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 Post subject: Re: Intrepid Episode #18: Praying for Time
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:51 pm 
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Battlestar Taurus – CIC
Day 90
0206


“What the frak is going on?” Commander Guynes demanded.

Lt. Nick Wu looked over from tactical, “Someone or something is blinding us fleet-wide sir! We have multiple reports of ships being blinded. No DRADIS or FTLs can properly operate.”

“Execute level three electronic warfare protocols, now!” Col . Wilson ordered. “And find that signal, stat!”

“Yes sir.” Wu responded as he worked the tactical station. “Level three protocols executed. We’ll know in ten seconds.”

Specialist Gilmore shouted from the comms station, “Fleet Actual on the handset for you sir!”

As William went to grab the handset, this DRADIS became clear for a few seconds. It showed several objects on three sides ‘blinking in’. The IDs came up very quickly. Four-hundred Cylon Raiders and Heavy Raiders had arrived.

“Relaunch all craft, Now Dean!”

As the XO did as he was told, William lifted the handset to his face. “Oh Gods…this may be it, Tom.”

In the background and through all the cacophony of sounds, Lt. Wu looked up from tactical shouted, “Electronic Warfare protocols have failed, sirs…”

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 Post subject: Re: Intrepid Episode #18: Praying for Time
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:32 pm 
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Battlestar Intrepid– CIC
Day 90
0209


“Taurus and Lycanthrope are taking up positions. Civilian ships have moved into the protected area sir. Vipers and raptors are covering the gaps. Triangle tactic is complete, sir.” Maj. Darren Trevors stated. “If what we are hearing from the pilots is right, the Cylons will intercept us in two minutes.”

“We’re stretched thin, but if we can figure out what the hell is going on then we can get the fleet out of here.” The Admiral said. “ETA on that last tug connection?”

“Ten minutes sir, per Lt. Straight.” Darren said nervously. “Lt. Bays in Aux Con is still trying to burn through whatever is causing this problem.”

“Have the Ranger Scouts try to pin-point where this signal is coming from.” Jacobs said. “Once we can figure out where it is coming from, we can do something about it.”

Specialist Kelli Darva looked up from her comms station, “Sir, it’s the Cylons. They wish to speak with you.”

“Push it to the speaker, Specialist.” Admiral Jacobs said as he also picked up the handset. “This is Admiral Thomas Jacobs. Stand down and do not approach the fleet. Failure to comply will result in your destruction.”

”Even in the face of your own certain destruction, you defiantly try to make a stand.” The One model on the other end stated flatly. “I come to offer you a chance to survive…a chance for your entire fleet to live. Stand down Admiral Jacobs and you and your people will be allowed to survive.”

“And if I don’t?”

”Then we do what we have to do Admiral. You are over matched and outgunned. Think of your people and allow them to live.”

“I guess we should be honored that you are giving us a chance to live…unlike the 60 billion humans that were slaughtered in nuclear firestorms. I don’t believe you, Cylon.” Tom paused for a moment, looked at his crew and then spoke again, “You do what you think you have to do. Just know I will do what I have to do.”

“So be it, Admiral. Prepare for your destruction.” After a moment, there was a loud pop and static from the overhead speaker that was quickly silenced.

Tom hung up his handset and looked at his XO, “Prepare for a bloody fight, Darren…order all gunners to execute manual operations.”

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 Post subject: Re: Intrepid Episode #18: Praying for Time
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:49 pm 
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Heavy Raider
Day 90


One looked at the Four model after hearing Admiral Jacobs answer, “Well, so much for a ‘peaceful’ resolution of this.”

“You expected otherwise, brother?”

“Not really, but it would have made our task a lot easier.” One stood at the control matrix in thought and then looked back at the Four, “Strangely, part of me is going to find this attack…satisfying.”

The Four raised an eyebrow, “Also, not all of them would have survived if they had just surrendered. In many ways, you lied.”

“Not really if you think about it.” One said as he put on his helmet to his Colonial-style pressure suit. “I never promised how long they would live, just that they would not die right now ”.

After putting on his helmet, the Four looked at the One, “A valid point.”

“Without the baseships here yet, we’ll have to have the raiders open a hole for the heavy raiders.”

