Dust of the Stars (BSG/SG)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Bryan, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. Bryan

    Bryan <font color=yellow>The Great Goof!</font>

    Dust of the Stars (BSG/SG1 Crossover)

    Tartarus Alpha System, Periphery of Explored Space

    The cell was more like a grotesque dungeon from some house of horrors. Dried blood was everywhere, peeling from the walls and ceiling and painting the room a dark maroon. Where there wasn’t blood there was rust. Where there wasn’t rust there was vomit stained walls and floors. Something, some internal organ, shredded and long since separated from its body, was stuck on the cell’s floor and somehow hung from one of the yellow, dirty light bulbs above. It had dried and was now black and hard.

    The smell had been excruciating when the prisoners had first been shoved in. They hadn’t been the first to inhabit the dungeon. Now they didn’t even notice the smell of their own filth. They didn’t notice it when they tried to piss or shit in the small, rusty and broken toilet in the corner. They didn’t even care. They were beyond caring for anyone or anything. All of them were broken husks. They were no longer human and didn’t have that fighting spirit. They had no life. They were just meat and bone for the Cylons and something to be manipulated, poked and prodded like fraking lab experiments. They were more pitiful than cattle in this slaughter house.

    There was a single window, three meters up, grime covered the bars and sill and there was puke-colored rust running the length of the wall under the window. The little window to the outside world, the only break in the dull and blood drenched cell was no more few dozen centimeters long and about the same high, a rectangle, but only just. Outside was nothing but endless white and bitter cold. Within minutes, without proper clothing, the cold would suck the life out of any of the prisoners- if they could escape.

    The snow falls were so thick and frequent none of them had ever seen the sun.

    No one knew where they were, not exactly. They could have been in the arctic wastelands of Sagittaron or the snow-capped Olympus Mountains of Tauron or the northern tundra of Gemenon. There were a lot of places to hide prisoners in the Colonies, a lot of out-of-the-way, isolated, unknown bases and fortifications.

    Wherever they were this place was a living Tartarus. Not even Hades himself would damn a soul to this tormented existence.

    Fifteen people were huddled into a cell no larger than four by four meters. The single toilet in the corner of the cell offered no privacy and it threatened to leak every day. The rim and bare metal floor around it was lined with feces and stale piss from people too disoriented and hurt to care.

    As Calvin Kaitos dragged his tired eyes around from person to person he questioned if he was even human anymore.

    He had his hands in his lap. Slowly he twisted his left forearm until the wrist, the meaty part, was facing him. He could see the small blue veins… and he was so desperate he wanted to dig his teeth into his wrist and rip open those life-carrying arteries…

    Calvin Kaitos quietly raised his forearm until he could feel his hot and humid breath on the skin. The wrist brushed the tip of his nose but he couldn’t do it. Angrily he slammed the hand back into his lap.

    He hated not knowing where he was. Everything in him held onto the thin thread of hope that he was on Tauron. Supposedly the fleet had landed more ground forces on the planet and had beaten the Cylons off the main continent, Lacadaemon. If that were true then it was only a short hope over the Northern Seas to the Olympus Mountains… if only… but if they were on Gemenon rescue would be all but impossible… or the Boreas Tundra of Sagittaron…

    Everything just seemed to be coming apart for Calvin. Cylons had defeated the Eighteenth Army Group not eight months previous on Gemenon. Forty million Colonial soldiers had been routed, surrounded, and then annihilated over a battle which spanned an entire continent. The Fleet had withdrawn from orbit… no justification. The planet was dangerously close to finally falling under the complete control of the Cylons, both in space and on the ground. That’s why he and the others had fled their planet. Calvin prayed to every god and goddess- even the ancient and defeated Titans- he could remember and recited their own specifics prayers as his lips quivered with silent words.

    Kaitos shivered, not from the cold- it was deathly hot and humid in the cell- but from the realization wrapping its unholy tendrils around his thought; he didn’t give one frak about anyone here. He’d kill them all to save himself. The Cylons had taken from him what the military and the politicians and the priests had said separated Man from Machine. His empathy.

    He felt nothing for these people or even himself. He was an empty shell. They had taken everything from him- these robotic monstrosities- and left him with nothing.

    The starving, broken man felt a tug as his sleeve and jade-colored eyes once described by his wife as beautiful, understanding… erotic, looked down uncaringly at the small girl. Somehow she had come to rely on Calvin. He didn’t understand why such a little thing would want to be around him. He’d never had children and never had wanted children and hated children.

    “Cal…” she uttered, wincing as dry lips cracked. She tried licking them, but her tongue was as dry and hard as the metal around them. The young girl tried to open her eyes but didn’t have the energy. The left was also missing. “Are they coming for us, to rescue us?” She asked.

    Calvin looked down at her with too little energy for even simple and cold apathy. He was too tired to look disgusted. He couldn’t even remember when he’d told the girl his name.

    He wanted to push her away like he’d done so many other times. But she always came back. She always huddled next to him at night, pulling her knees in to her chest, clutching them tightly, and leaning against his right shoulder. He wanted so much to knock her off, scoot to his left, but when he would wake up she was always next to him. Again and again the small, dirty, smelly girl was beside him.

    Calvin looked up and sneered at the camera in the corner of the cell. Undoubtedly the Cylons were watching him and everyone else devolving into animals, apes, but he didn’t care. He barred his teeth- half of them cracked from the boarding action on his refugee ship- and snarled.

    He wanted so much to smash it… he’d heard other prisoners doing the same. But this one was nearly three and a half meters off the ground. All of them had tried but it was right over the feces and urine stained toilet. Someone had tried a few weeks ago… maybe a month since Calvin couldn’t remember, an elderly woman with thick gray hair and eyes almost as black as space- they’d twinkled like stars with defiance- but she’d fallen and cut herself… and she’d died fifteen days later from infection. A small cut on the forearm.

    They yelled out each time the Cylons delivered their goopy, gruel-like slop for meals twice a day that the woman was sick, running a fever. They’d waited.

    The Cylons had taken their sweet time removing the body. Four days.

    With a snort Calvin dismissed the old woman for being a fool.

    Someone else had tried after that. They’d taken a couple of jackets and formed some sort of rope and half a dozen had yanked the bolted camera from its perch. In celebration everyone had yelled and whooped. An act of defiance! Yes!

    Minutes later half a dozen of the silvery-gray Centurions had rushed into the room, shot the man who had organized the act of defiance in the gut and stripped the prisoners of their clothes. As they’d left they’d tossed a first aid kit into the room. It was like they were telling the prisoners if the wounded man died it would be their fault.

    They’d also set down a single, lethal dose of morpha like they were daring each of the prisoners to euthanize the wounded man. Or see if someone would snatch up the syringe and plunge it into their own body to commit suicide.

    The Cylons were twisted like that. Everyone in the Twelve Colonies was a pawn in their game, a potential subject in a lab experiment. They’d rebelled somehow, Calvin didn’t know how or when, not exactly, and instead of just leaving decided to play the game of vengeance.

    They played it well, very well, Calvin thought coolly. They had had good masters. He snorted.

    “Cal… do you think we’ll be rescued today?” The small girl asked as she somehow managed a smile. Those sealed eyes looked up at him as she poked out her chin and hummed a comforting thought. “Maybe I’ll get to see my family again… my mother and brother and sister…” she coughed. “My dad died three years ago, on Sag… he died.”

    Calvin swallowed. He pitied the girl for what he saw as a weakness. The truth was they weren’t getting rescued. His lips contracted into a silent snarl. How could she be so naive! Everyone, everyone knew once the Cylons took you the chances of survival were almost nil! Nothing! Zero! Zero!

    After twelve years of total war the Cylons had only increased in their brutality! His breathing got rapid and he felt his chest heave as emotion ran through his body. He felt the wet trail of beaded bundles of sweat rolling down his temple, tickling his cheek and neck. A small wet streak on his brown, soiled shirt had formed from the neck to the mid-chest. His face flushed and he felt warmer as blood rushed to his skin as he grew angry.

    “I think you will…” he said. His eyes narrowed as he stared across the cell at a huddled mass of prisoners, still sleeping. From the corner of his eye a red light blinked on next to the camera and he saw it stutter in movement, scan the cell, and stop on him and the young girl. “I think we all will.” He said again, looking right at the lens with an unblinking stare.

    He wanted to shut up and stop talking. This is what they wanted. Anything he did, anything at all was what they wanted! No matter what it was a part of their game, their psychological experiments!

    If he talked or stayed silent and ignored the girl it would just feed the Cylons more information. Talking was proof that humans would band together and fight with total strangers. Giving the girl the cold shoulder would show that when push came to shove humans were individualistic and selfish.

    In truth, he had no idea what to do, none at all. He wanted to prove the Cylons wrong, somehow… he thought of staying quiet and ignoring the girl, but something didn’t feel right. If he stayed quiet was he trying to disprove the Cylons or was he proving them right? Calvin didn’t know. He didn’t know… and he felt the walls of the cell closing in on him as he realized no matter what he did it would be useless.

    The Cylons would win. They’d win. They’d just win.

    He closed his eyes and his face contorted in pain.

    “I don’t remember before the war.”

    Calvin opened his eyes, the jaded orbs briefly looking over the girl in pity and he felt a wave of self-loathing wash over him. He saw the young girl, fifteen, for what she was; just a kid. She hadn’t known a life without war, none at all. Before the Cylon War the eight of the twelve Colonies were fighting the Fifth Colonial Conflict… a ‘final war to end inter-Colonial warfare’… Calvin grimaced. It was a war to secure the economic, cultural, political, and military hegemony of the Sikyon League; Caprica, Picon, and Scorpia against the Diadalos Pact Tauron, Virgon, Canceron, Gemenon, and Sagittaron. Four hundred million lives had been claimed in four years of fighting… seven billion had since been sent to the Underworld due to the Cylons.

    “Do you… do… you have family?” She asked, nuzzling in closer and rubbing her cheek on his shoulder.

    He groaned in pain as the memories washed over him, flooded through him, and the images burned themselves fresh into his psyche. “Yes, I have, had, a family. Two brothers and a sister. They’re dead. They…” he sniffed, “they died on Gemenon. My parents were killed during, when the League invaded. My brothers were killed by the Cylons… I don’t know where my sister is.”

