Phase One - Shadows

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    Ethan Knight
    O-6 Colonel
    O-6 Colonel

    Number of posts : 221
    Age : 29
    Location : Salem, VA
    Registration date : 2008-10-18

    Phase One - Shadows

    Post  Ethan Knight on Sat Dec 27, 2008 4:36 am

    Ethan let out a soft grunt as he opened his eyes. A dim amber light illuminated the CIC as alarms, sparks and smoke filled the air with a chaotic vibe. Pushing himself onto all fours, he shook his head in an attempt to get the weird aftereffects of the FTL jump out of his head. Using the command table for leverage, he pulled himself into a standing position and took a look at the DRADIS screen, only to find it offline. Turning around, he saw that a majority of the monitors in the CIC were displaying nothing but blank screens.

    "Sit-" he started but suddenly stopped as he covered his mouth and started coughing. When he stopped he took a deep breath and pulled his hand away from his mouth. "SitRep."

    Ream looked as if he was in a daze before shaking his head and manning his station. Finding the monitor offline, he looked around briefly before going to another monitor across the room. After a brief diagnostic, Ream turned around to look at Ethan. "Main power is offline. Backup generators are only working at 50% capacity."

    "What's the cause of the blackout?" Ethan asked as he helped a crewman to his feet.

    "Unknown sir. Internal communications are offline, so we haven't heard anything from engineering."

    Ethan slowly rolled his neck in an attempt to relieve the stress and tightness on it from staring up at the DRADIS screen.

    "Very well," he said turning to Sola. "Head down to engineering and find out what's going on."


    _________________

    "Once you clue into the fact that life is finite, the thought of losing it doesn't scare you anymore. The end comes no matter what, the only thing that matters is how do you wanna go out, on your feet or on your knees?"
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    Elena Vance
    O-4 Captain
    O-4 Captain

    Number of posts : 256
    Age : 28
    Registration date : 2008-10-24

    Re: Phase One - Shadows

    Post  Elena Vance on Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:27 pm

    "Damn...", Elena murmured, holding her helmet under her arm, just having climbed out of her Viper, her heart clenched in fear and shock but her face showing nothing but amazement. "It looked a lot nicer around here before I left."

    She was barely able to see anything, as there was nothing left but flashlights and emergency lighting. Still, it was enough to expose the damage on the hangar deck alone; she smelled the smoke and blood that was filling the air everywhere on this ship. And though she wasn't the most cynical person, this trait of her just came up. After all, cynism was a means of self-protection for everyone who had to face horrible things every day. Such as doctors. Or soldiers. A serious mind could not live through this without taking damage.

    Bottom line was that, at this point, in this situation, all of them were at risk to go mad once they cooled down, washed the adrenalin out and had time to think about their situation. Maybe the CO should order the Doc to fill some dopamine into the air-filtration-system, make the whole crew high and happy for the time being.

    "Deckhand", she addressed a nearby technician. He looked bad, not only stressed. His face and jumpsuit were darkened from a fire and he even had a small laceration, much like her own.

    He didn't seem to noticed that somebody was talking to him. His eyes were vacant, tears seemed to stream down his cheeks, glistening in the twilight.
    Elena dropped her helmet and it hit the floor with a piercing clang, as if the ceiling had come crashing down. That got her his attention, aswell as that of at least a dozen others.

    "Petty Officer, would you mind giving me a sitrep?", she spoke, trying to sound calm and composed.

    "Sir... It seems that we are running on backup generators. We haven't heard much from other parts of the ship, communication's down. And there seem to be breaches and fires, many dead and wounded..."

    "Where's the Chief?"

    "I don't know. Somewhere. The elevators don't work properly under these circumstances. Or they stopped working at all, I don't know. It's-"

    "A mess, I know." She took a deep breath and thought hard about what to do. And it wasn't hard to see the obvious problem of lacking manpower. But pilots were neither technicians, nor paramedics. And everybody had to work out their own losses. Still...

    "Do me a favor, will you?"
    He nodded slowly.
    "Tell every pilot you can find that they may or may not help out, depending on their own talents and how fit they feel. Understood?"

    "Yes, sir."

    "Carry on", she said, with an almost gentle voice.

    A strange way to give an order. To tell them that they can help, if they want to. But on the other hand... They're tired, weak, some may be traumatized. I bet that several of them lost both their families and all of their friends today, just a couple of minutes ago. And some may want to occupy themselves, work to exhaustion, while others just couldn't stand that pressure right now.

    While thinking this, Elena started walking.

    But I've got my own duties. For example meeting the LSO and asking her, how many of my pilots have survived...


    _________________


    I have seen the evil I've unleashed, my dreams consumed by fear...

    Alexander Sola
    O-1 Ensign
    O-1 Ensign

    Number of posts : 97
    Age : 30
    Location : Welwyn Garden City
    Registration date : 2008-10-24

    Re: Phase One - Shadows

    Post  Alexander Sola on Mon Dec 29, 2008 1:35 am

    The usual gut retching feeling of the FTL jump came almost as quickly as it had appeared, leaving Alex to deal with what was left of the CIC. The amber lighting cast an eerie shadow over the wreckage of the once spotless room. Trying to access the ships systems through his panel, Alex kept an ear open to listen to what the Colonel and Mr. Ream were talking about.

    Frak this is bad Alex thought to himself as he heard the explanation of the ships status.

    "Head down to engineering and find out what's going on."

    Giving the Colonel a lose salute, Alex grabbed a flash light and headed out into the corridor. If he thought the CIC was a mess, then the rest of the ship was the city trash yard. Support beams, wall panels, broken glass and broken bodies filled the corridor’s that Alex was trying to walk through. Reaching the nearest elevator. A small red light sat blinking on the panel.



    ***Out of Order***



    "You don’t say…." He mumbled to himself. He continued to fight through the debris and the chaos, an urgent need to reach Main Engineering. He stopped for a second to think, why was he so worried about the Chief Engineer? He had only known her a day yet thought of not seeing her again filled him with an unshakable dread. After nearly 10 minutes of fights with doors and access ways he finally reached the corridor outside of Engineering. It was Hell. Fires were burning in the walls, blood and broken bodies in a thousand mutilated positions lined the floor and the debris. Fighting the vomit back into his stomach Alex reached the door and stumbled through as Major Woods ran into him.

    "Alex? Oh my gods, your still here. Thank the gods."

    Alex was taken back by her response.

    "I am but a lot of people aren’t. Why haven’t we got power?"

    Lou lead him over to the main command table and showed him a portion of the ships operating code.

    "We didn’t erase the CNP properly. It managed to hide enough of it’s program in the dormant FTL computer. When we spooled up it activated and bang it crippled the ship. We are damned lucky it did it on this end of the jump."

    "Yes we are. How are we doing in restoring the ship’s systems?"

    Pulling up a data pad that had just been put on the table in front of her, she looked at it then back up to Alex.

    "We have just managed to restore inter ship communication, but the power systems are another question. We are still trying to get rid of the CNP once we have we should be able to restore the power."

    "Keep at it Lou, I know you can do it. I need a phone."

    She passed him a portable comm unit and plugged it in to the ships system.

    "Sola to CIC. Communications systems have been restored inter ship. However they are having trouble getting rid of the CNP that caused the Blackout."

    Alex heard the usual click as the Call went through and he awaited a reply.


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    John Nagala
    O-2 Lieutenant Junior Grade
    O-2 Lieutenant Junior Grade

    Number of posts : 116
    Age : 27
    Location : Canada
    Registration date : 2008-10-19

    Re: Phase One - Shadows

    Post  John Nagala on Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:37 pm

    1423 - Battlestar Rhea
    Hangar Deck, Starboard Flight Pod


    John woke up quickly, his body suddenly jerking into a rigid position, as if he'd been caught slouching in church. He banged the top of his helmet against something hard. Looking up wearily, he noticed there was a large fuel line support beam smashed through the canopy of his Viper.

    "No frakking way," he muttered, finding it surprisingly hard to speak. "I get all the luck."

    He looked down at his oxygen meter and realized why he was finding it so hard to talk, clicked his helmet out of the seal and bent over to pull it off his head. Instantly he regretted the decision. The air in the hangar bay was harder to breathe than the low-oxygen. He inhaled a large waft of smoke, coughed, and tried again. His second breath was more reserved, but it still burned his throat.

    "Gods," he said, looking around and finally realizing his predicament. "How on Saggitaron did I get myself into this mess?"

    1349 - Battlestar Rhea
    Landing Deck, Starboard Flight Pod


    "Drifter, you're coming in a bit hot, don't you think?"

    "Shut up, Nitro. I know what I'm doing! ... I think."

    He slammed on the decelerator and really felt the kick of the fore thrusters pushing against the existing momentum of the ship. He knew it wouldn't stop him from hitting the deck hard, but he had little choice.

    "4... 3..." came Ream's voice over the wireless.

    John wanted nothing more than to break the comms officer's jaw if it would make him stop the countdown. He prayed that Phoenix was aboard the ship, but his gut just wasn't accepting that as an inevitability. He knew that he had abandoned her out there.

    "2..."

    He saw the deck coming up to welcome him and continued his attempt at decelerating, but his efforts were having little effect. All around him other Vipers were performing similar stunts. He wondered how many of them were coming home and how many had simply disappeared in the fight, never to be seen again. How many of the 195 pilots aboard the ship had made it through the fight?

    "1..."

    He felt the deck more than saw it, his helmeted head smacking down against the console in front of him with the sudden force. There was a loud ripping sound as something on the bottom of his Viper was torn off. There was a moment of complete silence. Then..

    "Commencing faster than light jump. Now."

    Space inverted itself around him and he could see and feel it stretching and bending for just a fraction of a second before a brilliant flash of light encompassed everything. If he had been able to scream, he would have. Then it was over. He was sitting in the Viper, same as he had been before, but now the star patterns he could see through the landing bay doors were different.

    "Frak me. Remind me not to do that again any time soon," he said absent-mindedly.

    "Yeah," said someone. He thought it was Nitro. "No shit, Drifter."

    It was Nitro.

    "Quit the chatter," came another voice. John recognized it as Heller - the leader of Black Squadron. So she'd made it.

    "We're going to have a lot of work to do. Everyone get your birds in and head for the ready room as fast as your legs will get you there..." she took a moment to reconsider. "If anyone is in desperate need of aid you should stop to help them, I guess. Otherwise, make for the ready room."

    There were a few grunts of agreement, but nothing else. Everyone had grown quiet. Even Nagala felt uncharacteristically solemn. He tried not to think of his family, his friends - well, what few of those he'd left with - as his Viper joined the slow procession towards the lift elevators.

    Then, all of a sudden, someone began humming the Colonial Anthem. Softly at first, but then the other pilots joined in. John felt tears strike against his eyes as he hummed but managed to keep them in. He felt like he might choke on his own throat but somehow he kept up with the tune.

    As it came to a finish, the pilot who'd started it gave a quiet, "Gods Bless the Twelve Colonies of Kobol and the men and women of the Colonies. Look to us now in our hour of need, Lords. We pray for mercy and for forgiveness in the light of your grace."

    "Amen," said another someone.

    "Amen," the rest of them agreed.

    1402 - Battlestar Rhea
    Hangar Deck, Starboard Flight Pod


    The lift elevator shunted cooperatively into place, despite the relatively uncooperative noise it made doing so. A few fires lit the immediate area, but it was clear main power was out. They probably had barely enough reserves to run the bare essentials, let alone the lift elevators, John realized. They were lucky. If power had been completely knocked out during the jump all the pilots would still be outside.

    He gulped.

    They would have all suffocated to death in their ships. None would have survived.

    "Pull it up over there," said a Deckhand into their mouthpiece as they walked along beside John's Viper. "Yeah, right there, next to the refueling station."

    Drifter gave the okay signal and rolled the Viper in the instructed direction, watched as the beam that held the refueling line away from the ground got closer and closer. As he finally pulled into place, he cracked his neck and spread out his hands in front of him, allowing his fingers a moment to stretch.

    "Like a glove," he said happily.

    Suddenly, someone cut into his moment of happiness with some devastating news.

    "Holy shit, everyone clear the area the fuel lines caught fire!"

    "What do you mean the fuel lines caught fire?!" someone else cried. "The whole ship'll go up!"

