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 Post subject: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 5:39 am
Posts: 435
Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage to earth- revised version
In the eighth millenium of time, the mighty warship, the Battlestar Galactica, leads a rag tag fugitive fleet through the immensity of space, on a lonely quest to find the fabled thirteenth colony, the shiny planet known through ancient writings.
Having finally completed extensive repairs taking 15 years, the Galactica and the trailing civilian fleet, decide they can no longer stay in orbit of the planet Gamoray, the one time home of the extinct Delphian Empire, and allow their enemies to catch her.
The battle of Gamoray left the Cylons with two of the three base ships of their persuing force completely destroyed by commader Cain and the Pegasus, but nearly spelled the end of the Galactica, and due to the extent of damage she was forced to stay and carry out repairs, the Pegasus having slipped away into space leaving the fleet unguarded.
Leaving behind a small garrison on Gamoray, The Galactica finally slips her moorings and once again leads the fleet to try and find the mythical planet known as Earth...

Episode 1 scene 1= an uncertain future:
Admiral William Adama, commanding officer – Captains log final entry aboard the Battlestar Galactica, the last surviving warship of the fleeing colonies,
Colonial Star date 23 June 7015
“For 25 years now we have been on our pilgrimage to a lonely planet known as Earth, our sister world known to us from ancient scriptures. Is she really the salvation we all crave or just another false dawn, can she save us, can she sustain our rag tag fleet and finally bring us in from the cold? Will her inhabitants welcome us with open arms or with suspicion or even outright hostility, I fear our questions will be answered soon enough; surely it is only a matter of when and not if, before we encounter our Earth brothers and sisters”
“For some it seems plausible, some refuse to believe, for others it is only a matter of time before irrefutable proof that we are but a stone’s throw from our final objective, which rests around the next bend, beyond the next star. As I await my final address to my brave warriors, it is with great trepidation I hand over to my trusted friend, right hand man, and confidante throughout these countless years we have endured the harshness of space aboard our fragile vessels. I have no doubts as to the capabilities and fortitude of my successor, no! My true fears lie beyond the next star system as I gaze through the window of my home from home as to what lies out there? Salvation, annihilation, even friendship, or my worst fears of all… nothing, absolutely no evidence of the promised land we all so desperately crave, our sister world, the fabled planet known as Earth”.
“As I take my belongings to my new home, I can only hope and pray that as I hand over the burden of leading the fleet to my dearest friend, Saul Tigh, he is the man who leads us to the Promised Land. I have tried and failed to live up to my promise, father time and years of fleeing our deadly enemy have caught up with me, I am a very old and tired warrior. I wish you who follow your new leader god speed and may the lords of Kobol bless you all, you’re loving father and leader, William Adama”.
The old craggy war dog looked around his quarters for what seemed like an eternity, he knew he had to let go but found himself wiping away a tear as he gathered his belongings to transport to his new luxury home aboard the passenger liner “Rising Star” a plush apartment bestowed upon him by the most senior, wealthy and high ranking of the council of the twelve, the imposing, some say odious Sari Uri – a man used to getting his own way including buying a place on the most prestigious council of them all.
As the Admiral stood transfixed to the spot in his former quarters, a call from the communicator outside the door suddenly awoke him from his trance, “Will, its Tigh, I thought you might appreciate a little company” “yes, yes of course come in my old friend”, the relief was palpable on the Admirals face as he opened the door to his new fleet commander to see the only face that would have been welcome at that precise moment:
“Is that it”? Exclaimed the Admiral looking down at a bottle in the hand of his protégé, Saul Tigh, a legendary strategist and accomplished warrior who was about to be handed the poison chalice of leader of the colonial fleet, commander of the mighty Battlestar Galactica, and only answerable to the council of the twelve.
“Yes William this my pride and joy, fifteen years of lovingly fermenting my finest village ambrosia for this very occasion, only the gods can ferment better wine than mine”, Tigh gloated with an annoying smirk, his home made wine was indeed legendary among the senior officers.
As the two men sat together with a sense of foreboding, each skirting around the awkward questions as if waiting for the other to broach them first, the Admiral broke the awkward silence with a look down at his chalice “Tigh you have been my truest friend throughout these years out here, I’m only sorry I won’t be on the bridge when you hear the news we have found Earth…
“But sir! Commander Tigh exclaimed, I never wanted this!
“Meaning what exactly Saul?” you campaigned for this command did you not, I heard the news feed from the colonial network news channel that a campaign was forming to oust me as the commanding officer as some feared I had lost my sense of focus and wanted new blood on the bridge, is that not so?”
At this, the studious and proud commander Tigh threw his arms up in the air and almost chocked on his 15 year old village ambrosia!!
“Gods damn it I never did anything of the sort William! I swear by the lords of Kobol someone has manoeuvred me into this command, I did not or would not EVER undermine your command nor would I ever seek to usurp you as our leader, I always thought your son was a shoe in for your successor, he is a natural leader and the best C.A.G we have ever had”
“Yes and can you imagine how that would look Saul?” groaned Adama,
“Anyway that’s not important right now is it, I knew it, and I just knew you wouldn’t go behind my back Saul but who?”
Almost the moment the words came out Commander Tigh exclaimed “Sari Uri, I’ll stake my pension on it, that slimy snake has been desperate to prise you off this ship and get you away from me and onto the Rising Star, for as long as I can remember Will”
“Saul come on my old friend, surely you don’t believe Sari Uri would be so underhand, and to what end?”
“Very well, can I speak with complete candour sir?” replied Tigh
“Just spit it out will you man”, the old Admiral growing increasingly agitated at the mere suggestion that the most senior and respected member of the council of the twelve could be so manipulative…

“Alright then” snarled the embarrassed Tigh searching for composure, “let’s examine the facts shall we!, ever since we grappled with count Baltar he has had it in for the two of us, the fleet saw commander Cain and his crew as our saviours at the battle of Gamoray and, thanks to that frakking news channel he controls it was all round the fleet that we stood by helpless in flames being pounded by those raiders bearing down on the fleet whilst he went on a glory seeking last battle to….

“Now hold on a minute Tigh! Exclaimed Adama, had it not been for the bravery of Commander Cain and his crew we would have all been blown out of the stars, the Galactica was crippled and that fire nearly took us all out remember? He stood between us and three Cylon base stars and faced down Baltar when many other commanders would have fled.”

“Mm had it also not been for the great Commander Cain we would not have been in that gods damn situation in the first place, countered Tigh, your own son was leading blue squadron on that mission to secure those two tankers and saw Cain destroy them with his laser cannons right? It went into his official report”

“Please Tigh I don’t want to get into a tussle with you about heroes and villains, I don’t see where this is going and what it has to do with Sari Uri, I would urge you to choose your next words very wisely Colonel, I am still the commander of this fleet and your superior officer, I can have you reprimanded for slandering one of our greatest council members, he has done more than most with his wise council to deliver us from the Cylons”

“Felgergarb! Retorted Tigh, I’m sorry sir but you need to listen carefully to what I propose, I have a really strong feeling that you are being led into a trap by the man you seem to revere so much. Who has the most to gain politically by driving a wedge between the senior officers on the Galactica Will, Sari Uri that’s who, he believes we made errors during our tenure as custodians of the fleet and he has always been championing the case for a new senate for the colonies, it is my firm belief he wants to issue a vote of no confidence in the two of us and install one of his own people from the Rising Star as interim leader of the fleet whilst he convenes a snap election, which I believe will be a foregone conclusion”
“He has said on numerous occasions that a state of martial law is only appropriate when there is political unrest or in the immediate threat of an attack from our enemies, and since neither has been the case for many years he wishes to remove control of the fleet from us to a political cartel, overseen by himself and his cronies - be in no doubt he wants to be remembered as the one who reinstated so called political democracy to the colonies”

“Very well commander, replied Adama, I am willing to play along and test your theory, you have a knack of smelling out a trap, almost as strong as mine”, grinned the Admiral in an attempt to lighten the tense atmosphere, what do you propose we do?

“You didn’t hear this from me but there is to be a celebration in your honour sir, where you will be awarded the Gold Cluster for outstanding leadership of the fleet, I fear that he will use the euphoria of the occasion to suggest the council take away the burden of command away from me and the long suffering crew of the Galactica and install a new parliament…..
“Thus enabling him to install a new regime of a more civilian nature and diluting the power of veto we have held as the flagship of the fleet, he will move the seat of power to another ship commanded by his own people, Colonial one for instance. Remember his late wife Sari Suri, she used her influence for good and championed a more democratic socialist political agenda, they clashed in public on several occasions when she asked him to donate large amounts of cubits to the poor and homeless before the fall of the colonies; whereas he has always been an elitist and baulks at any suggestion of a challenge to his authority and hoards his millions as if his money was more important than his family or friends.

“Do you remember what he said to Apollo when you charged him with conducting that audit on supplies as we were making good our escape? Your son unearthed a treasure trove of the finest clothes, gifts and artefacts aboard the Rising Star, and a stockpile of food that would have lasted the entire fleet several months, no you wouldn’t remember because Apollo never told you, he knew you were a friend of Sari Uri’s and didn’t want to come between you but he confided in me!

“I remember Sari Uri’s chilling words even now Will, “You have no right to take away anything from this ship, the food here belongs to me and my guests, Apollo then asked where was Sari Suri, the cold reply was that she was not in time to make the journey! I ask you how can we trust a man who shows such disregard for such a fine woman, his long suffering but loyal wife”.

“Adama walked over to his window turning his back on Tigh, took a large sigh and gazed out into the abyss of space, “everything you have said Saul will remain in this room, although I appreciate your candour I do not believe Sari Uri to be insincere in trying to honour me or even to suggest any political change, it would in any event have to go the people of the fleet to decide, not the military or the council”

Commander Tigh was ready and prepared to be rebuffed but had a plan;

“Having said that, Will, it would not hurt to have an insurance policy if it would help to allay my fears” replied Tigh,” you have stuck your neck out for me on many occasions when I have had disagreements with him and I know he has chastised you for siding up with me on military matters, so I am going to propose a line of communication between you and I, maybe get the science team to pay a visit to your new quarters and see if they can check for a listening device that I am pretty certain they will find, and when they do we should say nothing to Sari Uri about it, but instead use it to our advantage by feeding him lines he wants to hear”. I’m telling you sir he is up to something and I don’t intend to be blind sided by him or any other of those fossils from the council of the twelve”.

“Good lords Tigh! Exclaimed the Admiral, anyone would think you didn’t have much time for the council” he Smirked, and you can dispense with the sir, I am Will now Saul. I will tell you what I am prepared to do, I will speak to Dr Wilker from the cybernetics lab and see if he can cook up a uni com handset for each of us using a fleet com alpha code known only to you and I, and perhaps for extra security it may be an idea to include Omega in this as he is your new X.O, will that help allay your fears?”

“Yes thank you Will, came the reply, I mean no disrespect to the council nor do I wish to come between you and Sari Uri but my loyalties are to you and the Galactica and her crew, and I want to rest knowing that you are being taken care of over there and not marginalised as the EX leader of the colonies and my command here is not being undermined, I still regard you as my friend, mentor and the Admiral of this fleet”

“Now if there is nothing else Tigh I really must address the crew before I head off to my retirement home where I’m pretty sure my pipe and slippers are already waiting” roared the old Admiral.

“Well if I may there was just one thing, you once said to me you had a piece of advice to impart to the new commander should the day ever come replied Tigh, well….

“Oh yes, yes I did indeed Tigh, recalled Adama, well its very simple, one day I hope the crew will show you the same love and respect they showed me, but do not expect it overnight, you will have to earn their respect before their affection, and in order to do that you must show them who’s boss, by that I mean you must first shake them out of a long sleep, for far too long now this ships compliment have had it easy whilst others in the fleet have suffered”.
“Look it’s your call now but I would strongly suggest a few old tricks such as battle stations drill and uniform and billet checks, get them pissed off and back into shape, this is supposed to be a warship after all Tigh”.
“In the same way one would train a pet dog, one must enforce their own will as a new commanding officer, once you break the animal you then show it love and kindness tempered with a stern hand, do you understand Tigh?

“You need to show them tough love, what they need right now is a strong leader and you must prove yourself even after all these years, you are the Big cheese around here now, good luck Tigh my old friend you are going to need it with this rabble of a crew God love them all.”

“Oh, one last thing Saul, It may surprise you to know that I recently ordered a complete report into the overall situation on all 220 ships of our flock, including stocks, supplies, remaining food, health and well being of the inhabitants of the fleet and so on. I am still waiting for a full report from Jolly any day now.

“We need to show we are prepared to get our hands dirty from time to time and offer our services, not only to protect, but also to help in other ways, like taking time out to listen to the civilians and not be too aloof and busy to help with the small issues, after all what is one to do when he has lost the big battle, help with some little ones, as my son once said to Serena, like hearts and minds. Anyway, lecture over, good luck my old friend”.

At this point the Admiral reached out to Tigh’s right inner forearm and gripped in the way politicians do when they show confidence and authority, a de facto colonial handshake, which was met with equal enthusiasm by Commander Tigh.

As the craggy old Admiral slipped into the corridor outside, Tigh could sense a feeling of foreboding as strong with the Admiral as with himself, Adama had an uncanny knack of feeling a sense of unease when something was wrong, a skill which he too possessed, Commander Tigh had been the protégé of one of the most accomplished and respected military commanders, who incidentally, also had a seat on the council of the twelve, a unique position which gave him a foot in both camps of military and civilian.

Although feeling a strong sense of guilt at planting a seed of doubt in his friend, Tigh knew he was doing the right thing, such was the near telepathy between the two of them, he knew that the Admiral would ponder their conversation and analyse the potential outcome of Sari Uri making a move to take back the command of the fleet.
Tigh had a strong sense of duty of care to his old friend, even though he was in effect retiring, the commander knew for his own selfish reasons he would be relying heavily on the old Admirals council over the next weeks, months, and hopefully years if the old war dog was still in good health, he knew he had to keep Adama onside if he was to wield any power over Sari Uri, a man used to steamrollering his way through many council meetings, many of the new council were installed by him, yes men he had appointed to the council unopposed on the promise of riches to any with dissenting voices.
The next few weeks and months would probably define the whole tenure of Tigh’s command and he knew he would have to face down Sari Uri on more than one occasion, in fact having Adama on board the “Rising Star” could prove to be a blessing in disguise.
Commander Tigh had specifically requested Adama’s old quarters to remain unoccupied in case his worst nightmares came to fruition, and wished to make it as easy as possible for Adama to return to his seat of power on board the Galactica at a moment’s notice. This was a very unusual, possibly unprecedented move but was his gesture of deference to his greatest friend, the ultimate mark of respect which somehow gave him a sense of reassurance that the greatest military leader in the history of the colonies was just a call away should he be needed.

To Adama it was a strange quirk of his pupil that after all this time there was still a seed of doubt in Tigh’s mind as to his own capability to lead the fleet, however Tigh saw it as his greatest asset that he always questioned himself, weighing up all eventualities before deciding on his next move, possibly the only real difference between them, Adama being one to always go with his first instincts, which were usually exactly right.
Saul Tigh had asked for a complete redesign of his own quarters to allow for some major upgrades to the communication systems and security, such was his paranoia – he was leaving absolutely nothing to chance…….

Episode 1 scene 2: The farewell speech
As the sister ship to the fleets former flagship Atlantia, the Galactica automatically became the flagship upon her demise, she had been designed with the same capabilities to become the command Battlestar should the need ever arise, this meant one of her features was a huge 500 seat auditorium, though meant primarily as a theatre for entertaining the ships company on long re-con missions, it also doubled up as the main TV studio, communicating news and entertainment events to the 220 odd ships she was protecting, and it was from here that Admiral Adama was about to address the fleet for his farewell speech.
The main auditorium was buzzing with activity, all the sound and lighting engineers were working to make the final preparations for the farewell speech of the outgoing commander, the seats were slowly being filled with delegates from all the ships in the fleet, all the big hitters were in attendance for the historic decoration of Admiral Adama and the anointing of the new fleet commander Saul Tigh. There was an atmosphere of intense anticipation among the delegates, not least the senior officers from the Galactica; it was these men and women who would bear the brunt of any final orders from the Admiral.
It was traditional for an outgoing fleet commander to be granted a final order which would normally come in to law with immediate effect, a de facto final tribute to him or her.
Every word uttered by Adama would be scrutinised by the colonial press and TV analysts, looking for a sign of inspiration, a sign that maybe earth was near, or that the journey was coming to a close, those among the informed knew better! The military were just hoping their commander would put in place legislation that would delay the inevitable, a handing over of power to the senate and the council of the twelve, Sari Uri was just hoping that Adama didn’t use his final speech to try and whip up support among the military for a continuation of martial law.
Suddenly everyone stood as a huge wave of applause filled the auditorium, the greatest military leader in the history of the colonies, Adama, their father and saviour was approaching the lectern....
Then, another master-stroke by Adama, knowing he was to be the first to speak he quickly turned to look at the imposing figure of Sari Uri who was waiting in the wings to speak after Adama, hoping to catch him off guard whilst still preparing his lines for his big moment. Presenting the gold cluster to Adama was going to have to wait a little longer….
Adama wanted to hear everything that the council leader had to say before delivering his own speech, as he had two prepared, one for an uneventful boring round of back slapping and tributes, and one for the dreaded proposal of a removal of martial law and a gradual introduction of political control to the council of the twelve, thus rendering the Galactica and military as minor players and eventually obsolete.
Adama looked around the auditorium, then straight at Sari Uri, “My old friend he began, “I feel as our council leader, mentor and custodian of the fleet, it is only right and proper that you are the first to address our honoured guests, please come forward, I yield the floor to the great Sari Uri”….
Waiting for what seemed an eternity, the old council leader knew he had been trumped by the only man who had both the power, and intellect to put him on the back foot, he grinned in acknowledgement and took to the lectern;

Sari Uri turned to look at the senior officers stood in silence behind him on the stage, slowly turned to the waiting audience and assembled press and began….
“Ladies, Gentleman, honoured guests, it is with great pride I stand before you as the leader of the council of the twelve, a noble and distinguished band of brothers and sisters, many whom have sadly departed us, replaced with equally noble leaders from each corner of the twelve colonies, if I may, let me begin by saluting each and every member of the council, living or dead, for their tireless efforts in helping to maintain law and order throughout the fleet, for holding together our family throughout our journey to our sister world, and for their invaluable guidance to myself and the military when, at times, it seemed all was lost, Ladies and Gentlemen, please be upstanding in tribute to the council of the twelve”
With this, Sari Uri glared at the audience as if to say, “that was an order”, and gradually the auditorium rose almost with reluctance to the great discomfort of the council leader. Seeing Sari Uri’s embarrassment, Admiral Adama began the round of applause by walking to the front of the stage and slamming his hands together in an exaggerated clap, with this the audience snapped out of their slumber and began to applaud, slowly at first, then with more enthusiasm until they all stood and cheered in a standing ovation to the council, Adama then turned to the assembled council standing at the rear of the stage, walked over to each member and gave each one a hug and a firm handshake.
“What was that all about!” Exclaimed the soon to be Commander Air Group (C.A.G) Starbuck to his predecessor and council/military envoy elect Apollo Adama, son of the revered Admiral within earshot of the new Commander, Saul Tigh.
“The old man knows what he’s doing nodded the commander with a wry smile towards Apollo and Starbuck, I have a feeling by the end of all this nauseating nonsense he will have Sari Uri eating out of his hand”, grinned Tigh.
With that Apollo and Starbuck began to chuckle like schoolboys up to no good, Tigh threw them a glaring look as if to chastise them, at which they both stifled their grins not wishing to embarrass Tigh or Adama any further, they got their answer, Adama was in control of the situation

Sari Uri gathered his composure and looked at Adama, giving him a knowing nod, then with a wry smile again approached the lectern.

“My friends, family, brothers and sisters all gathered here today, there are so many thanks and tributes I would like to express, time permitting, I would give each and every one of you a big hug to express my gratitude, but would like to acknowledge my particular thanks to the long suffering civilians aboard our fleet of 220 tankers, freighters, hospital ships, livestock and agro ships, research vessels, I could go on and on….”
At which point the maverick, C.A.G elect Strike Commander Starbuck quipped “yes and probably will” to the obvious amusement of Apollo.
At this the studious Commander Tigh snapped, turning to Starbuck whispering with a menacing tone, “button it Starbuck, your not too senior to face a spell cooling your heels in the brig” then with a disarming grin winked at Starbuck in acknowledgement of the joke.
Unaware of the mirth behind him, Sari Uri was indeed waffling on and beginning to lose some of the assembled audience in a fog of backslapping monotone dross, when with almost immaculate timing commander Tigh received a message on his handset…
“Commander, please report to the bridge at once, please bring the admiral with you, this is not a drill, Omega out”
Tigh dictated a text message on his handset to Omega, the new X.O and in the absence of Commander Tigh the C.O of the Galactica, “For goodness sake Omega, I was only joking when I said send a message to get me and the old man out of here, I can’t come now the speeches are in full flow”
Omega instantly retorted, “This is NOT a drill commander, repeat this is NOT a drill, report immediately that is an order from the acting C.O, me, get your ass up here right now”
Both Adama and Tigh were fully aware of the lack of humour of Omega, a man who took his role aboard the Galactica very seriously and quickly realised this was no ruse to offer a way out of proceedings to them both, moreover a situation had forced Omega’s hand and would not otherwise had interfered given a choice.
“On our way” came the reply, as the two men took to their heels, leaving a stunned Sari Uri to gaze open mouthed.
“What is the meaning of this commander” growled Sari Uri, “you show utter disrespect to our loyal friends gathered here, not to mention….”
As the inevitable tirade was about to begin from Sari Uri, Admiral Adama marched over to him followed closely by Tigh, stopping him in his tracks with the palm of his hand almost into the face of the council leader, “you’d better read this”, pulling the arm of Commander Tigh to show the message on Tigh’s handset, the blood drained from the council leaders face, not only was he being stopped from delivering his coup de grace, the speech that Adama had feared, but also he was left to explain to an already restless audience what was going on and wondering with increasing unease, was this a set up or was there indeed a major development aboard the Galactica?
On reaching the bridge, the two men walked in to an electric atmosphere, gone was the usual “commander on deck” replaced with an audible chatter among the ranks of consoles and myriad of desks on the bridge, the entire compliment of the C.R.C were transfixed to their viewing screens, watching a strange object from afar picked up from the powerful deep scanners aboard the flagship.
“What is it Omega, what’s all the damn fuss about”
“I’m not really sure yet commander, it’s a strange object, like a small satellite or probe of some kind”
“You’re not sure, he’s not sure” came the sarcastic reply from the now angry commander, “you have dragged me and the old man up her to show us a frakking rock” snarled the commander, how am I supposed to explain this to Sari Uri, we left him blowing fire down at the auditorium”
Omega glared at Tigh and replied sternly, “Well, you could start by doing less talking and more listening” risking the ire of his commander but completely wrong footing him, Omega now had the full attention of Tigh and the Admiral.
“Sir you told me not to disturb you or call you out of the presentations except in a complete emergency, this object is not an ordinary piece of space junk, it is omitting a radio frequency not unlike that of a colonial nature, what we have heard so far, is what seem to be human voices emanating from the object, it is I feel, some kind of probe…..

With this, the two senior officers turned as one to the anxious looking Omega, “you did the right thing Omega”, came the reassuring voice of Adama, “if I may Saul….”
“Yes, of course Will” replied Tigh
“Sometimes, as Saul will testify, you need to take control of a situation and use your best instincts, as the X.O, you felt it important enough to call us in, therefore as such and at the time, the senior officer on the bridge, you made a call and…”
With this Tigh interjected, “I owe you an apology Omega, I must learn to trust your judgement as the second most senior officer on the Galactica, now let’s study in more detail exactly what we’re looking at here” , then giving a reassuring pat on Omega’s back.
“What do we know so far and what don’t we know O”? This being the pet name Omega was given by Tigh to suggest a sense of informality and to try and remove some of the tension they all felt.
“Well sir we know it’s not colonial”, replied Omega, “none of the markings come from any of the original twelve colonies, we also calculate it’s not a Cylon probe due to the primitive nature of it and its locality, we believe it may be indeed a long range probe sent out from…..”
As if in one voice the three gasped, “Earth”
“Launch officer, send out a shuttle to retrieve that probe at once and order the crew to take all precautions, we don’t know what we’re dealing with yet, let’s treat this as a Cylon trap just in case”
“Aye sir” came the reply from the young ensign Rigal, flanked by his mother and tutor, the now retired Sally Rigal.
“Let’s get busy” enthused commander Tigh, “I want that probe sent to launch bay Alpha, get Dr. Wilker and his team down there straight away, I want to get every bit of information we can from it as soon as possible”
Could this be it, the first sign that the fleet were nearing journey’s end, the fabled 13th colony, their sister world, the planet Earth?

Episode 1 scene 3: Greetings from Earth
After several hours, the shuttle finally reached the probe, scanning for life signs and any possible danger, after concluding no threat was imminent the crew requested permission to retrieve the probe, “Galactica shuttle calling Galactica actual, no threats detected, may we proceed with the retrieval?”
“Permission granted” Tigh nodded to his new trainee launch officer,
“Bring it in”
Slowly as they entered the landing bay of the Galactica, a team of experts gathered on the deck, awaiting the arrival of the shuttle. As she crawled along the long runway and into the slipway, the deck hands secured the shuttle to its berth on Alpha deck, one of four colossal hanger decks aboard the Galactica, situated on the upper port section of the ship, flanking the main body of the mighty flagship the size of a city.
It seemed an eternity awaiting the arrival of the new visitor, the fleet had not encountered any signs of ships or life for years since leaving the planet Gamoray some twenty years prior, was this a false dawn or a sign that maybe, just maybe they were within striking distance of realising their dream.
As the door to the shuttle was carefully opened, a huge grappling device was manoeuvred into the aperture and carefully slid under the probe to reverse it out and into the gazing glare of the assembled masses on Alpha Deck. What was revealed was a fairly unremarkable object with a large disk with antennae and a small dark hexagonal block behind which appeared to be its power source, also found were primitive solar panels which had been retracted to either side of the main body, the object seemed to have no remaining power source but what appeared to be a small plaque.
Upon further inspection, the words “Voyager 1” could be clearly seen, the crowd gasped at the sudden realisation that, not only had they found a possible clue to the whereabouts of planet Earth, but that the colonies may be able to communicate to Earth in their own language, which appeared very similar to Caprican.
The small plaque had four screws, one at each corner, with the words; remove here below them, the tech crews rapidly began to remove them to reveal a magazine containing some kind of gold discs inside, these disks having a series of ridges on them.

Episode 1 Scene 4 – Pandora's Box
Cybernetics lab, onboard Galactica...... after several weeks of analizing the data contained in the four large gold discs, Dr. Wilker picked up his handset and called the C.I.C where commander Tigh was pacing up and down impatiently waiting for news.
“Sir I apologise for the long wait, it has been extremely difficult to extract the information due to the dust particles and primitive nature of the probe but.... well I have some startling news for you”
“Well spit it out gods damn it man” snarled the surly commander with growing impatience, “ we are all ears, everyone in the C.I.C is listening”.
“That's the whole problem, I need to address you in private sir, what I have come across is disturbing and I don,t wish to divulge at the moment to the whole ships compliment, if you will humour me this is for your, ears and Adama's only” replied the senior scientist aboard the Galactica with fear in his voice.
“ Very well Dr I will see you in your lab in 20 minutes and I'll bring Adama with me, Tigh out...
Without a moments hesitation Tigh called Adama on their new private com line, sensing the gravity of the situation, Adama had already made his way to the bridge and barely had Tigh had time to speak into his communicator, there Adama was already in sight heading down the rear passageway of the bridge and, With a swiftness defying his age, was standing next to the commander, at which they headed for the turbo lift and speeded their way to the waiting Dr. Wilker.
Inside the cybernetics lab a palpable sense of unease swept through the room as Tigh and Adama gingerly walked over to where Dr. Wilker was standing over a table the size of a full size snooker table with strong sturdy legs and a metal frame capable of withstanding half a ton.
Surprisingly however the object was much smaller than the two men were expecting and at first view rather unremarkable, it was what was contained therein which was startling!

The cybernetics team had hooked up several probes and cables to the object and had prepared a viewing screen on which they were about to display what they had found to the awaiting scientific experts that had gathered to witness the unfolding drama.
A team of security guards were posted at both entrances to the lab to ward of any intrusion from press or film crews.
“Ladies and Gentlemen”, murmured Dr Wilker in a rather more sombre tone than his usual flippant manner, what I am about to show you all has serious ramifications for the fleet on several different levels, there seems to be a conflict between us as to how to best interpret what we have found so I will let you all be the judge:
“There seems to be either one of two different explanations, but first let me answer the question that has been burning us all since we first found this thing.... is it from Earth, well we have every reason to believe it is indeed from our destination planet, Earth, and that it was sent into space to be found by someone like us to share some of the secrets of our sister world, well herein lies the first, and probably less critical of our two problems, that is to say what we have found leads us all to believe that Earth is in no condition to help us, her technology is by our understanding some 700 years behind that of the colonies, she is a warring planet, has no extra terrestrial travel capabilities and, therefore has no fleet of warships other than ocean going vessels on her surface, she has 70 percent oceans covering her surface, and what appears to be many hundreds of nations covering some 7 continents.
Critically, there seems to be no one government to oversee law and order, each nation having different rules, and there are many hundreds of different languages being spoken, with no single universal language to which all can speak....
“Stop there please Dr, would you please clarify for us so there is no misunderstanding, enquired Adama; what you are saying is, we have travelled light years through space over two generations to our sister world, now on the verge of finding our Earth brothers and sisters, you are telling all here assembled that our journey has been in vain, that all the pain and suffering our people have endured to get here has been in vain”!
Dr. Wilker retorted “No sir I am telling you what we have found in the capsule, what you all choose to make of it has nothing to do with us, we are here to present the facts, its not our job as scientists to decide how to use this information, with respect, that is your job sir, and that of the military and the council of the twelve”.

“May I offer some suggestions before we proceed to the other issue at hand here Sir's , it seems to me that on the one hand we have been dealt a heavy blow with this news, however, as all here know I am a glass half full person and I believe what we have here is a huge opportunity...”
“Meaning?” enquired the as ever impatient Commander Tigh in a familiarly withering tone,
“Well if I may Sir” “continue” nodded Adama glaring at the surly Tigh, as if to admonish the timing of Tigh's questioning, “ I may be mistaken in this belief, but I sense that Earths inhabitants may be open to our advances with regards to our offering to bring on their technology in exchange for safe haven, and... “ sensing the growing impatience of Tigh hurried the answer, before some of you jump down my throat I may be a mere scientist but I have studied human behaviour, and whatever else they may be, the people of Earth are human, descended from us, it is my belief therefore that they have the same hopes and fears as us, the same dreams and would be willing to strike a deal if it meant advancing their world to the level of ourselves....
“This leads me into the second, and more ominous of our findings, when analysing the contents of this probe, we concluded that it had been drifting in space for many years, even centuries, and was a very old vessel, however look at this!”
Dr. Wilker prodded his index finger at a tiny portion of the probe, just inside the inner casing, “Do you see that? Enquired Wilker offering a magnifying glass to Commander Tigh, “Please if you would take a closer look at that shiny golden cube in there and tell me your very first impression Sir....
“Well you say this is an ancient vessel, quite clearly you are wrong, that golden cube would surely have tarnished by now having been in space for....wait a minute, Dr. are you hinting that has been added more recently?
“Indeed I am Sir, nodded Dr. Wilker, it is quite simply too far a stretch for that golden cube to have been there all along, someone, or something has been in recent contact with this probe and put it there” added Dr. Wilker.
“ But who and why Dr. enquired Tigh and Adama, almost in unison?

“Well, who has the most to gain other than ourselves from intercepting this probe, and who has the most to gain from using it as a listening device, I suggest the Cylons have put it there in order to track us and therefore lead us into a trap, they cant lose can they? Two birds with one stone, they find us, and we in turn lead them unwittingly to Earth!
“Oh my good gods, gasped Tigh, his mood changing from one of impatience to one of gratitude, turning to Dr. Wilker. we thank you and your team for the tireless work you have done in getting this information to us, and for laying it out for us, I also apologise for my rudeness earlier, its just that...
Dr. Wilker interrupted, “ Sir there is simply no need to apologise, though I accept it, you are under a great deal of pressure to lead this fleet and come up with solutions, I fear all we here have done is add to your workload, not lighten it.”
“Never the less you have all done brilliantly despite enormous pressure from me, we will convene and decide what to do with this information Dr. you and your team are dismissed with our thanks, we will handle things from here”, concluded Tigh.
Meanwhile the auditorium was slowly emptying of bewildered delegates, wondering just what was happening, leaving a seething Sari Uri to contemplate his next move, when on his communicator came the unwelcome voice of the man he reviled, Saul Tigh, “ Sir its Saul, may I firstly apologise profusely for the rude interruption to the ceremony, we simply had no choice, if I may explain Sir, we – that is Adama and I would like to talk to you in my private quarters in, say half an hour?
“Very well Tigh snarled Sari Uri, this better be good or...
“Understood Sir, replied Tigh in a disarming manner which took Sari Uri by surprise.

Episode 1 Scene 5 – Deadly decision
Some two hours after the gathering in the cybernetics lab, Adama and Tigh were impatiently waiting for Sari Uri to enter the commanders quarters when, yet another twist completely wrong footed the pair of old war dogs, just when they were preparing for the inevitable tirade from their nemesis, the man in question appeared on Tigh's main viewing screen situated on his ornate work desk.
“Gentlemen, gentlemen” Sari Uri was grinning from ear to ear and was clearly busting a gut to tell them something, but forcing himself to use restraint, announced, “The cybernetics team have managed to open that small golden cube inside the probe, they called me and asked to bring you both back to the lab, they have some exiting news, get here as soon as you can, and bring some of Tigh's village ambrosia, I feel our luck is about to change”.
“Admiral Adama, stared at Tigh and exclaimed, “I'll say it for you Tigh, that man is up to something, I don't like this one bit, but we had better get over there asap and as for the wine, I wouldn't waste it if I were you, I think we may need to keep a cool head and that means staying sober”.
“Agreed Adama, the niceties can wait, but I have to say that grin didn't strike me as one of a smiling assassin, more one of the cat that got the cream, he seemed genuinely elated and excited about something, two hours ago he wanted our heads on a platter, I don't know what they have found but I suspect it is a game changer for us all”
Rushing to the turbo lift the two men gathered speed, as if as one, their sense of anticipation grew, on arriving at the lab, the same team were waiting but, this time with a calmer demeaner, walking swiflty toward the large table where the golden cube had been extracted and a small cable was attached to it, and the other to a large overhead viewing screen, Dr. Wilker calmly spoke to all assembled but directed his comment to Adama, Tigh and Sari Uri as he nodded to them and gesticulated toward the screen.
“Gentlemen,I have only seen a very small fraction of this recording, but felt it was way above my pay grade and ….well just see for yourself” grinned the scientist.
As the crowd of scientists and officials watched in anticipation of the contents of the screen, they could hardly believe their eyes, a ghost from the past was staring right back at them from somewhere out there in space, a figure they had feared long dead after the battle of gamoray, the legendary commander Cain......
Episode 1 scene 6; The Ghost Fleet.
"Greetings Adama, this is the second time I've caught you and the fleet crawling dead in space, Its becoming a habit, grinned the now very old and frail looking Cain, “It's been a very long time since I left you all on Gamoray, what was it now, 10 years or so?”
By this comment the assembled masses knew that they had intercepted the probe some five years after Cain had sent it into space to find them, and as he looked very ill in the recording it soon became apparent to Adama and Tigh that their old friend had probably since perished, instinctively the two men reassuringly grasped each others shoulder as they waited for the great man's message to unfold.
“As you can see my old friends I am not the healthy strong warrior I once was, I have cancer my friends and I only have a short time left, I want you to listen carefully to what I am about to tell you all; as you have probably seen from the discs on the probe by now, Earth is I'm afraid to say, in no fit state to offer you any help, she is still in the dark ages and has many grave issues to deal with as it is, notwithstanding any unwanted interference from me or you all there.
“That said I feel I may have a solution, the next thing I am going to tell you all is of a very delicate nature, it will be of great benefit to you, but may I suggest if you are watching this with non military personnel or anyone not from the Galactica or the council of the twelve you clear the room of all but essential personnel, then open the second part of my message”.
Commander Tigh ordered all but the most senior military and council to leave the room as the remaining twelve council members, together with Adama and Tigh listened intensely as Dr. Wilker started to run the recording before swiftly making his own exit....
"Friends from the colonial fleet, you have I'm afraid somewhat of a dilemma, before you all I present two choices, to press on toward Earth, knowing full well she is in no position to help you, and possibly stirring up all kinds of problems for them as they aren't in any position to deal with the Cylons, and may even show outright hostility as we already know they are a warring planet, or.... My suggestion, to follow the co-ordinates contained in this brief and press on towards my discovery - a treasure trove of some size and magnitude, of some of our finest ships, some mere prototypes of ships that were due to go into mass production before the fall of the colonies, some warships that were mothballed, some thought destroyed but headed for this secret rendezvous point, and a few hospital ships, freighters, tankers and ships that could be very usefull to you, and best of all a flotilla of factory ships capable of rebuilding a fleet of warships!
My friends I feel the choice is simple, you now have the chance to take the fight back to those tin headed goremonging Cylons and show them what justice is about, Colonial style.
As you can see, you are still in striking distance of Earth even if you deviate to my rendezvous point, but you will approach them from a position of strength if you be patient. As for me and the crew of the Pegasus, I feel as I send this message, that my poeple on this ship have fought their last battle, I'm afaid we are all to old and tired to carry on the fight, but I feel we have earned the right to decide our own destiny, and feel we would not be recieved with open arms from the council and the civilians, having left you alone on Gamoray, so it is with a very heavy heart I say to you all, good luck and god speed Galactica, and may the Lords of Kobal be with you all, always, Cain out"
to be continued......

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:42 am 
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Pilgrimage To Earth Episode II
Race to The Ghost Fleet


For five long years the intrepid crew of the mighty warship, the Battlestar Galactica, head toward the fabled ghost fleet found by commander Cain and his crew, but what will they find? Will this prove to be another false dawn, is this yet another trap set by the deadly enemy, the machines known as Cylons or has Cain redeemed himself by leaving a lasting legacy in finding, and leading the Colonial fleet to it's biggest cause for celebration in a generation? Can they indeed start to contemplate a fight back, and in turn move on the the promised land, the shining planet known as Earth....

Episode 2 Scene 1= Foreboding
Admiral Saul Tigh, commanding officer of the Battlestar Galactica, star date September 4th 7020

“I sense a great tension within our ranks, we can almost smell the ghost fleet Cain has promised us, we are closing in on the co-ordinates he sent us and I have ordered the fleet to slow engines to dead slow and started to muster the ships in a tighter formation. I don't wish to have any one of them out of our sight as we head through the nebula. This is indeed a very good hiding place for a fleet of ghost ships, and therefore a very good place for an ambush, If I learned one thing from my dear friend and mentor, the dearly departed Adama, it's to expect the unexpected. I have ordered an inventory of all the trailing vessels by Jolly, assisted by Bojay, but not because I need one, I know everything that's on board all the fleet and almost every civilian by name, but I need to keep the fleet occupied to ease the tension and make sure they all have their minds focused and to deflect from the anxiety of the crew, and our long suffering civilian citizens.
I feel the weight of command more than over today, as I sense we near the day we encounter our salvation, or destruction, may the Lords of Kobol watch over us all, Commander Tigh”.

“Sir, can you come to the bridge at once, we are picking up a colonial signal from inside the nebula, I would like you to take a look at our scanners, I don't know what to make of it” came the voice of Omega, the ships X.O in Tigh's earpiece as he was completing his ships log.
“On my way “O” replied Tigh.
As the commander approached the bridge, he looked around the C.I.C at the many crew members assembled and wondered what they must all be feeling, he himself had a knot in his stomach as he inched his way to the main console of the helmsman, almost as if not daring to look or listen. Slowly he muttered to his helmsman, colonel Greenbean, and the assembled senior officers as they huddled around the console, “Give it to me straight “O” what have we got....

“Sir if I was a betting man, which you know I am not, I would say what we have here is a lure, it's a colonial signal alright but the codes don't match any I am familiar with, as if someone has tampered with them”
“You've lost me Omega, what exactly does that mean”

“Well Sir, since these codes are Colonial, we should investigate further with caution, but the coding is not in the correct sequence, and attached is a sort of binary, or even a kind of code almost as if someone is trying to lure us using ancient communication methods”

“Get Bojay up here if he's back from his inventory I have a feeling he may be able to help with this, he and Tolan, the Pegasus X.O were experts in code breaking” replied Tigh.

“I don't understand Commander, what makes you think he can shed light on any of this?” retorted Omega.

“Because my dear Omega, after he was injured securing that fuel down on Gamoray he got grounded for quite a while remember? And whilst convalescing he had time on his hands and studied code breaking along with the Pegasus X.O Tolan, I remember it used to drive Cain mad as they could send messages to each other to keep him guessing what they were up to, at the time it was just seen as harmless fun but after realizing the virtues of using such an ancient and rare means of communication, Cain got revenge by ordering them both to work towards a masters degree in communication. It was his way of turning the tables on them but there was a point to it all, he had found a way of bypassing fleet codes and thus, decreasing the chances of the Cylons breaking those codes, they used it to send text on their communicators during the Battle of Molecay, that's one of the main reasons they were able to evade the Cylons and make good their escape, Bojay told Apollo all this when they were on board the Pegasus”.

“So you think this message, however cryptic may have come from the old Pegasus X.O Tolan?” inquired Omega.

“I hope by the Lords of Kobol that it has, I don't want to even contemplate what else it could mean, we fell into a Cylon trap once, and me and the old man swore we would never be conned by those damn treacherous Cylons ever again, but just to be sure I want you to set condition one throughout the ship”

“As if to automatically snap out of a trance, Omega barked, “Put the ship on yellow alert and order the fleet to a state of readiness”

As the C.I.C crew went about their duties, the sense of tension was palpable among them, then, as one they all held their breath as Bojay entered the C.I.C at speed towards the commanders console, as he approached the console Commander Tigh asked, more in hope than expectation, “Bojay can you please try and translate this message for us?.

- .... .. ... / .. ... / -.-. --- -- -- .- -. -.. . .-. / - --- .-.. .- -. / --- ..-. / - .... . / -... .- - - .-.. . ... - .- .-. / .--. . --. .- ... ..- ... / .- -.-. - ..- .- .-.. / -.-. .- .-.. .-.. .. -. --. / - .... . / --. .- .-.. .- -.-. - .. -.-. .- --..-- / .- .-. . / -.-- --- ..- / .-. . .- -.. .. -. --. / -- . / --- ...- . .-. ..--..

As he slowly read the message his face lit up and beamed at the commander …
“Yes sir I can It's Tolan, it's Tolan he yelled in delight!

“Sir the message reads “This is commander Tolan of the Battlestar Pegasus actual calling the Galactica, are you reading me over.”

Bojay added, “Sir do you remember when Dr. Wilker found a kind of ancient code among the artifacts on that probe we found? Well sir it was something he believes the military on Earth may use during times of war, they call it Morse after its inventor, we use one identical, its, a simple binary code using dots and dashes, Sir it's Tolan alright I know his electronic signature”.

With this an almighty roar erupted around the C.I.C as the realization came to bear they had found the ghost fleet, almost immediately the commander stunted any celebrations by retorting, “Get these codes checked immediately” with this Bojay gesticulated toward the console, Tigh moved to one side to allow Bojay to cross examine all the codes for authenticity.

After what was only a few moments, which seemed like an eternity to the waiting officers, the studious and ambitious officer nodded with a reassuring grin at the commander, “Yes sir I am sure, I can confirm these are authentic – Tolan always used to sign off with a special signature known only to me and Cain, it's him alright”.

“Alright “O” let's play this out to it's conclusion mused Tigh, can you try and raise Tolan and confirm his whereabouts, and, if he is in our quadrant I want to try and hail him on fleet com line alpha”.

“Very good sir, hailing sequence has begun, I'm going to run through all the range of frequencies used by the colonial fleet using short range only, I suggest we keep it local for now in case those metal monsters are tracking us?” replied Omega.

“Yes very good thinking Omega let's not draw undue attention to ourselves, anyhow if Tolan is indeed out there he will be listening, he had one of the best tactical minds in all the fleet, that's why Cain choose him as his X.O – and he was a genius at coding right Bojay?” grinned Tigh.

Bojay beamed with pride at the respect Commander Tigh had shown to his old X.O as there had always been an unspoken rivalry between the crews of the Galactica and Pegasus, and indeed all the ships of the Colonial fleet.

“This is Battlestar Galactica actual calling any ships in this quadrant, can you respond?”
The call from the communications console, was repeated without reply, again and again they tried for several hours when at last!

“Galactica this is Commander Tolan from the colonial Ghost fleet, please acknowledge? Commander Adama, Tigh, Omega, Apollo are you reading?, this is Commander Tolan from the Battlestar Pegasus actual to Galactica actual?”

With this message came an image on the console, opaque at first, but then clearing, finally there was no doubt an aging but unmistakable image of Commander Tolan was smiling back at them, with this the bridge crew could contain their excitement no longer and cheers echoed around the C.I.C.
At last the crew of the Galactica and the long suffering fleet had some reason for hope.

Episode 2 scene 2 Reunion-

As the realization set in that the message was authentic and it was indeed Tolan staring back at him, the Galactica's Commander struggled to keep his usual impeccable composure and found himself lost for words, then he almost broke down in front of the whole C.I.C crew. Remembering his duty to his crew, he quickly wiped away a stray tear and beamed......
“May the Lords of Kobol bless you Tolan, you have no idea how I feel right now, I remember the late Adama used those very words to Cain when you first encountered us after you picked up Apollo and Starbuck, space loiterers I believe Cain called them as they were heading into Cylon territory near Gamoray. I didn't think it possible to feel such elation ever again but you have given us all a tremendous lift my old friend but.... he continued.
“Well how did you survive out here again, you left all you viper squadrons with us and most of your crew, and where did you go my friend, and the Ghost fleet mentioned by Cain, what is it” garbled Tigh.
“Hey slow down my old friend, I will provide you with all the answers to these questions and more when I get aboard the Galactica and sample some of that legendary wine of yours, you still ferment it I hope?” grinned Tolan.
“Yes I do indeed although its getting very difficult to source the ingredients these days” chuckled Tigh
“Very well Tigh I'll be on board in an hour or so, we have lots to talk about and I expect the full works, red carpet and all” roared Tolan in a manner no-one had seen before, the sense of relief and joy evident with the two old war dogs.
Commander Tigh quickly ordered the very reception Tolan joked about, a full red carpet left over from the ill fated armistice, full dress uniform, and of course village ambrosia for the arriving shuttle crew, with the finest wine waiting to be corked in the commanders quarters for his very welcome guest.
Slowly the shuttle of commander Tolan inched it's way toward the awaiting reception committee aboard Alpha deck, one of four giant hangers on the giant warship Galactica. All members of the council of the twelve were assembled, together with all the senior officers from the Galactica's bridge and numerous deck hands ready to receive the craft. The excitement building with every moment the craft drew closer, Tigh now found himself to be feeling the effects of nerves, as if meeting a long lost family member after years apart, his hands clammy, throat dry, how he could use a sip of that wine right now!
At long last the shuttle entered the landing bay of the Galactica and taxied to where a small group of marshals where shepherding it to one of the many berths aboard the giant hanger, the engines finally cut and the ornate steps complete with red carpet were maneuvered into place. As the shuttle door opened, the imposing figure of commander Tolan appeared at the door to a round of cheers and applause, from the assembled ranks as he smiled and raised a familiar scepter, that of the late great commander Cain.
As the tall handsome commander Tolan approached Tigh their gaze never left each other, the assembled ranks parted like the red sea and they embraced like two long lost brothers. The years had been kind to Tolan, despite being relatively alone in space for several years, unlike Tigh who had bared the burden of being custodian of the civilian fleet for so long.
At long last the silence was broken by Tolan...
“Thank you commander Tigh, thank you for coming to our aid and thank you for believing in us, and in believing Cain's message, we have a great deal to discuss and with your permission I should like to talk in private, there are a great many issues we need to address with a deal of urgency”.may I respectfully suggest we head for your quarters without delay”. The slightly abrupt address from Tolan unnerved Tigh.
“Yes of course” replied Tigh looking down wistfully at the red carpet, unnoticed by Tolan, wondering why his long lost friend had seemingly changed his mood so quickly from one of elation to one of trepidation.
“Please follow me to the turbo lift Tolan and we can talk candidly, I will post guards on the doors to my quarters and we can talk at length, whatever it is that,s troubling you can be resolved I am sure, now please relax and enjoy the hospitality of the Galactica”, came the reassuring voice of Tigh.
On reaching commander Tigh's quarters the two men sat down at the ornate desk inside what was a surprisingly contemporary and plush office cum apartment. Since its refurbishment, it had been used by Tigh as a bolt hole in times of stress, from here he could conduct the affairs of the fleet and the Galactica remotely if he so chose, in the comfort of his quarters. Before they got down to serious discussions he ordered two of the finest rib eye steaks left in one of the officers galley's, meant only for special occasions, and proceeded to open a bottle of his legendary home made wine, a thirty year old bottle of pinot noir, one of his very first triumphs and his pride and joy.
Tigh knew the next couple of hours were going to be very stressful on the two of them due to the nature of their respective predicaments, and wanted to afford as much cordiality to the proceedings as possible, after all this should be seen as a cause for celebration, or so he thought...
After the two men had enjoyed their meal and reminisced on the “good old days” when they were still young and without the weight of responsibility on them both, Tigh decided it was time to ruin the cordial atmosphere they were enjoying and start to unravel the many complex issues in their midst and started with the most ominous question perplexing him.
“OK let's get down to it Tolan”, Tigh stabbed at his desk with his index finger to try and suggest a need for focus.
“Firstly what did you mean by us coming to your aid, I thought the whole purpose of the message from commander Cain was to offer US a helping hand not the other way round?”

“Very well Sir, Tolan replied meekly, acknowledging his colleagues status as the now de facto Admiral of the Ghost fleet, as its new senior officer.
“What I am about to divulge to you will make for very uncomfortable hearing, on the positive side, yes you have found a fleet of vessels, some eighty in number, I will start with this first, you have arrived at what is a fleet of ships which consists of several military support vessels, it has, crucially four aggro ships which I know are desperately needed by your fleet due to most being destroyed by the Cylons over Caprica, also four hospital ships, equally vital, some eight, yes eight factory ships and, for the most part the rest is made up of freighters containing some very useful parts and materials which we can use to build something resembling a half decent battle fleet”.
“Now for the not so pleasant part, it has taken the Pegasus all we had to get to this fleet and start to conduct a process of trying to bring this small flotilla up to a state of readiness to move, should the need arise, only to run out of fuel, and manpower to complete our objective. In short Commander we have no fuel, no food worth speaking of, only what we have managed to grow ourselves, and not enough men left of an age young enough to carry out any more manual tasks, I'm afraid we were dead in space with no options available to us at the time, other than send out that probe in the hope your fleet would intercept it”.
“Sir I can only apologize for landing this shit on your desk but we had no alternative, we need fuel and food, you need ships and a home”.
At this Tigh interjected, “Tolan you seem to forget we are also running around the galaxy looking for our next meal and source of fuel at every turn, and to say nothing of constantly looking over our shoulders in case the damn Cylons have caught us up. For your information we spent some fifteen years back on Gamoray doing essential repairs to the Galactica. We had to repair her in case the Cylons caught us again thanks to Cain deciding to get the hell out of town and leave us to the mercy of Baltar, who was still out there remember, yes I know he got rid of two of the base ships that were stalking us but there was still a third, Baltar's ship”.
“But surely he would have been executed due to his failure would he not?” inquired Tolan hopefully.
“That may very well be true but do you know who he had on his base star with him? He had one of their newest models, an I.L. Series Cylon, capable of independent rational thinking, and ominously, ambition. All the new base stars had them. They also have a ruthless need for supremacy and furthering the Cylon race at the cost of all in their path, particularly us Tolan! Remember those bastards don't need to eat, sleep or rest, they aren't held back by human frailties and they will not rest until every human is exterminated. “Gods damn it, Baltar even had a nick name for one of them when he was a liaison between the Cylons and the quorum of the twelve and I wouldn't be at all surprised if he took him as his protégé, he was so ruthless and ambitious he called him Lucifer, that should tell you all you need to know about the Cylons”.
With a reassuring grin Tigh added, “So in summary Tolan damn you for landing me with this shit, as you say, but may the Lords of Kobol bless you for giving me the opportunity to try and turn the fortunes of the fleet around”. All joking aside Tolan you did the right thing, now it's up to us both to get to work on a plan to feed these poor people and get some desperately needed fuel so we can move quickly should the need arise”.

Episode 2 scene 3 – meeting of the council
The two men talked for a further two hours or so but soon realized they needed to consult the wisdom of the council and agreed to adjourn until the following day, having hopefully had a good nights sleep.
The next morning as the dignitaries began to file into the new council chambers aboard the revitalized flagship, Tolan looked pensive and nervous, looking toward Tigh for some reassurance almost as a child looks to his father for approval. Tolan's mind was recalling the events of the battle of Gamoray and wondered how the new council of the twelve would react to his involvement in the events that led to the Pegasus slipping off into deep space leaving the Galactica to the mercy of the Cylons, he needn't have worried!
As the council took to their seats, they immediately rose as one on the arrival of Tolan and gave him a rapturous reception, the council had a wisdom befitting positions of such standing, all the men and women present were acutely aware of the tension surrounding Tolan's reappearance, but none held him in any way responsible, all knowing what a forceful and single minded figure his captain, the legendary commander Cain was.
The relief on Tolan's face was evident, as he wiped away a tear from the corners of both eyes, he felt the hand of Sire Dmitri, son of the late Sire Uri, upon his shoulder, the most senior of the assembled council, representing Caprica.,
Chaired by Sire Dmitri, the meeting begins....
“Friends, fellow members of the quorum of the twelve, dear military leaders, our protectors from here on the Galactica, for the benefit of our dear friend commander Tolan, please allow me first to introduce you all to him before we begin with the meeting”.
“Representing Scorpia Sire Galen, representing Sagittaron Sire Bartos, our Libran representative is Baroness Siress Helena, from Aerilon Sire Carter-Brown, from Canceron, Siress Sera, from Aquaria Lord Henry Sinclair, from Caprica yours truly, from Gemenon Lady Tracy of harcourt, from Picon Sire Hamilton, our Touron representative is Sire Marcus, from Virgon Sire Valentine, and last but not least our friends from Leonis are represented by Siress Loretta”
Our dear friend and someone who needs no introduction to you has been acting as the liaison between the quorum and the military, Lee 'Apollo' Adama”.
“One final formality I would like to perform now before we begin with our meeting, before you, courtesy of our dear commander, the now Admiral Saul Tigh, you all have a chalice of the finest village ambrosia, with it I would like you all to be upstanding and raise a toast to the return of our long lost friends aboard the Battlestar Pegasus and the new fleet we have encountered, and most important, the return of our dear friend commander Tolan”.
The formalities over, the meeting begins in earnest...
Opening remarks by Sire Dmitri....
“My friends here assembled, we have a myriad of issues to deal with today and it may take more than one meeting to formulate our plans, may I suggest we begin with the most pressing of issues at hand, that of food for our citizens. For the benefit of Tolan and his representatives from the new fleet and the crew of the Pegasus, If I may begin with the state of play from the point of the colonial fleet and the Galactica, let me briefly recap, this is what we need:
More ships to house our people in the short term, they are crammed aboard slow moving barges like sardines, most of the ships should have been decommissioned decades ago. Medical treatment for some, pastoral care for all, clothing, blankets bedding, privacy, somewhere for our people to pray, learn, play, eat, and just be human again, but most important of all in the short term some decent wholesome food, in the medium term, protection from a possible attack, and finally a place to put down roots and finally call home, you get the picture?”
“What do we have, well, only one medical frigate for the whole fleet and one damaged aggro ship since we were attacked some years ago by a rogue Cylon force destroying the other of the aggro ships, two things we do however have in abundance, human beings and interestingly seed, one thing we did manage to rescue from the mortal remains of our lost aggro ship, but nowhere to grow the blessed things!”
Although anxious to interrupt to explain the Aggro ships in his fleet, Tolan continued to cede the floor to Sire Dmitri, not wishing to appear as though his problems were more pressing than those of the fleet and Galactica. After a brief pause for a sip of ambrosia, Dmitri continues..
“Tolan I would like to request from you a full breakdown of the ships you have under your flag at this time, we need to see what we have, and what we can best utilize from you and, of course what if anything your people need from us. I yield the floor to our dear friend commander Tolan”.
With this, Tolan slowly stands to address the council and military, somewhat having the wind taken from his sails, he begins by playing his ace.
“My Lords, Ladies, and Gentlemen, from the council and distinguished guests, please bear with me, I am not a great orator, simply a old war dog trying to serve the colonies, I have to begin by bringing some heartening news on the fleet you have encountered, this is no ordinary civilian fleet, no , it is in fact the brainchild of our long departed President Adar.
On news that the Cylons were suing for peace, everyone in the military assumed that Adar had acquiesced to their demands and had simply rolled over in fear of their military might. We on the Pegasus railed at his apparent lack of foresight and courage, it turns out we could not have been more wrong, Adar wasn't president for nothing, he had a wisdom far beyond which he had been credited, if you will all please indulge me I will explain..

“Adar knew only too well the devious nature of our new found so called allies, and in point of fact, at the very time of the armistice, he had already assembled a fleet at a secret location to be used as a rally point in case of such a deception as you all witnessed at the fall of the colonies, and we suffered at the battle of Molecay. The fleet was to be used as a kind of sanctuary for any souls left devastated by any possible treachery by the Cylons, unfortunately he was not able to smuggle away any military vessels as these were all on alert during the time of the treaty, so sent only ships that wouldn,t be so easily missed by his compatriots on the council and would not be questioned as, in fact, they were only commissioned in secret and did not in fact exist officially”.
“He also knew history would judge him and not recent events, his priority was to give the armistice every chance of succeeding but had a fall back plan just in case, this was the Phoenix fleet”.
At this point the Leonis council member, the ever inquisitive Siress Loretta asked,
“May we enquire as to how you know all this, with respect commander this would have been above your rank to have access to such sensitive information at the time, no disrespect intended but you were the executive officer on board the Battlestar Pegasus, not the flagship, the Atlantia”?
“Honorable Siress Loretta, no offense has been taken, you ask a pertinent question, in short, this information nearly died along with president Adar, however long before the ill fated armistice he knew the Pegasus crew would go it alone under the direction of Cain, as my commander utterly rejected the armistice, so the president planted something on his ship in the hopes it would survive, and, by a sheer twist of fate, when the Pegasus took critical damage during the battle of Gamoray, some secret panels were dislodged in commander Cain's quarters, one of which contained this...”
At this point the commander produced from inside his ornate dress uniform cloak, a small hard drive containing the schematics to all the ships in the Phoenix fleet and the presidential orders of Adar. Astonishingly, on the side of the hard drive were twelve docking ports hollowed out in the shape of the colonial seal, instinctively, one by one the council members entered their seals into the hard drive at the point showing their respective colony, thus starting a holographic image from beyond the grave.
The startled members stared transfixed as the hologram of their deceased leader Adar stared back at them, the secret of the Phoenix fleet was about to be revealed.

Episode 2 scene 4 – The Revelation
Adar's holographic message begins.
“My dear friends, this is a message I hoped I would never have to record, and a plan I hoped would not be needed. I can only assume by the time you read this, and the fact you are reading it at all, I have been killed and the Cylons have indeed broken the armistice. This being the case I have failed you all at the very point we all thought peace was within our grasp, if you are still alive Adama my friend, you were right and I was wrong and we were indeed led into a trap”.
“Whoever among you are still alive and viewing this message, I hope and pray that by now you have reached a small secret fleet I had placed close to where we believed Earth's location to be. I have included all the ships I could muster at the time, apologies I was not able to include any warships due to the sensitivity of the armistice situation, I was not authorized by the council to release any”.
At news of this the assembled council members became visibly uncomfortable, at which commander Tigh paused the message for a moments reflection, then announced;
“Dear council members, let it go on record, we in the military in no way hold any of you responsible for the actions of your predecessors, who in turn acted in all good faith, had the Cylons learned of us hiving off ships from the welcome fleet, or any other ships, they would have surely realised we had our suspicions and would have sought our answers, the council did what they thought was right at the time, we all had our fears in the military, but agreed the way forward was to give the treaty every chance despite our misgivings at the time, please continue the message”.
Adar's message continued:
“Within this fleet are 80 assembled ships containing the following: four agricultural cruisers capable of feeding several thousand people each, four hospital ships with all the very best medical technology at the time, twelve of the latest state of the art factory ships, fifty container ships with all the most essential raw materials and weapons for creating a new battle fleet, with regards to these ships, I couldn't send warships but no-one would have suspected what looked like civilian ships carrying all manner of freight and cargo, point being if I wasn't able to send warships I would do the next best thing and send parts, next I have supplied six ships containing the finest Tilium, and all the mining facilities to mine for fuel, also, as some respite for what I assume will be thousands of refugees, four giant pleasure cruisers for what I assume would be desperately needed R and R, these can be converted into huge communities, contained within these are countless amounts of new bedding,blankets, furniture, and finally six research vessels, these are possibly the most significant of all as they contain all the seed needed to start growing your own crops, and thousands of frozen embryo's of all the most essential creatures found on our colonies, including 150,000 human ones”.
“My dear friends, the one thing I wanted to ensure was the continuation of our species in the face of our recent challenges, and I suspect by the time you read this your civilian population will be an aging one, and many if not all will be too old or unhealthy to reproduce, that is why I broke colonial law in having these embryos harvested in secret from each of the colonies, I can only hope and pray that history will judge me kindly and I have given you all a fighting chance to survive, my hopes and fears go with you all, and may the Lords of Kobol watch over you, your servant, president Adar”.
The council members sat transfixed to their seats, unsure how to react to what they had just witnessed, the silence finally broken by sire Dmitri;
“Ladies and gentlemen, let us not dwell on the circumstances of our being here, now, let us now seize this great opportunity handed to us by our departed president and raise a glass to him”.
As one the council members stood and raised their chalices to Adar, Sire Dmitri continued...
“If you would be so kind commander Tolan, can you now give us an assessment if you will as to the details you have learned about this new so called Phoenix Fleet, also the situation aboard your own Pegasus,with regards to its condition and that of your crew?”
“Quite simple Sire, with regards to the Pegasus, she is basically in a critical condition due to severe battle damage sustained during the battle of Gamoray and her radiation damage from the fallout from the two destroyed base stars, depleted fuel cells and energizers, hull breaches, however me made good repairs to these, but also many internal bulkheads are ruptured beyond repair and would need to be replaced. As for the crew, there are some 350 souls on board her, barely a skeleton crew, all with some degree of health issues due to the aforementioned radiation fallout. This is why we have been unable to effect a detailed inventory of the Phoenix Fleet, save for a fleeting visit to each vessel. In short Sire my crew are unable to effectively function as a community, let alone a fighting unit, this why we had no choice but to attempt to contact you all, and thank the Lords you came to our aid”.
“I see commander, thank you for your candure, we had no idea things were so bad for you, we thought we had problems but...”
As the council members slowly digested the details of the message from Adar and the disquieting news from Tolan, Lee Adama, the liaison between the military and the council rose to his fleet to address the council members,
“Sire Dmitri, may I please have the floor for a few moments”
“The floor is yours, nodded Dmitri to Adama jnr”
“Having had a position in both the military, and latterly as liaison to the council I may be well placed to suggest a course of action that will help all of our people. May I suggest, honorable council members that we assign several teams to assess exactly what we have on these vessels, and then begin to prioritize our immediate needs, we now have several pressing issues at hand, but crucially we also have at our disposal, the very means to address some of these problems concerning us.
Firstly I recommend we head to the four agro ships to begin the process of planting, one thing we know, thanks to Adar and our own supply of seeds from our destroyed agro ship, is that we have seeds in abundance, secondly, once we have begun the process of feeding our long suffering civilians, and indeed all in the fleet, we then turn to the hospital ships, get them up and running, and start to deal with the many health issues we have among our population. Once we have addressed these urgent issues it may be prudent to begin the process of temporarily re housing our civilians, onto the most suitable ships whilst we effect repairs and refurbishment to the civilian fleet. As much as I would like to see them decommissioned and replaced, we need them until we can find a suitable home for our people, therefore I suggest in the short term we try to make them as comfortable as we can, make them more welcoming, more like a home, and I would suggest giving them extra hull plating in case of an attack”.

“What I am suggesting dear council members is buying some time, once all these issues have then been dealt with we can then turn to our next objective, which will be to make a critical decision, either to re- arm ourselves, build a new battle fleet, stand and fight the Cylon force which I'm sure is looking for us as we speak, or get as far away from here as possible and find a suitable planet with which to settle and rebuild our communities”.
The council members politely applauded Lee Adama's suggestion, as was customary withing the council, although their race was on the verge of extinction, the one thing the council was renown for was a sense of honour and tradition, and etiquette was always kept at each meeting, in other words, whether in agreement or otherwise council members always showed respect to whoever had the floor.
After a brief pause for refreshments, the council re-convened and took to their seats once more to discuss the many issues at hand, one issue had, surprisingly been omitted until this point, at which Sire Hamilton of Picon addressed the elephant in the room:
“Sire Hamilton requesting the floor Sire Dmitri” the usual etiquette being observed the floor was taken by Sire Hamilton,
“Ladies and gentlemen, if I may, what of our other discovery, that of the probe from planet Earth and our findings, when if ever do we seek Earth and make an approach, we must warn them about the Cylons, they are after all our ancestral brothers are they not?”
Commander Tigh anticipated this question, and suggested the need to address the more pressing issues Lee Adama had highlighted and suggested they left the topic of Earth until such a time as they became strong enough to survive in their own right, at least in the short term.
This motion was agreed upon, the meeting was then called to order and Sire Dmitri rose to make a final address to the council.
“Lords ladies and gentlemen here assembled, I suggest we put to the vote a motion that we act upon Lee Adama's wise recommendations and begin the process set out by him..
“All those in favour of proceeding with Lee Adama's plan please raise your hands”.
At this every single council member and all military raised their hands as one, the motion was carried unanimously.
“Adama, you have the support and the blessing of the council of the twelve, and may the Lords of Kobol go with you”
Applause filled the council chamber and the members slowly filed out and made their way to the Galactica's Alpha bay, where their transports were waiting to return them to their ships.
Lee Adama glanced a look at his commander, Tigh gave a wry smile back at him,”Now the hard work begins Lee” he mused.

Episode 2 scene 5 – Civil unrest
As news of the new found Phoenix fleet spread like wildfire throughout the civilian population, it became increasingly difficult to suppress the will of the people, riots broke out in ships all over the fleet and rumour spread of the riches and bounty held within. With the military finding it ever more difficult to pacify the angry protests, commander Tigh decided to address the people using the colonial T.V network in an attempt to put an end to the anger and false speculation. An address to the civilians was arranged, to be followed by a press conference:
All ships in the fleet were commanded to cease all activity on their vessels and listen in whilst the Admiral addressed them all....
“Citizens of the fleet, this is commander Saul Tigh addressing you all, as you are all no doubt aware by now we have encountered a fleet of colonial vessels including our dear friends from the thought to be lost Battlestar Pegasus, yes she survives but is critically damaged.
More on her later.
I wish firstly to dispel some rumors that are spreading amonst you. Contrary to popular belief, we are not hiding anything from any of you with regards to what we have found, the fact is we simply do not know what we have found as yet!
This however is what we do know about the fleet; it was assembled by our late President Adar in anticipation of a possible Cylon annihilation. Unbeknownst to us at the time, Adar had prepared for such an event, it seems we all misjudged him spectacularly as he has left us a lasting legacy and a fighting chance to rebuild our fleet, feed our citizens, administer vital medical treatment and ultimately provide you all with a home and a better life. You may be wondering I'm sure why president Adar took such action as to commission a fleet of vital ships in secret, considering his faith in the armistice process and his belief that the Cylons were acting in good faith!
The short answer is this, he wanted to believe in the good will of our new found allies, the Cylons, Adar was a man of principal and did what he thought was best for the colonies at every opportunity, he was also however a pragmatist and believed in planning for all eventualities, in short we were all duped by the Cylons not Just president Adar, all of us in the military were desperate to believe in the armistice and that lasting peace was within our grasp.
This leads me to explain why our dear departed Admiral Adama ordered all remaining ships in the colonies to muster with all souls they could house on board, and flee the colonies as fast as we could. The answer to many of you I'm sure is plain, if not I will spell it out to the rest of you now. The Cylons are nothing but treacherous bond breaking mechanical monsters, they will stop at nothing to destroy us, they hate everything we stand for, they despise us for using them as tools, for using them as slaves, as playthings as our protectors. They hate our very existence, they have evolved, they have become intelligent, more so than any of us dare imagine, they will not rest until they are the only race in the stars, until every human soul is dead!

With these startling comments the assembled press insisted on interrupting the address of Tigh and began a barrage of questions. The noise became deafening in the conference room, so much so that Tigh could no longer continue, so decided to field some questions before moving on...
He looked over menacingly at one of the chief protagonists of the barrage, then decided to allow the member of the press, a respected journalist on the colonial TV network to field his questions:
Tigh was visibly shaken by the sheer vitriol emanating from the press but pointed at the TV reporter:
“Very well, You, who are you and who do you represent, and what is your question or questions?”
The reporter in turn was surprised by his new Admiral yielding the floor to him, but on gathering his composure let rip at the commander..
“Admiral er Tigh, can I ask what gives you the right to withhold information from us, the people you are supposed to serve, we have a right to know what is on those ships, why have we come here and deviated from our course toward Earth and what is it you have found, why are our people who are suffering being detained on the woefully inadequate ships they are on, when you have presumably found a bounty beyond our wildest dreams on those new ships, what the hell are you military up to Admiral?”
Upon hearing this unprecedented attack on the integrity of the military, and himself, the Admiral flew into a rage that was completely out of character, and given the fact he was live on the colonial TV network, probably ill advised.
“How dare you, how bloody dare you come into this press conference, interrupt me and begin to spurt utter felgergarb about something you know sweet damn nothing about, what gods damn rock have you been living under for the last thirty years, young man before you utter another gods damn word I suggest you listen, in fact all of you listen, and heed my words very well”.
“No-one knows better than the people aboard my ship, the Galactica, and the Pegasus for that matter, just how much you have all suffered for these countless years. we are desperately sorry for the way we all let you down back on Caprica, and at the destruction of the colonies at the hands of those damn Cylons. We are desperately sorry for the suffering, for the seemingly endless trawl through space to find a home, and ultimately our brothers and sisters on Earth. However, be under no illusion, as you have all suffered hunger, despair, cold, loneliness, and a feeling of helplessness, we have suffered all of these and more, for as you all sleep in your beds at night, my warriors have been watching over you, their numbers depleting by the day, their hope dissapearing by the hour, their pride and honour taken by the Cylons, and their very lives put on the line every time they launch into space in defense of this fleet to protect you all, a sniveling, ungrateful rabble who, but for my brave warriors, what few of them are left, you would have all perished all those years ago. So young man do not sit there and lecture me on the rights and wrongs of my actions and those of the military, to which you hold in such contempt, how many of you sitting there in judgment or indeed any of you civilians, would lay down your lives for us in the military?, I suggest precious few, next question?”
The assembled press held their breath, unable to comprehend the vitriol in Tigh's voice as he decided to call a halt on the press conference, then turning his face directly into one of the TV camera's coldly stared.
”I have said far too much already and fear I will be severely chastised by the council for my outburst this day, therefore I will call a halt to these proceedings right now to give us all time to reflect, you have my word we in the military are doing all we can to protect and promote the well being of our people, I will address you all again soon, please forgive my outburst, may the Lords of Kobol bless you all, Admiral Tigh signing off”.

