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Technologically more advanced and greater in size and firepower than the to-be-decommissioned Galactica, Pegasus is presumed destroyed in the Cylon attack, but had in fact survived, eventually finding and joining Galactica and its civilian fleet. It serves a significant role in the Colonial struggle for survival until the exodus from New Caprica.
In the Extended Cut of the episode "Pegasus" Admiral Cain states that the ship is nearly twice the size of Galactica, but needs only half the crew. This probably refers to either the dual landing bays or the ship's volume, as the ship is only 1000 feet longer. The decreased manpower requirement stems from increased computerization and automation. This is also evident in the comparatively small size of the Pegasus CIC.
Pegasus is informally nicknamed "The Beast" within the Fleet (The Captain's Hand).
Prior to the Fall of the Twelve Colonies, Pegasus was a prize assignment in the Colonial Fleet with an Admiral in command in place of a Commander - it is run and kept immaculate and ready by Cain and her crew.
Frank Bruno at the Caprica Transfer Station tells Kendra Shaw that "half the officers on this base would kill to get posted to that ship." It is apparently important enough for the Cylons as a military target to infiltrate, as Gina Inviere (a Number Six copy) assumes the role of network administrator on the ship (Razor). William Adama mentions the reputation of Cain and her ship to President Laura Roslin ("Pegasus", extended version).
Weeks before the Fall, Pegasus docked at the Scorpion Fleet Shipyards, where it was to undergo a three-month systems overhaul. All of the ship’s networked computers were taken off-line in preparation of the refit, leaving the heavily automated ship partially inoperative but also less vulnerable to electronic attacks.
When the Cylons launch a surprise assault against the shipyard, they are only able to shut down Pegasus' weapons grid and navigational computer, but cannot hack its jump system.
The attack works in extreme favor of the Cylons, and they overtake the installation in a matter of minutes. However, the multiple nuclear weapons that they detonate create an EMP that blinds their DRADIS, leaving them temporarily unaware of Colonial movement in the immediate area. - Cain uses these precious seconds to revive some crew members and do a quick damage assessment of the entire fleetyard.
With only seconds left before another volley of Cylon nuclear warheads reaches the dock Pegasus is moored to, Admiral Cain orders Pegasus to be untethered at any cost and for Kendra Shaw to prepare for an emergency blind jump, - on Cain's orders, Pegasus performs the violent jump, killing and destroying everything around Pegasus, including friendly ships still trying to land from its own Air Group and various maintenance and shipyard workers unlucky enough to be that close to its outer hull at the time.
After their escape, Cain leads Pegasus on a series of hit-and-run attacks against Cylon assets. One such attack is against what is thought to be a lightly-defended communications relay but turns out to be a staging area with fifteen squadrons of Raiders. When Cain's long-time executive officer Jurgen Belzen refuses her order to launch all of the ships' Vipers, calling it suicide, she summarily executes him in CIC and promotes Jack Fisk to replace him. During the battle, the Cylon agent Gina Inviere allows a party of Centurions to breach the ship's defenses and board, resulting in heavy casualties. When Gina is exposed as a Cylon, she kills several Marines before she is subdued. Once imprisoned, Admiral Cain directs her crew to use extreme methods, including gang-rape and other physical and emotional abuse, to break the prisoner.
Some time later, Pegasus realizes that a Cylon fleet it is tracking is not jumping randomly but is following a path along systems with natural resources. When it jumps to scout the Cylons' next projected position, Pegasus encounters the Fleet led by Galactica; it turns out the Cylons are jumping to systems Galactica has passed through or explored. Cain assumes overall command of the Fleet and begins transferring supplies and personnel between the two battlestars, including Captain Lee Adama and Lieutenant Kara Thrace. Cain's indifference to the needs of the civilian ships prompts President Laura Roslin to raise her concerns with Commander William Adama.
When Chief Tyrol and Lieutenant Karl Agathon inadvertently kill Cain's chief "Cylon interrogator" Lieutenant Alastair Thorne, Admiral Cain has no reservations sentencing them to death. Commander Adama demands their return, precipitating an armed standoff between the two ships (Pegasus). The two later set aside their animosity and join forces to successfully destroy a Cylon Resurrection Ship. During the immediate celebrations that follow, however, Cain is ambushed in her quarters by Gina, who shoots her and escapes from the battlestar undetected (Resurrection Ship, Part II).
Jack Fisk succeeds Cain as commander of Pegasus, who in turn is murdered after running afoul of the Fleet's illicit black market (Black Market). Command then falls briefly to chief engineer-turned-commander Barry Garner, who dies saving the ship during the Battle of the Binary Star System. Pegasus's final commander is Lee Adama (The Captain's Hand), with his wife Anastasia Dualla later serving as his XO (Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II).
