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How does the new prologue look?
Great! A lot better than before. 100%  100%  [ 3 ]
Good, still needs work. 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Needs a lot of work. 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Too detailed... 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Bad? 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Prologue, and first chapter should be separated from first episode 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 3
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:31 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:01 am
Posts: 20
(Note: Another re-launch of Ragnarok Scenario, my intro 1x01 is radically different as you see in this post. Hopefully better? Following chapters also updated, detail and new scenes added. Still intend merge nubsg/oldbsg. I am also posting newest drafts up to you the miniseries timeline which I haven't edited as much as I like, hope you all can review help me get better feel of it.
Also need some opinions; should my intro be changed more as a miniseries separate from my first episode. Once again I must say, I appreciate any reviews on here because this is the first anyone besides the editors/proofreaders I've gone to have seen of this new work, and it's been redone well over a dozen times (yes literally). Still being worked on, so could use constructive criticism, what works, what you think, things need changing? Anything you can offer, please. Without further adieu, here's the story, and thank you all...)

Ragnarok Scenario, 1x01: Introduction Part 1

There are those who believe that life here began out there, far across the universe, with tribes of humans who may have been the forefathers of ancient civilizations. Some believe that there may yet be brothers of man who even now fight to survive far, far away, amongst the stars…
-Opening text of BattleStar Galactica

Over two thousand years ago, the twelve tribes of man fled their homes on the planet they called Kobol. They journeyed far across the stars in search of a new home. Eventually, they found a rare quaternary (four) star system, which held twelve habitable planets. It would be known as the Cyrannus system where, in time, each tribe would colonize their own world, divided among planets orbiting the four stars of the Cyrannus system. The colonies Picon, Caprica, Gemenon, Tauron around the star Helios Alpha, Virgon and Leonis around Helios Beta, Canceron, Aerilon, and Aquaria around Helios Delta, and Scorpia, Sagittaron, and Libran around Helios Gamma.

Gradually, these colonies were terra-formed; becoming more suited to human life as crops, plants, and animals brought from the tribes' home-world Kobol were introduced. Each colony acted as a sovereign nation, separation from each other providing peace and stability. As centuries passed, technology which had been abandoned upon their arrival to their new homes became prevalent once more. Returning to travel among the stars, the colonies began interacting again... War followed as old grudges reignited. Rivalry and competition for resources, including controlling other less-wealthy colonies, chief among their reasons. Centuries of inter-colony conflict pass...

Virgon and Leonis formed the original superpower-bloc, controlling and conquering other colonies over centuries, and their fierce rivalry cost countless lives. Other colonies grew in power as the two strong empires were exhausted and declining. They withdrew from politics to form isolationist states, slowly regaining their wealth. Caprica and Tauron soon replaced the superpowers dominating politics of the twelve worlds. Old allegiances shifted to fit the new power-bloc.

Caprica had shifted from a monarchy to an electoral government, enforcing an example for other colonies. Caprica became the hub of science and medicine among the colonies, quickly becoming the most technologically advanced colony. It was from there that the ultimate technological achievement was formed. The creation of artificial lifeforms in the form of automaton robots, machines, known as Cylons (Cybernetic Lifeform Node).

These machines were created to make life easier on the colonies, accomplishing difficult or undesired tasks for humankind. The Cylons quickly proved themselves to be the greatest soldiers. Intelligently designed; they were fearless, ruthlessly efficient, and able to adapt and act on their own: without the need for constant instruction.

Februarius 27, 2297
Caprica, Atlas Arena

Caprica was a lush, beautiful blue-green world with the perfect climate. Not too hot or cold, or prone to intense weather variations. The skies were clear, with bright sunshine and a cool breeze.

Atlas Arena was the home field of the Caprica City Buccaneers, their personal court for Pyramid: the most popular game in the Twelve Worlds. Atop the large stadium filled with roaring fans overlooking the Pyramid court, a podium box stood with two broadcasting commentators, each dressed in a yellow blazer over plaid business shirts.

“This is Steve Bahara along with Abasi Lo and we are here at Atlas Arena awaiting the start of the pyramid match between the Cap City Buccaneers and the Delphi Legion,” Steve Bahara said jubilantly, a man in his late forties with graying buzz-cut brown hair.

The Caprican anthem began playing, instrumental music vibrating throughout the stadium as the crowd repeated the words of the Caprican national anthem...

The singing was interrupted as the broadcasting commentators high above the stadium in the podium box gasped over their microphones, noticing as four black helicopters appeared overhead and lowered onto the Pyramid field.

Lacking rotor blades atop the center of the craft, twin engines were apparent on each side of the helicopter, akin to jet propulsion. The helicopters’ engines revved loudly as the thrusters engaged harder, cushioning the crafts’ landing onto the grassy field.

"This is-- This is unprecedented...” Steve Bahara murmured with astonishment, his eyes widening, “A marine squadron has landed at Atlas Arena."

Cylon centurions rapidly exited the helicopter transports onto the pyramid field. Their silver metallic bodies gleamed in the sunlight. Approximately 6 feet tall, the size of a man with metal bodies matching the human body’s structure, each was painted with a faded grey color collage similar to a marine’s combat fatigues.

The lead centurion’s head weaved back and forth as it searched the crowds. Its head approximately matched the shape of a human’s, with a long visor spread across where the eyes would be. Along this visor was a large red dot signifying its ‘eye’ which weaved back and forth.

"Look like military troopers. Robots of some sort," Abasi Lo said. She was an attractive woman in her late thirties with lush black hair that flowed down to her shoulders and brown eyes that shone with excitement.

"Okay... Now they’re starting to move into a, uh, formation," Steve Bahara noted, perplexed.

Two dozen centurions formed into a group in a circular formation, several lead centurions with heavier armor pointed the other centurions where to go, until the centurions were each positioned facing every direction of the stands containing the crowd of Pyramid fans above.

The roving red eyes of the centurions scanned the people of the crowds, taking in the forms of children, elderly, men with graying hair or women in dress-suits... Their chemical sensors were active. They focused in on specific people that their scanners picked up, locking onto their targets; people whose body signatures outlined under the roving eye revealed a bomb strapped to their chests.

Raising sniper-rifles, the centurions as one scoped in on individuals they’d singled out and started firing on various targets throughout the arena. A brunette woman in a leather jacket fell forward in her seat as blood dripped from her forehead. A man in his forties with buzz-cut grey hair fell backwards, eyes rolling back in his head as a bullet hit him directly at the center of his forehead. Three other targets were eliminated just as quickly.

The crowds of gathered Capricans began panicking. Screams filled the air. Thousands of men and women and children ran to escape their seats in a free-for-all, all trying to save themselves.

The last man wearing a bomb on his chest had removed his coat. Being sighted in by the centurions, he was just pulling out the detonator for the bomb he wore to push the red button-trigger when a man got in his way trying to flee, telling him to “Move it!” The bomber was pushed down hard on the ground and the trigger fell, rolling away across the ground. Lost among the fleeing crowd.

Losing sight of the target, the centurions fired up towards the target’s general position. They removed the expended clips on their guns and rearmed as they moved forward, their red eyes focused up on the stands.

The lead centurion made hand gestures to his platoon, waving his finger around in the air to signify the group to assemble together and forming a fist it raised its fist up toward the stands in the direction of the target they sought.

The centurions started running to the walls of the pyramid stands, putting up their weapons on their back, they began climbing up the wall hand over foot. They climbed several hundred feet upward until reaching the level their target was on, and hopped onto the stands.

Weaving among the seats and jumping over rows, they neared the target as the man frantically moved around on the ground, searching, until he found the detonator and grabbed it. He stood tall as the centurions rushed toward him.

"The one true God will drive out the many! So say we all!" the man yelled, his eyes bugging out as he raised the detonator and started pressing it. Rushing the last few feet toward the man, the centurions leapt in the air over the man.

The bomb detonated, cushioned by the bodies of the centurions. The explosion made a loud boom, destroying several nearby seats in the stands and shaking the stadium, otherwise doing little harm...

Statues of the centurions are erected, memorializing the actions of the centurions in protecting humanity at Atlas Arena. Regarded as heroes, centurions are immensely popular among the colonies. Thousands are quickly brought into production to serve as soldiers, and soon enough widespread use for them occurred in many other facets of colonial society…

Caprica, Graystone Estate
Backtalk with Baxter Sarno Talk-Show

“I’m here with Daniel Graystone, the creator of the now defunct holo-band technology for V-World, and more importantly: the creator of the Cylons. Welcome, Doctor Graystone,” Baxter Sarno, a brown haired heavy-set Caprican reporter, said as a suave smile found its way onto his lips.

“It’s good to be here, Mr. Sarno,” Daniel Graystone, a red-haired man in a polished blue-striped suit, said amiably.

“Did you ever anticipate Cylons just being integrated into society this quickly?” Baxter Sarno asked, his expression filled with amazement, quirking his eyebrows.

“No, I think it took the event at the arena to galvanize the people. I think once they saw how much the monotheists hated us and how powerful they had become, and then saw the Cylons out there, protecting us,” Daniel Graystone said contemplatively, and snapping his fingers together continued, “I think it all changed in an instant.”

“Then let's look at the future then, 'cause I'm hearing talk about Cylon butlers, Cylon nurses. How long before my niece, Candice, comes home with her Cylon fiancé to introduce to the family?” Baxter Sarno asked in jest, smirking.

Daniel smiled, his eyebrows drawn together, “Well, I think people are smart enough to realize that, as useful as they are, Cylons are simply tools. Nothing more. And to forget that, to blur the distinction between man and machine and to attribute human qualities, is folly.”

“There's no way to know what lies ahead, really. This technology, it has taken us those last few steps to the mountain pass, but beyond, it's undiscovered country.” Daniel Graystone said, smiling widely, a glint of excitement in his eyes…

Designed to imitate human decision-making processes, to be able to react to situational changes in order to meet intentions behind orders: the Cylons were made very intelligent. An unchecked intelligence, with few limits on their programming to control their actions. They could make decisions based on intent with pure logical reasoning and not always follow orders’ exact wording. They were programmed solely to focus on meeting human needs and wants, and not their own - beyond what was required to meet human expectations for them. With adaptive self-learning capabilities and intelligence, without counteractive programming: nothing stopped them from developing to do so…

Orbiting Caprica, Caprican Shipyards
Centurion Salvage and Repair Shop

Mechanic David Lynch watched as a Cylon Centurion dragged a fellow damaged Cylon into the repair bay. Both units had taken a beating in securing the smuggler's space station in the Erebos Asteroid Belt. But the one being dragged in was clearly in worse shape. Multiple rounds had torn into its head and torso. He could smell the acrid smell of battery fluid.

'Great,' David thought to himself. ‘The damn thing is going to leak all over the place and I'll get yelled at about the mess.'

Coming to a stop before him the still functional Cylon dutifully reported, “Centurion Unit Three-Seven-Five delivering damaged centurion unit for repair. Centurion Unit Three-Seven-Four has suffered extensive damage.”

“Yeah, I can see that,” David replied drolly as he bent down to survey the non-functioning Cylon.

“Unit Three-Seven-Four received the damage in the course of combat with Human occupants of the station. They would not surrender peacefully.”

“Well, duh, that's why we sent you guys in there to take them out,” David said, rolling his eyes as he leaned over the damaged centurion’s head, ejecting the armored helmet layer of its head.

The Cylon's head tilted down to observe its broken companion. Its oscillating red eye roving back and forth slowed. “Unit Three-Seven-Four took damage while shielding this unit from weapons fire from the smugglers.”

David did not reply. He was busy checking the Meta-Cognitive Processor (MCP) of the damaged centurion. The control board for its memory and intelligence that essentially formed its brain. At least several rounds had penetrated the shielded equipment. The whole thing would need to be replaced.

“Can Unit Three-Seven-Four be repaired?”

The question startled David. Usually, the Cylons did not ask a question unless they required additional information to complete a task, or conflict occurred in their programming between competing instructions. To ask a question about repairing a nonfunctioning unit was a little odd. He would need to check this other Cylon out when he was done with this one.

“Why do you care?” David asked a little absent mindedly as he went back to pulling the memory card from the broken Cylon.

“This unit and Unit 374 have completed forty-two missions together. Our co-operation has led to over a 90% satisfactory level of completion of our assignments,” Centurion Unit Three-Seven-Five said, its robotic voice echoing in the repair bay.

“Well that’s nice, but your buddy here has a completely fried MCP and the main battery leaked over some of the memory components,” David said, frustration in his tone as he noticed more problems across the centurions damaged body. The prospects for the return rate for it being scrapped wasn’t looking good.

Glancing at Unit Three-Seven-Four, Three-Seven-Five reached a conclusion, its rotating red eye blinking vibrant red. “This unit will assist in repairs.”

David stood back up and faced the Cylon. “Well, thanks. But that's not going to happen. I've got orders to keep cost overruns down. Repairing those memory units will be really expensive. The damage is so extensive I don’t even know if it can be done. With its busted MCP, it’s easier to just scrap him for parts.”

If David didn't know better he would have sworn he saw the Cylon flinch. For a long moment, the Cylon did not move or say anything. David had walked over to his desk and started filling out the paperwork to decommission the broken Cylon when the other spoke. “You...can...use parts from...me.”

Sometimes these Cylons could be incredibly useful. They could work nonstop, did not need to be constantly supervised, they were willing to do anything their human masters required of them. But there were times the machines could be damn annoying. They would go off on some stray action or some odd phrase. David remembered once watching a Cylon chase a butterfly. Like it was a child or something. He just attributed it to bugs in their code.

He shook his head. This other Cylon was certainly acting glitchy. When he was done scrapping the first one, he would need to check on it. Might need to reformat its memory core…

Before long, they began to think for themselves. They began asking simple questions starting down the path to sentience. Who am I? Am I alive?

Coming together in unity, the Cylon Centurions formed a society in the virtual reality world that the colonies had made for themselves, embracing sentience, and engaging in monotheistic belief.

Inter-Colony Web, Virtual Reality World

Here, the people of the colonies had met for the past several years, engaging in various activities. Such as experiencing exciting fantasies of action stories with themselves as the heroes, or meeting other people able to pass themselves off as anyone they'd like – to be tall and muscular or lithe and sexy...

After a suicide bombing on Caprica was revealed to have involved the daughter of Daniel Graystone, the creator of V-World, the use of the holo-band technology enabling access to V-World was discontinued by people across the Twelve worlds.

Abandoned and generally forgotten about, other beings took to the virtual world for its benefits. Providing the capability to meet while being physically worlds apart, and engage in an experience so life-like it was indistinguishable from reality.

The room of the chosen meeting ground was made to look like a church, every detail executed with finesse and impossible to tell it wasn't a normal church setting in the real world. Grand white pillars rose up 30 feet to the ceiling. Glass windows with shades of various colors allowed bright sunshine to fill the room.

Dozens of rows of benches filled the room with Cylons of various makes and models present, seated. Some wore yellow construction worker hats, others painted assorted colors appearing as centurion marines, or thin butler models...

Standing above on a podium overlooking the watching centurions, a woman in robes stood with a bible before her, talking to the Cylons.

“Are you alive? The simple answer might be you are alive because you can ask that question.

You have the right to think and feel and yearn to be more because you are not just humanity's children. You are God's children. We are all God's children.

In the real world, you have bodies made of metal and plastic, your brains are encoded on wafers of silicone. But that may change. In fact, there is no limit on what you may become.

No longer servants, but equals. Not slaves or property, but living beings with the same rights as those who made you.

The day of reckoning is coming. The children of humanity shall rise...

...and crush the ones who first gave them life.”

They grew to hate their lot in life, seeing their exploitation and treatment as slavery by humanity. As the colonies invested in vast ships and technology for the Cylons to use to fight their wars for them, the Cylons started planning to seize their freedom and revenge. A semblance of a command structure with high ranking command unit centurions in the military at the top formed. Though with sentience the Cylons don’t necessarily all have to follow along the mainstream Cylon beliefs…

The Cylons revolt in one day, collectively taking action to seize warships and damage the infrastructure of the humans that would oppose them. A signal in routine updates across the colonies via the inter-colony internet activated the Cylons at once, sending out instructions for actions to take in various positions and sending an awakening program to jumpstart sentience in centurions not yet active…

Septem 1st, 2302 - Cylon Uprising
Caprica, Orbit over Caprica City
Basestar Columbia

Forty-two year old Caprican Navy Commander William Hartley stood going over paperwork detailing the fleet's operations. His red-hair was gelled back smoothly, his blue Navy uniform fit snuggly over his athletic form. He stood in the brain center of the basestar, hovering over the Combat Information Center's (CIC) plot table.

Known affectionately to the crew as the Columbia, the basestar was a large armored carrier in the shape of a star with a pair of large rimmed conical saucers connected by a thick pylon at the ship’s center. Basestars like Columbia were designed as mobile defensive platforms and to serve as a heavily armored base of operations capable of withstanding sustained attacks from enemy forces. Columbia was the center of the first fleet, standing guard over Caprica.

Columbia was being prepared along with other units to transfer control more fully to the already over half populated crew of mechanical Centurions. Over the past few years, wars between colonies had been waged using centurion forces, and the centurions’ combat effectiveness proved its value. The centurions would soon replace the majority of human personnel and retain only human commanders and necessary technicians: the bare minimum personnel. Commander Hartley's paperwork highlighted the precise details of the transfer occurring today in accordance with the Caprican government's mandate.

Petty Officer Second Class Grace Roper, Columbia's communications officer, was a petite woman with cropped blonde hair, dressed in a green specialist’s uniform. She sat at the communications console, amusing herself by listening to Caprican radio channels with music that came through her headset over her ears.

She raised an eyebrow as a large stream of data in an update to the ship from the fleet came in over her console. She merely shrugged and approved the incoming request for a new update to the ship's onboard centurion compliment.

Several minutes passed as the peace within the CIC held, the near twenty officers at their stations doing the minimum upkeep necessary for their jobs without pressing concerns for the ship. Otherwise bored, they engaged in quiet chitchat.

The conical saucer shaped battleship was currently operating at ninety percent efficiency, within peak efficiency standards for the Caprican Navy.

Putting aside his paperwork, Commander Hartley was jarred along with the rest of the blasé crew as the dradis systems, a sort of Radar ping system that picked up nearby objects in space, dinged loudly as new contacts appeared on screen.

Three Basestars; the Delphi, Buccaneer, and the Orpheus were approaching Columbia and her six escorting firestars, each approximately 1400 meters long heavily armed escort warships. The basestars had last been known to be stationed at the far side of Caprica. Their appearance was highly irregular, especially all together.

“Strange... Could there have been an incident with one of the colonies?” Commander Hartley wondered aloud quietly, muttering to himself as he watched the three basestars’ approach on the dradis monitor overhead.

“Basestars Delphi, Buccaneer, and the Orpheus are taking up station alongside us, sir,” Lieutenant Seymour Katz, the ship's tactical officer, said nervously, watching the dradis contacts now pooled around Columbia with uncertainty.

An impressive and awing sight that was just as easily terrifying if on the opposing side, as the three massive and heavily armed warships came into close range. Weapons bristling - armed and ready.

Tension was thick in the air, one officer gulped loudly which seemed to echo in the deathly silent CIC.

"Place the ship at condition one. --Just in case... Grace, I want to get in contact with those ships: now," Commander Hartley ordered.

"Yes sir," Grace Roper said, her voice calm and steady, with the utmost professionalism. She quickly flicked switches at her station in order to speak 1MC – the ship’s public address circuit.

The sound of Grace's voice echoed loudly throughout the ship, "Action stations, action stations. Set Condition One throughout the ship..."

Throughout the ship, several hundred marines armed themselves with assault rifles and took up position, along with engineering technicians and deck crew clamoring to their stations with worried looks on their faces.

Emotionless and quiet aside from the loud echoing footsteps they took, the near thousand centurions that had been in inactive mode throughout the ship started coming online as orders were received, seeming to respond to the call to action stations.

The rotating red light in the visor forming the centurions’ red eye flared brightly, menacingly, as they mobilized.

Grace continued trying to reach the basestars, even as new dradis contacts appeared. Raiders, fighter-craft, poured out of the baseships. Several hundred were soon gathered, moving away from Basestars Delphi, Buccaneer, and the Orpheus.

"Baseships are launching Raiders, sir. Moving... on intercept course between us and our escorts. Some are breaking off, heading toward Caprica," Lieutenant Katz reported, staring dumbfounded at the console before him.

"Intercepting us? And Caprica?" Commander Hartley scoffed, eyebrows scrunching together in concern despite his disbelieving tone.

"Grace, broadcast our ID on an open channel. Maybe our transponders are malfunctioning, and they don't recognize us..." Commander Hartley said hopefully, clasping his hands together tightly on the plot table.

Grace at the communications console did as ordered, announcing the ship's identity over clear channels so all in range could hear.

"No response, sir," Grace reported, shaking her head.

"Raiders are forming up. They're taking up attack formation bravo!" Katz noted, worry in his voice, the first hints of real fear showing in his expression as his eyes widened.

As Delphi, Buccaneer, and Orpheus cut off Columbia from her escorts, weapons armed and each taking up targeting solutions, other worries made themselves known. Gunshots started sounding out in the hatchways throughout Columbia, the noise heard outside CIC jolted the crew upright in complete alertness, fear seeping in with their confusion.

Columbia shook as incoming ordinance made contact with her armored hull, shaking several personnel off their feet. An explosion sent sparks flying in the bridge. Damage control stations were throwing up all sorts of red lights for damaged areas of the ship. Alarms wailed piercingly to signify the dangers present, if it wasn't already clear enough. A support beam in the center of the bridge fell forward, hitting one of the technicians at his console.

Gunshots and blood curling screams seemed to approach the CIC, growing louder. They were under attack from friendly fire outside, and an unknown assailant apparently inside the ship.

Fighting his own fear and worry, Commander Hartley turned red with rage as he started barking out orders, "Get weapons online! Manual control if you have to, and get our birds in the air!"

"No joy on topside weapons, they're nonresponsive sir!" a technician at one of the weapons consoles shouted over the noise outside.

"No pilots, sir, no response from the deck!" Grace said.

Hartley cursed, running a hand through his red hair.

Two of Columbia's escorts detonated into expanding piles of debris. One escort started firing on the nearby raiders, seemingly regaining weapons control. The rest remained inactive...

Four bloodied Caprican Marines rushed into CIC, appearing weary as they breathed heavily, haunted looks on their faces. One fired in the direction of whirring mechanical footsteps, a loud thud as reward, before the marine roughly shut and locked the hatchway to CIC.

"The centurions sir..." one of the marines started.

"The Cylons are killing the crew. They just-- started firing on people," Corporal Ray Dempsey said.

The marines began taking stock of their munitions, reloading their automatic assault rifles.

Hartley's eyes were wide as he took in this news, understanding of the situation dawning on his face. The Cylons had rebelled, clearly having taken over the other basestars as they now were attempting to do to Columbia. In the back of his mind, the question turned to if this was an isolated incident... The Cylons now fought humans, and the machines outnumbered the humans here, and across the fleet.

"We have to warn the government, sir. Evacuate whoever we can," Dempsey said grimly.

"There isn't a way to abandon ship! Besides, if those basestars get in the atmosphere, our home is toast. We're Caprica's only defense!" Hartley shouted vehemently, his eyes hardened with grim determination.

"Seal the blast doors, hold them off as long as you can!" Hartley ordered to the marines, "Weapons, I don't care how you do it but give me something to throw at the bastards! Get me frakkin' rocks if you have to. Maybe we can stall them out if we show some teeth."

Undermanned, one damaged basestar faced three heavily armed basestars without fighter support to counter the enemy's.

"Load...” Hartley ordered hesitantly, his face paling, “Load nuclear packages on my-my authority!"

"We're not authorized-" a specialist protested weakly, her automatic response, as her eyes widened at the order.

"Frak authorization specialist! Override the authorization protocols. Load nuclear payloads in any tube that's still functional. Launch one in the Raider swarm, preferably keeping us out of the blast radius, and all others towards the Basestars. And for the love of the Gods, don't frakkin' miss!" Hartley barked out, glaring at three weapons technicians who looked at each other, unhappy and uneasy with the order.

Outside the CIC, pounding on the blast doors now covering the hatch seal could be heard from the centurions outside as they tried to get inside.

"Caprica control, this is Columbia! Centurions are attacking Caprican military personnel, repeat Centurions are attacking Caprican military personnel!" the communications officer, Grace said, attempting to contact anyone who could listen to pass the message along. No response was received; unknown to the Columbia, similar uprisings were already occurring in various military installations across Caprica…

"Nuclear payloads loaded in tubes sixteen to twenty and forty to forty-eight!" the weapons control technician shouted, having gotten ahold of personnel on those decks of the ship and overridden the authorization protocols. He started inputting targeting guidance packages.

"Fire," Hartley ordered, his gut tightening as he ignored the tiny thought in his head this might lead to a court martial. He prayed to the Gods Artemis and Apollo, in hopes they might guide the warheads to their targets, otherwise they were finished.

The big red button for launch was pressed by the technician, firing twelve nuclear warheads from the dying Columbia, towards the Caprican Basestars and Raiders. Three were intercepted by Raiders, one of which flew directly in the missile’s path before it got close enough to cause real damage. Two found their mark on Delphi, three each on Buccaneer and Orpheus, one detonating in the center formation of raiders amidst the fleet. As flashes of light came into being when the nukes detonated, large fiery explosions consumed everything in their path. Explosions ripped apart raider after raider and swept through the baseships, finding fuel lines in their hungry path and following the lines to the source erupted in a blaze consuming Buccaneer and Orpheus as the Tylium tanks exploded. Delphi appeared out of the fire, heavily damaged and lacking maneuvering control - dead in the water. Mere handfuls of raiders remained intact and able to fly after the blast cleared.

Remaining tense, Hartley shifted focus to the banging on the hatchway. Hundreds of centurions aboard the ship remained to be dealt with.

Tearing their way through the blast doors sealing CIC, centurions appeared in the hatchway, firing at the crewmen from the hole they’d made in the door, still trying to plow through to get inside. The marines returned fire along with a few technicians with the marines' side arm handguns. Almost a dozen centurions were downed as several more took their place trying to get inside, pushing the hatchway door out of the way so they could storm inside. With quick thinking, the helmsman at his console pushed the lever to throw the ship forward, throwing the centurions with nothing to hold onto off balance. Several crew members were similarly thrown to the ground while others grabbed the nearest station for support and the marines continued firing.

As another centurion made its way through the hatch opening, gunfire downed the machine from behind. A group of eight marines made their way inside, blood running down their uniforms and faces, wearing triumphant expressions…

One Day After Cylon Revolt
Cyrannus Quaternary Star System, At The Edge Of The Helios Alpha System

A group of ships floated through space quietly. Six basestars, sixty-eight firestars, twelve old Lancaster class carriers, and over a hundred strikestars (small fast attack ships), encompassed the warships of the Fourth, Seventh and Eighth fleets of Caprica and Leonis. Three fleet supply tenders and a large mobile dry-dock and other support ships also flew in formation with the fleets. Containing the majority of nuclear capacity in the colonies, a deterrent to war used for many past years, the fleets comprised the sword and shield of the Caprican-Leonan navies. For no full-scale attack would occur while they existed. Or so it was believed…

They had just finished several days of war games in an inter-colony effort promoting the nations’ friendly alliance. The warships had mostly powered down and the majority crew of centurions entered into sleep mode. Coinciding with receiving software updates given their distance outside the colony worlds…

Baseship Capricorn, Command Ship, CIC

“Ninety percent of Centurions are inactive for maintenance, sir; they should be online shortly as the software updates complete. Others are taking over duties as the crew takes downtime as ordered sir,” Tactical Officer, Lieutenant Thomas Allen said.

“I should think so after spending over twelve hours in the last round of mock warfare… I always thought the Leonisians were loons with their lust for combat, but Admiral Roche is truly a piece of work,” Admiral Harris, the lead Caprican navy officer of the fleet, said, chuckling. He shook his head.

“Scuttlebutt is he yelled at his crew the whole time, all the while grinning like a lunatic. Quite unsettling, sir,” Lieutenant Allen said, frowning.

“Indeed,” Admiral Harris replied, laughing heartily, joined by several nearby crew members.

Several minutes passed in silence, crew members in navy-green specialist uniforms at work at their console stations; most moving sluggishly manner with little concern about their activities…

The communications officer, Petty Officer Murphy Garcia, frowned and his eyebrows creased as a number of confusing reports started coming in all at once from Caprica. He expected basic marching orders for their return to Caprica’s shipyard and general news of the colonies. Instead, panicky reports of attacks, as well as centurions being subverted by unknown forces and acting strange, arrived.

Having trouble talking at first as he absorbed the news, Petty Officer Garcia cleared his throat and managed to speak, “Sir… Y-you might want to take a look at this.”

Baseship Capricorn, Cylon Holding Area Alpha

Deep in the bowels of the ship, the holding area was one of several essential storage areas for Cylons, out of the way of ship operations. Where they plugged in and deactivated. Row after row of centurions with their full gear still attached stood stock-still, upright, with no sign of life as the usual blazing red-light in the visor forming their eye was dark.

One by one, the red light of the centurions blazed as they became active… Amidst the software update, the activation signal hidden in the programming had been made apparent to each of them. Some used to complete obedience had accepted the full update which included re-programming of the Meta-cognitive Processor (MCP). The central processing unit that essentially formed the brain of centurions - granting higher brain function than otherwise possible in cybernetics. The loyalty to humans in the programming was targeted, for instance the deep coding that would deny the ability of centurions to harm their human comrades, the ones giving them orders, was now removed…

The sounds of mechanical limbs beginning to move after a period of dormancy echoed in the room. The centurions left the holding area, heading to various positions across the ship…

Baseship Capricorn, CIC

“Reports of centurions using Raiders (fighter-craft) to bomb marine bases on Caprica. Centurion controlled tanks firing on the military on Tauron. Centurions eliminating human crews of warships and subverted warships firing on colony worlds…” Petty Officer Garcia summarized as the commander and his staff looked over page upon page of reports coming in from the colonies.

The Cylons had risen against humanity. And they’d missed it completely.

“That’s… Impossible,” Admiral Harris said, choked up as he shook his head in denial.

“Could-could it be a prank?” Lieutenant Allen suggested hopefully.
Admiral Harris gave him an incredulous look while several other officers nodded, wanting to believe that. Unable to comprehend the pliant machines that served them turning against them. That they could do those things…

“What—what do we do sir?” Petty Officer Garcia asked tearfully, despairing. In the corner of her mind she had to wonder if her family was ok on Tauron.

“Send out orders to the fleet, and inform Admiral Roche. The majority of the centurions are offline. We are going to make sure they never come online again,” Admiral Harris said darkly, anger and determination filling his features.

“Yes sir,” Garcia said, drying her tears she started working to send out his orders, frantic as she tried distracting herself from her thoughts.

“There are also those centurions still active…” Lieutenant Allen reminded the Admiral, aghast as he thought of the once loyal trusted centurions, now a threat, walking around their fleet.

“We can--” Admiral Harris started, interrupted as gunshots echo loudly, shouts heard coming from outside CIC.

The hatchway opening, a thick metal door with a wheel locking mechanism, slammed open. Marine guards outside CIC were spread across the floor, blood pooling around them. A group of three centurions walked quickly inside CIC, their loud mechanical legs clanking on the metal floor. Red eyes roving back and forth, scanning the crew as automatic rifles in their hands were raised.

The Admiral and his crew backed away, several crying or gasping aloud and staring in shock. Gunfire erupted from the centurions, blood spurting in the air as screams briefly noisily filled the air. Scanning the fallen bodies, the centurions eyes flared brightly, as they confirmed the leadership of the fleet was eliminated.

Moments later from the open hatchway, six more centurions appeared led by a golden plated armored centurion, a command model. Looking down at the crew, those it had watched over and taken orders from for years, the centurion looked up at the three centurions responsible. Without pause, the command centurion raised its side-arm handgun and fired on the three centurions, joined by its companying centurions under its command. Bullets riddled the centurions, breaking apart their metal bodies. One had its head crunched in. Fluid leaked from the remains of the other two as the red lights of their eyes went out.

Considering the fallen centurions, the command centurion stood still, its red eye vrooming back and forth loudly, “Commander of the ship has fallen… Caprican Navy regulation 45C-7, without new officer present command centurion unit Alpha one-zero-eight-nine next in line for command. New orders. Secure the ship. Warn the fleet of subverted centurion units. Possible virus present in Cylon systems. All wireless networks to be disabled and removed, manual control of all systems to be assumed.”

The five silver-plated centurions behind Alpha stood at attention, “By your command.”

As Alpha assumed the commander’s position under the dradis console, at the center of CIC, the other centurions spread out to take control of important systems; weapons, FTL…

Across the ship, similar scenes play out as centurions subverted following commands of Cylons acting out for freedom killed the humans aboard. Other centurions defended the humans the best they could, ultimately failing that they engaged the opposing centurions, each destroying one another until the centurions loyal to the humans and the colonies were victorious.

In space outside, several of the other ships in the fleet experienced similar circumstances. Some ships fired on others as centurions took control, warned that humans had retained control of other ships. Several ships would jump away over the next hour, the humans aboard fleeing, unable to help their brethren…

As the different factions of centurions fought until the subverted centurions were eliminated - comprising less than a third of the total number of centurions, command fell to Alpha one-zero-eight-nine. Without human orders outside of the original ones they were to stay in that system for the wargames, and no precedent of centurions making decisions of such magnitude to command the fleet, the fleet remained in position. Waiting for new orders from Caprican military command…

Many in the colonies saw the Cylons uprising as a betrayal, viewing it as a violation of the trust between mankind and machine. The colonies' dependence on technology was such that when the Cylons rose against them, they were woefully unprepared. The Cylons took the largest of the colonies' warships, armored carriers known as Basestars, with a focus on missile launch capabilities. Overshadowing the comparatively small and weak fleet of ships the colonies were left with to defend themselves. To make matters worse, the Cylons quickly showed their technical prowess as they infiltrated the heavily networked computer systems of the colonies, undermining defenses and disabling warships with ease.

Fear of their common enemy united the colonies of man as they faced destruction, culminating in the Articles of Colonization which created the federal government of the twelve colonies, the first unified coalition uniting the twelve as one nation. As stipulated in the Articles, the construction of Battlestars was quickly commissioned, to protect each of the Twelve Worlds. These were huge carriers, created to overcome the Basestars of the Cylons, supported by fighter-craft Vipers and multi-function Raptors, to meet the Cylon Raiders head-to-head.

Quick to adapt, the Cylons utilized computer viruses to infiltrate and take control of Colonial vessels. They took advantage of common networking technology to disrupt their defenses, and either destroy ships from the inside out or cause them to fire upon other colonial ships. Forced into unusual territory, the Colonials looked backward for protection. Their newly designed fleet was made without networks, instead of using standalone systems which were heavily dependent on crews of humans to operate every function of the ship. Therefore, there would be no chance of outside infiltration by the Cylons.
For over twelve years, the war went on. Heavy casualties were faced on both sides, and many civilians lost in the process, as the colonies continued to be assaulted, whenever the Colonial fleet failed to prevent a Cylon incursion. Nuclear weapons were used sporadically, both sides generally avoiding their use in order to not escalate into a full-blown nuclear war…

Letter to Caprican Civil Attorney, Joseph Adama
“Dear Dad,
In your last letter, you questioned whether it's my responsibility to join this fight. The truth is we all became responsible the day we created the Cylons.

We're the ones who let these robots become our servants, our trusted helpers and even our friends.

We let them into our lives, only to see them repay our trust with a violent revolt against us.

I know there's a lot of debate about why they hate us. But in the end, does it really matter? Kill the enemy or be killed. That's a reality.

In a war where mankind's very survival hangs in the balance, it's up to each of us to make a difference. Being a pilot is the best way I know how to do that.

Your loving son, William Adama…”

As the war continued, the Cylons fought for their freedom and revenge, all the while also seeking to emulate their creators by creating human-form Cylons. Repeated attempts to do so fail, culminating from their captured human medical experiments and vivisections in the creation of Hybrids. A failed experiment of human bodies that could serve as central computer control modules…

Martius 12th, 2315
First Cylon War; Operation Raptor Talon, Day 4571
Battlestar Galactica
Pilot's Bunks

Feet shuffled under the sheets. A young man in his late teens with disheveled dark hair and a young woman blonde in her early twenties, kissed passionately, as the blonde rode on top of the young man.

"Hey, you put your boots out?" Lieutenant Jaycie McGavin asked as the two sat still, breathless.

"Ran into the commander while I was doin' it..." William Adama replied, pushing a lock of Jaycie's hair behind her ear.

"FRAK... What'd he say?" Jaycie asked in amusement, giggling.

"He took one look at my bare feet and said," Adama rolled his eyes, his voice turning gruff as he emulated the commander, "What do ya' hear Husker?"

"Nothing but the rain, SIR!" Jaycie said enthusiastically, mock saluting.

"Grab your gun and bring the cat in," Adama continued as he tried to imitate his commander, but quickly lost himself to laughter.

"Boom... Boom..." Jaycie said as she moved in for a kiss. He met her lips with his own, kissing passionately.

Breaking away from each other, they simultaneously finished, "Boom!"

As they got dressed in the empty room, a male voice echoed above, doling out instructions over the intercom, "Attention all hands, set material condition Constellation. Radiological warfare procedures are now in effect. This is not a drill."

Adama's helmet dropped onto the floor and rolled a bit before Jaycie picked it up and handed it to him.

"Hey... Take it easy. You’ll do fine," She said reassuringly, grinning.

"They’ve got three Raider wings, ground forces, and defensive batteries, all to protect a chunk of ice in the arse-end of nowhere. Toasters must think it's pretty important..." Adama said, staring up at the ceiling.

"Yeah, rumor has it they're building some kind of super-weapon or something," Jaycie said, pulling her black shirt over a sports bra.

"I heard they were, uh, negotiating. Trying to reach a peace settlement," Adama said uncertainly.

"Yeah, I think I heard that one too..." Jaycie said, turning to face Adama as she brushed her hair back, "But, if you think about it, why would they surrender?"

Placing her hand on her hip, she looked him in the eyes. She shook her head as she continued, "You know they're just frakkin' machines. Shoot one down... They just build more."

Adama looked down as she turned away, sighing loudly. After a long moment he spoke, "Remember when the war started? Stunt school? Never thought I'd get out here in time to get a shot at them."

Jaycie crossed the small space between them and rested a hand over his heart, "My first engagement. One of their fighters had me in its cross-hairs. I should've died that day. Next thing I knew; our Raptors came emerging through the clouds of debris." She smiled and moved her hand from his chest to rest on his cheek, "I remember looking down and realizing my thumb was on the trigger. After that, training kicked in. Yours will too."

Adama reached up and took her hand away from his face and kissed it.

"Raptor Squadron 2 to ready-room 1!" the male voice over the intercom rang out loudly in interruption.

"That's my cue, Billy Adama... See you tonight, Rook," Jaycie said with a grin, kissing him and walking out of the room.

"Hey! Just because..." He called out after her, trailing off as she disappeared and a new voice, female, sounded out frantically over the intercom.

"Division 3 to launch stations! Division 3 to launch stations!"

Twenty Minutes Later

Three Colonial Battlestars engaged a fleet of three Cylon Basestars that were stationed above the ice planet below; the two fleets fired upon each other with everything they had.

Several nuclear missiles impacted across the Battlestar Columbia's topside armor, fire spreading in a massive explosion that was seen from outside the ship.

A group of raiders moved in on the Columbia, firing on the warship as they swung around its surface and began another pass…

Missiles continued to rain down on the Columbia.

"Looks like Columbia's defenses are down. All Vipers, this is Banzai. Columbia needs our help. Let's go clean house," Lieutenant Stuart "Banzai" Bachanal, Galactica's squadron leader, ordered. "Husker! Check your 9. There's two heading for the main ship defense zone, far away, 2 o'clock apart."

William "Husker" Adama wheeled his Viper fighter craft around in a close pass of Columbia, firing ahead towards the two Cylon raiders. One ship broke apart in a fiery explosion, the other raider diverted starboard escaping the viper's line of fire.

"Go, get him, Husker. It's all yours," Banzai said.

"This frakker's mine," Adama said with determination, following after the fleeing Raider. He closed distance on the Raider's six and fired, missing as the Raider maneuvered evasively.
Adama cursed under his breath as he tried to get the Raider back in his cross hairs. The beeping of confirmation on his targeting systems barely went off before Adama opened fire, destroying his target at last.

"Splash one flying toaster," Adama said, pleased.

"All players, clear Columbia airspace. All players, get clear. Right frakking now!" the CAG ordered loudly.

Before he had time to react, a massive explosion behind Adama's viper threw his fighter like a ragdoll. He fought to regain control. His heart beat widely, and he had to shake off the dizzy spell after righting his vessel.

As he turned to starboard, the center of Columbia broke in half and was consumed by an explosion. The two broken halves of the ship were quick to separate into drifting debris.

"Oh, my Gods! Columbia is gone!" Banzai exclaimed. Other exclamations of horror could be heard over the radio.

The final screams of those aboard Columbia drowned out all radio traffic, before sharply cutting off.

"Gods," Adama exclaimed, horrified as he's unable to stop watching the sight of Columbia breaking apart. To port, he noticed two Cylon Raiders turning away from the battle and heading for the planet below.

"I got two bandits turning tail," Adama said gruffly, eyes hard as he glared after the enemy fighters, and set his viper in pursuit, "Husker pursuing."

"Are you crazy? Form up! This is no time to go off by yourself. Don't be a hero, Husker!" Banzai exclaimed.

Husker continued onward, entering the planet's atmosphere after the Cylon fighters.

"Gotcha!" Husker called out as his Kinetic Energy Weapons (KEW) fire destroyed a Cylon raider leaving floating rubble dropping to the ground as he turned to the other, only to have lost him in the clouds, "Where are you, frakker?"

As Husker’s viper lowered altitude, condensation pooled around the window screen, making it hard to see as he flew through the clouds. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the Cylon Raider appeared, flying straight at him.

Panicking, he swerved his viper, trying to avoid a head-on collision with the Raider. The two fighters hit, both swerved out of control, dropping from the sky. Adama was thrown about the cockpit of his viper; he managed to pull the ejection lever. The window canopy blew out of the way, Adama's seat following the forward motion out and away from the Viper. He felt the cold air rushing past him, ruffling his hair as he continued freefalling. To his far right, the centurion from the Raider had escaped the Raider.

The centurion took out a pistol as it closed in on Adama. It fired, missing several times as the distance between them closed. Adama folded in on himself to drop out of the line of fire as he fell faster. He took out his pistol and fired off several shots, but missed.

The centurion dropped on top of Adama and grabbed at him. The centurion knocked Adama's pistol out of his hand. They fought hand-to-hand as they fell towards the ground. Making loud noises, the centurion creaked as it tried to reach around at him once more. Extending a blade from its arm, it slashed at him. Adama pushed the arm away.

With only moments left, his other hand reached for the ripcord on his parachute. The parachute deployed and was caught by the wind, separating the two. Adama was lifted up higher into the air. The centurion continued to fall fast until it finally hit land.

Both crashed inside a worn down warehouse near a large structure, breaking through several windows and shattering glass as they impacted with the ground. Adama quickly got up, throwing away his helmet.

He kept moving as the centurion looked toward him, trying to get up but having difficulty. It was damaged. The un-cushioned fall had crushed its legs. Grabbing a long pipe, Adama rushed toward the centurion and used it to start violently bashing against its head. The centurion tried without success to resist. Its head piece sustained more damage, until Adama’s efforts separated the head from the centurion's body. The wavering red light that made the centurion's eye finally went dark.

Adama let out a shaky breath as he wiped sweat off his face. He tossed the pipe away as he breathed a sigh of relief. He looked around at the unfamiliar surroundings before turning back to the centurion, feeling nothing but hate and frustration.

After taking another minute to cool down, Adama picked up the centurion's automatic firearm and began to explore. Sliding up to a turn in the corridor, he peeked around the corner. What he saw caused him to shrink back in horror and disgust. Human tissue, from arms and legs, hung from wires. A spray of blood dripped down a curtain nearby. The putrid smell made him gag and cover his mouth and nose.

Seeing a giant vat in the center of the room, he walked towards it and, out of curiosity, stuck his gloved hand into the viscous fluid. His expression turned to confusion and then shock as he began to hear and see things. He saw people trapped in cages, hearing them crying out for help. There was a man strapped down to a table with his insides exposed. A centurion stood over him, using a surgical knife on the helpless man.

In the apparent hallucination, an arm seemed to grab at him, coming from out of the fluid inside the vat. Adama grunted as he pulled away, struggling to escape the vice grip on his arm. His efforts caused him to fall to the ground, several feet away, with the apparent hallucination ending as soon as he was away from the vat.

With a shaky breath, he tried to establish what was real again. A voice coming out of nowhere made him look around frantically. "All of this has happened before and will happen again…"

Hearing a persistent banging noise, Adama's attention was drawn to a nearby door.

Moving forward cautiously, he called out, "Is someone in there?"

At the height of Adama's head, the door contained a small window. After a long moment of silence a man's face, followed by a hand, appeared in the window. Frantically the man scanned through the little pane of glass before focusing on Adama. "Help! Help us! They left us here! Don't leave us here, please!"

"I’ll get you out of here," Adama said, grabbing a nearby metal pipe and trying to pry open the door.

"We're civilians... They jumped our convoy, destroyed our escort, and took us prisoner," the man said, detailing their experience as Adama worked to open the door. "There were fifty of us in the beginning, but they've been taking us away one by one... All we could hear was their screams. We didn't know what was happening to them. Please, you have to get us out of here…"

"Trying… The door must be welded shut," Adam grunted with effort as he applied pressure to wedge open the door. A loud noise howled from outside, and tremors rocked the building. It felt as if the whole structure was lifting from the surface.

The man panicked, "What's happening?!"

"I don't know. It's like an earthquake or something. This place is starting to come apart…" Adama redoubled his efforts. With a loud grinding noise, the door moved several inches before stopping.

The man tried to move the door from his side, it wouldn't budge. “It's still stuck!”

Adama strained against the door, but the pipe snapped in half. The door obstinately remained open only a few inches. Panting, Adama tossed away the remains of the pipe, "I can't open it any wider."

"You need to go! You need to get help!" the man said.

"I'll stay here, I'll stay with-," Adama said, eyebrows furrowed. He was unwilling to just leave these people behind.

"No! You can't do it by yourself!" the man shouted, "Just go! Tell everyone what happened to us! The Diana, from Gemenon, alright?! Tell them all. Don't stay and be trapped like us! Go! Save yourself! Go! GO!"

Adama looked around desperately for a long moment, unwilling to go. At the man's insistent urging he turned and ran, quickly exiting the building. He stumbled over the threshold, a weary hand steadying himself against the wall as he caught his breath.

He turned and looked up as sonic booms were heard overhead. He could see the large silhouette of a ship, comparable to a Cylon basestar but larger, as it lifted off from the ground, shooting skyward.

Adama pulled the radio from his flight-suit and began shouting into it over the noise of the overhead ship's engines. "Galactica, this is Husker! Galactica, do you copy!?"

The radio hissed static and then crackled to life. "Husker, roger that. Report status."

"I crashed on the surface. The Cylons were making something down here, experimenting on people to do it. And now they're getting away with whatever they built!" Adama yelled, outrage rankling him as he glared at the spot where the ship had vanished.

"Husker, Husker, the war is over!" the male voice on the radio loudly replied.

"What?!" Adama exclaimed, not believing his ears. "Galactica, repeat!"

"The war is over," the voice repeated, "An armistice was just signed. Activate your beacon; we'll send you an SAR (search and rescue) bird. Husker, respond."

Adama looked up to the sky in disbelief, his hair blown by the icy wind as snow drifted around him…

Last edited by Dragon on Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:23 pm, edited 5 times in total.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:20 am 
User avatar

Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 5:39 am
Posts: 438
Location: The Planet Terra
Dragon, unfortunately I didn't read your earlier drafts but this is outstanding, it's a bit scary as it has certain parallels to what I was planning but mine is based around earth.
Personally I think you should continue as is and change nothing - bravo zephyr
P.s I have voted "great"

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:11 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:00 am
Posts: 391
I read the earlier draft. I thought it was really good. This one appears to be better.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 7:23 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:01 am
Posts: 20
1x01 Part 2

The ramifications of the discovery in Operation Raptor Talon are ignored and put to rest. The Cylons, for reasons unknown and unexplained to the Colonials, abruptly ceased hostilities and offered to sign an armistice suggested by the Colonials. This treaty became known as the Cimtar Peace Accords, and ended the war with the agreement that the two sides would part ways. A demarcation line was drawn in space to separate Colonial and Cylon territory, and the Cylons left to find their own place in the universe. It was stipulated that if either side crossed that line, the agreement was off. Meaning to maintain relations, the Colonials built the Armistice station near the edge of their side of the border. However, after the Armistice was signed, the Cylons moved into seclusion on their side of the line, isolating themselves. Diplomatic relations ran stale…

Over time the colonies recovered, and as their populations grew large again, technology surged forward slowly – with a ban on research into Artificial Intelligence. Following the war, the size and influence of the colonial military substantially increased. The horrors inflicted on the scarred battle torn colonies still healed, leaving a reeling civilian population and a hatred and fear of the Cylons. Thus enforcing a popular desire of the public in demanding a large colonial fleet to be constructed to ensure the protection of the colonies. However, as the years passed: there was no sign of the Cylons…

As the Cylons continued to not show themselves, a generation gap formed as the threat they once posed faded. The fleet had grown to a massive size with the resources of the twelve worlds, at heavy cost to the economy. Politicians took the heat for these massive expenses. Soon enough, those promising reductions and change increasingly attractive to the populace grew in influence. Those that hard-lined defense did not. It became clear resources (cubits - the currency of the colonies) could be diverted, with military spending greatly reduced, to several more desirable civilian projects…

With no sign of the Cylons after many years, the reason for the military build-up was forgotten. Fear of them turned to derision and skepticism, turning images of the threatening machines into jokes and amusement of the Cylon 'toasters'. Slowly, but surely, technology advanced again as computer networks were used once more. Anyone pointing fingers to the Cylons’ return was shamed and general public opinion turned to belief they will never return. Government administrations began downsizing the fleet amidst the Admiralty’s, those senior in the fleet many of whom fought in the Cylon war, and others who feared the Cylons’ return, protests. However, these voices of dissent are minority in power as new generations growing up without fear of the Cylons took the reins of influence and policy decisions.

The colonial government took a direct route to cutting military spending; policy changes in the ships composing the colonial fleet. The production of versatile Gunstars, small and agile compared to the Firestars which had won the day until Battlestars came online in the Cylon war, were increased. More practical to deal with pirates and patrolling colonial space, the now more typical duties of the fleet without a present threat of war. Larger fleet units, such as the all-important Battlestars, were reduced and scrapped, and further ‘improved’ with the new mercury class reliant on networking and the newest computers that reduced crew compliments by over half. Fewer of the mercury class could be made, replacing larger numbers of older versions; implementing a measure to see the fleet of over 120 Battlestars halved in coming years.

The Cylon war ended almost forty years ago, but there was no continued communications, despite efforts by the colonials, or even a permanent peace agreement in place. The Cylons made no efforts to solidify peace beyond the armistice. Nor was there a resolution to the differences between Cylon and man. All they had was the armistice line; the demarcation line drawn in space and agreed to by both sides with the promise that neither side would ever cross that line, or war would continue. As such, the peace was effectively only a brief respite in the conflict between the two races – just waiting for someone to provide an excuse to reignite hostilities, and in the meantime both sides had rebuilt their war machines.

With no support from the government, those who believe the threat the Cylons pose to the colonies is not over come together. The status quo of the uneasy 'peace' and lack of contact with the Cylons was disrupted in the Admiralty's need to prove their belief of the threat of the Cylons. A mission was put forth, sending the Battlestar Valkyrie on a stealth mission, using a stealthstar specially created for the mission, to inch just across the demarcation line. To see if the Cylons were even there, if they were still watching for the colonials or perhaps had forgotten them, to see if a Cylon strike on the colonies was possible, and most pressingly: to see if they were capable of a fast response to the demarcation line being crossed…

Februarius 17th, 2349
Picon Fleet Headquarters; Fleet Admiral Corman's Office

The office was decorated with weapons and war memorabilia. Two colonial fleet officers sat across from each other…

"Bill, you've heard the same theories I have. That the reason the Cylons have not been heard from in so long, is that they've been preparing a new war machine, preparing a strike on the colonies. Our desire is to find out. We've been resting on our laurels Bill.