“Yes, and once we can get boarders on the various ships, we will have to get them out of the combat zone so they can jump.”

One took a deep breath, “And our raiders will be blind as well. It was not a perfect plan, but the Six did the best with what she had. Brother, order the raiders into attack vectors and execute our operational plans.”

The Four smiled slightly, “By your command.”

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 Post subject: Re: Intrepid Episode #18: Praying for Time
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:56 pm 
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Lycanthrope
Day 90
0210


Captain E.A. Merton listened to the reports from the gunners blaring out over the CIC PA system. Every now and then, the DRAIDIS would clear and the leader of 'The Pack' could see what the Cylons were doing. Predicable...and obvious.

Merton took a deep breath and grabbed the handset, "Attention all hands, it looks like the enemy thinks we're the soft spot in this defensive set up. Between us and what the Admiral has put out there, I think they are in for a suprise. Lets show them what we can do. Standby for contact and gun teams, fire at will. May the Gods be with us all. Merton out."

Paul 'Glitter' Gold looked up from her post at tactical, "Fifteen seconds until they are in weapon range, if what we're hearing and seeing is right."

"If I was a Toaster, I'd start throwing nukes at ships with guns first. Hopefully we'll detect and knock them down before they're on top of us." Merton responded.

"If not, this will be a short fight, boss."

"If it is, we'll still leave a hurting impression on them." As soon as the Captain finished his sentence, the radiological alarm blared and the sounds of KEWs and defensive guns could be heard firing. The vibrations through the floor told the bridge crew that the Cylons were within range.

"Here we go folks...time to show them why you do not challenge us." Merton said as the radiological alarm silenced. Time to put up the fight of our lives...

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 Post subject: Re: Intrepid Episode #18: Praying for Time
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:07 pm 
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Combat Zone – Near Lycanthrope
0215


Fleet CAG Major Bruce Lazwell had watched the raiders come into missile range and open fire. So far, between his group of craft and Lycanthrope, not one missile had gotten through to the fleet.

As he looked across the battlefield, two things were obvious to Lazwell: First, there were no baseships in the combat area and the Cylons were holding back a majority of the heavy raiders. He couldn’t fully see what was going on throughout the rest of the combat zone, but after listening to the radio reports, it hit him what was going on.

“Fleet CAG to Fleet Actual.”

”This is Fleet Actual, go ahead.”

“The Cylons have been holding back their Heavy Raiders. They’re mainly just shooting missiles at us or picking at us. I think they’re staying back until they have a foothold…and then they mean to board us, sir. I think they mean to take us...not destroy us. They've never done this tactic before.”

After a few moments of silence, Jacobs responded. ”I concur, Major. Keep those craft out of the fleet. We’re close to being docked. Once we can get this signal found, we'll jump.”

“Understood sir and CAG out.”

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 Post subject: Re: Intrepid Episode #18: Praying for Time
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:05 pm 
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Battlestar Taurus
0214


Commander Guynes had been listening to the conversation between Maj. Lazwell and Admiral Jacobs. He quickly looked at Specialist Gillmore at Comms, “Specialist, get a message out to all MarDets and ship captain: Be prepared for possible Cylon boarding parties.”

“Aye sir!” was the quick response.

“Where are those baseships, Dean?” Guynes asked as he turned to his XO. “And what about this damned interference that is blinding us from jumping?”

“Scouts and Raptors are trying to pinpoint the location, sir. They’re having just as hard of a time as we are.”

“Understood…but they need to work faster.”

As Guynes looked up at the disrupted DRADIS, the radiological alarmed rang out. After a few tense moments, the alarm stopped. Guynes looked back at Wilson, “Don’t know who that was, but I want to thank them.”

“If we can get through this, I’m buying the pilots and gunners a couple of rounds.”

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 Post subject: Re: Intrepid Episode #18: Praying for Time
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:52 pm 
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Fleet Tug – The Brute
0216


Lt. JG Sharron Straight watched the combat outside her bridge and the teams trying to attach the last cable to Intrepid. It had been a very tense time for the young ship captain. She and her small crew had been through a lot of tense times, but nothing like this.

