AOH :: TREK-051.TXT|
Galactica and Enterprise-D
Galactica and Enterprise
by Jeff Standish
"I tell ya, Apollo, this system can't fail..."
"Quiet, Starbuck," Apollo said, cutting off the chatter from his
dusty-haired wing mate about his latest gambling scheme. "I think
there's something entering the far side of this star system."
Instantly alert, Starbuck reset his scanners from a sensor sweep of
one of the planets in this system to long range scan so that his
sensors could complement Apollo's. At the very edge of the triangular
screen a small paint had appeared. "What do you make of it?" inquired
"Don't know," muttered Apollo, fiddling with the settings on the
scanner in his own viper. "Too far away yet for a solid scanner lock.
But it must be a ship..."
"Basestar?" prompted Starbuck, dread filtering into his voice. If
the Cylons had managed to swing around in front of the fleet... But
already new readings were coming out of the scanner.
"No, it's much too small, not nearly enough mass for a Cylon base
ship," returned the dark-haired Apollo, relief evident in his voice.
"But who, then? It may not be a basestar, but it's still pretty
large. We haven't come across any civilizations with the technology
to build a vessel that size since we left the colonies..."
"Maybe we could swing in behind the fourth planet of this system,"
Starbuck put in quickly to cut off thought of their destroyed home
worlds. "We could get a better look and hopefully not be noticed."
"Good idea," admitted Apollo. "I'll send a dispatch back to the
fleet in case of..." This time he cut himself off, not wanting to say
that this ship might be hostile. With the Cylons on their trail, the
fleet had no need for any more enemies to deal with.
With the practice of countless long range patrols, the two
wing mates kicked in their turbos to bring their vipers in behind the
gas giant that was the fourth planet of this star system.
Worf stood at his control console like some repulsive gargoyle come
to life. Perhaps on any other ship, the presence of this Klingon
would have been oppressive. But on the bridge of the Enterprise, his
brooding presence went unnoticed... at least for the most part. Now
the Klingon's attention was riveted to the scanner readouts on his
For a brief moment he had sworn that there had been an unusual
energy reading near the fourth planet of this star system. Any human
might have dismissed it as a momentary glitch in over-complicated
workings of the Enterprise's vast electronics systemry. But as a
Klingon, Worf's inherent paranoia was too great to allow that. He
worked at the sensors, trying to locate the origin of that energy
If it were a ship, then it would be a grave point of personal
dishonor if he permitted it to escape his notice. So he worked to try
and indentify the source, as he would not report what might be an
errant fault in the system -- a ghost -- to Captain Picard. That too
would be dishonor.
Juggling this intricate Klingon honor, he even wanted to identify
that energy source as ship. Not only would it bring him honor, but it
might provide the opportunity for a battle, a chance to bring great
honor to not only himself, but to the Enterprise as well... Then he
smiled to himself, in the Klingon manner. Not outwardly, that would
be a sign of weakness, but inwardly as a personal show of satisfaction.
"Captain," Worf barked in his typical dour voice, with no outward
display of his satisfaction present. "I am showing two small craft
hiding behind the fourth planet."
"On main viewer, Mr. Worf," Picard said, standing up, glad for the
distraction of Riker's and Troi's idle banter. The main viewer
shifted from the usual entrancing view of the warp-distorted stars to
a much magnified view of Theta Sigma IV. A huge gas giant
reminiscent of Jupiter, though nearly twice the size and with an intricate
series of rings, loomed in front of the bridge crew.
"My readings indicate what appear to be two small craft hiding in
the rings on the far side of the planet. They are scanning us with
low-intensity sensors," Worf elaborated.
"Can you identify them?" Picard inquired, turning to face the
"Negative, Sir," Worf admitted, trying to ignore the stab at his
honor. "It is only by their sensor probes that they are detectable.
The emissions are just apparent over the background radiation of the
planet. I can detect nothing beyond this."
"Hum. Mr. Data?" Picard prompted.
"I have the readings on those craft. They are too small for our
sensors to detect at this range so long as they remain hidden in the
"How close will we pass by the fourth planet?"
"Since Theta Sigma IV is on the far side of the star system,"
reported Data, "it will be the last planet we map."
"So we cannot take a closer look at them without giving away to
them that we know they are there," Picard thought aloud. "Are there
any civilizations nearby that they could have come from?"
"This system _is_ on the outer edge of explored territory," Riker
pointed out. "They may be from a civilization that the Federation has
not yet contacted."
Knowing that the only planets orbiting Theta Sigma were two airless
rocks and three gas giants, Picard surmised, "They obviously have
interstellar capability, which would imply a highly developed
"Perhaps they too are mapping this system," put in Data. "It is
possible that they are from an expanding society whose outer border is
only now coming into contact with that of the Federation."
"Possible," admitted Picard. "But then why have we not detected
any form of communication from this sector? If there were such a
society, we should surely have detected some sign of their existence
"Do we try to talk to them?" Riker proposed.
"It might be wiser to permit them to make first contact. They may
just be sizing us up to make sure we are peaceful."
"They may also be probing our weaknesses in preparation for an
attack," muttered Worf darkly.
"Always the pessimist, Worf," quipped Deanna Troi.
"They obviously do not want us to know they are there, so we will
respect their privacy for now. We will keep to our mission and map
all of the planets in this system. Obviously when we reach the fourth
planet they will have had time to decide what they are going to do.
Mr. Worf, just keep an eye on those ships and let us know when they do
anything unusual," ordered Picard.
"Colonel Tigh, we are receiving a tight-beam transmission from
alpha patrol," reported bridge officer Omega.
The dark-skinned Colonel turned to look at the screen Omega had
indicated. "What does it say?" asked Tigh even as he started to read
the brief message.
"They have encountered a ship of unknown origin in the star system
directly in front of us," reported Omega. "It does not appear to be a
Cylon ship, but they have no idea who it might be."
"Then you had better let Commander Adama know about this." Then,
when the thought occurred to him, Tigh asked of Omega, "Alpha patrol,
that is Apollo and Starbuck, correct?"
"Well, at least they are the best we have. Hopefully they can take
care of this."
"Why do I get the feeling that they are playing with us?" muttered
"I know what you mean, good buddy," returned Apollo.
As the two pilots had watched the starship mapping this system,
had agreed that they could certainly not fight it alone, nor could
they run the risk of leading it to the fleet by leaving their
position. That left only communication with this ship.
Watching they ship, they had located a number of powerful weapons
systems on it that could possible equal that of even a battlestar.
However, its thin, stream-lined construction would certainly not stand
up to the pounding of battle. This ship looked more like a luxury
liner that a warship.
"I wonder if they have gaming tables?" Starbuck asked idly.
"You never give it up, do you?" responded Apollo.
"No, I don't," Starbuck agreed in the same idle voice.
"If that is one of their luxury liners, then how powerful would one
of their warships be?" Apollo thought aloud.
"Maybe powerful enough to wipe the Cylons out of the cosmos,"
considered Starbuck. Then, "I wonder what the odds are that that
ship is from Earth."
"Slim to none," answered Apollo, "considering how far we have come
without even a hint of the thirteenth tribe."
"But we are getting closer to the coordinates that we got from...
well, whoever they were." Starbuck had long since give up trying to figure
out who or what those beings had been, though trying to forget them
was another matter.
"Those coordinates may not even be correct," pointed out Apollo.
"We'll never find out until we get there."
After awhile, Starbuck pondered, "Do we try to contact them now?"
"There's not much else we can do," admitted Apollo. "We've learned
about all we can just sitting here. Not to mention the strain the
radiation from this planet is having on our ships."
"Well, then, how do we do it?"
"Captain," reported Worf, "those two ships are moving out from
behind the fourth planet."
"Excellent. Are they hailing us?"
"Negative, Sir," responded Worf as he tracking the two incoming
vessels. "They are one-manned fighters, armed with charged energy
cannons. Their drive systems are of a highly unusual and unknown
type." Peering closer at the readout to make certain he read it
correctly, Worf added, "Sir, the pilots of those ships..."
"...they're Human, I tell you!" Starbuck crowed to his wing mate.
Examining the scanner readout now that they were closer to the
starship and free from the distorting effects of the radiation of the
fourth planet, Apollo found his sensors in complete agreement with
those in Starbuck's viper. "I don't believe it," he admitted. "Over
ninety percent of the crew is Human. Maybe we _have_ located the
"Human?" Picard echoed with a bit of surprise. "And in ships
completely unknown to the Federation? Is it possible that they are
smugglers? or perhaps a lost colony?"
On the main view screen, the two small craft sped though space,
sleek and vicious-looking. Worf's hand hovered near the arming
controls for the Enterprise's weapons systems and shield controls.
"This far out on the edge of Federation territory?" wondered Riker.
"We are only now beginning to map this area, let alone colonize it."
"Sir, those craft are hailing us," Worf reported.
Deanna hid a smile behind her hand as she felt the disappointment
and frustration from the Klingon.
"Open the frequency." Picard turned to the view screen, tugging at
"We have their signal, audio only."
Unperturbed, Picard looked at the ships on the screen, saying,
"This is Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Federation Starship
Apollo adjusted the translator built into his comlink as it
replayed the message, that those on the ship might understand him.
Toggling on his comline, he responded, struggling a moment over the
unusual sounding name, "Greetings, Captain Picard. I am Captain
Apollo. I... I am in search of information relating to Humans, and
"What he's trying to say," cut in Starbuck eagerly, "is if you've
ever heard of a planet called Earth?"
"Starbuck, shut up! That's an order," Apollo shot back at his
wing mate, glaring out into space past his wing, where Starbuck's
viper was just visible in the distance.
"I fail to understand the reasoning behind you question, Captain,"
Picard said with some bewilderment. "Of course I have heard of Earth.
It is, after all, the planet of origin of humanity."
Apollo started to ask Picard the location of Earth, when the
meaning of Picard's exact words occurred to him. "What do you mean it
is the planet of origin of humanity? Surely you mean that it is the
second home of humanity?"
After a pause, Picard responded, "I believe that we are both
confused, Captain Apollo. What exactly do you mean by 'the second
home of humanity?'"
