Title: 7 Points
Word Count: 18,449
Category: Crossover, Action
Warnings: War... nothing much really.
Summary: When Commander Adama finds a familiar Seven Point address for earth, he sets a course for hope and the Tau'ri
Spoilers/Disclaimers: Not much unless you havent seen the mini...
For the record: I do not own, nor do I claim ownership of characters or concepts from Battlestar Galactica, Stargate SG-1, Chocky or Hackers.
Commander Adama slowly and carefully removed the ancient scrolls from their protective wrapping, drawing them slowly from the bulky protective metal cylinder. Maybe there was a clue in here to the mythical 13 th colonies location? These scrolls were his best hope of finding such a clue at least, though he was extremely lucky to have them. These originals were being sent to Caprica for restoration, and so were aboard their own transport, a small Colonial Courier by the name of Hell's Runner when the Cyclons attacked, that ship, and the scrolls had survived Ragnar anchorage, unlike so many.
And Hell's Runner had been a lucky catch in more than just the scrolls, she was based on a Colonial Military design, and not only carried a pair of rail gun turrets as standard, but Tyrol had insisted that it would be relatively easy to add the Scarab launchers standard to the military version. To be honest, he hadn't argued with Tyrol over it that much, another warship, even if it was only a minor warship, was a welcome addition to the meagre fleet.
Adama turned his tired eyes back to the original copy of the Books Of Kobol in his hands. He knew there was a clue in here somewhere, some link that would point the way to the mythical 13 th colony. Except this was just confusing him, unlike later copies, including that issued to every cadet at the Colonial Military Academy, this said Kobol was a person , not a place. Stranger still, it referred to earth as being the first world, not a colony. He knew this copy had not been opened, not been viewed by human eyes for at least 800 yahren, but would that have been long enough for this level of change to have appeared in the texts?
And what were these strange symbols etched into the ancient scrolls handles? His instinct told him they were significant, important, but he could not see how. Six symbols at either end, with space for a seventh. What in Kobol's name were they?
He copied the symbols onto a pad, and carefully packed the ancient fragile scroll away, locking it into his personal safe, before grabbing the pad and heading towards the canteen. He could do with something to eat, if what they had now a days could be considered food.
He sat down at the table with a sigh, looking glumly at the unappetising bilge on the plate in front of him. He hated this stuff as much as everyone else did, but still… He grabbed his fork and began eating, concentrating on the pad as he did so. He could have sworn he had seen those symbols before, but where?
“I didn't think you were much of a history buff Commander”
Startled, Adama looked up at the weakly smiling face of Cally, one of the few survivors of Tyrol's crew.
“Mind if I join you commander? Everywhere else is taken”
“No, be my guest” he paused “what do you mean history?”
“Those symbols, they are the ancient symbols for the colonies, from before the Cylon rebellion, I had a friend in school who was a big history buff, loved that period” Cally brushed the tears from her eyes as she remembered her dead friend, “actually they are still used by astrologers, they insist they are constellations but they cant remember which colony they are from” she laughed slightly, “they don't match any constellation from the twelve colonies though, ran them through a Raptors flight computer several times to check for him” she added sheepishly.
Adama nodded, no luck there then, but it was one thing he could scrub of his list of possibilities. As it was even if they did find directions to Earth, he wasn't sure they could use it. Each of the colonies had used different star mapping and co-ordinating systems, those that had them, before the unification war, and each one was completely unique. Chances of the co-ordinates for Earth being in a recognisable format were therefore small, what they really needed was a fixed set of reference points, six preferably such as stars, oh plus their location of course. Six fixed points, plus the point of origin… Six fixed points, plus point of origin? He stiffened, looking back down at the copied images. Six images of constellations… plus space for a seventh. Six relatively fixed points in space, plus space for a seventh, a point of origin. It was a course.
“Excuse me sir?”
Adama realised he had spoken that last out loud, “Never mind, excuse me I have to go”
Adama walked swiftly up to the bridge, clutching the pad tightly, his mind moving in only one direction, this could be it, this could be it.
“Tigh, I need this symbols matched against the star charts”
Tigh glanced over at the symbols Adama had copied, and smothered a chuckle. He hadn't thought Adama was into that stuff, he usually had his head where it belonged, stuck firmly on his shoulders.
“What these? They don't exist; don't tell me you've starting listening to those astrology nuts now?” Tigh responded, his voice rough from years of alcoholism.
“Not from the twelve colonies no, but find the world where you will see these symbols, and you will find earth, six fixed points in space” Adama tapped at the offending symbols, “and space for a seventh, a point of origin”
“You're crazy” Tigh replied.
“I don't think so, I found these symbols on an original copy of the books of Kobol, just match them please”
“And just out of curiosity why is it everyone else knows about astrology and I don't?” Adama asked a slightly wry tone in his voice.
“Because you have your head firmly stuck on your shoulders, like a good commander” Tigh chuckled at Adama's look as he left the room.
“How do you do it?” Tigh said, striding into Adama's office three days later.
“That excuse we call a back up jump computer finally spat out a list of possibilities, all within the same general area, one of which is a trinary star system”
“From the pad you mean?” Adama said, pulling the glasses off his face.
“It gets better, no ship on record has ever been this way, and yet we have some information on stellar bodies in the area in the computer. Unfortunately the information has been converted from format to format so many times its partially corrupt, but this information appears to be tagged with the symbol of the original colony ships themselves, and it mentions at least two inhabitable systems”
“I think we have ourselves a destination” Adama said, unconsciously fiddling with the glasses in his hands.
“I've already plotted the hyperlight jumps, we're talking at least fifteen jumps” Tigh replied, solemn. He knew as well as Adama what fifteen jumps meant.
“Start the jumps, talk to Tyrol about any modifications he can make to the shuttles and Vipers to reduce fuel usage, and prep for a fuel sweep of every system we hit” Adama replied, placing his glasses back over his eyes, the decision made.
“I'll get right on it,” Tigh started to leave, but turned back, and added “and let me guess, we don't tell anyone right?”
“Maximum security Tigh, do not let this go over the airwaves, if the cylons hear of it…”
Adama cursed as the latest fuel report dropped from his shaking hands to the desk. Fuel usage, unsurprisingly considering they were sweeping every system for fuel as they passed through, was up. It could have been worse, Tyrol had managed to reduce the amount of fuel the shuttle's and Raptor's used with some judicious tinkering, though nothing could be done to any of the Vipers without compromising the fighters performance. At least they weren't shuttling to every ship all the time for census taking and ship surveys. They had been finished a week before and all the necessary work, for the moment, were completed.
Now they were just frantically training and recruiting new warriors from the civilian populace, and waiting on the first Vipers, which would be mark two's, to arrive from the forge ship. Mark two's. Well, they had proven immune to the Cylons computer tricks so far, but the more advanced features on some of the later marks would have been useful at times. Unfortunately, the forge ship was not designed to make any advanced electronic systems, and so for the moment Mark twos was the best they could hope for.
It was being worked on, they had one ship that carried more electronic workshops than most and they were considering converting her into a dedicated electronics ship, but that was no go due to a lack or resources at the moment. When that came online, they would be able to start building replacement Raptors, create fire control systems so they could start adding some form of defensive weaponry to the civilian ships, only 1 in 5 of which had any weapons systems at all, and of those, only two had reasonably up to date systems.
He did wonder as to the lack of Cylon attacks though, it was out of character. They knew that humanity would one day return and exact revenge on them for the destruction of the colonies if allowed to escape the cylons, so why were they being allowed to escape? It did help lend credence to Dualla's theory of other warships surviving the destruction of the colonies. Several times she had thought she heard very faint transmissions from the Battlestar Pegasus, and at least one battlecruiser during the nightly sweeps through the day's backlog of transmissions the Galactica's antenna had received, but dismissed as static. That had become a hobby for her, and one Adama smiled upon, already they had found one fleeing Passenger Liner, the Pacifica's Glory, Flagship of the Pacifica Line , and been warned about one cylon attack because of it. Needless to say, they weren't there when the cylon's arrived.
A knock at the door distracted Adama from his thoughts, and he looked up in time to see a faintly smiling Tigh enter the room.
“Just received a report of tylium on the fifth planet of this system, not confirmed as yet, the Raptor is just landing now, but it looks promising. No mention of cylon presence anyway”
“Thanks Tigh” Adama rose from his seat, moving towards the door. He wanted to ask the Raptor crew about the fuel himself.
Adama looked up blinking from the Raptors report as Skip-jumpers words registered, “Excuse me?”
“An artefact, sir” the scarred pilot, his face showing the evidence of his all to recent burning at Ragnar, replied nervously. This was his first flight since Ragnar, and up till now he had felt it was a good one, having found the Tylium the fleet so desperately needed. The look Adama was giving him was starting to shake that belief.
“What kind of artefact?”
“Looked kobolian sir, a large round monument made of an unknown material, marked with some unknown symbols. It doesn't appear to have been visited for hundreds of years judging by the way the forest had grown around it. Only spotted it because the unknown material it's made of lit up the sensor board like a nuke detonating at close range sir”
“These symbols?” Adama asked, flipping through the papers on his desk, to find the copy of the symbols from the scrolls.
“At least two of them were on the device sir, I'm sorry, I don't know about the rest” Skip-jumper replied after a moment.
Adama dismissed the pilot, smiling inside. If this device had the symbols on… he needed to see it, personally.
Tigh watched uneasily as several ships, including several of the most valuable, the forge ship, the refinery ship, broke away from the fleet and flashed into hyper, heading for the nearby system and it's fifth planet, escorted only by Vipers , and the lightly armed Hell's Runner.
For now, he was in charge of the fleet, and he didn't like it. He knew very few people on the ship would obey him as readily and unquestioningly as they would Adama, but he knew Adama's reasons for going to the fifth planet, and he understood it, even if he didn't particularly like it.
That monument could potentially be a major clue, to help them confirm earth's location, or… he shrugged, it might not be. But without checking, how will you know?
And if they were attacked Galactica couldn't go running to the rescue. Too many jumps with too little maintenance had shook something loose in Galactica's hyperdrive. It would be another twelve hours at least before they were ready to jump.
Adama was on his own.
Adama walked out of shuttle with a grimace, raising his hand to deflect the brightness of the sun. It had been too long since he was on a planets surface, and he had become far to used to the closely regulated artificial environment of the Galactica. He grinned, Kara would no doubt tell him he needed to get out more.
“It's over this way, Commander”
He nodded, following Skip-jumper to the device, through a crude path through the forest, obviously hacked free of vines and undergrowth by Skip-jumper on his initial survey.
Two minutes later he spotted the device, and nodded. Those were the symbols, plus others. Too many around the ring to be another course, but it appeared Skip-jumper was right, this was kobolian.
“Make sure you fully record the artefact” Adama ordered, then walked forward to inspect the device closer for himself.
As the ships jumped to rejoin the fleet, a strange disturbance hit the forest where the gate was. A rumbling, grating sound which scared the birds in droves from the trees and sent the small rodents that infested the forest diving for shelters, tunnels or just a rock to hide under, several getting crushed as the earth shook, collapsing their shelters.
The rumbling stopped, and with a kawhoosh of energy, a wall of water blasted out from the centre of the artifact, before being dragged like a liquid backdraft into the containing embrace of the ring. Rippling, the water stayed vertical, impossibly bright, backlit by some powerful energy.
