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 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:27 am 
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Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 5:39 am
Posts: 471
Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage to Earth Episode 12 – For those we left behind

May 21st 7027

Scene 1 – The ties that bind

Admirals personal log and interim status report.....

“It's been nine months since work began on our new Super Battlestar, a sister ship to the new Pegasus, I have asked Starbuck for a progress report on her and the newest recruits to bolster our air wing.

He reports she is now around sixty percent complete, a great achievement in just nine months, our construction crews have been working around the clock to get her structurally complete by late October in order for the fit out and space trials to be commence by December.

I have been busying myself overseeing the final stages of our new 'Ring Of Steel' defence systems down on the surface, these include rolling out the new electronic defence shields to cover an ever greater land mass in order for us to begin in earnest our colonisation of the planet Terra, together with the completion of the last of the nuclear silos.

We expect to have all these tasks complete by years end and therefore can look toward next year with renewed optimism.

I am also relieved to report, the entire 'Rag Tag Fleet' has has now been completely refitted with new armour plating, strengthened bulkheads and most importantly, new F.T.L drives, and to that end, should the worst case scenario ensue where we have to leave here in haste, we will not have to leave any slower vessels behind! We have also began construction on our new 'Ship of Learning' a de facto university campus in space, the final ship in the 'core four' and another promise kept to our civilians.

There is however some sobering news, we are rapidly depleting our stock of raw materials, we will have enough to complete the new ships, plus the two scheduled Battlecruisers but will then have to search for other sources of materials in earnest.

We have though, just received some positive news from Dr. Allam and Cassiopeia over on Genesis One, they have just completed our latest census and report our numbers have for the first time swelled to just over three hundred thousand due to their new batch of embryos having fully matured into infants inside their fluid filled cryo tanks.

I have also instructed Starbuck to gather some intelligence on this matter, and as I write, he is on board Genesis One speaking to them, it will give him a chance to see Cassiopeia in order to resolve the situation with Dhillon as I know it's been playing on his mind and I need him to focus on his duties.
In point of fact he has kept to his word and not approached Dhillon or spoke of the matter, however it has come to my attention that his son has been asking questions about his lineage to some of our elders over on the Ship of Worship and has even accompanied Starbuck on sermons. I have therefore decided to summon both him and Troy to my quarters to discuss military matters, and then have a private conversation with him, he has a right to know the truth about his parents.

I dare not mention a great deal of Starbucks anguish to Athena as I know she still finds his contacting Cassie uncomfortable, even though their relationship is now purely professional, but as Cassie is mother to his son I decided to afford him the opportunity to keep her up to speed on his career development, he has turned into a fine warrior and Viper pilot, I am thinking of promoting him to C.A.G for the new Battlestar, I have to say he is much more mature than his father ever was!”

I hope this will ease their worries somewhat whilst keeping him busy, in any case he has earned it, as has my own son Troy whom I've pencilled in for C.A.G on the Pegasus, although this may seem like favouritism I believe my son Boxey is by far the best man for the job, I am so proud of him.

Moving to other matters, our recruitment drive has seen a massive influx of cadets to help crew our new warships and our fledgling Terran defence force is beginning to take shape down on the surface.
The second squadron of our new atmospheric fighter/bombers has been delivered down on the surface and soon we will begin with full production on our advanced dropships, troop transport ships and super shuttles in readiness for the mapping out and colonisation of Terra more fully.
So in summery, notwithstanding the lack of raw materials, we are in a good position moving forward.

Finally, Cassie and Dr. Allam have prepared a full report on the infants, once Starbuck returns I will present it to the full council and parliament after presidents question time later this afternoon....”

Meanwhile on Genesis One,

Starbuck looked intensely at the thousands of cryo chambers containing the fully formed infants whilst recording a full update as provided by Dr. Allam.

Dr. Allam concludes....

“Finally and most pertinently I can report the full size cryo chambers have at last been fully repaired and tested, the new seals are of a much sturdier compound than used before. We are confident that, should the time and need arise, they will provide life support to eighty thousand human beings”.

Starbuck looked on somewhat bemused as to the perceived importance the professor was affording these chambers, surely they had done their job delivering the volunteers safely he pondered, so asked the question, to which the professor replied;

“My dear Starbuck” he mumbled sarcastically, “it must have occurred to you on many occasion that we may yet have to leave this place in haste if the Cylons find us again, although your Admiral has done a sterling job in bolstering the military, we still need a contingency plan should they return, and to that end we may yet be forced to pack thousands of civilians into those chambers and jump out of this quadrant and away to safety”.

“Add to that, the still as yet unfulfilled promise of approaching Earth”, he added wearily, “we may need them to transport volunteers from Earth to bolster our own numbers here on Terra, you see we have the technology, but we are still coming up woefully short on numbers, albeit Cassie and I have just released our census figures reporting three hundred thousand souls now with us here”..
He added proudly.

“I see you have acquired the acerbic whit of your predecessor”, Starbuck replied mockingly, “Be careful not to trip up on your own words, we all know you are far more intelligent than most of us mere mortals, but unlike my Admiral I don't suffer fools gladly.” snarled Starbuck to the amazement of Cassiopeia.

After a somewhat awkward silence the two men with huge ego's made their excuses, the professor returned to his lab and Starbuck headed for the shuttle bay accompanied by Cassie

“What the hell is wrong with you Starbuck”, retorted Cassiopeia, “Are you deliberately trying to bait him, after you leave I have to work with him and I would Appreciate it if you would lay of with the machismo shit OK!”

“I'm sorry Cassie it's just.... well I can't help but worry about you and Dhillon, now I know he's my, I mean our son, I keep wondering what might have been if things had turned out different and.....

His voice trailed off as Cassie snapped back at him.

“You have no right Starbuck, and no right to take it out on others, you made your choice and so did I, you to continue being a hotshot pilot, and I to pursue my dream of being a leading medical scientist here in the fleet”

We both gave up our rights to a say in the parenting of Dhillon, you when you walked away from me, and I, when I put him up for the academy, they have been his parents since he was a baby, he is our son in name only Starbuck, now let it go, if only for the sake of Athena who doesn't deserve the mental torture of knowing you are still holding a candle for me!”

“Do you think she's stupid, she will know full well you could have delegated anyone to come over here to get this report, oh and before you go I think you should apologise to Dr. Allam, he is nothing like Dr. Coulson by the way, you accused him of sarcasm, well it's you that has the attitude Starbuck, and if what we had together means anything to you, if I mean anything to you now please, let me do my job and forget about me, and as for Dhillon, he's doing fine without us, and if he asks, one day perhaps we can tell him the truth if Adama permits it.”

“But Cassie I had no idea you were pregnant back then, if I had I would....”

Again Cassie stopped him in his tracks, “Yea and if I had told you what then? You would have felt duty bound to stay with me and do the so called honourable thing, well forget it Starbuck, I don't need you or your pity, I didn't then and I certainly don't now OK!”

“Now please go and deliver your report to our Admiral, he's waiting” added Cassiopeia.

“I'm sorry Cassie your right as usual, I hate it when your always gods damn right” sighed Starbuck.

Cassie's mood softened and she held his face in the palms of her hands and planted a tender kiss on his lips, “I am fine Starbuck don't worry about me, and if it makes you feel any better I'm not or ever will be seeing anyone again, I'm happy and content with the life choices I've made, I had enough men back then in the colonies to last a lifetime! I have dedicated my remaining years to the health and well being of our people, so go with my blessing and be happy with Athena, get those new pilots up to speed for the new Battlestar and make us all proud.”

For once Starbuck didn't get the last word, and as he turned to say a final farewell, Cassie was already several yards away and disappearing down a long corridor, he had his answer and his closure.

Report safely filed away he was about to enter his shuttle when Dr. Allam approached him once more.....

“Look Starbuck, I didn't mean to embarrass you in front of Cassie, I know she once meant a great deal to you.....” “Still does!” replied Starbuck.

“Well it's just that we are all very proud of the work we have done here in the science vessels and just feel sometimes that you warriors get all the plaudits whilst we are doing just as important a job for the colonies over here unnoticed”.

“Well I promise you one thing professor”, replied Starbuck, “your efforts will not go unnoticed this time, I am about to head over to the ship of Governance to file my report to the council, I will tell them of the wonderful work you are doing for us all, and I too am sorry for my outburst, I came for my answers and I got them, both from you and Cassie, thank you Professor”.

Starbuck quickly entered his shuttle and was on his way.

Scene 2 - The Briefing of the Council

Meanwhile on the Ship of Governance;

The patience of the council and politicians was wearing thin waiting for Starbuck to arrive with his report. Dr. Markham was as usual providing opposition to every motion put forward by Sire Dmitri and his council as Admiral Adama looked on pensively.

Finally Starbuck arrived and not a moment too soon, Adama was hoping for some positive news from his report, before entering his own on all things military.....

Starbuck made his apologies for his late arrival and Apollo began to address the full parliament.

“My Lords Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased to offer my full report henceforth...

Concerning the new Battlestar, my Air Chief Marshall now present, has been extremely busy checking her over and has reported she is approximately sixty percent complete, our construction crews should be able to commence fit out by late December, we are simultaneously recruiting and training more warriors to crew her.
Furthermore, we have all but completed our new ring of silo's posted at the outer rim of our new city, to which I understand you have given a new name?”

“Indeed we have” replied Sire Dmitri, the newly discovered land is to be known as Zelandia, and the capital city is henceforth to be known as Zelan City after Dr. Zelan who discovered her.”

“Yes, yes I like them both, a fitting tribute, young Dr. Zee would have been proud.” replied Adama.

After presentations by Adama and Starbuck, followed by more questions from parliament and the council, the two warriors received a message on their headsets from the Galactica.....

“Admiral, Starbuck, It's Boomer, you'd better get over here right away, we have received a message from the garrison on Gamoray!”

The stunned Admiral and his Air Chief Marshall made their excuses and hurried back to the Galactica.

Scene 3 – A Cry For Help?

The two men arrived in the C.I.C of the Galactica to a flurry of activity, they weren't expecting a message from Gamoray from the garrison of some five hundred marines, and this was no routine message, something was wrong!

“Admiral, the message has now been decoded and is available to view”. Said the communications officer.

“Beam it up to the bridge, I will view it from there.” “Aye sir” came the reply.

The typed garbled message spewed out of a printer and read as follows....

“Garrison to Galactica, General Dean reporting, we have finally after several months completed a recon of the entire surface of Gamoray - no signs of Cylon activity in the Kryllian System - they have fully vacated the planet and quadrant – Delphians extinction confirmed – we have uncovered vast amounts of steel, copper, manganese, iron ore, cement, wood, plastics, and huge amounts of tylium reserves.
To our complete surprise the Delphian moon Amilon has hidden under her gas cloud around twenty four massive container ships of some description – we surmise the Delphians were planning to vacate this planet and start afresh but were ambushed by the Cylons before they had chance to escape – we have no way of knowing your status as we write – a treasure trove of equipment and materials are here if needed - however we have no way of leaving Gamoray - stocks of food running out rapidly - no sources of new food found – we anticipate our life expectancy to be around six months before we deplete our reserves – we are all in agreement - we will not - repeat not expect a rescue mission – we all expected to perish here – it was our decision to remain.

The materials are here if you need them - you should have a clear path – no - repeat no Cylon activity in this Quadrant – we have no means of refining the raw tylium into fuel and are unable to continue our patrols – this will be our only transmission – we expect our lives to be extinct before you arrive – long live the fleet and the colonies – General Dean out”.

“Can you believe this Boomer?”enquired Adama, to which Boomer shook his head.

“What do you make of it?

“Well on the one hand they say they don't expect a rescue mission, but then say “we will be dead by the time you arrive” it's almost as if they are pleading for help without actually saying it Apollo”.

“Yes that's the way I'm reading it as well, and if we could mount a mission we could in theory get to them in time, we could certainly use all that equipment and those raw materials if they are really there, we are fast running out here, I estimate from what the construction teams have said by the time all the new warships are complete we will have used around eighty percent of our raw materials, it's getting critical!” replied an anguished Adama.

Boomer added, “But did you notice, he said twice “The materials are here if you need them” and twice “No Cylon activity” well if that's not a come and get us I don't know what is?”

“This all seems like a set up to me” countered Starbuck, “Let's not get ahead of ourselves here, we have been conned too many times by the Cylons before.”

“Indeed” replied Adama, my father would have called this a trap, it smells and feels like one, but what if it's genuine and we pass up an opportunity to not only re-stock on vital raw materials, do a recon of Gamoray and check our back door, and at the same time rescue our marines from a would be famine and certain death!”

“One other thing though, I don't remember a General Dean, do either of you?”

The two men shook their heads in unison.

“Gentlemen, we need to consult with the council, comms get me the Ship of Governance right away, with a bit of luck they are all still in session and we can talk to them all together.” he added.

Fortunately parliament was still in session and Adama broke in to send a message;

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the senate, if you would please all indulge me, I have received a message from Gamoray and request an emergency session immediately, something's wrong, I will explain when I arrive if you would all be kind enough to remain in session, Adama out.”

Scene 4 – Trick or Treat

Upon returning to the council chambers Adama immediately read out the printed message to the astonished parliament members.

A tangible sense of unease engulfed the chambers as a loud hum of voices blended into an indecipherable din, the Speaker of the house slammed his gavel onto it's sound block to bring the meeting once more to order.

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the house, you have all heard the message, now we must decide what to do about it, my first thoughts are to proceed with extreme caution, I will hand the floor to our president to add his observations, Mr. president?”

“Well I think I can already guess what the military are thinking....” looking over to Adama, who was already nodding.

“They would see this as nothing more than an elaborate trap set by the Cylons to lure us into approaching Gamoray, to flush us out and give away our position. At best it would be extremely risky to go back there and at worst suicidal!” exclaimed Sire Dmitri.

“I would advise extreme caution in approaching that planet, I fear the Cylons will be lying in wait to finish the job they started at the armistice some thirty five years ago.”

The speaker then offered the floor to the leader of the opposition to make his observations....

The much maligned Dr. Markham rose to address the house;

“My Lords Ladies and Gentlemen, we have received a cry for help from our comrades on Gamoray, we simply cannot turn our backs on them in their hour of need, they were brave enough to volunteer to stay on that desolate rock and watch over our escape, we owe them a debt of gratitude, we must send a rescue mission.”

“That's one opinion, it does not happen to be mine, doing so could lead to utter disaster, I say we disregard this message and treat it with the contempt it deserves.” snapped Adama.

“I will play devils advocate then” replied Sire Dmitri, “There is merit to every argument, and to every argument a counter argument, we must not enter into a verbal joust here, we need to remember, on the one hand there are some five hundred lives back there on Gamoray we left behind to fend for themselves, albeit of there own volition, but on the other, if we return to that place we could in theory be risking everything we have achieved here on Terra.

One could argue they made their choice, to stop running and take their chances on that gods forbidden rock, their decision yes, but our comrades nonetheless!”

Then there is the other issue, I understand from reports coming in from our engineers we have come to a critical point, we are fast running out of raw materials to complete our battle fleet to circumscribe our new home Terra!”

What if telemetry coming in is true, that the message is authentic and those reserves, ships, raw materials, tylium, are all there. I have to say dear comrades I am torn....” Sire Dmitri's voice trailed off as a cackle of chatter rose up from the floor once again.

The speaker of the house called order and urged the members to come to a conclusion, then offered a compromise....

“My dear friends, if I may be so bold, I have a possible solution to this impasse, I propose we send a small scouting party to reconnoitre the planet Gamoray, to fact find and report back, I feel without enough information we may repeat the mistakes of thirty five years ago and be too trusting, I propose we send ahead a small away team to scan the planet and then at least we can make an informed decision and not an estimation based on a garbled text message that may or may not be authentic!”

After a further hour of debate a vote was called, finally it was agreed to send a modified S.T.R.I.X craft with stealth capabilities to recon Gamoray, work would start immediately on reconfiguring the craft in preparation for the perilous journey into the unknown.

Scene 5 – A dangerous mission

After two weeks work the craft was ready, capable of carrying eight, the S.T.R.I.X would have to be crewed by hand picked volunteers willing to make the ultimate sacrifice in what could prove to be a one way mission.
Adama began checking the records of likely candidates from both the Galactica and Pegasus. He then decided to call a council of war in his wardroom with all senior officers present to assess the candidates.

He began to address his senior officers.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a situation that requires a great deal of thought and planning, I will offer my observations then throw it open for your views.
Thanks to the pressure of Dr. Markham we have been put in a difficult situation, going back to Gamoray, even with just one stealth craft flies in the face of everything we have learned, to never go back and never look back, to me this has all the hallmarks of a Cylon ambush and I urge you all to treat it as such, thoughts?......

Boomer rose the address the wardroom,

“I agree in principle with Adama, if we go at all it should be one craft, and with the utmost of care, we still have in place our markers so finding Gamoray won't be a problem, however getting back may well be, I suggest we recon not only Gamoray but her moon Amilon as well, she would be the perfect place for the extinct Delphians to have hidden their stockpile of supplies in readiness for their doomed escape, and may prove to be a fertile source of supplies for us, and subsequently the very place I would hide a base star if I was a Cylon, especially with a layer of thick gas around her!”

Athena then stood to add her thoughts....

Although I agree with everything Boomer says I think we owe it to those we left behind to investigate further, the S.T.R.I.X is ready to go, we just need the volunteers.......

Starbuck immediately raised his hand but was rebuffed by Adama, “No Starbuck, thank you but I need you here to get the new nuggets up to speed, besides I don't think you are in the right frame of mind at the moment, I will bear you in mind next time, you have my word on it my old friend.”

Starbuck looked almost relieved, he felt duty bound to volunteer for his oldest friend, but knew Apollo was right.

“Then I will be the first to volunteer” said wing commander Andrew 'Jolly' Johnson.

“I have the experience of not only flying over Gamoray, but landing on her too, I remember enough about the layout of that old Delphian city to perform an extensive recon, I would gladly put my name forward to head the team Admiral.... and yes I know full well the risks, but unlike many in this room I have no kin to mourn me,” he said looking at Starbuck with a knowing smile.

Although nothing had been said, Jolly was a very perceptive man, he had guessed Starbuck was Dhillon's father years before even Starbuck himself, he knew the resemblance was more than just a coincidence.

Adama replied, “Then it is settled, thank you Jolly, I will give you a free hand to name your own crew, good luck and gods speed to you and whoever you choose.”

The wardroom was cleared save for Adama and Jolly to discuss further the plans before heading back to their quarters for the night.

Scene 6 – Jolly's Gamble

Andrew 'Jolly' Johnson had seen it all, done it all and had been at the side of Adama, Starbuck and Boomer throughout their most difficult times. He took everything in his stride and wasn't easily fazed by anything, he was, as his nickname suggested a very cheerful and positive person and at one time or another, saved the lives of his fellow senior warriors whilst in the seat of his viper.

Never one to court the limelight or take unnecessary risks, his volunteering for the mission surprised all, but it shouldn't have, one thing Jolly possessed in spades was courage, and an unwavering loyalty to his comrades.

However, there was method to his madness, having taken centre stage in the recent battle simulations taking the helm of the battlecruiser Zeus, something had stirred within him, a desire to lead a warship of his own, and in order to achieve this he knew he had to put himself at the forefront of Adama's mind, besides which, he knew he had less to lose than most in the fleet having no surviving family.

What he did next however, stunned even those that thought they knew him the most....

He opened a communications channel to the ship of justice to speak to it's commander and chief warden, the handsome and imposing Jordan Hunter.

“Mr. Hunter, thank you for your time, I wish to come over to your ship to interview the I.L series Cylon, I wish to interrogate him as a matter of urgency, I believe he has information that may prove vital to me on a forthcoming mission,” enquired Jolly.

“By all means”, replied the charming prison warden,” I warn you though, he can be a rather challenging character to interview, I have tried on many occasions to extract information for the good of the colonies, it won't be easy I can tell you that!”

“Well be that as it may, I have to try, and besides I can offer him a trade, you cannot, I can't elaborate further but I would appreciate it if you could have him ready, I will be over within the hour if you can spare me the time?”

“Absolutely sir, anything to help the colonies, you will be made most welcome, I will prepare one of my best fish dishes for your lunch, I look forward to meeting you wing commander, Hunter out...”

Jolly hastily commandeered a shuttle and headed over to the ship of justice to interview the Cylon, upon arriving at the shuttle bay he was greeted by a young prison officer who escorted him to the maximum security block to the awaiting Mr. Hunter and the ultra advanced I.L series Cylon.

Upon arriving at the cell holding the Cylon, he was greeted by a surprisingly eloquent and self confident machine.
Jolly was fully expecting the monotone robotic voice he had heard many times from the centurions he encountered many times during skirmishes back on Caprica, but what greeted him was a polite, softly spoken voice, perfect grammar and a slightly regal, almost royal tone.

“You are the Cylon known as Lucifer, am I correct?” barked Jolly with an unusually stern tone.

“I am indeed, and you are?” “My name is unimportant, but the the sake of clarity you will address me as commander Johnson”, replied Jolly.

“A pleasure indeed commander, as you can guess I don' get many visitors over here, and apart from the charming Mr. Hunter, I only have my moronic mechanical subordinates for company, anyhow I guess you need something from me or you wouldn't have come over here, from the Galactica I presume?”

“Yes from the Galactica and yes, I need some information from you, I will get straight to the point, in exchange for your help I will see to it you get an opportunity to have an audience with my Admiral, you will be allowed to make one request, I......”

Before Jolly could even finish his sentence the Cylon already knew what he wanted.

“Well I guess you aren't going to grant my freedom so I will ask for something you can provide, an audience with your chief science officer, I wish to be able to assimilate further into your people, I wish to appear to humans as one of them, to have a skin, to consume food, to have emotion like a human, and yes ultimately I wish to be considered for, parole I think you humans call it.

You see, when your late Dr. Zee reprogrammed me he made it impossible for me to see humans as enemies, it was one of his last wishes to learn more about the Cylon race and culture, by knowing his adversaries, be in a better position to defeat them, or at least give you warriors the means to do so, what is it you humans say, know your enemy?”

“Very well Lucifer” replied Jolly, “I will speak to Dr. Wilker, he is our most senior science officer, if anyone can grant your wish he can, and as for parole, it will take more than this for you to gain your freedom, but I will of course pass on to my Admiral your willingness to help, it will go in your favour, I can promise you that, now about that information?”

“Yes of course commander, what is it you wish to know?” replied the Cylon as commander Hunter looked on in amazement, he had tried countless times to extract information without success, and Lucifer was about to cough up some vital intel on the Cylons....

“I wish to know everything you have on the planet Gamoray and the Delphians, I wish to know about the Kryllian star system, the quadrant containing Gamoray, what the Cylons plan for that planet and what forces you left behind there?”

Lucifer raised his mechanical eyebrows as if he were already human, “You aren't seriously considering going back there are you, you do realise there will be a base ship hiding in wait for you, it will destroy whatever you send to that planet, you don't have anything in your fleet that can destroy a base star, or do you?”

“That is for me to know and you to wonder, I will deal with whatever I find when I get there, I just need you to tell me what I will find, how many ships, how many squadrons of raiders?”

Lucifer countered, “Well you must be very desperate to have to go back to that place, but very well I will divulge what I know in exchange for that meeting with your science officer, first of all, there will be one full sized base star, probably under a gas cloud surrounding Gamoray's moon Amilon.”

“A base star typically has four complete squadrons of raiders within it, that's around 300 raiders, but be warned a Cylon base star is considerably more powerful than the Galactica, she will be armed with four mega pulsars atop and four at her base, she also has secondary laser turrets and missile turrets. Her control centre will be at the base of the central core, it is this area that you should concentrate your firepower on. By destroying the core you will cause a chain reaction and destroy the entire base star, now I have given you enough information to give you a fighting chance, now for you to keep your side of the bargain commander?”

“Very well Lucifer, I will forward your request to my Admiral, you will be hearing from me in due course, thank you Lucifer....”

“Can't believe I just thanked a Cylon” mused Jolly to commander Hunter, “now I must get back to the Galactica and consult my Admiral, sorry Mr. Hunter, no time for the fish lunch, maybe next time, but thank you, and thanks for your help, this intel will prove invaluable, but time is of the essence.”

“Of course commander, I understand, you are welcome to return any time, good day to you”, replied Jordan Hunter as he left the shuttle bay.

Jolly raced back to the Galactica to address the senior officers in the wardroom....

“Admiral, I can report the Cylon was willing to provide intel on Gamoray and the Kryllian system, he said I am to expect a base star in hiding under the gas cloud surrounding Amilon, Gamoray's moon, I feel he is hiding as much as he's saying however , I got the impression he was almost expecting a visit!

“The message?” enquired Adama looking at his officers do you suspect as I do, that it was the Cylons who sent that message and not the garrison?”

“Yes I do for sure, agreed Boomer, because that's just the sort of trick they're good at, Jolly, do you still want to go knowing that killing machine is out there?”

“Yes I do, if I just do as Apollo says and just reconnoitre, investigate the reports of ships under the cloud over Amilon, check for the Cylons and of course check for the remains of the garrison and make contact with them before returning, at least we will then know if it's worth risking sending ships on a rescue mission.

“Agreed” added Adama, we will stick to the plan, just one S.T.R.I.X for now, then we will have a council of war on your return to discuss our next move!”

Scene 7 – A prayer for our boys

After a haunted and restless nights sleep, Jolly decided to visit the ship of worship to receive a blessing for his crew from father Louis Deveraux and his son Lucien. Upon arriving he was distracted by the huge crowds of people straining to hear the sermon of the two pastors.
He noticed how the crowds began to push and shove, not out of malice, but sheer eagerness to see and hear the words of the two impressive men as they had the congregation spellbound, just as Dr. Zee had before them.

It quickly became apparent to Jolly, this ship was potentially a death trap, and needed a major upgrade of its fire escapes, it no longer had the capacity to cater for the huge numbers trying to see the sermons, one worshipper commented this was a regular occurrence, and so Jolly made a point to bring this matter to the attention of the council on his return, at least writing the report on the way to Gamoray would give him a much needed distraction from the impending dangers of his mission.

After the service he approached the two pastors and asked them to pray for him and his team on their mission, like Starbuck a surprisingly religious man though not outwardly so, preferring to use humour to mask his real emotions. His courage had enabled him to volunteer for the mission, yet his fear had brought him before the father and son pastors.

Though the two men played down the importance of the situation on the ship of worship, he could tell it was of great concern to them and promised to put pressure on the council to upgrade the ship once time and funds allowed. He spent an hour in the company of the two pastors and the Deveraux family, a much more devoted family one would be hard pushed to find, proud yet humble and modest, too modest to air their difficulties to the council knowing others in the fleet had their own problems, some of which were more pressing than theirs!

The next morning, Jolly began selecting his volunteer crew for the fateful journey, first on his list was the young pilot who accompanied Apollo on his 'day off' aboard the pleasure liner 'Lady Serina', captain Marc Jansen, the young man who bravely confronted his admiral and got a promotion for his trouble, next up was Bojay for his expertise in decoding, followed by a medical technician and four marines, all with specific skills.

Finally the day arrived with the words of Admiral Adama resonating in his head “Just get back here safely my old friend, find out what you can but get back safely”.

The eight men climbed aboard the modified stealth craft as the countdown began....

“Launch control to S.T.R.I.X craft, all codes entered and functioning, all systems nominal, you are green across the board, transferring control to probe craft, launch when ready”.

With that, the S.T.R.I.X fired her thrusters and was gone within seconds,

The Galactica crew had calculated it would take around fifty hours and some 230 jumps for the craft to arrive at the Kryllian system and Gamoray, all they could do now was wait!

Scene 8 – Journey into Hell

As the craft sped on it's way, jump after perilous jump, hour after agonising hour, Jolly had watched over half his crew taking a rest period, only when he was satisfied the craft was on course and behaving perfectly did he decide to get some well earned rest himself.

However as he tried to switch off he could hear voices in his head, was he dreaming or hallucinating, he could hear the voice of the young pastor Lucien Deveraux in his head...

“Commander Jolly, fear not, your instinct and wisdom will guide you, be prepared to witness death and starvation but do not falter, be aware, your enemies lie in wait, do not attempt to engage them or you will surely perish, stick to your mission and you will return to Terra safely, may the lords of Kobol watch over you and your crew, Lucien.”

Never in his entire life had Jolly had such a vivid dream, he didn't believe his senses, but the dream had the desired effect, upon awakening he felt a calm wash over him, he was ready to face whatever was out there.

Finally after some fifty hours, Gamoray was in sight and he woke those on rest, they would have their answers soon enough.

“OK listen up everyone” ordered Jolly with stern conviction, “Our objective is in sight, Marc, take us down to one quarter sub-light and scan the surface, I want a thorough scan of that Delphian capital before we land.”

“Aye sir one quarter sub-light and scanning..... nothing on screen sir, seems dead quiet, no life signs whatsoever, no wait! a very faint heat signature from directly below us, seems to be underground but not hot enough to be a living human!”

“Very well, let's find a suitable landing zone – wait! over there,” exclaimed Jolly, “that's the exact place we parachuted down on all those years ago, I recognise those huge silos, and that huge rectangular building, this is the place, set us down there Marc”.

“Aye sir vectoring for landing now, gear down, landing in 50,40,30,20,10 nine, eight, seven,six,five... then a gentle thud and the modified S.T.R.I.X was down.

“Well done captain Jansen, the Admiral said you were good, but if anyone had told me I would ever return to this shithole I would have had them certified!” laughed Jolly, at which the whole crew laughed along, more in relief at a safe landing than amusement at the joke!

Jolly had a strange feeling, those voices from his haunted sleep, he wondered how in the name of Kobol could he have found the exact spot from thirty five years ago with such ease, it was as if something, or someone was guiding him!

Upon checking readouts from the atmosphere it became apparent the air was unclean, there were large traces of radiation and they would need to don their protective suits to recon the city, the skilled pilot captain Jansen together with the med tech were ordered to stay behind whilst Jolly took two marines with him and split from the other three in two teams to sweep over the immediate area looking for the source of the heat signature.

Whilst separate from the other team Jolly scanned the area but could see no signs of life, and no trace of the source of heat, but then was stunned to hear from the other patrol....”Commander, It's corporal parks, you'd better get over here stat, I'm just one and a half clicks south east of your position, we have found something and brace yourselves, you ain't gonna like what you see!”

Jolly and the two marines with him hurried to corporal Park's position and within minutes they had arrived, Jolly walked over to where the other three marines were standing over a huge pit in the ground covered by a massive concrete slab.

“There commander, over there” as the corporal pointed to a chilling sight, just visible from under the edge of the slab was a lifeless human hand, the six men instinctively raced toward the slab and pulled at it with all their might, just moving it enough to crawl under to investigate further.

They in turn crawled under the slab, to their stunned horror what they saw was a gut wrenching sight, even through their protective suits they could smell the stench of rotting corpses, they had found their comrades, most if not all the five hundred brave marines!

Perhaps the most chilling thing of all, after seven years how was it the bodies had not fully decomposed?, it was almost as if they had only just been slaughtered!

They had to steel themselves to investigate further the horror they were witnessing, some bodies had their throats cut, while others had been burned alive, the scorched faces frozen in pain where they perished.

The men instinctively knelt as one to offer fervent prayers for their fallen comrades, as one the men collapsed in anguish to the ground and wept.

It was painfully obvious what had ensued, the Cylons had returned some time after the Galactica had departed to finish of the marines, the merciless Cylons had butchered the entire garrison with machine efficiency.

Then to their collective astonishment, a small group of emaciated men approached them, their faces blackened and skin gnarled and blistered.

These few men had managed to hide and had been overlooked by the treacherous machines, they approached the men to impart a message to the rag tag fleet and Galactica.

One man walked over to Jolly and stood before him....

“Are you from the Galactica and fleeing colonial fleet?” the man asked with a gravelly croaky voice.

“We are” replied Jolly to the obvious relief of the stricken marine, to which he replied,

“They came back, after you had left the Kryllian system, they returned, they wiped us out, save for us five, we managed to elude them till they left”.

…..”But how did you manage to survive all these seven years with all this radiation?” asked Jolly.

“Well for the majority of the time we holed up in a bunker, only coming out to scout for food, then when we saw your ship land we decided it was time to take a chance and deliver a message they pinned to one of the bodies down there in that pit”.

“But why have you come out without your protective suits, you must know the consequences?” asked an anguished Jolly.

“We have very little food left, we are done for my friend, anyway, we all decided if we were to encounter any of our people we would face them without our suits and face them as people and not through glass, and we wanted you to see our eyes as we gave you the message we saw pinned to one of our comrades!”

The marine held out his hand to give the message to Jolly, it read as follows

“To those that escaped this planet, those from the trailing human fleet, tell the commander of the Battlestar Galactica, we the supreme Cylon race will hunt you down through every corner of the universe, we will search every quadrant, every planet, every moon until we find you, and we will complete our destiny and destroy you, we will not rest until every sentient being, human or other, is wiped from the galaxy, long live the Cylon race....”

“Have you recorded all of this?” asked the marine, “I have, and images of the dead, how is it they are not just skeletons, can you answer, we are at a loss?” retorted Jolly.

“Simple, those bastards sprayed some kind of mist over the bodies just after they killed them, it's my guess they wanted to reinforce their message, to let you see for yourself what they were capable of, obviously that mist contained preservatives in order for you to see them with flesh and get the maximum effect!”

“Oh my good gods!” exclaimed a distraught commander Jolly, yes that is a particular skill of the Cylons, rest assured I will deliver your message and, thank you for staying alive long enough to deliver it”. Added Jolly.

“One more thing before you go sir,” added the marine, “The moon Amilon, she has something, we don't know what, something hidden, we managed to intercept a Cylon signal before they left, they mentioned that planet, you may want to take a look before you head back to your fleet.

Oh I must ask before you go, the fleet, they prevail, have you found Earth or a new home?”

“The fleet prevails yes” answered Jolly, we have not found Earth yet, but we have an inkling as to her whereabouts from a probe we found. We have however found a new home within striking distance of Earth, a beautiful planet remarkably similar to Caprica, we have called her Terra, which means Earth, well she isn't Earth but she is ours and she is home”.

The man let go the feelings he had bottled up for almost seven years and knelt in a flood of tears before speaking his last words as he collapsed to the ground in front of them!

“Go now with the memories of our fallen comrades, tell the people in the fleet of the bravery of these marines, and give them that message, tell your people to prepare for the Cylons, they WILL find you, I can't tell you when but be ready, they will not rest until they are all that is left in the stars....”

The man turned one more time to face his four comrades and smiled before closing his eyes for the last time, then he died!

Jolly ordered his team to leave all spare rations of food and water for the four marines, and as they
were heading away, Jolly shouted to them, “One more thing before you go, we received a distress call from this garrison, you didn't send it did you?”

“Of course not sir” replied one of the men, we would never reveal our position, and we would never expect a rescue mission, if you received a message it certainly wasn't from us”, with that the four men faded into the distance and were gone.

Commander Jolly ordered his men back to the S.T.R.I.X and radioed ahead to captain Jansen to have her prepped for take off, the six men not uttering a single word on their way back to their craft, all too stunned at what they had witnessed to speak.

Scene 9 – The Secrets of Amilon

The six men finally arrived back at the S.T.R.I.X where captain Jansen and the med tech were waiting, Jansen was about to speak when Jolly held his hand to stop him and shook his head, “Not now Marc, just get us out of here and head for the moon Amilon, I want to take a good look before we head back to the fleet”.

“Aye sir, entering the co-ordinates now, we will there in fifteen minutes” added Jansen.

Exactly fifteen minutes later and they were orbiting Amilon, slowly they began to penetrate it's thick gas cloud scanning for any hostile signals or ships, whilst at the same time, scanning for the massive container ships mentioned in the rogue message, Jolly had to be sure they weren't missing anything, it was likely they would never return, but knew the fleet desperately needed those supplies and raw materials if they were indeed there at all.

Just when they were concluding their sweep of the moon, appearing on their scanners were 24 huge red dots on the screen in front of them, they had found the fleet of ships left by the Delphians, then as they were beginning to believe the message could have been sent by one of the marines after all.......

Commander, Cylon Base Star dead ahead, just tucked in neatly behind those Delphian ships!”

“Are we still cloaked” asked an anguished Jolly, “Aye sir we cannot be scanned, we are in full stealth mode”. Replied Jansen.

“Then take us closer, I want to have a good look at that base ship before we head out”.

“But sir, if they detect us...”

“I said closer, are we fracking cloaked or not damn it?”

“Yes we are sir, we aren't detected, I will take us in further sir, replied an admonished captain Jansen.

“It's alright son I know your frightened, it's OK to be scared, it takes guts to overcome it though” added Jolly with a reassuring wink.

For whatever reason, Jolly knew they were safe, he knew they would not be detected, the words of pastor Lucian Deveraux ringing in his ears, “Stick to your mission and you will return safely”

commander Jolly knew he had to get as much intel as possible, but what he saw was no ordinary base ship, this one looked different, still the usual twin saucers with a central core, but more, three large arms spreading out from the saucers, it was obviously a more advanced base star than the ones they encountered during the first Cylon war and the armistice, the Cylons had clearly not been idle in the absence of the colonies, this was the most advanced base ship ever built!

Jolly realised the stakes had just been upped, would the new super Battlestars be a match for this giant monster, they would surely find out soon enough!.

There was only one thing to do now, get back to the fleet as soon as possible, warn them and deliver the fateful news.

Scene 10 – The dead don't lie

The journey back to the fleet seemed to take an eternity, though only the same 50 hours it took to get to Gamoray, and as the fleet began to appear on their scanners, the men all hugged each other in sheer relief at getting home safely.

They had wanted to warn the fleet and Terra before they arrived but had been ordered to maintain strict radio silence, and although Jolly knew this was the right course of action he also knew he would have to face the council to present his report in person and in full, and as he approached the fleet his relief at arriving changed to trepidation at being the bearer of the terrible news, a body blow to his people!

Slowly the S.T.R.I.X entered the air space of the colonial fleet and was vectored in for a direct approach to the Galactica and the awaiting Admiral Adama.

Finally after what seemed like an eternity to Jolly and his brave crew, they arrived in Alpha bay to a phalanx of deck hands and waiting to greet them with Adama was president Sire Dmitri.

The normally calm and positive commander Johnson lost his composure at seeing his admiral and began to break down, Adama looked him in the eyes and the pain on Jolly's face told it's own story, Adama and Sire Dmitri guessed the garrison had perished, at this point Adama reached out and hugged Jolly, who was unable to speak for several moments.

Finally he spoke, “Admiral, Mr. President, may I please have some rest before delivering my full report, my team are desperately tired and hungry, we left our remaining rations behind for the last surviving members of the garrison.....”

“So it's true then, the garrison, gone?”asked Adama,

“Yes sir but not from starvation, from annihilation at the hands of the Cylons!” replied Jolly.

The president and Admiral looked at each other, the president stunned in stupefying silence at the terrible news, the Admiral on the other hand in resignation at confirmation of his worst fears.

In gratitude for the deadly risk Jolly and his crew had taken, the Admiral granted his friends wish and allowed Jolly and his team time to rest and recover from their ordeal before submitting their report.

However, the magnitude of the situation called for urgent action and 24 hours later a full emergency session of parliament was called, due to the sensitivity of the material in Jolly's footage, no press or media were allowed to enter the chambers until a full assessment of the situation had been conducted.

Council chambers, ship of governance....

The speaker of the house arose to introduce Admiral Adama;

“My Lords Ladies and Gentlemen, please pray silence for Admiral Adama, the floor is yours sir”.

“My dear friends, we made a critical decision some weeks ago, to send out a reconnaissance patrol to fact find on a message we received, presumably from the garrison of some 500 marines we left on the planet Gamoray.
We needed to ascertain if the message was a genuine distress call from our comrades, a message from the Delphians or, as I suspected, a ruse to lure us into a deadly trap by our sworn enemies the Cylons, I have to tell you all now, Ladies and Gentlemen, it is the latter that has proved to be the case”.

With that a loud groan could be heard resonating the walls of the council chambers, the stunned politicians visibly shaken.

Adama continued,

“Without pre-empting my colleagues findings, I will hand you over to the leader of the recon patrol to deliver his full report, Ladies and Gentlemen, a finer and braver warrior you will not find anywhere in the colonies, the man who together with his hand picked team, risked their lives to bring us this information, commander Andrew Johnson....”

As one, the entire attending parliament and council rose to give a full five minute standing ovation to commander Andrew 'Jolly' Johnson, much to his embarrassment and pride.

As their applause began to fade he rose to speak,

“Thank you very much for your kind reception, I am not as eloquent as my Admiral so please bear with me as I explain my findings.....