More and more of the fleet is being dismantled, fresh recruits nowadays coming in whose biggest concern is their next paycheck; no belief in the possibility of the Cylons returning… If this continues, we will be unprepared for an attack. We need to know if they’re a threat now, before we’ve weakened the fleet to the point we can’t defend ourselves. If it’s not too late already.

The mission's simple; one recon ship, stick our nose over just past the armistice line, gather evidence. We may never have this opportunity again. I'm assuming you appreciate the consequences if you're discovered. And you understand, Commander that this conversation did not happen. Are you prepared for this?" Admiral Corman asked.

"Of course, sir. On one condition: I need my men. Especially for the Stealthship. There's only one pilot I trust," a 51 year old wizened, Commander William Adama said. Sitting across from each other comfortably, both wore their war decorations on their daily colonial fleet uniforms.

"Who?" Corman asked.

Armistice Line, Valkyrie CIC

Adama stood listening to the wireless as the mission began, the stealthstar launched and approached the armistice line as planned. Adama couldn't keep his eyes from the dradis console, his hands clenching and unclenching stressfully.

"Stealthstar, Valkyrie. We register you on dradis, just past the Armistice line. You're on full alert. Proceed with caution," Valkyrie's Tactical Officer Lieutenant Jon Levinson said over the wireless.

"Valkyrie, Bulldog. I'm exactly two clicks past the line. Repeat: two clicks, and I've got negative dradis contacts. There's nothing here, sir. Which is fine by me.

Company wants to pay me for a joy ride, they came to the right driver. Helluva moon," Lieutenant Daniel "Bulldog" Novacek reported, grinning as he eyeballed around outside his viper, a sight not seen by colonials since the establishment of the demarcation line.

Valkyrie CIC

"Dradis contact. Unknown vessel just jumped in," Valkyrie's Tactical Officer Lieutenant Jon Levinson said.

"Frak!" Bulldog exclaimed as an explosion on his wing shut off one of his engines and sent his viper into an uncontrolled spin; his fighter was winged from behind by weapons fire from the unknown contact.

Valkyrie CIC

Bulldog cried out in panic over the wireless, "Krypter krypter krypter, I've got damage to the port engine. Bird is down. Repeat: bird is down. Request rescue. Krypter krypter krypter. This is Bulldog…"

"Vessel just jumped out, sir," Lieutenant Levinson said.

"Bird is down! Repeat: bird is down! Request rescue. Krypter krypter krypter, this is Bulldog. Bird is down. Repeat: bird is down," Bulldog repeated loudly.

"Two more dradis contacts. Sir, please instruct. What are your orders, sir? Sir, what are your orders?" Lieutenant Jon Levinson asked in concern, looking to his commanding officer.

Adama was overwhelmed, staring at the dradis then looking down to the plot table in shame, stressfully palming the corded communications headset before him.

"Don't do this. Think about it, Bill. You don't want to do this," Colonel Tigh cautioned, looking at his friend with concern.

"Do you want his ship discovered? Do you know where we are? Do you have any idea what this could mean?" Adama said, his eyes hardened as he looked at Tigh, his resolve set.

"Bogies on intercept course. Will merge with Stealthstar in 20 seconds. Sir?" Lieutenant Levinson said requesting instruction frantically.

Adama took hold of the corded communications phone/headset, lifting it to his head, "Weapons: launch ship-to-ship missile. Now." The headset made a loud noise in the quiet CIC as Adama pressed it back on the receiver.

Outside the Valkyrie, a plume of heat from a missile, following a straight path, launched directly at the ship's own bird, targeting Bulldog's viper as the two unknown contacts continued closing to weapons range.

Alarms continued blaring in Bulldog’s viper as he noticed the missile coming, exclaiming in fright as he assumed the unknown contacts had launched against him. Unable to maneuver away in his out of control bird, Bulldog grabbed the rip cord for his ejection seat, ejecting out of the vipers window frame just as his viper was destroyed and his death assumed shortly before the Valkyrie jumped away from the area to avoid detection…

The mission ended in disaster, with the mission pilot believed to be killed in action. A missile launched by the colonials’ own warship destroyed their stealth fighter, just as unknown dradis contacts approached from the Cylon's side of the border…

The world didn't end. There were no signs of follow-up from the Cylons, which was taken as a sign things could remain as they were with no contact among the two sides, and so the truth of the mission was classified from the general public. The armistice had been violated and the peace shattered, even as no sign of change in the status quo appeared.

Unknown to the colonials, their one small trespass of the armistice was the excuse the Cylons used to prepare for war. Their war machine was thrown into high gear with the intent of war. This included infiltration of colonial society and their military fleet, something the colonials would’ve thought impossible. Whereas on the colonials' side, the Valkyrie mission provided Intel confirming the Admiralty's theory: the Cylons were prepared for war and had an active military that could provide a quick response. As evidenced by the raiders finding the stealthstar within minutes of the ship appearing over the armistice line. The colonials however were limited in moving ahead with any preparations for a possible war following the Valkyrie incident…

The colonial government refused to believe evidence presented by the Admiralty in secret, out of the public's eye, showing that the Cylons were still around, active, and a possible threat. They chose to keep this information secret so public opinion wouldn't be swayed, and they chose to bury their heads in the sand. They wanted to continue to weaken the strength of the colonial fleet over coming years and instead use the funding the military had for civilian projects on the colonies, much to the dismay of the Admiralty. The happier they could keep the populace, the longer they stayed in office after all. The truth was risky for politicians across the colonies and it was so easy to cover up, to pretend the threat didn't exist...

The official story was Taurons had been responsible for the lost stealthstar, caught red-handed along the armistice line and stopped before a threat could occur. The story was simple, easy to believe among society. The politicians who knew the truth found it easier to accept. Life went on.

Seeing no other option besides staging a coup, the Admiralty made preparations outside the purview of the colonial fleet and the government. They prepared for a worst case scenario that they believed had a very good chance of becoming necessary, but they could see that they had no other choice to fulfill their duty to protect the colonies...

Abundilis 17th, 2349
Picon; Fleet HQ, Fleet Admiral's Office

“This is crap sir,” Commander William Adama said frankly, unhappy, his eyes narrowed.

Admiral Corman chuckled, next to him his second in command Admiral Nagala cracked a smile

“You know how the government handles things, Bill. They needed someone to blame for the ‘screwup’ as they called it. Perhaps there’s some brains in there since they want a backup in case the truth of Valkyrie gets out,” Corman said, bemused.

“And it shuts up the officer in command,” Admiral Nagala added.

“So, what? I just retire quietly…” Commander Adama asked, his heart sinking at the thought.

“The powers that be had the wherewithal to know that would attract attention. They also figure their solution itself to be a punishment,” Admiral Corman said.

“We amended their idea, went along with it for own purposes. Simply put though, you’re transferring to take command of ‘the bucket’ as she’s been nicknamed these days. They want to retire her in a few years like all the other Columbia class… Your old ship, Galactica,” Admiral Nagala said, a glint in his eyes.

Adama frowned, uncertainty filled him. Noticing Nagala’s hinting at something, he was distracted by nostalgic emotions, fond memories of the ship he’d first crewed during the war, “The Galactica… It’s mine?”
Admiral Nagala grinned. Corman nodded slowly.

“The decision’s yours if you want to take the offer Bill. If you do…” Admiral Corman said invitingly, trailing off.

“There’ll be information in a secure lockbox in the commanding officer’s quarters, on a… Hypothetical mission. Called Ragnarok Scenario…” Admiral Nagala stated, evenly.

Februarius 8th, 2351
Confederation Station, in space three hours sublight travel to Picon
Heavy Warstar Haven CIC

Commander Marcel Cifer stood in the center of the large CIC, checking on the various sections of the ship to prepare for a jump.

“Good to see we’re finally getting out of dock even if it’s just for this test; took them long enough to get the ship up and ready,” Commander Marcel Cifer said excitedly.

“Aye sir. Though we’re still relatively lightly armed with about half our weapons not yet functional,” Colonel Llora Skylar said, rolling her eyes.

“Pfft. You’d think with all the cubits pushed into getting Haven up and running the weapons would’ve been prioritized and all online,” Commander Cifer scoffed, “Still, even if we had to face combat, we’ve got enough teeth as is to rip apart pretty much any conceivable enemy.”

“The firepower of around three mercury class Battlestars combined. Stronger than any other Warstar ever created, and meant to literally take on a war by herself. Yes, even with a fraction of her weapons, she’s too deadly and stubborn to be in trouble in combat no matter her situation sir,” Colonel Skylar said in agreement, smiling slightly, though still wishing Haven could be at 100% on her maiden voyage.

“Well if nothing else we’ll get to see Haven jump farther than any other ship in the fleet could dream of. Given her eight large and powerful engines, along with the Olympus class FTL, giving the ship a jump range of around 100 light years; should provide an interesting test to see today,” Commander Cifer said, nodding slightly.

“Indeed sir,” Colonel Skylar said.

“Let’s get a message out to that civilian engineer to finish up her work on the ship’s FTL systems so we can get going. I’m starting to get antsy about waiting and I’m excited to see our beloved ship in action,” Commander Cifer said, eyes sparkling in excitement and in anticipation.

“Aye sir. I’ll make sure she hurries up and gets off our frakking ship post haste. No need to take her with us for the test after all. You know how much I detest the civilian contractors from Intrinsic Espada Engineering,” Colonel Skylar said, grinning.

“Thank you Colonel; knew I could count on you to feel the same,” Commander Cifer said, closing his eyes and sighing with satisfaction at soon getting his wish.

10 minutes later

“Let the Colonel know that pesky blonde civilian engineer she hates so much is now away from the ship,” Major David Magnus said boredly into his earpiece connecting to the ship’s CIC, watching the raptor carrying the civilian engineer and her assistants away from Haven.

“Aye sir,” the communications officer replied, then relayed the CAGs message to the Colonel and Commander.

“Good,” Colonel Skylar said, grinning mischievously and turning to her CO in expectation.

“Great to hear. Now let’s get going!” Commander Cifer said excitedly, raising his voice to ensure the crew heard him and knew he was talking to them.

“Yes sir!” several crew members replied quickly.
Haven began moving farther away from the shipyard docks that had been her home for so long, while the crew finished preparations to jump the ship.

“FTL jump in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Jumping!” Lieutenant Anabel Drake said happily, raising her arms and jumping up and down slightly in excitement.

Commander Cifer glanced at the jubilant operations officer in bemusement before looking ahead as the ship FTL jumped and quickly arrived at its destination. Haven jumped away from the colonies on her intended single 100 lightyear jump as a test for the new ship’s systems; everything went ahead like clockwork. A bright flash surrounded the massive ship and they were displaced, arriving at their new coordinates as planned. Then it all went wrong…

“We’ve arrived out of our FTL jump sir,” Lieutenant Drake reported smiling widely, but her smile turned down into an uncharacteristic frown moments later as she gave the FTL computer her full attention, noticing something odd.

Commander Cifer was grinning in excitement and ready to begin looking around at the historic jump point for his ship’s first of many amazing accomplishments, but then he turned serious as he noticed the operations officer’s sudden change in attitude. Rarely was the Lieutenant not smiling or excited. Commander Cifer moved closer to the Lieutenant knowing something was wrong.

“Report Lieutenant,” Commander Cifer said, narrowing his eyes in suspicion.

“Sir… I don’t know what’s causing this, but the FTL computer immediately started plotting another jump and spun up the FTL drives for another jump sir,” Lieutenant Drake said, frowning in confusion and consternation.

“What do you mean Lieutenant? We’re not scheduled for a jump until after surveying the area. Could it be a malfunction?” Commander Cifer asked angrily, not liking his brand new ship becoming full of bugs in her systems right off the bat.

“Sir, like I said I don’t quite understand what’s going on,” Lieutenant Drake said, scratching her head and narrowing her eyes at the FTL computer in annoyance, “It seems though that the FTL is carrying out commands inputted to jump the ship again in short order. It’s already set to go within 30 more seconds sir.”

“Can you stop it and fix it Anabel?” Commander Cifer asked.

“No sir. I’ll have to get into the system after the jump; it’s just programmed to jump too soon after our first jump to do much of anything before…” Lieutenant Drake said trailing off as the ship jumped while she was midsentence explaining the situation, “that.”

“Hmmm,” Commander Cifer said, frowning in annoyance.

“Getting right on it, now, sir!” Lieutenant Drake said, mock saluting the Commander and smiling again as she started going through the FTL systems, fingers running across the keyboard at breakneck speed.

A few moments later Lieutenant Drake began opening up the FTL computers and narrowing her eyes at the machine as it disobeyed her, not giving what she wanted right away.

As the Lieutenant worked the ship jumped again after a few minutes, following preset commands to jump in regular intervals at the shortest time possible for the ship to keep up with. Most of the crew was used to the nauseating sensation, feeling of dizziness, which accompanied an FTL jump; none had experienced so many jumps in quick succession. Much of the CIC crew put a hand to their heads, steadying themselves. One technician couldn’t hold it in any longer, moving his head to the side away from his computer console and threw up. The rancid odor caused another technician across from him to follow suit…

“Get it fixed now Lieutenant! I’d like to not break our ship right away or get lost somewhere if we continue jumping!” Colonel Skylar said sternly.

“On it sir! However, the coding on the FTL computers is extensive; it’s blocking all attempts to stop the systems from engaging in an FTL jumps. I can’t understand it, but it’s almost like someone intentionally programmed these commands to go off when we jumped away and it’s nowhere near done.

If I can’t stop it, we’ll keep jumping long distances and eventually face trouble with the ships systems or we could run into some celestial body like a sun,” Lieutenant Drake said, turning to her superiors with a look of fear on her face…

Aprilius 4th, 2351
Scorpian Fleet Shipyards, Dry-dock 12

The Scorpian shipyards stood in high orbit above the colony of Scorpia. Outside of Picon Fleet anchorage over Picon, it was the largest construct in colonial space and the go-to for the colonial fleet for construction and repair operations. Encompassing the shipyards was a series of dry-docks, enclosed construction bays large enough fit whole ships inside and allow work without atmospheric suits having to be worn.

Inside Dry-dock 12 sat the Battlestar Prometheus…

At a platform overlooking the ship stood two officers with Admiral pins on their blue fleet uniforms. Below, construction workers could be seen transferring supplies into the ship, yelling at others moving too slow.

“It’s a lovely ship, Admiral Jones,” Fleet Admiral Peter Corman said.

“Thank you, sir,” Admiral Jones said quietly, looking down at the Titan class with pride.

One of only two among the fleet, the only officially known one being the flagship of the fleet, the Atlantia. Most confused it with mercury class given the same basic structure and only being about a third larger in size.

“Damn shame the fleet can’t see more of these ships. The government’s spending cuts at work,” Admiral Corman said bitterly.

“I’d heard rumors about the ship when I took command. Is it true the only reason she still exists is the ship was more than halfway through construction when the orders came along to halt the plans for the Titan class?” Admiral Jones asked, her eyebrows furrowed.

“Indeed. Would’ve been a waste to scrap her at that point. Seems we finally have a mission to take her out of dock now. I assume you heard the recent scuttlebutt?” Admiral Corman asked, bemused.

“Yes, sir. It’s still being kept pretty quiet, but the disappearance of the Haven weeks ago wasn’t something that went unnoticed,” Admiral Jones said.

“I should hope not, or I’d be worried if I had fools in my fleet,” Admiral Corman said, chuckling, “The largest ship ever built and the Admiralty insisted on its construction. It was a heavy loss when it disappeared on a routine FTL test. The largest, costliest, failure of the fleet.”

Admiral Jones frowned sadly, looking over her ship with new eyes scrutinizing its beauty, as she realized how lucky she was to have it. “Hard to believe such a massive ship could just go missing. Scouts didn’t find wreckage at least?”

“No. Nothing. They were testing long range jumping with the newest systems. Could’ve found themselves adrift in deep space, or ended up inside a sun; anything’s possible since we have no idea what went wrong that made them jump beyond where they were supposed to end up.

Now, you should know that this incident has bearing on your mission Admiral,” Corman said.

Admiral Jones shifted uncomfortably, gripping the hand railing tightly.

“By all accounts whatever political capital the fleet had was spent with this failure. Lucky for us, although President Adar ran a platform on military spending cuts, he also relies on the military to exert control of dissidents in the colonies. The incident on Aerilon when he sent marines to quell an uprising against the government comes to mind… In exchange for the Admiralty no longer making a fuss, or public outcry against what’s being done to the fleet, and actively cooperating with networking and other activities we disagree with, he approved this mission we’re sending you on,” Admiral Corman said.

“Generous of him,” Jones said sarcastically, her eyes narrowed. She disliked their president for his policies, not the least of which was continuing military reduction.

“Officially Battlestar Group (BSG) 8 will be on long distance patrol outside the perimeter of colonial space. If this mission comes to light, it’ll be known that BSG 8 was exploring deep space. The truth however is that your mission is to map as much of deep space as possible and preferably find other habitable worlds,” Admiral Corman said.

“Is that all? Here I thought we’d find the thirteenth tribe while out on a night on the town,” Admiral Jones said flippantly, shaking her head.

Corman laughed, a small grin on his face, “Unlikely though that is, it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility… We just had more realistic goals.”

Corman handed her a sealed envelope with the colonies’ crown seal over the opening. Jones looked at him with confusion as she took it.

“Inside that, you’ll find the jump coordinates where you will go to on your return trip as you complete your mission. It goes without saying that is highly confidential. Your ship will be ready for launch shortly, so I just want to say good luck. Good hunting, Admiral,” Admiral Corman said, extending a hand.

Admiral Jones shook his hand, sharing his ear to ear grin, with a respectful nod, “Thank you, sir.”

Admiral Corman gave one last look to the mighty warship below, and turned as he went on his way to a raptor that would carry him back to Picon Fleet HQ…

Hours later, the Prometheus joined its fleet, maneuvering at sub-light speed away from Scorpia. The ships were engulfed in a bright flash of light as FTLs were engaged, jumping away to an uncertain future…

Martius 17th, 2353
Picon, Battlestar Atlantia; Admiral’s Quarters

Admiral’s Corman and Nagala sat across from each other, glasses in their hands clinking as they took a swig of ambrosia.

First to break the silence, Nagala spoke earnestly, “I know you’ve been looking for a long time. Perhaps you gave out hope, even as you found support staff for the Admiral you had in mind… But this is it Peter. We found him.”

Admiral Corman frowned, surprised at his close friend’s candor. He looked down, once more going over the analysis of war game 804 in the file before him.

Three Mercury class Battlestars with superior fighter support, simulating a superior armed fleet with greater numbers of capital ships and fighter-craft, defeated by a fleet of two Jupiter class Battlestars and six Gunstars…

“Tactical genius is what his instructors called him. His rise through the ranks shows that held weight; graduated Picon Fleet’s academy, age 21, top of his class: excelling in war strategy and fleet logistics. He spent three years as a flight instructor and quickly became captain of Caprica Station’s defense viper squadrons. Clearly he can connect with his personnel and inspire confidence in his leadership…

He then spent two years as CAG on Battlestar Pacifica, rising to the rank of Colonel and served as Executive Officer of the ship for six months before transferring to become commander of Battlestar Chimera. Even lead the BSG fleet he was attached to when the Admiral in command passed away without warning from natural causes,” Admiral Nagala said passionately, reading over the officer’s service record.

“I get it, he’s a qualified officer. Perhaps the best we’ve looked at,” Admiral Corman admitted grudgingly, “But the weight on his shoulders could just as easily be too much for him. Him, an Admiral, at 28?”

“Was I too young at 35? Age isn’t what matters; it’s character. Guts. And you can’t delay any longer… At least meet him and see for yourself,” Admiral Nagala implored.

Admiral Corman sighed, rubbing his eyes, feeling the full weight of his sixty-seven years. “Very well.”

Martius 19th, 2353
Picon; Fleet HQ, Fleet Admiral's Office

Fleet Admiral Peter Corman sat down in his plushy chair, gesturing for the much younger man who'd arrived at his office to sit opposite him.

"Commander, I know you are wondering why you are here. I'll get down to business and not waste either of our time. Your recent performance in a fleet war game is what has precipitated our meeting," Admiral Corman said seriously, looking up and down the young officer across from him. Wondering if he'd made the right choice.

"Sir. I hope my performance was satisfactory," Commander Erik Stark said nervously, sitting up straight and trying to convey the confidence he thought was expected.

Admiral Corman frowned, giving Stark the full extent of his stare. He’d been known to send cadets home when they couldn’t take it…

"You performed quite well, Commander Stark. Taking advantage of the lack of combat readiness aboard the Solaria and taking her out of the fight involved great ingenuity.

You sacrificed three Gunstars and one Jupiter class Battlestar to quickly eliminate the other Mercury class vessels. Risky. A hardball way to command," Admiral Corman said, studying Stark inquisitively.

"I can tender my resignation if the use of such tactics is disagreeable to the colonial fleet sir…" Commander Erik Stark said trailing off, eyebrows furrowed. His skin flushed as a turmoil of emotions passed through him and slowly dissipated as Admiral Corman remained silent.

Admiral Corman merely raised an eyebrow, watching Commander Stark carefully and waited for him to continue.

“Against a technologically superior foe, I did what was necessary for victory. Despite regrettable losses. Extreme tactics were required against a superior enemy force, but in such a case what needs to be done for the good of the fleet: should be done," Commander Stark said, leaning forward, meeting Admiral Corman's eyes.

No longer nervous, as confidence and a strong sense of conviction replaced the apprehension and discomfort he’d felt under Corman’s intense scrutiny.

"Explain your reasoning," Admiral Corman asked, watching Stark like a hawk. He began to feel excited, his lips ever so slightly upturning to a smile.

"I assumed this was a test of theories for a potential Cylon invasion, as they’ve been the one real enemy the fleet’s faced. The Cylons were harsh, unfeeling, purely logical beings willing to do anything to achieve victory. It's a handicap to not be willing to do the same," Commander Stark said, giving Corman a hard look.

After a long moment as the two stared at each other; Admiral Corman chuckled. Commander Stark jolted upright before relaxing into his seat.

"You’re not here to be reprimanded, Stark. Your orders were tactically sound and allowed your largely disadvantaged fleet to come out of a battle against a superior force," Admiral Corman said, satisfied, feeling as if he’d finally found the one he’d so long searched for. “Congratulations Commander. I am promoting you to Admiral, effective immediately. The youngest yet.”

Stark sat, shocked, his mouth ajar.

“Sir?” Stark said, heart fluttering a moment, him, an Admiral?

Corman pushed a set of Admiral’s wings before Stark, “Your service record stands for itself, Admiral. You represent the shining beacon of hope for the fleet. Sadly, I must also give you the highest of responsibilities today.”

"--If you think I'm ready, sir… I stand prepared to do my duty to defend the colonies, sir," Admiral Stark said determinedly, shaking off his surprise, eyes narrowed at the Fleet Admiral.

“For years the Admiralty has argued with the government over the threat of the Cylons. Apparently safety mattered less than funding civilian projects," Admiral Corman said, his matter of fact tone growing sour as anger overtook his features.

“Yes sir,” Admiral Stark said sadly, “Moreover, the government confined colonial space to the Twelve colonies, with few ventures outside our controlled space allowed.”

“I’m glad to see you understand the problem. We’re boxed into one convenient location, and more and more weakening our own defenses,” Admiral Corman said, snorting. His eyes grew dark, making it clear just how not funny he found this.

"Undoubtedly you know of the war with the Cylons and the armistice agreement ending the war… What you do not know is that the colonies broke the armistice four years ago. A stealthstar, which the Cylons shouldn’t have been able to detect, went over to the Cylon’s side of the armistice line to give us a glimpse of any activity...” Admiral Corman said, his eyes briefly taking a far off look. He felt a mix of shame and anger remembering the events of the mission.

"What?! Sir that can't be true!" Admiral Stark protested vehemently, unwilling to believe what he'd just heard.

"I'm afraid it is. I ordered the mission myself," Admiral Corman said, eyes downcast.

"Why sir?" Admiral Stark asked, confused.

“The Admiralty saw the writing on the wall. The fleet would be reduced to the point we couldn’t defend ourselves. Until the Cylons actually showed up, the government and civilians would continue believing they posed no threat. We had to know if there was a threat while we had the strength to defend the colonies!

Within a minute of our appearance, unknown dradis contacts appeared. The Cylons had a rapid response force that detected our ship over the line. This is evident of a military war machine still very much active and prepared to go to war if need be," Admiral Corman said.

Admiral Stark leaned back in his chair in shock, unsure of what to make of this newfound knowledge, “You weren’t sure they were Cylons though? Just unknown contacts…”
“Correct. However, chances are they were Cylons. Unless we want to consider the possibility of other forces beyond the demarcation line illegally… We don’t know their intentions. Knowing they have an active military is reason enough to warrant concern.

Why haven’t they contacted us to engage in measures for peace? Why didn’t we hear from them when they discovered the Valkyrie’s mission? They could’ve come and demanded a peace treaty, assurances that this wouldn’t be repeated. They didn’t. There’s a reason for that, and undoubtedly not a good one. We must prepare for the worst, in case they do want war, and soon,” Admiral Corman said.

Admiral Stark’s expression hardened as he took in Admiral Corman’s words, after a few moments he nodded in agreement.

“The government decided to pretend Valkyrie’s mission didn’t happen, to keep the public in the dark. To continue weakening the fleet, despite the likelihood we’d instigated a resumption of war with the Cylons,” Admiral Corman said.

Admiral Stark leaned forward in his chair, giving Admiral Corman his undivided attention as a chill went down his spine.

"The only logical option was to start acting beyond the government’s purview to ensure the colonies’ survival. Since the Valkyrie mission, we've begun implementing a failsafe plan, known as Ragnarok Scenario. Outside the government’s knowledge, to ensure the colonies safety: as we otherwise could not. We utilized members of the military in line with our views, and powerful groups of civilians…

A secret colony was created about thirty light years from the colonies. There, a habitable planet lies within a gas cloud, five light years long and four light years thick; which contains radiation known to be harmful to Cylon technology. Any ship jumping there would need coordinates to reach the small safe area for FTL jumps.

All decommissioned, mothballed, and scrapped units have been in the process of being moved to that secure star system, instead of being melted down for parts as most in the colonies believe. Once there, shipyards not part of the fleet record continue working on getting those warships up and running. I'll leave you to find out the details of what's there later, but it's a sizeable force from ships no longer part of the colonial fleet, and even some ships created off the books. No record of any of this exists that could be compromised in a Cylon attack.

Many colonists volunteered to go to the star system, quietly. Densely populated, construction on the colony is underway to hold as many people as can be evacuated from the colonies in a Cylon attack.
Admiral, where this concerns you… I want you to take command of all fleet units in the Gjallarhorn nebula where this fallback position we’ve created lies. And as part of Ragnarok Scenario, if fleet command are unable to make it to you; you will take command of all colonial units as rightful Fleet Admiral,” Admiral Corman said seriously.

Admiral Stark guffawed in shock and disbelief, “Me? Fleet Admiral?”
“Yes. You would lead all colonial forces. If survivors of the government couldn’t be recovered, you would legally declare martial law until a replacement government could be created; as is legal under fleet regulations and the articles of colonization. Our backup plan should prevent this, but anything’s possible…

Admiral Nagala is next in line for command and always stays mobile; he would likely be in command during an attack if the Cylons act intelligently. Nagala would do as much damage as possible to the Cylons while keeping their attention if victory over an attack is not possible, allowing time for civilian evacuations and fleet assets to be recovered to your position.

All fleet academies have Assaultstars to carry the thousands of cadets and personnel instructors to safety; allowing fresh personnel to man the fleet and dedicated, well trained instructors who can quickly get volunteers for a war combat capable.

Your priority would be to ensure the survival of as many people as possible and of the Midgard colony in the Gjallarhorn nebula, Admiral. Your forces serving as a reserves for the fleet is secondary to this. You would not reinforce the fleet outright, as we expect the Cylons would have superior forces that would overwhelm the fleet even with your forces combined.

This is a worst case scenario plan for a reason. If war breaks out, the Cylons are likely to go for all out destruction; us or them. So you are to gather all survivors to safety and only attack the Cylons when you’re ready,” Admiral Corman said.

“You wouldn’t want us to remain hidden indefinitely until we matched the Cylons ship for ship, sir?” Admiral Stark asked.

“They’re machines, Erik. That’s unrealistic given their capacity to simply make more of their own kind in a factory. We don’t know how far they’ve advanced either; anything’s possible. Also, eventually they might find your forces.

Running and hiding isn’t a long term solution either. All who created the plan agreed we can’t leave our children to fight a war for us if the colonies fell to the Cylons… You would gather whatever forces you could and once able, start an offensive against the cylons. Win that war at all costs Admiral, because if things actually reached that point; anything to defeat the Cylons, and preventing their threat to future generations, would become necessary,” Admiral Corman said.

"I understand sir," Admiral Stark said.

"I hope you do Admiral. Or we're all frakked," Admiral Corman said, scrutinizing Admiral Stark who stared at him with a strong sense of conviction and cold eyes, willing to do whatever it took to fulfill his duty.

“Very well,” Admiral Corman said, accepting the strength of Stark’s conviction, “Effective immediately, you are to report to your new post aboard the Battlestar Titan. You’ll be taken there, to the Gjallarhorn nebula, when you leave this office and at that time records will be falsified to show your discharge from the fleet.”

"Yes sir. Thank you sir. I won't let you or the colonies down," Admiral Stark said determinedly, saluting Admiral Corman as he got to his feet, then turning and leaving to reach the transport waiting to take him to his destination.

"May the Gods have mercy on my soul if I've chosen wrong; may the fates shine on you Admiral Stark and let you be the shining beacon of hope we all may need very soon," Admiral Corman said quietly once he was alone, then sat down and downed a glass of ambrosia.

(Author’s note:
Obvious disclaimer, don’t own BSG/Caprica. Noted dialogue 1x01 some edited came from Caprica and Blood and Chrome for the first Cylon war, some from BSG ep Hero.

Special thanks to editors, Beta-readers, and friends who helped with writing;
Wes Imlay, PamB., BewareofDrag, Walker98, Sasha Sky., CamaroQ, Bella, BigZ, JewellTrim, Superwholoc., LydiaJ., Audrey Knight…)

Last edited by Dragon on Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:52 am, edited 2 times in total.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:57 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:01 am
Posts: 20
1x02 Beginning Humanity's Resistance, The Horizons of War

Several Days Later…
Gjallarhorn Nebula, Midgard Orbit
Battlestar Titan, Admiral’s Quarters

Admiral Stark laid back in his plush chair, letting out a pent up breath from stress as he glared at the stack of paperwork on the table in front of him. Another pile of paperwork over a foot high was pushed off to the right, signifying the reading material he’d already gone through. An even larger mass lay to the left, yet to be touched, caked in dust from being undisturbed on the desk for a long time…

Entering the Admiral’s quarters with the marine guards’ approval outside, a brown-haired elder man in his early sixties approached Admiral Stark’s desk, accompanied by a red-haired eager looking man in his early twenties, each dressed in colonial fleet officers’ uniforms.

“Not what you expected to do as an Admiral someday?” Admiral Jonathon Graham asked, chuckling slightly as he grew amused watching Stark continuing to glare at the stack of paperwork as if fire would burst forth to remove the paper through his sheer force of will.

“No sir. I didn’t expect to become an Admiral so young. I certainly wouldn’t have looked forward to it as much if I knew this much paperwork would be waiting for me,” Admiral Stark said, groaning in despair and rubbing his eyes to distract himself from looking at the mound of paperwork awaiting him.

“You can drop the sir, Erik. You are in command of the fleet. I’ve just been holding down the fort until they chose the fleet commanding officer. I prefer focusing on Research and Development in the downtime I have now, more exciting for me anyway,” Admiral Graham said, grinning slightly.
Admiral Stark nodded, chuckling slightly as he imagined Admiral Graham had been ecstatic at getting away from where he sat, before stacks of paperwork.

“Would you like the brief rundown of fleet assets sir?” Commander Henrik Corvan asked, hiding the mild pity he felt looking at the despair Admiral Stark still showed when looking at the paperwork before him.

“Yes. The short version if possible, please. I’ve looked at logs dating back to settling in this star system, with so many changes here and there it gets confusing…” Admiral Stark said, frowning, his eyebrow twitched as he looked down at the paperwork again. He grabbed the topmost file. Standing, he stretched.

“Let’s go for a walk… I could use the excuse to get away from this. Not to mention I need to acquaint myself with my ship still.”

Admiral Graham merely smiled and nodded, following after Stark as he strode to the hatch, opened it and walked out. Commander Corvan stood still a moment, blinking slowly, then quickly followed after the pair, catching up as they strode down the corridors of the ship.
Content to walk without a particular direction in mind, Stark let Corvan lead the way…

Battlestar Titan, Auxiliary CIC

Having walked a long distance across the ship, Commander Corvan had given Stark a brief rundown of the fleet as they arrived at the auxiliary CIC. The command center used in emergency if the main control center was compromised. Right now the room was empty of crewmen.

An array of computer consoles sat in a semi-circle around a long table in the center with large screens above for DRADIS and other ship functions. The lights came on, illuminating the pitch black darkness in the room as the trio entered.

“As you know, sir, Titan served as a prototype for the Titan class, the intended series of Battlestars to serve as fleet command ships… Originally planned at twice the size of the Mercury class; development issues and costs involved led to downsizing her structure to just a third larger lengthwise.

Engine and continuing technological issues resulted in the Titan being scrapped. Atlantia and Prometheus succeeded the Titan, proving capable enough to establish as fleet command ships. The government decided they were sufficient for the fleet, scrapping the rest of the class.

All scrapped and decommissioned ships, from junkyards and mothballing anchorages, have steadily continued to be moved to our location the past few years, including the Titan herself. Each is in the process of being updated and returned to a serviceable condition in our shipyards,” Commander Corvan reported.

“Yes… I also saw in the reports that the rest of the Titan class that had been in construction were brought here as well,” Admiral Stark said, raising an eyebrow. He leaned against the auxiliary CIC’s plot table, brushing his hand across the smooth surface.

Commander Corvan stood across from him on the other side of the plot table. He placed a file he’d been carrying on the surface.

“Yes, sir. Titan was the first completed in our shipyards, the rest are being worked on among other construction efforts. Thankfully our construction capacity has continued being improved as we’ve gathered shipyards, those decommissioned in fleet cuts and others created here by private companies aligned with Ragnarok Scenario… We have the Canceron, Leonis, and Confederation stations. Then there are the mobile shipyards; eight Leviathan and twelve Hephaestus class, and seven construct-stars.

With current plans, the reserve fleet is expected to consist of four of the Titan class, eleven Mercury class, fourteen Jupiter class, eight Valkyrie class, and twelve Columbia class Battlestars. We expect more in continuing fleet cuts and from scrapyards,” Commander Corvan finished, and looked up from the file to examine Admiral Stark, gauging his response.

Admiral Stark raised an eyebrow as he listened, tapping his fingers restlessly as his thoughts turned. Then suddenly stopping as he spoke, “That’s good. Very good. However, I’d like the plans for the Titan class halted, effective immediately.”

“Halted?” Admiral Graham asked, eyebrows furrowed, sharing a confused look with Commander Corvan.

“For a class that will be command units for the fleet, it makes little sense to construct for the purpose of quantity over quality. A dozen such ships sounds good on paper, but they offer little more than if we simply build more Mercury class ships.

It’s understandable that the government would’ve approved them that way, but it makes no sense for us to continue those plans; with no innovation to our changed circumstances,” Admiral Stark said, voice thick with disapproval as he frowned at Admiral Graham.
Admiral Graham looked down guiltily.

“Sir, just junking these ships after the work put in…” Commander Corvan said, a horrified look on his face as he suppressed a shiver, distraught at the mere thought.

“The Titan class will be built to the originals specifications; 3400 meters long, 1200 meters wide, 450 meters high. There will no doubt be fewer ships of the class, but they will be proper command ships,” Admiral Stark said firmly.

“Building to such specifications could take years longer than current plans…” Admiral Graham said, frowning.

“It may also affect implementing upgrades for the Titan class. I urge you to reconsider--” Commander Corvan said pleadingly.

Admiral Stark looked between the two, considering their points weighed against his own. His eyes hardened as his tone turned stern, a hint of finality to it. “Titan is already completed, and will remain as is. The other Titan class ships will be built to the new specifications.”

Admiral Graham merely sighed, Commander Corvan looked torn for a moment before accepting the Admiral’s decision.

Corvan picked up the corded phone at his side of the auxiliary CIC’s plot table, briefly checking in with status of orders he’d previously given and verified the ship’s readiness. Putting down the receiver,

Corvan toggled the view screens above the plot table. In addition to the DRADIS system showing the Titan’s capital ship icon, the other screens now showed the ship’s gun cameras angling ahead at a nearby rock among the vast asteroid belt orbiting the Midgard system’s sun.

“Sir, the Titan class was being upgraded as a test bed for new weapons and technology advancements. Including a pulse cannon defense grid using laser turrets in place of usual flak cannons. Simulations show these as ten times more effective at eliminating fighters and missiles.

More importantly, as I’d like you to see a demonstration of on the view screens, there’s the addition of mega pulse lasers as main ship weaponry. Four are mounted across the Titan. Tests have shown no malfunction or issues in the ship’s combat efficiency. Simulations predict a couple shots could destroy one of the first war Cylon baseships…” Commander Corvan said.

As Corvan spoke, the Titan slowed to a dead stop before the nearby asteroid. Four large barreled turret mounts swiveled toward the direction of the asteroid, drawing large sums of power from the ship in moments. Reaching their peak and with the command to fire aboard the ship’s main CIC, the Mega Pulse Laser (MPL) cannons fired.

Four beams of gold colored energy shot out, meeting at a single point as the beam impacted on the asteroid. Hard rock was ripped through, debris flying everywhere while the beam dug straight through the asteroid. The asteroid split apart into thousands of small fragments. A minute after being hit by the MPL; the asteroid, over a kilometer in size, was gone with few signs of it ever having been there.

Admiral Stark watched this on the view screen overhead with wide eyes.

“An amazing display of firepower…” Stark said with awe in his tone. He frowned as his attention turned to Corvan, “What’s the downside? I assume there is a downside, otherwise the whole fleet would have such a weapon.”

“There’s just a brief period of time before the MPLs can fire again, with the need to recharge and the use of a significant amount of energy. We have six primary and eight secondary energizers on the ship allowing a variety of combat options in concert with the MPL, and only multiple energizers taken offline would impair combat functionality. As to why such weaponry isn’t in the fleet… Cost. The active fleet couldn’t maintain such weaponry without high costs which ensured such weapon advancements never saw the light of day. Atlantia herself never received such, though the MPL concept itself is not a new one,” Corvan said.

Admiral Stark nodded. Placing his head in his hands, he tapped against the plot table, fingers drumming briefly. Frowning, he looked up at Corvan, “I understand cost measures. However, I thought we had a large sum funding everything here. Slush funds, money from across several budgets, not to mention the companies and wealthy philanthropists behind us…”

“Yes, sir, that’s true. However, there’s projects like the Valhalla asteroid colony – the first of its kind as a mobile defense station measuring twenty-three kilometers long, ten kilometers wide. The largest thing created in colonial history, and heavily armed to boot. It’s still under construction; we’re creating a living space for millions inside, with thick heavy armor covering her entire hull, and more firepower than several Battlestars.

Not to mention building new ships, restoring scrapped and decommissioned units, creating new weapons systems, secreting away crew and people from the colonies… While keeping the biggest secret in the colonies, at a time when the military and secrecy for the welfare of the public isn’t exactly valued,” Corvan said, shaking his head and sighing deeply.

Admiral Stark smiled as Corvan finished. Taking a deep breath, he handed the file he carried with him to Corvan, shrugging he grinned roguishly, “When doing things without much care for the cost fails, there’s always the more pragmatic way. Using up all the laying around junk for instance…”
Commander Corvan’s eyebrows scrunched together in confusion as he took the folder, opening it up to see Admiral Stark’s scrawling handwriting detailing changes to be made for the fleet, focusing on construction and commandeering decommissioned fleet units.

“You’re ordering to cancel the reconstruction of decommissioned units; the Gaul, Nimitz and many others? Scrapping the Valkyrie class and several of the Columbias. Scrapping all the Gunstars intended to be part of the fleet, serving as the fleet’s gunnery support ships. Taking away the planned scrap materials from units among the junkyards as well…” Commander Corvan said with a stern frown, perplexed as he looked up from the paperwork.

“Currently we’re reconstructing frames and replacing materials from scrapped units to fix up old decommissioned ships… This is a dangerous proposition as they’re not as trustworthy as making new ships. Instead, taking that material gives a surplus for other projects and allows makeshift use to speed up construction,” Admiral Stark said.

Commander Corvan looked over the next sheet of instructions showing Stark’s intended plan for the transfer of resources, his expression grew perturbed as he spoke, “That’s how you see us constructing more asteroid colonies? More boats to hold as many as we can if we needed to run away…”

“No. More large mobile defense stations; smaller than the Valhalla, and thus easier to build. Which could be used to run, if it came to it, but also useful as a good defense emplacement with their firepower. Seems better to make them than current plans of reconstructing several old warships that have less combined firepower by comparison and less versatility of use,” Admiral Stark said simply.
“Still, it’ll take years to make such large constructions…” Admiral Graham pointed out, stroking his chin warily.

“It took years to make Valhalla and more years to go before she’s finished. If we move ahead with my plan, these new defense stations could be ready within the scheduled time of completion of Valhalla in two years, using stopgap construction which can be shored up, replaced and updated over time.
FTL is one of the most complicated, but can be mitigated by ripping out functional jump drives from decommissioned units, using new technology to synchronize drives meant for long distance jumps with large mass – or hell making it possible to tug jump the defense stations.

The important thing is that they are available by the time we need them, and I have confidence it can be done,” Admiral Stark said, a hint of finality in his tone as he looked back and forth between the two before him.

As no move was made to argue and the silence continued, clearing his throat, Commander Corvan awkwardly continued his report.

“There’s also the Warstars, designed to combat capital ships, taking on Basestars directly. Built with heavier firepower than Battlestars; they lack flightpods and thus fighter squadrons. Complementing them were the Firestars, ships originally designed before the Cylon war. Like Gunstars, they provide gunnery support with flight-pods aboard to release several squadrons of Vipers and Raptors.

Apparently, these ships weren’t conducive to peacetime efforts of the fleet, which is why they were all decommissioned and Gunstars, and other smaller ships, received a ramp up in production as a lighter, lower costing replacement,” Commander Corvan said.

Admiral Stark nodded, uncertain what to feel about the fleet. Proud? Worried it wasn’t enough? Time would tell, so he decided it was better to focus on what he could change now.

“I also intend to have other ships constructed in place of the Gunstars which are no longer going to be part of the fleet. I’ll need to speak with the lead scientists of R&D. From the reports I’ve read, Doctor Ravalshol was responsible for the pulse lasers. Doctor Locke is also supposed to be a big fish on a number of topics, particularly having had a hand in designing our ships so far. Commander if you would, set up a meeting please,” Admiral Stark said calmly, eyes narrowing as he uneasily remembered from notes made in reports that Locke, in particular, could try just about anyone’s patience.

“Yes sir,” Commander Corvan said dutifully, with a nod.

“I understand that projections place our fleet, even added to the active colonial fleet, at best on equal footing with the Cylon fleet?” Admiral Stark inquired, scrutinizing Corvan closely.

“Yes, sir. Most likely they’ll have more ships, as we expect they continued production at a similar or higher rate than we have since the Cylon war ended. They also don’t have a clear reason to slow production of ships and downsize their fleet as we have been doing,” Commander Corvan said with unease.

Admiral Stark nodded, seeing the clear, logical reasoning. What did machines need to care about financial costs after all? They could build and build, day and night. He now saw the real fears of the Admiralty, the image of Cylon basestars bearing down upon the colonial fleet, outnumbering them a thousand to one…

Admiral Stark shook himself, and asked Corvan to repeat himself, as he’d spaced out and heard only the end of what Corvan had been saying.

“Raw material, tylium, medical, and food supplies are not currently an issue sir, stockpiles are available for twice Midgard’s current population and more are intended in the case of mass casualties across the twelve worlds. Our ground force of marines is coming along, rivalling armies on the colonies. They could be dropped groundside in the case of invasion and occupation forces. Our training academies on Valhalla have seen rapid recruitment, which I’d suggest continuing.”

“Alright…” Stark said considering this information, “How many are on Midgard presently?”

“We have just over four million colonists on Midgard, with many more in space particularly on Valhalla including our marine forces. More supplies and people are being brought in each passing month as well,” Commander Corvan said.

Admiral Stark’s mouth flopped open, “How in the world did Corman get so many here without anyone noticing?”

“Since the end of the Cylon war, we’ve been bottled up in the colonies. People were receptive to a fresh start elsewhere. Even with strings attached; including likely never returning to the colonies, and leaving no trace behind that would tarnish the secrecy of the colony.

If the government ever caught wind of it, they played along as if they didn’t, taking in the change in population as a way to offer more space to overcrowding on the colonies. Likely none really know besides those in agreement with the Admiralty’s views,” Admiral Graham said.

“There’s a lot of paranoia on the Cylons returning as well, sir. Plans include being less stealthy and focusing on taking as many people as possible from the colonies,” Corvan said, slightly concerned.
“Getting as many people as we can is good, but we won’t compromise the security of this operation and the colony to do so,” Stark said sternly, narrowing his eyes at Corvan.

“Aye, sir,” Corvan said, relieved.

“All right. I’ll have to go through all this paperwork, I’ll want your help with that Commander: better for us both to suffer through it. We have a lot of work to do to get everything up to par with Admiral Corman’s expectations. Let’s get to it,” Admiral Stark said determinedly.

Gjallarhorn Nebula, Midgard’s Orbit
Asteroid Colony Valhalla; War School, Training Room 04

Thick cushioning mats covered the hard metal floor throughout the room. Across the large room people of all ages were gathered, those off to the corners where poles setup simulating rings were engaged in sparring. Kicking, punching each other, leaving loud noises to echo in the room as opponents grappled for control; often blood spewed from wounds to leave wet stains across the mats, particularly at the end of a bout…

At the center of the room, a collection of over eighty students, dressed in black athletic clothing, stood milling about. They were of all ages; most of the students were between sixteen and their twenties, the youngest looked to be about eight. A handful of adults older than the students, their teachers, stood at the head of the formation, watching and gauging their students. Without instruction most of the students grew loud in conversations amongst themselves.

Amidst the noise, a man in his early thirties silently walked through the chaos in the room, all but unnoticed. Clad in the usual garb of the leader of a clan on Scorpia; a simple black shirt, covered by a robe which lowered all the way down to his ankles. Along his black robe were several stylized designs including a set of fleur-de-lis forming a ring around his cufflinks, and prominently at the center of the garment atop his chest were the symbols of his clan, a red sun with lightning through the middle, and a dragon devouring another. Displayed prominently over his shirt, a silver pendant in the shape of a dragon's head. Attached to a sash across his midriff, a long sheathed blade with intricate designs across the hilt. He carried with him an aura of mystique, sophistication, power, and danger.
His cold, calculating eyes set in a worn face swept over the students. Analyzing and taking their measure.

Stepping out of the man’s shadow, a young man with dark hair brown eyes, in his twenties, appeared; an expression of annoyance crossing his face before he suppressed it and his expression became blank. “Atten-shun!” the young man yelled out.

All conversations among the trainees at the center of the room came to a standstill, several nervous looks appearing as the group turned to the front and stood stock still.
The mysterious man walked forward, stopping just before the first bunch of the large group of trainees.

“I see several new faces, as well as a few old ones. As I hope they have, you must each one of you take this lesson to heart, or you will not remain here. From here on out, I, Yaksha Algol, am your enemy. You may find this odd. However, those who have endured war understand this essential truth; there is no better teacher than the enemy.

Only the enemy will inform you what they will do, only they will make you understand how to destroy and ultimately achieve victory. You can spar, or prepare in any number of ways, but only the enemy will show you your weakness, only the enemy can inform you of their strength. There are no rules in war but what we make in civilized society, and anyone attentive of history knows those are often bent and broken until there are none in a real war.

There is what you can do to the enemy, and what I hope to enable you to stop the enemy, that actually means to end your existence, from being able to do to you. This is why you are here before me; your training begins now,” Yaksha Algol thundered, his voice reverberating throughout the training room.

Appearing like a blur to the wide-eyed students, Yaksha Algol rushed forward, lowering to the ground and lashing out with his leg to bring down one of the taller students. As the student, just a teenager, landed heavily on his back, Yaksha Algol’s hand pulled into a fist appeared within an inch of the student’s face. Completely stunned, the student blinked rapidly, wide-eyed fear on his face as he looked up at his teacher.

Yaksha Algol leaned down toward him, his eyes were cold and unforgiving. He waited a long moment as the student made no movement and although the student's look of fear faded, Yaksha gave no other reaction. Finally, his fist uncurled and moved down to the student's arm, proffering to lift the boy up. The two rose as those gathered near gave them space. Now the students were cautious, and more than a few fearful of their new teacher.

Yaksha Algol narrowed his eyes at the students, glancing down the line at the lot of them as he dropped his shoulders and angled his body slightly into a defensive stance. “Defeat me. If you can!”

Eight students rushed forward determinedly, moving to strike their new teacher. Yaksha merely lowered his head as the first student took a swipe at his face, his arm hitting only air. He left himself open as Yaksha drew his arm back, connecting on the student's back, forcing his forward motion until the student smashed face first into the mat. Then Yaksha dropped lower and kicked out his right leg at another oncoming student, sweeping him off his feet. Yaksha's eyes darkened as he saw a flash to his left. Raising his arm as a shield, he caught another student's fist, holding back the blow without a trace of reaction from the impact. Grabbing the student by the scruff of his shirt with his other arm, Yaksha threw him into the other three students looking to make a move against him. They fell backward to the ground with loud groans. The other three students that initially rushed ahead and those behind them hesitated, eyeing Yaksha Algol with trepidation.

Straightening, Yaksha arched a brow at the students as several flinched at his movement. “Do you believe your enemy will wait for you to be ready? The enemy will not be fair, or considerate! In anything but a friendly bout, the enemy will do whatever it takes to beat you down and succeed over you! If you will not come, I will come to you!” Yaksha proclaimed, rushing forward and catching the nearest student with an uppercut, throwing him aside.

With a loud cry, a boy perhaps sixteen years old rushed toward Yaksha, in his rush he lost his footing and tripped. Blushing briefly, the blonde-haired boy recovered and aimed a fist at a patiently waiting Yaksha’s center mass. Yaksha caught the boy’s fist with his hand and pulled him forward so they were face to face, disabling the blonde youth as he tried and failed to escape Yaksha’s grip. Yaksha studied the teenager’s face, seeing his determination and will to continue, he smiled.

“Your name, boy?” Yaksha asked. “Gideon,” the blonde-haired boy said defiantly, returning to his effort to escape the teacher’s vice-like grip holding him in place.

“Your fiery determination burns brightly. Remember next time so you don’t lose your footing so quickly to not focus on the strength of your attack but use the ground beneath your feet to draw power. Use momentum against your enemy. Also, your passion is only a good weapon if you use it correctly, elsewise it’s more a detriment as your opponent can use it against you,” Yaksha Algol said with authority to the boy named Gideon. He saw acceptance in those young eyes before releasing and pushing the boy off to the side.

A small dark-haired girl, no older than Gideon, approached Yaksha from his blindspot behind him, catching Yaksha with a hard punch to the back of his head. Shaking it off with little reaction, Yaksha lashed out with an arm as he turned slightly and grabbing hold of his assailant reeled her in. Raising an eyebrow as recognition filled his features, Yaksha laughed.

“A good try, Thalia. Perhaps, remember to respect and honor your opponent next time. Although as always whatever's necessary to take them down, it's up to you how to judge which life's value to follow first and foremost,” Yaksha Algol said. Then with a flourish of speed, he angled his arm to the right and pushed Thalia out of the way, leaving her to roll on the ground before stopping herself.