Then, without fuss or fanfare, a black tracked mechanical device crawled out of the water, whirring softly as electric motors sent it scooting to the edge of the plinth, its cameras and sensors turning in every direction, frantically at first, then slowly, more deliberately.
"No sign of a DHD, sir" Samantha Carter commented, looking carefully over the MALP's telemetry.
"But someone's been there recently," General Carter / Selmac
commented, pointing at the fresh streams of sap visible on the close
up of the trees, "clearing a path by the looks of it."
"Have the MALP circuit the gate," Hammond ordered.
"Yes sir," Harriman replied, his years of experience evident as he skilfully manipulated the MALP's remote controls, sending the device in a rapid circuit of the gate.
"Still no sign of a DHD, and no sign of whoever was there either" Harriman reported.
Hammond checked his watch, "SG-25 are due back any time, disconnect from PD-493. As soon as SG-25 are back, redial and send a UAV through."
By the time they redialled the MALP was gone, and a strange Scimitar-shaped fighter shot down the UAV and so PD-493 was locked out of the dialling computer.
Adama rubbed his forehead wearily, leaning away from the photos of the device they had found, and abandoned, on the planet. It hadn't actually been particularly helpful; it had just added more questions.
What was it for? What was it made of? And why was it covered with images of constellations?
Common theory was that it was a communication device, like an old style analogue phone, but if so, it was missing a dialling device. However it certainly leant credence to his theory that something important was at the `address' on the scrolls.
But at the moment he had more important things to worry about.
Literally a second before the fleet jumped Cylon jump signatures had been detected. The Cylons would no doubt have detected their exit, even if they weren't in a position to attack them. It seemed their enemies were catching up.
And that they couldn't really afford. Every time they met the Cylons, at the very least they lost fighters and pilots. And on several occasions civilian ships had been destroyed or abandoned to the Cylons' `mercies'. The fighters were actually easier to replace than the pilots with the forge ship online now, although finding people who had the `knack' of piloting was getting harder and harder all the time. For fighters they needed that ‘knack'. Studious amateurs were okay on larger ships, but they would die pretty quick in fighters.
If the Cylons did attack now, they would find the fleet short a warship too. Hell's Runner was in the portside bay being refitted by Tyrol's crew up to the standards of the military version of that particular courier ship class. That meant adding Scarab launchers, two more rail guns turrets, tying them into the guidance systems and, interestingly enough, reconnecting all the hook-ups for the ‘Extender' system. A variation on the old Air-to-Air refuelling probe, the `Extender' never entered large-scale service because too few craft, even amongst the fuel-guzzling fighters, ever supported a mid-space refuel.
Tyrol was known to be working on that problem, redesigning the Mark IIs to add a receiving probe. The later Marks were vastly more complicated and fewer in numbers, they would have to wait.
Adama sighed; it was another arrow to their bow, the ability to refuel the Mark IIs in-flight, increasing their range. They needed all the advantages they could get.
Grimacing he checked the time, and then rose to his feet, swiftly straightening his clothes. He had a meeting to go to, and he wasn't looking forward to it. Every time he saw her, Roslin looked closer to death's bed.
Chapter 4: Refugees
Classified Tau'ri facility, RSS St Athan.
Admiral Thompson looked up as a knock sounded at his door. The Williams twins, Sarah and Joan, swiftly followed the knock into the room.
"Morning twins, what can I do for you?" Thompson cheerfully greeted the two and then stopped, the smile dropping as he noticed the grim looks on their faces.
"How bad?" he asked.
"Extremely," Joan replied. Sarah simultaneously saying, "Apocalyptic, sir."
Joan and Thompson blinked; they both turned their eyes to Sarah.
"Were the Slayers not fast enough this time?" Thompson asked, worried.
"Not that sir. As you know only one attack has ever come at us from down the spiral arm, and that was the Goa'uld attempting to hook around for a sneak attack, away from the primary line of defence, so we generally consider down spiral safe for use as a training area. So far no displaced human civilisations or anything else has been found that way, right?"
Joan and Thompson nodded, acknowledging Sarah's words.
"I had the reformed 1st SFW doing `Aggressor' training with a pair of batch two Lancer IS against a finger four of Al-kesh . The Lancers were loaded with sensor pods, each Lancer had an active sensor pod under one wing and a passive pod under the other, the idea being they could co-ordinate their sensors' data, triangulating on any `bogey' as it were," Sarah paused.
"Yes, I remember reading a memo about that," Thompson said, letting Sarah know he had no clue where this was going, but that she had better hurry up about it.
"They called the exercise off after the passive pods detected multiple thermonuclear detonations coming from at least twelve separate sources deep from the tail end of the spiral arm. The records are being dumped into our main computers for analysis as a crash priority now, but Captain `Python' Monroe says it looked like someone was ‘Coventrating' twelve worlds."
"Jesus H Christ." Thompson cursed. "Somebody just carpet bombed twelve worlds, with nukes?"
"It certainly looks that way, sir. The sensor records are being looked at again and we are running them through the Cray-12s to get as much data off the records as possible, but whatever actually happened, it must have happened several months ago."
"I think…" Thompson slowly said, "We need to know what happened and fast. Arrange a recon, in force preferably, and let Hammond know."
"Sir," Joan broke in, "Hammond has his plate full at the moment. We just got word the Tok'ra base was captured in a sneak attack, and it appears Maktenos is planning an ambush for whoever is sent to rescue them. Anise/Freya got out with the warning."
"Bloody brilliant," Thompson commented disgusted, "it never rains but it pours, doesn't it?" He sighed, "Any better news?"
"Yes, sir. Peters just signaled a successful launch of USS Yorktown and RSS Illustrious , with RSS Invincible expected to follow tomorrow.
USS Gettysburg and RSS Interrogator are expected to follow by the end of the month, at which point the slips will start new construction.
General O'Neill also says he has dragged the two almost completed Ha'taks that were discovered inside Ravenbright out of hiding, and is having them refitted and brought up to operational standards. He estimates three months' work is required on each," Joan finished.
"What ships do we have available for a recon in force?" Thompson asked briskly.
"Sir, I recommend we send Del Shakka Mel , with the two MTBs she been practicing joint ops with, Blastboat and Cerberus , as well as one of the Tel'tacs we captured from Maktenos during the Chocky operation to carry extra supplies for the MTBs," Joan replied, not checking her PDA. She had obviously considered this already.
"Do it, and send a heads up to the Fleet concerning the Tok'ra and the coventrating," Thompson replied, "just remember to ask Enerina nicely if you can borrow her and the Del Shakka Mel, she is an ally not a subordinate after all”
"And while you're at it, ask her host as well."
BSG75, Galactica .
Adama looked up, a little startled from his reading. What in the name of Kobol was a Goa'uld? He had spotted much on his initial look through, a skim through really of the originals of the Book of Kobol, and now on this thorough, time-consuming examination of each page he was discovering more and more. He glanced over his desk; already he had used two full notebooks just listing the subtle and some not so subtle differences between this Book of Kobol and his own personal copy.
But, that still didn't answer his question. What was a Goa'uld? And why was Kobol referred to as being… he glanced back down at the faded scroll, ever that was in alliance with, or a member of the… he pulled the glasses closer to his face as he struggled to read a word that had faded almost completely. T O K something, maybe a ` R. He grimaced, the last letter was lost. It figured. Tok'r something . What, or whoever, that was.
Now Adama was worried. This whole section was not on his copy of the
Book of Kobol, that meant censorship. Somebody had deliberately stopped a whole chapter of the Books of Kobol entering the public copies and it had to have been done thousands of years ago, most likely during the period of colonisation. Which was worrying, because it meant that everything the people had believed in since then was a lie, or if it wasn't a lie, certainly wasn't the whole truth.
He hoped to hell that never got out. Just the suggestion would cause mass religious rioting amongst a signifiicant portion of the surviving population, and that would be trouble, trouble he really didn't want to have to deal with.
And what was an Asrak?
He dropped the papers, quickly bundling them into his safe as the General Quarters alarm began to blaring through the ship, followed by the sound of launching Vipers.
It appeared the Cylons had found them again. They would have to jump out, and soon.
Classified Tau'ri facility, RSS St Athan.
Commander Sarah Williams dove without knocking into Admiral Thompson's office, her ever-present PDA in her hand.
"Sir, Intel just finished analysing the sensor data from the Lancer passive sensor pods," she paused, gasping for breath.
"Yes?" Thompson said, passing a glass of water over from the sink in the corner of his room. He knew Sarah wouldn't rush in like this unless it was extremely important, and wasn't saying anything about her breaches of protocol.
"Twelve worlds were systematically carpet bombed with nukes into oblivion. These worlds were inhabited."
"Wait," Thompson barked, his hand raised in a hold motion, "how do you know they were inhabited?"
"Well, at first we only had circumstantial evidence, the number of secondary explosions that were detected for instance. Most of the secondary explosions read as detonating power stations, refineries, the only secondaries that would be large enough to have any hope of been detected. Several of these detonations were muffled in a way that the computer said with a 78% certainty meant they occurred in a major metropolitan city, but the clincher came with two points.
One, a second device signature was detected. Somebody was firing back . Not very often, and combined with the number of orbital detonations where stations and warships might be expected to be, we suspect the hostiles gained the element of surprise across the whole theatre of war, otherwise more return fire would have been expected.
Two, we picked up fragmented transmissions in Latin from the surface of several of the planets. Only single words, and heavily distorted, but whoever just got hit, was speaking an old Earth language."
"A Goa'uld slave world?" Thompson asked, eyebrows raised.
"Unlikely. As far as we can tell, Earth is about as far as the
Goa'uld ever set up a base down the spiral arm of the galaxy, and if it was they were abandoned pretty quickly, otherwise they would be unlikely to have spaceflight to the extent they appear to." Sarah paused, raising her PDA up as it bleeped its receipt of another update.
"Interesting… the second group of Lancers IS just reported back. They detected several nuclear detonations from both groups. The survivors' course makes them a Highly Probable for the refugee fleet we have been hearing about."6
"How long till intercept?"
Sarah shook her head, "No way to know for certain, but they will arrive in the refugees' general area within a week."
"Let's hope there is someone left who is willing to answer some very pointed questions when they get there. Dismissed, Commander."
"Bring her about! Put the empty landing bay in the way of their fire!"
"Fire in the starboard launch bay! DC parties 2, 9 to the starboard launch bay!"
"They got Glorious Caprica !"
"The Vipers are taking heavy losses, they're screaming for support."
Adama cursed as the Battlestar shook and rumbled under the constant barrage of fire from the Cylons. At least his shouted order had got through, but they had to hold, they had to! Too many of the civilian ships had been lost already.
"That's it, the civilian ships have all jumped," Tigh's voice blared over the din and Adama nodded, they may just have a chance yet.
"Order all the fighters to begin an immediate combat landing. Tyrol will just have to rebuild the undercarriage again. And spin up the FTL drives, we're leaving."
"Yes,Sir…What in the name of Kobol?"
Adama spun around sharply, "Report!"
"New contact! Unidentified contact engaging the Cylons, trying for an
ID…" Lieutenant Gaeta trailed off, frantically trawling through his displays before giving up, shaking his head, "Contact matches no known technology base."
The Command Centre went deadly still, the words shooting past the needs
of the Galactica in combat straight to the - Holy Shit! First Contact!
It was Tigh who kept his head, maybe jaded by too many years of alcoholism, it didn't really matter.
