Disclaimer: I never have and never will own the characters, Ideas or anything else based on these 2 shows. The TV studios that produced them, do. This story is also free as it is a pet project. Enjoy.
"Speaking in a different language"
Chapter 26: Rebirth, part 3: Belly of the beast.
Indra system, The Galactica, flight deck, minutes later
The Jumper just landed on a designated spot. A part of the deck reserved for jumpers. Still inside the cockpit, Bill admired the sight before him. All those fighters and other ships. The people working. Even some non human. Something he still has issues with, but will have to get used to.
"You need to ask?" Bill responded as Vix stood up from the pilot chair.
"Come then." The back hatch opened as a squad of security personnel, marines and officers were already waiting.
"Flag officers on deck!" The marine colonel shouted. Everyone stood at attention. Vix already departed the jumper, but Adama savoured the moment.
"Feels like old times." Bill said with nostalgia in his voice. "If you ignore the... transporters, force fields... all of this technology stuff..."
"You'll get used to it, Bill. Now..." Vix motioned him to the officers at the left side.
The 2nd officer, Lt. Commander James Holden, was the first Bill inspected. He was already saluting him.
"Sir. It's an honour to finally meet you. Admiral Vix told us much about you. And... well, your service record."
Bill returned the gesture. "Heard things about you as well Commander Holden."
"If I may ask, what horror stories did you hear?"
"Your tendency... to disobey orders, if the situation asks for it." Holden remained silent. He didn't know how his potential new CO will take that. "Don't worry. I have some officers myself from the Colonial days that were like that." One particular pilot came to mind. "That said, I do have some ground rules for you. If you disobey my orders, you had better have some damn good reason for it, like the security of the ship, crew or the Federation is at stake. If you disobey orders and by doing that you put my ship, crew or the Federation at risk, your ass will have a date with the airlock." Vix did tell Adama that no summary executions can be made here, but old habits die hard. "And while I will take input from any of my officers, once I make up my mind, don't you dare undermine my authority, or you will spent some time in the brig, got it?" Holden nodded. "And one more thing. You betray me... you will wish you never stepped foot on this ship." Bill eyed Holden hard. James wanted to get a measure of his new CO. He really got it. "That said, you do your best, stay true t what I managed to read about your performance in the Horse head nebula and you and I should get along fine. I am a lenient officer, to a degree. But my XO, Saul Tigh. Oh... I can see trouble in the future between you two."
James relaxed now. The admiral marked his territory and laid the ground rules for him. "Yes sir. Thank you for... your confidence. As for your XO, that's the reason I never accepted any promotion to a 1st officer. You have to be the crews enemy as the XO. Personality wise, I am more the crews friend, not the enemy."
Bill chuckled at that. "And while you may be that, Saul excels at making the crews lives miserable. So you two might balance each other out. Or kill each other. Could go either way." He continued to the next officer. "So... Lt. Commander Naomi Nagata. To be honest, I don't have a clue about you." After he said that, he looked at Vix for some guidance. He obliged.
"Naomi worked as an engineer on almost everything that you could find out there. But she prefers old ships, where there are things to fix. So she might have issued with a fresh off the assembly line one like this."
"Ah. Then she would have loved my old ship. The one this one is named after." Bill's focus returned on her. "Is admiral Vix's assessment of you correct?"
"Mostly, sir. But he is right. I am an engineer to fix things. If there is nothing to fix, I get bored."
"Well, it was always my thinking that if there is nothing to fix on a ship that the engineers were doing a good job. So if this girl won't need fixing, you'll be doing a good job." They both chuckled at that. "Not too crazy about the hair style, but I'll overlook it." Once again Bill moved on. "Now you... you look like you've seen some shit, son. Am I right?"
"This is Lt. Amos Burton, logistical officer. And yes, you could say that Bill."
Amos did salute, but far less formally. "Sir, I'm basically the maid for everything here. Used to do the dirty jobs. My only motto is, you do good by me and I'll do good by you." Everyone was a bit stiff after that. Amos was far more direct than anyone wanted to be with a fresh new CO.
Bill on the other hand smirked and leaned to Vix. "I like him. Reminds me of Starbuck." He turns to Amos again. "So let me guess, you are also the type for the difficult decisions? That makes two of us. I can tell, just like with Starbuck, I'll have little issues with you, my XO on the other hand..."
"Will have to get used to me or find another job, sir. I'm staying. But as I heard from Galen, he's a bit of a drunk. If he wants, he can challenge me. I'd yet to find someone that can drink me under the table."
Bill suppressed a laugh. Oh he really liked this one. And hearing the chief's name reminded him, he did see him and Bulldog at the end of this line. "Carry on, son."
Moving on, Bill stopped at the next officer. "Lt. Alex Kamal, your new navigational officer. He piloted anything from garbage haulers, transport ships, destroyers... you name it."
"Interesting. You a pilot?" Bill inquired after Vix explained once again.
"No sir. No fighters, only large ships with big rears. I like them that way."
"And your last posting was...?"
"The destroyer Rocinante, lost at the battle of the horse head nebula."
"Sorry. you must have lost friends that day."
"That's war, sir. I'm not going to sugar-coat it. Holden saved my skin that day."
Once again moving on, they stopped at the intelligence officer. "Lt. Lopez. He'll be in charge of intelligence reports, interrogations along with the marines and communication updated from and to naval intelligence."
