of Navigation. There's a pause and a soft sigh, "Break us off from Anchorage. Their docking pylons can't disconnect and retract in time." Another pause. "And I'm aware people might still be inside of them." Then, he's looking in the direction of Tillman, "Order the Praetorian and Corsair to fall in line with us once we're clear of Anchorage."

[TAC3] Temperance says, "Command, O'Sullivan. Under heavy fire, birds out here havin' a hell of a time wi' their systems, please advise."

Kulko (Kulk) pages: Captain, I count twenty six - no, twenty seven, confirm twenty seven battlestars in my field of view. Two are totally frakking gone, another two have collided. Remaining twenty three battlestars under heavy fire, nuclear and conventional.

[Into the Wireless] Hellicon says, "Copy, Shiv. All fighters, Romeo Tango Bravo, RFN! Combat landings are authorized, get the frak out of there!"

Tillman stabs numbers into the keypad and calls down to the deck. "Deck, CIC." A pause. "Prepare to accept damaged birds." Pause. "No idea how many. Potentially a lot." A skipped heartbeat. "Copy, out." Eyes lift to Abbot, then. "Deck reports ready, sir." ..Then it seems another report comes in from Kulko. "Sir, the Ensign reports he can spot twenty-seven battlestars. He says two are completely destroyed, two look to have collided and the remainder are under heavy nuclear and conventional fire."

Tillman nods to Michael's new orders and keys up a new frequency on the comm network.

[Into the Wireless] Tillman says, "Corsair and Praetorian, this is Cerberus CIC. We are disengaging from the station at this time. You are instructed to do the same and fall in with us once we are clear of the anchorage. Confirm."

[TAC3] Daphne in CSC: 312 309 CFM

[TAC3] Naevi says, "Arr tee bee, Cerber- *static* … -oming in hot- *static static* … nukes! *static*"

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Shiv…*st*…copy…barely. I believe I…*static*…get her home…*static*"

[TAC3] (from "Bunny" Evandreus) "Jugs, Bunny, we're gonna get there if we don't get shot again. Go pick up someone else, yo," he lets her know he'll be OK. 'Cause he knows she worries.

[TAC3] (from "Shiv" Sitka) With the CAG's radio still breaking up, Sitka's voice crackles over the comms again, more strident this time, "Cerberus, all points, assuming flight lead. All vipers RTB, combat landings. Knights, cover the rap— *sounds of guns firing*

Hellicon looks back to the Admiral. "Sirs, one of the birds just sent us a request, and from what I've seen here it might not be a bad idea," he waits for the Admiral before proceeding.

From afar, Kulko (Kulk) speaks softly on the line. "Sir, we're gettin' massacred out here. What's goin' on?"

[TAC3] "Spanner" Rojas says, "Shitshitshit*Crunch*WHATTHESHIT?"

Turning his attention back to Hellicon, Michael lifts a hand, indicating for the Captain to deliver the idea.

Tillman brings the receiver back to his lips. "Confirm our birds are RTB, Ensign. Count the number of basestars you can see, too."

Hellicon nods. "Sir, Bootstrap said something about checking for a virus," he says, almost smirking. "It's a longshot, but it might just explain why our birds are falling apart," he says as the chatter in his ears continues.

Kulko (Kulk) pages: Cap, I'm not seeing a whole lot of our birds operational at all. Most of em are dead in the water, gettin' cut apart. I count… *pause* Thirty, three zero basestars.

[TAC3] "Jugs" Quinn says, "Splash, just hold on tight, we gotcha… This might be a bit of a rocky landing, but we'll make it."

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Holding on. Just don't ruin the paint, okay?"

"Sweet Gods." Tillman looks back to the Admiral. "Sir, Kulko reports three-zero basestars visible from the Obs Deck. We can probably assume at least another fifteen he can't see from the Deck. He also says most of the friendly birds are dead in space and being cut apart by the Raiders." There's some insistence to his voice. He then lifts the mic back up. "What about Picon, son? Can you see if they are launching transports or anything at the planet?"

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "CIC, Bootstrap. To run the risk of stating the obvious: page Medical to Deck."

[TAC3] "Jugs" Quinn says, "Kiss it, Splash. Kiss it hard."

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "Plzkthx."

[Into the Wireless] Hellicon says, "Copy, medical is being notified now."

From afar, Kulko (Kulk) isn't talking directly to Tillman anymore. He's shouting. "You motherfrakking sons of frakking bastards! Rot in hell, every last one of you!"