"Tend to your duties!" he barked, glaring around the Command Centre, the ship rocking heavily as another Cylon baseship entered range and fired, its volleys of cannon fire cratering the armoured hull of Galactica. "Commander, all fighters are aboard, the launch bays are retracting, and we have a baseship way too close for comfort."
Adama nodded, "As soon as the bays are retracted, make the jump." He turned, and raised his voice "Gaeta, record everything!"
"Jump in five seconds!" Tigh's voice blared over the intercom
"Frak Me!" Gaeta shouted.
Adama started to ask for a report, but his vision distorted, and they jumped.
RSS Minor Warship Cerberus
"Fuck!" Flight Lieutenant Drew Miller shouted, as the icon representing the unknown human warship vanished from his tactical display. He rubbed his hand along the fire-ravaged contours of his face, the result of an `accident' in an RAF Tempest fighter, then made a snap decision. "Break off! Rig for hyper jump," he smiled, “but let's send that baseship a little present before we leave. Load Naquadah tips into the gauss rifles, and send them a volley."
"Aye, sir" Flying Officer Shane Cooper smiled predatorily as he readied the cut down Asgard Gauss weapons to fire, tracking in the nearest baseship.
With a soft shudder that was felt throughout the hull of the very small ship, the gauss rifle fired briefly, sending ten Naquadah tips at the Cylons as the MTB turned and prepared to make the jump into hyper.
The rounds impacted, each one chewing a three hundred foot hole in the Baseship's armour. The Cylon vessel reeled off, then shook as a massive secondary explosion radiated outwards from the first impact, a flash of brilliant light blazing outwards as a munitions locker detonated, the shockwave visibly moving through the hull, rippling the hull plating, collapsing bulkheads and triggering further secondary detonation in its wake. It hit another munitions locker, and a massive hull segment blew out, a further shockwave radiating through the hull, then another and another…
In blaze of brilliant white light, the fuel stores detonated, and the dying ship was shredded, fragments flung into space, damaging the other two baseships and wiping several Cylon fighters from the sky.
Without fuss, without fanfare, the victorious Cerberus vanished into hyper, its first war patrol already a success.
It was a frustrated and unhappy Cerberus that returned to Del Shakka Mel to report, and reload their armouries from their Tel'tac supply vessel. They had seen their objective, held it within their grasp only to have it torn away.
At least now they knew for definite that there was a refugee fleet in need of assistance, and at least now they had an idea of how the enemy was. Machines, a race of machines, they still didn't know how intelligent the machines were, if they were sentient, hell, who there creators were, they did however know on startling fact.
The refugees were human. That meant they were the second survivors of a fallen advanced human civilisation the Tau'ri knew off, it made them valuable in their own right.
But that would lead the Tau'ri into open conflict with the machines in all probability, after all, unlike humans machines did not forget, did not forgive, just carried out there orders uncaring of morality, of human ideals of right and wrong.
And they were patient; a machine would have no problem waiting forty, a hundred, even a thousand years if it meant a greater chance of success.
These machines appeared to have carried out genocide on an unheard of scale, willingly. That made them a threat of the highest order, and machine logic being what it was, Flight Lieutenant Drew Miller rather suspected that they were already at war with the cylons, even before he had opened fire, after all, if humans are the threat, and you had ordered a human civilisation destroyed, wouldn't you want all humans destroyed in order to permanently remove the threat?
The Captain of the Cerberus didn't think that was a particularly nice thought.
Neither did Enerina when she read the report.
That was something the Goa'uld would certainly never contemplate and even more likely never allow. They needed humanity, like the parasites most of her race were they took took took, giving the humans under their dominion nothing and often acting cruelly and irresponsibly towards them, but they needed humanity.
Unlike before humanity, when the Goa'uld took hosts of various races, Unas making up the largest proportion at roughly 40% of all hosts, the current crop of Goa'uld could not, would not contemplate life in anything other than a human. Only a rare few took non-human hosts, and most jumped to a human as fast as they were allowed.
The time may just come when the Goa'uld may have to fight with the Tau'ri, for the survival of the host race they relied upon so much.
And, just wouldn't that be an interesting and unstable alliance.
Sighing, she began the familiar yet annoying task of typing up her own report for her allies the Tau'ri, adding her own thoughts to Drew's very through analysis. More trouble was on its way; trouble was Enerina wasn't sure if the Tau'ri were ready for it.
Drew gloated to himself as he took Cerberus back out to continue the search, Harris it seemed wasn't having much luck, they had been out on Rescue/Recovery for 23 hours so far and had found nothing, they hadn't even had a contact with the cylons, whereas Drew had been out just 3 hours, and had not only made contact with the enemy, but had managed to grab sensor records of the refugee fleet too.
Now, Blastboat would spend the next 8 hours, baring emergencies, shut down so the crew could hit the bunks and showers on Del Shakka Mel, whilst he would be out there continuing the search, hopefully making contact with the fleet.
With a flash, Cerberus dropped out of hyper…
…And right into hell.
“New contact! Multiple contacts! I'm reading 130 hostile vessels in system and counting!”
“Raise shields! Battlestations! Helm, break us off and rig for hyper!” Drew shouted, cursing his luck. They had dropped right into the maw of the beast!
“ Contact! Refugee fleet on scope”
“What? Where?” Drew cursed, he couldn't break off, not with the fleet in sight, they needed to make contact!
“Helm, passing co-ordinates, rig a microjump to the fleet” Sensor/Weapons Officer Shane Cooper shouted, as he frantically typed commands into the console.
Drew nodded, good initiative, he flicked the intercom on, “All hands rig for Microjump, maintain GQ throughout the jump”
Shane cursed loudly, “Sir, we might have a problem here”
“What is it?”
“We now have 250 contacts on scope and more registering all the time, we're dicing with OBE here, I don't know how long we will have before the AWAC computer overloads”
Drew grimaced, “Isolate the AWAC computer from the rest of the network, make sure it doesn't take the rest of the ship down with it”
“Microjump in 3… 2… 1…” Ensign Bonner's voice carried over the bridge, bringing the shuddering of the gauss rifles to a close as the ship prepared for the jump.
The first thing Drew heard as they dropped out of hyper was the blaring eerie sound of a Master Alarm.
“Master Alarm on Sensors, AWAC computer down, attempting a reset…” Shane nodded, resigned “System dead, we've lost it sir”
“Shit!! All right, you know the drill; manual set Pulse batteries to target vessels with no life signs only, set gauss rifles to manual, torpedoes to backup targeting, manual target selection. Its gonna slow us down, nothing more” Drew grimly replied, his years of RAF service allowing him to resist the urge to curse a blue streak, just.
“Yes sir… pulse batteries 1,2,…4 and 5 accepting the change, pulse 3 not acknowledging, I'm shutting it down, gauss checks… torpedoes checks, we are go”
“Finally, weapons are now free on manual” Drew ordered.
“Sir, picking up refugee transmissions… running it through translation… its Latin based” Systems/Engineering Officer Tappin.
“ Starbuck, *** see that?”
“Skip-jumper, yeah I view it, little busy though… Yes! Bagged ******* one”
“Starbuck, Apollo, this is Galactic, we're reading human life symbols on the ******, I **** you to *********, try for an **”
“Christ, we're losing half the messages, Pierson's supposed to be hot with languages, get him on the translator and get that cleared up” Drew frowned annoyed.
“Weps” Bonner shouted to make sure he was heard, “I'm prepping for a run on the heavy at 3 o'clock, be ready on torps”
“Belay that!” Drew snapped, “Ready on Gauss rifles, to many fighters about to intercept the torps, save them”
“There's talking all over the ****, you see that Apollo, I recognise the symbols, there standard, but some kind of derivative ********, and…”
Pierson frowned as he frantically tried to bring his centuries of experience with language to the fore, tapping furiously into the console as he added missed words and corrected others, each modification reducing the number of mistakes the translator spat out.
“Frak me” came the quiet curse over the radio, and Pierson grinned slightly, he doubted even a computer would need help translating that one, “You see that Apollo?”
“Not over the airwaves”
“Frak no, I'm heading back to Galactica to report, Kara, you re-engage”
“Systems rig the Rings, protocol SAR-15!” Bonner shouted from the helm as he danced the Cerberus through the fight, then flung on the brakes, bringing the MTB to a shuddering halt. Instantly, the rings dropped outwards from the hull, enveloping a refugee pilot who was sans ship in their embrace, depositing her into the largest open space aboard the MTB, horizontal in the main airlock, the only place there was enough room for Rings could be fitted.
“All vipers, all vipers, begin immediate combat landings, starboard and port bays are ready to receive you”
“The civilian ships they're…” Tappin paused, then continued slowly, anguished tears flowing down his face, “All bar one civilian ship have jumped, a Liner with 1,500 life signs didn't make it, the machines nuked it”
“Mourn the dead later” Drew snapped, unknowingly echoing Adama's words from months before, “helm, rig for jump, weps support the retreating fighters as much as you can, systems, see if you can contact that Supercarrier, we need a rendezvous, but as soon as they jump, helm, get us the fuck out of here”
“Sir, last fighters landing on now, they'll jump within seconds” weps responded.
“Shit, okay, forget the contact systems, helm, you have your orders”
“Yes sir… the carrier has now jumped, rigging for jump”
Cerberus vanished from the frustrated Cylons, carrying with her the battered body of a Colonial warrior.
Boomer closed her eyes in fear as the craft dived towards her, intent, to her eyes, on ramming her, killing her. Shaking, she held her hands over her face, expecting to die.
But she didn't.
She opened her eyes and looked up in time to see several rings drop around her, encompassing her. A bright white light moved swiftly down towards her and she yelped, covering her face again.
Only to feel her suit move in against her as atmosphere appeared around her. Shocked, she dropped her arms, glancing swiftly around at what appeared to be a large airlock, the doors the floor at her feet and the roof over her head.
Then the walls shifted, and her stomach stayed behind.
“Grav shift!” Boomer moaned, as the grav fields around her twisted, the airlock doors shifting around until they were sensibly perpendicular to what, Boomer judged by the few scuff marks, to be the floor,
“They should really warn people before they do that” Boomer muttered, her stomach settling back down as the grav field stopped shifting, pulling her to the ‘floor'.
In front of her, the airlock started to cycle open, and she flicked her hand downward, swiftly pulling her pistol from its holster.
A tall, dark haired man walked through the door, his eyes hinting at great age, an archaic sword swinging from his belt, and a strange snakelike pistol holstered at his side.
“My Name is Adam Pierson, you are aboard the Royal Space Service Minor Warship Cerberus ”
“Lieutenant Junior Grade Sharon ‘Boomer' Valerii, Colonial Military”
Pierson raised an eyebrow, “So you know you're colonists? Good, that'll help. If you could please holster your pistol”
Boomer hesitated, and then holstered her pistol, drawing the strap over it to lock it into the holster, the fact that they hadn't taken it away from her scoring them a few points in the ‘plus' column.
“Follow me, but carefully, this is a very compact little ship”
Boomer strode through the airlock into the ship after Methos, and abruptly slowed behind him, her eyes wide as she gazed upon an open control panel at which a dirt streaked figure feverishly worked, and the burned crystals contained within.
They weren't using microchips!
A dark voice within her told her that would make infiltration an interesting challenge.
She tried to ignore it, but everyday the voice got louder, more insistent. She was beginning to question her own sanity.
“Quiet!” Adama bellowed over the excited babbling, the insistent questions which filled the briefing room.
The room fell silent, the small select group of occupants slowly sinking back into their seats, stunned by the words they had just heard from Starbuck and Apollo.