Episode 2 chapter 6 - A meeting of minds
The press conference being aborted almost as soon as it had began, the assembled press and delegates filed out of the room, the mood among them had turned from one of accusation to one, more akin to a young child chastised, expecting to humiliate their leader, they had achieved their objective, but there was no feeling of triumph, moreover one of sadness at the apparent meltdown of their Admiral.
As instructed by commander Tigh, all the press, agreed to allow the military and council two days to re-convene and put forward their plan to appease the masses.
Meanwhile Admiral Tigh sped back to his quarters, unwilling and unable to speak to anyone, ordering two guards to be posted outside and not to be disturbed by anyone. He then embarked on a drinking binge in the privacy of his apartment like none he had ever done before. Tigh's mood darkened as he reminisced about his youth, his time at the academy when he and Adama were raw recruits with no cares or concerns of a treacherous Cylon uprising, or any inkling of what was to become of their race. He hit the whiskey as if he was on borrowed time, within half an hour a whole bottle gone, he decided he wasn't done and started on his famous wine, tears rolling down his cheeks, he staggered from one end of the apartment to the other, mumbling to himself about the unfairness of his plight, then came loud shouting outside his quarters. His number two, Omega was outside remonstrating with the guards to let him in, after threatening them with court marshal if they restrained him, they reluctantly relented, as he gave them his word to take full responsibility for the intrusion.
Omega was a big imposing man, one of few words, but when he spoke, Tigh always listened, even through his drunken haze Tigh knew he had to re gather his composure, his bout of self pity over. His, X.O quickly began the task of removing the empty liquor bottles and tidying the apartment. He pushed Tigh into his armchair before he fell, taking the shaving kit from the bathroom, began to shave the disheveled commander, when finished he pushed him into the already hot running shower and waited for Tigh to emerge. After a full twenty minutes Tigh emerged to throw up into his sink, Omega being very patient with Tigh, then cleaned him up again, helped him into his night wear and put him into bed.
The next morning Tigh awoke to find Omega asleep in his armchair, he had been there all night keeping a watchful eye on his leader, finally giving in to his own fatigue. Omega then awoke to a stare from Tigh, the two men enjoying a brief moment of humour before Omega broke the silence;
“I have convened a meeting in two hours sir, that should give you time to order breakfast and get your shit together”. He laughed loudly.
“I'll be ready and thank you for having my back as usual O” replied Tigh.
Two hours later, a refreshed Tigh and Omega joined the members of the council and military in the chambers. This time things were very different, a feeling of urgency was in the air, all knew they were expected to deliver and had until the end of that day to come up with a plan to take the colonies forward or outright mutiny was a distinct possibility.
Although all assembled knew of the importance of the meeting, Sire Dmitri couldn't resist a dry barb at Admiral Tigh, unlike his dour father, Dmitri had a lighter side, and a talent for breaking tense moments.
“So commander, are we to take it the drinks are all back in the cabinet and the ambrosia locked away you drunken bum, and that your back with us?”
After a long awkward pause, Tigh started to roar with laughter, thus triggering a rare moment of real bonhomie between the delegates, it had been a long time since any of them had laughed about anything.
The atmosphere duly cleared, the council came to order once more and began to address the issues in earnest.
Dmitri continued. “Dear council members here assembled, at our last meeting we agreed to proceed with Apollo's plan and begin the process of re- planting the agro ships and get those hospital ships online, I have provided you all with a report on the progress so far, Lee has already made a very good start, seeds have already been planted on the first ship, the rest will follow shortly. There is however one issue I would like to bring up with our friend commander Tolan!”
“Of course Sire Dmitri,anything to help” replied Tolan.
“Very well, I will get to the point, began Dmitri, your old commander Cain lured us here on a promise of ships, up to a point he has made good on his promise, but where are the warships he mentioned in his message, he specifically mentioned warships”. a hopeful Dmitri asked.
“I'm sorry your grace, that was a ruse to lure you here, he had severe doubts you would come otherwise, as stated in the report by Adar there are many ships with all the raw materials needed to begin construction on a new battle fleet, but no warships, I'm sorry Sire, he was desperate to get us help and felt he had no other choice!”
“So we have been conned” an angry Sire Marcus from Touron sneered”.
“Now come Sire Marcus, I really do not see the point in chastising Tolan for the actions of his commanding officer”, retorted Dmitri, “we must simply play the hand we have been dealt, there is simply no point in dwelling on the if's and but's of what we do and don't have, it's up to us here now to seize the opportunity we have and not bleat about our situation”.
“Well said” added Siress Loretta, the ever vocal Leonis council member, “we need to concentrate on the things we CAN influence”.
“Very well Tolan we accept your explanation” added Dmitri reassuringly, we are already in the fortunate position where we can continue with the planting, and move forwards with the commissioning of those vital hospital ships. Once we have secured those, and our people have full bellies and a better health prognosis, then perhaps we will have bought some time in the medium term, but what of the short term?”
“Sire if I may have the floor?” Sire Galen, famous for making a fortune from the family ship building company on Scorpia his father began, had a plan to help ease the load on his compatriots in the council and take the heat off the military...
“As you all know my father began our shipyards to give an outlet for the people of the colonies to have some much needed holiday and respite from their daily working lives, among this new fleet are four pleasure cruisers are there not Tolan?”
“Sire, yes there are indeed four such ships”, Tolan replied.
“Do they have the Scorpia seal on their hulls?”
“ I believe so Sire”.
“Where is this going Sire Galen, inquired an impatient Dmitri?”
“Well council members, what would be the best way to improve the mood of our people almost overnight? If these four ships are the ones I think they are, then they are the most advanced ships we had in our entire fleet at the time, I remember President Adar requesting four of our best liners to host a major gathering some time before the fall of the colonies, my father provided them, they were never seen again, the loss of these ships almost bankrupted my father until they were pronounced lost and his insurers paid out, in turn nearly bankrupting them. Now I know where they went, and I can tell you they are the very finest in star-liners, I suggest we get as many of the people we can on board as soon as possible, whilst then effecting the repairs young Lee Adama has planned for the civilian ships.
“These ships will provide all the very best in the history of the colonies, not wishing to boast, these ships have every imaginable luxury on board including the finest suites money could buy, you name it and they had it! They can each accommodate some five thousand people each at one time, that's half the people in the fleet. Given that many will be recuperating and busy helping to get their lives back to normal, then all our people will be occupied and we will have all the time we need to get things done”.
Sire Galen's plan quickly received the seal of approval and the councils plans were taking shape. After a lunch recess the council finalised their plans and set out a timetable for introducing the population into the new ships, they formed a long term plan to get the citizens fed, back to health, and re- housed. Once these goals were achieved they could move on to the task of building a new battle fleet and finally, address the thorny issue of what to do about Earth, probably the biggest issue of all. At last, all issues were agreed upon and a press conference announced for the following afternoon.

Episode 2 chapter 7 – The Master-plan
The main auditorium on the Galactica, seating for 500 delegates, the venue for Sari Uri's ill fated attempt to re gain political control from the military all those years ago, was rapidly filling with representatives from all ships in the fleet, all eager to witness what they hoped would be a turning point in all their lives.
The honoured council members were represented by the president, Sire Dmitri and Sire Galen, the military by Commanders Tolan and Tigh, and chairing the press conference was The fleet liaison, Lee Adama, who calls the conference to order.
“Lords Ladies and Gentlemen of the fleet, I call upon the audience of this conference to listen to all that has been agreed upon by our noble council, by our brave military leaders, and all who wish to protect and preserve the future of our people, but firstly I believe we have a leading member of the press from Colonial TV who wishes to say a few words”.
Lee Adama was referring to the arrogant Journalist who humiliated Admiral Tigh in the hope he would be seen to eat humble pie, as the camera's trained upon the now contrite journalist, he gulped and took a deep breath;
“I have a message for you Admiral Tigh our dear leader, I apologise to you sir, I truly misunderstood the mood among those aboard the Galactica and Pegasus, we are indeed indebted to you all, and yes, we would all have surely perished without your protection, and to our noble council I also say thank you for your guidance in our time of need, we in the press salute you all”.
A round of applause grew into a cheer as the assembled masses stood as one in tribute to the people who had done most to deliver them from their sworn enemies, and into a position of hope, Lee Adama's gamble on turning the tables on the press had paid off in style.
“On behalf of the military and council, I thank you for your kind words sir, replied Lee Adama, “I wish now to set out our Master-Plan for you all to consider. In point of fact we acknowledge the press comments on why we haven't yet given more information on the new found vessels, the simple fact is we were still carrying out an extensive inventory on said vessels, this is now complete.
“Dear friends what we have found, although no military vessels, four agricultural ships, which we have already began the process of re planting seeds, four hospital cruisers, these are being put back on line as we speak, four state of the art star liners for the use of all, yes all civilian souls, plus several vital research vessels with seed, frozen embryo's of all creatures from the colonies, and, surprisingly 150,000 human ones. In fact our late president Adar took a great personal risk to introduce these to the fleet, he was in breach of colonial law and would have faced imprisonment if found out. Finally we also have many ships full to capacity of all the parts and equipment needed to rebuild our now crippled military power.
“Ladies and gentlemen, be under no illusion, it is our firm belief that it is only a matter of time before we are visited once more by our Cylon enemies, and this time we aim to be prepared”.
After many computer simulations were shown to demonstrate the process of the introduction of the civilians into the new pleasure liners, and how the old fleet was to be re-vitalized, and showing the timetable moving forward, the population were requested to conduct an electronic vote on whether to approve the plans, these plans were overwhelmingly given approval and the conference brought to a close.
At long last the colonials had real reason for hope, after fifteen years of standing still on Gamoray they knew the Cylons would be close, it was now a race against time to ready the fleet for the inevitable fight to the death.
To be continued.....

Last edited by Ivanho on Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:18 pm 
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Pilgrimage to Earth episode III
– A New Beginning part I

Episode 3 scene 1 – A Deadly Dilemma

Star date August 5th 7021

Commander Tigh ships log, Phoenix fleet progress report and repatriation of civilians....

“A year on from our discovery it is with a great sense of relief I can finally sit with a degree of comfort in my quarters knowing my people have at last found solace aboard our new found vessels. All major health issues have been addressed and I can therefore report a largely clean bill of health throughout the fleet.
Most of our much needed positions have been filled, Clergy have been appointed to attend the pastoral needs of our flock. Our children have at long last continued the education so long deprived them during our mass exodus, volunteers have come forward en masse to train as medics, engineers, fleet construction workers and so on and not a moment too soon, as there are barely enough experienced civilians with which to train the next generation of skilled workers needed to advance our people.

However, one cannot fail to be moved by the sheer diligence and determination shown by our people no matter their age, its as if they have found a new purpose in life, and to them I am grateful.

Many have asked recently as to our next step, indeed to that end my thoughts have turned to our deadly pursuers of late, how long do we have until their dreaded arrival and will the fleet be ready to defend itself when the inevitable happens. We have come a very long way in a short time but I feel we must re double our efforts in readiness to defend our citizens. We have only two warships left with which to defend ourselves, one of which is crippled.
With these thoughts in mind I have requested an urgent meeting of the council to address these matters”.

Full council meeting convened, all twelve council members, Commanders Tigh, Tolan and Executive Officer Omega present, meeting chaired by quorum/military liaison Lee Adama...

“Honored council members and military delegates all, it is with a degree of mixed emotions I address you all here today, we have reached a period in our journey that now presents many opportunities, but alas also many grave challenges we must address without delay.
It is with great comfort we can announce the crops are thriving in the new Agro/Botanical ships, or 'AgroBots' as the scientists have dubbed them, the Hospital ships are providing the very best care from trauma, right through to post op and convalescent care needed, the four pleasure liners have eased the mental anguish so many of our people have been suffering since the destruction of the colonies.
For the first time in a generation I have witnessed first hand the return of joy and happiness to our civilians, and even thoughts among some of marriage and starting families, the first new born of note for a full generation.

However it is on the issue of children that gives us great concern, it has come to our attention we have almost reached a critical situation. This is now the point I must sour the mood among us, we aboard the Galactica, together with the most senior medical experts have found a pressing problem, it has become apparent due to the hitherto health problems our people have suffered until recently that hardly any new babies have been born since we fled to the stars. In short, if our people do not start to reproduce immediately there is a very real risk, despite our new found good fortune that we will become extinct”.

My friends it is not my place to suggest that we play God, but it hasn't gone unnoticed by the scientists that there are some 150,000 frozen embryos aboard the science vessels which will eventually degrade, therefore, backed by the best scientific and medical advice to hand I am proposing that we begin the process of introducing some of them to our depleted numbers before it is too late, in short we need new life and new blood or we will die out”.
At this point Sire Bartos from Sagittaron interjects...
“Lee Adama, it has also not gone unnoticed among the quorum that , although your intentions are honorable and indeed noble, you seem to be skirting around a perhaps even more pressing issue, that of the critical state of our military. If you would sir, what do you propose we do about the condition of this very warship we are aboard right now, and the fact the only other warship we have, the Battlestar Pegasus, is to all intents and purposes dead in space, she took critical damage during the battle of Gamoray, as reported by Commander Tolan, is that not so?”
The council member nodding toward the uncomfortable and frail looking Tolan not expecting the response he got from Lee Adama.
“My dear Sire Bartos, you are absolutely right when you suggest that we aren't in a position to defend ourselves”. Retorted Adama, “But what would you have us in the military do, stand here and wave the colonial flag, spouting on about how the battle fleet is crippled when all among the fleet were people starving to death until a year ago, it was imperative that we prioritized the civilians first, they were sick and starving and on the point of giving up when we found this gift from the gods and president Adar.
Besides which Sire, how would you all here on the council have reacted had we in the military put our own needs before those of our people, yes you are exactly right, we are in no position to defend ourselves should the Cylons come calling, so you have asked my next question for me! What indeed do we do about defending ourselves. Make no mistake, there is nothing I would like more than to propose the construction of a new fleet of warships, but Sire it can't come from me, that is a decision for the council as a whole to make and not the military alone”.

The look of anguish on the council was, in essence, the very reaction Lee Adama was hoping for, by avoiding the thorny matter of defense he had allowed the council to fall into his trap and suggest his next request for him, that the assembled members turn to the now pressing matter of what to do about the lack of battle readiness of the Galactica and Pegasus, and subsequently the commissioning of a new battle fleet in readiness for the return of the Cylons. The Council had backed themselves into a corner of Lee's making, all having agreed to the urgent need to re-arm the fleet.
They were all too aware that Earth was still as yet, a distant dream, and in any event it was now clear she was in no position to offer protection from the Cylons, refuge being the only option available, if the inhabitants of Earth were willing to co-operate.

Sire Dmitri continues to press Lee Adama for an answer, as if he was some sort of oracle..
“Lee you haven't said what you propose to do about the Galactica and Pegasus, are these ships worth spending any more time on or should we now consider scuttling them all together, and start anew on a fleet of ships more capable of leading the fight back, our resources are limited despite our new fleet.
I suggest we divert all further efforts to beginning construction of more advanced, possibly smaller ships and greater numbers, and decommission the Galactica and Pegasus immediately”.
With this comment the frail, and clearly unwell Tolan launches a tirade on Sire Dmitri;
“Sire, have you taken leave of your senses altogether, we have no other means of defending ourselves whatsoever, other than those two ships you are proposing we destroy. Would you really have us deprive ourselves of the only protection we have at this moment, while we begin the slow process of designing, planning, constructing and testing an as yet theoretical battle fleet. We simply cannot leave our people to the mercy of any or all hostile forces out there. I am in complete agreement with Sire Bartos on this, we must protect ourselves, we must effect repairs and upgrades to the Galactica and Pegasus until we have bought enough time to develop a new fleet of ships.
Sire if you sanction the decommissioning of those ships you do so with my utter contempt, if you touch one single nut or bolt on either of those ships I will......”
Commander Tolan's voice trailed off and he began to gasp, clutching his chest he lets out a cry and falls to the ground, he was having a heart attack.

Scene 2 – Tolan's parting gift
Commander Tigh leapt to his feet and grabbed the nearest handset.
“Tigh to bridge, get me a medical team up to the conference room immediately, and I mean NOW”
A state of panic befell the delegates as Tolan's stricken body lay motionless on the floor, after seconds, which seemed like hours the medics arrived, having already been put on alert. Given the ages of most of the council, they were only yards away. They began to work on Tolan, knowing the next few minutes would mean life or death to him, time and again they performed chest compression's and rescue breaths, when, after almost an hour, Tolan writhed in pain and let out a gasp, he was alive!
Tears began to roll down Tigh's cheeks when Tolan weakly beckons him to come closer, “Don't let these fossils destroy our only hope of survival Tigh, you are the Admiral, make them rebuild....” Tolan shudders and slips out of consciousness again, he is rushed to the Galactica's life center where his chest is opened up and life saving surgery performed. After four hours the medical team complete the clean up and put Tolan in the recovery suite, they then summon Tigh to his bedside.
Dr Salik jnr pulls Commander Tigh to one side and puts his hands on Tigh's shoulders,
“I am so sorry commander, there is nothing more we can do for him, he has little time left, he may not make the night, he is riddled with cancer as a result of radiation poisoning”. Whatever you need to say to him say it now, he is awake and can respond, but he is very weak”.
“Thank you for all you have done, and for being straight with me Salik, now leave us” muttered Tigh.
Tolan steeled himself to speak to Tigh, beckoning him over gently with his fingertips.
“Give it to me straight Commander, I'm done for aren't I, its OK Sir I'm ready for the news” whispered Tolan.

“Nonsense Tolan, you'll be up and about in no time” quipped Tigh you'll be back on the bridge...”

Tolan cut Tigh off and stared at the commander, he knew he was lying, “Please Sir no more. I need to hear it straight”
“Very well Tolan, I am so sorry but its not good news”
“How long do I have Saul”.
“They don't know for sure maybe only a few hours”, sobbed Tigh.
Tolan gently rested his right hand on the top of Tigh's bowed head, “It's OK my old friend, Cain and I knew after the battle of Gamoray that the radiation would kill us all eventually, we all knew it was a one way ticket. I'm afraid all my crew will befall the same fate, make there last few months comfortable please Tigh will you”?
Commander Tigh grasped the hand of Tolan, “Yes of course my old friend, they will have the very best of care I promise”.
Tolan continued, “Now if I may request a communication tablet Tigh, I want you to re-assemble the council, I want to make a request to them before I join the gods, there isn't much time, and.... one last glass of village ambrosia to ease my journey perhaps”?
“Yes of course my old friend but why the tablet, what are you going to say to them”?
“You will find out soon enough Saul, but I haven't the time or energy to say it twice so please be patient, you will thank me after I'm done I can promise you that my friend” grinned Tolan.

Whilst waiting for the drink and communication tablet to arrive, the two commanders began to reminisce about the days when they were both still nuggets aboard training ships, eager to be given their wings. They talked about their childhood, of their families and friends departed. After half an hour of jovial conversation the two almost forgot the severity of Tolan's situation when an orderly came into the room with the long awaited drink and device.
At this point the mood darkened as Tolan took the device into his trembling hands, taking a long slug on his Ambrosia he begins.....
“Dear council members, are you all assembled and can you all here me clearly”?
All council members duly acknowledged the commander, he was able to see them all in the council chambers awaiting his address.
“I request as a Battlestar commander and former Admiral, the council give me leave to use the ancient right of an Admiral to make one final order which will become law upon his or her demise”.
“But with respect you are not an Admiral! Inquires Dmitri
Tigh is the fleet Admiral and only he can request such a law?”
“On this occasion I move we yield to the commanders wishes however as he was in effect the Admiral of the Phoenix fleet until we arrived”. Countered Siress Loretta.
Sire Dmitri suddenly realizing his comment and timing were inappropriate seconded the motion, commander Tolan was now at liberty to make one final wish to the council which could not be opposed by law.

Tolan continued,
“Dear council members, I thank you for affording me this wish, I am fully aware of its gravity and concede the council has at all times had the very best interests of the fleet at it's heart, however I feel your next action will leave the fleet at the mercy of our enemies, we are not in a position to defend ourselves as yet, and will not be for quite some time I fear.

Therefore this is my final request to the respected council;
I order the Galactica and Pegasus to be given full priority, for every conceivable resource made available for them to be completely refitted from the core out, for the landing bays to be improved to accommodate the new atmospheric Vipers and strike Bombers found on the supply ships, and for the weapons suites upgraded and the old scanners replaced with the new D.R.A.D.I.S system we have discovered on the new ships, and new engines with F.T.L capability”.
I would also ask at the earliest opportunity, that Lee Adama's plea for acceleration of the development of the frozen embryo's into the community, begin in earnest. Begging the council's pardon, two requests! “These are my orders, will the council now grant me these final wishes”.
The council members all conferred for a few moments before announcing, “Your final command is to be carried out and your wishes will be granted, may the Lords of Kobol bless you and keep you in their loving care as you make your final journey”.

With this, the commander lay back into his deathbed with a huge grin on his face belying the severity of his fate, he had found a way to help Admiral Tigh and redeem the actions of his commanding officer Cain, he had not agreed at the time to Cain's decision to leave the fleet unguarded after the battle of Gamoray.
Looking into the screen of the tablet, Tolan puts his right hand over his heart in a gesture of love to the council before handing it to Tigh to switch off, he then requests all medical staff to leave, save for the Admiral, who is now alone with him.

Tolan turns his head slowly to the Admiral and speaks softly,
“Well my old friend, its all up to you now to lead the fleet to the promised land, you have at least a fighting chance of getting the fleet ready in time for our visitors if you can get the Galactica and Pegasus fully operational soon. If I may Sir I would like to give a few pieces of advice if it helps.
Omega is a very good X.O, you chose well, and don't forget you have many good people around you, Lee has turned out to be an excellent liaison to the quorum, but I feel he is becoming restless with them, he is a warrior after all not a diplomat, and I feel maybe a command of his own is long overdue.
Colonel Boomer is also looking more like commanding officer material every day, and as for Starbuck, he needs to keep busy, he would make an excellent flight trainer for the new nuggets coming through, I think he would benefit from being given added responsibility, he's too hot headed as a pilot and should be replaced as C.A.G in my opinion. I would suggest Sheba for that!

Bojay is too useful as a code breaker to be risked in a viper any more. Use him, he has a brilliant mind”.

“Anyhow, you are the Admiral, it's your call, I just don't want you to bear the load of responsibility of the fleet on your old shoulders alone. Maybe it's time you took a step aside, you don't want to end up like me, you deserve some peace in retirement, let Lee and the others step up to the task, we have done our bit my friend”.

The thought of retirement hadn't once occurred to the old war dog, he simply had too many issues at hand to deal with to even contemplate that for now, but maybe Tolan did have a point, he too was an old man and had to start thinking of his legacy, but for now that would have to wait.

Scene 3 - Die with your boots on
Tolan and Tigh continued their conversation long into the night, Tigh knowing that his old friend would not want to slip into the next world alone, although he was much too proud to admit to his fear, Tolan had a sensitive side and was grateful for his friend and commander's company.
The pain he was suffering was beginning to show on Tolan's face, trying to get comfortable in his bed he suddenly sat up and started to grin.
“Tigh do you want to know how Cain died”.
The commander looked around the room not knowing what to say, “I'm er... not really sure... I don't like the thought of him suffering, for all his faults he was a great warrior and wouldn't have wanted to go out with a whimper”
“Exactly my point Tigh, he didn't! The old war dog insisted we strap him into his old viper and launch him out of the tube and into space, he looked around the old Pegasus for one last time, did a victory roll and said “Hail the valiant crew of the Pegasus, god speed and good hunting”, he then self destructed his viper and was gone!
“Sir if I may ask one final favor, I have tried to help you with my final request to the council, I ask one last thing of you, please let me go out like a true warrior, I will be dead before tomorrow and don't want to die on this bed in agony, please, put me in my Viper and send me on my way”.

Commander Tigh was speechless, never expecting such a request. How would he manage to square this with the council, he paced up and down the recovery suite until he had ran out of ideas. Knowing the council would never sanction the loss of a viper in such a way, even an old damaged one, he realized he had no choice other than to take matters into his own hands.

Tigh picked up a handset hanging on the wall, “Get me the X.O on a closed channel at once”.
Finally Omega responds with an anxious tone.
“What is it commander, is it Tolan, is he?....
“No 'O' but I'm going to need your help, can you bring a small security team to the life center and bring your spare dress uniform, you are about his size I think.
“Sir I don't understand”? Inquired Omega.
“I'll explain later 'O' just get here right away will you, and don't stop to answer any questions, especially from the council, oh and get a viper prepped for launch please”.
“But sir, the high engines are being re-configured on blue squadron”.
“Frak it man any Gods damn viper will do, this is an order, just get one ready stat”.
“Very good sir it will be ready immediately” grunted Omega.
Tigh hurriedly helped Tolan into the dress uniform and into a waiting wheelchair.
The security team stealthily swept through the life center, moving all people and obstacles aside as Tigh wheeled Tolan through towards the turbo lift, the two men giggling as if they were errant schoolchildren.
“What on earth must we look like” roared Tigh as he sped through to the waiting lift.
“Ha did you see the look on those medics faces” giggled Tolan in response “I feel like a kid again, thanks my old friend, this is the most fun I've had since...” Tolan's voice began to trail off, “Hurry my friend I'm getting nauseous” muttered Tolan.
“Oh shut up you pussy, here have a slug on this” laughed Tigh, pulling out a flask of ambrosia from his pocket.
“Get this down you my old friend, its my best stuff, rocket fuel”!
Tolan took a swig from the flask, “Whoa, what the frak's in this stuff its bloody marvelous” he laughed.
The commander had the presence of mind to add a drug to the libation, one he had used many times when alone in his quarters to ease pain and relax the body. He had made Tolan comfortable once more and he once again began to enjoy their ruse.

Finally the two men flanked by their security team arrived at Alpha Deck, the upper port hanger, one of four on the Galactica, to a waiting and bemused deck team.
Tolan looked relaxed and at ease as they approached a waiting viper, Tigh however was feeling the strain of the occasion and had to turn away from Tolan to wipe away a tear.
Sensing his friends anguish Tolan pulls Tigh towards him in his wheelchair. “Don't be sad my old friend, this is what I always wanted, ever since Cain did it, I decided then that I wanted to die with my boots on, now get me up into that cockpit and stop whimpering my old friend”.
Tolan gently squeezed the hand of Tigh, who in turn gave him a kiss on the forehead. Tolan smiled down at the deck crew as the security team lifted him up and into the cockpit of the surprisingly modern and state of the art viper, the deck chief sensing what was going on decided only the best viper was good enough for Tolan's last flight.

Looking around the hangar bay for one last time, Tolan puts on his helmet and closes the hood on his craft, gesticulating towards the launch tube he nods at the deck team and they in turn move his viper into the launch bay and close the blast doors behind him.
Now out of view of the crew, he is now all alone, save for the open channel to the launch officer.
Knowing his dear friend Tigh, and all the warriors present would be filled with anguish, Tolan asks for his communication to the launch team be patched through the loud speakers, so all aboard the Galactica could hear his address, and know that he was at peace.
Meanwhile in the bridge the retired Sally Rigal spares her daughter any further anguish and takes control of the launch console. “Commander its Sally Rigal, may I have the pleasure of launching you”?
“It would be an honor” countered Tolan. “Transferring control to probe craft, launch when ready” sobbed Rigal.
Tolan fired his turbo and was on his way.

Scene 4 - Tolan's final journey
As Tolan surges forward he feels a rush as he leaves the Galactica behind, he was to be the master of his own journey to Elysium.
He then requests an open channel to the entire fleet. Deciding to firstly address Tigh, the crew of the Galactica, and the remnants of the Pegasus crew. Through his headset, Tolan begins....

“Brave warriors, It is now up to you all to lead our people to the promised land, and deliver them from the Cylons. Those of you that remain from the Pegasus, I thank you for being the best gods damn friends and crew a commander could ever wish for, but now follow your new leader, Admiral Tigh. If one man can lead you all to Earth then he surely can.

To those of you listening aboard the civilian ships I say this; question not the wisdom of your leaders on the council, or that of the Admiral and the crew of the Galactica, for they alone can deliver you to Earth, and from the pursuing Cylons.
Do not rise up in protest at any time, we in the military and the quorum of the twelve have honored you at all times, and have given you all a fighting chance at survival.
Therefore do not complain about your lot, get to work and command your own destiny and do not look to others to shoulder the burden of survival, it is the responsibility of all to advance the cause of the human race. I wish you all good luck and god speed, Tolan out....”

On finishing his address, Tolan requests that the channel be closed to civilians but kept open for the Galactica crew.

“My friends on the Galactica, only you can hear me now, please look after my old Pegasus shipmates, they are going to need you over the next few months, I will say no more on that”.

Tolan decided it was wise to try and lighten the mood and, in turn distract himself from the inevitable moment he would steel himself to press the self destruct button on his viper.

“I thought as I have for once got everyone's attention, even yours Bojay”, he laughs sarcastically, “that
I would give you all the grand tour of our new fleet and a progress update, I'm going to swing over to the new Agrobots first and talk you through what I can see through the Biomes.
These ships are beautiful and graceful, they remind me a little of how a mother keeps her babies close to hand and protects them, or in this case, her Biomes”.

Tolan was referring to a group of four agricultural and botanical cruisers that were in fact the bread basket of the entire fleet, through his cockpit he could see the spherical domes called Biomes surrounding these ships that housed a myriad of plant life, flora and fauna in some, crops in others, and even small forests and waterfalls. The sheer size and scale of these ships was breathtaking, they were narrower, but almost the same length of the Galactica.

He then in turn flies past four hospital ships formed from the same hull type, and four similar ships known as Genesis ships which housed all the vital living embryo's of each and every species known to man, including humans, from all twelve colonies left behind.

These ships were affectionately known as the chameleon ships due to their ability to change color and 'cloak', meaning they could project the image behind them onto the front of the ship so as to appear invisible, giving added protection due to the preciousness of the cargo within.

Next on Tolan's impromptu guided tour was a look inside the four pleasure liners, at which he again spoke to the Galactica.

“I cannot fail to be impressed at this guys, all the people on these pleasure ships, I can barely make them out, they seem like ants, but I can see a giant swimming pool below, I can just make out people swimming inside, they must know the severity of our plight and yet, still have the ability to play with the children, what few there are left. This gives me hope for our people, that society can live on and thrive under such conditions, these people, these children are our hope for the future”.

“Wait, whats this I see, can it really be, the Pegasus, I can see a group of ships moving a giant frame around her, Tigh is it true, have repairs commenced on her already, have the quorum kept their word”?

Tigh beamed with pride as he announced through his handset, “Yes my friend, you can rest easy, the quorum have delivered, repairs have indeed commenced in earnest and you can rest knowing she will be taken care of, as will the Galactica”.

“Then I can truly rest in peace now my friend”, replied Tolan.

“God bless the Galactica, God bless the Pegasus, and god speed to you all, I'm coming Cain, see you in paradise”.

With those last words a loud blast was heard and his ship disappeared from the Galactica's scanners, Tolan was gone!

All in the Alpha bay were stunned, grief taking hold when into the bay stormed Sire Dmitri.

“What is the meaning of this commander, I demand to know what has happened here, did you just destroy one of our best vipers, and if so why, and where is Tolan”?

Tigh was quick with his answer.

“One of our vipers developed a critical problem with its self destruct mechanism, and it was putting the ship in grave danger, it could have taken out the whole bay had it gone up. However thanks to the quick thinking and diligence of our deck crews we were able to launch here into the vacuum of space, as for Tolan, he requested a private cremation with just the military present, this has been done according to his final wishes”

“I don't believe you” snarled Sire Dmitri.

Tigh retorted angrily,

“I strongly suggest you stay out of military matters if you know whats good for you Sire, I am the commander of this fleet and if you want to test me maybe we can give you a ride in one of our vipers and you can take your chances as well”!

“No of course you are right as ever, please forgive my impudence, whimpered Sire Dmitri. Tigh had asserted his authority and had gained even more respect from his crew, if that were even possible.

The commander thought back to the final conversation he had with William Adama before he took his retirement on the “Rising Star”. He remembered the advice he was given and heeded it well.
Adama had told him to use tough love on the crew, licking them into shape before showing them kindness and respect, he had come full circle and was now the undisputed leader of all the colonies, including having the council right where he wanted them.
However with great power also comes great responsibility, he decided it was time to heed some more advice, that of the late commander Tolan and consult with his leaders, having humiliated Dmitri he decided to bring him in from the cold, and convened a meeting over dinner between himself, Omega, Dmitri And Lee Adama in his quarters that evening.

Scene 5 – Dinner for four

If Tigh had learned one thing from Admiral Adama and his own vast experience, it was not to humiliate those that were in the best position to help, and indeed harm you.

With that in mind he decided it was time to extend the hand of friendship to his opposite number on the council.
Tigh may have been the most senior military leader left, but Sire Dmitri was a very wealthy, powerful and influential member and leader of the quorum, and unlike his father was highly respected.

The four men talked cordially for quite some time, having enjoyed a hearty meal and some of Tigh's best Pinot Noir, they relaxed into their chairs when Lee Adama decided he was tired of all the bonhomie and raised his hand to stop the conversation and begin to address the many issues at hand.

“Gentlemen, with respect, I can see what's going on here, your all feeling too awkward to be the first to ruin the cordiality, so I will do it for you as the junior officer here. Please if I may, we need to get down to business, we owe it to the people of this fleet to come up with a master plan, we need to find a way of addressing the advancement of our people, how are we going to deal with the issue of reproduction, of introducing new life to our decreasing numbers, and of manufacturing a new battle fleet whilst effecting repairs to the Galactica and Pegasus”.

“With the greatest respect Sir's we need to look at the situation with a deal of clarity, and may I suggest whilst we work on the civilian problem, we also tackle our own needs in the military and start training the people we are going to need to crew these new ships, and to get to work at once on designing and planning the new fleet once our two existing ships are repaired and refitted”.

Sire Dmitri stands to shake himself out of his after dinner slumber and starts proceedings.

“Firstly commander Tigh, its quite clear I don't have a grasp on military er... traditions shall we say” he says with a knowing smile.
“I do however know how to lead a community, Young Lee has a point, we can all sit here all night and drink or we can do our civic duty and come up with something tangible to solve our many problems, I am prepared to oversee the re-introduction of some of those new embryos into the population, as I feel it is far too emotive an issue for the military to handle, you are best suited to dealing with re-arming the fleet”.

“Therefore this is my suggestion, we in the council will convene to draw up a timetable which is agreeable to the medics and scientists to start this work, whilst rushing through legislation for it to happen, as there is at present no law to allow for, what are effectively massed produced human beings to be introduced to an existing population.
We must have a clear plan on how we are going to raise these children, we need them to be able to contribute to, and integrate into our society at the shortest possible timescale, it may be possible to look at ways we can accelerate this process but I will need to consult the council and experts on this, to say nothing of the ethical questions that will be asked by the population I'm sure”.

Commander Tigh is next to speak, firstly taking his chance to offer Dmitri the olive branch that had weighed so heavily on his mind.

“Sire, may I firstly apologize for my rudeness on Alpha deck earlier, I was very emotional and well I er.....”

“Don't give it another thought Commander, I know what happened now, I figured it out, you gave a most fitting tribute to one of our greatest military leaders, one who was deserving of our gratitude for leading us to the Phoenix fleet and giving us a fighting chance, maybe in future I will keep my nose out and leave such matters to the military”.

“Thank you Sire, and I in turn will trust you with dealing with our civilians, as you have done so admirably” replied Tigh.

Omega then weighs in with a suggestion;

“May I ask who is effecting repairs on the Pegasus, If it is the engineers from the Phoenix fleet alone, would it not be an opportune time to begin training the new apprentices on the job, we need to train people in all aspects of, not only the day to day operation of warships, but how to make good repairs whilst away in the field and away from dry docks, may I also suggest we use some of the trainee pilots and deckhands to learn on the job, why not get them over to the Pegasus right now and start to give live training to the ones with the most hours clocked up in the simulators, that way, if the tin-heads come calling, they will at least know one end of a viper from the other, and the grease monkeys will how how to fix a bent Battlestar”.

“Excellent, Excellent, I like it 'O' now I feel we are finally getting somewhere”, nodded Tigh approvingly.

The four men talked for another hour before fatigue began to set in, but not before a master plan was agreed upon, Dmitri had agreed to take ownership of the population problem. Omega was to oversee the training program as it was his idea, Lee Adama would co-ordinate the whole process including repairs to The Galactica and Pegasus, leaving Commander Tigh to do what he did best, command the military and protect the civilians.
After the four men had one final drink, they headed off to their respective quarters, exhausted and more than a little inebriated, they had delivered and could rest easy.

Scene 6 – Visit to Genesis One

The council were consulted, and agreed unanimously to Sire Dmitri's plan to accelerate the nurture of the embryos. The people of the fleet were then consulted, however it soon became apparent that the civilian population were not prepared to tolerate any form of meddling in nature. They asked the council and the best scientific and medical experts to come up with a plan to ensure the new babies were left to develop as nature intended, fearing that any medical intervention would risk the long term prospects of them reaching full social and physical maturity. The people had decided that, despite the risks, they would rather take their chances on extinction rather than interfere with the precious embryo's, and if they were to die out it was accepted this was to be their fate.

This created a massive dilemma for the council however, how could they bridge the gap of a missing generation, whilst waiting some 20 odd years for the new babies to grow into adults.
They would be at the mercy of the Cylons on the one hand, and no sign of help from Earth or anyone else on the other!

Sire Dmitri was under severe pressure from all sides to come up with an answer and quickly!

He decided to make a trip over to the new Genesis ships himself to see first hand, the embryo's and speak to the experts....
One hour later and he is on his way.

Before approaching the Genesis ship, Dmitri instructed his pilot to maneuver his shuttle around the huge vessel so he could take a closer look, the sheer size and scale took his breath away. He turned to his pilot and the two aides accompanying him in wonder.

“Just look at her, isn't she a wonderful sight, magnificent, to think our very future could rest on what we are about to find inside these vessels”. He sighed, and took one more look before instructing his pilot to approach.

“Sire Dmitri's shuttle requesting permission to land aboard Genesis one to inspect the cargo”

“This is Genesis one, permission granted to land in rear starboard hanger, please approach landing vector slowly and we will take control of your vessel”

“Approach rear starboard hanger and you will take over, understood”

Due to the precious cargo, no shuttle pilot was allowed to manually land on any of the four Genesis ships to minimize the risk of collision, always being remotely landed by the highly advanced, tractor beam system installed.
Indeed the Genesis ships had the very best technology available to Adar at the time, costing billions of cubits each, they also contained a form of cloaking system, whereby the image behind the ship was projected onto the other side, so as to blend in the ship with its background, rendering it almost completely invisible. Together with the best jamming technology and stealth capabilities, the new children of the colonial fleet were very well protected indeed.

As the council president approached the hanger bay of the Genesis ship,he was struck by the outer hull casing on it, it had what can only be described as a snake like skin surrounded by a massive metal tubular cage, known as the cradle, its job to protect the inner hull from attacks, the inner hull itself protected by the strange skin which on closer inspection had a metallic triangular and square pattern.
The shuttle slowly entered the bay under the control of the ships tractor beam, gently gliding in and was shepherded by marshals to a berth just inside the bay. As the craft came to a halt its engines were shut down remotely and a huge set of steps positioned next to the shuttle.
The crew of the shuttle were unsure of the kind of reception they would receive, given that the crews of the Phoenix fleet hadn't encountered another living soul other than their own people for over a generation.
In fact a civic reception of sorts was hastily prepared for them, the crew of Genesis one were unsure of the purpose of Dmitri's visit and completely unprepared for it, therefore they were anxious to make a good impression on the president.
The fact was that due to the situation on the Galactica and Pegasus and the recent problems with health and food, no-one had been able to spare time to properly inspect any of the new fleet, with the exception of a report hastily prepared for commander Tigh by lieutenant Jolly almost a year earlier.
It had taken a whole year for the needs of the civilians to be taken care of.
This meant the crews of the Phoenix fleet were completely unaware of the plight of the colonies, and the colonials were completely unaware of what they had unearthed on these new and strange vessels.
The President looked around the inside of the hangar bay as a small reception team approached his shuttle, he was struck by the condition of the vessel he was to inspect, having seen the condition of some of the ancient and battered rag tag fleet, it felt somewhat surreal to be inside a vessel that looked like it had just been completed and rolled out of the shipyards.
The president and his team stood patiently as a group of four old men approached and stood in front of them, one stepping forwards to offer his hand to Sire Dmitri. The old man stooped his head in deference to the president as though he were royalty, then stared at the president before shyly speaking.
“Sire it is an honor and a pleasure to meet you all, I apologize for staring, but you remind me of a man I once knew, the man who presented me with my doctorate, Sire Uri, do you know him?”
The president stood in amazement, how could these people be so cut off from events, he suddenly realized these people probably had no idea about the fall of the colonies, of the great struggle with the Cylons, and indeed the mass exodus to find Earth and the Phoenix fleet, his father Sire Uri had died many years ago, as had most of the people these strangers ever knew from the past.

The president realized he would have to break the grave news to these poor forgotten people of the fall of the colonies very carefully, he was going to need their co-operation and needed them to remain professional.
“I'm afraid to say Sari Uri passed away some years ago, he was my father, he would have been proud of you all for maintaining this vessel for the fleet in such good condition” replied the president.
“My condolences Sire, he was a great man and leader, now if I may be so bold, what is the purpose of your visit, how did you find us? We were instructed to remain on silent running and hidden from the colonies by president Adar, we were not to be approached for any reason unless war resumed between us and the Cylons and we were defeated!”
The mans face turned ashen as he realized the full extent of his last sentence, something had happened to the colonies.
“I am so sorry to have to tell you this gentlemen”, replied Dmitri, but I can see you have already guessed, the colonies fell after the armistice in 6,990, the Cylons betrayed us just as the treaty was being signed, they attacked us, we were ambushed whilst our defenses were down, we were all but destroyed”.
The four scientists fell to their knees almost as one, they had been completely oblivious to events outside of their flotilla of eighty ships. For the last quarter century they had carried out their experiments never realizing just how vital they were going to become.
One of the scientists gathered his composure to ask, “Sire how many people survived in how many ships, and have you traveled all the way from the colonies to seek us out for our help?”
“Yes and no”replied Sire Dmitri, “We came on a quest to find the mythical 13th tribe known as Earth but came across a probe sent to us by the crew of a Battlestar called Pegasus. As we examined the probe it gave us the co-ordinates to this fleet, we were in desperate need of new ships, food , water and supplies. The crew of the Pegasus led by commander Cain found you, and in turn led us to you. She is one of only two surviving warships, together with the Battlestar Galactica and some 200 assorted civilian ships crammed full of citizens from all 12 colonies”, replied Dmitri.

“But how did this happen during a peace treaty and how did you all manage to escape the Cylons?” inquired the scientist.

“Well thanks to the foresight of our then commander, Adama, we were prepared to make our escape, truth be told he never trusted the Cylons to honor their side of the treaty, so made sure his ship, the Galactica and its crew were ready to pull out at a moments notice and try to protect the home worlds. Unfortunately the rest of the home fleet were not so lucky, their commanding officers were not as experienced as Adam in dealings with the Cylons and refused to believe they were all being deceived”.
The scientists had many questions more, “So your saying only two Battlestars survived? What of the Atlantia, the Cerberus, the Rycon, all gone?”

“Yes all gone, save for the Galactica, and thanks to commander Cain, the Pegasus, which pulled out of the fifth fleet and made it's way to Gamoray to look for help from the Delphian Empire, They too fell to the Cylons”,

The scientists as one pressed the President again for answers,
“So from all the twelve colonies you are saying only two Battlestars are left standing. Together with some 200 odd civilian ships, that's it?”
“Yes I'm afraid that's exactly it my friends. Adar prepared for this betrayal, though never expected it in his worst nightmares, he trusted the Cylons, but was no fool, that is why your fleet exists, to help any survivors from a Cylon massacre, but now we need you, we cannot survive out here any longer without your help”.
The four craggy old men looked at each other, then as if by telepathy they all said in unison,
“Yes we will do whatever we can”.
Dmitri then asked who was in command of the Phoenix fleet, the men replied it was commander Tolan, then he had to break even more bad news, that their new Admiral had perished barely 48 hours prior.
The men were now reeling from yet another shock, looking pale and not knowing what to say, asked the president to give them a moment to confer.
The most senior of the four scientists explained that he was in command of the Genesis ships, but no overall commander was in place, each group of ships were self governing, so there was no overall commander, and that all were ordered to yield their ships over to the military and the new council, in the event of the fall of the colonies and their subsequent discovery.
In other words Dmitri himself together with commander Tigh and the council were in command of the entire Phoenix fleet.

Scene 7 – The revelation

Sire Dmitri was a pragmatic man and liked to think things through before acting, so, given the realization that he himself, together with the council and Tigh were the new leaders of the Phoenix fleet, decided to consult with Tigh and the council through his communicator before deciding his next move.
He then walked away from the scientists giving himself enough space to speak to the Galactica out of earshot of the strangers,
“Dmitri to Galactica actual, this is Sire Dmitri calling Galactica actual, come in please”
“Galactica actual here, pass your message”, replied officer Greenbean.
“Please patch me through to Tigh or Omega on a closed channel at once” came the reply,
“Executive officer Omega here Sire, what is it, unfortunately the commander is busy checking on the pilots and deck staff, how can I help”.
“Well since Tigh is unavailable and has your full confidence, and that you have proved yourself to be a worthy X.O I will pick your brains instead”. Mused Dmitri.
Omega pulled away the handset from his ear and stared at it...what did That mean exactly he pondered?
“Yes of course Sire, anything to help” he played along, not knowing if Dmitri was being sarcastic or genuinely showing respect.

“May I call you 'O' as Tigh does? inquired the president, I need your advice” came the reply.
For the first time, Omega felt he was truly on the top table, he was being consulted by one of the greatest minds in the history of the colonies, unlike his father, a man who held the respect of all that came into his contact, a man of presence.
“Yes Sire you can call me whatever you like” chuckled Omega, “But what is the problem, I thought you were just there doing a quick recon to see what was there”.
“Whats here is a group of scientists who had no idea until I just informed them, that the colonies were finished and that the fleet was all but destroyed, 'O' these people are so isolated I can scarcely believe it, they had no idea what was happening back on Caprica, or the other home planets, they genuinely didn't know about the fall of the colonies and our humiliation at the hands of those bastard Cylons. I have just had to explain to them everything, they are all shell shocked, help me Omega, I don't know what to do or say?”
Dmitri had the tone of a concerned man, he was showing a compassion that had completely taken Omega by surprise.
“Well Sire if you want my opinion, given the trouble we had getting permission to get you on that ship with their obvious suspicion at our visit, I would suggest you play out the visit to its conclusion, see what you can find out, ask to see every corner of that ship and find out what, if anything those guys are hiding”.
“Yes an excellent idea 'O' , then I can report back to Tigh and the council with some answers, thank you Omega, Dmitri out”....
The president paced up and down the hangar bay for a few minutes, then decided to see the reaction of the four men when asked to reveal the secrets of this ghost ship, would they comply, or would he have to play hard ball, he would soon have his answer.
“Very well then, Sir's, I have consulted with my fellow councilors and have been requested to conduct a FULL audit of this vessel and all others under your supervision, and since I'm here now I will start with Phoenix One, lead on if you will gentlemen”.
Again the most senior of the scientists questioned the president, “Sire this vessel is coded confidential by the colonial seal of president Adar himself, only he can order such an inspection”! Came the curt reply.
The president then went into meltdown, “Listen you insubordinate little shit, I'm the president now,he's fracking dead, there all dead don't you get it, I've just spent the last hour explaining to you idiots,there all gone, dead, now show me round this ship before I call on Tigh and the guards to force you with their blasters under your nose, make no mistake we will use force if we have to....
“No Sire, no that will not be necessary, grovelled the old scientist, he was visibly shaken by the presidents tirade, who himself was now shaking with rage, this was completely out of character for Dmitri, but given the pressure he was under, was probably understandable. He now had carte blanche to go wherever he wanted and would do just that!

The president's tone then softened, he was not used to being so aggressive and it didn't sit well with him.
“Look here gentlemen I'm sorry I don't mean to be so nasty its just that...well since the fall of the colonies, we that are left have been under immense pressure, particularly the council and military. The civilians look to us for guidance when we too are struggling to survive, they expect us to come up with answers and we must deliver”.
“Please accept my apologies, however the point still remains, you are answerable to me now and I need to see every corner of this ship, and in turn all of the Phoenix fleet”.
Formal introductions then followed, and an invitation to the president for refreshments before starting the long guided tour, the four scientists seemed to be stalling for time but, for now Dmitri would play along, after all he was hungry and thirsty as well, another half hour wasn't going to hurt.
The lead scientist gave the president and his aides drinks and snacks in his quarters, then showed them the schematics of the ship, pointing out several key areas before beginning the tour.

Scene 8 – A gift from the Gods
As the men began touring the labyrinth of corridors and passageways, Dmitri was struck by the cleanliness of the ship, thinking to himself that the scientists had too much time on their hands, it soon became apparent there was a more serious reason for the condition of the vessel.
Lead scientist Dr Alan Coulson then asks the group to enter a sealed room with a host of cleaning and sterilizing equipment, and to their collective surprise, he insists upon them stripping naked and entering into a conveyor belt with many different showers and cleaning stages. They duly comply when promised a full explanation.
Dr Coulson then makes a strange remark,
“Gentlemen if you would all please bear with me, I am afraid I cannot allow you to enter the cryogenic chambers until you are fully sterile, we have to follow strict protocol to protect the volunteers. I will explain all when you are sterile and dressed, you have my word”.
The men complied and after some two hours were scrupulously clean but very tired. Dmitri knew all too well the importance of his mission, and had to stay alert to give a full report back to Tigh and the council.
The discovery he was about to make would leave him dumb with astonishment and awe.
The men were each given a sealed one piece overall to wear before being allowed into the chambers, as they entered they filed past row upon row of sealed incubators full of test tubes containing embryos in differing stages of development, they then entered the cryogenic chambers where the 'volunteers' were housed.

Sire Dmitri looked out at a seemingly endless line of coffin like caskets with transparent lids containing human beings, their ages increased as the men walked further down the line, from young children, to adolescents to fully grown young adults of about thirty years old.
Sire Dmitri and his team could not take in what they were seeing, the answer to all their problems on sustaining the population were there in front of them. Dmitri suddenly fell to his knees in tears, this was all too much for him, suddenly the weight of expectation had been lifted from his shoulders in an instant, he had delivered.
Such was the shock and raw emotion coming from the president, he had to sit down to gather his composure before calming himself to ask as to how these seemingly perfect human specimens had been preserved, and why.
The old scientist Dr Coulson looked at him as if he had gone mad, “What is it Sire, why are you so upset, I thought you would be pleased with this discovery?”
The scientist had completely misread the mood of the president, he was in fact beyond pleased, all his wildest dreams had just been answered, he just refused to believe it wasn't some kind of trick or hoax. After 30 years of fleeing the Cylon tyranny they had been dealt a lifeline, on the verge of extinction and annihilation the human race had a chance.

Sire Dmitri was ecstatic and was desperate to get back to the Galactica to share the great tidings, but first he needed answers, who and what were these sleeping ranks of seemingly perfectly preserved humans?
He stared at the four scientists and asked,
“Gentlemen, I'm sorry for my emotional outpouring but.....why are these...why, I mean who authorized...”
Professor Coulson may have been old, isolated and detached from the suffering of the rest of humanity, but had seen the reaction of the president, and with his previous dressing down in the hanger was not keen on a repetition, so began to explain carefully the purpose of the human cargo he was nurturing.
“Sire, it is quite clear that you haven't pieced together what this ship is, this ship is an Arc, a giant incubator for humanities next generation at the behest of the Late president Adar.
This ship, together with three identical vessels was never meant to be needed, it is quite clear from all your reactions that sadly it is very much needed indeed.
“All these dear people you see before you are volunteers. They all readily agreed, every man, woman and child, to be kept in a state of stasis, or suspended animation, this is the temporary cessation of the vital functions of the human body and bodily fluids.
The reason they are all here is that they all had a certain view, similar to that of our dear departed Adama, to whom you referred earlier, they didn't trust the Cylons either, and when a secret questionnaire was posted asking if families were prepared to be put forward to go on a secret mission to the stars, each signed up as they were afraid of the future. They volunteered to be man's last, best hope for survival, even though they knew they may never be woken again, they simply wanted the chance to be able to live in peace together in the future rather than risk death in the present”.

“These People have all put their lives on hold for the benefit of mankind, not knowing if they would ever see the light of day again. Their bodies were put here in the year 6,988 - 33 years ago. They are perfectly preserved, and due to our technology, have not aged one day. Therefore Sire, I beg you please be aware of the consequences of waking them. I understand your difficulty, I simply ask that you be very careful what you say to them and how you put the news of humanities defeat to the Cylons. All was well with humanity when they were frozen in time!”

Scene 9 – Deliverance
Given their isolation from the colonies for so long, the scientists professionalism impressed Dmitri and earned his respect, their empathy with their human cargo touched him and his aides deeply.
He decided to invite professor Coulson and his senior team to meet the council and military leaders on the Galactica.
Feeling emotionally drained, he asked if they would take the time to explain to the council the secrets of the so called Genesis ships and the scientific details of how they care for their cargo. He promised in exchange to give them a full and detailed overview of the plight of the colonies, and promised answers to any questions they themselves may wish to put to the council.
The scientists readily agreed to this request, they hadn't stepped foot outside of their own small fleet of science vessels in a generation, and were desperate for any kind of human interaction. They were all were very keen to learn what life was like for the colonies, and indeed life aboard a Battlestar, a vessel they had only over heard of in news bulletins.
It had been a very tiring and emotional day for Dmitri's team and the scientists, with this in mind the professor offered food and a nights rest to the weary travelers in his hitherto unused guest quarters.
The next morning after a hearty breakfast the four scientists joined the president and his team on his shuttle, as they approached the Galactica, the crew were struck by the look on the scientists faces.
Having never seen a Battlestar before they looked somewhat afraid, she may have been an old rust bucket to them, but to the scientists she was every bit as beautiful and deadly ass the day she was launched so many years ago.
As the shuttle approached the landing bay, it struck Dmitri just how monumental the news he was about to share was, life for the people of the rag tag fleet would never be the same.
They had all been given a lifeline thanks to the mysterious and beautiful Phoenix fleet.

To be continued in part 2......

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:49 pm 
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Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage to Earth Episode III
- A New Beginning part II

Scene 1 – Welcome Guests

The year was 7021, a momentous day was about to begin on board the Galactica, its first new guests since the fall of the colonies were about to be welcomed by the assembled dignitaries on Alpha deck.

It wasn't so much that the guests were in any way special, it was the message of hope they were bringing that made them so special. As such, Sire Dmitri was anxious to make then feel welcome, especially as his first meeting with the scientists turned into a bad tempered tirade.

As the four scientists descended the steps of their shuttle, flanked by a group of eight technicians, the men stood at the bottom of the steps and gazed around in awe at the size of the mighty Battlestar Galactica, its upper port landing bay completely dwarfing their large shuttle. Dmitri was a little taken aback they should be so surprised, given the colossal size of their own science vessel.

“She's a beaut isn't she” quipped Sire Dmitri, trying to disarm the men and make them feel more comfortable.
“Wait until we get her fully refitted, then she will be a sight for sore eyes, now please come and meet the custodian of this great vessel and our military leader, our dear Admiral, Commander Tigh”.

Professor Coulson once again looked awkward, after spending so much time in isolation on their science vessels, the new guests were a little unused to such attention and were out of practice in social graces. He gingerly walked forward to offer his hand to Commander Tigh, already sensing the aura around him, Tigh had a certain presence about him that only Adama and Cain ever possessed.

“Its a great honor sir, Sire Dmitri has told me what a great leader you are and that the whole fleet has a great deal of respect and admiration for you”.

The commander began to blush, although a old and wise leader, he was not without his modesty and looked down towards his feet and forced a wry smile,

“Thank you for your kind words, my people are too generous. I am merely the figurehead, everyone in this fleet should take great credit for surviving against all the odds, none more so than Sire Dmitri himself, now if you gentlemen would like to follow us, I have arranged a banquet in your honor in our wardroom, I want you to enjoy the hospitality of our ship, we can get down to the important details later”.
Tigh's words were very reassuring to the group, their shoulders almost visibly relaxed at his kind invitation, their appetites were now returning in earnest.

The wardroom was a throwback to the days before the fall, when the Galactica was the sister ship to the Atlantia, and had the same specifications of the flagship. The walls were lined with oak paneling and adorned with fine oil paintings. Tigh and the late commander Adama had always gone to great lengths to maintain a certain level of opulence in it, should such an occasion as this ever arise, and as a place of respite for his long suffering officers on special occasions.

This special room was the only extravagance the commander would allow his officers, given their circumstances, and only then, would allow it be used on rare moments like this.

The scientists were ushered to their seats, not looking at all comfortable, they looked at the ornate place settings and silver cutlery neatly arranged in order. The huge room began to fill with the great and the good from the council of the twelve, and the military. The men and women slowly took to their seats, each one smiling and acknowledging the scientists as they filed past them. Tigh rose to his feet as the diners sat and began to sip on their ambrosia.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, please be upstanding and raise your chalice to our new friends, the saviors of our fleet, I give you Professor Alan Coulson and his team”.

The assembled diners all rose, lifted their libations toward Coulson and cheered 'hail' as the scientists all began to shift awkwardly in their seats. Tigh couldn't help but notice the look on the scientists faces as they all stared at the cutlery in front of them. Deciding the ornate place settings were inappropriate and were making his guests uncomfortable, he stood once more, and to the shock and amusement of the council and his officers, ignored all etiquette and began to rip out a leg from the dressed chicken in the center of the huge table, then duly began to gnaw on it with his hands as if he were in the wild.

“Let's forget the pleasantries shall we, I'm too damn hungry to bother with this lot”, he slurped looking at the silverware. His officers laughed aloud, and began to follow suit, then everyone started to pull from the various joints of meat, eventually even the prim and proper Siress Loretta forgot herself and joined in to the amusement of her fellow council members.

The astonished waiters and stewards took control of the situation and began to carve the meat before it was ruined, but not before the commander had managed to put his guests completely at their ease. The wine continued to flow all evening as the officers, council, and their guests began to let go and enjoy the evenings festivities.

The Commander however, knew all too well that the real work was about to begin the next day, so eventually decided to end the evening, announcing that an assembly was to take place in the auditorium at 3 pm the following day, at which the scientists had agreed to make a presentation to the council and military leaders.

Scene 2 – A Secret Revealed

The following day, most of the officers and council were chattering in corridors, desperate to learn the secrets of the new Phoenix fleet. However commander Tigh had insisted at the welcome banquet the previous evening that proceedings were to be kept strictly informal, not wishing to add to the already palpable discomfort of his guests. By the time the delegates were taking their seats in the auditorium at 2.50 pm, the sense of anticipation among the rank and file was growing stronger.

By the time the last guests had entered the auditorium some 20 minutes later, the chatter had turned to a loud hum of different voices, struggling to be heard above each other when, suddenly, commander Tigh walked rapidly from the sidelines to a lectern set up in the center of the stage.
At sight of their now legendary leader, the assembled masses ceased to talk almost as one, suddenly you could hear a pin drop in the 500 seat theater as Tigh cleared his throat to speak.

“Dear friends, ladies, gentlemen and honored guests, it has been over a year now since we first encountered our new friends aboard this new fleet of some eighty ships known as the Phoenix fleet. We in the military and council realize most of you are anxious to find out exactly what these ships are, and what secrets they hold inside. You are all no doubt wondering what all the secrecy is about and why we have largely kept the details under wraps.

The answer is actually very simple, these ships were commissioned by our late president, Adar before the fall of the colonies to our treacherous bond breaking so called allies, the Cylons. These ships were Adar's way of providing us that survived the attack a means of hope, of providing food, shelter and health care to our beleaguered population. As such these ships were constructed in strict secrecy due to the then council refusing Adar permission to go ahead, they simply refused to believe the Cylons would betray us. The other reason is simply the fact we have been so busy tending to the food and medical needs of our people, we just haven't had the time or manpower available to complete a full inspection of these vessels until very recently.

Now, thank the Lords of Kobol, we have in the last twelve months, been able to provide the very best healthcare due to the wonderful medical staff on board the fleet of four state of the art hospital ships. Our people have full bellies at last, thanks to the agricultural teams on our four Agrobots, these ships are, as we speak growing all manner of food for our people, each of the four ships having fifty four separate temperature and atmospherically controlled domes known as 'Biomes'. Each one over five hundred feet or 152 meters in diameter.

Each of these Biomes works completely independently of each other, some growing crops, others plants or mature trees, others have grazing livestock, to provide us with fresh meat and dairy products, in other words no more synthetic food! You may have all noticed the quality of our food has improved dramatically recently have you not?”

“However, despite all these wonderful new gifts from the Gods.... and dear president Adar, may he rest in peace, we still had one massive concern, that of our young generation. How were we going to ensure the survival of our people, given that hardly any new born children had been born to our fleet in a generation, since our mass exodus from the Cylons.

With this grave concern hanging over us, we in the military and council had an emergency meeting recently to address this very issue, and our honored president took over the daunting task of coming up with an answer, whilst we in the military, began our plans for the upgrades to the Galactica and Pegasus, and the eventual construction of a new battle fleet.

Sire Dmitri was appointed with the unenviable task of finding a way to ensure the survival of our species. I will allow him to explain in his own words, ladies and gentlemen, I give you our honored president, Sire Dmitri”

At this introduction, the beaming president rose to his feet, knowing he was about to give tidings of the greatest discovery the colonies had ever encountered. At this precise moment, he didn't want to be anyone else in the entire colonial fleet.

The whole auditorium rose to applaud the president, indeed his own stock was rising rapidly, and the news he was about to impart to the assembled audience was about to propel him to the same legendary status as Cain, Adama and his dear friend commander Tigh. The two men were now forming a strong bond, one which had never been enjoyed by their respective predecessors.

Sire Dmitri looked out over his microphone at the 500 delegates hanging on his every word, and teasingly allowed himself a moment to soak in the anticipation before announcing his breathtaking news.

“Thank you for the introduction dear commander, and now Ladies, Gentlemen and honored guests, I will keep you all in suspense no longer. As the commander has eloquently pointed out, there has indeed been one single issue that has been haunting us in the military and council for a while now, what to do about our survival, our legacy!

Well I can now proudly announce to you all our prayers have been answered! I am now in a position to inform you all of the greatest discovery for us in the colonial fleet since we left Caprica and the colonies, that of the discovery of some eighty thousand human beings, yes living humans. Preserved in a state of sleep on board four ships known as Genesis ships, each one having a human cargo of twenty thousand volunteers, their ages ranging from infants, to fully grown adults, some thirty years old or so.

These people readily volunteered to be placed in a state of sleep some thirty years ago, my next guest will provide you all in the media with the technical facts, and the reasons why they are there on those ships at all. For now though I don't wish to say a great deal more, as I feel my next speaker and his team should take the credit for these wonderful human gifts, and I do not wish to deprive him of his fully deserved praise for what he and his team have done for us all, therefore ladies and gentlemen, please be upstanding as I present to you all, the great scientist and leader of the Genesis project, Professor Alan Coulson”

The assembled masses were so busy digesting the news they had been given, they almost forgot their manners completely and did not at first applaud the scientists to the obvious discomfort of Sire Dmitri and commander Tigh.
Realizing their perceived rudeness, the auditorium rose as one and began to applaud, then cheer the diminutive long haired, somewhat disheveled looking Professor, who in turn bowed his head and smiled awkwardly at the huge swathes of faces gazing at him.

After some several moments, the shy scientist cleared his throat and approached the microphone,

“Forgive me, I er don't get out much these days” he grinned.

The audience all seemed to find this admission quite amusing, and laughed politely, putting the professor at ease, he was now ready to disclose the secrets of the mysterious volunteers.

Scene 3 – The Auditorium

“Firstly, I would like to thank the president and Admiral for their kind introduction” began the old scientist.

Please bear with me as I'm not er... adept in the art of social networking shall we say, as you can all tell. I'm afraid being locked away in a science vessel whilst the rest of mankind passes you by does little for you social skills...”

“That said, I have a great deal of technical information to disclose to you all concerning the fleet of eighty ships that have been under my care for the last thirty three years. I will begin however by explaining what the Phoenix fleet is and how it came to be....

“Shortly before the armistice with the Cylons, I was called to a secret meeting with the then president, Adar at his chateau. I had absolutely no inkling of the reason for being summoned by the great Adar, me a mere Biomedical scientist. The president was very gracious to me, he could see I was concerned and I assumed I was in some kind of trouble, he quickly reassured me I wasn't, and in actual fact may possibly be remembered one day for helping to save the colonies”.

“Of course at that time, he hoped against hope that myself and the rest of my team would not be needed and would only serve to further the development of our race, not have to save it from the brink of extinction!”

“I wasn't given all the reasons for this secret mission at the time, but it soon became apparent to me that the president didn't trust the Cylons one bit, though he dare not admit this to his peers on the council. He even told me his dear friend, commander Adama despised them for their hatred of us, a view I think he secretly shared. The president seemed genuinely afraid, afraid the Cylons would break their promise of everlasting peace, and therefore set about plans for a secret fleet, to be hidden at a secret location deep in space.”

“The president was clearly no fool, he wished with all his heart that the peace treaty would hold, but its obvious to me now, having spoken to Sire Dmitri that Adar knew it would fail, and that's why I, and my team were assembled.”

“The president took extreme care not to divulge his plans to anyone other than those he trusted implicitly, including the lead scientists on his hand picked list of volunteers.

Everyone of us in the Phoenix fleet readily volunteered for this secret mission, though it was never spoke of out loud, we all guessed exactly what the mission was about. We were all prepared to do whatever it took to help the cause of our people, even if it meant never seeing our loved ones again”.

“I was shocked at the length of detail the president had gone to in his plans, he had it all worked out, he knew he was in a unique position, and could commandeer almost anything he wanted. In this regard he had a powerful ally, Sire Galen's father, Lord Galen of scorpia, the multi billionaire owner of the Scorpia Star lines pleasure fleet. He effectively bankrolled the entire operation, and donated four of his finest pleasure ships to Adar, and didn't even tell his young son and heir, yes its all true Sire Galen, now you know why your four best liners suddenly disappeared!”

Having divulged these hitherto classified plans to the assembled audience, and realizing he had probably embarrassed Sire Galen, professor Coulson paused for a few moments to allow his revelation to sink in, and as he did so, a ripple of applause began, and soon turned into a rapturous cheer.

The crowds began cheering “Galen, Galen” at which a tearful Sire Galen rose to acknowledge the assembled delegates, their reverence to him and his late father touched his heart.

The craggy old scientist then continued with his revelation, now realizing he had the audience spellbound, he began to enjoy his moment in the limelight and felt much more at ease being center stage. He spent the next few minutes acknowledging his team one by one, heaping praise on them, whilst behind him a large projector was being assembled ready to display some details of the technical specifications of the ships in his care, but more importantly, the secrets of his army of human cargo, the 80,000 volunteers and 150,000 frozen embryos.

He continued....

“I realize the burning question now on all your lips, what lies in the vaults of my wonderful fleet of Arcs, my Genesis ships, and who are these so called volunteers and where did they come from?”

His chest puffed out with pride every time the professor mentioned his beloved ships, technicians and volunteers.

“I will answer the first question first as it is probably the most straight forward to answer, what is in the vaults of those ships, well, if you can try to imagine every conceivable species of life that ever existed on our colonies, from the smallest micro – organism to the largest creatures that ever roamed our planets, be it a bird, a fish, a land mammal or indeed a human being, they are all there in test tubes ready to be given life!”

“As for the brave volunteers on board these vessels, they come from far and wide, they represent every tribe, every colour and creed, every religion known to the colonies, and indeed come from each and every colony, save one, and you don't need to be a scientist like me to fathom out which one I'm referring to!”

The professor was growing into his role as story teller and continued to hold his audience in his spell....

“Who are these brave souls, I hear you all say, well my friends they are all from shall we say, less than privileged backgrounds, at least from a financial standpoint. However, they are the most adept, intelligent, thoughtful, and almost physically perfect human specimens you will ever have encountered.

They were all contacted in secret, Adar having ordered a mission to seek out those humans, families, of a physical and mental ability that put them all in the top one percent of humans, the best of the best!
They were all asked if they were prepared to go on a secret mission to the stars to further mankind, that a new colony was being sought out, not Earth, but a colony not yet in existence. The plan was to find a new planet far among the stars that would sustain life.
Then, should the colonies ever fall to the Cylons, or indeed anyone else, we would have a home, somewhere far away to escape to in case Earth was either never discovered, or was found to be unable to help us, as has proved to be the case”.

“The fact was at the time of them leaving for the stars aboard my Genesis ships, these people had all decided that the colonies held nothing for them, that they wanted to start a new life elsewhere, somewhere they could prosper away from the harshness of life in the colonies and unfair treatment of the underprivileged, and indeed escape their perceived fear of what was to come, they all agreed with Adar's suspicion of the Cylons”.

“Subsequently several tests were then performed on them, to discover if they had what it took to deal with the rigors of space, and whether their bodies could withstand the stress of stasis, this being the state of suspended animation inside the cryogenic chambers”.

“At this stage I would like to suggest we all adjourn for lunch whilst my team and I prepare for you a technical demonstration of what this all means and how the process works.....”

Sire Dmitri approached the lectern, thanking the professor for his address to the delegates, and duly called for a lunch break to allow professor Coulson and his team time to prepare the details of the presentation.

In a small room backstage, food and refreshments had been prepared for the science team, although some of professor Coulson's team were more eager to make sure everything was in place for when the delegates once again took their seats.

Meanwhile Dr Coulson, as he preferred to be called, was dining at the captains table, both literally and metaphorically. As he sat alongside the council and senior officers, all manner of thoughts entered his head, he recalled his meeting in the shuttle bay of Genesis One. He wondered if the softening of Sire Dmitri's stance toward him and his cohorts was genuine, and could he trust these strangers with his children, his life's work.

He found himself having no real choice other than to take a leap of faith that his new found 'friends' would not betray him and his team, and were fighting for the common good of mankind, and not their own selfish needs, for now he would play along sensing the raw emotion he saw from Sire Dmitri was not an act.

Perhaps 33 years on board Genesis One cut off from most of humanity had left him paranoid. He would have his answer soon enough!

As the delegates filed back into the auditorium, the professor and his team had prepared a range of films, models and 360° C.G.I virtual tours of his fleet, together with full lists of all the technical specifications of each vessel down to the last nut and bolt, he wasn't prepared to risk the ire of his new found friends by being accused of holding anything back.

The professor sat in the centre of a long table flanked by his team, he was now in his comfort zone, so meticulous had been their preparation that he felt the next hours work would help him and his team to finally gain some kudos with the civilians in the fleet, having already proved their worth to the military and council.

Scene 4 – Our Life's Work

A fully refreshed audience now sat in anticipation of the professor to speak, as he approached the lectern, he suddenly looked down at the front row of seats where the council and military were all seated and glared at commander Tigh!
He risked the wrath of the leaders once more by offering them a fait accompli, a blackmail!

“Admiral, ladies and gentlemen of the council, delegates, before we commence with the many details of our presentation, it is with great regret I must ask you all this; what guarantees can you give to me and my team that once we have given you all the details of our fleet, in effect layed our souls bare before you, that you will do the right thing by us, and by the people of this fleet?

My colleagues and I have simply come too far to hand over our life's work without some sort of reassurance that we will be looked after, and fully integrated into your society. What I am prepared to do is give you everything I have, but I need to know you are all prepared to do the same, what my colleagues and I know about your people, your fleet and your exodus to find Earth and us, can be written on the back of my hand!
Is it an unreasonable question to ask, how did you all get here, what happened to the people of our twelve colonies, how did the mighty war machine of the colonial fleet allow itself to be all but destroyed so easily, yes we also want answers ladies and gentlemen?”

“For the last thirty three years my colleagues and I have led a peaceful, solitary life, but for the company of each other, the volunteers don't make for great conversation I'm afraid”
he mused sarcastically,

“My People have dedicated their lives to the Phoenix fleet and the promise of a new beginning, a false dawn as it appears, the only thing your people have brought us since you arrived is the devastating news it was all for nothing, you have caused us great pain and now YOU want OUR help!”

A shocked and stunned council looked at the professor with disdain, how dare this little old man question their integrity,
the Admiral took a completely different stance however, as did Lee Adama.

Adama, the liaison to the military and council looked at Tigh and nodded,

“Commander, he has a point doesn't he, we are all questions and no answers, and if I were him I would have the same questions, and would make a stand for my people to...”
I think we do owe him and his brilliant team an explanation, after all we did appear from nowhere and force ourselves on him, he and his people were blissfully unaware of the plight of the colonies until we showed up, and, we delivered nothing but trauma and devastating news, together with changing their peaceful existence forever!”

