With extraction now inbound, Nova could settle down for the moment until the evac aircraft got close. Well, comparatively speaking - in the middle of this sand storm, however, she had to keep herself alert for trouble. Picking up her rife once again, she got up into a crouch and began to wait out the storm, trying to ignore the sand that was being driven against her face and cheekbones.
She couldn't tell how long she had been there, but as she cast her psionic senses wide to try and supplement her reduced visibility, she thought she detected a pinprick of a presence in the back of her mind. Where, though, she was not certain. Calming herself, she tightened her grip on her rifle, carefully listening to this unknown's surface thoughts as she waited.
You've got me dead to rights, she thought to herself as her finger hovered above her C-20A's trigger guard. And yet you're not firing at me. Why?
One wrong move on either of their parts and this tense situation would diverge into a firefight that Nova was neither keen on getting into, or would not want to fight in the middle of this storm ...
PER ARDUA AD ASTRA
Battlestar 'Lysander' In geo-synchronous orbit of the Array 31 days since 'arrival' from Scorpio
Ship's Time - 1037hrs
On the far orbit of the Array, a ship - far more clunkier in appearance compared to the dagger-like form of the Empire's Star Destroyers - hovered above the eastern orbit of the Array. Here and there, once can make out the blue-white sparks of arc welders as crewmen in EVA suits continued to make repairs to clearly-damaged sections of the ship, while arrow-like fighters buzzed around the ship on their assigned C.A.P.s.
A 'close-as' reference of Captain S. Cunningham's appearance
Onboard and in the comparatively crammed bulkheads that made up Captain Stephanie Cunningham's office, she was in the middle of a meeting with her XO (MAJ Silas Paulson). The latter - a wiry man within his 40s - was rattling off a list from a clipboard containing more and more bad news for the morning.
"We've hove to for damage inspection for Decks 6, 18 and 19 ..." he droned. "But we estimate that complete repairs to external armour would not be ready for another three days. We're also in the middle of scrubbing our systems for any signs of a possible Cylon virus-"
"Just-" Cunningham held up a hand to stop Paulson. "Just leave the information on my desk, Major. I'll go over it myself. What's the status of Base Alpha?"
Paulson placed the clipboard onto his CO's desk. "The one in the rainforest? Well, we've established communications from groundside and Colonel Verran assure me his men have established a safe perimeter around the structure we had recon'd earlier. However, beyond that, exploration of the surrounding area is slow; vegetation is thick in some areas to the point where ground and aerial recon is nearly impossible. Verran is requesting reinforcements to bolster security in the area, but with our limited Marine compliment on-board, I just don't see how he's going to be able to get what he needs."
Cunningham nodded, glancing down as she began to flick through her XO's report. "And our fighters?"
"Red and Green Squadrons are on CAP rotation as we speak. LT Grant and his boys and girls are on station until 1200 hrs. LT Ash and her squadron are on Alert 4 standby status in case 'Lysander' gets jumped."
Stephanie looked up at Paulson, a slight smile on her face, as she nodded to the Major. "Thank you, Major. That'll be all for now."
Paulson nodded to Cunningham and, with a brisk "Ma'am." about-turned and exited Cunningham's office. The captain waited until he was outside and the vault-like door clanged shut, before she dropped her demeanor and put her forehead into a hand.
"What a frakking mess." she muttered, returning her attention to the report.
"We're in route, Terra. Pop flares in two mikes so we know where to land."
"Negative! Negative!" the reply crackled back to Rave.
Back at her position, Nova tried to make herself heard as she took a knee, struggling to keep herself upright within the swirling clouds of dust as she cradled her rifle in her gauntlets. "I'm caught in the middle of a storm system and can't ID my position with flares! Not as if I even have any on hand right now."
A breath passed through gritted teeth as she lowered her visor. With no orbital satellites or data uplinks that it could consult, her visor was practically useless as a map reference tool, but it could still allow her to see through the grit. She radioed, "My visor's positioning system is down as well! I'll try and indicate my location once you're in range, but you're probably going to have to fly by instruments to get here!"
A bitter laugh passed through before she signed off with: "No chance of me going anywhere, anyway. Terra out."
Setting her equipment pack down and bundling her cloak around her (while keeping her rifle on hand), Nova sat herself down in place, trying to keep the sand out as she began what would likely be a long wait for her exfiltration ...
Appearance: Stands at 6'1", Caucasian complexion, buzzcut brown hair with some sideburn stubble, blue-irised eyes and possesses a weedy build. Generally not seen out of his 'work blues' (Naval BDU uniform) or (while spaceborn) his pilot's EVA suit.