As she glanced at the repair teams working outside, the missile alert alarm went off. She could look out and see a missile closing on her ship. As it drew closer, it seemed as if time was slowing down for her. It seemed as if the missile was making a straight line for her bridge.

Then, a Mark Five Viper appeared out of nowhere and opened fire. The missile initially started to loop around wildly after being hit. The viper pilot fired again and the missile exploded.

Sharron took a deep breath, whoever you are, thank you!

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 Post subject: Re: Intrepid Episode #18: Praying for Time
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:17 pm 
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Command Heavy Raider
0218


“I think it's time to go with our next plan, brother” Four said to One.

“Yes, they are throwing up a rather spirited defense.” One paused as he ‘looked’ at the battlefield in his mind. “Yes, I think I’ve found the one point we can get in…but it will take all of us.”

The Four saw the ‘weakness’ in his own mind and smiled, “Yes, once we can get in, we can start boarding operations. It will also make it easier for us to wear down out Colonial friends out there. When the baseships show up, it will be a cleanup operation. Execute our next plan.”

“We are in agreement. Issuing the command to all craft.”

The Cylons re-gathered outside of the gun line that the Colonials had set up. Within a few moments, they charged ahead with all craft and aimed for a corridor between Lycanthrope and Taurus. It was a crease where the coverage of guns from both ships was light. Vipers and Raptors stood in the gap with the responsibility of stopping anything that tried to come through.

They had repulsed the earlier attacks but with the full Cylon force onslaught coming through the point, they would be no match for the Cylons. Before the start of the second attack, the Cylons had been taken down to 344 craft.

They lost another seventy three ships, but they had punched through. Before the Colonials could send reinforcements, the invaders were inside the fleet and mixing in with the civilian ships. The gunners on Intrepid, Taurus and Lycanthrope now had to place their shots carefully to keep from damaging the civilian ships.

For the Cylons, this is what they had hoped to accomplish.

"All Heavy Raiders, start boarding operations." One said with a smile as the craft he was on began to shake. The hull started to rip open to space. A round from a Mark VII Viper entered the craft and then exploded.

Now, the mission was left to the others to take care of. One and his Four companion would have to learn of the results after they download.

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 Post subject: Re: Intrepid Episode #18: Praying for Time
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:04 pm 
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Gem of Aquaria
Off of the main shuttle bay.


Marines and ship security stood ready. Three heavy raiders had landed in the overly large shuttle bay and had taken over that area. They had closed the bay doors via manual control and had blocked any computer access to the area. They had taken out the landing controller's gondola with three well-placed high-explosive grenade rounds. Cameras had been shut down.

Still, the most obvious place for the Centurions to come through was via the two large airlock doors leading to the bay. The Colonials waited for the invaders to come through the doors.

Marine Lt. Cory Bates looked at his men and women. Many of them were nervous, but their training had kicked in. They all took cover at that they thought would be good places of cover for when the Cylons came through. They still can only come through in small numbers via those hatches and they've sealed the bay. Reinforcements are not going to come quickly for them. Hold them off here and we have a chance.

It was at that moment Bates could hear the Cylons attempting to open the bay hatches. "Standby for incoming boarders. As soon as that hatch opens, let them have it!"

As everyone leveled their weapons, the 'banging' and the sounds of the hatch opening continued for nearly twenty seconds. The Marines were focused and ready. Then, all sounds stopped from the bay. Lt. Bates clicked a button on his radio, "Stand by, those doors should..."

Bates never had a chance to finish his sentence. It was all a ruse to get the Colonial Marines into place for a seemingly obvious battle. The Cylons sprung their well-planned trap. A Heavy Raider that had landed in front of doors fired one round into the double-hatches that lead to the grand entrance way.

Lt. Bates and twenty Marines and security guards never knew what hit them as the round exploded against the hatch and killed them in the process. The Heavy Raider physically was damaged enough to kill itself in the process, but the biological Cylons saw this as a 'fair' trade off since the craft would download into a new ship. The other two craft and thirty centurions were at the far side of bay and stayed relatively safe. Quickly, the Centurions with heavy weapons disembarked and entered the ship along with four pressure-suited biological Cylons.

