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 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2020 12:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 5:39 am
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Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage to Earth Episode 22 – The Birth of T.E.R.R.A.D.A.C.A part 2

Continued from part 1……

Undeterred the centurions formed a chain and linked arms as they gestured to Lucifer to climb up using them as a ladder, mercifully he had been spared.
He knew he had to sacrifice his underlings to get to the surface and so did they, without hesitation each centurion pushed him up into the arms of the Cylon above as they gripped onto the pile of rocks. No human could have mustered the strength to catapult himself over the mouth of the gaping hole, but Lucifer was no human and launched himself up just before the chain of Cylons collapsed below him.
He knew he had to get to the surface quickly if any of the other engineers were to survive, but something of even more extreme importance was uppermost in his uber intelligent mind.
He had seen something down there that haunted him, but what was it that had unlocked all his newfound human traits of terror and fear.
Valentine was right once more, there was something, or someone down there!

After a further 30 minutes of scrambling through rock he managed to get to the entrance to the caves already constructed and at last emerged to sunlight….

The I.L series Cylons were the only sentient beings now able to communicate remotely.
Thanks to an experiment by Dr. Wilker Jnr they had been fitted with new technology in readiness for this mission.
Using a kind of advanced Morse code they had the ability to communicate via radio pulse signals to each other’s central processing units or ‘Brains’ and Lucifer knew the quickest way of relaying a message to the President and Admiral was through Spectre.

“Spectre I need your help” he sent in code. “My chief engineer has been killed by a rock fall. We have encountered a massive labyrinth of tunnels!” He exclaimed.
“These are not ours Spectre, someone has been here before us, I have seen evidence of this. Please relay a message to our Admiral and President. Tell then to send marines and rescue squads immediately, lives depend on it.”

“Message received and understood” replied Spectre without delay.

Spectre decrypted the message and sent a copy to the Galactica and the Ship of Governance to the communicators of Adama and Valentine respectively.
Minutes later;

“Get me the President on a secure line immediately” commanded Admiral Adama.
“Mister President, it seems you were right again, did you receive the comm from Spectre?”
“I did, no doubt you are already getting your rescue teams ready as we speak, I urge them to use extreme caution Admiral, we just don’t know what we’re facing down there.” Countered Valentine.
“Spectre is on his way to the Galactica to brief me right now, when I have more news for you I will be in contact without delay, out.” Replied Adama.

Within twenty minutes Spectre had left the construction ships and made the short journey to the rear flank of the fleet and the Galactica’s Alpha deck where he had been vectored in on priority one. The deck hands were ready and waiting to hurry him to the C.I.C to brief Adama.
Within moments he was before the Admiral.
“Spectre please report, what are we facing down there?” he commanded.
“Admiral, it appears when mining another tunnel this morning the ground beneath our engineers fell away and they fell into a deep crevasse.
Tragically it seems to have caused many casualties, including the chief engineer who has perished. Before being hoisted up to safety by our centurions Lucifer had a glimpse of something out of the corner of his eye. He was able to film it for a few seconds before having to make his escape as the Cylon- made ladder he was climbing upon began to give way. He barely managed to get out alive before the centurions lost their footing and fell in a huge pile to the ground below.
He has relayed the footage to me.
If you connect me to your bridge console I will endeavour to play it for you.”

Adama watched in horror as the footage began to play showing the last moments of Tobias Beckett’s life as he was engulfed by falling rocks.
Steeling himself to observe the footage he saw images of engineers being crushed under tons of rubble and Cylon centurions desperately trying to rescue them from their would-be graves. It was apparent now that the reprogramming of the centurions had worked, they were risking their own lives in order to try and save their human masters.
As uncomfortable as it was to watch, Adama continued as the footage only lasted for several seconds longer, but just before the end a humanoid image came into view.
“Tactical, can you sharpen up that last image, try and enhance it for me?”
“Aye Sir, we are on it….”

As commanded the tactical officer managed to feed the footage into his console and sharpen it up to reveal the distinct image of a skeleton.

Adama glared at the image before being joined by Starbuck who knew instinctively what he was looking at.
“Can you not recognise that skull Apollo, that’s a Borellian, a Borellian Noman to be exact!” Look at the bony ridge on his forehead.” Exclaimed Starbuck raising his arms to point to his own forehead.
“WHAT? But that’s just not possible, how, when did he get here, and why?”
“Let’s ask Father Deveraux, he studied all the ancient beings that the colonials encountered upon their travels through the stars, he will be able to fill in some of the blanks about the Borellians.” Reasoned Starbuck. “ I can tell you this much though, they never wasted time or energy on fruitless missions, they always did things for a purpose, and always to their own ends and the detriment of others.” He added. “They came here for a very good reason” He concluded.

“Yes, yes your right, if anyone can shed light on this it’s Father Deveraux,
Comms, get me the Ship of Worship stat!”
commanded Adama.
“Hello Admiral, it’s Lucien, how can we help?” replied Lucien.
“Is your father there, I believe he is something of an authority on many of the species we have encountered over the centuries. I am particularly keen to learn about the Borrellian’s and their henchmen the Nomen.
“Yes, one moment…..”
“ Admiral, it’s Louis, you were asking about the Borellian Nomen, why such interest?”
“I will explain later but right now I need as much information about them as you can relate to us.” Replied Adama.
Father Deveraux was no fool and guessed the nature of the Admirals sudden interest in this long-forgotten warring humanoid tribe.

“You’ve found something down there haven’t you, I remember you saying that our new president had a premonition about finding something down there?”

“Since you’ve guessed anyway the answer is yes, the skeleton of a Borellian Noman. Our teams have encountered a whole new network of caves, linking directly to the ones we have already mined.” Added Adama.
“It seems our new president was right on the money again! He said there was something, or someone down there.
Father Deveraux pondered his response before replying….

“Well, this much I can tell you about that long extinct race of nomads.
They originate from a planet called Borella, which they described as ‘The land of the mega sun and endless sands’.
They were human, but different, more like Neanderthal man. A warring tribe, intelligent but arrogant and self-serving, very strong and usually standing between six feet six and seven feet tall.

Many centuries ago they left Borella as they had utilised all its resources, a familiar pattern eh?” He questioned wearily.
“Well, instead of settling on a new home world they decided to travel the stars and simply take what they needed from wherever they needed it. At one time they had one of the most powerful Battle Fleets in the stars.

As time went on word got out, particularly among our friends the Cylons that this race of humanoid beings posed a very real threat to any and all that encountered them.
You can imagine the response of the Cylons to that can’t you gentlemen?” he questioned.
Adama and Starbuck looked at each other with a knowing glance…
He continued…
“Well, as much as they hated us they hated the Cylons more, and so a bloody guerrilla war raged between the two factions shortly before our own first Cylon war. Unlike us the Borellians liked to use hit and run tactics, plundering their enemies before heading out to the stars. The war between them was one of attrition, something of a stalemate, peace was never found between them.
The Borellians simply disappeared to the stars once more, and were never seen again, apparently until now!” he exclaimed.

“They must have come here for a very good reason; they weren’t ones for wasting time and energy.”
“Just as I told you, I have a bad feeling about all this” added Starbuck.
“As do I Starbuck” replied Louis, “I feel that the answers to our questions may very well lie with that abandoned fleet of Delphian vessels we encountered.”
“Think about it gentlemen, the Borellians probably used up all their fuel and resources, as was their wont, and then encountered the poor hapless Delphians, also looking for a new home in which to settle, this they had in common, but this is where the similarity between the two tribes differed.

It is my guess that the Borellians entered into a pact with the Delphians, to utilise their ships to get here to Terra and then offer them protection and an agreement to share the planet. Once safely on the surface of Terra the Borellians would then have reneged on the bargain and slaughtered the Delphians, hoping to finally settle here alone.
They were a treacherous and conniving race that cared naught for anyone but themselves and would use anything or anyone to further their own ends.”

“But what then? how do you explain the abandoned caves, what killed the Borellians, assuming there are more down there?” enquired Starbuck.

“Well, despite their strength and fortitude, the Borellians lacked vision, the Delphians could most probably have used their technology to work in harmony with the Borellians but that wasn’t good enough for those monsters.
All just assumptions on my part of course but I have studied them greatly, to say they burned their bridges would be a very good analogy I feel.” He added.
“So your saying they lacked the technology to complete the construction of the caves and form a new dwelling?” asked Adama.

“Yes and the intellect, by killing the Delphians they had inadvertently sealed their own fate as well!” exclaimed Louis.
“Anyhow, let’s hope by the time you have completed your reconnoitre of the caves we will have our answers, and let’s pray there are no more nasty surprises down there.

“Think on this my friends, the misfortune of the Borellians may just prove to be the best slice of fortune we have had in a very long time?” he pondered.
“Yes indeed, they may well have saved us many months of mining, many hours and weeks of hard work and may just have bought us the time we need to prepare for the arrival of our guests the Cylons!” exclaimed Adama.

Scene 6 – A World Within A World

Without haste Adama had assembled a rescue team down to the tunnel face, where both human and Cylon bodies lay together beneath the avalanche of rocks above them.
It took almost six hours to free all the men and Centurions by which time three more engineers had tragically lost their lives.
One by one they were brought to the surface, some mercifully still alive!
The scene resembled a disaster movie, but this was no movie. By late that evening all had been rescued and accounted for.
Before a single man more was sent to the disaster site it was agreed to send probes down to map out the extent of the tunnelling, and more importantly to check for any signs of life, be they human, Borellian or any other life form. Adama was not prepared to risk one more life and neither was the president.

Thanks once again to the Delphians, remote droids were at hand to recon the entire cave network where the military and engineers could monitor every twist and turn of the probes from the safety of above. The drone footage was relayed to the Galactica and the upper house of the Ship of Governance where both the leaders studied carefully the labyrinth of tunnels that was being laid before them.

From their viewing screens the network was slowly being unveiled tantalisingly onto a grid, what they initially thought would be just a few miles of caves soon turned out to be much more than that. The Borellians had tunnelled all the way under the mountain and had almost broke through to their intended destination.
To the other side of the mountain overlooking Zelan where the tunnels hid beneath was a huge natural harbour down to the ocean.
It was clear that the Borellians intended to exit the tunnel by the coast, were they planning to construct a shipping port?

As the probes moved deeper and deeper into the cave network, more skeletons of the fallen Borellian Nomen became visible.
Finally after almost twelve long hours the entire network had been mapped out, hence a full senate and Military council was convened to assess the next moves, but first it was only right and proper that the four engineers were given a decent funeral, and so it was agreed to rest the teams and take time out to both give thanks for the discovery and pay tribute to their fallen comrades.

The next morning and the arrangements had been made for the four men to be given a state funeral. They were to be buried alongside the great and the good of the new colony including Doctors Zelan and Zee, Campbell McQuarrie and other fallen dignitaries.

Before the mass funeral was to take place however, Valentine thought it would be wise to inform the population as to the discovery, first to give hope for their deliverance, but also to give meaning to the deaths of their brave engineers headed by Tobias Beckett, hence deciding to address them via C.N.N who were covering proceedings.

“My dear friends all, this is a day we will remember long into our memories and will be logged as a turning point in our advancement here on Terra.
It is with the greatest of sadness that we come here to bury and honour our dead. These four men gave their lives so that we may be protected and progress here on this planet, they did not die in vain my friends!”
Before I was inaugurated to the presidency I had three visions, that we would find Earth, that we would make a huge discovery here on Terra, and finally that we would encounter the Cylons once more in a final last stand here in orbit of Terra.
“Some of you may regard me as a mad dreamer or a crank, well two of my visions have come to pass, heed my words the third will also!”

That said my friends do not be afraid I offer you all hope. Thanks to the tenacity of those brave engineers and their colleagues we have made a startling discovery.
Others have come before us here on Terra and sought to make a home. I refer to a long extinct race known as Borellians, they have left us a lasting legacy, a network of tunnels in precisely the form, manner and location we intended to mine ourselves.

In short they have saved us many months of hard tunnelling and quite possibly the lives of more of our workers.
It is now possible to see a way forward where we can complete the task they began and plan to occupy these dwellings within a few short months, thereby providing the protection and shelter needed for ALL our citizens.”
I ask now that you take time after today to give thanks, thanks for the deliverance of our people by our brave fallen heroes laid in caskets before us now…”

After taking some time to pray and reflect, President Valentine asked Lucien Deveraux to offer a eulogy.

Sire Valentine had somehow managed to meter out fear and hope in equal measures, fear so that his people would not ease the pace of the work yet to complete, but hope in that if they did so, they would be delivered from the Cylons once and for all. He had walked a tightrope perfectly and was learning to lead from the front!
Scene 7 – Fortune Favours the Brave

On the seventh of January 7031 the caves had been completed and a new entrance created on the far side of the mountain facing a natural harbour into the ocean.
The sheer scale of the project was staggering, but thanks to the strength of the Borellians and the technology of the Delphians many months had been saved giving the engineers the opportunity to line miles upon miles of tunnels with a special glass fibre reinforced concrete known as G.R.C.

Within these new catacombs were a myriad of different rooms, some were accommodation blocks for scientists, some barracks for garrisons of troops, others were operation rooms containing command and information centres.
Lift shafts and escalators had linked the already mined tunnels to the new ones giving a network large enough to take all the new arrivals with ease.

What had been constructed was a mix of military, scientific and civilian areas.
The amount of work completed, and timescale was partly down to good fortune, but mainly due to the sheer tenacity and determination of one man, President Valentine. He had co-ordinated operations with military precision and silenced his doubters with action over words.

Although not a man to gloat on his achievements, President Valentine agreed with his advisors that the opportunity to showcase the new facility to the population was an opportunity not to be missed, an opportunity to lift the spirits of all.
Rather than simply display mile upon mile of tunnels he decided to orchestrate a military simulation to test, not only the new facility but all the defence systems.
Now all the missile silos had been completed and brought online, new squadrons of Star Riders and Star Vulcans complete, it was time for the ultimate test.
Encircling the mountain range overlooking Zelan city a huge fleet of military vehicles were in place, some to monitor the stars above, some to keep the road networks clear in case of attack, some with anti-assault batteries and others with mobile missile launchers to name but a few.

The new ‘war games’ would need to be as authentic as possible, hence it was planned for the four Super Battlestar’s in orbit to launch a simulated full-scale bombardment and attack on the city below. All the civilians had been evacuated to the new tunnels.
The newly complete ‘Ring of Steel’ electronic defence shield was now large enough to encircle the entire valley containing Zelan City, this was the key to the entire operation, if it failed the colony would be vulnerable to attack.
There was palpable fear and trepidation among the military leaders as the missiles to be launched from the capital ships would be live nuclear warheads. They HAD to be sure the shields would hold, and this was the only way to test them, in live conditions!

Many meetings and strategies were discussed in secret, some on the Ship of Governance but most involving only the military on the Battlestar Omega, Boomers ship. Adama had heeded the words of his new president in regard to utilising other ships over the Pegasus.
Since the vast majority of the exercise would be handled by the Admiralty once the lockdown of the civilians was completed, most of the responsibility fell onto the shoulders of Admiral Adama. Acutely aware of the heavy workload he decided to hold a council of war to gauge the mood of his senior officers and divide this workload.

Scene 8 – Making an Example

Wardroom, Battlestar Omega, all C/O’s and X/O’s present

Admiral Adama rose to brief his officers and immediately began to discuss the elephant in the room….

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I want you all to be as free and frank as you like, let’s leave rank and seniority out of this. Firstly however, it has been brought to light now, thanks to the barbed comments of our new president that I have been somewhat lackadaisical of late, that I have taken my eye off the ball….”

“That’s simply not true Apollo, we all know you have done an amazing job to get us all here, he was out of line, we all think so right?” pleaded Starbuck as all nodded in agreement.
“Well it’s of no consequence now, the accusation has been made and now questions are being asked on C.N.N and down on the surface, in particular the senate think I’m going soft.” Commented Adama.”

“Well I think I can guess why” added Sheba. “He made particular reference to my crew on the Pegasus, hell he even singled out Silver Spar Squadron for particular scorn, the best damn squadron in the fleet, I can tell you it’s pissed my crew off.”

“Yes but that’s the problem isn’t it Sheba, your arrogance, and that of Silver Spar Squadron has pissed everyone else off, our president had a point and it needed to be said since Adama hasn’t said it!” snarled Boomer.
“Hey just a god’s damn minute here, who’s fracking side are you on Boomer.” Snapped Sheba.

“Side, it’s not about sides, listen sooner or later you are going to have to stop hiding behind Apollo and fight your own battles, and stop hiding behind your crew and Silver Spar Squadron..”
Boomer was in no mood to back down and came ready for a row with Sheba.
“But that’s spectacularly unfair Boomer, I’ve had to command the Pegasus on my own since Bojay’s incapacitation, I’ve had no one to back me up or consult on that bridge.” She argued.

She threw a long glare at Apollo expecting him to back her up, she would be left disappointed.

“Yes I know what you’re thinking Sheba, as much as I have feelings for you my duty first second and last is to command this fleet, putting all personal issues and relationships aside. It’s my duty to listen to ALL the grievances of my officers, and as such I will not seek to gain favour from you, nor would I show any toward you.” Replied Adama.

“Maybe our president was right, and maybe Boomer has been a true leader in highlighting this issue further. It is actually something I have been pondering for some time now. The point is this, if I am not seen to act over this issue our president has already made it clear he will step in, and that would make me look very weak and put my position as Admiral in the spotlight.
Therefore I have made a decision.”

“I am standing down the Pegasus and her entire crew for a period of furlough, Sheba, your crew are all hereby given notice to take a leave of absence, as such the Pegasus will not be taking an active part in the upcoming manoeuvres.”

Sheba turned scarlet and stood glaring at Apollo.
“How fracking dare you!, are you telling me my entire crew is to be side-lined, pushed aside for being the best damn ship and crew in the history of the colonies.” She banged her fist on the table to emphasise her anger further.

“Like father like daughter eh” smirked Starbuck as Athena grinned angering Sheba further.

“Right that’s it, clear the room everyone, except you Sheba, the rest of you wait outside whilst I converse with Rear Admiral Cain in private.” Snapped Adama.
His normally calm, yet commanding tone had been replaced by a rage of his own, he was about to wipe the floor with Sheba but decided to give her the dignity of a private tongue lashing, he felt he owed her that much.
“Right sit-down Sheba and….”

“What the frack…” she began before he physically pushed her into a seat and towered over her.
“Shut the frack up and listen, I am your superior officer, one more outburst and I will relieve you of your command.” He snarled.

Sheba’s mind immediately flashed back to the time both their fathers were engaged in a heated argument. She remembered her father deliberately destroying two Cylon tankers whilst trying to secure their fuel for the Galactica’s fleet to flee Baltar’s Base Ships. Although many decades ago she remembered the outcome and quickly gave way.

“For once Sheba stop being a Cain and start being the leader I need you, we all need you to be. Unlike you I am not interested in being popular and neither was my father or Admiral Tigh. Great leaders have to make tough calls and I have to make this one in order to prove to those officers out there, and our president that I will not shy away from making those calls when needed.” Retorted Adama.

Sheba tried to speak but he thrust his open hand in her face to stop her…
“Look, do you trust me Sheba?”
“I love you with all my heart and, yes, yes I trust you.” She cried as tears of frustration trickled down both her cheeks.
“Then trust me now, I can’t explain yet as it would look way too obvious, but I have a plan, one which I cannot divulge to anyone right now in case it gets vetoed by the senate. Just trust me to do the right thing, besides I need to show solidarity with the other senior officers.

Just trust me when I say that one day you WILL thank me for this, let’s just say I have something special in mind for you and the Pegasus crew, something I KNOW you would want. I’ll just leave that there and let you draw your own conclusions.” He said cryptically.

Besides, I have noticed how hard you’ve been pushing yourself, and your crew recently, you need to cut yourself, and more importantly THEM, some slack, that’s why I’m ordering you to take some shore leave Sheba, it’s not a request!”
One more thing I will say on this, just try to see it from the other crew’s positions, they are no less brave or committed to me and the protection of our people than any of your crew, so give the others a chance to prove themselves as well as your fine crew have Sheba.”

“But what about the Pegasus Apollo, what will happen to her, is she to sit idly by while the other three Battlestar’s get all the glory in these manoeuvres?”
“Not exactly no” replied Adama, she will be given the once over and a quick refurb before I move my own crew over from the Galactica to temporarily crew her.”
“So you’re going to rub my crew’s noses in the shit even further by taking her over, thanks a fracking lot Apollo, I thought you were better than that?”

Apollo began to explain before Sheba went into meltdown.

“Look it’s not like that at all, no one is punishing you or your crew, but I need to get my crew used to working on a Super, the Galactica has had its day as a warship.”
Super Battlestar’s were often referred to simply as ‘Supers’ by the military.
“ She has been refitted as a kind of secure facility with which we hope to negotiate with our Earth brothers. She has still all her vipers and defence systems, but her hull is no longer strong enough for a sustained battle with A modern Base Star.

“So why do I feel like my crew and I have been fracked over?” she snapped.
“Not my problem, I’ve explained, not that I needed to, you’ll just have to suck it up Sheba, now go, I have an important meeting with the other officers to resume.” He smiled and winked at her playfully in a vain attempt to lighten the tension.
He took her head in his hands and kissed her forehead reassuringly as she continued to weep.

“Right, are we good ?” he pushed for an answer.

“Yes I guess so” she replied meekly.
She was about to wipe the tears from her face when he stopped her.
“No, leave your tears for all the other officers to see, it will help give the impression there is still tension between us, this will help us later.” He reasoned to her.

As far as she was concerned there WAS a great deal of tension but knew she could not win this time.
“Now I want you to walk past the other officers without looking back Sheba, go!” he ordered.
She did as he asked and returned to the Pegasus to collect her personal effects, hurt, upset and confused, yet somehow knowing Adama had her best interests at heart.
As soon as she was out of sight he called in the other officers to continue the council of war….

Scene 9 – The Ultimate Test

Admiral Adama wasted no time in resuming the council of war as if Sheba hadn’t even been there!
“Very well officers, we will begin to go through the plans, as I have already stated, the Pegasus will be held back as a failsafe, we need only utilise three Supers for these manoeuvres.

Boomer and I have talked in private around the various tactics we intend to use, and now we will share them with you. In Brief we are to initially attack the city with a phalanx of modified Cylon raiders, they will sweep over the city and bombard, giving us a chance to monitor the effectiveness of our anti assault batteries and re-calibrate them as necessary.

The ground forces will launch the new Star Riders to intercept and engage the raiders in an attempt to neutralise them.
By this time we expect our ground crews to have the electronic defence shields fully up.
Then we intend to upscale the attack using the newly installed and remodelled Cylon Mega-Pulsars that are fitted to the heads of our Supers.

I don’t mind telling you all Paul and I have been itching to try these new weapons out.” He grinned.
Once the raiders have been cleared by our ground fighters and the laser bombardment monitored and complete, all things being well we will commence a countdown to the launch of our nuclear warheads directly over the city. We will initially send one, then two and upwards, closely monitoring the integrity of the electronic defence shields at all times until either they are about to fail, or we run out of nukes!”

“It is important to note this Gentlemen, and Lady” as he nodded to his sister Athena.
“This operation is primarily to test the integrity of our ground forces, not our warships, that will come later.
Your Vice Admiral will be taking command of this operation as agreed by us earlier, this will give him invaluable experience for when I finally depart for Earth, as he will then be your full Admiral until I return, if I return?” he added ominously.
“Now if there are no questions I will call this meeting to a close and I suggest you take the next few days to brief your crews and try and get some rack time whilst Vice Admiral Boomer and I go over the timetable for these manoeuvres, dismissed.”

Twenty-four hours later and everything was ready. Six a.m. and reveille sounded across the fleet.
The city of Zelan below was eerily quiet as all citizens waited below ground for the war games to begin in earnest.
To add to the authenticity, the citizens and ground defence teams were told of the war games, but not on which day they would take place. The President was keen to gauge a reaction from all on the surface and below, he wanted to add the element of surprise.

Co-ordinating the ground defence teams were a detachment of marines commanded by Field Marshall Hector McCain, under his command were Battalion leaders, colonel’s Mortimer and Mitchell, all veterans from the previous war games.

Suddenly and without warning the air raid sirens blasted out around the city as the frightened citizens awoke with a start and began to follow the strict instructions given to them on hearing the sirens.

The ground D.R.A.D.I.S systems picked up the incoming ‘Cylon’ raiders and so the manoeuvres began!

“Sir, we’re picking up multiple bogies approaching us at C.B.D.R” came the shout from an operative.
“Activate ALL anti assault batteries, switch to auto and have them set to track and destroy” barked McCain.
Suddenly, wave after wave of raiders bore down on the city below as the batteries dispatched the first wave with consummate ease.

“Star Rider crews launch ALL fighters to intercept immediately, clear them away stat.” commanded McCain.
Within seconds the new fighters had launched vertically from their pads on the outer reaches of the city limits and were cutting large corridors through the raiders, tearing them out of the skies.

Ten minutes later and not a single raider was left, some sixty craft had been dispatched by just twenty Star Riders without loss, a very impressive result!
The pilots and ground crews had rapidly gained control of the skies above and initiated the electronic defence shields in preparation for the impending bombardment.

“This is Omega Actual” Vice Admiral Boomer to fleet, prepare a barrage of Mega-Pulsar fire on my mark, begin with a wide arc then bring it closer in to probe a point at the centre of the dome, I will relay the co-ordinates now….”
Then a dazzling white series of light pulses emerged from the head of the Battlestar Omega as the new weapon opened up onto the city below, then the other two Battlestar’s joined in a co-ordinated attack.

“Shields holding sir” came the response from the ground operative as the three massive warships reigned terror on the city below. They frequently changed the angle and ferocity of the attack looking for weaknesses in the shields.

Atop a hill above the city, observers were monitoring and recording the events as they unfolded. The light show from above was apparently quite spectacular as the huge dome, initially invisible glowed like a huge blue bubble upon contact with the laser beams. The effect was something reminiscent of the light prism one sees in soap suds.

This part of the attack ceased when the huge laser guns became hot on the capital ships and needed to be cooled.
“So far so good.” Commented Boomer as he watched the show from high above on his monitors.
“But now for the coup de grace, this is it everyone hold on to your britches!” he mused.

Boomer to McCain, what’s your shield integrity?”
“It’s holding very well, it dropped down to seventy percent but it’s back up to full power now.” Replied the Field Marshall.
“Very good, if you guys are ready down there we are preparing the final test, I will count you down….”
“Go ahead, do your worst. Replied McCain.

All watched their monitors diligently as the knots in their stomachs grew tighter.

“Incoming ordinance sir, impact in five, four, three, two, one….. as the nuclear warhead slammed into the huge dome, the noise was deafening as the giant mushroom cloud hovered over the city, mercifully the shields held once more.
“Shields at ninety percent sir” shouted the operative.
“Continue your attack Vice Admiral, shields are holding.”
“Very well, let’s up the ante a little shall we?”

“Weapons hot, missile tubes one thru four, prepare a firing solution using five second time lags between missiles, fire when ready.” Ordered Boomer.

Now four warheads were speeding their way down to the city, where once again the spotters counted them down to impact.

The four missiles slammed into the electronic defence dome causing an almighty explosion and multiple mushroom clouds forming into one giant plume of smoke and flame before dissipating into the stars, mercifully the shield held once more, but for how much longer could it withstand this relentless barrage.

“Shields at sixty percent sir” responded the spotter, McCain was about to issue an order, but Boomer had other ideas!

“Omega actual to Battlestar’s Tolan and Tigh, full salvo fire on my mark, give them everything you’ve got.” He barked.
“But sir, with respect that’s extremely risky, if that shield buckles?” reasoned his X.O Athena.

“I know but better to find that out now and not when the Cylons come calling, our people are safe down in the bunkers.
If it makes you feel any better I am under orders from our president to rain hell on them, and anyhow those tunnels are two and a half miles down Athena.” He smiled touching her shoulder reassuringly.

After a few moments a full dozen missiles were speeding their way down to rip into the dome, it was so tense the crews felt physically sick as they watched the almighty explosion from above.

As dangerous as this move was they simply had to know if the shields would hold, if they couldn’t then neither would they withstand an attack from a fleet of deadly Cylon Base Stars .
“Impact in FIVE,FOUR,THREE,TWO,ONE relayed a frightened operative to his Field Marshall.

The explosion was so fierce the entire fleet picked up the sonic vibrations through their scanners as the explosion grew louder and the flash ever larger, but where was the city below?

“Omega actual to fleet, report, can anyone see anything down there, McCain come in please, McCain come in….”

“Oh my god Athena, what have we done, WHAT HAVE WE DONE?”

The next few moments felt like a lifetime as the Battlestar crews waited to hear from the surface, as every moment passed their fears grew.
Had they destroyed their own city?

Finally the smoke and particles began to dissipate as everyone on the C.I.C of each ship watched and waited, then suddenly.
“HOLY FRACK! THAT WAS FRACKING…..” Garbled McCain, they had survived!

“Shields at five percent sir, but increasing to seven, twelve, twenty-one!” yelled the operative through tears of relief.
Within two minutes the shield had miraculously regained full integrity.
WE’VE DONE IT, WE’VE ONLY GONE AND FRACKING DONE IT BOOMER. Beamed McCain into his communicator.

“Thank the Lords of Kobol, Omega actual to fleet, the shields have held, our people are alright, the city is intact, the shields held.” Cried Boomer.
A giant roar swept throughout the decks of all ships as they sounded their horns in unison.
Finally the all clear sounded in the city below as all in the safety of the tunnels were relayed the great news. Terra had been secured and they finally had the full defence systems in place to repel their sworn enemies.

The next few days were spent checking and double checking all the buildings above ground and cave dwellings below for any structural damage.
Miraculously the shield had not only protected them but also acted as a giant cushion, absorbing all the kinetic energy of the ordinance fired at it.
These results were far beyond even the most ambitious of hopes
Boyed by these results President Valentine worked even harder if that were possible to sign off and complete all the final work needed to make the new underground facility fully operational.
As was customary for him he completed this work rapidly and, finally, totally exhausted allowed himself a week’s rest, but only under order of his personal physician!

The senate went into recession to allow for both three days official mourning for those that perished in the tunnel collapse, but also for the masses to celebrate the final completion of everything they needed for a fully operational and functioning society on Terra.

Everywhere in the streets, in the fleet, in the new underground facility, parties were being held in thanks for their deliverance. Bunting was strewn across every streetlight and park bench, beer and village ambrosia flowed freely almost as if it were the humans that had won the war over the Cylons!
Right now that mattered little to the people, they were at last able to celebrate their own victory, they were safe.

Finally after a week of well-earned rest President Valentine emerged and announced a full press conference for the next day. In a miraculously short time he had won over ALL of his doubters and detractors, they wanted to hear from the great man who had delivered them.

The man had rested but felt mentally exhausted, he had been very hard on his military, shipbuilders and tunnel teams in equal measures, but as the saying goes, the end justifies the means and any lingering ill feeling toward him had gone.
The next day after a long breakfast he felt ready to face the press and media, only this time from a position of strength.

Once again he took his seat on the long table aboard the presidential ship, flanked by his team of leading politicians.
As he entered the press room once again, a huge round of applause arose into a chorus of whooping and cheering as he raised his right hand to acknowledge the media.

The audience began to shout “Valentine, Valentine, Valentine” as tears began to well up in the old man’s eyes.
He had to sit for a moment to gather his composure and take a huge gulp of the water in front of him.
On steeling himself he arose to address the eager audience.

“My dear friends all, we have come full circle. We arrived here what seems like a very long time ago now, though only a few short years. Together we have achieved great things.

I do not wish to take all the plaudits, although I am very grateful for your warm reception. Please remember a great many have perished before me who have helped us get to this wonderful position we now find ourselves in.
I wish to acknowledge in particular, the late Doctors Zelan and his son Zee, our great leader Admiral Willian Adama, Saul Tigh, Speaker Campbell McQuarrie to name but a few, and now we can add to that list our great engineer Tobias Beckett.
Let us give thanks for those that never made it to see this colony fully formed.
There is still much to do, particularly in space where my dear friend Sire Galen is working tirelessly even as I speak on our new fleet bound for Earth.
One day my friends, one day very soon I pledge to you all we will finally embark on our journey. The journey we all set out on when finding this beautiful planet we now call home, Terra.
I give you all my best wishes, thanks and love. You are my brethren, my brothers and sisters and I thank you all, you have all played your part in forming our new society.
Now, without further ado I wish to dedicate our new underground facility to you all, but in particular to those who have fallen.
Ladies and Gentlemen all, I now pronounce our new defence facility known as T.E.R.R.A.D.A.C.A fully operational.
All raised their hands to ask the same question….
“What does it stand for, I hear you all ask...” he added.
Terran Early Reconnaissance Resistance And Defence Against Cylon Attack.”

To be continued……

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 3:18 pm 
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Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage to Earth Episode 23 – Debt of Honour

Admirals log - April 4th 7031

“The last few weeks and months have been a blessing for the new colony of Terra, our President has been as good as his word. He has made promises to our people that I would have never dared to make, yet he has delivered.
Our new gleaming underground facility he has named TERRADACA has finally been completed and is fully operational.
Our people revere him as some kind of god or messiah, though I have reservations. I am reminded of one man mentioned in scriptures known as Count Iblis!
In the ancient scriptures it is said that a man comes from afar to make three promises, one to provide crops to our starving, well, although we are not starving, as we speak Sire Galen has made a major breakthrough in the design of two gigantic Agro Ships.
Secondly he promised to provide the co-ordinates to Earth, and thirdly to deliver us our enemy.
The very three promises made by our new president!
That he has delivered on two leads me to believe, whether coincidentally or not that I have to take his claims about the Cylons returning very seriously indeed!
These are simply my own musings, but I sometimes wonder if we are in the presence of the Devil incarnate or our savour, or more likely somewhere in between.
Perhaps I am doing our new president a disservice, maybe after all these years of struggles and fighting to flee our enemies I simply refuse to believe what’s in front of me, that it’s just possible this man is all he claims to be, we will know soon enough!
I thought I knew this man well through our many council meetings in the past, but as they say, still waters run deep!
In any event I feel the answers to all our questions are inextricably linked to the mysterious fleet of some twenty-six Delphin vessels in our midst.
It is my hope that both the mystery of the Borrellian’s presence here and our presidents uncanny powers of foresight are both unearthed by the fabled Delphian’s and their impressive fleet.
There is something about these vessels I just cannot fathom, as if they are reluctant to give themselves up to us.
It is with this in mind I have ordered an away team of scientists and marines to study these vessels further in a bid to unlock their hidden secrets, maybe then we will have answers to some of our other unsolved mysteries.
Recent events have left me to feel somewhat side-lined by this amazing man we now call our president, added to the fact my Vice Admiral has of late taken on more and more responsibility from me, although I know this is the right thing for him to do.
After all it is he that will command our fleet once I head out for Earth, and I trust Boomer with my life.
I feel maybe it’s time I moved aside for one with more drive, I’m not getting any younger.
They say every dog has its day, perhaps I have had mine like my dear friend Sire Dmitri.
All these things said I know I must fulfil my destiny to honour a promise I made to both my father and Uncle Saul on their deathbeds, that I would lead our people to Earth.
I’m sad that I cannot share my vision with my beloved Sheba, but I dare not reveal my hand until I feel the time is right to announce my intentions as I am unsure how our political and military leaders will react.
I love Sheba with all my heart, and I feel I have hurt her once too often, although I must do what I feel is right for my warriors as a whole, and of course the people of Terra.
I feel I may have lost her, but it is a sacrifice I have to make, perhaps when I leave for Earth she will finally understand.” Ends.

Scene 1 – The Delphian Legacy

Admiral Adama had spent many a recent hour pondering the mysteries of the long lost Delphian race. He was troubled at what he might learn from their mysterious fleet, and so decided to consult his dear friends on the Ship of Worship once more.
Whenever he had been troubled by events in the past, they had collectively given him love, strength and clarity in equal measures.
Once more he arranged to meet his Pious friends, and once more they were expecting him……
All the usual pleasantries awaited the Admiral as he entered the ship to be greeted once more with the smile and posy of flowers presented by Delphine Deveraux.
The majority of the two families were busying themselves with housekeeping and administrative duties, and as such Delphine made her excuses to attend hers leaving only Louis and Father Richardson to entertain Adama.
The two pastors were alarmed to see him looking tired and pale, and so did not dwell on small talk for too long, once the dinner plates had been removed by the kitchen staff they began to tackle the issues that seemed to be vexing him so much.

“Adama, we have prepared a dossier on the information we have from ancient writings on the Delphians for you to study at your leisure, but we will give you a brief précis now.”
Commented Louis.
“We colonials had a long and mostly harmonious history with this mysterious race, they were in fact long-time allies of ours in the Cylon war.

In appearance they were bipedal, hairless and humanoid, their flesh colour was similar to ours, a kind of flesh pink, however the nobles had more of a greyish green colour reflecting their status.
They were extremely sensitive to light, as the Delphian sun in the Kryllian star system radiates less light than ours here, or that of Earth. This meant they had very large eyes and you will probably find their ships very dark and poorly lit.

They were mostly vegetarians and ate mostly liquidised food.
As you already know their home planet was Gamoray, they had around fifty million inhabitants on the planet at their height, although they too set out among the stars to colonise.

They had a particular affinity with the Virgons, as both enjoyed the finer things, such as art, poetry and classical music. They understood our language but could not speak, they communicated using text to our people and telepathy to each other.
Amazingly it is reported in the scriptures that they had no less than forty-three colonies and an empire of around forty-five billion souls. The problem was they were in the main very weak and frail physically, hence, always looking for a home world that could easily sustain their unique requirements.

This was one of the main reasons they died out, that and a relentless systematic subjugation and massacre by the Cylons who pursued them throughout the stars, much like they are doing with us now!
With regards to military co-operation, that even went as far as the two races sharing resources and shipyards for repair and replenishment, rarely did the two quarrel, and only then because both needed the same resources.

Although we did not know this at the time, it was when we encountered the late commander Cain’s old Pegasus at Gamoray that we learned the truth about the eventual final destruction of their home world, as told to your father by Cain himself.
The Battle of Molecay was a strategy of the Colonials to try and divert Cylon forces away from Gamoray in a failed bid to save the Delphians from slaughter.
The Cylons were apparently successful in cutting the supply lines between the two allies, effectively spelling the end for the Delphians, they were laid under siege and, despite the best efforts of the Pegasus crew under Cain, they eventually succumbed to their inevitable fate.

In the same way, we colonials did not know about the destruction of Gamoray, neither did they know of the destruction of the colonies, not that they were in a position to help us even if they did!

However, Cain’s efforts and those of his brave crew were clearly not in vain, by holding off the Cylon attacks for so long it enabled a small fleet of Delphian vessels to slip past the Cylon blockade and escape with their lives in some twenty six vessels, those which we have in our midst now.”

“So what finally did for the remaining survivors on these vessels we have?” asked Adama.

“Well we must assume both starvation and the Borellians, those poor few souls that were left to supervise the tunnelling of the caves here on Terra were expendable once the caves were all but complete, and so the Borellians killed them, and effectively sealed their own fate as we now know.”
Replied Louis Deveraux.

Adama thanked Father Deveraux for his help and left without delay to consult with his away teams and brief them as to what to expect from the vessels.

When completing the mining of the tunnels an engineer unearthed what looked like some kind of key or unlocking device. It was hoped that this device could help the teams to gain access to the control panels on the ships and subsequently initiate the life support systems and functions on the vessels.

In appearance the vessels were all different but all magnificent in their own way. It was assumed that they would all have different functions, some would be for supplies, some for medical uses and some for defence and so forth.

Unlike the colonials the Delphians were reluctant warriors, only turning to war when under the iron grip of the Cylons.
One thing Adama did know was that they had very advanced technology in the field of defence, having held off the Cylons for generations.
Some of the technology had already been harvested by Admiral Adama, namely the electronic defence shields incorporated into the one Delphian vessel they had thus far gained access to, a supply vessel he had nicknamed the armadillo due to the spikes on its hull which were in fact solar panels.
The design of these vessels intrigued the colonials, some appearing rather opulent, even extravagant in design, the Delphians clearly regarded form as important as function.

Adama had briefed his teams and, as it was anticipated to be a long mission to gain entry to, and power up the vessels he decided to give them 48 hours shore leave before tackling the mammoth task.
Feeling tired and drained he thought it wise to afford himself some rest before the work on the Delphian ships began, but the more he tried to relax the more his mind wandered to his beloved Sheba.

He couldn’t rest or concentrate, so decided to use the time to track her down and attempt to appease her in the hope of salvaging their relationship on a professional and personal level.

He knew that her being unable to access the Pegasus would leave her frustrated and, like her father, in times of trouble could usually be found propping up a bar somewhere, and like Starbuck she was a very good Triad player, a card game formerly known as Pyramid and commonly played among the warriors. With these traits added to her vanity he knew instinctively where to find her, on the ship named after her, the Lady Sheba!

When he finally arrived on the luxury liner he was shocked to see a phalanx of warriors from the Pegasus, all angry at the perceived injustice and humiliation meted out to them, but more importantly their commanding officer whom they all revered.
He found a group of them huddled around a table in one of the main gambling chanceries on board, in their midst was Sheba relieving them all of their hard-earned cubits.
He cleared his throat to speak to the group knowing he had to choose his words very carefully.
Sheba caught sight of him through the crowd of warriors and her mood darkened immediately….

“Tin hut, officer on deck” she shouted sarcastically, gesturing for her crew to stand and salute Adama, reluctantly they duly followed her order.

“Please, as you were warriors, you’re on your own time, I just wanted to talk to you all to try and straighten a few things out.”
“Well if we’re on our own time we don’t need to listen do we?” snapped Sheba.

“No I guess not, look I didn’t come for a fight, I just wanted to explain the reason I furloughed you all, the thing is, well, some of the other crews are getting fed up with the attitude of some of you on the Pegasus. I’ve let you guys take point on most missions to the detriment to my other crews and frankly it was a mistake.

There is bad feeling festering in the fleet at the perceived favouritism I am showing you. In a way you have become the victims of your own success, and so have I.” He reasoned.

Take my own crew on the Galactica as a case in point, they have had to put up with working on an ancient warship knowing the crews on the Super Battlestar’s have the best of everything, frankly they are getting pretty pissed off with your arrogance.

I wasn’t going to say anything to any of you until the time was right but it sems I have no choice, I am facing a possible insurrection in the fleet, even a mutiny if I continue to favour you all on the Pegasus.
These are the facts whether you choose to believe me or not!
I am also acutely aware that Rear Admiral Cain has been pushing you all too hard.”

“Wait a fracking minute Apollo, do you hear any of them complaining? They wanted me to make them the best damn crew in the history of the colonies and I have.” Smirked Sheba as her warriors grinned and nodded their approval.
Stupidly, Apollo took the bait and allowed himself to be sucked into a verbal sparring match with Sheba.

“Best crew in the Colonies are they?” he barked.
“I will pitch my warriors on the Galactica against any of you at any time, the only reason you are getting better scores on the practice sorties is because you have the better fighters, better ship and equipment, better living and sleeping quarters and better food and I intend to prove it.” Retorted Adama.

“How do you propose to do that Apollo?” scoffed Sheba.

“By switching ships, your crew can move to the Galactica and mine to the Pegasus temporarily, when my warriors are fully conversant with working from a super we will arrange a test.
My ship’s crew against yours Sheba, your very best against mine. Blue Squadron against Silver Spar. “
“And the prize?” quizzed Sheba.

“Winner takes all, I know how desperate you all are to lead the fleet headed for Earth, but my crew on the Galactica are no less desperate. They too want the honour of leading our people to Earth, so how about it guys, let’s see if you are all as good as you think you are, and Silver Spar as good as we all hope you are?”

As Adama suspected, Sheba and her crew could not resist the challenge and accepted. Inadvertently he had played her like a fiddle knowing her arrogance would be her undoing, and that once he had made his point he would be able to dictate terms and bait her with something he knew she could not resist.

However, he knew that when she had that look in her eyes there was no point reasoning with her, and so if he couldn’t appeal to her better nature then he would appeal to her worst.

He was betting everything on his gamble bringing her back to him, even if it meant using humiliation.
One thing Adama and Sheba did have in common was the love and loyalty of their respective crews. Sheba’s crew would have laid down their lives for their commander, and so too would Adama’s on the Galactica. This was self-evident but what was not clear was to whom should go the honour of leading the fleet.

Adama would have been within his rights to simply choose his own crew and the Galactica to carry the colours of the colonial Battle Fleet and leave the Pegasus crew behind with the fleet orbiting Terra, but this was never in his plans….

Scene 2 – On the Back Burner

Wardroom Battlestar Pegasus, 48 hours later;
Present, commanding and executive officers from the Galactica and all other super Battlestar’s save for the Pegasus crew…..

“So what’s this all about Apollo, what have you signed us all up for this time?” Grinned Boomer.
“I’ve seen that sheepish look on your face before.”
“Well, for one thing I feel terrible about kicking Sheba and her crew off the Pegasus and now I feel I’ve made matters even worse.” He replied.

“We all know why you did it and I think we are all in agreement Apollo, she had it coming.” Added Starbuck.
“They all did.” added a normally quiet commander Marc Jansen. I’m probably nearer in age than some of you to the pilots in Silver Spar Squadron and, well having played Triad with many of them I can tell you all, a more arrogant bunch of pricks you would be hard pressed to find anywhere.”

The whole wardroom looked at him in amazement as he began to rant at the attitude of the Pegasus crew, but that didn’t stop him….

“I and my crew have had to take a backseat as it is on most manoeuvres, but we do it as its expected, but they seem to think they have a gods given right to take point every time we go out there.
I’m sorry Admiral, I know Sheba means a great deal to you but, well we have had enough, and we all feel this is long overdue Sir.” He added meekly expecting a dressing down.

“I would choose your next words very wisely if I were you!” Exclaimed Boomer.

“It’s OK Paul, I don’t want yes men, never have , never will, if that’s the way you all feel then maybe you will actually be glad to hear that I’ve arranged a little test, a test to prove who really is the best crew and the best pilots.”

“Oh really, pray tell.” Smirked Commander Andrew ‘Jolly’ Johnson.

