General Jack O'Neill rolled over and swiped ineffectually at the phone that insisted on going off at this latest possible hour.
"Oh Lights!" he bellowed out.
The household computer monitoring the general helpfully turned the lights on in his room at a low level so as not to blind the irate human under its' care.
Finally managing to snare the offending device, O'Neill seriously considered throwing the phone out the window. He restrained himself, knowing it would simply mean that he would end up going out into his yard after the damn thing. Duty was a pain in the ass, especially at 0230 in the morning.
"What!" he yelled into the secured cell phone, before realizing that he had forgotten to activate it. Counting to three he tried again, this time making sure to activate the phone.
"What" he said in a more controlled tone.
"General O'Neill, this is the duty officer at Space Command, Sir. I'm sorry to wake you, but General Rudenko wanted me to notify you that there was a major alert going on, and that he is placing the planetary defense Task Groups on alert. He asks that you please join him at Space Command, Sir."
"Christ, do we know what the hell is going on?" O'Neill asked.
"I'm afraid I don't have that information, Sir" the unknown duty officer at Peterson Defense Base responded.
"Fine, consider me notified, I'll be there as soon as possible." And with that, Jack disconnected from the duty officer and quickly made his way toward the bathroom. His wife, long used to the late night calls, opened a single eye to stare at him before rolling over and going back to sleep.
O'Neill quickly went through his morning routine, getting into his duty uniform and moving towards the kitchen to get a cup of coffee as he called his aid on his hated secure cell phone.
"Captain Russell, how can I help you Sir?" his aid answered.
"Russell you sound way to chipper for someone I just woke up at 0300 in the morning." O'Neill snapped.
"That's because I was awake waiting on this call, Sir, the duty officer called me immediately after he got off the line with you." the young Captain answered smoothly.
"Well get me my car and meet me outside, I need to get to Space Command ASAP" O'Neill replied.
"Already waiting outside, Sir" came the reply.
"Jesus Russell, do you ever go home?" O'Neill asked.
"Yes Sir, that's why I live right next door." Came the immediate response.
"Well next time don't take so long." O'Neill replied, trying to get in the last word.
"Yes Sir, sorry Sir, won't happen again Sir." Was the reply.
"Way too many Sirs." O'Neill said as he moved toward the front door.
"Yes Sir, sorry Sir." Was the reply from his aid.
Grumbling to himself O'Neill put the phone away and opened the front door moving toward his government supplied staff car and quickly hopping in the back seat, his grinning aid holding the door open for him.
"Command" O'Neill barked at his enlisted driver/bodyguard as CPT Russell climbed in after him.
"Another day at the office, Sir." Russell stated.
"When isn't it, Gary?" O'Neill replied quietly, "When isn't it?"
The staff car proceeded quietly but quickly from the Flag Officer housing area of what used to be known as Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, and was now known as Peterson Planetary Defense Base. Inside General Jack O'Neill contemplated all of the changes that had taken place since he first reported to Colorado as a Colonel back in 1994. The Stargate program had finally been made public in 2014 (after repeated attacks from numerous alien invaders). The various governments of the world had decided that they really needed to get the information out there in a controlled manner before some Goa'uld with delusions of grandeur in a Ha'tak managed to get lucky and do it for them. After the expected mobs had screamed bloody murder for not being told earlier, things had quieted down, for about a week, then the same mobs were screaming about what exactly was being done to defend the Earth. The result had been a unified planetary defense command. A thoroughly bemused Lieutenant General Jack O'Neill had found himself gaining a fourth Star and suddenly being sent back to Colorado to first setup and then command Earth Defense Command under the auspices of the United Nations of Earth. That had been thirty-eight years ago.
Now at ninety-two, Jack O'Neill looked anything but. One of the first technologies released to the general public had been the introduction of medical techniques that quickly overcame just about every known disease or problem that afflicted humanity. One of the greatest technologies released had been Antigen or anti-aging serums, now at ninety-two General O'Neill looked and felt like he was in his early thirties. No more bum knees, no more cranky back, unfortunately from O'Neill's point of view, it meant that the new retirement age was closer to two hundred and twenty. So there went his long planned and anticipated retirement to his favorite fishing cabin, at least for the foreseeable future. Still, it wasn't a bad trade he thought with a wistful smile, he did manage to get a twenty something looking wife out of the deal, even if she was closer to forty.