A Six looked at a Two model. "Take your group to engineering and secure it. I'll take my group to the bridge."

"By your command." the Two said unemotionally as it took of with his Centurions.

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 Post subject: Re: Intrepid Episode #18: Praying for Time
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:41 pm 
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Battlestar Intrepid
CIC


“Several ships are reporting they're being boarded, Admiral.” Comms Specialist Kelli Darva said from her station. The captain of Gem of Aquaria is asking for reinforcements because…”

“Spit it out, Specialist!” Maj. Trevors said to her after waiting a few moments for her to finish the sentence.

“Because the MarDet leader, most of our Marines and his security teams are dead, sirs.” Kelli paused for a moment, “And now I’m hearing gunfire coming from their bridge! Sounds like the Cylons are trying to take control.”

Admiral Jacobs looked at his XO, “Tell Col. Pretrivich that I want reinforcements sent to that ship now! Kelli, check in with all other MarDets and captains and get a status. Tactical, I want those heavy raiders destroyed yesterday. Do It!”

“Aye, sir!” was the reply from all three.

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 Post subject: Re: Intrepid Episode #18: Praying for Time
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:23 pm 
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Pan Galactic 4502
Bridge


Captain Darrel Cross looked out across the battle field and tried to stay out of the way. Being electronically ‘blind’ was getting to him. He looked over at his co-pilot Amy Williamson, “Frak it, standby for blind jump.”

“We can’t, Darrel! Remember the company put in a patch to block that?”

“Take a chance and turn the key anyways!” Cross growled. “What do we have to lose at this point?”

Amy did as she was told and turned the key. A warning message came up on the screen stating that they could not perform the jump. “So much for that...supposedly in the name of stopping highjackers.”

It was at that moment that the door was kicked open. A Centurion entered and placed three rounds into Captain Cross. One shot in the head, two others in the heart that killed him instantly. The Centurion then slowly switched its left hand from gun mode into knife mode.

Amy sat in her seat, paralyzed in fear, looking at the swooshing eye of the mechanical monster in front of her. After a few moments, a man in a pressure suit entered the cramped bridge. The Five model took off his helmet and glared at the scared co-pilot.

“We can do this my way, or I can kill you here and now and I will blow up this ship…killing everyone on it if you do not cooperate.” Five leaned down and looked at the dead captain and then got nearly nose-to-nose with Amy, “What will it be…Captain?”

After a few moments, Williamson hung her head low and was in tears, “Okay…we surrender. Just don’t hurt anyone else.”

"Good. Shut down your jump sensors until I tell you to activate them." Five then looked at the Centurion, “See, humans can make the correct choices occasionally. Transmit to the others the ship is secured…”

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 Post subject: Re: Intrepid Episode #18: Praying for Time
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:27 pm 
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Nimbus
The Garden Bar


At the start of the attack, most of the patrons were moved to the safety of the back room and walk-in refrigerator. As the stories of Cylons being aboard surfaced, most everyone huddled together and started to pray.

Ship security officer Tom Cody stood with Marine Private Brandon Shutters near the door of the bar. Both men could hear the reports over the radio: The Cylons had tried to take engineering, the bridge and auxiliary control, but had failed.

All units, one Centurion heading through the main food and bar zone. Intercept and dispatch…that should be all the Toasters remaining. Get that frakker before he can get to somewhere to cause damage.

Shutters clicked his radio once in acknowledgement and then looked at Cody, “I’m going to take a look here in a second. Time to put this frakker down and hopefully we don’t get any more visitors.”

“I’ll cover you.” Tom said. “Not that this civilian-issued pistol will do much damage to the frakker.”

“That grenade I gave you should though.”

“Hope I don’t have to use it.”

The private quietly acknowledge his civilian counterpart as the sound of heavy steps could be heard. Within moments, the door flew open and the Centurion entered the bar. Instinctively, Shutters came out from his cover at the bar and opened fire. At the same time, the Centurion with his opened fire with his heavy assault rifle that had a grenade attachment. As the Marine’s bullets riddled the Cylon, a grenade exited at full speed towards Shutters.

