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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: Red Shift "Red Shift"
Battlestar Galactica #6 (Dynamite)
Written by Dan Abnett
Illustrated by Dietrich O. Smith
Cover by Clint Langley

A work shift at Core Command for Athena turns into a harrowing day and another chance to show her mettle.

Story Summary

As the story opens, Blue Shift is ending at Core Command on the Galactica and Athena takes over as officer of the watch from Omega for Red Shift. The shift finds her facing a choice of whether to take the fleet into a well-charted quadrant of space, where Cylons may also be present, or into a space storm in uncharted space. She sends two Viper flights to scout the two areas, led by Apollo into charted space and by Starbuck into the storm. Meanwhile, the fleet vessel Ariadna's engines have broken down and Colonel Tigh is in charge of a crew attempting to fix them or reluctantly abandoning the ship and evacuating all 800 passengers to other vessels.

Starbuck's flight returns from the storm and reports it bouncy but passable for the fleet. When the flight lands, they have inadvertently brought their fighters in with high-static energon fields, which winds up shorting out the power in both launch bays, causing a period of havoc. They get the power back up just in time, as Apollo's flight returns with Cylon Raiders on their tail! Athena orders the fleet to enter the storm in order to lose the Cylons, with Viper squadrons and the Galactica providing cover fire. It looks like the Ariadna will have to be left behind, but Tigh gets the engines working in the nick of time and the entire fleet is safe in the storm.

At the end of Red Shift, Commander Adama relieves Athena and tells her she did a fine job.

Didja Notice?  

This issue reveals a ship of the fleet called the Ariadna, carrying 800 people.

The Vipers in this issue seem to have a slightly altered paint job, with their noses painted red instead of silver (as the Viper Mark II was in BSG2000).

This issue introduces two previously unseen Viper pilots, Breena and Hightail.

Blue Flight reports back that the space storm ahead of the fleet has a lot of energons. After landing back on deck, maintenance tech Xam's readings find that the Vipers are charged with high-static energon fields which then discharge themselves into the deck and bring down the power in the landing bays. The energon fields are also likened to "void lighting" (lightning?) by one of the pilots. This is the first mention of energons in this context. In "War of the Gods" Part 1, Sheba offers Count Iblis a stop for some hypernutrients and energon treatment at the Life Station. It's not clear what the relation is between the word "energon" as used in the two contexts.

Finding the main relay on the landing deck burned out on page 12, Xam tells Starbuck he'd need a drydock, 80 techs, and an exo-lifter to fix it. This is the first mention of an exo-lifter in the BSG universe. It is probably a large piece of equipment similar to the power loader used by Ripley in the film Aliens.

On page 14, as Red Flight comes in hot with Cylon Raiders on their tail, Jolly shouts to his comrades, "Pickle off! Slide Shot!" These are both military terms, "pickle off" usually meaning to drop bombs and "slide shot" being a weapons firing technique that spreads shots along a wide path linearly.

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