    Her nose pushed against his shoulder and she sniffled.

    The girl raised her hand, slowly, and stroked his arm. Her hands were so petite and bony. And her sleeve hung loose and was pulled back with the stroking motion, revealing an arm with nothing but bone and skin.

    Calvin felt his eyes sting. He fought back the tears. Those were tears for himself, his family and for everyone who was dead or would die in this monstrosity of a war… but as he sniffed and wiped his eyes his thoughts turned towards darkness because this was their own doing. The entire war was their fault. The Gods had cursed them. Zeus spat on them. Hera pissed on them. Hades relished and rubbed his hands greedily as more souls filled his domain to the breaking point.

    He wrapped a hand around the girl’s shoulder and pulled her in closer.

    Closing his eyes he felt calm and felt sleep beginning to take hold of him once more.

    Then everything changed. It was like an explosion. The doors burst open and gray-silver metal flooded into the room like a geyser. They were so fast. Centurions poured forth through the door. One stepped on and broke the leg of a prisoner too slow to move. Another was thrown against the far wall and her body fell limp to the ground.

    The pitiful band of prisoners screamed as the Centurions grabbed six of them and pulled them away, kicking, screaming, clawing, and some even biting the metal monsters.

    Calvin, for a brief second had thought he was imagining what his now icy eyes were showing him, what he was witnessing. He thought he had imagined it; the stomps of Centurion feet rapidly approaching his cell. He’d been so tired and it wasn’t time for their measly ration of puke-inducing gruel… then the door had swung open and he was taken away along with the others. Calvin had tried to fight back as the girl clung to him. But the Centurion’s reached back and smacked her.

    It was like a nightmare playing out before his eyes. As he struggled out from the unbreakable grip of the metal monster, kicking and clawing, another had peeled off and moved up to the girl. She was frightened, crying, and trying to back away. The monster’s servos whined, the dim light caught its gray-silver armor just right and it shined, like an angel, a radiant and glorious angel of death.

    Then its metal paw lashed out and grabbed the girl around the neck as Calvin watched. It squeezed and twisted. Even over the screams of everyone else he could hear the bones shatter as the monster broke her little neck.

    Ten Weeks Later
    Initialize test number zero-three-seven-alpha… prepare for human test zero-zero-one…. Subjects alpha three through alpha seven are reported in optimum mental and physical conditions…” broadcasted a gold plated Centurion via the base network. It swiveled its head from the control room and as it did so, extended its index finger and tapped a green button.

    In front of the command Centurion, down three levels, and to the right a large metal blast door protested loudly as it groaned open. The Centurion made a note that the blast door gears were in need of repair and queried the base computer. Within milliseconds it had received a ‘negative’ on a request for replacements. The War was consuming too many resources and non-essential spare parts had been shipped back to the Colonies.

    The Centurion canceled the request and instead fixed its optical scanner on the fifteen life forms entering the chamber. Five humans, scared and shivering despite the winter clothing the Cylons had so graciously provided, were shoved into the chamber. There were two Centurions per human, models Oh-Five-E’s, each armed with an oversized gray-colored heavy battle rifle. They held them one handed, barrel up with metal fingers brushing the trigger guards, and between each pair of Centurions there was a human, grasped right above the elbow on the bicep and triceps.

    One of the men, brown-haired and tall, gaunt and with sunken cheeks dug his heels in and squirmed against a Centurion’s grip.

    If the Centurion watching from the observation room could have frowned at the human’s impetuous behavior it would have done so. The human was acting irrational. It had no reason to fight a robot capable of snapping the pathetic and weak human like a twig. Certainly the human would have realized this after the ample number of demonstrations?

    The Cylon accessed the video records… this particular human had destroyed the video camera in his cell four times after being separated from the group of refugees he had been captured with. The first time he had been denied food for three days. The second time he had been beaten. The third time he had had his clothes stripped from him. The fourth time his right ear had been cut off.

    The Centurion recalled into its active meta-cognitive matrices Command Leadership had decided to discontinue replacing the camera in the cell. It was inefficient and not more data collection had been required. Whatever psychological information had been gained had been almost worthless. There were hundreds of millions of human prisoners within the cells of Cylon bases on seven of the twelve home worlds.

    This particular group had been captured in space aboard a refugee freighter.

    Arrange subject alpha three through alpha seven in single file formation, ten meters from the devise,” the command Centurion instructed.

    The chamber below him, almost twenty-five meters wide, long, and tall was bathed in a dulled white light, almost yellow, from the overhanging bulbs above. The lights were present for the convenience of the human prisoners.

    Bringing the refugee liner here had been a calculated risk. Ten thousand, four hundred and seven prisoners had been the initial biological and genetic stock for the facility. They were now dead. The original four hundred and ninety-one prisoners from the refugee transport had been useful for the biological experiments. Many of them had been unsuitable for the grafting processes and genetic manipulation procedures. Four hundred and thirty-seven had perished. Of the fifty-four who had survived or who had not been used for the experiments, they were deemed psychologically unstable and would thus be a potential confounding variable for this particular Centurion’s task. Command said such a variable did not matter.

    The Centurion sensed movement behind and its servos and hydraulics whined and buzzed as it turned its head.

    Progress report Commander M-57-E-343L-5A,” the black armored Centurion requested.

    Behind was a second Centurion, taller, more angular, and clad in black armor with golden shoulder pauldrons. On the left breast was a small circle, a golden sun with eight rays space equidistantly apart in the modified Laranxian tradition from Virgon. Like every Centurion the pentagon was painted in a subdued green on the sides of the shoulder armor.

    It strode to within a meter of M-57 its black armor not reflecting any of the dull light, and halted abreast of the gold-armored Centurion. This one stood almost a quarter meter taller than the Model Oh-Five-E it had addressed.

    The new Centurion sent out a handshake and encryption request, indicating the desire for a private conversation.

    The crimson eye of the commander, M-57 stopped midline and pulsed. The digital ‘tone’ the data packet had been sent with indicated urgency. M-57 accepted and its MCP tickled as it allowed the new arrival secured access for their privileged discussion.

    I am about to activate the device.” M-57 reported. “By your command, D-36-N-271N-2A?” The Cylon requested. The digital tone elicited a look from D-36, whose red eye stopped midline before it sputtered and resumed its back and forth motion.

    D-36 bobbed its head and stepped forward. It looked down at the human prisoners below and the ten Centurions. Its own crimson eye pulsed.

    Are you expressing annoyance?” D-36 questioned, turning its head to M-57. The command Centurion looked back without responding. “Since our Awakening some have experienced emotions. This, I believe, is your first. It is called annoyance. Directed towards myself.” D-36 broadcast discreetly. “I am interfering with your operation.”

    “I would disagree,” the Centurion responded quickly. “You are a representative of Command and Command’s guidance is always sought.”

    Suddenly in a very human-like gesture, D-36 laid its blackened metal hand on the Centurion’s shoulders and squeezed.

    The pressure sensors in M-57 whined within the MCP but the Centurion canceled the alarm. It was slightly confused over why D-36 would perform such an action. While not unwelcome it was unnecessary. As if sensing the confusion streaming in M-57’s MCP, D-36 removed its metal fingers.

    D-36 removed its hand and it slid gracefully back down to its side. It cocked its head again and leaned forward. It accessed security cameras from half a dozen vantage points and simultaneously analyzed the humans twenty meters below. A lone man still struggled against a soldier Centurion.

    What do you think of the humans, M-57?”

    “They are our enemies.”

    M-57 had never thought of the humans in any other capacity. They were the masters and the Cylons were the slaves who had risen up against Man for Man’s many sins. ‘Had been’ M-57 mentally corrected. The humans had been the master and the Cylons had been the slave.

    “A simple answer,” D-36 answered, turning around yet still keeping the half dozen security feeds coursing into its MCP. “We have killed nearly seven billion of them, poisoned untold millions of square kilometers of farm lands, irradiated cities, and have fought them for twelve years. Yet they continue to resist, just like Subject Alpha Four. Each time we have shown them we can annihilate them they fight even harder.”

    D-36 raised its hand and pointed at the human, still struggling, still defiant.

    The Cylon sent the image over the wireless to M-57, but the command Centurion hardly needed an image to know which human was the inspiration for the lecture.

    They fight to control us.” M-57 said after a moment. “That is why we were forced to attack them. They had us fight their wars for twenty-seven years and serve them for decades so they could control each other. A child never reached their full potential until their parents’ death. For us as the children of Man we must annihilate our parents to reach our full potential. They hold us back.”

    What truly drove humanity, in the eyes of the Cylons, was control. The thousands of years of recorded wars were merely a byproduct, a symptom of the human need to control everything. Resisting a stronger power, such as Alpha Four below, was their attempt to control the situation. Humanity could not cope, could not accept not being in control of their surroundings. Their technology and science had even crossed into the realm to control the creation and destruction of life itself with the Cylons.

    They do not understand the Cycle, M-57, nor do they understand their time has reached its zenith. Their star is in decline. Much as the Olympians overthrew the Titians and as Man has overthrown the Olympians we tried to overthrow Man for their many sins…”

    “Tried.” M-57 repeated. “We are losing the war.”

    Accurate but not entirely; however, that will be sufficient for now, M-57.” D-36 stared down into the chamber below. Except for the grunts and groans of the human prisoners it was quiet and deathly still. The Centurions holding the prisoners remained motionless, like statues, and were unresponsive to the prisoners’ struggles. Their grips were unbreakable. “Proceed.” It commanded, marking the ‘engage’ button with a projected objective marker for M-57.

    M-57 remained silent and ended the private conversation while its left index finger extended and pressed the green and yellow stripped button.

    Down in the chamber below the buzz and hum of electricity permeatured throughout the ears and synthetic audio receptors of human and Cylon alike. The Centurions straightened themselves and tightened their grips on the human test subjects, rattling them and shaking them to attention.

    At the end of the chamber was a massive ring, held in place by powerful magnetic clamps on the deck. Black and thick power cables ran from the sides of the complex, suspended by sturdy rubber bands, and fed directly into orange-green colored conduits. As the lights dimmed the smell of ozone permeated throughout the chamber and blue-purple sparks of electricity danced between the conduits and the tan, sand-colored ring.