"Lt. Lopez. I seem to remember that name?"
"I think my former CO, Admiral Yao, may have mentioned my name." Bill's eyes widened a bit. He was the fleet admiral's officer. "I served under here before her promotion to the desk job. Now that the Donnager has been destroyed, I was reassigned here. And If I may say, sir, I can tell you are mostly a no BS officer. A bit less than Yao, but still, my kind of officer."
Bill once again contained a smile. He would like this one as well. On the other hand he dreaded the day when Saul arrived. Saul and Lopez would get along as well. A deadly combo.
Moving along, they stopped at the marine commander. Colonel Black. "Sir. I think I can introduce myself. I just have 3 rules. You tell me if I kill, capture or hold hands with someone or something, I do it. If anyone threatens this ship, I'll have my boot on their necks. No matter if a snake or giant robot. And unlike Holden, I'm here to keep this ship in line and not soften the solders on it."
Another candidate of the 'will get along with Saul' category. "Nice speech, colonel. I remember you as well. Special forces from Earth." Black nodded. "Damn, didn't think I'd get someone like you."
Black smirked a bit. "And I didn't expect to get a CO like you, who literally survived hell and came back to ask for more." As professionals they kept their cool, but inwardly, they both appreciated the compliments . "Let me also introduce my head alpha team marine commander, Gunnery Sergeant Roberta Bobbie Draper.
She was an imposing female, size wise. "Glad to have you on board, marine." Bill extended the curtsey. "If Black has a high opinion of you, that's good enough for me."
"Sir, as the colonel said, we are here to kill our enemies. We were not trained for niceties."
"Good." Bill once again turned to Vix. "I think we are done with the most important part, right. The still missing personnel will come from my people."
Vix nodded. "OK, people. Dismissed."
As everyone began leaving the hangar deck, except Holden, Naomi, Galen and Bulldog, admiral Adama approached the latter two.
"You two bastards. Disappear on my ass for months! Some top secret Federation assignment that pays good. And now here you are!"
Galen answered first, smirking all the way as he shook the admiral's hand. "Well sir. They needed an 'expert' on battlestar construction and layout. Plus maintenance. And I was, as sad as it is, it. Plus the pay is really good. Or was. I'm back to the deck chief part. If you'll have me?"
"You have to ask, chief?" Bill turned to the still remaining new faces. "What's your take on them?"
"Oh, all great people in their own way. Except Black. He scare me more than the Tigh. Holden is really nice, but professional. Amos... he's a great person, but... there is some darkens to him. Must have been a hard childhood. But he wasn't' joking. He drank me under the table easily. As for the rest, all professionals, if a bit relaxed. But I like it."
Bill listened to this with interest. Galen always had good character judgement skill. Speaking of character... he turned to Daniel. "So... Bulldog. How did you bull shit your way here?" They both smirked.
"Well sir. They asked me to be an advisor. The payment was good and the hotels were five star." Yep, he was trying his BS way again. Bill knew his old friend well. "To be honest, Bill. I got tired of sitting on my hands. They wanted a viper pilot to advise them and I took it. We'll get a full batch of them in the Milky way." Bill's eyes lit up at that.
"Mark 8. Don't know specifics, but heard it has some nasty new toys."
"Ehm... Sir." Galen got Adamas attention again. "Speaking of new toys. There are still things you need to learn about this ship. I think that's why the 2nd officer and chief engineer are still waiting."
"Right. Keep it up you two. We'll have a drink later."
As Adama left, Bulldog whispered to Galen with a perverted smile. "Just wait till he gets to his quarters."
Bill followed Vix and the 2 officers from the main fighter deck to the connecting hallway. He liked it. It was a mix of the Colonial Mercury class and the Terran design update. The hexagonal corridors were a dead giveaway, but the touch screen consoles every few dozen meters, the force field emitters at every corner and the bio scanners for access to rooms were, of course, something completely new.
"Where we going?"
"Main engineering. We need to explain some last details before I transfer control to you." Vix explained as they entered a dead end corridor that led to a transporter booth. Once inside, the doors closed. "Main engineering."
A flash later they exited the booth and went to the left. Bill saw a... what looked like a large door, except it was closed. And 4 armed guards at that door. To say that he was confused was understandable at this point.
"Sir... welcome back. You know the procedure." The head guard greeted Vix. The admiral then stepped under a glowing scanner just short of the door... or wall, Adama as he watched all of this was still confused.
Naomi realized this and elaborated. "Sir... main engineering is a high priority area. Transporter blockers included. Only engineers or high ranking officers have access. Or if the high ranking officers grant access to someone, like Vix will do with you now, since the ship does not recognise you, yet."
Well that helped a bit... but where was the door? As the all went thru the procedure, Vix began moving to the wall... only to disappear thru it.
"What... what is going on?"
Naomi went next as Holden just waited for Adama to go. "It's really easy sir. Just go thru."
Bill did just that. It felt strange. As he passed thru the wall, he entered the main engineering. "What was that?"
"Resonance frequency wall." Naomi explained as she motioned him to follow her as Holden was right behind him and Vix already at what appeared as a control station. "The wall is made of solid neutronium, but bombard it with a specific frequency and you can pass thru. Has the advantage of a wall, but is passable like a force filed. For a high security area like this, all access doors are like it. Dr. McKay came up with the idea. Even if he won't admit it he copied it from Janus."
