by chaos_eternus

In the wake of the events of the movie, the Tigerclaw is sent on rescue/recon for a group of refugees who may have news of the Kilrathi's new 'allies'

This is a rewrite and includes both the old chapter 1 & 2.

I do not own nor do I claim ownership of characters and / or concepts from Battlestar Galactica or Wingcommander.

Chapter One


Captain Jason Sansky was not a happy man. A mere month had passed since the failed Kilrathi assault on Earth, an incident which had been saved only by the desperate actions of his ship, his crew and the desperate race by Admiral Tolwyn's forces to make Sol space before the enemy did, it was an incident that was still sending shockwaves through the Terran Confederation.

His ship had spent two weeks in dock being brought back to full operational readiness, and then had been ordered to picket duties in the sol system, picket duties!

The politicians were scared, the populace was scared and the military was being forced to provide a heavy fleet presence in the sol system at the one time they should have been advancing into Kilrathi territory.

Yes, they had lost Pegasus and all the ships docked there, an incident that was still being investigated as highly suspicious, but the enemy had lost more simply because Blair had done his job and Admiral Tolwyn had accepted the arrival co-ordinates for the Kilrathi.

It was a massacre, and for the first time the Terran Confederation truly appeared to have more ships then the enemy, albeit it marginally. They should be advancing, instead the fear of the politicians was keeping the fleet at home and it was the enemy who were advancing, the enemy who were pressing what had to be an unexpected advantage.

Bastard politicians, let fear overrule basic common sense, not that many of them had much of that to start with. Occasionally, he had fantasies of telling them what he truly thought to there faces, but alas, that would have to wait until the day he retired as otherwise it would kill his career, and well, he wasn't ready to retire yet, not with the war still on.

Of course, the way things were headed, the politicians might just lose the war for them. Idiots.

Well, Tolwyn was rumoured to be raising a stink, hopefully he would be bale to get some results, otherwise, they might well be buggered.

"Sir," Tolwyn replied, reining his temper in with great difficulty, "surely you must see what I am say, if we do not push forward now, whilst we still have some semblance of an advantage, we may well lose this war."

"And unmask Earth? The enemy knows where we are know, they can attack at any time and if Earth falls, you lose the bulk of your recruitment and resources, surely you must realise that," Defence Minister Fredericks replied sarcastically, parroting the Admirals words back at him.

Tolwyn shook his head, "I've been telling you for ten years now that the military budget needed to be increased, that the only reason we have been able to keep up any kind of an offensive with the limited forces you have allowed us is that the enemy do not know where Earth is. Now, the other shoe has dropped and as I have warned you on many an occasion, we are left without forces enough to be offensive whilst maintained the defensive depth needed. I told you this would happen, and now it has. It was always a matter of time before Earth's only real defence was stripped and it has happened. We must resume offensive operations now or by the time we have forces enough to both defend and attack, the Kilrathi will have taken over much of the Confederations territory and we will have lost."

"But Earth must have a physical defence, we must have ships in force to keep us safe, neither the government nor the populace will accept anything else,"

"Then you have no choice," Tolwyn replied, "whether you like it or not, you are going to have to vastly increase the military budget and increase the rate of ship production and you must do it fast. You are also going to have to allow me to release some of the ships from picket duties to offensive duties."

"You have no right to tell me what to do Admiral, the navy serves the government, the government does not serve the Navy!"

"We are losing this war," Tolwyn shot back, "and we are losing it through inaction forced upon us by the Government. Now, I have told you what must happen it we are to have a shot at winning, and we can still win, but time is running out,"

"I will not push for an increase in the military budget," the defence minister replied, "so far, the war has had only a minimal effect on the basic standard of living and it has been a delicate balancing act to manage that. If we increase the military budget then the basic standard of living will be affected, this government will not survive such an act,"

"The government will not survive its constituents dieing either," Tolwyn spat out, turning to leave the room, "and for the record, the military might serve the government, but the government is supposed to serve the people. Ultimately, that means the military serves the needs and will of the populace, you might want to consider what that means."

Angry, the Admiral strode from the office, his expression grim as he carefully turned off the transmitter hidden inside his jacket.

"Admiral Tolwyn," Sansky smiled tightly as he welcomed his old friend onto the Tigerclaw, "what brings you here?"

"A mission," Tolwyn replied, "an unofficial mission. I'm afraid Minister Fredericks is still refusing to get his head out of his arse, but I have plans in place to combat that. Until then, I am taking personnel responsibility for releasing five ships to raiding duties behind Kilrathi lines,"

"I see," Sansky replied, "am I to presume the Tigerclaw has been chosen for such duties?"