“Now could you please repeat that?” Adama asked carefully.
“The frakkin ship had the Kobolian symbol for Earth on it, and yes we're certain, just spent the last half an hour checking it against the books of Kobol” Kara replied, annoyed by the need to constantly repeat herself, “It was a small circle over a pyramid, how certain do you want us to be?”
“Well” Tyrol commented into the stunned silence, “at least Sharon should be safe”
Starbuck stiffened, “Boomer? Something happen?”
“She was forced EVA in the middle of the fight, that craft picked her up just after you left it”
“Frak me, how did they manage that?” Starbuck replied.
“We don't know, but her beacon moved almost instantly from outside the hull to inside” Adama replied.
“This… changes things” Roslin smiled weakly, her eyes still bright and alive despite the ravages the cancers were inflicting on her body.
“Indeed” Adama nodded.
“Now we have a pretty good idea that Earth actually exists, we know we have an actual goal we can aim for, not a false hope”
Adama glared around at the shocked occupants of the room, “Not a word, understood?”
Rallying, Apollo commented, “We still don't know where Earth is”
“No, we don't” Roslin, “but those were very small ships, they cannot have much endurance, either there's an Earth base in this area, or Earth itself, either way they do appear to be looking for us”
“They certainly came straight for us that time, jumping past most of the Cylons, could just have been a tactical manoeuvre, get to within mutual support range but I don't think so” Adama responded, considering the thought.
“Well, we can hardly make it easy for them to find us” Tigh added, “that would only make it easier for the cylons to find us”
“Agreed” Adama nodded.
“So what do we do?” Tigh asked.
“I don't know” Adama replied.
Boomer watched, slightly agape as the Cerberus dropped out of hyper, the swirling nimbus of energy surrounding the vessel vanishing revealing the broad pyramid of Del Shakka Mel.
“Impressive ship” she commented.
“Yes” Drew replied, glancing up from his console, “It's an upgraded Ha'tak, the Del Shakka Mel, Enerina controls her and she is an ally, not a Tau'ri, as it is… ahh yes, she's signalled she's ready to receive us”
“Tappin, get out to Esso and get us a top-up and a wax job,” Drew shouted over his shoulder as he led Boomer swiftly through Cerberus's narrow corridors to the airlock, where they were joined by Adam Pierson. Groaning, Boomer followed them into the airlock, she hated grav shifts.
Now she was able to notice the process, Boomer found herself awed and impressed by the process, matter transportation! It was the stuff of sci-fi, it violated the laws of physics and yet it was apparently possible. Boomer was honest enough to admit she would probably never understand the process, she wasn't scientist enough.
Grimacing, she tried to stifle the harsh grating voice that said they had machines for that, that discovering the secrets of the rings was only a matter of time, then humanity, even that pest Adama would soon be finished.
Shuddering, Boomer promised herself she would check herself out with the Doc when she got back to Galactica , ignoring the voice that said she would be finished by then.
With a start, Boomer realised they had arrived at what was undoubtedly a throne room, a young figure, no older than eighteen its sole occupant sitting at a desk and computer of totally different construction to the rest of the room.
“Ahh… Flight Lieutenant Drew, report please” Boomer straightened, puzzlement etched into her expression as Enerina's strangely modulated, almost doubled voice registered. Then she noticed the glowing eyes, and her mind jumped to a strange conclusion, not human.
The voice within went silent, and then Boomer shifted disturbed as she sensed it become very focused and attentive.
“This is JIG Sharon ‘Boomer' Valerri, from Galactica” Drew said, waving at Boomer.
Enerina was puzzled, “ Galactica? I don't remember that ship being on the fleet lists”
Boomer interrupted, “It's a Colonial Battlestar, as far as I am aware, the last surviving Battlestar from the fleet” Not for long, soon no one will survive.
Enerina's eyes narrowed slightly, a nebulous alarm tingling at the back of her mind, “You are from the refugee fleet?”
“Yes, all the survivors of our people are crammed into just 45 ships now” Boomer said, suppressing the slight smirk that tried to appear on her face.
She didn't suppress it as successfully as she thought, Enerina noticed and the nebulous doubt dropped into certainty. But one doubt remained; she didn't sense a Goa'uld, unless…
They would have to have had someone, or something on the inside.
“You realise you will have to answer a lot of questions about the destruction of your worlds?”
“Of course” I will answer them for you, just before I kill you. After getting the secrets of your technology from you of course.
Enerina nodded, her suspicion confirmed. She knew the signs, she had seen them often enough.
“Snake” she said off hand, glancing at Drew and Pierson. They nodded grimly, Pierson drawing his Katana, placing it swiftly at Boomers neck.
“What the frak? What is the meaning of this?” Boomer cried, not amused.
“We have been known the Goa'uld for years, we know the signs of a secondary personality being present, I'm afraid you're under arrest”
“What do you mean? Secondary personality? I'm no frakkin cylon?” I wouldn't bet on that.
Boomer screamed as deep tendrils of pain grabbed deep into her mind, and she knew with horrid certainty that they were right, she was a cylon, and she was about to lose control. She would not lose control. She refused to lose control.
Enerina winched as she walked up to the cell in which Boomer was contained, she could sense Boomer fighting, struggling to maintain self against the beast that raged within her, trying to control and dominate.
Boomer had lasted longer than most do against a Goa'uld; she was to be commended for that. Unfortunately, the simplest solution, which was to put Boomer in the sarcophagus was not available, her sarcophagus was with SGC Medical, where they were trying to unmask its secrets, so they could build more, hopefully without the Goa'uld versions flaws.
The back-up sarcophagus Maktenos had kept aboard this ship when it was still his flagship was not to be found; she knew he had kept it hidden but this well hidden? Her Jaffa and the Tau'ri had searched the ship from end to end and not seen any indication of where it was; it was entirely possible it wasn't even aboard.
So, she would have to do this the very hard way.
She nodded to the watchful Jaffa, grimly the two Amazons strode into the cell, carrying Boomer bodily into the next cell in which she was immobilised onto a slab of marble, unable to move, a jerry rigged device above her, its lenses pointed straight at her skull.
Grimly, worriedly, Enerina took a deep breath. She would have to move very fast. She raised her hand device, projecting a general healing field over Boomers head, preparing it for the trauma to come as drugged oblivion claimed the colonial warrior.
She nodded again, and the battle began.
Above her, the jerry-rigged device activated, an EMP wave shutting down the cylon circuitry within Boomers mind and Enerina moved, utilising the full empathic abilities of her host, combined with her own Goa'uld physiology to master the hand device, using it to detach circuitry from Boomers mind, frantically racing ahead of the cylon device as it struggled to reboot, to bring itself back online, to gain control.
Enerina concentrated all her will on the hand device, performing a task no true Goa'uld or Tok'ra would ever manage or even contemplate. She never noticed the sweat pouring in rivers off her brow, her tightly closed eyes were not stung by the pool of salty sweat which gathered by her furrowed eyelids, not did she feel the IV as it was carefully slipped into her arm, pumping water and nutrients into her body, to keep her energised, to slow down the onset of fatigue and dehydration.
She had felt, through her hosts empathic abilities, Boomers struggle against the machine within, she had felt her determination and Enerina knew she could do something about it, this was why she had rebelled against the Goa'uld she called ‘father', she sensed the dark, sensed the evil and she wanted to do something about it.
This was a battle she was determined to win.
It was a subdued Cerberus that left Del Shakka Mel, and their stores Teltac Esso to return to the search. Enerina and Boomer were both out, Enerina having driven herself to the point of collapse trying to save Boomer, her host was currently in charge of the body, and to call her ‘shy' was to call Holy War a mild border dispute.
They didn't know if Enerina had been successful either, the only person who could really tell if the Cylon had been disabled was Enerina. Boomer herself was no longer sedated, but she was comatose, the strain of the battle for her mind being too much for her psyche to handle.
That Boomer was out, and the cylon had shown no signs of taking over was an encouraging sign, but not by any means a definite one.
And they still had no clue where the refugee fleet was, still Blastboat had come into contact with the Cylon's and had destroyed a mothership before things got… interesting.
The Cylon's had attempted to hack into Blastboats computers, sending master alarms screeching across the Systems boards. The hack had been spectacularly unsuccessful, Harris grinning as he mentioned he had had a ‘hacker' friend of his create the Firewalls for the MTB's in exchange for immunity from prosecution for past ‘hacks'.
The Firewalls held, the raider didn't, having suddenly found itself unable to move as it was ‘spiked' by the firewall. An unmoving target in the middle of a battle? Enough said really, the raider didn't survive.
So now they knew the Cylon's could hack, and that for the moment they were safe from hacking, at least until the cylon's adapted.
Drew's mouth quirked upwards as a thought hit him, an Independence Day style hack of the cylons, maybe a baseship? Nahh, too clichéd, it would never work. Would it? Besides, they didn't bring a hacker with them.
Adama sighed gratefully as once again, the report from the Viper patrols came back clearly, no contact with cylons, and no indication of cylon activity.
That was good news, once again the vast majority of the Vipers were unavailable, Tyrol's crews frantically rebuilding the undercarriages after the last combat landing, though at least their numbers were being bolstered at last, five Mark II's had just been ferried across from the foundry ship and were undergoing checks and tests under the watchful eyes of Kara and Tyrol.
Hell's Runner was awaiting repair too, having gotten too close to an outgoing nuke and getting caught in the backwash of its detonation against a cylon baseship. Being thrown into a raider was, according to Captain Cassiopeia, not fun.
Though certainly intimidating to the AI's of the other raiders, they kept Hell's Runner at arms length after that. Adama chuckled; he rather suspected he would want to keep Hell's Runner at arms length after that, too.
On the down side, he sobered up, no sign of the Earth Humans. No bases, no transmissions, no signs of any civilisation, only those maddening kobolian circles which gave no hint as to their purpose, or origin. Every habitable world they passed had one, and not one, not one had the dialling device he had found a one-line reference too in the original Book's Of Kobol.
That suggested that the dialling devices had been deliberately removed, or destroyed but why? Or How?
It was maddening; all he kept on getting was more and more questions and fewer answers.
And the Earth warships had rumours flying across the fleet, they were shielded, which Baltar had stated categorically was impossible, of course that had been before they locked him up for treason and collusion. They had matter transport technology, well… there was some evidence of that, but not enough to state for definite that they did possess that ability. They had nuclear weapons the size of railgun rounds. That was ridiculous, they would have picked up some indications of radiological alarms from the minor warship and yet, and yet the baseship had been destroyed utterly by a railgun type weapon.
Which leaked nothing that registered on a radiological sensor.
That meant they were using something new, something unknown to the colonials. Which was both a good thing and a worrying thing, it suggested, combined with the images of the strangely primitive yet advanced warship they had seen, that the Earth Humans were very different.
There was also the suggestion of Lee that the tech on the ship didn't all appear to come from the same source, now that was extremely worrying.
That suggested either they didn't care where they got technology from, or that they had a desperate need for technology, for an ‘edge', either way it meant enemies, powerful ones. They could be running into worse danger than what they were leaving behind, but they didn't really have much choice.
Or, Adama cursed as the thought hit him, they could be bringing trouble to an already beleaguered, war torn people. The fact that they appeared to be searching for the Refugees seemed to discredit that, but they could have been looking for the ‘mighty' colonial fleet for assistance, not knowing of its destruction.
