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How does the new prologue look?
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:57 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:01 am
Posts: 11
Day of the Fortieth Anniversary of the Armistice with the Cylons

0700 Martius 12th, 2355 , Day of the Cylon Attack

Space Outlying the Colonies, Border of the Demarcation Line

The small thin, almost cylindrical, space station which had formed Armistice Station was left an expanding pile of debris.

Scraps of burnt metal and barely recognizable larger pieces from the station were all that was left here as a reminder of what was the intended meeting ground for settling peace terms between man and the race of artificially intelligent machines known as the Cylons.

The dual Y axis starfish-like 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.

Cylon Baseship CIC (Command Information Center)

Bright white lights spread up and down the walls, and a string of lights flared and seemed to rain down from crystalline glass structures that rose up high from the floor on either side of the CIC.

At the center, a long table with red lights on across the black surface formed computer console controls, known as the data stream, that a group of human-form Cylons placed their hands on to interact directly with the ship.

They merely pushed their hands onto the illuminated base and the thin liquid layer, which activated the data ports within their arm. Information flowed freely into their minds as if they were hardwired into the machinery.

The tall new model Centurions were present around the edges of the CIC, standing upright and still like silent sentinels, the roving red-light of their eyes the only sign they were active.

“BSG (BattleStarGroup) 48 should have been at this location for their patrol, as per the schedule of the fleet’s movements,” a number Five model dressed in a beige business suit fitted properly with a tie, a bureaucratic type of man by the look of him, said with confusion in his tone, his lip quirked slightly.

His eyes narrowed as he stared straight ahead while connected to the ship’s systems, able to access the ship’s sensors and see in his head as dradis showed no contacts in detection range.

“Yes, thank you for stating the perfectly obvious brother,” an elder man in his sixties, a number one model, said with annoyance in his tone as he rolled his eyes.

“If they’re not here, then the schedule is wrong,” an ebony-complexioned tall man, a number four model, said simply, considering it logically as was the wont of the Fours.

“The whole plan could be in jeopardy if that’s the case,” an attractive bleach-blonde haired woman in her twenties wearing a short black dress, a number Six model, said fretfully.

“Or they simply didn’t follow their own scheduled movements from the fleet. Or had different coordinates received from their communique and went somewhere else by accident,” a woman with cropped short dirty blonde hair wearing a beige professional pantsuit said simply.

She exhaled stressfully as she tried to ignore the idiotic worries of her sibling models as they overreacted and overanalyzed, as they usually did.

“As our sister said,” a man with spiked blonde hair, a number two model said quickly, his tone sagely, “Regardless, it’s irrelevant. One Battlegroup out of position is not a threat, and we planned in case such a thing happened.”

“Indeed,” the number Three said, nodding, smiling at her brother in appreciation before turning back to the others, “Launch the raiders. Begin patrols along the demarcation line and outlying regions of Cyrannus. We’ll find BSG 48 and all other patrolling colonial ships.”

“We should also send a strike force back to the armistice station’s location, for when the humans investigate the wrecked remains,” the number two model added thoughtfully.

The white-haired number one nodded, agreeing with their line of thinking, and spoke, his tone indifferent, “Agreed.”

“We agree,” the number Five said as he spoke for the Fives model, nodding. The others quickly nodded in assent.

The dirty-blonde Three pushed her hand down on the interface, engaging in a connection to the Baseship’s Hybrid, the intelligence that controlled the centralized control console for all the functions of baseships. She gave instructions to launch the ship’s squadrons of Raiders.

She spoke simply, “It is done then.”

~0800 Martius 12th, 2355
Picon Fleet Headquarters, Picon

A red light blinked vibrantly on a computer console. A warning beeping was silenced by the female officer at the computer console.

The dirty blonde in the standard green specialist uniform simply frowned at her console as the traditional warning set on a timer every year on Armistice Day. It signified a lack of contact with Armistice Station as per hourly SOP checks to ensure safety and security of the colonies.

Over a hundred other colonial fleet officers and specialists were gathered in the spacious command center of the colonial fleet. Many before dozens of computer consoles which showed fleet positions and a digital map of the twelve colonies which contained positions and contact icons of ships across the colonies.

The dirty blonde merely had to raise her hand, to voice concerns that Armistice Station had been overdue for a check-in per standard operating procedures. Two admirals were a few feet away from her, discussing the fleet coordination at Picon for the Armistice celebrations later in the afternoon.

The blonde frowned and shrugged, choosing not to voice concern to the busy Admirals. After all, one missed check was hardly a threat of impending doom, and many bases and fleet units could go hours overdue and not be noticed in the lax regulations of the fleet these days.

She expected the fleet ship at Armistice station had simply had engine failures, it was an old ship after all, and that was that. Every year they’d been sent out and came back 12 hours later empty-handed, bored of doing nothing with no contact with the Cylons. Why should today be any different?

A few minutes later the specialist simply sent out a message requesting any available colonial ship to go over to Armistice station that day to see if the ambassador’s ship needed assistance. That was the end of it to her.

Helios Alpha Star System – Nearest Colonial Space to the Armistice Line

Space Orbiting the Far Side of Gas Giant Zeus

BSG 52 and BSG 37 were arrayed in formations facing opposite each other’s fleet. Simulating in a war game an enemy fleet with superior support ships against the colonial fleet, and boarding parties to overtake the fleet’s ships.

Three Battlestars with two supporting Gunstars for gunnery support against Two Battlestars with Eight Gunstars, and dozens of heavily armed Raptors leading an assault to overtake one of the opposing Three Battlestars. Intending to take the ship over and use its guns on the other two, or to otherwise sabotage and eliminate the threat of the warship.

Viper wings, totaling in the hundreds, flew around each other in mock dogfights between the fleets. They fired using the trigger on the stick as they usually did, the programming inputted on their computers ensured no live ammunition rounds were fired and merely a red light targeting the enemy fighter was emitted. Any fighter hit would have its systems shut down immobilizing the fighter, rendering it ‘dead’, and out of the fight.

It was in this maelstrom of chaos distracting the colonial fleets that dozens of Raiders appeared just outside of the Viper formations. Dozens and dozens continued appearing. Then one basestar jumped into space tens of thousands of kilometers from the Battlestars, then another and another… Ten baseships surrounded BSG 37 and a dozen more formed up on the opposite side facing the colonial warships of BSG 52. Boxing in their already precarious formation.

There was no warning, no message sent to the colonial fleet requesting surrender. Not a word shared between the two sides.

As the vipers reformed into one group facing the Raiders, the Raiders approached quickly. The metal visor on what looked like a centurion head implanted on the scimitar-like ship rose, revealing a bright red light which went from side to side. Briefly this light, the ‘eye’ of the Raider, brightened vibrantly and blinked rapidly as a signal was sent out to the nearby vipers.

The nearest Vipers approaching suddenly began tumbling in an uncontrolled flight, their engines shut off. Inside, the bright lights along the console computers of the controls inside the Vipers shut off and left the pilot in darkness, panicking as he cried out wondering what happened, what was wrong. One by one all the vipers were left in a similar shape, with no control. Helpless.

Missiles launched from the Raiders, streams of white light raced toward the vipers, one each. Every missile hit their target without resistance. In less than a minute every single viper detonated in a fiery explosion, the pilots screaming with their last breathes fearfully as death and nothingness claimed them. Then the Raiders flew past the fiery debris left behind, racing toward the colonial warships.

Battlestar Renown began listing to port at the front of the fleet’s formation where the raiders approached. The lights illuminating the ship in the darkness of space went out, leaving only the pitch-black nothingness.

Bristling with KEW cannons alone her surface, Renown made no move to save itself as the Raiders now launched missiles towards the massive warship, supported by missile launches from the baseships in the distance.

Fire illuminated the Renown’s surface as internal fires burst outward after the hull was breached and continued missile launches streamed inside her vulnerable guts. More explosions tore apart the armor plating and metal struts along the ship’s spine. The explosions continued until they found purchase with an even more combustible source; the ship’s tylium stores. Fire fed its way through the fuel lines straight to the storage tanks deep inside the ship, and the explosion that burst outward broke the ship apart at the belly. Splitting Renown in two halves which streamed in opposite directions.

Battlestars Lydia, Venus, and Argonaut also broke apart in explosions as nuclear missiles impacted unhindered and breached the ships’ impact tolerance until they could take no more, spreading out in fiery debris. Their Viper squadrons similarly floated in the darkness of space in broken ruins, mere fragments of the mighty ships all that remained to show what they had once been.