[Intercom] Tillman says, "Medical personnel to the Hangar Bays to receive wounded. Repeat, Medical personnel to the hangar bays."

[TAC3] "Jugs" Quinn says, "Look at that. Five point landing if I ever saw one. Everyone else in one piece?"

Tillman winces a bit at what he hears on the phone and looks at it a second before putting it back to his ear. "ENSIGN KULKO! FIND. YOUR. BEARING." He pauses, voice terse. "Report, now!"
From afar, Kulko (Kulk) comes back over the line. "Sir, /nuclear detonation/ on the surface… They're frakking… multiple detonations. Major population centers and evenly spaced throughout land masses. They're glassing the planet, sir."

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "You win a medal. Hey, Splash? You still there, buddy?"

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Unless you guys are somewhere entirely else, I think so, yes."

Kulko (Kulk) pages: Gods above and below… I've lost visual on the planet's surface, sir. There's just… ash and fire.

Tillman's eyes go wide at the report on the phone and he stops breathing for a moment. His eyes focus on the Admiral but his voice drops to nearly a whisper. "Admiral. Ensign reports multiple nuclear detonations visible on Picon, sir. He says they're nuking the population centers. And it sounds like they are gridding their detonations elsewhere on the planet." A pause as he hears more. "He's losing visual on the surface." Its a struggle for Tillman to keep his own bearing, teetering between fear, anger, and shock.

Kulko (Kulk) pages: Sir, the fleet is frakked. Almost all husks. The station itself is under fire… Sir /we/ have incoming…

Hellicon listens, not even wanting to believe any of this… "Wh… What about the other Colonies?" His parents… Virgon… His mind was racing at a thousand miles an hour… "Is the entire fleet just falling?"

Basestars open up on the Colonial battlestars as thousands of nukes erupt over the skies of Picon. The mushroom clouds are so numerous and so powerful they're visible from space. And the rest of the Fleet is getting annihilated by the other basestars and Raiders, erupting in a spray of missiles.

On the tangled Cerberus DRADIS screen is another signature now, definitely Colonial. Large, but not the size of a battlestar, its vector headed towards the Cerberus at a frightening speed.

"Admiral, he reports.." A pause from Tillman. "Sir, the Ensign reports we have incoming and that the station is taking fire!" He lifts the receiver back to his lips. "Kulko, get that blast shield lowered straight away and get your ass back to CIC." He then looks back to Abbot. "He says the whole fleet has essentially been destroyed."

"Sir, he says there's a yacht inbound from the Anchorage," Tillman says quickly, motioning to DRADIS. "That's probably it moving fast."

[TAC3] "Oneida" Antares says, "*crackle* ..erus… *static* …krypter, krypter, krypter!"

Michael gives a slow shake of his heads, "Gods help us." The words are almost a murmer before he's looking back in the direction of Tillman, "Captain, try and raise Admiral Kulle's vessel. I need to know if she made it aboard or not." The mention of the nukes going off on the planet cause the Admiral to bang a fist on the console, "Frak. Why now. After all these years." A pause and his hand flattens, "Captain …" He stops and lifts a brow, "Yacht? The Admiral's. We're going to need to get it on board."

[TAC3] "Easy" Julie says, "Repeat yourself. This is Harrier-307 onboard Battlestar Cerberus, please repeat that Krypter! Where are you? We'll help!"

Once again there's no confirmation from Tillman, just a reaction. He punches up the frequency on his comm as he hangs up the phone from Kulko.

[Into the Wireless] Tillman speaks loud, slow, and clearly. "Yacht approaching Cerberus, this is CIC. Do you have the Admiral aboard, over?"

"Shall I get some of the inbound birds diverted to escort them in," Hellicon asks as he teies to keep his mind off of the horror unfolding before them.

[TAC3] "Flasher" Marko says, " CIC, Flasher, we're receiving an unidentified Krypter on Tac-3. Advise, over?"

Eyes shift to Hellicon and Michael gives a shake of his head, "I don't care how you get them aboard, Captain, just do it. We're got a rather large target painted on our back and I'd prefer we not be sitting here when the next volley of missiles come in."

[TAC3] "Oneida" Antares says, "*static crrrrssshhhh* …berus, Oneida. Affirm- *crackle*…board. Engines malfun— *static* — ng, can't stop."

