Armageddon Part Three
Posted on Sun Feb 25th, 2018 @ 2:24pm by Captain Thaddeus Scott
Edited on on Sat Sep 11th, 2021 @ 8:05pm
The Day The Bombs Fell
Location: Battlestar Solaria
Timeline: Day 1 at 1130 Hours
The air was thick and the sounds of groaning and weeping could be heard above an eerie silence. He put his face in his left hand, and when he pulled it back, he saw a trail of blood on it. She was injured, but that didn’t matter at the moment. Pulling himself to his feet in the flickering lights of the room, he moved around the table to help the CO and XO to their feet. When he got there, however, he knew it was no use.
Thaddeus Scott stood in stunned silence as his eyes danced around the blood splattered along the right side of the command table. He followed the momentum down to the bloody head of the man who had not only been his commanding officer, but his friend. Beside his fallen superior, the Commander's (albeit secret) special someone. There, in a large puddle of blood, Commander Martin West and his XO, Amaris Kendall, lay lifeless. The Captain slowly bent down and reached out, brushing the hair from Kendall's face, he then took their hands in his and said a silent prayer to the Gods before gently placing their hands in each others. Rising to his feet, he let out a snuffle and wiped his nose on the sleeve of his now-filthy-uniform. He looked around and saw many other bodies littered on the deck, but several others milling about trying to wake them and crying out in pain and loss.
This is it; I can’t do this. I can’t lose them and I can’t command this Battlestar. We’re going going to die. We’re all going to die.
Just as these thoughts filled his head, he stared down at his hands, which were covered in the CO’s blood. It was then that he spotted a small object sitting on the floor beside his fallen comrade, the XO. Picking it up, he found it to be a cherrywood designer pocket knife which was now covered in blood. He remembered the day the XO had come aboard. They had chatted with her father, who had given it to Kendall. It was the day she had become a razor.
“If you can, be this, for as long as you have too...” he said, the Admiral's voice echoing in his memory.
He looked up, placing the blade on the command table and stepping over the CO to lean against the lit surface. He looked around at the weeping crew, completely unfocused.
“Everyone get up and get to your frakking stations.” he said coldly, the tears on his face seeming to have no effect on his resolve. People looked around at him, confused and still leaning over their dead friends. “Their DEAD!” he announced loudly to them. “But we’re not. Not yet. So get the frak up and get to your stations right now.”
The crew in CIC moved as they were ordered, no less sad, but doing as they were told.
Thaddeus took a deep breath before he spoke again. “Someone tell me where we are.”
There was silence among the living as they worked, trying to do as much as possible to support their new commanding officer in the wake of West’s death. Sorrow filled eyes scanned documents, consoles and workstations.
“According to DRADIS we are exactly where we should be. Outskirts of the Ouranos Asteroid Belt, near the Gas Giant Hera,” a voice confirmed eventually. “Less than a thousand kilometers to the Nogura Fleet Depot.”
For most in the room, that made the recent losses even worse – they had arrived at their destination, but not everyone had arrived with them.
Lieutenant Zaira Garcia, blood dripping from her own forehead, took the mantle of defacto XO now that she was the next most senior officer in the room. She stepped down towards the command table and looked at Captain Scott. “Orders, sir?”
He stood where West had stood only seconds before, covered in tears and his blood, but is face was even and cold. He looked across the command table and straight into the Lieutenant's eyes. “XO. He said simply. “Find us a place to lay low and commence with repairs. I also want a full status report on the double.”
After he had given his orders, he reached for the telephone on his side of the table and held it up to his lips. The tone rang out over the speakers.
“This is….this is Solaria Actual. Commander West is dead, as are several of our fellow soldiers. There will be time to grieve their loss when we are out of the woods, but for now, repairing this ship and getting back into the fight is the objective of each and every one of us. So whoever you are, whatever you’re doing, I want you to pick yourselves up, dust off, and get this Battlestar up and running. We’re going to make these frakking toasters pay for what they’ve done to us. Actual out.” with anger, he slammed the phone back down in its place.
While Actual had been talking, Zaira had been looking at a chart of the asteroid field that had been on one of the aft tables from prior to the attack and had devised a plan. “Captain,” she spoke, drawing the new CO’s attention to her task. “I’m pretty sure that the best place to situate ourselves would be here,” she pointed to an area on the map near to the largest asteroid. “The Fleet Depot is offline, silent. No sign of life or that the Cylons know it is there. If we position ourselves within the largest asteroid and power down engines and other systems, we should remain undetected. The asteroid is stationary, so we don’t even need to worry about drifting,” she revealed, looking at him with as much optimism as she could. She wanted to do him proud and make sure they did the Commander proud too.
Scott looked at her as she spoke and then, when she was finished, he turned around to face the helm officers and nodded. “Get those coordinates from Lieutenant Garcia and take us there as quickly as possible. I don’t want us caught with our pants down.” He then turned around and spoke more generally. “What’s our status at the moment? Our systems and our security; we can worry about the body count once we’re tucked inside the asteroid.”
Garcia looked over at the damage control display on the side bulkhead and decided to take another look. What she was presented with did not make good reading. “It’s not looking good sir,” she frowned as she began declaring the systems offline. “FTL, aft damage control, environmental controls, main turrets, power generators on lower decks, launch tubes,” she paused as she looked back at the commanding officer, “hell, even the galley is offline. We have a minimal security team because most of them had shipped out for reassignment. We don’t even have a Master at Arms. Security is going to be a bitch,” she concluded as she returned to the command table and folded her arms across his chest.
“I’m putting you in charge of the census once we’re in place, Lieutenant. I want to know who we’ve got still alive. Let’s activate any marines we have and get them on the job.” Having said that, he heaved a heavy sigh and a long moment of silence passed. His heart was heavy and being an unfeeling robot was easier for her than dealing with the emotions right now.
He turned around and looked at the helmsmen. “ETA.”
“We should be in position in 43 seconds, sir.” Came the sad, but diligent reply.
“Very good.” he said, turning back to the table. “XO. Prepare the ship for system shut-downs and repairs.”
The new XO lifted the nearby telephone receiver and held it to her mouth, nervous about her first message to the crew as XO. She soon bit the bullet and let instinct take over. “This is the XO. Standby to power down non-essential systems and rig for silent running. MARDET report to CIC for orders. All personnel, commence damage reports and repairs. XO out," she ended the message and looked at her boss. “If you’ll excuse me, I should get to it,” and with a nod, she set off to get to grips with her task.