A Lost Civilian Fleet
Pegasus encounters its own small fleet of 15 civilian ships, found about a week after the Fall of the Twelve Colonies. Rather than defend them as Galactica did its own at Ragnar Anchorage, Admiral Cain uses them as a source of spare parts, deciding that Pegasus's military needs take priority over theirs.
Cain also reviews their passenger lists and draws up a list of selectees, people such as aeronautical engineer Peter Laird who would be of value, to forcibly draft into her crew. However, some are with their families and refuse to leave them. Facing an uprising aboard the civilian transport Scylla that spreads to the other ships, Admiral Cain orders Colonel Fisk to shoot the families of any who resist. When the angry crowd gets violent, Lieutenant Kendra Shaw and her Marines carry out the order, killing 10 people and cowing the rest into submission.
The civilian ships are stripped of useful items, including their weapons and FTL drives, and are left to their fate as Pegasus resumes its campaign of hit-and-run attacks against the Cylons ("Razor", "Resurrection Ship, Part I").
Following the founding of New Caprica, Pegasus is assigned to the orbital defense force that protects the planet. During this time, Commander Lee Adama keeps an emergency supply of medication aboard for the pilots, despite the fact that their crew are severely depleted due to colonization of the planet. One year after the founding the colony, the Cylons return in force. Unable to defend the planet, Pegasus and the remaining ships orbiting the planet jump away (TRS: "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II").
Four months later, Pegasus and Galactica plan a rescue mission to recover the humans left on the planet (TRS: "Occupation"). While the plans initially called for the involvement of Pegasus in the recovery, Admiral Adama decides that the remnants of the Fleet, the last free people of humanity, should not be left unprotected if things went awry. The admiral takes Galactica in the rescue effort without Pegasus, ordering his son to stay with the Fleet at a rendezvous point to await their return (TRS: "Precipice", "Exodus, Part I").
Despite the admiral's orders, Pegasus leaves its fighters to protect the remnants of the Fleet and returns to New Caprica with a skeleton crew to participate in the rescue. Pegasus jumps into the fight and finds Galactica under fire from four Cylon basestars. Pegasus destroys one of the baseships with its forward batteries and attracts the attention of the others while Galactica repairs its FTL drive and prepares to jump away.
Pegasus reels from the onslought of missiles from the remaining Cylon basestars. It becomes clear to Admiral Adama that Pegasus's trip was one-way. Following Galactica's jump, Commander Adama sets his battlestar's batteries on auto-fire and orders the crew to abandon ship, pausing just long enough to give his dying command a quiet thanks. As the evacuation Raptors jump away, the Pegasus, mortally damaged and now completely unmanned, rams an attacking basestar, destroying both vessels. Pegasus's fuel lines ignite, causing explosions to ripple down the ships hull towards the engines which detonate, ripping the ship apart. The starboard flight pod breaks away, and is flung into a handful of raiders, eventually colliding with another nearby basestar, destroying it as well (TRS: "Exodus, Part II").
Pegasus has built-in electronic countermeasure (ECM) generators to ward off missiles aimed at the ship (Resurrection Ship, Part II).
Pegasus also has two Raptor take off pads on both sides of the flight pods seen in the (Razor)
Pegasus operates at least 10 squadrons of Viper Mark VII space fighters. During the Battle of the Binary Star System four color-coded squadrons are identified verbally and on the DRADIS (The Captain's Hand). Since these designations are later used for very different squadrons led by different people, they are very likely just wireless callsigns. Moreover, the standing squadrons on Galactica have more elaborate names and are numbered; such as the Vigilantes. The colors and group leaders could be assigned on an ad-hoc basis, while a more formal structure exists in the background.
Given that Pegasus suffers over 90 Viper casualties with 32 being destroyed during its attack on a Cylon communications relay (Razor), but is still able to field a sizable Viper complement at the time of encountering Galactica, this suggests that its initial Viper load out was very large. The exact number of Vipers per squadron for a full-strength battlestar is approx 20 (Battlestar Galactica RPG). Also, Pegasus fielded approx 8 squadrons of Vipers and 2 reserve squadrons, the number of Vipers per squadron must have been 20 to equal up to 200 Vipers.
Pegasus has approximately 50 Raptors, having lost over half of its fighters and recon craft, and 20 Raptors can be deployed for the Caprica rescue mission, while Galactica alone appears to have difficulties deploying more than about 5 Raptors at one time ("The Farm", "Resistance").
Senior Staff at Time of Destruction
Former Members of the Senior Staff