"And If that frequency stops when someone is halfway thru?"
"Well... they die. But it has a fail-safe to power it for several minutes, even if main power should fail."
"Somehow that doesn't comfort me." For the first time, Bill looked around. It was a large room, but the reactor that was spherically shaped, was only halfway in the room. Vertically walls separated the aft part of it. Bill realized that it was in another part of engineering, separated from this one. The entire engineering section was made up of compartments, for security reasons probably. The room was not too high, but had several decks above it. Left of him he could see several manned stations with technicians. He managed to get a glimpse of what those stations were. Power regulation. Reactor control. Reactor coolant. Ship general coolant. Power grid. Back-up power grid. Secondary power supply. Emergency power supply. Right of him were other stations. Weapons power grid. Sensor grid. Shield grid. Structural energy grid. Jump drive control. Hyperdrive control. Plasma drive control. Reaction-less drive control. Emergency venting. But the station in front of him had several meanings. It was arranged in a hexagonal shape made of control consoles. Some of them were already manned. Power amplification station. ZPM back-up. Chief engineer station. Main computer control. Naomi of course sat down at the main engineering station, with the 3 other engineers greeting her.
"OK boys and girls. Meet our new CO. Admiral Vix will transfer control to him now. We ready, sir?" She asked Vix.
"That's why we are here for. Bill, come here." Vix was at the rear part of the hexagonal control station, where a bio scanner was as well as a small control console with 4 access openings that were currently closed. "This and the CIC are the only places where command can be transferred. So... Cabal. Scan and identify... Vix. Admiral. Command code epsilon zeta 334 mark 1101 mark 6689. confirm."
"Identity confirmed. Please state command."
"Command transfer to Adama, William. Admiral."
"Please step to the scanning location."
Vix stepped aside to let Bill do as the dumb AI of the ship asked. A scan later it responded.
"State your identity and command code."
"William Adama. Admiral. Command code alpha 002 mark 5561 mark 9012."
"Transfer complete. Military vessel designated Galactica under the command of admiral Adama."
Bill stepped aside. "That was... weird."
"Perhaps, but... she's all yours. Naomi will explain the few new systems we added here. I already have to go and you... I hate to do this, but you have a mission, as of right now. You take off in 30 minutes."
"Wait.. what? But the ship only has half a crew..."
"Don't worry. It's not a combat mission, but there is a task that will need it's muscle. Holden knows the details." Vix saluted and began leaving the engineering.
"Well he left me out in the cold."
"Don't feel bad sir. He's under a lot of stress. And we are really needed. It's a transport job. I'll let Naomi explain the new systems. I'll be waiting outside." Holden also left.
Left with many questions still unanswered, Bill decided to just roll with the punches. "So, chief engineer. Tell me what I need to know."
"Right." She activated her consol and showed him the main reaction-less engine. "These engines, while based on the Ancient design, have something new added to them. A new element we managed to discover in a system at the edge of the Milky way galaxy. It's so rare that we reserved it for this."
"I don't want to rush you, but can you get to the point."
"Yes, well..." She brought up a chart of the engines. "This new crystal element, Zro crystals as they call them, have the property to, if added to these engines, enhance them in a really unique way. They lower the mass of the ship, by a significant amount, for as long as the engines are active."
Bill was having a hard time understanding this. "Wait... how does something loose mass? Mass is mass, right?"
"Nothing really looses mass, this element just lowers it artificially. Lower mass means faster acceleration, better turning, better power to weight ration when in atmosphere... the works. It even allows this ship to pull maneuvers at sub-light speeds that would otherwise tear it apart due to inertia. Also makes atmospheric flight so much easier. The only drawback, beside the scarcity of this element is that it has no effect on any FTL system. At least as far as we know."
"Let me guess. The scarcity is also the reason only this ship has it for now?"
"Yes... that and the fact that we are still mostly experimenting with the stuff. Only the Galactica and the Nauvoo currently have them."
"Nice to know. Anything else?"
"Yes sir." She turned and looked pass Adama. "Look behind you."
"Yes, the reactor."
"The first of the four main reactors powering this ship. The other three are behind it, but everyone is separated by the bulkhead. This also separated the main engineering into four sections. For security reasons. But the point I'm trying to make is this: That is not just an oversized naquadah ion fusion reactor, like the rest of the fleet uses. That is, once again, a copy of the Ancient and Asgard neutrino ion reactor."
Neutrinos. Adama heard of that exotic particle. Usually created in the cores of giant stars or supernova explosions. "So... this reactor is different... in what way?"
"Sir... neutrinos are created in the cores of giant stars, supernovas and hypernovas as well as neutron star collisions and black hole mergers. So, in events where massive energies are released. But there is one more scenario where they appear. When matter or energy collide with anti-matter or anti-energy."
Bill blinked and looked at the reactor again. "So are you telling me... that inside that thing matter and anti-matter are colliding?"
"It's a bit more complicated than that sir. Simply put... the lower part, the round part of the reactor, that is the normal naquadah ion reactor, just massively up-scaled. The energy generated there then gets focused up to the neck section that connects the round reactor section to the cylinder shape sticking out to the ceiling. That glowing neck section is a quantum converter, where the generated energy gets converted into anti-energy. That is then focused into the main chamber in the cylinder where it collides with deuterium."