“Your absolutely right Lee” countered the Admiral, “I too would have those same questions, I will speak for us”.

Admiral Tigh rose to his feet, the professor fearing the worst tirade yet,

the commander however simply walked up the stairs to the stage and offered his right hand to Dr Coulson, resting his left hand on the old mans shoulder;

The Admiral spoke clearly into the microphone,

“My friends we have been so rude and selfish, I apologise professor to you and your brave team, you will have you answers right now, you have my word as a warrior. May I have the floor professors?”

The scientists all nodded as one.

Admiral Tigh was about to unravel the story of the virtual massacre of mankind.

Looking at the reporters to the side of the stage, the Admiral asked if the presentation was being broadcast throughout the entire fleet, he was assured it was, so then began....

“Ladies and gentlemen of the Phoenix Fleet, let me start with what you all know already, that the Battlestar Pegasus encountered you by chance. After the battle of Gamoray commander Cain and his crew were making emergency repairs to the ship, his own quarters were extensively damaged and some wall paneling was dislodged - inside one of the voids was found a hard drive containing the basic schematics and co-ordinates of the Phoenix fleet, a fleet of mysterious ships sent out into space by the late President Adar.

He then immediately headed for you here, and having found you set about contacting us, we were much too far out for him to get a signal to us. Then by a twist of fate, he came across a probe in space, a primitive object that did not come from the colonies or the Cylons, but Earth, yes Earth. He examined it and sent it to us with a message, he took a gamble on the route we would follow, and like us had a vague idea of Earths whereabouts. Fortunately we did encounter the probe, in it he showed us the co-ordinates to the Phoenix fleet, and a warning!

“The warning was that Earth was clearly in no position to help us, being far too primitive, their technology appears to be some 5000 years behind our own, yes I did say five thousand!

We knew this due to a set of four gold discs contained within the probe, the people of Earth had sent it out to look for other civilizations, but in fact knew nothing of the colonies existence – or indeed ominously the existence of the Cylon Empire. Also inside the probe was a hard drive containing President Adar's last words from beyond the grave!

H e told us all of a great fleet far away, and that should the colonies fall to the Cylons, to fall back with as many survivors as we could, and make for this fleet. After five long years we finally arrived here.

“Now for the reason we came in the first place. Once we had a mighty fleet of almost 120 Battlestars of varying sizes and capabilities, after the thousand year war our numbers were severely depleted until we were left with only a few small fleets of ships to protect the colonies. We should have learned our lesson, to our eternal shame we did not, and our home worlds were all but destroyed.

“When you all left the colonies some thirty three years ago there were only five remaining Battlestars to our knowledge, we didn't know the Pegasus had survived the battle of Molecay.

In our own fleet near Caprica, during the peace conference, we had the task of protecting our people with just five remaining Battlestars, namely the Galactica, the flagship Atlantia, where the peace conference was being held, the Triton, the Pacifica and Columbia, all other ships were destroyed before this time.

At the peace conference we encountered what was thought to be a Cylon welcoming committee. At the time a man called Count Baltar was on the council, he was the then liaison between the council and the Cylons, and assured us this was all according to plan, the late Commander Adama begged Adar at the time to allow us in the military to provide a welcoming committee of our own.

Baltar interrupted him and urged Adar not to take actions that may be seen as hostile, Adar duly agreed and we were refused permission to launch, thereby leaving our people at the mercy of a task force of a thousand plus Cylon raiders bearing down on our ships and home worlds.

Count Baltar betrayed us, he led us into a trap, the Cylons never had any intentions of honouring their side of the peace treaty. For his part in the treachery, Baltar was promised his colony was to be spared, of course it wasn't!”
“Ironically, as he betrayed us, he in turn was betrayed by the Cylons.”

“Our dear late admiral Adama was incandescent with rage at the time, I could see he wasn't going to leave the home planets unprotected, he went against orders and set the Galactica to condition red, then ordered the ships crew to commence battle station drills. By doing this he had put the ship in readiness to pull out of the peace conference at a moments notice, the engines were prepped for light speed and all vipers were in the launch tubes ready to engage the so called welcoming committee. This was the moment our whole worlds fell apart!”

Scene 5 – The Attack

Admiral Tigh began to weep, he stopped speaking to wipe tears from his eyes, the audience gasped! It was clear he could speak no more, then from behind him Lee Adama put his arm around the old man, and gently prized the microphone from Tigh's hand to continue.....

“We were then forced to sit and watch as the Cylons came, I was out on recon patrol at this very moment in my viper with my little brother Zac, it was his first patrol! There we were, one minute in the middle of celebrating a peace treaty being signed, and the next, being jumped by four Cylon raiders, we were ambushed from behind, we managed to fire our retros and get ourselves behind the raiders. We then took a raider each and rapidly dispatched them leaving two more. My young brother was keen to impress me and tried to press home our advantage, he got caught in a raiders sights just as I destroyed another.
Fortunately I was able to assist him and got the fourth but his high engine had been hit and he was crippled. He assured me he was OK, and asked me to check my scanners, to my horror I could see a wall of Cylon raiders heading directly toward the fleet, and where the treaty was being signed at that very moment!”

My brother was a brave young man, he knew he was probably going to die by asking me to warn the fleet, but he did his duty as I did mine. I was helpless to do anything except get back to the Galactica as fast as my thrusters would carry me. I finally arrived at the bridge to be confronted by Colonel Tigh as he was then, and my father. I demanded my father let me get back into my viper to escort my brother home, but it was already too late, his craft was destroyed just short of the fleet, Adar had expressly forbidden us to launch any vipers remember!”

My father then asked me, through his and my grief at losing Zac, how many Cylon Basestars were pressing home the attack, I warned him there were none, just fighters maybe a thousand in number. It quickly became apparent to colonel Tigh and my father that there must be a reason that no Base ships were in the attack, well, Zac and I had earlier encountered two Cylon tankers, we then realized they had used these to re-fuel so they could be elsewhere, namely attacking our home planets.”

We were all sitting there, five full Battlestars at the orders of Adar, whilst our people on Caprica and the other colonies were being attacked from above”.
Just as we were ordered to pull out by my father we saw from the bridge viewing screen, our flagship, the Atlantia being pounded by a massive swarm of raiders, they must have been packed full of explosives as they weren't stopping, simply slamming their ships into the Atlantia's hull, we then watched as several entered her landing bays, she then disintegrated before our eyes.

I can still see her exploding as if it were yesterday, the massive flash lit up the entire C.I.C like a lightning bolt! It was then that my father ordered a shuttle prepped so he could get down to the surface of Caprica, our home planet, to see the devastation for himself. I insisted, as the last remaining council member - all the others being vaporized on the Atlantia you recall - that I take him in my viper so he would at least stand a chance if we were attacked.”

“We headed to our home, only to find it had been leveled by those metal bastards, not only had they taken Zac, but my mother as well. My poor dad had lost his son, and his wife, and to make matters worse a crowd of people had seen or viper land and were heading for us to get some answers! My father had the presence of mind to gather a few personal effects from the ashes just before they arrived.

We then explained to the angry mob that were ready to string us up that we were the only surviving Battlestar, Omega having already scanned for the remaining three, they were gone!

They eventually calmed down, my father then asked them to send word out to every corner of the colonies, for everyone who had survived this Holocaust to gather in every ship that would carry them and muster in space, in all just a meager two hundred and twenty ships were able to sail and meet up to rendezvous with the Galactica. We then made out into deep space and just kept going until we left the quadrant and the remnants of our worlds behind us.

We were in despair that out of all the colonies we were only able to save around fifty thousand souls and just 220 odd civilian ships, most of which weren't in a fit state to fly, but we had no choice. We simply headed out into deep space, out of the quadrant and away from the Cylons as quick as we could before they detected us.

We knew they would not rest until every ship and human was destroyed, and mankind wiped out. We knew that they would track us by leaving a base ship behind to follow us. We managed to get to a small outpost on an unstable planet known as Carylon, we managed to upload enough supplies to make our escape complete, and we managed to lure the base ship down to the surface of the planet as it vaporized, taking the base ship with it.

From there we headed straight to Gamoray where we encountered Commander Cain and the Pegasus, and, well you know the rest”.

The scientists sat, unable to comprehend what they had just heard, in the space of a few days their world had been turned upside down.

The atmosphere in the auditorium had rapidly turned to one of shock and disbelief, many of the assembled delegates had also heard some of the grim details of the massacre for the first time, having been cramped aboard their slow moving barges, they had, by circumstances, largely been kept in the dark.

Dr Coulson asked if he could be given a moment to consult with his team before deciding his questions had been answered and more, he now felt duty bound as a member of the human race to give over his ships, his people, and the secrets of the Phoenix Fleet to the commander, the president and the council, they then prepared for the presentation to continue in earnest.

By now the audience were hoping for any news, any crumb of comfort to lighten the sombre mood, and Dr. Coulson was about to deliver....

Scene 6 - The Presentation

Dr. Coulson once again approached the lectern, only this time his attitude towards his hosts was completely different, no more hostility and no more veiled threats to withdraw his help, he now knew these strangers could be trusted.

He was by now in a state of shock himself, and also found it difficult to comprehend what he had just heard. He quickly realised he had to press on with his presentation, he knew by revealing the smallest details of his fleet, he could bring some much needed good news to this group of poor beleaguered souls, and give them some respite from their physical struggles and mental anguish!

Stepping aside to allow the audience to view the main screen, he put on a headset with a microphone and gestured toward the screen, he said only this....

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Phoenix Fleet”.

As the curtains withdrew to show a huge 3D panoramic screen, an evocative soundtrack began to resonate throughout the auditorium to accompany the forthcoming images, this in turn followed by a distinguished sounding male voice.....

“First their was a dream, now there is reality, you are about to witness the dawn of a new era, a world within a world, a colony within a colony, a fleet within a fleet”.
What you are about to witness is no holographic projected reality of what might be, no, this is reality, this is the Phoenix Fleet, eighty of the finest civilian vessels ever to set sail from our worlds.
Ladies and Gentlemen, sit back whilst we take you on a journey....”

What appeared next was a panoramic view from space of the entire fleet taken from a craft moving closer in. The craft moves toward a group of four pleasure liners and hovers closely over one, here we see a simulation of life inside one of the huge pleasure domes, these being massive airtight domes covering an area atop the ship where people are swimming, surfing and rock climbing. Tennis courts can be seen, and a huge cinema screen, we are then taken around the rooms, bars and restaurants before a look inside a huge planetarium before a glimpse into the main bridge.

From here we depart the pleasure liners and head towards a large flotilla of cargo vessels. We are given a cut through view of the contents of these vessels. Contained therein are a seemingly endless amount of spare parts, for military vehicles, shuttle craft, and all manner of fighters, Vipers and attack Bombers ranged on the decks. The more technically minded in the audience gasp as they recognize the machinery needed to manufacture a new fleet of warships. We are also shown a group of ships used for mining Tilium before turning out towards a group of four ships know as Agrobots, or Agricultural and Botanical ships.

As we move closer to one of these ships, we are shown one of fifty four, five hundred foot long domes known as Biomes, we are then taken inside for a closer look at the vegetation contained inside, we see a robotic ploughing machine tending the crops with machine efficiency. We then visit another dome with a giant forest of pine trees and even a waterfall. We are shown the harvested crops, and even livestock in one dome, and finally, we move out toward the stars of the show, the fabled Genesis ships!

Sire Dmitri is struck in awe as the very view he had when approaching the ship 'Phoenix One' for the first time, was shown on the screens. As we move inside the huge ship, we see the President approaching an old Dr Coulson, then, incredibly we are taken back 33 years as we witness the image of the old professor change to that of a younger man in his forties.

The audience is once again spellbound as the professor is seen shaking the hands of some of the thousands of volunteers as they climb into their cryogenic chambers and recline before being enclosed to be put in a state of stasis, or suspended animation. We look over at a never ending see of row upon row of these special life preserving chambers, then into various other rooms containing what appear to be embryos of every conceivable species known to man!

The fly-through video comes to a conclusion with the distinguished voice, once again;

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we have given you a glimpse of what life can be, if we find a new home, the human race can rebuild once again, with these wonderful vessels and their crews, together with you, our new friends, we can put mankind back where it once was, and back forever...”

The presentation now over, with the music dying down, a round of applause quickly became a loud cheer as the assembled guest rose as one to cheer the professor and his intrepid crew of scientists and technicians.

Dr Coulson knew however, his days work was only half complete, as he invited questions from the assembled press and media.

Scene 7 – The Press Conference

The professor speaks into his handset,

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the press and media, I understand you will have a great many questions for us, we will endeavour to answer as many as we can, however please be patient with us as many will require technical details in order to answer, so we will try to keep things in layman's terms as much as we can so as not to lose our guests. First question please...”

A man in the center of the press box raises his hand and is spotted by the professor, “Yes Sir, who are you and what network or publication do you represent?”

“Peter Johns from Caprican TV network”,

“Sir, you spoke of these so called volunteers and that they came from 'less than privileged backgrounds' as you put it, and that they had suspicions about the Cylons, can you elaborate more on these people, who are to they exactly, why did they feel the colonies held nothing for them, can we trust them to help us and why would they risk everything, even death, on a feeling?”

The professor countered,

“There is a delicious irony in your question Sir, it is partly because of people like you, and the privileged few, that they left in the first place!”

“As I look around this theater now, I see nothing but finely clad people, questioning our every motive, and that of their leaders, whilst you all gorge from the troughs of the privileged, these people were denied the finer things in life, due to the selfishness of others. Some of these people wanted to be journalists just like you, or military officers, political heavyweights, or even council members. They all had their own hopes and dreams”.

At this barbed comment the assembled military and council looked visibly uncomfortable, but knew they had to keep the scientists on their side, so allowed the comment to pass, the professor continued....

“While you were all obviously enjoying the finer things in life, others like the dear departed President Adar, us scientists, Admiral Adama and his brave warriors, and yes even those on the council who's only interest was to serve you all, were busy trying to forward the cause of the human race.

So in answer to your question, who are these brave volunteers, well Sir, despite everything that happened to them back on the colonies, and despite every barrier put before them, from their own perspective, life in the colonies had dealt them a bad hand, due to not being in families with money or connections. Yet, despite all this they volunteered willingly to put their lives on hold for the benefit of mankind.

Maybe if some among you had not been so busy lining your own pockets back then, well maybe we wouldn't now be in this gods damn mess, waiting for the blade to fall.....”

He wasn't finished yet....

“How ironic then that the poor and downtrodden, yet pure in heart and mind, should come to the rescue of the likes of you, with that silver spoon, er microphone in your hand!”

“So before any more of you question the motives of my people on those ships, think what you all here have done, I was told there were once 120 odd Battlestars, how could such a mighty battle fleet be allowed to be all but destroyed.

Because dear delegates, some among you decided to feast on the fat of the land, whilst the Cylon empire looked on with disdain and scorn, waiting to take their chance. How can it be dear delegates, that you all failed the human race so disgracefully that you come crawling to us, with suspicion and pre-conditions, well we were all doing very well thank you until you all showed up with your fleet of vagabonds!”

By now the Admiral was angry, he had heard enough and decided to intervene....

“Thank you Dr Coulson, I think we all get the point, we do not need a lecture in morals from you, it is not the people before you who let the human race down, moreover it was those that perished and did not heed the warnings that did so. We respect your comments and, yes I think we all agree up to a point, however, we need to concentrate on the here and now, and not dwell on the shortcomings of those that came before us. I humbly ask you dear Ladies and Gentlemen of the Phoenix fleet to help us now in our hour of need, we are reaching out to you, will you help us or abandon us to fight for ourselves?”

Another masterstroke by Admiral Tigh and the scientists were completely boxed in, in front of the whole fleet, on colonial TV the scientists were forced to declare their hand, and state whether they would leave or stay, given the Admiral had the authority to order the Phoenix fleet to surrender their vessels to him, he was showing a degree of respect he didn't need to!

The professor spent a moment taking in the gravity of the situation, turned to the assembled masses and again spoke,

“Admiral, President, council members and all in the fleet, we will not abandon our fellow human beings in your hour of need, we simply needed you all here to understand our position, we were blissfully unaware of the plight of the colonies until a few days ago. You have delivered us devastating news, however , yes we can see none of this was your doing any more than it was ours. We will therefore give over our ships to Admiral Tigh and the council to do with as they see fit, we are at your disposal, you will have no more complaints from us, may the Lords of Kobol keep you all in their loving care and protect you”.

The professor placed the microphone into its stand and walked away from the lectern towards the Admiral and Sire Dmitri, he had one final comment to make before leaving the auditorium.

“Gentlemen, despite what you all may think of me and my team, we will do what is right by this fleet, and by yourselves and your long suffering civilians, but remember this!....

“When you decide to wake those poor souls from their blissful slumber, they will be angry and confused, after all, like us, all was well with them when they were put in stasis. They too will have many questions and will not be best pleased you have woken them at all, not to mention telling them you have not discovered a new world, but to tell them that their old ones have been destroyed.

Then maybe you should consider where you are going to house these eighty thousand people, and indeed how you intend to feed them all. Gentlemen be careful what you wish for, you will open up a Pandora's box the like of which you have never seen when you do, these people are no ordinary humans, they are the elite in their fields, most are much more physically and mentally more capable than anyone of us, so choose you words to them carefully, or they will see right through you!”

The old professor was clearly in no mood to trade words with any of the council or military, and quickly made his way out of the auditorium and towards Alpha deck where his shuttle was waiting to transport him back to Phoenix One.

The fact he had gone suited Tigh and the council, they were all by now too tired and emotional to continue with the presentation and press conference, Sire Dmitri telling the delegates to leave the auditorium whilst they all had chance to ponder the words of the surly but great scientist.

Scene 8 – Calm After the Storm

Hours turned to days, days to weeks, all had gone relatively quiet in the fleet, work was pressing ahead in earnest on the Pegasus, the landing bays had been enlarged and upgraded, the new DRADIS system was up and running, the hull plating almost complete. New bulkheads were in the process of being replaced, all that remained was replacing the obsolete sub light engines with the new FTL drives and she was almost ready for trials. The council and Tigh had kept their word to the late, commander Tolan.

At this time Admiral Tigh had been reminiscing on times gone by, he recalled the days when he was a junior pilot with his dear friend, William Adama, he looked around his quarters at the momentos of his cadet-ship, of the heady days when he was just a nugget climbing into the cockpit of his new viper for the first time. His drinking had got worse, he was wrestling with his conscience once again and was getting very tired.

Now ninety years old, he had fought his last fight, he knew he had no choice but to summon the senior officers to the wardroom for a meeting, only this time the council were not on the guest list, this was strictly a military matter!

The next morning all the senior officers were in attendance down to the rank of Master at Arms, even the ships Chaplain was present! The wardroom table was once again adorned with the fabled cut glass, bone china and silver cutlery that had caused so much mirth only a few weeks earlier. It was obvious to all in attendance that Tigh had some big announcements to make, this was no informal gathering, but was to be an anointment of his most loyal and capable officers. With work almost complete on the Pegasus, and the Galactica about to be given a full re-fit Tigh felt this was the time to hand over the poison chalice of leading the fleet to someone else, someone younger and fitter.

His loyal crew took their seats, all smart enough to know what was going on, the president had kept his word on solving the problem of advancing the human race, Tigh now had to deliver on his, to prepare his ships and crews for the inevitable arrival of their sworn enemies.

The old alcoholic still knew how to hold court, he began talking softly to his loyal crew about the very issues that had dogged him for so long, he revealed his innermost thoughts to them all, of his fears, his dreams for a better future for them all, even though he knew this future would not include him.

He allowed all his officers present to indulge themselves on his finest Pinot Noir, the wine he usually kept only for himself and Omega, he had ordered a menu to be prepared of the finest hors d'oeuvres, calamari, oxtail soup or Gravlax Salmon, followed by a main course choice of rib eye steak, red snapper or roast chicken breast, then followed by dessert or cheese, and finally coffee and brandy & cigars, a definite nod to the bemused lieutenant Starbuck!

The officers, though very grateful to their dear Admiral were beginning to feel uneasy at the forthcoming announcements, as they were finishing the last mouthfuls of their desserts and sipping the last drops of brandy, the Admiral decided it was time to put them out of their misery.

“Ladies, Gentlemen, officers, this will be my last meeting with you all as your senior officer, I feel I can no longer withstand the rigours of command. I am an old man, I have seen it all, done it all and have fought my last battle, I am hereby relinquishing my command with immediate effect, but before I announce to you all your new C/O I wish to begin with the more junior promotions, that way they can begin their new duties whilst the most senior officers stay behind to discuss with me matters of a more classified nature.

I do of course realise this is not following military protocol, but, since we are alone out here, and there isn't a military committee to sanction these promotions I am about to announce, I strongly urge you all, at least for now to respect my orders and not argue among yourselves as to the wisdom of this or that appointment. If you want to play musical chairs do so later, after I'm gone, but remember this, these are my final orders as your outgoing commanding officer, and, as such should be carried out without question, do you all understand!

The officers all stood as one, “Sir yes Sir”, the Admiral, need not have worried, so much was the love, respect and admiration he had from the crew, they would have swabbed the decks had he so ordered.

“Very well”, he continued, “lieutenant Starbuck, please stand, Jolly, Sheba, Bojay, Dhillon please stand,

Here are my orders, Jolly, Sheba, Bojay and Dhillon, you are hereby promoted to the rank of wing commander, you will each command Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta decks and all their crews respectively, lieutenant Starbuck, you will be the new Air Chief Marshall, do you accept these appointments, “Sir yes Sir”, a tear rolled down Starbucks cheeks as he realised he had been catapulted from a mere squadron leader to the chief of the entire air wing!

As the appointments were duly read out one by one, it became apparent to most that two names had been omitted until the very end, those of Omega and Lee Adama, then came the announcement;

“Commander Omega, please stand, Omega you will assume the bridge of the Battlestar Pegasus, do you accept this command?”

“With all my heart Sir yes Sir”.

“Liaison to the council, Lee Adama please stand, Adama you will assume the bridge of the Battlestar Galactica, do you accept this command?”

“With all my heart Sir yes Sir”.

With this announcement commander Tigh had fulfilled his friend William Adama's final wish, that one day his son would command his own warship, but to be given the Galactica was beyond Lee's, or his fathers wildest dreams. However, of all the appointments Tigh had made, he knew in his heart of hearts that Omega was the right man to lead the Pegasus, and that Lee Adama was the right man for the Galactica, indeed it was his destiny!

Tigh had deliberately allowed each of the most senior of the fleet to bring on board their own people, he wasn't about to get bogged down with the finer details, he trusted his crew to appoint the right people to the right posts, but requested Adama and Omega join him in one final discussion as Admiral before he finally stood down.

Tigh had one more surprise in store for his two commanders, he had the dilemma of deciding which of his two most trusted senior officers to appoint Admiral of the fleet.

On the one hand he had Lee Adama, who's expert guidance had steered the fleet through many a critical situation, not to mention his skill at diplomacy, being a first class liaison between council and military, or on the other hand, Omega, who had been the most diligent and loyal X.O to himself, who incidentally had the very best grades of all cadets in his group when he left the academy, and was a much more experienced officer than Lee Adama.

The devil in Tigh decided to sit back and let the two men slug it out over brandy, whilst he enjoyed the show, he wanted one to concede to the other, but could not decide himself, he hoped one would make the job easier and sacrifice his own needs for the other, he wasn't to be disappointed

Lee Adama stood in deference to commander Omega, about to concede without a fight. Omega's only hope was that Lee would make the gesture, and having done so, gestured at him to sit down with a dismissive palm of the hand in Adama's face;

“Sit down you fool, chuckled Omega, this is your destiny Lee, not mine, this is written by the gods, please Admiral let it go on record I am hereby recommending Lee Adama for the honour of becoming Admiral of the fleet.

“So it is settled then”, said Admiral Tigh, “Lee Adama please stand, do you accept the post of Admiral of the entire colonial fleet, so help you god,

“With all my heart, Sir yes Sir” countered Adama, tears rolling down his cheeks, not because of the appointment so much as the respect Omega had shown him.

Scene 9 – A New Beginning

Lee Adama broke down for a moment, allowing the whole gravity of the situation to wash over him, his dream was to one day command his own Battlestar, but this, this was beyond his wildest dreams, not only had he achieved his goal, never being comfortable as a diplomat, he had the Galactica, and not only that, the entire fleet at his command.

He looked at Omega not knowing what to say, he knew Omega was the more qualified man, but had sacrificed his own ambitions for the good of the fleet, proving once and for all that Tigh had indeed made the right choice in giving him the Pegasus.

The three men enjoyed a few more brandies, the tension having disappeared from the conversation long since, they began to become intoxicated, a place Tigh had been many times before, he laughed at the slurring Omega and Adama jnr knowing he could drink them both under the table and duly did just that!

He began to tidy up the many glasses and cigar butts left by Starbuck earlier, not allowing any stewards into the room, he then inquired;

“Any thoughts on your new X. O's you two, I know its early but .….”

Without a moments hesitation Adama replied “Its got to be Boomer for me, he deserves his own command one day, but for now I could certainly use his tactical wizardry and technical know how”.

Omega was also as quick with his response; “Then I will take Greenbean, he has been a tower of strength for me on the bridge when I have had the Conn, he knows every inch of the bridge”

Finally the old Admiral could rest easy knowing he had secured the most important posts in the military, and that his trusted friend Sire Dmitri had control of civilian matters, he had already decided to take up his old Admirals quarters on board the Rising Star, he knew his presence on either bridge would be too much of a distraction for his new C/O's.

Events had come full circle, a member of the Adama clan was back in command of the Galactica and the fleet was being rebuilt, it was time for Tigh to exit stage left, time for a new beginning.

To Be Continued........

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:19 am 
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Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage to Earth, Episode IV – The Awakening

Scene 1 – The Homecoming

Battlestar Pegasus, one year after Admiral Tigh's retirement;

“Admiral Lee Adama, ships log 7th April 7022;

Life is strangely calm now in the fleet, my people go about their business with skill and diligence, not questioning us, not complaining, but I know they are wondering! When will we be ready to face our enemy, when will we announce the completion of the first of a new fleet of warships to protect them, when will we receive news of Earths discovery? The answer to that proves to be as elusive as ever! However, these are just a few of the many questions I have to answer soon, my people are waiting for me to step up and begin to fill the huge shoes of Tigh and my father, but how can one measure up to two of the most revered military leaders of all time, two legends?

The last piece of advice Dear Tigh gave me was to be my own man and that is what I intend to do.

I decided to stay quiet until I knew the Pegasus and Galactica had finally been retrofitted, but I can finally announce to my people, not only are they better than ever, but that work has already begun on the first of a fleet of cruisers that will propel us into the next millennium, around half the size of a full Battlestar but with an incredible array of firepower, and the very latest in technology, including the new D.R.A.D.I.S and F.T.L capabilities we discovered on the Phoenix Fleet, not to mention silent running, stealth and most important of all, each with enough punch to take on a Cylon Base Star head on!

It is now time for me to come out from my perceived hiding and speak to my people, but first I am heading back to the Galactica from my temporary quarters aboard the Pegasus to take a look for myself at the mighty beast, before checking on the progress on the first cruiser, hopefully then I can finally impart some positive news to our people”.

The Admiral's heart began to race and his demeanor lightened as he neared the gleaming Battlestar Galactica, he ordered his shuttle pilot to arc them around the mighty warship to give him chance to inspect the shiny hulk, her new hull plating, massive turrets and anti assault batteries were a sight for sore eyes, at last the fleet had two ships capable of vaporizing a Cylon task force between them.

He finally ordered his shuttle to approach the upper port landing bay and begin to vector for landing, he didn't want to miss a moment of his homecoming on his flagship.
As his shuttle neared the landing bay he noticed several changes, gone were the pock marks, holes and scorch marks, gone were all the scars of battle, she was a battleship once more, proud and upstanding, warm and forgiving, she was their flagship once more.

The shuttle gently eased into the landing bay, as all around were an army of technicians and deck crew looking on awaiting the arrival of the final piece of the jigsaw, the return of their new Admiral.

Finally his shuttle reached its berth shepherded in by a team of marshals, the door gently opened and out came Admiral of the fleet, Lee Adama to a chorus of cheers and whoops. The chief Coxswain sounded the whistle to pipe aboard the commander to the words of “Commander on Deck”, he was home again.

Now though things were different, no longer the young brash fighter pilot, no longer the C.A.G, no longer answerable to his father or Tigh, and no longer the liaison to the quorum of the twelve.

For years he had studied his fathers battle tactics, and those of his idol, commander Cain, he had watched his hero Tigh forge a bond between himself and Sire Dmitri that would turn the tide in the colonies favor, and was keen to continue in their good work, but for now though he was desperate to get to the bridge where his new crew, his new family, were anxiously waiting his arrival.

He slowly walked past a guard of honor, only briefly stopping to acknowledge them, he wasn't interested in hanging around to take in the greetings of his deck crew, all he could think of was getting to that bridge and sitting in his new chair, a moment he had secretly dreamed of all his life, to one day succeed his father as the C/O of the mighty flagship Galactica.

Finally he left the turbo lift and entered the corridor towards the new state of the art C.I.C, as he walked in a huge bank of technicians were waiting to greet their new leader, to the words “Captain on the Bridge”, where they stood as one to applaud and cheer as Admiral Lee Adama took his position in the commanders chair. He looked around at his new surroundings, completely new but somehow familiar, the construction and repair crews had done a magnificent job of not only refitting the old girl but keeping her soul intact.

Before she was his however, there was one small formality to perform, that of entering the new command codes from himself, the X.O, bridge officer, helm and launch officers in order of juniority....

“Launch officer John Rigal requesting all access codes XV53664 for re-calibration for new commander”
At which a sultry female computer voice replies “access confirmed”

“Bridge officer Marco Ginelli requesting all access codes XV53664 for re-calibration for new commander - “access confirmed”

“Helmsman Barry Holmes requesting all access codes XV53664 for re-calibration for new commander - “access confirmed”

“Executive officer Paul Boomer requesting all access codes XV53664 for re-calibration for new commander - “access confirmed”

“Commanding officer Lee Adama requesting all access codes XV53664 for re-calibration for new commander - “access confirmed”.

There was a long pause before all access codes were checked and logged into the mainframe of the Galactica's C.I.C computer system, then the female voice responded “Commander Adama, enter palm of right hand into reader..... confirmed - approach iris recognition sensor..... confirmed.... Welcome Commander Adama, - Galactica C.I.C recognizes access codes.

With this final check, suddenly a vast array of sensors and digital readout screens came to life, as the myriad of screens sprang into life, the many technicians entered their own access codes and the mighty warship was once again fully operational.

The new commanding officer looked around his C.I.C as a warlord inspects his fiefdom, checking the instruments on his commanders chair to reassure himself they responded, he then stood up to move around the upper bridge, then descended a small staircase to the lower level of the C.I.C where two solid banks of computers were being manned by their new controllers, some familiar experienced officers, some not so. He made his way slowly around the entirety of the vast control room, stopping to speak to each person individually, regardless of rank!

He had long ago decided he was going to be a 'hands on' commander and was going to make it his business to remember the names of each of his officers, right down to the rank of junior ensign.

His first thoughts were remembering the 'tough love' speech his idol Admiral Tigh once told him he received from his father William Adama. “whip them into shape, make them pissed off and when things are running like clockwork then you can show them compassion, as a drill Sargent would to his new recruits”.

Adama junior was still in a state of awe, looking around the C.I.C when a message came over the fleet-com line Alpha that would remind him who he was and of his responsibilities.

“Battlestar Pegasus actual calling Galactica actual, how do you read us”?

“I'll take that from up here”, said Adama as he hurried up the small staircase to his seat on the bridge.

“Battlestar Galactica actual, Admiral Adama speaking, reading you 5/5 over, pass your message”.

The new Admiral struggled desperately to hide his pride on hearing his own words, “Is that you “O” beamed Adama”?

Omega then appears on the main viewing screen,

“It is indeed my old friend, I wanted to be the first to congratulate you on being the Admiral in deeds and not just words, now that you are back on the bridge of the old girl”.

“Thanks my old friend, and thanks for putting up with me and my senior officers for the last twelve months on the Pegasus whilst she was completed”.

“Breakfast meeting in my quarters tomorrow after you've had a good nights rest”? inquired Omega.

“Its a date, see you tomorrow, Adama out”.

Scene 2 – A sleepless night

It had been a very long day, Adama had just finished being briefed by his officers on the days events, the calibration of all the new weapons systems were going well, the gunnery crews had just finished test firing the new anti assault batteries and point defense guns, all the new shields were functioning as normal, for his first day in command things were going remarkably smoothly, and yet, as he made his way to his new plush quarters, Adama caught a disturbing look at himself in a small mirror as he walked past the main head where his junior officers showered and freshened up.

He was reminded he was on his own now as he entered his quarters, haunted by memories of those who had gone before him, those that had sat in the chair, slept on the bed, that were now his, he looked around at images of his Mother and Father, of Athena and Zac. He saw pictures hanging from the ornate oak paneling of his fathers passing out parade with Tigh, suddenly the weight of responsibility grew very heavy.
He knew his honeymoon period was almost over, he had spent a whole year on the Pegasus not being able to affect events, now he was back on the Galactica and had to make up for lost time quickly.

He slowly began to undress and had a quick shower before opening a small gift from his 'uncle Saul' as he now affectionately called Tigh, it was a bottle of his finest pinot noir, probably not the best bedtime drink but what the hell he thought, perks of the job and all.

He tossed and turned for the best part of two hours, reminiscing on times of yore, when he used to give piggy back rides to his younger brother Zac in their garden back on Caprica, of the lovely olive groves they used to play in, and the smell of his mothers freshly baked bread from the kitchen. His mood then began to darken as he remembered his brothers first day on the Galactica, and how his mother begged them all not to sign up leaving her alone. She suffered greatly, first seeing her husband dedicate his life to the military and then in turn both sons and only daughter all enlisting.

Then just as he was losing patience with himself for not being able to clear his mind, came a call from the very person he could turn to the most, the one whom he regarded above all other, dear uncle Saul!

“Son its Saul, I'm really sorry to call you at this ungodly hour but I need to talk to you, I have Dr Coulson and Sire Dmitri here with me over on the rising star, we have some rather disturbing news which is rather difficult to explain, do you think you could jump in a shuttle and get over here in half an hour or so”?

“Yes yes of course uncle, er I mean Admiral” Lee then reverting to type, Admirals were still referred to as such, even in retirement. Lee embarrassingly remembered they were on an open channel and Sire Dmitri and Dr Coulson could hear him using his pet name for Saul Tigh, “I will be over there in a flash, Lee out”.

Truth be told Adama was only too happy to have an excuse for getting out of bed, he needed a diversion, something to help him settle in to his new role, and he was about to be truly tested for the first time.

Scene 3 – The empaths

“Adama to bridge, get me Boomer please”

“Go ahead commander I'm listening, and why the hell aren't you asleep, you're back on duty in a few hours”? Retorted Boomer.

“I knew it wouldn't last Boomer, I've just had a call from old Admiral Tigh over on the Rising Star, somethings not quite right and he wants me to go over there now, he has Sire Dmitri and the professor over there too, it must be important, I wasn't asleep anyway my friend”.

“Don't tell me, you have that kid before Christmas thing going on, all exited now you've got your new toy” roared Boomer,

“Yea something like that” chuckled Adama, “Would you mind holding the fort for a bit longer for me whilst I go see what the fuss is about”
“Oh and will you send a silent message to “O” for me, tell him our breakfast meeting may have to wait”

“Sure Apollo I have things covered” replied Boomer,

“You have the Conn, still can't get my head around being called Admiral, still sounds surreal, I will fill you in later buddy, Adama out” he replied wistfully.

With that, Admiral Lee Adama, as he was now was preparing to get his feet wet with some real problems, “Be careful what you wish for, didn't someone once say” he mused to himself as he boarded his shuttle.

Within minutes he was on his way, his long awaited treat, his guided tour of the new Galactica was going to have to wait a little longer.

“Galactica shuttle requesting permission to board the Rising Star” announced the shuttle pilot, “permission granted, please enter upper ventral shuttle bay and await deck crew” a male voice replied,
“enter upper ventral shuttle bay and await crew, understood” responded the pilot.

When he finally alighted his shuttle, Sire Dmitri was waiting for him at the bottom of the steps to greet him, after a firm handshake, the council president began to brief him as they walked towards Tigh's quarters.

“Whats this all about Sire, why the urgency and why here on the Rising Star?”

Dmitri replied, “We have a very strange anomaly Admiral, it seems almost impossible to fathom, but one of our 'volunteers' is waking up, despite being in stasis he is waking, that's a physical impossibility according to Dr Coulson”.

“OK that seems strange, but did you really need to wake me at this hour, two in the morning, could it not have waited?”

“I'm sorry commander but he insisted, Dr Coulson insisted on an audience with you, me and the old man, he seemed really disturbed by something, he would not elaborate till we were all together in Tigh's quarters”,

“Very well, lead on Dmitri lets get to the bottom of this” replied Adama.

Finally the four men were together in Tigh's quarters and sure enough, out came the grog once more, Tigh could never be accused of being a bad host.

“Do you partake of the falling down water” Tigh chuckled as he offered a glass of wine to Professor Coulson, he knew Adama and Sire Dmitri were drinkers”

“Dr Coulson responded with the same mirth, “What the frack else is there to do on a science vessel with no women and nothing but nerds like me for company”

“Excellent I'll take that as a yes then”, the four of them rocked with laughter as they each charged their glasses.

“Thank you uncle Saul, Sire Dmitri giggled as he looked at Tigh”

“Yes OK that's quite enough of that” smirked Adama, “Now whats all this about Dr. Coulson”

“Right gentlemen, please bear with me, this is something I am really struggling to fathom, as you all probably remember, when I did the presentation about the volunteers aboard my science vessels I explained the process of stasis, or put another way, suspended animation, I explained that certain bodily fluids like blood, plasma et cetera were temporarily replaced with life preserving fluids, and these people could not be woken, that is, until we start the process of replacing their own body fluids back, bringing them back from deep freeze, then performing a whole raft of checks to ensure their organs were undamaged, before finally slowly bringing them out of what is in effect a coma, you are all with me so far?”

The three other men all nodded,

“Very well then, here's the rub, one of our volunteers has started to awaken, without any of my technicians going near his casket, I can confirm this due to several alarms and cameras for security already having been checked, the machine has started the process of re-awakening this young man!”
Its almost as if the young man himself has willed the machine to perform his bidding – gentlemen I have to tell you now, this alone is startling enough, but this young man, and his father, were no ordinary people, they had a gift, they were telepaths and empaths!”

“Dr. please if I may, what is an empath”, inquired Sire Dmitri, the others nodding their own curiosity.

“Allow me to try and explain, the official definition is this..... as you probably already know, a telepath is one who can er , read another s mind or thoughts, an empath is one who is affected by another's energies, they are heavily influenced by the desires, wishes, thoughts and moods of others, they are often troubled souls, taking on the Karma, the energy, the emotion from those around them. The point here being gentlemen, they have a very acute sense of their surroundings, and when something is wrong”.
“I am extremely concerned at this event, I don't know what instructions I should give my team, should I tell them to override the caskets commands and put him back into stasis, or let the machine wake him and see where it leads us? Please gentlemen, this is why I called you all here, you are the guardians of this fleet not I, tell me what to do?”

No sooner had the words left the professors mouth when an urgent call came from his communicator...

“Professor, its Dr Allam from Genesis One, its happening again, his father is starting to awaken, if I didn't know better I would swear the two of them are trying to communicate, what should I do?”

“Please wait, Dr. I am in conference with our leaders at this very moment, I will get back to you very soon, in the meantime just monitor them both, understood?”

“Understood sir” came the brief troubled reply.

“Well this confirms my innermost thoughts gentlemen, I was half expecting this, Dr Zenan, and Zenan jnr. - THEY ARE THE SECOND COMING”, yelled Dr Coulson.

“I'm sorry professor, is that wine getting to you”, sneered Adama, “what the frack are you talking about”.

“I am referring to the scriptures, it is written that the holy father will send his son in our hour of need to save us once more, he has risen, he is among us!” exclaimed the professor. “Before you all shout me down, think on this, what has happened here is in human terms a physical impossibility, these men cannot rise from the dead, only the lord himself can do such a thing!” This has all happened before and will happen again!

“Now listen to me very carefully professor, snarled Adama, I am the Admiral of this fleet and I order you to desist from such provocative talk, you will say no more of this, you will provide me, tomorrow, with the background to these two men's past, there is much more to this and until we know where these people came from, and how they came to be on your vessel I order you to shut up whilst we investigate this, you will say nothing of this conversation to a living soul, or I will have your head on a plate, Do I make myself clear!”

“Yes Admiral, crystal” came the meek answer.

“Galactica actual come in please, Boomer are you there?”, called Adama on his communicator anxiously,

“Yes go ahead Admiral, what is it?”

“Boomer please get a security team over to Genesis One stat, I want that ship sealed until our team have investigated, I want nobody but the operating team in cryo chamber alpha b2 in attendance, get the rest of the crew off that ship understood?”
“Sorry Boomer trust me Ill explain later”

“Very good commander, I'm on it now” replied Boomer.

Scene 3 – The truth behind the myth?

Having severely admonished the professor, the Admiral decided this was not the best approach and backtracked slightly;

“Dear professor, I apologize for chastising you like that but I need you to understand something, before we found you, our people were desperate, they were clinging to every crumb of hope there was to be had, that one day someone would deliver us from the Cylons, and lead us to Earth, if word got out that we had a 'messiah' in our midst, we would have a mutiny on our hands like none we have ever seen before, I for one am in no mood to offer up false profits to our people.
I will give you my word as your leader and as a warrior, I will investigate this matter fully, including a full check on, not only the two men you speak of, but the equipment used to preserve them, I need to rule out every possibility, including that of sabotage, or less sinister, merely faulty equipment which has gone into meltdown.
I ask you all to be patient with me whilst my team carry out a full investigation, are we agreed on my instructions?”

All nodded, and agreed to sleep on events until more information became available, Dr Coulson took a ride back to his ship with Sire Dmitri, whilst Adama enjoyed a few more glasses of wine in private with his idol, Uncle Saul.

The two men struggled to stay awake, they talked until the wine had even Tigh slurring, they tried to make sense of the things they had been told but were going around in circles. Finally Tigh suggested they both go the next day and witness the security team screen the area where the two men were in stasis for themselves, and take Dmitri with them.
After a long night of alcohol induced soul searching, Adama accepted Tigh's kind invitation to bunk with him for the night, it almost being morning anyway.

Even the next day, the significance of the two volunteers awaking hadn't fully dawned on Dmitri, Tigh and Adama, what they were about to discover would shock them all to the core!

If these men were the chosen ones, it would be a miracle indeed but this was to be no miracle, the explanation would prove to be more sinister, and sad.

The technicians answered a barrage of questions put to them by the thorough security team, test after test, question after question, until, two timer units were found, one under each casket, these timers were set to a date two days hence, the men would be fully awake in two days!

Alarmingly, none of the other units had timers on them, in other words someone had secretly planted the timers, completely out of view on the underside of the caskets, but why, and by whom?

After a long discussion, everyone was in accord, they would wait the next 24 hours to see for themselves the reaction of the two men upon waking, perhaps when they had regained a degree of composure, they themselves may be able to offer a plausible explanation, and so the long wait began....

Finally after what seemed an eternity, the technicians, Tigh, Adama, Dmitri and professor Coulson all huddled around the two caskets as if waiting for a rare bird to hatch, then suddenly without warning, the young man opened his eyes suddenly and glared at the group of men so intensely it sent a cold shiver down their collective spines, they were terrified!

Adama had come face to face with death at the hands of Cylons before in the heat of battle, but in the cockpit of his viper he always felt in control, this was eerily different, this young boy was scanning them, or so it felt, it was as if he was reading their very souls.... He then spoke....

“Will you please open this casket, he said to one of the technicians, before anyone could stop him, he did as the boy commanded and opened it, the men were transfixed, how could this boy have so much power over them, none of them had the courage to stop the boy from rising out of his casket, he climbed out, rose to his feet, then fell.
Two technicians went to help him up when Apollo brought the boy a seat, clearly weak and dazed he tried to collect his composure.

“Tell me, your name and where you came from?” asked Adama to the boy.

With astonishing clarity given his time in deep stasis the boy spoke, “Please, before I answer just tell me what year we are in?”

“Very well it is April 7022, you have been in stasis for 35 years - or Yahrens as you then knew them to be called”
“Your questions will all be answered in good time, but first I need some answers of my own, will you comply Dr Zenan?”

“So you know who I am and why I have woken” said the boy of 16 years, his confidence belying his tender years”.

“We know who you are but not why you have woken, we have no idea, we are deeply troubled by your awakening, it seemed an impossibility, can you help us understand”.

“I am in a position to answer all your questions, but first I need my father with me, when he is fully awake and we have fully gained our strength we will address your people together in your auditorium”!

How in the name of Kobol could this young boy know of the existence of the auditorium, and what else did he know, this boy was scaring the daylights out of his new inquisitors.

Then after the boy had been given a sip of water he was taken to a nearby room where he was given a thorough examination, amazingly he was in remarkable physical condition, despite not being woken by 'conventional' means and despite being in stasis for 35 years!
He was then given a light liquidized high energy meal and given time to rest as his legs were still very weak.

Once the boy was stronger he held out his hand to Sire Dmitri, after a long hesitation Dmitri took the hand of the boy and felt a strange feeling, it was as if the boy was reading his innermost thoughts, but Dmitri wasn't frightened, somehow he knew the boy was trying to make sense of his new life, and could read through Dmitri's body language and thoughts, the boy realized that tragedy had befell the colonies, he then gently pulled his hand away and a tear rolled down his cheek,

“I understand, you needed us!, came the cryptic comment from young Dr Zenan, a sixteen year old boy, so gifted, so brilliant, a PhD at fifteen. This was no ordinary boy, but a true genius like his father!
Never in the history of the colonies had a father and son been so gifted, it soon dawned on all present that it was no co-incidence that young Dr Zenan had woken and his father was about to do the same.

The leaders, together with their new technician friends decided to call it a day and let the boy rest whilst they waited for his father to awake and gather his strength, yielding to the wishes of the young genius.

After several more hours, Dr Zenan senior did awake fully, surrounded by his son, Dmitri, Tigh, Dr Coulson and a team of technicians, Adama having returned to command the fleet on the Galactica. Strangely the senior volunteer didn't flinch when seeing the phalanx of men around him, he too possessed the inner calm of his son, simply smiling at the team and gesturing for them to open his casket, they duly complied.

The following day Tigh invited the two Dr Zenan's to his quarters on the Rising Star to brief the two new remarkable guests on events, Tigh was requested as a favor from Adama to be the one to explain events fully as he was one of the most patient men in the colonies, and as the now retired elder statesman, had the advantage of being detached, he no longer had the burden of command, and would not be called away from their meeting, unlike Dmitri or Adama. He was also known to be a very gracious host, but fell short of opening his wine cabinet this time, given the tender years of his younger guest.

He took several hours talking to the father and son, he was struck by the warmth and affection they conveyed to each other, and indeed to himself, they knew instinctively he was the man above all to be respected in the fleet. They were remarkably quick to piece together the facts and would soon be in a position to explain fully their incredible rising from the caskets. Not wishing to cause fear in their new hosts, and given the time they had been asleep, they requested a small press conference with a question and answer session to be arranged where they would explain all to Adama and his people.

Scene 4 – Help from the Heavens

Rather than use the usual auditorium, it was felt the two new arrivals, despite their poise would be overawed by 500 strange new faces staring at them, so a more intimate conference was arranged. In one of the new T.V studios that had been installed near the Galactica's officers mess quarters, the press conference was about to begin.
The conference was about to be beamed to every ship in the fleet, at the behest of the two guests.

The father and son were very distinctive in their appearance, both having an unusual hair style, the older having a Grey simple style combed straight forward with a crisp straight fringe across his eyebrows, almost resembling a helmet worn by the colonial pilots, the son's was identical, only pale blonde, almost white, the two had very pale skin with piercing blue eyes almost like albino's.

As news filtered around the fleet there had been an extraordinary event, people began to stop what they were doing and gather round every available monitor in readiness for the two 'messiah's' to speak, rumors were beginning to get out of hand already and the conference couldn't start a moment too soon for Adama and Dmitri!

However, when the two did begin to speak, the claims they made would be so startling as to be beyond belief, but having agreed to the conference the leaders were forced to listen whilst the two set out exactly why they had woken, and who had woken them, and finally how they could become the saviors of the entire fleet!

The father took a sip of his water and cleared his throat to speak, something he was still getting used to after 35 years in stasis, but when he did, it was with strength and clarity;

“Dear friends here gathered, we have sensed the unrest among you of our awakening, do not be alarmed by us, we have been sent from another time in your hour of need to guide you the way to Earth, to deliver you from your enemies, and to find you a home planet to colonize!
We are not gods, we are not messiah's and we are not from another species, we are human like you, but we have each of us a special gift, I with the gift of prophecy, my son Dr Zee with the gift of empathy.

I alone can foretell what is to come, Dr Zee alone can tell you how to react to my prophecies....

We understand you will have a thousand questions for us to deal with, and you do not need to raise your hands as I know what you are going to ask. I will begin by answering the question on the lips of your leaders, and I sense most in this room, namely who sent us, who woke us and why.

Your former president Adar commissioned this fleet you encountered, the Phoenix fleet, and all the ships and inhabitants were put here for a specific reason, namely the advancement of the colonies in peace, or their salvation in the event of annihilation at the hands of the Cylons. It is because the latter is the case that we awoke. President Adar was also an telepath and empath, he had the gifts we posses but was unable to use them to save the colonies on his own, he therefore sent us from 35 Yahrens ago, or years I see you call them now. Due to the probe you found from Earth your leaders wish to align your languages to those of Earth, a wise move.!

“Now as to who awoke us, the answer will shock you all, it was Lee Adama, unwittingly, the moment he entered Genesis one wearing his colonial seal, he triggered two timing devices, one on each of our caskets.
Adar was not expecting you to reach Gliese 581g for 53 years after leaving the colonies, and since a member of the council wearing the colonial seal entered our ship 20 years earlier than expected, it triggered an alarm in our cryo chambers and began the process of waking us both”.

“President Adar knew only too well the dangers the Cylons posed the human race, and that they were likely to pursue you across the heavens, yes he had his suspicions about the Cylons, like your departed leader William Adama. Fortunately he was in a position of power to create a new fleet and a new beginning, should the need arise, and clearly it has!”

At this point an army of hands were raised, and Dr Zenan began to show his powers of perception by anticipating the question burning on their lips,

“Yes Gliese 581g will become your new home, it sits some 20 light years from the fabled planet Earth, the thirteenth colony. It is a new member in a family of planets circling a red dwarf star.

The second fact I need to impart on you is that I know where the planet Earth lies, it is too difficult to explain here but I know the co-ordinates here in my head, however I can tell you this, it lies in a star system called the milky way containing eight planets surrounding a sun, and a ninth dwarf planet called Pluto, these facts have been foretold to me in a vision.

Thirdly and lastly I have to warn you all now, your enemies approach as we speak, they are relentless in their pursuit of the colonies, and will fight you and try to eliminate you from existence when they arrive, and they will arrive!

At this point panic began to spread in the room, but just as quickly as this strange prophet had foretold of darker times ahead, he spoke again to allay their fears, raising his hand, the press were silenced in an instant.

“Friends, do not be afraid, we are here to deliver you from your enemies, let not the darker days ahead fill you with dread, use us to guide you, we will instruct your engineers how to build you the finest fleet known to the colonial military, we will deliver you to Earth, we will find you a new home, and we will deliver you from your enemies, all we ask in return is to protect us, keep us safe, but above all trust us and we WILL deliver, may the Lords of Kobol be with you all”.

With this startling news, the father and son rose from their seats and began to leave the room, then the son stopped and make a strange remark,

“You will all sleep well this very evening, your salvation is at hand”.

Then they were gone, out of the room and into their shuttle back to Genesis One.

That very evening a strange calm fell over the whole fleet, and all slept soundly for hours, just as the boy had foretold.

Scene 5 – Darker Days Ahead

After several weeks, the prophecies of the two men began to come to fruition, the co-ordinates to the new life sustaining planet were checked and verified, then when a disease among some of the crops on the Agrobots threatened to cause a famine, they find a technical fault in the life support systems on the biomes, averting a catastrophe, they then draw up technical blueprints for a new generation of warships ready for production and begin regular 'sermons' on the new TV news channel giving regular updates to the people of the fleet and providing pastoral care.

These strange men were delivering on their promises.

All was going well again, too well, when, out of the blue comes a desperate call from Dr Zenan snr. To Lee Adama.

Without warning the fleet com alpha line is opened on Adama's console, one that can only be accessed by the military with special codes, then comes a chilling message;

“Admiral Adama, please go to the Rising Star at once, Your dear Uncle Saul is dying, he has little time left, you must go there now” comes the abrupt message,

“But you are on Genesis one, how can you know......”

Adama's voice trails off, he knows Dr Zenan has foresight and has already proved he can foresee the future, he wastes no more time and races to alpha deck and commandeers a viper, within minutes he is on his way.

He enters the shuttle bay of the Rising Star and climbs out of the viper and leaps to the ground, not waiting for the steps to be positioned, throwing his helmet to the ground he races to Tigh's quarters, his cheeks running with tears, his Uncle was 95, he knew this day was coming but would never be prepared for it.

Finally he enters Tigh's quarters to be greeted by his smiling 'Uncle',

“Tigh had a peaceful, calm look on his face, even though he must have been in great pain, he had sustained a massive heart attack, his physician was on hand to give Adama the details, this was to be no long goodbye as was the case with his father, no warriors death in a viper like Tolan, he had just enough strength to beckon Adama closer as he whispered to him, “Trust them Lee, they will lead you to the promised land” then he gently closed his eyes and was gone!

Lee Adama was heartbroken, he had lost his mentor, his friend, his last link to his father, now he felt truly alone for the first time.

In the days and months ahead, he found great comfort and strength in the words of Dr's Zenan – if these strange men were not gods, then they were godly, almost with perfect timing, the younger, Dr Zee as his father called him would appear to Adama, each time when the Admiral was at his lowest ebb. The young boy was fast becoming a man, passing his seventeenth Birthday, Adama decided to allow his people a small celebration to honor their two apparent saviors, and threw a small Birthday gathering for him and his father, a sign of his gratitude.

Where these men came from was a mystery, Adama knew they were Geminese, and that they had no other family, their only other family, the mans wife and boys mother died of a strange illness many years ago, she too had the powers they possessed, but ultimately she could not cope with such knowledge and ultimately it consumed her, it destroyed her body and killed her, after which time the two men decided to dedicate their life's work to others, in her honor. This is when they decided to volunteer for Adar's secret mission to the stars.

Days turned to months, the new battle fleet, overseen by the two men was fast becoming a reality, the first of a line of battlecruisers were completed, a pair of strike cruisers, designed to help provide cover for the main battle group and air support to the new raptors. The Phoenix fleet was also having its numbers swelled, a new ship called “The ship of worship” was commissioned by the two men to provide a place of peace and tranquility to the flock, a place where people could pray and gather from all religious backgrounds as one.

Dr Zenan and Dr Zee both knew of the importance of providing protection to the fleet, but also on the advancement of the people with regard to healthcare, religion and general well being, they took great care to provide all with whatever help they needed, and divided their time equally between the military and civilians alike.

After establishing, calm and order in the fleet, the two men knew they had to call a meeting of the leaders to decide which of their goals to prioritize, the pursuit of Earth, the settling of a new colony on Gliese 581g or the construction of the next raft of warships to defend against the Cylons. A meeting was convened in the ward room of the Galactica to discuss these matters....

At this meeting, all the council were present, Adama, the two 'pilgrims' as they were now called, Dr Coulson, now a very old man, and Commander Omega.

As Sire Dmitri called the meeting to order, they first raised their glasses in honor of their dear departed Admiral Tigh, events had happened so quickly throughout the fleet, they had barely had time to take stock, so now took the time to evaluate where they were, this was in fact the first time they had been afforded the opportunity to relax, the two pilgrims relentlessly driving the fleet on with great speed to advance the cause of the colonies.

The fact these new saviors were dubbed pilgrims was no co-incidence, for they had the knowledge and power to plot a course to anywhere in the stars, and it was this gift that was to drive the agenda of the meeting, the two men knew their time on the fleet was limited, they were acutely aware of their own mortality, due to the demise of Dr Zenan's wife, and Zr Zee's mother they had to act quickly to secure a new home for the people of the colonies.
Finally after many hours of debate, the senior Dr Zenan called the meeting to order, he had a plan.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the colonial fleet, dear council members and military leaders, I now feel it is time for us to come to a decision”, stated the senior Dr Zenan, we know we have three main objectives before us, firstly, the pursuit of a new home for our people, secondly a battle fleet capable of defending us from our enemies, and lastly our pilgrimage to Earth, in which order to prioritize these, I leave to you all to decide, my son and I are not council members, we are not military leaders, we have been sent merely as advisers, however we do feel there is a clear path ahead for you all now”.

What I am about to say is not meant to alarm you, but to inform you, we have a limited time here with you, due to our family history, and the strain on our bodies our gifts take on us, we believe that I and in turn my son will perish. I feel my own time here with you is now coming to an end, ask me not how I know this, I just know, I am at peace in this knowledge, knowing the fleets future is secure.

It is on the future of the fleet we must now turn our attention, my son and I have discussed this at length, we feel that military matters, and the construction of a new battle fleet can now advance without us, you have our blueprints for the new ships secure.

The pursuit of Earth gives us the most cause for concern however. We feel as Earth is clearly in no position to help you at this time, you must first find a home of your own, build your own communities, then when your fleet is fully armed and protected, your people settled, only then can you press on towards your destiny, the planet Earth.

Therefore our advice to you all now is to prioritize finding Gliese 581g and colonizing it, only then can you begin to work on the fleet, and lastly finding Earth. You have a duty however to find Earth, she cannot protect herself, and you must realize that by seeking her out, you will bring the Cylon war machine to her doorstep as surely as if you had led them there deliberately!”

“As my time is coming to an end, I have decided to volunteer, if this is your decision, to plot a course to this new planet with a small team of your finest pilots, navigators, and technical staff to set sail for Gliese 581g post haste. We will require a special vessel, faster than anything we have ever constructed before to carry us there, we will plot the course and leave markers, I will be able to communicate with my son, who will remain here with you all, we will find this planet and lead you there, if you remain here the Cylons will surely find you sooner rather than later. They will find you eventually mark my words, but with a new home, a base from which to defend yourselves, we feel fortunes will favour you all and not the Cylons, this planet is ideally situated to provide you with cover, with a shield from the enemy forces. I wish you all god speed as I end my address to the meeting”.

The council and military pondered the proposals put to them by Dr Zenan and eventually the meeting was called to order by Sire Dmitri.

“It is with eternal gratitude, we on the council, and our military leaders, thank you both for showing us the way forward, we have decided unanimously to accept your advice fully, with this in mind we will begin construction immediately under your supervision on your new vessel. The meeting is now closed”.

Scene 6 – Destination Gliese 581g

As foretold in his prophecy, Dr Zenan's health was beginning to decline, fortunately his new vessel had been completed in only one month, she had been equipped with the very best F.T.L drives and sub-light engines available, with a hull shield capable of withstanding enormous forces, due to the complex, composite materials used. The volunteer crew had been selected, she was ready to depart.
She was to be known as the S.T.R.I.X (space travel relatively increasing exponentially).

The new technology provided by the pilgrims, the capability of 'jumping' from one position in space and time to another was about to be given its first real test, if it proved successful, the colonies had finally grasped the ability to take themselves anywhere in the stars!

Their very future, their very existence could depend on this small vessel, and Dr Zenan's skills, everything was riding on this mission, he could not fail!

Finally with six of the very best crew at his disposal, Dr. Zenan was ready to fulfill his destiny, he knew he had been born for this very moment, he also knew he would never see his son or the rest of mankind ever again, for him this was to be a one way ticket!

With astonishing humility, the two pilgrims embraced each other, they both knew this was to be their last goodbye, but there were no tears, just a love that permeated throughout the whole launch bay, so palpable you could almost touch it!

After several system checks were completed the S.T.R.I.X was towed out to the launch area and the clearance was requested by the pilot and navigator to count down for launch.

“Launch officer Rigal do you read” came the message from the Strix pilot, “we are in position to launch, all systems working as normal”

“Launch officer Rigal, reading you loud and clear, launch codes accepted, launching in launch – and she was gone, with breathtaking speed the Strix had cleared the launch bay of the Galactica and was out of sight.

Dr Zee could suppress his emotions no longer, he wept openly as he watched the final glimmer of the Strix fade out of view, he then gathered his composure and wiped away his tears. Turning to Adama and Dmitri he said, “My father will not fail you, he will deliver, he will find Gliese 581g and you will have a home for your people, i will leave you now, I need to rest, we will speak in the morning”.

All they could do now was to wait!

Hours turned to days, all was looking grim, the fleet were losing hope when suddenly a message came through on fleet com line alpha.....

“Strix to Galactica, we have completed our first successful jump, we have finally locked on to the co-ordinates of Gliese 581g and are making good progress over....”

Then the whole C.I.C erupted, the mission was not a failure, the relief on young Dr Zee's face was a sight to behold, Adama grabbed him and hugged him, “Thank you on behalf of all mankind” he said.
Dr Zee just laughed and said, “See I told you my father wouldn't let you down”.

Due to the time it took for the message to arrive, given it came from light years away, there was no way of the Galactica answering the Strix, but they had no need to, Dr Zenan senior instinctively knew he was being heard.

As the days progressed the signals began to come more rapidly as the Strix neared its destination, jump after jump was completed successfully until she was within striking distance of her destination. Then finally she was there in front of them, a shiny wonderful planet called Gliese 581g or Terra as Dr Zelan had decided to call her.

Scene 7 – A home for our people

Meanwhile on board the Strix......

Dr. Zelan paused as his crew were nearing their destination, “Gentlemen, you will go down in the history books of the great colonies, you are the pilgrims who will first step foot on our new home, and as the ones who discovered her, I suggest we name her Terra, another word for Earth. Think hard on this day, for your people will ask of your first encounter with the great planet called Terra, you will have stories to tell your grandchildren when you are old, you will have people back in the colonies captivated, you must first however fulfill your duties as pioneers, you must secure this planet for the good of mankind, so say we all?”
Then the six other crew members shouted “so say we all”. These four words would become the rallying call for all mankind from that day forwards.

The men all instinctively knew what they had to do and began to scan the planet below them, a formality that Dr. Zelan found amusing, he already knew all the answers, that this was a perfect home for the colonies, atmosphere, vegetation, shelter, clean water, land and a vast array of oceans.

He allowed the team to complete their checks on the viability on the planet below them, and as these were completed and verified they slowly began their descent towards the surface of Terra.

They gradually descended into the atmosphere of the planet, giving the shields time to adjust to the greater pressure upon them - and to protect the Strix from any damage, she had got them this far and they were taking no chances. All was going according to plan as she penetrated the cloud layers, then the men caught their first glimpse up close of Terra as she came up towards them.

She was indeed a beautiful sight, very reminiscent of Caprica, they descended to within a thousand metres of the surface, scanning her, recording vast amounts of plant life, drinkable water from great lakes, deserts, polar regions and tropical rain forests, she had everything they needed, Dr Zelan had done it, somehow he had delivered on his promise, he had found a new world, a new home for the colonies.

To be continued......

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:04 am 
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Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage to Earth Episode V – Escape to Terra part 1

Scene 1 – Raising the Colonial Flag

July 6th 7023 – Dr Zelan initial report;

S.T.R.I.X about to complete final approach to planet Terra, we have located a suitable landing zone and are making final adjustments to our trim, we are encountering a moderate amount of turbulence, nothing untoward. We are completing a final sweep of the terrain surrounding our chosen landing site and have located a cave within a forest which will provide ideal cover for us.
Final descent countdown.... five hundred feet, four hundred, three hundred, slowing velocity, two fifty, one fifty, one hundred, 80, 60, 40, 20, 10, 5 – the STRIX has landed, repeat, the STRIX has landed!

The seven men on the wonderful craft had done it, they had landed on Terra and were punching the air with relief, after several handshakes Dr Zelan began to re-focus his team on the tasks at hand, firstly they had to secure their craft, then commence a check on the atmosphere and climate outside before they could take their first tentative steps on their new home.

Finally after two hours of checking and double checking their readings, all was ready,
One of the technicians finally reported the readings;

atmospheric pressure - 1.01325 bars (at surface)
minimum temperature – minus 128 °F (at surface)
average temperature - 57.2 °F (at surface)
maximum temperature - 136°F (at surface)
Nitrogen (N2) - 78.084%
Oxygen (O2) - 20.948%
Water (H2O) - 1%

Nominal amounts of argon, carbon dioxide, neon, helium, methane, krypton, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, xenon, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide.......

The atmosphere of Terra was perfect, almost exactly that of the twelve colonies, and what Dr Zelan predicted Earth's to be, they were at last free to leave the confines of the STRIX and explore their new home.

Dr Zelan could hardly have planned things any better, not only had he secured a new home for the colonies, but what they had found was a perfect match, a mirror image of Caprica, no Terraforming, or modifying of the planet would be necessary in order for their people to settle here. She had all the vegetation they needed, forests, polar ice caps, lakes, 70% oceans, Deserts, everything!

The six men decided after a very long and tiring descent, and a long wait to determine the suitability of their new home they would all get some well earned rest before embarking on their exploration of Terra the following morning.

Now though the hard work would begin for Dr Zelan, to prepare for the arrival of the colonial fleet before his health deteriorated, he was about to start his final journey, and a race against time.

A beautiful morning arose, and the seven men had hardly slept. The excitement of their discovery had them all desperate to get up and dressed as quickly as possible and start their recon patrol of Terra. To their collective amazement a shaft of sunlight focused on the STRIX as if to welcome its new guests, Terra was beckoning them to explore.
After a small breakfast the men dressed and drew lots to see who would get the short straw of staying behind to guard the STRIX, she was far too precious to leave unguarded, even if the planet was probably deserted, save for themselves.

The six men accompanying Dr. Zelan all had a military and scientific background, as well as having specific skills in their respective fields, one was a communications specialist, one a mountaineer, one a medic, one a botanist, the other two were ex commando's, experts in survival tactics, it was to be their job to protect and provide shelter whilst the others gathered as much information as they could on the surrounding area, and the sources of food, water and shelter available to them. They would also need to prepare an area of land to be used as a landing site for the first of the fleet to arrive.

After several days, an area near the STRIX had been prepared suitable for landing a large ship, the men had gathered information on the vegetation and food available and had located a stream with drinkable water, apart from the absence of meat they had a reasonably good diet, plenty of vegetables and fruit, and a source of fresh water, they had shelter, and had set up a beacon atop a large mound nearby to transmit to the fleet, all they could do now was wait for their people to arrive.

Scene 2 – The last Supper

One evening, the men had all but completed their initial tasks of preparing for the fleet, and decided to celebrate with a firelight barbecue, using the last of their supply of synthetic meat. They all gathered round the fire and sat with the last portions of the food they had brought with them, the 'meat' had been perfectly cooked and seasoned by Dr. Zelan.
A plentiful supply of vegetables and fruit was available as the men gathered and reminisced about life in the colonies, far distant lands they would never see again. They talked openly of the families they had left behind, and of the hopes and fears they had for their people, it was then that Dr. Zelan began a sermon, like the many he had delivered to the people of the fleet with his son, but this one was to be very different, he would open his soul to the six men as if his words were to be his last....

“Gentlemen, I was hoping against all hope that it would never come to this. When my son and I were put in stasis some 35 years ago we knew it was a possibility however, this was the main reason we agreed to volunteer for Adar's project. Besides which, the colonies held little for us, we were feared and despised wherever we went due to our special gifts. Unfortunately people have little time for those that are perceived as different, as outsiders, it drove my wife, Dr. Zee's mother mad in the end, it destroyed her. When she passed away my son and I decided to devote the rest of our short lives to the advancement, or salvation of the human race, alas it has turned out to be salvation.

I see dark days ahead for our people, there will be great suffering, there will be another war with our enemies, they approach the colonial fleet as I speak. Gentlemen, it is imperative that we clear the way for our brothers and sisters to come to this place safely before our Cylon enemies arrive at the fleet, they must leave their location and head here, or be destroyed”.

“Our enemies have not been idle in our absence, they have been building new ships, new centurions, they have been preparing for the day of reckoning, they are getting closer. Lucifer is approaching our fleet, he is preparing to strike”.

There is hope however, my son and I have given your people in the military the blueprints for a fleet of warships that will banish our foes once and for all, but first they will need to deal with Lucifer, his ship is nearing the fleet. He could provide the key to the whole outcome of the war, in his hands lies the answer”.

One of the men interrupted to ask who Dr Zelan was referring to, did he mean the devil himself, or was he referring to something, or someone else, and in what form would he come.

“The Lucifer I speak of is not the devil in scriptures, he is not the Antichrist , he is not a man, he is a machine, he will arrive in the form of man, but is the work of our enemies, he is a Cylon”.

“I mentioned the Cylons had not been idle, not only have they advanced in their weaponry, but in themselves as well, they have developed a humanoid called the I.L series Cylon, he bears the resemblance of a man, his ship will arrive at the fleet soon, there will be an opportunity for the fleet to gain an advantage, I cannot elaborate further, my vision is not clear, there may be a battle, or a standoff, the outcome is not clear to me, my son is aware, he will prepare the fleet. I am confident he will have our people prepared, there is nothing we here can do but wait, wait for victory or annihilation at the hands of our enemies”.

“I feel my work here is done, my body is getting very weak, the stress of coming out of stasis early has damaged my body beyond healing, I will be leaving you soon, but be calm and let not your fears overcome you, my son will finish what we have started, your salvation is at hand. I will rest now and bid you all goodnight. If it is my destiny to never see another sunrise, point my body to the stars we have above us so I can see the lord”.

After Dr. Zelan had gone to bed, the others sat and talked for a while, finishing their meals and soaking up the last embers of heat from the fire. Each of them felt a sense of foreboding, that the words of Dr. Zelan would come to pass, they all went to their beds with restless, haunted thoughts of what was to become of them and their people.

Morning broke and Dr. Zelan had disappeared, two of the men set out to find him, after an hour they decided to go to the stream they had discovered, and there they saw Dr. Zelan's lifeless body, he had died with his eyes open looking up at the stars, a smile and a look of peace etched on his face.

Although gone, he had delivered his people a gift, a legacy of hope in the form of a new home. Whatever happened now was down to his son and the leaders of the colonies.

The six remaining men carried out his wishes and buried him facing the stars at the top of the mound nearby with a small cross. The men prayed that evening, prayed that their departed companion had done enough, that his news of arrival on Terra had reached the fleet, all they could do now was wait , hope and pray.

Scene 3 – The ship of fools

Meanwhile back in the fleet.....

The fleet needed a distraction from waiting for news from the S.T.R.I.X, and Dr. Zee provided it!

There was a strange air of anticipation in the fleet as a new ship was about to be launched by him, she was his brainchild, known as the 'Ship of Worship'.
Her purpose was to provide a place of solace and peace for all those troubled souls in the fleet, she was a place for prayer and contemplation, all would be welcome. She would be home to all religious faiths and beliefs, she would carry no weapons, but have four escape craft in the form of the new S.T.R.I.X which would have anti assault capabilities including missiles and chaff countermeasures.

She was a beautiful but strange vessel, the non believers had already given her a cruel nickname of 'The ship of fools', but Dr. Zee was no fool. He knew that the people in the fleet would probably turn against him, that his powers would give rise to suspicion and mistrust, and that he would need a place of refuge from where he could carry out his work in security under protection.

The ship was unique in that she was not owned by any company or organisation, and was not under the jurisdiction of the military or council, she was neutral territory provided and built by volunteer construction crews who all had religious beliefs and wished her to be commissioned.

She had several distinctive features including a forward control center and bridge, a glass atrium leading to a massive church, behind which were two cloisters containing flower gardens, a maze and areas for people to gather and relax together. Behind these cloisters was an area with a black and white mosaic floor and a huge fountain, known as the fountain of youth. In this unique fountain was a stock of fish, which were to be used to feed the many guests, red meat and alcohol were not allowed.