"Do you mean to say that you have never heard of Kobol?" Apollo
"I cannot say that I have. What is this 'Kobol?'"
Apollo closed off his end of the comline to the Enterprise,
switching over to an intership link with Starbuck's viper. "I don't
like this," he commented. "How could they have forgotten Kobol?"
"The thirteenth tribe was the last to leave Kobol," pointed out
Starbuck. "We never knew what happened to them in their journey to
Earth. It seems that they made it, but who knows what happened to
them en route?"
"Yes, I suppose that it might be possible that they forgot much of
the lore on their trip. But Picard said that Earth was the 'origin'
of humanity. Could they actually believe that humanity evolved on
"Why are you so down on this? If that ship is any indicator of
their power, we'll never have to worry about the Cylon Empire again,"
"If they remember nothing of Kobol, then how likely are they to
believe us when we tell them of Kobol?"
"Leave that to the Council and Adama. The point is that we've
"Yah, well, send a tight-band message back to the fleet, and make
sure that the Enterprise does not detect it."
Taking advantage of the sudden silence from the two fighters,
Picard had asked Data about these references to Kobol. Referencing
the ship's library computer from the Ops console, Data spoke without
turning from the pages of information flashing before his eyes, "I am
unable to find any references to any planet called 'Kobol,' nor any
other reference under that name."
"Why would they be trying to say that Earth is not the origin of
humanity?" Picard asked aloud of no one at all. "Were they lying,
"I sensed no attempt at falsehood. However, they were extremely
surprised at your remark about Earth being humanity's planet of
origin. It is as though they know this to be false," Deanna surmised.
Before Picard could continue, Worf spoke up, saying, "I am picking
up a brief energy burst from the fighters. It appears to be a tight-
beam transmission to an unknown destination. Unable to intercept,
Sir... Sir, they have reopened communications."
Turning back to face the two fighters shown on the main screen,
Picard asked, "Captain Apollo, would you please explain what 'Kobol'
Warily, Apollo responded with, "I believe that had best be left to
others to attend to. For now we need to talk about Earth."
"Then perhaps you would care to come aboard the Enterprise that we
might talk personally."
After a moment, Apollo agreed, "That might indeed."
"Commander Adama, there is another message coming in from alpha
patrol," Omega said, turning to the gray-haired Commander.
As Adama walked over to the bridge officer's post, Omega exclaimed
excitedly, "Commander! The ship they have encountered is from Earth!"
Adama practically leaped over the remaining distance to Omega's
station in the stunned silence that fell over the bridge. Then a
sudden roar of elation broke loose from the dozens of crew on the
Galactica's massive bridge. Adama turned to congratulate Tigh, but
found his second-in-command staring intently at the screen before
Omega, his brow furrowed deeply.
"Adama, there is more to the message," Tigh spoke up over the din,
pointing to the last lines of the transmission, reading aloud: "`They
know nothing of Kobol. Will attempt to attain further information.
Starbuck tossed his helmet into the cockpit of his viper, muttering
something about landing in his locker as he looked around the
Enterprise's shuttle bay, which was positively puny next to the
Galactica's spacious landing bays. Dropping down from the side of his
viper, the roguish fighter pilot joined Apollo, who was moving over
towards where several of the Enterprise's crew stood. Some of them
were apparently security personnel, their hands hovering near their
weapons, eyeing the two pilots' more massive blasters.
"Wonder if they always run around in their underwear?" Starbuck
whispered to his friend, adding, "'Course it works on her," his eyes
roving over Counselor Troi's form.
"Try and behave yourself," Apollo cautioned him. "If they are of
the thirteenth tribe, we don't want your hormones scaring them off."
About this point, the bearded man who appeared to be the ranking
member of these humans (including the fierce looking non-human who
glared at the two figther pilots) spoke up -- having been distracted
a moment by the gleam in Troi's eyes as she returned Starbuck's
smile -- saying, "Welcome aboard the Enterprise, gentlemen. I am
Commander Riker, the First Officer."
"Commander Riker," acknowledged Apollo, recognizing that these
people obviously had a different rank system, "I'm Captain Apollo, and
this is Lieutenant Starbuck."
"This way, sirs," Riker motioned towards the exit. "The Captain
would like to speak with you personally." Riker gestured for Worf to
dismiss the security personnel, who were apparently unneeded once
Along the brief trip to the main briefing room, Riker introduced
Troi and Worf to the pilots. In the briefing room they joined Picard
and Data, taking seats at the large conference table.
"Well, gentlemen, you seem to present us with an enigma," Picard
began. "What exactly did you mean by these comments of yours about
humanity not originally being from Earth?"
Apollo and Starbuck exchanged glances before Apollo inquired, "You
mean that you have no record of Kobol?"
After a glance of his own towards Picard, Data spoke up, admitting,
"I have accessed all available records of planets, and we have no
knowledge of any planet by the name of Kobol."
"Is Kobol a lost Earth colony?" Riker prompted.
Trying to watch the reactions of these humans, Apollo revealed,
"Kobol is not a colony. Earth is the colony world. Kobol is the home
world of all humanity."
This revelation did indeed spark a great deal of surprise amongst
the crew of the Enterprise. When a look from Troi told Picard that
the pilots were not lying, he said, "I find it very difficult to
believe that humanity did not originate on Earth. All of our
archaeological information conclusive says that humans _did_ evolve on
the planet Earth."
"Then your tribe has lost all records of the exodus from Kobol and
the other twelve tribes?" asked Apollo, finding that very difficult to
believe. They had not known what to expect of the thirteenth colony
when and if they would ever reach Earth, but to have completely lost
all knowledge of their past?
"We have said that we have no records of any world known as Kobol.
And as for Earth being a colony world, that goes against all known
information of Human evolution," Picard stated. "Why don't you tell
us about all of this?" he put forth, hoping that these men were not
lunatics, though Troi's look did not indicate this.
"Maybe we should leave this to Adama," Starbuck offered to Apollo,
before he could say anything. Apollo paused to consider that.
"Who is Adama?" Riker queried.
"The Commander of the fleet," responded Apollo.
"You have a war fleet out there?" broke in Worf in he usual Klingon
suspicion of all strangers... and friends, also.
"A fleet, yes. Though I would hardly call it a war fleet,"
With a melancholy sigh, Apollo began to speak: "Our fleet is the
last remaining remnant of humanity from the twelve colony worlds. Our
worlds were annihilated by the Cylon Empire. Only barely were we able
to escape. For the past several yahrens we have been trying to evade
the detection of the Cylons, who have marked humanity for extinction.
They will stop at nothing to destroy us. Earth was the last chance
that we had. Less than a chance even, since many believed Earth to be
little more than a myth passed from generation to generation.
"You see, our home world, Kobol, was dying, and the thirteen tribes
of humanity were forced to flee to another home. The first twelve
tribes were able to reach the colony worlds that were chosen as
humanity's new home. Unfortunately, the thirteenth and final tribe,
the last to flee Kobol, was lost in the voyage to the twelve colony
worlds. No trace was ever found of them. A myth spoke of a lush
world far from the colonies, a world called Earth. It was believed by
a few that the last tribe had made it to Earth. Since you admit that
you are from Earth, then it is obvious that your tribe, the
thirteenth, was able to reach Earth."
"An intriguing story," Picard considered, "but how is it that we
have no knowledge of this great exodus that you speak of."
Spreading his hands, Apollo admitted, "I cannot say. Perhaps my...
Perhaps Commander Adama would have an idea. He knows more of the
ancient lore of Kobol than any other in the fleet."
"Then perhaps we should go and meet this fleet of yours," suggested
"That might not be wise yet," Apollo pointed out. "They do not yet
know if you are friendly." After a moment's pause for consideration,
knowing that these people did not yet believe him, he offered,
"Starbuck can go on ahead and speak with Adama, and I can then guide
you to the fleet once they know that you are not a threat."
Realizing that open faith would be best, Picard agreed, ordering
Worf to take Starbuck back to the shuttle bay.
"Assuming I can get my viper out of that storage locker you call a
landing bay," Starbuck commented darkly as they left the briefing
Taking advantage for the break in the conversation, Riker axed, "Who
are these Cylons that you speak of?"
Apollo frowned, admitting, "We know little of them. Once we
settled on the twelve colony worlds, we began to trade with the local
races that we discovered. In time, we encountered the Cylon Empire.
At first we thought they would be good friends, but we quickly learned
that they did not view other races as equals, only inferior beings to
be subjugated and enslaved. When we tried to help one planet that
they were crushing under they unfeeling grip, they attacked us without
warning, destroying many of out ships and outposts. That was over a
thousand yahrens ago. The war has raged ever since. In all of that time,
we have learned so very little about them. All we really do know
about their beliefs is that they view us as a threat to their view of
the universe. They have no compassion for other races, and even
little for their own kind.
"Physically, they are somewhat amorphous lizards, able to alter
their appearance to a degree. Most of them -- and all of their
centurions, their warriors -- wear mechanized suits that incorporate
computers into their brains, further taking away from any feelings
that they might have." Leaning forward onto the table, frowning, he
added, "They kill without emotion, and give up their own lives with
equal ease. Only once did we make the mistake of trusting them...
The price of that mistake was the destruction of all twelve of our
Apollo broke off, unable to say anything further for the moment.
In the silence, a streak of light shot away from the Enterprise and
disappeared into the vastness of space in a fraction of an instant.
Worf then reported that Starbuck had departed in his fighter.
"Your say that this war has lasted more than one thousand
'yahrens,'" Data inquired. "Exactly what is the duration of one
Apollo thought for a moment before saying, "I guess all of our time
scales have no meaning to you. I cannot think of any way to convert
centons or yahrens into whatever time units you might use."
"I see that you wear a time piece. If you could tell me what
conversion ratios exist between your time units, I could translate
them into our time units," offered Data.
Taking off the wrist piece, Apollo handed it to the gold-skinned
humanoid. "These are microns, and these centons," Apollo started,
listing off a few more time units, along with conversion rates and
the number system.