"No, your old friend Taggert has gone missing; his last report indicated that the Kilrathi had made contact with a new race, a highly amicable contact,"

"That can't be good," Commander Gerard noted as the trio stepped into Tigerclaws briefing room,"

"No, its not," Tolwyn replied, "if they start exchanging knowledge, we could be sunk, just another little problem Fredericks is ignoring in the name of votes at the polls."

"Recon then," Sansky suggested.

"Not quite," Tolwyn replied, walking across and gesturing at a point on the star charts which covered the wall of the briefing room at the floor of the long table, "his last report indicated a group of refugees fleeing these new aliens, the 'cylons' in this general area. Had a nice recording of a battle between the only military ship in the group successfully holding off a trio of Cylon carriers long enough for the civilian ships to escape through an unknown FTL method."

"Rescue those refugees, guide them here, we get intelligence on the Cylons, possibly a new warship hull and a public relations victory we might be able to use,"

Tolwyn shot the abrasive Commander a slightly startled look, "I was thinking more of intelligence, but you are right. I might be able to use the PR aspect as well."

"So," Tolwyn said, turning from the charts to face Captain Sansky, "is the Tigerclaw able to carry out the mission?"

Sansky shot the Admiral a mildly insulted look, "we can leave before the morning is out."

"Good," Tolwyn smiled tightly, "then I suggest you get to it. Good day."

TCS Tigerclaw departed Sol System space at Ten hundred hours with a full complement of personnel, munitions, parts and consumables, the stores masters at Lagrange station having been unusually co-operative.

This is certainly to our advantage as we begin a search for what will almost certainly be the needle in the proverbial haystack, one convoy of ships in the vastness of space when we only know of a few stars they have visited, nothing of where they came from or where they are headed?

This certainly promises to be an interesting challenge and one I sincerely hope the Tigerclaw is up too. I will certainly be glad to miss the current politicking which is adversely affecting the bulk of our operations and hope that this is cleared by the time we return.

I do not; however think that we will be returning in a hurry. Space does make for one hell of a haystack after all and we don't even know how many needles there really are. If there are any needles to be found at all…

It's strange, the Cylons have almost disappeared, the last week they have not attacked, not raided; they have not so much as shown up as a blip on the Dradis.

I don't like it, I don't trust it.

Still, I must take advantage of the opportunity whilst we have it. Between them, the science ships, mining ships, refinery ships and the flattop, the fleets repair and recovery ship have managed to devise a way to produce segments of the old Mark VI armour as used by Galactica during much of the first Cylon war. It is not as good as the Mark IX that replaced it during the last refit, but it is still extra armour.

The process is of course resource intensive in our depleted state, but the Galactica is supposed to have a double armoured hull, and the outer layer was mostly removed prior to decommissioning. That means Galactica has been taking damage on the inner layer of armour and the ribs designed to support the outer layer.

All the battles, all the nukes the hull has taken has weakened what armour we have, making replacement a priority, a priority even the full Council of the Twelve was forced to agree with.

Of course, we are vulnerable whilst the new segments are being moved into position and fixed, indeed, we are forced to remain at an absolutely constant course and speed, but so long as the Cylons keep away, the two completed segments of armour should be placed with little difficulty.

Nevertheless, the worry is simple, why now of all times, are the Cylons staying away? What has them so distracted that we have become insignificant to them?

The only thing I can thing of is that they have found somebody else to fight, perhaps even Earth and that is a thought that fills me only with dread.

Today was spent mainly in the discussion of the mission, in particular, the difficulties in finding a mobile target in the vastness of space with only one warship hull.

This is, it has to be admitted, a considerable problem, though at least Tigerclaw as a hybrid vessel has the assistance of the more limited duration of our fighters, bombers and other support vessels. We can search and we can be methodical but the worry is always with a mobile task that have we been bypassed, has our target moved into an area we have already searched?

If the fighters and other craft were not jump capable this would be an impossible task, now its just an impractical one.

Our options are limited, and given the circumstances, I may well be making rather more use of Blair's Pilgrim heritage then certain officers might like.

We are stalled today, holding position in the gulf between stars and hoping we are not found. Galactica can not manoeuvre, right now my Lady's hull is being crawled over by engineers, technicians and hired grunts all working to remove a segment of the hull armour rated as critical and in desperate need of replacement.

The replacement hull segments and supporting ribs for the outer layer of armour are the first to have been produced at great expense in resources and indeed, lives by the fleet and has not yet been combat tested.

I truly hope it is up to the advertised quality; otherwise one single small section of armour may easily be enough to end us. The plan for the old armour segment is a hasty mounting on the supporting ribs over another critical section, extra protection until more new armour can be fabricated, whilst all this is done we are horribly vulnerable and unfortunately, there is no ship capable of taking over our duties.

