Battle of the Resurrection Ship
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When the battlestar Pegasus reunites with the larger remnant of humanity led by Galactica, its commanding officer, Admiral Cain reveals that Pegasus had been tracking a Cylon fleet, and upon reviewing Galactica's logs surmises that this same Cylon fleet had been following Galactica and her Fleet, possibly for months. Earlier long-range reconnaissance missions by Pegasus revealed that the Cylon fleet consisted of two basestars, roughly a dozen support ships, and one unidentifiable vessel, much larger than a basestar, which the Cylon fleet appeared to be protecting. Admiral Cain and Commander William Adama realize the probable value of the ship to the Cylons, and begin planning an operation to pool their resources to attack the Cylon fleet.
Starbuck returns from an illicit recon mission to the Cylon fleet, using the Blackbird stealth fighter to take dramatically detailed photos of the unknown ship. The name of the ship, the Resurrection Ship, is discovered by Dr. Gaius Baltar through the captive Cylon Gina Inviere. Thrace, Admiral Cain and Commander Adama determine that the Resurrection Ship was a safety net for the Cylons chasing the Fleet and hiding within it. With this safety net removed, the Cylons would seriously reconsider pursuing the Fleet as closely. If a Cylon's body were to die without another body to store their transmitted consciousness, not only would the Cylons lose vital intelligence on Fleet operations, but the Cylon's consciousness would be permanently lost.
Pegasus' new CAG Captain Thrace taps once more into her unconventional military thinking in formulating an effective attack plan, which will draw the Cylons to the battlestars and a trap, rather than the other way around. In the plan, the Fleet, consisting only of Galactica and her original civilian ships, would congregate near a handful of ships that appeared to be managing mining operations. When the Cylons engaged, the Fleet would jump away, but a few civilian ships would pretend to have problems engaging their FTL drives and attempt to escape at sublight speeds, drawing the Raiders far away from their basestars. Just before the Raiders would close in, the remaining decoy civilian ships would jump away. Moments later, Galactica and Pegasus will jump to within firing range of both basestars and engage them head-on. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Lee "Apollo" Adama uses the Blackbird to sneak up upon the Resurrection Ship to surgically destroy its FTL drive with a missile to prevent its escape, while the entire complement of fighters from both battlestars, led by Thrace, would pummel the Resurrection Ship and destroy it (TRS: "Resurrection Ship, Part I").
The attack plan is successfully implemented with minimal losses on the Colonial side. Without their fighter complements and with no gun batteries of their own, the basestars are no match for the combined gun batteries of Galactica and Pegasus, which tear through the basestars, destroying one and crippling (probably destroying) the other. With the Resurrection Ship's FTL disabled, its stranded and the Vipers from both ships are able to sucessfully attack it. The Vipers fire their guns through the ship's windows, apparently hitting vital systems causing the Resurrection Ship to explode, destroying it.
Moments after disabling the Resurrection Ship's FTL drive, the Blackbird collides with a downed Raptor after Adama's attack, destroying the fragile stealth fighter. Lee Adama manages to eject and, in the process, suffers a puncture in his flight suit. Apollo drifts freely in the middle of space, viewing the battle from a unique angle as he begins to succumb to hypoxia. He is rescued by Racetrack's SAR Raptor from Galactica.
The strategic impact of the Battle of the Resurrection Ship marked the first time since the beginning of the Second Cylon War that multiple Colonial battlestars engaged multiple Cylon basestars in battle. The Fall of the Twelve Colonies had been less a battle and more a one-sided slaughter of the Colonials by the Cylons. The ensuing attempts by Galactica to beat off the Cylons chasing the civilian refugee fleet it was shepherding and Pegasus' hit-and-run guerrilla attacks on Cylon assets had never reached the level of decisively defeating a major Cylon fleet and forcing them from the battlefield (Galactica's previous destruction of a basestar was the result of sneaking a nuke inside through subterfuge, and not open combat).
Following this defeat to the Colonial Fleet, the Cylons lose the combat initiative they had maintained since their opening attack six months previously. After this battle, the Cylons became afraid to commit their forces to major strikes, and stop attacking the Fleet en masse. While before, a single basestar would confidently Jump in and wade into Galactica and her air wing (as in the second half of the Battle of Kobol), the Cylons are aware that such an attack now would result in their permanent deaths, and for a time stop actively chasing the Fleet for months following the destruction of the Resurrection Ship. The entire Cylon strategy in the war changes. Instead of constantly trying to destroy the entire Fleet guarded by Galactica and Pegasus, the Cylons focused on smaller, low-risk goals, achieved by hit-and-run attacks on targets of opportunity. For a full month, while the Colonials conduct mining operations in an asteroid belt, a squadron of Cylon Raiders, including the ace Raider nicknamed Scar, wreaks havoc on the Colonial's Viper squadrons using hit-and-run strikes. Even two months after the battle, in the Battle of the Binary Star System, the Cylons resort to a trap and disproportionate numbers rather than trying to directly engage the Colonial Fleet as they had in the past (TRS: "The Captain's Hand").
Eventually the effectivness of this battle wears off: the Cylons eventually bring in another Resurrection Ship in time to download two Cavils, ("The Plan") but apparently end up out of range again by the time New Caprica is found as Gina Inviere's death is indicated to be permanant. (TRS: "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II") After the Cylons arrive at New Caprica with another Resurrection Ship, they seem to better protect their Resurrection Ships of which there are indicated to be many of, and besides using one as a plan to infect the Cylons with a biological weapon, an attempt to take out another Resurrection Ship is never attempted again. However, two years later, the Rebel Basestar, supplmented by Galactica Vipers, engages in the Battle of the Resurrection Hub which posseses similarties to this battle: the main captial ship on the Colonial side (this time the Rebel Basestar) engages two enemy basestars while the Vipers deal with the main target, namley the Resurrection Hub after taking out its FTL. In both battles, the Vipers destroy both targets (there with nuclear missiles) and at least one of the enemy basestars, possibly both, are destroyed during the battle.