Authors Notes: Massive update! 11,250 words. As you recall, at the start of this story, I separated the Twelve Colonies into 3 star systems.

This is the first of many chapters dealing with the first attack on the Colonies by the Goa'uld. I originally wanted to do ONE chapter for the Cyrannus A system, one for Cyrannus B, one for Cyrannus C… but that did not work. Hence, this chapter is only HALF of the Cyrannus A battle(s).

This is a first draft- haven't read through properly yet. Revised version might come… but we're all in this for the content, and its not written too badly!

Chapter 22

Attack on the Colonies – Part 1A; Caprica – Tauron – Canceron System (Cyrannus Alpha)

Caprica Station

Selucia thought that the room she was in had one of the best views in all of the Colonies. Three of four walls as well as the ceiling were made of transparent glass providing the room's inhaitants an almost uninhibited vista of Space. Lighting was provided by soft glow lights along the floor and along the edges of the twenty person table sitting in the middle of the room. Stretching out from the view from the third wall, one could look back along the commercial arm of Caprica Station and could see its main axis, running at a right angle to the 300m long lateral extension of the station. The mining arm extended out from the main axis at ninety degrees to the commercial arm which they now found themselves in.

Selucia conceded that when compared to the views that you could get at the Aerilon orbital habitats, or from the Scorpion moons, the view from Meeting Room 016A left a little to be desired. The difference that made the view from the Caprica Station meeting room was that everything visible around the station was partially under Selucia's control. She was one of the Managing Directors of Caprica Station, the main hub of commerce in all of the Colonies. It was her duty to ensure that operations at the station kept running smoothly, for if they didn't millions, if not billions, of cubits could be lost. Needless to say that her job was high pressure in the best of times, and mistakes could, and have, cost her career dearly in the past. She had once been one of only a handful of candidates to be the first Commander of the Battlestar Mercury, the first in the line of the behemoths that were now starting to comprise the Colonial Fleet. However a mishap with her Command at the time, a slight collision between the Battlestar Diaspora and Caprica Station during docking procedures, halted all of that. As a result she had been 'shifted sideways', and in an ironic turn of events, had been appointed as the Managing Director of Caprica Station who was from the Colonial Fleet; the other managing directors from various other arms of the Government.

Selucia snapped herself out of her daydream and brought her attention back into the room. Only seconds after she had tuned herself back into the conversation did she wonder whether it was worth it going back to quiet reflection. It was not her fault that she could not stand lawyers, retched as they were. It was all worthwhile though, just one step in an everlasting process. She needed to hear what the proposal by SpaceTech was so that the design of the first Space Elevator in the Colonies would not hamper the operations of Caprica Station, even though on paper it was meant to greatly enhance efficiency. Selucia could not get the image out of her head of the one-thousand click long nano-tube fibrous cord dangling from Caprica Station to the planet below, and pulling the entire station down into orbit. She knew that it would not, and could not, happen, but it was an image stuck in her head nonetheless. Selucia conceded that even if it did happen, it wouldn't be on her watch; she was planning to have regained some of her reputation and be back commanding Battlestars by the time the space elevator was finished, in ten years time.

"I think that's it," the Colonial Fleet lawyer said. Selucia was lucky, there were two Colonial Fleet, Caprica Government, and private lawyers, as well as the Commerical Managing Director of Caprica Station on her side. She just had to look pretty and answer any technical questions and ensure that the Fleet's interests were heard.

"Great. If you could forward the revised contract to our office, and we'll arrange for signing," the SpaceTech lawyer replied. Just as soon as things looked like they were wrapping up, three large chimes came over the intercom system. Selucia immediately thought that it was unusual, as the intercom system was turned off in the meeting rooms.

"Urgent message for Director Selucia James, please report immediately to Communications and Sensors. Selucia James, please report immediately to Communications and Sensors," the female voice said over the station-wide announcement system.

"Well gentlemen, ladies, it seems I'm needed elsewhere. If you would pardon my absence. If I do not return by the end of the meeting, I will catch up with Ronald later," Selucia said, referring to the Commercial Managing Director. With relief she got up and left the room and began to head down the myriad of corridors which would eventually lead her to the internal cart system used for getting around differing areas of the station quickly.

The closer Selucia got to the central axis of the station, the more hurried and determined everyone seemed to appear. It was not immediately obvious, but once Selucia noticed it, it was there. She just thought that her mind was playing tricks on her until a group of Colonial Fleet Raptor Jocks jogged past her in full flight gear. Although she was still in the Commercial Arm and not the military arm, there were still Fleet personnel situated and housed at various points around the station. Immediately, Seleucia picked up her pace.

Communications and Sensors was one of several nexi located in the middle of the station. It was a large room housing dozens of analysts and communications officers behind rows of computer terminals and stations. Once Selucia entered the nexus, she made her way over to the Area Manager, who was busier than he should have been. Upon recognising Selucia he immediately disengaged from the conversation he was having with an analyst and made his way over to her.

"Director James, I'm glad you're here," he said.

"What's going on Robert? It's a bit busier than it should be," Selucia replied.

"Ahh, three issues, which might all be related," the Area Manager, Robert, responded. He paused for a few moments.

"Well, out with it," Selucia prompted.

"Well the first is that there are five contacts at the periphery of the Alpha system. They appeared from nowhere and are on an elliptical approach into the inner system along the elliptical plane. Current course estimations place three of the objects in High Orbit above Caprica in one hour, and the other two in Low Orbit above Tauron in one and a half. The objects are approximately eight light-minutes from us. As far as we can tell, they're not transmitting IFFs and are not responding to attempts at communication," Robert began explaining.

"What? Show me," Selucia responded, gesturing towards the nearest console. Robert just beckoned to the far wall which had a wall sized screen showing the DRADIS plot of the entire system. Selucia looked at the DRADIS and saw the red swarm at the edge of the display, along with a continually updating course projection. Images were just now being put up along the right-hand side of the screen. They showed large pyramids surrounded by superstructure, appearing to move on some kind of inertia alone. She turned to Robert to begin to ask some more questions, but she was interrupted before ever getting the chance.

"The second is that all Colonial Fleet Units have been ordered to Alert Condition Two. Central Command have ordered Battlestars Ripley and Prometheus to launch from the station in ten minutes. Central Command have also requested that StratNet be engaged," Robert said. This was not good news to Selucia, and told her that the higher-ups in the Colonial Fleet knew something that the rest of them didn't. Furthermore, StratNet, the system to allow the Colonial Fleet to communicate with all situation rooms, briefing rooms, pilots quarters and docked Colonial Fleet assets independently of Caprica Station, had never been activated outside of training programmes.

"Frack, they know something," Selucia responded. As she watched the main DRADIS display on the far wall, she could see the icons BSG46 patrolling the outer system change. In real time, or as close to real-time as was possible when it would take seven minutes for DRADIS signals to reach BSG46 and then another seven for the signals to bounce back to Caprica Staiton, a preliminary course for BSG46 was plotted that put the Battlestar Group on an intercept course with the unknown contacts.