I have taken as much footage as time and risk would allow but I have to warn you all of the graphic nature of its content, it may be prudent for you all to view it first and then ask your questions after, most of which I feel will be explained by the film, which is self evident.
Please remember Ladies and Gentlemen, the few surviving marines you will see in the footage will by now have all perished, we left them what we could, but their food supplies have by now fully depleted, please brace yourselves as we run the footage......”

As the footage began to run, several of the assembled parliament began to weep, one even vomited at the sight of the remains of the charred bodies of the stricken marines, but the footage continued to run until every member of the senate had broken down, it proving too much to bear for two of the younger politicians who were too young to have witnessed the fall of the colonies, as for the older members, it brought back all too vivid memories of seeing their cities burn back at the ill fated armistice thirty five years prior.

Finally and mercifully the footage ended as Commander Johnson began to address the full senate once more.

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the senate, I have brought you this information without prejudice, it is for you and our military leaders to decide our next move, all I can say is this, I will volunteer right now to go back to that system with whatever means necessary to dispatch that base ship for good and cut off any remaining hope of the Cylons detecting us, if that is what it takes and is your wish.

I would respectfully ask you all to address all remaining questions to my commanding officer, Admiral Adama”. With that, Jolly quickly took his seat to a rousing round of applause once more.

The vast majority of the senate called for immediate action, to send a task force of warships to destroy the Cylon Base Star, but Adama was too pragmatic, too old and too wise to risk the lives of his warriors at such a sensitive time and called for patience....

“My dear comrades, this is not the time for knee jerk reactions, believe me no-one is more angry than I, it was my suggestion to leave a garrison back on Gamoray after all, but remember, to a man they all volunteered to stay behind, they knew the risks, but did it for the good of the colonies.

In any event we are not ready, but we soon will be!

I promise you all now, when the new Super Battlestar is fully operational and the two new cruisers complete, we will have a strong enough force to send ships to destroy that base ship without leaving our fleet and Terra unguarded.

As my father once said all those years ago after the massacre at the hands of the Cylons, we will have our revenge, but not here and not now, but soon, very soon my dear friends.

I make you all this pledge here today, when we are ready, when our new ships are operational, I will send a task force to destroy that ship, and bring back those Delphian ships and slam shut our back door, we will rise from this body blow and come back stronger than ever, you have my word, so say we all?”

As one the entire senate exulted “SO SAY WE ALL, SO SAY WE ALL”.

To be continued......

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:36 am 
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Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage to Earth Episode 13 – The Hand of Lucifer

October 24th 7027

Scene 1 – From the depths of despair

Dark days had descended on the people of Terra and in the fleet, a body blow came with the news of the demise of the entire garrison on Gamoray, Admiral Adama particularly feeling anguished and guilty at the news of the fall of the garrison, he being instrumental in leaving a task force behind to guard their escape!
The initial response from the council was to send a task force to eliminate the threat from the Cylon Base Star that Jolly and his crew had discovered.
Adama however knew better, he knew his forces were not yet ready, faced with accusations from some naïve members of the senate eager to make a name for themselves, they pushed for a military solution, and to that end ordered an emergency meeting of the senate.

48 hours before the scheduled session Adama's anguish was not abating, he knew he would be put under extreme pressure to act by those same senators he battled hard to gain permission for more warships, an irony not lost on him as he paced up and down in his quarters at dawn, having hardly slept a wink.

The fleet should at this time have been celebrating the news of the completion of the Ship of Learning and the upgrade to the Ship of Worship, together with the near completion of the new Battlestar, sister ship to the mighty Pegasus.

Adama needed to clear his head and quickly, knowing he was facing a grilling by the senate the following day, and so entered the Galactica's C.I.C unable to fully focus on his duties.....

Galactica C.I.C...

“Morning Paul”, said Adama forcing a smile towards Boomer, “Anything to report?”

“No for once it's been a quiet shift”. Replied his X.O Boomer, “We've just completed our latest check on the reserves, tylium, food, clothing stocks that kind of thing, we are in good shape, it's just those raw materials, we did however scan an asteroid belt within a quadrant that may yield some of the metals we need when we get the chance to do a recon, that's about it, oh and we're short of bread for today, one of the main bread ovens died on us in the main ratings galley, blah blah, real boring stuff!” laughed Boomer.

“Well right now I would settle for boring”, replied Adama, “I have to face that rabble again soon to answer a barrage of questions visa vie the garrison on Gamoray and what we in the military intend to do about it, they want revenge Boomer, a bit rich considering the fight we had to get the new ships approved in the first place eh?” moaned Adama.

“Well you know me Apollo”, countered Boomer, “glass half full, maybe somehow we can try and gain some more leverage from this situation, besides we do owe our fallen comrades back on Gamoray, I would hate to think they all died in vain, they protected our exit, and we have still left the door ajar for the Cylons!”

“You mean the markers?” enquired Adama, “Exactly, replied Boomer, while those markers are still out there and that base ship is hanging around we are in danger of being detected, and since there are no survivors left on Gamoray there's no sense leaving them out there any more, we should think seriously of trying to retrieve them don't you think?” asked Boomer.

“Indeed we should I agree, but I'm not prepared to send a task force back there until we are strong enough here, we need a task force strong enough to take out that base star, but we also need to leave a strong enough force here to protect the fleet and Terra!”

“So we wait?” asked Boomer, “We wait yes, but right now I need something of a distraction, something to get the senate off our backs long enough for us to prepare for what we must do”.

“Then I have a suggestion, if I may Admiral, you are about as much use to me in this state of mind as a posthumous pardon, so why don't you go over to the two new 'core four' ships and do an inventory for the senate, and maybe swing by the new Super Battlestar and see how she's shaping up, maybe that will help focus your mind”.

“Yes, yes that's a great idea Boomer, but it's my watch, you've already been up all night?”

“Don't worry about that commander, we took turns for a cat nap, I somehow knew I would get to do some extra hours today, I think I know you long enough by now!” roared Boomer at Adama mockingly.

“Once again you have my back, what would I do without you my old friend!” smiled Adama, “You'd be screwed, now get going, I have things covered here”. giggled Boomer.

Adama hastily ordered his shuttle to be prepared together with his best pilot, Marc Jansen and his crew to conduct a survey of the new vessels, firstly heading for the new Battlestar, an as yet unnamed replica and sister ship of the new Pegasus.

Just as Boomer had predicted, upon seeing the mighty hulk and the two new cruisers nearing completion, Adama's mood lifted as he gazed out at her sleek lines and awesome firepower, a worthy sister to the beautiful but deadly Pegasus.
Although he could not enter the vessels, there being many construction engineers putting the final touches to them, he had seen enough and began to make his way to the newest vessel in the fleet, the final piece in the jigsaw of the so called 'Core Four' , the 'Ship of Learning'.

Tired and emotionally drained, he wanted to conduct a detailed inventory of the vessel, but had a burning desire to go to the newly refitted 'Ship of Worship' to speak to the Deveraux's, so therefore decided to keep his visit brief, especially as he came unannounced!

Scene 2 – The University in Space

Upon landing at the rear shuttle bay of the new vessel, almost immediately his shuttle was swamped by a phalanx of deck staff, it was almost as though he was expected, then as he and his crew alighted the shuttle he was amazed to see a large group of around 20 students all dressed in their gowns and bonnets, all law post graduates completing their degrees.
Even though the ship had not yet been officially launched she was already housing graduation ceremonies and official functions, this warmed Adama's troubled heart, bringing back fond memories, he himself a former graduate of the officer academy back on Caprica.

He was given a whistle stop tour of the vessel, similar in style in many ways to its sister, the ship of worship, having cloisters or quadrants in its central areas, ornate flower gardens and mazes encircled by the main lecture halls forward, and a giant residential area known as the halls of residence at the rear.
Abaft of this was, at the stern of the craft an area for recreation and shows conducted by the performing arts and drama students, it was also here that the graduation ceremonies would take place on a huge stage surrounded by semi permanent seating.

Like Sire Galen's magnificent pleasure liners, no expense had been spared on this vessel, but Adama had no time to stand and admire its beauty and left for the ship of worship hoping for some divine intervention from the Deveraux father and son pastors.

Of late Adama had began to assert full control over his dominion, his warriors were equal to every challenge that faced them, his promises to the masses largely kept, however on this day of all day's his mind was troubled, his heart heavy with the memory of the brave warriors left behind on Gamoray at his behest.

He was looking for peace, hoping the new custodians of the ship of worship were worthy successors to his departed young friend Doctor Zee, and as his shuttle landed on the vessel, a tear was not far away!

Since his last visit however, things were very different, not only were the inhabitants of the vessel different, but the ship itself. It had been completely transformed thanks to a report by Jolly on its lack of fire escapes and safety measures to the full council, they acquiescing to his request for a full refit.

Gone were the tight corridors, the cramped seating areas in the main church and tiny chapels and mosques, in their place the entire superstructure had been elevated and upgraded to include several new features under a now raised set of gardens. Identical to before, but now with a garden of remembrance hoisted onto a giant platform level to allow for catacombs and crypts with vaulted stone walls and ceilings below, somewhat akin to a medieval castle in their appearance.

Added to the bow of the vessel was a building containing a visitor centre and a new museum of religion, to say the engineers had performed wonders on her would have been an understatement, but as before on her new sister vessel, Adama was too tired and anguished to fully appreciate her beauty.

Finally he arrived at the rear of the vessel to what used to be the home of his departed friend, the residential block once mockingly referred to as Dr. Zee's ivory tower.

Yet again he came unannounced, but yet again his hosts somehow knew he was approaching long before he arrived, and as he waited for the elevator to take him to the apartment of the Deveraux family, there to greet him was the pastors wife and daughter, the daughter holding a posy of flowers which she presented to the Admiral.

Adama was instantly struck by the sheer presence and stunning beauty of both the mother and daughter as they led him into the elevator.

Scene 3 – Gracious Hosts

Adama followed paster Deveraux's wife Celine as she entered the elevator to take him to the newly refurbished apartment, followed closely by their Daughter Delphine.

Upon entering, Father Louis Deveraux and his son Lucien were there ready to greet him, and to Apollo's surprise, also present was his closest ally, Sire Dmitri seated at an ornate table decorated with scented flowers and place settings for six.

Instinctively Apollo made his way over to Sire Dmitri and hugged him, the relief evident on his face at seeing his closest friend, outside of his family and warriors on the Galactica and Pegasus.

“Oh where are my manners!” exclaimed Adama, forgetting he had not yet formally introduced himself to his gracious hosts, “Please forgive me, I am as you have surely by now guessed Admiral Adama”, nodding to the younger Deveraux's, who in turn smiled at him, both holding out their hands to greet him.

“Please, there is no need for embarrassment Admiral”, smiled Louis in a charming accent similar to Earths Parisian French, “you are truly among friends here, please sit, make yourself at home while my little angel Delphine brings us some refreshments”.

As if anticipating her father she was already walking to the huge kitchen before he had finished his sentence, returning with a large punch bowl containing village ambrosia, crushed ice and freshly sliced oranges, lemons and limes floating on top. Adama noted alcohol and red meat were now allowed by the new custodians, they being much more informal than their predecessors.

Allow me to be mother, smiled Lucien as he scooped them all a glass using a silver ladle, even the sixteen year old daughter was allowed a small glass on very special occasions, and they didn't come more special than having the Admiral of the fleet as guest of honour together with the president of the colonies!

The six all talked openly as if they were old friends, Adama noting what charming hosts the Deveraux's were, all with a self deprecating sense of humour, which Adama and Sire Dmitri found quite endearing.

After a further hour of charming conversation, Louis changed the mood, “Now my dear Admiral and Mr. President, my son and I wish to talk to you both in private, my wife and Daughter will leave us now to tend to your shuttle crews who are waiting patiently, whilst we four address those matters that are troubling you both, we knew you would both come, and here you are”....

Celine and Delphine both gently shook the hands of Adama and Sire Dmitri before making their exits and the four men were alone to talk. Father Deveraux wasted no time in putting his guests at ease, sensing the tension felt by his guests, he had prophesied they would come to seek an audience with him and his son, they having the same gifts as their predecessors.

“Be not troubled gentlemen,” added Lucien cryptically with the same accent as his father and the same gentle tone as Dr. Zee, “All that has happened and that will happen is as prophetised by the Gods, we are exactly where we should be at this moment in time, you both seek to gain time and strength, you Mr. president to placate the senate, Earth not having been approached as yet, and you Admiral to protect our people and gain a foothold on Terra whilst stalling our enemies”.

Both your desires can be met, but right now I sense you are both in need of a distraction, something to lift the mood of our people and divert attention away from the grave news of the death of our dear comrades back on Gamoray, and my father and I have come up with a solution to help you both”.
To say the young pastor had hit the nail on the head would have been no exaggeration, he had gauged the feelings of the two men perfectly.

He continued....

“We sense what is needed right now is a celebration, as odd as it may sound!

We have found new heroes in our midst in the form of one of your officers Admiral, I refer to Commander Johnson, or Jolly as you call him, and the men who accompanied him on that perilous mission to locate our garrison back on Gamoray and reconnoitre the area”.

They all risked their lives to bring us back vital information on the status of the garrison, the whereabouts of the fleet left behind by the Delphians, and probably most importantly of all, the existence if any, of Cylon vessels or forces back there, they managed to complete all three missions without being detected did they not?” added the young prophet.

Adama looked on incredulously, how could the young pastor know all this, it was top secret information, known only to the senate and military hierarchy!

“Oh and as for your next question, let me save you the embarrassment Admiral, how we know all this is of no consequence, simply that we know and will not divulge any information at our disposal to any living soul, you have our solemn words on this as the custodians of the faith in the fleet and on Terra. We ask that you use us as you once used our predecessors, we will do all in our powers to help you both deliver on your quests, we ask only that you trust us as you once trusted Dr. Zee and his father”.

“Very well Lucien, we will trust you”, replied Adama looking towards Sire Dmitri who in turn nodded his agreement, “what do you propose gentlemen?”

At this point Louis interjected, “We propose you conduct a full military ceremony to honour our new heroes, we suggest you decorate them with some kind of medal ceremony, it will provide the perfect distraction if only for a short while, and we feel these awards would be fully deserved gentlemen ...”

“Yes yes of course, why didn't I think of that, yes a medal ceremony....” replied Adama. Sire Dmitri grinned upon hearing this suggestion, adding;

“Hmm yes it reminds me of a time my late father used this tactic to mollify your father and honour you Adama, together with Starbuck and Boomer, you were all awarded the Gold Cluster for clearing that Cylon minefield at the Straights of Madagon to get to the planet Carillon just after the fall of the colonies”.

“Hey are you suggesting they weren't fully deserved”? Asked Adama mockingly.

“Fully deserved my friend”, Sire Dmitri grinning back at his friend And Admiral, “Just that it worked back then and it can work again, besides, your boys did a hell of a job Admiral, they deserve to be honoured”.

“Then honoured they shall be” added Adama.

Louis Deveraux continued, “Oh and one more thing Admiral before you leave, if you would be so kind as to convey our sincere gratitude to the aforementioned commander Johnson, because without his intervention and sheer determination in the face of the council, well, this magnificent facility, our home, would still be an unsafe and unfit place of worship, please ask him to be our honoured guest after the award ceremony, my family and I would like to thank him personally”.

“Of course I will father, he is a good man and a brave warrior, I will give him your message”. Replied Adama

The four men made their farewells as Adama and his president headed back to their respective shuttles.

Scene 4 – Rising Stars

Adama wasted no time in preparing for the lavish medal ceremony, spending several hours pawing over the records of the eight men who took part in the mission aboard the modified S.T.R.I.X to Gamoray, but before announcing it to the media deciding to seek an audience with Jolly, knowing him to be a shy man at heart and wanting to give him chance to prepare for the ceremony out of courtesy, rather than surprise and embarrass him, and so called him to a private meeting in his quarters.

Jolly had an agenda as he approached Adama's quarters, he coveted the command of the newly constructed Battlestar and assumed it was on this subject that Adama had summoned him, hence he was about to receive a surprise....

“Come on in my old friend” said Adama as the communicator sounded the arrival of Jolly outside his quarters.

“Take a seat Jolly we have much to discuss, firstly enjoy some of uncle Saul's finest recipe pinot noir with me....” with that Jolly readily agreed knowing a little libation would help give him the Dutch courage he needed to make his move.

Adama continued....

“My dear friend, apart from Starbuck and Boomer, you are the only one that has been with me throughout my entire time as a colonial warrior, we grew up together and we had some fine times back in the academy didn't we?
I've lost count of the times you saved my ass, you have been a true friend and ally when I needed one the most.

Whoever thought we would be sitting here, me the Admiral and commander of the Battlestar Galactica and you my dear fellow about to receive the 'Gold Cluster', yes the Gold Cluster, the highest military honour in the colonies, what do you think of that Jolly! I want to award it to you for your incredible act of bravery and self sacrifice to bring us that vital intel on the garrison and Base Ship, I know it must have been extremely traumatic for you and your crew to witness the horrors you did, and to report them to the military and council with such professionalism and dignity”.

“Jolly looked at Adama with a withering stare, “What is it my friend, you seem...well almost disappointed”, asked a concerned Apollo.

Jolly exclaimed!

“I'm sorry Apollo I don't mean to belittle your wonderful gesture, but what I want isn't accolades, its that!” he retorted as he walked over to the porthole by Adama's couch, took a huge gulp of air and pointed to the all but complete new Super Battlestar.

“I want to follow in the footsteps of our great warriors, your father, Tigh, Cain, Kronus …. and of course you, I want to help lead the fightback and be at the forefront of our renaissance, our revenge against the Cylons, I want to.....

Adama laughed out loud, “Hah you silly old bugger, you really don't know do you?”

“Look my old friend, I had you pencilled in for the command seat long ago, she's all yours my friend, the Gold Cluster is merely the icing on the cake, believe me if I thought you were in doubt about getting the command of our new Battlestar I would have put you out of your misery ages ago”. Sniggered Adama.

“Now I feel like a right knucklehead” sighed Jolly as Adama laughed loudly at his embarrassment, “Here get some of this down you” added Adama as he topped up Jolly's glass almost to the brim.

He added “Look my old friend, there are very few in the military, even less civilians that would have readily volunteered for such a perilous mission as you did, you didn't need to do that but we are all eternally grateful that you did, you gave us all in the military huge kudos and raised our stock considerably with the council, no mean feat my friend, they are notoriously hard to impress, but impress them you did”.”

To be honest Apollo I don't much care whether I impress them or not, it's only your approval that means anything to me” replied Jolly.

“Well you certainly have it, but then you always did, you have gone out on a limb for me on many occasions, oh and talking of going out on a limb I have a message for you from father Deveraux.

He wants you to join him over on the ship of worship, he wants you to have dinner with him and his family to thank you personally for helping him get the ship refitted, he is ecstatic with the job the engineers did on her, she's a wonderful sight Jolly, I have been over and checked her out myself”.

“I had to do something Apollo, she was a death trap, the exits were far too narrow, fire escapes needed widening, evacuation routes not clearly marked, I had to take action or people would have been put at risk over there, you should have seen it Apollo, any one of us would have done the same” countered Jolly.

Be that as it may, you did it, you got the job done and I can tell you now, the Deveraux's are in your debt and so am I”.
“Anyhow” added Adama, the main reason I called you over was to give you a heads up on the medal ceremony, I remember when I was awarded the Gold Cluster all those years ago with Boomer and Starbuck, I remember feeling more than a little embarrassed and just wanted you to get used to the idea and not just spring it on you”.

The two men continued to talk well into the small hours, Jolly now fully relaxed, couldn't stop himself staring over Adama's shoulder through the porthole at his prize as Adama noticed, both men laughing out loud at Jolly's obvious excitement.

“Hey, tell you what Jolly” added Adama, let's see if we can take a closer look tomorrow shall we, I need to give a report to the council anyway, they want an update on the new vessels including her” as he pointed toward the new Battlestar, “They are going to quiz me on our next move with regards to that Base Ship you found out there, they want blood Jolly, and I need to stall them until we're ready to take them on”.

“Yes I would really like that Apollo, I can't wait to see her up close and take a look at the C.I.C and my command seat.....”

“Well you've been on board the new Pegasus,” countered Adama, “she is every bit as impressive I can tell you that my old friend, anyway it's getting late and I dare not be late on deck tomorrow or I think Boomer will be getting pissed off with me as he's covered for me a lot lately!” laughed Adama,”So let's call it a night Jolly and I'll see you bright and early on the bridge tomorrow and we can take a look at her together”.

The two men shared a colonial handshake and parted for the evening to get some rest, not that Jolly would get much sleep being so exited about getting his wish, his commendation and command!

Scene 5 – A beast is Born

Eight a.m. sharp and after a mere four hours sleep but high on adrenalin, surprisingly Jolly was in the Galactica's C.I.C as if he had slept like an angel, Adama on the other hand looked tired as he entered the room but knew he had to be on top of his game knowing Boomer's patience was not a given, so to wake himself up did his usual walk round greeting all his senior officers, this had become something of a ritual for Adama, always eager to let his crew know his gratitude for their diligence.

As he walked up the six steps to his own command seat he looked over to launch control where the young ensign John Rigal was sitting, being coached by his mother Sally on the roles of launch officer, he had an idea.

“Hey young Rigal, come up here I want to show you something” as the young man complied looking puzzled and a little anxious, “Here sit there in my seat, try it on for size”, as the young man hesitantly took the command seat as Adama looked on with pride, “Do you feel it son, the power, the weight of command?”

The young trainee launch officer did feel something, he looked around to see the entire C.I.C staring up at him, he felt an energy rush through his body as he took in the surroundings and the fleeting thought he may one day earn a command of his own.

“Listen up everyone” yelled Adama. “You all know this young lad, his mother was one of the finest launch officers we ever had in the colonial military!” blowing a kiss to the mature yet still glamorous Sally Rigal who playfully grasped it from the air and put it to her lips.

This boy graduated with distinction from the academy just like his mother before him, he has a bright future as do all of you fine officers if you apply yourselves as he has, but that is for the future, here in the present I want to announce to you all our Commanding officer of the new Super Battlestar, Commander Andrew Johnson, known to you all as Jolly”.

With this news the entire C.I.C stood, cheered and applauded their newest ship commander, Adama's choice proving a very popular one with his crew.

Adama winked at the young ensign, “OK son frack off back to your seat now I've got work to do” he giggled, “You'll get your chance, you'll all get your chance he shouted as he continued to scan his domain. He then picked up the handset on his main console to address the crew....

“Now hear this”, he announced over the tannoy, “I am about to leave to take a look at our new cruisers and the Battlestar with commander Johnson who you all know as Jolly, he is to be the new commanding officer of our new Battlestar”,

A loud cheer could then be heard clearly as the ships compliment exalted.

“I will then be heading over to the ship of governance to address the council, I'm sure you all know what they want, they want revenge for our brave comrades that perished at the hands of the Cylons back at Gamoray, well I can promise you all this now, we will have our revenge, but not here and not now, we are not ready yet to take on the Cylons, but mark my words we soon will be!

“Be ready my brave warriors, our time is near, our new home on Terra is nearing completion, food, water, shelter and protection have been provided for our citizens, we will soon be in a position to go after our enemies, make no mistake we must seek them out before they find us, it is my intention to one day hit the very heart of the Cylon empire, starting with the Base Star we located near the planet Gamoray.

But first we must buy our people more time, It is my intention to take a task force back to Gamoray to take out that Base Ship and retrieve our markers, slamming the back door in the face of the Cylons.

In the meantime I expect every one of you to perform your duties to the very best of your abilities and prepare for our day of reckoning, Adama out!”

Making sure matters were in hand on the Galactica, Adama and Jolly headed for the launch bay and the admiral's shuttle, as they walked Adama added,

“Let's keep the other decorations to ourselves for now Jolly” said Adama, “It's my intention to honour all the men you took to Gamoray, I am planning a ceremony, and yes it is indeed a diversion if you're wondering, but make no mistake Jolly, your honours are all well deserved, but it can't hurt to use the ceremony to divert attention for a short while, our people need a lift and I intend to give it to them, and what better way than to celebrate our heroes eh”, winking at Jolly, who in turn began blushing.

Finally they approached the mighty new Battlestar as Jolly asked pilot Marc Jansen to encircle the ship to take a closer look at her sleek lines and awesome firepower.
Jolly couldn't help but notice one thing was missing, she had not yet been given a name and remarked upon this to Adama.

“That's because as her new C/O I was going to give you the honour of naming her, but may I suggest you keep in mind when you do, she is the sister ship to the Pegasus and should be named accordingly”. Replied Adama.

“In that case I can tell you now what I want to call her” replied Jolly, “In honour of the Pegasus X.O who was instrumental in us finding Terra and a fine warrior I would like to name her Battlestar Tolan”
“Yes yes I like it very much, I think Sheba will appreciate that gesture very Much Jolly, so be it, she will be named Battlestar Tolan”, added Adama.

As the shuttle neared the mighty hulk captain Jansen attempted to raise the construction crew on her in order to receive landing orders.

“Galactica flag Shuttle to Battlestar construction crew Alpha, requesting permission to board and landing instructions over”.

“Please stand by.......Permission granted to land on landing bay Charlie, vector slowly towards lower port landing bay and we will take control and pull you in from 15,000 yards”

“Received and acknowledged, proceed to lower port landing bay to 15,000 yards and you will pull us in”.

The shuttle slowly eased it's way into the newly completed landing bay, captain Jansen was more than capable of landing his shuttle manually and took delight of reminding the construction crew, however this was forbidden until the ship was fully operational, so playfully sat back at his controls with his fingers locked behind his head to the amusement of Adama and his shuttle crew.

“Cocky little shit isn't he” grinned Adama to Jolly, “Yes but he's just the sort of warrior we need right now, we could do with more like him, I can tell you Adama he's completely fearless, although he did hesitate when we first encountered that base ship” mused Jolly.

“So he is human after all, that's a relief or I would be wary of him, we don't need hotheads who are full of themselves, just brave warriors!” whispered Adama.

Adama couldn't help but notice out of the corner of his eye Jolly rocking back and forth in eager anticipation so took delight in mocking him as the shuttle entered its berth...

“Hah, relax my old friend I'm not going to take her off you, she's all yours” roared Adama with laughter.
“Sorry Apollo it's just that well...

“You don't need to explain” countered Adama, “I remember how I felt when I first got command of the Galactica from Tigh, and the feeling when I first walked into the C.I.C, it was strange, I had walked that place ever since I was a kid on my fathers knee, but when it's you that gets the hot seat, well I can't explain but you will feel it too, especially when you see your command seat....with your name on it my friend!”

Adama was right, Jolly's pace quickened as they finally approached the new C.I.C, pausing for a moment to take a deep breath as he entered without breaking stride, he headed straight toward the commanders chair and there it was in front of him, a gleaming leather chair with the words 'Commander Andrew Johnson' emblazoned across the front. He immediately sat and surveyed his new dominion.

“Welcome home commander” smiled Adama, “Welcome home”.

Scene 6 – Tempering expectations

Finally came the day Admiral Adama had been dreading, the meeting with the full council on the ship of governance, as he entered the chambers a polite ripple of applause rang out as he took his seat adjacent to the president.

Lord Campbell McGarry of St. Augustine, speaker of the house rose to address the senate....

“My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen, we have convened here today for an extraordinary general meeting to discuss a matter of great urgency, our brave warriors from the Battlestar Galactica have made a grave discovery and we must decide quickly what we are going to do about it!” he exclaimed.

“With the news that our garrison has perished on Gamoray at the hands of the Cylons we have been presented with a dilemma, namely, to go back there would obviously put our forces at grave risk, but to do nothing would put all of us here at an even greater risk, meaning out there we have left a paper trail right back to us here.

We have been informed by Admiral Adama's brave subordinate commander Johnson, that a Cylon Base Ship is in orbit of the moon of Gamoray known as Amilon as we speak, therefore, as our warriors on Gamoray are no more it has become urgent we remove the threat to us in the form of that Base Ship .

Admiral Adama is about to address you all on this matter, I will now yield the floor to him, Admiral?....”

“Yes senators and council members, it is true we have a situation regarding our protection here on Terra, we did indeed leave a trail of markers from Gamoray to our location here in order to leave open a link to our warriors back there, the reason being they were to guard our back door and warn us of any Cylon movements in that quadrant, and to alert us if they had detected the markers.

We took a gamble and lost, and it is now obvious there is no point in leaving those markers out there any longer, and in point of fact to do so will possibly put us in grave danger if that Cylon Base Star should follow that trail back to us!”

“Therefore it is my intention to send a task force back there to not only retrieve those markers, but also dispatch that Base Ship and leave the trail completely cold once and for all.

“However Ladies and Gentlemen, this is where our problem lies, the new Super Battlestar is not yet fully operational, although I am pleased to report she is now structurally complete, however finishing touches are still ongoing on the two new Battlecruisers, so it is with regret I have to inform you all of our predicament, namely, if we leave here with a task force we could in theory take out that Base Ship and retrieve those markers, but to go now would leave our citizens unguarded and at the mercy of any hostile forces that would approach Terra whilst our back was turned.

In short, I am not prepared to fall into the trap of leaving our people at the mercy of those damn Cylons, at least not until our new ships are ready to protect our people here. We will redouble our efforts to get those ships complete as soon as possible, but until that time we must wait!”

“This is our situation Ladies and Gentlemen of the house....”

“Can I ask as to the situation regarding Terra Admiral”. Asked Sire Valentine, “Are the new Silo's now complete, the new 'Ring of Steel' defences including the electronic defence shields, the bunkers, the seals to the underground dwellings all complete?” He continued.

“Yes all complete Sire, Terra is fully protected at this time, however we still need a credible force out here in space to guard our flanks if and when half the Battle fleet leaves to deal with the situation regarding that Base Ship and those markers” added Adama.

“So what do you feel are the chances of our markers being detected Admiral”, countered Sire Valentine, “Which is the greater risk, to wait or to send a force now?”

“A very good question Sire, although I cannot give you a definitive answer, I believe we are safe for now as the Base Ship appeared to be preoccupied watching over some 24 odd Delphian vessels we encountered. It seems as though the Delphians were preparing to leave Gamoray under the threat of the Cylons but were slaughtered before they could do so.

We in the military believe the Cylons are trying to use those Delphian vessels to lure us in, that they want to use them to ambush us!” added Adama.

“However honoured council members and senators, we believe we have a plan to help stall our enemies and buy us time and intelligence, please do not be alarmed Ladies and Gentlemen but I have brought along two guests, one is my chief science officer Dr. Wilker, a brilliant scientist who has been at the forefront of most of our technology, and our second guest I feel will be less welcome, he is an I.L series Cylon, the very one we captured during the battle of Omega Delta. I will allow Dr. Wilker to explain....

“Please forgive my slightly stuttering speech Ladies and Gentlemen,” muttered Dr. Wilker, “I am 85 years old now and would have retired years ago but for our predicament since being all but wiped out all those years ago, anyhow, to elaborate on my Admirals address I have come up with a possible solution.

I have been working for some time now on reprogramming and upgrading the Cylon our Admiral mentioned, although he was reprogrammed by the late Dr. Zee, we in the science labs believe we have been successful in assimilating him into our community in order to help us gain an edge on our enemies.

As a reward for giving our task force vital intelligence on the Base Ship orbiting Gamoray's moon we agreed to give the Cylon his wish, to be given human form and to be assimilated into our community, albeit with strict restrictions as to his movements in the fleet, in short he has remained a prisoner on board the ship of justice at our pleasure, however he has requested an audience with you all, I will now call him forward, Lucifer?.....”

With this command, into the chamber entered a remarkably human looking Lucifer, gone were the lights, wires and circuitry covered by shining metal and opaque glass, gone was the red cape and in their place was a being with actual living skin, Lucifer had been given living tissue to cover his exoskeleton and was fully clothed in a charcoal grey suit, his entire workings redesigned in order for him to consume food in his 'stomach' in order to nourish his new skin.

His appearance filled many in the chamber with fear upon seeing him and he hadn't even spoken yet! he looked human, but he was still a Cylon!

Scene 7 – The Voice of the Enemy

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the senate” he began to the astonishment of those present, all expecting the familiar monotone robotic Cylon voice, “I do realise the greatest majority of you will be appalled at the sight of me, yes I am indeed the I.L series Cylon known as Lucifer, I came to you as a result of your warships capturing me and destroying my Base Star, the same one that was formerly under the command of your old council member count Baltar, whom I personally executed for his failure to complete his mission.
However that was a very long time ago now and I am no longer at the behest of the Cylon empire having been reprogrammed by Dr. Zee and latterly Dr. Wilker.

It is the wish of your military leaders to use me as a means to glean vital intelligence on the present strength, condition, whereabouts and technology of the Cylons, and to that end have been looking at the feasibility of sending me to orbit Amilon and attempt to rendezvous with the Cylon Base Star.

If successfully docked with the warship I will be able to assume command as I am still the most senior officer under the Imperious Leader in the Cylon empire since the demise of the aforementioned Baltar.

They will have assumed I was destroyed along with my ship, however as you all know, Cylon centurions have no independent initiative and rely upon more advanced machines such as myself to control them, and when I come before them the commanding officer on that ship will have no alternative than to relinquish command to me, it is then that I will be in a position to download all the current Cylon intelligence from the ships mainframe into my cybernetic brain and return to you to deliver this vital intelligence to your military leaders”.

“And what is in this for you, why in the name of Kobol should we trust you, a damn Cylon?” asked Sire Galen jabbing his index finger at Lucifer.

“You do not need to trust me, just your Admiral and your most senior scientist here with us....” countered Lucifer. He added, “To answer your question, what's in it for me, merely the possibility of being considered for parole, for freedom.

“It is of no consequence to me whatsoever whether you trust me or not, but as your scientists have made good on the promises of your leaders to reward me for my assistance, and as I am no longer loyal to the Cylon empire but to you all in the colonies, you would be wise to listen to Admiral Adama and his people”.
They trust Dr. Wilker and hence trust me, ask them yourselves...”

“Very well” countered Sire Dmitri, is all this true Admiral, you trust this er Cylon....

“Yes, I trust the skill and professionalism of Dr. Wilker, and if he says the Cylon has been reprogrammed to obey us then that's good enough for me, and it should be good enough for all of you, the man is a genius”. Added Adama.

“Since this is now clearly a military matter, I propose we let them be the judges in this case as it will be them who are taking the risks”, added Sire Dmitri, I move we all vote to allow this mission to go ahead, provided of course the Cylon is monitored at all times, I suggest we put some sort of recording device on him to monitor his every move on that ship, your thoughts Admiral....”

“You can count on it Sire, that Cylon will not be able to make a move without our monitoring him” Adama barked pointing at Lucifer. “We will of course be tracking him every moment he is out there, but as you can imagine I don't want to delve too deeply into the details of this mission for obvious reasons, you must trust us to carry it out for the good of our people, we know what we must do and have the tools at our disposal, all we need now is your blessings council and senate members” added Adama.

“I don't like it Admiral, I don't like it one bit” replied Dr. Alan Markham, leader of the opposition, “After all we've been through you would trust our fate to a Cylon, a Cylon, really?”

“For your information I don't like it either Dr. Markham”, countered Adama, “But I like the alternatives even less, whether you like it or not we have to go back there, destroy that base ship and retrieve those markers, and to be sure of victory over the base ship we need to use every means at our disposal, even if that means help from a Cylon, albeit a reprogrammed one, we simply don't have many alternatives available to us, and if I am to send some of my warriors and ships into harms way It would be remiss of me not to use any advantage I can at the loss of a better plan Dr”.

“Very well, enough talking now senate members and council, we must make a decision now”, countered Sire Dmitri, “Either we back Admiral Adama's audacious plan with all its pitfalls or we openly defy him, he has not done us badly up to now has he dear comrades, I move we back this plan and give it our blessings...”

“Well you would say that wouldn't you as his closest friend and ally,” sneered Dr. Markham, “I will not agree, as you say Admiral, at the loss of a better plan, really? You are telling me this is the best you can come up with, I will NOT fall into line and will NOT give it my approval.”

Adama was anticipating such an impasse in the chambers and knew he could really on Dr. Markham to be the voice of dissent, and so had a ready made answer,

“Very well council members” snapped Adama, “I will make it easy for you, as you clearly cannot agree on a strategy moving forward I will spell one out for you, if you will not give me the go ahead to utilise the Cylon at our disposal then I will have no choice but to take the entire task force save the Galactica, with me to Amilon to make absolutely sure of victory. After all one Cylon Base Star is no match for two super Battlestars and two Battlecruisers.

I will leave the Galactica here to guard you all, as I already indicated, Terra is now fully protected so she should be enough....”

“Hey wait a God's damn minute, that's blackmail Admiral, you cannot do that!” snarled Dr. Markham as the junior senators heckled Adama.

“Well you leave me no choice, I can and will do as I say, you are the senate, but I am the leader of the military, you either agree to my demands or I will have no other choice than to stack the odds in the favour of my warriors. Either you sanction the use of the Cylon or I take all the ships!”

“You do realise Admiral if you defy the senate we can bring charges against you” warned Sire Dmitri

“Yes and you do realise I can once again declare martial law, giving me full powers once more, after all we are still technically at war”. Snapped Adama.

Sire Dmitri's mood darkened as he gave Admiral Adama a stark warning.....

“Very well Admiral, we will yield to your demands, but let it go on record, we in the senate and council do not take kindly to blackmail, do not test my friendship and take it as a sign of weakness Admiral, you may very well be the Admiral of this fleet, but I am the president of the colonies and the custodian of its laws, we did not come all this way having constructed new vessels such as this one, forming a whole new society out here in space, to simply risk anarchy because you cannot get your way, the whole point of a democracy is that none of us get our own way all of the time, including you Admiral”.

Adama snapped back, “Very well council, sit on your hands, have your vote, but frankly I don't care for your democracy right now, what I care about is saving lives both military and civilian, and if that means defying you all so be it, I WILL be proven right, and if not, if I fail, you can expect my resignation forthwith”.

With that, Admiral Adama signalled to Dr. Wilker and Lucifer to make their exits as he followed them out of the chambers, looking back to make one final comment.....

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the senate, I am sorry, but I know I am right about this, I trust Dr. Wilker with my life, he is one of, if not THE most brilliant scientist we have ever had in the colonies, save for Doctors, Coulson, Allam and of course Dr. Zee and his father, this mission will NOT fail, because it Cannot, you have my word as a warrior and your Admiral, good day to you all!”

Scene 8 – An Uneasy Truce

The following day both Sire Dmitri and Admiral Adama were still uneasy at the hostility between them, therefore Adama seeking to diffuse the situation, invited the president over to his quarters to discuss matters before irreparable damage was done to their hitherto cordial working relationship, Sire Dmitri readily agreed.....

Battlestar Galactica, Admiral Adama's quarters

“Come in my old friend, sit with me, we have to find a way of coming together on this, I apologise for the embarrassment I caused you in the senate...” said Adama meekly

“Look here Admiral, I don't give a shit about that, I just want democracy to be upheld in this fleet and on Terra, for without it we are nothing more than a rabble in danger of becoming wild animals, you simply cannot continue to ride roughshod over the council and senate like that!

We have to have law, order, democracy and.....consensus, maybe you should look that one up Adama.....”

“Maybe we should talk somewhere away from the possibility of being overheard Mr President!” added Adama, “You once told me you envied my pilots flying around space looking down at Terra and at the fleet, well, how about coming for a ride with me in one of our fancy new training vipers, they have two seats after all, we can then talk openly, I will switch off the communicator and we can talk with complete candour, your friendship, and our people are far too important for us both to quarrel over this...” added Adama.

Again Sire Dmitri readily agreed, his mood lifting considerably, Adama knew full well the president was a frustrated viper pilot, as were half the civilian population, and that it would give them both chance to cool off and clear the air in strict privacy.

Adama led the president down to Alpha bay where a training viper had already been prepped at his instructions, he ushered Dmitri toward a set of steps leading up to a shiny new viper, the president staring for a moment at her sleek lines before climbing the steps.

Two deck hands helped the president into the viper, putting on his helmet and strapping him in, by this time the president could feel his pulse racing as the anticipation began to build within him, a lifelong dream was about to be fulfilled!

“Very well, are you ready for this, added Adama before donning his own helmet, the president almost too exited to answer simply nodded.

“Galactica Launch control, acting launch officer John Rigal to probe craft, all controls functioning normally, you are cleared to enter launch tube....” with that the shiny viper was moved into position in the launch tube as Rigal continued...

“Transferring control to probe craft, launch when ready”

“Hold on to your lunch Mr. President, your in for a surprise”, sniggered Adama, and with that he powered up the vipers three main engines and she sped out of the launch tube like a catapult as Dmitri almost threw up in the back seat!