Battlestar Pioneer maneuvered out of the way of her dying accompanying ships. Half her thrusters weren’t responding and she was sluggish in turning away, but she remained under her own power. Flak fire from her KEWs began streaming outward to find purchase on the approaching Raiders. Raider after raider blew apart as the KEW rounds made contact crushing through their hull and detonating them in fiery explosions consuming the fighter-craft. Dozens were destroyed in moments.

The fleet of baseships maneuvered around the debris of colonial ships to surround Pioneer as three surviving Gunstars formed up alongside the Battlestar forming a defensive line.

Missile after missile launched from the Baseships and more Raiders launched aiding in the assault. KEW rounds burst forth from the remaining colonial ships, cutting a swath through the storm of missiles, detonating them far short of their targets and lighting up the darkness of space with bright orange-yellow explosions.

The Cylon ships simply continued firing, with their distance keeping them out of the Battlestar’s effective engagement range of its heavy KEWs meant for ship to ship battle. Any attempt by the colonial ships to launch a Raptor was met with swift reaction by Cylon Raiders swarming over the fleeing Raptor and firing on it before it could jump away. With the colonial vessels’ own FTL drives offline, they had little option but to stay and hold the Cylons off… For as long as they could.

Edge of Colonial Space, Bordering Cylon Space

BSG 48 was on a routine patrol along the border of the armistice line, just a few light years away from armistice station, and served as the first response to movements from the Cylons. Despite the long period of inactivity from the Cylons, the patrol was taken very seriously and all ships in the fleet remained at the ready for combat against the Cylons, using non-networked computers, a fact which the government was not privy to.

Other colonial units patrolled the armistice line, but BSG 48 had long served a traditional role as the intended first response to any disturbance along the line. It was the largest colonial fleet gathered under one BSG unit, with eight Battlestars and accompanying two Gunstars in formation alongside each Battlestar. Twenty-four armed warships. Normally this would’ve been the size of two BSG units, but BSG 48 was special in its role. More easily able to split into smaller groups under one overall Admiral, avoiding any disagreements in fleet command for the one unit in the colonial fleet that had always feared being the first involved in a new great war.

Vipers encircled the fleet in small numbers forming a CAP, a patrolling air group serving as a fast response to any possible threat. They flew in the darkness of space, only the very distant sight of planets and stars across either side of the line offering a reprieve for the pilots staring out into the black void of space.

Suddenly the dradis screens of the colonial fleet lit up and alarms began ringing out as red unknown contacts began appearing.

First dozens and then hundreds of Cylon raiders jumped in around the colonial fleet, surrounding them in every direction. They were followed by baseship after baseship jumping in, appearing in a swirling flash of light, their Y-axis extending arms tilting to each axis top/bottom was perpendicular, pointing more of the ships weapons at the nearest opposing ship. The baseships remained in position at a range best to fire on the Battlestars from afar.

Missiles immediately started launching from the raiders at the colonials upon their arrival; a few impacted on the colonial ships unimpeded, engulfing hull plating of colonial ships with fire.

Raiders sent a signal toward the colonial ships, the red light ‘eyes’ at the heart of the fighter-craft vibrating fiercely. Several Mark VII vipers began tumbling out of control, the lights on the ships darkening as if they’d been snuffed out.

Missiles launched from the baseships in concert with the raiders as they closed distance with the colonial ships.

Flak fire from KEWs and point defense guns along the colonial warships lit up the darkness of space with bright lights as yellow rounds launched toward the incoming Cylon ordinance and ships.

Vipers launched from the colonial ships hangar decks, more being launched as the pilots and fighters were readied for a sortie in combat.

KEW fire ripped apart offending raiders. The viper pilots were surprised seeing red blood spew out from raiders being cut apart from their KEW fire, they had little time to think on the subject as two more Raiders replaced every fighter they brought down.

Small blue KEW rounds flowed from the raiders. A raider flew quickly through the viper formation’s, coming straight at a viper it refused to turn away, blue rounds spewed forth, destroying a viper in the raider’s sights. The raider simply moved onto make another kill.

Out in open space between the fleets of ships, missiles detonated far short of their targets as KEW fire targeting them made contact, ending their threat. Many nuclear warheads detonated on contact with KEW rounds, or missiles launched by vipers, burning through nearby viper and raider alike.

Several more recently launched Mark VIIs among the viper force were shut down as the Cylon raiders unleashed a virus among them, while older vipers and others in need in maintenance remained active and fired on the unsuspecting raiders who were untested among combat. Thirty-seven raiders were blown away with little resistance put up before the remaining raiders began putting up a fight against the vipers streaming through the raider’s formations in pairs.

Several hundred more raiders began launching from the baseship until the basestars’ bays were empty, heading out to overwhelm the viper forces, even as dozens more vipers launched among the colonial fleet. Outnumbered, the vipers still fought bravely and were well trained and practiced in fighter-combat. Each viper took out several raiders for every one of their own lost.

Two Gunstars suffered from the Cylons’ virus activated by the raiders and were left dead in the water until nuclear missiles launched at them wiped them out.

Mercury class Battlestars Tyr, Brigantia, and Morrigan faced power spikes, and several systems shutting down despite being un-networked. The flagship, Tyr experienced several internal explosions inside the ship, causing chaos among the crew as they tried to remain combat capable and figure out the cause of the explosions. The fleet’s remaining Gunstars surrounded these Battlestars, providing gunnery support against oncoming weapons fire.

Battlestars Greyhound, Raven, Heimdallr, Janus, Hemera suffered no such issues with older computerized systems aboard these Jupiter and Valkyrie class ships. They closed distance with a group of Basestars, into the forefront of the formations of now forty baseships to meet them head-on. The Battlestars angled to show as many of their heavy KEW cannons toward an opposing baseship and fired them as one in a broadside, playing to a Battlestar’s greatest strength.

KEW fire impacted across the baseships with brilliant explosions across the armored plating of the baseships. Fire shown across the ships’ surface as more and more rounds found their mark, digging deep holes to burrow into the baseships.

Three basestars began fighting back fires and hull breaches inside as the Battlestars closed distance and poured their munitions into the basestars, cannon fire streaming inside the baseships and ripping apart armor and hull plating. Munitions inside the baseships detonated consuming centurions and raiders that landed aboard for refuel and re-arming.

A dozen baseships maneuvered to surround Brigantia, Tyr, and Morrigan. As KEW fire poured forth over several minutes, one baseship broke apart under the withering punishment from two mercury class Battlestars.

Dozens of nuclear missiles began launching from the baseships towards the Gunstars and Battlestars. A couple vipers managed to shoot down several missiles before raiders took advantage of their distraction and destroyed them in return, forcing the vipers to focus on the raiders outnumbering them. Point defense from the Gunstars and Battlestars opened up, streaming yellow KEW rounds towards the missiles as they closed range to their targets, destroying several of their number.

Then the nukes hit. Three Gunstars detonated in a fireball of nuclear flame from over a dozen nukes impacting each ship. Gunstar Vali moved in front of Battlestar Morrigan and took hits meant for the larger warship. Battlestar Brigantia joined the Gunstars in death, having had several of her systems knocked offline or damaged and losing a significant portion of her defenses, leaving large gaps of space where none of her defensive fire streamed from, allowing enemy munitions to impact uncontested. A large number of nukes hit the Battlestar.

One basestar was too close to the dying colonial ships and suffered the price after the nuclear strike as debris from the Gunstars and Brigantia were thrown at the basestar, splitting the basestar into pieces as the large sections of debris impacted and ripped right through the basestar. Several raiders and vipers in dogfights were destroyed after failing to evade the oncoming debris.

The battle against BSG 48 went on for hours. Several baseships had been destroyed in order to destroy each Battlestar one at a time. The Raider forces vastly outnumbered the vipers as well, but their losses correspondingly with the warships were great in claiming the colonial fighters’ lives.

Soon only Battlestar Tyr and Morrigan remained actively engaged, the rest of their fleet burning in expanding debris or offering little resistance as Cylon ships continued firing on them threatening to soon end their lives.

With damage taking its toll inside Battlestar Tyr, FTL and many systems/weapons offline or destroyed, BSG 48’s commanding officer ordered Battlestar Morrigan to flee and get word to the colonies. Some vipers made their way back to Morrigan as the ship began turning away. Battlestar Tyr strode ahead, firing everything she had left and running into a headlong path towards the nearest baseship.