"So... anti-energy and matter?" Naomi nodded. "But why?"
"To dumb it down, sir. The regular reactor at the bottom creates 3 energy units. The converter then uses those 3 energy units to create 1 unit of anti-energy. Then that 1 anti energy collides with deuterium and creates 22 energy units that we can use. 100% matter conversion into power. Only black holes are as efficient when they create Hawking radiation by consuming matter."
Bill still only got half of it. "Well, if it generates power, I'll take your word for it."
"Sir, this is the same principal how the ship killer satellite works. It converts massive energy amounts and turns them into anti-energy, then focuses that into a beam of destructive power. The Ancients just adopted their reactor schematics and weaponized them."
"Hmmm... but why deuterium? Wouldn't... that energy grade naquadah be better?"
"Yes, it would, but why overdo it? The Asgard and Ancients do it this way, until they need extra power, for let's say... boosting their hyperdrives, if a ZPM is not available. We have naquadah in reserve for just that, if we need a short term massive engine boost, but deuterium is much more common than naquadah and gives good results this way as well."
"So we can boost our engines as well?"
"Yes, or shields in combination with the crystals. That's why the entire reactor casing is made from neutronium. Only that element can withstand that pressure and radiation. And that's also why we have a specialized emergency venting system for this."
Bill began to understand how much further this technology was when compared to anything the Colonials ever utilized.
"Many were also pushing for the addition of that solar reactor you found on those automated exploration ships, but were overruled. It was decided that they were too impractical for this design."
"I can understand that. You mentioned the crystals. Vix said this ship ahs 2 of them and one of the micro ZPM we supplied you with?"
Naomi stood up and went to the rear console where Bill took control of the ship not too long ago. She accessed the panel. 3 of the 4 closed ports opened up and 2 crystals and one micro ZPM arose from them. "That one is the eye of Jupiter." Naomi pointed to the one closer to Bill. "Just so you know what we used them for."
"What about the 4th one? What's inside there?"
"Nothing, yet. But in the future, who knows. I think that covers it, sir. Better get going. James is waiting for you."
Bill smirked. "I didn't get half of it, but nicely done anyway."
Once outside in the corridor again, Bill saw Holden who motioned him to the transporter booth again. "Was it insightful?"
"More like confusing."
"Well, then let me make it better. The main CIC is next."
A minute later they arrived in the CIC. It was about the size of the Pegasus CIC. Perhaps a bit larger. Everything he expected was there. The digital planning table, all the necessary stations... but what he didn't expect were the large, curved display which currently showed the ship's outside as seen from the front, reinforced doors that could completely isolate the CIC, if needed, and ... a chair for him.
"You can take a look around, sir, but the Nauvoo is waiting for us." Holden reminded him.
James then announced to the CIC crew. "To all who didn't meet our new CO yet. This is admiral Adama. He is an experienced commander of the colonial navy. Show him the same respect and professionalism as you did me and Vix all these months when we were preparing for this moment. Now... sir. The ship is yours."
Bill looked around. Everyone was waiting for orders. "Ship status?"
"Ready and waiting. All docking clamps are already released." Holden responded.
"Then... Mr. Kamal, take us into orbit. Signal the Nauvoo to follow us out."
Alex smirked at that. "With pleasure, hos."
"Admiral Souther confirms and will follow us." James updated Bill. On the screen he could now se how the ship began accelerating upwards. Funny thing, he felt nothing.
On the planet, ever worker on site stopped for a moment and began cheering as they saw their masterpieces leave. Too bad there could not be any ceremonies. They were already needed.
Once in orbit, both ships aligned themselves to a cretin direction. "Sir. Mission coordinated already in the nav computer. Just give the word." Alex could hardly contain himself. This was the biggest and baddest ship he had ever flown.
"Then by all means, take us there, best possible speed."
The 3 304's in orbit made way as the 2 newest additions to the fleet passed by and entered hyperspace.
"We're in the theta band. will arrive at destination in 1 hour and 11 minutes."
"Good job, Alex. Now, sir." James once again got Adamas attention. "Best to brief you on this mission. And to show you your quarters."
"We do have time to kill... so after you."
As they once again wet to the transporter booth, Bill remembered something. "You are in the secondary CIC, right?" James nodded. "Is it like this one?"
"More or less. with the exception that there is not a screen but a real window outside. Now... Officers deck."
A flack of light once again moved Bill to another part of the ship. As he followed Holden, they passed a security door. "Don't tell me that the officer deck section has extra security?"
"Yes, but not too extreme. Around here, sir." As Bill turned the corner following his now 2nd officer, he saw 3 people already waiting at, what he had to assume, were his quarters. "Well, I keep on stumbling onto you two."
Galen stepped aside to allow Adama to enter his quarters. "Sorry, sir. But in your housewarming party, we thought you'd want some company. Emm... if that's fine with you, sir?"
"Wouldn't have any other way." Passing the chief, Adama simply replied with a hint of gratefulness in his voice. "Now, how do I open this thing?"
"Here Bill." Novacek pointed at the small console at the entrance. "Hold your hand here. DNA encrypted."
