First, of course, I do not claim to own these characters or their associated properties. Proper credits are at the bottom of this page, along with the other titles.
Now, then. I originally posted this about a week and a half ago, but due to (probably) poor timing and questionable editing on my part, some people who'd been watching for it have reported difficulty finding it. So, I'm reposting it, and hopefully it will attract greater notice this time. If not ... I guess that's just the way it goes, heh.
The concept for this story is one I've been developing since late last year, and particular appreciation is due to my co-conspirators, The Phiend and August Drake for their feedback and assistance. It is intended as an Elseworlds-styled fusion of two separate and distinctive settings, as opposed to the traditional "crossover". In my occasionally humble opinion, the DC characters are able to mesh with the BSG setting in some unexpectedly fluid ways. But, of course, I suppose the reader should judge that for themselves.
Oh yes, almost forgot. This will be rated 'M' due to its depictions of genocide, violence, language, and liberal use of the word "frak", among other things.
Well, then, let's get to it, shall we?
Bruce Wayne stumbled against the wall as the hallway around him suddenly shifted its momentum. Gritting his teeth against the brief wave of disorientation and nausea that always accompanied the abrupt lurch back into linear time and space, he pressed forward through the automated sliding doors just ahead.
"Report!" he barked at the people scurrying back and forth across the room before him, shaking his head in an effort to clear it.
"Well, we're in one piece, more or less," Jim Gordon responded from the other side of an illuminated table at the center of the room, grimacing as Bruce made his way toward him. He straightened his glasses with one hand while bracing himself against the table with the other, also recovering from the same sensations Bruce had just experienced. He opened his mouth to say something further, but stopped as the lights flickered sporadically, then nodded toward them and continued. "Navigation's out, and as you can see, we're still fighting that damn virus. But under the circumstances, I suppose we're lucky to be alive, at all."
"Tactical?" Bruce snapped, his face settling into a stony mask of determination as his eyes jumped from Gordon to Renee Montoya, who was anxiously hovering over the shoulder of one of several technicians working furiously at a nearby computer terminal.
Montoya shook her head, clearly frustrated but keeping a handle on it. "We're effectively blind and deaf, sir. The system keeps locking and rebooting. We're still trying to get the virus purged, but until we do, nothing's reliable. Internal comms are functional, but only what's hard-wired."
"What about short-range wireless?" Bruce asked, his mind racing.
"Short-range?" Montoya repeated, looking puzzled. "There's … there's an emergency low-power transceiver; it's not tied into the mainframe, so it should work."
Bruce nodded, satisfied. "Set it up, and put a bird in the air. We need to know where we are, and what's going on around us."
"And ready the alert fighters," he continued. "In case we find ourselves in the middle of something ugly."
"Already done," Gordon nodded, then lowered his voice. "Just between you and me … there was a minute or so, there, when I was afraid you weren't going to make it back aboard."
"I almost didn't," Bruce responded quietly, his expression grim. "Not everyone was so lucky."
Bruce shook his head briefly.
"None of them," Gordon inferred, a slight twitch of his mustache the only outward reaction he showed at this news. "That leaves just the kids, then, doesn't it."
"They'll have to be enough," Bruce said flatly.
The two men fell silent, mentally weighing what had been lost, as Montoya and the techs hauled out the emergency transceiver and set it up on the table in front of them. Moments later, a subdued, gravelly voice crackled over the speaker.
"Titan, this is Raven. No immediate contacts, will attempt to determine position. Over."
Bruce picked up the transceiver's handset. "Raven, this is Titan-Actual. Continue recon, and keep us advised. Remember, you're our eyes and ears. Over."
"Roger, Titan." There was a pause. "…Sir, we're picking up a large volume of wireless activity indicating that the attack at the shipyards was part of a coordinated, full scale offensive. There are numerous distress calls being broadcast in the clear, from what sounds like nearly every Colony, and branch of service. Over."
Bruce clicked the handset's thumb switch to reply, then checked himself and stopped. Pausing to allow the gravity of what they'd just been told to register, he drew a silent, steadying breath before allowing himself to answer.
It was all that needed to be said.