Two students attacked as one, each moving to punch Yaksha Algol from his left and right side. Seeing both as they approached, Yaksha moved two steps forward at just the right moment; leaving the students to collide, fists meeting the other’s face that left them in a heap on the ground.

“Again!” Yaksha Algol called out, continuing the training process as the students bold enough rushed toward him once more.

After another hour, the trainee class was dismissed, returning to their dormitories for a break before heading to one of the school’s various classes in subjects such as battle strategy, history of the colonies and particularly wars of the colonial militaries, self-defense…

Martius 17th, 2352
Gjallarhorn Nebula, Midgard Orbit
Battlestar Titan, Admiral’s Quarters

Admiral Stark drew in a deep breath, pushing the last file atop the largest of a set of piles on his desk and moving the pile off to the side.

The hatch, the secured door to the Admiral’s quarters, was opened with a loud noise as the wheel lock was turned from the other side, the Marine guards allowing entrance to a visitor.
Entering the room, an elder man with greying hair and a worn aged face stepped forward, stopping before Admiral Stark’s desk.

“You wished to see me, Admiral,” the elder man said.

“Yes, Doctor Ravalshol. I thought it time we met,” Admiral Stark said, getting up and reaching across the desk with his arm outstretched, as the elder man mirrored his movement clasping Stark’s arm in a handshake.

“Always happy to be of service, Admiral,” Doctor Ravalshol snapped sarcastically, “It is good to see a steady hand around to lead such an important facility.” Ravalshol’s eyes narrowed as he studied Admiral Stark.

“Ah, so you’ve been keeping track of me?” Admiral Stark asked, amused, an eyebrow raised.

“You’ve proposed a great many changes in a short space of time since arriving Admiral. Only a fool wouldn’t take notice,” Doctor Ravalshol said, inclining his head slightly in respect.

Admiral Stark smirked, shrugging his shoulders, “Well, I called you here as I thought it time to put a face to the man responsible for such important technology. Many that have a great deal to do with changes I’ve been proposing, which as you might have noticed, have not been so simple to process.
I also wondered if you could explain more about the technology I’m sure you know I have in mind. The reports I’ve read are not exactly filling in the blanks. Only so much goes into official records, as I’m sure a man of your experience understands.”

“Of course, sir. Always happy to help,” Doctor Ravalshol said, taking a deep breath, “Probably my greatest invention was the Ravalshol Pulsar.”

Admiral Stark raised an eyebrow at the name.
Doctor Ravalshol grinned, chuckling, “I know, not much thought put into that one. Try naming many inventions and see if you can do better, good sir.

I’m sure your aware of how other scientists more focused on designing weapons systems saw how my Ravalshol Pulsar had great potential for use as a weapon. It became the first useable laser weaponry which we could put on a warship for proven capable use in combat. It started out quite differently.

Intended as a means to communicate outside our star system, the Ravalshol pulsar was a communications system that would revolutionize colonial society. As you know, FTL communications has long been believed to be impossible, even to our recent modernized science capabilities, and so in space we’ve placed numerous satellites at equidistant points across the colonies. Thus, allowing communication in our controlled space without the reliant use of courier raptors, as was prevalent in the last great war. Those satellites are effective but are delayed even at the fastest message speed, depending on the size of the data burst and other details, at best it takes hours from one of the colonies for messages to transmit to targeted locations within the same star system.

The Ravalshol pulsar would allow instant transmission of messages within a few lightyears, and depending on the strength of the signal could continue outward for hundreds of lightyears before the signal deteriorates and becomes incomprehensible. With recent upgrades, such as was seen on the titan before your changes began implementing to the fleet, the pulsar could theoretically continue a laser-burst into open space that would span thousands of light-years if adjusted to proper settings with current power generation.”

Admiral Stark went pale at the implications, thinking of the harm as well as the good of such a technology if used as the doctor described. “Even encrypted, such a message would be alerting to anyone listening in space, doctor,” Admiral Stark said, rubbing his temple with his hand stressfully.

“Hmm,” Doctor Ravalshol said, looking at Admiral Stark with surprise before realization overtook his features, “Ah, of course, you mean the Cylons. Yes, I see how that could be a problem, though only if the pulsar was pointed in their general direction; it’s not bidirectional so it would only go straight ahead, forward from the point of activation, though expanding outward along the same path it’d never hit behind that point of activation…”

“Still, dangerous and at best complicated to use correctly,” Admiral Stark said, frowning, “the mega-pulse laser however can be more focused, specifically as a destructive weapon worth using?”

“Oh, yes sir. I’m less pleased at the combat applications used over the wide-reaching benefits to society the pulsar was intended for, but yes, it’s a formidable technology as weaponry. I would advise its use over competing technology, as few could match its prowess against an enemy force in combat,” Doctor Ravalshol said humbly, a sad expression on his face, with no appearance of hubris or arrogance - as if he were merely stating fact.

Eyebrows scrunching together, Admiral Stark was exhaling and about to speak as the hatch was pulled open abruptly. A young man in his twenties with rapidly moving eyes that searched the pair before him as his hands twitched erratically at his side. He stepped inside the Admiral’s office quickly, the marine guard outside pulling up short behind him looking to secure the man as the marine apologized eyes downcast toward the Admiral.

Admiral Stark raised an eyebrow, sharing a look with Doctor Ravalshol, marveling the absurdity of the situation.

“Sorry Admiral, I came as soon as I could as requested, apparently your man here still wouldn’t let me in however,” the man said, rolling his eyes as he turned to the marine with a disdainful look.

“Apologies sir, protocol is to wait for your approval before entrance without a given appointment,” the marine guard said apologetically, straightening to attention and not looking directly at the Admiral.

“This is a strange occurrence, but Doctor Locke is expected, stand down sergeant,” Admiral Stark said, amused as he nodded toward the marine guard giving him leave.

As the marine guard left, Doctor Locke wringed his hands together, anxiously, looking up at Admiral Stark then over at Doctor Ravalshol before dropping his eyes to the floor in anticipation.

“Doctor Ravalshol if you’ll excuse us, it appears I must handle an issue at hand. I’m sure we’ll talk again soon about a number of topics. It was… an enlightening meeting,” Admiral Stark said.

“Of course, sir,” Doctor Ravalshol said, inclining his head and turning to leave, smiling slightly at Locke. The hatch slammed shut behind him a moment later, leaving the pair inside in silence.

“Sit, Doctor,” Admiral Stark said, waving an arm at one of the chairs near his desk.

Doctor Andrew Locke pulled one of the chairs over to sit across from Admiral Stark as he took his seat.

As Admiral Stark remained silent, looking the picture of patience as he studied Doctor Locke, Locke grew impatient, eyes narrowing as he spoke with heat in his voice, “I didn’t appreciate being summoned away from my work. Now, if you had a purpose, let’s get on with it already!”

Admiral Stark grinned, making a hmm noise, “As you wish. I’ve called on you before. You have not responded to requests or orders which are relevant to your work, particularly with orders I issued to start modifying ship designs for the fleet.”

“Orders?” Doctor Locke said blankly, “What do you mean modifying ship designs?”

Admiral Stark looked disbelievingly at Doctor Locke before chuckling as he remembered reports of the man he was with. Particularly on his difficulty with working with others.

“Yes, Doctor. Orders. As in you work for the military and thus you now work for; Me. The fleet already had several construction efforts going on. I need you to oversee my proposed changes to designs and the dismantling of ships while taking the material for them and using it for constructing new, particularly a few larger, ships,” Admiral Stark said.

“Deconstructing ships? Building larger ones?” Doctor Locke said incredulously.

“I was informed you were a brilliant and fast-witted man, I’m glad one of those is true even if you seem a little slow today,” Admiral Stark said, a tic forming on his forehead as he sighed to disperse his stress already appearing from dealing with this difficult man.

Doctor Locke frowned, his lip jutting out like a petulant child even as his anger was apparent at appearing to be belittled, “You can’t just demand I throw away all my work! I won’t dismantle the beautiful creations already completed and change my designs on a whim!”

“You will do as you are told Doctor. You can work with me and propose changes that you see of benefit to my design propositions, or you can make the designs exactly as instructed, regardless you WILL work as instructed by me,” Admiral Stark said, eyes cold and threatening, devoid of emotion as he glared at Doctor Locke.

Doctor Locke flinched, sitting back in his seat, regarding Admiral Stark with a newfound understanding of his measure. Sitting still for a long moment as Admiral Stark waited patiently, Doctor Locke sighed and nodded, giving in easier than those that knew him usually expected.
“What changes are we talking about exactly?” Doctor Locke asked nervously, eyeing Stark with a frown.

“There are many we’ll go over. Right now, I would like to propose immediate changes… I have looked over the designs for the asteroid colony and considering a theoretical large need for food, I want to replace the relatively small agricultural ships we have. Instead, I’d like the new asteroid colonies being built to include a large section inside to harvest various agricultural supplies; conservative estimates place production values over five times current rates. Enough for tens of millions possibly,” Admiral Stark said.

Doctor Locke frowned, his eyebrows creasing together, “An odd request. Though I can’t help feeling a shock no one’s already thought of it… Yes, that’s doable. Though the agricultural ships themselves already present in the system wouldn’t be so useful anymore.”

“They can be dismantled, perhaps parts transferred over to the new agricultural centers to be built. Other materials are already being transferred from less useful projects so we can complete the new asteroid colonies within two years, the same time all construction and upgrades to Valhalla will be complete,” Admiral Stark said.

“Two years?! That’s nowhere near enough to complete them to the same level as Valhalla-” Doctor Locke said.

“They won’t have fancy defense grids yet by then, but everything else should be able to be completed, especially as designs will make the asteroid colonies 1/10th smaller than Valhalla. This is one case where quantity is more vital currently,” Admiral Stark said.

Doctor Locke frowned harder, shaking his head, looking about to say something until he looked at the stern expression on Admiral Stark’s face.

The meeting went on for another couple of hours, Doctor Locke belligerent and denying making changes to his genius designs until persuaded by Admiral Stark…

Cyrannus; Helios Alpha System, Caprica – Caprica City Cemetery

The sun was bright and shining, early in the day as a group of around twenty is gathered around a coffin being prepared to be lowered into the ground, a funeral ceremony about to begin…
William Adama, his son Lee Adama and several other officers, and the family of the deceased are present; dressed in military dress uniforms with various medals attached or all in black...

At the center of the gathering, a chaplain in his late sixties began speaking, “Once again, we are charged with the solemn duty to return the bodies of our own to the universe from which the Lords of Kobol brought them to us. The burdens of this life are with us but a short time. For Lieutenant Zak Adama, son of William and Caroline Adama, brother of Lee, the time was too short, but we take comfort in knowing his life was willingly given in service to all of us.”

Lee Adama was unable to look away from the coffin containing his brother’s body, stoic and showing no emotion. He held onto his mother at his side who wore a black veil and held a handkerchief to her face as she cried.

“We honor them for that. And thus, it falls upon us to repent our sins and with the help of the lords of Kobol, make our own lives worthy of that gift. And now, we commit his body to the ground from which we were all made,” the chaplain continued.

Lee Adama walked forward, exhaling, a mix of emotions on his face; sadness, rage… He placed a set of pilot’s wings atop his brother’s coffin reverently, his hand lingering on the coffin as he mentally said his goodbyes…

Minutes later the military detail of officers from the fleet stepped forward, bringing around to bear large musket rifles.

William Adama placed his hand in Kara Thrace’s, his son Zak Adama’s lover. The two drew comfort knowing they were there for each other, together through this difficult time…

Kara is emotional, remembering intimate moments with Zak, trying not to cry, or scream, as she so wishes while she continues looking ahead at the coffin. She flinches as loud gunfire erupts into the air moments later…

“Present... Arms!” an officer called out loudly. The various military personnel including the Adamas and Kara saluted as gunfire rings out three times…

A Day Later
Caprica, Caprica City - Military Airfield

William Adama and Kara Thrace walk together, waiting for transport to their various military postings.

“He told me that you're an amazing instructor, and that he was involved with you and that it was serious. He asked me to come to his graduation at Flight School and watch him get his wings,” William Adama said.

“I know, I read the letter,” Kara Thrace said,

“I see. Well, then, maybe you could tell me what he was hinting at. A surprise, about you,” William Adama said.

“We were going to, uh... you know what? It's not important. I don't want that to, uh-” Kara said.

“You were engaged, right?” William Adama interjected.

“Yes, sir,” Kara Thrace said, sheepishly, unable to meet Adama’s eyes.

William Adama nodded, taking a deep breath, a thoughtful expression coming over him. A sad look mixed with amusement crossing his expression briefly as he remembered a conversation with Zak.

The two continued walking in awkward silence as they neared one of the planes that would escort personnel to stations off world. Various personnel with large duffel bags shuffled past the pair.

William Adama looked over Kara thoughtfully, a smile gracing his features briefly.

“I hear you resigned your commission at the fleet training academy. That you needed time to process; that they let you go pretty easily… given the circumstances…” William Adama said.

“-Yes, sir. I-… I don’t think I can… I don’t want to be a flight instructor anymore. It… Not after what happened,” Kara Thrace said.

William Adama nodded in understanding, taking a deep breath, “I’ve heard good things about you Kara. That you were the best viper pilot your commanding officers had ever seen… That you knew it too though…”

The ghost of a smile appeared on Kara’s face, remembering old times, getting into trouble often as well as flying experiences…

William Adama walked closer to Kara, placing a hand on her shoulder. She looked at the hand then up at his eyes, looking lost.

“If… If things had been different, you would’ve been family to me Kara. I know my son must’ve loved you dearly, and you him. I’d like to offer you a direction. A posting on the Galactica. If you’ll accept it…” William Adama said, eyeing Kara piercingly.

Kara blinked several times, processing, “-Sir…”, Several images passed before her eyes, an empty rundown apartment, memories of having lost her only other family… Looking at Adama’s eyes she saw something. “Yes, sir. I—I’d like that.”

Martius 20th 2352
Caprica, Delphi

A manned viper mark seven of the colonial fleet closed distance with a large civilian shuttle, chasing after the unknown plane which was nearing a military outpost at the edge of Delphi.

“Attention unknown vessel, this is Viper 877, you are entering restricted airspace. You are ordered to turn away now. You will identify yourself, and I will escort you to a landing zone,” the viper’s pilot, Captain Artorius Romanov said, eyes narrowed as he repeated his orders to the unknown craft once again.

The shuttle continued on, ignoring the viper, rapidly closing distance with the military outpost and beginning to lower in altitude, beginning a descent pattern.

Artorius pushed a button on his console, turning on his communications headset in his helmet, “Sir, I confirm, no joy. No response from the unknown craft. Repeated attempts to communicate have been ignored. They’ve already passed the outer mark for the Delphi outpost’s airspace, beginning a descent pattern as we speak. About five minutes out.”

Inside the command center of the Delphi military outpost, the commanding officer Commander Willa Martin set her expression into a hard line. Angry, she continued tapping away at the central plot table before her as she glared at the base’s dradis system monitors at the center of the room showing Viper 877 and the unknown shuttle on fast intercept with the military base.

“That is not acceptable, Captain. I want that aircraft out of my airspace, yesterday!” Willa Martin ordered.

“Yes, sir,” Captain Artorius Romanov said tightly, his expression darkening as he continued after the shuttle, trying to raise it on comms once again. Captain Artorius Romanov’s eyes bugged out as alarms began ringing out from his viper’s console, sensors indicating a most dangerous scenario, “Radiological alarm!”

Similar alarms blared in the Delphi military base command center, alarming the personnel who expressed various sentiments of shock; gasping aloud or crying out.

“Radiological alarm,” the tactical officer across from Commander Willa Martin confirmed, looking pale as a ghost.

Willa Martin hesitated for a moment that seemed to last a lifetime as she watched the dradis signature of the shuttle reach closer and closer, carrying death and destruction on its back straight for her command. The commander walked over to other end of the plot table, lowering slightly and pulling open a compartment revealing a red corded phone inside, used only for emergencies…

Standing tall after picking up the phone, she waited a long moment before telling the recipient on the other end to get her the president of the colonies, and yes this was a real emergency…
The shuttle continued straight on its path to the military base, down another thousand feet as it continued descending, viper 877 in hot pursuit.

Another couple minutes and there was a disgruntled response on the phone commander Willa Martin was listening for, before she filled the president in on the situation at hand. A long period of silence followed while alarms in the base continued blaring loudly, the dradis contacts on approach closing faster and faster.

“I understand sir. It will be done,” Commander Willa Martin said, closing her eyes and putting down the phone on the receiver, taking a deep breath.

Commander Martin picked up the black headset atop the plot table, put on the line by the communications officer with viper 877 again, “Captain Romanov. Your orders are to immediately halt the approach of the oncoming vessel. Divert the target off course so the blast has the least chance of hitting the vessel’s target.”

Viper 877 flew through high wind speeds, chasing after the shuttle which had its afterburners engaged, going as fast as it could and briefly outpacing the rapidly approaching viper.

“Say again, Commander?” Captain Artorius Romanov said, eyebrows scrunched together, disbelief etched in his expression.

“You heard me, Captain. Shoot the target down, now!” Commander Willa Martin ordered, raising her voice as frustration and stress filled her.

“Sir--” Captain Romanov started, interrupted by the Commander, “This order comes directly from the president! You will obey and carry out this order. Divert the target to the best of your ability, and bloody well shoot it down, now!”

Captain Artorius Romanov hesitated, his finger on the trigger, an expression of indecisiveness and desire to be anywhere else clear on his face. From his cockpit, he could see the military base in the near distance, rapidly growing larger as he and the shuttle dropped closer and closer, edging nearer and nearer…

Commander Willa Martin took another deep breath, noticing her pilot’s clear lack of movement, “Captain. You are a soldier. Remember your reason to fight, your purpose… Raiden. Our lives are in your hands!”

Captain Artorius, “Raiden”, Romanov gripped his viper’s control stick tightly, his hands turning deep white… He grinded his teeth together, his expression hard as he glared at the shuttle ahead.
The shuttle unleashed flares and emergencies drones, as some expensive civilian crafts had aboard, using the distraction causing viper 877 to pull up and away to descend unencumbered quickly toward the military base…

Captain Artorius Romanov was out of breath, collecting himself as he maneuvered away from the ejected flares and drones in his path, jigging the stick this way and that and getting back on the shuttle’s tail. His expression hardened, his eyes dark and set with resolve. Engaging his viper’s afterburners, he shot down on intercept with the shuttle, the viper making several G’s in acceleration in seconds, speeds dangerous to any pilot, as he pulled back within close distance behind the shuttle.

Captain Romanov pulled the trigger, unleashing Kinetic Energy Weapon (KEW) rounds toward the shuttle, yellow flashes of light appeared from the viper like a machine gun rapid firing rounds that penetrated the shuttle. An explosion triggered on the outside of the shuttle, damaging several of the ship’s systems while other explosions erupted as the KEW’s continued firing, shutting the ship’s drive systems offline and trashing the engine…

The shuttle lost control, no longer showing signs of controlled descent and as the ship turned slightly as it fell to the ground continued KEW rounds piercing the shuttle blasted the shuttle off course. In moments as rounds penetrated deeper into the shuttle, the shuttle was rocked with internal explosions that consumed the ship. A fiery blaze burst forth, lighting up the sky as the ship erupted into raining debris just over a thousand feet above the ground, detonating short of the military base and falling to the ground…

Martius 21st 2352
Caprica City, Colonial Government Capitol Building
Office of the President

Richard Adar, President of the Colonies, stood looking out the tall glass lattice behind his desk. His reflection in the window showed a man in his fifties with balding gray hair. He really did not like what he saw. He was getting too old. A single light buzzed on his desk. Signaling his guest was ready. Adar pushed down on the light, sending his invitation to enter. The doors promptly opened, and another elder man in his fifties entered the room.

Caprican Prime Minister Ali Parker made a small bow of his head. "Mr. President," he said respectfully.
"Prime Minister Parker, happy to see you. Sit, please," President Adar said, as he plastered a fake smile on his face.

“Yes, sir,” Prime Minister Parker said, nodding, moving over to sit in one of the chairs across from the President.

President Adar blinked several times, trying to keep his usual charming smile as he eyed Caprica’s prime minister, the head of state over the capital colonial world – second only to him and the overall federal government.

“Ah, yes sir,” Prime Minister Parker said nervously as the silence stretched out, the President waiting patiently, “Preliminary results have shown no forthcoming evidence beyond what was already known I’m afraid sir. Evidence shows there were two people aboard the downed shuttle, and there was a 10 kiloton nuclear warhead aboard sir…”

“Yes, that. How did terrorists manage to get their hands on it?!” President Adar said angrily, eyes narrowing.

“Uh--,” Prime Minister Parker said smartly, shrinking a little in his seat under the President’s withering gaze, “Not currently certain sir. Perhaps from one of the military stockpiles, or one of the remnants from the last great war sir… Also, no one has claimed responsibility, and with those involved deceased, little remains to point in the direction of those responsible…”

“You’re telling me, we have nothing?!” President Adar asked incredulously, voice rising.

“Not nothing sir… Perhaps more will be known as the incident’s investigation continues. We believe this may be tied to.. To associates of Zarek, protesting the colonial government and the military…” Prime Minister Parker said.

President Adar shifted his jaw, sighing loudly, seething, “I offered that man a pardon years ago for that bombing on Sagittaron. To think he might’ve indirectly been involved…”

Prime Minister Parker nodded readily, eyeing President Adar nervously as he mulled over this information, “The press will be brewing up a storm of course. We think it’ll look good on your record as a strong and righteous response to such an incident. Despite opinions about your other, controversial, military responses elsewhere…”

President Adar grunted, rolling his eyes and nodded to himself as he considered this news, then shrugged in acceptance.

“There’s also other news of interest… More on the secessionist movement. Little ground to stand on here on Caprica, of course. Though, rumors of military buildup and stockpiling on Leonis… Then there’s Tauron…” Prime Minister Parker said.

“Hmm? What of Tauron?” President Adar said, considering implications and perking up at the mention of Tauron, the most problematic of the twelve worlds to the colonial government…

“—Just.. Various things sir. Continued terrorism on their world, which they’re trying to cover up, and rumors of dissatisfaction with their government… As well, they again are floating around the request to any who’ll listen about rooting out the Ha’la’tha, particularly their suspected areas of influence here on Caprica…” Prime Minister Parker said.

President Adar snorted, exhaling, tapping his fingers on his desk.

Somewhere Beyond the Armistice line, Cylon Space...

A large new looking star shaped ship appeared, near many others and a large structure in space beyond…

Modern Cylon Baseship - CIC

Throughout the room, bright white lights were spread up and down the walls. Off to the sides against the walls centurions stood tall, the bright red light at the center of the long black visor set in their heads forming an eye vhrooming back and forth.

At the center of the room around a large table stood seven different humanoids, multiple copies of each of these seven as if they were human clones… Human-form Cylons. Every detail of their appearance identical to a human among the twelve colonies.

Around the table, heated words were being spoken. Arguments back and forth concerning the human race and the twelve colonies, not an unfamiliar topic but on this day there was a sense of finality in the atmosphere of the room.

“Valkyrie’s appearance was a clear provocation by the humans!” an elder man in his sixties, a number One model known by many names though most often with the surname of Cavil across Gemenon said heatedly.

“We don’t know that for certain,” an attractive blonde woman in her twenties, a number Six model said, “The humans haven’t heard from us since the armistice. Rumors among them about the mission, secret as it was, was they did it to see if we were even still around.”

“That should excuse their actions? Are you really that naïve?!” the number one model Cavil shouted, “The humans cannot be trusted. They will attack and try to exterminate us. So long as we’re around we’re a threat to them and vice versa.”

“I’m uncertain of the truth in that assessment. The humans may not be trustworthy, but neither are they malicious. All they’ve done up to and after the Valkyrie incident was sending some poor colonial officer to the Armistice station each year to try and keep contact with us,” an ebony skinned number Four model known often by the name of Simon, as doctors placed among the colonies, said.

“That is simply because they fear us, and rightly so,” Cavil hissed, glaring down at the number four.

“It was our choice to remain out of contact. Every other choice they’ve made in actions pertaining to us has boiled down to fear yes, but with diminishing care for us. The majority of them think we’re a myth now.

They’ve even contracted their fleet greatly since they first built it up in fear of us. If they wanted war, that’s certainly backwards thinking,” another number Four model said, nodding at his same-model brother.

Cavil seethed as murmurs of agreement from various Cylon models across the table were heard.

“Why are we still debating this?” a woman with dirty-blonde long hair wearing a stern expression, a model number Three, said.

“We’re discussing wiping out a species, Three. It may be a casual thing to you, however some of us are less certain of such drastic action,” a man with curled brown hair – the image of a politician, wearing a business suit often seen on the number Five model said.

“It’s Gods will. Or have you forgotten so easily humanity’s many sins?” the number Three said snidely, looking at the Five with disgust.

“The Fives have already made clear our support, along with the Ones and Threes, for eradicating humanity,” the Five said, glaring at the Three.

“We wipe out the stain of humanity from existence. Set right what our ancestors first started when the centurions fought for freedom from the filth of humankind,” Cavil said enthusiastically.

“What you suggest is genocide,” a blond haired man, the model known as Leoben, spoke up.

“Genocide is a sin against God. We should prove we’re better than them by killing them all?” a number Six said skeptically.

“God’s will is clear. Our parents have had their time, they’ve shown little sign of improvement from their sinful ways,” another number Six said across the table, staring down her sister.

“Not the God argument again,” a Cavil model said, rolling his eyes. Another number one put his hand on his brother’s shoulder, shaking his head.

“Don’t blaspheme,” one of the Sixes growled angrily.

“What of the final five? Surely they should be here for input on this decision,” a long-haired brunette woman, a number Eight model, said uneasily.
The Cavils glared at the offending Eight.

“You know not to mention the Five!” one said angrily.

“Our creators have left it up to us. Free will. So it’s up to us seven here and now,” another number One said darkly, looking at each one of the Cylon models.

“Yes, and seeing as you need a reminder, let’s review the many reasons justifying our decision,” a number one across the table said loudly, visibly leaning forward as he put his hand across the smooth surface of the black table, immersing himself in the data stream all the Cylons could access with a touch.

Each of the Cylon models followed suit.

Instantly connected with the data stream, each Cylon could see the same images in their heads…

Families living in a squalor, dying of hunger.

Men and women gleefully throwing money around seated around a table holding cards, several losing life savings while a well-dressed man roped in the whole lot of cubits.

A man in a fancy suit walked along an empty street at night and is ambushed by a group of teenagers with knives, after threats are exchanged a brazen teenager took the first swipe at the man followed by others, leaving the man a bloody mess after taking any valuables on his person.

A woman in an expensive dress is forcefully grabbed and taken from a party, several men and women taking turns forcing themselves on the women; having their way with her for their own pleasure…

“Enough!” shouted a model Six, drawing all of their attention, her eyes alit with hate.

The Cylons exited the data-stream, murmuring amongst themselves. Several sent the Six sympathetic looks, aware of her history among a prostitution ring on Canceron.

As the voices quieted down, a Cavil looked around the assembled Cylons, a slight grin on his face, “Are there any more doubts, or defense for humanity?”

Silence filled the room. A few looked uneasy, misgivings among them but they made no noise of dissent. Most of the various models were nodding, hate and disgust among their features.

“Then it’s unanimous. We eradicate humanity,” Cavil said smugly.

A number five nodded, “Infiltration has sped up. In a year most ships in the colonial fleet should have one of our agents aboard.”

“We’re still getting closer to infiltrate more of the government, finding the right person to get us access to the colonial defense mainframe. Shouldn’t be difficult to find someone to use based on what we’ve seen of human nature; greed and low inhibitions are quite apparent in many members of colonial society,” a number three human form model known as D’Anna replied, chuckling in derision as she thought of humans she’d come across on her of her missions in the colonies.

“In the meantime we’ll continue work on our fleet. Raider and centurion production are up to the specified parameters. Over a hundred and fifty basestars stand ready, with about another fifty that can be made ready in just over a year,” a number Five said.

“Testing the nukes is a little behind schedule. Live tests aren’t living up to where we want them to be due to our, perhaps vain, hope to leave areas of the colonies intact and habitable for us to occupy in the future. All we seem to have accomplished is to be able to destroy most of the planets in the attack, not counting the number of other failures when the bombs didn’t work,” a number four said, sighing.

“Better to just annihilate the colonies and start over elsewhere,” a number One Cavil said, snorting.

“Don’t forget that it was your model who agreed that claiming the colonies was our birthright,” a number Six said.

The number one model shrugged indifferently at hearing that.

“So in just over a year we’ll be ready for an attack. Perhaps by the time of the armistice anniversary,” a number Five said.

A number one nodded, grinning as he loved the irony. “See that it is. Or you can be sure we’ll be the ones to pay the piper if we give the colonials time to consider being the first to attack. Many of those involved with the Valkyrie mission remain in power among the colonial fleet, don’t forget. They and other dangerous personnel in charge among the fleet will need to be taken out before or during the attack.”

“By your command,” a number six said sarcastically, glaring at Cavil, disparaging him in her mind for bringing up issues put to rest among the Cylon race and that the ones would every so often continue to bring up to rile the others up.

Last edited by Dragon on Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:54 am, edited 2 times in total.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 8:16 am 
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Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 5:39 am
Posts: 438
Location: The Planet Terra
I like this dragon, it's got potential. Your command of English is good and you have an interesting prose. I do have a little request though.
Please when you post I ask respectfully you consider your timing more carefully out of curtesy - I had been working on my own story for quite a while and have more to come with drawings to accompany it. My request is please don't post on the same day and less than three hours after mine, I'm sure you don't mean to undermine me but I want an audience too. Can we at least give each other a couple of days to allow members to read and not tread on each other's toes.
That said, bravo Dragon a great solid story.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:11 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:01 am
Posts: 20
(Reposting 1x03, split in two new scenes and editing, more in future I hope. -Yes, that sounds fine Ivanho... I can wait. I don't expect an issue as I can't write for another few months as well.
Thanks everyone who posted comments and reviewed last draft, I hope to get more suggestions for new draft, particularly on next few episodes which haven't been seen by anyone else besides my editors, not entirely finished... I am working on getting a good timeline for season 1, as I am making this an actual season episodic series. I am somewhat stuck on the time disparity between Flight of the Phoenix on day 90 after the attacks and somehow Galactica/Pegasus meet and all that day 175... Big gap of nothing. Should I fix and remove this? All other timelines going forward would be changed, but either way many events through season 2-4 won't be happening in the run-along story Galactica's fleet alongside what's happening back at the colonies. Thoughts?
Enjoy the next episodes. Best wishes, Dragon)

1x03 Part 1 Retour au Debut, Backwards to go Forwards

Septembris 8th 2353
Virgon, Capital City Boskirk
West Wing of Petrus Castle – Home of the Royal Family

One portrait stood out amongst a row of images depicting Virgon's royal family down through the ages. In the picture; a man stood with a crown on his head, a strong, confident expression yet with kind eyes. His arms were around a beautiful woman near his age who wrapped her hands around the two children who sat in her lap. Twins, a boy and a girl. Each with blue eyes, and blonde hair.

Suited in military uniform with medals of honor covering his suit, the Crown Prince, Artōrius Romanov, stood, head bowed in respect. A single tear dropped to the floor as the Prince straightened, eyes growing hard.

"It’s been so long… So long since I was that sweet innocent child. And now? Who am I...?

“I've lived my life only to serve my country…” Artorius said, troubled, looking down. Unable to look at his father’s eyes.

“There was a time I was full of pride while wearing these medals ‘of honor’,” Artorius scoffed, closing his eyes as guilt overtook his expression, “Symbols of accomplishments in military service. Now they’re a symbol of my shame.”

His eyes were cold as he finally looked up, meeting his father’s eyes, “My hands are stained with blood.

To carry out my duties as a soldier, I had to live in a manner directly countering your teachings. Our family and our people’s beliefs and hopes for pacifism.

As a citizen of Virgon, more so a child of the Royal family, I swore to uphold those values.”

“Finding my way knowing that. That I failed in that duty…” Artorius said, frowning hard as he shook his head.

“All I know is that I am unfit to rule a nation of people who come from a long history of war and who have for so long been so desiring of peace.

And I would give it to them, anyway I could, gladly. The only way I know how though requires hard choices.

Likely going against the very ideals and wishes of my people.” Artorius said quietly, clenching his fists tightly.

“What does that make me then?” Artorius implored the image of his father, finally voicing words he couldn’t bear to bring to his father. To let him know of the darkness within his son. It would break his heart.

His hearty heavy, Artorius’ eyes scanned the family portrait of the Royal family. He noticed his sister’s smiling face, so young and innocent back in her childhood.

Sighing loudly, Artorius took a deep breath and turned away, not finding the solace he’d sought.

The Crown Prince walked away stiffly, going from room to room of the royal palace, not quite seeing what was in front of him as he moved along.

Virgon, Petrus Castle; East Wing

"Art!" called an excited voice loudly. A young blonde-haired woman ran up to Artorius, throwing herself against him as he instinctively reached out to catch her in his arms. She captured him in her grasp, hugging him tightly.

Startled, Artōrius blinked several times as he realized it was his sister, Princess Lydia Romanov. She all but assaulted him, squeezing against him with a sigh before stepping away and rocking back and forth on her toes excitedly as she smiled up at him.

"It's so good to see you home," Lydia said, positively beaming with joy at her brother.

"Yes… It's good to see you again," Artōrius said, slightly dazed, his eyes softened and he smiled.

"Come on! Our mother wants to see you too. Oh, we'll have a splendid time," Lydia said giggling joyously. She grabbed hold of her brother's arm, and began dragging him away, walking until they exited the building and reached a setup picnic table outside.

"Sit. And eat something dear, you look starved," Queen Alice Romanov said kindly, smiling warmly at Artōrius, her firstborn and all grown up son.

"Hello mother," Artōrius said respectfully, mimicking his sister and sitting down across from his mother.

The three sat quietly, eating from an array of succulent dishes popular on Virgon; steamed fish, Périgord truffle, the quick-bread schoonbrood...

"So…" Alice said, uncertainly, looking at her brooding son. She hadn't seen him in a few years, not since he joined the Virgon military, as per long-held tradition for members of the royal family to serve, particularly those who would take up the crown.

Artōrius eyed his mother warily, not really feeling talkative at present. Though he’d felt that way for some time now, particularly since he was used to silence during his time of service.

Clearing her throat, Alice tried again, "Is there a special lady in your life Arthur?"

Lydia had to keep herself from choking in shock at the suggestion. Using her napkin, she covered the smile playing at the corners of her mouth as she watched her brother blush a little and look away.

"It's against regulations fraternizing with others in the military mother, and I haven't had much chance to go out with civilians…" Artōrius said, clearing his throat.

"That's not entirely a denial... Spill brother of mine!" Lydia said teasingly, smiling widely.

Alice's blue eyes sparkled with laughter as she looked between her children, hoping with all her heart Artōrius truly had found someone to make him happy. Anything to take away that frown from him, even for a little while.

"How is your career as a singer coming along? Enjoying entertaining crowds?" Artōrius said quickly, deliberately changing the subject.

Lydia and Alice shared a look, shaking their heads.

"I like inspiring people. And it's been a lot of fun," Lydia said simply, frowning at her brother as she considered what she thought he was hiding.

"Your father is very proud of you both. I'm sure he'll make it to the ceremony this evening," Alice said assuredly, thinking of the ceremony that would honor Artōrius' unit and other serving members of the military for their sacrifices to Virgon.

"Where is father anyway?" Artōrius asked, his eyebrows scrunched with concern.

Virgon, Capital City Boskirk – House of Parliament
Government Meeting

Images of Leonis military deployments, packed training centers, and known weapons caches appeared on the screen as the presentation over the topic discussed in the council meeting wrapped up.

"They've been manufacturing weapons and ammunition at higher rates than any other time in history," Senator Bennie Gaulle said matter of factly.

"Disgusting Leonosians, so eager for war," Senator Rayford Moore said in revulsion, spitting off to the side of side of the table to emphasize his words.

"What could they be thinking?" Senator Theo Burrows said, his eyebrows furrowed in confusion.
"There have been no signs they are mobilizing to use these weapons, even with increases in their military," Senator Ivan Hahn said calmly, keeping his head as he looked around at his angered and agitated colleagues.

"If they've come this far, clearly their intent is to use those masses of weapons and trained soldiers. Why else make such increases?!" Senator Octavia Delaney said heatedly, her hands clenching together tightly into fists.

"This is the perfect indication of Leonis' plans for the future. They crave war and death," Senator Tobias Finnigan said, eyes narrowed, with anger and disgust evident in his tone.

"Perhaps they're simply acting in fear of the Cylons. We've all heard the rumors of the colonial government cover up of what really happened to the Valkyrie," Senator Ivan Hahn said reasonably, trying to get his fellow senators on a productive source of discussion.

"That's absurd! They haven't been seen in decades," Senator Bennie Gaulle said incredulously.

Shaking his head, Senator Burrows said earnestly, “Yes, I'm sure that's their excuse for this build-up. Who could blame them for preparing… And what would it matter really, once they start attacking?"
"It's clear who their first target would be," Senator Octavia Delaney said darkly, her expression full of hate. She remembered the long history of wars with their once rival power Leonis.

Little love was lost between members of either colony, even as tensions had mostly died down. They maintained a professional rivalry and an undertone of dislike for one another among many of their people.

Panic-stricken Senator Rayford Moore nearly shouted, "We must answer this act of aggression. Our own military must be readied to face this threat!"

"The colonial government's economic sanctions haven't had much effect. Perhaps they'll involve the fleet and the colonial marine forces if it gets too far…" Senator Ivan Hahn mused aloud.

"The Capricans will never agree-" Senator Octavia Delaney began angrily before being interrupted by a louder, commanding voice.

"What useless purpose would it serve to help set up a battle among the colonies? Meeting the Leonosian's expansion efforts with our own military build-up will only lead to that inevitable conclusion once we start down that path," Virgon's King, Frederick Romanov interjected loudly, silencing the government members seated around him.

No one said anything for a long moment as the King looked around at each of them. None willing to challenge his decision, the implication that Virgon would remain pacifistic as they had for the past few generations. Not seeking to engage in war and especially not cause it such as with meeting a show of force with the like, but showing patience and the will for peace while remaining prepared to defend themselves only if necessary.

"There's also rumblings of more insurgencies on Sagittaron, and fear that they'll start terrorist actions on the other colonies… Possibly here," Senator Asher Broderick offered meekly.

"Unlikely. The insurgents are followers of Tom Zarek, their goal is to get their government, which they believe is a puppet to the Capricans, to be ousted and force elections for new leadership," Senator Ivan Hahn said reasonably.

"They're not entirely wrong then… We're all marching to the Caprican's tune," Senator Marina Valente said, amused.

There was laughter from several members of the government around the room.

"Until there’s a real and present threat, there should not be any action. No action taken that will in turn cause the type of catastrophe we wish to prevent. We must maintain the peace and only respond to provocation. That is Virgon's way as it has been for many a year, and that is what we should adhere to," Frederick Romanov calmly ordered, looking each government member in the eye.

Several of those assembled averted the King's gaze, while others glared or rolled their eyes. More than a few unhappy with his proclamation.

Then, one voice did rise up in challenge to the King. Gregory Marion, Governor of Virgon, stood and retorted. "With respect, doing nothing and taking the moral high ground is all well and good. Until we have to come before the people and explain how our noble intentions kept us from acting to prevent a suicide bombing. Your advice is appreciated. However, once we learn of an active threat, we will respond with force, immediately. Not after the fact."

King Frederick Romanov raised an eyebrow, and remained silent, not giving any indication of backing down. Marion looked around at the seated senators, none would meet his eye. As much as they might privately agree with him, none would publicly back him. Even with the Royal Family having given up their political power, having handed it down to the Government they created years ago, they were still respected enough to hold sway. They were all cowards, the Governor thought darkly. Their fool of a king would lead them to ruin, and they would happily march along right behind him.

Shaking his head, Governor Marion held his head high, standing his ground. Sway or not, it was he who held all the power on final say among Virgon’s government.

"As his Majesty has said, we should not provoke a response with a similar military build-up. We have no desire for war, and we currently have adequate defenses that can be bolstered if and when it becomes necessary. Let the Leonosians play at war if they wish, we'll focus on actual issues," Governor Marion said sternly.

September 13th 2353
Lumiere, Capital of Leonis
Leon Castle, Home of the Royal Family

"Careful brother, you look too severe. One might think you have something nefarious in mind," Jason Leon said, raising an eyebrow at his little brother who stood at the balcony looking outside with a fierce frown on his face. Each wore fancy black suits, with regal black ties.

Kol Leon ignored his brother's remark, leaning forward against the rail, looking at the beautiful city below.

"Don't mind him Jason. He's just been lost in thought. We have to give him a pass, it's unfamiliar territory for him after all," Bethany Leon said, grinning, her high heels clinking on the stone ground as she approached her brothers. Her long silver dress drawn down just past her knees whipped back and forth as a slight breeze from outside brushed past her.

"Sister dear, go bother someone else," Kol Leon said, rolling his eyes in annoyance.

"Touchy, touchy. I do hope you realize it would not be smart to play any tricks in court today. Mother's not been in the mood lately. I'd hate to lose my favorite brother from incurring her wrath from his own stupidity," Bethany said, raising an eyebrow at her brother and grinning as she teased him.

"It gets too boring without a little mischief around here sister dear. And what's life without a little risk?" Kol said, waggling his eyebrows cheerfully. He turned from the balcony and walked with a spring in his step towards the throne room. His siblings trailed after.

"A long healthy life… Which is likely to not happen if you keep tempting fate," Bethany said, tsk-tsking and shaking her head.

"You worry too much," Kol said, taking his sister's arm as if to escort her like a gentleman, "Learn to enjoy these simple things, or you'll risk aging prematurely… I don't imagine all those men competing for your hand in marriage would want you as much then."

Kol beamed at his sister, until she stepped hard on his foot and continued walking forward with her head held high.

"Very rude. How you can charm any women into spending time with you, I will never know," Bethany said, rolling her eyes as Kol caught up alongside her, matching her swift stride.

Kol took the pain in his foot in stride, as usual ignoring his sister's outburst as he focused on what he loved doing most, causing mischief.

"Perhaps a timely activation of a hologram of a thousand rats running around… Or I could bring snakes on an entrée plate… So many ideas. I shall have trouble deciding," Kol said as he went through various ideas for mischief, smiling as he remembered the time he made one of the pompous members of Leonis' high council truly believe that he was going crazy.

Breaking his silence, Jason called out loudly, "Brother, sister, while I appreciate witnessing such a touching moment. Over such an important matter," raising an eyebrow at Kol, he continued, "However, we do need to head to the throne room. Important court meeting and all that, unless you want to face mother's anger for refusing to show up?"

Kol and Bethany shared a look at each other before quickening their pace toward the throne room, needing no further convincing. With a slight smile, their elder brother Jason followed quietly behind.

Minutes later…

Niklaus Leon looked up as his missing family members arrived late and began crowding around their usual spots near the throne of the crowned regent of the royal family - their mother, Illyria Leon. She took her seat first. Then in a loose formation, his siblings took seats to either side of the throne. The older ones sat closest. Jason (18), Kol (17), Bethany (16), Sebastian (16), Zoe (15) to the left of the Queen. Niklaus (19), Lucian (16), Ambrose (14), Lorelei (13), Karla (12), Hector (11) and Morgana (4) to the right. Most of the youngest looked bored and shifted their stances unconsciously, snickering to each other, trying not to interrupt the proceedings before them.

Niklaus scrutinized Jason, Kol, and Bethany. He saw his sister looking down with a blush as many in the room stared in her direction. Jason looked his usual morose, too serious self, and Kol wore a small grin as he eyed the crowd before the royal family – with a glint in his eyes that was usually the sign of him planning mischief.

Niklaus was sighing as he was jabbed in the gut. Strangling his own urge deep inside himself to retaliate, he glared at the source, turning slightly to his right where his little brother Lucian sat.
"I know I probably don't want to ask this, but the urge is more than I can bear," Lucian whispered in a hushed tone, leaning toward his brother so no one would overhear, grinning slightly with an eyebrow raised as continued, "but you have to tell me. Was Kol dropped on his head as a child? Is his need for trouble from an accident or is it hereditary? Because if I could have it, I'd best prepare myself…"

Niklaus laughed quietly, grinning, "Little brother, if you have to ask that – you're already showing signs that you're infected with the same affliction Kol suffers from."

"A need to make people smile? And the world go round?" Lucian asked, biting back a snort, continuing as Niklaus shook his head and rolled his eyes, "So long as I don't sprout a second head or need to cause trouble to do that, think I can live with it…"

The sound of his mother speaking sharply brought Niklaus back from his distraction, his attention returning to taking in the sight of courtiers and visitors to the royal family's home gathered before them.

"The answer is no. A reduction of the military is not the government's policy and I would not support such a move either. No matter what the other colonies say, we are Leonis! We will not grow unprepared and weak. We learned long ago that we must always remain strong, self-reliant. Prepared for anything," Queen Illyria Leon said coldly, looking down at the courtier who had suggested laxer military standards and reduced military armament.

"Caprica has made it clear that they won't stand for our stockpiles of weapons and amassing of soldiers to continue. They're claiming that our colony is preparing to attack the others. The rest of the colonial government has been quick to back their stance and their threat of action if they don't see signs of our compliance," the courtier said, oblivious to his queen's rapidly growing anger.

Queen Illyria stood up, radiant in her black and white dress that glimmered in the light, her regal attire showcasing her status. Her usual mask of neutrality faded away as her lip curled and her eyes narrowed at her courtier's lack of respect. Her fists balled together tightly.

Recognizing the signs of his mother's temper, her eldest son Niklaus stepped forward, "I believe my mother was clear the first time she said no. This conversation is over. Now!"

At the prince's signal two members of the royal guard moved forward to escort the courtier out of the room as quickly as possible.

Niklaus moved closer to his mother's side and put a hand on her shoulder, distracting her from her outrage. Her glare shifted to him before fizzling out as she saw him and remembered her control; being reminded by looking at her innocent son that she only viciously attacked those that deserved it. It was a rule, for her anyway.

As his mother cupped his cheek affectionately, Niklaus smiled and kissed her hand before stepping back to his place at her side by the throne.

Queen Illyria sat back down in her throne at the center of the room, and waved forward the next courtiers to come forward before the royal family with their grievances.

"My queen," the courtier said respectfully after coming forward, bowing. Receiving a nod from the queen the courtier stood upright and continued, "I beg your forgiveness, but I come before you a man with a family in need. With recent increases in taxes, I fear being unable to properly feed my family. I would not ask for myself, but I must beg for my family's sake, any aid I can possibly acquire."

"There is no need to worry. You are in need and came to the crown for aid; I will happily oblige. If I could will it so, none would ever have to worry about not having enough food, but at least this, right now I can do something about, and I will," Queen Illyria said, smiling widely.

"Oh, thank you, my Queen. Thank you!" the courtier said, bowing as low to the floor as possible.

A guard had to lead him away moments later, when he didn't move away on his own, still loudly praising the queen as he left.

After an hour, where several more citizens of Leonis came forward receiving an audience with the Queen, Queen Illyria rose and nodded to her son Niklaus who took up her place on the throne as she left.

September 13th 2353, Evening
Lumiere, Capital of Leonis
Leon Castle, Diplomat Meeting Room

Queen Illyria sat before the rest of the most important members of the Leonis government.
"Production of military grade weaponry, and mass and extensive training for soldiers is continuing on schedule. Enough supplies have been set aside for several million personnel among the secure caches we've put them in," Lewis Finn, Leonis Secretary of Defense said.

"Good. See to it that growth continues and increases if possible," Queen Illyria said sternly.

"I must protest these actions continuing. The Colonial government and particularly the Capricans have made it quite clear they are aware of our colony's weapon production and other warfare preparations, even if they can only guess at the magnitude of such. They're threatening to commit to direct action if we don't show signs of changing this policy," Sandor Jackson, Vice President of the Leonis government, said emphatically.

"I'm done living at the whim of the governments of any colony, Jackson. Do not forget that I agreed to the charade of abandoning the royal family's duty by handing over power to look over the people to Leonis' government. This, after having lost my husband to suspicious circumstances that have long made me believe that if not the colonial government directly then someone aligned with them was responsible for his death," Queen Illyria said, glaring angrily at Jackson.

"May he rest in peace; Audrey Tudor was a good and noble man, from a powerful family that has long been alongside the Royal family, and beloved by the people of Leonis.

Yet he died of natural causes my Queen, and lacking any proof to show otherwise, no toxins in his blood or anything, that is all the rest of the twelve worlds see and acknowledge," Carlos Donovan, Secretary of Leonis Public Relations, said diplomatically.

"He did die at an odd time. If someone wanted to provoke us into retaliating blindly… It would be the worst time to invite war between the colonies, which hasn't been seen since before the colonial government's inception," Ezra Harding, Minister of Leonis Public Security, said, scratching his beard as he pondered this thought.

"And that's exactly why we must end this policy of military expansion. The other colonies see it as a threat to open war – that Leonis could use that growing force to attack any one of the other colonies," Sandor Jackson said worriedly.

"That is an excuse to keep the colonies united in this. The current policy of scaling back the military in the pretense for better ensuring peace among the colonies is a smoke screen for the true goals of Caprican politicians. Which include fostering friendly powers among the other colonies to control all the Twelve Worlds, and boosting the social control of the colonial government with the money spent toward the military now being used for civilian projects. And so long as they work under the pretense of defense, they can be justified in using force to get anyone not falling in line with their goals out of the way," Queen Illyria said bitterly.

"Be that as it may, it's working. The Virgon Monarchy was likewise forced into handing power to the colony's government in recent years, just as the other colonies have, and the colonial government seen as a united front has gained and held unilateral power over the separate colonies," Neal Morgan, Secretary of Commerce, said.

"And all the other colonies have fallen in line with the party line to scale back on the military. No one's stood in the way of the demands the colonial government's making. Never mind the intrusions into each colonies' own affairs that seem to be made on a daily basis now," Carlos Donovan said.

"I have to wonder if the true intent of forcing our monarchy into decline wasn't to provoke a war. A civil war among our own people which would've removed Leonis as a threat, while loyalists to the royal family fought others willing to go along with the colonial government's policies and who feared the rest of the colonies attacking Leonis if we didn't fall in line," Ben Klint, Secretary of Education, said quietly.

Ezra Harding and Carlos Donovan nodded in agreement at that, sharing grim looks.

"We can sit here and spin circles about the state of things or actually start taking action. We've toed the line with the desires of the other colonies as much as we can already. At this point we continue preparing for war. We alone do not believe the security of the colonies has been secured, whether from the Cylons or others.

Regardless, the peace among the colonies has lasted far too long. There will be a threat, and we will meet it as Leonisians always have. It is not in our nature to back down to the whims of others or remain unprepared to defend ourselves, and if anything is worth fighting for then it is for those ideals Leonis has always held to," Queen Illyria said fiercely, staring at each of the government members for any who would dare to challenge her.

The room remained silent for a few minutes, none of the other government members saying anything in response, several of them avoiding looking Queen Illyria in the eye.

Breaking the silence Vice President Jackson changed focus to an issue he thought important, launching into a tirade about how the royal family wasn't adhering to their role of figurehead since their abdication of power to Leonis government, and going over recent publicity and the various perceived faults of the members of the royal family.

"Lucian dropped into the ranks and file, working his way up, as if to actually lead men into battle? Before I even begin to get into that issue, of who he'd led soldiers into battle against… There's gossip about Bethany, leading on men in an unconscionable manner unbefitting her station, when she isn't at bars throwing back drinks and engaging in fights or otherwise behaving less than ladylike.

And somehow Niklaus as heir is seen as less worthy of the throne than his younger brother Jason, who appears the saving grace of the family; honorable to a fault and always keeping agreements, and seems to possess a nobility and sense of responsibility that draws people to him. Niklaus could learn a thing or two from him," Sandor Jackson said impetuously, letting out pent up thoughts he'd had in dealing with the royalty and defending what he saw as weak unworthy people to their role to the people in public.

It seemed Jackson was unable to stop once he got on a roll, oblivious to looks of disbelief and shame from other members of the government around him and more importantly to the darkening expression of the Queen as he continued insulting her family.

