The novel does a better job than the TV series ever did portraying the harsh struggle for survival in the rag-tag fleet: "Every person on every ship was putting in double time to improve the efficiency and speed of the overall fleet. Half a dozen freighters had been converted to flying foundries, which in turn converted scrap metals and other materials into vipers for the Galactica's crew of fighter pilots. Everyone in the fleet had become a scavenger, searching for metal and electronic supplies within their ships and on the few planets they encountered with obtainable material. Considering the sources for their construction, the vipers leaving the foundry were remarkably well-manufactured vehicles. It was true, of course, that they were more often subject to technical and mechanical failures than those vipers from the original squadrons."