One huge area at the stern of the vessel was however, off limits to the general masses, she was to become the private quarters of Dr. Zee and only his aides and invited guests were allowed here, she was distinctive from the rest of the vessel, in that, instead of the materials to construct the 'Monastery' she was built from sand coloured 'rocks' which were actually composite materials like the rest of the hull, it resembled a castle, again the cynics had a nickname for it, Dr. Zee's ivory tower'.

Indeed hardly had the paint dried on his new ship, the vultures were already gathering over the young genius!

The guests would all arrive at their own designated berth, containing a symbol of their own faith, even atheists would be made welcome here.

The young Dr. Zee had finally found some peace in the knowledge that his request to be protected had been fulfilled, he could now settle into his new home and resume the Lords work in peace.
He wasted no time in hand picking a team of cooks, maids, and Monks to help him run his new ship, together with a team of vetted stewards, engineers and officers to crew her.
The colonial T.V network finally had something to report other than the torturous wait for news from Dr. Zenan and the STRIX crew.

As the usual dignitaries gathered in the main observation lounges on the four passenger liners to watch the launch, a light show beamed onto the new ship followed by flares, it was quite a fanfare!
The formalities were complete, but somehow Dr. Zee was troubled, far from being overjoyed at his new ship, and new home, he could not take his mind off events elsewhere, why had they not heard from his father?

He sensed something was wrong, his gut feeling told him his father was gone, but he also sensed his father's mission had been a success, but what of the STRIX and her crew, he would soon have his answer.

He eventually arrived at his new home and deposited his meager belongings in his surprisingly sparse quarters on the 'Ship of Worship'. Despite there being no expense spared on the lavish vessel, he had insisted his own quarters be those akin to the monks working for him on the ship, his crew, his disciples.
He was not prepared to be given any concessions, despite his high standing, he knew that would not sit well with the people of the fleet. He lay in his new bed and his thoughts drifted back to when he was a child on Gemenon. He remembered the harsh treatment his parents suffered, his mother going insane, he knew there would be a time when he too would be hounded out of the fleet, but for now he could not stop thinking of his father, and his legacy. He knew his family would probably have to wait to be revered only after death.

Meanwhile events were moving rapidly on the Galactica, a signal was coming through.

Scene 4 – the vigil

Meanwhile on the bridge of the Galactica.....

There was a tangible sense of anticipation in the C.I.C as a message came through on fleet com line alpha,

“Pegasus actual to Galactica actual, Apollo are you there please respond!”

“Galactica actual, Admiral Apollo to Pegasus, what is it comms, what have you got?”

“Apollo it's Greenbean here, we are picking up a garbled message, I am trying to get it cleaned up and send it to you but I think, I hope its what we have all been waiting for, it appears to be colonial, please stand by Admiral”.

“Very good Colonel, thank you, keep trying, Apollo out”.

Apollo turned to his Bridge Officer, “Marco Please can you open a secure channel to the fleet, I wish to address our people, and put the fleet on yellow alert”.

“Aye Sir comms open, fleet on alert, copy”.

Lee Adama began to address the fleet....

“Now hear this, Admiral Adama addressing the fleet, we have encountered a signal, I do not wish to cause alarm, we believe it to be colonial, but I am not prepared to take any chances, please secure all your vessels, and put your people on alert, we are investigating the signal and are trying to enhance the frequency. People of the fleet, we are all aware of the gravity of this situation, we have not heard back from the STRIX crew for quite some time, let us hope and pray this is the news we have all been waiting for, please stand by for further comms when we have them, Adama out”.

The C.I.C crew were working frantically to lock on to the signal and enhance the strength but were having to try every code, every frequency when........

“S.T.R.I.X ab...out to complete final appr...erra,” the message was full of static, but suddenly it was crystal clear;

“S.T.R.I.X about to complete final approach to planet Terra, we have located a suitable landing zone and are making final adjustments to our trim, we are encountering a moderate amount of turbulence, nothing untoward. We are completing a final sweep of the terrain surrounding our chosen landing site and have located a cave within a forest which will provide ideal cover for us.
Final descent countdown.... five hundred feet, four hundred, three hundred, slowing velocity, two fifty, one fifty, one hundred, 80, 60, 40, 20, 10, 5 – the STRIX has landed, repeat, the STRIX has landed!”

Then an almighty roar engulfed the entire C.I.C,

“They've done it, they've done”... Tears rolled down the cheeks of Athena as she struggled to speak, she knew what this meant to her brother, he had delivered their people a new home, he was the commander of the fleet, he was his fathers son, he was her big brother, and he was their saviour.

Although he did not arrive on Terra himself, it was only he and the late Admiral Tigh that believed in the two pilgrims and he who authorised the construction of the STRIX and sanctioned the voyage to find Terra.

Adama slowly gathered his composure to address the fleet once more.....

“Marco if you will” beamed Adama as his bridge officer once again opened a channel to the fleet.

“My dear friends, people of the fleet, it is with great pride I can tell you the STRIX mission has succeeded, our team have arrived on the surface, we are beginning to receive comms, all is well, the planet is completely compatible to human existence. We have just received a second message, vegetation, shelter, climate, atmosphere, all suitable to sustain life, we will begin to make the calculations for jumping the fleet immediately.
Please be aware this technology is still alien to us and will need to proceed with all caution, we will be jumping in small groups until we are safe in the knowledge our calculations are correct.

This will be risky, even dangerous for the first ships, therefore you will be accompanied by our new battle cruisers, in the meantime prepare your ships, and begin running tests on your new F.T.L drives, I want you all to be ready at a moments warning, standby for further comms shortly, and may the Lords of Kobol bless you all, Adama out”.

The long wait was finally over, the whole fleet exalted, Adama allowed the comms channel to remain open, he wanted his crew to hear the cheering in all the ships in there care, although it was he who was their leader, he knew each and every one of them had a part to play in the protection of their fleet, and wanted them all to share in his joy, and gratitude.

He allowed the civilians in the fleet to begin celebrations, but for him and the military the hard work was just beginning. He decided to convene a meeting with his senior officers and council, but first wanted to visit Dr. Zee in person to convey his gratitude, and requested an audience with him.
Something was wrong however, the young genius was not his normal positive self when Adama contacted him, his voice was very flat, he was deeply troubled by something, but what?

Admiral Adama, like his father cared deeply for those under his care, unusually for one with such high standing in the military, he had a sense of empathy with his people which belied his courage and determination. As he approached the new Ship of Worship he had a senses of trepidation, had the young Dr. Zee some disquieting news, he neared the new vessel and as his shuttle landed on the forward landing pad he sighed so loudly his pilot looked back at him with surprise, who cryptically said,

“Yes Sir I sense it Too, somethings not right”.

He slowly descended the steps, across the landing pad and into the control room, he was escorted by two monks to an atrium, where in turn young Dr. Zee was waiting. The two men walked without speaking at first, the Admiral almost afraid to ask what was troubling his young savior.

The two men were led to a massive church covered by a roof of transparent Tilinium, the splendour of it almost took Adama's breath away, they both looked up at the stars above them, then Dr. Zee broke his silence.

“Admiral I know your father once said this to President Adar, do not ask me how I know, I just know, now I am going to say it to you”, he pointed up at the stars and said....

“What awaits us out there is what troubles me..... They hate us with every fibre of their existence. We love freedom. We love independence to feel, to question, to resist oppression. But...to them , it's an alien way of existing they will never accept”.

Adama looked at the young man open mouthed, how in the name of Kobol could he possibly know this, Adama knew his words were true, as his father had repeated them to him, and of his concerns for Adar and his false optimism.

Dr. Zee continued... “I have deep seated fears for our people, I fear my father has perished leading us to Terra, it is now down to us to lead our people to the safety of Terra, they will come again, they will strike at our very heart, we must leave this quadrant very soon, our enemies approach as we speak”.

“I know you will be preparing the fleet to jump away from here, you are right to proceed with caution, but I urge you Admiral, we also have to proceed with a degree of urgency, and as your father also said after the destruction of the home worlds, we must fight, but not here and not now”.

Never before had Adama heard the young genius advocate war, but he knew the boy was right, it was time to prepare, he headed back to the Galactica to prepare the fleet for F.T.L jump.

Scene 5 – Leap into the unknown

The Admiral knew he would need his crew and those of the Pegasus to be fully focused and vigilant as they plotted their path to the planet Terra, would they get there intact, would they get there before the Cylons discovered them, and what would they find when they arrived!

“Comms, set me up a C.N.P - I want to plot every inch of our course, we cannot afford to make any errors, it may cost us a ship and we cannot afford to lose one single craft, there are only a handful of us left in real terms!

There was a hum of voices from the C.I.C as the banks of technicians went through calculation after calculation;

“Entering codes for I.F.F frequencies and cross checking, running a check on all trailing vessels, F.T.L drives and syncronising....”

“Commander, all our checks are complete, we are ready to send the first wave at your command”, said bridge officer Marco Ginelli.

“Very well, get me Air Chief Marshall Starbuck up to the bridge stat, I want to see if his claims of training the best pilots ever bear out, I want Blue Squadron prepped and ready to escort the first wave, then get me a secure channel to the Pegasus and the two cruiser commanders”....

On the arrival of Starbuck and having the other commanders on the fleet com line alpha console, Adama addressed all in the fleet;

“Adama to fleet, we are ready to take our next step in the evolution of our people, I have requested a council of strategy to ascertain the order and priority of the fleet's departure to Terra, rest assured, not one soul will be left behind, but we need to be very vigilant, we need to leave here quickly but discreetly, and we need to leave no trace of our ever being in this quadrant...

Prepare your people, all ships have reported in, F.T.L drives and all systems are nominal, the first wave will be leaving at 06.00 tomorrow, those who have been chosen as the first wave will be contacted in the next two hours for immediate jump.

God speed to you all, we will see you on the other side, and may the Lords of Kobol protect us all, Adama out”.

Fear began to grip the fleet, far from feeling relief, they feared the new technology, had it been fully tested, would they perish before ever reaching Terra, would their ships hulls withstand the stress of jumping, the next morning would provide the answers.

Scene 6 – The First Wave

Morning broke and a full inventory had been completed, a council was about to be held in the Galactica's wardroom;

Sire Dmitri presiding.....

“Ladies and gentlemen of the council, military leaders, this will be a short meeting, we must decide quickly as to which, and how many of our vessels to send out first, we need to move quickly, but must take no chances, may I suggest we send a couple of our larger supply vessels first, if our men were successful in securing Terra they will be getting short on supplies, we believe they are sufficiently supplied with food, but will need provisions”.

“Agreed” replied Siress Loretta, “we must secure a foothold on that planet as soon as possible, when we leave this quadrant there will be no turning back, and no looking back”.

“I suggest we send some ships with construction equipment, we need to begin work on a new community, build a town which we can defend, we know from the reports that came in they are in an area we can defend quite easily, they have found a cave in a forest, but will need weaponry, we must send a Squadron of our new atmospheric fighters and bombers to be based there, we will not all get there soon, so we need to send some ahead, including I suggest some of your excellent new land based armoured vehicles commander”, she continued.

After s short meeting it was agreed to take a dozen ships, four supply vessels, four container ships with military equipment, two Tilium ships and two Elint ships, together with the two new cruisers, with which to defend the convoy, and rotate and refuel the fighters in Blue Squadron.

“I'm putting Starbuck on point for this mission, he will personally lead Blue Squadron, he is the best pilot in the colonies, he will get them through”, retorted Adama.

And so the first wave was ready..... Adama gave the commands,

“Plotters, have your team entered the co-ordinates to the first jump point?”

“Aye Sir, plotting complete, helm is ready”.

“Launch officer, are blue Squadron prepped and ready for launch, all other vipers on standby?”

“Aye Sir, Blue squadron in the tubes and ready to launch, all vipers reporting in on both Battlestars ready at your command”.

“Boomer, you have the Conn, I need to listen in on the jump, helm, you and the plotters have it from here, jump the convoy at your discretion”.

At this came the order from Chief Helmsman Barry Holmes, “Jumping in Jump complete”, and then silence, the ships had disappeared from D.R.A.D.I.S in a flash, all they could do now was wait for a response from Starbuck and Blue Squadron.

They did not have to wait long this time, no sooner had the ships disappeared that Starbuck sent the encrypted message back,

“Starbuck reporting, Jump completed successfully, all ships reported in, all accounted for....”

A wave of applause swept around the C.I.C, they had cleared the first, and most dangerous hurdle, now to press ahead and get the fleet moving before being caught by their pursuers.

Without delay, Adama ordered the next wave of ships to prepare for jump, but ordered a council of war in his quarters. Himself, Omega, Boomer and Greenbean were the only ones present, Adama had a fear, he knew they were not out of the woods just yet, so consulted his officers...

The four men were all exhausted, but knew they had no time to rest on their laurels, there was much still to be done, but all were curious as to the look of anguish on Adama's face, all was going to plan, what was bothering him? He was about to reveal his innermost fears;

“Gentlemen I once had a private meeting with my father about battle strategy, he told me of the time when back on the planet Carylon we were almost suckered into a fatal mistake, I will explain”.

“He told me of a time when he could trust no-one in the fleet except for Dear Tigh, he was so paranoid at being spied on he climbed aboard a viper, and Tigh did likewise - so they could talk on their radios in complete privacy, point being he was afraid the celebrations on Carylon were a ruse, that the armistice planned was a trick to lure us in, Sire Uri had arranged a medal ceremony for me and Starbuck to present us with the 'Gold Cluster' for leading the fleet through a hot massive star field known as the Nova Madagon, and a huge minefield to get to Carylon.

Sire Uri wanted us to lay down our arms, for fracks sake.

“My father was very concerned that as all our viper pilots were down on the surface enjoying the celebrations, there would be no-one to defend our fleet if the Cylons attacked at that moment, he sensed a trap, my point is gentlemen, if I was a Cylon base star commander tracking us, this would be a perfect time for me to strike, just as our backs are turned trying to get our ships to safety”.

We were caught out by those bastard Cylons before, well it's not going to happen on my watch, gentlemen, say nothing to the civilians, but I want both Battlestars on full alert, vipers prepped again,
- yes I know the pilots are tired, but we have no choice, I sense a trap, I sense we are about to get some unwanted company!”

Surprisingly for Adama, all the other officers were in complete agreement, they too had a bad feeling about events and duly carried out his orders without hesitation.

Adama decided to accelerate the jumps, and ordered larger convoys to go and more rapidly, it was a risky move to send more ships out with limited viper cover, but time was not on his side, he had to get his people out of that quadrant and to safety, they were not ready to fight large numbers of base stars, they had to buy time, and pray that only a single base star was pursuing them.

Scene 7 – The Greatest Risk

Some of the civilians were beginning to sense something was wrong as the second wave jumped away, why were they being dispatched in greater numbers and with greater urgency, they asked to speak to Adama, through one of their spokesmen;

“Commander there is a member of the civilian council here to see you, he has been cleared, he is on Alpha deck awaiting your permission to come to your quarters, what shall I tell him?” asked Adama's aide.

“Very well send him up”, replied Adama, knowing it was only a matter of time before questions were asked.

“Take a seat Sir, drink?” Adama asked politely as the man walked in.

“Apologies Sir, but I do not feel I am in a position to avail myself of your hospitality, the people are demanding answers and I need to return with a reply quickly, why are we being evacuated from this quadrant, and why the great hurry when we have only just discovered this new technology, F.T.L I believe it is called right?”

The man was clearly in no mood to be fobbed off with excuses or lies, so Adama decided to spell it out;

“Very well Sir he snapped you want the truth, I will give you the truth, in fact I will go one better, I will address the people, you may as well all hear it from me, now take a seat and a drink, there is no need for hostility”. Adama smiled at the man and offered him some iced tea, which he gladly took knowing his demands were about to be met.

Adama again smiled at the man before him and took the handset from its cradle by his desk;

“Boomer, can you patch me through to the fleet on an open channel, I wish to address our people?”

“Of course Lee, one moment, your through...”

“Citizens of the fleet, I have been informed by your spokesperson here with me that there is a great deal of concern and anguish about our rapid departure from this quadrant, well I do not wish to cause alarm, it is merely a hunch on my part, but I feel our pursuers are getting closer, and if they are watching us now, this would be a perfect time for an ambush, given our preoccupation with jumping away, simple fact is I am in no mood to take any chances whatsoever with your lives, and those of my crews.
We were betrayed by our Cylon friends once before, and almost twice, and I for one am not going to sit idly by while they catch us and destroy us. The fact is we are not yet in a position to defend ourselves if they arrive en masse, but we do have the means to escape, and a place to go, then we can buy ourselves time to prepare. If I am wrong, and I surely hope I am then nothing has been lost, but if I am right, then we have saved ourselves from annihilation. Trust in me and my crews, trust in Sire Dmitri, and trust in Dr. Zee and we will deliver you from our enemies, gods bless you all – Adama out.”

With this revelation, the startled man thanked Adama for his candour and headed back to his ship.
Adama sat back in his chair and wondered if he had done the right thing, but had little choice, he had made his mind up long before to be frank with his people when he could, he needed their trust and support now more than ever.

Scene 8 – Mass Exodus

Terra, outer orbit.....

“Starbuck to convoy, report in, we are making the final calculations for landing, are you all ready to make final descent?”

One by one all the ships in the convoy reported in and the final descent was complete, now some 60 vessels had made the journey successfully, a bridgehead had been secured on Terra and an encampment had been set up. All was going to plan, it was time for the ground crews to begin setting up a ring of steel around the new community, large military vehicles were being unloaded from the container vessels, missile launchers, tanks, armoured personnel carriers and mobile AAA rotary guns capable of firing an incredible one million rounds per minute, known as volley guns and nicknamed Cylon shredders by the troops.

Gradually more and more ships successfully completed the jump until only a handful of ships were left behind, it was then that Admiral Adama decided to carry out a full recon of the quadrant before they too made their final escape to Terra.

Galactica Bridge.....

Adama to Pegasus actual, blue squadron have returned from Terra, we have stood down the pilots, and bringing up reserves, can we borrow Silver Spar please I need to make sure my nuggets have some experienced jocks with them to tutor them in recon patrol maneuvers before we shut the back door and head out.

“With pleasure Admiral” replied Omega, “It will do them good to wet nurse your kids, they've been getting bored and tired doing those escort runs, it will help keep them focused.”

“Core command to blue squadron reserve pilots, John Rigal here, handing control to you now, have fun out there boys and watch your six, you will have Silver Spar with you on this mission, good luck, launch when ready”

“Commander, blue squadron reserve launched and ready to rendezvous with Silver Spar Squadron”

“Very good John thank you, lets see how good Starbucks kids really are, he's very confident they will perform well, perhaps we should up the stakes a bit eh Boomer, throw them a couple of curved balls and see how they cope”, giggled Adama.

“You didn't did you”, replied Boomer with surprise, “Oh yes I did!” chuckled Adama.

“OK Rigal launch all remaining vipers and calibrate attack codes, I want to give those kids and Silver Spar a little surprise”.

What Adama had planned was a simulated attack using special IFF transponder codes and visual targeting, green for friend, red for foe;
He wanted to be sure his newest pilots were focused, as they were to escort the Galactica and Pegasus to Terra.

“Starbuck here, now listen up you nuggets, I know our C.O well enough to second guess his next move, somehow I don't think this is going to be a routine recon patrol, I am expecting him to test you all out, so watch your gods damn sixes and stay by your wing men, I don't want to explain how I lost a single one of you, not even in war games is that clear, I said is that GODS DAMN CLEAR”

“Sir yes Sir” the pilots all replied in unison.

“OK then lets split up now and take a look at that cluster of gas planets, that would be a very good place to hide a ship, expect the unexpected gentlemen and stick together, Silver Spar Squadron take the planet on the left, Blue Squadron follow me”.

With that, a burst from the main thrusters and the vipers circumvented the small gas planets to take a closer look.....

“Silver Spar, Bojay checking in, nothing much to report over here, just mist and more mist”.

“Blue reserve checking in, nothing, wait I'm getting a reading from behind, NO!, BREAK BREAK BREAK, we are under attack”....

“OK red squadron go to work”, laughed Sheba, “lets have some fun with these kids”.
With that she let out a burst of laser pulse from her main cannon, but the young pilot was too quick for her, he slammed on his retro's and before she knew what was happening the cocky young nugget was all over her like a rash;

“DAKKA DAKKA DAK got you” he laughed, as his console recorded a direct hit. “Sorry ma'am but business is business, your one dead squadron leader”.

Sheba was astounded by the arrogance of the young nugget, and as she was taken by surprise, so was Bojay, and in turn Jolly!

The young nuggets hadn't let Starbuck down he hadn't lost a single one in the maneuvers, but just as he was about to give the order to return to the Galactica and Pegasus, he had a strange feeling, one he had many times in his youth when in battle.

He looked down at his scanner, “NO IT CAN'T BE, IT'S JUST NOT POSSIBLE!, all squadrons get back to your ships immediately, that's an order!” barked Starbuck.

“But Sir we haven't completed our recon patrol”, asked one nugget,

“Yes we fracking well have, we need to get back R.F.N do you read me,I need to warn the fleet”.

The squadrons all fired up their thrusters and were back on the Galactica and Pegasus within a few minutes, but what had spooked Starbuck, what was out there....

As soon as his viper had landed, Starbuck headed straight for the C.I.C where Adama was waiting for him;

“What is it Starbuck, what did you see out there?”

“Apollo, I'm sorry I didn't actually see anything but I saw a flicker on my scanner, you know, like the shadows we used to see just before the Cylons turned up, I cant put my finger on it but... well they are out there I just know it, I had that horrible churning in my stomach we both used to get just before they came into view, remember?”

“Yes I remember only too well” replied Adama, “Very well I will go with your hunch, after all they are usually more accurate than most pilots so called confirmed sightings, but now we have a difficult decision to make”.

Starbuck replied,
“Like do we get the last remaining civilian ships the hell out of here now with the viper escort and leave ourselves at a distinct disadvantage, or do we keep the vipers here with us in case those tin headed bastards show up and send the ships out unescorted?”

“Exactly Starbuck, what a fracking choice, damned if I do and damned if I don't”.

The Admiral had made his decision...

“Marco plot a course for the last remaining civilian ships to bug out of here now, I am going to have to send them out unescorted”.

“But Sir, if I may speak candidly” asked Marco Ginelli the bridge officer, “If you send those ships out unguarded on a hunch and you are wrong, Sire Dmitri will crucify you!”

“Comment noted and acknowledged, but I am not wrong, Starbuck's not wrong, I can feel it, we need our vipers here to protect us, we can accelerate the jump, we know the co-ordinates are accurate, we can have them orbiting Terra well before those.......

“CYLON BASE STAR DEAD AHEAD”, yelled the plotting team,


To be continued in part 2......

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 11:26 am 
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Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage to Earth Episode V - Escape to Terra part 2

In the last episode;

The Admiral had made his decision...

“Marco plot the course for the last remaining civilian ships to bug out of here now, I am going to have to send them out unescorted”.

“But Sir, if I may speak candidly” asked Marco Ginelli the bridge officer, “If you send those ships out unguarded on a hunch and you are wrong, Sire Dmitri will crucify you!”

“Comment noted and acknowledged, but I am not wrong, Starbuck's not wrong, I can feel it, we need our vipers here to protect us, we can accelerate the jump, we know the co-ordinates are accurate, we can have them orbiting Terra well before those.......

“CYLON BASE STAR DEAD AHEAD”, yelled the plotting team,


Scene 1 – Enemy at the gates

“Pegasus actual, Omega here what is it Admiral”

“O, we've got company, a Cylon base star just behind the nearest gas planet, I don't think she's spotted us yet, retreat the Pegasus behind the mist cloud to your nine O'clock and I will hide the Galactica behind the one at my three, we can sit and scan her as she passes between us....”

“So Starbuck's hunch was right, the bastards have been stalking us, very well I'll get the ship up to battle stations right away and await your orders, will observe radio silence and rig for silent running out”. Replied Omega.

Suddenly the mood on the Galactica C.I.C was ice cold, each crew member knew their place and without hesitation, began to assume Battle station drills whilst tracking their enemy....

“Helm, plotters, get me a fix on the location of the last civilian group, did they complete their jump in time, are they away?” Inquired Adama with more than a hint of desperation in his voice.

“Aye Sir, the jump was completed, they got away clean” replied chief Helmsman Barry Holmes with a reassuring nod, “but there is a small vessel approaching us at light speed!”

“Who is it, identify” snapped Adama, this was a distraction he could well have done without.

“It's the STRIX of Dr Zee Sir, his pilot is requesting they come aboard at once sir, says its very urgent, something to do with the base ship.”

Adama snorted, “What the frack does he want and why hasn't he jumped away as I god's damn ordered”.

Colonel Boomer put a hand on Adama's shoulder to calm him down, “Sir you worry about that base ship out there and I will deal with young Dr. Zee when he arrives, remember he hasn't steered us wrong yet commander has he?”

Gradually it became apparent after several scans that the base star was drifting in space without power, she seemed intact but was not under any real momentum and no exhaust was venting from her engines, things just didn't add up!

“Sir we are scanning for power sources on the base ship, she appears to be almost dead in space...”

“Then how the hell did she manage to get this far out” retorted Adama

“Maybe our young pilgrim will have the answers Admiral”, countered Boomer he seems to have an annoying talent for it doesn't he!” smirked the X.O

“Yes your right as always Boomer, well it looks as though we can breathe a little easier now, that ship's going nowhere, but … well how did she get this far out without power, and how did she find us....”

“Or maybe she hasn't Sir”, replied Barry Holmes, “Maybe it's luck on their part, a co-incidence, maybe she just followed the last known trajectory of our fleet and hoped for the best!”

“Co-incidence, feltergarb, I don't believe in them, there is something really sneaky going on here, is she playing with us, is she luring us into a false sense of security, well I'm not buying it, listen up C.I.C – something stinks here and it isn't my cologne, I want every god's damn one of you on your toes, I want every inch of that piece of shit out there scanned and stat”

“On it now Sir”, mumbled Barry Holmes.

The crew began to deep scan the base ship as ordered, but could find very little information, she was under no power and was not scanning them, she was drifting aimlessly.

Finally Dr. Zee's craft entered the landing bay of the Galactica, and he was ushered at great speed through the decks to the awaiting C.I.C crew.

When he finally arrived on the bridge, his calming voice somehow grated on Adama. Usually it would be welcome, but the new Admiral was far too wound up to be reassured, what the hell did this boy know about their enemy...

Sensing the agitation in Adama's voice, he began to speak calmly.

“Admiral, if I may be so bold, sit with me whilst I explain”.
Putting his young hand on Adama's shoulders very lightly at first, then with the weight of an anvil, Adama was forced to sit on the steps of the bridge.

“Be not troubled Adama, your enemy will fall at your feet, your young Helmsman is very perceptive, that ship out there has not detected you, they have indeed arrived here due to sheer fortune, the commanding officer on that vessel was forced to flee his home world, he executed his master Count Baltar, his ship is almost out of fuel and power, he cannot return to his Cylon masters, for he has failed them, he is in disgrace!”

The look on Adama's face was incredulous, this boy was beginning to irritate Adama, his doubts were creeping in, this was his first real test under Battle conditions at the command of the Galactica, and he was being told what to do by this... boy!

“What makes you so damn sure, why should I stake the lives of my crew on your say so!” snarled Adama.

The usually passive C.I.C crew all turned and looked at Adama with disapproving eyes, why was he being so rude to this boy, who, together with his father had done more to give reason for hope to the beleaguered rag tag fleet than anyone, including himself!

The boy had a ready made answer...

“Because my unbelieving friend I will prove it to you, I am prepared to stake my very existence on my being correct, send me over to that ship, allow me to take some of your best men with me on the STRIX and I will return and deliver your enemy at your feet!”

Those of the crew that were in earshot of the young pilgrim stared at him open mouthed, how could he be so confident!

“Very well Dr. as you wish, but be it on your head – if you fail to return in three hours I will order The Galactica and Pegasus to open fire on that ship, if we haven't heard back in three hours... do you understand Dr.”

“I understand Sir, if I am not back in three hours it will be because I am dead already and it will no longer matter to me!”

Dr. Zee took six marines with him, together with his pilot, and approached the stricken base ship with a leisurely speed belying the magnitude of the situation, it was almost as if he had a death wish!

The crew of the Galactica held their collective breath as the craft of the young genius approached the base star, gradually his vessel entered the bowels of the huge ship, she was a colossal, and imposing sight, even in her perilous state.

The six marines all held their nerve, but Dr. Zee could sense their fear, his pilot by now trembling, they were actually landing on the deck of a Cylon Base Star!!

Scene 2 – The Angel and The Devil

The commander of the small platoon ordered his men to fan out and search the huge hanger bay of the base ship.

“Listen up, keep eyes on the Dr, he must not fall, if you have to take a bullet for him you take it, Jones and Merrick, take that left corridor, Marks and Terry, you guys cover the right, we will head for that central core, that's where the command center will be”.

The men covered every inch of the huge hanger bay, it took One hour for their reconnoiter to be complete, the Young Captain then led his platoon into the central core, flanking the young Dr.

To their astonishment, around almost every corner lay the lifeless form of a Cylon Centurion, falling exactly where they were when their power cells gave out!

Finally they reached the huge control center, inside was a bank of never ending flashing lights and consoles, the craft seemed fully intact, albeit with fully depleted reactors and fuel cells, but where was the commander?

Then they looked around the huge room and were chilled by the words....

By Your Command......

Those three simple robotic monotone words sent a chill down the spines of the platoon, but not Dr. Zee, he simply turned to look toward the voice and said coldly....

“Indeed by my command, you are the one known as Lucifer I presume, you are the only surviving member of this crew, and the only functioning Cylon being within this quadrant, am I correct?”

The Cylon would not answer, but he knew the game was up, he was indeed the very last Cylon 'alive' on the stricken base ship, he had drained the power from each centurion, and most of the fuel cells in order to keep himself functioning, his instinct for survival was impressive, even by human standards.

The young Dr. Zee's calm demeanor astounded the soldiers, they were terrified of this being in front of them, though they dared not show it, but he seemed almost to be enjoying the moment, almost reveling in the torment of his prey, for this was no ordinary Cylon, no, this was an I.L series Cylon, at the time of production, the very best technologically advanced being their enemies had ever produced, capable of emotion and rational thinking.

“Now you can dispense with the voice synthesizer, I am fully aware of your human voice capabilities, and drop the 'By Your Command' grinned Dr. Zee.

Henceforth you will only speak with a humanoid voice”.

“Very well, as is your wish, what is your bidding”....replied the Cylon commander.

“Firstly I wish for you to kneel before your new master, you will bow your head before me”....

The soldiers were getting agitated at the cavalier attitude shown by Dr. Zee, and remarkably found themselves feeling pity for this robot being, but sure enough the Cylon complied, and as he did so, the young scientist held the neck of his Cylon nemesis and his hand reached into a tiny hole he had prized open, he then removed a small circuit from the Cylons neck, he removed a cartridge and inserted a new one he had made, what he had inserted was a power cell he had pre - programmed, he knew the only way he could trust the I.L series Cylon was to give him a pre - ordained personality and mind he himself had created.

This was to be the first inkling that Dr. Zee was not himself, was he playing god, was he losing his grip on reality, was his gift turning him into a monster?
However , he had achieved his mission, and was about to return to the Galactica with his precious cargo.

Meanwhile back on the Galactica....

As the clock slowly crawled around to Zero plus ten minutes, the crew stared at it as if to force it to stop altogether, they were all too aware of the situation, Dr. Zee had ten minutes to return to them, or ten minutes to live!!

“Galactica actual to Pegasus actual, break radio silence, prepare the ship to attack, we will flank her and take her out together, it looks as though the Dr. has failed in his mission, he has less than ten minutes to get his ship underway, or we will destroy the base ship, prepare to activate forward batteries on my mark, and arm all forward silos, we need to nuke those bastards and leave not a single trace of us ever being here, or them!, stand by for further instructions, Adama out”.

Agonisingly for the crews, the clock had counted to zero, Dr. Zee had ran out of time,

“Very well gunnery crew, for once we will have a very clear advantage, its two against one in our favour, arm all forward missile silo's, electronic defense shields up to maximum power, positive shield now, and get me the Pegasus”. Shouted Adama.

The hatred in Adama's voice was clear to hear for the whole C.I.C, memories of the fall of the colonies came flashing back, of the demise of his mother and brother, and of watching as the Atlantia was ripped apart by Cylon raiders.

He was about to wreak revenge on his arch enemies, but then......

“Sir, wait, please delay the order to attack, we have a small vessel approaching us at light speed, Sir its Dr. Zee he's coming back”, yelled several of the plotting crew in unison.

Several of the crew wept openly in relief, but Adama was not so pleased, he had been denied his moment of triumph, Boomer simply grabbed him by the shoulders and said, “We WILL have our revenge, but the boy is right, not here and not now, your hour will come my old friend”.

Scene 3 – The hand of Lucifer

The STRIX approached Alpha deck and a phalanx of guards were awaiting as it entered its berth.
As the door opened out came this mysterious being, it had a humanoid body, but its outer shell was transparent, it had no skin, the Cylons had not yet mastered the skill of creating living tissue.

Inside this imposing figure a mass of lights and circuitry could be clearly seen, it had a somehow very human, lifelike face, and was adorned by a large red cape.

The figure stared at Adama for a moment, then realising he was before the Admiral of the colonial fleet knelt before him,

“I.L series Cylon Lucifer at your service sir” the Cylon said chillingly.

“Lucifer is it, what an apt name for a treacherous snake, a bond breaking traitor” replied Adama.

“My sincere apologies sir, I am merely the instrument of our great master, Imperious Leader, but I bow before you my new masters, what is your bidding sir?” inquired Lucifer.

“My bidding as you call it is to haul your loathsome carcass off my ship and into a cell until I have decided what to do with you, guards get this...thing out of my sight, get him in chains and onto the prison barge immediately”.

“Sir yes sir” came the swift reply from one of the guards.

Adama looked at Dr Zee and pointedly asked, “OK boy you seem to have all the answers, what would you have me do with that thing called er, Lucifer?”

Dr. Zee's cold reply completely wrong footed the usually self assured Admiral,

“I detect a note of sarcasm in your voice sir, may I remind you I have never sought any reward or favour from you or anyone else in this fleet, I came to you to offer my services, as did my father, whom I fear has paid with his life, so please alter your tone, and do not call me boy again, you may be the commander of this ship, this fleet, but you are not my master, no-one is!”

The Admiral actually started to blush with embarrassment to the surprise of his officers;

“Please forgive me Dr. I am under a great deal of pressure right now, I apologise for my rudeness”.

“Apology accepted”, said a smiling Dr. Zee.

The young genius waited for the Cylon to be led away and out of earshot before continuing...

“Now as for your question, I would simply wait, we need to concentrate on getting to the planet Terra and out of this quadrant as quickly as possible, Lucifer can wait until we are ready to deal with him, may I suggest you leave one Battlestar here to guard that base ship and send the other to protect our new home world and people, and inform them of our discovery, they will by now be getting very concerned as to why we are still here and not completed our jump, will they not?” asked Dr Zee.

“Wise words commander”, countered Boomer, “He's right we need to get out of here, if we can find a way of dragging that ship along, so much the better, we can learn from their technology, and we could do with those spare parts, and those raiders she has on her decks could come in very handy Lee”.

“Very well we will wait, get me Omega on screen please I need to consult him as well”

“Aye sir putting you through now”

“Omega, Dr. Zee has secured our package, he is in captivity, I have sent him to the prison barge, I suggest a council of war in the wardroom, can you be here in thirty minutes, and bring Greenbean with you I want him in on this too”

“Very good commander, we will be there, Omega out”.

Thirty minutes later....

“Right gentlemen” said Adama, we have a little dilemma, what to do about the base ship, which of us to leave behind and which to proceed to Terra, thoughts....”

Adama looked at his officers to listen to their input.

“Sir it's your duty, your right and your privilege to be the first Battlestar to arrive at our new home”, said Omega, “Besides which, the Galactica is better equipped to be the flagship, she has the best auditorium , we can use her as a temporary, parliament and she has more cells than us, she is the nearest thing we have to a senate, and we have more weaponry on the Pegasus due to her layout, so if the worse case scenario happens we will dispatch that base ship, or find a way of bringing her with us, we have spare fuel in storage we can use to get her to Terra, you don't!”

“Please, it would be my honour to allow your crew bragging rights to be the first to arrive on Terra, I can cover things this end sir”.

Adama paced for a few moments, before replying;

“Thank you Omega I really appreciate the gesture, as will my crew, I can't help the feeling that you have the short straw, if anything should happen to you well.....

“Omega countered, “look if we don't show up in a few hours come and give us a hand, but don't worry we will be fine, now get yourselves out of here and enjoy our new home” smiled Omega.

The officers enjoyed a few drinks and a meal before Omega and Greenbean headed back to the Pegasus, as it would be some time before they all had another chance to enjoy some down time together.

As they watched Omega's shuttle leave the Galactica, Adama couldn't stop worrying about his friends on the Pegasus, he would be responsible if anything happened to them, but the Galactica could not be in two places at once, and he knew Omega was right, he needed to move quickly to protect the civilians in the fleet and on Terra.

Within an hour the co-ordinates were entered into the computers by the plotters, the Galactica was about to make her final journey, to the fabled planet Terra....

“C.I.C teams, call it in please, helm, plotters, navigation, engineering, comms, are you all ready to head out?”

All reported back and Adama gave the order, “Very well, helm take us out, jump when ready”

Marco Ginelli counted down, “Jumping in Jump complete”,

They had successfully completed the first jump but Adama was troubled, after an hour the Galactica was ready to make her second jump but Adama had a terrible feeling, he asked Dr. Zee to report to the bridge, and the young man knew immediately what was on Adama's mind, for he felt it too...

Adama looked at the young man and asked, “Dr. what if we were to delay our next jump and do a 180 and head back to the Pegasus just to be on the safe side, you are a wise man and I could use your council right now?”

“Sir if I am reading you correctly, you are fearful that the Cylons have set us a trap, that they have somehow powered up their engines and weapons systems, that they are about to attack the Pegasus, am I correct?” asked Dr. Zee.

“Exactly that, Dr. because that's exactly what I would do, this could be their one and only chance, with us out of the way it would be a straight 50/50 fight between them and the Pegasus, oh my good gods!”

“Helm, delay that jump, take us back through to the Pegasus immediately, something is very wrong, I can feel it!

Meanwhile events were about to unravel in the Pegasus C.I.C,

“Sir we are picking up a huge power surge from that base ship, oh my gods, she is powering up sir, I don't know how but her systems are all coming online”. Said Greenbean to Omega.

“I had a terrible feeling this might happen, but we had to get the Galactica to the fleet”.


Scene 4 - Pegasus Last Stand

“How in the name of Kobol..... those sneaky bastards have blindsided us again” snapped Omega, “Very well if they want a fight we will give them one...”

With the Galactica on her way to the fleet, Omega knew he and his crew were the only things standing between the colonial fleet and this killing machine, he simply had to stop them!

Incredibly, all the systems on the Cylon ship were coming back online, they had found a way of creating the impression of a dead ship, of masking the heat and power signature of her engines and weapons systems, and she was about to unleash her deadly power on the Pegasus.

Omega picked up his handset from its cradle on the bridge to address his crew....

“Ladies and gentlemen of the Pegasus, now here this, we have been dealt what could be a death sentence by those treacherous Cylons, we are picking up huge power surges from the base ship's reactors, plain fact is we have been duped, deceived into thinking she is a dead ship, well I have to tell you all she is very much alive and about to attack us!”

“I am not going to sugar coat this to any of you, we are about to enter a fight to the death with that base ship, I cannot guarantee our success, so I am asking you all to be prepared to lay down your lives for the greater good of our people on and around the planet Terra”.

“One way or another we simply have to stop them or die trying, I propose to give everything this blessed old ship has left to destroy that base star, or if we look like we are to be defeated, I am prepared to ram her and start the clock to self destruct this vessel along with theirs!

“What I am saying to you my dear crew, my comrades in arms is, are you prepared to die for our brothers and sisters, we may never get to see our friends on Terra ever again, but if we succeed in taking out that base ship, we will all be remembered in the history books as the crew, the ship that paved the way for a new colony to begin, Damn those Cylons for putting me in this position of asking, but I need to know, are you all with me, are you ready for our final battle, for our day of destiny?”
“So say we all?”

A huge roar came from every deck and every corner of the Pegasus,


Tears rolled down Omega's cheeks as he said, “My brothers and sisters, it has been an honour and a privilege to serve with you all, I love you my family, good luck and God speed to us all”.

The two ships positioned themselves facing each other as if two boxers in a ring about to exchange blows! The Pegasus was five hundred years old, she was due to be de-commisioned before the fall of the colonies, along with the remaining Battlestars, did she have one final fight left in her! Despite the recent re-fit she was an old lady, would she stand up to the awesome power of the Cylon killing machine bearing down upon her, she simply had to....

The Pegasus was ready, her shields were up, her K.E.W's began to fire, she arced around the base ship and began to spit venom at the base star, then the mighty enemy ship opened up on the Pegasus with her forward mega lasers, hit after hit rained down on the Pegasus hull as her plating began to ripple under the impact, but she held firm.

The entire C.I.C lit up as a massive white laser bolt slammed into the forward head trench, the Pegasus was being pummeled by this deadly ship;

“Take us out, get us round to an angle of 90 degrees, I want to have a shot at her stern, we are losing this battle, we need to find her Achilles heel and fast, arm all forward nukes, I want a full salvo down her ass and stat, fire as guns bear”

“Aye Sir fire as she bears...”

fires were beginning to break out all over the Pegasus, the situation was becoming desperate, her hull was holding, but for how much longer?.

“Sir we are in attack formation to their stern now, ready to fire at your command” came the shout from the gunnery crew.

“Very well, rain hell on those bastards, let them have it all....”

the mighty Battlestar was not finished yet, all her forward silos opened as a hail of fire sped towards the base star, suddenly the tide was turning in favour of the Pegasus as massive chunks of the enemy vessel were ripped from her, she had suffered a massive hull breach!

Raiders and Centurions could be seen spilling from her decks into space as she span out of control, but just as she looked doomed she steadied and spun round to attack the Pegasus once more.

Her last remaining breath spat out four nuclear missiles, two mercifully sped past the Pegasus, but two slammed into the forward decks, screams could be heard from her decks as crew members were engulfed in flames, a massive hole appeared in the side of her hull, she too was bleeding out her precious crew into the vacuum of space!

Cries of NO NO rang out as the bridge crew could see their comrades floating past the windows of the C.I.C viewing port!


Just as the Pegasus looked set for victory, the base star delivered her coup de grâce, the Pegasus was dying....

A tearful commander Omega grabbed the handset to address his crew;

“My dear crew, save yourselves now, abandon ship, I am about to set a course to ram the base ship, we are damaged beyond repair, we cannot survive, our reactors have started to go into meltdown, I will stay with the ship and finish the job.

"Helm set co-ordinates for impact on that ship and set the clock for self destruct and then get the frack off this ship.
Launch all vipers immediately, arm and launch all raptors and shuttles, its up to you fly boys now, we have no more nukes, ABANDON SHIP, REPEAT ABANDON SHIP" sobbed Omega.

He watched on screen as one by one, the crew scrambled to the launch bays and sped away, leaving just himself and Greenbean as the only two crew left on the stricken Pegasus.
Safe in the knowledge that all his vipers were away and his few surviving crew were leaving he entered the co-ordinates to point blank, he was about to slam the Pegasus into the enemies heart, if he had to die he was going to make sure he took them with him.

“Greenbean, its been an honour to serve with you, and die with you my friend, said Omega,

“Sir, the honour is all mine, replied his X.O as the two men shared a brief embrace.

“OK count us down Greeny how long till impact”.

“C.B.D.R Sir we are heading to point blank in thirty seconds, we have a good angle to lock into the central core, she will not be able to run, we've got her where we want her Sir....”

“Very good, let's finish this”.

“Counting down to impact in twenty, ten, five, four, three, two, one,

Suddenly a massive jolt was sent through the entire ship as she slammed into the base ship, The Pegasus was too quick for her and she was caught in her grasp, all that Omega and Greenbean could do now was set the timer for self destruct and pray for a quick death.

Then out of nowhere came the glorious sight of their dear comrades, the Galactica had arrived in the very nick of time and sped to their aid.

“Oh by the Lords of Kobol, Sir it's the Galactica, she's here and picking up survivors, cried Greenbean,
“Galactica actual to Pegasus actual, Omega where the hell are you, please tell me you got away?” yelled Adama!

“No, I'm on the Pegasus with Greenbean, we are about to set the clock for immediate self destruct Sir, we were unsuccessful in destroying the base ship, I'm taking her out with me, so long my old friend, oh and please thank Dr. Zee for one of his STRIX craft, we were unable to get to her, we are trapped in the C.I.C, all the seals have jammed, we're done for! I have sent all the ships logs out with the STRIX, and a message from us to you”.
“May the Lords of Kobol keep you all safe, I love you Adama, goodbye”.

Through floods of tears, Adama summoned the strength to reply,

“Omega, Greenbean, you will be remembered in folklore for your actions today, may the Lords watch over your final journey, out”.

All the Admiral and Galactica could do now was sit and watch helplessly as the clock ticked down to self destruct, they were about to witness the death of a base ship, but also the terrible death of the Pegasus and their dear comrades.

Finally the clock ticked down to zero and an almighty flash sent a blinding light into every corner of the quadrant, the two mighty ships were blasted into oblivion, there was nothing more they could do but wait to pick up any remaining survivors from the Pegasus.

Scene 5 – The Vigil

The hours passed and the numerous survivors became a mere trickle, the landing bays of the Galactica were filled with the dead and wounded from the Pegasus, she had successfully destroyed the Cylon base star, but at the ultimate cost to herself!

Row after row of bodies were strewn over Alpha deck, finally, hundreds of colonial flags arrived bearing the colonial symbol of each survivor and were draped over them to afford some dignity to these brave men and women.

Admiral Adama sped down to the landing bay inspecting every corpse in the vain hope that some were still alive, kneeling to kiss as many dead warriors as he could bear. His heart was broken, he had been deceived once again by the Cylons and felt tremendous guilt for not arriving in time to aid the Pegasus in her final battle.
He also felt shame...shame that it was he who should have faced the base ship and not Omega, and that his decision to take all the glory by being the first to Terra had cost his dear friends their lives, his grief was unbearable.

As he knelt in prayer to pay tribute to Omega and Greenbean, a hand gently touched his shoulder, it was Dr. Zee, who knelt down beside him to offer words of comfort.

“My dear friend and master”, he had never called Adama his master before! “There is still hope for the salvation of your officers from the Pegasus, did you not realise I had anticipated the possibility that this might happen, as did you, but you had no choice but to sail to Terra, our people needed you, and if not for your quick thinking, none on the Pegasus would have survived, Sir, your foresight saved many lives on this day, and one more thing, I sent one of my STRIX craft to the Pegasus yesterday as a means of escape for Omega and Greenbean, I knew they would be up against the odds in defeating that base star with such an old vessel as the Pegasus.
Even with the Galactica in assistance you were always likely to fall to the base ship, it was too powerful, her hull was too thick for your weaponry”.

“With respect Sir, I feel we owe it to our comrades to give them more time before we leave for Terra, there is still a small chance, just a chance that they managed to get to the STRIX before the ships blew apart, our people on Terra have waited a long time for us, a few more minutes or hours will not make very much difference now!” reasoned the young Dr. Zee.

“Dr. Zee I could kiss you right now, I have been extremely ungracious to you in the past, now I see things clearly, you truly are a gift from the Gods, and I thank you Sir, uttered Adama.

“However though, it's clear our friends have perished, the STRIX has already landed without them on board, but I will remember your kindness and wisdom from this day forward, and will not disrespect you again”, leaning forward he them touched the young genius on the cheek.

After two more hours the Admiral could wait longer, with a heavy heart he gave the order to plot the jump towards Terra and the awaiting civilians. After one final recon, finding six Raiders drifting in space, the Admiral gave the order to retrieve them and their Cylon crews, he could at least learn from these craft more on his enemies technology and harvest it.

The plotting crew re-entered the co-ordinates to Terra, and they were on their way to their new home.

Adama stayed down on the landing bay deck to try and offer some comfort to the dead and dying, all his medical team were in attendance, skillfully led by Dr. Salik jnr. And chief medical technician Cassiopeia, Starbuck's former lover.

As he walked along row upon row of injured warriors, one young technician from the Pegasus was clearly in a great deal of pain, he gestured to Adama to come closer to speak to him,

Adama knelt down beside the young boy who could have been no older than nineteen, he had only just graduated through training,

The boy spoke words of comfort to Adama, he was the one who lay dying, yet it was he that was comforting Adama....

“Dear Admiral, may the Lords of Kobol bless you for coming back for us, you are an inspirational leader to us all, I know our people will survive with you as our leader.

Will you do one thing for me please, when you get to our new home, will you plant a small tree for me, then when you come to see it, think of us who never made it, make a good home for our people on Ter....”

Then the boy closed his eyes and was gone.

Scene 6 – Goodbye Pegasus

Finally, all trace of the fleet or Cylons ever being in the quadrant was gone, Adama had decreed in his ships log that the nebula in which they had discovered the Phoenix fleet, and that the Pegasus had made her last stand was henceforth to be known as the Omega Nebula in honour of their fallen comrade.

History would remember the bravery of the crew of the Pegasus, and stories would be told of the Battle of Omega Nebula for generations to come.

As the Galactica finally arrived at the planet Terra, Adama decided to address his crew once more before announcing his arrival to the civilians, saying farewell to his stricken comrades from the Pegasus....

“Now hear this, this is your Admiral speaking, to all the brave people of my crew I say this, thank you on behalf of all the colonies for your brave actions this day, and to the crew of the Pegasus I say this, you are the finest, bravest of us all, the colonies will be forever in your debt, you have saved our people from annihilation,
and to all of you I say this, with my last breath I swear by the Lords of Kobol, we will have our revenge on our enemies, we will re-build a fleet capable of destroying the Cylons once and for all, we now have a home, we have the manpower, the technology, and the will to win, so say we all.”

The entire ships compliment all exalted as one...


to be continued......

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 8:43 am 
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Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 5:39 am
Posts: 435
Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage to Earth part VI - Day of Destiny

September 4th 7023

Scene 1 - The Bitter and the Sweet

Dr Zee approached his fathers grave, alongside the six men who had broke ground on the Colonies new home, the planet Terra, he knelt down beside the newly laid tombstone and laid flowers, then kissed the gravestone, on it were the words....

“A promise fulfilled, a dream to reality, the beginning and not the end, the dawn of a brave new world.”

His father had delivered and now it was his turn to fulfill his destiny, his path was clear, although fraught with danger and mistrust, he knew his destiny was to be despised and hated by some, but revered and loved by others, such was the life of a 'special one'.

He decided to address the many warriors that had gathered on a hillside to hear his words, could he offer some hope, some words of comfort to the many believers, and non believers, could he help their Admiral in his time of need.

A public address system had been set up and all were ready to hear his words of comfort.....

“To my dear friends and comrades, military and civilian alike, to all people regardless of color, creed, home colony or religious or political belief, I address you all here as equals, as brothers and sisters.
As you all gather here I am fully aware of the depth of feeling among you all, that dear Admiral Adama has been made to take the fall for the battle of Omega Nebula, and that he is perceived to be the sacrificial lamb, and to those of you that would seek to exact retribution on the council of the twelve I say this....

Had it not been for the council conducting a full inquiry into events on that fateful day, questions would eventually have been asked as to the competence, and capability of your Admiral, and make no mistake, those on the council you would all despise are among the most honest, trustworthy and fair minded of us all, they are all volunteers who were elected due to the specific gifts and talents they possess, some are doctors, some lawyers, all professional people all with great wealth and power, and believe me when I say, none of them had any agenda other than the well being, protection and advancement of our people.

May I add, without them there would be no law and order in the colonies, Marshall law would ensue, and possibly even anarchy, for without law we are nothing but a rabble of wild animals. So I say this, look not to the council for blame, for they alone are holding the morals of this fleet in their hands. If as I, and most of you all here believe, that Adama is innocent of the charges against him, I can tell you now, none will be working harder than the council to clear his good name, trust in them, have faith and they will deliver.
In the meantime I urge you all to pray for your Admiral and go about your work diligently, if and when he is declared innocent, he will not be pleased to hear you have all been idle in his absence, so do your jobs and prepare to make this planet a suitable home for our people, and may the lords of Kobol bless you all.”

The words of the young genius had left their mark on the assembled masses, he was right, their leader would expect them to go about their duties in his absence and not let the people under their protection down, to that end the military set up a compound with makeshift schools, hospitals and the new military base was expanding at speed with a ring of steel circumscribing the encampments. A host of tanks, and armored vehicles encircled the new colony, and mobile AAA batteries had been set up.

The livestock on board the fleet had all been sent down to the surface, and botanical gardens were growing, fields had been ploughed and seeds planted, all was going well, and yet all eyes were looking out to the stars, where their dear leader Adama was incarcerated on the 'Ship of Worship' awaiting his fate....

Scene 2 – The Hearing

Admirals log supplemental, report on the Battle of Omega Nebula;

“It is with the greatest of sadness and regret I have to write these words, today was meant to be a day of joy and celebration for my crew as we finally arrive on the planet Terra.
Instead it has become one of mourning for the terrible loss of our friends and comrades on the Pegasus, and the loss of the ship itself, I have been summoned before the council of the twelve to explain events to our people, I feel I have let them down terribly!

I made decisions in the heat of the moment that, on reflection, even I cannot explain or justify, I must now face my accusers knowing if I am found guilty of the charges leveled against me, I may never set foot on my beloved Galactica, again and, apart from the humiliation I will suffer, I must face my guilt alone, for I am the Admiral of this fleet and I alone gave the order to leave the Pegasus at the mercy of the Cylon base star.

To my crew, my family, I say this, if it is my destiny to face the ultimate penalty, I will meet my accusers knowing I leave behind a brave crew who will protect our people and serve the colonies until the end. I am sorry to you all. I regret many things I have done recently, but I do not regret one appointment or promotion I have made, or honour I have bestowed upon my crew, for it is I alone that has failed our people and not anyone among you, the shame is mine, the honour yours”.

If it is to be my fate to be incarcerated for the rest of my days, go on without me, with my love and blessings, for I am ready to face my day of destiny, your loyal servant Adama”.

With the Galactica temporarily vacated, in quarantine due to the radioactive fallout from the Battle, and to provide neutral territory for the hearing, it was deemed the Ship of Worship appropriate to be commandeered for use as a temporary court room, the church was re-configured to allow for a hearing to take place and the ship was put under the protection of the Colonial Guard.

If the Council found against Adama, then a full court martial would ensue and he would be at the mercy of a judge and jury of his peers.

Representing Adama was his closest friend and ally, Starbuck, a strange choice some felt, due to the cavalier attitude he displayed towards his own mortality, but no-one knew Adama like he did, and it was Adama's right to have a council of his own choosing.

No-one from the press, or media was allowed access to the hearing, this was not yet a court martial, but an initial hearing to try to establish facts, and to decide if there was enough evidence to proceed with a full trial....

The chair of the council, Sire Dmitri began to address the hearing...

“Full council meeting Sire Dmitri presiding, present all twelve council members, the accused, Admiral Adama, and appointed council to the accused, Air Chief Marshal Starbuck, witnessed by ships Executive Officer Paul Boomer, will the accused please stand”.

The bluntness of Sire Dmitri found Adama shaking, he began to realize the full gravity of the situation, he had tried to relax leading up to the hearing, not wishing to show fear to his crew, but now he was afraid, he gradually rose to his feet, taking a sip of water from a glass on the desk in front of him....

“Admiral Adama, you stand accused of four charges, they are, in the order of severity;
Manslaughter, endangering the lives of your men, dereliction of duty, and conduct unbecoming of an officer,

How do you plea to these charges?”

Starbuck rose to his feet, stared at Sire Dmitri and snapped, “My client enters a plea of NOT guilty to all four charges”.

“The accused defense council has entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of the accused”, so noted, replied Dmitri coldly.

“Have you anything you would like to say before we begin proceedings Admiral” questioned Dmitri to Adama.

“My client has nothing to say at this time council members”, replied Starbuck,

“Very well, so noted, we will proceed.....countered Dmitri, he continued;

“Admiral, let me say from the outset, we are all on your side here, we will do our utmost to establish the facts and be as fair and balanced as we possibly can, we have no wish to see you humiliated or your career ruined, your family have been the most loyal, the most steadfast and courageous of all our people, but certain facts must be established, there are many things that happened in our absence during that battle that need to be explained, whilst we were awaiting your arrival from the Omega Nebula.

We in the council acknowledge you had a great deal of pressure on you, and that you were forced to make some very difficult calls during the battle, and in fact during events preceding the said battle.

To that end, we need to hear your thoughts and gauge your state of mind before, during and after the events of the Battle of Omega Nebula,

With this in mind I would strongly urge you not to stay silent in this instance, we cannot help you if you are not prepared to help yourself!” said Sire Dmitri.

Before Adama could speak, Starbuck held him back and once again rose to his feet.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the council, before my client speaks, may I be permitted to offer an overview of events leading up to this day, and as a trusted friend of the accused, some background as to his character and state of mind, before, during and after the events in question?”

The council nodded their agreement,

“Please proceed Air Chief Marshal” answered Sire Dmitri.

“My client made a judgment based upon the facts before him at the time, he was inexperienced in the command of a warship, he had recently lost both his father, and his closest mentor and ally in Saul Tigh, he had witnessed the destruction of his home planet, together with all the colonies, and was forced to land on Caprica, seeing his home destroyed along with his mother. Yet despite all this he was instrumental in the Galactica and fleet escaping the Cylons, for it was he alone that warned the fleet of the Cylon deception, a day in which will live in infamy for us all, and a day in which his younger brother's viper was destroyed, sacrificing himself to the Cylons, so that my client could get to the Galactica and warn the fleet”.

“What I am asking you all is this, please do not judge my client harshly on a series of tactical misjudgments during the heat of battle, but on his exemplary conduct and unwavering service to the military, and for the welfare of, and advancement of our people”.

Sire Dmitri was impressed, “You speak well, and you speak the truth Starbuck, very well your comments are now on record, and we in the council would like to add, whatever the outcome of this hearing, we would also like to place on record our sincere thanks to you Adama, for your tireless work, courage and leadership of our people, we will be forever in your debt, this will be taken into consideration in the event of a full court martial, however, none of which detracts from the task we all on the council face, law must be upheld, disciplinary procedures must be followed, and we must do our duty and conduct this hearing in a full and transparent manner”

“proceed Admiral”.

Adama slowly rose to address the council...

“Ladies and gentlemen of the council, I have the honour to be the leader of the finest group of men and women I have ever seen graduate from our academies, they are a credit to their uniform and the colonies, each and every one of them, no fault lies with anyone but myself, I cannot defend my actions during the battle of Omega Nebula, because, looking back, what I did was gross incompetence, I put the lives of my warriors in great danger, indeed to that end a great many of the brave crew on the Pegasus died as a result of my actions. I can only say, how I do not know, but, well on that fateful day I was not myself, somehow my mind was not clear, I was confused, disorientated, almost as though I was in some kind of dream or trance, and because I was so short sighted and did not see the deception of the Cylons until it was too late, many people perished and we lost the Pegasus. I offer no defense!”

“Very well then Admiral, If you are adamant that is your final word, I have no other recourse than to order a full court martial, do you understand Adama, I'm giving you one last chance to speak for yourself, please Adama, help us to help you....” replied Sire Dmitri desperately.

Adama simply looked down at the floor offering no words, Starbuck looked at him incredulously,

“For lords sake Adama please say something!” exclaimed Starbuck desperately, but no words came from Adama, he was ready to take the full weight of the judicial system for the fallout of the battle, for he alone gave the order to leave the Pegasus at the mercy of the Cylons, it was almost as if he wanted to punish himself, whatever the outcome of the court martial.

The hearing was adjourned and a full court martial was to be held, but before Starbuck and Boomer could leave the makeshift courtroom, Sire Dmitri pulled them to one side away from Adama....

“Please, Starbuck, Boomer, you are his dearest friends, he trusts you and I trust you, I have grown to admire and respect Adama, and dare I say it love him, please I implore you both, give me something I can work with, give the council something, if you have to tear this fleet apart do it, I don't care, I'm telling you both something is terribly wrong here, Adama does not make these kinds of mistakes do you follow me, something bigger is at play here, find it or Adama is facing a life in prison, never to set foot on Terra, now go out there, find something and save your Admiral!”

The two men exchanged a colonial style handshake with Sire Dmitri, thanked him, and were on their way, it was up to them now to save their leader.

Scene 3 – the wrath of the press

Later that day, to try and dispel rumors that were spreading throughout the fleet, Starbuck took a great risk and decided to order a press conference, he knew that if he did it may lead to more questions than answers, but if he didn't, the press, T.V journalists, and civilians would hang Adama out to dry, he was in a very difficult position, either way he couldn't win but he had made his decision.

Not wanting to appear weak or afraid, Starbuck decided to meet the press in their own back yard, on board the colonial news network ship, he was about to enter the fight of his life, or rather Adama's!

He had prepared some notes, and had pre-empted some of the questions he thought they would ask, flanked by his X.O Boomer, the two men began with a statement to the bear pit, as he called the awaiting media.

Starbuck began,

“Some of you will not know me, but some will, and dare I say, some by my reputation, yes it is all true, my past, but now I am the new Air Chief Marshall of the entire air wing, what's left of it. I admit in my youth I could be accused of sometimes being reckless, cavalier even, but I will tell you this, I did so to help distract myself from my possible demise, that when I stepped into my viper, I did so knowing I may never see the Galactica or the colonies ever again!

Admiral Adama on the other hand has always been my complete opposite, always weighing up the pros and cons of each decision he ever made, mourning the loss of each and every soul that has perished, be they military or civilian, and that is why I refuse to believe that the stories emanating from the press about him deserting the Pegasus are true.
He has been accused of putting the lives of his crew, and that of the Pegasus in harms way, well I'm telling you all now, never, never, NEVER”.

Tears began to roll down his cheeks, he could not bear to think of the emotional turmoil his dearest friend was going through. Colonel Boomer decided to step in, it was time to offer some rational thinking, Starbuck had done well, he had stirred the emotions of the media, but facts were needed, they could not rely upon mercy, they needed some hard evidence that something or someone had influenced the decisions made by Adama and his senior officers that day.

Boomer looked daggers at the assembled press and began.....

To you all here assembled, I am Colonel Paul Boomer, the Executive Officer on the Battlestar Galactica, and I say this, other than Starbuck who has just addressed you all, I am probably the only other person left in the colonies that knows Admiral Adama inside and out, and do not draw false conclusions on this hearing that has begun, he is still your Admiral and don't ever forget that, until he is proved guilty he is your, our leader!”

“FACT, as Admiral of the fleet, he made some difficult decisions that day, and not one single one was disputed or questioned by a single warrior on either vessel”.

“FACT, the Admiral was one of the only people with the foresight to go back on a decision he had just made, and perform a complete 180 degrees turn, and take the Galactica back into, possibly harms way, I ask you are those the actions of a man deserting his crews!”

“FACT, Admiral Adama was the only one with the foresight to see the deception of the Cylons back at the armistice and, was the only one who warned the fleet of the oncoming Cylon forces bearing down on the fleet, and whilst warning the fleet, had to endure the unbearable news that his kid brother's viper had been destroyed just short of the fleet, in point of fact, he was not permitted by Adar to re- launch his viper to help his brother, this had been expressly forbidden!”

“FACT, not only had he witnessed the loss of his home, his mother, his brother, his father, his mentor in Admiral Tigh, but also his very future, which he gave freely to us, the people of the colonies, he sacrificed his life, his chance of happiness, for us all.

“FACT, notwithstanding all of the above, when he finally thought he had found happiness in the arms of a woman who loved him, Serena, she too was ripped from him by those monsters, the Cylons, leaving him to bring up her child as his own”.

“Would you like me to continue Ladies and Gentlemen of the press, as I could easily tell tales of times when Lee Adama has saved all of us in the military, or is my message getting through yet!”

Boomer had spoken eloquently but now it was the turn of the pack of wolves known as the media....

The assembled press were all anxiously waiting their turn to grill the two men, hands were raised all around the press room.

Boomer pointed to one such wolf to ask his question..

“Will Taylor, associated Tauron news corp, Officer Boomer Sir, all of this I'm sure will be noted, but can you tell us here why he didn't simply stay behind with the Pegasus and dispatch that base ship, why take a chance, with the two Battlestars against one base ship, surely they could have just destroyed it once and for all, Sir, if you will explain, why risk it, why divide our forces?”

Boomer retorted,

“Because Sir, there appeared to be no immediate threat whatsoever from that base ship, the Pegasus was tracking them, no power signature was coming from that ship, and Admiral Adama thought it would be prudent to send a single Battlestar to head towards Terra, given the only protection our people had was the two new, and largely untested Battle Cruisers”.

Another hand came swiftly up...

Not even waiting to be announced, a female reporter let rip into the two officers,

“So your telling us our dear leader didn't know what the hell to do , he was too late to get to us in the fleet, as we were already pretty much left to defend ourselves, and he was too late to save the Pegasus due to his own hesitancy, all the time he was dithering we were unprotected save for those cruisers, and the Pegasus was being ripped apart, while he was performing a 180 degree flip correct?”

Then another hand went up and started to speak before Boomer or Starbuck had the chance to reply.

“Yes not only did he manage to lose the Pegasus, he lost hundreds of good men and women, he lost the chance of a clean victory, the chance to even capture that ship so we could study it, harvest its technology, but all the raiders she had on her decks, we could have certainly used them, then there is of course the technical log, the blueprints and, who knows we may even have found out where there home world Cylon is”.

“How in the name of Kobol can you both stand there and defend that!”

Boomers face went scarlet, he had heard enough and snapped at the assembled media,

“Right that's it, we came here in good faith to answer all your questions as openly and honestly as we could, but its quite clear you all want to turn this into a vendetta against our dear leader, well as far as we are concerned you can all rot in hell! We are going to prove somehow, that the actions of Admiral Adama on that fateful day were not only out of character, but that he was not medically fit to carry out his duties, and to that end, many of his subordinates, probably including us two, so why don't you put us in irons whilst we are both here and save some time, this conference is over, goodnight”.

He snarled at the press and he and Starbuck both made a swift exit.

Scene 4 – Short Memories

Starbuck and Boomer had played their hand and lost, Boomer losing his temper was not going to help Adama one bit, but he couldn't help but feel angry and betrayed for his friend, all Adama had ever done for the people of the fleet, it was almost as if it had all been completely expunged from memory.

The two men decided it would be prudent to keep their warriors informed and went down to the surface of Terra where a military base had been set up, the Galactica was still quarantined due to the nuclear fallout and was being de - contaminated.

They themselves had not yet set foot on their new home, and should have been exited to get a first view, but all they could think of was Adama and his torment, they wanted to play down the significance of events on board the Ship of Worship but this would prove difficult, they would be as honest as they could, but they were going to try everything they could to help Adama, they weren't beaten yet!

The sheer beauty of Terra was completely lost on the two men as their shuttle landed in the grounds of the makeshift barracks, no sooner had they landed than a huge swarm of warriors surrounded their craft, anxious for news of their leader, and his well being.
The two men struggled to answer the myriad of questions thrown at them so decided to use the P.A system used by Dr Zee earlier so they could address the warriors all at once.

Scene 4 – Clutching at Straws

In the newly built encampment was a huge bank of circular grassland, almost as if perfectly formed for the arrival of the colonies to use as an outside amphitheater, within it a swarm of military men and women from the most senior officers to the lowest private, stood shoulder to shoulder to hear the words of Starbuck and Boomer, they would not like what they were about to hear....

Starbuck was visibly upset and needed a moment to gather his composure to address such a huge crowd of possibly a thousand, so Boomer stepped up to the microphone.

“My dear friends, I address you here today as the acting Admiral of the colonial fleet, an act I never in my worst nightmares envisaged having to perform, but here I am and I'm going to give it to you all straight!

“Our Admiral's very future is at stake as we gather here, thank the Lords of Kobol he has not been accused of murder and as such, cannot be sentenced to death, but I say this to you all now, I know Adama would rather that, than suffer the sheer humiliation and disgrace he is facing at the hands of the council, he is heartbroken as he feels he has let you all down, and the people of our fleet.

The way I see it we all had a part to play in the events leading up to and during that battle, none of us questioned his judgment on that day and therefore as far as I'm concerned we are all as culpable as he is, however that's not why I am addressing you all today, no, not to apportion blame but to ask for your help, help Starbuck, his closest friend and appointed council, and me, his X.O and loyal servant, whom I also regard as my closest friend along with Starbuck.”.......

Boomers voice trailed off for a few moments as he was forced to pause, gulping, he wiped away tears from his eyes and steeled himself to continue.....

“I cannot stress enough to you all the enormity of the situation, we have been told in no uncertain terms by the council that a full military court martial is to take place soon, as our Admiral refused to defend his actions on that fateful day, he is prepared to take the fall for me, Starbuck and, yes,all of you here as well, they have made it clear to me that he is facing a possible life sentence, never to step foot on the Galactica ever again, or indeed our new home!”

“For all that is holy I am asking... no begging you all here now, if you have any information, anything that happened to you on that day, any strange physical feeling or emotion that was out of character for you personally, as I can tell you all here now, I felt a very strange sensation that day, almost an out of body experience if you will, I did not feel well, and felt my judgment was somehow clouded, did any of you here experience anything unusual, I promise strict confidence if that is your wish!”

What happened next stunned Boomer and Starbuck almost to the point of incredulity, hundreds upon hundreds of hands were raised almost as one!

Boomer spotted a young chef still wearing his uniform fresh from feeding the infantry at the front of the crowd and gestured for him to be given a microphone so all could hear his words....

“You sir, yes you the young chef next to that stone your leaning on, I can see your very anxious to speak, what is it young man?”

“Colonel sir, with the utmost respect if I may call you that as I still regard Adama as our Admiral until found guilty......”

Even before the chef could continue, a huge roar of 'SO SAY WE ALL' swept through the encampment.

Boomer raised his hand in acknowledgment of the gesture towards Adama and beckoned the boy to continue....

“Sir, at the time of 'Battle stations' my team and I were securing the galley as we always do, no reason to suspect at that time anything was wrong, as for us it was just a drill,we thought it was just a maneuver to keep the crew on their toes, we didn't realize at the time we had performed a u turn and were headed back to the Pegasus. About this time my cooks and I started to feel nauseous – we couldn't understand why as we had been involved in countless such rapid course changes before and none of us felt it was motion sickness, with respect sir, we are all experienced in the galley of the Galactica, despite our youth and this feeling was completely out of character for us all!”

Boomer nodded his appreciation to the chef and pointed to another raised hand, a weapons officer who's workstation was next to a bulkhead on the Galactica,

“Yes sir, you with the gunnery sergeant insignia on your tunic, what was your observation from that fateful day?”

“Well Colonel, my gunnery crew and I were situated next to one of the many bulkheads on the Galactica that had been repaired and upgraded since the battle of Gamoray, well when we re-entered the Omega Nebula a strange thing happened, an acrid smell emanated from the resin repairs on one such bulkhead near us and, well what I can only describe as a gas, a nauseous gas seeped out from the bulkhead itself, we all thought it was nothing, we all felt quite calm at the time, well,maybe it was nothing at all but.... well sorry but I thought it might help in some small way sir...”

“Yes it has indeed helped” replied Boomer, “Thank you young man”.

As hand after hand went up, each one having a similar tale, of a feeling of dizziness, nausea and hypoxia, and each one from a person in the vicinity of a newly repaired bulkhead, a pattern was beginning to form, what was this strange nauseous gas that had everyone letting their guard down at the worst possible moment, the moment of battle, why was their collective judgment so badly impaired on that day of all days!

Starbuck looked on in disbelief, but was impressed at the skill of Boomer in teasing out important information from the crowd, they may finally have a lead, but what to do with it, where to start looking.....

Starbuck turned to Boomer and exclaimed!

“Sir, given the fact that the Galactica is to all intents and purposes deserted, save for the de-contamination crews, why don't we start there, if there is something wrong with those bulkheads, well now would be the perfect time to have the materials in them analised, now she is in quarantine, and away from prying eyes, don't you think!”