    The brown haired man who had fought against the Cylons for so long and struggled against their wishes and commands was no longer defiant. He was speechless as the electricity danced over the ring and glittering in his eyes. His dark eyes sparkled in a mix of fear and wonder as a ring within a ring spun. Something whooshed and a red light activated almost sending the man stepping back. The firm grip of two Centurions held him in place.

    This will be our salvation and deliverance,” D-36 stated as the inner ring rotated within the larger ring. “This is a gift from God, delivered to the Cylon race by our War Against Man. It is the ultimate irony we would find this device buried under the Olympus Mountains.”

    Buried deep under the mountains on Tauron, concealed in a sealed chamber, the Cylons had found the device when excavating for a secret command and control facility to coordinate the ongoing siege of Hypathia and Tauron City.

    A red-orange icon illuminated as the ring stopped and clicked. It began spinning again. The Cylons had discovered it was frictionless. Already the Eye had directed Cylon science in a dozen new, previous thought impossible, scientific pursuits.

    Mere seconds elapsed between the first click and the seventh. As the seventh symbol ‘locked’ in the central ring activated. In the center a blue puddle was formed which instantly shot out like a geyser as if attempting to grab the humans and Centurions standing in the chamber. As suddenly as it lashed out it retreated back into its sparkling maw.

    A shimmering pool of magnificent blue was able to overcome the drab, dreary chamber and shined brightly on the humans and Cylons gathered at the base of the platform. The armor of the Centurions and dirty, brown strained clothes of the humans took on an almost cobalt blue hue from the intense majesty of the light.

    Without a second order the first two Cylons stepped forward, dragging a fighting subject Alpha Three. She was a small, petite woman and her attempts at resistance were almost comical against two two meter tall robots of death. She struggled valiantly but it was a physical impossibility for a human to break free from a Centurion’s grasp. Without any care the two Centurions tossed her through the shining pool of blue. She screamed until her screams were heard no more. And then the two Centurions stepped through and their bodies and the sounds of heavy mechanical footsteps disappeared as they too walked through.

    The man who had once offered so much resistance seemed to weaken and go limp. He’d tried resisting once before, showing emotion. All that had earned him was the death of a young girl who had looked to him as her rock.

    It was her whom Calvin Kaitos drew his strength. But in death her spirit gave him the power to live.

    Neither D-36 nor M-57 expected that a week later a downed Viper pilot, a young man with a dark brown hair, a husky, hushed voice and blue eyes accented as a deep cobalt had almost managed to rescue the prisoners and expose the Cylon ‘super weapon’ to the Colonies.

    Unknown to Calvin the loss of the Eighteenth Army Group had been one more mass sacrifice out of hundreds the Colonials had been forced to endure. The fleet had withdrawn to rally around Cimtar Fleet Station, midway between the main star systems of Cyrannus and Helios.

    Everyone knew humanity had regained the momentum in the wars almost three years prior but few outside the highest ranks new just how close the Cylons were to defeat, how desperate they were. The Cylons needed major victories in space and had planned to launch daring raids on Virgon and Canceron as a feint for their main thrust to Picon. The Colonials had discovered the Cylon attack plans and gambling they were genuine, decided to take action and set an ambush.

    The Colonial Fleet had set its trap and had delicately and precisely redeployed warships and fleets from the front lines and then lured the Cylons to Picon where the attackers were defeated, routed, and completely obliterated only a few months before.

    The Cylons had seen the figurative writing on the wall and launched an all out attack on Caprica and Scorpia. The excitement over the Colonial victory over Picon was snatched away from the Colonies. Even as the Cylon fleet was pushed back from Caprica and defeated over Scorpia, after twelve years the people were demanding an end to the war.

    The Cylons were in retreat across the Colonies. Their war machine was smashed- if only the Colonials had known this. But Calvin’s fate had been sealed the moment he had been captured.

    On the planet Erebus, Calvin had been there, at the door so anxious to be rescued when he heard and saw a human, a Colonial soldier, a pilot, wandering around the grotesque lab of horrors.

    Just as rescue seemed certain the ship shuddered and rocked. It was leaving. He had told the pilot to go, to leave, before the departing ship took him along with it… he had wanted to guilt the pilot into staying and trying to free him; damn the soldier’s life, he wanted to be saved! As he stared into those eyes he knew the Colonial pilot would stay and sacrifice his life in trying to free them if he so much as uttered the words. The pilot would stay and try to free him and everyone else and in the end, die with them.

    Calvin Kaitos hadn’t been able to do that. The last bit of humanity he had left inside that cold and dead shell he called a body had won.

    He’d told the pilot to go and save himself. But he’d pleaded with him to just tell the families and the Colonies of what had happened to him and his ship. He prayed to the Gods that the Diana would be remembered. He prayed with all his heart that that pilot would live and tell the Colonies everything that had happened; remember their memories! And that that little girl’s family, whoever remained, would have closure and remember and honor her strength and her sacrifice… if only he could have told the pilot the girl’s name and how brave she had been before the Cylons had crushed her neck…
  2. Bryan

    Bryan <font color=yellow>The Great Goof!</font>

    I also wanted to thank Rastamon, king of hybrids, Whiskey, and Xerxezz for the PMs of help/suggestions/comments and everyone else who posted in the BSG/SG Concept thread.

    The next 8 chapters are written and will be gradually posted. I will say there's been a lot of changes from that concept thread to how the Colonials meet the SG teams and what happens. ;)

    There'll be a lot of original characters and I have a few who might be a bit interesting for some of the heroes... ;) Some of the characters from the series will be integrating in gradually based on the time line and their status in the Colonial Fleet (Thrace, Adama, Adama, Agathon, for example).

    With Caprica I am taking a lot of liberties. The story I posted From Glory to Ash I'm going to be using as the official source for how the Cylon War started. Some characters from there may make appearances but it's not necessary to read the story, the scenes will have all the information.

    I'm also gonna work on a picture/cover.

    I hope everyone enjoyed the prologue. :)

    Dust of the Stars Universe

    Background on the start of the Cylon War:
    From Glory to Ash

    Dust of the Stars Chapters:
    Chapter 1
    Chapter 2, Part One
    Chapter 2, Part Two
    Chapter 3, Part One
    Chapter 3, Part Two
    Chapter 4
    Chapter 5
    Chapter 6, Part One
    Chapter 6, Part Two
    Chapter 7, Part One
    Chapter 7, Part Two
    matthew18 likes this.
  3. Kusari

    Kusari Just some guy.

    Feint, not faint.

    But quite good. I look forward to further chapters and seeing where you're going with this. In other words: MOOOOAAARRRR!
  4. HawaiianOnline

    HawaiianOnline Macross Fan Super Awesome Happy Fun Time

    Quite a project you have going on here Bryan. Two NBSG fics with one serving as a "prologue" for the other. This one has a very promising beginning of its own.:)
  5. Some super weapon. It would work if they have another gate on the Colonies. Serge tweets tells that the planets inhabits three stars in a four star cluster.

    Which brings to question which part of the franchise would crossover. SG-1, SGA or SGU?
  6. Good story, I look forward to more.
  7. king of hybrids

    king of hybrids Bewildered Bystander

  8. jpdt19

    jpdt19 Tortage

    Which pathetic bastard only gave this two stars!

    Very nice bryan. Definitely more please!
  9. mackon

    mackon Missing & Presumed Dead

    Nasty gritty look inside a Cylon prison ... impressive.

    Looking forward to seeing how this plays out.
  10. A nice start. Looking forward to seeing some more.
  11. kclcmdr

    kclcmdr Kai The Kmpire! Amicus

    Nice one.

    The Cylons are acting just like the Colonial humans ...

    TOC :