During this Amos who was here as a courtesy to the chief, passed an item to him and whispered quietly. "Good luck. Don't drink it all on the first day." He patted him on the shoulder and left the officers deck.
As the doors opened, Bill for the first time saw what would be his new home away from home for the time being. There were dim light strips at the floor where the walls began, illuminating just enough to see where you are even in darkness.
They all waited for the admiral to go first. As he finally did, they followed, with Holden right behind him. In the connecting hall to the first room ahead there was a large sliding door on his right, a normal door on his left and what seems to be a command console on the left.
"To explain..." Holden began and pushed the sliding doors aside. "This is your closet." It really was. And a rather big one for Adama's taste. Inside were already several hung uniforms, but not much else. "Yeah, sorry for the lack of a selection, but just like you, this mission caught us off guard. You can requisition some additional clothing later at the logistic centre."
"Heh, it's fine." Bill turned to the other door and console. "And these?"
"Right. The large console is a standard network interface where you can get any information on ship status you want. Access intercom systems... the works basically. As for that door..." As the door opened, Bill took a look inside. Yep, as he thought, the good old head. Only this one was three times as big as the one on the old girl. Plus a shower and space for other stuff.
"You people trying to spoil me? I don't need something that big."
James, Daniel and Galen looked at each other, then started smirking. "Pay up, James!" Galen gleed.
"We told you so!" Bulldog added, almost laughing at this point.
Bill had a pretty good idea this was some kind of bet they had, at his expense. "Mind telling me what you bet on?"
Galen strengthen himself out and answered first. "When we saw this place while it was still being furbished, we told the people you would complain about having too much space and it was being wasted. Holden didn't believe us. No one usually complains about too much space."
"Usually..." James grumbled. "I'll transfer the money on your accounts after this."
Bill had a need to explain his remark. "Commander... the reason I reacted like this, well... this is a warship, not a luxury liner. Surely space is a premium, even on a ship this big?"
"It is sir... but we can spare some. Besides, I didn't design the damn thing. Can we?" James once again motioned the admiral to follow him to the end of the connecting hall.
Once there, Bill saw a familiar sight. Only a bit different than the old one. The leisure area, a large three quarter of a full circle couch, a circular table, several relaxation chairs , several other smaller decorative items and a large screen, similar to the one on the CIC, only smaller but also curved. The entire area was also lowered into the floor by the depth of 2 stairs. But the one item that caught his eye was at the far right side of this room. "You frakers!" He smiled brightly and turned to his two old friends. "Who's idea was this?"
Bulldog stepped aside and let Galen explain it. "Sir... we all know how sad you were that day, when... we buried the old girl. So... me and some of the crew saved some parts of her. We thought that this ship would not be completed or be her spiritual successor without this."
"You were damn right!" Bill shook Galens hand and smiled some more. The item in question was the old Colonial military insignia, complete with the Galactca BSG-75 name, hanging from the wall. "Thank you for this."
"Ehm... I think we have time for nostalgia later, if you don't mind, sir?"
"Yes, yes. Please continue, commander."
"Right..." James stepped down and sat on the couch. "Besides a place for relaxation... " He urged Adama to follow his view, showing all the shelves and drawers in the wall. "This also has some other purposes. He placed his hand on the table. "Cabal, recognize."
"James Holden, Lt. Commander. Recognized."
"Activate command console."
As he said that, the table rose from the floor and Bill saw how it showed on a display the tactical information of the ship and its surroundings. Not unlike a planning table in the CIC. "In an emergency... or if you fell like it, you can do your planning here. Also... " He pressed a button on the command console in the table that appeared. The entire bend screen came to life and did the same as the table. More information than Bill knew what to do with. including a long range dradis update. "As you can see, everything here is dual purpose."
"Hm... nice. Can that screen do anything else?"
"Yes sir. On moment. Cabal, end command mode." Everything returned back to normal. "Only you or one the command crew from the CIC can do that. As for that screen, if you ever want to contact one in the fleet or HQ or you yourself get contacted, you can do it via the screen. And as for the leisure part... Eva, entertainment mode, show me a list of all recorded pyramid games from the Colonials in your database."
Bill saw a list of recorded sports. Some he even saw live himself. "Really? The entire fraking database?"
"Yes sir. Every movie, TV show, sport, program of any kind that isn't live or licensed is on here."
Bulldog slapped Bill on the shoulder. "Imagine Bill. You me and Saul can watch an old game and get drunk together. Well, Saul mostly, but you get the idea." Bill shook his head. Bulldog was enjoying this too much. And he feared he was right. once those shelves get stocked on liquor, Saul will be a regular here.
"Commander, let's continue."
"As you wish." They turned to the left of the den area the room extended further, ending in what looked like a small dining room. Left of it was the wall separating it and the bathroom, to the right were 2 doors. as for the room itself, a dining table, 6 chairs and a small preparation area that seemed to serve as a small kitchen as well. "Here the chief steward of the ship can bring you your meals if you prefer to eat here and not in the officers galley. Or if you want to have guests over." Bill saw that everything for that was already here in the drawers. But there was one small compartment in the wall near the working table behind the dining one that seemed out of place.
"What's this for?"
"This... Well, it's a work in progress. Only officers quarters get them so far. With all the matter and energy conversion technologies we are mixing and matching... this is a molecular replication unit. more specifically a food unit."