Arriving at the Command Compound, literally a base within a base, O'Neill quickly disembarked and after going through the required myriad of identification confirmations, he moved toward the heavily armored doors to the Command Post proper.
General Artyom Rudenko was standing by the large holographic repeater that was the centerpiece of the current operations center for the Base. General Rudenko was the senior of the three shift commanders responsible for the management of Tau'ri Space Defense. He had started his long distinguished career as a member of the Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces that had originally pointed their missiles at the United States. The irony that he was now the Senior Commander of a planetary defense base that he at one time was tasked to destroy was not lost on him.
He looked up as the U.S. Air Force Security Guard announced the entrance of General O'Neill.
Artyom, what's going on? O'Neill asked.
Sir, approximately fifty minutes ago we detected an intra-solar energy spike, at that point we detected a large target just beyond the orbit of the moon. Lunar defense base 12 scrambled a squadron of 401s to intercept the target, and we have multiple warships closing the datum. We've contacted the unknown and have yet to receive a response.
O'Neill turned to the HR (holographic repeater) and peered into the representation of near space, one section of the large repeater had been zoomed in and the image of a large unknown and badly damaged ship was seen.
O'Neill whistled softly at the apparent damage visible on the unknown ship, scorch marks and other obvious damage adorned the flanks of the darkly painted warship. That it was a warship was apparent, the large cannons of some type located on the dorsal area of the ship a dead giveaway. Some areas of the ship still glowed a sullen angry orange, evidence that the damage was recent. A single F401 Space Superiority Fighter flashed passed the port side of the ship getting detailed scans of the surface areas.
Any idea who that might belong too? Jack asked.
Well our sensors say their human, plus something else, maybe an offshoot or something, in either case the second species on the ship is close enough so as not to matter. The ship itself, while large, is rather primitive, we aren't detecting any naquadah emissions, and relatively low yield atomics of some type. No evident shielding, and these things, Rudenko said as he pointed to the dorsal gun mounts, appear to be large coil guns of some type. No energy weapons of any type are readily visible, and to be honest General, my resident techs don't believe that the energy output from this ship is high enough to power anything other than low yield lasers anyway. Our warbook doesn't recognize it nor any part of the technology, and the Battle Intelligence doesn't have a clue either. But there is this, Rudenko said, as he leaned forward and touched the starboard pod of the ship.
Instantly the pod zoomed in, and in recognizable English was a single word "Galactica".
LT. JG Melisa "Misty" Godwin throttled back as her F401C passed over the huge assumed-to-be warship. The ship was badly damaged, severe pitting and visible cracks attesting to many hard fought actions. The unknown was like nothing in Earth's inventory, many of the new ships that Earth had commissioned or was in the process of commissioning were as large, or in the case of the SCS or DN class even larger. Still, Misty thought that the ship had character; it looked like a warship, all business.
Misty, brought her attention back into the cockpit, and keyed her secure communications system.
"Lead, Misty, go."
"Misty, I want you to do a slow pass over the bow of that thing, see if you can spot any windows or anything that might be a bridge."
Misty clicked her radio twice in the affirmative, and swung the 401 around, reducing power even more; she fired her RCSs and deactivated her inertia-less field. The F401 swung its nose around to point at the alien warship even as inertia carried the fighter toward the bow of the craft.
"Lead, Misty. I am negative on windows or any structure that may be a bridge. I do see evidence of weapon mounts, looks like they may have been removed sometime in the past. Nothing else of immediate interest."
"Roger that Misty, break off and form back up, will see what Home Plate wants us to do."