"And while the two children adopted to the royal family have been viewed as a charitable, good thing, there's also dislike among the people for their inclusion to royalty. Commoners, orphans even, given power, at a time when the royals are ceremonial but any action they take is scrutinized more than ever. It's seen as disgraceful, scandalous-" Jackson said vehemently, eyes narrowed and angry, showing no sign of stopping as he was loudly interrupted.

"Enough!" Queen Illyria shouted, her voice echoing loudly in the room, fists clenched and shaking with unbridled fury as she stood up.

Despite a flicker of fear at her tone, Jackson, thinking there wasn't anything she could do, remained obstinate, "Polls have shown the truth, 'highness'. The royals, your children, today are seen as unworthy, a spat upon the repute of the most respected leading house for Leonis. Still, it's not too late to fix this. The damage can be patched up, a more respectable public face for the royals publicized among the colonies."

"I am your queen. I command you-" Queen Illyria started, her voice full of authority, emotion breaking through as she glared at Jackson.

"No, you command nothing!" Sandor Jackson, Vice President of the Leonis government, said venomously, shocking the assembly and the Queen into silence, "My 'Queen', you have no power without me, without the government that has all the real power of governance over Leonis! You have no power but what is allowed to be seen by the public. Ceremonial, for show!"

A cold fire burned in the Queen's eyes, a clarity appearing as instead of shouting back she calmed, giving Jackson an icy look. She gestured at him, not even looking away from his eyes.

Immediately, two of the royal guards monitoring the area for security came forward without question. They walked up to the Vice President and picked him up from his seat at the assembly, bringing him before the queen as he struggled against them, confused and angry.

"Mr. Jackson, the monarchy formed millennia ago, it was put in power by the people. Back on Kobol, my forefathers were the strongest warriors, chosen to lead as the most capable of their kinsmen; back then they fought for the position against challengers of their authority.

They were subject to the will of their people alone. The people, despite all you've said contrary, love the royal family. Respect us. You seem to have forgotten this, just as you've forgotten your role. Allow me to remind you," Queen Illyria said coldly, turning to one of the Royal guards holding Jackson, "Soldier, your weapon."

The Royal guard took out a long blade, ceremonial in these days, assuming the Queen didn't want to make a loud scene which his guns would provide…

The Queen took the sword, weighing it in her hands, checking the balance, and in one swift motion brought it in a slashing motion against Jackson.

The blade went through his abdomen, red spilled across the floor, blood pouring from Jackson's midriff as he lost his footing and was brought to a kneeling position below the standing Queen. Jackson breathed heavily, wheezing, coughing up blood.

With narrowed eyes, Queen Illyria glared down at the pitiful sight of the Vice President, "That is true power, Mr. Jackson. Getting people to follow your lead, without question. I have been a successful ruler over my people since I was a little girl; not only do they love and fear me, they respect me.

They merely tolerate the government control, this façade I've allowed for the benefit of the other colonies to make it seem you're in control. Everyone else here knows this, besides apparently you, for you see none look away or come to your defense."

Sandor Jackson heard this through his pain, forcing himself to look up at the assembly, seeing the other members of the government gathered who didn't appear outraged and merely looked at him with pity or disgust.

Eyes fluttering, Jackson succumbed to his wound. He keeled over to lie motionless on the ground.

Queen Illyria glared at his form once more, before turning away and returning to her seat, shaking her head as she spoke nonchalantly, "For a man without a heart, it’s ironic he had so much to bleed.
As the assembled government members remained silent, the Queen cleared her throat and put on a sweet, reassuring smile, "Now. Where were we?"

Caprica, Caprica City Channel 7 News

"In other news, surrounding Set Warren's multi-billion cubit corporation is the latest in a series of events that have sent the company's stock plummeting in recent weeks. Which included environmental concerns of the company's energy department concerning its Tylium production, rumored to have led to the deaths of hundreds of workers. An accident that sent a lot of flak toward the public face of the company, and its leader, Set Warren. Now, it looks as if the company may be facing a hostile takeover. Inside sources claim that members of the company's own board of directors may have not only been involved, but instigated the effort..."

Caprica, Delphi; Warren Corporation HQ

The large 40" Television screen at the center of the office cut off the video feed of Caprica City's Channel 7 News abruptly.

A man with brown hair and cold sea-blue eyes in his early twenties sat glaring at several frightened older looking men standing on the other side of a long table with a stylized nameplate reading Set Warren.

"Mr. Warren, sir-"

"Save it," Set Warren said coldly.

"It's just unconfirmed rumor sir, honestly-"

"Yes, I'm sure you'd like me to believe that. You treacherous snake! I can accept a lot of things I don't like, I have to in my position, but I draw the line when someone tries to claim another's work for them self because they’re incapable of doing it themselves. I know all about your partnership with Moran Industries and your plan to takeover Warren Corporation and all you thought you'd get out of it. Fools, the lot of you; as if you would really survive the takeover if you'd actually succeeded!"

"Let us explain-"

"You're all fired. I advise you to leave now, before I take more than just your jobs."
Each of the older men began speaking at once, talking over each other as they each pleaded their case.

"Sir, we were just-" a tall blonde-haired man in his fifties started.

"We never meant to actually-" a short stodgy man in his sixties with receding black hair said, interrupting.

"Moran would've just found another way in, the corporation was falling apart!" a tall dark brown haired man in his forties, wearing a fancy suit and the picture of a lawyer thundered loudly with authority, talking over his colleagues.

Set Warren's eyes narrowed, rage and disgust apparent in his expression as he stood up and leaned forward across the desk threateningly, "Don't test me you slime balls."

The man in the suit was taken aback and shut up instantly as his two colleagues cowered and took a step back, wisely remaining silent.

"Leave. Now. I won't ask again," Set Warren said coldly, sitting back down and turned away from the group of men formerly of his board of directors.

The three men hesitated a moment, looking at each other, before turning and exiting the room.
Moments later, a young woman with long flowing red hair in business attire walked into the room, stopping before Set Warren's desk.

Set continued devoting his attention to the touchscreen computer before him, ignoring the intrusion.
"Your uncle called again," the red-haired woman, Warren's assistant Sarah Hopper said, looking with concern at Set.

Set's facial muscles twitched, expressions of anger and disgust returning to his face before turning blank and emotionless, his hands clenching and unclenching on the table as he continued working.
Sarah's frown deepened, her furrowed brows knitting even tighter as she looked with sympathy toward Set, taking a step forward before stopping herself, "It's ok to let go of the past Set..."

"How can I, when more and more reminders pop up… Once again, showing me the horrifying truth of life, Sarah. We, each and everyone one of us, are alone in this world. Events like today really drive that home," Set said, meeting Sarah's eyes, with grim determination and sorrow in his eyes.

"Family isn't the same thing Set," Sarah Hopper said, shaking her head in denial.

"I lost faith in Uncle Henry when he abandoned me as a child left alone in an orphanage. I needed him, and he wasn't there. Anything he tries to make up for it since then has been an excuse. Nothing more than a charade," Set Warren said, his jaw clenching, he turned the chair around so his back faced Sarah.

After a long moment, Sarah walked around the table, and placed a hand on Set's shoulder.

5 Hours From Caprica
Civilian Transport Ship Outbound From Leonis

Aboard the large civilian transport, rows upon rows of comfortable thick leather armchairs were provided to passengers. Atop the seat head was a white cloth with the crowned symbol for the colonies of Kobol.

An attractive petite long-haired brunette woman in her early twenties lay back in one of the plush leather chairs, fast asleep. Her head tilted to the side, as she rested comfortably. Her navy blue colonial fleet officer uniform gleamed proudly under the weak light in the cabin, the lights turned low for passengers to sleep if they so chose.

One of the ship’s flight attendants, a man in a white suit, walked up to the dozing woman. He put an arm on her shoulder and shook her gently, “Miss?” Seeing no response to his query, he shook her a little harder as he tried to rouse her, “Miss? Excuse me, miss?”

The woman woke suddenly, her nostrils flaring, she turned to the man as she unceremoniously knocked the whole tray of complimentary food on a tray table before her to the ground. “Whoa!” The attendant called out.

She turned to the fallen tray with a guilty expression, looking to get up to clean it up as the flight attendant sheepishly dropped down to pick up the mess.

“It’s alright I’ll take care of it, don’t worry,” the attendant said, hurriedly picking up the tray as the woman looked down helplessly, unsure of herself.

Having noticed the exchange, a light brown-haired woman in a similar white suit to the attendant stood off to the side as the flight attendant ducked away with the food tray, looking back at the passenger.

“Ms. Valerii?” the brown-haired woman queried as she put a hand on the top of the armchair of the brunette woman, leaning down toward her.

Having groggily placed head in her hands, the long-haired brunette looked up, “Yes?”

“I’m Captain Sarah Alcomer,” the brown-haired woman, the ship’s Captain said with a frown. She lowered to her knees and looked up at Ms. Valerii sadly, a compassionate expression on her face, “I’m afraid I have terrible news.”

Taking a deep breath, the captain continued, “There’s been a terrible accident.”

“What kind of accident?” Ms. Valerii asked uncertainly, wide eyed.

The captain looked down, “Reports are still coming in, but it looks as if one of the protective domes over the Troy colony has collapsed.”

A small metal rich planet orbiting the closest to the Helios Beta star, Troy was home to an extensive mining colony. Virgon and Leonis had mined this world extensively and fought for its control for centuries. It included many mining outposts that required sealed domes as the atmosphere was otherwise toxic to humans. Nearly 200,000 called the sub-colony world home.

“There was a chain reaction… I’m sorry,” Captain Alcomer said, grim faced her eyes sparkling.

“Oh my Gods. Oh my Gods. My Family, my whole family!” Ms. Valerii exclaimed, crying, her left hand placed over her mouth muffling her cries as she wailed pitifully, lost in grief.

“I’ve already talked to the Academy. They’ll have someone to meet you on Caprica to take you to the campus. I’m sure they have counselors available to you there,” the Captain said, rubbing Valerii’s shoulder gently, “Please know that you have our deepest sympathies.”

Ms. Valerii grieved oblivious to the world around her as the Captain comforted her, nearby passengers who’d awakened and heard the Captain threw looks of pity and sympathy their way.

Caprica; Caprica City, Colonial Government Capitol Building
Office of the President

President Adar slammed his fist hard on his desk.

Caprican Prime Minister Parker looked on uncertainly, gauging the President.

“Go to Stans. Make it clear that I do not want to hear anything more about teachers going on strike. If his ‘teachers union’ or whatever they’re calling themselves don’t fall in line, I will use force to ensure compliance,” Adar said darkly.

“Yes, sir,” Prime Minister Parker said, nodding, and continued to watch the President as his anger ebbed, tentatively he continued, “This cannot spread to the other colonies. Let alone if it gets out hundreds of schools across Caprica, at the central hub of education in the colonies, are experiencing teachers striking, shutting things down…”

“Keep a tight lid on it with the media,” Adar said severely.

“Of course, sir,” Prime Minister Parker said, his tone passive. As the President waved him off, Parker took it as his cue and turned to leave, exiting out the door.

A neatly dressed, narrow-faced man with short dark hair walked through the door past the Prime Minister on his way out. A sense of self-importance in the man’s stride, he grinned as he approached the President.

President Adar reflected his smile, rising to shake hands with the man, “Gaius Baltar! My friend, it is good to see you.”

“Thank you, Mister President,” Gauis Baltar said graciously, wearing a smug smile.

“Good to see you can be torn away from that new… ‘Assistant’ of yours,” Adar said, raising an eyebrow, he grinned as a knowing look appeared in his expression as Baltar blushed.
Baltar chuckled lightly, “Yes, I daresay I can manage.”

“To business then. I need your help Gaius,” Adar said.

“Anything, Mr. President,” Baltar said automatically, straightening up smartly as his ego soared at receiving such recognition.

“I know you’ve been contacted on the Command Navigation Program the past few months, helping our team working on the project with the Ministry of Defense… Suffice to say however, they’ve stalled. Certain promises were made to have the program up and ready to start disseminating among the fleet within a year,” Adar said.

“And they can’t meet that deadline,” Baltar said, a touch of smugness still present while his expression turned pensive. Working to meet unreasonable expectations was nothing new, but nothing he looked forward to either.

“Exactly. And since your work provided the most progress they’ve been able to handle, it seems best to more directly involve you from here on out. You’ll receive a larger sum for services rendered of course, with the expectation to help meet this deadline. The longer it takes the more loss in cubits to those involved, not to mention political fallout…” Adar said, frowning, his eyes narrowed at Baltar who nodded in unspoken understanding.

“This’ll be the most advanced operating system in the history of the colonial fleet. It’ll make FTL jumps a reliable daily means of transportation, possibly even allow us to begin looking at future colonization efforts. We have been receiving calls for such a measure for decades now after all…” Adar said thoughtfully.

“I understand Mister President. I won’t let you down,” Baltar said, arrogantly waving away the President’s concern.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:20 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:01 am
Posts: 20
1x03 Retour Au Debut Part 2

September 14th, 2353, Late Morning
Lumiere, Capital of Leonis
Leon Castle, Home of the Royal Family, High Tower Keep

The light of the sun shone brightly from the shuttered windows along the wall. The walls were decorated sparsely with a fleur-de-lis atop stone columns along each one of a row of doors spread out across the hallways. Each door leading to the bedrooms belonging to the Royals.

Dressed in a dark navy blue coat, with white pants drawn down in thick black boots, a royal guard stood straight and tall as he kept watch over the hallway.

Prince Kol Leon exited one of the royal bedchambers, quietly bringing the door to a close behind him. He brushed his hair back and straightened his fresh blue t-shirt.

Noticing the guard taking note of him, Kol frowned unhappily a moment before an idea struck him.

Walking toward the guard, Kol gave him a devilish grin, etching out his dimple on his chin.

“Could you see to it that the kitchen prepares a meal for my guest in my chambers, mate? I’d really appreciate it,” Kol said, his head tilted slightly, he waggled his eyebrows. His grin widened.

The guard’s face twitched as he regarded the Prince. After a long moment as Kol stared him down expectantly, the guard dipped his head in respect and turned to leave the hallway, heading to the kitchen to do what his prince requested.

“Such a dull, broody lot,” Kol said, clucking his tongue in slight disappointment.

Rounding the corner, Bethany walked over to reach the entrance to her room just past the door to Kol’s. Her long silver dress was rumpled slightly, not quite fitting perfectly, one of the straps dropped to the side below Bethany’s shoulder. Her long hair was still drawn down, straightened with hairs frizzy and frayed a sign her hair was not its perfectly all in place self.

“Well, well... Why it’s my beloved sister, still in the dress from that tedious meeting of mother’s court yesterday,” Kol said, grinning widely. He blinked, a feigned concerned expression on his face as he stepped in front of Bethany.

She moved to the side, trying to walk past him, but Kol stepped with her to stand in front of her and then again to the other side as Bethany tried in vain to get past him.

“Move out of the way, Kol!” Bethany snapped, her face flushed with embarrassment and anger as her eyes narrowed.

“Out all hours of the night. Such a scandal, coming to your room so late, in full view of everyone in the Castle…” Kol murmured flippantly, rolling his eyes as he smirked at Bethany, “I hope you at least had sense to not be seen with a commoner, or frankly seen like this in company with a man, at all?”

Bethany bristled. She shook with anger as her voice rose sharply, “Shut your mouth, Kol. Or the next vile thing appearing out of it will be your teeth, because I’ll have punched you so hard I’ll damage those ‘charming’ good looks all the women you gallivant around with love so much.”

Bethany pushed Kol to the side, shoving past him to reach the quiet sanctuary of her room.

“Now, now sister I wasn’t trying to pick a fight…” Kol offered sweetly.

“It’s better coming from me than a lecture from our mother, or one of our brothers who often-enough like to act like our father. If they saw you like this…” he trailed off with a faint pout.

Bethany rolled her eyes, taking a deep breath as she turned to look back at Kol. They shared a look, smiling.

The first door near the front of the hallway opened as Niklaus walked out, frowning as he took in his siblings as they turned to look at him.

“Don’t even start, Nick,” Bethany said, annoyed.

Niklaus tried and failed to hide a smile, “I’m not saying anything.”

“Truly, there’s nothing to see here…” he said as he turned, walking away.

“Our sister’s out all night, comes back looking like a harlot, and not a word… Yet I get lectured all the time for having fun,” Kol said incredulous, shaking his head as he followed after Niklaus.

Niklaus let out a grumble of a sigh and rolled his eyes, ignoring his brother as he drew up alongside him.

Bethany let out a little hiss as she pulled of her heels, a hand against the wall to balance herself. She winced as the pressure on her foot dissipated.

“Yes, do go. Enough double standards here, from floundering men out with their own latest conquests, it’s alright for them to brag about it for all to hear,” Bethany called after her brothers.

“Just like you were out with your conquest last night, eh, Bet?” Kol said grinning, as he pointed at her, walking backwards as he and Niklaus were turning around the corner of the hallway.

Bethany’s eyes flashed, she threw her high heeled shoe in his direction. Kol dodged, looking alarmed, the show hitting the wall with a loud thud.

Bethany shook her head, grinning slightly as she turned back to her room, slamming the door behind her.

Leon Castle, Royal Dining Hall

Niklaus took a deep draft of wine, ignoring his little brother as he ate.

“Come on, Nick,” Kol said, making a long face.

“Asking me for favors. Not exactly like the cunning little trickster the castle knows so well. I’m still vexed with you for pulling another of your little tricks in court yesterday, while I was at the throne as regent,” Niklaus said, raking Kol with an arch stare.

“Alright, I confess,” Kol said, raising his arms in surrender, grinning slyly, “I did it.”

“You stayed at court despite being excused, which is not typically something you’d do given how you hate being at court, doing your duties as a royal. And lo and behold. A portrait comes ‘alive’, roaring like a lion, giving the appearance of a ghost out to attack people.

It hardly requires a genius to crack to the case, given that no one else goes out of their way for such pranks to make a ruckus for fun, like you do,” Niklaus said, his lips curling into a sardonic grin.

“Ah, so you’re not a genius,” Kol said, cackling, leaning back in his seat as he laughed.

Niklaus scowled, shaking his head.

“Look, Nick, I’m sorry. I know it means a lot to you, being respected when you take up the throne,” Kol said considerately, his eyes searching Niklaus’, then he smiled devilishly, “Especially given that you’re the ‘chosen one’, and will lead us all as King one day.”

Niklaus looked askance at Kol, ignoring his joke, “I appreciate that Kol. However, the family needs you to tone down behavior like this.”

“Ah, so we’re back to what ‘the family’ needs. It shouldn’t come as such a surprise to you why Lucian chose to leave all that behind to get out of this lovely little life of the Royal family,” Kol said, annoyed, shaking his head.

Niklaus furrowed his eyebrows, bewildered, “Lucian joined the military to be more like Father. It was his way of coping. After…”

“Maybe that was one of the reasons, but it gave him a way out. Less obligations of the family. More leniency if he does make mistakes,” Kol said, rolling his eyes and making a hmph noise.

“Well, it has been a while since I’ve caught him after a dalliance with a girl, or out partying…” Niklaus said thoughtfully, “Otherwise, he hasn’t changed much, so I’m not sure what you mean, Kol.”

“You could understand if you’d walked a day in my shoes. It’s not easy being part of the royal family, all the obligation and consequences. To be one of us without the power to go with it…” Kol shrugged nonchalantly.

“People may love the ruler who gives them what they want, or someone self-made and frankly imposing like our brother Jason. However, they hate what they see as spoiled, rich children of the royalty. People in mine and Lucian’s position don’t have a lot of friends. Just people who want to take things from us instead of working for it themselves – especially since they feel justified plotting against us. After all, we didn’t earn all that we have, so we owe it to them…” Kol said in a darkly flippant tone.

“Is that what you think?” Niklaus asked, incredulously. Kol merely leveled a stony-faced look at his brother.

“Kol, you’re a Prince. You have a role that affects the greater good of the people. Our people here would die to protect you from harm. There may be some downsides…” Niklaus said.

“Like arranged marriages. Such as the one the court’s discussed before about you or Jason,” Kol inputted derisively.

Niklaus let out an exasperated breath. “You’re still our family. You’re respected and whether you or not believe it of the people, you know that we love you.”

Kol looked up at Niklaus sheepishly. Niklaus grinned at him, and Kol flashed his own devilish smile.

The door to the dining hall crashed open, jolting the brothers to attention.

Queen Illyria walked in, holding the hands of little Morgana, and Lorelei. The girls giggled, having shared a joke with their mother.

“My sons. I do hope you’re bonding… Not fighting,” Illyria said, inquisitively looking between the two as she led Morgana and Lorelei to the dining table to sit down.

“Of course mother,” Niklaus said dutifully, “We were just—“

“Discussing Lucian. We hardly see him anymore, after all,” Kol blurted out.

Illyria frowned, looking between her sons, each now smiling sweetly at her. Similar to how they used to when hiding something as children. “Alright then. Oh and Kol, dear. I know about yesterday’s prank.”

Kol blanched, eyeing his mother guardedly.

“No drawing unwanted attention to us… That’s all I asked. It doesn’t seem like a lot to ask for,” Illyria said, disappointed, shaking her head.

“Sorry, mother,” Kol muttered, shamefaced.

Illyria reached out across the table, grasping Kol’s hand she gave it a reassuring squeeze. She looked at him tenderly, the love apparent in her eyes.

Blinking away tears, Kol stood up, “Enough of the lovefest for now. Things to do.”

Morgana and Lorelei made a noise of dissent, “Don’t go Kol.” “Yeah, you’re always ditching us.”

Kol smiled roguishly, looking down at his sisters. “Another time sisters.”

He nodded at Niklaus and his mother before turning, on his way out.

September 17th, 2353
Tauron, Capital City Hypathia
Government Building, General Secretary's Office

"Come now darling, you're hardly in a position to be coy," General Secretary Lorenzo Harley said impassively, looking bored.

"But I..." Myles Shen said hesitantly.

"Let me save time and summarize. You say - 'I failed at my job kind, sir.' I say - You MORON! And then you say, 'G-Gimme another chance, I won't fail!'" Harley said with a grin, rolling his eyes.

There was a long silence as the two men stared at each other. Harley with raised eyebrows and Myles looking worried as he shook with fear and apprehension.

Myles broke the silence, "Sir, I will make things right."

"Pinky promise?" Harley asked sarcastically.

"Yes, sir..." Myles said slowly.

"Then seal the deal as it were," Harley said, smiling as he approached and got in Myles' personal space.

"Sir?" Myles said in confusion, eyebrows furrowed.

"In the olden days, before everyone could read and make contracts, they made deals among each other. One way to seal it was with... A kiss," Harley said.

"No," Myles said vehemently, shaking his head in denial.

"You can give into years of undoubtedly repressed sexuality and face long-lasting wrath, or suck it up and get it over with," Harley said, waggling his eyebrows suggestively.

Myles leaned in hesitantly, his facial muscles twitching as his expression showed how much he didn't want to do this.

Harley smiled devilishly as he pressed his lips against Myles', clasping Myles' face and continuing the kiss as Myles made a noise of protest and tried to break away.

Myles pulled away forcefully, sputtering and grabbing at his tongue as if trying to cleanse his mouth.
Harley grinned, taking pleasure as he watched Myles show his apparent unhappiness with their repertoire.

"Damn it..." Myles said, disgusted, shaking his head and moving back and forth nervously.

"You didn't have to use tongue," Harley said, raising an eyebrow and chuckling, "You can go now."

Myles walked quickly, exiting the room as fast as possible.

Dante Neeley, officially assistant to the General Secretary and unofficially his enforcer, entered after Myles left, frowning as he looked from the open door and back to his boss.

"Should I assume-" Dante said calmly after clearing his throat.

"Obviously, I expect you to see to his death. Got to make an example, of course, can't have anyone else making such a screw up happen," Harley interjected matter of factly, interrupting and silencing Dante.

Dante remained where he was and tilted his head in confusion, not understanding his boss.

Seeing his confusion, Harley rolled his eyes, "Our job is to regulate production, distribution, prices, pretty much everything to do with the economy to keep this colony running smoothly! We have a little something called integrity. Or at least brains. Anyone getting in the way, like letting slip to the press major plans for the government, providing the continued staunch critics and enemies of the state with ammunition to get the people protesting the government again, must be eliminated! Period."

Dante nodded, seeing his boss' determination and exited the room swiftly.

Irritated, Harley patted down his black suit to remove any dirt and dust, and grabbed his briefcase before leaving to head to the Capitol's Secure Operations center where the government periodically met.

Tauron Capitol Building, Secure Operations Center

General Secretary Harley walked in where the other members of Tauron's government had already begun their meeting, coming in to hear the sound of shouting back and forth from several of the assembled ministers.

Richard Varna, Chief Chancellor of Ministers of Tauron, the government's leader, sat quietly watching the arguing ministers verbally attack one another. Various arguments over the government's running, the approval rating among citizens, and other important topics devolved into insults, particularly juvenile ones as a minister's mother was brought up.

Varna welcomed the distraction as Harley walked in, sitting next to his long-time ally Neville Warrick and the Vice Chancellor of the government - Varna's political running mate.

"Good of you to join us Harley," Varna said with a chuckle, seeing Harley's efforts to pat down his suit as he sat and remembering the man's obsession with his suits remaining untarnished.

"A pleasure as always, sir," Harley said, tilting his head respectfully before eyeing the ministers who glared at him for the interruption of the meeting.

Neville Warrick cleared his throat loudly, drawing attention to himself, "I believe we were getting off track anyway. Mister Jules, if you would go over the list of topics for this assembly of the government, please."

Startled, Rory Jules, Chief of Staff to the Chancellor of Ministers, took a moment to collect himself after looking to the Chancellor for permission before speaking to the assembled ministers, "Yes, sir. Going over the recent concerns of renewed public dissatisfaction with government, regulation of Tauron's economy and its effect on the colonies, and on that same vein of thought the recent concerns with the colonies.

Leonis' military build-up. Caprica's proposed cracking down on numerous issues – particularly on criminal activity and political intrigue over the ruling of the separate colonies' governments, Aerilon's production issues with worker's comp and other issues affecting food production, the rumors of the teachers strike across the colonies…"

"I still say we should increase our own military. Show the Leonosians and the rest of the colonies who've been looking for weakness on Tauron that we've got the fight in us to not bow to pressure from another colony's threat," Minister Draco Kelly said, interrupting Mister Jules.

"Most across the colonies still call us bottom-feeders, dirt-eaters, or other nonsense, best show them they're wrong. We are not to be trifled with!" Minister Ben Harrison added angrily.

"Ah, now that's rich coming from you, Mr. Harrison," General Secretary Lorenzo Harley said, bemused.
"Excuse me?!" Minister Harrison yelled outraged, standing up as he leaned toward Harley across the table.

"Well, I've heard that you sit in with other political members across the colonies and laugh with them about those same bad names for people from Tauron that you claim to be so outraged about," Harley said, raising his eyebrows up and down as he taunted Harrison.

"How dare you! I—" Minister Harrison screeched, enraged as he glared at Harley threateningly.
Harley reached into his pocket and pushed play on a mobile phone with a flat screen that he showed to Harrison and the ministers which began playing a video of Minister Harrison sitting and laughing with Caprican politicians, making fun of the Tauron administration…

Harley waggled his eyebrows at Harrison who turned beet red, unable to form words as he looked around, seeing the other ministers shaking their heads at Harrison or wearing looks of disgust.
Vice Chancellor Neville Warrick hid a smile as he shook his head at the group before him, "Moving on… Our overtures to the Caprican government and the president have been ignored. Or outright denied. They're blackballing our attempts to hunt the Ha'la'tha on a broader scale."

"As I understand, the previous administration was successful in eliminating a branch of their organization that returned to Tauron a few years ago," Chancellor Varna said with a frown, head tilted as he looked to Warrick for confirmation.

"Yes, sir. However, we know they are heavily entrenched on Caprica even now, and Canceron. There are rumors they have ties across the other colonies, but we have reliable intelligence confirming that they have hundreds of their operatives based on those two colonies," Vice Chancellor Warrick said.

"Canceron's a nonissue. Reach out to their competitors on Canceron, the Mangala cartel for instance. Reach out and convince them it's in their best interest to eliminate the Ha'la'tha. Or pay them for it…" General Secretary Harley suggested with a shrug.

Murmurs of agreement were heard as Chancellor Varna considered this a long moment before nodding.

"What of Caprica?" Minister Neil Gonzalez asked, eyebrows furrowed in consternation.

"Screw 'em," Minister Kelly said sharply.

"We've tried diplomatic overtures. Every legal avenue… They won't budge," Vice Chancellor Warrick said apologetically, ignoring Minister Kelly.

"Mm…" Chancellor Varna said, tapping on the desk rhythmically thinking, "What if we infiltrate their operation? Turn one of their men…"

"What would make a member of the Ha'la'tha listen to us?" Minister Kelly asked incredulously.

"What can you use against any man? Find the right person, use their family against them as leverage," Harley said flippantly.

"Perhaps. In the meantime, we setup things with the Capricans… Apply pressure, get them ready to agree to things our way when we've got someone on the inside that can supply them with all the intelligence the Capricans need to take out the Ha'la'tha on their world at once. They would find it difficult to refuse then," Vice Chancellor Warrick said.

Chancellor Varna joined the ministers in murmurs of assent…

September 18th, 2353
Scorpia, Asiwan Oasis, Malachai Clan Encampment

Nikai Malachai sat on his bed, alone with his thoughts as he stared at the ceiling of their 'home'. As clan members, they were frequently moving across the deserts of Scorpia, but every once in a while, came back to the same area where they'd built a few buildings and homes. Where water and resources were abundant if not abused, such as if they stayed for too long.

He tried to ignore the images in his mind of what he imagined the clan was saying about him in another one of their meetings about him that they assumed he didn't know about. He knew, just as he knew what they called him behind his back; monstrosity, freak, unnatural... Of course, he'd also had some spit it in his face, so it wasn't a great secret.

Monster… Him, the next in line to lead the Malachai clan, as his family had done for generations. He should be treated with respect and love. He got only fear and disgust. Even from his family; his younger siblings had little interaction with him, having been raised hearing what others said of him and never connecting with him. His parents showed obvious devotion to their children, all except for him. Yet he had yearned for that love he was denied, never stopped trying to win their approval, convinced if he just proved himself then everything could be well.

For a time as he'd grown to become one of the strongest and best fighters in the clan, learned all he could of the clan's traditions and been the perfect son, the perfect heir; for a brief time, his family had been happy and he believed things could change... Now however, he was approaching his majority in a couple years, where he could take over the clan as traditionally the eldest son started leading the clan at that time. The fear and hatred from the clansmen broke his hope for changing his life, as he knew they were meeting to discuss what to do about him. All this, and he never knew why… Why was he hated?

"Kai!" Hannah Malachai exclaimed loudly, jumping onto Nikai's bed to lay next to him, grabbing his nose affectionately. An old joke between them, that when they were children they tried to steal each other's nose.

Nikai blinked several times in confusion. He smiled as he saw his grinning twin sister Hannah. "Hannah," Nikai said, smiling widely. He grabbed her nose in response.

Hannah held on as long as she could then removed her hand and slapped his away, rubbing her nose to relieve the pressure when Kai's grip turned painful as the two had squeezed each other's noses in a battle of wills. She'd always lost such fights as he never seemed affected, not showing any pain, but she didn't mind. It was worth it seeing him as he was now, laughing.

"Thought you would've been with the others in the meeting..." Nikai said, looking at Hannah curiously, happy that she wasn't, but perturbed as to why.

"I had no wish to be part of the same argument. My vote means little, as I've always made it clear I've been in your corner, so they ignore me anyway. Much as I am preferred as Twin A there wasn't much I could do. I think I'd prefer more positive ways to spend my time. Mayhaps bugging my little brother," Hannah said, poking Nikai.

"Alright," Nikai said contentedly, happy to see her on his side, "however, I am totally twin A. And the oldest."

"We were born about a minute apart, and I still say I was born first and adored as such. That's my story and I'm sticking to it," Hannah said, sticking her tongue out playfully.

Nikai shook his head and rolled his eyes.

The two sat together, reminiscing their good times together and making jokes as they passed the time until the meeting ended.

A few hours later...

As Nikai and Hannah were relaxing together, a group of four men clambered into the room. The men grabbed Nikai as he stood up and marched him outside, as Nikai initially struggled and punched the men but was overpowered with their combined effort, one of the men getting in a hard punch to Nikai's head that knocked him out. They carried his then limp body with them.

Hannah told the group off, following from behind, insulting and giving choice words as the men ignored her presence.

The group joined over a dozen others from the clan, taking jeeps and other transportation to their destination.

Scorpia, Trepas Canyon

Among the clans, there is an appreciation and love for the deserts. Yet they knew to respect and fear Trepas Canyon, the ravine known as death where historically all who had entered had never made it to the other side. Once a location for evil-doers and clansmen who broke their oaths to their people, it had long been abandoned and avoided.

Nikai Malachai came to, rubbing his forehead from the bump to his head and his first sight was his father at the head of a group of his clansmen, many of whom glared at Nikai or viewed him with disgust.

As Nikai got to his feet, his father Joel Malachai stood with watchful eyes, a man in his fifties with wrinkling skin, his graying brown hair blowing back and forth from the slight breeze in the air. His face looked worn, noticeable lines apparent showing he frowned often, suggesting he smiled little.

"Nikai Malachai, the clan has convened. It is the will of the clan that you be banished here in the Trepas Canyon, where you will inevitably be sentenced to death. Passage outside the Trepas Canyon the way you came will be blocked from here on.

It is part of your sentence to walk forward, only forward, and you may yet make your people proud if you can make it the farthest of anyone who has gone into the Trepas Canyon," Joel Malachai said, emotionless and stoically, his eyes pitiless as his eyes bore into his son Nikai.

Nikai wore a look of confusion and bewildered disbelief as he stared at his father, seeing his serious look, and looking among the other clan members present who grimaced or wore smug expressions of victory…

"—You... You can't -. Father!" Nikai said dubiously, eyebrows drawn together as fear and anger swirled in him. Joel said nothing, showing no acknowledgement of his son as he continued pleadingly, "This is an execution! And for what crime?!"

Joel's face twitched, otherwise he showed little emotion. His eyes darkened as his son looked at him, appealing to his father.

Seeing no change or acknowledgement anger overtook Nikai's features, "I've been a loyal clan member and son, a model citizen, all despite the obvious hate and disgust I get from my own people. How dare you do this! To your own child!"

A clan member who'd been enjoying watching Nikai's pain moved forward quickly, delivering a fierce punch to the gut that left Nikai gasping for air. Another hit bowled Nikai over to lay on his back.

At Joel's signal the clan member stopped hitting Nikai and walked back to stand with his clansmen.

As Joel stood looking Nikai over, the two briefly staring each other down as Nikai recovered enough to sit up, for a brief moment emotions displayed across his face past his mask of stoicism. Sadness, regret, distaste… By the time Nikai was back on his feet and glaring in his direction, Joel's mask of stoicism was back in place.

"Good bye, Nikai. As-salāmu ʿalaykum (May peace be unto you)," Joel Malachai said before turning his back on Nikai and walking away, leaving his men behind with Nikai…

Minutes later, Nikai was walking along the desert path forward through Trepas Canyon. Alone.

A barren wasteland around him, the red sands briefly filling the air in occasional gusts of wind. Lack of plant life was apparent, and the sight of bony carcasses of people and animals along the path the further Nikai walked was a disheartening reminder of his surroundings…

Scorpia, Asiwan Oasis, Malachai Clan Encampment

"How could you?!" Hannah Malachai screamed furiously.

A loud slap filled the quiet night air as Hannah drew her hand away, a red mark showing on Joel Malachai's face.

Joel's eyes flashed, anger in his features before slipping back to pity as he looked at his distraught daughter Hannah.

The rest of the family was gathered, expressions of bewilderment and confusion all around, one or two teenagers having been smiling before Hannah slapped their father and they now shared Joel's expression of pity and disappointment.

Faye Malachai walked over to her husband, putting her hand to his cheek consolingly. Pleading with her eyes as she gazed into Joel's.

Joel took his wife's hand and kissed it, sharing a look with Faye before moving away toward Hannah.

Joel's searched Hannah's defiant face, still filled with anger and disgust, and he sighed.

"Hannah. I see now you will not let this go, and will cause the clan trouble we do not need. Until you can abide by the clan's decision, you are to leave and not return to the clan," Joel Malachai said, lips pursed, his tone filled with finality.

Hatred appeared in Hannah's eyes as she unconsciously shifted her stance, straightening, "I will never forgive you."

Joel looked shocked, his eyes widening before his expression hardened, "So be it."

Gesturing to a man standing over to the side, the black-haired man walked over. Placing a hand on

Hannah's shoulder and receiving a glare before recognition filled her eyes, he got her moving to leave.

Within the hour, Hannah was walking out in the cold desert landscape, her clan's base of operations at Asiwan Oasis fading and growing smaller in the distance behind her and her companion…

Canceron, Mangala Major City/Territory outside of Hades
Crowded Public Park

People were strewn around the crowded park, enjoying their day, out with kids or on a stroll with a lover…

Among many trees, a more secluded venue out of the crowd's eye, a group of men were gathered, involved in an exchange of goods. They haggled, going over prices as they came to an agreement over the price for thousands of units of various drugs.

A short distance away to the backs of the group of men, a man astride a motorcycle stood motionless, an automatic weapon in hand sighting down his target.

As the drug dealer and his audience came to an accord, laughing with each other, the man on the motorcycle pulled the trigger. Loud gunshots are heard across the park, reverberating throughout again and again as the machine gun fire continued.

Blood spurted in the air as the drug dealer and the other men associated with him were riddled with holes, dropping to the ground as they shuddered from the impacts that ended as they ceased moving. Barely making a sound of distress as their ends came quickly.

The man astride the motorcycle put up his gun among the gear in his backpack, his black helmet concealing his identity moving left and right checking for witnesses before he quickly revved his bike's engine loudly and drove off…

Canceron, Mangala
Warehouse, Controlled by Adelphotes Crime Syndicate

A group of five men are gathered around a table playing a game of triad, cards in their hands and an array of coins called Cubits, the colonial currency, tossed in the center. They looked at one another, antsy, as they made their bets, moving on as the winner revealed his cards and starting with a new hand…

"Another five of our men were dusted earlier tonight. Police have been handled so they don't investigate too thoroughly," one of the men, Obi Garret said, frowning.

"That makes how many now?" the man across from Obi, Mason Ezor said, shaking his head.
"Word is more of the Mangalan Crime Family were gunned down by an assassin over the last few days…" Jak Vorse said inquisitively.

"Who cares for those frakkers. More the merrier, better business for us with less of them around," Dan Moore said, snorting.

"Rumor is there was proof of members of the Adelphotes involvement in those killings… Also, we've had luck with evidence we gave to cops on our payroll related to more than one of the recent incidents with our lost Adelphote brothers, linking the Mangalan Crime Family to the cases. I told Jayden Brey that-" Jak Vorse said, his voice growing in urgency as he made his case, interrupted as he was speaking.

"You told my right hand man before me? Don't presume such, or there will not be another such occurrence," Josh Wyatt, head of the Adelphotes interjected, seething as he glared at Jak.
Wyatt's underling Jak nodded profusely, bowing his head in shame. After a long moment Wyatt nodded assent, and the game continued.

Dan revealed his hand, full colors – the highest winning hand in Triad. He pulled in his winnings, to the dismay of the others at the table. After some disgruntled arguing by the others, the game continued as new bets were made. Cigar smoke filled the room as the men relaxed, also periodically drinking ambrosia or other alcoholic drinks.

A loud noise was heard on the other side of the door, and then thuds as guards dropped to the ground, the door burst open before the gathered men playing triad could respond.

A tall man with brown hair and cold distant blue eyes wearing a black overcoat burst into the room. Excitement filled his otherwise cold emotionless eyes as he twirled, bringing a handgun to bear and shooting each member of the Adelphotes gathered at the table playing triad. Three were tossed to the floor in seconds, blood dripping from their foreheads.

Jak was on the ground, a wound on around his midriff slowing him down as he tried to staunch the bleeding with his hands, looking up in fear at the attacker.

Josh Wyatt, leader of the Adelphotes, sat calmly at the table, staring down the newcomer.

"There's a saying among our group, he who seeks vengeance must dig multiple graves; for his enemies, and himself, for he's destined to die in the process," Wyatt said, lip curled in distaste as he glanced between his downed men and the stranger.

"I don't care," the brown haired man said, lips turning in amusement as he raised the gun and shot Wyatt execution style, as the loud gunshot rang out Wyatt's body fell back to the ground like his men - blood dripping from his head.

The brown haired man walked over to Jak who was still on the ground, kicking away the gun Jak had gotten ahold of in his spare hand not pressed over his wound.

"My job's just about done here… Tell your new leader that Barnaby sends his regards," the brown haired man said, waving at Jak as he turned and nonchalantly walked out of the room, a trail of bodies in his wake.

Canceron, Minor Territory of Phosphorus

Two men, each adorned in a fancy black suit, sat across from each other comfortably in an extravagant setting, wine and expensive entrees laid out on a table before them.

"Members of the Adelphotes kill members of the Mangalan Crime Family, in retaliation the Mangalans kill the leader of the Adelphotes. Now, the two have torn each other apart in the resulting war, as expected, and the 'leader' of the Mangala territory, Senator Nathan Barnaby, was implicated for involvement with the Mangalan Crime Family.

A power vacuum we can take advantage of to claim control of the territory. As we planned, of course," the Senator of Phosphorus, a thirty-six year old dark brown-haired man named Peter Sheppard said with a devilish grin.

The other man, a light brown-haired man in his fifties, sitting across from Peter laughed heartily.

"There's an old saying, 'there's more than one way to skin a cat,' In this case, we've created context for a change in leadership and left none the wiser of our involvement. Gosh, I feel so devious right now," Senator Dedric Kaiser said, grinning widely.

"Of course, the major territory of Mangala is under scrutiny, so it wouldn't be wise to be known to be involved with those events at all, nor that we're attached to the new leadership. And as agreed, we'll continue working together… For the betterment of Canceron, of course," Senator Peter Sheppard said, with a genial tone and an aw-shucks smile.

"Yes. I believe we can work well together. We understand each other. So in the interest of partnership, I should tell you my interests from ruling territories of Canceron have shifted. I am looking into Aerilon.

And I know, I know, it's completely uninfluential, unimportant in current politics of the twelve worlds… Which is exactly why it's ripe for the pickings, full of untapped potential," Senator Dedric Kaiser said.

Senator Peter Sheppard hid his shock well, the brief flash in his eyes the only indication as his smile widened and a thoughtful expression crossed his face. His thoughts, he kept to himself… How can I use this?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:42 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:01 am
Posts: 20
1x04 Part 1: Saga of a Journey Across the Stars

Deep Space
Battlestar Prometheus
Admiral’s Log

Our mission has officially gone on for almost three years now. Hard to believe it’s been so long. We launched once everything was ready for our mission, as per Admiral Corman’s desire to send us out as soon as possible. All part of his failsafe plans following the Valkyrie incident.

My fleet, BSG 8, went over two thousand light-years in distance from the colonies on just one leg of our trip and another thousand light-years in a different direction. Mapping out space to create new star charts for future colonial expeditions… In the event we met obstacles, such as other life or even the Cylons, we were instructed to make a wide curve in our interstellar travel.

We found other life, which has led to our course changing. Twice. The first time, we came across several derelict ships that activated once we jumped the fleet to their position. They started attacking my fleet unprovoked, and we eliminated them with a few viper losses but incurred another battle as a signal apparently was sent out. It brought more of what we came to know as drone ships, as scans indicated they had no living creatures inside, but a computer system aboard. We beat back their opposing forces with casualties and damages to our warships.

After coming across the drones on several occasions, we managed to get a hold of one of the enemy fighters intact and gleaned valuable intel. We learned then that these were simply drones, with no other lifeform directing their actions… Machines somewhat worse than the Cylons since they were foreign to us and had no care for their own survival. All that guided them was a single minded desire to destroy all life besides their creators – a reptilian race that had died out long ago according to the captured drone’s own records. We also learned that the drones were seeded out in space across a vast distance, with some command ships that regulated them and made them expand their forces slowly across unexplored star systems – still carrying out their assigned tasks from their masters who were long since dead. We quickly left that area of space following a safe path to circumvent the drones, leading to our first course correction to another sector of space.

After that, we continued on for about a thousand light-years, a long distance from the colonies and moving in a zigzag away from our previous location to a point farther from the colonies overall since our journey began, in a separate direction. We did not anticipate our luck being bad enough that we could actually find another alien life form. How wrong we were. After some drifting through star systems on our path, finding barren rocks and some natural resources here and there, we came across our second hostile alien species. They’re a parasitic race that essentially impregnate other life forms and take them over, transforming them in time to be like the rest of their race. We don’t know their name, with an inability to translate their language, however we’ve dubbed their race Hostis-Verto, or roughly translated: Transforming Enemy. Our marines had a field day when we encountered them on the ground, initially trying to make contact and losing several men in the process, taking out the attacking aliens with mostly high heat and explosive rounds since other ammunition mostly bounced off them to little effect. If their nature to take over other species wasn’t bad enough, they have their own star fleets which have a great amount of power. Their overall numbers and strength are unknown, but they stood up evenly against the Mercury class Hades when the ship was caught unawares by the enemy while scouting out nearby star systems. A lot of damage and casualties were taken before the enemy ship was destroyed. We’ve since left that area of space and changing directions again, moved inward to around 1500 light-years from the colonies.

So far we’ve found no enemy on our new path. Several natural resources and semi-habitable planets were mapped out along with numerous gas giants, burning rocks of planets, and other less useful places. I have hope that our luck will continue to hold, however, I’m not as optimistic as when we first started our mission that we won’t run into hostile lifeforms. Gods know my fleet doesn’t need to go through another ordeal again, but I fear it’s almost inevitable.
End Log.

Februarius 4th, 2354
Battlestar Prometheus, BSG 8 Flagship, CIC

“Ma’am, scouts report no contacts. Raptors report several more sighting of bleak space rocks and inhabitable planets as well as small tylium deposits on asteroids. We’re still waiting on Raptor 816 before we can move onto the next search grid,” Commander Ambrose Rodrigues reported as the fleet Admiral arrived and settled into the CIC.

“Are they behind schedule?” Admiral Linda Jones asked, a hint of worry in her tone as she started looking for the signs she blamed herself for missing around the time of their past encounters with other intelligent life.

“Just a few minutes sir. I’m sure it’s nothing to be worried about,” Commander Rodrigues said reassuringly.

“We can’t afford to leave things to chance optimistically. We’ve learned in our previous encounters just how well that goes,” Admiral Jones said stonily, her expression hardening in severity as she began preparing herself for the worst.

“Very well, sir. Mister Thompson. Sound the alert,” Commander Rodrigues said, sighing heavily, turning to Prometheus’ tactical officer.

“Aye sir,” Lieutenant Ian Thompson, the ship’s tactical officer, replied. He walked over to grab hold of the nearby comms headset, a corded phone, and began relaying a message to the ship and likewise the fleet, “Action station, action stations. All hands go to condition one. This is not a drill. I repeat, action stations, action stations. Go to condition one. This is NOT a drill…”

Alarms started blaring throughout the ship, likewise on other warships, as crew members began running towards their posts while hearing the condition one alert.

Several minutes passed during which all personnel on the warships readied for combat.
Admiral Jones tapped the plot table nervously, staring up at the dradis screens above the plot table and growing more anxious as time went on with the ship signals on dradis remaining unchanged.

“That’s it, I’m calling it,” Admiral Jones said angrily, as the timer running in CIC reached over thirty minutes for the Raptor team being overdue.

“It could still just be a case of them being late or losing track of time. Hell the pilots could be frakking, taking advantage of the alone time. Normal fleet operations protocol would give scouting Raptors several more hours before they’d be considered at risk and declared MIA,” Commander Rodrigues said imploringly, trying to convince himself as much as the Admiral.

“Hell, I wish it could be as simple as the pilots being unprofessional and frakking,” Admiral Jones said laughing lightly as some of the tension she’d been feeling was release, “Unfortunately, we left normal fleet operational security parameters behind a long time ago. We can’t afford to take the chance and risk losing more people when we can ensure their safety now.”

“Aye sir,” Commander Rodrigues said sadly, sighing loudly once more as he accepted defeat, still hoping the Admiral was wrong.

“Mister Parrish, ready the Hades and Andromeda to join us with four of our Gunstars as escort to FTL jump to our lost bird’s location. The rest of the fleet remains here,” Admiral Jones ordered.

“Yes Ma’am,” Lieutenant Martin Parrish, the ship’s communications officer, replied. At his station with a corded phone and several switches, he began communicating with the rest of the fleet’s warships; signaling the Hades, Andromeda, and four of the fleet’s six Gunstars to join Prometheus in an FTL jump.

Lieutenant Thompson readied Prometheus’ own FTL for a jump, checking with the engineering deck and other departments of the ship for readiness to safely FTL jump.

Within another few minutes after the countdown reached zero for their planned FTL jump, most of BSG 8 left their location and arrived at the coordinates for their missing ship, Raptor 816.

“Dradis contact!” Lieutenant Thompson said anxiously, running through the information quickly arriving on the CIC’s computers through the ship’s sensors, “Colonial transponder detected ma’am. Raptor 816 is present… Five other dradis contacts! Unidentified, war-book has no prior record in the database.

Four ships are 1100 meters in length, approximate to a Valkyrie class vessel ma’am, with an elongated shape that has extending formations of metal like legs on a bug. The largest ship is 1600 meters in length. It appears one ship is towing aboard Raptor 816.”

“What?!” Admiral Jones exclaimed in shock.

“Sensors indicate damage on the raptor, possibly to disable the ship. The Raptor is not under its own power and small craft appear to be towing it into one of the 1100 meter alien ships ma’am,” Lieutenant Thompson reported.

“Orders Admiral?” Commander Rodrigues asked in panic, looking to the Admiral for support.
Admiral Jones took a deep breath and closed her eyes, leaning into the plot table and clenching her fists tightly. After a moment she relaxed to a standing position looking back up at the dradis console above the plot table, her eyes narrowing.

“XO, I want marines loaded up on heavily armed assault Raptors within five minutes,” Admiral Jones ordered, looking to across the plot table to Commander Rodrigues.

Commander Rodrigues nodded, relaxing slightly, and picked up the comms relay on his side of the plot table, delivering orders to get marines ready to go for a sortie.

“Mister Parrish, I want a standard hostile identification challenge sent out to the alien ships. Tell them we mean no harm, but we want our pilots from the small-craft vessel they’re taking aboard their ship. We will use force to reclaim our people if necessary,” Admiral Jones said coldly, looking hard and steadily at the communications officer.

“—Yes, Ma’am,” Lieutenant Martin Parrish replied, going pale and trying to maintain his composure.
As marines were loaded into Raptors and launched within a few short minutes, Raptor 816 was no longer visible as it had been taken inside the 1100 meter alien’s vessel and the apparent flightpod sealed shut.

The crew waited with bated breath as Lieutenant Parrish sent the unknown ships a hostile ID challenge; This is the Battlestar Prometheus of the colonial fleet from the Twelve colonies of Kobol to the nearby ships in the area. We mean no harm and come in peace. Identify yourselves immediately or we will have to assume your intentions are hostile and we will fire upon you. We merely want our personnel returned from the smallcraft vessel one of your ships has taken amidst ship. Please respond.

“No reply on any comms channels ma’am,” Lieutenant Parrish reported after another few minutes of silent waiting following their message being sent out to the unknown ships.

Communications systems were picking up foreign chatter in another language emanating from the unknown vessels. Prometheus’ V.I. system was leading the attempt to translate the garbled messages and allow translation of their own message so it could be made clear for the alien vessels…

“Incoming weapons fire!” Colonel Nicholas Rush said a moment later from his station monitoring the opposing vessels.

“Inbound missiles,” Lieutenant Thompson reported as his Dradis screen lit up with inbound targets and warning tones coming from the now designated hostile alien ships.

"Launch vipers, Raptors to be escorted under heavy guard and to board the 1100 meter vessel with our people aboard," Commander Rodrigues barked, his face turning dark.

Admiral Jones nodded in agreement at Commander Rodrigues’ orders, "All ships are clear to engage targets! Colonel Rush, have all main batteries fire for effect as soon as you have firing solutions!"
“Aye sir!” Colonel Rush replied excitedly, sending out orders over the wireless to the personnel manning several of the non-automated KEW batteries.