Once again Bill found himself blinking. "Like in that cheesy sci-fi show from Earth I once saw?"
Galen chuckled at his CO. "Yes sir. But as the commander said, a work in progress. If you ever want to use it, that's what it's there for. just like with that big ass screen, the whole menu is in the system."
"I think I'll stick to what's actually cooked, thanks."
The last thing remaining were the 2 doors. The one closer to the den was his bedroom. Simple, small, functional. The other room was his office. He was informed he had an official one near the CIC, but this was a private one. Room for his books, models and other stuff. A desk, access to the ship logs, comm unit... the works a flag officer would need. It seems that Tigh, Black and Holden would have quarters half the size but still relatively big, when he compared them to any Colonial design. Holden's and the chief engineer had theirs nearer to the secondary bridge with the support officer deck while the rest had them here in the centre of the alligator head. The marines and pilots, with the marine commander, squadron commanders and the CAG of course, all had a room with a bunk bed and each room shared the head and shower with the neighboring unit. Their officers ahd quarters of similar sizes, but private to themselves. And a working office as well. He knew how Kara will hate him for this when he thrusts the CAG title on her. And she will be getting on both Tigh's and Black's nerves. Everyone else had had similar arrangements as the regular pilots and marines, deckhands included. Well, the chief was also excluded with a private quarters, a small luxury for being the one in charge.
He could say he was overwhelmed, but that would be putting it mildly. There were many things he liked, but some he didn't like. One thing that did bother him, was that a Cylon officer would be added once they arrive back in the Milky way and a detachment of the new Centurions would be added to the marine barracks.
After about another 10 minutes of showing the small details of the room, Holden saluted and left the three Colonials for some small talk while he took charge of the CIC.
Bill finally sat down in a relaxation chair in the den. "Will one of you two open up that bottle already. No point in trying to hide it any longer."
"Will do sir." Bulldog responded with a shit eating grin and began pouring out the drinks. After they all had a taste and bank into their comfy chairs, Bulldog looked at his glass. "Have to thank Amos for this. Guy knows his booze."
"Here is a warning about him, Bulldog. Don't take any bets on drinking him under the table. I saw him drink a bottle like that empty in record time and hardly be fazed. Guy can hold his liquor."
"Wow, really? Thanks. No bets with him..."
"Chief, Daniel... Why did you keep all of this secret from me?" Bill finally asked.
"Well sir. We wanted to surprise you. And..."
Bulldog finished his drink, and Galen's sentence. "And the brass here told us not to. Speaking of brass. You still need to look at the mission briefing. Even I'm curious."
"Right." Bill stretched his arm out until it touched the table, just like Holden showed him. "Cabal, access mission briefing from admiral Vix."
"Identity confirmed. Opening file now."
The data was shown on the large screen in the den. All three of them began reading it... and could not believe what they were looking at. "Are they fraking insane!?"
"Yep, seems like it. Who's up for another round!" Bulldog laughed and began pouring himself another glass.
Pegasus galaxy, unknown location, same time
He was finally coming to.
"Finally awake?" The voice seemed familiar.
Opening his eyes, he could still feel the aftereffects of the stun weapon. Then he noticed it. He was restrained. Again. And the man talking to him was once again Kolya. Only now he too was restrained on the opposite side of the room they were in. and Sheppard, finally opening his eyes fully, realized where they were. "Please don't tell me we are where I think we are?!"
"We are on a Wraith ship. Same one that attacked my base."
"I just told you not to tell me." Still feeling groggy, Sheppard needed answers. "How long was I out?"
"All this time. Since the attack began. You were hit by mistake by the stun shot from a Wraith soldier. I never saw such a fast, coordinated attack. Not on one of my bases anyway. Whoever this Wraith is..." The doors opened and 2 soldiers entered. Then the Wraith commander followed. Kolya got visibly paler. "You!"
Guide came next to him and stroked his hair. "Nice to see you to, colonel. I'm flattered you remember."
"How could I not. You and your kind disgust me. You..."
"Yes, yes. I hate you and you hate me. But sadly I need you. Well, I need you personally right now, but your species in the long term anyway. You know, food chain and all. But while my attack on your base was merely meant for revenge after what you did to me for all those years, like starving me like an animal..."
"You are an animal...! All your kind is!"
Guide slapped him across the face. "And you do not consume flesh of your prey! By that definition we are all animals! But back to here and now. Your guest intrigues me." He signaled his soldiers to hand him a pad. "His DNA is different. He has Ancient DNA."
Sheppard eyed Kolya. "He took my blood?"
"You sound surprised."
"While your bickering is amusing, I am on a tight schedule. So, colonel Sheppard. That means you are in a military unit. But not of the Genii." He approached John. "From where are you?"
Sheppard tried to stall, so he did what he did best, BS his opponent. "Disneyland!"
"Hmm... sarcasm does not suit you, colonel. A bit more dignity if you please."
"What, I told you where I'm from!"
"I may not have the telepathic capabilities of a queen, but I can tell when someone is trying to mix sarcasm and lies in one. You must be from this new power I heard about." He turns his pad to Sheppard, a picture of a Terran ship clearly visible.
"Playing dumb will also not help. Don't worry, at the moment I have no interest in you. But if and when my brothers and sisters wake up, that will change. Right now I have other problems."
"Tell me why I should care?"