A deathly silence fell over the room, and Bruce suddenly realized that everyone present was staring at him, stunned.
"Man your posts!" he thundered, not caring that they flinched at the harshness of his voice and the fire in his eyes. "Get this ship ready for action! Lieutenant Montoya, get that virus nailed down and purged from our systems! There are people out there who need our help!"
Montoya blinked abruptly, as if snapping out of a daydream. "Yes, sir!" she exclaimed, and shot the techs a look that sent their fingers flying across their keyboards at double speed.
The transceiver crackled to life again. "Titan, Raven. We're not able to pinpoint any known markers."
"That means we must have jumped clear of Colonial territory, altogether," Gordon interjected, perplexed. "We've gone right off the charts!"
Bruce held up a hand to silence him as Raven was still talking, unable to hear the interruption. "—Not picked up any indication of potential enemy presence on our scopes. However, we have pinpointed what appears to be a disabled civilian mining vessel, bearing two-four-three, carom six-one. Their automated distress beacon is active, no other outgoing signals. Request instructions, over."
"Raven, continue recon," Bruce responded. "We'll worry about the miner. Keep us updated, over."
"Understood, Titan. Raven out."
"A civilian miner?" Gordon repeated, his brow furrowing. "But, if we're too far off the official routes to be able to locate a beacon…"
"We could be somewhere across the Armistice Line," Bruce suggested. "I've heard that some of the smaller companies have been mining across it, to skirt tariffs. Petty Officer Duncan!" he called across the room to a man wearing a wired headset, "Scramble two more Raptors, one outfitted for search and rescue, the other for salvage, to the coordinates Raven sent in."
"Sir!" The younger man nodded, and carried out the orders.
"We may need the extra fuel," Bruce told Gordon's raised eyebrows. "No telling when we'll get another chance to tank up. Meanwhile, Colonel, check with Munitions. Make sure they're ready for action, when the time comes."
"Yes, sir." Gordon saluted smartly, and picked up a phone.
Bruce took the opportunity to step over to Montoya. "How are we coming?" he asked her.
"We've isolated roughly sixty percent of the infected files," she replied, her posture tense. "It's slow going, but we're making steady progress. We're working as fast as possible; hopefully we'll be able to get most of the system back up within the hour."
Bruce had long prided himself on his ability to exert near-total control over his outward demeanor. Those who thought him cold, distant or humorless could not have imagined the effort that was sometimes required to create that impression. Or how crucial those traits could be in a situation such as this.
It was what enabled him to restrain himself from reminding Montoya that millions, or even billions of human lives very probably hung in the balance right at this moment, and that every second they were delayed may well have carried a cost in hundreds or thousands of those lives – all of which he was certain she already knew, but still had to resist the impulse to say. Much like the urge to physically punch the terminal out of sheer frustration, or shout or scream or tear out his own hair, or any of the other things he so desperately wanted to do, but knew would not help matters.
So instead, he simply nodded and told her, "Keep at it."
"Contact!" Raven's voice suddenly crackled over the speaker again. "Possible enemy contacts have just entered our scope, bearing four-eight-seven, carom one-nine-two. No friendly signatures, repeat, no friendly signatures present. Multiple contacts, number indeterminate at this range – Titan, they have just altered course to intercept your position, I say again, targets are inbound on an intercept course with your position."
Bruce grabbed the handset. "Acknowledged, Raven. Take evasive action, continue to advise."
He didn't wait for her answer before picking up the black phone that would carry his voice across the entire ship. "Attention all decks, this is the Commander. Prepare for combat. We have enemy incoming. This is not a drill. Repeat, enemy incoming, prepare for combat. This is not a drill."
He turned toward Duncan, to give the order that would carry them all past the point of no return. But Gordon caught his eye, first.
"They're still in training. None of those kids have ever seen combat."
"That's about to change," Bruce told him grimly, then nodded to Duncan.
"Launch Vipers. Weapons free."
Masterwork Productions presents…
So Say We All
A Titans: Elseworlds story
Written by Corey W. Smith
(Batman, Teen Titans, Elseworlds and all related characters are © DC Comics.)
(Battlestar Galactica and all related terms and concepts are © Universal Studios.)