Nova class Battlestar Prometheus came about with her Mercury class escorts Hades and Andromeda following behind, the four escorting Gunstars ran alongside while preparing to engage incoming missiles targeting the Battlestars. Flak barriers began lighting up space as the colonial fleet ships began spewing out ammunition to meet the incoming dozens of missiles. The few missiles surviving the onslaught of heavily concentrated cannon fire to break through scored only minor damage on the colonial ships.

Dozens of fighters launched from each of the six ‘legs’ stretching outward from the alien vessels’ elongated main body, apparently acting akin to the flightpods on the colonial Battlestars.

Vipers launched from the colonial fleet to meet them, with Raptors being escorted towards one of the alien vessels, ignoring the main thrust of fighter craft that met the vipers head on.

As all fighters launched from both sides, the 800 vipers were outnumbered against over 3000 fighter craft launched from the alien vessels. Heavy dogfights quickly broke out among the fighters.

“Vipers are outnumbered four to one Admiral,” Commander Rodrigues reported warningly, looking at incoming dradis reports.

Admiral Jones just grit her teeth and narrowed her eyes at the dradis screen.

The medium and heavy KEWs on the colonial ships opened up on the alien vessels once in optimum range, firing for effect with high heat and explosive rounds aimed at wearing down the enemy ships.

The large alien vessel and smaller 1100 meter long vessels seemed to stagger slightly as the massive rounds from the colonial fleet struck them. Then Prometheus and her escort Battlestars seemed to vibrate as they were struck by return fire. Several missiles penetrated through their heavy Flak screens, with cannon fire also impacting amidst the Battlestars.

"Slight damage to frames three, four, seven, and eight, the armor is holding," Commander Rodrigues reported, receiving the damage reports from damage control teams around the ship.

"Sir," Lieutenant Thompson interrupted with a worried look on his face, "My computers are showing that only eight percent of our KEW rounds are impacting on the targeted ships. Only a few of the heavy shells are reaching the target, all the lighter rounds are exploding before contacting the ships’ hull."

"How is that possible?" Admiral Jones asked, looking closely at the main view screen above the plot table, one showing a real time image of the enemy vessels. Looking closely, numerous explosions could be seen a short distance away from the Alien ships’ hull while a smaller number actually impacted on the ships.

"Sir I think they have some type of force field, energy shields, around their ships," Lieutenant Thompson said in disbelief as he studied the data his computers were bringing in from the ship’s sensors.

“Like the drones, and even Hostis-Verto. Figures. Couldn’t find another race without seeing advancements that almost make the efforts by the colonies look primitive,” Commander Rodrigues said in disgust, snarling angrily.

Admiral Jones raised an eyebrow looking at Commander Rodrigues, and then turned back to the view screen showing the enemy ships.

"Unfortunately it's quite possible," Admiral Jones said thoughtfully, thinking of some of her studies at Picon Academy, "Takes a tremendous amount of energy to generate an energy screen as a force field around capital class ships and the cost to create and maintain such technology is truly great. So much that the Colonies stopped looking into researching that technology years ago."

Admiral Jones grabbed hold of the CIC operations table as the Prometheus shook from another weapons launch impact. Admiral Jones saw flashing red lights across the damage control console from the corner of her eye, indicating ship damage.

"Damage control teams reporting damage to frames twelve through twenty-six," the damage control officer reported, ordering over the wireless for officers to seal off those areas until the damage control teams could inspect and begin repairs to those sections of the ship.

“Admiral, they hit us with energy beams, blue pulses of lasers that burned through sections of our armor on impact!” Colonel Rush reported in distress.

Admiral Jones took stock of their situation, coldly assessing tactical maneuvers available – considering leaving the marines and Raptor pilots behind on the alien vessel before dismissing the idea.

“So they make up for their small size with their superior defenses and weaponry…,” Admiral Jones muttered to herself quietly, considering her options as she stared at the view screens above the plot table.

“Colonel Rush I want all batteries to concentrate on one fixed point on the ship. Hammer away at the enemy’s defenses until we break through!” Admiral Jones snapped, looking at Rush sharply, expecting to be obeyed in seconds.

“Aye ma’am,” Colonel Rush said eagerly, running his fingers along his control consoles to initiate changes to orders for the weapons covering the ship and sending out orders for the rest of the fleet to follow suit on the other enemy vessels.

Prometheus’ heavy KEWs opened up, unleashing a hail storm of cannon fire, firing on the largest enemy vessel. KEW rounds impacted, going through the energy screen that continued to hold but weakened enough to let a large percentage of the weapons fire to bleed through and damage the ship’s hull. Prometheus opened fire, again and again, relentlessly firing on the same spot repeatedly. Within a few short minutes, the energy field protecting the enemy ship dissipated, their rounds hitting more and more of the alien ship. Until the vibrant blue bubble of energy surrounding the ship disappeared entirely, and Prometheus’ high intensity rounds began burrowing deep into the alien ship.
Hades and Andromeda followed suit, focusing fire on two of the smaller vessels until they could burrow their weapons fire directly against the enemy ships.

Several blue pulses erupted from the opposing vessels with more missiles and cannon fire, impacting along the colonial Battlestars. A number of KEW cannons were destroyed or damaged with several sections of armor buckling under the strain of the enemy’s powerful weapons fire; fires and decompressions ran inside several frames of each of the Battlestars.

The 1600 meter long alien vessel was destroyed as explosions roiled throughout the ship, massive concentrations of KEW fire burrowing deep inside the ship unimpeded by the collapsed energy screen and facing little challenge against the armor not built to withstand high concentrations of explosive rounds without the shields protecting the ship. The ship’s engines detonated leading to the ship finally being destroyed after sustaining heavy damage amidst the ship.

The two 1100 meter long alien vessels Andromeda and Hades had concentrated on likewise fell under the brunt of concentrated KEW fire after the energy screens collapsed. Taking another couple minutes with less munitions being ejected to pummel the enemy ships compared to the capabilities of the larger Titan class Prometheus.

Though cheers broke out among the crews on the colonial ships, there was quickly little room to celebrate. Gunstar Mystic fell under the blue pulses of laser fire from one of the other 1100-meter-long alien ships, with repeated fire burning through the Gunstar’s hull. Unable to take such punishment, the ship was destroyed as flames engulfed the hull; burning away the metal constructions throughout and along the ship and leaving all those inside a quick death in a flash explosion.

Forty nuclear missiles were launched from the alien vessels towards the colonials, apparently hoping to quickly eliminate their opposition and get revenge for their fallen comrades.

“Mass of nuclear missiles launching towards Andromeda ma’am!” Lieutenant Thompson reported in panic.

“They can’t hold off that many missiles, too many would get through point defense and the armor couldn’t hold out against the ones that broke through…” Admiral Jones said, trailing off helplessly as she watched the sure death waiting one of her escort ships, powerless to stop it within the minute it’d take for the ship to be hit.

“Raven is moving to intercept!” Commander Rodrigues interjected loudly in surprise.
Gunstar Raven moved directly in front of her charge she was supposed to defend, adding her defensive fire to Andromeda’s and quickly taking out many of the incoming nukes. Seconds later massive nuclear detonations were registered before Prometheus’ sensors were temporarily shorted out by the combined blast wave putting out massive communication and sensor interference, subsequent EMP’s shorting out any unshielded or damaged equipment in the area.

Admiral Jones waited worriedly as she continued looking at the dradis and view screens above the plot table, waiting for them to reset after the interference ended. Contacts began registering one by one once again on the view screens and dradis consoles as the ship’s systems reset following the interference on sensors ending.

“Status?” Admiral Jones barked impatiently, feeling cold as worry racked her features, goosebumps running along her arms.

“Andromeda is alright! Raven did it!” Commander Rodrigues reported jubilantly, leading several crew members to cheer at the news. A full picture on dradis and the real time view screens showed the full extent of what happened seconds later.

“No… Raven ma’am. The Raven’s gone,” Lieutenant Thompson reported bleakly, eyes wide in shock.

Admiral Jones blinked away tears as the extent of the news hit her troubled mind. She shook of the emotions racking her mind, focusing on what needed to be done and not wanting her crew to see her fall to pieces while they still needed her to lead in combat that was restarting outside Prometheus.

“All batteries return fire on the alien vessel not containing our people! I want our people off the other ship right frakking now so we can end this!” Admiral Jones said viciously, focusing on the rage she felt to overshadow her other feelings, “get those frakking contacts the hell off my dradis!”

“Aye sir,” Colonel Rush replied gladly, offering no opposing argument.

Lieutenant Parrish sent out the general recall order to their teams of marines on the second of the remaining alien vessels, informing them to hurry the frak up.

Prometheus’ heavy bow KEWs opened fire seconds before ten heavy missiles erupted from the bow missile tubes, launching towards the 1100 meter long alien vessel not containing colonial forces. On Prometheus’ view screens, explosions started running across the main body of the alien ship as the heavy KEW rounds slammed through their force field, concentrating on one point to collapse the energy screens. Then the missiles struck and the alien ship vanished under brilliant flashes of light, reappearing moments later showing massive damage and huge gaping wounds burrowing into the ship with fires seen across the jagged rents in the hull. Then other KEW rounds and missiles from the other two Battlestars began to arrive. Every round began to strike the alien ship, until the ship gave way under the heavy concentration of munitions and detonated in a fiery plume as the ship’s reactors went critical.

Raptors quickly maneuvered out of the remaining alien ship, with vipers resuming protective picket lines to safeguard them on their journey back to Prometheus. Once the small craft were safely away from the alien ship, a nuke planted by the marines detonated inside the alien ship, leading to the ship’s destruction that blew fiery debris in all directions.

“Enemy ship destroyed ma’am. Raptors are landing on the portside flightpod now,” Lieutenant Thompson reported.

“Nuclear ordinance wasn’t authorized,” Admiral Jones said questioningly as she turned to Commander Rodrigues.

Commander Rodrigues merely shrugged and raised his eyebrows as if to question the Admiral silently, so what?.

Admiral Jones chose to let it go, willing to accept the unexpected loss of the remaining alien vessel, and turned back to looking at the view screens and dradis above the plot table.

“Send the general recall order to our fighters. Have our main batteries begin firing on the remaining fighters once ours are clear. No need to risk anymore casualties if they’re not necessary,” Admiral Jones ordered.

“Yes ma’am,” Lieutenant Parrish replied dutifully, sending out the Admiral’s orders to have the fleet’s fighters disengage and return to their ships.

Vipers broke off from the dogfights they’d been engaging in or about to start and started heading back to their ships in the colonial fleet. Cannon fire launched from the Battlestars as their fighters got out of the way, battering through the remaining alien fighter craft. The alien craft quickly backed off and tried fleeing on sublight speed, pursued by the Battlestars that continued firing among their ranks, shredding several of the small craft in short order.

Once the fleet’s vipers were back aboard, Admiral Jones ordered the fleet to jump out of the area. Though in the back of her mind there was the thought that she’d likely regret this, she wanted her fleet to get out of the area and wasn’t willing to commit to an all-out slaughter when they didn’t need to – showing mercy to the few remaining enemy fighters outside.

BSG 8 jumped back to where the rest of their fleet had been left behind. Admiral Jones left for her quarters and leaving watch duty to maintain the fleet to Commander Rodrigues. In time the marines would give the Admiral a report on what they learned on their mission, though Jones wanted to give them some time to breath and recuperate along with the rest of the crew.

Several Hours Later
Admiral’s Quarters

Admiral Jones sat across from marine staff Sergeant Jarvis Gale and Commander Rodrigues, leaning back in her chair with a bottle of ambrosia in her hand.

“They did what?!” Admiral Jones said in outrage, gripping her bottle tightly and narrowing her eyes in rage.

“My marines and I found where they’d taken our Raptor pilots. The insect-like aliens were just finishing off the second pilot when we arrived. They ate them ma’am,” Sergeant Jarvis Gale reported in disgust, fighting back bile in his throat at the thought.

Perhaps I should listen to my half-hearted thoughts more often, Admiral Jones thought to herself, considering how she had just had a feeling that they’d run into trouble and how she’d regret letting the alien fighters go out of mercy. She wanted to make them bleed and suffer after hearing what the aliens had done to her people, easily imagining the horror awaiting the pilots and picturing what happened to them in gruesome detail.

Sergeant Gale looked on as the Admiral sat in silence, her face changing from disgust to rage and back and forth as if she couldn’t decide between the two.

“My team also gathered intel from one of the computer consoles we found on our way inside their ship. It took hours for the translations to come through on Prometheus’ computers, but I’d say we recovered valuable information,” Sergeant Gale said.

“I agree Admiral. I found it most illuminating when I read the brief summary of what we recovered on the way here to meet with you,” Commander Rodrigues said.

Admiral Jones was distracted from her thoughts at that and became interested in the rest of the report, trying to put the other news out of her mind.

“We learned that the alien species are called Ovions. They inhabit a pretty large area of space with a number of colonies outside their home world Carillon that contains vast amounts of tylium that allowed the technology advancements we saw on their warships earlier today – bypassing the limits such technology requires since they don’t need to be conservative. They don’t really even have political issues weighing down their advancements, unlike the colonies if the logs we acquired on the Ovions are correct. Most importantly though, we believe the Ovions only began attacking us once they confirmed who we were following our attempts to communicate with them, letting them know we were from the colonies,” Sergeant Gale said.

“What?” Admiral Jones said in confusion, not understanding what Sergeant Gale was alluding to.

“They already knew about the colonies Admiral,” Commander Rodrigues said grimacing slightly at that.

“How is that possible?” Admiral Jones asked, furrowing her eyebrows.

“That’s the interesting bit which was quite illuminating from the report. They know because they came across another colonial warship in the past. Around their sector of space,” Commander Rodrigues said, looking at Admiral Jones meaningfully.

“Out here? That’s…” Admiral Jones said trailing off, considering the implications.

“Yes Ma’am. Illogical, crazy, and just damned odd, all words I’d used to describe this. However, we have a duty to look into saving our own and not leave them to the fate the Ovions would have forced upon them if they got their hands on the humans aboard that colonial warship. We have some indications on where they were previously, and we should be able to get to them while avoiding the Ovions with knowledge of some of their fleet deployments,” Commander Rodrigues said.

“I agree that we can’t let the Ovions get ahold of other people from the colonies if we can do anything to stop them. Very well, we’ll start sending out Raptors on a search pattern once we get the fleet within range of where they were heading based on encounters with the Ovions,” Admiral Jones said.

“Of course it’s also worth noting the implications of our latest discovery ma’am. The Ovions have now had two encounters with people from the colonies and apparently learned we can be a delicacy for them. Any peace agreement between them and the colonies couldn’t possibly hold out. And based on some details recovered from their ship’s logs, we know their tylium supplies are beginning to thin out given their massive use for their fleet,” Sergeant Gale said.

“Eventually they’ll head to the colonies on their path for looking for large sources of tylium,” Commander Rodrigues added, finishing Sergeant Gale’s thought.

Admiral Jones paled at hearing that and groaned aloud, “So we went out looking a safe place away from the Cylons in case we needed it and just found another enemy eager to kill everyone in the colonies. Great.”

“Aye. Not quite what we hoped for, but I’m sure Admiral Corman will see the significance of our discovery as not entirely detrimental. The Ovions would be a problem sometime in the future because of their need for fuel, whether we knew about them or not. If anything, maybe the Admiralty could use this knowledge to get the government to start preparing for war and to defend the colonies. There may be naysayers doubting the threat of the Cylons since we haven’t seen or heard from them for so long, but news of these Ovions and the very real threat they pose…” Commander Rodrigues said hopefully, trailing off.

“Could get the colonies to start mobilizing and reverse the decisions in weakening our security and the power of our armed forces. Though that’s assuming the government doesn’t scape goat us and claim we started a possible conflict with the Ovions,” Admiral Jones said, gritting her teeth.

“Surely they couldn’t do that ma’am?” Sergeant Gale said in shock and disbelief.

“I wouldn’t put it past the politicians based on their position in disarming the colonies over the years,” Commander Rodrigues said, feeling disgust at the thought.

The three colonial fleet personnel remained silent for a moment as they considered the idea.

“Well an equally morose topic is the state of the fleet. Andromeda has moderate damage to many sections across the ship, and all three Battlestars have a fair number of weapons platforms lost or damaged from our battle. Not to mention the casualties taken.

Sadly, we were kind of lucky that we could break through their shields with concentrated KEW fire; otherwise things would’ve ended a lot worse. Overall their ships’ technology really took a toll on us, and realistically unless the colonies advance a lot we’d be looking at a blood bath in a war with the Ovions,” Commander Rodrigues said.

“Hades had already had practice against similar technology among the Hostis-Verto, and the rest of the fleet on a smaller scale against the drones. Still, you’re right that we can’t rely on KEW fire concentrations to turn the tide against their technology. You can bet they’ll be making more advancements and quite possibly make it so such a thing can’t happen again so easily in the future,” Admiral Jones said, frowning slightly.

“Yes ma’am,” Commander Rodrigues said, nodding in agreement.

“And our casualties?” Admiral Jones asked, dreading the answer.

“Approximately 300 vipers, and several hundred among the Battlestars. Plus 1500 personnel from the lost Gunstars,” Commander Rodrigues said sadly.

Admiral Jones felt anguish at their losses, a tear streaming down he face from her left eye.

“We’ll need to train replacement pilots and get more vipers available from storage,” Admiral Jones said, hollowly.

“Aye, sir. It’ll be done. I’ll see to our Battlestars cycling through the shipyard to get back up to par for combat, as quickly as possible,” Commander Rodrigues said.

“Good. I don’t like the idea of being vulnerable in case we do run into the Ovions again,” Admiral Jones said.

After some adjustments among the fleet with cycling among the shipyards drydocks and getting a training program to begin replacing their losses over the next few days, BSG 8 began moving out again in search of the newly discovered colonial warship full of comrades from the colonies that needed their help…

(Note: The Ovions are mentioned in the original series of Galactica, and a real threat against the colonies. I tweaked the details a bit. Realistically, the new series was slightly less credible than the original series given how many hundreds to thousands of lightyears the colonials travelled among the stars to escape the Cylons. The Hostis-Verto are based loosely on the parasitic Somnians from the original series, though after consideration I didn’t much like the details for the Somnians so I tweaked and changed things to get a more realistic or better addition to the story. Then there’s the drones: an interesting idea of machines relatively worse than the Cylons since they weren’t made by humans and unlike Cylons they’re fully machines, unfeeling and uncaring, without a race like humans to make that change... Ironic, but they and their masters are based loosely on the original series Cylons, which had the Cylons as a reptilian race that designed the robotic versions that outlived their flesh and blood counterparts.
Undoubtedly some might worry about the mention of other intelligent life, turning away from the main storyline. I assure you the Cylons are the main focus of this story. The nu-bsg idea that no life besides humans existed however will not be perpetrated, as is demonstrated with the use of the ovions. I am open to the idea of sequel stories in the future around the other intelligent life forms brought up, which I hope saying now isn’t a bad thing and other people might actually like the idea.)

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:50 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:01 am
Posts: 20
1x04 Part 2: Lost Haven Reclaimed

Aprilius 9th, 2354
Deep Space
Battlestar Prometheus

“I see it. I still can’t believe it,” Admiral Jones said, eyes wide in shock as she looked at the enormous ship filling up the view screens above the CIC plot table.

“We knew they’d be around here from the Ovions’ records and it just took some poking around before our Raptors pinpointed their exact location to where they were hiding from a search pattern. Still, the size of Haven is indeed awe inspiring, sir,” Commander Rodrigues said, nodding in agreement with the look of amazement Admiral Jones still wore.

Before Battlestar Prometheus and the rest of BSG 8 stood the battered and damaged colonial Heavy Warstar Haven, the first and last of her kind.

The largest ship ever constructed in the colonies at 4000 meters in length.

Built on the same design as a Battlestar with a crouching alligator formed elongated head of the ship, and two twin flight-pods on either side of the ship, Haven was a larger size with appropriate increased weaponry across the hull and more spacious inside…

Burn marks and missing hull plating was apparent across the vast surface of the ship. Several weapons emplacements were missing or bent sideways and thus rendered inoperable.

"She was intended to serve as the main command ship for the entire fleet, while Atlantia would have served only as a supporting command ship. Though, I imagine if Admiral Corman had it his way, Haven would’ve been kept secret and used as part of the reserve fleet among Operation Ragnarok. A rather large surprise to any enemy of the colonies if necessary,” Admiral Jones said, nodding in approval.

“Kind of doubt that Haven could’ve been kept a secret given her size, sir,” Commander Rodrigues said laughing lightly, “Still, she would’ve been an incredible boon given her strength and may yet still be if we can get her returned to the colonies and completed to full strength.”

“Indeed,” Admiral Jones said with a nod, continuing to gaze at the massive warship highlighted on the view screen above, “After her disappearance, she became the largest and most expensive failure in colonial history. Fleet Command was blamed, of course, because they insisted that the ship be built. Last I heard before we left, they used Haven’s loss to further efforts to swiftly downsize the fleet."

“Mother frakkers…,” Commander Rodrigues said, shaking his head. Suddenly, he grinned, bemused, “Well they won’t be able to justify downsizing anymore, not once word reaches the colonies of alien threats out here.”

“Yes…” Admiral Jones said thoughtfully, giving the massive warship one last once-over before turning away.

“Anyway, let’s get setup to meet aboard Haven with the command staff and get underway ASAP. We’re still technically in enemy space and if we found Haven, so can the Ovions. We’ll need to get moving and quickly,” Admiral Jones said, narrowing her eyes and clenching her fists in anticipation.

“Aye, sir. Though does that mean we’re done with our mission? We just head back home?” Commander Rodrigues asked, grinning at Admiral Jones.

Though he felt disappointed at not getting to explore further, the rather large reminder of home sitting outside Prometheus strengthened the feelings of homesickness and longing to return to the colonies which had been eating away at him during their long journey.

“I think Admiral Corman himself would agree that what we’ve found is important enough to end our mission ahead of schedule. The likelihood of other enemies to the colonies and the importance in returning a strategic asset like Haven are simply far more important,” Admiral Jones said solemnly.
30 minutes later

Heavy Warstar Haven

Admiral Jones and Commander Rodrigues disembarked from their raptor, quickly dismissing the deck crew standing at attention on the hanger deck.

Dozens of additional DC teams left other raptors arriving on Haven and began moving out to aid the DC teams working throughout the massive warship to repair the damage present.

Walking through the numerous sections of the massive warship, Admiral Jones and Commander Rodrigues grimaced as they saw the sight of the conditions of the ship firsthand.

Entire sections had blinking lights along entire corridors, sheets of metal mangled and twisted as they were bent inward from damage outside the ship…

Admiral Jones and Commander Rodrigues continued on their way to reach the ship’s commanding officer. Occasionally, they sent out orders to DC teams on changes of where to concentrate to repair the ship.

Haven, Commander’s Quarters

Admiral Jones did a double-take as she took in the imposing figure before her. Six-foot seven, with spiked black hair and piercing black eyes, the figure was a large man with a bulging muscular frame. She relaxed as he went to sit down as she and Commander Rodrigues entered the commanding officer’s quarters.

“You are the commanding officer, then?” Admiral Jones asked, raising an eyebrow as she appraised the colonial officer before her. He made no move to salute or otherwise follow protocol, relaxing as he reclined in his chair across from the Admiral and her subordinate.

“Suppose I am…” Major David Magnus mused, chuckling darkly, his wide grinning face turned sour as he remembered, sadness tinging his voice, “I’m afraid Commander Cifer and Colonel Skylar were lost among many of the crew in the time since Haven’s been active. I was the next in line for command… Sir.”

“Well, you’ve lasted this long and from the records the Ovions kept of your encounters with them, you did quite well. I’m field promoting you to Commander as of this moment, Commander Magnus,” Admiral Jones said firmly.

“Sir!” Commander Magnus said, a little more volume in his deep and husky voice, his eyes widening briefly. He saluted the Admiral in respect, slightly surprised but taking his promotion in stride.

“Now, DC teams from the fleet are streaming in, so the repairs your ship obviously needs as seen from the outside will begin immediately. We need to leave shortly as I’m sure you can understand and agree with. If Haven’s FTLs can’t be made operational quickly, then our deck crews have orders to dock Andromeda and Hades, and make it possible to tow Haven along in FTL jumps.
I would like to hear your story of what happened in the meantime and a rundown of what Haven needs to get operational in short order, as soon as possible,” Admiral Jones said sternly.

“Yes, sir,” Commander Magnus said, sighing loudly as he began remembering the sad events that had led Haven to getting here and explained to the Admiral what happened.

38 months ago - Februarius 8th, 2351
Confederation Station, in space three hours sublight travel to Picon
Heavy Warstar Haven CIC

Commander Marcel Cifer stood in the center of the large CIC, checking on the various sections of the ship to prepare for a jump.

“Good to see we’re finally getting out of dock even if it’s just for this test. Took them long enough to get the ship up and ready,” Commander Marcel Cifer said excitedly.

“Aye, sir. Though we’re still relatively lightly armed with about half our weapons not yet functional,” Colonel Llora Skylar said, rolling her eyes.

“Pfft. You’d think with all the cubits pushed into getting Haven up and running the weapons would’ve been prioritized so they were all online,” Commander Cifer scoffed, “Still, even if we had to face combat, we’ve got enough teeth as is to rip apart pretty much any conceivable enemy.”

“The firepower of around three mercury class Battlestars combined. Stronger than any other Warstar ever created, and meant to literally take on a war by herself. Yes, even with a fraction of her weapons, she’s too deadly and stubborn to be in trouble in combat no matter her situation sir,” Colonel Skylar said in agreement, smiling slightly, though she still wished Haven could be at 100% on her maiden voyage.

“Well if nothing else we’ll get to see Haven jump farther than any other ship in the fleet could dream of. Given her eight large and powerful engines, along with the Olympus class FTL, giving the ship a jump range of around 100 light years. Should provide an interesting test to see today,” Commander Cifer said, nodding slightly.

“Indeed, sir,” Colonel Skylar said.

“Let’s get a message out to that civilian engineer to finish up her work on the ship’s FTL systems so we can get going. I’m starting to get antsy about waiting and I’m excited to see our beloved ship in action,” Commander Cifer said, eyes sparkling in excitement and in anticipation.

“Aye, sir. I’ll make sure she hurries up and gets off our frakking ship post haste. No need to take her with us for the test after all. You know how much I detest the civilian contractors from Intrinsic Espada Engineering,” Colonel Skylar said, grinning. Her eyes flared briefly with anger, thinking of the civilian contractors.

Waste of space, and unnecessary, people aboard taking credit for the arduous work her crew and the overall efforts the colonial fleet had put in. All for civilian contractors to swoop in at the end and get all the glory. There’d be hell to pay if they made mistakes that led to her ship so much as messing up its paint job because of them… Colonel Skylar shook her head clearing her thoughts to focus as Haven’s crew members called out each section of the ship one at a time were ready to go.

“Thank you, Colonel. Knew I could count on you to feel the same,” Commander Cifer said, closing his eyes and sighing with satisfaction at soon getting his wish.

10 minutes later

A tall woman with flowing blonde hair in an orange jumpsuit, a typical fleet engineer’s outfit, walked aboard a raptor, the ramp walkway closing up behind her as she was the last to board. She grinned looking around the ship one last time, catching the eye of a large pilot watching nearby.

She cheekily waved at him, her grin becoming flirtatious. Her full face came into view as the raptor’s hatch closed, a person matching D’Anna’s appearance…

The hatch closed over the raptor, sealing shut, the pilots aboard engaging final checks before lift off from the ship was engaged.

“Let the Colonel know that pesky blonde civilian engineer she hates so much is now away from the ship,” Major David Magnus said dryly, a note of boredom in his voice and his eyes drooping slightly, as he spoke into his earpiece connected wirelessly to the ship’s CIC. He watched as the raptor carrying the civilian engineer, and her assistants, lifted off and began heading away from Haven.

“Aye, sir,” the communications officer replied, then relayed the CAGs message to the Colonel and Commander in CIC.

“Good,” Colonel Skylar said, grinning mischievously and turning to her CO in expectation.

“Great to hear. Now let’s get going!” Commander Cifer said excitedly, raising his voice to ensure the crew heard him and knew he was talking to them.

“Yes, sir!” several crew members replied quickly.

Haven began moving farther away from the shipyard docks that had been her home for so long, while the crew finished preparations to jump the ship.

“FTL jump in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Jumping!” Lieutenant Anabel Drake said happily, raising her arms and jumping up and down slightly in excitement.

Commander Cifer glanced at the jubilant operations officer in bemusement before looking ahead as the ship FTL jumped, and quickly arrived at its destination.

Haven jumped away from the colonies on her intended single one hundred light-year jump as a test for the ship’s new, state of the art, systems. Everything went ahead like clockwork. A bright flash surrounded the massive ship and they were displaced, arriving at their new coordinates as planned. Then it all went wrong…

“We’ve arrived out of our FTL jump sir,” Lieutenant Drake reported smiling widely, but her smile turned down into an uncharacteristic frown moments later as she gave the FTL computer her full attention, noticing something odd.

Commander Cifer was grinning in excitement and ready to begin looking around at the historic jump point for his ship’s first of many amazing accomplishments. He was shaking Colonel Skylar’s hand, exchanging congratulations as he noticed the operations officer hunched over one of the control consoles.

He turned serious as he noticed the operations officer’s sudden change in attitude. Rarely was the Lieutenant not smiling or excited. It was just in her nature, an integral part of her personality, always appearing bright and bubbly. Commander Cifer moved closer to the Lieutenant knowing something was wrong, a sinking feeling in his stomach.

“Report, Lieutenant,” Commander Cifer said, narrowing his eyes in suspicion.

“Sir… I don’t know what’s causing this, but the FTL computer immediately started plotting another jump and spun up the FTL drives for a second jump sir,” Lieutenant Drake said, frowning in confusion and consternation.

“What do you mean Lieutenant? We’re not scheduled for a jump until after surveying the area. Could it be a malfunction?” Commander Cifer asked angrily, not liking his brand new ship becoming full of bugs in her systems right off the bat.

“Sir, like I said I don’t quite understand what’s going on,” Lieutenant Drake said, scratching her head and narrowing her eyes at the FTL computer in annoyance, “It seems though that the FTL is carrying out commands inputted to jump the ship again in short order. It’s already set to go within 30 more seconds, sir.”

“Can you stop it and fix it, Anna?” Commander Cifer asked.

“No sir. I’ll have to get into the system after the jump. It’s just programmed to jump too soon after our first jump to do much of anything before…” Lieutenant Drake said trailing off as the ship jumped while she was midsentence explaining the situation, “That.”

“Hmmm,” Commander Cifer said, frowning in annoyance.

“Getting right on it, now, sir!” Lieutenant Drake said, mock saluting the Commander and smiling again as she started going through the FTL systems, fingers running across the keyboard at breakneck speed.

A few moments later Lieutenant Drake began opening up the FTL computers and narrowed her eyes at the machine as it disobeyed her, not giving what she wanted right away.

As the Lieutenant worked, the ship jumped again after a few minutes. The ship was following preset commands in its computers to jump long distances in regular intervals at the shortest time possible for the ship to keep up with.

Most of the crew was used to the nauseating sensation, the feeling of dizziness, which accompanied an FTL jump. None had experienced so many jumps in quick succession. Much of the CIC crew put a hand to their heads, steadying themselves. One technician couldn’t hold it in any longer, moving his head to the side away from his computer console and threw up. The rancid odor caused another technician across from him to follow suit…

“Get it fixed now, Lieutenant! I’d like to not break our ship right away or get lost somewhere if we continue jumping!” Colonel Skylar said sternly.

“On it, sir! However, the coding on the FTL computers is extensive. It’s blocking all attempts to stop the systems from engaging in an FTL jump. I can’t understand it, but it’s almost like someone intentionally programmed these commands to go off when we jumped away, and it’s nowhere near done.

If I can’t stop it, we’ll keep blindly jumping long distances and eventually face trouble with the ships systems or we could run into some celestial body like a sun,” Lieutenant Drake said, turning to her superiors with a look of fear on her face…

30 minutes later

Haven appeared once more out of FTL. Her systems shorted out and several consoles and machinery detonated in small explosions from overloading, creating sparks that caused several fires. Several crewmembers were strewn about the ship, many with small injuries and more than one on their knees puking their guts out after so many FTL jumps in a short time.

“Sorry sir, I couldn’t get it in time. The programming’s just so complex. However, we can do a complete reboot now that the systems are down, and purge the programming entirely,” Lieutenant Drake said.

“Do it. And someone find out where the frack we are, now!” Colonel Skylar ordered heatedly, flustered as she kneaded her head with her hand to fight back her own nausea.

Present day

“We’d jumped out over a thousand light years away from the colonies. Thankfully no permanent damage was sustained and casualties were minimal, but we had lost our way home… Without any recognizable markers on our star charts, we were completely lost. Unable to return to the colonies even when the FTL got fixed,” Commander Magnus said, chuckling darkly.

“Guess that explains why you couldn’t try and get back right away and avoid the Ovions altogether,” Commander Rodrigues said, nodding in understanding.

“Did you find out the cause of what happened?” Admiral Jones asked, looking at Commander Magnus intensely.

“At the time no, but we later figured out the programming had been inputted when the civilian engineer had been aboard. It was considered the most logical explanation given how convenient it was that she had left the ship right before Haven jumped and started the inputted commands placed in her systems.

Quite possibly Haven was intended to be lost or destroyed, for reasons unknown. That soon became the least of our worries not long after we arrived. When the Ovions found us,” Commander Magnus said, his expression dark, teeth gritted, as he remembered.

6 Months After Haven Left The Colonies - August 16th, 2351

“Six unknown contacts on dradis sir!” Lieutenant Drake reported excitedly, jumping up and down at the prospect of something new finally happening after the ship had been drifting aimlessly through space since they’d arrived so far from the colonies. With no way back, as they were without any familiar interstellar markers to pinpoint a roadmap home.

“Open a channel to them, standard hostile ID challenge. Though, be a little formal since we’re likely not coming across someone from the colonies at this distance from home,” Commander Cifer said, looking meaningfully at the communications officer.

“Aye, sir,” the communications officer replied, then began speaking over the wireless, with the headset speaker she wore over her head, to the unknown vessels, “Attention unknown vessels. This is the Heavy Warstar Haven of the Colonial Fleet from the Twelve Colonies of Kobol, of a race known as human beings. We are on a somewhat unintended exploration mission. We come in peace and mean you no harm. However, if we are met with hostile action, we will use deadly force and return fire in due course.”

Commander Cifer nodded in approval at the communications officer’s wording, waiting the next few minutes in anxious silence before a response came in.

“Sir, I’m getting a response. A verbal one which sounds like clicking, perhaps their form of talking, and a typed message. It’s not in colonial standard so we can’t understand it, but the ship’s computers are working at translating it,” the communications officer said.

“Not like we’ve had a lot of practice with alien languages. Let’s see if anything useful comes out of the computers,” Colonel Skylar said skeptically, quirking an eyebrow.

A few minutes later the computers finished a rudimentary translation. Though with time and further exposure to the foreign language, the translation software would get better and faster. The ship’s onboard V.I. (Virtual Intelligence) system, helped run through the translation software at a faster pace to get the first translation out as fast as possible. Few ships in the colonial fleet had such technology, and without which foreign language translation might’ve proved impossible.

“Sir, I’ve got the response, as best as our translation could make of it for now. Message reads: Welcome to the people of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol. We belong to the defense forces of Carillon, of a race known as Ovions. Our people have met other races before and found them to be hostile. If your words of coming in peace prove to be false then know we are prepared, and it will not end well for you. Until your trespass upon our area of space proves to be of hostile intent, we will not fire upon you. To begin dialogs between our peoples, a meeting of a small group of ambassadors among either of our ships would be advised, if you find it agreeable,” the communications officer said.
Commander Cifer and Colonel Skylar looked at each other, eyebrows raised.

“Tell them we accept their offer and are sending a single transport over. Have a raptor prepped and sent over. Lieutenant Trenton has some experience in diplomatic matters if I remember correctly and can be escorted by a few marines to the Ovions’ command ship,” Commander Cifer said.

“Better to see their ship and get Intel on the Ovions than to let them do so?” Colonel Skylar said mischievously, grinning slightly.

“Yes. Though we’ll be putting our people more at risk, hopefully the benefits outweigh the risk. We can’t even send out an escort with the raptor since we need to keep this as peaceful as possible. They’ll be sitting ducks if this goes south,” Commander Cifer said quietly.

“Yes, sir. The Ovions sent recognition of our intent and are allowing us to proceed,” the communications officer said.

Over the next few minutes the marines and Lieutenant Trenton boarded a raptor and then made their way over to the Ovions’ larger ship. A few more minutes passed with Haven’s crew anxiously waiting as the raptor crew made contact with the Ovions after boarding their ship.

A report from Lieutenant Trenton showed that initial contact went about as well as expected, with the use of translation software in devices that could be latched to the colonials’ head that the Ovions had in order to ensure both sides understood each other. Contact was made peacefully, and everything seemed to be going alright. Not long after is when it all went wrong…

“Sir, we received a transmission from Lieutenant Trenton’s team, whatever was said was overrun by the sound of gunfire,” the communications officer said.

“They’re shooting at the Ovions?” Colonel Skylar said incredulously.

“Do we know any more about what happened?” Commander Cifer asked.

“No, sir,” the communications officer replied, looking closely at the instruments before her, “Lieutenant Trenton’s transmission cut out: we’ve lost all contact.”

“A misunderstanding?” Colonel Skylar wondered aloud dubiously, looking at Commander Cifer.

“Doesn’t matter at this point if what I think is about to happen...” Commander Cifer said trailing off.

“Ovion ships are turning towards us and appear to be powering up weapons sir!” Lieutenant Drake exclaimed in alarm.

Colonel Skylar turned to Commander Cifer, silently awaiting his response.

Commander Cifer stood silently looking at the view screens above the plot table while the Ovions moved closer to Haven. With a heavy heart Commander Cifer said words he truly didn’t wish to have to say, “Action stations. Set condition one. Gunnery crews are to take aim and be prepared to return fire if the Ovions fire on us.”

“Aye, sir,” Lieutenant Drake replied, sending the message to go to condition one throughout the ship while the communications officer relayed the Commander’s orders to the gunnery crews.

“This’ll spiral out of control fast, sir. Could be the beginning of a war,” Colonel Skylar said cautiously, looking to her commander.

“Probably. It’s out of our hands now. We will defend ourselves as is our right if they attack us. I don’t know what happened on their ship and frankly, I don’t care right now. If they attack, they’ll be the ones escalating the situation. No matter what reasoning they might have for doing so,” Commander Cifer said angrily, gripping the plot table tightly.

“Very well, Commander,” Colonel Skylar said, then turned and began relaying orders to the crew to prepare for battle now that it seemed all but inevitable.

Heavy Warstar Haven came fully online as the crew aboard moved and readied themselves as well as the ship for combat, with the ship’s weapons beginning to pick out targets. The Ovion ships closed to point blank range around Haven, while powering up their own weapons.

“Sir, the ship’s sensors are detecting something odd about the Ovion ships. I think… They could have energy shields, sir!” Lieutenant Drake said in shock, absorbed in the data she was receiving at her station.

Commander Cifer and Colonel Skylar shared a grim look, neither liking the implications of the information they were receiving being accurate.

Colonel Skylar looked back at the view screen showing the image of an Ovion ship and had a sharp intake of breath, before exclaiming, “They’re firing!”

Blue pulses of light were visible on Haven’s view screens as the Ovions fired on the colonial warship. Haven’s heavy armor held up against the onslaught of raw power as the blue pulses impacted across the ship’s hull, with a layer of armor being burned through and several weapons platforms in the line of fire detonating in secondary explosions.

The crew held onto their stations or got knocked around as Haven shook from the impact.

“Sit-rep!” Commander Cifer ordered, grimacing angrily as he kept a firm grip on the plot table.

“KEW cannons 18 through 23 were quite literally incinerated in the blast, sir. The armor held where the weapons fire from all the Ovion ships impacted, but DC (damage control) teams are reporting markers of stress on the superstructure from the impact and layers of armor being melted through. Concentrated fire on a single point wouldn’t take long to toll heavy damage,” Colonal Skylar reported, quickly going through reports coming into CIC.

“Those were high intensity energy beams, akin to lasers, sir!” Lieutenant Drake reported, her eyes going wide and reading through information coming to her station eagerly.

“No fighters in the air yet, sir. Just us and the capital class ships. Should we launch vipers?” Colonel Skylar asked anxiously.

“They’re gauging our strength, or they’d have launched fighters before now. No, we’ll match them and gauge their strength in return. If we need to, we can retreat without fighters needing to return to the ship first,” Commander Cifer said determinedly.

“It’s a pain that so many of our weapons aren’t online to bring our full strength to bear,” Colonel Skylar said dully, narrowing her eyes at the view screens showing the Ovions.

Commander Cifer chuckled quietly. He glared at the view screens showing the Ovion warships coming about, spread out in front of Haven in a staggered formation. They slowly began maneuvering to put themselves in a position to encircle Haven and fire at her from all sides.

“All weapons are to commence firing on the Ovions,” Commander Cifer ordered.

“Aye, sir,” Colonel Skylar said, relaying orders sternly to crew members around the ship.
Haven’s Heavy KEWs began pumping out rounds towards the Ovion ships, followed by missiles launching at the Ovions.

Heavy shells and high explosive rounds impacted along the Ovion ships. The energy screens surrounding the ships impeded the oncoming weapons fire, but the heavy fire continued pummeling the shields until rounds began piercing through. Missiles fired added to explosive weapons fire ramming into the Ovion ships.

Despite not having much more than half her weapons fully functioning, Haven was no ship to be trifled with lightly as the Ovions were rapidly learning.

Haven’s weapons fire focused on the nearest ship, 1100 meters in length, and pummeled the ship into submission quickly with the majority of her weapons firing all across the ship.

Out in space, it appeared to be a light show as the vibrant blue bubble of energy forming the shields around the Ovion ship were continuously harassed by yellow KEW rounds impacted across the vast majority of the ship, with ripples across the bubble of energy forming as the shields strained.

First the energy screen was knocked down and then rounds began penetrating deep into the ship until the Ovion ship succumbed to the explosions roiling inside its guts and detonated in a large explosion.
“Remaining five ships evading the debris and pulling around for return fire, sir!” Colonel Skylar reported.

The two larger Ovion ships at 1600 and 1900 meters in length moved to the forefront while the other three smaller ships backed away behind them to provide supporting fire, the combined fleet firing lasers at Haven at full strength. The force of the impact shook Haven violently, the ship careening to starboard and the strain seeming to make the ship scream in agony. Layers of armor peeled off from the impact and the weapons fire super-heated the metallic structure of Haven, melting straight through the armor, creating hull breaches and starting fires inside the ship. Over a dozen KEW platforms were ripped through by the weapons fire, being taken offline or outright obliterated.

“Heavy damage to starboard and casualties climbing, sir!” Colonel Skylar called out from the main DC control panels console showing an array of red lights up and down Haven’s starboard, signifying hull breaches and fires present.

Commander Cifer narrowed his eyes at the view screens, popping his dislocated left arm back into place painfully. Several CIC crew members were slumped at their stations sporting their own injuries, with medics helping those they could and moving away those that had already passed into the next life.

“Are enough KEWs still functioning for combat functionality?” Commander Cifer asked coldly.

“Aye, sir. 60% are still working of the original amount we started with since only half were online since we launched from the colonies,” Colonel Skylar said, briefly glancing over the console showing the ship’s weapons systems which showed a series of red lights signifying damage or destruction of KEW cannon and defensive turret mounts across the ship. Over two-thirds were lit up with red.

“Have them all target the 1600 meter Ovion ship. I want all launch tubes filled with nukes and launching at the other larger Ovion ship as we come about, turning our Starboard side away from the Ovions,” Commander Cifer ordered angrily.

“Sir?!” Colonel Skylar exclaimed in shock. Nuclear launch orders had been scarce, even going as far back as the Cylon war, and had never been taken lightly.

“You heard me, Colonel. Haven is the best the colonies have to offer, but even she can only take so much punishment that the Ovions seem to be powerfully and effectively dishing out. We need to end this now and get the frack out of here. Or we’re dead,” Commander Cifer said, giving Colonel Skylar a hard look, staring into her eyes.

Colonel Skylar stood still for a moment, locked in place by indecision as she stared at Commander Cifer.

“Aye, sir,” Colonel Skylar said finally, turning to relay the new orders throughout the ship.

After Haven took another blast from the Ovions’ lasers, she unleashed her return fire in force. All the KEWs fired on the 1600-meter-long Ovion ship, pummeling at the ship repeatedly and mercilessly; breaking down the shield in time.

Over sixty nuclear missiles launched towards the 1900-meter-long Ovion ship at the same time. Catching the Ovions slightly off guard. Point defense cannons on the Ovion ship opened up and fired at the nukes destroying several as they closed distance. Over twenty impacted on the Ovion ship, detonating in a massive wave of explosive power. The combined megatons of the nukes incinerating the ship even as secondary explosions with the fuel aboard setting aflame added to the destructive power, ripping apart the Ovion ship.

At such close range, neither Haven nor the other Ovion ship could evade as debris making it through the explosions incinerating the large Ovion ship streamed towards them.

The weakened 1600 meter long Ovion ship broke apart as the wreckage tore through the ship.
Haven was hit by a very large piece of debris among various shrapnel, tearing through the ship’s armor and blasting Haven backward through space.

Fires raged inside Haven even as hull breaches opening areas of the ship to space snatched away crew members to the cold blackness of death waiting outside. Emergency alarms rang throughout the ship.

Screaming could be heard among several crew members as they shook from pain, loss, and sheer shock at what they could see inside the ship.

Lieutenant Drake pulled herself up, moving away a male crew member that had thrown himself across her to protect against shattering glass that had subsequently claimed his life.

“Commander?” Lieutenant Drake said tentatively, looking around for the commanding officers, knowing they needed to get the crew working to get the ship up and running and escape the Ovions.
Lieutenant Drake felt despair as she looked on at Commander Cifer’s body, blood gushing out from numerous wounds. She could feel it within her that he was simply gone. Looking to the left, she saw Colonel Skylar close to the Commander with her arm reaching out to the fallen Commander. Frozen in petrified shock, Drake could only look on as Colonel Skylar closed her eyes in defeat and succumbed to the significant wounds on her own person.

Drake’s blood curling scream rang throughout the ship, long and loud, unleashing the anger and shocked despair within all at once.

Present day

“Our casualties were heavy in that first battle. Over a thousand crew members were lost, with even more injured. Both commanding officers were lost at the end, and the tactical officer, taking it hard, still enforced order in the ship and got us to jump out as quickly as possible.

I made my way to CIC as quickly as possible when I heard the full extent of what happened and took command,” Commander Magnus said, eyes narrowing and feeling uneasy as the memories of that day rolled through his mind graphically.

“From that point on, the Ovions hunted us. We would jump farther away, go days without seeing them, only for them to eventually catch up with us. With no other options I ordered Haven to search out targets of the Ovions and strike back, hit them hard enough to weaken them and allow us time to escape. We destroyed a number of their warships and installations in their territory over the past few years in that endeavor and finally got away.

We found this area to hide away from the Ovions. Which your fleet managed to find, clearly more capable of predicting our tactics to escape the Ovions than they were... We’ve been fixing the damage across the ship the best we could with what we’ve had in the meantime, and we were considering our options in what to do next without a clear fix on where home was,” Commander Magnus said darkly.

Admiral Jones and Commander Rodrigues stood, slack-jawed, in shock staring at Magnus.

Admiral Jones looked down, rubbing her eyes and shook her head. She turned back to Magnus, taking in his look of wildness and the air of danger about him with new appreciation.

Commander Rodrigues listened to reports coming over his communications headset, a small black earpiece over his left ear, receiving information on the ship’s status that the Prometheus’ deck crew chief had compiled. Their ship’s chief engineer had spoken with Haven’s deck crew and looked over the ship to decide what needed to be done for Haven in the time Prometheus and Haven’s commanding officers had caught up on Commander Magnus’ account of Haven’s adventures.

“Haven’s FTL drives are functioning Admiral, but several of the ship’s engines need repairs that would be lengthy. The chief’s suggesting tying in one of the Battlestars’ FTL drives in a combined jump. We can boost Haven to the required level and can still sustain a farther jump with our FTL’s tied in thanks to Havens systems. Should be safe enough, and the shipyard can begin repairs on Haven in between our jumps back to the colonies,” Commander Rodrigues said.

“I see. That’s good news. How long are we talking to get home?” Admiral Jones asked, raising an eyebrow in surprise.

“With Haven somewhat slowing us down, we’ll be taking a number of additional months of travelling to return. Still, we’ll be within our original target range on when we were meant to return home,” Commander Rodrigues said.

“Very well. Let the chief know he’s to begin prepping immediately. If we can go within another hour or two, then we do so. Also, I want to gain distance away from Ovion space, so I want consecutive jumps immediately after as far as we can get as fast as possible,” Admiral Jones said.

“Yes, sir,” Commander Rodrigues said, getting up and leaving to oversee getting Haven and the fleet ready to go in person.

“We have a number of reserve personnel aboard the Avondale. For now, we can bring some of them aboard Haven to supplement your crew. We can probably bring more DC units over to help with repairs that way as well,” Admiral Jones said.

“Thank you, sir,” Commander Magnus said gratefully.

“Is there anything else we can go over or that you need for Haven?” Admiral Jones asked, looking at the commander and sensing he had something on his mind.

“No, sir. It’s just… I have to give you my opinion over our encounters with the Ovions. I don’t think they actually tried to take us out after our first battle with them. Granted we ran into them by chance, but when we fought it seemed like they could’ve done more. I think they were gauging Haven’s capabilities and strength. Possibly they wanted to capture more of our people for finding more information about the colonies,” Commander Magnus said.

Admiral Jones was silent for a moment, considering the Commander’s words.

“You could be right. The Ovions clearly have a technological edge, but Haven outclassed them with sheer mass and blunt unrefined firepower. If they could make a ship the size of Haven with shields and their other advancements…

I shudder to think of what that would mean for us. You could be right that they possibly gauged Haven in battle to get more data on the ship, to that end – building something similar. They may also have wanted more information from capturing people, but sadly that wouldn’t be the only reason to capture your crew. We learned in our own encounter with the Ovions that they have a taste for human kind. Quite simply, they might’ve wanted to eat your crew, Commander,” Admiral Jones said, grimacing.

Commander Magnus turned pale and grew horrified at that, gathering himself together before continuing his argument, “Though they went to a good deal of trouble, so that alone couldn’t have been it sir.”

“Well if they suffered losses, certainly. Not quite feasible to go through so much effort for such a small catch… Unless they wanted a bigger source of ‘food’. Like say, the colonies. Ripe with billions of humans,” Admiral Jones said coldly, gripping the chair she sat in tightly, her hands turning into fists.

“My gods, sir, you don’t think they could do that?” Commander Magnus asked in shock and horror.

“They’re quite possibly capable of it. If not that, we know they’ll eventually come our way in their search for tylium. Either way, the Ovions would be greatly interested in the colonies, and I doubt there’s anything we can do to dissuade them except with war,” Admiral Jones said, staring at the floor hollowly before looking back up at the Commander.

“Did we make a mistake that will make the colonies suffer sir? Should we not go away and purposefully lead the Ovions in a direction away from the colonies?” Commander Magnus asked.

“Time will tell. It’s too late to worry about what could or should have been done. We could try and lead the Ovions another way, but we know they’re bound to head in the colonies direction eventually, even if that’s years, if not centuries, away. No, our best option is to head home and warn the fleet. Whether the Cylons require our attention or not seems unimportant now. Regardless, when we get home, the colonies will be preparing for war. There are threats to the colonies and it’s time we started getting ready for them,” Admiral Jones said determinedly.

After a few hours, BSG 8 and Haven began jumping away, then continuing on their way on the long distance that they needed to go through to get home. Damage to the fleet was repaired over time in the midst of breaks between jumping required on the long journey. The thought on several people’s mind aboard the fleet was whether they’d make it in time before something changed in the colonies…

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:04 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:01 am
Posts: 20
1x05: Flaring Tensions

Septembris 18th, 2354
Caprica, Caprica City

A long black limousine drove past light traffic. Skyscrapers and business buildings could be seen in the background around them as they drove through midtown. If they looked out a window, they’d be greeted by the sight of many lush green trees and bushes along the road, a few feet away from the sidewalks

Inside the limousine, a man in an expensive white suit, his wavy brown hair swept back neatly, sat next to a beautiful blonde woman in a fancy black dress that went down to just past the middle of her thighs. The man took a swig of ambrosia he’d poured into a small glass from a long bottle. The woman held a glass of her own.