"Roger, breaking off." Misty's 401 reactivated its inertia-less field and suddenly accelerated away from the unknown visitor, the fighter had been sliding away from the Galactica on inertia when suddenly she took off in the direction that her nose was pointing at the moment, the pilot feeling nothing more than 1g worth of acceleration. Melisa loved flying fighters, and the 401 was as lethal and as responsive as it got in three known galaxies, she whooped as she pulled away, almost better than sex she thought.
LT CMDR Williams (RN) shook his head as his young wingman pulled back into formation with him. Bloody showoff, ah to be young again. His flight of sixteen fighters assumed a loose escort formation around the unknown warship. She was a sorry sight, badly mauled, but human built. So many differing branches of humanity had been contacted in the last forty years, but rarely were any of them space-faring; this could potentially be a great day. Or a horrible day, he thought pessimistically, after all, something beat the stuffing out of this thing.
"XO Report." Admiral William Adama said as he stood up, grasping at his shoulder.
Colonel Saul Tigh took a second to check on his wife, making sure she was fine, before moving off toward the ship's status board. What he saw took his breath away.
"She's broke her back, we're stuck here. Multiple decompression, DRADIS is coming back up." Tigh reported as he turned back to his commanding officer and friend.
Adama turned toward the DRADIS display, there was a great deal of static on the display, but it was slowly clearing, and suddenly there was a multitude of unknown contacts on it.
"What the frak." Adama whispered softly.
DRADIS was showing hundreds of contacts in near proximity to the Galactica, hundreds, no thousands, more further away. Some of the contacts were huge; many others were the same size as the Battlestar.
"Starbuck, where in the hells did you send us?" Adama directed at the young blonde woman standing beside the navigation controls.
Tigh moved up next to the Admiral, and looked him in the eye. "Out of the frying pan."
"And into the fire." Adama finished.
Adama turned away from his friend and directed his next question to the other Colonial officers within the CIC. "How many Vipers do we have left?"
There was no answer from the shocked officers and petty-officers milling about.
"How many times does the Old Man have to ask, before one of you gets off your lazy ass and answers him?" Tigh, ever in character, roared out.
Chief Tyrel shook himself, and buried his grief for the moment, moving toward the flight ops station he contacted the hanger deck to get an answer for the Admiral.
Adama smiled at his President, Laura Roslyn, before turning back toward Tigh. "If these are Cylons, were done." He said in a low voice.
"If they are, than it's been a pleasure and an honor Bill" Tigh replied equally quietly.
The Chief Petty officer manning the wireless station suddenly pressed his earpiece in and looked up, a shocked expression on his face.
Adama looked over at the man and asked "What is it Chief?"
In reply the Chief activated the overhead speakers and slowly lowered his hands to his side.
"...with deadly force. I repeat. Unknown vessel, this is Tau'ri Space Command, you have entered Earth Planetary Defense Zone. This is restricted space! You are ordered to heave to, identify yourself and state your intentions. Any attempt at aggressive action will be met with deadly force. I repeat. Unknown vessel…"
Adama turned a stunned look toward President Roslyn, even as she began to slowly sit down on the floor, a blank look on her face.
Adama took a few breaths to calm himself, outwardly composed, every inch a Colonial Officer, inside he was struggling to keep it together. What were the chances? Earth, it can't be, Earth was a desolate wasteland, blasted apart in another useless war eons past. All these thoughts raced through his head, threatening to overwhelm him. When he raised his eyes toward the communications Chief he looked like the Admiral always did, a calm in the middle of the storm.
"In the future Chief, I would appreciate it if you would just send it down to my station, rather than blasting it across my CIC" Adama said conversationally into the now silent CIC.
"Go ahead and give me a line Chief."
"Yes Sir, you're on Admiral."
Adama took one more moment before pulling the sound powered phone from its cradle.
"To Tau'ri Space Command, this is the Colonial Battlestar Galactica, Admiral William Adama commanding."
There was a long pause, and then a different voice speaking Caprican but with an odd accent, almost Tauron in nature replied."
"Galactica, I am General Artyom Rudenko, commanding officer of Tau'ri Space Command. The entire Sol System is considered Restricted Space; please state your place of origin and reason for being here?"