Morrigan turned away in the opposite direction, readying her FTLs, with what vipers could make it to safe harbor aboard her flight pods.

The raiders made quick work of the few remaining unorganized vipers. The raiders then turned their attention to Tyr as the basestars continued hammering away with their own munitions; causing streaming fires visible on the outside of the Battlestar.

Tyr held on, bearing all the punishment thrown at her until she could take no more, and within meters of one of the basestars, Tyr detonated in a large explosion, streaming debris outward. Raiders were crushed by even small fragments of the Battlestar, and in such close distance the basestar fared no better when a large chunk of the colonial ship slammed into the basestar, causing explosions inside the basestar until the Cylon ship was no more.

Colonial Space, On Patrol/Transit between the Colonies

Cylon raiders and several baseships jumped in around positions of colonial battlegroups patrolling the colonies, taken from the schedule of patrols in the colonial defense mainframe.

From just after 0700 and hours afterward this went on; baseships and raiders jumped in around colonial ships at the outskirts of the Cyrannus system. Not all fleet ships and BSG units were at their planned positions. When ships weren’t at their position, raiders would fly at sub-light speed in nearby space or jump around to find elusive colonial warships and any others in their path.

The Cylon fleet wreaked havoc, destroying colonial ship after ship, military and civilian alike. The Cylons moved on from the outskirts of Cyrannus inward, taking one position at a time with their large fleet spread out as necessary to take multiple targets in short order. No colonial ship survived them so far, no messages got out to warn the colonial fleet or the colonies.

Defensive stations and fleet units in the Erebos asteroid belt surrounding the colonies in the Helios Alpha system were eliminated. The defensive stations fell under the same weakness as the colonial ships, a virus activated in their systems shutting them down. Rendering the colonial units defenseless and quickly felled by a nuclear assault.

At the gas giant Zeus with its 74 moons, the shipyards and scrapyards known as the Hebe station and the Boneyards were captured, the accompanying colonial ships all razed and destroyed.

The military station on the barren planet Pallas at the outskirts of Helios Beta was destroyed, orbiting Gunstars and a Battlestar annihilated and left burning piles of debris by nukes.

Scrapyards and military installations orbiting the gas giant Hera and its 29 moons in Helios Beta were destroyed in a blaze of nuclear fire.

Military installations across the surface of Hestia’s moon Kronos in Helios Delta were burned beyond recognition, the explosions leaving large holes across the moon’s surface where several of the bases had been.

Ships affected by the Cylon’s virus were shut down and quickly fired on with nukes before the Cylons moved on, others unaffected usually in need of maintenance or unnetworked put up a fight with limited resources before being overwhelmed by superior numbers in many cases.

Cylon raiders began jumping all around colonial space not knowing specifically where to look in many cases, finding civilian ships scattered in transit between the colonies and firing missiles at them before jumping to another location to continue their work. Some civilian ships jumped away in time to survive, many did not. Of tens of thousands of civilian ships in transit among the colonies, many dependent on sub-light without FTL drives, many were quickly annihilated. The raiders formed many hunting parties to cover the entirety of the Cyrannus system over the course of the day.

The Cylons had their work cut out for them even as they limited the outbreak of panic and warning that would send the colonial ships scurrying out of their line of pursuit. Several baseships were tasked with emanating jamming across the systems at equidistant points to ensure as much coverage as possible and ensure only messages in the clear could be received and many were garbled into static, especially at long distance.

Picon, Capital City Queenstown

Colonial Fleet Headquarters – Command Center

Peter Corman, Fleet Admiral and Commanding Officer of the Colonial Fleet quietly entered the command center through a set of plexiglass doors which opened and then shut behind him with a whoosh as they sealed. His eyes narrowed and he felt trepidation.

He sensed tension in the air even as many of view screens overhead the gathered hundreds of fleet personnel showcased the mass of ships civilian and military surrounding the massive Picon Station, the traditional HQ, in orbiting space above Picon.

A celebration of victory and peace, they were parading about with fleet flybys and proffered feasts aboard civilian ships as they’d done every year since the Cylon war’s end following the armistice.

“Anything to report?” Admiral Corman asked, turning with a frown as looked towards his direct executive officer Commander Stewart.

A young man in his twenties with thick red hair, Commander Stewart was a bit of a green officer with just over a year of command experience at Fleet HQ. Admiral Corman had taken a liking to him and took under his wing directly under his command to groom him for future fleet command in a BSG.

“The fleet flybys have gone well, no issues with collisions as feared. The celebrations are going as normal, kinda dull if you ask me, though no one really ever does…” Commander Stewart said with a wolfish grin, then he turned back to the view screens, his expression somber, concerned, “There have been a number of reports of large unidentified ships popping up across the colonies for the last couple hours. Mostly transmissions of contact and then radio silence… And the dradis net across the colonies has experiencing disruptions along with inter-colony communications.”

Admiral Corman had nodded and smiled initially as Stewart spoke, his expression turned dour and dark as he finished, “Oh is that all? Why was I not informed when this started?!”

“-I didn’t want to disturb you over what seemed a small matter. Unidentified ships, could’ve just been pirates or ships without their transponders coming out of FTL near fleet units, and without confirmation of a threat… Communication disruption also started small, the outskirts of Cyrannus and outer colonies and started growing worse the last hour. I was actually about to send for you, and I sent out Raptors to investigate,” Commander Stewart said

Admiral Corman shook his head, releasing a long exhale, “What of Armistice Station? Any problems there?”

“We received confirmation from the Gunstar that took Colonel Roberts to the station that they arrived and there was no sign of the Cylons. They have however failed to report in for hourly checks. As they’ve done every year, they will stay docked for another twelve hours before returning,” Commander Stewart said

Admiral Corman massaged his temple with his left hand, eyeing Stewart with irritation, “And why wasn’t the station immediately check on? A lack of communication with an officer at Armistice Station should’ve been alarming to every officer here since every year nothing really happens there.”

Stewart flushed with embarrassment, his face nearly as red as the hair atop his head, “One of my officers overlooked bringing this to my attention, thinking it was no big deal initially. We did send out a message requesting any available ship to investigate the Station.”

“And did anyone report that Colonel Roberts is alive and bored aboard the Station, or have we still had no news on our lacking communication with Armistice Station?” Admiral Corman asked

“—No, sir,” Commander Stewart said

Admiral Corman turned his back on Stewart, wringing his hands together tightly, he looked to a pair of Rear Admirals who had approached the pair as they’d been speaking, “Admiral Evans. Admiral Brooks. Leave, now. Take your ships, your entire BSGs docked at Picon Station and go investigate Armistice Station and these ‘unidentified ships’.”

The brunette and blonde man and woman respectively in their late thirties nodded and turned at the Fleet Admiral’s command, striding from the planet side HQ with haste.

Admiral Corman looked up at the HD screens now showing the dradis net, the picture of fleet contacts across the colonies and all stations and fleet bases. Several were marked red for out of contact. Other view screens with a usual High-Def picture of each of the colonies were covered in static.

Admiral Corman then looked around the enormous Fleet Command Center, seeing over a hundred youthful, scared, and stricken faces of fleet personnel staring over at him. They were over a thousand meters underground, below Picon’s mainland surface on the colony’s sole landmass.

The Command Center was guarded with its distance below in case of even nuclear strikes on the surface and with sprawling underground levels with layered blast doors leading upward to the military base on the surface above. There, large rail-guns and missile batteries emplaced for interception guarded them, readily able to engage any impending hostile force. The most fortified defensive base in the colonies.

Nearby spaceports contained multiple squadrons of Vipers and armed Raptors. Key personnel could be evacuated from HQ in under an hour in case of extreme emergency.

Admiral Corman grimaced, unhappy and he let his worry show as he was too engrossed in his thoughts as he looked up again at the view screens.

Caprica, Caprica City

President’s Office

“Sir, we've received a communique from Admiral Corman...” Prime Minister Parker said, perplexed, as he entered the room approaching the President’s desk where he sat, “A large body of unidentified ships have been reported across the colonies. He's requested a stop of all civilian traffic and a mustering of the fleet to investigate.”

President Richard Adar looked up from his paper work, alarmed, “A full force mustering and an all stop to civilian traffic?!”

“Yes, sir,” the Prime Minister said.

President Adar grabbed the paper communique from the Prime Minister, reading it over for himself, “Has he lost his mind? Could be pirates for all they know, and they don’t seem to know very much. Enough to warrant the level of panic this executive order he’s requesting would incite?”