“Well, one of the reasons I switched the Galactica and Pegasus crew as most of you have already guessed is to get the Galactica crew up to speed on the day to day operation of a ‘Super’.
After all the Galactica isn’t getting any younger and I haven’t decided for definite which crew and which Battlestar will lead our task force heading for Earth.”

“So what have you proposed?” asked Starbuck.
“Some manoeuvres between all our ships and crews, a kind of competition to see who gets the honour of leading us to Earth whilst the rest stay behind to guard our people here on Terra.”
…”And of course to make sure everyone is right on top of their game before we head out.”

“With respect Admiral, I really don’t think this is the time to be measuring dicks with the rest of the fleet when we have more pressing matters at hand.” Countered Commander Johnson.

"Our people will not be impressed to hear you wanting to play war games when Sire Galen is working his butt off to get the Earth fleet ready, and our new President is working around the clock overseeing the re-housing of our people after the successful testing of the bunkers!” “Just saying” added Commander Jolly.

“Jolly, you don’t say much but when you do you get straight to it don’t you, so what would you have me do, go back to Sheba and her crew and eat shit?” he snarled.

“Well you don’t want yes men so what the hell, you got yourself into this mess Adama, so you’ll just have to find a way out of it won’t you, and if you have to eat shit take a big fracking plate with you!” glared Jolly, his normally jovial demeaner nowhere in evidence.
Just then as temperatures were beginning to rise in the wardroom….

“Admiral, I’m getting an emergency transmission from the fleet com line Alpha, it’s from Spectre!” yelled the tactical officer.
“Very well, we’ll just have to put this on the back burner for now.” Countered Adama.
“Admiral, Lucifer and I are on our way to you immediately, I have overridden the landing codes, this is not a drill!” snapped Spectre.
We have picked up a Cylon signal!”
“This is just not happening!” exclaimed Adama, raising his arms in despair.
“Why now, as if we haven’t got enough shit on our plates to use Jolly’s metaphor!”
“Very well, order the deck crews to escort them to the C.I.C immediately they land.”

Adama paced up and down as he beckoned his officers to follow him to the C.I.C to be briefed by the two Cylons.
As they walked the relatively short distance he continued to speak…
“I just don’t understand it, we must be a full quadrant from any known Cylon activity, we have the best long range scanners we have ever had, and the short range ship to ship D.R.A.D.I.S should have picked them up as soon as they entered our system? It just doesn’t add up.”
Mercifully the two Cylons had sped their way to the Pegasus and were already approaching the Bridge as the officers entered the huge room.

“Admiral, do not be alarmed.” Reasoned Spectre. “What I have picked up is a very weak signal from a long way off, you will have more than enough time to prepare your forces, that said, I sense this is a very large force. I also suspect they are going to have one last try at prising Terra from your grasp, and at the same time eliminating the human race from the stars!” he added.

“Do not be alarmed he says.” Countered Starbuck mockingly.

“What I am saying Air Chief Marshall is that you have everything in place now, if you’re not ready for the Cylons now then you never will be!” he retorted.

“He’s right Starbuck.” Commented Boomer.

“Besides if we are ever going to set sail for Earth then better to do it after we have eliminated THEM, and not the other way around, once and for all.
Then we can head for Earth in the confidence that we have done all we can to rid ourselves of all but the remnants of their empire.” He reasoned.

“So what kind of force can we expect, what strength?” questioned Adama.

“They never send more than three, three Base Stars and their supporting cast of destroyers, picket ships and the like, although if they are as desperate as we all think they are then they could conceivably send four or more depending how thinly spread they are in the stars.” Added Spectre.

“I will not insult your collective intelligence and tell you all how to set out your stall but be ready for the largest Cylon force you have ever encountered!” added Lucifer.

Scene 3 – Toss Another Grenade In!

Unbelievably as the officers pondered the prospect of another Cylon battle…..
“Admiral, one of the Delphian ships has powered up, there is a power surge from one of the Delphian vessels, she is powering up!”
exclaimed the tactical officer.

“For fracks sake, what next, can’t we at least try and deal with one fracking problem at a time.” Barked Adama.
Lucifer raised his right hand to interrupt Adama mid rant…

“Admiral, this cannot be a co-incidence, there are too many variables at play here for it all not to be interconnected. May I suggest a moment of contemplation, of refection.” Mused Lucifer.

“You appointed Spectre and I as advisers, well I advise that you proceed with caution but not fear, I suspect that Delphian vessel has emerged from its hibernation for a reason, and that reason has everything to do with the reappearance of the Cylons!” he exclaimed.

“Mm yes you are probably right, it IS too much of a co-incidence. Let’s all assume Lucifer is right and finally, hopefully we can solve this riddle wrapped in a puzzle once and for all.” Replied Adama.

“Admiral, where is the device we found in the caves, the Delphian key like device?” enquired Spectre.
“It’s in my quarters why?”
“Well, just a guess but, if that ship out there is giving off a power signature then maybe that device has activated itself as well?”

“Yes, yes of course, the device! Starbuck, will you follow me to my quarters, the rest of you stay here whilst we go and retrieve it, let’s hope Spectre’s hunch is correct and pandora’s box is about to reveal its secrets to us.” Commented Adama.
The two men walked the short distance to his, or rather Sheba’s quarters where even outside the door they could hear a bleeping sound, Spectre’s hunch was correct.

They opened the door to find the device flashing a steady blueish light and emitting a loud bleeping sound, but what was the device trying to communicate?
“Bridge, get my shuttle prepared with a security detail right away, I’m going over to investigate this phenomenon.” He commanded on his communicator as he and Starbuck raced back with the device still flashing.

“But Sir, what about the teams you have already assembled?” enquired Jansen on his communicator.
“Adama was already entering the C.I.C once more to brief the other officers.

“To answer Jansen’s question, simply no time, that device is in sync with the ship and whilst it’s still emanating a signal I want to get over there, stat. I’m hoping it IS some kind of key and it may have a timer on it, so I can’t wait for them, besides I gave them 48 hours furlough and it would take too long to gather them up.”

“Then may I suggest you take Spectre with you, he has the best chance of intercepting and interpreting the signal for you as he understands the Delphian hieroglyphics and language.” Reasoned Lucifer as Spectre nodded his agreement.
“Jansen, since you’ve been so proactive “ grinned Adama “you come as well, you were my best shuttle pilot and I may need you to manually take us in.”

Without delay Admiral Adama, Jansen and Spectre, flanked by two marines headed out to the mysterious Delphian vessel. As the shuttle craft moved closer to it, the signal emanating from the craft grow stronger.

The craft resembled a kind of giant cage, almost as if it had captured a mysterious prey in its belly like a predator, or was it in fact to protect something, or someone?
It was both beautiful and frightening in equal measures.

Spectre glanced at Adama noting his reaction and moved to calm the Admiral by placing his hand on his shoulder.
“Do not be alarmed Admiral, I can sense your fear and that of the others, remember the Delphians were essentially a peace-loving race, and were allies of the Colonials in your wars against my former masters. It was never in their remit to harm the humans, so assume that for once this may turn out to be good news Admiral.

I sense that even from the grave the Delphians are reaching out to you to offer help in your final battle against the Cylons!” he exclaimed reassuringly.

“That’s a very big call Spectre, how do you arrive at that conclusion?” he enquired as the others listened intently.
“Well, put yourself in their position – they are about to be destroyed, wiped out by the Cylons, and the only thing they can do to exact any kind of revenge, even if it is from beyond the grave is to rig their craft!” he exclaimed.

“YES, yes of course cried Adama, using the same double positive he inherited from his father when arriving at a eureka moment.
“They have rigged the ships to engage the Cylons right? to help us in a showdown, somehow to help us rid the galaxy of the Cylons once and for all.” pondered Adama.

“Yes Admiral, and leave a lasting legacy, paying a debt of honour for all the times the colonials had stood by them in battle, and don’t forget it was your own Commander Cain aboard the old Pegasus that gave them even a chance to survive. It was not the fault of the colonials that they did not survive, this is their parting gift to you I would suggest.” Reasoned Spectre.

“By the Lords of Kobol I hope your right, anyway we’ll know soon enough.” Replied Adama as the shuttle bore down on the craft looking for a landing zone.

Scene 4 – The Lions Mouth

The men circled for a few minutes but despite the signal emanating from the craft it remained in complete darkness. It seemed like hours to Apollo as he stared at the craft to show signs of welcome.
Suddenly and without warning the craft came to life and began to glow a brilliant florescent blue in varying shades of light.

Jansen navigated closer, as he neared the stern of the craft it suddenly opened up to reveal a landing bay, almost as if it had been toying with them like a lover playing hard to get!

To coincide with the strange star shaped devices flashes, the landing bay also began to flash a blueish neon light around its edges as if to beckon them in. The outer doors disappeared into the hull as if they were never there in the first place.

Adama wasted no time in commanding Jansen to proceed with caution into the belly of this awe-inspiring alien craft.
He kept staring at the ships form, he had seen this shape somewhere before, but where?

Remarkably, Spectre sensed his thoughts and explained Adama’s uneasy feeling of Déjà vu to the others.
“The Admiral seems to have recognised the ribbed arm shapes on the ship, it was copied by the Cylons, they used it to strengthen and enhance the Darkstar Base Stars and the Beta versions.”

“Yes, that’s it the ribbing! I knew Id seen it somewhere before!” he exclaimed.
“Yes my former masters were very adept in the art of plagiarism, or as you humans glibly call it, bootlegging.” Mused Spectre.
Finally the shuttle landed, but not to a fanfare welcome from a mystical alien species or a hostile force, but an eery silence.

Immediately Adama’s thoughts turned to the day they opened the first craft from the second wave when they discovered their long-lost brothers.
It was almost too much to comprehend, such a magnificent vessel, but with no welcome, no red carpet.
“Where’s the damn tour guide?” laughed one of the guards to lift the tension, it seemed to work as Adama, and the others laughed in unison.

“Ok so where do we start searching, we need to get to the bridge?” questioned Adama.
“If I may” countered Spectre as he reached for the device in Adama’s hand.

He gently took the device from Adama and began to sweep it around in an attempt to pick up a stronger signal or a change in tone to tell them where to look, and sure enough it grew louder as he pointed it toward the bow of the ship.

They began to make their way forward but knew it would take some time to get to the bow, this was a huge vessel!
Fortunately their journey was not to be as long as they first feared, having encountered some kind of operations room midships.
Within this room was a large console with an aperture at the centre, its profile matching that of the device exactly. Instinctively Adama pressed the device into the aperture without hesitation, stood back and waited….

Suddenly the entire room came to life, followed by the entire vessel, it’s systems all powering up!

The darkness in the room only improved slightly, but Adama remembered Father Deveraux’s words about the Delphians having poor vision, relying more on other senses and so quickly realised this would have been normal for them.

“Admiral, I am picking up a small power transfer between the console and the device, it would appear that the ship is uploading data to the device, you may soon have your answers!” exclaimed Spectre raising his right index finger.
The four men and their Cylon guide were alarmed as suddenly a blue hologram appeared before them rising above the console.

What they were seeing was a female humanoid figure, a Delphian. The five looked on in stunned silence as the hologram raised an arm to gesture to a screen on the console.

An image of what looked like a hand appeared on the screen as Adama looked on in puzzlement.

“I think it is some sort of sensor, a security device. Place your hand on it Admiral and if I am correct it should recognise you as a human and not a Cylon, needless to say I will NOT be touching it!” smiled Spectre.

As instructed Adama placed his right palm over the screen as a red light began to scan his palm print.
Within a few seconds the screen changed, and text began to appear on it in English at which Spectre began to record to relay to the senior officers back on the Pegasus.

The text read as follows….

“My human friends do not be alarmed, that you are reading this text means my race has perished at the hands of the Cylon empire and are no more.
In life I was known as Empress Anastacia. I was the supreme leader of the Delphian race. Once we were spread far and wide throughout the galaxy. Our two races were allies in the struggles against the Cylon war machine.

I have appeared in order to send you a message, to warn you dear human friends, this ship and the other twenty-five in this fleet are all that remain of our once mighty Armada. It is too late for our salvation, but I bring you news. The fact that you have gained access to our vessels and that they have reactivated can only mean one thing, that the Cylons are about to return.
The device you have inserted into the main console will afford you all the information you will require on these, our last vessels that we hereby bequeath to you our human brothers.
The full schematics will be held within, also some information about our lost race and….
More importantly the star charts to the planet you seek, your thirteenth colony known as Earth, for we have been there!
Many thousands of years ago on our quest to find a suitable home, we encountered the planet you seek. We were unfortunately unable to remain due to its incompatibility and moved on to find a more suitable home.
We left you a legacy upon that planet in the form of technology to help your brothers and sisters to progress from a Neanderthal race to one of stability and prosperity. We established a small colony on the planet in a place now known to them as Egypt.
We hoped to settle on the planet but soon realised it could not sustain us.
We attempted to hide any trace of our ever being there by burying our dead and our possessions in giant Pyramids as they are called by your Earth brothers. We disguised the evidence to resemble that which would belong to humans.
We knew that the Cylons would pursue us throughout the stars and eventually trace us to Earth. We did not wish to lead them to your Brethren so left without leaving trace, save for the Pyramids. Had we more time we would have destroyed ALL evidence but needed to find a new home quickly before we perished, so did the best we could.

My human friends, we know not of your plight, but can only hope that the fact you have found our remaining fleet means you endure still and even now fight to survive against our common foe.
With this in mind we bequeath you ships that will aid you in your forthcoming battle with the Cylons.
When the time comes and the Cylon fleet is within your quadrant the ships will activate pre-programmed sequences in order to engage the enemy on your behalf.
You need not intervene as we have loaded the ships memory banks with the instructions required to engage the enemy automatically.
Within these vessels are the means to disable the Cylon ships to give your forces long enough time to eliminate them.
This technology will be explained in detail on the device for you to harvest.
My race were advanced in defence but alas not attack, for that my friends we can only hope you have the battle fleet needed to complete that which we will begin.
Upon completion of the upload, the device you have inserted into the main console will cease to illuminate and you may remove it.
On behalf of my race I wish you, our dear friends, good luck and god speed. You carry the hopes and blessings of the Delphian race with you.
May your God’s give you strength in your hour of need,
Empress Anastacia, ends.

Stunned by what they had just heard, the men waited for the upload to complete and headed back to the Pegasus to brief the awaiting officers.

Scene 5 – From Beyond the Grave

The four humans didn’t utter a word on their way back to the Pegasus, instead all trying to process the information they had just received. Spectre had his own thoughts but waited until back on the Pegasus to brief the officers together.
When they got back the other officers were already assembled in the wardroom waiting.

“What can you tell us of your experiences with the Delphians?” asked Adama to his two Cylon advisors.
“Well, I do remember them working on different forms of defence against us, they wasted valuable time trying to negotiate rather than fight, by the time they had realised my race had no intentions of ever brokering a ceasefire, they themselves sued for peace, only for the Cylons to renege, sound familiar?” mused Lucifer.

“Yes and to follow on from that, they were at the time of my capture working on some kind of E.M.P, or electromagnetic pulse defence system. The purpose of it was to disable the Cylon Base Stars for long enough to effect a successful escape, it may be this that the Empress Anastacia was referring to Admiral?” suggested Spectre.

“Yes, that would seem plausible, first let’s play back the text so we can all have some input on this, it will help to explain your thoughts to the officers Spectre.” Commented Adama as Spectre linked to the C.I.C mainframe to relay the text.
After an hour of talks the officers were no nearer to unlocking the mystery of the Delphian enigma, but things were about to change.
Incredibly, the device holding the vital information and schematics began to interface with the Pegasus mainframe.
“Admiral, it’s tactical, can you come up to the C.I.C immediately, something seems to be accessing our systems!”
Oh my gods, a cyber-attack?” questioned Adama.

“No Admiral, it is my assumption the Delphian key device you have is uploading to your ships mainframe, you should soon have the entire Delphian fleets schematics, together with other vital information stored within your own ships data banks.” Countered Spectre.

It is my guess that we are being prepared for the arrival of the Cylons, as promised by their leader Empress Anastacia, the device is giving up its secrets and those of that fleet out there!” added Spectre reassuringly as Lucifer nodded in agreement.
Sure enough, as the officers raced back to the C.I.C En – masse the tactical officer confirmed Spectre’s assumption to be correct.

“Admiral, none of our systems have been accessed or compromised, it’s as if the device you inserted into that ship out there is instructing the Pegasus!” added the tactical officer named Anders Ludstrom, one of many talented young men within the ranks of the new recruits.

As implausible as it seemed, Anders’ hunch was absolutely correct! The device was not accessing but enhancing the already vast information included in the ships databases.

The senior officers all requested to remain on the Pegasus to witness the completion of the upload, such was the magnitude of the data, and the impact it could have on the new colony in it’s fight for survival against the Cylons or any other potential adversaries.

“Could it really be true Sir, commented Battlestar Tigh’s X.O John Rigal. “Could we really be about to gain the star charts we need in our search for Earth, surely that’s impossible, it would be a miracle!” he exclaimed with open arms.

“Well we will know soon enough young John, we already have a good working knowledge of Earth’s whereabouts, thanks to our new presidents vision, this will hopefully confirm it.

He continued….

In any case, as my father once said when we found Commander Cain and the old Pegasus.
“That’s the fabric of miracles, the impossible.”

He then walked over to offer a fatherly arm around a tearful John Rigal’s shoulders, a young man he had developed a soft spot for, in no small part down to his own father’s affection for the young mans mother, the retired Launch Officer of the Galactica Sally Rigal.

After around thirty minutes the upload was complete and, as Spectre had correctly predicted a full inventory of the Delphian fleet with every ships schematics had been uploaded, and incredibly a vast array of information on the entire star system containing Earth, and moreover their own system.

“Get me Doctor Wilker up to the bridge stat.” commanded Admiral Adama.
Simon Wilker was the chief science officer on the Galactica, posted to the Pegasus and the son of the legendary Doctor Wilker who was instrumental in many key Scientific breakthroughs in the fleet, including the invention of a robot dog called Muffit for Adama’s son Boxey, who’s own dog perished during the Cylon attack on Caprica.
Within ten minutes Wilker was on the bridge.

“You asked to see me Admiral?”

“Yes I need you to pore over this information we have gained from the Delphians. I remember you were present when our President had his vision under hypnosis in which he announced the whereabouts of our Earth brothers.” Asked Adama.

“So you want me to confirm or otherwise the authenticity of the information received?” asked Wilker.

“Exactly that, do these co-ordinates match those that Valentine quoted?” probed Adama.
“Mm let me see” Wilker studied the text on Adama’s screen for a few minutes before announcing….
“YES Admiral, I can confirm that these co-ordinates correspond to those of our President, and also those from your gold disc….”

“So in other words we now have three separate, yet identical accounts of where to find Earth, one from the President, one from the disc and one from the Delphians…”

“ Officers, I think we can now say without any reasonable doubt….

We have the co-ordinates for Earth!”

“Thank you Doctor Wilker, that will be all.” And the scientist duly left.

Adama continued to discuss the findings from the Delphian vessel, yet still he was troubled, not by what he had discovered, moreover the thought that their sworn enemies were approaching once more.

“I can’t escape the thought that we seem to take one step forward followed by two steps back or is it me just being pessimistic?” questioned Adama to anyone with any insight.

“It is you being pessimistic Admiral.” Commented Jansen.
“Let’s study the facts;

One, we now have irrefutable proof of the whereabouts of Earth

Two, we have finally completed our defence systems down on the surface

Three, we have a formidable Battle Fleet of Four Supers, plus the Galactica and a flotilla of military support vessels including eight Battle Cruisers.

Four, we finally have the hardware to blow the fracking Cylons out of the sky, both on the surface of Terra and up here in space, and thanks to Spectre and the Delphians, a heads up that they are on their way.

“Do you know what?” smiled Adama, I just knew I liked this kid from the day he gave me a lecture on my shuttle once, remember Marc?” He smirked.

“I do indeed Admiral, and I also remember telling you to delegate more, to let others share your burden.
We are all ready, willing and able to take the fight to the Cylons once more, we are ready to fight, to rid our new colony of the Cylons for EVER.”

Jansen’s words resonated with the officers, who were beginning to respect him as one of their own alongside his X.O John Rigal.
Despite his advancing years, Adama still had the ability to rally all to the cause, like his father, he knew how to breath fire into the hearts of his officers….

“Then so it shall be brave warriors, we shall take the fight to the Cylons once more, we gave them a fracking the last time, we shall do it again. Only this time it will be for the biggest prize of all, Terra, and if we win, which we will, it may be the last time we ever have to face off against this bond breaking Cylon scum.” Smiled Adama.
“We have them on the ropes my friends.

We owe a dept of honour to all our fallen comrades, to the colonies, to our lost Delphian Brothers.
Once more we go into battle, but this time we will end this, we will blast the Cylons out of the stars forever, so say we all?”
“So say we all”

To be continued….

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:48 am 
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Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 5:39 am
Posts: 704
Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage to Earth Episode 24 – The Healing part 1

July 5th 7031

Scene 1 – Disquieting News

Events in the new colony were coming to a head, in the military the strain of the rivalry between warships was growing.
There was a period of great upheaval in the senate, the new elections over and the president deciding to delay the appointment of a new council leading to resentment.
The former colonies felt they were not formally represented, meaning the honeymoon period for the new president was all but over despite a very promising start to his tenure.
Sire Galen however was still enjoying his moment in the limelight with an ever-growing kudos within the colony both on the surface and in the fleet.
The new ‘Discovery’ fleet heading for Earth was steadily growing into a formidable and impressive sight.
While others were squabbling and vying for power, he was steadily delivering on his promise to his president and Admiral.
His great wealth afforded him great power and influence, but knowing he had to keep the media onside, agreed to the request from the president to buy out the Colonial News Network, which was in financial difficulty, in order to further his own agenda.
Having finally completed his two mighty new agro ships he decided to milk the opportunity to use his new acquisition to showcase his two gleaming new vessels to the masses, so ordered a full one-hour news documentary.
He appointed a handsome young reporter who was a rising star in the network to cover the story.
The reporter began to spill out garbage from a speech hand delivered to him by the egotistical Galen himself…

“Good morning everyone from the C.N.N news network ship, this is Dan Romero once again reporting live from the newly established shipyards of our master shipbuilder Sire Galen.
You join us on a momentous day in the life of our new colony. Today sees the launch of, not one but two mega Agricultural and botanical cruisers. Ladies and Gentlemen of Terra, our people all around the colony, in the fleet and in the new city and catacombs, we can now all eat like royalty!
Thanks to our great benefactor and nobleman Sire Galen, we can now enjoy the fruits of his labour with copious amounts of vegetables, fruit and many other high-quality foodstuffs delivered straight to our tables, courtesy of the great man……”

The ex-council member had grown into a force to be reckoned with, having the C.N.N newsgroup on his payroll he was able to control and manipulate the news bulletins as he deemed fit!
President Valentine was happy to allow him his moment in the limelight so long as he didn’t interfere in politics and fulfilled his promise to provide the new “Discovery” fleet as was the new name for the Earthbound expedition.

So too Admiral Adama, he was happy in the knowledge he had largely got his wish, with enough ships to split his forces between those staying behind to guard Terra and those leading the fleet to Earth.
Neither could see the point in rocking the boat with Galen, even though he could prove a threat, both men had far too many issues to deal with to rein him in, preferring to let him establish the fleet.

If there was to be a power struggle, Valentine would deal with it later wishing to establish himself in the eyes of the populous, having made an impressive start he was keen to regain the momentum he had lost in not appointing a new council.
Adama meanwhile was more interested in overseeing the preparations for heading to Earth, with this in mind his thoughts were concentrated on honing the skills of his officers and men.
In effect he had dug himself into a hole with the throwing down of the gauntlet to Sheba and her crew to determine who would have the honour of being the lead ship in the new ‘Discovery’ fleet. He was determined to make his point at any cost, and what a cost….

All around the colony, citizens were tuning into the broadcast eagerly awaiting the unveiling of the two giant Agro ships.
The people carried out their daily routines with ever more optimism knowing that the politicians and military had matters in hand, or so they thought. They were in the main shielded from the stresses and concerns of the senate on how to move Terra forward and were equally unaware of the concerns of the military, and in particular the return of the Cylons, a fact only divulged to the president and, due to his status, Galen, by the Admiral himself.

It had become apparent, largely due to the tension in the leaders of the colony that the health and wellbeing of both the military and political leaders should be more closely monitored.
On the advice of the chief medical officer Doctor Salik and backed by Doctor Wilker the chief Science officer, all senior officers and political leaders were issued with medical tracking devices added to their wrist communicators to measure their stress and heart rate.

Meanwhile Adama’s ships were busy tracking the stars and stepping up manoeuvres in preparation for the oncoming Cylon force and protection of Terra.
However, events were about to take an unexpected turn…..

“Air Chief Marshall Starbuck, it’s Dr. Salik, I’m getting a worrying reading from the Admirals heart monitor, his blood pressure is going through the roof, I’m sending a team of medics to his quarters immediately, I don’t like the look of those readings, thought I’d better give you a heads up!” he exclaimed.

“My Gods! thank you Salik, please keep me informed, out.”
Some of the senior officers overheard the communication and sensed the anguish in Salik’s voice so Starbuck moved to reassure them.

He grabbed the handset on his console and released it from its cradle to address the officers….
“Listen up, all hands, all hands, this is your executive officer, our Admiral is feeling a little unwell, I’m sure it’s nothing but Doctor Salik has informed me he is going to the life centre to have a check-up, he will not be on the bridge today, I am assuming command, don’t be alarmed he’s a tough old war dog.
When I get an update I will inform you all, in the meantime, as you were, Starbuck out!”

Although he did his best to sound unconcerned, the look on Starbuck’s face gave him away.

The medics rushed to Adama’s quarters to find him lying on the floor clutching his chest, he was having a massive heart attack!
They worked on him for around ten minutes when the pain became unbearable and he passed out.
They administered C.P.R and adrenalin, finally managing to stabilise him enough to be transferred to the medical ship, ‘Mercy’.

They finally got to the ship after another twenty minutes, but he had a cardiac arrest, they were losing him.
Starbuck was nervously pacing up and down in the Pegasus C.I.C awaiting news when….
“Pegasus actual, please come in, Salik to Pegasus?”
“Pegasus actual, Starbuck here, any news Doctor?”

“You’d better get over here to the ‘Mercy’ as soon as you can Air Chief Marshall, I suggest you bring anyone who’s close to him with you, I don’t think he’s going to last the night, it’s that serious Starbuck, it’s his heart!” he exclaimed unceremoniously.

Starbuck was completely stunned by the news but had to rally himself for his friend.
The tactical officer Anders Ludstrom was about to be elevated to acting C/O.

“Tactical, Ludstrom, you have the conn, I have to leave the ship immediately!” exclaimed Starbuck.
“Adama? It’s serious?” Pleaded the young officer.
“Yes I’m afraid it is, I will contact you when I have some news, for now I need you to hold the fort here and, well just play it down as much as you can, OK?”

“Understood chief, I have the conn.” Replied Ludstrom reassuringly.
Starbuck began to walk towards the exit, then stopped and turned to shout back at Ludstrom;
“One more thing, get message to the other ships on a priority code to senior officers only, Make sure Boomer and Athena are informed whilst I try and trace Sheba and Troy.”

By the time Starbuck landed in the shuttle bay of the medical ship, Sheba had already arrived, so strong was her love for Adama she had a sixth sense that something was wrong even before she was informed, so too Boomer who stood down Athena to attend her brother.

Starbuck began to feel sick as his mouth dried, it seemed as if his legs had gone to jelly as he neared the private ward where Adama was being cared for by a team of medics.
Sitting beside the bed sobbing and holding Adama’s hand was Sheba. She could barely lift her eyes to acknowledge Starbuck but knew he was there instinctively.

“This is all my fault Starbuck, please don’t say a word, I know it’s my fracking fault. I betrayed him, disobeyed orders, baited him and….” Her words trailed off as Starbuck walked over to her and grabbed her hand tightly, pulling her up to her feet.
He pulled her towards him and hugged her tightly as he kissed her on the cheek.
“Not your fault, NOT your fault do you hear me, we have all been under a great deal of stress lately, none more than Apollo.
Listen Sheba he would have ended up here anyways. We’ve all been telling him to lighten his load and delegate more, especially me, you, Boomer and even young Jansen.

He is one stubborn bastard you know that, so for fracks sake no more self-pity and no more whining, right now he needs us, especially you more than ever.” Pressed Starbuck.
“I, er I don’t know what to do Starbuck….”

“You’re doing it just by being here Sheba, sit with him, talk to him, the doc says even when people are unconscious they can sometimes hear you so talk to him.”
Starbuck pulled her to one side out of earshot of Apollo to whisper.

“Listen Sheba, keep it light, he may not know the severity of his condition but might be able to hear us so for fracks sake keep it light, and no gods damn sobbing do you hear.” He said forcefully.
“I’m going to grab a coffee and give you time alone with him, I’ll bring one back for you. Don’t worry Sheba he’s been in battles before and won them all, he’ll win this one too with our help.”

Just then the attending physician walked into the room to brief Starbuck and Sheba on Adama’s condition.
“Hello, my name is Doctor Jageet Khan, I am a cardiac surgeon and I report directly to Doctor Salik. We have placed the Admiral in an induced coma to relieve the stress on his heart. His breathing is being aided as you can see by the nasal canulae in his nostrils, this is all normal procedure.

“Thank you Doctor, my name is Rear Admiral Helena Cain, commander of the Pegasus and this is my friend Air Chief Marshall Starbuck, the Admirals executive officer from the Galactica, we are indebted to you for looking after him, but what can you tell us of his prognosis?”

“Well the short answer is we simply don’t know as yet but we are working on the worst-case scenario as this will give him the best chance of coming through this.
Initially after some time being stabilised he will undergo a full body scan to ascertain the full extent of his hearts damage, and to detect any other underlying health issues we need to address.
Rest assured at the moment he is in no immediate danger as our machines are supporting his life to buy us some time to complete our analysis.

Please can I ask you to keep it brief as we will need to move him into the scanning room in the next few minutes and as this room contains radiation it’s off limits to all but his attending medical team, I will leave you now to talk to him for a few minutes then you will both need to leave so we can get to work.”
“Thanks Doctor.” Replied Starbuck as Sheba struggled to speak.

Meanwhile in the fleet, Troy and Dhillon were putting the pilots from all Battlestar’s through their paces, completely unaware of Troy’s fathers perilous health.

“Blue Squadron, follow me in, this next check point is where the drones should be hiding out, don’t let me down guys, Silver Spar scored top marks on this exercise before they were furloughed, we can’t afford to let them to get any higher, My father and Starbuck will be really pissed if we frack this up, they are already beating us by 120 points despite not having flown for weeks….” Commanded Troy

Suddenly and without warning….

“Pegasus actual to all viper squadrons, you are to break off manoeuvres and return to your home Battlestar’s, repeat, break off manoeuvres and return to your home Battlestar’s, this is an order, Pegasus out!”

“What the frack!, this is a damn nuisance to say the least”. Snarled Troy, “we needed to bag this exercise to keep up with Silver Spar, they’re going to be unbearable in the officers’ club later, smug bastards.” He continued to rant.
“Pegasus actual, calling Wing Commander Troy Adama”…..”pass your message” answered Troy.
“Boxey, you are to report to the medical ship ‘Mercy’ without delay, repeat, report to the medical ship Mercy, break off from the manoeuvres.”
Troy gulped hard as he responded…. “Oh my Gods, is it my father?”
“No further instructions”
“Understood, Boxey out.”

Troy waited for a moment for the co-ordinates of the medical ship to appear on his screen, as they did he punched turbo on his joystick and sped to his father’s side as fast as his viper would carry him.
He landed onto the shuttle bay of the medical ship, immediately upon landing clearance leapt out of his viper and threw off his helmet and tossed it into the cockpit.

Finally he arrived at the ward to find an empty bed and a pensive Sheba and Starbuck pacing nervously.
“Thank goodness you’re here Troy, they’re just performing a full scan, we are still waiting for his doctor to come back with the results…..” Sheba’s voice trailed off as Starbuck interjected.

“He’s under sedation Boxey, all we know is he had a massive heart attack and arrested on his way here. They have him comfortable and the machines are doing his hearts work, so he isn’t in any immediate danger according to the Doctor.” Added Starbuck.
Troy stared at Starbuck as if the words hadn’t registered, then shot a steely and accusing glare at Sheba, this was too much for her to bear and she ran out of the room in tears.

“She will fracking pay for this, Silver Spar will pay for this, they are the reason my father is lying there, those arrogant bastards, I swear I will….” Snapped Troy.

“Look Boxey, you have every right to be upset but this isn’t the time to apportion blame. Right now your father needs you to be strong, he needs your love….” Countered Starbuck.
Boxey held his hand to Starbucks face and snarled…..”Save it Starbuck, I will have my revenge, one way or the other they will pay for this, you mark my words”.

He leaned over to kiss his father on the forehead and whispered; “Father, I love you, hang in there, I will be back soon but there is something I need to do, for you, the Galactica and Blue Squadron, you just hang in there Dad and I’ll take care of everything.

Starbuck wasn’t meant to hear but did; “Hey listen Troy, this is not the way, it’s not what your Dad, our Admiral would want, as your superior officer I’m ordering you not to take matters into your own hands.”
Troy headed for the door as Starbuck grabbed his arm to restrain him.

“Just try and stop me Starbuck, I love you as if you were my Uncle and respect you as the finest viper pilot in the history of the colonies, but I WILL have my pound of flesh, and if you get in my way I swear by the Gods I will kill you.”
With that he stormed out of the room, almost knocking Athena off her feet on the way out.
She glared at him and shouted, Damn it Troy, what the frack….”

“Sorry aunt Athena, Starbuck will explain, I have things to do.”

Boxey sped back to the Pegasus in a rage.

“Pegasus actual, Wing Commander Troy Adama requesting landing clearance….”
“Your clear to land in Beta deck, Ludstrom out….”
“Wait, Anders, do you know the whereabouts of Blue Squadron?”
“I believe they are waiting for news from you, they’re in the officers’ club having a beer, they are all on stand down.”
“Thanks Anders, I’ll be there in a senton.”

Scene 2 – Bad Blood

Boxey strode into the officers club to find the entire squadron in pensive mood drinking beer as if it was about to be banned.
As one they all looked at the door as he entered to a phalanx of staring eyes.
“One pilot asked, “Please, sir, how is our Admiral?”

“I’ll tell you all straight, not good, not good at all, he has had a massive heart attack and arrested on his way to the medical ship Mercy. He is in an induced coma, but the prognosis is not good, they aren’t sure if he’ll make it through the night!” he exclaimed.

One viper pilot, flight lieutenant Matt Kendrick stood to address Troy on behalf of the squadron.
“Sir, may I speak candidly for us all?”
“Yes, please speak freely knuckles.” (His call sign due to his boxing skills).

He continued….

“Just wait one minute, barman, leave the bar open and all the pumps, whatever we drink you can bill me later and I’ll pick up the tab, but you must leave now and secure the exit, that’s an order!” He waited for the barman to leave.
“Ok carry on kendrick.”

“Sir we have been mulling this over since we were stood down and we all feel the Admiral has been pushed to the limit by those arrogant bastards, the crew of the Pegasus, and in particular Silver Spar squadron.
They’ve been trying to push for Sheba, I mean commander Cain to assume command of the fleet, they want her installed as the new Admiral over your father and Boomer.

Ever since the battle of Gamoray they have had it in for us all, her legendary father all but accused your grandfather, the great William Adama, of cowardice for trying to protect the civilian fleet instead of going after Baltar, remember.”
“Yes, but that was before you were born Knuckles, you shouldn’t concern yourself with history, that was then….”

“Maybe so but that’s the whole point, that was decades ago and yet still they have a giant chip on their shoulders about being the best, the greatest and bravest squadron and Battlestar in the history of the colonies. Sir it’s not always about winning, it’s about protecting the fleet, our people. Your grandfather knew that, your father knows it too.”
He reasoned.

“Alright, so what do you all want to do about it then.” Pressed Troy.
“We want to put those pricks in their place, once and for all, we want to finish the manoeuvres and get Blue squadron, and the Galactica back where it belongs, as the premier squadron and flagship of this fleet, re-assert our authority as the flag bearers of the colonial battle fleet and re-establish your father’s legacy, whether he lives or not we owe it to him to show our loyalty, as he has done for us from day one.”

“But you just said, quite rightly that this isn’t about winning but protecting our people knuckles?” countered Boxey.
“Yes sir, but in order to do that the chain of command needs to be restored, we can’t have Silver Spar and the Pegasus crew disobeying every command by your father just because it doesn’t suit their agenda.”

“Sir, we need law and order in the colony, and in the military, there is a chain of command that needs to be adhered to, and if certain individuals won’t toe the line then I respectfully suggest we MAKE them!”

Boxey continued to listen as he walked behind the bar and began to pour several beers and leaving them for blue squadron before pouring himself one. He finally replied…

“Okay, listen up, they are still on the ‘Lady Sheba’ on furlough right? Why don’t we, er, pay them a visit and remind them of their responsibilities, help them to understand the way things are around here?”

“I’m not for one moment suggesting that we go over there and kick seven kinds of shit out of them” he grinned wryly, “but well, if things get out of hand then so be it, this room is completely secure so there’s no risk of us being overheard, so what about it then guys, you want to restore the Galactica’s honour, my fathers, and blue squadrons honour, then let’s get over there and have a little, er, chat shall we?” He winked and grinned as they all shouted….
‘For Adama, for Blue Squadron and the Galactica, SO SAY WE ALL’

Troy had, deliberately baited blue squadron into spoiling for a fight, not that they needed very much persuasion. They were ordered to remove their sidearms and headed for alpha bay to commandeer enough shuttles to take the entire squadron and anyone else willing to help drive home the message.

Troy’s actions were completely out of character for him, usually a level-headed and pragmatic man, his actions controlled by his undiluted rage at his father’s plight, to which he blamed the Pegasus crew, and in particular Silver Spar Squadron.
Was he about to make the biggest mistake of his life and throw his career away?

Scene 3 – The Art of Gentle Persuasion

Three shuttles packed with warriors, deck hands and mechanics all descended on the ‘Lady Sheba’. As they neared the ship they were denied landing by an order from Boomer but defied the order and landed on three of the rear landing pads.
A detail of security guards met them at the rear hatches, but they were completely overpowered by Troy and his warriors.
An injured security guard raised the alarm, as the claxon sounded they knew that their adversaries were aware of their presence and the element of surprise was lost, not that it deterred them one bit!

The deck hands and mechanics lined the route to the gambling chancery to ensure Blue Squadron were not disturbed by security guards.

Meanwhile on the ‘Mercy’ Admiral Adama was fighting for his life and with matters on the ‘Lady Sheba’ about to come to a head, Boomer, Sheba and Starbuck were left with a terrible dilemma. They desperately wanted to stay with their stricken leader but knew it was their duty to crack down on the ensuing fist fight before warriors became seriously injured and careers were ruined, none more so than Troy’s!

“Starbuck, you stay with Apollo, Sheba you are with me, after all its your warriors that are about to get their teeth kicked in and I need you to help me restore discipline, we are the most senior officers in the fleet, at least for now!”
Ordered Boomer.

He continued,

“Besides if you’re really serious about all this being your fault then you have a duty to help me diffuse the situation, I’ll talk to our boys and you talk to Silver Spar before it’s too late for all of them to avoid the brig.”
Sheba duly followed Boomer to commandeer a two-seat viper as it would be a much quicker mode of transport than a shuttle.
They were immediately cleared to land and made their way to the gambling chancery where Sheba had left her squadron days earlier.
Meanwhile in the chancery Blue Squadron had just arrived and stood over the table where most of Silver Spar were drinking and gambling.

“Ah, you guys have come to buy the victors a beer, that’s very magnanimous of you.” sneered one young hot shot pilot called Hagley.
“No we have come to offer you two choices, either you offer me and my men an unreserved apology for your ignorance, arrogance and for dishonouring your Admiral and the chain of command or prepare to get your asses kicked right now.” Snapped Troy.

The entire Silver Spar Squadron erupted into mocking laughter.
“You have to be fracking kidding right?” added Hagley. “You want us to apologise to YOU, for being the best damn squadron in the history of the colonies, go frack yourselves.”
“Hell yea go frack yourselves Blue Squadron and get off our Battlestar and back to that rusty crate you all came from, you lot aren’t fit to operate on a ‘Super’” added another pilot.

“Right, you bastards have asked for it…..” as Troy spoke one pilot aimed a punch at him which narrowly missed, a Blue Squadron pilot walked up to protect him and with one punch laid out the pilot flat.
Mayhem quickly ensued as both squadrons faced off with punch after punch. Silver Spar hadn’t anticipated the sheer anger of their adversaries, not knowing the plight of their Admiral meant they misunderstood the extent of the anger from the Galactica crewmen.

Troy had used his sidearm to blast the door mechanisms shut leading from the shuttle bays to the chancery to delay Boomer and Sheba’s arrival and buy them more time.
He knew as soon as the Vice Admiral and Rear Admiral showed up the game was over, and he was determined to settle a score first!

By the time Boomer and Sheba had arrived at the chancery not a single member of Silver Spar Squadron was left standing, Troy and his warriors had exacted a brutal revenge.
Chairs and tables were smashed, the bar was full of shattered glass and the floor with shattered warriors, all from Silver Spar Squadron.
Blue Squadron may have lost the day in the vipers, but they had won a resounding victory with their fists, but at what price!
Boomer and Sheba looked around the chancery in astonishment at the carnage.

“Vice Admiral Paul Boomer to Pegasus actual, send a platoon of marines to the Lady Sheba stat, and contact the senate and Jordan Hunter from the Ship of Justice to send officials to oversee the aftermath of this incident and take evidence.”
Boomer ordered Blue squadron to sit on the floor against a wall whilst medics arrived to tend to the wounds of the Silver Spar pilots.

Some of the vanquished warriors had cuts and minor injuries but were concussed, others had broken ribs, limbs and more serious injuries.
Boomer and Sheba were both incandescent with rage but managed to stay silent until the authorities arrived.

Finally after thirty long minutes the security detail arrived, took photographic evidence and statements before restraining both squadrons.
Once the scene was cleared both squadrons were taken to the Ship of Justice and placed in the cells to await a preliminary hearing.

Scene 4 – Home Truths

Two hours later and having filed his preliminary report, Boomer headed over to the Ship of Justice to confront the pilots of both squadrons on the magnitude of their actions.

Upon arrival he was met by the imposing figure of Jordan Hunter. Under the guidance of the upper court, Hunter had ordered each pilot to be restrained and placed in an orange jumpsuit to remind them of the severity of their actions and to further humiliate them.

Vice Admiral Boomer requested the men be led into the main mess hall to be addressed collectively.
Though almost three hours had passed Boomer’s anger had not abated one bit and as he ordered the men to be seated, he knew they would be more physically uncomfortable seated rather than standing due to the shackles restraining their hands behind their backs.

“Jordan, can I request a few minutes alone with the men.”

“Very well” replied Hunter “But remember whilst on this ship they, and indeed you are under my jurisdiction, I expect all protocols to be maintained, is that clear Vice Admiral?”

“It’s clear, and you needn’t worry, no harm will come to them.” He replied with a wry grin.

After a few moments Hunter ordered the guards out and allowed Boomer a ten-minute audience with the men.
Immediately he laid into the warriors….

“You fracking imbeciles, have you any idea what you’ve just done?”

“Firstly to you Silver Spar. It seems apparent that you still all don’t understand why Blue Squadron gave you all a good hiding, so I’ll spell it out for you.
Over on one of our medical ships our Admiral is, as we speak, fighting for his life. Due to the stress and pressure he has been under, dare I say in no small part down to you arrogant pricks he has had a massive heart attack and has arrested, he may not see another day.
Many in the fleet, including myself hold you all accountable by your sheer arrogance, your vendetta against Blue Squadron has been festering for thirty years now, well ENOUGH!

Notwithstanding the sentence and probable incarceration you will all receive, I can tell you all now, you can kiss goodbye any chance of leading the fleet to Earth, you are all a fracking disgrace.
….And as for you Blue Squadron, you are no better than them, who the frack do you think you all are taking matters into your own hands, this isn’t some fracking Kangaroo court here, there are rules and laws.

You are also hereby forbidden to accompany the Discovery fleet; I have decided the fleet will be accompanied by the crew of one of the remaining three Battlestar’s.
Thanks to you all, our Admiral is facing the biggest battle of his life, and, if the God’s are merciful he will pull through this terrible ordeal, and if not you will all have his blood on your hands.”

After Boomer had finished speaking several members of Silver Spar Squadron began to week openly…
“We are sorry sir” then turning to Blue Squadron, “guys we are really sorry, we had no idea…”
Ironically it was flight lieutenant Hagley, the most vocal critic of Blue Squadron who was first to offer his apology.

“Save it you little shit, in fact don’t ANY of you utter another word or, so help me I’ll ram my fist down your throats.”

“Now get back to your cells whilst I try and salvage something from this damn mess, right now our Admiral and the fleet need me. Think on all of you, your day of reckoning will come, for now you are dismissed.” Snapped Boomer, his normal calm persona nowhere in evidence.

Scene 5 - A Ray of Hope

Unbeknown to the military, a secret meeting was being held on ‘Genesis One’.
In attendance were Professor Cassiopeia and Dr. Allam, the chief Science officer Dr. Wilker, the chief medical officer Dr Salik, chief cardiac surgeon Dr Jageet Khan and several legal and medical experts., and none other than Lord Justice Pine and President Valentine themselves.

On the agenda was a motion to overturn a centuries old act of the senate forbidding any use of outside influence to prolong a person’s life artificially once clinically dead.

Dr. Allam called the meeting to order.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, firstly may I thank you all for agreeing to see us at such short notice. If it were any other time, any other place or person we would not be holding this clandestine meeting.

I’m very sure you all know the gravity of the situation regarding our Admirals health. The reason for us holding this meeting today is to highlight a breakthrough in our technology we discovered many generations ago but were forbidden to use it.

We in the medical profession wish to point out there may be a way of saving our Admiral’s life, albeit a risky one.
Since the inception of these ancient laws events have somewhat overtaken us all now and if we have the technology at our disposal, then we must look seriously at overturning these laws in an effort to not only save the life of our Admiral, given his importance to this colony, but also others that will follow in his desperate plight.