"Ahh, good, a decimal system," Data said approvingly. Apollo had
expected Data to pull out a small computer or something. But instead,
he just stared at the watch for several seconds before handing it back
to Apollo and declaring, "One micron is approximately 4.32 seconds, so
one centon is 7.2 minutes. One hundred centons would therefore be almost
exactly 12 hours, so one yahren is approximately 500 standard days,
meaning that 1000 yahrens are roughly 1370 standard years, allowing
for the error of this time piece."
Apollo starred incredulously at Data as he proceeded to rattle off
the list of conversions. "How did you manage to do that?" Apollo
"I am an android," Data replied by way of explanation.
Apollo almost physically jerked back into his seat.
Sensing the pilot's sudden jump of emotions, Troi asked with much
concern, "Are you alright?"
"I'm sorry. It's just a nervous reaction. Capricans -- and most
of the other eleven tribes -- detest robots, most especially those in
the shape of a Human. Almost certainly a result of a millennium of
war with the Cylons."
To this Data showed no outward signs of being hurt by Apollo's
"Understandable," Picard agreed. "When shall we depart to meet
with your fleet?"
Considering, Apollo had to admit, "That all depends upon how fast
this ship can move."
Smiling, Riker proclaimed, "The Enterprise is one of the fastest
ships in Starfleet. She can reach almost Warp factor 10."
When the Commander obviously failed to consider that Apollo had no
idea what a Warp factor might be, Data added, "A Warp factor is taken
to the fifth power to determine a velocity greater than the speed of
Somewhat surprised, Apollo asked, "You mean your ship is able to
travel at superluminal velocities?"
"No, the Enterprise never actually approaches the speed of
light. We employ a warp field to distort space so that we travel a
short distance in the warp field, while outside of the warp field we
are traversing a much greater distance in space."
"Ohh. Something along the lines of our own Maron drive," Apollo
acknowledged. "But you measure the rate of change of position outside
the field while we measure velocity inside of the field. That is what
threw me off."
"Then we should leave now?" Riker prompted.
"Since it sounds like you can at least keep pace with a viper, I
guess that we should."
"Then shall we adjourn to the bridge?" suggested Picard.
Leaning on the railing that encircled the upper level of the
bridge, Adama considered this baffling situation. Having listened to
Starbuck's report of his encounter with this starship Enterprise,
Adama was at a momentary loss for how the thirteenth tribe could have
lost all knowledge of Kobol.
However, the luxury of contemplating this question was not his.
There were still traces of Cylons pursuing the fleet, while the report
of encountering a ship from Earth had rapidly spread. Already most of
the fleet was hearing various rumors. Captains of many vessels of
the fleet were demanding answers from the Galactica, while the Council
of Twelve was attempting to overrun the bridge, believing it their
right to be the first to welcome the thirteenth tribe.
Adama's consideration of these and other problems was cut off when
Athena called out that she was picking up a ship at extreme sensor
range in front of the Galactica. This being an unusual switch from
the faint traces of Cylons tagging along far behind the fleet.
"How long until the Enterprise reaches the fleet?" Adama inquired.
"It is still twelve centons away at current speed."
"What do the sensor probes indicate about their technology?"
"At this range, little more than what we downloaded from Starbuck's
viper," Omega supplied. "Their main power source appears to be from
matter/anti-matter annihilation. They employ a variation spatial
dilation drive for propulsion." Furrowing his brow, Omega added, "It
would seem that they use an advanced matter fusion system for movement
in the region of spatial distortion. But it is nothing as powerful as
our own tylium thrusters. If fact, within the region of dilation,
their actual velocity does not even approach light speed."
"You mean that they use the field of warped space for their primary
mode of traversing space?" Tigh deduced rather incredulously. "What a
tremendous waste of energy."
"Your ships actually utilize chemical fuels for propulsion?" Riker
choked out. "But there is no way a simple chemical fuel could produce
sufficient energy to power a warp drive."
"You weren't at Carillon," muttered Apollo.
"Carillon?" questioned Data.
"One of many ambushes the Cylon's set for us. There was a large
tylium mine on Carillon -- the largest I have ever heard of. The mine
caught on fire and exploded, totally obliterating the entire
planet. Tylium is the most powerful source of energy we have ever
encountered. The conversion of tylium into solium produces more than
adequate energy to approach light speed... Or in terms you would
understand: to generate a warp field in which our ships travel,
utilizing both the dilation of space and relativistic velocities,"
Apollo explained to the Enterprise's First Officer.
"We find that is it sufficient to simply utilize the warpage of
space for star travel," Data supplied.
"But then you would be wasting extra energy that way," Apollo
continued. For all they technology, how could these people be so
foolish? "The amount of energy required to increase actual velocity
is much smaller than that required to maintain the more continual
requirements of a greater ratio in the dilation of space."
"Sir," Worf interrupted. "We are now within visual range of the
"On screen, Mr. Worf," Picard commanded.
On the main view screen, the silhouettes of the fleet appeared,
then grew visible as the computer enhanced the lighting of the image,
showing the magnificence of the battlestar Galactica, leading the
hundred plus assorted transport ships that housed the sole surviving
populace of the twelve colony worlds.
"I can see why you call them battlestars," Picard commented,
observing the sheer massiveness of the Galactica, with the numerous
weapon emplacements that dotted its surface, visible even at this
"Sensors indicate that the Galactica is only slightly longer than
the Enterprise, yet outmasses us by approximately three times,"
reported Worf. "There are 120 ships in the 'fleet.' None have
significant weapon's capacity besides the Galactica."
"Thank you, Mr. Worf," Picard interrupted, before the Klingon
proceeded to rattle off the entire combat capability of the
battlestar. Looking over the 'fleet,' Picard asked, "Those vessels
actually were able to handle a voyage across more than half of the
"Almost none of them were actually constructed for interstellar
travel," Apollo admitted. "We were forced to make due with what could
be salvaged during the devastation of the colonies. Even after the
initial Cylon assault, all too many of our people were forced to stay
behind because there was simply not enough room for them."
"Could none of them have been spared by your Cylons?" asked Riker.
"None. Every last one would have been slaughtered by the Cylons,"
Apollo replied, not allowing himself to think of the only exception to
"It is indeed a miracle that you were able to make it this far,"
Picard thought aloud. "And you say that the Cylons have hounded you
all the way? But surely they would have been satisfied with
destroying your homeworlds."
"No," Apollo contradicted. "Their goal is the total extermination
of the Human race. To them, we are a threat to their Empire as long
as even one Human remains alive." Then, warningly, "They have
followed us this far, so it will be inevitable that they will learn of
your Federation. Discovering that there is another source of Human
civilization will cause them to attack you. You will have to prepare
your battle fleets. But considering the power of this ship, the
Cylons will not likely be able to stand against your warships."
"This _is_ a warship," barked out Worf.
Surprised, Apollo commented, "This looks more like a luxury liner
than a war ship."
"The Enterprise is the most powerful ship in Starfleet," Riker
informed the pilot.
"But surely there are other ships of equal power," Apollo
"Currently, the Enterprise is the only Galaxy class starship in
Starfleet. However, there must be another alternative than battle,"
Picard theorized. "Is there not a chance that the Cylons will accept
peace, now that your home worlds have been destroyed?"
"Haven't you been listening to me?" cried out Apollo in disbelief.
"The Cylons will stop at nothing less than the death of every last
Human. They have be trying to obliterate us for more than a
millennium. Why would they even consider it now?"
"But if they are confronted by the might of Starfleet, will they
not at least accept a treaty?" Riker proposed.
"If they did, it would only be to amass a fleet of basestars
powerful enough to destroy your Starfleet. No, we have tried for more
than a thousand yahrens for peace. I have already told you of the
result of that so called 'peace' they offered. Peace will only exist
when one of our races has been utterly destroyed. The Cylons have
made it painfully clear that that is the only solution that can
accept," Apollo finished dejectedly.
"We are approaching the fleet," Data informed them.
"Bring us around onto a parallel heading," Picard commanded Wesley
Crusher, who sat at the navigation console.
"We are being hailed by the Galactica," Worf reported.
"On screen, Mr. Worf," ordered Picard.
The blue clad form of Adama appeared on the main view screen,
larger than life, any trace of exhaustion having been erased by this
event, the near completion of a quest that had covered many yahrens
and more than half of the galaxy.
"You must be Commander Adama," Picard ventured by way of an
introduction. "I am Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Federation
"Well met, Picard. I believe that there is much to discuss."
"I agree," agreed Picard. "We can beam you over to the Enterprise
so we can begin working on the future of your fleet immediately."
"'Beam over?'" Adama echoed hollowly. "I do not understand that
"You do not have transporter technology?" Riker asked rather
amazedly. Life without beaming around in away teams was difficult for
the bored First Officer to contemplate.
"I take it you do not mean shuttle craft?"
"Your people have not developed matter teleportation?" Picard
"You have matter transmission technology?" excitedly burst out an
elderly, white-haired, scientific-looking fellow from behind Adama.
Adama silenced Dr. Wilker with one hand, turning back to the
screen. "The ethical and theological implications of ripping someone
apart atom by atom and reassembling him were too great on the Twelve
Worlds. Such devices were considered evil by many of those in the
colonies, as such we never pursued the development of them," Adama
revealed. "It would be best if we were to use shuttle craft for the
"The shuttle bay of the Enterprise is rather small," pointed out
Apollo. "Starbuck should be the one who pilots the shuttle craft, if
"Very good," Picard said. "Then we shall meet you in our shuttle
Adama stopped as soon as he stepped into the Galactica's behemoth
"I'm sorry, Sir," Boomer offered. "But I could not dissuade them."
His hand moved unconsciously towards his blaster. "As you can see
they thought to bring their own guards."
Moving towards where the Council of Twelve stood waiting to board
the readied shuttle, Adama stated flatly, "Your assistance in this
matter is unnecessary."
"We will accompany you," spoke up one of the Council members. "It
is our duty to welcome the descendants the thirteenth tribe."
"I believe that you were one of the more outspoken on the Council
who maintained that Earth was nothing more than a myth, Syre
Montrose," Adama pointed out. "In any case, as I am the President of
the Council of Twelve, I am the one with the responsibility to attend
to these affairs. Your assistance is not required."