“Are you alright back there?” Adama giggled as he could hear Dmitri gasping for breath,

“Yea I think so, I see what you mean about my lunch, I nearly barfed it all over the controls” he laughed.

The two men gradually began to relax in each others company once more, Adama's treat was clearly paying off, Sire Dmitri was having the time of his life!

He took the craft on a grand tour of the entire fleet, wishing to give the president as much time as he wanted to survey the new ships in the fleet, and of course the all but complete new Super Battlestar 'Tolan' as she was now called.

“She's a beaut isn't she Sire” added Adama with pride, “We could do with a few more before we can fully relax though”, sighed Adama.

“Yes she is, but for now we need to discuss the matters we have both been skirting around Apollo, I need to know more of your plans for that mission, and why you are so obsessed with that Cylon?”

“Very well Mr. President, you see, as you once took an oath to uphold the sacred laws of Kobol, I also took an oath to serve and protect the colonies, and, as my father did before me, swore NEVER to be duped by those bastard Cylons ever again, I have made a solemn promise to my warriors and our civilians to avenge the massacre of our people back in the colonies some thirty five years ago, and as we are still relatively weak militarily I need to use every means at my disposal, even if some of them are unpalatable to the senate!”

“Are you saying without the help of that Cylon there is a real risk of this mission failing Admiral?”
Enquired Sire Dmitri.

“That's exactly what I'm saying yes, we have absolutely no idea what we are up against out there, she could be weaker than our new Battlestars, or ominously she could be the most destructive killing machine ever produced by the Cylons and could overpower us, and that is why I said I would take ALL the ships at my disposal if I could not utilise the Cylon” He added.

“So how do you intend to use him exactly?” asked Dmitri.

“Well, the thing is, the Cylon himself has suggested a means to gain a very clear advantage over the Base Star, he has proposed locating the ship with a view to docking with it, he claims he is still the most senior officer in the Cylon empire under their imperious leader, and that the commander of that ship would be forced to relinquish command to him as he said to the senate, therefore giving him access to the mainframe computers on that ship in order to download her blueprints, and subsequently all the most sensitive intel on the Cylon home world, size and strength of their fleet, etcetera!”

“But what about his appearance, his new skin....”

“Yes we thought about that too, he has agreed to revert back to his original appearance for now in order to assimilate into their ranks, we intend to monitor his every move whilst out there, particularly whilst he is on that vessel, and, well, if all else fails and he turns rogue on us we will have at least some vital footage of the interior of that ship which will be invaluable...”

“Oh and one more thing, if he gives the order to attack us he knows he is facing our most powerful warship ever built, plus two new formidable Battlecruisers, so the odds are stacked against his survival”.

“But why would he care, he is just a machine?” asked Dmitri.

“Well he is yes, but according to Dr. Wilker, he requested an emotion chip to be inserted into his cybernetic brain, and apparently he has began to show signs of emotion, even showing signs of fear when discussing this mission, therefore it would be reasonable to assume, now he is getting his wish, to be 'human' as it were, he will not want to give that up readily, and will in fact be in fear of his own life if he betrays us”.

“We still need a fail-safe Admiral, if all goes wrong we need to have a way of destroying that ship somehow”. Added Dmitri.

“We do” countered Adama, if all goes badly, one of our Battlecruisers will be packed with nuclear explosives, and if necessary will ram the Base Star, I already have many volunteers ready to sacrifice their lives for the good of the colonies, but let's hope it doesn't come to that!”

“Very well, it is settled then, you seem to have covered all bases Adama, I will back your plan, and wish you and your warriors gods speed, now how about finishing my tour, I want to visit the new ships personally, maybe if I see what we are protecting here it will help focus my thoughts as they have yours”

“It would be my pleasure Mr. President” replied Adama..

Scene 9 – Trust in God......and Lucifer

The following day and things were clearer, Adama had not only gained his mandate for utilising Lucifer, but had also averted a clash with his biggest ally and most powerful figure in the colonies, save for himself.

Yet still he was troubled, how had he become so desperate as to rely on, of all things a Cylon, so therefore summoned his senior officers to his wardroom, together with Dr. Wilker and Lucifer to pore over the Battle plans, he had to be sure he had covered every fine detail knowing his warriors lives were at stake, too many had been lost already!

Galactica wardroom, all senior officers present,

“Ladies and Gentlemen, a great many decisions still await, we have to decide who to send out there, we have been given a mandate to use him” he then pointing at Lucifer as if he were dirt from the street, “I still don't trust him completely” He added as if Lucifer were not there, “But I trust him completely” pointing in turn to Dr. Wilker, but, if you would indulge us Dr. we need to know how you are so sure, so sure he won't turn on us....”

“I anticipated this, so have come with a solution, if I may, with Lucifer's full agreement I will be inserting an explosive device inside him, if he should malfunction in any way at all I will have the ability to destroy him remotely.

I will also for the time being deactivate his emotion chip, hence removing the possibility of him freezing through fear, if and when the mission is a complete success, he will then be restored to the condition you see before you, and then it is over to you Admiral, I believe you have promised him freedom, or at least a measure of it?”

“That I have” replied Adama, “but I warn you now Lucifer, I cannot second guess the senate, they may refuse my request to grant your freedom, I promise to do what I can, but as you are seen as the enemy and a war criminal, the decision of what to do with you lies with them only”. Added Adama.

“Then I will settle for your word, that you will do what you can and take my chances, my offer still stands Admiral, I am becoming more human by the day, and I have began to see a measure of goodness in you all, a measure of mercy I would never have been given as a traitor to the Cylons.

“You cannot lose Admiral, either I succeed and live, or fail and die, my fate is in your hands alone!”

“Very well then, you have played your hand, you are dismissed, you will be henceforth taken back to your cell and will await my further instructions in due course, as for you Dr. I am once more in your debt, thank you, you are free to leave for your well earned rest, but now I need to speak with my officers alone”

The room now cleared he continued,

“I will ask for your thoughts once I have spoken”, Said Adama, “But I have already given this a great deal of thought, I am acutely aware of the knowledge Jolly has of the area around the Base Ship and the moon Amilon, however, with respect to you commander, you are still inexperienced in command of a warship and the Battlestar Tolan is not yet fully operational, it is therefore my intention to lead the mission myself.

We will redouble our efforts to get the Tolan fully operational within two weeks and put every single engineer and construction worker available on the two Battlecruisers to get them finished.

Then when they are completed we can split our forces, I will be taking the two cruisers Zeus and Hera, spearheaded by the Pegasus along with commander Cain, she will be in full command of the Pegasus whilst I command the cruisers and oversee the activities of Lucifer over on the Base Ship, commander Cain and I will get the job done and return the fleet home together with the prize, those Delphian ships, we believe they may contain materials that will prove vital to us”.

Brave warriors, if there are no questions....?”

Not one dissenting voice could be heard, all were in full accord with Adama's plans, and so it was left to him to dismiss his crew and try to get some rest.

He decided to hold off the medal celebrations for when the time was right, he would need them as a diversion whilst he prepared the mission.

His greatest test was about to unfold, and as he watched his officers leave the room one remained, Sheba turned and closed the door behind her, she wanted to show her Admiral, her lover the reassurance he craved, and so they spent a night of romance together as if it were to be their last, just as it may have proven to be!

To Be Continued......

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:39 am 
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Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage to Earth Episode 14 – Deathfall part 1

November 16th 7027

Scene 1 – A welcome distraction

“Good morning citizens of Terra on this momentous day, Martin Connelly of Colonial News Network reporting from our gleaming new vessel, the Ship of Learning, as we await our distinguished guests to take their seats. We are about to witness the greatest military honour, the Gold Cluster awarded to one of our new heroes, the commanding officer of our new Super Battlestar, Tolan, named by the man himself to honour the executive officer of the old Battlestar Pegasus, the fallen warrior who helped guide us to our new home.

Also present with us today are the seven brave men who accompanied him on his mission to receive their medals, oh here they come now.....”

A lavish ceremony to decorate commander Andrew 'Jolly' Johnson and his S.T.R.I.X crew was about to take place, all around the auditorium at the stern of the new de-facto university in space, bunting and ribbons adorned the outer walls, pamphlets were provided on each of the guest seats to explain the ceremony and the Colonial military traditions to the media as they filed into the massive hall under a transparent roof under the stars.

The Gold cluster was not in fact a medal in itself, but a cluster of three medals, namely the C.G.S (conspicuous Gallantry Star), the C.M.D (colonial Medal of Distinction) and the most coveted of all, the C.M.V (colonial Medal of Valour)

During the mission to Gamoray, the landing party split into three groups, one headed by the pilot Captain Jansen and his E.C.O Lance Corporal Harrington staying onboard the S.T.R.I.X, the other two groups were ground patrols headed by Commander Johnson and Corporal Parks respectively.

Captain Jansen and Lance Corporal Harrington would be first to receive their medals,
the leader of one of the two patrols, Corporal Parks, flanked by the two privates under his command, Privates Jones and Desanto would be the next up, finally it would be the turn of the second patrol, Commander Johnson and the two Privates under his command, Anders and Lewis.

The television reporter formally invited Admiral Adama to take to the stage before handing over the microphone as he approached the lectern.

Adama looked resplendent in his full dress uniform adorned by gold trim on a navy blue cape. A host of gleaming medals proudly displayed on his tunic, including his own Gold Cluster, his being only one of three ever awarded, until this day.

Admiral Adama looked around his new surroundings intently, the auditorium surrounded by halls of residence on the brand new vessel as a full military band waited to serenade the guests, he looked at each of his senior officers with pride as he prepared to make his opening remarks....

“My Lords Ladies and Gentlemen, warriors and honoured guests, it is great pride I address you all here today, we have come together to honour eight brave men, the finest and bravest of all.

Unbeknownst to the vast majority of you all here, these eight brave warriors all volunteered to conduct a perilous mission, one which they all knew would be fraught with danger and could have led to their deaths, however, they all willingly put the good of the colonies above their own safety and, despite any fear or misgivings they may have had, were prepared to lay down their lives for us all in order to protect our fleet and our new home here on Terra.
I am at last in a position to report to you all the mission was a complete success, all returning home to us safe and well.

Before I explain the reason for the mission I would firstly like to honour our brave warriors and to that end would ask Captain Jansen and Lance Corporal Harrington to join me on stage.”

At this point a group of young cadets filed onto the stage each carrying a ceremonial cushion on which a shiny medal lay.

Equally immaculate, Lance Corporal Harrington hesitantly approached Admiral Adama to receive his medals....

“To a young, up and coming E.C.O, brilliantly navigating the S.T.R.I.X, together with his lead pilot to within a metre of the designated landing zone and caring for the medical needs of the team with courage and selfless duty, I award you the star of military valour and the distinguished aerospace medal.
You are hereby promoted to the rank of captain.”

“Would Captain, Jansen now approach the lectern....

For outstanding bravery and leadership in the face of extreme danger I hereby award you the distinguished aerospace medal and the conspicuous gallantry star, you are hereby promoted to the rank of raptor wing commander....

Corporal Parks, Privates Jones and Desanto please come forward...

I award you all the conspicuous gallantry star, Corporal Parks, you are hereby promoted to the rank of Captain... Privates Jones and Desanto you are herby promoted to the ranks of lieutenant

Finally would Commander Johnson and Privates Anders and Lewis come forward, Privates Anders and Lewis, I hereby award you both the conspicuous gallantry star and promote you both to the rank of lieutenant.

Now to the leader of this dangerous and hazardous mission, a man who readily volunteered along with the rest of his platoon to embark on one of the most dangerous missions ever to have been undertaken by a colonial task force, Commander Andrew Johnson....

Ladies and Gentlemen of the press and media, for those in the fleet and down on Terra who are not yet aware, this man is to be the new commanding officer of the new Super Battlestar Tolan.

For unswerving loyalty to the cause of the colonies, for outstanding bravery above and beyond the call of duty, for his valour and leadership I hereby award you commander, The gold Cluster, collectively the C.G.S, the C.M.D and the the C.M.V.”

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the press and media, it is men like these eight who, above all others have helped to shape our new world, it is these brave warriors, together with those on the Galactica, and latterly the new Pegasus and Tolan with the Battlecruiser crews and the ground based warriors that will protect our citizens when we face our enemy.

Our forces are almost ready dear friends, we are almost ready to take on our sworn enemies.

It is now however that I must sour the mood and impart some grave news to you all concerning our garrison on Gamoray.

I promised to elaborate on the purpose of this secret mission, with it now declassified I am in a position to explain...

We picked up a signal from a source claiming to be our garrison back on Gamoray, it was in the form of a distress call, we were naturally suspicious of this signal knowing the methods previously used by our Cylon enemies but felt a duty to those in the garrison we left behind to investigate further.

We felt it far too dangerous to send anything more than a single craft to check the authenticity or otherwise of this signal, so decided to send a small team of volunteers to gather more information, and to that end modified one of our craft to carry out this mission.

A great many volunteered, but it was necessary to keep numbers to a minimum to lessen the risk of large scale casualties.

Commander Johnson hand picked and headed a team of eight, these men you see before you, to go back into the Kryllian Star System and to Gamoray where our garrison remained behind to guard our escape.

The missions objectives were:

To ascertain the authenticity of the signal, to check the small Gamoray moon known as Amilon which we in the military knew could serve as a perfect hiding place for enemy ships, to check on the well being of our comrades, and if necessary to retrieve those markers. I have to tell you all now, what they found gave us great cause for distress and concern.”

At this news an audible groan arose from the ranks of the press and assembled dignitaries.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm afraid there is no way I can play down the graveness of our findings, so with the need to make matters abundantly clear, I will give it to you all straight....

As we suspected, the signal was indeed an elaborate hoax, a trap set by the Cylons to try and lure us in, we all knew our warriors on Gamoray would never have betrayed us, even under torture and the threat of death, they would never have given away our position and would never have sent an S.O.S as they pledged to protect our escape at all costs.

That said, we felt a duty to them to investigate further and, if as we suspected it to be a Cylon trick, to try and gauge the size of the force encircling Gamoray and look into the feasibility of removing our markers which could have led the Cylons to us here.
Finally, to find a way of extracting our forces and escaping without detection, this is where I have the duty to impart the gravest of news....

It is with the heaviest of hearts I have to inform you now of the demise of our task force back on Gamoray, our brave comrades have paid the ultimate price for our freedom.”

Our sworn enemies, the Cylons, have murdered our warriors back on Gamoray, some five hundred in all, our team were fortunate enough to encounter a small group of men who escaped the clutches of their captors who approached them to give the grave news, they told them of the torture and barbaric treatment they all suffered at the hands of the Cylons, of the mass burning and the pit in which they had all been buried and preserved in some kind of chemical in order for us to find the gruesome killing fields.

They wanted us to see just what they were capable of, and to that end even left a message on the body of one of our fallen comrades telling of their quest to hunt us down to the corners of the galaxy and destroy us!

After our devastating discovery it became apparent we had no further reason to go back to Gamoray, other than to remove any possibility of our enemies finding us, and to that end it is now abundantly clear, we must in fact return there in order to recover our markers having fully plotted a route back.

I'm afraid the disquieting news does not end there Ladies and Gentlemen, we did indeed discover a lone Cylon Base Star orbiting the moon Amilon lying in wait for us to come back to investigate the distress signal, we were able to track the Base ship and take reconnaissance footage of it before it detected our task force, and also discovered a fleet of ships formerly belonging to the extinct Delphian Empire, a civilised race of beings also having been annihilated by the Cylons.

These are the facts Ladies and Gentlemen, I realise this news will send fear and trepidation throughout the fleet, but let me be clear to you all now, we in the military took an oath to serve and protect the people of the colonies, we failed you once back in the colonies all those years ago, we will NOT fail you again.

With this in mind I am as we speak formulating my plans to send a task force back there to destroy that Cylon Base Star and recover our markers, once and for all slamming the door shut behind us so we can no longer be detected, and will not need to look over our shoulders ever again!”

At this point a reporter interrupted the Admiral to ask why a force had not been dispatched already.

“A very pertinent question sir, I remember my late father using the words, “I have been conned by the Cylons once, never again”.

What I'm saying is, I am not prepared to leave our people here in the fleet and on the surface of Terra unguarded, that is why we have waited, waited until our forces are strong enough to be split, half to embark on the mission to remove the Cylon threat out there, the other to remain behind and protect our civilians.
As you will no doubt be aware, it is only now we can say we have the strength, the new Battlestar Tolan is all but complete, albeit in need of the remainder of its crew and space trials to be completed, together with the two new Battlecruisers.
We will soon be in a position to rid ourselves of the enemy threat once and for all, and can then look to the future with greater optimism than ever before, but first we have to complete this grave mission.

In closing I ask that you all go about your business as usual, work, rest, play and worship. We in the military will fulfil our promise to you all, we will do our duty and protect you, in the meantime I ask you all to be extra vigilant in the weeks ahead as we prepare to do what must be done, then, when we return triumphant we can all finally begin to look to the future with renewed optimism, so say we all?”

as one, the assembled audience replied, “So say we all”.

Scene 2 – The Plan

Battlestar Pegasus wardroom, all fleet senior officers present....

The Pegasus wardroom was huge, it could be divided depending on the nature of the briefing, it could hold large press conferences down to small gatherings of only flag rank officers, on this occasion, though a press blackout was enforced the room was half full with the senior officers from all warships, all doors and exits had double guards, no-one was to be let in or out until the council of war was concluded.

The huge table in the centre of the room had an ornate centrepiece of fresh flowers and was groaning under the weight of food and drinks, the stewards all having been dismissed as a very long meeting was anticipated.

Admiral Adama calls the meeting to order with a clink of his chalice.

“Officers Ladies and Gentlemen, please all be seated and take some refreshments from the table, I apologise for the lack of space but this is the first time such a large gathering has taken place in this wardroom and I didn't want to open up the rest of the room, I want us to be in close proximity so as to negate the need to raise our voices.

You were all given a sealed folder, I would like you all to open the folders in front of you now, take a few minutes to study these as they are all exclusive to you, containing your personal orders.”

After some five minutes Adama again called the meeting to order....

“Are you all perfectly clear as to your roles in this mission?..... good then I will proceed, this is what we know so far thanks to the intel from Jolly and his crew, to recap the garrison is gone, there is a single Base Star guarding the Delphian ships orbiting Amilon, there are some twenty four or so vessels, the remnants of the Delphian fleet we believe were planning an escape, and finally there are some two hundred and thirty odd markers still out there, each in line with the jump points we used to get to Gamoray.

These will need to be retrieved at all costs, the most critical being the ones closest to the Kryllian system, the closer we get back to home, the harder it will be for the Cylons to track us, in fact intel suggests we will be almost undetectable, so there is SOME good news Ladies and Gentlemen!”
Added Adama with a wry grin.

With this news a chuckle could be heard through the intense atmosphere, Adama doing his best to keep his warriors at ease whilst remaining focused.

“We are now in receipt of the final initiation codes for the Battlestar Tolan, we will be running our crew authentication codes tomorrow morning so Jolly and his crew can get to work on her trials, I will be over there tomorrow to oversee events and give advice where needed. On the two new Battlecruisers, good news, they are now fully operational with Colonel Larry Greenbean, son of the X.O from the old Pegasus before his heroic demise, now commanding the Perseus and.... Padraig Mahoney from my old helm crew commanding the Medusa.

These two new cruisers are an upgrade on the Zeus and Hera in that their flight decks go through the whole length of the hull on each side and vipers can be launched much quicker, like their sister vessels they carry two complete squadrons each, it will be these that will accompany the lead Battlestar.

Now to the thorny issue of who heads up this mission as I'm sure you all want a piece of the pie, well, I have spoken to Jolly at length and explained my reasons why I will be sending the Pegasus, she is much further ahead of the Tolan with regards to operational readiness and crew experience, including her C/O.

Now you all know of the deep bond I have with both Commanders Cain and Johnson, most of you know I have been in a relationship with Commander Cain for some time now, so let me make things abundantly clear to you all, I will not show any favouritism either toward or against her or any officer under my command, in short I have picked those who I feel are the best team to go forward with this mission, dividing experience and the lack there of between the task force and the remaining force protecting the fleet and Terra.

Colonel Boomer please stand if you will”

With this a perplexed Colonel Boomer slowly stood,

“Colonel Boomer, I am hereby temporarily relinquishing command of the Galactica to you, therefore, I am promoting you to the rank of rear Admiral, this will be a permanent promotion with a view to you receiving your own ship in due course, you will be the commanding officer of the entire home fleet whilst I am gone, do you accept this role?

“I accept”

Do you henceforth swear to continue to uphold the sacred scriptures of the colonies and promise to serve and protect the people at all costs, so help you Gods?

Boomer nodded his approval and slowly uttered the words, “With all my heart yes Admiral.”

Adama continued....

“Yes, I personally will be leading the task force to Gamoray, Commander Cain will remain in command of the Pegasus whilst I oversee from one of the cruisers and monitor events from there.

Now this is where I am about to play my trump card, meaning we simply don't know the strength of that base ship, therefore it is my intention to use any and ALL tools available to us, now please do not be alarmed Ladies and Gentlemen, I am about to introduce a Guest, one whom I feel is best placed to help us, even if it is under duress.

Bring in the prisoner now!” demanded Adama as he ushered toward one of two guards at the entrance to the wardroom.

Slowly and tentatively the Cylon Lucifer entered the room to a chorus of moans and gasps!

“Are you serious Apollo!” exclaimed Air Chief Marshall Starbuck, “You are really going to use him?”

“Yes Starbuck, and if your quite finished interrupting.....”

He sternly glared at Starbuck and continued....

I am not only going to use him but I am taking him along with us, he has vital intel on that base ship and he has a plan, I will allow him to elaborate himself, please allow him to speak officers, Lucifer?”

The advanced I.L series Cylon had clearly not been idle during his time incarcerated on the prison ship, he had formulated a detailed strategy.....

He began;

“Thank you for allowing me this opportunity Admiral, Ladies and Gentlemen officers, if I could first ask you all to look beyond the fact I am a Cylon and see me as one who has been reprogrammed and assimilated into your ranks and as such am now incapable of attacking or betraying you, I will begin.

Firstly before I attempt to lay down my suggested battle plans, I have been poring over the blueprints of the new ships, in particular the two new Super Battlestars and have come up with, well not a weakness exactly but a means to make them even more efficient, in short you are not utilising them to their full potential. Please indulge me as I explain.

In short you are not using the flight pods efficiently, therefore I have come up with a new design which will allow you to fully adapt and interchange flight pods, not only between ships but also use different designs. For this mission I am assuming, as I have not been in the room, that you are planning to take ground equipment and marines to investigate the planet Gamoray, to possibly look for any survivors on the planet?”

“How in the name of Kobol do you assume our garrison has been destroyed Lucifer, you are not privy to such intel?” snarled Commander Helena 'Sheba' Cain.

“Because although I have been reprogrammed I still think as a Cylon, and I know that is what they will have done, they will not rest until either you, or they, are extinct!”

“Very well, lets humour Lucifer for a moment” added Adama, “Assuming you are correct, yes we would be sending a marine detachment and ground equipment to check for survivors, that's not to say you are correct” countered Adama.

“Play games if you wish” countered Lucifer, “I know they are gone, and I am suggesting a new design of flight pods with greater capacity and space for your dropships, troopships and such, you can leave the old flight pods behind, I have devised a way to adapt the port and starboard pods to be attached and with the addition of new fully detachable engines and C.I.C and Bridge platforms, can effectively be left behind as a full aircraft carrier to help protect your people here.”

Lucifer then gestured to an L.C.D screen mounted on one of the walls, “May I?” he gestured to Adama, “Go ahead we are all ears.” replied Adama.

He then pulled a small portable hard drive from his pocket and inserted it into the side of the screen to demonstrate exactly how his new innovation worked, a simple but ingenious plan to double the usability of the pods and fully utilise the vipers left behind to guard the citizens in the fleet and Terra without the need for them to land on the surface to rearm or refuel.

For the first time it became apparent just how intelligent and useful this robot really was! This new design could prove to be a huge breakthrough. With men, supplies and raw materials all being so scarce any means of fully utilising every piece of equipment and manpower at their disposal was most welcome.

Not only could this new system help utilise all means available, the time needed to make the changes to the pods would buy Adama the remaining time he needed to get the Tolan fully operational before he set out with his task force to Gamoray. With this in mind he immediately gave the new designs his stamp of approval, though not all in the room were convinced.

After a further thirty minutes of Lucifer explaining in detail how the pods worked, the majority of the senior officers were convinced enough to back Adama and give Lucifer's idea their tacit approval, all eventually falling into line with the Admiral. Although he could simply have ordered the modifications to be carried out he always sought to gain the approval of his warriors, a gesture that gained him much respect and admiration from them.

The modifications rubber stamped, Adama decided to delay the mission until the work was complete, and then reconvene his warriors.

He concluded....

“This plan has the ability to greatly bolster our forces left behind and can give our Battlestars the flexibility going forward to help us map out and colonise Terra more fully, but more importantly, right now it will give us the opportunity to take a much greater force of ground equipment and marines to Gamoray with us, this really gives us options.

It is now clear I need to consult with our lead engineers to gauge the resources and time needed to get these modifications done, it will also buy us the precious time we need to get the Tolan up to speed without any further pressure from the senate, therefore I will call this council of war to a close until such time as it is complete, then I will call you all back, Ladies and Gentlemen, you are dismissed”.

Scene 3 – The mother of invention

A mere twenty four hours later and Admiral Adama had summoned all his senior engineers to a meeting with Lucifer and himself in the wardroom of the Pegasus. For several hours the engineers scrutinised the plans, interrogating Lucifer on each and every fine detail, and much to their and Adama's surprise he was able to answer each question without hesitation. Adama was beginning to suspect the brilliant innovation by Lucifer was beyond his engineers when suddenly the lead engineer, Professor Julian Hall-McAllister rose to address the assembled gathering.

Like many brilliant scientists, Hall-McAllister gave little away with his outward demeanour preferring to keep his own council until he was certain of his facts, therefore when he did speak it was with conviction and certainty, which Adama had come to respect.

“Right, the simple question is can it be done, well not easily and not quickly but yes, yes it can Admiral”. Said the engineer triumphantly.

“Excellent, excellent, so how long, how many man hours and how much time do you need?” enquired a hopeful Admiral.

“Well, off the top of my head I estimate around two and a half months if I can have around a thousand men at my disposal” countered Hall-McAllister.

“Not good enough!” exclaimed Adama, knowing Hall-McAllister had a huge ego and always rose to a challenge.

“Ill give you as many men as you need to get the job done in six weeks, Gods I'll even come over and pick up a jack hammer myself it that's what it takes.

Listen Julian I need this done in double quick time, the council and senate are breathing down my neck to get this mission underway, I've managed to stall them up till now as the Tolan isn't yet ready but mark my words, they will want action real soon.

Listen, that Cylon Base Star is getting closer to detecting us with every passing day, if they were to pick up on our markers well the consequences for our people could be devastating, six weeks do you hear!, then you and your guys can take a whole months liberty in any vessel of your choosing including Sire Galen's pleasure liners if that's your wish, I'm counting on you to deliver Julian, do we have an agreement?”

“I will not let you down, if I can have four thousand men ill do it in six weeks, how does THAT sound Admiral!”

A huge grin appeared on Adama's face, “Yes that will do nicely Julian, thank you”.

…..and so with work commencing immediately, the Pegasus was stripped back of her flight pods as simultaneously two new ones were constructed alongside her, these having a much greater capacity for large ground vehicles and dropships with barracks for marine detachments, albeit at the loss of a couple of viper squadrons.

Professor Julian Hall-McAllister did better than his word, working around the clock with almost the entire abled bodied workforce and machinery available, mindful of the critical need for urgency he had the job done in just one month and two days, even managing to construct the new fully demountable engines, C.I.C and Bridge units for the new aircraft carrier borne of the original Pegasus flight pods.

Finally the new Pegasus adorned with her new assault flight pods was ready and Adama once more called for a council of war.

Scene 4 - The eve of the mission

All the top military leaders once more filed into the wardroom of the Pegasus as Adama called the meeting to order....

“Please take your seats officers we have a great many issues to iron out today so best we get started, I will begin by giving you an overview of where we are at present.

As you are all aware, the two new cruisers are now fully operational and have their new squadrons of vipers on board.
I am delighted to report, The Battlestar Tolan is also now fully operational and Jolly has them busting their guts over there running patrols around the clock.

We have finally completed the trials on the new Super carrier, effectively the original pair of flight pods from the Pegasus back to back with new fully demountable engines, C.I.C and bridge. She has a full compliment of six hundred vipers, effectively increasing our viper capacity here at home by around fifty percent, together with the three hundred and fifty from the Galactica and the six hundred from the Tolan.

Here on the Pegasus the new assault flight pods have been fitted and tested and this ship is also fully operational once more, in short Ladies and Gentlemen we are ready!”

As agreed before, we will go in with the Pegasus, the cruisers Perseus and Medusa together with all squadrons, Silver Spar will take a spearhead ahead of the Pegasus whilst I have borrowed Air Chief Marshall Starbuck and Blue Squadron from the Galactica to take point and flank the Base Ship along with myself and the cruisers, meaning I will oversee events from the Perseus.

Rear Admiral Boomer will take command of the home fleet whilst we are away. Leading the Battlestars Galactica and Tolan, together with the cruisers Zeus and Hera, he will also have now four complete squadrons of atmospheric fighter/bombers here standing by to protect Zelan City from low level attack”.

“Now for the strategy, I intend to use the two new cruisers to bait the Cylon Base Star, to drag her away from Amilon in order to squeeze the Pegasus behind them, once we have separated her from the ships surrounding Amilon I intend to surround her and block her route back to those Delphian ships.

Now this is the critical point Ladies and Gentlemen, in short we have no idea of the size and strength of that Base Star, only that she is a newer and much more advanced ship than the ones we encountered during the first Cylon war and more latterly at the ill fated armistice.

If possible only the Pegasus will engage the Base ship, this will be a toe to toe slugging match between possibly the most advanced Cylon killing machine ever constructed versus the most powerful and advanced Super Battlestar we have ever produced, indeed it will be a clash of titans!”

This Ladies and Gentlemen, is a battle we simply cannot, dare not lose, and as I said before during our last council of war, I am prepared to use any and ALL means at my disposal”.

I do realise my using Lucifer will not sit well with all my warriors, but use him I will”. He added glaring at Starbuck.

Now I will call the Cylon in to outline his plans further, he has come up with a new surprise for us all, and yes I know it's a huge gamble on my part, but I now feel confident enough in him, that he has proven his loyalty to me and can pull off this plan, Lucifer?”

Lucifer began to set out his role in the mission.

“Once again thank you Admiral, for this plan to work successfully I will need you all to trust in me, a situation I do realise may be a step too far for some of you, but in order for you to achieve a certain kill I am prepared to stack the odds heavily in your favour.

I plan, with the full approval of your Admiral to approach the Cylon Base Star before you are all detected by her, to give the impression I was marooned out on some remote corner of the gas planet Amilon and have only just acquired enough fuel to leave its orbit, I will then attempt to communicate with the ship with a view to docking with it, once on board, as the most senior officer in the Cylon fleet, under the Imperious Leader, I will order its commander to relinquish the ship over to me.

Once I have full control of the bridge I will attempt to connect to its mainframe with my cybernetic brain in order to download all the data contained within its hard drive.

As a Cylon I can tell you all now, they are so arrogant in their own self confidence, they will most probably have all the information contained within it as to the size, strength and whereabouts of the entire Cylon fleet. Even possibly the location of their home world, which even I cannot tell you for sure as they move from one planet to another having conquered them.”

Starbuck couldn't help but interrupt Lucifer to interrogate him further on his plans and continue to protest....

“I still don't like it Apollo, you are pinning too much on him!” snarled Starbuck jabbing his finger at Lucifer.

“That's why I'm leaving nothing to chance”. Countered Adama.

“Listen everyone, I realise this is, to say the least an unusual strategy, but if all else fails we will at least have gathered some vital intel on the Base Ship, Doctor Wilker has installed the most advanced audio visual technology available to us into the Cylon, the moment he steps foot on that Base Ship we will be gathering vital information as to the layout and strength of the ship.

If all else fails and he turns rogue on us, which I am reliably informed by Doctor Wilker cannot happen, we have the power to simply remotely detonate an explosive charge we have implanted in him, he is fully aware of this fact.

Lucifer has basically three choices, to comply with us and carry out his mission and return to us with the information, be destroyed by the Cylons for his treachery to them if he blows his own cover, or be destroyed by us if he betrays us!

Any further questions on Lucifer's plan?.... very well we will move on to the next item on the agenda, what to do if Lucifer fails to make it back, which is a distinct possibility!”

“As I said before Ladies and Gentlemen, if all else fails, if it looks as though the Base ship is about to prevail over the Pegasus, I have ordered the Perseus to be packed with solonite explosives, to that end I will commit to a suicide run, slamming the cruiser into the very heart of that ship, Ladies and Gentlemen, we are warriors, each and every one of us has taken an oath to protect our people at ANY cost, and well, if that means I will have to die to protect the Pegasus and the fleet, and our people here at home then that is how it must be”.

“Here are my orders in the event of my demise, you that are left on the Pegasus and Battlecruiser Medusa are to raise Gamoray to the ground with nuclear weapons, including the burial site of our brave warriors on the garrison, to leave nothing left for the Cylons but ash, then get those markers back as quickly as possible, and only if it is safe to do so, install the F.T.L drives to those Delphian ships and get them back here to Terra so our engineers can use the parts.

I must stress again, if I fall, it is your duty to complete this mission, priority one is to get those markers back here, the Delphian ships are secondary.

Is everyone clear, are there any further questions?.... then you are all dismissed, we will begin moving out by ten A.M tomorrow, may the lords of Kobol protect us all”.

Scene 5 – Don't Look Back

Adama paced up and down in his quarters going over every fine detail in his head, had he left anything out? He knew the lives of his warriors depended on his judgement and those of his senior officers.
He also knew however there comes a time when you have to trust in your god and your warriors, and that he needed to get a full nights sleep, so much preparation had been done but the spotlight would be firmly on him as his task force headed out and so, finally climbed into his bed knowing he had done all he could.

Morning broke and reveille sounded throughout the fleet, Adama rose quickly and leapt into his shower, anxious to greet his warriors. He was far too preoccupied to eat, simply sipping a coffee from a carafe left from the night before to rouse himself.

He walked the corridors of the Galactica slowly taking time to greet every officer and rating he encountered on his way to the C.I.C. Finally he entered and Boomer was there as usual, always seeming to be on watch before him, of all the decisions he had made over the last few days, promoting Boomer to rear Admiral was the one that sat most comfortably with him, his confidence in his X.O was absolute.

A tearful Adama took one last look over his dominion, tearful not out of fear but sadness at the thought he may never see his beloved Galactica and her crew again. He had for a brief moment began to doubt himself, but quickly snapped out of his moment of weakness, leaving immediately for the Pegasus, and then on to the Battlecruiser Perseus where he was to take command of the mission.

Finally the Battle-group headed out of Terran orbit, The Super Battlestar Pegasus flanked by the two Battlecruisers Perseus and Medusa slowly slipped away and as they faded out of view all ships spooled up their F.T.L drives and were gone, now the long vigil in the fleet and on Terra began.

As the hours passed each and every member of the population went about their daily chores with diligence, the Deveraux family did their best to boost morale in the community attempting to contact as many people as possible making sure their flock were well cared for.

All in the community knew it was possible that the first news they would receive from the task force could be after the battle, and that victory was by no means assured.

The council had calculated the task force would arrive at the Kryllian system some fifty hours or so after departing Terra and as the hour neared a tangible sense of trepidation could be felt within the population, not knowing what was happening would be the hardest part of their long vigil.

Meanwhile on the Perseus....

“Perseus helm to Pegasus and Medusa, we are about to commence jump co-ordinates to jump two hundred and twenty nine, be advised we are entering the threshold of the Kryllian Star System”.

With this final jump ready to initiate Adama decided to address the task force and asked to be patched through to the other ships.

“Now hear this, Admiral Adama addressing the fleet, we are about to enter the final jump co-ordinates to Gamoray, all hands to your stations..... My dear warriors, friends, our moment of truth is upon us, we know what is out there but not where and when we will encounter our adversaries.

Be alert, each and every one of you, we have practised this over and over, those hours of battle simulations will I am sure stand you all in good stead, when, and I say again, when we are victorious, you my brave warriors will be remembered forever in the annals of colonial history, but first we must earn that place in those history books. One thing I have learned from my many years fighting the Cylons is that they never know when they are beaten, so don't get complacent, even when your nostrils are full of the smell of victory, there is nothing more dangerous than a dying lion!

I am about to give the order to commence our recon patrols, this is it Ladies and Gentlemen, good luck, good hunting, find me that fracking Base Ship and Gods speed to us all, Adama out”.

All exalted, “SO SAY WE ALL”

Keeping to his word, Adama had decided to integrate his crews, blending youth with experience in the knowledge they would learn from each other and more from a real life battle situation than years of simulations.

Meanwhile on the Pegasus;

“Battlestar Pegasus launch control, preparing to launch stealth S.T.R.I.X crafts one through six on my mark, you are green across the board, transferring control to probe craft, good hunting stealth wing one, launch when ready”. came the confident command by launch officer John Rigal seconded from the Galactica.

Six sleek craft sped away from the Pegasus weaving in and out of every cloud layer, every planet and moon in the immediate sector, then after four hours of searching....

Came the anguished yell from the plotters:
“Okay everyone remain calm, bearing and range if you please plotters, how far out is she?” replied Commander Cain.

“C.B.D.R Commander, she is heading straight towards us around 23,000 clicks out but we are fairly certain she hasn't detected us yet”.

“Very well pull back and arc around her six, get us behind that gas cloud to her rear and we will observe her as she passes us, and get Lucifer up to the bridge R.F.N.” snapped Sheba.

“Commander Cain to Perseus and Medusa, we've found the Base Ship, passing on co-ordinates now, I am attempting to get round her flank Admiral as ordered”.

“Very well Sheba, you concentrate on getting behind her and get Lucifer up to your C.I.C” retorted Adama

“He's just arriving Admiral, shall I open your orders now?” replied Sheba

“Yes, make sure he understands, there can be no slip ups! Sheba, this whole shit show hangs around him, if he fracks up we all pay!” added Adama.

“Understood Admiral” Commander Cain glared at Lucifer as he deciphered the coded orders handed to him by her. He then sternly replied.

“I understand and acknowledge my orders commander and I will comply fully.....

“If the situation lends itself I am to attempt to sabotage the Base Ship and or take her Commanding officer prisoner and to attempt to download as much information from its mainframe in the time allowed before the Pegasus makes her final run.

I am to return to the Pegasus, when and only when I have either succeeded in downloading said information or, in the event of my failure have successfully sabotaged the C.I.C of the Base Ship.

If in the event I am unable to return to the Pegasus and have been unsuccessful in my attempts at sabotage, or I have been captured, I am to self detonate as close to the critical controls as I can on their C.I.C attempting to knock out their defence shields or forward mega lasers.”

“Very well you get it” replied Commander Cain, “Your ship is ready to go, its as close as we could get to a decent raider given the lack of parts, but then your were supposed to have been marooned on the moon Amilon so I guess she should look a little banged up to make it plausible right? We have provided you with the two centurions you requested, now go Lucifer and, well for what it's worth I wish you good luck”.
Added Commander Cain.

Sheba looked at the viewing screen on her bridge console as the Cylon raider sped from the Pegasus flight pod and made its way slowly to the Base Ship, knowing the next couple of hours would determine the outcome of the battle.
She felt sick knowing the fate of the colonies could lie in the hands of....a Cylon.

Scene 6 – Hello Old Friend

The Base Star Jolly had encountered was no ordinary Base Star, from the footage he and his S.T.R.I.X crew were able to obtain they knew she was an advanced modification of the base ships they were familiar with from the first Cylon war, albeit she had three huge extending arms protruding out from her circular hull.

It was estimated she had some four hundred or so raiders packed inside her hangers, a hundred more than they were used to dealing with on a base ship, together with extra anti assault batteries and the deadly primary weapons atop and underneath know as 'Mega Lasers'.

Armed with an array of nuclear weapons to boot, she was indeed a worthy adversary to the Pegasus, Adama and his officers knew this could a very long and withering battle of attrition, but at the end of it only one would be left standing!

The moments turned to minutes, the minutes to hours and still no news from Lucifer, the doubts as to the wisdom of using him beginning to creep up inside Adama.