Tom Cody ducked back under the overturned Colors table for cover. Within moments, there was an explosion. Debris flew across the room and buried itself in the tables and walls of the bar. Tom stood up, grenade in hand and ready to pull the pin.

What greeted him was the shattered remains of the now destroyed Cylon. He then looked at the bar and shouted for the Marine…but he knew it was in vain. The drink glasses were destroyed. The fine wooden bar was in shards and burning.

Finally, he could see the sink through the blown-out opening in the bar. Tom could see a bloody portion of a leg sticking up. He knew Brandon was dead. Tom grabbed his radio and reported in.

“Chief, this is Cody. Last Cylon destroyed at the Garden Bar…and Private Shutters died taking it out. I need a fire crew here stat. What’s left of the liquor is going up and the suppression system is out. I’m getting the people in the back the hell out of here.”

”Understood Cody and we have teams heading your way.” was the response on the other end. Good job, Tom.

Tom looked at his radio for a moment, shook his head in disbelief and then replied, “It was Private Shutters who did it all and gave all, sir…I’m just getting my people to safety. Cody out.”

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 Post subject: Re: Intrepid Episode #18: Praying for Time
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:32 pm 
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Battlefield – over Intrepid
Lt. JG Shonda ‘Franny’ Francis
Maj. Sabrina ‘Firewitch’ Watkins


“Lining up on the Turkey, Franny! Cover my ass” Watkins said.

“Consider it covered…get that frakker!”

As Watkins opened fire, the Heavy Raider started to come apart. Firewitch smiled, “Next Turkey…”

It was at that moment Watkins noticed a Raider on a direct course toward the tug that was attacking itself to Intrepid. “Where the frak is the cover for the tug and that docking team? Raven and Blue Dog, where the frak are…”

Before she could finish her sentence, the raider rammed the docking point at full speed. Within moments, the tug was fully free of the battlestar, the last docking point was destroyed and a dozen people who were manually attaching the ships together were dead.

“Holy frak, holy frak!” Franny shouted into her radio.

“Firewitch to Fleet Actual, the Toasters just took out your docking point and the team that was on the hull.” Sabrina said calmly. Dear Gods…we more than likely just lost Intrepid.

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 Post subject: Re: Intrepid Episode #18: Praying for Time
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:56 pm 
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Ranger Two
In the fleet


Ens. Debbie ‘Blondie’ Miller had been flying up and down the fleet, like the other scout pilots, trying to find where the blinding signal was coming from that was blinding the fleet. She had to dodge vipers, Cylons and fire from the three big ships to stay alive and on mission.

As she approached PG 1190 again, her spectrometer spiked. Debbie was focusing in on a different portion of the spectrum when the hit came up. Quickly, she made another pass and reconfirmed the information.

Bingo, something is coming from PG 1190! “Intrepid Control, I found the signal and it’s coming from Pan Galactic 1190. Repeat, Pan Galactic 1190 is where the problem is coming from!”

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 Post subject: Re: Intrepid Episode #18: Praying for Time
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:14 pm 
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Agriculture Ship Sundog
Sgt. Trevor Roberts

By Goldwolf
Note - This originally appeared in the opening to Libra Episode #26 - Fallout


The ship shook with the hits from cylon raiders, the klaxons sounding constantly.

“Roberts! It’s going, get back here RFN!” Marine Sergeant Trevor Roberts heard Staff Sergeant Holyoak’s voice in his earpiece.

He was already getting ‘back here’, as fast as he could run—he could hear the emergency hatches slamming shut behind him. He skidded around the corner and was caught by two of his teammates.

“You okay?” Holyoak asked sharply. “Where’s your helmet?”

Roberts reached for his helmet—or where it should be. “Decompression explosion,” he said in answer. “I’m okay.”

“You got blood leakin’ everywhere, Rob,” PFC Dixon noted.

Roberts shrugged. “I’m okay,” he repeated, not feeling any of the small cuts he had on his head and face.

“The dome is gone,” Holyoak said grimly, looking at Roberts.

Roberts nodded, not finding it necessary to say that he hadn’t found any survivors.

Another hit to the ship rocked it violently, knocking the Marines off their feet. Roberts accepted Lance Corporal Cutter’s hand and she helped him up.