"Surely you will agree that this not the time to bring up the
question of who is in power, is it Adama?" Montrose asked oily,
gesturing vaguely towards the dark-uniformed Council guardsmen.
"I do not need this," Adama sighed to himself. Then to Starbuck
and Boomer, he said quietly, "Have a second shuttle readied
To the Council members and guardsmen, Adama said wearily, "Very
well, then, board the shuttle."
At this, the Council moved onto the shuttle, chattering amongst
themselves like excited children. Following them, Adama hit a button
on the door control panel, sealing the door. To several other viper
pilots, Adama said blandly, "See to it that they do not get off of
this shuttle until I am away."
Smiling at the Commander's ruse, they jumped to comply. Adama moved
off towards the second shuttle that Boomer and Starbuck were powering
up. Adama would deal with the Council of Twelve later. For now,
more pressing matters required attendance.
Picard and company watched as the blocky Galactican shuttle craft
lumbered its way into the Enterprise's shuttle bay, dwarfing the
Enterprise's shuttles and even Apollo's viper, which had all been
moved to provide sufficient room for the much larger shuttle.
Soon, Adama descended the shuttle's ramp, moving to greet the
Captain of the Enterprise. However, he was interrupted in mid-step
when the Enterprise's red-alert klaxons started sounding.
Just then, Starbuck leapt out of the shuttle, calling out,
"Commander! Tigh's calling on the comlink. There is a massive Cylon
task force closing on the fleet!"
"Commander Kaligh, there is a .signature dead ahead..."
"So it will be. Fire all weapons...."
^/ . ..\^
___-==++""" . /. . . \ . """++==-___
__-+"" __\ .. . . | .. . | . . . /__ ""+-__
/\__+-"" `-----=====\_ <O> _/=====-----' ""-+__/\
_/_/ ""="" \_\_
// | \\
/") \ | / ("\
\O\ \*/ /O/
\_) ---**O**--- (_/
/ | \
From: email@example.com (Dreamwalker)
Subject: Galactica and Enterprise, part II
Date: 10 Mar 91 19:15:07 GMT
Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dreamwalker)
Organization: Purdue University
The transparent doors slid open with the sound of diamonds across
glass, admitting the IL series robot into the command chamber. It
glided forward until it came to rest in the circle of light before the
tall pedestal that was the room's only feature. Bowing, it spoke the
ritualistic words, "By your command," and waited. A barely
determinable acceleration of the flashing lights that composed the
interior of its visible brain being the only sign of its impatience
with its leader.
Finally, the chair on the top of the pedestal turned to face the
robot, revealing the figure at the top. With oily black hair, a rat-
like face, and an expanding waist-line, the figure was quite
Looking down at the Cylon robot, Baltar commanded, "Speak."
"The assault force has been launched and is on its way towards
the Human fleet."
"Very good!" enthused Baltar, clapping his hands together in
expectation of the fulfillment of his dreams. "Now that the Imperious
Leader has seen fit to give me two more basestars, Lucifer, Adama will
be wiped out of existence!"
Lucifer only bowed once again in response. It did not point out
the obvious fact that on several previous occasions, additional might
had little effect on the Human fleet. Nor the equally obvious fact
that once the Humans were finally exterminated, Baltar would himself
be terminated -- a fact that the power-hungry Human seemed incapable
"Once the attack force has engaged the Galactica's defenses,
bring the basestars in close enough that we might personally watch
Adama die with his pitiful fleet." Baltar's face lit up with glee at
the thought of the death of his hated enemy, Adama. When the
Galactica was finally destroyed, the Imperious Leader would award him
with an entire star system! Baltar sat back with a sigh, considering
the fulfillment of all of his mad dreams of power.
Lucifer, however, interrupted Baltar's fantasies with, "Is that
wise? What if the Humans are able to overwhelm our forces?"
"Impossible!" Baltar growled, angry that this mere Cylon construct
would dare to question his strategies or prevent him from witnessing
the death of Adama. "This time they will not resist me. They will
not have a second battlestar to save them this time. I can _feel_ it.
Fate is with me. Adama will be destroyed today."
"Fate, Baltar?" uttered Lucifer dubiously. This Human refused to
accept his own fate at the hands of the Cylons. How could he truly
"You are nothing but a soulless machine, Lucifer. You cannot
understand the concept of fate. And fate will see to it that justice
is finally served on Adama for his crimes against me... And of course
the Cylon Empire, as well. Now go and see to it that my commands are
"By your command," intoned Lucifer, bowing and gliding backwards
away from the throne. It did not point out that it had already
relayed Baltar's orders. Nor did Lucifer point out that it had a
soul. After careful study of the abstract concept of a soul,
Lucifer had constructed one for itself, one which was housed in
Lucifer's right shoulder.
From the Enterprise's bridge, Adama listened to Tigh report that
all viper squadrons had been launched to intercept the incoming wave
of Cylon raiders. "From the size of that force, there must be at
least three basestars hiding out there," Tigh commented.
"Counting in excess of seven hundred small fighters approaching,
Sir," Worf reported to Picard. "The Galactica's vipers are
outnumbered by a factor of four."
"Surely they cannot withstand that size of a force," Riker
"We've done so before," Apollo provided. "Their fighters are no
match for our vipers on an individual basis. So they must rely on
overwhelming force. Unusually, blasting away a significant part of
their forces is sufficient to drive them off."
"That hardly sounds like the mindless killing machines you
described," Picard commented.
"It isn't. Fortunately, Baltar is a coward," Apollo added half
"Is Baltar the name of the Cylon commander?" queried Riker.
"Baltar is the one traitor who is responsible for the destruction
of our home worlds," Adama broke in, his rage somewhat getting the
better of him at the mention of Baltar's name.
"You mean to say that one of your own people is the reason that
your home worlds were destroyed?" Deanna prompted, detecting the rage
that burned in the Commander. "But why would this Baltar do such a
"For power and glory." Adama clenched one fist tightly behind
his back. "Baltar was promised more riches than his corrupt mind
could dream of to sell away the fate of his own race."
"And he is in command of the forces that seek to destroy you?"
Picard surmised with some disbelief. "But you said that the Cylons
are committed to the extermination of your people."
"Exactly so," Apollo confirmed.
"The Cylons are using Baltar because he is Human, and can
therefore consider what we would do better than any Cylon could.
However, Baltar is too conceited to accept that the Cylons will kill
him when they are finished with him. He sees nothing but the dream of
power that they have promised him." Adama looked back to the screen.
"The two strike forces are closing on one another. Five minutes
until engagement," Worf reported.
Turning to face Picard, Adama bluntly put forth, "Will you help
"Would assistance be permitted by the Prime Directive?" Data
"What 'Prime Directive?'" Apollo demanded, not liking the
android's choice of words.
"It is the highest law of the Federation governing interaction
with other civilizations," produced Picard. "In essence it prevents
us from doing anything to interfere in the development of other
"You're saying that your laws allow you to just stand by and
permit massacres?" asked Starbuck from where he stood near Worf,
observing the Klingon's tactical display of the closing forces. The
thought that these people had the power to help them, yet might
refuse to do so, appalled him. That thought was also echoed by Apollo
"The Prime Directive has, in the past, required that we permit
such events to occur," confirmed Data.
"However," Picard allowed, raising one hand, "I do not believe
that the Prime Directive applies in this situation. The
development of your people is not at question, since your
technology is on a level approximating that of many of the more
developed worlds in the Federation.
"Besides, it might be arguable that we would be granting your
fleet political asylum from the Cylons. In any case, I believe that
we can allow your fleet the full protection of the Federation, even
though the Enterprise is the only Federation vessel in this sector."
"Then you will fight the Cylon's with us?" Starbuck sought to
clarify. Political workings did not interest this flighty young
"Only as a last resort," forestalled Picard.
At this, Starbuck slammed his fist down on the bridge railing in
frustration, while Adama's visage grew darker.
"I still maintain that it might be possible to obtain peace.
Especially if those ships are under the command of a Human," said
Picard hopefully. To him, war was to be avoided at any cost. If
there was a chance to settle this conflict peacefully, he would try it
if at all possible.
Adama groaned inwardly. "You have dealt with neither the Cylons
"If you try to deal with them peacefully, you might never have
the opportunity to deal with them or anyone else again," added
Apollo. Had they travelled all this distance, only to find that
their brothers had the power to fight off the Cylons, yet refused to
"That is yet to be seen," returned Picard. "Ensign Crusher,
bring us even with the Galactica's strike force. Mr. Worf, try and
contact the Cylon forces."
"You will find that you have no choice but to attack," Adama
bespoke from painful experience.
Sheba kept her eyes locked to the scanner screen set into the
control panel of her viper. The wall of Cylon attack craft bearing
down on them was so thick that the screen could not resolve all of
them, presenting only a thick fuzzy line on the graphic display.
Sheba's own squadron, the Silver Spar, along with the Galactican
squadrons, were spread out widely over space, a maneuver which not
only allowed all vipers the opportunity to open fire when the instant
presented itself, but also permitted the vipers to keep as much space
between themselves as possible so as to make themselves more difficult
to hit. However, the Cylon formation was much thicker, the raiders
held the tight groups of threes, that mystical number with which the
Cylons seemed to have such a fascination.
At any micron the two forces would be close enough to open fire.
For that moment Sheba waited with a combination of anticipation and
dread, knowing that not only would she have the chance to begin
obliterating the Cylon fighters, but that they too would have the
opportunity to destroy her in a single, silent burst of light and
energy. But the fear held no sway with her. This rapidly approaching
moment would provide her with yet another chance to prove herself, to
show to her father, if only he were here. And also a chance at
vengeance for what the Cylons had done to Commander Cain. Or had not
done, if what Count Iblis had once said -- that Cain, her father,
But these thoughts existed only in the small dark corner in the
back of her brain where they were swept to when battle approached,
though at other times they had free reign to run rampant though her
awareness. Perhaps the only blessing that these much too frequent
skirmishes and battles with the Cylons allowed was for Sheba to be
freed from the conscious thoughts that weighed all too heavily on her.