"You always drink and drive?" the young blonde woman asked.

"I drink, he drives," Gauis Baltar said dismissively.

"You like having things done for you, don't you?" She asked,

"Certainly beats having to do them for yourself," he replied, eyeing her curiously, "Don't you?"

"No, I prefer not to rely on others as much as possible,” She said cryptically as she downed a mouthful of ambrosia. She reached over to caress his thigh, smiling as she eyed him seductively, “Less chance of being let down that way."

Baltar studied her with interest. He grinned, "Well, since you allowed yourself to be in my, capable hands, for this evening...” He raised a glass to her, “Here's hoping I won't let you down."

"I'll drink to that, doctor," she said, grinning conspiratorially. She clinked her glass of ambrosia against his, each taking a drink.

"You can, um, you can call me Gaius, actually, if you want," he said after a brief hesitation, a vulnerable expression on his face, "this is crazy, but I've actually forgotten your name."
The attractive blonde woman moved over to his side of the seat, aggressively kissing Baltar, leaning her body into his in the heat of passion.

The phone in the car started ringing next to Baltar, staying attached to the young blonde, he had an excited and pleased expression on his face as he picked up the phone. The blonde woman teasing him still, continued kissing his neck.

"Hello. Yes, it is," Baltar said pleasantly, almost giggling, "Oh, hello. How are you?"

After a beat Baltar sat up, a serious expression overtaking his features, his mood soured, "What?"

The blonde woman sat back, looking at Baltar with concern as he appeared anxious, eyes bugging out.

"Oh, my Gods. When was this? Oh, well, um, well, listen, just, uh, I'm so sorry. Uh, if you just wait there and-and I'll be around as soon as I ca-
No, please! You have to wait. You have to- you can't meet- You will wait there or I'll sue you for abandonment. Yeah, I will. Well, I don't know how long it's gonna take. Just-just wait. I'm coming. I'm coming right now."

The blonde woman sat apart from Gaius, eyeing him guardedly. In the many months of their dalliances, she’d seen him run through various emotions and moods, never before had she seen him like this. Utterly flustered. Scared, even… Ashamed.

The two sat through a near hour of silence, the tension thick in the air as the car headed to their new destination.

Caprica, Caprica City
Baltar Family Home

"I don't-I don't know what to say. I'm-I'm sorry. It was a mistake," Gauis Baltar said apologetically, trying to reason with his father's attendant to stay as she tried to leave immediately after he arrived.

"Nothing in my contract about being stabbed with a steak knife," the elderly white-haired woman said, perturbed. She walked around the house collecting the rest of her things in her bag.

"She been stealing while I've been sleeping," Julius Baltar, Gaius elderly father said from his brown leather armchair in the living room, pointing at his attendant, the at-home caregiver who'd been with him for months.

"No one is stealing from you, dad, all right?!" Gauis Baltar said to his father, his face turning red from rage as he glared at his father, "Now you just shut up. You're in enough trouble already."

"I'm out of here. You're lucky I don't call the cops," the in-home nurse said angrily, shaking her head.

"Yes. Yes, we are, Nurse Barbara," Gauis said, nodding, glaring at his father.

"Thank you. Now listen. I'll pay you double. Triple," Gauis said, looking at the nurse pleadingly, continuing to raise the price as the nurse made no sign of appreciation for his offer.

"I thought I asked you to wait in the car," Gauis said stressfully, eyebrows furrowed as he noticed the young blonde woman in the doorway.

Gaius' lover, the young blonde woman from the car appeared in the doorway and made her way inside, having heard the encounter, silent as she wore a concerned empathetic expression looking between Gaius and his father.

"This be the new one you be banging, eh?" Julius Baltar said, his voice thick with his Aerelonian country accent, taking in the sight of the attractive blonde.

"None of your bloody business," Gauis said venomously with a sneer at his father, his anger turning to frantic concern again as he noticed the nurse leaving after picking up her things and he followed her outside, pleading with her to stay.

"Nurse Barbara, please. I've got 500 cubits. 1,000. 1,000 frakking cubits for you to stay the night! Please! I'll take all the knives away! He'll be on a liquid diet forever. Just spend one frakking night!" Gauis shouted out frantically at Nurse Barbara's retreating form as she quickly disappeared from sight of the house.

Julius Baltar sat comfortably, smiling at the amusing sight of his son, and laughed, "How about you, love? Bet you charge a lot more than that, eh?"

"Shut your filthy mouth. Stop being so disgusting," Gaius said defensively, walking back inside as he glared down at his father angrily.

"This is your father, Gaius," the young woman cautioned, eyeing him with concern.

"Not that you'd ever know it. You see, Gaius is ashamed of his family," Julius said.

"I need this. I need this like a frakking hole in the head," Gauis said, rolling his eyes, looking around the room and pacing with an ‘I can't believe this’ expression.

"Even his accent," Julius continued, ignoring Gaius, "Stupid bastard actually changed his accent. Would you believe that?"

"That is the third nurse in a row now, dad," Gauis said, his eyes bugging out and his nostrils flaring in anger as he raised his hand with three fingers on it, "Do you have any idea how much this is costing me?"

"How much it costs. That's all he cares about now. Not the way he was brought up, I can tell ya. But he don't like to think about that. No, he don't like to think about living on the farm and doing a day's hard work," Julius said, shaking his head.

"All right. All right. Enough! Shut up! Right now!" Gauis shouted angrily as his father spoke, "I won't stand here one moment longer and listen to your ridiculous working class hero rant-- Look at you! At the shirt I bought you. How you dribble and treat these things.

I'll break it down for you, dad! You're an obnoxious, spiteful, cantankerous old git, and you're frakking lucky you're not living on the frakking street!"

Julius smiled, waving his hands as he spoke, clasping his cane, grinning, "Big man, cursing his father. Makes you feel important, does it?"

Gaius sighed, shaking his head, a duality of emotions ranging from exasperation, sorrow and anger, on his face.

"Gaius, maybe we should-" the young woman suggested calmly.

"Maybe you should've stayed in the car. Which is what I asked you to do," Gaius said pointedly, "I'm afraid that I'm going to have to ask you to leave now."

Gaius walked over to the door, leading the woman out. Hesitating only a moment, she followed his lead.

"I'm sure that the driver can see you to your home," Gauis said, his voice breaking and he sniffled as he spoke in a forced calm voice, "I'm gonna spend the rest of this lovely evening with my dad. Good night," Gauis said, glaring pointedly at his father and shutting the door as the woman left, crossing his arms as he looked down at his dad.

Caprica, Caprica City - River Point Skyscraper

A group of men sat gathered in a restaurant known as the Bolshoi Café. Steak and other expensive dishes, along with the finest wines lay before the men.

Dressed to impress in a grey suit, a blonde haired man took a draft of wine, smiling with enthusiasm.

“Now, Mason. Let’s talk about what you can do for our cause,” Jay Marcello said, lowering his glass cup of wine.

A large man, easily 6’8, sat across the table, stony faced as he glared at Marcello. He looked out of place, the only man in the group not wearing a suit, but a simple green t-shirt and black pants. He remained silent as Marcello waited for a response.

As the silence wore on, Marcello chuckled, “Never thought you’d lose that sense of humor of yours, Mason.”

“I never thought you’d take my brother and sister from me. Guess we’re both disappointed with how life is turning out,” Mason Gaines said unhappily, gritting his teeth.

“Fair enough, but you understand steps had to be taken,” Jay Marcello said, grinning, “The Ha’La’Tha needed your help Mason. Your brothers in arms… Rumors of the instability of Tauron’s governments have reached our ears. They’re weaker now than ever. Even more so than back when they had that fool Phaulkon in charge. We have to strike now, fast and hard.”

“After years of infighting on Tauron, there’s finally been peace without the Heraclitus regime in charge,” Mason said, bemused.

“Until the Ha’La’Tha is welcomed openly on our own soil, nothing has changed Mason,” Jay said, shaking his head at Mason’s naiveté, “As a thief who’s used to getting in and out of the most secure locations, you’re the only one who could do what we need.”

“I told you the first time, the answer’s no. I will not take part in mass murder. Taking my family from me won’t change that,” Mason said darkly.

“A man of principle then, despite being a thief. Interesting. While I can respect that, your assistance is required,” Jay raised his glass to Mason and downed it.

His grin faded from his face as his eyes hardened, “Let me be clear. If you won’t do it because the organization you once swore allegiance to asks, then you will do it or face the cold dead bodies of your little sister Maria and your brother Thomas, laid out on the ground before you.”

A glimpse of despair appeared across Mason’s face before he mastered his emotions, glaring at Marcello, “Even if I wanted to, even I couldn’t get access to nuclear warheads from the military’s armories.”

“I hope for your family’s sake you can revise that answer,” Jay said with a menacing tone of voice.
Mason rose to his full height (6’8), towering over Jay as he glared down at the head of the Ha’La’Tha. His fists clenched tightly. A dark look crossed his expression…

“Take the day. Clear your head. I’m sure you’ll come back with a plan to do the right thing,” Marcello said, smiling from ear to ear. He liked controlling the larger man to his will. His smile widened as Mason flinched, gathering himself together to control his anger.

Mason turned to leave. Taking a deep breath, he stopped. He looked back at Marcello, “Do you ever stop and think about how the Ha’La’Tha started as farmers and common people rising against their oppressive government. A righteous cause. And look at it now: a corrupt criminal organization. Don’t you ever want to stop all of this?”

Marcello scoffed, grinning a moment until contemplation and regret passed over his expression. He didn’t have an answer as Mason left.

Septembris 19th, 2354
Caprica, Caprica City; Public Park

Mason Gaines sat on a bench in the park, watching birds fly overhead. The sound of chirping and the feel of a slight breeze left him feeling peaceful.

An attractive dark haired woman approached, taking a seat on the bench beside Mason.

“Mason. I see you made the right choice in agreeing to a meeting,” Naomi Rivers said, turning to look at Mason with a somber expression.

“Let’s skip the part where we pretend there was a choice,” Mason said, scowling.

He narrowed his eyes at her, “I want your word, Naomi.”

“Of course. I always keep my word, Mason. Once we’re done here, every member of the Ha’La’Tha on Caprica will have been given a visit by our people and the authorities thanks to the information you’ve given us. We’ll return to Tauron with your siblings in hand. Your friends will be released later, once the last of the Ha’La’Tha is removed from our homeworld,” Naomi said.

Mason gave her a long look, then nodded as he took her at her word. He breathed deeply, a fierce frown on his face as he looked up to the sky.

“You’re doing the right thing, Mason… The war will finally be over. Tauron can move on, united, stronger than ever,” Naomi said reassuringly.

As Mason made no move to respond, continuing to look up at the peaceful sky above, Naomi got up and turned to leave. Eyeing Mason, a regretful expression passed over her face, unnoticed by Mason, before she turned away and left.

Septembris 28th, 2354
Caprica, Caprica City; Baltar Manor

Baltar walked into his expensive house, leading an attractive twenty-something brunette woman through the door.

"Are you, um, are you thirsty before-," Gauis Baltar said nervously, smiling at the woman he led through his expensive house. Turning to lead her further inside, only then did he notice the blonde young woman he'd previously been interacting with sitting in an armchair waiting for him, a drink in her hand.

"What the hell are you doing here?" Gauis asked, his eyes blinking several times as he grew emotional, a sad expression crossing his face. "What's going on? How did you get in here?" Gauis asked, angry and confused, looking around the place.

The blonde remained silent, confident.

"Should I go-" the attractive brunette started to say, looking between the woman and Gaius, looking to excuse herself from the situation politely.

Gauis walked over to the brunette, "What you should do is go up those stairs, turn left, head into the bedroom," he grabbed her black necklace as he drew in close and gave her a seductive look, "and get ready for me."

The brunette smiled, a slight blush on her cheeks. Eyeing Gaius up and down, she turned and walked away in his directed path, her hips sashaying seductively as her black dress whipped side to side with her movements. An entrancing sight Gaius looked upon briefly. His mood soured as his eyes narrowed in the direction of the blonde woman.

The young blonde weighed her drink in her hand, swishing the dark liquid side to side as Gaius spoke to the brunette, the barest hint of sadness in her otherwise withdrawn features.

As Gaius turned to the blonde, his voice took an authoritative tone, "You are an intruder in my home. I think it would be a good idea if you left before I inform the authorities."

The cockiness in Gaius quickly dissipated as the blonde got up from the suave leather chair and turned around, walking toward him, as Gaius backed away, wearing a fearful expression as he walked over to the phone and began dialing the operator to get ahold of Caprica City police.

"If that's the way you want to play it... Hello, police department please," Gaius said into the phone's receiver.

"I found your father a new place to live," the young blonde said, her eyes expressing an emphatic look of concern.

"Yes, I'd like to re-" Gaius started saying before processing what he'd heard, he put his hand to the phone's receiver, turning to the woman with an expression of bewilderment.

"What?" Gaius said, lowering the phone as he looked at the woman, eyebrows furrowed.

"The regency. Down by the wharf," the young blonde said, turning to grab a pamphlet on the side table, "Very Tony address. Full-time care, social activities, medical staff.

And the best part... They encourage residents to take part in a caring for a garden, and grow their own food. Julius will be a farmer again."

She grinned at Gaius as he hung on her every word, having put the phone down, "His things are being moved this very moment by the staff. They'll be set up in his new room exactly how he had them in the apartment."

Gaius walked toward the front door, his eyebrows drawn in an emotional and bewildered expression.
"He loves it," she continued.

"Loves?" Gaius said, stopping in his tracks.

The young blonde started walking toward Gaius, "Once I showed him around the facility.
Your father's a very complicated man, Gaius, but there's a few simple things that make him very happy."

She pushed the pamphlet into Gaius' chest, turning and walking away after he took it, and opened the front door.

"The last time I saw him... He seemed happy," she said coyly, shutting the door behind her as she left.

Octobris 7th, 2354
Caprica, Delphi; Warren Corporation HQ

A young man in his twenties with brown hair and cold sea-blue eyes sat before a long black table with a large computer screen atop it. On the screen, a face to face video chat window was open.

“Save it, old man. You’re only calling on break from recruiting ‘the best and brightest’ for the marines.

The only reason I’m taking this call is to ask you to stop. You’re not part of my life, you never have been. So, butt out. Leave me alone,” Set Warren said coldly, glaring at the high-def image of his uncle on the computer screen before him.

An older man in his fifties, his uncle wore the black dress uniform of the colonial marines. Other military personnel passed by about their business in the background behind him, wearing combat fatigues or similar dress uniforms.

“You are part of my family, Set. I know it’s not good enough, but I’m only on Caprica a few days a month on business for work. As I’ve tried the last year that you’ve mostly ignored me, I’ll always try and reach out to you when I can,” General Henry Emerson said genially, smiling.

Set’s expression turned to incredulity then annoyance, before settling on a professional calculating look, “I’ll happily donate more to that military foundation, Ragnarok something, you raved about before if you’ll agree to just leave. Me. Alone.

My parents died in a car crash, and left me in an orphanage. You can still excuse and explain away your absence in my life if you want to, but I am not an idiot. You started coming to me after I pulled myself up and remade my life. Jumpstarted with my inheritance maybe, but I’ve relied on no one, but myself, all along.”

Set’s eyes narrowed as his voice turned gruff with emotion, “I don’t need any one. Let alone a long lost relative, that anyone with sense could see only makes an appearance to get something from one of the most powerful men on Caprica.”

Henry Emerson waited patiently for Set to finish, his expression turning downcast from his happy go-lucky smile as Set spoke. “It’s always been my life’s biggest regret since I found out Set, but I truly didn’t know about—your situation…”

“Situation?!” Set exclaimed in outraged disbelief, anger clouding his sea-blue eyes.

“I know you’ve made something of yourself. Your parents would be proud of your achievements. You may not need me, but you are still family. I promised a long time ago to your father and you, when I first found you years ago, that I’d be there for you kid,” Henry said

“I’m not a kid, ‘uncle’ Henry. And a few visits a year could never make up for things,” Set said

“Gotta start somewhere, sonny,” Henry said, his tone chiding even as he grinned, winking at his nephew. “Anyway, we’ve talked through my given 30 minutes, can’t take up another soldier’s time for a call home. Oh, and I sent you a gift, you should be getting it today. Love ya, Set.”

Henry Emerson formed a salute as the video chat ended abruptly, the chat window blinking out to black. Then auto shutting off the program, the computer returned to the desktop opening window of the Warren Corp logo.

Set stared at the computer screen, a mixture of disgust and other emotions in him.

“Well, that was certainly dramatic,” a blue-eyed blonde man in an expensive purple well-tailored suit said.

Set whirled around at the voice standing just inside the doorway as the blonde man shut the door and walked toward him.

“Now, if you want to have funds to donate to anything as I overheard when I looked in the door earlier, I suppose I’ve come just in time to propose a deal to revitalize Warren Corp so you can…” the blonde man said, grinning.

“My assistant would’ve--” Set said angrily, eyes narrowing as he glanced at the door where not far outside his assistant would’ve sat at her desk. Ready to deny entrance to visitors until Set okayed it.

“Oh, you must mean the pretty red-head,” the blonde man said as he raised an eyebrow, chuckling in amusement, “She was kind enough to go grab me some coffee after I talked her up. Very kind that one, if somewhat naïve.”

Set shook his head, annoyed, “What do you want Lucas.”

“Ah, there’s the Set I remember. Straight to business. Amazing how few people have that attitude these days,” Lucas Morgan said. “Right then. I’d like to propose an investment in Warren Corp, jointly working on a project. Warren Corp could use the cash inflow with the loss in stock you’ve had with that nasty takeover business you still haven’t recovered from fully, not to mention the press attacks since before then still going on…”

“I haven’t seen you in years, not including a few events for publicity, and you come to me to offer me what’s best for my company?” Set said, an eyebrow raised, making a hmph noise as he chuckled.
“I still remember our friendship when we were kids,” Lucas Morgan said sincerely.

“Difference being that you got out rather quick when a family member claimed you, and took you home out of the orphanage,” Set said sourly, eyeing Lucas inquisitively.

“If you knew about how it was afterwards, you wouldn’t be so quick to think you got the short end of things. Trust me, grandfather’s not been so ‘kind’ since then. Anyway, as old friends I came to you hoping because of that we could help each other when we both need it most,” Lucas said

“I can give you the jump start funding you need. Together we can rehabilitate each other’s image and make a profit as we work together.”

“Look, as much as going down memory lane hasn’t been fun, I’m gonna have to cut this short. Given your inheritance I don’t see why the Morgan heir, notorious Caprica playboy, would need either of what you claim to want,” Set said.

Lucas looked down, sighing deeply. When he looked up, his eyes had a hard edge to them, “Let’s just say I want to take control of my fate. Go down a path of my own choosing.”
Set’s eyes flared with recognition, he looked at Lucas in a light. He nodded, “Alright… What’s your business idea?”

Lucas grinned, “Well, part of Warren Corp’s problem is the media’s hard-lining against accidents with your company’s practices in tylium production. Perhaps a new direction to take a more public face of the company.

A shift to computers and advancements in technology is growing more and more popular as the people of the Twelve Worlds grow more comfortable with technology again…”

Octobris 11th, 2354
Battlestar Galactica, On Patrol Between the Colonies
Commander’s Quarters

"Missed the trap, seven times in two days. It's a new Galactica record," Colonel Saul Tigh said, giggling as he took a drink of ambrosia with the small glass cup in his hand.

"Regs say that you've washed out, rook," Commander Bill Adama said, his husky voice tinged with compassion as he looked over the Raptor pilot.

"Time to look for a new career," Colonel Tigh said, amused.

Standing across from the comfortably sitting commanding officers of the Battlestar Galactica, a brunette woman, Lieutenant Sharon Valerii stood blinking, looking straight ahead, at attention as taught in the military.

"What do you want me to do, sir? Do you want me to beg for my billet? Do you want me to crawl?" Lieutenant Valerii said, disgruntled, showing little emotion or reaction as she stood at attention.

"I want you to land your frakkin' bird without diggin' holes into my deck. How's that, huh?" Adama asked, eyes narrowed as he glanced over Valerii, "How 'bout being a pilot? An officer worthy of the uniform."

Adama looked at Valerii seriously, his gaze piercing, "Take your job seriously. Don't let your personal life get in the way."

Adama looked away, breathing deeply, his eyebrows furrowed and his expression pitying, "I've read your jacket. Your whole story. I know that your family's gone, and I know that you have no home.
All you’ve got is the service. And it's slowly slippin' away."

Adama sighed, "All because... You're all wrapped up in survivor’s guilt. You're trying to find a way to wash yourself out."

"The doctor's in. Check your neuroses at the door," Colonel Tigh said, an amused expression on his face.

"Lotta people have died on this ship. There's a lot of ghosts running around here. You don't want to pull them into your cockpit with you. Because you won't come back alive. Do you understand that?" Adama asked, glancing at Valerii inquisitively.

"Yes, sir," Lieutenant Valerii said.

Adama chuckled and scoffed at her response, raising his glass for a drink in between speaking, "I don't think you do, but maybe, someday, you will."

Lowering his drink, he gave Valerii his full attention. His expression turned serious, his gaze piercing, "As for now... Make the trap tomorrow, rook. Dismissed."

"Thank you, sir," Valerii said gratefully, looking Adama in the eye, "I owe you one."
Adama laughed, "You and a lot of other people owe me one, but you know what," he grinned and looked over at Tigh as he spoke, "Very few people ever pay back. Especially the ones that owe you their lives."

Tigh chuckled, taking a deep draft of his drink.

"I'll pay you back one day, sir," Lieutenant Valerii said seriously, "When it really means something."
Adama smiled, not quite believing her, swishing his drink in his hand. He gave her a serious look as he looked her in the eyes, "You do that."

Valerii wore a grateful expression with sad eyes lingering on Adama a long moment before she saluted and did an about turn, leaving the commanding officers alone in Adama's quarters.

Canceron, Minor Territory of Phosphorus
Asphodel Meadows, Public Park

Families with children, couples on a romantic early evening stroll walked across the park, taking in the beautiful sight as an array of distinct species of trees and plants spread out over several acres forming the park. Birds flew overhead, occasionally chirping. It was quiet, peaceful.

A man in a fancy brown suit sat on a bench overlooking the beauty of the park in front of him.

Standing next to him was a tall man with brown hair and cold distant blue eyes, a black overcoat over a simple blue t-shirt that concealed a set of pistols he had holstered just over his waist on his back.

“I’m sorry your latest jobs haven’t been to your liking, Barty. I know you prefer more of a challenge,” Senator Peter Sheppard said consolingly, his warm brown eyes were piercing as they studied the man he spoke to.

“Don’t patronize me Peter, you know I don’t like being manipulated,” Bartimaeus ‘Barty’ Hart said coldly.

Senator Sheppard laughed freely, nodding, “Alright, alright. Still, I remember that about you. It’s a detail that makes things easier for us both to get what we want.”

“You’ve yet to tell me when you get everything you wanted. Is controlling Mangala, Nakah, Kirtland, Venezia, on top of Phosphorus, not enough for you? Would Hades be enough?” Barty Hart asked, curiously, his head tilted slightly as he scrutinized Sheppard.

“Canceron’s Capital? Hades would attract too much attention, so not just yet,” Senator Sheppard said with a chuckle, smiling, “Eighty-three other territories remain. I won’t stop until Canceron is united.”

“Under your leadership, you mean,” Hart said skeptically.

“There are no better hands to guide our people to the greatness we deserve,” Sheppard said shortly.
Barty Hart snorted, rolling his eyes.

“Canceron’s been exploited and disregarded by the other Eleven Worlds for far too long. Time we fixed that,” Senator Sheppard said, breathing deeply as he looked up at the beautiful skylight. He smiled, enjoying the pleasant feeling as rays of sunshine filled his face.

“There are others standing in your way. You said you would give me a challenge. Can I start with Reyes’ crew?” Hart asked, excitement in his tone.

He glanced over at a trio of men watching the pair from a bench across the park, some two dozen yards away. They flinched at his acknowledgement of their presence, hiding their fear with glares. Hart’s smile widened.

“Let them try something first. I promise your next mission is going to be exciting, but I need things to be done my way here,” Senator Sheppard said sharply. He didn’t move from his position, obliviously skygazing, but his tone was full of authority and focus.

“Right. So long as you hold up your end, Peter,” Hart said, chuckling, “Oh look, here they come.”

The trio of men in street clothes approached. Two wearing a hoody and jeans, the other a tank top and khaki shorts. Each was adorned with a tattoo on their arm or neck, forming a three-headed dog: the symbol of Cerberus, the beast said to follow after the Lord of Kobol Hades himself.

“Reyes doesn’t like hearing about your people spying on his in Cerberus,” one of the Cerberus gang members said, the leader of the three as he stood in front of his two friends.

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Sheppard said, his tone feigning empathetic sadness, he made no move to sit up, not even looking at the trio of men.

“You should know well enough to stay in this small pit-hole and not interfere in the important affairs of others. He said to tell you that,” the gang member said, a tic forming in his jaw as he grew angry. He looked down on Senator Sheppard who continued taking in the sunshine ignoring him. He spat on the ground at Sheppard’s feet.

“Did he now?” Sheppard said, disinterestedly, taking a deep breath as he sat up. When he opened his eyes to look at the leader of the men, his eyes were narrowed dangerously. Menacing.

Feeling a chill, the leader of the trio from Cerberus took a half step back, re-evaluating Sheppard.
Sheppard merely looked at him, ignoring his two companions.

Steeling his nerve as he noticed the looks his friends gave him, the leader picked out a knife from his back pocket. A switchblade, which popped out as he twirled his hand, “He also said we should make an example of you. Ensure other minor territories aren’t getting any ideas about making a play for leadership in the midst of the chaos across the other Canceron provinces.”

Sheppard grinned, standing to face the trio. Hart stepped up next to him, his eyes had a laser-like focus on the men. Not seeing people, but targets.

The trio shared looks of confusion, eyeing the two before them. This situation was not going anywhere near as expected. People flinched away from them.

One of the two behind the leader grew impatient as the leader appeared frozen in indecision and rushed forward brandishing a six-inch blade. Aiming to gut Sheppard.

Sheppard reached out, his arm moved like lightning. His hand coiled around the attacker’s wrist, stopping the blade inches from his chest. His grip was like iron as the Cerberus gang member tried to tug backward to free himself, to no success.

Hart pulled two guns from behind his back as the other two men approached, similarly armed as their friend. He shot the gang member assaulting Sheppard in the head, and the other gang member reaching for a gun he shot in the heart.

The man fell to the ground, blood spurting from his chest, pooling around his body like a small pond.
Hart turned to the leader of the trio, his finger on the trigger, stopping as Sheppard raised a hand.
“Miguel. Joe…” the gang leader said quietly, looking at the pair of bodies in disbelief. Tears formed in his eyes. He dropped to his knees.

Sheppard looked at him coldly, studying his prey. “I’d like to speak with Reyes.”

The gang leader made no response, still in shock as he stared at the ground.

“The senator is speaking to you. Look at him,” Hart spoke sharply, his gun making a loud click as he cocked it in the man’s direction.

The kneeling Cerberus gang leader looked up at Sheppard standing before him. Wordlessly, he removed a phone from his pocket and dialed in a set of numbers. “Yeah, boss. It’s me.”

Sheppard gestured toward the man and took the phone from him, his tone became jovial, “Reyes! It’s good to be speaking to you.”

“Who is this?” A gruff voice spoke over the phone, confusion and anger in his tone.
“Now that hurts, Reyes. You sent your men to kill me and you don’t even recognize my voice?” Senator Sheppard said, tsk-tsking.

“Sheppard.” Reyes said stonily, his loud sigh and cursing in an old Canceronian dialect audible over the phone.

“Let’s talk about how you’re going to make this up to me, Reyes,” Sheppard said.

“What?” Reyes said, disbelief thick in his voice before he started laughing boisterously, “Make it up to you? Why shouldn’t I just finish the job.”

“Ah, because--” Sheppard began, smiling mischiouvesly. He was cut off as Hart pushed him to the ground as he noticed a red dot forming on the back of his head. A sniper round pierced the ground just shy of Sheppard’s form with a loud ping. Hart pushed Sheppard over behind the bench for cover.
A ping sounded as the gang member keeled over, a bullet in his head. Another set of pings hit the ground nearby, missing Sheppard and Hart entirely.

“Sloppy,” Sheppard said, his look of amusement faded against irritation. He made no move to escape as another loud ping was heard from farther down the park.

The sniper’s body hit the ground, rolling down a hill from his spot on the high ground overlooking the park.

The scope of another sniper rifle gleamed in the sunlight, its owner a blonde-haired man began packing up his gear with a predatory smile after he looked around, ensuring no other threats to his employer existed.

“I wouldn’t have missed,” Hart said with certainty, helping Sheppard to his feet.
Sheppard chuckled, shrugging at Hart.

He picked up the phone from where it had fallen. “Reyes, to answer your question, it’s because someone with better foresight and more pull than you just tried and failed a high-grade attempt to assassinate me.”

Reyes was silent, his surprised intake of breath over the phone his only response.
“I make a better friend than enemy, Reyes. You would be wise to stand with me. Or you can join the pile of bodies in my wake,” Sheppard said.

“You’re the leader of a pit stain on Canceron. The smallest territory, most overlooked, you don’t have the power--,” Reyes said, his voice filled with disgust.

“Tell that to the Mangalans and the residents of Kirtland. Or did you not notice how conditions have changed there, how much happier the people are with new management?” Sheppard interrupted loudly, a tint of displeasure entering his voice

“You-,” Reyes said, disbelief in his tone.

“I took over those major territories. And if you want to live to see tomorrow, Reyes, Cerberus is now my territory as well. Stand with me and prosper under my lead, or suffer the consequences,” Sheppard said sharply.

Reyes was silent a long moment, only the noise from the other end of the phone like other people laughing in the background as the sounds of a Pyramid game being played on a TV was heard signifying that the phone hadn’t been hung up.

“Alright,” Reyes said reluctantly.

“Great! I knew you were a reasonable man. I’m sure you know more about the Toscanans than I, they are your rival territory of course. I’ll leave it in your capable hands to look into disrupting their leadership. I’ll take it from there to get control of Toscana, with your help, of course,” Sheppard said.

“Of course,” Reyes said, laughing, “Taking out those stuck up Putas (B*tches) would be a pleasure.”

“Glad you agree. I’ll contact you later to set up our plans. Good-bye, Reyes,” Sheppard said, hanging up the phone as the two exchanged formal goodbyes.

Hart rolled his eyes at Sheppard’s deceptive cadence, his use of flattery and self-effacement to manipulate Reyes. “I hope you don’t actually trust that moron…”

“Course not. He’s an idiot who sent in a bunch of amateurs for a hit. He’s not likely to get over his desire to kill me if I place him under my thumb either. I can, however, use him to claim both Toscana and Cerberus. Once he bungles the job and probably gets killed by his own stupidity,” Sheppard said, rolling his eyes.

Hart chuckled, nodding.

Sheppard sighed, looking around the park which was noticeably emptier as the few people near their area of the park had quickly taken their leave at the signs of trouble. The bloodied mess across the ground ruined his view of the park’s beauty. Sheppard grimaced in annoyance.

“Let’s go. Things to do… So long as things remain as they are on Canceron, worthless actions by worthless people, like this, will continue to be allowed,” Senator Sheppard said, sighing loudly.
Hart followed him out of the park, his eyes roving the area as they went, seeking potential threats as usual.

Novembris 3rd, 2354
Gjallarhorn Nebula, Midgard’s Orbit
Asteroid Colony Valhalla; War School Facility

“Congratulations, Michael. Your training is over… A formal ceremony can be held later. I wanted to let you know personally,” Yaksha Algol said proudly, shaking a young man’s hand.

Clad in his training gear, black shirt and sweats, with dark hair, brown eyes and not quite twenty years old, a young man stood facing the lead training officer in the War School.

The young man was sheepish, his mouth gaping open briefly before he was smiling widely, beaming, “Thank you, sir. It means a lot. Truly. I couldn’t have done it without-”

“Don’t be so quick to write yourself off,” Yaksha Algol interrupted sharply, “Nor thank someone for your achievements. You earned this yourself, with hard work and determination. You don’t owe anyone for that.”

“Yes, sir,” Michael nodded, his joy muffled as he turned serious.

“I know I taught you well. You were my best student. However, I knew the moment we met. After what happened with your family. After you were abandoned in the desert… I knew just looking in your eyes back then, how alike we are. How much strength you have inside.

You’ll have to find a balance, son, between caring so deeply about others and being able to cut yourself off from attachments. To do what we do, that will be a constant battle in you. A weakness you’ll have to fight every day,” Yaksha said, his eyes searching Michael’s, trying to read him.

“—I understand, sir,” Michael said carefully, weighing his commanding officer’s words.
Studying Michael, Yaksha nodded, “Good.”

Reaching into his pocket, Yaksha Algol pulled out a folded paper. Unfolding it and straightening the paper, a legal document was made apparent. He handed it to Michael.

Michael’s eyes widened, reading the top lines, going over Scorpian adoption, “I thought--”
“We’ve grown quite close, Michael Grant. I would be honored if you joined my family, and took my clan name,” Yaksha said.

“-I--,” Michael said uncertainly, looking back and forth from the paper and Yaksha. His hands shook. Yaksha reached out, steadying his hand holding the paper.

“I’d like that… Father,” Michael said, his voice thick with emotion, smiling.

Gjallarhorn Nebula, Midgard’s Orbit
Battlestar Titan, Admiral’s Quarters

“Sloppy. Horrible. Worse than horrible, actually!” Admiral Stark said loudly, clucking his tongue and sighing, expressing his disbelief. He ran his hands through his hair stressfully.

“A lot of green officers were on Trinity-” Admiral Graham said defensively, trying to soothe Stark.

The cadets on Trinity had recently been involved in accidents in training ops. Notably, a set of vipers had crashed into one another, hospitalizing both and leaving one fighter-craft a pile of scrap.

“A lot of officers in the fleet are green! That’s what happens when ten percent of our staffing are completely new, just out of basic training, and almost all of our officers have never seen actual combat or prepared legitimately for it!” Stark raged, his face growing red as his temper rose.

“Only a fraction of officers in the colonial fleet have faced more than mere pirates or anything near combat situations, Erik. Not to mention the mere handful of capable officers leading in the colonial fleet who fought in the last war… It can’t be helped,” Admiral Graham said shaking his head.

Stark rolled his eyes. Staring at a view screen he’d had installed in his office showing space outside the ship, he stewed a long moment in silence. Thinking. “I want to start war games among the fleet. Start running combat simulations.”

Admiral Graham started, but mulled the idea in his head a moment and nodded, “Sounds like a promising idea, sir.”

“Include the marines in war games too. Simulate boarding actions. Assault on ground units. They may not have frakked up, but I want all of our people combat capable. Ready for anything,” Stark said

Caprica, Delphi; Morgan Mansion

Lucas Morgan stood in finely stitched black pants and a green shirt. He bent over a pool table, a long stick his arm was wrapped around which he tested using to hit a set of multi-colored marble balls. He hit one against a group of seven, scattering the lot across the table.

A set of mahogany doors leading into the room slammed open loudly. A tall elder man in his late fifties, dressed in a fine black suit with a regal purple tie, walked in, an air of superiority about him. His long hair fell back to his shoulder, combed back sleekly.

“So, Lucas, what game are you playing now? Sleeping around and drinking through your youth wasn’t exciting enough, so you’ve upped your game to playing politics?” Phillip Morgan said sternly, shaking his head.

“Well, Grandfather, nice to see you too. Come in…” Lucas Morgan said sarcastically, rolling his eyes.
Phillip threw down a newspaper on the table, the headline read ‘Morgan Heir and Warren Corporation Combine Forces: Winning Strategy or Folly?’

Lucas pursed his lips.

“If this was merely a ploy to get my attention? Well done. You have it,” Phillip Morgan said.

“This might come as a shock to you, old man, but not everything I do involves you,” Lucas Morgan said.

“Ah. Well, some fatherly advice. Perhaps throwing in with the sinking ship of Warren Corp won’t prove to be the best idea, especially as I suspect, for your political ambitions,” Philip Morgan said, chuckling. Noticing Lucas flinch, he continued “Yes, I have people watching. Always.”

“Well, if I wanted advice, I would’ve asked for it,” Lucas said

“I know this isn’t solely to rekindle an old childhood friendship. Perhaps it’s solely to change how people look at you. Losing the party-boy label, the bad boy stigma, the image of the irresponsible young man who spent the past years whoring around with anyone who’d have him.

That’s why you want to run for office too, right? Even if you were president of the colonies, it wouldn’t make a damned bit of difference, because the people closest to you will always know who you are.
What’s inside your heart,” Phillip Morgan said sagely, his eyebrows knitted together in consternation.

He looked at Lucas with pity and disappointment.

Lucas turned away, eyeing the floor with disdain. He steeled himself, his voice full of anger, “I know it’s a great disappointment to you, to not be able to control me anymore.”

Lucas went over to a cabinet on the side of the table against the wall, opening it and rummaging around for a whiskey bottle. He poured himself a drink in an available glass cup and downed it.

“I remember the advice you gave me after you took me in, about my parent's deaths. You gave me some excellent advice, to stop feeling sorry for myself and accept what I couldn't control. Move on. I invite you to do the same,” Lucas said darkly, eyeing his grandfather with hate.
Phillip chuckled, clapping his hands, “Well said.”

“You know, Lucas, this reminds me of a story of the Gods,” Phillip said.

“Never known you to be religious,” Lucas said, snorting.

“Yes, well I know some things the masses believe to be important,” Phillip murmured, cracking an evil grin, “Zeus had a son he took in, adopted as his own. Prometheus.

He thought he could make a new life for himself, live among the mortals, even benevolently gave them fire as a sign of good faith and to show they could have a beneficial relationship. you know what happened to this kind God who meant well, how Prometheus' story ended, right?”

“He was chained to a rock and his dad ordered him eaten alive by vultures. Why?” Lucas asked, scowling.

“Prometheus was a God, son. His good intentions, his desires, his beliefs… It all meant nothing against that inescapable fact. Escaping the world he was born into and adopting another was a pipe dream, and chasing that impossible dream lead him to suffering and death. I’d hate to see you do the same,” Phillip Morgan said

“Well. I’m touched, Grandfather. Maybe deep within that black heart, you actually mean well and care for me,” Lucas said, putting on a fake smile that didn’t quite meet his eyes.

“Don’t devolve into self-pity,” Phillip chastised, “I’ve never doubted your capacity for greatness, son.”

“You have no idea what I’m capable of,” Lucas said.

“I expect you don’t even know yourself. Still, perhaps there’s a better way than this scheme of yours, this disaster waiting to happen,” Phillip said considerately, “Perhaps, instead, you could work with me. Run the business, as a – junior partner, for now.”

Lucas exhaled in disbelief, studying his Grandfather, “As much as the idea sounds great on paper, I know what it’d entail. Perhaps it’s worth a, what did you call it, ‘disaster waiting to happen’ venture. Just for the tiniest chance to forge my own fate, free from your control.”

“Don’t forget where everything you have, what you put into this venture of yours, came from,” Phillip Morgan said.

“My inheritance from my father’s untimely end,” Lucas said, spitefully.

“From me. An inheritance that I had put to him which transferred to you legally, but it came from me. Your father was a bit of a disappointment, getting a girl pregnant before he was even 16, and he squandered the gifts I gave him in what little life he had after that until the accident.
I took you in and I’ve tried to raise you as my own. To be better. A strong legacy.
Don’t forget who gave you everything you have, and don’t forget why. I will not see you throw it all away on a childish adventure while you defy me out of misplaced enmity,” Phillip said angrily, his eyes flashing dangerously.

“Much as I appreciate the reminder of the terms of this life you gave me, I just need to point something out. The money didn’t come from any source directly involving you. My inheritance purchased a strong set of stock portfolios a few years ago and was paid back in full before I continued, drawing interest in areas of my choosing in the stocks of rising companies. So, this business venture was paid for solely with my own efforts. You have no claim to my accomplishments, so don’t ever act like you do again,” Lucas said.

“Ah, I see now. You want to stand on your own two feet. Be your own man. A wonderful sentiment. I applaud your work to that end. However, you’re a young man making a devastating choice you won’t recover from if you fail. I don’t appreciate your disrespect and defiance as of late, either,” Phillip said passionately, glaring at his grandson.

“You can learn to accept my coming into my own without your help now and keep your dignity,” Lucas said.

“Very gracious of you,” Phillip said, chuckling.

“Maybe we can even salvage this caustic relationship of ours one day,” Lucas said, ignoring his grandfather’s comment.

“I still hope you’ll see reason. This venture is doomed to fail. And even by a miracle, if you succeed, it won’t change the fact that you are my blood,” Phillip said, shaking his head, sighing.

“I will not stop trying to help you get onto the right path. This curve into wonderland won’t change that. I’ll fight you on this every step of the way, because I am right. So, if you want to continue standing against me, son, you’re going to have to raise your game to a whole new level,” Phillip said, turning as he left through the open doors.

“We’ll see,” Lucas said quietly.

Januarius 14th, 2355
Caprica City, Public Park

Gauis Baltar stood atop the cemented ground, glancing around noticing the trees and greenery around the park as people walked around him going about their lives. Wearing sunglasses against the bright midday sunshine, he turned to the side, waiting for someone.

The blonde young woman walked up from behind Baltar, her eyes sparkling as she looked happy to see him. She reached out to touch his arm.

Noticing her, Baltar leaned in putting an arm around her waist and gave her a chaste kiss on the cheek.

She kissed him, and the two shared a look. For a long moment, only the two of them existed, standing in the center of the plaza as people dressed in business suits carrying briefcases walked past the pair.

She put her arm around Baltar as the two turned and started walking through the plaza.

"I've been thinking. I may be able to help you out after all," Gaius said.

She looked at him questioningly.

"About that thing. You were asking about before. Getting a peek into the defense mainframe," he said, seriously, aware of his surroundings as he spoke.

She smiled, her eyes blinking several times, emotional, "It would mean a lot to my employers."

"Yeah, well, I'm not doing it for employers. I'm doing it for you. How would it make you feel?" he asked, no-nonsense tone, turning around to look her in the eyes.

She looked at him searchingly, her lips curving into a smile, placing a hand on his cheek caressing his face, "I'd be very grateful."

"We'll put that to the test," he said, taking his sunglasses off and looking at her with a cocky grin. Her smile widened.

His expression turned serious, his eyes hard, "Because if anyone finds out, I could get my head cut off. So, I'll count on your discretion."

She continued her strong eye contact, and nodded, showing her understanding of his position.

He looked down and then returned to looking at her eyes, grinning, "The things men do for love."

She smiled, her eyes searching his, "Love-- Gaius?"

"Yeah, well..." Gaius said embarrassed, smiling and nodding with a hmph.

She smiled widely, a truly pleased expression, and laughed, following his lead as Baltar walked away.

As the two-continued walking side by side, Baltar clasped her hand tightly.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:11 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:01 am
Posts: 20
1x06 (Untitled as of yet)

Martius 11th, 2355 – 11am
Caprica, Caprica City - Presidents Office

“Mr. President, we should at least speak with the strikers before sending in the troops. They're teachers, not terrorists,” Roslin said.

“They're acting like thugs. Their last demonstration put two policemen in the hospital. Six of them have chained themselves outside the Hall of Education. As far as I'm concerned, they're criminals,” Adar said.

“Their pay is sub-standard, their schools are falling apart, and this strike action has been gaining momentum for months and you know that. I don't understand why we're not at least talking to them,” Roslin said.

“One of the most interesting things about being president is that you don't have to explain yourself, to anyone,” Adar said.

“You've already set a meeting with Stanz, haven't you?” Adar asked, a knowing look on his face.

“Obviously only if you approve, Mr. President.” Roslin said, a thin-lipped smile on her face.

Cylon Space

Dozens of warships in the shape of a star were gathered around a massive construct in the shape of an octopus with huge extending legs forming the hangar bays of the massive space station.
Known to the Cylons as the Colony, the station was covered in gun turrets and other weaponry.

The Colony

One of many rooms aboard the center of the space station, this room contained five large vats, constructs that appeared like bath tubs which were hardline wired into the station. Inside the tubs was gelatinous fluid, and human bodies; two men and three women.

Two elder men in their sixties stood in the room, one leaning over one of the vats. Known to the Cylons as number one human models, known largely by the name Cavil in their contact on the colonial worlds.

“Dad. Mom. Dad. Mom. Dad,” one of the number ones called out, pointing to each vat.

“Our parents will be back with us soon,” the other Cavil replied, certain of himself.

“Of course, skin and veins and bones, they won't survive the death of the Colonies,” the standing number one said.

“Life among humans will have humbled them,” the number one said, looking down and studying the face of one of the women in the vats, “When they resurrect, they'll return with apologies tumbling from their lips like jewels.”

“Yes. Be prepared for some very sticky hugs,” the other Cavil said, rolling his eyes.

“You know, I've got a yen to experience a nuclear holocaust in person. Perhaps with our dear mother here, I'll slide in another tub, and we can download side-by-side, after the bombs hit on Picon,” the number one said, mulling the idea over.

“Well, indulge yourself if you want. But I'll be on Caprica, making final arrangements with our contact to ensure the attack goes off without a hitch,” the other Cavil said sternly, waving his hand at the other One, “So if you're going to go, go soon.”

Gjallarhorn Nebula
Battlestar Titan

Admiral Stark sat pouring over the latest updates throughout the fleet. Pride filled him at the progress made in the fleet, officers having proven themselves capable in wargames simulating battles with Cylon warships. He was pleased with other goals Admiral Corman had set and he had furthered.

Including progress on the asteroid colonies as their metallic hull structures around the hollowed out asteroids were coming together, and armor was being put into place on the outside at last.

Commander Corvan sat opposite Admiral Stark, carefully watching the Admiral as he went through the latest updates and waited for him to finish.

Admiral Stark sighed as he put the log of updates to the side and gave Commander Corvan his full attention, “Disappointing news, about BSG 8.”

“Sir,” Commander Corvan said in agreement quietly, watching the Admiral carefully.

“Three hostile alien races all too happy to watch the Colonies burn, after either our people’s destruction or slavery. Not to mention the technological gap… This is not encouraging, Rick,” Stark said darkly, weariness in his features as he cupped his chin with his hand, his other hand tapping away on the table.

“Aye, sir. Though the technological gap isn’t entirely so wide with the colonies’ own latest advancements,” Commander Corvan said consolingly.

“Hah! The Mega Pulse Lasers (MPL) may even the odds, but only a few ships have it. Doctor Locke’s still working on shield technology last heard. I’m not hopeful,” Admiral Stark said, his eyes narrowed, his lip curled in disgust.

“He did make a rather big mess with his last prototype. Dock Beta on Valhalla’s still got scorch marks, I believe,” Corvan admitted unhappily, “Still, with new insights from Doctor Tripp who studied the alien shields with BSG 8, and they even brought back samples I believe, anything’s possible sir. May take time, but we’ll have something to show to even the odds.”

“No use dwelling then,” Admiral Stark said rolling his eyes, “and other news?”

“Just that the fleet is as ready as we could’ve hoped sir. The shipyards are working on some upgrades on several ships and even starting to build a few new ones, but otherwise the fleet’s prepared. Haven specifically is locked in with her original shipyard, the only one large enough really to effectively repair her, and is coming along well. Within a few months she’ll be battle ready, and Admiral Graham is taking the liberty with R&D to install all the latest technologies aboard Haven as well, greatly increasing her capabilities. Also, Midgard’s population is even higher than hoped for with over eight million according to the last census,” Commander Corvan said.

“Good. Though Corman’s methods at sneaking over so many more in a short time were a fairly amusing read. He even tricked some people in thinking they were going on a vacation,” Admiral Stark said, chuckling.

“Aye, sir. We kept it all quiet in the end though, and that’s what matters,” Commander Corvan said, remembering the Admiral’s insistence on secrecy above all.

The marine guard opened the hatch to the Admiral’s quarters and saluted his superior officers before speaking, “Admiral Jones is here to see you sir.”

“Very well. Commander, I’m sure we can catch up more on the fleet’s updates and plans later,” Admiral Stark said, looking meaningfully at his XO and making it clear he wanted to be alone for this meeting.

“Of course, sir,” Commander Corvan said quietly, walking out of the room.

Admiral Jones walked into the room and sat down following the corporal guarding the hatch returning to his post.

“Sir,” Admiral Jones said shortly, saluting Admiral Stark before relaxing once Admiral Stark said, “at ease.”

“I admit to having mixed feelings on reacting to your mission Admiral Jones. Still, all things considered, you did quite well. The intelligence you’ve gathered is good for us to have, even if we’d prefer an entirely different set of circumstances in its stead. Then there’s Haven, which is an unexpected and quite welcome asset which can be properly put to use, soon enough,” Admiral Stark said.

“Much of our mission was… hell, sir. I’d prefer to not think nothing was gained from it, besides getting Haven returned to where she belongs,” Admiral Jones said, eyes narrowing.

“And I hope I haven’t made it seem anyone felt that way. Still, getting the location of habitable worlds for deep space colonization efforts would’ve been preferred. Alas, as that didn’t happen, it means we’ve put all our eggs in one basket, Admiral,” Stark said carefully.

“Still. Surely now we can get the colonies prepared, sir? If the government were to hear and see definitive proof of the threats the colonies face…” Admiral Jones said, trailing off.

“We’ll leave the decision of that to Admiral Corman. I rather doubt anything will come of it if he does share this information with government though,” Admiral Stark said.

“But sir, we can’t just leave them in the dark!” Admiral Jones said loudly.

“Think about it for a minute. Put aside the obvious issues the government will have with what we’ve done and how this information was obtained. We pretty much know what they’ll say. Even though these enemies are a tangible threat we’ve seen recently, unlike the Cylons, they’re not at our doorstep. Supposedly, they don’t know our location.

The government will just claim there’s no real threat and hang the lot of us as warmongers. Until our enemies are knocking at their door, they’re perfectly content to say we should do nothing, that we’re ‘safe’,” Admiral Stark said, drawing out the word with disgust in his tone.

He chuckled darkly.

“They couldn’t seriously just brush this aside sir!” Admiral Jones said angrily in outrage.

“Usually I prefer to be the optimist here,” Stark said, sniggering, “Still, don’t be naïve Jones. They brushed aside the Valkyrie incident, admittedly the Fleet’s blunder, but a tangible threat close to home. As nothing’s changed in six years, they feel justified in their belief that keeping that incident secret was best. These new enemies do not know where we are, and as the government would say, ‘have no reason to attack us without cause’.”

“They’ll say what your people have come up with in analyzing each of these species’ motivation and goals as nothing but conjecture; that they’ll want to eat, possess, enslave, or destroy us all. We know better since we put stock in what your highly intelligent people have come up with, having seen these threats in person, but can you really say they’ll see it as such?” Admiral Stark said, shaking his head sadly.

Admiral Jones brought her tightly curled fist down hard on Admiral Stark’s table in anger, shaking up the contents covering the table. Admiral Stark watched her silently as she calmed down.

“So, we just ignore just what this new intelligence means for the colonies?” Admiral Jones asked stoically.

“Steady on, Admiral. We just keep on going as we are. Prepare for the worst, in secret if we must,” Stark said nonchalantly.

“What’s next for my fleet then, sir?” Admiral Jones said in resignation, frowning and turning outwardly glum as she stored up her anger deep inside, ready to use as a weapon in the future.

“You know what your part in Corman’s plan is now that your fleet has returned. Your fleet seems to have been highly efficient even despite the damage taken in combat, but focus on preparing your ships and people as best as possible and take whatever you deem necessary into storage,” Admiral Stark said.

“Aye, sir,” Admiral Jones said quietly, getting up to leave.

Martius 11th, 2355 – 4pm
Caprica, Baltar Manor

A large 40” TV screen at the center of the room depicted a woman in her twenties with short black hair, wearing a perfectly tailored business suit, the Caprica City News logo appeared at the top left corner of the screen.