Tillman looks to Hellicon. "Captain, Get those damned birds aboard while I confirm this…"

In the viewport, the massive luxury vessel — the Admiral's own Oneida — is coming into view. It's a beautiful thing, or it was before Raiders began chasing it. Blown to shit, it's drifting at a /dangerously/ high speed straight for the Cerberus' port side.

[Into the Wireless] Tillman says, "Oneida! Veer off!"

Hellicon nods to Tillman. "Cap, I'm working on that now. Confirm that incoming before I have all of them in," he says as he frantically looks for the last two functioning birds in case he does have to divert them.

[TAC3] "Oneida" Antares says, "Cer — *crackle* — cannot comply! *bzzzt* -er lost engines, sir!"

Kulko comes through the hatch, the top button of his tunic undone and his face a few shades paler than when he left. He re-approaches the plotting table and looks to Tillman. "Sir, reportin' in."

Tillman doesn't give a reply to Kulko just yet. He's looking at the Admiral. "Sir. Oneida.. What do you want to do? We can either blow it up or take the hit?" He picks up the phone and dials Weps on standby.

The Oneida's crew frantically tries to steer the huge craft away, but every second spent looking at DRADIS makes it more and more terrifyingly obvious that that's not going to happen. The yacht's bow is pointed for the Cerberus' port engines, careening straight for it as a swath of raiders chases behind, explosions rocking the blackness of space behind it. Love tap or vicious ram, is impossible to tell…

Mackay (Knife) pages: Already you can hear the cursing in the background, but the Gun Gallery is alive and waiting. "Weapons."

Tillman considers his options for a very long second, phone hanging at his ear. Missiles inbound. Radiological alarms going off. No time. He grits his teeth and makes it. "Weps! Fire Mission! Put all guns on the Oneida and take it out, now!" He doesn't take his eyes off the DRADIS.

[TAC3] "Oneida" Antares says, "*crackle* -us…*static*…gods help…civilians…"

From afar, Mackay (Knife) is silent on the other end of the phone for a split second. "Aye TACCO. Guns Away." and the line falls silent with a click. Needless to say the guns will be moving a shudder not even to be felt, until the salvo begins.

The Oneida looms in the Cerberus' viewscreen now. Her starboard side is nearly destroyed, raiders keeping after her like sharks circling a bleeding animal in the river. The Colonial symbol is painted on the side, ripped to shreds by Raider fire and glowing red with heated metal. The distance closes…

Kulko murmurs quietly, "Gods help us all," resting his palms on the edge of the plotting table.

"Copy, Weps. Standby for new fire mission once the target is destroyed." Tillman stares at DRADIS for second before looking to Hellicon. "Confirm all our birds are aboard!" Then he points to Nav, phone still at his ear. "Spin up the FTL and plot us a reverse jump back to Uram!"

Hellicon nods, "Aye sir!" He quickly begins to look through the listings. "Copy, we've got them all, we're ready."

The Senior Watch then looks to Kulko. "Get on the horn, son, and tell Praetorian and Corsair to plot a reverse jump to our last position for the games. Do not give out locations or coordinates. Clear?" He then looks to Nav. "Give me a count to spin-up."

[Into the Wireless] Kulko grabs a headset and keys it up. "Praetorian, Corsair, this is Cerberus. Prepare for jump to last wargame position. Clock to start on my mark."

A crackle over the comms, as the guns roll out and already light up the frakking sky. The poor Onedia barely has a chance in hades to get anywhere, even with the raider fire going into her, the broadside of the Cerebus is enough to rip her into pieces, to make for a clear LOS..and getaway in a matter of speaking. Finally a voice down from fire Control comes through. "She's dead, orders Actual?"

Tillman lifts the receiver back to his lips. "Weps, I want you to commence full battery fire against the closest baseship and open up with every flak cannon you have on our incoming. Pick your patterns on your own mark, Captain." The TACCO's voice is even, though its easy to tell he's having to force it.

Outside, there's a massive flash and then, where the Oneida and her hundred of lives drifted? There is only debris, some machine and some man.

Watching as the Onedia DRADIS contact flashes out, Michael gives a shake of his head and a soft, murmered prayer before he's casting a look in the direction of Tillman, "Lets carve ourselves a path of out here, Captain. There is nothing more that we can do."

Kulko presses a finger to his headset, then looks between Michael and Tillman. "Corsair and Praetorian report navigational calculations complete and FTL drives humming. Awaiting orders."