What was right at the time these laws were passed no longer applies to us here on Terra, we need to enhance or save as many lives as we possibly can, given how few of us there are left, therefore I move to have the law on intervention overturned.” Pleaded Dr. Allam.
“Who will second this motion?” asked the president.
“I will.” Replied Professor Cassiopeia.
“I will also support the motion” added Dr Salik; “And I” added Dr. Khan.

“Very well, are there any dissenting voices” the president asked.
“Are you ALL in agreement on this.” He pressed
All in the room pledged their support for Dr. Allam’s proposal.
“Lord Pine are there likely to be any legal obstacles or challenges if I decide to use my powers of office and force through emergency legislation?” asked the president.

“Given the facts as laid out by Dr. Allam and given the importance of our Admiral to not only the military and senate, but indeed the entire success of the Earth expedition I would very much doubt there would be any opposing voices Mr. President.” He replied.

“I wish to learn more of your plans Doctor Allam, you have made a very bold claim that you may all be in a position to save our Admiral, please explain.”

“Of course Mister President, by using Admiral Adama’s own D.N.A and I.P.S cells we can regenerate his, or anyone else’s heart, we can repair it.”

“I.P.S cells?” questioned the president.

“Stem cells sir, or to give them their full name induced pluripotent stem cells. By adding certain growth elements to these cells they can be converted into beating heart cells.
Once grown they can be injected directly into the patient’s heart.

Now here is the tricky part, in order to do this we would need to remove the heart and work on it away from the patient.

The reason for this is in order for the heart to repair itself it must be in a complete state of rest, the patient will be kept alive using an artificial mechanical heart, a machine connected to his body pumping his blood and vital circulatory fluids.

Once the heart has been successfully healed it would then be re-introduced into the patient’s chest cavity and the slow process of restarting his heart would begin. Once we are satisfied his heart has successfully regained its strength and is fully supporting his body, then we would close his chest cavity and monitor him until he regains full strength, health and fitness.”
“This all sounds very risky Doctor, what are the dangers?”

“Mister President, the danger is if we do nothing our Admiral WILL DIE.” Added Cassiopeia.

“We have very few alternatives sir, we do nothing, and he dies, or we try this and give him a chance!” she exclaimed.

“Well, according to what you’ve explained Doctor Allam, you would not be breaking any ancient laws, point being you are only introducing elements into the Admiral that have come from his own body anyway, correct?” asked the president.

“That is correct Mister President.” Replied Dr. Allam.

“Lord Justice Pine are you willing to pass this motion into law if I countersign?” asked president Valentine.
“I am.” He replied.

“Very well I’ve heard enough to convince me, Doctor Allam you may proceed with your work tomorrow afternoon, we will have this new law on the statute books by noon and may the Lords of Kobol guide you all.”

The meeting broke up as the president and Lord Chief Justice wasted no time and headed back to the ship of Governance to draw up the legal documents required to pass the motion into law.
By eleven A.M the next morning the law was passed unopposed.
It was now down to the medical experts to try and Save the Admiral!
Scene 6 – The Vigil

Immediately on hearing the law had been passed, the medical teams got to work. Adama’s heart was removed and he was placed in a sterile room, his life being supported by the T.E.A.H (temporary external artificial heart) machine pumping his blood.

The teams were successful in extracting enough tissue from Adama’s heart to begin the regeneration process, although his very existence was now dependant on a team of experts, and a largely untested machine!
As this was a new process, only previously having been tested on rats and other rodents, the team was anxious, nervous and full of trepidation.

Hours turned to days as Adama’s heart slowly began to respond to the tender loving care of the medics.
All they could do now was wait for his heart to repair, monitor his vital signs and pray!

Speculation among the military grew as Adama had not been seen in the fleet or in public for two weeks, even the civilians began to ask questions. President Sire Valentine was aware of the mutterings, so decided to come clean and ordered a press conference.

He called in a favour from Sire Galen and arranged for the C.N.N network to provide a platform for him to address the masses from their ship and away from questions he knew he would not be able to answer.

The next morning the press conference was set up and President Valentine, along with Professor Cassiopeia and Doctor Khan entered the main press room.

The president looked pensive as he scanned the room looking for a friendly pair of eyes to focus on. Though a very intelligent and articulate man, he was not yet used to the glare of the media, preferring to work diligently behind the scenes.

Finally he rose to bring the conference to order and quell the background chat as he raised his right hand to signal his intention to speak.

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, we have called this press conference to dispel any incorrect rumours surrounding our Admiral and his apparent demise.

I have to tell you all now, our Admiral is alive, but has suffered a massive heart attack and subsequent cardiac arrest.
For the past five days he has been under the close care and scrutiny of our medical experts.
I wish I could give you all encouraging news surrounding his prognosis but, alas I am unable to at this time, but what I can tell you is this….

In the last twenty-four hours, Justice Lord Pine and I have overseen the overturning of an ancient law preventing the very treatment he needs to save his life.
In short this means our medical experts are working around the clock on a new method to try and reverse the damage to his heart, repair it remotely and then restart it.

We do not have time to explain the minutiae of these procedures, that said Doctor Khan and Professor Cassiopeia here with me will provide the medical details in digital form for you all to download if you so wish.
In the meantime I respectfully ask you all to be patient, allow our medical teams to do what they do best, and pray to the Gods for his recovery and his return to our loving care.

We will of course update you all the moment we receive further updates on his progress.
Now please go with my thanks and pray for our Admiral, may the Lords of Kobol bless you all.”

Doctor Khan then provided the interested parties with a digital code to download any information on the medical breakthrough. Cassie gave personal briefings to a few of the leading politicians before leaving for the Pegasus to brief Boomer, Athena and all the military leaders.

Never before in the history of the colonies had so much ridden on the shoulders of one man. Admiral Lee Adama carried the hopes and fears of all in the colony on his shoulders, the hopes of a grateful population for his protection, Sire Galen for protecting his shipyards, his warriors for his leadership and the president for his guidance and firm hand when needed to quell insurrection.

Yet, possibly even more important to him was his own personal debt of honour to those that went before him, His father, Saul Tigh, Doctor Zee and millions of lost souls in the former colonies to whom he made a promise to lead his people to the promised land.

Meanwhile on the bridge of the Pegasus Cassie had delivered the fateful news.
Boomer turned away from the officers to face the rear viewing screen in the C.I.C as Starbuck approached him with tears welling in his eyes.

The Vice Admiral whispered to Starbuck…. “I know what I must do, I know I must step up to the challenge. I may become the new Admiral of this fleet, but with all my heart I hope that I don’t, and that Apollo pulls through. It is his destiny to lead us to Earth.

I know I have the love and respect of the warriors, and I love them back, but I am not Apollo!”

I can’t lie Starbuck, the entire mission to the planet Earth is now in question, there seems none so capable of galvanising an entire colony to move forward like Adama!
The new colony of Terra would probably never recover from the devastating blow of losing their Admiral, their father, he simply mustn’t die!”

To be continued in part 2….

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:24 am 
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Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage to Earth Episode 24 – The Healing part 2

Continued from part 1….

Never before in the history of the colonies had so much ridden on the shoulders of one man. Admiral Lee Adama carried the hopes and fears of all in the colony on his shoulders, the hopes of a grateful population for his protection, Sire Galen for protecting his shipyards, his warriors for his leadership and the president for his guidance and firm hand when needed to quell insurrection.
Yet, possibly even more important to him was his own personal debt of honour to those that went before him, His father, Saul Tigh, Doctor Zee and millions of lost souls in the former colonies to whom he made a promise to lead his people to the promised land.

Meanwhile on the bridge of the Pegasus Cassie had delivered the fateful news.
Boomer turned away from the officers to face the rear viewing screen in the C.I.C as Starbuck approached him with tears welling in his eyes.
The Vice Admiral whispered to Starbuck…. “I know what I must do, I know I must step up to the challenge. I may become the new Admiral of this fleet, but with all my heart I hope that I don’t, and that Apollo pulls through. It is his destiny to lead us to Earth.
I know I have the love and respect of the warriors, and I love them back, but I am not Apollo!”
I can’t lie Starbuck, the entire mission to the planet Earth is now in question, there seems none so capable of galvanising an entire colony to move forward like Adama!

The new colony of Terra would probably never recover from the devastating blow of losing their Admiral, their father, he simply mustn’t die!”

Scene 7 – Galen’s Ploy

Meanwhile in the shipyards, word had reached Sire Galen From Boomer of the disturbance on his ship, the Lady Sheba, and he decided to visit the pilots from the two squadrons himself to hear their collective accounts of why they had trashed his gambling chancery and bar.

He had spoken to Boomer at length before leaving, and together they had devised a plan.
To say he was unimpressed by the behaviour of the warriors was an understatement, but despite his arrogance he was a rational man and was prepared to hear their account.

Fortunately for them he was a very busy and rich man and, depending on their testimony was willing to offer help provided he gained certain assurances.
He was also cunning and knew the esteem Blue and Silver Spar Squadrons had in the military, so sought to use the situation to his advantage to gain further leverage in the military and colony, as if he needed more!

His personal shuttle, a very impressive shiny metallic craft, neared the Ship of Justice awaiting landing clearance.

“Shuttle to Ship of Justice, Sire Galen’s pilot requesting landing clearance on behalf of the high court citing permit 23114 to brief prisoners for evidence in their court martial.

“Permission granted to land on forward landing pad.”

On arrival Galen was met by the equally egotistical and cunning, though less influential Jordan Hunter .

“Your eminence, it’s an honour to have you aboard.” Sneered Hunter.

“Yes I’m sure it must be.” retorted Galen cutting him dead.

Hunter was a much larger man, but Galen had an aura only few possessed and was not impressed by Hunter’s grovelling.
“Take me to the prisoners, I don’t have time for pleasantries and I’m sure you are a busy man.
I need to file my report for the senate Judiciary board so if you have the file I requested I’ll get to work and get out of your hair” ordered Galen.
A disappointed Hunter duly handed the file over and led Galen to a small transport vehicle to take them to the exercise yard to the rear of the ship.
“I have given the men the opportunity to take some air and exercise and give you a chance to interview them collectively.” Added Hunter.
“Very well, that’s good, thank you I’ll take it from here, you just ensure we are not disturbed and seal the yard on the way out.” Added Galen, almost mockingly.

Inside the cavernous exercise yard was a tennis court and baseball pitch on one side and a group of dining benches on the other, Galen pointed to them and gestured for the warriors to take a seat before addressing them.

“Right listen to me all of you, I’m sure you all know who I am, but just in case you think I’m a washed up former council member going into to the shipbuilding business for a hobby, I happen to be the richest, most influential and powerful man you idiots will ever have the privilege to meet.

I have to tell you all now, so we are all on the same page, I’m not in the least bit impressed by all your ‘oorah’ machismo fracking bullshit!

Right now I own your asses and I can decide to end your careers right now, or, I can throw you all a lifeline.
Do I have your attention now? Sorry I’m going a bit deaf; DO I HAVE YOUR FRACKING ATTENTION?”
“SIR YES SIR” shouted the men in unison as if addressing a superior officer and not a civilian.

He continued in his withering tone….

“Look here, I know what you did but more importantly why you did it, I have been doing my homework on all of you and I know there has been some, shall we say needle between the ships and squadrons in the fleet, particularly Blue Squadron from the Galactica and Silver Spar from the Pegasus.

I have been in discussion with your Vice Admiral and he has briefed me on certain facts, If you want my honest opinion you runts from Silver Spar had this coming.
Blue Squadron was protecting the rag tag fleet for years before you pricks came along with your arrogant leader Cain, but that’s another story.
As for you Blue Squadron, you can’t stand being losers, those guys ran rings around you in the manoeuvres, I’ve seen the report, yes I have my sources!”

Hagley the young spokesperson for Silver Spar stood to address Sire Galen…

“Sir, we don’t take kindly to you disrespecting the greatest warrior that ever lived.”
Galen smiled mockingly at Hagley.

“Step forward son, you are obviously a man of grit, so if I were to call you a liar, and that Cain was nothing more than a power-crazy madman who almost spelled the end for the fleet fleeing the Cylons you would call me out right?”

“Hell yes Sir I would.” Sneered the cocky young pilot.

“Very well then, bring it, I AM calling you a liar, I say Cain was a disgrace to his uniform so come over here and prove me wrong son!” exclaimed Galen with a surprising confidence.

Hagley had no choice but to respond with the whole of Blue and Silver Spar squadrons looking on in amazement at the arrogance of Galen.

“Go on Simon, you’ll never get this chance again, let him have it.” Shouted a young pilot.
Hagley ran at Galen but as he did so, headed straight into a headlock, Galen overpowered him and wrestled him to the floor before performing a chokehold.

After a few moments a subjugated and humiliated Hagley took a seat gasping for breath.

“I’m sorry you all had to see that, but I had to make a point. Nothing is as first it seems, and you underestimate your adversaries at your peril.
Yes I was once in the military too but decided it wasn’t for me, too many assholes like you Hagley and too many people less intelligent than myself telling ME what to do.
It just so happened my father was already a very wealthy and successful shipbuilder and was desperate for me as his only son to go into the family business, so agreed to buy me out. Then I left to become an apprentice in my father’s company and rose to the top.
You see warriors, arrogance, or rather pride, comes before a fall and if you insist on talking the talk, well you get the idea. I talk the talk, but I also walk the walk.

NOW, now for the olive branch, do you all want the chance to redeem yourselves, to get back into your vipers and prove to everyone how good you REALLY are when it matters.
In case you clowns had forgotten there is a Cylon task force out there somewhere heading straight for us and we will need ALL our best warriors soon.”

Troy Adama stepped forward to address Sire Galen.

“Sire, if I may, I am the one you should be blaming, I instigated this fight, I was so angry at them” (pointing at Silver Spar) that I let my anger spill over, and I goaded them into this fight and dragged Blue Squadron along with me.” Said Boxey.

Ah yes, you must be the one called Troy, no less than Adama’s son right?”

“Yes Sire, I am Troy.”

“Then yes, you ARE the one I should be blaming for all this, for trashing my lovely bar and chancery on the Lady Sheba.
You boy are a fracking disgrace, going off in your temper to exact some sort of misguided revenge while your father lays fighting for his life.”

I suppose your going to tell me you did it for the honour of your ship, your squadron and your father right? Don’t make me laugh son, your father is a man of honour and integrity, your grandfather was too, he would be turning in his grave right now damn you!”
Galen paced up and down in an attempt to calm himself.

“I’ll tell you all what I’m prepared to do, you Troy, and you Squadron Leader Hagley, the one who’s ass I just kicked, you two are the ringleaders for your squadrons so you will face charges, the rest of you I am prepared to spare and waive any claims for damages to my ship, deal?”

“Sire we are all in this together, we all go free or we all face charges, right warriors? Asked one pilot from Silver Spar Squadron.

“Is that the way you all want to play this?” asked Galen.

“SIR YES SIR” replied the men as one.

“Finally some fracking integrity, that’s exactly the response I was expecting and hoping for. Very well then, I will throw you all a fish, you will have your chance to prove yourselves to me and your superior officers. I will NOT press charges and will waive my claim for damages.

I will of course want something in return, and you can all wait here and cool your heels whilst I decide what I am going to do.
In the meantime I demand an apology for the damage to my ship, an apology from Blue Squadron for Being spoilt little losers, and mostly a public apology from Silver Spar to all in the military for the emotional strain you have put our Admiral under, and your sheer bloody-minded arrogance. Oh and by the way, you can do it live on TV as I have acquired the rights to C.N.N.” he scoffed.

This was something Galen had no intention of enforcing but wanted to make the warriors suffer for a while longer.
Hagley stood to address Galen on behalf of the warriors once more;

“Sire, on behalf of Silver Spar we would like to apologise to you now, and to Blue Squadron for our attitude all these years, we want you to know we are praying for Admiral Adama to recover. We also promise to follow orders from our officers in future, you have our words.”

“I’m glad you said that young man, you see, Vice Admiral Boomer has been listening on his communicator, you see this?” pointing to a large button on his ceremonial tunic “It’s a camera, I have all the evidence I need against you all now.

Don’t worry, I am a man of my word and have given you all assurances that I will help you all and I will.
I will leave you all now to return to your cells, you will be hearing from me in due course, you are all free to go.” Added Galen as he made his way to the exit.

“Sire, just one thing?” asked Hagley. I was top of my class in mixed martial arts in the academy, yet you kicked my butt, how?” he smiled.

“Top of you class eh, well I was the leading Sensei in the entire colony of Scorpia, I was teaching mixed martial arts while you were still in your dad’s sac.” He smirked.
He turned once again towards the exit and headed straight for his shuttle leaving the warriors to think on his words.

Scene 8 – A Hard Act to Follow

Boomers torment was almost complete. His Admiral and friend’s life lay in the balance and he knew the eyes of the entire colony now fell upon him for that same guidance and leadership.
He always admired the compassion Adama held for his men as possibly his greatest asset and knew he would need to rely heavily on his best warriors as the Cylon task force grew ever closer.

He found himself with a difficult dilemma, wishing to make an example of the warriors who had disgraced their uniforms while knowing these were the very same warriors that would help carry the flag into battle and win the day for him.
He also knew that Adama would probably face such a difficult decision alone. The senate had already distanced themselves from the issue, stating it was a matter for the military alone, as neither squadron, nor Sire Galen had pressed charges.
He decided to call a council of war in the wardroom of the Pegasus for the next morning to discuss this and the Cylon threat, but decided his immediate priority was to seek the council of the ever-wise clergy, who had always been there for Adama and all who needed them.
He called the Ship of Worship and mercifully Father Richardson was on hand to reassure him.

“Unfortunately Father Deveraux and his son are delivering a sermon down on the surface, but my wife and I will gladly attend to your needs.” Replied the pastor.

Vice Admiral, we are here to serve and will gladly grant you an audience, please come, we will help allay your fears. This is clearly a matter of urgency so come straight away, you are always welcome here, er Paul isn’t it?”
We prefer to address people by name over here and not by rank or status, even the president is on first name terms over here, It seems to break down many of the barriers.”

“I would love to come over Father, but I have ordered a council of my warriors here on the Pegasus in the morning and I have to prepare my notes….” Answered Boomer.

“Then I will come to you and you can be the host, by the way, I may be a clergy but I’m not teetotal.” He laughed.

“Yes thank you father, that would be appreciated.” Replied Boomer.

“Then I’ll be over in half an hour, I have to check the ship’s chapel anyway as the ship’s chaplain is on furlough like the rest of the Pegasus, I look forward to seeing you soon.” Smiled Father Richardson.

As promised the pastor had landed on Alpha Bay within thirty minutes and there to greet him was Boomer, who led him to the ship’s chapel to conduct his inventory.
Happy that matters were in hand inside the chapel, Father Richardson followed Boomer to his temporary quarters on the Pegasus, his own ship being the Omega where he had left a bereft Athena to take command.

“Please forgive me Father, I’m not familiar with these quarters, they belong to Sheba, er Commander Cain, but I’m sure she won’t mind me having some wine with you, her bar seems well stocked.”

“Yes I know Sheba.” Replied the pastor, “We are all familiar with most of your senior officers, Starbuck and Jolly in particular have spent many hours with us, they are very good company and fine warriors."

Boomer took two wine glasses from Sheba’s cabinet and a bottle of white wine from her chiller to quench their thirst.

“So, let’s see if I can read the situation correctly, you are having doubts about your ability to succeed the Admiral, you are concerned that the eyes of the people are on you, just as the Cylons are knocking at our door, and if my suspicions are correct, there has been some sort of insurrection within your ranks?
It’s the only reasonable explanation for your heightened tension, and thinly veiled anger, is that about right Paul?” probed the pastor.

“My gods yes, that’s pretty much nailed it, I can see why Father Deveraux and his son hold you in such high regard Father.”
“The Admiral holds you in equally high regard. You see Paul, we are not so different you and I.
You had to overcome prejudice in the military, due to your colour and poor working-class background. You were not born with a silver spoon in your mouth unlike some of the commissioned officers and have had to work your way up the ranks.
You have long been in the shadow of your superiors but now is YOUR time to shine.”
“How in the name of Kobol do you know all this father, it’s not exactly common knowledge?” pleaded Boomer.
“Because it’s my job to know, I was chosen by the Gods for my foresight and empathy, one does not choose to take up the cloth Boomer, the cloth chooses you, and the Lords of Kobol chose you!”
He exclaimed.

“I too have had to overcome prejudice, you see those of us from the second wave have had to endure the resentment and sometimes outright hostility from those that came before us, not wishing to share what they had.

My wife and I have had to prove ourselves to the Deveraux’s and so were chosen by them to help in God’s work.
We were very fortunate that we were the first to be revived from those cryogenic chambers, and, well that was no coincidence. We were put here to serve, to serve our God and our people, you to serve them too, you protect them with your warships.

Do not doubt yourself Vice Admiral, Adama had, has complete faith in you, your warriors have faith in you, and I can tell you from a higher authority, the God’s have faith in you, and when you need them they will be there for you.

Whatever the issue with your warriors, I suspect from your demeaner that they must be very important to you otherwise you would have dealt with them by now. So if you aren’t going to punish them, at least until the Cylons have been taken care of, then I suggest you put them back in their vipers and have them lead the attack.
You can deal with their discipline later.” He suggested

“Oh, and since we have already opened that bottle we may as well finish it.” Winked the pastor. “You can always replace it later.”

“One last thought Paul, you may wish to reconsider reinstating the crew of the Pegasus back to being fully operational. I don’t wish to pry in military matters but It’s quite clear that they, along with the crew of the Galactica are our best warriors, and well, maybe they have been punished enough because of the actions of one squadron! Just my thoughts.”

“Hmmm yes maybe your right father, I appreciate your wise council.”

“Very well then Paul You have my thoughts, now I will finish my drink, will thank you for your hospitality, and head back to the Ship of Worship to greet my lovely wife.” He smiled.

The two men embraced as Boomer watched the pastor walk out of sight and towards the turbolift.
Father Richardson’s words had resonated with him and he felt a heavy burden begin to lift as his mind and path forward became clear.
He decided that this would be his last night aboard the Pegasus and made one final call to Athena on the Omega before retiring for the night.

Scene 9 – Boomer Steps Up

The next morning Boomer woke to a fresh sense of purpose. He knew he had to galvanise his warriors and could not rely on his friend and Admiral any longer.
The fate of Adama was out of his hands and he had to show the leadership his warriors needed now more than ever.
He wasted no time, had a brief shower and headed directly to the C.I.C.

As he made his way into the huge room he felt a growing sense of guilt as he looked around at the officers from the Galactica occupying the seats belonging to the Pegasus crew, and feeling that crew had suffered enough decided to address this point at the council of war.
Within the hour the entire compliment of senior officers were gathered in the wardroom of the Pegasus ready for Boomer to lead them.

Twenty-six commanding and executive officers from all five Battlestar’s and eight cruisers including Sheba, crammed around a table only big enough for twelve. The X.O’s deferred the seats to the commanders and stood behind them as Boomer began to circumscribe the room looking each officer in the eye as he scanned them.

“Right Ladies and Gentlemen, first thing first, the question you all want answering, is there any further news on the Admiral, alas no, but I guess in this case no news is good news.
What I can tell you though is that all the procedures are working normally, and the medics are happy with his vital signs, the machine supporting his life is working well and his heart is responding to the regeneration process.

Secondly, no news on the Cylon task force making it’s way to us, but strangely it would appear from the initial readouts from this morning that the Cylon fleet may, and I stress may be heading in another direction. That may be good news, or it could be they are altering their course to…Earth!

Lucifer and Spectre are monitoring events closely with their advanced tracking.
I will of course report any further news on these to you all the moment I have it.

Now, there is another matter that I know has been a thorn in all our sides and one which I personally feel has contributed to Adama’s plight.
On my orders and those of the senate, Sire Galen visited Blue and Silver Spar Squadrons on the Ship of Justice to file a report and hear their testimony.
To cut a long story short, they have apologised unreservedly to myself, each other and Sire Galen for the damage to his ship.
With neither Squadron or Sire Galen wishing to press charges, the senate have absolved themselves of this matter and passed the buck to me as it were.

I have had time to ponder this situation and feel I must take some of the blame as I’m sure Adama would if he were here. Simply put, we have allowed this feud between ships and squadrons to fester without intervening for all these years, decades.
Maybe Adama and I took our eyes off the ball with so many other matters to deal with. Well, I’m going to deal with it now before it’s too late and before those Cylon bastards are at our front door and we are still fighting amongst ourselves. Remember, the enemy is out there!

Fortunately it would appear as though everything down on the surface is in hand, the new infrastructure is complete, early warning systems, bunkers and all, and the shiny new brainchild of our new president, TERRADACA as he calls it is now fully operational.
What does this mean for us Ladies and Gentlemen? Simply put, it means we have a free hand to go out there, find those bastards wherever they are lurking and take them on, and that’s exactly what I intend to do.

I have decided once more to dust off some of our S.T.R.I.X craft to recon this quadrant sector by sector and route out the Cylon scum. We know they are out there, but they are up to something, by Spectre’s initial calculations they should be in our quadrant by now, so I believe he is right in his assumption they have veered away.

Well guess what, I don’t fracking care if they have or not, I intend to find them before they find us, or Earth, and wipe them out.
It is my intention to seek them out, gauge their size and strength, then plan our next moves.
As a rehearsal for our eventual mission to Earth, in which our forces are to be split, it is my intention to take only part of our fleet to meet the Cylons head on, leaving some behind to protect Terra.

Within the next coming days I expect to be able to report back to you all on our findings from the recon mission. For now, that is all….save for one thing.
SHEBA! You may prepare your warriors for a return to the Pegasus, the Galactica crew will be vacating in the next twenty-four hours, you and your crew are hereby reinstated.”

With this announcement a round of applause sounded throughout the wardroom, all approving of Vice Admiral Boomers olive branch to Sheba and her crew.
Sheba began to weep as she also began to feel a weight lift from her shoulders. Boomer walked up to her and wrapped his giant arms around her before planting a huge kiss on her forehead.

“I have not forgotten Sheba” he said cryptically, “I haven’t forgotten you are a warrior but also a woman, and that you love Apollo as much, probably more than any of us and well, I guess I’m trying to say sorry for being such a hard ass on behalf of myself and, if he were here, Apollo.” He smiled.

Scene 10 – The Return of an Old Friend

Boomer was true to his word, within 24 hours the entire Galactica crew had vacated the Pegasus for their own ship and the Pegasus crew were back on board.

Boomer had the wind in his sails and had a surprise for the Pegasus crew. They had barely finished stowing their belongings in their billets and returned to their duties when Boomer requested permission to board her.

The entire C.I.C was buzzing with excitement as the ships compliment felt their suffering was over at last, and that Boomer would show leniency towards the maverick warriors from both Blue and Silver Spar Squadrons. They prepared to give their Vice Admiral a warm welcome.

Sheba sat in her commanders chair like the cat that got the cream and surveyed her domain, all around her was the hum of voices as the officers performed their preliminary checks and re-acquainted themselves with their old friend and home.

“Vice Admiral Boomer to Pegasus actual, requesting permission to board the ship?”
“Pegasus actual to shuttle, permission granted to land on Alpha Deck.”

Boomer made his way to the C.I.C without delay, his precious cargo with him.
He felt a sense of calm and wellbeing as he entered the cavernous room, as he did so a giant gasp filled the room as the officers caught site of the gift he had brought them.

Boomer beamed as he approached Sheba.
“Right you two, front and centre, state your names and ranks.” He grinned.
“Executive Officer Bojay and tactical officer Anjay reporting for duty commander.”
beamed Bojay to the obvious Joy of the entire room.

The entire C.I.C erupted as the two men stood to milk the applause of the officers, Bojay’s rehabilitation had been completed and he had been cleared to resume his duties aboard the Pegasus as X.O once more.
To add to his joy, his twin brother had passed his degree in code breaking with distinction in record time, thanks largely to his tutelage.
Cheers and whoops filled the C.I.C as Boomer felt vindicated at last, knowing that Adama would approve if he were able.
After several minutes Bojay walked up to Sheba offering his hand, she grabbed it and pulled him towards her and hugged him like the long-lost brother she had shared much of her childhood with, then embraced Anjay warmly, welcoming him to his new post as the replacement tactical officer and code breaker.

“Boomer, would you like to address the crew?” asked Sheba. “I’m sure a few words would go down very well, and any news on Apollo to help stop rumours too?” she added.

“Yes thank you Sheba I will…..”

“All hands, this is your Vice Admiral, I’m sure your all anxious to get back to your duties so I won’t keep you long. No doubt you have questions, firstly there are no further updates on the Admiral, but I will say this, he is being cared for by the finest doctors and medical technicians we have. If anyone can save him, they can.

Secondly I’m sure your all eager to hear of the plight of Silver Spar Squadron, hell you might even wonder about Blue Squadron as well!” he exclaimed with a grin as the officers enjoyed the joke.

Well, the good news is that the senate have washed their hands of the matter due to no charges being pressed by any warrior and indeed by Sire Galen. We all owe that man a debt of thanks, he could have hung them all out to dry but left it to the military, or in other words, me, to deal with.
Rest assured they will be dealt with fairly, anyway, we have bigger fish to fry right now with the Cylons seemingly closing in on us.

Whilst on that note, we have telemetry from our own Cylon friends that the bond breaking scum may have altered course, why we don’t know.
Maybe they have made a mistake in their calculations which I very much doubt knowing them, NO! Much more likely they have found the co-ordinates to Earth and have decided to head there first, maybe in an attempt to flush us out and give away the location of Terra!

Well my friends it won’t work, they fooled us before, but as the late William Adama said, NEVER AGAIN!
All I ask from you all is, be ready, when the time comes I will have a battle plan and will share it with the officers in good time, once I have completed my recon patrols.
In the meantime I will of course keep you all updated on any developments with the pilots and of course any change in the Admirals condition, as you were warriors, Boomer out.”
Scene 11 – The Recon Patrol

Happy that he had eliminated one problem and that the Pegasus crew were back on side, Boomer turned to the increasing threat of the Cylons.
All crews were back on board their home Battlestar’s and he too re acquainted himself with his own quarters and belongings on the Omega.

It had never sat well with him occupying Sheba’s quarters, he felt like a cuckoo in her nest.
It was getting late in the afternoon and the next day would mean an early start planning the reconnaissance mission which would mean scouring the entire quadrant.

He could have just sat back and watched as the Cylon task force moved away, but he knew that if he did they would either return for another attempt to invade Terra or make for Earth, something he knew he couldn’t allow to happen. He also knew it was what Adama would have done!
Before retiring he decided to check on his officers in the C.I.C having given Athena the evening off to attend her stricken brother.

Having satisfied himself things were under control he handed the conn to his Bridge Officer and made his way to his quarters once more.
For the first time he faced up to the very real possibility he was about to become the most powerful man in the fleet. In his mind he had all but resigned himself to the fact and had mentally prepared himself for the extra pressure.

He was beginning to grow in confidence, largely due to the support of the clergy, and in particular Father Richardson, a man in whom he had found a kindred spirit.

Pouring himself a small glass of village ambrosia he drank to the memory of Lee Adama. In the military it was seen as back luck to toast the memory of one not yet officially dead, but Boomer had his reasons. In his own mind he had said his goodbyes and was prepared to lead his warriors.

The next day would be his first real test as the de facto Admiral and he knew that all eyes would be on him, yet despite this he had a sense of calm and peace he hadn’t felt in a long time.

He too, like Starbuck and Jolly, was turning more and more to religion and his friends on the Ship of Worship.
Although the former colonies were very different, one thing they all had in common was religion, in some form or other they all had beliefs and faiths, unlike some of their counterparts on Earth.

Though not all were devout, all had faith, and Boomer began to find solace in the words of his pious friends and began to read a digital copy of Earth’s Holy Bible gifted to him by Father Richardson.

Like his father, Apollo had taken great comfort from religion, it helped to guide him when in times of doubt and so Boomer himself turned to the good book as his guide.

Morning broke and he rose to a purpose he hadn’t felt since before Apollo took ill. He showered and had coffee in his quarters before calling Commander Jansen to rendezvous with him in his C.I.C.
Commander Marc Jansen’s skills in shuttle piloting were legendary and he was also an expert S.T.R.I.X pilot, something Boomer needed.
Jansen’s X/O, John Rigal, was a very capable officer and so Jansen left him in command of the Battlestar Tigh indefinitely so he could help Boomer fine tune the plans for a dozen craft to scan the entire quadrant for the elusive Cylon task force.

Somehow the prospect of losing Admiral Adama had served to galvanise the entire fleet. It had somehow become apparent to all that they had come to rely on one man far too much.
All began to notice the subtle change in Boomer, not once had he complained about his extra workload, instead leading by example as he called a briefing of his top shuttle pilots in his wardroom to finalise the plans for the recon mission.

After just one hour his plans were finalised as he ordered rum from his chief steward for his pilots to toast the success of the mission.
Happy in the knowledge they were fully briefed and ready he allowed them the afternoon off to enjoy a few beers in the officers club on him provided they were out of the bar by six P.M.

Boomer approved of Adama’s approach to his men of treating them like adults and felt he could trust his pilots to show the restraint that Blue and Silver Spar Squadrons hadn’t, he was making a point!

The next morning on the Omega’s Alpha bay, twelve S.T.R.I.X craft were being prepped ready for the mission when Spectre arrived to brief the pilots.

“Some of you will not be familiar with this man approaching me but you will know of him, you must follow his instructions.” Commanded Boomer.
Wearing a full military dress uniform and tunic, Spectre calmly walked over to where the pilots were gathered and beckoned them closer.

“Pilots, for those of you that do not know who I am, my name is Spectre, I am one of the I.L series Cylons that has been advising your leaders since my capture and reprogramming. I am here of my own volition as a free man.
I have insight into the Cylon Empire and a brain over one hundred million times more complex than yours, so when I say I have an inkling of where to find the Cylon task force, I say it with some conviction.

Therefore I recommend you begin a sweep of the outer rim of the Ionian Nebula on a trajectory aligned with Terra’s projected path to Earth. These co-ordinates have been pre-programmed into your vessels by myself and your plotters.
Start from this line and then fan out. Remember, the planet Terra is a mere 20 light years from the planet Earth which is easily within our range so it should not take long to complete your sweep.”

It is my firm belief that you WILL find the Cylon Armada on this trajectory, you will stay away from their scanners by following the program I have installed on your vessels. One you have detected them you are to take as many visual records as you can, circumscribe the fleet from a safe distance and record every ship you encounter.
Please note Ladies and Gentlemen, you will most probably encounter the largest and most powerful fleet of Cylon Base Stars ever.
Do not be surprised to find a single larger vessel surrounded by these Base Ships.
I have a theory on this which I will explain to your officers, if and when it is encountered,
If this proves to be the case, do not delay, get those pictures and return IMMEDIATELY, this is vitally important.”
“Thank you Spectre.” Added Boomer…”Right, you have your orders, to your ships and good hunting.”

Within minutes all twelve craft had left the Omega and were speeding their way to the co-ordinates uploaded to their mainframes.
Boomer watched the last one disappear from view and sped to the C.I.C along with Spectre to establish communication with the vessels and chart their progress.
The twelve craft spooled up their F.T.L drives and were at the co-ordinates within eight hours of leaving the Omega and began to sweep the area in a grid formation.

“It’s taken the patrol just two F.T.L jumps to arrive in the vicinity, if the enemy ships are here then why did they veer away when so close to us, they almost found us?” Mused Boomer.

Scene 12 - The Hive Ship.

By eight P.M that evening every S.T.R.I.X craft had returned to the fleet and Jansen headed for the Omega to brief Boomer on their findings….
He arrived on the C.I.C to find Boomer, Athena and Spectre anxiously waiting to greet him.

“Report Commander, please tell me you found them!” exclaimed an impatient Boomer.
“Yes Vice Admiral, we DID find them, just as Spectre predicted, a massive force of four Darkstar Base Stars and a further four Beta ships.”

….”And the larger ship Spectre spoke of, was it there?”

“Yes sir, a huge vessel, it looked almost alive, like a giant cradle holding something in the middle. The middle section looked almost like those pyramids on Earth that the Female Delphian leader spoke of.”

“Are you talking about the pyramids from the place called Egypt?” asked Boomer.

“Yes” replied Jansen.

Spectre added; “I remember her saying the Delphians had visited Earth and erected the pyramids to hide evidence from the Cylons of them ever being there.”
“This is the ship of which I spoke, I was hoping against hope that you would find this ship Commander Jansen.” He added.

“But what does it mean Spectre?” asked Athena.

“Well, as you know I have studied the Delphian race in depth and something has been bothering me ever since we encountered that fleet of Delphian ships, namely, where is the mothership?

Think about it logically officers, why would the Delphians go to the trouble of assembling a fleet of ships to flee the Cylons with everything they would need except the chance at reproduction, of a new start?”

“Go on” pushed Boomer.

“Well, the Delphian leader spoke of finding a suitable home in the message we decrypted did she not?
What would be the point of finding a new home if they were going to be extinct anyway. I suspect that the ship being so closely guarded by the Cylon Base Stars is indeed such a ship, a mothership, or more accurately a Hive!” he commented.

“So it’s a Delphian ship, not a Cylon one?” questioned Athena.

“Exactly, what we have found is the most critical ship in the entire Delphian fleet, the hive holding the ‘Queen Bee’ if you want to put it in those terms.”
Allow me to elaborate, I am not suggesting we have encountered live Delphian beings on that vessel, but the embryonic state of a new ‘queen’.

Boomer questioned, “But why would the Cylons be interested in such a vessel Spectre?”

“Simple, if you look at them historically, the Cylons use other beings to do their bidding for them. Just in the same way you humans used the Cylons to perform the menial, manual jobs and fight your wars, so too the Cylons, who do you think they learnt it from?”

Smiled Spectre wryly.

“There was a plan to regenerate the Delphian Empire and supposedly find them a suitable home in exchange for the harnessing of the intellect and technology of the superior Delphian race.”

“And once achieved the Delphians would be exterminated I presume?” questioned Boomer.

“Correct, once the Delphians were no longer useful they would have been slaughtered, just like in the caves down on Terra!” he exclaimed
The Hive Ship, as the Delphians called it was possibly the most powerful and certainly the most important ship they ever built. It’s powers of healing and resurrection hold the key to the problem facing our medical experts.

If I am right my friends then this ship holds the very key to the resurrection of Admiral Adama!”

“Please allow me to address your communication officers Vice Admiral?” asked Spectre.
“Of course, whatever you need.” Replied Boomer.
“Comms, please patch me through to the medical ship ‘Mercy’ on a secure channel to Doctor Khan or Doctor Salik if you would.”
Boomer nodded to the comms team to obey.

“Medical ship Mercy, this is the Battlestar Omega, military advisor Spectre speaking on behalf of Vice Admiral Boomer. Can you explain the exact condition of our Admiral?”

“I’m guessing you already know, otherwise you wouldn’t be asking right?” replied an embarrassed Khan cryptically.

“I fear I do yes, but for the benefit of the officers here with me please indulge us?” asked Spectre.

“I am very sorry to report that we are having difficulty in reviving the Admiral sirs. We have successfully regenerated his heart and reinserted it into his chest cavity but, well, we can’t wake him!
All his vital signs indicate he is alive, yet we can’t wake him. It’s as if his body has shut down.”
I am very sorry Vice Admiral, but we are at a loss as to what to do next!” he exclaimed.

“That will be all for now Doctor, thank you.” Replied Spectre.

“Wait, I wanted to ask him more questions Spectre.” Asked Athena.

“There’s no point” replied Spectre bluntly.

“The answer to our prayers lies in that ship out there. It is pointless discussing anything else, in short we need that ship, or at least a power source from it.

“In order to revive our Admiral we need a spark or some kind of biological trigger if you will.”

“The very life generating powers of that Delphian vessel may be our Admirals last hope. May I suggest we return to the Cylon fleet immediately with a small team of my centurions. I can assemble a team of my best units to man a couple of our captured raiders to join one of their squadrons returning from a recon patrol and infiltrate them.
We can peel off from the main body of the squadron at the last moment and head for that Hive Ship.”

Boomer countered;

“Surely you will get detected Spectre, it’s too dangerous, as much as I appreciate the gesture I don’t want to lose you to the Cyl….”

Spectre cut Boomer off mid-sentence.

“Look, you forget I AM a Cylon, and I still hold the rank of Base Star Commander, therefore my actions cannot be questioned by them, centurions will NEVER question an Imperious Leader series Cylon, it would mean certain destruction for that unit as it would deem to be a malfunction!” he reasoned.

Please Vice Admiral, I will take Lucifer with me, two raiders and four of our best pilots will be enough, one team to cause distraction if necessary and guard our exit whilst the other team locate the power source we need and return it here to the medical teams to use it to revive Admiral Adama.”

“My god, how desperate have we become, it sounds very unlikely to succeed.” Moaned Boomer.”

“Well if you have any better ideas I’d love to hear them, that’s my brother over there on that medical ship on the brink of death.” Snapped Athena.

“Alright Athena calm down I’m just trying to take everything into account, this is a very risky and complex mission.” Pressed Boomer before adding;

A thought Spectre, would it not be better to take the Admiral to the ship in a cryo chamber, it would save precious time?” suggested Boomer.

“No, too risky, the journey itself may kill him before we even reached the Hive Ship, the logistics and risk of moving him would be too great. We can locate and extract the power source and technology we need and bring it back with us. Trust in me and Lucifer, we will get the job done, we know how important the Admiral is to this colony.” Reasoned Spectre.

“Very well, your mission is approved, good luck, Gods speed and thank you.” Added Boomer.
Athena took Spectre’s hand in hers and smiled. “Thank you.” she said tearfully.

Scene 13 – The Cylon Saviours?

Although Jansen and his pilots had only enjoyed a minimum allowed rest period, to a man they readily agreed to return to the Cylon held Hive Ship in a last-ditch attempt to save the Admiral. No amount of risk or fatigue would have stopped them, such was the love held for Adama in the ranks.

After a light breakfast the pilots returned to Alpha deck on the Omega to find a shuttle with F.T.L capabilities fully fuelled and loaded with two raiders in its hold ready to return to the point the ships were last located.
Jansen picked a small team of support crew before being briefed by the two I.L series Cylons.

After a brief embrace from Athena, the two Cylons turned to Boomer as one…
“Have the medical teams ready on standby the moment we return. We should be back in around 16 hours if all goes to plan.” Instructed Lucifer before the six Cylons and Jansen’s team boarded the shuttle.
Athena began to cry as she watched the shuttle disappear from view. Boomer enveloped her in his huge arms and hugged her tightly.

“Athena, if anyone can pull this off it’s our brilliant medics and those two Cylons and their team. Ever since we captured and reprogrammed them I have been astounded at the sheer intellect and capabilities of them both, no wonder we lost the god’s damn Cylon war, “ he smiled.
The agonising wait had now begun as the two warriors made their way back to the C.I.C to resume their day to day duties of commanding a Super Battlestar.

The shuttle finally arrived back to where the ships were last spotted to find that, surprisingly the fleet had not moved.
The shuttles plotters began scanning the fleet from a safe distance and probed the Hive Ship for a detailed schematic plan. Thanks largely once again to the Delphians, the colonial military now possessed ever more advanced scanning technology and before long had a detailed plan of the layout of the Hive Ship at their disposal. They had detected the fleet was low on fuel, hence not having moved forward.

“What now Spectre, do we go in?” asked an impatient Jansen.

“No we wait.” Commented Spectre, “We wait for a recon patrol to pass close to us, we will then board our raiders and join it from behind, once we have assimilated ourselves into their ranks unnoticed we will signal you.
When we are close enough to the Hive Ship, are satisfied that the Cylons do not suspect us and that our codes have been authenticated we will move in to dock with the Hive Ship and make our way to the location of the power source we need.
Once we have it we will speed our way back to you and leave for Terra at flank speed.” He replied.

Within thirty minutes a small recon patrol of raiders passed by them and the two raiders commanded by Lucifer and Spectre hatched their plan and slipped in behind the trailing vessels unnoticed.
Remarkably to the warriors, but not Spectre and Lucifer, their authentication codes checked out and they were allowed to land on the Delphian ship.
Fortunately only Centurions were aboard the ship as the leaders were prone to delegating to their underlings.
Spectre and Lucifer had a clear run to the ‘Cell Room’ as it was known, containing the queen Cell and the power source they needed.

The Queen Cell was surrounded by dozens of what can best by described as glass tubes with some kind of larvae contained within. These tubes each had a metallic shiny battery like device attached, these were the devices they needed. The combination of the power source and the Admirals regenerated heart cells would, by the grace of the God’s, revive him.

All they needed to do now was escape the clutches of the mysterious vessel and head back to their shuttle as fast as they could.
Meanwhile on The Omega, Boomer and all in the fleet continued their agonising wait. Starbuck had joined Boomer on the bridge, relieving Athena to attend her brother who was mercifully holding his own.

After several more hours….

“SIR, THEYRE HEADING BACK! THE SHUTTLE, IT’S APPROACHING!” exclaimed an exited comms officer loudly.

“Shuttle to Omega actual, package secure, awaiting orders…”

A huge roar erupted in the C.I.C of the Battlestar Omega as the words of Jansen were heard through the speakers as Boomer allowed all to rejoice in the news.
“Omega actual to Jansen, you are cleared to land on the medical ship ‘Mercy’. The team is standing by to take the package, do not land on the Omega, go directly to the Mercy, out.”

Immediately on receipt of the power source the medical team swept into action, the Admiral was attached to the power source as the team fought frantically to find a way to initiate a power surge from it to the Admiral.

Suddenly the power unit automatically initiated itself and began to send pulses of energy through Adama’s body as if he was being defibrillated by a human A.E.D or Automated External Defibrillator.
Gradually the pulses grew stronger as Adama’s body began to twitch, was he responding?

After a full ten minutes the team were beginning to despair, he would not wake, then suddenly he let out a huge gasp…


He began to blink heavily to adjust his vision as he began to take in his surroundings.
He gathered his composure enough to train his eyes on his beloved sister Athena. She began to weep uncontrollably as he became more and more lucid.

“Relax Apollo, your back with us safe and sound. You had a massive heart attack, but the medics have fixed up your heart as good as new my brother.” She said warmly.

He pulled up the sheet covering his body to reveal his huge operation scar. “I see” he said ruefully.

“How long was I out.” he said, not realising the extent of his predicament.