Now with her complete conscious awareness focused on the
approaching Cylon hoard, Sheba was only partially aware of the
commands she issued to the battle hardened veterans of her squadron,
keeping the colonial fighters from drifting too close together or from
staggering too much the wall their vipers formed.
Then the moment came and she barked out the command to open fire
and engage the ever so hated enemy. A command that might have been
heard by everyone in the squadron, but scantly heeded by all but a
few. These pilots had little need to be told when to engage. Only a
few of the untrained cadets had not learned to feel when the moment
arrived, to know exactly when to fire.
As it was, the vipers opened up fire almost simultaneously,
generating a wall of devastating light and energy that under other
circumstances would likely have been termed beautiful, or even
magnificent. The icy-looking bolts of vicious death burst and
exploded in the Cylon ranks, having passed a like wall of deadly
energy from the Cylon ships that was even now exploding in the lose
formation of vipers. Already lives where ending horribly, vaporized
or rent apart by explosions.
The formation of vipers broke as the agile little ships spun and
"dove" in the directionless void. The two walls of fighters seemed to
collapse upon one another. Individually, the vipers quite clearly had
the advantage of greater speed, ability, and the strong sense of
individualism that was such an incomprehensible concept to the Cylon
centurions piloting their raiders.
Indeed, the idea of the importance of the individual was one of the
greatest motivations behind the Cylon's desire to stamp out humanity.
To the Cylon way of existence, it was the unity of the race that
mattered. The single Cylon lacked the ability to think on his own.
Only the higher ranking members of their race, the "nobility" if you
will, with their second brain had the capacity for individual thought.
But even these "nobles" were incapable of fully autonomous action, for
they still required the guidance of their Imperious Leader, who --
with his enlarged head housing its three brains -- was able to access
the accumulated learning and wisdom of the Cylon way that had been
gathered by his predecessors which permitted him to make the decisions
that ultimately guided the Cylon Empire.
But even so, the colonial vipers were still overwhelmed by the
sheer number of Cylon craft that they engaged. So when Bojay's voice
crackled over the speaker in Sheba's craft, distorted by the massive
amounts of energy ripping though the fabric of space in the area of
the battle, saying in near glee, "It's the Earth ship, they're moving
into a position to help us against these raiders!" part of Sheba's
mind accepted this knowledge with joy.
So the thirteenth tribe was going to help them against the Cylon's!
But still, this information was met with a rather inherent bit of
natural pessimism. What good would a single starship do against Cylon
fighters? She had taken a close look at the information that the
Galactica's sensor's had gathered about the Earth ship. Granted, its
weapon systems might just be superior to what the fleet had, but the
Enterprise totally lacked any small batteries capable of tracking
darting fighters like what the Cylons flew. Would they be so foolish
as to attempt to use their main weapons systems on the raiders?
Sheba almost said as much aloud to Bojay, but instead used that
prescious moment to warn Brie away from a trio of raiders that were
trying to get in a position behind the younger pilot's viper.
The bridge crew watched in near silence at the spectacle depicted
on the main view screen. Even though the void of space, they imaged
that they could hear the explosions of Cylon fighter craft, feel the
brief flash of pain that the pilot of a stricken viper might or might
not have felt in the fraction of a moment before he died. At least
most of those on the bridge imaged that they could feel it -- for the
empathic Deanna Troi, the pain of the death of each pilot was all too
real. Even her normal resistance to others' emotions was overtaxed.
"Still no response from the Cylon craft, Sir."
At this none-too surprising revelation, Picard almost heaved a vast
sigh. He had no wish to do this, but to pause even an instant longer
would mean the deaths of even more of the Human pilots defending their
precious fleet. Perhaps if they could make a powerful enough display
to the Cylon craft, the bat-like fighters would retreat, as Apollo had
implied that they would.
"All right then, Mr. Worf. Target all phaser banks on those Cylon
craft near the edge of the battle. Try not to get too close to the
vipers. Fire at your discretion."
Worf's fingers positively danced across his control panel, moving
like the fingers of a master pianist on his beloved instrument.
Warning alarms sounded on the bridge and in other parts of the
Enterprise that were involved in the control of the weapon systems.
On the massive view screen, beams of incandescent energy darted
towards the raging battle, simultaneously accompanied on the
Enterprise by the distinct sounds of the discharge of the main
phasers, as well as on the other end of the phaser bolt by the
detonation of a Cylon raider.
More bolts of energy stabbed seemingly at random towards the
fighting craft, as Worf triggered various automatic firing sequences,
though always keeping as much of the aiming under his own control as
he could: A good warrior (and by extension, a good Klingon) never
fully trusted a computer to do all of the fighting for him. Not only
did a computer lack the inherent instincts of an organic being, but
for a Klingon such an action brought no honor. Therefore, many of the
energy beams blasted a darting fighter out of existence. However,
many more did not. For all of the Enterprise's complexity and Worf's
natural talent, the sudden twisting of a Cylon craft could easily
cause a shot to go wide.
Even so, the Enterprise made its presence known to the Cylon craft,
even if the fighters chose to ignore all hailing. Phasers in the
hands of a Klingon are not easily ignored. In minutes, swarms of
Cylon craft broke off from the battle with the colonial vipers,
turning, not to flee, but rather to attack the Enterprise. Thus, the
pressure on the viper pilots decreased, though by no means was it
At least a third of the attacking Cylons turned their red-eyed
attention to the Enterprise, darting their saucer-like craft in wide
pin-wheel attacks that brought their energy cannons to bear on the
Enterprise's powerful deflector shields.
"How long can the shields hold up to this pounding?" Riker inquired
from Data, since even with the shields, the decking was beginning to
shudder even so slightly as a particularly concerted barrage of energy
struck the Enterprise. On the upper level of the bridge, Worf worked
furiously at the controls of the tactical station, guiding the aiming
of the phaser banks.
"At the current intensity of the assault, our shields will
withstand twelve point four minutes of this. However, the number of
Cylon fighters attacking us is decreasing." This observation was
rather pointedly demonstrated as a raider detonated almost squarely in
the center of the view screen. "Without reinforcements, the fighter
craft will be destroyed before our shields buckle."
Adama was fairly impressed by this statement. There must be nearly
two hundred raiders out there delivering the combined might of their
energy cannons on the Enterprise. The Enterprise's shields were
certainly more powerful than those on the Galactica. Even though he
did not know how long a 'minute' was, he could gauge from readouts how
long the raiders should last at the rate the Enterprise was blasting
yet another raider every few moments. If this starship had been
constructed with anti-fighter weaponry as the Galactica had, then the
raiders would be disappearing at a much greater rate. Besides, such
weapons were vastly superior at targeting small, rapidly moving
objects. As thick as this swarm of Cylon fighters was, the
Galactica's smaller weapons would hardly even miss, whereas the main
batteries of the Enterprise were continuing to discharge in rapid-fire
succession, hitting a raider at most in two out of five shots.
Data continued a stream of reports for the benefit of the crew of
the Enterprise -- as well as the Galacticans -- who were mostly just
standing around, having absolutely nothing to do. Unable to do
anything to help, they were forced to rely on Worf's masterful
manipulation of the targeting controls.
Meanwhile, the vipers were also gaining ground. Though their loses
were worse than usual, and the Enterprise was no longer lending its
big guns to this massive dog-fight, the rugged fighter pilots were
making a solid show of themselves. What with the raiders that had
turned their attention to the Enterprise, and those that had already
been reduced to space dust and radiation, the vipers were no longer
outnumbered by a factor of four, but by less than two to one. And
though they were still outnumbered, the Cylons no longer had the
numerical advantage that they needed to easily overpower the viper
However, the growing opinion that the Cylons would soon flee was
shot down when Data announced, "Three ships of unidentified origin are
closing on our position."
Apollo surmised, "Basestars," even before the image three huge
warships appeared on the viewer. Slowly rotating, the basestars
looked for all the universe like spinning tops.
"Are they on an intercept course?" Riker demanded. These basestars
looked to Riker as though they were battle stations, rather than star
ships. Part of him wondered if he wouldn't rather be facing Romulan
But fortunately, Data responded, "Negative, Sir. For the moment
they appear to simply be observing the battle."
"Baltar is gloating." Adama seethed, remembering the time that he
had had his hands wrapped around that traitor's thought. If only
Apollo had not stopped him from dealing out justice that day!
"Will they attack?"
Adama responded to Picard's question. "Not likely. Ship to ship
battle is something we seldom engage in. But do not take that to mean
that those ships are not powerful. Three basestars like those were
enough to destroy the Twelve Colonies."
"Do we attempt to make contact?" Riker posed that question
hopefully. Picard was right, attacking _those_ ships would not be
"By all means, Number One. Better to try for peace and fail, than
to never try at all."
"You waste your time." Apollo glared at the balding Captain.
Perhaps his bravery had fallen out with his hair? "You should strike
now before they have fully realized what is happening."
"By your command."
Those words cut though Baltar's lustful dreams of power like a
finely focused laser. Spinning his command chair around to glare down
at Lucifer's bowing form, the greasy Human would have sworn that the
robot's face had been constructed with a permanent smirk. Irritated,
he growled out, "Speak."
"We are within scanner range of the battle."
Baltar's mood executed an about-face, a smile of great satisfaction
replacing his irritated frown, as he boasted, "Excellent. Our
fighters must have crushed Adama's pitiful vipers by now. Ohhh, but
to finally witness the destruction of Adama and that disgusting, rag-
tag fleet of his."
Lucifer's glowing eyes slowed down in their flashing movement back
and forth in the robot's eye-slits. "That statement is premature."
"And just what is that supposed to mean?"
"The Human fleet is not alone. They are accompanied by a starship
of unidentifiable classification. This starship is assisting in the
battle, which is currently going against our fighters."
"What?" Baltar's cried of anguish and frustration was nearly an
octave higher than normal.
Ignoring Baltar's irrationality, Lucifer continued, "The commanders
are recommending that we withdraw our forces."
"Withdraw?!? That cowardice is the reason that your race has never
been able to destroy the Humans until they received my help. Without
me, Adama and his fleet of battlestars would probably have smashed the
Cylon Capitol worlds by now! How powerful can a single ship be?
