The Galactica was alive. The support ship that had answered Adama's all-call was moving off, leaving the crew hustling to fill the magazines of the ship, while a mixed group of museum vipers and purged modern vipers was being prepared for launch. Around Galactica was the flotilla that had gathered in response to Adama's orders. Mostly escorts, three battlestars, all of them older Columbia Flight II's that had been easier to denetwork floated near Galactica. Other ships had also answered, but they were mostly hiding out and trying to un-frak their computer systems, and Adama couldn't wait any longer.
He'd already sent two cruisers to escort the growing fleet of civilian ships that was growing around the Secretary of Education's ship. Possibly the President's ship, but the fact was nobody knew if anyone above her in the chain of command had survived and Secretary Roslin had refused to claim the presidency as yet.
The biggest problem was that she was focused on gathering as many civilians in the near-space area as she could and had refused to leave to a position of safety.
"Commander," she'd said over the wireless. "The fact is that there is no higher control right now, and me attempting to exert political control would merely cause confusion. That's especially true given the presence of our… allies." Neither Roslin nor Adama were willing to take them at their word yet but they were shooting the ever loving hell out of the cylons. If it hadn't been for them, there wouldn't be much left of the Colonies. "For now, it's best if I continue to do what I can to assist those civilians I can aid and let you handle the fighting end of things."
"Understood," Adama said. "I'm leaving Lee with you as Liaison and sending some escorts. But if it looks like you are about to be overwhelmed, you jump out. For all we know you may be the highest ranking political officer left."
But Lee and the others would have to take care of themselves, Adama thought. It was past time that the Colonial navy got back into the fight for its homeworlds.
"Mr. Gaeta, do we have the FTL coordinates?"
"Yes sir," Gaeta said. The raptors they'd sent had returned and revealed that the battle around Caprica was turning into an absolute mess. The UEG ships were individually much more powerful than the cylons with weapons that seemed like something out of a bad drama.
The problem was that they only had a few of those ships on scene. However powerful they were, they just didn't have enough to end the fight quickly. The cylons were being worn down, but not fast enough and Caprica was an example of what could happen, with raiders flying down and launching nukes at targets of opportunity while the fight raged in orbit.
So the best way to solve that would be to jump into range of the main cylon group as it kept trying to avoid the largest ship. Trapped between the Colonial's and the UEG ship, they'd hopefully be destroyed. They might also jump out, but even cylons would take at least a few minutes to jump out, and if they did it would provide time to get the drifting battlestars that the UEG forces were protecting back into the fight. Once they had numbers to add to the overwhelming individual superiority of their allies, they could start securing the system.
And find out precisely why our 'allies' are here at this point.
"All ships. Prepare to jump," Adama ordered.
"They're trying to rally again," Jenkins said.
Vara nodded. The other two ships were covering the rest of the planet, but the Morath was dealing with the largest group of cylons over Caprica. They had raiders out front, dueling with the fighter screen while they were splitting their missile fire between the flagship and the ground, more to force her to continue protecting Caprica then in any realistic hope of landing a shot.
"Did those planetary defense systems just come back on line?" she asked, as scattered fire started to rise from the planetary surface.
"Yah, looks like they're under local control, but they're shooting. And at the cylons, not us."
"Good. Hopefully the battlestars will start coming back online as well."
"Jumps! Multiple Jumps!"
"Let me see," Vara ordered.
"Well," Jenkins said. "Looks like Adama has shown up, unless someone else is getting things together."
"Sir, if we're reading the IFF right, It's Galactica and three other battlestars, look like they're a similar class, and 15 or so lighter ships. They're advancing on the cylons from the rear." Strictly a relative term, but it got the point across.
"Gun crews, make certain we don't hit our new allies…" Vara said as the flak barriers and KE weapons started smashing into the cylon forces. The Colonials had jumped in close and jumped in formation.
"That's damned good coordination for a scratch unit," Jenkins muttered.
Vara nodded. Their intervals were fine and cylon raiders by the dozen were being blown apart by Colonial fire. The viper squadrons looked a little more uneven, but on the other hand, having to pull your fighter's control systems would lead to a bit of adjustment and they were still good. Very good.
Not like the Terran's were, in the beginning at least. Vara hadn't been there, but they'd reviewed the first engagements over the earth and Breetai had been right to have been contemptuous. The RDF's tactics had been nearly useless, as had befitted a species that until that conflict, whose experience had been nearly non-existent, especially when one considered matching capital ships.
Those battlestars showed the benefit of people with a long tradition and a great deal of experience.
"The cylons are losing coordination," Vara said. The monitor showed it. Basestars were starting to move away, caught between two fires, while the raiders were almost attacking at random, veritechs and vipers tearing swaths through their formations.
Whoever is over there must realize this fight is lost…
"We have to withdraw!" the Six screamed.
"No, we're not doing as badly on the other worlds," One snarled.
"Not doing as badly? You mean they haven't killed as many of us…" Three replied. "We've destroyed four of their smallest ships. Four!"
"We've lost nearly half of the attack force," A Five said. "Even with the reserves, if they find our bases…"
"Nobody can track a jump," One replied.
"Like nobody can build ship and fighter sized energy weapons? Like nobody has fighters and those… things," the Six said, gesturing at the image of a battlepod, "that are more maneuverable and heavily armed than our fighters? Nobody that fights like they were born to it?"
"Basestars are jumping out of Virgon and Leonis," An Eight reported.
"Apparently the hybrids aren't suicidal," she replied in a deadpan voice.
The group paused as yet another basestar was ripped apart by one of the smaller alien ships. Yes, smaller, it's only bigger than the biggest battlestar designed, One thought.
Not just that, but now a battlestar squadron was moving in on their rear, sandwiching them and making it more difficult to maneuver.
"Are the clean up crews in position?"
"What?" The Five blinked. "Yes, they were, but they were for survivors… if we land them without support they'll be killed!"
"And our brothers and sisters will be resurrected and we can always make more centurions. It will give our new friends something to consider and delay any other actions they might take. Order all ground forces to attack."
"Everything! Soldiers, old people, kids, their pets, if it moves kill it!" One shouted. "All basestars to jump out. We've still got the reserve and once we review this conflict, we'll be back-"
"Raiders report no effect on using the CNP exploit on the new ships," Six said as a basestar was shredded by the coordinated fire of three battlestars.
"No exploit… wait, we're getting…" The Five swore, "FRAK! Several disabled battlestars are also coming back on line. They're not working at full effectiveness, but they're adding their own fire to the aliens."
"Which means we're not getting any raiders in combat range…" Six said. "Even if we threw them all in, they'd be slaughtered at distance and the survivors would hit the flak barrier."
The screen showed that the battlestars were already engaging the basestars and raiders that had been attempting to dodge the alien warship, the now functional battlestars were moving up, adding their fire to the leviathans. There were also indicators of launches from ground bases, older fighters or fighters that had been purged, joining the forces in orbit.
"Reports are coming in from the other colonies. Multiple Colonial ships are now active…" The Five shook his head. "Not just reserves. We've missed the window for the CNP."
"We must have killed half their fleet," One growled.
"Not enough. Not with those," Six said. "At least we've damaged their industrial infrastructure."
"Pardon me if I'm not thrilled," One growled. "Deploy the last of our troops and let's get out of here."