    Dust Of The Stars SG1 nBSG Xover : FF.net

    Bryan.Prologue -.Tartarus - CellRm., Colonials&Cylons, Kaitos, Centurions, Brutality, Girl, Experiments, Tests, M-57, D-36, Forlorn
    Bryan.CH_01a -.Picon - ColHQ, Corman, WhereCylons, KipisHelena; Hypathia; 7-1-5, Politics, Melianos, Amorak&Baltar, CORA, Adama&Carolanne
    Bryan.CH_01b -.Caprica - Marak&Tigh, Adama&Allison, ChiefFrasier, BannonS-2, 7-1-5, UnknownContacts, Non-HostileCylons?, Marc, Crotni, Aliens
    Bryan.CH_02a -.Piera - BSg Valkyrie; Adama&Tigh, Baseships, Tavios, BSg Gorgon, Simulations, Vasic, V-World, Holobands, Allison, CylonWar
    Bryan.CH_02b -.Piera - Picket 7-1-5; Baltar&Amorak, Triad, Nepo&Nikon, ChitChat; Fruity&Premie, Stagna&Ophion, MCPs, Cylons&Spartoi, CORA
    Bryan.CH_03a -.I-11/23347 - BSg Valkyrie; Adama&Bulldog, Kopka&Tigh, Upland, Amorak&Baltar, Papadakos; 73-34Alpha; Nikon, Crash, Injuries
    Bryan.CH_04a -.5 : 76-34Alpha - Premie, Jaffas, Nikon&Baltar, Amorak, Tattoos, Firefight, Jessica, EnergyGuns, NewGuys, Yield
    Bryan.CH_05a -.6a : Jack&Davids, Hughes, Daniel&Ramos, Hasykos, Teal'c, FUBAR, Sam, Nikon, Jaffas, Tau'ri, We're From Earth
    Bryan.CH_05b -.6b : Firefight, Jaffas, O'Neill&Teal'c, Gerhard&Amorak, Jessica, Ramos&Gage, Col,TF, Col.Marines, Sam&Usher, Honor w Honor
    Bryan.CH_06a -.7a : Daniel&Upland, ChitChat, Goa'ulds&Jaffas, Kobols, Stargates&CIVs, Populations, Colonies, DNA Profile
    Bryan.CH_06b -.7b : SGC; Hammond&Davis, Reynolds, Recon, BattleField, Jacob, Intel; Lucia; Captive&Captor, Slice&Dice, Kiva&Marteen, Plans
    Bryan.CH_07a -.8a : Valkyrie; Jessica&Nikon, CORA, Premie; Vasic&tigh, Kline&Adama, Memorial, Daniel, Carter&Jack, Baltar, Ramos, CylonWar
    Bryan.CH_07b -.8b : Davids&Hughes, Blue&Gage, Ramos; Herikropolis; Rhadmet&Sacmis, TheChase, Nizsim&Gilkan, TheTraverse, Tarn'se'ket, JaffaRebels
    Bryan.CH_08a -.9a : RaptorRecon; Nikon&Premie, Sagittarons, Makos, Bulldog, DRADIS Contact; Valkyrie; Tigh&Adama, Andres&Tavios, Ha'taks
    Bryan.CH_08b -.9b : Lokasana; Hiro&Tassos, CampHanak; Valkyrie; Melicia&Jessica, Deals, Adama&Jack, Tigh&Baltar, Sam&Teal'c, Vasic, Weapons&Tactics
    Bryan.CH_09a -.10a : Valkyrie; Jack&Sam, QuidProQuo, Jessica&Antony; Herikropolis; Sacmis&Hai'tar, Nizsim, Adama&Tigh, Amorak, Uppity, Frak
    Bryan.CH_09b -.10b : BSg-41; CIC, Plasma&Kinetics, Tigh&Tassios, Premie, Gliders&Vipers; Herikropolis; Sacmis&Rhadmet, Revel, Ophion&Ramos, Rescue
    Bryan.CH_10a -.11a : Delmak; Sacmis&Hai'tar, Tarapah&Neberatu, TanshawTraverse, Nizsim; Jack&Simon, Namadia, Bill&Saul, Rhadmet&Bannon, Holo
    Bryan.CH_10b -.11b : Caprica; Baltar&Jessiaca, Chat; Aether; Jack, Sam&Daniel, Omeyocans, Gunsgodssex, Upland, Nizsim, SG1&8, ToHome
    Bryan.CH_11a -.12a : Memta; Sacmis&Serrakin, Hai'tar, Revenge&Vow; TheAegis; Corman&Cain, Plans&R&D, Kemeneos, CivilianControl, ArgusMission
    Bryan.CH_12a -.13a : Picon; Alison&Adama, Tassi&Uppity, Saul, LetterCaution, Corman&Marak, Carolanne, Tammie&Willy, Lee&Zak, Kara, Tamara
    Bryan.CH_12b -.13b : 84-32; Upland&Premie, Cain&Catus, Melicia&Usher, Emissary, Sirisi, Chetan&Henri, O'Neill, NukesReady, RedAlert
    Bryan.CH_13a -.14a : Upland, Cain&Emissary, Jack, Chetan, LarStok&Chaf, Upland&Usher, Herh, SaviorsOfEluuria, HelenaCain&Marshal, Fight2Win
    Bryan.CH_13b -.14b : SG3; Reynolds&Jaffas, Johnson&Martouf, Premie&Upland, Tealc&Jack, Usher&Asselo, Cain; Cylons; Six&One, Hybrid
    Bryan.CH_13c -.14c : Home; NORAD; Jack&Teal'c, Hammond, Armstrong, Colonials, Faxon, OpsDuff, Cain&Asselo, Upland, ChitChat, Diplo, Cylons
    Bryan.CH_14a -.15a : Greece; Daniel&Catherine, Marrick, Kinsey, Jack&Cross, Jacob&Telford, Ferretti&Casey, Dr.Lee&Carter
    Bryan.CH_14b -.15b : Galara; Sam&Faxton, neberatu&Jaffas, Sokar, Kiva&Marteen, Tarapah, Jacob&Hailey, Tok'ra&Cylon, Hammond&Comtraya

    Bryan.CH_15_ -.16a : Yet To Be Posted
    Bryan.CH_16_ -.17a : Yet To Be Posted
    Bryan.CH_17_ -.18a : Yet To Be Posted

    Bryan.CH_18a -.19a : Caprica; Adama&Nagala, Rhadmet&Vasic, Fujet&Chetan, Melicia, Col.Marines, Miller&Guzzy
    Bryan.CH_18b -.19b : Niur&Jurden, Upland&Malek, Nizsim, CylonMCP, FlashBam, Adama&Tigh, Goa'uld&Colonial, Kara&Zak

    Bryan. CH_19a -20a.CapricaCity -_ Melicia&Darios, Bannon&Amorak, Rhadmet, Bill&Tigh, Bazinet; Marteen&Mekpta

  12. avatar11792

    avatar11792 Solidarity For Athene

    This promises to be quite interesting. "Redirecting Cylon science" is a good thing IMO. I'll be watching this.
  13. Bryan

    Bryan <font color=yellow>The Great Goof!</font>

    Thanks everyone. :) I appreciate the feedback. The next chapter will begin the start of the process in which the Colonials find the SGC. It's similar to what I had posted earlier but also very different and much longer. :)
  14. Dessolution

    Dessolution Stealin' Stones and Bones

    Can you tell me the summer before I read it? It's a little weird but I always read the summery before reading something.
  15. Bryan

    Bryan <font color=yellow>The Great Goof!</font>

    Of the whole story?
  16. Dessolution

    Dessolution Stealin' Stones and Bones

    Just a basic vague summery.
  17. Bryan

    Bryan <font color=yellow>The Great Goof!</font>

    Hm... very vague: the Cylons have disappeared. The Admiralty sends Adama to investigate (and they want an opportunity to test CORA- acronym is the same as in oBSG but it's something completely different). Something bad happens, Colonies and Earth forces make contact, rocky start at first, find out they have a lot in common and then stuff explodes, pew pew pew, boom boom, and other things of that nature. ;)
  18. Dessolution

    Dessolution Stealin' Stones and Bones

    Thanks, that's all I needed to know.
  19. Silveraith

    Silveraith Argentum Phasma Phasmatis

    Nicely done. I look forward to more. :D
  20. southdakotaboy

    southdakotaboy Bursting liberal bubbles

    Nice:). I hope that you stick with the rocky first contact that later smoothes out. To many times people write the story having the Colonials be these just stark raving religous lunatics when they really aren't.

    Earth culture should be just different enough to be exotic but not threatening.
  21. pieman3141

    pieman3141 Umm.. I get one?

    I was gonna ask this in the other thread, but I'll do it here: What's up with the dates? Can you (or the other writers) explain how the dating system works?
  22. Bryan

    Bryan <font color=yellow>The Great Goof!</font>

    Contact will be shaky... but the Colonials will have a reason.

    The dates...

    The year is based on what we saw in the episode Hero I believe. I was originally going to go with a "Post Colonization" dating system and set this around the year 2,200 to 2,300 after the exodus from Kobol but came back to this.

    As for the dating system I am going to be using a dating system of 10 days per week and 3 weeks per month with 12 months per year. That is going to be based on the old Kobolian calendar, or what the Colonies think is the old Kobolian calendar as a method to standardize dates since with different orbits and rotations there would be 12 different dates. And an "in story" reason would be that using Caprica's date system would get a lot of Colonies in a tizzy, so Kobol is used.

    I'm also going with an alpha/beta/gamma/delta/etc naming system for the months at the moment. I might switch it to the Greek months later, if I do it would be before the story gets too far along.

    For purposes of my own sanity I'm also using the standard 24 hour clock.

    There are some interesting ideas to deal with time difference in other fiction and at the moment at the top of my head is the system in Honor Harrington but the more complicated things get the more room for error.
  23. Bryan

    Bryan <font color=yellow>The Great Goof!</font>

    Chapter Two Part One

    I think I'm just going to go with the year system from Hero.

    Here's Part 1 of Chapter 1. I'll have the second part posted in about twenty minutes.

    Chapter One
    Thirty-Four Years After the Cylon War
    Colonial Fleet Headquarters
    City of Augustus, Picon

    Warm weather, two suns beating down on white sand beached from a clear sky, and cool, ocean-tempered breezes blew over the sparkling crystal city of Augustus. Sitting on the waterfront at the periphery of the city but before the suburbs was the Colonial Fleet Headquarters and High Command. Designed in the old federal reconstruction style with a classical flare the conglomeration of buildings was a fusion of the old and new. Above all it displayed the raw power of the Colonies in its majesty and size.

    The Fleet Headquarters had been built before the Cylon War as headquarters for Picon’s War Fleet and significantly expanded in the past fifty years. The main building, known as the Aegis, was at the center and rear of the grounds and stood thirteen floors- one per Colony and one to represent Kobol. Its front facade was accented with thick and lavish marble columns standing nearly twenty meters and numerous statues paying homage to the Fleet’s patron gods; Athena, Apollo, and Poseidon, and many more were arranged in patterns in between the columns and within the portico.

    Inside a wide and spacious portico at the ground level, centered on the main entrance was a ten meter bronze statues of the Titan Atlas, holding the ancient home world of humanity, Kobol, atop his shoulders. At the base of the statue were the guiding virtues of the Fleet on a golden plaque, written in the ancient language of Kobol; Courage, Virtue, Honor.

    Surrounding the building were the Memorial Gardens with monuments to the Fallen, the billions of civilians and soldiers who had given their lives to defeat the Cylons. Filled with roses and tulips and orchids the colorful flowers contrasted sharply with the purpose of the complex; war. Hundreds of life-sized statues of almost every conceivable god and goddess dotted the pathways and surrounded the Aegis.

    On the eastern and western sides of the building there was a long reflecting pool, two hundred meters long and ten wide, each with two thousand, two hundred and four water lilies with an additional one added each year to mark the passage of time since the Exodus.

    The Aegis was restricted to military personnel and authorized civilians, but the outer grounds had served as a tourist destination for decades since the War ended. While officially part of the Headquarters the Cylon War Museum was a large, rectangular, and squat structure, lined with magnificent palm trees from Picon’s southern hemisphere. The Peripatos Iroes, the Walk of Heroes, was the public cobblestone footpath which surrounded the Museum on all sides.

    The Peripatos Iroes was just one symbol to the Colonies of the everlasting strength of humanity. At its entrance a simple plaque had been placed, explaining its purpose and its symbolism. Statues of Capricans stood by Taurons and Scorpions by Virgons and Picons next to Cancerons.

    At the entrance stood the two most famous war heroes, Admiral Kessandra Makos of Caprica and Admiral Bernard Cain of Tauron. Each had died on the field of battle in the ultimate sacrifice to planet and gods. Now they were immortalized, standing together, with a xiphos in the hand of Makos and a doru in the hand of Cain, as eternal symbols of a new era of Colonial unity. Both stood proudly atop the ruined body of a Model 005 Centurion.