“It could affect stocks as well sir, certainly… And yet, what if there’s something to it? If--if it’s the Cylons? On Armistice Day, sir…” Prime Minister Parker asked fearfully, his face having turned pale.

President Adar got up abruptly, pacing. His expression shown with uncertainty. This was a gamble, something that could end his career in shame if he went to such lengths as the Fleet Admiral requested, if it turned out to be all for nothing. And yet… His lips formed the words his mind kept coming back to as he argued with himself back and forth mentally. What if…

Scorpia, Scorpia Fleet Shipyards

Battlestar Pegasus

“Raptor 179, you are cleared for Docking Bay 3. Call the ball.”

“Roger that, Pegasus,” the pilot said, punching several buttons on his console to adjust their pitch and angle the ship into the shipyard, “We have the ball.”

After several minutes, the Raptor landed aboard the large Mercury class Battlestar. An elevator from the landing bay dropped them off into the hangar deck in the ship’s flight-pod.

A woman with long black hair swept behind her dropped off the ramp of the Raptor, carrying a large green duffle bag on her shoulder as she walked inside. She frowned looking around, uncertain of her surroundings and turned to a crewman walking past.

“Excuse me, could you please point me towards...” Kendra Shaw asked, frowning and blinking as she was ignored, the crewman walking past as if he’d never heard her.

She continued walking forward, exiting the flightpod, and tried several more times requesting assistance as she grew frustrated, uncertain where she was going on this massive ship. Each corridor looked like the last.

“Looking for the CIC?” a tall blonde in a plaid blue business suit called out, a civilian by her attire she looked at Shaw with pity as she approached.

“Yes, how did you know?” Shaw asked, smiling gratefully, a slight flush of embarrassment on her face.

“You've got that ‘new officer needing to report to her CO’ look down cold,” the blonde said, smiling wryly, she pulled out her touchscreen tablet and brought it up as Shaw walked to stand next to her.

The Blonde pulled up a schematic map of the ship, pointing at two points on its surface, “One of the benefits of being a network administrator. This is us. This is where you need to be.”

“You're a lifesaver,” the brunette exclaimed, grinning widely, she held out a hand, “Kendra Shaw.”

The blonde looked down at her hand and then smiled, grasping hold to shake hands tightly, “Gina Inviere.”

“Inviere. That's Old Gemanese for “resurrection,” isn't it?” Shaw asked curiously, her eyebrows hitching up as she recognized the term. An odd surname, she thought.

“One of the benefits of being a lapsed Classics major,” Shaw said, smiling.

Gina chuckled, eyeing Shaw cautiously, “Guess you never know when something like that might come in handy.”

Gina nodded, her smile radiant, “Welcome to Pegasus, Lieutenant.”

“Thank you,” Shaw said, grateful. Nodding at Gina, she strode away down the direction she’d been pointed, several minutes walk away.

Gina watched her go warily, breathing in deeply, concern briefly over her features before she turned back to her work on the Pegasus’ systems.

Kendra walked into Pegasus’ CIC, the Plexiglas doors shutting tightly with a whoosh behind her. The crew were busy at their stations not even looking up as she entered. She quickly noticed Admiral Cain and stepped up to the plot table facing her, dropping her bags on the ground she then stood upright, saluting, “Lieutenant Kendra Shaw reporting for duty, sir.”

“Did you enjoy your coffee, Lieutenant,” Rear Admiral Helena Cain asked, not even looking up from the sheaf of papers she was looking over on the plat table before her.

“My coffee?” Shaw asked, confused, her eyebrows scrunching together.

“Just say yes, so we don't get off on the wrong foot,” Admiral Cain said, her voice rising, her tone stern.

“Yes, sir,” Shaw said uncertainly.

“Good. You see, because I figured that you either got lost on your way to CIC, or you stopped for a cup of coffee,” Admiral Cain said, still not looking up from her papers, her left arm to her forehead as she worked.

Kendra’s mouth was agape as she processed Cain’s dressing her down. At the console behind her, an elder man in his forties with spiked greying hair stood. Colonel Jack Fisk was smiling as he tried not to chuckle too loudly watching the two.

Admiral Cain continued without missing a beat, “And frankly, I'd rather think it was that cup of coffee than realize my new aide can't find her way around a Battlestar.”

She looked up at Shaw with a toothy grin.

“Sir, I've just arrived...” Kendra said defensively.

“I'm not finished speaking,” Admiral Cain said, that grin still on her face. She turned to look at Colonel Belzen across from her at the other side of the plot table who was trying to hide a grin, looking down at the table.

Cain let the silence drag out for a moment, then turned back to Shaw, “I know why you're here.”

Her hair flipped as she tilted her stance, her tone became mocking, “You're here because you think this job is a stepping stone to a still better one. So, let me guess, you had your mother pull some strings, and she...”

“My mother's dead, sir. She died of cancer,” Shaw interrupted, staring straight ahead, showing no emotion.

Colonel Belzen turned to look at her, his eyebrows furrowed, his expression with concern as he considered this.

Cain was unfazed, “Yes, I know. I read the papers. And while I'm very sorry for your loss, you'd be well advised to make that the last time you attempt to play on my sympathies.”

Shaw looked over at Cain then looked straight ahead again, uncertain of herself.

“Between you and me, I'm feeling a hell of a lot sorrier for myself,” Cain said, a slight grin on her face.

“Mr. Hoshi,” Cain called out looking to the console past Fisk.

“Sir?” Lieutenant Louis Hoshi said respectfully, stepping forward.

“Can you please direct this lieutenant to her quarters?” Admiral Cain requested, looking back down at the CIC plot table.

“Yes, sir,” Hoshi said, nodding.

Cain resumed her position leaning forward with an arm to her head looking at her papers, “You're dismissed.”

“Lieutenant,” Hoshi said, hefting one of Shaw’s bags and holding an arm out toward the exit of CIC.

The door opened with a whoosh and the two stepped through, another whoosh and the door was sealed shut.

Admiral Cain looked to see they were gone then looked up with a grin toward Colonel Belzen who mirrored her grin with his own. The two burst out laughing.

“A little midmorning snack,” Admiral Cain said.

“Yeah,” Colonel Belzen said, laughter in his voice.

“I'm gonna be in my quarters,” Admiral Cain said, then turned and went out the CIC doors herself.

“Yes, sir,” Colonel Belzen said smiling, shaking his head after she left before returning his attention to his paperwork.

Pegasus, Causeway C

Lieutenant Hoshi led Shaw through the corridors of the ship passing other personnel as they went to the crews’ quarters.

“The beauty of a network system is that with the right pass codes, you can control just about any part of the ship from any other. Of course, the system's down right now for the retrofit, but in an emergency, it's like having unlimited backups,” Lieutenant Hoshi said, making small talk as the pair walked.

“Assuming no one hits the wrong button,” Shaw said.

“Yeah, not on Cain's ship,” Mr. Hoshi said, laughing.

“Puts the fear of the Gods into everyone, does she?” Shaw asked, a small grin gracing her features.

As they are walking down the hallway, a large blast shakes Pegasus, and the noise ripples through the hallway. Shaw and Hoshi are immediately thrown to the floor.

As Shaw awakens, she is in a daze. She looks around to find Hoshi unconscious on the floor. The hallway has suddenly become a disaster area. To Shaw everything’s happening in slow motion, noises appear faraway. Damaged lights above faltered, blinking. A tubed wiring strewn on the ground, which dropped from above, was sparking.

Admiral Cain, who was on her way to her quarters at the time, found Shaw and Hoshi in the corridor. Admiral Cain stooped to help Lieutenant Shaw get up after the explosions from ordinance hitting the ship had finished shaking Pegasus. “Are you okay?” Cain asked, looking down with concern at Shaw.

Her anger grew as loud alarms blared over her head and crew members nearby focused on helping the injured or ran to their posts across the ship. Cain glared down at Shaw who appeared lethargic, unmoving. Shaw doesn’t respond and merely looked at her blankly.

Cain slapped her in the face to snap her out of the shocked stupor she was in. Shaw immediately awakened, her sense returning to her and her ears stopped ringing, sound returned to normal. The hallway echoed with screams of horror, and the Condition One sirens blared.

“Come on, soldier, get up. On your feet,” Cain said hastily, her tone authoritative.