“Holy frak, what was that?” Corporal Moody asked, also standing.

Holyoak touched his fingers to his earpiece. “Captain says we got a frakkin’ cylon heavy raider just crashed into the shuttle bay! Let’s go!”

Roberts listened as Holyoak gave terse orders over the combat net, getting the other seven Marines to head for the shuttle bay from their position on the port side of the main ship.

Frakkin’ twelve of us, Rob thought. And who godsdamned knows what the heavy has… He double-checked the magazine on his assault rifle as he ran. He listened, too, pounding along at the back behind Corporal Moody—Holyoak had patched the command channel over to all the Marines. Captain Evans was giving short updates on the situation; the shuttle bay had been repressurized, but the electronics were fried and the pressure doors wouldn’t be operated again; Damage Control was reporting fires in the bay, and in passages leading to the bay on the starboard side… Who the frak decided that civvie ships don’t need weapons?

Roberts heard it even before he reached the bay, the deep roar of a heavy machine gun raising the hairs on the back of his neck. He’d seen pictures of centurions from the first cylon war… but there was nothing to prepare him for this.

When they turned the corner into the bay, he got only a glimpse as Moody was thrown back against him, both slamming into the bulkhead. Frak! Roberts coughed, trying to catch his breath—the impact had knocked the wind out of him. Moody was half on top of him, moving feebly, so Rob hooked his arm around Moody’s chest and drew him back around the corner, keeping low as rounds impacted and ricocheted off the bulkhead above them.

What the hell IS that…?! He’d gotten just a quick, jumbled impression of the centurion who had fired at them. Fast and chrome and spitting bullets like fire… not at all like the pictures he’d seen.

He got on his knees next to Moody, figuring the corporal had been partly knocked unconscious by the rounds impacting his armor. He froze, finding his assumption was wrong. Very wrong.

The rounds had pierced Moody’s left thigh armor, up near the top, and gone diagonally across his body to his right hip. The sheer power and number of the rounds had nearly severed his body in half. Only splintered bone and strands of muscle and skin held him together.

Roberts had seen wounded and dead teammates before; he was an experienced combat vet, but this was far beyond his experience. Moody moved slightly again, his eyes already unfocused. “What… what…” he whispered, blood on his lips.

Another burst sent Rob diving for cover, flat on his belly on the deck. His rifle cradled in his arms, he low-crawled back toward the shuttle bay, then he stopped, using Staff Sergeant Holyoak’s body for cover. He’d been bringing up the rear, and it was the rest of the fire team that had taken the centurion bullets. There was no doubt Holyoak was dead—most of the back of his head had been blown off.

Roberts didn’t let himself think about the slippery fluids under his body. He breathed shallowly through his mouth.

He saw them, then. The bay lights, even the dim emergency ones, glinted off their chrome bodies. They moved smoothly and quickly, the heavy thuds of their footsteps attesting to their weight… Godsdamned, their hands are machine guns! He counted six of them, wondering how well armored their metal bodies were.

“Smitty,” he said in a whisper over the com net, “Sitrep.”

The reply came back just as quietly. “Forward passage port side of the bay, I got three down. I see five toasters from here,” Sergeant Reggie Smith responded.

Roberts thought swiftly; he was at the aft starboard side of the bay. From where Smitty and the others were, the heavy raider would provide them some cover. He could see to his left how far Dixon had managed to get toward cover before he’d been cut down—three meters from where Rob lay behind Holyoak’s body. Just another meter and Dixon would have had the protection of a low blast wall.

And Dixon had the squad’s SAW, the squad machine gun, askew under his body.

Rob’s plan, If I could call it a plan, took him only a second to formulate. “Only me here,” he said to Smitty. “I see six of the frakkers. Gimme a three count and draw their fire, I’m gonna get Dix’s SAW.”

Smitty clicked over the net once in acknowledgement.

Rob got ready, reminding himself that the deck was slick. The instant Smitty and his fireteam opened up, he was on his feet, moving fast. Even before he reached Dixon, the centurions turned their heads his way, the roving red eyes evil.