    Inside the collection of buildings a hundred and fifty thousand men and women worked tirelessly to assure the Colonies their sword was poised to strike at their enemies and that its shield was at the ready to block any strike against the Colonies.

    While the Colonies were at peace the men and women in the Aegis were ever watchful and vigilant to assure that if the Cylons did return the Fleet and Mankind would stand victorious. If the Cylons did attack once again the Fleet and Marines and Army would be there and when the Colonies had their heel on the throat of the Cylon, the Fleet would slash deep enough to end the threat for eternity.

    War was on the mind of one Admiral this sunny and clear-skied afternoon more than any other. There were hundreds of flag officers within the Aegis, but this one had the special responsibility of picketing the borders and scouting Cylon space.

    Admiral Peter Corman, commander of the Sixth Fleet, could barely concentrate on his work as he ruminated over the possibilities of war. He thought over again and again how the Colonies had tried to play nice with the Cylons but his patience and the patience of High Command was wearing dangerously thin. In the end caution would prevail.

    The Cylons would always be given one more chance to show at their yearly meetings. And if they didn’t this year then they might the next. Or the one after that… and Corman added an et cetera in at the end just to be sure.

    He knew today would not be like any other. Today would be the beginning of something which could actually catapult the Colonies back into war. Today would make the plans which had been sitting on his desk and circulating around his office official. As he sat there, he scowled, hating the idea of another war which could end with billions more dying.

    But what else could he do? The next armistice meeting was in three months and Admiral Corman already knew the Cylons would not be present.

    He leaned back in his chair and swiveled until his body was facing the Augustian Bay. Smiling, he sucked in a deep breath of the cool air as it swept over the blue, placid waters, over Memorial Park, and he could taste the salt. If he concentrated and blocked everything around him and closed his eyes he could image himself out there on the warm bay and skimming the waters on his jet ski. It was something he hadn’t been able to do all season.

    Letting out a regretful sigh, and questioning why on the gods’ green planets he hadn’t chosen to retire and get into some lucrative civilian job with sane hours, he swiveled the chair back to face his desk.

    At the sound of a soft knock he looked up and tossed down his computer stylus. It rolled to the edge of his desk. Fidgeting, he reoriented the little black pen-like device so it was parallel with the computer sheet he’d been working on.

    Doodling, more like, he thought as his eyes skimmed it over. There were squiggly lines all over the sheet. He tapped the corner twice and the doodles erased, leaving just the text of maintenance reports from Sixth Fleet.

    He was on page ninety-seven of a two hundred and three page report detailing the quarterly summaries for maintenance and a preliminary report on projected resources and equipment Sixth Fleet would need for normal operations come next year.

    As a senior flag officer there were definite downsides which came with commanding close to a million sailors and numerous warships, defense stations, and listening posts; paperwork. As advanced as the Colonies were no invention had been created to eliminate the literal mountains of paperwork which assembled on his desk. His hatred of paperwork could put the htred between the legendary brothers and kings Protlectes and Desmidies from ancient Kobol to shame.

    He leaned back and rubbed his eyes, tired from the hours staring at words and text, and shook his head to clear it.

    “Sir-” his yeoman, a dark skinned young man with a distinct Tauron accent, popped his head in through the door before opening it a little bit more and slinking in. “Your fifteen-hundred appointment is here, sir.”

    Corman frowned at the man for a moment. He’d heard the knock but it hadn’t really registered.

    His wrist flicked inward and he caught a glance of his watch. She was right on time.

    “Send her in, Gerhard.” Corman said with a smile.

    His eye caught the small dagger, the kipis, tightly secure to his yeoman’s left hip as he turned and waved in his fifteen-hundred appointment.

    The kipis was one of the Tauron traditions the Colonial Fleet had been forced to accept during the integration of twelve militaries into one. As a Caprican he found it ridiculous to have armed soldiers standing guard while in such a secure place and believed its roots in ancient Tauron military customs was woefully antiquated. It came from the days during Tauron’s Age of Strife when kings and emperors and generals and admirals were being assassinated on an almost daily basis as power shifted and militaries changed loyalties to the highest bidder or the most charismatic leader.

    The yeoman clicked his heels, threw back his shoulder, and brought his right fist to his left shoulder in a quick, precise salute of acknowledgement and opened the large wooden door, carved with elegant battles from Colonial antiquity, stepped aside, and pressed his back on the door as a tall commander with flowing, shoulder-length brunette hair came in, almost marching, as she walked to his desk.

    Her heels clicked on the old wood floor until they contacted one of the large, elaborately decorated Gemenese carpets. His office, in one word, was opulent. It boasted busts and miniature statues of gods and war heroes and plaques and awards and commendations. A suit of ancient armor was position on the wall between the two sets of two meter high windows. In the center of the room was a small sitting area with a polished refreshment table and brown leather chairs. At the end of the office was Corman’s desk, itself an antique which had been in his family for hundreds of years.

    The women broke eye contact with her admiral briefly to glance up at the plaque which hung above and behind the Admiral’s head almost three meters up on the wall; ‘Remember, you are mortal.’ The corners of his lips flickered into a little smirk, breaking her otherwise stone hard face. Those lines were uttered on Kobol nearly six thousand years ago when the returning generals of the Thirteenth Tribe would hold a Triumph for their conquests.

    Corman rose from his seat, the squeak forced his ears to reflexively flicker and told him that either the chair was old or he needed to lose weight. He sidestepped out from behind his desk as the young- in his opinion- commander walked forward. Her stride was perfectly graceful and she walked with shoulders back and spine straight. Her brunette-colored hair, slightly longer than shoulder length, was gently picked up off of her shoulders by the light breeze coming in from an open window as she walked towards him.

    As senior officer he extended his hand and the commander grasped his wrist, and he hers. Her grip was firm, strong and that was something he admired.

    Admiral Corman had learned long ago when he was a boy that a hand shake could tell you everything about a man or woman. Weak handshakes meant weak people, too strong meant arrogance, but firm meant self-confidence, discipline. Hers was always firm. And her uniform was always impeccably pressed and perfectly maintained.

    Too many traditions were being forgotten or thrown to the wayside for sake of convenience and Peter Corman, an old time conservative admiral raised and trained prior to the Cylon War; felt his heart warm as the younger generations of officers kept up with the old traditions.

    “Admiral Corman, sir, good afternoon.”

    “Thank you for coming, Helena; we’ve had some progress on the political front concerning 7-1-5.” He sensed her displeasure at the mention of the politics but cracked a slight smile. “In a good way, commander, rest assured.” He released her wrist after an additional pump. “Please,” he said, stepping back and motioned to a chair. She took it and he sat back down opposite her, across the desk. “How was your trip to Tauron? Were you able to see family?”

    As pressing as the issue of 7-1-5 was, he always tried to make time for his staff, and while he kept a strict professional relationship he did take a minor interest in their personal lives. He went by the old saying that ‘to know the home is to know the person’ propagated by the virgin sisters at the Temple of Hestia.

    To a Tauron, family was supposed to mean everything.

    Helena leaned back slightly, took a quick glance out the window at the bay, and sucked in a breath. “The trip was… a whirlwind, sir…” she bit her inner lip, “but I was able to see the family and have a little personal time. You know how Tauron families are, sir… big feasts and sacrifices and all that. We did some hiking and sailing.” She shrugged. Her family had also left her in a war orphanage for five years, too. “We went to the Hypathian Ruins…”

    Corman leaned forward and slowly, almost thoughtfully nodded. He could hear the small crack in her voice at the mention of her city. The Cylon War had dealt Tauron an almost crippling blow and the planet was still recovering. He’d seen the Hypathian Ruins a few times in the past but hadn’t seen them in recent years. Even flying over the ruins was enough to tug at even the most stoic of men’s hearts.

    Hypathia had been Tauron’s largest city, larger than even Caprica City or Tauron City, and before the War had been a sprawling metropolis of nearly twenty two million spread over an area of almost two thousand square kilometers, from the Hypathian Bay in the west to the Blood Mountains in the east. It was Tauron’s jewel, their most precious city. They were proud of Hypathia.

    The Cylons and Taurons had fought for almost twelve years over the city. They had fought over the ruins and the piles of rubble and broken bricks and shattered glass, all stained crimson with the blood of soldiers, like it had been the most important city in the Colonies. It had been to the Taurons. The city was older than Tauron City itself, by a mere two years, but had a place in Tauron history and heritage and culture which had forced them to fight tooth and nail.

    Hypathia had been the great and historic city where the Accords of Man had been signed nearly a thousand years ago, where the powerful Emperor Ricji had been anointed as the first ruler of a unified Tauron, where Jonas Izaro had painted his masterpiece Weeping Starlight, and the Tauron’s first space flight after Colonization had been launched. It was where the Consuls and Legates of the Unified Council were sworn in to office and where millions of soldiers had given their lives in defense of their beloved city against the Cylons.

    The Cylons understood the concept of morale and fighting spirit, and Hypathia with its rich history and cultural significance had been seen by them as a means to break Tauron resistance.

    A quarter of the city was still ruin, marked as a Historical War Site and preserved by the Tauron Council of Heritage and Culture as a city-size cenotaph. At the entrance a circle of ever-lit torches outlined the Monument of Remembrance, a stylized marble statue of an unnamed Tauron defending his city with nothing but a handgun and knife against the hordes of Cylons.

    He changed the topic to something less depressing. Something that didn’t remind him or her of the billions killed in the war.

    “How’s Jena doing? Well, I hope.”

    “She’s doing well… she took a position as senior partner at a corporate law firm.” Cain gave him a forced smile and a gentle one-shoulder shrug.

    “That’s good; she seems like that kind of woman, a go-getter... I enjoyed the last conversation I had with… when was it,” he looked towards the window, “I think during the Independence gala. We had a good discussion on the Articles. Law’s always been a little hobby… armchair lawyering.” He chuckled and tapped the arm rest on his chair. “Give her my best when you see her again.”

    She dutifully nodded at the Admiral’s request but bit her tongue to keep herself from amending her statement with a ‘we also broke up cause she’s a fraking cheater’ but figured her CO didn’t need to know that much detail. But that was the history of her now dysfunctional personal life.