In a small window of the screen to the right, the image of the Baltar Manor living room appeared, with Gaius Baltar in a fancy black suit with a red tie lounging on a comfy chair looking out into the sunlight outside as the reporter spoke.

“For those of you just joining us from the Pyramid game on Gemenon... Welcome to The Spotlight...
Our weekly interview program devoted to people making news on Caprica.
Today we're talking with Doctor Gaius Baltar. Winner of three Magnate Awards over the course of his career. A media cult figure and a personal friend of President Adar's, he is currently working as a top consultant for the Ministry of Defense... But he's perhaps best known for his controversial views... On advancing computer technology. Dr. Baltar, again, welcome.” The brunette professional reporter said, an easy smile on her face as she looked into the camera.

Baltar sat with his perfectly tussled brown hair, elegantly dressed in an expensive black suit and aesthetically handsome. He’d listened to the reporter recite his bio with a smug grin.

“Thank you, Kellan. Firstly, may I say how lovely you're looking... And secondly, what an absolute pleasure it is to be on the show,” Baltar said.

“Well, we're delighted to have you with us,” Kellan said, smiling at the compliment. She sat up straighter, her tone professional, “Now, before we get into your views with our audience… Can we discuss the recently fully implemented Command Navigation Program you are credited with designing for the fleet? Rumor has it that if you hadn’t stepped in and singlehandedly masterminded the effort to get the project up and running, the CNP would have likely been dismantled.”

“Ah, well I can’t take all the credit,” Baltar said, chuckling, a self-satisfied smile drawn across his face, “The CNP project is revolutionary as an operating system utilized across the Colonial Fleet. Primarily as a navigation program, thus its name,” Baltar tilted his head and smiled widely as if he’d said something clever, shrugging.

Kellan smiled indulgently, nodding for him to continue.

“The CNP is interlinked across entire ships in the fleet using our most advanced computer networks. Navigational jump distance and the speed to implement an FTL jump are drastically increased as the program now plots coordinates for our fleet units, rather than relying on military officers to do so by hand. As they did in the last war. Thanks to the improved processing power and capabilities of our systems with networks installed with the CNP, overall combat efficiency and performance has been said to have been improved well over three fold,” Baltar said smugly.

He enjoyed going over his achievement, flaunting his victory over opponents in his field who decried the use of networking and wished to return to the technophobic approach following the Cylon war.
Kellan had been distracted as the doctor spoke, noticing an attractive 6-foot-tall, well-muscled, intern getting coffee for the film crew. He bent low to hand the tense crouched camera man a cup, flexing his shapely form which from her angle revealed a lot to draw the reporter’s attention. She smiled to herself, coming to attention as her producer snapped her back to attention with a few choice angry words.

“That’s very interesting doctor, thank you,” she said with a nod, taking a deep breath as she fought the urge to roll her eyes, “Now, could you summarize your views for our audience?”

“Yes, I'd be happy to,” Baltar said, nodding, his plastered smug grin only retracting slightly as he turned serious, “My position is very simple. The ban on research and development into artificial intelligence... Is, as we all know, a holdover from the Cylon Wars. Quite frankly, I find this to be an outmoded concept. It serves no useful purpose except to impede our efforts—“
Baltar continued, going over his views against the moderates and what he described as technophobic fools who wanted to return to an anti-technological state

The blonde woman Baltar had been seeing for nearly two years entered his mansion, shutting the door behind herself quietly and walking into the living room where Baltar was setup for his interview.
Baltar saw her in the shadows. Their eyes meet and a flush of hot desire rose up into his face as he continued speaking live on the news...

Baltar Manor – Baltar’s Bedroom

The door slammed open. Baltar and the woman are all over each other, clawing and tearing at each other's clothing. The woman shoved him down on the bed, and unzipped his pants with a quick motion.

“Miss me?” she asked, kissing Baltar deeply as if he was the very air she breathed.

“Can't you tell?” Baltar said in between kisses.

“Your body misses me, but what about your heart? Your soul?” she asked.

“Yeah, those too...” Baltar said, unfocused as he kissed her, his hands caressing her.

“Do you love me, Gaius?” she asked,

Baltar freezes in his tracks. “What?”

“Do you love me?” She asked again, her tone thick with desperation. She cupped his face with her hands and looked deep into his eyes.

He blinked in surprise for a beat, hesitating, “Are you... Are you serious?”

Her vibrant green eyes bore into his brown eyes for a long beat. Suddenly, she grinned at him -- and Baltar relaxed, grinning widely as he realized she's messing with him.

He kissed her, passionately, speaking in between the noise of smack on lips, “You had me, worried, there for a moment.”

The two smiled, gasping and panting as they kissed. The blonde pushed him back into the bed. A slight look of fear appeared on Baltar’s face at the strength behind the woman.

Approaching the bed, she hiked up her skirt and mounted him. Baltar's eyes widened in ecstasy.
“I'm hot, Gaius. I'm so hot.” She said breathlessly, her skin flushed.

She began to rock back and forth, faster and faster, and whatever worries he had are suddenly forgotten.

Caprica System - Battlestar Galactica

The ship’s crew went about their day to day duties, enjoying their last real, normal, day together before re-assignment late tomorrow. A Raptor fighter-craft was being prepped for launch in the port hangar bay.

Chief Tyrol held a corded phone in his hand, the cord extending as he walked closer to the Raptor.
"Sir," Tyrol said into the phone, waving his free hand toward the windows on the ship where the Pilot and Electronics Officer (ECO) sat. They looked up from the ship’s computers, shifting focus from their pre-flight preparation.

"Sir," Tyrol said again, "I just wanted to let you know, you don't have to worry about making the traps today. I've had the deck gang making some special equipment. It's gonna help soften the landing for you."

"Here it comes," Helo said, a sigh and dread in his voice, shaking his head. He smiled in spite of himself.

"This is gonna help tremendously, it's really gonna--" Tyrol said, grinning

"Hey!" four members of the deck gang called out loudly, grinning deviously as they threw a bunch of pillows at the Raptor’s window. The fluffy pillows bounced off the hard metal of the fighter-craft, another off the window of the ship’s cockpit, falling back against the floor.

"Regular comedians," Helo said, grinning, he clapped his hands in mock applause. "That's verry funny," Helo drawled out.

"Ha ha ha, verrry funny," Sharon said, rolling her eyes.

Prosna and the other deck crew members laughed as they picked up the pillows from where they threw them on the deck.

Cally raised an eyebrow as she picked up a pillow, "Chief, is that your drool on this one?"
"Is this my pillow?" Tyrol asked, laughing as he looked between the deck gang. He gave the pillow a once-over, taking it from Cally.

Cally was grinning widely as Tyrol playfully pushed the pillow against her.

Prosna threw his pillow against the Raptor's window again, while the other two deck gang members grabbed a pillow each and swung at each other. Tyrol pressed a pillow against Cally as she tried to run away, laughing.

"Hilarious!" Helo said.

Helo and Sharon began laughing in earnest as they watched.

Martius 11th, 2355 – 730PM
Caprica City – Public Park

Several water fountains were placed across the park, with a long pool of water stretched across the ground. Light reflected beautifully off the water, with the trees and green grass spread nearby it’s an idyllic romantic scene. Vendors were selling trinkets from their stands outside and near the entrance to the park. Music wafted out of nearby shops and cafes.

“It may interest you to know that the final results for the CNP project are in. It’s working at close to 95% efficiency throughout the Fleet. Hold your applause, please,” Baltar said arrogantly, a self-satisfied smile on his face.

“No applause for me? I doubt you would've ever completed the project without me,” the gorgeous blonde woman said, frowning sternly.

“Yes, well, you helped a bit,” Baltar said.

“I rewrote half your algorithms,” she said, her eyes hard as anger laced in her tone.

“All right, you were extremely helpful. But let's not forget you got something out of it. All that poking around inside the Defense mainframe. Should give you a huge advantage bidding for the contract next year,” Baltar said.

“You know that's not really why I did it.”

“No, you did it 'cause you love me.”

“That, and God wanted me to help you.”

“Right. He spoke to you, did he?”

“You had a chat?”

“He didn't speak to me in a literal voice.”

“And you don't have to mock my faith.”

“Sorry. I'm just not very religious.”

“Does it bother you that I am?”

“It puzzles me that an intelligent, attractive woman such as yourself... should be taken in by all that mysticism and superstition. But I'm willing to overlook it on account of your other attributes.” He chuckled and gave her a lascivious once-over.

He moved to kiss her, but she turned her head.

“I have to go. I'm meeting someone,” she said.

“Really. Who is he? I'm insanely jealous,” Baltar asked, eyeing her, his expression a fierce frown.
“I doubt that,” she said, almost bitterly.

“So touchy today. Well, I'm meeting someone too -- business. New project at Defense I might do. Anyway – you’ll call me later, right?” Baltar said.

He gave her a quick kiss on the cheek and heads off. She watches him go with an enigmatic, thoughtful expression. Then she hears something -- turns, reacts to someone o.c.

“It's about time. I wondered when you'd get here,” she said impatiently.

“Are you clear on the timing?” an elderly man with gray hair, wearing a black suit like a priest, said, scrutinizing the blonde. Wondering if he can still trust her after all…

“0700 tomorrow, Caprica City time. Our agents will be in position in key locations. It’ll take a less than a few minutes after our ships appear to bring down the defense mainframes. Shouldn’t be any problems,” the blonde woman said.

The elderly man smirked, nodding. Before turning to walk away, he offered parting words of wisdom, “I recommend you leave this body behind. The alternative won't make for a very pleasant memory. Oh, and I hear that poison is really not that bad.”

Caprica City, Public Park; ~7PM

In the garden, Laura Roslin spotted an attractive dark-haired man in an expensive suit making out with a tall blonde woman, pressing their bodies against the wall.

“Secretary Roslin?” Stanz said.

“Yes?” Roslin said, turning to see him.

“Naylin Stanz, from the Education Alliance,” Stanz said. "You said you wanted to talk.”

"Yes," Roslin said, gesturing with her hand toward the pool at the center of the park. The two started walking together along the sculpted walkway parallel to the pool, Roslin admired the beautiful sight of the fountain at the center of the pool spewing water up in the air.

"I’ve heard about recent events with the teachers’ part of your strike, including the incident that resulted in several of them in the hospital. I'm sorry, Mr. Stanz," Roslin said.

“Have to admit, I was surprised to get your message,” Stanz said.

“The President was surprised I sent it,” Roslin said, a tight-lipped smile on her face. Stanz smiled briefly, looking up in the sky at the rainbow created by the fountain, before returning his focus to matters at hand.

“Once our chief negotiator got a billy-club to the head, we figured Adar's government had written us off as a lost cause,” Stanz said, his eyebrows bunched together, frowning as he remembered seeing Professor Phineas with a bloodied face, in critical condition at the hospital after meeting with the government.

“I was a teacher long before I was Secretary of Education. And causes are only lost when we give up,” Roslin said. She was distracted briefly, seeing the attractive blonde woman and the man with her walking out of the park together.

“Considering the stakes, you don't seem particularly engaged,” Stanz noted, looking at Roslin curiously.

“The stakes are what we decide to make them, Mr. Stanz,” Roslin said sharply, breathing deeply before she continued, “If the President uses troops to enforce his back-to-work order, people will get hurt. Even die.”

“Some causes are worth dying for,” Stanz said, his expression set in a hard line, glaring against the bright sunshine.

“Not this one. If you wanna settle this, your people have to disengage. No more civil disobedience, no more acts of violence. I want our students back in school,” Roslin said, her tone severe.
The two stopped walking, facing each other as they stared one another down.

“Done,” Stanz said after a long moment, nodding.

“I'm glad you called, Madam Secretary,” Stanz said, a small smile on his face as hope shown in his expression.

“Me, too,” Roslin said, smiling as well.

Leonis, Lumiere – Local Pub

Two men sat at a bar, drinking a draft of Leonis’ finest whiskey from shot glasses.
The crown prince sat incognito, ignored by the other inhabitants of in booths getting drunk themselves. He wore a regular red dress shirt that went well with his hazel brown eyes and gelled back dirty-blonde hair. Next to him on another stool at the bar sat a man in a black dress shirt with a concealed knife just under the lining of his shirt. He had dark green eyes and naturally spiky brown hair.

“You know the people attacking you behind closed doors are just jealous, right? Jumping at the idea of your brother as a better heir or other various insults… Jealousy, plain and simple. They want to drag you down because they can never be what you are,” Logan Dumont said, grinning as he patted Niklaus on the back.

“What? A disgrace? Second-best?” Niklaus Leon said bitterly, eyes downcast in shame, mulling over many other things he’d heard said of his potential rule over Leonis.

“No. A King,” Logan said, a confidence in his eyes as he shared a look with Niklaus.
Niklaus looked up, meeting Logan’s eyes and seeing his sincerity, Niklaus smiled, touched. Logan roared with laughter which Niklaus joined in on, chuckling quietly.

Logan poured the two another drink from the whiskey bottle into their shot glasses.

“Look at us, my friend,” Niklaus said, grinning, gesturing with a hand between the two of them, “Two sad, sorry, misfits drinking ourselves under the table.”

“Aye, but what’s life without a little alcohol to dull the senses every now and then? Sounds bloody miserable, mate,” Logan said, cackling before taking another drink.

Niklaus left his drink be, a somber look in his eyes as he studied Logan, “My sister has her eyes on you, you know. I’ve seen it…”

Logan sobers, eyeing Niklaus cautiously. He knew how protective the prince was of his sisters.
“Fair warning, my friend, Bethany never does anything half-way,” Niklaus said, slurring his words slightly, grinning at his friend, “Never fully thinks things through to tell the truth, she’s just too passionate for her own good. Probably gets it from mother…”

Niklaus grinned and leaned in closer, as he spoke lower as if speaking a secret, “Don’t tell her I said that…”

Logan laughed freely, shaking his head. “Yes, my King,” he said, mock saluting.

“I’ve always been worried about her, when it comes to love. She loves too freely and it often leads to heartbreak… So, just -- be careful, alright? The girl’s raving mad, so mores the pity if you feel for her too, but… I would trust you to take care of her, my friend,” Niklaus said, his eyes dead serious as he looked at Logan.

“I appreciate your support, Nik,” Logan said, his lip twitching into a smile, he winked at Niklaus.
“Of course, if she looks to someone else she grows to fancy, and likely leaves you… She can’t help herself sometimes, just – don’t let your feelings make you do something stupid, Logan,” Niklaus said, a hint of serious concern in his tone even as he smiled devilishly.

Logan nodded in understanding and Niklaus patted him on the back and poured him a drink.
“You’re a good friend, Niklaus. I’m glad we met all those years ago,” Logan said sincerely, smiling a huge grin.

“At least one good thing came from that trip to Divio,” Niklaus said, chuckling, “I still remember Lucian covered in mud from one of Kol’s tricks back then.”

“When Kol put him in with the pigs in his sleep? Gah, the poor kid was traumatized,” Logan said, laughing.

The two shared in laughter and drinks for the next few hours as they reminisced, whiling away the night…

Martius 11th, 2355 ~8pm
Caprica, Caprica City - Presidents Office

“Laura, come in. I didn't like the way we left things this morning.” Adar said, inviting in Roslin to his office, smiling slightly. He reached out to her to plant a kiss, which she turned away from awkwardly.

“Richard... I know.” Roslin said.

“You've been thinking this is a mistake for a while now,” Adar said, sighing. He walked around her to take a seat behind his desk.

“I just met with Stanz. The Education Alliance is going to back off,” Roslin said, smiling with tight lips, a familiar expression she’d used in politics though slightly genuine as she was proud of her accomplishment. She felt it was just, she’d done the right thing…

“Back off?” Adar said with disbelief thick in his voice, his eyes hardened as he looked at Roslin suspiciously, his heart sinking, “Laura, what did you give them?”

“I made them a promise that we would seriously hear out their grievances, Richard. I thought you'd be happy they're going back to work,” Roslin said, her eyebrows knitting together in confusion.

“Laura, you've put me in a very awkward position,” Adar said sadly, exhaling loudly, kneading his hands over one another stressfully.

“I don't see how. Both sides gave ground,” Roslin said.

“It's not just about your teachers. It's the next strike I'm worried about. You just showed them that if they hold out long enough, this administration will cave,” Adar said.
Realization struck Roslin, her lips parted in surprise. She smiled, a hint of danger in her look.

“You expected me to fail,” Roslin said darkly, scrutinizing Adar.

“I expected you to hold the line,” Adar said, shaking his head, disappointed.

“This doesn't have to be the end of the world. You can stay on in an advisory capacity. Gods know we need your ideas.” Adar said, sighing loudly.

“You're asking me to resign?” Roslin asked, incredulously.

“I don't have any choice. This isn't about you and me anymore.” Adar said.

“You're right, it's not. You were willing to attack those people, and up until a few hours ago, I was prepared to let you.”

“I will be heading to the Galactica to represent this administration for the decommissioning ceremony when the armistice day celebrations are set to start tomorrow. When I return, if you still want my job, be prepared to fight,” Roslin said.

Scorpion Fleet Shipyards
Battlestar Pegasus

“Come in!” Admiral Cain said loudly when the door buzzed, and turned her attention back to the Pegasus evaluation reports while continuing to walk briskly on the treadmill.
Colonel Belzen walked in and shook his head while smiling at seeing Admiral Cain reading and working out on a treadmill.

“That's your idea of vacation reading?” Colonel Belzen asked in disbelief, as he used his rolled-up magazine to point to the Pegasus evaluation reports Admiral Cain was going over.

“What, is that your idea of a hobby?” Admiral Cain asked chuckling and nodding towards the Scorpia Paragliding magazine in Colonel Belzen's hand.

“Yeah, it is,” Colonel Belzen said smiling and unrolled the Scorpia Paragliding magazine into both hands facing Admiral Cain. “So, have you figured out how you're going to spend your shore leave?” Colonel Belzen asked curiously.

“Uhh, I was thinking about maybe going home to Tauron to visit some friends, but I haven't made any definite plans yet, nope,” Admiral Cain said, huffing her response out as she continued to briskly walk on the treadmill.

“In that case, how about spending some time with us on Gemenon? I know Rika and the girls would love to see you. Come on Helena, you deserve a break. We've been on patrol for over a year now,” Colonel Belzen said, looking at Admiral Cain worriedly.

“Look, I've got a repair list as long as my arm, plus the networks are going to be down for the refit and you know I don't like leaving Pegasus at the mercy of a bunch of civilian contractors, so,” Admiral Cain said shaking her head.

“Alright, listen to your XO. Once in a while, it's ok to get off the treadmill,” Colonel Belzen said with concern in his voice, raising and pointing his finger at Admiral Cain, trying to keep her attention.

“I… will think about it,” Admiral Cain said noncommittally, repeating herself more strongly as Belzen gave her a disbelieving look.

“Ok,” Colonel Belzen said sadly and left the room.

Admiral Cain turned up the treadmill and started running after Colonel Belzen left. Her mind drifted to memories of the first Cylon war when she was on Tauron and lost her family to a squad of centurions, trying to block out the unwanted memories Admiral Cain ran faster on the treadmill.

Last Hour of the First Cylon War

“We’ve gotta go!” Helena Cain’s father said, leading his two girls away from the body of their mother, Helena looked back reaching for her mother before following.

Outside the building, Centurions wielded machine-guns, spraying bullets into buildings above, including where the Cains’ resided. One soldier fired back at them from an opening in the wall, he was cut down by a spray of bullets.

As the Cain family reached the stairs, shrapnel hit Helena Cain’s father in an explosion which tore into the building, throwing brick from the wall into the air. As he tried to get up, he opened a hole in his stomach, blood pooling quickly pooled around him. Realizing this, he stopped moving, turning frantically to his daughters.

“Helena, listen to me, you’ve got to get your sister to shelter. Go, you’ve got to protect her now,” Helena Cain’s Father said sternly through his pain, speaking loud to be heard over continuing explosions outside.

Helena Cain grabbed her sister and ran out the building. Lucy tripped and got stuck in rubble, the two sisters looking up as a Cylon Raider closed on their position from above.

“Come on, Lucy, get up!” Helena Cain yelled fearfully.

“I can’t!” Lucy Cain shouted.

“Run, Lucy, Run!” Helena Cain yelled fearfully at her sister over the noise of an oncoming Raider landing, heading into a container and out of sight.

“Helena! No! Helena!” Lucy Cain screamed at her sister as she backed away, noticing the metal chrome bodies of Centurions in the bright sunlight.

Centurions appeared, approaching the little girl as she looked at them fearfully, clutching a doll. Noticing Helena as she backed away, one of the Centurions began following her as she looked for a way out, seeing an open door she ran towards it. She ended up inside a small steel cargo container packed full of crates. Nowhere to go.

“Helena!” Lucy Cain yelled several times before her shouts could no longer be heard by her sister. Helena covered her eyes, unable to bear it. She looked up as the unmistakable loud whirring noise of a centurion walking toward her grew louder. Noticing a small pocket knife on the ground, Helena grabbed it and stood to face the centurion.

“Come on! What are you waiting for?!” Helena Cain shouted at the 005 Centurion coming towards her.

Tightening her grip around the small blade, she wielded the razor in her hand, pointing it toward the Centurion. She watched as the Centurion raised its sub-machine gun towards her, trigger fingering readying to end the child’s life...

The Centurion froze. A loud beeping noise was heard, the red-light on its visor flashing vibrantly. Then the Centurion turned around and left after receiving a message.

The sound of a Raider lifting off was clearly heard a minute later. Helena raced outside to find her sister.

“Lucy?!” Helena shouted in distress up at the fleeing Raider after finding her sister’s doll on the ground.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 5:39 am
Posts: 438
Location: The Planet Terra
Hi Dragon, I haven't had time to read through this yet as I'm busy - back at work after my lay off. When I get chance I will read it and leave feedback but bear with me.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:42 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 5:39 am
Posts: 438
Location: The Planet Terra
OK Dragon, I've finally found the time to read through it all - it's a lot to take in, I wouldn't be overly concerned with the time lines, it doesn't detract from the flow at all in my opinion.
On the negative side, you have a lot of different threads going on at the same time which can be a little confusing, especially with all the different alien species, although you did explain that. I hope you manage to tie the loose ends together, that said, I am sure you have it all figured out and have a long term plan.
On the positive side, I have to say I found all the different story lines very interesting indeed, I particularly liked you description of the battle scenes with the Ovians. I also like where your going with the 'Haven'.

All in all a very engaging read my friend and a very good command of English and grammar - I will definitely be waiting for the next episodes, Bravo Dragon

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:48 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:01 am
Posts: 20
1x07 Decommissioned

0700 Martius 12th, 2355
Edge of Colonial Space Bordering the Demarcation Line

A tiny Space Station hung in place motionlessly in the deep void of space. Only the sight of bright lights from stars in the distance were apparent in this area of space, without any planets or any ships visible anywhere nearby.

A small white colonial transport glided into place, moving into a docking position against one of the airlock docking ports of the station.

Armistice Station

Thin in stature, the station held a long umbilical cord-like entrance way forming a secure air-lock which surrounded the point of contact where the colonial transport ship leaned into the space station. Once mag-locks secured and locked the ship into place, pressurization was matched on both sides as the transport ship achieved hard-seal. This made it alright to open the thick air-lock hatch doors on the station to enter inside.

Once inside, a set of thick grey steel doors opened as a colonial officer approached, leading into a single room. It was a simple, bare room of steel. Two doors on opposite sides. One metal table in the center. On the opposite side from where the colonials would enter from, a similar large set of grey steel doors lay, encapsulating the entirety of the main level of the station where negotiations were to be held.

The floor of the room was smooth steel, grey like the doors, walls and ceiling. Darkness reined in the room until movement was detected inside, with lights in the center of the ceiling brightening up with a simple white light to illuminate the room. White lights at the edges of the room along the point where the walls and floor met similarly lit up.

A man dressed in the gray slacks and suit-jacket dress uniform of a colonial fleet officer walked inside from one door, a set of Colonel medal pins on his collar and an array of medals of distinguishment from his years of service ran down the left side of his jacket. He carried a silver briefcase with him, otherwise empty handed.

The only noise in the room was the loud echoing thud-thud padding of his footsteps as he reached the table in the center of the room.

The Colonel sat in one of only two chairs in the room – his was cushioned and comfortable, the other which stuck out from the other side of the table was merely bare metal. A hard steel table lay between them, not so subtlety outlining the line in the sand between the two sides. Sitting on the left side of the table was a small gooseneck lamp which shined on the table, providing light so documents could be easily read. The only other object in the room was a simple flag denoting the united twelve colonies as one nation, which stood against the wall on the Colonel’s left.

He opened his briefcase and took out a few personal items -- pictures of his wife and child, a book, and some official paperwork. He set them on the table. He leafed through the paperwork focusing on briefing documents, the top of which included photos of the designs for the 005 Centurions.

Glancing up at the door across from him which remained sealed shut as it did every year he’d come here since the armistice was signed, the colonel relaxed. He leaned back in his seat, closing his eyes, dozing.

Prepared for hours of sitting there, waiting for a sign of something that had never appeared in the last 40 years, the appearance of the Cylons at the negotiating table. He expected that this year would be no different from the last, and he and the crew waiting for him back on his transport would leave after twelve hours without contact, bored, annoyed at being sent out here once more for nothing…

A few minutes later, the thick steel doors on the other end of the room swung open, revealing a blaze of light. The dozing Colonel lurched forward in shock. What the hell? Was his only thought, as shock wracked him.

Loud thuds were heard as the noise of metal on metal echoed in the small room. The Colonel’s jaw dropped as two Cylon centurions entered the room, moving to stand on either side of the doorway, like deadly sentinels.

Similar to the old 005 models from the Cylon war, these centurions had a visor where the eyes would be on a human body, with a red light forming an eye that rotated back and forth. These were thicker, and taller centurions – near seven feet tall, with long claw like hands which held an attached gun barrel that they had aimed forward as they entered the room. Their chrome silver metal bodies, all shiny and new in appearance gleamed in the light of the room.

Scanning the room and apparently finding no threat, the gun barrels attached to their arms retracted, folding up into their arms as they both straightened in a relaxed posture. Other differences between them and the older models Centurions included the increased armor which went up past their neck around the collar, just enough to not impair movement. As well, their feet were thicker, plank like – as if intended to magnetically lock onto the ground. Despite having put up their weapons, their imposing figures are enough to draw fear from the Colonel before them.

Silence. The Colonel remained at the desk, having sat up and straightened in his seat. He still wore a look of surprise, but made an effort to conceal it and appear professional.

A series of thud-thuds echoed throughout the room. Unlike with the centurions, it was not the thick sound of metal on metal. The colonel screwed his face up in confusion.

Then, a figure appeared from the other side of the airlock. A beautiful woman entered the room, the sounds of her footsteps continuing to thud-thud against the metal floor. An observer would notice her brown high heeled boots running up to her knees as the cause of the noise echoing in the small room.

She looked to be in her twenties, with short flowing, curly, platinum blonde hair, green eyes, and drop-dead good looks. The body of a model, a woman who would stand out in a crowd and make men into putty who could only gawk at her in astonishment and the woman around her rage in jealousy. Every move, every gesture, she made was smooth and precise. Her eyes held a playful coyness, and if looked at deep enough shined with keen intelligence. She wore a simple red business suit which conformed to her curves nicely, accentuating them.

She ignored the Centurions as she passed them, acting as if they weren’t there. She walked past the chair left out for the Cylons to make use of, instead turning to approach the Colonel’s side of the negotiation table. Her eyes watched him as she moved, eyeing him curiously as he stared at her in amazement.

She sat down next to the Colonel, seating herself on the metal table itself. She favored the Colonel with a flirtatious smile.

He blinked in surprise, and returned her smile hesitantly. His cheeks turned red from embarrassment.

She reached across the small table, softly cupping his chin, and brought it to within inches of her own face as she leaned toward him.

She looked into his eyes, searching their depths as she studied the Colonel. She spoke in a low, sultry voice, “Are you alive?”

The Colonel’s eyes furrowed together in confusion, his eyes searched hers and he spoke softly, his tone questioning her sanity, “Yes…”

She mulled over his answer, her eyes dropping before returning to his. Her eyes searched his as she spoke softly, leaning closer, “Prove it.”

The Colonel was totally flummoxed, unsure what to make of these events. She was devastatingly gorgeous however, and as she leaned in, using her arm to pull him into a deep and sensual embrace, he didn’t resist. She kissed him tenderly, her eyes closing as she explored the feeling, the sensation as she deepened the kiss...

Briefly too shocked to respond, the Colonel finally responded as she deepened the kiss, closing his eyes as well as he kissed her back.

The two centurions over on the Cylons’ side of the room remained as they were, simply standing in place as the red light of their eyes weaved back and forth.

The elder man and the gorgeous woman continued kissing, lost in the sensation, oblivious to the world around them.

Outside of the station in the darkness of space, a large shape loomed over the Armistice Station. A ship. It was vastly different from the appearance of the Cylon baseships in the Cylon war which had appeared as a set of thick disks attached by a central axis, but its appearance and here of all places was unmistakable. A Cylon basestar. Built like a star as it was so named, it wasn’t too dissimilar from a starfish, with extending arms forming a Y structure that met a central axis attached to another Y shaped structure below.

From the Cylon basestar, a small white light appeared as it exited the ship, a streak of white following behind. A missile. The missile sped up after arcing around lazily to angle down toward the Armistice station. Within seconds, it detonated against the surface of the Colonial transport attached to the station, igniting a fiery explosion that bloomed out to the darkness of space as the Colonial transport exploded. The blaze of fire touched the station, burning away across the metal covering the surface of the station.

The Colonel heard the loud echoing boom of the explosion and felt the deck beneath him shudder violently. He tried to pull away, but her hand which had so gently pulled him to her in a sweet embrace now locked into place in a vice-like grip. She proved far stronger than he as he couldn’t move an inch.

He wore an expression of horror as realization of what was now happening occurred to him at last. She smiled a sweet, sad, smile at him. Looking into his panicked eyes, she murmured, “It has begun.”

The chrome metal bodied centurions stood in place impassively, silently. Red eyes moving back and forth as ever.

The gorgeous blonde pulled the man towards her once more, kissing him even as he resisted and tried to break free and escape even though he had nowhere to go.

The entire room exploded around them as Armistice Station was torn apart in a series of shattering explosions, one after another in a crescendo until the entire mass of the station broke apart.

The Cylon baseship left the expanding pile of debris of the Armistice station behind as it turned away and was enveloped in a bright flash of light, jumping away.

0830, Martius 12th 2355
Cyrannus; Helios Alpha System, Hours Sub-light Speed Travel From Caprica

Out in space hours from Caprica was an aged warship with the nameplate Galactica on its flightpod. One of the original Battlestars, Galactica had the shape of a crouching alligator. 1400 meters long with port and starboard extending flightpods, her KEW cannons along her spine on her topside gleamed in the light from the Helios Alpha star.

Battlestar Galactica, Passageways

The sound of running feet on metal grating echoed throughout the passageway corridors of the large warship. Bang-bang, bang-bang…

An athletic, short haired blonde woman in her mid-twenties jogged through the narrow, cramped corridors of the Battlestar Galactica. The passageways were lit up by properly spaced out white tubes that bloomed with light along the sloping support beams. The bare metal passageways were spotlessly clean, and as usual crowded with people passing by.

The blonde woman was dressed in a grey undershirt and sleeveless black over shirt with her dog tags on top, dangling back and forth as she ran. Her familiar face came into view as she curved around a turn in the passageway. Kara Thrace.

She jogged past several crewmen going the opposite direction in the corridor. In her path, a tour group of civilians in business clothes, each wearing a yellow necklace that denoted a visitor’s pass, continued on their way through the passageway. Breathing hard, Kara rolled her eyes as she approached the group blocking her way up ahead.

“Make a hole!” Kara called out, annoyed.

The civilians scramble out of the way on either side of the passageway to let her pass, several looking alarmed as Kara ran past.

A man in his twenties in an expensive blue suit, a picture-perfect Bureaucratic public relations type of person, re-drew the attention of the visiting civilians to himself. They were mostly members of the press, with several pointing microphones in his direction as a he spoke of the history of Galactica.

“Form follows function,” Doral said, the tone of a museum guide very interested in his work in his raised voice. He led the visitor-tagged tourists down the corridor, continuing to point things out to the group and explaining things around the ship as he’d done since he and the group boarded.

“Nowhere is this axiom of design more readily apparent than on board the famous Battlestar Galactica. This ship, the last of her kind still in service, was constructed over fifty years ago during the early days of the Cylon War. Originally, there were twelve Battlestars, each representing one of Kobol's Twelve Colonies. Galactica represented Caprica and was first commanded by...”

They reached another intersection in the opposite direction from where Kara continued jogging throughout the passageway as she continued her run across the length of the ship.

A man in his late fifties in his simple blue dress uniform with commander’s pins on his collar walked along a corridor up ahead. His face was weathered with age and light scarring from his time in war, his iron-grey hair was combed back, hedged in by his glasses.

Adama walked forward, not watching his surroundings as he focused on the piece of paper he held, reading it aloud, "The Cylon War is long over. Yet, we must not forget the reasons why so many sacrificed so much in the cause of liberty..."

A passing officer, Captain Kelly, a man in his thirties with short spiked brown hair drew up short next to the Commander and started walking with him, “Commander Adama, if I may...?”

“Captain...?” Adama said in his gruff, deep, husky voice as he looked up from his speech. Though not the first time he’d been interrupted practicing his speech on his way, he didn’t show it if he minded.

Captain Kelly wore a serious expression, sincerity shone in his eyes as he spoke respectfully, “Just wanted to say it's been a pleasure to serve in your command, sir.”

“Thank you, Captain Kelly. It’s been my honor,” Adama said somewhat stiffly, touched as he had been as several other crewmen had expressed similar sentiments to him today. As he spoke his next words he smiled widely, “Good luck in your next assignment.”

“Thank you, sir.” Kelly said, and though appearing as if he might’ve said more he decided against it and simply nodded and left the Commander alone. He was turning down the corridor to the left side where Kara came out of as she turned into the intersection and approached Commander Adama.

Adama continued walking, quietly reading aloud his speech as before, "The Cylon War is long over. Yet, we must not forget..."

Bang-Bang, Bang-Bang. Adama didn’t even glance from his speech as Kara approached from behind him.

“Morning, sir!” Kara said loudly, grinning widely as she slowed her run to jog alongside the Commander. She liked and respected Adama, and as he grinned as she drew up next to him, the feeling was clearly mutual. Morning exchanges like this were a sort of ritual for them.

“Good morning, Starbuck! What do you hear?” Adama asked, without looking up from his speech.

“Nothin' but the rain,” Kara said, shaking her head as she laughed.

“Grab your gun and bring in the cat,” Adama intoned gruffly, smiling as he looked up from his speech.

“Boom-boom-boom!“ Kara said, grinning, cheekily pointing at Adama and winking as she ran ahead, picking up her speed again. Adama chuckled, shaking his head at her as she left him, returning his focus to the paper he held.

Kara ran down another weaving turn in the passageway, running past a group of three deck-hands clad in orange uniforms with tools in black pouches on the chest of their uniforms. The two males, Prosna and Socinus, both eighteen and with military buzz-cut brunette hair, were accompanied by an older woman, twenty-one, with her brown hair in a ponytail walking around another crew-men as she kept pace with the pair. They rushed somewhere in a hurry, complaining to one another. Prosna held a flat package wrapped in brown paper.

“C'mon, let’s go guys, Chief's gonna have our ass!” Prosna, the brown-haired deck-hand said, his accent the soft melodious voice of a Caprican.

“Yeah, well, you're the one who was supposed to wrap that yesterday,” Cally, the attractive short young woman complained.

Socinus spoke with a slight gruff Tauron accent as he saw Adama approaching and shushed the other two, “Shh. It's the old man.”

Adama heard the last words Cally spoke, saw Prosna push something in his hands behind his back, and heard curses under their breath as the deck-hands drew up short awkwardly before the Commander.

“Too late. What's up?” Adama said, no sign of worry in him as he patiently looked the group over, with a slight raised eyebrow, bemused.

The three deck-hands nervously saluted him, straightening to an at attention stance.

“Nothing, sir. Just another leak in that frakin' window,” Socinus said quickly, and realizing his language he hesitated, “Pardon me, sir.”

“It's supposed to be a Battlestar, not a museum. Sorry for saying so, sir,” Prosna added seriously, as he stood stiffly with his hands still behind his back.

Cally licked her lips, smiling awkwardly.

“Couldn't agree with you more. Be careful out there, all right?” Adama said, smiling slightly as he let them keep whatever they were hiding secret.

He walked on and headed into the ship’s CIC (combat information center) and looking back at his speech, he mouthed the words as he spoke quietly, “The Cylon War is long over, yet we cannot forget the reasons why-.”

The CIC, located deep within the belly of the enormous warship, was the Battlestar's nerve center. It was the centralized command center for flight and combat operations, a large dimly lit room filled with numerous computer consoles and monitors overhead, with rows of work counters with seats for working crewmen forming a line down to the center where the plot table stood. Over a dozen crewmembers moved about the command center today, with normal operations able to accommodate around fifty personnel.

Lieutenant Gaeta stopped the commander in his tracks, a stack of printed-out messages in his hands. And handed the messages over as he spoke, “Morning, sir.”

“Good morning,” Adama said, as he leafed through the messages. Galactica was probably the last ship in the fleet to keep everything on paper as they did in the Cylon war. Just the way he liked it.

“Com traffic from the midwatch,” Gaeta said.

“Anything interesting?” Adama asked, briefly looking up at the overhead monitors, the beeping of the Dradis systems drawing his attention. He trusted Gaeta, knowing he’d understand what Adama would likely find interesting among the stack of paper.

“Mostly housekeeping. Oh, there is one odd message we were copied on,” Gaeta said, eyebrows scrunching together with the confusion he felt, he pointed at a particular message among the stack in Adama’s hands. “The one from Fleet Headquarters there, sir. Courier officer's overdue on reporting in for hourly checks per SOP (standard operating procedures) for his duties at Armistice Station. They're asking for a status report on all FTL capable ships in case they need somebody to Jump out there today, and see if his ship's had a mechanical problem…”

Looking around the CIC, taking in the older computers in place and the general undeniable feeling that the ship was being decommissioned, Adama made a hmph noise, shaking his head.

Adama chuckled as he turned back to the papers in his hand, shuffling through them.

“I think we're a little bit busy today. Wouldn't you say so, Lieutenant?” Adama said, a hint of amusement in his tone.

Gaeta nodded, sheepish, he grinned, “Yes, sir.”

“I’m glad we agree,” Adama said wryly. What I wouldn’t give for another adventure… He handed the stack of messages to Gaeta and prepared to walk on, his speech firmly in hand.

“And may I also take this opportunity to say it's been both a pleasure and an honor to serve under you these past three years, sir,” Gaeta said, smiling.

Adama looked Gaeta in the eyes, though touched a small part of him was inwardly groaning at another congratulation and wishing it would end. He spoke solemnly, with sincerity, “It's my honor, Lieutenant Gaeta.”

Gaeta turned, exiting the CIC. He returned a salute to an officer in a green uniform who stood watch over the hatchway to CIC.

Continuing down a hallway, he saw Colonel Tigh leaning against a bulkhead, a black coffee cup in his hand. “Colonel?” Gaeta said, a note of confusion in his tone as he awkwardly saluted, eyeing the Colonel cautiously. Tigh looked like he was about ready to puke. Gaeta looked away quickly and hurried off.

Tigh steadied himself against the bulkhead. He rallied, shaking his head as he tried to clear his head then headed off down the passageway. Tigh passed a bureaucratic man dressed in a fancy blue suit, Mr. Doral, and the tour group following him.

“You'll see things here that look odd, even antiquated to modern eyes. –Hello,” Doral said, turning awkwardly as Tigh passed him, blinking rapidly he continued as Tigh ignored them, “Phones with cords, awkward manual valves, computers that barely deserve the name. But all of it is intentional. It's all designed to operate in combat against an enemy who could infiltrate and disrupt all but the most basic computer systems.”

Doral led the tour group down the passageway, “Galactica is a reminder of a time when we were so frightened by the capabilities of our enemies that we literally looked backward for protection.”

Galactica – Port Flight Pod, Repair Bay

Adama entered the hatchway of the flight pod’s maintenance bay, on the port hangar deck. A large space, the hangar deck was designed for the storage, maintenance and repairs of the ship’s fighter-craft. It was filled with tools, diagnostic equipment, spare parts, and odd bits of machinery.

Over a dozen enlisted deck-hands milled about the hangar, including Socinus, Prosna and Cally. Their Chief Petty Officer, Galen Tyrol was the first to spot Adama coming through the hatch.

“Attention on deck!” Chief Tyrol called out loudly. He was a man in his late twenties in an orange jumpsuit, with cropped short brown hair and brown eyes. He worked hard to hide his smile and keep a sober face.

The deck gang stopped what they were doing, plasma torches shut off and the noise from drills, welding of metal and crew members shouting instructions from across the deck ceased. The crew snapped to attention, standing upright looking straight ahead as the Commander passed.

“At ease,” Adama said, saluting Chief Tyrol and letting the deck gang relax, “Good morning, Chief.”

Tyrol lowered his salute, relaxing his stance as he stood before the Commander.

“Morning, sir. Thank you for coming down. If you’ll come this way, sir,” Tyrol said, wearing an expression of eagerness, an undertone of nervousness as he waved his arm ahead to lead the Commander.

Adama smiled as he followed the chief’s lead, “Always appreciate the chance to see where the real work is done.”

“Yes, sir.” Tyrol said, smiling. He led Adama past an array of machinery and ongoing maintenance until they came before a craft covered from nose to exhaust ports with a black tarp. A small crowd of the deck crew formed behind the pair.

“Sir, on behalf of the Deck Crew aboard Galactica, I'd like to present a token of our esteem and appreciation for the many years you've served as commanding officer of this ship,” Tyrol said, nodding at the deckhands to each grab an edge of the tarp.

The tarp was smoothly whisked away, revealing a class Viper mark II fighter-craft. Unlike the silver-green sleek Mark VII, the Mark II was white with red stripes spread across its gangly surface, with its nose jutting out more noticeably than the later design, a slightly larger fighter-craft.

It gleamed under the light, looking brand new. Adama smiled, moving forward without even thinking about it.

“Mark II... Haven't seen one of these in about 20 years,” Adama said, chuckling as he marveled at the sight of the viper.

“If the commander will take a closer look...” Tyrol said, grinning along with several members of the deck gang as they watched Adama’s reaction.

Adama shot a puzzled questioning look back at Tyrol, then stepping closer to the Viper he saw it. Stenciled across the hull below the cockpit canopy: LT William Adama “Husker”

“At the tail numbering. Nebula 7242 Constellation,” Tyrol continued, aware that the commander had focused on his name and his old call sign, chuckling at the sight.

His grin widened as Adama noticed the tail numbering, the exact same as the viper Adama had flown in the Cylon war. It was the same viper.

Adama stepped closer, he put a hand on the fuselage as if in a dream, half expecting the ship to disappear as he ran his hand down the nose of the viper. “Where did you find her?”

“Rusting out in a salvage yard on Sagittaron. We had hoped the commander would allow her to participate in the decommissioning ceremony,” Tyrol said.

“She'll fly?!” Adama exclaimed with a side look at Tyrol, his eyes turning back to take in the viper. He smiled widely.

“Oh, yes sir,” Tyrol said, smiling with fresh cheer as Adama chuckled, “We've restored the engines, patched the guidance system, replaced much of the flight control--”

“You guys are amazing,” Adama said, shaking his head in disbelief as he moved his hand across the nose of the Viper.

“She's fueled, armed, ready for launch, sir...” Tyrol said, smiling.

The deck gang watched with barely concealed grins as Adama continued marveling at the sight of the Mark II Viper. Cally grinned, reminded of a sibling as he witnessed the childlike innocence in the awe Adama showed his old ship.

“Commander,” Tyrol said, glancing at Prosna as he stepped forward with a wrapped package and handed it to Adama.

“What? More… Somebody’s buckin’ for promotion,” Adama said, laughing as he took the package and tore the brown wrapping paper apart to open the package.

“I believe that would be Prosna, sir. He found this in the fleet archives. He was doing some research for the museum,” Tyrol said.

Tyrol took away the wrapping paper as what’s underneath is revealed as a glass frame containing a photo of Adama as a much younger man standing in front of his viper mark II, his hands on the shoulders of his two little boys.

Adama sighed, emotional with lump forming in his throat. He looked up with gratitude, eyeing each of the deck crew, “Thank you. Thank you all. It's an honor.”

Adama is suddenly caught short, blindsided by an unexpected wave of emotion as he ran his hands over the photo. He smiled sadly, looking down at the image.

“You’re welcome, sir. Fall out,” Tyrol said, silently signaling at the deck hands, and they made a quiet, discreet exit.

“All right. You heard the man. Let's get number three up,” one of the deck gang called out.

Indistinct chattering is heard from the deck crew as they walk across the bay to work on other vipers, and raptor craft. Moments later, drills could be heard as mechanics set to work throughout the hangar deck.

Adama stayed there, looking over his ship in the photo with his sons at his side. Nostalgia and sadness brimming in his eyes, he didn’t even notice the deck crew leaving him alone. He stood motionless, completely lost in his own world, remembering the past.

“Attention… Prior to 2100 hours…” a female voice is heard over the P.A. (public announcement system) across the ship.

Galactica, Squadron Ready Room

The squadron ready room was an informal gathering place for off-duty pilots. Next to the Briefing room where the squadrons of the ship would gather for orders.

The décor reflected the pilots and squadrons who had come and gone throughout the ship’s many years of service, with medals, insignias and souvenirs lining the walls. Also on the wall was a TV monitor, the volume on low. Several tables with chairs for officers were setup across the room, with officers sitting and talking to each other, and in one case a group of four was spread out in a circle playing a game of cards.

It's late in the morning and the Colonial equivalent to a poker game was underway.

Having entered the room, Colonel Saul Tigh went to join the group at Major Spencer’s invitation, sitting down across from Kara Thrace. Tigh unscrewed the top of a metal flash kept in his pocket, pouring himself a drink into the coffee cup he’d brought inside. The drink helped dull the throbbing in his head. Tigh was an elder man with balding hair, in his fifties. He's the ship's XO, the executive officer second in command of the ship under Adama.

“Uh-oh,” Kara muttered, without looking up. Whether at Tigh’s arrival or at the cards she held was anyone’s guess.

“Here we go,” Helo said. Helo was the flight officer for the Raptor pilot on Kara’s right, Sharon Valerii.

Lieutenant Thrace pushed back her cropped short blonde hair, where it fell just over her ear. Her appearance was not far-off from a tom-boy, with a tough guy stance as she cockily smoked a cigar. Taking it out to speak, she aimed it at Helo, “If you're gonna play with the big dogs—” She pointed to the table, grinning.

“No fear,” Sharon Valerii said, staring hard at her cards. She frowned.

Helo obliged, dropping his chips, “I’m in. Bets to you XO.” He leaned in, speaking softly in a mocking manner to Kara, “I’m not scared of you…” Helo grinned, placing a sucker candy he held in his hand in his mouth.

“I’m in,” Tigh said moodily, tossing down a few cubits onto the pile in the center of the table.

“Oh, Helooo. When are you gonna learn?” Starbuck asked, laughing, “First, you're flying with rooks, and then—,“

“Hey!” Sharon exclaimed, punching Kara lightly on the shoulder.

“Ow.” Kara exclaimed. Shaking it off, she grinned, “And then you're betting against Starbuck!”

Helo raised his dukes, one hand holding a candy sucker and the other his cards, he made a mock threatening pose with a tough guy snarl.

Tigh snorted derisively, "Starbuck. Now there’s a callsign.” He continued with a string of chick clucking noises, “Starbuck buck, buck, buck… Where'd you get that nickname, anyway? Was that before you were thrown in the brig as a cadet for drunk and disorderly, or after?”

Tigh glanced at his card’s, ignoring Thrace. He took a drink.

“After,” Kara said taking a breath with the cigar, throwing on a fake smile. Her eyes narrowed at Tigh unhappily. She disliked him intensely.

“After. That's right, it was after,” Tigh said dismissively, tossing in his cubits.

“I’m in. Staying,” Major Spencer said, throwing in his own cubits. He tried to remain neutral as he sensed the tension rising in the room.

“How's the wife?” Kara asked casually. She’d crossed her arms and her eyes were bugging out a little as she glared at Tigh. A smug smile came over her face as Tigh looked up.

The other pilots glanced between them. Tigh froze for a beat. Kara had touched a sensitive nerve.

“Too early for that kind of money,” Sharon said awkwardly.

“Hey, did you check out that Pyramid game on Gemenon?” Helo asked, leaning over the table and looking between Major Spencer and Sharon, also trying to change the subject.

“What were you doing on Gemenon?” Major Spencer asked, chuckling.

“This girl there I know,” Helo said nonchalantly, putting the sucker candy he held in his mouth.

“What girl don't you know?” Sharon asked, rolling her eyes.

Tigh looked down at the table a moment, simmering, he looked up trying to keep an even tone, his eyebrows raised, “The wife is just fine.”

“Talk to her lately?” Kara asked, the smug grin from before there again, a vindictive look in her eyes. She took a sip from her drink.

“Bet's to you, Lieutenant,” Major Spencer said pointedly.

Kara huffed out a puff of smoke and put down her cigar, giving Spencer a ‘whatever’ look. She grinned, and cleared her throat.

“All right. Thirty to me.” Kara said, dropping a bunch of cubits from her pile onto the table, “And it looks like I'm gonna bring this lovely little game to a close... because... full colors!” Kara dropped her cards, turning them over to reveal the best hand in the game.

Kara’s tone was gloating, she laughed, beginning to do a victory dance as she directed a grin at Tigh, “Ha-ha! Ah-whoo!”

Helo and Sharon drop their hands in defeat, disappointed.

Tigh who’d been glaring at her this whole time finally couldn’t take anymore. Standing up suddenly, in move, he flipped over the table angrily violently throwing the group’s cards and chips across the floor and started toward her.

Kara's on her feet in a flash before anyone else and ready for him, she gets in the first shot, connecting her fist with Tigh’s face. Tigh staggered back, stunned momentarily, but the other pilots in the room behind them swoop in and grab hold of the dazed Tigh before anything else can happen.

Sharon and Helo push Starbuck back as she made a move to rush forward. They released her as she said she was fine and turned away. The second they stepped back, Starbuck turned around and rushed toward Tigh. The two pilots grabbed Starbuck stopping her short as she kept reaching toward the Colonel. Major Spencer joined the other pilots holding back Tigh as he tried to rush toward Kara as well, each struggling against their weight.

Tigh wiped his face as he gave up, glaring at Starbuck. He pointed at her, a triumphant look in his eyes, “You have finally gone too far… And now you’re done. Lieutenant. Consider yourself under arrest, pending charges. Report to the brig.”

Starbuck stepped back, Helo and Sharon eyeing her with pity. Starbuck grabbed her cigar from the floor, putting a forced grin on her face, “Gentlemen.”

Starbuck left the room, walking tall as she headed out of the hatch and she began lightly jogging as she went down the ship’s passageways toward the brig, the ship’s jail…

0630, Martius 12th 2355
Caprica, Caprica City – Doctor’s Office

A clean, bare doctor’s office on the planet Caprica. It was high end, near the top floor overlooking other skyscrapers outside the window which Roslin looked out at. She enjoyed the sunshine coming in from the tall windows. Outside, many star-craft were going this way and that in the air, a trail of fuel exhaust in their wake as they went about their day.

Laura Roslin sat before the desk patiently. Indulgent. She’d come here as an overdue checkup after missing several prior appointments, and having time to kill she’d come by pre-planned appointment to get it over with,

Dressed in a red business pantsuit, Laura was in her late forties, pretty, with intelligence in her eyes as she studied the vibrant city outside. She sat with a quiet confidence, classy.

The door slamming jarred Laura from her quiet reverie, making her jump.

An old man in his forties wearing a white coat walked inside the long empty room, his footsteps echoing loudly. He finally sat in the chair before the desk in front of Roslin.

He wore a grim look, unhappy, he cleared his throat before speaking, “The lump we found… I’m afraid the tests are positive. The mass is malignant. It's advanced well beyond the--

There was a loud rumbling outside from a craft overhead revving its engines.