Admiral Cain then leaned over to check on Mister Hoshi who was unconscious with blood coming out of a head wound. She felt for a pulse and then shook him, “Hoshi! Hoshi!”

Hoshi made no sign of movement, and Cain nodded, looking down at him sadly. Tears were in her eyes as she looked at the devastation around her. She got up, turning and put a hand on Shaw’s shoulder leading her forward, “Okay. Follow me to CIC. Come on.”

Scorpia, Scorpion Shipyards

Raiders jumped in around the Scorpion Shipyards, appearing to be everywhere with even more appearing in flashes of light as they jumped into space. Raiders rampaged, firing nuclear warheads and other ordinance at the shipyards and docked ships. Fiery explosions covered whole swaths of the shipyard. Two Valkyrie class Battlestars lost their moorings that connected them to the docks. One crashed into another shipyard dock, instantly destroying both as the fuel stores within detonate in a massive explosion and an inferno consumed everything in its path.

A nuclear missile shot towards Battlestar Pegasus, launched by a Raider. Passing by a Columbia class Battlestar as its mooring are destroyed and fires could be seen across the ship’s surface, the nuke hit Pegasus head-on. Pegasus survived the hit from the ordinance, unknown to the Cylons sensors with all the jamming kicked up by multiple nuclear missiles detonating simultaneously in close proximity. Pegasus has fires across her surface, while she’s still hard sealed connected to the dock moorings of the shipyard.

Nukes hit another Mercury class Battlestar, rupturing the structural support straits of the engine exhausts at the back end of the ship. Explosions continued as more missiles hit threw the separating butt end of the ship forward to drop down on the front of the ship.

Pegasus CIC

Helena Cain and Kendra Shaw entered the Plexiglas doors of CIC. Shattered glass and consoles sparking was the sight that greeted them, with several crew members strewn across the floor.

A group of personnel in yell DC fire suppression suits were using fire extinguishers to put out sparking fires from several destroyed consoles.

“As soon as your men are out, seal the hatches and vent the compartments!” Belzen said over the corded phone, his voice full of panic as he tried to maintain a composed authoritative demeanor.

“What the hell hit us?!” Admiral Cain asked angrily as she and Lieutenant Shaw walked forward to the plot table at the center of C.I.C.

“From radiological readings, looks like nuclear detonations, multiple hits,” Colonel Belzen reported, his eyebrows raised, his eyes wide.

“It's the Cylons, it has to be. But they've broken the armistice in support of an all-out attack on the colonies. At least we still have our power,” Admiral Cain said.

“Yeah, but that's about it. Dradis is erratic; weapons are offline, same with all our computers. We’ll have to do everything manually,” Colonel Belzen said worriedly.

Admiral Cain had an ‘I can’t believe this’ expression on her face, shaking her head. She closed her eyes looking down at the table then leaned forward for support, angering across her expression as she tried to think of something, anything to do.

Outside, a half dozen Battlestars were breaking apart in their enclosed docking ports of the shipyard. Explosions streamed cross the shipyard consuming the ships and shipyard structure alike.

Pegasus CIC

After the ship shook once more, Cain looked up. Stress apparent across her face, her voice became slightly shrill as she loudly called out her orders, “I want all hatches sealed. Docking connections severed.”

The crew hurriedly moved to complete the Admirals orders and the Pegasus used its boosters to get loose from the shipyard moments later, with numerous Cylon raiders flying around letting loose missiles and nuclear warheads in the vicinity.

Explosions were everywhere, the entire shipyard was in flames, and some ships which were mostly smaller civilian ships and small auxiliary military units managed to jump. Many of the major military units were either destroyed or about to become nothing but dust with large amounts of nuclear missiles moving their way. A raider noticing Pegasus’ movement turned in the ship’s direction prepared to launch nukes.

“Lieutenant, spin up our FTL drive,” Admiral Cain ordered, “we're preparing for an emergency jump everyone.”

“Yes, sir,” Lieutenant Shaw responded and quickly moved to start up the FTL drive, moving over a dead body to reach the console.

“Sir, two more nukes headed straight for us, estimated twenty seconds to impact,” Colonel Belzen said.

“FTL spooling sir, but without the computer we can't calculate a safe jump,” Lieutenant Shaw reported worriedly.

“Don't bother calculating, just do it,” Admiral Cain said shortly.

“You want to do a blind jump, sir? We might end up inside a sun,” Lieutenant Shaw said in disbelief.

Outside, two nuclear missiles rapidly close on the position of the Pegasus.

“Missiles closing!” Colonel Belzen said loudly.

“It doesn't matter where we jump to,” Admiral Cain emphasized, shouting angrily, “Just frakking do it Lieutenant!”

“FTLs online,” Lieutenant Shaw reported.

“5 seconds!” Colonel Belzen said worriedly watching the progress of the nuclear missiles on dradis.

“Lieutenant, NOW!” Admiral Cain shouted.

Lieutenant Shaw pressed the jump key and the Pegasus jumped away in a flash of white encompassing the ship, leaving a void of empty space behind. Seconds later, two nuclear missiles passed through the previous location of the Battlestar. The nearby flames on the docks were extinguished as they were pulled outward by the spatial distortions of the ship’s FTL jump.

Picon, Picon Fleet HQ CIC

Fleet Admiral Corman felt a chill go down his spine as he looked at the view screens yet again, hoping against hope what he was seeing couldn’t be there. With orbiting satellites having gone offline at their arrival, furthering complicating communications complications, patrolling Raptors had been sent to scout out the arrival of a group of ships, over Picon, that were not squawking colonial ID. The enhanced images sent over to Picon HQ wirelessly clearly showed a group of a dozen warships. Though clearly different in configuration to their counterparts in the last war, they were easily identifiable. Cylon Baseships.

Their arrival had caused an uproar in activity among the colonial ships. Fleet warships were quickly mustered out of the shipyards, as many as could be given many were down for maintenance or light on crew. Others apart of the fleet celebrations took up point charging toward the baseships. Behind them, the array of a couple thousand civilian ships were seeking asylum near the shipyard, the civilian ships throwing out all sorts of panicked cries for assistance and communication with each other that had to be ignored by the fleet, only serving to further curb easy communications among the colonial fleet.

“Commander Stewart, did you get my message to the groundside forces, particularly those at the Fleet Academies?” Admiral Corman barked loudly, snapping at his executive officer, worry and panic in his expression.

“-Yes, sir. Though I don’t see why-” Commander Stewart said, confusion in his tone, looking up toward the view screen. He didn’t see the need for focus on anything else, the threat was out there after all staring them down as they spoke.

“It doesn’t matter if you understood the order so long as it was followed, Commander. It’s of the utmost importance the academies are evacuated. Did the President comply with my request?” Admiral Corman asked

“Yes, sir. An all stop of traffic among the civilian ships. He also sent orders to the regional leaders across the colonies to ready defenses and begin pre-emptive evacuations to emergency shelters at their discretion. Though, sir, should we really be taking such actions just now? The Cylons’ chances of getting through the fleet—” Commander Stewart said

“Commander, we just confirmed the attack on Scorpion Shipyards shortly before we lost contact. Other ships have been spotted at the capital, Caprica. This is the makings of a precision strike at the heart of the colonies to simultaneously take out fleet and civilian leadership if they eliminate our fleet command centers and center of government. If they succeed…”

Admiral Corman turned his attention to the panic and fright-filled faces of the CIC crew, many who were looking in the pair’s direction listening to the Admiral’s words. He frowned, all he could feel was sorry that he could not offer them much hope right now. No-one could know of their only chance for survival, now more than ever…

Overhead, more of the view screens flickered, then were overcome with static, eroding their crystal-clear images of positions across the colonies. Admiral Corman felt a sinking sensation in his gut. They had lost control of the situation, the remaining illusion of control was fading to the gathered personnel as fast as the display screens above were becoming static-filled.

Like others among the gathered personnel his eyes were drawn to the approaching Cylon ships, all he can wonder is why now had they come, and if it was truly in relation to Valkyrie… The burden of guilt weighed heavily on him as he deemed it likely.

Corman appeared to age ten years, weariness in his features as he spoke, his tone resolute, “I want a general recall order sent out immediately. We have to ensure the fleet is aware we are indeed facing the Cylons.”

“Communications has been severely hampered, sir. Encryption outside the system is an impossibility… It’ll have to—have to be sent in the clear, sir,” Commander Stewart said.

“Do it,” Admiral Corman said sternly.

