DAY ONE : THURSDAY
The first day started with a bang: we woke to the blare of a night-time alarm as Novara appeared on the fleet´s DRADIS. All hands rushed to their respective stations; Viper pilots flew a sortie as our team and Iason´s Marines boarded a Raptor and headed for Novara. There were armed civilians aboard who immediately fired at us and refused to lay down their guns; in what the media later lamented as excessive use of force, we took them out with grenades and rescued a hostage, Ms Ellen Green. She had been placed where we had to find her, with a sign around her neck saying „I AM A TRAITOR“, and evidence in a satchel lying nearby that implicated her in the leaking of the fleet´s assault plans on a Cylon resurrection ship. My team was quick to notice that this was way too easy, and we figured that Ms Green was being framed – however, as my Lieutenant pointed out, that was for Iason´s Master-at-arms to decide.
Just as we bundled Ms Green towards the Raptor, we were attacked by Centurion battle robots, which forced us neatly into a corner until the Marines came up to support us. Together, both teams managed to take the Centurions down. Then the Marines stumbled upon the remains of Novara´s bridge – with a Cylon hybrid in a tank full of milky goo wired to the controls! After some frantic three-way radio communication using the Raptor´s comm as a relais, we were told to guard the hybrid until it could be disconnected by the civilian expert, Dr Cyprian Eldar, and taken aboard Iason. No one was exactly happy with the prospect of sharing a deck with the creature – or with Dr Eldar, who was obviously not the most likable of persons either.
Back in Iason, the Marines and we sorted out the pecking order. Our Special Forces-issued egos didn´t sit all that well with the seasoned Marines aboard, who all had had their share of dangerous missions and resented being treated like second-line soldiers. Gunnery Sergeant Boötes Drake of the Marine detachment, three hundred pounds of compact musculature (played by a salty 20-year veteran combat-branch infantry NCO), smoothed over some of the difficulties by openly supporting our Lieutenant, Coraline Fort, who, on the other hand, realised that she had to defer to Drake´s greater tactical expertise.
Lunch in the mess saw a confrontation of another sort: when LT Fort had left the Tauronian Ha´La´Tha mob to join the military, her sister Amber had remained behind and risen in the ranks of that organised crime syndicate. Amber was now aboard Iason in the entourage of journalist Andrew Bent, and the moment she saw her estranged sister, she flew into a rage. Four SPECFOR soldiers were needed to defuse the situation and keep the two apart. (Despite my Lieutenant being a SPECFOR veteran, something in her sister´s bearing suggested I couldn´t be exactly sure who would have won the fight if the two had attacked each other.) I stood up to Ms Fort, and during a conversation in which she repeatedly came close to attacking me, I learned about the sisters´ history. That elegantly-dressed lady was a frighteningly intense player and pretty intimidating; it took all my off-play courage to stick the conversation out. Well, my character description said I was a demolitions and disposal expert hooked on taking risks, and Ms Fort fit the definition of a dangerous explosive charge right away.
I also had to admire Ms Fort´s own courage in coming to Iason: as an open supporter of Venton Hamza, a Ha´La´Tha mobster who (at a prior convention) had taken hostage and tortured a number of civilian dignitaries, it was a miracle she was not killed outright by the people who had suffered at Hamza´s hands.
The rest of the day was spent with fleet maneuvers and mock boarding practice, as well as guard duty at the laboratory where the Cylon hybrid was held. Dr Eldar´s stock with the crew was less than high; he was viewed as a loose cannon, a dangerous egotist, and more than half a Cylon sympathiser, although the latter accusation had no substantial evidence to back it up. He definitely had an unhealthy interest in the Cylon mindset, and a total disregard for consequences. When he hooked up the hybrid to the ship´s systems, Iason´s FTL and life support glitched, and there was frantic action to restore power and scrub the systems of Cylon viruses. If Dr Eldar noticed the daggers everyone was glaring at his back after that little stunt, he didn´t show it.
Ms Green, the rescued hostage, was placed in the brig. The Master-at-arms relayed the evidence to the ship´s commander and XO, LTCOL Kalliope Sellars and CPT Robert Hayes, who wore rather grim expressions when they came out of the briefing room. Our plans to capture and destroy a Cylon resurrection ship had been leaked in all detail to the enemy; we were already committed to the attack and just had to hope the Cylons weren´t ready to ambush us. The MARDET was nervous, but a brilliantly played LTCOL Sellars stiffened our backs, and after her speech, we were ready to succeed or die trying. The fate of all the humans in the fleet depended on Acheron and Iason; we had to board the vessel to get the vaccine for a Cylon-engineered virus that was afflicting the majority of the civilians and spreading through the fleet.
Later that evening, LTCOL Sellars called a tribunal hearing the case of the Human Race vs. Ms Ellen Green. Despite the former hostage admitting to open treason and the leaking of the plans to the Cylons (her motive was that she was in love with a known Cylon infiltrator, and the destruction of the resurrection ship would have deprived her of the chance to meet him again one day), and despite her cool acceptance of the demise of her fellow humans as collateral damage, the tribunal failed to invoke the death sentence. Ms Green was sentenced to solitary confinement aboard Acheron, with her mail censored and her visitors carefully chosen. There was outrage among the spectators, and the Marines (who would be on the receiving end of any Cylon trap that could be laid using the leaked plans) needed some serious calming down by Gunny and the Lieutenant.
My team´s second-in-command, SSGT Richard Ianus, was a rabid Cylon hater, and he found that he could not bear the sentence. Late at night, he stole into the brig and shot Ms Green. He then reported to the Master-at-arms, and claimed that Ms Green had grabbed his sidearm through the bars and tried to shoot him. That cover story was rather flimsy, but the SPECFOR team supported our comrade, and SSGT Ianus was placed in the brig while MAA Yacovelli deliberated whether to put him up on charges of murder or criminal neglect.