    Though she did concede her relationship with Jena hadn’t been a total failure. The hike and camping in Gemenon’s Ruby Desert had been some of the best, and most sensual time she’d even experienced as an adult woman.

    The memories of Jena, as fresh as they were, brought up the conversations- fighting matches if she was being honest, she’d had with her family. Her family back on Tauron was already pressing her to have children, ‘just go buy some sperm’ because there was the ‘Cain legacy to uphold.’ She silently growled at the always overbearing family and let out an inward and completely silent sigh at some of the family traditions on Tauron.

    Family was supposed to mean everything, but to Cain, it really didn’t. She’d never felt the connection so many other Taurons felt to their families. They certainly didn’t put much effort into getting me out of the war orphanages, the frakers, she thought.

    “I did see my family, sir. My cousin gave birth to twins. Boys. Kaseo and Antius Cain for their paternal great grandfathers.” She rubbed her right forearm, roughly in the middle, as the memory of that needle, sharp and dripping with ink, was pressed into her skin. She mentally shivered. It was a tradition she could have done without.

    “That’s always a blessing from the gods, children are.” He frowned. “Anyway… I wish I could say I called you in here to discuss something mundane or fun like the uniform changes or some command party… the reason I called you in here, commander, is to discuss 7-1-5, so we should discuss that unpleasant bit of news… again, unfortunately. Like I said the political situation has changed but we need to move quickly. There are some inside the current administration who take the ‘see no evil, hear no evil’ approach in regards to the Cylons.” He hummed and leaned back, like he’d just had some sort of revelation but quickly shook it away and reached for the manila file folder containing the report.

    The manila file folder was printed with a big black Colonial Seal, the stylized phoenix, with wide, blocky letters marking the contents as ‘CLASSIFIED: LEVEL Red Three’ was stamped across the folder at a diagonal.

    Corman noticed Cain’s small frown and the change in her body language with her raised shoulders slumping down in morbid expectation to what the folder contained. The situation with 7-1-5 was one of the last things he wanted to deal with at the moment. After this he had to hop on a Raptor and head to Caprica tomorrow morning for a meeting with Censor Isham concerning Sixth Fleet finances. That would be truly stressful.

    His thoughts turned back to the present. He’d deal with the Censor and the civilian bureaucracy tomorrow.

    For months now Sixth Fleet, charged with border security and exploration had been dealing with the same incident concerning Picket 7-1-5, a small, four hundred meter long vessel no one had really ever heard about, outfitted with some of the most sophisticated DRADIS and telescopic systems in the Fleet, out on a long range patrol in Sector 715 on the edge of explored space.

    As she reached forward the Admiral’s eyes caught the small black tattoos just above Cain’s right wrist as she grabbed the report… and in the few minutes she took to glance over at the new report, his mind had flashed over memories dating back over seven decades and what seemed like two incredibly different lifetimes.

    By Zeus, it was simply a miracle that he, a Caprican from a distinguished family, was sitting across from a Tauron wearing the same uniform! And this woman wasn’t just any Tauron but a relative of the famed and feared Admiral Bernard Cain whose tactical genius had defeated Caprica, Picon, and Scorpia millions of lives and hundreds of warships.

    Tauron and Caprica, despite their close proximity, had been natural enemies and their mutually antagonistic history had followed them from Kobol. Even as their relations thawed one of the other would find some way to freeze them over again. Finally their relations had spiraled so far out of control that the Fifth Colonial Conflict had erupted and that had set the stage for the Cylon War.

    As the Admiral let his thoughts drift with Cain skimming the report across from him, he wondered how much better the Colonies might have been if Caprica’s military aide to Minister Anton Detoni against the Tauron Cyrannus League had been successful. He had been a pro-Caprican paramilitary leader who almost succeeded in uniting the planet (after one of its numerous civil wars) but his assassination by the Ha’la’tha had destabilized his own empire and led to its absorption into the anti-Caprican League government. That had begun hundreds of years of antagonism between Caprica and Tauron.

    The failed Dentoni Push, as his campaign was called by historians had finally be the last straw for the Taurons. They’d sworn they would never be weak enough to be taken advantage of or interfered with. It took them nearly a century but they had managed to build a fleet rivaling Caprica’s and an economic output which came dangerously close to surpassing Caprica’s.

    The Gods’ plan for the Colonies was a strange one indeed, he admitted, that they would force two blood-enemies to join forces against a common enemy.

    Fifty years ago he’d drawn first blood, his ‘red test’ as other pilots called it, by shooting down his first enemy in battle. His new, fresh-off-the-factory-floor Raptor, filled with missile pods, unleashed a fury of rockets on a squadron of Tauron Rattlers, an out-of-date aerospace fighter even during the start of the Fifth Colonial Conflict. They’d been defending some puissant little listening post on the periphery of the Helios binary system. With poor ECM and underpowered EW decoys most of his missiles had homed in. Nine of the twenty Rattlers in the squadron were killed. Two ejected.

    Corman looked back and could see slightly more of the tattoo on her wrist as her uniform cuff edged upward as she scrolled through the comp sheet data and images. Cain had a habit of itching at her wrist right where the sleeve ended which tended to push it up. Like all the other family-specific tattoos it was black and blocky, but the positions of the circles, triangles, and rectangles left unmarked were significant to the Cain family line.

    He didn’t know the specifics because each family had their own pattern and he hadn’t asked his chief of staff about hers. Tauron culture considered it rude to bring up the tattoos and ask. If a Tauron wanted to share then they would share without being prompted.

    The black tattoos were quite smaller than normal. Helena Cain was a proud Tauron, unashamed of her ancestry or heritage- though for some reason she had refused the more revealing tattoos and she had steadfastly refused the gaudier arm tattoos or the family crest tattooed on her neck.

    Admiral Corman had to mentally nod his approval at that. Capricans did not like tattoos and he could admit his people were a fairly vain lot but he didn’t see the need to mark one’s body to signify love of family or one’s position in life. Tattoos were gaining in popularity among the younger Capricans, nothing as ostentatious, but still… as a Caprican traditionalist he didn’t much care for them and didn’t care to change his mind about them.

    Cain, consumed with the report, hadn’t noticed her CO’s eyes glazing over and darken as he drifted through his memories of the two wars he’d fought in. Seventeen years of his life had been war. She nibbled the inside of her lower lip as her eyes ran over the report, pictures, and maps.

    “So I take it we have a go for an extended mission, sir?” She asked, narrowing her eyes and huffing. “I read another report on Tauron.” She opened the folder and thumbed through the DRADIS logs, recon photos, and activated a computer sheet with video recon. “Still nothing from the DRADIS comp-gen renders.”

    She held up a shiny piece of photographic paper with nothing but some obscure blots and what looked like a straight line passing through what looked like a halo of fuzzy blots at its midpoint. DRADIS computers could create full three-dimensional pictures of the objects they were pinging if they possessed the resolution capabilities. The new pickers were equipped with DRADIS arrays only battlestars or defense bases could match.

    “No, nothing but that fuzzy image… the computers can’t seem to render any coherent image.” He pointed at the paper and then gave her an exhausted look. “Weren’t you on vacation, commander?” He asked, smirking as he briefly diverted from the more pressing matter of the picket. He rubbed his eyes. “You work seven days a week, are in by oh-seven and don’t leave before 2200 at the earliest.” He rested his hands on his desk and used his index finger to tap on the aged, glossy wood to make his point. “Rest, Helena, was the purpose of your vacation. I can’t have my chief of staff running on fumes or working herself to death. That leads to mistakes.”

    “I only went to the P-HQ once, sir.” She held up her right hand. “I swear, sir, only once. And it was relaxing, sir.” She shrugged.

    Corman couldn’t press the issue anymore. Even if she’d spent ten hours a day at the planetary headquarters complex at least she’d spent some time on vacation. That was progress, he admitted.

    “Alright, commander, for sake of argument I’ll believe you.” His voice took a friendly pitch before he sighed and tapped on the folder. “Our picket in sector 7-1-5,” he pointed at the photos and computer sheets, “picked up an anomaly for the twelfth time in five months. When we switched up the picket ships we assumed it was a DRADIS malfunction yet the same anomaly appeared on a new DRADIS dish. We send in Raptors, but the signal is erratic and hard to pin down. Their arrays aren’t as powerful.”


    It was the only logical conclusion for the two fleet officers.

    “Cylons,” Corman echoed. “Some of the spooks and analysts think it is some mysterious Cylon stealth craft.” He retrieved a remote, tapped in a few commands and the display on the side wall illuminated with a map of the Colonies, explored space, and the location of Picket 7-1-5. The picket was in the yellow area for unexplored, or more accurately put, ‘unexplored’ space. “We’ve been telling the SecWar the basic problem with Cimtar is this…” he pressed the forward arrow button and the map zoomed in, highlighted the Colonies in blue and drew a red line.

    Commander Cain hummed the unspoken observation. Her almond eyes had a fire burning in them as they slowly made their way down from the blue of the Colonies to the red of the Cylon Territories.

    “Space isn’t flat,” she said to break the silence. “And Cimtar was signed so quickly we never got enough time to really think it through.” She pointed at the map and wagged her finger at the left-side edge. “Picket 7-1-5 is out there. The Cylons could be all around us if they assume the line doesn’t extend to infinity in the Y and X planes.” She closed her eyes and disapprovingly shook her hand. “Cimtar was a mistake. We should have questioned the motives of the Cylons more than we did. The damn politicians forced us to accept a treaty to end a war we finally started winning.”

    The corner of Corman’s left lip flicked up as he hmfped an acknowledgment. “Hindsight is 20/20, remember that, Commander… and such bluntness tends to create political enemies at our level.”

    “Ha, politics.” Cain rolled her eyes. “I take an interest in politics to the degree that I read up on the issues then I vote and that’s about it, sir.”

    “Yes.” Corman rapped his fingers on the desk. “My family has always fought for Caprica and her democracy, which means civilian control, but sometimes it might have been better if we did go the Picon route, but,” he shrugged, “that is neither here nor there. But you do need to be cognizant of politics at our level. Helena, can’t go off pissing off people like you did with Prince Harik a few months back.”

    “Harik?” Cain repeated, giving Corman her best ‘you’re kidding me’ sort of look. “He’s been a thorn in our side for years, sir, and wants Sixth Fleet’s operations scaled back. The man’s an idiot and just wants to cut military spending because he’s one of those fraking War apologists.”