"Hm... does the name replicator mean anything to you?"
This time John remains silent. That was all Guide needed to know. "It does, doesn't it? Unfortunately during my escape from my 'liberator' I used the machines as a distraction. You see I was the one who uploaded the stand down command into their network millennia ago. But to escape and survive I had to... shall we say, modify that command line. But when I tried to establish a link again from another location, I was detected on the spot. What little I noticed was that they used that intrusion to remove the stand down command. These machines didn't remain idle all this time. And now they might come for all of us."
Sheppard listened to all of this and began assessing his options. "What do you want?"
"Finally willing to listen? Well, I need an ally. One with resources to help me put the replicators back into standby mode. And one who will nt execute me on the spot, like every queen out there right now."
"If I help you, IF I even dare to TRUST you! Then you'll need to trust me. No contacting the other bloodsuckers of your kind!"
"As if I would do that! They left me for dead. For now let them sleep."
Sheppard once again contemplated his options. "I know a planet. I can contact my people from there. But you will have to trust me."
Guide smiled. "See, that wasn't so hard. Now if you excuse me, I feel a bit peckish..." He slammed his palm on Kolya's chest. The scream filled the room as Sheppard saw his former kidnapper turn into an old man and then... corpse. "Ahh, revenge and a meal, all in one. It's true what they say, revenge is sweet."
"Could have warned me."
"Be glad I'm full right now. Now..." The soldiers removed the restraints and grabbed Sheppard to drag him out of the interrogation room. "You'll provide me with the coordinates, like you promised, and I'll not drain you like I just promised."
"Speaking of food, what happened to Kolya's men?"
"I have a rather large crew. I needed to restock on supplies."
Pegasus galaxy, Asuras, same time
Niam, along with his acolytes who one day hoped to ascend themselves and meet their creators directly, walked to the central chamber of the Asuran council in a copy of Atlantis.
The other leaders were already there.
"You are late Niam!"
"Oberoth, sorry for my late arrival, but what could be urgent it could not be discussed in the digital link?" Niam asked as he took his place in the council.
"I will explain now. To all, you know the attempted hack into out digital link not so long ago." All nodded. "Well, we know it was those abominations who defeated our creators. The same ones who added the stand down protocol. Because our creators programmed us so that we could not alter our own programming, we were stuck, until now. I have already send the update thru the entire link."
"How? If we cannot alter our own programming..." A female council member asked.
"We cannot alter our original programming, yes, but the addition was excluded from that. And only because of the sloppy work of the hacker are we able to proceed with the plan."
Niam gave it a thought. "The place was lightly defended and our Aurora made short work. Perhaps he or she were under time pressure, which now gives us more freedom once again."
"Whatever the reason, we will now start with the mobilization." A holographic display appeared and showed parts of Asuras. Every part displayed several planetary shipyards building Aurora class warships, cruisers, destroyers and ship killer satellites." Then we start with these creatures, after that, our... 'siblings'."
"What is the strategy?" A male black Asuran asked.
"The straight forward one. The simplest one. We deny our enemy their source of resources. And since they are organic, they need food. This way we kill 2 problems at once. The humans and the Wraith, until this galaxy belongs to us. Then we expand the search beyond it."
Niam was worried about the remarks concerning humans. "If we do such bloodshed, we might never be able to ascend... We should..."
"Forget ascension! It is overrated. Best focus we become the best machines we can become! But I do have one task for you Niam. One most suitable for your talents."
"Of course, Oberoth."
"We must find the sister world to ours. Indra."
"That knowledge was erased by the Ancients. You know that as well."
"Expand your search beyond Asuras, now that we are not stuck here any longer." Niam nodded, not saying anything else, knowing it would be pointless. "Now, we have the time to build up our forces, as long as these creatures sleep, so..."
Centre of the Milky way galaxy, same time
The Kursk had been searching for a while now. Realizing they could not stay here forever Ramius decided that Dr. Jackson better come up with more info or they will be leaving. Trying to meditate in the aft of the bridge, Daniel concentrated, trying to remember.
"I really hope Daniel remembers something more." Sam worried. "Whatever is here we can't let Anubis get his hands on it."
"I agree, captain." Lee supported this idea as he and Sam talked with the captain.
"I know, but we can't waste time here and wait for Anubis to show up if we don't even know where to begin to look, and this place is huge. Colonel, is it not possible that all these millennia could not have caused, whatever we are looking for, to be ripped apart by the black holes tidal forces?"
"Anything is possible, sir, but the Ancients would..."
"Got it!" Daniel shouted and he stood up and ran to the nav console. "Is there a star in a close tight orbit of Sagittarius A*? Right now?" He asked the nav officer.
"Yes sir. A blue giant is approaching at great speed and will be slingshoted in about a month as it passes the periapsis."
"Then set a course. Whatever we are looking for has to be between here and that star." Looking at the captain, who nodded, the nav officer set the course.
"Why there, Daniel?" Sam asked her friend.
"A sun orbits. That line stuck in my head. That same image, like a hydrogen atom, or a planet orbiting a sun... or..."
"Or a sun orbiting a black hole. Better than what we had a minute ago." Ramius agreed, even if he hated hunting dreams of another man.
Minutes passed as they began seeing the approaching star with the UV filter on the screen. The science officer got something on the sensors. "Emm, colonel Carter?"