"Frackers," Selucia said. "BSG46 was issued with orders from Fleet Command to intercept the contacts fifteen minutes ago. Yet we still haven't heard a peep," Selucia exclaimed. Those gods-damned fracks in Fleet Command were just looking for any chance to screw her over, and this was just another expression of the constant reminders she got about the incident that landed her here in the first place.

"That's the third point," Robert said to her, causing Selucia to calm down immediately, "You have a priority, eyes and ears only communications request from Tynall himself."

"Tynall?" Selucia responded. She was surprised that Tynall would lower himself to talking to her. After all he was the one that handed out her demotion in the first place.

"Yes sir," Robert replied.

"Thanks Robert. Get your top technician to CIC to coordinate between the command staff and sensors here. I don't have a good feeling about this," Selucia ordered before turning to leave. She was headed for her private quarters in the central nexus of Caprica Station. It was the only place that she was authorised to make or take a secure call.

Colonial Fleet Command, Caprica – Director Tynall's Office

The last week had been the most challenging week in Director Tynall's life. The past series of events had occurred and were completely out of his, or Colonial control. They were no further in understanding how or why the asteroid Ulant Atani had exploded, and now Pegasus and her fleet was somewhere on the other side of the galaxy.

They had only discovered their place in the wider galaxy six months ago. In that time, they had been taught by Earth's SGC that the worst thing they could encounter was a Goa'uld mothership. Now the forward DRADIS arrays around Cyrannus Alpha indicated the potential for five of them approaching the inner system. Already the enemy ships were within distance to strike at some of the largest asteroid mining operations in the local area. Surprisingly they moved on, ignoring the installations and the minor civilian traffic in the immediate area.

No one had any idea why the Goa'uld ships were here. But the whys of it didn't matter; they were here nonetheless. It seemed as if the Lords of Kobol had decided to stack everything against the Colonials in the last week; there was just too much happening against them to be of any mere coincidence.

Worst of all, Tynall had to tell the President Elect of all of this at some stage. He was the Economic Advisor, twenty-fourth down the line of succession to the Presidency, and he had no knowledge of the Stargate or recent events that had transpired. But this was not the place to play politics or scurry to the whims of political candidates; they had a mere two hours until the Goa'uld ships would be within striking distance of Caprica and Tauron. That timeframe gave them a chance. Picking up the phone, Tynall ordered his second in command to issue the order for the President Elect, and all chief advisors, to be secretly moved to 'Safe Haven', the centralised command bunker one hundred metres beneath Caprica City. Issuing this order would require that he too was moved to Safe Haven, yet he could not see how he could organise anything from there. He knew that minutes after issuing the order, Raptors would be launching toward Colonial Fleet HQ, the Presidential Palace as well as the offices of half a dozen chief advisors and people in key positions, the majority of which were new to their jobs and had been promoted after the people filling the original positions had been wiped out in the explosion of the Ulant Atani asteroid.

As an afterthought, Tynall presumed that this turn of events would rapidly accelerate the late President Adar's plans for public disclosure of the Stargate. There was no way that they would be able to cover up six golden pyramid ships floating through the outer system. They could say that they were some kind of prototype ship, but that plausibility of that cover story was very low.

He could not fathom what these Goa'uld wanted. If they were launching an attack, they could have jumped in a lot closer to the main Colonies rather than parading in from the outer system. But then he remembered the intelligence briefings forwarded on from Earth – the Goa'uld's tactics seemed to be more targeted towards intimidation than efficiency; and it was working. Without firing a shot or sending any kind of communication, they had the whole building in an uproar; all of the analysts, strategists and Generals were running around in a panic trying to start to organise a defence. Tynall stepped out of his office into the madness of the top floor of the Colonial Fleet HQ in Caprica City. The place was looking like a madhouse. He couldn't fathom what the floors below were like, since this top floor was the only one who knew about the Stargate and recent developments; the only one that knew what they were facing. It was time to organise this chaos and start a coordinated defence.

"Jamal," Tynall said to one of the communications staff nearest his office, while beckoning for him to come and approach him. Jamal was the official liaison officer between the Stargate Facility inside Irradiated Zone 32 and the Director of the Colonial Fleet; Tynall in this instance. "I need you to put together an information package on the Stargate, and more importantly, everything we know about the Goa'uld and their space capabilities. Once you have that package together, forward it to all A2 officers and above in-system. Organise Courier Raptors to send the package to Fleet forces in Cyrannus Beta and Charlie. Inform them to be ready to jump into the system should we need reinforcements," Tynall ordered. Courier Raptors were needed to transmit any high-priority messages between the three Colonial Systems, as any transmissions would take ten hours to reach Cyrannus Beta, or fifteen hours to reach Cyrannus Charlie.

Tynall dismissed Jamal and walked over to Great Admiral Reed's office. Great Admiral Reed was in charge of all Colonial Fleet deployments in the system, and had an equivalent counterpart in Great Admiral Henderson and Great Admiral Baker in the Cyrannus Beta and Charlie systems. Great Admiral Reed had been in charge of BSG 02 leading the defence of Caprica during the closing battles of the Cylon War. She was one of the last remaining high-level command officers that served during the war, and her input and advice was invaluable.

"Reed, what assets do we have in the vicinity of the unidentified contacts?" Tynall asked as soon as he walked into her office. There was a large electronic display taking up one entire wall of her office, showing the disposition of all Colonial assets in the Cyrannus Alphas system. Painted red were the six Goa'uld contacts that were steadily making their way into the system.

In many ways he did not like to issue orders to her, as in Tynall's mind, she was far superior to him in terms of skill and experience. Instead he liked to view her as an asset that he could use and guide so that she was coordinated with other elements of the Colonial Fleet and Defence Forces.

"Battlestar Group 46, consisting of two Columbia Class Battelstars and four destroyers, plus Battlestar Group 81, consisting of the Mercury Class Hoplite plus two Valkyrie Class Battlestars and escorts," Great Admiral Reed responded.

"Can we order them to plot an intercept course with the unknown contacts. Engagement rules will be Condition One, but to engage with maximum force, only after being fired upon. Warning shots are authorised," Tynall said.

"Given the unknown power of the Goa'uld ships, I'd also order the Battlestar Zeus and Galactica to jump into a secondary position to reinforce Group Thirteen and Eighty-One. Adama's the most senior officer in the field who's known about this the longest. He'll be able to provide timely advice and support," Reed commented. That was what Tynall loved about Reed, she was invaluable with her advice, and it was always advice that you could not say no to.

"Very well. Can you issue the order?"

"Yes sir," Reed responded.