Running crouched, Roberts didn’t hesitate; he grabbed Dixon and the SAW both, throwing himself forward and behind the meter-high blast wall, rounds impacting behind him. Frak frak frak… He tore the SAW from Dixon’s grip, jolted to see that Dixon was still alive, although not for long. Blood bubbled from Dixon’s nose and ran from his mouth.

Roberts laid the muzzle of the SAW on the top of the blast wall, and praying that the belt-fed rounds would still load when soaked with blood, he opened fire.

Three of the centurions had stayed to face him while the other three headed toward where Smitty and his team were. The first centurion Rob aimed at was knocked back by the impact of the rounds, and as the Marine continued to fire, it fell… but then climbed to its feet again. Frak frak frak… Rob aimed for the monster’s neck and finally it went down to stay.

Rob ignored the return fire that the other two centurions were sending his way, ducking back down under cover of the blast wall. “Smitty, three heading for you,” he said, not bothering to keep quiet. Three heading for Smitty meant he had to take out the remaining two coming after him. Bursts thudded into the other side of the blast wall, and ricocheted off the bulkhead above and behind him. He could hear the deep throaty roar of the centurion’s weapons, echoing through the shuttle bay, and the higher-pitched response of the Marine assault rifles.

He scrambled to get another box of the belt ammo off Dixon’s body, listening to the centurions coming methodically his way… thud, thud, thud. He got ready, then on one knee fired a long burst, aiming for what he thought would be the behemoth’s weak points—the head: its eye and chin slot, and neck, and for the beast’s narrow waist. He leapt over the blast wall, charging toward the two centurions, then his right leg buckled and he fell, sprawling on his chest. Still he kept firing, his entire being centered on the enemy, dimly aware that falling had saved his life. The sizzle of bullets burning through the air above him echoed in his ears.

Saved his life for brief moments only, he knew, and the realization of his own death just moments away gave him amazing clarity. Time slowed, and he imagined that he could actually see his rounds traveling toward the centurions. He adjusted his aim and watched, detached, as first one, then the other, centurion fell.

“Rob!” came Smitty’s panting voice in his ear. “Falling… back. They got Lloyd and Baker… Kimbell and I… are drawing them… into passage…” Silence over the net for a moment, then, “Our rounds just bounce off them.”

“Comin’,” Rob replied, getting to his feet, but as soon as he took one step, he almost fell again, going to one knee. Frak! His leg from mid-thigh down was soaked with blood. No broken bones, he said to himself calmly. Keep goin’. He headed across the shuttle bay at a limping run.

He took cover, crouching behind the heavy raider, the SAW heavy in his arms. Cautiously, he peered around the raider. Smitty and Kimbell had retreated down the forward port passageway that opened into the bay, and two centurions had followed—leaving one standing motionless except for its roving eye. Rob jerked back behind the raider, holding his breath.

It hadn’t seen him; or, if it had, it wasn’t moving. He closed his eyes, picturing the distance and angle, then he dove out from behind the ship, sliding across the deck. As soon as he came to a halt, he opened fire—just at the centurion did. He rolled away from the rounds, stopping to fire again, and by sheer luck hit the monster’s gun-hand, but that only slowed it for a split second.

As before, time slowed to a crawl for the Sergeant. He fired a short burst, a matter-of-fact voice in his head telling him that he’d need to reload soon. Two hundred rounds gone already. He let his breath out halfway and fired again—then he was out of ammo.

His aim was good, though, and the centurion went down. Quick and smooth, Roberts replaced the empty magazine with a full one, reloading the machine gun, then he got to his feet to head after the remaining centurions. “Smitty, sitrep,” he said, limping as quickly as he could toward the passageway. He could hear the gunfire, still. “Kimbell,” he said, but didn’t get a response from either. Prob’ly busy, he thought, but he knew it was wishful thinking.

He skirted the prone carcass of the centurion by the entrance to the passageway, pressing himself up against the bulkhead, the SAW soft and ready in his hands, his eyes searching the dimly lit passage for movement… shiny metal movement, but all he saw were bodies of Marines.

Then the gunfire—centurion gunfire—stopped. He moved slowly, quietly, then steeled himself, but just as he was about to put the muzzle of the weapon and one eye around the corner, he heard, then felt, the whump of a grenade. Kim and her grenades, he thought with admiration even as it registered that one centurion had opened fire again. And it was close; just around the corner.