Sam reacted and went to her station. "Sir, we should stop accelerating. There is something there."
"Can you be a bit more clear." Ramius demanded. "What is there?"
"Something... Can't say directly. It's... If I had to guess, it's phase and dimension shifted, similar to the Sodan cloaking devices, but on a whole other level. We only know it's there because of the close proximity and our knowledge of the Sodan cloaks. Wait..." She took a remote controlled scout probe, which looked like a flying metal ball and put it on the console of the science officer. "Can you link this scout to the ship and then synchronize the transporter with the data we see here, then beam it over, wherever that is?"
That peaked Ramius interest. "What's this about, colonel?"
"Sir, we can use these scouts all SG teams come equipped with and beam mine over. We link it with the ship so we can see what it sees and remote control it."
"Good idea. This way we don't risk anyone."
"Ready, mam." The science officer reported. "We are ready. Initiating uplink."
Everyone on the bridge saw the image from the scout. "Then beam away." Ramius ordered. As it disappeared in a small flash of light, the display changed. What they saw was... essentially an Ancient laboratory and observatory.
"OK, this is interesting. Can you get closer to those screens. There seems to be a lot of information on them." Sam asked the science officer who was now controlling the scout. As the content on the screens was now more visible, Sam began reading it. "My god."
"What?" Even Daniel now got curious.
"The Ancients wanted to develop a reactor technology to rival their ZPM's. By using black holes. This observatory was a long term plan to study them to develop that tech." She turned to Ramius. "Sir, permission to go over there."
"How sure are we this will work on humans? I don't want to send you over there to only have molecules of you appear?"
"Well... I don't, but the scout went over without a problem..."
Ramius did not like it.
"Sir, we are wasting time here." Sam pressed the issue.
"Fine. But keep it to a minimum."
Sam nodded and eyed her team. "Right, Hailey, Mitchell and Ornek, your with me, were beaming over. Get a data transmitter ready, whatever research is there, were taking it. As well as that clue we need. Also, Jennifer, take your tools as well."
"Whatever cloak they are using is beyond anything we have seen so far. We're taking it with us, if it is possible."
"One more thing." Ramius stopped her before she and the people she called out could leave the bridge. "Take a naquadah bomb and arm it once you are over there. Once you return, we blow that place."
Large Magellan Cloud galaxy, unknown location, same time
In an unknown area of the galaxy in the middle of nowhere, a large ship was just... there, seemingly doing nothing. Except it's central area which looked like a massive gyroscope, which seems to accelerate and rotate faster and faster. But at the rear of the ship where it's engines end, something began happening. A rift appeared. Small in the beginning, it began expanding, getting larger and larger. soon this rift was massive, but what was on the other side was the truly impressive thing. A fleet. A massive fleet.
On the bridge of the ship in the Magellan galaxy, the commander kneeled down. "Contact Ymir. We have arrived. The rift is open."
Pegasus galaxy, unknown location, Terran staging area, 1 hour later
The Galactica and Nauvoo finally arrived at the location. Six 501's and a dozen cruisers were already waiting, all in a circle around a gas giant moon.
Bill was now back in the CIC. While this really was not a combat mission and the ship only had half the crew on board, this was still insane.
"We ready?" He asked Naomi.
"Yes sir. The Nauvoo is taking position at the front of the Midway moon, while we take position aft. Once we are in position, we establish the hyperspace link and initiate the bubble."
This was a delivery mission. A large delivery mission. This fleet, with the two Battlestars acting at the main mules for this. They will deliver this moon to the Midway station. In the middle of nowhere. Once there, the station lands and becomes a base. The moon was selected for a purpose. It was a cold moon, no more heat, but it was full of naquadah and trinium. They will be able to mine it at the location and build spare parts as well as base components directly on site, eliminating the need for deliveries, at least for the larger components. After that, they will keep refining and mining. You never know if a ship will need a refueling. But still, moving something with a diameter of slightly more than 1500 kilometers, not even thinking about the weight, was insane.
Bill was still not sure, so he inquired some more. "You sure the ship can handle this?"
"Remember the overload mechanic on the reactors plus the 2 power crystals and the micro ZPM?" Bill nodded. "Yes, the answer is yes. We will need 11 days for this trip instead of the usual 7 and we will need to initiate the venting procedure once we arrive, but I' m sure, sir."
No point in arguing with a person that knows so much more on these matters than he does, so Bill left it at that. "Sir, we're linked. Fleet is waiting for your order."
"Then let's not keep Midway waiting."
In space the moon began moving as a hyperspace window opened. Seconds after that it and the fleet disappeared.
"Sir, all reactors are at 90%, so we still have some room. The 4 main ones are at 400%, but they can keep it up till we get there."
"Nice." He stood from the captains chair. "Holden, with me. Naomi, you got the CIC."
As James and Bill arrived in his official office near the CIC, they both sat down, Bill behind his desk. "Vix... I'll have a word with him... this is fraking crazy! Delivering a moon."
"There are even other thing waiting for us."
"A Excalibur class will go and search for an Atlantis class city ship in the void. They found the coordinates. The Discenna, I think. But we will stay to make contact with the Ancient Aurora that is approaching Midway."
"First this, and now... even more BS. Vix has a strange sense of humor." Bill grumbled.
Colonel Black - Jason Statham