"General, we are a fleet unit of the Colonial Navy in the service of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol. We are all that remains of our civilization; we are part of a refugee fleet and have arrived at this location by accident. We mean no harm. General, can you please state the name of this planet again?"
Again there was a pause, and Adama realized he was also holding his breath, and then.
"Admiral, this is the planet Earth, also known as the home of the Tau'ri."
This time there was a thunderous cheer in CIC, civilians, naval personnel, and even Cylons joining in the back slapping and yells of joy. Tigh let it go for a full five seconds, and then bellowed "Silence in the CIC, where do you think you are?"
General Rudenko muted his headpiece and turned to look at General O'Neil. "Refugees and they got here by accident? I don't believe in that kind of luck General."
O'Neil slowly nodded in agreement with the Russian General. "I agree. I've seen a lot of crazy things in my time at Stargate Command, but luck like this doesn't exist. Still they are human, and that ship even if it was pristine, hell a fleet of those things would hardly be a danger to Earth. I'll contact the Department of Extraterrestrial Affairs and have them send a diplomat to meet with these Colonials. If they are refugees, and based on the condition of that ship I tend to believe they are, than we need to help them."
Rudenko reactivated the headpiece and turned to study the Galactica on his screens. Galactica, can you confirm that you are a member of a refugee fleet?"
The response was quick in coming back. "Confirmed Tau'ri Space Command, refugee fleet of one Battlestar, forty-seven civilian ships, and forty-eight thousand two hundred and twenty-eight souls." Replied the gruff sounding Admiral orbiting above his head.
Rudenko smiled despite himself, this Admiral Adama sounded every bit the no-nonsense leader that he would expect to command a ship that managed to survive some type of catastrophe and bring survivors with him.
"Galactica, state the location and condition of the remaining civilian vessels"
"Space Command, remaining civilian vessels are holding position within a dozen light years of this system. The vessels are in poor but serviceable condition. The civilians are in cramped conditions and surviving on minimal subsistence levels" was the reply after a short pause.
Rudenko understood completely where this Colonial Admiral was coming from; he wouldn't want to give up the location of what were essentially completely helpless ships to an unknown power either. Still, he had different responsibilities as Commander of Earth Defense. Muting his headset again, he turned toward his 2IC, a Brigadier General who had formerly been a member of the US Air Force.
"How in the hell did forty plus Alien spacecraft get within a dozen light years of Earth and we don't have a clue about it? Find me those ships General, find them now. I want to know their condition, and I want to know how they managed to get so damn close to us."
The one Star acknowledged his orders and moved off to try and find the rest of the Colonial Ships. General O'Neil watched as the one Star General move off with some alacrity. General Rudenko had everything well in hand, and it was his command anyway, so O'Neil his mood brightening somewhat decided to make quite a few phone calls. After all if he was awake, than why not spread the wealth.
Rudenko acknowledge his nominal superior leaving with a nod of his head before turning away to continue his instructions to the Galactica.
Back on the Galactica, Adama lowered the sound powered phone after answering the latest question from the Tau'ri General, as to the status and location of his civilian ships. President Roslin spoke up in the long pause that followed.
"What do you think they're doing?" she asked.
Tigh answered from beside Adama. "Probably trying to figure out if were telling the truth about the civvies, and if we are then where are they."
Adama pulled his glasses off and squeezed the bridge of his nose, and then turned toward his President.
"Col. Tigh is probably right, Madam President. We're the unknown here, a large battle damaged ship suddenly appears in orbit around their planet, claims it's a refugee ship, and by the way we have almost fifty more ships as well. They don't know us, and have no reason to trust us. We may be a threat to them"
Col. Tigh piped up at that moment. "Or it's the other way around, anyone that claims an entire Solar system as restricted space when something like a Battlestar shows up, either has big guns or big balls, or most likely both."
Adama hid a small smile at the way his gruff XO delivered his succinct analysis of the current situation, he was about to reply when the wireless crackled again.