Age: 28 Race: Human (Colonial) Gender: Male Origin: Battlestar Galactica (2000s series)
Objectives: Personal objectives will vary depending on the operation and day. If there's a long term objective Chris (and, indeed, his comrades and commander) holds, it is to return home to find out what had happened to it.
Temperament: Sound and calm behind the controls of his fighter and generally cares about his squadron mates (especially fellow squadron leader Rebecca Ash ('Beck' in informal situations or ones requiring brevity). Otherwise acts as a human would in every other situation (horrify him and he'll cringe or panic, tell a good joke and he'll laugh, etc).
Affiliation: Red Squadron, Battlestar 'Lysander', Colonial Navy Alignment: Lawful Good
A competent pilot who had been more used to the peace-time of th Cylon-Human Armistice that ended the First Cylon War, Christopher had no idea what he was going to be getting into in the year leading up to the fall of the Twelve Colonies. A pilot with a generally excellent flying record and who had recently been 'fast-tracked' to the junior officer rank of Lieutenant, Grant eventually found himself aboard the newest Battlestar in the fleet ('Lysander') as a squadron commander.
While he quickly began to apply the ropes he had learned during his officer raining (and with guidance by his fellow class-mate, turned Green Squadron leader Rebecca Ash), Grant ultimately could not expect or prepare himself for the moment the Cylons returned to the galactic scene in explosive fashion. Unable to return to return to his homeworld of Aires and helpless as his pilots were forced to stay aboard as 'Lysander' charged towards the exit node away from Scorpio, all he could do was hang on for the ride.
The emergence above what has been termed the Ragnarok Array' and the month spent establishing orbital and ground presence has seen Grant take on a dual role as both a Viper Squadron CO and as a replaement bridge officer (owing to losses sustained at Scorpio). Like the majority fo the crew, Grant is eager to return home and to find out what happened to the Colonies. Unfortunately, with more immediate concerns and with no way back to Korbal for anyone, that wish is now on nigh-indefinite hold.
Skills: Apart from basic competencies expected of any member of the Colonial Navy, Grant has piloting experience on both the Viper Mk VII and the Raptor multi-role assault craft. As a squadron leader, he is expected to be able to fight against the enemy, be aware of his squadron's locations and be able to take the initiative at any moment - no easy task when your brain has to be capable of doing at least four things at once.
Abilities: None Equipment:
EVA flight suit
Formal and 'work' uniforms
Viper Mk VII fighter craft
Protagonist Points: 3 Threat Rating: 1
Faction Name: Battlestar Group 79 Leader: CDR Stephanie Cunningham
An example of a ship's 'seal' (in this example, the iconic BST-75 'Galactica')
Top Arc: “Battlestar Lysander” Bottom Arc: “BST 79”
Mottos: “Strike Swift and Sure!” (Battlestar Group 79's motto) “So Say We All!” (common refrain among the Twelve Colonies)
The third-last Mercury-class Battlestar produced for the Colonial Navy of the Twelve Colonies of Man, 'Lysander' was commissioned as part of Battlestar Group 79, acting as the flagship of a group consisting of 'Lysander', three Defender-class Battlestars and a flotilla of mothballed Marauder-class corvettes.
Having spent a year patrolling the border of the Colonial-Cylon Armistice Zone, 'Lysander' was recalled to rendevous at the Scorpio Shipyards in order to be outfitted with new computational hardware and software, including the Computational Navigation Program (CPN). However, BGS-79 had been diverted and returned late. By then, the shipyards were burning and swarmed by a Cylon invasion force. Forty years of peace had been broken and the instrument of the Fleet's destruction had been a back door in, ironically, the very program the Battlestar was due to be refitted with.
With no other way out except to punch their way through a trio of Cylon Basestars, Commander Cunningham gave orders for her battlegroup's subordinate craft to veer away and either engage at their discretion or to return to their homeworlds. With the nominal jump exit out from Scorpio blocked off, Cunningham ordered the initiation of a 'blind' jump, all the while the Battlestar was being hammered by fighter-borne nuclear missiles and anti-ship fire. Narrowly able to limp away (and, unknown to them in the chaos, with their sister ship 'Pegasus' also retreating), the 'Lysander' succeeded in initiating their 'blind' jump … and disappeared.
One month after their arrival at the Ragnarok Array, the crew of the 'Lysander' have been busy with damage repair, coming to terms with the loss of much of their fleet (unknown to them, the entire Twelve Colonies were also wiped out) and keeping their immediate space clear of interference. While Commander Cunningham plans to begin further exploration afield, early encounters with unidentified spacecraft had blunted exploration efforts and resulted in casualties and further damage. 'Lysander' is well-equipped to withstand a major battle, but no-one aboard has any idea where they are, why they are here or that there are far worse things then Cylons both in orbit and below ...
