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Posted on 08/19/2019 @ 2:20am by Colonel Celeste Porter & Lieutenant Colonel Tyrus Craine & Major Hamilton Stockwell & Captain Arthur Theron & Lieutenant JG Finn Kidane

Mission: 1 - Twilight
Location: CIC
Timeline: MD 01 - 2200 Z

“Pardon me saying what we’re all thinking sir, but this is absolutely fracked.” Harbeck sighed. “We’re at war, and we’re being forced to hide out on an old junker of a Battlestar and just...what? Hope the Cylons don’t get a wild hair up their collective asses and check out the ship graveyard?”

Celeste grunted, and shot a look at the pilot, as well as the others in tow, and replied, as calmly as she could muster, “Better than being shot out of the sky. And from the sounds of it, it isn’t much of a war if everyone’s already been hit. At least if they do get here we can all jump out...provided the FTL drive still works anyway.”

They rounded the corridor, Artemis’ dimly lit CIC directly in front of them. A man was standing over the DRADIS table, and a few were milking around running cables, and activating consoles.

She cleared her throat, and announced, “Colonel Celeste Porter...and a bunch of other people I guess, reporting. Where’s Actual?”

Tyrus tilted his head up from the intense glare he had on the DRADIS table, watching for any Cylon contacts. As his head rose to meet the gaze of the Colonials before him he introduced himself, "Lieutenant Colonel Tyrus Craine. Sorry about the state of the sh--"

He paused. A familiar face. Very familiar.

"Celeste?" Craine raised an eyebrow and smirked. "It took the apocalypse for us to meet, again."

She visibly relaxed, and chuckling for a brief moment, said “You know when they said Craine I’ve never put 2 and 2 together. Despite the Gods damned terrible circumstances, it’s nice to see a familiar face, Tyrus.”

She canted her head upward toward the DRADIS console, and said, “Well, we’re clear for the moment. Gods know how long that’ll last. What the frack can this old girl do for us, if push comes to shove?”

"I've got people working on getting the engineering sections up and running. Overall, the Artemis is in far better shape than most of the other ships in this hunk yard. Her hull is sturdy, and the systems are functioning, but it would take a lot of work to get her truly combat-ready and back to one hundred percent. At least a few weeks. But if push comes to shove... she could hold her own, as long as you're okay with the antiquated systems," Craine sighed lightly, knowing that push was almost certainly going to come to shove.

"Antiquated systems may just save our collective asses, when it comes to it," Celeste replied with a shrug. "Anything we can do to cannibalize some munitions from the other buckets in the yard?"

"I can scrounge a list together. A couple extra Vipers and Raptors wouldn't hurt, either. It won't be much of anything in this yard, but its better than nothing," Craine smirked. "We can reroute some of the incoming people to those ships for quick pickups."

Commotion near the main entry stirred. The deckplates rattled with new footfalls. Three sets of them. A slightly disheveled middle-aged looking man in a rumpled, singed uniform was the first.

He snapped a neat salute despite a schleppy quality to him: the man had thinning hair and kind eyes, which shifted to Craine as well, "Sirs. Lieutenant Ranulph Marshall, Weapons Control aboard the Cardia." He reached back and guided the shy-seeming young man with a black eye, bloody nose and a bruised cheek to the step below. The thin youth with the frizzy hair snapped a salute. Ranulph wrapped his hands top the youth's shoulders almost protectively, "This is Junior Lieutenant Finn Kidane, Tactical." He chin jutted behind and to his side, "Medic Joachim Siskas." The man nodded and eased a more casual salute. Ranulph turned to look at the two, "Permission to come aboard."

"Granted," Celeste said with a nod. "Find a bunk to secure whatever gear you have, and see where you can lend a hand. Especially your medic."

Hamilton could make out people saluting through the dimly lit CIC. He had arrived just after the trio of beat-up nuggets walked in. He didn't recognize anyone. He heard someone say the word 'Medic' and instinctively sighed with relief. At least someone was around to fix up any wounded. Eventually Ham stepped forward, using his fist to knock on the metal plating of a console. "Major Hamilton Stockwell, at your service... sirs." He muscled up a short but pious salute.

“Welcome aboard,” Celeste replied with a curt nod. “Feel free to grab a rack to stow whatever gear you have, or if you wanna toss it in the pile over there, you can help us in the CIC...presuming you’re CIC trained anyway, Major.”

Ham nodded, slightly perturbed at the suggestion that he wasn't CIC trained. He smiled, with full teeth, and saluted playfully. "Yessir. I'm trained to pilot one of these bad boys believe it or not. I'll start checking our maneuvering systems in case we need to get into the clear." He made his way over to the helm systems dropping some of his gear off at his feet.