But, Adama concluded, in reality they didn't know what was going on, and they really didn't have a choice, they had to press forward, back meant certain destruction, and he wasn't ready to give up, not whilst he still had people who looked to him for guidance.
Tappin sighed, wearily wiping the sweat from his brow with one hand, once again…
“Sir” he started, then cleared his throat as he realized only a croak had come out, “Sir, no contact, and no indications”
Wearily, and unsurprised, Drew nodded, “One last system to check, then its home plate for tea and bed, take us out Bonner”
Bonner quirked an eyebrow, amused “Should I wait for you to say engage sir?”
“Not really, I don't like you that much Bonner and I am already married thank you” Drew shot back, his fatigue momentarily displaced by the chance for some banter.
He sat back, victorious as Bonner blushed, his face hidden as he ducked down to the console, tapping the new jump co-ordinates swiftly into the console.
They reappeared with a flash in the last system of their search pattern, and Tappin growled with frustration, banging his console with both hands at the obvious signs on his sensors, “They just left, they just f*****g left!”
“What!” Drew shouted, rising from his seat angrily, his fatigue totally dispelled.
“They've left, within the last minute” Tappin replied, annoyed, banging at his console angrily.
“Anyway of knowing which way they went?” Bonner asked, nervously.
“No, which is a bloody shame” Tappin cursed, sullenly.
“All right, they aren't here, lets go back to home plate and report” Drew sighed, a weary frown on his face.
Del Shakka Mel
It was a weary but defiant council of war that convened aboard the Del Shakka Mel the next day, Harris of the Blastboat, Drew of the Cerberus, Crowe of the Teltac Esso, and Enerina's First Prime Enerist. Enerina herself still being unavailable and her host wasn't coming out of their quarters.
“Well, I'm almost tapped out” Crowe started, “whatever happens, I'll be heading back to Thundersdawn to re-supply and very soon”
“Well, they are really going to love the reports you are going to be taking with you” Harris commented sardonically, “Probably think we have been watching way too many Terminator movies, with machine enemies who look human and all”
“You'll need an escort though, and I'm afraid I am going to have to ‘volunteer' Cerberus for that, we seem to have a problem with the environmental controls, and it is one of the really awkward ones that requires a full environmental shut down to deal with”
Grimaces were exchanged amongst the Tau'ri, fun.
“What's the latest on Enerina and Boomer?” Drew continued.
Enerist shook her head unhappily, “As far as we can tell, Enerina should ‘wake up' at any time now, it is just a case of waiting. As for Boomer, we noticed that over the day since the operation, some of the mechanism has started to reattach so we hit it with EMP again, but we cant do that too often, it risks brain damage, especially with a jury-rigged generator.
And it will be several days before Enerina is strong enough to complete the operation, and we will need a Brain Doctor? Is that the phrase? Here by then”
“Neurosurgeon, but yes we know what you mean” Crowe replied, “Okay, so we need to ask for a neurosurgeon plus their equipment, cant take Boomer back with us, neither of our ships are in any way equipped for it”
“Agreed, now does the SGC or the RSS have a neurosurgeon on the rolls?” Drew asked.
Harris nodded, “Yes, part of the MASH unit they are setting up just in case, got a bunch of guys who were at Korea teaching the new Doc's about ‘meatball' surgery”
Xander chuckled, breaking into a fond smile, “Bunch of nut-jobs but damn good at what they do”
Enerist raised an eyebrow, “ You consider them nut jobs?”
“Be afraid, be very afraid” Drew commented, solemnly.
Adama looked up shocked and disturbed as the full impact of what he had been reading sank in.
Kobol was a traitor! He was a traitor to his people, leading the humans under his dominion to safety from the other system lords.
Kobol was a traitor.
Kobol had betrayed his people.
Stunned, Adama turned back to the small section of aged papyrus he had found hidden within the wooden ends of the ancient scroll; it told what appeared to be the full unvarnished truth in small crabbed script.
Kobol had been a system lord, but he had treated his people with compassion and cared for them, that unfortunately that made him look weak in the eyes of the other system lords, they had sent wave after wave of attacks against Kobol, accusing him of conspiring to bring the system lords down.
Whether that was true or not, the author didn't know, but in order to preserve the people of his thirteen remaining worlds, he had given them a choice, come with him to a secret location he had managed to find without the knowledge of the other system lords or try to hide amongst the millions of humans of the first world.
Twelve worlds had collectively chosen to go with Kobol, the thirteenth had gone to Earth.
And Kobol had led them to the Colonies, giving his life in the process, most of his Jaffa dieing with him, desperately trying to preserve the secret of the colonies, of where the Jaffa's families were.
Kobol's people, the families of his Jaffa had been delivered to safety, and the ships they came on destroyed.
Their saviour was a traitor.
There was a certain irony in that, he was sure. He was just having a hard time seeing it.
Cerberus and the Teltac codenamed Esso reappeared in a flash inside the sol system, a sol system that swarmed with craft, Shunter tugs, Airhead cargo and Paladin transports surging across the system, guarded by the ever watchful eyes of Lancer and F-302 fighters, whilst Dauntless Heavy Destroyers and Prometheus Cruisers lurked in the distance, there sensors watching, probing.
“Geez, you think someone kicked up the anthill?” Bonner asked, his tone awed from the helm station as he frantically banked the Cerberus, skilfully dodging the heavy bulk of an ore module, being dragged by an overworked Shunter.
“We got a bay already,” Bonner started as information was dumped from remote onto his console, “they sure as hell aren't hanging around, what the hell is going on here?”
“I don't know” Drew commented grimly, “but the last time I saw this much activity in system we ended up losing the Prometheus class Iwo Jima”
“Somebody is expecting war” Tappin concluded.
“Yeah, well either they found a clairvoyant or they are really not going to like our report” Drew commented, “Rig ship for shore power Mr Tappin, Bonner, dock us”
Peters face slammed into her desk hard as Drew continued her report, this they needed, really. Like an acid enema.
“Drew” Peters said sharply, interrupting Drew in mid flow “Are you aware of what's been going on down here?”
“No, but the activity as we came in was hard to miss” Drew replied, curious.
“We're plastered all over the news”
Peters grinned wryly, rubbing her ear gingerly, “That was my response too, so far they have the Dauntless memorial and a copy of the Dedication Ceremony Video, and about twenty images of a Prometheus, most likely Iwo Jima in orbit.
Unfortunately someone in Russia talked and their Prometheus construction facility was mobbed in the early hours this morning, the rioters seemed to think the Russians were holding the Alien crew of the ‘extraterrestrial' craft hostage”
“Well” Drew commented winching, “at least they didn't realise it was human construction”
“It's a moot point now anyway, they triggered a reactor overload”
The blood rushed from Drew's face, “Oh shit”
“Luckily the Russians only had enough Naquadah in the reactor for ground test purposes, so only the base itself was levelled, but the EMP wave knocked out about every Satellite in the area, they are dropping like flies, and we've got to retrieve half of them without getting noticed because somebody felt it would be a good idea to put a nuclear reactor in them”
“Damn” Drew winched, “Casualties?”
“High, but no way of knowing the exact numbers for certain, we suspect a least two thousand rioters plus three hundred base personnel”
“Well,” Drew said, “You are really not going to like the rest of my report…”
“Not going to like mine either” Dodge commented grimly as he strode in from his adjoining office, “ Independence just lost hyper, same problem, this time as they were just preparing to leave jump so they are actually in system, but that a third ship, and the second Prometheus”
Peters eyes narrowed, “That… fits”
Dodges eyebrows rose, “Excuse me?”
“Something I overheard Kalinda and Carter discussing once, they though maybe mass was an issue, increasing the likelihood of a failure”
The light dawned, “And Dauntless'es mass a lot less than a Prometheus or a loaded Merchant”
“Exactly, they didn't say the mass was the problem though, they said it just made an already bad situation worse” Peters paused, “Ask Kalinda about it, if needs be we will restrict the prommies to system use only temporarily, but ask”
“Err… actually I was going to ask if we could borrow Kalinda and Chocky for a while” Drew mentioned as Dodge turned to leave, “we need the big guns if we are going to find the colonials and bring them to safety before they cylons locate us, and Chocky…”
Peters nodded, “Ask them, volunteer only basis”
“Yes ma'am” Drew nodded, and walked swiftly out of the office.
Adama wished, not for the first time that day, that Tigh had not destroyed all his alcohol; he could do with a drop right now.
He didn't know how, he didn't know exactly when but word had leaked out.
The Thirteenth colony really was real.
And they were advanced.
And they were looking for the colonials.
Sure, the population had known that advanced warships that weren't colonial or cylon had appeared to the fleet, but they hadn't known whom the ships belonged to.
He now had a population that was, almost without exception, riding the crest of a massive high, they were saved! They would be safe! They could rebuild their lives!
Well, no, they frakking well couldn't, why? Because he didn't see a 13 th colony warship escorting the fleet, he didn't see supplies from the 13 th colony arriving, and he sure as hell didn't see the 13 th colony itself.
They knew the 13 th colony was out there almost certainly, they knew the 13 th colony was looking for them, but the 13 th colony had yet found and kept contact with the fleet.
They were still on their own; it just meant their chances of survival had increased, so long as they survived until the reinforcements arrived that was.
Which was another matter, why were they looking for the colonials now? How had they known to look for refugees? And why use something as small as gunboats when you're looking for refugees?
And why the odd mix of technologies? That was the real question. Its implications were frightening.
Adama signed, rubbing the bridge of his nose wearily with his hands as he admitted to himself that he really wanted it to be true.
But then, everyone needs they're saviours.
Dade was having a bad day.
Fortunately for his sanity, but unfortunately for them, his bad day extended to his closest friends too.
They had been caught. Crash Override, Acid Burn and Cereal Killer, Elite hackers all, had been caught.
Dade was having a hard time with that, even though it wasn't technically the first time it had happened. He was also a little intimidated by how he had been caught, not by the Police, not by the FBI, not by a software company, no, the USAF had sent a special forces team after him and his friends.
And Dade still didn't know why.
Just that guns pointed at him he really didn't like. And that he might be let go, if he co-operated. That worried him, a lot. What did the air force, who employed some of the best up and coming programmers in the world, need Elites for?
A crackle sounded to Dades left, and he looked up, trying hard to hear what was being spoken over the shapely brunette guards radio despite the high purring from the aircrafts unusual engines.
He heard nothing, but he saw the smirk appear on the guards face and shared a desperate look with Libby, there eyes sending each other one simple message, trouble.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, if you would kindly open the blinds on the starboard side and look out you might see something very interesting”
Dade glanced at Libby, who shrugged, so with a sigh he opened the window, and stopped dead. Then inspected the window, looking carefully for an signs of a projector or similar device.
At which point, his mind caught up with what his heart was telling him, “ Holy shit, we're in space”
“Uh huh…” Cereal Killer managed to force out, his eyes wide as they viewed the Earth through the heavy glass of the Paladin transports windows.
Acid Burn shock her head in awe, “I don't like how they collect you for the interview, but they have one hell of a recruitment pitch”
Heads together, talking the arcane language of programmers and hackers, the three didn't notice when the conference room they had been stashed in was entered. They did however notice the sound of a large box being dropped onto the table hard.
“Do I have your attention? Good” Kalinda, the young genius who was Head of Science for Thundersdawn said, reaching onto the metal trolley at her side for several papers, “First off, paperwork, non-disclosures etc. And take those seriously, we wont send lawyers after you, we'll send the SAS. They use a rather more permanent method of shutting people up”
The three hackers exchanged significant glances, and shuddered. They knew what that meant.
