"ONE OF THE OLDEST IF NOT ALREADY THE OLDEST ORGANIZATION FOR BATTLESTAR GALACTICA"
KEEPING THE FAITH ALIVE
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Flight of the Raven
This is the story of how the Battlestar Raven escaped the Fall of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol.
High above the Colony of Aerilon, two fleets are intertwined. The planet's vibrant colors outline the stark silhouettes of two Battlestars, accompanied by escorts and trainee vessels. Between the two imposing giants, squadrons of vipers are caught in the intricate dances of battle. Markers flare up, blank shots explode on impeccable armor, where the most daring pilots compete not a wingspan apart.
During the war-game exercises, the CIC of Battlestar Raven remains calm and silent. The occasional chatter of pilots is interrupted by orders and maneuvering directions, as the course of battle unfolds on DRADIS screens. For the purpose of maneuvering exercises, all networked systems have been deactivated and run a complex simulation under the close supervision of the admiral. It takes a printed note, handed to her from the communications officer, to relay news addressed to her from beyond the battlefield.
She is the first to learn that bombs have fallen.
By the time the admiral has read these lines, the pilots are blinded by a cascade of flashing light far below. Explosions like red, blossoming flowers, erupt from within the atmosphere. Sirens howl, the chatter of the simulation dies, there are screams from those few who see it with their own eyes – Aerilon is burning.
Through the aether echo panicking messages from the Guardian Fleet, then suddenly, their voices fall silent.
Humanity's children are returning home.
(Vote using the following link: https://www.strawpoll.me/16335805 )
“This is the admiral. We just received word that a Cylon Attack against our homeworlds is underway. We do not know the size or the disposition or the strength of the enemy forces. But all indications point to a massive assault against colonial defenses. Picon Fleet Headquarters is not responding, there is no word of the Guardian Fleet. Our readings indicate thermonuclear detonations on Aerilon moments ago. The planetary defenses appear unresponsive.”
I. Action Stations!
We must take action immediately, set a course to intercept. All ships will maneuver into attack positions, all combat systems will be brought back online.
The Colonial Fleet does not back down!
II. Tactical Retreat
Something is clearly not right. The Guardian Fleet should not have fallen so quickly. The defenses would not have let bombs past. Whatever ruse the Cylons used, we must not fall victim to it as well!
Send all vessels capable of atmospheric flight down immediately. We must save all we can from the surface!
All remaining ships will stand guard and hold off the enemy for as long as they can.
So Say We All
Option 2 sounds like the most logical choice,until we get definitive intel from all of the colonies;Send A raptor to each colony to assess the situation of each.
I have cast my vote! I cant wait to see what is decided!
Moments before the Cylon Attack begins, the Raven conducts large-scale maneuvering exercises near the colony of Aerilon. Trainee ships and escorts accompany the mighty Battlestar, all oblivious to the horrors to come.
(full sized image here) (assets contributed by Kelso323)
A huge Thank You to all who have participated so far!
The first Choice Poll will draw to a close on this weekend and the story will be progressed, offering the next opportunity to vote next week.
The story continues...
The Decision of the Group: TACTICAL RETREAT
Attention fleet! This is Raven Actual, all vessels prepare to jump to emergency coordinates immediately.
Claxons scream as condition one is set throughout the ship. Red lights flicker in the CIC, systems are rebooting, the jump-drive charges up. On both ends of the central table, the admiral and commander look up to DRADIS monitors.
Vipers and Raptors are racing the clock, rushing toward the glowing hangar bays. Thrusts of their engines glow before Raven's massive bow, as it turns away from the approaching enemy. The Cylon light awakes. A red glare, sweeping across the formation of colonial vessels. Sirens sing and die down, the backdoor has opened.
It hits those who are combat ready. The Vipers of Gunstar Ispolin fall suddenly silent. Beyond control, they hurtle into the vessel spinning helplessly, shattering against unyielding armor. More escorts experience mass systems failure, their engines unresponsive, weapons and communications falling victim to the invisible force.
Others are in luck. Aboard the Raven, simulated systems register the intruding data streams coming from the raiders inbound, but they are not connected to real hardware aboard. The systems engineer does not hesitate. As he rips all cables from the console, a manual jump is initiated. The XO sets the clock – twenty seconds.
Cylon Bombs set the sky aflame. Nuclear blasts drown the firmament in blinding white and with it many ships by the Raven's side. Their silhouettes sketched in black against the light, disintegrate and finally disappear. Even the giant is shaken.
The Raven sways under a barrage of impacting missiles, bulkheads buckle and bend, the ship creaks under pressure. But its spine cannot be broken. In a sudden flash of lightning, the Battlestar disappears, following others who managed to jump away.
No-one dares to look down at burning Aerilon, where the fallout of a hundred bombs blankets the weeping and pleas of a dying world. Colonial emergency signals, automated messages, and a billion voices are sent against the stars, guiding further bombs of the Cylons and silenced, one by one. The golden-green marble grows gray as the fields of Aerilon wilt.
(Vote using the following link https://www.strawpoll.me/16401489 )
Hestia Anchorage lies in ruins.
When the Raven reaches the appointed coordinates, it is alone, surrounded by the wreckage of an entire Battle Group and the Anchorage station itself. Its massive carcass is bent and broken, the glowing lights of it shine no more.
There are two priorities at hand:
We have to learn how the Cylon could cause mass-systems-failure in so many of our vessels and how to prevent it.
We must recover as many survivors and ships as possible.