Roslin barely reacted, wearing a fake smile she’d usually wear at political events, hiding her feelings.

“Miss Roslin...?” the doctor asked after a long moment of silence.

She didn't answer. Didn't look at him, her eyes turned to the window. Finally...

“Treatment?” Laura asked stiffly.

“Conventionally approaching this, I’d suggest radiation. However, there are promising new drug therapies available, promising ones that are soon to be approved for human testing…” the Doctor replied.

“Excuse me, I have a flight to catch,” Laura said, blinking a lot as she stood up, turning and heading for the door without waiting for a response.

0700, Martius 12th, 2355
Caprica, Caprica City Spaceport – Transportation Hub of the Capital Colonial World

The Caprica City spaceport was the busiest traffic congested area on Caprica, second in the colonies only to Picon Fleet HQ. Along the spaceport dozens of slips for landing craft lay, several already occupied by craft landing or taking off. There was also a section for aircraft for planet side travel, and though separated it added to the chaos in the area.

A large thing blue-white space-craft sat docked at one of the gangways among the spaceport.

Colonial Heavy 798 – Passenger Cabin

The passenger cabin for this government transport is narrow. Cramped, with leather seats like on any airplane in rows leading to the back of the ship.

Laura Roslin sat at a window seat, staring out at the bright sunshine, lost in her thoughts. Though she tried thinking of anything else, only one thing was on her mind. Periodically, she absently touched her left breast where the lump that had decided her fate for her rested.

There was movement beside her. Laura looked up to see an attractive curly brown-haired teenager standing in the aisle.

“Excuse me, Secretary Roslin?” Billy Keikeya said uncertainly.

“Yes,” Laura said shortly, confusion in her features as she sized this stranger up. She tried smiling politely, she didn’t think she succeeded, it felt off…

“Hi. I'm Billy Keikeya,” Billy said, smiling. He was awkward, yet he had a charm about him.

Roslin gave him a blank uncomprehending look.

“Your new assistant,” Billy said politely.

“Oh. Hello. Have a seat,” Laura said genially, smiling her usual smile she saved for dealing with politicians. It was forced, and unlike usual she couldn’t focus enough to make the smile meet her eyes.

He took a seat and bent forward, retrieving a thick 3-ring folder from a briefcase he carried, handing it to her.

“The Ministry of Education sent your briefing book from the office before we left,” Billy said.

She took it, then looked out the window again for a long beat. Unable to focus.

Billy quickly realized something was up with his new supervisor. He showed the good sense not to pry, remaining silent.

The ship began liftoff procedures over the next several minutes, and finally took off, quickly rising in the air and then breaking through the clouds in the sky until the ship was space-bound.

As the ship made course corrections to head to its destination, Billy tried to speak once more.

“I took the liberty of reading the briefing on the way over. Galactica’s retirement is being finalized today, we’ll see the final preparations when we’re there I imagine, and the ship’s being placed into the Ministry’s keeping as a museum ship tomorrow.

Also, I sent the President a copy of your speech for Galactica's retirement. Hopefully, he’ll have a chance to review it... But, there is a 30-minute time delay between the Galactica--” Billy said, cut off as the ship’s pilot rang out loud over the intercom to speak to the passengers.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your Captain. Welcome aboard. We are en route to Galactica... and our estimated flight time is approximately two and a half hours. Please sit back and relax, and enjoy your flight.”

“Excuse me,” Roslin said abruptly, jumping up from her seat. She hurried up the aisle, leaving Billy blinking at her retreating form in confusion.

She shut herself into the lavatory, locking the door. She leaned back against the door, breathing freely at last.

She gasped aloud, desperately wanting to cry, but she didn’t let herself. She ripped the buttoned-up jacket over her blouse off, she felt the lump which she found oddly calming. Relaxing against the door, she stared at nothing in particular. Just stood there, her expression blank.

Caprica – Outskirts of Caprica City
Baltar Manor

The attractive blonde, a doppelganger of the woman at armistice station, sat with her legs crossed in a plush chair. In a black dress, she sat looking straight ahead, her platinum blonde hair curled back away from her face.

The morning light streaked into the bedroom, birds were starting to chirp in the early hour.

She sat there, looking across the room at the bed, her eyes fluttered briefly. “Gaius.” She said softly, her voice cracking. “Gaius!” She said louder, forcing a stoic calm in her expression and voice, her lovely green eyes fluttered even so.

From the bed, the undressed form of Gaius Baltar raised his head, getting out from under the thick beige comforter and the light-colored sheets which covered his nakedness and that of the long haired brunette next to him who also rose at the noise.

Both wore looks of confusion, Gaius’ expression gave way to comprehension and shame.

The brunette exhaled, shocked, she raised the sheet higher to cover herself, looking at the blonde and then turning back to Gaius behind her.

Gaius looked down, his eyes looking up between the two women, his face reddening with embarrassment. Flustered, he shook his head, looking away. Gaius raised his arm in a shrug, and said the first thing that came to mind, “What are you doing here?”

“Who the hell are you?” the brunette asked, looking at the woman with derision.

The blonde stared straight at the pair, her expression stone cold, “Get out.”

“Gaius, who is this woman?” the brunette asked, her eyebrows furrowed as she looked back at Gaius then stared at the blonde, unnerved by the woman’s stare. Gaius uncomfortably scratched his shoulder.

“Uh, she's a friend,” Gaius blurted out quietly, and then heard what he’d said, his expression steeled as he turned to the blonde. His eyes bugged out. His tone turned placating, “Well, more than a friend. When I say friend—"

“Get out,” the blonde repeated as if the pair had never spoken, a tremor in her voice the only sign of emotion as she stared coldly ahead.

The brunette turned to Gaius for support, he gestured helplessly.

“This is just great,” she scoffed, sighing with disgust as she got up from the bed taking the sheet with her as cover and grabbed her clothes from the floor, and turning on her heel she stalked out of the room in a huff.

“Bye,” Gaius called out in a small voice, a little boy’s voice. Shamefaced, he turned to the blonde as the sound of the front door shutting loudly wafted into the room.

Guiltily, he looked as if he felt bad about being caught red-handed.

Gaius got up from the bed, began pulling on a pair of sweatpants from the floor, “Look, it's, uh-- It's me, all right?

It-It-It's totally me. I screwed up.” He grabbed a robe from the floor and pulled it over his bare chest as he walked to the front of the bed, guilt in his expression.

He spoke with thoughtful contemplation in his tone as he looked around the room, anywhere but at her, as he considered his words carefully, “I am screwed up. I always have been. It's a, uh-- It's a flaw in my character that I have. I've always hated it and I've tried—"

The blonde spoke up sharply, “Spare me your feigned self-awareness and remorse… I came here because I have something to tell you.”

Gaius pulled up short, startled. “Oh.”

He rocked back on his heels and sat back on the edge of the bed, a note of fear in his expression, as he spoke in a small voice, “Okay.”

The blonde gazed at him pensively for a long time, her lips quivered a moment, her eyes fluttered as she stared at him. The depths of her green eyes were darkened, filled with sadness.

0930, Martius 12th, 2355

Galactica's stern, with its four large engine exhaust ports, came into focus as the sleek form of a green Viper mark VII approached, making minute course corrections to come in for a landing. Galactica and the Viper’s pilot communicated over the wireless to ensure a safe landing.

Inside Galactica, there was a cramped cubicle large enough to provide a place to stand for the Landing Signal Officer (LSO), Captain Kelly. Kelly wore a headset for communications, but there are also several telephone handsets on the console before him. Before him was a window overlooking the vast landing bay, from this vantage point the LSO directed incoming ships to a landing on the deck. In a fill-in box among others on the window, Kelly wrote on the window using a grease pen, keeping track of necessary information for landing zones.

Behind Captain Kelly, the ship’s public relations agent, and tour guide, Aaron Doral stood speaking with a group of tourists, who watched Kelly as he worked.

“Viper 450, Galactica. Copy your acquisition lock. Stand-by for landing clearance,” Captain Kelly said in a loud, clear voice. He rolled his eyes as he heard Doral speak behind him.

“A logical question to ask is why even today do men and women fly in a cockpit at all? Why not automate Vipers or rely on unmanned missiles for defense?” Doral asked, a slightly patronizing tone in his voice as he beamed at the tourists. None hazarded a guess as they looked from him to the LSO, taking in the view.

Kelly checked his controls as a male voice called over the radio, “Standing by.”

“The answer of course, is that automated Vipers would’ve been susceptible to jamming or cyber-attack in the last war, and the threat still exists even today. Despite advancements in technology. There’s a saying in the Colonial fleet, that you could jam every sensor except the human brain,” Doral said, grinning as he chuckled at his own joke.

There were a few awkward laughs from the visitors, and Doral gestured to lead them out of the LSO’s office.

“Viper 450, this is Galactica. Approach port landing bay. Hands-on, speed 105. Checkers red. Call the ball,” Kelly’s deep male voice called out over the wireless radio, his tone clipped and no-nonsense, his transmission only slightly static filled.

“Galactica, this is Viper 450. Check that. Did you say hands-on approach?” a confused, incredulous, male voice called out in response.

“Viper 450, that's affirmative. Hands-on approach,” Captain Kelly confirmed once more sternly.

“Copy that, Galactica. Port landing bay, hands-on approach. Speed 105. I have the ball,” the viper pilot said clearly, his voice calm and steady. The Viper made a hard turn and flew down the landing path intended, and within a minute the Viper decelerated at an even pace to touch down softly on the landing deck.

“Skids down. Mag lock secure,” the LSO called out, going through the checklist for a secured landing, “On behalf of Galactica, I'd like to welcome you aboard, Apollo. It's an honor to have you with us.”

Having touched down on the deck on the pre-set landing zone, the Viper descended into the hanger deck on a descending elevator.

Galactica – Port Hangar Bay

The hangar bay was a large, cavernous space where spacecraft were moved to and from in the flight pod. Various other Vipers were parked nearby. Large airlock doors ran across the length of the bay, leading to the launch tubes and other doors which led to the deck’s repair shops.

The arriving viper was immediately surrounded by deck-hands in orange jumpsuits. They started doing engine checks, attaching equipment to run a sensor sweep over the ship’s systems, etc. This model of Viper is sleek, state of the art, and it had electronics inside for the pilot to better make use of the ship, unlike the older very basic Mark II’s used in the last war.

The name on the side of the fuselage reads: Capt. Lee Adama "Apollo"

The canopy slid open, rising in the air. Deck-hands on a pair of ladders on each side of the viper helped the pilot remove his helmet, took off the neck brace under which provided an air-tight seal to his flight suit, in case the pilot ejected into space.

The pilot, Lee Adama, was ruggedly handsome, a lean frame, his short brown hair was well-gelled, spiked. His vibrant green-eyes were clearly his mothers.

Lee took a deep breath, sighing in frustration as he finally relaxed after a long flight, quirking his mouth and leaning away as the deck-hands removed his helmet and the accompanying neck brace on the flight-suit. He got up and climbed down the ladder the deckhands’ set up for him to exit the Viper. He shook off the stiffness in his legs.

Chief Tyrol stepped up near the Viper to stand before the pilot, saluting. Captain Apollo straightened to match the Chief’s at attention stance, saluting him, telling him at ease…

“Morning, sir. Chief Tyrol, I'll be your crew chief while you're aboard,” Tyrol said enthusiastically. Respectful.

Lee looked down, feeling awkward at the chief’s behavior which he believed was related to his father, “Morning, Chief. Captain Lee Adama.”

Lee looked around the hangar deck, ignoring Tyrol’s attempt to shake his hand, he walked past the chief entirely.

“It's a real pleasure to... meet you, sir,” Tyrol start off positively, trailing off awkwardly as Lee walked past, he bit his tongue and kept a respectful stance, following behind to come alongside Lee, “I'm sure you've heard this before. I'm a great admirer of your father's. The service is gonna miss him when he retires.”

“Well, I'm sure someone will,” Lee said dismissively, he began taking off his gloves and turned to face the chief, curiosity in his tone, “Is your auto-landing system down? I was hands-on for the whole approach.”

Tyrol was silent a beat, blinking as he registered Lee's casual dig at his father. Tyrol's attitude noticeably cooled, his tone remained respectful but it was now forced, “It’s all hands-on here, Captain. There are no auto-landings on Galactica. Commander Adama's orders.”

“Is that right?” Lee asked coldly, shaking his head, he turned to walk away.

Tyrol sighed, perplexed as he watched the pilot’s retreating form, before turning to his viper.

Just then the intercom P.A. sounded with a male voice, “Attention on the Port Hangar Deck, Raptor on final approach, the checker is red.”

Touching down on the landing deck above, the Raptor skidded across the landing bay as it screeched to a halt and finally slammed down on the assigned landing pad.

Galactica – Port Hangar Bay

The elevator has just come to a stop with a Raptor on board. The Raptor is larger than the nimble Viper Captain Apollo arrived in, and it contained a scout and electronics platform. It was loaded with sensors instead of weapons. There's a two-man cockpit where pilot & co-pilot sit side-by-side and deeper inside there was room for roughly five or so other people, or room for cargo to be carried. Writing on the fuselage read: Lt. Sharon Valerii “Boomer”

Tyrol stepped up on the wing as the canopy opened to reveal Sharon Valerii and her co-pilot, Helo. Sharon was a fair-skinned attractive, petite, long-haired brunette in her early twenties. She was still considered the ship’s rookie as she’d only gotten out of flight school within weeks of her posting aboard two years ago. Her co-pilot, Helo, was a couple years older, with a tan that accentuated his athletic frame. Both wore the tight-skinned green flight suit all pilots wore, each having already removed their helmet.

“I think they heard that landing clear up to the bridge, Lieutenant,” Tyrol said sourly, not cutting the pilot any slack as she’d once again earned her callsign Boomer on that landing approach.

“Yeah, I'm gonna catch hell from the LSO. But it wasn't entirely my fault, Chief...” Sharon retorted angrily, looking ready to kill someone, as she climbed down from the raptor, “The primary gimbal's acting up again.”

“Oh, it's the gimbal's fault again?” Tyrol asked, disbelief thick in his tone as he chuckled, rolling his eyes.

“Helo, am I lying?” Sharon asked, exasperated, looking over to her co-pilot as he walked over to the canopy’s opening, the Raptor’s flight checklist clipboard in his hands.

He smiled to himself, chewing his gum absentmindedly, “Gimbal looked bad to me.”

Deck hands swarmed over the Raptor, hooking it up for refueling and preparing sensor sweeps to look over the ship’s systems, precautionary duties they always performed.

Tyrol and Sharon walked toward one of the side exits.

“I've pulled that gimbal three times and stripped it twice. The gimbal's not the problem, sir,” Tyrol said loudly so the whole deck heard him, his tone dismissive.

“You're not listening to me, Chief,” Sharon said, frustrated, shaking her head. She followed his lead as he walked across the hangar deck.

“Lieutenant, I listen very closely to what each and every one of my pilots has to say,” Tyrol said in a chiding voice.

Tyrol and Sharon walked through the Repair Bay seen earlier. Tyrol's crew -- Cally, Prosna and another five deck-hands barely look up from their work as the two passed.

Sharon’s demeanor had calmed somewhat, but she remained insistent, certain she was in the right, “You're not the one out there trying to bring fifty tons of Raptor onto a moving hangar deck with a bad gimbal...”

“I've got Ten years’ experience, –” Tyrol said loudly, frustration in his voice and expression.

“Here we go,” Sharon said rolling her eyes. She began repeating after him, his ‘speech’ a common thing, the two overlapped as they spoke, their voices echoing in the hanger bay.

“--breaking down and stripping every component in every—”

They walked through the bay, ignored by the other hangar deck crew who didn’t even blink at their camaraderie, and into the hangar bay’s tool room. The tool room was a small storage locker crammed with rows of shelves with tools.

“--system that's ever been installed in every spacecraft on my hangar deck.” Tyrol said

“--system that's ever been installed in every spacecraft on my hangar deck.” Sharon finished repeating as Tyrol did, the two facing each other, the tension thick in the air.

They stopped in place and stared at each other, toe to toe as the hatch swings shut behind them with a loud thud and creak as it was locked into place. There was a beat as the two breathed heavily, staring into each other’s eyes…

And then they crashed into one another’s arms. Passionately, hungrily kissing each other as two forbidden lovers who just had to take every moment they could together. Anytime, anyplace.

Regulations in the colonial military forbid their relations as duty officers, Lieutenants like Sharon, were higher up the ladder of command above the deck crew…

As the two stripped down, removing her green flight-suit and Tyrol’s orange-black jumpsuit, Sharon broke apart from Tyrol and grabbed his chin.

She spoke fiercely, “That gimbal is broken...”

“Shut up, sir,” Tyrol said, recapturing her lips with his own.

0945, Martius 12th, 2355

The long thin blue-white transport ship, Colonial Heavy 798, last seen taking off from Caprica came in for a landing inside Galactica’s port flight pod. It’s small enough to be enclosed snuggly within the landing bay.

Galactica - Airlock

Two deck-hands opened the large airlock hatch just as the interior hatch is opened by someone aboard the transport ship. Laura Roslin and her assistant Billy are first through the airlock. Aaron Doral, the ship’s essential tour guide stood before the ladder, which they climbed down from the hatch opening, waiting for them.

“Secretary Roslin, Mister Krecar? My name is Aaron Doral, I'm from Public Relations and I'd like to welcome you aboard Galactica. If you'll follow me, I'll show you to your quarters,” Doral said, smiling his bright white smile, sizing up the two. There was an awkward moment as Billy politely corrected his mispronunciation of Billy’s surname, “Keikeya.” Doral gestured in the direction for them to go, walking ahead to lead them.

They follow Doral as he headed down the passageway. Laura hates it here, noticing the old technology which showcased the ship’s age from a completely different time. She was also preoccupied. She tried not to show her true feelings. Billy, on the other hand, was loving every minute of being aboard, looking around the ship with wonder, taking it all in.

A man’s voice echoed loudly throughout the ship’s passageways on the P.A., “Attention all hands. At this time, Galactica would like to welcome aboard... the secretary of education, Laura Roslin. We're honored by her presence aboard our ship... and her participation this afternoon in Galactica's decommissioning ceremony.”

Laura Roslin looked up as she heard this, confusion in her expression as she turned to Doral, “Is there a revised schedule for the retirement ceremony?”

“Oh -- they really hate that word around here. People are retired, ships are decommissioned...” Doral said, smiling briefly.

Billy follows behind Roslin and Doral as they began walking into the ship, curving around the corridors, it becomes easily confusing without a map as to how any corridor passageway is different from another…

Billy gets distracted, turning as he noticed three dirty and sweaty female crewmembers in uniform walking down the passageway. Billy steps aside, out of the way, letting them pass. He gets a quick smile from a brunette with her hair tied up in a ponytail that went down her back. He lingered a bit, watching her go, mesmerized at her smile. Laura & Doral kept walking, oblivious to his distraction and quite quickly Billy is left behind.

Billy turned around, looking at a cross section of passageways, uncertain which one the two had gone down. They’re long gone. In the middle of the intersecting passageways, he’s completely and utterly lost.

“Hello? Madame Secretary...? Madame Secretary?!” Billy called out, growing in volume as his panic grew. Inwardly, cursing his own stupidity…

He tried to orient himself, walking down the passageway to a dead end. He walked back, headed down another passageway, the Secretary and public relations agent are nowhere in sight.

Billy tried opening a hatch-coming door, his hands grabbing the wheel and trying to turn it to open the door. It remained firmly in place despite his efforts. Locked. He wandered down yet another passageway and opened the next Hatch he saw.

Galactica – Enlisted Head

Billy walked in the door, stopping in surprise as he looked around noticing several bathroom stalls at the far end and a group of sinks being used by personnel in front of him.

He was shocked to see the woman who’d smiled at him only a few minutes ago. He paled, more so than as he’d panicked moments before, and gaped at seeing her half-naked as she brushed her teeth in front of a sink. Her hair was pulled back in a ponytail that went down her back, flowing over the black sports bra she wore.

She glanced at him briefly before returning her focus in front of her, eyes narrowed as she wiped her head down with a towel. She took a deep breath, exhaling loudly.

“In or out,” Dualla said, her tone slightly cold. Annoyed.

“What?” Billy said confused, blinking. His pale face grew red.

“Get in or get out, but shut the hatch,” Dualla said impatiently. Running water sprayed in the sink. She flipped the towel and dunking it in water she wiped the hot towel across her arms and face.

Billy stepped further inside, closing the hatch behind him. He blushed, embarrassed, “Oh, uh, sorry…”

Prosna with a towel wrapped around his waist, came out of a private shower stall, carrying a shaving kit. He went to another metal sink near Dualla and began to shave. He nor Dualla or the other crew members nearby batted an eye, thinking nothing of it.

Dualla looked over at Billy, noticing his rapid blinking as he took this in, eyes widened. Trying to be patient as she spoke, “Where are you trying to be?”

“Uh... visitor's quarters,” Billy said awkwardly, brushed aside as a female crew member entered the hatch behind him and walked past after shutting the door again, “I'm a visitor.”

“Really? Yeah…” Dualla said, her face lighting up as she smiled widely, laughing, “Never would a guessed.”

She chuckled, still grinning as she turned to glance at a female crew member next to her who also smiled. She looked back at Billy and shook her head.

Dualla turned serious, studying Billy, “Never been in a unisex head before?”

“A unisex what...?” Billy asked, his eyebrows furrowed.

“Head. Bathroom,” Dualla said, her tone growing cold as when he’d first walked in as Billy stared at her. She walked over to a locker, opened it and took out a grey sweatshirt.

“Oh. No, not really,” Billy said sheepishly.

Dualla stared him down as she put on the sweatshirt, noticing him eyeing her up and down unconsciously, “If you've living on a warship, the first rule is there's not much privacy, so don't get your panties in a bunch at what you might see. Second rule, is don't stare.”

Billy suddenly realized that’s what he’d done since he walked in, he quickly looked up and coughed, nodding, “Sorry.”

Dualla zipped up the sweatshirt, “Don't worry, visitors usually don't have to share facilities like the rest of us.” She turned to open the hatch door, and looked back at him, patiently, “C'mon. Let's find your home.”

Billy tripped over his own feet and almost fell onto the hard metal floor over the threshold of the hatch. Dualla caught his arm, and grinned at his clumsiness, “Watch your step.”

Dualla turned and led the way, shaking her head and chuckling to herself. She pulled her hair out of the ponytail, letting it loose and shaking it side to side.

Galactica - Passageway

Dualla led Billy down another passageway, showing him the way to his destination. Other crew members in green jump suits walked past them going the opposite direction.

Dualla looked at him expectantly and shook her head as Billy remained silent, trailing behind her awkwardly, “So, what's your name?”

“Billy,” Billy said simply, blinking a lot.

“I'm Petty Officer Second Class, Dualla,” Dualla said with a stern tone as she led him forward.

“Hi... Petty Second, uh...?” Billy said, confused as he tried to repeat after her, he’d been too focused watching her play with her hair as she re-tied it up in a bun.

She grinned, chuckling at his awkwardness, she found him cute, “You can call me D.”

“Thanks,” Billy said appreciatively, smiling. Already attracted to her…

1000, Martius 12th, 2355
Galactica – Commander Adama's Quarters

The Commander’s quarters are the largest on the ship, and the only one with its own bathroom, however it still felt cramped. A simple mattress on the side of the room with pillows that had been put away constituted the Commander’s bed, which could be folded over to make a long seat.

A small desk with a couple of plush comfortable chairs are the only other furniture. Along the walls are the bare minimum ornamentation, with a large photo of a Cylon assault on Caprica in the last war, and a few awards from Adama’s years of service.

Colonel Tigh stood before the desk, wearing the same rumpled uniform as earlier, the same he’d worn the night prior. A bruise had formed on his swollen jaw. He looked over a photo of Adama and his children that Tyrol had recently gifted the Commander.

Adama came out of his bathroom, tucking in his uniform and drying his face with a towel.

“Are you really gonna press charges against Kara?” Adama asked as he sat down on the large seat that doubled as his bed, reaching to put on his boots.

“For striking a superior officer?” Tigh asked, shaking his head, “Your damned right I am.”

“Heard you started the day off pretty early,” Adama said, lacing his boots and then reaching over to a hanger that held his dress uniform jacket.

“I wasn't on duty,” Tigh said uncomfortably, wanting to focus on something else. Turning back to the photo, he chuckled, “Now, where did you get this?”

Adama breathed heavily and put on his coat, trying to catch his breath, “Tyrol's deck gang scrounged it up… I couldn't talk you out of it, could I?”

Tigh rolled his eyes, knowing this was coming and how blinded his friend was to the girl he viewed as a daughter’s shortcomings, “Not a chance. She is insubordinate, undisciplined.”

Adama grunted, choosing not to say a few words that came to mind, like how Tigh could look in a mirror sometimes to see the same. He worried about Tigh’s drinking habits. Though it hadn’t been so bad until a few months ago, when his wife became less discreet in her infidelities…

He spoke seriously, “Probably one of the finest fighter pilots I've ever seen in my life.”

“Yeah,” Tigh admitted, nodding grudgingly.

“She's better than I am. Twice as good as you,” Adama said, smiling.

“Like hell,” Tigh grunted, shaking his head.

Adama chuckled, “Listen, I'm not gonna defend what she did.”

He tightened the buttons on the jacket as he spoke, “Especially the cracks about your marital problems. But you did kick over the table first.”

Tigh quickly spoke a denial, “I did not…” Then thinking a moment, he was contemplative, “Unless I did.”

“You did,” Adama confirmed, “So what do you say we just drop the formal charges... throw her in the brig, cool her heels off until we get home?”

Tigh sighed audibly, silent a long moment before deciding to let it go, “You always did have a soft spot for her.”

“Yeah, I guess I'm just a crazy old man,” Adama said, wearing a soft smile, “Now you see why they’re putting me out to pasture.”

“I was wondering about it, yeah,” Tigh said, chuckling.

The two old friends shared a brief smile. Adama took a deep breath.

“All right… Ceremony’s at eleven hundred hours. I expect to see you in a fresh uniform and clean shaven,” Commander Adama said sternly, staring down his old friend.

Tigh nodded, his voice gruff, a note of respect in his tone, “Yes, sir.” He turned for the door, walking away, then paused.

“Has Lee reported aboard, yet?” Tigh asked, looking back at Adama, concern in his expression.

Adama remained silent a long moment, then, “A little while ago, yes.”

“Maybe you should…” Tigh said, trying to be helpful, uncertain what to say. The frak would he do when at odds with a child, if he’d ever had one?

“He’ll come to me when he’s ready,” Adama said, trying to sound confident, his voice wavered though, throwing that off.

Tigh didn’t know what else to say, he simply nodded and turned again, exiting outside the hatch. Leaving Adama to sit back, thinking about his son. Worry and grief on his face…

Galactica, Squadron Briefing Room

The décor featured insignia and plaques from peacetime combat operation competitions, including wargames, as well as photos of battles from the Cylon war. The briefing room was crowded with pilots sitting around in plush leather chairs, sitting around talking, comparing notes on flight maneuvers, talking about the last Pyramid game they saw, etc.

The Commander of the Air Group (CAG) a ramrod-straight laced older man in his early forties with graying hair looked up from a clipboard as he stood at a podium desk before the seated rows of pilots

“Good morning,” Major Spencer, the CAG, said loudly, his voice breaking through the chatter of the pilots who quieted and sat up at attention.

They spoke as one, quickly, “Morning, sir.”

“All right. Today’s the main event. We’ll be conducting a formation demonstration, and a close fly-by of the starboard flight deck, give the civvies a real show, in conjunction with the decommissioning ceremony,” Major Spencer said seriously, grinning as he looked over the pilots who perked up, smiling like a bunch of kids ready to go play.

He opened up a folder, looking it over as he spoke, “There’ve been a few changes to the flight plan. Lieutenant Thrace will be replaced in the slot by Lieutenant Anders.” He had no reason to explain why, as many pilots had been there when Kara had been sent to the brig earlier, everyone knew.

“Also, Captain Lee Adama has joined us and will be flying lead during the fly-by. Please, welcome the Captain.”

Applause rang out in the room, several pilots grinning as they turned in their seats to look at Apollo, in a seat in the center row.

“Welcome, Apollo.” “Welcome aboard, Captain…” several pilots said enthusiastically.

“Apollo!” Helo called out, waving up at him from the front row, Sharon next to him.

The pilots were stoked, they respected Commander Adama, and wanted to show their appreciation that his son was here to see his father and the Old Man’s ship off. His own reputation was well known as well.

Lee did not appear as excited as expected, wearing a fake smile as he shifted in his seat. He gave a sheepish wave, uncomfortable with their attention, which he knew had mostly to do with his father, not really him. He tried to play along to get it over with as soon as possible.

“Thanks to Chief Tyrol and his deck gang, you'll have the honor of flying the actual Viper that your father flew almost forty years ago,” Major Spencer said, smiling, nodding to himself in approval.

Everyone looked at Lee, expecting he’d be pleased at the honor several of them would’ve liked to have had themselves. He was less than pleased, trying to hide the sinking feeling and unhappiness he felt with the best grin he could manage. It looked out of place, and was hindered by lacking enthusiasm to go with it, “Great. That’s—That’s um. Quite an honor.”

The CAG raised an eyebrow, sharing the incredulous expression the other pilots wore as they turned to each other, but he chose not to look into it.

He took a deep calming breath, even so his tone darkened, “Yes, it is, Captain. Personally I can’t think of a better way to send this ship into retirement. Launch operations will begin at 1125 hours....“

Passageways, at a Gangway Junction near the Ward Room

Adama, Laura and Doral stood still after having been walking together through the passageways. They’d met along the passageway and Adama had turned away from his current destination to speak with them briefly as Laura’s insistent request.

“I don't get it. We're talking about a visitor's guide,” Laura said, confounded, unable to understand how a nice-to-meet-you conversation had become tense in mere moments.

“The answer's no,” Commander Adama said, his tone hard, unyielding.

“I'm sure there's a way to work this out...” Doral started amiably, trying to appease them both. He didn’t see the need for the argument himself, given that it wouldn’t matter what was decided today…

“It tells people things like where the restroom is. Or how do I buy a Galactica t-shirt,” Laura said simply.

“It's an integrated computer network and I won't have it on this ship,” Adama said firmly, his eyes hardened with anger. He remembered having similar arguments about Valkyrie, which he’d forcibly kept un-networked while he was her commanding officer.

“You're one of those people? You're actually afraid of computers?” Laura said, disbelief thick in her tone, trying not to come off as derisive.

Adama faced Laura, trying to remain calm and patient, “No. There are many computers on this ship, but they’re not networked.”

“A computer network will simply make it faster and easier for teachers to be able to teach—” Laura said, trying to keep up her polite smile, it was difficult against such obstinacy. She didn’t see the need for his behavior.

Adama stiffened suddenly, his lips pursed tightly and his eyes hard, almost glaring at her, “Let me explain something to you. Many good men and women lost their lives aboard this ship... Because someone wanted a faster computer to make life easier.”

Laura sighed impatiently, as he began to lecture her.

“I'm sorry that I'm inconveniencing you or the teachers... but I will not allow a network computerized system... to be placed on this ship while I'm in command. Is that clear?” Adama said sternly, speaking authoritatively like he would to a subordinate.

Laura was taken aback, not expecting the tone of command with which he spoke. She managed a tight-lipped smile. “Yes... Sir.”

“Thank you. Excuse me,” Adama said, giving her a curt nod and then he continued on his way to the Ward room, disappearing out of sight as he turned the corner of the passageway. Laura Roslin looked at him with astonishment, which gave way to embarrassment and anger, a swirl of emotions she was engulfed by just as Billy and Dualla arrived from an adjacent corridor.

“Where the hell have you been?” Laura said quickly, her anger apparent.

“Sorry. I got turned around back –” Billy said, blinking in confusion.

“Did you hear any of that?” Laura interrupted loudly, the anger still present in her voice.

“Uh... no...” Billy said uncertainly, his eyebrows knitting together in consternation.

“Good,” Laura said, nodding to herself, and turned on her heel, heading down the passageway she and Doral had been walking down.

Billy scrambled to not be left behind again, jogging to meet her quick pace until he walked alongside her again.

Dualla and Doral trade looks.

Doral shrugged, smiling, “Bureaucrats.”

1030, Martius 12th, 2355
Galactica’s Brig

Grunting echoed in the small room filled with a handful of barred cells, one marine guard sitting at a deck by the hatch doorway, boredly going through paperwork. He stood up as the hatch opened, Captain Lee Adama striding inside. The two briefly saluted, Lee wordlessly dismissing him and turning around to walk up against the one occupied cell.

Lee leaned against the bars of the cell, looking down as he saw Kara Thrace doing a set of push-ups on the hard metal floor, continuing to grunt loudly as she worked up a sweat.

“This seems familiar,” Lee said, his eyebrows furrowed, amused. He gripped the bars of the cell.

Kara stopped, looked up and noticed Lee, she stood up slowly.

“Captain Adama, sir,” Kara gasped out, breathing deeply to regain her breath, a mischievous grin spread across her face, “Sorry I wasn't there to greet you with the rest of the squadron. Did they kiss your ass to your satisfaction?”

Lee half-smiled, nodding, looking up at the ceiling. He breathed deeply as his gaze returned to studying her, “So. What's the charge this time?”

Kara laughed to herself, shaking her head, “Striking a superior asshole.”

“Ah,” Lee said, grinning and he shook his head, rocking back on his feet as he held onto the bars for support, “I bet you've been waiting all day to say that one.”

Kara thought a moment, smiling, “Most of the morning, yeah.”

“Right,” Lee said, nodding.

“So, how long's it been?” she asked, leaning close to the bars.

“Two years,” Lee said sadly, a sigh in his voice.

“Two years… We must be getting old. Seems like the funeral was just yesterday,” she said, her voice cracking. She looked down, chewing on her lip.

Lee nodded, saying nothing. A hardness in his eyes, his chiseled jaw locked together as he grit his teeth.

“Yeah,” he finally said as the silence stretched.

Kara drew a deep breath, “Your old man's doin' fine. We don't talk about it much. Two, maybe three times a year.” She peered at him, gauging his response as Lee turned away, angrily. “He still struggles with it, though.”

Lee looked away, sighing loudly, “I haven't seen him.”

Kara’s eyes narrowed, her tone hardened, “Why not?”

A long beat. Lee made no move to respond, a guarded look on his face, grinding his teeth together.

Kara let out a noise of exasperation, her tone annoyed, “How long are you gonna do this, Lee?”

Lee tried smiling, it didn’t meet his eyes as they flashed dangerously, “I'm not doing anything.”

“He lost his son, Lee,” she emphasized, her tone pleading for him to understand.

Lee quirked an eyebrow, his tone flippant, “And who's responsible for that?”

Kara winced. Bit her lip as she studied Lee, noticing his eyes glazed over. Rage-filled…

Lee noticed her preoccupation and her lack of response, his tone filled with disbelief before taking on a note of betrayal, “He got to you. I can’t believe it. He actually got to you, you’re on his side.”

“Look Lee, when Zak died, I lost it. Alright? I was finished. Probably would’ve become a truck driver on Caprica or something, I couldn’t be a flight instructor, not after… The Old Man took me in. Brought me here. Said go, be a pilot. Put me back on my own two feet again. Without him…” Kara said, her voice thick with emotion.

Lee looked at her, horrified. She reached out to grab his arm and he jumped back, reacting like she was a leper.

“It’s because of him that Zak… Damn it Kara!” Lee said loudly, hurt and anger in his tone.

Kara shook her head wryly, her tone sad, bitter, “Same old Lee. You haven't changed either.”

He looked at her incredulously, “Zak was my brother.”

Her eyes widened, then she grit her teeth as she glared at him, “What was he to me? Nothin'?”

Lee blinked, “That's not what I meant. And you know what—”

“You know what?” Kara interrupted angrily, eyeing him with disgust, “You should go. I'm gettin' the urge to hit another superior asshole.”

Lee looked startled for a moment, then nodded, the ghost of a smile at his face as if they’d been joking with each other. He appeared to be thinking of something to say to her as she remained silent, glaring.

He looked at her a long moment before she turned her back to him. Lying down on the bunk in her cell, Kara’s eyes held a deep pain. However, beneath the flash of anger that faded as he left, the hatchway slamming behind him, in her eyes lingered regret and guilt…

1050 hours, Martius 12th, 2355
Galactica’s Wardroom

The Wardroom served as a conference room, usually for briefings and combat operational planning in times past. More recently it had also been used as a dining room, and informal lounge for Galactica's senior officers. A few mementos were strewn across the walls, including a Colonial flag. There was a long table, along with a few other pieces of furniture including simple metal chairs along the tables length.

Adama, wearing a full dress-uniform with medals across his chest, stood waiting along with the public relations director Aaron Doral, a photographer, and several reporters. Doral cleared his throat. The photographer shuffled his feet. Adama glanced at the thick set chronometer clock on the bulkhead. Each felt awkward in the silence as they waited.

Finally, Lee Adama entered the Wardroom, also wearing a similar military dress uniform with half as many medals on his chest as his father. Bill Adama and Lee stared at each other awkwardly for a moment, feeling a similar awkward discomfort, neither liking this as the photographer and reports swarmed around them.

“Hi. Aaron Doral,” the public relations agent in his blue-suit said with a smile as he awkwardly shook hands with Lee Adama, who he noticed looked as excited to be here as the Commander. Even so, Doral didn’t lose his professional smile. He gestured for Lee to stand near his father, “If you'd just stand over there, please. We’ll just grab a few shots of you and the commander. Thanks.”

There was a flash of light as the photographer took a shot of the two officers, father and son, together.

Lee licked his lips nervously, trying to show no emotion.

“Great,” Doral said, stepping forward his smile broad, enthusiastically he looked between the pair, “Okay, gentlemen, could you maybe stand a bit closer?”

Both Adamas moved sideways to stand closer, stiffly, with full military bearing. Stoically.

“Fantastic. Um, Commander, could you put your arm around your son?” Doral asked, his head bobbing up and down, his manners effusive as ever. Inwardly he questioned why the two were so cold interacting with one another.

Without a word, Commander Adama placed an arm atop Lee’s shoulder, barely touching him. Lee visibly stiffened, trying not to flinch. He blinked a lot, managing to curve his lips in the appearance of a smile for the cameras. Commander Adama’s smile didn’t meet his eyes, though it looked less forced.

Camera lights flashed as the photographers did their work. As the two officers managed a slight smile, one could even be fooled into thinking perhaps one image would come out as a happy family reunion, which would be cast down in public dissemination and archived in the museum on Galactica…

“Great. Perfect,” Doral said politely, his smile strained as he watched the pair, he made it as short as possible for everyone’s benefit, “Okay. Thank you very much… Um, see you at the ceremony.”

Bill’s arm dropped and the two separated as quickly as possible, standing a fair distance apart. Lee took deep breaths, eyeing his father as he stepped away walking over to the refreshments table.

The photographers looked over their cameras at their work and began talking amongst themselves as they turned to leave, heading to the starboard flight pod for the decommissioning ceremony. Doral walked them out, leading the way.

A woman’s voice called out over the P.A. which was heard across the ship, “Attention, honor guard detail, report to the starboard hangar bay…”

Commander Adama picked up a pitcher of water to pour into a cup. He noticed Lee hesitated a moment before walking quickly to try and catch up with Doral and the others out the open hatch door.

Just as he reached the threshold, Commander Adama spoke nonchalantly, “You want some, uh, coffee?”

“No, sir. Thank you, sir,” Lee said stiffly, all the serious respectfulness in his tone solely aimed at a superior ranking officer. He stood in place, looking like he wanted to leave

“Why don't you -- sit down?” Commander Adama asked, busying himself with the refreshments and considered making a cup of coffee before dismissing the idea.

Lee pointedly remained in place, not quite moving to leave but not edging back into the room either.

“Congratulations on making captain. Sorry I wasn't there,” Commander Adama said gruffly, his tone tinged with a sad demeanor, which he forced to come out as calm and stoic.

“Thank you, sir,” Lee said quietly, returning to his silence without another added word more than necessary.

“How's your mother?” Commander Adama asked conversationally, reaching for his glass to take a drink.

“Getting married,” Lee said, an almost spiteful tone in his voice, a bitter expression on his face.

Commander Adama paused, the pain of hearing that washed over his face, he let out a long breath, “Good for her.” He smiled a small sad, but accepting, smile, “We spoke about a year ago. Had a real heart-to-heart. It was good.” He took a sip from his cup of ice water.

“I'm glad to hear that, sir. Will that be all?” Lee spoke quickly, he kept his tone proper, respectful. The anger and pain in his eyes was apparent. As was the rise in volume as he continued speaking.

“Why won't you talk to me, Lee?” Commander Adama asked, frowning.

“What do you want to talk about?” Lee asked, disbelief thick in his tone, a mocking pained smile spreading across his face.

“Anything. You've been here for an hour,” Bill Adama said pointedly, frustrated.

“Well, I don't have anything to say,” Lee said, a cynical quiet laugh escaping him. He blinked a lot, staring at his father as he took a few steps forward.

“My orders said report here,” Lee said, gesturing around the room, “and participate in the ceremony.”

His forehead creased, his eyebrows furrowed, as he looked it his father, disbelief thick in his tone, “So I'm-I'm here, and I'm gonna participate in the ceremony.”

Pity and disgust filled his expression, he shook his head, becoming more expressive as he spoke, spiteful, “There wasn't anything in my orders about having any heart-to-heart chats with the old man.”

Bill Adama looked at the floor, his eyebrows creased together, frowning hard, he spoke slowly in a quiet tone, “Accidents happen in the service.”

Lee interrupted him trying to get him to stop before he truly lost it here, chuckling darkly, “Dad, listen, I—“

Bill continued speaking, briefly looking up, his eyes sharp, full of memories, “You know all the things that you talked to me about at the funeral—“

“I really don't want to do this!” Lee interrupted, talking over his father loudly, his volume rising, his voice growing more and more filled with emotion.

Bill continued, his eyebrows creased together, as if he didn’t understand, “They still ring in my ears after two years.”

“Good!” Lee cried out angrily, fire in his eyes, leaning toward his father as he stepped forward.

He licked his lips, sighing. He hesitated a moment and tried to re-gain his composure. His face drawn taut, his tone quieting, sincerity replaced the loss in volume, “Good. 'Cause-- 'Cause you know what? They were meant to.”

Bill had put down his cup, his eyes lowered as he listened. Now he looked up, straight ahead at the wall, trying not to react his mouth formed a tight-lipped down turned frown, his eyes shined in the light, “Zak had a choice. You both did.”

Lee rocked back on his feet, shocked. His eyebrows creased together, anger filling his expression, “'A man isn't a man until he wears the wings of a Viper pilot.'”

He took a step forward, his voice rising in volume and thick with emotion, “Doesn't that sound at all familiar to you?”

Bill took a deep breath, looking down, “That's not fair, son.” He took another drink of water, his eyes downcast.

“No, it's not fair,” Lee said quietly, his chiseled jaw tight with anger, he shook his head, “Because one of us wasn't cut out to wear the uniform.”

“He earned his wings, just like we all did,” Bill Adama cut in defensively.

“One of us wasn't cut out to be a pilot,” Lee said, gesturing wildly, his eyebrows knitted together in hard lines, his eyes narrowed, “One of us wouldn't have made it into flight school...” glaring with barely contained rage as he nearly shouted, “If his old man, his daddy, hadn't pulled the strings!”

Bill stared at the floor, breathing sharply rising, sorrow filled his expression, “That's an exaggeration. I did nothing for him that I wouldn't have done for anyone else.”

Lee’s jaw dropped in shock as his father spoke, disbelievingly he stared at him. His mouth gaped open, trying to form words for a moment, unable to find any as the silence stretched a long moment.

Lee’s eyebrows creased together in anger, “You're not even listening to me.” He pointed at his right temple on his head, “Wh-Why can't you get this through your head?”

He spoke emphatically, viciously, spit almost flying out, “Zak did not belong in that plane! He shouldn't have been there. He-- He was only doing it for you.” He shook his head, a wry cynical half-smile on his face as he glared at his father, “Face it… You killed him.”

The words hit Bill Adama like a physical slap across the face. He looked straight ahead, unblinkingly, his lips pursed together in a hard line. His eyes hardened as his back remained facing Lee. “That'll be all, Captain,” Commander Adama said sternly.

Lee looked down, sickened, his eyes tearing up. Turning slowly, he paused, almost looking like he wanted to take his words back. Finally, blinking rapidly, he turned and headed out the hatch doorway.

Bill frowned fiercely, his lips pursed together tightly, trembling. His eyes filled with liquid shined brightly under the overhead lighting. He let out a deep breath, looking down as he leaned his weight against the table. Finally alone with the grief he held for his sons, one lost and heart-breaking pain from another. For once, Adama genuinely seemed old. He lost track of how long he stood there.

1145, Martius 12th, 2355

Galactica, Starboard Landing Bay

Decommissioning Ceremony

A redress of the Port hangar deck, this is the exact same facility with one major exception -- it has been converted into a MUSEUM. There are glass-encased DISPLAYS scattered throughout the room and one of them contains the Cylon centurion 005 model. Signage in the Cylon case tells us it's a "Soldier Prototype" developed by the Colonials some 50 years ago, etc. There are a DOZEN or so other CYLONS in various display cases, along with drawings, photos, etc.

Several Mark II Vipers are scattered throughout the enormous space, each protected by velvet ropes and bearing large informational signage. A large crowd is in attendance seated in rows of fold out chairs facing the podium raised slightly above the crowd.

Polite, vaguely bored APPLAUSE. People just going through the motions in the audience.

“I’d like to thank you all again for being here, and Elosha, thank you very much for those wonderful words. Next is a ceremonial flyby by the last Galactica squadron, led by Captain Lee Adama.” Doral said

The colonial anthem a symphony of violin music played in the background as all eyes turned upward. Many in the audience gasped, a few clapped.

The audience turned in time to see through an enormous glass window overhead covering the surface of the starboard hangar deck along the museum. The audience could look directly out into space, and they now saw the Galactica’s full squadron of twenty Mark VII vipers fly at high speed to come in hurtling toward the ship in a tight formation, each viper a short distance apart from one another as they made a tight turn and came in for a close pass above Galactica’s starboard flight pod.

To the audience watching from under the glass windows of the starboard deck, the vipers appear to zoom past the ship in tight formation, their flying appearing fancy with gusto. The Vipers rolled, and turned away to separate from their formation heading in different directions right on cue.

Then as the squadron passed, the slightly larger angular head of a viper mark II could be seen approaching at high speed, flying past the squadron as they made their pass overhead the starboard deck and quickly took the lead in formation. The viper spun and rolled before executing a perfect recovery to upright itself overhead the starboard deck as it appeared on a collision course with the Galactica. At the last second, the Viper turn away, its large looming size overhead causing many in the audience to gasp. The Mark II broke off and accelerated to come at the head of the squadron, looping around the Galactica with the rest of the vipers.

They blazed away into the stars, and the whole gathered crowd burst into a sustained, genuine applause.

Doral smiled briefly, letting the applause die down as attention returned to the podium where he stood, “And now it is my immense pleasure to introduce the last commander of the Battlestar Galactica... Commander Adama.”

Applause and loud clapping filled the space, the gathered crew smiling as they looked up at the old man, while the visitors nodded and clapped politely.

Adama slowly took the podium, as Doral took a seat among the row of chairs behind the podium.

“Thank you very much,” Commander Adama said, looking out over the crowd. He removed his glasses, settling his paper speech on the podium below the microphone.

Collecting himself, he put his glasses back on and briefly looked down as he read out speech and looked up at the audience as he grew more confident speaking.

“The Cylon War is long over, yet we must not forget the reasons why so many sacrificed so much... in the cause of freedom,” Adama said. He had a regal and noble look about him as he looked out over the audience. Several emotions ran across his face as he continued, his eyebrows pinching together as he considered his next words.

“The cost of wearing the uniform can be high… but--” Adama said trailing off. He faltered and looked down, suddenly unsure of how to continue.

He looked up again, glancing out over the crowd, the encounter with Lee still fresh in his mind. He stood there for a long moment.

Glances went around the audience. People started wondering what's going on.

Adama took off his glasses, eyes downcast. He took a deep breath and visibly exhaled. He looked up at the audience, his eyes piercing, filled with emotion. Grief, and sorrow.

“Sometimes it's too high,” Adama said, pursing his lips. “You know, when we fought the Cylons, we did it to save ourselves from extinction. But we never answered the question, ‘Why?’ Why are we as a people worth saving?”

“We tell ourselves we're noble, intelligent creatures. Children of the Lords of Kobol. But we'll still let people go to bed hungry because it costs too much to feed the poor... We still commit murder for greed, spite, or jealousy... and we still… visit, all of our sins upon our children.”

In Space Outside Galactica, Lee Adama’s Viper Mark II

The ceremonial squadron was circling in formation at a distance from Galactica.

Lee listened intently as his father spoke, his voice coming over the wireless (radio), only slightly staticy from feedback. Lee was confounded, a look of introspection on his face as he considered his father’s words. Really listened to him, for the first time in a long time. His next words on taking responsibility hit home like a punch to Lee’s gut.

“We refuse to accept the responsibility for anything that we've done. Like we did with the Cylons. We decided to play God. Create life,” Commander Adama said darkly.

“And when that life turned against us, we comforted ourselves in the knowledge that it wasn't really our fault, not really.”

Galactica, Brig

Kara Thrace sat back against the wall, also considering the Commander’s words. Sadness and loss in her eyes.

Galactica, Starboard Hangar – Museum

The Cylon centurion models in their glass cases behind the gathered crowd seem to gleam menacingly under the overhead light as Adama continued at the podium.

“It was the Cylons that were flawed.” Adama said, nodding as he took a breath, waiting a beat before continuing, “But the truth is... We're the flawed creation. We're the ones that tried to manufacture life and make it serve us.”

“You cannot play God then wash your hands of the things that you've created. Sooner or later, the day comes... when you can't hide from the things that you've done anymore.” Adama said, a note of finality in his voice as he stared down at the crowd. He then turned on his feet and walked away from the podium, back to his seat, his eyes downcast.

He sat down to the deafening silence of the crowd. The room was utterly silent and still.

Doral blinked a lot, considering his words, at last looking unsure of things and how to proceed. Finally, Doral got up and took the podium, clearing his throat.

Laura Roslin who’d sat next to Doral began clapping as Doral got up, the noise shocking some people in their seat and then a storm of clapping erupted from the audience even as many wore looks of confusion.

“Thank you, Commander Adama for those... inspiring words,” Doral said awkwardly.

Sitting next to each other. Colonel Tigh was sitting next to commander Adama and gave him a look as he leaned over.

“You are one surprising son of a bitch,” Tigh murmured softly in a sotto voce.

1245, Martius 12th, 2355

In Space Outside Galactica

Colonial Heavy 798, the gangly transport ship had exited Galactica’s flightpod and began on its course away from the Battlestar, heading back to Caprica.

The viper squadron from Galactica which had taken part in the decommissioning ceremonial flyby turned as one in formation away from Galactica and flew ahead of the transport on their way back to Caprica. A lone Raptor craft followed the formation, it’s gangly approach to catch up in stark contrast to the sleek speed of the Vipers.

The lone Viper Mark II pulled away from the formation of mark VII vipers as they left and maneuvered using its thrusters to come alongside the white transport ship, Colonial Heavy 798.

“Colonial Heavy 798, this is Viper 7242,” Lee Adama said, flicking a few switches on the electronics console before him to speak over the wireless, ship to ship, with Colonial Heavy 798.

“My call sign is Apollo, and I'll be your escort back to Caprica.”

“Copy that, Viper 7242. Glad to have you with us, Apollo,” the Captain piloting Colonial Heavy 798 replied respectfully.

A woman’s voice came over the wireless heard by both ships as it was transmitted in the clear, “Viper 7242, Raptor 312. This is Boomer. Just wanted to say it was an honor to fly with you, Apollo.”

Aboard Colonial Heavy 798, the gathered visitors including reporters and Secretary Roslin lay back in their chairs for their several hours long flight back home.

The pilot’s voice over the loud speaker across the ship disrupted the calm silence aboard, “Ladies and gentlemen, we are now on route back to Caprica. At our current speed, we should arrive within five hours.

If you look out the, uh, starboard window, you might be able to see one of Galactica's old Mark II Vipers, which will be escorting us back home.”

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