“Second off is toys, Will-o'-the-wisp recommended these so you shouldn't have any problems”
“Wait- you know will-o'-the wisp?” Dade interrupted.
“Elite” Cereal muttered to Libby, who nodded slightly.
“Not personally, but she does a lot of work for us, she would have been here today but she had an apocalypse in Cleveland to deal with” Kalinda paused, “Don't ask”
“Wait, these ‘toys' are all fine and good, but what exactly are we here for?” Cereal asked.
“Oh, haven't you been told?” Kalinda asked, her face a lesson in angelic innocence, “you just have to hack an alien AI, grab their databases without infecting yourself whilst on a warship that will probably be under heavy fire”
Dade took one look at Kalindas face and came to a quick conclusion, “Well, this is going to be fun, always liked a challenge”
“A challenge he calls it” Cereal shook his head bemused.
“Right, well you are one half of the specialist team that is being sent out, the other half will be searching for a refugee fleet that will be coming under Earths protection, you're job is to get as much info on the cylons, their and now our enemies, as possible”
“And where is the other team?” Dade asked.
“ Here ”
Shocked, Dade, Libby and Cereal Killer shot to their feet as a glowing ball of energy encompassed Kalinda, pouring away from her, pooling above her head.
“ I am Chocky, and I have been assisting the Tau'ri, the Earth humans since 1984”
“What the hell are you?” Libby asked, awed.
“ I am of a race not far from here, we are corporeal, we have solid form, we just figured out long ago how to exist outside that form temporarily ”
“Out of body, cool man” Cereal gushed.
“ And I believe we have a briefing to perform”
Inside the confines of the Sol system a taskforce gathered, granted the grand title of Taskforce 3, the captured Ha'tak Valour's Hour, the Dauntless Class Heavy Destroyers Invincible and Illustrious, the MTB Cerberus, both the Tau'ri controlled Tel'tac Cargo Ships, Esso and Sir Galahad and the swarming Lancer IS fighters of Eagle and Mosquito (633) Squadrons RSS all made this Taskforce, the second largest gathered by the Tau'ri, a gathering not to be reckoned with.
And they had just one simple briefing, standard Rescue & Recovery, any intelligence gathering, any targets of opportunity were to be considered secondary.
It was a task none of the ships Captains or the Squadron Leaders had any problem with, at all.
They had only one problem, no Prometheus Class Cruisers. These warships, the first Tau'ri designed warship, built before the RSS was officially born were the brainchild of the SGC, but they were a troubled design. Over the years, these craft had clocked more ‘patches' than any other class design, they had become a premier design as more and more improvements and fixes were incorporated into the design.
But a critical flaw had been discovered within the hyperdrives safety systems, resulting in an inoperable drive requiring a drydock fix. When Independence suffered a drive failure, becoming the third major hull to be crippled by this flaw, the drives had been declared unsafe and the ships recalled to base.
This fleet for all its power and grandeur lacked the heavy hitting capability, the stronger shields, and more tellingly, the larger medical facilities of the Prometheus Class Vessels.
That left only the two Dauntless's with medical facilities and they were very small. And they were heading into battle, with a refugee fleet in the Zone Of Engagement.
Both situations on there own means a large medical presence is required but mix the two?
An edge of worry had already settled over the fleet, affecting every officer, NCO and rating aboard the fleet. IF they just faced the Cylons then casualties should be minimal, but all it took was a curve ball…
Adama woke up that morning feeling strangely elated, as if something had changed, as if a lot of weight had been lifted off of his shoulders. He tried to dismiss the feeling, he knew of no reason for it, but it clung to him, like his heart knew something his mind didn't.
That feeling was displaced by late evening by one of urgency and fear as Cylon fighter after fighter after fighter jumped into space within targeting range of the whole fleet followed by three massive basestars.
Adama knew with certainty that not every of his ships would escape this day, and he hated it, he hated the Cylons for taking the colonies, but above all, he hated the Cylons for making him impotent to save all those who looked to him and his ship for protection.
“There's far too many Cylons out there, we cant hold them all off” Tigh quietly commented to Adama, as the mighty ships bridge shook and rumbled, “It'll be another five minutes before the civilians ships are ready to jump”
“I know, Colonel” Adama said, as he swiftly reeled off orders, “I know”
“ What the frak?” Dualla shouted, jumping back from her console as a bright ball of glowing energy formed above it, quickly skittering across the room and into every corner before stopping in front of Adama.
“The Tau'ri are on their way here, you most hold position”
Adama started as the ball spoke, then his mouth set in a grim line, “What type of Cylon are you?”
“I am not cylon, I am an ally of the Tau'ri, the humans of Earth, the first world”
“Don't be ridiculous, humans come from Kobol not from earth” Tigh interjected, grimacing as the guards shrugged their shoulders, helpless to do anything against the intruder.
“I've seen the original scrolls, I know that, the question is how do you know about the true origins of humanity?” Adama ignored the startled the gasps that filled the room, ignored the shaking as the Galactica came under renewed fire.
“It is well known, the fleet will be here in four minutes, I must go”
Adama blinked as the ball vanished, silently agreeing with Tighs muttered “Well, that was interesting”
Adama glanced around the bridge, quickly snapping, “Tend to your stations!”
“Frak me!” Kara cursed as she flicked the controls of the Viper over, sending the craft spiralling out of the way as a stream of railgun rounds flashed past her.
Kara glanced around the battlefield as she contemplated the sight around her momentarily, despair etched into her face. They were losing, and losing fast.
The Cylons had arrived with four Scimitars per Viper and it showed, the Colonial Vipers had broken, Scimitars flashing past their weak defensive line to the fleet beyond whilst the Vipers desperately tried to slow them down, it wasn't working, the Scimitar's were too many, the Vipers too few.
Kara grimaced as a broken, blackened Viper drifted past her cockpit, and they were becoming fewer all the time. Her finger tapped the trigger automatically and a cylon fighter shattered, tumbling into broken fragments as her railguns stitched the craft from end to end.
A single tear ran down Kara's face as she realized she might not survive the day, Kara forced the thought to the back of her mind, if she was going to die, then she was going to take as many cylons with her as she could.
Grimly determined, Kara threw her all into the battle, railguns flashing as she sowed a crop of death.
Adama grabbed onto the chart table, holding on for dear life as Tighs voice blared across the ship, “Brace for impact!”
In a flash of atomic heat, Galactica's four large cannons vanished, vaporised in a blaze of hellfire as a cylon Scimitar launched nuclear missile detonated directly above the rapidly firing weapons.
And with a sense of shock and desperation, Adama realized they no longer had any weapons capable of challenging the baseships left, they had lost.
“How long till the first ship is ready to jump?”
“Two minutes, commander” Tigh replied, slowly.
Adama grimaced, and then slowly nodded, “Where is Hells Runner?”
“Starting an attack run on the farthest baseship, they have loaded their nukes and…” Tighs voice trailed of as he watched the monitor above him, “What the frak?”
Kara cursed, loudly as the Viper shuddered and shook around her, the impacts of cylon railgun rounds shredding her craft around her, her controls dying, her fuel leaking Starbuck smiled slightly as the Scimitar flashed past her damaged fighter, not stopping.
A cry of despair was wrung from Starbucks mouth as the Scimitar flipped over, its railguns quickly pointing towards her crippled, unmoving Viper and Kara began cursing as she waited for the end to come.
The Cylon fighter blew up, its fuel detonating, shredding the craft as a blue shape flashed past Kara's canopy, followed by another, a third, a fourth… a twelfth.
Kara grinned, another survivor squadron must have caught up with them, the Cylons would find this a harder thought then they expected.
A frown crossed her face, as the silhouette flashed through her mind, there was no way in Kobol those were Vipers.
Adama felt a slight grin appear on his face as he glanced at Tighs monitor, which showed an expanding ball of debris and flame racing from the first Basestar, its hull torn in two, both halves spiralling away, uncontrolled and burning.
“Who killed it?” Adama asked, swiftly.
“I don't know” Tigh paused, his eyes widening further, “but I rather suspect it was that”
Above the broken basestar a lone warship appeared, studded with weapons and antennae, coming to a sharp edge at the front and with a mysterious downward rudder towards the rear, the craft was fast, charging forward towards the cylon fighters, the smaller weapons batteries spitting crimson fire with deadly accuracy, plucking cylon missiles and fighters from the sky, a strange globe of energy flashing around the craft as cylon railguns rounds impacted, being obliterated before they could reach the strange crafts hull.
“I think our friends are back, and they brought their big brother” Tigh forced out.
Adama nodded, “withdraw the Vipers and Hells Runner, and move us into screening position over the fleet, the cylons are moving to engage the new threat so we have time to regroup”
“Yes sir” Tigh nodded, barking orders about the room.
“All ahead full! Helm, I want us in knife fight range of the closest cylon baseship, fast, tactical, make tubes 1 through 4 ready in all respects including opening the outer doors” Captain Edward Richardson barked as he paced the warships small, cosy bridge.
Today at last, he would get to make his late Grandfather proud, he might even be able to get out the broom the elder Richardson had attached to the periscopes of his submarine so many times during World War II, a clean sweep was something to be proud of.
“ Torpedo Torpedo Torpedo, inbound thermonuclear tip, 3 o'clock high” the voice of his tactical officer, Ensign Cox roused Richardson rapidly from his momentary distraction.
“Retarget Pulse batteries, set torpedo to top priority” Richardson replied quickly, it wouldn't damage them that much but they had unshielded fighters in the area, best kill it before it detonated.
“New contacts! Two baseships just dropped right on top of Cerberus and Blastboat” Cox shouted as a warning flashed upon his screens.
“Poor baseships” Richardson privately agreed, but he glared around the room trying to find the culprit anyway.
Reacting quickly, Cooper targeted the massive warship, the MTB's pulse weaponry firing before the energy corona caused by a ship leaving jump had had time to fully dissipate.
Bolt after bolt sprayed the cylon hull, vaporising weapons systems, sealing torpedo launchers and melting antennae. Cooper carefully avoided using the explosive power of the Gauss rounds or the enhanced Sparrow's. He remembered the briefing; he knew what he had to do.
A grim, victorious smile lit his face as his sensors reported back, now for the tricky part…
“Right!” Kalinda responded into the intercom as the report came through, quickly dropping the handset she turned to the small group assembled around her, “ Cerberus just immobilized a baseship for us, we're heading over to it now, its right on the edge of the engagement zone so you shouldn't be disturbed too much but that might change, get ready to hack and remember don't get hacked yourself. This is an AI you're facing after all”
“With these toys, they wont know what hit them” Dade smirked as he turned to face the multiprocessor monster in front of him, its loud whirring speaking of the four pre-release processors crunching away inside, the massive three gigabytes of RAM, the hefty 300GB hard disks, this, and the computers used by Cereal Killer and Acid Burn just screamed ‘money no object and connections to die for'.
Dade had a hard… err… was in heaven.
The monitors flashed, ‘Establishing Connection'.
Dade grinned, cracked his knuckles, cranked the volume on his music, and let rip, he wanted some fun.
Del Shakka Mel
Enerina glanced around the dimly lit control room of her Ha'tak, the bright lights of the consoles causing her to squint, a stabbing shaft of pain echoing through her head.
She had to admit to herself that she had overdone it just a touch trying to remove the cylon from Boomers head, a task that was not yet finished, right now some famous Neurosurgeon of doubtable sanity was waiting with his totally insane assistants for her to finish ‘making work for them to meatball' so she could assist with her hand device, an essential component of that operation.