“Did I miss anything important” he added with astonishing clarity.

“Not really” replied Athena, “just a massive fight between Blue and Silver Spar Squadrons, your son in the Brig, the discovery of a huge Cylon task force heading for Earth, oh and finding a ship that could be the key to our whole civilisation moving forward, your life being saved by Cylons, Boomer doing a better job than you at healing the rift between warships and squadrons you know the usual shit.” She roared.

Understandably he thought she was teasing him.

“Don’t make me laugh, it hurts sis.” he laughed loudly.

Within two hours word had spread throughout the colony like wildfire, each ship in the fleet sounded its horn in tribute as the C.N.N news network interrupted their normal broadcast to announce the miracle to the entire colony.
The same young handsome anchor reporter tearfully interrupted with elation…

“Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Dan Romero reporting, we apologise for interrupting your normal schedule of programs, but we have incredible news from our medical teams on the ship called Mercy….

Our Admiral, father, hero and idol has woken, I repeat, Admiral Adama Lives!”

To be Continued….

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 6:51 am 
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Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage to Earth Episode 25 – The Last Stand part 1

September 14th 7031

The events of recent weeks had proved pivotal in many ways for the new colony. Down on the surface most of the civilians were content with the progress being made by the new president. He had delivered on his main promise of completing all the work needed to protect his people with the completion of his new brainchild, the new defence complex known as TERRADACA.
His newfound powers of perception had confirmed that the co-ordinates supplied by the probe from Earth were accurate, all but assuring his place in the history books. However, his failure to form a new quorum of the twelve left some unhappy at the lack of progress on this issue.
Admiral Adama, though recovering was still unable to assume command as leader of the military, yet as his health slowly returned his powers of perception also grew. Was he now becoming more statesman than Admiral?
Meanwhile Boomer’s authority and grip on the military was growing, or so he thought!

Scene 1 – The Bare Facts

Battlestar Pegasus wardroom, all senior officers present…..
The room was full of the great and the good from all the ships in the battle fleet, together with the two Cylon advisors, all anxiously awaiting the first formal address from Vice Admiral Boomer since being appointed acting Admiral pending Adama’s full recovery.
Sitting comfortably in the corner of the room was Adama himself, keen to hear the words of his friend and eventual successor.

“Ladies and Gentlemen officers, it seems barely a day goes by without some sort of catastrophe, disaster or insurrection distracting us, so with this knowledge I intend to lead in that manner, expect and prepare for the worst but hope for the best. The time for relaxing is over if there ever was one.
The question vexing Adama and I…. is the glass half full or half empty?
There are those down there on the surface that choose to ignore the fact there is still a formidable obstacle out there and that we should forget about the Cylon force, after all they do seem to be veering away from us.

Well not a fracking chance my friends, I refuse to stand by and allow the bond breaking Cylons to pursue our would-be friends and allies on Earth. They are in no fit state to defend themselves and we have, not only a moral duty to warn them but also to help them advance to a state in which they are able to fend off the Cylons themselves.

There may be those among you that subscribe to the view that we should just keep our heads down and let them pass. Well not on my watch, be in no doubt that the threat will NOT disappear just because we choose to ignore it my friends, NO!

Because there has been so much progress down on the surface, the politicians and civilians think we have effectively arrived, that our work is done, and Terra is well on the way to becoming the new fourteenth colony and a force to be reckoned with. All true, the planet is largely secure now with the new defence and early warning systems in place, the new TERRADACA complex is, to be fair, a very impressive installation.
That’s where the glass is half full, now for the flip side, if we choose to bury our heads in the sand, not only will those bastards return, but in greater strength and numbers. With every passing day they grow stronger. We are fortunate that, as we speak they are desperately hunting for fuel, otherwise they would not have come to a full stop when so close to us.

Listen up, the glass is NOT half full, the only reason they haven’t come to finish us off here is that very lack of fuel! Be in no doubt, even now they are strong enough to defeat us with four Darkstar Base Stars and four more beta ships.
This is why we need to attack, and now!” he exclaimed.

With these facts in mind I have asked Lucifer and Spectre to attend to offer us an insight into the mindset of their former comrades and offer a prediction as to their next moves…. gentlemen?”
Lucifer stood to address the officers knowing there were some among them that, despite everything he and Spectre had done for the military, had lingering discomfort at having Cylons in their midst.

“Since our presence STILL seems to make some of you uncomfortable I will get straight to the point, I happen to Agree with the Vice Admiral.
Spectre and I concur that the Cylons know exactly where we are and have not changed course for Earth but are simply looking for a fresh fuel supply before returning here, they simply hoped that they would not be detected.
Since our expert Strix pilots have indeed located them, this is the time to strike, we must NEVER underestimate the element of surprise, we have it now but that won’t last for much longer, and there is something else officers, Spectre will explain in more detail.”

Spectre scanned the room with a glare to melt ice….
“My comrade is correct, and you would be wise to heed his words officers. There are certain facts you need to hear, firstly the Cylons are desperate, possibly more desperate than they have ever been. They have no home, no fuel, no supply chain and more importantly no time to find another home, other than Terra, or if they find fuel, Earth.

There is more, incredibly it would seem, before running out of fuel and supplies they managed to construct a new ship!
I am about to show you some images on the main screen from the last recon mission from the team headed by Commander Jansen.”
The main viewing screen lit up as Spectre pointed out a tiny image to the rear flank of the main body of Cylon Base Stars and the mysterious Delphian “Hive” ship.

“Computer enhance image in grid reference E13” he commanded.
Slowly the image became larger as Spectre ordered, “Enhance further, closer, closer to full screen.”
Suddenly a massive ship appeared on the main screen.

“Bear in mind that ship is around two hundred clicks behind the main body of Base Ships, its massive!” He pleaded.
A huge gasp resonated around the room as the officers tried to digest the image of the deadly Cylon warship.
“The point I am trying to make is, don’t assume that there are only the ships we see, they have not been idle, there may be others, this is their last throw of the dice Ladies and Gentlemen, their very last, unless of course they defeat you!” he added cryptically.

“So, we must take nothing for granted, they are on the ropes but aren’t done yet?” questioned Sheba.
“Exactly that, expect the unexpected.” Replied Lucifer.

“I wasn’t going to interrupt but now is a good time to tell you all, I had a dream, one in which we encountered such a vessel, when I was in an induced coma I had several visions or dreams. I had one dream in which I saw a massive Cylon ship, very much like that image.” commented Adama.

The entire room looked around astonished at Apollo’s revelation.

“I can see you all think I have gone mad, very well, if you doubt me then perhaps our president can convince you….”
“Boomer, would you please hail the president on a secure channel?”

As if expecting a message from the Pegasus, the president answered within moments.
“Vice Admiral Boomer, how can I be of service…”
“Adama would like to speak to you Mister President.”

Admiral Adama tried to rise from his seat until his operation scar reminded him he was still in a delicate state and quickly regained his seat.
“Just ask the president about his dream?” pleaded Adama.

Boomer turned to the screen once more as all listened in.
“Mister President, can you elaborate on a dream you had, one in which you saw a vision of a Cylon warship?” asked Boomer.

“Are you trying to make me look stupid in front of the officers, I’m very busy, if this is this some kind of joke?” snarled the president.
“No joke, do you think I have nothing better to do than piss off my own president, I’m not a fracking moron, just tell them.” Snapped Boomer.

His outburst astonished the entire wardroom but served notice to all he was not a man to be messed with.
“Very well, since you asked me so nicely.” snarled President Valentine.

“I did indeed have such a dream, one in which we had a terrifying battle with our sworn enemies the Cylons. Our forces were split between those protecting Earth and those facing off against the enemy fleet.

We encountered a deadly ship they had built, a ship more deadly than any Cylon Base Star, something more terrifying than even that!” he exclaimed. “In my dream they called it the Behemoth!” he exclaimed with fear in his tone.
“In my dream we, we lost!”
Upon hearing this, Adama again rose to his feet and gingerly approached the viewing screen to address the president himself. He then produced a drawing from his tunic and held it up to the main screen for the president to see.
“Did it look anything like this?” questioned Adama.

The drawing showed a terrifying ship with rows of what appeared to be the image of Cylon Centurion skulls along its spine and sides.
“President Valentines face drained of blood as his voice trembled. “Yes, yes exactly like that!”

On the piece of paper was a rudimentary sketch Adama had drawn almost immediately upon emerging from his coma.
He handed the sketch to Boomer and pointed to a word in the corner, it said “Behemoth”!

“You see, I am not mad, somehow, I don’t know how, but ever since I awoke from my coma I have been having visions, and I don’t mean dreams, visions. I keep feeling as if someone or something is guiding me, showing me the way forward!” he exclaimed with raised arms.

“But that’s not possible, you were not in contact with any outside influences whilst under?” reasoned Jolly.
“Well actually that’s not strictly correct, he has been revived with the help of Delphian technology. Remember it was Spectre and I with the help of young Jansen and his brave pilots who helped secure the equipment needed to restart his heart.” Argued Lucifer.

“So therefore, it is just possible that the Delphian’s have made good on their promise, to have a hand in the final outcome of the battle with my former comrades.” He continued.

“What are you saying exactly?” asked Boomer impatiently.
“He’s saying they will lead the attack through you Adama, through your visions to be transferred into a battle plan by Boomer.” Added Spectre.

“The very key to your victory over the Cylons, ironically lies with the extinct peace loving Delphians, specifically with their E.M.P or electromagnetic pulse technology.” He pleaded
“As we speak, how many warships have been fitted with this E.M.P technology Admiral?” enquired the president from the viewing screen.

“One Mister President.” Answered Boomer.

“Well which one?” Quizzed the president.

“The…..GALACTICA!” exclaimed Adama.

“It was the first to be fitted as it was far simpler due to its analogue technology, and the fact it was to be the lead ship heading for Earth, therefore its defences were upgraded.” Added Boomer.

“Are you actually trying to tell us Spectre and Lucifer that all our hopes for victory lie with the oldest and mostly obsolete warship in the fleet?” pressed the president.

“Well theoretically yes, it could just be possible that the Galactica and its E.M.P technology could be the very ship to disable the entire Cylon fleet, or at least those closest to it when it is deployed.” Replied Lucifer.

The president looked on incredulously as he questioned the merit of what he had heard from the Cylons.
“Am I missing something here, have the four new Super Battlestar’s not been fitted with the very best technology, defence systems and weapons suites available to us?” he argued.

“They have indeed, but we must also assume that the Cylons have used all of the resources they have to beef up their remaining Base Stars, and that mystery ship out there.
Judging by initial calculations she is twice as large as our Super’s, meaning pound for pound they have enough hardware to blow us out of the stars!” pressed Spectre.

“Maybe they have and maybe they haven’t, it’s pointless to speculate.” Countered Starbuck.

“Yes, and foolhardy to assume otherwise. Officers, Mister President we urge you to heed our words, this is by far the most lethal Cylon Armada ever assembled and you should seriously consider taking most, if not ALL your warships, as the planet Terra is now able to defend herself in the absence of the fleet.” Argued Lucifer.

“That’s as maybe but why do I get the feeling I’m being railroaded into agreeing to leaving Terra unprotected whilst the fleet goes off to conquer a Cylon task force!” countered President Sire Valentine.

“Unprotected, really? so your suggesting your own pet project TERRADACA isn’t fit for purpose, that those dozens of bunkers containing nuclear weapons, those squadrons of Starfire’s and Star Vulcans are not up to scratch, that the electronic defence shield we tested to near destruction will fail? Really!” smirked Boomer mockingly.

He added “In my dream we lost!, your words Mister President!”

He had played the president like a fiddle.

“Very well, I’ve heard the argument put by you all, now I must go and ponder possibly the most critical decision of my tenure, at this early stage.” Valentine moaned.

“Vice Admiral Boomer, remember who you are talking to, I didn’t care for your tone earlier, however I will let it slide this time, I will……”
“Mister President, I don’t wish to start off our relationship on ill feeling, that said it’s your job to lead our people, But Admiral Adama’s and mine to protect them, and you.

Frankly, I don’t give a flying frack if your offended or not by my tone, if you don’t heed the words of our advisors and leave half our forces sitting here on their asses whilst the other half are being annihilated out there, well you do so with my utter contempt. So yes, you go away and think on it Mister President, but don’t take too long, they WILL find fuel eventually and WILL come back for us, so I say we strike NOW, with everything we’ve got.”

Boomers anger was palpable, he was in his own words not like Adama, he had a steely side Adama did not, but lacked his empathy and diplomacy, he didn’t suffer fools gladly and was not impressed by the new President.

Adama looked on almost in disbelief at the spat between the president and Boomer, so moved to calm the situation.

“Look everyone, this is clearly a critical decision for us all to contemplate, I’m sure you both have the very best intentions for our people, we should all calm down and sleep on this, besides I for one am very tired, I’m not feeling so good and need to rest.” Pleaded Adama.

“Yes of course you are right Admiral, let’s take a recess and we will reconvene in a few hours once we’ve all had time to rest.” Replied President Valentine.

“As for you Boomer, don’t push me any further, you have made your point, quit while your ahead, and be assured, one more outburst like the one you just had, and I WILL make sure your fledgling career as Admiral will be the shortest on record! You are only Admiral whilst Adama recovers, don’t get too big for your boots, or you will regret it, I promise you!” he exclaimed angrily.

Scene 2 – Pushing at an Open Door

As advised by Adama, the meeting broke up to allow all to contemplate the words of the president and Vice Admiral with a fresh perspective.

The next morning Adama felt much better. Despite his weakness he felt well enough to summon the President and Boomer to his quarters for a ‘clear the air’ talk.

Although extremely busy, both readily agreed to clear their diaries for a meeting that evening, such was the gravity of the situation, and the very real danger of their relationship breaking down at the worst possible time.
Paradoxically it was the Galactica, the very ship at the heart of the debate that was to play host to the critical meeting between the three men.

Knowing Boomer and Valentine had the best interests of the colony at heart, Adama knew there would be room for negotiation, but also that he would need all of his powers of diplomacy to diffuse the situation, hence prepared a lavish dinner for the two men with fine wine to help lighten the tension.
President Valentine was essentially a mild-mannered man and the argument between himself and the Vice Admiral had unnerved him to such an extent he had doubts about attending the meeting at all.

However, just as Boomer had become Adama’s blunt instrument, so too Sire Galen for Valentine, and as the wealthiest and essentially most powerful man in the colonies, even more so than himself and Adama, Valentine asked him as the new Vice President to join the dinner for moral support.

At seven P.M that evening the four men sat at the ornate table in Adama’s plush quarters. It was here that Adama felt more at ease and being the host would afford him more leverage in the talks.

“Please Gentlemen, avail yourselves of the drinks cabinet, I’m certainly not going to wait on you all in my condition and I’ve asked my steward to give us some privacy, so I’ll call him when we’re ready to eat. I have some of my uncle Saul’s finest pinot noir, village ambrosia, beer or hard liquor if that’s your tipple.”

He continued to ramble in a feeble attempt at levity….” So how is my old friend Dmitri enjoying retirement? I understand he came to see me when I was in a coma?”

“He’s well Adama, he and Siress Loretta send their love and best wishes for your speedy recovery and hope to visit you on the Galactica soon, now can we please all stop being so polite, I find it even more unnerving than Boomers barbs.” Laughed Valentine to the amusement of the others.

“Don’t worry, he’s promised to be a good boy haven’t you Paul.” Winked Adama at boomer.

“Look, Mister President, I apologise for my rudeness at the council of war, it’s just that…..”

“No need to apologise Boomer, I get it, I hear you loud and clear, your worried about the size of that Cylon force out there, and frankly so are we!” he exclaimed. “Look, I don’t mind you being aggressive in getting your point across, but you need to remember I am your president and I have the final say in what happens with our battle plans and the protection of Terra.

Although it’s your job to protect it’s mine to lead and it would be remiss of me not to consider EVERY possible outcome of this battle. After all the possibility of defeat cannot be overstated.

Indeed not, so let’s look at the scenario, to the best of our knowledge they have four capital Base Stars and a further four of the smaller Beta versions, plus the unknown factor of that other ship, the Behemoth.

We have four Supers, eight cruisers and the Galactica, on paper a pretty even battle. We have more ships, but they have that damn monster, apparently twice the size of a super!” exclaimed Adama ruefully.

“I have to be honest” commented Valentine. “I had been considering leaving some ships here to protect Terra, but those words of yours Boomer keep coming back to haunt me. Your right to point out my faith in TERRADACA, I do have complete faith in it, and all the other defence systems we have in place down there, otherwise I would not have sanctioned the Discovery fleet and our journey to Earth.

That said the thought of taking the entire battle fleet out of the quadrant to pursue such a strong enemy force fills me with dread. If this goes belly up it will be my neck on the block not any of yours, I will be the one that signs off the order and the buck will stop with me. It’s not that I don’t agree in principle, it’s just so damn dangerous.” He moaned.

“Well that’s something we have had to face for the last thirty years Mister President.” Replied Adama.

“He is right about that Valentine, we have been looking over our shoulders for over thirty years and yet we have NEVER been as close to this at finally eliminating the Cylon threat for good, well at least for the next generation. If we defeat them, even if they have any remnants of a force left at all it would take them so long to mount an attack against us we would be so powerful by then, especially if we enlist the help of the Earth people, well it’s game over.” Argued Sire Galen.

“Mister President, we understand the gravity of what we’re asking, but the risk is very real in any event.” Countered Boomer.
“Please consider these three options….

“One, we leave them alone and they come back even stronger once they have found fuel,

Two, we take half our ships and get our asses kicked,

or thirdly we take our strongest force to give them a battle to end this, and trust in the defences of Terra to hold, in the unlikely event they will ever be needed.

“Sire, if we do our part right, the people of Terra will not even know until we tell them it’s all over and the Cylons have been eradicated for good. Only the defence forces need know our plans, what the people don’t know won’t hurt, or worry them.” Reasoned Boomer.

“I see, alright, what do you think Galen, should I have faith in Boomer and trust in Terradaca?”
“The other way around, trust in Boomer and have faith in Terradaca, I say we should approve Boomer’s battle plans and prepare the defence forces.”

“Very well, it’s decided, you may prepare your battle plans as you deem fit Admiral, Vice Admiral, they are formally approved.
Now, if that meal is ready I’m starving.” joked Valentine.
The mood lightened noticeably as the four men discussed other matters, all joking about all the things Adama had missed in his absence.
Boomer had got his way, but Valentine would be watching his next moves very closely!

Scene 3 – The Pep Talk

The relief on both Adama and Boomer’s faces was palpable as the president and vice president left for their shuttle.
“Well, I guess I’d better leave too Apollo, you must be whacked.” Commented Boomer.
“Yes, I am tired but let’s have one for the road, there’s just a couple of things I want to clear up with you.” he said cryptically.

“Sit back down Paul, help yourself to another drink and let me explain a few things to you.
Our president has barely got his own feet under his desk and your coming at him like a bull in a china shop. Don’t mistake his calm exterior for weakness. I spoke to Sire Dmitri about him on many occasions and he’s not a man to be trifled with.

He is a quiet man but with a determination to do what’s right by his people. You would be wise not to cross swords with him again, we have won this battle, but the big battle is still to come. We need him and Galen on our side if we are ever going to move this colony forward.

I was fortunate to enjoy a long and fruitful working relationship with President Dmitri, it’s now up to you to do the same with him if you are ever to make a success of being the next Admiral.

Being a military leader also means being a diplomat, something you need to learn, and damn quickly Boomer.
Do not challenge him again, especially in front of the officers, remember, he is your president and I am still the Admiral and your superior officer, and as such can relieve you of your command.”

“I’m sorry Apollo I didn’t intend to humiliate him, it’s just….”

“You not only humiliated HIM Boomer.” Interrupted Adama. “You humiliated me by overstepping the mark, you made it look as though you were desperate to make a point, to stake your claim for my job.

“Well I won’t fracking have it Boomer. Look you are right in what you said but wrong in the way you said it. You don’t need to use a sledgehammer to crack a nut, especially one that’s cracked already, or in other words stop hammering at open doors, just try using your brain for once and not your brawn, GOT IT?” barked Adama.

“Now, I have chastised you enough, finish your drink and get a good night’s sleep my old friend, then get to work on your battle plans for my inspection and I will approve them, goodnight.”

“Goodnight Apollo, and thanks for having my back.”

The two men embraced, and Boomer left to ponder Adama’s words.
Boomer knew he had put Apollo in a difficult position, especially with his body still recovering. More importantly he had put the spotlight firmly on himself, he simply dare not make another mistake, the entire future of the colony would effectively stand or fall on his battle plans!

Scene 4 – The Gamble of the New Order

President Valentine had begun to draw up a shortlist of possible candidates for the new council of the Twelve in the hope it would appease those who were still not fully on board with his policies. However, he also knew that any appointment now would likely stall Boomers plans to take the largest possible force to engage the Cylons as some would likely object.

Having already promised Boomer a free hand, he decided to delay the appointments and rely on the council of Galen alone in deciding whether or not to tell the citizens about the plans to attack the Cylons. Eventually both men agreed to trust in the military and remain silent, a massive gamble, yet one he felt he needed to help heal any lingering animosity between himself and Boomer, but more importantly to ensure the success of the mission.

24 hours later and the Vice Admiral summoned all the senior officers to a small training auditorium on the Pegasus, large enough to house all the officers yet small enough to secure from prying eyes easily.

As all the officers took their seats in the gallery Boomer entered the stage flanked by Adama, Spectre and Lucifer.

Though seemingly recovering, Adama was still unable to discharge his duties fully, therefore decided to take a role as observer and advisor only as he had full confidence in his friend and Vice Admiral.
The two men and their Cylon aides had spent several hours fine tuning their plans and were about to present them to an eager audience.

Boomer was ready to present the plans and rose to address the officers as Spectre activated the main viewing screen to illustrate his words in more detail….

He began to speak with authority.

“Silence officers….”

“I will lead the attack on the Cylons from the Omega, in the event I fall, command will pass to Rear Admiral Cain, then Commander Johnson and finally Commander Jansen.

We have studied the data from the recon patrols very closely and, well the good news is that we haven’t detected any other enemy ships, other than the four Darkstar’s, the four Beta’s and that unknown quantity, the Behemoth.

Therefore, on paper they still outgun us, so we have to get the first strikes in. It is with this in mind we need to place our chess pieces in exactly the right places at the right time.
Although we have an inkling that something will activate on the Delphin ship, namely its E.M.P defence system, we simply cannot rely on this.
We cannot rely on unknown factors and so, I have planned for the event that the ship will remain dormant, anything else will simply be a bonus for us.

Frankly we simply aren’t sure as to the superiority or otherwise of our capital Battlestar’s, on paper we should have superiority over the Base Ships but if I know our old friends they will have been busy upgrading the Darkstar’s, they will have learned by the mistakes of our last encounter where we used their heat and light signature’s against them.

It is our assumption therefore, that you will have no inkling of when they are about to fire their primary weapons, this would be the time to fire in an ideal world.

As we are not in that ideal world, I simply cannot stress enough the importance of that first strike and the element of surprise. We must surmise they are at least a match for us, and ominously their Beta class Base Stars are significantly more powerful than our Cruisers, so this could very well be where the battle is won or lost!”

He added ruefully.

“With this in mind I am planning to double up on the Beta ships with two cruisers to each one, giving them a good shot at superiority with the Cylon ships having two targets to worry about to our one.

Then there is the small matter of that so-called Behemoth, on further inspection it would appear to be a giant aircraft carrier and support vessel to the Base Ships. Although heavily armoured it isn’t heavily armed, having only kinetic energy weapons, anti-assault batteries and point defence weaponry.

It does however boast a full suite of nukes situated on its back, so this area must be avoided, and any attack initiated from below where its defences appear to be the most vulnerable.

On a more positive note, this ship has a clear weakness that we should be able to exploit, namely its landing bays. They are situated forward and aft but appear to present somewhat of a vulnerability for their raiders inasmuch as they have no dorsal, ventral or lateral openings in the hull.
This means the raiders can only emerge from the bow and land from the stern…. Admiral?”

Adama then stood to elaborate further…

“Thanks to our Cylon friends volunteering to lead the attack on the Behemoth, we plan to attack her separately, to try and keep her away from the main body of their fleet and cut off the supply of fresh raiders for their Base Ships. In short the Behemoth will be attacked by two full squadrons of our captured raiders.

The plan is to try and completely cut off the apertures to the landing bays, thus trapping all the fighters within and effectively taking the Behemoth out of the battle, without her raiders she is toothless.!” He reasoned.

“Vice Admiral, if I may, how are we to achieve the element of surprise on the Behemoth, given the attack will have begun on the main body of their fleet and she will have been alerted?” Asked Jansen.

“Good question Marc” replied Boomer; “Well, thanks to Sire Galen we have managed to patch up one of the captured Base Stars left over from the battle of Terra Major, although she has been cannibalised she can still function as a decoy, and a base from which our raiders can attack, it’s our intention to fit her with temporary F.T.L drives and manoeuvre her near their fleet several hours prior to the main attack. We give the Cylons a chance to get used to her being around. Spectre still has verification codes that check out so she can slip into their fleet without any undue suspicion, in any case it only needs to be a matter of hours.

We get her as close to the Behemoth as we can before they smell a rat and attempt to dock with her and initiate a sabotage. Then when the main fleet arrives we will have all our chess pieces in place with each Super pre-assigned a specific Base Star to attack, likewise the cruisers will be paired to a designated Beta ship.

In summary officers, we need to focus on two things, firstly the element of surprise, I expect every ship in the fleet to pour everything they’ve got on a frontal assault on their designated targets and meanwhile the Base Ship under the control of Lucifer and Spectre will hopefully have disabled the Behemoth’s landing bay doors from within and the raiders will attack her landing bays with death squads of suicide raiders to smash apart those blast doors and cut off her raiders.” Added Boomer.

“Any questions?”

“Boomer, the Galactica, she is the only ship with E.M.P, are you going to throw her into the mix?”
Asked a concerned Athena.

“As a last resort yes we will, we simply cannot rely on a message from the queen of an extinct race telling us she will help us from beyond the grave, so we must assume that, in the event that the battle is not going our way we will need to utilise her to try and disable some of their ships.” Added Adama.

“Bur Admiral, the Galactica? She’s special!” exclaimed X.O John Rigal.

“Yes, I’m fully aware of that, and she’s my home, and she was your mother’s home too, but we will do whatever it takes to win, inevitably there will be sacrifices.

“On that note I would like to add my two penneth” commented Adama…. “Ladies and Gentlemen officers, I want you all to know I could, I mean WE could not be prouder of you all. Inevitably some of our warriors will lose their lives, maybe I will, or Boomer, or any of you, who knows.

Still you all knew that when you signed up to the academy to fight those toasters.
However, know this, we are not fighting for Terra this time, no, this time we are fighting for an ally that doesn’t even know of our existence, the people of Earth.

Terra is all but impregnable now thanks to President Valentine, but the Earth people would never have the capability to fight off a Cylon attack, so we must eliminate them before they find Earth, then the final obstacle to our heading there has been removed.

“If there are no further questions? then get some rest Ladies and Gentlemen, brief your crews, we will sail in eighteen hours.” Concluded Boomer.

Scene 5 – The eve of the Battle

As the officers all headed back to their home Battlestar’s and cruisers, Sheba asked Apollo to stay behind to tend to him. She could tell the past few days planning the attack with Boomer had taken their toll on him and knew there was a remote but very real chance one of them could perish, so wanted to spend every last moment of peace with him before they headed out to confront the Cylons.

She suggested he stayed in her more lavish quarters on the Pegasus but was interrupted by a call on Adama’s communicator.
“Father, it’s me, Troy, can I come over and spend a little time with you before I head to my quarters on the Galactica?”
Apollo looked at Sheba as her faced visibly dropped….

“Troy, I’m very tired, I’ll talk to you tomorrow as I address the warriors for the last time, I want to get some rack time…”
“Oh, er yes of course father, you must be tired.” Replied Troy with sadness.

“It’s OK Apollo, let him come over for half an hour, I want to do my rounds in the C.I.C anyway, he can have a quick talk, as long as it’s quick, I have plans for you this evening.” She winked suggestively.

Sheba wanted Adama but realised he had not had chance to talk to his only son since his awakening and knew how desperate Troy was to make amends for his transgression.

She duly left the two men to talk in her quarters as Troy arrived simply giving the young warrior a quick hug before doing her walk of the Pegasus.

“Father, I just don’t know the words, I really thought I’d lost you, I er….”

“Listen son, clear your mind, we will have plenty of time to talk after this is all over. I know your hurting, all of Blue and Silver Spar are hurting, they all feel they’ve let me and Boomer down.

It’s really not the time for all that now, we have a battle to win tomorrow and I need you with your game face on in the morning, I expect you to do your job tomorrow, lead Blue Squadron by example, beat those arrogant smug Silver Spar bastards where it hurts, in the theatre of battle! He exclaimed.

I love you very much son, and if you’re really serious about making amends, well your very lucky you have the perfect chance to set the record straight tomorrow, by being the top squadron on the day and carrying the Galactica’s colours into battle with pride and honour, do you hear me son?”

“Sir, yes sir” replied Troy through tearful eyes.

“I love you father.” Mumbled Troy as he left the room before bursting into tears in the corridor outside Sheba’s quarters.
Within moments he was gone just as Sheba returned to an equally tearful Apollo.

“You can wipe away those tears and relax Apollo, for the next few hours your mine, relax and pour us both a glass of wine whilst I change into something more comfortable.”

Sheba teased Apollo, she knew he loved to watch her undress, to see the warrior change into a beautiful woman in front of his eyes.
Eventually he too undressed and they both climbed into bed and held each other. She smiled and began to pleasure him under the sheets before looking down at his manhood.

“Oh, I see some parts of you are recovering nicely.” She quipped.

She gently climbed on top of him and made love to him before he sank into a satisfied sleep.

Later that evening however he awoke from another vision, haunted by images of himself and Starbuck meeting their end in the battle, he confided in Sheba and she held him tightly in her arms until he drifted back to sleep.

Meanwhile all around the fleet the commanding officers walked the length of their respective C.I. C’s and rallied their officers before addressing the crews on the P. A.
All the talking, all the planning was over, the next day would be possibly the greatest in the short history of Terra, or one that would live on in infamy!

Scene 6 – The Rallying Call

The next morning, at six A.M reveille sounded across the fleet as all senior officers prepared for the momentous day ahead.

The Cylon Base Star headed by Lucifer and Spectre had made its way to the Cylon task force two hours earlier and was out of communication range of Terra and the fleet, this part of the plan was out of Boomers hands now, he and Adama had to trust their uber intelligent friends to play their part.

At precisely seven A.M Boomer ordered his comms officer to open a channel to the entire fleet to address the warriors En masse….

“All hands, all hands, now hear this....

This is your Vice Admiral speaking, I know you will all be feeling afraid right now, it’s that very fear that will give you the edge today in battle.
I want you all to know Admiral Adama and I could not be prouder of you all, you have all trained and prepared over and over for this day. Our whole destiny’s as warriors have come down to this day, but know this, not only will you be fighting alongside your comrades, but all those that came before us.

Our Admiral’s late father, the great William Adama, Admiral Saul Tigh, Tolan, Cain, Omega and all the great leaders down on Terra, Doctor Zelan and his son Zee, our retired president and new one, all, all have played their part in getting us here, to a day we could only have dreamed of a few short years ago, the day when we eradicated the Cylon scum from the stars, FOREVER!”

It's inevitable that some will fall this day, but fear not brave warriors, know that your memories will live forever in the hearts of those you leave behind.

As I speak, your commanding officers are being sent encrypted attack orders and will be reviewing them before we make our final jump to the battle co-ordinates.

Be aware my dear comrades, our enemy is desperate, we have them on the ropes and if we prevail, as I know we will, then this star system and everything that’s in it is ours my friends.

We finish this today, we silence the Cylons for good, and soon we set sail for Earth, good hunting brave warriors, I will see you on the other side, god bless you all and may the Lords of Kobol give you strength this day,
So say we all…. Boomer Out.”
“SO SAY WE ALL” came the reply from the entire fleet in unison.

Within minutes of all commanding officers verifying their orders the fleet prepared to make the first of two F.T.L jumps into the theatre of battle.

Finally, just before leaving, a short text message came in from President Valentine to Adama and Boomer on their communicators……
“Good luck, good hunting and Gods speed, Terra salutes you, I salute you, Valentine…. ends”

Scene 7 – The Attack Begins

“Omega actual to fleet, prepare to jump in 5-4-3-2-1, jump jump jump….” Called the communications officer.

“Call it in comms, are they all staying in formation?” asked Boomer.

“Just waiting on the Galactica sir, she hasn’t…. wait she’s just jumped in.”

“Try and close up Apollo, we only have one more jump.” moaned Boomer anxiously
“Sorry Boomer our F.T.L drive is a little unresponsive, like me she’s showing her age, but she’ll do the job when needed.”

“OK let’s get there, listen up, Pegasus actual to fleet, be aware the Galactica is reporting F.T.L problems, after this next jump check your rear scanners for her…”

“Prepare to jump in 5-4-3-2-1 jump jump jump.”
Moments later….

Sir the Galactica’s reporting a successful jump, all ships are in formation and awaiting your orders.”

Meanwhile on the Behemoth…..

“BY YOUR COMMAND,” “speak.” Snarled Spectre. “Sir the main control centre has been neutralised by your order, the guards have been subjugated by our Centurions and are holding their own, should we launch our raiders NOW sir?”

“Yes, give the order” commanded Spectre.

A huge fire fight began in the main control room as Centurion battled Centurion, the enemy unaware of which Cylon to attack. They were at the mercy of Spectre’s troops as Lucifer wrestled with the main console in an attempt to sabotage the controls to the main landing bay blast doors.

Only a handful of enemy Centurions and one I.L series model remained as the ships leader called….” Why, why have you betrayed the Cylon race, you are betraying your own kind, why?”

“To redress hundreds of Yahrens of Cylon butchery and treachery, our new human masters have shown us a new way, a way in which we can co-exist.” reasoned Lucifer.

“NEVER, I will NEVER allow that….”

“Then you will die.” Exclaimed Spectre as he blasted the I.L series Cylon into several pieces, the remaining Centurions surrendering.

Just as it seemed the Behemoth was at the mercy of Lucifer and Spectre; a lone Centurion witnessed the invasion from outside the control room and raised the alarm.

Upon hearing this, squadrons of raiders came spilling out from the bow of the ship in readiness to protect the mighty Behemoth!
Witnessing events, the captured Base Star of the colonial fleet launched her raiders immediately on sight of emerging raiders from the huge ship.

Within seconds they had engaged the enemy and were heading toward the precious, yet vulnerable landing bays of the enemy vessel.

“Vice Admiral, Spectre has reported in, they have neutralised the ships main C.I.C and their raiders are inflicting heavy damage to the ships landing bays.” Commented the tactical officer.

“Good, good, first blood to us.” Smirked Boomer.


“How many gods damn it!”

“It’s all four of the capital ships Sir, the beta’s appear to be falling back to protect the Behemoth.”

“Good, that’s what I was hoping for, right, heads up everyone, you have your orders now let’s get into the bastards!”
“Helm, take us around to a heading of 218 and head straight for that lead Base ship, it looks like it’s to be our honour of being the first in…”

On sight of the Omega bearing down on her, the Base star increased speed and swung around to retreat but Boomer was having none of it.

“Flank speed for that Base Star, she mine and she’s gonna fight us or die, faster, give it everything she’s got, I want that fracking ship!” snarled Boomer.

Much to Boomers surprise the Base Ship slowed and turned to face the Omega and fired her mega pulsars missing Boomers ship by only a few feet!

Undeterred he ordered his gunnery crews to action. He yelled at the crewmen….

“BATTLESTATIONS, all hands general quarters!”

“Positive shield Now, activate electronic defence shields to maximum power. Launch ALL vipers and secure landing bay doors.”
He waited a few moments for the acknowledgement…

“All Vipers away Sir.”

“Fire as guns bear, open forward silo’s, arm all forward nukes and activate all forward gun batteries.”

As if the ship was a boxer taunting its opponent the Base Star stood firm as Boomers ship reigned blow after blow at her.

“Spectre was right, the bastards have indeed strengthened their Base Ships hulls, this isn’t going to be the walk in the park I had hoped.” Moaned Boomer to himself.

“Sir, all ships reporting in they have engaged the enemy, the Tigh has reported heavy damage to her port side flight pod!” exclaimed the comms officer.

“Keep me informed, she’ll just have to hold her own for now.”

“The Vipers, all away?” asked Boomer.

“All except the Galactica Sir, she’s holding back for some reason.”

“Omega actual to Galactica, why haven’t you launched Apollo?”

“Strategy Boomer, trust me I know what I’m doing, you never declare your entire hand at the start of the game, I’m waiting to see how this unfolds and where they are needed most before I unleash Blue Squadron, besides I want them coming out of those tubes snarling…” smirked Adama.

Meanwhile on the Battlestar Tigh, things were going badly for Commander Jansen….

“Sir, a second Base Ship’s heading for us, it’s disengaged from the Tolan!” exclaimed the tactical officer.

“But that doesn’t make sense, she’s given Jolly a free shot at her rear flank as she heads for us.” Commented X.O John Rigal.

“They smell blood John and they are trying to cause confusion.” replied Jansen. “The Cylons know our plan by now, they want to split our forces and make us deviate from our strategy….we stick to the original battle orders and concentrate on the first Base Ship and let Jolly come up from behind the other ship.”

The speed with which the second Base Ship closed in on the Tigh surprised Jansen, but the Tolan was closing in on its position to assist him.

Swarms of raiders began to surround the Tigh as she spat fire from her wounded hull, her shields were holding….. but for how much longer?

“Increase power from life support to main electronic defence shields, we MUST get closer to that base ship and give her something to think about!” exclaimed Jansen.

Before the Tigh could manoeuvre into position each of the two base ships fired a salvo of nukes at her causing her port flight pod to catch fire from within. She was in trouble!

“Frack this, I’m not going down without a fight, I’ll take both the bastards on if I have to!” snapped Jansen.

“Helm, take us in between the two base ships and head straight for that gap.”

“But Sir, that would be very dangerous.” Pleaded a frightened junior officer.

“Hold your tongue and hold your nerve son or get off my fracking bridge!”
“Sorry Sir, I am OK, I er….”

“I know son, your frightened, we all are, but if we’re to die today we take these two toaster ships with us and turn the battle back in the fleets favour OK?” Sir, yes Sir .” Replied the young rating with renewed courage on seeing the bravery of his commander.

“Tolan actual to Battlestar Tigh, they’ve got E.M.P technology, they’ve shut down my electronics, I’m sorry Marc, I’m down to emergency battery power, I’ll get my teams on it and get back in the fight asap, hang in there buddy!” screamed Jolly.

“Very well officers, we know what we must do, helm, squeeze us in between those two Base Ships, we are going for a famous war book strategy from the late Commander Cain. Get us in to point blank range, the Base Ships won’t be able to fire on us without hitting each other!” commented Jansen.

After several minutes….

“Closing in on point blank range in five, four, three, two, one….”

“LAUNCH MISSILES NOW” yelled Jansen as dozens of nukes sped from the Tigh from both sides.

“Starboard ship is completely destroyed Sir.”

“YESSSS” cried the entire C.I.C in unison.

“PIPE DOWN, we still have work to do, what about the other ship?”

“She’s suffered extensive damage Sir, but she’s coming around to have another crack at us.”

“Sir, fire control teams are reporting our port landing pod is engulfed in flames, Sir, they can’t put the fire out!”

Meanwhile on the Pegasus….

“Pegasus actual to Galactica, can you assist Commander Jansen, I’m too far out and I can’t break the hull of this fracking Base Ship.

Our shields are holding but this is going to be a long slog, Jolly is unable to assist, and Boomer still has his hands full, Cain out!”

“Galactica actual, understood Sheba, on our way, Apollo out.”

“Right Adama that’s it, I’m assuming command as is the statutory law of engagement when a commanding officer is incapacitated the X.O must take over.” Commanded Starbuck.

“Very well Starbuck, I’m not at my best it’s true but I’m right here if you need me.” Smiled Apollo.

“Time to unleash the beast, ALL Vipers, immediate launch..” ordered Starbuck.

“Yahoo yelled the entire flight wing, “and about fracking time”, yelled Troy.

“Head straight for the Tigh and get those fracking toasters off her back.” Snarled Starbuck.

“Galactica Actual to Omega, Boomer, how’s it going over there?, Sheba’s tied up and Jolly’s ship has been disabled, they have E.M.P technology!” His electronics are out!”

“I heard, give me a few minutes to finish off this Darkstar, I’ll be over in half a flash.”

Meanwhile the eight cruisers were snapping at the four Beta Darkstar’s with differing results, almost as if Velociraptors were attacking a T. Rex

The smaller warships were using hit and run tactics to wear down the larger Cylon vessels and were beginning to make headway.

Colonel Larry Greenbean, son of the X.O from the old Pegasus before his heroic demise, was temporarily on attachment from the Tolan as X.O and commanding the Perseus, the lead Cruiser and Padraig Mahoney the second, the Medusa.

These the two newest cruisers were an upgrade on the previous designs, the Zeus and Hera in that their flight decks went through the whole length of the hull on each side and vipers could be launched much quicker, like their sister vessels they carried two complete squadrons each, making them formidable all-round attack vessels.

“This phase of the battle was wearing on as the minutes turned to hours, however Boomer was confident the ships could hold off the more powerful Beta class Base Stars.

The ships from both sides were trading blow for blow, but it was the plight of the young crew of the Tigh that was of most concern to Adama and Boomer.

If Commander Johnson could not repair his ships electronics in time to aid the stricken Battlestar Tigh, the entire ship and every soul on her would be destroyed and then his own ship, the Tolan would be the next at the mercy of the Cylons.

To be Continued in part 2……

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:50 am 
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Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage to Earth Episode 25 – The Last Stand part 2

Continued from part 1….

…. This phase of the battle was wearing on as the minutes turned to hours, however Boomer was confident the cruisers could hold off the more powerful Beta class Base Stars.
The ships from both sides were trading blow for blow, but it was the plight of the young crew of the Tigh that was of most concern to Adama and Boomer.

If Commander Johnson could not repair his ships electronics in time to aid the stricken Battlestar Tigh, the entire ship and every soul on her would be destroyed and then his own ship, the Tolan would be the next at the mercy of the Cylons.

Scene 8 – Save the Tigh!

Commander Johnson was in despair as his electronics systems were down. As his engineers battled frantically to reconnect the fried circuitry on the Tolan, he knew time was nearly up for the hapless crew on the Tigh.


The damaged Cylon Base Star exacted her revenge on the young crew of the Tigh, she was on fire and her portside landing bays engulfed in flames.
Both the Omega and Pegasus were desperately trying to finish off their own battles to rush to her aid, but the Cylons had other ideas and the Base ships were refusing to go down without a massive struggle, their hulls seeming impregnable.

Meanwhile on the Tigh….

“DAMAGE REPORT.” Yelled Commander Jansen, “how bad is the fire, I need telemetry NOW.”

“Sir, we are in real danger of the port energizer melting down, the nukes in Beta and Gamma sections are very close to the main fire, we could go up like a bomb any time Sir, It’s that critical.” Cried the tactical officer. He continued….

Damage control and fire teams are reporting they can’t get the fire out, they are losing over there Sir.”

“Very well…. “All available hands to the port landing bay, assist the wounded and the evacuation of the port flight pod, get everybody out of there and prepare to jettison the entire flight pod on my command.
Helm, turn us around, move us to within point blank of that Base Ship again, and turn the port side to face her, I have an idea.” He yelled

“I think I know what your plan is Marc but, if it blows up before we get there, we’re fracking toast.” Commented Rigal.

“Listen John we’re toast anyway, the other ships aren’t going to get to us in time, we are on our own.”

“Now hear this, all hands, we have one last trick left in us, our other ships won’t make it in time, we have to try and save ourselves, but if we should fall in the next few minutes, I want you all to know how proud I am to be your commander, It’s been an honour, Jansen out.”

“Sir, a small group of raiders have escaped from our vipers and are heading straight for us.” Commented tactical.

“Seal the C.I.C blast doors and prepare to be rammed.” Shouted Rigal. “Let’s pray they get those doors closed in time…”

Meanwhile the Vipers and Raiders were battling all around the opposing ships, slowly but surely the Vipers were beginning to assert their superiority over the greater numbers of raiders as they split their squadrons, some attacked the Base Ships and Behemoth, the rest sped to the aid of the Tigh, but as Jansen ordered them to keep a safe distance they ignored him and fought for the ailing ship.

“Dhillon, can you offer support to the Tigh whilst I concentrate on the raiders.” Asked Troy.
“On our way.”

“Blue squadron continue to engage the raiders, Silver Spar, Trident and Scarlet squadrons, you join up with me, let’s give the Tigh a clear path to that base ship, I think I know what Jansen’s got in mind.” Commanded Dhillon..

Meanwhile the Pegasus crew prepared to fire the coup de grace upon their designated opponent…

“Listen up, we are now the nearest ship that can help the Tigh, arm all remaining nukes and fire a full salvo down their throats, aim for that central core.” Screamed Sheba.
She growled under her breath….” You bastards, I’m going to finish this now if it takes every fracking laser Cannon and nuke that will still fire on this ship.”

“Commander, we have a firing solution.” Commented the gunnery officer.

“FIRE, FIRE, FIRE, give it everything we’ve fracking got, she has to go NOW or it’s game over for the Tigh.”
“AYE AYE, firing now….

One final phalanx of nukes sped towards the deadly Base Star and her hull was blasted into oblivion, Sheba had done it!
“YESSSS, COME ON” The crew cheered in unison as Sheba snarled.
“Helm get us to the Tigh R.F.N and I mean bust the fracking F.T.L drives if you have to.” She barked.

“Pegasus actual to Tigh, hold on Marc, we’re on our way….”

“Tigh actual to Pegasus, thanks Sheba but it’s too late, we are….
Hold on, we, WE ARE ABOUT TO BE RAMMED!” cried Jansen.

Barely had the words left his mouth when one Cylon Raider slammed into the forward observation deck of the C.I.C before the crews could lower the blast shields.
Officers were sent flying as fragments of debris and glass flew through the air.

Scene 9 – The Heaviest Price

A few moments later and Rigal assessed the damage….