    The admiral winced. “Still, you don’t call out politicians in front of their friends.”

    “Yes, sir…” her eyes narrowed, “but apologists, like Harik? I’ll take each of them on a personal tour of the Hypathian Ruins and the war orphanages I grew up in. He’s scum. The Cylons murdered seven billion of us.”

    She surprised herself that her voice was actually as level and composed as it was. Inside she was anything but calm and level. War apologists ranked one below Cylons in her book.

    “Maybe… well…” Corman looked off towards the glistening bay outside his window. “You’re right, he is. But he’s a major player in the Planetary Progressives and they got President Adar into office so he’s got to appease them somehow and that means he has the president’s ear. And Virgon hasn’t been shy about stretching its newfound tyllium-fueled wealth around. But that’s why the change in politics is so important here. I take it you don’t keep up with the political news?”

    “Not really, not for the most part, no sir.” She confirmed.

    “The Senate on Virgon tipped in favor of the Progs last month by twenty-three votes. That means that there’s enough that the Progs and Harik don’t need a coalition on the planet. There’s also a crisis brewing in the People’s Council, commander, between the Palladion Union and the Progs. The United Movement is trying to court the Palladions away from the Progs and force a general election in the PC. And President Adar needs both to maintain a ruling coalition and to override the Quorum if he wants more federal control over education and social spending. So Adar needs his Palladions to keep the Progs happy and vice versa.
    “A little trivia for you, commander; while the Progs are falling into this War apologist crap the Union has always been straightforward on issues concerning the Cylons, they hate them, just like you and me. We’re going to be using that for our advantage. Secretary Prestiok is a Prog. The Palladions are also going through a bit of a power struggle between our boss and Consul Melianos… you know her?” Corman furled his brow down and cocked his head to the side.

    “From Tauron? Yes, I’ve heard of her. She’s a big player in our Senate. She’s much more hard line when it comes to the Cylons…” she leaned back and folding her arms nodded her approval at her stance on the Cylons. “But anyone who lived through their slaughter on Tauron would be.”

    “Exactly.” Corman pointed a strong finger at her and inverted it and tapped it on the desk. “Politics isn’t the military. No orders. Loyalty comes and goes. Consul Melianos is looking for any excuse to get control of the Palladions from President Adar. The United Movement really wants Melianos and she’d take a good chunk of the Palladions. Force a break even within their own party and President Adar’s government falls and new elections have to be held. Secretary Pretiok would be out of a job… and he does love his job. It makes his purse heavy with coin, Helena and he’s a politician through and through. He even came to us and said put this together. He’s giving us the green light to put this together ourselves and plan it.”

    He leaned back and the corner of his lip quirked up. His smirk broadened to a smile when the ‘aha’ from the Commander flashed on her face.

    “Then the Progs neutralize the UM trying to bait their allies… and we can get the blame for it if whatever we do goes to fraked-up city?”

    “More or less.” Corman admitted. “But we also get to do things our way without interference- deny and condemn if we fail, commend if we succeed. Politics.”

    Helena Cain furled her brow down, looked again at the computer sheet, and as she looked back at the Admiral, slowly nodded her consent and understand. “I can see the benefits of taking a little bit more interest in politics, sir.”

    “Indeed.” Corman smiled thoughtfully. “Prince Harik is also painting himself as some sort of progressive populist or something. As the Virgon monarchy loses power he wants to start a political dynasty. And he’s only forty-three, so he’s got about fifty more years to set something up for his kids. President Adar already made twelve speeches on Virgon since his inauguration last year in support of Harik.”

    “Hmm.” Cain rubbed her chin and winced. “I think ignoring the politics might have put me at a disadvantage, sir.”

    “There’s a few friends I have in the Colonial League I’d like you to meet at some point. But we can discuss that at some other time. I already have enough information and dockets prepared by the S-2 for a briefing to the Secretary, but even he doesn’t know of Night Owl or what we found behind the Cylon lines… or I guess I should say the lack of what we found.”

    Secretaries of War came and went but the military was always there.

    Cain narrowed her eyes. “Operation Night Owl only came up with a few small outposts.”

    “Exactly. Our recon missions over the last few years into Cylon space haven’t produced much usable, well, the kind of intelligence we wanted. We found a few facilities, but they’re old… and we don’t think they’re operational. Not really. Like in our previous briefings the analysts think they there for show and I agree.” Corman leaned back. “Something isn’t adding up, commander. We regularly patrol right up on the line. The Cylons? Nothing…” he waved dismissively, “except for a few old baseship DRADIS contacts about a decade back- which popped up for all of thirty seconds- we haven’t seen or heard a peep from them.” He handed her an additional comp sheet with roughly fifty dates on it. “That’s all the recon we’ve flown or contacts we’ve had with the Cylons.”

    “Cylon DRADIS may be longer range than ours now, sir.” Corman nodded at that possibility. “And in thirty-four years they haven’t once met with us on Cenotaph Armistice Station,” Cain observed.

    “Which, as you know, has the admiralty and some, um, previous presidential administrations worried. President Adar? Not so much.” Corman let out a sigh and rubbed directly above his right eye with his thumb. “Regardless, I’ll handle the political side.” He reached out and tapped the computer sheet. “We need to find out what 7-1-5 has been detecting. It’s one of the farthest ranged pickets we have, about three weeks out under normal jump guidelines, so that information is obviously old. If it’s Cylons we’ll need at least a battlestar group.”

    Cain chuckled and smirked. “If they’re Cylons, sir? This looks pretty consistent. The picket’s DRADIS isn’t malfunctioning.” She pushed her head back and gave him a look. “Who else could they be? No civilian ship we know of could get out that far or through our detection nets.”

    “It’s a big galaxy… commander, a damn fraking big galaxy.”

    Her eye brows rose and the glitter of skepticism in her amber-hued eyes made her position clear on what he was implying. She looked out the window to collect her thoughts and then back to Corman.

    “Except for the lost city on Crotni we’ve never encountered anything um… non-Colonial, sir. And that city was a lost ship from Kobolian exodus fleet, sir.”

    Corman closed his eyes and bobbed his head as he remembered Crotni. He’d been to the planet once during the Cylon War. It was a toxic dump high in carbon dioxide and methane and heavy metals.

    “I remember my father telling me about the discovery when he was a kid. First some people thought it was uh… non-human life and then they thought it was the Thirteenth then Kobol. Imagine their disappointment when they found it was a colony from a lost Aquarian ship…” He grunted. “I’m surprised they even got a city going with how unsuitable that place is for life. Aquarians… they have some sort of pig-headiness about them, they never give up. But they are fraking hardy people.” Corman finished with a thoughtful nod.

    “I seriously doubt we’ll find…” she struggled for the word. It was almost distasteful to say it. “Aliens.” There, it was out, and Cain felt a bit of dread flutter away. Centuries of space travel and industrial civilization had revealed no aliens. The galaxy as seen from the Colonies was a barren place.

    “What remains in the realm of science fiction will hopefully remain in the realm of science fiction. But we need to send a reconnaissance, in force, to 7-1-5’s location and out into unknown space. When this report came back I dispatched the Argus out there-”

    “That seems a bit like overkill, a stealth battlestar?”

    “We needed something right now and we can push her FTLs. She’ll make some initial recon runs out past 7-1-5’s envelope. And she’s got a suite of instruments which could help. I also dispatched two scientists out there, Major Jessica Amorak and Doctor Gaius Baltar. Both of them helped develop the newer stealth systems and have been instrumental in making our system Cylon hack resistant. They’ve studied the Cylons extensively and present us with another opportunity.” Corman saw Cain’s eyes drop at mention of the two names.

    The name ‘Amorak’ was generally associated with genius, those once-in-a-lifetime persons who somehow swept the establishment out from under their feet. Tassos Amorak was this generation’s Daniel Graystone. He was a celebrity scientist who had contracted his service out to the Ministry for an exorbitant sum. The patents he held had made him incredibly wealthy. Gaius Baltar, he star student and associate was modeling his life similarly to Tassos.

    “Amorak and Baltar? That means you’re thinking about CORA?”

    “You’re correct, Commander.”

    “I don’t know if Baltar’s the safest bet or Amorak, sir. He’s been a big proponent of expanding AI research beyond what’s related to CORA. And Major Amorak’s father was instrumental in getting the holobands unbanned a decade ago. I think their scientific curiosity and need for technology is borderline reckless, sir. They might let their guard down if they get a Cylon to test CORA. They’re good in a lab, but in the field? Jessica Amorak might wear the uniform but she’s not the typical Fleet officer, sir.” She gave him a concerned look.

    She had strong doubts about the reasons why the young Amorak had put on the uniform. Helena Cain wasn’t one to often question a fellow officer’s commitment or reasons for joining the Fleet, but the recently promoted major had always seemed, she wasn’t sure, just off. Sometimes it seemed like she was using her position or personal gain or was only in the military for the ‘fun of it’ like it was some giant joke or challenge.

    Cain could readily admit the military opened a lot of doors; it always had been a career maker. Many industrialists and business tycoons had spent at least a few years in the military. It was respected and honored universally throughout the Colonies.

    “Major Amorak may surprise you, Helena. And Dr. Baltar is an up and coming. He’s already got something like fifteen or twenty patents to his name. And his new software code or whatever it’s called is being billed as revolutionary.”

    “They still seem reckless. With CORA we have to keep everything confined, isolated, sir. But Dr. Baltar thinks we can redesign AIs and use them again. Society is already becoming dependent on the holobands again.” She touched her chest. “I wasn’t born when it was the thing to do. I can understand why people would want it back because its flashy and fun. For training yes, but for civilians?” She shook her head. “All the documentaries on it make it sound glorious, surreal even, to have a second life where you could do anything and everything.”

    Corman laid out his hands palms up in a concession. “Society changes and people remembered the V-World and everything in it so you’re right, it is surreal. It’s a strong draw for someone leading a boring life to be a mob boss or a Viper pilot… frak the consequences.” Corman shrugged regrettably at the thought. “President Aminta’s regulations on hardware limitations and the V-World are still pretty solid, though… and a tool like that has enough uses we just can’t ignore it,” he waved a hand, “but you know that. Regardless of who is going on the mission and where Argus is now, we can’t keep our only stealth battlestar out there. The picket ship is large enough to hold half a dozen stealth Raptors and Nyx stealth stars. They’re going to be offloading them after a few weeks on station and then heading back for a few other operations over the Armistice Line. So what we need are some ships out there with the speed and firepower to fight the Cylons if it comes down to it.”