Theron wasn't more than a few steps behind the new arrivals, and stepped up to the DRADIS table. "Captain Theron - Lockdown," he introduced himself; though he'd interacted with most of them over comms, he'd come face to face with none of them before. It wasn't protocol to introduce himself by his callsign in such a situation, but it seemed it might prove necessary context. "I've left my pilots down on the flight deck, and started to rustle together a makeshift deck crew out of the maintenance teams. The birds are being refueled as we speak, so if trouble shows up, we should be fit to launch ASAP."

“Nice to put a face to the name, Captain. Keep your pilots on alert. I have a feeling we will eventually end up being a target.”

Turning her attention back to Craine, she continued, “I’d like to plot a couple of emergency jumps, if we can. Let’s try to avoid anything that screams Colonial target, for obvious reasons. A nice nebula or something somewhere.”

"I think I know a guy who can do that," Craine smirked. "We also have a few hidden supply depots, as well. But I'd recommend we steer clear of them until we have the lay of the land. I'm sure the Cylons are anticipating that; we should probably even steer clear of Ragnar."

Celeste snorted, and replied “You couldn’t pay me enough to try Ragnar right now. I’m sure the place is a fracking battleground. No, we’ll need to cannibalize what we can here and go from there.”

The trio from the Cardia meanwhile put themselves to work. Siskas had disappeared as per Porter's request to keep busy. Finn tried not to think about what the man was getting in to. This had long since stopped feeling like a bad dream that one could crouch in a corner and will oneself to wake up from. "Finn," Ranulph muttered to him. The youth looked up, glanced away at the realness of eye contact and back. "We need time. We're short on personnel, ammo, fuel, everything I imagine. Start coming up with ways we can buy ourselves more of it."

Finn considered that and moved toward the DRADIS, already a crowded field with bodies. "Hera has the largest electromagnetic interference field in the entire quaternary system. If we hang at one of the poles within say... the thermosphere... that'll leave the worst weather deeper down. We can use the ionized environment as a cloak to..." he sighed and tucked his lips together, "Whatever their DRADIS system is. It still works on the same principle."

Celeste spun on her heels, and said, “Kidane, was it? Hera’s a good call, I hadn’t even thought of that. Can you work with Colonel Craine to plot a jump there? It’s gotta be as accurate as possible.”

"All right, kid," Craine said as he moved to the FTL station, Finn quickly in tow. As they both assumed their respective positions at the station Craine asked, "What do you know about FTL?"

"Just what I was taught..." there was a short pause before he finally managed to spurt out "You?"

"Well, I wrote the book on it."

Craine began punching some commands into the station while Finn was unsure what to make of Tyrus' joke. The younger officer looked at Colonel Porter, hoping for a tell on how to react. But her face, having overheard the conversation, gave away her knowledge that the joke was, in fact, no joke.

Finn straightened his posture slightly, "Yes, sir."

"Start working on the distance calculations. I'm nearly done adjusting for gravitational displacements in the system," Craine submitted before turning his attention back to the colonel. "We should take as many spare FTL parts as we can from the other ships here, as well. The ships foundry won't be able to manufacture many of the parts too easily."

“Or at all, I’d imagine,” Celeste responded. “And we’re going to need some techs and engineers before we can even think about that anyway.”

Sighing and rubbing her face, she slapped her cheeks lightly, and continued, “Okay. Let’s get some Raptor crews to start scavenging what we can from the other ships in the yard. Let’s make other Valkyries the preference but...beggars, choosers, et cetera. Any chatter on the radio?”

"Nothing that sounds good," Craine said with some solace. "I'd suggest we hurry and get out of here before we're noticed."

Ham chimed in with a wave over from the helm station. "I can volunteer to take some raptors out for scavenging if necessary!"

Celeste wheeled her head in the man's direction, and replied, "So ordered. Nearest ships first. Take 3 Raptors, EVA suits, and let's try to scavenge as much as possible. You have an hour."

"I'll keep an active CAP, but I can supply some further raptor pilots," Lockdown confirmed, scratching at the zip on his flight suit. "Do we have the personnel for this ship, though? I know we don't want to draw attention to ourselves, but do we have any reliable encryptions we can use to get any fleeing personnel to meet us at a rendezvous on our way out, something we can scope out with a raptor in case of trouble? We're going to need all the help we can get." He waved a hand demonstratively to Ham and Finn, escapees to the graveyard.

"We do," Celeste replied. "And I'm of the same mind. Let's get as many people as we can aboard those Raptors to scavenge as much as we can from the graveyards. Colonel Craine and I will stay in the CIC and work out how we can get some...somewhat reliable encrypted messages out there to see if we can pick up any more stragglers."

Looking around the ragged crew, she exhaled, and said, "Go."


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