There's a massive shuddering and a deep rumble as the Cerberus finally undocks. Still tethered to her boarding corridors on Picon, the walkways begin to snap and break apart with the force of the huge battlestar's escape. Below the battlestar glass shatters and metal groans, both the two corridors breaking like a splintering bone.

Walkways…packed full of terrified, fleeing people. Hundreds of them. From screaming to silence in the blink of an eye as the sound of their panicked shrieks are lost to space, bodies ripped and left to float in the vacuum, tiny like ants out the viewport of the majestic, battleworn Cerberus. Raiders and Vipers alike careen straight through the breakage, slamming into human flesh and torn clothing.

But the Cerberus, at the cost of so many, is finally free.

The crackle's picked back up as the sounds of the gallery churn on. Guns loading and readying already the plot is getting set. "Aye Aye Actual!, We're ready to frakkin roll our way through. Alright Biggs, I want pathway Kryptier-" and the line flies dead, loosing Mackay's voice, before the target's being locked. Flak ring ready to break in for the Raiders, but those guns? Those guns are pausing long enough to re order themselves, before emptying their bellies into that fat ripe target. It'd be like one lone hornet stinging out madly at all them rocks being chunked at them in the air. Even in Hell, you gotta kick against th' walls if you wanna make it. And that is what the Cerberus is going to do.

Tillman looks to Michael as he gives the orders. "Already on it, sir." He then looks to Nav. "Start the clock. Thirty seconds to jump," he calls out and looks to Kulko. "Mark it, son. Thirty seconds for the other two on my mark. Ready… Hack!" The jump clock flashes up on the DRADIS display and he picks up the intercom..

[Intercom] Tillman says, "Attention all hands! Prepare to jump in Two-Five Seconds. This is the final call."

[Into the Wireless] Kulko comes over the channel. "Corsair, Praetorian, this is Cerberus. FTL in three-zero seconds, mark." A moment's pause. "See you on the other side."

As the Cerberus finally breaks free of the moor's, at a cost that one can't even fathom, Michael lifts a hand to rub lightly at the side of his temple. When the vibrations of detaching finally cease, he's turning his head to Tillman and giving a simple nod, "I want all department heads to do a tally on their crew's. Find out how many got left behind. Same thing goes for the MP's and the Civilians." There's a look to the viewport. To the carnage and dismay that couldn't be stopped or explained at this point.

Marko arrives from Deck 7 Corridor.
Julie arrives from Deck 7 Corridor.

"Aye, sir." Tillman confirms it just before the jump. His face is red and angry. Luckily he's keeping his temper out of his voice and actions. "Ensign Kulko. I want you to get tallies on Support, Medical, and Engineering. I will get everyone else. And don't settle for broad guesses. We need firm numbers." He settles the phone down and looks back to Abbot. "Any other orders, sir?" Tillman looks like he might be ready to on his own.

Kulko responds quickly, "Aye, sir," and moves to one of the auxiliary phones.

"In person, Ensign," Tillman says a little softer. "You're talking about people in their departments who are potentially killed." He motions towards the hatch. "Go."

Julie steps into the CIC in her flightsuit still on, her hair in a bit of a disarray as she walks in with Marko. Approaching Michael, she salutes crisply, "Lieutenant Julie Walker, Sir. Ensign Scaurus and I are here on orders from the CAG." Motioning with one hand to Marko and the package he is carrying, "We have an isolated copy of the virus or whatever it was that attacked our systems on the Raptors and Vipers." She forces a smile, "Thought you boys might like to take a peek at what brought all of our defenses down and find a way to counter it when we meet up with the rest of the fleet." At least she hopes there was a fleet to meet up with.

Michael was just about to answer Tillman when Julie and Marko make their entrance. An almost irritated look is offered to the two and Michael doesn't return the salute as he looks back over towards Tillman, "Take what ever it is the Lieutenant has and find out what the Frak is going on. Something just disabled thousands of birds and twenty seven battlestars. Then, make sure our systems are cleaned."
From afar, Quinn (Maggie) nods. I think we got that from reports/the Nukes…

Hellicon looks to Julie and speaks. "Bootstrap was on the horn about something slong those line. How did you get a copy isolated out from a computer?"

Tillman looks from Julie to Michael and seems a bit confused. He peers to the pilot. "I thought all your systems crashed out. But.." He shrugs and follows orders. "I want you to get with Lieutenant Oberlin about that and see what he can do with it. For now, secure it with the Marines. Understood?"