Battlestar Commander: CDR S. Cunningham (NPC). The 40s-something, somewhat embittered commander of 'Lysander'. An expert naval tactican who knows how to use her Battlestar and its crew to the fullest, but is struggling with both recent events and as-of-yet unidentifiable foes facing her men.
Executive Officer (XO): (Open)
Marine Commander: (Open)
Red Squadron Leader: Christopher Grant (PC)
Green Squadron Leader: Rebecca Ash (NPC). Grant's counterpart and friend. Somewhat joking and a bit of a tease, but also a firm hand when frak goes south.
Six additional Viper Squadron Commanders
Commander of Battlestar's Raptor Wing
Victory Conditions: TBD by Admin.
Tylium Ore A rare ore found on certain planetoids, tylium ore is the primary fuel source of the Colonial Fleet. In theory, a Battlesrat of either Jupiter or Mercury class could be powered for two decades with a single supply of Tylium for its reactors. In practise – and with full flight operations occurring regularly – the onboard supply could be exhausted in as little as four months by constant FTL jumps and the requirements of its subordinate craft.
It could be said that, without the mining and distribution of this ore, the Twelve Colonies of Man and its Navy would cease to function.
Skirmish 1 or 2 Viper flights, with 1 or more Raptors acting as AWACS.
Battle 3+ Viper squadrons, with at least 2 Assault Raptor flights as bombers and 2 Raptors configured for AWACS. 1 or more Marine units aboard transport Raptors (if battle is groundside).
Climax All Viper and Assault Raptor squadrons are scrambled to engage the enemy, while 'Lysander' provides anti-fighter screening and direct fire support. Marine-carrying Raptors (with infantry) may also be utilised if engagement is taking place ground-side (e.g.: the storming of New Caprica) or boarding a ship is required.
Nuclear missile launch may be authorised under strict, generally "no-'win'-otherwise" scenarios.
Starting Location: Orbit above the Array. One Node within the southern rainforest area (salmon pink on the map).
Northern Border of Warm Steppes D+31 After Loss of the 'Griffin'
How long has she spent traversing this desolate steppe, Nova wondered to herself as she struggled through the stinging sandstorm. Each step forward was a struggle, between the semi-hard terain beneath her soles, the equipment she had stowed and was now lugging on her back, and the grit which stung at her semi-covered face (concealed behind an improvised shemagh and cloak).
Well over a day searching for her crashed ship and, once more, nothing. No distres beacon, no torn armour plate, no bodies. o sign of life by any means she could detect.
You can therefore imagine her utter shock, then, when she heard a squall of comms trafic on her comms bead. She stopped and knelt, adjusting her visor's ear-pieces and activated the internally-built mike.
"This is Lieutenant Rave Mallard of the Spectre Ops with Raynor's Raiders.
If there are any Dominion personnel hearing this, we are in the southern desert on a mountain. In one hour, I will be heading to the northern border where the desert meets with mesas and badlands, waiting six hours for you to arrive. I will be doing this for the next two days, this message looping every hour on the hour for the time I am waiting. Please let me know you hear me on one of these channels.
I repeat, this is Lieutenant Rave Mallard of the Spectre Ops with Raynor's Raiders. It's time to come home."
Nova frowned, biting her lower lip. On the one hand, she was relieved that - friend or foe - there was at least someone familiar enough that was as equally stuck as she was, and that they were actively looking for her. On the other hand, she had been practically a waned woman for the past quarter of the year - who knows whether this was all a set-up and she'll be back in an interrogation chair, if not shot, for her crime?
Everything within her was crying out to block this transmission, or to track it down and destroy it; how was this not a trap? Pragmatism and her own survival, however, ultimately won out. Swallowing, she lowered her face covering and keyed her earpiece once more, opening a line of communications to the Raider base.
"This is .... This is Operative X41822N to Raider transmitter." she stammered over the howling wind. "Requesting extraction."
No please, Necrons are going to kill everyone. I've actually been hoping for some IG to get in here, DKOK would be nice, artillery regiment, grim outlook. Perfect for a setting that's bound to end up in total war at some point.
Huh, if I haven't apped a faction already and shot my wad, I'd have switched out a Battlestar for the UEF of 'Supreme Commander'.
A relatively self-sustaining, rapidly built automated army with a giant mecha as its comand unit? Huh, what's not to like? Ah well, another time and RP.