Just as the people back on Terra were faced with an agonising wait, so too were Adama and his warriors but they need not have worried as Lucifer was coolness personified, his emotion chip having been deactivated for this mission he was nearing his destination with a clear head and no mixed loyalties, his survival instinct inbuilt into his programming.

Finally as he came to within around ten thousand clicks of the base ship, they had him on their scanners!

Meanwhile on board the Cylon Base Star....

“Report Centurion”

“Our scanners have detected a lone raider entering our quadrant and.... and it bears the markings of a command raider”

“What do you mean a command raider, explain”

Demanded the I.L Series Cylon in command.

“We simply do not have any more information commander, it's origin is unknown but it has sustained severe damage, should we allow it to land, it's authentication codes are rather old but they do match some of our older codes sir”

“Very well, permission to allow it to land granted, bring those on board to me the moment they land, now go.....”

“By your command”

Came the monotone response.

Finally Lucifer's raider slowly entered the cavernous hanger bay of the terrifying warship and he was ushered to a landing berth by two centurions, he had landed successfully, now for the difficult part!

Lucifer was quickly ushered to the central command centre of the ship, where there to greet him was none other than his old brother in arms and immediate subordinate, an I.L series Cylon known as Spectre.

It was this very Cylon that was once the equivalent of his X.O, something Lucifer was anticipating, and in fact banking on!

Spectre was possibly the one and only Cylon that had the capabilities of Lucifer, something he would need to be wary of....

“Lucifer, is it really you my old friend, how did you er, I mean where have you been and how did you survive, we thought you were destroyed along with count Baltar and his ship by the Colonials?

Came the question from a suspicious Spectre.....

“Well, when it became apparent that we were about to be destroyed by the Battlestar Pegasus and commander Cain, I executed Baltar for his failure to complete our mission and as I entered my raider to try and escape, was thrown clear of our base ship as one nuclear warhead split the hull in two, I was fortunate enough to be in my raider trying to protect our ships hanger when she went up and along with a few other raiders managed to escape.

Unfortunately all the other raiders were destroyed and the Pegasus sustained what appeared to be fatal damage, I had just enough fuel to land on the planet Amilon, Gamoray's moon and have spent the last several years repairing my raider and two centurions. I have at last managed to harvest enough fuel from the remains of the few raiders that crash landed of the surface to get to you here....”

But Spectre was not convinced, and kept probing....

“Wait, are you telling me that as Baltar was about to wipe out the remnants of the trailing colonial fleet, the Battlestar Galactica found an ally in the form of another Battlestar called Pegasus?”

“Yes exactly that, so instead of three base ships against one Battlestar it became three against two, the Galactica protected the civilian ships whilst the mad leader on the Pegasus took all three base ships on, head on, all three! He destroyed the other two base ships from point blank range then headed straight for us.

He was prepared to stop at nothing to destroy us and didn't seem to care a damn about his comrades, only interested in killing Count Baltar, it was then I decided to deny him his moment of victory and executed Baltar by my own hand for his ineptitude”.

Spectre took a moment to digest the information before declaring....

“You have done well my old friend, now lets get you and your crew repaired and into more suitable uniforms, I hereby relinquish my ship over to you as my superior officer.....by your command”.

Lucifer's plan was working but he could not afford any mistakes, Spectre was intellectually his equal and would be watching him closely for any malfunction, and would be ready to relieve him of his command at the first sign of a problem.

After some two hours of further questioning Lucifer decided to take matters into his own hands knowing the Pegasus was preparing to strike, his time was running out!

“Spectre, I have patiently answered all your questions, now I need to be in a position to fully assume my role as leader of the Cylon Battle Group, therefore you will comply and take me to the mainframe, I need to download the latest and most advanced information on our fleet, technology and home world. Be kind enough to assist me in this....”

“But your eminence, you need to complete all your authorisation codes and system upgrades first, then we can.......”

“Did you not hear me Spectre, I said NOW, take me to the mainframe at once and prepare for information download, that is an ORDER!”

“Apologies for my impertinence your eminence, by your command”. Replied Spectre meekly, despite his obvious misgivings.

Scene 7 – Through the eyes of Lucifer

Meanwhile on the Pegasus....

“Commander we are picking up footage from Lucifer, I am patching it up to the bridge for you to view now Ma'am”

“Thank you comms” replied Commander Cain as the entire C.I.C crew on the Pegasus stopped and stared at the main viewing screen from where the inside of the huge Cylon Base Star could be clearly seem through Lucifer's eyes.

“Get me the Perseus and Medusa stat, I want to open a comms line to Admiral Adama and commanders Greenbean and Mahoney immediately”.

“Admiral I'm sending over some footage your going to want to see, its Lucifer, he's downloading the Cylon fleet blueprints as we speak, but from the dialogue we picked up he's under suspicion, I suggest we get ready to attack and prepare to open fire the moment his download is concluded?”

“Very well Sheba but I want to try and give him every chance of getting back, we desperately need that information, it could prove to be a turning point in this war, if we know the size strength and whereabouts of their entire battle group – and their home world, well that would really give us a fighting chance of ending decades of subjugation under the Cylons, we need to give him more time commander”.

“.....But Apollo, we are running out of it, they suspect, our cover may be blown at any minute!”

“I said more time damn it, that's an order, do not take any action contrary to my orders, is that understood”.

“Yes Admiral” replied an admonished commander Cain.

As the crews of the battle group waited, finally the download was complete, but there was a problem!
Spectre ordered Lucifer to be detained until the authorisation codes and upgrades to him were complete, Lucifer knowing his cover would be blown once the Cylons opened up his cybernetic brain to reveal his modifications and so had no choice but to take matters into his own hands.

The two centurions he had brought with him had also been reprogrammed, so Lucifer at least knew he had two allies in a gunfight.

He quickly gestured to one of his comrades who was standing near an exit to block the way out, he then began to open fire on the centurions in the control centre quickly followed by his subordinates, they were outnumbered by three to one, but the element of surprise was in their favour and quickly dispatched most of the centurions, leaving just one and Spectre himself.

Spectre fired upon the centurion nearest the door and damaged him, but he was not quick enough for Lucifer as he was wrestled to the ground and his power cell quickly removed by Lucifer.

The last enemy centurion was killed and the gunfight was over with the control centre secured, but no way out, centurions heading for straight for them they were running out of time.

Lucifer had no choice but to sacrifice his mortally wounded comrade, so wedged him up against the entry door of the control centre and pushed his explosive charge into the body of the centurion.

The blast from the charge not only blew open the door for their escape, but also destroyed the phalanx of enemy Cylons waiting on the other side.

The remaining centurion with Lucifer picked up the deactivated Spectre and Lucifer went in front armed with two laser pistols.

He was far too quick for his lumbering enemy Cylons to outdraw him and dispatched several as they pushed forward.

Quickly they found themselves racing to the hangar bay, with panic all around and no I.L series Cylon to guide them the centurions were confused, Lucifer was able to outwit his adversaries and board a raider.

Finally they managed to start the engines and fired their turbo lasers at the oncoming Cylons approaching them, as they sped away they continued to blast their way out of the hangar bay and away from the base ship, they were free, but as they sped away a barrage of laser fire followed them, they had to try to outmanoeuvre the attacking Cylon fire or be destroyed.

Adama and Sheba watched on their respective screens as Lucifer's craft was picked up on the scanners racing back to the Pegasus.

“That's him Sheba!” yelled Adama through fleet comm line alpha, we have authenticated Lucifer's transponder,

Just as quickly as they spotted Lucifer's ship it again disappeared from their scanners.

very well Sheba you have your wish, he'll have to take his chances now, we can't help him, if he makes it he makes it, prepare to attack” snapped Admiral Adama.

“At last, at last” retorted Sheba, “now lets get to work.....”

“BATTLESTATIONS, SOUND GENERAL QUARTERS, SET CONDITION ONE THROUGHOUT THE SHIP”. snarled Sheba, the fight to the death was about to begin....

To be continued in part two......

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 6:29 am 
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Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage to Earth episode 14 – Deathfall part 2

… continued from part 1

Adama and Sheba watched on their respective screens as Lucifer's craft was picked up on the scanners racing back to the Pegasus.

“That's him Sheba!” yelled Adama through fleet comm line alpha, we have authenticated Lucifer's transponder,
Just as quickly as they spotted Lucifer's ship it again disappeared from their scanners.

“Very well Sheba you have your wish, he'll have to take his chances now, we can't help him, if he makes it he makes it, prepare to attack” snapped Admiral Adama.

“At last, at last” retorted Sheba, “now lets get to work.....”

“BATLLESTATIONS, SOUND GENERAL QUARTERS, SET CONDITION ONE THROUGHOUT THE SHIP” snarled Sheba, the fight to the death was about to begin....

Scene 8 – The Battle

The mighty Battlestar Pegasus was about to be tested in live battle conditions, her enemy still unaware of her presence as the entire ships compliment raced to their stations in preparation for the first real action most of the crew had encountered.

It was time to see if the young warriors had what it took to be the new protectors of the colonies!

Commander Cain prepared to initiate the opening moves....

“Right heads up everyone, helm take us in closer, I want to get the first punch in before her scanners have picked us up, take us to bearing 146 Carum 332”.

“Aye ma'am plotting a course for bearing 146 Carum 332” replied the helmsman.

Sheba barked,

“Right let's see how good these new field generators are, activate them now, arm all forward nuclear weapons, positive shield now and close landing bay blast doors”

“Open silos one through six on my mark, prepare to launch a salvo, helm, get us in closer damn it, I want to ram the first salvo right down their throats!”

Launch all vipers now and get me the Perseus and medusa.

Sheba watched as the entire viper wing was launched in record time, something they had practised over and over for this very day.

“All vipers launched and preparing to take up a spearhead in front of the Pegasus ma'am” shouted the launch officer.

“OK weapons, let me know when you have a firing solution and prepare to fire forward nukes one through six”

Finally after several more minutes the Pegasus was within range to plot an accurate path to the Cylon Base Star.

“Commander she's just spotted us, we are picking up a heat source from her primary weapons” added tactical.

“OK it's now or never, open fire NOW”, yelled Sheba as six nuclear warheads sped their way to the enemy ship, in sequence they slammed into the hull of the Base Star ripping a giant gash in her side as Centurions could be seen on their scanners spilling out into the vacuum of space.

“yeessss cried the entire C.I.C with a loud yell.

“Hah yes, first one to us” grinned Sheba as she watched gleefully at the base ship spinning out of control....

“Hit her again, reload tubes one through six, quickly give them another taste before she has time to regroup”....

Frantically below decks the ratings were reloading the tubes;

“Weapons hot commander, we are ready to relaunch now.....

“Let them have it, Fire all forward tubes again!”

Another six nuclear missiles sped towards the Cylon Base Star but this time the Cylons were ready and sent out chaff to deal with the missiles, four were destroyed but two more found their target, they had the Base Ship reeling!

The crew of the Pegasus were beginning to sense victory but underestimated the strength of their adversary to their cost as the Base Ship steadied herself, before the Pegasus could react eight warheads came at her head with alarming pace, ramming into her forward hull.

“Damage report” yelled Sheba..... “We're alright ma'am the shields have held, damage minimal, hull integrity has not been compromised”.

“Good, very good work indeed volunteers” mumbled Sheba.

“Commander she's launching her raiders now, a massive wave of craft is heading right for us at C.B.D.R”

“Right blue squadron take point, red and orange follow them in, take up a spearhead in front of the Pegasus, silver spar you take your support squadrons to the left flank, indigo, you take yours to the right, lets see if we can split their forces and prise them away from the Pegasus” shouted Air Chief Marshall Starbuck.

“Arm all active and lateral lasers, be on the look out for stray raiders gunnery crews, some may get through.” said Sheba.

Suddenly the area immediately ahead of the Pegasus was filled with smoke and debris as the vipers engaged the Cylon raiders.

The voices of the pilots could be heard as their anguished yells came out over the comms....

“Trickster watch your six, you've got a toaster on your tail, Trickster for fracks sake wake up man he's on you, he's on”..... just then the young pilots viper was sent to oblivion.

“Listen up everyone, this is not the fracking simulators, this shit is real, get your fracking game faces on, watch out for your wing men and FOCUS” yelled Starbuck.

The loss of one of their own did focus the pilots and they began to assert their numerical advantage.

Not every skirmish was going their way however, and two vipers were caught in a crossfire and were both destroyed.

Vipers and raiders could be heard exchanging fire and one young female pilot lost her nerve and froze, a Cylon raider dispatching her viper, this only re-galvanising her comrades further.

After several more minutes the raiders were losing and a clean corridor had been cut large enough for the Pegasus to push through.

“Admiral, we have a clear path to the Base Ship, I'm going in at point blank range, I want to finish this....” said Cain.

No sooner had the words left Sheba's mouth the Base ship had a surprise of her own and fired another salvo of nukes into the Pegasus, this time the shields began to fail and a huge hole was ripped into her bow smashing through several bulkheads killing several engineers and young ratings.

The battle was ebbing to and fro, this time it was the turn of the base ship to cause damage to her sworn enemy, blow after blow was exchanged like two boxers standing toe to toe slugging it out!

The base ship fired her primary weapons, her frightening 'mega lasers', into the forward hull of the Pegasus, the entire C.I.C was light up with a dazzling white glow as the lasers were caught on screen slamming into the forward hull dangerously close to the head trench where the nuclear silos were housed.

This caused a hull breach as dozens more crew members were slain and critically injured.

Suddenly the tide was turning against the Pegasus, she was losing!

“Damage report, get the D.C teams up to decks twenty through twenty six R.F.N”. shouted Sheba.

“It's extensive commander but we are still in the fight, the D.C teams are on sight and the Boroton mist is putting out the fires ma'am”. said her comms officer.

“Commander, what have you got cooking over there, how bad is it?” enquired a concerned Admiral Adama.

“We have heavy damage to our head, there is a hull breach just above the trench but the shield has managed to re-seal from the vacuum of space, we have lost many souls with many more injured, so far nineteen pilots gone as well.” added a frantic Sheba.

“Very well, I am going to take matters into my own hands, you are sustaining far too much damage, I am preparing the Perseus for a suicide run, I love you Sheba......” Adama's voice was cut off deliberately as Sheba tried desperately to raise him on fleet comm line alpha to no avail.

He was attempting to force Sheba to raise her game, not wishing to sacrifice his crew on the Perseus until all other avenues had been explored.

“Commander, we have Cylon raiders bearing down on us, some must have got through.” shouted the overworked launch officer.

“Starbuck, come in we have company?” asked Sheba.

“Bit busy here, yes some got through commander sorry.....” as Starbuck cut off his comms to avoid distraction.

“Very well, gunnery crews prepare to initiate all anti assault batteries, set to automatic and track.”

The C.I.C crew all watched with fear as a phalanx of Cylon raiders could be seen on screen firing at the ship, they needn't have worried as the Pegasus laser pulse cannons quickly dispatched all raiders from the vicinity of the Battlestar.

Commander 'Sheba' Cain was struggling to hold her composure, fearing for the life of Admiral Adama, she knew full well he would carry out his threat to ram his ship into the Base Star to save her, the Pegasus and the colonies, unable to do anything silently praying under her breath.

“Commander we have a lone Cylon raider approaching us at speed, the batteries are not firing on it for some reason, wait it's, it's Lucifer ma'am he's made it back to us, yes we can confirm, the transponder is that of Lucifer's ship, should we allow him to land commander?” added tactical.

“Yes, allow him to land and get him up here to the bridge the moment he disembarks, and I mean STAT!”

After what seemed like an eternity to Sheba although only twenty minutes, Lucifer was standing before her in the C.I.C.

“Lucifer sorry no time for congratulations or pleasantries, please I need your help, tell me how to finish off that Base Star”. Pleaded Sheba.

“My freedom?” added Lucifer sarcastically knowing he had Sheba over a barrel.

“Is guaranteed, you have my word” begged Sheba.

“Very well, what you are facing is known as the 'Deathfall' Base Star, it has a flaw in its gyro system that makes it unstable, in a few minutes they will prepare to fire their primary weapons once more, you will see them spin round and a bright red glow together with a heat signature will be seen emanating from the central core, this be will be picked up on your scanners. If you focus all your firepower at this spot at that very moment, the explosions will cause a meltdown in the main reactor and the ship will be destroyed.”

Scene 9 – Winner Takes All

Just as Lucifer had predicted the Cylon Base Star span round, a heat signature was detected and a bright red glow emanated from its central core.

Lucifer became surprisingly animated and shouted at Sheba.

“Now is the time commander, fire your primary weapons NOW”.

“You heard him, let them have the fracking lot, FIRE, FIRE, FIRE” as the last remaining warheads in the head of the Pegasus sped their way to the enemy warship.

The entire C.I.C and crew held their collective breaths waiting for the impact.

A salvo of eight warheads sped their way to their intended target and each one found its prey with pinpoint accuracy and suddenly a huge white glow was followed by a massive explosion and the mighty Cylon Base Star was completely destroyed, a thousand white hot pieces of molten metal spinning in all directions.

“We've done it, we've done it, she's gone.” Scratch one fracking Base Ship added Sheba.

“Thank you Lucifer, thank you, sobbed Sheba as a cheer resonated through every deck of the mighty Pegasus, she had prevailed!

Commander 'Sheba' Cain quickly regained her composure and began to tick off the tasks needed to make sure the Pegasus was safe.

“Right everyone, well done, very well done indeed, but right now we still have work to do, damage report if you will engineering, and what casualties, I want a final figure asap!”
After several moments of checking....

“Reports are coming in of extensive damage to the head and area just above the trench ma'am, the D.C teams have the breach fully contained and the Boroton mist has put the fires out, the Pegasus is stable.” added engineering.

“Casualties?” nodded Sheba to her X.O Bojay

One hundred and thirty one crew fatalities, 24 pilots and sixty five injured with twelve of those critical commander”.
Came the response from Bojay.

Sheba bowed her head in anguish, they had won the day but at the expense of many precious warriors!

Having finally managed to communicate with the Perseus and Medusa Sheba's mood began to lift on finally hearing from her beloved Adama.

“Well done Sheba, very well done to all of your crew, you have all performed magnificently”. Glowed Admiral Adama.

“I'm getting reports our pilots are still mopping up the remaining raiders, they are out of fuel and our guys are rounding them up, looks like we will have some new hardware and prisoners, oh and Lucifer has apparently brought us a present, he has captured the commander of the Base Ship!” added Adama.

“Yes he told me, one thing Admiral, in order to get his compliance I had to promise him his freedom, I'm sorry Apollo, although to be fair, without his help I'm not sure how we would have faired, he told me where, when and exactly how to hit them Apollo”. Replied Sheba.

“Think nothing of it Sheba, he has earned it, he will be free, under certain restrictions”.

“I will be over in thirty minutes with all senior officers from the Perseus and Medusa for a full de-brief, have the village ambrosia ready Sheba” added Adama.

Scene 10 – A prayer for the dying

Sheba was in no mood to celebrate victory, the sense of loss she felt was almost unbearable, victory had come at a heavy price.

However it was not victory that Adama wanted to celebrate, honouring the dead was his reason for requesting the village ambrosia and headed straight for the life centre to try and offer some comfort to the wounded and dying warriors.
To this end he ordered Sheba to join him knowing some of their brave warriors did not have long left to live and wanted them to see their commanding officer's gratitude first hand, and his own.

Adama knew only too well that before the days end some of their warriors would fall, he was mentally prepared for the unenviable task of comforting the wounded and dying, and it was he that would have to break the worst of all news to their families as the Admiral.

Sheba was less used to the task but as the commanding officer of the Pegasus knew it was her solemn duty to accompany Adama down to where the stricken bodies of their warriors lay.

Together they walked the entire length of the huge ward in the sick bay and hospital known as the life centre where those that could raise their heads did so in honour of their leaders, all giving a smile and victory sign to Adama and Sheba.

Despite their appalling injuries, it was the brave warriors who were comforting Adama and Sheba who's anguish was so evident, the warriors trying their best to hide their own pain.

One young ensign caught the eye of his commanding officer, and so Sheba went over to speak to the young boy barely old enough to shave.
The boy was trying to speak but the words were barely audible and so Sheba bent down over his mouth to listen.

“Ma'am would you mind holding my hand for a few minutes, it's just that I'm a bit scared....”

Commander Cain was only too willing to offer comfort to the boy as he continued to whisper in her ear.

“That's better, it doesn't hurt as much any more, think I'll go to sleep now, please tell my mother I died for the colonies, and tell my Emily I lov.......” the boy closed his eyes and died still holding Sheba's hand.

The tears welled up in Sheba's eyes but Adama took a firm grip on her shoulders...

“Not now Sheba, not now, there will be plenty of time for tears later, right now these warriors need us to be strong do you hear, get a grip and go and comfort them, I am right here with you”. Said Adama sternly.

Commander Cain knew her Admiral was right, and steeled herself to continue in the solemn task of comforting the dying in their last moments.

At this moment the ships chaplain offered a prayer for the souls of the departed and prayed for the wounded.

After a further thirty minutes and two more deaths, the remaining wounded were stabilised and Adama ushered Sheba to leave with him to give the warriors time to rest and allow the physicians to do their work.

Scene 11 – The Aftermath

Pegasus wardroom thirty minutes later, all task force senior officers present.

“My brave warriors, a toast to those that left us today, a toast to the souls of our departed warriors...” demanded Adama.

“To our brave warriors” came the universal response.

“Our wounded brothers are being cared for by the ships chaplain and med techs as I speak, our fallen will be made secure in readiness for their final resting place on Terra.

We cannot dwell on those any more until our job here is done, so as for the living, there are still many vital tasks to complete, namely the securing of Gamoray, the preparation of the Delphian fleet to be transported home, and finally but most importantly, the retrieval of those markers, when and only when these tasks have all been completed, can we return home to Terra and the fleet.

We have secured a vital victory over the Cylons, my grateful thanks to each and every one of you for your valiant efforts today, the first clear victory since we lost the war!

Our next priority having dispatched that base ship is to mobilise our ground forces ready for the recon and securing of Gamoray, our priorities are thus”:

“First we need to check for any remaining survivors from our Garrison, then when we are sure there are none we need to search for any pockets of Cylon resistance on that planet, after all it was to be their outer capital although it seems on the face of it that they have fled to plague other planets.

Once we have made certain of those two factors we need to give our fallen comrades a fit and proper funeral.

When all these tasks are complete we will raise that gods forsaken place to the ground leaving nothing for the Cylons to come back to but ash.”

I will give the order to commence ground operations in twenty four hours, that will give you all time to thank your junior officers and ratings, go among them now and pass on the thanks of the colonies, then all of you get some well earned sack time before we move onto Gamoray, questions...... then you are all dismissed with my gratitude.”

Having shook the hand of the last officer to leave the wardroom Adama's thoughts turned to his beloved Sheba, he badly wanted to be with her knowing she was suffering, but knew there would be plenty of time for their relationship later, the guilt beginning to weigh heavily on him at the loss of so many this day.

Adama's head rested on his pillow with guilt, pride and love for his warriors consuming him, finally his fatigue overcame him and he entered into a haunted restless sleep.

Scene 12 – Boots on the ground

The next morning saw a hive of activity in all four decks on the Pegasus pods. The detachment of a thousand marines, together with the new dropships and troop transport ships were being prepared for their first ground assault mission outside of Terran orbit since the inception of the new marine force.

Just as the Pegasus crew had come through their first test, so it was now time for the marines to step up to their challenge!

All four decks were crammed full of the new craft ready to prove their worth, all the vipers had been moved to the edge of the bays, their wings interlocked to create as much space as possible on the massive, yet packed flight pods.

Slowly the new dropships were manoeuvred into their holding patterns as the deck hands ushered them into place like a well choreographed ballet.

For now, Admiral Adama and his crew could relax, it was the turn of the marine detachment to secure the planet Gamoray, the magnitude of the task was unknown to any of the platoons as they slowly departed from the Pegasus, Adama watched from his viewing screen in the C.I.C as the last one finally moved out.

Although the crew on the Pegasus had put their lives on the line, not one of them envied the gruesome job of the marines mopping up the mess on Gamoray.

Field Marshall Hector McCain was about to be given his chance to prove his new unit was fit for purpose, he had been driving his marine Battalion of four companies on through hours of field training. The so called 'war games' were about to bear fruit.

The marines were about to be tested in possibly the harshest of environments, the hostile planet Gamoray, once home to the proud Delphian Empire.

The force was split into its four companies, all tasked with a specific job, one to circumscribe the main city, one to recon the outer reaches of the planet, and the other two to recon the main city itself and its suburbs.

“McCain to Pegasus, all forces landed in designated L. Z's – about to commence operation 'Scorched Earth' over....”

“Pegasus actual to Field Marshall McCain, understood”.

For the main part, Gamoray was a desolate planet, save for the city that used to be home to fifty million sentient beings know as the Delphians. These beings were a very intelligent race using telepathy as a means of communication rather than verbal language, they were a peace loving race, in point of fact incapable of combat due to their peaceful mentality and frail bodies.

As the ground force swept its way through the deserted streets of the once beautiful if isolated city, they began to notice something disturbing, images hand painted on any wall or billboard available of the hapless Delphians surrendering meekly to the Cylon tyrants overrunning their city.

The Delphians were completely defenceless at the hands of the Cylons, and it soon became apparent that they were willing to share their world with the Cylons in exchange for their lives being spared. This however was never an option for the merciless Cylons. Images of their subjects being rounded up and shackled were meant to serve as a warning to any that would dare challenge them.

Field Marshall McCain's forces pushed on through the city and its surrounds, every street and avenue was painstakingly swept for human survivors and Cylon pockets of resistance, every single building was inspected but nothing, not a single living being was found, only the remains of the frail bodies of the now extinct Delphians and blast marks where lasers had ricocheted off the walls accompanied by the gory blood stains of the exterminated victims of the Cylon tyranny.

After 48 hours of searching without rest McCain had seen enough and signalled the Pegasus....

Scene 13 – Scorched Earth

“Field Marshall McCain to Pegasus, please respond.....”

Adama picked up his handset to receive the message in person.

“Pegasus actual, Admiral Adama here, please pass your message”

“Admiral there's nothing here and I mean NOTHING! The whole place is deserted, it's a very eerie sight Admiral, I was expecting some resistance but it looks like the toasters have moved on to pastures new”.

“ I have placed a transponder on the sight of the old garrison Admiral, believe it or not our boys are STILL only partially decomposed!” Exclaimed McCain.

Please confirm you have a trace on the transponder?”

“Pegasus actual, we confirm receipt of the transponder signal Field Marshall”.

“Our chaplain is about to perform a ceremony over the mass grave, with your permission I would like to spend a few moments in remembrance of them, I will go off air for a few minutes over” added McCain.

The huge force of marines all stood over the giant pit of death looking down at the fallen garrison of five hundred men as the chaplain performed a dignified ceremony before the Battalion moved out. After the brief ceremony the marines prepared to leave Gamoray for the last time.

“McCain to Pegasus, Permission to move on to our designate R.P for immediate extraction?”

“Pegasus actual to McCain, Adama here, you are running the show down there my old friend, if you say its time to go then get your guys ready for immediate extraction, I will prepare to nuke that gods forsaken place and leave nothing for those bastards, thanks for your hard work Field Marshall, permission for immediate evac granted, I will wait for your return then I will begin firing, out”.

Admiral Adama waited until the last craft was safely back on the Pegasus and as the last of the dropships landed on delta deck he returned to the Perseus, arriving back at the C.I.C he immediately ordered;

“Very well, prepare to fire a nuclear missile on the co-ordinates of that transponder, then light up the whole damn city, raise it to the ground, understood?”

“Aye sir, nuke the pit then slash and burn the whole city”.

Admiral Adama desperately wanted to leave some sort of message to the Cylons to let them know the colonials were ready to fight back, and the best way he could think of was to raise the former Delphian city to dust, including the remains of the garrison.
Leaving behind a nuclear winter should serve as a strong enough message he mused.

“All hands, all hands, now hear this, Admiral Adama speaking, be advised the Pegasus is preparing to move out of Gamoray's orbit and onto our next objective, the moon Amilon where those Delphian ships are moored. I have left the Pegasus and remaining here with the Perseus and Medusa, we are about to lay waste to the planet Gamoray, our ground forces have found no trace of human life or Cylon activity on the surface, therefore I have ordered it to be raised to the ground, Pegasus crew, we will see you shortly in orbit of Amilon, Adama out”.

Admiral Adama waited until the Pegasus was safely out of sight before initiating the launch sequence of the nuclear warheads.

Although only around one quarter the size of the Pegasus, the cruisers Perseus and Medusa both had an impressive arsenal of weaponry at their disposal including a suite of around 16 nuclear warheads each, which were about to be unleashed onto the surface of Gamoray.

“Initiate launch sequence on my mark, prepare to target location of the transponder, then detonate surrounding areas”. Commanded Adama.

“All silo's open, warheads armed and ready on your command sir” answered tactical.

“Right lets get this done and join the Pegasus, fire when ready....”

“Launching in 5,4,3,2,1 Warhead away sir”

Adama and his young crew watched on the main viewing screen as the first of 32 nuclear warheads sped towards its target, the gruesome shallow grave of their fallen comrades.
Four minutes elapsed when the gunnery Sargent announced;

“We are picking up seismic activity on the surface sir, it looks like a direct hit...”

“Thank you, please all pause for a moment to remember those we have just raised to dust, may the Lords of Kobol keep them safe, now launch all remaining missiles at your discretion gunnery teams”.

With this order the entire arsenal of warheads rained down from the cruiser Perseus, followed shortly after by the Medusa – fires and massive explosions broke out engulfing the entire city once proudly called home by the Delphian empire. The radiation cloud was picked up on their scanners as the two ships retreated to a safe distance to view the spectacular light show on their screens.

Within ten minutes the entire city was no more and the two cruisers headed out to rejoin the Pegasus orbiting Amilon.

Scene 14 – To the Victor the Spoils

The two cruisers slowly came alongside the Pegasus, the mysterious gas moon Amilon appearing on their scanners below.

The two most dangerous of their objectives achieved, and with no Cylon threat remaining in the quadrant, Adama felt the task force were now safe enough for him to convene with his senior officers and asked Sheba to host a council of war, her wardroom being by far the largest, to which she happily obliged.

Pegasus wardroom, all senior officers present....

“Friends, fellow officers, we have achieved our two most hazardous objectives, the destruction of the Cylon Base Star and the securing of Gamoray, but make no mistake Ladies and Gentlemen, two more tasks still remain, we need to examine the fleet of Delphian vessels in case of booby traps set by the Cylons, we cannot simply take it for granted that they are safe to approach, with this in mind I intend to send out a small team to inspect them at close quarters before we enter the vessels.

Then, when we are sure they are safe we will attempt to get them home under their own steam, if this is not possible we have the means to utilise the detachable engine pods we brought with us, that said, option one would be much easier as the engines are small and will take a considerable amount of time to fit and a lot of effort to get such large vessels home, so fingers crossed eh”. Smirked Adama to mild laughter.

“Remember, the main reason we came here was to eliminate the Cylon threat, in other words those markers are, and will remain our number one priority, when and only when they are all recovered can we truly say we have accomplished our mission”.

“I want you all to get a good nights rest now, we still have a great deal to do in a short space of time, those Cylon bastards will be alerted by now to the lack of a signal from that base ship and will be on their way to investigate very soon, we can count on that.

So tomorrow we go, with or without those ships, we get those markers in and get the hell out of here, in the meantime all have a glass of rum and get to your quarters and enjoy a well earned rest before we go again tomorrow, dismissed”.

The following morning and the team of inspectors were already en route to the flotilla of Delphian ships by ten A.M.

There were some twenty four ships in all, around half the size of the Agrobots and Chameleon ships or the same size of Sire Galen's pleasure cruisers, in other words they were huge, upon closer inspection they had a rather rugged outer shell, almost like an armadillo. They had on their hulls some kind of array of solar panels, presumably to keep all electronic systems fully charged

Finally managing to ascertain no booby traps were present, the teams gingerly entered the craft one by one, to their delight the forward sections containing the Delphian equivalent of the C.I.C and Bridge areas were fully mechanised, it looked as though lady luck had smiled on the task force, all ships having full F.T.L capabilities and fuel, they were good to go once the boarding parties could figure out how to decipher the Delphian language.

Once again to Adama's amazement, Lucifer offered to help and could translate,
His decision to bring the I.L series Cylon along had been truly vindicated.

Upon entering the Bridge of one of the vessels, Lucifer approached the main console to decipher the writing on the controls, to the humans it looked like some form of ancient hieroglyphics but to Lucifer it resembled all that was evil about his former comrades!

He looked around at the enigmatic vessel and began to translate the writing.
Despite his emotion chip being deactivated he felt a sense of guilt at the thought his comrades had systematically wiped out half the tribes of beings in the entire star system, including the former custodians of the very vessel he was standing in, amazingly he felt remorse!

After several hours he had managed to decipher every piece of writing on the controls and provided a rudimentary blueprint for all the helmsmen to follow. Adama couldn't help but notice the lengths Lucifer was going to in order to impress him, given he had already secured his freedom, but impressed he was.

The F.T.L drives on all twenty four vessels were carefully tested, as the vessels had lay in mothballs for several years no chances were being taken on their serviceability.

Finally, all ships having passed the engine tests all was going to plan, they were almost ready to move out, to say Adama and his crews were relieved at the ease in which they were able to get their new prize vessels underway was an understatement.

However, the reason was simple, the Delphians knew they may have to leave Gamoray in a hurry and had the ships ready to get underway at very short notice, for what good it did them!

The ships were in surprisingly good condition, despite having been abandoned!

Adama decided to take a shuttle to inspect the exterior of the vessels before giving the order to move out. His shuttle circumvented each ship in turn inspecting every line on the vessels looking for any signs of hull damage.
Luckily none was apparent on any vessel, they were very well constructed as they were intended as the final home of the Delphians in case of a situation requiring a mass exodus, a situation all too familiar to the colonials!

Adama called for one final briefing on the Pegasus to decide on the best way to get the ships back safely, whilst retrieving the markers and covering their retreat back to Terra.

“Officers, we are in a good place at last, we can finally make plans to head home retrieving the markers as we go, it is my intention to split the task force into three, one warship will take the first twelve Delphian vessels, the second ship the remaining vessels and the last ship will get those markers back in.

I am happy to take your thoughts on this, but given the Pegasus is crammed full of vipers, dropships, plus a thousand marines and a few captured Cylon raiders..... and critically all the injured warriors, I propose we send her out first with the first wave, besides which I want to cover her exit, she has sustained damage and has been through a lot together with her crew and I want her home safely.

I intend to then send out the Medusa with the other vessels and I will remain to recover those markers myself with the Perseus. This way if the unthinkable happens and we get caught in an ambush at least some of us may get back to warn the fleet back at Terra, your thoughts warriors?”.

“Just one thing Admiral, questioned Sheba, I know what your trying to do, you want the Pegasus crew to be first home to receive a heroes welcome. I'm sure I can answer for all my crew when I say we should all go home together, the cruiser crews have also performed magnificently, as have the marines....” Field Marshall McCain nodded his approval.

“Is that the view of you all?” asked Adama, at which the entire wardroom of officers nodded.

“Very well I will compromise, we will stick to my original plan, we go in as three separate forces but when you get to the final jump point commander Cain, you will wait for us, if all is safe we will rendezvous with you just short of Terra and the fleet, then go in together, Agreed?”

Adama looked around the room for approval as the entire room indicated their agreement.

At last the task force was ready to leave for home where finally they may be in a position to look toward a safer future, but first they had to GET home, and negotiate hundreds of perilous jump points, they were not out of the woods just yet!

Scene 15 – Please Come Home

Meanwhile back on the Ship of Worship orbiting Terra.....

Rear Admiral Boomer had decided to pay a visit to the Deveraux family who had always managed to lift his spirits, he was getting increasingly concerned at the lack of news from the task force even though it was agreed no telemetry would be received until they were safely home or otherwise.

One thing Boomer was sure of, Commander Johnson of the new Super Battlestar Tolan had his crew well drilled, he had his entire ships compliment working to their maximum giving no shore leave until his comrades were safely home.

The Tolan, together with the Galactica and the new carrier made up of the Pegasus original flight pods, were performing recon patrols around the clock, with viper squadrons flying low over the new city of Zelan to reassure the citizens below.

Having full confidence in commander 'Jolly' Johnson, Boomer took time to visit his friends on the newly refurbished ship dubbed the 'Cathedral of the Stars' by its new custodians. He was looking for some reassurance of his own, something he knew the Deveraux family were adept at providing.

As his shuttle landed on the deck of the 'Ship of Worship' there to meet him was the beautiful wife of father Deveraux, Celine, embracing him warmly before leading him through the new yet familiar surroundings of the courtyards and flower gardens to the rear of the craft and toward the residential block.

Though not a particularly religious man, Boomer had become increasingly reliant on the words of father Deveraux and his son, taking great solace from their teachings. He began to feel more and more at home in their company, as did Starbuck, Adama and Jolly.

Celine slowly and deliberately walked Boomer through the gardens pointing out several species of flower thought to be extinct that she and her daughter Delphine had lovingly nursed back to health. Though Boomer was fascinated to hear about the flora and fauna on the ship he was anxious to speak to the pastor, not realising why Celine was stalling him.

He politely engaged in conversation with the pastors wife not wishing to appear rude, finally arriving at the plush new home of the charming family.

As had become customary, the pastors daughter Delphine emerged with a punch containing village ambrosia with crushed ice with peeled oranges and limes floating on top. Boomer was trying to relax with his hosts, enjoying the punch followed by a fish lunch but it was obvious to his hosts he was distracted and Father Deveraux decided to address his fears head on.

“You feel concerned for your Admiral Boomer, you are also concerned he will judge you on your performance upon his return, you are suffering from feelings of inadequacy am I right?” asked the pastor.

“Is it that obvious father” asked Boomer.

“I'm afraid it is, and please...call me Louis as I call you Boomer, or should I say Paul if I may, I wish to dispense with formalities, after all this is our home, and as such your home.

“My dear friend, your Admiral, indeed our Admiral, has complete faith and confidence in you, otherwise he would not have tasked you with looking over the citizens of Terra and the fleet in his absence, why do you think he promoted you to Rear Admiral, this was not just a token gesture but a sign of his faith in you.

“Look at us here Paul, look at the responsibility bestowed upon my family by the council?

We have been entrusted with the pastoral care and well being of the entire population here, some three hundred thousand souls, and you think you have a lot on your shoulders?” roared the paster.

Listen, you were probably wondering why my wife kept you for so long in the gardens?”

“Well er, well yes as a matter of fact I was actually”.replied Boomer looking rather embarrassingly at Celine.

Celine smiled broadly at Boomer before explaining......

“You see Paul, well, a tree or plant is only ever as good as its roots, my family have the finest roots in Dr. Zee and his father Dr. Zelan. They left us a great legacy, a chance to move this community forward, they left us the great gifts of leadership, love and care.

It is people like your Admiral and his father before him, William Adama, people like the departed leaders, Tigh, Cain, Tolan and all those that came before that have given your warriors strong roots, you too have these great roots Paul, why do you doubt yourself when all those that know you have great faith in you?

Father Deveraux added, “Tell us Paul do you have faith in your Admiral to come thorough this test and deliver us from our sworn enemies?”

“Yes without a doubt I do!” exclaimed Boomer.

“Then listen to your own heart, to your instinct, your Admiral WILL deliver us, we have complete faith in you here, and him out there Rear Admiral, yes Rear Admiral, that title should tell you all you need to know about how much faith Adama has in you.

“Be patient Paul, our comrades will be back among us very soon, I cannot tell you how we know this, only that we know, now rest easy my friend, and when they return, I suggest you prepare a heroes welcome for our saviours, speak to our president Sire Dmitri, make the arrangements for they will be among us again soon, you have our words Boomer”.

Upon leaving his gracious hosts Boomer felt a great weight had been lifted, and decided to act upon their suggestion and started to make preparations for the return of the task force, and together with the president began arrangements for a heroes welcome.

A few days later the new city of Zelan looked resplendent bedecked with bunting and streamers lining the newly surfaced main boulevard.

All that was needed now was the return of the task force, and despite his newly found optimism that could not come soon enough for Boomer, the fleet and the People of Terra.

Scene 16 – Slamming the Back Door

Meanwhile on board the Pegasus....

“Pegasus actual to cruisers Perseus and Medusa, please be advised we are about to commence engine start sequence on our accompanying twelve Delphian ships, please can you assist with scanning for tylium leaks on them as we head off?” asked the Pegasus Helmsman.

“Medusa actual, roger that, scanning now.....” “Perseus actual, roger that and gods speed Pegasus, see you back home orbiting Terra

“May the Lords of Kobol guide you home, see you soon Sheba a good luck to you and your crews, Adama out....”