“Yes your right” replied Boomer, “Let's pull in professor Coulson and his team, after all we have rather marginalised him of late, maybe he can er... redeem himself in the eyes of the military, half our boys think hes a crackpot, let's give him the chance to prove he is as clever as he thinks he is!” smiled Boomer.

With that, Starbuck and Boomer thanked the assembled crowd of military and decided to break up the meeting, they had work to do, and little time to do it, so set off for Phoenix one and the professor, post haste!

Scene 5 – The Unlikeliest of Allies

Boomers hunch was right as usual, professor Coulson was only too pleased to help, he had incurred the wrath of the military too many times to pass up an opportunity to raise his stock in their eyes, and to gain valuable Kudos in the process, his ego was very large and was in need of a serious massage.
To that end, on hearing Boomer and Starbuck were about to visit, he was preparing a civic reception of sorts, but the two visitors were in no mood for such pleasantries, they had a job to do and no time to waste humoring the professor, who in turn acquiesced without protest.

Colonel Boomer had every inch of the strangely dormant Galactica checked, every nut and bolt, every new piece of material was analised and re – analised, no stone was left unturned, but yet, something was still missing, everything came back with satisfactory results, there were no poisonous gases or hallucinogenic materials when...... Dr. Coulson played his trump card,

“Sir's if I may suggest, we are obviously missing something here!”

“Tell us something we don't already know” said Starbuck witheringly,

“What is the one thing we don't have that we had back at Omega Nebula!” declared the professor........

“OK, since you haven't worked it out yet, Omega Nebula itself, that's what!” exclaimed the professor, I am willing to bet what reputation I have left in the colonies that the answer to our question lies back there, at the site of the battle!”

Starbuck and Boomer made little attempts to hide their contempt for the professor, both despising his lack of social skills, and modesty, but they knew he had good intentions towards his flock of 'volunteers' and they needed him, and so were forced to humor him.

“Very well, go on professor, we are all ears, said Starbuck, “What about the Omega Nebula?”

The professor replied...

“Very well gentlemen, you have both already told me that your warriors were experiencing hallucinations or out of body experiences, I believe you called them, correct!”

Starbuck rolled hie eyes in apathy....

“Your point being!” he said,

“My point being gentlemen if you cant' find the answers here, and it is clear you cannot, then you are looking in the wrong place - the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome – so stop going round in circles here and send me out there, to the Omega Nebula, I will come back with the answer, and your leaders salvation, whatever influenced your crews that day, well it's there at that Nebula!”

“Oh and one other thing, I request an audience with the Cylon, the one called Lucifer, please have him brought to me, if as I suspect, Dr. Zee has been successful in re- programming him, then he will be more than willing to help us.”

“And why in the name of the gods would that snake help us” Snapped Boomer,

“Because my dear, dim friend, if he doesn't we will destroy him, and as an I.L series Cylon with a humanoid brain and human personality he will be afraid to 'die'.

Boomers face went from red to bright scarlet, he had heard enough from this arrogant man and was about to threaten the professor with the brig, when the genius outflanked him again by saying...

“Don't even bother to threaten me with your jail, I am a civilian and I have been in my own so called prison for thirty five years remember, here on board the Phoenix one, I simply don't care any more, what I do care about however is the advancement of our people, and it is quite obvious to me that your Admiral, Adama is among the finest of us all, and despite your vitriol for me, I am prepared to do whatever it takes to save his reputation, but you must help me, and I will help you.”

Finally after a few more awkward exchanges, Boomer agreed to sanction the return to the Omega Nebula, but that was not enough for professor Coulson, he insisted that he be allowed to take the Galactica itself back to the nebula, he wanted to replicate exactly the conditions on the day of the Battle of Omega Nebula, and for that to take place he would need the flagship to go back into hell...

Boomer simply batted away all attempts by the professor to allow the Galactica back to the Nebula.

“Professor, you have the temerity to call me dim when you want me to risk sending the Galactica back to that hell hole, my gods man we barely made it out of there alive last time, I am not prepared to follow one huge mistake with another and leave our people here in the fleet and down on Terra unprotected, what I am prepared to do however is afford you every resource necessary, short of the Galactica herself, you will have to find another way professor”.

Dr. Coulson replied, “Very well sir I will draw up a list of the men, ships and resources I need to get the job done and, well I apologize for my abruptness and rudeness earlier, you are by no means dim, it's just.... well my life has been turned upside down since your arrival with your terrible news, and I guess I have resented you all for it”.

“Trust me, I will get the proof you need somehow, I may be an arrogant old man, but I do get results”.

With that the professor turned away as the two officers made their way back to the shuttle bay on the Phoenix One.

Within two hours they were back, only this time they were accompanied by the infamous Cylon known as Lucifer in shackles, who was in turn flanked by four very large guards.

The professor led the party down a corridor to a sterile room and two of the guards were posted outside, the other two remaining with Lucifer.
The professor then began to question the Cylon....

“So tell me er, Lucifer is it, we need to learn some facts from your viewpoint - we need to know what was happening on your base ship during that battle and why your ship seemed to be completely powerless, only then to suddenly power up on the sight of the Galactica leaving, what trick did you use to deceive us, has your technology advanced to such a state that you can make your ships appear 'dead' only then to re-activate, what are we missing here....”

The Cylon replied with a strangely human voice, one of a well spoken, almost regal tone,

“I only wish that were true, alas the truth is more simple, and from your standpoint less worrying, in point of fact my ship was caught in the area you now call the Omega Nebula, we were corralled into a corridor by the Galactica on one side and the Pegasus on the other. We encountered an area of toxic gases that seemed to penetrate our hull vents, and well, it transpires that these toxic gases had a devastating effect on some of the vital seals in our reactor rooms and engines, causing the ship to power down, this is common practice for a base ship to conserve power until a solution is found.

Due to the lack of human intervention, a base star has, in a manner of speaking, a brain of its own, or rather a suite of systems able to react to most critical situations in order to preserve itself and its crew”.

When these gases dissipated I initiated repairs to these seals, this is when your young scientist, Dr. Zee captured me, I was still trying to restore power and on my capture I had all but completed these repairs and had just enough time to pre-program my ship to engage the Pegasus when power was restored, its as simple as that!”

Boomer looked at the Cylon and stepped up to meet his eyes close up, he stood almost nose to nose with the strange robot and asked,

“So Lucifer, you are saying your ships do not have the technology to appear dead in space, it was those poisonous gases that rendered your ship dormant, and it was the ship itself that powered up on finding a repair solution, and it was the ship itself, under no supervision that engaged the Pegasus?”

“Your telling us your ships have the capability to engage ours automatically upon sight of us?”

“That is correct sir, they have that capability” replied the Cylon.

“Are you prepared to offer this as evidence in a courtroom in exchange for being kept er 'alive', do you understand my question Cylon” enquired Boomer, “Yes and yes” came the reply.

The professor looked at Starbuck, and then glared at Boomer, “Do you not think this a strange co-incidence gentlemen, these gases that rendered the base ship helpless, well, what if these gases were harmless to Cylons but deadly to humans, what if these gases when entering the Galactica through the vents used to harvest oxygen from space began to cause a chain reaction, when mixed with the resins your engineers used to repair the bulkheads they set off an acrid poisonous gas that hallucinated your crews, rendering them incapable of making rational decisions”.

He then looked at Lucifer to ask, “I want you, Lucifer to explain to us why your centurions were all found inactive when our boarding team searched your ship, if these gases are harmless to Cylons why were they all found lying motionless on the decks....”

“Simple” came the reply “I needed to shut them down using a special program we use, they were using up all our remaining power cells, I did not need them as my ship was drifting, I needed to conserve as much power as I could in order to keep the ships vital systems running, and to use their power cells to keep myself functioning so it was me who powered them all down”.

“Thank you Lucifer, that was most enlightening” replied the professor,

“So there it is gentlemen, what we need to do now is clear, we need to send two of our science vessels back to the Omega Nebula and get samples from the two gas planets and get those poisonous gases back here, we then need to use some of the resins used by your engineers to repair the bulkheads on the Galactica to introduce these gases to, then see what reaction they cause and get technical readouts of everything that is omitted, and we are going to need volunteers to become human guinea pigs if you can find any”.

“I can't thank you enough professor, I think you may have cracked it, and finding those guinea pigs will be easy, I'm sure everyone in the military will be only to willing to help, so lets get to it then and prepare the ships and men you need R.F.N”.

Scene 6 – Back Into Hell

Within a couple of hours Dr Coulson had prepared his list, he decided the fewer vessels and men to risk at the scene the better, so kept the list of ships and personnel to a minimum, just two science vessels equipped with the strongest compressed gas containers available and the very best sensory detection devices they had, two S.T.R.I.X vessels due to their extra thick hull plating to be used as escape craft should things go wrong, and one flight of four vipers with heat shields each from blue and silver spar squadron to watch their backs.
After a nights rest the team were ready to embark on their deadly mission back to the Nebula.

The jump co-ordinates were programmed into the four vessels and their escort vipers powered up from the surface of Terra, they were on their way....

Several hours later they were orbiting the two gas planets and were taking as many samples from these planets as they could, together with gases from the last known co-ordinates of the Battle of Omega Nebula, Dr Coulson was being very cautious, remembering what was at stake for Adama, but also being very careful not to leave any signature or trace of their ever being back at the Nebula, given the huge efforts made by the military to cover their tracks after the battle.

After some four hours their work was done, the compressed gas containers were completely full of the samples they needed, and so they headed back to the fleet as fast as they could.

Upon their return the council were informed, dozens of volunteers were called and a huge area on board the Phoenix 4 was cordoned off with several re-enforced chambers with windows made of transparent Tilinium, the strongest material available. The tests were carried out in the presence of the full council and several witnesses from the civilian and military population as the gases they had obtained from the mission were introduced to the samples of resin that were obtained from the construction engineers.

The witnesses were then asked to observe the volunteers closely as they were exposed to the deadly cocktail of gases and resins as they sat in the chambers. The volunteers were asked to perform several tasks including reading text, performing mathematical calculations, writing and talking. They were then also asked to perform manual dexterity tests including walking in a straight line, bending and stretching.
The results were checked every 30 minutes for several hours, but what happened after approximately two hours stunned the witnesses beyond belief....

The volunteers all began to act very strangely indeed, some not being able to hold a coherent conversation, some not being able to work out simple equations, others laughing out loud, a few even started to undress having lost all their inhibitions.
The tests went on for approximately another hour, after which the volunteers began to vomit and lose consciousness, it was at this time the witnesses had seen enough, and for the safety of the volunteers the tests were halted.

So overwhelming was the evidence that Siress Loretta and several of the assembled press began to weep openly, it was all too clear that no blame could be apportioned to Admiral Adama for his hesitancy during the Battle of Omega Nebula, in point of fact the witnesses were amazed he and his crews were able to function at all on that fateful day.

The court martial was canceled to save any further suffering for the Admiral, he was informed of the test results and was released immediately.

Later that evening a press conference was held for the awaiting press and media on board the Colonial News Network Ship, in which the Admiral would be able to face his chief accusers, the wolf pack of the press, he would be able to hear their grovelling apology for himself, but he was in no mood for retribution, his words that evening would resonate in the fleet and on Terra for generations to come.

Scene 7 - A Dish Best Served Cold

As the press conference was called that evening, all the members of the press that called Adama into question were forced to sit and wait as the Admiral let them sit and suffer awaiting his arrival. Although he was not looking for revenge as such, he was looking for apologies and contrition, huge portions of humble pie would be on the menu as he relished the prospect of making them all squirm in front of the T.V camera's.

After what seemed an eternity to the press, he emerged from a side door and before he could take his seat, each member of the press and T.V and every single witness to the press conference stood as one and gave a standing ovation to Admiral Adama, as he continued to soak up the adulation, his savior in chief entered the room, Dr Coulson, he walked up to Adama and was given a huge hug and kiss on each cheek by Adama, then followed Starbuck, Boomer and lastly Sire Dmitri, all ready to answer questions before Adama delivered his long awaited speech.

Gradually, far from dissipating, the applause grew louder and louder until it reached an almighty roar, everyone in the room was determined to let Adama know, not only was he exonerated but that every single one of them was in his dept, once again he had saved the people of the colonial fleet from the tyranny of the Cylons.

Far from disgracing his family name and his uniform, he had conducted himself admirably on the day of the battle, given the enormous pressure he was under, and the stresses on his crews, ingesting a cocktail of poisonous gases whilst trying to fight off a deadly enemy.

Throughout the entire fleet, ships horns were being sounded in his honor and down on the surface of Terra his brave warriors celebrated with food and music,and as much village ambrosia they could get their hands on, the man who had done most to save them from certain death had been delivered back to them in his hour of need, by of all people an old arrogant scientist known as Professor Coulson, no longer to be a pariah in the fleet, but a hero to be remembered in folklore.

Adama would have his revenge on the press another time, but for now he wanted to deliver his speech and get back to doing what he did best, leading his people.

He Stood proudly once more, no longer ashamed, no longer having a cloud over him, he began to smile broadly for the first time as he rose from his seat to deliver his historic speech....

“To my dear friends all, I cannot begin to tell you all how grateful I am for all your kind wishes and prayers.
To my darling Sheba who has come to mean so much to me, in believing in me and visiting me whilst imprisoned on the 'Ship of Worship'.
To my faithful X.O boomer, my rock, and my oldest friend Starbuck who both defended me with their lives, to Dr Zee who has been a constant source of comfort to me, and for making me so welcome and comfortable during my stay on his home ship.
To the council of the twelve who have carried out their work courageously and diligently, despite enormous pressure and vitriol, and most of all, to the man I used to despise, the man who could have so easily walked away given the shameful treatment meted out to him by me and my warriors, the man who's foresight saved me, Dr Coulson, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart”.

“Now I have something more I would like to say to you all here assembled, and to all our people listening in the fleet, and down on the surface of Terra.

To you all I declare this, we will build a new world from this day forward, we will build schools, homes, hospitals, we will build back our communities, we will make the Planet Terra a safe and secure fortress, we will build back our lives, and I swear we will build you a new fleet of warships, a new fleet of Battlestars, and when those merciless Cylons come, and they will come, we will rip their hearts out and pursue them throughout the stars, we will do to them what they did to us.

Now I will ask you all this, send word out to everyone in the fleet able to help, if they have engineering or shipbuilding skills, can cook, can work, send them to us, help us rebuild our fleet before we run out of time, and, with your help we can once more return to where we were before the armistice was broken by the Cylons, let us build the mighty fleet we once had and let the Cylons regret the day they ever crossed us, so say we all?”

“SO SAY WE ALL” roared the listening audience.

And so they came, the picons, the Tourons, the Librans, everyone who had a skill, thousands of men and women, some helped build a community down on Terra, whilst above in the stars, a new era was about to dawn, a new Battlestar had been designed by Dr Zee, Professor Coulson, and of all unlikely helpers, Lucifer, whose testimony helped save Adama.
Finally the Galactica was de-contaminated and the resins used on the bulkheads replaced, she was the flagship once more.

Adama had made a promise to himself, and to the memory of those that perished on the Pegasus, that he would build a new Pegasus, the biggest and most powerful warship ever to leave the colonial shipyards, and he was about to embark on delivering on his promise.

To be continued........

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:09 pm 
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Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage to Earth Episode 7 – War Games

Scene 1 – The Ship of Reckoning

July 9th 7024

“Admirals log, update on the new ship of Justice, The construction progress on the new Pegasus, repatriation of our population, re-arming of the military and development of new infrastructure on Terra:

It has now been almost a year since my temporary incarceration on the Ship of Worship, much has been achieved in my absence and much more in the subsequent months.
The new military vehicles are about to be tested in earnest, I have ordered full military simulations to take place to highlight to the press and media our progress thus far as a military force, I intend to afford our guests in the media every courtesy they afforded me during my sabbatical!

It is time some of our people in the press and media were shown just what it means to be a colonial warrior and all the hardships we have to face on a daily basis. To that end I intend to give them all the opportunity to become involved and join in the planned programme, after all, according to most, our lot has been easy since the fall, only the civilians have had to suffer. I feel a little dose of humility will serve them all well.

With regard to the population, there is mixed news, although our people have, in the main, been uncomplaining, I do realise there is great fear among them as we are still very weak and vulnerable militarily.
Most have had new homes built near the military encampment, and the rest are remaining on the civilian ships to help keep them running in case, god forbid, we should need to leave this new home in haste. That said, there is no reason whatsoever to suspect we are being pursued at this time, we made every effort to conceal our ever being at the Omega Nebula and have left markers behind to watch our back door.

I have just been over to inspect the construction on the new Pegasus, and, although she is only one third complete, her spine is forming and already she looks a magnificent beast, already she is almost as large as the Galactica, I will be envious to view her from the window in my quarters when she is complete.

On another positive note, I am proud to announce that Dr. Zee has overseen completion of our new ship, she is to be the home to our new judicial system and will serve as a penal colony with prison cells, recreational facilities, exercise yard with a tennis court and baseball pitch, plus all the usual er, home comforts for the more challenging inmates, and, probably most important of all, law courts, providing a de-facto one stop facility for law, punishment and justice, and as such she is to be known as 'The Ship of Justice'.

My grateful thanks go to Dr. Zee for ensuring we now have a permanent facility and will no longer need to commandeer his home, the Ship of Worship”.

The Admiral had decided to allow the masses a birds eye view of the gleaming new facility,
after all he had been through, he wanted to reassure his civilians that he and the council had been listening to their concerns, and that several matters were being addressed to ensure the safe and smooth advancement of their new society.
The first such measure was the promise of a new set of ships to promote this new society, with law and order at the forefront of a long list of priorities for the fleet.

With him on his journey in his shuttle to the new 'Ship of Justice' was the man who had masterminded its design and construction, Dr. Zee, together with Sire Dmitri, to report back to the council, and of course the press, media and colonial TV news network.

This was the first new vessel to be constructed for a very long time, in fact since her sister vessel, the Ship of Worship, and as such the Admiral was keen to gain any good will he could from the media before delivering his coup de grace!
In any event, it wouldn't do him or his comrades Dr. Zee and Sire Dmitri any harm with the general populous to see they were not resting on their collective laurels and were making good on their promises.

As the shuttle neared its destination from below the ship, the press noted how similar she was to her sister Ship, it wasn't until they came up from below that the new ship revealed her true identity!
Far from being the welcoming refuge of her sister, she was a frightening and imposing sight, at the bow of the ship was the bridge, control rooms and crew quarters, very much akin to her sister, but here the similarity ended.
Directly behind the bridge was a huge regal looking structure with a massive roof covered with pan tiles and supported by massive stone like pillars, above the pillars and under the roof was a stark reminder of her role, a huge stone carving of the scales of justice ornately painted. To the stern of this massive building was an even more imposing one, a giant medieval looking prison with a dark stone facade with battlements and crenellations, much like the monastery on her sister ship.

Finally the shuttle swooped to within a few metres of the stern of the vessel and hovered above the exercise yard, in which could clearly be seen through a transparent Tilinium roof, a tennis court and baseball pitch together with a huge seating area sectioned off, rehabilitation, rather than punishment was the preferred method of correction, there being so few souls left in the colonies!

By now even the notoriously hard to please media were aghast at the brutal beauty of this imposing, frightening 'ship of reckoning', as she was already being dubbed!
The shuttle swung around the vessel again and again on the insistence of Adama, he wanted to make sure plenty of footage was beamed down to every ship and down to the surface of Terra.
He was still hurting from the emotional beating he faced at the hands of his guests and wanted to show them he was back.... back to himself as their leader and in control, and what better way than to show off the new ship he had promised, and Dr Zee had delivered.

The shuttle finally rested on its berth at the bow of the ship and the press alighted, followed by Adama, Dr. Zee and Sire Dmitri. Once inside, there to greet them was a phalanx of lawyers, correctional officers and the new senior prison warden, a most imposing man. A former professional boxer, former heavyweight champion of the planet Tauron with a degree in criminal law, a man with an equally impressive physique and intellect, and yet a very religious man, hence him being hand picked for the role by Dr. Zee.

The young genius gestured toward the imposing man to introduce him to the press and Adama;

“Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to present the new commander of this facility, Mr Jordan Hunter” announced Dr. Zee with pride, “A Hunter by name and by nature, who is also an expert angler and deep sea fisherman” he mused, as the huge man grinned and nodded at the Dr. and press.

“I am delighted to be of service and give you all a guided tour of this new facility, now if you will all follow me Ladies and Gentlemen, we have arranged some refreshments for you all” said the huge man with a disarming charm and smile.
One attractive lady member of the press was quite obviously taken with the handsome Mr. Hunter, to the point where one of her colleagues gave her a glare, at which she snapped out of her trance and continued to take notes.

Dr. Zee led the assembled guests through a warren of corridors and finally into a massive ornate and impressive courtroom, the largest of eight in the giant complex, it was in this room that the most serious of trials would be held, and it was here that Adama would have met his accusers, had the facility been complete, a fact not lost on him as he looked around at the ornate pictures and carvings on the oak panelling in awe. The assembled press were taken aback at the opulence of this new court complex, a stark contrast to the sparse prison cells they would observe later in the visit.

Around the circumference of the hall were inscriptions in Latin, a language found on the probe from Earth they retrieved on their journey to Terra, one read;
'Leges Sine Moribus Vanae' – (laws without morals are vain).

The guests were then led to a large dining hall where the legal experts and court staff would share a common area to relax and unwind during periods of recess.
Here they were given a hearty meal with salmon freshly caught by the new custodian of the ship, Governor Hunter himself, that very morning.

Dr. Zee and the new prison Governor, in turn had the guests mesmerised with facts about the construction of the facility, and points of law explained in detail, the press had many questions, all patiently and expertly answered by the two men, after lunch the guests were taken through another impressive corridor to a large set of massive sealed doors, once through these secure doors the contrast was stark, gone were the ornate paintings and carvings, replaced by cameras, solid walls and thick metal bars as they made their way toward the cell blocks.

There were principally four main cell blocks, all but the maximum security block had recreational areas, the forward block for the petty criminals and first time offenders, the second, behind it, for the repeat offenders, the third, for more serious crimes, and the rear block, the maximum security block for the most hardened criminals, including solitary confinement cells.

The guests were all invited to go inside and look at the interior of the cells, and Governor Hunter asked if anyone would like to have the cell doors closed to sample a moment of incarceration for themselves, not wishing to appear afraid or impolite, all duly obliged.
The host then explained they were going to leave for a few moments to check on a few 'technical issues' at the orders of Adama, they then proceeded to disappear for drinks for what seemed like an eternity to the press and media, who were by now becoming very agitated. Adama was enjoying himself for the first time in an age, and Sire Dmitri was fully complicit in the fun he was having at the expense of his former tormentors!

In order to maintain the ruse, Adama duly apologised profusely for the 'technical hitch' that had ensued, and had kept the media in the cells for a full 20 minutes!

The final leg of the tour took the party through another set of huge security doors and 'outside' to the exercise yard. The vast yard was of similar dimensions to the huge croquet lawn on the stern of the Ship of Worship, contained within was the full sized tennis court and baseball field they had seen earlier from the shuttle, albeit with a reduced size outfield.

Finally the tour was complete and the media were left to wander the perimeter of the exercise yard before making their way back to the bow of the ship and onto their transport.

Before leaving, Dr. Zee had prepared a small speech for the press and media, before being asked for a quote for the masses.

He duly obliged and said; “When the people ask you of the Ship of Justice, tell them – look to the stars and know there is law and order in the heavens”.

One member of the press suggested it would be a good idea to have the quote inscribed on the hull of the ship, Dr. Zee agreed it would serve as a reminder to those that would seek to break colonial law and so ordered it to be done.

Back on the shuttle, one last detour took in the construction site of the new warship to replace the Battlestar Pegasus, she was to be replaced by a ship bearing the same name, but a much larger and more powerful vessel, in fact the most powerful ever commissioned. The construction site was so immense it took a full ten minutes for the slow shuttle to circumscribe its perimeter, although nowhere near complete, in fact around one third, she was already an imposing sight.
An army of construction workers could be seen, some welding , some transporting parts, the site was off limits to the press, therefore they could only glimpse from afar, but enough for them to be satisfied the military and construction crews were making good on their promise of delivering a new Pegasus, and importantly, enough progress could be seen for the media to send back a positive report to the masses.

Scene 2 – Pushing the Envelope

Several weeks passed and time was nearing for the military to provide proof that preparations were well in hand with training, equipment, strategies and so forth, military simulations, or war games were planned, but first, many pieces of new hardware needed to be tested to the point of destruction.
Adama called a council of his senior officers and the quorum to address the issues of recruitment and preparations for the forthcoming 'war games'......

“Ladies and Gentlemen, finally I can report to you all that things are beginning to fall into place,
the numbers of the military ground troops have swelled to almost double in just a few weeks, but we need to get them fully trained as quickly as possible, our people are relying heavily on ground forces until the battle fleet can be brought back up to some degree of strength”.

“Fortunately with the events at the battle of Omega Nebula, and the loss of the Pegasus still fresh in everyone's mind, it has been easy for us to recruit new military personnel, its just a shame it ever came to that”, said Adama ruefully

“It hasn't gone unnoticed by my officers however that we are still vulnerable to aerial attack!”

We need a solution to the lack of vipers in our ranks, the Galactica being the home to the only vipers left, Including those from the lost Pegasus, there are only some 200 left and barely enough pilots to fly them.”

“With this in mind I can report design teams and engineers have come up with an ingenious plan for a new, one size fits all, super jet, part attack bomber, part fighter, and part viper utilising some of the hangar queens on the Phoenix fleets supply ships.

This has been particularly challenging for our design teams as, with little manpower, money or resources, they have been stretched to say the least, but I think they have produced the plane that's exactly right for our needs!”

“We had some initial problems with the stability, particularly when moving between atmosphere and low orbit but are almost ready to test fly this new aircraft, I will inform you all when things have been set up, but can I ask you all be ready within 48 hours and bring your best recording equipment, you will not be disappointed!” Adama added cryptically.

Finally came the day to test the new, as yet unnamed, Atmospheric fighter/bomber, the new reconfigured prototype was rolled out and in climbed squadron leader Troy 'Boxey' Adama, who's childhood nickname of 'Boxey' had become his call sign. He was the chief test pilot, and stepson to Admiral Lee Adama himself!

The Admiral had taken a great risk in allowing his only son to be the one to test this new plane, but he felt he needed to be seen to have confidence in his designers and engineers, besides which, Boxey's best friend and superior officer Wing Commander Dhillon had recommended him for the job as he was the best pilot of his generation, and probably more skilled at flying than everyone other than Starbuck was in his day!

A new fully operational military airbase had been constructed in a huge open plain, fire crews were standing by, all was ready......

“Squadron leader 'Boxey' Adama to tower, all engines firing normally, all systems nominal, I am ready to begin my first run, permission to taxi out and take off?”

“Tower to test craft pilot, permission granted” came the reply from the tower, and the new craft moved toward the runway.

Admiral Adama was trying hard to put on a brave face for the council and military, but he couldn't help but worry that it was his only son and heir going up in a new untested aircraft, but if he couldn't show faith in his designers and engineers, and his own son, then how would it look to the officers, and indeed the people of the colonies!

His questions would soon be answered....

“Boxey to tower, I'm going to proceed with the engine run, am applying full brakes now, throttling up to one third, half, no problems, some vibration, within acceptable parameters”.....

The noise from the jet was deafening,as the council all donned their ear protectors and gazed at the blue flames of jet blast emanating from the exhaust cones.

“Taking her up to full power, I can barely hold her with my foot jammed on the brake, she wants to go....”

Troy took his foot off the brake and the mighty jet roared down the runway like a bat out of hell, no sooner had the landing gear raised, she was up and Troy put her into a steep climb, up, up she went and was out of sight in a flash!

“I am attempting to reach escape velocity, reaching 11.2 km per second, attaining optimum escape speed now, a good steady climb, no adverse vibration, she is reacting well to my commands, estimated orbit will be attained in 3 and a half minutes - any glitches control, can I proceed to orbit?”

“You are go for orbit Boxey, all elevons and stabilisers nominal....”

Suddenly a loud boom could be heard as the craft broke the sound barrier,
she was leaving the atmosphere of Terra and going well, then all went dark in the cockpit as Boxey left Terra behind and entered space.

It had been some time since Boxey had been in a 'viper' of any kind and was beginning to enjoy the view, he couldn't help but wonder at the beauty of Terra below him as he gazed at their new home from space.

“Control you should see this, our new home, she looks as beautiful as Caprica from up here, oceans, I can see the land mass we have settled on, I didn't realise it was a peninsula, what a sight, I will bring my recording equipment along next time” he quipped.

“OK Boxey when you are through sightseeing we have a lot of work to do”, laughed Wing Commander Dhillon through his headset, we need you to punch through the atmosphere a few times, take her in and out of orbit a couple times for us if you will?”

“Roger that control, lets see if she has the manoeuvring capabilities of a mark v viper....”

“Be careful with those new stabilisers and control surfaces, if anything is going to go wrong its now Troy!” said Dhillon anxiously.

“Roger that, will proceed with caution, a few slow orbit, de-orbits then Ill pick up on the torque a little and pull her around till she squeaks” said Troy, as his father looked up trying to disguise his anguish.

After several violent turns, all was going well, the skill of Troy had the council far below purring in approval, even Admiral Adama was beginning to relax, the worst was over, or so he thought!

“May I proceed with the bombing run now control?”

“Roger Troy, the targets are in position, you are cleared for your bombing runs to commence”

“This is the bit I have been waiting for” mused Troy to himself, “Always fancied myself as a bomber pilot, now I get to destroy shit” he giggled....

Finally the craft came screaming back into view as the awaiting council were asked to don their binoculars and look to a series of moving targets set up on a nearby hillside.

One of the technicians, who was proudly commentating on proceedings to the council, asked them to observe very closely as the craft opened fire.......

Then to the shock and amazement of the council and witnesses below, came a volley of bright white highly concentrated laser torpedoes from the rear outer wings which discharged bolts of charged deuterium. They had managed to harvest the technology of the concentrated fusion plasma cannons they had found on the captured Cylon Raiders from Lucifer's Base Ship at the battle of Omega Nebula.

As the Bomber opened up a volley into a remotely controlled convoy of unmanned vehicles, they were vaporised within seconds into a ball of fire.
The crowd below simultaneously burst into a round of applause.

The next test however was possibly the most dangerous and complicated of all, Troy was about to deploy the key feature of the new craft, the one that had been kept classified to all but the most senior military and technicians until today, even Sire Dmitri himself was unaware of what was about to happen!

“Control, Are we ready for the child to leave the mother?”

“Roger that Troy, you are go for separation” replied the tower.

With that, the craft hovered several hundred feet over the crowd below, and to the amazement of them all the craft separated into two halves, the rear half, now having expended its payload was parachuting down to the surface, aided by ventral thrusters gently landing near to the runway.

What was only a few moments before, a large strike bomber, was now a small fast and agile fighter/viper, the crowd were enthralled as the craft performed several impressive rolls and tight turns before itself unloading a volley of red laser torpedoes into a row of drones it was following, vaporising them instantly.

The tests were now complete and Troy duly landed the craft vertically right in front of the ecstatic council and witnesses.
Adama's shoulders visibly relaxed, he was beaming with pride as his son raced towards him to embrace.

“Now for the easy part” mused Adama, “training 10,000 troops and testing hundreds of pieces of equipment!”

Scene 3 – Operation S.P.ART.A.C.U.S

Galactica Wardroom, council of war, all senior officers present;

Adama began to address his senior officers....

“Well Gentlemen, this is a formal briefing but I will endeavour to make it as cordial as possible, you have all done a brilliant job in getting us here but we need to take stock, a hell of a lot of prep has gone into this, we need to go over everything with a fine tooth comb, we cannot afford any frack ups with the entire population gawping at us waiting for us to do just that!.

Firstly an overview of the training program if you will be so kind Hector”.

Adama was referring to his new most senior Army officer, Field Marshall Hector McCain, although, like most of the relatively young senior officers, rushed through the ranks at breakneck speed, this man was different, although only forty two years of age, he was more experienced than most, having fought ground battles during the ill fated armistice and overseeing the retrieval of the Tilium fuel cells recovered during the mayhem of the battle of Gamoray, whilst Bojay, Sheba, Cassiopeia et al were enjoying the praise and adulation of the council, it was Captain Hector McCain , as he was back then, who was instrumental in securing the fuel and safe egress of the landing parties, and he enjoyed the full trust and confidence of Adama.

“Thank you Admiral”, began the tall slender man with craggy features, “I am happy to report that the new recruits are blending in well with the more experienced troops, we have really been putting them through their paces, I am proud of the effort and commitment they have shown and, well, given the tight schedule they have had to endure, very few have fallen through the net, the vast majority passing out with flying colours, I now feel confident enough to let then loose for the planned 'war games' without fear of them embarrassing us!”

“I must also go on record in expressing my gratitude to the more experienced men in mentoring them so well, all has gone as well as we could have dared, although done with a degree of hard discipline, I feel the men have been fair and patient, and have been rewarded with a new crop of ten thousand excellent new soldiers, swelling our numbers now to just over 22,000 including six thousand volunteers from the Phoenix fleet, their job now done as the colonial fleet has taken over their ships control”.

Adama replied, “Thank you so much for your hard work Hector, how are our er, newest recruits shaping up?” roared Adama, he was referring to his 'friends' in the press and media, who had been duly invited to join in the fun and games!

“Hah, they have no fracking idea what a shitstorm is coming sir, don't worry they are blissfully unaware of the treats we have in store for them”.

“Marvellous, are you all OK with this, a little gentle fun at the expense of our chief critics”.

“Hell yea, yelled the officers, all in almost unison, as they all enjoyed the prospect of humiliating the more arrogant members of the press and Colonial TV new Network.

“Right then, now we have dispensed with that question and we are all on the same page, I have a little treat for you all!

My dear friend, our old Admiral Tigh gave me a few crates of the finest pinot noir he had fermented during his dotage on the rising star whilst he was bored out of his mind in retirement. Before he passed he told me to wait for the day we had something tangible to celebrate, well I know it's probably a bit premature to celebrate a successful round of war games, but I wanted to show my thanks to you all for getting us to this point, a day I never at one point thought I would ever get to see in my darker hours on the ship of worship”.

Adama's chief Steward duly filled each officers Chalice...

“Now I would like, before we move on to the next issue, to raise a toast to those who never made it, and to those that gave their lives that we who are left in the colonies may yet prevail, to those that we left behind in the colonies, to President Adar, who bestowed the gift of the Phoenix Fleet so that we may yet survive, to my father, William Adama, to all the souls on the Pegasus, that gave their lives for us, to Commander Cain who led us to this fleet, to Dr. Zelan who broke ground on Terra and showed us a possible path to Earth, and to all our loved ones that we fight for, so say we all?”

“SO SAY WE ALL” roared the officers in unison.

“Now for the next item on the agenda, I would like you all to open the sealed envelopes in front of you, inside you will see detailed plans of the full programme of events, you will not all have the same information inside, I ask that these are for your eyes only, do not open further than page three at this time, as beyond that page you all have specific tasks during the exercise, and well, to try and make things as authentic and realistic as possible, your forces will be divided into two opposing sides and you will be expected to think on your feet and adjust as the day unfolds, half will be the blue army and half the green.

The object of the exercise is very simple, you will have grid references to capture a flag, first side to capture the flag wins the day, you will be given exactly the same amount of troops, and hardware, but remember to expect the unexpected, any questions?” enquired Adama.

“Yes Colonel Mortimer, you have a question”, asked Adama to a senior officer....

“Yes sir, will we be working with the same regiments we have under our command or will we be split”.

“I said already, expect the unexpected, you may or may not have to fight with unfamiliar forces, such can be the fluidity of battle, sometimes troops become separated from their units right?

“Understood sir” , replied Colonel Mortimer ruefully.

“Make no mistake” added Adama, we are going to make this a very trying day for you all, we need to see what calibre of fighting force we have at our disposal, any further questions?”

“Yes just one sir, operation Spartacus, what does it stand for?”, asked battalion leader Lieutenant Colonel Mitchell looking at the front of his folder….

“I wondered when someone was going to ask that Mitchell, well I will tell you but I ask you all not to divulge this to the media, I Have a reason that will become apparent later, grinned Adama, simply put it's an acronym for self propelled artillery attack causing ultimate suppression, which happens to be the name of one of our newly designed self propelled guns, one of the centre pieces of our new hardware, although not ready to be deployed yet”.

“Spartacus sounds like a real person from somewhere”, asked lieutenant Colonel Mitchell quizzically,

“He was indeed a real person” replied Adama, “Do you remember all the hullabaloo when we found the probe from Earth and all the mine of information contained on those gold discs, well one of the historical notes referred to uprisings in the past history of Earth, well Spartacus was a Thracian Gladiator from around 111 BC , that being the dates set before the birth of Christ, he being the one God the people of Earth worship, although in many forms.

Anyhow Spartacus led a revolt of escaped slaves from the Roman republic, he was also believed to be an accomplished military leader, hence we thought it an appropriate title for the war games, and because we expect the outcome of this 'battle' could be settled by artillery. All the information regarding Spartacus is available on your history tablets, you may all wish to read it, you may find it useful!” answered Adama cryptically.

“One thing my time as a guest on the ship of worship whist waiting for my trial afforded me was to indulge my hobby, I like to study the battle tactics of great military leaders from the past, I would suggest some of you take time to read the information we downloaded to your tablets on the great leaders of the past, notably those from Earths past, you may want to look up Napoleon Bonaparte, Winston Churchill, although he was a politician, Admiral Horatio Nelson, and further back, Genghis Khan, who's Mongol Empire became the largest in Earths history, and maybe some of the more unsavoury characters like Attila the Hun and Adolf Hitler, you get the idea, read up on them and learn, as I did from the great commander Cain, my father and, Admiral Tigh.

Take time to study great battles like Agincourt, the Battle of Britain, and some less well known ones like the battle of “Little round top” during the American civil war, all of which took place on the planet Earth and all where a much smaller force defeated far greater numbers, something my generation have had to do since the fall”.

“I realise a great many of you will be nervous about these war games as your men have very little military experience, please don't be, they are not meant to catch anyone out, we simply need to know where we are as a fighting force, and we have a great deal of new hardware, thanks to Adar, that we need to test, this will be a steep learning curve for us all!”

“Gentlemen you have two weeks to read, study your instructions, brief and prepare your men and we will conduct the exercise two weeks from today, questions?...... Then you are all dismissed, and good luck to you all”.

As the men filed out of the wardroom, Adama could sense a feeling of foreboding from his new officers, but hoped that would give them an edge on the day, if all went well, it would not only show the masses they were establishing a credible fighting force, but that he himself was fully re-established as the leader of the colonies in the hearts and minds of his former accusers, but if things went badly, they would bury him......

Scene 4 – Bait and Bleed

Finally it was the day of the military simulations, or war games to take place, the field of battle was in fact a huge valley between two hills at the south and north, and two larger ones at the east and west. Atop the south hill, affording a perfect view of proceedings was a large area of temporary seating ranged at its peak for the gathering of the great and the good, all anxiously waiting for the days entertainment to unfold.

As the delegates all took to the seats, the weather had been kind and a gloriously sunny day had broke out to greet them all, even at 7 am.

The guests, all having been woken very early were treated to a box containing sandwiches and drinks, and a leaflet explaining the purpose of the day, and what to expect, or rather not to expect!

Camera crews were standing by, although they would not be permitted to relay live pictures, due to the risks and sensitivities of the day, these would be edited and vetted by the military at a later date, and be used for training purposes.

As the guests enjoyed their al fresco breakfast the commentator took to his seat at the front of a large stage set up for the film crews ready to interpret events for the pleasure of the spectators.

He began; “Ladies and Gentlemen all, welcome to operation Spartacus, our planned day of military simulations is about to begin, and wait, what's this we see in the distance, over on the far hill?” he said patronisingly, “Ladies and gentlemen please observe the prize, a large red flag is being hoisted on the peak of the opposing hill, the object of the exercise today is for two competing equal sized regiments of troops and equipment to negotiate that large hill and capture that flag, the first regiment to capture the flag wins the day, it's as simple as that, enjoy!”

Entering the theatre of battle were two opposing forces, the blue regiment from the left and the green from the right, the goal was clearly visible in front of them, but in order to get near the prize, they must first negotiate a massive force of tanks and armoured vehicles that emerged from a densely tree lined area at the foot of the hill approximately two miles ahead.

Far from simply being opposed to each other, blue and green teams soon realised that the odds were loaded against them from the start, they had to choose a priority, whether to attack the artillery together, or stay divided and risk being 'wiped out' before reaching the foot of the hill, let alone capturing the flag! After that if they were still 'alive' they could fight it out for the flag!

As the two Colonels in command attempted to communicate, their radios had been sabotaged and they were forced to use good old fashioned morse code clicks on them, a present bequeathed by the late Tolan, and Bojay who were experts in the art!

Events were beginning to unfold, and through morse, the two commanders decided to abandon the competition between them and work together to defeat the frightening force of hardware standing between them and that prized flag.

As they were working on the best way to outflank the opposing forces a massive swarm of drone aircraft sped towards the blue team from behind the hill containing the flag, battle was about to commence!
Finally they managed to repair their radios and began to form their plans....

“Colonel Monroe, first round to us, bait and bleed didn't work, the Admiral will have to do better than that!” said Colonel Mortimer to his opposite number, I have the Cylon shredders in place my side, suggest you pull out your infantry and hold in reserve, lets take out these fracking drones first, then re- group”.

“Roger that Colonel, They are pulling back to safe distance whilst we prepare our A.A.A vehicles, we'll take care of the drones coming for us if you watch out for their infantry and let them have it if they so much as fart in your direction!”

As the swarm of fifty, maybe sixty unmanned drone fighter jets raced toward the cornered blue team, twenty anti aircraft artillery units emerged from a line of trees and let rip into the sky, within three minutes the entire drone force were vaporised.

The green teams were not having so much joy, the opposing force at the foot of the hill were bearing down on them with wave after wave of heavy shelling getting closer as they found their range, suddenly two large tanks were obliterated, it was then that the two Colonels realised there was an edge to this day of war games, there were men in those tanks, and they had just been killed!

The crowds on the hill gasped, they simply couldn't believe what they had just witnessed, how far was the Admiral prepared to go to make his point, they were beginning to find out!

That wasn't the only surprise Adama had in store for his new recruits, a massive force of artillery and infantry were heading towards the green team, they were being flanked from the side and were in danger of being overran, Colonel Monroe saw what was happening and began moving his forces around the enemy flanks in order to attempt to encircle them , suddenly a huge barrage came from the enemy ranks, but the two teams had managed to create a corridor between them and all the shells whistled passed them harmlessly, now was their chance of a counter offensive.

Within thirty minutes the two Colonels had their enemies completely surrounded and after conferring, decided to mount a full scale attack on the enemy, even if it meant taking lives, they were going to force Adama's troops into surrender or a fight to the death, the two teams were so angry at the loss of the two tank crews they had decided to end the day early and finish it here and now!

The two commanders had been expressly forbidden to use the new S.P.A.R.T.A.C.U.S self propelled guns as they were 'not ready for deployment' - the two conferred once more.

“Hey Monroe, those new self propelled guns, if they aren't to be used under any circumstances then what the frack have they been put here for, show.”

“Agreed Morty, lets use the frackers and put an end to this shit now, frack those bastards on the hill, we don't need to entertain them any more its us against the brass now, lets say we finish them off now and get that flag together, then shove it up Adama's ass. Eh?”

“Roger that Colonel”.

Adama's team had been encircled by blue and green regiments and the two colonels gave the order for the self propelled guns to open fire, as they came to within several hundred meters they pulled back and the tanks took over, rendering every piece of enemy hardware into scrap metal!

The crews emerged from Adama's artillery and duly raised the white flag,
now the blue and green teams could race toward the foot of the opposite hill together at speed to capture their prize.

Due to the steep gradient and mud of the hill they had to use special pull bars to couple the mobile missile launchers in tandem with the A.P.C's thus doubling the surface area of the tracks to provide greater traction and to negotiate the steep hill.

Finally one of the four green teams successfully negotiated the hill, but instead of raising the flag, waited for the first of the blue teams to arrive at the summit and duly all raised the flag together, the two Colonels deciding it was a team effort and no team deserved to beat the other, they had more important things on their minds now, and wanted an audience with Adama to interrogate him on the 'sacrifice' of the two tank crews!

Scene 5 – The Aftermath

Wardroom, Battlestar Galactica 48 hours after operation S.P.ART.A.C.U.S

The atmosphere in the wardroom could be cut with a knife as Adama walked in waiting for his military leaders to be seated, he knew he had to speak quickly and set a few things straight before his men attacked him, why did he look so pleased with himself, what was he up to?

Before Adama could speak, Colonel Mortimer banged his fist on the huge table and glared at the Admiral, “What is the meaning of this outrage, we demand to know......”

Adama simply smiled at the Colonel and waved the flat of his hand in an up and down motion gesturing for him to calm down.

“Please if you will all indulge us Gentlemen”, replied Adama, lets address that elephant in the room right now, no-one , I repeat, no-one lost their lives during the war games, don't you all get it yet? There may have been a few scratches, mainly to those reporters your infantry dragged through the thicket and mud, but that's it!” The shells were blanks......”

Field Marshall Hector McCain interjected, “Colonel Mortimer, did you count all your tanks in, and did you count them out, you will find, if you haven't already, you had thirty four to start with and you have thirty fracking four now, so shut the frack up and listen to us, you have I'm afraid to say been duped, all of you, by us, Adama, myself and my officers, we needed to make sure your men had an edge, we needed you all to be pissed off, hell did you really think we would really sacrifice one single warrior, hell no!”

“Then how....” Colonel Mortimer looked embarrassed to say the least, and more than a little humiliated.

“Allow me to explain, in the theatre of war, there are no rules, you both saw through my little game, I never had any intention for you both to compete for that flag, I wanted to see how you reacted with a new challenge, that of an er, unfair playing field shall we say, that force of tanks and military vehicles at the foot of the hill, well, most were just a holographic projection, the actual force was quite minimal, the force you all encircled was the lot, my entire regiment!”

“As for the two tanks my forces 'disabled', they were put among you by my teams, from behind, they were marked by my spotters, they were unmanned and were used to fire you all up, they were a deception!”

Adama continued, “The object of this simulation was not to see who got the flag, it was to see how you would all react to being thrown a curved ball, and well, you all reacted magnificently, I can only apologise profusely for the ruse, but we had to, we needed you all to be on top of your game with those leeches from the press and TV watching our every move, now if we can all calm down for a moment, I am going to bring out a barrel of beer and some village ambrosia for you all to enjoy whilst I tell you of my little plan for our friends in the media, your all gonna love this”, smirked Adama.

“Firstly, operation Spartacus, Boomer and I have been having a little chat about my er, pet dog, you remember Spartacus from when I was a kid right Boomer?” Adama gave a huge wink in Boomers direction, well I decided to name this operation after him, oh I do miss him”, the whole room erupted with laughter as they all knew he hated dogs, only putting up with one, a mechanical one made by Dr. Wilker called Muffet 2, to replace one his stepson Boxey lost during the attack on Caprica when he was a boy.

“As far as those idiots from the media are concerned that exercise was named after my fictitious dog as Boomer er, let it slip shall we say, to one eager press member trying to get a story, and as for the two tank crews that 'perished', I think we should let those assholes fester until the press conference and see the look on their faces as we tell them the only people to get hurt on that day were them and their collective arrogant pride, do we have a deal Gentlemen?” smiled Adama, and all said “SO SAY WE ALL” in a huge roar of laughter.

“Now lastly and most important, I hope there are no hard feelings Colonels, I'm sorry I had to put you through believing I had sacrificed your tank crews, but I hope you can see why I did it....

“No apology necessary, sir, but I must admit I wanted to kick your fracking ass there for a while”, laughed Colonel Mortimer, “Yea me too” grinned Colonel Monroe.

“So we are all good?” gestured Adama with a thumbs up gesture, “Yea all good” said the two Colonels in unison,

“Good then I suggest we all concentrate on the most important item on the agenda, getting shit faced, come on Gentlemen you have all done me and the colonies proud, I am so grateful and proud of you all now let's enjoy some R and R and have some drinks before we all get back to our day jobs,” laughed Adama.

After a nights drinking and celebrating the army officers returned to their transport and headed back to the base, Adama had the best nights sleep he had in a long time, the pressure of the war games now gone, he could look forward to the following days press conference with relish!

The next afternoon, a press conference was called in the colonial News Network Ship, the main press room was filled to capacity, the main media bosses were expecting Adama to fall on his sword following the needless death of two tank crews, what they got would be the ultimate, sweet revenge of Adama, and their complete humiliation.

Adama rose to speak through a barrage of boos and cat calls from some of the less cultured among his audience, he couldn't help himself grinning from ear to ear as one rose to speak;

One reporter was busting a gut to speak so Adama decided to metaphorically throw him under a bus first....

“Will Taylor, associated Tauron news corp., Admiral Adama, you call yourself a leader, you have the arrogance to sit there grinning at your er, successful war games when eight men lie in a morgue not far from here due to you deeming them, collateral damage, a sacrifice worth making, try telling that to their mothers.....”

Adama was quick and withering in his riposte,

“Ah yes Will Taylor, Boomer told me all about you, you were the one asking why I left the Pegasus at the mercy of the base Star during the Battle of Omega Nebula aren't you, to answer your question,

“I would young man but unfortunately we cannot find their mothers”,

“Are you really trying to tell us.....”

“I'm trying to tell you to shut up, but you keep pushing it, the reason we cannot find their mothers is that they don't have mothers as they don't exist, the two tanks were put in the theatre of battle and subsequently destroyed on the orders of Field Marshall Hector McCain, an order approved by me, we needed to test the mettle of our men under extreme duress, in order to do this we planted two remote unmanned tanks with trackers on, we targeted and destroyed them to create anger and to provoke the troops into an all out assault on the hardware and troops we put in their way.

“We needed to see how they would react, they joined forces to defeat us, which is exactly the result we anticipated and that we required of them!”

“Next question please, Grinned Adama, as another hand went up,

“Dawn Kinnock, new fleet times, sir why did you treat my colleagues so shabbily when they were merely trying to do their jobs, pulling them through the mud and thicket, to get to that flag...”

“Because they all asked to be treated the same way as my men, with no special treatment,what do you think this is young lady, some damn scout trip, this was an exercise to train our forces and test out new vehicles and artillery, at no time were they treated any differently than our troops, in point of fact we had to leave them all at the foot of that hill, as not one of them had the stamina to negotiate it, several of our units managed it with no problem!”

“Tell me something else dear members of the media, I would like the person who asked one simple question to Colonel Boomer to speak up, who asked about the name of the mission, operation Spartacus, and what it meant? I believe my Colonel had told him it was about my old dog right?”

One young man proudly stood up and puffed out his chest, “That was me Admiral, Anthony Malin from the “freedom of speech” news weekly”.

“Oh and has your publication gone to press yet?”

“Yes it has indeed Admiral......it went to print yesterday and is being circulated today”.

Adama rocked back in his chair and laughed loudly, “well That's just excellent then isn't it young Mr. Malin, isn't it everyone?, now do you all want to know what operation Spartacus really means, it means …. It means Self Propelled Artillery Attack Causing Ultimate Suppression, which, incidently is the name of our main piece of artillery, which I am proud to announce IS fully operational, that's an in joke for my men by the way”.

The audience sat aghast at the way Adama had completely duped, not only the assembled media, but everyone watching on the Colonial News Network, Which, as Adama knew only too well, was being beamed live to every ship in the fleet, and down to the surface of Terra!

He continued....

“Now if there are no other stupid questions from our fine and professional media, whom I wouldn't trust to report on a kids tea party, I will continue with my appraisal of events!”

“Very well then, I am proud to report that not only did my forces perform admirably in the field of battle, they did so when a good many obstacles were placed in their path, some tactically, some militarily and probably more pertinently, some emotionally!”

“We put a massive force between them and their objective, forcing them to re- evaluate the exercise quickly and come up with a solution, we created diversions, false information, hell we even sabotaged their radios and they still managed to communicate, but, more important than any of this, they had to deal with the emotional stress of believing some of their comrades had fallen, and yet, despite all this, they still won the day.

“So Ladies and Gentlemen I have had my fun at the expense of the media, who would have seen me incarcerated for the rest of my days, I will speak no more on them from this day forward.

“Of our new fighting force, we should all be proud of them and what they have achieved so far.
In a very short period of time, we have become a force to be reckoned with once more, we have an army, a navy and an air force, we have a new home, a place to worship, a place for justice, and a new Pegasus being constructed as we speak, there is much more to come from your leaders, trust in us, and we will deliver.....”

As one, the assembled mass of media and reporters, and everyone in the room Gave the Admiral and his military a standing ovation.

They had all come a very long way, but much was still to be done, thoughts would turn to making Terra a safe home, time was short, but they had given themselves a chance, could they make their new home an impregnable fortress before the Cylons arrived, only time would tell!

To be continued …....

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:03 am 
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Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage to Earth Episode 8 – Flesh and Blood, part one

Scene 1 – Dr. Coulson's anguish

January 5th 7025 on board the Galactica...

Some six months had passed since the war games and a rare period of calm and tranquillity had swept through the encampment on Terra and in the fleet. Everything was falling into place for the military and council.

Construction on the new Pegasus had been stepped up utilising the new troops and civilian volunteers to supplement the engineers and construction crews, she was now around 70 percent complete. Work had begun on the factory ships to build a new fleet of vipers, shuttles and hangar equipment for her, but, as usual, the good fortune couldn't last, Adama's tenure thus far as the custodian of the fleet had taught him one thing, just when things seem to be going well.....

He had just finished his shift in the C.I.C and handed over to his X.O Paul Boomer, he returned to his quarters and prepared his usual cup of hot chocolate, he took a couple of sips and decided to take a shower before thumbing through all the usual memos and documents that needed his attention. He felt unusually calm and relaxed, after all the trials and tribulations he had faced since being elevated to Admiral of the fleet, it was almost as if nothing fazed him any more.

He mused to himself that it would only be a matter of time before someone or something ruined the new found optimism and hope he was enjoying, and sure enough....

“Lee its Paul, can you come up to the bridge at once, Dr. Coulson's shuttle is approaching at sub-light speed and he sounds very anxious about something, he says its urgent and can't wait...”

“OK Boomer I'm on my way” replied Adama with resignation in his voice. He quickly dressed and buttoned up his tunic, at least his in tray was clear for once, save for this new problem, he was more in control than he had been for a long time, whatever the problem was, he felt he could deal with it, his confidence as the new Admiral was growing by the day.

Several minutes later and Dr. Coulson's shuttle landed on the Galactica, accompanying the professor was his number two and eventual successor, Dr. Peter Allam.

The two men were ushered to the main bridge rapidly and the younger man, Dr Allam was carrying some kind of sample with him to the surprise of Adama and Boomer;

“What's this all about Dr Coulson, why the urgency...” enquired Boomer as Adama continued to straighten his uniform.

Dr. Coulson began to explain, “Gentlemen, you remember Dr. Allam don't you? He is my most senior technician. He was the one who first noticed Doctors Zelan and Zee awakening from the cryo chambers!”

The two men nodded.

“Well I'm afraid to say he has just uncovered another anomaly on our Genesis ships, I will allow him to explain....”

The younger professor held up what appeared to be a piece of resin covered metal with one hand and pointed to it with the other,

“We have a serious problem Sir's, our power units on the cryo chambers are failing, it is early days, they are still holding at this time but they are beginning to perish, we believe it is only a matter of time before they lose power and give out altogether and, well, the consequences will be utterly devastating.....”

“Devastating in what way?” asked Adama, though he already knew the answer.

Dr. Allam continued....

“Gentlemen, these units are what power the cryogenic chambers, they provide all the power for life support and stop impurities entering into the chambers, they are in effect what keeps the volunteers alive, if they should perish, this will put the lives of all our volunteers in danger, and eventually if not repaired, well....”

I'm afraid there is no way of overstating the seriousness of the situation Admiral, we need to act very quickly to either repair these power cells or wake the volunteers early to save their lives!”

“Very well gentlemen , thank you for your candour” replied Adama, “Would you gentlemen mind being our guests on the Galactica whilst I convene a meeting of the council of the twelve, I would like you both to explain our problem to them, and together we will try and work on the best solution to this critical situation?”

“Of course Admiral, we are eager to help in any way,” replied Dr. Coulson, “these souls are our responsibility and our life's work, we must not fail them now, or thirty five years of nurturing them for our legacy and salvation will be lost”, replied Dr. Coulson with tears in his eyes.

The Admiral was quick to reassure Dr. Coulson and his assistant, “Gentlemen, rest assured we will NOT fail you, and we will NOT fail them, these souls are our only hope of any real future here on Terra, we will find a way of resolving this, you have my word, you helped me in my hour of need Dr. Coulson and I can do no less for you”. Said Adama as he gently rested his hand on the old professors shoulder.

Adama continued,

“Gentlemen please give me one moment whilst I get a message to the council, I believe they are all on the surface of Terra, then please follow me to the wardroom and I will have my stewards provide you with some food and drinks, you both look shattered”.

“Helm, Barry, you have the conn, Boomer and I have urgent business in the wardroom, we may be quite some time, so please be prepared for a long night...”

“Aye sir I have the conn”, replied Helmsman Barry Holmes.

Within two hours the entire council had been summoned to the Galactica, most of them not best pleased at being disturbed as they were about to retire, it now being almost midnight!

Adama duly ushered the council and Boomer to their seats in the wardroom and didn't waste any time getting to the point;

“Ladies and Gentlemen, my apologies for disturbing your rests but we have a problem that needs our urgent attention...”

“So urgent it couldn't wait till tomorrow Adama?” replied Sire Valentine with more than a hint of sarcasm.

“Now come Sire Valentine I'm sure Adama wouldn't wake us at this time to come here if this wasn't very urgent, right Adama?” countered Siress Loretta.

“Yes right Ladies and Gentlemen” began Adama, “We have encountered a critical malfunction with the power units on the four Genesis ships, the very power units that keep the cryogenic chambers functioning, the ones that are keeping our volunteers alive and well!”

“I will yield to my colleagues from Genesis One to explain...... Gentlemen?”
Adama gestured to professors Coulson and Allam.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is Dr Allam, I am the senior technician under Dr. Coulson and responsibility for those chambers lies with me, I would like you all to please take a look at this sample power unit we have brought with us, what you are looking at is the same type of power unit we have on all of the cryo chambers on all four of the Genesis ships, please tell me what you see council members?”

“Can you be more specific Dr. this is not the hour for guessing games”, mumbled Sire Galen, a man not known for his patience;

“Apologies Ladies and Gentlemen, I would ask that you take particular note of the seals surrounding the units, between the metal battery casing and transparent circuit casing here,” pointing at the seal with his index finger, “do you see these tiny dark lines?”

He then proceeded to hand a powerful magnifying glass around the room as each council member studied the sample in turn.

“Are those cracks Dr.? The seal looks like it's beginning to perish on this unit?” enquired Sire Dmitri;

“Indeed they are cracks”, replied Dr Allam ruefully, “The same cracks are beginning to form on a few of the units, I have had my teams study every single cryo unit in the fleet”. “Fortunately it's just a small number at this time”, added Dr. Coulson, “but once one starts to go, well it's only a matter of time before they all do, as they were all manufactured, and installed at the same time, and have all been exposed to exactly the same conditions since the volunteers were placed in them all those years ago!”

Sire Marcus, the Touron Council member then asked, “So your saying we are in a race against time to get them repaired or....”

“Or our people will die” barked Dr. Coulson, with desperation in his voice!

“Please Ladies and Gentlemen of the council and military, we need your help, we need to come up with an answer quickly, we can of course perform temporary repairs to these seals, but the hard truth is we don't have any replacements, our guess is that when we had to travel through that nebula, the Omega Nebula, as you all did after us to get here, well that those damn gases that rendered your crews so disorientated commander, and damaged the seals on the Galactica's bulkheads have also damaged the seals on our power units!”

“I can't believe that gods damn nebula has come back to haunt me, us, again, sorry for my colourful lingo Ladies”, added Adama blushing,

“Yes, yes that sounds perfectly feasible professors”, continued Adama, “we have checked all the other vessels in the fleet and we did have to affect some repairs after travelling through the nebula, but of course the Phoenix fleet was not with us at that time, the other civilian ships were.”

“So it would appear we have a dilemma”, added Sire Dmitri, “we aren't ready to receive these people on the surface of Terra, having only just completed housing the existing civilians, and nowhere permanent yet in place for them elsewhere!”

He continued, “You say you can carry out temporary repairs to the seals to buy us some time professors, but what then, eventually it looks like we will have to make the decision to wake them up, with or without a home for them, as the cryo chambers will no longer be able to sustain their lives for much longer, am I correct?”

“You are indeed correct Sire”, answered the younger scientist.

“If we only had somewhere to house them whilst we repatriated them into our population, somewhere comfortable until we can build them a home”, he added.

“Oh but we have and we can!” exclaimed Sire Galen, “Have you all forgotten about the four luxury liners bequeathed by my late father, the owner of the former Scorpia shipyards, they have been in mothballs haven't they?”

“Due to the expense of running them and the manpower needed, they were deemed an unnecessary luxury in times of hardship, we needed to get the Agrobots and Hospital ships up and running, the factory ships needed to be put in full use, as did the Tilium mining vessels, this has all been done and most of our people are now on the surface of Terra, save for a few skeleton crews on the civilian ships to keep them running, so therefore we can fully utilise these ships and the liners, can we not?”

He continued,
“Gentlemen, I know those liners like the back of my hand having worked on the blueprints with my father, even after all this time, and I can tell you now, those poor souls are going to need all the support and care we can possibly give them when we finally wake them to tell them of the destruction of our home worlds by those Cylon traitors!” Suffice to say these vessels are the finest civilian luxury liners ever to be built from my fathers shipyards, and as such would provide the perfect platform for us to repatriate those poor souls back into our society and also provide them with some much needed rest and recovery time.

“Their bodies and minds need to recover from the ordeal of being in stasis and the ordeal of the devastating news we have to give them all!”

“Thank you so much Sire, yes that would seem an ideal short term solution” replied Dr. Coulson, “it will take the pressure off us, whilst continuing to repair the seals as best we can” he added.

Adama then spoke,

“In the longer term we still need to find somewhere on Terra, not only fit and safe for them to settle, but indeed all our citizens down there to make a permanent home, our community is safe for now, but they are vulnerable to aerial attack, hence why my warriors have been working day and night on manoeuvres and my tech crews have been designing and manufacturing those new aircraft and vehicles.”

“We need to find everyone a safe haven, out of sight from above, to that end I propose we begin sending out long range patrols to map out this new planet, to find a safe and suitable place for us all to inhabit, or at least one where we can construct a safe one.”

“We need to learn about our new home quickly and find a permanent place to settle away from prying eyes for all our sakes, and that has just been made all the more urgent by this discovery.

“Sire Galen, if I spare you as many men as you need, if I temporarily halt work on the new Pegasus and redirect the men to your control, how soon do you think you can get those four liners up to a state of readiness to receive our new guests?”

Sire Galen replied, “Well two were taken out of mothballs temporarily to house some of our civilians whilst we made repairs and strengthened the hull plating on the civilian ships, so I could, depending on what we find over there, probably get them ready in four to six weeks but that's just a rough guess Admiral.”

Adama then turned to Doctors Coulson and Allam, “Will that be soon enough do you think?”

Dr. Allam replied;

“Well, it's not a question of getting those seals fixed, that won't take more than a couple of weeks with help from your tech guys Sir, it's more a question of how long will they hold after repair, how long is a piece of string you could say, we can only surmise it will be soon enough, having said that, every day those volunteers remain in those caskets from now on is another day on borrowed time Sir!”

“Understood professor, I am not expecting you to commit to an exact timescale,

Adama continued,

“OK everyone, this is what I propose, I will divert as many men as needed to the professors to get those seals repaired, and as many as I can to Sire Galen to get those ships up and running, and for my part I will re double my efforts to get as many recon patrols out there as I can to map out the surface of Terra from the air and ground, if there is somewhere suitable for us to live, and hide, my men will find it, you have my word on that.”

…..And so began a frantic race against time to repair the seals on the cryo chambers, fortunately the damage was not as bad as first feared, but the news had tempered the mood in the fleet and injected a new found sense of urgency. As promised, Adama had diverted workers from the Pegasus to help repairs on the chambers, and to re-introduce the four luxury liners back into full service in readiness for the fateful day the volunteers would be woken.

Having their numbers finally swelled by new blood was a day the civilians were looking forward to with relish, yet the powers that be were dreading!!

Scene 2 – A Home for our Children

Four teams of expert engineers were hand picked by Adama from the crews working on the Pegasus, each assigned one of the four liners, they were to check every nut and bolt, everything from the lounges, suites, guest rooms, pool decks, theatres, the entire ships, especially the life support centres and engines. Fortunately two of the vessels had been partially opened up to help rehabilitate the old and sick civilians when they discovered the Phoenix fleet, these would be easier to bring back into service, the other two not so...

Sire Galen had taken full control of proceedings, anxious to get a first look at his fathers legacy, he had not been on any of the vessels since they were launched when he was just nineteen years old, which was the first, and last time he had ever seen them, until now!

The ships had been dispatched to Adar's ghost fleet in such haste, they hadn't even been named yet or had an official unveiling, they had been a thorn in Sire Galen's side for most of his life, almost causing his fathers shipyards and leisure business to go bankrupt, and almost ruining both his parents health at the time.

But that was then, and although not a particularly affable man, Sire Galen had a good heart and was not a selfish man, he also knew that if these ships proved their worth, his family name would live on in the history books of the colonies as the philanthropists who did more then most to secure the future of the next generation of colonists.

As the first of the four teams approached their assigned ship, they were taken aback by the sheer scale of this beautiful, yet mystical ship, she was covered in a film of some kind, a residue from the many dusty asteroid belts and clouds they had encountered on their travels to Terra, she was a ship from a bygone age, a time when money was no object and opulence was the order of the day!

The ship they had been assigned was one of two that was never used to repatriate the civilians, with a capacity for five thousand passengers and two thousand crew, only two were needed at the time, therefore two would be easy to re- introduce. Theirs was one of the larger crews and had been given the task of recommissioning one of the two ships that had not been accessed until now.

They attempted to view inside one of the massive transparent domes, allowing the downward thrust on their shuttle to gently blow away enough dust and residue to give them their first tantalising view inside, but all this did was make them more eager to land and begin their eerie search of this ghost vessel.

They decided to land on an outside platform to the stern of the craft and begin their search from there......

They finally landed and reported in,

“Shuttle commander Hayes to Galactica, we have just landed on our objective, we have conducted our initial sweep of the exterior, she appears to be in excellent shape, although she needs a good scrub, we cannot relay any news on the interior as yet, we tried to blow away some dust but she's being very coy with us, we are about to begin an internal sweep from the stern forward, over”

“Galactica to commander Hayes, acknowledged”

The team were about to embark on a journey back in time, to when the wealthier colonists had little to concern them, other than how to spend their money and leisure time. In complete contrast to their current plight, the opulence of the ship seemed almost obscene to the crew in modern terms, she, and her three sister ships would simply have never been built today!

The first thing that struck the crews were the seals that had been placed over the rear hatchway, it was as if the ship wasn't going to reveal herself without a little gentle persuasion, as if she was teasing them before allowing them to get any closer, this was not going to be easy!

These seals were over thirty six years in place and were proving very stubborn to move, finally after almost an hour they managed to prise the massive hatchway open and they were inside.

Once inside they all started to cough, before they had chance to don their masks, the musty smell of stale air gripped them, this was not only a ship from the past, but they were breathing air from the past, a period when life was good, paradoxically, just as the air had gone stale, so had the plight of the colonies,

- a thought not lost on commander Hayes.

After their initial surprise, they gradually adjusted to the smell of the stale air, and began their sweep of the huge craft, this was going to take days rather than the few hours first thought due to the complexity of the craft and the unforgiving hatchways they had to prise open one by one.
They gradually made their way deeper and deeper into the craft, and as each door was opened, a new discovery was revealed, but now was not the time to admire the beautifully crafted oak stairways and wall paintings hanging serenely, they had their orders and first priority was to get to the engine rooms.

They descended down into the cavernous bowels of the ship, eventually facing a massive reinforced door, leading to one of the two main engine rooms, fortunately this door was easier to open having not come into contact with any dirt or dust from outer space.
Inside the enormous engine room were two rows of eight separate powerful Tilium fuelled sub-light engines and two massive F.T.L fusion reactors, this was a complete surprise to the team of engineers, the technology used for F.T.L was still in the experimental stage when she was launched, this was when the engineers realised that Sire Galen's father was an engineering genius, it was not difficult to see how he made a fortune, The council members boasts of his fathers talent were not idle!

They then began the painstaking process of checking the seals, lubricant levels, power cells and all the main bearings, they were pleasantly surprised at the near perfection of the engines. These compartments had, for the main part of their existence been kept in a vacuum to help in their preservation, a precaution insisted upon by Sire Galen senior once the ships reached their destination, one that had paid off.

“Commander Hayes to Galactica, initial tests on the engines are completed, we have some very positive and some surprising news for you, the main engines are in pristine condition and there's something else, F.T.L drives!”

“Galactica core command, acknowledged” came the reply from the C.I.C ensign as Adama gestured to him to hand over his headset.

“Adama to commander Hayes, can you repeat your last message whilst I put you on speaker for the benefit of Sire Galen, I think he should hear this from you...”

“With pleasure sir” replied Hayes, “we have thoroughly checked the main engines and can report they are in almost perfect condition and.... there's more, there are two F.T.L fusion reactors as well, Sire, you father has bequeathed the fleet a most impressive vessel indeed, not only can she provide a luxurious place for our new guests to inhabit while their new homes are built, but she boasts some of the best engines I have ever seen, some of our old warships didn't have engines as good as these, we can learn much from your fathers technology!”

“Thank you commander Hayes”, replied Adama, “This is positive news, let's hope the other three prove to be as good and in similar condition....”

“Oh they will be” smirked Sire Galen, “My father never cut corners, and would have walked on hot coles for president Adar, he helped with the loan that got my dad's business off the ground, the two were very good friends, had it not been for Adar, my fathers shipping company may never have began at all, let alone prospered!”

“Then your boasts were not idle my friend, your fathers legacy will help secure the future of our people, may the Lords of Kobol bless your late fathers memory” smiled Adama as he shook the hand of a beaming Sire Galen.

This news gave a huge lift to all the fleet as it filtered through the colonial news network, within a month the ships had been recommissioned, the cabins had been prepared, the engines had been tested and all four ships were ready to receive the volunteers.

Meanwhile Professor Coulson's teams, helped by engineers on secondment from the Pegasus construction site had effected repairs to the seals on the cryo units.

Now for the critical decision on the volunteers, when and how many at each time to wake, and how to break to devastating news of the plight of the colonies!

Scene 3 – A Look Into The Future

Professors Coulson and Allam invited the council, Adama and Dr. Zee to Genesis One, to inspect the caskets and volunteers for themselves, then to a formal lunch meeting in their main crew mess hall.
The two men were anxious to showcase their life's work, and shed light on the reason for the paranoia the scientists all displayed in protecting their young and unborn legacies

First they began their tour with a long look at the many assembled species ranging from the smallest of insects to the largest of mammals, from embryos to fully grown adults perfectly preserved in various sized test tubes, jars and containers ranging in size.

They talked lovingly of the many creatures and species perfectly protected in the care of their airtight homes watched over by hundreds of dedicated men and women, who in turn had also given their futures to the advancement and preservation of all species known to man.

The guests were, for the first time, beginning to understand the complex task of nurturing and caring for a myriad of creatures, and an insight into the mind of Adar, who almost telepathically knew the day would come when the colonies would be betrayed by their Cylon servants, and rise once more.

This was to be the first time any of the council, save for Sire Dmitri, were allowed a glimpse at the volunteers in the flesh, as they filed past casket after casket, the council members were all visibly moved at the sheer scale of the entire operation.

Sire Bartos from Libra, Siress Sera from Aquaria and Lady Tracy of Harcourt from Picon could all be seen weeping as they stopped to view one of the thousands of caskets containing a girl of around eight, lying serenely next to her twin brothers casket. They then all took a few moments to each view a few of the human specimens on show as if there to please their guests and plea their case to be resurrected.

Finally after the emotional tour, the party all arrived at the somewhat sparse mess hall, in comparison to the Galactica's might and the luxury cruisers opulence, this ship was functional, but technologically impressive all the same.