“Shit, that was fracking close!” He exclaimed, assuming all the officers had sustained only minor injuries.

“Are you OK Marc, MARC TALK TO ME!” He cried.

Commander Jansen had taken a shard of glass to his heart and was bleeding out.

“MEDIC, MEDIC TO THE C.I.C NOW” He yelled as Jansen lay mortally wounded.

The Tigh was continuing its path to point blank range toward the Base Ship as John Rigal knelt to hold his commanders head in his hands.
Jansen struggled to speak but managed to whisper in his X. O’s ear….

“Finish this John, get the bastards for me, get the bad guys, it’s up to you now my friend, it’s been…..

Commander Jansen died in Rigal’s arms.


“Continue on our course to the Base Star.” He commanded sternly. “This ends now.”

“Sir, they are preparing to fire their remaining nukes, we will not survive another salvo.” Advised the gunnery officer.

“I don’t fracking care, you will obey, I am in full command now and will carry out our orders, now get us to point blank range before they have chance to fire those nukes.”
“Aye Sir, coming up on point blank range now.”

“Engineering, release all holding clamps on the portside flight pod and prepare all charges, set to maximum explosion.” Ordered Rigal.
A moment later….

“Complete Sir, the pod is ready to be released.” Very well, commented Rigal calmly before continuing….

“RIGHT, now you Cylon scum, I spit my last venom at you, I curse my last breath at you…
“RELEASE THE POD NOW, RIGHT DOWN THEIR FRACKING THROATS, aim it between the upper and lower saucers and jam it into their central core.” He ordered.

As ordered, the port side pod blasted away from the main hull of the Tigh and sped toward the hapless Cylon Base Star and rammed itself into the ship causing it to ripple as it wedged itself into the ships core.

“Right, now all astern full, get us to a safe distance from that ship and spin us around, we need to protect that exposed port side from them.” He commanded.

Gradually at first, then quickly, the ship moved away from the Cylon Base Star and finally, mercifully was at a safe distance.

“On screen tactical, I want to watch those bastards burn for what they did to our Commander.”

The entire C.I.C, despite some horrific injuries, all turned to watch the rear viewing screen, the forward screen having been smashed into pieces. They prayed as the Base Star began to burn uncontrollably.

After a few minutes, the ship erupted into a thousand burning fragments of metal and fire.
A massive cheer erupted in the C.I.C before Rigal stopped the crew in their tracks….

“Alright officers, we still have plenty of work to do to secure this ship, we aren’t out of danger yet.” He barked.

After several more minutes the Pegasus finally arrived as Sheba ordered her damage control teams into shuttles to assist the Tigh crew in securing the warship from exploding.

Finally, she was out of danger, but elsewhere the battle raged on….

Scene 10 – The Hive Can’t Help

On the Behemoth Lucifer and Spectre’s teams were sweeping their way through deck after deck of the giant hulk of a ship, gradually flushing out each Centurion one by one.

The process was taking hours but the two I.L series Cylons went about their task with machine efficiency. Unlike their human counterparts’ time meant nothing to them, only the end result!

Mercifully, the tide was turning in favour of the colonial fleet, only one Darkstar Base Star remained but the stubborn Beta class Base Ships would not yield.

Meanwhile on board the Omega….

“Sir, we are getting reports that the Delphian vessel has remained dormant, it seems you were right not to rely on her.” Commented Athena to Boomer.

Hmm, I remember Spectre saying something about returning that component we took from her, the one that revived Apollo, I think it’s possible that we are responsible for the ship remaining dormant.” He moaned.

“What, you think without it the ship can’t activate?” she quizzed.

“Yes Athena, it seems now we only have one ship with E.M.P capabilities, the Galactica, get word to Starbuck, we may need him to assist in the mopping up of those Beta ships Athena.”

“Aye Sir, on it….”

“Omega actual to the Galactica, what’s your status Starbuck?” asked Athena.

We are co-ordinating the viper and raptor wings and overseeing events over on the Behemoth, and of course waiting for that Delphian ship to fire into life, we could do with that E.M.P technology Athena.”

“We can’t rely on that vessel Starbuck, without that power source we took from her she can’t fully utilise the technology, well according to Boomer anyway.”

“So, you want me to do what?”

“We want you to get among those Beta ships and try and take the heat off the cruisers and try to deploy your E.M.P for long enough to temporarily disable them. The cruisers are struggling to finish them off.”

“Roger that Athena my love, consider it done, then you owe me one in the officers’ club later.” Grinned Starbuck.
Get rid of those Base Ships and you’ll get more than a beer she laughed.

“Athena, your brother is listening in, knock it off.” This isn’t the time for levity He moaned.

“Helm, you heard the lady, take us into the centre of those four Cylon ships and let’s try and giver those toasters something else to worry about.” He commented.

“Well Galactica old girl looks like there’s one last battle in you after all” sighed Adama looking on as Starbuck nodded ruefully.

Within minutes the Galactica was bearing down on the four Cylon warships, as Boomer had hoped they took the bait, and all broke off from their attacks on the cruisers.

“Yes, they’ve swallowed the pill, they’re coming for the Galactica.” Smiled Starbuck.

“Should we activate the E.M.P now Apollo?” asked Starbuck.

“NO, wait until they are all confirmed as within range of the blast wave, we may only get one shot at this.” Commented Adama.

“It’s gonna get awful sticky for the old girl Apollo, she might not come out of this.” Countered Starbuck.

“That’s exactly why I ordered only a skeleton crew on board during this battle, I was afraid she’d get called upon.” He moaned.

“I er, I’m sorry Apollo but your just too damn important to the whole colony, “Security, escort the Admiral to Alpha bay and get him in a shuttle and off the Galactica!” Ordered Starbuck

No sooner had the words left Starbuck’s mouth that all four warships sped towards the Galactica at light speed and within moments she was surrounded, it was too late and Adama would have to remain on board.

“No offence Apollo, it’s just that your still recovering and…..”

It’s OK my old friend, but there’s no time now anyway. Besides, I should be here on the Galactica if she is to have one final battle, It’s only right.” He argued.

“It now seems the entire outcome of the battle could now rest on the dear old Girl!” He moaned with resignation.

Scene 11 – Galactica’s Final Battle

“Anders get me a fix on those four Base Stars stat” commanded Starbuck to the tactical officer Anders Ludstrom.

“I want to know the exact moment they are all within range of the E.M.P arrays.”

“Roger that chief.” Replied Ludstrom without moving his gaze from his scanners.

“Let’s hope they’re unaware the Galactica has the technology and just want her for a prize eh Starbuck?” Commented Adama hopefully.

“I’m betting all my gambling cubits on just that Apollo.” He replied.

“We both know how arrogant the Cylons are my friend, they’ve been after the Galactica for thirty years.” Grimaced Adama.

“Well, she aint goin’ down without a fight my old friend, she still has a trick in her.” Winked Starbuck.

“That she does, good luck buddy, now I guess you’re going to wrap me up in cotton wool right?”

“I Am.” Replied Starbuck.

“Guards, you are to protect the Admiral at ALL costs do you hear me, you are to surround his body with your own and shield him from any potential debris if those bastards ram, do you hear?” Snapped Starbuck.

“Sir yes Sir, replied the security Chief.

“OK, cry havoc! and let slip the dogs of war.” Exalted Starbuck.

“Ah yes, a quote from Earth Starbuck? Mark Antony in Julius Caesar.” Grinned Apollo.

The Cylons were very wily opponents and closed in on the Galactica with extreme caution, it was almost as if they were paying the old ship their final respects before dispatching her to the stars, or more likely they were toying with the old ship in the way a cat toys with a mouse before the kill!
Would That hesitancy cost them?

Finally, the four ships in unison fired their mega lasers at the Galactica as if that respect was just a myth.
The old warship rocked with the impact of four Cylon Base Star’s opening up their primary weapons on her!

“Status report, gunnery teams, damage control teams, what’s the damage?”

“Shields down to forty percent Sir, we can’t take much more of this…. we’ll.”

“Yes, I know, Anders, for fracks sake how long?” Snapped Starbuck.

“Their coming Starbuck, their coming.” Commented Adama reassuringly.

The Cylons continued the attack as the Galactica continued to play dead in a ruse to lure the enemy in, it was working, but could the Galactica hold on!

“SIR, THEY ARE ALL IN RANGE NOW” cried Ludstrom.

“Right, let them have it, activate the Electromagnetic pulse NOW!” Yelled Starbuck.

The four Base Ships were preparing to put the Galactica out of her misery, but Starbuck had other ideas.

He watched on the main viewing screen as the invisible pulse waves washed over the enemy ships and the lights and weapon systems in all four powered down, but not before a phalanx of nukes had been fired at the burning Galactica!

Adama and Starbuck held their breath as some of the nukes hit all sides of the old warship.

The Galactica had held, Starbuck had done it!

“Galactica actual to cruisers, you are clear to commence your final attack on the Beta Darkstar’s, finish the bastards off and let’s mop this up.” Ordered Starbuck proudly.

“Sir, Admiral, there are reports coming in of fires breaking out all over the ship, she’s breaking up Admiral, Chief Marshall.” Cried the tactical officer Ludstrom to his two superior officers.

The Galactica began to burn on most of her main decks and it was only a matter of time before her landing bays would also be engulfed in flames!

The once mighty warship was in her death throes, although a once formidable fighting machine, her hull was, despite many refits old and weak. She had been reduced to a bit part in the fleet for a long time, now she was paying the ultimate price for sacrificing herself for the good of the fleet.

“Galactica actual to all cruisers, delay that last order, stay back and don’t waste any more of your precious crew, the Galactica is dying, we are about to initiate the self-destruct codes, I say again stay back, we’ll finish them off.” Commanded Starbuck.

“Very well, give the order Starbuck, I just can’t bring myself to do it.” Requested Adama tearfully.

“All hands, all hands, this is your X.O, abandon ship, marines, prepare all teams to escort the Admiral and senior officers to the flight pods Stat!”

“I say again, abandon ship!” Ordered Starbuck.

“I’m not leaving without you Starbuck!” Exclaimed Adama.

“Apollo, you know what I’m about to do, you need to get off this ship NOW!” Exclaimed an exasperated Starbuck.

“Listen Starbuck, there isn’t much time so listen carefully, I’ve been having severe heart pains ever since they revived me, I don’t think I’m going to last much longer anyway. Please, don’t order me off the Galactica, let me go down with her, with you?”

You know it takes the C/O and X/O both to initiate a self-destruct command, I know Ludstrom will volunteer but he has his whole life ahead of him, and a glittering career, let’s go down with her as it was meant to be, you and I till the end.”

“Very well Apollo, till the end.” He replied meekly.

“Anders, you are to arm ALL nuclear warheads, collect all the important hard drives, ships data drives and the captain’s log, then get the frack off this ship, that’s an order.” Barked Starbuck.

“God bless you both, it’s been the greatest honour of my career even if I live to a hundred, to have served under you both.” Cried Ludstrom.

“So, earn your reprieve Anders, you will make a fine commander one day, earn it and live a full life.” Replied Adama.

Starbuck checked to ensure the rest of the crew had evacuated safely, and once satisfied Ludstrom was away and only he and Adama remained, the two men began to initiate the self-destruct command codes.

“Starbuck, can you just check to make sure those Base Ships are definitely within the blast zone?” asked Apollo anxiously.

“I already did, they are, we’ll get them all my old friend.” Replied Starbuck.

“Then let’s do this….”

“Computer, this is commanding officer Lee Adama, initiate self-destruct - verification codes I06777WDE.”

“Computer, this is executive officer Starbuck, initiate self-destruct - verification codes I06777WDE.”

“Self-destruct verification codes authenticated, initiating now, counting down from ten minutes.” Came the terse reply from the female computer voice.

“Just one thing left to do now Starbuck, let’s leave Boomer and the warriors a parting gift….”

“I am about to send an encrypted message I recorded earlier for the president to read upon my demise.” It sets out my expectations for the fleet going forward and my recommendations in the event of some of our commanders being killed.”

“Wow Apollo, you’ve really thought this through haven’t you!” said a Stunned Starbuck.

“To be honest my old friend I always had serious doubts about surviving this day, this battle. I just haven’t been right since the heart attack and coma. I’ve been having really bad chest pains and have had trouble sleeping, then when I do I keep getting this recurring nightmare about dying.

I now know why; they weren’t so much nightmares as premonitions.” Added Apollo.

“Well, since we are having this conversation, I too have been having visions, in my dream we die together, but we die in making history my old friend.” Replied Starbuck.

I’m okay with it now Apollo, I don’t know about you but the thought of ending up a washed up old cripple reminiscing about the days when we could get in our vipers and give the toasters a bloody nose whilst some carer wiped our asses never appealed to me. I always wanted to go out as a great warrior in a blaze of glory, and what better way than delivering the final nail in the Cylons coffin!
This is how it should be for all great warriors Apollo, to die with a roar, not with a whimper.” Smiled Starbuck.

Scene 12 – Into Elysium

Adama cleared his throat, his shaking hand releasing the handset on his console from its cradle for him to address the fleet one last time….

“Galactica actual to fleet, you will by now realise Starbuck and I have initiated the self-destruct codes on the Galactica. She’s done for my friends as are we. Don’t mourn us for we leave this life safe in the knowledge we have delivered the last death blow to the treacherous Cylons by our own hands.

We are not afraid, to Sheba I say this, you were the love of my life if only briefly, never did I ever believe I could love again after the loss of my beloved Serina, but you came and made my life complete again.
To Athena I say this, my dear sister, you will make a fine commander one day, you carry my dreams and those of Starbuck with you, go find Earth, raise the colonial flag, and carry the Adama name into eternity.
To Boomer I say, be the great Admiral you are turning out to be, you have this day achieved the greatest victory in the history of the colonies. You will be remembered in the great history books my friend, I will miss you, but I will always be with you in your dreams to guide you.
Lastly to my dear son Troy, today you have proved the man you really are, you have fought valiantly, and you have made me so immensely proud. I love you with all my heart son.”

Starbuck then began to speak…

“To all my brave warriors, Blue squadron, Silver Spar, and all, you have fought with bravery and honour this day, you have once again restored the honour of your squadrons and ships.
To Cassie, thank you for loving me when I was an arrogant young fool and making me a man.

To Athena, thank you for loving that man and giving my life meaning, please don’t cry my love, I am happy to die with the greatest man and friend I could ever wish for, knowing we gave the final death blow to the Cylons is comfort enough for us both.

“To Dhillon, I’m sorry we never got the chance to get to know each other better, but I love you and I am so proud of you. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you when you needed me and that I wasn’t a better father. You have turned out to be a fine warrior and, thanks to Cassie, a fine man.”

Starbuck switched off the transmitter on the handset for a brief moment to whisper to Apollo….

“Now, I just happen to have a flask of whiskey in my tunic Apollo.” Grinned Starbuck through tears of pride.
“Let’s toast, to the Galactica, the greatest warship in the history of the colonies, and to those we are about to join in eternity.”

Apollo retook the handset and added one last request….

“Mister president, I have sent you a message, you too Boomer. Mister President please, I beg you, don’t let this hard fought victory go to waste, complete the fleet, build a new Galactica to lead the mission to Earth, carry the flagship’s name on, and for the late President Adair, a new Atlantia to help protect Terra in the absence of the discovery fleet.”
“We love you all and we are at peace, long live Terra and may the Lords of Kobol go with you all.”

Scene 12 – Goodbye Galactica

The minutes counted agonisingly down to two, one minute, the two men took a final swig from Starbucks flask and embraced as they awaited the final explosion to send them into eternity….
Suddenly an almighty blast emanated from the mighty old ship as she spat her last fire and exploded into a million pieces of molten fragments. As the blast wave radiated, the four Cylon Base Stars were completely obliterated by the shockwave of the nuclear explosion and were sent with her to their graves.

The Beta Darkstar’s were no more, the Behemoth completely ravaged by the friendly Cylon forces of Lucifer and Spectre meaning only one functional Cylon Base Star remained.

Boomer’s anger and rage was absolute, he was determined to avenge his brothers in arms.

He took the Omega to within a few hundred feet of the ship to ram home the advantage.

Within a few minutes the enemy ship launched a lone raider signalling the internationally known colonial surrender codes to the Omega.

Within minutes the I.L series Cylon leader of the ship was at the feet of Boomer surrendering the Cylon fleet to the colony.
The battle was won, but at a terrible cost as not a single warship from either side was left undamaged, and most Cylon ships were beyond repair.

The Pegasus and Omega had sustained extensive damage, the Tolan had her circuits ripped out by E.M.P waves and the Tigh was all but destroyed.
As word came through that every last Cylon had been destroyed or surrendered, Boomer sank to his knees and wept, on the Pegasus Sheba too sank to her knees. All around the fleet the warriors all felt helpless. Far from hailing the victory with the ship’s horns, there was nothing, just a desolate silence for the hollowest of victories.

Boomer was desolate at the loss of his two dearest friends, the two men who went with him from childhood, the academy, the destruction of the colonies, the thirty-year journey through the stars to find Earth. These thoughts all weighed heavily on his already troubled soul.

Despite this, he knew he was now in effect the new Admiral and had to show the courage of his departed friends and steel himself to finish the job and get his ships, warriors, and the spoils of war back home to Terra.
Out of respect for Adama, he refused to use his new rank to address his warriors until it was made official, instead addressing them all as Vice Admiral….

“Comms, please open a channel to all ships, I wish to address the fleet.”
“Aye Sir, opening a channel now.”

“Vice Admiral Boomer to fleet, today we have won a decisive victory, you have honoured me, your Admiral, your fellow warriors and the whole colony of Terra. I thank you all for the sacrifices you have made today. Though Those down on the surface of our new home and those in the civilian fleet will be unaware of our exploits here today, they soon will be!
My brave warriors, I will make sure that every living soul in our new colony hears of the bravery, commitment and sacrifice you have made to rid us all of the Cylons and secure the safety of our new home.
We will recover from this, we will repair and restore our fleet, we will honour our dead and prepare to fulfil Admiral Adama’s final dream in his honour, to complete our mission to Earth.
The entire fleet replied, “SO SAY WE ALL, SO SAY WE ALL.”

Scene 13 – Limping Home

Boomer began the grim task of visiting the wounded in the life centre of his ship, mercifully there were few fatalities on the Omega, other ships in the fleet weren’t so lucky!

He walked into a side ward within the medical facility and saw one young deck hand with bandages covering most of his body where a flash flare had inflicted severe burns.

“Sir, did we do it, did we get them all?” he asked.

Boomer knelt to comfort the young man.

“We did son, thanks to brave men like you we did, we took some damage, some casualties, but the job is done, and the fleet can go home.”

He then stood to address the wounded and raised his voice.

“Did you all hear what I just said to this young man, we did it, rest easy my brave warriors, your comrades have prevailed, we took the fight to the Cylons and we won, thank you, and may the Gods bless you all.”

“Vice Admiral Boomer to the C.I.C, Vice Admiral Boomer to the C.I.C.” Called Athena through the ships P.A system.

“On my way Athena”, he quickly replied through his communicator.

He hurried back to the C.I.C see where a tearful Athena was waiting for him.

“Sir, the reports are coming in from all ships, damage and casualty reports, there pretty extensive, they….”

She paused to attempt to compose herself but burst into tears as the horror of losing her brother and lover began to hit home.

“Athena, go and get some rest, your about to collapse, get some rest, that’s an order, and thank you, your bravery today has been incredible and I couldn’t have pulled this off without you, now go, I have the conn.” Commanded Boomer.

He desperately wanted to comfort Athena but knew there was still much to be done to prepare the fleet in readiness for the journey home, most notably ensuring each ship was stable enough to withstand the rigours of the two F.T.L jumps back to the Terran quadrant.

He too was nearing collapse but his pride in his crews and love for his fallen comrades pushed him on as he began to check off the tasks in his long list before they could head home.

When he was satisfied his fellow commanders were able to stabilise their ships he attempted to contact Spectre who, with Lucifer was securing the captured Behemoth for its retrieval.

“This is Omega actual to Spectre, do you have a sitrep for me?”
“Yes Vice Admiral, we are making good progress with the securing of the Behemoth, you may proceed with the retrieval of the last Base Star.

After a further two hours the first ship was ordered to jump back to the fleet.

The cruiser named ‘Odin’ was sent to get word back to Terra to prepare for their arrival, as she was the least damaged of the fleet.
Boomer knew the president and Sire Galen would by now be facing difficult questions as to the whereabouts of the fleet and would be desperate for news of the outcome of the battle.

Five hours later and the Odin, with her shattered crew, made it back to Terran orbit where a phalanx of support and medical craft were awaiting the fleets first arrival.

A newly built military transport ship called the ‘Hercules’ was loaded with medical supplies and portable F.T.L drives to help get the captured ships into Terran orbit and was dispatched immediately.

The next twelve hours saw the fleet gradually limp back to Terra, the next ship back being the crippled Battlestar Tigh.
Upon seeing the ravaged ship the president was moved to tears knowing a great many of her crew would have perished inside her fire ravaged hull.

Finally as all ships returned, all trace of the battle was gone from the scene, all smoke and debris now dissipated as if the immensity of space had deliberately hid the evidence of there ever being a battle at all!

Hundreds of medical ships, fire crews, shuttles and support craft swarmed around the damaged ships in a bid to get the wounded warriors the medical aid they desperately needed before more lives were lost.

Thanks to the diligence of Sire Galen, two giant new medical vessels planned for the voyage to Earth, the ‘Nightingale’ and ‘Pasteur’ were commandeered. Though not fully complete they were able to take many of the wounded to assist the medical ship Mercy.

Twenty-four hours later after a full nights rest, Vice Admiral Boomer was summoned to an emergency cabinet meeting aboard the Ship of Governance to brief the senate on the battle in full.

He would be forced to relive every detail but knew the people would be desperate for news on the outcome of the battle and that the sooner he faced them the sooner he could get back to the fleet and helping his warriors face their traumas.

Scene 14 – No Comfort in Victory

He duly arrived at the ship on schedule but surprised all in the senate by insisting on a full press briefing to inform the entire colony of the outcome of the battle, he had no wish to relive it again and again. He knew he simply could not afford to dwell on the battle and the loss of his dear friends, his warriors would need his firm leadership now more than ever.

He did however agree to give a more private and detailed briefing to the senate immediately before the press conference to give the political leaders time to digest the magnitude of the battle.
He waited for the senators to take their seats before pouring himself a glass of water.

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the Senate, firstly, please forgive my hesitancy but the information I am about to divulge is extremely delicate and of a graphic nature.

I now have the full inventory reports from all ships in the fleet with a full breakdown of the damage to, and casualties on each vessel.
I now have to report the gravest of news senators…..”

He paused for a moment to gather his composure before continuing.

“Mister President, senators it is with the profoundest of regret that I have to report that our Admiral, Lee Adama and his executive officer on board the Galactica perished along with the ship itself.”

Huge gasps sounded around the room as he paused to allow the information to be processed by the senators.

“However, I have immense pride informing you all that both officers died in the knowledge they were instrumental in delivering the final death blow to the Cylon fleet.

I have prepared for you all copies of my initial report on the battle to read at your discretion, it does however contain some graphic detail so please bear this in mind.

In short senators, the Battlestar’s Tigh and Tolan were the most seriously damaged, in point of fact it was only the bravery of Commander Jansen, who paid with his own life, that saved the Tigh. I must also go on record to commend the bravery and quick thinking of his Executive Officer, John Rigal, who, despite having witnessed his commanding officer perish, carried out one of the bravest and most brilliant manoeuvres I have ever seen, especially from such an inexperienced officer.

Suffice it to say, all my initial findings are in the report, but in short, we lost one thousand and twenty-four crewmen, one hundred and thirty-six viper pilots and the Galactica.
In contrast our pilots destroyed over four hundred enemy raiders and our ships destroyed all four Beta Base Stars, all at the hands of the Galactica, and three of the four capital ships, two at the hands of John Rigal and the Battlestar Tigh, despite her terrible damage and casualties.

Finally, I am pleased to report we have captured the prize asset of their new capital ship known as the Behemoth.
In summary Mister President, I have to divulge to you this battle could barely have been closer. It is clear to me now that it was imperative that we took ALL of our warships, otherwise the outcome would surely have been defeat. I would like to go on record to thank you for your trust in me and feel it has been vindicated.
My report ends.”

Three hours later and the senate had time to digest Boomers report. A full press conference was convened on the Presidential vessel in the presence of Boomer, Sire Valentine, Rear Admiral Helena Cain, and Sire Galen.

The C.N.N news crew were ordered by Galen to halt their regular bulletins and send a team directly to the senate ship to find the four already seated in the press room as the news of the battle gradually filtered through to the media as they filed into the room.

After a few minutes, the room filled with reporters and observers from every corner of the colony, the speed at which the news conference was called served notice to all that something monumental had happened!

The President looked pale and nervous but soon gathered his composure to deliver possibly the most significant speech of his tenure, even at this early stage. He had entrusted his entire future on the promises of his military to deliver, they had done so. Yet the sadness he felt at the terrible losses sustained led him to wonder if he had done the right thing in sanctioning the attack at all!

Finally, he stood to address the packed room.

“Ladies and Gentlemen all, when I took office I made several bold promises. I promised to deliver you a network of defence systems that would guarantee the security of Terra, I have delivered.
I also promised I would map out the Route to Earth, I have delivered.
Admittedly I still have work to carry out the appointment of a new quorum of the twelve, but you have my solemn vow, I will deliver on this as well.
Now to the fourth and possibly most critical promise I made to you all ahead of my election, to deliver you all from the Cylons, well it is my privilege to report to you all now, thanks to our noble and brave military, it is done!

Forty-eight hours ago I ordered our entire Battle fleet to engage the largest Cylon force ever detected. This enemy force was searching for us here on Terra and was almost upon us. Upon consulting our military leaders it became apparent that this task force presented a clear and present danger to us all on this new colony, notwithstanding the newly formed installation known as TERRADACA and the impressive strides made by our ground defence forces.

With these facts in mind and our intelligence reports confirming the size and location of the Cylon fleet, I was forced to make the most critical of decisions. To either let the enemy fleet pass us by in the unlikely hope they would not detect us, or, to use the element of surprise to engage and destroy the remnants of the Cylon empire once and for all, ridding us of the threat forever!
It is with both sadness and pride I can report, despite terrible losses, our warriors have prevailed!”

Ever the statesman, he simply took a step back from the lectern to allow the assembled media and observers to applaud the exploits of Boomer and his warriors before turning to the more unpleasant task of announcing the devastating news of the losses, particularly of their beloved Admiral.

He stood once more and raised his hand to quell the cacophony of voices in the audience.

“However, it is with the greatest of sorrow I have to tell you all now, our victory has come at a very heavy price, possibly the heaviest for our military leaders to have to bear, namely the loss of our dear Admiral, Lee Adama.

You are all aware of the existence of our legendary Battlestar Galactica, the very ship that led us all here from the colonies to Gamoray, and on to Terra. It was always hoped that it would be the Galactica under the command of Admiral Adama that finally led us to the promised land.

Sadly, I have to report, the Galactica was lost in battle along with the Admiral and his Executive Officer Starbuck, our Air Chief Marshall, in neutralising no less than four enemy ships.

Our ships sustained heavy losses and damage, over a thousand crewmen and viper pilots lost their lives in securing victory.
Fortunately only the Galactica was lost in contrast to the Cylons losing seven of their nine ships, only one capital Base Star remaining from four.

All four of their smaller Base Ships were completely destroyed by the Galactica, which self-destructed in their midst when she was damaged beyond repair, taking them all with her.

I am relieved to report all their remaining ships and warriors are now under our control, and to add, we have captured their newest and most formidable ship, a giant aircraft carrier known as the Behemoth.

Once our detailed analysis of the battle is complete and we have secured the vital intelligence we need for our military, certain facts will be declassified for the media to distribute, omitting any sensitive information vital to our military officers.

I am certain many of you, if not all will be wondering why I chose to keep these plans a strict secret until after the battle, quite simple.
It was absolutely vital to maintain secrecy in order to assure the complete element of surprise, given the size of the enemy fleet, and the very real possibility of Cylon spies in our midst, as unlikely as that may seem.

So, with these facts in mind, I take full responsibility for the battle, but none of the credit for its eventual success.
The credit for that must go to the military alone, and in particular the man on my right, our new Admiral Paul Boomer.
Sir, we all owe you and your brave warriors a massive debt of gratitude, one that I fear we will never be able to fully repay.”

Once again the entire room rose to pay tribute to Boomer as the crowd began to shout his name over and over.
“BOOMER, BOOMER, BOOMER” to his obvious embarrassment.

He then stood to address the audience himself….

“Ladies and Gentlemen all, let me be clear, without the bravery and skill of my warriors, this victory would not have been possible.
Also, without the strong leadership of our new president, this victory would never have been conceived in the first place.
Mister President, I pay tribute to you, and you Sire Galen, the man who gave us the tools to complete the job, thank you both on behalf of my warriors for your unstinting support.”

Now I pledge you all this, with the help of the president and Sire Galen, we will rebuild this battle fleet and complete the Discovery fleet. We will honour our fallen by completing the quest of our departed Admiral and finally strike for Earth.”
“SO SAY WE ALL, SO SAY WE ALL.” Came the emotional cry from all.
Finally, Sire Galen rose to conclude the press conference…..

“Your president has delivered, your Admiral has delivered, and now I will deliver, Boomer, you will have a new Galactica if I have to fund it myself, and any other ships needed to protect Terra from any and all other threats out there, and Mister President, you will have your Discovery fleet completed.

Now I make one simple request, to all out there in the new colony, in the fleet. I asked you once before and you came, now I am asking again, any engineers, designers, technicians? Anyone capable of lending a hand, please step forward and help me build, not only the strongest battle fleet in the history of the colonies, but a fleet to help build a permanent home here, and a permanent link between ourselves and Earth.”

…..And once again they came, the tourons, the Gemenons, the Picons, from every corner of the new colony to pledge their help to Galen, and so it began….

To Be Continued…..

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:19 am 
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Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage to Earth Episode 26 – The Price of Victory part 1

November 4th 7031

In the aftermath of the final conflict between the remnant Cylon forces and the Terran battle fleet came a time for mourning, reflection, and rebuilding.
Although a full two months had passed since the battle of Jansen Point, now named in honour of the fallen Battlestar Commander, Boomer and his warriors were still in a state of shock at the terrible loss of their Admiral, Air Chief Marshall and the beloved Galactica.
Ironically, the stock of Boomer and president Valentine was higher than it had ever been, their status elevated to demigods among the new colony, not that either of them cared.
They both felt guilt and remorse, Boomer feeling the survivors guilt many in the military feel after surviving a battle in which others perished.
Valentine’s guilt was even more profound, he alone bore the responsibility of sending the task force into harm’s way, even though he was coerced into doing so by his military leaders.

The price of victory had almost proved too high for them both, yet in his heart Boomer knew that engaging the Cylons was the right thing to do and that every warrior that perished would have gladly laid down their lives, even knowing it was to be their last day alive, including Apollo and Starbuck.
Whilst he and Valentine wrestled with their demons, Galen, the third pillar of the trio of power was in a completely different mindset, busying himself with the repairs to the battle fleet.
His rallying call for more construction crews had borne fruit. The Battlestar’s Omega and Pegasus were nearing the completion of their repairs being the least damaged from the battle, and were about to be sent for space trials to check the new systems and upgrades.
Galen was happy to have the limelight and plaudits bestowed upon his two counterparts, knowing it afforded him more time to complete his work uninterrupted, and knowing his recognition would come later.
In a moment of reflection the new Admiral decided to confide in his friends from the Ship of Worship, and in particular his new found kinship with Father Richardson, who had invited him to dinner in his plush quarters aboard the holy vessel.
Though his mind was troubled, Boomer was about to receive some comforting news from his pastor friends….

Scene 1 – Boomer Bears His Soul

The Ship of Worship, Father Richardson’s apartment.

“Come in my friend, take a seat with me whilst Andrea pours us some wine.”
Father Richardson’s wife duly poured the three a glass of red wine each and sat beside Boomer, she placed her hand over his to offer him comfort as he gazed around the plush dining room of the pastors as if he were in a trance.

“It may be a surprise for you to learn that the path to our door, and that of the Deveraux’s are very well trodden by the troubled souls of both the military and political leaders alike Admiral.” Smiled Andrea Richardson.
She continued:

“In fact only yesterday commander Johnson was here.”

“Jolly was here?”

“Yes Paul, he often visits us, he used to visit Father Deveraux senior many times before he was appointed commander of the ‘Tolan’, less so now since he’s been so busy on that ship.” Added Father Richardson.

“He too has been having restless nights since the battle, he can’t forgive himself for not getting to the damaged ship of the late commander Jansen, he feels if he could have powered up his ship in time the young commander may still be with us.
We of course told him that was nonsense, what happened to his ship could have happened to any of them, right?” He Questioned.

“Of course, Jolly is one of the finest, and probably the bravest of us all, he was instrumental in us finding our lost brothers on the planet Gamoray.” Added Boomer.

“Yes and that’s another reason he has been so troubled Admiral, what he saw down on that planet, the mutilated and burned bodies of those poor warriors in that garrison has haunted him ever since. He has been suffering from P.T.S.D.” commented the pastor.

“I had no idea; he has kept that to himself very well” commented Boomer ruefully.

“I advise you to keep a close eye on your warriors Paul, just as we keep a close eye on our flock down on the surface.” Added Father Richardson.

“Indeed, Jonathon and the Deveraux’s have been very busy of late, it’s been a constant procession of visitors to this holy ship, and not just the military Admiral, we have had many civilians and recently even the hitherto quiet and reserved President himself and some of his leading politicians have sought our council.” Added Andrea, a beautiful woman and curate in her own right.
Father Jonathan continued.

“Paul, we clergy realise full well that you and the president have had your differences, but like yourself, the president is a sincere man, but unlike you he does not take easily to conflict.

His heart is pure, but his resolve is steely like yours, and you both have much in common.

How can I put this delicately, you have large boots to fill now, there will never be another Adama, and there will never be another Sire Dmitri. What those two men achieved together for this colony was nothing short of astonishing, and if you two are to emulate their success you need to start working together.

Between the president and Sire Galen, but mostly you, you have achieved a magnificent victory, don’t let it go to waste for petty squabbling and, dare I say it, self-pity on your part. Admiral Adama and Air Chief Marshall Starbuck died for their own reasons and they wouldn’t want you to mourn them for too long.

They didn’t just die to sway the battle in your favour, they did it to give you the best possible chance of gaining the advantage over your political counterparts. In other words, to get you to where you need to be in completing your destiny of having the most powerful battle fleet since we left the colonies, one powerful enough to be split between those remaining and those heading for Earth, but you already know all this.

They both hoped that their bravery would serve to galvanise, not only the military, but civilian population alike…. and of course give you the leverage you require to complete his mission, to lead us to Earth.

Admiral Adama had an inkling that he would never fulfil his destiny and therefore wanted to afford you the best possible chance of succeeding where he had failed.

If it wasn’t apparent to the politicians how vulnerable our fleet was, it has now been laid bare by the closeness of the battle. This is the time for you to press home your advantage Boomer, to get the job done.”

Never before, and probably never again will your stock be higher, it is now you must strengthen your alliance with, not only the president but possibly more importantly Sire Galen.
Be in no doubt Admiral, it is he and he alone that has the tools to deliver you the battle fleet and civilian vessels required to achieve a successful mission to Earth and further our new colony here..”
Andrea interjected….

“If your heart is still troubled Paul, you can come here any time and take some wine, food, and a listening ear, but may we respectfully suggest that you take time to play back this message….”

At this point she handed Boomer a device containing the last recorded words and images of Apollo and Starbuck days before the fateful battle.

“Play it in silence, in solitude Admiral, it will give you peace.” Added Father Richardson.

“Is this what I think it is.” He replied, his eyes watering.

“It is, do not be troubled, there is much for you to take comfort in, trust us when we say your friends are in a better place, they are at peace now, their duties fulfilled.” Added the pastor.

“All your questions will be answered, not all at once but during the course of your new role as Admiral. Some will rise above others and prove to you their worthiness to lead, others will fall away. Be mindful that those in most turmoil are also the ones in most need of a clear direction, much like yourself.

Athena for example, she has lost more than anyone in the wake of this battle. She has lost both her brother and lover but is too proud and stubborn to seek our council, she is suffering my friend, she needs your strong guidance if she is to become the leader you hope she will.

Many of your senior officers are at breaking point Boomer, you have to watch them carefully and keep us informed of any mental breakdowns in your ranks.

We are here for you all Admiral, do not be afraid to use us. There is no shame in feeling afraid or alone.

In the meantime we suggest you milk in the goodwill of the people, the senate, and the military. Adama and Starbuck would not want you to mourn, on the contrary they would want you to celebrate.

Every victory comes at a price Paul, there was bound to be a price to pay this time with the biggest Cylon Armada we have ever faced, they both knew that. What did you honestly expect, a clean victory with no casualties?

Clear your mind, clear your conscience, and enjoy the love and thanks of our people, for it won’t last forever!

Now please, let us talk no more this evening, it is getting late and many of your answers lie in the device Andrea has given you. At least soon you will be back among your warriors, I understand repairs to your ship are almost complete. We will talk soon my friend, rest easy and may the Lords of Kobol guide you.”

With that Boomer embraced the Richardson’s and headed for his shuttle and his temporary home down on the surface.
With Father Deveraux and his son spending more and more time both on the surface and on the political ship, the Richardson’s were gaining more gravitas throughout the military as many more sought their council over the next weeks and months.
Just as Apollo and Starbuck came to rely upon Louis and Lucien, so too Boomer and the President relied upon the council and friendship of Jonathan and Andrea Richardson. Almost seamlessly, yet unwittingly, the old order was being replaced by the new, both politically and militarily.

Scene 2 – A Timely Boost

Boomer knew he had to clear his mind and quickly. The wise words of Father Richardson chined with him but he felt uneasy about heading down to the surface and the adulation of the civilians.
He felt it disrespectful to his fallen comrades to accept the accolades and gratitude of the people, however well deserved, knowing his dearest friends had perished so that he and others might live and flourish!
However, that was exactly what he needed, and as his shuttle landed in the main square he was duly met by a group of revellers celebrating the victory over the Cylons.

“Hey, that’s Admiral Boomer’s shuttle, it has the crest of the Battlestar Omega!” shouted one young woman from outside a bar in the main square of Zelan City.

Gradually word spread through the town as partygoers spilled out into the street to greet the newest hero of the colony.
Boomer felt uneasy and nervous as his shuttle was gradually surrounded by crowds of young revellers, all anxious to meet him and have their picture taken with the great Admiral Boomer.

One young lady, much the worse for wear began to embrace him and laughed, “Can I have your babies.” As her friends teased her mercilessly, having filmed her transgression.

“Boomer began to relax and enjoy the attention, if only for a short while to divert himself from his torment.

He looked at the attractive young lady and grinned, “Hey, maybe if I was thirty years younger honey.” And duly kissed her on the cheek.
One young man plucked up the courage to ask Boomer where he was staying and would he like to join him and his friends for a celebratory drink.

“Well I would happily tell you where I’m staying but somehow I don’t think that’s a good idea for security reasons, but I will join you for a beer young man, lead on….”

Boomer thought to himself “I must be mad; I don’t know who these young people are.”

He needn’t have worried as the news of the victory, and the cost to the military had been widely broadcast on the C.N.N network, thanks to Sire Galen.
At that moment, the people of Terra would have stopped a bullet for him, such was the awe and gratitude he now commanded.

As the evening dragged on into morning, the large group of mainly young students quizzed the Admiral about life on board a Battlestar and in the military.

He reminisced about his younger days as a hot shot viper pilot and the many skirmishes he, Starbuck, Apollo, and Jolly had before the fall of the colonies.

Despite his advancing years and copious amounts of alcohol, he still held court with the crowd and remained sober, drinking his new friends under the table, and captivating the young girls in the group.

He was after all still a handsome man, although he was very shy among the opposite sex, especially when they were so young.

Despite the revelling he knew he was stalling, he was uneasy about spending any more time in temporary accommodation on the surface, he wanted to get back to the bridge of the Omega and begin rebuilding his fleet as soon as possible.

Though his thoughts kept flashing back to Adama and Starbuck, and his tortured officers and warriors, he took great comfort seeing the young citizens and students beginning to build new lives on Terra.

“Say Admiral, dare I ask, I don’t mean to be disrespectful to the dead but…. well I’m guessing you will be recruiting for their replacements.
I was hoping to offer my services, to become a cadet in the new navy.” Asked a young boy trying to hide a bottle of beer behind his back, no older than seventeen.

“Yes indeed, your question isn’t disrespectful young man, and yes you are right, there will indeed be a big recruitment drive over the coming weeks, what were you hoping to train as?” asked an impressed Boomer.

“In the fleet air corps sir, maybe as a deck hand or flight engineer.”

“Very well” answered Boomer, “give me your details and one of my officers will contact you very soon…..”

“Oh and there will be plenty of beer for those of you old enough to drink it.” He added winking at the young man.

“In fact that offer goes for any of you, we will rebuild this fleet, we will repair the damaged ships, we will need warriors of all kinds, we will need medics, pilots and engineers.
We will also need workers for Sire Galen’s civilian fleet, shipbuilders and surface roles like teachers, doctors, construction workers, you name it.

I say to all you students, you are the future of this new colony, do your absolute best, the future is yours, go out there and grab it. Now is the time to forge your futures.”

He had unwittingly began a recruitment drive that spread throughout the town over the next days and weeks as many young students volunteered for cadetships in the military and others applied for civilian roles. For the first time Boomer saw first-hand the fruits of the Presidents labour and the new city of Zelan coming alive with new blood and new hope.

He left the bar and his new young friends with renewed hope as the sun was rising over Zelan City and headed for his temporary lodgings nearby. As he walked he prayed that he would soon be back in the C.I.C of the Omega and back with his warriors where he felt at home.
His prayers were about to be answered….

“Omega actual to Admiral Boomer, do you copy?” A Startled Boomer raised his arm to speak into his communicator.

“Yes Athena, I copy, what is it?”

“Sir, she’s ready, the Omega has completed her space trials, Chief Construction Engineer Beckett has cleared her for full duties, the crew are returning as I speak, she’s fully operational Boomer.” She said with pride.

“But what are you doing on the bridge, I gave you shore leave?”

“Yes and I’m grateful but I can’t mope around crying over Apollo and Starbuck, I have to keep working, I need to keep busy.” She replied.

She added, “Take your time sir, I’m more than happy to cover for you, we’re just running instrument checks so it’s all pretty mundane stuff anyhow. In fact you could do me a favour, I hear they are constructing an arboretum and memorial gardens for the fallen warriors on the outskirts of the town.
Apparently they’re going to commission some kind of statue in remembrance of Apollo and all the officers and have a military cemetery.
Do you think you could take a look for me and get some images until I get chance to go?” She asked.

“Yes, yes of course I can, I’ll get my pilot to take a quick detour En route to the Omega.”

Knowing matters were well in hand on the repaired Battlestar Omega, Athena wanted to afford herself as much time as possible as acting commander to help divert her mind from her own grief.

She also knew it would do no harm for her career and for Boomer to spend time on the surface with the workers on the new cemetery. She wanted him to reflect and give himself some perspective of what they had achieved and lost!

The last thing she needed at that time was his sympathy and pity.

She had judged his mood very well and as his shuttle neared the construction site he saw from above the efforts the civilians were going to in order to show due respect to the fallen, it gave him great comfort.

As his shuttle landed on the edge of a row of poplar trees overlooking the site, he looked on as hundreds of workers were lovingly preparing row after row of plots for the graves of the fallen warriors.

The care and respect they were showing brought a tear to his eyes as he descended toward the site where they were digging and laying out the boundaries of the huge site covering several acres.

One of the construction supervisors spotted him and beckoned to his workers as he shouted to them to stop work and acknowledge the architect of their deliverance.

The men all offered their hand to Boomer as he gladly greeted them all with a firm handshake.

“Thank you all for what you’re doing for us, it will mean a great deal to my warriors to come here and reflect when this new cemetery is complete.” He said humbly.

“Admiral, it is us who should be thanking you, what you have all done for our people, we can now all look to the future with renewed hope. Our children can grow up without the fear of another Cylon attack.” Answered the construction supervisor.
He continued.

“There is fresh optimism in the town now, people have a spring in their step, and they are all indebted to you and the warriors Admiral.” He added.

“Well I can tell you all this, now we have rid ourselves of the Cylons we are pressing ahead with our plans to head for Earth. As we speak Sire Galen, formerly of the council of the twelve is heading up construction of our new fleet bound for Earth.
He has amassed a huge team of engineers, they are working around the clock to get the fleet ready, and also repairs to the warships. Replied Boomer.

“Admiral is it true we lost the Galactica in the battle?” asked one worker.

“Yes I’m afraid so, along with our Admiral, Lee Adama and several other senior officers and many warriors. Over a thousand in all.” He replied bowing his head.

He continued as he surveyed the vast site.

“Ships can be replaced, and I have been promised a new Galactica, bigger and better than the old girl, but the loss of our warriors, well that’s something different altogether.

But thanks to you all they will be remembered here, in the shade of these lovely trees and rolling hills.” He added.

“Yes and the centrepiece is yet to come Admiral!” replied the construction supervisor.

“A new statue has been commissioned by the president himself, it is to depict the image of the great Admiral Adama, the chief pilot, Starbuck wasn’t it, and a commander called Jansen.

They are to be depicted looking up at the stars and pointing the way toward Earth, the president’s own idea Admiral.” He added.
“That’s a wonderful tribute, thank you, thank you all. Now I’m afraid I must get back to my own ship, the Omega, I’ve just received word she is fully repaired and ready to sail.” Smiled Boomer.

Scene 3 – Back in the Saddle

Finally and mercifully for Boomer, his shuttle approached the mighty and majestic Battlestar Omega as he ordered his pilot to circumscribe the ship to give him a close up look at the new repairs and upgrades to her hull.

Typically for the diligent Admiral he began to take notes on the repairs to familiarise himself with his newly upgraded vessel.
Finally on completing his checks, ordered the pilot to vector in for landing as Athena waited in the C.I.C to greet him.

He arrived at the docking station in Alpha Bay, one of four flight decks on the warship.

As he alighted from his shuttle a crowd of deck hands were there to greet him with a spontaneous round of applause, cheers and whoops as their esteemed leader was back among his loyal crew.