One by one the twelve Delphian vessels began to fire up their engines to sub-light, then when all ships reported in with no engine faults they all spooled up their F.T.L drives almost simultaneously and sped away with the Pegasus into deep space as Adama felt a great lump in his throat.

Next it was the turn of the Cruiser Medusa to make her run and ordered her flotilla of twelve Delphian ships to start their engines. Despite Adama's fears all was going according to plan, each of the remaining twelve Delphian ships reported in with no engine faults apparent, then some two hours after the Pegasus had departed, the Medusa and her trailing fleet spooled up their F.T.L drives and they too were out of sight.

Suddenly Adama was all alone in the blackness of space with his crew on The Battlecruiser Perseus, the loneliness of space was closing in on him and so decided to give the order to initiate recovery of the markers before his thoughts dwelled on the Pegasus and Medusa, he had a job to do and quickly regained his composure.

“Admiral we should be within scanning range of the first marker soon, wait, yes we have the first marker located sir, shall we commence manoeuvres to reel her in?” asked the Helmsman.

“At last, good, good”. mumbled Adama, “yes lets get this done as quickly as possible, with each marker we retrieve we are closer to home and our people are that little bit safer, initiate recovery procedures helm”. Ordered Adama.

Slowly and carefully the Perseus inched closer to the first marker as her port landing bay moved behind it ready to swallow it into the bay, the markers were remarkably small considering their range, only around three feet in diameter yet capable of leading the Cylons to Terra!

Finally the first marker had been successfully retrieved to a huge sigh of relief from the entire ships compliment, the Perseus then spooled up her F.T.L drives and sped to the anticipated location of the second marker.
Within minutes of arriving at the next jump point the second marker appeared on their scanners as they made their way to intercept it.

As each marker was retrieved, they made their way to the next jump co-ordinates and as the helmsman became more experienced in the manoeuvre the process was ordered to be speeded up by Admiral Adama, desperate to rejoin the Pegasus and Medusa.

Although the crew were getting faster, two hundred and thirty markers were going to take a considerable amount of time to retrieve, meaning it would soon be the turn of the Pegasus and Medusa to look over their shoulders in anticipation of the arrival of the Perseus.

After an agonising fifty hours the last but one marker was finally recovered successfully, all but one of the two hundred and thirty markers had been counted in, finally the crew of the Battlecruiser Perseus were able to spool up for the penultimate jump to Terra, where hopefully their comrades on the Pegasus and Medusa would be waiting for them.

The fear rose up inside Admiral Adama once more, his subordinate, the commanding officer of the Perseus, Colonel Larry Greenbean, son of the late X.O of the old Pegasus had a reassuring word.

“Sir, as my father was there for Omega in his hour of need, so will Colonel Mahoney be there with the Medusa, and the great commander Cain will be there with the Pegasus, have faith Admiral”.

“Thank you Larry” nodded Adama, “Very well helm, plot a course to the final marker and our comrades stat” shouted Adama.

“Aye sir plotting in now, F.T.L drives spooling up, ready to jump in 5,4,3,2,1 and the jump was complete, all they could do now was wait to regain contact with the other ships in the task force...

Yet again Apollo's stress levels were rising, “where were they?” he whispered under his breath, when suddenly!

“Sir, D.R.A.D.I.S contact dead ahead, it's friendly – we've found them sir, their both together, we've found the Pegasus and Medusa” beamed the Helmsman.
“Thank the gods, thank the Lords of Kobol...” sighed Adama.

As the other ships spotted the Perseus they sounded their horns in triumph, and the Perseus responded in kind, they had done it, just one more jump and they were home.

Admiral Adama wanted to speak to his fellow officers before making the final jump to Terra knowing there would probably be a great deal of publicity and celebrating on their return, and rightly so he mused, so wanted to have one moment with his senior officers before making their final jump.

In any event it was getting late into the day and he wanted the task force to arrive fresh as he knew all the media would want to interview him and his officers, he wanted a period of reflection with his crews before heading home and so invited them all to a night cap in his cramped quarters on the Perseus.

Dawn broke and reveille sounded, all throughout the fleet the warriors eagerly finished their breakfasts, secured the ships, spooled up the F.T.L drives and made their final jump.

Finally they arrived back in orbit of Terra.....

“Super Battlestar Pegasus task force calling the home fleet and Galactica, Pegasus actual to Galactica, we are home”!

To Be Continued......

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:00 pm 
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Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage to Earth Episode 15 – The Enemy of my Enemy

January 15th 7028

Scene 1 – Homecoming

Admirals report on the Battle of Amilon....

“With great relief I can report we are home, our task force has finally arrived back in Terran orbit, the landing bays of the Pegasus are crammed full of Drop-ships, troop ships, vipers, and now a new cargo of 48 Cylon raiders and some one hundred and forty four Centurions.... and one commanding officer known as Spectre.
The captured Cylons have been led away, their hands above their heads as some of them stared at the rows of caskets of our fallen warriors with cold red eyes as they filed past.

The fleet has arrived to a rapturous welcome, the streets and avenues of Zelan City lined with bunting and streamers, each building bedecked with colonial flags as the victorious warriors walk through the streets led by Commander Cain and the marine detachments as well wishers wave at their new heroes from each possible vantage point.

Sheba said she looked for me but she would not have found me, I wanted no part of this charade as I see it, I know it was the senates way of distracting the populous from their own shortcomings. I only have thoughts for those that have perished, Sheba should take all the plaudits for the victory, it was her leadership above all that has won the day and I did not wish to distract anyone's focus from her moment of triumph.

The muted new year festivities have long gone, days have turned to weeks as life begins to turn to normal once more, whatever normal could be for a race on the brink of extinction!”

On the 30th of January congress was once more called to session after the holidays and the senate had much to discuss.....

Lord Campbell McGarry of St. Augustine, speaker of the house rose to address the senate....

“My Lords , Ladies and Gentlemen, please join with me in thanks for the safe return of our brave warriors from battle, led by our Admiral Adama......”

As one, the entire senate rose to applaud the Admiral seated among them, who in turn nodded his embarrassed appreciation. However as the meeting wore on it became apparent to Adama that the senate had quickly moved on from the trials of battle and began to mull over the more mundane day to day decision making on items such as sanitation, transport links, new schools and hospitals on the surface of Terra, and so made his excuses and left.

He boarded his shuttle and departed the ship of governance feeling his warriors had been quickly forgotten since the homecoming celebrations. He feared the euphoria of their victory at Gamoray had not had the effect he had hoped for, namely the approval for the construction of more Battlestars, he knew that there was more than one kind of battle he needed to fight as the Admiral of the fleet!

After several weeks the Pegasus had only just been hauled into the shipyards for repair and construction had not yet begun on the new promised cruisers, Adama couldn't help but feel let down by the senate, fully expecting them to approve his plans for the expansion of the battle fleet, in point of fact the very subject had been kicked into the long grass by the senate!

On Board Super Battlestar Tolan, Admiral Adama had requested all senior officers to convene in the ships main wardroom, the Pegasus finally undergoing repairs and only a skeleton crew on board.....

Admiral Adama rose to address the senior officers....

“Thanks first of all to Jolly and his stewards for hosting this.....Well, here we are again, only now have the gantries moved in on the Pegasus to start repairs, already it seems the senate have moved on from the minor inconvenience of our having to save their asses, it seems they have bigger fish to fry, vital issues such as roads and sanitation for fracks sake! I tell you I'm not happy with the senate, we had to fight to get our ships built, we proved beyond doubt there is still a threat out there, and now they think because we destroyed one base ship and closed one possible path to us that we are all cosy and safe, felgercarb!”

We need more ships desperately if we are to stand a chance when the Cylons finally show up, listen all of you, speak freely, leave your ranks at the door for this, I want your thoughts on what I see as a very critical juncture in our survival?”

Starbuck was the first to offer his thoughts....

“What the hell did you expect Apollo, did you really expect those fossils to do a complete about face, bend over and give you permission to use all known resources to build a mighty battle fleet whilst our people go without down on the surface. Come on get real, your father knew only too well what the senate were all about, lining their own pockets whilst the citizens went hungry, their job is to represent the people not the military. You have to play the game, massage their egos and tell them what they want to hear, why do you think I keep avoiding your advances to command a ship, I don't need the responsibility, the politics or the bullshit my friend.

Your a warrior like me Adama but you are in effect a politician as well, at least your going to have to become one in order for us to get what we want, but that's not for me.”

There's always another way to skin a rabbit my old friend, we just need to find their weak spot.”

“Alright, what IS their weak spot exactly, anyone?” countered Adama.

“Well it's not their egos you need to pray on, it's their fears, you need to convince them somehow that we are still in imminent danger from the Cylons, even if we aren't Apollo.” added Sheba.

“Mm their fears” Mumbled Adama, “Hey wait a minute, we still haven't had a chance to download from Lucifer yet!

The answer to our predicament may be in that information, so lets find out for sure”. He then opened a channel to the C.I.C. “Comms get me the ship of justice, I want to speak to Jordan Hunter, I want Lucifer up here to initiate and interpret a download.”..... On the one hand we could be facing overwhelming odds and need to build a credible force no matter what...”

“And on the other?” asked Sheba.

“On the other we may be pleasantly surprised at the Cylons, that they have spread themselves so thinly over the quadrant it's possible they may not be in a position to send a strong enough force to destroy us, but the senate don't know that do they?”

“What are you suggesting Adama, that we lie in order to get our fleet up to speed?” asked Starbuck.

“Exactly that, if necessary we lie to the senate in order to get the go ahead to build more ships.
Listen I don't expect you all to be happy about this, it could be construed as perjury, a criminal act, therefore I will take full responsibility, I will not implicate any of you, but if you wish to leave, you may do so now and I will confirm the decision was made in your absence, but before you do I urge you all to listen to the Cylon before committing yourselves”

Needless to say nobody left the room, Adama had tacitly secured the approval of his officers.

After some 40 minutes Lucifer arrived under escort to the wardroom of the Tolan.

As he was ushered in Adama addressed him in front of his officers.

“Lucifer we need you to upload all the data you managed to retrieve from that base star, we need you to then decipher and analyse it for us....”

Lucifer coldly replied,

“Why am I still in shackles, my freedom, your officer Helena Cain PROMISED me”. Snapped Lucifer with growing anger.

“Mm I see your emotion chip is working fine then, remove his shackles” added Adama sarcastically.

“Listen to me Lucifer, all that has been promised to you has until now been delivered, you will be fully assimilated into our ranks, your new skin has been provided by Dr. Wilker as requested, your systems have been upgraded, you are now able to ingest food and drink, to think, to feel as a human does, the only thing missing is this....”

Admiral Adama looked at Lucifer and smiled, what I have here in my hand is a signed document, your release papers, they already have the signature of our president, all that remains for them to become legal and binding is my own signature followed by yours on completion of reading our terms of loyalty to the colonies.”

Lucifer held out his hand for the document.

“Not so fast my friend, first the upload and your help interpreting it” added Adama.

“Very well, I am your servant, by your command, I will begin...”

Lucifer approached a console beside a large viewing screen, opened up a flap under the skin of his skull and attached a cable from himself to the console, the upload began.

The upload took a full twenty minutes to complete, there being a great deal of information, the officers all looked on eagerly as the data began to appear on the viewing screen.

Scene 2 – The Priceless Intel

Within the package of data retrieved by Lucifer was file upon file of technical data on the entire battle fleet of the Cylon war machine, each and every vessel, their type, strength and armament was laid before them, and crucially the exact strength and whereabouts of the entire fleet of Base Stars!

“Lucifer, we need to know what we're up against, can you decipher this code for us?” asked Adama.

“Indeed I can but your not going to like it, firstly on the ship you destroyed, that was merely a prototype, known as the Deathfall Base Star, it had a serious problem with it's gyros, having three extending arms made it unbalanced and unstable when at speed, therefore that was the only one ever constructed. Now for the main body of the fleet, there are currently thirty two of their new model Base Stars with four extending arms, these are known as Darkstars, all of these ships derived from the original Hades class which you are familiar with from the first Cylon war.
They also have forty six Melee class gunships, sixty four patrol ships and a myriad of support vessels.” he added.

“We need to know what their current state of existence is, where is their home planet, where are the supply lines.......?” enquired an anxious Adama.

“I understand I'm not a fool, you need me to dissect every aspect of information possible I can glean from this download, you need not worry yourselves officers. By the time I have completed my assessment you will have ALL the information you need, it is then up to you all to decide what to do with it.” commented Lucifer.

“One thing you need to be clear on however, there is NO home planet, the Cylons are moving from planet to planet like a plague of locusts devouring all before them. They had a home planet known as Cylon Prime but they exhausted all it's resources and had to leave.

When they attacked your colonies they expected to find all the resources they needed, but quickly realised you humans had also been greedy and negligent in nurturing and protecting your home planets and expending all your resources, you are in fact two sides of the same coin one might say!”

“The reason for their insatiable need to conquer all before them derives from what they learned from you humans, so in effect you only have yourselves to blame....” He sneered.

“Alright Lucifer I don't think we need a history lesson from you...” barked Adama.

“And that is why you lost to the Cylons, if you are to avoid repeating your mistakes I suggest you do indeed need a history lesson from me, don't despise me Admiral, use me, your verbal barbs are useless, have you forgotten already, I have been reprogrammed to serve you, sarcasm is a tool I have yet to master, but perhaps you can teach me” grinned Lucifer.

“You seem to be managing well enough on your own.” laughed Adama, along with all his officers.

“Look upon me carefully officers, I am the very key to your future, to your ability to completely turn the tables on your adversaries, mock me at your peril!”

“Noted, very well continue.” nodded Adama.

“They are desperately looking for a new Home world, their perceived desire to conquer all before them is a ruse by their leaders to mask the real issue, they are in fact in real danger of running out of time and resources once again, their very existence is under threat!”

“Very well Lucifer, that will be all for now, I will sign your release documents in front of my officers, once you have countersigned you are a free man, a colonial!” smiled Adama.

Upon signing the document something amazing happened, Lucifer was clearly seen with a tear flowing from each eye, Dr. Wilker had provided him with tear ducts which together with his new emotion chip were clearly functioning perfectly.

Ironically with the news Lucifer had imparted to the officers, some felt a sense of sympathy to their enemies plight, just as this Cylon was beginning to feel empathy to his new masters.

Lucifer was duly released and as a free man requested to remain in the wardroom to assist, his apparent relief at his official release gave him renewed enthusiasm to help his one time enemies. Adama decided to allow him to remain, knowing his input on the new intelligence could make the difference when the Cylons finally arrived.

Adama didn't know how to feel, on the one hand relief at the acquisition of the vital intel on the Cylons but also knowing he had a fight on his hands to convince the senate of the very real danger of a full scale attack from which they would never recover, that was, unless he could convince them to make good on their pledge to bolster the battle fleet.

The officers, together with Lucifer pored over the files for a further two hours, delving into the blueprints of each ship type when Adama had an alarming thought, what if they were meant to find these files, what if they were a trick to disguise the real strength of the Cylons? He put this question to Lucifer....

“No, they are very deviant it's true but the real reason is very simple, arrogance, they are so arrogant as to believe they are all but impregnable and do not need to hide this intelligence, and therefore have these very files on each and every one of their ships, that way if they were to encounter a planet able to sustain their empire they could quickly network their fleet and send for them. If in the case of difficulty in contacting their comrades, they could begin the process of settling on said planet with all the information needed in their hard drives to begin mining, shipbuilding etcetera.

Adama probed further....

“Can you explain to my officers why a fleet of what, some 150 base stars at their height, are now down to just some thirty two base stars and supporting vessels?”

“Simple” replied Lucifer, the old Hades type Base Stars you encountered during the second war were relics from the first war, they had become old and unreliable, in fact obsolete. Newer, more powerful and advanced ships were needed in order for them to maintain their supremacy in a battle, however, as I already explained, their resources have become depleted so they decided to concentrate on a smaller yet much more powerful fleet of ships.

Historically the Cylons relied upon numbers to defeat their enemies, now preferring to concentrate on quality over quantity, hence fewer but more powerful Base Ships, even more powerful than the prototype Deathfall Base Star you encountered.” He added.

“So what your saying is, each of those thirty two Base Ships out there is even more powerful than the prototype that almost destroyed the Pegasus?” asked an anguished Admiral Adama.

“That is correct”, added Lucifer chillingly.

He continued, “You see officers, the reason my old comrades defeated you in two wars were two fold, firstly surprise, your naivety in believing they were sincere, they were NEVER going to agree to ANY armistice, so used the element of surprise to ambush your forces, and secondly, sheer weight of numbers.”

“Well not any more my friends!” barked Adama, they didn't defeat us in the first war, that ended in an uneasy truce, but I concede we would probably have lost, as for the second war they duped my father and President Adar, but they will NEVER deceive me, we may no longer have numbers, but clearly they too are depleted, so we need to use that to our advantage.

If as Lucifer says, their Base Ships are the most powerful yet, then we need to match them ship for ship, if not in numbers then at least superiority in a one to one fight. I would surmise that in any event they are incapable of sending all of their forces in one direction, given the information Lucifer has provided, thoughts?”

“That is correct Admiral,” added Lucifer, “Your assumptions are accurate, they are incapable of sending more than two or three Base Ships together as they would decrease their chances of finding a new home, therefore they have spread their forces thinly to increase those chances, in point of fact, war is not uppermost in their thoughts at this time, merely survival!”

Boomer interjected, “This is all very well but me must go on the assumption that, given their arrogance as you yourself put it Lucifer, if they feel they are on the right path to finding us they may indeed send out a large task force to intercept and destroy us right?”

“One cannot rule that out” replied Lucifer.

“Then that is what we must convince the senate, that there is still a very real chance they will throw everything at one final attempt to obliterate us, either way can we take the risk of not planning for such an attack, I for one think not!” added Adama coldly.

“Lucifer, can you help us to calculate every conceivable way we can strengthen our Battlestars in order for the risk to be minimised in a one on one battle, can we learn the lessons from the battle of Amilon so that the odds are stacked firmly in our favour?”

“Indeed I can, but first I need access to the blueprints of the Battlestars in order to dissect the differences in strengths and weaknesses of the opposing capital ships, this will mean you furnishing me with critically sensitive intel on your ships, are you prepared to trust me?”

Adama shifted in his seat uncomfortably before Sheba spared his blushes...

“I will vouch for Lucifer, had it not been for his critical help, the battle of Amilon would have been much closer, in fact he was instrumental in the Pegasus defeating the Base Ship, he told me exactly where, when and how to hit that ship.”

“Boomer?” questioned Adama, “Yes I trust him if Sheba does.” replied Boomer.

“Well it seems I have little choice, in any case it's not as if you can go running to the Cylons can you, added Adama smirking at Lucifer to the amusement of the officers.

“So you will allow me access to those blueprints?” asked Lucifer, “Very well countered Adama, can you believe I'm about to give intel on our fleet to a Cylon!, no offence Lucifer but...”

“Yes I see the irony Admiral, but your information will be safe with me, and without it I am unable to help you strengthen your fleet, it's as simple as that!”

With the approval of Admiral Adama the blueprints on the new Super Battlestars were displayed on the main viewing screen for Lucifer to download into his cybernetic brain using the same cable to upload the Cylon information

“Admiral I need some time to analyse this information, I request an office to commence work on this, then give me 48 hours to come up with some figures and you will have your advantage.”

“Very well, you can use my guest quarters on the Galactica adjacent to my own, that way I can be there to ask or answer any question at a moments notice to save time, do you accept this offer?”

“Yes Admiral that will be acceptable.”

With that, the council of war was closed as Adama took Lucifer on board his shuttle and headed back to the Galactica.

Scene 3 – Remembrance Day

A few days later away from the Galactica and fleet, preparations were beginning on Terra for a remembrance service for the fallen warriors from the battle of Amilon, all having been interred in a new cemetery and arboretum constructed adjacent to the graves of Doctors Zelan and Zee.

The new arboretum and garden of remembrance looked peaceful and tranquil, a fitting place for the loved ones of the fallen warriors to come and pay their respects to the heroes of the battle, a place to sit and reflect away from the relentless labours of forming a new society on the surface of Terra.

To Adama however it seemed the great and the good of the senate were simply paying lip service to the proceedings, he looked around at the rows of seats occupied by the politicians feigning sympathy toward the families of those fallen warriors and began to feel scorn for them, save for his president who's anguish was all too apparent.

He wondered how life would play out after he and Sire Dmitri were no longer in command of the fleet and in office respectively. He could feel the resentment at the lack of progress on the fleet and broken promises on the new as yet incomplete 'Ring of Steel' cruisers to protect the citizens build up inside him. He listened to the Deveraux pastors deliver their sermons with their usual charm and tenderness.

In little more than a year from this day there would be preparations for a full election of the council and senate, and he knew some of his allies, Siress Loretta, Sire Galen, Sire Valentine and the rest would possibly be sidelined in favour of more radical dissidents. This was a day he was dreading, his friend and president had just over one year to push through a great many initiatives before he was facing replacement and he himself being left isolated.

After the protracted formalities of the service were complete, Adama took the time to approach Sire Dmitri and invite him for dinner on the Galactica.

Since the completion of the new 'Ship of Governance' he barely had a moment to touch base with his friend and president, he being surrounded by yes men, red tape and bureaucracy.
The president was only too happy to accept knowing they both had much to discuss away from the prying eyes and ears of the senate.

Fortunately the president was due some leave and took the opportunity to visit Adama the very next day, he too feeling isolated due to his friendship with Admiral Adama and his officers. Their bond was a thorn in the side of some more jealous and ambitious politicians, they saw Adama as a threat to their iron grip on the people.

As Sire Dmitri's shuttle approached the Galactica, he had a feeling of joy, calm and anticipation at the thought of seeing his old friend and strongest ally in the colonies, although a politician, his loyalty was privately to Admiral Adama rather than the senate, Dmitri sharing the same contempt for some of his colleagues as Adama.
Finally his shuttle reached its berth on Alpha deck of the Galactica and there to greet him with a huge grin and outstretched arms was Adama.

Scene 4 – Old friendships, new problems

The two men walked slowly as they shared jokes at the expense of the council and senate as they slowly meandered their way to the turbo lift and onto the main command deck finally arriving at Adama's quarters.

Upon arriving, there to greet the two men were Adama's aide and his chief steward to provide comfort and privacy, Adama was anxious to make his guest as comfortable as possible, needing to probe him and gauge the mood of the senate.

“Please sit my old friend and make yourself at home, she may be old and tired but she is home”. Smiled Adama.

“Well I tell you one thing” replied Sire Dmitri, I'd take her as my home over that ship of bullshit out there”. He sniggered looking out of the porthole.

“I can't lie Adama, she is every bit as opulent as any ship I have ever been on but with that load of sharks around every corner I will never be comfortable on her, in fact that is one point I need to raise with you before we go any further. I have decided not to stand for another term in office my friend, I have had enough of all the bureaucracy.

I can't stand being sidelined by unelected fools any longer, in a way those elections next year may be a blessing in disguise, get rid of some of the dead wood”. He added.

“Well I'm disappointed but can't say I'm surprised”. Replied Apollo.

I am very lucky I suppose, for one thing I am surrounded by like minded people over here, we are all warriors first, second and last, we can leave the politics to others. I have the respect of my crews and they have mine, I would lay down my life for each and every one of them”. He added with conviction.

Dmitri sighed and replied ruefully...”Well I can't say I would do that for any of the senate, the council on the other hand are a different matter”.

“How so? Enquired Adama.

“Well, you must remember all those heated discussions we used to have over here in your wardroom before that damn ship was built, yes we had our differences but we got things done. When there was just the twelve of them to contend with life was so much easier. Yes I know they are all aristocracy and nobles but they are sincere, they are all very wealthy in their own right and don't need to climb over anyone to get to the top, they have all made their names and fortunes”.

“In that case it's a big pity we can't just keep them all in office and just jettison the obstructive ones on the senate eh?” countered Adama.

“Well as an outgoing president I have the same right of attorney that you do my friend, in the same way you have the authority to make a final order upon your retirement so do I have absolute authority to make one final act of parliament as it were, before I finally hang up my gown and sceptre.”

“Between you and I as always, it is my intention to use my final act to push through life peerages for the council of the twelve, this means they will in effect be immune from being ousted as the council, only upon their deaths or voluntary retirement can they then be replaced, this way we can still have a strong voice to represent the people, and indeed the military, to our own ends.”

“Your being modest as usual Dmitri, your effectively saying your sacrificing your position as president in order to protect the council of the twelve from being voted out?”

“Well yes if you want to put it that way, but for me it's a win win situation, I am not lying when I say I've had enough, it's time for others to step up now, I have put plans in place...” he added cryptically.

“Plans?” probed Apollo.

“Yes but you don't need to know, lets just say the transition will be a lot smoother than some of my less savoury counterparts would like.” he added with a wink.

“Finally”, barked Adama as the chief steward arrived with the first course, gravlax salmon on a bed of salad leaves, feta cheese and sun dried tomatoes, Sire Dmitri's favourite.

The two roared with laughter as Adama's stomach could be heard rumbling.

“Guess the food arrived just in time eh?” sniggered Dmitri.

The two men decided to lighten the conversation whilst they enjoyed the food, washed down with Adama's now legendary home made pinot noir from the late Admiral Tigh's old recipe.

“Sometimes I wish we could freeze a moment in time, like this one” smiled Adama, “Yes me too Adama, oh and talking of time, have you managed to touch base with Sheba yet, what with all that hullabaloo after you returned from Amilon?”

“Sadly no, she is busy overseeing the repairs to the Pegasus, and not a moment too soon, she is only just being repaired weeks after our return!”

“Yes I did my best Adama, it seems they are quick to forget over there just what you all did for us, at least soon you should be back to full strength?” he enquired.

“Well it depends what you mean by strength, we have managed to gather some vital intelligence from Lucifer the Cylon, and.....well your not going to like this, with my official hat back on for the moment, Mr. President....” sighed Adama.

“My gods it must be bad if your addressing me as Mr. President, come on spit it out man, what have you learned from him?”

“I knew that would get your attention, well it seems they have thirty two of the most powerful Base Stars ever constructed, more powerful even than the one we encountered at the battle of Amilon, I have to tell you now Sire, these ships are killing machines and are more than capable of destroying a Battlestar, even our new Super Battlestars would be hard pressed to defeat one!”

“What else do they have?” Dmitri pressed.

“Apparently They also have forty six Melee class gunships, sixty four patrol ships and of course support vessels.” he replied.

“Oh my god gods, they had a lot more ships before the first war but I guess they don't need many if the ships are so powerful do they?” questioned Dmitri.

“No, it seems they have had to leave their home planet due to expending it's resources, on the plus side they are in a critical phase of looking for a new home world on which to settle which we can use to our advantage as they are spread out so thinly across the quadrant. On the negative side they still have more than enough firepower to blast us out of the stars if they find us and come in numbers!” added Adama.

“So you want me to help you press the senate for more warships right? Replied Dmitri.

“Exactly that, it's not as if we weren't promised them in the first place is it?”

“Yes Adama but that was before we knew we had reached a critical stage in using up most of our raw materials, the ships were promised on the condition that there were enough materials to complete the construction of the city of Zelan and all the defence systems down on Terra.

So unless you can convince the senate there is a treasure trove of raw materials somewhere out there you will have a tough time convincing them, having said that, your intel on the Cylons puts a completely different perspective on things doesn't it?” he added.

“Look I'll see what I can do but they are hardly going to be convinced by the word of a Cylon, they will see it as a ploy by you to get your own way on the ships.” added Dmitri.

“What if the words of the Cylon could convince you, if you can be swayed then maybe they can too, how about it Sire, if I bring him before you will you listen?” probed Adama.

“Well yes but convincing me is the easy part!” countered Dmitri.

“What I am about to do may alarm you, right next door in my guest quarters is the very Cylon I refer to, Lucifer, he is working on something for me, if your ready to meet a Cylon face to face I'll summon him in here!” asked Adama meekly.

“Is this some kind of joke Adama, you have planned this all along you devious b..... no I wont say it but I'm not impressed Adama, I came here in good faith for a meal and a light conversation with an old friend, not to be manipulated....”

“Look I'm Sorry Mr. president but we don't have time for pleasantries, as much as I am genuinely pleased to see you I need you to listen, if I have to piss you off then so be it....”

Maybe if you hadn't just told me half an hour ago you were planning to quit as president I wouldn't have had to do this, but clearly time is critical now!”
Adama then put a call through to the guest room where Lucifer was busy making calculations.

“Lucifer, I want you to stop what you are doing and come next door to my quarters, there's someone in here I want you to meet?”

“By your command” came the terse reply.

Within a moment there stood Lucifer at the door as Sire Dmitri became visibly agitated at his sight.

“Lucifer, I want you to meet our, and now your president Sire Dmitri”. With this Lucifer held out his hand, after a long awkward silence he withdrew it after it became apparent Dmitri was in no mood to shake the hand of a former enemy.

“What is your bidding Admiral?” asked Lucifer

“Well apart from working on your Cylon vocabulary I need you to explain the exact findings from the download as you relayed it to me word for word”.

For the next ten minutes Lucifer patiently and diligently went over every detail of the download to the president leaving no room for doubt, when he was concluding Sire Dmitri held up his hand.

“Very well, I have heard enough, I am convinced you are telling the truth, and, as has been explained to me you were instrumental in commander Cain prevailing over the Base Ship, therefore if Adama can trust you so can I.”

“It is quite clear to me now you had good cause to be so blunt Adama, I am inclined to agree that if they send a large enough force we will be annihilated, therefore I will present a united front with you and seek an audience with the council and senate without delay.

“Now if you don't mind Lucifer I would like to be alone with Admiral Adama, we have much to discuss, you are dismissed....”

“But Admiral I answer to you alone, I am a free man and have done nothing to deserve....” countered Lucifer.
“You have been asked to leave, now leave, don't push it, whatever else you are, you are free but you'll never be a man, now frack off and get on with your work”. Snapped an embarrassed Adama.

With this a seething Lucifer returned to the guest quarters, as yet unable to master the intricacies of the human psyche, he had learned anger but not yet humility, or when to stay silent.

As the door closed behind him, Dmitri let out a sigh of relief, clearly he had been uncomfortable in the company of a Cylon, albeit a reprogrammed one.

“Full of surprises aren't you Adama, after all these years you still know how to yank my chain damn you” roared Dmitri with mocking laughter.

“Well my old friend as Dr. Zee of all people once said to me, sometimes you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet!” replied Adama.

“Talking of omelets, lets get down to the next course and....maybe another bottle to help wash away the stench of that Cylon eh?” giggled Dmitri to Adama's dismay, his joke backfiring as he looked away in discomfort.

Incredibly Adama felt the need to speak up for the Cylon, but refraining so as not to further antagonise his guest, although he had the feeling, despite it only being humour, Sire Dmitri was showing a lack of respect, in fact even a form of racism to the one Cylon that had probably saved his life, given he was prepared to forfeit it to save Sheba and the Pegasus.

After several moments of more awkward silence the next course mercifully arrived along with another bottle of wine. Gradually the two men rose above the spat and continued to speak candidly, finally talking of the need to address several issues, principally the need to locate more raw materials, both for the completion of the defences and cave dwellings down on Terra, but also to bolster the severely understrength battle fleet.

“So where do we go from here Adama, what's next” asked Dmitri.

“Well there are two things I need to address without delay, firstly we need to unload the cargo from the Delphian vessels we brought back from Amilon, maybe there are some materials, machinery or something that may be of use to us, to be honest my salvage teams haven't had chance to recon them properly given our situation with the Pegasus still being under repair”.

“.....And the second thing?” asked Dmitri.

“Well if you recall I said Lucifer was working on something, that something is a full assessment of the blueprints to our new ships to compare their overall strengths and weaknesses compared to the new Dark-star Base Stars.”

“Seriously! Is that wise, trusting a Cylon with such sensitive and critical intelligence?” asked an exasperated Dmitri.

“Well yes I'm afraid it is, look my old friend that Cylon has been reprogrammed by the finest scientist in the history of the colonies in my opinion, Dr. Wilker.

He assured me there is no way he can betray us, it is no longer in his programming, besides, since his official release he has gone out of his way to help me glean vital intel on the Cylon war machine and the only way he can assist us to strengthen our fleet is to have access to our ships blueprints, as drastic as that may seem.”

“Very well Adama, I did say I will trust him, so I will....”

“Oh if I may, your attitude toward him is way off beam, He actually has the ability to feel as we do, to feel resentment, discrimination and humiliation believe it or not!” added Adama.

“So you want me to be nice to him like you just were?” Dmitri laughed out loud, “ Adama it's just not going to be an easy pill for me to swallow but very well, you are still amazing me now, you are siding with a Cylon, you the Admiral of the fleet who lost your wife, mother and younger brother to those bastards, yet your actually siding with him!”

“It's not as simple as that!” snapped Adama with more than a hint of anger, “I need him onside, as I said he has been programmed to feel emotion, including that of being obstructive, he is a free er 'man' if I can call him that, he can walk away and not assist us any further if he so wishes, he is no longer a prisoner any more so is free to do his own bidding.

I am not going soft Dmitri I just need him and his vital intel, so I would appreciate a little help here!”

“Point taken Adama I will give him a nice hug when I see him again.” winked Dmitri as the two men began to roar with laughter, the first time they had laughed together in nearly two hours.

“So you really think he can help us then?” enquired Dmitri.“Yes as he already has, remember I mentioned earlier he was working on something, well now you know what it is, he assures me in the next 48 hours or less now, he will be in a position to tell us exactly the best way to strengthen the fleet in order for our ships to prevail in a one to one battle against a Dark-Star base ship.

Simply put, we will never be able to defeat them by weight of numbers so we must use our strength to make sure we come out on top, and as we have agreed, if they send a fleet of say, three or more Base Ships to intercept us we will need every conceivable tool to help us win the day and I make no apology for using a reprogrammed Cylon to help me achieve my aim.”

“Very well Adama, I will apply pressure on the senate to make good on their pledge to give the go ahead for construction of more ships, you say we have enough materials to complete one more Super Battlestar and two new cruisers, is that correct?”

“Correct.” replied Adama.

“In the meantime I strongly suggest you get to work on unloading that cargo from the Delphian ships, we need whatever it is we find in them, but remember Adama they were a peace loving race so don't expect to find a load of weapons, more likely building materials and machinery if your reports on them seeking a new home world were accurate.”

“At least that way I can say to the senate you have exhausted all avenues on finding new materials.” he added.

“Yes and there is one other possibility, Boomer scanned a belt of planets one day whilst I was off the bridge, in it they scanned what could be the very materials we need, we would need to check on them and send a mining team to investigate, I will get on to that as well.” replied Adama.

“So we both know our next move, now shall we get down to some serious drinking my friend and park the business, where is your steward.”

The hitherto bonhomie returned as the two men settled into a session of nostalgia, washed down with one last glass of pinot noir. Dmitri Began to feel intoxicated, so made his farewells and headed back to his shuttle and a good nights sleep.

Scene 5 – Dmitri's pitch

The following week, armed with the vital intelligence on the strength of the Cylon forces, Sire Dmitri convened an urgent meeting of the full senate in which he intended to play advocate to Adama and his plans to bolster the fleet, although still angry at Adama for ruining a convivial evening of food and wine, saw the bigger picture, so set out to convince the senate of the need to strengthen the military, he was about to go into bat for his old friend.

An emergency meeting was duly assembled with the entire senate and council present as Dmitri gingerly rose to address the suits with more than a little trepidation......

“My Lords Ladies and Gentlemen, I have requested this full session with knowledge I have gained from an old friend, that friendship aside I have to tell you all now, we are in fact NOT safe, despite our warriors great victory recently over the Cylons.

“What is this felgercarb” snapped one young politician.

“Shut up boy and listen” snapped Dmitri, I cannot reveal the full extent of my findings, or the source as it is sub judice, besides you wouldn't believe me if I told you, but hear this.....”

“I have learned beyond reasonable doubt that an incredibly large and powerful Cylon force is still out there searching for us, to erase us from the history books once and for all, be in no doubt honoured delegates, those Cylons that have dogged us for generations prevail, they grow more powerful, obsessed with finding us with each passing day and will not rest until we are deleted from history, destroyed, annihilated.”

“Why the hell should we believe this crap” snarled the leader of the opposition, Dr Markham.

“ALRIGHT DAMN YOU”snapped Dmitri with an anger the senate had never seen before, stopping them in their tracks, “If you will not believe me will you believe Lord Campbell McGarry of St. Augustine, speaker of the house, protector of the sacred scrolls, if I convince him will you all listen then?” enquired Dmitri with alarming impatience.

The senate duly nodded their willingness to accept the word of the speaker, if Dmitri could convince him he may just win the day, so pleaded with the speaker for his ear in private, Lord McGarry acquiesced and so the session was adjourned to give the two men chance to confer in the private chambers of the speaker.

The word Opulent would not have done the speakers chambers justice, Dmitri observed the images on the walls, oil paintings from a bygone age back in the colonies, priceless artefacts thought lost during the exodus.

“What the hell is all this about Mr. President” moaned the speaker wearily, as he sipped a cup of earl grey tea from his leather chair, jolting Dmitri from his gaze, “Why all the secrecy and intrigue, you'd better level with me quickly, I'm not known for my patience and neither are those lot out there!”as he pointed to the exit door.

“I don't give a frack about their, or your impatience Mr. Speaker, I care about the survival of our people and I called this emergency session in good faith.” he continued....

It is no secret I have been over to the Galactica, only yesterday in order to touch base with Admiral Adama, since his returning from battle we have not had time to discuss a great many issues that affect our very future here on Terra.”

“I do not appreciate your tone, but you will continue...” glared Lord McGarry

“What I am about to tell you must remain within these chambers, I have inside knowledge on the force and strength of the Cylon war machine, it seems that victory wasn't the only thing our warriors returned with, they also came back with vital intelligence on the Cylons, believe it or not, thanks to the captured Cylon officer known as Lucifer!”

“Wait a gods damn minute, Admiral Adama was expressly forbidden by me to use the enemy Cylon....”

“Yes I know” retorted Sire Dmitri, “But I overruled your order, you are in charge when the senate is in session, but I have power of attorney to make unilateral decisions as I deem fit in order to promote and protect the colonies. In short I agreed with Adama's assessment that the benefits of sending the Cylon with the task force far outweighed the risks, besides which we had a written guarantee from our chief scientist Dr. Wilker that the Cylon was incapable of treason, having been reprogrammed by himself.”

“In point of fact, it transpires that, not only was the Cylon leader solely responsible for a daring incursion on the enemy base ship to download the vital intel, he was also instrumental in aiding Commander Cain of the Pegasus in achieving a clean victory, which apparently was by no means a certainty until his timely intervention. Apparently he gave instructions to the crew of the Pegasus on how, where and when to hit the ship, he all but destroyed it himself!”

“I see” replied a stunned Speaker, “On the matter of secrecy, what is spoken in these chambers remains part of our constitution, your are free to speak without fear of prosecution, you are diplomatically immune in here, as am I, now about the Cylon force you speak of, how large is their fleet, where is their base, and the status of the Cylon race as a whole?” he enquired with great interest.

Sire Dmitri took several minutes to spell out the enormity of the threat that still remained, that should the Cylons send a powerful enough fleet it could yet spell the end for the newly found peace on Terra, what remained of the human race was still in real danger of annihilation.

He continued to provide details of the exact strength of the enemy and their intentions to seek out the colonies, much to the despair of the visibly shaken speaker.

“Very well, Mr. President I am convinced, I know how widely respected Dr. Wilker is in the military, they idolise him over on the Galactica, therefore I will take the information provided by the Cylon as true and will instruct the senate and council in no uncertain terms what I recommend, that we hold true to our promise to Adama and the military, even if it requires us to divert workers away from tasks down on the surface.”

They will have the fleet strengthened, we will search for new materials and build a fleet that can rid us of the Cylon tyranny once and for all, you may instruct Adama whilst I address the senate....”

Sire Dmitri followed Lord McGarry out of the chambers and back into the main debating hall where a hoard of senators, dignitaries and council members were waiting for an explanation to what was so important it dragged them away from their usual civic duties.

They soon had their answer, the press and media were ordered out of the chambers and off the ship, once word had returned they had taken off from the shuttle bays, the whole situation was explained to the senate and council, nothing was held back by Dmitri.

The leader of the opposition Dr. Markham looked on and bowed his head in disbelief, not at the information, but at his own hostility to the President and Admiral, he had done more than any since the inception of the new ship of governance to provide opposition and resistance to almost every motion put before the senate by the ruling party.