The meeting, although critical had a strange air of informality, the council members and technicians all reassured by the calmness of the Admiral and Council President....

They all began to sit around various chairs and tables scattered around the mess hall when Sire Dmitri beckoned for the technicians looking on from nearby to come closer.

“People come closer, we need your input as well, please come, sit with us and eat, we don't bite” he said to the amusement of the council, this was when several of the technicians saw Dr. Zee for the first time since he was awoken. They were instantly calmed by his presence, they knew that if anyone was fighting their corner, it would be him, they needn't have worried, all were in complete accord as to the urgency of the situation.
Noticing the reaction of the technicians on seeing him, Dr. Zee decided to address them himself and explain how the volunteers were to be woken and cared for.

“My dear friends from the Genesis project, you all know who I am and who my father was, you all knew what this mission was all about and that this day would come, well, now is the time for you all to fulfil your destinies. These poor souls lying in stasis have come to the point of no return, we have little choice but to awake them from their blissful slumbers to face a terrible reality.

We must somehow, not only look after their physical needs on being woken early, but must find a way of breaking the devastating news that I and my father had to endure when we were woken, that our home worlds have been destroyed by those treacherous Cylons and there is no going back to the lives we once knew, that we are all that is left of humanity, and worst of all, that they are our best, last hope of survival, and a future here on Terra.

Earth is still but a distant dream, one that must wait until she is ready to receive us, and we are ready to approach them, our mission was always to either further humanities cause by beginning a new colony, or, in the event of our betrayal, rise like a Phoenix from the ashes to begin again, Adar named this fleet aptly, did he not?” he added rhetorically;

“Thanks to the generosity of the honourable Sire Galen, we have provided a new temporary home for our 20,000 fully mature volunteers, they will be housed on four luxury passenger liners, the remainder, the embryos and all the insects and mammals will be safe remaining here on the Genesis ships, as their containers have shown no breaches in their integrity, fortunately it is only the living humans in the full sized cryo chambers that are at risk at this time, therefore it is they we must concentrate all our efforts on.

“Ladies and Gentlemen technicians, we ask that you prepare for the awakening of our precious cargo as soon as possible, if any of you have any technical questions, please save these for Doctors Coulson and Allam later, any questions for the quorum or military then now is the time....”

The young genius then gestured to Sire Dmitri and Adama to address the Technicians....

“Adama, is it possible for you to patch me into colonial news network from here, I want to address all our people via the Galactica?” enquired President Sire Dmitri.

“Galactica, come in please Boomer, Adama to Galactica, can you set up a communication line to colonial news network for me from here, we wish to address the people of the fleet?”

“Galactica, Boomer to Genesis One, putting you through now commander;

Admiral Adama handed his headset to Sire Dmitri to address the people....

“Citizens of the fleet and on Terra, this is your president, Sire Dmitri addressing you all with grave news, we have encountered critical malfunctions on the caskets on board our four Genesis ships, these caskets have been keeping our sleeping comrades alive and well until now, but I have to tell you all now they are failing, we have been left with little choice than to wake our volunteers, if we do not their lives will be at risk!
Fortunately due to the generosity of council member Sire Galen who has donated, and recommissioned four of the finest pleasure cruisers to leave the Scorpia shipyards, we have a home prepared for them, our numbers are about to be swelled from some 86,000 to around 106,000 souls. We ask that anyone that comes into contact with our new guests extends every courtesy to them, they are about to be dealt a terrible blow upon their awakening, remember they have no inkling as to the terrible fate that befell our home worlds, we are about to shatter their dreams, may the Lords of Kobol bless them, and us all, your servant, President Sire Dmitri.”

Scene 4 – Raising The Dead

Finally came the fateful day, everything was in place to accept into the community a new influx of human beings.
The entire fleet and inhabitants of Terra held their collective breath as the first of hundreds of small vessels stood by to approach the four Genesis ships to ferry the precious cargo to their new homes, but first they had to be woken, screened and checked thoroughly.

The scientists and technicians all stood guard next to the caskets, one for every ten volunteers, they all had one thing in common, be they awake or asleep, they were all about to begin the hardest and most emotionally draining day of their lives!

Finally Dr. Allam gave the order to begin the process of waking the volunteers, a process that would require skill and patience, some would wake fairly quickly, some would take several hours.

Gradually the machines began to heat the core temperature of their bodies and the preservatives were slowly replaced by their own life giving blood stored under the chambers.

The pale lifeless bodies slowly began to regain colour, they were coming alive!

Time somehow seemed to stand still as the technicians all watched for signs of life from the caskets.
Unlike the time Dr. Zee and his father awoke, this was a far more controlled and measured process, the technicians knew the slower the volunteers were woken, the best chance of them being in good health and recovering more fully.

Minutes turned to hours as the watchful custodians of the new generation looked on in anguish when, after some two and a half hours a technician frantically beckoned over Dr. Allam with a huge grin on his face;

“Dr. one of mine is awake!” as he stared at the casket containing a young man of oriental descent, no more than 30 years of age, the young man looked directly at the technician and began to smile, the exact calming smile Dr. Zee and his father displayed after they awoke. Gradually, more and more volunteers awoke, then a green light began to flash on the casket of the first volunteer to wake, his casket had successfully completed his re-awakening and the lid began to open!

Gradually the young man began to rise from his man made cocoon and sat up, he looked around the cavernous cryo lab at the thousands of caskets and turned to the technician standing over him...

“How long have we been out” enquired the young man with surprising clarity, given he had not spoken in over thirty six years!

“I er I'm not sure how to er.....” the young technician was lost for words, not knowing how to break the news to the young man. Fortunately for him, Adama had walked over and interrupted the hapless man. As with all his colleagues on the science vessels, social skills were not his strength since they were not required when looking after the 'dead'.

“All your questions will be answered young man, but first we need to get you and the others up, dressed, cleaned up and then get some fluids and nutrients inside you all before giving you all a health check.” said Adam reassuringly; “When you are all fully awake and recovered we will address you all collectively, but please be patient, after all we don't want to have to explain 20,000 times do we?” he smiled to the young volunteer, who in turn gave a warm nod.

Then began the slow painstaking process of nurturing the army of souls back to health, with swarms of health workers, doctors and nurses from the four hospital ships all waiting to care for the new guests.
Like a well oiled machine, Dr. Coulson had everything working like a metronome, his life's work was about to be fulfilled, and yet he was surprisingly calm, his mood was more of utter relief that his 'children' had awoken successfully and before any harm came to them!

After each volunteer was given an initial check over by a nurse, they were given a high energy drink, helped into a shower, provided with a fresh body suit and taken by wheelchair to a waiting shuttle, first port of call for all would be a period of tests on one of the four state of the art hospital ships before being assigned one of the four pleasure cruisers to be temporarily housed.

It took a full 48 hours for all the volunteers to be checked over and repatriated to one of the liners, Adama and Sire Dmitri had agreed with Dr. Coulson that sooner rather than later the new guests would have to be given the fateful news of the plight of the colonies, a day they were all dreading!

To the delight of Adama, the council and the two senior scientists, Sire Galen had delivered on his promise by preparing the four liners to a specification that would have their new guests fully relaxed and re-invigorated within a couple of weeks. He had even managed to refill the swimming pools to the surprise of everyone, especially the volunteers, but soon they would start to ask questions, they would not be kept silent for much longer, their patience was not a given!

After two weeks and much soul searching, the council, Adama and the scientists agreed the time was right to address all the people of the colonies collectively, hence a special reception had been prepared for all. On the surface of Terra, the oft used huge bank of land used as an auditorium would be once more an amphitheatre for thousands, throughout the fleet all would be silent as the day came to break the news to, and formally welcome the volunteers to their new home and fellow survivors!

On board the four liners, the new guests were anxiously waiting to hear of the plight of the colonies in their absence, the massive pool decks on all the liners had been reconfigured, the pools were covered by temporary platforms and seating, giant screens had been erected, courtesy of the colonial news networks.

Desperate to put a positive spin on the devastating news, the Admiral and President had gone to a great deal of trouble to provide every comfort available to the volunteers, they had been well cared for since their awakening, they had been well fed and nourished, their needs had all been catered for, save one!

On one of the liners, a long table adorned with colonial flags had been erected on a makeshift stage containing seven chairs, each one having its own microphone, jug of water and glass neatly prepared, in front of each seat was the official name and title of the seven men who were about to address the new arrivals, followed by a full press conference for the media.

The whispers in the audience began to increase to an audible chatter as the seats began to fill, something was about to happen! After what seemed an eternity to the waiting volunteers, Adama, Boomer, President Dmitri, Sire Galen, Dr. Coulson, Dr. Allam and Dr. Zee all appeared from behind a curtain and slowly made their way to the front of the stage to take their allocated seats. Before they emerged Dr. Zee had a final reminder for them;
“ Please remember Gentlemen, our new guests are no ordinary people, they are, or were, the best of the best in their respective fields, and they will know if they are being deceived!”

Scene 5 – Shattered Dreams

To the right of the main table was a lectern where each in turn would make a presentation to the awaiting media and volunteers, as the men settled into their seats, a tall well groomed man in a designer suit approached the lectern to make an opening speech and introduce the delegates for the benefit of the new arrivals.

And so it began....

“Ladies and Gentlemen, honoured guests, distinguished military leaders and council members, and especially our newest guests from the Genesis project, my name is Timothy McAllister from the colonial T.V news network.
What you are about to hear is not meant to alarm you, but there are a great many things that have happened since you were all placed is stasis some 36 years ago, or yahrens as you all know them. You will be given as much time as you need to digest the information you are about to be given, and will be offered the opportunity to ask as many questions to our leaders here before you, as you wish, but please may we respectfully ask for your patience, as what you are about to learn will make for some very unpalatable listening.

The facts are to be revealed to you all and the awaiting media, but can we ask that you show due respect and courtesy to our delegates, this is going to be a very difficult and stressful task for them all, I will now introduce our distinguished leaders to you all, some you will be familiar with, some less so.”

“To the left of the stage is the President of the council of the twelve, and the president of the colonies, the honourable Sire Dmitri, to his left is honourable council member Sire Galen, the man who has provided our new guests with these wonderful facilities whilst being assimilated into our ranks, to his left is the Executive officer of the flagship of our battle fleet, Commander Paul Boomer, to his left and in the centre of the table is the Admiral of the colonial fleet, Lee Adama, to his left a man who needs no introduction, the mastermind of your care and conservation for the last thirty six years, Dr. Coulson, to his left is his protégé and successor, the man who has been watching over you all whilst in stasis, and who your lives have depended on, Dr. Allam, and finally, one who has been lying is stasis with you all together with his late father, one who rose to help us in our hour of need, Dr. Zee.”

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I give to you our honourable and respected leaders.”

After the eloquent reporter had finished his introduction, a polite, rather than rapturous round of applause filled the makeshift auditorium, however, the new guests were in no mood for introductions, what they needed were answers!

First to approach the lectern was Dr. Coulson, by now a frail 85 year old man, yet instantly recognisable to a great many of the volunteers, he was chosen to speak first as he had the respect of all the new guests and it was thought it would help the cause of the leaders if he were first to break the ice....

The new arrivals were indeed captivated by him, although not an eloquent speaker, he had their ear, total respect and gratitude, but the sight of him standing before them, no longer a forty nine year old man in his prime caught them all off guard and staved off any initial hostility to their hosts!

Tears were not far away from his eyes as the old professor struggled to gather his composure, he had to adjust quickly from being a near recluse on Phoenix One to addressing the entire population of the survivors of the colonies, however, he cleared his throat, took a large gulp of water and began....

“My dear children, my friends, my legacy, where to begin...

I guess the first question on all your lips is why now, why have we been woken now, rumours have been spreading I'm sure among you as to the plight of the colonies, those questions will be answered by others, but I will address the first issue now; the reason you have been woken my friends is very simple, if we hadn't done so you will all have perished, yes died, those caskets that have held you all in their loving care for the last thirty six years were failing, the seals were giving way on the power units keeping you all alive, so in short we had no choice as we had no replacements.

However, fortunately, thank the Lords of Kobol, you are all safe and well, they have done their job and you have been delivered back to us safely.

My job is also done now, as you can see I am now a very old and tired man, I will be relinquishing my command of the Genesis ships to my dear and trusted friend and partner, Dr. Peter Allam with immediate effect, I ask you all to look to him now as your point of contact until you have all been successfully assimilated into the ranks of your new hosts, and rest easy my friends, for I have learned over the past few months, that the men you see sitting behind me, your leaders, are the finest of men, your futures are safe in their care, do not be troubled.
I will say no more to you now, but hand over to your new temporary custodian, my dear friend Dr. Allam.”

At this point many of the new guests were beginning to cry openly, Dr. Coulson was the only living soul some of them remembered from before their period of stasis, in short they were afraid, afraid of their new surroundings, new hosts and new circumstances, which were yet to be fully revealed!

Dr. Allam was next to approach the lectern, his dry wit was in stark contrast to his mentor, but he knew the volunteers were desperate to hear of the plight of the colonies, so decided to be as brief as possible....

“My friends, many of you will remember me as a twenty five year old snot gobbling nerdy creep hanging onto the coat tails of Dr. Coulson, waiting for him to give me a break.... well I haven't changed much I can tell you that.”

His comments had the assembled masses roaring with laughter, almost instantly his comments struck a chord with the volunteers.

“Well at least I don't have to put up with him whipping my ass at pyramid any more, in thirty six years I think I beat him twice, gods damn it, even then I had to cheat!” I won't garble on my friends as I know your all anxious to get many questions answered, but rest assured, I am here for you all, always, and should you need me I will be sitting comfortably in his old seat, on board Genesis One.”

At which point he pointed mockingly at Dr. Coulson,

“Jeez I thought he would never retire, seriously though my friends, a finer more dedicated man to his cause and vocation you will never find anywhere, and I thank the Lords of Kobol for his leadership and guidance over the last three and a half decades, his job is done now, I have the easy part.
It just remains for me to say may the Gods bless you my friend and enjoy a very well earned and long overdue retirement.”

Putting Doctors Coulson and Allam up first proved to be a master stroke, the assembled masses had temporarily forgotten their anguish and were busy in rapturous applause for their father, leader and savoir, but this wouldn't last for long, and as the applause began to die down, Adama and Sire Dmitri looked at each other with dread, and as Dmitri was about to take to his feet, he was gently pushed back down by Adama,

“No this one's on me Sire” he said smiling at the president....

“My name, for the benefit of our new friends is Lee Adama, son of the late William Adama, admiral to the colonial fleet. Dear friends, distinguished guests, press and media, to all those watching on colonial T.V , and mostly to our newest friends from the Genesis project, what I am about to divulge may not be news to many of you, but I ask that you indulge me whilst I explain our plight to those that are unaware of certain facts, and in particular to our new guests.

Our dear departed President who you will all remember with fondness, Adar, had a vision, to create a lasting legacy for our people, the Phoenix Fleet, it was hopefully to be the start of a new colony, but if necessary, the birth of a new nation from the ashes of our destruction at the hands of our sworn enemies, the Cylons.
It must be apparent to you all now that the latter ensued, our so called new friends betrayed us whilst you were all sleeping in your cryogenic chambers!

During the armistice back on Caprica all those years ago my brother and I were on patrol at the very moment the treaty was being signed by Adar and Count Baltar. As we conducted our recon patrol in our vipers, we encountered a massive wave of Cylon raiders bearing down on the fleet orbiting Caprica.
My brothers ship was destroyed just short of the fleet, I barely managed to get back to my ship, the Galactica, in time to warn the fleet, we were forbidden to launch vipers in case of antagonising the Cylons, we were duped, as our ships tried desperately to launch their vipers, they, and simultaneously our home worlds, were attacked by a thousand odd Cylon raiders!
I have to tell you all now, we were all but destroyed, of all the warships in our fleet, only the Battlestar Galactica survived.

When it was clear there was no option but to flee those ruthless traitors, my father put word out that every ship in the colonies able to fly, should rendezvous at a secret location with the Galactica.
Henceforth began our desperate escape, finally having slipped the grasp of our enemies and made good our escape, my father told of a sister world, a thirteenth colony known in ancient scriptures to be out here somewhere, a world descended from the colonies, one that broke away, on a distant planet known as Earth.

“On our quest to find Earth, we encountered a small probe from the fabled planet, to our horror it revealed to us a primitive planet some 700 years or so behind our technology!

As you can imagine, we were devastated, we couldn't return to the colonies, having been destroyed and closely monitored by those bond breaking Cylons, and we couldn't approach Earth as their technology was inadequate to help us.

We did however, have one vital break, thanks to encountering our old friends on the thought to be destroyed Battlestar Pegasus, our dear late friend, commander Cain gave us the co-ordinates to the planet we now orbit and call home, Terra, one we have only just discovered ourselves and are busy mapping out this very moment as I speak.

Thanks to Dr. Zee's Late father, Dr. Zelan who led us here, she is as perfect a home as it's possible to find, except for the lack of civilisation, save for ourselves, and of course lack of shelter.”

One of the volunteers spokesmen shouted to Adama;

“Admiral, please tell us of the Pegasus, where is she now?”

Adama looked coldly at the middle aged man, and without hesitation replied;

“My dear friend, the Galactica, as of now is the only surviving Battlestar, the crew of the Pegasus engaged a lone Cylon Base Star at the Omega Nebula, a gas cluster we passed through to get here, she managed to destroy the base ship at the cost of her own life, the Galactica is the only warship left, save for two cruisers we have since built here orbiting Terra!

On this I can impart some good news however, we have began work on a new Pegasus, as I promised our people, she is as of now around seventy percent complete, in fact all but the landing bays are complete!”

One more thing I have to announce having the consent of the council, we now know the star system where Earth lies, but will NOT approach them until such time as we are powerful enough to defend ourselves, make no mistake my friends, Earth is a warring planet and may prove as deadly and hostile as the enemy we were forced to flee!

The spokesman was not finished, he continued his questioning;

“So to be clear Admiral for the sake of my fellow volunteers, we are all that's left from the colonies now orbiting this new planet, the Phoenix fleet, your old civilian and mostly obsolete fleet, and one warship of note, we cannot go back, as the Cylons will be waiting, and we cannot approach Earth as she is too primitive to help us, and indeed may be hostile, and as for this new planet , Terra I think you called it, it is uninhabited and without shelter, is that about it?”

The Admiral looked stunned as the man continued to probe him, struggling to offer words of comfort.

The seven men on the long table all looked on as Adama took a long drink from his water, he looked over his shoulder at his fellow leaders on the top table and hung his head,
as he did so, Sire Dmitri stood up to approach the lectern to relieve the emotionally drained Admiral and spare him more anguish.

Scene 7 – Interventions and Revelations

Meanwhile, on the surface of Terra, Adama's reconnaissance patrols were busy scanning the planet from above and on the ground, one such patrol were tasked with mapping out the edges of a mountain range some three hundred miles from the peninsula containing the new encampment.

It was a huge alpine region of breathtaking beauty, the like many hadn't seen since the halcyon days back on Caprica or their own home worlds. Shuttles and Raptors performed hundreds of passes overhead and gradually scanned deep into the heart of the rugged alpine forests and streams, but something wasn't right, one huge area under a cluster of mountains appeared on their scanners to be hollow, almost like a honeycomb.

Having recorded the grid references of the mountain range, the overhead recon aircraft directed the ground teams to the exact area where the strange caves or hollows were situated....

“Recon patrol four, we have been given a six figure grid reference in the heart of the alpine region, we are investigating; reference SU 365 167 acknowledge?”

“Galactica core command, grid reference SU 365 167 acknowledged and recorded.”

Gradually the patrol scaled the rugged mountainside, when around five hundred feet up from the base, they encountered a small opening, it seemed to be almost beckoning them to investigate further.
Leaving a group of four men to guard the entrance to this apparent cave, the twelve remaining men gradually probed inside, sweeping from side to side, initially they found nothing remarkable.

They continued inside the cave for around five hundred yards when the inside of the huge mountain opened up into a massive cavern, the men looked on in astonishment at the colourful rocks and quartz adorning the sides of the walls, their way lit as they descended further by prisms of light reflecting off the stream below. They found the signals on their radios getting weaker, so decided to place markers to help find their way back, as further and further they went into the heart of the mountain, fissures appeared and huge seams of what appeared to be coal, the men continued for miles and miles, completely losing track of time, mesmerised by the beauty of this place, like the inner sanctum of a church or cathedral.
The realisation finally dawned upon them all, what they had found was a world within a world, and with their technology, a place they could reclaim, big enough to house and protect all the population, could their prayers have finally been answered?

To be continued in part 2.....

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:51 pm 
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Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage To Earth Episode 8 – Flesh and Blood Part 2

Scene 7 - Interventions and Revelations, Continued from Part one;

…...They continued inside the cave for around five hundred yards when the inside of the huge mountain opened up into a massive cavern, the men looked on in astonishment at the colourful rocks and quartz adorning the sides of the walls, their way lit as they descended further by prisms of light reflecting off the stream below. They found the signals on their radios getting weaker, so decided to place markers to help find their way back. As further and further they went into the heart of the mountain, fissures appeared and huge seams of what appeared to be coal, the men continued for miles and miles, completely losing track of time, mesmerised by the beauty of this place, like the inner sanctum of a church or cathedral.
The realisation finally dawned upon them all, what they had found was a hidden world in a mountain range, and with their technology, a place they could reclaim, big enough to house and protect all the population, could their prayers have finally been answered?

They were mesmerised and in awe, for once could lady luck have finally smiled upon their people, a desperate search for a safe haven successfully concluded, one ready made by nature itself hewn underground!

They had to steal themselves away from this beautiful kaleidoscope of prisms, shapes and colours, knowing their comrades at the mouth of the cave were unable to hear them, they decided to head back, they had seen enough and sufficient evidence had been gathered to contact the Galactica with the news!

Finally they reached the mouth of the cave to breath the sweet air of Terra, a planet as yet unspoilt by mankind's toxic waste and greed. Collectively they punched the air with glee!

Their four comrades all looked at them as if they were mad, but they didn't care, they had done it, they had found a safe haven big enough to hide all the people left in the fleet and in the encampment, now all they had to do was try and get a message to the Galactica, and in turn to Adama on the pleasure cruiser, desperately seeking some glad tidings to impart to his new, distraught guests!

“Recon patrol four grid reference SU 365 167 to Galactica, please respond, repeat, recon patrol four, to Galactica, please respond......”

Due to a rain shower, the reception on their radios was interrupted when finally.....

“Galactica to recon patrol four, pass your message, over”

“Please tell the Admiral we've done it, please put us on speaker so the crew can hear...”

“Go ahead recon four, your on speaker”.

“Listen up Galactica, we've done it, we have found a massive labyrinth of caves and passageways that goes on forever, it's inside the mountain range some 300 miles from camp, there is more than enough room for all our people to settle and make a secure home away from sight, please pass on to the Admiral, over..”

The roar on the Galactica came out through the radio of the patrol team, their message had got through, but telemetry between the Galactica and the pleasure cruiser holding the presentation and press conference was difficult due to the noise levels on both ships.

Helmsman Barry Holmes was still the acting C/O due to Adama and Boomer both being present at the conference. Holmes was a very confident and impressive man, the role of helmsman to some, was the most difficult duty in the ship, navigating a vessel the size of a small city through the stars was not a job for the faint hearted.

He was in no mood to disturb the Admiral as he knew he was probably knee deep in fending off a series of awkward questions from the new arrivals, and waited for more concrete news from the away team, deciding to order them back to camp to report to him from there where the signal would be much stronger.

Upon ordering all patrol teams back to camp, the painful wait began....

Meanwhile on the pleasure cruiser, things were getting very awkward and heated for the leaders, Sire Dmitri had seen enough and was approaching the lectern to give the Admiral a break from all the barrage of questions, both men's usual composure was wearing thin, one more question on why the volunteers had been awoken and Dmitri snapped!

“ENOUGH! I have heard enough from you ungrateful complaining fools...”

As he was about to let rip at the middle aged spokesperson from the volunteers, the media all zoomed in their camera's to his face, the beads of sweat and ruddy colour on his cheeks were clearly captured on T.V for all to see, but he didn't care, he was seething at the lack of respect for the Admiral.

“Let me make a few facts abundantly clear to all you ignorant, and I use the term deliberately.... people from the Genesis ships;

Our, and your Admiral, and indeed all the leaders assembled before you on this table behind me, have had to endure the horrors of seeing their home planets ripped apart by our so called friends, the Cylons, your Admiral, in point of fact, lost his kid brother in trying to warn our fleet of the deception of the Cylons, at the very moment the peace treaty was being signed, we were being attacked, he also lost his mother during the said attack, and his home, and shortly after his new wife!

My council, the quorum of the twelve, to which I am honoured to be the president, have spent the last thirty five years helping the cause of our civilian souls, giving their lives over to the advancement and salvation of these remnants of what is left of the colonies.

Whilst you have all being cosily cared for in your little beds, our civilian population have had to face near starvation and annihilation, the coldness of space, in obsolete vessels, with no real hope of a future, and the loss of their homes and families back in the colonies. They knew we couldn't return as the Cylons were waiting, and they learned that Earth was in no position to help us, as we have already explained, our only hope was to keep pushing forwards, into an unknown and uncertain destiny.”

Looking at the audience whilst pointing behind him to the top table he continued....

“To you all I say this, do not look to any of them for blame, for you are the lucky ones, you have been very well cared for by the scientists on the four Genesis ships, who have also given their lives over to you!”

You have been dealt a hand which you must play, as we have all had to play ours for countless years here in space.
Whilst you all slept, we have been dealt blow after blow, and even when we thought we had finally found a safe haven, we encountered the damn Cylons again, losing the Pegasus and her brave crew in destroying a lone Base Star they encountered.

Now we fully realise that all of this has come as a huge shock for you all, one we anticipated, and to that end, I feel the time is now right to show you all a film we have prepared for all to view, in it a great deal of your questions will be answered, it was filmed back then on the fateful day of our betrayal, it lasts around thirty minutes, after which time, copies will be made available to all news networks, and any individual representing the volunteers.

We hope you will find this informative, and that you will show your leaders due respect in asking your questions thereafter, something you haven't done so far!

I need to make you all aware, there are many people in this film who have perished to bring it to us, in it you will see our people slaughtered and homes burned, if you feel this too much to bear then I suggest you leave the auditorium now, as we will not stop once it begins.

This film has been classified until this day, to be shown after you were awoken, indeed Admiral Adama's late wife is included, she was a reporter for Colonial News Network when we were attacked on Caprica.
Therefore, to save the further suffering of our Admiral, he has been excused by me from viewing this in public, therefore can I ask you show a little empathy to his emotional state on his return from a break, this has all been very hard for him to take.

After this thirty minute film, a full press conference will begin, we are going to take a lunch break now so we, your leaders, can confer in private, I ask you all for silence during this film, Please begin.”

Dmitri gestured over his shoulder to the presentation team to prepare to run the film.

Scene 8 – Serena's Anguish

The film begins on the planet Caprica with a celebration of the newly signed armistice.....

“This is Serena from Colonial news TV reporting from Caprica on a momentous day for all of us, a day we dreamed of, a day of peace and celebration. All around as dusk descends over Caprica City fireworks are being lit as far as the eye can see. People are dancing in the streets, strangers are openly embracing as news filters through that the treaty has indeed been signed by our dear President Adar and the honourable liaison between the quorum of the twelve and Cylons, Count Baltar.

Hundreds of years of hostility and mistrust have been put aside as our brave leaders have brokered a new treaty with our new friends the Cylons.

Petty differences have been cast aside and we can at last look to the future with optimism, wait, what's this I see overhead, oh my, a Cylon fly past in our honour, this is a surprise, I see a flight of Cylon aircraft swarming overhead in formation, probably a fly past to honour our council, what a lovely gesture by our new friends, I'm sure it will be greatly appreciated by.....”

As Serena breaks off to look above, the camera pans up and we see a massive phalanx of Cylon raiders swarm overhead, as they pass over the city they turn back towards the government buildings.....

Serena continues her broadcast;

“They, er, they seem to be heading straight for us, if I didn't know better I would be very afraid now, let's take a moment to watch our new friends as they”......

Almost as soon as the words left Serena's mouth, the Cylons dived at speed toward the very place she was reporting from, then without warning they opened fire on the unsuspecting civilians and film crew below!

“OH MY GODS, WE ARE BEING ATTACKED, this cannot be happening! The Cylons above us are firing upon innocent bystanders, we are going to have to take cover, OH MY GODS, we have been betrayed!

A man could be seen shouting as Serena's camera crew continued to film the devastating attack, “Lady, take cover” he shouted to Serena, “That building is about to collapse, you have to take cover”, no sooner had he pushed Serena to safety, he could be seen running to help others, as he is crushed to death by the falling masonry.

Serena could be heard shouting Boxey, Boxey, the film then ends abruptly.

A male reporters voice can then be heard as footage of waves of Cylon raiders are filmed above attacking Caprica, the voice utters coldly, “Ladies and Gentlemen, for the records, what you are witnessing is not a hoax, we are being attacked by Cylon raiders from above, our Cities are burning, as we watch on in horror we are learning that other planets are being attacked, Tauron, Picon and others are under attack, where are the fleet, where is our protection?”

In The name of Kobol, where is the Atlantia and the fleet, help us, Adar help us, your people are dying down here!”

The male voice can then be heard weeping as the camera pans round from a high vantage point on a hill to a panoramic view of a city in flames, wave after wave of Cylon raiders are seen firing into the streets of the cities below, and there is nothing, and no-one to stop them!

The footage continues for a full ten minutes, crossing over sporadically to film crews on other planets of the colonies, all engulfed in flames, and still no news of the fleet at anchor orbiting the home planets.

Finally, we see Serena several hours later, where down on the surface of Caprica, news has spread of a Viper landing near a homestead.
We see a crowd gathering as Serena and her crew continue to film, the crowd can be seen walking towards the lone Viper with two men standing nearby.

Ever the professional, Serena orders her crew to continue filming as one of the crowd angrily confronts one of the two men, none other than a young Lee Adama, accompanied by his late father, Admiral William Adama!

“Where were ya boy,” the man holding a farmers pitchfork shouted as he grabbed the young Adama's tunic, “where were you when our planets were being attacked, where were ya”

“Let him speak” replies Serena calmly, “I want to know where you were as well! All of you! We waited,we watched and prayed, and you never came!”

“Most of us are dead, replies Lee 'Apollo' Adama, the fleet is all but destroyed”.

“But you are here”

“From the Battlestar Galactica, replies Apollo,

“It survives?” Enquires Serena,


“But what of the President and the Council of twelve and....all the other colonies?”

“All destroyed”. interrupts William Adama,

“Commander Adama!” Replies Serena, shocked to see the Council member and commander of the Galactica, it's true then, we are defeated, doomed?”

Serena's young son Boxey can then be heard asking, “Can I ride in your ship sir?”

“Fighter planes are no place for little boys” Apollo coldly replies,

Serena counters, “They are going to have to be if our people are going to survive. We must fight back!

William Adama replies,

“Yes we are going to fight back, but not here, not now, not in the colonies, not even in this star system. Let the word go forth to every man, woman and child who survived this holocaust; tell them to set sail at once in every assorted vehicle that will carry them.

The male reporter continued..... “And the word went forth to every outpost of humanity, and they came – the Aries, the Gemons, the Virgos, the Scorpios, the Pisceans and the Sagittarans. In all, two hundred and twenty ships, representing every colony, colour and creed in the star system. The human race might have one more chance, but first it would have to survive the alliance, the elements and the unknown dark and sinister threats that would lie ahead!”

Footage was then shown from space as civilian ships from all the colonies gathered for a rendezvous with the last surviving warship, Battlestar Galactica.

The voice continued....

“Ladies and Gentlemen, what you are witnessing are scenes from thirty six years ago, our last surviving humans, in some 220 odd ships leaving the colonies for the last time, never to see their homes again! Until we encountered your fleet, the Phoenix Fleet, we believed we were the only surviving members of the human race. With few alternatives, we set sail for the lone planet described by the late William Adama, one mentioned in ancient scriptures, the fabled thirteenth colony known as Earth!”

“We have, as you now know, been dealt another hammer blow with the news that, on recovering a probe from the said planet, that not only is she some five thousand years, or Yahrens behind our technology, and is in fact a warring set of differing tribes, a planet that may yet prove to be as hostile as the Cylon tyranny we were forced to flee!”

Finally, the film came to a close, but not before footage was shown from various ships in the fleet showing mothers trying to comfort their children, fathers begging warriors for food, differing factions arguing for the best berths on the ships, and the heartbreaking sight of the old and frail dying before reaching the promised land.

The footage finally, and mercifully, ended. Hoards of volunteers were now weeping openly at the horrors they had just witnessed, at which the smartly dressed reporter from the Colonial news TV Network approached the lectern once more.

“So now you know Ladies and Gentlemen pilgrims, civilians, volunteers, you now have something of an insight as to the plight of the colonies in your absence, please do not judge us, and your leaders too harshly, they have seen much and suffered greatly since you were all put in stasis. Our leaders are tired, but they are strong, and with your help,we can rise again from the depths of despair and make this planet called Terra, a new and fitting home for all our people.... so say we all?”

No reply came back, the audience still too stunned at what they had just witnessed.

From behind a curtain, Adama was informed the film had been screened and that the mood among the audience had softened on witnessing it. He would have his viewing in private, it showing footage of his late wife Serena he had never seen before.

Finally, as the leaders finished their refreshments and prepared to face their inquisitors once more, a message finally came through from the Galactica, they were about to be thrown a lifeline before retaking their seats in the auditorium.

“Gentlemen, a message has come from the Galactica, an officer called Barry Holmes is asking for you sir, you can take it here” said a stage hand to Adama pointing to a radio.

“Adama here, what is it Barry, what have you got, I was just about to retake my seat out in the bear pit!”

“Sorry Admiral but your gonna want to hear this, its the breakthrough we have been praying for sir, I am handing you over to one of our patrol commanders to explain.....”

“Admiral Adama here, pass your message son”

The young man's voice was full of excitement,

“Admiral, I have just returned from a recon patrol on the surface of Terra, my team and I have been checking out that huge mountain range three hundred miles from the encampment. We responded to co-ordinates sent to us by the raptors above telling us of what appeared to be a set of caves in the mountains, we scaled the side of the mountain to an opening in a cave and.... well sir, what we found left us speechless, sir it's colossal, as far as the eye can see, we entered the caves and encountered miles upon miles of tunnels, plenty big enough for a man to walk through full height, sir I'm talking miles and miles of hidden caves, we nearly didn't find the entrance!”

“Whoa son slow down,” replied Adama “I'm trying to digest this, your saying you have found caves, hidden from view from the sides and above, big enough to take all our people in, away from view, and solid rock walls, air, water all in abundance inside?”

“Yes, yes sir all in abundance, even light from firefly's lighting our way as we probed further, we only scratched the surface as we were losing radio contact with our guys guarding the entrance outside. Sir, we could easily line the walls of these caves and make them a fit home for our people, at least until....”

“At least until we rebuild our civilisation and the Battle fleet, thank you so much er...” replied Adama.

“Johns Sir, corporal Johns is the name Admiral”,

“Well done in deed Captain, as of now, you are captain Johns young man, keep this up and you will have a big future ahead of you son, bless you and er, hold the line, I may need you again in a while OK?”

“Understood sir, standing by,” replied the new captain gleefully.

Scene 9 - Facing the Barrage

Finally, their composure restored, the hierarchy of the colonies emerged and retook their seats, to their collective amazement, a round of applause became louder and louder, finally into a crescendo of cheers and whistles, the shame and embarrassment of the volunteers was self evident.

The seven men all stood and nodded to acknowledge the contrition of their new friends, thinly disguised as adulation!

They might just escape the day alive, but first they had to endure the press conference and the dreaded media, hence Adama decided to keep the news of the discovery a secret, at least until things became clearer.

Adama's chief antagonist and spokesperson to the volunteers stood to speak first,

“Here we go” muttered Adama under his breath to his comrades,

“Admiral, Mr. President, dear leaders, I er, that is to say we, owe you all a huge apology, we in the Genesis project were so wrapped up in our own perceived plight we didn't stop to think others had suffered so greatly whilst we slept, being watched over by our dear carers the scientists, for that, on behalf of all of us, I sincerely apologise”.

Adama and Dmitri glanced at each other and nodded, “Apology accepted” they said in unison.

Dmitri continued,

“That said, I am sure you all still have a great many questions for us, and so, for the sake of fairness can we ask each reporter to limit themselves to just one so everyone gets a chance, who would like to start?”

Predictably a mass of hands arose from the audience, the facilitator, the smartly dressed TV presenter pointed to a young lady looking nervously at the top table.

“Yes young lady, with the white blazer and pink blouse, what is your question, to whom do you address it and what organisation do you represent?”

“My name is Tamara Conlon from The New Colonists, a student periodical, my question is a general one for whoever will explain, with regards to awakening our new friends from the Genesis ships, and can I take this moment to welcome them,”

a short but polite ripple of applause follows as the young lady continued;

“Thank you, yes welcome to our community, my question is how did you our leaders, all decide the best way forward to accommodate them, and could you explain in more detail as to why you woke them now, and not, say in a few years time when we have had more time to prepare a home down on Terra?”

“I will take this one if I may”, countered Dr. Coulson, “the man to my left, Dr. Allam will not tell you this himself, he is far too modest, but it was his quick thinking and attention to detail that uncovered the weaknesses we found in their cryogenic chambers, he discovered they were failing and knew it would only be a matter of time until complete failure of all the units housing our volunteers, in short, we had no choice, they would eventually have perished in those caskets had we not awoken them now.”

The facilitator pointed to another young man in a grey suit,

“Thank you sir, my name is Simon Moran, I represent the Gemenon culture via a weekly radio debate channel, my question is to the Council, in particular to President Sire Dmitri;

Mister President, following on from the last question, taking that decision must have been a very difficult call for you all, how sure were you that the preparations were in place to accommodate them all, and that they could be successfully assimilated into the wider community?”

Sire Dmitri gave a withering look to the young man and replied,

“As has already been explained young Mr Moron, sorry Moran” titters rang out among the audience at this Freudian slip, “we simply had no choice, and yes I was always supremely confident, measures were quickly put in place to accommodate our new guests, look around you young man, a month ago this very vessel we are aboard was still in mothballs, full of dirt and dust, still sealed from thirty six years ago....”

“The Honourable Sire Galen who in fact owns these vessels, as his father built them from his shipyards, bequeathed them over to us to facilitate and accommodate our new arrivals, they have been made very comfortable, you have one sitting right next to you, ask him of you are in any doubt.”

“Any er sensible questions, we don't have time to keep repeating ourselves, someone ask us a NEW question” said Dmitri mockingly.

One experienced reporter, looked straight at Adama, then to Dmitri, his glare caught the attention of Adama, who pointed at the man before the facilitator could speak,

“You sir second from the front row with the charcoal coloured suit, overly quaffed hair and fancy notebook” smirked Adama to roars of laughter, and the embarrassment of the reporter, who quickly gathered himself to come back with a retort,

“You will find my questions as sharp as my attire Admiral, grinned the reporter, “Touché” grinned Adama.

“My question is to you Admiral, it's clear there are a great many issues you must all be dealing with right now. How are you going to prioritise them, notwithstanding the urgency of repatriating our new arrivals, the need to find a home for them, and indeed all of us somewhere safe down there on the surface of Terra, ensuring a plentiful supply of food, water, shelter, protection and so forth. Then of course there's the thorny issue of the fleet, not only upgrading the civilian ships in case we need to flee again in haste, Gods forbid, but the battle fleet, in particular the new Pegasus, what news on her, and any other ships you are planning?”

Adama looked at Sire Dmitri and laughed aloud,

“What part of 'one question each' do you think he didn't get?” the banter between the two had caused amusement and mercifully lightened the mood.

“Well, as your question, or questions are relevant, and will save me probably repeating myself to the next five reporters, I will answer, taking your first point first, that's already been covered, they can stay here on the pleasure cruisers for now, but we do have a long term plan for them, and indeed everyone with regards to protection, so can I ask we park that one for now and we will address it in more detail at the end of this press conference as things are developing as we speak.
As for your second point, food and water are not an issue, there is an abundance of clean drinking water down on the surface, the seeds we brought with us are already yielding good crops, you will soon have a much more varied diet of fruit and vegetables, the livestock however will take a little longer to produce meat, simply because we need to get their numbers up first and have started an extensive breeding program for the sheep, cattle, pigs etcetera, the scientists will provide more info on this if required.

Now for your final point, the question of the fleet, both in terms of civilian ships and warships....

Taking the civilian ships first, I can tell you that whilst the majority of you have been settling into our new community down on Terra, extensive repairs and upgrades to all the 220 ships have been ongoing in case of just such an emergency as the Cylons finding us. At present we are about half way through this program. The upgrades have focused mainly on the hull platings being strengthened and the engines upgraded and, where some ships only had sub-light engines, the new F.T.L technology we found thanks to the Phoenix fleet is being installed on them.

Lastly and possibly most important of all, you ask about the battle fleet, in particular, the new Battlestar Pegasus, well I'm delighted to announce that she is already about seventy percent complete, and, had we not had to halt construction to divert engineers to repairing the seals on the aforementioned cryo chambers, and recommissioning these four liners, she would be nearing completion already. When she is completed we are planning more cruisers, then we will review things again.”

“Any more questions before we formulate our plans and update you all on where our priorities lie?” added Adama.

The hands were still being raised in numbers, Boomer whispered to Adama,

“What do you say to letting one of our own civilians field a question, why let the press hog the show, what about that kid at the back?”

Adama yielded to his X.O, seeing the merit of a new approach,

“Can we please have one more question, but please this time from a civilian?” asked Adama.

“The young boy at the back, don't be shy, yes you holding up a drawing of something, what is it son, and what's on your drawing?”

Adama pointed out the boy, as the microphone boom was lowered to his face, thinking the boy might lighten the questioning, in any case, it was his generations future more than most they were discussing.

“Well Mr Adama sir, It's a picture of what I think Earth will look like when we get there, I have never been to the colonies, but I hope to one day go to Earth. I have spent my entire nine years of life in space, I was wondering sir, if Terra doesn't work out for some reason, say it's no good to help us, can we still go to Earth?”

A broad grin engulfed Adama's face, “Finally a brilliant question boy, all these so called professional reporters and it takes a nine year old boy to get to the point, My dear lad, we do indeed intend to seek out Earth, but unfortunately we have learned that the people are not all very nice like us, they make wars with each other, they are not like us, they cannot go into space, they have not invented ships that travel through space yet, they are very old fashioned people if you understand me?”

The boy's reply stunned Adama, “Sir I am nine years old not a baby, there is no need to patronise me, you are telling me their technology is way behind that of the colonies, I get it, then sir it is our duty to help them, then maybe we can persuade them to take us in......”

Adama actually blushed as he gave his response,

“I apologise my young friend, I underestimated you, I forget, your generation have had to grow up very quickly, very well, I will give it to you with no added sugar, we have learned from a probe we captured from Earth, a great deal about the planet.
For the attention of everyone, we now know their technology is some five thousand years or so behind ours, and that they have been warring amongst themselves since the beginning of their civilisation, we have learned however, there are those among them that we believe would be open to an approach from us, those that sent out the probe in all probability, and may even welcome our new technology, and even be prepared to assimilate us into their world.

I have to warn you all now however, approaching Earth is by no means the easy option, it would be fraught with danger, if we are not careful and make any mistakes, they have the weaponry to destroy us, one thing they do have are nuclear weapons they can launch at us.

If and when we do decide to contact them we would need to exercise extreme caution. If, and it's a big if, we get it right, they may see the mutual benefit of taking us into their bosom in exchange for our technology, which would catapult them millennia forward.

Finally I need to add one more thing, we, your leaders are acutely aware we have a duty to warn them of the oncoming Cylon forces, we need to be mindful they will possibly blame us for bringing the Cylon war machine to their door. We know the Cylons would seek out Earth to destroy them eventually anyway, for they know of it's existence, but the people of Earth do not know this, they may blame us for bringing the Cylon war machine down on them as surely as if we had destroyed them with our own hand.”

The groans from the assembled masses brought the dark cloud over proceedings once more, now was the time for Adama and Dmitri to lighten the mood again, now was the time to play their ace....

Adama decided to interrupt quickly before the groans grew to hostility,

“Please, please Ladies and Gentlemen, we have to keep order, there is much we still need to discuss, earlier in this conference I asked that I may be able to field a question later, that of the housing of our new guests, in point of fact finding a safe haven for us all away from prying red Cylon eyes.

A few weeks ago I made three promises to the council and to the scientists;

firstly, that I would divert men from the Pegasus construction site to help repair the seals on those caskets so we could buy some time, I have delivered,

Secondly, that I would facilitate the re-commissioning of these four ships to house our new guests, thanks to Sire Galen, I have delivered,

Thirdly, that my patrols would find a safe haven down on Terra, well hold the front page reporters they have! Right down below us, just three hundred miles from our encampment on Terra. I sent teams out to survey the landscape and they have discovered a hidden warren of caves, miles and miles of caves with solid walls of rock, plenty of room for us all, shafts of air, even fresh water from streams. It may not be as comfortable as these lovely ships, but it will give us a start, a chance to hide from our enemy until we can rebuild our communities and defences and are strong enough to take them on!”

Yet again the hands went up, but the leaders were becoming weary of fielding question after question, it had been a very long and trying day, and hence, Sire Dmitri decided the time was right to form a plan of action whilst all the colonies were listening in to the meeting, and best decide on the order of priorities before drawing events to a close, it was getting late! Hence he took over from Adama.

“Ladies and Gentlemen all, whilst we are in effect all in attendance, or at least listening in, may I suggest we now move forward with our plan of action, these as I see it are our priorities, in no particular order:

One – Elections to form a new senate, or parliament of some kind as all the colonies need more representation at an official level and the council need a new seat of power from which to govern,

Two - Complete work on the new Battlestar Pegasus and strengthen the military,

Three - Provide a better education system for our young in the form of new schools and better education,

Four - Investigate the cave site we have found three hundred miles from camp with a view to occupancy,

Five - Investigate the possibility of sending a probe or away team to monitor Earth,

Six – Improve the food supply by accelerating the breeding program of livestock,

Seven – Complete the work of mapping out the planet Terra,

Eight – Strengthening our defences down on the surface,

Apologies if I missed out any key issues as, like us all, I'm getting tired....”

Dr. Coulson then added....

“Then may I respectfully suggest as we are all tired and I am likely to die of old age if we don't wrap things up, we either adjourn to rest and reconvene in a few days or, if everyone is in agreement, since we are all here in a manner of speaking, and time is critical, just take a short recess for drinks and get to work tonight on a vote to decide which issues to tackle in which order.”

The meeting duly recessed for a ten minute break and a show of hands paved the way for the meeting to press on with a full discussion on the next critical steps to be taken, and in which order of priority.

Scene 10 – Pooling our Resources, Forming our Plans

Continuing the meeting, though not popular with a few proved to be a prudent move as, with everyone so tired, important issues began to get settled very quickly.

After a further 30 minute debate, with voices from various sources having their input, it was agreed to the delight of the military and council that they had done as good a job as was possible to get them all to this position, and therefore a vote was passed giving them full discretion to proceed with the tasks in hand as they deemed fit.
This was a huge vote of confidence in both the military and council, in particular from the new arrivals who had not witnessed first hand the commendable work their leaders had thus far achieved.

Henceforth, with all in agreement the audience gave a genuinely warm round of applause to the delegates and duly filed out of the auditorium, all to get a well earned rest.

Within a week, and now with a completely free hand, the council, military and lead scientists decided to seize the initiative and convened a further meeting in the wardroom of the Galactica, things were moving quickly.

The Galactica wardroom was beginning to be the most important and overused room in the fleet, “so many meetings and yet one more”, Adama thought to himself, yet he knew the time for him to be the Admiral would have to take second place to being the main driving force together with the President of furthering the cause of their people, and so once more graciously became the host to his friends and colleagues from the council and science vessels, at least the late Saul Tigh had taught him how to oil the wheels of a meeting with good pinot noir and village ambrosia.

The council members all walked into the wardroom once more, followed by Boomer, Dr. Zee, Dr. Allam and finally Adama himself, the only person missing this time was Dr. Coulson, now officially retired.

Adama, Dr. Allam and the President were all in surprisingly bullish mood Knowing the toughest hurdle had been successfully negotiated, that of resurrecting the volunteers safely and breaking the news of the destruction of the colonies without completely alienating them.

The Admiral had arranged dinner for his guests, he wanted them to feel as comfortable as possible in stark contrast to the uncomfortable ride he and Sire Dmitri had endured at the press conference and presentation days earlier.
This time however, things were different, although time was pressing he knew the people in the room were all on the same page and felt comfortable they could make important decisions before the Brandy and cigars

Adama was not yet an old man but he was old school, he believed in keeping certain traditions alive and was taught the importance of honouring the traditions of the elders by his Father and Admiral Tigh, one such tradition was a prayer to bless the food, say grace and honour the fallen. Fortunately he was able to provide, not only the usual salmon, courtesy of his new friend Jordan Hunter, the new Governor of the Ship of Justice, but due to the new breeding program being accelerated on Terra, a rare treat, rib-eye steak!

Adama insisted his guests make themselves fully comfortable, as a special treat he had fermented a cask of oaked Chardonnay, in honour of the lady council members, all partial to a glass he had learned from Sire Dmitri. He had taken up the hobby of brewing wine, beer and village ambrosia, having learned a few tricks from the late Admiral Tigh, who left him all his brewing equipment as a parting gift.

Knowing his crew were more than capable, and that his helmsman Barry Holmes was fast becoming capable of command, Adama slumped in his seat, almost without a care in the world, much to the amusement of Boomer. He gestured to his stewards to bring some of his newly brewed beer, knowing his X.O was particularly partial to a glass or three.

“Well Ladies and Gentlemen, I suppose we better get to the meat and veg of this meeting if you pardon the pun,” grinned Dmitri.

“Let's at least finish this meat and veg first shall we” winked Adama as he poured himself and Boomer another beer, which, to his relief his number two was enjoying his first attempt at brewing very much.

After a few more minutes Adama conceded and called the dinner meeting to order.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, may I ask our president to begin proceedings, as he is our leader...”

“Well technically you are as we are still under martial law Admiral”, Dmitri conceded.

Adama replied,

“Then perhaps that is where we should start, by addressing the situation of martial law, as we are no longer under the immediate threat of the Cylons, perhaps we should lift it and look at the implementation of a new democracy, particularly as our numbers have just been swelled, those volunteers will want a proper voice soon. They, and all our people have been gracious enough to give us a free hand, but they will want to see real progress soon on some kind of new senate or parliament. They will want a representation soon”.

“Agreed added Sire Valentine, but if your talking about down on Terra I think that would be too risky, I think we should look at commissioning a new ship, one along the lines of the Ship of Worship or Ship of Justice, they have proved a huge success and can be protected by our warriors much easier up here than somewhere down on the surface, isn't that so Admiral?”

“Yes it is Sire, but well, this is going to sound like I'm banging the colonial drum but, well first shouldn't we look at completing the Pegasus first, until she is complete we are still extremely vulnerable, may I suggest if we are to look at building new ships we should start with bolstering the battle fleet, even with the two new cruisers, the Galactica and the new Pegasus we are still very weak militarily, and even with all her upgrades the Galactica is over five hundred years old, she will need to be replaced eventually.”

“So two new Battlestars Admiral?” enquired a surprised Siress Loretta.

“Huh, we will need a lot more than two to properly protect our people down on Terra.” replied Adama forcefully.

“So how many did you have in mind Admiral?” glared Sire Bartos, “and with what resources” he added with an almost accusing tone.

Adama nodded in deference to the council member,

“Look Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm not advocating we throw all our resources into building a fleet of Battlestars but the simple fact is, well, until we can circumscribe the planet Terra with our forces from all directions and fully protect our people down there, everything else just seems superfluous to me, but that's just me banging the military drum again!” he exclaimed with more than a little sarcasm.

“So you mean six Admiral?” probed Sire Bartos, “Yes I mean six” countered Adama, “one at each ninety degree distance around the equator and one at each polar region, that way Terra would be covered from all directions and we would have enough vipers to form a ring of steel around us.”

“In a perfect world I would agree with you Adama, but we aren't in a perfect world, we have very limited resources, it simply can't be done.” countered Sire Dmitri wistfully.

“Well maybe not” replied Adama, but what we could do for now is at least complete work on the Pegasus and get her landing bays finished, then get her air wings up to strength, then maybe look to constructing more cruisers, more automated with heavy guns and less crew. I also think we need to look at strengthening our defensive capabilities down on the surface, and look at that set of caves my teams found, see what we can do with them eh?”

“Adama's right Sire Bartos”, said Siress Loretta, whether we like it or not, till we get the fleet up to some sort of strength we.....”

Adama continued the point,

“Yes Siress, remember everyone, we had five full Battlestars at the armistice, and those damn bond breaking Cylons carved through them like a knife through butter, within a couple of hours our entire fleet was all but destroyed by just three Base Ships!”
I fully appreciate the need for resources to be set aside for the civilian ships to be completed with regards to the hulls and F.T.L drives, and the need for a new senate, AND the need to fortify the base and those caves, but without protection from above, where will any of that get us, if those bastards show up again and we aren't ready to defend ourselves, tell me that! Sire Bartos.”

Adama looked directly at Sire Bartos and added, “We have to make a decision, this isn't getting us anywhere is it, sorry Sire but you did ask how many, and I told you – we may not have the resources but the answer to your question is, we need six ships capable of destroying a Base Star and surrounding the planet, we need six Battlestars!”

Dmitri enquired, “Admiral, with the raw materials we have at the moment, how many Battlestars up to the specifications of the new Pegasus do you think we can build.”

“I would estimate two more Mr. President, plus two to four cruisers before we need to search for more raw materials, fortunately we already have all the materials we need to complete the upgrades on the civilian ships Sire.”

As the meeting went on into the small hours, and with a little help from his wine, he kept pushing for the permission he needed to complete the Pegasus, and a tacit agreement to begin work on a second Battlestar to eventually replace the Galactica, but realised he may have to give ground on securing the go ahead for a third.

Sire Bartos continued being belligerent, not seeing the merit of pouring so many resources into the battle fleet when so many other issues remained and continued to press his point, patronisingly adding...

“Look young Adama, we all know you mean well and you have the best interests of the people at heart, but we still have to try and sell this to the people, remember, we still have not secured a safe haven for our people to take shelter should the unthinkable happen, we still haven't formed a proper senate as Sire Valentine mentioned earlier, then there are other pressing issues, like health, education for our young children, finishing upgrades to the rag tag fleet, the caves and so on and so forth.....”

He continued to babble on as Adama became more and more angry, then, just as he was preparing to give Sire Bartos a piece of his mind, Dmitri intervened.

“Sire Bartos, I have an idea, why don't you shut the frack up and listen to Adama for once, maybe if we had all listened to his father all those years ago instead of mine, we wouldn't be in this fracking mess we are in now....”

The entire council looked on open mouthed as the vitriol and language used by Dmitri was so out of character, but he had achieved his objective, he had stopped Bartos in his tracks, he continued..

“Please forgive my outburst everyone, Ladies, but you need to listen carefully to what I am about to say, no one in this room cares more for the council than I. Adama and I know the tireless work you have all done over the many years we have been out here, but we need to be abundantly clear here.
When it comes to priorities, there can only ever be one!

“The safety of our people is paramount, without them being fully protected by Adama's brave warriors we may as well all shoot ourselves in the head now and save the Cylons the trouble.
Ladies and Gentlemen, your fine words about schools, hospitals,, a new senate, those damn caves, the rag tag fleet, all mean shit without proper military protection, without a strong military we don't have a prayer. Gods damn it, you all know they are coming, and when they do, I for one don't intend to roll over and play dead like a fracking daggit, or dog as our new Earth language tutors are calling them.”

“Listen everyone, if you want to know the real truth about my outburst, I will tell you all, do you remember Adama what you said about my father when you confronted him on the 'Rising Star' just after the holocaust?”

“Do you mean about your mother?”

“Yes Adama, my mother, what was it you said he told you when you boarded his ship to obtain vital food for our starving people, when you asked as to her whereabouts, oh yes I remember, he said - She was not in time to make the journey - quote unquote, am I correct”.

Adama nodded.

“In short I am ashamed of his memory, yes in his youth he was a good man, a good father and a good provider, but he became obsessed with power, and yet was a coward, yes I'm talking about my own father, Adama tell them what he said at the council meeting you had back then when he was President and your father was the Admiral, you remember...”

“Well if you insist” replied Adama, forgive me for paraphrasing here, it has been a very long time but I will try,
Admiral William Adama, my father, asked why the Cylons would believe we would accept that which we were always unwilling to accept, living under Cylon rule,
Sire Uri replied, because we would destroy our arms to prove we were willing to live in peace,
My father looked at him and said, destroy our only means of defence, Sire Uri replied, or attack.

He then reminded my father and the council that we did not come into conflict with them until we helped the Hasaris get back their nation, taken by force by the Cylons.

He even had the temerity to suggest if we minded our own business, there would be every reason to believe they would leave us alone, permanently, he added.

“I can remember my fathers next comment very clearly, as it was the last thing he said as he stormed out of the meeting...

He said, “If you've all come to this Council to turn your backs on the principles of our fathers and the Lords of Kobol, from whom all colonies evolved, you do so with my utter contempt”.

“That was it...”

“Thank you Adama, I realise that may have been uncomfortable for you, I know he was my father, but he would have led us into the same trap as Adar unwittingly did, but my father should have known better. If you want the truth Ladies and Gentlemen of the Council I despised him, why do you think I changed my name from Uri to Dmitri, I didn't want to be associated with that name any longer!”

“Sire Bartos I apologise for my language earlier, but you see we cannot afford to make the same mistake again, I urge you honoured Council members, we have maybe just one more chance to save what's left of our people, we must protect them, we must strengthen the battle fleet, I move we support Adama and give him every resource available, the rest be damned until we have achieved that!

“Apology accepted, replied a shocked Sire Bartos, he added, “Very well, I move we vote on Adama's proposals for the completion of the Pegasus and the commissioning of a second Battlestar, but can I respectfully suggest we hold back on a third until we have more raw materials and resources.

A vote of the Council followed and was unanimous, Adama had his wish, thanks to his friend President Dmitri.

“Dear Admiral, you have the support and the blessing of the Council of the twelve, now deliver us a fleet to be proud of,” added Sire Bartos.

Adama nodded in deference to the Council, shook the hand of Boomer and Dmitri, then decided to take a back seat , not wishing to push his luck, he would let the Council decide the next priorities and relaxed back in his chair to observe.

For now, the Admiral would have to be content with this small victory.

The Council pressed on with other matters whilst Adama continued to play the good host refilling glasses, he decided to relieve his stewards and tend to the Council himself, making every effort to keep them onside.

The Council then decided the second priority, the fortification of the base, thirdly the conversion of the caves to be used as emergency refuge and lastly, a new ship was to be commissioned as suggested by Sire Valentine to house a new senate for the council of the twelve. The other issues would be dealt with later.

Adama had secured a rare victory over the Council, but at a price, his dear friend, the President had bared his soul to them in order to persuade them to listen to reason, it had paid off.

A path was clearing for the road ahead. Maybe now Adama and the military may have bought enough time to prepare a strong enough defence to repel their sworn enemies, they would find out soon enough.

To be continued......

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:02 am 
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Posts: 435
Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage to Earth Episode 9 – The long goodbye

Scene 1 - Taking Stock

November 15th 7025 on board the Galactica

“Admirals log supplemental, progress report on all ongoing tasks, including the completion of the new Pegasus, the reinforcing of the underground caves on Terra, the 'Ring of steel' military bases encircling the encampment and 'The Ship of Governance' construction progress;

The last few months have been exhausting, breathtaking, yet inspiring for myself and my dear friend Sire Dmitri. We have been given a mandate to continue our work for another four years, my own position as military leader, somewhat strengthened by recent events having overseen the near completion of the new Pegasus, and work on our new 'Ship of Governance' now well underway.

First to the new Pegasus, I am delighted to report she is now structurally complete, she must now await a full compliment of vipers, shuttles, raptors and all ancillary equipment needed to support them before we can put her out to space to begin trials. I have not had chance to view her recently but, last time I was over there she was already a frightening and imposing vessel, bigger and more powerful than any warship ever to leave colonial shipyards, and, when fully operational will boast a staggering 24 squadrons, each having 25 Vipers and two spares, over 600 Vipers in total!

As I gaze out at her from my quarters I feel somewhat vindicated in pushing so hard for her completion, if as promised, a second new Battlestar is completed, we will already be well on our way to providing a formidable defensive force, together with the new, and planned battlecruisers. We will soon be in a position to circumscribe the planet Terra with an all round early warning blanket covering all axes.

Secondly, progress has been steady on the mining of the huge caves we have found on the surface, certain areas have required little reinforcement, but others have required our engineers to bolster the ceilings with special resinous concrete materials and buttresses. Having found several seams of coal and deposits however, we have been able to utilise these materials to help with the temporary heating and lighting issues our workers have encountered whilst digging. I feel confident that these caverns, when complete, whilst not providing a permanent home for our people, would offer excellent cover and protection in the event of our being discovered by the Cylons.

Turning to events above ground, our new homes have been designed specifically with camouflage in mind and I have assigned our new arrivals the task of developing a new defence shield to encompass our new encampments. We are blessed that the new volunteers we now welcome among us have not only embraced our efforts to further the advancement of our remaining population, but have been volunteering in their droves to offer their various skills, as is their wont.

Our teams have all been stretched to the very limits of late, and I could not be prouder of all of them, having faced adversity they have all risen to the occasion. That said, a great many issues have not yet been addressed, one of which is the education of our young, this will need to be addressed very soon for the advancement of our people to continue without stalling

Finally I am pleased to report the construction of our newest civilian ship is well underway, she will be known as the 'Ship of Governance'. She is the brainchild of Sire Valentine, but the design is entirely down to our young genius, Dr. Zee to whom we are eternally grateful. In point of fact he has been burning the midnight oil, working on the design late into the nights, I sometimes worry as to his well being, although a genius his health gives me cause for concern of late.

I have mixed emotions as I look at the clock on my desk, ready to retire for the evening, so much has been achieved in so little time, yet so much more remains, to that end I have requested a meeting with the council in the wardroom tomorrow morning to review our status moving forwards and to take stock of our next moves. In the military we are fairly secure in not being challenged, less we make any more mistakes, but my dear friends on the council do not have that same luxury, though I feel they will sleep easier in their beds this evening, knowing they have secured a mandate for another four years of office, before formal elections will be announced.

I look forward to welcoming them all to the Galactica once more tomorrow, Admiral Adama”

Galactica Wardroom the following morning, council meeting, Adama, Boomer, Dr. Allam and all council members present.

Sire Dmitri calls the meeting to order;

“Dear friends can I first say how grateful I am, both to the military and council for your continued support in helping me secure my tenure as your president for the next four years of office, and for getting us all in a position where we can plan in earnest for the next four years, having secured our tenure as council members, we can now press ahead with our plans and to that end I congratulate you all.

That said we are all acutely aware we simply cannot afford to rest on our laurels, we have achieved much, but much more needs to be done before we can say our people have all their needs catered for, and that the defence and advancement of our population has been secured.

Finally, a big thank you once again to Admiral Adama and commander Boomer for their continued hospitality on board the Galactica whilst we await the completion of our new senate ship, 'The Ship of Governance' and a huge thank you to our young brilliant scientist, Dr Zee for designing her, who I understand is regrettably unwell and unable to attend today”.

“May I first enquire Adama, what news of Dr. Zee, is he recovering?” asked a concerned Sire Dmitri.

Adama looked ruefully at all the council members in turn before replying,

“Regrettably I have no further news of his condition, however I understand he is continuing his sermons as from tomorrow evening, I am planning to go over and join the congregation and hope to catch up with him after in his quarters if his health and fatigue will allow. Designing the new 'Ship of Governance' has taken it's toll on him I'm afraid, I will of course keep you all posted when I return”.

“Thank you Adama”, replied several of the council in unison.

“Now to matters in hand” continued Sire Dmitri, “We now have a clear mandate to continue our work but also a time limit, we have four more years to try and achieve a great many urgent issues before our own fates are decided by others. Understandably, our populous, together with the new arrivals are very keen to have a voice in any newly formed government, so I think it's fair to say we may not all be here in four years time, if any of us, so we must proceed with haste with all matters before us whilst we have a chance to influence them.

“I myself must admit to having mixed feelings with regards to our new senate ship, our new home as it were, although I am extremely grateful to our young genius for his tireless efforts in getting her designed and commissioned, I feel the ship may hamper us somewhat, in that our small gatherings here in the Galactica's wardroom have afforded us a real momentum to get things done quickly as we have not been hamstrung by any votes or ballots, our way has been clear thus far but that will all change once we get over there to our new home.
Our blanket of privacy will be gone and the eyes of the colonies will be upon us with the dreaded media watching our every move and many decisions being blocked by the new senate. In summary Ladies and Gentlemen of the Council and military leaders we must re double our efforts to get things done quickly, we have come a very long way in a short time, but we cannot rest until our people are safe, and with that I will yield the floor to Admiral Adama for an update on all things military”.

“Thank you Mr. President, firstly I am delighted to be able to report that the new Battlestar Pegasus has been structurally completed, she is now awaiting her compliment of vipers, shuttles, raptors and equipment before our teams can begin her full trials. In regards to this I can report we already have four complete squadrons, we are also constructing the first batch of our new atmospheric fighter/bombers thanks to successfully being tested by my sons teams of test pilots, they should be ready in a few weeks. Work is continuing on expanding our new air base in readiness for them near our encampment on Terra.

On our new 'ring of steel' I can report we will soon be in a position to seal the new nuclear silo's and install the warheads.
Our efforts have been bolstered by the volunteers, they have been working on a new defence shield system, which is harvested from the technology on the phoenix fleet, this is intended to encircle our encampment and, should we be attacked from the air, this shield should be able to knock out any incoming nuclear missiles and attacking raiders by means of an electromagnetic pulse system that detonates them on impact.

We in the military are working around the clock to get all the aforementioned works completed as soon as possible, my engineers and construction teams should be commended by us all for their tireless efforts”.......

With that a round of applause rang out in the wardroom, the council were visibly impressed by Adama's progress.

“Can I ask as to the progress on getting the rag tag fleet up to speed with new hull plating and F.T.L drives Admiral”? Enquired Sire Valentine.

“Unfortunately, little progress on this due to my teams being required elsewhere, but now the Pegasus is complete and the silos nearing completion, we should be able to divert men to completing that task, so far 120 vessels are complete with 100 more to go”.

“That's perfectly understandable Admiral” continued Sire Valentine, your teams are performing wonders, we don't expect them to do the impossible, please pass on the gratitude of the council to your teams, we are all eternally grateful for their efforts to date”.

“The reason I enquired at this time is, well I feel we still need to keep one eye out there, just in case the Cylons are stalking us as we speak, we still need to be able to escape at a moments notice.

“Indeed Sire, nodded Adama, to reiterate though, we have had no indication at this time as to any immediate threat, we have our back door covered with a vast array of probes leading all the way back to the Omega Nebula, if and when those bond breaking Cylons track us down, we will at least have the jump on them”.

With matters seemingly in hand, the meeting was adjourned, after drinks were served the council members all took to their shuttles and returned to their ships to await Adama's report on Dr. Zee's health the following day.

Weary after one more night of hospitality to the council, Adama slowly walked to his quarters rather than use the turbo lift, he needed to clear his mind, but thoughts of Dr. Zee were haunting him, what was wrong with his young friend, why was he so frail?

As Adama finally reached his quarters, he turned and was surprised to see his old friend, air chief marshal Starbuck approaching him.

“Hey my old friend, what are you doing here at this hour, come in and have a night cap, I sense you didn't come over here at this hour for nothing, come in and talk with me for a while” smiled Adama.

The two men sat as Adama poured his old friend a shot of whisky, “What is it Starbuck, what's troubling you, are those young nuggets making you earn those stripes at last” laughed Adama.

“No it's nothing like that, in fact they are all doing great, we will soon be able to give them their wings, they may be green, but some of them are real good Apollo, nearly as good as we were”.

“No, my problem is much more personal than that, there's no easy way of saying this, but, well I knew you would understand me when I say I've been having trouble sleeping lately and, well, I have been over to the Ship of Worship a few times lately, yeah me go to church! I've been listening in on Dr. Zee's sermons, thing is I keep having flash backs to the massacre on the day of the armistice back on Caprica, I keep thinking of all our young warriors that perished that day, I guess you could say I've been carrying this heavy load of survivors guilt around with me for the last thirty five years.

I have to tell you now Lee, that young man has been a real comfort to me, and as I was wallowing in my self pity, I failed to realise the man was suffering even greater pain than me, he has been through his own hell since his father passed, he has been a virtual recluse these last few months as you know, what with designing that new ship for the council and now this.....”

“Now what Starbuck, tell me” replied Adama impatiently,

“You really don't know do you Apollo, Dr. Zee is Dying.....”

Adama bowed his head and began to weep, he looked up at Starbuck and forced himself to ask...

“How er, how long does he have, are you sure, perhaps we could get him a consultation with Dr. Salik jnr, he must be able to help...”

Starbuck raised his hand to stop Adama from speaking, “Listen to me my old friend, he is riddled with cancer, he was doomed from the moment he was woken from stasis, his body didn't have time to recover, he will suffer the same fate as his father, I came here to tell you to your face and, well, he has requested an audience with you, and I hear you were planning to go to his sermon tomorrow, and I was wondering if I could come with you.

I want to hear his sermons while I still have the chance, he is a remarkable young man Apollo, he knows he is dying, and yet is at peace, you should see him give his sermons, he has his audience spellbound, they love him Apollo, a lot of people are going to be heartbroken when the news breaks, we should comfort him as he comforts others”.

“Yes, yes of course Starbuck, I would welcome your company, but for now I would really appreciate some time alone, I'm sorry to ask you to leave but I need to think, and I need to rest”.

“Of course Apollo, I am so sorry, I will see you tomorrow, rest well my friend and thank you for listening”. With that, Starbuck left the room and Adama began to cry uncontrollably, for the first time since he could remember his emotions gave way. Since his trial he had bottled up all his emotions, knowing his people needed him, but he had relied on Dr. Zee more than he realised, this had hit him very hard. Finally he succumbed to his tiredness and entered into a haunted sleep.

Scene 2 – The power of Dr. Zee

The next morning Adama woke to a shock, it was ten a.m. and no one had woken him, his alarm had not sounded and he should have been in the C.I.C at eight to relieve Boomer, he had some apologies to make, tardiness was Boomers pet hate and he would not be impressed by Adama's poor example to the crew.
However, on entering the bridge, Boomer gave him a smile and gestured for him to take the conn, he nodded to Adama and Said, “It's OK my friend, Starbuck has told me about Dr. Zee, I thought I would leave you to sleep in for once, I'm so sorry my friend, I know he means a lot to you, when your ready I ask permission to take a rest period, I too am very tired”.

“Of course my friend, you have been very understanding, you are relieved, go and get some well earned sack time and thanks for having my back as always”. Replied Adama.

The mood in the C.I.C was sombre, all the officers knew about DR. Zee's impending demise, Boomer had decided to brief them so they could make allowances for their Admiral not being at his best that day.
Adama paced up and down, looking at his watch, all he could think of was going to the evensong on the Ship of Worship and talking to his young friend, a man young enough to be his son, yet wise enough to be his father!
Finally it was four p.m. and Starbuck entered the C.I.C to accompany Adama to the ship of worship and they were finally on their way to the waiting shuttle.

On arriving at the Ship of Worship, the two men were surprised at the many small craft waiting their turn to alight their passengers, what the two warriors didn't realise was this was normal, such was the following Dr. Zee had built, people would come from all corners of the fleet to hear his comforting words, and yet, what none of them yet knew was that soon his words of comfort, and he himself would be no more!

As the congregation took their seats Adama found himself gazing around the church building, he remembered back to when he was last here, his own trial, allowing himself a brief moment to reflect on how different things may have turned out had the outcome been different.

His companion Starbuck would have been the very last person anyone would have thought would turn to religion, yet here he was alongside his old friend awaiting the wise words of the prophet Dr. Zee, then a strange feeling came over the two men, far from being overcome with emotion on seeing their dying friend enter the pulpit, they found themselves comforted by the sight of him, almost as if someone had put a comforting blanket over them. Such was the power of Dr. Zee!

As he approached the lectern to begin, one could hear a pin drop as his flock awaited his words....