"Galactica, we will escort you away from near Earth space, you will follow one of our ships and enter orbit around our moon, we will arrange for a member of our diplomatic corps to meet with your representatives on one of the lunar bases, they will discuss your refugee status. We will provide transport to the lunar base; do not launch any small craft. We guarantee your safety as long as you are within our space and follow our instructions. Are these terms acceptable to you?"
Adama glanced at Roslin, who smiled and nodded her head, before keying his phone. "Those terms are acceptable General; will you be there at the base as well?"
A slight pause and then "Yes Admiral I will, I look forward to meeting with you."
"As do I General" Adama Replied.
"Your escorts will be there shortly, Tau'ri Space Command out"
Following close behind the Galactica and slightly above her was a Tau'ri CA433 class Heavy Cruiser, the Suffren, along with her two DD422 class escorts the Ranjit and Allen M. Sumner, the cruiser acknowledged receipt of her orders and contacted the Galactica.
"Galactica, this is the Tau'ri heavy cruiser Suffren, Captain Natsuki Miyake commanding. "
"Suffren actual this is Galactica actual, will you be acting as our escort?"
"Galactica actual affirmative, I will be taking up station approximately fifteen-hundred kilometers off your bow, please follow us to Lunar orbit, my two destroyers will be holding position abeam of you, and will act as close escort, please do not deviate from our course, we will maintain a speed of .001C, is this acceptable?"
"One tenth of one percent of the speed of light? Either they're real slow, or they're taking it easy on us." Tigh said.
"Neither, I bet this General Rudenko is on the planet, he needs time to get to the moon, at this speed it will take us a little over twenty minutes to get there." Adama replied.
"Suffren actual, Galactica actual, those instructions are acceptable, we will fall in astern of you, Galactica out."
"Makes sense, plus they need to find the suit that they plan on having talk to us." Tigh replied.
"Well this suit." Roslin said as she walked up. "Needs to get ready, plus I'm going to need some help during this meeting."
Adama took a good long look at the President, she looked pale as well as out of breath, and it seemed obvious that she was going on willpower alone. One of the Cylon Sixes, as well as one of the Twos, had walked up to the group as well. The Six, Caprica, began speaking in an almost breathless voice; it seemed the stress of the moment had gotten to her as well.
"The Cylons need to have a representative at this meeting; we're a different species and should be heard as well as the Colonials. We can't just be expected to fall in line with whatever agreement you and the Thirteenth Tribe come up with. It would go a long way to building the level of trust between our peoples.
Roslin held up a hand to forestall anything else the Six may have been ready to say.
"We don't even know if these people are the Thirteenth tribe, apparently the name Earth is fairly common, this is after all the second one we've found. As for the rest, I agree, you do need to have a representative there. While I am not ready to forgive what happened, the fact is that you and your faction fought and died alongside us, that gives me some small hope. So have one or two of your people get ready to go with us. Admiral, I assume you will be going as well?" Roslin paused for a second to receive a nod from Adama, before continuing. "I think that Gaius Balter should accompany us as well, maybe get an idea what these people are capable of, an aid apiece, and a couple of Marine escorts. I want to keep this as small as possible; hopefully they're willing to help us".
"We'll find out soon enough Madam President." Adama replied as he turned toward the approaching Chief Tyrel. "Chief, what do you have for me?"
"Admiral, we have seventeen Vipers in the hanger right now, four Raptors, and four Heavy Raiders. My deck hands are working as quickly as they can, rearming and refueling them. We'll have six of the Vipers ready and moving into their tubes in about fifteen more minutes. We can have the Raptors and Heavy Raiders rearmed and spotted in the port pod ready to go fifteen minutes after that. The rest of the Vipers are at least an hour away." Tyrel reported.
"Thanks Chief, I hope we don't need them, or we're going to be in a world of hurt." Adama answered the haunted looking young man.
"Col. Tigh you have the ship, I'm going down to my cabin and change for this meeting. I recommend that the rest of us that are going down to the Tau'ri base get cleaned up and changed if possible, just because we're refugees doesn't mean we have to look like it. Madam President will you accompany me?