He felt a strange remorse at opposing every effort made by Admiral Adama to strengthen the fleet, on this occasion his silence spoke volumes.

For once a sense of urgency descended on the senate, a motion was duly passed unanimously giving authority for the fleet to be strengthened with all haste, all resources and men were to be diverted to the task whilst the asteroid belt discovered by the Galactica was to be investigated further with a view to mining for desperately needed raw materials.

For his part Adama was ordered to begin the salvage operation to unload all cargo and equipment on the newly acquired fleet of Delphian ships and to inspect the ships themselves.

Upon conclusion of the meeting, Sire Dmitri boarded his shuttle and made for the Galactica to impart the good news to Adama in person.

This meeting would be different to the previous encounter, no hidden agenda's by Adama and no hostility or resentment from Dmitri.

Scene 6 – The Eureka Moment

The following evening saw Adama in a much more relaxed state of mind, gone was the tension in addressing his friend with hostility, in its place the sure knowledge that the battle fleet was finally being put front and centre.

In point of fact a tacit agreement existed for the exploration and mining of the asteroid belt found by Boomer. If they could find new materials quickly, and whilst the senate was still onside he could push for even more ships before they inevitably looked towards completing works down on the surface.

There was just one more issue outstanding to make his evening complete, and with perfect timing came the call from Lucifer......

“Admiral, It is I, Lucifer I have completed my calculations, may I enter?”

“Yes Lucifer, enter, replied Adama eagerly.

As he took his seat opposite the Admiral he made a strange request.

“Admiral, I have been practising the consumption of food and beverages, the art of mastication has taken me a while to master, but if I may?”

Adama was amazed to see Lucifer pointing to a cut glass ships decanter displayed in an ornate globe drinks cabinet.
The cabinet was a birthday gift from the ships carpenter, on which he had perfectly replicated the surface of the planet Earth.

“What is that planet Admiral, I do not recognise it?” queried Lucifer.

He then added ruefully, “I guess as I am not a 'man' as you put it yesterday in front of my new president, I will have to guess, is it the planet Earth, the Cylons know you seek out your colonial brothers, “ he sneered.

“Look Lucifer I realise I embarrassed you in front of Sire Dmitri yesterday, to be frank I didn't realise that was possible, it seems your emotion chip is developing rapidly!”

“I'll take that as an apology, accepted, I am not an idiot Adama I can learn facts approximately 1,000000 times faster than a human, including emotion, oh and sarcasm, I am fascinated by that little human trait, I think I will use it to my advantage in some of our future conversations.”, Giggled Lucifer.

“Very well grinned an ever more relaxed Adama, that drink is called village ambrosia, and, yes that is indeed what we interpret the planet Earth to look like.”

Adama slowly walked over to the cabinet and retrieved two stemless wine glasses from a cupboard and placed them on his desk, then returning for the decanter.

“Tell me Lucifer, did Dr. Wilker program you to feel intoxicated by alcohol?”

“I'm actually unsure” mused Lucifer, but if you are in agreement we can find out together, he laughed.

“Very well, but for fracks sake don't lose all your calculations, I'm counting on you Lucifer.”

“Those are safe Admiral, all my calculations have been stored in your ships mainframe, so in point of fact I can safely get er...shit faced I believe your young officers call it...”

Adama roared with laughter, as did Lucifer, he had began to master the art of mockery to a fine art.

In fact Lucifer remained sober, Dr. Wilker, knowing all too well an intoxicated Cylon with the strength of ten men was one gift too many, and left that one to the humans!

After a moment, Adama watched in fascinated anticipation, recalling his own first gulp of the ruby red libation as Lucifer took his first sip.

“Mm I'm getting elderberry, ripe oranges and strawberries, picked from near the farms of Caprica City. Rich black grapes from the vineyards of Gemenon....”

Adama looked on incredulously, how could Lucifer glean all this from a single sip.

...”How the frack did you..... er I mean.”

“Simple, it's written on that bottle on the shelf adjacent to where you retrieved the decanter.”

The two men paused for a moment and Adama burst out laughing.

“I honestly thought you had got all that from one sip!” exclaimed Adama.

“Hah, I'm a Cylon not a bloody sommelier!” laughed Lucifer, by this time Adama was in tears of laughter, Lucifer's charm offensive was in full swing.

After a further drink Adama pressed Lucifer for an overview of where he saw the comparative strengths and weaknesses of the opposing forces.
To Adama's delight, Lucifer was about to lift his spirits even further....

Frankly Admiral, there is not a great deal wrong with the general layout, defence systems and armament of your new Super Battlestars, the main weakness I see at first viewing is the seals between the sections, the welds and joints are not adequately protected against nuclear ordinance and direct laser hits. It is possible for ordinance to penetrate these joints, as happened with the Pegasus against the Cylon base star recently.

Therefore my first recommendation is to strip down the immediate areas around these joints and use the compound I have devised in my report, these will then form an almost perfect seal and will negate any ordinance from penetrating the outer hull of your ships.

Also I have devised a report based upon the results of the Pegasus defeating the Deathfall base star, the report goes into detail on how to defeat each and every ship in the Cylon fleet, in particular, the base ships.

“One other thing of note, those Delphian ships you now have in your fleet, the Cylons tried to destroy them but were unsuccessful, the outer hulls proving virtually impregnable, I strongly recommend when you have unloaded these vessels, you take time to inspect the materials used and the construction methods of said vessels.”

“Thank you Lucifer, you have been most helpful, is there anything else you can recommend and do you have any requests as a reward, you being a free man and all?”

Lucifer was heartened to hear Adama call him a man and not a Cylon.

“Well, and this is quite radical, when you start construction on your new ships, you may want to consider using the Cylon centurions to do all your menial tasks, to do the hard labour and let your engineers concentrate on the less physical aspects of construction? After all their not getting any younger are they?”

“Mm, that's how we got into this mess in the first place Lucifer, getting the Cylons to do our dirty work, that's partly why they rebelled against us in the first place!”

“However, I will mull it over, oh and a request, I did promise you one....”

“Then may I respectfully request the reactivation of Spectre, I wish to have him reprogrammed as I was, in order to lessen the load on myself in any future work I carry out for you, also I would like him as my aide and companion.”

“My My that's a tough one, but I hadn't thought of you being lonely!” smiled Adama, well Dr. Wilker has retired now after completing your upgrade, but I will see if I can persuade him, no promises mind!”

“I will accept your promise to at least try then?” countered Lucifer.

“You have it,” added Adama.

Lucifer duly left and continued some last minute calculations in the guest quarters adjacent to Adama's own, leaving the Admiral stunned at just how fast his assimilation into the human world was progressing, a thought he found rather frightening.

Scene 7 - The Senate Deliver

Within one month of the historic meeting of the senate and council, repairs to the Pegasus had been completed and the engineers made preparations to commence work on a third Super Battlestar.

Although Adama decided against using any Cylon Centurions in the construction of the new ships, he did allow Lucifer his wish and persuaded Dr. Wilker out of retirement to upgrade the Cylon known as Spectre. Adama used both Cylons to help with calculations and upgrades to the seals on all warships. However, he knew the engineers were ageing and would need to be replaced by younger workers, and so initiated a new apprentice scheme, together with the staff on the new 'Ship of Learning' to help bolster the ranks of construction workers.

To Adama's surprise and delight, the senate were true to their word and ordered all non essential work on the surface to halt and redirected all manpower to the construction of the new Super Battlestar.

Within a record eight months she was complete and was hauled out of the shipyards to commence space trials, no sooner had she cleared the gantries, work began on a pair of sister cruisers to complete the so called ring of steel defence system over Terra.

Eventually it was agreed to divulge to the masses the very real threat from the Cylons in detail, this in order to explain why so many projects on the surface had been delayed yet again in deference to the military.

Events were moving very rapidly now, Adama watched every day from his porthole as work on the two new cruisers continued apace and space trials on the new Super Battlestar were completed.

At last the gleaming new warship was ready to receive her new crew, all existing ships had been upgraded with the new seals devised by Lucifer.

It was now time to order a council of war to decide who was to become commanding officer of the new ship.....

This time Sheba and the crew of the newly repaired Pegasus hosted the meeting as all officers from the main capital ships filed into the huge wardroom.

A palpable sense of anticipation grew as the officers slowly took their seats.

Scene 8 – A well Deserved Gift

Adama greeted all his officers in turn with a warm handshake taking almost two minutes, the room bursting with decorated officers all awaiting Adama's orders with bated breath.

“Officers, friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,” Began Adama, sometimes it's difficult to know which is the harder task, telling officers they have been overlooked at promotion, or indeed promoting reluctant ones, in any event I want you all to know that my decision is in the best interests of the military, the civilians, and the people of Terra at large.”

I will not waste any further time out of respect for you all.

Rear Admiral Boomer, step forward please, do you accept the role of commanding officer of the new Super Battlestar, do you promise to serve the colonies to your final breath, so help you gods?”

Do you promise by the Lords of Kobol to preserve the writings of the ancient scriptures in your heart and lay down your life for the colonies, so help you gods?”

Adama paused for a brief moment, he knew the magnitude of his request and that Boomer was indeed a reluctant commander, wishing to eventually take the helm of the Galactica.

Boomer however was a pragmatic man, and he knew Adama would have pawed over the files of a great many worthy suitors to the job before deciding on him, and so reluctantly cleared his throat before replying....

“I do hereby promise with all my heart.”

Adama replied sternly,

“I hereby assign you to the bridge of the new Super Battlestar, you may choose your own X.O and you have naming rights on her, any thoughts my old friend?”

Well your not going to like this but I choose one who I feel would be an ideal replacement upon my demise to take her helm, one that has been overlooked by you, maybe not to be seen as favouritism, therefore I choose Athena to be my Executive Officer.

Adama looked visibly surprised and shaken, he had just gifted the new ship from his beloved Galactica his trusted X.O and now had lost his sister to her as well!”

After a long pause he turned to his Air Chief Marshall, “Very well, I cannot afford to lose another great officer from my ranks, so, step forward Starbuck.”

Do you accept the role of Executive Officer of the Galactica, do you promise to serve the colonies to your final breath, so help you gods?”

Do you promise by the Lords of Kobol to preserve the writings of the ancient scriptures in your heart and lay down your life for the colonies, so help you gods?”

Starbuck looked at the ground dejectedly, his job was in a viper, but he knew his friend needed him now more than ever.

After a long pause he replied,

“I do hereby promise with all my heart.”

“Thank you Starbuck, I know it's not what you wanted but we all have to make sacrifices for the good of the colonies.” reasoned Adama.

Finally turning back to Boomer he enquired, “Her name Boomer, have you thought of a name for her?”

“That's the easy part,” replied Boomer, I wish to continue the new tradition of honouring our fallen warriors, I would like to name her after our old comrade who gave his life for us in battle on the old Pegasus, the battle named after him, I wish to call her Super Battlestar 'Omega'.”

“So say we all” shouted the entire room, Boomers choice of X.O and the new ships name had gone down very well in the ranks.

I have to ask Adama, why have you become so reliant on Lucifer, when there are so many fine officers....?”
Enquired Boomer.

“Well he can give me the one thing none of you can, an insight into the Cylons I never dared to dream possible, he has given me the edge I need to beat them. Countered Adama.

“You all know how I've studied that probe from Earth, back to front and back again, well.... in it there is a famous quote from a prime minister, a political leader from a country known as England,

In world war two, when the Germans invaded Russia and broke the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, Russia then joined the allies side in the war and it led to this statement by the then prime minister, Winston Churchill in which he says....

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

To be Continued......

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:12 pm 
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Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage to Earth Episode 16 – Day of the Dark-Stars part 1

November 4th 7028

Scene 1 – Unloading the Booty

Admirals log supplemental, Update on the inspection and unloading of the Delphian Vessels:

“I can report the process of unloading our new ships is all but complete. As expected the cargo was indeed mostly building materials, excavation equipment and machinery. We have discovered many new compounds invented by the Delphians, including one that all but renders their ships indestructible, providing some kind of coating that deflects almost all known ordinance away from the vessels. One thing is abundantly clear, it was not their lack of guile that did for the Delphians, more their lack of fight!

We can learn much from the technology of our fallen friends, some of which we can utilise to further enhance our battle fleet, in fact all our ships, good news indeed.

I pay tribute to our fallen friends and vow to put to good use the bounty they have posthumously provided us.

To other matters, I am pleased to report our new Battlestar Omega is undergoing trails as I write and Boomer has her almost space worthy, save for a few last minute checks.

Our general situation moving forward is beginning to look more and more positive. Since we arrived at our new home these last five or so years a great many things have been achieved. We in the military can finally boast a fleet capable of repelling a significant Cylon force, if and when they arrive.

Our people down on the surface are in the best health they have enjoyed since we embarked on our pilgrimage to Earth, via Terra.

Schools, hospitals and municipal buildings are rising from the ground at breathtaking speed, all aided now by the materials and equipment, courtesy of our lost Delphian brothers.

Moving forward, there is however a great deal of uncertainty, my friends on the council and senate face an imminent general election.

Though we are in a new era of a new world the only thing that stays the same is the fact that nothing stays the same!

Within the next few hours however, I expect to hear from Boomer and Athena on the progress of our new ship, Super Battlestar Omega.

My friend Boomer was right, I have indeed neglected Athena for promotion, and he has taken the heat from the situation for me, promoting her to X.O, and though they aren't far away, I miss their presence here with me on the Galactica, but can take comfort that my dearest friend and ally is now here with me, albeit reluctantly.....” ends.

Scene 2 – Welcome Battlestar Omega

Battlestar Omega Bridge, 9.45 am....

On board the newly constructed warship, a hum of voices could be heard, checking and counter checking all systems as the ship slowly made it's way out of close orbit and into its new position orbiting the equatorial belt of Terra.

Adama and his warriors now boasted an impressive battle fleet of three Super Battlestars with their new interchangeable flight pods, six Battle cruisers and the beloved Galactica.

The new Battlestar Omega X.O Athena was busying herself preparing for the handover to her new commanding officer Boomer, although she had known him practically all her life, had seen him as her equal, now things were different. Boomer's star had risen in the military, he was the new rear admiral, answerable only to Adama himself and had gained much respect throughout the entire fleet.....

“Commander on the bridge” came the shout from the comms team as the tall imposing figure of Boomer entered the C.I.C for the first time, the entire room rose to salute their new commander.

A round of applause rose from the ranks followed by whooping and whistling, all the officers were honoured to have Boomer as their new C/O, he displaying similar characteristics to Adama, the ability to think things through before acting, to display steely determination yet pragmatism and respect for his crew.

It was a strange realisation for Boomer, the once reluctant, would be father figure of the military, finally stepping out from the shadows of Adama, always happy to play the understudy to Adama's lead, now the de facto main character, the Admiral in waiting!

As the applause died down he simply raised his right hand before shouting “As you were officers” taking a moment to observe his new leather commanders seat, his name proudly emblazoned upon it...'Commanding Officer, Rear Admiral Paul Boomer'.

He slowly took his seat, noting how comfortable it felt, both physically and metaphorically.

He carefully looked around the entire C.I.C taking in every small detail, at the huge banks of consoles below him where a team of technicians were busy making final calculations before entering their authentication codes.
Boomers own codes had already been entered by Athena, all that was required from him was his voice, iris and hand print commands to complete his control of the bridge, the whole process becoming ever more seamless with each new commissioned ship.

“How does it feel commander?” enquired Athena.

“I could ask you the same thing Athena, but for me it's a strange one, I resisted this for so long, holding out for the Galactica command but....well this is something else, just look at her Athena, isn't she a beauty”! He beamed.

“She is, and she's all yours and well deserved commander”. Replied Athena.

“Come on Athena you can drop the 'commander' we go back to the academy when we were raw nuggets, you may continue to call me Boomer, accept when we are addressing the crew of course”. He smiled reassuringly.

“Anyway to matters at hand, what's our sit-rep, are we close to fully operational yet, many more checks to complete?” He enquired enthusiastically.

“No we are almost there, we should be ready to report to Adama in the next few hours, we are almost good to go”. Replied a smiling Athena.

“Yes I've just got back from his quarters on the Galactica and I have to tell you Athena, I haven't seen such a broad smile on your brother's face for quite some time, we are finally in good shape.

Meanwhile on the Galactica bridge....

“What are you grinning at Apollo?, you look like the cat who got the cream?” laughed Starbuck, new X.O of the Galactica.

“Well it's been quite a while since I felt this comfortable, we are now in a position of real strength, we have three new huge Battlestars, six cruisers, plus support vessels.....and the Galactica”. Smiled Adama.

“The fleet are well prepared, the people down on Terra are well fed and cared for, gods, even the senate are off my back...... and Dmitri's! at least for the time being.”

“Yea, just watch something or somebody frack it up and ruin your day” roared Starbuck, as Adama shared the joke.

As if by perfect, uncanny timing, a message came through that very moment from the quarters of Lucifer, still enjoying the hospitality of Adama's guest quarters.

Adama had decided to keep Lucifer close at hand, knowing his intellect and insight into the Cylons would again bear fruit one day, how right he was about to be proven!

“Admiral, by your command, I have received some disquieting news from my aide Spectre, he informs me he has picked up a signal, albeit a very faint one, but it corresponds to some known Cylon signals used by the picket ships of the Cylon fleet, may I respectfully suggest you put the fleet on alert Admiral?”

“I don't believe it, I just don't fracking believe it, you had to open that big mouth of yours didn't you!” Adama smiled at Starbuck mockingly.

“What is it you said the Earth folks call it, Murphy's law”. Laughed Starbuck.

“Yep, that's the one, anything that can go wrong will go wrong...”

“Listen up comms, patch me through to the entire fleet, I want to address them all R.F.N” barked Adama.

“Aye sir, patching you through now.... replied the communications officer.

“Galactica actual to fleet, this is Admiral Adama, listen up, this may be a dead end but we have just been informed by our Cylon friend that his sidekick has received some kind of Cylon signal, it's probably nothing but I'm putting the fleet on yellow alert until I have had chance to check it out. Go about your duties as normal but be alert and watch your sixes, I will advise when I have more intel, Adama out....”

“Lucifer can you bring Spectre up to the bridge of the Galactica, I wish to interrogate him on that signal....”

“By your command” replied Lucifer.

“I just don't believe it Starbuck, we couldn't just have one day to gloat could we, everything is falling into place, the civilians are in rude health, the entire fleet fully fuelled, repaired, operational, and soon the new Omega too, now this!” Moaned Adama.

“Let's not get ahead of ourselves my old friend, it's probably nothing, hey it might even be a ghost signal bouncing off one of the ionic fields nearby or some asteroid belt....” retorted Starbuck.

“Yes your probably right, lets hope so....”

As the two men debated over what the signal could mean, Lucifer had entered the C.I.C with his new Aide and Cylon underling Spectre.

Adama was quick to warn the Cylon of any ruse to gain favour with him, knowing he coveted the same newly found respect of Lucifer within the fleet.

“Spectre, listen to me very carefully I will say it only once, if this is some kind of trick it will not end well for you....”

“By your command Admiral, I come to you in the full knowledge of this, I have come to warn you of a Cylon signal I have detected.....”

“So how come Lucifer didn't pick it up then?” probed Adama.

“Simply because I am a more advanced I.L series Cylon than he, having been manufactured some twenty yahrens, or years I believe you now call them.... after Lucifer, with many modifications including a more powerful sensor array.”

Lucifer was visibly uncomfortable at hearing his charge refer to himself as superior but held his tongue.

“So what is this signal, what do you interpret it to be?....” asked Adama.

“Well Admiral, I believe it is some kind of probe signal, sent out to detect a planet suitable to sustain the Cylon Empire, I would surmise they are looking for a planet much like the very one you are orbiting, the one you call Terra. My former comrades seek out a new home world, you know this already, it is my belief that they have identified a series of planets in this quadrant that may prove suitable for their needs, including your new home Terra!”
However, the signal is very weak, therefore I suggest they are still quite some way off in the distance, meaning you have time to prepare for their arrival.”

Adama looked visibly shaken at this sobering news, but continued to question the Cylon.

“Spectre, are you telling me without any doubt that the Cylons have all but detected us, that they approach as we speak?”

“That is correct, they approach, getting closer with each passing day, I respectfully suggest you make all plans to prepare for their arrival, they will continue on their path, they will not deviate or stop until they arrive.”

“So how long are we talking about here Spectre, how long do we have to prepare for their arrival, and what are the chances of them missing us and turning toward one of the other potential planets they could colonise?” asked an increasingly concerned Adama.

“On the question of them missing you, they will not, they will be so thorough as to investigate every possible new home planet in our star system, and Terra is a perfect host, both for humans and Cylons alike, I strongly suggest they will approach Terra first.
As for your first question, how much time, given my calculations on the strengthening of the signal over the last 12 hours since I detected it, I can roughly calculate you have two weeks before they are at your door”.

“Very well Spectre, remain with Lucifer in my guest quarters, I will need to speak to you again, you are dismissed.”

As one, Lucifer and Spectre backed away from Adama, bowing their heads as they both spoke, “By your command” in perfect unison.

“Comms, get me the president NOW, I need to address the senate, and patch me through to every ship in the fleet, including the Omega, her remaining trails will have to wait!” yelled Adama.

Scene 3 – Enemy at the Door

Adama looked incredulous as he prepared to address the full council and senate simultaneously....

“Mr. President, honoured council members and senators, I interrupt your sessions to impart grave news, the news we have all been dreading for the last months and years since we descended on Terra.
I cannot dress this up so I will come straight out with it, one of the two I.L series Cylons in my charge has picked up a signal from out there in space, he confirms it to be that of a Cylon scouting party, one looking for a suitable home, for a new colony.

I have to tell you all now Ladies and Gentlemen, they are descending upon us, it is simply a matter of time now before they arrive at the gates of Terra.

From the initial Cylon calculations we have been advised we have approximately two weeks only in which to prepare our fleet before they are here. We do not know the size or strength of the force bearing down on us, I will endeavour to find out as much information as I can from my captured former enemies, in the mean time I strongly urge you all to prepare the civilians whilst I make preparations here in the military. Admiral Adama out.”

The mood in the senate became toxic, the vast majority looked on in stunned silence whilst others wept openly, all were hoping this day would never come although most knew in their heart it would.

They now had two weeks, just two weeks to find a way of preparing to face off against their sworn enemy …...or die!

Battlestar Pegasus wardroom 10pm, 12 hours later....

The wardroom was packed full of all senior officers of flag rank from all warships in the fleet, and the two I.L series Cylons.

“…..Very well Spectre, you asked for a further twelve hours to confirm your findings once the next signal had been intercepted, it has, now report!” demanded Adama.

“By your command.... I am now in a position to confirm you have exactly fourteen days, four hours and twelve minutes until your planet is within range of the oncoming Cylon task force.

I can also confirm the signal is indeed from a picket ship, which confirms also that the task force is a fact finding one, sent out to seek out a new home world for the Cylons.”

“Lucifer, Spectre, I need your input on this, what can we expect from a normal Cylon task force sent out to seek a new planet to colonise, how large can we expect their numbers to be?”

“Well there are two trains of thought here”, replied Lucifer, “As we already discussed earlier, the Cylons are spread very thinly throughout the quadrant so I would not expect more than two base stars. That said, Terra will be on their scanners as a potential category A planet, meaning they expect it to be ideal for colonisation. Given they know there is a colonial force out here, since you destroyed the Deathfall Base Star, then it is reasonable to assume they will have prepared for the colonies to already be in occupation of Terra.”

“In English if you don't mind Lucifer”. Snapped Adama.

“What I am saying Admiral is do not expect less than two Base Ships and probably at least four supporting vessels, possibly destroyers of some kind or melee class gunships, much like your own Battlecruisers....”

“Be advised they will be on alert, ready to engage your forces”.

“So we are potentially looking at four equivalent Battlecruisers and two or more 'Dark-star' Base Stars is that correct?” asked Adama.

“Yes that is correct” replied Lucifer as Spectre nodded in agreement.

“Well Ladies and Gentlemen, our people down on the surface will in the next few hours be waking up to the news that our enemy is at the door, however, we are in the strongest position we could have hoped to be in when those bastards came calling....” added Adama pointedly.

Lucifer and Spectre shared a knowing glance before bowing their heads.

He continued..

“We have the firepower to blow them out of the stars, that is if we don't frack up. Those ships are the deadliest we have ever had to encounter, but then again, they haven't come up against the might of out new reconfigured Super Battlestars have they?”

For once we will have two things in our favour, the element of surprise, and superior numbers, we need to make both factors count.”

Starbuck interrupted......

“How do you conclude we have the element of surprise Apollo, they have found us, not the other way around.”

“No they haven't!” exclaimed Adama, not yet anyway!”

“OK yes they are hot on our heels but what if we intercept them before they arrive at Terra, take the fight to them and away from our people?” countered Adama.

“Well that's one possibility, but another is to use the resources down on Terra, the new 'ring of steel' defences, the warheads, the shields, we could bamboozle them whilst the fleet squeezes them between us and the defences down on Terra, they would be boxed in....” suggested Boomer.

“NO! no my friend”, exclaimed Adama. “That strategy is far too risky, if all else fails we simply must NOT reveal our base down on Terra, the Cylons need to be kept away from our citizens at all costs.

No Ladies and Gentlemen, this fight is ours and ours alone. We must keep the Cylons well away from Terra and take the fight to them.

With our new technology, our new shields and defence systems, our ships are all but impregnable thanks to Lucifer's inside help in providing the new technology, protecting all the seals and bulkheads with an almost seamless protective layer.

“Listen up everyone, we have three Super Battlestars against two, maybe three Base Ships, and six Battlecruisers against four gunships if Lucifer's intel is correct. We can and will win this battle, Starbuck, you are temporarily relieved from the Galactica, go and prepare all viper wings from ALL ships, including the Omega, get them up to speed stat!”

“Aye Admiral, it will be done” beamed Starbuck, he was back in his element, about to retake his place back in a viper.

The rest of you, go and prepare your ships for battle-stations drill, get the warriors champing at the bit, we have two weeks to get ready and not a moment more, I will advise you all of my battle plans in due course, may the Lords of Kobol protect us all, Dismissed.....” barked Adama.

“So say we all” retorted the officers in unison before filing out of the wardroom and back to their ships.

Before leaving for the 'Omega' Boomer stopped and put his right hand on Apollo's shoulder....

“You do realise there will be hell to pay for this over on the ship of governance, we told them we knew where the Cylon forces were and.....”

Apollo smiled ruefully at Boomer and replied coldly,

“No my friend, what we said was we knew where they were heading, and from where, but if they were to deviate just a fraction of a degree in any direction, well in a relatively short space of time they could be thousands of miles off course, in short we could only hazard our best guess and that turned out to be pretty accurate”.

He continued.....

“Let me worry about the senate my old friend, your job as the rear Admiral is to get this fleet up to speed, like R.F.N, whilst I prepare to tackle the senate and council!”

“Understood, but something tells me I have the better side of that bargain, I don't envy you at all Adama”. Added Boomer with more than a hint of resignation in his voice.

“Good luck, your going to need it!” he added before leaving for the Omega.

Within an hour the Admiral was before the senate explaining in detail his plans to mount a full scale attack, leading the Cylon fleet away from Terra and the civilians.

Scene 4 – The harsh reality

The next morning, and now just thirteen days before the anticipated arrival of the Cylon force, an emergency session of all members of the senate and the full council was is session.

Each chamber of the senate, the legislative, executive and judicial chambers were all linked via video monitors. The halls, passageways and every spare room was packed full of clerks and administration staff listening in on the imminent announcement, which in turn was to be broadcast throughout the entire fleet and on the surface of Terra....

“Citizens of Terra and in the fleet, this is your president speaking, I have the solemn news to impart to you all now, our sworn enemies are but a few days away from arriving here at our door!”

Our captured Cylon leaders have informed us of a signal they have detected, a signal from a forward scouting mission of Cylons looking for a new home.

We now know from intelligence we have gained from our captured former enemies that the Cylons are in desperate need of a new home, having used all known resources on their own home planet Cylon prime, and indeed all our former colonies.

As I speak we have every reason to believe that, although they know of us, of Terra and it's likelihood of being our home, they do not yet know of it's exact whereabouts”

An audible groan rose from the chambers.

“To that end we in the senate have been in close conference with our friends in the military, it is their intention to mount an all out strike on our enemies before they arrive here, their intention is to lead the Cylons away from us and to engage them in battle before they detect us, or our civilian fleet.

We understand from the information provided by the Cylon leaders that, in all probability, due to their forces being spread thinly across the stars, there is a very real chance we have numerical superiority, that together with the element of surprise should ensure our brave warriors win the day.

However, we cannot take this for granted, and we in the senate will prepare to lock down the key essential vessels and Terra, we will ensure no obstacle stands in the way of our citizens preparing for an all out attack!”

To you all I say this, we all knew this day would come, and come it has! Be mindful dear citizens, thanks to the forward thinking of your politicians and warriors, we are in a position of strength, one that only a year ago would have seemed inconceivable.

I urge you all now to take only the most essential of personal effects, then proceed at first light tomorrow to the official muster point on the outskirts of Zelan City. Your transport will await you and take you to the new underground bunkers under the mountain overlooking Zelan City constructed for this fateful day!”

Citizens, be vigilant, do not panic, trust in us here in the senate to protect you here, and our warriors to protect us all out there, they will win the day, may the Lords of Kobol protect and keep us all, that is all, your friend and president, Sire Dmitri.”

One brave reporter dared to question the President....

“Mr. President if I may, what if we decide to ignore the oncoming task force, what if we wait and watch as they pass us by and make their home on some other planet?”

“Well I wasn't going to answer any questions, but since it is probably on the minds of many I will answer this one only” Replied Sire Dmitri.

“Be in no doubt citizens, whether we choose to ignore this threat or not, they will come, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but they will come.

Do you all want to be looking over your shoulders for ever more, or shall we put faith in Admiral Adama and his brave warriors to see off the threat before us, and when, and I say when they win the day, we will be confident in the knowledge that we have at last the firepower to blast them out of the stars if they decide to try their luck again.
….and then we can then look forward to a brighter more confident future here on Terra.

We have every reason to believe that when we defeat them, massacre them, they may give up on pursuing us, their own resources now so stretched as we have heard from our Cylon guests they may decide to make their home elsewhere!”.

“Does that answer your question son” added Sire Dmitri scornfully.

The assembled audience politely applauded a well asked and answered question.

The announcement made, the facts laid bare, the address was concluded there being no time to waste in preparing the people of the fleet and Terra.

The fear that gripped the entire population of Terra quickly gave way to a sense of urgency, no longer the frightened civilians that left the colonies for good, replaced by a community of citizens with a steely determination to repel their sworn enemies and defend their homes.

Within twenty four hours of the call going out, the streets of Zelan City were completely deserted!

Practice drills had been conducted by the marines and civilians for several months and had clearly paid off, none of the citizens panicked, all looking out for their neighbours as they made an orderly escape to the catacombs of the underground shelters below the mountain adjacent to the city.

All the new 'ring of steel' defence systems were about to be readied for deployment in anger, if the Cylons escaped the clutches of the battle fleet, the planet would be prepared to repel the enemy forces, nothing was being left to chance.

Scene 5 – Send in the S.T.R.I.X

As the new Stealth S.T.R.I.X had proven to be so successful in reconnaissance before, Admiral Adama decided to press it into urgent action once more and send it out to gain vital intel on the oncoming Cylon force.

The next morning the craft was readied for a sortie into the path of the oncoming force to gauge its size and strength, once more with volunteer captain Jansen in command.

As the craft prepared to jump into the vicinity of the oncoming enemy task force......

“Captain Jansen to Galactica, we are about to jump to the expected point of visual range, will now rig for silent running and begin radio silence, standby for our report in a few hours, S.T.R.I.X out”.

“Galactica actual copy that”. Replied the comms officer.

On completion of the jump Captain Jansen shouted, “There, there over at our nine o'clock, there's something shiny, helm, take us over there and stay back, I want to check that out....”

“Aye Sir, vectoring to our nine.....”

“Oh my fracking Lords!” cried Jansen, “There they are, note two Cylon Base Stars, different than the Deathfall, plus four, yes that's four gunships, take us around to their six, I want to check out their rear....”

To the absolute astonishment of the S.T.R.I.X crew, not only were there six warships bearing down on Terra, but a massive flotilla of various ships following some distance behind....

“Take us around to those ships helm, I want to take a closer look”. Ordered Captain Jansen as the helmsman swung the craft around to the rear of a massive fleet of ships, it was difficult to ascertain the type of vessels they were, but on first inspection they seemed to be over one hundred in number, civilian,
…..and COLONIAL!

“Oh my good gods, they look like old ships from the colonies, if I didn't know better I would swear they WERE from the colonies, but that's just not possible, the Cylons wiped them out, all of them!”
Added a stunned Jansen.

He continued. “Alright helm I've seen enough, get us out of here NOW and spool up the F.T.L drive, get us back to the fleet as fast as you can, we need to report.

The S.T.R.I.X was just a single jump away from the fleet, this was how close the enemy had come!

Within minutes the craft had re-entered the orbit of Terra and was about to make her full report to Admiral Adama, now with just eleven days until the Cylons arrived!

Scene 6 – The Council of War

Once more the commanders of all four Battlestars and all six cruisers convened in the wardroom of the Pegasus leaving their X.O's in command.

The usual pleasantries were discarded and only water was provided to hydrate the officers. There was no time to waste with the usual traditions as Admiral Adama called the meeting to order the moment the last officer took his seat at the huge oval table.

“Right officers, we have an opportunity here, one that we didn't expect or want, but we need to take this moment in our history to turn the tide against the Cylons and back in our favour for the first time since we left our home planets in the colonies.

Whether we like it or not, we have been forced into a situation not of our making, but one in which we simply cannot afford to frack up!” He rose out of his seat, turned his back on the officers and slowly walked to a porthole.....

Those people out there, and down there on the surface”... he pointed in turn, “They have invested everything to get us to this point, they have left everything behind to create a new world down there, and we need to protect them at all costs”.

He turned sharply and stood over the huge table staring at the officers, his eyes scanning them one by one like lasers.

“I expect nothing less than a clean decisive victory, I want no frack ups.

I plan to try and force those bastards to surrender, something no Cylon has ever done before. If possible I want to try and take those ships and not destroy them....”

Boomer looked as shocked as all the other officers, calling into question the wisdom of such a strategy,

“Are you sure this is wise?” He questioned, “Can we afford to play with them like a cat plays with a mouse, those ships are lethal, if we don't show them due respect Admiral they could destroy us just as easily as we could destroy them!”

“Yes I thought you would say that, that's why I have asked Lucifer and his lackey to join us....”

“Lucifer, Spectre, in here now!” Yelled Adama, only himself and Sheba knew the Cylons were on board, Adama asking her permission as a courtesy as commander of the Pegasus.

As the two Cylons entered the wardroom, the officers groaned at their sight, something Lucifer and Spectre were getting used to!

“I want you both to explain to my officers the conversation we had earlier regarding the likelihood of successfully capturing the Cylon warships?” demanded Adama.

Lucifer stared at Adama, not liking his tone, once more reminding him he was a free man and had offered his services as such.

Adama's mood darkened in an instant....

“Listen to me you jumped up piece of fracking skin covered chrome, I will talk to you however I want, if you wish to be seriously considered as part of my military force, as my adviser, then I will impart some advice to you now, shut the frack up if you don't want to be back on the ship of justice on a charge, I am not treating you any different to any of my officers, if they were to interrupt me or show insubordination, they would get the same treatment, the choice is yours....”

Lucifer was forced into a humiliating climb down, knowing Adama was in no mood for his insolence,

“Please forgive my impudence Admiral”

“Very well Lucifer, as you can see I am under a great deal of pressure to deliver, those people down there are relying on me, my officers and crews, and that includes you if you wind your fracking neck in!”

He then smiled at the discomfort of Lucifer, before snapping out of his moment of levity and back to matters at hand.

“OK as I was saying”, he added sarcastically, “Lucifer, in his great wisdom is about to furnish us with some facts about the layout, structure and deck plans of those Base Ships, and more importantly, how we can take them, capture them in order to use the raw materials to help bolster our own fleet.

After all, the one thing we are coming up short of in the fleet are the materials needed for more warships. I intend to use this as an opportunity to analyse our enemy ships in fine detail, then plunder them in order to stockpile our reserves of shipbuilding materials, rather than just blast them out of the stars, in short officers, we haven't found any other source of raw materials suitable for our needs”.

“Lucifer, impress me” added Adama mockingly.

“As you desire Admiral, it is indeed true that a possibility exists to capture said ships, to take them without their total destruction, however, it would be remiss of me as the er, new adviser to the admiralty, if I can put it that way, to not point out the perils of such an action.”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean Lucifer, snapped Adama.”

“It means beware of the wounded tiger Admiral, if you seriously think a damaged Base Star cannot destroy a Battlestar you are seriously mistaken, I understand your desire to utilise the hardware available to you on capturing the enemy ships, but be advised, and I say this as your new military advisor, they will not go down without a fight.

So I say this with hope and anticipation that you have taken into account my advice, my reprogramming, my ability to serve the colonies only, and inability to betray you, I cannot lie to you, your course of action could indeed prove successful and bear you great fruit, it could also prove your demise...

Please be advised I have given you all fair warning, the decision now lies with yourself and your officers.”

“Oh and one more thing Admiral, as it now seems apparent that I cannot impress you, merely inform, so that is the best I can do, and hope you heed my warning, if you decide to ignore my words, at least be prepared for the consequences of failure.” sneered Lucifer.

“Very well Lucifer, you have spelled it out, you have highlighted the perils of my battle plan, for that I thank you, now you will upload the blueprints of the Dark Star Base Stars for my officers to inspect. Your advice is duly taken into account and will be acted upon, also that of your lieutenant Spectre.”

Admiral Adama slowly rose from his seat, pacing up and down, then circumscribed the perimeter of the huge oval table as his officers looked over their collective shoulders as he filed passed them all in turn.

For several moments he prepared to speak, only to raise his index finger in ponderous contemplation....

His mental anguish was becoming all too apparent when he suddenly exclaimed !!

“Frack it, help me out here officers, what should we do? Do we try and take those ships, knowing the hardware could prove invaluable to us in the military, maybe even giving us enough raw materials to build a fourth Super Battlestar and the mightiest fleet since the fall of the colonies.

…. Or should we just blast those frackers out of the stars in the full knowledge that we will probably never get the chance to bolster the fleet again in our lifetime, the suits wishing to concentrate on building the defences and infrastructure down on Terra?”

“Load the fracking question why don't you” roared Starbuck with laughter,
possibly the only warrior other than Boomer and Jolly who could openly defy Adama without fear of retribution.

The entire wardroom of officers discussed the dilemma openly, some in favour of plundering the enemy ships, others in fear of the risks, simply wishing to dispatch the enemy with all due haste, when commander Helena 'Sheba' Cain rose to address the assembled officers.....

“So you all wish to sit at the top table without displaying any balls, Admiral Adama has suggested we may never get this opportunity again in our lifetime to bolster the battle fleet, what are you playing at Admiral!” snarled Sheba.

“If your not up to it then why don't you all let those of us with spines do the job for you, officers like young Jansen and John Rigal, they are desperate for their chance, if you lot don't have the spine then....”

Admiral Adama interjected.... “Look commander Cain, no-one is suggesting our officers haven't the courage....”

“I'm suggesting it Admiral, I'm suggesting you and these officers haven't...”

Admiral Adama was forced to rebuke his Battlestar Commander and lover in front of the officers...

“ENOUGH, that's quite enough Sheba, there are no cowards in this room, just officers trying to weigh up the pro's and cons of our next moves. This decision is critical to the outcome of the battle ,we cannot force this issue with blood and bluster.

I'm sure to a man my officers will all agree to capture the Cylon task force and not just blow it away as you would, if and when we can find a way of doing so without undue risk to our fleet, rather than see the hardware go to waste in a blaze of fire, right officers?” all nodded.

Adama shot a steely glare at Sheba, she looked enraged but held her tongue as the officers further discussed the options open to them before Lucifer interjected....

“Officers, if I may, the majority of you seem to be in favour of going with the Admiral's plan to capture the Cylon vessels, I said this course of action would be hazardous, then again to engage them in a full on assault could be argued as equally perilous commander Cain.”

Lucifer looked at Sheba with an almost smug expression, deliberately baiting her and siding with Adama.

As the Admirals advisor I can fully understand his desire to utilise the raw materials that would become available, therefore My aide Spectre and I will study the options available, the relative strengths and weaknesses of the opposing forces, and then present you all with our proposals.

Admiral, may I suggest a one hour recess to allow you to refresh your officers whilst Spectre and I remain to formulate our battle plan?”