    "No, no, with power out tyllium has been contained to specific sections of the ship. With any luck, there might not even be any in there. We're just taking precautions."

    John looked around, bewildered by the sudden realization that he was sitting beside a ticking timebomb. He pressed the button to release the canopy and let him out when there was a sudden loud groan from the nearby fuel tank. The line over heard shook as he, and the others, stared in horror.

    "Oh, save me," he moaned.

    Then there was nothing.

    1425 - Battlestar Rhea
    Hangar Deck, Starboard Flight Pod


    John struggled to stand up between the large metal beam that invaded his Viper cockpit and the back wall of the cockpit itself. He was thin, and that worked to his advantage. Even so it was not easy going. He imagined Chuckles trying to squeeze out of a similar predicament and wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry.

    Finally he managed to get both arms over the beam and pull the rest of himself up and through. The effort had made him breathe faster, which was bad. As he pulled himself free, he began to pay attention to his surroundings. The entire hangar seemed to be in flames. It looked like something out of a nightmare.

    Deckhands ran back and forth with little canisters of fire suppressant, trying to put out of the flames that licked forth from various Viper cockpits. John tried to suppress the idea that there were still pilots in those ships as he grabbed hold of the beam and slid down it's length to the floor, spilling rather unceremoniously across the deck.

    The smoke was thicker down there and he coughed and sputtered a few times before he managed to stand up and get a gloved hand over his mouth. A yellow-clad Deckhand ran past him. He decided to follow. In this chaos he had no idea where the exit was, and he had as much likelihood of finding it that way as any other.


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    Layne Staley
    M-3 Master Sergeant
    M-3 Master Sergeant

    Number of posts : 56
    Age : 33
    Registration date : 2008-11-06

    Re: Phase One - Shadows

    Post  Layne Staley on Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:17 pm

    Layne awoke in a daze. He opened his right eye and scanned his surroundings for a few seconds before closing his eye again. He opened both eyes and saw his legs were under an access panel, while trying to shift it he discovered his right arm would not move. A small shard of metal protruded from it.

    "Great. Leave it in or take it out. Take it out."
    He thought.

    He ripped the bottom few inches of his shirt sleeve off with his teeth, reached into his pocket and grabbed a small bottle of ambrosia and unclipped his switchblade from its holster on his belt, opening the bottle with his teeth set it down next to him, took the packet of cigarettes from his left chest pocket and lit on up. He then poured the ambrosia on the wound and dug the knife into his right shoulder and leveled the shard out and semi quarterised the wound with his cigarette then covered the now exposed wound with his makeshift wound dressing.

    "Bastard." he cried as he picked up the shard, eyed it then threw it away.

    His right arm hadn't returned to full mobility yet. But there was enough movement in it to allow his to shift the access panel off his legs. He rose to his felt slowly. Leaving against the wall as he moved he made his way back to the CIC. The lights and noises from the alarms and broken machines did a number on his already bad headache.

    "What the frak happened here?"


    _________________


    I'm not an alcoholic, alcoholics go to meetings.
    I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.
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    Ethan Knight
    O-6 Colonel
    O-6 Colonel

    Number of posts : 221
    Age : 29
    Location : Salem, VA
    Registration date : 2008-10-18

    Re: Phase One - Shadows

    Post  Ethan Knight on Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:00 pm

    "The ship is completely offline. Backup generators are only working 50% to capacity," Ethan said simply as he read the scrawl in front of him with a flashlight. "From what I understand we're lucky the the environmental and life-support systems weren't infected with what ever hit our systems. Engineering thinks that it was a virus in the CNP program. We won't know for sure until we get systems back online which probably won't be until morning."

    Flashing the light down onto the chart in front of him. "According to Sola's jump coordinates, we should be here," Ethan said as he pointed his finger at the far corner of the map. "Way out of Colonial space, along the edge of the Acheron System," he said.

    "For now, we'll wait here until we finish the necessary repairs, get the ship back online. Once that is done and the Commander is awake, we'll figure out what to do then."


    _________________

    "Once you clue into the fact that life is finite, the thought of losing it doesn't scare you anymore. The end comes no matter what, the only thing that matters is how do you wanna go out, on your feet or on your knees?"
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    Andreu Rylan
    O-3 Lieutenant
    O-3 Lieutenant

    Number of posts : 140
    Age : 29
    Location : Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
    Registration date : 2008-10-24

    Battlestar Rhea, Port Flight Deck A

    Post  Andreu Rylan on Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:22 pm

    Ryan awoke, like usual, kissing the deck. His cheek was flat against the floor and the cold metal numbed his throbbing head, which felt unusually heavy, like a sack full of sand. He took his first sentient breath and felt restrictive pain as his chest expanded; he could barely breath. Confusion reigned in his consciousness.

    ''He's coming around. Hurry up and then hit him.''

    ''All right. Hold him down.''

    He was on his side, and as he painfully became awake, he painfully became aware of several pairs of hands holding him. His flight suit was around his waist, and his shirt and tank top were pushed up to reveal his lower back. The hands working at his back were slick with liquid, he squirmed to break free – but he was weak. The instinct to take a deep breath came again- just as a hand moved around his back and he felt something slide just underneith his skin. A wet pop inside him accompanied a roar of pure pain that made him kick out and spew random syllables in a burst. As the feeling eased off, he relaxed, an icy burn replacing the claustrophobic restriction in his ribs. A hand pulled up a shirt sleeve and slammed a pin prick down into the meat of his bicep, he grunted in protest and grabbed the offending delicate wrist.

    ''Off to sickbay for you Ell-tee.''

    The medic pulled Ryan's hand off hers and placed it on his chest. Sleep already began to weigh on his eyelids as she pinned the morphia tab to his shirt. He could barely hear the orderlies and deck-hands counting as they prepared to heave him onto the stretcher...


    _________________
    When duty calls me I must go
    to stand and face another foe
    but part of me will always stray
    over the hills and far away
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    Ethan Knight
    O-6 Colonel
    O-6 Colonel

    Number of posts : 221
    Age : 29
    Location : Salem, VA
    Registration date : 2008-10-18

    Re: Phase One - Shadows

    Post  Ethan Knight on Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:01 pm

    Sighing lightly, Ethan opened the bulkhead door to his quarters and walked in. Before he had a chance to even close the door, he felt a pair of arms wrap around him in a crushing hug.

    "Hey," he said softly as he wrapped his arms around his future wife. Sam's grip on him got tighter as she dug her head into his chest. Together they stood there for several minutes while Ethan looked over his shoulder to see the sleeping form of their daughter.

    "Are you okay?" he whispered lightly as he started to loosen the hug. Stepping back he looked into her face. A few tears streaked down her face as he caressed the side of her face with his free hand.

    Silently, she nodded her head as she turned to look at Alex. The young girl lay curled up in Ethan's rack, soundly asleep.

    "I'm fine. Just tired is all," she answered softly. "Alex just fell asleep a few minutes ago. She wouldn't stop asking where you were when the explosions stopped."

    Ethan silently nodded in understanding as he moved towards his desk and sat down. Silently, Sam sat on his lap and curled her legs into her chest. With a smile on his face, Ethan kissed her on the lips before she snuggled her head into the crook of his neck.

    "What happened?"

    Ethan was silent for a few moments as he softly played with Sam's hair, twirling it through his fingers. "I don't know," he said as the events of the past few hours started to catch up with him. "I just... One minute we were in dock, getting ready to defend the colony against a possible attack. The next thing we know is that there is a large Cylon fleet bombarding the ship yards as the nuke Aerelon to high hell."

    Ethan stared blankly at the opposite wall. "We barely got out of there in time. On top of that, the Commander is out of action until further notice. The ship is without power because of some gods damn virus, and we have no way of contacting the rest of the Colonial Fleet to let them know where we are."

    Ethan started to shake his head slowly. "I just don't know what to do."

    "You need to be strong," she said as she kissed him on the cheek. "Whatever happened to that strong and commanding CAG that I bumped into all those years ago on Pegasus."

    Ethan smiled as he tried to pull Samantha closer. "I love you."

    "I love you too."


    _________________

    "Once you clue into the fact that life is finite, the thought of losing it doesn't scare you anymore. The end comes no matter what, the only thing that matters is how do you wanna go out, on your feet or on your knees?"
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    Francis Cavil
    O-7 Commander
    O-7 Commander

    Number of posts : 294
    Age : 27
    Location : Canada
    Registration date : 2008-10-18

    Re: Phase One - Shadows

    Post  Francis Cavil on Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:46 am

    Battlestar Rhea
    Medical Examination Room, Sickbay
    1440 - After The Attacks...


    Cavil's eyes opened slowly, taking in the hazy black fog that filled his field of vision. He shut his eyes again, hoping to let them adjust to the darkness slowly. For a foolish moment he wondered if all the unpleseantries of the past weeks had all been a dream and that he had simply awoken in his comfortable apartment on Aerelon, staring up into a cloudy night sky. He wondered if he really was a Cylon agent sent to sabotage a Battlestar, wondered if the Cylons even existed, wondered where his box of hand-rolled Pyradimes were.

    "Commander?"

    The voice, from the sound of it, belonged to a lucious female. His ears perked instantly.

    "Yes, my dear?" he responded.

    "He's awake! He's awake again!"

    Not the answer he'd expected. It sounded almost as if there were others there, watching him rest. His eyes shot open and he looked down, saw a Colonial nurse leaning over him with a smile on her face. The other sounds began to hit him - screams, groans, and the sounds of medical equipment whirring and beeping all around him. Then the smell. The horrible stench of death and gore that overpowered his nostrils like a swarm of bees overtaking a thieving bear.

    "Then again, honey is sweet," he said.

    "Pardon me, Sir?"

    She looked concerned. Probably thought he'd lost his mind.

    "Sorry," he said. "Just a passing thought."

    Her apprehension faded, but not entirely. He could tell she was still worried.

    "I'm fine really. Thank you, Miss..?"

    "Alistair."

    "Yes, of course. Miss Alistair. Thank you very much. Now, don't you think there are other patients that could use your attention far more than I could just now?"

    "But.. but Sir, the Doctor is on h-"

    "Don't make me make that an order."

    She sighed, looked around for a minute, then gave up.

    "All right, Sir," she said. Her lips formed a slight pout and the Commander suddenly felt very young again. Not that he'd ever really been young. "If you need anything though, give me a shout, okay?"

    "Okay. Thank you."

    She began to leave. Suddenly, he realized he did need something.

    "Wait a moment."

    She turned around and looked at him inquisitively.

    "There is something... Why are the lights off?"

    "Well, uh, after the jump the power just seemed to go out.. everywhere. We still have emergency lighting and life support, but that's about it. We don't really know anything more than that right now. Needless to say, we've been pretty busy in here."

    "Where did we jump to?"

    She paused for a moment, considering her answer, then said, "I honestly don't know, sir. Somewhere out of the battle it seems. Other than that.. I can't be sure. We've had no contact from the rest of the ship yet."

    Cavil nodded.

    "Thanks," he mumbled. "That's it then."

    She took his realization of doom to mean that she could leave and, giving a very sloppy salute, turned to leave.

    As the curtain closed behind her, Cavil collapsed back onto the pillow. His head was throbbing in pain and his whole neck and back felt like someone had tried to give him a massage with a sledgehammer. The events of the previous day came flooding back like the uncomfortable sting of mouthwash on a small cut you didn't even know was there.

    "The Council's not going to like this," he told himself.


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    Andreu Rylan
    O-3 Lieutenant
    O-3 Lieutenant

    Number of posts : 140
    Age : 29
    Location : Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
    Registration date : 2008-10-24

    Re: Phase One - Shadows

    Post  Andreu Rylan on Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:18 pm

    A metal stand crashed to the ground, clattering on the deck and spilling it's contents over the adjacent floor. His eyes were open, shocked into a state of oppressive consciousness. He felt nauseated, every sound and motion in the cluttered and double speed sick bay scratching against senses. Blinking, he tried to clear his head and force away every scene of tragic horror, every tragedy wrapped in flesh and bone, taped together by fear and perseverance in equal measure.