But first, she had a battle to win.
“My Lady, Invincible has began the ‘hack'”
Enerina nodded slowly, pushing the pain to the back of her mind, “Drop us out of hyper within support range of Invincible, prepare to engage the enemy”
“Yes, My Lady” Enerist nodded, her eyes gleeful as she contemplated the vengeance about to be wrought, she liked her God, an unusual situation for a Jaffa and she didn't like that her master had been hurt saving an innocent from their machinations, she didn't like that it was necessary for her master to struggle to save an innocent because of them.
And she would be more than happy to explain her displeasure, at the Ha'taks weapons great length.
Without a shudder or whine, Del Shakka Mel dropped out of hyper above the absorbed Invincible, its crew concentrating on keeping an active hookup for the hack at the expense of their own protection, that was why the Del was here.
“My Lady, we have a baseship plus sixty raiders grouping for an attack, extreme range” Enerist spoke softly from the command console, trying not to send another shaft of pain through her master's mind.
Enerist nodded, and tapped the controls.
From the tip of the Ha'tak, bursts of brilliant golden light spat out, rapidly flashing across space and between the rapidly moving, evasive Cylon fighters.
Even at that extreme range, hitting was only a matter of time.
A Scimitar span off, its left side melted beyond recognition by a glancing hit from the depleted weapons fire, a second suffered a direct hit, its wings spinning off in separate directions as the body of the fighter was vaporised.
The cylons turned, and joined by the baseship began an attack run on the Del. That was a fatal error, now they were racing towards the ‘most effective' region around the Ha'tak, the area in which the weapons were most efficient and effective.
The Del paused momentarily, then fired; the ships light darkening momentarily as a maximum power burst was fired, hitting the baseship.
For a moment, all seemed still.
Then, like the Empire State Building in ID4, the baseship blew, fire bursting down through the hull, debris scattering across space, several cylon fighters being hit by the expanding ball of debris, their existence negated in a moment.
The cylons withdrew, watching, waiting.
They would have their chance, after all, wasn't ‘God' on their side?
“Yes!” Cereal shouted as a burst of apparently random letters spewed across the screen, “hey Kal, how's a text file of the AI matrix sound to you?”
Dade eyebrows raised, “Text file?”
Cereal nodded happily, “Don't really think the RSS would like a hostile AI as anything even remotely runnable on their computers”
“ Fuck no” Kalinda muttered behind them, causing the hackers to share amused grins.
“Won't that corrupt it?” Libby asked.
“Corruption we can deal with, a hostile AI running the Invincible is a little less fun” Kalinda interrupted.
“Really, well I kind of doubt that, you see, you have three elites here and…”
Kalinda interrupted Cereal midflow, “Can you remove an AI from the Invincible's computers in the twenty or so seconds before it finds the little buttons marked emergency atmosphere vents?”
Cereals mouth snapped shut, and he turned back to his computer, letting Kalinda claim victory, for now.
“Right, looks like I have a email log and store here” Dade commented.
“That'll give the Intel boys a hard on, grab it” Kalinda commented.
“You know,” Dade added thoughtfully, “I'm beginning to like you”
A sardonic eyebrow was raised by Kalinda, “Touched, really”
“Wow, we have a trace and a backdoor bomber” Cereal announced, “I think the AI just twigged”
Del Shakka Mel
Enerist looked at the swiftly changing tactical display and decided that it was time for a words she had learnt of their Tau'ri allies, “Crap”
Enerina looked up sharply, the movement sending daggers of pain through her mind, “Enerist? What's wrong?”
“Every cylon warship just shifted course, we have multiple inbounds and a third wave of cylons just excited jump”
“Call for assistance, now” Enerina ordered, the words slipping from her mouth without her needing to seriously consider it, she trusted Enerist.
633 ‘Mosquito' Squadron RSS
Wing Commander Liana Ross screamed in frustration as her Lancer shook apart around her, the impacts of cylon railgun rounds tearing her unshielded and lightly armoured fighter apart from around her.
Desperately, she pulled the craft in an impossibly tight reversal, turning a sharp 180 degrees, the craft screaming in mechanical torment around her.
The Scimitar flipped over, still racing in the same direction it fired at the retreating Lancer, railgun rounds tearing into the fighter's engines as the two fighters sped apart, rapidly separating.
More red lights lit up around her cockpit, then Liana felt a chill run through her as a distinctive eerie metallic warbling sounded, a large red button flashing in front of her.
“Mossie 1, I have a master alarm in the cockpit” Liana stated calmly, then less calmly, “Bugger, I have multiple master alarms, request assistance!”
“Negative Ross, no retrieval boats available the area is too hot” came the coolly dispassionate response over the radio, followed by a less distanced and more heartfelt “Sorry”
“Shit damn and blast” Ross cursed, rapidly flicking through the diagnostics on her touch screen monitors, before shuddering to a halt as an alert flashed up.
Her arms prickled as Goosebumps rose and she felt a chill pass through the cockpit, a calm voice sounded over the radio and with a start she realised it was hers, “Reactor Dump from Mosquito 1, all ships, all craft, rig for EMP wave”
Moving quickly, she tapped in the sequence that would cause her fighters Naquadah power core to be dumped, then stopped, the red ‘Initiate Yes/No?' message flickering on the screen.
She checked the tactical display, and then nudged on the joystick, triggering short bursts from the small reaction thrusters as she reoriented the craft.
Then she pressed ‘Yes'.
The core burst from her craft, propelled by its own small rocket as it was forcefully blown away from the fighter.
The core sped on; ignoring occasional bursts of railgun fire as the small onboard computer obeyed its primary objective, take the explosive core as far away from any lifesigns as possible.
Cylons do not have lifesigns. Assuming the cylon craft to be abandoned the core sped towards them, hoping to reach them before going critical, where their mass would shield the programmers from the EMP wave of the exploding core.
The core made the cylon craft before going critical, a massive EMP wave hitting the cylon warships as they regrouped, preparing to attack the hackers aboard Invincible.
The cylon fighters were lightly shielded; they died, the EMP frying their circuits, ironically delivering payback for all the Colonial Fleets deaths of several months before. The gathering baseships were heavily shielded, energy crackling around their edges they sped on, the AI's frantically racing to bring external sensors and weapons systems back online.
The EMP wave sped on, aboard Invincible a group of Elite Hackers cursed as the expanding wave corrupted their connection to the baseship, allowing it to close their connection.
Aboard Galactica, Adama and Tigh exchanged wary glances as their screens flickered momentarily, despite no nuclear explosion close at hand.
And aboard a small fighter, things went from bad to worse.
“Argghhh!” Liana screamed, pain etched through her voice as electricity shorted though her consoles, shocking her badly, leaving her arms shaky and jerky.
Grimacing, tears of pain leaking from her eyes Liana glanced around the cockpit, and cursed, despair written in her face as she contemplated the message in front of her, ‘Critical Error/Cockpit Eject ROM Checksum/Pilot Eject Disabled'
Her Cockpit, which could function as an escape pod in an emergency, was dead. She was stuck aboard the fighter.
But wait a minute, where was she?
Glancing around outside of her cockpit she saw a massive shape eclipse the stars to her right, a ship she had received a long briefing on.
Furiously, she tapped into the one remaining screen, calling up the emergency transmitter and tying in Pierson's translation matrix.
Dualla looked startled as an unfamiliar voice sounded through her headset, then looked up awed as the words registered.
“Mayday Mayday mayday, this is Wing Commander Ross, 633 Squadron RSS calling Galactica, requesting emergency landing instructions”
“Roger Ross, copy your Emergency, please stand by”
Dualla caught the worried eyes of Adama and Tigh, “We have a 13 th colony fighter requesting emergency landing instructions”
“What the frak? Are you serious?” Tigh asked.
“Yes sir, I've been tracking this one too sir, its got close several times but I'm sure it isn't cylon”
“Get security and DC parties to the port bay, and give them landing permission” Adama ordered, reaching swiftly for the intercom, “All hear this, emergency landing in the port bay, DC parties stand by to receive unidentified fighter”
Port Hanger Bay
“Unidentified fighter? He's kidding right?” Cally asked, looking at Tyrol.
“I don't think so” Tyrol replied, a puzzled frown lining his face.
“Well, if its unidentified it cant be ours, or a cylon that only leaves…” Cally's eyes widened, and she looked directly into a shocked Tyrol's eyes.
“13 th colony” Tyrol breathed out, then turned, swiftly barking out orders.
Tyrol and Cally watched anxiously through a viewing port as the strange battered fighter approached, its main engines clearly dark and lifeless, running on thrusters and momentum, only the fact that Galactica was moving slowly, maintaining a covering position over the refugees allowing it to approach the Battlestar at all.
The craft was ugly, the sort of thing only a mother or creator would like, high sharp edges wings, stubby short engine nacelles, a pointed dangerous looking nose and wing tip cannons.
To Tyrol she looked deadly, but graceless.
With a sickening crunch the fighter landed on the deck, its undercarriage never having extended and the DC parties and security rushed out to the ship, crawling quickly over it, lifting the shaking Ross from her craft.
First contact with the colonials had at last been made.
Teal'c ( O'Neill Class Asgard Warship)
Thor was not in a good mood.
For a full year he had been kept away from his friends by the needs of the Asgard, the fleet rebuilding, and the preparations for the oncoming second replicator war and now when he finally arrives at his allies Ravenbright station, what does he find?
Not an ally in the mist of a major fleet build up, prepping for the oncoming war that would decide the fate of this galaxy for centuries, possibly eons to come, but an ally preparing to repel an expected Goa'uld attack from Maktenos, an ally standing by to assist a fleet of refugees, sending warships to aid others when they really needed those ships home.
That made Thor proud of his allies, they were proving themselves more and more all the time. Okay, they had their cancers, who didn't? But they were willing to deal with the problem, exorcise it like the demon it was.
But they had gained another enemy, and that he didn't like, they had enough already. But, like moths to a candle the worst scum of the universe gathered around the Tau'ri.
And the Tau'ri dealt with it.
On their own.
Well, not any more. They had an alliance, and Thor intended to see the Asgard honour it as the Tau'ri had done, to the best of their ability.
Ross wearily ran her hands through her golden hair as she was led through the massive warships corridors, swiftly sharply coming down from the adrenaline high of the uneven dogfight against the Cylons.
The Tau'ri warships might have the advantage, but the Lancer's certainly didn't, they had been overwhelmed, not by the 5 to 1, 7 to 1 odds usually when fighting Udajeet, but 13 to 1 and 15 to 1 odds by craft which reacted at computer speeds.
It had been nasty.
Ross hoped the last of her squadron had managed to withdraw safely.
With a gesture from the one calling herself Cally, she arrived at what she assumed was the Command Deck for this ship, all bright lights, flat screen panels and stepped control consoles.
A dark haired man looked up at their approach, his grim, unbending eyes gazing at her through rounded spectacles, his manner commanding, defiant.
If he wasn't the CO, Liana thought to herself, then I really don't want to know how much of a command presence the boss has. She made a careful point of checking that her translator was on, hoping the matrix uploaded by Pierson was as good as advertised, it had got her this far though.
“Greetings, I am Commander Adama of the Colonial Fleet Battlestar Galactica ”
“Wing Commander Ross, 633 Squadron Royal Space Service”
Adama nodded slightly to himself, she didn't identify herself as 13 th colony, interesting.