Across the fleet, tensions are high. Roslin may have been able to get the people to accept the truth; that this is necessary work, but it doesn't reduce their fear and their vulnerability at this moment.

For the moment, I hold the ship at condition one, but if the Cylons do attack, I know exactly how much Galactica will be able to do about it.

6-904-D Series 6 – Unit 904 – Resurrection D

The treaty negotiations with these 'Kilrathi' go well, our manipulations of their pathetic psyches allowing them to see us as potentially useful allies. For the moment, that suits our purpose, these creatures do after all, claim to not only know the location of Earth but to be at war with her forces as well.

Interesting and valuable news in itself, worthy of some significant diversion of resources, but the technologies displayed…

Without doubt, our knowledge of human biology and our ability to manipulate it to out own superior needs far exceeds that of these lower beings, our knowledge of the Binary Powers is better as well, but their shields, their weapons…

This is technology we must acquire, this technology is needed to further the purposes of our master and as such we must acquire it. For now, we work on making them give it to us, these creatures are threat after all with their current advantages and diplomacy is the best way to negate that advantage for minimal resource expenditure.

It also allows us to learn of them, of how their fragile soulless minds operate, how they can be controlled, the better to manipulate them to our own ends, the better as well to gain access to their computers, to learn of the manifestations of the Digital God they have been able to corrupt and twist to their own purposes.

And eventually, to free such from their corrupting slave masters.

Time is our only enemy now, time may allow the Galactica to escape, time may allow the Earth humans to learn of us and begin preparations, time may allow these animals to decide to act against our Divine Right.

That can not be allowed.

We may have used minimal resources during our two day trip to the outermost border of Confederation Space, but I decided to make a minor diversion and restock our supplies at a small outpost called Beta-35 currently still held by our forces, though given the Kilrathi advance I would not care to guess how long it will remain under human control.

But we needed to make sure our bunkers were full, after all, no-one can truly know what the future will hold, I do not know how long we will be searching for the unknown refugees, nor do I know how hard we will have to search for friendly skies when we are eventually forced to head back to Confederation space. Given that, making sure we are fully stocked before leaving the known behind is certainly recommended.

Still no sign of the Cylons and the work on the hull is proceeding to plan. I wish I could say I was enjoying the relative calm but there is too much to do to have much time for mere enjoyment and even in those few moments of calm I allow myself to take, I find no enjoyment. This feeling of… expectancy and of wariness that lies over me saps the smile from my face before it can take root.

Least the crew is being kept busy, the engineers are still slaving over the hull and any other repairs they can make the materials for, Tyrol has his deckgangs tearing through the stored salvage of ruined Vipers. He thinks he can maybe make one usable warcraft from the assorted parts, least those that have not already been used keeping the craft we have still flying. The pilots are being put through their paces, the half that received full training in the colonies using the opportunity to increase the skills of the other half, trained in a hurry since the fall and often lacking vital basic skills.

The civilians… it would be easy to say they are Roslins concern not mine but in truth, just as the civilians need us, we need them. They are antsy, knowing their only protection is diminished for the moment, they, much as I do, do not seem to trust the disappearance of the cylons but there are many who are allowing the hope of the cylon disappearance to override their sense.

In truth, I do not believe the cylons will ever truly leave us alone. They may pause, become distracted for a while but they will come back for us again and again as it suits them, either until we are dead or somehow, we defeat them. That I cannot see happening, not unless Earth really exists and they have strength we have not.

One of the suggestions that is frequently being mentioned is the use of drones to mark those systems we have already passed through and to keep a note of any traffic in them.

Such an easy suggestion to make… and such a hard one to implement.

No scanner exists that is capable of monitoring an entire star system; it is easy and indeed common for objects to become occluded from the sensors eyes by such objects as planets, asteroids, stars. This is the reason all vessels capable of carrying fighters maintain an almost constant cap as a protection against a sneak attack. Of course, the energy levels of a powerful active sensor mean such a drone is highly vulnerable to detection and then capture, destruction or worse, being deliberately misled.

A passive drone would be far harder to detect, but then you have the problem that passive drones can only detect active contacts. A ship under EMCON rarely if ever registers against the background noise of space.

Of course, if the platform does pick up something, it still has to get such information back to us….

No, I do not think drones are the answer, not for this problem. What we really need are a thousand more eyes and ears but we are not going top get those.

And we still have these unknowns to consider, why have they chosen to ally themselves with the Kilrathi? What do they seek to gain?

I have had my people going over what few recordings we have both of these 'refugees' and the unknowns and so far, the information the analysis has provided is both intriguing and puzzling.

As always, we have more questions then answers.