    The floor loomed like a million miles of bad road as he swept his feet off the bed. His booted feet gently touched the deck- and felt like he'd just broken his legs. Slowly, he planted one foot in front of the other, first titanic steps dragging himself out of the pit he'd been thrown down. Pulling a drip out of his arm, he tossed it back down onto the bed, only for a team of medics to dump a contorted and moaning casualty down behind him. Swarming over it like a team of insects, buzzing and shouting; he couldn't even tell what gender it was.


    _________________
    When duty calls me I must go
    to stand and face another foe
    but part of me will always stray
    over the hills and far away

    Alexander Sola
    O-1 Ensign
    O-1 Ensign

    Number of posts : 97
    Age : 30
    Location : Welwyn Garden City
    Registration date : 2008-10-24

    Re: Phase One - Shadows

    Post  Alexander Sola on Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:36 pm

    “Motherfraker!!”

    Alex pulled his hand up to look at it. Noting the fresh blood coming from the wound on his hand, that had happened a few days ago when he had been setting up the bypass. Good job that he had done that, or who knows what would have happened. Seemed odd that the Commander knew. Shaking his head to the thought he carried on trying to reroute the circuits to get the virus into a single hard drive so they could erase it once and for all.

    “What’s the reading on the secondary circuit path ways?”

    Lou looked up towards him.

    “Nothing so far. No connection detected. Could be that the last jolt destroyed the circuit.”

    ”I hope not.”

    Ducking back into the panel he started to pull chips from another panel to get the circuit back. The sweat was dripping of his nose, he wiped it away and yawned. It had been too many hours since he had last had the joy of slipping into his bed and washing the horror’s of the day away for a few hours.

    Plugging in the final three circuits Alex sighed relief that it did not explode on him again. Testing the circuit to make sure the power was reaching the relays and the hard drives he stood back up.

    “Lou, try it now.”

    Watching her turn to the panel, she started to type the commands into the computer.


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    Layne Staley
    M-3 Master Sergeant
    M-3 Master Sergeant

    Number of posts : 56
    Age : 33
    Registration date : 2008-11-06

    Re: Phase One - Shadows

    Post  Layne Staley on Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:46 am

    As Lieutenant Bennett move from person to person in the CIC tending to their wounds, her eyes caught sight of Staley's make-shift wound dressing that was now saturated with blood.

    "Oh that will never do." she said. "That won't do at all."

    "Not much choice really." Staley said puffing on a cigarette. "Couldn't move if I hadn't removed it. No good to anyone in that condition."

    "And how much good do you do bleeding out like this hmm?" Kaylee asked with a smirk on her face.

    "Ow" Staley cried out as she tied the bandage off.

    "That's a woman's sound" Kaylee said smugly as she cleaned up the dried blood around his shoulder.

    "Do that again and you'll make it." Staley said gruffly.


    _________________


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    I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.
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    John Nagala
    O-2 Lieutenant Junior Grade
    O-2 Lieutenant Junior Grade

    Number of posts : 116
    Age : 27
    Location : Canada
    Registration date : 2008-10-19

    Re: Phase One - Shadows

    Post  John Nagala on Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:26 am

    1500 - Battlestar Rhea
    Hangar Deck, Starboard Flight Pod


    The fires had been supressed, but the air in the Starboard Flight Pod was still thick with smoke. The fire had provided what little light there was on the deck (save the flashlights carried by several veteran deckhands) and now that it was out, the smokey air was nearly pitch black.

    John could hear shouts coming from all directions as others, like himself, tried to find a way out of the deadly haze. He'd already stumbled across one unlucky soul that hadn't made it. A piece of debris from the explosion had pierced his calf muscle. Unable to stand and get his mouth away from the smoke, the poor bastard had suffocated. It was a slow and painful end that John did not envy.

    Now there seemed to be no way out for any of them.

    It's chaos, he thought to himself. Utter chaos. We're all going to die here. We're all going to die.

    He checked his oxygen tanks: still empty. What was he expecting? The Gods to swoop down and give him the air he so desperately needed to keep living? What was the likelihood of that after what had just happened to the Colonies. Whatever Gods there were clearly didn't care much for John.. or for anyone.

    He found a workbench and sat down on it, mind hazy and lungs burning. He felt like he could no longer go on, no longer push himself to continue. What was the point? Everyone he'd ever known - ever really cared about - was dead.

    As he sat, his thoughts traveled to his mother back on Saggitaron. What would she have been doing when the bombs started going off? He thought back to life at home years ago. His mother would get up early - 6:00 every day. She'd head downstairs, make herself some breakfast and coffee, sit by the fireplace - whether it was lit or not - and mark tests. Later in the day, if it were a weekday, she would be at the school with her students, teaching astrophysics to the future best and brightest of the Twelve Colonies...

    Not anymore, he told himself. There were no more Colonies, no more best and brightest. Now we just have to make due with what we've got.

    He thought of his older brother, Kevin. Who knew where that guy was? He had never really kept up contact after leaving home.. with any of them. Last John had heard from him he was working on some secret project at defense. Seemed excited about it. Kept saying, "I can't really tell you anything about it..."

    John coughed, clutched his chest.

    "I guess it's too late, brother," he managed to rasp out to himself. "Whatever you were working on, it's too late now."

    He looked around in the black soup that filled his entire field of vision. It was like something out of a nightmare. If there was a hell, this was it.

    Maybe I'm already dead, he thought. Maybe I'm dead and this is hell. Maybe this is where I've been sent. No - don't think that. There's still a chance. There's still a chance you can get out of here.. if you just get up off your ass.

    "It hurts," he choked.

    That hasn't stopped you in the past. Pain is temporary. This decision could cost you an entire lifetime. Are you ready to give that up?

    "No," he said.

    Then get the frak up!

    With that, he ordered his legs to lift him. They obeyed.. barely. He looked around, chose a direction, and headed in it. One way or another he was going to be rid of that hangar bay soon enough.


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    James Graff
    O-2 Lieutenant Junior Grade
    O-2 Lieutenant Junior Grade

    Number of posts : 86
    Age : 31
    Registration date : 2008-10-24

    Re: Phase One - Shadows

    Post  James Graff on Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:42 am

    1405 - Battlestar Rhea - Starboard Flight Pod

    His head was splitting open, his eyes were still recovering from the flash of the jump, ears were ringing, stomach was churning like a volcano about to go live and he felt a sharp pain in his ribs whenever he tried to move. In short, Graff was alive and hating every moment of it.
    He shook his head and tried to get some ideea of his situation. The viper was laying on its side, though thankfully that wing had been long gone, its cockpit was smashed in a couple of places, all the instruments were dead and it was probably leaking fluids all over the landing deck. Comprehension catching up with his senses, Graff tried resetting the comms panel, but to no avail. Just as he was starting to look around for solutions, he heard a knock on top of the canopy. Great, now the cockpit's coming apart. As he looked up to find the source of the sound, Jim froze at the sight of a man in a spacesuit staring him down. They looked at eachother for a second, then the man gave him a thumbs up and Graff could see him mutter something like "This one's alive." in his comms before walking away.

    "Yeah, thanks for the help motherfr.. Ow!" He'd punched the still intact piece of plexiglass and the movement reminded his ribs to protest again. "Guess they left us wrecks for last, everyone else probably got towed in already." There was nothing to do but sit and wait, and use as little air as possible. At least they knew he was there now and they would come to get him, wouldnt they?

    Eventually, they did come, but not before givng Graff ample time to count all the inactive switches on the dash and go through a pre-launch sequence. Twice. He was just finishing the second sequence when he felt a jolt and the viper started moving towards the closest elevator pad, the sound of metal scraping agaisnt metal painfully reverberating in the cramped cockpit. When it finally stopped, there was a short pause then the viper shook again as the elevator began its descent. It passed the first airlock, then the second, then screetched to a halt midaway through the hangar deck doors as they slowly opened, revealing a pitch black curtain of smoke beyond.

    The sense of relief that had taken hold of Graff quickly vanished, leaving room for anger, confusion and fear to slip in. He unbuckled himself and tried to spin around so his feet were pointed at the canopy, but the helmet constrained him, so he took it off and threw it in the leg compartment. Positioning himself again, he kicked the cockpit open and slipped out, standing up for the first time in a long while, though he immediately doubled over due to a sharp jab in his ribs.

    Jim looked across the elevator's floor to the open doors and what lay beyond them. He'd heard old war stories about cylons infiltrating and sabotaging battlestars, but he never imagined anything like that could happen aboard a Mercury. He leaned back into his viper and reached behind the seat, pulling out the survival kit. He took out a flashligt and a pistol, checking its clip before holstering it, then threw the kit back in the cockpit.
    This cant be real.. None of it.. I'll probably just wake up under some table in the rec room again. Graff lit the flashlight and jumped down onto the deck, wincing at the pain, but moving away from the elevator as fast as he could. Gods damit, I better wake up soon..


    _________________
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    John Nagala
    O-2 Lieutenant Junior Grade
    O-2 Lieutenant Junior Grade

    Number of posts : 116
    Age : 27
    Location : Canada
    Registration date : 2008-10-19

    Re: Phase One - Shadows

    Post  John Nagala on Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:16 pm

    Okay, maybe I was wrong. Maybe this is hell...

    John was wandering aimlessly in the darkness, desperately searching for some sort of way out. He'd seen flashlights pass him in the darkness and had called out, never to be heard.

    "Fraaak..."

    He saw another one coming towards him, ran for it, hoping to finally reach someone else.

    "Hey!" he shouted. "Hey, over here!"


    _________________

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    James Graff
    O-2 Lieutenant Junior Grade
    O-2 Lieutenant Junior Grade

    Number of posts : 86
    Age : 31
    Registration date : 2008-10-24

    Re: Phase One - Shadows

    Post  James Graff on Wed Feb 11, 2009 11:50 pm

    The smoke seemed to be getting thicker as he advanced, blocking the flashlight only a couple of meters ahead. Graff saw figures running by and tried to call after them, but got a mouthfull of smoke instead and chocked. It felt like swallowing a lit cigar, his eyes watered but he managed to get his breathing under control and keep moving.
    Suddenly, someone came running straight at him:

    "Hey, over here!"

    He instinctively shone the flashlight in the man's face when he got close enough, but quickly lowered it.

    "Oh.. sorry." his voice was coarse, and he had to shout to make himself heard. "What the frak happened here?"

    John could barely see the man through the thick smoke, but his voice sounded familiar. He was probably another pilot.. Nagala just couldn't place it.

    "Uhh.." he trailed off. "Explosion.. tylium explosion. We gotta get out of here.."

    "Bu.." He almost slapped himself Get out now, questions later! "Right, lets go!"

    He grabbed Nagala by the arm and pulled him through the curtain of thick smoke, flashlight in hand, trying to find his way around the bits of debris and anything else the explosion spat out. They kept going like that for a while before Graff suddenly turned and headed for the inner wall. He stopped about a meter away from it and shone the light all along its surface, then turned back to the other pilot looking slightly confused.

    "Alright, now I'm lost. There was supposed to be a gods-damned service hatch here."

    "Frak... Uhh..."

    John looked around wildly, hoping for something to show up. He noticed lights off in the distance and pointed at them.

    "Over there! Lights. Maybe they've found a way out."

    Graff looked up and saw a bunch of flashlights, all hovering around a single point. The smoke was getting thicker again so he couldnt make out any details.

    "Worth a shot.." He said, holding back another cough. "Lets go!"


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    Andreu Rylan
    O-3 Lieutenant
    O-3 Lieutenant

    Number of posts : 140
    Age : 29
    Location : Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
    Registration date : 2008-10-24

    Re: Phase One - Shadows

    Post  Andreu Rylan on Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:43 pm

    Battlestar Rhea - Corridor adjoining Sickbay - 1453

    The rib had begun to ache as he walked away from sickbay. He'd prodded it a few times in morbid fascination. Each fresh burst of pain didn't teach him any lessons.

    Stopping to catch his breath against a bulkhead, Rylan watched the handful of crew move down the corridor.

    Where are they going, I wonder?
    Where are any of us?


    He smiled, laughing at his own cliched musings. He remembered a moment. Perseph would always ask what he was thinking about when she noticed him staring off into space, her hair seeming to melt into the sunset. She would curl up round his arm and listen to him whisper.