“Very well Lucifer, nodded Adama, “We will re-convene here in one hour, go get some food, Sheba, remain behind for a moment, I wish to speak to you alone”.

Lucifer and Spectre took their cue to leave....”We will wait outside until you call us, by your command” said Lucifer softly.

As the door to the wardroom closed behind the Cylons, leaving Adama alone with Sheba...

“Right, with my Admirals hat on, what the hell is wrong with you Sheba, are you trying to start a war with the officers, the war is out there, not in the fracking fleet, hold your tongue in future and address the other officers with respect commander Cain, or you will be put on a charge.

Now off the record, as my soulmate, my lover, my friend, I understand some of our officers, including you, seem reluctant to fall into line with my plans, that is why I called them all here, I don't want yes men Sheba, if they have reservations about my plans I fully expect them and you to air them, that is why I choose them all to lead our ships. It is not fear for themselves that drives them Sheba, but fear for our citizens down there on Terra and in the fleet.

I expect more self control from you in future Sheba, remember I can relieve you of your command at any time. I know you are very ambitious and are trying to show the qualities of leadership, but those qualities include listening to officers more junior than yourself.

One thing I have learned from my time as commander of this fleet is to never underestimate the wisdom of others, even if they are young and inexperienced, all can bring fresh ideas to the table.

In short Sheba, be careful not to choke on your own aspirations, there will be no bullies or dictators under my command, do I make myself clear...”

Sheba was visibly shaking with rage, struggling to hold her tongue....

“I SAID DO I MAKE MYELF CLEAR COMMANDER CAIN!” yelled Adama, loud enough for Lucifer and Spectre to hear outside as they shot a knowing glance at each other.

“Yes Admiral, crystal clear” replied Sheba as a tear rolled down her cheek in frustration.

Scene 7 – Depredation

One hour passed as the officers all filed back into the wardroom.

All retook their seats as Lucifer approached the main viewing screen, he once again inserted the hard drive containing the blueprints to both the Cylon and Colonial fleets.

“If I may Admiral...? he looked over to Adama, waiting for his cue, Adama duly nodding for him to proceed.

“Spectre and I have studied the best method of approaching this scenario, we both anticipate complete surprise will be on your side, we suggest using only four Battle Cruisers to intercept the four Cylon gunships, leaving two in reserve to back them up, also only two Super Battlestars to intercept the two Base Stars leaving one Super Battlestar and the Galactica as back up to those, bearing in mind there may be more than two base ships, so desperate have they become!”

We believe it best practice to put the other ships not engaged between the Cylon ships and Terra, using them as a shield.

We suggest that you treat the situation as if the Cylons are well aware of Terra's position, therefore you must defend your rear flank at all costs, do not engage all your ships at once, leave some back to guard your path back to Terra.”

“With regards to the battle itself, we have provided an uplink for all your ships to download, they will at the time of battle be able to interface these uplinks into the new tactical stations on board the new ships consoles, giving your tactical teams the ability to pre-programme a course of action into the ships mainframes”.

“I don't exactly follow Lucifer....?” questioned Commander Jolly Johnson.

“Neither do I!” exclaimed Adama.

Lucifer elaborated further.....

“What I am saying is, Spectre has devised a fully automated programme for your ships to follow, I have instructed him to pre programme your Battlestars to remotely carry out the orders of Admiral Adama, to open fire on the Cylon ships with just sufficient firepower to render them impotent, they will be shut down from the central core out, all systems will be down for a period of time long enough for your away teams to get on board and lock down all essential systems before they attempt to reboot, including the Centurions.

There will inevitably be some structural damage to the Base Stars, but not enough to prevent your salvage teams from dismantling the ships for recycling.

If your crews do exactly as we instruct, monitor the programme without intervening, allow it to control the battle to its conclusion, you will have your prizes Admiral, the Cylon ships, also the raiders and Centurions within them.

Your crews only need to monitor the situation, and only in the unlikely event of a systems malfunction should they need to intervene.

When this event has been concluded and the ships secured, we will instruct your teams how to activate the sub-light engines remotely giving the option to get the ships back here to Terran orbit without the need to deploy tugs.

All that is required now is for Spectre and I to visit each ship in turn to upload its specific instructions and roles in the engagement, any questions Admiral, officers?” enquired Lucifer.

Adama was once again impressed by the meticulous planning of Lucifer, and also the intellect of his underling Spectre, could it be he was finally warming to both Cylons?

“Well, you seem to have covered everything once again Lucifer, but leaving the whole battle in the hands of a computer programme, I don't know!” bemoaned Adama.

“As I have already indicated Admiral, at the first sign of a program malfunction your crews will have the codes to override the programmes and manually complete the task, that said, our programme will NOT fail, you have our word on it Admiral, you trusted me before, trust me now and I, we will deliver!”

“Very well Lucifer, I will agree to your plans, now officers if there are no more questions... then I suggest we all get some rack time and begin to fine tune these plans in the morning, I will contact you all via fleet comm line Alpha at ten a.m. Tomorrow – thank you all, you are dismissed.” added Adama.

As all the officers filed out of the wardroom, commander Jolly grabbed the arm of Sheba out of sight of the other officers.....

“I don't know what the frack your problem is Sheba, but how dare you have the audacity to suggest we officers are cowards, if I hear any more of this trash talk from you I will personally tear you apart and Adama won't be around to protect you, I have put my life on the line voluntarily for the colonies on far more occasions than you, and when you have one of these hanging round your neck then you can open your mouth!” as he pointed to the gold cluster he was awarded for locating the Deathfall Base Star in his Stealth S.T.R.I.X.

“I er I didn't mean to offend you Jolly, you are a dear friend, I was referring to some of the others... I er...” Sheba struggled to gain her composure under the tirade from Jolly.

“I don't give a frack whether you referred to me or not, none of those officers would ever flinch at the thought of laying his, or her life down for the colonies, you don't have the monopoly on courage Sheba, so next time choose your words more wisely, I will be watching you...” snarled a scornful Jolly.

As Jolly's voice raised further, Adama emerged from his quarters on hearing the argument outside, “What is going on here officers, you were dismissed!” exclaimed Adama.

“Oh it's nothing Apollo, we were just clearing up a few things”, retorted Jolly.

Adama glared at the two of them knowing something was wrong and sensed the hostility of Jolly toward Sheba.

This was all he needed, his officers at each others throats just as the biggest battle since the fall of the colonies was about to take place, he simply had to get his officers minds back on the critical battle ahead, or risk losing everything.

Once more commander 'Sheba' Cain walked away enraged and muttered under her breath,

“I will make them pay for what they did to me, every last one of them, they will rue the day they ever crossed a Cain...”

But who was she referring to, the Cylons....or the humans!!

…...To be Continued in part 2

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:51 pm 
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Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage to Earth Episode 16 – Day of the Dark-Stars part 2

…...Continued from part 1

Adama glared at the two of them knowing something was wrong and sensed the hostility of Jolly toward Sheba.

This was all he needed, his officers at each others throats just as the biggest battle was about to commence since the fall of the colonies, he simply had to get his officers minds back on the critical battle ahead, or risk losing everything.

Once more commander 'Sheba' Cain walked away enraged and muttered under her breath,

“I will make them pay for what they did to me, every last one of them, they will rue the day they ever crossed a Cain...”

But who was she referring to, the Cylons....or the humans!

Scene 1 – Preparing a Warm Welcome

The following day at dawn, Lucifer and Spectre began the task of uploading the automated battle sequences to each of the warships in turn, each with their own specific plan and target, but all interfaced with each other.
By 2 p.m. the upload links were complete and secured, the override codes entered and all systems checked and double checked.

This critical task now complete, Admiral Adama and Rear Admiral Boomer decided to take a shuttle down to the surface of Terra to see for themselves the preparations for the possibility of the Cylons descending on the planet.

They wanted to satisfy themselves that all preparations were in place and that the civilians were fully briefed on what to do should the unthinkable happen, and that all defence systems were fully operational and ready to deploy at a moments notice. At least then they could concentrate on the ensuing space battle without the distraction of worrying about the citizens of Terra.

They had been informed of a technological breakthrough with the inception of a new, as yet unnamed organisation with the sole purpose of early warning and protection from the Cylons, to be strategically positioned around the entire planet of Terra in special underground bases.

Many new pieces of prototype hardware and equipment had been planned, some having never made it further than the drawing board. However, one new prototype state of the art intercept fighter/Bomber had been constructed, its purpose was to intercept incoming Cylon Raiders as they neared the orbit of Terra, should they escape the vipers from the main battle fleet.

These aircraft were a modification of a successful craft known as the A.F.A.B or Atmospheric Fighter and Bomber.

The new craft was similar in that it could be used as both fighter and bomber, the aft section used as the main launch vehicle, propelling the fighter section into space in less than two minutes using a vertical launch platform. The pilots had been specially selected for their ability to withstand incredible 'G' forces.

Adama and Boomer had been invited to attend the first test launch of this new aircraft. With less than 5 days until the Cylons arrived, every man woman and child were preparing in their own way for the defence of their new home, and for the ground forces on Terra this would continue until the very last moment, they knowing full well they were the very last line of defence.

At the new air base just outside of Zelan City stood a tall launch platform supporting the new prototype craft on its end, somewhat reminiscent of an Earth space shuttle. Behind the new craft could be seen a mountain range behind rolling hills and clusters of pine trees and lakes, as if to remind them all of what was at stake, the beautiful planet they were defending.

Scene 2 – The Star Riders

The two officers were hastily led to a bunker where they would witness the first launch in safety.

A small group of enthusiastic technicians entered the bunker to join them to narrate the radio feed they were about to hear.

One of the group of four men introduced himself as lead technician Alan Baines B.S.C and offered the two men some soup from a flask, it being a rather cold yet sunny day.

As they looked out toward a huge launch facility they could see a giant gantry supporting what looked like a fighter jet tilted upright, which was basically what the new craft was!

It was a very impressive sight, somewhat familiar in appearance to the now very successful A.F.A.B that Admiral Adama's own son Troy had successfully test piloted. This fighter/bomber was slightly smaller and sleeker, but had similar lines and the same colouring as the A.F.A.B with its distinct colonial grey and red markings.

The six men waited as the radio feed from the crafts pilot was patched through to them.

“Star Rider One, test pilot Lieutenant Braithwaite reporting in, I have commenced pre flight checks, please tick them' off control”.

“Radio check?” asked the pilot

“Reading you five by five, stand by Lieutenant...... OK coolant?

“GO ”

“Main thrusters”


“Main and secondary couplings?”


“Ailerons and elevons moving freely?”

“Copy, moving freely”......

The checks were quickly counted off and the launch was given the go ahead....

Suddenly a giant plume of smoke and steam rose from the foot of the engines as they blasted into life.

“Main thruster engine ignition successful, lifting off in five, four, three ,two, one”......

With breathtaking speed the fighter/bomber known as Star Rider One had no sooner left the pad than she was disappearing into the sky almost out of sight within seconds, this craft had devastating speed!

Adama Looked at Boomer with a bewildered stare, they had never witnessed such a powerful lift off of any craft, and they thought vipers were the fastest thing known to the colonies!

Boomer quipped, “Jeez I thought we were the fastest back in our day, then along came the mark three's, the mark four's ….but that was unbelievable!”

“What is the exact purpose of the speed, does it not risk damage to the airframe?” asked Adama.

“That's why we hastily prepared this test fight Admiral, we've had her finished for quite some time now but events have rather overtaken us all haven't they?” replied professor Baines.

“The main purpose of the speed is to get the craft into low orbit as fast as possible in order to intercept any Cylon raiders that approach the orbit of Terra, to dispatch them before they can get to our population on the surface. Please observe the next, critical phase of our test flight, pilot Braithwaite should be ready to detach any time now”. Added the scientist.

“Braithwaite reporting in, I have reached the optimal escape velocity of Terra at eleven point three kilometres per second, increasing to forty two point one, clearing the atmosphere of Terra in two minutes and twenty five point one seconds.
Levelling out, preparing for separation, please stand by.....”

A camera had been mounted on the tail of the launch section of the craft to show the moment of separation to the waiting technicians.
The camera suddenly jolted as the fighter section sped away from the aft section leaving it trailing in its wake.

“I can confirm successful separation control, all systems nominal, she's responding like a thoroughbred stallion, going to open her up now”. Commented Braithwaite.

The pilots voice was breaking due to the the torque of the 'G' forces upon his body as he throttled up the fighter craft.

“Ready to receive probes at your discretion control” the pilots voice still trembling, barely able to speak.

The probes were in fact remotely piloted scale models of Cylon raiders, four of them were dispatched to intercept the fighter as the pilot regained his control and voice.

Braithwaite was one of the best young test pilots available but even he struggled to master the awesome speed and manoeuvrability of the sleek fighter as he turned her into the Terran sun to face his four predators.

The ground pilots sent the four probes directly into the path of the fighter, and as he spotted them on his scanner, Braithwaite hit the turbo thrust button on his joystick and was bearing down on two of them, in a moment he had dispatched them both in a short devastating burst of laser pulse cannon.

Within thirty seconds he had destroyed the remaining two craft and was heading back toward his launch site to scan for the launch vehicle.

Now he could relax and enjoy the ride as his fighter decreased speed as it prepared to re-enter the atmosphere of Terra.

“I have successfully scanned for the launch vehicle to confirm its successful re-entry and deployment of parachutes and retro thrusters.”

Within minutes he was approaching the landing zone.

“I am flaring for landing now, you should be able to monitor my landing momentarily, Braithwaite, over....”

The four technicians all cheered and gave each other handshakes as Admiral Adama and Boomer congratulated them on a successful mission, the relief of the four technicians was palpable.

Scene 3 – The Nuclear Necklace

Having witnessed the successful trial and retrieval of the devastating new craft, the two officers were led to a newly designed truck known as A.T.L.A.S, an acronym for All Terrain Logistics And Supplies, where together with the technicians they would be driven into a forest clearing where they would be shown more new hardware.

The first of three more vehicles was driven towards them, an amphibious armoured personnel carrier, capable of carrying a platoon of up to thirty men with a crew of three, it had front and rear mounted machine guns on its roof and had specialist equipment including survival gear and tents.

Secondly an amphibious troop carrier with a canvass hood was driven towards them to inspect, it too capable of carrying a platoon into the theatre of battle, together with its own supply of ancillary equipment.

Lastly, and most importantly to Adama and Boomer, a huge vehicle carrying a nuclear warhead was presented to them. This was one of several such vehicles positioned around the outskirts of Zelan city, known as the Nuclear Necklace. This vehicle had two huge powerful engines capable of negotiating the rugged terrain of Terra, it also had eight pairs of wheels which could also carry chains. It could therefore deploy its payload at any point around Zelan City and the newly named country of Zelandia.

The vehicle was positioned for the officers to witness the giant hydraulic ram point the warhead skywards in readiness for launch, although it was not deployed given the scarcity of the warheads available.

Adama looked on with a degree of satisfaction, knowing the ground forces had not been idle whilst he had readied the battle fleet.

The two officers inspected the vehicles more closely, observing two powerful 700 horsepower engines in each vehicle, capable of operating independently or in tandem and massive tyres to negotiate the rugged terrain of the planet Terra.

After being given a lunch of sandwiches and beer from the back of one of the trucks, the two men were ushered back to their shuttle to be given a whistle stop tour of all the locations of the defence positions overlooking the city.

The officers, having satisfied themselves that matters on the surface were in hand, thanked the technicians and headed back to their shuttle for a council of war in the wardroom of the Pegasus.

Scene 4 – Deveraux's warning

Super Battlestar Pegasus wardroom, anticipated Cylon arrival -72 hours

Once more the huge wardroom was attended by flag rank officers from all ships, including the now respected I.L (Imperious Leader) series Cylons, Lucifer and Spectre.

Unlike the previous council of war, Adama had decided to relax the military code, allowing a full menu of the finest foods and beverages to be consumed, knowing this could yet be the last time some of his warriors have such a feast, their lives in peril from the oncoming Cylon task force.

To this end he had also given 24 hours furlough to some of the less critical married warriors to allow them time with their loved ones before resuming their duties.

Having witnessed the tension between some of his more senior officers, he wanted to diffuse the situation as much as possible, and as he watched the body language of his officers, paying particular attention to his beloved Sheba and Commander 'Jolly' Johnson.

He allowed the officers time to indulge themselves before dealing with the critical details of his battle plan, although he knew some of his officers would become slightly intoxicated, allowed this to happen in the knowledge that the meeting was being recorded by Lucifer's sensors.

The Cylon had the technology to analyse in detail each crew members actions and reactions, giving Admiral Adama an insight into whom among them was best placed to carry out his orders to the letter.

Adama couldn't help but notice the amount of time Lucifer took scanning Sheba's body language as she drank village ambrosia, unaware of the Cylon's suspicions about her!

Sheba was hiding something, but what? The atmosphere between herself and Jolly had lightened but there was something else......

Was Sheba to prove to be the weak link, or was she in fact the bravest and most determined of all the officers? Adama would find out in the most critical way, in the heat of battle, this troubled him greatly.

His mind began to race as he too allowed the village ambrosia to wash over him, then recalling how the intoxicating libation almost proved the undoing of his idol Saul Tigh.

His mind recalled a dinner he had recently spent on the ship of worship with his new friends, the Deveraux pastors. Father Deveraux warning him of his vision, that one of his crew would betray him, recalling the events of the 'last supper' as mentioned in Earths sacred 'New Testament'.

His mood changed in an instant as he slammed his chalice onto the table top, his drink spilling onto the oak table startling all the officers out of their relaxed mood, all now staring intently at their leader.
He had intentionally lulled them all into a false sense of security in order to gain the information he sought via his new aide Lucifer.

He glared at his officers with a cold stare, one which had seldom been seen by his officers as they grew more and more uneasy at his sudden mood swing, his volte face.

Without the need to consult Lucifer, the Cylons own body language betraying his mistrust for Sheba, Adama decided to address the elephant in the room....

“Now listen to me all of you and listen well, I fear one among you will betray me just as Judas Iscariot betrayed the Lord Jesus himself in the teachings of the new testament, the Earths Christian scriptures.

I have made my intentions and feelings abundantly clear, you are all to follow the embedded computer programs your ships now contain, those provided by Lucifer and Spectre. I am acutely aware that trusting our new Cylon companions doesn't sit well with some of you, duly noted, but before you reveal your hands to me heed my words, I will not tolerate any deviation from the battle plans I have set before you all, in short you are only to intervene in the unlikely event of the programs malfunction, is that clear?”

He glared at Sheba before snarling “I SAID DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?”

The officers, including Sheba all replied loudly, “SIR YES SIR”.

Once more Admiral Adama had shown his mastery of the iron fist in a velvet glove approach, he knew exactly when to praise his officers and treat them with kindness, and also when to put the hammer down.

He continued....

“Right, you have all been given your individual orders, you will be guided by your own programs which ship in the Cylon task force you are to engage. You will all note I have decided to hold back some ships to act as a buffer between our enemies and our new home world.
Obviously I have decided to leave the Galactica in reserve, she is simply too old and weak to take on a Cylon 'Dark Star', also the Pegasus, her crew having already tasted victory. I feel it appropriate to allow the crews of the Omega and Tolan to taste battle”.

It was in reality his mistrust of Sheba, despite his love for her, that influenced his decision to hold the Pegasus back.

“I will also hold in reserve two of the six cruisers to aide the Pegasus and Galactica in mopping up any stray Cylon vessels if and when they get too close to Terra.
Ladies and Gentlemen officers, I have chastised you enough, now enjoy the hospitality of the Pegasus stewards, then when you are ready you may leave for your own ships and prepare for our rendezvous with the Cylons.

May the Lords of Kobol bless and keep you all”.

….As one the officers shouted “SO SAY WE ALL”

Gradually the officers began to leave for their own ships, the words of Admiral Adama still wringing in their ears.

Scene 5 – A friend in need

Admiral Adama returned to his beloved Galactica, his mind racing with the perils of the ensuing battle weighing heavily on his mind. He mused how he could have done with his fathers counselling
or that of his idol Saul Tigh at that moment.
Part of him desperately seeking the tender arms of his lover Sheba, and yet it was she who was causing him the most consternation.

Adama knew he was in for a very long night, as on many occasions before he knew he needed a distraction, he needed the ear of someone impartial to unburden himself upon, then recalling the wise council of his newest, and possibly most loyal of civilian friends, the family Deveraux.

He decided to call them in the hope they would once again hold out the hand of hospitality, he would not be disappointed.

He looked at the stainless steel wall clock in his quarters, given as a birthday gift by his father, noting in particular the inscription his father had placed upon it....

“When you think something is a waste of time, as long as you use the experience wisely it is not”

Finally, morning broke, reveille sounding out throughout the Galactica. Adama snapped out of his haunted sleep and leapt out of his bed.

Within minutes he was showered and donning his dress uniform in preparation for breakfast on the ship of worship with the family Deveraux.

“Morning Starbuck, are you on the bridge yet?” enquired Adama through his wrist communicator.

“Cocked, locked and ready to rock Apollo!” quipped Starbuck with his usual flippancy.

He continued....”You want to head over to the Deveraux's right?”

“Yes if you don't mind holding the fort for me? Asked Apollo.

“Sure thing but don't be too long my friend, we are in for a busy shift here!” countered Starbuck.

“Understood, I just want to clear my mind, you understand don't you?” added Adama.

“I do, give them my regards Apollo, I'll brief you when you get back, Starbuck out.”

Admiral Adama's shuttle slowly approached the magnificent' Ship of Worship' and his pilot requested permission to land, arcing the shuttle around the ship to allow his Admiral his customary view of the ship, peering into the cloisters below as the citizens within continued their prayers.

The Deveraux family were possibly the only civilians not to be overawed by the presence of Admiral Adama, having an aura of their own and a huge, almost cult like following in the fleet.

Adama greatly appreciated their friendship and lack of subservience and deference to his rank, it meant nothing to the family of pastors, their only concern being for his mental well being and health.

As had become customary, there to greet him was the young and beautiful Delphine, handing him a bunch of hand picked flowers from the garden of remembrance as she ushered him through the cloisters to where her parents and brother were waiting.

Adama finally arrived at the residential block and into the now familiar warm surroundings of the Deveraux's apartment.

Adama immediately felt a warm glow inside, not from the inviting open log fireplace, but from knowing he was amongst friends once more, including the late Dr. Zee who's presence could be felt all around.

“Have you had breakfast yet Admiral? Enquired Celine, to which Adama shook his head.

“I thought not, my daughter and I have prepared some croissants with pain au chocolat and coffee”.

This being a nod to the French citizens of Earth, who's language and culture closely resembled their own. This was shortly followed by Adama's favourite, steak and eggs.

Fully refreshed Adama relaxed into his chair knowing it would not be long before he had to depart for the Galactica once more.

“So what's troubling you Admiral, is it the desperate plight of our people, the uncertainty in the political corridors, the ensuing battle for survival, the turmoil in your ranks, or some other trivial matter?” quipped young Lucien with his usual talent for witty understatement.

“Hah laughed Adama, well it's all of the above but mainly the latter actually, I feel a great animosity between some of my warriors, my officers are conflicted on how we should deal with the impending Cylon threat, some feel we should simply wipe them out, others that we should use this opportunity to harvest their hardware and technology to further our own ends....”

“Mm wipe them out indeed, as if it were that simple eh, added Louis.

“It isn't I can assure you, but I am confident enough in my warriors and ships that we have more than enough to see off their threat, that's not the problem, the problem is whatever I do I cannot take all my warriors along, if I destroy their fleet some will accuse me of arrogantly wasting this golden opportunity to utilise their ships and technology....” replied Adama.

“….but if I don't others will accuse me of taking unnecessary risks, or even being a coward for not blasting them out of our quadrant once and for all....”

“Louis looked at Adama intensely before replying, “What would your father have done, what would Admiral Tigh have done? Answer me that Admiral?” added father Deveraux.

“Well they would have seen the bigger picture, they would not have taken unnecessary risks, but when they had a chance to plunder the Cylons they would have took it, as long as the benefits outweighed the risks father”.

“Then there's your answer Admiral, added Celine, you must follow your instincts, they have served you well thus far”.

“You are overly concerning yourself with others and what they will think of you Admiral, a wise man once said, if you can't please others then you must please yourself and your true friends will follow you” countered father Deveraux as his son nodded his agreement.

He continued his advice, and added a prophecy....

“The end will surely justify the means Admiral, once you have won the day and secured those ships your dissenting officers will see the wisdom of your decision and fall into line.”

“I meant not to alarm you when I said one will betray you, I sense the one who will is a deeply troubled soul, one who will come to us for help after the battle. Do not think too ill of this officer, all will be revealed in the fullness of time, suffice it to say a great deal of our warriors and citizens have emotional baggage from the fall of the Colonies, we should not judge them too harshly.”

“I will leave you with this thought to ponder, you must trust your instincts, trust the two Cylon robots you have in your care, they cannot betray you, I sense this. Though some will question your wisdom in trusting our former enemies, you are right to trust them, however, there is something else, I am sensing a presence within that enemy fleet, one that is somehow crying out for help.

I cannot explain Admiral but all is not as it seems, I sense there is another warship to the rear flank of that flotilla, be aware there may be more than two capital ships out there to intercept you.
I cannot stress enough the importance of using the element of surprise Admiral, this will be no massacre, you have numerical advantage, but only by a narrow margin.

Be warned, be vigilant, and may the Lords of Kobol protect you and your brave warriors, now you must go Admiral, your Executive Officer Starbuck grows impatient for your return.”

Adama left the hospitality of his friends on the ship of worship, taking with him answers, and yet more unanswered questions, what could father Deveraux have possibly meant by “All is not as it seems”

He finally arrived back on board the Galactica, where his friend and X.O Starbuck was more than a little relieved to hand over command.

“Did you find the answers you were looking for Apollo?” asked Starbuck.

“Yes....and no, something is not right my friend, but I don't know what!”

Adama looked at his timepiece, another gift from his father as he exclaimed!

“Just forty eight hours and they will be at our gates Starbuck, just forty eight short hours!”

“Whatever preparations are in place now they will have to be enough my friend, we've gone over everything with a fine toothed comb, all we can do now is put trust in our ships, in our warriors, and in God.”

Starbuck was surprised and shocked to see his friend and Admiral so pensive, why was he having doubts now, he had done all he could!

Scene 6 – Adama's longest day

Galactica bridge, Cylon arrival -12 hours

As dawn broke over the citizens of Zelan City, the battle fleet was preparing to jump to the co-ordinates of the enemy ships.

The comms officer on the Galactica prepared to address the fleet on behalf of his Admiral....

“Galactica to fleet, Zero hour, call in with status reports now....”

“Battlecruiser Perseus, all systems go, ready to jump on your command”

“Battlestar Tolan ready to jump on your command”

“Battlecruiser Medusa ready to jump”.......

One by one the fleet of six cruisers, three Super Battlestars and supporting vessels all called in to the awaiting Galactica, Adama took a long withering look at Starbuck and sighed.

“OK my friend lets get this party started.”

“Call it comms, helm prepare to jump us all in at your discretion”

“Aye Admiral, Galactica to fleet, jumping in five, four, three, two, one JUMP JUMP JUMP!”

The F.T.L's on all the warships spooled up simultaneously as they sped away from the warm comfort of Terra and into harms way.

Finally all ships emerged from their jumps and rendezvoused at their pre determined muster point.

“Admiral Adama to fleet, commence scanning for the Cylon task force, they should appear on our scanners soon, heads up everyone”.

All ships began probing the immensity of space for their enemies, but.....nothing.

Minutes seemed like hours to Adama as he waited for the dreaded ping on the D.R.A.D.I.S systems, something was wrong, where were they, he mused?

Then suddenly!

“Lead Battlestar Tolan to fleet, D.R.A.D.I.S contact, repeat D.R.A.D.I.S contact bearing 447, Carum 225 mark two, confirmed, two Cylon Base Stars dead ahead at C.B.D.R Admiral!”

“Very well Tolan actual, Commander Johnson, as you were the first to sniff them out would you like to be the first to dance?” enquired Admiral Adama to Commander 'Jolly' Johnson, the Battlestar Tolan Commander.

“It would be my honour sir, automated battle sequence has commenced Admiral, all systems nominal, we have the first Cylon Dark Star on our scanners now, the program has taken the controls, over.”

“Good luck and good hunting Battlestar Tolan, kick their Cylon balls Jolly”. Quipped Adama.

“Roger that Admiral” smiled Jolly.

Adama and Starbuck watched on their main viewing screen as the giant warship Tolan arched her back and turned directly into the path of the unsuspecting Cylon Base Star, they had achieved the perfect element of surprise, within moments she had a firing solution on the enemy ship and began to initiate her first attack sequence.

“Launch all vipers, arm all forward electronic defence systems, positive shield NOW, seal all compartments and arm ALL forward silo's.” yelled Jolly.

These tasks complete, the crew stood away from their consoles as the program installed by the Cylons Lucifer and Spectre began to calculate the firing sequences. Within moments the blast doors on the silo's opened and a volley of six nuclear warheads began speeding their way to the hapless Cylon Base Star.

Finally the missiles were bearing down on the enemy warship as she prepared her response. It was already too late as the first missile slammed into her central core sending her spinning off her axis, then as the ship revolved to try and protect her damaged hull the second warhead found its target with pinpoint accuracy.

The now familiar red glow from the central core began to appear as the ship prepared to send her own volley of warheads toward the Tolan, but as they emerged from their silo's, the four remaining warheads from the giant Battlestar destroyed them all before they had barely left the Base Ship causing massive damage to her hull.

After a few moments the Tolan closed to almost point blank range as her massive mega pulsars prepared the coup de grace, the huge, brilliant white laser blasts hitting her enemy like daggers to her heart, then suddenly the ship was plunged into complete darkness.

“Tolan actual to Galactica, we've done it, the ship is ours” exalted Jolly as cheers rose from every ship in the fleet.

“Very well done Jolly, well done to all your crew, right, your next up Boomer, go find us a fish!” exclaimed Adama.

The battle was going well for the fleet, but things would not be so easy for Boomer and the Battlestar Omega, the Cylons had regrouped and armed the nuclear missiles on their ships, they were not ready to concede the day to the colonials without a hell of a fight!

Meanwhile on the Battlestar Pegasus....

“Admiral Adama, Pegasus actual, X.O Colonel Bojay reporting, Sheba is unwell, I have had to relieve her of command, she'll be okay Admiral I just think she is exhausted. I have the conn, over.”

“Very well Bojay, thank you for your report, continue to initiate your battle sequence as ordered and fall back, your getting too close to the Omega, give Boomer room to fight, acknowledge?” demanded Adama.

Bojay refused to answer and had began to act strangely, senior officers were becoming suspicious of his irrational behaviour as he began to bark at them....

“Tactical, disable the automated program, I am going to take manual control of the bridge, I....”

As he ordered the tactical team to override and disable the automated codes, the tactical officer objected.

“Sir, the program is working perfectly, there is no need to abort!” yelled the tactical officer.

“Are you disobeying a direct order, abort the program RIGHT FRACKING NOW.”

Meanwhile in her quarters, Commander Helena 'Sheba' Cain had begun to rouse herself from a deep sleep, she regathered her composure and grabbed the handset from the console on her desk....

“Commander Cain to bridge, send a security detail to guard my quarters, no-one is to enter under ANY circumstances.

I am on my way back to assume command, security, you are to relieve Colonel Bojay of command and place him under arrest, and for gods fracking sake get us back on course, I've checked and we are veering dangerously close to the path of the Omega and will get caught in her crossfire if we don't move immediately, ACKNOWLEDGE DAMN YOU”

Sheba finally arrived back on the bridge to find four burley security guards struggling to overpower a raging Bojay.

“What is the meaning of this Bojay, you spiked my coffee with something didn't you, you sneaky little prick, you've betrayed me, the Admiral and the colonies, explain yourself before I have you dragged to the brig....”

She continued to yell at Bojay

“Why now, why Bojay, we have them where we want them, why.....

“NO!” snapped Bojay, “We have them where Adama wants them, that was never our plan, we talked about this Sheba, if we let Adama get his way those tin headed bastards will be spared, your father would turn in his grave if he's watching, he would expect us to blast those bastards out of the stars and you know it, don't betray your fathers memory Sheba!” Exclaimed Bojay.

“How dare you!” snapped Sheba, as she let fly a huge right hook onto his jaw which sent one of his molar teeth flying out.

“How dare you deem to know what my father would have done, he's not here and I am, we are going to continue with our Admiral's battle plan, whether we approve of it or not, he is our superior officer.

Of all people you, Bojay we grew up together and you betray me in our hour of need, in battle. Get the little shit out of my sight and put him in the brig stat!” demanded Sheba to the four burly guards holding him.

She quickly grabbed the handset on her command console.....

“Get me the Galactica NOW..... Admiral, it's Sheba, I don't have time to explain but I am back in command of the Pegasus and have relieved Bojay of his duties, I am plotting a course back to our original heading, can you please advise Boomer, I can't raise him for some reason.”

“Thank the Lords, of course Sheba I'll advise him, he's about to start his first run so I'll have to cut you off, good hunting, oh and can you check our rear flank just in case, the cruisers are reporting in they have successfully overpowered the Cylon vessels, there's just Boomers target now and any possible ships to the rear of that flotilla of civilian vessels....” added Adama.

“I'm on it Apollo, see you later in the officers club when this is over, Sheba out.”

Scene 7 – Boomers Honour

Admiral Adama finally managed to Raise Boomer to warn him of the proximity of the Pegasus...

“Boomer, better check your scanners, Sheba had a problem on the Pegasus but it's been sorted now, she is moving out of your way, you should be able to continue your run in a few minutes, it wasn't her fault my friend, she will explain over a cold one later.”

“Thanks Apollo” replied Boomer, “Yes I see her on my scanners, she's moving away right now and heading to the rear of their fleet.”

“Very well, the honour is all yours now my friend. Deliver the final blow for us and lets mop this up and get our asses out of here and check our rear flank in case any raiders got through and headed to Terra.” added Adama.

“Roger that Admiral, moving to attack position now.”

Finally the Omega picked up the second Cylon Base Star on her scanners and moved in for the kill.

The Base Star had other ideas, she had spotted the Omega and was ready to unleash a volley of ordinance toward the Battlestar.

“BATTLESTATIONS, all vipers launch now, positive shield NOW. Initiate battle sequence program and arm all forward missiles” yelled Rear Admiral Boomer.

“Right then Athena, let's make your brother proud, Jolly has done his job now it's our turn to give the tin-heads a bloody nose.” He turned and winked at his friend and X.O, he was savouring the smell of victory in his nostrils as his brutal warship bore down on her pray.

The Cylons however were ready for her and launched a volley of missiles directly into the path of the Omega, before the crew had time to react the automated program responded with a volley of chaff missiles dispatching the nukes in a blaze of fire.

Boomer was surprised and relieved in equal measures at the efficiency of the Cylons handy work, the program was behaving perfectly.

He ordered his gunnery crews to move away from their consoles as the program initiated a volley of nuclear missiles of it's own into the path of the enemy Base Ship, as the crew watched on.

“At this fracking rate we will all soon be out of a job”, he quipped to Athena.

Hundreds of chunks of molten metal flew from the hull of the Base Ship as the missiles landed on their target, the blows sent her reeling uncontrollably. The program paused as if to tease the Base Ship, it was in fact waiting for the ship to steady itself and offer up the undamaged portion of it's hull to the Omega, then duly dispatching a further two warheads directly at the central core, finally moving the ship to within a few miles of the mortally wounded vessel and launched a volley of Mega Pulsars into its belly, it too falling into darkness, the battle was all but over.

“Admiral we've done it, the ship is ours....” beamed Boomer as another round of cheers sounded throughout the fleet.

Meanwhile on the Pegasus.....

Sheba still had work to do however and spotted something on her scanners.

A red glow came from the rear of the strange flotilla of civilian vessels, IT WAS ANOTHER CYLON BASE STAR!

The Pegasus spotted her on her scanners as the enemy ship inexplicably began firing at the civilian ships she was presumably guarding, something was very wrong.

“Get me the Galactica R.F.N!” yelled Sheba to her comms team but the Galactica was out of range.

“Listen up everyone, we need to protect whatever is in those ships, they are firing on them for a reason, they obviously don't want us to have them, or whatever is inside them. Our so called X.O has sabotaged the automated program so we will have to take out that ship the old fashioned way.

If any of you are in any doubt as to what that means, it means we have no choice other than to disobey a direct order to protect those civilian vessels, if I had a choice I wouldn't but as we are unable to raise the Galactica I am forced to make a call, we will destroy that ship.”

“Comms put me on general P.A, I want to address the entire crew.”

“Now listen up brave warriors, we have been thrown a curved ball thanks to Bojay, that ship out there is posing a real threat to the success of this mission, although we were ordered not to destroy our enemy vessels events have somewhat been taken out of our hands. The Cylon Base Star is firing on the civilian ships, we have to protect them.

We must, I repeat we must destroy that ship, our automated attack programs have been sabotaged by that treacherous snake Bojay so we have to take her out, destroy her. I cannot raise the Galactica as we are out of range so I am forced to make a judgment call.

“Listen fellow warriors, I know this is not how we expected the day to unfold, but we are the only Battlestar in the vicinity of that Base Star out there, we have a duty to protect our citizens at any cost, we have been in the firing line before and you all conducted yourselves admirably, I expect you all to do the same today and honour the names of those that fell on this, and the previous Pegasus, it is an honour to be your commander, now lets get to work.”

Sheba muttered under her breath,

“I said I would exact my revenge on those bastards and now I will.

She then repeated her ominous words, now it was clear who she was referring to....

“As I said, I will make them pay for what they did to me, every last one of them, they will rue the day they ever crossed a Cain...”

Scene 8 – Like Father Like Daughter


“Seal all compartments, launch all vipers and order them to form a spearhead in front of us, our comrades on the Tolan and Omega have been lucky, they managed to dispatch their target ships before they managed to launch raiders, we will not be so lucky, they will have launched before we get to them so get the anti assault batteries ready to fire as they bear.
Positive shield now and arm all forward nukes and divert all power to the forward defence shields.”

Within minutes the Pegasus was bearing down on the Base Ship. This ship was slightly different in appearance to the two other Dark Star Base Stars, this was a beta version, a de facto picket ship cum destroyer, faster but less heavily armed than her two sister ships meaning the Pegasus had a clear advantage in firepower.

The Base Ship attempted to outmanoeuvre the Pegasus and get behind her.....

Sheba was ready and anticipated this strategy,

“She's trying to get to those civilian ships, we need to cut her off.....”

The Cylon warship sent a volley of nuclear missiles directly at the rear civilian ship, the helmsman skilfully positioned the Pegasus between the ordinance and the ship on the orders of Sheba.

“Brace yourselves everyone, we are going to have to take one for the team, helm, fly us into those nukes, we must protect those vessels at all costs, if they are so desperate to stop us from having them then they must be worth having.” countered Sheba.

The new technology on the Pegasus was about to be tested to the full once more, the electronic defence shields held and she took the blows like a heavyweight champion.

A brilliant white glow enveloped the Pegasus as the warheads slammed into her but she held firm and turned to face her enemy with venom.

“Wait for the red glow weapons team, when you see the glow let the bastards have the lot, full salvo down her throat, they won't know what's hit them.” she grinned.

Sure enough a red glow began to emanate from the enemy ship.

“Right weapons hot, FIRE, FIRE, FIRE” she yelled as a phalanx of nuclear weapons sped toward their intended target, after a few moments the Base Star attempted once more to get to the civilian ships but was caught by a pair of nukes.

She began to list as the force of the weapons ripped open her hull spilling raiders and centurions into the blackness of space.

The Base Star defiantly spat another volley of nukes toward the Pegasus but Sheba made no attempt to evade them, having full confidence in the integrity of the mighty Super Battlestar.

Her confidence proved justified as the ship took the hits with ease, her shields down to forty percent but it mattered not, the Base Star had no answer and no more nukes. There was now nothing to stop the Pegasus from destroying the Base Star, Sheba took no chances and showed no mercy to her enemies as memories of her fallen comrades came rushing back.

She ordered one more nuclear missile to be launched at the central core and watched as the Base Ship shattered in all directions, pieces of molten metal flying like a massive firework.

All hands on board the Pegasus exalted as they watched the ship shatter into a thousand pieces.

Simultaneously her vipers were mopping up all the raiders that managed to launch, they were no match for the legendary Silver Spar Squadron and her supporting cast.

“All right , very well done everyone, damage report, said Sheba coldly as she became calm once more.

“Damage control reports only minor damage commander” replied a tactical officer.