"Of course Admiral." Roslin said as she took his arm and accompanied him out of the CIC, back straight and a smile on her face. As soon as they were out of the CIC she leaned heavily on him and slowed her pace somewhat.
"Are you ok, Laura?" Adama asked worriedly.
"No, but does it really matter Bill? I'm the President I've got to take part in these initial meetings; we don't want them to think were some sort of military junta or something do we?" She replied with a slight smile.
"Probably not, don't want the wrong impression now do we. Do you want to stop by Cottle; maybe he can give you something to make you feel better?"
Roslin smiled wistfully, at the obvious care and worry in Adama's voice. "No Bill, I just want to get this over with, and meet these people. If they are the Thirteenth, than we're home, and I 'll feel a lot better then."
General Rudenko accepted a computer pad from his aid as he walked at a brisk pace toward the ring room located in the command post. Glancing down, he noted that an image of numerous ships was depicted on it, including one large starfish shaped craft. Keying the pad he scrolled down and quickly scanned the available information. One of the deep space listening post had finally located the supposed Colonial Refugee Fleet, 48 ships not 47. This large Starfish shaped ship was also no civilian ship, he watched in real time as it launched and recovered fighter patrols. An accidental omission or a deliberate attempt at misinformation? He'd have to see what this Admiral Adama had to say.
The secure door to the ring room slid open and Rudenko and the young Captain acting as his aid stepped into the center of the chamber. Rudenko looked over at his Aid "Ready to make history Stephen?"
The rings activated, and they were transported away before the young Captain could respond.
The Suffren decelerated as she approached Lunar orbit, the Galactica sliding into orbit as the Suffren pulled up and away taking station above and behind the Battlestar, preparing to intervene if the Colonial warship attempted any kind of aggressive maneuver.
No sooner did the Galactica take her assigned position than a mid-sized SP347 shuttle approached the ship.
"Galactica control, this is Griffin 311, requesting approach and landing instructions".
"Griffin 311, this is Galactica approach, you are cleared for the port landing pod, hands on approach, and I say again, manual approach. Maintain slow speed approach, upon entering the pod there is a well-marked small craft elevator to the starboard side of the pod half way down with a number four on it. How copy?" A male voice replied.
"Galactica approach roger, I copy hands on approach, port pod, maintain slow speed. Small Craft elevator 4, starboard side." The Tau'ri pilot answered.
In the port LSO's compartment on the Galactica the Captain on duty turned to the Petty Officer sharing the space with him, and asked. "Who the hell is Roger?"
The SP347 slid in precisely, if somewhat carefully into the port pod and decelerated smoothly, her Goa'uld derived Gravitic drive bringing the craft to a stop in the center of the oversized and rarely used number four elevator.
"Galactica control, Griffin 311, craft down, engines powered down, shuttle is secure, and ready for transfer." The pilot reported, before turning to his co-pilot, "Well here we go, hope they're friendly."
Adama in company with President Roslin, and the Cylon number three Biers stepped forward as the warning lights and siren started to sound as the large service vehicle elevator carrying the Tau'ri shuttle began to drop. Arrayed behind them was Maj. Agathon, acting as Adama's aid, a Ms. Lindquist from the President's office, and a number two, Leoben Conoy. Adama took a final look around, lingering on the two Colonial Marines that would be accompanying them. "You two understand that at no time are you to take any type of aggressive action unless it is in defense of this group?"
Both Marines answered in the affirmative and tried to stand at a position of ease despite the obvious nerves they were experiencing.
It was at this moment that Balter ran up to the group still trying to straighten his tie. Roslin looked over at him, spearing him with a look. "Good of you to join us Gaius."
"My apologizes Madam President, but I didn't exactly have a suit handy on such short notice." He replied in his trademark condescending way.
Adama turned back toward the elevator as the Tau'ri shuttle became visible, his practiced eye roving over the obviously well maintained spacecraft. The craft itself was about the same size as a Cylon Heavy Raider, with no obvious weapon mounts, on it. It was sleek and possessed over-sized windows, what looked like Caprican standard script was emblazoned on the forward side of the craft along with a tail number, much like any Colonial small-craft would have.