    It was a beautiful place. The little cottage, just outside the lake, back on Arelon-

    Gentle nostalgia, tipped with euphoric heartache, burst, the tepid remains congealing into abstract horror. His thoughts raced, a sense of all prevailing hell keeping pace. Thoughts of gentle Aerelon burning, charred from orbit by genocidal bombs. Metal devils stalking the fields and plains, hunting.

    He had to go back. He had to get her.

    ----------

    Ethan rose slowly from his chair underneath the emergency lighting in his room. His future wife and daughter lay nestled together on his rack as Ethan opted to stay awake and attempt to get through some of the dozens of ship reports that had landed on his desk just hours after the attacks.

    Yawning ever so slightly, he dropped a report concerning the current state of the ships electrical and computer systems. Things seemed to be moving along slowly, yet their was an improvement and an underlying hope that full power would be restored by sometime in the morning.

    Walking towards the bulkhead door, Ethan took one last glance at his sleeping family and left to go and get a much needed cup of coffee.

    ----------

    Ethan sighed slightly as he took a gulp of his coffee. Leaning back into the chair of the cafeteria, he closed his eyes and allowed the addictive drink to do its work. He sat like that, undisturbed for several minutes before the bulkhead door to the large room was flung open. It seems the hinges were not working properly as the metal door slammed into the wall.

    Ethan's eyes snapped open to see a frantic looking pilot looking over the large room. Obviously trying to find someone.

    "Has anyone seen the CAG?" he asked frantically as his eyes darted from face to face before landing on Ethan's. He ran across the room before stopping in front of the XO.

    Leaning forward onto the table, he looked at Ethan. "Sir. Forgive the interruption. We've got a problem. One of the pilots. He's frantic. Trying to get a Raptor launched so he can go back to Aerelon. Something about his family."

    Ethan shut his eyes tightly. Last thing he needed a rogue pilot aboard the Rhea. If he got away, Ethan was willing to bet half the crew would follow suit. Standing up, he placed his mug on the table and turned to the pilot. "Alright, lead me to him," Ethan said as he set his face into one of cold determination.

    ----------

    "Piss off."

    "Get out of the damn Raptor!"

    The lead deckhand was mounted on the starboard wing of the craft, hand pressed against the canopy and yelling into the darkened cockpit of the boat. A pair of deck crew, hunched over an open panel at the tip of the wing, are the only people close by. Other stand at a slight distance, watching the scene.

    "I told you I’ll bring the damn thing back!"

    "I don’t give a frak, you ain’t authorized, or even rated, to fly that. That means you ain’t flyin’."

    "Just push me over to the deck lifts and push a button- that’s all I’m asking!"

    "I’m not going to be accessory to theft, in a time of war that’s capital! Now get out of my boat!"

    Striding into the hangar bay, Ethan looked around a spotted a group crowded around a Raptor with a deckhand on the wing. Narrowing his eyes he moved quickly towards the group, putting on a menacing look that clearly stated he wasn't in the mood for whatever was going on.

    "What the frak is going on here?" he barked as several heads turned to look his was.

    "Rylan's in Raptor 5 and he won't come out. He's demanding to be allowed to launch and return to Aerelon. He wants to find his family."

    Ethan closed his eyes for a second and took a deep breath while pinching the bridge of his nose. "Get me a team of marines waiting outside the entrance to this hanger deck. The man is delusional if he thinks we can even get a Raptor out there. Power is still down throughout the ship."

    Not even waiting for recognition from his orders, Ethan walked towards the Raptor and hopped on the wing. Placing his hand on the deckhand's shoulder, he signaled for him to get down from the Raptor.

    Taking one last deep breath, Ethan looked at the ships cockpit. "Lieutenant! You better have a damn good explanation as to what's going on."

    "My wife and daughter are on Aerelon. I'm going to get them."

    Ethan narrowed his eyes at the man in the cockpit before him. Somehow, he knew a situation like this was going to occur sooner or later. Although he hoped it would occur later when things were hopefully more stable then they were now. "I can't allow you to do that Lieutenant."

    Andreu was cold, his stomach sinking. It took effort to vocalise. "It's the end of the gods damned world. I've wasted a lot of time in my life, always expecting there would be another day to come shining over the horizon." The swallowed hard, trying to force this constricting throat open. Fear and worry broke through his dead demeanor, the cold replaced by a simmer."Well guess what? The world ran out of time today, and I've still got things to do, mistakes to fix. Get out of my way and let me get my loves."

    "I will not allow you to risk the safety of this ship and crew Lieutenant!" Ethan barked trying to get through to the man. "You along with every single other person on this ship has family back on the Colonies somewhere. Whether it be Aerelon, Caprica or Aquaria. What do you think would happen if I let you go? Every other person on this ship would return home to a nuclear wasteland with little to no survivors and this ship would be without a crew," Ethan reasoned.

    "Why don't you let them leave then!? Give any of them one reason to live, to continue to fight as a cog in your machine, knowing the people that mattered to them most in this life are dead? What the hell would the point be anymore?"

    Ethan had to restrain himself from taking out his side arm a putting several rounds through the cockpit window at the Lieutenants response. "Why Lieutenant?" I'll tell you why. So we can kill every last one of those frakkers before we're killed ourselves. For revenge. For the possibility that there are survivors besides ourselves."

    Ethan paused for a second and took a deep breath before looking back at the Lieutenant. "Do you want to know something that Admiral Cain once said to me, right before one of our major operations?"

    Ethan didn't wait for a response.

    "She said, 'Once you clue into the fact that life is finite, the thought of losing it doesn't scare you anymore. The end comes no matter what, the only thing that matters is how do you wanna go out, on your feet or on your knees?'" Ethan paused another moment as he absorbed his own words. "Now I don't know about you Lieutenant, but I'm not one to go down on my knees. I'm not going to wait for the Cylons to attack this ship as my crew leaves one by one, leaving this ship defenseless, just to chase a fools dream. I'm going to keep my crew, and when the time comes, I'm going to blow those bastards to hell."

    "So you want me to give up on my wife and daughter, accept that they are charred and blackened bones wrapped in a layer of ash, and then give up on my own life so that I can go out in a blaze of vengeful glory? No thanks, not when there's an outside chance I can get them."

    Rylan shook his head, his face creasing into a mask of frustration. His mouth tursed as he spoke, "I know that duty and honor are all to you command types- but it really doesn't matter to me. Some things are more important."

    Rylan dropped his forehead to the Raptor cockpit panel, the buttons pressing into the skin of his face. His shoulders drooped, hands hanging limp and brushing the deck."I'm tired Colonel so I'm just going to have one last go at turning you to reason; if your family was in danger down there, would you leave them to die? Because if you say yes... I'm just going to shoot myself right here and get it over with."

    Ethan narrowed his eyes. "I would face the facts Lieutenant. I have responsibilities here. Responsibilities that my fiance understands. She wouldn't want me to throw my life away on a fools errand," Ethan said angrily. 'How dare he bring Samantha and Alexandra into this.'

    "Even if I were to allow you to go Lieutenant, tell me, how would you get the Raptor out of here. If you haven't noticed, power is out shipwide and won't be coming on for sometime. I suggest you get your head straight Lieutenant."


    Out of the corner of his eye, Ethan saw several marines at the entrance to the Raptor.

    Andreu raised his head to stare at the Colonel for a good, long second. The man looked like he was ready to tear open the Raptor himself, as if some spectral force was the only thing between him and bringing Rylan to justice. Rylan's heart sank a little more. End of the line old man.

    "I bet you're lying,"
    he felt a little relieved that it was over, "I couldn't see anyone not wanting to go." but the guilt of betrayal still lingered. Getting up from the seat, he smiled and raised his hands. "I give up. I was kidding about the suicide thing anyway." He laughed, the culmination of everything that had happened in the last few hours. "I don't even have a gun!" For some reason he found it hilarious, the lunacy of the entire apocalypse coming crashing down all at once.

    You either laugh or you cry old man. He was still smiling when the marines forced opened the door. The arrest was rapid and effecient- but not gentle. He had no time to protest before the steel hand cuffs were latched around his hands.

    Ethan shook his head and looked at the Marine captain. "Take him to the brig so he can cool down a bit. Keep him in there for 24 hours then release him. I'll deal with him later," Ethan said as he jumped down from the wing of the Raptor.

    Andreu didn't feel like making a 'witty' retort. He just wanted to melt away. To fall asleep and wake up a million miles away.

    The crew on the flight deck began whispering as they watch Rylan get pulled out of the Raptor with his hands bound behind his back.

    "Don't you all have work to be doing!" Ethan barked as he walked briskly to the exit of the flight deck.

    [OOC: I had a lot of fun doing this, thanks Ethan. I hope it wasn't too much of a chore for you. I can't shake the nagging feeling Rylan is 2 dimensional right now. >( ]


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    but part of me will always stray
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    Ethan Knight
    O-6 Colonel
    O-6 Colonel

    Number of posts : 221
    Age : 29
    Location : Salem, VA
    Registration date : 2008-10-18

    Re: Phase One - Shadows

    Post  Ethan Knight on Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:59 pm

    T-0 Days - 1723 - Battlestar Rhea - Near the XO's quarters

    Going through the ship alone felt like a nightmare. Like a bad fairytale:
    Once upon a time, somebody got lost in the belly of a beast of steel, in the middle of night, with nothing but dark red stars shining down on her, dimmed by the smoke of countless fires. And inside this beast, among all the lost and lonely souls, the dying and dead, she had to ask who was left and who was gone.

    Elena had to check several places in the ship. Ask the LSO about the Vipers that were accounted for; check the infirmary for some of the wounded; go to the mess hall, now makeshift infirmary, and check the same; and then wander through the ship, looking for hideouts and people who could possibly want to kill themselves now in the violently calm aftermath of the Cylons' opening strike. By the time she received word of the mess on the hangar deck, of one of her squadron leaders wanting to take a Raptor back to the Colonies, it was long over.

    There was nothing she could have done about it. With the power and, thereby, communication gone, finding a certain person or passing the word of anything to the whole crew was next to impossible. And there were still people dying in locked up compartments of the ship. Parts the DC teams hadn't come to, hadn't even heard about, with the power gone. People inside rooms and corridors, isolated by the vacuum of space, now suffocating on the carbon dioxide they produced at every moment...

    And the more she thought about all this, the more she asked herself why she even cared about reporting anymore. Why she didn't just join some of those who had sat down in a dark corner and wanted to put an end to it. And everytime she just murmured "Because I could have done so years ago" in response.

    Eventually, after gathering the information she needed, Elena had tried to put it in some kind of form, keep up the military standard of bureaucracy she was getting used to, as if it was just another day. To write a casualty report was something else than putting squadrons together. But she was done now. And right at that moment where her memories of the past hours had come to a close, she looked right into the barrel of a rifle, dumbfounded by this occurrence.

    The marine guard in front of the XO's quarters was on edge, just like everybody else. He hadn't seen her coming, hadn't heard her until she was right in front of her. He just remembered the XO's words before the battle. The ship's second in command had long returned. Why he hadn't left... Because there was nowhere to leave to. And now, he was moments from pulling the trigger in unawareness of the situation and pure tension.

    "If you want to, you can do it, once I handed this report to the Colonel", she said suddenly. She didn't know why but a wave of guilt, unbearable guilt washed over her. As if all this was her fault, somehow. She couldn't comprehend, and the feeling vanished again, immediately. Yet, if probably saved her life. The guard came to himself, put his gun away and started explaining, hastily and barely understandable. She didn't pay much attention to his words. Elena actually forgot about the whole incident in the corridor by the next day. Everything that mattered to her was that, a short time later, she knocked on the quarter's door.

    On the other side of the bulkhead door, Ethan was startled awake at the sound of banging at the door. "Enter," he said loudly out of force of habit, only to cringe slightly as he remembered the two figures sleeping in his bunk. He let loose a sigh of relief as they continued to remain motionless.

    She entered and closed the hatch casually behind herself. The sound echoed through the room. At least it seemed, at an incredible volume, once she saw the two sleeping bodies on the bed. But apart from a slightly deeper breath of the girl, there was no reaction. It had a visible effect on her to see this child in her mother's arms. From one second to the next, she seemed more juvenile, free of a ubiquitous strain that only now that it was gone showed. Yet, at the same time, she looked sadder. And the view obviously let her forget why she had come there because she didn't pay any attention to her superior.

    "Do you need something Captain?"