"Also can you order all Colonial Fleet assets in system to set Condition Two until Colonial assets are fired upon. Once that happens, Condition One and free engagement are authorised," Tynall added. The order would essentially cause any Colonial Fleet Assets to form a defensive perimeter around Caprica and Tauron orbit installations, ready to mobilise at a moment's notice. Luckily Canceron was currently on the other side of the sun from Caprica and Taruon at the moment, and the Goa'uld ships hadn't made any indication of approaching the planet.

"Yes sir," Reed responded. Tynall turned to leave the office, but paused.

"If it comes down to it, there'll be a Raptor waiting on the roof to transport you to Safe Haven when you're ready. If this gets serious, we'll need people like you to coordinate the Colonial Defence," Tynall stated.

"Thankyou sir. I'll do as much as I can from here before it comes to that. But I'd like to get my family to Safe Haven if possible sir," Reeds responded. Tynall just nodded before leaving the room to issue his next set of orders. The entire floor was still chaos, but Tynall knew that people just needed a direction and something to focus on. That was why these people were on the top floor of Colonial Fleet HQ, they were the best of the best and would be able to meet the challenge issued to them.

"Sir, sir," someone beckoned. Tynall did not recognise the man, he was awfully young to be situated on the top floor, maybe in his late twenties. From the desperation on his face, Tynall could not refuse him. He walked over to the man.

"Yes, what is it," Tynall responded.

"I need to talk to you in private. It regards the explosion at Ulant Atani, and our current situation," the officer responded. Tynall just beckoned for the officer to follow him back into Tynall's office.

"Yes, what is it son?" Tynall asked.

"I have a theory, which is only a theory at this stage, but it fits with recent events too much to be discounted," he said.

"Well, out with it. I don't have all day," Tynall replied, beckoning for the officer to continue. The officer took a few moments to compose himself before he began to speak.

"Could the explosion at Ulant Atani be a pre-emptive strike by the Goa'uld… to decapitate us by removing our leadership before sending in their ships?" he said. It was like a light bulb went off in Tynall's brain. It fit so well – remove the leadership of the Colonies before sending in their ships to conquer the disorganised civilisation – remove the Stargate and any way to smuggle people off-world.

Tynall just stood there for a few moments. Synapses and ideas were connecting at an unprecedented speed in his mind. It all fit so much. The explosion at Ulant Atani could not have been an accident, something they did wrong hooking up the Stargate to the Nuclear-Tylium reactor that powered the entire base, as was the most plausibe theory explaining the explosion at the time. A pre-emptive strike against the Colonies by the Goa'uld was more plausible. But for that to happen, it implied that the Goa'uld knew of the Colonies and had a sufficient time to organise the pre-emptive strike. The probability of that was low, considering that the Colonial forces had only fought two major skirmishes against the Goa'uld – at Cimmera with Earth's forces against the Goa'uld Heru'ur as well as on P7J-989, Alania.

"Frack, that would be it," Tynall thought. They had not been able to gain a foothold on Alania since an unknown Goa'uld invaded the planet while a significant Colonial contingent was present. Capture and torture of the Colonial prisoners must have revealed the presence of the Twelve Colonies to that particular Goa'uld. Further interrogation of captured Colonial forces must have revealed the location and disposition of Colonial forces within system.

Tynall could not fathom how infiltrators could have made it into the Colonial home system though. Personnel returning through the Stargate at the Earth base were screened for a Goa'uld presence. There would be no way that they could slip through that screening procedure. Regardless, those were questions for another day.

Tynall looked to the man in front of him and could see that he was a Lieutenant.

"Good thinking Lieutenant…" Tynall said, indicating for the officer to supply his name.

"Lieutenant Batiatus, sir," he said after straightening. Batiatus was a familiar name to Tynall, but he could not place where he knew it from.

"Very well. I'd tend to run with this theory until we can get any evidence for or against it. If its correct, it escalates our current situation considerably… dismissed," Tynall responded. Until now Tynall had been running with the theory that the Goa'uld ships had just stumbled onto them and that there had been no coordination of an attack. However the theory presented by Lieutenant Batiatus just fit too well, and Tynall's experience was that if a theory fit an unexplained set of circumstances well, it most probably had an element of truth to it. This theory placed their current predicament into an entirely new ballgame though. Tynall picked up the phone and dialled zero-hash to be placed through to the Colonial Fleet HQ switch board.

"Director Tynall here. I need Director Pendergast of Caprica Defence Forces on a secure line. Authorisation is Bravo, Charlie, Zeta, Zero, Five, Nine, Two, Richter," he said. He waited a few moments as the operator rang the Colonial Defence Forces HQ and placed a call directly to Director Pendergast. While the Colonial Fleet was responsible for space based combat, the Caprica Defence Force was the military arm charged with defence of the planet inside her atmosphere.

"Yes," Tynall heard after a few moments.

"Pendergast. You're aware of the current situation in the outer system?" Tynall asked.

"Of course I am. Everyone is. I'm surprised the newscasters haven't picked up on it yet," he responded.

"Good. No need for sarcasm. I need you to recall all Colonial Reserve forces to active duty and to set Condition Three planet wide," Tynall stated. Pendergast was in charge of all of the within atmosphere forces on Caprica, including Air-force, Navy and Army divisions. Setting Condition Three would result in all available Colonial Forces being alerted and ready for large-scale deployment for combat or humanitarian efforts, but would not result in troops and equipment marching through the streets, yet. There was still no need to cause panic throughout the general populace.

"Is the situation that serious?" Pendergast queried on the other end of the line.

"Yes. We're running on the theory that the Goa'uld were responsible for the explosion at Ulant Atani as a pre-emptive strike," Tynall stated. One small part of his mind warned him against sharing the speculations with outside agencies, but the rest of his mind said 'frack it' – it was better to be over-prepared than under-prepared, especially when facing an unknown such as the Goa'uld. "We're recalling all Fleet Reserve forces to active duty as well," Tynall added.

"Very well. I really hope that we're not needed," Pendergast responded.

"So do I. So do I," Tynall responded before hanging up the phone. He dialled another number and ordered that all Colonial Fleet Reserve Units be activated and to report to their duty stations. Minutes later, people such as Lee "Apollo" Adama would receive messages on their pagers informing them that they'd been recalled to active duty and that they needed to report to their duty stations. Just as Tynall was hanging up the phone, another Ensign entered his office.

"I have Director Selucia of Caprica Station on the line. She's requesting orders, sir," the Ensign said.

"Very well, put her through," Tynall responded. A few moments later after the Ensign returned to his desk, the call came through. Selucia was not happy.

"Director, we have a number of unknown contacts on long-range DRADIS that are not transmitting IFFs. Furthermore Colonial Fleet forces across the station are mobilising. I need to know what is going on and any standing orders," Selucia demanded, cutting straight to the point. Tynall cursed, if the Goa'uld ships were turning up on the long-range sensors of Caprica Station, it wouldn't be long until they started to turn up on purely civilian DRADIS as well.

"Director. There's an information package being prepared now that will be sent to you within fifteen minutes. In the meantime, assume combat readiness and set Condition Two across the station," Tynall responded.