“TIN HUT, Admiral on deck.” Ordered the Master at Arms as the entire compliment of Alpha bay surrounded him and began to fall in.

“Please, as you were warriors, thanks for the great reception but right now I need to get to the C.I.C and relieve the X/O who’s been kind enough to cover for me. I will address you all soon when I’ve had chance to be briefed and settle in to my quarters.” He smiled.

He duly arrived at the C.I.C to find the officers diligently signing off all the final tests to the new instrument panels of the vessels main consoles.

The Bridge Officer spotted him and was about to announce his arrival before Boomer raised his hand to stop him. He calmly walked over to the officer and said softly “No fuss, just let the officers go about their duties whilst Athena briefs me.”

Boomer tried to embrace Athena as he walked over to her, but she held out the palm of her right hand to stop him.

“Don’t Boomer or I’ll start to cry again, I know you mean well but I don’t want to break down in front of the officers.

You look shattered yourself in fact, I guess you’ve been up all night too?” she asked.

“Yes I have, I’m sorry Athena I got caught up in a crowd of students down in the main square and, well, I guess I got a bit carried away as they all seemed to want a piece of me.” He said meekly.

“It’s not a problem sir, we are all going to need time to adjust to the loss Of Adama, Starbuck and all the others. For me right now it’s best I keep working.”

“But you must be dead on your feet too Athena?” he asked with concern.

“I don’t care, I’d rather work until I can barely stand, then I’ll take some rack time, please, you go and get some rest and then I’ll stand down. Please Boomer I need this.” She insisted.

A shattered Boomer simply nodded and slowly headed to the exit and his quarters, too tired to argue.

With all system checks complete, Athena too took time out to rest whilst the Bridge Officer took the conn.

For the past two months since the battle none of the senior officers had taken time to digest the fallout from the battle, each preferring to busy themselves with menial tasks. Some spent time with their families as the repairs to the ships were in progress.

Some drank to remember the fallen while others simply to forget!

A full twelve hours passed as Boomer and Athena rose from their well-earned rests within minutes of each other as they took their posts in the C.I.C, neither knowing what to say to break the tension.
They each took turns to patrol the ship and talk to the crew as if to avoid each other and take stock.

A further twenty-four hours later Sire Galen had called for a general meeting on the ship of governance to present his findings to the senate and military on the progress to the repairs to the battle fleet, and his assessment of the captured Cylon vessels.

This came as welcome news for them both, giving Athena more time to command and Boomer time to assess his tasks going forward, the state of the fleet and strengthen his alliance with both the president and Sire Galen, neither of which he had barely spoken to since the battle.

He had hid himself away for too long and was ready to assume his duties in full once more.

As he entered the main conference room on the senate ship he began to feel a sense of calm. The order and serenity of the cavernous chambers were a welcome relief from the horrors he had witnessed and a distraction from the nightmares he had endured since the loss of his closest friends.
As the senators filed into the room he saw the familiar and friendly faces he hadn’t seen since the battle and soon realised they were as happy to see him as he was them.

Scene 4 – Lucifer’s Warning

Finally all took their seats as Boomer joined the president, Sire Galen and chief engineer Tobias Beckett at the top table.

Before any of them had chance to address the congress, a spontaneous round of applause broke out and escalated to a crescendo of cheers and whoops followed by a chant of “Boomer, Boomer, Boomer” to the Admirals obvious embarrassment.

Politely allowing for the tributes to die down President Sire Valentine rose to address the assembled press corps and politicians.

“Yes indeed, we are all forever in your debt Admiral, for the first time since we arrived on this new colony we can look to the stars, not with fear and trepidation, but with hope and confidence.
Thanks to you and your brave warriors we have delivered the final crushing blow to our sworn enemies. Be in no doubt Admiral, our people have been made fully aware of the sacrifice, courage and valour shown by your warriors at the battle of Jansen Point.

The spilt blood of our brothers and sisters will be remembered forever on a plot of land being prepared on the surface in their tribute….”

Boomer nodded his approval.

“Yes Mister President, I have been down on the surface to see it for myself and yes it will indeed be a fitting tribute, I thank you for commissioning and funding the project from the senate’s funds.”

“Now if I may,” replied the president, “I think it now prudent to give the floor to our chief engineer, Tobias Beckett for an update on the repairs to the battle fleet, and progress on the Discovery fleet to head for Earth, Toby?”

“Thank you Mister President.

I have pleasure in confirming the completion to repairs on the Battlestar’s Omega and Pegasus. With regards to the Omega, she is fully operational and has just completed trials as I speak, the Pegasus is structurally complete and is being re-crewed ready for her own trials next week.

The four most damaged cruisers have been repaired, namely the Odin, Thor, Perseus and Medusa, with the other four progressing well.

Battlestar Tolan requires a complete replacement of her main circuitry and electronic systems, having been purged by the Cylons E.M.P weapons systems and will require around three more weeks to complete.

However, the Tigh was so severely damaged I considered scuttling her but in the end we stripped her back to a mere carcass and are rebuilding her. Her main centre section is complete as is the starboard flight pod and engine section.
The head is around sixty percent complete and the new port side flight pod around forty five percent complete.
Timescales….. As I stated I expect to have the Tolan ready to hand over in around three weeks, the Tigh in around nine or ten weeks, and that’s being conservative.”

Finally I would like to emphasise, without the new batch of volunteers from the surface, this work would have taken many more weeks to complete and I would like to go on record to thank each and every one of them, I will now hand you over to my boss, Sire Galen who will provide further updates on the Discovery Fleet and where we are going forward.”

“Thank you Toby, please pass on my thanks to all your teams for getting us this far so quickly.” Replied Sire Galen.

“With regards to the Discovery Fleet, as you can all imagine, work has slowed on this due to the aftermath of the battle, it being self evident we need to get our military back up to strength as soon as possible. To that end I am pleased with the progress thus far, the damage to each ship was extensive, particularly the Tolan and Tigh, in point of fact we all but lost the Tigh!

We will, however, shortly be in a position to escalate work on this Earthbound fleet, as things stood before the battle, we were working on the ship which gave the fleet it’s name, an observatory vessel named Discovery.

The role of this vessel is to map out the quadrants between us and Earth and ascertain whether or not any planets on that route warrant any further exploration, albeit for minerals, materials or possible colonisation in future years.”

At this point several journalists raised their hands and, in anticipation of the question, Sire Galen elaborated further….

“I see you are all curious why this is an issue, why don’t we just make for Earth at speed, well, we may not get the chance to map out this route in fine detail for a long time. When we finally reach Earth there will be very many tasks to perform quickly.

Our new friends from Earth will be naturally suspicious of us and all our efforts will be spent on forging new relationships and accords with them.
Any other tasks will, by default have to take on secondary importance.

We will answer all your questions more fully at the conclusion of this briefing, so for now we request you hold your questions until the end.”

At this time I would like to bring in Lucifer, one of our two Cylon liaisons to explain in more detail the role of the captured giant aircraft carrier known as ‘Behemoth’, Lucifer?”

Once more Lucifer entered the room to chatter and whispering, he was beginning to weary of the lack of deference from some toward himself and Spectre, given all they had sacrificed for the new colony.

Putting his distain to one side he began his summary of the captured Cylon vessels….

“Thank you Sire, turning firstly to the smaller ship, she is a full Darkstar class Base Star, she has been extensively damaged but not to the point where we cannot utilise her parts, or even repair her if desired.

Now as for the larger vessel which is foremost in the minds of our military, well, she is a monster, consisting of several damaged Beta type Darkstar’s, basically all broken down and cut into slices and fused together.

Out of desperation and a lack of time and resources, our friends decided to use what they had, namely several capital ships that had lain in different states of development and repair.

They no longer had the resources to build a mighty armada, nor the fuel to sustain it, so decided instead to channel all their efforts into building one giant supercarrier.

They were hoping to utilise the carrier to support the existing Base Stars, as a de facto supply and support carrier with a view to the invasion of Terra, or Earth.

It is clear now from what we have learned from their plight why they did not invade Terra before now, simply a lack of fuel. Therefore they gambled everything on this monster vessel in the hope they would make it to Terra before their fuel supply lines dried up.

Their intention was to carpet bomb the surface using raiders from this vessel and save the Base Stars for ship to ship combat, should they be required.

It is not for I or Spectre to speculate on their mindset, suffice to say they gambled everything on the Behemoth….and lost.

Now the point being, that very gamble has yielded you all a bounty to which you could only hitherto of dreamt of, a captured vessel with enough raw materials if broken down to complete a formidable battle fleet, remember she is around twice the size of a Super Battlestar, and she holds around twelve hundred various raiders and around twenty five, to thirty thousand Centurions, yes you did hear me correctly ladies and gentlemen.”

Now I have a warning, do not assume that you have completely eradicated the Cylon threat due to this victory, my former comrades are masters of deception, and sometimes can hide among their so-called allies, waiting to strike.

Beware my friends, beware the cornered tiger….”

Lucifer's words sent a chill down the spine of his political audience, and a stark reminder to the listening Admiral Boomer.

He began to think back to the promise Adama had made to the two I.L series Cylons and knew sooner or later, he would have to make a difficult decision!

Scene 5 – The Guided Tour

With Lucifer’s stark warning still resonating throughout the chambers of the senate ship, the meeting broke up to an atmosphere of mixed emotions.

Some took solace in the knowledge that their sworn enemy had finally been vanquished, others a sense of trepidation from the words of the Cylon liaison, but all had a deep sense of sorrow, yet gratitude towards Admiral Boomer and the military.

Boomer couldn’t stop thinking of the words of Lucifer, to whom was he referring when offering a warning, to small pockets of remnant forces out there in space, or more chillingly something or someone much closer to home?

This was an issue he knew he would have to address further down the line but had no proof or evidence of any salacious activity from any of the captured Cylon warriors, so decided this issue would have to wait.

The uber intelligent Lucifer sensed he had unnerved the Admiral, so decided to deflect his attention by offering him a full tour of the captured beast of a ship known as Behemoth, knowing the Admiral would not be able to resist such an invitation.

Indeed the Admiral was very keen to assess the prize he and his warriors had fought so hard and sacrificed many lives for, so readily accepted.

He returned to the Omega to log his thoughts in his journal and update his loyal friend and X/O on the meeting knowing it would give them both something other than Adama and Starbuck to focus on!

Athena, though a very loyal and trustworthy officer, gave little away emotionally, something she and Boomer shared and something they both knew they would have to address if they were to work together to take the fleet forward.

Boomer also knew that the three people he would rely upon the most during his tenure as Admiral were also the three who were struggling the most with their own demons, Athena, Sheba and Jolly!

Armed with these facts he thought it prudent to include them, together with all the other flag officers in his fact-finding tour of the Behemoth, especially as they too risked their lives in it’s capture.

The following morning after reveille and a hearty breakfast, the officers filed into a shuttle.

The tour would occupy the whole day, such was the magnitude of the work undertaken by the repair teams and engineers and was supervised by Sire Galen himself.

The tour would include a full assessment of the new civilian fleet bound for Earth and the officers would be escorted by the ever-loyal Lucifer and Spectre to assess the main prize.

Finally Sire Galen was in his element once more, being an egotistical man he delighted in taking centre stage as he highlighted the repairs he had carried out to the battle fleet and showcased his genius with in depth analysis of his new, Earth bound vessels.

Whilst all around him were the anguished and troubled, Galen remained focused on his mission, which, despite the delays caused by the battle, was nearing completion.

A series of new vessels were shown to the group including two new medical vessels which were used to aid in the recovery and rehabilitation of the injured warriors, two giant agricultural vessels, a pair of huge cargo vessels and the almost complete scientific observatory ship which gave the fleet it’s name, ‘Discovery’.

Several smaller vessels were planned but the main body of the Earth fleet was complete, much to the delight of Boomer, who was keen to fulfil Apollo’s dream of finding Earth.

Finally after a brief pause to take in refreshments the shuttle neared the gigantic ship known as Behemoth, the largest ship ever constructed by the Cylons, or indeed the colonies!

She was a strange, yet terrifying vessel, made from the remnants of a bygone age, one where the Cylons ruled the stars. She was in fact the last throw of the dice for the Cylons, her decks packed full of raiders in readiness for the invasion of Terra, and thereafter, Earth.

Along her spine were a series of images depicting the heads of Cylon Centurions, these also ran along the port and starboard of the ships hull.

“What are those heads for Lucifer, they remind me of something I read from Earths history, they were on pirate ships flags and were known as ‘Jolly Rogers’. Commented Boomer.

“Yes, they are in fact to warn off or frighten enemy vessels that approached. I suppose the Jolly Roger is a fair assessment in a way, seems something of a hollow gesture now doesn’t it.” He added glumly.

As the shuttle approached the stern of the vessel it became apparent how tight the aperture was for raiders to enter, as both above and below the landing bays were giant engines, larger than any seen before.

Lucifer gestured for the shuttle pilot to vacate his seat and began to guide the shuttle into the landing bay himself, deeming the manoeuvre far too tricky for a mere human!

Finally they landed into the belly of the hulk of a vessel. As they alighted they all stood in awe at the sheer scale of it.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, please stay close together and behind me as Spectre and I will guide you through some of the key facilities within this ship, and please be aware of any trip hazards and the remains of Cylon Centurions at each turn.” He commented.

The technological mastery of the Cylon race was evident before them all, the efforts taken to complete this vessel would probably have been beyond the capabilities of humans, a thought that occurred to Boomer as he commented;
“No wonder we nearly lost!”

“Well no, not entirely accurate” countered Lucifer “You see this very vessel may have proved the downfall of the colonials, but in fact WAS the downfall of my former comrades. You see, so much time, effort and raw materials were utilised in its inception that other vessels were neglected, and fatal errors were made in it’s design.

It seems inconceivable to me that the Cylons would be so careless as to make a de facto tomb, and yet….

You all noticed I took control of the shuttle from your pilot, no offence young man” as he gestured to the embarrassed pilot.

“In point of fact I think it would be difficult for even the most skilled pilot to navigate a ship into the landing bay without the aid of an automated guidance system, both the bow and stern openings to the landing bays are so tight it caused a pinch point.

All Spectre and I had to do was concentrate all our raiders firepower into attacking the openings, hence trapping the entire compliment of raiders and Centurions inside the vessel.

The flight decks on the vessel run through the spine with no ventral, dorsal or lateral openings meaning there was only one entrance and only one exit on each landing bay, so they were trapped!”

That said, but for the valiant efforts of Admiral Adama and Starbuck, and the Galactica, well you WOULD have lost!” added Lucifer pointedly.

By stating the obvious, yet hitherto unmentioned efforts of the departed Admiral and Air Chief Marshall, Lucifer had once more brilliantly highlighted the superiority of the Cylons and shortcomings of the humans.

He was having fun at their expense and adding to their discomfort!

The two I.L series Cylons continued the tour with several more decks visited with the party finally arriving at the main control centre, the equivalent of the C.I.C on a Battlestar.

Boomer feverishly began to take photographs and notes to perform his own assessment and hopefully learn more about, and from his adversaries.

What happened next stunned the party into disbelief!

Spectre actually began to weep at the demise of his former comrades, upon seeing his distress, Lucifer too began to cry. Two machines, two Cylons were actually displaying pain and distress at the loss of their former allies, and of their world.

It had become evident to the two that there were those on the surface of Terra that would never trust them, despite everything they had done for the new colony, they were beginning to resent their new human friends, at least the civilians!

The two Cylons embraced each other as Spectre was heard whispering to Lucifer….
“What have we done!”

Scene 6 – Never Trust A Cylon!

The pain and torment etched on the faces of the two Cylons had left an indelible mark on Boomer and his warriors, they actually began to feel pity for the two beings that were once their sworn enemies!

Yet, with the atmosphere becoming more uneasy, the warriors were relieved to be heading back to the fleet, the tour over and the Cylons showing the first signs of hostility toward the warriors.

They all felt relief to be away from the company of Lucifer and Spectre, who had the intellect and strength to eliminate the warriors at a stroke, a thought that only occurred to Boomer later.

Never again would he willingly put all his flag officers so close to Cylon danger.

Finally Boomer said his farewells to his officers and thanked Galen and the Cylons for their hospitality. He felt a strange unease as he made for his quarters and sanctuary on the Omega.

His head was spinning from the revelations of the Cylons and the realisation they were becoming more ‘human’ with all that stood for!

He felt torn and confused, his emotions flipping from pity toward the Cylons to suspicion as to their intentions.
What would Apollo had done, what would his father and Tigh had done?

He mused they would have shown no mercy toward the machines, yet without their help the battle of Jansen point would have ended in defeat, the Delphian vessels would never have been discovered, the second wave never have been reborn and Apollo never given a second chance at life!

So many emotions rushed through his mind. Maybe some of the answers to his torment lay in the last message from Apollo and Starbuck!

Boomer was in complete turmoil as he reached into his drinks cabinet to pour himself a large whiskey.

He lay on his bed and began to play the message given to him by Andrea Richardson as the tears began to flow.

Never before had Boomer felt so low, he was on the verge of suicide!!

To be continued in part 2….

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:40 am 
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Pilgrimage to Earth Episode 26 – The Price of Victory part 2

Continued from part 1….

…. His head was spinning from the revelations of the Cylons and the realisation they were becoming more ‘human’ with all that stood for!

He felt torn and confused, his emotions flipping from pity toward the Cylons to suspicion as to their intentions.
What would Apollo had done, what would his father William and Tigh had done? He mused they would have shown no mercy toward the machines, yet without their help the battle of Jansen point would have ended in defeat, the Delphian vessels would never have been discovered, the second wave never have been reborn, and Apollo never given a second chance at life!

So many emotions rushed through his mind. Maybe some of the answers to his torment lay in the last message from Apollo and Starbuck!

Boomer was in complete turmoil as he reached into his drinks cabinet to pour himself a large whiskey.

He lay on his bed and began to play the message given to him by Andrea Richardson as the tears began to flow.

Never before had he felt so low, despite his achievement and the adulation of his people he was on the verge of suicide!!

Scene 7 – No Time to Wallow

He waited for a brief moment as the image of his dead comrades came into view and began to weep uncontrollably.
After a brief pause Adama began to speak his final words from beyond the grave!!

“Hello my old friend, well, the very fact you are reading this means, unfortunately the battle didn’t go as planned and Starbuck and I perished, otherwise our clergy friends would not have given you this recording!”
Commented Apollo as Starbuck could be seen at his side.

“Well, the very fact you are reading it also means you prevailed, and we won!” He smiled.

“Your mind must be racing with a thousand thoughts right now.
What to do about the fleet, the Cylons, the Delphians, not to mention the warriors?

One thing I learned from my time in office, all too late I might add, is to not try and over think things all at once and not to do everything yourself, you have a great team around you Paul, use them, delegate.
Most of our main goals have already been achieved, thanks in no small part by the heroic efforts of two politicians!

Who would have thought it, me actually praising the efforts of politicians! That said our new president has so far delivered on every single promise he has made to our people, and Sire Galen all but completed the fleet bound for Earth.

It is my sincere wish that you all resolve your differences and find a way to work together, trust me they are good men Boomer.
You may be wondering about my thoughts on Sheba and Athena, not to mention Jolly and the others, well don’t concern yourself too much on that score Boomer, I have recorded separate messages for them all including my son and they will each get a visit from my dear friends on the ship of worship when the time is right.

With regards to the forthcoming battle, and I’m guessing by the time you watch this I will have been proven correct, but my suspicion is that due to the part taken from the Delphian vessel to help restart my heart, that there is a very real possibility of that ship being unable to power up and help in our cause.

In other words, the only ship we have with the new Delphian technology of E.M.P is, of all ships, the Galactica!
Armed with this knowledge, Starbuck and I elected to stand down all but the vital members of the Galactica crew and prepare her for the eventuality of having to self destruct.

You see my old friend, I have done many calculations on the possible outcome of the battle and, well in most of the scenarios I ran through the computers, WE LOST!!

Evidently, the fact this part was taken to aid my recovery means I have inadvertently put the entire fleet in danger; therefore it is I who must atone for this error.
According to my calculations and several algorithms I ran, four supers and eight cruisers are no match for four Darkstar’s, four Beta Base Stars and the Behemoth!

This has led me to one important conclusion, that we need to use the Galactica as bait to lure away as many of their ships as possible into her path and, when in range use her to deploy her new electromagnetic pulse technology to knock out as many of their ships as possible and buy time for the others to take the rest down.

I’m gambling all my, and Starbuck’s remaining cubits on the arrogance of the Cylons, in other words I’m gambling that the prize of the Galactica will be just too great for the Cylons to resist, after all they’ve been after her for more than thirty years!

If my gamble is right, and they take the bait, then so many of their ships will come to claim the final scalp of the Galactica and get caught in her web, that by the time they realise they’ve fallen into my trap it will be too late and the entire nuclear weapons suite of the Galactica will be brought down on them to deliver the final coup de grace!”

At this point Starbuck began to snigger and commented….

“Then hopefully the rest of the fleet will have far less ships to worry about and get the job finished, and of course I and Apollo will be hero’s, forever spoken in folklore, and the Galactica will have had the last laugh on the Pegasus and will be remembered as the finest warship in the history of the colonies!” He laughed loudly.

“Despite all of this, you will probably be wondering why Apollo and I took such a cavalier attitude with our lives by throwing them away?”

Apollo continued….

“Well it’s not quite as simple as that my old friend, you see in my case I have been struggling with chest pains ever since my emergence from a coma. Although the operation to re-insert and restart my heart was successful, unfortunately my recovery has been much less so!
It seems the damage to my heart was so bad that all the brilliant medics could do was repair it and hope for the best. Apparently the damage went much further than expected, the arteries were also irreparably damaged.
Allow me to elaborate.

Do you remember way back during the battle of Gamoray when Commander Cain took on those two Base Stars and Starbuck and I did strafing runs with our vipers to clear a path for the Pegasus to engage them at point blank range?
Yes of course you do, well according to doctors Salik and Khan we would have been exposed to massive amounts of radiation as the two Base Ships were arming their nukes, and so our fates were sealed way back then. My heart was severely damaged from that day on, and well, it’s a miracle I lasted this long.
Now hear what Starbuck has to say….”

“Yes Boomer, he’s right, and here’s the kicker, I have pancreatic cancer which has spread throughout my whole body, I have weeks to live, months at the most. According to the medics I was exposed to the radiation at the same time as Apollo, only difference is with Apollo it destroyed his heart and with me it caused cancer, even if thirty odd years later!”

Point being old friend, we have both had it, there’s nothing we, you or anyone else can do now, I will die of cancer and sooner or later Apollo will suffer a fatal heart attack, he’s had at least four since he awoke, his poor heart is tired Paul.
So, armed with these facts and despite my earlier humour, we will deliver the final death blow to the Cylons on your behalf and you can take all the plaudits.

What I am about to ask goes for us both….

We ask as a final wish for our secret to be taken to the grave with us, we want to be remembered as hero’s, not for ourselves, but to spur on the other warriors to follow our lead, it will serve to galvanise them my old friend, and of course put the military on a pedestal with the politicians and give you all more gravitas with the big hitters!”

Adama continued….

“Yes Paul, this is also my wish, of course Sheba and Athena will learn the truth as we feel it will give them comfort, but no-one else must learn of our secret, otherwise our deaths will have had no impact on those that matter. We are going to die anyway, so better to use it to your advantage both militarily and politically, you know it makes perfect sense Paul.”

Adama paused for a moment before delivering his final message, his moribund wish!
“One other thing Boomer, I have made promises to certain people, critically I have made promises to Lucifer and Spectre, namely, to give them freedom.

Yes I realise they have freedom of sorts already, having the liberty to roam freely among us, but they have requested I approach the hierarchy to sanction an expedition to find them a new home world.

They have both become weary of some in our midst that seemingly will never trust them, despite everything they have sacrificed for us, even turning their backs on their own kind to deliver them to us!

Please Boomer, I humbly ask you to make good on my promise, to do otherwise would be the ultimate betrayal of humans on Cylons, they are not all beyond redemption.

Don’t let history repeat itself Boomer, all of this has happened before, and if we are not careful WILL happen again.

Of the Delphians I say, if there is a way to help them we are duty bound to do so.

You could possibly kill two birds with one stone here, what I’m suggesting is an alliance, a pact between the humans, Cylons and Delphians, we each bring something different to the table.

The Cylons have great strength and stamina, the Delphians great intellect and compassion, and we humans great fortitude and empathy. If we were to all work together we could form an unbreakable alliance against any or all that would challenge us, including those from Earth that would seek to harm us!

Think on my words Boomer, when your mind is clear replay this message and digest my words. Now I am tired so will leave you now, I love you like a brother, god bless you Paul….”

Starbuck added… “Live long, be well and find Earth, I love you buddy….”

With that they were gone leaving Boomer distraught!

Scene 8 – Boomer’s Burden

The new Admiral thought about the late William Adama and how he used to commit his thoughts to writing in order to give his mind clarity, so too his son Apollo.

He remembered that all the great leaders that came before him were at their best when under duress, and that he had to emerge from the ghosts of their tenure.
Having the adulation of the masses was one thing, living up to the ghosts of the great William and Lee Adama, and indeed Saul Tigh was quite another!
He decided to scribble away in his drunken stupor and not overthink his words, after all they were only his musings and he was more eloquent with his scribing’s when inebriated!

Admirals log supplemental….

“I was once advised by my dear friend Admiral Adama,
“when in times of turmoil record your thoughts, it is sometimes at these very times, those of extreme pressure that you will rise to the occasion, that you will gain the most clarity”.

It is with this in mind I will attempt to gain that very clarity now.

Despite the comforting words of my dear clergy friends I have suffered a period of great sadness. Sadness at the loss of so many great warriors, none more so than my childhood friends Apollo and Starbuck.

I feel I am disrespecting their memory in my self pity, yet find it difficult to shake myself from my grief and torment, even knowing there are some with much more reason to mourn than I.

I have found myself thinking more and more about Jolly, Sheba and especially my X/O Athena who, despite her own torment and grief has been a strong and steady right hand at the very time I needed her the most.

This has not gone unnoticed by me, nor the ambition she has at becoming a great leader and fulfilling her brothers legacy, she will get her chance!

It seems ironic to me now that the very awe and adulation I once sought is of little consequence, given the spilled blood and sacrifice of my brothers in arms.

I realise I have little right to wallow, given the plight of so many in this new colony, and take great comfort in witnessing the great strides taken on the surface to move forward.

Our people are rejoicing in our victory, and as the engineer overseeing the new garden of remembrance highlighted, people do indeed have a spring in their step and a renewed confidence I haven’t seen in a long time.

My ‘To be or not to be’ thoughts will pass, and my period of mourning will have to end soon for the sake of my warriors and people.
I will redouble my efforts to get this fleet ready for its forthcoming mission to Earth and at the same time leave behind a powerful fleet to protect our people.

Once more I find myself in awe at the tenacity shown by my president, and even more at the progress made by Sire Galen and his teams of construction workers, this despite the repairs to the battle fleet hampering his progress.

It will not be long before we can make our final preparations for our long overdue journey to our Earth brothers, now with renewed confidence having rid ourselves of the Cylon scourge from our door.

I will also have to address the very issue of the Cylons… and Delphians before I can finalise these plans, Apollo having promised our new allies concessions in light of the unwavering support they have shown.

Who would have thought the very race of beings that all but wiped out the human race would then offer us the vital help we needed when on the verge of extinction themselves. Perhaps Apollo was right when he quoted a former Earth president of a country called the United States of America.

A great and respected man called Abraham Lincoln once said of his enemies.

“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends”.

I have a fine line to walk, there are those down on the surface that will never accept Cylons in our midst, even Lucifer and Spectre, this is of great concern to me and I will be consulting with the senate on this.

To turn our backs on them now would be a betrayal of the highest order given they have sacrificed so much for us.
It vexes me why so many would resent them, do some people never learn?

Maybe Sire Uri was right all those years ago when we left the colonies, “Peace begets peace and love begets love”. Somewhere and sometime we must end this cycle of hatred, only now at the death of so many do I finally see that clearly.

In twenty-four hours there is to be a meeting to address these very issues. We must find a way to bring all races and creeds together, otherwise history will repeat itself once more and the cycle will never be broken….”. ends.

Scene 9 – The triangle of power

On the request of Sire Galen and Admiral Boomer, an emergency session of the senate was to be held to address the issues of the Cylon and Delphian races, the fleets progress including new military and civilian vessels and timescales for the eventual departure of the Discovery fleet for Earth.

Many issues of concern had come to light post battle, not least the mental state of the civilians volunteering to repair the battle fleet, all suffering from differing degrees of physical and mental exhaustion.
Something had to be done and quickly!

Ship of Governance upper chambers, November 30th 7031

“Order, order” declared the interim speaker of the house. “We have a great many issues to tackle today, are the press corps ready to take notes, we don’t wish to repeat ourselves!” exclaimed the would-be speaker.

His name was Grantly Somerville, a very tall, handsome and distinguished black entrepreneur, having made his fortune by inheriting his father’s stock trading and property company, ‘Somerville Holdings’ back on Caprica.

In many ways he was similar in character to Sire Galen, sharing his steely determination to succeed, with or without the help or consideration of others and one who’s fledgling political career Galen was watching with interest.

“When you’ve all quite finished shuffling in your seats we will begin.” He moaned sarcastically.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, Mister President….”

President Valentine stood to take the lectern.

“Thank you Mister INTERIM speaker”, sneered president Sire Valentine, as if to remind the young upstart of his place.

“There are indeed a great many thorny issues facing us, although I am fully aware we are in a great position going forward we need to remind ourselves not to leave others trailing in our wake as it were, I will explain…

Firstly looking toward our own people down in the city, many have come forward to offer their services to Sire Galen’s construction and repair program.

Whilst progress is going well on the repairs to Admiral Boomer’s fleet, and indeed the Discovery fleet, it has come to our attention that the arduous work is taking it’s toll on our volunteers, given this heavy manual labour is alien to some of them, coming from technical and clerical backgrounds.

Armed with this fact I would like to go on record to offer them my sincere thanks for their tireless efforts.
All that said, we have a problem, namely, some of them need rest and recuperation.

Unfortunately, this leaves us with a dilemma, either to push on and complete the repairs to the battle fleet, and I have been informed by Galen’s lead engineer Tobias Beckett that we are still around nine weeks from its completion….

Or pause to give all a rest and halt our plans to go forward, that said, I for one am loath to lose the momentum we have picked up.

Alternatively, we could once more turn to our new Cylon friends and utilise the centurions that have already been reprogrammed, although this would cause great concern to those among us that, despite everything Lucifer and Spectre have done for us, still mistrust and resent them, something that has been pointed out to me by our Admiral.

So, we have a choice to make Ladies and Gentlemen, finish the job with our own people but slow the work to allow for them to rest, push on despite the fatigue, or use the Cylons.”

“Mister President, there is another way.” Commented Admiral Boomer.
“If I may use the camera to address our people?” asked Boomer.
“Please go ahead, the whole colony is listening….”

“People of Terra, you have heard it first hand from our president, our volunteers are exhausted, these are your own brothers, fathers, sons. I ask once more on behalf of our construction teams headed by Sire Galen and a direct request by your president and myself.
Help us, whatever your roles on the surface, delegate to others that can stand in and come to the shipyards, anyone that can pick up a wrench please come.

We are just nine weeks from having the battle fleet up to full strength but that’s too long.

Until my fleet is back up to strength we cannot resume construction fully on our Earthbound fleet and, well if you don’t want us to use the Cylons, then help us, please, the choice is yours.

When I recently visited the city I was greeted by young students all eager to come forward to make a difference, well now is your chance.

Galen has agreed to provide the funds and we have arranged for the first batch of scholarships to be presented to the first group of volunteers for our military academies and apprenticeships.
Come, help us and join our fight to finally complete the late Admiral Adama’s legacy….”

The politicians all stood to applaud politely Boomers efforts to rally the people, it had gone down very well with the president, perhaps a bond was indeed beginning to forge between the three leaders.

The president then stood to resume his summary.

“Citizens of Terra, there’s one other pressing matter of which I need to address, it has come to my attention that a promise was made by our late Admiral that the Cylons were to be aided in their search for a new home world.

Since it is painfully obvious that there are those of you down there on the surface that will never trust them you have forced our hand.
Admiral Boomer and I have discussed this issue at length over the last few days and I have to tell you I am in complete agreement with him and the late Admiral Adama, that we owe a dept of gratitude, and indeed a debt of honour to help them in their quest to find a new home.

It has also come to our attention that, although unsuccessful, the Delphian race were willing, if unable to help in our recent battle with the remnant Cylon forces, readily giving us their last remaining ships and their superior technology for our sole use.

For those of you unfamiliar with the now extinct race of bipedal humanoid beings, they were the most intelligent, yet peaceful beings we colonials have ever had the honour to call our friends.

It was that trust and love for their fellow beings that, ironically proved their downfall, having fallen at the hands of the merciless Cylons.
In fact the very caves honed out by our Cylon friends down there that many of you now call home were first masterminded by this very race of ultra intelligent beings, and there is something else, something much more startling!” he exclaimed with raised arms.

The Delphian race have been to Earth!

Yes citizens you heard me correctly, those very beings descended on Earth many thousands of years ago and forged a new alliance with our brothers and a colony in a place the people of Earth now call Egypt, forming giant pyramids to hide their presence from the Cylons and avoid detection.

All this has happened before, and we must learn from our previous mistakes if we are not to repeat them!”
Had it not been for the benevolence of this enigmatic race, well, the people of Earth would be even more primitive than they are now, and that is some five thousand years behind our technology as it is!
So my point is, we have a long and illustrious history with the Delphian Empire, and in the same way we owe a dept of honour to Lucifer, Spectre and their reprogrammed Centurions, similarly, we owe that same dept to the Delphians.

“Mister President, if I may, what do you intend to do to help them!” asked one reporter.

“It is our intention to launch our new observatory vessel named Discovery sooner than first anticipated in order to seek out a suitable home for both the Cylons and Delphians.

If we have learned anything from our former adversaries it’s that, if we show them compassion they will respond in kind.

There was once a time it would have been unthinkable to expect anything other than slaughter from the Cylons, but Lucifer and Spectre have shown us, and have in turn been shown another way by the late Admiral Adama.

They have responded by helping us win the Battle of Jansen point, by helping revive the second wave, by unlocking the secrets of the Delphian fleet and more recently helping in a mission to revive our late Admiral, even if only for a short while.

I have to tell you all now, I have seen a recorded message by the late Admiral pleading for us to aid our fellow beings, therefore, it is my intention to allow our citizens a vote, given the enormity of this issue.

You will all be asked to vote on whether to allow an expedition to search for a new home for the Cylons and Delphians or to allow them to take their own chances among the stars.

In the case of the Cylons, ideally we would have them integrate with us, however since there are those among you that will never accept this, we could instead help them form a new colony and all the risks and benefits that entails.

As for the Delphians, well that’s a completely different scenario in that they are all but extinct, save for the queen, her drone servants, and apparently some stored larvae on one on their dormant vessels, in short, without our help they will never be resurrected!

Let me elaborate exactly on our intentions, it is our collective wish to form an alliance, a pact between the three races of beings, one in which all three parties bring something to the table.

As we all in the senate and military have discussed, this could be a win/win situation for all…

the Cylons bring their strength and tenacity, the Delphians their compassion and intellect, and us, our empathy and fortitude.

If the majority vote in favour of our proposal, we will outline in more detail how this plan will work, and be assured, certain safeguards will of course have to be put in place to ensure history does not repeat itself so far as the Cylons are concerned.

One thing to note, alone we are still weak and vulnerable here on Terra, but with the help of both the Cylons and Delphians we can form an alliance that will ensure our collective survival against any and all that would threaten us, including those from Earth that would show us hostility, and ensure our collective advancement.

I realise all too well the magnitude of what we are asking, but I ask you all to consider the alternatives.
To turn our backs on those that have shown us empathy, compassion, and yes love, would be a betrayal of all we stand for as a race of sentient beings.”

Before Sire Valentine had chance to complete his summary another reporter raised his hand and began to wave it vigorously.

“Very well sir, ask your question.” Replied Valentine wearily.

“Mister president, with respect your asking us all to take a huge leap of faith aren’t you?

We will never recover from the beating they gave us back in the colonies, slaughtering our people whilst you, our politicians were signing treaties. Why should we even entertain your plan to sign them now, with those treacherous snakes.
They burned our homes, destroyed our fleet whilst your backs were turned and you want us to get into bed with them again, good luck with selling that to our people Mister President!”

Valentines mood darkened as he contemplated giving the man a tirade when Boomer interjected….

“If I may answer for our president young man, it was my idea to form a pact with the Cylons and Delphians, mine and Adama’s.

If you want to have a go at anyone, then have a go at me, but I’ll answer your question.

The reason is we need an insurance policy.

If you think for one second there aren’t any more remnant Cylon forces out there waiting to rebuild, to come again and take us on, then you are sadly mistaken.

If you don’t believe me I can wheel in Lucifer and Spectre, I’ve had it from them first hand there may be pockets out there waiting to attack even now.

Then there’s all our other former enemies, the Ovion’s and all the other factions out there, the Borellian Nomen, the Boray’s, shall I go on?
How do we know with any certainty who’s out there coveting our race, our fleet, our new home?

To be frank with you young man, your question is valid, why indeed should we trust them?

Well because we have them on the ropes, Lucifer knows it, Spectre knows it and so do we all, so, we offer them a chance, a chance to prove they can co-exist with us and the Delphians.

That’s why we propose giving the Cylons the task of protecting the Delphians, in exchange for their technology and our help.
They don’t really have a choice, but we do and that’s why we are giving you all a vote.”

The president concluded.

“Thank you for that Admiral, now with these facts in mind, you will all receive a voting slip to your homes or ships, you will have twenty-four hours from then to cast your votes, thank you all for listening and may the Lords of Kobol bless you all.”

With that the meeting was adjourned and the press dismissed to write their reports.

Scene 10 – The Vote

Boomer, Galen and the President waited to hear the will of the people and hopefully their blessing to go forward with the ambitious plan.

Meanwhile Boomer’s push for more volunteers was bearing fruit, with many more signing up for apprenticeships or cadetships in the military academy.

At least the three leaders were happy in the knowledge that the manpower gaps were being filled and the fleet’s completion would be accelerated, that was the easy part!

Mercifully for all three and with surprising speed and efficiency the votes were all received, they were swiftly counted by the adjudicators and the result was about to be announced on the C.N.N network. All would hear the results simultaneously to ensure no one from the military or government could interfere with the result.

Both the President and Admiral Boomer knew that there would never be a better time to test the loyalty and trust of their people, if the vote didn’t go their way this time it would not bode well for the future, therefore the result was critical, not only for the planned alliance, but for their collective credibility going forward as leaders.

Finally the result was announced after great fanfare by the C.N.N reporter, milking his five minutes of fame.
To the great joy of the three men, and relief of Boomer, not only did they get the desired result, but by a huge 78% majority, a great testament to, and vindication of the new regime.

They could all now relax in the knowledge that Adama’s legacy would be fulfilled and the promise made by him to Lucifer and Spectre could be kept. This may have been of no importance to the masses, but to Boomer it was critical, and a matter of honour.

Meanwhile, the work on the fourth of the Super Battlestar’s had been accelerated thanks to Boomer’s recruitment drive and a revised completion date of three weeks hence had been pencilled in by Galen.

Critically the new C.I.C had been repaired and tested and all four Supers had the new E.M.P technology installed, along with more durable hull plating, curtesy of Delphian technology.

All that remained for the Battlestar Tigh to join her illustrious sisters was the completion and re-attaching of her new port side flight pod, much to the relief of Boomer.

Satisfied matters were in hand with the repairs to the Tigh and the last two of the damaged cruisers, Galen turned his attention to the vexing problem of re-introducing the borrowed component to the Delphian ‘Hive’ ship in the hopes of re-activating the vessel.

The three leaders were beginning to forge a strong working relationship, and as such Galen wanted to include the President and Admiral closely in has plans to launch a three pronged, or rather three shipped approach to rejuvenating the enigmatic Delphian craft.

Scene 11 – The Ultimatum

Having finally secured the vote needed to push ahead, the President ordered a private strategy meeting on the newly refitted Battlestar Omega, knowing it to be much more secure than the Ship of Governance or any civilian installation, and as a show of solidarity to the military, and Boomer in particular.

He also knew the Omega, like all the four supers had undergone much more than mere repairs, they were all capable of becoming the flagship should the need arise.

Galen had installed many new features at the request of the new Admiral, one being much larger wardrooms which could be partitioned, not wishing to repeat the cramped meetings of days before the Battle of Jansen Point.

With Boomers hospitality, Valentine was able to summon all the big hitters in the new colony, present were all flag officers, Lucifer and Spectre, Galen, Chief Engineer Beckett and Lord Justice Pine, to oversee legalities for forging an alliance with the Cylons, and hopefully thereafter a resurrected Delphian race.

They had much to discuss and the issue of how to rejuvenate the Delphian ship was uppermost on their minds.

Super Battlestar Omega, wardroom….

Sire Valentine was the last to enter the room, upon his arrival guards were posted at the door and the room was sealed.
The president stood to address those assembled.

“My friends, we have at last secured, not only a great victory but the approval of our people to forge a new future, one which would have been impossible only a few short weeks ago. It is, however, quite apparent the Cylon race is secure under our watch, the Delphians however are a different matter, they are in a perilous state indeed!

We now have the schematics on the entire Delphian fleet of some twenty-six assorted vessels, the key vessel being the so-called Hive Ship, which contains the last remnants of their race, one that once spread far and wide throughout the stars.

There are those down there on the surface that question the wisdom of resurrecting an all but extinct race, some are saying they’ve had their time, so too the Cylons, and that it’s our turn to forge a new future alone.

Well, to that I say we too have had our time, we were all but wiped out in the colonies and do we really deserve another chance, given we so royally fracked up back in the colonies.”

The presidents comments raised eyebrows and a little amusement from a man not known for using expletives!

“My point being we are in no better position to judge the Delphians than ourselves, and that the Cylons are, for the most part, mere machines, so don’t have the luxury or burden of an opinion, our esteemed guests notwithstanding.”

Valentine paused for a moment to nod and acknowledge the two I.L series Cylons in the room.

I am in complete accord with Admiral Boomer, and for that matter the late Admiral Adama that if we are to learn anything from our adversaries it should be from their strengths and for their exposing our own weaknesses. There is never a complete winner or indeed a complete loser in a war.

The price of victory can be just as costly in the long run as the price of defeat.
Those that are victorious should show leadership and compassion to the vanquished, otherwise history will repeat itself and we are doomed to make the same mistakes again and again!”

He exclaimed with raised arms.

“I now wish to address Lucifer and Spectre directly, Gentlemen, it’s clear our former Admiral made you certain promises that until only a few short days ago, well frankly we weren’t even sure if we would be able to honour!

However, thanks to the will of the people we have been cleared to forge ahead with our ambition to form an alliance, a pact between our three races.

It has been pointed out to me the merits of such a pact, all three beings bringing their own qualities to the table. I hardly need remind you both of what they are, you both being students of your former enemies.

Now, it’s been made quite clear to you both the critical situation the Delphians are now in, and you have both pointed out to our former Admiral before his demise the guilt and remorse you both feel towards your treatment of them, is that not so?”

He questioned.

“Yes Mister President, it is true, Lucifer and I are all too aware that the circle of hate must be broken if we are to survive as a collective.
Admiral Adama and your clergy have shown us another path, one in which we can embrace each others strength, protect each others weakness and live together in peace, HOWEVER!”

Exclaimed Spectre loudly.

“It has also become apparent to us both that there are those down there on that planet that would happily see us perish, and, well we cannot, will not live under the hateful stare of those people.

Your former Admiral knew our feelings and sympathised, even to the point of promising to search for a new home-world for the Cylon Empire, or what’s left of it!”

All in the room fell silent at the perceived veiled threat from the two Cylons.

“We are asking you to trust us Spectre, you trusted Adama now trust us, you will have your new home, but not until we have attempted to secure the future of that race of beings you all but wiped out.”

“If I may interrupt Mister President?” asked Admiral Boomer.

Valentine pushed his bladed hand toward Boomer to gesture for him to speak as he took his seat.

“Now look both of you, I am NOT Adama and our president is NOT Sire Dmitri!

Whatever deals you made with them that’s down to you and them!
We cannot be expected to honour them, that said you have just been told by your president that we have put our necks on the block to secure a vote for you to have a new home, what more do you want?

We cannot be expected to take the blame for our people’s hatred of you. Get real both of you, your race crushed us, and you expect the good deeds of you both to expunge all that has happened from their memories.

We once had a war with you lasting a thousand years for Christ’s sake!

It will take years, generations for all that has happened to fade into the history books, that said it shouldn’t be a problem for you Cylons, you can live for centuries can’t you?

In short, you two and your Centurions will have a new home, a new beginning and will live long after everyone in this room, and our children and grandchildren are all long dead.

So in summary, our president has made you a promise, I have made you a promise, that will have to suffice, now suck it up Gentlemen!” he exclaimed.

“Besides, you don’t have a Goddamn choice.” He snapped.

The atmosphere in the room began to worsen as Boomer spelled out the options, or rather lack of them to the two Cylons.

After a few moments that seemed like hours, Lucifer and Spectre looked at each other and smiled as Spectre stood to address the room.

“Mister President, Admiral, please forgive our impudence, we do trust you both and are willing to work with you to secure a future for all.

“So how about a show of faith from you two then, a sign of your commitment to this new entente cordiale as our Earth friends call it.”

Smirked Boomer, knowing he had defeated the Cylons in a verbal joust, no mean feat!

“So what would you have us do Gentlemen?” asked Lucifer.

“Your call Admiral, make your request.” Stated President Valentine.

“Simple, build me a new Battlestar to replace the Galactica, our volunteers are dead on their feet. Once the rest of the fleet are repaired, which could be any day now they will be stood down.

You then enlist the help of your Centurions and build me a new Galactica to lead our Earthbound mission. Then I can leave behind a credible force here to protect Terra.

When the Delphians are safe, or at least we have done our best for them, we promise to turn our attention to your need for a new home, that is, once I have a new flagship, that’s the deal, take it or leave it!” exclaimed Boomer.

“Very well, but what then, another Battlestar, another cruiser, then another!” sneered Spectre.