    Almost startled, she turned her head towards him, like she had woken up from a dream or memories.

    "Oh, um... I'm sorry."

    She gave him the salute he deserved.

    "I just came here to... bring you the butcher's bill of the Air Group. KIA's, corpses from the infirmary and... suicides." She spoke professionally, with the distance somebody in command needed to show. But it was impossible for her to say the last word in that tone. Just plain impossible.

    Ethan took the offered folder and opened it up on his desk. Skimming through the lines of data, he stopped at the one line that counted the most. 'Fifty five souls... And counting.' Ethan started to clench his fist tightly.

    In an attempt to calm himself, Ethan breathed in slowly through his nose and exhaled through his mouth. Looking up wearily at the CAG, he nodded his head. "Thank you Captain," he said, but not really meaning it. After all, who would want to be told that fifty people, many of them former students off his, were killed?

    "I... I apologize for not being there to deal with Rylan when he wanted to go back," she stated. Maybe it wasn't, but to her it felt like an explanation was necessary. Because she was the CAG.

    "Meeting the LSO and Doctor Blaine wasn't enough and that alone took almost an hour. With the shipwide gone... I mean, by the time I knew, it was already over. He is one of my squadron leaders, it was my responsibility and I... wasn't there. And I just wanted to say that I won't let this happen again."

    Ethan nodded his head. "It's understandable Captain. I expected something of this nature to happen, and I was already prepared to handle such a situation. You had no way of knowing what would happen."

    Ethan sighed and leaned back in his chair. "The mind is a fickle thing. You never know what it's going to do. I guess that's what makes everyone so unique. I don't intend to punish Mr. Rylan. Simply keep him in the brig until tomorrow so he can cool his heels down and think clearly."

    Elena nodded slowly at his words.

    "I understand, sir. I'll keep it in mind."

    There was nothing more to say. She would have just asked for her 'release' from the shift, as the list of the reorganized squadrons was inside the folder. But her eyes wandered off and she didn't turn to leave yet. The word of the surprising arrival of the XO's family was among those that had spread within hours. Now that she was standing here, inside this room, next to them, she realized that they could very well be the only human family left in the universe. That the Colonel's daughter could be the last child left.

    She spoke hear mind instinctively, though it sounded like something everybody would ask: "How are they?"

    "Shaken, and rightfully so," Ethan said as he glanced at his family. "Alexandra doesn't understand what's going on, but there's not much we can do about that."

    "I'm glad that she is with her parents. That she still has parents. It gives me a feeling that at least some children are lucky, even at a time like this."

    It didn't sound like only a comment. More like a narration that had slipped out. She realized that she wasn't supposed to speak it out and thought of an excuse.

    "I-I... am sorry. That was-"

    Ethan nodded his head. "It's quite alright Captain. No need to worry. I may be a tough son-of-a-bitch, but I'm an understanding one."

    "Um... Thank you." She gave him an appreciating look and relaxed a little.

    "If I may say so, sir: It's good to have you here. Not that I don't trust the Commander. There's just... Something feels a little strange about him."

    Before he could answer, she rubbed her slightly burning eyes and suppressed a small yawn.

    "But that's probably just me being on edge all the time ever since I got aboard. Facing both the CAG's work and Nagala wasn't too good for me, I guess", she grinned.

    And it turned even broader at her next thought:
    "Seems that I'm better off than the Chief, though. Fixing the whole ship with this bastard sabotaging her efforts... She looks like hell after those few weeks."

    Ethan nodded his head slightly. "I remember Nagala from the days I was an Academy Flight Instructor. He was just a freshman at the time, but he still had his rebellious streak. Some things never change."

    Elena wasn't sure while she suddenly didn't feel as stressed, even though she was still standing right next to the XO. Maybe because, just for a moment, they saw a little more of each other than their ranks.

    She ran her hands through her hair and held her stiff neck, while the grin wore off.

    "Feels like a different life to think about coming aboard or the civilian contractors or the Commander's arrival."

    Ethan stared at the far wall as he took in the Captain's words. "Life is strange indeed. How it can change so much in the course of less then 12 hours, only the gods will know," Ethan said as he ran a hand through his hair. "A man once said 'The great business of life is to be, to do, to do without, and to depart.' We're just going to have to learn how to do without and depart our past and move on. Something tells me we're not going to be finished as easily as the Cylons seem content to think. And by gods I'll make sure it goes that way."

    She remained silent for a moment, taking in his response. But then it felt like she should go.

    "Well, I better leave now. We should take all the rest we can get until the power is back online. We're sitting ducks until then, anyways."

    Elena straightened her back again and saluted.

    "Colonel."

    "Good night Captain."

    She turned around, walked towards the bulkhead... then stopped once more and looked back at the XO, sitting in his chair, already back to his paperwork.

    "This may be sound a bit unusual. Yet, I think... I know you've got a lot to do. But, off the record, you deserve a rest, sir. And they deserve your rest as well", she pointed at his rack, "After all... This feels like the end of the world we knew. When the time comes, it should be... both her parents who explain to little Alexandra what's going on."

    Ethan laughed softly. "This seems like the never ending day," Ethan said as a yawn suddenly escaped him.

    Elena smiled.

    "Well, that's the way it is, I suppose. I don't even want to know how many things you've got to deal with until you can even consider sleeping..."

    "I still have several items I need to look over. Then I'll look into getting some rest before the end of the night."

    "I hope you'll be done soon, then. Good night, sir. Or rather... sleep well, if your tasks take longer than expected." Her tone was a little jokingly but, no doubt, honest. Maybe it would have sounded different if he had been Commander Cavil. No matter why, she felt more sympathy for the Colonel.

    "Thank you Major," Ethan said as he nodded his head at the departing CAG.

    She opened the hatch, walked through and closed it behind her, but this time most carefully to make as few noise as possible.

    Outside, the marine looked at her apologetically.

    "Well, would you still want to shoot me?"

    Her words seemed to startle him.

    "No, sir, I-"

    "It's alright. I wasn't serious. We're all at our limits, yet trying to do our jobs." She looked over her shoulder, at the now closed hatch. "All of us."

    On the other side of the bulkhead door, Ethan kneaded his hands into his eyes in an attempt to wake himself up and get to work. There was still much to do.

    By the time Elena walked around a corner, getting just out of sight of the guard, the somewhat good feeling of the conversation with the XO had already disappeared. Joking, feeling good in general seemed suddenly inappropriate considering their losses, both among crew members and innocents. And as if that hadn't been enough, she remembered the other things of the day: Where she had been right before the attack. The fight with Nagala. What could have happened to him. The fact that he would probably be waiting for her in her quarters cause, after all, she lost.

    And at once, she didn't want to go back to her room anymore. She wanted to be alone, think things through, maybe drink a glass of ambrosia or two... or three, to mourn over the fallen comrades and celebrate the deaths of others. So she turned right at next opportunity and headed for a probably deserted place that would satisfy all of her current desires for loneliness, thought and intoxication.


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    "Once you clue into the fact that life is finite, the thought of losing it doesn't scare you anymore. The end comes no matter what, the only thing that matters is how do you wanna go out, on your feet or on your knees?"
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    Francis Cavil
    O-7 Commander
    O-7 Commander

    Number of posts : 294
    Age : 27
    Location : Canada
    Registration date : 2008-10-18

    Re: Phase One - Shadows

    Post  Francis Cavil on Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:04 am

    Ethan closed his eyes tightly as he leaned against the wall in the long narrow hallway. The latest situation involving a rogue pilot determined to return home did nothing to appease the throbbing headache plaguing him.

    With the Commander apparently still out of action, the weight of running the Battlestar was firmly placed on his shoulders. Not many of the senior officers had much experience or anything close the proper amount of training in the duties of Commanding and Executive Officers.

    With a deep sigh, Ethan pushed himself off the metal wall and began walking down the hallway, heading in the general direction of the ships life station.

    ----------

    The stench of death was apparent as Ethan moved through the hallways surrounding the Life Station. Cots lined both sides of the narrows corridors, making them near impossible to walk through without bumping into someone.

    As he entered the station, Ethan noticed one of the younger deckhands mopping up a pool of blood on the far side of the expansive room. It was apparent, even from afar that he was barely holding onto whatever stomach contents that were left inside him.

    Major Blaine, the Chief Medical Officer of the ship walked out of one of the curtain offed areas of the station. Nodding once at the XO of the ship he gestured behind him. "Colonel, he's expecting you."

    "Thanks doc," he said quickly as he opened the curtain and moved. As soon as he closed the curtain again, Ethan snapped into attention in front of the Commander.

    "Sir," he greeted.

    Cavil had been wrapped up in his own thoughts of doom and gloom when the Colonel had finally arrived and it took him a moment to pull himself out of that dark place. He cleared his throat, forcing himself into the moment.

    "Ahem.. Ah, yes, Colonel. It's good to see you're still intact. I assume the ship is the same?"

    Ethan lifted his eyebrows in slight amusement. "If by intact you mean powerless, without ammo and drifting in the middle of space, then yes sir. The Rhea is still intact."

    "No matter. From what I hear we've jumped well out of the way of the Cylons for now. They're not likely to find us here..."

    He trailed off, the image of himself being riddled with bullet-holes by a Centurion execution squad filling his head.

    "... tell me, Colonel, is your family all right?"

    Ethan's eyes widened slightly in surprise. "Yes sir. They're fine. Other then a few bumps and bruises, all they really are is scared, and rightfully so."

    Cavil nodded slowly, trying to figure out where to take things from there. He had never planned on being here for this. In his arrogance he had never bothered to prepare for the Rhea's survival, had never even considered it a possibility.

    I wonder what else we'll be wrong about.

    "I imagine so," he responded at last. "I think we're all pretty shook up right now... But we have to be strong. I do. You do. We all do. We're going to have to pull ourselves together if we're going to make it through.. this.. time."

    He forced himself up on the bed, his head throbbing and stomach angrily complaining.

    "I've taken up this bed long enough. I'll return to my quarters. Ethan, I'd like you to return to the CIC for now. See if you can get any word on the ship's power status. Getting this ship operational and back into the fight is our number one priority right now..."

    He stood shakily but determinedly, resting a hand on the rail of the bed for support.

    "... Oh, and if anyone else gets the wild notion of stealing a Raptor and returning to the Colonies alone, you are permitted to use any force necessary to stop them. The last thing we need is one of our own in Cylon hands divulging our location, our security codes, and the fact that right now we couldn't fight off a single Raider, let alone a Cylon attack fleet. Understood?"

    Ethan looked at the Commander with a surprised look. "Sir, we can't go around killing our own people just because they're traumatized by the end of life as we know it. People are going to panic, and quite honestly I'm surprised the panic hasn't been on a much grander scale. The last thing we need is a mutiny just because I ordered a marine to shoot a father trying to get back to his family."

    "We don't have a choice Colonel!" shouted Cavil, not caring whether anyone else in the sickbay heard him. The old man had suddenly grown intsense, intimidating. His normally complacent face had become violent and angry.

    "We always have a choice Commander!" Ethan snapped back.

    Cavil stifled his voice, but didn't lose the intensity of his words.

    "We don't have a choice because this is not a simple war of attrition. Not like the first Cylon war. We could be the only gods damned ship left, Colonel. We could be it. We simply cannot allow ourselves to be captured by the Cylons. Now I'm not saying that every time someone misses their family we put them up a bulkhead and waste them, but we can't have our people being captured. Use force only when necessary, but when it becomes necessary you'd better use it... Or we're all going to die."

    Ethan narrowed his eyes. "I understand what you're saying sir, but that doesn't give us the right to become judge, jury, and executioner."

    Cavil looked around the sickbay, noting that several of the medical officers had begun to stare. He couldn't afford to lose control of the ship. He had to make sure his mission was carried out.

    "This is not the place to discuss this, Colonel. Shall we continue this.. conversation.. in my quarters?"

    Ethan looked around and noticed the crowd of nurses at their stations, sneaking glances at the two senior officers of the ship.

    "Very well Commander."

    ----------

    "Thank you, Marine," said Cavil briskly as he passed through the door to his quarters. The Marine gave a quick salute, held it for the passing XO, then shut the door again after they had gone inside.

    The older man walked over to his desk, sat down at it, spread his hands across its smooth surface and sighed.