Those fighters should have enough power to destroy a entire fleet!"
Long accustomed to Baltar's flashes of ranting, Lucifer waited in
dutiful silence until the Human had paused before once again
continuing. "This starship possessed weapons and defenses greater
than our own, and in excess of ninety percent of its crew is composed
For the moment Baltar had no bellowing retort. Instead, he merely
echoed the word "Human" in a questioning voice slightly louder than a
whisper. "Can it be? Could they have finally found it?"
At a loss of comprehension in Baltar's behavior -- disbelief? --
Lucifer probed, "Can what be? What is 'it?'"
"Earth," Baltar hissed in awe. "Has Adama finally found the lost
"Our records indicate that Earth is only a myth among Humans. You
yourself have indicated that this is so."
"It is. Or should be. We have never found a trace of it. Not a
single bit of information to indicate that it truly existed. I
thought it was nothing more than an ideal that Adama bred to keep
himself in power." Power. The mere utterance of that word started
thoughts racing across Baltar's deranged mind. Plans, schemes, plots
of deceit and control -- and of course of power, personal power for
Baltar, domination of worlds, even of vast star systems. If he could
hand the thirteenth tribe of humanity over to the Imperious Leader,
then surely Baltar would be rewarded with whatever he desired.
Perhaps it would even give him the chance to take control of the Cylon
Recognizing that Baltar's thoughts had strayed away from the
subject at hand, Lucifer prompted, "Do you give the order for the
fighters to withdraw?"
"This Earth ship -- you say that it is powerful. Could it stand
against the might of these basestars?"
"Unknown. We do not have enough information about this starship."
"Could we capture it?" Think of the prize it would make! Baltar's
dreams soared even higher.
Then Lucifer received a new report over those of its circuits that
were interfaced with the basestar's massive computer network. "The
unidentified starship is attempting to make contact with us."
"The one of the basestars has open a frequency."
"Very good, Mr. Data. On screen."
The view of the assaulting raiders was replaced by a dark chamber
of indeterminate size, adorned with but a single throne mounted on a
tall pedestal. Seated on the throne was a rather repulsive looking
Human wearing the relaxed comfort of a king in his citadel and the
smile of one who had at his command all he wished.
"I am Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Federation Starship
Enterprise. What is the meaning of..."
"Greetings, Captain," drawled out Baltar, cutting off Picard in
mid-sentence. "I am Baltar.
"I see that you have the leaders of these criminals with you. I
would suggest that you restrain them before they are able to subvert
Thrown off balance by not only Baltar's words but also by one of
the more powerful tremors to rock his ship, Picard was unable to
respond immediately. There were still about a hundred of the Cylon
raiders pounding away at the Enterprise, whose shields continued to
decay under the onslaught.
"Criminals? You are the one who should be executed for your..."
"Silence, daggit!" Baltar's face slid back into its look of easy
control. "These people are escaped prisoners, Captain Picard. Their
crimes against the Empire are uncountable. I strongly suggest that
you have them locked up immediately, before they are able to gain
control of your ship."
"You say they are criminals. What proof do you have of this?"
Picard demanded of Baltar.
"Their crimes against the Empire belie belief. They have destroyed
a science installation on a research asteroid, murdered many civilians
on the planet Gomoray, the destruction of a fueling base on the same
planet, the destruction of hundreds of our fighters, not to mention
the destruction of no less than four basestars, and the near
assassination if His Imperious Leader... Need I continue Captain?"
"No, I believe your point is made. Now, if you will call off your
fighters, we can discuss this rather more civilly."
"I do not believe that we dare do that. These criminals have
escaped us on too many occasions. I will not allow that chance to
occur again. You will withdraw your ship from the area of combat
where it will not be attacked further. I will dispatch some shuttle
craft to dock with your ship to collect these criminals immediately."
"Allow me a moment to make my decision." Picard motioned to Data
to cut the transmission.
"Surely you cannot believe his lies?" Apollo uttered in disbelief
of Picard's reaction.
Picard only gave Troi an inquiring glance.
"I sensed that the list of 'crimes' which Baltar spoke of actually
occurred. They were not lies."
"Those were acts of war," Adama assured him. "We did nothing that
was not required to survive."
"Including the murder of civilians?" Picard inquired strongly.
That was not so easy to rationalize away. Adama did not even try
to do so. "We have been hounded across half this galaxy. The Cylons
seek nothing less than our complete 'extermination.' Baltar is only
trying to deceive you as he did us when he wrought the annihilation of
our home worlds."
"Adama is correct," Troi put in before this argument grew more
heated. "While Baltar was not actually lying, I could sense that he
is attempting to deceive you. When he mentioned dispatching shuttles
to pick up Adama, I could sense extreme levels of deception."
"No doubt his 'shuttles' would be filled with Cylon centurions with
orders to kill every Human on board this ship," ventured Apollo,
having grown familiar with Baltar's traitorous stratagems.
Picard requested of Data, "Where is the Galactica?"
"The Galactica is currently holding a position between us and the
fleet, destroying all Cylon attack craft that attempt to reach the
"Status on the battle between the strike forces?"
"The colonial forces would seem to have rallied and turned the
battle against the Cylons. However, both sides have sustained heavy
casualties... Sir, those raiders currently attacking the Enterprise
have turned to assist in the battle against the colonial forces."
On the main screen, the Cylon fighters could be seen breaking away
from their strafing runs on the Enterprise to regroup and head off to
the assistance of those raiders still engaging the Galactica's viper
squadrons. Phaser fire still bracketed the raiders, detonating one
after another as they started to assume their typical formations.
This rapidly inspired the Cylon forces to scatter once again and
maintain their evasive maneuvers.
Noting the loose grouping of the Cylon war ships, Riker considered
the utility of firing photon torpedoes at the raiders.
"Marginal at best, Sir. They are far too maneuverable, and would
easily avoid the blast radius of photon torpedoes," Worf pointed out
to the First Officer.
"The basestars are hailing us, Sir."
"On screen, Mr. Data."
"I have instructed my fighters to leave your vessel alone, Captain
Picard," Baltar stated the instant the channel was opened. "You will
now move your ship away from the battle and await the arrival of
shuttles to take custody of the war criminals who have boarded your
"One moment, Baltar." Picard kept his voice level and authoritive.
"Since your ships are currently in the territory of the Federation of
Planets, I believe that this matter currently involves the Federation.
I suggest that you recall all of your war ships. Since the Federation
would be more impartial as judge and jury of this matter, you will
await the arrival of a Federation tribunal to hear your evidence and
determine whether Adama and his fleet is guilty of these 'crimes' with
which you have accused them, and whether they should be turned over to
Baltar sat a moment in silence, controlling himself over this
challenge against his self-generated authority, before flatly stating,
"A trial has already been held in this matter, and Adama has been
found guilt of crimes against the Cylon Empire."
"According to Adama, no such trial was ever convened. Is that not
"That is very correct. The Cylons have found us guilty of charges
unknown to us, without any trial that we were aware of, more than a
millennium ago. The sentence was the total extermination of the Human
race. A judgement, Baltar, that you are a fool to think does not
"That is a lie, Adama!" Baltar denied emphatically. "The Galactica
and its fleet will be taken into custody. The fate of Adama and his
followers will be left up to the judgement of the Imperious Leader."
"Then what is your objection to presenting your case before a
Federation tribunal?" Picard prodded Baltar.
Baltar stared out from the view screen, his eyes small and beady.
Then he turned to look away from the video sensor, presumably to
listen to a voice that was not heard over the communication channel.
The look that crossed his face indicated that what ever he heard, he
did not like it. "Very well, Picard," he finally said. "I will
personally meet with you to discuss this matter. I will come over to
your ship after my fighters have been recalled." With that, the
channel was closed from the other end.
"Do _not_ make the mistake of trusting him," Adama reiterated.
"I have no such intention."
"Commander Kaligh, there is a .signature dead ahead..."
"So it will be. Fire all weapons...."
^/ . ..\^
___-==++""" . /. . . \ . """++==-___
__-+"" __\ .. . . | .. . | . . . /__ ""+-__
/\__+-"" `-----=====\_ <O> _/=====-----' ""-+__/\
_/_/ ""="" \_\_
// | \\
/") \ | / ("\
\O\ \*/ /O/
\_) ---**O**--- (_/
/ | \
Subject: Galactica and Enterprise
From: email@example.com (Dreamwalker)
Date: 10 Mar 91 19:18:35 GMT
Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dreamwalker)
Organization: Netherworld Dreamscape
The Cylon ships broke off from the battle all together, returning
to the safety of their basestars. The vipers also returned to the
Galactica, their numbers significantly smaller than when they had been
launched. Their losses had been higher than usual due to the size of
the Cylon strike force. Indeed, without the aid of the Enterprise,
they might not have survived this battle. That, however, had been a
possibility in each of the battles they had fought since they had
escaped the destruction of the Twelve Worlds.
After perhaps an hour, a small group of fighters was launched from
one of the basestars. The small ships proceeded on a direct course
for the Enterprise. A signal from the basestars indicated that this
was Baltar's personal ship and his guards. Then a brief message
originated from the lead raider, a personal message from Baltar.
"The weapon systems on these fighters have been deactivated. We
are coming under a flag of truce. See to it that Adama's people
respect this truce."
"Very well, Baltar. We will transmit landing clearance as soon as
your ships are close to the Enterprise."
"And Picard, do not be a fool and permit Adama's people to corrupt
the crew of your ship or taint your 'impartiality.'""
"I will see to it. Picard out."
Once the line was closed, Picard commented openly, "I do not trust
him. Mr. Worf, I want a full scan of those ships."
"Baltar is attempting to deceive you, Captain," intoned Counselor
Troi. This was but a confirmation of Picard's just suspicions.
"Then what is Baltar up to, if you can read his mind?" demanded
Apollo, growing irritated at the vague insights that Deanna would
declare, yet never specify.
"I am not a full telepath, Captain Apollo," clarified Troi. "I am
only an empath."
"Sir, scanners show that the weapon systems on those fighters are
"Very good, Mr. Worf."