"Condition Two? If you're trying to fracking screw me some more, tell me now and I'll bend over and take it, but don't shut down the station to make me look bad," Selucia responded harshly in Tynall's ear. To say that there was bad blood between them, mostly between Selucia towards Tynall, would have been an understatement. Caprica Station at Condition Two would cause all inbound and outbound traffic to be grounded. All ships at the station would not be allowed to leave, save for military assets. It would also allow Colonial Fleet and Station personnel to commander civilian and commercial ships docked at the station for strategic purposes. Tynall had not gave the order to set Condition Two lightly, as it would be his head if it was all for nothing.

"Commander James. I do not have time to deal with your attitude. Those ships out there pose a real threat to your station, Caprica, Tauron and all in-system assets. Set Condition Two or I'll find someone who won't question my orders in a potentially live combat environment. Have I made myself clear!" Tynall responded.

"Yes sir. Understood. I'll direct my frustrations onto my staff instead of you sir. James out," Tynall heard as the connection was severed. Despite their differences, Tynall did respect Selucia somewhat.

Tynall just remembered that the President Elect had not been briefed of the situation yet. He was surprised that he hadn't received a phone call from the candidate yet, seeing as Raptors would currently be landing at his position to shuttle him to Safe Haven. Tynall was just about to pick up the phone to dial the Presidential Candidate, as it was something that needed to be done, when he was interrupted by another Ensign.

"Yes, what is it?" Tynall asked.

"Sir. It's not good. Courier Raptors have just returned from Beta and Charlie. There are Goa'uld ships approaching the planets in those systems as well," the Ensign stated.

"Frack, Frack and more holy motherfracking frack!" thought Tynall. He sat there for a few moments, contemplating any moves that could be made. This was a coordinated assault against Colonial defences.

"Send the couriers back. Issue orders for Condition Two to all military assets in each system. As soon as the first shot is fired by the enemy ships, make sure that courier raptors report this to other systems so a coordinated defence can occur. Also make sure Jamal sends the briefing package to assets in Beta and Charlie as well," Tynall responded.

Viper Squadron Briefing Room 01C5V7 – Caprica Station

Tension was thick in the air as Lee "Apollo" Adama moved through the hallways of Caprica Station trying to find room 01C5V7, his resentment towards the Fleet at an all time high. Caprica Station was just meant to be a stop over. He had finished a three month deployment on the Battlestar Atlantia and was heading home to continue his law studies. As a member of the Colonial Fleet Reserve, he only had to commit three months per year to active service in order to maintain his skills and capability. During the other eleven months of the year, he was free to do what he wished. At the moment it was studying law part-time through Delphi University.

The message recalling him to service and ordering him to Briefing Room 01C5V7 had come through only ten minutes before he was set to board his transport down the well. He immediately thought that it was a last minute training exercise before he, and all the other Viper Jocks in Reserve Squadron B45, finished their deployment for the year. However as he made his way to the Military arm of Caprica Station he was doubting himself more and more.

"Attention all personnel. This is Station Director Selucia James. Alert Condition Two is now in effect. All civilian and commercial traffic is now grounded. Departure Managers will report to all gates and provide you with further information momentarily. All Station Defence Personnel are to report to duty stations and obtain work assignments immediately. All other Fleet Personnel are to report to your docking hatches or work areas immediately. There is no cause for alarm and this is only a slight delay. Further updates will be provided every half hour," the Stations announcement system blared. This was more serious than Lee had first thought.

Immediately most of the people around Lee began taking amongst one another. However you could easily pick out the military personnel; they were the ones who were moving with purpose throughout the crowd. It was another ten minutes before Lee found the briefing room and snuck his way inside.

"…Station will deploy a heavy array of ECM jamming satellites at ten-thousand clicks. Reserve Squadron B45 and B98 will form a defensive picket around the jamming satellites. Your orders are to protect the satellites from attack by enemy fighter forces," the briefing officer was saying up the front of the room as Lee sat down. If there was any major fleet action, the Reserve Forces would not be put in the thick of the action unless it was absolutely necessary. Lee could see a picture of a standard Colonial ECM Jamming satellite taking up one half of the projector screen. A large pyramid floating in space took up the other half of the screen. "Because of the heavy ECM jamming, your DRADIS and long-range communications will be useless. Raptor Squadron CH12 will outfitted with special equipment that will allow them to see through the jamming field and will relay DRADIS and communications feeds to you via tight-beam links," the briefing officer said. Lee did not like the sound of this – they'd just about be flying blind.

"Is this a Cylon attack?" one of the Viper Pilots asked after the briefing officer paused for a few moments.

"Unknown," the briefing officer replied.

"Are they Colonial?" another person asked.

"Unknown."

"Are they aliens?" yet another pilot asked.

"Unknown," the briefing officer replied again.

"What if they're the Lords of Kobol coming back? Some of our earliest temples were pyramids. There are even references to them in the Scrolls," Lee heard a pilot behind him say to those nearby that would listen.

Lee noticed that the briefing officer had paused for a few moments to read the screen embedded into the lectern. There was obviously a change in orders, or new information was coming through.

"Battlestar Group 46 and Battlestar Group 81 are en-route to intercept the unknown contacts. The Zeus and Galactica are currently plotting an FTL Jump to reinforce both groups," the briefing officer began, pausing for a few moments to look back at the screen, "the Station is beginning to launch the ECM Satellites people! That means that we're up. Everyone to the last place you saw your birds. Form up on Raptor Squadron CH12 who will guide us into the jamming zone… Don't worry people, we should be out of any major action if things get hairy. There's going to be so much jamming put up that the enemy ships will have to eyeball Caprica Station herself to know that she's there, let alone us… Dismissed!"

Immediately chatter broke out in the room as most people started to get out of their seats. A few, like Apollo, hadn't moved and were too shocked to get up yet.

"Did you hear what I heard?" someone near Apollo asked him. He was a Captain, out ranking Apollo.

"I guess so. What did you hear?" Apollo responded after the few seconds it took to realise that he was being asked a question.

"There's some unknown ships out there. They're coming towards us. We don't know what they are or who they belong to. And we're going out to fly blind!" the Captain said to him.

"That's about what I heard," Apollo responded, "best get to it." Apollo got up out of his seat and moved with the rest of the room's remnants towards the exit. He took one last glance at the floating pyramid. Despite the knot that was beginning to form in his stomach, Apollo reminded himself that at any instant now, the Zeus and Galactica would jump much closer to the floating pyramids than Apollo would likely ever get; and that his father was in command of both of those ships.

Battlestar Zeus – CIC

Space righted itself once again as the flash of the FTL jump diminished. Immediately Admiral Adama looked up to the DRADIS display to see it flash into life.

"Jump completed. All systems nominal," the navigation officer announced.