    "Look, Colonel.. I understand what you're saying. I know where you're coming from. Under normal circumstances I would agree but these are not normal circumstances. We cannot afford to lose this ship. We absolutely cannot."

    "I agree sir, but there are other ways to go about keeping control of a ship other then shooting your own men," Ethan responded.

    "I'm going to ask you once more. Will you follow my orders or not?"

    Ethan narrowed his eyes. "Not if those orders include shooting a man distraught over the loss of his family. If you do that, then you will have to execute a large majority of this ships crew, and you'll be left with a useless ship because it has no crew. I cannot in good conscious allow such a thing sir," Ethan said trying to get his point through.

    Cavil stared coldly back at his XO, lips sealed tight. He had been hoping for a more easily swayed officer.

    "Are you so emotionless that you can't see what kind of effect this holocaust is having on the crew sir? They need a leader right now. Not a dictator."

    Finally the Commander had had enough.

    "I know perfectly well what it is like to lose someone you care about!" he shouted, the age in his voice perfectly clear. "Don't you act so high and mighty, Knight. Your family is sitting safely in your quarters right now. How dare you talk of loss when everything you hold dear is sitting right here on this ship!"

    He stood, pushing the chair noisily back against the bulkhead behind him.

    "I don't plan to execute every man distraught over his loss, only those that are selfish enough to put their own happiness over the survival of the entire human race and of this ship. If you are too blind to see that the actions I am taking are perfectly necessary perhaps I was wrong to accept you as my XO!"

    He pushed the button on his desk that routed him to the intercom just outside.

    "Marines!"

    The door swung open instantly and two confused looking soldiers entered, guns lowered but clearly ready for any necessary action.

    "Please escort the Colonel to his quarters and see that he stays there until further notice."

    "Sir?"

    "Do I need to repeat myself?"

    ".. Sir.. Uh.. No sir. Colonel, will you please come with us?"

    Ethan rose from his chair and sent a glare at the Commander that would have sent any crewman running. "You speak to me as if I don't know a thing about loss Commander. But I know more then you think. Just because my family is aboard this ship, doesn't me I haven't lost someone today or in the past. So don't talk to me in that condescending tone, acting like you know who I am," he said as he turned around and walked to the door. He suddenly stopped and turned to look at the Commander.

    "If you continue down this path sir, where does it stop? Because I can guarantee you, you will lose control of this ship if you just start killing whoever you want." Looking at the Commander, Ethan gave a quick salute, turned, and went out the door.

    Cavil watched the Colonel being taken out into the hall by the marines and let them close the door. As soon as it was closed, he collapsed in his chair feeling very deflated. He was already losing control of the ship. If too many others would refuse his orders he would never be able to finish his mission.

    He lent forwards and steepled his hands on top of his desk which looked so large it might just swallow him whole.

    "I guess there's nothing else for it then," he muttered to himself.

    He reached under the desk and pulled out the device he had placed there only a few days earlier. Putting it down on top of the desk, he paused for a second, took a deep breath.

    After a moment, he depressed the pad on the top and held it down whilst he adjusted the dial on the side. It gave a small beep and blinked red once. Nodding his head slowly, he tucked it back under the desk, once more affixing it to the underboard.

    As he came up, he grabbed ahold of the small crank phone that sat on the wall beside him and twirled the power spindle a few times quickly. There was a hiss and a pop before a voice came up on the other side.

    "Comms," it said.

    "Mr. Ream," said Cavil very calmly. "Please put me through to engineering. I need to speak to Major Woods. She will be acting as my XO until further notice."


    JP Created By:
    Ethan Knight
    Francis Cavil


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    Elena Vance
    O-4 Captain
    O-4 Captain

    Number of posts : 256
    Age : 28
    Registration date : 2008-10-24

    Re: Phase One - Shadows

    Post  Elena Vance on Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:03 am

    T-0 Days - 1935 - Battlestar Rhea - Pilots Recreaction Room

    The room was silent. Its regular scent of cigar smoke, ambrosia, Triad cards, sweat, fear, relief, anger... It had all dried down, was lying on the ground as a thin layer of hopelessness, even stronger than usual; the dim emergency lighting, the only sign of life left on this part of the ship, added weight to this eerie atmosphere. No pilots were around to find some rest and comfort themselves; both the room and the corridor in front of it were deserted. Nobody except for one. A woman, sitting lonely at a table with her legs crossed, resting on another chair; a bottle of ambrosia and a glass were on the table in front of her. The glass was half-filled with the green liquid, the bottle half-emptied.

    She didn't talk, not even with herself. Her head was wandering about all the things that would be normal in the situation the whole crew was in: Facing the end of their entire civilization. Panic, Desperation, fear, sorrow, anger, hatred, thirst for revenge, bloodlust... It was only a matter of time until everybody on this ship would go through each of these mental states. In the end, it was circle they were moving it. There didn't seem to be any possible escape from it. Desperation... Hopelessness... Those seemed to be their new imperatives. Their... 'Their'... So I can't even count myself as one of the crew. As if I'm not human at all... Shouldn't I be glad that I don't have to face what 'they' are going through?

    -----------------------

    T-0 Days - 1933 - Battlestar Rhea - Hanger Bay Access Hallway Hb-14

    She clutched her hands to her mouth, tears streaming down her face in a rare moment of emotional defeat. Tracey sat curled up against a bulkhead alone in the dark as medical teams ran all around her trying to save as many of the injured as they could... but it was a losing battle. They all knew it.

    Her hair was a sweaty mess, sticking to her face and neck, moving with each sharp intake of breath. Her throat was raw and every breath burned, but she didn't notice. The pain in her heart was still too great to even notice the burning in her throat or the pounding in her head.

    Her mother... the woman who had raised her from birth, taken care of her when she was sick, walked her to school every day, threw a surprise party for her every year even though every year Tracey knew it was coming... was dead. Killed by the Cylons.

    Jason... her best friend since they were only kids, the young man who had danced with her at the prom when no one else would, the man who had been there for her every time she had needed him and never asked for anything in return other than her friendship... he was dead too. He died with the rest of them, trying to defend the Colonies.

    "Gods, the Colonies," she said, imagining the burned husk of whatever remained of Virgon- the planet she had called home all her life.

    A medical team rushed past her pushing a gurney, the charred body of some young deckhand she'd barely known strapped down to it so he wouldn't thrash around and injure himself further as they painfully wrapped his burns.

    What are you doing? she asked herself. That boy is your responsibility. They all are. Maybe it's not your fault that the Cylons attacked, but it is your job to take care of your deck crew. It's your job to see that this ship is ready for another attack... to make sure that, should the need arise again, we can defend ourselves... and you're sitting here, crying like a helpless little girl.

    "What the frack am I doing?" she asked aloud.

    The passing paramedic responded to her question with only a brief glance, his medical mind assessing her as a relatively low priority and moving on to other things.

    She pulled herself up slowly, using the bulkhead for support, and looked around. She didn't know what to do or where to go, but she knew she had to do something. As the next medical team passed her, she began to follow them down the winding halls of the Battlestar towards sickbay, keeping a respectful distance.

    As her shock began to dissipate, her physical pain began to grow more and more overwhelming, but she kept walking. Her legs, head, and throat began to ache and she wondered how much further she could go. Finally, when she was sure she could walk no more, they came to the Pilot's Rec Room.

    She had been past it a few times, but had never entered. It had always sounded very loud and rowdy, almost as if they were temporarily housing a carnival aboard the ship and the only room capable of handling them all had been this one. Now it was silent, the only sound coming from within the gentle swishing of the overhead fans and the background flicker of the emergency lights that filled the whole ship.

    Then Tracey noticed the single figure that sat alone at a table near the back of the room, legs crossed, a glass of ambrosia in her hand, mirroring the half-emptied bottle that sat beside her on the the table top.

    The darkness made it hard to see, but Tracey was sure she knew who it was. They had talked only briefly, but the CAG had a certain way about her that was very unique. Something about the way she carried herself... full of pride and yet so uncertain of herself. Tracey found it very endearing.

    "Hey," she said quietly from the relative safety of the doorway.


    Elena took another sip, one more in a long row. The thought of swallowing it up, maybe drowning on a single gulp went through her head again, as daring as it was the countless times before; but it didn't happen. She was already licking her lips, tasting the remainders of the alcohol, when she heard a familiar voice and looked up.

    The silhouette in the corridor didn't match her memory. The hair was different, sticky from a whole variety of possible liquids, ranging from sweat over oil to blood. Instead of the tired but strong upright figure and voice, both of them seemed weighed down and far more stressed than before. But Elena knew that it was the Chief.

    "Hi", she responded after four seconds or so. At first, there was no reaction. At least none that Elena could make out as such. "Come in, if you want to. There's nobody around who'd ask you to leave." Her voice probably sounded surprisingly sober and composed, almost unemotional, as if nothing of great importance had happened. Then again, it wasn't a cool leader's voice who tried hard to be strong but rather that of a person who soothed a total stranger and couldn't wholeheartedly empathize. Only her last words, lowly spoken while she watched her fingers restlessly turning the almost empty glass round and round, sounded personal: "I wouldn't mind your company."

    Tracey hung at the door a moment then, making her decision, stepped inside. At the time her mind was trying to rationalize her choice. She could discuss important matters of ship security with the CAG, leader to leader... hash out some sort of plan for recovering the launch tubes... Deep down she knew that all she really wanted was someone else. Someone to keep her company, hold her, stop her from going insane.

    "I... umm... I'm not really too sure why I'm here," she lied. "But I think that maybe we ought to work on some sort of..."

    She stopped, took a deep breath, swallowed.

    "... plan. I mean, if that's all right with you. I'm not too sure what we need to plan right now but, well, we could... umm..."

    She knew she was babbling but she couldn't stop herself. Elena's calm face was reassuring, but her mouth seemed to have a mind of its own.

    "I-"

    Elena looked up. And just as if the veil of darkness had been lifted, she looked right through Tracey's lie. The stammering, the search for excuse... She knew that kind of lie, that kind of reasoning. At that point, she usually stood up and left because she always knew what would follow: Either an emotional breakdown or a confession of love. She couldn't stand either of it. Or rather: She couldn't relive it, couldn't bear the additional weight on her shoulders. There never was anybody to help her out.

    And after all: She wasn't good around people. After all the time among them, she could hide it quite well, behind a mask of authority, rage, boldness, respect and neatness. Only when it came to the extreme, she couldn't hide and had to run. Otherwise, she usually said something that would hurt more than the escape, something blunt and stupid. And the worst about it was that she wouldn't even notice until she saw the just how insensitive her words were. So she ought to flee...

    But she didn't. Her legs wouldn't move. And though her heart started to thump in a harder rhythm, showing her just how uncomfortable and full of fear she was, her mind said no. She wouldn't run this time. Something inside her didn't allow it. Maybe about the situation. You usually didn't have to face the near extinction of your entire species. Or something about her, something she couldn't fathom, a reason for her strong immediate sympathy. It didn't really matter, then.

    Elena just stretched out her arm, as if to offer her hand to Tracey, and cut her short:
    "Come over here and sit down."

    Her voice was soft, like she was already afraid of the consternation and anger she might cause. Yet, it still had the taste of an order.

    The hesitant chief stared back at the CAG, wondering why she felt so compelled to run over and hug the woman she barely knew and yet, at the same time, needed to just run away and hide in a corner all alone.

    She didn't understand what she was feeling, so her heart made the decision for her. She put a foot forward, then another. She crossed the dark room over to the far wall where Elena sat and stopped. She looked down at the chair then, with what felt like both a great effort and a great relief, she sat.

    Her eyes looked down, at the floor; not out of shame, but out of an overwhelming sense of loss. She felt a hand grasp hers and her eyes came up. It was the CAG, her face serious but softer than usual, that now held her hand tightly. Tracey managed to smile just a little, but no words would come to her lips. Instead, she just stared.

    Once Tracey sat there, one hand in hers, Elena took her other one aswell. Again, she didn't really know why. It just felt good, like the right thing to do, to reassure her. Then again, she wished that she wouldn't have drunk as much just to smell less like it.