"However, scanners do not indicate the presence of a Human on any
of those ships. And, I am picking up large quantities of explosives
that do not appear to be either a part of the raider's weapon systems
or drive units."
Leaning over Worf's should to see what the Klingon meant, Starbuck
gasped, crying out, "Those ships are packed with solonite! They've
got enough there to rip this ship in half!"
Picard looked at Adama for a moment, then commanded Data to get in
contact with Baltar's basestar.
The channel finally opened, showing a robot sitting in Baltar's
throne. Points of indistinct light revolved in various orbits inside
of the transparent head of the robot, while folds of cloth concealed
what looked to be a wraith-like body.
"Get me Baltar," Picard demanded of the Cylon construct.
"Baltar is currently en route to your ship," maintained the robot.
"We both know that is a lie. Those ships are loaded with
explosives which, unless I am gravely mistaken, are intended to
destroy my starship. If those ships are not turned around
immediately, I will be forced to have them disabled or destroyed."
The channel was closed almost instantly.
Then Worf alerted them, saying, "The fighters are accelerating and
taking evasive maneuvers. The basestars are beginning to move towards
our position and are launching their fighters."
Picard cursed to himself and gestured to Riker.
"Destroy those fighters! All weapons fire!" barked out Riker.
The Enterprise's phasers instantly sprang to life, spitting deadly
bolts of energy at the solonite-packed fighters. Whenever a phaser
blast touched one of the raiders, it detonated in a spectacular burst
of energy far out of proportion to its size. But the other fighters
continued to close on the Enterprise, their dodging shapes difficult
for the heavy energy weapons on the Enterprise to track and hit. Worf
whittled the fighters down to two, but those two fighters were almost
on top of the Enterprise. Picard was about to instruct Acting Ensign
Crusher to engage warp drive when Worf managed to target and destroy
the last two fighters. The combined explosions were close enough to
the Enterprise that the deck shuddered underneath the feet of everyone
on the bridge.
"Damage report!" called out Riker.
Worf's hands played over his controls before he informed them that
most of the energy had be absorbed by the shields.
"Keep us between the Cylons and the fleet. And continue trying to
get in touch with those basestars," ordered Picard.
"Aren't you going to attack?" Apollo demanded, still finding it
difficult to accept Picard's passifistic views.
"I want to avoid a war at all costs, Captain Apollo."
"It is too late for that," spoke Adama in a voice sounding like it
was passing a death sentence. "By now the Cylon Empire has been
alerted to the existence of your Federation. It will only be a matter
of time before more of their ships start arriving to find out what
they want to know about you. If your Federation is as rich in worlds
as I suspect, then you had best expect that they will seek to
subjugate your Federation and all the worlds it governs. That is the
Cylon way, whether you accept it or not. Your only stroke of luck is
the vast distance between here and Cylon. But with the promise of new
worlds to place under their iron grip, they will come for your
Federation. It will only be a matter of time."
Picard accepted this with a heavy heart. "Any response to our
hailing signals, Mr. Worf?"
"None, Sir. The Cylon ships are continuing to close."
"Continue to broadcast warnings to them. Make sure they understand
that we will fight if needed." Picard turned a hardened gaze to
Riker, declaring, "Number One, you have the bridge. Prepare for
emergency saucer separation. You will take the saucer back to the
fleet and render what assistance you can provide in the consequence
that we are destroyed." To the Galacticans, he offered, "Since the
main shuttle bay is in the saucer section, you gentlemen can remain on
the saucer with your ships and rejoin the Galactica, or join us in the
battle section, as you wish."
Though surprised at this announcement that the Enterprise was
capable of separating into two separate components, Adama pointed out,
"I believe you may find it of assistance to have us with you to
coordinate this battle with the Galactica as well as to provide you
with information in the basestars."
"Agreed, but I will not force you to remain with us."
"There is no need for force," Starbuck assured him with one of the
pilot's typical flashing smiles.
"All the same, I think I will take Apollo's viper and take care of
a few raider's personally," spoke up Boomer for the first time. "I
cannot just stand idle while others do all of the fighting."
And so they headed for the turbo lift to the battle bridge. As
they were piling into the lift, Riker yelled at Weasley to return to
the navigation console. The acting ensign was certainly neither
qualified nor wanted on the battle bridge.
Side by side in space, the Galactica and the battle section of the
Enterprise -- looking for all the universe like a giant beheaded bird
-- held their position against the approaching Cylon forces. Ahead of
them, the Galactica's vipers -- at least the ones that could still fly
-- were spread out in a huge 3D V-shape, awaiting the raiders to get
close enough to open fire. Lagging behind the formation of remaining
raiders, the three basestars brought up the rear, Baltar's in its
traditional position behind the other two.
As the raiders neared them, the Galactica and the Enterprise
accelerated forwards, breaking to either side of the formation of
vipers, which also soon began to move forwards to catch up. The
squadrons of Cylon raiders were quickly bracketed between the two
massive warships, raked with energy beams, with the vipers bearing
down on them.
It soon became apparent that the raiders were in a bad position,
with bolts of livid energy pouring down on them from three sides.
Many of them were wiped out before the vipers were close enough to
engage in close combat. Though outnumbered, the vipers were now only
facing less than two hundred of the original swarm of almost four
times that number. Those raiders trying for suicide runs on the
Galactica never made it, blasted to space-dust by the countless anti-
fighter emplacements that dotted the battlestar's hull, while those
going after the Enterprise often did have a chance to strafe her
shields before Worf's overworked phasers destroyed them.
As the basestars neared the maximum range of their powerful
particle beam weapons, the Enterprise leapt forward, seeking to divert
their attention while the Galactica's own long-range weapons opened up
on the basestars. Moving at warp speed, the Enterprise was unaffected
by the basestars' powerful energy beams. Sweeping around the group of
basestars, the battle section launched a salvo of photon torpedoes at
one basestar. However, designed to normally track and shoot down
agile space fighters, the smaller turrets on the basestar easily
blasted the photon torpedoes before they were close enough to do any
This little demonstration was enough for Picard to accept Adama's
advice that missiles were only effective at extremely close range.
This prompted Picard to use a variation of his famed "Picard
Maneuver." Passing close to the second basestar, the Enterprise
dropped out of warp. At this proximity to the Cylon base ship, the
Enterprise was positively dwarfed by the sheer massiveness of the
alien war ship.
The main phaser banks cut loose on the basestar, ripping long
grooves in the hull of the basestar, blowing away some of the larger
weapons platforms that Starbuck had pointed out to Worf -- something
the fighter pilot had noticed on one of his rather daring attack runs
on one basestar, the time they had faced down a trio of basestars with
the help of the legendary Commander Cain. Then the Enterprise was
back in warped space, escaping the hail of energy bolts seeking to gut
the starship, releasing another swarm of photon torpedoes from the aft
launch tubes. This time, one of the torpedoes broke though the
basestar's defense. Striking the lower half of the basestar, the
torpedo exploded, taking out almost a quarter of the lower hull with a
A repeat performance of the Picard Maneuver was not so successful.
Whatever their other faults might be, the Cylons do not easily fall
for the same trick twice. This time, when the Enterprise dropped out
of warp, she was instantly targeted by the weapons of the other lead
basestar. Even though the starship's shields soaked up most of the
deadly energy, the force of the blasts tossed around everyone on the
battle bridge who had not been seated.
Recovering from this abrupt reversal, the Enterprise sped away from
the basestar, her shields noticeably weaker. Still, since the battle
section's phasers had been set for automatic fire the moment the warp
drive was shut off, the basestar also felt the bite of the smaller
Meanwhile, the Galactica had initiated a long-range barrage of her
own. The heavier particle beams mounted in her saurian head were
selectively targeting the three basestars from the edge of maximum
effective range. Even though the Enterprise was distracting them, the
basestars were returning fire, albeit with less effect than the
Galactica's strikes, since the Galactica presented much less area when
viewed from the front than a basestar, which has no real front.
On the Galactica's bridge, Colonel Tigh had marshalled the entire
resources of the battlestar's weaponry. Though second in command,
Tigh was no less competent it the appalling art of war than was Adama.
The two had been friends since they had been viper pilots, and as such
were as closely skilled as Starbuck and Apollo, though Tigh's
straight-forward manner made him worse at politics -- a loss he did
Even now, the reports on the fight with the raiders was very
promising. The Cylons should have been routed and in retreat by now.
No doubt it was Baltar's fear of the Galactica that was keeping these
fighters from fleeing. With the chance that even one raider might
break from the battle and reach the fleet, the Galactica would remain
where she was, rendering all possible assistance to her vipers. If so
much as a single raider could reach the essentially defenseless fleet,
any number of the transports might be severely damaged or destroyed
before the raider could be shot down by either a viper or one of those
few ships that happened to have had a weapon system installed. For
this reason, Baltar knew the Galactica would not attack until only a
few of the raiders were left.
But as things were going, the Galactica would not have to wait all
that much longer. Already the vipers had the numerical advantage on
the Cylons, though their own losses continued to mount. It was only a
matter of time until the last of the raiders would be shot out of the
In preparation for that, all of the Galactica's main ship-to-ship
weapons had been armed. The massive missile launchers that -- at
close range -- could obliterate several basestars, as well as those
particle cannons which could not be fired due to the battlestar's
orientation in space, were primed for the moment Tigh would give the
command to close on the basestars.
Picard's situation, however, was not so optimistic. The Enterprise
was giving the basestars a thorough thrashing, but her shields were
taking to brunt of the basestar's weapons. Seeing that further use of
his "Picard Maneuver" would not work so easily, and that the photon
torpedoes were cannon fodder for the anti-fighter defenses of the
Cylon base ships, he was forced to meet the basestars at subwarp with
phasers. As a result, the Enterprise's shields were glowing under the
terrific levels of energy the Cylons were pouring upon her.