"Galactica has reappeared off our port bow," the DRADIS officer announced. "Reading BSG 46 and 81 at fifteen thousand clicks. Goa'uld ships are at extreme local DRADIS range, emerging from the Tealford belt," he said, referring to the asteroid belt that formed a loose ring between the outer gas giant Ragnar, and the inner habitable systems.

"Blue squadron launching," the Communications Officer announced. Adama just nodded in her direction.

"What's happening with the rest of the fleet?" Adama asked Colonel Tigh, his Executive Officer and second in command of the Battlestar Zeus. Tigh looked up to a separate DRADIS display which showed a plot of all assets between the Zeus and Caprica Station's ECM jamming field, millions of kilometres to their rear.

"Local units are forming up into a defensive bracket halfway between us and Caprica. Can't see what's happening in local space around Caprica, which means that Caprica Station's jamming field is in effect and working. I count four Battlestar Groups coming together to form the bracket behind us," Tigh explained, getting all of the information from the long-range DRADIS display.

"Vanderhouse," Adama exclaimed to the navigation officer across the CIC to get his attention, "begin plotting an FTL jump to the defensive line forming up to our rear, just in case we need to get out of here."

"Yes sir."

"The Destroyers from Battlestar Group 81 are reaching the intercept point," Tigh said. Destroyers were small ships with a crew of approximately 200, and did not carry a fighter compliment. Their light weight and three latest generation Tylium-Nuclear power plants gave them high rates of acceleration.

"What are they doing there without their Battlestars?" Adama asked.

"Battlestar Group 81 sent the destroyers ahead to block the Ha'tak's path. The Battlestars and escorts are approximately ten minutes behind. Battlestar Group 46 will reach the interception point two thousand kilometres behind them in six minutes," Tigh replied. Adama could feel the tension in the room escalating. This was starting to get serious.

He had no doubts about his crew. With the Pegasus missing, his crew were the only ones who had actually been to planets with Stargates outside the Cyrannus System. As a result, his crew had the longest time to digest the presence of the Stargates, Earth and the Goa'uld threat in the galaxy. Most other crews didn't know of this, and were only being told now. Additionally they had been the closest military ship to Ulant Atani when it had exploded. Some tight manoeuvring had been required to avoid the fragments of the asteroid as they radiated outwards, powered by the explosion. Of all the crews in the Colonies, Adama's was the one with the most recent experience. He also had the newest, most advanced and most heavily armed Battlestar constructed in all of the Twelve Colonies. They had the best chances of making it through this. It was just everyone else that he was worried about.

"Sir. Destroyer Dark Star is attempting communications with the Goa'uld ship," Vanderhouse, the communications officer called out after a few minutes.

"Put it on the speaker," Adama replied.

"… k Star attempting communications with Goo-uled ships. You have entered space under control of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol. You are advised to turn back or face hostilities," the voice from the Dark Star said. Silence hung in the CIC, seeming to make the air thicker somehow.

"Vanderhouse. Any response from the Ha'taks?" Adama queried.

"None detected sir," Vanderhouse responded. Silence once again draped itself over everyone in the CIC as they all watched the DRADIS screens or their local terminals.

"Battlestar Group 46 have reached interception point and are forming a blockade. The rest of Group 81 are three minutes away from their interception point," the navigation officer said.

"Now what?" Tigh asked. Adama just glanced at him for a few moments, trying to settle his thoughts and obtain some clarity.

"Vanderhouse, can you patch us into the wireless from Group 81's Vipers or Raptors?" Adama asked. It would give them a better picture of what was happening on the ground, as well as keep everyone focused.

"Patching it through now sir."

"… by some kind of armour. DRADIS cannot determine the materials of the ship. They're continuing on, ignoring us," the Viper chatter said. They could see on the DRADIS that there was a squadron of Vipers within visual range of the three Ha'tak ships that were on an intercept course for Caprica.

"The rest of BSG 81 have arrived on station and are forming their own blockade," the navigation officer said.

"This is the Battlestar Hoplite representing the Colonial Fleet to unknown Pyramid Ships. You are required to alter your course to bearing 035, 243, 153 which will take you out of the Cyrannus A system. Failure to do so will be met with hostile action," they all heard over the wireless.

"No response from the Goa'uld Ha'taks," Vanderhouse said.

"Distance between Group 81 and Goa'uld ships is now thirty thousand kilometres. Hoplite has fired a broadside across the bow of the approaching ships," the sensors officer called out.

"… still no response from the approaching ships," they heard from the Vipers of BSG81.

"Time to intercept is 5 minutes on current heading," the sensors officer called out.

"All fighters, break clear of the space in front of the approaching ships," the Battlestar Hoplite transmitted. Adama's eyes were glued to the DRADIS. The approaching Ha'taks were not slowing, and would collide with BSG81 if they kept up their present heading.

"Radiological alarm! The Valkyrie Federation in Group 81 has launched a nuke towards the approaching Ha'taks," the sensors officer announced. The thought, and consequences, had just entered Adama's head when the DRADIS screen was interrupted by static which lasted for less than a second. "Nuclear detonation. Low yield. One thousand kilometres in front of the approaching Ha'taks."

"No change in the course or bearing of the pyramid ships" called a Viper from BSG81.

"Enemy Ha'tak ship. That was your last warning. Any further encroachment into Colonial Space will result in your destruction" Adama heard over the wireless, recognising the voice of the Hoplite's Commander. They all stood in CIC, eyes glued to the DRADIS. A moment passed, and there was no change. Another, and still no change. Adama and everyone else were wishing that they'd see some kind of reaction from the Goa'uld ships. But yet there was nothing. No attempts at communication. No course adjustments. No signals. Nothing.

"Sir, BSG 81 has opened fire on the Ha'tak," the sensors officer said.

"Set Condition One. Bring us and Galactica around on a course to reinforce BSG46," Adama commanded. BSG46 was sitting ten thousand kilometres to the rear of BSG81 who were now engaging the Goa'uld.

"Fire from BSG81 is impacting on an energy field surrounding the ships and appears to have minimal affect, as expected sir," the sensors officer said.

"Centre, right screen," Adama replied. Within moments, view from the Zeus' external telescopes was showing on one of the central screens in the CIC. Adama could see the broadside from the three Battlestars of BSG81 impacting on a yellow glowing field surrounding the Ha'taks.

"No change in the course or speed of the Ha'taks. BSG81 are moving out of the interception couse to avoid a direct ramming sir," the DRADIS officer said.

"What's the play here Bill?" Tigh asked, looking at the same DRADIS feed that Adama was.

"Same as it was during the war. Don't die," Adama responded.

"Frack the Gods! Enemy ship has opened fire on the Dark Star. Three shots of golden light have hit the Dark Star. She's breaking in half. Secondary explosions occurring along the dorsal…." They heard over the speakers, the voice of one of BSG81's Vipers in its last moments as it was consumed by the explosion of the Destroyer.

"Dark Star has been destroyed. Enemy fire on the Destroyer DominionDominion destroyed," the sensors officer called out. The DRADIS screen began beeping, giving notification that the number of contacts within range had changed.