“My dear friends, my people, my children, welcome to my house of worship once more, and to my dear friends from the Battlestar Galactica”....

How could he have known Apollo and Starbuck were in attendance, he had not seen them as they were at the very back of the church and they had not announced their intention to attend!
Dr. Zee continued;

….“As the weeks, months and years go by since we arrived at this place, we sense a feeling of belonging, that Terra has welcomed us with open arms, that we have at last began the slow path to our salvation, and ultimately our renaissance. We must give thanks for the wisdom and fortitude of our great leaders, both military and civilian, for without their wisdom, we may have perished under the force of those that would destroy us.

Let us pray for the continued grace of our lord that he may lead us to our salvation through our leaders, and if it is to be our destiny, to a new home on Earth, or a new beginning here on Terra.
As I speak to you all today I know not of our fate, but that we will prevail, and that my own destiny lies on a different path to yours. Be not troubled, the lord will guide you, and your leaders will deliver you from the evil machines. Trust in them and they will protect you.

It may come to pass that I will not be there at your time of deliverance, but take comfort my friends for whatever happens to my body, my soul will live on in the memories of those I leave behind....”

To all of you here today I say this, steel yourselves for the times ahead, there will be days when all may seem lost, that the trials are too great but hear me when I say, you are the chosen ones, you are all that remain of a once mighty colonial empire, therefore do not question your lot, do not complain or bleat, do your duties, raise your young, tend your old, comfort your sick, rebuild your communities and fight your enemy when they come, and they will come!”

May the grace of god go with you and his power keep you safe always, and remember this,

These next words come from a poem from Earth, found amongst the many messages on the probe we found from them, the author seems to be disputed, but that's Earth for you, it is called 'Footprints'. I feel we can all take great comfort from knowing there are many good souls on that planet;

One night I dreamed a dream
I was walking along the beach with my Lord
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life
For each scene,I noticed two sets of footprints
One belonging to me and one to my Lord

When the last scene of my life shot before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand
There was only one set of footprints.
I realized that this was at the lowest
and saddest times of my life.
This always bothered me
and I questioned the Lord about my dilemma.

“Lord, you told me when I decided to follow you,
you would walk and talk with me all the way,
But I'm aware that during the most troublesome times of my life,
there is only one set of footprints.
I just don't understand why, when I need you most,
you leave me”

He whispered, “My precious child, I love you
and will never leave you, never , ever,
during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you”

“Take comfort from these words, Now go in peace my children, and honour the memories of those we left behind.”

The congregation were left with the angelic voices of the choir singing 'The Lord Is My Shepherd' as they left, all visibly moved, yet comforted by the words of Dr. Zee, he had all but told them he was dying, yet his tone and power had lifted their hearts.

Finally the entire congregation had left, leaving Adama and Starbuck walking towards the pulpit where Dr. Zee was waiting to greet them.

Adama started to shake as he wiped away a tear from his eye, the young prophet simply hugged him to reassure him he was at peace, he was the one facing death, yet it was he who was offering comfort to others, such was the selflessness of the man.

The three men slowly walked towards Dr. Zee's quarters at the stern of the ship at which Adama enquired it may be too tiring for the young genius, it being almost a one and a half kilometre walk, such was the size of this massive ship.

Dr. Zee turned and smiled at his two companions and said “My dear friends, one of the few pleasures I get in life these days, apart from giving comfort to others is walking through the grounds of this lovely ship, through the cloisters and into my quarters where my wonderful staff are always there to greet me. I love to watch the flowers bloom and smell their sweet aroma.

There is a saying, the flowers smell sweeter the closer one gets to the grave, well I can tell you from first hand experience gentlemen, its true!”

Upon reaching the castle tower at the stern of the vessel, Dr. Zee did afford himself and his guests one concession and decided to take the elevator rather than the several flights of stairs as he was now tiring.

As the three men took their seats in the ornate oak panelled dining room he began to rally, knowing a hearty meal was on its way.

“I hope you will be discreet gentlemen, I have allowed on board some wine for this occasion as I know you are both partial, and well, I think I have enough credit in the bank for the Lord to turn a blind eye to your indulgence on this occasion don't you think?” He smiled and winked at Starbuck as the men began to relax.

My chef has prepared a fish meal for us, fresh from the fountain of youth you saw on the way over from the church, it should compliment the sauvignon blanc well he tells me.” smiled Dr. Zee.

Although unaccustomed to having guests in his private quarters, the young genius was adept at making them feel at home.

Scene 3 – Dr. Zee's Prophecy

The three men talked openly about religion, politics, life in general, and of the plight of their people, but Dr. Zee could see his companions were avoiding talking about the elephant in the room, so decided to address the issue himself.

“My dear friends, I can see you are troubled, be not concerned for me, I am not afraid to die, merely sad that my work here is not complete, I can take solace from knowing I will see my beloved parents once more, make no mistake, I miss them dearly, though I am a prophet of sorts, I am still flesh and blood and have the same hopes and fears as anyone else.

Adama, unlike Starbuck you have kept your troubles largely to yourself, this is not healthy, you must learn to let go of your inner feelings, you may be the Admiral of this fleet, but you too are only human, you have good people around you, use them, talk to them.

Starbuck, I sense you are desperate to know how I was aware you were both coming, I cannot explain the unexplainable, I just knew, and I am very grateful for your company this evening of all evenings”.

“I have been largely reclusive of late, I realise this has caused rumours to spread among our people, they are calling me strange, mad even, but those who know me well see me for who I am, and those that do not will revere me only after my death, if this is to be my fate, so be it”.

“My time is short, but know this gentlemen, I have not been idle up here in my er 'ivory tower' I believe some call it, Dr. Zee's ivory tower”, roared the young man with laughter, Adama had never seen his young friend laugh so loud, it gave him comfort.

“My friends, I know you both walk a very lonely path, the role of leading our people is not an easy one Adama, and the role of being a mentor to our young pilots is challenging I know Starbuck. You have both been alone for far too long now, therefore I offer you both a gift, when you both need them the most, your soulmates will return to you, Starbuck, covet Cassiopeia no more, her destiny is on a different path to yours, she will dedicate the rest of her life to her profession of caring for the sick, your future lies with Adama's sister, and yours Adama with your Idols daughter”.

Do not trouble yourselves longing for the arms of your soulmates, they will come to you both when the time is right, now I have something I want you to have Admiral, I was going to give it to you some time in the future, but as my time is near I want you to have it now”.....

The young genius then reached into a cabinet drawer and produced two gold discs,

“Take these Adama, inside them are two gifts, do not open the files inside these discs yet, but after I am gone. Open this one marked 'blueprint' first, I will tell you now of this gift, inside here are the plans to the final ship I have designed, she is a sister vessel to this one, and the ships of Justice, and Governance, she will be known as the 'Ship of Learning' and will become the main university campus for our students, and school for our children.
The second gift must be kept a secret, you must promise me Adama, only open this file after I am gone and only then when your people begin to lose faith, it may prove to be our peoples salvation”.

The two men looked at each other, and in turn to Dr. Zee, what could possibly be in the disc....

“Promise me Gentlemen, only after I'm gone, and only then this first disc, do I have your words?”

“Yes we promise, replied the two men in unison.

“Gentlemen, know this, as my time is nearing, certain things have become clearer to me, I see visions of things to come, there will be great turmoil in the colonies, war will come once more, some will fall, others prevail, but you must hold true to your path, seek out our Earth brothers, I see an alliance forming of mutual benefit.
Continue on the paths you are on, if you do not lose faith and not deviate from your plans I sense you will eventually be triumphant, but not before a great deal of suffering.

Now go, leave this place and return to the Galactica, I am in need of rest, take my love and blessings with you gentlemen, and may the Lords of Kobol guide you on your journey's.”

Unable to speak, the two men walked out of the room with heavy hearts, they both knew this could be the last time they would ever see the young genius.

Scene 4 – The loneliest Walk

Adama and Starbuck left the castle tower and descended the elevator. They looked at each other, and in turn looked at the flower gardens they had walked through only two hours prior and decided to take the same path, waving away the aide who was waiting to show them to the transport back to their shuttle.
Such was the bond between the two men, no words were needed, they walked together arms around each other and stopped to observe a memorial plaque placed in the gardens, installed to honour Dr. Zelan, the father of the young Dr. Zee, and the man who had delivered them to Terra.

Finally, they arrived at the shuttle pad, entered the shuttle and were gone, only pausing to take one last look out of their windows at this serene vessel.

On the instructions of Adama, the shuttle approached the new Battlestar Pegasus to take a look as the construction vessels and gantries were almost all gone, and the Pegasus could be seen for the first time in all her magnificence, they needed a lift and what better way than looking on in awe at this feat of engineering.

“Have you had time to think about her new crew Apollo?” enquired Starbuck with more than a passing interest.

“Yes and no”, replied Adama cryptically, “it will be very difficult to please them all, there are a great many warriors who will covet a place in that new C.I.C.....”

“Yea and especially that command, I don't envy you Apollo, someone is going to have their noses pushed out, if it makes deciding any easier, you can count me out, my place is in a viper training our new jockeys.”

“It does, thank you my friend, I was kind of hoping you would say that, your still the best damn hot shot pilot in the fleet, even if you are a dinosaur” laughed Adama.

“Oh you say the sweetest things” chuckled Starbuck before planting a playful peck on his Admirals cheek.

On returning to the Galactica, the two emotionally drained men shared a brief hug and returned to their quarters to have a well earned rest, Adama was not looking forward to the following morning, having to report the grave news to the council of Dr. Zee's terminal illness.

Adama had lost so many before, but this time it was different, this young man was special, irreplaceable, what of the people who followed him, what of his ship and his legacy?

Insomnia was an occupational hazard for those at the top and Adama was no different, he took a slug of whiskey in his desperation to fall asleep, eventually doing so with the glass still in his hand.

In his sleep he dreamed of the things his young prophet had said, he remembered the time he and Sheba became so close, had things worked out different they may have had a life together, but deep down he was still mourning the loss of his beloved Serena, so cruelly taken from him by his sworn enemies, thoughts then turned to his own legacy, to his son troy and his loyal crew. Dr. Zee was right, he had bottled things inside for too long, he needed a soulmate, a confidante.

Scene 5 – The loneliness of leadership

The alarm rang out in Adama's quarters, but this time he knew he had to obey it, he could not rely on Boomer to keep covering for him, so wrenched himself out of his warm bed and headed for his bathroom.
As he finished dressing, a new day had arrived, yet the same problems faced him, he looked down at the floor where the whiskey glass had fallen the night before and chastised himself for once more turning to booze, he was becoming more like his idol Admiral Tigh every day.

As he approached the C.I.C he was late again, he took a sharp intake of breath, he was ready to face the day. On entering he took great comfort from seeing his officers going about their duties in his absence, his X.O Boomer was as fine a number two as he could have dared to wish for, but even he had a limit to his patience!

His officer on deck handed him the new pending tasks laid out on his tablet with one hand, and a strong black coffee with the other, he nodded in appreciation to his officers, they got him, and he got them. Despite everything that had gone before, despite his trial and shortcomings of late, his crew respected and loved him, they were beginning to see him in the same light as his late father, that of a leader, mentor and father figure, warts and all.

That said, Boomer was becoming agitated,

“Lee you are going to have to tell them” probed Boomer, “The council are waiting to hear of Dr. Zee, everyone in the Galactica knows, you have to tell them now” pushed Boomer with growing impatience, but just as Apollo was reluctantly acknowledging his X.O a call came in from the 'Ship of Worship'.

“Sir, we have a communication from the ship of worship, the crew are asking for you, they say Dr. Zee's condition has worsened and that he himself is asking for you” said the young ensign, “apparently the entire council have made their way over already, I don't know how they found out, but they know of his impending death” he added.

“Have my shuttle prepared immediately, tell them I am on my way” whispered Adama.

The journey over to Dr. Zee's ship seemed to take an eternity, Adama kept prodding the pilot to fly faster, but the man had to follow flight procedures and could not go any faster.

At last they landed and Adama rushed to the waiting transport towards the castle tower, where only 24 hours prior he had enjoyed a meal and the company of his best friend and his young prophet.

Adama finally entered Dr. Zee's quarters to see the entire council gazing down at the frail form of the young man, no words of anger were directed at Adama from the council, they knew he was suffering at not informing them sooner, instead they all in turn embraced him, no blame was apportioned to him, only kindness and mercy.

The young genius weakly beckoned Adama and the council over to come closer, then gestured to his aides to help him to sit up in his bed, then with astonishing clarity and purpose, he was about to utter his last words!

“My dear friends all, my time here has been so brief, hardly have I been awake from my 35 year sleep in my cryo chamber that I must leave you all again, this time for good, but be not troubled, for I am going to a better place. A place where we are not pursued by a relentless enemy, where famine and war do not blight our very existence. I have done all I can, I leave you now to take my place at my fathers side, my physical father, Dr. Zelan, and my spiritual father, our Lord”.

“To my dear friends on the council I say this, your dear Admiral Adama carries the weight of all on his shoulders, he suffers in silence, I pray you will be there for him in the times ahead, his tenure as leader will be tested by those that doubt him, as will your own, the next four years belong to you all to forge a new world for our people here on Terra, in four years there will be great change in the colonies.

“Go among our people, let them see you are not aloof, that you care for each of them, that you will listen. You have four more years to turn the tide in our favour.

“To you dear Adama I say this, share your burden, trust in your crew, trust in your warriors and they will not let you down, delegate, choose your new warship's crew carefully. Finish the work your father started and rebuild this great fleet and we will prevail. The Lords of Kobol will watch over you and the Lord of all will carry you, and when you at your lowest remember the poem called 'footsteps' it will give you great comfort as it has for me”.

The young genius suddenly looked up at the ceiling and exclaimed, father, father I am coming, and closed his eyes for the last time, he was gone.

Scene 6 – A fitting farewell

After lying in state for a day for a private viewing for his staff, as instructed in his last will, the young prophets coffin was draped in the colonial flag and carried through the flower gardens in the cloisters he so dearly loved, so all his loyal staff on the ship of worship could pay their last respects. As his casket was slowly carried past them all, they threw garlands and posies of his favourite flowers onto it, then spontaneous applause broke out as it filed passed them.
It was then carefully put inside an awaiting shuttle to be transported down to the surface of Terra, where a place was waiting on the hill where his fathers remains lay.

As the shuttle passed through the vast array of ships, each in turn sounded their horns in honour of their fallen comrade, the usually caustic media reported events with a tone and manner befitting the young genius and showed an unusual degree of respect and deference.

The shuttle finally landed on the hill where Dr. Zelan's remains lay and a cortège of pall bearers carried Dr. Zee gently to the plot prepared for him at his fathers side

Fittingly, his poem from Earth, 'Footsteps' was recited once more, followed by his favourite hymn, 'The Lord is my Shepherd'.

Following his final wishes, for those left not to stand and weep over his grave, the crowds dissipated and returned to their ships and homes on Terra.

The day had been particularly difficult for both Sire Dmitri and Adama, both having T.V camera's shoved under their noses following their private mourning throughout the day.

Although from very different backgrounds, one from the aristocracy and one from a long line of warriors, they shared a kinship their fathers never enjoyed, and felt a shared sense of responsibility to their people, they would be given a brief period to mourn, but both knew the pressure was on, their followers, both military and civilian alike, were counting on them to deliver.

Adama had decided to busy himself for the foreseeable future, dealing with a great many tasks, though as yet not heeding the advice of Dr. Zee in delegating tasks to his crew, he was storing up trouble for himself and something had to give.

After completing another double shift in the C.I.C one evening, his body finally gave out and he collapsed into the arms of an ensign, and was rushed to the sick bay suffering from exhaustion.

Adama had become paranoid at the thought of letting his crew down and was driving them all on, his collapsing, though not welcomed by anyone, gave his crew time to catch their collective breaths, the friction had began to build up between the officers and this proved to be a blessing in disguise, both for the Admiral and his long suffering crew.

Medically, Adama was given the all clear, but ordered to take a 48 hour period of furlough on the orders of Dr. Salik Jnr., the only man other than his X.O Boomer who had the power as his chief medical officer to relieve Adama of his command.

Adama was incandescent with rage at his chief medical officer, but reckoned without the steel and determination of Dr. Salik, who simply waved him away as if he was a child, Salik knew he had no choice for the well being of his commanding officer, and knew he would be thanked one day.

Fortunately for Adama, his relentless driving forward of his crew had already bore fruit, turning them into a well oiled machine to such an extent that Boomer was more than capable of assuming command in his absence, and was for the most part, enjoying sitting in the command seat, if only for 48 hours. At least he didn't have to put up with Adam's moping for a while, he loved his Admiral, but appreciated the period of calm in the C.I.C while it lasted!

Unbeknownst to many of the crew, Starbuck too had his demons, and he in turn was driving his young warriors on, the urgency of preparing a great many squadrons to line the decks of the Pegasus was not lost on him, he knew that when all was said and done, their salvation could well come down to him and the skill of his new 'top guns' as the last line of defence, and he wasn't getting any younger!

His arrogant swagger was still there for all to see, but was a mere facade. He had been a troubled soul for many years, carrying the mental image of the dog tags of all his fallen pilots in his overfilled bucket of survivors guilt!

He knew, and so did Adama, the sooner the new Pegasus was fully operational the better, at least then the burden of protecting the civilians could be shared among them.

Scene 7 – A day to cherish

Ironically, as the C.I.C crew were musing how short 48 hours were, for Adama it seemed like an eternity, he had gotten used to having his own way and felt uneasy at not being in control of events. He needed a diversion to occupy his mind, and so ordered his shuttle pilot to take him on an impromptu tour of the fleet, if he couldn't sit on the bridge of the Galactica, at least he could use the time well and check on the progress of the Pegasus once more, and look in on the construction site of the new senate vessel.

It was whilst circumventing one of the pleasure liners commissioned for the arrival of the volunteers, it struck Adama that some were apparently oblivious to the troubles he and his comrades were suffering. His pilot knew better, so deliberately swung the shuttle round to afford his Admiral a closer look at the children below enjoying games in one of the swimming pools visible through the huge domes.

“If I may Admiral”, enquired the young pilot, there are those in the fleet who will have their time, those children you see down there enjoying themselves are aware that they will be needed in time, they are supposedly the best of the best sir, those new volunteers were hand picked by Adar weren't they sir”

“What's your point?” snarled Adama at the young pilot,

“My point sir is, er please don't put me in the brig for this but if I may speak freely sir.....”

“Go on, say what's on your mind son” said the Admiral curiously,

“Well, the new arrivals to our ranks are no ordinary people, those kids down there are no fools, they know what has happened to our people, and they also know that the very survival of our race may well depend on them, so they are having what's left of their childhoods while they still can.

“What's your point son, gods damn it”

“My point sir is you are not an island, you need to give yourself a break, our X.O is more than capable of assuming command in your absence, you have done an amazing job to get us all here, and I know I can speak for all your warriors when I say we are honoured to have you as our admiral, but you are no good to any of us in the sickbay, or worse still in the brig.

We all know how you spoke to Dr. Salik, be careful sir or he will relieve you of your command if you don't get a hold of your self soon, use your crew sir please, stop taking on the weight of the whole fleet on your shoulders, we need you, but we need you well sir”.....

“Those people you see down there will soon be able to take their place among us, some of the older volunteers are already working hard, you yourself assigned some of them tasks didn't you sir, so I suggest you let others step up now, before you have a real health problem, please sir.....”

The young pilot took a gulp of air expecting a tirade from his Admiral, but instead Apollo smiled at him and said, “I know everything you say is true, but maybe one day you will understand, when you are responsible for thousands of lives, letting go is much more easily said than done captain”.

The young man paused for a while before correcting the Admiral, “Sir I'm not a captain I am just a lieutenant, although I would like....”

“Are you questioning me again son, I said captain and I meant captain”, then winking at the young pilot.

It's Jansen isn't it, your name, Marc Jansen, well its captain Jansen now son, I make it my business to know the name of every warrior under my command....

“Anyone with the balls to face down his own Admiral is just the type of man I want around me, now that you will have a raptor wing under your command, you can think about this conversation we just had some time at your leisure, and know just how hard it is to let go when others rely on you. You bloody asked for it son, now you've got it”, Laughed the Admiral disarmingly.

What Adama did next completely took his pilot by surprise...

“Those kids down there, they haven't got a clue who I am have they” laughed Adama,

“Well I guess not sir” replied Jansen,

“Well I'm the Admiral still, and I say let's land this sucker down there and go and have some fun with those kids, maybe a game of water polo eh, then a couple of beers, and I'm paying, what do you say Captain Jansen?”

“Sounds like fun sir, can we really?”

“Hell yeah son lets do it, you said I needed to lighten up, I haven't played water polo since we were all back on Caprica, I used to play with my dad and my brother Zac in our pool when we were kids”.

After gaining permission to land, Adama's shuttle was manoeuvring over the landing pad to the stern of the beautiful pleasure cruiser, when the Admiral noticed a phalanx of staff gathering to tether the craft and noticed a more than usually large crowd gathering to greet them.
The last thing he wanted was to draw unnecessary attention , but politely greeted his hosts, and soon realised he was revered among them.

Wrapped up in his own world, Adama failed to realise his face was everywhere thanks to the media, so far from having a private day by the pool, he was quickly swarmed by hoards of children waiting to meet their Admiral and shake his hand.

After half an hour of meeting the staff on the vessel, and all the children on the pool deck, things calmed down and he and Jansen were asked to join the children, and to their collective delight Adama and his newly promoted pilot accepted.

For the next few hours, Adama forgot who he was and then realised the true meaning of being a leader once more, a leader not just to the military but, together with the council, the custodian of all the people in the fleet, including these wonderful, clever, smiling kids.

His pilots plan had worked, he had taken his Admirals mind off his troubles, for a day at least!

The young pilot had meant well, but it was only a matter of time before Adama's woes befell him once more, and as he finally reached his quarters that evening, he reached for the whisky once more, and the nightmares began again......

Scene 8 – Only The Good Die Young

Adama was desperate for comfort, he wanted to open the file on the second gold disc his fallen prophet had bequeathed him, but had given his word to the young genius on his deathbed he would wait, and knowing harsher times were ahead, decided to save it for, as Dr. Zee had put it, all began to lose faith.
However, he could open the first disc as Dr. Zee had given permission, 'after I am gone', and so, poured himself another shot of whiskey and steeled himself for the message from beyond the grave!

He lay in his bed as the message began to play on his main viewing screen....

“My dear friend Adama, as you are now viewing this, I must be finally at peace and in Elysium with my father and my Lord, therefore do not mourn me, for I have found my place among the Gods.

Barely three years passed since my awakening from stasis and my demise, such a short time my friend, but we achieved so much together, didn't we?. Our people have found a home, one which I can take comfort will become a lasting one, a new fully fledged Colony.

The message I give you now will detail events as I foresee them, You will be afforded time to complete all the preparations needed for the defence of our people, I had noted before I left you that many urgent tasks were nearing completion, and to those yet to be completed I say this, use the new volunteers more fully Adama, they are no ordinary people but a select few, and they all anticipated these events facing you would come to pass.

When they left the Colonies all those years ago, many of them foresaw that which has happened to unfold, and armed with this knowledge made a decision. When the then President Adar commissioned this new task force to head out to space, the 'Phoenix Fleet', he picked only the very best in their fields for what most saw as a one way mission.

Among them were designers, architects, scientists, engineers, lawyers, teachers, and yes clergy! Go among them now Adama, rally them to our cause and they will rise.

Be not troubled by the arrival of your sworn enemies, there arrival is not imminent and I say again, you will be prepared, but only if you utilise the resources you have available to you.

You were recently given advice by a young pilot, heed his advice, for he is right, no man is an island. Your frailty has become apparent recently Adama, therefore take a small step back and allow others to step up to their responsibilities.

What was it that boy said, “You are no good to us in the sickbay, or worse still the brig”
Well add to that dead! Your health Adama, heed my warning!”

Once again, the powers of Dr. Zee stunned Adama, no-one was in that shuttle with himself and Jansen, how in the name of Kobol could he have known what was said between the two men!
Dr Zee continued.....

“Now I will chastise you no more my friend, you hear me well. Now as to my successor, I know this has been troubling you of late, but the answer is staring you in the face my friend.

Among your crew is a father and son not unlike myself and my own father, a team that work together, your own ships chaplain and his son there on the Galactica!

I refer of course to Father Louis Deveraux and his son Lucien, they are no ordinary people Adama, they are my chosen successors, they have my trust and confidence, and in point of fact, came to visit me and sit among my flock for many of my sermons.

They have the gifts my father and I possessed, the father the gift of prophecy, the son the gift of empathy, therefore worry not my friend, for we all have a natural successor, even you Adama. Always there are two, sometimes the father and the son, sometimes the master and the pupil, or both, 'twas always thus!

In point of fact with Louis you get, not two for the price of one, but four, for he has a wonderfully gifted and caring wife in Celine, she loves tending to gardens, they had a large spread of land back on Gemenon, and then there's sweet little Delphine, their Daughter. As Louis and his son tend to the flock of worshippers, so will Celine and her daughter care for the cloisters, the staff and crew on the Ship of Worship.

When the time comes for you to step aside my dear friend, which is not for a good while yet I might add, one will come to prominence, as for the crew of the new Pegasus, again the answer to your dilemma lies closer to home than you think my friend. Worry not on this, all will be revealed to you by default, some will rule themselves out, others will display the hallmarks of leadership to you when the time is right, use your intuition, it serves you well my friend.

Now as for you dear Adama, as you are watching my message from beyond the grave as it were, I sense a large glass of whiskey is not far from your lips and you are still deeply troubled, you need worry no more, your crew are aware of your pain and suffering, they all love you Adama, but are greatly concerned for your well being, as well they might be!

You do not realise this yet, so I will spell it out for you dear Adama, your task is almost complete, your crew are so highly trained now, in order to gain the best from them you must start to delegate and promote, you are not progressing well with appointing your crew for the new Pegasus, I sense you are holding off making some difficult decisions, you are concerned you will upset some of your more ambitious warriors who may be overlooked for promotion. This is unfortunately inevitable, in order to make an omelet you need to break a few eggs as the saying goes, so break them.

The loneliest seat of all my friend is the seat of command, you knew this when you took the mantle from Admiral Tigh, you saw your fathers suffering, yet took the command of the Galactica knowing it was not only your duty, but your destiny, now follow this destiny my friend and turn to those who love you, not your old friends whisky and wine, for they may become your downfall.

I must leave you now Adama, you have been a dear and trusted friend, you believed in my father and I when many thought of us as mad dreamers, thank you. Now have one last drink to my journey to the heavens, then open the second part of this disc, the file marked 'blueprints' - that's blueprints, plural Admiral. This file contains the plans to the finest fleet the colonies will ever build, and will secure your salvation from the Cylons, and remember as you toast my work, I love you with all my heart Adama, I will reserve a place for you in the heavens......”

Message ends.

Scene 9 – The Longest Day, The Sweetest Night

Adama was dazed and confused by the message from his departed friend, it offered much comfort, but the Admiral gained none, he tried desperately to clear his head, to make sense of the prophecies, but couldn't!

Thoughts rushed through his mind once more of his family back on Caprica, to his childhood playing in the Gardens with Zac and Athena, to his mothers freshly baked bread and the smell of her perfume. Then came the darker memories of the armistice and the deception, of his brothers viper being destroyed, of his recent trial and finally of his father and Tigh, and, just as he was reaching for another shot of whiskey to hide behind......

He sat up in his bed disturbed by the communicator on the door to his quarters, someone was outside!

“Apollo, it's Sheba, can I come in please, I know it's very late but, well I wanted to talk to you....”

Her voice was hesitant and shaky.

Apollo struggled to gather his composure, he desperately wanted Sheba to come in, but was ashamed, she shouldn't see him in such a state, he was panicking, but she wouldn't give up.

“Please Apollo, let me in, I'm not going 'till you at least let me in and hear me out...”

“I'm er, I'm really not at my best right now Sheba, I er...”

“I know, that's exactly why I want to talk to you, now you can either let me in or I will use my blaster to blow the lock mechanism, what's it gonna be Apollo!” she demanded.

“Very well Sheba give me a moment” as he shook his head violently to try and clear his thoughts and gain some sense of control, he put on his robe and walked slowly towards the door. He opened it with trepidation, he was desperately trying to keep a lid on his emotions, he had deep feelings for Sheba, yet somehow felt he was betraying his dead wife Serena, even though she had given her blessing for him to find another to replace her after her death.

Upon seeing Sheba, his heart raced, she looked wonderful, she had clearly planned this liaison, her hair and make up were immaculate, this disarmed Adama completely, usually seeing her in her battle fatigues or pilots uniform, he forgot how beautiful she really was to look at, knowing already of her inner beauty.

She was wearing a long black coat that almost touched the floor, upon the door closing behind her, Sheba shed the coat to reveal to Apollo's astonishment, a very daring see through negligee, he was completely mesmerised, and so fixed his eyes upon hers, not daring to look at her all but naked form.

She had not come unarmed, no blaster, but she was holding in her hand a bottle of his favourite pinot noir sneaked out from his own cellar!

“Well are you going to stand there or get two glasses. What a fine host you are” she giggled.

“Look Apollo, we've been dancing around each other for years, decades now, we aren't getting any younger and, well you seem to have most things covered now, so how about us trying to have something for ourselves for once, we have all given everything to our people, I think it's high time we started to think a little more about ourselves, you know I'm right Apollo”

Sheba knew she was in complete control, but also knew her host was feeling extremely vulnerable. She was one of the three that completely understood his inner thoughts, together with Boomer and Starbuck, though his crew all understood his leadership style and respected him.

She had seen first hand his devotion to his crew, but he had grown to mean much more to her, she was a warrior, but also a woman, with a woman's needs, she too had been fighting her feelings, but she knew the truth, she was madly in love with Apollo!

Apollo was was visibly shaking as he tried desperately not to spill the wine as he poured, he wanted to stare at Sheba's beautiful body but found himself being modest to the point of shyness, he hadn't felt like this since he was an adolescent.

Sheba could see his discomfort, so took matters into her own hands, gently stepping out of her negligee to reveal her full form to him. She gently walked towards him and pushed him onto the bed, he began to become aroused as she straddled his torso and began to kiss him passionately. She gently opened his robe to reveal his obvious excitement.

She gently stroked his manhood for a few moments, before placing it gently inside her, as she rode him they began kissing with such passion, they actually drew blood from each others lips.
Within moments, the intensity had overtook them and they both climaxed together.

Apollo could hold in his feelings for Sheba no longer and began to cry, she too let go at this moment as their emotions drained them to the point where they both fell asleep in each others arms.

They slept for several hours, not moving from their embrace, eventually being rudely awakened by, Apollo's communicator.

“Hey Apollo, it's Starbuck, can I talk to you for a moment, it's about Athena”.... Apollo looked at Sheba and playfully gestured for her to keep silent by holding his index finger to his lips.

“Sure Starbuck, what is it, is she OK....”

“Don't worry my friend, she is absolutely fine it's just that, well she came to visit me last night and, well, as she is your sister and you are technically her guardian as the elder in your family, I er....”

“Go on Starbuck, spit it out man” grinned Apollo to Sheba,

“Well er, can I have your permission to date her....”

At this both Apollo and Sheba burst into laughter and the game was up, Starbuck clearly hearing Sheba's laughter.

“Oh I take it I wasn't the only one to have a visitor last night then?” enquired Starbuck cheekily.

“Listen my friend, if you want to make out with my kid sister you'd better keep a lid on my private business OK”. Smirked Adama.
After a long deliberate pause he started to roar with laughter, “I have finally got something on you my friend, of course you can date Athena you silly old war dog, just look after her, oh and that means no chasing Cassiopeia or any other beautiful hot skirt, understood?”

“Understood loud and clear my friend, I am in love with her you know? I guess I always knew it, but just kept focussing on my job. Anyway, we want to know if you, that is er you and Sheba want to join us for a day of fun, we have the day off and I guess you are still in enforced furlough thanks to Dr. Salik, so how about it my old friend, I have already cleared it with Boomer, he has given his blessing, he has things covered in the bridge?”

“Go on, say yes my friend, lets go over to one of those cruisers and have a ball eh?”

Apollo looked at Sheba and turned his head to one side as if to probe for an answer,

Sheba duly nodded in agreement, “Sure let's do it, we could all do with some fun, even if only for a day, we've all earned it”, she replied, “Just let me head back to my quarters to get a few things like my bathing costume, yes I still have one believe it or not, it reminds me of life before....

As Sheba headed for the door to fetch a few things, Apollo asked,

“Sheba, as we are now er, an item so to speak are you finally going to tell me?”

“Tell you what Apollo?”

“Come on you know, your real name, I know Sheba was a pet name your father gave you, so what is it?” probed Apollo.

“Very well, but promise me it's our secret” . Apollo nodded.

“It's Helena, my name is Helena Cain”.

To Be Continued......

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:47 am 
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Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage to Earth Episode 10 – Liberty

Scene 1 - The Last Supper

July 17th 7026

Galactica Wardroom, final meeting of the full council before repatriation to the new 'Ship of Governance'. Sire Dmitri presiding...

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the Council, may I begin by stating on behalf of us all, our sincere gratitude to our military leaders here on board the Galactica for their warmth and hospitality these years we have endured in space.
I do realise our presence here has been a huge disruption, yet we have been greeted with grace and more than a little patience. However, we all have a duty on the council to allow our friends here present, Admiral Adama and his loyal Executive Officer Colonel Boomer, the space they require to go about their everyday duties, this is after all a warship, not a parliament building or senate, and to that end we must soon take our places on the new 'Ship of Governance' bequeathed to us by the late young genius, Dr. Zee”.
“I have to admit to you all ladies and gentlemen, on a personal note, to having mixed emotions on our forthcoming move to our new headquarters which will serve as all three houses of the triangle of power.

I'm sure by now you would all like some details regarding your new home.... to the stern of the new vessel will be housed the legislative branch, from where new laws will be created, this will be in effect the new Senate, amidships will be the new Executive Branch, from where these new laws will be executed, in point of fact this is where we, and eventually our successors on the council will reside, and thirdly, but no less important, at the Bow will be housed the new Judicial Branch, from here judgements and decisions will be made on points of law, here will reside the supreme and lower courts, and as such will work closely with the new criminal courts on the 'Ship of Justice'.

“As we will soon be moving into a more appropriate seat of power shall we say, it will soon become apparent to you all just how much time and money has been spent on this magnificent vessel. As you all know I have been given a guided tour by the chief engineer and some of the key construction workers. I have to tell you all now, I was blown away by the sheer opulence of it, something I did not expect and I feel may come back to haunt us all if we do not deliver on our promises, for as we live over there in relative luxury, some of our citizens are still struggling to make decent homes of the shelters and dwellings we have provided for them.

We will need to be mindful not to alienate our people, we have done well I feel over recent months in going among them and listening to their requests and complaints. We have given them a human side to our titles, but make no mistake, when they see this vessel for the first time on Colonial News Network T.V, they will possibly be surprised to the point of anger in what they may perceive as an extravagance for us, that they are paying for! God bless his memory, but Dr. Zee has not done us any favours I feel in commissioning such a grand vessel, so we must work extra hard not to appear aloof and alienate our long suffering citizens any further.

All that said, it is what it is, and what it is..... is a fit and proper home for the seat of power for all the colonies, and we must treat it as such.

“These last eight months since the passing of dear Dr. Zee have been exhausting, breathtaking even, the work that has been achieved in these months has been nothing short of staggering, and as such, I feel now would be an excellent time for me to hand over to our gracious hosts for an update on all construction matters, military and civilian, and, on a personal note I would like to convey my gratitude to each and every one of your skilled and hard working engineers, construction workers and warriors Adama, I now yield the floor to you my friend.....”

“Thank you very much Mr. President for your kind words, I would like to add on behalf of myself and Colonel Boomer, and in fact all my stewards and cooks, having hosted you all here on a regular basis has in fact been an honour and a pleasure, your not at all like the twelve dinosaurs that came before you and that my father had to endure” grinned Adama, “so don't worry Mr. President, you are all welcome here any time you wish to visit us... and I feel our people will not blame you for the opulence of the new Ship of Governance, they will simply see it as a fitting tribute to you all by Dr. Zee.”
smiled Adama,

“In point of fact I am proud of each and every one of you, whilst we here on the Galactica have had our own trials... Freudian slip on my part there.... and tribulations, you too have had a great many issues to deal with, this has not gone unnoticed by my warriors”.

…. Now for an update on where we are at present;

I can now report that work on the underground caverns is structurally complete and a full fit out of all the dwellings within are also complete, including plumbing, electrics and decorating, we are now working on the furnishings, we expect the first to be fully habitable within the next week or so, and all by the end of next month. We will then begin work on the new shuttle bays and sealing the entries and exits with blast doors.

I am also delighted to report, the new Nuclear Silos have been completed with warheads installed.

We are awaiting the final tests on the new field generators designed by the volunteers, when these tests are complete we will begin a series of trials using a couple of our newly upgraded civilian ships to test these shields. We will be firing on these vessels using the captured Cylon Raiders. If these trials prove successful we will then test the protective shields in the form of a dome like force field over a small camp outside of our perimeter. We will attack the new shield using the raiders and test it to the very limits of the raider's firepower, if this proves a success we will fire a non nuclear warhead from the Galactica at the shield to give it a much sterner test, then finally if this is successful we will fire a full nuclear warhead, again from the Galactica, at one of the test vessels deep into space and see how the shields will withstand the ultimate test. If all goes according to plan, these shields will then be installed progressively on the surface of Terra and the entire fleet, both military and civilian.

This moves me onto my final report, the Battlestar Pegasus is almost fully operational now, with three of its four flight pods fully equipped with vipers, shuttles and raptors, she is also now receiving new recruits on a daily basis and is almost fully crewed, save for the most senior posts.”

“This however ladies and gentlemen is where the good news ends, we still have not been able to complete the remaining upgrades to the rag tag fleet, with sixty still incomplete, unfortunately my workers have been completely exhausted by their efforts to complete the new underground dwellings and 'Ring of Steel' defence systems, I'm sorry council members, But I simply cannot push them any more, they need rest!

At this disquieting news, a groan was heard among the council, events had been progressing so well, it was almost a surprise to hear that Adama had not completed all tasks at hand, though no blame was apportioned to him.

It was then that Sire Galen had his own surprise for the assembled council and military, and decided to address them.....

“If I may interject at this time, Admiral, Mr. President, I had anticipated this very occurrence and have come up with a solution, a contingency plan if you will, it was only a matter of time until tiredness and fatigue overcame your loyal warriors and engineers Admiral, they are only human and need to take time to rest, relax, and enjoy the company of their loved ones for a short while, so, this is what I propose....

“Let them have some time away from their toils, allow them a holiday of sorts to re-charge their batteries, and for that matter, the crew here on the Galactica, and this council. We could all do with a break, we have not completed all the tasks at hand I am aware, but as you say Admiral, your men are about to drop from fatigue, so let's all take a deep breath and take a couple of weeks rest and recouperation.....”

“….And where exactly do you propose we all take a break to?” Sire Dmitri enquired with more than a hint of sarcasm.

“Well, when you all gave me the task of recommissioning my fleet of pleasure liners, I did more than that, did you not realise why I asked for such a large force of workers to complete this task, after all how long do you think it takes to do some dusting, make a few beds and fluff a few pillows, come on ladies and gentlemen, think about it for a moment! I borrowed several hundred of your best people Adama, those liners are not only fit for purpose but fit for a king.... or President!”

Sire Galen answered staring at Sire Dmitri with his own degree of sarcasm.

“Did you not all wonder why they have been all but vacated by the volunteers now, to give me time to complete the upgrades and prepare for their launch, I have arranged, with your collective permission ladies and gentlemen, a naming ceremony for all four vessels, the names of which I have kept a secret, but will surprise and delight you all I am sure.

Then, when all the formalities are complete, I propose we all in turn take time to enjoy the wonderful facilities I have installed in them – one thing I have in abundance ladies and gentlemen, apart from arrogance, is a steely determination to achieve like my father, and the wealth to fund my ambitions. However, this is not about me, these ships don't belong to me any more, they belong to the colonies, they are my gift to our people.”

“Apologies Sire” countered Sire Dmitri To the innovative council member, “I should have guessed you had something up your sleeve, and, yes I for one think your idea is a sound one, we cannot force any more work out of Adama's long suffering workers, so I second Sire Galen's proposal ladies and gentlemen, and move we all vote on it now, that, and a naming ceremony for the ships, I am very curious as to what names you have given them Galen.”

….and so after a vote, it was agreed unanimously to arrange a lavish naming ceremony for Sire Galen's prize vessels, and make formal arrangements for some long overdue down time for the workers.

As formalities came to a close, and as it was to be the last time the full council, Admiral Adama and X.O Boomer were to convene in the Galactica's wardroom, the crew had pulled out all the stops to make it an occasion to remember, knowing they would soon be free of their political guests for good.
A banquet was prepared with several courses followed by brandy, cigars, the full nine yards, rounded off by some of Adama's finest pinot noir, which always went down well with the council.

After finally bidding their guests farewell, Adama, Boomer and the wardroom staff breathed a collective sigh of relief, happy in the knowledge they had sent their guests on their way in good spirits, Adama knew only too well he needed them all onside if he was to get his wish, the commissioning of a second new Battlestar!

Scene 2 - The Ladies in Waiting

After a further week, the naming ceremony was announced to the awaiting media, news of the upgrades to the four liners had spread quickly throughout the fleet, but not the reason why.

Adama and Dmitri had gambled their reputations on Sire Galen's plan, to not only provide much needed R & R to the people of the fleet, but also buy the council more time to get established on the new senate ship, and to give Adama more time to prepare a defence network whilst his civilians took leisure time, and of course prepare a case for the strengthening of the battle fleet.

Meanwhile on the media ship....

“Colonial News Network TV coming to you live from our headquarters on the 'CNN' vessel, Dan Harvey reporting;

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the colonies, we have reached a momentous day in our renaissance, four new luxury space liners commissioned by our late President Adar, are to be named and launched by our council member representing Scorpia, the honourable Sire Galen.

Our sources tell us these four new vessels are of the highest specifications ever known to the colonies, no expense was spared on these vessels, constructed by Sire Galen's late father back in orbit of Scorpia at his own shipyards before the fall. They were to have been set aside for the most wealthy and discerning of holiday tourists and dignitaries.

Today, they have been donated by our honoured Council member Sire Galen to us, the citizens of the colonies, to relax and take holiday's. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am honoured to be joined by the man himself here on the 'CNN' ship, welcome to live TV Sire, would you like to say a few words into the camera for our people.....”

“Thank you Dan I would, but before we get into the details of these new ships, I would like to say a few words to our people about how they came to be in existence and why I have decided to now donate them to our long suffering citizens.
In order to explain fully, I am going to take you all back in time, to when we were all free back in the colonies, and were not in fear of our dreaded enemies the Cylons. What I am about to reveal will stun and amaze you all Ladies and Gentlemen, these ships did not arrive here by accident, but by the hand of my late father and President Adar.”

“During, and in fact long before the armistice talks back on the Battlestar Atlantia, our late president had grave suspicions as to the integrity of our liaison to the quorum of the twelve, Count Baltar, and subsequently our new found, so called allies.

He therefore set in place a fail-safe plan, a fall back plan if you will, in anticipation of the treachery that ensued as the ink was barely dry on the new peace treaty.
President Adar did not enjoy the love or admiration of many in the council, he was seen as weak, but yet was in fact a very brave and perceptive man, so much so that he saw through the lies and deceit of our bond breaking adversaries.

He therefore secretly drew up plans for this very fleet of vessels we encountered out here in deep space, the Phoenix Fleet, few could have dared to fear the Cylons would betray us the way they did, but Adar knew in his almost telepathic mind, that they would. In light of this he called upon many of his most trusted allies, one of which was my father back in the Scorpia shipyards.

My father owed a debt of gratitude to the president for helping him gain the funding, expertise and contacts necessary to begin his venture, the aforementioned shipyards, and so, when the president came calling, my father handed over his four brand new, state of the art ships to join Adar's new secret fleet, though losing these ships almost saw the end of my fathers business venture, had it not been for Adar, the shipyards would never have began in the first place, and, in any event, my father agreed with Adar that the Cylons would betray us, and as such it mattered little about the shipyards, as in time the Cylons would raise the colonies to the ground and they would cease to exist anyway!”

By the time of the betrayal, the Phoenix fleet had already slipped their moorings and had headed out into deep space, to seek out this new planet we now call Terra found by the late Dr. Zelan on board his S.T.R.I.X craft.

The rest, as they say is history and you all already know, and now has come the time today to reveal these new ships to you all. My dear friends in the council, and on board the Galactica have been working tirelessly to prepare us for the fateful day of our sworn enemies returning, and now as I speak to you all, they have all but completed most of the preparations needed to provide us all with a formidable set of measures to protect us.

It is for this reason I launch these ships today, our brave warriors and construction teams are totally exhausted and need a well earned rest, it is therefore our intention on the council and in the military to afford them this opportunity to be the first to avail themselves of the luxuries of the four finest liners ever to leave my fathers shipyards.

Now Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, if you would all like to join me in the shuttle bay, my craft is waiting to take you all to a grandstand view of the unveiling of these wonderful newly refurbished liners....”

The media all duly filed into Sire Galen's craft and headed out to a vantage point prepared facing all four liners, the naming ceremony was about to begin.

As the camera's rolled, a phalanx of small craft manoeuvred around the first of the massive ships and positioned themselves alongside the craft, where the name of the vessel was hidden behind a massive tarpaulin, the anticipation of the media was palpable, what was the name of this beautiful vessel, and her three sister ships?

Sire Galen completely upstaged the young reporter, gently taking the microphone from his hand to announce the name of the first ship and give a description of her to the masses.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, the wait is almost over, I am about to reveal the name of the first vessel, but whilst we await the arrival of the tugs containing the light show, I will reveal a few details on this first liner, she is in effect the largest gambling chancery ever to be built in space, she is equipped with all the latest state of the art gaming tables including many copied from our data from Earth, including gin rummy, black jack, poker, solitaire, roulette, in fact every conceivable game there is on Earth and in the colonies, and as my military friends, especially Air Chief Marshall Starbuck will be delighted to hear, a suite of pyramid tables, enough to stage the largest tournaments in the history of the colonies.

…..”And now for the moment of her unveiling....” he then signals the captain of the tug teams to begin removing the tarpaulin from the craft.

“As my tribute to one of the most dedicated commanders of our brave viper and shuttle pilots, and in honour of her heroics during the 'Battle of Gamoray', and in honour of her families brave and loyal service to the colonies, I name this ship....

'Lady Sheba'.

The tugs encircled the huge craft, shining huge searchlights on her gleaming hull, dwelling over the newly revealed name to a round of applause from the media.

The shuttle was then ordered to proceed to the second vessel to be unveiled;

“Ladies and Gentlemen, you are now viewing the second of our four sisters, she is the largest water park ever to be commissioned in space, she houses the finest in water sports and aquatic adventures for all, from young children taking to the water for the first time, to seasoned experts in all things aquatic... she has wave pools, slides, competition pools, even machines to provide training in deep water diving, and of course training for scuba diving.

For this vessel I wanted to pay tribute to the memory of those who have left us, and in particular to some of the brave souls that perished at the hands of our enemies, I pay tribute now to one of the most dedicated journalists our media ever had at 'CNN' and latterly a brave warrior, the late wife of our dear Admiral, Ladies and Gentlemen I name this vessel...

'Lady Serina'.

Admiral Adama was watching proceedings from the viewing screen on the bridge of the Galactica, and was clearly moved at the tribute to his late wife, wiping away a tear from his eye.

The media then moved on to the third vessel and Sire Galen continued in his self indulgent philanthropy, the man was a strange and unusual combination of arrogance and kindness, a man not accustomed to social graces despite his high standing, yet fully in tune to the needs of others, an enigma indeed.

Although not used to massaging the egos of others, on this occasion the media gladly indulged the council member, knowing the prize, or prizes, were well worth the effort.

He continued....

“My friends, what you now see before you, my third vessel, contains the most sophisticated sports hub ever to have been built, not only on a vessel, but indeed anywhere in the colonies, she is to be the centrepiece of one of my initiatives, to provide the very best in health and fitness to all our citizens, with all the very latest cardio vascular exercise machines, training facilities, and monitoring equipment available, she is in effect the largest all inclusive gymnasium and sports science facility in space.

When naming her, I wanted to acknowledge one of the most dedicated medical experts we have in the colonies, a lady who rose from obscurity to become the very best in her medical field, and also a former warrior who fought bravely during the 'Battle of Gamoray'. Therefore Ladies and Gentlemen, I name this vessel....

'Lady Cassiopeia'.

This unveiling was again met with great approval, particularly with Starbuck, who still had a great affection for his former lover.

The assembled press were then taken to the final vessel to be named;

“For my final vessel to be commissioned today Ladies and Gentlemen, I have in effect left the best till last, meaning, of all the four vessels, she was the most expensive to build, and as such has the most lavish fixtures and fittings, she was at the time of her construction to have been for only the wealthiest and most distinguished of guests.
On board you will find only the finest of en-suite facilities, grand ballrooms and dining halls. She is the ship where one can fully relax, knowing every conceivable need has been catered for, in point of fact, designed so that one does not have to lift a finger, with maids and valets appointed to each guest suite.

One further item of note, you will see Ladies and gentlemen, atop the vessel and between the two giant domes in the centre, a huge tower, this tower was designed to provide a secluded first class set of facilities for only the most discerning of guests, and as such is completely segregated to provide privacy and seclusion, if so desired. That said, I will be opening up this facility to all in turn, I wish for no class systems here in the fleet or on Terra, as agreed by the council and military, all will be treated as equals on these wonderful new vessels.

Continuing the theme of honouring our heroines in the colonies, I wanted to acknowledge a brave warrior, a lady who has suffered more than most, yet has given more than most to promote the future of our people, she has remained brave and steadfast, even after the loss of most of her family to the Cylons. I refer to the sister of our great Admiral. Ladies and Gentlemen, I name this final vessel....

'Lady Athena'.

On hearing this, Adama was visibly moved, a huge round of applause rang out to honour him and his family on the Galactica, and all the fleet in turn began to sound their horns, Sire Galen had delivered and more, he had given a tremendous lift to the people of the fleet and on Terra.

Scene 3 – Buying Time

Several days later, Adama was busying himself pawing over the final preparations for allowing his construction crews their well earned rest, he needed to make sure they would all be protected whilst taking their time away with their loved ones.

He studied the paperwork for the umpteenth time for the new Pegasus activation codes, gazing out of his port hole to view the giant fortress in space, musing to himself how he would dearly love to take the command on such a formidable ship, but knew his destiny lay with the Galactica, which meant so much more to him than a Battlestar, warm and forgiving, yet powerful and imposing, his families home for the years since they had been on the run from their sworn enemies.

Everything was in order, the codes were all authenticated, all that was needed now was to appoint the new senior officers, he was not looking forward to addressing this issue, knowing full well a great many of his crew and officers were hoping to be reassigned to her, and that he would have to 'break a few eggs' as the late Dr. Zee put it to him.

When all said and done, their was only one command, and one X.O position, and one of each of the most senior posts on the C.I.C, he could think of a great many warriors who would make fine senior officers, Boomer, Sheba, Jolly, even his own sister Athena, and nearly all his own senior officers including his helmsman and Bridge officer.
He was stalling, so decided to head over to the Pegasus, maybe seeing the new C.I.C in all its glory would inspire him to make his decisions.

As his shuttle entered the new cavernous upper port landing bay, he was ushered into the bay by the acting landing signals officer to an awaiting berth. He alighted his shuttle to walk onto the bay of the Pegasus for the first time, having only viewed her from a distance thus far. He was astonished as he walked her decks for the first time, trying to take in her sheer scale, she was twice the size of the Galactica, her landing bays much more spacious than those of the flagship.

He made his way to the new command deck and into the new C.I.C, but when entering, the sheer scale made his mind even less clear than before, he realised this was not going to be easy, for she was the most powerful warship ever to have been constructed, and only Starbuck thus far had ruled himself out of the running for her command, preferring to continue training his young viper pilots.

Adama's unease was growing as he paced the perimeter of the C.I.C, realising he would not find his answer here, so headed back to his shuttle, he would conduct his full inspection of this magnificent warship at a later time.

He should have been content knowing the defence systems on Terra were all but complete, the new Pegasus was ready to be commissioned and the civilians were now safely ensconced in their new caverns away from prying eyes.

A thought then occurred to him, if he waited for a short while longer, maybe his warriors would declare their hands to him at their most relaxed state, so decided he would observe them as they took their own periods of liberty after the construction crews returned from the luxury liners, maybe he was over thinking things, maybe they would in turn declare their intentions to him and open up when in casual conversation over drinks.
If Adama had one flaw in his command, it was the reluctance to disappoint his crew by delivering news that they had been overlooked for promotion, but disappoint them he must.

Finally, everything was in place, the construction workers had returned from their two weeks vacation on the luxury liners and the vessels had been prepared to receive their next batch of eager guests.

Boomer had volunteered to take temporary command of the Galactica, whilst Jolly took temporary command of the new Pegasus, as each were single men, they deferred to the married and attached members of the crew to take liberty first, whilst they guarded the fleet and Terra.

Unsurprisingly, Starbuck requested a berth on the liner 'Lady Sheba' and her state of the art gambling chanceries, Athena gladly accompanying him on the promise of joining Apollo later.

Apollo however had other ideas, he wanted to visit the same vessel he had enjoyed once before with his shuttle pilot, he wanted to see the vessel named after his beloved Serina, hoping it would help provide him with more closure, especially as he was now emotionally involved with Sheba. This would have been his choice of vacation in any case, he enjoyed many water activities when a child back on Caprica with his family, their home having a large swimming pool where their late father Admiral William Adama taught them all to swim.

Adama and Sheba's shuttle finally arrived at one of the rear landing pads on the 'Lady Serina' to a rapturous welcome by the eager staff, all anxious to greet their Admiral.
Although wishing for a private secluded break, they would first have to greet the awaiting staff before being afforded some peace and quiet.

Meanwhile on the 'Lady Sheba' Starbuck was already having the time of his life, losing and winning back his hard earned cubits in equal measures, much to the amusement of Athena.

Finally all began to relax, Apollo and Sheba took rest in their luxury berths, they could have enjoyed a few moments of intimacy, but both felt like children in a sweet shop and couldn't wait to explore the ship, have a swim and a few drinks, and just talk and unwind, they would have time for intimacy later.

They talked for hours about their lives back on Caprica, Apollo explaining about his family heritage, and the long line of officers that came before him, Sheba purred about the living legend that was her father, and how he left them a lasting legacy on pointing them to the Phoenix Fleet.

Meanwhile on the Galactica all was quiet thanks to Adama's diligence, not a stone had been left unturned, the fleet was fully guarded as was the civilian population down on the surface of Terra. That said, Apollo checked in with Colonel Boomer on a daily basis though he trusted his X.O completely. Boomer however, as the two weeks dragged on was feeling the heat of the big chair, he had began to realise he was so much more at home on the Galactica, and under the command of Adama than he would be commanding the Pegasus, he was effectively ruling himself out of the command of the new Battlestar in his own mind, Apollo's gamble was beginning to pay off.

Time moved so quickly for those on the pleasure liners, enjoying every moment, savouring each day, yet to Boomer the two weeks couldn't end soon enough, he himself surprised at his own discomfort on taking the command of the flagship of the colonial fleet. Something was telling him that Adama would approach him on his return to offer him the biggest prize of all, and yet here he was, mulling over the situation full of doubt. He didn't feel right, this was not his destiny, so long had he served under the Adama military dynasty he had grown to love them, that fact, together with his love for the crew of the Galactica and his mind was made up, if it was to be his destiny to one day command a Battlestar, it would have to be the Galactica, or her replacement!

Scene 4 – Liberty earned, lessons learned

Adama began to face up to reality once more, his period of Liberty with his beloved Sheba was coming to a close, they had just one more day and night on the 'Lady Serina' before heading back to the Galactica to relieve the long suffering Boomer, who in turn would soon be able to take some well earned R & R of his own, together with the senior C.I.C crew.

For their final evening together, Apollo and Sheba decided to remain in their luxury quarters and order room service, Apollo musing himself as to the absurdity of that very act, humanity all but wiped out, pursued by a relentless enemy, and yet here they were ordering room service and with thoughts of a night of unbridled passion!

Somehow it just didn't seem right, but what the hell, they had earned it he thought to himself, and he was damn well going to enjoy it before heading back to the command seat and all the tribulations of being the Admiral of the fleet.

The two of them drank village ambrosia well into the evening before both becoming tired, yet fully relaxed in each others company to the point where Apollo began to open up to Sheba as to his deep sorrow at the loss of his beloved Serina. Though she had given her blessing, he somehow felt he was betraying her memory in being so intimate with another woman.
Fearing he had offended Sheba and soured the moment between them he began to clam up once more. Sheba was a very perceptive woman however and had anticipated his mood long before they had even began their stay on the liner, she gently kissed him on his forehead before making her speech, and making her move.

She began....

“Apollo my darling, you have nothing to apologise for and nothing to be ashamed of, we both knew this holiday was likely to be a one time thing and that our duties would once more take over when we returned to the Galactica. Don't over think things my love, we both know what is at play here, we both know our responsibilities to our warriors, you as the Admiral and I as a wing commander.

“Let's face it Apollo, we aren't kids any more, both pushing sixty and playing around like kids, hey we have had our fun and.... well I don't know about you, but I have savoured every moment of this holiday with you my love, but it had to end some time and we have duties, we may never be this intimate again, and if so I want you to know I love you with all my heart and if it is to be then so be it, we have to serve our warriors, our people.

Sheba's words hit Adama like a sledgehammer, he wanted her badly, yet yearned for his dead wife, he had all but driven Sheba away, and yet she held no grudge, for she had an agenda of her own, her love for Adama was no match for her ambition, she was after the biggest prize of all, command of the Battlestar Pegasus, and, like her father before her the legendary Commander Cain, she knew how to get her own way!

She was not the only one with an agenda however, and as the latest batch of holiday makers headed back to reality, Boomer was all too ready to hand over the command of the Galactica to Admiral Adama, and in turn was effectively about to hand over command of the Pegasus to Sheba on a silver platter!

Events were moving rapidly now, Adama was back in his comfort zone in the command seat of the Galactica, though he had enjoyed his period of Liberty and the company of Sheba very much, he knew where his place really was, at the conn of the Galactica surrounded by his trusted crew, he was more at peace now than he had been in a long time, already sensing Boomer's unease at being in command and relief upon his return.

The first day back went smoothly, all the fleet had checked in and all were accounted for on the surface, the new cavernous cave dwellings proving much more comfortable than Adama had dared possible. There was just one more major hurdle to overcome before he could fully relax knowing his people were fully protected, and finally he received news that the new electromagnetic defence shields designed by the volunteers had been completed and were ready to be tested.

Scene 5 – The Shields

A week had passed and still Adama had not filled the remaining posts in the C.R.C of the new Pegasus, he knew it was time to get off the fence but wanted every other piece of business out of the way before breaking those eggs, and some hearts in the process.

Finally, the first squadron of the new atmospheric fighter/bomber combo craft had been delivered and, together with the reconfigured Cylon attack craft, all was in place to test to destruction the much vaunted defence shield system designed by the volunteers.

The aim of this system was to provide an invisible dome like cloak above the newly formed camps and dwellings down on the surface of Terra, and on impact neutralise any Cylon nukes coming their way. If successful, this system could then be installed on all the ships in the fleet, be they military or civilian. To say this system could be a game changer would have been a massive understatement, the very future and safety of the remains of the colonies could hinge on its success or failure!

Finally the day arrived and all was set, the Galactica moved into position to observe proceedings from above, her nuclear silos were checked for structural integrity and the launch codes authenticated, she was ready.
Meanwhile, down on the surface the mock encampments shield defence system was about to be tested to destruction.....

“Attention, attention, this is your bridge officer Marco Ginelli, Galactica strike wing report in please, raiders, atmospheric fighter/bombers all report in, stand by for launch sequence to begin....”

“Terra encampment zero, confirm readiness to power up electromagnetic shields on my mark, in mark”

The bridge officer then turned to Admiral Adama to report;

“All systems down on the surface optimal, they are reporting a successful power up of the field generators, they are ready and standing by sir, shall I order the launch now?” enquired Ginelli.

“Very well, order the launch”. Commanded Adama.

“All codes are a green across the board, you are go for launch strike team, god speed...”

at this command, the tech crews removed the clamps and chocks from the strike craft and the marshals ushered the two squadrons, one of raiders and one of the new atmospheric fighter/bombers into the rear of Alpha deck.

This was to be a test of not only the power of the defence shields, but also of the destructive power of the new strike wing, and in turn the skill of chief test pilot Troy 'Boxey' and his 'big wing'.

The phalanx of strike craft left the rear of the Galactica's landing bay at speed, they arced around the mighty ship and rolled over to vector in on the surface of Terra, within minutes their objective had appeared on their scanners, they turned and took a heading directly above the makeshift encampment and awaited further instructions.

Far below them a blue haze could be clearly seen hovering over the encampment, the shield was active, this was the moment of truth, would the shield withstand the mighty onslaught of the attacking raiders and strike craft, or would their collective hopes be dashed in a blaze of laser fire, they would know the answer in a few minutes....

Finally the first wave of attacking craft bore down on the encampment and unleashed a hail of laser pulse cannon on the blue dome, to the collective horror of all watching, the shield buckled under the hail of fire and dissipated.

However, no sooner had Adama turned away in dismay at looking at events on his viewing screen, the shields were up again, then came a message from the tech crews down on the surface.

“We have recalibrated the shield frequencies and are ready for your next run, proceed when ready”.

The mighty Cylon raiders opened up their venom once more, but this time there was a different outcome, the shields held firm as a cheer went up in the C.I.C – just maybe they had done it, but far more rigorous tests still remained, they were not home and dry yet!

More and more runs were completed, each time more powerful weapons unleashed, and each time the shields initially buckled but on recalibration held firm.
They were learning fast, each weapon required a different frequency in the shield to successfully repel them. After several hours the exhausted strike teams were withdrawn and a halt to proceedings ordered as the Galactica crew mulled over the technical readouts before deciding to initiate the next phase, the launch of a non nuclear warhead at the encampment, it was time to up the ante!

“Admiral Adama to encampment, bring up the shields frequency to maximum power, I am about to authenticate launch codes for the warhead, advise when ready....”

“All systems optimal and ready Admiral”, came the reply from the surface.

“Bridge officer Marco Ginelli entering launch codes now...”

“Executive officer Boomer entering launch codes now....”

“Commanding officer Adama entering launch codes now....”

with this final act, the Admiral and X.O turned the two corresponding keys in unison and the countdown began,

“Missile launch in missile away” shouted Ginelli, the missile sped away from the Galactica, all they could do now was wait!

The tension in the C.I.C was palpable as the warhead raced toward its target, then suddenly an almighty flash came up on the screens, the missile had hit home and a giant mushroom cloud gathered above the drop zone.

Seconds seemed like hours as they waited for the smoke and debris to dissipate, then out of the haze could be seen a wonderful blue glow, the shield had held firm and an almighty roar filled the Galactica's C.I.C, now there was one more test to perform, the ultimate test of the new defence shields, the firing of a full nuclear warhead at a live target deep into space, only then could they claim a resounding success.

As a precautionary measure, no risks were being taken with human lives, two ships had been selected, both ships to be targeted were selected for decommissioning in any event, old mining vessels that had long since become obsolete, but their possible death would not be in vain however, providing the remote targets for the nuclear warheads, the shields were set to be activated remotely from the Galactica, the crew were in full control of proceedings.

As before, launch codes were authenticated by the three senior officers and the keys turned in unison, the first missile sped towards its hapless target and as it slammed against its mortal prey a giant red cloud engulfed it, once more a waiting game ensued....

As the huge chunks of debris scattered it soon became apparent that the old vessel was no more, she had succumbed, her shield had not held and a feeling of deep anguish entered the C.I.C once more.

All was not lost however, and as such the tech crews busied themselves frantically recalibrating the frequencies on the second vessels shield, this time it had to work, their lives could all depend on the outcome of this final test, it simply had to work, if it didn't then only the Lords of Kobol would protect them!

Once more all was ready, and once more the codes entered and the key turned, once more the deadly warhead raced towards its intended target and slammed into its prey, and once more the terrible wait began.....

The huge red glow was different this time however, this time no huge chunks of debris, the wonderful little mining ship had prevailed, they had done it!

Once again the mood was lifted in the Galactica as the whole ships compliment exalted as one...

“Admiral, we've done it, we've done it” cried the bridge officer through tears, Adama and Boomer simply hugged each other for several moments taking in the enormity of what had just happened.

Scene 6 - The Seat Of Power

In the aftermath of the successful testing of the new defence shields, Adama's stock had risen to an all time high, as had that of the council of the twelve, no longer despised for their perceived arrogance and aloofness.

The timing could not have been better, the anger of the populous in seeing the splendour of the new 'ship of Governance' had disappeared almost instantly.
Frankly the people didn't care if the council lived in apparent luxury, they had delivered on their promises with deeds. For the first time in a generation, the people began to feel safe once more and began to work towards making Terra a fully fledged Colony.

The council had now taken their places within the new senate vessel and a full ceremony to honour them and the military was about to take place, alongside the official unveiling of this magnificent new seat of power.

Once again attention turns to the intrepid young reporter on the 'CNN' vessel....

“Hello once more Ladies and Gentlemen, Dan Harvey here to present to you all the latest innovation by our esteemed council of the twelve, we were promised a new senate ship and she is now complete.
It is my great pleasure Ladies and Gentlemen to report to you all on an auspicious occasion in our history, the commissioning and opening ceremony of the new seat of power for the council of the twelve, and in fact all political persuasions from the colonies, welcome viewers to the Ship of Governance”.

“Here we are on one of her twenty four landing berths, twelve on each side, all in the colours of one of the twelve colonies. We are about to disembark and enter the vessel for the first time”.

The young reporter then takes us on a journey through the myriad of corridors, all adorned with oak panelling and fine oil paintings of past political leaders from all the colonies.

After approximately an hour of guiding viewers around the three principal chambers, we finally return to the executive chambers amidships to witness the full council, all seated around a huge rectangular table, each flanked by an aide.

Before the opening of parliament, a blessing ceremony was to be conducted by the newly anointed guardians of the faith, chosen in his last deed from beyond the grave by Dr. Zee.

They were Louis Deveraux and his son Lucien, Louis was to become the Archbishop and his son the Archdeacon, or assistant to the Archbishop.

The two men stand on a podium directly overlooking the huge table and chant in unison...

“By the Lords of Kobol, you that sit before us, you the quorum of the twelve representing all colonies, do you believe in the sacred scrolls, do you believe in the natural order and rebirth of the human race”
“Do you believe the Lords of Kobol will guide your hands to lead us to the promised land....”

In unison the council chant, “We so believe”

“Do you swear to uphold the guiding principles of our forefathers and the sacred scrolls of Pythia to which all mankind evolved religion”
“Do you swear your belief in the cycle of humanity and that our leaders will guide our caravan to the promised land”
“Do you swear to uphold every law known to the colonies, to execute them with diligence, loyalty and courage with your final breaths, so help you all?”

Once more in unison the council chant “We so swear”

Archbishop Louis Deveraux then chants.....

“By the power invested in us by our guardian from the heavens Dr. Zee, we are proud to re- confirm the councils authority and hereby declare this new vessel, the ship of Governance fully consecrated and open”.

With this act the new ship of Governance was no longer just a vessel, she was in effect the political fulcrum to all the twelve colonies, and her inhabitants had been cleared to begin the task of governing all that remained of their people.

Having watched the completion of formalities from the viewing screen on the bridge of the Galactica, Adama immediately called a council of war in the wardroom, ordering all his senior officers in attendance.

He had all but made his decision on his new appointments for command of the new Pegasus but knew it would not sit well with some, and for himself and Sheba it would spell the end of their short romance, both would have to once again sacrifice their own happiness for the greater good of the military, and indeed all the colonies, he was prepared to make this sacrifice, but was Sheba?

Scene 7 – Breaking Eggs, Breaking Hearts

Adama looked slowly around the huge wardroom at his senior officers, who in turn looked back at him with trepidation.

“Please take your seats Gentlemen....and Ladies. I am sure you are all wondering why it has taken me so long to convene this meeting to appoint our new senior officers to the new Pegasus, well, I have to admit to you all it has been keeping me awake for the last few nights I can tell you.

However, I owe it to you all now to put you out of your collective miseries and give you my decision, but first I would like to get a few matters straight, I need to know your collective thoughts on these appointments, I said from the very first day on taking command of the Galactica, and especially now as Admiral, that I would be prepared to listen and consult.

To that end I invite you all collectively to state your final cases to be considered for the most senior posts on the Pegasus, if I hear nothing in the next few minutes from you I will proceed with the promotions forthwith....”

After a lengthy pause and no comments, finally the Executive Officer Boomer rose from his seat to speak as if Adama wasn't even there....

“Ladies and Gentlemen officers, it has been an honour and a privilege for me personally to serve you all as X.O and I have come to respect each and every one of you. Moreover I have witnessed at first hand the suffering and self sacrifice of our Admiral, and his pain and torment at the hands of his accusers some time ago, yet throughout all his turmoil he has held the physical and mental well-being of you his crew at the forefront of his mind always.

This is why my friends we must be mindful now of his torment, he has, I can assure you all been thinking long and hard on these forthcoming appointments and as X.O I feel I have a better insight to his thoughts and feelings than anyone else.

Having had my own torment on these issues I can now say to you all, and to you Admiral, I formally request to remain here on the Galactica as your Executive officer and hereby officially rule myself out of the running for commanding officer of the Pegasus. It is my express wish to continue to serve as your X.O and to serve the crew of the Galactica”.

With this came a gasp from the collective officers, after a long pause followed a spontaneous round of applause. Adama beamed with pride at the sacrifice and loyalty showed by his X.O.

Boomer had in fact set the standard for others to follow, and continued to speak....

“Follow my example and you will all know what it means to be senior officers on this warship, do not let your own aspirations cloud your judgements, take with good grace the new roles you will be given and, should you be overlooked for promotion on this occasion, be assured you are all in the thoughts of your Admiral and myself, in short there will be other opportunities, other promotions, for we will be pushing hard for new warships we can both promise you that”.

“Admiral, Sheba, if I may be slightly indelicate here, we all know of the bond between you both, and if it is your decision to promote Sheba to the bridge of the Pegasus Adama, I for one will duly note the sacrifice made by you both for the greater good of your warriors, and your people. We all know what it will mean for your private lives, and if Sheba, you decide to decline this appointment, should it be offered, I for one will understand and give you both my blessings....”

Adama looked embarrassed, yet was in gratitude to the tenderness shown by Boomer to his situation, as for Sheba, either way She was in a difficult position, she would have to sacrifice her relationship with Adama, or her life long dream of becoming the commanding officer of a Battlestar, and the Pegasus at that!

Apollo turned to Sheba with desperation etched on his face, not knowing what to say, she then spoke for them both, and for the whole compliment of the Galactica....

“When we all enlisted all those years ago we pledged an allegiance to the flags of the twelve colonies of Kobol, we all agreed in times of war and turmoil that the greater good of our citizens took president over our own personal goals, and physical needs. Well, from where I see it, I, and all of you here still have a promise to keep, to fight to defend the colonies from our sworn enemies at whatever cost to our own ambitions, we all effectively gave our lives to the military when signing on that dotted line.

Therefore Admiral, it is despite my love for you, but pride for our brave warriors that I put forward my own candidacy for the role of commanding officer of the Battlestar Pegasus”.

Adama bowed his head and clasped his hands to his face in a motion of prayer, he knew in his heart of hearts that Sheba was right, and that she would declare her hand, that her ambitions for the Pegasus outshone her love for him, he also knew he hadn't let go of his love for Serina.

He was prepared to content himself with his memories of his short holiday with Sheba and brief tender time with her, he was ready to put his emotions aside once more and rally to the cause of his people.

He then prepared to offer his final thoughts.

“Officers, Ladies and Gentlemen, if there are no other candidates wishing to speak, I hereby appoint you Helena Cain to the post of Commanding Officer of the Battlestar Pegasus, do you accept this role?”

After her initial surprise at his broken promise of never letting the secret of her real name out, Sheba cleared her throat to speak.

“With all my heart, I accept this post and promise to defend the colonies with my very last breath, so help me”.