    And now, that it came to the most important part, talking to her, proving that she looked through the tough appearance Tracey showed and to help her, Elena wasn't at a loss of words. It was the opposite: Many things crossed her mind, but one sounded worse than the other and let her doubt that she should have asked her to draw closer in the first place. But a mental uproar silenced them all. No voices filled her head anymore. And even though she wasn't all that sure about it, she swallowed and went with the first thing that sounded true, hoping that it wouldn't make it all worse.

    "Listen, Chief... Tracey. I... I probably can't understand you, or anybody else, as good as I'd wish. But the way you... seem right now, the way I perceive you..."

    She lost the thought. All the good words, everything that would soothe her. She didn't know how to express it. Her mind jumped ahead, as if there had been a short circuit. Instead of trying to think of new sentences, her hands clenched, tried to make Tracey even more aware of the proximity, comfort her that way, while her mouth spat the inconvenient truth out.

    "You have to accept that they... most of them... are dead. That many are lost, even if we are lucky. And that, at the same time... you are alive. You're still among the living. You're here with me, with everybody else on this ship. And there's nothing, nothing we could have done about it. Nobody knew. And there's still more than just... duty to live for... Um..."

    She blushed, noticing that, again, she didn't know how to go on, so her mind jumped ahead, again.
    "What... what I want to tell you is... Don't blame yourself for being alive."

    Elena was glad that it was dark because the way her heart was racing, she was sure that she had frakked it up and that Tracey was about to hit her or push her away.

    The words struck Tracey like a ton of bricks. She was dumbfounded, unsure of what to say. Part of her mind was screaming denial- "don't listen to her, they can't be all gone, it's not true!"- but another part of her knew that what she was hearing was stark reality.

    Her head was spinning, the division in her mind beginning to bewilder her. She felt, once again, like she could not trust her mind. It was splitting her, driving her crazy and senseless. Again, her heart decided for her.

    She knew Elena meant well. She'd heard about her troubled past and, though she wasn't sure what was true and what was not, she couldn't help but feel for her. Here was a woman who had been released by this catastrophe- her awful history wiped clean by the end of the world- doing the best she could to understand another's pain. Tracey's pain.

    It was the end of the human race and everyone and everything she'd ever loved was gone... destroyed. Her heart yearned for something... someone to love. She looked up at Elena, saw her staring back, her soft features full of concern. Then she leaned forward and, without any warning or rational thought, kissed her.

    At first, Elena thought that she was dreaming. That Tracey had hit her so hard that she had lost consciousness so that her mind was now wandering off to some pleasant memories. But things didn't add up. It didn't feel, taste or smell like anybody she had ever kissed before and it didn't seem like a memory to her.
    The next step was questioning her own sanity. That she had lost it due to stress or that the ambrosia caused halucinations. But it was impossible.

    So, her head had no other choice but accepting reality, as unprobable as it was: That Tracey was kissing her. And this realization took her aback. Her thought process, already slowed down by the booze, came to a sudden halt and her whole body, from the toes to her lips which had started to do their part, froze in place. It seemed like she waited for a conclusion, something that was missing. The big idea behind it. How would Tracey end up kissing her when everything she said just caused more pain? Why was she, Elena, so startled by being kissed, feeling so strange. Was it because she was a woman, because she had never kissed a woman before? Did this make any sense at all?

    No, it doesn't. You're drunk, her mind deducted, just as their lips parted. And just like Tracey before, Elena was now the one to look dumbfounded and shocked, being at a loss of both words and comprehension.


    Last edited by Elena Vance on Sun Feb 15, 2009 1:49 am; edited 2 times in total


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    Elena Vance
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    Re: Phase One - Shadows

    Post  Elena Vance on Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:04 am

    "I-" stammered Tracey, feeling every bit the fool. Her face flushed red with embarassment. What was she thinking? She couldn't do this... shouldn't do this. Elena had kissed her back, sure, but Tracey knew that it was because she had been drinking. What was her own excuse?

    "I'm sorry. I don't know why I did that. I- I should go."

    She stood up and started for the door, eyes to the floor with embarassment. Her stomach heaved but she pressed on, not stopping to look back. She had crossed a line. She was sure of it. Nothing could change that now.

    She was slow. Still much too slow. Tracey was up and going for the door. And it took her until she had half crossed the room until Elena realized what that meant: That she would leave. And this thought set something off inside her that felt much like panic.

    At once, she herself stood up, pushing the chair away, causing it to fall and hit the ground loudly.

    "Wait", she said, her voice trembling, and started to walk. It worked surprisingly well, considering her state. She almost didn't sway, yet needed to grasp for chairs and tables to keep her balance. Once she was next to her, she kept looking down, ashamed.

    "I'm the one to feel sorry. I... I'm not really good at this."

    Her expression and look made it hard to tell, what she meant exactly: Comforting her or kissing her. Then again, as drunk as she was, both was likely to be meant.

    And then, suddenly, she stepped over and hugged her.

    For a moment Elena thought that Tracey would push her away, but it didn't happen. It simply didn't. And from one moment to the next, she... 'felt like talking'. Explaining why she was like this. Something she never did before. And her voice was casual when she started.

    "You know... I have scars on my back. Nothing you find everyday, I guess. Really bad ones."

    She was amazed just how calm she could say it, that she didn't feel the way she had always felt when she wanted to tell anybody.

    "All the rumors about me started at flight school, when I made the mistake to just shower with everybody else. Once people saw what I looked like underneath, they wouldn't stop gossiping about my hard youth and taking guesses what it had been alike. Abusive parents, me being a street fighter, having been raped, working as a prostitute... Some came close to it but they wouldn't care about anything else than my scars, even if I told them."

    Elena wasn't all sure if Tracey really was interested in what she said, if she would leave sometime soon or listen all the way through.

    Tracey listened intently, staring into the eyes- the windows to the soul- of the woman before her as they opened up just for her. She felt their emotions blending, becoming one. She felt their two minds connecting and, at least for that time, she could see through the haze of confusion and fear that had been consuming her.

    "Fifteen. That's when I got them. Fifteen years. Some guy at school wanted to pick me up. Was acting all cool, trying to flirt to me though I was three years or so younger. He was some kind of school bully. That's probably why he wouldn't accept me telling him to piss off and hit on his even younger sister instead."

    Her voice was very calm though it didn't sound like something you narrate in that way. She took a break and it sounded like the rest, from that point on, was obvious. But then she went on.

    "I broke his left arm in four places. He was on the pyramid team. One to be expected becoming a pro. Turned out later on that he had some genetic defect that wouldn't let his bones recover the way they should. And that, together with the fact that I was quite... brutal with him, added up to his left arm being crippled for the rest of his life. Anyways, the police took interest. Wasn't the first time I took part in a brawl and injured somebody badly. And it wasn't the first time a kid from the orphanage on Gemenon I grew up in was involved. So they started to investigate my housemasters."

    She said all of it in an almost unemotional way. Much in a way a psychopath would tell somebody about his life. At this point, however, the cool she had kept all along started to crumble audibly, and the expression on her face had now turned into forced calamity.

    "I don't know how they got out of that tight spot. Maybe they paid some cubits for it. Everything I know is that I paid for it aswell."

    She stopped, gathering composure to recount it to the bitter end after she had come this far. Her chest felt like a tightly sealed hatch had burst open, one she couldn't close anymore. Even if she had wanted to break it off, she couldn't have done it.

    Tracey looked back at her with a look of total empathy and respect. She had been beaten up once or twice when she was younger and couldn't imagine the kind of strength it had taken to survive it time and time again- and to fight back. She had never been a fighter. She had always thought that what didn't kill her made her stronger.

    Maybe I'm wrong, she thought. Maybe it's not what doesn't kill you, but how you face it that makes you stronger.

    Out of the blue, Elena was ready and took the last lap.

    "I've been beaten up quite often. My fellow orphans wouldn't stop hitting me whenever I showed weakness. And if my 'parents' were in a bad mood, or whenever they felt like proselyting me to the believe of the Lords of Kobol, they did the same. Rather picked on me than anybody else. I was their favorite target. Yet, though they hit me quite often, they never did something that would show afterwards, nothing that could connect my bruised body to abuse. That time, however, they didn't seem to care. He... took his belt and hit me with the buckle end. That's not something you forget easily. Now that they are gone, dead, I... I wish I had come back and killed them myself. That I would have taken my chance of making them pay for everything they did to me."

    Her voice broke. Her body wouldn't stop shivering and her eyes were beyond the point where they could keep the coming flood at bay. For the first time in a long time, the first time in decades, as far as Elena could remember, she cried in the presence of another person. And for the first time, she didn't have the feeling that somebody would come over and hit her the next moment because she showed herself in a weak spot. And she realized one more thing: That it really was her, Elena, who hugged Tracey. That it was she herself who needed someone, her, close.

    Tracey hugged her back as tightly as she could, the both of them letting the tears break through the semblance of strength that they, as women, had to put up just to survive.

    As they ended their embrace, she took a glance down to the floor, wondering if she should tell her own story. Her mouth made the decision for her.

    "I remember," she said. "I remember when I was seventeen and at this... this frakkin' party I never should have been at anyways. I hadn't been invited. Nobody wanted me around. I was a freak. I was the girl who never wore dresses, never let her feminine side show. I was the girl who played with battlestars and vipers instead of dolls when I was a kid. I was the girl who refused to follow the ways of the scriptures and skip religious lessons. Still, I went. I don't know why. Maybe 'cause I wanted so desperately to fit in for once. Maybe because Emily Neils- ... because Emily Neilson was there. I thought I had it all figured out back then. I thought I loved her. I thought I could make her love me just by wearing a stupid dress that night."

    She laughed through the tears, but not out of fondness or humour. It was a cold, callous laugh. The kind of laugh that one finds rolling off their tongue when they remember some heartache still too hard to come to terms with.

    "I was wrong. I was just the freak to her. She took me out back, pretending to flirt with me, told me she thought I looked good that night. She told me she liked my dress and that I ought to wear them more often. When we got out of hearing range of the house, her boyfriend and a couple of his friends came out of the darkness and grabbed me. I remember asking Emily to help me, to tell them to stop. She just laughed."

    Tracey couldn't stand anymore. She grabbed for the nearest chair and sat down heavily in it, staring into space.

    "Her boyfriend, he was a real religious kid. His parents were a rich family immigrated from Caprica. He hated anyone who didn't worship the same Gods he worshipped and he especially hated Atheists like me. I doubt if Zeus himself could've stopped him from throwing me up against the wall of the shed..."

    Her voice turned cold as ice. She shut off her emotions as she spoke, just like she had shut herself off that night.

    "I remember looking at my hands, seeing them covered in blood- my own blood. I watched him walk off with Emily, the both of them just snickering together as they made their way back to the party. Nobody was going to ask where I'd gone. That night, his friends..."

    She looked up at Elena and all the pent up emotions of years past suddenly couldn't be contained anymore. She shouted angrily- not at Elena, but at her past, letting the rage and pain that had filled her for so many years out.

    "I was too weak!" she yelled. "Too weak to fight back! I was still just a frakking weak stupid girl who'd walked blindly into this nightmare!"

    What did you expect her to be alike?, Elena asked herself, thinking about Tracey. The epitome of happiness? Just because you think that everybody else, except for you, has had a bright past?

    While thinking, she went behind Tracey, put her arms around the sitting Chief. It was less like a hug this time, more like holding somebody down. But it wasn't Tracey she wanted to restrain but herself. Anger rose inside her. Anger, hatred, bloodlust... The states she had been thinking about earlier, the ones the crew had to go through, were now those she was in. She had to keep herself at bay.

    Elena never had to go through 'this'. At first she and her enemies were too young for it to be of any interest and later on she was way too strong, 'invincible' for everyone who tried... The superhuman strength she had showed during her fight with Nagala, it's terrifying result on the floor, just at Tracey's feet, flashed through her mind, send a shiver up her spine. But she locked it out, again, to focus on the woman who needed her... comfort? Pity? Respect? She deserved all of it.

    To do such a thing to a person like her... with the excuse of the frakking Lords, just like those who gave me my scars.

    Elena let go of her.

    Tracey grew quiet, somber.

    "That night they... they..." she couldn't say the word. She just couldn't say it. It killed her inside to know that she wasn't strong enough, but she just couldn't say it.

    "They did things to me that no person should ever have to endure. That no person deserves."

    She looked up at Elena.