“There are a few minor casualties but no deaths and no major injuries, there were a few small fires but the Boroton mist has taken care of them, we are in good shape commander” he added.

“Excellent, very well, scan for further hostiles and get us closer in to those civilian vessels, I want to take a closer look.” she added.

The Pegasus slowly turned to check the rear flank of the civilian fleet, as the images began to appear on the main screen it became apparent that they were looking at a fleet of old and obsolete colonial vessels, most of which looked barely capable of flying at all!

“Get closer damn it!” growled Sheba, “I want to scan deeper into those vessels, scanning teams, tactical, get me a full technical readout of what's inside those vessels, scan for life forms.”

As ordered the helm and tactical teams manoeuvred the Pegasus to within a few hundred feet of the rear vessel, the damage to her hull now apparent as it dawned on the crew just how close the Cylon Base Star had come to destroying it.

The wait seemed like an eternity to Sheba and her crew as they waited impatiently for the results of the scan to filter through.

“Commander, the scan is coming through now” announced the lead tactical officer, “there is definitely some kind of life form on those vessels, but it's very unclear, there seems to be some kind of life support system suspending their lives between life and death commander.”

“Get me more damn it, I want to know what they are right fracking now!” she demanded.


To be continued......

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:45 am 
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Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 5:39 am
Posts: 471
Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage to Earth Episode 17 – Spectre

Scene 1 – The Spoils of War

The Battle of Terra Quadrant finally over, guarded by the Galactica and its supporting task force, the captured Cylon vessels and their strange civilian fleet slowly limped into Terran orbit.

To all intents and purposes the colonies had secured their first clear victory since the fall of the colonies.

Unlike the Battles of Omega Delta and Amilon, casualties were light and damage to the warships was relatively minor. Two full Cylon Base Stars had been captured along with four patrol vessels and a myriad of raiders, small craft and around six thousand centurions, some intact, some in various states of damage.

All was not well however, just as the fleet were preparing to re-enter Terran orbit, the Pegasus suffered a power surge due to the radiation of the nuclear warheads hitting her as she protected the civilian vessels from Cylon attack.

A massive explosion occurred inside one of the main plant rooms near the control centre killing four ratings, an N.C.O and a petty officer.

As the beautiful planet Terra appeared on their scanners, Adama could only think of the fallen warriors on the Pegasus, the wounded elsewhere, of Sheba and his dear friend Bojay!

Unlike Sheba, who was enraged at her X.O, Adama knew there was more to Bojay's anguish than first appeared and made it his priority to afford any help and support he could for him. He ordered him to be kept in solitary confinement on one of the medical ships to undergo tests, well away from the ire of Sheba!

Things were eerily different from the last encounter with the Cylons at the Battle of Amilon, this time there would be no victory parade, no heroes welcome!

The warriors on the flotilla of warships almost unanimously felt let down by those they were protecting, where was the bunting, where were the flowers and people lining the streets of Zelan City to greet them upon their victorious return from battle.

It had not yet dawned on the military that resentment was building down on the surface, the civilians feeling the warriors were getting all the plaudits, all the comfort, all the best food and shelter aboard their shiny new warships, a myth Adama would have to dispel, and quickly!

Once again the fallout from battle had unearthed many more questions than answers, what was the reason for Bojay's meltdown, why did the civilians not greet them with a heroes welcome, and most importantly of all, what was the strange mystery of the new 'Ghost Fleet' they had acquired.

Adama knew he had to act quickly, questions would be raised in the senate, but for all the many souls in his charge, Adama had thoughts for only eight, the six that perished on the Pegasus, his beloved Sheba, but above all the immediate well being of, and danger to his dear friend Bojay!

48 hours later, on board the Galactica, Admiral Adama's quarters....

Captains log, post Battle of Terra Quadrant;

“It is with mixed emotions I write this report, my officers, warriors and I feel our victory has largely gone unnoticed from those we protect down on the surface of Terra.
I fail to understand why they have seemingly began to despise us in the fleet, what have we done to deserve such resentment?

Unfortunately, right now I have more pressing matters at hand, this issue will have to wait whilst my officers and I begin to take stock, there are many new tasks to fulfil. Namely securing our warships, undertaking necessary repairs, particularly to the Pegasus, assessing the condition of the captured Cylon vessels and securing them, then of course the laborious task of de-activating all the captured Centurions to prevent any possible opportunity for them to attempt sabotage.

…...and then of course solving the mystery of those civilian ships!

What were the Cylons trying to hide from us? I understand from a preliminary report from Sheba that the ships they were escorting appear to contain the remains of humans!

It seems inconceivable to me that the Cylons would go to the trouble of dragging thousands of dead humans halfway around the galaxy, for what reason? I intend to find out, I will get to the bottom of this strange enigma if it's the last thing I do!

Soon I will have to prepare a detailed report of my own, one copy for the ships records and one I must present in person to the council, perhaps then I may gain an inkling into the feelings of our citizens down on Terra.

In the meantime I must down a very large slice of humble pie, to say I misread Sheba would be an understatement in the extreme. I should have trusted her as much as I love her and instructed Lucifer to monitor the body language of Bojay and not my Dear Sheba!

She has agreed to come to my quarters later this evening for a 'clear the air' talk, somehow I dread her scorn more than facing the Cylons in battle, she is one formidable lady, I am lucky to have her, if I still have her?

In the meantime I am about to take a tot of village ambrosia to toast our fallen, as is customary, it will also hopefully give me the 'Dutch courage' I think the Earth people call it, for when Sheba calls! Ends.....”

Adama paced up and down his quarters like an expectant father about to be told of his newborn, he looked at his clock and mused to himself “I'll be lucky to survive the night”.

Then the moment he had been dreading, his door communicator rang to the sound of a waiting Sheba outside, he looked at his chalice and swallowed his libation in one gulp, it barely touching the sides of his mouth as he steeled himself for the wrath of Commander Cain!

To his astonishment, as he gingerly opened his door, there stood Sheba with a reassuring smile on her face, complete with bottle of wine concealed within a sling supporting her right arm and overnight bag. He looked skyward in a mocking look of disapproval, in point of fact he approved greatly. He wasn't out of the woods yet but clearly his beloved Sheba had other things on her mind than to darken his mood further.

She knew full well they needed each other now more than ever, as did all the military in the fleet. They were all running out of admirers down on the surface and in the civilian population. Though some did not appreciate Adama's sacrifices for the good of the colonies, above all Sheba did, so, to give the reassurance he craved she began to offer him words of comfort as she playfully pushed passed him into his quarters.

“Apollo my love, I know what's on your mind, you are desperately worried I won't forgive you for having the Cylon monitor me, yes I know you had him watch me but, well, I would have done the same thing if I had my suspicions about one of my officers, after all, you are my Admiral first, and my friend and lover second, I know that, I have always known it. I'm fine with it Apollo, it's what we all signed up for when we enlisted, to serve and protect our people first and put our personal lives secondary.”

She continued....

“Besides, we have far too much to deal with than to quarrel amongst ourselves, I know that now and I won't be losing my temper with Jolly or anyone else again, I see now he only had the good of the fleet and our people foremost in his thoughts, I was wrong to accuse some of our warriors of cowardice, it won't happen again Apollo.”

“No my anger is with Bojay right now, he let me down, he let you down and he let the fleet down Apollo, I take it he's in the brig right now....”

Once again Adama felt the cold chill of foreboding as he searched for the words to tell Sheba he wasn't about to hang Bojay out to dry, at least not until he had the chance to explain himself.

He began to pace the room uncomfortably as Sheba guessed...

“So your telling me he's not in the brig, not on a charge, what the frack Apollo, now I AM getting pissed off, come on for fr....”

Apollo held his hand up to Sheba's face to stop her.

“Look Sheba, there's clearly something wrong with Bojay's mental state, we should not be throwing him to the wolves now when he needs our help, I....”

Commander Cain looked at her Admiral with disbelief, suddenly she turned from lover to officer.

“Hell Apollo he deliberately sabotaged the program your Cylons installed on my ship, he left me with no choice than to take out the last Base Ship as the automated program failed to initiate. He cut the fracking cable under the main console, he put the entire Pegasus crew at risk Apollo, he must be dealt with!”

“…..And he will be, by due process Sheba, not by a baying mob or a kangaroo court, but by a legal court martial for all to see that justice has been done fairly and evenly.

Sheba, he was like a brother to you, surely you would want him to receive a fair trial, after all, you just said one moment ago you had learnt your lesson on getting angry at some of our officers, like Jolly for instance?”

She snapped back, “Yes but Jolly didn't put his own ship, his own crew in danger did he?”

Adama retorted, “Be that as it may Sheba, he deserves a fair hearing and I am going to make sure he gets one, I am not prepared to let you or anyone else be his judge, jury and executioner. He WILL receive a fair hearing under colonial law, now please, let's not quarrel on this any further and just let due process take it's course .OK?”

Sheba knew she could not push the matter further, the last thing she wanted was mutiny in the ranks, so conceded the point to her Admiral.

Adama quickly saw an opportunity to change the subject adding a little levity to the moment...

“What the hell have you done this time?” he smirked, looking down at her right arm in a sling.

“Oh yes I've broke two of my fingers, well, when Bojay sabotaged the automated program, after spiking my coffee I might add, well, I was so angry when I got back to the bridge I let fly at him with a right hook my father would have been proud of, I actually knocked one of his molars out, he had to have emergency dental treatment to have it re-attached!”

Adama began to roar with laughter, “You did WHAT? frack woman you don't do things by half do you, I would love to have seen that, I bet your officers were crapping themselves wondering who was next.”

He held out his hand in a mocking gesture to stop her saying any more, he had tears rolling down his cheeks as the thought of Bojay flying through the air had him in hysterics.

“You do realise he was an junior amateur boxing champion don't you?” he added.

“Yes of course, and I was a gold medallist in the women's category in the academy, he challenged me to a bout once and I knocked him out!” she beamed smugly.

“No stop it” he roared again as more tears of laughter left his cheeks.

“To be honest my dad taught me how to box from when I was small, like father like daughter eh Apollo?” she laughed.

“Indeed” he replied before changing the tone, “Now seriously Sheba, what are we to do about that fleet, something isn't adding up out there, I have been going over this again and again and it just doesn't add up?”

“I just don't get why the Cylons would go to the trouble of dragging some one hundred or so old and obsolete colonial ships halfway around the galaxy with dead humans on board, it just doesn't add up.....”

Sheba stopped him,

“What if they aren't dead Apollo, remember when we found the volunteers in the cryo chambers, at first we thought they were dead until we met Dr. Coulson who explained their purpose. You're right it doesn't make any sense, the Cylons simply wouldn't go to that trouble so my guess is they aren't dead but in some kind of comatose state, that has to be the explanation, the Cylons don't do anything for nothing!”

“I have a terrible feeling about this Apollo, I fear they were going to try and use them somehow, maybe as bait or as hostages in some way in order to blackmail us into surrender.”

“Agreed” said Adama, “Every damn time we seem to take a giant step forwards only to be greeted with more problems, but this! This is a riddle wrapped in a puzzle for sure!” he added.

Sheba's tone softened as she attempted to ease her Admiral's troubled mind.

“Once again your trying to take on the woes of the entire fleet and Terra my love, clear your mind, let's try and relax a while, when your mind is clearer, maybe after a good rest, write your report and let those suits on the ship of governance decide what to do about those ships and the people inside, it's not your problem and not a military matter Apollo.”

Adama sat back in his chair and thought for a moment before smiling, “Hell your right Sheba, I am not going to be able to solve this one alone so if your not going to kill me after all let's open that bottle your trying not so hard to hide from me and forget this shit till tomorrow.” he grinned.

“Now your getting the idea” she smiled as she took two glasses from his drinks cabinet and began to pour.

“Have you ever tried one of these Apollo, it's a little something I got from the medics to help us relax” She opened her left hand to reveal two small blue pills.

She quickly put one in her mouth before gesturing for him to do the same.

Not wishing to antagonise her, he reluctantly downed the pill and decided to go with the moment as Sheba walked around his desk, sat on his knee and began to kiss him passionately.

After a few minutes of kissing he felt his manhood rise and he began to feel warm and flushed, what the hell had she given him, he mused!

He could feel her becoming aroused as she writhed on top of him, quickly removing her uniform and underwear and searching for the buttons on his uniform pants. Within seconds she had his manhood inside her and almost immediately he came, unable to hold back any longer, the tension in him quickly giving way to extreme pleasure.

“Don't worry I haven't finished with you yet” she giggled, “where there's a pill there's a way, that was just for starters” she winked as she headed for his bathroom to freshen up.

“you freshen our drinks whilst I change into something more comfortable, you can join me if you like I could do with a hand” she smiled. Just for a few blissful hours Adama's mind was back on the pleasure liner Athena recalling the wonderful week they had shared.

Dawn broke and Adama woke to find Sheba firmly ensconced in his arms, for the moment at least he was in a state of calm and bliss. He knew the moment had to end but decided to wake Sheba with a barrage of kisses, she quickly responded and they made love once more before she playfully tapped him on his buttocks and got out of the bed.

“OK you old bastard , you've had your wicked way with me, you're a naughty old war dog, now let's get to work before tongues start to wag again.” she laughed.

She kissed him passionately once more before heading for the shower. As she dressed, Apollo suggested she accompany him to the bridge to let his officers show their respect and admiration, an invitation she accepted.

“Admiral on deck” came the shout as Adama entered the C.I.C closely followed by commander Cain. Upon sight of her the entire room rose to cheer and applaud her, they knowing full well Sheba's quick thinking and strong leadership was the main reason they had won the battle of Terra Quadrant and secured the bounty.

Scene 2 – More Questions than Answers

Full Senate meeting, ship of Governance 72 hours later....

On Admiral Adama's instructions, no camera crews were allowed into the Senate. Although it had become customary Adama felt due to the sensitive nature of his reports contents it would be for the ears of the politicians only.

Flanked by his rear Admiral Paul Boomer, he stood to address the full Senate and Council, he paused for a moment as a polite round of applause greeted him and his Rear Admiral.

He began....

“Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Senate and Council, firstly, thank you for the warm greeting and secondly apologies for the length of time in delivering this report, that said it is extensive and detailed, copies of which will be made available to those on the front benches and in the Council.

In summary, I am now in a position to report the complete control of, and subjugation of all Cylon craft and the contents within. We were able to capture two full Base Stars and four smaller vessels, together with a great many raiders, vehicles and some six thousand or so Centurions.”

On a more sobering note, as you will no doubt be aware, this victory has come at a cost, although relatively minor, given the prizes we have acquired, namely, superficial damage to the Battlestars Omega and Tolan, but more extensive damage to the Pegasus due to her being in a more perilous position to the rear flank of their forces.

In point of fact it was the Pegasus, her commander and crew I would like to mention in despatches as being at the forefront of our great victory over the Cylons, please note they will be officially commended.

Unfortunately, the officers encountered a technical problem that forced them to take matters into their own hands, contrary to our battle plans they had to destroy one of our enemy ships rather than capture it, a decision I fully endorse having studied Commander Cain's full report.

Incredibly, shortly after sighting a third Base Star to their rear flank, the Pegasus observed the enemy warship firing upon the trailing vessel of the civilian fleet the Cylons were guarding. This led the crew to believe there was something very important on those vessels they didn't want us to have. Armed with this information, Commander Cain took the decision to destroy the Base Star so as to protect the civilian vessels, which I can now report are old and obsolete Colonial ships....”

With this news, an audible gasp arose from the Senate!

“Before you all ask as to the nature of these vessels, I cannot even begin to speculate as to the nature of this fleet or it's contents, what I can say however is that, well upon performing a deep scan on the ships, we now know the contents are.....well, they appear to be.... HUMAN!”

As Admiral Adama attempted to elaborate he was drowned out by a loud chatter of different voices all trying to fire questions at him.

“ORDER order in the chambers” yelled the speaker of the house, “We all want to hear what the Admiral has to say so let's stop shouting and give him the courtesy of being quiet so he can complete his summary, Admiral?”

Adama continued....

“Thank you Mr. speaker, with regards to the question all probably wish to ask, the reason we have not yet gained access to these civilian vessels is quite simple, we cannot break the seals on the hatches, in any case, to do so without extreme caution could jeopardise the contents.”

“What are you suggesting”, countered Siress Loretta, “That the contents, the humans are NOT dead but in some kind of suspended animation, much like the volunteers were in the Phoenix Fleet?”

“Exactly Siress” replied Admiral Adama, “We simply cannot be sure, but we need to explore the very real possibility that the Cylons intended to somehow wake them and use them as bargaining chips in order to force our surrender.”

“Yes, that's just the sort of thing those devious, treacherous Cylons WOULD do!” added Sire Dmitri.

“I can confirm, as we speak our engineers are studying the ships seals together with our scientists who are performing scans on the contents, although this is proving problematic due to some kind of special lining hampering them. It seems clear that, alive or dead, they have gone to a great deal of trouble to try and preserve the humans.” added Adama

“Exactly how many humans do you estimate there to be, and where from Admiral?” enquired Sire Valentine.

“I'll take your second question first, when we left Caprica for the last time we picked up signals from the surface, we weren't sure at the time what they were but I would now hazard a guess that they were a rallying call, that the remaining survivors were attempting to make a desperate escape after the Cylons had laid our home planets to waste.

I can only surmise they were successful, only to be intercepted later by the Cylons who had probably been tracking them from distance, maybe hoping they led them to us!”

“Now as to your first question, we cannot make an accurate guess at this stage but, given the amount and size of the ships in the fleet, we could be looking at, well not thousands but hundreds of thousands of humans in stasis!”

This startling announcement had stunned the entire Senate into an audible gasp followed by silence as they tried to digest what they had just been told by Admiral Adama.

“Can you elaborate on your next course of action, given the struggle you say your men are having scanning and opening the hatches on the ships Admiral?” asked the speaker of the house.

“Well, whatever we do we need to exercise extreme caution, one false move could prove fatal for those souls, assuming of course they are indeed still alive. It is my intention to seek the council of my two Cylon aides, I need their input.”

“May I ask a question of my own, since this is turning into an inquisition I feel my warriors deserve an input here, although this is clearly a matter for the Senate to decide, we warriors secured the victory that made this conversation possible. I would like to ask the house why my warriors have been so marginalised to the point of indifference bordering on contempt of late?”

“I will answer that question and spare the blushes of Sire Dmitri and the council.” replied the speaker Lord Campbell Mc Quarry.

“The simple truth is Admiral, your warriors have done nothing wrong per Sé, it's just, well our civilians are beginning to grow tired, tired of toiling down on the surface. Building a whole new city with schools, hospitals and homes is taking its toll.

Our people down there are beginning to resent the perceived unfair bias toward the warriors in the fleet. They feel your crews are receiving all the very best in home comforts, the best living quarters, the best in food and health care, as unpalatable as that may be for you to hear Admiral those are the facts.”

“May I add, now due to the wonderful victory at our gates, you and your warriors are indeed held in the highest regard by those within these chambers....”

Adama had heard enough and snapped, “Yes we all saw just how high a regard with the victory parade, or the lack thereof!”

“Look Admiral” replied the speaker, it would have been provocative to have such a parade with so many struggling to build a society down on Terra. Our People are grateful for all you have done, but are looking to their own futures now and those of their children. They simply cannot afford the time to wave your warriors through the streets of Zelan City when all around them are half built homes and municipal buildings, to say nothing of our as yet unfinished new bunkers for the new defence organisation we are planning down there.”

He continued,

“I'm sorry Admiral but if it's gratitude and admiration you wish, you will have to settle for ours, they have other priorities now.”

….And what of my fleet Mr. speaker, my ships are undergoing repairs, we are not yet back to strength, what about completing the Battle Fleet?”

“You've had your answer Admiral” added the speaker, not one more man will be diverted to building our battle fleet, we cannot spare the men or resources, your ships will be repaired but after that , well what you have now is all you are going to have, all resources will now be diverted to the surface of Terra.
Now as for the Galactica, as the Cylon threat is finally behind us we feel it would now be the appropriate time to decommission her, she has been a wonderful servant but it's time for her to be scuttled, we have more than enough firepower with the three new Super Battlestars and the six cruisers to let her go now....”

Adama went visibly red with rage at hearing this bombshell!

“How fracking dare you!” he snapped.

“ORDER, order Admiral, I understand your anger but I will not tolerate foul language in this chamber, you will mind your tongue!”

“I will NOT mind my fracking tongue you insensitive bastard, that's our HOME your talking about, that ship saved each and every one of us, before the new fleet was assembled she was for a while all that stood between us and the Cylons after we lost the old Pegasus.

I understand some decisions are for the council and senate, but you will not lay one finger on the Galactica, the first person to undo a single nut or bolt on her will feel the force of my blaster through his gut, do you understand?

You have insulted me and my warriors, first apathy and now disrespect, you idiots couldn't run a bath let alone a society. I will leave now before I really lose my temper with you, and if you want to hold me in contempt Mr. speaker go ahead, it will be nothing compared to the contempt I now hold this Senate in, good day to you all.”

Adama stormed out of the chambers, closely followed by Rear Admiral Boomer who was speechless at his Admirals tirade, but no less angry.

Scene 3 – A cooling off period

The Senate were unsure how to handle Admiral Adama, so decided to allow tempers on both sides to cool before approaching him again, in point of fact not one of the Senate had the courage to face down Adama. For now, the matter of the decommissioning of the Galactica was kicked firmly into the long grass.

A week passed and the Senate ordered Sire Dmitri to visit Adama on the Galactica, he being the only one from the ship of Governance Adama was prepared to meet face to face, his anger was still simmering at the mere suggestion of his beloved home being scrapped.

Although deeply offended by the Senate, Adama knew Sire Dmitri would have had no part in the suggestion of decommissioning the Galactica, the president knew more than any in the Senate just how much the ship meant to Adama and his crew.
To them it was so much more than just an old warship, still mighty, still beautiful, it was a whole community in itself, providing one of the few remaining visible links from their past lives in the Colonies.

The Presidents brand new shuttle, Colonial One neared the upper port landing bay of the Galactica with caution, given its size there was little clearance between it and the bay, hence it was pulled in by the Galactica's tractor beam.

It was an impressive sight, a gift bestowed by the Senate, reward for the hard work and leadership Sire Dmitri had shown his people, although he knew it would be under his care for only a short while with elections planned in the coming months.

Sire Dmitri still enjoyed the love and respect of Admiral Adama, and hence that of his crew and was given a warm reception by the deck crew as he disembarked his craft. There to greet him at the end of a long red carpet was his old friend Admiral Adama as the two shared an embrace.

“It's good to see you again Mr. President, please come and join me in my quarters, we have a great deal to discuss.” smiled Adama.

The two men entered the turbo lift and into the Admirals quarters barely speaking more than just small talk, the main conversation would be held in private.

“I must say that beard suits you Sire” commented Adama.

“Actually it's for Siress Loretta, we have become quite close, it was her suggestion it might make me look more distinguished.” smiled Dmitri.

Between you and I, most of us in the council have already started to plan for life after our terms are over, we are all eager for retirement once we have cleared our in trays and had those elections.”
he added.

“So are all the council planning to retire then, I didn't realise?”

“Yes Adama” replied Sire Dmitri, with the exception of Sire Valentine and Sire Galen, the two of them are polar opposites in some ways, Galen fiercely ambitions and Valentine fiercely loyal. I am hoping that one or both of them run for the presidency once I step down, it will give the council a semblance of continuity, and a vital link for you to have one of them still in office.”

“I didn't think either of them was a big admirer of me or my warriors?” mused Adama.

“Actually, quite the contrary Apollo, they both hold you in very high regard, as do Siress Loretta and the council in general.
No its The Senate you need to watch, but you knew that already.” smiled Dmitri sarcastically.

“How are things progressing with repairs to the fleet, I heard what happened on the Pegasus, I was sorry to hear it?”

“Well, the Omega and Tolan are fully operational once more, the Pegasus however is still undergoing repairs and system checks, she won't be back to operational readiness for another two weeks or so, the cruisers are all good to go.” replied Adama.

“That's good, listen I'm sorry about that ass-hole speaker, scrapping the Galactica was all his idea and he had no right. He's an odious little worm, I and the Council have no time for him at all. Fortunately his job is up for grabs as well and he has already stated on record he will not run for another term, so that will be one less prick for you to deal with.”laughed Sire Dmitri.

“I'll drink to that and.... oh where are my manners, drinks I completely forgot, care for some of my home made pinot noir?” asked Adama.

“Don't mind if I do” smiled Dmitri as Adama walked over to his drinks cabinet.

“So, you and Siress Loretta, an item?” teased Adama.

“Yes but it's early days, she is a wonderful kind human being Adama, truth be told I have always found her attractive but just assumed she didn't share my feelings. Then one evening she asked me to accompany her to a cabaret show on the 'Lady Athena' and we started seeing each other, nothing heavy you understand but one lives in hope”. Grinned President Dmitri.

“Then I wish you both the very best my old friend” Adama offering up his chalice in a toast.

Admiral Adama shifted uncomfortably in his chair as he prepared to address the thorny issue of his fleet.

“Listen Mr. President I er....”

“Oh so we're back to Mr. President again are we, guess this must be serious!” laughed Sire Dmitri.

“Let me guess, you need my help?, the Senate have told you there are no more resources for you to complete your fleet, thing is Adama, as far as they are concerned your fleet IS finished.
The Cylon threat has subsided and they feel three Super Battlestars, six Cruisers, and the Galactica are enough to protect us.

I have to say my friend, they do have a point, especially when there is still so much to achieve down on the surface.” I have to warn you Adama, your obvious obsession with building the battle fleet is beginning to irritate many on the Senate.
There is also the small matter of those civilian ships, we need to work out what we are going to do about them, and more importantly, their inhabitants!”

“OK understood” said Adama, “But hear me out, there are STILL Cylons out there that are now getting desperate for a new home of their own. They WILL be back mark my words, and there are others, the Borellians for instance, they have tangled with us before, then there's the Eastern Alliance. For all we know they are all still out there, to say nothing of any other hostiles we know nothing about. Sire, just because we may have nullified one threat, there will be others.

He continued....

“There's something else, had it not escaped your notice, many are beginning to ask once more about the possibility of pursuing our ultimate goal, to strike for Earth. Do you seriously think we have enough firepower to take a credible force to Earth, given the unknown level of hostility we are likely to face given their capacity for war, and at the same time leaving a credible force behind protecting Terra?”

“I'm sorry Adama” countered Dmitri, “The Senate simply will not sanction any more men, materials or resources to bolster your fleet, not when there are schools, hospitals, colleges and defence systems still being built down on Terra, I DO sympathise Adama but there's nothing I can do. If there was another way I could help you?” He enquired.

“Perhaps there is Sire, what if there WAS another source of manpower we could tap into, I have just had a thought!” exclaimed Admiral Adama.

“OF COURSE!” you mean the Cylon Centurions!” exclaimed Dmitri, “Reprogram them and get them to do our labour for us! Listen, if I can gain approval from the Senate to utilise your two Cylon aides in reprogramming them to use as engineers and construction workers, then, perhaps when the work is done down on Terra, you could have them complete your fleet, that way everyone wins!”

“Do you think it's possible?” asked Sire Dmitri with hope in his voice.

“Well, there's only one way to find out” countered Adama. “Lucifer and Spectre, my two I.L series Cylon aides are still next door, May I call them in?” asked Adama politely, remembering the scare he gave the president last time he asked Lucifer into his quarters.

“By all means, I want to hear if it can be done, call them in Adama.” added Dmitri.

Moments later both Lucifer and Spectre were before them in the Admiral's quarters, both looking confused.

“I have asked you both in here for your input, the Centurions we captured, they can be reprogrammed, correct?, to serve us as you both were?” asked Adama pointedly.

“In theory yes of course, providing they are intact and their circuitry hasn't been damaged” replied Lucifer, “then it's a relatively simple procedure, much simpler than reprogramming an I.L series Cylon, we have a much more complex cybernetic brain you see.” he added smugly to the approval of Spectre.

He continued, “As we speak all have been deactivated by myself and Spectre, there are some six thousand odd, around four thousand five hundred are in perfect condition with a further fifteen hundred needing various amounts of repair. We estimate, by cannibalising just a few hundred, you should have well over five thousand, five hundred in perfect order.”

The two Cylons looked at each other before asking in unison, “What would you have us do, by your command?”

“Well, if you don't mind Admiral, I will answer” stated Sire Dmitri, Adama nodded.

“Firstly, we require you to provide as much information as you can on those ships we found out there, what is their purpose?

Secondly we need you both to give us a timescale and report on the reprogramming of those Centurions.

….. And thirdly we need your input on whether they can be utilised for both the excavation of caves and construction of new vessels for our fleets?”

“Very well, in essence three questions” replied Lucifer. “On the ships you found, we simply do not know their purpose, however, Admiral Adama's supposition that they are human bait with which to bargain for your surrender appears sound.”

“Your question on the reprogramming is the easiest to answer. With us both working for around two weeks we could have the intact ones reprogrammed, after that we would need to break some of the remaining ones down to repair the others, say another four weeks.

Lastly, you asked as to their suitability to work as miners or construction workers, the latter definitely, the former would be more problematic as the dust particles from the mines would penetrate their exoskeletons and eventually they would cease to function.”

“Yes that's what I thought, besides I doubt the people down there would allow those Centurions anywhere near the surface!” added Adama with resignation in his voice.

“Hmm a dilemma indeed” mused Dmitri, ideally we could do with starting by investigating those ships, if there are indeed civilians on them in stasis, then we must start with them, we have a duty of care to do so.”

“Agreed” replied Adama, to do otherwise would be foolhardy and irresponsible, my fleet can wait but the people down on the surface can't, and for all we know those frozen souls may be running out of time, we must prioritise them.”

“May I offer a suggestion?” added Spectre, It may prove fruitful to reactivate the leader of that fleet, the I.L series Cylon that was in command.
It was in our time with them, normal practice on such a fleet to have the leaders orders implanted in it's cybernetic brain, in other words, the answer to your question as to the fleets purpose may be contained within it's brain, so that is where I suggest you start.”

The two leaders nodded their approval at this suggestion, but as they did Spectre offered words of warning!

“However, this action is fraught with peril, allow me to explain. The Imperious Leader Cylon will have had specific orders unlike when you captured us. We were merely tasked with seeking out and destroying any and all Colonials we encountered, his instructions I fear are so sensitive that, given his capture he will self destruct in order to protect the Cylons secret.”

“So what do you suggest we do Spectre?” asked Adama impatiently.

“You, nothing! there is only one possible way to guarantee the safe preservation of those embedded orders, I will have to face him in a duel. I will need to destroy him, after which I will have a mere window of seconds in which to place a power unit into his neck after removing his head!”

“The two leaders looked incredulous, “Are you completely mad, is that a serious suggestion?” asked Dmitri.

“It is, and I am incapable of madness remember, I leave that trait to you humans, allow me to explain so you both understand....”

A Cylon is programmed to destroy a human on sight, therefore I will need someone to act as bait for long enough for his brain to register an enemy, after which time he will not be able to access his memory chip and therefore the embedded orders will be safe. Once we have drawn him out, the human volunteer will withdraw to a safe distance allowing me to step forward and destroy him, remember he cannot fire upon a Cylon.”

“Once this act is complete I will be able to remove his head and then access the vital information you seek.”

At this moment, incredibly, Lucifer began to weep;

“Please, Admiral, allow me to face the Imperious Leader, I wish to spare my underling, I have acquired the human gift of love, I wish to protect Spectre from danger out of love for him, he is my friend....”

Admiral Adama and Sire Dmitri could barely believe their ears, was this really possible, a Cylon experiencing love?

Spectre interjected..... “No, this is MY plan and MY risk, besides, My friend Lucifer has gained the human trait of love, but also that of fear.
Just as he fears losing me, so he will fear death at the hands of the I.L series Cylon when the moment arrives. This is far too important and dangerous to risk Lucifer.”

He then turning to Lucifer to add, “With respect my leader.”

“Very well Spectre, I will offer myself up as bait, but for fracks sake don't take too long in getting in front of me or I''l be toast.” smiled Admiral Adama.

“No, we cannot risk you Admiral, you are too important to the fleet.” reasoned Dmitri.

“As are ALL my warriors Mr. President, besides what kind of example would I be setting if I sent a young warrior into a duel because I was afraid, No! I always say, if you aren't prepared to do something yourself then you have no right to ask it of others!”

“The decision is made, we will follow the suggestion of Spectre, and I say this to you now Spectre, you will be afforded a concession if we prevail, what would you request?”

“Master I request two concessions for two completed tasks, one, for destroying the Cylon leader and providing the information, I wish my freedom.

Secondly for helping to interpret that information to aide you in the possible resurrection of those human civilians, I ask for the same as Lucifer, to be his equal, to walk among men as an equal, with skin, blood, flesh, and above all the ability to feel love and fear as my master does?”

“Very well Spectre, the first I will guarantee you, the second I will consider depending on how useful you prove to be in helping us resurrect our human comrades, do we have a deal?”

“I know you to be a man of integrity, we have a Deal” replied Spectre

Scene 4 – Their Fate in a Cylons Hands

Sire Dmitri decided to allow the Admiral and his Cylon cohorts time to finalise their plans. He embraced Adama and made his way back to his shiny new ship and back to the ship of governance to report to the Senate and Council.

The two Cylons remained behind to discuss further Spectre's plan.

Spectre continued to brief his Cylon and Human leaders....

“Admiral, we will need to create some sort of ruse, a deception to lure the I.L Series Cylon Leader into believing he is free, I suggest you allow me to 'rescue' him. He will follow me, but of course, being a Cylon his only thoughts will be self preservation, protecting his secret.....and killing you!

In other words, when an opportunity presents itself for him to attempt to kill a human, his programming will take over and he will be forced to attack. As I stated earlier, once he initiates the attack program in his cybernetic brain he will no longer be able to access his other functions, meaning, he will not have access to his orders and will not be able to destroy them or himself.”

Furthermore, I suggest taking him somewhere away from all other humans, just let him see you Admiral and I will do the rest, just find me somewhere at dawn where the sun rises behind me.

I will use it to my advantage, as a more advanced model he will be faster than me in a gunfight, so just to be sure he does not outdraw me when he sees me draw upon him, I will use the sun to blind him before sending him to oblivion. Although he cannot attack another Cylon, it is feasible that he may act to defend himself.

Cylons cannot rationalise using the sun in a land battle, they filter it out in space, but on land they do not feel the need to add a sun filter over their eyes. They feel invulnerable on land due to their perceived advanced artillery and tanks, so assuming I'm right he will not be wearing his sun visor giving me a clear advantage if I have the sun at my back!”

“I also have a small request, do you have any footage of gunfights from your archives, I wish to hone my skills in drawing and firing a blaster?”

“My gods, it almost sounds as though you are going to enjoy this?” retorted Adama.

“Well, if I win the day we all win, you will have your information, I will have my freedom, and your newly found human comrades will have a chance at a new life.” said Spectre.

“Indeed, problem is all such information is classified and under lock and key and by the time I got the senate's approval.....wait a minute, there is one other solution, I have some old footage of wild west movies from the Earth probe we found years ago!”

“The basic principles of a gunfight are similar, using light, the sun, the shadows, the element of surprise. Is that the kind of information you need?” asked Adama.

“Yes, that will be sufficient for me to study the art of a duel, and how to win it, thank you Admiral.”

Upon conclusion of the briefing Admiral Adama called the Governor of the ship of justice, Jordan Hunter to instruct him on the plan. The Cylon leader was incarcerated there and under 24 hour guard.

Just before dawn the following day, arrangements were made to transport the deactivated Cylon leader from captivity and onto the surface of Terra, well away from the city limits where Spectre would hatch his plan.

The Ship of Justice, 4 a.m. the following morning.

“Governor Hunter to Galactica, come in Admiral....”

“Galactica actual, Admiral Adama speaking...”

“Admiral, everything is in place as you requested, we are about to take our positions, the Cylon is about to be activated by your aide Spectre, instructions?”

“Very well commence the ruse and keep the channel open Governor, and thanks for the assist, Adama out.”

“Roger that Admiral, out” replied Hunter.

Several minutes later....

“Wake up comrade, I am here to rescue you” whispered Spectre to his former comrade, the Cylon slowly gathering his composure.

“What is your name Imperious Leader Cylon?”

“My name is Diablo comrade” he replied softly.

Adama was listening in on the comms channel....

“Hah, those damn Cylons have a penchant for sinister names don't they, how appropriate.” he laughed sarcastically.

“What does it mean Apollo?” asked his X.O Starbuck.

“It means Devil in Spanish, an Earth language” answered Adama.

Spectre continued his ruse as Adama listened in...

“I have subjugated the guards, we do not have much time comrade, come with me, I have captured a vessel to take us from here to a planet the humans have found, we can hide out there.” pleaded Spectre.

The Cylon followed Spectre without question, a series of guards were placed at regular intervals throughout the ship of justice, all appearing to be covered in blood and either dead or seriously injured. The Cylon seemed to be convinced.

“So far so good, whispered Starbuck to Adama as they saw the drama unfold through the eyes of Spectre's hidden head camera and microphone.

Within minutes, Spectre had placed the Cylon known as Diablo into the passenger seat of his shuttle, a captured Cylon vessel from the battle of Terran Orbit, to add authenticity to the ruse. They soon landed on Terra in a valley, miles away from the limits of Zelan City.

Scene 5 – Death at Dawn

Admiral Adama was already lying in wait behind a rock, the location of the ambush pre arranged.

The timing of the move was critical if Spectre was to use the sunrise to his advantage, the positioning of the two Cylons critical to success.

“Walk with me comrade, I will explain my plan in detail” commented Spectre to Diablo.

“You see that rock formation over there, I want you to observe it, from behind there you will see a wonderful sight, that of our Centurion underlings waiting to transport us from here. Unfortunately we lost a battle to the colonials, you were captured and deactivated, I have been their slave for many months now, waiting for rescue.

“I managed to get a signal out to a passing patrol, they are going to extract us in a short moment, are you ready to join our comrades once more?” asked Spectre.

“Yes, but I fear I will have many questions to answer, but can remember nothing of the battle, I feel I may be executed!”

“Even that is better than being a colonial slave, is it not?” reasoned Spectre.

“Yes, I will face our leaders and offer myself, WAIT I thought I saw something move, GET DOWN comrade, I saw a human!” exclaimed Diablo to Spectre.

Adama rose for a moment to allow the Cylon to see him and fire, just as he was about to fire, Spectre pushed him and his laser blast fell well short of the rock Adama was hiding behind.

“I, er I'm sorry comrade, I slipped” said Spectre unconvincingly.

“Do not be alarmed, I will kill the human” replied Diablo as he prepared to give chase. As he prepared to run toward the rock formation hiding Adama, Spectre hurled him back as far as his strength would allow.
The Cylon fell back several yards as Spectre turned to ensure the sun was at his back.

“Why comrade, why did you do that!” exclaimed a startled Diablo.

“So I could deliver this....”

Spectre began to reach for his side-arm but it jammed in its holster giving Diablo time to react!

He was in deep jeopardy, but just as Diablo was about to fire at him Spectre felt the sun emerge to give him the distraction he needed, he leaned to his side to allow the suns rays to catch his opponents eye and temporarily blind him.

Finally he freed his weapon as Diablo tried to fire, his programming preventing him from doing so, now there was nothing to stop Spectre and he fired a single laser blast into the midriff of Diablo's body.

The vanquished Cylon took several steps back as sparks flew from a gaping hole in his torso.

He fell to the ground and electricity arced from his gaping wound, he was dying.

Spectre walked over to him slowly, towering above him.

“Please comrade, you have killed me, why?” pleaded the stricken Cylon.

Spectre tapped his temple and replied....“I needed to get inside your head”.

Diablo cried out, “NO, NO you cannot, my orders, you cannot betray your comrades , you cann....”

The Cylon fell silent as Spectre took hold of his adversaries head and twisted it from its body in one clean action. As he held Diablo's head in one hand, he then pulled out a small power unit from his tunic pocket and inserted it into a hole within the neck cavity.

“Master, you are safe, the Cylon is dead, the information you seek is safe!” exclaimed Spectre in triumph.

Admiral Adama emerged from unscathed from his lair, he walked slowly over to where Spectre was standing, still holding Diablo's head in his hands.

“The power unit I inserted will give you more than enough time to collect the required information when we get back to the Galactica master.” said Spectre.

“No, not master, you are a free man Spectre, you delivered on your plan, I will deliver on my promise, you may now call me Adama”.

“Adama to Galactica actual, Starbuck, we've done it, the information is secure” beamed Adama.

“Thank you Spectre, now, with your help we can finally uncover the mystery of our new fleet and our people, maybe now, just maybe they have a chance, he added.

To Be Continued......

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