“Yes, sir,” Commander Stewart said quickly, turning to the communications officer already working on carrying out the Admiral’s orders. Crestfallen, the young red-head hung his head, then turned to the Admiral, apologetic, “I’m sorry about my failures, sir. If I’d—”

“What’s done is done, Commander,” Admiral Corman said grimly. He stepped forward as Stewart dropped his head in shame, placing a hand on the young man’s shoulder. Stewart looked up, seeing kindness in the Admiral’s expression. The two men said nothing, looking up as one as dradis alarms blared with further enemy contacts’ arrivals.

“Sir! The defense platforms are going offline!” one of the technical officers present said, alarmed.

“What?!” Admiral Corman and Commander Stewart exclaimed.

“Unknown on how sir, but the shipyards systems are also going offline. Possible viruses at play,” Colonel Holloway reported, his tone grim. He listened to a report over his mini-comms ear-piece. “Picon Stations also reporting their main energizer’s offline and they have power fluctuations across many sections of the shipyard. Their guns and other defenses are down, they’re down to whatever small-craft they can sortie at the moment.”

Admiral Corman was still reeling, prepared to shout orders when another techie spoke up, “Receiving reports of explosions on the surface sir!”

“Confirm that!” Commander Stewart demanded.

“Marine bases across the colony are reporting the same as the above-ground HQ, sir. Looks like sabotage,” Tactical Officer Lieutenant Edwin Lan said a minute later, after conferring with technical specialists at their consoles.

“Oh Gods!” a blonde female technician cried out, looking at the view screens above.

Admiral Corman’s blood curdled as he watched the Cylons launch nukes into the array of thousands of civilian ships. Large passenger ships broke apart in large explosions, the debris left behind launching at other ships all around claiming even more lives. Raiders streamed among the other civilian ships, on strafing runs firing their KEWs to destroy civilian ships in their sights and launching missiles at others fleeing from their range.

The defending Battlestars and colonial warships had been overrun, most simply motionless and blacked out with no lights across their surface until they were lit up by explosions and nuked into oblivion. Near eighty mighty colonial warships, gone… Four warships; an old Valkyrie class Battlestar, two Gunstars and a single Mercury class Battlestar formed the only line of resistance in the midst of the destruction around them. Swarms of raiders grouped around the ships, quickly weakening them in their strafing runs taking out KEW cannons and plate armor as they passed.

Most of the baseships had closed distance to the upper atmosphere, launching missiles down at Picon itself. Missiles dropped through the atmosphere, once a desired elevation was reached the large canisters split open to unleash dozens of smaller missiles which quickly shot towards the ground. Nuclear explosions carpeted the areas hit, targeting large cities and military bases across the surface. Fiery mushroom clouds rose high into the sky.

Admiral Corman closed his eyes, his last awareness was the sounds of cries of fear and his personnel praying as another nuke burrowed deeper into the ground in the ruins of the marine base aboveground of Picon HQ. Continued strikes saw it through, destroying Picon Fleet Headquarters root and stem.

Minutes Leading up to Nuclear Strike

Picon, Club Pink Moon

A strip club, the inside venue with a bar at the back was fairly empty in the early afternoon hours. At the bar, the bartender was handing out drinks, pretending to laugh at customers jokes and ignoring being leered at as she stood behind the bar, topless.

A middle-aged blonde woman in a violet dress sat on a stool before the bar, leaning forward she skewered an olive with her toothpick, and noticing she was being watched she smiled seductively at the older man next to her, eating the olive slowly as she looked at him.

“You really like those olives, don't you?” the elder man said, looking at the blonde with an expression of wonder and curiosity.

The blonde chuckled, leaning forward further as she spoke with her knees on the stool, her dress curving to accentuate her figure, “Maybe. Maybe I just like how I look reaching for them.”

The two shared a slight grin, the blonde reached to shake his hand, “Ellen Tigh.”

She looked at him, her green eyes piercing. He grew uncomfortable, and looked around for a distraction, “Bartender, let's have another one for the lady.”

“Thank you,” Ellen said, chuckling and smiling coyly at the elder man.

“So, you don't have a name?” Ellen asked as the man remained silent and she was given her drink.

He hesitated before speaking, “I-- am a mysterious stranger.”

“Ooh!” Ellen said appreciatively.

“And why are you here, Ellen? I mean, you're so obviously intended for greater things,” he asked.

She looked bewildered, looking away then returning her gaze to look him up and down, sizing him up, she was amused as she spoke bluntly, “Are you a priest?”

“Would it matter?” He asked simply, a somewhat stern looking expression on his face.

“Oh, now, now, don't tense up, Mysterious,” Ellen said, grinning, her tone flippant, “There's no point in judging anybody. I’m just saying it’s a basic fact… No one changes who they really are.”

“If no one is corrected, then no one learns their lessons,” the elder man said sagely, he watched her carefully, perturbed by her casual attitude about change. If she hadn’t changed…

“Well, I've lived in this world a long time, and I'm proud to say that I haven't learned any gods-damn lessons,” Ellen said gleefully, laughing freely.

He sat in silence, frowning fiercely, frustration visible on his face.

Ellen took a swig of her drink before continuing as he remained silent, “If you let someone change you or make you apologize, then you're selling yourself out, you know.”

He considered her words thoughtfully, unhappy with it.

Ellen just grinned, enjoying herself, slightly drunk. Just then the building shook.

In the distance, a large mushroom cloud drew up into the sky as a nuclear warhead detonated destroying much of the city around. The shockwave from the detonation site burst out for miles, breaking apart buildings. Pink Moon continued to shake and then the glass windows along the building shattered with a screech.

The elder man grabbed hold of Ellen, pushing her down to the ground and shielding her as the shockwave overtook them.

In the distance across Picon, a dozen mushroom clouds rose to the surface. The only continent across the water-covered world was heavily populated with over a billion citizens, the damage struck at the heart of the population centers and defenses. Then the real threat struck as missiles rained down on an unsuspecting target: the oceans.

Undersea, explosions burned hot steaming the ocean water. The seabed cracked apart under the weight of the destructive blast furnace. A plume of red rose above the explosions, not a fiery plume but hot magma shot upward, heat boiled the water towards the surface. Slowly, other eruptions began occurring across the planet as long dormant volcanoes awoke with a furious rumbling. Earthquakes shook the world violently, below and above ground.

Rapid displacement of millions of gallons of water shooting up and rapidly falling heavily caused giant waves across the ocean covered world. Gravity was the restoring force smoothing out the vertical displacement of the ocean, causing gigantic traveling waves pushing away from the source of disturbance. The waves formed larger and larger until they reached hundreds of feet high and streamed over the mainland, and the stream of water blowing past humanity’s constructions and washing away countless human lives showed no sign of halting even after crossing hundreds of miles inland.

~1200 Hours Caprica City Time

Caprica, Caprica City – Baltar Manor

Gaius Baltar took a large swig of ambrosia. Setting the glass to the side, he looked outside to the bright midday sunshine coming in the windows. They’d been talking for hours, yet he was no closer to a sense of belief or understanding.

“So now you're telling me, um—” Gaius said, his eyes fluttering and he choked up with emotion, his eyebrows crunched downward briefly before his expression of disbelief returned, “Now you're telling me you're a machine.”

“I'm a woman,” the blonde woman said patiently. She sat on the grey recliner-couch across from him, her bare legs outstretched on the raised foot of the chair, leaning on a hand she propped against the grey couch.

“You're a machine woman,” Gaius said scornfully, letting out a breath of frustration, “You're a synthetic woman. A robot.”

Gaius leaned back in his black armchair, he turned his head, letting out a small chuckle.

“I've said it three times now,” she said calmly, shaking her head.

Gaius leaned forward, his eyebrows scrunching together in frustration, his voice rising, “Well, forgive me. I'm having the tiniest bit of trouble believing that. Because the last time anybody saw the Cylons, they looked like walking chrome toasters!”

She looked away, rolling her eyes, her tone was dismissive, “Those models are still around. They have their uses.”

He looked away, still an expression of disbelief on his face, turning back to her with an idea to set things straight, “Prove it.”

Gaius spoke, finally feeling maybe now things would return to sanity and the analytical style of thinking he prided himself on, which had faltered since she’d sprung this news on him, would shine once more, “If you're a Cylon, prove it to me right now.”

“I don't have to. You know I'm telling the truth,” she said, raising an eyebrow, a grin crossing her face.