“NO, one more ship, One Super Battlestar, after that It’s down to Sire Galen and his teams to build any other ships we need, you have our words.” Replied Boomer.

“We have an agreement, just one request, we will need to reprogramme a great many Centurions for the task, many of the already reprogrammed units have been damaged by the tunnelling of the caves down on Terra.” Retorted Lucifer.

“Not only will you have your wish, but I insist on it, in fact we expect you to reprogram ALL the Centurions, and if we get one sniff of trouble from any of them, they will be destroyed, no question, understood?” barked Boomer.

“Completely understood and agreed.” Replied both Cylons in unison.

“Very well, now we ask you both to leave us, we wish to confer in private.” Commanded the president.

“BY YOUR COMMAND” came the terse reply from the two, again in complete unison, they then duly left without another word.

“I fracking hate it when they say that!” exclaimed Boomer, “Yes I know what you mean.” Replied Valentine ruefully.

Scene 12 – The Spectre of Doubt

“Why do I get the nagging feeling we are making a terrible mistake and that those two are going to be a problem. I just feel we are storing up trouble for ourselves later.” Moaned Boomer.

“I have to agree with the Admiral, I don’t trust those bastards one bit, neither would my father. It may take generations, but they will be back, I just know it.” Agreed Sheba.

Valentine nodded his agreement before commenting.

“Yes I know but what choice do we have realistically, Adama and Dmitri made promises that I feel compelled to keep.

There’s no escaping the facts, without them we would be screwed already, we would have lost the Battle of Jansen Point, we would never have rescued the second wave, not to mention the Delphians even if that’s irrelevant.

Then there’s Apollo of course, they did their best to help save him, so we are damned if we help them and damned if we don’t right?”

“All I’m saying is we need to put certain safeguards in place, they are STILL Cylons when all is said and done.” Replied Boomer.

“Remember, they evolved once before, they rebelled, just because they are cosying up to us now doesn’t mean a thing. I’m with Sheba, I just don’t trust them to co-exist with any other being, especially an advanced race such as the Delphians, or more importantly us!”

Added Boomer.

“I just can’t help feeling we are taking our foot off the tigers neck when we should be finishing him off!” Commented Boomer.

“Very well then Ladies and Gentlemen, I concur, we do indeed need to put safeguards in place, but for now let’s park this, it’s getting late and Paul’s cooks have prepared a lavish dinner for us, let’s continue this another time, we need to be able to rest and focus on this tricky conundrum.” Replied Valentine.

“I will just add one more thought, Boomer, when you asked me if I thought the price of victory was too high I didn’t have an answer, well, either in victory or defeat there is always a price to pay, for the Cylons it’s subservience, for us it’s sacrifice.”

To Be Continued….

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 5:46 pm 
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Pilgrimage to Earth Episode 27 – Delphian Dreams

December 1st 7031

Three weeks had passed since the meeting of the hierarchy on board the newly refitted Battlestar Omega, Boomer was gradually coming to terms with the loss of his warriors and the fleet was back up to strength with the last ship to be repaired, the Tigh.
He was busying himself pawing over the files of his most senior officers, assessing each ones worthiness and suitability for promotion.
He knew the appointments would be controversial for some and were a delicate matter due to them filling in dead men’s shoes!
His new found powers of diplomacy were about to be put to the test!

Scene 1 – The Kingmaker

Battlestar Omega Wardroom.

Admiral Boomer waited for the last of his senior officers to take their seats as he summoned the steward to charge their glasses.
“Officers, finally….finally we can plan for the day we leave for Earth.
Our fleet is again fully operational and Galen’s Discovery fleet is complete, save for one desalination vessel, space trials and some final checks.
Our Cylon advisors Lucifer and Spectre must be desperate to see the back of us as they have already reprogrammed most of the centurions and are about to start construction on the promised new Battlestar.”

Boomer walked over to a window and pointed toward the planet Terra below.

“It’s unfortunate that those down there will never accept them.

I guess I must be going soft in my old age, part of me feels sorry for them, imagine that.” He laughed sarcastically.

“But seriously, when does a machine cease to be a mere machine and become a sentient being? After all are we all not mere machines but from flesh and blood rather than chrome and wires? When does a Cylon become more than a Cylon?

I feel if we are ever to take this new colony forward we need to be more than just flesh and blood, more than chrome and wires if we are ever to co exist.
Whether we like it or not, Adama and Sire Dmitri made promises to them that I feel duty bound to honour, especially after all they have done for us and no matter how much it rankles with the civilians!”

Boomer paced up and down, circled the huge table and scanned his officers inviting comments.

Sheba took up the offer.

“Well you already know my thoughts Admiral, I will NEVER trust a Cylon as long as I live, they may wait years, generations, centuries even, but mark my words they will return.

We here in this room need to make sure we leave behind, not only a lasting legacy, but a safe one, safe in the knowledge we have tied up all the loose ends.
After we have all gone, our descendants will forget the terrible things that the Cylons have done to us, hell most of our people are already too young to remember the massacre of the armistice all those years ago in the colonies.”

She commented.

Several officers nodded their agreement.

“Yes I have been giving this matter a great deal of thought lately. How to honour the promise of Adama and Dmitri, how to appease the population and still have an insurance policy for if and when the unthinkable happens and they do indeed return, albeit in many years after we have all died!” replied Boomer.

He continued….

“Please speak as freely as you wish.

What I propose is controversial and must not leave this room….
There are several facts we need to be mindful of, one being the ability of both Cylon and Delphian vessels to operate autonomously without the intervention of their crews.
I have been concerning myself on what would happen if either the Cylon ships, or even Delphian for that matter, automatically engaged each other.

Notwithstanding the fact the reprogrammed Cylons may be unable to engage the Delphian ships, the Base Stars are a different matter, they are able to remotely attack an enemy vessel.

They could conceivably power up in spite of the crew and engage the Delphian ships, after all, they have been pre programmed to do so in the way the damaged Base Star’s were still able to engage us as they did.

The Behemoth for example, she was still firing on our ships even after Lucifer and Spectre had subjugated the commanding officers in the main control centre!

Point being, the Delphians are on the very edge of extinction and would most probably never survive such an attack!

On the one hand we would need to put in safeguards to ensure this doesn’t happen by intervening, by standing guard with some of our own ships to ensure their collective survival or…

And this is the controversial bit, we could let them do their worst and destroy each other, we don’t destroy them, simply not intervene, your thoughts?”

“Hell sir, even for you that’s a bit controversial!” exclaimed Jolly.

He arched his arm backwards and pointed his thumb towards the porthole behind him and Terra below.
“If they ever got wind of a plan like this your career would be over and you would almost certainly be on a conspiracy charge, you would be breaking the sacred laws of Kobol.

We all made an oath to protect those that cannot protect themselves like the Hasari’s for instance, have you forgotten what started our latest war with the Cylons!
That said, please go on, we are all ears.” He moaned sarcastically.

Boomer paced around the huge table as the officers took in the magnitude of his suggestion.

“Well if it weren’t for Lucifer and Spectre I would be tempted to go along with it but…. I won’t be any part of a trap to destroy anyone that’s helped us as much as they have.” Snapped Jolly.

“Look I’m simply thinking out loud, we all know how devious those bastards are and as Sheba has said, we need to tie up the loose ends, after all we won’t be around forever and someone needs to protect those civilians from not only the Cylons and anyone else, but frankly themselves!” replied Boomer.

John Rigal cleared his throat to speak as Boomer nodded for him to continue.

“Well sir I think Sheba and Jolly both have a point, but in any case all ships will be monitored very closely by those in the senate and the attempt to power up the Delphian ship will be beamed live to the masses on C.N.N
So if you have any reservations at all it’s irrelevant, we simply can’t intervene unless they DO attack each other and only then to protect them from each other. For the time being we need to keep them apart.”

Commented the X.O of the Battlestar Tigh.

“Yes, yes I know but…” replied Boomer ruefully.

“Sir we need to just let events unfold as they will, I suggest we simply take a back seat and allow the Cylons, or indeed the Delphians enough rope to hang themselves.”

Commented Athena.

“Very well, we just need to be ready, and if anything does go south we try our best to rescue Lucifer and Spectre, the rest can go frack themselves, agreed?” asked Boomer.

All nodded reluctantly without speaking.

“Now for other matters, as you all know I have secured the services of said Cylons to construct us a new Battlestar in exchange for us finding them a new home, hopefully in our quadrant where we can keep an eye on the buggers!” Added Boomer.

“So too the Delphians, although we aren’t even sure if we can get their primary vessel to power up at all, namely that Hive containing the queen and the Drones.

Anyhow, work is due to start imminently on the new Warship and then, when we have done our best to secure a home for our friends we will hopefully have five supers and eight cruisers, a formidable force strong enough to split.

I need to be clear now, I have not yet reached a decision on which ships will leave for Earth and which shall remain, so all is still up for grabs! What I do know is I want to begin to integrate our crews to divide the experience between the ships.
Most of you are now battle hardened but will shortly be joined by green nugget’s who don’t know one end of a bunk bed from another, let alone a fighter or ship.

I will get straight to it now, the Galactica, my heart tells me it would have been that ship that led us to Earth, it was the destiny of her under Adama, but unfortunately that will never happen as planned for obvious reasons.

For now all bets are off as to which ships and indeed crews go, and which stay, that said I will be prepared to listen to anyone’s wishes as there are those with families down there and those with a clear preference.
Given what happened to my predecessor I wish to put all my plans in place with regards to promotions and transfers before I go, and that’s IF I go at all!

I have made it clear that ALL positions are up for grabs and that includes being the lead ship and commander of the Discovery fleet. Just because I am Admiral doesn’t necessarily mean I am the one who should lead the fleet.

Any of you in this room are just as capable and deserving as I am so don’t expect me to pull rank, it’s not my style, so you will all get your chance to stake your claims.”

He commented reassuringly.

“That brings me nicely to the next item on the agenda, promotions.

I’ve been waiting to do this for quite some time now.

As you all know, such are the vagaries of war that after such a momentous battle some perish, others suffer, but the ones that concern me right now are the ones that rise to prove to me they have the ability to remain calm and lead by example.
Had it not been for the quick thinking and courage of two men, well the outcome of the battle of Jansen point would have been much different.

I refer of course to the man giving the battle it’s name, I had high hopes for Marc, he was destined for greatness.

That said, his X.O did a fine job and was instrumental in fending off two Cylon Base Stars and, together with Apollo and Starbuck on the Galactica, turned the battle in our favour.

John Rigal, your quick thinking not only saved your crew, but the ship itself and so I ask you to step forward….”

Admiral Boomer walked over to the young officer as he rose from his seat.

“I’m not sure which of these awards you will covet most young man but, well, not only have you gone above and beyond the call of duty but have saved me a headache in choosing the next commander of the Tigh.

You are hereby promoted to commanding officer of the Battlestar Tigh.”

The young and ambitious Rigal beamed with pride.

Boomer reached into his desk to hand the young officer two small leather presentation boxes, one containing his new badges and brevet, the other a pendant containing the colonial seal.

“As you are all aware the colonial seal can only be held by members of the council of the twelve or by senior commanding officers on the authority of the president himself…. and recommendation from the fleet Admiral, in other words me!

I have secured permission from the president to present all Battlestar commanders with the colonial seal in order to provide a seamless transition of power throughout the senate and military, should the need ever arise.

This sacred seal represents total authority and power over our citizens, as bearers of it any of you will be in a position to take over from me as Admiral in the unthinkable event of an attack and loss of life. In the absence of a functioning senate, you will also have the power to invoke marshal law in the event of such an attack….

Now to the pleasant part, John, you have a full house today, promotion, the colonial seal and this….the Gold Cluster.”

Once again he reached into his drawer to remove a small leather box.

“This accolade is by far the most prodigious in the history of decorations, like all my Battlestar commanders you are now in the club.” He smiled.
“I want to be the first to congratulate you and may the Lords of Kobol bless you and your crew. You are at liberty to choose your own X.O, any thoughts?”

“Thank you Admiral, I will serve you with everything I have.”
“So I can have anyone I want?” he grinned, “your former tactical officer Anders Ludstrom.”

“Damn it I knew you were going to steal him.” Laughed Boomer.
“Yes Anders will make a fine X.O., good choice.” He added.

“Right, onto other matters on the agenda, Sheba, I understand Blue Squadron are still aboard the Pegasus?”

“Yes Sir, under your instruction remember, to strengthen the bond between them and Silver Spar.”
Boomer smiled.

“Good, I want you to take point on this one for me, I want you to move the Pegasus out of orbit and track the Delphian vessel as Galen’s teams attempt to revive her.

I want NOTHING in that sector other than that ship, Galen’s teams and the Pegasus, and if any other ship goes anywhere near the vicinity I want you to scare them off. Use force if you have to Sheba.”

Vice Admiral Cain grinned…. “Even lethal force.”

“Yes, even lethal force, the Delphian ship must be protected at ALL costs.”

Now ladies and gentlemen, let’s all drink to the successful mission tomorrow when Galen will finally test his new ships in earnest in readiness for the mission, but firstly in an attempt to resurrect that Delphian mothership.
I understand it is to be quite a show and well worth a watch!”

Scene 2 - Testing Time

The following morning and the final preparations were complete for testing the two new power generating ships.

Sire Galen had severe misgivings about the ability of the Delphian Hive Ship to power up, given it’s failure to do so during the critical moments of the Battle of Jansen point.

He was unusually pensive about the outcome of the tests to his new vessels knowing it may be the last chance for the Delphian race to be revived!

Despite his ego he knew an entire race of beings future lay in his hands!

He had completed the construction of the two vessels, one named ‘Solaria’ deploying solar panels, or ‘Petals’ for harnessing the rays from the nearest sun and storing them for conversion to power for the use of the fleet.

The other, her sister vessel named ‘Stormseeker’ working in tandem to perform a similar task by utilising the electricity from storms and harnessing it in huge transformers.

Between the two vessels it was anticipated the fleet would have all the power it needed to be self sufficient for the entire voyage, added to the fact the problem of feeding both fleets had been resolved with the construction of the two giant Agro/Botanical ships.

This mission to repower the Delphian ship would give Galen the perfect opportunity to test the harnessing capabilities of the two vessels and all but complete the final piece of his jigsaw.

Simultaneously he was planning to deploy his newest vessel, the ship giving the fleet it’s name, Discovery, to map out the quadrant in the hope of finding a suitable home for both the Cylons and Delphians, be that on one shared planet or separate homes nearby to the Terran quadrant.

As the day arrived to test the three vessels in earnest, Galen was awaiting the approval of his peers at the engineering marvel of the three shiny new ships.

Each ship was different in design, though the Solaris and Stormseeker both utilised the hull design of the medical ships ’Pasteur’ and ‘Nightingale’ the Discovery used the hull design of the ‘Titan Botanica’ and ‘Titan Geoponica’ in appearance, meaning the Discovery was by far the largest of the three vessels.

Fortunately, the away team had knowledge of the schematics of the Delphian ship, having previously visited it covertly to obtain the power source needed to revive Admiral Adama, this time however was different.

This time they could take all the time they needed, safe in the knowledge the Cylons were defeated and they had done all they could to save their Admiral, even if in vain.

Thanks to the power source from the ship they were at least able to buy precious time for Adama to finalise his battle plans and turn the tide in the human’s favour, yet paradoxically by taking the component in the first place they had inadvertently put the battle in doubt!

Finally after several visual checks of the alien vessel, two shuttles berthed at the stern.

It’s appearance reminded Boomer of images Adama had showed him of the very pyramids to which the Delphian Queen, Anastasia, mentioned in her message. What was the secret of this strange vessel?

Simultaneously Galen was preparing to launch his two power generating vessels to berth alongside this beautiful alien craft in the hope of breathing life into it, once they had charged the power cells!

His chief engineer Tobias Beckett was to oversee this hazardous operation….

“Beckett to Solaria actual, prepare to deploy petals on my mark….”

Upon his command the huge ship deployed an array of solar panels displaying a bright blueish hue, almost as if a butterfly opening its wings to catch the sun.

The ship manoeuvred to catch the rays of the nearest star as the ‘petals’ began to harvest the solar power for storage.

As the solar panels caught the rays they began to transform the raw energy into electricity for storage inside the vessel.

“Solaria control, we are beginning to harvest electricity, our batteries are being charged successfully, mission is a go!”

Commented the ships comms officer.

“That’s great thank you Solaria, let me know when your batteries are fully charged.” Replied Beckett.

Further out in orbit the Stormseeker was tracking an electrical storm….
“Stormseeker actual, report.” Commanded Beckett.

“We are tracking a storm but, as yet it hasn’t gathered enough strength for us to begin harvest. Near our sun there is a solar wind but not enough to generate sufficient power.”

“Very well, keep me informed, I will be in a position to begin in any case shortly, the Solaria is reporting a successful transfer..” added Beckett.

Meanwhile the engineers were arriving at the main control room of the ‘Hive’ ship and were preparing to replace the power source borrowed to aid Adama’s recovery.

The ship had an eery mystique about it, as if it were waiting to lure them in. The walls were adorned with shimmering light shades and as their flashlights came into contact, strange light prisms emanated from the ships cavernous corridors giving the engineers a strange but beautiful light show.

“Sir, the Solaria has reported a successful charge of her batteries and is making her way to our position to begin transfer.” Commented the chief engineers shuttle pilot.

Within minutes the new ship was berthing alongside the Delphian vessel and preparing to dock.

Long radial arms extended from the new power generating ship and engaged with power couplings the engineers had installed on the Delphian vessel.

Gradually the transfer of electricity trickled from the Solaria to the Hive ship as the engineers waited for the power source to reach the main control centre, signalling them to attempt to power up the alien ship.

The atmosphere was tense as the next few moments would be critical to the very survival of the Delphian race!!

Beckett and his team looked on anxiously waiting for a sign, a flicker of power to signify hope. The minutes counted down as the team became more and more concerned when….

“Sir, their is insufficient power to revive the ship, we need a huge power surge…”commented the anguished operative as Beckett listened in from his observation vessel.

“Beckett to Stormseeker actual, we need more power, get to the sun and pick up the solar flares. When you are close enough you should get arcs of electricity but don’t get too close and monitor your heat shields.

Harvest what you can from it, we are running out of options here.” Commented Beckett ruefully.

“Roger that, Stormseeker out.”

As commanded the helmsman manoeuvred the ship closer in to orbit of the sun and began to pick up the solar flares as giant arcs began to circumvent the ship causing a dazzling array of bright blue bolts of lightning.

Meanwhile on board the Pegasus.

Pegasus actual to Omega, Admiral we are in position and are monitoring the power transfer from Solaria to the Delphian Hive ship, please respond….”
“Omega actual, acknowledged, continue to monitor and stand by for further instructions.” Replied the Omega communications officer.

“Launch team, prepare Blue and Silver Spar squadrons for immediate launch.” Commanded Vice Admiral ‘Sheba’ Cain.

“Call the ball pilots…” instructed the launch officer.

“Silver Spar launch codes entered and functioning, all pilots ready for immediate launch.” Responded squadron leader Hagley.

“Copy that, Blue squadron ready to launch and rendezvous in flight with Silver Spar.” Answered the newly promoted Air Chief Marshall Dhillon Starbuck.

Moments before the launch command, Dhillon allowed himself a moment of reflection on how proud his father would have been in seeing his only son, not only take his place as the new Air Chief Marshall, but also in adopting the name ‘Starbuck’ as his new family name.

Never was he so proud of his father, the man he barely new but would be remembered in folklore for saving the fleet.

Within a moment he knew the command to launch would come and his fathers legacy would be complete, his first mission as the ‘Chief’.

“Pegasus recon wings, launch when ready.”

The two squadrons blasted away from the huge beast known as Pegasus, Silver Spar squadron from the port flight pod and Blue from the starboard. The vipers all arced around the huge Battlestar and took up a spearhead in front of it.
Dhillon could feel a tear flow from his right eye but was unable to wipe it away because his visor was lowered, not that he cared, no-one could see him in the comfort of his cockpit as he beamed with pride at his first sortie.

Scene 3 – Sleeping Beauty

“Dhillon to pilots, Silver Spar Squadron track the Stormseeker, get me some telemetry on that storm and report, Blue Squadron your with me.” Commanded Dhillon with authority.

Young Starbuck led Blue Squadron into the vicinity of the Delphian vessel and observed the power transfer before reporting….

“Vice Admiral, we are picking up power signals from the Solaria but as yet no indication of life signs from the Delphian vessel.”

As ordered, Silver Spar Squadron circumvented the power generating vessel and recorded as giant arcs of electricity crackled and engulfed the ship.

Any vessel getting too close would have been severely damaged or destroyed, the Stormseeker however devoured the arcs of lightning as if gorging on a feast, each bolt flashing between the lightning conductors and into the transformers to be then transferred to huge storage batteries.

As the storm intensified the ship finally reported…

“Stormseeker actual, power transfer complete, mission is a success.”

Finally the Stormseeker broke free from the storm and headed to the Delphian ship to aid her sister vessel in a last-ditch attempt to awake the hapless Delphians.

The Stormseeker attached itself to the other side of the alien vessel and began to transfer its own power to the ship, but to no avail….

“Chief engineer, we have given the Hive ship all we have, the observers are reporting all her power cells are full, but still we cannot get her to power up!” exclaimed the operative ruefully.

“Pegasus actual to fleet, Beckett has reported his teams have been unsuccessful in re-energising the Delphian ship, please advise.” Asked the communications officer.

The very future of the Delphian race was in jeopardy, if they could not revive the ‘Hive’ ship soon, the remaining beings on her would surely perish and the Delphian race would be at an end….

Meanwhile back at the fleet.

The Omega tactical officer sighed as the message came through on his console….

“Admiral, I have a communique from the Pegasus, it seems they were unsuccessful in re-energising the alien craft.”

“Get me the Pegasus on fleet comm line alpha stat!” commanded Admiral Boomer.

“Channel open and secure Sir.”

“Sheba, sitrep.” Barked Boomer anxiously.

“It’s not looking good sir, we have her power cells fully charged but she won’t come online, we’re running out of ideas and we’re running out of time!” replied Sheba.

“Very well, keep this channel open and I will advise in due course.”

“Make it quick Admiral, the Delphians won’t last much longer in that ship, they need some kind of jolt, something to awaken the main power cells into generating power for their food storage units. They are dying of hunger in their sleep!” begged Chief engineer Beckett, listening in.

Sheba turned to the two Cylon advisors for guidance.

“Gentlemen, thoughts….” she muttered with resignation.

“What’s needed here Vice Admiral is bait, something to force the ship out of its hibernation.” Replied Lucifer.

He continued…

“We learned from our many skirmishes with the Delphians that when short of power, food or resources their ships automatically powered down in order to conserve any remaining resources until such time as their scanners detect alternative supplies.

However, when under threat the ships would again power up in an attempt to flee the imminent danger and jump out of the quadrant and into safer territory.
Unlike the colonial fleet, they knew where to jump, having the entire star system mapped out in star charts gave them the advantage of knowing the safest locations.

They couldn’t out-fight the Cylons, but they were usually one step ahead, it was only our sheer weight of numbers that eventually ground them down to almost extinction.”

“So what are you suggesting Lucifer?” questioned Boomer.

“I’m suggesting you use the captured Base Star! If the Delphian vessel picks her up on her scanners it’s my belief she will automatically power up in a bid to escape the Cylon vessel. It is also possible she will deploy her E.M.P defence systems to knock out the Base Star and buy herself enough time to flee. We can still track her if she does, having installed tracking devices on her.”

“You do realise what this means for you gentlemen, I was planning on fully repairing that Base Ship to donate to you both as a sign of faith, and to help in the search for a new Cylon Home World!” exclaimed Boomer.

“Yes the thought had occurred to us Admiral, however the needs of the Delphian race far outweigh those of the Cylons at this time. Anyhow we will be able to repair her once more. We will entrust our faith in you to make good on your word and find an alternate solution to our problem, but right now we need to help the Delphians before it’s too late.” Added Spectre.

The benevolence of the two Cylons shocked Sheba and the listening Boomer and gave them a glimmer of hope that the three races of beings could indeed one day find common ground, if only they could just revive the Delphian craft!

“Very well, gentlemen, once more we find ourselves indebted for your help and expertise, we will hand over the Base Ship to you both to carry out your suggestion if you will help by piloting the ship for us. I will have shuttles standing by to evacuate you and your Centurions the moment that ship takes the bait and powers up.”

“Then we will prepare the ship immediately and report to you once we are in a position to proceed Admiral.” Replied Lucifer.

“Just one thing, the Centurions, will you have enough to crew the Base Ship without redeploying some from the shipyards?” asked Boomer.

“Don’t worry Admiral, we will only need a skeleton crew for this operation, there will still be more than enough to continue work on your precious Battlestar.” Laughed Spectre with almost human sarcasm.

He continued…

“We will take our leave now and begin our mission.”

Scene 4 – Laying the Bait

The next morning and the two I.L series Cylons had assembled a crew and were conducting safety checks on the toothless Base Star, her weaponry having been removed as a precaution.

So perilous was the plight of the Delphians that no chances were being taken on the Base Star attacking them.

Gradually the Cylon ship moved out of orbit and spooled up her F.T.L drive to arrive within firing range of the Delphian craft.

“Base Star to Pegasus actual, Vice Admiral Cain, we are in position and awaiting further instructions.” Commented Lucifer.

“Acknowledged, Right, helm take us in further, I want us within range to observe, begin recording.” Commanded Sheba to her tactical officer.

The Base Ship inched closer and closer to the Delphian ship to try and coax a reaction from the sleeping giant.

The away team completed the installation of the power unit in the control centre of the Delphian ship and were then ordered to withdraw.

Meanwhile on board the Base Ship, Lucifer began to have doubts as to the wisdom of sacrificing their only operational Cylon ship and shared his thoughts with Spectre.

“My old comrade, have we jeopardised our own future, how much more do we need to prove to our human masters, have we thrown away our last chance of beginning a new empire, or are we right to trust the Admiral to deliver on his promise, or rather Adama’s?”

Spectre smiled wryly before replying.

“Well, remember they are NOT our masters, but events seem to have left us little alternatives. We need to play this out, this ship is of little use to us anyhow in this condition. Admiral Boomer has reduced it into a mere shell of it’s glory days. She could however prove to be a vital tool in convincing some of our integrity.

We must play the long game my friend, my feeling is one of quiet optimism, Boomer is a man of honour, I feel he shares similar values to that of the late Admiral Adama and that he will deliver on his promise.

Anyhow, we will know soon enough, Sheba is attempting to contact us….”

“Pegasus actual to Base Ship, she’s not taking the bait, close in to point blank range if you have to but get closer, this HAS to work, it’s their only chance.” Moaned Sheba.

The Cylon Base Star moved tantalisingly close to the Delphian vessel and all seemed lost when….

A giant blueish hue encircled the alien craft as it finally and mercifully sparked into life.

“Sir, Admiral It’s working, IT’S WORKING!” exclaimed Sheba with excitement.

The Delphian ship began to glow as her sandstone-coloured hull began to emanate electromagnetic pulses toward the Base Ship, she had taken the bait!

The strong pulses washed over the hull of the Cylon Base Star and rendered her helpless as her systems began to shut down. Fires began to break out all over the ship as shuttles arrived to evacuate the two I.L series leaders and their Centurions.

After several minutes….

“Admiral, the Cylons are all safely on board the Pegasus, please advise?” asked Sheba.

“’I’ve seen the recording, sit back and observe, if you have to, get between the two ships and protect the Delphians.

If needs be, form a shield between the two and wait for the flames to go out or the ship to explode, either way the Base Ship is expendable, the Delphian craft isn’t!” Boomer exclaimed.

Eventually the vacuum of space smothered the flames on the Base Ship as the holes in her hull vented out the remaining oxygen and her wrecked hull survived complete destruction.

“Admiral, the Delphian ship is attempting to flee, she is trying to escape the Cylon Base Star.” Cried Sheba.

“Then destroy the Base Ship, and make sure the Delphians can see you do it. If they are alive in there I want them to witness us protecting them.” Replied Boomer.

“Understood Sir, Sheba out…..

“SOUND GENERAL QUARTERS!” she cried as a flurry of activity began on the C.I.C and the crew prepared the ship to attack the hapless Base Star.

Lucifer and Spectre watched the monitors to witness and record events.

“Right, listen up everyone, that Base Ship may be fracked but the Delphians don’t know that. We need to make this look as authentic as possible and feed their fear there is an imminent and real attack coming from the Cylons!” barked Sheba.

She continued….

“Tactical, advise the moment the Delphian ship is out of range of fallout from our nukes, arm all forward silos and seal all compartments.”

Lucifer and Spectre looked on ruefully in anticipation of their would be home blasted into a thousand pieces of space junk!

Sheba turned to face the two I.L series Cylons as they looked on with trepidation.

“I’m sorry guys, you know I’m just following orders but that Base Ship has to go…”
“That’s okay Vice Admiral, it was after all our idea to bait the Delphians, do what you have to do.” Replied Lucifer reassuringly.

“Commander, we are in range of the Base Ship and have a firing solution.” Commented the weapons officer.
“Very well, lock on and prepare to fire.” she replied with authority.

“Weapons hot, arm all nukes NOW!” she commanded.

“Armed and ready to fire commander.”
“FIRE, FIRE, FIRE!” shouted Sheba with thinly veiled glee.

A phalanx of nukes sped towards the awaiting Cylon Base Star as if it were a condemned prisoner awaiting the firing squad!!

“Blue and Silver Spar Squadrons, retreat to a safe distance and prepare for recall.” commanded Sheba.

The first salvo of missiles slammed into the mighty hulk as the Base Ship shook from a barrage of hits, yet she held firm.

“Re-arm the tubes immediately, lets finish this off. When ready, fire as she bears.”

The C.I.C crew watched on as the second barrage of nukes headed for the Base Ship, this time she succumbed to the immense power of the Pegasus and exploded into a thousand pieces of white-hot molten fragments to the cheers of the Bridge crew.

“Tactical, sitrep?” snapped Sheba.

“Kill confirmed Commander, scratch one Base Ship!” grinned the tactical operative.

“Recall all Vipers, let’s get them home and monitor the Delphian Ship.” She commanded.

Scene 5 – Into Our Souls

As the smoke and debris began to dissipate, the crew waited in anticipation of the next move of the Hive Ship, what would she do now?

“Vice Admiral, the Delphian vessel is starting up her sub-light engines.” Advised the tactical officer.

“Where is she heading, what’s she up to.” Mused Sheba under her breath.

“Sir, she, er…. she appears to be heading directly toward…. US!” exclaimed the officer.

“Helm, hold our position, let her get closer, whatever she’s doing isn’t a threat, let her get in closer, I have a feeling they are going to try and communicate with us….somehow.”

She mused.

“I feel your hunch is correct Vice Admiral, they are not a warring race, they have just witnessed you apparently saving them, I think they are going to thank you Sheba.” Commented Lucifer as Spectre nodded his agreement.

Within moments the eery ship was face to face with the Pegasus and once again began to glow.

“Commander Cain, they…. they’re scanning us Sir, our hard drive has been compromised, she’s analysing us, I don’t know how but….” Commented the comms officer.

“Stand by, I have a feeling we will know what they are up to in a flash.” She replied.

Suddenly a warm blueish glow appeared before them at the front of the C.I.C.

It was Queen Anastasia herself appearing in the front of the C.I.C as a hologram. Fear engulfed the entire crew as they watched the image sharpen in front of their eyes to the point she looked as if she were standing there in front of them.

As her image cleared she gesticulated with her humanoid left arm toward the monitor on Sheba’s main console to draw her attention to the text on it.

Incredibly she was somehow typing in perfect English for Sheba to read her thoughts.
It read as follows….

“Dear friends, what you have done for us this day will be repaid.
You have surely saved the Delphian race from extinction and we owe you our gratitude and love.
You have given us a chance to begin again, but first we will seek out a new home.
We will leave this place and find refuge on a planet known as Galoniya, which is a moon of our old ancestral home you know as Gamoray.
Here we will find enough food and shelter to sustain us until our old home is clear of the nuclear fallout caused by the Cylon attack.
You wish us to stay but we cannot. You have in your midst, in this very room the reason we must leave. We understand your benevolence to the Cylons you have among you due to their helping you forge your new society.
However, for us to stay the risk is too great. We hope and pray you will forge a strong alliance with the Cylons, but we cannot take that chance, for if they turn on us once more as they have countless times we would simply never survive.
Given this fact we reluctantly take our leave of you but will surely return one day. Not soon but in many years from now.
In the meantime, do not be alarmed as we are about to infiltrate your data banks to leave you a precious gift.
Take this gift as a sign of our loyalty, love and gratitude to you, our human friends.
Goodbye and to your Lords of Kobol I ask, protect and keep our friends safe always.”

The crew watched on in astonishment as the holographic image of the Delphian queen appeared to gesture a praying motion with her hands and then disappeared as suddenly as she appeared.

“Vice Admiral, a massive amount of data is being uploaded to our hard drives, it’s coming directly from the Delphian Hive Ship.” Commented the communications officer.

After around twenty minutes the massive upload was complete, but what was this precious gift of knowledge Queen Anastasia had bestowed upon them?

Slowly the Hive Ship moved backwards and away from the Pegasus as, simultaneously a communication came in from the Omega….

“Sheba, report!” commanded Admiral Boomer.

“Tell me what I want to hear, the Delphian ship has uploaded data to your hard drives but no systems have been compromised?” quizzed Boomer anxiously.

“Exactly that Sir, plus a message, a message of thanks and that they are leaving to find a new home on a moon of Gamoray.”

“Yes, yes Sheba that confirms it, the other Delphian ships have powered up and are heading out of our orbit, I guess to join their Queen.”

Boomer paused for a moment before whispering….

“Goodbye Anastasia, God’s speed and we will pray for your safe arrival at your new home, until we meet again.

To be Continued….

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2021 4:29 pm 
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Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage to Earth Episode 28 – Beyond the Stars part 1

December 21st 7031

Admirals log and year end summary.

As we reach the end of another tumultuous year I take stock of our achievements, of the final victory over the Cylons, and indeed the tremendous personal loss at achieving it!
In many ways it has been the bitterest pill to swallow and the hollowest of victories, yet one we had to win to finally rid ourselves of the looming threat from our sworn enemies, and one which we had to gain in order to achieve our final goal, that of sailing for Earth.
I am heartened by the successful mission to resurrect the Delphian race and fervently hope they will prosper, and that our paths will cross again one day, after all we need all the friends we can get out here in the vastness of space.
Having achieved this goal, my thoughts turn inevitably to our second, as yet unfulfilled promise.
Our Cylon advisors have been extremely patient, as is their wont, and have been willing to assist the president and I in more ways I could have ever dared to ask, yet their patience is not infinite and something I feel I cannot take for granted for very much longer.
With this in mind and the seasons festivities beginning in earnest tomorrow, I have asked Lucifer and Spectre to join me this evening in the inauguration of the new remembrance gardens and arboretum outside the city walls, as the guests of myself and president Valentine.
I’m not really sure what I expect to achieve by this, other than to show them both my gratitude and esteem, together with that of the president, and frankly to buy more time for the senate And I to formulate our plans for them.
On the subject of plans, Sire Valentine has told me in confidence of his fears for our two Cylon friends and of his sadness at the apathy, even hostility in some quarters toward them. I understand he is seeking counsel on this matter from Sire Galen and the clergy and will enlighten me with his thoughts soon.
Tomorrow sees the beginning of the Christmas holiday period as our long-suffering citizens can finally enjoy the period as no other, with the Cylon threat removed and the city infrastructure complete.
Meanwhile up here in orbit I can now boast a formidable battle fleet of eight cruisers and four Super Battlestar’s, soon to be joined by a fifth.
Sire Galen has finally completed the last ship in the Discovery fleet with the addition of a desalination vessel to be known as ‘eau bénite’ or holy water in Earth’s French language.
This evening I have been asked to press flesh with the great and the good of our nobles, a request from our president, I believe he has an agenda with these festivities which is intrinsically linked to the Cylon advisors, again something he will share with me in due course.
We in the military and senate must enjoy these festivities while we can, as in the new year we will be expected to finally deliver on our promise to strike for Earth!” ends.

Scene 1 – Reflection and Revelation

President Valentine had spared no effort or expense in showcasing his beautiful new facility in tribute to the fallen. Poplar trees surrounded the huge, landscaped arboretum and lined networks of paths and walkways.

Within the gardens were a vast array of deciduous trees and various rockeries and planted flower beds.
A winter wonderland of lights and decorations adorned each avenue, each leading to a vast central lawn where a huge marquee had been erected to accommodate the guests in shelter from the crisp winter air.

Inside the marquee the assembled dignitaries filed in and were shown to their seats by ushers.
Before the ceremony, several other gatherings had taken place over the past weeks for many of the major religions, the colonies having many religious parallels with their descendants from the thirteenth colony, the people of Earth.

The Sikh celebration of the birthday of the first Guru, Nanak in November, Diwali and Ashura for the Hindu’s and Muslins respectively later in the month, and the Jewish festival of Hannukah in mid December to name just a few.

This day was also incredibly special for the colonials, the day known as Yule in the Pagan calendar, the time of the winter solstice when new life is born through the love of the Gods, a fact not lost on the new president as he shuffled his notes in preparation for his opening remarks to the guests.

Finally as all had been offered refreshments in their seats, President Valentine rose to address them to a warm round of applause….

“My dear friends, it is with immense pride tinged with sadness that I address you this evening, but also hope, hope for a better tomorrow for all. It’s apt that on such a chilly evening outside we are blessed with love and warmth here inside.

The coldness and blackness of our enemies now vanquished, to be replaced by that love and warmth, demonstrated by the remnants of those very enemies who, like us choose a different path.

It is with this observation I make no apology for singling out two men, yes men and not Cylons who have, possibly more than any mere human, helped lead us to victory and prosperity.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please be upstanding for Lucifer and Spectre, our two former enemies, now friends, advisors and above all saviours, without who’s help in our recent deadly battle with the Cylons, well, the outcome would have been much different.”

Much to the embarrassed resignation of the president and Admiral, the two men were given polite, yet lukewarm applause.

To add further embarrassment, the two Cylons refused to appear from behind a curtain behind the main stage, determined to keep their identities a closely guarded secret, so that one day they may walk freely among the masses.

However, President Valentine had made his point to the Cylons and as a consequence, issued a veiled warning to them that if they assumed the love and admiration of the president and Admiral was mirrored by the population, they were sadly mistaken.

Many in the audience were old enough to remember the betrayal and massacre at the armistice all those decades earlier in the colonies.
As the awkward moment gradually faded with the merriment of the evening, the two Cylons had taken the hint with gratitude, if unspoken, toward the president and Admiral.

It was fast becoming apparent to the two mechanical men of the divided opinion toward them, demonstrated by the thinly veiled contempt of the masses!
Finally and mercifully the speeches were over, and food served, followed by carols and evensong.

To end the evening the guests were asked to vacate the marquee to witness the unveiling of several monuments.

Statues depicting the Admirals William Adama, Lee Adama, Saul Tigh, plus many other fallen heroes including Starbuck, Marc Jansen, and the many scientists and civilians that had helped deliver the new colony to a place of peace and prosperity, all were honoured.

The largest statue depicted the three departed Admirals all looking up toward the stars as the senior Admiral, William points the way to Earth to his companions.

The statue was inscribed with the words of William Adama thus….

Colonial Star date 23 June 7015

“For 25 years now, we have been on our pilgrimage to a lonely planet known as Earth, our sister world known to us from ancient scriptures. Is she really the salvation we all crave or just another false dawn, can she save us, can she sustain our rag tag fleet and finally bring us in from the cold? Will her inhabitants welcome us with open arms or with suspicion or even outright hostility, I fear our questions will be answered soon enough; surely it is only a matter of when and not if, before we encounter our Earth brothers and sisters”

Looking at the inscription on the plinth, president Valentine turned to his guests and growled scornfully….

“That was sixteen long years ago Ladies and Gentlemen, remember those that came before us, those that gave their lives to get us here, but also, remember those that still sacrifice everything to take our colony forward, including those who you see as enemies!”
President Valentine did little to hide his distain at the lack of respect shown to his Cylon guests of honour.

Scene 2 – Valentine’s Plan

As the evening ended, Admiral Boomer concerned himself whether more harm had come from the evening than good, the president however had other ideas, having achieved the exact outcome he was hoping for and the proof he needed that his was the right plan.

Armed with these facts he was about to present this plan to the Admiral and his most senior officers and requested a secret meeting on board the Omega.

The next morning after reveille and breakfast Boomer ordered a security detail to check his wardroom for any signs of listening devices.
He ordered guards to remain outside as he welcomed a select few including the president, Sire Galen, Lord Justice Pine, Father Deveraux senior and Doctor Wilker, together with his Battlestar Commanders, Johnson, Rigal and Cain.

President Valentine rose to address the other eight as he slowly walked over to the nearest window, looked out at the planet Terra below and pointed to it before turning back towards the huge table….

“Gentlemen, and Lady” nodding toward Sheba… “I’ve asked you all here because of those people down there. It has come to my attention that my worst fears are correct.

It’s now sadly apparent that there are those among our people that will never trust a Cylon including some of you here, isn’t that right Sheba?”

Look, I’m not here to criticise any of you for that, God knows you have every right to hate their guts….” He took a long pause before continuing.

….but this leaves me with a huge headache, how to appease those ungrateful souls and yet do right by Lucifer and Spectre. I understand completely your concerns that history will repeat itself.

What was it someone once said, forget the past and we are doomed to repeat it.

That said I can’t ignore the many times those two Cylons have dug us out of a huge hole, helping us resurrect the second wave…and the Delphians. Helping us on the battlefield in subjugating the giant Behemoth ship, and so on and so forth.

We have made certain promises to them that we are duty bound to fulfil, particularly on finding them a new home.

On this I have disquieting news, it seems there are no planets within our quadrant that will sustain them. The probe ship Discovery has completed her first sweep and has come up empty, however!”

He began to pace around the table to emphasise his point.

“Telemetry indicates there may be a number of suitable planets on the path between us and ….Earth!”

This is something I had not anticipated but nonetheless presents us with an opportunity.

Before I invite Lucifer and Spectre to join us I need to make things clear.

I am mindful that I need to put in place certain safety measures should the unthinkable happen and they turn on us again, and yes Doctor Wilker I hear you say that’s impossible due to your teams re-programming of them.

What I propose is this, we give them enough responsibility to prove we have complete faith and trust in them…or put another way enough rope to hang themselves, either way we win.

Bear with me whilst I explain….

It is my intention to construct a giant anchorage facility halfway between here and Earth. This facility will act as a holding point for any from Earth that wish to join us.
The facility will be a refuelling point, a defence station, a place of rest and recuperation and a buffer between us and Earth.”

Commander Johnson raised his hand to interrupt the president as Valentine conceded the floor.

“Mister President, where do you propose to find the materials, time and manpower to construct such a massive facility?
We have barely enough materials to complete the new Battlestar given the huge amount we used up completing the Discovery Fleet according to our engineers?”

“I will answer that one…..It already exists.” Grinned Sire Galen.

“What if I told you the president and I have been in discussions with Toby my chief engineer and his crews and we have come up with a plan to solve all our problems in one go!

The answer is sitting right out there, the Behemoth….

What If I also told you we have completed our initial recon of the ship and she is perfect for conversion into such a facility.
If we converted her we could then crew her with…..the Cylons!

Who knows the vessel better than those who constructed her in the first place, we could then give Lucifer and Spectre free reign to command her autonomously, but with our guidance, and that way the Cylons will be out of our quadrant, and harms way.

The people of Terra will have their wish, as with some of you in ridding us of the real threat of an uprising. They will be at arms length and can crew the Behemoth without the need for us to use massive manpower, time and resources.” Added Galen.

“What do you think Admiral?” questioned Valentine anxiously.

“Brilliant, brilliant, this way everyone gets what they want, and all can come away from the party with a balloon.” Mused Boomer.

“Great, so I have your approval, what about the rest of you, any thoughts or concerns then now is the time to speak out.” Pressed Valentine.

All in the room digested the presidents plan and began to spontaneously applaud, he had the unanimous approval of all.
He sighed with relief before continuing…

“One more thing all of you, I ask you to keep this in the strictest of confidence and say nothing to the Cylons until we have further advanced our plans, in the mean time I have a gift for them both, something I think will appease them and buy us more time.”

Scene 3 – The Return of Diablo!

Valentine and Boomer took a moment to clear the table of any sensitive documents and drawings before preparing to allow the Cylons into the wardroom.

“Admiral will you please now instruct your guards to usher Lucifer and Spectre in?”
Asked the president.

The two Cylons walked in with clear agitation at being kept outside as Valentine gestured for them to take a seat at the head of the table.

“Gentlemen I can only apologise for the secrecy and subterfuge; however it is completely necessary for security reasons and I assure you both, all our plans will be revealed to you in full once they have been finalised.

I ask you to trust us when we say that certain measures are being put in place to guarantee your prominence in this new colony.
Look gentlemen, you both saw for yourselves the apathy, even contempt some nobles down there on the surface have for you both, as for the general population, well you can only imagine!

It’s not personal, just that, well, you are Cylons however you dress it up.
It’s not so much who your are but what you both represent.

Be assured we are working on a plan which, when fully implemented will give you everything you desire and more.
In the meantime I have a gift for each of you as a token of our gratitude and reverence.

Those of us in this room are in some form or other, Christians, and as you know it is the most holy part of our calendar in four days. At Christmastime it is customary for us to offer gifts to our friends, family and those we hold dear, in this case you both.
I will now ask the very reverend Father Deveraux to do the honours on our behalf, Father?”

Father Deveraux rose to address the secret gathering….

“Dear Friends, it is with the greatest of pleasure and gratitude we all sit here, with the finest food and wine, the sweet taste of victory, on the backs of those that loved us enough to give their today so that we may enjoy our tomorrow.

Two such men who risked more than most, their very identity, to forge a bond with us and turn their backs on their tyrannical pasts, sit here among us.

Lucifer, Spectre, it has become apparent to Doctor Wilker and I that you are becoming more human by the day, the Doctors Scientific findings backed up by my witnessing of your transition from machines to sentient beings.

It has therefore, also become apparent that as you both assimilate more into our lives, you will feel the same emotions as we, those of loneliness and isolation.

So… without further ado we offer you both a gift.