The longer we stay undetected, the better are the chances for our systems specialists to identify the Cylon backdoor and render it harmless. However, few colonial vessels will find us, if we take no additional action.
1.) Run Silent (5% chance of detection)
Among all this wreckage, we can easily hide by powering down all primary systems. By running silent, we'll minimize the risk of the Cylons detecting us, but we'll also have to rely on intel and colonial forces to find us on their own. This offers the best chance for the Raven to discover the Cylon Backdoor and render it harmless.
2.) Covert Search & Rescue (25% chance of detection)
Others of our Battle Group must be out there – and there may be survivors trapped inside the shipwrecks and the station. We can send out covert raptors to seek out other vessels hiding and rescuing as many survivors and orphaned vipers as possible. This guarantees additional assets for the Raven, but increases the chance of detection.
3.) A signal and Rescue Operations(45% chance of detection)
Our Comms-Officer is confident she can relay an untraceable signal via several satellites of the colonial network, to reach out to as many remaining colonial units as possible. This will allow us to reach all remaining units and survivors near Hestia Anchorage. At the same time, there's a significant chance the Cylons will detect us.
Run silent,until it has been confirmed that the cylons are not using the CNP program to tap into our communications
Status Update: Attention Fleet!
The poll for our stay at Hestia Anchorage will remain open for this week. You are invited to participate until then!
Into the swirling clouds of Hestia descends another ship, alone Gunstar among the wreckage of many colonial vessels. At last, the Raven is not alone, but in careful consideration, both vessels maintain radio silence. Lighting flickers from the bow of Gunstar Deimos, sending morse code messages to the recovering Battle Group.
Their arrival is met with applause in the Raven CIC. For once, good news comes from the outside world. The commander stands silently amid a field of disemboweled consoles and loose cabling. All stations have been ordered to disconnect the computer systems, the crew rips the insides of the Battlestar apart, rendering it immune to Cylon trickery with their systems. Gunstar Deimos is instructed to do the same. One more ship prepares to fight back the onslaught of humanity's children.
Ogre quickly reports: " I'm picking up the Trireme on DRADIS... they seem to be OK"
Then, Over the speakers: "Trireme to Raven, this is Leonidas, we got bracketed around A bit,but we're good; Light casualties so far...."
The story continues...
The Decision of the Group: COVERT SEARCH & RESCUE
- Raven Actual, this is Battlestar 359 Vindication, we have arrived
- Gunstar Alcaeus reporting in
- Flak Escort Ravener, all stations ready
- Trireme to Raven, this is Leonidas...
The fleet is reporting in. One after another, DRADIS contacts appear in the nebulae of Hestia. colonial vessels, scattered and few, draw together around the remnants of the Anchorage station.
There are escorts and traineeships of Raven's maneuver Battle Group, Clippers returning from patrol, orphaned raptors and support vessels from Battle Groups overrun. Two Battlestars made it in time. The Vindication, still in fighting condition, and the old Kharon, damaged beyond repair.
Covert raptors managed to bring a sizable battle group together, Raven's reserves are restocked with a dozen recovered Vipers and countless spare parts are brought aboard. The work keeps the crew busy, they and a thousand souls returned from the devastating battlefield. There is left no chance to think, to grief nor falter.
Time is running out. Every second, millions die at the hands of the invading force. The weight of the world rests on the specialist aboard the Raven. She has identified the CNP backdoor at fault, removed all trace of it from the systems. Orders are given to all ships to disconnect their systems, set all stations to manual duty.
The fleet brought together is eager to fight, in their hearts burns the desire to finally retaliate.
(see the full image here)
Vote here: https://www.strawpoll.me/16488866
The Fleet is ready. Under Raven's leadership, two combat-ready Battlestars and a dozen support ships are prepared to fight. Where will we retaliate?
1. Aerilon's Vengeance
Even when all cities are leveled and the skies are burning, the will of Aerilon cannot yet be broken. There are hidden nuclear weapons silos, equipment caches and fall-back points for the marines.
We will engage the enemy here, at our home, and send strike-teams down to recover and reactivate as much as possible.
Striking at Aerilon, the Raven will face a superior enemy force but we can hope for assistance from surviving surface-installations. We will gain significant reinforcements from the Colonial Marines HQ.
2. Last Stand of the Colonial Fleet
There is word of a counteroffensive led by Battlestar Atlantia under Admiral Nagalas command. As it stands, their forces will likely be disabled and destroyed before we reach the battlefield. Nevertheless, if we want to partake in the last stand of the colonial fleet – this is our chance.
Partaking in the Last Stand of the Colonial Fleet, the Raven will face overwhelming enemy forces. However, more than forty colonial Battle Groups will be present there as well, potentially capable of fighting back.
3. Rescue of Aquaria
Reports of fleeing patrol-craft indicate only a minor Cylon Force dispatched to the frozen world Aquaria. As it is the smallest colony, only a token force was sent to bomb the colony. We can make it there quickly and hope to rescue much of the remaining population settling on the “ice colony”.
Striking at Aquaria, the Raven will face an inferior enemy force, provided this is not an ambush. However, once we rescued as many civilians as possible from Aquaria in a rag-tag fleet, combat operations will be no longer feasible for this Chapter.
Important note regarding Option 2: The Raven cannot fundamentally change the canon curse of events and somehow “win” this last stand. However, this option offers a chance for the Raven to be part of this historical event and perhaps let a few more colonial vessels escape.
This is a hard choice! I love the story so far, great job!