“See, stating something as the truth doesn't necessarily make it so... 'cause the truth of the matter is, I don't believe a word of it,” Gaius said, flustered, shaking his head in denial.

She leaned forward, her eyebrows scrunching together, disbelief in her expression that even now he denied the truth. “You believe me because deep down you've always known there was something different about me-- something that didn't quite add up in the usual way.”

She smiled, a coy grin that widened as she spoke, “And you believe me because it flatters your ego... To believe that alone, among all the billions of people... Of the Twelve Colonies… You, were chosen for my mission.”

He looked over at her sharply, shock in his features, “Your mission? What mission?”

Her eyes hardened as she spoke calmly, looking him in the eyes, “You knew I wanted access to the Defense mainframe.

His heart felt like it skipped a beat and then went into rapid overdrive, he leaned forward, panic in his expression, “The Def—” He leaned forward, his eyebrows scrunched together, licking his lips, “Wait a minute. The Defense mainframe?”

Time seemed like it had stopped, he couldn’t think straight, his breathing grew ragged, “What exactly are you saying?”

She smiled at him knowingly, “Come on, Gaius. The communications frequencies? Deployment schedules? Unlimited access to every database?”

“Oh, my Gods!” Gaius cried out, standing up quickly, walking away from her. Pacing around, sheer terror and panic across his face. She watched him with concern.

After a long moment, his expression hardened even as he blinked quickly, he spoke forcefully willing conviction into his words, “I had nothing to do with this. You know I had nothing to do with this.”

The voluptuous blonde got up, walking up to him, shaking her head before a smile came upon her face as she studied him curiously, “You have an amazing capacity for self-deception. How do you do that?”

Gaius fought back the bile in his throat, the sheer panic that willed him to run, run away now. “How many people know about me, specifically? That I'm involved?”

She leaned down toward his figure, a seductive smile on her expression, reaching to bring her hand down his chest as she spoke, her voice low and sultry, “And even now, as the fate of your entire world hangs in the balance... all you can think about is how this affects you.”

“Do you have any idea what they will do to me if they find out?” He exclaimed, disbelief in his features, his eyes hardened as he stared her down.

“They'd probably charge you with treason,” she said, frowning.

“Treason is punishable by the death penalty,” he said, his face reddening, he shook his head, closing his eyes, then looking away to roll his eyes, “This is unbelievable.”

Her expression changed to sympathy, her eyes blinking rapidly, her face falling as she took in his distraught and panicked features.

Gaius moved past her to reach for the phone, dialing numbers in.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“Phoning my attorney,” he said, looking down as he found the numbers he wanted, raising the phone to his ear.

“That won't be necessary,” she said evenly.

“He'll know what to do. He'll sort this out. He's the best in the business,” Gaius said, veins popping out of his neck, his expression full of determination.

She raised her eyebrows, speaking with emphasis, “It won't be necessary, because in a few hours... no one will be left to charge you with anything.”

He froze, looking at her with fearful disbelief as he slowly lowered the phone from his ear, he blinked rapidly as he tried to speak calmly in a forward manner, “What exactly are you saying?”

Her green eyes gazed at him, piercingly down to his very core, “Humanity's children, are returning home... today.

Gaius Baltar stood stock-still staring at her uncomprehendingly. He noticed a flash in the corner of his eyes, turning to look out the window. She did the same as she noticed his distraction.

A vibrant white-yellow flash flared on the distant horizon, like a large nearby sun coming into existence, a blinding white-light rising in brightness before fading away. A large orange-black mushroom cloud from an explosion rise up high toward the sky.

Minutes Earlier

Caprica, Orbiting Space Over Caprica City

Responding to the detection of unknown contacts on dradis, the battle group in orbit launched away from just above the upper atmosphere around the capital of the colonies. Three Valkyrie class Battlestars led by the Battlestar Yashuman, along with several wings of Viper Mk. VIIs, moved to intercept the unknown contacts. In detection range the colonials learned the unknown contacts were Cylons, with incoming waves of raiders and baseships heading to Caprica.

“Caprica Control, Yashuman. Heavy bogeys, six plus, lower orbit, over grid 15-2,” Commander Oliver Chapman called out over the wireless radio impatiently.

“No joy, Yashuman,” the lead operator in Caprica Control, the defense headquarters planet-side, said anxiously.

“Then go to your window and look up. They're big as fracking asteroids!” Commander Chapman yelled, he then yelled out orders to his crew steering Yashuman along with the rest of the battlegroup toward the Cylon baseships.

Baseship Alpha-Seven, CIC

Centurions walked out of CIC, joining others arming up in preparations of being among the drop forces to head planet-side. Several copies of each Cylon model were gathered around the CIC plot table, other centurions stood guard around them.

“It's been a long time coming,” a tall spiky-blonde haired man in a red dress shirt, a number two model, said as he walked up to the plot table.

“I bet they don't understand what we're doing for them,” a blonde woman in a spaghetti-strapped black dress show lots of luscious skin, a number six, said, gazing at a nearby centurion with wonder. As she was looking at the centurions, one turned its head as if in confusion studying her then returned to ramrod straight as the others in their as silent sentinels.

“I think they're grateful in their own way,” a well-groomed man in a blue-suit, a number five ‘Doral’ model said, nodding to himself.

“I know I'd be,” a long-haired brunette woman, a number Eight said sheepishly, smiling. Six shared a vibrant smile with her.

The human Cylons became aware of the hybrid as it began working commands throughout the baseship’s systems and they heard its voice as it spoke.

In the room just beyond the CIC, a giant tank in the center of the room was filled to the brim with light-colored viscous fluid, a female human head jutted out over the top. This ‘woman’ was the hybrid, the central-control module of the basestars, large plugs exited out of the vat the hybrid lay within at all times. Multiple plugs to the sides of the tank could be seen among the water, plugged directly into the hybrid’s body. She spoke, mixing what many human Cylons took for granted as inane babble amidst progress reports of the ship.

“Devices on alert. Observe the procedures of a general alert. Decadent as their ancestors. The portal and that which passes.

Nuclear devices activated, and the machine keeps pushing time through the cogs. Free will, 12 battles, three stars, and yet we are countless as the bodies in which we dwell, are both parent and infinite children in perfect copies. The makers of the makers fall before the child.

Accessing defense system. Handshake, handshake. Second level clear. It's begun.”

Within a few minutes the basestars’ hybrids breached the colonies’ defense mainframe and initiated the sequence to allow the fleet wide virus to activate. The defense mainframe centralized control of all planetary defense systems and remotely operated the orbital satellites. The virus quickly took control of everything, issuing a single command: shut-down. The Point Defense Satellites (PDS) surrounding Caprica shut down, along with high-tech missile launchers and KEW cannon emplacements across ground-side bases as the bases’ computers went offline.

Outside the baseships, scores of hundreds of Raiders flew out ahead to meet the Colonial forces.

Yashuman’s Commander, Oliver Chapman, paled at the sight of the approaching raiders, hoping the planetary defense stations would soon come online for their support, it was what they were built for after all. Color returned to his face, reddening as he heard more bad news over the wireless from Caprica’s defense headquarters.

“Copy, Yashuman. Still blind. Got some kind of system-wide crash in the defense grid,” the lead operator in Caprica Control said bashfully.

“Try to un-frak yourself right gods damned now, 'cause we got multiple inbound, and they're not carrying flowers,” Commander Oliver Chapman said angrily, slamming his fist on the table before him.

“Wait one, Yashuman,” the same male voice coming from Caprica control cautioned.

“We don't have one left,” Commander Chapman said, shaking his head. He told his officers to coordinate with the other ships of the fleet, they would take the Cylons on alone if need be, it was their duty.

“I'm going hot,” Yashuman’s CAG, Jeremy Fallert, ‘Blue Leader’ said, following his commander’s lead. He armed his missiles aboard, readying warheads on low-yield nukes he was armed with inside his Viper Mark VII. His fellow pilots formed up behind him, racing towards the oncoming Raiders at full-burn.

As the raiders closed distance the visors at the front of their ‘head’, at the forefront of the fighter, opened up to reveal a red light flashing back and forth, irradiating a signal towards the colonial ships. The entire colonial battle group was shut down within moments of the signal reaching the ships. Vipers stalled out, electronics shut-down and all lights along the ship went dark, and with their engines and all thrusters off they continued in forward motion. Several began tumbling out of control, the Vipers spinning end over end. Behind the fighters, the Battlestars also lost power and began drifting.