He stepped out, the gun at his shoulder, and he opened fire at point-blank range. The centurion turned, batting Roberts aside as if he was a bothersome fly. The Marine hit the bulkhead hard, but this fly still had a little fight in him, and he kept on firing.

The centurion went down partway, propping itself at an angle with one ‘hand’, its other gun-hand cycling. Rob held down the trigger of the SAW, not flinching as his rounds and the centurion’s sparked off the deck and bulkheads around him. He could see where the metal creature’s skin had been dented and pierced by Kimbell’s grenade.

And then it stopped firing. The gun-hand clicked a few times, then came to a halt. The roving red eye suddenly blinked out. It didn’t move, propped there with one leg blown off below the knee, unmoving.

Godsdamned, Roberts thought numbly. He pushed himself to sit up with his back against the bulkhead, hugging the machine gun to his chest. He stared at the centurion, almost within an arm’s length of where he sat. Holy godsdamned frakking hell.

It was dark and smoky in the passage, and he was suddenly aware of the voice in his ear, on the command channel… it wasn’t Captain Evans, and the connection was bad, crackles and static and undulating whining nearly obscuring the voice.

“Holyoak, this is Heaton.” it was the Sundog’s chief engineer, Joe Heaton. “Sergeant Holyoak, what’s the sitrep?” He sounded… as strung out as Roberts felt. “Holyoak, are you there?”

“Sir,” the Marine said over the net. “I, ah, this is Sergeant Roberts. Staff Sergeant Holyoak is dead. We k--… er, killed the centurions.”

“Say again?” Heaton replied.

“Boarders destroyed,” Roberts repeated carefully.

The only acknowledgement was a burst of static. Wearily, Roberts levered himself to his feet, limping slowly a little further down the passage, where the bodies of Sergeant Reggie Smith and Corporal Salina Kimbell lay, shredded by the grenade that Kimbell had detonated as a last-ditch effort to kill the centurions. She’d succeeded destroying one; its metal body was in several pieces, strewn along the passage.

Roberts went back toward the shuttle bay, staying as far away as he could from the centurion leaning at an angle in the middle of the passage, the gun-hand still extended. One by one, he checked each of the Marines whose bodies lay along the passage and out into the bay. The cylon rounds had torn their bodies apart; all were dead.

He intended to go back across to see if any of the others might still be alive, but he was suddenly light-headed. He staggered unsteadily, then sank to his knees, his vision darkening. The machine gun slipped from his hands, hitting the deck with a clatter, and he slumped down, curling up on his side. He was vaguely aware of a roaring noise in his ears and burning pain in his thigh, and he sweated, nauseous.

Time passed, but he was unaware of it, and slowly the reaction subsided. Gotta… stop the bleeding, he decided, and gingerly pushed himself to a sitting position. He removed the body armor on his right thigh with fumbling fingers, the task made even more difficult by his slippery blood, then carefully he probed the injury.

He thought that maybe a round had passed through the muscle on the back of his thigh, but as he’d figured earlier, the bone wasn’t broken, and although his pant leg was soaked clear down inside his boot, the bleeding wasn’t as bad as he expected. He eyed the bloody trail he’d left and decided not to think about it.

Using the SAW for support, he pushed himself to his feet and stood there a moment, dizzy. Take care of me first or I won’t be worth a rat’s arse to the others. Slowly he limped back into the passage he’d just left, knowing that further along there was a first aid box secured to the bulkhead.

He passed the centurion again, giving it a wide berth, and then he heard it… the ominous low throbbing hum. He turned, bringing up the SAW, firing from the hip even as the centurion opened fire.

He felt like he’d been hit with a fence post, but he kept firing, burst after burst into the metal body, oblivious to all else. The monster finally fell, its red eye fading slowly.

Marine Sergeant Trevor Roberts dropped the machine gun, taking a single step, and then he slowly crumpled to the deck. Consciousness faded, darkness overcoming him. “Frak,” he whispered.

The last thing he saw was the menacing gleaming face of the centurion.

_________________
"Times change...and so must I." - The Doctor, 'Time of the Doctor'


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