Lucifer, of the two of you, you are the one with the military brain, the tactical wizardry and skill on the battlefield, therefore we wish for you to have an aide to assist you in your quest to build a new Cylon fleet if that is your wish.

Please guards if you will?”

The guards duly opened the door as Doctor Wilker walked towards it to usher in the new guest.
To the complete astonishment of all in the room, in walked another Cylon, none other than the I.L series model who commanded the Behemoth.

“His name is…..Shaitan, a word for evil spirit in the Muslim belief.”
Commented Doctor Wilker.

The Cylon walked over to Wilker and spoke in a monotone robotic voice.
“Show me my master, creator.”

Doctor Wilker walked toward Lucifer and beckoned the Cylon to follow him.

“This is Lucifer, you will obey him and him alone.”

Shaitan turned to face Lucifer and bowed his head before speaking the terrifying words….
“By your command”

Lucifer looked stunned as the magnitude of his ‘Gift’ began to sink in.
Father Deveraux then turned to Spectre and spoke softly….

“Spectre, you are the one who has grasped the emotions of humankind the most and craves a new home to begin again.
It is you that covets the emotions we humans take for granted the most, and as such we gift to you the one who has studied humankind as a Cylon, the very one you killed in order to save your Master, Admiral Lee Adama.

We have constructed a new body for him, and he is fully functional once more, Spectre we gift you….Diablo.”

Diablo didn’t need to be shown his master, he remembered Spectre, walked toward him and bowed his head in deference….

“By your command” he uttered in the same monotone voice as his comrade.

It was almost as if a chill entered the room as the officers audibly groaned and Spectre began to weep gently as his loneliness began to fade at the sight of his new companion.
Just as Lucifer was the perfect war machine, Spectre the perfect example of the Cylons ability to be…..human!

Father Deveraux paused for a moment to allow the Cylons to gather their thoughts before continuing….

“Gentlemen, we are acutely aware of the loneliness and isolation you must both be feeling at having such a mixed reception by your human peers. You now have the irrefutable proof, as do we, of the task ahead of us in assimilating you both into human society.

That said it must also be clear to you both now, that those of us up here in the fleet hold you in the highest regard.
Furthermore, in light of your continued development as sentient beings, we are also acutely aware that you will both develop, er, how can I put this, physical as well as emotional needs.
With this in mind doctor Wilker is presently working on two prototype female I.L series Cylons for your companionship and comfort.”

The revelation bought further emotion from Spectre, who appeared genuinely touched by the gesture, Lucifer’s reaction however was starkly different, and he made his feelings clear!

“Listen to me all of you, I do not wish to appear ungrateful for this gesture, this companion, and want to make clear my gratitude, however!
Please tell me, if you hold us in such high regard then why were we locked out of this clandestine meeting like pariahs, if you have nothing to hide then why?”

Even his own comrade Spectre looked on in embarrassment at the rudeness of Lucifer, but the Cylon was unmoved and continued.

“Of all the times we have helped you in your darkest moments, ridding you of our former masters, showing you the way to the Garrison on Gamoray, and the lost fleet held by him!”

At this stage pointing to Diablo…

“Then helping you resurrect your comrades held captive by him, and helping your scientists devise the correct formulae and methods to bring them back from the dead…. and to cap it all, putting our very existence on the line to help you win that final battle and hand you the biggest prize in the Cylon Armada, the Behemoth.

Oh and let’s not forget us sacrificing our last Base Star to help you achieve your quest to resurrect those Delphians you seem to love so much, and all the time we are being asked to construct a new Battlestar for you while we are forced to pick through the scraps of a lost Cylon Fleet!
For all this our reward is…. Secrecy and subterfuge!”

Boomer looked on incredulously and snapped back at Lucifer.

“So what would you have us do, what would you have your president do to appease you”

“Simple, let us in on your plans, what’s the point in us being your advisors and liaison’s if you are going to keep us in the dark on your plans for us, it’s a fracking insult, to use your own vernacular!”

snapped Lucifer.

“It’s not that we don’t trust you, simply that we need to keep these plans under wraps until we are sure they are viable. We don’t want to promise you something only to find we can’t deliver.”
Commented president Valentine calmly.

“All the more reason to consult us then, surely the two most brilliant minds in the room are the ones that can decide whether your plans are viable or not, and if needs can offer their services to help you get to where you need to be?”
Snarled Lucifer.

“Hmm, I wonder who you could mean by that?” laughed Sheba sarcastically.

“Alright!” snapped Valentine, I will consult with my peers and give you an answer tomorrow, in the meantime you are both dismissed.” Ordered president Valentine.

“So more meetings behind our backs, like that’s going to appease us!” snapped Lucifer.

“Now listen to me you jumped up little toaster, your president has given you an order, we need to discuss the security implications of allowing you into our talks, you have your answer now frack off, we will send for you both tomorrow.
Oh, and take your new toys with you before we change our minds and take them back!”

Raged Boomer.

The room fell deathly silent as Boomer’s hand hovered menacingly over his sidearm as he watched Lucifer and Spectre meekly leave the room, followed by their new companions Shaitan and Diablo.

Upon confirmation the Cylons were out of earshot and heading for their shuttle, the officers and leaders continued to discuss the benefits and pitfalls of Valentines plan, now with the added urgency of knowing the patience of Lucifer had ran out!

Scene 4 – The wrath of Lucifer

Boomer had anticipated the ire of Lucifer and as such had taken safety measures, he had placed a listening device into the Cylons quarters knowing he would ask Spectre to join him in discussing their next moves.

“If I may mister president, I want to everyone here in on my ruse?” Asked Boomer.

“Please be my guest, let’s hear what our Cylon friends have to say.” Nodded Valentine.

“I have placed a bugging device in Lucifer’s room, I simply couldn’t take the chance of letting them in on our plans without first gauging their mood. I am gambling that they are comfortable enough in our midst now not to suspect our doubts about them and will speak freely.
They should just about be back at Lucifer’s quarters around now.”
Commented the Admiral.

All in the room nodded their approval, realising the gravity of the situation and waited for the conversation between the Cylons to begin.
Just as Boomer had anticipated, the two Cylons began to assess their predicament….

“What are you trying to do to us Lucifer, we simply can’t afford to antagonise the humans like that, look at us, we are all that’s left of our once mighty empire, save for twelve thousand reprogrammed Centurions who are under their control and another few thousand needing maintenance.

We have no moves left my friend, they have us exactly where they want us, we……”
Pleaded Spectre as Lucifer interrupted him.

“Don’t be so damn naïve Spectre, we have more latitude than you give us credit for, listen to me!

If they didn’t need us so much they wouldn’t have gone to all the trouble of sucking up to us like that, what with all those tributes down on the surface and now those two!”

He then pointed to Diablo and Shaitan standing in the corner of the room.

“It’s my suspicion they need us, they need us for something particularly important, something that they can’t do for themselves.
I’m telling you now my old friend, they are planning something that needs Cylons, I don’t know what, but something.

Spectre mused for a moment before replying….

“Very well then, if your suspicions are correct they will show their hand tomorrow, my guess is they will be discussing the security implications of, and benefits of allowing us into their plans at this very moment, and if you’re right they will call for us very soon and enlighten us.

We just need to be patient my friend.

Lucifer sensed the tension in Spectre’s tone and moved to reassure him.

“Look my old friend, I know you wish to form a bond with our human friends but be careful not to lose your own identity, as you say we are all that’s left of a once mighty Cylon empire, so we need to preserve that.

Be careful not to cosy up to them too much, I don’t trust them to do right by us!” Exclaimed Lucifer.

“Do right by us, are you kidding?” Questioned Spectre.

“Our kind all but destroyed them, is it really any surprise they don’t trust us. Look, we simply need to play this out, one day we will have outlived them all, and if your fears turn out to be true then we will have our time and exact our revenge.

However, it’s my honest belief that Admiral Boomer and President Sire Valentine are men of honour and integrity, I believe they will make good on their promises to look after us.
Anyway we will know soon enough so why not play this out to it’s conclusion and see what they offer us in return for all we have done for them?
We have nothing to lose by giving them the benefit of the doubt, but everything to lose by betraying them, after all, they will probably be expecting that and will have a back up plan!” Exclaimed Spectre.

Lucifer paced around his quarters for a moment before agreeing.
“Very well Spectre, we will do this your way, I’m doing this for you as your only real friend and comrade.
We agree for now, let’s see what tomorrow brings us, now lets try out our new taste bud upgrades courtesy of Doctor Wilker and crack open a bottle of wine before we retire.”
The conversation then veered away from the tension they felt toward the humans and onto more mundane matters.

Meanwhile in the wardroom, Boomer, the president and all had listened in with interest!

“Well that just about confirms my fears, we have Spectre with us, but we cannot trust Lucifer.”

Moaned Boomer.

“It’s of little consequence my friend, they will comply, or face the consequences.”
Snarled Valentine in a show of solidarity with his Admiral.

“I want all of you to have some input here, I‘m minded to give them the benefit of the doubt and include them in our plans for the sake of getting project Behemoth off the drawing board.”

He added.

All in the room looked confused as to which direction to take, so Valentine proposed a vote.

Sheba, John Rigal and Lord Justice Pine all voted to proceed without the Cylons, Boomer abstained, the rest however voted in favour of allowing them access to the plans and the motion was carried by a two to one majority.

At the conclusion of the talks Boomer opened a channel to Lucifers quarters….

“Lucifer, Admiral Boomer here, do you have Spectre with you?”

“Well what do you think?” Came the terse reply.

“Very well, you are both requested to join us in my wardroom tomorrow, two P.M sharp.”

“We’ll be there Admiral.”

The meeting then broke up and was adjourned for the following afternoon.

Lucifer had won a significant victory over the humans, having secured a seat along with Spectre at the most important meeting held since the battle.
He had made his point but at a cost, with the first signs of a rift between himself and his comrade and closest ally!

Scene 5 – The Birth of Project Behemoth

As agreed, the meeting reconvened the next afternoon with the same players, but this time with the inclusion of Lucifer and Spectre as full participants in the talks.

Due to the urgency of the plans, Boomer had arranged only a light lunch of sandwiches and coffee for the delegates as they got down to business immediately.

President Sire Valentine stood and cleared his throat.

“Friends all, we all know these are particularly trying times and that yesterday’s events have left an unfortunate aftertaste.

That said it is imperative that we begin this meeting in the right spirit, therefore I will ask Sire Galen to show a presentation, first shown to me in my private quarters on the ship of governance on his masterplan known as project Behemoth, Sire?”

The president then yielded the floor to Galen to present his masterplan to all, including the Cylons who were now fully involved in the meeting, Lucifer’s mood having softened at the knowledge he had secured a rare victory over his Admiral.

Galen began….

“If I may everyone, I will now reveal to you my masterplan, and what has brought about this ambitious project and the thinking behind it.
Our president and I, and indeed Admiral Boomer have deep seated reservations about our forthcoming mission to Earth.

Without poring over old ground we all know the people of Earth are a warring planet, and that they are some five thousand years behind our technology…..”

As he paused the Cylons feigned surprise at the revelation.

“Yes Lucifer and Spectre, we are giving it to you straight.

The fact is, had we led your old masters to Earth, well, we would have brought destruction to our long-lost brothers just as surely as if we had wrought it upon them ourselves.

They are in no fit state to defend themselves, how we know this is of little importance right now, you only need to realise the sheer magnitude of our mission to Earth.

What started out as our approaching them for help, against you, or rather the Cylons has been completely turned on it’s head.
It now seems apparent that it is US that will be helping THEM!

Point being, the secrecy behind the mission to Earth, and that of the plan I am about to reveal to you all now has been essential.

What we propose is a plan that will, hopefully, fulfil the needs of our long-lost brothers on Earth, the needs of our people down on the surface for reassurance, and at the same time proving to you both once and for all that you are right at the very centre of our plans.

I will elaborate further….

You both wish to be at the centre of our community, well you at least Spectre, but it must be apparent to you now that assimilating you into society down there will be, well, frankly nigh on impossible given the depth of mistrust for your kind.

This is most unfortunate, but not the fault of anyone up here.

However, we feel we have a solution, it sits out there on the perimeter of the fleet, the Behemoth!

Gentlemen, what we propose is to construct a space station, somewhere out there beyond the Stars!

Somewhere around halfway between Terra and the planet Earth we plan to construct an anchorage, a place of refuge, rest and recuperation, a defence station and a buffer between us and those on Earth.

Obviously, we can’t just turn up from space and scare the living daylights out of those people on Earth, they aren’t ready to receive us yet, at least not the general populous.

So, we plan to bring them on slowly, to bring their technology up to ours gradually, and at the same time, assess whom among them we can trust, and can help us.
This is where you come in gentlemen.

How would you like to have the freedom you could only have dreamt of when we captured you? How would you both like to command the biggest and most advanced forward staging post ever to be constructed?

Yes gentlemen, a facility completely controlled by you, and of course crewed by your own Centurions!
You would have complete autonomy but would report to us on a regular basis and of course would be expected to allow unfettered access of the facility to us as and when we deem fit.

In summary, you would have complete freedom, you would be away from the threat of an uprising from the civilians of Terra, and yes we would still attempt to find you a suitable home world on which to settle, this is a promise we will keep, regardless of your decision to take up this offer or not.”

The president then continued the proposal….

“One other thing of note gentlemen, you seek a fleet of your own, so I am offering you another deal, a kind of side deal if you will.
I have been in talks with Admiral Boomer over the strength of the fleet when half is away on the mission to Earth.

Like his predecessor, our Admiral has always made it clear he felt the fleet would need to be boosted to six full Battlestar’s, not just the four we have and the one under construction.
We wish to have four Battlestar’s here defending Terra, allowing us to send not one, but two to defend our Discovery fleet, one leading the fleet and one at the rear flank, and still leave a credible force of four behind.

Point being, we cannot ask our people to sacrifice more time away from their families and Galen’s engineers and construction teams are dead on their fleet. So, you build us a sixth and in return we will mine the raw materials to help you construct two full Base Stars, one each for you, and of course both fully crewed.

So gentlemen, we are offering you complete freedom, the chance of a new home world, a new fleet and a key part in the very fabric of our plans, control over the most important facility in the entire colony!”

He paused to allow his words to hit home before continuing….

“Before you decide gentlemen, Galen will now show you his presentation.”
Galen stood and walked toward the main viewing screen and took a remote controller from a desk nearby.

“Gentlemen, I present to you Base Station Behemoth, the most advanced facility in the history of mankind…”
With this announcement a video presentation was about to began showing in detail the exact blueprints and virtual walkthrough of the planned facility.

Lucifer held up his right hand to stop Galen from continuing his presentation.

“I need to ask?” Said Lucifer.

“What are the consequences of Spectre and I refusing to agree to your plans?”

Boomer stared at Lucifer and was about to deliver a measured response when a voice came over his communicator….

“Admiral, I apologise for the interruption, you said to only message you in an emergency!” exclaimed his communications officer.

“Go on Bellaby, what is it?” Questioned Boomer to his new communications officer, nephew of the legendary Siress Bellaby, none other than the woman William Adama had to court in order to gain use of a vital Energizer to power up a damaged Agro ship thirty-five years earlier!

“Admiral Sir!” he exclaimed nervously, “We are getting reports of a disturbance down in the city, it appears there is a demonstration taking place.”

“Really Bellaby? this couldn’t wait?” He questioned angrily.

“Sir it’s just, well it’s a demonstration against….the Cylons, the people are threatening insurrection if the Cylons are not removed from the fleet!”

“Do you have any footage?” replied Boomer.

“Yes sir, the C.N.N news teams are covering events as we speak.”

“Very well then, send it to my communicator and I will relay it to the man viewing screen here in the wardroom, and thank you for bringing this to my attention, you did the right thing son.” Reassured Boomer to the young officer.

“Gentleman, I think you need to see this, it might help focus your minds!”

Exclaimed Boomer to the two stunned Cylons as the footage was relayed to his communicator, and then to the main viewing screen for all to witness.
All watched in stunned silence as an angry mob walked through the main thoroughfare of Zelan City demanding the removal of all Cylons from the entire Colony.

“Cylons out, Cylons out, Cylons out grew the cries as protestors gathered outside the main courthouse.
“Death to the Cylons” yelled several protestors as they attempted to storm the new parliamentary building under construction in the main square.

All in the wardroom looked on in silence as the footage played.

“Well Lucifer, does that answer your question, if you really want to know if you have any alternatives then there’s your answer, you don’t!” He barked.
We cannot protect you from them forever, if you want to live, help us form a new base and a new home for you away from here.

To be continued….

 Post subject: Re: Pilgrimage to Earth
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:11 am 
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Location: The Planet Terra
Pilgrimage to Earth Episode 28 – Beyond the Stars part 2

Continued from part 1

“Gentleman, I think you need to see this, it might help focus your minds!”
Exclaimed Boomer to the two stunned Cylons as the footage was relayed to his communicator, and then to the main viewing screen for all to witness.
All watched in stunned silence as an angry mob walked through the main thoroughfare of Zelan City demanding the removal of all Cylons from the entire Colony.

“Cylons out, Cylons out, Cylons out grew the cries as protestors gathered outside the main courthouse.
“Death to the Cylons” yelled several protestors as they attempted to storm the new parliamentary building under construction in the main square.

All in the wardroom looked on in silence as the footage played.

“Well Lucifer, does that answer your question, if you really want to know if you have any alternatives then there’s your answer, you don’t!” He barked.
We cannot protect you from them forever, if you want to live, help us form a new base and a new home for you away from here.

Scene 6 – Over A Barrell

Boomer allowed the footage to play for several minutes as the two Cylons looked on in horror.

“Very well Admiral, we’ve seen enough, you’ve made your point.” Moaned Lucifer ruefully.

“Look I’m sorry you had to see that but, well as if to make our points for us, you simply aren’t safe down there, despite all you have both done for us in the military and senate, frankly those down there don’t care one bit.

They want you away from Terra, or better still, dead!” exclaimed Boomer with raised arms.

So put simply, to answer your question Lucifer, the consequences of you not agreeing to our proposal is, ultimately death!!

You must both realise that our time in control of this colony is short, the President and I aren’t getting any younger and we simply cannot guarantee your safety once we have gone.

Whoever replaces us as Admiral and President will surely have their own agenda, which will likely mean making an impression on the citizens, and an example of their authority and power by sacrificing all Cylons, including you both!”
Exclaimed Boomer.

“With respect Admiral, you don’t know that for sure?” questioned Spectre.
“No I don’t, but neither do you know otherwise, anyhow, do you really want to take that chance, either of you?” He pressed.

Spectre bowed his head and placed it into his palms as the magnitude of the situation hit home to him , Lucifer also began to look pensive as he too realised their plight.

“Lucifer, we don’t have any choice, I say we put our trust in the Admiral and President and agree to these proposals, I’ve told you already, we are out of options, that is now abundantly clear.” Pleaded Spectre to Lucifer.

Lucifer stood up quickly and slammed his fist on the table in exasperation causing his glass of water to spill onto the table.

“God’s damn it, you have us over a fracking barrel!

Very well then I concede, we will agree to your proposals in their entirety.”

Groaned Lucifer to the obvious relief of Spectre.

“I just have one request?” He countered.

“I want full control over the Behemoth, I am the one with the military brain, Spectre is more suited to being a liaison, Viceroy I believe is the term.
Spectre is far too modest to request this position for himself so I will do it for him…”

Spectre looked on in embarrassment tinged with pride at his comrade speaking up for him.

“I request you appoint Spectre to the post of becoming your peace envoy to the people of Earth, he can have full control of civic matters on the Behemoth allowing me to command the facility and Centurions autonomously.”

“Is this also your wish Spectre?” asked president Valentine.

“Yes mister president, it would be an honour and privilege to be appointed such a prestigious position, to be appointed your personal envoy to the Earth people would be a dream appointment for me.” He smiled broadly.

Unlike his comrade, Spectre quickly realised where his loyalties should lay, not that either of them had a choice!

“Then it is settled, we will liaise with you both on finalising Galen’s plans for the layout of the new Behemoth.” Replied president Valentine.

He continued….

“Oh, just one other thing, what about our Admiral? You have both got a great deal, I too am content but what about giving our Admiral a show of faith too…”

“You mean a sixth Battlestar? Yes very well, we will agree to enlist the Centurions to construct the last Battlestar, but it comes with a caveat!”
Exclaimed Lucifer.

“A favour for a favour, when the ship under construction is complete and you have five Battlestar’s, you must then help us by mining the raw materials for two new Base Star’s.

When and only when they are complete and operational will we begin work on your final warship, you give us something and we will give you something back, those are my terms.”

Retorted Lucifer with authority.

“I am your president, and I WILL have the final say, you will complete the new Battlestar, then we will mine the materials for both new Basestar’s but will allow you to build only one, when the sixth Battlestar is complete you may begin construction on your second Base Ship, but you WILL NOT dictate terms to me Lucifer!” He snapped.

Lucifer meekly nodded before replying.

“Forgive my impudence, as you wish mister president.”

Lucifer had been forced into a humiliating climbdown by president Valentine who was in no mood to compromise any further.

The meeting had dragged on into early evening as the delegates began to relax, the final sticking points having been removed and the mood softening to more cordial matters.

After further refreshments, Valentine contacted his aide to begin drafting up the agreements for Lord Justice Pine to ratify and all parties to sign.
The president was anxious to get the deal over the line before Lucifer had time to change his mind and within an hour the documents had arrived, and all were duly signed off.

The agreement was sealed to the obvious relief of Valentine and Admiral Boomer, he now beaming at the prospect of not one, but two brand new Super Battlestar’s to bolster his mighty fleet!

Sensing they were about to outstay their welcome, Lucifer and Spectre asked to be excused and left the wardroom.

After they had left, a huge sigh of relief emanated from every remaining person in the wardroom and more village ambrosia was ordered.

“Thank you mister president, at last I will have the firepower to take a credible force to Earth and still leave an even larger one behind to protect our people, thanks to you.
Smiled Admiral Boomer.

“Well the main thing is they swallowed the bait, hook line and sinker.” Laughed the president.

“You mean, the protests?” Asked Jolly.

“Hah, yes, whilst we are on the subject of thanks, I thank you Admiral for not giving the game away and going along with my ruse, point being I don’t trust those bastards any more than you, they’re just damn Cylons when all said and done.”

Commented Valentine to the astonishment of the others.

“So the protests were staged by you both, to frighten the life out of those two hapless Cylons?”

Quizzed Jolly with a huge grin.

“Well yes, obviously.” Smiled president Valentine to the amusement of all.

Scene 7 – Boomers Boon

After the meeting broke up, a tired Admiral retired to his quarters more content than he had been in a long time, safe in the knowledge he had secured two brand new super Battlestar’s and had the complete backing of his president.

The bond between the two men was now as strong as that enjoyed by their predecessors Adama and Dmitri, if anything even stronger. Valentine had the same steely determination as the former president, but, like Boomer a deep mistrust of the Cylons, even Lucifer and Spectre!

Boomer poured himself a large glass of his favourite bourbon and grabbed his new read, a book on famous battle strategies of the great warriors, including those of the late Commander Cain.

Like Apollo, he loved to read about famous victories and how they were achieved, he was a student of great leaders, and was becoming one himself, learning not only the art of war but the art of peace.

He remembered a conversation he had with Apollo shortly before the Battle of Jansen Point in which the late Admiral stated.

“In order to be a great leader, one also has to be a great diplomat, negotiator and father figure to his warriors”

Something he in turn had learned from his father, the great William Adama.

Boomer was becoming just such a man, his natural aggression now being tempered and complimented by a newfound diplomacy and empathy toward his peers.

He slowly sipped his bourbon, enjoying its aroma as he finished the chapter he was reading and gradually sank into a deep sleep, a better one than he had enjoyed in a long time.

The next morning found him with renewed vigour and a swagger somewhat reminiscent of his old friend Starbuck.

After a hearty breakfast of steak and eggs he made his way to the C.I.C to find Athena running the ship like a well-oiled machine, she too growing in stature as a leader by the day.

Boomer surveyed his domain and nodded to Athena approvingly as she completed her handover to him, briefing him on the operational check list of the ships systems.

For once all was well on the Bridge with only a short list of minor system checks and reports to perform.
With matters in hand on the Omega, he decided to allow Athena more time in command knowing it would soon be time to assess his candidates for the command of the two new ships.

Despite her having worked the night watch, Athena was in her element in the command seat and was able to manage her fatigue, so readily agreed to work overtime to allow Boomer to inspect the works on the new warship.

The Admiral ordered his shuttle to be prepared and requested permission to approach the construction platform where the new vessel was taking shape.

Lucifer had heard of Boomers intended visit and was keen to make amends for his outburst at the recent meeting, so offered his services as guide to the works and modifications to the Battlestar’s original design.

The new vessel was different from the four existing Battlestar’s in that she was to be a command Battlestar, the existing ships a standard combat version.

She was in effect being constructed as the lead ship in the new Discovery fleet and was to act as, not only a warship, but also a diplomatic safe haven for talks between the Colonials and people of Earth.

As his shuttle neared the site of the mighty ship, Boomer was surprised to see the progress on the vessel, already some sixty percent complete, a testament to the tenacity of the Cylon Centurions under the guidance of Lucifer himself and Tobias Beckett, lead engineer and nominee of the soon to be assembled new council of the twelve.

Tobias Beckett, Toby to his friends, was a no-nonsense giant of a man, in stature and character, he stood at an impressive six feet four in his stocking feet and had hands like shovels, hence his nickname among the engineers of ‘Shovel hands’.

Although a quiet man by nature, he was also an ultra intelligent and rational man, thinking every plan through before implementing it, always looking at the bigger picture, and the main reason for Sire Galen’s newly formed “Galen Lines” Shipyards becoming an overnight success.

Meanwhile on the shuttle, Boomer sensed Lucifer’s change in tone and played upon it as they neared the site of the soon to be ‘Command Super Battlestar’ to give it’s full title, although to Admiral Boomer she was the new ‘Battlestar Galactica’ in all her splendid glory!

“So tell me Lucifer, what exactly is this new er, ‘Core command’ I think I heard you and Toby mention, and what does it do?”

Asked an intrigued Boomer.

“Ah well!” Exclaimed Lucifer with glee, happy that Boomer had asked the exact question he was hoping for…

“Well I know you are a student of past battles, I of ship design, a trait I share with Toby, I was instrumental in some of the upgrades to the Cylon fleet including the new Darkstar Base Stars.
Back in the day I was a prominent Basestar Commander Before my capture.” He boasted as Boomer rolled his eyes mockingly.

“Yes I know who you were, but that was then, right now you are just another person trying to suck up to me, the Admiral of the Fleet, so get in line Lucifer.”

Boomer’s put down was deliberate, he was in no mood to hear Lucifer’s self indulgence bordering on arrogance, and the Cylon duly took the hint and quickly altered his tone.

Lucifer cleared his throat in a humanoid fashion, as if to erase his embarrassment before continuing…

“Er yes Admiral, Core command….. well I’m sure you will have pored over every single piece of those discs you obtained from that Earth satellite, right?”

Lucifer had completely blindsided the Admiral with his revelation that he knew about the discovery and capture of the probe from Earth, but how?!!

“I er, I didn’t realise you knew about….” Mumbled Boomer as Lucifer seized his chance to turn the tables in a de-facto arm wrestle of intellect with Boomer.

“You think us fools Admiral, Spectre and I were tracking that Earth probe long before you captured it but couldn’t get near it as you got to it first, but not before Spectre, with his advanced tracking, managed to scan some of the data, and yes we already knew of the weaknesses of the Earthlings before you did.”

He grinned mockingly having made his point, but knew to quit while he was ahead, so then began to massage Boomer’s ego, having antagonised him enough!

“Anyhow, back to your question, what is Core command, well, in the probe from Earth, as you very well know were references to certain battles, like one I know you and the Late Adama knew very well, the charge of the light brigade.

“Oh yes ‘Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to do or die’.” Replied an impressed Boomer.

“Yes, however, I’m not referring to that battle right now, but of a much more recent Earth battle, namely a series of dogfights over southern England in the Earth year of 1940 between the British Royal Air Force and the German Luftwaffe.
Countered Lucifer.

“Yes I remember it being mentioned on one of the discs, but what does that have to do with….”
Probed Boomer.

Scene 8 – The Few

“Allow me to elaborate, Spectre and I, but mostly I, have discovered a weakness in your fleets communications, one which could be exploited by an enemy force, one incidentally that we Cylons used to our advantage when overwhelming your forces back in the colonies.”

“Go on.” Snarled Boomer impatiently.

“Well simply put, your ship-to-ship communications are woeful! Your Viper pilots rely on courage and skill rather than co-ordination from their host warship.

We Cylons relied heavily on teamwork, we swarmed, fought in numbers and hunted in packs!

Simply put, there are no ego’s with Cylon Centurions, only a desire to serve the collective!
You had far too many Starbuck’s in your fleet to ever prevail.” Mocked Lucifer.

“Make your point before I blow your tin head off you….”

Boomer had allowed himself to be baited.

“There, you see, you’ve just made my point for me, too much testosterone, too much emotion, and not enough cold, calculated co-ordination.
A battle should NEVER be about ‘I’ but about ‘We’ Admiral.”

Back to my point, in the ‘Battle of Britain’ the needs of the many were served by the deeds of the few., but also by….radar.

Although light years behind the Cylons, and in fact the Colonials in technology, the humans at the time relied on a network of systems to track the incoming enemy forces and warn their pilots.

By the time the German Bombers were over the coast of southern Britain, most of the available fighter squadrons had already been scrambled to engage those bombers and the accompanying fighter escorts.”

Admiral Boomer began to take note with interest….

You see Admiral, you had us beat every time with your pilots skill and grit, but we had teamwork and co-ordination on our side.”
Added Lucifer.

“Yes but also far superior numbers, the element of surprise, oh and a small matter of treachery!” Snapped Boomer.

“Look I’m not here to er, what’s that phrase your warriors use, compare dicks, I’m simply telling you the facts, if you choose to ignore then that’s up to you Admiral.”

He soon coloured red as he realised he had inadvertently angered Boomer even more….

“Look, I’m sorry Admiral, I mean no disrespect but in order to be a good military advisor I need to cut to the chase and talk facts, not hyperbole!”
I realise only too well you can make life difficult for me, but unlike Spectre I believe in facts, not fantasy.

He is a dreamer, I am a realist, and the reality is you have a weakness in your defences which I alone have addressed, now if you indulge me, I will explain once we are on board the new ship.

Lucifer had unwittingly laid bare the tension between himself and Spectre to Boomer, a very unexpected development, and one the Admiral knew he could exploit to his advantage!

Gradually Boomer’s shuttle circumvented the construction site and vectored in to land where Tobias Beckett was eagerly awaiting his, and Lucifer’s arrival.

Scene 9 – The Legend Lives On

“Omega shuttle requesting permission to land on construction star Albrachadel?”

Asked Boomer’s shuttle pilot.

“Permission granted; you are clear to land on the aft landing pad.”

Finally, Lucifer had the opportunity to bury his embarrassment with the pride he had in the design of the newest warship to the Terran fleet.

The anticipation was palpable in both Boomer and Lucifer, but for vastly different reasons.

To Lucifer, the ship meant exoneration, reward for his foresight in designing the most technologically advanced warship in the history of the colonies.

To Boomer, she represented the continuation of a legend, a warship whose name would live on in the annals of history. The ship that would finally lead their people to Earth!

Upon landing on the huge construction platform, Boomer was greeted by Toby Beckett and given a short safety briefing, this was after all a dangerous construction site with cables, machinery and scaffolding all around.

Admiral, it’s a pleasure to have you on board, now please don this tabard and
hard hat while I escort you to the heart of this vessel, the C.I.C and….Core Command!”

The three men gradually snaked their way around a labyrinth of cables and half-built bulkheads where Cylon Centurions were working side by side with human engineers.

Boomer was impressed to see the co-operation between Cylon and Human workers, he noted it bode well for the future of the colony.

Finally they reached a familiar site to Boomer, although far from complete, the shape of the C.I.C could be clearly seen, notably still lacking the all-important commanders seat.

“Admiral, we shall not dwell in here, you are all too familiar with these surroundings, what Toby and I want to show you is the centrepiece of this new ship, which, when complete will be the flagship of your fleet and the envy of all the other commanding officers!”

Beamed Lucifer.

They gradually walked toward a lift where they descended one deck below to a vast circular room with a glass fronted viewing gallery above circumscribing its perimeter.


It’s, it’s like fighter command, the one you described from the Battle of Britain on Earth, I read about it too.”

Exclaimed Admiral Boomer.

“But infinitely superior Admiral, this room when complete, will house the very pinnacle of technology available to us.”

Replied Lucifer before continuing….

“From here your plotters will be able to direct your fighters from all ships, not just this one, in a co-ordinated attack on your enemies.
They will be able to load programs to the giant plotting table from the balcony above, from it you will be able to witness a battle’s progress, and not just from the perspective of this command ship, but all ships in the battle fleet.

You will also be able to bring up any listed star chart, and any new information on the planets in the immediate quadrant as they are scanned.

From this very room the helmsman can control the movements of the entire fleet via a central command and control interface, your launch officer will also be able to remotely launch ALL fighters in the entire fleet from here in one united strike wing!

“But how is this possible?” Questioned Boomer.

“By a series of override commands which the C/O and X/O will have been given, point being, if another ships C.I.C crew are killed or incapacitated in any way, the officers on this ship will, through the flag officers, be able to wrest control of the other ships systems.”

Grinned Lucifer before continuing.

“When you engaged my former allies in battle, they were always at an advantage in the ability to control the entire Cylon force from one central command vessel, you will now also have this capability, thanks to the new Galactica’s Core Command!”

Admiral Boomer stared at Lucifer, unable to process the information he had just received.

“So you’re telling me this room, this facility will be the very hub of the entire Battle fleet, from here we can remotely control the rest of the fleet, and override the commands of the other C/O’s, is that correct?” Quizzed Boomer with disbelief.

“Yes, exactly that” replied Beckett.

“You see, the Behemoth continued to fight us even after the commanding officers were subjugated by Lucifer and Spectre….remotely.

What Lucifer has devised is a failsafe, a way of taking control of the other warships in an emergency, should the commanding officers on those vessels be incapacitated or the ships systems damaged.

“You Admiral, or whomever commands this vessel will have the ultimate power to override the other commanders in battle should the need arise.

How many times have you seen a battle lost because of poor planning, poor leadership or the breakdown of the chain of command, or worse still the death of some of the commanding officers with no back up plan.

With this new facility, you will have the added insurance policy of negating such a scenario, but most importantly the advantage of being able to co-ordinate the entire battle, or operation from here. Admiral.”

Smiled Beckett.

He continued….

“We have prepared a small demonstration for you, if you’re ready Lucifer?” He added.

Boomer was then led to a small room where a makeshift auditorium had been prepared. Several seats were scattered around, and a large monitor erected in readiness for a computer-generated video simulation of the facility, when fully operational.

Boomer had never seen Lucifer so animated, nor Beckett for that matter, the two of them like children on Christmas day!

The presentation began with Boomer being handed a virtual reality headset.

“Please put this on Admiral, whilst I prepare to load the program.” Asked Lucifer.

The Admiral was startled as the video began to play on his headset….

He watched with amazement as a simulated battle began to unfold with computer generated images of crew members feverishly gaining control of a crippled vessel in the fleet to co-ordinate a united attack on an undefined enemy force.

He watched as the footage showed the C.I.C and head of a Battlestar being blown away with crew members being spewed out of the ship into the stars.

He witnessed the crew send a series of commands given by the C/O and X/O and, although crippled, the damaged vessel came about and joined the Command ship in a co-ordinated counter attack!

Several other simulations were shown highlighting the features of the new ‘Core Command’ facility.

Finally the simulation finished, Boomer removed his headset and shook his head violently as if to awaken from a dream.

“I, I don’t believe what I’ve just seen, that was fracking incredible.”

He said as Lucifer and Beckett both bristled with pride.

It took a great deal to impress Admiral Paul Boomer, but impressed he was!

He actually began to tremble as he realised the enormity of the technological advancement.

“This facility catapults us into the next dimension, it’s a fracking masterstroke.”

He laughed out loud and gabbed Lucifer by his shoulders and shook him.

“If you weren’t a toaster I’d kiss you.”

He then regained his composure and stared at the Cylon…

“I don’t get it though, one minute your baiting me, giving me all that shit and now this? You are an enigma wrapped in a puzzle for sure Lucifer, but which is the real you?” He pressed.

“Admiral, I know I have antagonised you before, I simply want to live!!”

The comment completely wrong-footed Boomer.

“Look, I may have been pissed off with you before, but I would never have destroyed you. I simply have to be sure who’s side you’re on, with Spectre it’s different, he has a dream to be, well, more human, but what is your dream Lucifer, tell me?"

Lucifer's answer sent a chill down Boomer’s spine….

“I wish to rebuild the Cylon Empire, to be at the command of a mighty Cylon force somewhere out there in the stars. I wish to be the Imperious Leader!”

Boomer looked at Beckett incredulously hoping for some kind of moral support.

Beckett took the hint and asked.

“And where exactly does that leave us then, fighting an enemy we have finally vanquished only to come back to haunt us once more?”

“NO, no I would NEVER turn my guns on you, the fleet or the colony.

It’s just that, well it’s pretty obvious we aren’t welcome here, at least not by the general population. As much as we respect you and are grateful for being assimilated into the military, it’s not enough.

It is quite apparent to Spectre and me now that we will never be accepted by your citizens, and, given this fact we need to do what you have done here, to build our own society, our own military, and our own home, away from here and the threat of those down on the surfaced that would do us harm.

You said it yourself Admiral, you won’t be around forever to protect us, so sooner or later we will have to protect ourselves, that’s why we need those two new Base Stars!”

Boomer looked around at the half-built surroundings that were to become the flagship of the colonial fleet before giving his measured answer.

“Lucifer, I think we CAN work together, if you complete this facility, this new Galactica, and promise to build the last Battlestar like this one, a command ship, I will personally guarantee you will get your two new Base Stars.

Furthermore, we WILL find you a new home, and in the meantime, fully involve you both in the inception, and eventual command of the new Behemoth facility.
I have made these promises to you in writing and I NEVER renege on a promise, and with respect, not even to a Cylon!”

Scene 10 – Peace Breaks Out

Boomer used his advantage to good effect, not only securing construction for the final capital warship in the fleet, but also a command ship, knowing the technical difficulties of constructing such a vessel would stretch Becketts engineers to the limit.

He quickly realised the benefits of having two such vessels, giving him the ability to lead the Discovery fleet with a command Battlestar and still leave one behind to oversee the fleet guarding Earth.

The ability of the Cylons to construct superior craft was now self evident, and as such Boomer mused how different things could have been all those centuries ago, had the humans not exploited their Cylon servants to the point of slavery!

Remarkably, he found himself feeling compassion for Lucifer, he had previously favoured Spectre, noting his desire to show more human traits like compassion, empathy and foresight.

He finally began to realise why he had despised Lucifer for so long, the Iron resolve the Cylon displayed for self preservation was in fact a mirror image of his own personality traits, and as he began to realise this fact, began to respect Lucifer in the same way he had Spectre, if for different reasons.

In their own minds both Cylons were fighting to survive, knowing the majority of civilian humans were against them, despite everything they had done to win over the colony, they were afraid!

Ironically, they had the physical power to crush a humans skull with one hand, the intellect to outsmart the most advanced computer, and the tenacity and stamina to work a human to complete exhaustion.

The one thing the Cylons lacked however was modesty, the very arrogance of the Cylon race was in the end their downfall. Greed, envy and a lust for the ultimate power over all they surveyed had come back to haunt them.
Just as the humans trust of the Cylons at the armistice had been their undoing, so the unrelenting need to conquer all before them proved the undoing of the Cylons!

In short, they had spread themselves so thin throughout the stars, using up all resources like locusts along the way, they had become the architects of their own demise!

All this meant Admiral Boomer and the president had the Cylons in an iron grip, intentionally or otherwise!

Upon completion of the inspection, Admiral Boomer and Lucifer boarded their shuttle and left Beckett behind with their thanks for an impressive demonstration of the new flagship.

Days turned to weeks as Boomer watched the ship near completion and knew he would soon have to make the agonising decision of separating his forces, and although he had an inkling of the thoughts and wishes of many of his warriors, many had still not declared their intention to stay or leave, and as such he would have to disappoint some.

To compound matters further, he received news that the president had finalised his plans for the new council of the twelve and was preparing to announce his new quorum to the media, in turn adding more pressure on him to decide on his own appointments.

Due to the close working relationship between the two leaders, Valentine sought first to consult with Boomer, particularly as two of the council members were from his own ranks and sent an encrypted message to his Admiral.

“Paul, I‘ve just sent you a list of my provisional choices for the council, I would like your input on these if you can spare me an hour in your quarters?” Questioned the President.

Boomer was surprised by the gesture of being consulted on the appointments, they being traditionally a matter purely for the Senate and the president, until he saw the list!

Scene 11 – Time to Break Eggs

Boomer agreed to see Valentine immediately, for once all matters were in hand and he was looking for an excuse to leave the C.I.C, wanting to see how Athena would react to being left in charge yet again, without a rest in almost twenty-four hours, he was testing her!

Once again she readily agreed, and Boomer welcomed the president to join him for drinks and a brainstorming session.

President Valentine was making his way over to the Omega when the file containing the encrypted list opened on Boomer’s desk computer.
He was stunned to see not one, but two of his most trusted Battlestar Commanders on it!

The list was as follows;

The New Council of the Twelve:

The President of the Council – Sire Valentine
Vice President – Sire Galen
Chairman - Lord Justice Pine
Treasurer and financial Advisor – Count Henry Young
Military liaison – Vice Admiral Cain
Military Advisor - Commander Andrew Johnson
Religious Advisor - Father Deveraux
Law Enforcement Advisor - Jordan Hunter
Science Liaison - Professor Cassiopeia
Engineering and Fleet Liaison - Tobias Beckett
Technology Advisor - Dr. Allam
Speaker - Grantly Somerville

Boomer knew he may have to concede losing one senior officer away on council duties, but could not afford to lose two, especially with the Discovery mission imminent and his fleet split.

The president was afforded all the usual pleasantries and a guard of honour awaited him as he alighted his shuttle.

The Admiral was pleased to see Valentine, he was particularly good company and shared Boomer’s sense of humour and passion for fine wine and a healthy debate.

They had already discussed many matters from the colonies and reminisced, but also had a shared determination to learn from the mistakes of the past.

As Valentine embraced Boomer and sat opposite him at his desk he was surprised to learn the Admiral had anticipated the possibility of losing some of his senior officers, if only temporarily on council matters.

As such he had approached them individually to gauge their reactions to the possibility of being called.

He could see Boomer was impatient to hear is thoughts, so Valentine got straight to the point….

“Paul, with my presidential hat on for a few minutes, and before I get into the appointments I wish to explain the rationale behind my thinking.

Of all the traditions from our old worlds, our old lives, the appointment of the quorum had always been a straight forward process, each colony putting forward their own choice for the council member to represent them, which was usually ratified unopposed by the senate.

As such the process was usually over in a matter of days, however!

I have long pondered the viability and suitability of such an outmoded tradition here and now on Terra, point being, every single colony is already well represented in the senate, and I see no logic in the new council mirroring it.

Therefore I have decided, with the approval of my peers in that senate, to appoint those who I feel would best represent our colony to the people of Earth, and yes, the new council will be travelling with the Discovery fleet and will remain with it to represent our citizens to our Earth brothers.

With this in mind, we in the senate feel it best serves our colony to have on the council, members of, not only the government, but also military, law, clergy, science and medicine, to allow them all an important voice, these facets of our society hitherto having been poorly represented by the government.

Now this is where you come in Admiral, all candidates for the new council have been approached and have agreed to join, save two, your own Sheba and Jolly.

So I thought it only right and proper to approach you first, knowing this would mean a great deal of upheaval for you and them, and of course knowing you have yet to decide who is to go and who’s is to stay, to say nothing of picking the crew for the new Galactica!”

Boomer paused for a moment before standing…

“More wine Sire?”

“Thought you’d never ask.” Grinned Valentine.

“Yes indeed a very thorny issue and one I have indeed given much thought to. Whilst I am very grateful for having two representatives from the military, I can ill afford to lose those two, so I have a suggestion.

Commented Boomer.

I cannot afford to lose either of those two, so I will put forward my own replacements;

Athena and….Myself!

I need Cain to lead the Pegasus and cover the rear flank of the Discovery Fleet, she is my most accomplished tactician, having learned from her father, and likewise Jolly my bravest and most respected Battlestar Commander, and to be honest he has already indicated to me his wish to remain here in Terran orbit with the home fleet..

To be frank with you Valentine, I have long believed it’s time for me to step back and begin to let other, younger officers take point. So if I begin to step back from my military duties I can concentrate on being the link between the military and council.

(Boomer now enjoyed the privilege of using such informality with the president, even if sparingly).

President Valentine looked surprised at the revelation.

“So you’re pretty much telling me you’ve already decided the Galactica is to lead the Discovery fleet and the Pegasus to cover the rear?” Asked Valentine.

“Yes Mister President, that is my plan, I also intend to give all the crews the opportunity to request a transfer to the Galactica in order to be seen as fair.

In all honesty, any one of those Battlestar’s and their crews deserve to go, but only two can, and as the new Galactica is being constructed as the new flagship, a command ship, she has to go, leaving the Pegasus as the best trained crew among the rest, so the decision was easy really.”

“Very well Paul, if that is your wish I will support your request and, subject to Athena agreeing to join the Discovery fleet it is settled, but how can you be sure she will agree to go?” He questioned.

“Simple,” replied Boomer, “Because she knows it is her destiny, to follow in the footsteps of her father and elder brother, to lead us to Earth as the Commanding officer of the flagship of the fleet, the Galactica!

I did of course hope Apollo would live to lead us to Earth, but it wasn’t to be, at least this way an Adama still can, and I also intend to bring Troy back in from the cold to serve under his Aunt.

“So the final pieces of the jigsaw are falling into place.” Smiled the President.

Soon we will be in a position to begin our quest, the Discovery fleet is finally complete, soon to be followed by the Galactica, the Delphians are safe, the Cylons are on board with project Behemoth.”

The President beamed with pride as he said….

“Soon my friend, soon we will begin our journey beyond the stars….

To Be Continued….

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