"Frack!" Tigh exclaimed.

"Hoplite has been hit by three shots. She's ceased fire, is listing and there are fires evident along her length… fourth shot… secondary explosions along the length of the ship… Hoplite is… destroyed," the sensors officer said, looking up from his console directly at Adama for the last parts, not even needing the data to tell him that the Mercury Class Battlestar was no more. "All capital ships of BSG81 have been destroyed," he continued weakly. Adama looked at the sensors officer, a young man in his late twenties. He was a few shades paler than he had been not half an hour ago. Adama recognised the look in the young man's eyes, it was one that he was all too familiar with; sheer, absolute and raw terror. The sensors officer turned and released the contents of his stomach on the floor next to him.

As Adama looked at the sensors officer, and then around the room generally, old feelings began to come back to him from the Cylon war. He had forgotten what it was like to feel, and be surrounded by, terror. Over the course of a few moments, Adama's mind chemically reverted back to the state that it had been in during the Cylon War. It gave him clarity and a terrifying focus that he had been trying to find again ever since the war had ended. One part of his mind realised that this was the true difference between a rookie and a seasoned veteran such as Adama; he used it, and thrived on the terror and uncertainty to drive him forward. He took action rather than let his own fear and emotions take the better of him.

He realised that everyone in the CIC was looking to him. He had had his moment, and it was all that he needed before he sprang into action.

"Navigation. Spin up the FTL drives. Update our coordinates to the defensive line between us and Caprica and relay to Galactica," he commanded with absolute authority, taking many in the CIC by surprise with the intensity evident in his demeanour.

"Communication. Order, that's right, Order BSG46 to jump back to the defensive line as well. I don't care if Admiral Reed outranks me, just do it…. Sensors, download all the records for active and passive sensors and put it on a Raptor. Get them to jump back to Caprica orbit and transmit to Colonial Fleet HQ immediately. Send the message 'Launch Everything' with it," Adama ordered, knowing that no signals would penetrate the Caprica Station ECM field.

"Blue squadron this is Zeus Actual. Return to base. Combat landings are authorised. We jump in…," Tigh started, looking towards the navigation officer who held up three fingers, "… three minutes."

"Roger that Zeus Actual. Returning to base. We are two minutes out," they heard over the wireless.

Static filled the speakers almost immediately after Blue Squadron's reply. Adama looked to the communications officer who was frantically working his console.

"It's a blanket transmission from the Goa'uld Ha'taks on all frequencies," the communications officer responded. They all waited for a few more moments until the static diminished and a voice was heard.

"I am Major Gorick of the Colonial Fleet, serial number 054AHY93. I was one of the lucky few that was rescued from the Battlestar Chryasor. I am on board the approaching Goa'uld Ha'taks. Our God Ba'al speaks to you through me. He demands that we surrender to his will or suffer his wrath. He will wait for thirty minutes for a response. Further attacks or attempts to intimidate him will result in more deaths," the radio emanated.

"What the frack?" Tigh stated.

"Chryasor is in the same group as Pegasus, which still hasn't returned," Adama responded. He watched for a few moments as realisation dawned on Saul Tigh's face.

"Frack!" he exclaimed.

"All birds recovered. Courier Raptor has jumped for Caprica space. FTL drive is spun up. Ready to jump," the navigation officer said. Adama watched as the Ha'tak vessels continued on their current course towards Caprica. There was nothing that they could do here. He had to obey the number one rule of warfare – do not die.

"Very well. Get us out of here. Jump the ship," Adama responded.

Safe Haven – Caprica

Tynall and the command staff of the Colonial Fleet were now situated in Safe Haven, a secret location deep underground which could serve as the nexus for command operations during a time of war. Tynall was in the central control room, looking at a wall-sized DRADIS plot of the entire Cyrannus Alpha system. He watched, and heard, as BSG81 was swatted out of the way like flies. He was relieved to see twelve new DRADIS contacts, four of which were Battlestars, appear in orbit around Caprica. They represented a third of the force assigned to protect Canceron which did not have any Goa'uld ships approaching it as of yet. Moments later, another twelve DRADIS contacts appeared in orbit around Tauron, the second third. The rest of the ships remained at Canceron for defensive purposes. He looked up at the clocks in the top right of the screen; twenty minutes until the Goa'uld Ba'al would need an answer; thirty minutes until three Ha'taks would be within engagement range of the Caprica Blockade; thirty five minutes until two Ha'taks would be within engagement range of the Tauron Blockade.

He turned back to the heads of state that were squabbling behind him. The message that Ba'al transmitted had gone out on all frequencies. Everyone with a television or wireless had heard it. Caprica was in a panic. The leaders behind him were debating on whether to surrender.

"… we don't know what surrender means for us. What will he do to us if we do surrender?" the President Elect said.

"We don't fracking surrender! If we didn't surrender during the Cylon war, we won't surrender to this tyrannical maniac with a snake in his head," one of the Colonial Fleet commanders responded.

"It's the military that got us into this in the first place. Obviously if the Chryasor hadn't been out there galavanting around the galaxy, this Ba'al character wouldn't know about us. Its obvious that Major Gorick has been captured, and that the Battlestar Group is the whole reason why Ba'al is even here," the President Elect responded. "Why should we listen to you now?"

"Why didn't Ba'al speak to us directly when he demanded us to surrender?" someone else asked. Tynall knew the answer to that. When he replied, he spoke with authority, causing everyone else to cease their arguments and listen to what he was saying.

"Because he doesn't know the language," Tynall begun. "He can't speak our language and he doesn't have time to learn it… He got a captured Colonial Officer, obviously from the Chryasor, and used him to speak to us. Hell, it probably wasn't even Major Gorick speaking to us. I'd put money on it that Gorick's been implanted with a snake, which learned everything he knew in a matter of minutes, and was still mimicking the original host when it spoke."

The room was silent. What Tynall said rang true for many of the people in the room, each figuring that it was the most likely, and most horrible, possibility.

"But all of this doesn't matter. What matters is what we do now… We have a Stargate, and some people on the other side that know a lot more about the Goa'uld than we do, and who have beaten back a Goa'uld invasion force before. I say that we give them a call and ask for some assistance," Tynall said. He didn't even wait for a response from anyone before he moved to the closest table and grabbed the speaker-phone. He dialled a memorised number which connected him straight to the Stargate Facility inside Irradiated Zone 32.

"General Hizemchof," the phone answered. It was the leader of Caprica's Stargate facility, housing the Stargate that was locked and could only dial Earth.

"General. Director Tynall. We need an immediate connection to Earth, and I need to communicate directly with General Hammond of Stargate Command," Tynall responded.

"Very well. Yes sir. If you'll just wait a moment as we dial the gate and route the call," Hizemchof replied. Incredulously hold music came on. In the middle of a crisis, the heads of the Colonial Military were listening to hold music as a wormhole was established between Caprica and Earth, light years away. Tynall knew that at some time he'd need to see the irony in that. Tynall noted that all of the other Heads of State and military commanders were now standing around the table, waiting until the connection was established.