“Blue leader, do you read me? Blue leader, come back,” another viper pilot called out, panicking as his viper tumbled, unable to move no matter how much he yanked on the joystick-throttle.

“I got no radio contact,” ‘Blue Leader’ said, his eyebrows crunched together in consternation, as he flipped every switch on the electronics board before him trying to do something, anything.

“It's like somebody pulled the plug,” Lieutenant Barris called out from his viper, slamming his fists on his controls angrily, trying to will them back into action, “We're adrift.”

Nukes launched from the raiders, launching white plumes toward each and every viper and a dozen towards each Battlestar. Vipers blew apart on impact, offering no resistance, even as some started freefalling back in orbit of Caprica. Vipers launched from the surface were also shut down and simply tumbled backward in an uncontrolled descent into the atmosphere, leaving them to burn up as they fell.

Battlestars Yashuman, Valkyrie, and two other Battlestars were lost within moments. The mighty vessel broke into chunks of debris along with their fighter forces.

Several of the basestars rotated around their axis to form a Y-pattern, allowing them to enter Caprica's upper atmosphere. Missiles were launched, streaming out of the baseships in white flashes of light, dropping down to the surface. As they approach the ground, the missiles open up to reveal over a dozen independent nuclear warheads in each. The warheads separated, vectored off in multiple directions and detonated on impact with the ground.

The Presidential bunker was hit head-on by a high-yield nuke, nuclear fire greedily consumed the groundside building and ran all the way down to destroy the bunker entirely. The President and all his staffers sitting in anxious fear as they awaited news of the attacks went up in flames never knowing what them.

Battlestar Atlantia

Admiral’s Quarters

“Is this confirmed?” Admiral Thomas Nagala asked with trepidation, looking at reports coming into the fleet.

“Yes, sir. The sole surviving unit from the Armistice line confirmed the Cylon's incursion. Armistice Station is gone. The BSG sent to investigate was routed by Raiders.

Scouts confirmed, various outposts across the colonies have already fallen. Fleet traffic's severely disrupted across Cyrannus, only civilian ships are still squawking, and they're being silenced rather rapidly, we believe by Raiders in systematic formations. Several colonies are reported hit by nuclear warheads across the surface.

The President sent out a message of unconditional surrender within the last hour no response has been seen and no sign of change from the Cylons,” Commander Jade Lehan said stoically, tears streaming down her face.

Admiral Nagala continued looking at the report containing the President’s unconditional surrender to the Cylons. Fool, Admiral Nagala thought to himself, as tears ran down his own face.

“Picon Fleet Headquarters was destroyed. Picon Station is being torn apart, and the colony has been hit hard by nukes. Scorpia has also been confirmed hit, the shipyards are destroyed. We’re trying to get into contact with whatever units are left, but… It’s not looking good, sir.”

“Agreed,” Admiral Nagala said, his voice full of anger and despair, shaking his head. Leaning on his desk, he closed his eyes, trying to compose himself and push down his feelings from taking in all this news, “Have we received word from Stark?”

Commander Lehan flinched as Admiral Nagala went rigid, finally opening his eyes with a coldness in their blue depths. She spoke quickly, “All of his units are being brought online. Cadets from Picon made it out on the Assaultstars at the fleet academies due to Admiral Corman’s efforts before the colony was hit. He’s mobilizing marines for potential ground forces as well.”

“Good,” Admiral Nagala said stiffly, nodding with approval, “Stark is to begin salvage and rescue operations. Just make sure he remembers he is to hold back his forces. We’ll see the strength of the Cylon fleet before I allow him to risk engaging in direct combat.”

“Send out my message on all frequencies, in the clear; Cylon attack underway, this is no drill. All units to report to Virgon for counterattack,” Admiral Nagala said.

“Yes, sir,” Commander Lehan replied, a fierce frown on her face, “keeping in mind that the Cylons will receive the message and come in force, sir?”

“They will. After we’ve gathered the fleet. No need for them to attack right away when we’ll be bringing all remaining fleet ships to one place. Sparing them the trouble of searching for survivors. In the meantime, we’ll have as many civilian ships launched from Virgon and filled with all the people they can carry,” Admiral Nagala said coldly.

“Very well sir. We’re also running through data Battlestar Morrigan sent us, and they believe they found what allowed the Cylons to shut down our ships,” Commander Lehan said.

“Good. Keep it quiet even once they have it definitively solved. Just send the information with technician teams through the fleet arriving; no communication sent out that might be able to send word to the Cylons so we don’t lose the advantage if they don’t know our ships could remain under our control,” Admiral Nagala said, giving his XO a hard look.

Caprica, Baltar Manor

Across the Hi-Def big screen TV in Baltar’s living room reports from two news stations could be seen.

Baltar watched, frozen in place from his seat, leaning forward. tears in his eyes, his hands clasped together, he was sweating as he watched the reporters in their panicked attempts to bring up any news. It was chaos everywhere.

On the left screen, Kellan Brody of Caprica City News, “Trying to piece together unconfirmed reports of nuclear attack… Picon fleet Headquarters is believed to have been lost. Uhm-uh-- We don't have any further information yet.”

On the right screen, a man was broadcasting from the street, having moved more than once to stay out of the way of panicking residents running about the city, “Official confirmation has come in that the spaceports were hit. There are no remaining ships able to leave Caprica.”

“But no actual enemy has been sighted yet,” Kellan said, trying to put on a brave face. Her expression faltered as she looked away from the screen, terrified of something she’d seen or heard. The screen went black as a noise of a loud explosion was heard in the background.

“Officials are saying there doesn't seem any doubt—” the male reporter was saying frantically, then he was holding a hand to his face as he stopped midsentence, holding his ground he hunched forward, as a sudden gale-force of wind raced over him knocking the man off his feet and off camera. Chairs and debris flew past in the same direction as the reporter.

There was a crash and a loud piercing screech then the picture faded to white-fuzz.

Gaius Baltar bowed forward, putting his head in his hands, whispering, “What have I done?”

He looked up at the blank screens, horrified. He sat, shaking like a leaf, tears welled in his eyes, “What am I gonna do? There's no way out.” He stood up, sorrow in his features, shaking his head.

“I know,” the blonde woman said sympathetically, reaching out to place her hands around his shoulders comfortingly.

He wrenched out of her grip, walking away, anger overtaking his features, his voice rising. He despaired, “I'm sure you know. That's your doing, isn't it?”

Realization came over his features as he turned back to her, “Wait. Wait. There has to be another way out of here. I mean-- I mean, you must have an escape plan.” He waved his arm around pointing a finger at her, “You're not about to be destroyed by your own bombs, are you? How are you leaving?”

At that moment, a blinding flash of white light came through the windows Gaius was facing, coming from the distance, getting closer to Baltar Manor. He screamed, crying out in pain and bent double. He covered his eyes, rubbing at them uselessly.

She looked at him, her eyes full of emotion, sadness, glancing over to the window where the flash was fading then back to Gaius, “Gaius, I can't die.”

She reached out to him as he stood still trying to regain his bearings, blinking rapidly. She caressed his cheek and shoulder comfortingly, speaking matter-of-factly, “When this body is destroyed, my memory, my consciousness, will be transmitted to a new one. I'll just wake up somewhere else in an identical body.”

He looked at her with wonder and disbelief in his eyes, “You mean there's more out there like you?”

“There are 12 models. I'm Number Six.,” she said simply.

He shook his head, sobbing, becoming animated in his misery, “I don't want to die. I don't--”

“Get down,” she said quickly, her hands grabbing his head to help push him down to the floor and hold him as behind the shockwave of a nuclear blast wave approached.

A gust of dust particles and debris rushed forward, hitting the windows and shattering them with a loud screech. The gust blew over the pair as Six stood over Baltar, shielding him from the blast that blew through his home.

Caprica Orbit

High over Caprica the Cylon raiders circled, hunting down civilian ships fleeing from the Cylons. Cylon Baseships stood stationary, lobbing missiles down toward the planet systematically. From a distance, the normally blue clear skies of Caprica were covered in grey and orange clouds swirling up from the surface as nuclear explosions razed the land.

From the distance, no screams could be heard, nor the pain inflicted. None of the pleas for mercy and fear in the face of death could be understood. There was only a silent flash… flash… flash. As explosions riddled the surface. Caprica was dotted with flashes of light flaring through deep cloud cover, and as mushroom clouds grew spreading over miles and miles, the cloud cover thickened until it appeared to form an endless murk covering the world.

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