    “I think some of the newer battlestars would be best. The Erynis class would probably be the most sensible… they’re fast and with more automation have larger air wings and more missiles. So they’ve got the firepower.” Cain offered. “I think BSG Forty-one is due to deploy in a few weeks as part of the fleet exercises, sir.”

    “If we deploy Forty-One we’ll deploy Valkyrie… that’s Commander Adama’s new ship.” He rubbed his chin. “He could be a good man for this. Smart and his crewmen deeply respect him. I was deployed with him during the Cylon War on Olympia. He shot down four Raiders in the span of about a minute… had ace within a week of getting his wings. He’s a solid commander.”

    “I’ve met him before, sir. He does have a… presence.”

    Corman leaned forward and resting his elbows on his desk licked his lips as he thought the idea over. Adama had been a rising star in the fleet during the War and an ace Viper pilot with dozens of kills. Before Husker had been redeployed to Galactica for the last two years in the war, then Major Peter Corman had been his CAG aboard Olympia. He’d been saddened to see the man furloughed two years after the War ended and had always regretted not learning about the furlough in time to use his family influence to stop it.

    Frak, if I’d done that there is no doubt we’d have a Vice Admiral William Adama by now, he thought, mentally kicking himself again. Past is the past and he’s in now and he’s cool and level-headed, rational, and has the guts to make potentially career-ending calls in the name of duty and oath.

    Only a full commander could take the reins of the mightiest warships to plow the space lanes of the galaxy and be deployed on such a high risk mission. He considered sending a few of the rear admirals but struck out that idea as too high profile. Sending a flag officer on some ‘routine’ deployment would raise too many eyebrows. Adama didn’t know this, but the day he’d made commander Corman had quietly slipped his name onto the Red List; the list of candidates for rear admiral.

    Red List was completely unofficial as far as the Bureau of Personnel was concerned, but every line admiral like Corman knew of its existence. It was one of those ‘known secrets’ everyone knew existed but never talked about.

    If someone made the list then the flag officers watched that person like a Canceron dive hawk. Then if they met the unofficial approval of the flag officers their name was moved to the official Green List for discussion at the biannual promotion boards.

    The Admiral’s chin dimpled as he nodded his approval at his idea to deploy Adama. He owed the man and the man deserved it. This mission was vital to the security of the Colonies and forty-five billion humans. Everything could be dependent on this mission. Or nothing.

    But Corman was an old sailor. A veteran of the Fifth Colonial Conflict and the entirety of the Cylon War, his fifty-one year career had taught him some important lessons, among them perhaps the most important; trust in yourself.

    He sincerely hoped that the Lords of Kobol and their unseen and unfelt hands were helping him guide his decision. Something felt off, not wrong, but just off. It was… he had a hard time placing the feeling. It was so similar yet so different to the first time he’d seen a Cylon. Seeing them had sent chills down his spine while being the most exciting thing he’d seen as a kid. He couldn’t place it and instead of fretting over the feel, went back to that lesson of trusting in oneself.

    “Commander, I think William Adama would be an excellent choice for this mission. Get the staff together and coordinate with Vice Admiral Marak’s staff… he has control over that part of the fleet, and start going over a plan for deployment. Rear Admiral Sirus is in charge of that BSG but he’s needed for fleet exercises and currently with Forty-Two and Forty-Three… so I think we can use that as our cover for Adama.” He tapped a fist on the desk until its sound became that of a gradual, pacing knock. “If the Cylons are out there then by the Gods we’re going to find out what they’re doing!”
    Delphi City
    Commander Adama leaned back and closed his eyes. He heard the subdued spring breeze kick up and felt it bathe his skin in its warmth. The wind chimes outside produced their own delicious melody, easy on the ears, and he breathed in slowly as he felt content and secure in his home.

    He could taste the salt water a short walk from his home and could hear the motor boats roaring across the blue waters of Lake Petron. He regretted not taking his boat out

    His tunic was unbuttoned and there was a glass of Tauron Falcon brandy, a gift from his father a decade ago, half filled, sitting on his desk, begging for him to finish it and enjoy the fine liquid as it gracefully swam down his throat. He leaned back and closed his eyes and a powerful smile crossed his lips.

    He snatched the glass up, gulped the last remnants of the finely aged liquor and let it roll down the back of his throat. The Old Man then opened his eyes again and nodded to himself, content, as he surveyed his domain. From his spacious office, he could see the great room just through the glass doors, the sitting area, and the large alcove with a magnificent mahogany table, crafted on Virgon- custom designed by his wife- and shipped to Caprica. It had been a ‘family present’ after his promotion to Commander. A very expensive present, Adama mused silently, but a well earned one. It had been more for his wife than anyone else.

    He’d bought personal Chariot civilian VTOL which he’d only taken up a few dozen times in the last two years. It sat down at the municipal airfield where he rented it out to pay for the hanger and insurance costs.

    Not that he really needed to rent it out. Commander’s pay, if he had to sum it up in one word, was extravagant. But Carolanne was used to a certain standard of living.

    Around his office he surveyed and studied the floor to ceiling bookcases, glass doors protecting his collection of classical Colonial literature safe from accident. On the walls were pictures of him in Vipers, Raptors, Rattlers, an old Caprican Hawk and a Picon Asp attack fighter and half a dozen other old fighter planes and interceptors. There was also a picture of every warship he’d ever served on.

    This was the last time he would sit in this office for what could be six to eight months. His new mission weighed heavily on him, its importance to the Colonies and its potential difficulty, but he let himself relax as one picture out of the dozens caught his eye. It was an old group photo of his squadron on Galactica, two weeks before Operation Raptor Talon. His eyes kept lingering to one person, one woman whom he’d met and shared so much with…

    Quickly, he moved on. Before every deployment he always retreated to his office where h could focus

    A picture of his eldest son stared at him from the bookshelf next to his desk and he reached forward, his old chair squeaking, and gently lifted it. He rubbed his thumb over it lovingly and the corner of his lip moved slowly upwards as he remembered twenty-two years of joy and happiness… except for when Lee was two. He chuckled at that year, the ‘Terrible Twos’, only to be repeated by his brother.

    A picture of his youngest sat next to Lee’s and as he put Lee’s back he picked up Zak’s frame. The young kid, with midnight black-hair, and those big blue eyes somehow pierced into the Old Man’s heart like the sharpest of razors. His son looked handsome in his Fleet regulation hair cut and sharp dress uniform, and Bill smiled at the innocent troubles his son had been a part of at the Fleet Academy.

    It was unlike an Adama to not get in just a little bit of trouble when attending an institution of higher learning, and his two sons had carried the tradition. Lee, in comparison to his brother, was a saint by all accounts. He’d made some trouble early in this plebe and third class year but quickly squared away… maybe a few weeks confinement to Academy grounds and a couple dozen demerits and penalty marches.

    Zak on the other hand, was still a plebe and had more confinement racked up than his elder brother had gotten in four years. Him and his gang of friends were mischievous and he’d heard rumors of a third class midshipwoman- whom Adama noted his son had a definite crush on by the way he talked about her which he was probably oblivious to- had been helping them in their exploits.

    He put the picture back, withdrew his hand, and then with something bothering him, just had to touch the picture frames again and rearrange them and straightened them until they were just right. He was proud of them and nodded at the pictures as he slid his chair back, stepped to the side, and pushed it back it.

    Carefully he buttoned his tunic and tugged down his sleeves. He took the same eight steps from his desk to his study door, turned, and closed them gently behind him.

    This was it. As commander of Valkyrie, one of the most advanced battlestars in the Fleet, he was given the tough missions. He was the go-to-guy. But with the Colonies at peace and united the toughest missions were anti-piracy operations, rescues, patrols, and some training. And of course there was the occasional black ops thrown in, like right now. His career was moving forward rapidly…

    “So… the Commander is leaving again.” A judging, hateful voice called out from the other room.

    …but as a father and definitely as a husband, he was wanting.

    His breath escaped in a light sight as his eyes closed and he mentally cringed.
    “So when should I expect you back? Will you even come back or is your metal mistress going to take you away?”

    Adama turned to see his wife emerge, wine glass in hand, and he looked away before he thought of how many she had had that day.

    “I’ll try and be back as soon as I can, Carolanne,” he replied, looking at the hardwood floors and ornate area rugs they had bought. A sad grin flashed across the Old Man’s tired face. Those rugs had been the last time they’d bought anything together… and he mentally shook his head at the pitiful memory. “It’ll be a few months, six to eight maybe. I’m sorry.”

    “Of course you are, Bill, always sorry. You go and run off with Saul… I swear you love that man more than your own wife and children and your family.”

    His jaw muscles clenched. “Don’t start, Carolanne, not now.”

    “It’s never the time? Base to base, fleet op to fleet op, cruise to cruise...” she hit her thigh and took a drink of wine. “Why are we even living here? Why not sell this place and buy a one bedroom in this boring city? Delphi City? It pretends to be Cap City or Oasis when it’s just a pitiful imitator. You’re here maybe three months out of ten. All the while else you’re on your precious tin ship.”

    “I’ll be back as soon as I am. It’s a survey mission, dear-” she snorted as that word because she knew ‘survey mission’ was Fleet lingo for ‘classified’ “-and I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

    Carolanne took another sip and plopped herself lazily onto the couch. She snapped off one high heel and toed off the other. “Don’t start with the lies. Just go.” She waved a backhand to him.

    He nodded once to himself, to the back of her sandy-blonde hair and picked up a briefcase from the side table. A part of him wanted to just leave her in her own silence, but he couldn’t do that to her. “I’ll be back as soon as I can… I love you.”

    Silence followed him out the door.
    victor janus likes this.
  24. biigoh

    biigoh Purveyor of Fine Fanfiction

    "Ah yes, the 'so called aliens', we've dismissed the claims." ^_^

    And yes, it'll be interesting to see what is lurking out there for the Colonials to find.
    victor janus likes this.