"Can we put this up on the screen and make it a two way video transmission?" Tynall asked one of the nearby technicians.

"Yes Sir," the technician responded. After waiting a few moments, half of the wall sized DRADIS display now showed black static, and the speaker system throughout the underground bunker played the Stargate Facility's hold music.

"Connection established Director Tynall We are now routing you through to General Hammond…. You are on with General Hammond of Earth's Stargate Command," Hizemchof stated. An image of a balding man, advanced in his career, appeared on the wall display.

"General Hammond. I am Director of the Colonial Fleet, Mark Tynall. I have here with me the leaders of the Colonial Military, as well as many heads of State including President Elect Douglas Twain," Tynall began while beckoning to the men behind and beside him as they all stared at the screen. By now the translation software between Earth's 'English' language and Colonial Standard was fast enough to translate on-the-fly and replicate the speakers' voice, tone and pitch almost perfectly. While the Colonial delegation saw Hammond's lips move and form English words, what they heard was Colonial Standard. The same went for the other side as well.

"To what do I owe this honour?" Hammond responded.

"I am sorry that I could not contact you under better circumstances. We are currently in an underground bunker coordinating a defence against a coordinated breach of Colonial airspace by the Goa'uld known as Ba'al," Tynall responded. For a few moments, Hammond did not say anything.

"Did I just hear you correctly? You said that the Goa'uld are invading Colonial space?" Hammond responded.

'Yes, that is correct. There are currently twenty Goa'uld ships spread out over the three Cyrannus systems, approaching our worlds. There have been a few minor skirmishes, but the Goa'uld ships have not yet reached our blockades," Tynall responded.

"I'm sorry to hear that Director. I have SG1 as well as Master Bra'tac, a former soldier of the Goa'uld, in the room right outside. If there's anything that we can do, any assistance that we can provide…" Hammond responded. On the video screen he beckoned off-camera. Tynall could see several people enter the same room as Hammond but remain off camera.

"Well, actually, there is. We have been given a deadline which expires in fifteen minutes. By then we must indicate our intentions to Ba'al on whether we will surrender or not," Tynall responded. "From our early skirmishes, we cannot see a way forward without severe casualties, if not total defeat. Our weapons can not penetrate the Goa'uld's shielding system. We would appreciate some strategic advice from your experts on the best methods to fight the Goa'uld's ships," Tynall responded.

"I believe that Teal'c wishes to say something," Hammond responded, indicating off-camera to Teal'c. A large bald, black man with a golden emblem etched into his forehead stepped into view.

"Director Tynall. I seek permission to come through the Stargate and assist your people to fight the Goa'uld invading your homes. As a former first prime of Aphophis, I have commanded many such invasions and believe that I would be able to determine strategies that would best repel Ba'al," Teal'c said. "I only have one concession… that my son, who is on Tauron studying in one of your military compounds, be evacuated through the Stargate to Earth as soon as possible."

"Very well. It will be done as soon as we're finished here," Tynall responded.

"Mr Teal'c," President Elect Twain queried. Teal'c just nodded in acknowledgement. "Can we not surrender? Surely we can come to some sort of agreement with this Ba'al…" he started, before being cut off by Teal'c.

"Surrender is not an option. The Goa'uld will lure you into surrendering, promising that none of your people will be harmed. But once your military stands down, he will kill everyone who has the ability to resist him. Your ships and your military will be destroyed," Teal'c replied.

"But what if we surrender our hardware? Would he then let us live?" the President Elect responded. Tynall was about to knock the man out – had he not heard a word that Tynall had told him during his briefing.

"Can you ensure that your surrender will be upheld by every single one of your people?" Teal'c retorted. Without waiting for Twain to answer, he continued, "I have been to your worlds and spent time amongst your people. They are warriors. If you surrendered, your people would be placed into slavery. There would be a heavy resistance. Any Goa'uld will retaliate using extreme measures to quell any resistance. Cities would be burned, or destroyed from orbit just to teach your people the cost of resistance. Your population would be decimated. Your people will be stripped of their technology and forced to build parts, harvest grains and mine raw materials for Ba'al's empire. Surrender is not an option," Teal'c countered, his voice and features growing in intensity as he spoke.

Tynall looked to President Elect Twain, and was glad to see that he was taking a few moments to compose himself. Obviously the message had gotten through.

"Thankyou Teal'c. We'll take that under advisement," Twain responded. Tynall looked up at the clock. Ten minutes until the first deadline. Teal'c moved out of the frame to be replaced by General Hammond once again.

"Unfortunately, as you may be aware, we do not have any ships or technology that may be of use. However, as stated before, we do have skilled personnel such as Teal'c who may be able to assist you with your battle strategies," Hammond responded.

"Thankyou General. I would also like to see whether we would be able to start to send some of our best and brightest through the Gate to take refuge on your world, should the worst occur here," Tynall responded. He saw that he got a few looks from the other people in the room when he said that. Tynall knew that they were all still playing catch up.

"Yes, that is fine. We have enough room for them here and at the Beta Site," Hammond responded. "I'm sure that you have a lot of work to do gentlemen, so I won't take up any more of your time. We'll assemble a team to send through within the next half hour," Hammond responded.

"Thankyou General. If we make it through this, we'll be forever in your debt," Tynall responded. "Hopefully we'll see you again. I'll personally make sure that Teal'c's son gets through the gate to you," he continued, cutting off the connection.

Tynall turned to the others in the room after glancing up at the clock one more time. Eight minutes remaining.

"Well, are we all in agreement that surrender is not an option?" Tynall asked. There were nods amongst the assembled men, with no response given by Douglas Twain, the President Elect. "Then that's that. We go to war."

Ba'al's Ha'tak – Approaching Caprica Blockade

There were two minutes to go until Ba'al's deadline was met and the Colonials needed to surrender. He knew that they would not, his newest compatriots told him as much. Yet still, he liked to give them a chance. It would be the last decision that their race made on their own; every one afterwards, no matter what course of action they chose, would be made by him from now on.

His answer came early. The Colonial warships began to advance towards his fleet. Ba'al signalled for all of his Ha'tak's to launch their wings of Death Gliders and Alkesh bombers to soften up and intimidate the Colonial's forces. They had arranged an impressive array of ships. If it were not for their inferior technology, Ba'al would not be able to win this fight. There were forty-five warships of varying sizes, some larger than his Ha'taks defending this one planet against his three Ha'taks. His lieutenants advised him that there were over two-hundred warships aligned against his twenty Ha'taks that he had brought to these systems; ten to one odds. Yet he was confident of a favourable outcome with minimal losses. Their ships caved easily to his weapon systems.

His confidence and ego were boosted as the first shells of the Colonial's kinetic weaponry began to detonate harmlessly against his shields. The sheer volume of kinetic weaponry aligned against him was impressive, but still inconsequential.