The Cylons, in turn, had also taken numerous severe hits. Their
hulls marred by deep scars from phaser strikes, fires could even be
glimpsed through some of the more damaged areas where atmosphere
ignited with combustible materials before being sucked into the void
of deep space. Many weapon emplacements on the hulls of the ships had
been destroyed. Perhaps if it had not been for that one oddity of
Cylon nature -- the total lack of individuality and singularity --
that caused Cylon construction to be completely generalized, one or
two of the ships might have been disabled by now. But as it was, all
three of them were still quiet functional, if damaged.
Reports rolled onto the battle bridge from all sections of the
Enterprise. Overloaded and burned out systems continued to mount in
number and magnitude. Then came Worf's report... the shields were
beginning to buckle.
To allow this to proceed might well result in the destruction of
the Enterprise, Picard knew. So he was forced to take into
consideration Adama's point that missiles would only break through the
Cylon's defenses at very close range. "Data, take us in between the
two lead basestars. Mr. Worf, target photon torpedoes on those two
basestars and phasers on Baltar's ship. Engage."
Jumping at the basestars like an over-eager mount, the Enterprise
closed on the three Cylon ships at full impulse speed. Realizing what
was happening, the two Cylon ships closed formation so that it would
be all the more difficult for the starship to get between them. A
move, no doubt, calculated by Baltar, since his own ship started to
put more distance between it and the other two.
As the Enterprise rapidly bore down on the two basestars, Worf
launched a tight spread of photon torpedoes. Due to the proximity of
the Enterprise, what small turrets that remained functional were not
as effective in their defensive fire. But the Cylon's had expected
the launch of the photon torpedoes, and thus attempted to compensate
as much as possible for the damaged turrets, as well as taking
advantage of the nearness of the starship by firing off salvos of
their own missiles.
Most of the photon torpedoes were destroyed by defensive fire, but
some made in though to strike the two base ships. One struck the more
damaged basestar on the underside of its upper hull, blasting out a
crater that almost reached clear though to the top of the mushroom-
like hull, joining the already present hole in its lower hull.
The other basestar did not fair so well. Three torpedoes broke
through its defenses, one striking the massive column that joined the
two halves of the ship. In a brilliant detonation, the two halves of
the ship were sent drifting away from one another, propelled by the
detonating torpedo. The other two torpedoes struck the upper hull an
instant later, ripping through the ship to ignite the huge tanks of
volatile tylium that powered the basestar.
In a fiery explosion that might have rivalled a small nova, the
basestar was shattered, with energy and pieces of metal cast outward
in an expanding wave that engulfed the Enterprise. Since the
Enterprise was directly between the basestars when the nova-like
explosion went off, her deflector shields actually helped to protect
the other base ship. This, however, was too much for the great lady's
tortured shields, which collapsed under the brunt of both the
expanding storm of hell-fire and the swarms of missiles launched by
Sailing out of the dispersing cloud of radiation, the Enterprise
maintained her course towards Baltar's basestar like a graceful --
albeit rather scorched -- swan. However, this was due to no wish of
Picard's: control had been temporarily lost when the fireball had
struck the starship and overloaded several subsystems.
Though sustaining heavy damage from the phaser bolts that had raked
across its superstructure, Baltar's ship was relatively undamaged when
compared to the other two basestars. This allowed it to take
advantage of the loss of the Enterprise's shields by opening fire with
what weapons remained functional. The pulsar weapons ripped across
the Enterprise's now defenseless hull, stitching nasty wounds across
the grey-toned and radiation scorched skin.
But though her shields were down, the Enterprise was by no means
dead. Even while her power levels were low, the starship suddenly
elongated, then disappeared in a swirl of polychromatic light as her
powerful warp drive came to life. Even though only capable of low
warp speeds at the moment, the Enterprise was still unharmed by the
basestar's energy weapons and out of range of its missiles.
But even as one starship moved away from Baltar's basestar as fast
as possible, a second bore down on it with all possible speed. Freed
of the need to watch over the last of the Cylon fighters due to the
destruction of those selfsame fighters, the Galactica was on the full
offensive. Like some great, rabid dragon, the colonial battlestar
headed straight for the ship of the traitor who had wrought the murder
of her home worlds.
The remaining lead basestar sought to interpose itself between
Baltar's ship and this angel of fury. But damaged as it was, the
basestar could not move as fast as it needed to. Without a break in
its star-spanning stride, the Galactica cut loose with barrage upon
barrage of death bolts and missiles. The damaged basestar, because of
the significant loss of the integrity of its hull due to the photon
torpedoes that struck it, was unable to withstand the magnitude of
Even as what few particle cannons remaining functional released
their deadly energies upon the Galactica, the basestar began to break
up. Criss-crossing bolts of multihued radiation illuminated the
surface of the Cylon ship as large portions of it were carved away
under the furious hail of the Galactica's weaponry, until finally the
base ship glowed with an inner light of its own. A fraction of a
micron later, the massive war ship exploded with a force almost the
equal to that of the first basestar.
This, of course, was more than enough to peel away the last remnant
of Baltar's fortitude. Though a basestar has no front, and
consequently no tail, Baltar's still turned tail and began to move
away at flank speed. With no fighters and no basestars to stand
between him and his enemies, Baltar had no intention of remaining in
this sector of space.
But the Galactica would not be so easily cheated of her prey. The
battlestar, scarred by yahrens of Cylon assaults, forced to flee
across half a galaxy protecting the last few survivors of a once great
civilization, was once more on the offensive. Damaged and unable to
attain full power, the traitor's basestar was rapidly being overtaken
by the swift battlestar.
Like a trapped animal, the basestar fought with a desperate fury.
But its fury was no match for that of the Galactica. Precious
missiles that had been hoarded during the Galactica's journey due to
their irreplaceability were now fired off with impunity. The
Galactica persevered, closing the gap between her and the hunter
turned hunted, paying scant heed to the explosions which ripped across
her own skin. Even now, the basestar was in its dying moments,
quaking under the Galactica's onslaught.
One such tremor tossed Baltar away from where he clutched at his
throne's pedestal for support, casting him to the unfeeling floor with
painful force. Struggling to rise to his feet, Baltar bellowed at
Lucifer, demanding, "Have my fighter readied immediately! I've got to
get away from here!"
Standing tall and noble above it all, unphased by the shuddering of
the ship or the distant groan of overstressed metal, Lucifer pointed
out, "A Cylon would not abandon his ship."
Baltar managed to grasp hold of the unperturbed robot, hauling
himself to his feet by the folds of Lucifer's robes, not even
noticing that the flimsy looking machine did not even bend under the
Human's exceptional weight. Glaring, pleading, Baltar stared into
Lucifer's slanted eyes, crying out, "Neither of us are Cylons! Do you
want to die here?"
Lucifer's eyes halted their ceaseless back-and-forth motion;
something that in a Cylon indicated absolute concentration, such as
when about to kill.
On board the Galactica's bridge, Tigh broke his eyes away from the
readout screen they had been locked onto. "Negative shields!" barked
out the Colonel.
At the front of the bridge, the massive metal shutters spread apart
like the opening mouth of some great lizard, revealing the timeless
void of space. A view that was broken by explosions of devastating
force. Though he knew he risked a direct hit to the bridge of the
battlestar, Tigh could not permit himself to miss what was about to
happen. Almost everyone else on the bridge also found their eyes
inexorably drawn to that view.
Without warning, a point of light suddenly expanded, filling the
bridge with near blinding light, even though the powerful filters
built into that transparent portal. Though forced to turn away from
the view or throw an arm over their faces, a cheer broke across the
normally well-behaved bridge by its sizable crew. A pain and
frustration that existed since their homes had died because of the
subterfuge of a traitor was now vented with the destruction of that
This was what Tigh had been unable to deny himself or those on the
Tigh's own ever present mask of discipline broke as a half smile
twitched one corner of his mouth. But then the mask of control
settled back into place before any could have to opportunity to notice
its momentary disappearance. Tigh returned his attention to the
matters at hand. This great ship had not destroyed its much hated
enemy without loss. Damage control needed to be attended to, repairs
initiated, and so forth.
On board the Rising Star, a party of unusual magnitude raged. Not
only had the thirteenth tribe finally be found, but the one who had
betrayed their homes had also been slain. The moral of the fleet was
higher than at any time since the fleet had begun its voyage across
the cosmos. The thought that they would soon set foot on a world that
could at last be called home, had thrilled the people of the fleet
that almost all of them were banishing their painful pasts in exchange
for the opportunity of looking to the future, now that it was certain
that their would have one.
Adama, however, had moved away from the party, finding a view port
to gaze out on the cold, unfeeling stars. Pain and tragedy had been
his constant companion for so long that even now he could not turn
away from it. Even though he had seen the destruction of Baltar's
ship, he could still not bring himself to accept the death of that
traitor. The Enterprise had been a goodly distance away from the
explosion. A craven soul like Baltar might have been able to make use
of that instant to escape. A foolish thought, Adama realized, but one
that he could not shake nonetheless.
After a while, Picard joined Adama at the portal. Standing in
silence, the two commanders stared out into the void, appearing as
distant and as noble as the stars they gazed upon. Indeed, if not for
their physical differences, the two might even have been long lost
brothers reunited once again. Perhaps, in a way, it could even be
said that they were distant brothers from families separated for
Picard eventually spoke, breaking their silent reverie. "I have
just received a reply from Starfleet Command. We are to escort your
ships to Starbase 179 while Command tries to find out what to do with
Adama remained silent for a time, before responding. "One battle
is ended. Another begun. Now we must convince your Earth government
that our tale is true."
"Classic Greek culture was a marvel of sophistication," Picard
considered. "There are many names among your people that are the same
as the names of great Greek personages: Apollo, Athena, Sheba, Omega,
Pegasus. Even that Cylon robot, Lucifer. All well known Greek names
from our own history. Perhaps it is that the thirteenth tribe started
some of the great Earth civilizations. It would explain the other
parallels between them and your culture. For instance, it could explain
the countless pyramids that are on Earth. Buildings that primative hands
could not have constructed unaided."
Adama had already considered this, after a fascinating discussion
with Data on the history of Earth and the other Colonies. Turning to
Picard, Adama brought out, "It does not, however, explain the
existence of Humans on Earth long before the arrival of the thirteenth
tribe. How can Humanity have evolved on Kobol _and_ Earth?"
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