“What world do you hail from?” Adama asked, the words causing ears around the room to prick up furthur.
“Earth, also known as Terra”
“On behalf of the survivors of the twelve colonies of Kobol, I request Asylum for all the refugees, the surviving military officers and myself”
Wearily, Ross smiled, “Got a world picked out for you already, unspoilt and very green, reasonable resources.
It's not in the sol system itself but the trinary next door.
However I am obliged to tell you that we are at war, and that we maintain a large and expanding presence on Alpha Prime”
Adama grimly nodded, Earth was obviously not as much a paradise as many hoped, they would not be colonising Earth alongside the other humans, that would be hard for them to accept but they would have to, in many ways, this was better.
“What are the chances of us getting caught up in the war?” Tigh asked, his voice gruff beside her.
Sighing, Liana replied, “I'll be blunt, Earth has been repeatedly attacked, everything from stealth assaults to a fleet assault. Luckily, they have never thrown the whole whack at us or we would be a slave colony at best, a dead world most likely.
Alpha Centauri has been attacked once.
But if you do move to Secundus, then you will be obliged to help with system defence for both Alpha and Sol systems, though your ships will be upgraded and maintained off the our back
But first, I suggest we get you and your people to safety, then command will send someone qualified to discuss it with you”
Del Shakka Mel
Enerina winched as another cylon warship tore apart, crippled by the EMP wave, barely able to defend themselves.
That was the last of them, now only the fighters remained and they were totally dead, just targets sitting on the end of the range.
This wasn't war, this was a massacre, akin to the old System Lords wiping out villages and towns, even planets they were displeased with.
And yet, Enerina was forced to admit to herself, this was nessecary.
She just hoped she hadn't stepped on the slippery slope the humans were so fond of.
“My Lady, we have a new… My lady! Asgard ship approaches” Enerist anxiously continued.
“Transmit Tau'ri ID codes to the Asgard vessel” Enerina ordered.
“Yes My Lady…” Enerist replied, and then sighed in relief, “They are breaking off”
“Good thing too, wouldn't want to have to face the Asgard in battle” Enerina muttered, making Enerist smile slightly, the master had been around the Tau'ri too much it seemed.
“Frak me!” Tigh cursed, eyes wide as the massive shape appeared on the dradis monitors, “that thing could swallow us whole”
Ross turned swiftly to the heavily lined officer; her face lined with worry, if that was a Goa'uld mothership…
Tigh glanced swiftly across, and then acknowledging he didn't have a clue, “Unknown, not cylon or colonial manufacture, doesn't look like anything of yours we've seen either”
Ross raised a swift eyebrow, “Anything like the Del or the Valour? Err… the two big pyramids”
“No, its very rounded if the sensor is reading it right, looks like it has side rudders and it is a big frakker”
The wing commanders eyes shot up even further, “sounds almost Asgard, but they haven't been seen in at least a year, probably longer.
If it is, then you will be getting home a lot sooner, Asgard ships are the fastest around and they are more than capable of towing anything, including ships of doubtful structural integrity”
“Friendly?” Adama asked.
“Allied, and a very old, very advanced race, our primary ship to ship weapons are based on designs given to us by the Asgard”
“Commander?” Dualla called, “No cylon contacts surviving on sensors, they've gone or been destroyed”
“Stand down from condition 1, set condition 2 throughout the fleet” Adama replied, his glasses tightly clenched in his fist.
“Sir, if I may?”
Adama nodded, correctly guessing Tyrol's question, “Go on”
“One of your smaller warships appeared to rescue one of our pilots a while ago, what happened to her?”
Ross winched, the one question she really didn't want to have to answer, “Ahh Boomer, she's alive”
Tyrol stiffened, “What's wrong?”
Ross stiffened, her mind flagging one word for her attention then running, trying to avoid having to deal with this situation, lover.
“I have some bad news sorry, you see Boomer…”
Del Shakka Mel
Enerina strode confidently into the small, temporary operating theatre that had been set up in her Ha'taks secondary Jaffa barracks, nodding swiftly to the dark skinned man the RSS had found her for this operation,
“Doctor Oliver Wendell Jones I believe?”
“Call me Spearchucker, this is Hawkeye and Trapper John” the neurosurgeon replied, gesturing at the two white garbed individuals hovering over Boomer, “and the gas-passer is Me Lay”
“Right” Hawkeye asked, glancing up from Boomer as she slowly slipped into unconsciousness, “Correct me if I am wrong, but extraction of anything from the brain, especially this deep is very hit and miss, and anything as entrenched as this baby is, you can forget about, so just what the hell are we doing here?”
Enerina had their full and undivided attention as she replied, “The device has largely been disconnected already due to my use of the hand device, however removal of such an extensive item by the hand device is not recommended, so it must be removed surgically. Even a sarcophagus might not be effective as it could easily mistake the device for something that belongs. Whilst you are operating to carefully remove the device, I will be using the hand device to create a general healing field over her body and in particular her mind, in order to stop infection, reduce surgical shock, and minimise any damaged cause as a result of working so deep within the mind”
“What, you think we can actually do this? Your nuts!” Trapper commented.
Enerina glared angrily at the surgeon, impressively enough to force him to take several steps back., “I asked for a neurosurgeon and assistants to perform a delicate operation, I said they had to be the best and they had to be slightly crazy”
“Well” Hawkeye commented, “They got that part right”
“This lady, through no choice of her own has an alien computer in her mind, it has just one intention, the utter destruction of your species, it can, at will, override her dominating her just like a Goa'uld! Do you really wish that fate for anyone?”
“Course not, but unless you have forgotten you're a Goa'uld too” Trapper pointed out.
Enerina's head shot up, her eyes glowing as she glared at the surgeon. Then she slumped, the light fading from her eyes, “No, I hadn't forgotten and I never will. How can I forget that I am a member of the most evil and corrupt race in existence?”
She signed, “But I know I can do what I say, all I need to know is if you can perform your part?”
Spearchucker nodded, entering the conversation at last, “if you can help with the healing device, yes then we can do this, but I may need to ask for more than just a general healing field”
Enerina smiled, slipping the device over her left hand, “Lets do this”
Tyrol slumped down, agonised onto the hard plastic and foam chair of the briefing room, the words he had not wanted, never expected to hear ringing through his ears with stunning finality.
She was a cylon, his Boomer was a cylon.
He didn't want to believe it; he didn't want it to be true but he couldn't shake off the strong feeling within him that told him it was true.
“It may be possible to remove the cylon technology, we have an ally with advanced healing technology, they have been attempting to remove the device since we picked Boomer up, and they seemed hopeful, they had managed to disable it” Ross continued sympathetically.
Her words sparked a torrent of disbelief in the room as they registered; disable technology planted within the mind? Impossible!
“What” Tyrol swallowed deeply “what are Boomers chances?”
“I'm not sure, I'm no doctor, but they seemed pretty confident on the Del Shakka Mel”
“Then we can but hope,” Adama briskly added.
Del Shakka Mel, 2 Days Later (Fleet Unmoved)
Tyrol jumped as the small, shrunken figure on the bed rolled over, groaning, then moaning in pain, her hands rising to her bandaged head as she slowly awakened to the pain etched into her every nerve.
Gasping, she shot up straight, Tyrol jumping forward, catching her before she fell back to the bed.
Boomer stiffened, then quietly asked “Tyrol?”
“I'm here, I'm here”
“I thought I heard you, but you were on Galactica… Did they find the fleet? How are you? How is the fleet? What happened?” Boomer stiffened, the movement sending jagged spears of pain through her body, “Enerina… How is she? The last Op drained her so badly and she didn't have time to recover properly, Tyrol, how is Enerina?”
Tyrol hesitated, looking over the temporary ward to its sole other occupant.
Boomer caught the movement, “Tyrol…”
“She's alive, more than that…” Tyrol hesitated, “She has a greater chance than anyone else of surviving but they have no record of coma in a host before, it has just never happened they say”
“She saved me, and she risked all to do it” Boomer muttered, awed and confused.
“I know love, I know”
Adama smiled at the weary officers of Hells Runner as they completed their report, yes they had seen the Alpha Centauri system, yes they had seen unmistakeable evidence of long-term occupation, yes they had seen Alpha Secundus and it looked suitable.
Adama hadn't the word of the Tau'ri, but for the sake of the survivors he had had to be sure. And Hells Runner was the best choice to send, it was armed, it was small and relatively expendable whilst still being powerful enough to get the job done.
And they had been taken to the system, they had seen what had needed to be seen and they had reported back faithfully.
Now it was the fleet's turn to move.
“Colonel Tigh” Adama said formally to his Exec “Signal all ships to rig for tow, signal the Teal'c, the Valour's Hour and the Del Shakka Mel to prepare for towing operations”
“Aye sir, but I'm afraid Blastboat hasn't reported back yet and they just sent Invincible on SAR for her” Tigh replied.
“They were checking out those reports of supposed colonial military transmissions weren't they?”
“Probably got bounced by cylons, they were on their own after all” Tigh commented darkly.
“Hmm…” Adama shock it off, it wasn't really his problem “ask the Del for some more information please”
“ Del Shakka Mel, kind of an odd name don't you think?”
Adama smiled tightly, “I'm told it translates as ‘I die free!'”
Tigh swallowed tightly as he released he had put his foot in it, said “aye sir” and then turned away, heading for the bridge.
One after another, the gathered ships of the fleet vanished, towed into hyper and taken to Alpha Centauri by the three largest ships of the relief fleet, the two Ha'taks, and the Asgard Teal'c.
Even given the depleted state of the fleet, it took two days to shift all the civilian ships. Then Galactica and the three tow ships were on their own, Invincible hadn't returned from SAR and Blastboat was still AWOL, the rest of the Tau'ri relief fleet had raced home, amongst rumours of a suspected Goa'uld attack.
Then it was Galacticas turn, the three massive vessels taking up the strain as they slowly pulled the massive warship into hyper.
With a flash, the Galactica appeared in the outer edges of the Alpha Centauri system, its tugs breaking rapidly off as the mighty warship surged into position as head of the gathered refugee fleet, the ships following the battered, scared yet valiant and undefeated lady as she led them the final steps to Alpha Secundus, their new home.
At a distance, two squadrons of Lancers patrolled, aided by two MTBs as they escorted the fleet to their new home, guarding against intrusion in this solemn moving moment.
“We got to get a new name for this place” Tigh finally commented as they gazed over the world that would soon be theirs, “Alpha Secundus? Come on, whoever thought of that one wasn't trying”
Adama broke into a rare wide smile “Freedom Tigh, lets say we call this world Freedom”
Tighs lip quirked up, “Freedom… aye sir”
Six grimaced as she gazed at the dark cloaked figure in front of her, failure. Her ‘God' was going to kill her then, she wondered momentarily if it would be permanent this time, he knew the codes and overrides that would arrange that.
Dying was annoying, it wasted time and effort.
Their ‘God' seemed to like it though.
“Not only did you fail to destroy this outpost of humanity, but you allowed them to ally themselves with the Tau'ri!” 6 glared hatefully at the lackey, this minor ‘God' by the name of Iblis, a servant of the dark one in front of her.
“That is unfortunate but you neglected to provide us with the equipment needed to deal with that should it become nessicary”
“Your ships…” a hissing, sinister voice spoke from deep within the cowls, “they will be upgraded, do not fail me again”
With those words, Anubis left a quivering, shaking Number 6 alone in the room.