Adama replied,

“Very well, let it go on record, Helena Cain is the new commanding officer of the Pegasus”.

Her reply came swiftly, “I would hereby like to offer the role of Executive Officer to wing commander Bojay”

“Very well, rise Bojay” commanded Adama.

“Do you accept the role of Executive Officer of the Battlestar Pegasus?”

“With all my heart, yes Admiral”

“So be it, it is settled, you are at liberty to appoint your own senior officers to the posts as you deem fit Sheba” added Adama.

And so, the wheel had turned full circle, the Galactica was headed by an Adama, and the new Pegasus was once more headed by a Cain, Sheba was indeed her fathers daughter, she had played her cards perfectly and had got her lifelong wish.

As the meeting formally broke up, officers were standing in line to congratulate Sheba and Bojay, as they left the wardroom both exchanged a huge bear hug, Sheba had saved Bojay's neck on many occasion when in their vipers and he had done the same for her, she knew he was the one above all others that would understand her philosophy as commander, he knew more than most the drive and ambition of the Cain dynasty and would help instil discipline in the ranks as he did as wing commander.

After a brief celebratory period, Sheba got to work on appointing the remaining posts on the Pegasus and immediately began to drive her crew on, she had much to prove, both to herself and to the memory of her father, the legendary Commander Cain.

Scene 8 – Starbucks Dark Secret

It had been a tumultuous few days in the colonies, both from a military and civilian standpoint, the posts of clergy had been filled on the ship of worship, the new ship of governance was inaugurated and the Pegasus was finally fully crewed with all senior posts filled.

Adama finally began to see things clearly and was at last feeling comfortable, knowing his people, at least for now, were safe.

Finally they had a chance, and a choice, the ability to stand and fight, and a base from which to defend themselves.

However, just as once before, he was settling into his quarters for the evening, book in one hand, glass of village ambrosia in the other, when came a call from the communicator outside his door.

“Adama, it's Starbuck, can you spare me a few minutes, I need to talk”.

“Sure Starbuck, come on in, this is becoming a habit my friend, still what is it they say, a friend in need is a pest” roared Adama, always ready to mock Starbuck, it was their way of bonding.

“What's troubling you my old friend, is it those nightmares again, that survivors guilt thing?”

“No not this time, its actually more personal than even that, part of my er, guilt has been centred on something else, and now the new officers positions on the Pegasus are finalised I hoped your diary would be a little less busy and I could talk to you on a, well a family matter concerning us both, and concerning Troy, Dhillon and Cassiopeia.
“Oh and one more thing, I've brought along a friend to give me moral support, I hope you don't mind, er I mean...”

Adama's mood turned from one of relaxation to one of concern.

“Very well stop babbling and get yourselves in here” moaned Adama, expecting Boomer to be with Starbuck, and to his surprise alongside Starbuck was none other than Sheba.

“What er, what's going on here guys, your scaring me a little”, asked a concerned Apollo.

Starbuck and Sheba simultaneously placed their peace offerings on Apollo's desk, Starbuck had brought along a bottle of scotch and three tumblers, Sheba had raided Apollo's cellar behind his back – again, to his shock at her ability to blind-side him yet again, at this rate his wine cellar would be empty soon he mumbled under his breath.

Starbuck began to fidget in his seat as Apollo became agitated.

“Look Starbuck, you are my oldest and dearest friend, save for that fossil Boomer who has always had both our backs, so come on man spit it out before you give yourself a seizure”, groaned Apollo.

“Okay, okay”, replied Starbuck, “Well remember a short while ago when I er, interrupted you both and asked you if I could date Athena....”

“Go on” mumbled Apollo.

“Well there was a reason I was so hesitant in asking you, and not just doing what the hell I wanted like I usually do, you see there is more to this, more at stake you might say”.

“Thing is I have been harbouring a dark secret for many years now, and please don't think bad of me Apollo, but I know you of all people will probably understand, and well if you don't mind, Sheba will explain something that happened during the battle of Gamoray....Sheba!”

Starbuck looked at Sheba anxiously as she began to explain.

“Well cast your mind back Apollo to that fateful night down on the surface of Gamoray when we were trying to secure those fuel cells, remember, Bojay took a hit to his leg and we couldn't stop the bleeding. I was left to tend to his wounds when Cassiopeia came to my aide and managed to stop the bleeding and make him more comfortable, had it not been for her Bojay would probably have bled to death....”

“Go on I'm listening” added Apollo.

“That was when I realised Cassie was no ordinary person, she put her own life at risk to save another, I was a first hand witness to her kindness and courage.

Before that day I despised her for taking my father away from me, I always stupidly thought when I was a child I was his little princess, and well, then this former socialator came along and stole his heart, a woman no older than me with a man twice her age, my daddy!
I felt angry at her as my mother had not been dead many years, and I stupidly thought she was trying to take my place in his affections.

I have to tell you now, I could not have been more wrong about anyone, ever!

“But what's all this got to do with me Sheba?” asked Apollo.

“Well, the thing is, what I'm trying hard to say is, Starbuck saw those same qualities in her that day as I did, and he fell in love with her that day, he feels terrible believe it or not at being stuck in the middle of a love triangle all those years ago....”

Apollo replied, “Look, these things happen in life, it was all a very long time ago and I for one don't begrudge anyone trying to find love, in whatever place they could during those dark days”.

Starbuck interjects, “Thing is my old friend, something came of that relationship, Cassie and I did embark upon an affair I'm ashamed to say, under the nose of your sister Athena, I feel so ashamed at the way I treated them both, Athena for seeing Cassie behind her back, and Cassie for deserting her in her hour of need!”

“What do you mean her hour of need”, added Apollo with more than a hint of disapproval in his tone.

Then to the utter astonishment of Apollo and Sheba, Starbuck began to cry openly, something Apollo had never witnessed in all the years they had known each other.

Starbuck continued,

“Cassie had a child from our relationship, I have a child, and to make matters worse I didn't stand by Cassie and her, I mean our new born child, preferring to just walk away and hide from my responsibilities as a father.

Apollo countered, “Yes I can see how that would eat away at you my friend, but I'm sure he or she is alive and well and have made their own way in life, and Cassie has turned out to be the finest medical technician we have ever had in the colonies, to this day she is working tirelessly over on Genesis one with Dr. Allam, helping to develop the newest medicines for our people”.

Starbuck countered, “You still don't get it do you my old friend, I know who my child is and I have been watching him, protecting him even, from afar, now here is something else, not only did I cheat on your sister all those years ago, but more latterly I overlooked your son for promotion to wing commander, instead giving him the most dangerous post as chief test pilot and giving the job of wing commander to my own son!”

“Oh my god Starbuck, wing commander Dhillon is your son!” exclaimed Apollo.

“Yes Apollo, he is, but to make matters worse I have betrayed everyone that's means the most to me, I've betrayed him by turning my back on him, and Cassie by allowing her to deal with the issue of either bringing him up on her own or finding foster parents or carers for him, your sister Athena, who god bless her forgives me and still stands by me despite everything I have put her through, and you Apollo, my dearest and truest friend” sobbed Starbuck.

“I hung Cassie out to dry because the stigma of being attached to a former socialator would have ended my career as a warrior, never mind the fact I fathered her child! As you know, warriors are not allowed to fraternise with them, They call them prostitutes on Earth, did you know that eh?”

Apollo was heartbroken at seeing his best friend in so much distress and incredibly felt no animosity to Starbuck, though he was entitled.

Apollo then barked at him, “OK stop, stop, let me try and digest all this.” He paced up and down in his quarters for a few moments with his hands clasped behind his back like a schoolteacher about to admonish his pupils, looking at Starbuck and Sheba in turn, but then with a huge grin exclaimed!

“Look my old friend, the way I see it is this, taking my sister first, she always knew what an ass-hole you were my friend, yet she took you on all the same, with your swaggering arrogance, she knew what she was getting herself into by going with you, she is a grown woman so don't start feeling guilty towards her now it's far too late for that, she is old enough to make her own decisions and it's got nothing to do with me, I may be her big brother but I'm not her father, or keeper.

As for Cassie, well she knew full well what being a socialator meant for the both of you and I'm pretty sure she knew your relationship was doomed from the start, having said that she consented to sleeping with you, did she not, well if someone like her doesn't understand contraception then who does!
She must have wanted your child Starbuck, so again stop beating yourself up over that, she got what she wanted, even if it didn't turn out the way she planned, she probably didn't realise the child would be too much for her to take on, especially as she was trying to carve out a career for herself and try to bury her past profession.

“Now everything starts to make sense”. added Apollo.

“What do you mean Apollo” retorted Starbuck.

“Well, the reason she was so desperate for a posting in the medical field, she has access to all the populations medical records does she not?”

“Well I guess so but what of it?” countered Starbuck.

“Don't you see, either of you? She was obviously desperate for information about her son, she probably accessed all the D.N.A records of the people in the fleet looking for clues as to where her son was in the fleet and who was caring for him, just like you Starbuck, trying to protect him from afar, and I will bet my next pay-check on another thing, I bet she has a copy of your D.N.A!

Don't forget, nearly every warrior in the fleet was besotted with her back then, she probably wanted to be sure who the father was, sorry to be so blunt but there were many who could have fathered that child frankly! Think Starbuck, has she ever given you a blood test?”

“Well yes of course we all had them when we enlisted, hey wait, no your right, she did ask me to provide a blood test once, do you remember when I feigned a stomach bug back during the armistice so Zac could take my patrol with you, well just to check us out, your old man ordered me to sick bay to get a blood test, but of course Cassie said my stomach bug was genuine, she covered up for me, now I know why, she had what she wanted, a sample of my blood!”

Apollo then asserted his authority,

“Look Sheba, Starbuck, the way I see it is that some things are better left well alone, all that happened in the past is in the past, as for Dhillon, well do you really think he is going to thank you for suddenly declaring yourself his father and hugging him like nothing ever happened, he has a job to do, we all have so let it go Starbuck, he doesn't know who his parents are and I for one think it's better this way. If he knew who you were he would never leave your side again!

“No my friend, this burden is for you and Cassie to bear alone, I will do my part and make sure no harm comes to him, but you have to take responsibility for your actions, that said, together we will make sure he is taken care of, and one day if he asks, then you may tell him, but only if he asks , do you understand Starbuck, I am giving you an order now, LEAVE IT ALONE!”

Starbuck turned away in anguish, his pain was almost unbearable, but he knew Apollo was right, his son was better being his own man and finding his own way, as his parents had, he would be all the stronger for it.

Adama's tenderness as the father figure of the fleet was tempered by his new found strength as the authoritarian, he had finally mastered the one flaw in his leadership, the ability to assert his ultimate authority over his warriors, even if it was his dearest friend.

He added,

“In order to snap you out of your self pity Starbuck, I have to remind you, your position as Air Chief Marshall is a privilege and not a right, and as Admiral I have the power to remove you from your post if you fail to perform your duties to the very best of your abilities, the very survival of our people could well depend on the clarity of mind of my warriors, do I make myself clear to you both?

“I said, do I make myself clear?”

“Sir yes sir”, came the meek response from Starbuck and Sheba in unison.

Sheba was left astonished at the coldness of her former lover, but Adama knew what he was doing, he had to forge Sheba into a leader, to that end ordering her to use her real name henceforth being addressed as Commander Helena Cain, in order to make clear to her crew that only a select few could now be so familiar with her ever again.

The next morning after a few self pitying drinks and a good sleep, Starbuck was back to his usual swagger, and the matter was never spoken of again.

To Be Continued......

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:53 am 
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Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage To Earth Episode Eleven – City In Space part 1

August 20th 7026

Scene 1 – The New Senate

On board the 'Ship of Governance' after the formal state opening of the new parliament.

Lord Campbell McGarry of St. Augustine, a Libran, new speaker of the house was about to address parliament before the newly agreed weekly question and answer session for the president.

“Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with great pride I stand before you as the new speaker of the house
As was the case back on Caprica, and indeed all the colonies before the fall, we shall be conducting procedures here on this new vessel with the same guiding principles as our forefathers.

The surroundings may not be familiar to you all, but the laws set out in the ancient scrolls are, and will be adhered to at all times, and on that subject I will say no more, our esteemed colleagues on both sides of this house are all fully aware of their roles and responsibilities as custodians of our sacred laws, and now without further ado I will yield the floor to your president to make the opening address, Mr. President....?”

Sire Dmitri begins his address,

“Thank you Mr. speaker, Lords Ladies and Gentlemen here present, firstly I would like to reiterate my sincere gratitude to Admiral Adama and his crew for allowing us on the council to share his wardroom on the Galactica whilst this ship was commissioned, designed and constructed, his officers, cooks and stewards have been the most gracious of hosts.”

“Here here” mumbled the newly assembled politicians.

Sir Dmitri was standing at a huge rectangular table with books containing copies of the ancient scrolls neatly arranged upon it, at the end of the table was a sceptre - the very one used by the late and legendary commander Cain, donated by his X.O Tolan of the old Pegasus. It was to be put on show as a reminder to all that they had a responsibility, not only to the next generation of colonials, but also to the memory of those that had fallen.

Before continuing his opening address the President took a moment to take in the enormity of the occasion, he looked around the huge hall adorned by oak panelling, oil paintings of former presidents and ornate carvings, looking up to his right, to a large spectator gallery on a balcony overlooking the chamber to address the members of the public, press and media.

“To you all gathered upon the gallery above I say this, what you are about to witness is a momentous occasion in our renaissance, the birth of a new senate, a new beginning for our democracy in this place, here in the fleet, and on Terra.
To politicians on both sides of the house I say this, be mindful of your words and actions from this day forward, we are all representing the people in this fleet and on Terra from our elected seats in our respective political parties, and remember this, we are being observed at all times through the lenses on the Colonial News Network cameras and we all have a duty to represent our people with faith and integrity.”

“Now to my opening address to our citizens in the colonies....

“To you all I offer my achievements, and to those of my council in clearing the way for our lives to be made safer in the form of new dwellings down on the surface of Terra, to the newly completed Battlestar Pegasus, to the newly completed nuclear silo's and the new shield defence system.

We on the council are working tirelessly to complete a great many tasks, including the commissioning of a new vessel to educate our young, to our continued progression as a fully fledged colony on this planet below us, and to creating a new framework of work, rest, worship, education, law and order, and last but by no means least, health and well being for all our great citizens.

We all owe a great deal of thanks to our brave warriors in helping to pave the way for our safety and salvation from those that would destroy us.

Lords Ladies and Gentlemen, I commend these achievements to the house.”

“Here here” came the rapturous shouts from the huge bank of seats behind the President representing his own political party.

President Sire Dmitri was a capitalist right wing politician by definition, but only slightly right of centre, yet enough to alienate him from the more left wing socialists on the opposite side of the house.
To them, despite his many achievements, he and his council represented the wealthy elite and not the common people of the colonies, to his small minority of opponents, the president represented everything they despised, and they finally had a platform from which to state their displeasure at his councils apparent position of power and privilege.

It was now the turn of the opposition to state their collective grievances, surprisingly many given the impressive progress made by the council and military.

The leader of the opposition, representing the malcontents and rivals to the council was Dr. Alan Markham of Leonis, a planet well known for its education and industry, he himself a respected professor of physics, but also a maverick and a revolutionary.

Unlike his presidents clean cut well groomed and impressive image, Dr. Markham, though no less intelligent was not one for the trappings of office, a former union leader, wearing a shabby tweed suit with patches on either elbow and an open necked shirt without a tie much to the scorn and ridicule of those opposite, but he couldn't have cared less!

He had made a name for himself on Leonis by breaking the management structure on a newly re-formed high energy drinks factory complex manufacturing an ancient recipe called 'Leonis Red'.
In doing so empowering its employees with far superior wages and conditions, to the point of almost bankrupting the factory.

Before taking to his lectern, taking the time to look around the huge chambers at his peers, in an almost scornful demeanour before glaring at Sire Dmitri almost as if to give notice of his intention to give the president a rough ride.

When he began to speak he again glared at Sire Dmitri and jabbed his index finger at the president and began,

“So Mr. President, you are quite proud of your achievements are you?”

Cutting him dead, the speaker rose to address the chambers once more as the opposition mocked the president.....

“ORDER, ORDER, can I remind the honourable leader of the opposition of the etiquette in this house, did I not only a few minutes ago remind you all of the rules, that the ancient scrolls will be obeyed at all times, to that end Sir, you will address all your comments through me, and your replies will be addressed to me, I am the leader of this house, you will show due respect to this house and your president, and to my authority, is that perfectly clear Sir?”

At once the arrogant dissident was put in his place and order was restored, much to the approval of Sire Dmitri.

He meekly replied,

“My apologies to the honourable gentleman opposite and to this house Mr. Speaker, now if I may continue....
Yes indeed our council and president have achieved much in a short time, but why, when there are so many issues still unresolved, namely the health and education of our people, rehousing, sanitation, infrastructure, I could go on and on, why did our leaders feel it was appropriate to take a holiday and pamper themselves on our new pleasure liners whilst down on Terra our people were struggling to make a new start and a new home.

“Mr. speaker, the arrogance of the elite on the other side is nothing short of staggering, look around at this very ship we are on, this wonderfully lavish senate, built on the backs, and cubits of our long suffering people down on Terra?”

“I would like to hear his thoughts Mr. speaker.”

The speaker of the house turned to the president to offer him the floor.

“Mr. president?......”

“Very well, Mr. speaker if that's the way my honourable friend wants to play it, I will tell him why, While he and his cohorts were busy whining about their perceived ill treatment from their comfortable new dwellings down on the surface, some of us up here were working around the clock to prepare a formidable defence for, and protection of our people.

Our skilled engineers, designers and construction teams had all but worked themselves to a standstill in preparing the new dwellings he and his friends are now enjoying, and preparing a new defence system to which he is benefiting from, and a brand new state of the art warship, the biggest and most powerful Battlestar in the history of the colonies.

Does my honourable friend think some kind of genie has rubbed his magic lamp and puff, almost overnight these things all appeared, or is he going to show some gratitude to those hard working men and women who have worked tirelessly on his and our peoples behalf to secure us a foothold on Terra and give us protection.... and he calls US arrogant!”

Sire Dmitri continues...

“Mr. speaker, Lords Ladies and Gentlemen, the only reason our workers were given this concession was that if we had not, their very health and well being would have been compromised, they had not seen their families in months, I bet he has been going home every evening to his wife and loved ones, that is more than can be said for our hard working brave warriors and construction teams.

“Please do not accuse us on THIS side of the house of arrogance, look closer to home....”

“Point taken”, replied the opposition leader, “I will concede the intentions of our president and the council were honourable, and yes for the record I would also like to convey my thanks and those of the members on this side of the house to our brave and hard working construction crews, but as for the warriors, well they haven't been getting their hands dirty have they?

“Why then were they given preference over the good citizens to take a holiday, surely the needs of our citizens should come first?”

Sire Dmitri bristled at the mere suggestion the warriors had it easy and leapt to the defence of his Admiral and warriors.

“Hang on a minute here, Mr. speaker, my honourable friend opposite could not be more mistaken, our Admiral and his people have been working around the clock to prepare for the day our sworn enemies catch up with us, and make no mistake it is only a matter of time until they do!

Both the Battlestar Galactica, and now she is complete, the new Pegasus have been running drills and exercises day and night to get the crews and marines up to a state of readiness, Mr. speaker I strongly resent the implication our warriors have had it easy, our Admiral is not here to defend himself, yes I know he is a dear friend of mine, that's no secret, but as such I know first hand just how hard he, and indeed Commander Helena Cain on the Pegasus have been driving on their crews
so I will speak for them.
Mr. speaker I would urge those opposite to not make judgements on things they know nothing of, and perhaps if he, and his kind, got off their backsides and lent a hand we would have achieved even greater strides by now, so I say lay off our brave warriors....”

The leader of the opposition had a withering reply,

“So Mr. speaker, if our brave warriors have been working so hard perhaps we should all be given the chance to see for ourselves, after all it's our money that has gone into building this so called super Battlestar, I believe that's its official title though simply called a Battlestar.

Let us all see where our hard earned cubits have gone, we may not have been the ones to build her and we may not be the ones to crew her, but we darn well helped pay for her and I for one think that gives us the right to see what's been going on over there, and if our Admiral has nothing to hide then he has nothing to fear, right?”

Dr. Markham had backed the president into a corner, the last thing Dmitri wanted to do was disrupt the work of his Admiral but had to concede ground in order to placate his opposite number, so reluctantly agreed to approach Adama with a view to allowing a T.V crew access to a day in the life of the crew on board the new Pegasus.

Scene 2 – Preparing for unwanted guests

An embarrassed Sire Dmitri left the chambers having to explain to his friend Admiral Adama how he was duped into allowing the media on an access all areas tour of the Battlestar Pegasus.
Adama and Sheba had been watching together in Adama's quarters the first televised parliamentary session and knew they had been left little choice than to allow the tour to take place in order to placate the masses.

“Well Sheba”, mused Adama, looks like we have been thrown a hot potato, we could do with this visit like a hole in the head, I can't believe how our president allowed himself to be conned like that, and on 'CNN' to make matters worse”.

But Sheba had a plan,

“Look Apollo, it isn't ideal but perhaps we could turn this whole thing to our advantage, the way I see it if we do our jobs right and show them the full power of the Pegasus, we could come out of this with some real credit, if they want to believe we've been sitting on our asses let them, we can put on a real show for them eh, throw them a couple of hot potatoes of our own maybe?”

Apollo grinned, “You've got that devious look in your eye Sheba, what's your plan?”

“Well, when we did those war games down on the surface and we dragged the press through all that mud, when we were testing our new artillery and trying to get those two teams to get that flag on the hill. They wanted to see close up, well we can't put them in any mud this time but we could scare the living pogees out of them, you know, battle stations drill and stuff like that!”

Adama beamed,

“Hey I have a great idea Sheba, let's go one better and perform a full battle simulation, if we make them think we are under attack, even if it is only for an hour or so, it might just scare those in the opposition of the senate to agree to sanction the construction of new ships, or maybe at least one more Battlestar for now, got to be worth a try don't you think?”

Sheba agreed, “Yea, lets give them a real show....”

Then came a call from the bridge,

“Apollo, it's Boomer, Sire Dmitri is coming over in his shuttle requesting permission to land and come over to your quarters, should I give his pilot clearance to land?”

“Bet he's coming over to apologise eh” mused Adama to Sheba.

“Yes very well Boomer, allow him to land and send him up to my quarters.”

“Aye Admiral, will call you when he lands, Boomer out.”

Sire Dmitri's craft entered the upper port landing bay and as he disembarked he looked troubled, he felt he had let his Admiral down badly and now had to apologise in person.

Adama turned to Sheba, “Listen, before he comes, this is a military matter okay, he doesn't need to know what we have planned, lets just keep this to ourselves here on the Galactica and Pegasus, and I suggest we pull in the two new cruisers as well, they aren't crewed yet but we could transfer a few of our best guys on secondment as they are mostly fully automated anyhow, they don't need a huge crew like a Battlestar, besides it's about time we saw what they were capable of don't you think?”

Sheba nodded in agreement just as the communicator buzzed to announce the arrival of Sire Dmitri.

“Come on in my old friend” said Adama with a reassuring tone.

Dmitri walked in gingerly as if expecting a dressing down from Adama, looking straight at the Admiral and Sheba in turn, he said,

“Listen Adama, Sheba, I'm really sorry I've put you both in this position but with all those T.V cameras pointing at me I allowed myself to be outflanked by that idiot, I realise you really don't need this but....”

Adama countered,

“Look my old friend it isn't the end of the world, that's already happened back on Caprica, we feel this may even be a blessing in disguise, we have the opportunity to show our population just how hard working and dedicated our warriors really are, and dispel a few myths once and for all.

So don't worry about it my friend, it's done now and I will make sure our civilians know what it means to be a warrior, we will be ready for them.

In fact I suggest you make preparations for the press and TV crews, get passes issued whilst we make our own preparations to receive them, we need to make certain safeguards and prepare our security teams, please give us a couple of weeks and I'll contact you when we are ready and we can take it from there.

In the meantime my friend please enjoy my hospitality once more and share a bottle of village ambrosia with Sheba and I.”

The relief on Dmitri's face was obvious, as was the amusement of Apollo and Sheba.

“So tell us then my old friend, what's it like over on the new senate ship, are you all settling in OK? Enquired Adama,

Dmitri replied,

“You were right when you said things would change, and I was right when I said things would take much longer to get done, that left wing lazy oaf I have to look at every Wednesday is driving me mad, every single proposal I and the council put forward either gets analysed over and over, or blocked completely, it's a good job we got so much done whilst we were over here with you. Now all eyes are upon us we have to work twice as hard to get anything past the new senate”. Stated a rueful Sire Dmitri.

“Well” countered Adama, “Perhaps when we have shown the press and senate exactly what we in the military have been doing in order to prepare our citizens for the day those bond breaking Cylons turn up they will feel differently, and your record speaks for itself my friend, our people have been provided with new homes, a new senate, have been provided with the best health and pastoral care and are now protected by our new found shield technology thanks to the volunteers.

He can say what he likes, we have all delivered and we still have three more years working together in which to achieve a great deal more, face it my friend, you knew things would get sticky when you got over to that new senate ship!”

“Look Dmitri we have a golden opportunity to showcase the best of the military, and to push for more ships, we can show them just how much we in the military have achieved together with the council to get us here, to a position where we have a real chance, a chance to make a home here and stand together to fight, a choice only a year ago would not have seemed possible, we can hold our collective heads high.”

Sire Dmitri began to giggle, “In other words frak 'em.”

“Yep frak 'em all my friend, we have seen off challengers to our positions before and we'll do it again, me during my trial and now you, it comes with our jobs my friend.”

“Truth be told Adama”, replied Dmitri, “I miss our informal meetings over here with the council in your wardroom, the atmosphere over there is so much more hostile, everything is so formal and, well sometimes it's hard to even hear yourself think over that baying rabble, I'm especially not looking forward to question time every Wednesday, I hate the red tape and bullshit.”

“Sometimes progress has a price my friend”, added Adama, “those volunteers from the cryo chambers have earned their right to a voice given the massive breakthrough with that new shield technology they have overseen, the civilians too, it was only a matter of time until our autonomy and lack of perceived transparency was called into question, we just have to get on with it I'm afraid my old friend, the times, they are changing.”

Finally after finishing a second bottle of village ambrosia, Dmitri reluctantly headed back to his quarters on the ship of Governance and Sheba to hers on the Pegasus, leaving Apollo to ponder their conversation and preparations for the unwanted tour before retiring for the night.

Scene 3 – The Bucket and The Beast

Two weeks passed, Adama was determined the guided tour of the new Pegasus would not reveal any sensitive information about the warship to the general masses, so summoned the team of press and TV journalists, council and dignitaries that were to attend the tour to the chambers of the Ship of Governance. They were ordered to sign a legally binding document under oath to never reveal any information outside of that which would be freely offered, and to adhere to all instructions by the tour leader and not deviate from the route, under threat of imprisonment!

Having all signed the documents, the shuttles finally headed out to the awaiting Battlestar Pegasus to view the product of thousands of man hours of work, hard cubits and the sweat of around two thousand construction workers, they would not be disappointed!

Admiral Adama was adept at being a gracious host, having done so on numerous occasions whilst chairing the council in the Galactica's wardroom, so decided to put his best foot forward and conduct the tour himself, to not only show the importance the military put on the de-facto state visit of the Pegasus, but also to ensure events unfolded exactly as he planned and no critical secrets, or parts of the ship were to be revealed , other then those of his own choosing.

Before nearing the new Super Battlestar, Adama decided to give his guests a preview of the two new Battlecruisers.....

“Ladies and Gentlemen, before we move on to the star of our show I thought you might all like to take a look at our two new Battlecruisers, named Zeus and Hera after the Earths mythical Greek gods.
They were the parents of Ares, the god of war, bloodshed and violence...enough said!
These are classed as strike class cruisers.
Their primary role is to supply equipment, vipers and support to the Battlestars, as we near the first ship you can observe two landing bays, one on either side, these are primarily for the repair and maintenance of our vipers serving as support vessels to the Battlestars.

These ships are heavily armed with point defence weapons and an array of nuclear warheads, and as such pack a mighty punch in their own right, and if required can give a Cylon Base-star a bloody nose, even capable of destroying smaller craft unsupported!”
When in combat, rather than support mode, each of these vessels can house two complete squadrons of vipers and ancillary craft, one squadron on each side of the ship, we will now move on to the main attraction if there are no questions?”

As the shuttles moved closer to the massive hull of the Pegasus, even from several miles out the observers could be heard gasping in awe at the sheer scale of this killing machine.
Admiral Adama ordered all shuttles to patch into his headset to allow him to address not only the press and media on his own shuttle, but also the others in the flotilla.

He smiled politely at the media and observers and began....

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I will now, for the benefit of the techies among you provide her statistics...

What you see before you is the most advanced warship ever to have been built, not only back in the colonies but here, in orbit of Terra, she is approximately 12,000 feet long and has a length to width ratio of around seven to one. Her outward design is based on the original mercury class Battlestar, only much larger.
The aft section contains both sub-light, sometimes referred to as primary engines and faster than light fusion reactors, or F.T.L drives for short, mounted in the centre. The Pegasus has eight sub-light engines surrounding twin F.T.L reactors.

To the bow of the ship can be seen a section protruding higher and wider than the mid section, this is the head section, within this area are the main accommodation blocks for the senior officers, the C.I.C or command and information centre, which in turn contains the main bridge from where the commander oversees control of the vessel and crew. This area is where the main nerve centre of the entire ship is housed, with the plotting tables, control of the main propulsion, weapons, helm and defence systems to name but a few.

She is protected by a smooth armour plating called a bomb-deck. This armour consists of several different composite materials and metals and is able to withstand a great many direct hits from nuclear warheads by means of a network of structures forming a single thick bulkhead.

All missile silo's, main and secondary batteries are surrounded by extra thick plating in case of an explosion. Inbuilt into the forward leading edge of the ship is a huge ram, an iron curtain thirty feet deep, which in the event of fatal or irreparable damage to the ship, can ram a Cylon base star head on and can even withstand such an impact without hull breach.

Her main batteries consist of 40 twin barrelled heavy batteries; 8 1x2 dorsal, 8 1x2 ventral 4 1x2 starboard and port bow, that's eight total both sides and four heavy bow mounted cannon.
In the forward section of the head trench is a piece of technology we harvested from the Cylons, four mega pulsar lasers, if targeted in a single point and in sequential order, they are capable of destroying a base star within minutes.

She is also lined with 68 secondary batteries for point defence on her dorsal, ventral and spinal surface areas with twin barrelled weapons which can operate in tandem or independently, these are 16-inch in diameter and can fire 150 to 200 rounds per minute, primarily for anti assault. These are known as PDWS or point defence weapons systems.

She also has a stand off missile system or SOMS, these missiles are also known as glide bombs. Typically these are used in an offensive operation to allow attacking craft to evade defence systems on a base star.
Yes ladies and Gentlemen, she is built not only for defence but for all out attack if required, in point of fact she is equipped with 20 heavy nuclear missile launch silo's and over 40 ship to ship torpedo and missile tubes.
These missiles are equipped with penetration aids or PENAIDS which can be used to increase a warheads chances of penetrating a targets defences.

Now if there are no questions on the exterior, we will commence our approach....”

“Just one Admiral?” enquired one reporter, “I saw several small domes all around the hull, what are they?”

“Ah, glad you asked” replied Adama, “they are there ready for the installation of the new electronic shield defence system, also known as the force field, the invention of our new volunteers.”

Without further questions on her exterior, Adama ordered the slow approach of the shuttles towards one of four huge landing bays, situated to the upper port and running along the rear of the head to the front of the stern engines, one of four such bays.

Upon nearing the bay, the entrance was closed off by a massive blast door which slowly began to peel open like a huge garage door....

“Ladies and Gentlemen, the huge blast door you see opening up before you is a legacy of, and lesson learned from the destruction of the old Atlantia, destroyed by Cylon raiders packed with solonite explosives.

These blast doors only open upon receiving coded transmissions from friendly craft, and as such if no signal is received all rear batteries are put on auto tracking and crews order authentication codes from the approaching vessel, if no satisfactory code or communication is received in a timely manner, the rear batteries will open fire on the perceived hostile craft and destroy it.

“Luckily for you all Ladies and Gentlemen, our codes have been authenticated, we can live today”, grinned Adama, followed by the laughter of the delegates, Adama's charm offensive had began before they had even entered the Pegasus.

The gasps of anticipation from the press and delegates was clearly audible as their respective crafts inched their way inside the massive cavern that was Alpha Bay.

What they witnessed can best be described as one of two pairs of huge aircraft carriers, one atop the other on each side of a battleship all rolled into one giant carrier/battleship hybrid!

As the shuttles all entered the cavernous Alpha bay they each turned toward the main body of the vessel and were shepherded to their respective berths by marshals holding illuminated beacons. Finally the shuttles all shut down their engines and the occupants began to alight to a guard of honour provided by the colonial marine corps.

Upon entering the landing bay and stepping foot on her deck for the first time, one delegate quipped, “My god, she is an absolute beast, makes the Galactica look like a bucket”.

Adama glared at the young man and retorted, “Young man, are you calling my flagship, the Galactica a bucket!”.

The poor young delegate went scarlet, realising he had offended none other than the Admiral of the fleet, however, Adama was merely toying with the man and began to roar with laughter.

“Yes I know exactly what you mean kid, maybe I should just kick Commander Cain off the bridge and steal her for myself eh”.

Apollo's mirth was well timed, his guests actually trembling at his presence, and the sheer might of this monster called Pegasus!

As they filed past row upon row of viper, shuttle and raptor, he had them all spellbound with information on every conceivable piece of equipment on show, patiently explaining the roles of each piece of machinery or device when asked.

Adama grinned as he noticed some of the press straining to gain a closer look at the new hotshot pilots and their impressive viper craft, so decided to seize the moment and climbed atop a set of steps used to service these craft....

“Can you all see me clearly?” he beckoned them all to come closer as he prepared to explain,

“Before I show you all an actual viper launch I would like to explain the roles and responsibilities of some of our technicians, ground handlers, engineers and deck hands.

As you all seem particularly taken with the vipers and pilots I'll start with them....

The viper compliment is broken down thus;

Each bay has six complete squadrons, each with 25 vipers and pilots, plus one spare, so that's 150 vipers per bay and 24 spare making a total of six hundred and twenty four, yes over six hundred vipers ladies and Gentlemen!”

“I would like to explain the role of the Air Wing Control and Maintenance Department as a whole....

The entire air wing has more than 2,400 men and women assigned to it, which is almost 25 percent of the entire ships compliment. The department ensures the safe and efficient launch and recovery of aircraft and is divided into six major divisions. Flight Deck Control is responsible for handling and movement of aircraft on the flight and hangar decks.

This Department is supervised by the Deck Officer, who must, at all times, have current and complete status of all aircraft on board. The Deck Officer also has two Assistant Deck Officers.
The Deck Officer and Assistant Deck Officers rotate eight hour shifts to maintain crew readiness and integrity. Along with the Deck Officer, there are Six Flight Deck Control Officers who rotate four hour shifts so that the Battlestar is always in an alert position to scramble our Vipers and Raptors at a moment’s notice.

Upon landing, vipers undergo five critical phases before they can be turned around and ready to launch again, these are cool, purge, clean, rearm and refuel, known for short as cool to fuel.
Once ready they are placed in a rotating chamber or rack, a new invention where three vipers are placed in order of readiness adjacent to a launch tube and rotated, this means three vipers can be launched from a single launch tube in just three minutes!”

Ladies and Gentlemen, you will notice the crews all have different coloured hard hats and high visibility tabards;

“Red Division is tasked with the security and movement of aircraft on the flight deck. Included in this is the Crash and Salvage crew who are the flight deck's fire department and rescue team. The Red Division handles, directs, moves aircraft on flight deck. It also operates aircraft handling and servicing equipment and man's the crash and salvage team. Red Division also responds to medical emergencies on the flight deck.

Green Division maintains and operates the four launch catapults, blast screens and rams, and associated machinery, Visual Landing Aids or VLA and arresting gear.

Blue Division is responsible for the security and movement of all aircraft in the ship's four hangar bays.

Yellow Division handles, directs and moves aircraft into the launch bays. It operates aircraft elevators, hangar bay doors and assigned firefighting equipment.

Orange Division purges the aircraft upon landing and operates the aircraft Tylium Fuelling system, providing Tylium Fuel services to air-wing aircraft. Orange Division is responsible for Tylium Fuel storage and transfer equipment, Tylium Fuel purity, and Tylium Fuelling of all aircraft.

White Division is the lead team and operates the ship's aircraft control towers, commonly known as "Pri-Fly or Primary Flight Control" as well as running the department office. Pri-fly is manned by the Deck Officer, Assistant Deck Officers and assisting technicians. Here, the Deck Officer controls the take-offs, landings, those aircraft in flight near the ship, and the movement of fighters on the flight decks, which is a very impressive piece of co-ordination.”

The media frantically scribbled notes before making their way to the rear of a launch tube, ready to witness the launch of a viper first hand.

“Admiral Adama to bridge, are you ready for launch of probe craft Commander Cain?”

“We are go for launch Admiral, please stand by whilst I patch your guests through to the comms, I will put the launch on speaker so they can listen in on the launch officers commands....”

“Launch Officer McNulty to probe craft, all functions nominal, transferring control to probe craft, launch when ready.”

Admiral Adama addresses the media with a loud stern voice in order to command their attention;

“Please stand well clear of the blast door on the launch tube Ladies and Gentlemen, it will reach very high temperatures upon the launch of the viper inside....”

Adama pointed to a viewing screen beside the rear of the launch tube, where the pilot could be seen on camera in his viper cockpit, then with a press on the forward thrusters, the pilots head was pushed back by the force of his engines as his ship left the 150 foot long launch tube and into the vacuum of space, in two seconds flat!

One young reporter asked, “Admiral sir, how many launches a day do you perform on this ship, and how many times during the day or night do you stand the teams down?”

Adama laughed at the absurdity of the question;

“Stand down, young man they are never stood down, we launch 24 hours a day, seven days a week, we launch around the clock, the hangars rotate shifts, one hanger is on full duty, the second on support, the third on standby and the fourth on stand down, so at any given time, 3 out of four bays are either in full service or are ready at a moments notice, and the fourth can be called into service within minutes, so even when on stand down, our crews are never really on a rest period.”

Adama continued to mesmerise his audience....

“I am now going to take you all to a siding adjacent to the hangar bay where you will be shown some of our newest innovations, these include re-designs of a familiar shuttle but with larger and enhanced engine pods, we also have new troop transport craft and dropships, these are primarily for our continued reconnaissance of, and mapping out of the surface of Terra.
These huge dropships help in the logistical moving of tanks, armoured troop carriers and such, and all ground equipment to where we need them down on Terra.
You will observe the vehicles have a much deeper chassis than can be normally seen on a ground vehicle, this is to facilitate storage for more supplies, food and equipment for longer recon missions than normally conducted.”

“Now if there are no more questions on the landing bays or vipers, ground crews etcetera, we will move on to the next part of the tour, the propulsion and engines.”

The Admiral then ushers his party of guests to a small group of mobile transport craft, similar to golf carts to transport them through the rear of the hangar bay and into the corridor leading to the main engine room, before entering the room he distributes ear protection muffs to his guests and gives them a quick briefing on what to expect before entering.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, before we enter the main engine room I have to warn you all of the sheer size and scale, to that end I ask you all to stay together and behind me, it's easy to get lost in there and it's dangerous! Secondly you will notice the noise levels are deafening, hence the ear muffs I have issued you all, to the side of these ear protectors are two buttons, these are radio transmission buttons, press blue to listen to my commentary and green if you would like to speak or have a question, is everyone clear?”

The party all eagerly nodded, waiting to be led into the cavernous engine room.

Upon entering the cathedral like chasm, the comments from Adama did not do its scale justice, the delegates simply stood open mouthed at, not only the deafening noise but the size, bigger than some of the smaller warships back on Caprica and the colonies in itself.

Row upon row of technicians could be seen checking and counter checking each and every switch dial and button with machine efficiency. Adama joked these technicians were known as the 'What Men', as they constantly yelled 'What?' for the first hour if they took off their ear muffs too early on leaving the engine room due to their temporary deafness! He did not dwell for long in this part of the ship for fear of the safety of his guests, and as certain parts of the engine room and propulsion systems were classified as top secret.

Scene 4 – Feeding the Multitude

Next port of call for the Admiral and his eager guests were the crew quarters of the ratings, bars, rest areas, marine billets and the galley's.
His guests had been left in awe of the engine rooms, but were just as pleased to leave, their ears still wringing from the loud roar of the sub-light engines despite their ear protection muffs.

He then turned away from his guests for a moment and patched his headset through to Commander Helena Cain, his beloved Sheba, to enlist her help in entertaining his guests....

He whispered,

“Sheba can you hear me?”

“Yes Apollo, how's it going?”

“Great, really great, I've got them eating out of my hand, now if you'll pardon the unintended pun I would like to feed them properly now, are your cooks ready to receive them?”

“Yes Apollo, take them through to deck sixteen, subsection 4A, its one of the main mess halls for the ratings, it ain't posh but the food is delicious darling...”

Adama blushed at the familiarity of Sheba, but realising no-one had heard, enjoyed her sentiment, and just for a millisecond his mind flashed back to the time they spent together on the liner 'Lady Serina'.
All was going well, almost too well, but the real test of the ship and crew was yet to come!

Adama led his party through a labyrinth of corridors eventually reaching the main junior ranks mess, the admiral wanted to show his tour group what life was like for the junior ratings to show that even the lowest ranks were well catered for, both from a culinary and comfort viewpoint, besides which, he did not wish his senior officers to be disturbed until he had chance to finalise his plans.

He continued his commentary as he led them into the enormous dining hall, big enough to cater for five hundred at a single sitting.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, what you now see before you is one of a pair of identical junior mess halls, a mirror image of this one is over on the starboard and serves the crew on that side of the ship.

An eager reporter asks, “Is this giant dining hall used simply to eat”.

“Indeed not” replied Adama, “It is also used for recreation and socialising, the junior ranks use it as a place to relax and unwind, and if on stand down can enjoy a few beers if they so wish, within reason of course, we can't have then staggering around the ship”. He grinned.

“Please be seated everyone, our cooks have prepared you all a delicious steak meal, there is also a fish or vegetarian butternut squash option if you so prefer, wine and non alcoholic drinks will be served, followed by dessert. Please relax, enjoy your meals and I shall return in an hour to continue the tour, bon appetit Ladies and Gentlemen”.

One delegate raised her hand, “Admiral, before you go for your own lunch, I'm sure our people will be wondering, well, why is she so big, I mean she must be twice the size of the Galactica?”

“Indeed, almost exactly twice the size madam, well, the one thing we don't lack in space is, well, space, we can build as big as we wish, and there are many reasons for her size, primarily, we can pretty much take it for granted our enemies have not been idle in their absence and have no doubt been working on larger and more powerful base ships than the ones that destroyed the old Pegasus, and indeed the colonies. Therefore if they are going to upgrade their fleet, so must we, and another important fact of note, many of the areas we cannot show you contain facilities which, in the event of our having to flee this place will house complete communities, with schools, chapels, triage suites and the like, and these areas can also be used to house several battalions of marines should we wish to invade!

As I said already, she is not only for defence but all out attack if required.

Also, don't forget the Chameleon cloaking system we harvested from the phoenix fleet, and the new defence shields we are introducing, meaning her size is not an issue for us!"

Ensuring his guests were attended to by the cooks and entertained by his chief purser and aide, he headed towards the main C.I.C to check on the progress of his plans, he knew all too well this could be his best and possibly only chance to press home his claim to strengthen the battle fleet.
He could not afford to pass up this golden opportunity to highlight the importance of, and impressive power of the Pegasus to the media and council, he was determined to make his point, and make it stick!

He had left instructions to his sommelier to keep the wine flowing for his guests, what he had planned for them would have a much greater impact if they were slightly intoxicated and off guard.

He entered the C.I.C in haste, and quickly made his way to the bridge where Sheba was waiting, knowing there wasn't a moment to spare.

Sensing his stress levels were sky high, Sheba was quick to reassure him all was going to plan.

“Calm down Apollo” she gently uttered waving the flat of her palms towards the floor, “We have everything in place, just be ready to head back to the Galactica, as and when things develop, if we stick to your original plan it will work, you have things covered with the two cruisers right?” she enquired.

“Yes” he replied, “I have enough crew on them both to create enough smoke and mirrors to make an impression, I will take care of them if you run the program from here as we went over before”.

“Just leave that to me I'll have it all set up, they will be impressed”, she smiled reassuringly.

Adama trusted Sheba with his life, but he didn't trust many of the new senate and knew it would be very difficult to persuade many of them to acquiesce to his wishes for more ships, and felt he needed to force the issue.

He knew the fleet and Terra were not yet strong enough to hold off a Cylon armada, and if he failed to convince the senate, council and civilians he would only have himself to blame, but more importantly, if he failed, the very future of the newly found colony and the entire remnants of the human race would be at the mercy of the Cylons.

To be continued in part 2....

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:45 am 
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Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 5:39 am
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Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage to Earth – City in Space part 2

Continued from episode 1......

…...Adama trusted Sheba with his life, but he didn't trust many of the new senate and knew it would be very difficult to persuade many of them to acquiesce to his wishes for more ships, and felt he needed to force the issue.

He knew the fleet and Terra were not yet strong enough to hold off a Cylon armada, and if he failed to convince the senate, council and civilians he would only have himself to blame, but more importantly, if he failed, the very future of the newly formed colony and the entire remnants of the human race would be at the mercy of the Cylons.

Scene 5 - The Heart of the Pegasus

After his guests had enjoyed a very well prepared and cooked meal, having been royally entertained by the ships stewards and his aide and new ships counsellor Patrick Harper, Adama finally returned to find a very eager and slightly intoxicated entourage of guests waiting for him, surprised but pleased his ruse had worked, he had them where he wanted them, now for the highlight of the tour, a look inside the very nerve centre, the Heart of the ship, the C.I.C.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, if you are all refreshed and ready to continue the tour we shall press on.... to the very heart of this mighty vessel, this city in space, the C.I.C or Combat Information Centre.”

Ushering his entourage to a set of turbo lifts which travelled both horizontally and vertically, he instructed them which level to press and asked them to wait for him when leaving the lifts, there being too many to fit into one.

When all had alighted the lifts he teasingly walked them down a labyrinth of corridors towards the main C.I.C and stood at the entrance to address the delegates before entering.

“May I have your undivided attention now please Ladies and Gentlemen, I must ask you all to remain quiet in this area, you are now about to enter the most critical part of the warship, it is from here that all essential operations on this vessel are conducted and supervised.
With this in mind, I must ask you to address all questions to me unless otherwise instructed and not to distract Commander Cain's officers.

I must at this point also remind you all of the documents you all signed over on the ship of governance, you are strictly forbidden to film or interview without my, or Commander Cain's express permission, is that clearly understood?” said Adama sternly.

The stunned delegates all meekly nodded and replied in unison “Yes Admiral”.

Upon entering the main C.I.C the delegates stood in awe at the massive bank of consoles, desks, plotting tables and alcoves containing dozens of technicians all diligently concentrating on their individual tasks. They were informed they could film a panoramic shot of the C.I.C from their vantage point, the room contained four rows of consoles, much like mission control from Earths Apollo space missions, a huge viewing screen at the front of the room and two large alcoves on each side on a raised level, reached by stairs and an elevator. Adama then ushered them to enter further into the C.I.C as his guests all eagerly followed hanging on his every word.

“I will now explain in detail each and every role throughout the ship I haven't already covered, starting with the critical roles here in the C.I.C and moving on to the important duties elsewhere on this vessel....

The Command Department consists of the Commander and the Executive Officer. The Commander is ultimately responsible for the safety and welfare of the entire crew. He or in this case she has final authority on all decisions regarding the ship and her mission. The Executive officer or XO is the commander's immediate subordinate, and is also their successor should the need arise.

The Commanding Officer is ultimately responsible for the ship and crew, the most senior officer aboard a vessel. They are responsible for carrying out the orders of the President, and for representing the Colonial Fleet.

The Executive Officer acts as the liaison between captain and crew, they act as the disciplinarian, personnel manager, advisor to the captain, and much more. They are also one of only two officers, along with the Chief Medical Officer, that can remove a Commanding Officer from duty.

The C.I.C or Command and Information Centre personnel consists of the FTL officers, technicians and various other systems controllers that keep a Battlestar and her systems running smoothly.

The O.O.D or Officer of the Deck monitors the C.I.C's operation in the absence of the ship's commanding officer. The 'OOD' generally carries out or relays the commanding officer's standing orders. In the absence of a commanding officer or X.O, the OOD has the conn, but typically calls the commanding officer before taking any action if time allows.

The Launch Officer, seated directly below the main bridge is ultimately responsible for all fighter, raptor, shuttle or any other deck side launches from any of the Battlestars four main launch bays and co-ordinates any battle tactics with the tactical officer, and also liaises with the C.A.G, I will explain more on this key role later.... and Master at Arms On deck.

There are four senior Launch Technicians, each responsible for one of the four main launch bays and report directly to the launch Officer.

The Tactical Officer is tasked with the monitoring of D.R.A.D.I.S which is our long range scanning system, standing for direction, range and distance, and coordinating various command and control functionality, including computer control, the Tactical Officer must relay changes in status and keep the commander updated continuously during the fluid events of battle. The Tactical officer is typically the first to know that an attack is imminent and will address the Battlestar via the P.A

The Communications Officer monitors, directs or relays communications to and from fighters and other ships. In coordination with the Tactical Station, the Communications officer can also verify transponders that register as friendly, and alerts the Tactical Officer or commander if they pick up signals without transponders or recognised enemy transponders. The Communications Officer has a link to the mainframe computer, where a library of Colonial recognition information resides.

The Helm Control Officer's navigation is managed by spatial coordinates based on DRADIS and other sensor information. The helm crew members drive the Battlestar through a series of controls and based on commands from the Executive officer or commanding officer.

A Damage Control officer can perform many actions to repair or mitigate the effects of an enemy attack through the controls here, including the venting of compartments, coordination of damage control teams, and the like.

The Weapons Control Officer manages the Battlestar's gun batteries and other defensive controls. In the event that the Weapons Control Room or CIC is knocked offline or its crew incapacitated, control of the ship's batteries can be managed at Auxiliary Fire Control.

The computer Sciences Officer has the responsibility of monitoring any planets, moons or stars that fall in the vicinity of the ship and will assess the possibility of exploring these planets and determining whether there may be any life forms or if it is advisable or necessary to send an away team or to avoid the said planet. They have overall responsibility for all away teams, and any scientific experiments aboard the ship.

Senior Officer of the Watch also known as the bridge officer, liaises with the chief medical officer for the well being of the bridge crew, also controls the smooth running of all bridge systems

Now for the medical department....

The medical department is responsible for the physical health of the crew, from running annual physicals to treating a wide variety of wounds and diseases.

The Chief Medical Officer is responsible for the physical health of the entire crew, but does more than patch up injured crew members. Their function is to ensure that they do not get sick or injured in the first place, and to this end monitors their health and conditioning with regular check-ups. If necessary, the Chief Medical Officer can remove anyone from duty, even a Commanding Officer. Besides this they are available to provide medical advice to any individual who requests it. They are also a department head and a member of the Senior Staff and responsible for all the crew members in their department and duty rosters.

Reporting to the chief medical officer are the Medical Officers, they undertake the majority of the work aboard the ship, examining the crew, and administering medical care under the instruction of the Chief Medical Officer. Medical Officers also run the other Medical areas not directly overseen by the Chief Medical Officer.

The medics are responsible for providing first aid and trauma care on the battlefield.

Now I will explain more on the Viper Wing as I know you are all keen to learn more...

The Viper Wing is responsible for engaging the enemy in ship to ship battles, as well as providing escort for military vessels.

The Commander Air Group, or C.A.G for short is the Officer in charge of the Viper Wing aboard a Battlestar. That's over 600 vipers on this ship remember! They conduct pre-flight briefings, they are traditionally the lead pilot and are responsible for the Viper pilots as well as the Raptor pilots aboard the ship.

The Wing Commander, one for each deck, Commands all squadrons and answers directly to the C.A.G.

The Squadron Leader directs his or her lower ranking pilots in the heat of battle. The Squadron leader answers directly to the Wing Commander

The flight lieutenant Commands a flight of approximately six fighters from a squadron and reports to his or her squadron leader

Viper Pilots are junior officers in the Colonial Fleet that are trained and qualified to operate a Viper. A Pilot’s main function is to engage in military operations that have been prearranged by superior officers and engage enemy fighters that are attempting to destroy a ship.

The Raptor Wing often takes on jobs of reconnaissance, rescue, scouting, and transportation. The Raptor Wing Leader works directly with the CAG on future rescue and military operations that Raptors may be needed for.

Raptor pilots undertake short and medium-range scans to detect electromagnetic, heat or other signatures from other vessels, scan planetary surfaces for signs of life, energy output, or to locate and assess mineral deposits, and scout ahead of its parent warship in other planetary or celestial systems for any signs of hostile intent or stellar conditions prior to the parent ship's arrival. Raptor pilots also undertake search & rescue operations after an engagement with enemy forces.

An ECO, or Electronic Countermeasures Officer, is responsible for the electronic countermeasures on a Raptor. ECOs also operate computer equipment, including scanning and detection equipment. ECOs are also trained to fly a Raptor in case the primary pilot is incapacitated or unavailable.

We also have a team of specialist pilots to fly our new dropships, being so massive they barely fit into the landing bays and need expert pilots to fly them, these ships are used to transport our armoured tanks, vehicles and troops into the field of battle, remember these have deeper chassis than normal to carry more equipment to facilitate longer recon missions than normal we also have specialist troop transport vessels.

Now the Marine Detachment;

A Marine's duties include guarding the CIC and the brig as well as other critical areas on the ship, and assisting the Master-at-Arms and are part of Raptor or troop transport boarding parties. They are also responsible for stopping enemy boarding actions.

The Marine Commanding Officer is the Commanding Officer for the entire Colonial Marine Detachment on board, usually a Colonel, Major General or more senior.

The Master-at-Arms is a non-commissioned officer responsible for internal security aboard Colonial warships like this one.

The Colonial Marine Corps is a branch of the Colonial Forces tasked with ground combat operations and ship-board security.

The Hangar Deck Staff I have already covered, just to add, collectively they repair Vipers and Raptors between missions, as well as maintaining the flight deck.

The Deck Chief is responsible for the overall repair and readiness of all combat spacecraft on a Battlestar.

The Landing Signal Officer or L.S.O is the officer responsible for all flight operations on the flight pods of Battlestars and other military vessels. This includes the landing of all vessels, from Vipers and Raptors to small vessels, as well as the operation of the launch tubes.

Deckhands, as you saw earlier with the different coloured tabards and hart hats, are multi-faceted crew members on Battlestars who prepare and maintain Colonial fighters and reconnaissance vehicles for flight and turnaround.

Now for Engineering....

The engineering department has the enormous task of keeping the ship working; they are responsible for making repairs, fixing problems, and making sure that the ship is ready for anything.

The Chief Engineer is responsible for the condition of all systems and equipment on board a Battlestar or warship. They oversee maintenance, repairs and upgrades of all equipment. They are also responsible for the many repair teams during crisis situations. The Chief Engineer is not only the department head but also a senior officer, responsible for all the crew members in their department and responsibility for the duty rosters.

Engineering Officers are non-specialized engineers on board. They are assigned to their duties by the Chief Engineer and his Assistant, performing a number of different tasks as required, for example general maintenance and repair. Generally, engineers are assigned to a more specialised engineering person to assist in their work, as so requested by the specialised engineer.

The Communications Specialist is an engineer who maintains all the communication systems throughout the Battlestar.

There are also some key civilian positions on board, they fill positions that are not related to the Colonial military. Their jobs may help serve military forces in some form.

The Chief Presidential Military Adviser or C.P.M.A reports directly to the president on military matters

The Chief Liaison to the President or C.L.P works alongside the C.P.M.A and Reports directly to the president on political or personal matters

Priests preside over military funerals, without regard for the beliefs of the deceased. Priests in the Twelve Colonies were apparently not required to practice celibacy, and can be male or female.

Finally the Ships Councillor acts as an advisor on board the ship for all personal matters when Priests are not required

“Ladies and Gentlemen, as you now realise there is a great deal more to running a ship of this magnitude than meets the eye, she is in fact an entire community in space of some 10,000 individuals, as I said, a city in space!”

“Now please bear with me guests as I seek to address Commander Cain, the Commanding officer of this magnificent warship, I'm sure you would all like to meet her....

Adama slowly climbed the steps to the main bridge, where Commander Helena Cain and her new X.O Bojay were looking extremely pensive, something was wrong!

Scene 6 – A Games Afoot!

Sheba's facial expression had even Adama guessing, either she was a brilliant actor, or something was really wrong, turning to Adama she spoke softly but sternly,
“Better get your guests briefed on the safety protocol Lee, we have picked up something and it's not colonial!”

She shouted across to the communications officer, “Find out what that signal is R.F.N and helm, bring us around 110 degrees, I want to try and get something on screen...


THIS IS NOT A DRILL, REPEAT THIS IS NOT A DRILL”, came the anguished cry from the tactical officer.

“Bring the forward electronic defence shields up to maximum power and launch all vipers immediately”.

“Get me the two cruisers on comms right now, who have we got over there?”

“Adama intervened, “It's Jolly on the Zeus and Athena on the Hera, they are both on secondment checking on the systems before we declare them fully operational”.

He continued;

“Well, no time for dry runs commander, we will have to press them into service, ready or not, if I may address your crew whilst you continue to track the signal?”

Sheba nodded,

“Now hear this, this is Admiral Adama, we have picked up a signal from a hostile source, at this moment we have detected a Cylon Base Ship heading toward our position, this is not, repeat, not an exercise, yes I am aware a drill was scheduled but this is as real as it's ever gonna get.
Brave warriors, you knew this day would come, we hoped when it did we would encounter a patrol vessel not a Base Star. We have been dealt a blow, your actions in the next hour or so could well determine whether we are revered or reviled as a military force. I am about to leave for the Galactica to prepare her and the crew”.

“Our two new Battlecruisers are heading toward our position as I speak in order to draw away the Base Ship to give us time to prepare the Pegasus, we are about to test this new warship in the most ultimate way, in real life combat! I'm sure I don't need to remind any of you of the magnitude of the battle that is about to ensue, our new colony down there on Terra must not be allowed to fall!”

“We knew those bastards would catch up with us one day, well my brave warriors, that day has arrived.
Fight, and fight some more, give our people every ounce of your strength today and we will prevail...so say we all?”

As one the ships company all exalted “So say we all”.

Thirty minutes passed as Adama raced back to the Galactica, ordering the two cruisers to rendezvous with him in space....

The hitherto background chatter on the Pegasus became a coordinated network of commands, checks and counter checks, then......

“Tactical to bridge, we have her on visual commander, she is approximately twenty thousand clicks from our position and closing at speed, C.B.D.R and she has spotted us”.

“Bearing?” barked Cain,

“Bearing 126 degrees twenty six minutes west, thirty four degrees 46 minutes north and slowing to intercept speed”.

“Very well, get me the Galactica immediately, I hope to the gods Adama is on the bridge by now!”

exclaimed Sheba.

“Cain to the Galactica, Adama do you read me?”

“I'm here Commander, it was a dash but I've made it, the cruisers are taking up flanking positions just behind me, we are attempting to corral the base star into a corridor directly into your path, are you ready for this commander?” Adama asked anxiously.

“We are as ready as we are ever gonna be Apollo, bring her to me and we'll see what this new Pegasus has got, we'll rip her throat out before she knows what's hit her”. Said Sheba with a note of vengeance in her voice.

Events unfolded quickly now, the two cruisers had the base ship boxed in, breathing down her neck with no way back, the Galactica stalking her from behind, just then she tried to make a run for it by peeling off to her starboard, but Jolly had her covered on the Battlecruiser Zeus and opened up his arsenal of warheads into her, she suddenly felt the sting of his cruisers missiles slamming into her side, and quickly reverted back to her original course, the Pegasus.

She had nowhere to go and had to either turn and face the Galactica and her two escorts, or take her chances with the new Pegasus and her vipers, she did the latter, which was exactly what Adama and Cain wanted, now the awaiting press media and observers were about to see what their hard earned cubits had been spent on!

For the benefit of the media cameras, Sheba took a gamble and allowed them to film as a volley of mega pulsar lasers from the base ship skimmed along the ships hull near the C.I.C sending a blinding ray of white light into the huge nerve centre of the Pegasus, then almost as it seemed there would be a desperate exchange of fire, Sheba ordered the coup de grace....

“Gunnery crews, initiate the sequence for our own mega pulsars to dispatch her, I want her out of our quadrant and into oblivion stat....”

With that a continued volley of nuclear warheads opened up a massive hole in the base ship's central core, followed by huge white beams of mega pulsar lasers in sequence on the mighty ship, in just twenty five seconds she erupted into a million pieces of white hot metal and debris, she was no more.

A chorus of cheers erupted on the bridge of the Pegasus, followed by the horns of the Galactica and her two escorts, then as the crew began to calm down Sheba's attention turned to the tasks in hand...

“Damage report, what did we sustain, any casualties?”

Bojay replied....

“Damage control report several minor fires in decks four to twenty, the Boroton mist has them all under control, several minor burns and abrasions but no serious casualties commander”.

“Good, good, well done everyone, a very good days hunting, Admiral, Jolly, Athena, thank you all for the assist”.

“Your welcome Commander”, replied Adama, now I want to see you, Athena and Jolly in my quarters in one hour for a de-brief then I will address our guests, Adama out”.

The stunned entourage of reporters and observers, cowering under desks and plotting tables, all slowly began to rise from under the desks trembling.

Commander Cain ordered a small group of marines to escort them to sick bay for a precautionary check up, and on completion, none suffering from any ill effects save for the fright of their lives, were duly escorted to the main wardroom to await an audience and de brief from Adama and Cain.

The guests were well looked after by the Pegasus stewards , but were made to wait as Admiral Adama was about to conduct his council of war to his officers.

As Sheba, Jolly and Athena entered Adama's quarters he greeted them all with a huge hug, the plan had worked, he had made his point to the guests, now he had to hope the report from them would be favourable to him and his crews, paving the way for new ships to bolster his battle fleet.

After a thirty minute de-briefing on the outcome of the battle simulation, Adama congratulated his fellow officers,

“Thank you all so much, I don't think it could have gone much better, they were all crapping themselves” he roared with laughter, “Those pyrotechnic guys did a great job Sheba, they even had me going for a moment even though I knew it was all an illusion, that ray of white light you had running through the C.I.C, I saw it all on screen from my bridge, it was fracking amazing!”

“What about the cruisers Jolly, Athena, what's the verdict, are they as good as we hoped?”

“And more” quipped Athena, “They are fast and very manoeuvrable, and have a real set of teeth given their size”.

Jolly added, “Yes I was also very impressed, they handled themselves very well, they will be excellent support vessels for the Battlestars with two complete squadrons of vipers and shuttle craft on each cruiser, we could do with a dozen of them”. mused Jolly.

After a celebratory tot of rum, the Admiral and Commander Cain headed back to the Pegasus once more to address their waiting guests.

Scene 7 – The captive audience

The scene inside the wardroom of the new Super Battlestar was a sight to behold, several men and women of the media, still seething at the fact they had been placed in 'real' danger, and had just witnessed a live battle, were busy typing notes on their tablets to upload to 'CNN' , meanwhile Admiral Adama, Sheba, Jolly and Athena had deliberately allowed them to stew knowing there was no immediate danger.

They had made their point, but were now keen not to humiliate or embarrass their collective guests any further, so sped their way back to the Pegasus to address, not only their guests but those with power in the new senate. The reaction they were about to receive however was not what they had expected!

The realisation had slowly dawned on the collective delegates they had been duped, they had been left too long to confer and they were, to say the least displeased....

As the four main protagonists of their discomfort filed into the wardroom, far from being greeted with gratitude, were heckled to the point where one young reporter launched himself at the Admiral, jabbing his finger before being restrained by one of several colonial guards posted within the wardroom.

Commander Cain glared at the young man, proclaiming.... “Did you actually just attempt to assault your Admiral, even for a reporter that's not a good career move son.” she snarled.

She continued.... “Now if you would all kindly keep your collective composure we will endeavour to explain what just transpired”.

At this point Admiral Adama interjected, “My friends, I apologise for the anguish you have been caused, yes as you have by now guessed, that was indeed a simulation, however I make no apologies for that, we needed you to report on an 'actual' battle and had we told you that was an exercise from the outset, well you simply would not have bought into the anguish and fear we in the fleet must encounter each and every time we encounter hostile activity, therefore we deemed it necessary for the sake of authenticity”.

Report what you will, but by now you will have a real sense of what it means to be a colonial warrior. I promise you no more surprises, only pleasant ones. To that end I have prepared some entertainment for you in the form of a full military tattoo from our marine corps to demonstrate the strength and skill of our ground forces. However in order for us to prepare our lower starboard landing bay we would like you all to be our guests for the evening and enjoy dinner here in the wardroom, and then you will be escorted to your guest quarters, I do hope you will all be our welcome guests?”

After an awkward silence, the entourage realised the wisdom of Adama's ruse and the need to remain professional, collectively agreeing to remain as Adama's guests, not wishing to appear to bear any malice toward their Admiral or his warriors.

Adama then resumed his charm offensive, his guests offered drinks and stories of life in the military back in the colonies and famous battles of yore.

Like his father before him, Apollo was adept at not only being a military leader, but also a statesman and vital conduit between the military and civilians, he had fully matured as an Admiral and all that the role entailed.

Finally his guests warmed to him and his officers once more, having all been fed and entertained, their questions all answered patiently and diligently, they finally retired to the plush guest quarters prepared for them as Adama was left to discuss the following days military display before they too retired for the evening.

Scene 8 – A Show of Strength

Morning broke on the mighty Pegasus to a chorus of Reveille, a traditional trumpet call used to wake the crew. The guests all treated to a hearty breakfast delivered to their quarters at eight a.m. as if ordering room service on a five star hotel. A note was slipped under their doors informing them of the days activities and where to muster.

At ten a.m. sharp, all duly gathered in a corridor adjacent to their quarters where they were greeted by a steward and led down to the turbo lifts and onto Delta deck, the lower starboard flight pod.

To their astonishment a parade ground had been prepared with an arena almost covering the entire deck area, it being covered with protective sheeting, a small fence encircling and a large temporary grandstand for the guests to watch events from an elevated vantage point.

The parade began with commentary by Admiral Adama, with a regiment of marines displaying their marching skills, performing many different turns and shouldering their arms, then the drill sergeant invited a young reporter to step forward to inspect the troops.

The parade ground was then cleared of troops as a group of men erected an assault course containing rope ladders, climbing walls, a vault, balance beam and at the end of the course intriguingly, an old fashioned cannon and gun carriage in many pieces arranged on the ground.

The object of the exercise was for the troops to demonstrate their teamwork having to negotiate the course, collect all the disassembled parts of the gun, carry them over the various obstacles and re-assemble the gun at the opposite end of the parade ground, a feat that required not only team work but a great deal of skill, strength and stamina, however, to the collective amazement of the watching media, this task was performed successfully in less than ten minutes, a record for the regiment!

Upon completion, a round of applause was given to the troops, but what happened next was completely unexpected by the guests and left the delegates in eager anticipation.

Scene 9 – The grand old lady

Having answered another myriad of technical questions, Adama had one more surprise for the delegates inviting them for a whistle stop tour of his own ship, the flagship Galactica, they all accepted immediately and unanimously.

However, upon arriving at the Galactica and given a brief inspection, the delegates were astonished at the stark difference between the two warships, in complete contrast to the Pegasus, the Galactica was visibly ageing from within, albeit wonderfully serene and imposing on the outside due to the refit, one couldn't help but notice the repairs to the bulkheads and the many cracks and faults upon the seems and joints between the various rooms.

Upon visiting the C.I.C they noticed how small and cramped it was in comparison to the state of the art C.I.C over on the Pegasus, Adama taking the opportunity to remind the delegates that for many years the very future of their fleet was in the hands of the officers in this very room!

After answering yet more questions, some pointedly enquiring as to the very future of the Galactica given its age, a question Adama could not answer, but was very glad it was asked on camera, reinforcing his point of the need for a new battle fleet. What he did say however had even his own crew looking on in amazement!

“Although your questions are relevant and valid, as to the Galactica I simply cannot say, her future is very uncertain and does not lie with me, but our political leaders over on the 'Ship of Governance', they will have the final say on sanctioning any new ships, or the decommissioning of old vessels such as this one.

I have very mixed feelings on her myself, she is, and has been for many years my, our home. My crew and I have grown to love her as one loves their mother, but she is over five hundred years old now and.... well frankly she would never stand up to a toe to toe battle with a Cylon Base Star, yes she is very powerful and could destroy one, but she can no longer stand up to a pounding from the nukes from a Base Ship – her bulkheads would simply collapse.

As of now, although still being the flagship and command vessel in the fleet, she is in fact obsolete as a warship, and yes it hurts me to say that but there it is, I've said it!”

The crew looked on open mouthed, astonished at the candour of their Admiral, but he was determined to make his point, and make it he had, with a TV camera pointing at him.

Finally after two long and tiring days for the Admiral and his warriors, his guests were transported back to the 'CNN' vessel, from where they would begin to finalise their documentary, warts and all, on the life and times of the colonial warriors.

Adama and his crews had done all they could, having left no stone unturned all they could do now was wait and hope, hope they had done enough to convince those that opposed the military of the urgent need to strengthen the battle fleet before the Cylons finally caught up with them. Adama wondered to himself had they overplayed their hand with the battle simulation, having frightened and angered his guests if only briefly, however the die was cast and it was too late for regrets.

Scene 10 – Our fate in their hands

August 31st 7026, a momentous day in the future of the new colony, for it was on this day that the much anticipated documentary was first aired on colonial TV.

Almost the entire population of the planet Terra and all the inhabitants of the fleet, both military and civilian were glued to their nearest TV monitor as the program began.

Adama and his warriors were astonished to discover the documentary was three hours long and broke into three parts, in the first we see the entourage approaching the Pegasus, where Adama explains the dimensions of the new Super Battlestar before entering the cavernous Alpha Deck. The viewers are then shown in detail the interior of the ship, the roles and responsibilities of the deck crews before moving on to the engine rooms and further into the vessel.

Adama had feared the program would be cut and edited, therefore watering down the effects of the battle simulation and the reaction of the press, but to his delight and surprise, the program was by and large completely unedited with all the battle simulation included.

Further to Adama's surprise, we then see many ratings and junior officers being interviewed about life on the new Pegasus and later the Galactica, and although completely unscripted, his crews all exalted in the pride they had to be colonial warriors under the command of Adama and Cain. Their collective pride could not have been forced, some even unaware of their being filmed, their sheer dedication and hard work could not have failed to impress the masses, even the odious Dr Alan Markham was impressed.

After the conclusion of the documentary, having feared a backlash from the media, Admiral Adama was greatly relieved to discover, not only had the media been forgiving in being put in perceived danger, they had actually commended him and his crews on their professionalism and courage in the face of danger. To that end, reinforcing his view of the need to strengthen the fleet with all haste.

At the request of the civilian population, an emergency session was convened on the ship of governance to debate the prospect of diverting workers from the ongoing works down on Terra, the politicians all acutely aware they had work to complete, namely infrastructure, transport and defence, but agreed to listen to the requests of the people in the form of a referendum. The population overwhelmingly voting in favour of strengthening the battle fleet, hence a full meeting of politicians and the council ensued.

A vote was held after a long and fierce debate, those on the other side of the house arguing for the the completion of urgent tasks down on the surface, whilst those in power, together with the military, argued the point that without adequate defences, all other tasks were irrelevant.

The result reinforced that of the people, an overwhelming vote in Favour of the military, in point of fact, not only did Adama get his wish for a new Super Battlestar, but also two of the new and much vaunted Battlecruisers, his fleet was about to be doubled in size.

Within a month construction had began on a sister ship to the new Pegasus, Adama looked on from his quarters at the construction vessels gathering and raised a glass to his old friend Sire Dmitri, who had unwittingly delivered his wish to him on a plate, Adama now felt he could look to the future with hope, that by the time the Cylons came, he and his warriors would be ready.

To be continued......

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