    "We didn't deserve our pasts, but they were given to us anyways. It's what we got. What we have to deal with. Maybe it's the will of the Gods, maybe we're just plain unlucky. But... whatever it was, our pasts brought us here... brought us together. We're here now because of them."

    The tears stopped and a small, but hopeful smile broke across her lips. She wiped her face quickly with the sleeve of her coveralls, letting the thick orange material soak up her sadness.

    "And right now doesn't seem so bad, does it?"

    Elena's knuckles cracked audibly. Let it go, she told herself, while her head went through everything she would have done usually: Relieving the current strain of this revelation, waiting for the next R&R, then searching for some of those guys and beating them half to death. Not because she was a good person. Elena was a frak-up, a person who couldn't come to terms with her violent past, who had to hurt somebody every now and then to make herself feel better. She knew that. But hurting somebody never felt better than when they really deserved it.

    And now, this was impossible. She couldn't hurt them, make them pay for what they did. Couldn't give Tracey the closure and revenge she deserved, couldn't make them pay. The best she could do was hoping that they weren't dead but had to suffer from the radiation, that they had slow, painful deaths.

    And back in the here and now, Elena slowly forced her clenched fists to open, her face to go blank and her whole body and soul to calm down, shut the instinct down. The termination program wouldn't do her any good anymore. She had to let it go, let it burn and vanish with the rest of her past, just like Tracey had to force herself to accept that not only the people from her darkest memories but also those from her happiest moments were gone.

    So, she opened her previously closed eyes and smiled in response. It didn't look forced at all. She herself didn't know, why she didn't have to force it. Maybe because there was nothing she could have done. It was all gone. And even though there were some things she would have liked to tell her, to show her, to ask her about her life, she wouldn't do that now. Not at this point of illusive but all too pleasant inner peace. Even though it had, to her, the bitter taste of one that wouldn't last long. But that didn't matter yet.

    "No, it doesn't. I'm glad to be here with you. There's never... never been anybody I could have told all this."

    Tracey nodded, understanding exactly what Elena was saying. She'd only ever had one confidant and now he was dead. For some reason even he had never known the events of that night.. at least not those past the obvious.

    "I know what you mean," she said. "Me neither."

    Even though it hadn't been forced, it was actually this moment, the one Elena sat down on a chair next to Tracey, when her smile eventually turned bright and honest.

    Some moments of silence passed. At first it wasn't odd or strained to Elena. But that was only until her thoughts wandered back and she realized that she actually wanted to ask something that sounded ridiculous. She never had before. Then again, she had never really felt the comfort of proximity before. She blushed, knew that she did, and felt like she was a high school girl who'd ask a boy to take her hand. It was a very odd sensation as Elena had never felt like this or asked for it. She had simply acted, every time. Only that, this time, the more she kept thinking, the more it seemed like an impossible task. Until she managed to open her mouth.

    "Could you... we... um..." Her ears went hot at the same rate that her voice grew softer, to the point where the actual question was nothing more but inaudible mumbling.

    "What? Elena, you can ask me. I doubt we have many secrets from eachother. What is it?"

    She took a deep breath, tried to look her right in the eye and said it: "Could we hug a little longer?"


    Last edited by Elena Vance on Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:36 am; edited 2 times in total


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    Elena Vance
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    Re: Phase One - Shadows

    Post  Elena Vance on Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:04 am

    She had been through many kinds of embarassment but this one beat it all.

    "I mean", she added in a hastened tone, like an explanation was necessary, "it felt really good, when you held me and were so close to me. You were so warm and..." What the frakking frak are you talking about?! Her mouth had gone out of control. It took her several seconds, until this moment exactly, to notice that she was saying quite odd things.

    "... and it just felt right?" Tracey finished her sentence for her... or at least what she felt and what she hoped Elena was feeling too. She smiled, letting the remaining tears drip down off her chin and onto the floor.

    Elena wasn't sure. It had felt better than any other hug in her life. Some of the guys she had been going out with weren't that bad, very cute, very gentle. But this hug with a woman she had barely known for two days now, the instinctive gesture she herself had initiated, had been beyond the slight warmth and coziness she already knew. It had felt save, like she wouldn't let go as long as she needed it, and she actually held her until had calmed down from her narration.

    She had immediately associated it with the image she remembered from childhood. It was probably some kind of daydream or haluzination, it didn't really matter. It just counted that, back then, she had 'seen' a tall blonde woman in a red dress coming closer to her, sitting curled up in a corner. She had gently stroked her face and held her for a moment, while she turned her head around, over her shoulder, and was glaring at several both old and young men in suits around her.

    Stop dreaming. She's still in front of you and waits for an answer, her head told her, taking her back to reality. And before her thoughts could take another detour, she said: "Yes, you're right. And I would like to be like that again for a while. Only, if you don't mind it, of course."

    "I hardly think I'm one to talk about minding a hug after what I did," she said, trying to lighten the mood a little. The contact she'd had with Elena had helped to ease her mind a little. It let her know that even after the end of the world there was still... someone. Someone she could talk to. Someone to comfort and be comforted by.

    "It wasn't bad", she confessed while standing up. "I just... never kissed a woman before." It sounded strange to say it, like something that was both a fact and yet a thing she should blush about. But only if she had had a mirror in front of herself, she could have determined if she really looked flushed.

    Tracey could see it, though, and felt it herself. She still didn't know what had made her do that and the ridiculousness of her action was not lost on her. She felt embarassed about it. Still, she couldn't help but feel that it was the right thing to do.

    "I'm sorry," she said as Elena walked over to her. "I just... did it. I didn't really think about it or anything, you know?"

    Once she stood next to the Chief, she got on her knees again. Tracey looked... weak was what flashed through her mind but it wasn't weakness. Tracey had an inner strength and determination Elena admired. She was just plain tired and shocked. And because of that, Elena wanted her to rest, stay on the chair. Instead of waiting for her to stand up, the CAG gave her an awkward smile before initiating her second 'real' hug in her life, getting rid of the tension soon so that she rested her head on the woman's shoulder, cherishing the warmth and proximity of another person more than ever... and yet, Elena felt like something important was missing. Like she should have already seen, or understood, or said something significant...

    Tracey felt it too, but neither of them said anything. She wanted so badly to burst out and ask what her heart was urging her to ask. She wanted to reveal everything, all her pent up feelings and desires. Still, she did not. She didn't dare ruin what they had then and there.

    "Thank you," she whispered.


    This Joint Post was made by
    Tracey Graham and
    Elena Vance


    Last edited by Elena Vance on Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:08 am; edited 1 time in total


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    Andreu Rylan
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    Re: Phase One - Shadows

    Post  Andreu Rylan on Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:57 pm

    The door sweeps open, metal sheets merging into the walls either side of the portal. Three figures, two monoliths of black tactical gear and one downtrodden man in green, hands hidden behind his back, pace into the space. The marines stop at the first door, the prisoner continuing on a few steps before turning to his guards.

    One of the Marines is darkly skinned, he takes one step forward and raises a hand from his rifle. He commands, "Step back." Andreu, frowns, a corner of his mouth twisting down and puts his back against the far wall.

    A reinforced glass screen splits the chamber lengthways down the middle, a white line at chest height the only marking on its surface. The other marine walks around the edge of the space, eyes always on Rylan. He punches a number into a keypad on the frame of a door, sliding a keycard through the panel at the end of the sequence. Andreu does not catch the code. The door section slides into the wall, disappearing. Stale air rushes out, colder than the rest of the ship.

    As the marines step back, the darker marine commands "Get inside." waving his gun from Rylan to the Box.

    "Cuffs?" He gestures, turning half around and raising his bound hands towards the troopers, still looking at the boy.

    The other marine shakes his head, steel in his eyes. "No wanking for you, bub." His partner throws his head back and laughs.

    As he crosses the threshold of the cell, it's door slides silently shut behind him. Rylan closses his eyes, and leans back on the glass. One of the marines taps on it behind his head, loud reverberating bangs, but he ignores the man. Letting his body sink to the floor- Andreu wishes there were ceiling tiles to count in Mercury class cells.


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    but part of me will always stray
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    Alexander Sola
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    Re: Phase One - Shadows

    Post  Alexander Sola on Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:53 pm

    (OOC: I'm jumping ahead a few hours (then another 5 or 6 hours again) for my character so that i can be ready for day 2 with the big suprises etc.)

    20:35 Battlestar Rhea, Corridor outside Sola's Quarters

    Alex was pulling the top half of the overalls he had been wearing for the better part of 5 hours in tight, cramped spaces with too many other people sharing the same space as him. Reaching the hatch to his quarters he slid his access card through the reader and the hatch slid open. Walking into the room he threw the tool belt into the small sofa and pulled his overall’s off. He walked over to the small sink and started to have a basic wash before he grabbed some rack time.

    He had just managed to finish his wash when he heard the chime on the door go.

    ”Frak it!”

    Walking to the door he hit the button to open it and what he saw surprised him. Major Woods in just her Combat trousers and tank top. She didn’t bother saying a word but just walked in, without a second glance at Alex. She sat on the edge of his bunk and just started to sob quietly. Alex looked at the situation and was just as confused about it as he was earlier by the commander’s strange attitude.

    ”What’s up Lou?”

    He asked as he sat next to her. He didn’t know whether to hug her or not.

    ”All the people I ever cared about are either dead or dying. This ship is not going to do Frak all against cylon ships in its state, what’s the point in carrying on?”

    Alex Sighed.

    ”First of all you have people on board this ship that care or will care about you, With your help the ship will fight and destroy the Cylon scum for what they have done. That’s what you have left, Vengeance. If the anger you have inside of you helps you, then use it. If it doesn’t then use me to take it out on.”

    She didn’t say a word but simply moved closer to Alex. He could smell the Alcohol on her breath, even from a few inches away. What she did next caused Alex to back away slightly. She kissed him, Just enough to make contact but it was still a kiss. She looked at him as though he had the plague and then she slapped him hard.

    ”All I want is a good frak! Can you give me that? Or do I have to beat you to a pulp to vent this?”

    Alex could see this was a dark side of Lou, caused by the grief or the Alcohol. Most likely a good combination of both. Alex grabbed her and kissed her back. Within minutes that had ripped what little clothing that had had on and were just inches away from each others bodies with a rage building between them that would soon be released into the world. Lou snapped first, she grabbed Alex and held him close as she gave him the most passionate and rough kiss he had ever had. The next thing he knew she pushed him into the table in the room, sending all the items on it over the floor.

    The next 45 minutes went like a blur to Alex. All he knew was that he remembers laying naked next to Lou on the table as the inter comm buzzed.

    ”Major Woods to contact CIC, Major Woods to contact CIC”

    Alex looked at her.

    ”Duty calls.”

    Lou stood up, the light showing every curve and toned muscle in her body, and she walked over to the phone.

    ”This is Major Woods. Patch me through to the CIC.”

    After a few seconds she carried on.

    ”This is Major Woods, Go ahead.”

    (OOC: I RP’d that last bit to give Cavil a jumping point for his next post.)

    (OOC2: Thanks vance i'll repost it here.)


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    The Cylons
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    Re: Phase One - Shadows

    Post  The Cylons on Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:23 pm

    20:51 - Basestar Tertius, Cylon Space

    "What is it?"

    The Six moved over to the Four's station with intent interest. The opening attacks had been an incredible success but, contrary to their plan, several military ships and hundreds of Civillian vessels had evaded the inital battles. Most of these had already been tracked down and destroyed, but there were some that continued to evade them - among those, the Battlestar Rhea.

    "I think we've found it.. the Rhea. We just started picking up Cavil's transponder signal a few minutes ago. It's coming from an Asteroid cluster on the borders of Colonial space. We never would have found it if it weren't for the transponder."

    The Six looked slightly relieved. Perhaps her brother's talks of betrayal were false indeed.

    "He must have been unable to keep the Rhea in the battle for some reason. Now he's giving us the ship's location... How soon can we be there?"

    The Four closed his eyes for a moment, hands immersed in the data stream.

    "We can be there in four jumps.. approximately an hour - assuming FTL continues to function at 100%."

    "Good," said the Six, smiling. "Take us there immediately. I have a One to inform of this."

    The Four smiled back.

    "You tell him," he chuckled.

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    Re: Phase One - Shadows

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