Ba'al ordered his ships set a course towards the large space station in the orbit of the approaching planet. They would literally fly straight through the Colonial's blockade that they had erected, blasting the warships to pieces as they flew. His lieutenants told him that the Colonials were attempting to block their sensors of the station, but their attempts were wholly ineffective. If the Ha'taks sensors had been woefully primitive, they would have not known that there was a station there. However Ba'al could see it on the sensors as clear as if there was no jamming in the first place.

The viewport automatically darkened as a nearby warship exploded in a ball of fire and debris. It had been swatted out of the sky by the weapons on his own ship. The viewport darkened again as the first nuclear weapon detonated against his shields.

"Jaffa. Kree," he stated to his nearest technician.

"Minimal damage. Shields at 99%. The hull has prevented the radiation from affecting us," the technician responded. Ba'al looked back to the sensors and was surprised that there was a dramatic change.

"Jaffa, explain this," he ordered.

"My Lord. The Colonial ships have a large number of fighter craft aboard. They are formidable. The sheer number are too much for our Death Gliders and Alkesh," the technician responded. Ba'al just pointed to another set of sensor readings which the technician had not seen. Frantically, the technician turned back to his sensors and examined them briefly. "My Lord, there are many fighter craft entering orbit from the surface of the planet," the technician responded.

"How many?" Ba'al asked, just seeing a cloud on his sensors. The technican turned back and fiddled with his sensors a bit more.

"Close to five thousand My Lord," the technician responded.

Earth – Stargate Command

It still felt strange to be standing in front of the Stargate as it dialled, geared up for a mission without Carter. Jack O'Neill was starting to think that they'd never get her back from P3J-989, especially now that the Colonies were under attack. Their plans to contact the Battlestar Pegasus and re-route it for a rescue mission had not been successful as the ships had disappeared from the orbit of the desert planet. Still, Jack did not like this mission one bit.

"You know, I still think that you should stay here… it's a lot less, dangerous," Jack said to the blonde in front of him.

"My home is getting invaded by a snake. I'm one of the best pilots around. They need me," the Colonial woman named Kara Thrace responded. She received a cheer from the other Colonial Officers which were going through the gate to the Colonies with SG1, ten citizens of the Twelve Colonies in all.

"Yeah, but I just had to say it. I'd be doing the same thing as you if it were here… Hell, I'm doing the same thing as you and its not even my home," Jack answered.

"Yeah, we get to come home though," Daniel Jackson responded.

"You know how these missions work by now Danny. There'll be something that will stop us from coming back all nice and easy like," Jack responded.

"There had better not be SG1. Your orders are clear. At the first sign of the Goa'uld getting anywhere near the Caprica gate facility, you are to return here and bring as many Colonial personnel with you as possible," Hammond interrupted.

"Yep, we've got it General," Jack said. "I'll just tell the snake heads to let us go through, nice and easy like." Jack could see Hammond just ignore that comment. Jack looked around and could see a look of resolve on Teal'c, Bra'tac and Bra'tac's warriors. Each were going through to advise the Colonials of battle tactics based on knowledge gained first-hand in carrying out similar invasions for Apophis. The fate of thousands of lives would be determined sheerly by the tactics and strategies that they advised the Colonials.

The Stargate activated in front of them all with a large ka-woosh, spilling the unstable energies used to create the vortex out towards them before the process was brought under control. Jack thought that if Carter were here, she could tell him how it worked just one more time.

"Okay people. On the alert. Weapons ready. We don't know what we'll be going through to," Jack commanded. In pairs they went forward to the gate, weapons first. Four Colonial marines went first, followed by Starbuck and another pilot, and then Jack and Daniel. Jack stepped forward into the event horizon and let it take him.

Once he emerged to the other side, he immediately heard yelling, and gunshots. In the milliseconds before his sight returned, he wondered what was going on. Then, as he opened his eyes, he was confronted by what he saw enough to make the breath leave his lungs. They were in a golden room with hieroglyphics adorning the walls in vertical patterns. In front of him lay the first two Colonial Marines that had gone through the gate, burn marks on their chest. In front of them lay two Jaffa in full battle armour, riddled with bullet holes. Confusion spread across Jack, until the pieces finally fell into place.

"What the frack O'Neill. This isn't Caprica!" Kara Thrace exclaimed as she penetrated into the room further, weapon raised and pointing around the room. The last of their party had just come through and Jack took a step backwards and placed his arm into the event horizon of the wormhole.

"Jack, what are you doing?" Daniel asked in a concerned voice.

"We're on the ship!" Jack exclaimed in response.

"What? Ooohhhh," Daniel responded, understanding dawning across his face.

With one arm in the event horizon through an outgoing wormhole, which could close at any time and sever his limb, Jack keyed the radio, "Hammond this is O'Neill. We've done it again and gated to a Stargate aboard one of the Goa'uld motherships orbiting Caprica. I need you to keep the wormhole open from your side... Send everyone who can carry a gun… We'll also need a hell of a lot more than 4 sticks of C4 this time… preferably some nukes!" Jack said.

Not even a year beforehand, SG1 and Master Bra'tac had managed to destroy two Goa'uld Ha'tak motherships in Earth's orbit by gating onto the ship when it was near the planet. They had only themselves, four sticks of C4, and a lot of human ingenuity. Jack was going to make sure that this time, they had a lot more than four people and some proper supplies.

"Secure that fracking door and make sure that no one comes through!" Jack exclaimed, pointing with his other hand towards the entrance to the ship's gate room, and borrowing some delightful language from Starbuck.

"Hammond acknowledges. Rapid response teams will be coming through the gate within three minutes," Jack heard through his radio.

"Bra'tac, Teal'c, on-point. We'll follow your lead," Jack said. Teal'c just nodded while taking up a defensive position with the gate room.

"Yes, we have done this before have we not O'Neill," Bra'tac responded. "I believe it should be, as you would say, a stroll in the park." What they did not know was that it was going to be far from easy, but it was the most successful action that would be undertaken in the entire defensive action against the Goa'uld invasion. The handbook, both Earth's and the Colonials', would describe the actions undertaken by the mixed Earth / Colonial team in the next few hours as standard boarding procedures to overtake a Goa'uld Ha'tak for decades to come.

()()()()()(

Authors Notes: as outlined at the top, I wanted an entire chapter devoted to the Cyrannus A system, then another to B, another to C etc. But as you can tell, this update was very big – so Cyrannus A has been broken up into 2 chapters.

If you like anything you have read at all, give me a review.

And before people start wondering how the Colonials were able to dial-out to Earth, but Earth dialled into the Goa'uld ship – it's easy – the Caprica gate is locked. It can only dial earth…. Irrespective if there's another gate around – it will still dial Earth…. The Earth gate is not.. once Earth dialled Caprica, standard gate rules applied and the wormhole opened in the Ha'tak as it overrides the planetary gate (goa'uld modification).