For his part, Marko just salutes as crisply as he can, given his somewhat disheveled state after being in the air for what's got to be the wildest ride in his young life. "Sir, if it's a virus, which I have every reason to suspect it is, given the way it affected our systems." he addresses Helicon. "Then the commands our Raptor recieved from the enemy _have_ to be on the drive, sir." he explains crisply, in the manner of someone who knows what he's talking about. "It's not isolated, sir. But the code _has_ to be here. We didn't dump the drive, sir. We shut it down in-flight and rebooted from the firmware on each individual system."

Hellicon nods. "Gutsy call, especially in the middle of a furball," he says, recalling his Flight Engineering protocols from when he was still flying. "Might want to have the comms telemetry checked as well, that might tell us how it got transmitted and loaded into the systems."

Michael now turns his gaze in the direction of the Lieutenant and Ensign, his brow lifting ever so slightly, "I don't like to operate off of assumptions, Ensign. Guessing will get us no where." Straightening from his position over the plotting table, his hands move to clasp behind his back, "For all we know, this could be a system design problem. So, lets keep speculation off the table until we know -exactly- what we are dealing with." Oh, the Admiral appears to be none to happy and it shows as he looks back to Tillman, "Deal with this, Captain. We have people qualified to analyze this stuff, including some civilians. I don't care if they object, put them to work."

Julie lets Marko finish his explanation and states, "It was a complete shutdown of our systems, I swear I saw some kind of light from the silver ships, I could be wrong it was confusing out there. Basically though, we hard reset all of our systems and it seemed to do the trick." She pauses and then adds, "If I was to make a guess? If they re-transmitted the signal or activation, we would have been dead again. We should get our computer systems isolated, if it's cylons, firewalls won't stop them."

Tillman looks from Michael to the Raptor crew. "Secure it, Lieutenant, and make sure nobody touches it. Then find Lieutenant Oberlin - our intelligence officer. He will involve the people who need to be. Then you can make the report. Understood?" Tillman doesn't look like he's in a mood for much of anything right now as he takes a few steps towards the hatch. "Right now I need to clear wounded and departments. Sir," he nods to Abbot. "With your permission?"

Hellicon nods slowly and looks to the Admiral. "Sir? I've got experience with Aeronautical Engineering, if you would like, I can work on the premise of a design flaw and see what comes up. If it is, we'll have to do some serious work to resolve the issues and implement whatever we come up with."

"She's absolutely right, sir. CNP literally ate itself in one gulp." Marko adds, fidgeting under all of this high-level scrutiny on one little Ensign fresh out of ECO school. "I used to write viruses once upon a time, sir." he says, finding a little more confidence once he's in an arena he understands. "That's what they're designed to do. I can't speak to how it's transmitted, but it has to be a virus. No other logical explanation fits, sir"

Hellicon's question is heard, but for the moment the Admiral's attention seems to be directed on the two members of the Air Wing. A fist balls up and he knocks it lightly on the top of the plotting table. "The last time I checked, I was not invisible. As well, the last time I checked, I was still in charge of this vessel. I've already said it once, in that we will not make assumptions on this." His attention turns back to Tillman now, giving the man a nod, "Do so, Captain, and take the Lieutenant and Ensign with you and return them to the CAG, please." It's only now that he's looking back towards Hellicon, "Get with Engineering, Captain, and see if they can make use of you."

Julie is about ready to get the hell out of the CIC, offering the mandatory salute and giving Marko and Hellicon the look that says, 'Let's get frakkin' moving.'.

Tillman doesn't look any happier than Abbot at the moment, his own face turning red. He waits until the Admiral has finished and looks like he might drill holes in the the aircrew. "You have orders to secure that piece of equipment with the Marines and contact Lieutenant Oberlin! I suggest you frakking do it! NOW!" That anger that's been building like steam in a pipe finally lets go with the last word. The veins in his neck bulge. He thenwatches them go and follows them out.

Hellicon nods. "Aye sir," he says as he clears his panel and removes his headset, and makes a beeline to the hatch…

Marko snaps off a letter-perfect salute. "Admiral, sir!" he calls, then peels out of there nearly fast enough to leave a vapor trail. "If we wind up scrubbing heads for this, we are using _your_ toothbrush, Easy." he intones quietly as he hauls ass away from the Angry Senior Staff.

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