"Well here we go, hope their friendly." President Roslin whispered in a low voice to Adama and then she froze as the hatch in the side of the vehicle slid open.
The first ones out of the vehicle were two Tau'ri Marines. Wearing advanced light armor and carrying APC1000, assault carbines, they quickly surveyed the area and then the group, taking note of the two Colonial Marines, they then moved to either side of the shuttle's hatch and assumed a relaxed but alert posture. The next individual out of the vehicle was a young looking man in a much more formal military uniform, he did a quick once over of the cavernous bay, noting the large amount of people maintaining their distance, before zeroing in on the near group and Adama.
Walking toward the group, he stopped approximately 3 steps away from Adama and snapped off a parade ground salute. "Request permission to come aboard, Sir."
Adama took a good long look at the young man standing in front of him, other than the strange uniform he was wearing; he could easily have been at home at any base on any of the Colonies. Adama came to attention and returned the salute. "Permission granted, welcome to the Galactica."
The Italian Army Colonel lowered his salute before stepping forward and accepting Adama's outstretched hand. "Admiral, I'm Col. Gallo, currently stationed at Emerson Lunar Base, I have been assigned to act as your Liaison while you are here in the Sol System. "
Adama nodded to the young looking Colonel before turning to introduce him to the rest of the official party. "Madam President, may I introduce Colonel Gallo."
"A pleasure Madam President." Gallo said as he took the President's hand, restraining himself from the Italian tradition of kissing her hand.
"The pleasure is mine Colonel. May I ask Colonel, how long ago did your people arrive and settle Earth?" Roslin asked with a dazzling smile.
"Settle Earth, Madam President? I see, perhaps you are referring to the transplantation of numerous groups of people to numerous different planets in the past? No Madam President, I can assure you Earth is the First World, it was from here that the Goa'uld kidnapped so many of our people." Gallo stopped as he noticed a peculiar look of unease trace across the President's face, before she was able to reassert control and once again display her stunning smile.
Roslin's mind whirred as Adama introduced the Tau'ri Colonel to the rest of the party. The First World, what did he mean by that? Had they forgotten Kobol? Maybe the fact that the Thirteenth Tribe had come out here alone had led to their forgetting or even denying their history? The Thirteenth Tribe had been the first tribe to leave Kobol, hundreds of years before the rest, perhaps that was what he meant, the first world founded after the exodus from Kobol. That the Tau'ri, as they called themselves, were human and therefore from Kobol, was not in doubt. It was this last thought that gave Roslin great comfort as she continued to roll the other thoughts around her mind.
Roslin looked up and realized that she had been so deep in thought that she hadn't noticed that the introductions were complete and that the Colonel was moving toward the shuttlecraft. "I'm sorry just lost in thought, please lead the way."
The Colonel led them toward the open hatch of the spacious shuttlecraft, the Colonials quickly taking note of the clean well-appointed interior. The party members sat down in the luxurious plush seats. The Marines moving toward the rear of the passenger compartment, providing security while being as unobtrusive as possible. Admiral Adama sitting beside the President, as Colonel Gallo sat across from them with Biers taking a seat beside him. The shuttle was quickly returned to the Port Pod, where it asked for and received permission to depart.
Adama took note of the complete lack of any sense of acceleration. To Adama, the shuttle spoke of a wealthy and advanced society, the Soldiers he saw were extremely professional and obviously well trained. No, this wasn't the Colonies that was for sure, he hadn't missed the quick comments passed between the Tau'ri Colonel and Roslin either. Many of the same thoughts that had Roslin on edge were going through his mind as well, who exactly did the Tau'ri think they were, or perhaps more importantly what exactly were they? Adama forced the nagging worries into the back of his mind, he decided he would learn soon enough. He leaned forward and looked out of the oversized window as the shuttle descended quickly toward the barren landscape of the Tau'ri moon; a large well lit base became apparent on the surface as they sped toward their date with destiny.